Bezos launches $10 billion fund to combat climate change

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — His company is often criticized for its environmental record, but Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon and the world’s richest man, said Monday that he was committing $10 billion to a new fund to tackle climate change. In a post to his 1.4 million followers on Instagram, the e-commerce tycoon said the Bezos Earth Fund would “fund scientists, activists, NGOs — any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve […]

Philippine actor Richard Quan receives special recognition during EBC Films “Make it Reel” workshop

By Alfred Acenas EBC Hawaii Bureau QUEZON CITY, Philippines (Eagle News) – Veteran Philippine actor Richard Quan made an appearance on day 2 of the filmmaker workshop “Make it Reel” sponsored by EBC Films and held at the EBC Main Studio in Quezon City, Philippines. Event organizers took the opportunity to congratulate him for his 26 years of success and contributions to the country’s film industry by presenting a certificate of recognition signed by EBC […]

Flight of fancy? Aviation industry tries to go green

by Catherine Lai and Sam REEVES SINGAPORE, Singapore (AFP) — From an emissions-reducing model jet that looks like something from a sci-fi movie to electric aircraft and sustainable fuel, the aviation industry is ramping up efforts to go green as consumer pressure grows. In an era when teen climate activist Greta Thunberg opts to travel on an eco-friendly boat and “flight-shaming” is all the rage in her native Sweden, air travel’s reputation has never looked […]

Stardust or star bust? Betelgeuse’s dimming light puzzles astronomers

PARIS, France (AFP) — Astronomers have managed to take pictures of Betelgeuse showing that the star, one of the brightest in the Milky Way, has been losing luminosity over recent months, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) said on Friday. The mysterious dimming of one of the most visible stars in the Orion constellation has astronomers scratching their heads, with some saying Betelgeuse could be about to explode while others point to passing conditions. “The stunning […]

US defense chief warns NATO of China’s Huawei ‘threat’, asks allies not to allow it to build new 5G networks

by Damon WAKE Agence France Presse MUNICH, Germany (AFP) — Top US officials fired a fresh broadside at Huawei on Saturday, warning the Chinese tech giant posed a threat to NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)  if allies allowed it to build new 5G communications networks. Washington has been pressing European allies hard to ban Huawei, one of the world’s largest tech firms, from next-generation mobile data networks, saying it is a security risk. A day […]

Implications on PHL tourism industry of novel coronavirus crisis

(Eagle News) — In this interview on ASEAN in Focus weekend edition on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020, Joyce Alumno, president of Health Core, talks about the implications on the tourism industry in the Philippines of the current novel coronavirus problem that has affected business not only in Asia, but all over the world. Alumno, a medical tourism advocate, noted that the COVID-2019 scare, would have an impact on the country’s economy, considering that about 12.7 […]

Jellyfish hurl venom ‘grenades’ to snare prey

PARIS, France (AFP) — A species of jellyfish hunts its prey by hurling venom grenades to create “stinging water”, researchers said Thursday, solving a long-standing mystery as to how they gather food without tentacles. The Cassiopea xamachana jellyfish, found in shallow waters around Florida, the Caribbean and Micronesia, is a frequent nuisance to snorkelers and surfers who appear to get stung without touching the creatures. It was thought that the stings came from detached tentacles […]

COVID-19 causing first drop in oil use in decade: IEA

  by Richard LEIN Agence France Presse Global oil demand will suffer its first quarterly drop in a decade as the COVID-19 virus lashes the economy in China and its impact ripples throughout the world, the IEA said Thursday. “Global oil demand has been hit hard by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and the widespread shutdown of China’s economy,” the International Energy Agency said in its latest monthly report. “Demand is now expected to fall by […]

Coronavirus jitters push Asian markets down

  HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Asian markets fell on Thursday after a dramatic spike in the number of coronavirus deaths and cases in mainland China, with traders concerned about the economic impact of the epidemic. Chinese authorities have changed the way they count infections from the virus — officially named COVID-19 — and the latest reports propelled the nationwide death toll to 1,355 and the infection count to nearly 60,000. Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 […]

In Norway, bottles made of plastic are still fantastic

By Pierre-Henry DESHAYES Agence France-Presse FETSUND, Norway (AFP) — One at a time, the elderly lady places her empties into the gaping hole of a machine at the entrance to an Oslo supermarket. With a well-functioning deposit system, Norway recycles almost all of its plastic bottles. “You have to get rid of them, so you may as well do it intelligently,” says the woman in her 70s, as the machine spits out a bar-code ticket that […]

EU chief pleads to save green deal in budget holed by Brexit

By Marc BURLEIGH Agence France-Presse STRASBOURG, France (AFP) — European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen pleaded Wednesday to save her signature “green deal” in the longterm EU budget that has been left short by Brexit. “If we do not set aside the funds… we will simply fail to achieve a climate neutral Europe” by 2050 as planned, she told the European Parliament. Her warning was laid down a week before an extraordinary EU summit in […]

BMW aims to slash CO2 output by 20% in 2020

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, Germany (AFP) — German high-end carmaker BMW aims to slash the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted by its cars sold in Europe this year by 20 percent, its chief executive said Wednesday. The pledge comes as new European Union regulations bite this year, requiring carmakers to sharply reduce fleet-wide emissions on pain of massive fines. “We will achieve an improvement of 20 percent in Europe this year alone” compared with 2019, CEO […]