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Taiwan

Two people died last night, 24 July, when hurricane Gaemi struck Taiwan and hundreds were injured.

Heavy rain and wind caused power outages all over the island.

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Taiwan

Philippines

On the Philippines the hurricane has already caused flooding, landlides and the death of 22 people.

Some 600,000 people had to be evacuated from their homes.

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Philippines

China

In China 150,000 people were evacuated in preparation for the arrival of the hurricane there.

Numerous flights in the region of Fujian have been cancelled.

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China

Italy

On 23 July, the Catania airport was closed due to black ash that covered it. The ash comes from the Etna volcano that has been erupting.

The nearby volcano of Stromboli has become active as well. It is spewing lava into the Mediterranean Sea

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Italy

Ethiopia

Two landslides in Ethiopia have caused over 150 fatalities in the south of the country on 23 July.

The landslides were caused by heavy rain. When rescuers entered the area to look for survivors after the fist landslide, the rain caused a second one, claiming more victims.

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Ethiopia

North Korea

North Korea is building a huge beach resort in the region of Wonsan-Kalma.

It is thought that only Pyongyang's elite and foreign tourists will be allowed to enjoy the amenities once the project is finished. North Korean media claimed that the resort on North Korea's eastern coast will open in May 2025.

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North Korea

Pacific Ocean

Researchers have discovered that so-called manganese nodules on the ocean floors produce oxygen.

Manganese nodules are millions-of-years-old 'balls' the size of potatoes that do not contain any organic material, but are composed of valuable metals such as cobalt, copper and nickel.

The most logical explanation for this phenomenon is that the metals react with the sea water and as a result they produce oxygen.

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Pacific Ocean

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Destination of the week

On these pages a different destination will be highlighted every week. Sometimes it's a tourist trap like one of the Spanish resorts; sometimes we will bring you detailed information on some more exotic places.

This week we will have a closer look at United Arab EmiratesUnited Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a union of seven sovereign sheikhdoms. The Emirate of Abu Dhabi represents 85% of the UAE, while the emirate of Ajman is the smallest, measuring only 250 km² (100 sq mi). The other emirates are Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al Qaiwain. The country was formed after the British withdrew from the Gulf in 1971.

The relatively small area of the UAE boasts mountains, beaches, deserts, oases, camel racing, Bedouin markets and duty free shopping in Dubai. The UAE has the most relaxed entry regulations in the region, as well as an excellent tourist infrastructure.

Much of the interior of the UAE is featureless desert, running to the edges of the Empty Quarter, the largest sand desert in the world, which occupies southeastern Saudi Arabia. The coastal areas consist mainly of salt flats, while the northern and eastern parts of the country are green and inviting with beautiful mountain scenery. Around the larger cities, thousands of palm trees are being planted in the desert. The efforts to make the desert 'green' cost millions of liters of fresh water every day.

The best time to visit the UAE is between November and April, when temperatures are quite comfortable, although in the desert areas around Al-Ain it can get very cold, especially at night. During the summer, from May to September humidity is high and daytime temperatures easily soar up to more than 40°C (105°F). In December and January sometimes, heavy rains can make getting around the country tricky. The rest of the year, rainfall is non-existent.

Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, is strictly adhered to in the UAE. During that time there is no eating, drinking or smoking in public from sunrise to sunset, including tourists. Places that normally serve alcohol stop serving it during this month. Ramadan is in November-December for the next couple of years.

Some of the most interesting places to visit include Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al-Ain, Al-Fujairah and Dibba.

Click on the images to learn more about this interesting destination. A map of United Arab Emirates will open full-screen. Just click on towns and places you want to know more about.



Next week: Brazil

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World

Global warming could doom hundreds of land plants and animals to extinction over the next 50 years by marooning them in harsh, changed surroundings, scientists warn.

A sweeping new analysis enlisting scientists from 14 laboratories around the globe found that more than one-third of 1103 native species they studied could vanish or plunge to near extinction by 2050 as climate change turns plains into deserts or alters forests.

Among the already threatened species that could go extinct are Australia's Boyd's forest dragon, Europe's azure-winged magpie and Mexico's Jico deer mouse.

The researchers concede there are many uncertainties in both climate forecasts and the computer models they used to forecast future extinctions. But they said their dire conclusions may well come to pass if industrial nations do not curtail emissions of greenhouse gases that trap heat in the atmosphere.