Tuesday, January 25, 2005

 

InterWorld Radio News

This is a cool e-mail update thingy that I've subscribed to--brief bits of information, but informative nonetheless! Today's:

An international report has warned that global warming is reaching a critical point of no return. The report, produced by an international climate change taskforce says that if global temperatures rise by another 1.2 degrees Celsius, then widespread drought, crop failure and rising sea-levels will be irreversible. The experts claim that this could happen in less than ten years. The report urges the world’s richest nations to step up their use of renewable energy.

The Bolivian Catholic Church has appealed for calm after days of protests rocked the city of Santa Cruz. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets over rising fuel prices. They are also demanding autonomy for the region which is one the country’s wealthiest. The protesters are backed by powerful local business leaders who also want greater autonomy. A special parliamentary commission has been sent to Santa Cruz to try to settle the dispute.

The official Sudan News Agency has reported that Darfur rebels have burnt down eight villages in western Sudan. However the two main rebel groups, the Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudan Liberation Movement, have denied any involvement in the incidents. The reports come a day after the UN secretary-general’s special representative for Sudan, Jan Pronk, said fighting between the government forces and rebel groups had decreased over the past month. He added that pro-government Arab militias are still attacking villagers. The conflict has killed more than 70,000 people since it began in 2003.

The international medical organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres has criticised the Western media for ignoring major crises. The organisation says that millions of people are living through catastrophes in places that are never mentioned. These include ongoing conflicts in northern Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chechnya and Colombia, as well as soaring death rates from tuberculosis in Asia and Africa.

The Microsoft company magnate Bill Gates has given 750 million dollars for vaccines in the world’s poorest countries. Mr Gates says that every year 27 million children go unvaccinated against diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and yellow fever. The Gates fortune is estimated to be worth between 47 and 52 billion dollars.

Governments in Namibia and Mozambique have warned people living near the Zambezi River that it may be about to flood. Heavy rains are expected to cause the river to rise and people have been asked to move to higher ground. Agencies are preparing to send tents and food aid to the affected areas as soon as the river begins to flood. Last year 20,000 people were affected by flooding.

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