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Kesavan Unnikrishnan

Digital Journalist based in Kerala, India, India. Joined on May 15, 2008

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Canada spending millions on uneconomical seal hunt

A newly released government document says the Canadian government is spending $2.5 million to monitor the annual commercial seal hunt, the largest marine mammal cull on the planet, which had an export value of only $500,000.

Cannabis walls saved India's ancient Ellora caves

A recently published study shows cannabis helped to preserve ancient Indian paintings at Ellora caves, a UNESCO World Heritage site, from decaying for 1,500 years.

DR Congo plans to open its rainforests to loggers

The world's second largest tract of rainforest, twice the size of Texas, is at risk of being cut down as Democratic Republic of Congo plans to lift the moratorium on industrial logging in place since 2002.

Last known Chilean Sea Bass poaching ship caught in Indonesia

Indonesian officials plan to sink the last known illegal Chilean sea bass poaching vessel caught last week. The detention of all "Bandit 6" vessels is expected to end illegal fishing in Antarctic waters for the first time in decades.

Hamburg bans coffee pods in state-run buildings

Hamburg, the second largest city in Germany, has banned single-use coffee pods in state-run buildings as part of a initiative to reduce waste. Recent studies show that pods sold in an year would circle the globe almost 11 times if placed end-to-end.

Swaziland plans to relocate 18 elephants to American zoos

Swaziland is planning to transfer 18 wild elephants in a Boeing 747 plane to United States in order to relocate them to three American zoos. In exchange, the zoos will be contributing $450,000 to a wildlife conservation trust in Swaziland for rhinos.

Quagga, Zebra cousin, recreated 100 years after extinction

Scientists in South Africa have recreated the quagga, a relative of the zebra that once roamed South African plains in herds of thousands, but went extinct by 1883 due to excessive hunting.

Kenya to destroy largest ever ivory stockpile

Kenya will set ablaze 120 tonnes of ivory worth $270 million, the biggest to be burned by any country in one go, in April this year. The event will be attended by Hollywood actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Nicole Kidman along with several other celebrities.

Mutant mosquitoes to be deployed to stop Zika outbreak in Brazil

A Brazilian town plans to release millions of genetically modified mosquitoes to suppress the wild mosquito population responsible for Zika and Dengue outbreaks.

Seychelles swaps part of its debt with pledge to protect oceans

Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands in the Western Indian Ocean with a population of 90,000, is swapping nearly $30 million of its debt in exchange for the protection of 30 percent of its ocean territory with an area larger than the size of Germany.

Canadian regulator: 4.6 magnitude quake caused by fracking

British Columbia's energy regulator has confirmed that a 4.6 magnitude earthquake in northeast British Columbia in August was caused by fracking and is likely to be the largest fracking-induced seismic event ever recorded.

Removing a tree in Vancouver? You'll have to replace it or pay

The city of Vancouver wants its residents to pay a security deposit of $500 or $750 when they remove a tree from their property. The money won't be refunded until owners can prove they’ve planted a new tree and cared for it for at least a year.

Coca-Cola India will shut factories if new ‘sin tax’ passed

The Indian subsidiary of Coca-Cola warned of shutting down factories as the Indian government proposed a 40 percent "sin tax" on fizzy drinks and tobacco products considered harmful to the society.

France passes bill forcing shops to give unsold food to charities

The French National Assembly has passed a new law that forces large supermarkets to not trash unsold food. Under the new law, large supermarkets will be required to partner with local charities that can help distribute unsold food to consumers in need.

India approves sale of generic Hepatitis C drugs

India has approved the sale of generic versions of hepatitis C drugs. The move will bring down the standard course of sofosbuvir and ledipasvir (generic versions of Sovaldi and Harvoni) to $1,000 compared to $90,000 in U.S. and Europe.

Norway starts running anti-refugee ads in Afghan newspapers

Norwegian government has started running adverts in Afghanistan’s newspapers warning that potential asylum seekers will be returned by force.

Qatar mulls family-only mall days, banning bachelor labourers

Qatar’s municipal council is planning to introduce family-only days at major shopping malls prohibiting blue-collar migrant workers from entering malls on the weekends.

Europe’s biomass boom is destroying America's forests

European Union’s stringent renewable energy requirements are forcing coal-based power plants to use biomass fuel. Swaths of woodlands in Southeastern United States are being cut down to fuel the biomass boom across the Atlantic.

Executions see dramatic rise in Pakistan

Pakistan has overtaken Saudi Arabia in the number of executions as more than 300 people have been put to death in 2015 alone, with another 8,000 prisoners on death row.

Indonesia plans prison guarded by crocodiles for drug convicts

Indonesia is planning to build a prison island guarded by meat-hungry crocodiles for drug convicts. The reason for using the deadly reptiles as prison guards is that crocodiles cannot be bribed like human guards.
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