European lawmakers vote to ban single-use plastics
2018-10-25 19:15:10 UTC
European lawmakers have approved measures to reduce plastics polluting seas and oceans. A proposed ban targets the top 10 single-use plastic products that litter Europe's beaches.
The European Parliament on Wednesday approved measures that could lead to a ban on single-use plastic items, including straws, cotton swabs and disposable plastic plates and cutlery, by 2021. The parliament backed the proposals with a 571-53 majority.
In May, the European Commission proposed EU-wide rules to target the top 10 single-use plastic items that litter Europe's beaches or are found in its seas, as well as lost and abandoned fishing gea...
Green crabs from Nova Scotia threaten coastal ecosystem
2018-09-19 05:21:29 UTC
BIDDEFORD, Maine (AP) — Canadians are known as friendly folks, but these crabby brutes migrating from Canadian waters are better suited for the hockey rink.
Green crabs from Nova Scotia are the same species as their cousins that already inhabit Maine waters, but are ornerier and angrier, threatening to accelerate harm to the coastal ecosystem by gobbling up soft-shell clams and destroying native eel grass, a researcher said.
The docile green crabs shrink from a threat, while the newcomers are more apt to wave their pincers and charge.
“What we’re seeing is this insane level of aggressiveness,” said Markus Frederich, a professor at...
Motorway bridge collapse in Italian city of Genoa
2018-08-14 16:09:17 UTC
ROME (Reuters) - At least 22 people were killed when a motorway bridge collapsed in torrential rains on Tuesday morning over buildings in the northern Italian port city of Genoa, and the deputy transport minister said the death toll would rise.
An 80-meter section of the bridge, including one set of the supports that tower above it, crashed down in the rain onto the roof of a factory and other buildings, crushing at least one truck and plunging huge slabs of concrete into the river below.
“It’s not acceptable that such an important bridge... was not built to avoid this kind of collapse,” Deputy Transport Minister Edoardo Rixi said on...
Nationwide survey: Most Americans are considered lonely
2018-09-26 21:40:04 UTC
<blockquote>Americans Are A Lonely Lot, And Young People Bear The Heaviest Burden —
Loneliness isn't just a fleeting feeling, leaving us sad for a few hours to a few days. Research in recent years suggests that for many people, loneliness is more like a chronic ache, affecting their daily lives and sense of well-being.
Now a nationwide survey by the health insurer Cigna underscores that. It finds that loneliness is widespread in America, with nearly 50 percent of respondents reporting that they feel alone or left out always or sometimes.
Using one of the best-known tools for measuring loneliness — the UCLA Loneliness Scale — Ci...
Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupted, shoots lava into sky
2018-05-04 06:00:22 UTC
HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupted Thursday, sending lava shooting into the air in a residential neighborhood and prompting mandatory evacuation orders for nearby homes.
Hawaii County said steam and lava poured out of a crack in Leilani Estates, which is near the town of Pahoa on the Big Island.
Footage shown on local television showed lava spurting into the sky from a crack in a road. Aerial drone footage showed a line of lava snaking through a forest.
Lava fountains were shooting 150 feet (46 meters) in the air, and molten lava spread out over an area about 200 yards (183 meters) wide behind one house in Leilani Es...
Appeals court: Trump latest travel ban is unconstitutional
2018-02-15 17:34:09 UTC
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — President Donald Trump’s latest travel ban on travelers from six largely Muslim countries is unconstitutional because it discriminates against Muslims because of their religion, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday
In a 9-4 vote, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond said it examined statements made by Trump and other administration officials, as well as the ban itself, and concluded that it is “unconstitutionally tainted with animus toward Islam.”
The court upheld a ruling by a federal judge in Maryland who issued an injunction barring enforcement of the ban against people from Chad, Iran, Libya, S...
Cape Town’s Critical Water Shortage Disaster Plan “Day Zero”
2018-01-28 19:46:52 UTC
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa’s police and military will help secure water collection sites in drought-stricken Cape Town if authorities must turn off most taps on what they call “Day Zero,” a date currently projected to fall in the first half of April, the city said Sunday.
Hospitals, key economic and industrial areas and densely populated areas with a higher risk of disease would be exempt from a water cut-off, said municipal authorities, who plan to open a disaster operations center on Monday to prepare for a possible closure of taps in a city known internationally for its natural beauty and tourist attractions.
South Africa’s ...
Vietnam to evacuate a million people as typhoon approaches
2017-12-25 19:34:46 UTC
HANOI/MANILA (Reuters) - Authorities in Vietnam prepared to move a million people from low-lying areas along the south coast on Monday as a typhoon approached after it battered the Philippines with floods and landslides that killed more than 230 people.
Typhoon Tembin is expected to slam into Vietnam late on Monday after bringing misery to the predominantly Christian Philippines just before Christmas.
Vietnam’s disaster prevention committee said 74,000 people had been moved to safety from vulnerable areas, while authorities in 15 provinces and cities were prepared to move more than 1 million.
The government ordered that oil rigs a...
German 'Wolfskinder': the Forgotten Orphans of World War Two
2017-11-03 06:17:09 UTC
They were barefoot and they had lice. It must have been April 1946, but after so many decades, Erika Smetonus isn't entirely sure about the dates.
Her mother hadn't survived the war, her father was missing. Smetonus was completely alone when the great expulsion and flight of the East Prussians began and tens of thousands of Germans moved west from what was then the city of Koenigsberg (today Kaliningrad).
The 11-year-old was desperate — on top of everything else, she had lost her little brother in the Red Army's advancement.
<blockquote>She instead latched on to an older boy, who always ran away from her when he found food so he...
US requires all nations to provide extensive traveler data
2017-07-13 23:30:12 UTC
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department will require all nations to provide extensive data to help it vet visa applicants and determine whether a traveler poses a terrorist threat, according to a cable obtained by Reuters.
Countries that fail to comply with the new protocols or take steps to do so within 50 days could face travel sanctions.
The cable, sent to all U.S. diplomatic posts on Wednesday, is a summary of a worldwide review of vetting procedures that was required under U.S. President Donald Trump’s revised March 6 executive order that temporarily banned U.S. travel by most citizens from six predominantly Muslim coun...
GOODBYE VLADIMIR LENIN!
2017-04-20 18:27:08 UTC
Moscow — The embalmed corpse of Vladimir Lenin has lain in a mausoleum on Red Square since his death in 1924 but now, a century after the revolution he spearheaded, legislation designed to turf him out has been introduced into the Russian parliament.
The communist party, which ruled the country until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, called any such move "a provocation" that could lead to mass unrest if pursued.
But the draft law's authors -- four lawmakers from the ruling United Russia party and two from a pro-Kremlin nationalist party -- cited polls showing a majority opposed the presence of the corpse in the heart of the R...
Trump Targets H-1B Visas Which Are Used Largely By Tech Industry
2017-04-18 05:04:49 UTC
U.S. President Donald Trump targets H-1B visas which are used largely by tech industry and will sign an executive order directing federal agencies to recommend changes to a temporary visa program used to bring foreign workers to the U.S. to fill high-skilled jobs.
Trump is to sign the order when he visits the world headquarters of Snap-On Inc, a tool manufacturer in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Two senior Trump administration officials who briefed reporters at the White House said Trump will also use the "buy American and hire American" order to seek changes in government procurement practices to increase the purchase of American products in ...
AMERICA'S SHAME: Refugees Are Fleeing Into Canada From The U.S.
2017-03-31 04:12:42 UTC
By Christinne Muschi and Melissa Fares |
<h3>HEMMINGFORD, QUEBEC — A Sudanese man hopped out of a taxi just before daybreak, a duffle bag slung over his shoulder as he headed for the U.S. - Canadian border.</h3>
Within seconds, the man, who was braving negative 6 degrees Celsius (21 degrees Fahrenheit) weather, was confronted by a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer who shined her flashlight on him as he crossed into Hemmingford, Quebec, from Champlain, New York.
"Stop! You have to stop," the officer insisted, grabbing his arm.
<img alt="America's_shame-_refugees_are_fleeing_into_canada_from_the_us" src="/system/...
Trump Chaos: Canadian Schools Suspended Future Trips To U.S.
2017-03-24 18:42:36 UTC
Canada's largest school board and its national Girl Guides organization have suspended new trips to the United States, citing uncertainty around who is allowed into the country.
Toronto District School Board, which oversees more than 250,000 students, decided Wednesday to suspend U.S. trips for students at its schools, spokesman Ryan Bird said. Twenty-five previously approved trips will go forward.
The board has been following President Donald Trump's executive orders banning citizens of some Muslim-majority countries, Bird said. Both the first and second versions of these travel bans have been blocked by the courts.
"Since the un...
Searches from Europe for flights to US down by 12 percent
2017-03-06 09:47:21 UTC
According to travel search site Kayak (PCLN.O), searches from Europe for flights to the U.S. are down by 12 percent since the elections.
Demand for travel to the United States over the coming months has flattened out following a positive start to the year, with uncertainty over a possible new travel order likely deterring visitors, travel analysis company ForwardKeys said on Monday.
ForwardKeys, which analyses 16 million flight reservations a day from major global reservation systems, also said that travel from the United States to and from the Middle East has been especially hard hit after President Donald Trump's move to ban people...
California: 15 percent of cars have zero emissions by 2025
2016-08-12 21:03:52 UTC
San Francisco (REUTERS) - A California lawmaker next week will introduce a bill requiring 15 percent of all vehicles sold in the state to be emissions-free by 2025, her spokeswoman said on Friday.
Assemblywoman Autumn Burke said the legislation will help ensure that California's current target of 1.5 million zero emissions vehicles by 2025 is met with actual vehicles on the road and not clean car credits, which environmentalists claim have flooded the market.
"Governor (Jerry) Brown has set an ambitious goal of 1.5 million electric vehicles by 2025, but unless we take action, the state won't come close to meeting this goal," said B...
Humpback whales feed in San Francisco's Bay
2016-07-18 22:43:45 UTC
San Francisco Bay — A group of kayakers captured an incredible sight in San Francisco Bay as a group of humpback whales gathered during a feeding frenzy.
Lyrinda Snyderman and Dick Mallory from Petaluma, California were paddling their kayaks on the morning of July 10, when they spotted a flock of birds. The pair approached the scene expecting to get a glimpse of some whales.
"We saw them on occasion," Snyderman told ABC station KGO-TV in San Francisco. "Three at once coming up from the bottom like a Polaris missile with their mouths open to capture all the water. We had never seen this behavior before in the bay."
Germany: 91-Year-Old Woman Gets Run Over By Train And Survives
2016-05-27 22:50:49 UTC
<blockquote><h3><i>A 91-year-old woman has miraculously survived an encounter with a train traveling at 160 kilometers per hour in the northern town of Langwedel. Police said she lay between the tracks and escaped with only minor injuries.</h3></i>
Police said the senior was attempting to cross the tracks with her walker on Friday afternoon when she noticed the oncoming train and threw herself to the ground.
She managed to stay between the tracks until the train had passed, a feat authorities said was "usually impossible" because of the sheer velocity and the risk of clothing getting hooked on the low-lying undercarriage.
Canada welcomes Syrian refugees as U.S. Republicans foment fear against Muslims
2015-12-11 08:02:17 UTC
As U.S. Republicans foment fear, oppose Syrian refugees, reject everything that represents Islam, which is reminiscent of the persecution of Jews before WW II, Canada welcomes refugees and shows how to be a civilized society.
"This is a wonderful night, where we get to show not just a planeload of new Canadians what Canada is all about, we get to show the world how to open our hearts and welcome in people who are fleeing extraordinarily difficult situations," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told airport workers and volunteers standing by to meet the refugees.
The plane carrying 163 Syrian refugees touched down in Toronto just before mi...
African American women kicked off Napa Wine Train file $11m racial discrimination suit
2015-10-01 18:48:44 UTC
A group of predominantly African American women who were kicked off the Napa Wine Train in late August -- allegedly for being too loud -- will announce Thursday that they are filing a lawsuit that alleges racial discrimination and seeks $11 million in damages.
The move comes despite an apology from the company's chief executive, a promise of enhanced sensitivity training for workers and an offer to the women, members of the Sistahs on the Reading Edge book club, of a ride in a private car that could accommodate nearly 40 people.
Lisa Renee Johnson, a member of the club, had previously said the apology was insufficient, likely spurre...
Great white shark thwarts marathon swimmer's Golden Gate bridge quest
2015-07-30 20:22:28 UTC
SAN FRANCISCO — Corte Madera marathon swimmer Simon Dominguez was only a few miles away from becoming the first person to swim from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Farallon Islands, when a great white shark got in the way.
The marathon swimmer was attempting to finish his 28 mile swim when his 16-year-old daughter, who was in a support boat, spotted the great white just 3 ½ miles from reaching his goal, according to the Marin Independent Journal.
The shark was estimated to be 12- to 15-foot and was observed circling the boat and swimming toward Dominguez.
After 18 hours in the frigid ocean, he reluctantly climbed into his support bo...
Hiker dies after cliff collapses at Point Reyes in Marin County, California
2015-03-23 03:17:14 UTC
Mill Valley ( California ) - One hiker was killed and another injured after the cliff at the Arch Rock overlook at Point Reyes National Seashore in Marin County collapsed into the shoreline 70 feet below, officials said Sunday.
A photo released by the <i><strong><a href="http://www.nps.gov/pore/planyourvisit/hiking_guide.htm#archrockcollapse">National Park Service</i></strong></a> shows a huge section of the cliff disintegrated into boulders and rocks onto a beach below.
A statement from the National Park Service said that reports of new dangerous conditions were reported to officials Thursday. “Fissures along the top of Arch Rock h...
A fascinating story of the return of the wolf to Germany
2015-03-11 07:19:32 UTC
Berlin — New sightings confirm that wolves are making a rapid comeback across Europe. But the most surprising success story is in Germany, which lacks the infrastructure for wildlife protection despite its strong tradition of environmentalism.
“Germany as a whole is becoming affected by wolves,” says World Wildlife Fund wolf expert Janosch Arnold. “Five years from now we’ll have them in nearly every district.”
Wolves were hunted nearly to extinction in Germany in the 20th century. But over the past decade, they have been making a slow return.
Since the year 2000, when an infrared camera produced the first evidence of their return ...
Tips are not optional, they are how waiters get paid in America
2014-07-09 06:34:25 UTC
I was a waitress at Applebee's restaurant in Saint Louis. I was fired Wednesday for posting a picture on Reddit.com of a note a customer left on a bill. I posted it on the web as a light-hearted joke.
This didn't even happen at my table. The note was left for another server, who allowed me to take a picture of it at the end of the night.
<strong>Someone had scribbled on the receipt, "I give God 10%. Why do you get 18?"</strong>
I assumed the customer's signature was illegible, but I quickly started receiving messages containing Facebook profile links and websites, asking me to confirm the identity of the customer. I refused to con...
Puerto Rico: Tropical Tax Haven for America's Super-Rich
2014-06-27 18:57:51 UTC
It’s 2 a.m. at the La Factoria bar in Puerto Rico’s Old San Juan, a hipster joint with a sagging couch, tile floors, and Christmas lights that wouldn’t be out of place in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg. While Get Lucky plays, tipsy couples slink out the doors onto the colonial city’s cobblestone streets and into this warm April night. At the bar, a 28-year-old hedge fund trader—the type of person who posts his SAT results on his LinkedIn page—is ranting about the tax code. He’s obsessed with it, complaining that the U.S. is the only major country taxing citizens on their worldwide income, no matter where they reside. That’s why he moved here.