"More than half of the area of 40 large cities (population over 50,000) is less than 10 feet above the high tide line, from Virginia Beach and Miami (the largest affected), down to Hoboken, N.J. (smallest). Twenty-seven of the cities are in Florida, where one-third of all current housing sits below the critical line — including 85 percent in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Each of these counties is more threatened than any whole state outside of Florida – and each sits on bedrock filled with holes, rendering defense by seawalls or levees almost impossible.
"By the metric of most people living on land less than 10 ft above the high tide line, New York City is most threatened in the long run, with a low-lying population count of more than 700,000. Sixteen other cities, including New Orleans, La.; Norfolk, Va.; Stockton, Calif.; Boston, Mass.; St. Petersburg, Fla.; and Jacksonville, Fla.; are on the list of places with more than 100,000 people below the line. (Much of New Orleans is already below sea level, but is protected at today’s level by levees.)"
Wars Internally Displaced 33.3 Million People In 2013, Reports U.N. -- Huffington Post
"A record 33.3 million people worldwide were displaced by conflict and violence inside their own nations in 2013, U.N. and Norwegian officials said Wednesday.
"The increase of 4.5 million above the 2012 total was driven largely by Syria's civil war, now in its fourth year, which activists estimate has killed 150,000 people.
"The heads of the U.N. refugee agency and Norwegian Refugee Council reported that 8.2 million fled their homes in the last year, including about 3.5 million in Syria alone. The other two-thirds of the 33.3 million displaced by war worldwide had fled in previous years.
"Every 60 seconds another family within Syria flees the civil war, according to the figures."
Marital rape is officially legal in India -- Salon
"A judge in India has officially confirmed that rape laws do not apply to married couples — once you’re legally wed, forced sex is no longer a crime.
"What’s especially chilling is that the judge, Virender Bhat, was hearing a case in which a woman alleged she had been drugged, then forced to marry, and then raped — in other words, she hadn’t consented to the marriage or the sex. Bhat said there was no evidence that the accuser had been drugged, but he also said that if the woman’s husband (identified only as Vikash) had forced himself on her, that wouldn’t qualify as rape under Indian law."
Pipeline rupture spills thousands of gallons of crude oil in Los Angeles -- The Globe and Mail
"Thousands of gallons of crude oil spilled over a half-mile area in Los Angeles after a break in an above-ground pipeline on Thursday, the city fire department said.
"No injuries were reported, the Los Angeles Fire Department said in a statement. The pipeline was shut off remotely, and the incident shut down a section of the Atwater Village area of the city, a local NBC affiliate reported."
Kerry: US set to levy more sanctions on Russia -- Associated Press
"The U.S. hopes Russia will play a constructive role in the May 25 presidential election in Ukraine, but if Moscow or its proxies disrupt it, the U.S. and European Union will move to impose heavier economic sanctions, Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday.
"'I'm not going to get into announcing today what the sanctions are,' Kerry said following a meeting in London with his counterparts in Britain, France, Germany and Italy. 'We have completed our work. We know what they are. ... If they have to go into effect, they will have an impact.'
"A senior State Department official said the U.S. shared its strategy to use a 'scalpel rather than a hammer' to target vulnerabilities in Russia's business, banking, mining, energy, defense or other sectors. The official, who was not authorized to speak by name about the discussions in London, briefed reporters on condition of anonymity."
Wave of anti-government protests begins in Brazil -- Associated Press
"Many Brazilians are angry at the billions spent to host the World Cup. Protesters have said the government should focus spending instead on improving Brazil's woeful health, education, security and infrastructure systems.
"Brazilian leaders had hoped the World Cup and then the 2016 Olympics in Rio would put a favorable spotlight on the country, showing advances over the past decade in improving its economy and pulling tens of millions out of poverty."
Good news: honeybee deaths went down last winter -- Vox
"Fewer bees died in the winter of 2013-14 than the average over the past eight winters. What's more, there are at least a couple of early, tentative signs that commercial beekeepers are getting a better handle on bee deaths.
"While it's way too early to say that honeybee deaths are declining for good, the news is at least encouraging. Honeybees help pollinate $15 billion worth of crops in the United States each year — including apples, berries, cantaloupes, cucumbers, and almonds"