Drought Study Harbinger

Thanks to the expected effects of climate change, there’s at least an 80 percent chance of a decade-long drought occurring in the Southwest over the next century, a new study has found.

This will be worse than anything seen during the last 2,000 years and would pose unprecedented challenges to water resources in the region,” Toby Ault, lead author of the study, said in a press release Wednesday.

via 35-Year ‘Megadrought’ May Threaten Southwest Within Century, Study Finds.

Unusual respiratory virus

Update: New virus may have spread to San Diego

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An unusual respiratory virus is striking children in the metro in big numbers. Children’s Mercy Hospital is hospitalizing 20 to 30 kids a day with the virus. The hospital is as full now as it is at the height of flu season.

This is not the same virus we told you about several weeks ago that can cause meningitis. This one can cause severe breathing trouble. Children’s Mercy has seen more than 300 cases in recent days in kids of all ages.

It is enterovirus 68. The doctor says it’s well-known around the world, but cases have not been seen in Kansas City before.

There’s no anti-viral medicine for enterovirus 68 and no vaccine.

via Unusual respiratory virus, enterovirus 68, strikes metro kids | fox4kc.com.

Putin Referring to Eastern Ukraine as ‘New Russia’?

As Putin justifies his moves into Crimea and eastern Ukraine, he has many of the nations in the region wondering who might be next.

In a new statement, the Kremlin has detailed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s address to pro-Russian separatists battling Kiev’s force in eastern Ukraine, which referred to the rebels as “the militia of New Russia” or “Novorossiya”.

This term is not a new addition to the Russian leader’s personal lexicon. In a televised question and answer session in April in the midst of the Crimea crisis, Putin told the audience, in reference to the restive eastern regions of Ukraine: “It’s new Russia.”

This phrase has raised fears about Putin’s territorial ambitions in the former Soviet Union but what does this term really mean?

“Novorossiya”, which translates as New Russia, is a historical term for a region conquered by the Russian empire in the 18th century and controlled by Tsarist Russia in the 19th Century.

In the same Q&A, Putin uttered “God knows” why the “New Russian” regions became Ukrainian territory in the 1920s.

This area, shown below, today represents an area of southern Ukraine and borders the controversial Crimea region, which claimed independence earlier this year.

Russia Ukraine

Putin has repeatedly stated his intention to protect ethnic Russians living in these regions due to the strong cultural connection between them and “Mother Russia”.

We must do everything to help these people to protect their rights and independently determine their own destiny,” he said in April.

Ukraine is in both Russia’s perceived “sphere of influence” and the “shared neighbourhood” with the European Union and the Nato military alliance. It is a nation torn between the attraction of a modern West and its own eastern Soviet history.

via Why is Vladimir Putin Referring to Eastern Ukraine as ‘New Russia’?.