Finally: Japan Accepts Court Ban On Antarctic Whaling

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Japan Accepts Court Ban On Antarctic Whaling

The UN’s International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled that the Japanese government must halt its whaling programme in the Antarctic.

It agreed with Australia, which brought the case in May 2010, that the programme was not for scientific research as claimed by Tokyo.

Japan said it would abide by the decision but added it “regrets and is deeply disappointed by the decision”.

Australia argued that the programme was commercial whaling in disguise.

The court’s decision is considered legally binding.

Japan had argued that the suit brought by Australia was an attempt to impose its cultural norms on Japan.

Panasonic To Pay China Workers Pollution Compensation

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Japanese electronics firm Panasonic has said it will pay its employees working in China a premium to compensate them for the country’s high pollution.

Employees sent overseas typically receive hardship pay increases, but Panasonic is the first firm to explicitly pay more due to China’s air quality problems.

Unrelenting smog has been an ongoing problem in many Chinese cities.

The move was announced as part of Panasonic’s pay negotiations.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-26555874

Israel Ends Ultra-Orthodox Military Service Exemptions

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Israel’s parliament has approved legislation that will end exemptions from military service for ultra-Orthodox Jewish seminary students.

The bill was passed by 65 votes to one, and an amendment allowing civilian national service by 67 to one.

Opposition parties, including Labour, boycotted the votes because of what they called unfair and undemocratic dealing within the governing coalition.

Secular Israelis had complained that the exemptions were unfair.

“The change begins tomorrow morning and it is expected to transform the face of Israeli society unrecognisably,” said Yaakov Peri of Yesh Atid, a party in the governing coalition that led the push for the new legislation.

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At Least Inmates Are Getting Obamacare

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In a little-noticed outcome of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, jails and prisons around the country are beginning to sign up inmates for health insurance under the law, taking advantage of the expansion of Medicaid that allows states to extend coverage to single and childless adults — a major part of the prison population.

State and counties are enrolling inmates for two main reasons. Although Medicaid does not cover standard health care for inmates, it can pay for their hospital stays beyond 24 hours — meaning states can transfer millions of dollars of obligations to the federal government.

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Colorado Collects $2m In Marijuana Taxes In January

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Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it. -Reagan

The US state of Colorado collected $2m (£1.2m) in taxes from newly legalized recreational marijuana businesses in January.

Colorado became the first US state to legalize the commercial sale of cannabis in 2012, and stores opened for business on 1 January 2014.

In total, 59 marijuana firms filed tax returns on an estimated $14m in sales. Overall, the state collected a total of $3.5m in marijuana taxes if medical marijuana firms are included.

Marijuana model?

The money is earmarked for youth prevention services, substance abuse treatment, and public health, according to a plan proposed by Colorado Governor, John Hickenlooper.

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Satellites Track Turtle ‘Lost Years’

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Satellites Track Turtle ‘Lost Years’

New insights have been gained into the “lost years” of loggerhead turtles.

Tiny satellite tags have tracked months-old animals in the uncertain period when they leave US coastal waters and head out into the wider Atlantic Ocean.

The data suggests the loggerheads can spend quite some time in the Sargasso Sea, possibly living in amongst floating mats of sargassum seaweed.

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