India rushing relief to cyclone-hit Fiji

first_imgNew Delhi, Feb 25 (PTI) India is rushing 44 metric tonnes of relief materials including food, medicines and tents to Fiji as the cyclone-hit nation reached out for foreign help.The relief materials are being airlifted from New Delhi and Chennai and being sent to Fiji capital Suva in an Indian Air Force aircraft C-17 Globemaster.The relief includes basic food supplies, medicines, tents and kitchen sets, an official spokesperson said.The relief materials are being sent in consultation with Officiating Ambassador of India in Suva.The National Disaster Management Authority is coordinating the relief operations with the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Food Processing, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Defence, Indian Red Cross Society and NDRF.The island nation of Fiji was hit by category five cyclone Winston, with wind speed 325 km per hour and waves up to 12 m high. The cyclone has caused widespread damage to the housing stock and power disruption. PTI ACB ZMNlast_img read more

In letter researchers call for fair and just treatment of Iranian researchers

first_imgIranian wildlife scientists using camera traps to study animals including the Asiatic cheetah have been accused of espionage, but some government officials have called the charges baseless. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country In letter, researchers call for ‘fair and just’ treatment of Iranian researchers accused of espionage Update: In a letter released today, more than 330 conservationists and scholars from 66 countries assert that the imprisoned Iranian environmentalists “worked and carried themselves with the highest moral integrity” and call for a “fair and just evaluation of the evidence, access to lawyers of their choice, and a transparent trial.” In the letter addressed to Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, the authors, including primatologist and United Nations Messenger of Peace Jane Goodall, “strongly condemn” the possibility that “the neutral field of conservation could ever be used to pursue political objectives,” and they declare that they “are convinced our colleagues had no such part.”Here is our earlier coverage from 30 October:Prosecutors in Iran have charged four conservationists with “sowing corruption on Earth”—a crime punishable by death. By Richard StoneNov. 21, 2018 , 10:45 AM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Charles Sharp (CC BY 4.0) The environmentalists, who work with the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation in Tehran, were arrested in January on suspicion of espionage. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards accused them of using camera traps—intended for monitoring rare Asiatic cheetahs and other wildlife—to eavesdrop on the nation’s ballistic missile program. Many observers view the detainees as pawns in a power struggle between the hardline Revolutionary Guards and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s relatively moderate administration, which in a review last spring determined that the spying accusation is baseless. But Rouhani’s allies have been powerless to secure the conservationists’ release.“The scientific community can do a lot by challenging the narrative that is being sold by [the Revolutionary Guards],” says Kaveh Madani, a water management expert at Imperial College London who served as Iran’s deputy vice president for the environment for several months before leaving the country in April after coming under escalating pressure from hardliners. “People trust the scientific community, and once they come with their counternarrative, the hardliners cannot sell their BS easily.”Human rights organizations learned last week that the charges against the four—believed to be Taher Ghadirian, Houman Jowkar, Morad Tahbaz, and Niloufar Bayani—have been upgraded to a capital offense. “This is a very bizarre charge to bring against environmental activists,” and “totally unprecedented,” says Tara Sepehri Far, a researcher with Human Rights Watch in New York City.Two of the accused serve on International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) panels that weigh evidence of the status of wildlife populations and recommend whether to add or remove species from IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species. Ghadirian and Jowkar are members of the cat specialist group, and Ghadirian is also on the bear specialist group. “IUCN is deeply alarmed by the charges,” says IUCN Species Survival Commission Chair Jon Paul Rodríguez, a conservation biologist at the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research in Caracas. Camera traps are “indispensable” for tracking the status and biology of threatened species, he says. “As far as I am aware, practically the only information we have on the Asiatic cheetah comes from camera traps.”Iranian security officers have detained five other environmentalists on similar accusations; one, Kavous Seyed-Emami, co-founder of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation, died in mysterious circumstances in Tehran’s Evin Prison in February. Authorities claim he committed suicide. No trial date has been set for the remaining eight detainees.last_img read more