Statistics on rape in India and some well-known cases – Reuters

(Reuters) – Indian police shot dead four men on Friday who were suspected of raping and killing a 27-year-old veterinarian in the city of Hyderabad, a police official told Reuters, drawing applause from her family and citizens outraged over crimes against women.

Statistics on rape in India and some well-known cases - Reuters nevin manimala

A poster is seen at a candle-lit march by the resident doctors and medical students from All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to protest against the alleged rape and murder of a 27-year-old woman on the outskirts of Hyderabad, in New Delhi, India, December 3, 2019. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis

More than 32,500 cases of rape were registered with the police in 2017, about 90 a day, according to the most recent government data.

Indian courts disposed of only about 18,300 cases related to rape that year, leaving more than 127,800 cases pending at the end of 2017.

(Graphic: Rape cases in India – here)

Instances of brutal rape and violence against the women who report it have given India the dismal reputation of being one of the worst places in the world to be female. Here are some cases:

Nov. 1973: Aruna Shanbaug, a 26-year-old nurse, is attacked by a ward attendant at a Mumbai hospital during her night shift. Sohanlal Bhartha Walmiki, who was later convicted and jailed, sodomized and strangled her with a dog chain – cutting off the oxygen supply to her brain and leaving her in a coma.

Left in a vegetative state for more than 40 years, Shanbaug died in 2015.

1990: Hetal Parekh, a 14-year-old schoolgirl, is raped and murdered by Dhananjoy Chatterjee in Kolkata. Chatterjee is sentenced to death and hung in 2004, the first hanging in India in 13 years.

1995: A Jaipur court acquits five men accused of gang-raping Bhanwari Devi, a lower-caste woman who worked with the Women’s Development Project in Rajasthan, in 1992.

Later, a petition is filed in the Supreme Court, which leads to the Vishaka Guidelines being put into place, to protect women against sexual harassment at the workplace.

1996: Law student Priyadarshini Mattoo is found raped and strangled in her Delhi flat. Santosh Kumar Singh, a fellow law student and son of a former senior police officer, is sentenced to death, after being initially acquitted due to a lack of evidence and then retried following a public outcry.

Dec. 2012: A 23-year-old student is beaten and gang-raped on a moving bus in the capital New Delhi and later dies of her injuries. Five men and a juvenile are arrested – four of the men have been sentenced to death and one hanged himself during the trial. The juvenile was freed after completing three years in a reform home.

The crime sparked large-scale protests and led thousands of women across India to break their silence over sexual violence that often goes unreported. Authorities stiffened penalties against sex crimes, introduced fast-track trials in rape cases and made stalking a crime.

Jan. 2018: An 8-year-old Muslim girl is drugged, held captive in a temple and sexually assaulted for a week before being strangled and battered to death with a stone in Kathua town in northern India.

Six men, including a Hindu priest and three police officers, were convicted of the crime. Three were given life sentences.

Jul. 2018: Eighteen men are charged in Chennai with repeatedly raping a 12-year-old girl over a seven-month period, sedating her with drugs and then taking her to vacant apartments in the block to assault her.

Oct. 2018: Catholic bishop Franco Mulakkal is arrested in Kerala after a nun accuses him of raping her repeatedly over two years. He has denied the charges.

July 2019: A young woman who accused Uttar Pradesh state lawmaker Kuldeep Singh Sengar of raping her in 2017 and her lawyer are critically injured in a highway collision, when a truck hit the car in which they were traveling. The woman’s two aunts, who were also in the car, were killed.

Sengar denies the rape and any involvement in the car crash.

Nov. 28, 2019: The charred remains of the veterinarian are found under a flyover near Hyderabad. Four men are arrested on suspicion of gang-rape and murder.

Dec 5, 2019: A 23-year-old rape victim is set ablaze by a gang of men, including the alleged rapist, as she made her way to court to attend a hearing in the case, in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh, police said.

Compiled by Diti Pujara, Gurman Bhatia, Karishma Singh and Raju Gopalakrishnan

Statistics Show Most Cruise Ship Sexual Assaults Were Reported on Carnival – Miami New Times

Statistics Show Most Cruise Ship Sexual Assaults Were Reported on Carnival - Miami New Times nevin manimala
Statistics Show Most Cruise Ship Sexual Assaults Were Reported on Carnival - Miami New Times nevin manimala

During a seven-day Royal Caribbean cruise in December 2015, a teenager who had been separated from her family says a group of men got her drunk, lured her into a cabin, and raped her.

A Norwegian Cruise Line employee allegedly used a master key to enter a stateroom and sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl around the same time.

And in July 2016, a 16-year-old girl says she was sexually assaulted by a fitness instructor on a Carnival ship.

“We keep seeing these crimes over and over,” says Jim Walker, a Miami maritime attorney.

For years, sexual assault has been the most frequently reported crime on cruise ships despite cruise lines’ attempts to silence victims, hinder investigations, and help perpetrators flee. As first reported by the New York Post, recently published statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation show the Doral-headquartered Carnival Cruise Line tops a list of 12 cruise lines that reported incidents of sexual assault to the FBI from July 1 to September 30.

Carnival, the largest cruise line, has consistently reported the most incidents of sexual assault since at least 2016. Of the 35 sexual assault cases reported by cruise lines for the third quarter of 2019, 20 were reported on Carnival ships. During the same period last year, 21 sexual assaults were reported by cruise lines — 14 by Carnival alone. Since the beginning of the year, 35 of the 79 sexual assaults reported to the FBI came from Carnival.

Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen attributes that number to the percentage of U.S. passengers and operations, which fall under federal reporting requirements. The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act (CVSSA), a federal law passed in 2010, established security guidelines for ships that embark and disembark in the United States. The law requires cruise lines to report serious incidents to the FBI, including homicides, missing U.S. nationals, suspicious deaths, thefts of more than $10,000, kidnappings, assaults with bodily injury, vessel tampering, and sexual assaults.

“Nearly 90% of our capacity and operations are from U.S. ports which are covered under the reporting requirements of the CVSSA,” Gulliksen said in an emailed statement. “Many of our U.S. competitors sail from Europe and other non-U.S. ports, so they are not mandated to submit CVSSA data as part of the reporting process. In essence, we report a higher number of cruise operations than others because we have a much higher percentage of U.S. operations than others. Not because we have more incidents.”

Walker, the maritime attorney, refutes that claim. He says that the statistics don’t show “a complete picture” of sex crimes on cruise ships and that the number of incidents reported to the FBI is much higher than what is disclosed.

“There are a lot of things reported by a victim to the cruise line that should be some type of crime, but that doesn’t fit the definition,” Walker says.

Several factors dictate whether the FBI has jurisdiction over a sex-crime case on a cruise ship, such as the ship’s location when the crime occurred, the nationality of the victim or perpetrator, and the ship’s port of entry. Things get murky when crimes are reported out of U.S. waters or when they are committed by or against non-U.S. nationals. Lawsuits against South Florida-based cruise lines such as Carnival and Royal Caribbean would be filed in federal court in Miami. But when it comes to criminal investigation and prosecution, many sex crimes reported on cruise ships, including inappropriate touching, public masturbation, and attempted rape, aren’t considered federal sex crimes, according to Walker.

The cruise industry says that it does everything it can to ensure the safety of its passengers and that crimes on the high seas are rare. That might be the case compared to crimes reported on dry land, but maritime lawyers have said a lack of law enforcement on ships and the cruise lines’ incentive to protect themselves can mean no justice for victims.

“I think a cruise ship is a perfect place to commit a crime, and a crime that’s not likely to be prosecuted,” Walker says.

The Miami-based Royal Caribbean, the second-largest cruise line, reported eight sexual assaults on its ships this past July through September and three during the same period last year. Royal Caribbean’s 2019 count through September is 25 reported assaults.

Statistics Canada’s October Merchandise Trade – DTN The Progressive Farmer

Statistics Canada's October Merchandise Trade - DTN The Progressive Farmer nevin manimala
Statistics Canada's October Merchandise Trade - DTN The Progressive Farmer nevin manimala

Canary seed exports were reported at 14,960 mt, the largest monthly volume shipped in five months while the largest October volume shipped in nine years. Cumulative exports total 40,195 mt, up 22.3% from the same period in 2018-19 and 25.6% higher than the five-year period. This pace of movement accounts for 44.7% of the current crop-year AAFC export forecast of 90,000 mt that is forecast to drive ending stocks to zero this crop year, making the Dec. 6 Statistics Canada production estimate of particular interest for those involved with this market.

Mustard exports in October were reported at 10,695 mt, the largest monthly volume moved in seven months but down from the same month in 2018. Year-to-date, 27,754 mt has been shipped, equal to the volume shipped in the same period of 2018-19 while also equal to the five-year average. Cumulative exports represent 23% of the current 120,000 mt AAFC export demand forecast, close to the steady pace needed to reach this target.

Flax exports were reported at 8,555 mt in October, up from the previous month while the lowest October volume shipped in data checked over the past eight years. Only 24% of this volume was shipped to China, although this volume was consistent with the volume shipped to China in October 2018. Cumulative exports total 30,051 mt, representing 36% of the volume shipped in the same period last crop year and 34% of the five-year average for this period. This volume represents only 6% of the current AAFC target of 500,000 mt, well behind the steady pace needed to reach this target.

Soybean exports in October were reported at 201,249 mt, well below the 974,356 mt shipped in the same month of 2018-19. The largest volume was shipped to Italy, with 89,312 mt shipped in this direction accounting for 44% of the total volume shipped. Over the first two months of the row-crop crop year, exports total 344,524 mt, just 30% of the volume shipped in the same period last crop year and 38.4% of the five-year average. Exports to China are reported at 19,432 mt in Sept/Oct, just 1.9% of the 1.015 mmt shipped in the same two months of 2018-19. Cumulative exports to all destinations represent 7.3% of the current AAFC forecast of 4.7 mmt, well behind the steady pace needed to reach this target.

Also of interest is Canada’s soybean imports. Over the first two months of the crop year, imports have totaled 65,443 mt, 68% below the same period last crop year and 86% below the previous three-year average.

Corn exports in October totaled 21,508 mt, up from the previous month while the lowest October exports reported in five years. This volume was almost entirely shipped to the U.S. Crop year exports total 40,316 mt, just 32% of the volume shipped in the same period of 2018-19 while 54.3% of the five-year average. This volume accounts for just 2.7% of the current AAFC forecast of 1.5 mmt, well-behind the steady pace needed to reach this target.

Corn imports reported for the Sept-Oct period total 319,596 mt, reflecting 76.2% of the volume imported in the same period last crop year while close to equal to the five-year average for this period.

Canola oil exports for the month were reported at 301,340 mt, the highest monthly volume shipped in 11-months. Cumulative exports total 840,800 mt, 7.5% higher than the same month in 2018-19 and 12.2% higher than the three-year average.

Canola meal exports totaled 376,261 mt for the month, the lowest monthly movement in eight months. Cumulative exports at 1.178 mmt are 9% higher than the same period last crop year and 6% higher than the three-year average for this period.

Oat exports were reported at 254,046 mt, the largest monthly volume shipped this crop year and the largest October volume shipped in data checked over the past seven years. Year-to-date exports total 546,239 mt, down 6.8% from the same period last crop year while 7.8% higher than the five-year average. This volume accounts for 22.1% of the current AAFC forecast of 2.58 mmt, close to the steady pace needed to reach this forecast.

**

DTN 360 Poll

This week’s poll asks how you think the Canadian government has handled the situation during the past year following the arrest of the Huawei Technologies’ executive Meng Wanzhou at the request of the U.S. government. We encourage you to share your thoughts in this week’s poll that is located on the lower-right side of your DTN Home Page.

Cliff Jamieson can be reached at cliff.jamieson@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @CliffJamieson

(ES/)

Hate Crime Statistics Still Not Being Reported By State – Spectrum News

Hate Crime Statistics Still Not Being Reported By State - Spectrum News nevin manimala
Hate Crime Statistics Still Not Being Reported By State - Spectrum News nevin manimala

The last time hate crime statistics were officially reported by the state was in 2016.

“We have a right to know and understand the severity of hate crimes across the state,” said Assemblywoman Nily Rozic.

Assemblywoman Rozic is one of many lawmakers that has been calling on the Division of Criminal Justice Services to release reports of hate crime statistics in the state for 2017 and 2018.

“We are making our best efforts across the state to make sure people are trained to identify and report these hate crimes so there is no excuse for any agency to not put out those numbers,” said Rozic.

Back in February, a spokesperson for DCJS said that the report was in the final stages for review and would be available soon.

Around 10 months later, when asked Wednesday, DCJS spokesperson Janine Kava released another statement saying, “The reports will be available in the very near future. Data included in these reports are reported to the state by more than 500 police agencies. We want to ensure that the reports, when published, include the most comprehensive, accurate data available.”

Schenectady County Human Rights Commission Director Ang Morris, however, says still more needs to be done since it can be hard to find ways to combat the problem if people don’t know how severe the problem is.

“There has got to be more resources, money, and information to be released to the general public and community about these hate crimes,” explains Morris.

The state has made some steps in addressing hate crimes. A bill was just recently signed that will require law enforcement to go through hate crime recognition training.

Reports and statistics | American Veterinary Medical Association – American Veterinary Medical Association

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Breaking climate news: World Meteorological Organization releases new global statistics – WDIV ClickOnDetroit

Breaking climate news: World Meteorological Organization releases new global statistics - WDIV ClickOnDetroit nevin manimala
Breaking climate news: World Meteorological Organization releases new global statistics - WDIV ClickOnDetroit nevin manimala

Temperature difference between Jan. and Oct. 2019 and 1982 to 2010. (World Meteorological Organization)

The year 2019 concludes a decade of exceptional global heat, retreating ice and record sea levels driven by greenhouse gases from human activities.

Average temperatures for the five-year (2015-2019) and ten-year (2010-2019) periods are almost certain to be the highest on record. 2019 is on course to be the second or third warmest year on record, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a specialized agency within the United Nations. The statistics below are from the new WMO provisional statement on the State of the Global Climate, which was released earlier today, but e-mailed to me this past weekend so I could prepare this article.


  • Greenhouse gases at record levels
  • Warmest decade on record
  • Sea level continues rising
  • Oceans continue warming and are becoming more acidic
  • Polar ice continues melting

The report says that the global average temperature in 2019 (January to October) was about 1.1 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial period.

Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere hit a record level of 407.8 parts per million in 2018 and continued to rise in 2019. CO2 lasts in the atmosphere for centuries and the ocean for even longer, thus locking in climate change.

Sea level rise has accelerated since the start of satellite measurements in 1993 because of the melting of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, according to the report.

The ocean, which acts as a buffer by absorbing heat and carbon dioxide, is paying a heavy price. Ocean heat is at record levels and there have been widespread marine heatwaves. Sea water is twenty-six percent more acidic than at the start of the industrial era. Vital marine ecosystems are being degraded.

Global mean temperature difference from 1850 to 1900 (Celcius)

The daily Arctic sea-ice extent minimum in September 2019 was the second lowest in the satellite record and October has seen further record low extents. In Antarctica, 2019 saw record low ice extents in some months.

“If we do not take urgent climate action now, then we are heading for a temperature increase of more than 3°C by the end of the century, with ever more harmful impacts on human wellbeing,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas. “We are nowhere near on track to meet the Paris Agreement target.”

“On a day-to-day basis, the impacts of climate change play out through extreme and “abnormal” weather…heatwaves and floods which used to be “once in a century” events are becoming more regular occurrences. Countries ranging from the Bahamas to Japan to Mozambique suffered the effect of devastating tropical cyclones. Wildfires swept through the Arctic and Australia,” said Mr Taalas. In fact, here in the Metro Detroit area, we had our second 500-year flood in just the past four years this past summer.

“One of the main impacts of climate change is more erratic rainfall patterns. This poses a threat to crop yields and, combined with population increase, will mean considerable food security challenges for vulnerable countries in the future,” he said. The report devotes an extensive section to weather and climate impacts on human health, food security, migration, ecosystems and marine life. This is based on input from a wide variety of United Nations partners.

Extreme heat conditions are taking an increasing toll on human health and health systems with greater impacts where there are aging populations, urbanization, urban heat island effects, and health inequities. In 2018, a record 220 million more heatwave exposures by vulnerable persons over the age of 65 occurred, compared with the average for the baseline of 1986-2005.

Climate variability and extreme weather events are among the key drivers of the recent rise in global hunger and one of the leading causes of severe crises. After a decade of steady decline, hunger is on the rise again – over 820 million people suffered from hunger in 2018. Among the thirty-three countries affected by food crises in 2018, climate variability and weather extremes were a compounding factor in all of them, and was the primary driver in some of them. More than 10 million new internal displacements were recorded between January and June 2019, seven million being triggered by hazard events such as Cyclone Idai in southeast Africa, Cyclone Fani in south Asia, Hurricane Dorian in the Caribbean, flooding in Iran, the Philippines and Ethiopia, generating acute humanitarian and protection needs.

The provisional State of the Climate report provides an authoritative source of information for the U.N. climate change negotiations, known as CoP25, which take place in Madrid from 2 to 13 December. It complements the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The final Statement on the State of the Climate with complete 2019 data will be published in March 2020.

Global Climate Indicators

2019 ends warmest decade on record

The global mean temperature for the period January to October 2019 was 1.1 ± 0.1 °C above pre-industrial conditions (1850-1900). The five-year (2015-2019) and ten-year (2010-2019) averages are, respectively, almost certain to be the warmest five-year period and decade on record. Since the 1980s, each successive decade has been warmer than the last.

2019 is expected to be the second or third warmest year on record. 2016, which began with an exceptionally strong El Niño, remains the warmest year.

Large areas of the Arctic were unusually warm in 2019. Most land areas were warmer than the recent average, including South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania. The U.S. state of Alaska was also exceptionally warm. In contrast a large area of North America has been colder than the recent average.

Record greenhouse gas concentrations

In 2018, greenhouse gas concentrations reached new highs, with globally averaged mole fractions of carbon dioxide (CO2) at 407.8±0.1 parts per million (ppm), methane (CH4) at 1869±2 parts per billion (ppb) and nitrous oxide (N2O) at 331.1±0.1 ppb. These values constitute, respectively, 147%, 259% and 123% of pre-industrial 1750 levels.

Global average figures for 2019 will not be available until late 2020, but real-time data from a number of specific locations indicate that CO2 levels continued to rise in 2019.

Acceleration of global mean sea level rise

Sea level has increased throughout the satellite altimetry record, but the rate has increased over that time, due partly to melting of ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica. In October 2019, the global mean sea level reached its highest value since the beginning of the high-precision altimetry record (January 1993).

Ocean heat

More than 90% of the excess energy accumulating in the climate system as a result of increased concentrations of greenhouse gases goes into the ocean. In 2019, ocean heat content in the upper 2300 feet (in a series starting in the 1950s) and upper 1.2 miles (in a series starting in 2005) continued at record or near-record levels, with the average for the year so far exceeding the previous record highs set in 2018.

Satellite retrievals of sea-surface temperature can be used to monitor marine heatwaves. So far in 2019, the ocean has on average experienced around 1.5 months of unusually warm temperatures. More of the ocean had a marine heatwave classified as “Strong” (38%) than “Moderate” (28%). In the north-east Pacific, large areas reached a marine heatwave category of “Severe.”

Continued ocean acidification

In the decade 2009-2018, the ocean absorbed around 22% of the annual emissions of CO2, which helps to attenuate climate change. However, increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations affect the chemistry of the ocean.

Ocean observations have shown a decrease in the average global surface ocean pH at a rate of 0.017–0.027 pH units per decade since the late 1980s, as reported in the IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, which is equivalent to an increase in acidity of 26% since the beginning of the industrial revolution. This is having a profound impact on some sea life.

Decline of sea ice

The continued long term decline of Arctic Sea Ice was confirmed in 2019. The September monthly average extent (usually the lowest of the year) was the third lowest on record with the daily minimum extent tied for second lowest

Until 2016, Antarctic sea ice extent had shown a small long-term increase. In late 2016 this was interrupted by a sudden drop in extent to extreme values. Since then, Antarctic sea-ice extent has remained at relatively low levels.

Greenland ice sheet

Total ice Mass Balance (TMB) for the Greenland Ice Sheet gives a net ice loss for September 2018 to August 2019 of 329 Gigatonnes (Gt). To put this into context, data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites tell us that Greenland lost about 260 Gt of ice per year over the period 2002-2016, with a maximum of 458 Gt in 2011/12.

High impact events

Floods

The twelve-month rainfall averaged over the contiguous United States for the period for July 2018 to June 2019 was the highest on record

The onset and withdrawal of the Indian Monsoon were delayed, causing a large precipitation deficit in June but an excess of precipitation in the following months.

Very wet conditions affected parts of South America in January. There was major flooding in northern Argentina, Uruguay and southern Brazil, with losses in Argentina and Uruguay estimated at US$2.5 billion.

The Islamic Republic of Iran was badly affected by flooding in late March and early April. Major flooding affected many hitherto drought-affected parts of east Africa in October and early November.

Drought

Drought affected many parts of southeast Asia and the southwest Pacific in 2019, associated in many cases with the strong positive phase of the Indian Ocean Dipole. Exceptionally dry conditions prevailed from mid-year onwards in Indonesia and neighboring countries, as well as parts of the Mekong basin further north. Long-term drought conditions which had affected many parts of inland eastern Australia in 2017 and 2018 expanded and intensified in 2019. Averaged over Australia as a whole, January-October was the driest since 1902.

Dry conditions affected many parts of Central America. It was substantially drier than normal in Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador, until heavy rains in October. Central Chile also had an exceptionally dry year, with rainfall for the year to November 20th at Santiago less than 25% of the long-term average.

Heatwaves

Two major heatwaves occurred in Europe in late June and late July. In France, a national record of 115°F (4°F above the previous record) was set on June 28th. National records were also set in Germany (109°F), the Netherlands (105°F), Belgium (107°F), Luxembourg (105°F) and the United Kingdom (102°F), with the heat also extending into the Nordic countries, where Helsinki had its highest temperature on record (92°F on July 28th).

Australia had an exceptionally hot summer. The mean summer temperature was the highest on record by almost 1°C, and January was Australia’s hottest month on record. The heat was most notable for its persistence but there were also significant individual extremes, including 116°F at Adelaide on January 24th, the city’s highest temperature on record

Wildfires

It was an above-average fire year in several high-latitude regions, including Siberia (Russian Federation) and Alaska (U.S.), with fire activity occurring in some parts of the Arctic where it was previously extremely rare.

The severe drought in Indonesia and neighboring countries led to the most significant fire season since 2015. The number of reported fires in Brazil’s Amazonia region was only slightly above the 10-year average, but total fire activity in South America was the highest since 2010, with Bolivia and Venezuela among the countries with particularly active fire years.

Tropical cyclones

Tropical cyclone activity globally in 2019 was slightly above average. The Northern Hemisphere, to date, has had 66 tropical cyclones, compared with the average at this time of year of 56, although accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) was only 2% above average. The 2018-19 Southern Hemisphere season was also above average, with 27 cyclones.

Tropical Cyclone Idai made landfall in Mozambique on March 15th as one of the strongest known on the east coast of Africa, resulting in many casualties and widespread devastation. Idai contributed to the complete destruction of close to 780 000 ha of crops in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe, further undermining a precarious food security situation in the region. The cyclone also resulted in at least 50,905 displaced persons in Zimbabwe, 53,237 in southern Malawi and 77,019 in Mozambique.

One of the year’s most intense tropical cyclones was Dorian, which made landfall with category 5 intensity in the Bahamas. The destruction was worsened as it was exceptionally slow-moving and remained near-stationary for about 24 hours.

Typhoon Hagibis made landfall west of Tokyo on October 12th, causing severe flooding.

Climate-related risks and impacts

Health at increasing risk (World Health Organization)

In 2019, record-setting high temperatures from Australia, India, Japan, and Europe impacted health and well-being. In Japan, a major heat wave event affected the country in late July to early August 2019 resulting in over 100 deaths and an additional 18,000 hospitalizations. Europe experienced two significant heat waves in the summer of 2019. In June, a heatwave affecting southwestern to central Europe resulted in a number of deaths in Spain and France. The most significant heat wave was in late July, affecting much of central and western Europe. In the Netherlands, the heatwave was associated with 2,964 deaths, nearly 400 more deaths than during an average summer week

Changes in climatic conditions since 1950 are making it easier for the Aedes mosquito species to transmit dengue virus, increasing the risk of the occurrence of disease. In parallel, the global incidence of dengue has grown dramatically in recent decades, and about half of the world population is now at risk of infection. In 2019, the world has experienced a large increase in dengue cases, compared with the same time period in 2018.

Food security continues to be negatively affected (Food and Agriculture Organization)

In Southern Africa, the start of the seasonal rains was delayed and there were extensive dry periods. Regional cereal output is forecasted to be about 8 percent below the five-year average with 12.5 million people in the region expected to experience severe food insecurity up to March 2020, an increase of more than 10 percent from the previous year.

Food security has been deteriorating in several areas of Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya and Uganda due to a poor long rainy season. Overall, about 12.3 million people are food insecure in the Horn of Africa region. Between October and November 2019, Somalia was further affected by intense flooding.

13.5 million people are food insecure in Afghanistan due to the worst flooding in a decade affecting some parts of the country in March 2019, with this occurring at a time when twenty-two out of thirty-four provinces were still recovering from severe drought conditions faced in 2018.

Disasters increase population displacement (UN High Commissioner for Refugees and International Organization for Migration)

More than 10 million new internal displacements were recorded between January and June 2019, 7 million being triggered by disasters such as Cyclone Idai in Southeast Africa, Cyclone Fani in South Asia, Hurricane Dorian in the Caribbean, flooding in Iran, the Philippines and Ethiopia, associated with acute humanitarian and protection needs.

Floods were the most commonly cited natural hazard contributing to displacement, followed by storms and droughts. Asia and the Pacific remains the world’s most disaster displacement-prone region due to both sudden and slow-onset disasters.

The number of new displacements associated with weather extremes could more than triple to around 22 million by the end of 2019.


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How Seymour Siwoff, the ‘angel of statistics,’ helped us understand baseball – SB Nation

How Seymour Siwoff, the ‘angel of statistics,’ helped us understand baseball - SB Nation nevin manimala
How Seymour Siwoff, the ‘angel of statistics,’ helped us understand baseball - SB Nation nevin manimala

On the day after Thanksgiving, baseball lost a titan. Seymour Siwoff wasn’t a former player or manager, nor was he an umpire, front office executive, or an owner. But in running the company that for decades was the official statistician for Major League Baseball, Siwoff’s imprint on the game is enormous.

Siwoff joined the Elias Sports Bureau as an accountant before fighting in World War II, then bought the company in 1952 and built it into the behemoth that it is today with nearly seven full decades of leadership. He passed away at age 99.

Statistics are the lifeblood of sports with baseball leading that charge. Some numbers in baseball are magical, like Barry Bonds’ 762 home runs or Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak.

It’s absurd how quickly we can access baseball statistics these days. Thanks to wonderful sites like Baseball-Reference, FanGraphs, Baseball Savant and the like, we can almost instantly know the most specific of feats, such as the four times a pitcher struck out 20 batters in a nine-inning game.

Baseball statistics weren’t always at our fingertips at a moment’s notice, certainly not before the internet or before personal computers became widespread. I knew of stats thanks to the backs of baseball cards and voracious reading of The Baseball Encyclopedia. Certain numbers are burned into my memory forever, like Wade Boggs hitting .368 with a whopping 240 hits in 1985*, Don Mattingly homering in a record-tying eight straight games in 1987, or Eddie Murray getting 184 hits in 558 at-bats, hitting a major league-best .330 in 1990.

*Boggs’ 240 hits in 1985 was the highest total in 55 years, and wasn’t reached again until 2000. It’s been reached just 15 times in major league history. 1980s Boggs was a force of nature. Through his first seven seasons (1982-88), Boggs won five batting titles and was hitting .356 with a .445 on-base percentage. Good gravy.

I was also excellent at remembering phone numbers back then, but since the advent of cell phones the need for memorization is no longer needed and my recollection has atrophied. It’s the same for baseball stats. I can look them up at any time, so there isn’t a need to commit many to memory.

Imagine how difficult it was 50 years ago to even know certain statistics, many of which weren’t even fully known until after the season was complete. Enter Seymour Siwoff, whose record-keeping vigilance was on full display in an excellent Sports Illustrated profile from 1969, one that dubbed Siwoff “the recording angel of statistics.” Ernie Banks drove in seven runs on May 13 that year, and the Cubs PR department wasn’t sure if this was in fact a personal record (they didn’t have Baseball-Reference, you see). So they called Siwoff at the Elias Sports Bureau:

Now Siwoff was exhorting his men to comb the records for Ernie Banks’ personal single-game high in runs batted in, and they were responding with exuberance. Out came large volumes containing sheets laced with forbidding rows of figures, including a day-by-day compilation of the 2,300-odd games the 38-year-old Banks had played. Each man, Siwoff included, took one of the volumes and scanned the columns quickly and silently.

Moments later the phone rang back at Wrigley Field. “Banks has had seven RBIs in a game twice before,” Siwoff reported breathlessly. “On August 4, 1955, and again on May 1, 1963.” This intelligence went out immediately over the ball park’s public-address system to the crowd on hand and, via the press box, to the outside world. “If Seymour says it’s so, then it’s so,” testified Chuck Shriver, the Cubs’ publicity man. “He’s my bible.”

Siwoff ran Elias for an astonishing 67 years before turning over control of the company to his grandson, Joe Gilston, earlier in 2019.

Statistics can be cold and unemotional but they are also a way to better understand the game. A boxscore can be art and paint a wonderfully vivid picture of a game, something to enhance, not replace the experience. I’ve been obsessing over relatively obscure numbers for 35 years, not because of the numbers themselves but rather my love of baseball. They give me a deeper connection to the sport.

Siwoff in that 1969 SI profile said, “What I enjoy most about statistics is the chance they give you to relive the past.”

In a 1987 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Siwoff showed that, in addition to stats, he had a deep love of sports:

“Somebody may do something phenomenal, which is why sports has this enormous romance to it. The reason is because sports is drama, high drama. You go to the theater and you know how the ending is because somebody already wrote it, right? But sports is the ultimate theater. You know the ending only when the game ends. Sometimes nothing happens. Sometimes an unusual thing happens.”

Being able to recognize and celebrate the unusual was made easier by the tireless work of Siwoff and many others. Thank you for this beautiful gift.

Statistics: Crime still plagues New Mexico’s largest city – Associated Press

Statistics: Crime still plagues New Mexico's largest city - Associated Press nevin manimala
Statistics: Crime still plagues New Mexico's largest city - Associated Press nevin manimala

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico’s largest city is taking more heat for flaws in its crime statistics.

The numbers released in July and at the end of 2018 have been revised dramatically to include hundreds — and in some cases thousands — more incidents than were reported initially, the Albuquerque Journal reports.

The city has blamed a lack of staffing at the records unit that prepared the data and a software glitch that resulted in chunks of data missing.

More details about the reasons for the discrepancies came after The Associated Press first reported in October that the city had amended its midyear statistics, noting that several categories of crime had declined by smaller percentages than initially touted by city officials.

The corrected figures showed aggravated assaults declined by just 7.5%, not 33%, for the first six months of 2019 when compared with the same period the previous year. Rape decreased 3%, not 29%, and auto theft decreased 22%, not 39%.

As for homicides, the city reported a 2.5% decrease for the first half of the year, not 18%. However, homicides have since increased substantially since July and the city will end up marking another record year.

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller acknowledged the discrepancies last week but said the downward trends remain the same for most categories.

“I think we can find some truth in the trends,” he said.

City officials told the Journal they plan to officially release crime statistics for the third quarter in the coming weeks. That quarter ended in September.

Crime statistics and rankings have remained a political flashpoint in New Mexico as municipal officials and lawmakers grapple with how to boost public safety while attempting to attract more tourism and jobs. The statistics also have been highlighted as the debate continues over the state’s bail reforms.

According to federal data released earlier this fall, New Mexico had the nation’s second-highest violent crime rate and its highest property crime rate in 2018, despite Albuquerque reporting slight decreases in both categories for the first time in years.

Reporting by law enforcement agencies for the federal report is voluntary. As a result, the data offer a broad look at crime in thousands of U.S. cities but can be inconsistent and incomplete.

According to the FBI, Albuquerque and Las Cruces are among a handful of U.S. cities that changed their crime reporting practices from 2017 to 2018, as the federal agency pushed local officials to adopt a new standard for reporting.

When first asked about the numbers in October, Albuquerque police spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said, “there were several factors that we were not aware of at that point.” Among the issues was the need for records officials to verify the thousands of calls for service received by dispatchers and compare them to reports and the actual crimes investigated.

Gallegos said it also was discovered that six weeks’ worth of reports had not been reviewed to determine if they needed to be revised to fit into the right categories.

The software problem also resulted in many incidents not getting counted at all, he said.

The city plans to ask the Legislature for $20 million to modernize the police department. That would include a new records system.

Erie County vital statistics: Dec. 2, 2019 – News – GoErie.com

Erie County vital statistics: Dec. 2, 2019 - News - GoErie.com nevin manimala
Erie County vital statistics: Dec. 2, 2019 - News - GoErie.com nevin manimala

Marriage licenses issued, recent birth announcements and more.

MARRIAGES

MARRIAGE LICENSES ISSUED

BETWEEN NOV. 18 AND NOV. 22

Coulter, Seth Ray, 23, 14449 Church St., Wattsburg; Chesley, Danika Olivea, 23, 14449 Church St., Wattsburg.

Harmon, Cash William, 34, 1813 Market St.; North, Brandie Lynn, 33, 1813 Market St.

Kress, William Lee, 48, 12181 Donation Road, P.O. Box 3817, Waterford; Valley, Mallory Christine, 33, 6690 Beverly May Drive, Independence, Ohio.

Okeefe, Thomas Charles, 62, 3922 Shepard Road, Gibsonia; Lundy, Pamela Marie, 57, 3245 Lake Front Drive.

Shay, Carrie Suzanne, 38, 4885 Stone Quarry Road, Waterford; Welsch, Sean Zachary, 41, 4885 Stone Quarry Road, Waterford.

Sideris, Nicholas A., 35, 1037 Copper Drive; Meerhoff, Kaitlyn Louise, 26, 1037 Copper Drive.

Sidun, Adam James, 44, 33 Church St., Girard; Bowersox, Eleanor May, 44, 33 Church St., Girard.

Tomcho, Braden Ralph, 20, 921 Raz Ave., New Windsor, New York; Walker, Saige Cheyenne, 22, 1074 Old State Road, Waterford.

Wallington, Darryl Spence, 59, 1907 Cascade St.; Beason, Shamell D., 53, 2009 Cascade St.

Wayt, Benjamin David, 31, 5333 Cider Mill Road; Debias, Nicole Elizabeth, 31, 5333 Cider Mill Road.

Wilson, Jeffry L., 54, 221 Prospect St., Girard; Sypin, Carol Ann, 60, 221 Prospect St., Girard.

BIRTHS

MAGEE-WOMENS, UPMC

HAMOT

NOV. 17

A daughter to Edwin Bonilla Acevedo and Yadira Limaris Velez, Millcreek Township.

NOV. 18

A son to Brittany Baker, Erie.

A daughter to Layonji Antoinette Ritchie Johnson, Erie.

NOV. 20

A son to Margaret Rose Newara, Millcreek Township.

A son to Talashia Ritchie, Erie.

A son to Brendan and Christine Daugherty, Erie.

NOV. 21

A daughter to Nicholas and Marie Biebel, Wattsburg.

A son to Darren and Tameka Smith, Erie.

NOV. 22

A son to Sharron Nicholson Phennicie, McKean.

A son to Kristi Smith, Erie.

A daughter to Ana Ramos, Erie.

A daughter to Larizaih Marie Granberry, Erie.

A daughter to Lee Richard and Kelly Rae Rohan, Fairview Township.

A daughter to Mary C. Spencer, Erie.

NOV. 23

A son to William Ernest Scholz and Plamena Plamenova Mineva-Scholz, Erie.

A daughter to Mark and Jamie Bartlett, Erie.

NOV. 25

A son to Amanda Marie Dunda, Albion.

BANKRUPTCIES

U.S. FEDERAL COURT BANKRUPTCY

Akerly Jr., Glen, 3013 Liberty St., 19-11138-Tpa, Nov. 14, Chapter 13.

Benedict, Barbara A., 5151 Clemens Road, Waterford, 19-11131-Tpa, Nov. 13, Chapter 7.

King, Lisa Marie, 2536 Crescent Drive, 19-11140-Tpa, Nov. 15, Chapter 7.

Lindner, Stephanie A., 3015 W. 25th St., 19-11130-Tpa, Nov. 13, Chapter 7.

Maggio, Michael N., 11145 Brown Ave., 19-11127-Tpa, Nov. 13, Chapter 7.

Marklow, Donald C. and Judith L., 928 E. 28th St., 19-11143-Tpa, Nov. 16, Chapter 7.

Mays, Natalie Jo, 4572 Tulane Ave., 19-11139-Tpa, Nov. 15, Chapter 13.

O’Neal, James E., 432 E. 33rd St., 19-11123-Tpa, Nov. 11, Chapter 13.

Vorse, Laurie Ann, 236 E. Pearl St., Albion, 19-11124-Tpa, Nov. 11, Chapter 13.

Flaws discovered in APD’s crime statistics – Albuquerque Journal

Flaws discovered in APD’s crime statistics - Albuquerque Journal nevin manimala

Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal

On July 1 – the day after the second quarter of 2019 ended – Mayor Tim Keller and Albuquerque Police Chief Michael Geier held a news conference to tout mid-year crime statistics.

The presentation showed crime was down substantially, with double-digit drops in nearly every category, between the first six months of 2018 and the first six months of 2019.

Flaws discovered in APD’s crime statistics - Albuquerque Journal nevin manimala

APD Chief Mike Geier

But the picture wasn’t nearly so rosy.

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Flaws discovered in APD’s crime statistics - Albuquerque Journal nevin manimalaThe Journal has learned that both the 2019 mid-year statistics and the statistics released at the end of 2018 have since been revised dramatically – to include hundreds, and in some cases thousands, more incidents than were reported initially.

For the most part, the new 2019 numbers still showed a drop in crime, but not to the extent earlier reported by the Keller administration. But the final numbers for all of 2018 showed some violent crime actually increased.

In response to questions from the Journal, the Albuquerque Police Department provided the new set of mid-year statistics last week, saying it had found inaccuracies in what had previously been presented. A spokesman said the records unit that compiled the numbers for the presentation had been short staffed and there was a software glitch that had resulted in chunks of data missing.

The new statistics between the first half of 2018 and the first half of 2019 show:

• Auto burglaries decreased 16%, not 38% as previously announced

• Auto theft decreased 22%, not 39%

• Commercial burglary decreased 3%, not 27%

• Residential burglary decreased 16%, not 39%

……………………………………………………….

• Homicide decreased 2.5%, not 18% (homicides have since increased substantially in the second half of the year)

• Rape decreased 3%, not 29%

• Robbery decreased 30%, not 47%

• Aggravated assault decreased 7.5%, not 33%

Last week, Keller acknowledged the discrepancies but he said the trends the city had highlighted remain the same.

“I think we can find some truth in the trends,” he said. “Clearly this specific data, it always changes. This is probably why in the past they didn’t release this information that much.”

APD provided the revised statistics to the City Council at an October meeting, but did not signal that the numbers had changed drastically.

The city has not held a news conference on crime statistics for the third quarter of 2019, which came to a close at the end of September, but an APD spokesman did share the preliminary data with the Journal. According to what was provided, most crime is still trending downward, with the biggest gains in auto theft and robbery. Aggravated assault and commercial burglary remained relatively constant and homicide saw a 25% increase.

……………………………………………………….

Flaws discovered in APD’s crime statistics - Albuquerque Journal nevin manimalaCity officials say they plan to officially release those numbers at a press conference in the next couple of weeks.

Discrepancy in the numbers

The delay in releasing the most recent crime stats is unusual for the Keller administration, which up until last quarter had been releasing the data within a few weeks of the quarter ending.

In fact, before 2018 even ended – on Dec. 27 – the city released crime statistics that officials said showed “the first decrease in overall crime in nearly a decade, as property and violent crime continue to trend downward.”

But in February APD reported very different numbers to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program, which collects and publishes data from law enforcement agencies around the country.

That data shows violent crime had actually increased 3.7% between 2017 and 2018 – driven by aggravated assaults.

According to the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer in its annual report:

• Aggravated assault increased 21%, rather than decreasing 8% as announced during the news conference

……………………………………………………….

• Rape also increased by 3%, rather than decreasing 3%

• Auto theft decreased 14%, not 31%

• Homicides remained basically the same, decreasing by a single incident – or 1.4%

• Robbery decreased 32%, which is not far off from the originally reported 36%

Burglaries could not be easily compared, as the city had split up the category by type – auto, commercial and residential – in its initial briefing but not for the FBI report.

Higher than national average

Despite downward trends in many categories – particularly property crimes – crime rates remain higher in the city than the national average.

Auto theft, for example, decreased quite a bit in 2018, but the greater Albuquerque area remained No. 1 in the nation for rates of stolen cars.

……………………………………………………….

And while there have been slight dips in some violent crime categories – the biggest improvements seen in robbery – others have increased. Homicide remains a problem and, with a month left in the year, the city appears to have recently surpassed the highest number in recent history.

Keller’s administration has rolled out numerous programs and initiatives to address violent crime, particularly those involving firearms.

Keller said his administration had tried to be upfront about the problems the city faces.

“When I came in, I wanted to be as transparent as possible with where we’re at on crime and I think that intent is still the right thing to do,” he said. “But it is much more complicated because of all these different databases and these classifications and all that stuff.”

Flaws discovered in APD’s crime statistics - Albuquerque Journal nevin manimala

Mayor Tim Keller

Keller said regardless of the specifics in the data, his administration has made some big gains, especially in property crime.

“The mirror doesn’t lie and the mirror says violent crime is up, and that’s a huge problem, but it also says that property crime and auto theft are down,” he said. “I don’t think it’s about people believing one thing or another, I think it’s just what your definition of crime is. And we have always said that crime is the biggest problem in our community and that continues to be the case.”

Officers need data quickly

At least one researcher questions the practice of releasing crime statistics every three months.

……………………………………………………….

Paul Guerin, the director of the University of New Mexico’s Center for Applied Research and Analysis, said comparing year-to-year data the way the city has been in its quarterly briefings isn’t particularly helpful.

“To see crime go up or go down in these short periods of time would not be a good reflection of what’s occurring,” Guerin said “It just gives you this brief little period to look at.”

He said it would be more helpful to see trends over the past several years.

Guerin said what concerns him most about the discovery of substantial differences in initial and revised numbers is that it suggests the police department doesn’t have a good way of keeping officers up to date on crimes as they occur.

“Operationally they need this data quickly day to day so if they don’t know they’re this far off then how can they use this data operationally?” Guerin said.

Antiquated software

Gilbert Gallegos, an APD spokesman, said he had realized something was amiss with the mid-year data and started asking questions to figure it out. He said both the records department and the Real Time Crime Center have a hand in compiling the statistics.

“We have different software programs that are antiquated and are not very conducive to pull crime stats on a real time basis,” Gallegos said. “There are also issues with how officers input information. As a result, the records unit has to go through reports to ensure they are accurately categorized, etc. The RTCC created a system to make it easier to pull stats under the categories we have been using for quarterly briefings.”

……………………………………………………….

Gallegos said that when he looked into the mid-year statistics, he found the records department employees had not sifted through six weeks’ worth of reports to determine if they needed to be revised to fit into the right categories. He said there was also a software problem that resulted in a large number of incidents not getting counted at all.

“I believe there were problems with the software that were later discovered in which large data categories were not reflected in real time when we pulled those stats,” he wrote in an email.

The city recently announced it plans to ask the Legislature for $20 million to modernize the police department, including a new records system.

“That data and technology are important to support those officers and help target crime,” Gallegos wrote in an email. “We also want to effectively track success and identify trends and areas of improvement. We also want to be transparent with the public and accurate with our crime stats.”