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At least 36 feared dead on Japanese volcano, search called off
Full story: Planet Ark


Destruction of Carbon-Rich Mangroves Costs up to US$42 billion in Economic Damages Annually - UNEP Report

Mangroves are being destroyed at a rate 3 – 5 times greater than the average rates of forest loss, costing billions in economic damages and denying millions of people the ecosystem services they need to survive, according to a new report launched today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

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Faced with existential climate threat, small island nations sound climate alarm at UN

In their addresses to the United Nations General Assembly today, King Tupou IV of Tonga, Fijian Prime Minister Josaia V. Bainimarama, and Prime Minister Enele Sosene Sopoaga of Tuvalu, all reaffirmed their commitment to the fight against climate change and for sustainable development amid growing environmental challenges for small island developing States (SIDS).

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Global carbon dioxide emissions reached a new record of 36 billion tonnes in 2013

Global emissions of carbon dioxide from the combustion of fossil fuels reached a new record of 36 billion tonnes last year.

At the same time, the pace of emissions from burning fossil fuels continues to grow at a high rate.

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Pilot Whale Slaughter Imminent in The Cove in Taiji, Live Stream of Event Today

Sea Shepherd's Cove Guardian team on the ground in Taiji, Japan will be live streaming from the shores of the killing Cove in Taiji today, as they bear witness to the fate of a pod of 20 – 25 pilot whales captured yesterday and netted off in the Cove. It is the fifth wild pod of dolphins captured this season and this season's first capture of pilot whales.

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Israel: High Court Voids Migrant Holding Law

Israel's High Court of Justice ruled on September 22, 2014 that the law establishing a facility where Israel is holding thousands of asylum seekers and migrants is void, Human Rights Watch said today.

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UN rights chief condemns 'brutal' killings by ISIL of women politicians in Iraq

The United Nations human rights chief today condemned the recent brutal, cold-blooded slaying by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) of human rights defender Sameera Salih Ali Al-Nuaimy, as well as the continuing detention, sexual exploitation and sale of hundreds of women and girls in areas captured by the militant group.

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Right Livelihood Awards honour courageous work for human rights, press freedom, civil liberties, combatting climate change

The 2014 Right Livelihood Honorary Award goes to EDWARD SNOWDEN (USA) "for his courage and skill in revealing the unprecedented extent of state surveillance violating basic democratic processes and constitutional rights". and to

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CO2 emissions set to reach new 40 billion ton record high in 2014

Carbon dioxide emissions, the main contributor to global warming, are set to rise again in 2014 - reaching a record high of 40 billion tonnes.

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World population to keep growing this century, hit 11 billion by 2100

Using modern statistical tools, a new study led by the University of Washington and the United Nations finds that world population is likely to keep growing throughout the 21st century. The number of people on Earth is likely to reach 11 billion by 2100, the study concludes, about 2 billion higher than widely cited previous estimates.

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Ban Ki-moon urged to champion public funds for climate finance

Ahead of next week's U.N. General Assembly and Climate Summit, 118 groups from 37 countries urged U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to ensure that private finance is not counted as international climate finance, as well as ensure that the green bond market is truly green. The Secretary General, this week, named green bonds as one of a handful of areas in which the summit is expected to deliver major outcomes.

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Europe: National Courts Extend Reach of Justice for War Crimes

Governments wanting to limit impunity for the most serious international crimes should look to the examples of three European countries showing leadership in this area, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Specialized war crimes units composed of police, prosecutors, and immigration officials have the means to bring those responsible for atrocity crimes worldwide to justice and to ensure that war criminals don't find safe haven when they flee their own country.

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New Study Finds That 40% of Pregnancies Worldwide Are Unintended

Of the 213 million pregnancies that occurred worldwide in 2012, 40%—about 85 million—were unintended, about the same proportion as in 2008, when 42% of all pregnancies globally were unintended. The new study, "Intended and Unintended Pregnancies Worldwide in 2012 and Recent Trends," by Gilda Sedgh et al. of the Guttmacher Institute, found that the proportion of pregnancies that are unintended varied considerably by region. The highest proportions were in Latin America and the Caribbean (56%) and North America (51%), and the lowest were in Africa (35%), Oceania (37%) and Asia (38%); Europe's proportion was the closest to the global average (45%).

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Global shift away from cars saves US$100 trillion, eliminates 1,700 MT of CO2 pollution

More than $100 trillion in cumulative public and private spending, and 1,700 megatons of annual carbon dioxide (CO2)—a 40 percent reduction of urban passenger transport emissions—could be eliminated by 2050 if the world expands public transportation, walking and cycling in cities, according to a new report released by the University of California, Davis, and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP).

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UN reports one million children still die on first day of life from preventable causes - UNICEF

While child survival rates have increased dramatically since 1990, one million babies each year do not see their second day of life, many succumbing to complications during labour and delivery that could be easily prevented with simple, cost effective interventions, according to a report released today by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

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Experts call for massive global response to tackle Ebola

The current Ebola outbreak now requires a "rapid response at a massive global scale", according to experts at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

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As climate change debate heats up, UN experts warn 'we are running out of time'

The United Nations weather agency today voiced concerns over the surge of carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere, which has reached a new record high in 2013, amid worrying sings that oceans and biosphere seem unable to soak up emissions as quickly as they used to.

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WMO: Record Greenhouse Gas Levels Impact Atmosphere and Oceans

The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new record high in 2013, propelled by a surge in levels of carbon dioxide. This is according to the World Meteorological Organization's annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, which injected even greater urgency into the need for concerted international action against accelerating and potentially devastating climate change.

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UN rights experts urge Saudi Arabia to halt continuous stream of executions, many by beheading

The United Nations independent experts on summary executions and torture have renewed their call on Saudi Arabia to implement an immediate moratorium on the use of the death penalty amid a reported increase in executions, many of them by beheading.

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The future of our crops is at risk in Middle East conflict zones, say Birmingham scientists

Wild species related to our crops which are crucial as potential future food resources have been identified by University of Birmingham scientists, however, a significant proportion are found in conflict zones in the Middle East, where their conservation is increasingly comprised.

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On International Day, UNESCO chief says literacy not only improves lives, it saves them

With one in four young people – 175 million adolescents – unable to read a single sentence, International Literacy Day is an opportunity to remember one simple truth: literacy not only changes lives, it saves them, said the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

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Botswana government lies exposed as diamond mine opens on Bushman land

A $4.9bn diamond mine will open on September 5 in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the ancestral land of Africa's last hunting Bushmen, exactly ten years after the Botswana government claimed there were "no plans to mine anywhere inside the reserve."

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New Analysis Finds Over 100 Million Hectares of Intact Forest Area Degraded Since 2000

New analysis and maps released today reveal the alarming speed at which the world's largest expanses of forest wilderness are being degraded. More than 104 million hectares—an area three times the size of Germany—of the world's remaining Intact Forest Landscapes were degraded from 2000 to 2013.

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The Lancet: International health systems fund could have averted Ebola outbreak

The Ebola crisis in west Africa could have been averted if governments and health agencies had acted on the recommendations of a 2011 World Health Organisation (WHO) Commission on global health emergencies, according to a new Comment, published in The Lancet.

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Mount Polley mine tailings spill nearly 70 per cent bigger than first estimated
Full story: Vancouver Sun


Great Barrier Reef: Abbot Point Dumping Backflip Welcome but Won't Fix Threat of Mega Ports on Reef

The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has today welcomed reports of a backdown from port proponents Adani and GVK to avoid dumping dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef's waters but said that there is a long way to go before the Reef is protected from port expansions.

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Corruption, mistrust of Liberian government spur ebola spread

Decades of corruption, deep-rooted mistrust of government and weak public services in Liberia have hastened the spread of the Ebola virus, and much more needs to be done to bridge a communication gap between government and citizens, say civil society groups and analysts.

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Killing of Steven Sotloff is 'tip of the iceberg' of IS war crimes in Syria and Iraq

The beheading of US journalist Steven Sotloff by Islamic State militants is the latest in a series of war crimes being committed by the armed group across Syria and Iraq, Amnesty International said today.


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Doors open at Ban Ki-moon's 'Last Chance Saloon'

It is widely acknowledged that the planet's political leaders and its people are currently failing to take enough action to prevent catastrophic climate change.

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New Analysis Finds 38% of World's Shale Resources Face Water Stress

Governments and businesses using hydraulic fracturing to develop shale gas could face intense water competition in the world's largest reserves, according to a new report by the World Resources Institute (WRI). Global Shale Gas Development: Water Availability & Business Risk is the first publicly available analysis of water availability across all potential commercial shale gas and tight oil resources worldwide. The report finds 38 percent of the world's shale resources face high to extremely high water stress or arid conditions.

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