Until last year, more than 100,000 Muslims lived in Bangui, the decaying capital of the Central African Republic. Since the country plunged into anarchy a year ago, brutal sectarian violence has led tens of thousands to flee.
L.A. Times reporter Alexandra Zavis and photojournalist Rick Loomis followed a convoy of Muslim refugees on their harrowing 400-mile journey to safety in Cameroon, one of a handful of neighboring countries that are taking in refugees from the Central African Republic. This is the first of several of their reports on the region.
This winter has been a tale of two Americas: The Midwest is just beginning to thaw out from a battery of epic cold snaps, while Californians might feel that they pretty much skipped winter altogether.
In fact, new NOAA data reveal that California’s winter (December through February) was the warmest in the 119-year record, 4.4 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average.
The map above ranks every state’s winter temperature average relative to its own historical record low (in other words, relative to itself and not to other states). Low numbers indicate that the state was unusually cold; higher numbers mean it was exceptionally warm.
As you can see, the Midwest was much colder than average, while the West was hotter than average (despite a season-long kerfluffle about polar vortexes, the East Coast wasn’t exceptionally cold, after all).
As we’ve reported, there’s currently a scientific debate over whether climate change in the Arcitc is making the jet stream “drunk,” and thereby increasing the likelihood of extreme cold spells; the exact role of climate change in California’s record heat is still unclear.
MOTHER JONES: California Just Had Its Warmest Winter on Record
Portuguese designer Susana Soares has developed a device for detecting cancer and other serious diseases using trained bees. The bees are placed in a glass chamber into which the patient exhales; the bees fly into a smaller secondary chamber if they detect cancer.
Scientists have found that honey bees - Apis mellifera - have an extraordinary sense of smell that is more acute than that of a sniffer dog and can detect airborne molecules in the parts-per-trillion range.
Bees can be trained to detect specific chemical odours, including the biomarkers associated with diseases such as tuberculosis, lung, skin and pancreatic cancer.
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