Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Senator Steve Fielding told a Senate hearing in the Australian capital Canberra that divorce only made climate change worse.
When couples separated, they needed more rooms, more electricity and more water. This increased their carbon footprint, Australian Associated Press (AAP) quoted Fielding as telling the hearing on environmental issues.
"We understand that there is a social problem (with divorce), but now we're seeing there is also environmental impact as well on the footprint," AAP quoted him as saying.
Such a "resource-inefficient lifestyle" meant it would be better for the planet if couples stayed married, he said.
During the hearing, the senator read out quotes from a U.S. report that advocated his stance.
Fielding, who leads the independent Family First party, grew up in a family of 16 children and has been married for 22 years, his website says.
(Reporting by James Grubel; Editing by David Fogarty and Paul Tait)
When police found the 45-year-old convicted arsonist lying on a street in a popular Taipei shopping district, he requested a return to life behind bars, nostalgic for the 10 years he had already served, the China Post newspaper reported.
Wang had also contacted police separately with his request, a spokesman said. Officers who found him bought him a boxed lunch but declined to send him back to prison, the police spokesman said.
"We advised him to keep looking for work," he said. "I don't know why he can't find a job. Maybe employers think he's not suitable or that he's too old."
Taiwan is in recession, with a slump in exports leading a record economic contraction in the fourth quarter of last year. Economists see more weakness through most of 2009, given falling demand for Taiwan's electronics goods in overseas markets.
(Reporting by Ralph Jennings in Taipei; Editing by Nick Macfie)
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Chris Ogle, 29, bought the $10 MP3 at a thrift shop in Oklahoma but when he plugged it in discovered it contained 60 U.S. military files, said New Zealand television program One News which broke the story.
The files contained the names and personal details of American soldiers, including ones who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as information about equipment deployed to bases and a mission briefing, said One News.
Some files contained active mobile telephone numbers and social security numbers of military personnel.
U.S. embassy officials in New Zealand spoke to Ogle on Tuesday night and swapped his old MP3 player for a new one on Wednesday, New Zealand Press Association said.
Ogle said the officials asked him what computers the player's files had been loaded onto and whether he had made copies and then photographed some of the files, but would not say how sensitive the information was.
"They asked where I'd bought it from, the timeframe that I bought it in," Ogle said.
(Reporting by Michael Perry; Editing by Bill Tarrant)
TOKYO (Reuters) - Resource-poor Japan just discovered a new source of mineral wealth -- sewage.
A sewage treatment facility in central Japan has recorded a higher gold yield from sludge than can be found at some of the world's best mines. An official in Nagano prefecture, northwest of Tokyo, said the high percentage of gold found at the Suwa facility was probably due to the large number of precision equipment manufacturers in the vicinity that use the yellow metal. The facility recently recorded finding 1,890 grammes of gold per tonne of ash from incinerated sludge.
That is a far higher gold content than Japan's Hishikari Mine, one of the world's top gold mines, owned by Sumitomo Metal Mining Co Ltd, which contains 20-40 grammes of the precious metal per tonne of ore.
The prefecture is so far due to receive 5 million yen ($55,810) for the gold, minus expenses.
It expects to earn about 15 million yen for the fiscal year to the end of March from the gold it has retrieved from the ashes of incinerated sludge.
"How much we actually receive will depend on gold prices at the time," the official said.
Some gold industry officials expect prices this year to top the all-time high above $1,030 per ounce set in 2008, on buying by investors worried about the deepening economic downturn. (Reporting by Miho Yoshikawa; Editing by Hugh Lawson)
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - A couple treated open air diners to a 15-minute naked parade in Singapore, triggering both embarrassment and applause for a scene almost unheard of in the conservative city-state.
Pub manager Terence Chia told the Straits Times newspaper he saw the couple taking off their clothes Saturday night at a staircase in a block of flats in Holland Village, known for its popular nightspots.
"Then, clothes in hand, they coolly walked in their flip-flops toward the market," he said, adding when the couple did a U-turn a sea of spectators was ready and poised with cameras.
"There were more than 200 people and everyone was taking pictures," the newspaper Wednesday quoted Chia as saying. "Even women were busy clicking and people were cheering, whistling and applauding like crazy."
Police said the couple, a Caucasian man and an ethnic Chinese woman in their 20s, had been arrested and released on bail. If convicted under Singapore law, they could face a fine of maximum fine of S$2000 ($1,330), up to 3 months in jail, or both.
Protests are rare in Singapore and only made legal last year in a designated area called "Speakers' Corner," modeled on London's Hyde Park.
"They looked really comfortable walking down the street, which led to many curious stares," wrote blogger Leonard Tan. "Singapore is getting more and more exciting."
TIKRIT, Iraq (Reuters) - An Iraqi town has unveiled a giant monument of a shoe in honor of the journalist who threw his footwear at former U.S. President George W. Bush.
The two-meter (six-foot) high statue, unveiled on Thursday in former dictator Saddam Hussein's home town of Tikrit, depicts a bronze-colored shoe, filled with a plastic shrub. "Muntazer: fasting until the sword breaks its fast with blood; silent until our mouths speak the truth," reads an inscription, in honor of journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi, who hurled his shoes at Bush and called him a "dog" at a news conference during the former president's final visit to Iraq.
Zaidi has been held in jail in Baghdad since the incident, facing charges of assaulting a visiting head of state.
Fatin Abdul Qader, head of an orphanage and children's organization in the town, said the one-and-a-half-tonne monument by artist Laith al-Amiri was titled "statue of glory and generosity."
"This statue is the least expression of our appreciation for Muntazer al-Zaidi, because Iraqi hearts were comforted by his throw," she said.
(Reporting by Sabah al-Bazee; writing by Peter Graff)