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Monday July 28th 2014

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Environment News Headlines – Yahoo! News UK

Rocket ignites blaze near Tripoli airport, Libya in chaos

By Patrick Markey TRIPOLI (Reuters) – A rocket hit a fuel storage tank in a chaotic battle for Tripoli airport that has all but closed off international flights to Libya, leaving fire-fighters struggling to extinguish a giant conflagration. Foreign governments have looked on powerless as anarchy sweeps across the North African oil producer, three years after NATO bombardment helped topple dictator Muammar Gaddafi. They have urged nationals to leave Libya and have pulled diplomats out after two weeks of clashes among rival factions killed nearly 160 people in Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi. The Netherlands, the Philippines and Austria on Monday prepared to evacuate diplomatic staff.

Posted on 28 July 2014 | 1:28 pm

Long-Lost Anchor May Soon Give up Its Secrets

Long-Lost Anchor May Soon Give up Its SecretsAfter decades, possibly centuries, at the bottom of the sea — and a 2,200-mile-long (3,540 kilometers) road trip wrapped in damp blankets in the back of a pickup truck — a barnacle-crusted anchor arrived in Texas this week for a major cleaning. In 2008, a fisherman named Doug Monk was collecting sea cucumbers just north of Seattle near Whidbey Island when his diving gear got caught on a huge anchor, The Seattle Times reported. Monk teamed up with amateur historian Scott Grimm to study the object, and the two obtained legal rights to salvage it. Last month, the duo finally pulled the 10-foot (3 meters) anchor from the Puget Sound with a crane.

Posted on 28 July 2014 | 11:53 am

Hague court orders Russia to pay over $50 billion in Yukos case

Derricks at Yuganskneftegaz oil processing facility at Mamontovskoye oilfield outside the Siberian ...By Megan Davies, Jack Stubbs and Thomas Escritt MOSCOW/LONDON/AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The Hague's arbitration court ruled on Monday that Russia must pay a group of shareholders in oil giant Yukos $51.6 billion (30.38 billion pounds) for expropriating its assets, a big hit for a country teetering on the brink of recession. The arbitration panel in the Netherlands said it had awarded shareholders in the GML group just under half of their $114 billion claim, going some way to covering the money they lost when the Kremlin seized Yukos, once controlled by Mikhail Khodorkovsky. "It's now a question of enforcing it." But Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow would most likely appeal the decision, so shareholders, who have battled through the courts for a decade, might have longer to wait. "The Russian side, those agencies which represent Russia in this process, will no doubt use all available legal possibilities to defend its position," he said when news of the award leaked ahead of the official announcement.

Posted on 28 July 2014 | 11:14 am

Nevzlin "very pleased" with Hague court ruling on Yukos

Leonid Nevzlin, the biggest ultimate beneficial owner of defunct oil giant Yukos, expressed satisfaction with the Hague’s arbitration court ruling that Russia must pay a group of shareholders around $50 billion for expropriating its assets. “I am very pleased the international tribunal in the Hague decided that Russia violated international laws and illegally expropriated Yukos,” the Russian-born Nevzlin said in an emailed statement on Monday.

Posted on 28 July 2014 | 10:35 am

Dinosaurs’ Bad Timing: Creatures Had Potential to Survive ‘Perfect Storm of Events’ if Asteroid Struck Earlier

Dinosaurs' Bad Timing: Creatures Had Potential to Survive 'Perfect Storm of Events' if Asteroid Struck EarlierDinosaurs might have survived the asteroid strike that wiped them out if it had taken place slightly earlier or later in history, but instead fell victim to a "perfect storm of events", according to a study. This included extensive volcanic activity, changing sea levels and varying temperatures. This created a perfect storm in which dinosaurs were vulnerable and unlikely to survive the aftermath of the asteroid strike. Dr Steve Brusatte, of the University of Edinburgh's School of GeoSciences, said: "The dinosaurs were victims of colossal bad luck.

Posted on 28 July 2014 | 9:39 am

Court orders Russia to pay over $50 billion in damages to Yukos shareholders

An international arbitration panel in the Netherlands on Monday ordered Moscow to pay $51.57 billion (30.37 billion pounds) in damages to shareholders in the defunct oil giant Yukos, saying officials under President Vladimir Putin had manipulated the legal system to bankrupt the company. The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague issued rulings in three separate cases that had sought a total of over $100 billion from Russia for expropriating the assets of Yukos, formerly controlled by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once Russia’s richest man. The decision, which followed nearly a decade of hearings, comes at a time of strained relations between Moscow and the Netherlands over the downing of a Malaysian airliner carrying 298 passengers and crew, including 194 Dutch citizens. “Russian courts bent to the will of Russian executive authorities to bankrupt Yukos, assign its assets to a state-controlled company, and incarcerate a man who gave signs of becoming a political competitor,” the court said.

Posted on 28 July 2014 | 8:59 am

Russia’s Rosneft expects no claims in Yukos ruling

Russia’s top oil producer Rosneft said on Monday that it expected no claims to be made against the company in connection with a Hague court ruling that has awarded some $50 billion (29.45 billion pounds) to ex-shareholders of defunct oil firm Yukos. Rosneft also said in a statement it was not a defendant in the case and that the ruling would not have a negative impact on its “commercial activity and assets”. Rosneft bought the bulk of Yukos assets though auctions after the company was declared bankrupt.

Posted on 28 July 2014 | 8:48 am

Yukos shareholders $50 billion win is largest arbitration award ever – GML director

The $50 billion (29.45 billion pounds) awarded by the Hague’s arbitration court against Russia is the largest arbitration award ever, said Tim Osborne, director of the GML group of shareholders which made the claim. An arbitration court in the Netherlands on Monday ruled in favour of shareholders in defunct Russian oil giant Yukos, ordering Moscow to pay roughly $50 billion in damages.

Posted on 28 July 2014 | 8:31 am

Russia’s Lavrov does not rule out appealing Yukos court decision

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday Moscow could launch an appeal if the Hague’s arbitration court rules in favour of a group of shareholders in defunct oil giant Yukos against Russia. “I heard this morning reports that such a verdict is expected,” he told a news conference, saying he would wait for the ruling to be made before commenting. He said legal formalities in the case had not been completed, including the right of appeal. …

Posted on 28 July 2014 | 7:40 am

As U.S. kicks off crude exports, Iran casts a shadow in Asia

Rouhani addresses the audience during a meeting in AnkaraBy Florence Tan SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The United States faces an awkward rival in its first attempts in 40 years to export crude oil – Iran. Iran, whose economy has been throttled by Western sanctions that have halved its crude shipments, is now selling higher quality and cheaper oil to China that leaves little room for the U.S. crude to enter the world's top energy consumer. While buyers in Japan and South Korea have been willing to trial a U.S. grade of the super-light crude known as condensate, China has already locked in annual contracts with Tehran and is not expected to take any U.S. oil in the short-term. With U.S. producers looking to open a trade route to sell surplus condensate from the U.S. shale boom, worries about quality and legal issues have added to doubts about how much of the oil the rest of Asia can take.

Posted on 27 July 2014 | 9:31 pm

Green News – Environment and climate change news

Earth news from Telegraph Earth – your source for environment and green news and environment and green issues, with information on farming, climate change, global warming, pollution, green living and recycling, and all other environment issues.

Pictures of the day: 28 July 2014

Hitchiking robots, giant pink dolphins and a poorly echidna






Posted on 28 July 2014 | 12:38 pm

Warm summer means an early abundance of blackberries

Blackberries, rowanberries and sunflowers are experiencing a bumper year thanks to the fine weather






Posted on 28 July 2014 | 6:15 am

Crucial research into pesticide harm to bees ‘may not be independent’

MPs raise concerns over Government relying on research funded by pesticide manufacturers to determine the harm their products cause to bees






Posted on 28 July 2014 | 6:00 am

Half of Britain to be opened up to fracking

The Government is expected to launch the “14th onshore licensing round”, inviting companies to bid for fracking rights in previously untouched areas






Posted on 26 July 2014 | 8:30 pm

Pictures of the day: 25 July 2014

A Comic-Con festival-goer, a cliff diver and a giant jelly fish






Posted on 25 July 2014 | 9:57 am

Creepy crawlies decline as human population soars

The number of slugs, spiders, butterflies, worms and other invertabrates has fallen by 45 per cent in 35 years in a decline whcih could have huge implications for humans






Posted on 25 July 2014 | 7:00 am

Children’s loom bands threaten sea life

Fish and sea birds could be die if they eat the tiny elastic bands used to make the popular bracelets






Posted on 24 July 2014 | 10:22 pm

Surf photographer Clark Little’s pictures of the insides of waves as they break

Stunning photographs of breaking waves captured by photographer Clark Little






Posted on 24 July 2014 | 2:19 pm

Pictures of the day: 24 July 2014

A diving osprey, a diver kisses a fish and a wooden motorbike






Posted on 24 July 2014 | 12:00 pm

Warning over Asian ‘super ant’ colonies invading your electrics

Colonies of the Asian fire ant invade a house in Hendon and more are discovered in Buckinghamshire






Posted on 23 July 2014 | 9:03 pm

Earth & Climate News — ScienceDaily

Dinosaurs fell victim to perfect storm of events, study shows

Dinosaurs might have survived the asteroid strike that wiped them out if it had taken place slightly earlier or later in history, scientists say. They found that in the few million years before a 10km-wide asteroid struck what is now Mexico, Earth was experiencing environmental upheaval. This included extensive volcanic activity, changing sea levels and varying temperatures. At this time, the dinosaurs’ food chain was weakened by a lack of diversity among the large plant-eating dinosaurs on which others preyed.

Posted on 28 July 2014 | 12:05 pm

Climate change and air pollution will combine to curb food supplies

Many studies have shown the potential for global climate change to cut food supplies. But these studies have, for the most part, ignored the interactions between increasing temperature and air pollution — specifically ozone pollution, which is known to damage crops. A new study shows that these interactions can be quite significant, suggesting that policymakers need to take both warming and air pollution into account in addressing food security.

Posted on 27 July 2014 | 8:57 pm

Trees save lives, reduce respiratory problems

In the first broad-scale estimate of air pollution removal by trees nationwide, scientists have calculated that trees are saving more than 850 human lives a year and preventing 670,000 incidences of acute respiratory symptoms. The study considered four pollutants for which the U.S. EPA has established air quality standards: nitrogen dioxide, ozone, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter less than 2.5 microns (PM2.5) in aerodynamic diameter.

Posted on 25 July 2014 | 8:35 pm

Changes in agriculture increase high river flow rates

Researchers have examined how changes in rainfall amounts and an increase in the amount of acreage used to grow such crops as corn and soybeans can affect the volume of river water flow in the U.S. Midwest.

Posted on 25 July 2014 | 8:35 pm

Climate Change Increases Risk of Crop Slowdown in Next 20 Years

The world faces a small but substantially increased risk over the next two decades of a major slowdown in the growth of global corn and wheat yields because of climate change, according to new research. Such a slowdown would occur as global demand for crops rapidly increases.

Posted on 25 July 2014 | 6:44 pm

Intensity of hurricanes: New study helps improve predictions of storm intensity

While predicting the path of hurricanes has gotten better, little has been done to improve predicting a storm’s intensity. That is, until now. “The air-water interface — whether it had significant waves or significant spray — is a big factor in storm intensity,” said one expert involved in a new study. “Hurricanes gain heat energy through the interface and they lose mechanical energy at the interface.”

Posted on 25 July 2014 | 3:08 pm

New system to detect mercury in water systems

A new ultra-sensitive, low-cost and portable system for detecting mercury in environmental water has been developed by researchers. “The promising sensing performance of this system along with its cost-competiveness and portability make it an excellent potential alternative to current analytical techniques,” says the project’s leader. “This technique could provide the basis for future point-of-analysis systems for monitoring water quality on site and may help implement better monitoring processes around the world.”

Posted on 25 July 2014 | 3:07 pm

Bacteria manipulate salt to build shelters to hibernate

For the first time, researchers have detected an unknown interaction between microorganisms and salt. When Escherichia coli cells are introduced into a droplet of salt water that is left to dry, bacteria manipulate the sodium chloride crystallization to create biomineralogical biosaline 3-D morphologically complex formations, where they hibernate. Afterwards, simply by rehydrating the material, bacteria are revived. The discovery was made by chance with a home microscope.

Posted on 25 July 2014 | 12:03 pm

‘Light pollution’ may affect love lives of birds in the Viennese Forests

Artificial light in cities exerts negative effects on humans, animals, and their environment. In an ongoing research project, behavioral biologists are investigating how blue tits in the Viennese Forests react to “light pollution.” The study might help to understand effects of “light-at-night” on reproductive behavior of birds. In consequence, it could help developing concepts, minimizing negative effects on the lives of animals and the ecological system, by reducing light sources in specific regions.

Posted on 25 July 2014 | 12:03 pm

Steam energy from the sun: New spongelike structure converts solar energy into steam

A new material structure generates steam by soaking up the sun. The structure — a layer of graphite flakes and an underlying carbon foam — is a porous, insulating material structure that floats on water. When sunlight hits the structure’s surface, it creates a hotspot in the graphite, drawing water up through the material’s pores, where it evaporates as steam. The brighter the light, the more steam is generated.

Posted on 25 July 2014 | 1:39 am