03_G15_InBox

Global Issue 15

Inbox News in brief Saudi woman gets to top of Everest Raha Moharrak became the first Saudi woman to reach the summit of Everest in May. Despite also being the youngest Saudi to do so she was modest about her achievement, saying on Twitter: “I really don’t care about being the first, so long as it inspires someone else to be second.” Kenyan prisoners learn letter of the law Inmates of Kenya’s Shimo La Tewa prison are undertaking legal training and have so far launched over 3,000 successful appeals. The prisoners are frequently tried without legal representation and often receive their first legal advice from self-trained paralegals when they have already been incarcerated. Madagascar hit by locust plague Madagascar has been hit by the worst locust plague since the 1950s, threatening the livelihoods of 60 per cent of the island’s population. The country needs US$22 million to control the plague, of which Norway has agreed to contribute US$513,000, with a possible $10 million World Bank grant also being explored. 57 million children not enrolled at school A drop in aid money has all but stopped progress in improving school attendance in the world’s poorest countries, new data shows. The UN figures show the poorest rate of improvement in school attendance since 2002, with some 57 million children across the world still not going to school. Nuclear leak ‘likely’ A radioactive leak from the Fukushima power station may be contaminating water and soil two years after the disaster, according to Japan’s nuclear regulator. Officials from the Nuclear Regulation Authority said in early July that a leak was “strongly suspected”. Bear farming rises in China, despite opposition Moon bears, also known as Asiatic black bears, are the most commonly farmed bears Bear farming in China is on the rise, despite increasing public opposition. Bear bile is an expensive ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine and is used to cure anything from flu to a hangover. Supporters of the industry claim that opponents are funded by western companies intent on eliminating Chinese traditional medicine and that the extraction process in painless. Those against the practice, including film star Jackie Chan, oppose the cruelty to which the animals are subjected and have voiced their support for NGOs working to end bear farming. The practice was banned in Vietnam in 2005 in the face of international pressure, but its profile is rising in China. Chris Gee, of the World Society for the Protection of Animals, said: “They are kept in horrendous conditions with bile being extracted from their gall bladder on a daily basis. For some of them, as horrible as it is to say, death would be the best option.” The Asiatic black bear or moon bear, socalled for the distinctive crescent shaped mark on their chests, is the most commonly farmed bear in China and more widely in Asia. In the past bears were hunted and killed for their gallbladders but bear farming caught on in 1980s. It is illegal to sell the entire gallbladder but the practice of ‘milking’ the bear for bile is being encouraged by the government despite the fact that the active ingredient – ursodeoxycholic acid – can be produced synthetically or taken from the gallbladders of other animals slaughtered for meat. India takes on European olive producers Commercial production of olive oil will begin this September in Rajasthan, India, as part of an ambitious plan for the country to become a leading international producer. Since 2008, over 144,000 olive trees have been planted on 260 hectares of government and privately owned land. Rajasthan is two and a half times larger than Greece – the world’s most famous and third largest producer of olives – and offers perfect conditions for growing olives, with plans to expand production to 5,000 hectares over the next three years. To entice farmers, the Rajasthan government is offering attractive subsidies, including covering 90 per cent of the cost of setting up drip irrigation, and over 80 per cent of the cost for olive trees. Around 25 tonnes of olive oil are expected to be pressed this year, which will be in Indian stores in early 2014. global thi rd quar ter 2013 www.global -br ief ing.org l 3


Global Issue 15
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