Participants at a UN-sponsored environmental meeting here Monday lamented the failure by the US, China and other key countries to sign the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gases. \nThe delegates at the meeting said the groundbreaking global treaty will be diminished without their support. \nThe Kyoto accords, the world's most ambitious and complex environmental treaty, legally commit 39 industrial nations and territories, including Japan and Europe, to trim their output of six "greenhouse" gases -- especially carbon dioxide -- by at least 5.2 percent by 2012, compared with 1990 levels. \nRussian President Vladimir Putin last month signed a bill confirming his nation's ratification of the protocol, giving the global climate pact the final stamp of approval needed to allow it to come into force on Feb. 16. \nBut the list of signatories to the international pact does not include the US, China and India -- all major culprits for the worldwide rise in greenhouse gas emissions. \nChina and India are experiencing a dramatic rise in their greenhouse gas emissions as a result of their rapid economic growth. \nAnd the US -- the largest producer of global-warming gases -- on Monday rejected any discussion of changing its position, calling any talk of a post-2012 regime with Washington's senior climate change negotiator Harlan Watson calling such discussions "totally premature." \nDelegates from 150 countries, along with 6,000 representatives from government, industry and non-profit groups, were in Buenos Aires for the UN-sponsored climate change conference, which runs through Dec. 17. \nClimatic events linked to global warming have been seen in Argentina, the country's health and environment minister, Gines Gonzalez Garcia, told the delegates. \n"In Argentina we have been carrying out a systematic study of those adverse effects, and the evidence gathered indicates that the problem is even worse and is speeding up at a faster pace than formerly anticipated," Gonzalez Garcia said. \nThe South American nation has experienced more frequent violent storms and tornadoes, a higher recurrence of floods, receding glaciers and a rise in sea level, he said, adding that the climate change poses health risks. \nHe said these weather patterns are "some of the signs confirming in our country that what were identified as possible consequences of global warming are already taking place.
Tall, thin and brightly colored, Hanoi’s “tube houses” dominate the city’s streets as 9 million people compete for space in Vietnam’s bustling capital. Although Vietnam saw a number of villas and garden houses built during the French colonial period, Hanoi has few of these grand residential homes. Instead, tree-lined streets are packed with dwellings that are barely 4m wide, but are three times that in depth. Typically, a tube house might be home to a family of four, but two or three generations of relatives sometimes have to jostle for space. The first tube houses — known as nha ong in Vietnamese — are
The head of the Philippine military on Monday visited a coral-fringed island his country occupies in the South China Sea, a move that could stoke already heightened tensions between Manila and Beijing in disputed waters claimed by both countries. During the visit, Philippine Armed Forces Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana commended service members for the role they played in protecting the island’s residents and “guarding the country’s territories” in the strategic waterway. The visit comes after diplomatic protests made by the Philippines in the past few months over what it says is the illegal presence of hundreds of “Chinese maritime militia” vessels inside
‘WITHIN SAFE LIMITS’: Hong Kong is to ask authorities in Guangdong for updates regarding the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant and inform the public of developments The Hong Kong government is closely watching a nearby Chinese nuclear power plant following a news report that it might be leaking, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥) said yesterday. The plant’s operators have released few details, but nuclear experts have said that based on their brief public statement, the facility might be suffering a leak of gas from fuel rods inside a reactor. Government data showed that radiation levels in Hong Kong were normal on Monday night, Lam said. Data from the Hong Kong Observatory showed radiation levels were still normal yesterday. A French company that helps manage the Taishan Nuclear
Maori might have been the first to discover Antarctica, with connections to the icy continent and its surrounding oceans stretching back to the seventh century, researchers say. A new paper by University of Otago combines literature and oral histories, and concludes that Maori were likely the first people to explore Antarctica’s surrounding waters and possibly the continent in the distance. They write that Maori and Polynesian journeys to the deep south have been occurring for a long time, perhaps as far back as the 7th century, and are recorded in a variety of oral traditions. The oral histories of Maori groups Ngti Rrua