Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Zealand Earthquake Map

Dozens trapped by New Zealand quake that killed 65. It was a 6.3-magnitude quake. 

Some Important facts about New Zealand Earthquake:

  • The February 21, 2011 South Island, New Zealand earthquake occurred as part of the aftershock sequence of the M 7.0 September 3, 2010 Darfield, NZ earthquake.
  • The February 21st earthquake involved oblique-thrust faulting at the easternmost limit of previous aftershocks, and like the mainshock itself is broadly associated with regional plate boundary deformation as the Pacific and Australia plates interact in the central South Island, New Zealand.
  • This latest shock is significantly closer to the main population center of Christchurch, NZ.
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  •  Since the September 3, 2010 mainshock, there have been approximately 6 M>=5.0 aftershocks in the Christchurch region.

Following image shows the Instrumental Intensity of New Zealand quake:

Below is the map of New Zealand:

Map of New Zealand

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What is happening in Bahrain

King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain is the latest autocrat to choose brutality, rather than reform, to try to silence his people's demands for a more just government. His actions are unconscionable and miss the lessons of Egypt and Tunisia where violence only fed popular anger. Hosni Mubarak and Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali are now gone.

Protests in Bahrain were peaceful and festive on Wednesday when thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators - including children - bedded down in Pearl Square for the night. Hours later, hundreds of riot police stormed the area without warning, firing tear gas, concussion grenades, rubber bullets and shotguns.

Nicholas D. Kristof of The Times interviewed paramedics who said they were beaten for treating the injured. At least five people were killed. Two other protesters were killed earlier in the week.

Bahrain's pro-democracy movement was inspired by Egypt and Tunisia, but the grievances of its Shiite majority are longstanding. They compose 70 percent of the citizenry but hold only four of 23 cabinet slots. They are excluded from serving in the police and army. In last October's election, the Shiites won less than half of the seats in the National Assembly, raising charges of vote-rigging.

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King Hamad has repeatedly vowed both political and economic reforms but has never really delivered. Now the government is looking for a scapegoat - blaming Iran for the unrest. Tehran certainly never misses a chance to foment trouble. But the Shiites' demands are legitimate, and the appeal of Iran and other extremists will only grow if the government continues on this path.

For too long, the United States has muted its criticism of what goes in Bahrain, to ensure the kingdom's cooperation on security issues. Bahrain is home to the United States Navy's Fifth Fleet and an ally in efforts to counter Iran, terrorism and piracy.

After all of its backing and forthing on Egypt, we hoped the White House would have figured this one out. On Wednesday, President Obama criticized Iran's crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators, and pointedly did not mention Bahrain. On Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton did better, expressing strong opposition to the violence and support for reform.

Bahrain's brutality is not only at odds with American values, it is a threat to the country's long-term stability. Washington will need to push harder.

Source: The New York Times

What is National Margarita Day 2011?

The Margarita is a much loved cocktail that’s got a taste like no other. A unique and flavorful drink, the Margarita is enjoyed so much that today, we even celebrate National Margarita Day 2011. Every year on February 22nd, many people celebrate the life of this extraordinary drink by hosting parties, creating new mixes and most importantly – enjoying the Margarita, This special celebratory occasion is the perfect excuse to enjoy cocktails and to celebrate what must be one of the most unique special occasions in the western world.

Source: HubPages


Sunday, February 20, 2011


Geography of Bahrain:
  • Bahrain comprises of thirty-three islands in the Persian Gulf, situated close to the shore of Arabian Peninsula.
  • The islands are about twenty-four kilometers from the east cost of Saudi Arabia and twenty-eight kilometers from Qatar.
  • The total area of the Bahrain is about 691 square kilometers. 
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  • The largest island, accounting for 83% of the area, is Bahrain island, which has an extent of 572 square kilometers. 
  • From north to south, Bahrain is forty-eight kilometers long; at its widest point in the north, it is sixteen kilometers from east to west.


Friday, February 18, 2011

What is Collective Bargaining?

Collective bargaining is a type of negotiation used by employees to work with their employers. During a collective bargaining period, workers' representatives approach the employer and attempt to negotiate a contract which both sides can agree with. Typical issues covered in a labor contract are hours, wages, benefits, working conditions, and the rules of the workplace. Once both sides have reached a contract that they find agreeable, it is signed and kept in place for a set period of time, most commonly three years. The final contract is called a collective bargaining agreement, to reflect the fact that it is the result of a collective bargaining effort.


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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Threats to the families of Victims in Davis case

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Egypt Erupts in Jubilation as Mubarak Steps Down

An 18-day-old revolt led by the young people of Egypt ousted President Hosni Mubarak on Friday, shattering three decades of political stasis here and overturning the established order of the Arab world. Shouts of “God is great” erupted from Tahrir Square at twilight as Mr. Mubarak’s vice president and longtime intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, announced that Mr. Mubarak had passed all authority to a council of military leaders. 

Tens of thousands who had bowed down for evening prayers leapt to their feet, bouncing and dancing in joy. “Lift your head high, you’re an Egyptian,” they cried. Revising the tense of the revolution’s rallying cry, they chanted, “The people, at last, have brought down the regime.” 

“We can breathe fresh air, we can feel our freedom,” said Gamal Heshamt, a former independent member of Parliament. “After 30 years of absence from the world, Egypt is back.” 

Mr. Mubarak, an 82-year-old former air force commander, left without comment for his home by the Red Sea in Sharm el Sheik. His departure overturns, after six decades, the Arab world’s original secular dictatorship. He was toppled by a radically new force in regional politics — a largely secular, nonviolent, youth-led democracy movement that brought Egypt’s liberal and Islamist opposition groups together for the first time under its banner. 

One by one the protesters withstood each weapon in the arsenal of the Egyptian autocracy — first the heavily armed riot police, then a ruling party militia and finally the state’s powerful propaganda machine. 

Mr. Mubarak’s fall removed a bulwark of American foreign policy in the region. The United States, its Arab allies and Israel are now pondering whether the Egyptian military, which has vowed to hold free elections, will give way to a new era of democratic dynamism or to a perilous lurch into instability or Islamist rule. 

The upheaval comes less than a month after a sudden youth revolt in nearby Tunisia toppled another enduring Arab strongman, President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. And on Friday night some of the revelers celebrating in the streets of Cairo marched under a Tunisian flag and pointed to the surviving autocracies in Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Yemen. “We are setting a role model for the dictatorships around us,” said Khalid Shaheen, 39. “Democracy is coming.” 

President Obama, in a televised address, praised the Egyptian revolution. “Egyptians have made it clear that nothing less than genuine democracy will carry the day,” he said. “It was the moral force of nonviolence — not terrorism and mindless killing — that bent the arc of history toward justice once more.” 

The Muslim Brotherhood, the outlawed Islamist movement that until 18 days ago was considered Egypt’s only viable opposition, said it was merely a supporting player in the revolt. 

“We participated with everyone else and did not lead this or raise Islamic slogans so that it can be the revolution of everyone,” said Mohamed Saad el-Katatni, a spokesman for the Brotherhood. “This is a revolution for all Egyptians; there is no room for a single group’s slogans, not the Brotherhood’s or anybody else.” 

The Brotherhood, which was slow to follow the lead of its own youth wing into the streets, has said it will not field a candidate for president or seek a parliamentary majority in the expected elections. 

The Mubarak era ended without any of the stability and predictability that were the hallmarks of his tenure. Western and Egyptian officials had expected Mr. Mubarak to leave office on Thursday and irrevocably delegate his authority to Vice President Suleiman, finishing the last six months of his term with at least his presidential title intact. 

But whether because of pride or stubbornness, Mr. Mubarak instead spoke once again as the unbowed father of the nation, barely alluding to a vague “delegation” of authority. 

The resulting disappointment enraged the Egyptian public, sent a million people into the streets of Cairo on Friday morning and put in motion an unceremonious retreat at the behest of the military he had commanded for so long. 

“Taking into consideration the difficult circumstances the country is going through, President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak has decided to leave the post of president of the republic and has tasked the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to manage the state’s affairs,” Mr. Suleiman, grave and ashen, said in a brief televised statement. 

Courtesy: NY Times

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

2010 ‘one of worst’ years for disasters: UN

GENEVA: 2010 was one of the worst years on record for natural disasters over the past two decades, leaving nearly 297,000 people dead, research for the United Nations showed on Monday.
The devastating earthquake in Haiti a year ago accounted for about two thirds of the toll, killing more than 222,500 people, according to the Belgium-based Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED).
The CRED found that the summer heatwave in Russia was the second deadliest disaster of the year, leaving 55,736 people dead according to figures it compiled from insurers and media reports of official sources.
The year was “one of the worst in decades in terms of the number of people killed and in terms of economic losses,” Margareta Wahlstroem, UN special representative for disaster risk reduction, told journalists.
“These figures are bad, but could be seen as benign in years to come,” she said, pointing to the impact of unplanned growth of urban areas, environmental degradation and climate change.
The economic cost of the 373 major disasters recorded in 2010 reached 109 billion dollars, headed by an estimated 30 billion dollars in damage caused by the powerful earthquake that struck Chile in February.
The earthquake unleashed a tsunami that swept away villages and claimed most of the 521 dead.
Summer floods and landslides in China caused an estimated 18 billion dollars in damage, while floods in Pakistan cost 9.5 billion dollars, according to the CRED’s annual study.
Although impoverished Haiti is still struggling to recover from the quake that devastated much of the capital, Port-au-Prince, it ranked lower down the global economic scale with an estimated eight billion dollars in losses.
Asians accounted for 89 percent of the 207 million people affected by disasters worldwide last year, the CRED said. – AFP
Source: Daily Dawn

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