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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

Maine governor says will not resign, to seek spiritual advice

Yahoo! News: Health News - 19 دقیقه 45 ثانیه پیش

(Editor's note: This story contains language in the second paragraph that may offend readers) By Scott Malone (Reuters) - Maine Governor Paul LePage said on Wednesday he will not resign and is seeking spiritual advice after unleashing an obscenity-laden voicemail message on a political rival, as state lawmakers kept the pressure on the Republican to step down. The famously combative two-term governor apologized for the second day in a row to the people of Maine and to state Representative Drew Gattine after calling the Democrat a "little son-of-a-bitch, socialist cocksucker" in a voicemail message last week that has been widely circulated. "I will not resign," LePage told reporters in his office in the state capital of Augusta, a day after he openly discussed the possibility of resigning in a radio appearance.


گروه ها: Health Feed, yahoo

Apple tax receipts could help cut Ireland's debt pile: S&P's Kraemer

Yahoo! News: Technology News - 30 دقیقه 27 ثانیه پیش

By Abhinav Ramnarayan LONDON (Reuters) - The European Commission's ruling that Apple Inc should pay up to 13 billion euros of back-dated taxes could help Ireland reduce its debt significantly but may undermine its government, Standard & Poor's told Reuters on Wednesday. "There are many uncertainties ahead but if we assume that the money will definitely come through, the sum of 13 billion euros is not insignificant for an economy the size of Ireland," said Moritz Kraemer, the ratings agency's chief European sovereign rating officer. Ireland's debt-to-GDP ratio is around 94 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.


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Watch live streaming video from Samsung’s big IFA 2016 event right here

Yahoo! News: Technology News - 33 دقیقه 34 ثانیه پیش
The first day of the annual IFA trade show isn't actually until Friday, but you wouldn't know it considering all of the big announcements coming out of Berlin, Germany this morning. Acer kicked things off with a big event that saw a number of exciting products unveiled, including an insane 21-inch curved gaming laptop and a touchscreen Chromebook. You can read about those and all the other products Acer announced in our roundup . But Acer's press conference is now in the past, and it's time to move on to one of the most hotly anticipated events of the show. That's right, the big Samsung IFA 2016 press conference is about to get underway. DON'T MISS:  On the eve of Apple’s iPhone 7 event, new leak reveals exciting Galaxy S8 details No, Samsung isn't going to announce any hot new flagship smartphones at today's big event. After all, the company just launched its brand new Galaxy Note 7 recently, and it needs to give the phablet at least a few months to enjoy being the hottest new Android phone in the world. And we do mean "hot" both figuratively (read our Galaxy Note 7 review ) and literally ( ruh-roh ). Sure, some early Galaxy S8 details have begun to leak , but that announcement isn't due until early next year. But don't worry, Samsung is still planning some exciting new announcements for today's IFA 2016 press conference. First of all, we know with near-certainty that the company will show off its brand new Gear S3 smartwatch at today's show. We know what you're thinking... not another smartwatch . Before you dismiss it though, recall that the Gear S2 is easily one of the best smartwatches we've seen so far. In fact, the Gear S2 and the Apple Watch are probably the only two big-brand smartwatches worth even considering at this point. As for the next-generation Gear S3 model, rumors suggest it will feature new sensors and a tweaked design. Don't worry though, it'll still be round. Reports also suggest that Samsung plans to unveil the new Galaxy S Tab 3 at its IFA 2016 event, and it will feature killer specs including an 8-inch AMOLED display with 2K resolution, 3GB of RAM, a large 4,000 mAh battery and Android 6 Marshmallow. What else might Samsung have in store? Will there be any surprises? You bet there will, and you can watch all the action unfold live by following along with the live video stream embedded below. The event is scheduled to begin at 12:00 PM ET / 9:00 PM PT.
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EVE Online will be free to play soon

Yahoo! News: Technology News - 36 دقیقه 24 ثانیه پیش

More than a decade after it first launched, sci-fi virtual world EVE Online is going free. Developer CCP Games announced the change today, which will see the game add a new free option as part of its next big update in November. With the update, EVE Online players will essentially be separated into two different tiers: "Omega clones" and "Alpha clones." Omega clones will apply to accounts with existing subscriptions, and will give players access to the entire game, just as they always have.


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Pregnant woman in Singapore diagnosed with Zika infection: media

Yahoo! News: Health News - 44 دقیقه 3 ثانیه پیش
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - A pregnant woman was among those diagnosed with Zika infections in Singapore, local media reported on Wednesday, citing the health ministry. Singapore confirmed 24 new Zika cases on Wednesday, taking the tally to 115, local media reported. The Zika virus was detected in Brazil last year and has since spread across the Americas. It poses a risk to pregnant women because it can cause severe birth defects. (Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Dominic Evans)
گروه ها: Health Feed, yahoo

Irish cabinet may need more time to decide on Apple appeal: minister

Yahoo! News: Technology News - 51 دقیقه 8 ثانیه پیش

By Padraic Halpin and Conor Humphries DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland's cabinet may need more time to decide whether to appeal a European Commission ruling against Dublin's tax dealings with Apple , a minister said on Wednesday. Finance Minister Michael Noonan has recommended lodging the appeal, saying on Tuesday he "disagreed profoundly" with what he called a bizarre order from the Commission that the U.S. tech giant should hand over to Ireland unpaid taxes of up to 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) ruled to be illegal state aid. Noonan sought approval for an appeal, which must be made in just over two months at the latest, at a cabinet meeting that began at 1030 GMT.


گروه ها: yahoo

iRobot CEO says vacuum cleaners clear path to robot future

Yahoo! News: Technology News - 55 دقیقه 28 ثانیه پیش
The clash this year over the future of iRobot pitted visionary robotics against the retail success of the company's Roombas, the circular-shaped domestic helpers that have cleaned millions of living rooms ...
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Tiny particle blows hole in European satellite's solar panel

Yahoo! News: Technology News - 57 دقیقه 45 ثانیه پیش
BERLIN (AP) — The European Space Agency says a tiny particle has knocked a gaping hole in a solar panel on one of its Earth observation satellites.
گروه ها: yahoo

Gene Wilder's comedic timing was beyond compare

Yahoo! News: Technology News - 59 دقیقه 58 ثانیه پیش

Gene Wilder is gone, and he will be sorely missed. The obvious example will forever be his defining performance in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, where he plays a kind, if gleefully unhinged, candy baron. As Edgar Wright put it on Twitter the other day in the wake of the actor’s death, Gene Wilder was a master of the comedic pause.


گروه ها: yahoo

Watch the first in-depth PS4 Slim unboxing and review video

Yahoo! News: Technology News - 1 ساعت 54 ثانیه پیش
A week from today, Sony will take the stage at the PlayStation Theater in New York City to announce the new PS4 Slim . Unfortunately, the surprise has already been ruined by countless leaks over the past few weeks, culminating in a full review and unboxing video from Let's Play Video Games on Tuesday. DON'T MISS:  The worst thing about yesterday’s big iPhone 7 specs leak One important thing to note about the slim model of the PlayStation 4 is that it isn't equivalent to the Xbox One S . It doesn't support 4K Ultra HD video, it won't bring HDR support to your games and it isn't faster or more powerful than the PS4 on store shelves right now. It's just smaller and sleeker. Although the slim console itself is virtually identical to the original PS4, the controller that comes included in the box is different . Not only does it feature a small light bar above the touchpad, but it also transfers data over a wired connection when it is physically connected to either the PS4 or the PS4 Slim console. This is a small, but significant, change from the old DualShock 4, which uses Bluetooth to connect to the PS4 regardless of whether or not it's plugged in. For most players, this won't mean anything, but for hardcore gamers who want to know they are getting the best response time possible, it's a nice addition. You can see everything else that the new standard PlayStation 4 model has to offer in the unboxing video below, and be sure to come back to BGR next week when we'll have more details about the PS4 Slim's availability: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9V6VeZdMCQ
گروه ها: yahoo

Archos will release its first drone in October

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

Archos is the latest company to get in on the drone craze with its aptly named Archos Drone. The Archos Drone comes with a not-so-great 1MP camera, which won't be great for taking photos or video, but you can watch a live stream of the flight path on your iOS or Android smartphone, which can be mounted on the controller. The company says the Archos Drone can be flown indoors as well as outside, can execute 360-degree flips, and comes with LED lights for night flights.


گروه ها: yahoo

Swedish hospital behind Nobel prize criticized over medical scandal

Yahoo! News: Health News - 1 ساعت 6 دقیقه پیش

The reputation of the Karolinska Institute, one of Sweden's top hospitals that awards the Nobel prize for medicine, has been badly damaged by allegations patients died as a result of a surgeon performing experimental operations without clearance, an official report said. Criticism of the Karolinska Institute, which had employed Italian surgeon Paolo Macchiarini, led to the resignation of the secretary of the Nobel Committee at the Institute in February and to calls for the award to be scrapped this year and next. Bjorn Hurtig, a Swedish lawyer who represents Macchiarini, could not immediately be reached for comment on the report.


گروه ها: Health Feed, yahoo

The 30 games we can't wait to play this holiday season

Yahoo! News: Technology News - 1 ساعت 9 دقیقه پیش

Tomorrow is September 1st, which means fall is almost here. It’s a time for drinking syrupy seasonal coffee drinks, wearing big warm sweaters, and finding the time in your life to play the incoming onslaught of holiday game releases. 2016 has already been a pretty great year for games, with everything from indie gems like No Man’s Sky and Inside, to big blockbuster experiences like Uncharted 4 and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. But it looks to only get better from here on out.


گروه ها: yahoo

U.S. Treasury says EU's Apple tax ruling aimed at U.S. companies

Yahoo! News: Technology News - 1 ساعت 12 دقیقه پیش

The U.S. Treasury sought to keep pressure on the European Union to rescind a ruling that Apple Inc pay up to $14.5 billion in back taxes, a move Washington says breaches international tax rules and sets the stage for more actions against U.S. companies. The tax deal between Apple and Ireland that allowed the U.S. technology giant pay a tax rate that the European Commission said was effectively 1 percent of its profits is the latest spat between Brussels and Washington over company regulation. "I have been concerned that it reflected an attempt to reach in to the U.S. tax base to tax income that ought to be taxed in the United States," U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on Wednesday at an event to discuss Washington's position ahead of a meeting of the Group of 20 industrial nations in China next week.


گروه ها: yahoo

Dropbox’s 2012 breach was worse than the company admitted

Yahoo! News: Technology News - 1 ساعت 27 دقیقه پیش

Hackers have obtained data on more than 68 million Dropbox accounts, according to a Motherboard report. Both Dropbox and independent researcher Troy Hunt have confirmed the validity of the data. The passwords involved are all several years old, and Dropbox security reset a number of accounts in response to the breach in 2012.


گروه ها: yahoo

The latest evidence of a 256GB iPhone 7 comes directly from Apple

Yahoo! News: Technology News - 1 ساعت 27 دقیقه پیش
One week from today, Apple fans. One. Week. Apple's next-generation iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will finally become a reality next Wednesday when Apple unveils them during its big press conference in California. We'll obviously be covering the event live on September 7th, but most of what's announced won't come as much of a surprise to eager iPhone fans who have had their eyes glued to the rumor mill over these past few months. Apple will unveil two new iPhones that feature minor design changes, more powerful guts and, according to recent rumors, a solution to one of Apple fans' biggest problems with their current iPhones . Now, the latest evidence that Apple will indeed be doubling the available storage in its new iPhone models comes directly from Apple. MUST READ:  The worst thing about yesterday’s big iPhone 7 specs leak Earlier today, we showed you a huge leak that represents the latest evidence of a big change expected on this year's iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. According to recent reports, Apple plans to double the amount of available storage on each new iPhone model. So instead of 16GB, 64GB and 128GB iPhones, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will supposedly be available with either 32GB, 128GB or 256GB of internal storage. Pricing should remain the same, which makes this a huge deal for iPhone owners. The move shouldn't be very surprising. With a massive new iPhone redesign coming next year for the iPhone's tenth anniversary, Apple's new 2016 iPhone models will sport a look that's strikingly similar to last year's iPhones and the iPhone 6 lineup from back in 2014. As a result, Apple has to ensure that it makes other big changes to encourage people to upgrade — more power alone, as though this were another "S" upgrade year, just isn't going to cut it. One of the ways Apple will try to convince people to upgrade is apparently doubling the storage. A leaked photo of supposed text from the back of an iPhone 7 Plus box is the best evidence we have so far that a 256GB iPhone is in the works, but it's hardly the only evidence. In fact, the latest evidence comes directly from Apple itself. Apple on Wednesday introduced a brand to storage tier for its iCloud cloud backup and sync service . In addition to 50GB, 200GB and 1TB options, Apple now also offers 2TB of cloud storage for $19.99 per month. The timing is a bit curious, wouldn't you say? Apple is set to unveil its new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus next week, and it's believed that they'll launch a week later on September 16th. You know who might need all that extra cloud storage space that a 2TB iCloud offers? The millions of people who will be taking delivery of new 256GB iPhones over the course of the next few months, that's who.
گروه ها: yahoo

12 lingering questions we have after watching the first season of Stranger Things

Yahoo! News: Technology News - 1 ساعت 33 دقیقه پیش

Netflix We really dug the first season of Netflix’s show Stranger Things. It’s a great mix of nostalgia for the films of the 1980s and a great story about a town getting to the bottom of a strange disappearance of a local boy. Like any good show, it left us wanting a bit more, and left us some questions to chew over while we wait for season two to be released in 2017.Spoilers for the first season ahead! Seriously, we’re digging into the big questions from the top.


گروه ها: yahoo

Faced with crunch, Tesla plans to raise additional cash this year

Yahoo! News: Technology News - 1 ساعت 33 دقیقه پیش

Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk had warned the company might need "a small equity capital raise" in 2017. Earlier this month, Tesla said it closed the second quarter with nearly $3.25 billion in cash, but in July it repaid $678 million on a revolving credit line and planned to redeem $422 million in convertible notes. As a result, Tesla would be left with around $400 million in cash at a time when the company has been burning through cash and is in the process of acquiring and absorbing its money-losing sister company, SolarCity Corp.


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