Tag Archives: still

UK PM says still believes Brexit deal is 'achievable'

UK PM says still believes Brexit deal is 'achievable'British Prime Minister Theresa May said Monday she still believes a Brexit deal is “achievable”, despite talks with the European Union becoming deadlocked on the issue of the Irish border. “I continue to believe that a negotiated deal is the best outcome for the UK and for the EU. The sticking point is how to keep open the land border between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland after Britain leaves the bloc’s single market and customs union.



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IMF chief 'horrified' by Khashoggi case, still plans Saudi trip

IMF chief 'horrified' by Khashoggi case, still plans Saudi tripIMF chief Christine Lagarde said Saturday she was “horrified” by reports about the fate of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi but still plans to attend an economic meeting in Riyadh this month. As questions swirl over the fate of Khashoggi — a Saudi critic who has not been seen since he walked into the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2 — some big business names and media outlets have pulled out of the Kingdom’s second Future Investment Initiative.



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We Still Don't Know What Brett Kavanaugh's Confirmation Means For The Midterms

We Still Don't Know What Brett Kavanaugh's Confirmation Means For The MidtermsA wave of new polls followed Brett Kavanaugh's ascension to the Supreme Court



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Beto still trails Cruz in Texas Senate polling

Beto still trails Cruz in Texas Senate pollingA new Quinnipiac poll has found that Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s long-shot quest to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, which has generated so much enthusiasm and financial support from national Democrats, has stalled well short of success.



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Fears grow that more than 1,000 still missing in Indonesia disaster

Fears grow that more than 1,000 still missing in Indonesia disasterMore than a thousand people could still be missing after Indonesia’s devastating quake-tsunami, officials said Friday, drastically upping the number of people unaccounted for a week after the disaster. Palu city on Sulawesi island has been left in ruins after it was hit by a powerful quake and a wall of water which razed whole neighbourhoods to the ground, with the official death toll now 1,571. “Maybe more than 1,000 people are still missing,” Yusuf Latif, a spokesman for Indonesia’s search and rescue agency, told AFP.



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Why Indonesia still lacks an adequate tsunami warning system

Why Indonesia still lacks an adequate tsunami warning systemAn early warning system that might have prevented some deaths in the tsunami that hit an Indonesian island on Friday has been stalled in the testing phase for years. The high-tech system of seafloor sensors, data-laden sound waves and fiber-optic cable was meant to replace a system set up after an earthquake and tsunami killed nearly 250,000 people in the region in 2004. But inter-agency wrangling and delays in getting just 1 billion rupiah ($ 69,000) to complete the project mean the system hasn't moved beyond a prototype developed with $ 3 million from the U.S. National Science Foundation. It is too late for central Sulawesi, where walls of water up to 6 meters (20 feet) high and a magnitude 7.5 earthquake killed at least 832 people in the cities of Palu and Donggala, tragically highlighting the weaknesses of the existing warning system and low public awareness about how to respond to warnings. "To me this is a tragedy for science, even more so a tragedy for the Indonesian people as the residents of Sulawesi are discovering right now," said Louise Comfort, a University of Pittsburgh expert in disaster management who has led the US side of the project, which also involves engineers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and Indonesian scientists and disaster experts. How Palu became a death trap – and why magnitude of waves was 'surprising' "It's a heartbreak to watch when there is a well-designed sensor network that could provide critical information," she said. After a 2004 tsunami killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries, more than half of them in the Indonesian province of Aceh, a concerted international effort was launched to improve tsunami warning capabilities, particularly in the Indian Ocean and for Indonesia, one of world's most earthquake and tsunami-prone countries. Part of that drive, using funding from Germany and elsewhere, included deploying a network of 22 buoys connected to seafloor sensors to transmit advance warnings. A sizeable earthquake off Sumatra island in 2016 that caused panic in the coastal city of Padang revealed that none of the buoys costing hundreds of thousands of dollars each were working. They'd been disabled by vandalism or theft or just stopped working due to a lack of funds for maintenance. The backbone of Indonesia's tsunami warning system today is a network of 134 tidal gauge stations augmented by land-based seismographs, sirens in about 55 locations and a system to disseminate warnings by text message. When the 7.5 quake hit just after 6 p.m. on Friday, the meteorology and geophysics agency issued a tsunami alert, warning of potential for waves of 0.5 to 3 meters (2 to 10 feet). It ended the warning at 6:36 p.m. That drew harsh online criticism, but the agency's head said the warning was lifted after the tsunami hit. It's unclear exactly what time tsunami waves rushed into the narrow bay that Palu is built around. "The tide gauges are operating, but they are limited in providing any advance warning. None of the 22 buoys are functioning," Comfort said. "In the Sulawesi incident, BMKG (the meteorology and geophysics agency) cancelled the tsunami warning too soon, because it did not have data from Palu. This is the data the tsunami detection system could provide." Adam Switzer, a tsunami expert at the Earth Observatory of Singapore, said it's a "little unfair" to say the agency got it wrong. "What it shows is that the tsunami models we have now are too simplistic," he said. "They don't take into account multiple events, multiple quakes within a short period of time. They don't take into account submarine landslides." Whatever system is in use, he said, the priority after an earthquake in a coastal area should be to get to higher ground and stay there for a couple of hours. Power outages after the earthquake struck meant that sirens meant to warn residents to evacuate did not work, said Harkunti P. Rahayu, an expert at the Institute of Technology in Bandung. "Most people were shocked by the earthquake and did not pay any thought that a tsunami will come," she said. Experts say the prototype system deployed offshore from Padang – a city extremely vulnerable to tsunamis because it faces a major undersea fault overdue for a massive quake – can provide authoritative information about a tsunami threat within 1 to 3 minutes. That compares with 5 to 45 minutes from the now defunct buoys and the limited information provided by tidal gauges. The system's undersea seismometers and pressure sensors send data-laden sound waves to warm surface waters. From there they refract back into the depths, travelling 12 to 20 miles to the next node in the network and so on. Indonesian President Joko Widodo vists the area affected by an earthqquake and tsunami in Palu Credit: Reuters The Padang network's final undersea point needs just a few more kilometers of fiber optic cable to connect it to a station on an offshore island where the cascades of data would be transmitted by satellite to the geophysics agency, which issues tsunami warnings, and to disaster officials. The Associated Press first reported on the system in January 2017, when the project was awaiting Indonesian funding to lay the cables. Since then, agencies involved have suffered budget cuts and the project bounced back and forth between them. A December 2017 quake off the coast of Java close to Jakarta reignited interest and the geophysics agency made getting funding a priority. In July, the Ministry of Finance in July approved funding to purchase and lay the cable. But at an inter-agency meeting in September, the three major agencies involved failed to agree on their responsibilities and the project was "simply put on hold," Comfort said. Indonesian earthquake and tsunami Indonesian officials who've been supportive of the new early warning system did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Since the 2004 tsunami, the mantra among disaster officials in Indonesia has been that the earthquake is the tsunami warning and signal for immediate evacuation. Not everyone is convinced a tsunami detection system is essential. "What Indonesian colleagues have commented upon is that people were confused about what to do with the alert information," said Gavin Sullivan, a Coventry University psychologist who works with the Indonesian Resilience Initiative on a disaster preparation project for the Indonesian city of Bandung. The fact that people were still milling around Palu's shoreline when waves were visibly approaching shows the lessons of earlier disasters haven't been absorbed. "This points to the failing to do appropriate training and to develop trust so that people know exactly what to do when an alert is issued," he said. "In our project in Bandung, we're finding a similar unwillingness to prepare for something that seems unlikely."



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Group tied to literature prize still under Nobel glare

Group tied to literature prize still under Nobel glareCOPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — There won't be a Nobel Prize in Literature this year but the Swedish Academy that awards the prestigious prize is still in the limelight.



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Trump Calls Christine Blasey Ford 'Credible' But He Still Supports Kavanaugh

Trump Calls Christine Blasey Ford 'Credible' But He Still Supports KavanaughPresident Donald Trump said Friday that he found testimony from Christine Blasey Ford ‘very credible.’



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Harvard Law School Dean Won’t Say If Brett Kavanaugh Still Has A Job

Harvard Law School Dean Won’t Say If Brett Kavanaugh Still Has A JobIn response to student protests over the sexual assault allegations against



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NASA sees its stalled Martian robot, but still no signals

NASA sees its stalled Martian robot, but still no signalsScientists can now see their probe that was lost in a Martian dust storm more than 100 days ago — but the vintage robot hasn’t shown any signs of life.



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