MEDALS GO GREEN AT WINTER OLYMPICS
Winners at this year’s Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, celebrated their success wearing medals that contained recycled metals. This is the first such initiative in the history of sport. Canadian company Teck Resources recovered 2.05kg gold, 903 kg copper and 1,950 kg silver by processing seven tonnes of electronic circuit boards. They were combined with the mined metals to mint more than 1,000 medals.
Chinese environmentalist Tan Zuoren, who had investigated the role of shoddy construction materials in deaths from the earthquake in Sichuan province in 2008, was sentenced to five years in jail for “inciting subversion of state power.” The 7.9 quake had killed at least 68,000 people.
The uae is talking to Indonesia to lease about 100,000 hectares of farmland for the production of rice, sugarcane, palm oil and fruits. Gulf countries used to depend on imported food. With food prices soaring in the past decade, they are acquiring land in developing countries.
Vietnam has sued the US at the wto for its a nti-dumping steps on Vietnamese shrimp, the country’s key export. Vietnam said US anti-dumping measures are not according to the wto rules. usa is the second largest importer of its shrimp.
In defiance of UN sanctions, Iran enriched uranium to 20 per cent, the level at which it can move fast to the 90 per cent enrichment required for a nuclear bomb. US, UK and France said the UNSecurity Council would call for tougher sanctions.
Israel has started talks with Egypt about establishing a joint solar project in its Sinai desert. The average solar concentration in the desert is 2,300 kWh per square metre.
To illustrate s ustainable urban planning, the UK is building four carbon-neutral towns costing US $90 million. The towns, with low-energy buildings and cleaner transport, would house 30,000 people by 2015.
Faced with drought-induced power crisis, the worst in 50 years, the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, declared an electricity emergency. Consumers who don’t cut their usage will face steep increase in their bill. Though a major exporter of oil and natural gas, Venezuela relies on hydroelectricity for 70 per cent of its power needs.
Brazil is building a 320-metre tower deep in the Amazon rainforest that will operate as an atmospheric observatory to study how global warming affects tropical jungles over the next 30 years. The tower will start functioning from 2011.
Argentina, a major beef consumer and exporter, has cancelled 70 per cent of beef-export permits to contain a steep rise in domestic prices. Its cattle herd has shrunk to one-third following three years of drought.
The UN has increased its humanitarian aid appeal for Haiti to an all time high, US $1.44 billion. With the rainy season looming there is an urgent need for tents, food and water, it said.
As tensions mount in Chile’s Mapuche territories, the indigenous people have created a new legal defence body to take up their land dispute cases with the State.
Texas, the most polluting US state due to a large number of oil refining and other industries, said it will challenge the federal government’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. The US environmental protection agency threatens to regulate carbon emission unless Congress acts fast to pass the climate bill.
Australian researchers are using cat food as the latest weapon to fight the invasive toxic cane toads, brought from Hawaii in 1935 to control beetles in farms. Lining waterbodies with cat food attracts meat ants, which then attack the toads as they emerge from water.
Over 100 countries signed up to a UN-backed wildlife treaty to conserve migratory sharks. It aims to protect seven threatened species, the great white, basking, whale, porbeagle, spiny dogfish, shortfin and longfin mako sharks from illegal fishing.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.