Twin crises: experts say nature and climate can’t be siloed

PARIS, France (AFP) – Experts and activists were hoping UN climate talks would end last week with a prominent mention of biodiversity in the final text. They walked away disappointed. Some say delegates at the COP27 summit missed a key opportunity to acknowledge the connection between the twin climate and nature crises, which many believe have been treated separately for too long. Failing to address both could mean not only further decimating Earth’s life support systems, but […]

Musk announces ‘amnesty’ for banned Twitter accounts after poll

by Julie JAMMOT Agence France-Presse SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Elon Musk said Thursday many previously suspended Twitter accounts would be allowed back on the platform after a landslide of users responding to an informal poll by the new owner voted in favor of the move. The announcement comes as Musk faces pushback that his criteria for content moderation is subject to his personal whim, with reinstatements decided for certain accounts and not others. […]

The art world’s female revolution

by Alexandra DEL PERAL / Sandra BIFFOT-LACUT Agence France Presse Paris, France (AFP) — It was a relatively promising start for gender equality when London’s Royal Academy of Arts was set up in 1768, with two women artists included among its 40 founding members. But that was a false dawn — it would not be until the 1930s that another woman was elected a full member of the Academy. While a few big names — […]

Record number of children miss measles vaccine: global report

Washington, United States (AFP) A record high of nearly 40 million children around the world missed a measles vaccine dose in 2021, according to a new report Wednesday that found immunization levels had failed to rebound from disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The research, which was jointly published by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the decline was a major setback in eliminating […]

Air pollution killed 238,000 Europeans prematurely in 2020: EEA

Copenhagen, Denmark (AFP) Fine particle air pollution led to 238,000 premature deaths in the European Union in 2020, the bloc’s environmental watchdog said Thursday, a slight rise from the previous year. Across the 27-nation bloc that year, “exposure to concentrations of fine particulate matter above the 2021 World Health Organization guideline level resulted in 238,000 premature deaths,” the European Environment Agency said in a new report. That was slightly more than those recorded in 2019 in […]

China has ‘solved’ youth gaming addiction: industry body

BEIJING, China (AFP) — China has “solved” the issue of youth video game addiction, a report co-written by the country’s top gaming industry body has said, a year after the government limited the number of hours young people could play a day. China is the world’s biggest gaming market, but the industry — termed “spiritual opium” by state media — has been swept up in a tech regulatory crackdown marked by record fines, long investigations […]

To strengthen ties, ancient Maya gifted neighbors a spider monkey

by Issam AHMED Agence France Presse Washington, United States (AFP) — Seventeen hundred years ago, a female spider monkey was presented as a treasured gift — and later brutally sacrificed — to strengthen ties between two major powers of pre-Hispanic America, according to a new study. The paper, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), compared the offering by Maya elites to Teotihuacan to China’s panda diplomacy that accompanied the […]

Bacterial infections the ‘second leading cause of death worldwide’

PARIS, France (AFP) – Bacterial infections are the second leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for one in eight of all deaths in 2019, the first global estimate of their lethality revealed on Tuesday. The massive new study, published in the Lancet journal, looked at deaths from 33 common bacterial pathogens and 11 types of infection across 204 countries and territories. The pathogens were associated with 7.7 million deaths — 13.6 percent of the global total […]

Banksy unveils Ukraine mural in town bombed by Russia

Borodyanka, Ukraine (AFP) Banksy, the elusive British street artist, has painted a mural on a bombed-out building outside Ukraine’s capital, in what Ukrainians have hailed as a symbol of their country’s invincibility. On Friday night the world-famous graffiti artist posted on Instagram three images of the artwork — a gymnast performing a handstand amid the ruins of a demolished building in the town of Borodyanka northwest of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. The caption read “Borodyanka, Ukraine”. […]

Warhol piece sells for $85 mn at New York auction

New York, United States (AFP)   Andy Warhol’s iconic 1960s painting “White Disaster” sold for $85 million at auction Wednesday evening at Sotheby’s in New York. The 1963 piece of art was sold after two minutes and a brief duel between two bidders, for a total of $74 million, or $85.4 million with all related costs and fees. The last time a piece of art from Warhol’s “Death and Disaster” series was sold in 2013, […]

Ebola trial vaccines heading to Uganda: WHO

GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) – Three candidate vaccines against the strain of Ebola wreaking havoc in Uganda will be shipped to the East African country next week for trials, the World Health Organization said Wednesday. Since Uganda declared an Ebola outbreak on September 20, cases have spread across the country, including to the capital Kampala, and have claimed 55 lives, with 22 more believed to have died. Uganda has been struggling to rein in the outbreak caused […]

Chagall painting stolen by Nazis sells for $7.4 mn at US auction

  New York, United States | AFP | A painting by Marc Chagall, which was among 15 works stolen by Nazis and eventually returned by France to the heirs of the affected families, sold for $7.4 million at auction in New York Tuesday. The sale at the Phillips auction house was part of the fall auction season, which sees major industry players sell hundreds of works of art for several billion dollars in a few […]