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Our planet choking on plastic

It surrounds us. It is in every place we go, on the street, on the beach or the woods. We see it when we climb a mountain or go for a swim. It is there, evidence of our willful neglect or ingenious inventiveness. It is our own man-made friend and already a destructive enemy. It is causing much permanent and irreversible harm to us and also to the creatures of the planet. Yes, you guessed it, it is plastic.
 








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Illegal logging and dams as Laos grapples with its own green monsters

Vientiane (UCAN): Attapeu, a province in the southeast of Laos, is not a place that draws much attention. But a recent illegal logging incident in which a convoy of 27 trucks tried to cross into Vietnam, shone a light on the problem.
 
Illegal logging has been a major problem in the country for years so the scheme itself was far from unexpected. But the consequences were. 
 

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Disarmament and right to life keys to world peace

VATICAN (CNS): A culture of peace “calls for unremitting efforts in favour of disarmament and the reduction of recourse to the use of armed force in the handling of international affairs,” Pope Francis said in his annual address to diplomats accredited to the Vatican on January 8. 
 

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Christmas and the environment

It is ironic and contradictory that the feast of Christmas at which we celebrate the birth of Christ, has become the biggest shopping event right around the world.
 
St. Luke tells us that in response to the decree of Caesar Augustus for a census of the whole world to be taken, Joseph and his pregnant wife, Mary, set out for his ancestral city Bethlehem in order to be registered.
 








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Uproar over restart of open pit mining

MANILA (UCAN): A decision of the Mining Industry Coordinating Council of The Philippines to lift the ban placed on open pit mining by the fired secretary for the environment, Gina Lopez, has drawn criticism from many quarters, especially indigenous peoples, areas heavily dependent on agriculture or the fish industry, as well as conservationists.
 
Father Edwin Gariguez, from Caritas Philippines, described the decision to end the ban as a backward step by government away from a policy designed specifically to protect the environment.
 

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A choppy relationship with nature

Hong Kong and Macau were hit by two typhoons within five days towards the end of August. Mid-week, Typhoon Hato struck during the early hours of the morning of August 23 closing down the two cities for most of the day and leaving a trail of damage as it went.
 
In both places there were injuries, but in Macau 10 people died leaving residents in deep shock and angry at officials for failing to make proper preparations for the storm.
 








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Eco-danger

MANILA (UCAN): If people could be removed from The Philippines its natural environment would become a much more friendly place, as for several years now it has been the deadliest country in Asia and one of the most dangerous in the world for those who work to defend the land against human destruction.
 
A report titled Defenders of the Earth, released on July 14 by the London-based Global Witness, notes that at least 28 pro-environment advocates were killed in The Philippines during 2016.
 

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Science trumped by political fiction

HONG KONG (SE): Fake news is an art form, but while the expression may be new, the reality is far from a modern creation. It has travelled under various labels for centuries.

In 1906, Winston Churchill spoke of political inexactitudes in the parliament, a euphemism for circumlocution—or in plain language, a lie.

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Waste Not and Turn Green

HONG KONG (SE): A low carbon producing lifestyle and an attitude of cherishing natural resources are the two keys to solving Hong Kong’s waste problem, while the government proposal to impose waste disposal charges appears to be only an economic incentive to reduce waste.

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The Year of the Smog

HONG KONG (UCAN): Northern and northeastern China welcomed 2017 as the Year of the Smog, experiencing heavy pollution in 61 cities. However, this is not a surprising event, as it is in keeping with the predictions of a study by the World Health Organisation that shows China home to the deadliest outdoor air pollution in the world.

The China Meteorological Administration issued an orange alert prior to New Year’s Eve, which deteriorated into a red alert on January 4.

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