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Half of Antarctica’s emperor penguins could be wiped out due to melting ice | World News

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More than half of Antarctica’s emperor penguins could be wiped out over the next 80 years due to melting ice, scientists have warned.

Researchers from British Antarctic Survey said that rising temperatures and changing wind patterns from global warming will negatively affect the sea ice on which emperor penguins breed.

After reviewing more than 150 studies on the species, scientists indicated that emperor populations will decrease by more than 50% by 2100.

In a new paper published in the journal Biological Conservation, they concluded that improvements in climate change forecasting in relation to impacts on Antarctic wildlife may help the penguins’ chances of survival.

The researchers also recommended that emperor penguins should be listed as a specially protected species, warning that more than half of the birds – at least 300,000 – would die as sea ice melts due to rising temperatures.

Emperor penguins inspect a camera in Antarctica
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Emperor penguins inspect a camera in Antarctica

The emperor penguin – which is the tallest and heaviest of all living penguin species – is the only penguin species that breeds during the Antarctic winter and breed on seasonal sea ice.

The species is considered to be highly sensitive to climatic changes. In the 1970s, population declines of 50% in the Terre Adelie region were observed during an abnormally prolonged warm period which resulted in reduced sea-ice coverage.

Other primary causes for an increased risk of species endangerment are declining food availability and industrial fisheries on the crustacean and fish populations.

Lead author Dr Philip Trathan, head of conservation biology at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), said: “The current rate of warming in parts of the Antarctic is greater than anything in the recent glaciological record.

“Though emperor penguins have experienced periods of warming and cooling over their evolutionary history, the current rates of warming are unprecedented.”

He added: “Currently, we have no idea how the emperors will adjust to the loss of their primary breeding habitat – sea ice. They are not agile and climbing ashore across steep coastal land forms will be difficult.”









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Dr Peter Fretwell, remote sensing specialist at BAS and co-author of the paper, said: “Some colonies of emperor penguins may not survive the coming decades, so we must work to give as much protection as we can to the species to give them the best chance.”

Rod Downie, chief polar adviser at the World Wildlife Fund, which funded the study, said: “Emperor penguins are perfectly adapted to survive in the most remote and extreme frontier of our planet.

“But even they cannot hide from the global climate crisis as they lose the sea ice from beneath their feet.

“We need to take urgent action to protect this incredible species through the creation of vast marine protected areas and rapid and deep cuts to greenhouse gas emissions.”

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Beirut explosion: A city in pain that does not know how to heal its wounds | World News

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Seething with anger, Beirut is a traumatised city that is in danger of tearing itself apart.

Tens of thousands of people came from all over the country to the capital to show their utter disgust for the political class that they blame for the explosion that has wrecked the capital.

The protests were the biggest and most violent in months, with young and old gripped by fury at the authorities.

Protesters move through a cloud of tear gas
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Protesters move through a cloud of tear gas

It is a sign of how the blast – which has displaced hundreds of thousands of people – has galvanised a desperate population already at breaking point from a deepening economic and political crisis.

The savings of ordinary people – if they had any – have been wiped out thanks to a plunging currency and Lebanon is now one of the most indebted countries in the world.

Makeshift gallows were constructed in Martyrs’ Square. Many here want to metaphorically hang the ruling elite and remove them from power; others want them to literally swing.

A cardboard cutout of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is placed in a noose
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A cardboard cut-out of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is placed in a noose
A cutout of prime minister Hassan Diab was also placed in a noose
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A cut-out of prime minister Hassan Diab gets the same treatment

One man quivering with rage shouted to me that he was going to kill the country’s leaders because they were responsible, through callous negligence, for the destruction of his beloved Beirut.

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As tear gas choked through the city a burning sense of righteous anger brought more and more people onto the streets.

They were determined to reach the parliament building – a symbol of the rottenness at the heart of the country.

Plastic bullets crackled through the air, and some of the protesters were seriously injured with blood once again spilling onto Beirut’s tired and weary streets.

This was an already battered people facing the full force of state security.

How this fresh wave of protests ends is not yet clear, but what is certain is that no one will accept a return to the status quo.



A vehicle burns as demonstrators try to break through a barrier near the parliament building







Tear gas and clashes in Beirut

In response the prime minister, Hassan Diab, made an unscheduled and brief TV appearance calling for early elections.

But it is a move unlikely to defuse the anger here, and people across country want reform of the entire system.

By early evening the protesters had taken over the foreign ministry, occupying one of the government’s seats of power.

The revolutionary fervour soon spilled into the main banking institution where offices were torched and equipment was smashed.

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Protesters told me the blame for what is becoming a hellish descent into chaos lies only with the ruling class, who are accused of plundering the nation’s resources.

More protests are planned for the coming days, but for now this is a city in pain that does not know how to heal its wounds.

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Coronavirus: Paris imposes face masks along the River Seine and in other outdoors areas | World News

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Wearing a face mask outdoors in some crowded parts of Paris will become mandatory next week, as France battles a surge in coronavirus infections.

Areas of the French capital where the new measures will be enforced include the banks of the River Seine and along the Canal St Martin as well as open-air markets and other places where social distancing is difficult, local officials said.

Tourist sites such as the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysees boulevard were not included.

France is experiencing a spike in coronavirus infections. More than 2,200 new cases were reported on Friday, the biggest single-day increase since May. That brought the total for the week to 9,330.

Paris is imposing face masks in some outdoor areas
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Masks will become compulsory along the banks of the River Seine

Under the new measures, masks will become mandatory for all people aged 11 and over as of Monday morning and will remain in place for one month.

Those breaching the order face a fine of €135 (£120).

Wearing a mask outdoors is also mandatory in some crowded parts of cities including Marseilles, the country’s second largest, Nice and Lille. The glamorous French Riviera resort of Saint-Tropez is also requiring face masks outdoors.

France has suffered more than 30,000 coronavirus deaths since the start of the pandemic.

The country made it compulsory to wear a face mask in closed public spaces such as shops and banks since 21 July.

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The national government’s top scientific body said this week that the situation is “precarious”.

“We could at any moment tip into a scenario that is less under control, like in Spain,” it said.

“It is highly likely that we will experience a second epidemic wave this autumn or winter.”

European countries are experiencing new flare-ups after easing lockdown restrictions to try to limit the economic damage and alleviate public frustration.

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Beirut: Riot police fire tear gas at protesters as anger grows over port explosion | World News

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Tear gas has been fired in Beirut as people protesting against the government’s handling of this week’s explosion tried to reach the parliament building.

Riot police took action as about 5,000 people gathered in the central Martyrs’ Square and attempted to break through a barrier.

“The people want the fall of the regime,” protesters chanted, adding: “Leave, you are all killers.”

Demonstrators run away from tear gas fired by riot police
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Demonstrators run away from tear gas fired by riot police

Makeshift gallows and nooses have been set up.

Sky News correspondent Alex Rossi, who is there, said residents have been “enormously angry” since the explosion happened, adding: “People here want to – metaphorically at least – hang their political class.”

He said there was a “huge amount of structural damage to the buildings” and hardly any windows have glass in them.

A vehicle burns as demonstrators try to break through a barrier near the parliament building
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A vehicle burns as demonstrators try to break through a barrier near the parliament building

Student Celine Dibo, speaking as she scrubbed blood off the walls of her shattered apartment building, said there was “no trust” in the government, adding: “I wish the United Nations would take over Lebanon.”

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Psychologist Maryse Hayek said the Lebanese people are “living in ground zero”.

“I hope another country would just take us over. Our leaders are a bunch of corrupt people,” he said.

Lebanese demonstrators throw tear gas canisters back at security forces
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Lebanese demonstrators throw tear gas canisters back at security forces

One of the demonstrators in Martyrs’ Square, Rose Sirour, said: “We want a future with dignity – we don’t want the blood of the victims of the explosion wasted.”

The number of dead has risen to 158, the Lebanese health ministry said. At least 6,000 have been injured, while 21 people remain missing.

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