50 million refugees in a year!

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 08:24 PM PDT

The number of people forced from their homes by conflict and persecution has passed 50million in a year for the first time since the Second World War.

Some 51.2million sought shelter last  year – the equivalent of almost the entire population of England. Alarming!

The figure, revealed by the United Nations, is up six million from 2012, largely due to Syrians fleeing civil war.

The UN's high commissioner for refugees, Antonio Gutteres, said: 'These numbers represent a quantum leap in forced displacement around the world. For the first time since the Second World War, we had in 2013 more than 50million people displaced by conflict and persecution either crossing borders or within the borders of their countries.'

Some 16.7million of the total had crossed their own nation's borders. By the end of last year, 2.5million Syrians had become refugees in neighbouring countries while more than 6.5million had been displaced within Syria.

The latest figures do not include the half million people believed to have fled violence in Iraq over the past week.

The massive increase was mainly driven by Syria's civil war. By the end of last year, 2.5 million Syrians had become refugees in neighboring countries and more than 6.5 million had been displaced within Syria, the U.N. agency said.

The daunting numbers — which are straining the resources of host countries and aid organizations alike — also are a stark reflection of the ongoing conflicts and persecution in other countries, including the Central African Republic and South Sudan.

'These numbers represent a quantum leap in forced displacement around the world,' Guterres said. 

'For the first time since the second world war, we had in 2013 more than 50 million people displaced by conflict and persecution either crossing borders or within the borders of their countries.'

Aid agencies have struggled to keep pace with worsening conflicts in Syria, the Central African Republic and South Sudan, and on Friday the World Food Program, a U.N. agency, said it was forced to cut rations to refugees in several countries.

The over-50-million number includes refugees and asylum-seekers who fled abroad as well as people displaced within their own countries. The data was compiled from government, non-government partner organizations and UNHCR's own records.
Theirs was one of the three worst-affected nations, along with Afghanistan and Somalia. The UN also highlighted the ongoing conflicts and persecutions in other countries including the Central African Republic and South Sudan. 

The nations hosting the most refugees were Pakistan, Iran and Lebanon, whose stability is increasingly under threat as the Syrian war continues.

More than a million Syrians have registered in Lebanon as refugees since the conflict began in 2011; they now comprise nearly a quarter of the country's population.

Stupid, silly book on MH370

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 10:23 AM PDT

Writer and critic David Free today slammed Anglo-American author Nigel Cawthorne for his book 'Flight MH370', questioning his motive and pinpointing some of the 'bizarre' errors he made.

His article in The Australian also ridiculed the book as 'a cheap effort to cash in on the tragedy' without considering its adverse impact on families of the victims; and the lack of common sense in authoring it.

"COMMON sense suggests that a book about Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 produced so soon after the plane's disappearance is unlikely to be any good. One fears, too, that anything less than a good book will be an exercise in bad taste.

There are people for whom the mystery is also a tragedy, of a terribly ongoing kind. Their distress does not oblige writers to fall silent, of course, but it commands respect. If you're going to write a book about this case, you'd better do a decent job.

Into this daunting terrain saunters the Anglo-American writer Nigel Cawthorne. I admit I'd never heard of Cawthorne before I took delivery of this book, but how bad could he be? The back cover says nothing about him except that he is "prolific" — a slightly ominous way of describing a writer.

On the web, the signs become more ominous still. It turns out that Cawthorne's oeuvre, which is indeed uncommonly large, contains such titles as Amorous Antics of Old England and Sex Lives of the ­Famous Gays.

Still, one was ready to give him the benefit of the doubt. One stopped bothering around the middle of page three, where Cawthorne offers his shambolic first account of the moment when MH370 lost contact with the ground — the key moment, that is to say, of the whole affair. We know that the flight made its final radio transmission to Malaysian air traffic control at 1.19am. Cawthorne gets that part right. From there, things get a bit garbled:
"Around a minute later, the transponder that identifies the aircraft to air traffic control via ground radar was switched off. It was last seen on radar at 1.30am (17.30 GMT) 140 miles (225km) northeast of Kota Bharu, at the northern tip of Malaysia, around the point where the South China Sea meets the Gulf of Thailand. Then MH370 lost contact with Subang air traffic control one minute before it entered airspace controlled by Vietnam."
We'd all be prolific, if we let ourselves write paragraphs like that. The alert reader will wonder, for starters, how the plane showed up on air-traffic radar at 1.30 if the transponder ceased functioning at 1.20. Is 1.30 a misprint for 1.20?

Or is Cawthorne suddenly talking about a different kind of radar? If he is, it would have been nice of him to say so, if not mandatory.

"Then MH370 lost contact with Subang air traffic control …" Does "then" mean after 1.30? Yes, if the word is understood in its time-honoured sense.

But Cawthorne has already indicated that the plane "lost contact" at either 1.19 or 1.20, depending on how one interprets that typically imprecise phrase. Or are we supposed to conclude that ­Subang air traffic control, which Cawthorne hasn't previously mentioned, is somehow a different entity from Malaysian air traffic control?"


'Malaysia', babies and giant pandas...

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 01:46 AM PDT

For some reasons, 'Malaysia' is becoming a popular name for newborn baby girls in the United States.

I think I like that, and so do my fellow Malaysians. 'Malaysia' is fast becoming a 'household' name there, not because of MH370 but for its 'beautifully and pleasantly' mentioning.
Malaysia is growing in popularity in the United States - at least as a name - with more American parents choosing the country to name their baby girls compared to any other nation.
According to the Expat Go website, over 630 parents in the United States named their baby girls 'Malaysia' last year.
The site, which provide insights about Malaysia to expats living in and travelling to Malaysia, said that this was an increasing trend in the United States.
Data from the US social security administration showed that the 630 babies named 'Malaysia' were registered in 2013 alone, 570 in 2012 and 964 in 2011.
An online publication, Swimmingly, wrote that Malaysia was the most-popular country name and had been widely trending over the last three years.
The list, however, did not include countries like Jordan, Israel, Georgia and Chad as it was believed such names were not in direct reference to the countries.
Other popular country names included Kenya, America, India, Ireland and Holland.
By the way, what's our pandas name?

The new names for the pair of giant pandas from China will be announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak during the official opening for the bears at the end of June.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri G.Palanivel said the new names for the pandas had been discussed by Najib and the Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Dr Huang Huikang.
"He (Najib) will announce the names when visiting the National Zoo later," he told the media after receiving the pair of pandas at the MASKargo Complex at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport here on May 21.
The pair of giant pandas from China, Fu Wa and Feng Yi, the symbol of 40 years of Malaysia-China diplomatic ties, arrived in Malaysia at 7.53am after they were flown via a special MASKargo Airbus 330-200 MH6462 from Chengdu, China.
Was there any contest for Malaysians to name the giant pandas. I remember we did that for Proton Saga about 30 years ago.

Any suggestion, friends?

Why not 'Najib' and 'Rosmah'?

Ooppsss.... gurau je!


Jom berjuang bersama rakan bloggers di Facebook!

Tunjukkan sokongan anda! Sila Like.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...