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Grain trader Cargill faces US lawsuit over Brazilian soybean supply chain | deforestation



The world’s largest grain trader Cargill has faced legal action for the first time in the United States over its failure to address deforestation and human rights violations in its soybean supply chain in Brazil.

ClientEarth, an environmental advocacy organization, filed a formal complaint Thursday accusing Cargill of inadequate monitoring and a lackluster response to the decline of the Amazon rainforest and other globally important biomes such as the Cerrado savannah and the Atlantic Forest.

The case, which was submitted under OECD guidelines, alleges that “Cargill’s poor due diligence raises the risk that meat sold in supermarkets around the world is grown with so-called ‘dirty’ soybeans.” . ClientEarth says this violates the International Code for Responsible Business Conduct.

The lawyers behind the complaint stressed the urgency of the problem as the degradation of the Amazon nears a tipping point, after which scientists say the rainforest will turn into dry pastures releasing massive amounts of carbon dioxide. amazon sister biome, Cerradohas already lost half of its tree cover.

Lawyers say they hope the lawsuit will raise standards at Cargill – the largest privately held company in the US with $165bn (£131bn) in revenue last year – and set an example for the entire industry.

Laura Dawley, an attorney at ClientEarth, said: “Cargill has tremendous resources to carry out due diligence. The technology is already there. We don’t ask him to do something he doesn’t have the resources to do. We hope he will show leadership.”

Cargill is committed to eliminating deforestation in the Amazon and the Cerrado by 2025, and completely eliminating deforestation in all of its supply chains by 2030. supply chain. ClientEarth said it identified several shortcomings in this system, including a lack of environmental due diligence:

  • Soybeans are sourced from third-party traders, which account for 42% of Cargill’s Brazilian soybean purchases.

  • Soybeans owned by other companies pass through Cargill’s ports.

  • Indirect land use change.

  • Soybeans from Cerrado Savannah.

  • Soy from the Brazilian Atlantic forests.

ClientEarth also cites reports alleging that Cargill’s suppliers have been involved in violations of the rights of indigenous, Afro-Brazilian and other forest-dependent communities.

Cargill told The Guardian it hasn’t seen a full complaint, but it has an “unwavering commitment” to end deforestation and transformation in South America. In line with this, he added: “We do not purchase soybeans from farmers who clear land in protected areas and have controls in place to prevent nonconforming produce from entering our supply chains. If we discover any violations of our policy, we will take immediate action in accordance with our complaints handling process.”

This is reported by the company’s website.: “Cargill is committed to transforming our agricultural supply chains to eliminate deforestation by 2030. Our forest policy sets out our comprehensive approach to achieving this goal globally within our priority supply chains. It is based on our belief that agriculture and forests can and should coexist.” The spokesperson added that Cargill is also “strongly committed” to protecting human rights across its operations, supply chains and communities.

However, last year, journalists reported that one of Cargill’s soybean suppliers was growing crops on cut and burned land in the Brazilian biome. In 2020, the Guardian and partners found evidence that Cargill was supplying Tesco, Asda, McDonald’s, Nando’s and others with chicken fed on imported soybeans, leading to thousands of wildfires and the cutting of trees over an area of ​​at least 300 square miles (800 square kilometers) in Cerrado. savannah. Related Reports aired this year Sky News.


Scientists Just Watched a Star Eating an Entire Planet



(Cape Canaveral, Florida) – For the first time, scientists have caught a star in the process of swallowing the planet – not just a bite or bite, but one big gulp.

Astronomers on Wednesday reported their observations of what appeared to be a Jupiter-sized or larger gas giant being devoured by its star. The solar star swelled with age for thousands of years and finally became so large that it swallowed up a planet in close orbit.

This is a grim preview of what will happen to Earth when our Sun becomes a red giant and engulfs the four inner planets.

“If it’s any consolation, it will happen in about 5 billion years,” said co-author Morgan Macleod of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

This galactic feast took place between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago near the constellation Aquila, when the star was about 10 billion years old. As the planet descended into the stellar hatch, there was a quick burst of hot light, followed by a continuous stream of dust that shone brightly in cold infrared energy, the researchers said.

read more: James Webb’s latest image reveals new clues about the origin of the universe

While there have previously been signs of other stars gnawing on planets and their digestive effects, this is the first time the swallow itself has been observed, according to a study published in the journal Nature.

MIT researcher Kishalay De spotted the flash of light in 2020 while viewing sky images taken by Caltech’s Palomar Observatory. It took more observations and data processing to unravel the mystery: instead of a star swallowing its companion star, this star swallowed its planet.

Considering a star’s lifespan is billions of years, the ingestion itself was fairly short—essentially in one fell swoop, said Caltech’s Mansi Kasliwal, who participated in the study.

The findings are “very plausible,” said Carol Haswell, an astrophysicist at the British Open University who was not involved in the study. In 2010, Haswell led a team that used the Hubble Space Telescope to identify the star WASP-12 in the process of eating its planet.

“It’s a different kind of food. This star swallowed an entire planet in one gulp,” Haswell wrote in an email. “In contrast, WASP-12 b and other hot Jupiters we’ve previously studied lick and bite delicately.”

Astronomers don’t know if there are more planets orbiting this star at a safer distance. If so, De said, they could have thousands of years before they become second- or third-year stars.

Now that they know what to look for, explorers will look for new space gulps. They suspect that thousands of planets around other stars will suffer the same fate as this one, and ultimately our solar system.

“Everything that we see around us, everything that we have built around ourselves, will disappear in the blink of an eye,” De said.


The Associated Press Department of Health and Science receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science and Education Media Group. AP is solely responsible for all content.

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Warehouses pollute air and noise for millions of Americans



With millions of Americans now living in close proximity to warehouses, it’s time to start treating these drab, featureless buildings as hotbeds of pollution, according to a recent study. report Foundation for the Protection of the Environment. Warehouses are rapidly popping up across the US, bringing truck traffic and exhaust emissions with them. Yet there is no federal database to see where existing or proposed warehouses are located, as opposed to other major sources of pollution such as oil and gas facilities.

In the absence of federal data, the nonprofit Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has completed its own analysis of warehouses in 10 states where they have recently become huge. Over the past decade, warehouses have surpassed office space and have become most common Type of commercial building in the USA.

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) found that at least 15 million people, including more than a million children under the age of five, live within half a mile of the warehouse. And the warehouse is not your average neighbor. Warehouses often operate around the clock, providing a steady stream of trucks and delivery vans. Communities of color are more likely to see a single crop in their backyard, according to the report, suggesting they face disproportionate public health risks.

Communities of color are more likely to see one crop in their backyard.

“It is important to understand who bears the brunt of the health burden associated with living near heavy-duty vehicle traffic in order to develop and implement smart, targeted policies that protect public health and reduce emissions,” Eileen Nowlan, director of US policy at EDF, speaks in Press release.

Warehouse space has become a hot commodity thanks to the rise of e-commerce. These huge properties are moving closer to residential areas as companies try to move inventory quickly and lure customers with promises of fast delivery. According to the commercial real estate company, every $1 billion in online sales increases demand for 1.25 million square feet of warehouse space. CBRE.

The consequences of this are unevenly distributed. In Illinois, Massachusetts and Colorado, the concentration of blacks and Hispanics living near warehouses is almost twice the state average, EDF said in a report. In the 10 states included in the study, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and American Indians were more likely to live within half a mile of a warehouse than white residents.

To conduct its study, EDF used a GIS application called Proximity Mapping, a tool that academic researchers have previously used to map communities living near oil and gas wells. It relies on the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to estimate the demographics of census tracts surrounding certain features.

The investigation carried out Consumer Reports in 2021, Amazon was similarly found to tend to locate its warehouses closest to communities of color. The investigation found that US Amazon warehouses are often located in places with a higher proportion of people of color than in 70 percent of neighborhoods in the rest of the metropolitan area.

The EDF report argues that it should be easier for Americans to see where companies plan to build warehouses — similar to mandates for oil and gas infrastructure. Air quality monitoring around existing warehouses also needs to be strengthened, EDF said. In the past, they have shied away from scrutiny because the pollution that surrounds them comes from all the traffic around them, not from the building itself.

Yet census tracts with warehouses have significantly more traffic, air pollution, and noise than those without. study based in California found last year. In particular, pollution from diesel trucks connected to health risks ranging from low birth weight to childhood asthma and adult heart disease.

The EPA proposed new regulations in March and April to cut truck emissions that pollute the air and cause climate change. Proposed greenhouse gas emission standards could see nearly half of new delivery vehicles and trucks sold on electricity by 2032.

Electric vehicles could certainly clean up exhaust emissions that pollute the air near warehouses. But they don’t get rid of everything particulate contamination created by wear large vehicles on the roads. And there is still noise and traffic to contend with if you live in the neighborhood. So it’s still worth remembering where warehouses end and what that means for their neighbors.

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As hospitals close and doctors flee, Sudan’s healthcare system collapses



As the battle for control of Sudan enters its third week, health services in the capital, Khartoum, are rapidly falling apart, a grim aftermath of brutal fighting that has raised fears that the conflict could escalate into a wider humanitarian crisis.

A complete collapse of the health care system could occur in a few days, the Sudanese doctors’ union has warned.

According to the World Health Organization, hospitals have been shelled and two-thirds of the hospitals in Khartoum have been closed. According to official figures, more than a dozen medical workers have died. In addition, “hidden victims” are dying from sickness and disease as basic health services have become Not enough, said Dr. Abdullah Atia, general secretary of the doctors’ union.

“We get a lot of calls every day, ‘Where should I go?’,” he said. “These are questions we cannot answer.”

Millions of civilians were left trapped. The last truth that allowed civilians to flee was terminated at midnight on Sunday, and although the Rapid Support Forces said they would extend the humanitarian ceasefire for another three days, fighting was reported in the capital.

On Sunday, the Sudanese army agreed to extend the truce, but accused the Rapid Support Forces of violating the truce and taking over the hospital. RSF, in turn, said that the army looted the medical supplies.

In response to the deteriorating situation, the UN Secretary-General’s office said it was “immediately” sending Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, to Sudan.

“The scale and speed of what is happening is unprecedented in Sudan,” Stéphane Dujarric, a spokesman for the Secretary General, said. statements.

Other countries tried to evacuate their citizens by any means as the situation worsened. By Saturday, the UK had airlifted more than 2,122 people on 21 flights, with another flight from Port Sudan in eastern Sudan scheduled for Monday. This was announced by the British government on Sunday.. The Americans fled in long columns of buses, trucks and cars, heading north for Egypt or Port Sudan, where they hope to board ships for Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The State Department said Sunday that a second convoy of US citizens has arrived in Port Sudan, bringing the number of American evacuees to just under 1,000. The department added that fewer than 5,000 Sudanese citizens have turned to the US government for help through the “crisis reception.” website for Americans and their families. About 16,000 Americans live in Sudan, many of whom hold dual citizenship.

Sudan’s health ministry is nowhere to be found, and the doctors’ union said it had received no support and little communication from the government. According to witnesses and officials, the medical facilities were used by the militants as defensive positions.

Moreover, according to officials, the national laboratory was seized by paramilitaries. Samples of diseases such as malaria or tuberculosis could become a weapon in the wrong hands, the doctor said. Atia, who, like others, was on the phone from Khartoum.

He added that another problem is the uncleaned bodies in morgues and others on the streets. The Physicians Union later said in statement tthe number of bodies strewn across the streets grew, creating an “environmental disaster”.

Hundreds of doctors have fled, and there are rumors that members of the Rapid Support Forces are kidnapping doctors and forcing them at gunpoint to treat wounded comrades. Although the abductions have not been confirmed, Dr. Dozens of members of the Sudanese Doctors’ Union are missing, Atia said.

A shortage of medical workers has meant that hospitals are barely staffed to deal with the situation. The Al Ban Jadid hospital in east Khartoum usually employs at least 400 people, but now it has only eight medical staff. The Al Joda hospital in southern Khartoum hobbles along with four people: a surgeon, an anesthesiologist and two nurses, Dr. Khartoum. Atia said.

“Health workers in Sudan are doing the impossible, caring for the wounded without water, electricity and basic medical supplies,” said Patrick Youssef, Regional Director of the Red Cross Africa.

The Sudanese Doctors’ Union posts several times a day on Facebook a notice listing several hospitals still operating in Khartoum, or an urgent warning for doctors to report to field hospitals located in houses around the city.

Away from hospitals, medical personnel must use whatever tools they can find to treat the wounded.

At the field hospital in El Mamour, Dr. Mohamed Carrar improvised an intercostal drainage system using a sterilized soda bottle to drain blood from a punctured lung of a firearm victim. Long shifts in the trauma unit of the now-closed Ibrahim Malik Teaching Hospital in central Khartoum helped him prepare. Carrara now has to contend with the sounds of war while working in a living room converted into an operating room.

“I know that I am in danger in these places,” he said, “but these sick and wounded people need me.”

In Al-Nada, medical workers and their patients take shelter under beds and tables several times a day to escape aerial bombardment and heavy artillery fire. Everyone is so nervous, said local doctor Mohamed Fath, that the sound of an oxygen tank being opened could send employees running.

Dr. Mohamed Fath at Al Nada Hospital in Khartoum. He and his wife decided to stay in the city, even though thousands of people had fled.

At the start of the conflict, Al-Nada Nursing Home decided to treat only pregnant women and children in order to provide shelter to a small fraction of the more than 24,000 women who, according to the WHO, should be given shelter. birth in Sudan in the next few weeks.

In the weeks since the fighting began, 220 babies have been born there, and most of them have survived. Fath said.

One woman raced through active war zones and barely made it to the emergency room, he said. Later, her husband showed Dr. Find bullet holes in your car. Another woman gave birth at home, but due to complications, the baby needed urgent medical attention. According to the doctor, the mother and child were locked in their home for several days under artillery fire overhead. When they finally got to the hospital, it was already too late for the dead baby.

“They have to go through this hell to get to the hospital,” says the doctor. Fath said.

Neighbors seeking help started calling the doctor. Doorbell Veil at home. Twice last week, he said, he pronounced two people dead in Omdurman-Altavra, north of the city. Both were diabetics who ran out of insulin in a city where pharmacies were ransacked and a medical black market flourished.

Now, the doctor said, he hid the home remedy in his car. But in areas that could quickly turn from ghost towns into active war zones, even a mile-long road between a hospital and his home could put his life at risk.

Before the war Dr. Fath filled out applications for jobs in hospitals in South Africa, where he planned to specialize in pediatric neurology. But he and his wife, also a doctor, whose last exam was scheduled for May 6, decided to stay.

“If you see what I saw every day in my daily practice,” says the doctor. Fath said, “You would understand my situation.”

Edward Wong provided a report from Washington, Nyla Morgan from New York and Isabella Kwai from London.

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