Why no one in Jordan believes the weather forecasts

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Jordanian rescuers search for survivors of flash floods at the Dead Sea area, Jordan, Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. (AP)
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Jordanian civil defence members search for survivors after rain storms unleashed flash floods, near the Dead Sea, in Jordan on October 26, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 26 October 2018

Why no one in Jordan believes the weather forecasts

  • The Education Ministry and the school are responsible for what happened

AMMAN: Veteran weatherman Jamal Al-Mousa told Arab News there is a flaw in how most people react to weather forecasts.
Many people believe that weather predictions should have no margin of error, and that their accuracy should be 100 percent, he said. “This is not possible, of course,” he added.
“The Jordan Meteorological Department (JMD) weather reports are based on scientific analysis and satellite pictures. But the weather is subject to change at any time. Failing to issue accurate reports should not be a reason for the public not to take weather forecasts seriously. What would they lose if they take precautions?”
Al-Mousa, a weatherman for 40 years, said all parties shared responsibility for the tragic incident on Thursday. “The Education Ministry and the school are responsible for what happened. But they are not the only ones. The police department and the families of the victims also bear part of the responsibility,” he said.
Nasser Bashiti, a former school principal, told Arab News that in the past few years many JMD weather forecasts were unreliable. “The efficiency of their reports was not up to standard and many of the predictions never even came close to reality. “In normal situations, people should take precautions and prepare for any bad weather conditions. But even apart from the JMD’s failure to issue reliable and scientific reports, people trust international weather reports or non-government weather agencies, and in many cases these institutions lack professional and advanced weather-forecast devices.
“This leads to people’s recklessness with regard to weather forecasts.”


Turkish police arrest journalist Altan a week after his release

Updated 13 November 2019

Turkish police arrest journalist Altan a week after his release

  • Altan and the others deny the charges against them
  • On Tuesday a higher court overruled the decision to release Altan, ordering his arrest on grounds that there was a risk of him fleeing

ISTANBUL: Turkish police detained prominent journalist and author Ahmet Altan late on Tuesday, a week after he was released from prison in his retrial on coup-related charges, Istanbul police said.

Before his release last Monday, the 69-year-old had been in jail since his arrest in 2016, two months after an attempted coup which Ankara says was orchestrated by the network of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen.

The journalist’s case has drawn criticism from human rights groups and Turkey’s Western allies. They are concerned by the scale of a post-coup crackdown against suspected Gulen supporters under President Tayyip Erdogan.

Altan smiled and waved as he was driven away by counter-terror squad police officers after being taken from his home in Istanbul, video and photos published by Turkish media showed.

He was taken to Istanbul police headquarters after a hospital check-up, state-owned Anadolu news agency reported.

Altan, his brother and other journalists were previously sentenced to life in jail for aiding Gulen’s network. Last week he was convicted again in a retrial, but released from jail given the time served.

Altan and the others deny the charges against them.

On Tuesday a higher court overruled the decision to release Altan, ordering his arrest on grounds that there was a risk of him fleeing, Anadolu reported.

Under last week’s verdict, Altan was sentenced to 10 years and six months in jail. Turkey’s high court had overruled the previous life sentences against him in July, sending the file back for re-trial.

Erdogan’s government has jailed more than 77,000 people pending trial since the failed putsch. Widespread arrests are still routine in a crackdown critics say demonstrates growing autocracy in Turkey.

Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, and his followers deny any involvement in the coup. Turkey has repeatedly called on the United States to extradite the cleric.