Alysa Freeman

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Study Finds Condition of Polar Bears in Arctic’s Chukchi Sea Stable Despite Sea Ice Loss

A recent study found that the condition of polar bears in the Arctic’s Chukchi Sea has remained stable despite sea ice loss, while the condition of another population in the Beaufort Sea has declined.<p>The researchers studied the overall health and reproductive rates of polar bears in the Chukchi …

Victoria's Secret: The Story Behind the Feathers

Feathers have been a fashion statement for millennia. They play the same alluring role for humans as they do for birds.<p><i>(Updated December 10, 2013)</i><p>A flock of models clad in a minimum of lingerie and an excess of feathers will land on your television screen tonight (December 10). The occasion for the …

Geography in the News: Bluefin Tuna Decline

Changing Planet<p><i>By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner,</i> <i>Geography in the NewsTM</i><p>Bluefin Tuna in Decline<p>The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), an international agreement between governments, dealt a serious blow to the Atlantic bluefin tuna in March 2010. The …

EU leaders vow to tackle youth unemployment

Heads of state of 24 European nations have met to discuss rising unemployment among European youths, insisting that the situation will improve over the next two years.<p>The leaders, who met in Paris on Tuesday, announced no new programmes but pledged to push plans already in place to reverse the …

China, Saudi Arabia win UN human rights seats

China, Cuba, Russia and Saudi Arabia have won three-year seats on the Geneva-based Human Rights Council, the United Nations' top rights body, despite concerns about abuses and restrictions on freedoms in all four nations.<p>Also winning seats on the 47-nation council on Tuesday were Algeria, Britain, …

Iran 'a lot to do' to finish nuclear reactor

The leader of the UN's nuclear authority says Iran has "quite a lot to do" to complete a nuclear reactor which is of deep concern to the West and which formed a central sticking point in negotiations to lift sanctions.<p>Yukiya Amano, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, …

UK spy found dead in locked bag 'not murder'

A British spy whose naked, decomposing body was found padlocked in a bag in his bath probably died accidentally on his own, police in the UK have said, rejecting conspiracy theories that his death was the work of foreign agents.<p>The Metropolitan Police's deputy assistant commissioner, Martin Hewitt, …

US names Boko Haram as 'terror organisation'

The US State Department has designated Nigeria's Boko Haram and a splinter group named Ansaru as "foreign terrorist organisations".<p>The US on Wednesday said Boko Haram had links to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and was responsible for "thousands of deaths in northeast and central Nigeria …

UN: 460,000 displaced in Darfur this year

At least 460,000 people in Sudan's Darfur region have been displaced this year as a result of tribal violence and rebel-government battles, the United Nation says.<p>Citing humanitarian organisations, the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Thursday said that "so far in …

Somali region appeals for aid after cyclone

Somalia's semi-autonomous region of Puntland has declared a state of emergency and is appealing for international aid after floods triggered by a cyclone killed at least 300 people and left hundreds missing.<p>The UN said some 30,000 people were in need of food, water, shelter and medical supplies, …

Egypt hails renewed military ties with Russia

Egypt's top general has hailed a new era of defence co-operation with Moscow during a visit by Russian officials, sending a message to Washington after it suspended some military aid.<p>The visit to Cairo by Russia's defence and foreign ministers was billed by both sides as historic, although the …

IAEA: Iran has slowed nuclear programme

The United Nations atomic energy agency says the Iranian government has slowed its pace of uranium enrichment ahead of new nuclear talks with six world powers.<p>In a report Thursday, the International Atomic Energy Agency said that no major new components have been installed at the unfinished Arak …

Hundreds rescued after Canada child-porn bust

A child pornography bust in Toronto two years ago has led to the arrest of 341 people and rescue of 386 sexually abused children around the world, police have announced.<p>William Blair, Toronto Police Service chief, on Thursday told a press conference that undercover officers made contact in October …

Philippine city puts typhoon toll at 4,000

The death toll from Typhoon Haiyan in the devastated Philippine coastal city of Tacloban has reached 4,000, a notice board at City Hall said, nearly double the nationwide toll provided by the government in Manila.<p>The City Hall toll posted on Friday was the first public acknowledgement that the …

Obama pledges fix to healthcare policy

The US president, Barack Obama, has that Americans will be allowed to keep cancelled health plans for an extra year, in a major climbdown after the troubled launch of his landmark reform.<p>In promoting plansd to expand health insurance to millions of Americans without cover, the president had …

N Korea denies giving military aid to Syria

North Korea denied it was sending military aid to the Syrian government, in its battle against opposition forces after media reports said that Pyongyang had sent advisers and helicopter pilots.<p>"Some foreign media are floating misinformation that the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) …

Nasrallah: Hezbollah in Syria for long haul

Shia fighters from Hezbollah will keep fighting in Syria's conflict alongside President Bashar al-Assad's forces as long as necessary, the group's leader Hassan Nasrallah says.<p>Hezbollah has helped turn the tide in Assad's favour this year, leading the recapture of the town of Qusair and fighting …

Brazil Amazon destruction rises 28 per cent

Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon region has risen 28 percent over the past year, the country's environment minister says.<p>Making the announcement in the capital Brasilia on Thursday, Izabella Teixeira said she was calling an emergency meeting to try to remedy the situation.<p>"We confirm a 28 percent …

UN official: Ghana jails cruel and inhuman

Squalid conditions, poor food and overcrowding in Ghana's prisons amount to "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment," a UN special representative has said.<p>The comments by Juan Mendez - UN special rapporteur on torture - on Thursday came in the wake of a Human Rights Watch report released last year …

China to ease decades-old one-child policy

China will loosen its decades-old one-child policy by allowing two children for families with one parent who was an only child and will abolish a much-criticised labour camp system, its ruling Communist Party said.<p>The changes were part of a key policy document released by the official Xinhua News …

Arrests at anti-Saudi protest in Ethiopia

Police in Ethiopia have arrested dozens of people outside the Saudi embassy in the capital Addis Ababa in a crackdown on demonstrators protesting against targeted attacks on Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia.<p>Police units blocked roads on Friday to prevent the protest at the embassy from growing and forced …

UN rejects trial deferral for Kenyan leaders

The UN Security Council has rejected an African demand to suspend the International Criminal Court trial of Kenya's president and his deputy for one year.<p>Eight council nations, all ICC members or supporters, including Britain, France and the United States, abstained to ensure the failure of the …

Albania will not destroy Syria chemical arms

Albania has rejected a US request to host the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons, saying it was ill-equipped to handle the disposal of thousands of tonnes of toxic waste.<p>The announcement by the NATO member and staunch US ally on Friday marks a setback for a Russian-American plan to get rid of …

Six world powers and Iran 'close to deal'

Six world powers and Iran are getting close to a first-stage agreement to curb the Islamic Republic's nuclear programme, a senior US official has said.<p>The official told reporters in Washington on Friday that it was "quite possible" a deal could be reached when the parties meet on November 21-22 in …

Emergency workers to clean Madrid streets

Emergency workers with police escorts will begin cleaning trash off the streets of Spain's capital after striking street cleaners failed to reach a deal with their private employers to end an 11-day strike, city officials said.<p>Madrid's streets and parks have piled up with rubbish after thousands of …

Deadly attack on Shia procession in Pakistan

Eight people were killed when gunmen opened fire on a Shia Muslim religious procession in Pakistan, hospital officials said, in what appeared to be the latest incident of spiralling sectarian violence.<p>More than 30 others were wounded in the attack on Friday, which began when the procession passed a …

San Francisco 'saved' by pint-sized Batkid

A five-year-old leukemia sufferer has fulfilled a wish to be a superhero after San Francisco, a charity and city residents came together to let him play crime-fighting 'Batkid' for a day.<p>With the help of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, volunteers and city officials, Miles Scott was given an adventure …

Sudan ruling party expels leading reformers

Sudan's ruling National Congress Party (NCP) has expelled three leading reformers, in the party's most serious split in years, as President Omar al-Bashir hinted at an imminent and wide-ranging government shakeup.<p>The party's shura council agreed to oust ex-presidential adviser Ghazi Salahuddin …

Curfew renewed after clashes in Pakistan

Pakistan has reimposed a curfew in the northern city of Rawalpindi, after sectarian clashes that have claimed at least nine lives, officials said.<p>The curfew was briefly suspended on Saturday night, but was back in place by Sunday morning, with army units patrolling the city in order to keep the …