Brazil's Indigenous Peoples

Brazil's Supreme Court upholds rights of Indigenous Peoples

A vote in Brazil's Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the rights of Indigenous Peoples in the reservation of Raposa Serra do Sol on the frontier between Brazil and Guyana/Venezuela. The vote is seen as a victory for all Indigenous Peoples across Brazil.

The Supreme Court's vote is a milestone in the thirty-year battle of the Makuxi, Wapixana, Ingarikó, Taurepang and Patamona indigenous peoples for the recognition of their constitutional right to their ancestral lands.

Raposa Serra do Sol is a 1.7 million hectare reservation and is home to 20,000 people, the majority of them Macaxi. The reservation was decreed by President Lula in April 2005, ending a thirty-year struggle for the recognition of the lands.

December, 2008

Read the full story at: Amnesty International

Chinese Pandas

Chinese Pandas Arrive In Taiwan In Charm Offensive

TAIPEI, Taiwan - China sent two of its prized giant pandas to Taiwan Tuesday, the latest installment of a charm offensive aimed at persuading the island's people to embrace their Communist rival.

Millions of Taiwanese watched the televised arrival of Tuan Tuan, a male panda, and his female companion, Yuan Yuan, at Taipei airport. The pandas, the first to inhabit the island, are typically loaned in pairs with the hope they will mate.

The giant panda is unique to China and is regularly sent abroad as a sign of warm diplomatic relations or to mark breakthroughs in ties. For more than five decades, Beijing has used panda diplomacy to make friends and influence people in countries ranging from the United States to the former Soviet Union.

December, 2008

Read the full story at: The Huffington Post

Wind farm

Ethiopia signs deal for largest wind farm in Africa

Ethiopia signed a 220-million-euro (300 million dollar) deal with a French company for the construction of Africa's largest wind farm.

The contract was inked by representatives of the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPC) and French wind turbine manufacturer Vergnet.

The wind farm is expected to produce 120 megawatts within two and half years, making it the largest such project on the continent.

November, 2008

Read the full story at: Environmental News Network

UFO files

U.K. releases UFO files, dispels some mysteries

LONDON (AP) - Alitalia pilot Achille Zaghetti thought it was a missile.

Zaghetti was at the helm of a jet from Milan to London's Heathrow Airport on the evening of April 21, 1991, when a flying object streaked across his field of vision.

"At once I said, 'look out, look out,' to my co-pilot, who looked out and saw what I had seen," Zaghetti wrote in his report. "As soon as the object crossed us I asked to the ACC (area control center) operator if he saw something on his screen and he answered 'I see an unknown target 10 nautical miles behind you.'"

October, 2008

Read the full story at: USA TODAY

red phone booths

Norway offers $1 billion towards saving the Amazon rainforest

Norway will donate up to a billion dollars to a Brazilian government fund that aims to protect the Amazon rainforest.

The announcement, made by Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, was expected. Norway has pledged to contribute hundreds of millions of dollars per year to rainforest protection in an effort to slow greenhouse gas emissions that result from deforestation.

September, 2008

Read the full story at: mongabay

red phone booths

Plan aims to save Britain's red phone booths

LONDON (AP) - A British politician says he has won a victory for an endangered icon -- the red telephone booth.Thousands of the kiosks have been removed in recent years as mobile telephones have cut into payphone use.

Conservative Party lawmaker Alan Duncan says phone company BT PLC has agreed to let communities adopt the booths -- minus their telephones -- to help preserve local heritage. Local authorities can keep the phones as well if they pay part of the maintenance costs.

BT announced plans in April to remove 9,000 phone booths, including many of the red models designed by Giles Gilbert Scott.

Duncan said that the "adopt-a-kiosk" plan would help ensure "that red phone boxes do not disappear into the great gray blur of the modern British streetscape."

August, 2008

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

go green

UK schools go green, join carbon trading scheme

(Reuters) - British state schools are to be included under the government's new domestic carbon emissions trading scheme from April 2010, the environment minister said.

Energy use in schools will be measured and count toward the emissions permit quotas of local authorities, which in turn will be encouraged to advise schools on energy efficiency, Hilary Benn said.

July, 2008

Read the full story at: Reuters

Mexico City

Mexico City plants lawns on roofs to fight warming

(Reuters) - Mexico City, one of the world's most polluted capitals, is planting rooftop gardens on public buildings as part of a program launched on Thursday to combat global warming.

The smog-choked metropolis plans to replace gas tanks, clothes lines and asphalt on 100,000 square feet (9,300 square meters) of publicly owned roof space each year with grass and bushes that will absorb carbon dioxide.

June, 2008

Read the full story at: Reuters

Food Crisis

Bush offers $770m for food crisis

George W Bush has offered $770m (£390m) in international food aid to help ease the effects of surging food prices that have sparked riots in some countries.

The US president said he was asking Congress to approve his request.

Soaring food and fuel prices have squeezed poor families at home and abroad, putting the White House under intense pressure to step in.

May, 2008

Read the full story at: News BBC

Canada National Park

Canada to Create Giant New Northern National Park

(Reuters) - Canada will create a giant new national park covering some 1.9 million acres along one of the country's most spectacular northern rivers, Environment Minister John Baird said on Monday.

The Naats'ihch'oh National Park Reserve will cover the watershed of the South Nahanni river in the Northwest Territories.

April, 2008

Read the full story at: Reuters

Mauritania Fights to End Racism

Mauritania Fights to End Racism

Since it gained its independence from France in 1960 Mauritania has struggled with ethnic tension between the Afro-Mauritanians and so called Arab-Mauritanians. But a new government is trying to reverse the pattern of ethnic division. Two familiar with the situation discuss the conflict.

March, 2008

Read the full story at: NPR News

Australia apology to Aborigines

Australia apology to Aborigines

The Australian government has made a formal apology for the past wrongs caused by successive governments on the indigenous Aboriginal population.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologised in parliament to all Aborigines for laws and policies that "inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss".

February, 2008

Read the full story at: News BBC

Plastic Bags

Australia to end plastic bags in supermarkets

(Reuters) - Australia has followed China in announcing it plans to end plastic bag use in supermarkets, with its new environment minister saying he wants a phase-out to start by the end of 2008.

"There are some 4 billion of these plastic bags floating around the place, getting into landfill, ending up affecting our wildlife, and showing up on our beaches while we are on holidays," Environment Minister Peter Garrett said.

Read the full story at: Reuters

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