World hunger increases for first time in a decade, topping 800 million in 2016

DW – September 15, 2017

World Hunger is on the rise after years of steady decline, warns a UN report released Friday.

Most of the world’s hungry people are in Asia and Africa, with 520 million and 243 million, respectively. But proportionally Africa is hardest hit, with 20 percent of people not having enough food – in Asia the ratio is 11.7 percent, according to the reported prepared by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the World Food Program and the World Health Organization.

Overall, the number of chronically hungry people rose to 815 million, or 11 percent of the world’s population, in 2016. The figure represents an increase of 38 million over the previous year.

It remains to be seen if the change is the start of a new trend or a one-off aberration, but the report attributes the increase to man-made conflicts, a sputtering economy and climate change.

Middle School Students Shown ‘Pro-Gay’ Video During Class; Christian Parent Upset

Samuel Smith – September 15, 2017

A conservative Christian parent in West Virginia has voiced concern after a middle school teacher showed her class a suicide prevention music video that featured two male high school students in bed together and a sex toy.

Rich Penkoski, who is the father of a 13-year-old student at Mountain Ridge Middle School in Gerrardstown, West Virginia, voiced his outrage with the school’s principal Thursday after his daughter told him that her homeroom teacher, Jackie Coffin, showed the the music video in class on Tuesday.

The music video in question is from hip-hop artist Logic’s 2017 song, titled “1-800-273-8255,” which is also the number to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

The plot of the video follows a gay African-American student as he struggles to gain society’s acceptance of his sexual orientation. In one scene, the student visits a male classmate’s house and has dinner with the classmate and his parents. The next scene shows the classmate’s dad catching his son in bed with the male student.

Floridians scramble for safety as Irma closes in

Brian Thevenot, Robin Respaut – September 9, 2017

FORT MYERS, Fla. (Reuters) – Hurricane Irma turned its fury toward the Florida Keys on Saturday as it completed a destructive march along Cuba’s northern coast and set off an 11th hour scramble for safety by Americans who may have ignored earlier warnings to evacuate.

Irma, one of the most powerful Atlantic storms in a century, was expected to rip through Florida’s southern archipelago on Sunday morning as a Category 4 storm, the second-highest designation on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

Tracking models showed it then making landfall on the western side of the Florida peninsula and heading up the coast.

Irma, which has killed at least 22 people in the Caribbean, was considered a life-threatening danger to Florida as well and will likely inflict billions of dollars in damage in the third-most-populous U.S. state.

Direct CME hit expected, G3 Strong geomagnetic storm watch issued

– September 05, 2017

An asymmetric full halo Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) produced by the M5.5 solar flare at 20:33 UTC on September 4, 2017 is traveling toward Earth and is expected to arrive late on September 6. G3 – Strong geomagnetic storm watch is in effect for September 6 and 7.

Region responsible for this eruption – AR 2673 – grew vigorously from September 2 to 4, quickly becoming one of the largest sunspots of the year. It now has ‘beta-gamma-delta’ magnetic configuration and harbors energy for both M-class (71% chance) and X-class (25% chance) solar flares over the next three days.

The region is now moving away from the center of the Earth-facing Sun but Earth-directed CMEs are still very much likely.