Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is averse to resuming direct Middle East talks in the near future despite the Obama administration's "strong belief" that such negotiations could begin within days or weeks, Israel Radio reported on Friday, citing sources in Ramallah.
U.S. envoy George Mitchell was in the region this week, shuttling between Ramallah and Jerusalem for separate rounds of talks with Abbas and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Mitchell has been moderating the proximity talks between the two sides for the last two months.
The largest earthquake ever recorded near the capital rattled
Washington, D.C., early Friday, waking many residents but causing no reported damage.
The quake hit at 5:04 a.m. ET with a magnitude of 3.6, according
to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was centered near Rockville, Md., the USGS said.
NBC News reported that the quake was felt in the D.C.-area, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
While Bernie talks about the heat returning to the eastern United States, Ken points out how hard it is to set record highs in the hottest locations and hottest time of the year but that is coming.
It is well-known that both the number and intensity of hurricanes in the Atlantic tend to increase during La Niña events. However, as I discussed in a post last month, since 1995, neutral years (when neither an El Niño or La Niña are present) have had Atlantic hurricane activity equal to La Niña years. The last time we had a strong El Niño event followed by a La Niña event in the same year, in 1998, we had a Atlantic hurricane season 40% above average in activity, with 14 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and 3 intense hurricanes. The season was relatively late-starting, with only one named storm occurring before August 20. I'm thinking this year's season may be similar, though four or more intense hurricanes are a good bet due to the record warm sea-surface-temperatures (SSTs).
Both El Niño and La Niña events have major impacts on regional and global weather patterns. For the remainder of July and August, we can expect La Niña to bring cloudier and wetter than average conditions to the Caribbean, but weather patterns over North America should not see much impact (Figure 2.) Globally, La Niña conditions tend to cause a net cooling of surface temperatures. Thus, while the past twelve month period has been the warmest globally since record keeping began in 1880, it is unlikely that the calendar year of 2010 will set the record for warmest year ever.