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Arctic spill fuels calls for shakeup at Russia mining giant

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Moscow (AFP) – Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel faced pressure from a key shareholder on Tuesday to overhaul management after disasters including a massive Arctic fuel spill that sparked a state of emergency. Aluminum producer Rusal, which owns 28 percent in Norilsk Nickel, said it was “seriously concerned” over recent environmental accidents in the Russian Arctic and called for a shakeup in management. “What is currently happening at Nornickel invites to seriously question the competence of the company’s management as well as their suitability to be in charge of running the business,” Rusal…

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Placido Domingo insists ‘I have never abused anyone’

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Famed Spanish opera singer Placido Domingo, accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct, denied the allegations Thursday in an interview in which he talked about getting over coronavirus.

"I've changed. I am no longer afraid. When I found out I had COVID, I promised myself that if I made it out alive I would fight to clear my name," he said in an interview with the Italian newspaper Repubblica.

"I never abused anyone, I'll repeat that as long as I live," he said.

Domingo, 79, had said in March he had been hospitalized for coronavirus in Acapulco, Mexico.

"It was a miracle to find my voice again... Two or three months ago I wasn't sure I would be able to sing again," he said.

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Coronavirus pandemic leaves Amazon more vulnerable than ever

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The indigenous peoples of the Amazon have already seen their homelands ravaged by illegal deforestation, industrial farming, mining, oil exploration and unlawful occupation of their ancestral territories.

Now, the coronavirus pandemic has magnified their plight, just as the forest fires are raging once more.

The Amazon, the world's largest tropical rainforest, is a vital resource in the race to curb climate change -- it spans over 7.4 million square kilometers (2.85 million square miles).

It covers 40 percent of the surface area of South America, stretching across nine countries and territories: Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.

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Pompeo urges no vote for Cuba on Human Rights Council

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has urged UN members not to support Cuba's bid to join the organization's Human Rights Council.

"It's outrageous that the Human Rights Council would offer to seat Cuba, a brutal dictatorship that traffic its own doctors under the guise of humanitarian missions," the top US diplomat said on Wednesday.

Pompeo has described Cuba's sale of medical services, Havana's main source of foreign exchange, as a form of human trafficking.

"No country should vote Cuba onto the council," he said.

Under President Donald Trump, Washington has reversed an opening with Cuba initiated by former president Barack Obama, hardening a trade embargo in effect since 1962.

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