News 360

Published: Sunday 31 August 2008

Down to Earth
This giant kite can generate 100 mw of energy, sufficient to light 10,000 homes. Scientists from Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands, designed this 1,000-ha multiple kites, called Laddermill. It taps the high-altitude wind, where winds carry a hundred times more energy than on the ground, and supplies to generator.
Inflation in India rose over 12 per cent in the week ending July 26 despite efforts to tighten monetary policy. It was 11.98 per cent the week before.

Zimbabwe dropped 10 zeros from all monetary values on August 1 and reintroduced old coins. The new z $1 is now equivalent to z $10 billion.

Botswana appealed for international help to deal with the mass influx of Zimbabweans, which it says are draining its resources. Botswana hosts 250,000 Zimbabwean refugees.

Beijing kicked off a waste collection and recycling project in 31 Olympic venues, expected to produce 14,000 tonnes of trash.

Tanzania has identified nine regions and two districts as granaries.They will be revamped with fertilizers and quality seeds to feed the country.

Protests in Abidjan, capital of Ivory Coast, ended after ministers said they would slash their wages by 50 per cent to continue subsidizing fuel.

Two million Mexicans voted against the government's intent to privatize the state-run oil monopoly, pemex, in a non-binding referendum on July 28.

Consumers opting for fuel-efficient vehicles amid soaring fuel prices, bmw's Mini brand plans to introduce electric cars in the us by the end of the year.

Companies making gas-guzzling vehicles confirmed quarterly loss. While General Motors announced the third-biggest loss in its history, bmw said its profits have fallen by half.

Spain aims to have one million electric cars on the roads by 2014 as part of a plan to cut energy consumption.

Russian mini-submarine Mir-2 reached the bottom of the world's deepest freshwater lake, Baikal, on July 29 as part of a scientific expedition to understand the lake's ecology.

South Korea received the first batch of 1.47 tonnes of us beef, after it resumed the imports following nationwide protests.

Cordillera Blanca, a tropical mountain chain in Peru and home to 700 glaciers, is melting at 20 m a year rate. Over 26 per cent has melted in 33 years.

South Africa plans to impose carbon tax on polluting industries to curb national ghg emissions from 2020 onwards.

Tanzania turns to information technology to counter the shortage of school teachers. The plan involves distant learning via mobile phone messages.

Nigeria warned foreign companies of revoking their oil bloc licences unless they invest in related sectors like refineries, railways, roads and power.

Japanese fishers have decided to suspend tuna fishing for 60 days over the next two years to replenish dwindling fish stocks.

British Geological Survey has launched a project, One Geology, to create a single digital map of Earth's geological formations, including sites of oil and mineral resources.

A huge chunk of ice, 2,000 ha, has broken off the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf near Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic. Scientists predict more splits during the summer melt.

California threatens to sue the usepa for failing to regulate ghg emissions from ships, aircraft, construction and agricultural equipment.

Iceland's capital Reykjavik recorded the highest temperature, 26.2oC, on July 30. It was the warmest day in 150 years.

Mozambique's health ministry ordered a mineral water company, Montemor, to close after finding poor water storage and hygiene conditions among workers and on the premises.

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Forest conservation will be funded under Forest Carbon Partnership Facility in Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Guyana, Mexico, Panama, Nepal, Laos and Vietnam.

E-waste from European, us and Japanese manufacturers is severely contaminating the environment of Ghana where it is regularly dumped for recycling and disposal, said Greenpeace in a statement.

Polio cases in Pakistan this year has risen to 18, with 11 of them confirmed in the southern province of Sindh in the last week of July.

Australia's food production and exports could be cut when carbon trading starts from mid-2010, as the price of carbon will add to already hefty prices, a farmers' group said.

Kenya's hiv/aids prevalence rate has increased to nearly 8 per cent, says Kenya Aids Indicator Survey, 2007.

iucn has announced that there are about 125,000 western lowland gorillas in the isolated northern forests of Congo. The number is twice the estimate of their worldwide population.

Scientists have confirmed the presence of a suspected big, black, glassy lake on Saturn's moon Titan and say the giant satellite is Earth like.

As an in-house climate change initiative, the un is turning down air conditioners and encouraging diplomats to dress casually. This will save energy worth us $10,000 a month.

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