Sri Lankan officials say the country is prepared to face the El Niño weather phenomenon in the last quarter of 2015 and take precautions based on the experience of the recent past.Temperatures have remained above average this year and a prolonged dry spell has left over 200,000 in the Northern Province thirsting for safe drinking water. But, officials at the Meteorological Department (MD) and the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) say the impacts are manageablem SciDev.Net reported. But, Chandrapala says Sri Lanka is now better prepared to deal with fluctuating climate trends that have resulted in frequent extreme weather events. “It is about long-term planning — we are better prepared than we were five years back.”“So far, there is no sign that things will worsen, we have not received any warnings from the MD or the agriculture department of major crop losses,” Pradeep Koddiplili, DMC deputy director, tells SciDev.Net.Sri Lanka has seen five major floods and four major droughts since 2010, attributed by changing climate. (Colombo Gazette) “We have analysed past weather patterns when El Niño was active and what we have seen is that in the last quarter of the year rains, in fact, increase in this part of the globe,” says L. Chandrapala, director-general of the MD. “More rains in the last quarter of the year would be welcome following a weak South West Monsoon — the monsoon was below 75 per cent this year.”The failure of the rains and high temperatures have caused ground water resources to dwindle in the Northern Province. Over the last two months, the DMC has been supporting local authorities to deliver water to the worst-hit communities. However, some assessments also predict that South Asia was likely to receive above average rains in late 2015. “Countries on the equator can expect more rain, flooding and higher sea levels as El Niño takes hold,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says. According to global weather forecasts the periodic warming of the Pacific Ocean called El Niño has now set in with most predicting it to be similar in strength to an occurrence in 1997. “The strong El Niño is expected to last until at least the end of the year before declining in the first quarter of 2016,” the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said in an update on 13 October.
Davie Police Chief Placed on Leave for Alleged Disparaging Remarks About Late Broward Sheriff’s Deputy
A statement reads, “Police Chief Dale Engle was placed on administrative leave pending further review of allegations brought forward by the Fraternal Order of Police. The allegations will be investigated in accordance with the Town’s Equal Employment Opportunity compliance policy by outside counsel.” A high-ranking member of law enforcement in South Florida is under investigation.Davie Police Chief Dale Engle has been placed on administrative leave over allegedly disparaging remarks about the sexual orientation of a Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy who died earlier this month from complications of COVID-19.The Broward County Fraternal Order of Police says that Engle claimed the death of BSO Deputy Shannon Bennett was partially due to his “homosexual lifestyle.”Mike Tucker, chief of staff of the Florida Fraternal Order of Police, sent a letter to the Davie town manager last Tuesday. Tucker’s letter said that officers and service aides who expressed worry about the virus were sent to a back parking lot. Here, Engle “allegedly berated them, and yelled about a ‘…backstory’ which proclaimed that Deputy Shannon Bennett contracted and died from the virus because he was a “homosexual who attended homosexual ‘sexual’ events.”Bennett, who was a 12-year veteran of the BSO, was gay and was planning to marry his partner in December.He died at a hospital on April 2, according to officials, after testing positive for the novel coronavirus.Late Saturday night, a spokesperson for the Town of Davie confirmed that Engle has been placed on leave.
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A day after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) initiated a money-laundering probe against Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, his nephew Ajit Pawar and others in the Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank (MSCB) loan irregularities, Baramati — the bastion of the Pawar clan — observed a total shutdown in support of the NCP supremo.Educational institutions, business establishments and shops downed shutters in Baramati and neighbouring Indapur tehsil, while protests organised by the NCP youth wing were staged in Pune, Mumbai, Nashik and other parts of the State including the Marathwada region, especially Beed and Aurangabad districts.Large crowds, including schoolgoing children, were seen throughout Baramati raising slogans in Mr. Pawar’s support, while angry demonstrations by NCP activists were witnessed accompanied by burning of effigies of the ED.Speaking in Mumbai, former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said no irregularities of even a single paisa had occurred at MSCB.“After an FIR was lodged against me and others on the direction of the Bombay High Court and the economic offences wing (EOW) of the police was probing the case, a certain individual filed a PIL claiming a scam of ₹ 25,000 crore had taken place…moreover, Sharad Pawar has no relation whatsoever with this case and neither was he ever a director of this bank. To the best of my knowledge, the total deposits of the bank were ₹13,000 crore. So, how could irregularities of ₹25,000 crore have transpired?” he asked.He said that MSCB directors were from a number of political parties including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Shiv Sena and the Congress, and not just the NCP. “Had there been irregularities of this magnitude [₹25,000 crore], the bank would not have been showing a profit of ₹300 crore today,” Mr. Ajit Pawar said.Meanwhile, Sharad Pawar’s grand nephew, Rohit Pawar, hit out at the BJP saying the allegations were clearly politically motivated. “The ED’s probe only illustrates that the BJP has no real issue to talk about. Since it has failed to deliver on its tall promises, it is now attempting to divert public attention by indulging in such undignified moves and misusing probe agencies,” said Mr. Rohit Pawar.Sandhya Sonawane, head of NCP’s youth wing in Ahmednagar, said the response generated by Mr. Pawar’s pre-poll tours across the State had rattled the BJP.“As a result, the ruling government is resorting to such base tactics by unleashing the ED on Pawar saaheb. However, the public will give the BJP a fitting reply in the forthcoming elections,” she said.