The bear, saved in Ariege last week, in danger after escaping

An unweaned cub about 5 months old, who had been saved in Ariege after losing his mother, is in danger after escaping from the pen where he was being treated in the Tarn, according to of the prefecture of the department.

The small animal “8 kg particularly weakened” which had been placed “on June 12, 2019 in a + capacity of ursids + in order to be refueled and restored to recover its natural environment”, escaped in the night from Sunday to Monday his enclosure in the town of Saint-Pierre de Trivisy, about forty kilometers south-east of Albi, said the prefecture of Tarn in a statement.

“This individual has an administrative authorization to keep wild animals, in this case bear, after training.The equipment is checked by ONCFS agents”, the National Office of Hunting and Wildlife wild, added the services of the state.

According to a prefectural agent, the bear, “still very weak” has very little chance of survival “if it is not found in the next hours”.

A call to witness and research have been launched to find the bear who “does not present any danger to humans,” said the statement.

A dozen people, including three specialists from the National Office of Hunting and Wildlife (ONCFS), with dogs, participated Monday afternoon in this research, said a correspondent of AFP.

Jérôme Sentilles, leader of the Brown Bear Network in the Pyrenees, coordinates the research: “There are two types of dogs, the first to track the bears with their tracks and another dog to detect the droppings, which makes it possible to closer to the animal.Today, the big difficulty is the heat, the dogs are very hot, it is very complicated, we have found nothing for the moment.

A week ago the small mammal wandering without his mother near the houses of the village of Couflens in Ariège, had been collected by ONCFS agents.

A veterinary examination had confirmed that the plantigrade was “extremely weakened, malnourished and dehydrated”, proving that he was separated from his mother for several days, told AFP the Occitania delegate of ONCFS, Nicolas Alban.

This agent had stressed the difficulty of setting up “a temporary captivity by guaranteeing the non-impregnation (faculty to keep the fear of the man)”.

According to the ONCFS, about fifty bears live in the Pyrenean massif with a concentration of individuals in western Ariège, at the very place where the cub was saved.

How does Beijing view the Hong Kong protests?


It is not the first time that there has been disagreement about how much autonomy Hong Kong has, and that creates tensions with Beijing. Since Hong Kong passed from British to Chinese in 1997, the region has had a separate status, with its own laws and political system. A country, two systems is the motto.

According to Professor of Modern China in Leiden and director of the largest China think tank in Europe, Frank Pieke was in 1997 a large part of the inhabitants of Hong Kong, free of the British, before the decolonization. They stood behind China, felt Chinese and part of the motherland, but in recent years there has been a change.

“The younger generation have not even experienced the transfer by the British, they don't have that history. And they feel more like Hong Kongs than Chinese,” said Pieke. “They strive for independence themselves, although that will never happen. Hong Kong cannot survive as an independent country.”

For example, a squid should help to heal burns

It may take a while before the first burns patient can be helped with it. “That will take quite a few years anyway,” says Maarten. “Our research must first succeed and then it must pass a large number of tests.”

Jo-Anne has good hope. “The best thing that can happen to us, as a team and as a person, is when a patient comes to us in about ten years, who is healed by what we are doing here.”

The students participate in the research in the international competition IGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine). Student teams from all over the world use synthetic biology to solve a social problem. At the end of October they present their research in Boston in the United States, where they compete with 314 other teams.

G20: agreement on plastic pollution of marine environments

The G20 countries reached an agreement to reduce marine plastic waste at a meeting in Japan on Sunday, where they also discussed the attack on oil ships in the Gulf of Oman.

According to this agreement, G20 members committed to reducing plastic waste but gave little details on how to do it.

“It's great that we have been able to create rules for everyone, including emerging and developing countries,” said Japan's Environment Minister Yoshiaki Harada after a two-day meeting G20 environment ministers.

The measures would be voluntary and progress would be published once a year, according to local media.

Plastic pollution has become a global concern, especially since bans by China and other countries to import plastic waste from other nations.

Many countries including Japan, have since faced an accumulation of this waste on their territory.

One of the main concerns is the issue of microplastics, these pieces of degraded plastics, some not reaching five millimeters, very difficult to collect. They tend to absorb dangerous chemicals and accumulate in the body fish, birds and other animals.

The agreement is the first international framework to reduce marine plastic pollution.

This is “a first step to solve this problem,” said Hiroaki Odachi, Greenpeace Japan, in a statement, stressing however that it is “insufficient to rely on the voluntary actions of countries” to resolve this crisis.

“Binding international rules with clear timetables and objectives” are needed, like those of the Paris climate agreement, he added.

Given that only 9% of plastics produced are recycled, environmental advocates claim that the only long-term solution would be for companies to manufacture less and consumers to use less.

Japan's Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko, who is co-chairing talks with Harada, said Saturday that Japan will ask companies to charge for disposable plastic bags by April, a measure that has already been adopted by the government. several countries, some of which France has banned them.

Seko also pointed out that Tokyo “was worrying about attacks on oil tankers”.

“From the point of view of global energy security, it is necessary for the international community to react jointly to these acts,” he concluded at the meeting.

The search continues: Next rejection: Heil does not want to run for SPD presidency

Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil does not want to apply for the post of SPD chairman. “I do not intend to run for office – but I know who I want,” Heil told the editorial network Germany.

The minister did not comment on his favorite. But he made it clear that the new party leader or the new party leader needed “responsibility, passion and a sense of proportion”. Heil added: “In the election of the chairman, personal and programmatic questions can not be separated – to believe that would be naive.” He wanted a party leadership that would lead the SPD forward and not to the margins. “We have to bring stability into the party for now and solve problems in government responsibility.” Hopefully, this will succeed in a timely manner, Heil.

After the resignation of Andrea Nahles, the SPD is provisionally led by a trio of deputy party leaders. Heil had been traded in party circles as a possible Nahles successor.

The acting SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich assumes that the Nahles succession will be decided by a primary vote. The mood was appropriate, said Mützenich in the “interview of the week” of the Germany radio. This also shows the feedback from many party members in social media. With a view to a possible double point, the head of the parliament did not want to commit himself: “I would like to focus on people, on teams that then emerge.”

Pension agreement reached, but what still needs to be arranged?

Door cut

But the most difficult part is abolishing the so-called average premium. A new way of premium levy will be introduced. In the current system we all pay the same amount every year, whether you are old or young.

“The complicated thing is, if you are young and you hand in one euro, you can earn a return for forty years. But if you are sixty,” Bouman says.

So the euro that has been invested for forty years, or the euro that only returns for a few years, yields the same piece of pension. And as a young person you actually get too little pension for your contribution, but later when you are older too much. “If everyone would work for the same employer, it doesn't matter, but this is not the case. For example, many women work full-time at the start of their lives, and later part-time. So they are not compensated. should get back, don't experience it. “

In the new system, everyone still pays the same premium, but a young person builds up more pension with it than an older one. The subsidy from young to old is then gone.

“The people in their forties and fifties are the losers of this new system and the question is how this group will be compensated. Social partners, pension funds and pension experts should work this out together,” said Bouman.

The (almost) insoluble problem of drug waste

The province of Noord-Brabant raised the alarm last week: they want to combat drug waste much more effectively. Last year it was announced that criminals in the Netherlands produced at least 18.9 billion euros in ecstasy and amphetamine. And the government fails to combat it.

The government has already promised to release an additional 100 million euros to combat so-called undermining crime. And the focus would be on tackling the drug industry, said Minister Grapperhaus. Nevertheless, the number of Opium Act cases before the courts remains almost the same, while the number of finds of drug labs and waste is increasing.

Researchers at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam said last month that “there is hardly any attention for the export of synthetic drugs produced in the Netherlands”.

Pollution of boats: controls to track risks

In the hold of the Chinese container carrier, OOCL Europe, Ronan Plu passes his index on a pipe connected to a tank of oil: every week, he sifts several foreign ships to detect possible sources of pollution.

“This boat had not been controlled in Europe for more than a year, it was an obligation to visit it during this stopover in Fos-sur-Mer (Bouches-du-Rhone)”, says this inspector of the ship safety within the Interregional Directorate of the Mediterranean Sea (Dirm).

“Since the Erika disaster in 1999, the control of foreign ships has been reinforced in French ports, with an environmental objective”, explains its leader, Stephan Rousseau.

OOCL Europe is 300 meters long and “has as much fuel as a small tanker”. In the event of a collision or shock, the pollution would be massive. This is the scenario that occurred off Corsica in October, when a Tunisian ship hit a Cypriot container ship full force.

A naval safety inspector controls the technical installations aboard OOCL Europe, on June 4, 2019 in Fos-sur-mer, France (AFP / Archives - GERARD JULIEN)

A naval safety inspector controls the technical installations aboard OOCL Europe, on June 4, 2019 in Fos-sur-mer, France (AFP / Archives – GERARD JULIEN)

To avoid polluting incidents, on board small yachts like huge cruise ships, inspectors track down the details. “A dirty boat, oozing, is often bad sign for the rest of the visit,” Judge Plu said. On this Chinese boat, the staff is smiling, the piping gleaming, and machines at risk of leakage coated with white rags.

They are also interested in the treatment of ballast water, used to stabilize the ship, and wastewater. “You have to realize that a cruise liner throws out the equivalent of more than one Olympic sewage pool a day,” says Plu.

– Oil loaded with sulfur –

The inspectors focus on the air pollution emissions of boats, responsible for 60,000 premature deaths per year in Europe.

They begin by scouring dozens of regulatory documents, which the Chinese commander gives them, grouped in thick binders.

Among them: fuel bills, which indicate its sulfur content. The boats use very heavy fuel oil, releasing up to 3.5% sulfur (against 0.001% for cars).

A year earlier, during a routine check aboard a cruise liner, the Azura, Mr. Plu had been “taped” in his words. The captain had submitted a bill for fuel oil at 1.75% sulfur, while the limit for passenger ships in the Mediterranean is 1.5%.

Naval safety inspector inspects the CO2 containers to be used in the event of a fire onboard OOCL Europe on 4 June 2019 in Fos-sur-mer, France (AFP / Archives - GERARD JULIEN)

Naval safety inspector inspects the CO2 containers to be used in the event of a fire onboard OOCL Europe on 4 June 2019 in Fos-sur-mer, France (AFP / Archives – GERARD JULIEN)

For the first time in France, a captain had been sent to a correctional court for this offense and was sentenced in November to a fine of 100,000 euros – 80,000 of which was paid by his company, Carnival.

According to a study by the NGO Transport & Environment, the American company Carnival, the world leader in luxury cruise, has issued in 2017 ten times more sulfur oxide (SOx) around the European coast than all the 260 millions of vehicles from the European park.

OOCL Europe, which does not carry passengers, is subject to a more flexible regulation, with 3.5% sulfur at sea. It is in order: “it is a boat that pollutes, but legally”, notes Ronan Plu, pointing to the bill: fuel oil at 0.01% at the dock and 2.58% at sea.

In 2018, the Paca-Corse Ship Safety Center identified only seven exceedances of the maximum organized sulfur level, out of more than 400 inspections. “Most of the boats are compliant, the catch is that some of them dating back to the '70s are still sailing,” says Plu.

A Naval Safety Inspector inspects the facilities aboard OOCL Europe, 4 June 2019 in Fos-sur-Mer, France (AFP / Archives - GERARD JULIEN)

A Naval Safety Inspector inspects the facilities aboard OOCL Europe, 4 June 2019 in Fos-sur-Mer, France (AFP / Archives – GERARD JULIEN)

Old ships whose engine emits huge amounts of NOx (nitrogen oxides) without being subject to the Marpol regulations, which applies only to ships built after 1990. The new engines emit much less NOx, but the renewal is slow.

As for sulfur, “there will be a huge progress on January 1, 2020,” says Bruno Celerier, deputy director of the Dirm: sulfur emissions will be capped at 0.5% at sea around the world.

Vessels transiting the Mediterranean will nevertheless continue to emit five times as much sulfur as those crossing the Channel or the North Sea, where the threshold has been set at 0.1% since 1 January 2015.

After mass protests: Hong Kong suspends extradition law

After mass protests, Hong Kong has suspended plans for a controversial law for deliveries to China. That announced head of government Carrie Lam today.

The extradition law would allow Hong Kong authorities to extradite suspected and wanted persons to the People's Republic. Critics warn that China's judiciary is not independent and serves as a tool of political persecution. Also threatened with torture and ill treatment. For this Sunday another demonstration is announced.

Last weekend, according to various estimates, hundreds of thousands and a million Hong Kong citizens protested against the government's plans. After that, heavy clashes broke out on Wednesday between police and protesters, who were officially classified as a “riot.” The security forces used tear gas, batons, water cannon and pepper spray to drive thousands of protesters away.

Due to the protests and riots, the unselected parliament had already had to postpone its deliberations on the law this week. Actually, the Beijing-loyal majority should adopt the law next Thursday in third reading. For now, a second reading would be necessary.

According to observers, last Sunday's demonstration was the largest in Hong Kong since protesting against the bloody crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Beijing three decades ago on June 4, 1989.

The riots in Hong Kong are reminiscent of the “umbrella” movement five years ago. At that time, protesters had paralyzed parts of the Asian economic and financial metropolis for weeks with their call for more democracy in Hong Kong. The extradition law, which many see as a “tool to intimidate,” mobilized even more Hong Kongers this time around.

The former British Crown Colony has been autonomously governed as a separate territory since its return in 1997 to China, on the principle of “one country, two systems”. Unlike the people of the People's Republic, the Hong Kong people enjoy the right to freedom of expression, freedom of the press and assembly under the Basic Law of the Chinese Special Administrative Region.

'Left or right, the public gets the bill for less advertising'

“If this cutback continues, it will affect many titles on many fronts,” says NPO boss Shula Rijxman about media broadcaster Arie Slob's broadcasting plans. According to Rijxman, the broadcasters will lose tens of millions. “And tens of millions, that's a lot of programs. On radio, television, and NPO Start. I'm worried.”

Among other things, Slob's plan states that the public broadcaster will be largely free of advertisements. The costs were estimated at around 60 million euros, but Star Director Frank Volmer warns that that amount will be a lot higher. “Our calculations come out at a minimum of 80 to 90 million. Slob does not take into account that austerity measures by the public broadcaster can again lead to lower viewing figures.”

Even if the minister (partially) compensates for the lost income, “the bill will eventually be left or right by the public,” says Volmer. “The public will pay more and get less public broadcasting.”

“Children not faced with advertising”

But Minister Slob sees the largely scrapping of advertisements as something positive for the public. “Because of the eight-hour limit, children will no longer be confronted with advertising. And we also want to get rid of the financial dependence on advertising by the public broadcaster.”

The scrapping of advertisements comes after hundreds of millions of euros in previous cuts in recent years. TV reviewer Arjen Fortuin again fears negative consequences for programming. “I hope that it will not be thought that anything that still generates advertising money has to be pushed extra and spread out over three nets after eight.”

The NPO is already one of the cheapest public broadcasters in Western Europe: