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Olympics-Opponents also await start of Vancouver Games Reuters 18/01/2019

Chris Shaw never wanted the Winter Olympics to come to Vancouver, but with the event now just a month away he says he's already pleased with one result that Games organizers probably did not want - a united opposition. The Olympics has become a rallying point for a range of social groups planning their own "convergence" in Vancouver in February to protest against the corporate greed and injustice they say the Olympic movement has come to symbolize.

U.S. study backs shelter, drink for homeless alcoholics Reuters 18/01/2019

A program that gives shelter to homeless alcoholics but allows them to keep drinking and not be forced into treatment could save taxpayers millions in public costs, according to a study published on Tuesday. The study also found that daily alcohol consumption fell by 2 percent per month for those in the shelter.

Myanmar election could spark rise in refugees Reuters 11/01/2019

The rubbish dump outside the Thai town of Mae Sot steams with rancid rotting fish and other debris, a squalid haven for hundreds of refugees from Myanmar that aid groups say could swell in size this year. Aid groups are bracing for a rise in refugees from military-ruled Myanmar into neighbouring Thailand and China ahead of its first parliamentary elections in two decades this year, potentially straining ties with its neighbours and worsening crowded refugee camps in Thailand.

Hunger, family homelessness on rise in U.S. cities Reuters 11/01/2019

Millions of Americans are struggling to secure even the most basic of amenities, with the global recession pushing people closer to financial breakdown. The U.S. Conference of Mayors said cities reported a 26 per cent jump in demand for hunger assistance over the past year, the largest average increase since 1991. Middle-class families as well as the uninsured, elderly, working poor and homeless increasingly looked for help with hunger, which was mainly fuelled by unemployment, high housing costs and low wages.

Built back better in Aceh five years after tsunami Reuters 21/12/2019

When the biblical waters of the 2004 tsunami retreated from the interior of Banda Aceh the destruction was total. Thousands had been killed but those who survived found themselves homeless, their properties obliterated by a 9.15 quake. The quake hit with a force equal to 1,500 times the Hiroshima atomic bomb. Despite massive reconstruction efforts thousands are still living in tattered tent communities or temporary barracks.

Hollywood goes to Copenhagen climate summit Reuters 21/12/2019

Think melting arctic ice caps are the biggest threat from global warming? Dangers to polar bears? Think again, and think fast. To hear film director Michael Nash and others talk, bigger issues are national security and the prospect of millions of refugees displaced due to world weather changes. And they are not problems for the future, they are issues today.

Climate talks have neglected food crisis-FAO Reuters 14/12/2019

The head of the U.N.'s food agency has warned that there is a real danger that the Copenhagen talks focused on forests not farms. Jacques Diouf, director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), urged world leaders to "to see greater conscience of the importance (of agriculture)."

Book Talk: German photographer aims lens at polar wildlife Reuters 14/12/2019

Earth's polar extremes may seem monochromatic and hostile to life, but a new book shows they are teeming with colorful creatures. "Antarctic" includes some 180 images, each spread across two large-format pages. It aims to elicit an emotional reaction from wildlife enthusiasts -- and anyone concerned about the environment -- by showing animals in often intimate close-up, contrasted with panoramas of the icy landscapes they inhabit.

Bob Dylan brings Christmas cheer to those without homes Reuters 07/12/2019

Singer Bob Dylan reminisces about Christmas past, turkey dinners and his favourite holiday songs in a rare and exclusive interview distributed by SNS. The exclusive interview appeared in The Big Issue magazines in England and Scotland and street papers in North and South America, Africa, Asia and across Europe. Dylan talks candidly about his music, his new album and his desire to help the homeless.

Hydropower industry braces for glacier-free future Reuters 07/12/2019

More than a billion people worldwide who live in river basins fed by snowmelt and melting glaciers look set to give hydropower a short-term boost. Falling meltwater may increase demand for dams and pumps - a perverse plus of global warming. Long-term risks vary from region to region, though there are fears that sudden floods and increase soil erosion may pose serious dangers for millions.

Amazon forest schemes await strong climate pact Reuters 30/11/2019

Jose de Oliveira Quadro lives in a tiny settlement which is one of 36 communities receiving about $30 a month to act as Amazonian forest guardians. He works in the Juma reserve, an area the size of the U.S. state Delaware, in Brazil's Amazonas. The pioneering scheme holds promise for cutting deforestation and helping indigenous communities to lift their communities out of poverty. Critics worry the needs of forest dwellers' may be ignored as the government attempts to appear proactive. Stuart Grudgings reports on the latest attempt to save the rain forest.

Eton game spreads to Britain's inner cities Reuters 30/11/2019

A casual reference to Eton Fives among members of the British public prompts general bemusement. At best, some sports enthusiasts recognise a form of handball with almost incomprehensible rules played in Britain's most exclusive fee-paying school, an institution associated in the popular imagination with snobbery and privilege. Yet a dedicated bunch of enthusiasts believe Eton, which has produced more British prime ministers than any of its rivals, is also the nursery of a sport ideally suited to the special demands of the country's deprived inner-city schools. John Mehaffey reports.

Welcome to the Clone Farm Reuters 23/11/2019

It may sound like something from the pen of a science fiction writer but across the world many people are already eating meat that has come from the offspring of cloned cows. Critics say testing is scant and safety questions remain. Farmers can now use cloning and other assisted breeding technologies to breed cows that produce bigger, better steaks or massive amounts of milk, and animals that resist diseases or reproduce with clockwork precision. Premier genes can translate to improved feeding efficiency, meaning the ability to convert the least amount of feed into the most meat or milk, which results in a smaller environmental footprint. But do the benefits justify the means?

Virtual pioneers: Macedonia schools to get wired Reuters 23/11/2019

"Virtual desktops" promise access for many students and workers in Macedonia. With technology from a California company many schools are starting to benefit from a computer system. At its heart are boxes about the size of a paperback book enabling multiple screens and keyboards to be connected to a single computer, so providing computer access for each student. The energy and cost savings boost appeal in the developing world and may offer a bridge for nations such as Macedonia to cross the digital divide.

Climate change makes English winemakers see red Reuters 16/11/2019

In recent years, aided by milder springs and autumns, a few British wineries have revived a red winemaking tradition which died around 600 years ago. Wine aficionados are mixed about the results so far, but say the finest red wines may in future come from north of the English channel if a 190-nation conference in Copenhagen next month fails to agree a strong new U.N. climate change pact. Tom Bergin explores the changing tastes of the British wine industry.

China ivory demand bodes ill for Africa's elephants Reuters 16/11/2019

Tucked into a grimy building in Guangzhou, a small band of Chinese master carvers chip away at ivory tusks with chisels, fashioning them into the sorts of intricate carvings that were prized by Chinese emperors. A passion for ivory ornaments such as these is what helped decimate African and Asian elephant populations until a 1989 ban on ivory trade. Today, China's economic rise, and along with it a seemingly insatiable appetite for status symbols by its nouveau riche, has spurred demand for African ivory.

Voxpop -Young Europeans' thoughts on fall of Berlin Wall Reuters 09/11/2019

For generations old enough to have lived through it, the opening of the Berlin Wall will be the iconic image of our time - an enduring memory that marked the beginning of the end of the Cold War. But to many Europeans born around 1989, the far more enduring image is the destruction of the World Trade Centre on Sept. 11, 2001, ushering in the age of global terrorism and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Israeli firms aim to plug world's water leaks Reuters 09/11/2019

According to the World Bank, water-pipe leakage costs $14 billion per year globally. Companies say reducing pressure and instant readings are key, if the world is to stop wasting this most precious of resources. In the fight to plug the hole, Israeli companies are leading the way as they target demand for more effective water transportation.

Soccer-South African grannies catch World Cup fever Reuters 26/10/2019

Fifa fever is getting ever hotter in South Africa as the world cup draws closer. Hundreds of poor, elderly women in aprons and skirts have started to swap domestic chores for football, donning soccer boots instead of their usual rubber sandals to play in local matches. Competition is fierce among the eight teams and the women say soccer is the best exercise, much better than their usual manual work at home and in the fields.

"Miracle" baby gives hope in Russian Muslim south Reuters 26/10/2019

A "miracle" baby has brought a kind of mystical hope to people in Russia's mostly Muslim southern fringe who are increasingly desperate in the face of Islamist violence. From hunchbacked grandmas to schoolboys, hundreds of pilgrims lined up this week in blazing sunshine to get a glimpse of 9-month-old baby Ali Yakubov, on whose body they say verses from the Koran appear and fade every few days.

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