Cuba drastically reforms fishing laws to protect coral reef, sharks and rays

Reforms will oblige Cuba to work more closely with its US neighbours in spite of US President Trumps frosty attitude Cuba has introduced sweeping reforms of its fishing laws in a move seen as smoothing the way for possible collaboration with the US on protecting their shared ocean, despite Donald Trumps policy of reversing a thaw in relations. The move is the first time the text of an environmental law in Cuba specifies the need for scientific research, which experts say will mean greater reliance on state-of-the-art US technology. If we dont look for collaboration we cant have the full picture, said Jorge Angulo Valdes, a Cuban marine biologist at the University of Florida. Ocean science must continue to transcend …

Texas: Republican powerhouse could shift to Democrats as demographics change

The GOP has dominated the state for 30 years, but a slew of retirements and a rise in Hispanic voters may mean Texas becomes a battleground again Sri Preston Kulkarni has just moved into his campaign headquarters, which for now could hardly be more bland: a faceless office with blinds on the windows in a tucked-away suburban Houston business park. Not far away, though, are a Muslim community centre, a Korean market, Hindu temples, Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian and Mexican restaurants reminders that this sprawling Texas metropolis is one of the most diverse urban areas in the nation. Houstons fast-growing south-western suburbs are, for Kulkarni, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for a Texas congressional district, an American success story: a …

Protests, clashes and lack of trust: the new normal for Hong Kong

One of the worlds busiest cities has grown unusually quiet as more and more people stay at home It was the third night in a row that Biyanca Chus neighbourhood, Wong Tai Sin, a working-class residential district in Hong Kong, had been taken over by police and protesters. The ground was littered with plastic bottles, broken umbrellas and teargas canisters as the two sides faced off. Chu, 22, slight in an all-black outfit, climbed over a road barrier, took off her baseball cap and slipped a gas mask on. Are you ready to go to the frontline? she asked her companions and they disappeared. Within half an hour, the police began firing rounds of teargas and rubber bullets, charging and …

Vietnam seizes 125kg of smuggled rhino tusks worth $7.5m

Shipment found at Hanoi airport is one of the biggest wildlife trafficking cases in south-east Asia More than 125kg of smuggled rhino horns have been seized in Vietnam in one of the biggest wildlife trafficking cases ever seen in south-east Asia. The horns, which had been smuggled in from the United Arab Emirates on an Etihad airways flight, were found in Hanois Noi Bai airport concealed in thick plaster. It took over half a day for the customs teams to break all 55 packages all open. Rhino horns, which when ground to a powder are believed by some Vietnamese to have medicinal qualities to cure everything from cancer to a hangover, are particularly lucrative and can fetch up to $60,000 …

UK and other powers to hold crunch talks with Iran over nuclear deal

Talks in Vienna follow decision by Iran to hold back on threat to breach enriched uranium limit Britain and other international powers are set for crunch talks to persuade Iran to abandon its efforts to enrich uranium, after Tehran temporarily held back on its threat to breach the 2015 nuclear deal. Iran had threatened to go over the 300kg limit for low-enriched uranium stockpiles on Thursday, but experts at the UNs International Atomic Energy Agency said progress in increasing the stockpiles had been slower than expected and that the limit may not be reached until the weekend. The temporary reprieve follows pressure from European leaders, especially the French president, Emmanuel Macron. Iran is now waiting on the outcome of talks …

UK halts sale of teargas to Hong Kong amid police brutality claims

Jeremy Hunt calls for investigation into violent scenes during protests The UK is suspending future sales of teargas and other crowd control equipment to Hong Kong until an independent investigation is held into allegations of protests earlier this month. The foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, who is on 12 June in detail. The evidence of the unlawful use of force by police against peaceful protesters on 12 June is irrefutable. In the footage Amnesty has verified, police officers appear out of control, placing peaceful protesters who posed no threat in danger of serious injury, said Man-kei Tam, the director of Amnesty International Hong Kong. On 15 June Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific

‘Living joyously is a radical act’: why America’s gay bars still matter

Fifty years after Stonewall, and with Trump trying to roll back LGBTQ rights, Dominic Rushe visits three gay bars in different states and finds them as vibrant and vital as ever The gay bar is in trouble. Fifty years after the Stonewall Inn in New York became the symbol for a new wave of gay activism, the three horsemen of the gay bar apocalypse gentrification, assimilation and technology have hollowed out their numbers. Rising rents have shuttered gay bars; more straight venues are accepting of gay patrons; and dating is something people now do with their phones. Even the term gay bar looks a little tired as the LGBTQ community finally comes to terms with its many rainbow stripes. Bare …

Trump says he stopped airstrike on Iran because 150 would have died

US president tweets that he intervened 10 minutes before planned retaliatory attack Donald Trump has said the US air force was cocked and loaded to attack three Iranian targets on Friday morning, but he called off the strike with 10 minutes to spare after being told that the airstrike might kill as many as 150 people. Trump said in a series of morning tweets that he decided late on Thursday that the death toll was not a proportionate response to the Iranian shooting down of a US spy drone off the Iranian coast 24 hours earlier. The tweets revealed how close the world may have come to a Middle East conflagration, and raised questions over why the commander-in-chief was told …

Accused: the Russians facing ‘politically motivated’ charges

Journalist Ivan Golunov was freed after an outcry. Others have not been so fortunate The 77 political prisoners in Russia. The majority of these cases have not received anything like the attention paid to Golunov, either in Russia or abroad. There is a system of fabricating charges, including drug charges, said Cherkasov. Another 84 people are listed by Memorial as motivated charges. The prisoners range from teenagers in Moscow to a historian in Russias far north. Some of their cases are outlined below. The Kremlin insists there are no political prisoners in Russia. Igor Rudnikov Igor Rudnikov, a former newspaper editor and opposition politician from Kaliningrad, is facing a 15-year prison sentence on accused of forming an extremist movement named …

Accused: the Russians facing ‘politically motivated’ charges

Journalist Ivan Golunov was freed after an outcry. Others have not been so fortunate The 77 political prisoners in Russia. The majority of these cases have not received anything like the attention paid to Golunov, either in Russia or abroad. There is a system of fabricating charges, including drug charges, said Cherkasov. Another 84 people are listed by Memorial as motivated charges. The prisoners range from teenagers in Moscow to a historian in Russias far north. Some of their cases are outlined below. The Kremlin insists there are no political prisoners in Russia. Igor Rudnikov Igor Rudnikov, a former newspaper editor and opposition politician from Kaliningrad, is facing a 15-year prison sentence on accused of forming an extremist movement named …

Accused: the Russians facing ‘politically motivated’ charges

Journalist Ivan Golunov was freed after an outcry. Others have not been so fortunate The 77 political prisoners in Russia. The majority of these cases have not received anything like the attention paid to Golunov, either in Russia or abroad. There is a system of fabricating charges, including drug charges, said Cherkasov. Another 84 people are listed by Memorial as motivated charges. The prisoners range from teenagers in Moscow to a historian in Russias far north. Some of their cases are outlined below. The Kremlin insists there are no political prisoners in Russia. Igor Rudnikov Igor Rudnikov, a former newspaper editor and opposition politician from Kaliningrad, is facing a 15-year prison sentence on accused of forming an extremist movement named …

Mass street protests are an expression of Hong Kong’s identity

With controls tightening over Chinese society, many Hong Kongers feel the need to protect their right to dissent In Hong Kong, people have most of the freedoms of a democracy except the right to choose their leaders. The citys last British governor, Chris Patten, described it as a place that enjoyed China. Under the amended law, those accused of offences punishable by seven years or more in prison could be extradited. Who is supporting the change? The government claims the push to change the law, which would also apply to Taiwan and Macau, stems from the killing last year of a Hong Kong woman while she was in Taiwan with her boyfriend. Authorities in Taiwan suspect the womans boyfriend, who …

‘Mistakes’ may have been made during arrest of journalist, Kremlin says

Moscow makes comments after Russian papers call for inquiry into case of Ivan Golunov The Kremlin has admitted that mistakes may have been made by police during the arrest of investigative journalist Ivan Golunov on controversial drug-dealing charges, as calls for his release grew louder. Mistakes can never be ruled out, said Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Vladimir Putin. The important thing is to recognise mistakes so that they arent repeated. Some issues need clarification, he said on Monday. Police initially published a number of photographs that they said showed a drug lab at Golunovs rented flat in Moscow. They were later removed from the interior ministrys website after police officials admitted that the photographs had been taken at a …

Eiffel Tower revamp to turn roads into garden in heart of Paris

72m makeover will create mile-long stretch of pools, fountains and parks A garden stretches for a mile, free of cars with one of the worlds most recognisable monuments at its centre. Crossing the river on a tree-lined and lawned bridge, the roar of traffic has been replaced by the sound of water from fountains. Such is the vision for the Eiffel Tower, which is at the centre of a major makeover project to transform one of Pariss most visited districts. At the heart of the revamp is a pedestrian-friendly plan to create the citys largest garden. The landscape design, drawn up by a London-based company, will also turn a nearby bridge, the Pont dIna, into a grassy, tree-lined walkway linking …

Climate crisis may be a factor in tufted puffins die-off, study says

Researchers believe 3,150 to 8,500 birds starved in Bering Sea due to loss of prey species The death of thousands of tufted puffins in the Bering Sea may have been partly caused by the climate breakdown, according to a study. Between 3,150 and 8,500 seabirds died over a four-month period from October 2016, with hundreds of severely emaciated carcasses washed up on the beaches of the populations of the Atlantic puffin around Iceland. Researchers in the journal Plos One St Paul Island map According to the study, by Timothy Jones of the citizen science ecosystem office, puffins typically made up fewer than 1% of recovered carcasses in the region in previous years. In this die-off, 87% of carcasses were puffins, …

Bulgarias pro-Brussels PM: ‘There’s no better place to live than the EU’

Boyko Borisov has praise even for Theresa May, but is less keen on questions about corruption At a time when some politicians in central and eastern Europe are profiting from hostility towards Brussels, Bulgarias Boyko Borisov is taking a different path, aiming to winning favour from Europe through charm and flattery. Ive been all over the world and I can say that theres no better place to live than the EU, he said during a recent interview with the Guardian in Sofia. He was careful not to criticise any of his European colleagues. Even Theresa May, who has frustrated many EU leaders after two years of Brexit back and forth, got a positive appraisal. I have seen with Theresa the …