26th January - Today's News: Did Lightning Cause Ethiopian Airliner to Explode?

Was doomed Beirut flight 'blown to pieces by lightning' - aircraft do very frequently get struck by lightning, almost always without any problem. It would be extremely unusual for a lightning strike to result in the sort of fireball that witnesses describe - but it's a possibility that cannot at present be ruled out. One suggestion is that it may have ignited fuel vapour - which is thought to have been what caused Pan-Am Flight 214 to crash at Elkton in 1963.

In Romania, Sunday was the coldest night so far: -34 degrees in Covasna whilst the same arctic weather over Bulgaria sets new lows with deaths as freezing weather hits Central and Eastern Europe.

China has 'open mind' on cause of climate change (though it should be noted a good many Chinese scientists believe in a significant human influence - though necessarily just CO2)

Glaciergate rumbles on: UN's rogue glacier claim 'was just one page in report' says IPCC deputy. Which is, of course, true.

They may be worried about lack of snow for the Olympics in Vancouver, but elsewhere in Canada it's a different matter as blizzard hammers Praries, paralyzes main highways, schools and even snow plows while further south in the USA winter storm in Midwest brings fierce winds.

Meanwhile, Russia's weather out of whack - and it's all due to man-made climate change. Apparently. Well, according to the Director of the Institute of Water Problems at the Russian Academy of Sciencies .......

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