02-06 March Weekly News

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George Clooney 'saddened' over child labour links

The actor George Clooney has spoken about his surprise and sadness about possible child labour at the Nespresso coffee company. Clooney is on Nespresso's sustainability advisory board. This ensures coffee is sourced from ethical farms. An undercover investigation by a TV company filmed children on six coffee plantations in Guatemala picking coffee beans and carrying sacks of coffee on their backs. The farms supply coffee beans to Nespresso.

Mr Clooney promised that, "work will be done" to stop any child labour within Nespresso. He spoke about growing up on a tobacco farm and picking tobacco in his school holidays from the age of 12. He said: "I'm uniquely aware of the complex issues regarding farming and child labour." Nespresso has launched a "thorough investigation". It said it has "zero tolerance" of child labour. It added: "We will continue to do all we can to stamp it out."

https://breakingnewsenglish.com/2003/200302-child-labour-4.html

Parents angry as COVID-19 shuts schools for a month

Japan and Hong Kong have closed their elementary, junior-high and high schools until April. Governments say they want to protect children from the COVID-19 coronavirus. Schools in Japan will remain closed until April the 8th, which is the start of the new school year. Children in Hong Kong will return to school on April the 20th at the earliest. Parents are now worried about the school closures. Working parents have to think about how to care for younger children. Grandparents will look after many children while their parents go to work. However, many children have no grandparents or extended family who live nearby. Parents may have to pay for expensive childcare fees.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shut the country's schools after a meeting of Japan's anti-virus task force. He said the next two weeks are critical to control the spread of COVID-19. He wants to "stem the risk of many children and teachers becoming infected through gathering for long hours every day". The government said it would urge public services and private companies to make it easier for people to take time off work to look after their children. An angry mother said: "I wonder if the government thinks it is OK to leave children at home alone for long hours." She asked: "What's the point of closing schools if parents are still commuting in packed trains in which passengers may have COVID-19?"

https://breakingnewsenglish.com/2003/200304-covid-19.html

Half of world's beaches could disappear by 2100

Scientists predict that rising sea levels could put half the world's beaches under water by the end of the century. They blame climate change. The scientists are from the European Commission. They warned that beaches in tourist hot-spots are threatened by erosion from increasing sea levels. Well-known beaches in Australia's Surfers' Paradise, the islands of Hawaii, Brazil's Copacabana Beach, and the Costa del Sol in Spain could disappear.

Countries like The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau in Africa could lose 60% of their beaches. Australia could lose 12,000km of its beaches. The researchers said: "A substantial proportion of the world's sandy coastline is already eroding." They said we could see, "the near extinction of the world's sandy beaches". There are two ways we can help to save the beaches. One is to reduce emissions; the other is to manage our coastline in a more sustainable way.

https://breakingnewsenglish.com/2003/200306-beaches-4.html

Europe immigration

Tensions are high between Turkey and Greece after Turkey decided to allow refugees passage to Europe with claims the country had "reached its capacity." The move trampled on a 2016 deal struck with the European Union to halt migrants traveling from the Middle East towards Europe, and it also puts neighboring Greece in a difficult position. Greece has not opened its borders in response, and in fact, has beefed up security along the divide. This has created a desperate logjam of thousands of migrants, who have little access to food or shelter and could be on the precipice of a full-blown humanitarian crisis. Many of the migrants have come from Syria, where the interplay between Russia and Turkey make the situation even more complex.

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/02/us/five-things-march-2-trnd/index.html

Ebola

And now, some good news: The Democratic Republic of Congo's last Ebola patient was discharged, marking a new step toward the end of the world's second-deadliest outbreak of the disease. Health care workers were seen singing and dancing as others gathered to see the patient leave the hospital. A regional director for the World Health Organization praised the tireless efforts of Congo's medical professionals and added that the country must stay vigilant to completely stamp out the disease. An estimated 2,226 people were killed in this outbreak in Congo. Four African countries, including Congo, recently licensed an Ebola vaccine, and the WHO says more nations will soon follow suit.

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/05/us/five-things-march-5-trnd/index.html

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