Common Sense

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Marine plastic: Hundreds of fragments in dead seabirds

<b>New footage of the devastating impact of plastic pollution on wildlife has been captured by a BBC team.</b><p>Seabirds are starving to death on the remote Lord Howe Island, a crew filming for the BBC One documentary Drowning in Plastic has revealed.<p>Their stomachs were so full of plastic there was no room …

Pollution

Migrant father describes moment his daughter was taken away

Cisary Banz Reynaud-Villeda was detained along with his eight-year-old daughter when he entered the US illegally on 13 June.<p>The authorities then took her away to another migrant centre - and he has not spoken to her since.<p>"It's felt like an empty void inside of me," Cisary told the BBC in a phone …

Interviews

Dirty laundry: Are your clothes polluting the ocean?

<b>In an indoor "Manchester-drizzle-simulating" rain room at the University of Leeds, and in a laundry lab in Plymouth, research is revealing the unexpected environmental cost of the very clothes on our backs.</b><p>"Not many people know that lots of our clothes are made of plastic," says Imogen Napper, a …

Pollution

Migrant children: Pentagon asked to house migrant minors

<b>The Pentagon has been asked to supply up to 20,000 beds at old military bases for migrant children held after illegally entering the US.</b><p>Beds will be for migrant children who crossed the border unaccompanied, as well as those separated from parents.<p>The moves follow President Donald Trump's reversal …

Immigration

This concrete can trap CO2 emissions forever

Concrete is the most abundant man-made material on earth. There's a good chance you're standing on it right now, and it's holding up the buildings around you.<p>But concrete has an emissions problem. Its essential ingredient, cement, has a huge carbon footprint.<p>Cement is the glue that makes concrete …

Concrete

The sound of migrant children separated from parents

The investigative US media outlet ProPublica has obtained audio reportedly recorded in a US border patrol facility.<p>Children thought to be aged between four and 10, and recently separated from their undocumented immigrants parents, can be heard crying as an agent jokes, "We have an orchestra here."

Jokes

Eurydice Dixon: Comedian's killing prompts anger in Australia

<b>The alleged rape and murder of a young comedian as she walked home at night in Australia has prompted an outpouring of public grief and anger.</b><p>The body of Eurydice Dixon, 22, was found at a football field in Melbourne early on Wednesday, only hours after she had performed a gig at a city bar.<p>A man, …

Online Life

US child migrants: 2,000 separated from families in six weeks

<b>Almost 2,000 migrant children were separated from their families at the US border over six weeks, officials say.</b><p>Following a Trump administration crackdown on illegal border crossings from Mexico, adults are being detained, meaning the children with them are removed from their care.<p>The issue is …

Immigration

Scientists to America: Embrace climate action or lose your coastal cities

Antarctica lost a trillion tons of ice just since 2012. Avoiding total collapse requires embrace of Paris Climate Accord now.<p>Either we reverse …

Climate Change

Separation of migrant families: What other countries do

<b>US Attorney General Jeff Session has defended the separation of migrant children from their parents at the border with Mexico, a measure that has faced increasing criticism.</b><p>The "zero-tolerance" policy he announced last month sees adults who try to cross the border, many planning to seek asylum, …

Immigration

'Women spend more time planning holiday than pregnancy'

<b>Some women spend more time planning their summer holiday than they do a pregnancy, a survey by baby charity Tommy's suggests.</b><p>Only one in five started taking folic acid before stopping contraception, while one in six didn't take it at all.<p>A daily folic acid tablet while trying to conceive reduces …

Pregnancy

Growing underground to avoid drought

The Altiplano in Bolivia is one of the largest and highest plateaus in the world. To protect their crops from drought, flash floods and increasing temperatures, some farmers are building underground greenhouses, known locally as ‘Walipinis’.<p>Part of our series Taking the Temperature, which focuses …

Floods

Here's why coating our streets white could help lower temperatures in the summer

2017 was the third hottest year on record and as temperatures continue to rise some of America's cities are looking for ways to cool down. In Los Angeles, pavement company GuardTop is coating streets white to help combat climate change. Following is a transcript of the video.<p><b>Narrator:</b> 2017 was the …

Climate Change

Anthony Bourdain Stood Up For Women Without Making It About Him

Somebody gave me a copy of <i>Kitchen Confidential</i> shortly after I graduated from college; I wish I remembered who. I mostly subsisted on Trader Joe’s …

Sexual Harassment

How bacteria could help feed our planet

Intensive farming is already causing serious environmental damage. Scientists in Vietnam are trialling a new strain of bacteria which could reduce the need for nitrogen fertilizer, and cut pollution from rice farming.<p>Part of our series Taking the Temperature, which focuses on the battle against …

Farming

Plastic and other waste found in British mussels

<b>Researchers have found tiny pieces of plastic in all the samples of mussels they tested in British seawaters and bought from local supermarkets.</b><p>The scientists, from the University of Hull and Brunel University, said the contamination from microplastics and other human debris, such as cotton and …

Pollution

How to spot the secretive activities of rogue fishing boats

For years it’s been impossible to see illegal acts happening at sea, from overfishing to human rights abuses. Now that’s changing, says Jacqueline Savitz.<p>The next time you cook a fish or order some seafood at a restaurant, think about the image above.<p>It’s a snapshot of all the fishing happening on …

Human Rights

Lewis Hamilton says society is 'in stone age' on equal pay and racial equality

<b>Lewis Hamilton says society is "still in the stone age" when it comes to issues such as women's pay rights and racial equality in sport.</b><p>Hamilton was responding to the Forbes list of best-paid sportspeople, which had no women in the top 100.<p>The Mercedes driver said: "It shows you how behind we are …

Stone Age

Queen Honors Activist Who Fought To Decriminalize Prostitution

In 1980s Catherine Healy was a young school teacher who liked to travel and made an unconventional choice to help fund her adventures — one she told the <i>New Zealand Herald</i> drove her mother to tears. She left the classroom for the bedroom, or more accurately an illegal brothel.<p>In the process, Healy …

Queen Elizabeth II

Americans Will Pay a High Price to Save Coal

The Trump administration needs to show the math.<p>An interesting question raised by President Donald Trump’s misguided order to prop up uneconomical coal and nuclear power plants in the name of national security is: How much is this going to cost?<p>Not in climate terms, although here the indirect costs …

Natural Gas

North Korea’s human rights: What Trump and Kim won't talk about

<b>US President Donald Trump and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un will soon be meeting face-to-face, if their historic summit goes ahead.</b><p>The UN says North Koreans live under "systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations". But human rights will almost certainly not be on the table …

North Korea

Are you scared yet? Meet Norman, the psychopathic AI

<b>Norman is an algorithm trained to understand pictures but, like its namesake Hitchcock's Norman Bates, it does not have an optimistic view of the world.</b><p>When a "normal" algorithm generated by artificial intelligence is asked what it sees in an abstract shape it chooses something cheery: "A group of …

Artificial Intelligence

What it’s like to live in a well-governed country

From Canada to Botswana, these six nations consistently rank highest for their progressive social policies, trust in government and effective justice system.<p>What makes a country well-run? Whether minimising corruption or spearheading educational and medical initiatives, governments around the world …

South America

Simon Cowell ditches phone for 10 months - and counting

<b>Simon Cowell has revealed he hasn't used his mobile phone for 10 months - saying the change was "so good" for his mental health.</b><p>The media mogul told the Mail on Sunday he became irritated with how often he was using his phone.<p>The 58-year-old said he has "become way more focused" and "aware of the …

Mental Health

Whale that died off Thailand had eaten 80 plastic bags

<b>A pilot whale has died off southern Thailand after swallowing 80 plastic bags, Thai marine officials say.</b><p>The whale vomited five bags during a vain attempt by conservation officials to save it in a canal in Songkhla province.<p>The bags, weighing about 8kg (17lbs), had made it impossible for the whale …

Thailand

Seeds of science: why we got it so wrong on GMOs

Mark Lynas<br>Bloomsbury Sigma<br>2018 | 304pp | £16.99<br>ISBN 9781472946959<p>Changing one’s beliefs is one of the hardest things to do. Admitting to being wrong …

Agriculture

Here's How to Pick a Perfect Melon Every Time

There's no feeling quite as good as cracking open a perfect melon. There's also no feeling quite as bad as cracking open a bad melon. One is like …

Gardening

Vaccine for cancer that killed Tessa Jowell 'remarkably promising'

<b>A vaccine could help to significantly extend the lives of people diagnosed with the brain cancer that killed Tessa Jowell, early trial results suggest.</b><p>People with glioblastoma who took part in the study lived more than twice as long as those on standard treatments in many cases, researchers say.<p>The …

Cancer

Car dealer tactics stall electric car sales

<b>"Dismissive" car dealers are a major barrier to boosting sales of electric vehicles (EVs) according to a new study.</b><p>Researchers, who posed as car shoppers in Scandinavia and Iceland found that sales personnel strongly pushed petrol and diesel powered cars.<p>Around 77% of dealerships that sold EV …

Electric Vehicles

The strawberry-picking robots coming to a farm near you

A shortage of migrant fruit-pickers is driving demand for robotic alternatives, say strawberry producers.<p>Some of these prototype machines pick, others snip, but all claim to be as good as humans.<p><i>Video: Hannah Gelbart</i>

Robots