Nations

Beach at sunset

China announces 3-year plan to combat ocean litter and clean up coastal areas

The Ministry of Ecology and Environment and three other government bodies have announced a campaign that aims to substantially clear the garbage in coastal areas by 2025, with ongoing, regular clean-ups established by 2027, Chinese news site Sixth Tone reported. It also calls for measures to be bolstered to prevent inland waste from reaching the sea.

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Credit cards in front of laptop

United States to ban medical debt from credit reports

In a sweeping change that could improve millions of Americans’ ability to own a home or buy a car, the Biden administration proposed a rule to ban medical debt from credit reports. The rule, announced by Vice President Kamala Harris and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra, comes as President Joe Biden beefs up his efforts to persuade Americans his administration is lowering costs, a chief concern for voters in the upcoming election.

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Horses on grassland

Wild horses return to Kazakhstan steppes after two-century absence

The seven horses, four mares from Berlin and a stallion and two other mares from Prague, were flown to the central Asian country on a Czech air force transport plane. The wild horses, known as Przewalski’s horses, once roamed the vast steppe grasslands of central Asia, where horses are believed to have been first domesticated about 5,500 years ago.

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School of herring

Sweden to ban bottom fishing in territorial waters

Bottom trawling, a practice criticized by NGOs for impacting ecosystems, involves dragging heavy nets over the seabed, damaging ecosystems, and releasing carbon into the oceans. Sweden is set to become the second EU country to ban bottom fishing in marine protected areas, going a step further than Greece’s April decision by banning it in all territorial waters.

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Aerial view of large solar farm

The world’s largest solar farm just came online in China’s Xianjiang autonomous region

The world’s largest solar farm, in the desert in northwestern Xinjiang, is now connected to China’s grid. The 3.5-gigawatt, 33,000-acre solar farm is outside Urumqi, Xinjiang’s capital.
Assuming an EV consumes about 3,000 kWh per year, 6.09 billion kWh could power 2.03 million EVs annually.

The world’s largest solar farm just came online in China’s Xianjiang autonomous region Read more

Claudia Sheinbaum

Mexico elects Claudia Sheinbaum as first female president

Mexico’s official electoral authority said preliminary results showed the 61-year-old former mayor of Mexico City winning between 58% and 60% of the vote in the recent election. That gives her a lead of about 30 percentage points over her main rival, businesswoman Xóchitl Gálvez. Ms. Sheinbaum will replace her mentor, outgoing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on 1 October.

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School of fish

Peru approves the creation of long-awaited marine protected area

After 10 years of negotiations, Peru’s Council of Ministers has approved the creation of the Grau Tropical Sea National Reserve. To Peruvians, it is a much-awaited marine protected area, as it’s one of the most biodiverse stretches along the country’s coastline. The reserve covers over 285,000 acres of sea off the departments of Piura and Tumbes in northern Peru. The IUCN ranked the area among the 70 most important places in the world for marine biodiversity conservation.

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IRS tax filings

U.S.’s Internal Revenue Service to make its free tax filing program permanent

A pilot version of the online program, known as Direct File, launched earlier this year. It provides step-by-step guidance to taxpayers filing their federal tax returns.

A pilot version of the online program, known as Direct File, launched earlier this year. It provides free step-by-step guidance to taxpayers filing their federal tax returns. Last year, more than 140,000 people across 12 states successfully filed their federal tax returns using Direct File, exceeding the agency’s expectations. Next year, the IRS plans to allow some taxpayers in all states and Washington, DC, to use the program.

U.S.’s Internal Revenue Service to make its free tax filing program permanent Read more

Cancer Cells under microscope

Thousands in the U.K. to trial breakthrough personalized cancer vaccines

Under the new scheme from the U.K. National Health Service, the first of its kind in the world, patients who meet the eligibility criteria and agree to have a blood test and sample of their cancer tissue analyzed will gain immediate access to clinical trials for the new vaccines that experts say represent a new dawn of treatments for cancer. While research into cancer vaccines is at an early stage, trials have already shown they can be effective at killing off any remaining tumor cells after surgery and dramatically cut the risk of cancer returning.

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Aral Sea time lapse 1989 2014

Uzbekistan plants millions of acres of forest where the Aral Sea once lay

Instead of trying to restore what used to be the world’s third largest lake, officials from the Uzbekistan Forestry Agency and locals are trying to plant a new forest where it once rested. The main purpose of the afforestation project it to curb the harmful sandstorms and improve the ecosystem by planting desert-tolerant plants. The initiative has so far planted 4.2 million acres of forest, with up to 494,000 acres of new forest planned for 2024.

Uzbekistan plants millions of acres of forest where the Aral Sea once lay Read more