Rare ‘werewolf cat’ found in Cape Town

(AFP) One of the world’s rarest cats — a Lykoi or ‘werewolf cat’ — has been found in public gardens in the centre of Cape Town. The partially hairless animal, name Eyona, is one of only 35 such animals recorded with the natural mutation around the world since 2011, according to animal rescue group Tears. Jenny Goldhawk-Smith / AFPTV / AFP

Climate change still a ‘race against the clock’: UN climate chief

by Marlowe HOOD BONN, Germany (AFP) — Even after the world sealed a historic climate deal in Paris, the UN’s climate chief is worried humanity won’t be able break its fossil fuel habit in time to avert catastrophe, she told AFP Thursday. “My concern is whether the transformation is going to happen fast enough to avert the worst impacts,” Christiana Figueres said, referring to the global shift from carbon-polluting fossil fuels to green energy. “Greenhouse […]

Facebook extends lead as news gateway: study

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Facebook has become an important news source for close to half of American adults, a study showed Thursday amid increased scrutiny over the social network’s gateway role. The Pew Research Center survey showed 62 percent of US adults get news on social media, and 18 percent do so often. That shows a growing role for Facebook and other social networks as a news source. In 2012, based on a slightly […]

WHO to better respond to emergencies

GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — Member states of the World Health Organization have agreed a long-awaited reform of the agency so that it responds more quickly and effectively to emergency situations. Accused of having wasted months before declaring war on the Ebola virus in west Africa, the WHO have developed a program to better cope with disease outbreaks and health emergencies. “WHO member states today agreed to one of the most profound transformations in the organisation’s […]

Lava-loving tourists flock to active Nicaragua volcano

by Blanca MOREL MASAYA , Nicaragua (AFP) — Centuries ago, a native Central American people terrified of a witch believed to live deep in the earth used to sacrifice children and young women to Nicaragua’s Masaya volcano. Today, the crater southwest of the capital Managua is an international tourist magnet, where photo-snapping visitors scramble among sulfurous fumes to get views of its bubbling lava — a rare sight. The only volcanoes in the world to […]

Filipino artists create watercolour paintings with polluted river water

MANILA, Philippines (Reuters) — Polluted river water became fresh inspiration for a team of Filipino artists who have made watercolor paintings using dirty water pigments. As part of a social awareness project by advertising agency TBWA\Santiago Mangada Puno, nine artists were commissioned to paint images using pigments taken from six contaminated rivers in the Philippine capital. Sediments were extracted from the river water to produce dark, earthy pigments that were sterilized to avoid bacterial contamination. […]

Financial crisis may have caused 500,000 cancer deaths worldwide: study

PARIS, France (AFP) — The global financial crisis may have caused an additional 500,000 cancer deaths from 2008-2010, a new study said Thursday, with patients locked out of treatment because of unemployment and healthcare cuts. The figures were extrapolated from an observed rise in cancer deaths for every percentage increase in unemployment, and every drop in public healthcare spending. “From our analysis we estimate that the economic crisis was associated with over 260,000 excess cancer […]

Microsoft to end smartphone manufacturing: union

HELSINKI, Finland (AFP) — Microsoft announced Wednesday it would let go up to 1,850 employees and a Finnish union called it the end of the company’s smartphone manufacturing business, bought from Finnish telecom equipment maker Nokia. “Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday announced plans to streamline the company’s smartphone hardware business, which will impact up to 1,850 jobs,” it said in a statement, adding 1,350 of those jobs would be eliminated in Finland where its smartphones have been […]

Google to open Detroit-area autonomous car center

SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) 5/25/2016 – Google announced plans Wednesday to open a Detroit-area technology center for its self-driving car program. The new center in Novi, Michigan, will house engineers and others testing vehicles provided by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, a statement by Google parent Alphabet said. “For the past few years, members of our team have been working from the Greater Detroit area,” the statement posted on Google+ said. “Now it’s time to lay […]