Environment

Climate Change 2021: No Turning Back Now

Across a quarter century of United Nations (UN) climate conferences tasked with saving humanity from itself, one was deemed a chaotic failure (Copenhagen/2009), another a stunning success (Paris/2015), and the rest landed somewhere in between.This year's COP26 inspired all these reactions at once.Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, leading a 100,000-strong march through the streets of Glasgow, dismissed the two-week meet as a "greenwashing festival".But dedicated experts in the ne

30 November 2021
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COVID: Women Bore Brunt Of Social, Economic Impacts

The social and economic burden of COVID-19 has fallen disproportionately on women around the world, the Red Cross has warned, in a stark analysis of the impact of the pandemic.Women were particularly affected by the loss of income and education, rises in domestic violence, child marriage and trafficking, and responsibility for caring for children and sick relatives, according to a comprehensive report published by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) on

23 November 2021
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China’s #MeToo Movement Faces Crackdown

China's #MeToo movement has stumbled in the face of swift internet censors, a patriarchal society and a legal system that places a heavy burden on the claimant.Explosive claims this month by tennis star Peng Shuai that a former top Communist Party politician had sexually assaulted her marked the first time allegations have hit the top layer of government.But her accusations were swiftly scrubbed from the Chinese internet, and she has not been seen publicly since.Others have faced the sam

22 November 2021
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Vietnam Tourist Island Reopens With Big Dreams

Tour guide Lai Chi Phuc has been counting down the days until travellers return to the white-sand beaches and thick tropical jungle of Vietnam's Phu Quoc, a once-poor fishing island pushing to be Asia's next holiday hotspot as pandemic restrictions ease.On Saturday, around 200 South Koreans touched down on the island, which lies a few kilometres off Cambodia in the azure waters of the Gulf of Thailand, after a vaccine passport scheme kicked off this month in Vietnam.Among the arriva

22 November 2021
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Fast Spreading Bird Flu: Europe, Asia On Alert

Several outbreaks of severe bird flu in Europe and Asia have been reported in recent days to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), in a sign the virus is spreading quickly again.The spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza, commonly called bird flu, has put the poultry industry on alert after previous outbreaks led to the culling of tens of millions of birds.It is attracting the attention too of epidemiologists as the virus can be transmitted to humans.

16 November 2021
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Singapore Migrant Workers Suffer Under COVID Curbs

Bangladeshi migrant worker MD Sharif Uddin used to spend his days off with friends outside his cramped Singapore dormitory, but coronavirus curbs have for 18 months left him stuck inside during his spare time.More than 300,000 migrant workers, many of them from South Asia, live in dorms in the prosperous city-state, where they are typically packed into shared rooms and sleep on bunk beds. The vast complexes were hit by COVID-19 and locked down at the start of the pandemic, while rest

13 November 2021
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The Good, The Bad: How COP26 Played Out

On Friday, youth campaigners, indigenous leaders and Extinction Rebellion members raised a cacophony of chants and drum beats outside COP26, and civil society groups inside the conference complex staged a walkout to join them.Within the United Nations-controlled blue zone, delegates darted through the endless meeting halls or hunched around laptops as the clock counted down tense minutes to the end of the 12-day conference that is widely understood to be crucial to the future of humanity.The

13 November 2021
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Scepticism Over Indonesia’s Deforestation Pledges

As the COP26 climate change conference continues into its second and final week in Glasgow, a pledge signed by more than 100 countries to reverse deforestation by the end of 2030 has won widespread acclaim.Brazil, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Russia and Indonesia, which together account for 85 percent of the world’s forests, are among the signatories to the agreement, which also comes with a promise of US$19 billion in financial assistance.But while British Prime Minister Boris Johns

9 November 2021
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Vax The Kids? A Dispute For Separated Couples

Michael Thompson, a 47-year-old executive recruiter from Illinois, United States expects his former wife to take him to court over vaccinating their two children against COVID-19.He doesn't trust the vaccine for children, but she wants to follow US health guidelines and have their eight-year-old and 10-year-old inoculated.It is a clash repeated among separated families across the US, where widespread vaccine hesitancy has thwarted efforts to end the pandemic despite injections being free

8 November 2021
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Thunberg Labels COP26 A 'Failure'

Swedish campaigner Greta Thunberg on Friday branded the United Nations (UN) climate summit in Glasgow a "failure" during a mass protest in the Scottish city demanding swifter action from leaders to address the emergency.Thunberg said pledges from some nations made during COP26 to accelerate their emissions cuts amounted to little more than "a two-week long celebration of business as usual and blah, blah, blah"."It is not a secret that COP26 is a failure," she tol

6 November 2021
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Myanmar Jade Traders Caught Between Junta, Rebels

Myanmar jade traders are running from junta troops and dodging rebel attacks to sell dwindling volumes of the green gemstone, as the billion-dollar industry loses its shine months on from the coup.The Southeast Asian country has been mired in chaos since the February putsch, with the military trying to crush widespread democracy protests and the economy in crisis.Fighting around the Hpakant jade mine in northern Kachin state – the largest in the world – has squeezed digging already hampered b

5 November 2021
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2021 Global CO2 Emissions At Record Levels

Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions caused mainly by burning fossil fuels are set to rebound in 2021 to pre-COVID levels, with China's share increasing to nearly a third of the total, according to an assessment published Thursday.Overall, CO2 pollution this year will be just shy of the record set in 2019, according to the annual report from the Global Carbon Project consortium, released as nearly 200 nations at the COP26 climate summit confront the threat of catastrophic warming.Emissi

4 November 2021
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