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Postcard from Thailand - a polluted paradise

Greenpeace International - س, 10/30/1416 - 07:44

The tiny island of Koh Samet is about 2 km off the coast of the Thai mainland and has the long pale beaches, forests and beautiful geography made famous by the 2000 hit film, The Beach

Right now though the fine, white sands of the island and clear, blue waters that surround it are being turned sticky and black by crude oil which spurted out of a pipeline operated by PTT Global Chemical.

The spill started Saturday morning from about 20 kilometres southeast of the Map Ta Phut seaport on the southern shore of the mainland. PTT, the state-owned administrator of PTT Global Chemical, tried to downplay the full extent of the leak by claiming that the oil slick had "effectively been dissolved".

This claim proved to be untrue after unrefined crude started blackening the immaculate beaches of Koh Samet as PTT Global Chemical admitted 50,000 litres of unrefined crude had been spilled into the waters of Phrao Bay.

Making matters worse, Thailand is not capable of handling the oil spill, Deputy Premier Plodprasop Suraswadi conceded to the Bangkok Post. Speaking via a government spokesman, he added that authorities should seek help from nearby Singapore.

For a region identified by Greenpeace Southeast Asia Thailand Programme Manager Ply Pirom as the "nation’s food basket", this news is bleak.

Bleaker still when you realise that this spill is just one of more than 200 spills that have happened in Thai waters in the past three decades, effectively putting the region's ecosystem in the crossfire of big oil companies and meagre oil spill mitigation resources.

Greenpeace East Asia has been closely monitoring the situation and have deployed a rapid response team to document the impact of the spill, particularly in the National Marine Park area that includes Koh Samet.

Greenpeace is now demanding that PTT Global Chemical be held financially liable for the cost of cleaning and restoring the natural environment and is mobilising the public through an online petition. It's time for the Thai government to review its energy policy and put an end to oil drilling and exploration in the Gulf of Thailand.

The paradox of a country known for its staggering natural beauty but still heavily reliant on fossil fuels in its energy policy is counterintuitive. Especially when the availability of affordable, clean, renewable energy is taken into consideration. 

It is up to us all to put pressure on policymakers, oil companies and their shareholders to end our reliance on fossil fuels. It may be too late to draw a line in the oil-soaked sands of Koh Samet – as we have in the ice in the Arctic – but we can rally to make this the last oil spill we see.

You can help by signing our petition.

گروه ها: Conservation Feed

South Korea tramples human rights and ignores lessons from Fukushima

Greenpeace International - س, 10/30/1416 - 07:44

Today is the International Human Rights Day and what better way to mark it than by launching a court case against injustice in South Korea.

With so many countries moving away from nuclear power in recent decades, and many more rushing to abandon it in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, South Korea remains one of the last withered feathers in the nuclear industry’s cap. Both the South Korean government and the industry are fighting tooth and nail to keep it that way by silencing criticism.

Since establishing an office in Seoul in April 2011, Greenpeace East Asia has witnessed the South Korean government’s willingness to ignore the lessons of Fukushima and has experienced first hand its efforts to silence those speaking out against its nuclear programme.

Between November 2011 and October 2012 six Greenpeace East Asia and Greenpeace International staff were denied entry to South Korea. They were flown back to where they came from and given no official or personal explanation as to why. Official inquiries and freedom of information requests have been met with a similar stony silence.

The only option left open to us was to challenge the government’s actions in blocking our staff from entering the country in court, which we did today.

Challenging the South Korean government’s unjust actions is important, as Greenpeace is not alone in facing this treatment. Other groups, including South Korea’s People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD), have been met with similar tactics when they began speaking out.

“Similar to Greenpeace's anti-nuclear campaign staff, at least 25 peace activists opposing the construction of the Jeju naval base were deported or denied entry since 2011,” said Gayoon Baek, a coordinator of the International Solidarity Committee at PSPD, while standing in solidarity with us at the court today.

"The South Korean government is increasingly using denial of entry as a means to crush activist criticism – a clear violation of the internationally recognised right to freedom of assembly and expression.”

As a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), South Korea has an obligation to defend the right to free speech, freedom of expression and freedom of information. Instead, it is choosing to silence those who raise their voices in opposition to its reckless nuclear programme, restricting the information its citizens have access to.

South Korea currently has 21 nuclear reactors, and is planning to build 11 more, despite the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi once again proving the massive risks that this technology poses to public, environmental and economic health.

It is only right that the people of South Korea are given all the information they need to make an informed decision about their collective future. By cracking down on peaceful anti-nuclear groups, the South Korean government is instead cutting them off from the information they need to be properly informed about the risks of nuclear power.

Stopping peaceful NGOs and activists from participating in public debate in this manner is a violation of Article 19 of the ICCPR, is inconsistent with Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is a threat to the integrity of South Korea’s democracy.

With so much invested in its nuclear plants, and with many more reactors planned, it is clear that the nuclear industry has a dangerous choke hold on South Korea’s political system.

To protect the quality of its democracy and to ensure its people have both the necessary information and a choice to move towards a nuclear-free, renewable energy future, the South Korean government must immediately cease its crackdown on those who criticise its policies. It's time for the government to allow the energy discussion debate.

Pino Lee is a nuclear campaigner with Greenpeace East Asia and is based in Seoul, South Korea.


گروه ها: Conservation Feed

U.S. calls on auto industry to make cyber security a priority

Yahoo! News: Technology News - 33 دقیقه 10 ثانیه پیش

Automakers should make shielding the electronic and computer systems of vehicles from hackers a priority, developing layers of protection that can secure a vehicle throughout its life, U.S. regulators said on Monday. The cyber security guidelines issued by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are recommendations, not enforceable rules. Some of the agency's proposals, included in a paper titled "Cybersecurity Best Practices for Modern Vehicles," echo moves major manufacturers are making already, including establishing a group to share information about cyber security threats.

گروه ها: yahoo

Alipay targets Chinese tourists abroad with Verifone deal

Yahoo! News: Technology News - 34 دقیقه 17 ثانیه پیش

By Eric Auchard FRANKFURT (Reuters) - China's Alipay has agreed with U.S.-based Verifone to integrate its mobile app on Verifone payment terminals at merchants in Europe and North America, the latest such deal to reach Chinese consumers traveling abroad. Alipay, which counts 450 million active users in China, is the top mobile payments player there. Verifone terminals are used by most of the top 200 retailers in the United States, a spokesman said.

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AT&T investors weigh new growth, risks with Time Warner deal

Yahoo! News: Technology News - 35 دقیقه 37 ثانیه پیش
By Lewis Krauskopf NEW YORK (Reuters) - AT&T Inc shareholders who have profited for most of 2016 from owning a major telecommunications provider with a strong dividend yield are now tied to a controversial media acquisition that comes with new growth potential but also fresh risks. AT&T shareholders so far have panned the $85 billion cash-and-stock purchase of Time Warner unveiled over the weekend. Since word of the acquisition first leaked on Thursday, AT&T shares have fallen 6.4 percent, their largest three-day drop since January 2009.
گروه ها: yahoo

Former Red Sox pitcher joining conservative Breitbart news

Yahoo! News: Entertainment News - 40 دقیقه 50 ثانیه پیش

NEW YORK (AP) — Former Major League pitcher Curt Schilling is joining the Breitbart News Network as host of the conservative organization's first online radio show.

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Burden of cancer deaths from smoking heaviest in U.S. south

Yahoo! News: Health News - 44 دقیقه 17 ثانیه پیش
By Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) - Of all cancer deaths in the U.S., the share that’s related to smoking varies considerably by region, with southern states bearing the heaviest burden, according to a new study. With up to 40 percent of cancer deaths attributable to smoking in some areas and just 8 percent in others, the disparities may come down largely to how aggressively states pursue tobacco control, researchers write in JAMA Internal Medicine, October 24th. “Declines in smoking prevalence have accelerated over the past seven to eight years,” lead author Joannie Lortet-Tieulent of Surveillance and Health Services Research at the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, told Reuters Health by email.
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NBA TV host Kristen Ledlow says she was robbed at gunpoint

Yahoo! News: Entertainment News - 44 دقیقه 23 ثانیه پیش

ATLANTA (AP) — NBA TV personality Kristen Ledlow was robbed at gunpoint at her home, she said.

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Obama administration confirms double-digit premium hikes

Yahoo! News: Health News - 45 دقیقه 57 ثانیه پیش

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is confirming that premiums will go up sharply next year for health insurance sold to millions of consumers through HealthCare.gov.

گروه ها: Health Feed, yahoo

Group offers tours of 'Field of Dreams' house

Yahoo! News: Entertainment News - 47 دقیقه 56 ثانیه پیش
DYERSVILLE, Iowa (AP) — The owners of the "Field of Dreams" movie site near Dyersville say that for the first time they will allow tours of the house that overlooks the famous baseball field.
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Is sneaker production making a return run to the US?

Yahoo! News: Technology News - 55 دقیقه 10 ثانیه پیش
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Crafting the latest trends in global footwear used to be the pride of U.S. shoe industry workers, but most of those jobs left long ago for Asia. Now, the American sneaker factory could be coming back — with robots doing most of the work.
گروه ها: yahoo

Alan Alda asks scientists to explain energy to children

Yahoo! News: Entertainment News - 58 دقیقه 23 ثانیه پیش
STONY BROOK, N.Y. (AP) — Alan Alda wants scientists to answer a question for 11-year-old children: What is energy?
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Alan Alda asks scientists to explain energy to children

Yahoo! News: Science News - 58 دقیقه 23 ثانیه پیش
STONY BROOK, N.Y. (AP) — Alan Alda wants scientists to answer a question for 11-year-old children: What is energy?
گروه ها: yahoo

Time Warner, AT&T shares fall with concerns over deal clearance

Yahoo! News: Technology News - 1 ساعت 1 دقیقه پیش

Wall Street signaled skepticism on Monday that AT&T Inc would secure the government approvals needed to carry out its planned $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc, with shares of both companies falling as analysts scrutinized the deal. Time Warner shares were trading some 20 percent below the implied value of AT&T's $107.50 per share cash and stock offer, indicating investors doubt that the companies would be able to complete the transaction. The deal, announced on Saturday, would give AT&T control of cable TV channels HBO and CNN, film studio Warner Bros and other coveted assets and reshape the media landscape.

گروه ها: yahoo

U.S. banks add pieces to new instant payments network

Yahoo! News: Technology News - 1 ساعت 1 دقیقه پیش
By the end of December some U.S. bank customers may begin to notice features of the new Zelle instant payments network appearing on their mobile phone and online banking apps as the financial industry tries to catch up with technology company rivals, such as Venmo. Paul Finch, chief executive of the bank network operator, Early Warning Services, said during the weekend that buttons on user screens for digital payments at some banks will gradually start to use a uniform procedure for individuals to send and receive money. "This is about creating a wide, and inclusive, alternative to cash and checks for everyone," said Finch, who was at the Money 20/20 payments industry conference in Las Vegas to promote Zelle for its bank owners.
گروه ها: yahoo

There’s an Android phone coming out that will cost $1,300

Yahoo! News: Technology News - 1 ساعت 2 دقیقه پیش
Flagship smartphones are insanely expensive these days. Consider this: today, our deals team included a brand new 2016 Samsung HDTV model with a curved 49-inch display in their  roundup of Amazon's best daily deals . Curved screens are the latest and greatest tech Samsung is touting in its TV lineup, and a 49-inch display is a great size. This model also smart features so it can run all of your favorite apps like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. Right now, this great TV from the world's top TV brand is on sale for $510 — which is just over half of what Apple charges for a high-end iPhone 7 Plus. But if you think the iPhone 7 Plus is expensive, you haven't seen anything yet. DON'T MISS:  Insane new iPhone 8 design that no one saw coming may have just been revealed There's a hot new smartphone that is about to be released, and it features specs that are shaping up to absolutely crush every other Android smartphone on the market. You'll probably never actually see one in person though — not just because it's a Huawei flagship phone and the company doesn't sell many flagship phones in the US, but also because new rumors suggest that it's going to be priced right out of contention. Gadget leaker Evan Blass reports that the upcoming new Huawei Mate 9 and Huawei Mate 9 Pro will feature 5.9-inch displays, Kirin 960 processors, 4GB of RAM and as much as 256GB of internal storage. The higher-end "Pro" model will reportedly feature quad HD resolution and a dual lens camera set up that offers up to 4x optical zoom, outdoing Apple's new iPhone 7 Plus and its 2x optical zoom. Here's the kicker: According to a tweet from Blass , a Mate 9 Pro with 256GB of storage will cost a whopping $1,300. https://twitter.com/evleaks/status/789994830877302784 Huawei will reportedly unveil its new Mate 9 and Mate 9 Pro during a press conference on November 3rd.
گروه ها: yahoo

If I only had $85K: Fundraiser for 'Oz' Scarecrow costume

Yahoo! News: Entertainment News - 1 ساعت 4 دقیقه پیش

Now that the Smithsonian has reached its crowd-funding goal to preserve the ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz," the museum is asking for more money to conserve another relic from the beloved ...

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Geno Smith tears ACL; Ryan Fitzpatrick to start for Jets - ESPN

Sports - Google News - 1 ساعت 4 دقیقه پیش


Geno Smith tears ACL; Ryan Fitzpatrick to start for Jets
With the news that Jets QB Geno Smith tore the ACL in his right knee, Tim Hasselbeck and Merril Hoge discuss if New York should go back to Ryan Fitzpatrick or go with Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg. (1:34). Facebook · Twitter · Pinterest · Email ...
Bowles fine with Fitz playing pissed if it stops INTsNFL.com
Jets to stick with Ryan Fitzpatrick as starter after Geno Smith ACL tearNBCSports.com
Report: Jets quarterback Geno Smith suffered a torn right ACLYahoo Sports
USA TODAY -Sports Illustrated -SB Nation -CBSSports.com
all 533 news articles »
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Cubs' appeal could help set World Series wagering record

Yahoo! News: Sports News - 1 ساعت 7 دقیقه پیش
The Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians own Major League Baseball's longest active dry spells and their intriguing championship clash has set off a World Series betting frenzy in Las Vegas unlike any seen before. The Cubs, whose last World Series appearance came in 1945, are seeking their first MLB crown since 1908 while the Indians, who last appeared in the Fall Classic in 1997, haven't won it all since 1948.
گروه ها: yahoo

World Series Cinderellas deserve to be in Fall Classic

Yahoo! News: Sports News - 1 ساعت 9 دقیقه پیش
Despite the Cinderella storylines about two of baseball's underdog franchises reaching the World Series, the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians fully deserve to be battling for Major League Baseball's title. Chicago, despite their so-called "Curse of the Billy Goat", began the season as favorites to win baseball's top prize and the young Cubs proved they have come of age by winning a major league-leading 103 games. The Indians, whose powerhouse lineup reached a pair of World Series in the 1990s, overcame numerous obstacles to climb to the top of the American League, relying on stellar starting pitching in the regular season and a killer bullpen in the playoffs.
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