Green News

Monday, November 18, 2019 7:15:09 AM

Spanish court says wanted Venezuelan spy still missingA Spanish National Court official confirmed Monday that a former Venezuelan spymaster accused of attempting to "flood" the United States with drugs remains missing since an order for his arrest pending extradition was issued this month. The official said the order for Maj. Gen. Hugo Carvajal’s arrest in Madrid was issued Nov. 8, after the court reversed an earlier ruling that rejected the U.S. extradition request for allegedly being politically motivated. Carvajal was for over a decade the eyes and ears in the military of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

Monday, November 18, 2019 7:02:32 AM

Airbus beats Boeing with two mega deals at Dubai air showAirbus signed two mammoth orders for its A320 and A350 aircraft worth $30 billion at Dubai's air show Monday, with Boeing managing only a $1.2 billion sale of its troubled 737 MAX. Boeing's deal with Turkish carrier SunExpress was for a modest 10 planes but it represented "the first firm order" for the 737 MAX since it was grounded in March, a source at the airline told AFP. Analysts said it gave some welcome support for Boeing after the future of the model was put in doubt with two crashes that left a total of 346 people dead.

Monday, November 18, 2019 5:45:06 AM

U.S. has world's highest rate of children in detention -U.N. studyThe United States has the world's highest rate of children in detention, including more than 100,000 in immigration-related custody that violates international law, the author of a United Nations study said on Monday. Worldwide more than 7 million people under age 18 are held in jails and police custody, including 330,000 in immigration detention centres, independent expert Manfred Nowak said.

Monday, November 18, 2019 5:30:51 AM

Bangladesh organises onion airlift as prices hit record highSouth Asia's onion crisis has widened, with Bangladesh airlifting supplies of the vegetable and the prime minister claiming prices are so high she has stopped eating them. The spike in Bangladesh has put a staple ingredient for much South Asian food out of reach of the country's poor and follows a similar price hike in India. Prices in Bangladesh rocketed after India banned exports to conserve its own stocks after they were hit first by drought and then by heavy monsoon rains. As prices reached record levels, Bangladesh’s largest opposition party blamed the government for the hike and on Monday called for nationwide protests. The humble bulb is so important to daily cooking in South Asia that shortages have a history of political fallout and a reputation for even toppling governments. One kilo of the vegetable in Bangladesh usually costs 30 taka (27p) but soared to up to 260 taka (£2.37) after India's export ban was imposed. Hours-long queues have formed to purchase the staple of South Asian cuisine Credit: AFP India has seen its own spike in prices after a sharp fall in production and the issue has become a political headache for Delhi. India has already released its national buffer stocks and imposed measures to stop onion hoarding. Hasan Jahid Tusher, deputy press secretary for Bangladesh's prime minister Sheikh Hasina, told AFP onions were being imported by air freight, and that “prime minister said she has stopped using onion in dishes”. None of the dishes at the PM’s residence in Dhaka on Saturday contained onions, he added. Media in Bangladesh reported onion consignments arrived at a major port in Chittagong city on Sunday after the government imported stocks from Myanmar, Turkey, China and Egypt. The increasing prices have pushed onions off restaurant and domestic menus, with Bangladeshis having to adjust their cooking and tastebuds. “Onion has become an essential part of the taste buds of the people of this region, including Bangladesh,” a restaurateur called Shafiqul Islam told bdnews24. “A food can be eatable, but not much delicious without onion. Onion is a must for fish and meat recipes, biriyani and many other dishes.” The state run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) has attracted long queues waiting for subsidised onions. “Even if I have to stand another two hours, I will do that. I can save some 250 taka by buying one kilo of TCB onion. I am standing here because I have to save money,” said Ratan, an English teacher. “I am 41 years old. I have never seen onion prices ever crossing beyond 120 taka.” Drought badly hit India's first onion harvest in the spring, while unusually heavy monsoon rains hit the second harvest. The fluctuating price of onions is widely used as an everyday measure of inflation and a sudden inability for the poor to buy them can quickly focus concern over wider economic problems. Indira Ghandi came to power in 1980 citing soaring onion prices as a metaphor for economic failures of the government. The issue dominated state elections in 1998 and again became a political crisis in 2010. India last week said it was importing 100,000 tons of onions in a bid to curb rising prices. Pakistan has meanwhile seen its own vegetable inflation, with a spike in tomato prices. A government finance adviser came in for widespread mockery after he insisted tomatoes were to be found for 17 rupees (8p) per kg. The price is more than 10 times that.

Monday, November 18, 2019 5:00:25 AM

When it Comes to Climate-Change Adaptation, As Goes California, So Goes…the WorldHow California deals with climate change adaptation will help determine, for better or worse, how the rest of the world deals with it.

Monday, November 18, 2019 4:11:05 AM

Hong Kong protesters attempt daring escape down ropes as police seal off universityDozens of Hong Kong protesters escaped a two-day police siege at a campus late Monday by shimmying down ropes from a bridge to awaiting motorbikes in a dramatic and perilous breakout that followed a renewed warning by Beijing of a possible intervention to end the crisis engulfing the city. Clashes rumbled throughout the day between protesters and police who had threatened to use deadly force to dislodge activists holed-up in the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The university siege has become a battle of wills between Hong Kong's stretched police force and the constantly-innovating protest movement. Late Monday dozens of black-clad protesters used a rope to slither down several metres on to a motorway below where they were picked up by waiting motorbike riders. In an apparently co-ordinated effort, thousands of Hong Kongers streamed towards the Polytechnic University campus to break the siege, as clashes simultaneously raged with police nearby in Kowloon. It was not immediately clear how many protesters remained inside Polytechnic University. This was probably the most surreal thing I have ever witnessed in the Hong Kong protests. Protesters just attempted a daring escape through a bridge at Polytechnic University. Volunteers on motorbikes came in drives to drive them out asap. Police fired teargas.— Michael Zhang 張雨軒 (@YuxuanMichael) November 18, 2019 Demonstrators barricaded inside the university lit a fire at an entrance in efforts to deter police surrounding the campus, after officers stormed in early morning and made arrests. Protesters have continued to arm themselves with bows and arrows, petrol bombs and bricks.  Police have said that anyone leaving campus will be taken into custody, and urged all protesters still on campus to surrender peacefully.  “A university is supposed to be a breeding ground for young talents, but it has unfortunately become a battlefield for criminals and rioters,” said Kwok Ka-chuen, a police chief superintendent. “Hong Kong’s rule of law has been pushed to the brink of total collapse.” Police have described the Polytechnic campus as a “weapons factory,” saying they had received a report that several toxic and dangerous chemicals, including highly volatile explosives, had been stolen from a laboratory.  Police have been accused of using excessive force against protesters Credit: AFP “We must warn that the university campus has become a powder keg where danger is far beyond what we can estimate,” said Mr Kwok. As the university deadlock continues, former British foreign secretary Malcolm Rifkind urged Hong Kong authorities to exercise restraint.  “A bloodbath on a Hong Kong campus would be devastating,” he said in a statement issued by Hong Kong Watch, a UK-based advocacy group. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam “has the responsibility to do everything possible to prevent a massacre.”  Protesters also appear to be facing down a timeline as supplies run out.  “Hong Kong police are creating a humanitarian crisis inside PolyU,” Ken Woo Kwok-wang, acting president of the student union, told a Hong Kong newspaper. “We are trapped. There is insufficient food and the number of injured is on the rise, and the hygiene situation is getting worse.” Protests have disrupted Hong Kong continuously for nearly six months. They first kicked off against a now-withdrawn extradition proposal, though sentiments have pivoted to target the police, who protesters accuse of brutality, and more broadly, China, over concerns that Communist Party rule is eroding freedoms in the former British colony. Demonstrators have called for a range of political and governance reforms, though Beijing has reiterated that it won’t give in to demands. There is “absolutely no room for compromise,” read a harshly-worded editorial in the People’s Daily newspaper, a Communist Party mouthpiece. Demonstrators set the entrance to PolyU ablaze Credit: Emilio Navas/SOPA/REX As clashes escalated significantly over the last week, forcing schools to shut, fears have grown that China may again call on military reinforcements to restore order, a move that would recall the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989 when soldiers fired on peaceful student demonstrators.  Speculation mounted further after Chinese troops stationed in Hong Kong were spotted in the streets over the weekend cleaning up protest sites, an act authorities have said was voluntary. Hong Kong authorities said Monday it would stop enforcing an anti-mask ban after the city’s highest court ruled it unconstitutional. The order was first enacted in October, using an emergency regulations ordinance that gives Ms Lam sweeping authority, a move that could make it easier for police to identify protesters and make arrests.  On Wednesday, judges will hear arguments to decide whether further actions will be taken over the ban.  Some hospital services were unavailable on Monday as staff weren’t able to travel given transport and traffic disruptions due to the protests. Subway stations in some areas also remain closed after serious vandalism, including setting train cars ablaze. Skirmishes broke out in other neighbourhoods, leaving clouds of tear gas hanging in the air. In the neighbourhood of Mongkok, protesters formed a human chain by early evening, with some reportedly making petrol bombs on the street.  Since mass protests kicked off in early June, police have arrested nearly 4,500 people, aged 11 to 83, for unlawful assembly, possession of offensive weapons, arson, and taking part in a riots – a serious charge that carries a maximum of ten years in prison. About 150 of those arrests, of individuals aged 13 to 54, were made over the weekend. Additional reporting by Yiyin Zhong

Monday, November 18, 2019 3:14:19 AM

Myanmar artists given second jail term for insulting militaryA group of Myanmar satirists on Monday racked up a second prison sentence for a performance that criticised the military, a decision the artists said showed the judges were "puppets" of the military. The group of seven, known as the Peacock Generation, were arrested after performing "Thangyat", a Myanmar art similar to slam poetry, in April. Wearing military uniforms, they mocked the army through their fusion of poetry, comedy and music.

Monday, November 18, 2019 2:52:40 AM

AP Explains: Iran gas price protests quickly turn violentProtests over gasoline prices have swept across some 100 cities and towns in Iran, turning violent faster than widespread economic protests in 2017 and rallies over the country’s disputed 2009 presidential election. Prior to that, online videos purported to show people abandoning their cars on major highways and marching on city centers. Demonstrations devolved into violence as rioters set fire to gas stations, attacked banks and robbed stores.

Sunday, November 17, 2019 11:26:00 PM

The Problem with Hypersonic Missiles: "None of this stuff works yet."Don’t get too excited about hypersonic weapons, one prominent U.S. defense journalist advised. According to him, we still don’t know for sure whether the Mach-5-plus munitions actually work.

Sunday, November 17, 2019 3:58:53 PM

Mom gets a laugh from charge she's carrying a doll to steal yogurt: 'My baby is 100% real'A New Jersey woman's infant is so cute, an Aldi patron believed the baby was a ploy to steal yogurt. It gave lactose-intolerant mom a laugh.

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