News 360o

Published: Monday 30 June 2008

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New satellite image analyses show that Papua New Guinea is losing 1.4 per cent of its rainforest (about 362,400 ha) every year. Scientists predict that in 12 years more than half the country's remaining forests will either be completely cleared or badly degraded, speeding up local climate change, unless logging is dramatically checked.  
Down to Earth Farmers can get localized weather information now. The Indian Meteorological Department has for the first time launched district-level advisory service.

Down to Earth Bhopal survivors launched a hunger strike in Delhi on June 10 demanding legal action against Union Carbide and Dow Chemical.

Down to Earth Fearing a mad cow disease outbreak, South Koreans staged protests between May 27 and June 7 against the relaxation of a ban on us beef import. They could not make the government relent.

Down to Earth eu fishers protested in Brussels in the first week of June. They wanted financial aid and a relaxation of fishing quotas that will help them offset high fuel costs.

Down to Earth Amazonian Indians protested in Altamira, Brazil, on May 23 against Belo Monte dam on Xingu river. It promises 6.3 per cent of Brazil's power needs but will flood 2,500 ha of rainforest and affect 14 tribes.

Down to Earth Indonesia, now reduced to the status of a marginal oil exporter, plans to pull out of the international oil cartel, opec, by 2008 end.

Down to Earth Tamil Nadu received 346 tmc ft of Cauveri water this irrigation year, 141 tmc ft more than the Cauveri water disputes tribunal's award, due to good monsoon.

Down to Earth Alaska plans to sue the us government for listing polar bear as "threatened". The move, it says, will cripple the state's oil and gas development, affecting its economy.

Down to Earth Humpback whale population jumped to 18,000, says the us national oceanic and atmospheric administration. Dubbed vulnerable by iucn, it was at 1,500 in 1966 when its whaling was banned.

Down to Earth New Zealand will ban commercial fishing near its coast and set up marine reserves to protect the 'critically endangered' Hector's dolphins, only 7,400 of which remain, down from 29,000 in 1970.

Down to Earth Fruits, vegetables, fish and healthy fats like olive oil may ward off diabetes. Spanish researchers recommend traditional Mediterranean diet.

Down to Earth Potato has become a subject of dispute among Chile, Peru and Bolivia, with each claiming it as its 'original'.

Down to Earth "Bubble gum" should be taxed at 10 per cent, since it is neither sweetmeat nor confectionery but, a "mouth freshener", said the Supreme Court of India.

Down to Earth The us has criticized the eu for levying taxes on certain electronic items categorizing them as 'products with innovations', and accused it of contravening the Information Technology Agreement, 1996.

Down to Earth An ancient mud fortress has been unearthed in Egypt's Sinai peninsula. It was the headquarters of a pharaonic army that guarded the city of Tharu during 1500-1300 BC.

Down to Earth Environmentalists and farmers are miffed over the us agriculture department's plan to stop publishing the Agricultural Chemical Usage Report citing fund crunch. The report tracks pesticides used in farmlands.

Down to Earth Home Minister Shivraj Patil allayed fears of industrialists, assuring industries adequate security in naxal-hit areas.

Down to Earth Health workers in the uk have rejected a government pay deal offering 8 per cent hike over three years.

Down to Earth nasa's Phoenix Mars Lander has taken pictures of Martian soil that show bright specks, which scientists believe could be salt or ice.

Down to Earth Carbon allowance for individuals and households might be the best way to bring behavioural changes and help the country meet its emissions target, uk's environmental audit committee suggested.

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Down to Earth G8 environment ministers at a recent meeting in Kobe, Japan, endorsed halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 but failed to agree on reduction targets for 2020, as recommended by ipcc.

Down to Earth International climate conference, to hammer out a successor to Kyoto Protocol expiring in 2012, began at Bonn, Germany, on June 2.

Down to Earth us Senate blocked the climate change bill after a long debate over its cost and impact. Bush said the bill, aimed to reduce 65 per cent of ghg emissions by 2050, would cost us $6 trillion.

Down to Earth Wallace Broecker, the scientist who coined "global warming", suggests to build millions of plastic trees, 50 ft tall, 8 ft wide, to absorb liquefied CO2 pumped underground. Likely location for them is deserts, he says.

Down to Earth Exxon Mobil plans to pull contributions to several public policy research groups that have downplayed the risks of ghg emissions leading to global warming.

Down to Earth Rare 100-year-old giant tortoises on the Galapagos islands off Ecuador have survived a volcanic eruption in the last week of May.

Down to Earth Astronauts have fixed the only toilet at the international space station with a pump delivered by the shuttle Discovery, a week after its urine disposal system broke.

Down to Earth Storms and floods battered the us Midwest in early June affecting 29 counties, while the east coast experienced a sweltering heat wave.

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