In short

Published: Thursday 31 January 2008

>> More than 100,000 tonnes of rotting garbage are lying on the roadsides of the southern Italian city of Naples, after garbage trucks stopped operating since the last week of December 2007 because all landfills are full. Authorities fear the stinking heaps could spread disease.

>> Bolivia, Chile and Brazil have agreed to facilitate a Pacific to Atlantic corridor by 2009.

>> Mexico's wage commission has raised the country's daily minimum wage by 4 per cent from January 1, 2008, just above the annual inflation rate. The minimum urban wage is now 52.59 pesos (US $4.85) a day.

>> The Australian state New South Wales has announced that it will ban tobacco products containing fruit-flavoured additives.

>> Floods caused by torrential monsoon rains and landslides have displaced about 250,000 people in some districts of the eastern, northern and northcentral parts of Sri Lanka, according to the government estimates.

>> Ten districts in Afghanistan's Badakhshan Province are in need of immediate food assistance after heavy snowfall blocked roads to the province. About 200,000 people live in the affected region.

>> Chile has approved a law to preserve the country's forests, promote their sustainable use and foster related scientific research. Under the law, the government will provide US $8 million a year as incentives for 30 years to small landowners and business groups for sustainable forest management.

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