Pope urges action on climate change
Pope Francis has called for the world to act swiftly on the “global problem” of climate change. In his encyclical, released on Thursday, the pontiff called for the moral phasing out of fossil fuel usage, and asked for richer polluting countries to financially assist developing nations. “There are too many special interests, and economic interests easily end up trumping the common good and manipulating information so that their own plans will not be affected,” he wrote. “We know how unsustainable is the behaviour of those who constantly consume and destroy, while others are not yet able to live in a way worthy of their human dignity.”
UNHCR: one in 122 is displaced, a refugee or seeking asylum
According to an annual report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, one in every 122 people is a victim of displacement. By the end of 2014, violence, war and persecution led to a staggering 59.5 million refugees, internally displaced people and asylum seekers – a number matching the 24th largest population in the world, Italy. Refugees fleeing Syria made up the highest single number, representing 11.6 million people. The report mentioned poorer countries were the biggest receptors of refugees, while wealthier nations shunned the responsibility. “It is terrifying that on the one hand there is more and more impunity for those starting conflicts, and on the other there is [a] seeming utter inability of the international community to work together to stop wars and build and preserve peace,” said the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres.
Fukushima operators knew plant needed upgrading prior to tsunami
An internal company document has revealed the operators of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant were aware the facility’s tsunami defences needed an upgrade, contrary to prior claims. Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) claimed the company was powerless in preventing the scale of the March 2011 disaster when an earthquake triggered a huge tsunami, causing a large of radiation leak and triple meltdown. Internal documentation revealed Tepco knew, two years before the incident, the height of coastal barriers needed to be raised. Although concerns were voiced, the preventative measure was not taken.
Thailand confirms first case of MERS in the country
A 75-year-old business man has become the first confirmed sufferer of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus in Thailand. The virus was detected when a man from Oman sought treatment for a heart condition in Bangkok. Fifty-nine people, including three of the man’s relatives, are being monitored for any signs of infection. Thailand is the fourth Asian country this year to have a documented case of the virus. An outbreak in South Korea has already caused 23 deaths. – Compiled from internet sources by Naomi Winner and Jake Nelson
Top photo is a screenshot from The Guardian’s video.