30 June 2017   Leave a comment

I have been following the news about the attack on the Khan Shaykhun area of Syria on 4 April  That attack was characterized as a chemical weapons attack by the US and it was used to justify an air attack on a Syrian government air field.  We reported on the article by Seymour Hersh in Die Welt which argued that there was, in fact, no chemical weapons attack.  The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons  (OPCW) released its report on the attack yesterday which asserts that Sarin gas was used by the Syrian government in the 4 April attack.  Scott Ritter, a former weapons inspector who denied that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction prior to the US invasion in March 2003, offers his own analysis supporting Hersh’s position.  The OPCW’s Executive Council will discuss the report on 5 July and Russia is on the Executive Council.  I will try to follow up on this meeting since the Russians have strongly disputed the report and find out the basis for their denial.

The US National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) has published satellite images of wildfires burning in Siberia.  Scientists estimate that these are the worst wildfires in about 10,000 years. Since November, temperatures in Siberia have been about 4°C above average.  These fires release a great deal of carbon into the atmosphere and destroy the ability of large swathes of forests to act as an effective carbon sink.


The Global Cities Institute at the University of Toronto has published a study of urbanization trends in the 21st century.  Given current trends, the Institute predicts that in the year 2100 the four largest cities in the world will be: 1) Lagos, Nigeria; 2) Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo; 3) Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; and 4) Mumbai, India.  The projections are a dramatic shift away from the historical patterns of urbanization and suggest that global dynamism will be located in Africa.

Animated Map: The 20 Most Populous Cities in the World by 2100

Posted June 30, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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