Environment

Humpback whales stop singing when ships are near: study

by Kerry SHERIDAN Agence France Presse TAMPA, United States (AFP) — Humpback whales are famous for their eerie, underwater songs. But researchers in Japan said Wednesday these massive marine creatures stop singing, at least temporarily, when human-driven ships are nearby. …

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France says ready to back sanctions against Khashoggi killers

PARIS, France (AFP) — France is ready to back “international sanctions” against those responsible for the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the Elysee Palace said after President Emmanuel Macron spoke by telephone to King Salman Wednesday. The French president …

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Plastics have entered human food chain, study shows

by Marlowe HOOD Agence France Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — Bits of plastic have been detected in the faeces of people in Europe, Russia and Japan, according to research claiming to show for the first time the widespread presence of …

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‘Bad news’: CO2 emissions to rise in 2018, says IEA chief

by Catherine HOURS / Marlowe HOOD Agence France Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — Energy sector carbon emissions will rise in 2018 after hitting record levels the year before, dimming prospects for meeting Paris climate treaty goals, the head of the …

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‘Year of extremes’ for shrinking Swiss glaciers in 2018: study

GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — Despite an exceptionally snow-filled winter, Swiss glaciers have lost 2.5 percent of their volume this year, according to a report Tuesday which dubbed 2018 “a year of extremes”. This year’s record-breaking temperatures have greatly contributed to …

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UN: Tobacco kills not just people, but the environment

GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization says smoking not only kills about 7 million people every year, but has a devastating impact on the environment — contributing to deforestation, water and soil damage and acidification. In a new report …

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UN says world choking on plastic as environmental crisis grows

NEW DELHI, India (AFP) — Up to five trillion grocery bags are used each year and like most plastic garbage barely any is recycled, the UN said Tuesday as it warned the world was choking on trash. In a report …

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Study warns of alarming decline in Australian fish

  SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Conservation experts warned Wednesday of alarming falls in Australian fish populations and called for more marine reserves and better management to halt the decline. A 10-year study, looking at nearly 200 species at 544 sites, …

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Next stop San Francisco as ‘longest swim’ embarks from Tokyo

by Harumi OZAWA Agence France Presse CHOSHI, Japan (AFP) — Ben Lecomte dived into the Pacific Ocean Tuesday, kicking off an epic quest to swim 9,000 kilometers (5,600 miles) from Tokyo to San Francisco, through shark-infested waters choking with plastic …

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Recycling plastic — Japan style

TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — At a recycling plant outside Tokyo, workers in face masks pick through an unending torrent of plastic rubbish, fuelled by a national obsession with pristine packaging — and famously strict rules that ensure much of it …

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Bad air day: Indian city chokes on world’s worst pollution

  by Bhuvan Bagga © Agence France-Presse KANPUR, India (AFP) — Soot turned the white handkerchief around Abhash Kumar Sharma’s face to black as the police officer tried to direct gridlocked traffic in the Indian city with the world’s dirtiest air. …

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Plastic wasteland: Asia’s ocean pollution crisis

by Jenny Vaughan and Asia bureaus © Agence France-Presse THANH HOA, Vietnam (AFP) — A Vietnamese mangrove draped with polythene, a whale killed after swallowing waste bags in Thai seas and clouds of underwater trash near Indonesian “paradise” islands — grim …

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