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Fri, 15 Nov 2019
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Japan approves additional sanctions against DPRK

TOKYO, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Japanese government approved early Friday an additional set of economic sanctions against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), including a total ban on all imports from the country, which will be effective for six months beginning on Saturday, Kyodo News reported.

The cabinet also decided to ban the DPRK ships from entering Japanese ports, and to block DPRK nationals from entering Japan.

The move was the toughest response so far by any country to the DPRK's first nuclear test on Monday.

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Europe's power supply on brink

Europe's security of electricity supply is facing a growing threat, with generating capacity ahead of rising demand by the lowest ever level, according to a report published today.

The average margin between supply and demand fell to 4.8% last year, a percentage point below the previous year's, said consulting group, Cap Gemini. "This low power margin is a wake-up call to the energy industry, government and regulators that security of supply in Europe is now under severe pressure."

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Giant camel fossil found in Syria

Archaeologists have discovered the 100,000-year-old fossilised remains of a previously unknown giant camel species in Syria.

The bones of the dromedary were unearthed by a Swiss-Syrian team of researchers near the village of El Kowm in the central part of the country.

The animal is thought to have been double the size of a modern-day camel.

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'Monster' fossil find in Arctic

Norwegian scientists have discovered a "treasure trove" of fossils belonging to giant sea reptiles that roamed the seas at the time of the dinosaurs.

The 150-million-year-old fossils were uncovered on the Arctic island chain of Svalbard - about halfway between the Norwegian mainland and the North Pole.

The finds belong to two groups of extinct marine reptiles - the plesiosaurs and the ichthyosaurs.

One skeleton has been nicknamed The Monster because of its enormous size.

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Four top doctors arrested over illegal human experimentation

Four senior doctors at Kaplan Hospital in Rehovot and Hartzfeld Geriatric Hospital in Gedera suspected of illegally experimenting on humans were arrested Monday.

The national fraud squad has opened an investigation into the affair. The four are suspected of abuse, aggravated assault, causing death through negligence, fraud, forgery, breach of statutory duty, and disruption of legal proceedings.

The Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court on Monday extended by three days the remands of Kaplan-Hartzfeld deputy director Dr. Shmuel Levi and Dr. Nadia Kagensky. The third suspect, Dr. Alona Smirnov, was released to house arrest for five days, and the fourth suspect was released following an investigation.

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Toxic carrot juice paralyzes 2 in Toronto

Two Toronto residents are paralyzed after drinking carrot juice that tested positive for a botulism toxin, according to the city's public health department.

"There are two adults who are severely ill in hospital and they had a history of drinking the exact same juice that's been part of the carrot juice recall," Dr. Elizabeth Rea, an associate medical officer of health, told the Toronto Star on Sunday.

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Planet enters 'ecological debt'

Rising consumption of natural resources means that humans began "eating the planet" on 9 October, a study suggests.

The date symbolised the day of the year when people's demands exceeded the Earth's ability to supply resources and absorb the demands placed upon it.

The figures' authors said the world first "ecological debt day" fell on 19 December 1987, but economic growth had seen it fall earlier each year.

The data was produced by a US-based think-tank, Global Footprint Network.

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Marine Scientists Report Massive "Dead Zones"

Rising tides of untreated sewage and plastic debris are seriously threatening marine life and habitat around the globe, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) warned in a report Wednesday. The number of ocean "dead zones" has grown from 150 in 2004 to about 200 today, said Nick Nuttall, a UNEP spokesperson.

"These are becoming more common in developing countries," Nuttall told IPS from Nairobi, Kenya.

Dead zones can encompass areas of ocean 100,000 square kms in size where little can live because there is no oxygen left in the water. Nitrogen pollution, mainly from farm fertilisers and sewage, produces blooms of algae that absorb all of the oxygen in the water.

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Strong 6.2 earthquake strikes near Tonga

SYDNEY, Australia - A strong earthquake struck under the sea floor near the South Pacific nation of Tonga on Monday, theU.S. Geological Survey said. No damage or tsunami threat was reported.

The magnitude-6.2 temblor hit shortly before 2 a.m. six miles under the sear floor about 170 miles south of Nuku'alofa, Tonga's capital, the USGS said.

The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, which maintains an ocean-wide wave warning system, did not issue a tsunami warning bulletin.

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Rising seas could leave millions homeless in Asia

SYDNEY - Millions of people could become homeless in the Asia-Pacific region by 2070 due to rising sea levels, with Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, China and Pacific islands most at risk, says Australia's top scientific body.

A climate change report by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) found global warming in the Asia Pacific region could cause sea levels to rise by up to 16 cm (six inches) by 2030 and up to 50 cm (19 inches) by 2070.

Rising temperatures will also result in increased rainfall during the summer monsoon season in Asia and could cause more intense tropical storms, inundating low-lying coastal villages.