Steve Newman - March
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South Africa: 112 degrees Fahrenheit
(Russia), Antarctica: -71 degrees Fahrenheit
agriculture ministry has asked Buddhist monks nationwide to chant for
rain in a desperate attempt to end the country’s severe drought.
At a date
to be scheduled soon, the simultaneous chanting will begin from temples
around the land, led by senior monks gathered at the famed Temple of
the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok, the Nation Daily reported. The supreme
council, Buddhism’s governing body, has also agreed to provide 19 special
Buddha images believed to be capable of bringing rain. A rash of forest
fires, caused by the dry weather, has left a brown haze over the country’s
northern regions, prompting flight cancellations and causing respiratory
ailments among local residents.
rare Sumatran rhinoceros, a species once believed to be extinct, have
been sighted near India’s border with Burma.
suggest that the hairy Sumatran rhinoceros are surviving on the subcontinent,
according to Anwarudding Choudhury, chief executive of the Rhino Foundation.
The Sumatran rhinos once roamed the wet savanna grasslands from the
foothills of the eastern Himalayas in Bhutan and northeastern India
to Indonesia. But the species reportedly became extinct in the early
1920s when poachers killed the animal for its prized horns — believed
to have certain aphrodisiac properties.
cyclone Davina struck the western Indian Ocean states of Mauritius
and Reunion with winds of up to 110 mph before dissipating near
the southern tip of Madagascar.
60 people were hospitalized and 250 others left homeless after the storm
flooding in Mozambique has claimed 12 lives and left more than
200,000 others homeless in the north of the country.
have been caused by more than three months of heavy rains, with the
northern towns of Vilankulu and Inhassoro being the worst hit. The government
has requested international agencies to help with disaster relief as
well as road and bridge repair.
magnitude 4.6 quake in southwestern Japan caused concrete walls
to collapse and triggered rock slides that blocked roads around the
city of Kumamoto.
movements were also felt in northern Japan, the Kuril Islands,
the Kamchatka Peninsula, Taiwan, the southern Philippines,
Tibet, southeastern Iran, southern Greece and south-central
sheets covering Greenland’s low-lying areas are melting at an
alarming rate of three feet a year, according to a report in the journal
have shown that the thinning is most pronounced in the southern and
eastern part of the continent, particularly near coastal areas. Researchers
conclude that the thinning is due not so much to less snowfall in the
region but to glaciers melting and sliding toward the coast at a faster
Ministry of Environment announced plans to battle the lucrative business
of stealing medically valuable plants from the vast and remote Amazon
combines the scientific study of flora with efforts to stop the so-called
“bio-pirates.” Officials hope the scientific approach will help catch
those who illegally exploit the region by stealing plants that can be
converted to medical uses. Some smugglers are said to be able to to
hide microorganisms from the Amazon inside items as small as a ball-point
cats that strayed into the Indian parliament building on the
opening day of the country's contentious budget session were sterilized
for their rudeness, according to press reports from New Delhi.
cats had sat yawning impassionately near the seat of Prime Minister
Atal Behari Vajpayee, then evaded initial attempts by staff to catch
them. Many Indians consider cats to be unlucky, and the feline intrusions
prompted one opposition member to question the future of Vajpayee's
Sources: Japan Meteorological Agency, U.S. Climate Analysis Center,
U.S. Earthquake Information Center and the World Meteorological Organization.