The floods come at a particularly bad time for rubber farmers…”Widespread flooding in Thailand’s south has killed 21 people, hit rubber production in the region and shut down infrastructure, officials said on Monday, as the military government increased aid to flood-affected areas.Thailand’s wet season usually ends in late November and heavy rain and flooding are rare in January. Unseasonably heavy rain has hit 12 out of 67 provinces, officials said. “We have sent soldiers, police and the Ministry of the Interior to ease the situation,” Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan told reporters. The death toll from the floods stood at 21 on Monday with more than 330,000 households affected, according to the Department Disaster Prevention and Mitigation. The department said that the main airport in the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat would remain shut for the foreseeable future. A rail route from the Thai capital Bangkok to Nakhon Si Thammarat has also been suspended. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2i6qxxr)

Political Crisis in Cote D’Ivoire… “Ivory Coast’s prime minister Daniel Kablan Duncan resigned along with his government Monday, a day after the end of a short-lived army mutiny that raised security fears in the world’s top cocoa producer. Although the resignation is standard procedure as it follows legislative elections in December, it comes at a time of mounting speculation that former rebel leader Guillaume Soro engineered Friday’s mutiny as he is angling for the prime ministerial post or the vice presidency. Ivorian state employees meanwhile began a five-day strike on Monday to protest against pension cuts ranging from 30 to 50 percent and a plan to raise the retirement age from 55 to 60. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2iWigLL)

A Food Security Crisis in Afghanistan… “The fighting killed a record 8,397 civilians in the first nine months of 2016, and displaced half a million by November. More than half of those displaced were children, who, in addition to malnutrition, face abuse and exploitation, including through forced marriage, sexual abuse and harmful child labour. One of the greatest dangers is hunger. More than a quarter of all Afghanistan’s provinces have acute malnutrition rates above 15 per cent, classifying them above emergency thresholds. Out of the total of 1.8 million people, at least 1.3 million are children under the age of five. As of September 2016, only a quarter-million children had been admitted for treatment, a fraction of those estimated to be in need, according to the report findings. The food situation in the country overall is dire, with crops last year producing less than in 2015, leaving a gap of 1.2 million metric tons.” (UN News Center http://bit.ly/2jb0wKn)

5 International Climate Stories to Watch in 2017 (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/2i6xYEU)

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