Tuesday, January 5th 2016 - 08:22 UTC

US Justice Department seeking billions of dollars from Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche

“Car manufacturers that fail to properly certify their cars and that defeat emission control systems breach the public trust endanger public health,” said John Cruden

The United States Justice Department has filed a federal lawsuit against Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche that seeks billions of dollars in penalties over claims that the car companies installed devices to deliberately misreport emissions. Nearly 600,000 diesel-engine vehicles were installed with these devices since 2009.

Tuesday, January 5th 2016 - 08:12 UTC

Ascension Island to become a marine reserve as big as the UK, in 2017

“Ascension has been at the frontiers of science since Charles Darwin went there in the 19th Century,” said Charles Clover, chairman of the Blue Marine Foundation

The British Overseas Territory of Ascension Island is set to become a marine reserve almost as big as the UK, the British government has announced. Using a £300,000 grant from the Bacon Foundation, the UK government will close 52.6% of the south Atlantic island's waters to fishing. In the rest of the waters there will be a monitored tuna fishery.

Monday, January 4th 2016 - 10:30 UTC

Cheering and fearing — can climate deal save Earth?

Will new green technologies simply sweep the field, making fossil fuels uneconomic and government intervention unnecessary? Nobody knows, but many pin hopes on it.

By Gwynne Dyer -The climate deal that almost 200 countries agreed to in Paris was far better than most insiders dared to hope even one month ago. The biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, China and the United States, are finally on board. There is real money on the table to help poor countries cut their emissions and cope with warming.

Wednesday, December 30th 2015 - 02:47 UTC

US bans imports of lion trophies; the majestic cats protected by USFWS Endangered Species Act

The move comes after lions suffered a 60% population decline across Africa, and its most direct impact is to restrict imports of lion trophies from African countries

In a move that is likely to put a major dent in South Africa’s canned hunting industry for lions — a practice involving the shooting of these majestic predators in fenced enclosures in a pay-to-slay arrangement— the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced that it will institute important new measures to protect lions under the Endangered Species Act.

Wednesday, December 30th 2015 - 02:24 UTC

Russian polar vessel and helicopters will supply Argentine Antarctica bases

Russian polar vessel Vasily Golovnin from Arkadia Ltd. and the Kamov helicopters will be supplying Argentine bases this summer

For the eighth season, Argentina's Antarctic bases and stations are to be supplied by the Russian polar vessel Vasily Golovnin from Arkadia Ltd. This has been going on since 2007 when the Argentine flagship ice-breaker Almirante Irizar caught fire in the high seas and is still in repairs waiting for the necessary funds.

Wednesday, December 30th 2015 - 01:01 UTC

Reclaiming South Georgia from rats: a world leading project

Every photo in the book was taken by a member of ‘Team Rat’, as the field team is affectionately known.

Reclaiming South Georgia is the story of the SGHT Habitat Restoration Project fieldwork that took place on South Georgia in three phases (in 2011, 2013 and 2015). The latest edition of South Georgia Newsletter says that text and photographs tell the story of how this world-leading project baited every square inch of rodent-infested land on the island.

Tuesday, December 29th 2015 - 21:54 UTC

Environmental groups blame massive deforestation for floods in Mercosur members

“Increasing rainfall and significant loss of forest cover in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, have not allowed the natural absorption of water,” Greenpace said

Deforestation is one of the main causes of the floods in South America that have left at least 160,000 people, 25,000 of them in Argentina alone, homeless, environmental groups said.

Tuesday, December 29th 2015 - 07:46 UTC

New five-year strategy for South Georgia emphasizes environment management

Close track at the way tourists and other visitors experience South Georgia to better support safe, sustainable and environmentally sensitive visits

The new five-year Strategy for South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands 2016-2020 was published on 27th November. The Strategy sets out an ambitious agenda to deliver the highest standards of environmental stewardship and governance for the British Overseas Territory, according to the latest South Georgia Newsletter.

Thursday, December 24th 2015 - 10:56 UTC

Brazil is suing BHP and Vale 'at least' US$ 5bn for Minas Gerais mining disaster

 The action against the two mining giants relates to the catastrophe that hit Samarco iron ore operation in Minas Gerais, Brazil on 5 November.

A Brazilian federal court has ordered BHP Billiton and Vale to set aside US$ 491.5 million, with the possibility of billions more, has frozen the mining giants' assets in the country, and ordered it to carry out extensive environmental and social work in the region hit by a dam burst at its joint venture.

Tuesday, December 22nd 2015 - 15:19 UTC

Huge asteroid will cross the sky on Christmas eve at 11m km from planet Earth

Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico studied asteroid 2003 SD220 from December 3 to 17, and Goldstone Antenna in California analyzed it from December 5 to 20.

In a new twist to the old song, it’s Santa Claus who had “better watch out” on Christmas Eve, as he shares the night sky with a huge asteroid that will make its closest pass to Earth at about the same time the jolly old fellow is making his annual deliveries.


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