News 360

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

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The Rio de Janeiro city government is building a concrete wall to prevent the expansion of the Santa Marta slum, the city's largest and most populous slum, from spreading farther into its picturesque hills. The Brazilian city is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The government plans to stretch the wall to 11 kilometres.
Down to Earth A Swaziland court asked the government to provide free education to primary school children. Though free education is a constitutional obligation, the government said it is not feasible due to financial constraint. The case was filed by ex-mine workers' union.

Down to Earth A meningitis outbreak that began in early 2009 in sub-Saharan Africa killed 1,500 people and affected 25,000 by March, said who. Nigeria and Niger are the hardest hit.

Down to Earth Wildlife has become vulnerable in the chaos following the mid-March coup in Madagascar, 13 conservation groups said. There is a surge in raids on national parks for smuggling rare wildlife and valuable rosewood timber.

Down to Earth At least 20 miners were killed in northwest Tanzania after a gold mine collapsed following heavy downpour. Tanzania is Africa's third largest gold producer.

Down to Earth Chinese authorities resorted to contraceptive pills to rein in the exploding population of gerbils, a desert rodent, which is threatening the ecosystem of Gurbantunggut desert in Xinjiang region.

Down to Earth Kazakh ecologists have cautioned against using water from the country's third largest river, Syr Darya, for irrigation because it is loaded with pesticides and heavy metals. Rice irrigated with such water can cause congenital anomalies and cancer.

Down to Earth Following a downpour, a dam burst in the Indonesian capital Jakarta early on March 27, killing 98 people and flooding two suburbs. Residents blamed poor maintenance for the collapse of the 75-year-old dam.

Down to Earth Militant group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan asked all non-profits to leave Swat Valley and banned polio vaccination in the region saying it causes infertility. Four polio cases were recorded in Swat in 2008.

Down to Earth Italy and Switzerland decided to redraw their 148-year-old border after global warming dissolved the Alpine glaciers near Matterhorn mountain over which the national frontier passes. Scientists say the glacial melting has accelerated in the past five years.

Down to Earth A quake struck Italy's L'Aquila on April 6 leaving millions homeless. More than 150 deaths were reported the first day. The 6.3-magnitude quake was the deadliest in three decades.

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Down to Earth French nuclear giant Areva signed a deal to develop the Imouraren uranium reserve in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Down to Earth To protect Lake Titicaca --world's highest navigable lake at 3,810 metres above sea level-- Bolivia plans to install sewage treatment plants in the lake basin.

Down to Earth Economic meltdown has forced Venezuela to cut investment in the oil sector by 40 per cent. The cut will not affect its policy to dedicate 10 per cent of the oil revenue to social development, said the government.

Down to Earth The Peruvian government has asked companies operating in the country to modify internal regulations to make sure workers with hiv or aids are not discriminated against by their colleagues.

Down to Earth Brazil's state oil company Petrobras signed a deal with Peruvian oil company Ecopetrol to explore oil and natural gas in two regions of the Peruvian Amazon --both inhabited by uncontacted indigenous people.

Down to Earth Ecuador's indigenous people have filed a lawsuit before the constitutional court to declare the new mining law unconstitutional. They said the government did not consult the communities whose territories will be affected by mining before approving it.

Down to Earth In a letter to the White House, the US Environm-ental Protection Agency has declared CO2 a danger to public welfare and proposed to regulate the gas as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act.

Down to Earth Fifty new species, including a jumping spider and a chirping frog, were discovered during a 2008 expedition in Papua New Guinea, said Conservation International, a non-profit.

Down to Earth Scientists tracked an asteroid as it fell on Earth and for the first time recovered its debris. Found in Sudan's Nubian desert, the debris offers a chance to study the asteroid's route and composition.

Down to Earth Images by nasa's Mars Odyssey spacecraft show mounds, possibly mud volcanoes, on northern plains of the planet. Scientists say this could provide clues into the possibility of life on it.

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