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Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

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HIGH SEA FACE-OFF
Japanese whaling ship attacked and sank the high-tech vessel, Ady Gil, of the Sea Shepherd conservation society during a collision in the Southern Ocean on January 6. Crewmembers were rescued by another Sea Shepherd boat. The activists are chasing the Japanese ship that plans to kill 935 minke whales and 50 fin whales this year breaching international laws.

Cuba has formally rejected the Copenhagen Accord in a submission to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. With this, the accord will not become an official concensus decision. Green groups criticize the accord as it lacks binding emission reduction targets for rich countries.

Chinese customs officials seized 8,500 tonnes of used tyres shipped illegally from usa to China for disposal. China bans import of scrap tyres out of health and environmental concerns. Some chemicals in tyres leach into water, and disrupt hormones and damage the liver.

Tens of thousands of Filipinos, displaced by the rumbling Mayon volcano, headed home after geologists lowered the alert level and said there is low probability of an explosive eruption.

A South Korea consortium beat US and French rivals to clinch a US $40 billion deal to build and operate four nuclear power plants in the uae. It is one of the world’s biggest nuclear power contracts.

Armenia cleared the way for a nuclear power plant despite warnings by green groups that the country sits on a volcanic topography . The government contends without the plant it would have to depend largely on Russia and Iran to meet its growing power needs.

 In a bid to diversify its client base away from Europe, Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin launched the long-awaited Siberian oil export route, giving energy-hungry Asia a new supply source from the world’s largest crude exporter.

Iran has proposed to swap its low-enriched uranium for nuclear fuel for reactor-grade fuel, but insisted the exchange should happen in stages. It had earlier rejected an offer by the International Atomic Energy Agency to ship its low-enriched uranium abroad to be processed into reactor fuel.

Indonesia banned importing vannamei shrimp seedlings from Asian countries, including India, for six months to prevent viruses from entering the country. Shrimp is Indonesia’s major foreign exchange earner.

imageDespite opposition by farmers’ groups, Mali granted long-term leases to foreign agro-businesses to cultivate 160,000 ha of land . The government said it cannot develop its agricultural potential without foreign investment.

Strife-torn Sierra Leone’s parliament passed a mining law that has provisions like giving unbridled concessions to foreign companies and ignoring concerns of people living in the mining area. The opposition party and activists said the bill was passed without debate.

Despite international pressure on Zimbabwe’s government to curb illegal diamond trade , President Robert Mugabe’s security officials are reported to have taken control of the Marange diamond field.

US Geological Survey is conducting a study in Malawi to ascertain the causes of recent earthquakes (30 in a single month) in the uranium mining district of Karonga. Some geologists link the seismic activity to extensive mining .

Automaker Ford signed a deal to sell its Swedish flagship brand Volvo to Chinese carmaker Geely.

France is selling millions of swine flu vaccines after buying far more than what it needed. The government said it had planned for two-dose vaccinations but since one dose suffices it is re-selling part of the stock.

usa has lifted a 22-year immigration ban which stopped anyone with hiv/ aids from entering the country. The move precedes the US plan to host a bi-annual global hiv/aids summit, for the first time, in 2012.

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