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Pollution pushes Mongolia’s herders to reconsider city life

Bright lights of Ulaanbaatar have been overshadowed by smog worse than Beijing, prompting calls to modernise countryside so millions can return More than a decade ago, Darii Garam, 76, moved to Ulaanbaatar with her children so they could go to school and find work beyond herding animals in the countryside. Now, the pollution, set to worsen in the approaching winter, is getting to her. Even just going outside for a second, opening your door, your home fills with smoke, your clothes, everything smells like it, she says moving around her…

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‘Its not if, its when’: the deadly pig disease spreading around the world

Swine fever has made its way into China, home to half the worlds pigs. Farmers in Estonia are already counting the cost Ott Saarevli, the owner of a pig farm in Lne county in Estonia, is starting all over again. In September last year, government vets diagnosed an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in a section of the farm where pregnant sows are held ahead of farrowing. It made no difference that the outbreak had been limited to one area all seven thousand of his pigs would have to…

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‘It saved our business’: Italy’s farmers turn low into high with cannabis

Hemp cultivation for non-pharmaceutical could help revert desiccation of farm land Italian farmers are in crisis as low prices of wheat, desiccated land and big companies importing grain take their toll. But some have found a solution: growing cannabis. Hemp cultivation has been legal in Italy since 2016, and over the last few years the amount of land dedicated to the plant has increased from 400 hectares (1,000 acres) in 2013 to 4,000 hectares today. The law which allows cultivation for non-pharmaceutical use of plants with up to 0.2% of…

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Super-snake: hybrid pythons could pose new threat to Florida Everglades

A genetic study has found that some specimens of the invasive reptile that has decimated local wildlife are a mixture of two Asian species which could make it an even more formidable predator From carnivorous giant lizards to toxic climbing tree frogs, the Florida Everglades have become a haven to invasive species steadily destroying and devouring the flora and fauna of the states famed River of Grass. Now comes news of a hybrid super-predator slithering its way through the waterways of the 1.5m-acre wilderness: a genetically blended python that researchers…

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Alleged massacre of Amazon tribespeople: what really happened? | Dom Phillips

A paddle and bad recording of a bar-room conversation were all investigators had to go on when claims surfaced of killings deep in Brazils Javari Valley last year When not selling breakfasts in this sleepy town on the western reaches of the Amazon, Algenor Costa fishes and hunts along the Jandiatuba River, as he has done for decades. Heading days upriver, he has often headed into the Javari Valley, a vast indigenous reserve where such activities are forbidden. Thats the town larder, he says. Everybody enters there to fish and…

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China Just Handed the World a 111-Million-Ton Trash Problem

Few people consider used plastic to be a valuable global commodity. Yet China has imported 106 million tons of old bags, bottles, wrappers and containers worth $57.6 billion since 1992, the first year it disclosed data. So when the country announced last year that it finally had enough of everybody else's junk, governments the world over knew they had a problem. They just didn’t know exactly how large it was.  Now they know. By 2030, an estimated 111 million metric tons of used plastic will need to be buried or recycled somewhere else—or not manufactured at…

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Starbucks Pumps the Brakes in Its Home Market

Americans' long-running joke about a Starbucks on every corner may be nearing its end. The coffee behemoth is retrenching in its home market as it contends with sales growth that Chief Executive Officer Kevin Johnson acknowledges isn’t fast enough. The cafe chain Source: Company data, Bloomberg Note: Data is for fiscal quarters Although business abroad has been booming and the chain has been opening more and more cafes, U.S. sales growth has stalled for the company that brought espresso to the masses. With about 14,000 stores domestically, Starbucks is now pumping…

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Don’t believe the label ‘flushable’: disposable wipes clog sewers around the world

Grownups are now using the same wipes once reserved for babies, leading to millions of dollars of sewer problems. A New York City bill takes aim at the lack of transparency and mislabeling some say is to blame Disposable wipes essentially baby wipes designed for adults have become the scourge of residential and municipal sewer systems around the world. Nonwoven cloths have been getting stuck in pipes and sewer machinery, creating massive, expensive clogs in Washington DC, Toronto, London and lawsuits from cities and with the backing of Mayor Bill…

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Antarctic ice melting faster than ever, studies show

Rate of melt has accelerated threefold in last five years and could contribute 25cm to sea-level rises without urgent action Ice in the Antarctic is melting at a record-breaking rate and the subsequent sea rises could have catastrophic consequences for cities around the world, according to two new studies. A report led by scientists in the UK and US found the rate of melting from the Antarctic ice sheet has accelerated threefold in the last five years and is now vanishing faster than at any previously recorded time. A separate…

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Trump and Kim Can Learn a Thing or Two From Singapore

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are spending such a short amount of time in Singapore this week. Maybe they should stick around longer to see what makes its economy tick. Singapore is an especially wealthy nation, with a per capita income of bonuses attached that can double that sum for excellent performance. Is Peace With Kim Jong Un Even Possible? Yet it’s not just about the money. Since independence in 1965, Singaporean leaders have cultivated an ethos of public service in the bureaucracy. The…

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Whale dies from eating more than 80 plastic bags

Pilot whale was found barely alive in Thai canal and vomited up five bags during fruitless rescue attempts A whale has died in southern Thailand after swallowing more than 80 plastic bags, with rescuers failing to nurse the mammal back to health. The small male pilot whale was found barely alive in a canal near the border with Malaysia, the countrys department of marine and coastal resources said. A veterinary team tried to help stabilise its illness but finally the whale died on Friday afternoon. An autopsy revealed 80 plastic…

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How to have a zero waste kitchen: tips from Jamie Oliver, Tom Kerridge, Skye Gyngell and more

Restaurants have a daily battle against wasting food. We asked top chefs for their home hacks that will save you money and give your cooking a flavour boost According to the campaigning waste charity One Planet Plate recipe site, a global inventory of sustainability-focused restaurant dishes complete with recipes. But faced with a fridge full of turning veg, the wreckage of a Sunday roast or pans of leftover rice, there is no such thing as too much inspiration. In that spirit, we asked a range of chefs who grapple with…

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Chilean villagers claim British appetite for avocados is draining region dry

UK demand for fruit increased by 27% last year alone, prompting accusations that growers are illegally diverting rivers and leaving locals without water British supermarkets are selling thousands of tonnes of avocados produced in a Chilean region where villagers claim vast amounts of water are being diverted, resulting in a drought. Major UK supermarkets including Tesco, Morrisons, Waitrose, Aldi and Lidl source avocados from Chiles largest avocado-producing province, Petorca, where water rights have been violated. In Petorca, many avocado plantations install illegal pipes and wells in order to divert water…

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Everyone Is Applauding This National Geographic Cover But The Real Shock Lies Inside The Pages

Many of us are aware that there is far too much plastic in our environment. We all feel a little guilty when throwing yet another single-use plastic wrapping straight into the trash, knowing that we are contributing to a problem that is too vast for us to truly comprehend. But what if we were faced with the horrifying consequences of our plastic addiction? These powerful and heartbreaking images vividly illustrate the damage that 9 million tonnes of plastic waste each year does to our environment and wildlife, and are the…

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Fired Google Engineer Loses Diversity Memo Challenge

Google’s firing of an engineer over his lawsuit accusing the internet giant of harassing him and others over their conservative political views. When he was dismissed in August, Damore accused Google of violating the employee right to engage in "concerted activity" to address workplace issues, a category which the labor board has found can include forms of activism ranging from lawsuits to strikes to social media posts. “Much of" Damore’s memo was probably protected under the law, the labor board’s attorney, Jayme Sophir, said in the Jan. 16 memo. But…

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