News 360o

Published: Thursday 31 July 2008

Down to Earth
UNESCO added the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in southern Mexico to its list of World Heritage sites. Every fall, the butterflies migrate here from Canada, with the entire species clustered on just 12 forested mountaintops. Despite previous attempts to protect the area, illegal logging has been shrinking the unique habitat.
Climate change is a threat to national security, us Intelligence told Congress, as it will cause water disputes, increased migration and weak political institutions in developing countries.

Penicillin is no longer effective in treating pneumonia in Uganda. Health officials introduced a replacement, Cephedox, and urged against self-medication.

Tanker ships began delivering drinking water to Cyprus. Two ships will come every day for six months to manage the island's acute water shortage.

Iraq, with the help of American advisors, began the process of opening up its oil industry to foreign investment for the first time since 1972.

Mugabe secured re-election in Zimbabwe's runoff vote. His opponent withdrew from the race days before, citing intimidation of voters and international cries of illegitimacy.

North Pole's ice will disappear completely for the first time either this summer or next, scientists predicted.

15,000 kangaroos will be killed in a military base in Australia, where their high population poses a threat to nearby, drought-ridden farms.

African leaders initiated the development of universal electrical standards for the continent. PricewaterhouseCoopers praised the move to meet growing power demands.

Europe announced it is on track to fulfil its Kyoto Protocol obligations, barring further increases in cheap coal use.

Iranian and American wildlife experts put aside their governments' disputes and teamed up to save the Asiatic cheetah.

Security forces in China threatened parents to abandon inquiries into the government's role in the easy collapse of schools during May's quake.

Malawi's high-tech model hospital lacked water for five days. The hospital's location, uphill of the reservoir, causes chronic water shortages.

Corporations got creative to lower transport costs this fortnight, from square milk jugs to sharing trucks with other companies. Wal-Mart even started buying local agriculture.

H5N1 avian flu virus was found in chickens on a farm in Pakistan, the fourth outbreak in the country this year.

Rain-makers will partner with climate scientists in a joint project to incorporate traditional African knowledge into climate change strategies.

Venezuela forbade mining in the gold-rich, bio-diverse Imataca Forest Reserve, demonstrating environmentalism and opposition to foreign investment.

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander has found evidence of ice and what scientists believe to be the necessary nutrients to support life on the red planet.

Dams revived Kazakhstan's shrinking Aral Sea this year, the World Bank announced. Once the world's fourth largest, the sea split in two in 1990 after poor management.

Kenya reduced its duty on wheat to improve the global competitiveness of local millers. If world prices go back down, though, local farmers will lose out to imports.

Foreign tourists can now visit a de facto nature preserve, untouched for decades, in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.

Jason2, an oceanographic monitoring satellite, launched on June 27. The satellite will improve weather data and monitor rising sea levels.

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Sunflower could be used for biofuels in Mozambique, a report showed. Still, it couldn't stop Portuguese company Iberol from abandoning its plantations there.

Pakistan announced plans to go ahead with the construction of the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline, expressing hope for cooperation among the countries to address energy needs.

Community supported agriculture (csa) farms in the United States recorded a 40 fold increase since 1990, as environmentalism and gas prices are on the rise.

Syria allowed un inspectors to investigate a site, bombed by Israel in September, which the United States believes was a secret nuclear reactor.

Police in Tanzania seized 4,248 tonnes of food about to be smuggled into Kenya. Tanzania instituted a ban on food exports to control rising prices.

Florida will preserve 91,000 ha of Everglades swamp, bought from a failing sugar producer. Kenya, meanwhile, approved a controversial deal to grow sugarcane for biofuels in the pristine Tana River delta.

Denmark is the world's happiest nation, the World Values Survey showed. Around the world, "free choice" proved most important to happiness.

Tuataras, a New Zealand reptile with temperature-dependent sex-determination, will go extinct as global warming causes an all-male population.

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