Typhoon Nida at Hong Kong

The residents of Hong Kong woke up today morning to learn that the city is literally at stand still as authorities shut down the city to prepare for the Typhoon Nida. Authorities asked the people to stay back at their homes and even warned of flooding though the typhoon is now downgraded. With a wind speed of upto 90 miles per hour Nida could prove disastrous for the Hong Kongers.
As Hongkong is facing the Typhoon, Chinese authorities are taking no risk. Cities in the Peral River delta area are preparing for the worst as residents seems to piling stock of food supplies. The super market food shelves emptied as the news hit the cities early on Monday. The airport authorities at Shenzhen airport canceled all flights from Monday midnight. More than 320 flights are expected to rescheduled as a result of the typhoon. The streets are empty and heavy rainfall is continuing as we report this.

Majority of the bus services and ferry are canceled. The trains are running at less frequently. The Hong Kong stock exchange is closed for trading on Tuesday.
For latest situation on Hong Kong weather condition visit the weather.com’s update.

Thailand Flood 2013

Yet another flood in Thailand. The 2011 flood in this South East nation was a huge disaster that affected the countries economy very badly. The heavy rain fall this year has resulted rivers overflowing and reservoirs reaching their maximum capacity. The 2013 flood in Thailand already taken 30 lives.Thailand 2013
The provinces of Prachinburi, Prachantakham and Kanchanaburi are the most affected with Prachinburi being the worst hit. Most of the villages and inundated. Even the industrial estate are flooded.

5th October, 2013: The Paska Jolasid dam reached its maximum capacity and residents near the dam are warned against potential flood. With more water expected to reach the Paska Jolasid dam from Lopburi dam, the water lever at Paska Jolasid is expected to rise up to 1 meter. If this happens Ayutthaya province is going to be flooded.
Meanwhile the authorities are ruling out any possibility of the capital Bangkok getting flooded in 2013. The old airport at Don Meuang was heavily flooded in 2011. According to Bangkok post report, the Airport ready for floods with a 13km long flood wall and 12 water pumping stations.

Earth Quake in Italy

Mirandola, ItalyOn Tuesday morning a 5.8-magnitude earth quake shook a large swath of northern Italy, killing around 15 people. The initial reports indicate that the quake also brought down buildings in the area already damaged by an earthquake that struck the area a week ago.

The latest earth quake struck at 8:30 am when many more local businesses and factories were open. This is likely to result in higher death toll in the latest earthquake in Italy. The tremors were reported to have felt as far away as Austria. The center of the quake is believed to be approximately 25 miles (40km) north-west of Bologna, near Mirandola, close to where a 6-magnitude quake struck in the early hours of 20 May, which killed seven people.

According to Guardian,

In Cavezzo’s old city centre, several buildings and the back half of the city church were reduced to rubble. Tents had been set up near the town’s sports complex and cots laid out in the tennis courts. Frightened residents sat or stood outside their homes, unsure of their next steps.

“I ran out of the fruit and vegetable store where I work as everything was falling off the shelves,” said Marzia Dondi, 42, as she stood outside her home with her two sons, aged 15 and 9. “We haven’t slept inside since last Sunday’s quake. We’re afraid to go back in. What a disaster. We were finally starting to calm down.”

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/29/north-italy-earthquake-deaths

Rescue workers are searching for survivors at the quake hit area. Authorities have asked the people not to panic and have faith in their rescue operations.

NATO condemns Russian threat to launch attack

The threat by Russia to launch pre-emptive strikes in some NATO facilities in Europe is unjustified according to NATO. The organization said that they do not pose any security threat to Russia.

The organization has maintained that the anti missile shield was put in place to protect their member countries from possible attack by Iran. The Russian federation is saying that the system is a threat because it undermines its nuclear facilities.

Russia gave the warning as Vladimir Putin returns to the presidency of the country next week. The chief of staff in Russia said that the country could carry out a preemptive attack on the installations.

Reacting to the statement, NATO Secretary General Anders Rasmussen said that the attack was unjustified. The secretary was reacting after he has discussed with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

He maintained that the missile defense system was not meant to threaten Russia, adding that the organization has provided that information to Russia. He said that NATO has no intention to attack Russia.

He said that NATO has in the past invited Russia to be part of the missile defense saying that they have the same defense interests. He said that NATO and Russia have made a pact 15 years ago which meant they could not undo each other.

Australian firm grabs largest real estate deal

Investa Property, a subsidiary of Morgan Stanley Australia has completed the Australian $1.9billion deal with a bank in Australia, two banks based in Europe as well as Chinese bank. This deal is the largest real estate financing which the company is embarking for the past five years.

The chairman and the chief executive of the company, Scott Mac Donald said that the deal is a sign that the debt capital is available for investors. He said that this is possible because new lenders are also entering into the real estate market.

The chairman reiterated the economic relationship between Australia and the Chinese government. According to him this is the reason the Bank of China has shown interest in the project. He appreciated the involvement of the Chinese in property investment in the country.

He said that the European banks have not left the country, adding that they are actually here. The company maintained that the new debt is to refinance the Investa property funding. The trust office portfolio of the company is set to mature in December 2012.

Supreme Court to deliver judgement over Healthcare Bill

The Supreme Court has concluded the oral argument on the Healthcare bill of President Barack Obama and is set to deliver judgment within one or two months.

The case is one of the high profile cases the Court is to entertain this year. It is at the heart of the success of Obama administration. As the nation awaits the decision of the court, rumors are flying from all parts of the country as to what the decision of the court would look like.

The type of interest this case has generated could be compared to the interest the case between Bush and Gore generated in 2000 presidential election when the presidency of the country hung on the balance. The 2000 presidential election is better because the court came up with its decision a day after the arguments had concluded.

It is the opinion of some experts in law that the bill as passed by the Congress and signed into law by the president would be upheld by the court. The nation is patiently awaiting the decision of the court which could take more than two months to come.

Arizona residents march to protest against immigration law

Some hundreds of protesters matched through the streets of Arizona protesting against the two year old immigration law in Arizona. The protesters who tote different placards want the Supreme Court to put an end to the immigration law.

The protesters are mostly of Hispanic race; maintained that the law is targeted at them. They want the government to put an end to the discrimination. The protesters chanted different songs such as no justice no peace as they match through the street.

They passed through the city hall, to the local sheriff’s office as well as the headquarters of the state immigration police. Nine people were arrested by the police for the match even though the protesters behaved very well during the match protest.

The immigration law was signed by the Republican Governor of Arizona Jan Brewer in 2010. The aim of the law was to send illegal immigrants out of the state. The police were given wide range of powers under the law. One of such includes the power to detain any person suspected to be in the state illegally. The Supreme Court is currently hearing the case.

High court Supports Arizona on immigration

 There is a setback on president Obama administration on the issue of immigration. Supreme Court backs Arizona on the crackdown of immigrants. They ruled against the stand of the administration that it is the federal authorities that have rights over the issue of immigrants in the country.

 The conservative justices suggested by their comments and arguments that they support laws that would prevent illegal immigrants from entering and staying in the country.

 Supporting the states on this issue Justice Anthony Kennedy who always makes the decisive vote spoke of the negative social and economic consequences which the states are subjected to, anytime illegal immigrants flood the states.

 The state of Arizona became the first state in the country to makes laws to send illegal immigrants in the state packing. The law empowers the police to stop and check the immigration status of anybody of anybody they detain and suspect entered to the country illegally.

 The Obama administration was not happy with the law. The battle for the law is one of the issues that would be debated in this November election between the Democrats and Republicans. The debate would center on what would be the fate of 11.5 illegal immigrants in the country.


Former Aid to John Edwards Explains Last Meeting with Boss

The former campaign aid to Senator Edwards has opened up on his final meeting between him and the senator when he threatened to expose his mistress’s pregnancy. The campaign aid Andrew Young was the key prosecution witness for the case against Edwards.

The witness said that the senator said that “You can’t hurt me, Andrew”. He said that this conversation took place in 2008 in North Carolina very close to the home of the senator. Since the incidence the campaign aid and his family have been hiding for months trying to shield Edwards’s mistress Reilly Hunter.

The former Aid said that it was at the instance of the senator that he claims responsibility for the pregnancy. He said that he solicited for $900,000 from wealthy donors. He said that he did all these not protect the political future of his boss and not to allow the affair to damage his campaigns.

He said that the senator denied knowledge of the payment. He said that the senator was acting oddly and sweating. The senator who is 58 could face jail terms if convicted of violating of the federal election laws and conspiracy. He is charged for accepting illegal campaign funds and for making false statements.

Diplomat calls on UNSC to send observers to Syria

The United Nation peacekeeping chief told the UN Security Council that it could take one month to send 100 unarmed military observers to Syria. It is the opinion of the international mediator in the Syrian crisis Kofi Annan that few observers could make a difference in the country.

The UN under-secretary for peacekeeping Herve Ladsous told the Council that there would be 30 unarmed monitors in Syria by the end of April out of the 100 that was authorized by the Council. The peacekeepers are to supervise the ceasefire agreement by both parties of the Syrian conflict.

Despite the slow process of deployment of peacekeepers in the country, small number of peacekeepers on ground in the country could make big difference. In Hom the volatile activities have calmed following the presence of small number of observers in that region. This was the view of Kofi Annan in respond to the slow pace of deployment of peacekeepers in the country.

The UN has deployed some observers in Hom to prepare for the semi permanent outpost. However, Annan was worried that the government troops have entered to Hama after the departure of the observers, killing significant number of people and firing automatic weapons.