Over 160 dead in India as killer heat wave continues

first_imgWeeks of sweltering temperatures have caused more than 160 deaths in southern and eastern parts of the country , officials said, warning that any relief from monsoon rains was still likely weeks away. IN PICS Most of the heat-wave victims were laborers and farmers in the states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, though temperatures elsewhere in country have also hit 45 degrees Celsius.Schools were closed last week in Odisha until at least April 26. Officials in Andhra Pradesh were giving out free water and buttermilk to help people stay hydrated. And everywhere, people have been urged to stay indoors during the hottest hours of the day.YK Reddy, a state meteorological official, said the temperatures were about 4-5 degrees Celsius hotter than normal for April. “Normally such high temperatures are recorded in the month of May,” he said.Source: IMDPolice have reported 55 heat-related deaths in Odisha and at least 45 in Andhra Pradesh. Sixty-six were reported in Telangana, though the state’s Deputy Chief Minister, Mohammed Mahmood Ali, said the causes of death were still being verified.Meanwhile, a 12-year-old girl in the drought-stricken Maharashtra died from the heat while fetching water on Wednesday.Making matters worse, India is grappling with severe water shortages and drought affecting more than 300 million people – a quarter of the country’s population. Thousands of distressed farmers have committed suicide, tens of thousands of farm animals have died, and crops have perished, with rivers, lakes and ponds drying up and groundwater tables sinking.Scrambling to deal with the crisis, officials have sent water tankers to worst-hit regions in Maharashtra, banning people from drilling deep wells and ordering farmers to shift away from growing water-guzzling sugarcane crops.advertisementThe heat wave in India coincides with record-high temperatures across the globe. On Tuesday, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said March’s average global temperature of 12.7 degrees Celsius  was not only the hottest March, but continues a record 11-month streak that started last May.Source: IMDFor southern India, this is the second consecutive year marred by a deadly heat wave. Last year, around 2,500 people died in scorching temperatures before the monsoon rains in early June.But while heat waves are relatively common during summers, authorities have done little to ensure water security or prepare urban populations for the risks.last_img read more

The Hellenic Initiative Australia launched

first_imgPromises were made by prominent members of the Greek Australian community to work together with Greece at the launch of The Hellenic Initiative Australia in Sydney last week.One hundred and fifty invitees from across the states and territories of Australia, a cross section of the who is who in many ways of the Greek Australian community, business people, entrepreneurs, bankers, lawyers, doctors, together with philhellenes of non-Greek background, launched the newest chapter in the history of The Hellenic Initiative (THI). This global U.S. based non-profit, secular institution, launched in Athens in 2012, is made up of members of the Greek diaspora and philhellenes committed to helping Greece through focused programs of crisis relief, entrepreneurship and economic development.The event was held at the Hellenic Club of Sydney’s new Alpha Restaurant. Master of Ceremonies was Helen Kapalos of the Seven Network’s Sunday Night program, and THI Chairman Andrew N. Liveris was the keynote speaker. The organizing committee included Nick Mitaros, Nick Pappas, George Giovas, Greg Gav and Penny Maragiannis. Joining the event from the US were THI Executive Committee member Dean Dakolias and supporters John and Mae Calamos.Mr Liveris, in his introductory speech stated that Greece can meet successfully all of its challenges today. This effort he said, is attempting to tap the Greek diaspora in order to make as big a difference as possible as quickly as possible. “If not us, who? If not now, when?”, he repeated the belief that drove the foundation members of The Hellenic Initiative, while calling the Greek Australian community to join the global effort to help Greece .The Initiative is built to last he said, the effort is focused on Greece in 2050, its programs are independent from the Greek government, the church or any other Greek Institution and we treat all of our specific actions like targeted investments.THI, as repeated by Mr Liveris, is committed to protect essential relief services under siege in Greece, is working to foster a new culture of entrepreneurship and is attempting to empower the Greek people in order to make the economy of the country more competitive in areas such as tourism and hospitality, food export, energy and information technology.Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece Kyriakos Gerontopoulos, addressing the Australian launch of The Hellenic Initiative highlighted the fact that Greece is leaving its crisis behind, having achieved in 2013 a primary budget surplus, and expecting economic growth in 2014. He also stated that the structural reforms of the Greek government have improved the prospects of investment and growth and stressed his belief that the Greek communities in Australia and in the United States will support in every possible way the efforts of Greece to recover.George Giovas, a Managing Director of Axius Partners, a firm that provides Fund Management and Capital Solutions and a member of the event organizing committee, said that last week’s event was the beginning of a discussion about how Greece got to where it is today and what must change to live up to its potential. “We started a conversation about how we as Greek Australians can promote recovery and renewal in Greece, and we invited feedback, new ideas and constructive criticism. At the end of the day we are looking for partners who will step up and build something with us. And so far the response has been outstanding”, he stated.Mr Giovas said that the aim of THI in Australia is to have a nationwide presence, and highlighted another dimension of the organisation. “The Initiative is first and foremost about helping Greece, but it is also about us, it is about our culture and identity, it is about our children, about maintain our community in Australia, by working Oloi Mazi-All Together,” he said. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Teletica hosts bangin Christmas event

first_imgIf you passed by La Sabana in western San José Sunday night and gawked at the thousands lining up to enter the west esplanade of the National Stadium, you were witnessing Teletica Channel 7’s Christmas celebration,Fantasía de Navidad (Christmas Fantasy).Children and adults filled the area to celebrate a Christmas concert performed by national talents, such as the Gospel music group Master Key and the Tico Jazz Band orchestra.At 6:30 p.m., Costa Rican comedian Alex Costa warmed up the crowd. But by 7 p.m., the concert’s presenter, Edgar Silva (host of Teletica’s Buen Día) opened the event by introducing two young artists, 9-year-old twins Felipe and María José Castillo, who played “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Carol of the Bells” respectively on the piano. Then, they sang “El significado de la Navidad” (The Meaning of Christmas) from their holiday album.The rest of the concert was a musical play reminiscent of “The Nutcracker.” The story involved a young girl who received a rag doll (think Raggedy Andy) as a gift from her godfather, which did not please her. After she learned the values of humility and gratitude, the doll came alive and followed the girl and her friends on a worldwide adventure, visiting the North Pole, the Caribbean and China.Music performed included Christmas classics, like “Frosty the Snowman” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (both sung in Spanish); as well as traditional carols and popular tunes such as MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This,” with new lyrics.Imani Campbell, 12, from Limón, sang a solo of “I Believe I Can Fly” and verses from “Hallelujah” in English. She was the winner of Teletica’s singing competition Nace una estrella (A Star is Born) during its fourth installment, and these songs were also part of her competition repertoire.Throughout the two-hour program, the children on stage were faced with obstacles. “Rats” (people in costume) kept interrupting the show with their own songs about sabotaging Christmas. At the end, it was up to Edgar Silva to intercede. He spoke about forgiveness and acceptance so both children and rats could enjoy the festivities. This motivated audiences to examine the true meaning of Christmas, along with an array of songs relating to the birth of Christ.The magical night came to a close with the whole cast singing and dancing to a Christmas version of Gangnam Style and a show of fireworks, which made both young and old dance around, in awe of the splendor.The show aired Monday night at 8 p.m. on Channel 7. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more