News 360

Published: Friday 31 July 2009

Down to Earth
A novel art exhibition in the Schonbrunn zoo in Vienna, Austria, highlights the damage inflicted by humans on the environment. Among the exhibits, put together by artist duo Christoph Steinbrener and Rainer Dempf, are a sunken car wreck in the rhino pen and an oil pump in the penguin enclosure. The exhibition titled 'Trouble in Paradise' is on till October 18, 2009.
Down to Earth Turkey increased water flow of the Euphrates into Iraq by 50 per cent owing to a decade-long drought. Iraq depends on Tigris and Euphrates rivers for water supply which originate in Turkey.

Down to Earth Kazakhstan has approved a law that will subject blogs, chat rooms and social networking sites to possible criminal prosecution.

Down to Earth British energy giant BP plc and China National Petroleum won the rights to develop Rumaila, the largest Iraqi oil field. Foreign companies entered the Iraqi oil market after more than three decades.

Down to Earth Japanese diplomat Yukiya Amano will succeed Mohamed El Baradei on December 1 as the Internati-onal Atomic Energy Agency (iaea) director general.

Down to Earth 156 people were killed and more than 1,000 injured till July 7 as riots broke out between the majority Han community and the minority Turkic group, Uighur, in Urumqi, capital of China's Xinjiang province.

Down to Earth The sale of computers enabled with Green Dam, Internet filtering software, which was to begin from July 1 in China, was delayed as the manufacturers needed time to complete preparations for the installation, the government said.

Down to Earth Tourists and residents in Alupka city tore down fences along beaches, erected by spas and hotels, on Ukraine's Black Sea coast.

Down to Earth A Dutch energy company Eneco has successfully mixed hydrogen and natural gas. Hydrogen does not emit greenhouse gases. Fourteen households are cooking and heating homes with this compound as part of an experiment by the energy firm.

Down to Earth A UK court convicted 22 climate change protesters for hijacking a coal train last year. The offenders face financial penalties and have to pay US $58,784 for cleaning up coal shovelled onto tracks during a 16-hour standoff with the police.

Down to Earth Costa Rica has been voted the greenest and happiest country in the world. Latin American countries dominated the top 10 in a new list that ranks nations by combining measures of their ecological footprint with the happiness of their citizens.

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Down to Earth Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has threatened to expel oil companies suing the country before the World Bank's investment disputes court. In 2007 Ecuador had asked oil firms to hand over up to 99 per cent of their windfall profits. Ecuador faces claims totalling US $13 billion.

Down to Earth The restrictions imposed by the Cuban government on energy consumption by state-owned companies and agencies have yielded savings equivalent to 18,296 tonnes of fuel in June, enough to scrap plans for residential blackouts.

Down to Earth Two glaciers in South America are growing even as glaciers world over are shrinking as a result of global warming.

Down to Earth Swine flu has nearly grounded Mexico's state airline. Mexicana Airlines has asked the government for a loan of US $113 million (1.5 billion pesos) to deal with a financial squeeze stemming from flu-hit tourism.

Down to Earth California has issued new regulations to reduce air pollution from ocean-going vessels, including oil tankers and cargo vessels. The rules state about 2,000 ocean-going vessels entering the state ports each year must switch to fuel with lower sulphur content before coming within 24 nautical miles of the state's coast.

Down to Earth nasa and Japan have released a new detailed digital topographic map of Earth that covers more of the planet than ever before. The map was produced with detailed measurements from nasa's Terra spacecraft.

Down to Earth The rain band near the equator has been moving north at a rate of 1.6 km per year for more than 300 years, said a US study. The shift in the zone which determines the supply of freshwater to nearly a billion people throughout the tropics and subtropics is believed to be due to global warming.

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