Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Asia. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Asia. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Δευτέρα, 24 Αυγούστου 2015

Σάββατο, 27 Δεκεμβρίου 2014

Severe flooding hits southeast Asia (Malaysia and Thailand among countries affected)

Severe flooding has killed 13 people and left at least 180,000 displaced in Malaysia and neighbouring Thailand, officials said.

In Malaysia, rescue teams on Saturday were struggling to reach inundated areas in the northeast as victims accused the government of being slow to provide aid and assistance after the country's worst flooding in decades.

Malaysians have vented their anger at Prime Minister Najib Razak after the release of photos which went viral on social media showing him playing golf with US President Barack Obama during the storms.

The number of people forced to flee their homes climbed past 120,000 with weather forecasters warning of no respite for the northeastern states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang. 

The under-fire-Najib was expected to arrive in Kelantan on Saturday to lead the national flood response after cutting short his vacation in Hawaii, his aide Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad told the AFP news agency.

The government has allocated about $14m to manage relief centres. Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin admitted rescuers were facing challenges with power outages and roads being washed away by the floods.

"I admit the situation is challenging to the rescue workers and we are trying our best to make sure that the food arrives to the victims depending on the flood situation," he was quoted as saying by the Star newspaper.

Military helicopters and trucks were seen in Kota Bharu area, which is near the border with southern Thailand, but rescue efforts were being hampered by fast rising waters and strong currents while roads to hard-hit areas were impassable.
"The severity and scale of the floods had taken the authorities completely by surprise as it was worse than anticipated, overwhelming all disaster management plans and preparations," Lim Kit Siang, veteran opposition MP with the Democratic Action Party said in a statement on Saturday.

Muddy lake
Kelantan, one of the worst-affected areas, is led by the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) and is one of the poorest states in the country.
From the air, parts of the state capital Kota Bharu resembled a vast, muddy lake, with row after row of rooftops peeking out of the murky waters.
Tempers flared among people sheltering at a crowded relief centre just outside Kota Bharu, with fears the situation would worsen as it continued to rain in surrounding areas.
"I am angry with them [the government]. We don't care about their politics. We just want the government to do what they should do and help us," 23-year-old Farhana Suhada, who works for a courier service, told AFP.
Neighbouring Thailand's disaster prevention and mitigation department on Friday declared disaster zones in eight of its southern provinces after floods killed at least 13 people.
The zones are in Surat Thani, Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Pattalung, Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, Songkhla and also Trang, which has been flooded since mid-December.

More than 184,000 households have been affected by the floods and nearly 8,000 displaced, according to the department.
Although the water level is receding in Nakorn Sri Thammarat and Surat Thani provinces, authorities are monitoring the situation around the clock


Παρασκευή, 26 Δεκεμβρίου 2014

Asia Marks 10th Anniversary of Tsunami

Beach side memorials, moments of silence, and religious services are planned across Asia on Friday to mark the 10th anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami that killed at least 220,000 people in 2004.

The gigantic wave stuck a dozen countries around the Indian Ocean rim. It destroyed entire coastal communities, wiped out families and crashed over tourist-filled beaches the morning after Christmas.
The disaster was triggered by a 9.1-magnitude earthquake, the region's most powerful in 40 years, that sent waves roaring across the Indian Ocean at jetliner speeds as far away as East Africa. It was so powerful that it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters.

The tsunami led separatist rebels in Indonesia's Aceh province to lay down their arms in order to rebuild their lives. The three-decade rebellion against Indonesia ended in 2005, after having claimed 15,000 lives.

Indonesia was hardest hit by the tsunami, with more than 160,000 dead. Thousands more were killed in Thailand and Sri Lanka.
[ voanews.com]

Τετάρτη, 2 Ιουλίου 2014

UN initiative strengthens drought monitoring and early warning in Asia-Pacific

UN, 1 July 2014 – Although drought is a “silent killer” in Asia and the Pacific, access to scientific information and knowledge remain a challenge for many countries in the region, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) said today at a milestone forum on drought monitoring and early warning.
“Over the past three decades, it is estimated that droughts in the region have affected more than 1.3 billion people and caused damages of over $53 billion,” Shamika Sirimanne, Director of ESCAP’s Information and Communications Technology and Disaster Risk Reduction Division, said today in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The meeting, organized by ESCAP and the Sri Lanka Ministry of Technology and Research, drew senior Government representatives, regional experts and UN agencies to exchange good practices and discuss strategies to reduce the impacts of agricultural drought and help save lives.
Ms. Sirimanne emphasized that efforts to reduce the impacts of drought require timely access to satellite-derived data. “Signs of drought can be observed from space long before they are visible to the human eye. Advances in space technology allow us to monitor the condition of crops, or the availability of water, from satellite images, and sharing this information through regional cooperation will save lives and protect livelihoods.”
However, despite significant progress in monitoring agricultural drought, access to satellite-derived data and knowledge for improving early warning remains a challenge for many countries in Asia and the Pacific.
In 2013, ESCAP launched the Regional Drought Mechanism – a platform providing timely and free satellite-based data; products; and training to regional drought-prone countries – to enhance the capacity of Governments for agricultural monitoring and early warning. When combined with information collected on the ground, the data leads to more effective detection of potential drought conditions.
“For example, satellite images can detect the onset of drought in specific areas or provinces, allowing time for local authorities to take immediate action, such as informing farmers to switch to more drought-resistant crops or implementing water management strategies,” Ms. Sirimanne elaborated.
The Sri Lankan Minister of Technology and Research, Patali Champika Ranawaka warned, “This year may witness the beginning of another El Niño period affecting Sri Lanka – possibly with serious implications for agriculture, one of the most important sectors for the country.”
“We have great hope that ESCAP’s Regional Drought Mechanism will help Sri Lanka address this issue by expanding our options for monitoring and responding to agricultural drought, in the meantime effectively harnessing the potential of space technology applications towards this end,” he added
Currently, the Mechanism is being piloted in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Its initial work in Mongolia and Sri Lanka – supported by two regional service nodes – demonstrates clearly the efficiency and effectiveness of the initiative.
Supported by China and India, the regional service nodes were established under the Regional Drought Mechanism to provide the pilot countries with satellite imagery, services, expert training and capacity development.
Though several of the pilot countries already experience severe drought conditions due to regular climate oscillations, including El Niño and La Niña, climate change projections indicate that drought is likely to become more frequent and severe in the future.
Given these challenges, forum participants recognized the importance of coordination and cooperation across the relevant ministries and initiatives in the region and looked at practical ways to improve early warning through enhanced integration with climate change trends, and new scientific modelling techniques.
Recommendations from the forum will provide guidance for strengthening the effectiveness of the Regional Cooperative Mechanism and will feed into the national disaster management plans of the pilot countries.
Participating countries benefit from: enhanced access to space-based data; capacity building in preparedness and response; strengthened institutional coordination and policies at the country level; and Regional and South-South cooperation and support networks.

Δευτέρα, 19 Μαΐου 2014

Gazprom to sign monumental gas deal with China

Russia and China are set to sign a long-awaited 30-year gas contract during a two-day meeting, when Russian President Vladimir Putin visits Shanghai on May 20-21.
Gazprom, Russia’s largest natural gas producer, and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) are set to sign a gas deal that will send 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year eastward to China’s burgeoning economy, starting in 2018.
The timing is almost flawless as Russia is looking to shield itself from Western sanctions by pivoting towards Asia, and China desperately needs to switch from dirty coal to more environmentally friendly natural gas.

“The arrangements on export of Russian natural gas to China have nearly been finalized. Their implementation will help Russia to diversify pipeline routes for natural gas supply, and our Chinese partners to alleviate the concerns related to energy deficit and environmental security through the use of ‘clean’ fuel,” President Vladimir Putin said. 

The deal has been on the table for over 10 years, as Moscow and Beijing have negotiated back and forth over price, the gas pipeline route, and possible Chinese stakes in Russian projects. The gas price is expected to be agreed at between $350-400 per thousand cubic meters. 

“Of course Russia wants to sell gas and resources at the highest possible prices. But because of the sanctions from European partners, we need to find a partner that can buy our gas long-term, which is why at the moment China looks very attractive to us,” Aleksandr Prosviryakov, a partner at Lakeshore International, a Moscow-based asset management firm, told RT at a Confederation of Asia Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI) in Moscow ahead of the big meeting on Tuesday.
On Sunday, Gazprom chief Aleksey Miller sat down with his CNPC counterpart, Zhou Jiping, in Beijing to discuss final details, including price formulas........rt.com

Παρασκευή, 14 Φεβρουαρίου 2014

More than 40 countries sign declaration on fighting with illegal trade in wildlife

LONDON, February 14, (ITAR-TASS/. Officials from 46 countries, including Russia, on Thursday signed an intergovernmental declaration on fighting with illegal trade in wildlife.
The Russian delegation to the conference at Lancaster House where the declaration was signed was led by Natural Resources Minister Vladimir Kirillov.
The document outlines the practical steps towards curbing the illegal trade in wild animals and wildlife artifacts, including rhino horns and elephant tusks. It envisions amendments in the national legislations of signatory countries that will toughen the punishment for poachers, step up cross-border coordination and improve information exchange.

World Wildlife fund says the damage inflicted by poaching annually is estimated at $ 9.83 billion. Illicit production of rhino’s horns jumped up by a factor of 75 in the period of 2007 through 2013.
The horns are a widely used ingredient of traditional Chinese medicine and they surface more and more often on the black markets in Asia.
Apart from this, wildlife artifacts are often purchased by wealthy customers in Asian countries as trophies.
Experts point out the risk of extinction looming over rhinos, elephants and tigers, as tens of thousands of these animals fall victim to poaching every year.
The next conference on prevention of illegal trade in wildlife will be held in Botswana in 2015.

Πέμπτη, 19 Σεπτεμβρίου 2013

VIDEO. "Envoyé spécial" : vêtements toxiques, la rançon du "made in Bangladesh".

Près de 70% des habits que nous achetons en France sont fabriqués en Asie. De la teinture aux fixateurs et imperméabilisants, le magazine de France 2 "Envoyé spécial" diffuse, jeudi 19 septembre à 20h45, une enquête sur les produits chimiques utilisés pour les confectionner.

Après avoir découvert que certaines usines asiatiques utilisaient des substances potentiellement dangereuses pour la santé, les journalistes Sophie Bonnet et Antoine Demonet ont fait analyser de nombreux vêtements de grandes marques, fabriqués sur le continent asiatique et vendus en France. Le résultat est effrayant : plus de la moitié des pièces contiennent des perturbateurs endocriniens.

Les normes européennes Reach déterminent les substances à proscrire dans l’industrie textile. Au Bangladesh, les reporters se sont infiltrés dans une des plus grandes teintureries de Dacca, qui sous-traite pour de grandes marques occidentales connues. Ils ont découvert que certains fabricants ne respectaient pas ces normes, malgré les engagements officiels pris par les groupes.

Τετάρτη, 26 Ιουνίου 2013

Norway overtakes Russia as Europe’s biggest gas supplier

Russia lost its position as the main supplier of gas to EU last year as Gazprom exports fell by 10% knocked down by coal and high prices.
High gas prices in the EU coupled with cheap coal from the US, have made coal a more attractive fuel for power stations, according a new energy report from BP. On average, generating power in Europe is 45% cheaper with coal than with gas, BP chief economist Christof  Rühl explains in the report. That’s why Europe did not compete for liquid natural gas (LNG) and its imports to Europe fell by 25%. EU imports from Gazprom also dropped by 10%, as Russia’s gas prices are tied to oil prices and therefore remained high, BP’s economist said.  Norway’s gas pricing is not pegged to oil and are therefore lower. Imports from Norway rose 12%, and 2012 became the first year when Norway sold more gas to the EU than Russia, Rühl said.

Gazprom CEO Aleksandr Medvedev circulated an email on June 24 in which he reacts to a Financial Times article which claims that the Russian gas monopoly is in decline and that it is losing its hold in the EU market.
“Recently, Gazprom Export set a new record in daily gas deliveries. We pumped 466 million cubic metres of gas to Europe in a single day, pushing existing pipeline capacities to their limits. And Gazprom posted a whopping $38bn profit in 2012. In challenging economic times this is hardly a sign of weakness,” euractiv.com quotes Medvedev.
Although Russia remains a key supplier to Europe, the country is also seeking to diversify export markets for its gas to the booming Asia Pacific Region betting on growing demand in emerging economies.
Just 7 percent of Russia's gas exports were sold to Asian consumers last year, all in the form of LNG, from the Sakhalin II project, the Moscow Times reports.  But Russia's gas exports to Asia will expand dramatically if the construction of two new LNG terminals goes ahead: Gazprom's Vladivostok and Novatek's Yamal projects. Rosneft also plans to build a terminal in Sakhalin. If these three projects are realized by 2020, Russia's LNG capacity would increase from 10 million tons per year to about 45 million tons, equal to 18 percent of global LNG exports in 2012, according to the Moscow Times.
Globally gas consumption rose 2.2% faster in 2012 compared to a year earlier, but below the long-term average, according to BP’s energy report.  The growth is largely US-driven, as gas consumption in the world’s largest economy has increased more than in any other region of the world. At the same time, the EU and the former Soviet states have registered the largest regional declines in gas consumption, according to the report. 

Τρίτη, 25 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

Asia to get more Russian ESPO crude as second pipeline opened

Transneft has launched the second branch of the East Siberia - Pacific Ocean (ESPO-2) pipeline which could increase the chances of ESPO blend crude becoming a new benchmark blend.
With the ESPO branch open the capacity of the pipeline network stretching from the Baltic to the Pacific Ocean will double to 30mn tonnes. Total exports are expected to reach 36mn tonnes in 2013.
The project “will seriously broaden the infrastructural potential of Russia's Far Eastern regions,” according to Russian President Vladimir Putin speaking during a TV link-up.
ESPO will ship oil to Japan, China, the United States, South Korea, the Philippines, Singapore and Taiwan, he said.

The system's first stage from Russia’s Irkutsk region to Skovorodino and the Kozmino oil loading terminal on the Pacific Coast was commissioned at the end of 2009. Oil is to be shipped by railroad from Skovorodino to the port. The second stage involved building a section from Skovorodino tothe Pacific Coast .
At the moment “the American market is receiving 35% of the oil through Kozmino, theterminal of the ESPO, Japan is receiving another 30%,China 25%-28%, andthe rest goes to Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea” with the proportions set to remain unchanged, said Transneft head Nikolay Tokarev.
“If we prove able to do so in the short-term, we will be able to say confidently that a new oil brand has appeared in the world,” Tokarev added.
A launch of ESPO will significantly increase the export potential of Russian oil, Grigory Birg, Investcafe analyst, wrote in an e-mail. The pipeline means there is room to increase oil deliveries to both existing and projected oil refineries in Russia’s Far East without any reduction in export volumes of crude to the Asia-Pacific region, the Investcafe expert added.
The Russian oil market saw the introduction of the new ESPO blend in 2009, when the first branch of the pipeline was commissioned. It was created especially for the pipeline and now ranks as the best Russia’s blend, according to Michael Krylov, chief analyst at Alpari, talking to Vzglyad business newspaper. The blend is lighter and contains less chloride salt, Krylov explained.
“Eastward is quite a perspective direction for Russia’s oil companies, as it gets ESPO crude to a growing market at higher prices than the more sulphurous Urals,” Birg said.
The ESPO blend is already traded with a $1 – $1.5 premium to Urals crude, Russia’s main export blend.
In early November the Wall Street Journal shortlisted Russia’s ESPO blend as a potential benchmark along with Dubai’s DME Oman grade.
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Παρασκευή, 2 Νοεμβρίου 2012

Gazprom gets a boost from Asia as EU sales decline | EurActiv

Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom reported sales declines in Europe and its home market, showing the importance of its strategy to expand into Asia.
Gazprom's sales of gas to Europe and other countries fell 0.5% to 416 billion roubles (€10.2 billion) in the first six months of the year, while sales to Russia fell 10% to 120 billion roubles (€3 billion), according to the company's second-quarter results on Friday.

The trend has continued well into October. Exports to Europe, where the company covers a quarter of the continent's gas needs, fell 8% for the first 10 months of the year, to 113.1 billion cubic metres, according to both a company source and an analyst.
Europe has been the major gas market for Russia and the Soviet Union since it started to export gas by pipeline to West Germany in the 1970s.
But economic and financial woes have eaten into European demand in recent years, and the region's utilities are seeking to lessen their reliance on supplies from Gazprom, whose prices are usually higher than in the spot market.
Gazprom said on Friday that retroactive payments to European customers, who had claimed its prices were too high, exceeded 133 billion roubles (€3.3 billion) in the first half of the year.
The figure exceeds information that Gazprom gave in September that it would repay around €1 billion in the period from April through December and that the bulk would go to top German utility E.ON.
The European Union is investigating claims that Gazprom has been hindering the free flow of gas across the EU and imposing unfair prices by linking the cost of gas to oil prices.
Gazprom said it was analysing information related to the investigation and that it had not recorded a provision for any possible fines.
As Gazprom's problems with Europe persist, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the company to forge close ties with fast-growing Asia Pacific consumers such as China and Japan.
Russia, the world's second-largest producer of natural gas after the United States, has for years tried to secure a deal to sell pipeline gas to China, the world's largest energy consumer. The two countries have failed so far to iron out differences over issues such as price and routes.
"The deal with China would be a great boost for Gazprom," Sergey Vakhrameyev, an analyst with Metropol brokerage, said.
"Prices in China are quite high at the moment, and Gazprom would have benefited from the agreement."
EurActiv.com with Reuters

Gazprom gets a boost from Asia as EU sales decline | EurActiv


H Gazprom προσανατολίζεται προς Ασία και Ειρηνικό

Η ρωσική Gazprom δέσμευσε πάνω από 29δις € για την ανάπτυξη ενός πεδίου φυσικού αερίου στην Ανατολική Σιβηρία καθώς και για την κατασκευή ενός αγωγού στο λιμάνι του Ειρηνικού Vladivostok, αποσκοπώντας να μειώσει την εξάρτησή της από τις εξαγωγές στην Ευρώπη και να αναπτύξει νέες αγορές στην Ασία.
Ο ρώσος πρόεδρος Vladimir Putin έδωσε εντολή στην Gazprom να αναπτύξει στενές επαφές με τους ταχύτατα αναπτυσσόμενους καταναλωτές της Ασίας και του Ειρηνικού, όπως η Κίνα και η Ιαπωνία, προκειμένου να αντιμετωπιστεί η συνεχώς μειούμενη ζήτηση από την Ευρώπη.
............ΟΙΚΟ ΕΙΔΗΣΕΙΣ (31/10/12)

Οι νεκροί Έλληνες στα μακεδονικά χώματα σάς κοιτούν με οργή

«Παριστάνετε τα "καλά παιδιά" ελπίζοντας στη στήριξη του διεθνή παράγοντα για να παραμείνετε στην εξουσία», ήταν η κατηγορία πο...