February 6, 2009

Extreme heat in Australia

Per Sky News, health authorities in New South Wales, Australia are gearing up for temperatures to reach as high as 46 degrees Celsius (114.8 Fahrenheit) in some parts of the country this weekend. The heat will put the "elderly, the ill and the very young at risk," per the article.

One man said the wave has led to a change in his nightly routine.

@TheSeanWilson (Mount Druitt, New South Wales): The heat is forcing me to turn off my Mac mini every night.

A number of twitterers said it is disrupting their sleep.

@moudanie (Sydney): It's sooooo hot tonite! Helen & I can't sleep in this 30deg heat... twittering at 4am... I'm gonna be so sleepy later today

@shique (Canberra): It is impossible to sleep in this heat.

Others refuse to let the weather bring them down.

@purrsikat (Canberra): Wolfing down peanut buttered toast & orange juice before 0830 meetup at Sparrow Hill. Heat won't keep us down. Multicultural Festival later

@joshglid (Canberra): getting ready to head to the cafe for breakfast with the kids. refusing to comment on the heat. listening to Jane's Addiction


U.S. Base in Kyrgyzstan will close

Per BBC News, "The Kyrgyzstan government has said its decision to close a US base that serves as a vital supply route for US and Nato operations in Afghanistan is 'final.'"

It was bad news for @nhangen, an American currently in Afghanistan.

@nhangen (Kabul, Afghanistan) In case you didn't know, Kyrgyzstan closing the base in Manas is a big deal. That's how I got to A-stan and how I was hoping to get out.

@You2Gov suggested the U.S. doesn't need Kyrgyzstan.

@You2Gov (Malibu, Calif.): @LoLoLee Kyrgyzstan is playing realpolitik, so should we. Do we really need that base? Or is it vitally important as inroad to Russia?

Several twitterers, both in the U.S. and abroad, linked to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's comments on the Central Asian base closing.

@syafiza (Malaysia): Clinton: Kyrgyzstan base-closure 'regrettable': Kyrgyzstan's decision to close a strategic U.S. military base is.. http://tinyurl.com/amhfqq


Parts of China in state of emergency

Per China Daily, the Chinese government "raised the drought emergency alert level Thursday from orange to red, the highest level, in response to the worst drought to hit some parts of the country in half a century, according to a State Council meeting." The move allows for additional funding for those affected by the crisis.

The emergency declaration caught @SophiaZ by surprise.

@SophiaZ (Tianjin, China): I didn't think drought was overnight so why suddenly an emergency? Not a meteorologist! http://tinyurl.com/cbaj2u

@sonnypearl proposed one theory for the odd weather.

@sonnypearl (Beijing, China): It is mostly drought in the northern part of china. Could it possible be interfered by the prevention of rain during the Olympics?

Another Beijing man noted some troubling statistics.

@rjepson (Beijing, China): Beijing 100 consecutive days without rain. Drought gripping the nations' winter grain stock, yields down 20%.