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China's plastic trash ban is spur to recycle: U.N. Environment

OSLO (Reuters) - China's crackdown on imports of plastic trash should be a signal for rich nations to increase recycling and cut down on non-essential products such as plastic drinking straws, the head of the U.N Environment Programme said on Monday.<p>Erik Solheim, a former Norwegian environment …

Chinese Communist Party takes control of paramilitary police

The move puts the 660,000 strong paramilitary force under President Xi Jinping's control. It comes as Xi consolidates Communist Party control and …

China

What would happen if Earth became 2 degrees warmer

Following is a transcript of the video.<p>What would happen if Earth became 2º C (4.6º F) warmer.<p>In 2015, the Paris Agreement declared that the world should try to keep Earth's warming trend to well below 2°C by 2100. Here's what would happen if temperatures did increase by 2° C.<p>Sea levels will likely …

Facebook, Take Note: In China's 'New Era,' the Communist Party Comes First

American tech giants need to rethink their relationship with China. Now.<p>The need to do so was evident on Monday when Facebook Inc.’s Mark Zuckerberg, Apple Inc.’s Tim Cook and a bevy of other leaders in the worlds of technology, finance and industry were whisked to the Great Hall of the People to …

The Global Economy Looks Good for 2018 (Unless Somebody Does Something Dumb)

Everyone in the world—plus the two SpaceX customers who technically won’t be in the world when they do figure eights around the Earth and the moon …

Beijing is seeking to become the emerging dominant player

Speaking to US broadcaster NBC News, the unnamed officials said the threat of North Korea was less of a concern because “it’s a fight we could …

China

Climate change and health: infographic

The Lancet Countdown 2017 report monitors the health impacts of climate change and the benefits resulting from the response to climate change.

Survival of coral reefs depends on pollution cuts

Miami - Some corals may naturally adapt to climate change, but their ability to survive could be outpaced by global warming unless cuts are made to …

New China doctrine leaves strategic affairs experts worried

The recently concluded 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has raised concerns among strategic affairs experts, particularly …

Balfour Declaration: The divisive legacy of 67 words

<b>The British peer Arthur Balfour barely makes an appearance in UK schoolbooks, but many Israeli and Palestinian students could tell you about him.</b><p>His Balfour Declaration, made on 2 November 1917, is taught in their respective history classes and forms a key chapter in their two very different, …

Explainer: hydrofluorocarbons saved the ozone layer, so why are we banning them?

On October 28, Australia ratified the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. Australia is the tenth country to ratify, joining others as diverse …

Venezuela introduces 100,000 bolivar bill worth $2

The new note unveiled by President Nicolas Maduro is meant to curb out-of-control inflation that has left the country reeling. Just one year ago, a …

Climate change 'will create world's biggest refugee crisis'

Experts warn refugees could number tens of millions in the next decade, and call for a new legal framework to protect the most vulnerable<p>Tens of millions of people will be forced from their homes by climate change in the next decade, creating the biggest refugee crisis the world has ever seen, …

Environmental Justice

'It's not yours': why you shouldn't climb Uluru

For years, my husband had wanted to walk the Larapinta Trail, a track which runs west from Telegraph Station, just at Alice Springs, to Mount Sonder. …

Nations to Watch in 2018

Each year the International Monetary Fund projects gross domestic product per capita—a rough measure of living standards—for almost every country in …

UN releases warning about 'catastrophic' lack of action on climate change

There is a "catastrophic" gap between what needs to be done on climate change and what governments and companies are actually doing, the UN has …

Stephen Hawking's Ph.D. Thesis Crashes Cambridge Site After It's Posted Online

<b>Updated at 9:45 a.m. ET Tuesday</b><p>Interest in "Properties of Expanding Universes" is at an all-time high: Stephen Hawking's doctoral thesis of that name crashed Cambridge University's open-access repository on the first day the document was posted online.<p>The Cambridge Library made several PDF files of …

Stephen Hawking

How China is challenging the West's broken model

by Gideon Rachman<p>The Communist party congress in Beijing is a milestone. As the Xi Jinping era enters its second term, China's challenge to the west …

Eastern Europe’s major economies are having an underappreciated “Goldilocks moment”

Germany has long been the engine that drives the EU’s economic growth, but for the past few years it has been outpaced by countries further east—most notably Poland, Romania, and the Czech Republic.<p>The three largest eastern EU members by GDP are experiencing a “Goldilocks moment” of high economic …

Eastern Europe

The Catalan crisis is not just about nationalism

What is happening in Catalonia is a symptom of much larger crisis that liberal democracies are suffering from.<p>This is a difficult year for Spain. First, the prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, had to appear in court because of corruption charges levelled against his party; then Barcelona suffered a …

Europe

We are obsessed with Brexit and Trump: we should be thinking about China | Martin Kettle

It will no longer do to skip over the detail of the superpower’s beliefs and ambitions. What Xi Jinping says and does will shape our world<p>This has not been, it must be admitted, an exactly stellar week for those of us who continue to make the case for the enduring strengths of liberal democracy. On …

Human Rights

China’s skewed sex ratio makes president Xi’s job a lot harder

As odd as it sounds, China’s economic policy is being held hostage by its heavily skewed sex ratio.<p>China’s excess of young, unmarriageable males poses an acute dilemma for President Xi Jinping and other leaders as they set the country’s path for the next five years during the 19th Chinese Communist …

For the first time in 7,000 years, warm waters are rising up from the deep oceans around Antarctica

The deep ocean waters around Antarctica have been disturbed.<p>The vast expanse of the Antarctic is a region of the world particularly vulnerable to …

Warning of 'ecological Armageddon' after dramatic plunge in insect numbers

Three-quarters of flying insects in nature reserves across Germany have vanished in 25 years, with serious implications for all life on Earth, scientists say<p>The abundance of flying insects has plunged by three-quarters over the past 25 years, according to a new study that has shocked …

Research

Mesmerizing maps reveal which cities around the world are most likely to fall apart

In these distressed urban areas, the unemployment rate is high, equality is low, healthcare and safety are poor, and people fear for their life on a daily basis, wondering whether the government will ever step in to help.<p>Robert Muggah, a global security expert and research director at the think …

The great thaw of America’s north is coming

One of the most profound effects of a warming world is underway on US soil – the impact will force thousands to relocate, and have far-reaching, global consequences. Sara Goudarzi reports from Alaska.<p>Vladimir Romanovsky walks through the dense black spruce forest with ease. Not once does he stop or …

Permafrost

Watch: Greater animal diversity means more trapped carbon

Animal diversity may be key to the carbon cycle in tropical rainforests like the Amazon, new research suggests.<p>Trees in tropical forests are well …

Giving Up Hope Won't Save the Planet. Ending Poverty Might.

My Belief<p>We are destroying the world at a very rapid rate, and an awful lot of people are just giving up hope and thinking, "Well, there's nothing I can do." The rain forests are disappearing everywhere. Big dams are draining whole countries of their water supply: The famous Serengeti, in Tanzania, …