Day: August 10, 2019

Deforestation: Did Ethiopia plant 350 million trees in a day?

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Getty Images

Ethiopia says it planted more than 350 million trees in just one day which, if verified, would be a world record.
But is such a feat even possible?
We've been looking at the numbers.
Why plant trees?Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched the £1.1bn tree planting project earlier this year to tackle deforestation and climate change.
The United Nations says forest cover in Ethiopia fell from 35% of total land area in the early 20th Century to a little above 4% by the 2000s.

The initial target was to plant 200 million tree saplings in 12 hours on 29 July, but Dr Getahun Mekuria, the Innovation and Technology minister, said the country ended up planting more than 350 million tree seedlings.

Image Copyright @DrGetahun
@DrGetahun

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Image Copyright @DrGetahun
@DrGetahun

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Their aim is to plant 4.7 billion trees by October this year.
How was it organised?The handing out of the seedlings to volunteers across the country was comp..

Why smartphones are no longer driving the search for ‘blue gold’

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Getty Images

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A conveyor belt carries chunks of raw cobalt at a plant in Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Cobalt is one of those metals that define the modern world.
Historically it was used to colour glass or ceramics. The Egyptians were using cobalt compounds 2,600 years ago in their sculptures.
But in the 20th Century, cobalt was found to have qualities central to our most advanced technologies.
Combining it with other metals produces alloys that are immensely tough, stable under extreme temperatures and anti-corrosive.
So you will find it in aircraft engines, rockets, nuclear power stations, turbines, cutting tools, even artificial hip joints.

That alone made it valuable, but what has made it especially precious to investors and speculators is its role in the cathodes of rechargeable batteries.
It is no surprise that investors have called the metal “blue gold”.

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Google

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Batteries for mobile pho..

Richard Gere and Matteo Salvini clash over migrant ship

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EPA

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Richard Gere called on the Italian government to stop “demonising people”

Hollywood star Richard Gere has called upon the Italian government to assist migrants who have been stranded on a Spanish charity boat in the Mediterranean for more than a week.
The Italian government needed to stop “demonising people”, the actor said.
Mr Gere boarded the vessel on Friday, which has been blocked from entering Italian waters.
Italy's Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini hit back, saying Mr Gere should take the 160 migrants to Hollywood.
Mr Gere, who visited the Open Arms ship in a show of support, joined a news conference on the Italian island of Lampedusa calling for the migrants to be allowed to dock.

He made comparisons between Mr Salvini, who is also interior minister and has made repeated efforts to block migrant ships from docking in Italy, and US President Donald Trump, who has faced widespread criticism for his immigration policies.
“We ha..