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News In Brief

NHS at risk from TTIP - Friday's key debate

John Hilary

20th November 2011

TTIP - the elephant in the room. Photo: People's NHS. Tomorrow MPs will debate a bill to halt the ongoing privatisation of the NHS, writes John Hilary. But even if the bill passes into law, it risks being squashed by the TTIP - the increasingly unpopular US-EU trade deal which could hand over the NHS to US health giants. more...

Long noses: Shell, GDF Suez, Samsung sweep Pinocchio Awards

Oliver Tickell

19th November 2014

Who has the longest nose of them all? Pinocchio from Tony Wolf Pinocchio and other tales 1990. Photo: janwillemsen via Flickr. Who has the longest nose of them all? Worthy winners of France's fiercely contested 'Prix Pinocchio' 2014 were selected last night, recognising corporate greed, hypocrisy and malfeasance, based on a record vote since the awards began. more...

Peru: indigenous leaders murdered for protecting their forests

The Ecologist

18th November 2014

Denounced to the police for illegal logging, but no action taken - Señor Adeuzo Mapes Rodríguez, aka 'Capelon'. As Peru prepares to host UN climate talks, Global Witness exposes the murder of Peruvian eco-defenders - 57 killed since 2002, including indigenous leaders protecting their forests from illegal logging ignored by police and Government. more...

Obama 'shirtfronts' Abbott: protect Barrier Reef from climate change

Michelle Grattan

17th November 2014

At risk from climate change: a turtle on the Great Barrier Reef. Photo: Marc Füeg via Flickr. In a blunt rebuke to Australia's prime minister Tony Abbott, US President Obama stated that 'every nation has the responsibility to do its part' on climate change, writes Michelle Grattan - in a clear reference to the G20 host's backsliding on climate promises. more...

New protection for migratory birds and their 'flyways'

The Ecologist

14th November 2014

The Golden Oriole is one of the birds set to benefit from the protection of the Aftrica-Eurasia Flyway. Photo: m-idre31 via Flickr. Two new international agreements will help to save migratory birds from hunting, trapping and poisoning, and to protect their long-distance flyways. A key objective is to phase out lead shot within three years, and eliminate the toxic drug diclofenac. more...

Breach of promise: G20 spending $88 bn a year on fossil fuel subsidies

Alex Kirby

13th November 2014

Paid for by taxpayers? Oil rigs moored in Cromarty Firth. Invergordon, Scotland, UK. Photo: Berardo62 via Flickr. Despite promises to phase out subsidies to the coal, oil and gas industries, a new report G20 governments are still providing them with massive financial help, writes Alex Kirby. The UK alone is spending over £1.2 billion per year to support fossil fuel exploration and production at home and abroad. more...

US-China climate deal raises hopes of agreement in 2015

Oliver Tickell

12th November 2014

Plenty more of these on the way: Mulan wind farm, 170km NE of Harbin City in Heilongiang, is one of the first wind farms to be built in China. Photo: Land Rover Our Planet via Flickr.com. China and the US have jointly pledged to limit their greenhouse gas emissions, as the Presidents of the two countries met for talks today in Beijing. The move is boosting hopes for the UN climate summit in Paris in 2015 - but is it really enough to restrain temperature rises? more...

Denton, Texas hit with lawsuits after landslide fracking victory

Julie Dermansky

11th November 2014

Photo: Frack Free Denton. Denton's 59-41 vote to ban fracking has got right up the nose of the state's fossil fuel elite, writes Julie Dermansky. The Texas city has already been hit with two lawsuits - but it's going to fight them all the way, with a $4 million legal fund ready and waiting. more...

Lawsuit served on Commission for blocking TTIP challenge

The Ecologist

10th November 2014

Stop TTIP demo in Berlin, October 2014. Photo: Jakob Huber / ECI via Stop TTIP! /  Flickr. A 300-strong coalition of civil society groups is taking the European Commission to the European Court of Justice, claiming that its refusal to register a official 'Citizens Initiative' opposing the EU-US TTIP trade deal was unlawful. more...

Supergrid will build EU resilience and boost renewables

Paul Brown

9th September 2014

A stronger power grid will increase Europe's energy security and give a big boost to renewable energy. Photo: Kenneth Spencer via Flickr. The EU, nervous about disruption to gas supplies across an increasingly unstable Ukraine, is planning a European 'supergrid' linking all 28 member states to increase resilience, writes Paul Brown. The development will be a boon to renewable energy generation, and cut emissions from fossil fuels. more...

Victory! Outspent 87-1, Maui voters back GMO moratorium

The Ecologist

7th November 2014

Maui: way too great to ravage with GMOs and associated agrochemicals. Photo: Randy Robertson via Flickr. A voter initiative in Maui, Hawaii requires a suspension of GMO crops pending a safety review to be paid for by Monsanto and other corporations - although corporations spent almost $8 million trying to defeat the measure. Monsanto is now preparing a legal challenge. more...

Chinese Presidency implicated in Tanzania's elephant massacre

The Ecologist

6th November 2014

781 tusks from Tanzania seized in Malawi in transit to China, May 2013. Photo: EIA. A new report reveals that Chinese-led criminal gangs are conspiring with corrupt Tanzanian officials and senior politicians to traffic huge amounts of ivory. The corruption even extends into the Chinese navy, diplomatic missions and Presidential entourage - all involved in the lucrative but illegal trade. more...

Climate renews famine risk to Africa's Sahel

Alex Kirby

5th November 2014

Baaba Maal inspects failed corn crops in Mauritania. Photo: Oxfam International via Flickr. With rising population and food demand far outstripping supply, the Sahel is vulnerable to a new humanitarian crisis, writes Alex Kirby. Rainfall is expected to increase with climate change, but higher temperatures will overwhelm the benefits. more...

Solar power is getting cheaper quicker than the IPCC thought

Helle Abelvik-Lawson

4th November 2014

A commercial solar installation under way in the south of England. Photo: Adrian Arbib / Renewable energy Cooperative - r-eco.coop. The cost estimates for solar PV used by the IPCC in its latest report fail to take into account recent price falls for the technology, reports Helle Abelvik-Lawson, and exaggerate financing costs. The result is to understate the importance of PV in a low carbon future. more...

Badger Trust claims victory in the court of public opinion

The Ecologist

3rd November 2014

Photo: Badgers in the wild by Tim Brookes via Flickr. The Court of Appeal last month ruled that England's Badger cull is lawful despite the lack of independent supervision. But on the eve of a fresh Parliamentary debate, and with public opinion backing the badgers all the way, the Badger Trust is the clear winner where it really matters - in public hearts and minds. more...

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