Tuesday, February 13, 2018

News In Brief

China approves no-dev zones in 15 regions
Reuters, Shanghai
China has approved plans by 15 provinces and regions to draw up "red lines" that will put large swathes of its territory off-limits to economic development, the environment ministry said on Monday.
The "ecological protection red line" scheme was first devised in 2011 amid fears that decades of "irrational development" had put China's environment under heavy strain. It is designed to ban or restrict industrial development in wetlands, forests, national parks or protected nature zones.

WWII bomb closes London City Airport
AP, London
London City Airport says all flights in and out have been canceled for Monday after an unexploded World War II-era bomb was found nearby in the River Thames. The Metropolitan Police service says it has evacuated an area within 700 feet (214 meters) of the bomb and officers are working with specialists from the Royal Navy to remove the device. Local officials are offering emergency accommodation to area residents.

Iraq reconstruction to cost $88b
Reuters, Kuwait
Rebuilding Iraq after three years of war with Islamic State will cost $88.2 billion, with housing a particularly urgent priority, Iraqi officials told an international conference on Monday.
Donors and investors have gathered in Kuwait this week to discuss efforts to rebuild Iraq's economy and infrastructure as it emerges from a devastating conflict with the hardline militants who seized almost a third of the country.

Tonga declares state of emergency as cyclone looms
AFP, Nuku'alofa
Tonga declared a state of emergency Monday as the Pacific island kingdom braces for a direct hit by a powerful cyclone that is threatening to become a Category Five superstorm.
Severe Tropical Cyclone Gita has already created havoc in neighbouring Samoa and is gathering pace as it approaches Tonga. Acting Prime Minister Semisi Sika issued a nationwide alert, saying he was "satisfied that an emergency is happening or is about to happen".