Almost a fifth of China’s soil is contaminated, an official study released by the government has shown.Conducted between 2005-2013, it found that 16.1% of China’s soil and 19.4% of its arable land showed contamination.The report, by the Environmental Protection Ministry, named cadmium, nickel and arsenic as top pollutants.There is growing concern, both from the government and the public, that China’s rapid industrialisation is causing irreparable damage to its environment.The study took samples across an area of 6.3 million square kilometres, two-thirds of China’s land area.”The survey showed that it is hard to be optimistic about the state of soil nationwide,” the ministry said in a statement on its website.
A senior leader of the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has been shot dead near Iraq’s northern city of Mosul, security officials say.The officials, who were speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Friday that the ISIL leader, identified as Satam Azawi, was killed in an ambush carried out by gunmen believed to be affiliated with local tribes, DPA reported.”Tribes in the area reject ISIL practices,” an official said.Iraqi troops, backed by local Sunni tribesmen, are fighting al-Qaeda-affiliated militants in the country’s western regions, including Anbar province.
A bomb went off in front of a mosque and killed 14 people in Homs, Syrian state television said on Friday, with forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad looking close to wresting the symbolic central city back from rebels.”Fourteen people were killed and dozens wounded in a terrorist bomb in front of the Bilal al Habshi mosque … as people left the mosque,” state television said. The mosque is in a government-controlled part of Homs.Syrian authorities generally refer to attacks by rebels as “terrorist”, but there was no way to verify who was responsible for the blast. The Lebanese Al-Mayadeen TV station, which has reporters in Syria, said it was a car bomb.
At this juncture more sanctions is ultimately economic suicide, and mutually assured economic destruction, global financial markets expert Patrick Young told RT.“The West is not remotely secure enough in its own economic recovery for the economy to actually withstand sanctions,” Patrick added.“Stage one, stage two sanctions really don’t demand too much, they are the equivalent in naval warfare of firing a shot across the bows of another ship in order to warn them that there could be some other problems ahead,” he said.On Thursday the President Barack Obama said that his administration is prepared to take further actions against Russia if the Geneva agreement concerning the crisis in Ukraine fails to bear fruit.Patrick Young believes, the US is pursuing its own interests pressing with threats of more sanctions on Moscow.
A foreigner has died from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Saudi Arabia, putting the nationwide death toll at 73.The 55-year-old woman died after she contracted MERS in the capital Riyadh, the Health Ministry said on Friday without mentioning the foreigner’s nationality.Late on Thursday, a 70-year-old Saudi woman was announced dead in the western city of Jeddah, where the virus has spread in recent weeks.The ministry also reported six infections in Jeddah, increasing the number of those infected with the SARS-like virus to 218.Reports said on Wednesday that four doctors in Jeddah’s King Fahd hospital resigned after refusing to treat patients suffering from MERS.
Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram is still holding 85 girls it abducted from a raid on a secondary school in northeastern Borno state this week, although the other 44 were free, the state government said on Saturday.Monday’s mass abduction of schoolgirls aged 15 to 18 by Boko Haram, who are fighting for a breakaway Islamic state in northern Nigeria, shocked Africa’s most populous country.It also underscored just how powerless Nigeria’s military is at protecting civilians despite a year-long state of emergency meant to flush the rebels out of three states in the northeast.The Islamists attacked Chibok school, in remote Borno state, which had 129 girls staying in it, on Monday. Most of them were abducted, although the precise numbers were not clear.
While the cause of a radiation leak at the United States’ first nuclear waste repository remains unknown, officials have reportedly pinpointed the facility’s contaminated area.According to the Associated Press, the Department of Energy’s Tammy Reynolds told residents in Carlsbad, New Mexico, that no definitive conclusions can be made regarding the latest discovery, but that further investigation into the area should produce some information next week.The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) has been shut down since February 14, when increased radiation levels were detected inside and outside the plant.On Wednesday, crews investigating the leak made their way into the WIPP and inspected the facility’s various panels, or the large underground salt beds where nuclear waste is stored. These panels are located about a half-mile below the Earth’s surface, and after five hours of inspection they found that Panel 7 was the source of the leaked contamination.