News 360

Published: Saturday 15 November 2008

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The Rameshwaram Parachute spider, now limited to a few plantations in Rameshwaram island, was listed as critically endangered in the IUCN 2008 Red List. The latest report said that at least 1,141 of the 5,487 mammals on earth are known to be threatened with extinction; 76 became extinct in the last 500 years.
South Africa asked its commercial farmers to help prevent a food crisis in Zimbabwe. About half of Zimbabwe needs food aid.

Sierra Leone is drafting a law to regulate over 300 ngos operating in the war-torn country. The law will mandate accountability.

Cholera epidemic in Guinea-Bissau killed 100 people and infected 10,400 this rainy season. unicef linked the recurring problem to lack of infrastructure and hygiene.

Overloaded trucks are back on Mumbai roads ignoring a Supreme Court ban in 2005. Truckers say the move is to cope with the rising fuel prices.

It's now India, after China, looking at Brazil to meet its growing fuel needs.New Delhi recently sought a greater presence of Indian oil companies in the South American nation.

The government raised the minimum support price for paddy by Rs 50. This will raise the procurement price for common grade rice from Rs 850 to Rs 900 a quintal.

Kerala's Cabinet approved the organic farming policy. A council will soon be formed to work out modalities for implementing it.

China and un Environment Programme launched an initiative to study the impact of climate change on Himalayan glaciers, which melted rapidly in the last decade.

Kuwait's oil exports remained steady despite a technical failure shutting down its three oil refineries for a few days in October. Their combined capacity is 900,000 barrels a day.

150,000 farmers in Syria lost their harvest this season as the country faced the worst drought in 40 years. The un launched an appeal for us $20 million.

Mongolia discovered substantial coal deposits. The country aims to develop its coal power generating capacity and supply coal products to markets in Asia.

Vietnam will set up five biofuel plants by 2010 to meet 0.4 per cent of its fuel demand. The plants will produce 150,000 tonnes of biofuel a year.

Vietnam phased out its dengue prevention programme even as 50 people died and over 50,000 people contracted the fever in the first nine months this year.

Sumatran muntjac, a 'lost' species of deer, was rediscovered in the remote mountains of western Sumatra, Indonesia, 78 years after it was last sighted.

NATO authorised its troops in Afghanistan to attack opium factories and distribution networks, blamed for financing Taliban. Until now it concentrated on eradicating poppy crops.

EU energy ministers agreed to ban incandescent bulbs from 2010 in favour of cfls. This will reduce energy consumption by 60 per cent and check 30 million tonnes of ghg emissions annually.

UK's food ethics council said one way to cut food's environmental footprint is for consumers to cut down on energy intensive foods like meat and dairy product.

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Chile's booming farmed salmon industry is at risk from a virus, Infectious Salmon Anemia. Salmon production could fall by half from 400,000 tonnes in 2007, said the government.

Silicon-based solar cells can now be made into highly-flexible and transparent thin films, which can be rolled on windows or cars for effectively tapping solar energy, said us researchers.

Non-prescription cough and cold medicines shouldn't be used in children under four, since wrong dose can lead to rare complications, said Consumer Healthcare Products Association, usa.

Bicycle commuters in the us will get tax-free us $20 employee reimbursement a month for bicycle-related expenses beginning January 2009, as mandated in the Bicycle Commuter Act.

A eucalyptus tree, about 101 m etres tall, in Australia's Tasmania island is the world's tallest hardwood plant. Named Centurion, it's the tallest flowering plant.

Cellular phone celebrated the 25th anniversary of its first commercial call on October 13. Motorola created the cell phone in 1983, which weighed 1.1 kg and hence, was called 'Brick'.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft snapped photos of a hurricane in the Saturn's south pole, hundred times more powerful than hurricane Ike.

Global financial crisis may see rich nations introducing protectionist measures to reduce food aid to developing countries, said fao director-general Jacques Diouf.

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