There are several stories worth of environmental news on the international beat tonight. We begin with NPR:
(CNN)In the southwest Pacific Ocean, there's a huge region of unusually warm water covering an area about the size of Australia, known as "the Southern Blob."
Several thousand miles away, the South American nation of Chile has been experiencing a megadrought for more than a decade, with dwindling rain and water supplies.
Jessie the scent detection dog and her team are searching for De Winton's golden mole, a tiny mammal lost to science for 84 years. The mole is part of conservation group Re:wild's top 25 'Most Wanted Lost Species' list. South Africa's Endangered Wildlife Trust partnered with Re:wild to use new detection techniques to hunt for the creature, including DNA analysis and dogs like Jessie.
From the BBC:
The Queen will attend the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, organisers have confirmed.
The 95-year-old monarch will join world leaders at the event which was originally due to take place in November last year but was postponed due to the Covid pandemic.
It will now be held at the Scottish Events Campus from 1-12 November.
From the BBC:
A group of scientists say they have discovered by luck what they believe is the world's northernmost island off Greenland's coast.
In July, the scientists flew to collect samples to what they thought was Oodaaq Island, that has been known since 1978.
News from Afghanistan (that is not about US troops). We begin with Yahoo News:
“People are like, ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t believe this is happening!’ But it’s been happening.”
The Biden administration recently announced that the U.S. would eventually accept as many 50,000 Afghan refugees, and after the events in Afghanistan of the past several weeks, many are wondering if that’s even possible. Suzy Cop, the executive director of the International Rescue Committee’s Dallas office, is feeling prepared for her organization’s small piece of that effort. When we spoke this week, she told me she’s gearing up to welcome and settle as many Afghan refugees as she can.
From The Guardian:
Seoul skirts fraught issue of refugees as it ‘fulfils moral responsibility’ and welcomes 391 newcomers
South Korea has welcomed the arrival of Afghans who supported its operations before the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, designating them as “persons of special merit” instead of refugees in an apparent effort to defuse anti-migrant sentiment.
A military aircraft landed at Incheon airport west of Seoul in the afternoon, transporting 378 Afghans who had worked for South Korea’s embassy and other facilities in Afghanistan and their family members. A further 13 will arrive on a separate flight.
From the Indian Express:
The image, taken by Reuters photographer Johanna Geron at Melsbroek military airport, shows the girl with a smile on her face as she follows two adults, most likely her parents.
Belgium has evacuated over 1400 people from Afghanistan so far.
There are heartbreaking photographs and videos across the internet of desperate Afghanis thronging the Kabul airport in a bid to flee the country after the Taliban takeover. Now, one image is warming hearts online. It is of a little girl skipping on the tarmac after being evacuated to Belgium.
The image, taken by Reuters photographer Johanna Geron at Melsbroek military airport, shows the girl with a smile on her face as she follows two adults, most likely her parents. The contrast between the expressions on the faces of the adults and child is striking.
From Yahoo News:
Three years ago, Christopher Miller, then the top counterterrorism official at the White House National Security Council, recalled a “strange report” that ISIS-K was planning an attack outside of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The report “caused a great deal of consternation” within senior U.S. government counterterrorism circles, he recalled in an interview this week with Yahoo News.
MUMBAI — One of the most prominent symbols of Afghanistan's democracy — the national parliament building, with its giant bronze dome and marble fountains — was a gift from the world's largest democracy.
Alongside the United States, India has spent the past 20 years trying to foster a democratic system in Afghanistan. It invested $3 billion into building Afghan roads, bridges, schools and clinics.
From the Indian Express:
Sayed Sadaat said some at home criticised him for taking such a job after having served in the government for two years, leaving office in 2018. But for him now, a job is a job.
Sayed Sadaat used to be communications minister in the Afghan government before moving to Germany last December in the hope of a better future. Now he is a delivery man in the eastern city of Leipzig.
He said some at home criticised him for taking such a job after having served in the government for two years, leaving office in 2018. But for him now, a job is a job.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday repeatedly referred to the Afghanistan-based Islamic State affiliate ISIS-K as "ISIS-X," and warned that the situation would get worse after the terrorist group's attacks in Kabul.
The group was behind a pair of fatal attacks on Thursday at a security checkpoint leading to Hami Karzai International Airport in Kabul. Some 13 U.S. service members and at least 60 Afghans were killed in the attacks, in what marked the deadliest day for American troops since August 2011.
Animal News. beginning with Reuters:
KLAUSENPASS, Switzerland, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Cows injured during their summer sojourn in the high Swiss Alpine meadows got a jump on their healthier herdmates on Friday when they got helicopter rides down the mountain.
A dozen beasts got the lift to land near the Klausenpass mountain pass, around 1,950 metres (6,400 feet) above sea level.
From the Washington Post:
Whenever Ben Jackson visited his aunt at her home in Australia, she not only stocked the pantry full of snacks and cooked his favorite foods but also sent him and his sister home with handfuls of lollipops.
“My aunty had a tremendously generous soul,” Jackson, who lives in Guyra, a small town between Brisbane and Sydney near Australia’s east coast, told The Washington Post. “She was one of these types of people that never, ever forgot a birthday — you know, the type of person that just gets it, that just has that huge heart.”
From ABC News:
Three critically endangered Sumatran tigers, including two cubs, have been found dead in a conservation area on Indonesia’s Sumatra island after being caught in traps apparently set by a poacher
By YAYAN ZAMZAMI Associated Press
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia -- Three critically endangered Sumatran tigers, including two cubs, were found dead in a conservation area on Indonesia's Sumatra island after being caught in traps apparently set by a poacher, authorities said Friday.
The mother and a female cub were found dead Tuesday in the Leuser Ecosystem Area, a forested region for tiger conservation in Aceh province, said Agus Arianto, head of the conservation agency. The body of a male cub was found on Thursday about 5 meters (15 feet) away, he said.
And from Yahoo News (People Magazine):
A woman who was having an "affair" with a chimpanzee at a Belgian zoo is in fact allowed to continue visiting the venue, despite earlier reports.
According to Ilse Segers, the communications manager of the Antwerp Zoo, Adie Timmermans was not banned from the zoo but rather asked to "change her behaviour" around Chita the chimpanzee, Segers said in an email to PEOPLE.
"There is no ban to see Chita, not for any visitor at the moment," Segers wrote. "We only asked [Mrs. Timmermans] to change her behaviour towards this specific animal."
NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan, Aug 27 (Reuters) - A series of explosions caused by fire at a Kazakh munitions storage depot killed 12 servicemen and firefighters and wounded 98, authorities in the central Asian nation said on Friday.
It is unclear what caused Thursday's fire at the military base in the southern province of Zhambyl where engineering explosives were stored, Defence Minister Nurlan Yermekbayev told a briefing.
From the NY Times:
Claudio Durigon, a member of the right-wing League party and a deputy economy minister, had proposed to rename a park after Benito Mussolini’s brother.
ROME — An Italian government official resigned on Thursday after coming under fierce criticism for his proposal to rename a park in his hometown after the fascist brother of Italy’s former dictator, Benito Mussolini.
The proposal to rename the park after Arnaldo Mussolini was made earlier this month by the official, Claudio Durigon, an under secretary in the economy ministry who is a member of the right-wing League party.
By Nimi Princewil
(CNN)Tanzania's women football team have reacted following comments from Tanzania's female President Samia Suluhu Hassan describing female footballers as "flat-chested," and unattractive for marriage.
"To those athletes who are flat-chested, one can easily think that they are men," Hassan had said at a state event last Sunday to celebrate Tanzania's Under-23 men's team in the coastal city of Dar-es-Salaam.
Also from CNN:
By Jessie Yeung and Zixu Wang, CNN
A version of this story appeared in CNN's Meanwhile in China newsletter, a three-times-a-week update exploring what you need to know about the country's rise and how it impacts the world.
Hong Kong (CNN)They sing, they dance, they're impeccably dressed -- and they're all children, mostly under 10.
Panda Boys, China's newest boy band, debuted on August 21 with their first song and music video, a pastel-laden synth pop number with a rap and Chinese opera interlude. But just three days later, the group disbanded, following outcry on social media over their young age and concerns of exploitation.
And yes, another from CNN:
(CNN)Scores of schoolchildren who were abducted at gunpoint at a school in Nigeria's north-central Niger State have been freed and handed over to their families, a government spokesperson told CNN Friday.
The students were released after their parents paid a ransom of $140,000 (70 million naira) and gave motorbikes in ransom to the kidnappers, according to the school headmaster Abubakar Alhassan.