News 360

Published: Tuesday 15 September 2009

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The state government of Veracruz, in Mexico, unveiled a statue in honour of Edgar Hernandez, the four-year-old boy believed to be the first person in the world infected with H1N1 virus. He survived. The 1.3 metre bronze sculpture, erected in the town of La Gloria on the slopes of Cofre de Perote mountain, symbolized the victory of the boy over the virus, said the government.
Down to Earth Authorities in Chile said a flu outbreak on two turkey farms was identical to the H1N1 virus and was transmitted by humans. The strain was not a mutated form, but health officials said it is the first case of transmission of the virus from humans to turkey.

Down to Earth About 7,000 farmers in Peru's Paucartambo province seized a hydel plant and held police officers captive. They were demanding fertilizers. The company by law must provide fertilizer to farmers in nearby towns.

Down to Earth A US court blocked an attempt by the Obama administration to overturn a Bush administration rule that allowed coal mining companies to dump mountaintop debris into valley streams.

Down to Earth Exxon agreed to pay US $600,000 in penalty for violating a US law designed to protect migratory birds. At least 85 birds died after exposure to hydrocarbons in its facilities in Colorado in the past five years.

Down to Earth Doctors in Zimbabwe are on an indefinite strike demanding a pay hike, from US $220 to US $3,000 a month. The country's health care system has been reeling under hyperinflation. Unicef has, meanwhile, warned of a fresh cholera outbreak.

Down to Earth Nigeria's peace process in oil-rich Niger Delta--an amnesty deal with militants--suffered a setback after a recent bombing of the Utorogu gas plant operated by Shell. The plant supplied 1,000 mw of the 2,400 mw power generated in Nigeria.

Down to Earth The World Bank is buying 500,000 carbon credits from a reforestation project in Congo. The project will reforest 4,200 ha of degraded land, which will trap an estimated 2.4 million tonnes of CO2 over the next 30 years.

Down to Earth Kenya could lose its 2,000 lions in the next 20 years, said the country's wildlife service. About 100 animals are dying a year since 2002 primarily because of habitat destruction and poisoning from animal carcasses laced with carbofuran pesticide.

Down to Earth Taiwan's defence minister and several officials offered to quit over criticism that the government was too slow in its response to flood and mudslides, the worst in 50 years, triggered by Typhoon Morakot. At least 500 people are feared killed.

Down to Earth China levelled fresh allegations against Rio Tinto. The mining giant overcharged Chinese steel mills by US $100 million over six years, an official website stated. China arrested four Rio Tinto employees in July on suspicion of stealing state secrets.

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Down to Earth The Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed would not attend the climate change meet at Copenhagen, Denmark, in December due to a budget crisis in the country. Nasheed has been leading low-lying islands, vulnerable to global warming, to bargain a secure future from rich countries.

Down to Earth At least 70 people are feared dead in an accident at Russia's largest hydel plant, built in 1978, in southern Siberia. The accident also released insulating oil from the plant's transformers, contaminating Yenisei river.

Down to Earth Supermarket giant Tesco has become the first UK retailer to display the carbon footprint of milk --a top-selling product in its stores. Tesco said it will not apply to organic milk, sourced from cows that have not been treated with bovine growth hormone.

Down to Earth Archaelogists discovered a small Neolithic sandstone human figurine, measuring 3.5 cm x 3 cm, on the Orkney Islands in Scotland. The figurine, dating back 5,000 years, is the country's earliest human face.

Down to Earth The western Australian town of Broome severed its historial ties with a southern Japanese village, Taiji, to protest the annual dolphin slaughter. Japan slaughters 2,000 dolphins every year in waters near Taiji.

Down to Earth In a rush to promote biofuel, the invasive traits of the crops are being ignored, said iucn. It has prepared guidelines suggesting firms to include measures like quarantining and minimizing movement of the crop from fields till factories.

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