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Wednesday, April 16 2014

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Bear bile farm in China to become a sanctuary with 130 bears rescued

Animal welfare organisation Animals Asia will convert a bear bile farm in Nanning, China, into a sanctuary following an unprecedented request by the farm to rescue and care for its 130 bears.

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Canada: Commercial Seal Hunt Opens, Continues to Require Government Support

After over 30 years of trying to revive the commercial seal hunt, and over $50 million in government support, the hunt will proceed again in 2014 despite the lack of markets. 


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World On Pace to Hit 4.8ºC by End of Century, Says UN Scientific Panel

Global greenhouse gas emissions increased by the equivalent of ten billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) between 2000 and 2010, according to a new report released this week by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and half of all human CO2 emissions between 1750 and 2010 have occurred in the last forty years. Without additional efforts to significantly cut emissions, global temperatures could hit a staggering 4.8C above preindustrial temperatures by the end of the century, with potentially disastrous consequences for humanity, ecosystems, and sustainable development.

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Sharp rise in environmental and land killings as pressure on planet's resources increases - report

Killings of people protecting the environment and rights to land increased sharply between 2002 and 2013 as competition for natural resources intensifies, a new report from Global Witness reveals. In the most comprehensive global analysis of the problem on record, the campaign group has found that at least 908 people are known to have died in this time. Disputes over industrial logging, mining and land rights the key drivers, and Latin America and Asia-Pacific particularly hard hit.

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Northern Gateway Pipeline Rejected By B.C. First Nation
Full story: Huffington Post Canada


Military spending continues to fall in the West but rises everywhere else, says SIPRI

World military expenditure totalled $1.75 trillion in 2013, a fall of 1.9 per cent in real terms since 2012, according to figures released today by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The comprehensive annual update of the SIPRI Military Expenditure Database is accessible from today at www.sipri.org.

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Pillay condemns rampant use of torture in detention in Syria

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Monday condemned the rampant use of torture in detention facilities across Syria by Government forces and some armed opposition groups, as her office issued a paper containing detailed testimony from victims and witnesses.

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Saudi Arabia Should Accelerate Reforms for Girls' Sports in State Schools, Says Human Rights Watch

In a welcome move that could advance rights for women and girls, Saudi Arabia's Shura Council has directed the Education Ministry to study the possibility of introducing physical education for girls in Saudi public schools. The council, the kingdom's highest consultative body, voted overwhelmingly – 92 votes to 18 – in favor of the recommendation, but the Ministry of Education must draft and present regulations, and the Shura Council and Cabinet must approve them before sports for girls in public schools becomes a reality, Human Rights Watch said.

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On Global Day, UN expert urges less military spending, more investment in development

Marking the Global Day of Action on Military Spending, the United Nations independent expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order called on all governments to boost transparency and cuts in military expenditures, and increase investments in nutrition, health, environmental protection and other major sustainable development challenges.

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Magnitude 7.4 Earthquake near the Solomon Islands - Tsunami warnings issued

The April 13 earthquake occurred less than 24 hours and approximately 20 km to the southwest of a M 7.7 strike-slip earthquake on April 12, 2014. While the April 12 strike-slip earthquake likely represented Australia:Pacific plate boundary faulting, the April 13 earthquake is located south of the plate boundary at a depth of approximately 35 km, and as such may represent tearing of the Australia plate to accommodate the abrupt change in Australian plate interaction with the Pacific plate (subduction to the north and west; left-lateral translation to the east).

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IPCC Presents Assessment on Measures to Mitigate Climate Change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the group of the world's leading climate change scientists established by the UN General Assembly and working under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization, has just released in Berlin, after 6 years of intensive work reviewing all available science, its 2014 assessment on measures to mitigate climate change.

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Magnitude 7.6 Earthquake near the Solomon Islands - Tsunami in progress

A magnitude 7.6 earthquake has occurred SOLOMON ISLANDS at:
11.28S 162.25E Depth 20km 12/04/2014 at 20:14:39 (Universal Time)

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Latest UN Report Calls for Massive Reduction in Fossil Fuel Investments

The latest UN climate report will project that annual investment in fossil fuels will decline about $30 billion a year while investment in low carbon technologies will rise by roughly $147 billion, according to leaked drafts.

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Sudan faces worsening hunger and malnutrition crisis

Farmers and herders in Sudan need urgent support to help prevent the food security situation in the country from deteriorating further, FAO warned today.

Some 3.3 million people are currently suffering from food insecurity with numbers likely to rise to 4 million in the coming months due to a combination of increased conflict and displacement in Darfur, refugee movement from neighbouring South Sudan, poor harvest and spiralling food prices.

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Roma in Europe: Demanding justice and protection in the face of violence

European states are failing to curb and in some cases even fuelling discrimination, intimidation and violence against Roma, Amnesty International said on International Roma Day on 8 April.


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European Court of Justice rules mass storage of telecommunications data violates the fundamental right to privacy, is illegal

In a far-reaching and dramatic opinion, the European Court of Justice has ruled that the mass storage of telecommunications data violates the fundamental right to privacy and is illegal.

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Rhino Horn of Contention - the Only Thing Certain is Uncertainty

The South African Government could choose to be a global player or a lonely outlier by alienating itself from unprecedented international efforts to crack down on illicit trade and poaching of wildlife such as rhinoceroses, IFAW said today.

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The world still failing to act despite Rwanda genocide shame

The international community has collectively failed to act on the lessons of the Rwandan genocide, said Amnesty International today as the world marks the 20th anniversary of the human catastrophe which left around 800,000 dead.

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Renewable Energy Market Share Climbs Despite 2013 Dip in Investments

Renewable energy's share of world electricity generation continued its steady climb last year despite a 14 per cent drop in investments to US$214.4 billion, according to a new report released today.

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The Elders support Palestinian move to sign international treaties

The Elders are deeply worried by the impasse in peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. They express their continued support to US Secretary of State John Kerry and commend him for his tireless efforts to bring the parties together.

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Oxfam: Emissions must be cut if we are to tackle hunger

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) today opens its meeting in Berlin to finalize its landmark report on cutting global emissions. This comes just a week after it met in Japan, where governments acknowledged that climate change will have a bigger affect on food production than stated in the IPCC's previous report seven years ago.

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New Global Coalition on Surveillance

World leaders should make a commitment to keep invasive surveillance systems and technologies out of the hands of dictators and oppressive regimes, a new global coalition of human rights organizations said today as it announced its formation in Brussels.

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Mysterious epidemic kills recently-contacted tribe one by one

A mysterious epidemic is steadily killing recently-contacted members of a South American tribe, Survival International has warned on World Health Day (April 7).

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China sentences two Tibetan village leaders to 10 years' imprisonment in Diru County

Chinese authorities have sentenced in secret two Tibetan village leaders to 10 years in prison in the restive Diru (Ch; Biru) County in Nagchu (Ch: Naqu) Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), in the Tibetan province of Kham.

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Cherrapunji, India, Holds New Record for 48-Hour Rainfall

A World Meteorological Organization (WMO) panel has concluded that Cherrapunji in India now holds the world record for two-day (48-hour) rainfall, with 2,493 millimeters (98.15 inches) recorded on 15–16 June 1995.

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Unforgettable Photos By The Award-Winning Photographer Killed In Afghanistan April 4
Full story: Buzzfeed

M7.8 Earthquake 23km S of Iquique, Chile

A magnitude 7.8 earthquake occurred off the coast of Chile. It was preceded by a magnitude 6.4 earthquake 45 minutes before.

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Yemenis who've lost loved ones to US drone strikes launch national organization

A group of people who have lost loved ones to US drone strikes in Yemen yesterday launched a national organisation, which will support affected communities and highlight the civilian impact of the "targeted killing" programme.

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Internet giant Rakuten pulls the plug on whale meat but elephant ivory sales continue

Internet retail giant Rakuten has announced it is terminating sales of whale products through its Japanese marketplace Rakuten Ichiba and has given merchants 30 days to remove them.

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Protestors call for the release of Papuan political prisoners in Indonesia

Around 100 protestors demonstrated today outside the Indonesian embassy in London to call for the unconditional and immediate release of all Papuan political prisoners.

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