News That Matters

Tag: Threatened

Jobs threatened as Toys R Us and Maplin collapse

Jobs threatened as Toys R Us and Maplin collapse

Business
The future of 5,500 jobs was hanging in the balance on Wednesday following the collapse of two major retailers in Toys R Us UK and Maplin.Administrators were called in to both companies within an hour of each other after Sky News reported both had failed in their efforts to secure a rescue.Toys R Us was first to admit defeat - despite securing a deal among its creditors just before Christmas that allowed it to shut its worst performing stores and slash its rent bill.Image:A notice informing customers of the collapse of Toys R Us is stuck on the window of its High Wycombe store. Pic: Sinead SillarsIts problems, a result of high poor sales, were compounded by demands for a £15m VAT payment.Administrators confirmed all 105 stores would remain open for now and that most of the stock would be d
Hope for threatened 'little tiger cat'

Hope for threatened 'little tiger cat'

Science
It's the smallest cat in the Americas, occupying the smallest area of land.Listed as vulnerable to extinction, the güiña wildcat of Chile has lost much of its natural home as forests are chopped down or converted to farmland.And, like many carnivores, it's at risk from human persecution over fears it might kill livestock.However, new research shows the animal is able to survive near human settlements on agricultural land.Its biggest threat is being squeezed out when land is broken up into smaller areas, say conservationists.The guiña is known variously as the little tiger cat, little spotted cat or Chilean cat. About half the size of the domestic cat, it is one of the most threatened cat species in South America.The wildcat lives only in central and southern Chile and in a narrow strip of
IUCN Red List: Wild crops listed as threatened

IUCN Red List: Wild crops listed as threatened

Science
Wild relatives of modern crops deemed crucial for food security are being pushed to the brink of extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.More than 20 rice, wheat and yam plants have been listed as threatened on the latest version of the IUCN's Red list.The wild plants are being squeezed out by intensive farming, deforestation and urban sprawl, say scientists.Modern crops can be crossbred with their wild cousins to safeguard foods.''To lose them would be a disaster,'' said Dr Nigel Maxted of the University of Birmingham, who is co-chair of the IUCN's specialist group on crop wild relatives.''It would be much more difficult to maintain food security without them.'' Insurance policyCommercial crops have lost genetic diversity. They are vulnerable to the eff...
Threatened medical deduction seen as valuable, versatile

Threatened medical deduction seen as valuable, versatile

Health
Several million people unlucky enough to face big medical bills not covered by their insurance would lose a valuable and versatile deduction under the House GOP tax bill. Groups representing older people and patients are trying to save it. "Anybody who is paying for the cost of nursing home care is paying a great deal of money, and they are going to lose that deduction, and their taxes are going to go up," said Thomas DeCoursey, a retired lawyer from Kansas, in his 70s. He relies on the deduction to help offset costs associated with nursing home care for his wife, who has Alzheimer's. Some of his own medical expenses also factor in. DeCoursey estimates that in a couple of years their annual costs will pass $ 100,000. "There are a lot of people in my shoes," said DeCoursey, who lives in Le...