- Fox's Boston 25 reporter Kathryn Burcham gave updates standing on an ice block on Thursday
- Her editor said she was 'floating' through the icy flood waters in Winthrop, Massachusetts
- The National Weather Service quickly reprimanded her online and said it did not recommend going to such lengths to give updates
- Other viewers labeled Burcham a 'moron' for even suggesting it was safe
- Burcham insists the ice was on a dry patch of pavement and that she was safe
- Winthrop was inundated with a foot of icy sea water on Thursday as historic floods swept Boston
Published: 09:45 EST, 5 January 2018 | Updated: 11:05 EST, 5 January 2018
A determined Boston-based reporter has been reprimanded by the National Weather Service for using a block of ice as a podium to deliver updates during yesterday's severe floods.
Kathryn Burcham appeared on camera on Thursday in Winthrop, Massachusetts, standing on the ice block as freezing flood waters swirled around her to deliver her broadcast for Fox network Boston 25.
While she insists it was stationary and on a sidewalk, a Fox News editor excitedly praised her for 'floating' through the dangerous waters.
'Here's Kathryn Burcham showing why she's the best in the business. Floating on an iceberg to provide updates,' he gushed.
The National Weather Service in Boston, however, was not impressed.
Boston 25 reporter Kathryn Burcham appeared on air in Winthrop, Massachusetts, on Thursday on an ice block as flood water gushed around her
Burcham's news editor Bill Sheerin commended her efforts on Twitter but the National Weather Service in Boston was not as impressed
In response to his laudit of Burcham, they wrote: 'We do not recommend going out and floating on icebergs; this is a very dangerous situation along the coastline with major flooding ongoing, peoples homes & other infrastructure becoming inundated and damaged; please observe should you have to from a safe location.'
Other viewers slammed her as a 'moron'.
'Here's Kathryn Burcham showing why she's the dumbest in the business, floating on an ice berg to provide updates which you could just have easily done from basically anywhere else, you walnut.
'She said that she was standing on the pavement, and the water was behind her, but this is super irresponsible, someone is gonna think this is OK. It's not. FYI,' they fumed.
Burcham was slammed by viewers who said the stunt was 'dumb' and dangerous
Burcham quickly replied to insist she had been safe.
'For the record, the sea ice was on dry pavement – the water was behind me.
'My management at @boston25 always stresses staying safe and we make sure do so,' she said.
Winthrop, which sits on the coastline, was inundated with icy sea water on Thursday as the winter storm gripped Boston and caused historic floods.
There is no respite on the horizon for residents as temperatures could plummet further there to -5F on Saturday.
More than a foot of icy water crept over the Winthrop Parkway on Thursday, leaving some of the residents without running water or electricity.
The reporter insisted she was safe all along and that the ice she was standing on was on 'dry land'
Burcham was giving updates from Winthrop, Massachusetts, throughout the day
Emergency responders have resorted to going between houses in boats to respond to calls for help.
Kathryn Burcham insisted she was safe throughout the broadcast
The storm began two days ago in the Gulf of Mexico and first struck the Florida Panhandle.
By Thursday it was wreaking havoc as blizzard warnings and states of emergency went into effect along the Eastern Seaboard.
Wind gusts hit more than 70 mph in places and some areas saw as much as 18 inches of snow.
The storm caused school and business closings, airline and rail service cancellations or reductions and thousands of utilities outages, many of them restored quickly. Some ferry services even had to be shut down along the Canadian coast.
Massachusetts was hit with historic floods on Thursday, bringing torrents of icy sea water through Boston's streets
Australia resists calls for tougher climate targets
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has resisted pressure to set more ambitious carbon emission targets while other major nations vowed deeper reductions to tackle climate change.
Addressing a global climate summit, Mr Morrison said Australia was on a path to net zero emissions.
But he stopped short of setting a timeline, saying the country would get there “as soon as possible”.
It came as the US, Canada and Japan set new commitments for steeper cuts.
US President Joe Biden, who chaired the virtual summit, pledged to cut carbon emissions by 50-52% below 2005 levels by the year 2030. This new target essentially doubles the previous US promise.
By contrast, Australia will stick with its existing pledge of cutting carbon emissions by 26%-28% below 2005 levels, by 2030. That’s in line with the Paris climate agreement, though Mr Morrison said Australia was on a pathway to net zero emissions.
“Our goal is to get there as soon as we possibly can, through technology that enables and transforms our industries, not taxes that eliminate them and the jobs and livelihoods they support and create,” he told the summit.
“Future generations… will thank us not for what we have promised, but what we deliver.”
Australia is one of the world’s biggest carbon emitters on a per capita basis. Mr Morrison, who has faced sustained criticism over climate policy, said action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would focus on technology.
The prime minister said Australia is deploying renewable energy 10 times faster than the global average per person, and has the highest uptake of rooftop solar panels in the world.
Mr Morrison added Australia would invest $20bn ($15.4bn; 11.1bn) “to achieve ambitious goals that will bring the cost of clean hydrogen, green steel, energy storage and carbon capture to commercial parity”.
“You can always be sure that the commitments Australia makes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are bankable.”
Australia has seen growing international pressure to step up its efforts to cut emissions and tackle global warming. The country has warmed on average by 1.4 degrees C since national records began in 1910, according to its science and weather agencies. That’s led to an increase in the number of extreme heat events, as well as increased fire danger days.
Ahead of the summit, President Biden’s team urged countries that have been slow to embrace action on climate change to raise their ambition. While many nations heeded the call, big emitters China and India also made no new commitments.
“Scientists tell us that this is the decisive decade – this is the decade we must make decisions that will avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis,” President Biden said at the summit’s opening address.
Referring to America’s new carbon-cutting pledge, President Biden added: “The signs are unmistakable, the science is undeniable, and the cost of inaction keeps mounting.”
Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-56854558
Sydney seaplane crash: Exhaust fumes affected pilot, report confirms
The pilot of a seaplane that crashed into an Australian river, killing all on board, had been left confused and disorientated by leaking exhaust fumes, investigators have confirmed.
The Canadian pilot and five members of a British family died in the crash north of Sydney in December 2017.
All were found to have higher than normal levels of carbon monoxide in their blood, a final report has found.
It recommended the mandatory fitting of gas detectors in all such planes.
British businessman Richard Cousins, 58, died alongside his 48-year-old fiancée, magazine editor Emma Bowden, her 11-year-old daughter Heather and his sons, Edward, 23, and William, 25, and pilot Gareth Morgan, 44. Mr Cousins was the chief executive of catering giant Compass.
The family had been on a sightseeing flight in the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver plane when it nose-dived into the Hawkesbury River at Jerusalem Bay, about 50km (30 miles) from the city centre.
The final report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) confirmed the findings of an interim report published in 2020.
It said pre-existing cracks in the exhaust collector ring were believed to have released exhaust gas into the engine bay. Holes left by missing bolts in a firewall then allowed the fumes to enter the cabin.
“As a result, the pilot would have almost certainly experienced effects such as confusion, visual disturbance and disorientation,” the report said.
“Consequently, it was likely that this significantly degraded the pilot’s ability to safely operate the aircraft.”
The ATSB recommended the Civil Aviation Safety Authority consider mandating the fitting of carbon monoxide detectors in piston-engine aircraft that carry passengers.
It previously issued safety advisory notices to owners and operators of such aircraft that they install detectors “with an active warning” to pilots”. Operators and maintainers of planes were also advised to carry out detailed inspections of exhaust systems and firewalls.
Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55862128
Australia unlikely to fully reopen border in 2021, says top official
Australia is unlikely to fully open its borders in 2021 even if most of its population gets vaccinated this year as planned, says a senior health official.
The comments dampen hopes raised by airlines that travel to and from the country could resume as early as July.
Department of Health Secretary Brendan Murphy made the prediction after being asked about the coronavirus’ escalation in other nations.
Dr Murphy spearheaded Australia’s early action to close its borders last March.
“I think that we’ll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday.
“Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don’t know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus,” he said, adding that he believed quarantine requirements for travellers would continue “for some time”.
Citizens, permanent residents and those with exemptions are allowed to enter Australia if they complete a 14-day hotel quarantine at their own expense.
Qantas – Australia’s national carrier – reopened bookings earlier this month, after saying it expected international travel to “begin to restart from July 2021.”
However, it added this depended on the Australian government’s deciding to reopen borders.
Australia’s tight restrictions
The country opened a travel bubble with neighbouring New Zealand late last year, but currently it only operates one-way with inbound flights to Australia.
Australia has also discussed the option of travel bubbles with other low-risk places such as Taiwan, Japan and Singapore.
A vaccination scheme is due to begin in Australia in late February. Local authorities have resisted calls to speed up the process, giving more time for regulatory approvals.
Australia has so far reported 909 deaths and about 22,000 cases, far fewer than many nations. It reported zero locally transmitted infections on Monday.
Experts have attributed much of Australia’s success to its swift border lockdown – which affected travellers from China as early as February – and a hotel quarantine system for people entering the country.
Local outbreaks have been caused by hotel quarantine breaches, including a second wave in Melbourne. The city’s residents endured a stringent four-month lockdown last year to successfully suppress the virus.
Other outbreaks – including one in Sydney which has infected about 200 people – prompted internal border closures between states, and other restrictions around Christmas time.
The state of Victoria said on Monday it would again allow entry to Sydney residents outside of designated “hotspots”, following a decline in cases.
While the measures have been praised, many have also criticised them for separating families across state borders and damaging businesses.
Dr Murphy said overall Australia’s virus response had been “pretty good” but he believed the nation could have introduced face masks earlier and improved its protections in aged care homes.
In recent days, Australia has granted entry to about 1,200 tennis players, staff and officials for the Australian Open. The contingent – which has recorded at least nine infections – is under quarantine.
Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55699581
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