A strong sandstorm swept Gansu Province in northwest China Wednesday afternoon. According to the provincial meteorological center, visibility has been reduced to less than 20 metres (65 feet) due to the storm. The sandstorm, strongest since 1996 according to reports, started around 13:40 in Dunhang County. The meteorological center issued red alert, the highest level alert, forecasting that visibility would be reduced to less than 50 meters throughout Jiuquan on Wednesday evening. The sandstorm, that had also suspended ten train services Wednesday, will die down Thursday, according to the meteorological center’s experts.
A landmark law that guarantees equal access to the nation’s internet and protects the privacy of users was signed by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Wednesday, in a move that is being hailed as a historic step for online freedom worldwide. The “Civil Law Marco Internet”—dubbed the Internet Bill of Rights by its supporters—was passed unanimously by Brazil’s Senate on Tuesday. Rousseff signed the bill at the launch of the two-day NETmundial conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Three years after the Fukushima disaster are the after effects completely gone? Tokyo says yes, and is also claiming that the government is doing everything it can for those who suffered in the disaster. But, is that true? To shed a bit of light on the mystery of the Fukushima aftermath, Sophie Shevardnadze talks to the former mayor of the Fukushima Prefecture town of Futaba, Katsutaka Idogawa.
A powerful, magnitude-7.5 earthquake shook central and southern Mexico on Friday morning. The U.S. Geological Survey said it was centered northwest of the Pacific resort of Acapulco, where many Mexicans are vacationing for the Easter holiday. The quake was felt strongly in the resort city, as well as in Mexico’s capital, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
A mother’s pardon for the young man who killed her 17-year-old son, at the very moment the hangman’s noose was around his neck, has sent a ripple through Iran. Her slap before pardoning him was her personal last-minute rebuke. Pressure has been building for some time in the Islamic Republic to end capital punishment ; Iran is in the world’s top five for executing people. This act of mercy was shown in a small conservative northern town, and it has the whole nation talking about the merits of taking human life as punishment. It may represent a turning point in Iran, which has a hybrid of sharia law and western-style institutions
Russia, Ukraine, the US and the European Union have said that all sides have agreed to steps to “de-escalate” the crisis in eastern Ukraine
The local government of Gothenburg, Sweden, is to begin a yearlong experiment to see if cutting the working week to 30 hours will be more efficient. It is hoped working less hours will cut down on sick leave, and save money. Under the plan, the employees will remain on the same pay.
Dramatic aerial footage shows terrified passengers wearing life jackets being pulled to safety as water laps over the rails of the sinking ferry. Hundreds are missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea with 488 people on board – mostly high school students bound for a holiday island.
Light-absorbing glow-in-the-dark road markings have replaced streetlights on a 500m (0.3 mile) stretch of highway in the Netherlands. One Netherlands news report said, “It looks like you are driving through a fairytale,” which pretty much sums up this extraordinary project. The studio aims to bring technology and design to the real world, with practical and beautiful results.
What if the people charged with leading global development were actually doing more for the 1% than the 99%? Would that piss you off? Then prepare to be pissed off. Because the World Bank, with its $30 billion annually budget to “end poverty within a generation and boost shared prosperity”, is doing just that, and causing misery and environmental destruction along the way.
Good news from around the globe from James Corbett and James Evan Pilato of NewWorldNextWeek.com.
Late last week, a conversation between high-ranking Turkish officials was leaked online purporting to expose a plan that had been devised to use a staged attack on a Turkish target in Aleppo as a pretext to start a war with Syria.
VICE News: North and South Korea exchange fire, Indian opposition party shows promise ahead of national elections, dozens are killed by Chadian soldiers in the Central African Republic’s capital and protests over police brutality in Albuquerque, NM