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Wasps: If you can’t love them, at least admire them

Wasps: If you can’t love them, at least admire them

Science
Want to know the best way to kill a cockroach?Well, first inject some powerful neurotoxins directly into its brain. This will make the bug compliant; it won't try to fly away and will bend to your will.Second, slice off one of its antennae and drink the goo that comes out. For snack purposes, you understand.And then lead it off to your lair by the stump, like a dog on a leash. You're going to bury this zombie in a hole in the ground.But just before you close up the tomb, lay an egg on the bug. Your progeny can have the joy of eating it alive.Dr Gavin Broad relishes these stories about how wasps will parasitise other critters. He's the principal curator in charge of insect collections at London's...
Climate change: Hungry nations add the least to global CO2

Climate change: Hungry nations add the least to global CO2

Science
The impoverished African nation of Burundi comes top of a list of the world's most food-insecure countries says Christian Aid. The charity argues that Burundi and others are now keenly feeling the impacts of climate change on their food production systems.But Burundi's contribution to rising temperatures is marginal, say experts. In fact, the annual carbon emissions of one Briton is equal to the CO2 produced by over 200 Burundians.Scientists and government officials from all over the world are meeting in Geneva this week to consider how climate change impacts the land and how the lands and forests impact the climate. Their detailed report will be released on Thursday. However, researchers at development charity Christian Aid have...
Kyoto Animation fire: At least 23 dead after suspected arson attack

Kyoto Animation fire: At least 23 dead after suspected arson attack

World
Media playback is unsupported on your device At least 26 people are dead and dozens injured after a suspected arson attack at an animation studio in Kyoto, Japan, local emergency officials have said. Local media quoted police as saying a man broke into the Kyoto Animation Co studio on Thursday morning. Police say the suspect, a 41-year-old, sprayed petrol before igniting it.Some people still remain unaccounted for, broadcaster NHK reported. The suspect has been detained and was taken to hospital with injuries.Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the incident was "too appalling for words" and offered condolences to those affected.How did the incident unfold?The fire broke out at the three-storey building at around 10:30 local time (01:35 GMT...
Climate change: Heatwave made ‘at least’ five times more likely by warming

Climate change: Heatwave made ‘at least’ five times more likely by warming

Science
Last week's record breaking heatwave across much of Europe was made "at least five times" more likely to happen by climate change, say scientists.Their rapid attribution study says that rising temperatures "super-charged" the event, making it more likely to happen than through natural variability alone. Heatwaves in June are now about 4C hotter than they used to be, the researchers said. Globally, the average temperature for June was the highest on record.Heatwaves naturally occur in summertime but last week's event in many European countries was unprecedented because it happened so early, and the recorded temperatures were so high. Records were broken at locations in France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Spain.The new French record, established at Ga...
At least 30 dead in fire at home used as matchstick factory

At least 30 dead in fire at home used as matchstick factory

World
At least 30 people have been killed - including three children - in a fire at a house which was used as a matchstick factory in Indonesia's North Sumatra province.Irwan Syahri, from the local disaster mitigation agency in Langkap district, said many of the victims were burned beyond recognition. North Sumatra police spokesman MP Nainggolan said the cause of the fire, which broke out at around midday local time, was being investigated and remains unclear.TV footage showed the burned-out property, situated in a residential area, its floor covered with twisted metal and its corrugated iron roof blackened with soot.One man could be seen desperately trying to help put the fire out by scooping water up from a muddy puddle with a large tub. ...