Why is part of the Amazon burning? WASHINGTON, United States — The thousands of fires burning in the Amazon don't look like the major forest fires of Europe or North America -- instead, they are fueled mainly by branches, vegetation and other byproducts of deforestation in cleared areas, experts say. The dramatic scale of this year's fires is the result of a significant acceleration of deforestation for the lumber industry, for agriculture or for other human activities. "In the tropics, fire is used extensively in a land-use environment," said Jeffrey Chambers, a scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a specialist in rainforests. "It's how you get rid of your agricultural waste products... And part of the reason why that works is because those fires don't generally move into the forest," he explained. "A tropical rainforest is generally not flammable" because it's so humid. California has the opposite problem: burning waste is … [Read more...] about Why is part of the Amazon burning?
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Research data shows that Apple's HomePod isn't doing as well as other smart speakers in the US market. Why is this so? According to research conducted by the Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), fewer U.S. homes own an Apple HomePod compared to homes that own Amazon's Echo or Google's Home speakers. In the report, titled "HomePod Grabs A Little Share," the CIRP estimates that about 70 percent of U.S. homes own an Amazon Echo, about 24 percent of homes have Google Home speakers, and a mere 5 percent of U.S. homes have an Apple HomePod. Furthermore, Amazon Echo and Google Home owners are also more likely to have more than one unit compared to those who own an Apple HomePod. The research states that 34% of Amazon Echo owners have more than one unit (some of them own as much as four units), while 31% of Google Home owners report having more than one unit (some of them own as much as three units). The research firm noted that while the HomePod "now has a small but meaningful … [Read more...] about Why Is Apple HomePod Losing Ground In US Market?
BOC told to create team vs waste imports Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - July 12, 2019 - 12:00am MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Finance (DOF) has ordered the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to create a strike team to guard against the entry into the country of waste materials from overseas. Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III issued the directive to Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero during a recent DOF executive committee meeting. Guerrero said he has called on the BOC’s counterparts in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to strengthen law enforcement to prevent the region from becoming a dumping ground for hazardous materials, such as garbage from other countries. Guerrero said his fellow customs officials welcomed his proposal. In response, Dominguez said the Philippines should establish a special unit tasked to protect the country from imported waste. “It’s … [Read more...] about BOC told to create team vs waste imports
Dominguez eyes Customs strike team vs garbage imports (Philstar.com) - July 11, 2019 - 2:01pm MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Finance said Thursday it ordered the Bureau of Customs to study the possible formation of a special strike team to guard against the entry of waste materials that other countries are attempting to dump in the Philippines. In a statement, Finance Secretary Dominguez III said the strike team that he wants at the BOC will be “akin to a special environmental strike force team that will be activated to guard the entry of hazardous materials in the country.” “It's time we put up something like an environmental unit in the Customs (bureau) to really act on this garbage issue,” Dominguez said. Tonnes of Canadian garbage left in the Philippines for years arrived back home last month, putting an end to a festering diplomatic row that highlighted … [Read more...] about Dominguez eyes Customs strike team vs garbage imports
TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is due to visit Iran next week in an apparent mediation mission to ease tension between Iran and the United States. The following are some of the reasons for Mr Abe's June 12-14 trip, and what it might accomplish. WHY IS ABE GOING TO IRAN? Japan is in a unique position as a US ally because it has long maintained close ties with Iran, making Mr Abe an ideal mediator. US-Iran ties have frayed since President Donald Trump pulled out of an Iran nuclear deal in which it agreed to curb its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of sanctions. The United States has also hinted at military confrontation, sending extra forces to the region to counter what it describes as Iranian threats. During a visit to Japan last month, Mr Trump welcomed Mr Abe's help in dealing with Iran, highlighting the "very good relationship" between Tokyo and Teheran. "I do believe that Iran would like to talk," Mr Trump said at the time. "And if they'd like to … [Read more...] about Why is Japan’s Abe going to Iran? What can he accomplish?