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Climate Change: Don’t sideline plastic problem, nations urged

Climate Change: Don’t sideline plastic problem, nations urged

Science
Getty ImagesScientists are warning politicians immersed in climate change policy not to forget that the world is also in the midst of a plastic waste crisis. They fear that so much energy is being expended on emissions policy that tackling plastic pollution will be sidelined. A paper from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Bangor University says plastic pollution and climate change are not separate.It says the issues are actually intertwined - and each makes the other worse. Manufacturing plastic items adds to greenhouse gas emissions, while extreme weather such as floods and typhoons associated with a heating planet will disperse and worsen plastic pollution in the sea.The researchers highlight that marine species and ecosystems, such as coral reefs, are taking a double hit from...

Some $1,400 stimulus checks will be mailed payments. It’s not junk mail, so here’s how to make sure you don’t miss them

Finance
Getty ImagesNew $ 1,400 stimulus checks could be landing in your mailbox soon.Government agencies including the Treasury Department, IRS and Bureau of the Fiscal Service on Monday announced a second batch of payments will be sent this week.While that includes more direct deposit payments, it also includes a large number of mailed paper checks or prepaid debit cards."Since this new set of payments will include more mailed payments, we urge people to carefully watch their mail for a check or debit card in the coming weeks," IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement.The third stimulus checks were authorized when the American Rescue Plan was passed earlier this month.The payments will include up to $ 1,400 per person, plus $ 1,400 per adult or child dependent, provided individuals a...
North Korea sanctions slow, but don’t stop nuclear development, analyst says

North Korea sanctions slow, but don’t stop nuclear development, analyst says

World
March 12 (UPI) -- A former director at the International Atomic Energy Agency said international sanctions against North Korea worked to slow weapons development. Sanctions had a definite impact on Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program, but it has not stopped the Kim Jong Un regime from continued development, former IAEA deputy director general Olli Heinonen said, according to Voice of America's Korean service on Friday. Advertisement Heinonen also said economic embargoes had an indirect impact on the North's weapons program. Sanctions blocked sources of North Korean foreign currency earnings and hit the regime's exports. Those changes had an effect on state funding for the nuclear program, Heinonen said. While sanctions are not entirely ineffective, Heinonen said it alone does not prevent ...
Climate change: Don’t raid home insulation scheme, MPs urge ministers

Climate change: Don’t raid home insulation scheme, MPs urge ministers

Science
Getty ImagesMPs are complaining that the Treasury is set to claw back money from a mismanaged government scheme to help people insulate their homes.The Green Homes Grant scheme is in such chaos that a huge majority of its £1.5bn budget for this year is unspent. The government has said it will pocket that money, rather than rolling it over to next year’s £320m fund.But the Environmental Audit Committee says that would be a “deeply retrograde step”.Conservative MP Philip Dunne, who chairs the committee, told the BBC: “We need a long-term commitment to helping people insulate their homes – at the very least until the end of this Parliament.“We (Conservatives) promised £9.2bn for energy efficiency in our manifesto – and we have to deliver that or we won’t reach our climate change targets.”The ...
Post-Brexit trade: ‘If you don’t speak French, you’re stuffed’

Post-Brexit trade: ‘If you don’t speak French, you’re stuffed’

Business
PA MediaMore than a month after the UK's post-Brexit trade deal with the EU came into force, complaints from British importers and exporters continue to mount.Rules of origin for products that are imported into the UK, then exported to the EU are causing difficulty for some firms.Others are caught up in the complexity of VAT issues, while the time and trouble taken to get merchandise through customs remains a hassle.Small wonder, then, that according to a survey by the Road Haulage Association, Brexit-related problems caused the volume of exports passing through British ports to the EU to fall very sharply last month compared with a year ago.A government spokesperson admitted that some businesses are "facing challenges with specific aspects of our new trading relationship" and promised to ...