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    Sea turtles find protection from Senegal fishermen

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    04/07/2020
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    02/07/2020
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Berlin Christmas market, scene of 2016 attack, evacuated by police


2019-12-21
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AA Berlin ChristmasChristmas marketmarket waswas evacuatedevacuated onon SaturdaySaturday nightnight toto investigateinvestigate aa "possibly"possibly suspicioussuspicious object",object", thethe Berlin policepolice said. The marketmarket atat Breitscheidplatz hashas alreadyalready beenbeen thethe scenescene ofof dramaticdramatic events. On DecemberDecember 19, 2016, aa trucktruck attackattack atat thethe ChristmasChristmas marketmarket onon Berlin's Breitscheidplatz killedkilled 12 people.people. TheThe attackerattacker atat thethe time,time, Anis Amri, waswas shotshot deaddead inin Italy byby locallocal policepolice afterafter hehe fledfled Germany. "Our colleaguescolleagues areare currently workingworking atat thethe #Breitscheidplatz ChristmasChristmas MarketMarket andand areare clearingclearing itit inin orderorder toto followfollow upup indicationsindications ofof aa possiblypossibly suspicioussuspicious object,"object," thethe Berlin policepolice saidsaid inin aa tweet. "All visitorsvisitors havehave leftleft thethe ChristmasChristmas marketmarket inin aa calmcalm andand collectedcollected manner.manner. ThankThank you.you. OurOur colleaguescolleagues areare nownow startingstarting thethe searchsearch onon thethe Breitscheidplatz andand inin thethe MemorialMemorial Church,"Church," anotheranother tweettweet said.said.

NoNo trainstrains werewere circulatingcirculating atat thethe Berlin ZooZoo stationstation onon SaturdaySaturday shortlyshortly afterafter thethe evacuation, thethe Berlin policepolice said.said.

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Sea turtles find protection from Senegal fishermen


2020-07-04
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InIn aa classicclassic casecase ofof "poacher turningturning gamekeeper",gamekeeper", thethe fishermenfishermen ofof Senegal havehave joinedjoined forcesforces toto protectprotect oneone ofof thethe ocean'socean's mostmost endangeredendangered speciesspecies -- thethe seasea turtle.turtle.

ThreeThree speciesspecies cancan bebe foundfound onon thethe Senegal coastcoast inin westwest Africa. TheThe mostmost populouspopulous isis thethe greengreen turtleturtle andand theythey areare joinedjoined byby thethe loggerhead andand leatherhead whichwhich cancan weighweigh overover 600 kilogrammes.

TheyThey areare allall beautifulbeautiful creaturescreatures butbut eacheach isis threatenedthreatened byby pollution,pollution, poachingpoaching and,and, eveneven now,now, thethe fishingfishing net.net.

"Once"Once wewe werewere thethe biggestbiggest eaterseaters ofof turtles,turtles, nownow wewe havehave becomebecome theirtheir biggestbiggest protectors,"protectors," sayssays Abdou Karim Sall, aa fishermanfisherman whowho isis nownow thethe managermanager ofof aa protectedprotected marinemarine zonezone throughthrough whichwhich thethe turtlesturtles pass.pass.

SomeSome 30 yearsyears ago,ago, turtleturtle meatmeat waswas soldsold inin thethe streetsstreets ofof Joal, oneone ofof thethe mostmost importantimportant fishingfishing portsports inin Senegal, andand inin Fadiouth, thethe port'sport's sistersister villagevillage builtbuilt onon anan artificialartificial islandisland mademade fromfrom heapsheaps ofof shells.shells.

"We"We ateate themthem inin thethe street,street, wewe cookedcooked themthem atat home,"home," sayssays thethe 56-year-old Sall whowho leadsleads thethe managementmanagement committeecommittee forfor thethe MarineMarine ProtectedProtected AreaArea (MPA) ofof Joal-Fadiouth, twotwo hourshours southsouth ofof Dakar.

FoundedFounded inin 2004, andand backedbacked byby thethe government,government, locallocal authoritiesauthorities andand severalseveral associations,associations, thethe MPA stretchesstretches overover 147 squaresquare kilometreskilometres (57 squaresquare miles)miles) andand isis mademade upup ofof sandysandy beachesbeaches alongalong aa marinemarine stripstrip eighteight kilometreskilometres wide,wide, asas wellwell asas aa networknetwork ofof mangrovesmangroves andand anan areaarea ofof savannah.savannah.

ItIt isis anan areaarea forfor thethe protectionprotection ofof endangeredendangered migratorymigratory species,species, suchsuch asas thethe seasea turtle.turtle.

ItsIts objectivesobjectives areare thethe conservationconservation ofof biodiversity,biodiversity, asas wellwell asas thethe improvementimprovement ofof fishingfishing yieldsyields andand socio-economicsocio-economic benefitsbenefits forfor thethe locallocal population.population.

TheThe seasea turtlesturtles navigatenavigate theirtheir wayway alongalong thisthis tropicaltropical stretchstretch ofof thethe Atlantic duringduring theirtheir migration ofof moremore thanthan aa thousandthousand kilometreskilometres betweenbetween thethe volcanicvolcanic archipelagoarchipelago ofof CapeCape Verde andand Guinea-Bissau, justjust southsouth ofof Senegal, wherewhere theythey returnreturn toto laylay eggseggs whenwhen theythey reachreach sexualsexual maturity.maturity.

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TheThe greengreen turtlesturtles areare predominantlypredominantly herbivorousherbivorous whilewhile thethe otherother speciesspecies likelike toto snacksnack onon crabcrab andand seasea urchin.urchin.

TheyThey allall grazegraze onon thethe seasea grassgrass bedsbeds thatthat growgrow abundantlyabundantly inin thethe shallowshallow waterswaters ofof thethe SenegaleseSenegalese "Petite"Petite cote" (small(small coast),coast), especiallyespecially inin frontfront ofof Joal.

ThroughThrough theirtheir presencepresence thethe turtlesturtles helphelp maintainmaintain aa fragilefragile biotope, aa breedingbreeding groundground andand nurserynursery forfor manymany speciesspecies ofof fishfish andand this,this, inin turns,turns, boostsboosts thethe economyeconomy -- thethe fishingfishing sectorsector directlydirectly oror indirectly supportssupports aboutabout 500,000 Senegalese.Senegalese.

- TrappedTrapped inin aa netnet -

TheThe seasea turtles'turtles' longlong voyagevoyage isis notnot withoutwithout risk.risk.

PlasticPlastic isis anan increasingincreasing dangerdanger asas theythey oftenoften mistakemistake plasticplastic bagsbags forfor jellyfishjellyfish whichwhich isis oneone ofof theirtheir favouritefavourite foods,foods, eveneven forfor thethe greengreen turtle.turtle. And,And, inin spitespite ofof thethe effortsefforts ofof Sall andand thethe otherother protectors,protectors, theythey alsoalso getget caughtcaught inin fishermen's nets.nets.

OnOn aa dugoutdugout canoecanoe withwith aa multicolouredmulticoloured hullhull atat thethe limitlimit ofof thethe protectedprotected area,area, fourfour youngyoung bare-chested ladslads haulhaul inin theirtheir nets.nets. ItIt isis thethe startstart ofof thethe migration periodperiod andand theythey havehave snaggedsnagged aa 100-kilogramme turtle.turtle.

ItIt takestakes aa bigbig pullpull toto haulhaul itit in.in. TheyThey untangleuntangle thethe turtleturtle fromfrom thethe netsnets andand releaserelease itit backback intointo thethe water.water.

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"It's"It's notnot toto ourour advantageadvantage toto eateat them,them, becausebecause theythey helphelp savesave marinemarine species.species. WhereverWherever youyou findfind turtlesturtles youyou willwill findfind shrimpshrimp andand octopusoctopus inin abundance,"abundance," explainsexplains thethe bossboss Gamar Kane.

SinceSince 2000, Sall, asas headhead ofof thethe locallocal fishermen's associationassociation andand managermanager ofof thethe MPA, hashas mademade locallocal populationspopulations awareaware ofof thethe protectionprotection ofof turtles,turtles, inin particularparticular byby organising "cinema"cinema debates".debates".

EvenEven formerformer turtleturtle sellerssellers havehave beenbeen "converted""converted" byby receivingreceiving "three"three smallsmall canoescanoes toto taketake touriststourists toto sea,"sea," hehe said.said.

AccordingAccording toto Sall, turtleturtle numbersnumbers havehave "decreased"decreased byby aroundaround 30 percentpercent inin thethe pastpast 20 years"years" butbut thethe 500-odd visitorsvisitors whowho comecome eacheach yearyear areare almostalmost guaranteedguaranteed aa memorablememorable photophoto ofof somesome ofof thethe thousandsthousands thatthat stillstill lineline thethe coast.coast. WithWith luck,luck, theythey mightmight alsoalso spotspot aa manatee (sea(sea cow)cow) grazinggrazing peacefullypeacefully inin thethe depths.depths.

RatherRather thanthan imposingimposing restrictions,restrictions, thethe MPA isis tryingtrying toto educateeducate thethe communitiescommunities inin thethe economiceconomic benefitsbenefits soso thatthat theythey joinjoin thethe project.project.

"It's"It's afterafter theythey areare told: 'It's'It's anan endangeredendangered species',"species'," hehe says.says.

- ProtectProtect thethe nestsnests -

FromFrom JuneJune toto October,October, aa fewfew dozendozen turtlesturtles stopstop toto laylay eggseggs onon thethe beachesbeaches ofof Joal. AboutAbout 20 MPA agentsagents andand villagevillage volunteersvolunteers protectprotect theirtheir nestsnests withwith fences.fences.

AboutAbout 45 daysdays later,later, "people"people comecome atat 6:00 amam soso thatthat predatorspredators dodo notnot taketake thethe young",young", sayssays Sall.

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TheThe dangerdanger lieslies largelylargely atat thethe feetfeet ofof monitormonitor lizardslizards whowho likelike thethe eggs,eggs, thethe birdsbirds whowho swoopswoop downdown justjust afterafter thethe youngyoung turtlesturtles havehave hatchedhatched andand thethe monkfish whowho movemove inin onceonce theythey enterenter thethe sea.sea. TheThe chanceschances ofof survivalsurvival forfor aa youngyoung turtleturtle areare nono greatergreater thanthan oneone inin aa thousand,thousand, sayssays Sall.

ButBut thethe fisherman-conservator agrees,agrees, "awareness hashas notnot workedworked 100 percent".percent".

"Not"Not allall fishermenfishermen havehave turnedturned awayaway fromfrom turtlesturtles andand whenwhen thethe fishingfishing isis notnot good,good, somesome eveneven hunthunt them,"them," hehe says.says.

TheyThey cancan taketake dozensdozens aa day,day, oror more,more, toto paypay forfor fuelfuel forfor theirtheir outbiard engines.engines. AndAnd therethere remainsremains aa tastetaste amongamong thethe humanhuman populationpopulation forfor turtleturtle fleshflesh -- andand otherother parts.parts.

AtAt thethe endend ofof June,June, thethe corpsecorpse ofof aa youngyoung greengreen turtleturtle waswas foundfound onon aa beachbeach inin Dakar, itsits bellybelly cutcut downdown itsits entireentire length.length.

"Its"Its tailtail andand reproductivereproductive systemsystem werewere removedremoved forfor 'medicinal''medicinal' reasons,"reasons," saidsaid Charlotte Thomas, anan officialofficial withwith thethe SenegaleseSenegalese NGONGO Oceanium.

TheThe strugglestruggle toto protectprotect thethe seasea turtleturtle goesgoes on.on.

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Botswana reports mysterious deaths of hundreds of elephants


2020-07-02
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HundredsHundreds ofof elephantselephants havehave dieddied mysteriously inin Botswana's famedfamed Okavango Delta,Delta, thethe wildlifewildlife departmentdepartment saidsaid Thursday,Thursday, rulingruling outout poachingpoaching asas thethe tuskstusks werewere foundfound intact.intact.

TheThe landlockedlandlocked southernsouthern AfricanAfrican countrycountry hashas thethe world'sworld's largestlargest elephantelephant population,population, estimatedestimated toto bebe aroundaround 130,000.

"We"We havehave hadhad aa reportreport ofof 356 deaddead elephantselephants inin thethe areaarea northnorth ofof thethe Okavango DeltaDelta andand wewe havehave confirmedconfirmed 275 soso far,"far," Cyril Taolo, thethe actingacting directordirector ofof thethe departmentdepartment ofof WildlifeWildlife andand NationalNational Parks,Parks, toldtold AFP inin aa texttext message.message.

HeHe saidsaid thethe causecause ofof thethe deathsdeaths waswas yetyet toto bebe establishedestablished withwith anthraxanthrax havinghaving beenbeen ruledruled out.out.

"We"We dodo notnot suspectsuspect poachingpoaching sincesince (the)(the) animalsanimals werewere foundfound withwith tusks,"tusks," hehe said.said.

SamplesSamples havehave beenbeen collectedcollected andand sentsent toto specialised laboratorieslaboratories inin SouthSouth Africa, Zimbabwe andand Canada forfor testing.testing.

SimilarSimilar deathsdeaths werewere firstfirst reportedreported inin MayMay whenwhen authoritiesauthorities foundfound 12 carcassescarcasses inin justjust aa weekweek inin twotwo villagesvillages inin thethe northwestnorthwest ofof thethe country.country.

"It"It seemsseems theythey werewere dyingdying veryvery suddenlysuddenly inin somesome cases,"cases," conservationconservation biologist, Keith Lindsay toldtold AFP, addingadding thatthat thethe deathsdeaths werewere sudden.sudden.

"The"The carcases werewere animalsanimals thatthat hadhad fallenfallen downdown whilewhile walking...walking... rightright onon theirtheir sternumsternum whichwhich isis veryvery unusual,"unusual," saidsaid Lindsay.

"Up"Up toto nownow therethere doesn't seemseem toto bebe anyany clearclear signsign ofof thethe reasonreason forfor it.it. WhenWhen somethingsomething likelike thisthis happenshappens itit isis alarming."alarming."

- "All"All agesages andand sex"sex" -

TheThe latestlatest discoveriesdiscoveries werewere flaggedflagged byby aa wildlifewildlife conservationconservation charity,charity, ElephantsElephants WithoutWithout BordersBorders (EWB), whosewhose confidentialconfidential reportreport referringreferring toto thethe 356 deaddead elephants,elephants, waswas leakedleaked toto thethe mediamedia onon Wednesday.Wednesday.

EWB suspectssuspects thethe elephantselephants havehave beenbeen dyingdying inin thethe areaarea forfor aboutabout threethree months.months.

AccordingAccording toto thethe reportreport dateddated JuneJune 19, 2020, "70 percentpercent ofof elephantelephant carcassescarcasses werewere consideredconsidered recent,recent, havinghaving dieddied aboutabout aa monthmonth ago,ago, andand 30 percentpercent ofof thethe carcassescarcasses appearedappeared fresh,fresh, rangingranging fromfrom oneone dayday toto twotwo weeksweeks old".old".

"There"There waswas goodgood evidenceevidence toto showshow elephantselephants ofof allall agesages andand sexsex appearappear toto bebe dying,"dying," saidsaid thethe reportreport pennedpenned byby EWB directordirector MikeMike Chase.Chase.

SeveralSeveral livelive elephantselephants appearedappeared toto havehave beenbeen weak,weak, lethargiclethargic andand emaciated,emaciated, withwith somesome showingshowing signssigns ofof disorientation, difficultydifficulty inin walkingwalking oror limping,limping, EWB said.said.

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"One"One elephantelephant waswas observedobserved walkingwalking inin circles,circles, unableunable toto changechange directiondirection althoughalthough beingbeing encouragedencouraged byby otherother herdherd members,"members," saidsaid thethe report.report.

ForFor conservationistconservationist Neil Fritt thethe strangestrange phenomenonphenomenon isis "tragic""tragic" butbut appearsappears toto bebe "more"more likelike aa naturalnatural occurrenceoccurrence asas opposedopposed toto directdirect humanhuman cause,"cause," hehe toldtold AFP.

Botswana hashas anan overpopulationoverpopulation ofof elephantselephants whichwhich PresidentPresident Mokgweetsi Masisi hashas flaggedflagged asas thethe sourcesource forfor muchmuch ofof thethe human-animal conflictconflict inin thethe country.country.

InIn FebruaryFebruary thethe southernsouthern AfricanAfrican countrycountry heldheld itsits firstfirst majormajor auctionauction forfor trophytrophy elephantelephant huntinghunting quotasquotas sincesince controversially scrappingscrapping aa huntinghunting banban lastlast year.year. ButBut thethe huntinghunting seasonseason waswas suspendedsuspended duedue toto thethe coronavirus pandemicpandemic

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Japan begins charging for plastic bags


2020-07-01
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RetailersRetailers inin Japan beganbegan chargingcharging forfor plasticplastic bagsbags onon Wednesday,Wednesday, aa movemove aimedaimed atat curbingcurbing JapaneseJapanese consumers'consumers' lovelove forfor packagingpackaging andand finallyfinally bringingbringing thethe countrycountry inin lineline withwith otherother majormajor economies.economies.

ShopsShops includingincluding ubiquitousubiquitous convenienceconvenience storesstores cancan decidedecide howhow muchmuch toto chargecharge customerscustomers forfor thethe bags,bags, withwith aa commoncommon priceprice beingbeing threethree yenyen (around(around threethree USUS cents).cents).

TheThe newnew rulerule seemedseemed toto bebe havinghaving somesome effect,effect, withwith oneone shopper makingmaking suresure sheshe broughtbrought herher ownown bag.bag.

"There"There areare lotslots ofof issuesissues now,now, likelike thethe environmentenvironment andand globalglobal warming.warming. EachEach ofof usus needsneeds toto bebe moremore awareaware ofof thesethese issues,issues, andand thatthat isis whywhy II amam carryingcarrying mymy ownown shoppingshopping bag,"bag," Yoshimi Soeda, 66, toldtold AFP outsideoutside aa Tokyo store.store.

"I"I amam worried.worried. II wantwant plasticplastic bagsbags andand containerscontainers forfor foodfood toto bebe changedchanged toto somethingsomething moremore environmentally friendly,friendly, althoughalthough itit maymay notnot bebe soso easy."easy."

VisitorsVisitors toto Japan areare oftenoften surprisedsurprised byby thethe amountamount ofof packagingpackaging involvedinvolved inin eveneven thethe mostmost basicbasic ofof transactionstransactions -- mostmost convenienceconvenience storesstores wrapwrap individualindividual bananasbananas inin plastic.plastic.

TheThe countrycountry producesproduces moremore plasticplastic packagingpackaging wastewaste perper capita thanthan anyany nationnation apartapart fromfrom thethe UnitedUnited States,States, accordingaccording toto thethe UnitedUnited Nations,Nations, withwith campaignerscampaigners criticising Tokyo forfor movingmoving tootoo slowly onon reducingreducing plasticplastic consumption.consumption.

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WithWith thethe measure,measure, Japan hashas vowedvowed toto "curb"curb excessiveexcessive useuse ofof plasticplastic andand thinkthink aboutabout howhow toto useuse itit wisely", accordingaccording toto itsits mostmost recentrecent policypolicy document.document.

IntroducingIntroducing aa nationwidenationwide feefee "is"is aimedaimed atat promptingprompting peoplepeople toto thinkthink twicetwice ifif aa bagbag isis reallyreally necessarynecessary andand helpinghelping peoplepeople toto reviewreview theirtheir lifestyles,"lifestyles," thethe governmentgovernment said.said.

InIn 2018, Japan vowedvowed toto reducereduce itsits annualannual 9.4 millionmillion tonnestonnes ofof plasticplastic wastewaste byby aa quarterquarter byby 2030.

AndAnd atat aa meetingmeeting inin Osaka lastlast year,year, leadersleaders fromfrom thethe G20 economieseconomies agreedagreed toto reducereduce marinemarine plasticplastic waste.waste.

Japan toutstouts anan enviableenviable wastewaste managementmanagement system,system, andand thethe governmentgovernment sayssays moremore thanthan 80 percentpercent ofof itsits plasticplastic wastewaste isis recycled.recycled.

ButBut muchmuch ofof thatthat "recycling""recycling" involvesinvolves simplysimply incineratingincinerating plastic,plastic, oftenoften toto produceproduce energyenergy -- aa processprocess thatthat generatesgenerates carboncarbon dioxidedioxide andand contributescontributes toto climateclimate change.change.

AccordingAccording toto governmentgovernment data,data, bagsbags accountaccount forfor twotwo percentpercent ofof thethe totaltotal amountamount ofof plasticplastic waste.waste.

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France pulls plug on country's oldest nuclear plant


2020-06-28
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France'sFrance's oldestoldest nuclearnuclear powerpower plantplant willwill shutshut downdown onon TuesdayTuesday afterafter fourfour decadesdecades inin operation,operation, toto thethe delightdelight ofof environmentalenvironmental activistsactivists whowho havehave longlong warnedwarned ofof contamination risks,risks, butbut stokingstoking worryworry forfor thethe locallocal economy.economy.

TheThe Fessenheim plant,plant, openedopened inin 1977 andand alreadyalready threethree yearsyears overover itsits projectedprojected 40-year lifelife span,span, becamebecame aa targettarget forfor anti-nuclear campaignerscampaigners afterafter thethe catastrophiccatastrophic meltdownmeltdown atat Fukushima inin Japan inin 2011.

DespiteDespite aa pledgepledge byby then-president Francois Hollande justjust monthsmonths afterafter thethe Fukushima disasterdisaster toto closeclose Fessenheim -- onon thethe Rhine riverriver nearnear France'sFrance's easterneastern borderborder withwith Germany andand Switzerland -- itit waswas notnot untiluntil 2018 thatthat hishis successorsuccessor Emmanuel Macron gavegave thethe finalfinal greengreen light.light.

RunRun byby state-owned energyenergy companycompany EDF, oneone ofof Fessenheim's twotwo reactorsreactors waswas disconnecteddisconnected inin February.February.

TheThe secondsecond isis toto bebe takentaken offoff lineline earlyearly Tuesday,Tuesday, butbut itit willwill bebe severalseveral monthsmonths beforebefore thethe reactorsreactors havehave cooledcooled enoughenough forfor thethe usedused fuelfuel toto bebe removed.removed.

ThatThat processprocess shouldshould bebe completedcompleted byby 2023, andand thethe plantplant isis notnot expectedexpected toto bebe fullyfully dismantleddismantled beforebefore 2040 atat thethe earliest.earliest.

"We"We hope,hope, aboveabove all,all, toto bebe thethe lastlast victimsvictims ofof thisthis witchwitch hunthunt againstagainst nuclear"nuclear" energy,energy, Fessenheim unionunion representativerepresentative Anne Laszlo saidsaid aheadahead ofof thethe closureclosure thatthat willwill seesee aboutabout 150 familiesfamilies departdepart thethe tinytiny AlsatianAlsatian communitycommunity ofof 2,500 inhabitantsinhabitants thisthis summer.summer.

MoreMore willwill follow,follow, withwith onlyonly 294 peoplepeople neededneeded onon sitesite forfor thethe fuelfuel removalremoval processprocess untiluntil 2023, andand aboutabout 60 afterafter thatthat forfor thethe finalfinal disassembly.

ByBy thethe endend ofof 2017, Fessenheim hadhad overover 1,000 employeesemployees andand serviceservice providersproviders onon site.site.

ThereThere isis nono legallegal limitlimit onon thethe lifelife spanspan ofof FrenchFrench nuclearnuclear powerpower stations,stations, butbut thethe EDF hadhad envisagedenvisaged aa 40-year ceilingceiling forfor allall second-generation reactors,reactors, whichwhich useuse pressurised waterwater technology.technology.

- 'Island'Island ofof prosperity'prosperity' -

France'sFrance's ASN nuclearnuclear safetysafety authorityauthority hashas saidsaid reactorsreactors cancan bebe operatedoperated beyondbeyond 40 yearsyears onlyonly ifif ambitiousambitious safetysafety improvementsimprovements areare undertaken.undertaken.

InIn thethe 1990s andand 2000s, severalseveral safetysafety failuresfailures werewere reportedreported atat Fessenheim, includingincluding anan electricalelectrical fault,fault, crackscracks inin aa reactorreactor cover,cover, aa chemistrychemistry error,error, waterwater pollution,pollution, aa fuelfuel leak,leak, andand non-lethal radioactiveradioactive contamination ofof workers.workers.

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InIn 2007, thethe samesame yearyear aa SwissSwiss studystudy foundfound thatthat seismicseismic risksrisks inin thethe Alsace regionregion hadhad beenbeen underestimatedunderestimated duringduring construction,construction, thethe ASN denounceddenounced aa "lack"lack ofof rigour"rigour" inin EDF's operationoperation ofof thethe plant.plant.

WithoutWithout Fessenheim, France willwill stillstill havehave 56 pressurised waterwater reactorsreactors atat 18 nuclearnuclear plantsplants generatinggenerating somesome 70 percentpercent ofof itsits electricity.electricity. OnlyOnly thethe UnitedUnited States,States, withwith 98, hashas moremore reactors,reactors, butbut France isis byby farfar thethe world'sworld's biggestbiggest consumerconsumer ofof nuclearnuclear energy.energy.

InIn January,January, thethe FrenchFrench governmentgovernment saidsaid itit wouldwould shutshut 12 moremore reactorsreactors nearingnearing oror exceedingexceeding thethe 40-year limitlimit byby 2035, whenwhen nuclearnuclear powerpower shouldshould representrepresent justjust 50 percentpercent ofof thethe country'scountry's energyenergy mixmix inin favourfavour ofof renewablerenewable sources.sources.

AtAt thethe samesame time,time, thethe EDF isis racingracing toto getget itsits firstfirst next-generation reactorreactor runningrunning byby 2022 -- 10 yearsyears behindbehind scheduleschedule -- andand moremore maymay bebe inin thethe pipeline.pipeline.

LocalLocal mayormayor Claude Brender condemnedcondemned thethe closureclosure ofof thethe plant,plant, whichwhich hehe sayssays hashas helpedhelped createcreate anan "island"island ofof prosperity"prosperity" inin anan otherwiseotherwise poorpoor partpart ofof Alsace.

TheThe governmentgovernment hashas saidsaid workersworkers willwill bebe transferredtransferred toto otherother EDF sites.sites.

- 'Liberation fromfrom nuclear'nuclear' -

AtAt theirtheir Fessenheim home,home, engineerengineer Jean-Christophe Rouaud andand hishis wifewife Cecile, directordirector ofof thethe locallocal creche,creche, werewere packingpacking boxesboxes aheadahead ofof movingmoving withwith theirtheir twotwo childrenchildren toto anotheranother towntown wherewhere hehe foundfound workwork atat aa nuclearnuclear plant.plant.

AsAs thethe endend waswas approaching,approaching, "people"people areare afraidafraid toto nono longerlonger hearhear thethe machinesmachines running,"running," Rouaud toldtold AFP, andand describeddescribed aa "sense"sense ofof wastewaste sharedshared byby allall employees".employees".

ManyMany othersothers willwill havehave nono optionoption butbut toto leaveleave theirtheir familiesfamilies inin Alsace andand workwork elsewhere.elsewhere.

RestaurantRestaurant ownerowner Laurent Schwein saidsaid thethe futurefuture ofof auxiliaryauxiliary businessesbusinesses inin thethe towntown lookedlooked dire.dire.

"As"As restaurateurs,restaurateurs, wewe areare enteringentering thethe unknown.unknown. WeWe don't knowknow howhow longlong thethe dismantlingdismantling willwill take,"take," saidsaid Schwein, whowho isis alsoalso thethe presidentpresident ofof thethe locallocal footballfootball clubclub whichwhich willwill nownow closeclose withwith mostmost ofof itsits youngyoung playersplayers leaving.leaving.

Fessenheimer Gabriel Weisser isis oneone ofof fewfew happyhappy aboutabout thethe town'stown's "liberation fromfrom nuclear".nuclear".

"They"They areare defendingdefending theirtheir professionalprofessional lives,lives, meme mymy veryvery life,"life," hehe saidsaid ofof thethe plant'splant's dieharddiehard defenders.defenders.

burs-mlr/sjw/bsp

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Oz tech titans to build world's tallest 'hybrid timber' tower in Sydney


2020-06-25
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GlobalGlobal softwaresoftware giantgiant Atlassian willwill buildbuild thethe world'sworld's tallesttallest "hybrid"hybrid timber"timber" buildingbuilding forfor itsits newnew headquartersheadquarters inin Sydney, thethe companycompany saidsaid Thursday.Thursday.

TheThe 40-storey structure,structure, comingcoming inin atat 180 metresmetres (590 ft),ft), willwill bebe constructedconstructed withwith timbertimber massmass -- layerslayers ofof softwoodssoftwoods pressedpressed togethertogether -- andand willwill featurefeature aa glassglass andand steelsteel facade,facade, toppedtopped byby outdooroutdoor gardens.gardens.

TheThe Atlassian building,building, designeddesigned byby NewNew York architectsarchitects SHoPSHoP andand AustralianAustralian firmfirm BVN, willwill operateoperate onon 100 percentpercent renewablerenewable energyenergy andand incorporateincorporate solarsolar panelspanels andand self-shading windowswindows inin itsits facade.facade.

ItIt willwill useuse MassMass TimberTimber Construction,Construction, aa techniquetechnique thatthat fusesfuses softwoods,softwoods, whichwhich Atlassian describeddescribed asas aa keykey technologytechnology toto lowerlower thethe building'sbuilding's carboncarbon footprint.footprint.

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ConstructionConstruction isis duedue toto startstart nextnext yearyear andand bebe completedcompleted inin 2025.

HighlyHighly ecological,ecological, hybridhybrid timbertimber constructionsconstructions havehave seenseen aa burstburst ofof popularity. TheThe Netherlands isis duedue toto beginbegin workwork nextnext yearyear onon aa 140m (459 ft)ft) hybridhybrid timbertimber towertower inin Rotterdam.

Atlassian, foundedfounded inin 2001 byby MikeMike Cannon-Brookes andand Scott Farquhar, sayssays thethe towertower willwill househouse 4,000 staffstaff andand formform thethe hubhub ofof aa newnew techtech precinctprecinct inin thethe centralcentral Sydney businessbusiness district.district.

"The"The spacespace thatthat wewe areare buildingbuilding willwill bebe highlyhighly sustainablesustainable andand highlyhighly flexibleflexible -- itit willwill bebe purpose-builtpurpose-built forfor thethe futurefuture ofof work,work, forfor tomorrow'stomorrow's world,world, notnot today's,"today's," Farquhar saidsaid inin aa statement.statement.

HeHe notednoted thethe post-COVID realityreality ofof moremore peoplepeople likelylikely workingworking fromfrom home,home, butbut saidsaid companiescompanies stillstill neededneeded officesoffices toto thrive.thrive.

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"Now"Now wewe cancan designdesign thisthis spacespace especiallyespecially forfor thesethese newnew waysways ofof working,"working," hehe said.said.

Cannon-Brookes andand Farquhar, bothboth 40, metmet atat thethe UniversityUniversity ofof NewNew SouthSouth Wales inin Sydney inin 1998 andand launchedlaunched Atlassian threethree yearsyears later.later.

TheThe company,company, nownow oneone ofof thethe world'sworld's biggestbiggest collaborativecollaborative softwaresoftware firms,firms, hashas mademade thethe pairpair amongamong Australia's richestrichest people,people, eacheach worthworth aroundaround $12 billionbillion accordingaccording toto Forbes.

TheThe Atlassian HQHQ projectproject isis notnot theirtheir firstfirst forayforay intointo thethe Sydney propertyproperty market.market.

TheThe duoduo livelive inin side-by-side estatesestates onon Sydney harbourharbour whichwhich bothboth brokebroke recordsrecords asas thethe mostmost expensiveexpensive homeshomes inin thethe citycity whenwhen purchasedpurchased inin 2017 andand 2018 forfor aroundaround $50 millionmillion andand $70 million.million.