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Politics

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law banning smoking in public places.

The law will take effect in two stages. Beginning in June, the law will ban smoking in some public places, including subways and schools. A year later, the ban will go into effect in other areas, including cafes and restaurants.

The ban will also restrict cigarette advertising.

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Among the 131 power projects approved by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) from the first half of the year, wind power accounts for 95 percent of the approved projects, reported Securities Daily on Monday.

According to the report, with 32 approved power projects, China Huadian Corporation topped the five major power groups.

An industry insider close to Huadian claimed that, at present, the profitability of domestic wind power is relatively good. Depending on the conditions of the new generating units, Huadian will focus on wind power development in the next few years.

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Sustainability experts are planning to set up a “people’s watchdog” on green government when the spending axe falls on the official body next month.

The proposal was aired on Tuesday at a meeting of the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) whose 10-year Whitehall funding is about to end.

The new body would use techniques such as crowdsourcing and social media to dissect data and lobby government.

There is no funding for the new group, although conversations are underway.

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A mayor in Germany is attracting interest from other cities after he installed a special park bench for town teens who refuse to sit properly.

After residents of the southwestern city of Eppelheim complained teenagers always sat on the top of benches, rather than on the seat itself which they dirtied with their shoes, Mayor Dieter Moerlein came up with the idea of putting the seat on top.

The first of Moerlein’s benches was installed last week and he is already fielding calls from interested cities in Germany, he told Reuters. “The reception has been overwhelming,” Moerlein said. “Whoever wants to build one, be my guest.”

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Government postpones sale of 40,000 hectares of public forest to allow for a review of woodland protection

The government has taken 40,000 hectares of public forest off the market, in the latest twist in the furore over the proposed sell-off of England”s woodland.

About 15% of England”s public forests had been slated for sale, with the aim of raising £100m for government coffers, but on Friday morning the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said it would hold on to the forest until the fate of the rest of the Forestry Commission”s land had been decided.

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President Barack Obama called Wednesday for a series of steps to help Americans conserve and get in touch with nature, including full funding of the $900 million Land and Water Conservation Fund for only the third time in its existence.

At a White House event, Obama also proposed creating a Conservation Service Corps to help young people find work in the outdoors, and extending the tax deduction for donating private land for conservation.

The proposals are part of an action plan by the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, which Obama launched last year to promote community conservation efforts to protect the nation’s natural heritage and help people experience it.

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On Wednesday, Lady Gaga officially launches her Born This Way Foundation to promote tolerance and empowerment among youth.

Among the star-studded lineup for the event on the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, Mass: Lady Gaga, Oprah Winfrey, Deepak Chopra and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

And University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor Susan Swearer.

Swearer, known worldwide for her work with UNL’s Bullying Research Network, is one of five experts leading the day’s breakout session topics addressing issues facing youth and is leading a charge to get this generation of young people more engaged.

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SEOUL — South Korea has inaugurated its first female president. She is Park Geun-hye, the daughter of a former president with a controversial legacy.

Before a crowd of 70,000 people, Madame Park Geun-hye, dressed in an olive green coat and wearing a violet-colored scarf, took the oath of office as her country”s 11th president since its inception in 1948.

She then saluted as a military band marched and cannons fired to celebrate her casino online inauguration.

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A mid Wales MP is bidding to change child neglect laws that date back to the 19th Century, which he claims are now “nonsense”.

Ceredigion MP Mark Williams wants criminal legislation based on 1868 poor laws to be updated to include emotional and psychological abuse.

The original law – last changed in 1933, only refers to “wilful” physical abuse.

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Debunking the Notion that Creating Green Jobs is Bad for the Economy
A newly released study suggested that upholding the new, stricter EPA Clean Air Act rules would create a slew of new jobs — something along the order of 1.5 million of them. On the face of it, it’s a win-win: Cleaner air for the nation, and jobs for construction workers, engineers, and pipefitters in the short term. But detractors were quick to label the concept a victim of the broken window fallacy — essentially arguing that such jobs required to install pollution controls are costing utilities and energy companies resources that they could have more efficiently dedicated to productive, job-creating ventures elsewhere. We’re not creating jobs here, we’re just inefficiently moving them around. Or so the argument goes — and it’s one that’s often lobbed at the concept of green job creation. Here’s why it’s wrong.

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A campaign forfronted by Greenpeace has after 6 years finally led to a legislation that make producers financially liable for the products they produces after the products life-span.

India has long been a destination for the dumping of e-waste from developed countries but also has a rapidly growing domestic electronics industry, making national legislation that tackled both e-waste imports and domestically produced electronics the key aim of the campaign.

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The United States and China announced today that they will work together and with other countries to “phase down” the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are extremely potent greenhouse gases. A global phaseout would be the equivalent of cutting 90 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.

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