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Philippine solar light bottles offer hope

Filipino entrepreneur Illac Diaz is aiming to help a million poor people in a year, and with the help of some plastic bottles and a clever social media campaign may do even better. Diaz’s project appears simple — fill discarded soft drink bottles with water, place them in roofs of houses and allow the…

World deforestation rate ‘accelerating’: U.N.

The world’s deforestation rate has accelerated to 6.4 millionhectares a year, a new UN survey showed on Wednesday, but Asia showed net gains in forest land-use largely due to extensive planting in China. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) used satellite technology for the first time to map forests, finding there was a net…

Study: Legalizing medical marijuana reduces traffic fatalities

States that have passed initiatives to legalize medical marijuana have also seen a decline in traffic fatalities, according to a new study out this week by the Institute for the Study of Labor. Opponents of medical marijuana often focus on the social detriment to making America’s most valuable cash crop…

Many Americans with HIV go untreated: study

Nearly three quarters of Americans with HIV do not have their infection under control, raising the risk of death from AIDS and transmission to others, said a US study on Tuesday. One in five people with human immunodeficiency virus are unaware that they have the disease, added the report by the Centers for…

Vomiting virus found ‘in majority of British oysters’

Three-quarters of British-grown oysters contain norovirus, a bug which causes diarrhoea and vomiting, according to new research published on Tuesday by the Food Standards Agency (FSA). But the government health experts warned that their tests did not reveal the extent of infectious norovirus, the strain that makes people ill. Nor…

More extreme weather expected as planet warms: U.N.

DURBAN (Reuters) – The world is getting hotter, with 2011 one of the warmest years on record, and increasing temperatures are expected to amplify floods, droughts and other extreme weather patterns around the planet, said a U.N. report released on Tuesday. The World Meteorological Organization, part of the United Nations,…

Some boys with autism have larger brains: study

WASHINGTON — Abnormal brain growth starting at four months of age occurs in a type of autism in which toddlers lose language and social skills they once had, according to a US study published Monday. The brains of boys with regressive autism grew six percent larger than typically developing counterparts…

Climate change denial still runs strong in U.S.

On the US political stage, skepticism and denial of climate changeare as popular as ever, and experts say that world talks which opened Monday in Durban, South Africa are unlikely to turn the tide. But while a binding deal on harmful carbon output remains elusive by the world’s second biggest polluter after China, some…

Climate set to worsen food crises: Oxfam

Storms and droughts that have unleashed dangerous surges in food prices could be a “grim foretaste” of what lies ahead when climate change bites more deeply, Oxfam said on Monday. In a report issued at the start of UN climate talks, the British charity pointed to spikes in wheat, corn and sorghum prices, triggered byextreme weather,…

Nuclear waste train nears journey’s end

A shipment of radioactive waste was nearing its final destination in Germany Monday after a five-day journey from France marked by sometimes violent clashes between police and protesters. The train carrying 11 containers of radioactive nuclear waste arrived in the northern German town of Dannenberg shortly after 0400 GMT after running the gauntlet of protesters trying to block its journey. The authorities were…

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