The one thing going right in Syria. “The first batch of the most dangerous chemicals in Syria’s arsenal was loaded onto a Danish ship and taken out of the country Tuesday under tight security, an important milestone in the international operation to rid President Bashar Assad of the weapons by midyear. The operation at Syria’s port of Latakia took place against the backdrop of a widening civil war and escalating infighting between a chaotic mix of Syrian rebel brigades and an al-Qaida linked militant group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.” (Yahoo! http://yhoo.it/1eFDVfR)
Just How Destructive Were Natural Disasters in 2013?
A new report has the answers. “Globally, losses from natural catastrophes in 2013 were somewhat more moderate: the direct overall losses of around US$ 125bn and insured losses of around US$ 31bn remained below the average figures of the past ten years (US$ 184bn and US$ 56bn). Regrettably, in a total of 880 natural catastrophes (average of the past ten years: 790), more than 20,000 people were killed. This meant that the death toll was higher than in 2012, but significantly below the average of the past ten years (106,000).” (Munich RE http://bit.ly/1eFEcQ3)