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220,000 more poultry killed in Japan

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Tokyo, March 24, 2017: An outbreak of bird flu in Japan killed 220,000 more birds on Friday, which has returned back since the end of 2016, announced by Japanese authorities.

The latest outbreak happened on a farm in Miyagi prefecture after hundreds of dead chickens were found with the infection of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5, Efe news reported.

Slaughtering of birds on the farm begins with help of Japan Self-Defence Forces. The process will continue till Sunday.

The birds and eggs of three affected farms within a radius of 10 km have been prohibited.

Speaking at the press conference, state broadcaster NHK, Miyagi Governor Yoshihiro Murai said that “this is the first outbreak of bird flu detected on a farm in this prefecture.”

1.39 million Poultry has been slaughtered in Japan so far since the bird flu again hit the country after 2014 outbreak in November 2016. A high alert was raised by the Environment Ministry.

 Wefornews Bureau

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Lunar Eclipse: Chant these mantras for peace during Chandra Grahan

Check out the Chandra Beej Mantra, Dhanvantari Mantra, Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra and Shanti Path given below to ward off the ill-effects of this celestial movement.

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Lunar eclipse

Lunar Eclipse 2020: The fourth and the last Upachaya Chandra Grahan (Penumbral Lunar Eclipse) of 2020 will take place today. Though Sutak is not applicable during Upachaya Chandra Grahan, the constant movements of the Grahas (planets) may cast an impact on zodiac signs. It may influence people’s natal charts. Hence, people must chant mantras to negate the negative effect of Grahan.

The Lunar Eclipse will have a duration of 4 hours and 18 minutes. It will begin on Monday at 1.04 pm and reach its peak at 3.13 pm. The Lunar Eclipse will end at 5.22 pm and will have a magnitude of 0.82.

Check out the Chandra Beej Mantra, Dhanvantari Mantra, Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra and Shanti Path given below to ward off the ill-effects of this celestial movement.

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NGT directs States, UTs to set up nodal agencies to protect, restore waterbodies

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Rainwater harvesting

Following a plea seeking identification, protection and restoration of waterbodies in Gurugram, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has expanded the scope of the petition and directed all States and Union Territories to designate a nodal agency under respective chief secretaries within a month.

A Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel directed the nodal agencies to convene a meeting by January 31 to “take stock of the situation” and plan further steps, including directions to district authorities for further course of action. It also directed the nodal agencies to evolve a monitoring and grievance redressal mechanism.

Rainwater harvesting

Taking note of a report furnished by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on rainwater harvesting, the Bench observed, “It appears that the CPCB has not appreciated the direction of this Tribunal on the subject. While rainwater harvesting maybe required in all buildings and other places in urban areas, in the present context, the Tribunal has directed setting up of such facilities in sub-water sheds along ponds for utilisation of surplus rainwater for restoration of the ponds which have become dry and for augmenting other ponds.”

Stating that there was a need for “continuous planning and monitoring” at the national, State and district levels, the panel observed that observations of the CPCB and an oversight committee needed to be acted upon.

“As suggested by the CPCB, a single agency needs to be set up in every State and Union Territory within one month. This work may either be assigned to the Wetland Authority of the state or the River Rejuvenation Committee or to any other designated authority such as the Secretary, Irrigation and Public Health or Water Resources,” the Bench said.

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Guterres highlights long-term strategies towards carbon neutrality

Heading towards the Climate Ambition Summit on December 12 and COP26 next year, the UN chief signalled that “the world will once again be looking to the European Union for climate leadership”.

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Antonio Guterres

United Nations: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has highlighted the importance of long-term strategies towards carbon neutrality when speaking virtually to the European Council on Foreign Relations.

On Thursday, the UN chief stressed the need for “every country, city, financial institution and company” to adopt plans for transitioning to net zero emissions by 2050, reports Xinhua news agency.

He called for them to be ready before November 2021, when the next UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) is scheduled to be held in Scotland, and he highlighted the importance of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) required under the 2015 Paris Agreement and “long-term strategies towards carbon neutrality”.

Pointing to its “pioneering legislation and policies”, the UN chief hailed the 27-member European Union (EU) as “a leader on climate action”, which had shown that it was possible to cut emissions while achieving economic growth.

The Secretary-General applauded the bloc’s climate action, while emphasizing that “we are still nowhere near the finish line… and still running behind in the race against time”.

“I urge you to continue to lead with concrete and ambitious near-term commitments,” said the UN chief, advocating for EU members’ NDCs to reflect at least a 55 per cent emission reduction by 2030.

Noting that “the EU has been building solidarity with the most vulnerable countries around the world”, Guterres pointed out that the bloc’s proposals to speed up how it confronts inequality and protects those affected by the transition “can set a powerful example”.

“The EU has a crucial role in ensuring that developing countries in need have the necessary support to recover sustainably from Covid-19 and to enhance their own climate ambition – through assistance for mitigation, adaptation and resilience,” the Secretary-General added.

Heading towards the Climate Ambition Summit on December 12 and COP26 next year, the UN chief signalled that “the world will once again be looking to the European Union for climate leadership”.

“I urge the EU to seize these opportunities – and answer this call for people everywhere, for prosperity and for the planet we all share and depend on,” he said.

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