Legal battle looms over London's expanding vehicle pollution fee

A UK court on Tuesday will consider contentious plans to extend a scheme obliging the most polluting vehicles to pay for using London's roads, as opponents engage in protests -- and even sabotage.. The scheme -- first introduced in 2019 and separate from the city's two-decades-old congestion charge -- requires more polluting vehicles to pay a £12.50 ($16) toll on days they are driven within inner London. 

Neymar fined $3.3 million for building lake at mansion

A prosecutor in Brazil fined soccer star Neymar 16 million reais ($3.3 million) for building a lake at his mansion on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro without an environmental license, authorities said Monday. . "The sanctions add up to more than 16 million reais," the statement said, a sum set out by the prosecutor's office in Mangaratiba, a tourist area around 130 kilometers (80 miles) from Rio where the Paris Saint-Germain star has his mansion. 

Dead fish wash up on riverbank in drought-hit Iraq

Thousands of dead fish have washed ashore in southeast Iraq, prompting an official investigation into the wildlife disaster that officials said Monday may be linked to drought conditions.. In a similar phenomenon in 2018, fishermen in the central province of Babylon found dead carp in their thousands, but an investigation failed to discern what had caused it. str-tgg/gde/ami/hkb

Time appears five times slower in early universe: study

Time appears to run five times slower in the early universe, scientists said on Monday, for the first time using extraordinarily bright cosmic objects called quasars as "clocks" to confirm this strange phenomenon.. Just over a billion years after the Big Bang, time appeared to flow five times slower, according to the study in the journal Nature Astronomy.

COP28 host UAE pledges to triple renewables

The oil-rich United Arab Emirates said it would triple renewable energy production as part of a raft of environmental initiatives announced on Monday, months before it hosts UN climate talks.. Few details were revealed about the new policies, announced five months before the COP28 talks in Dubai where nearly 200 nations will wrestle with how to tackle global warming and its impacts.

UK saw hottest June on record in 2023: Met Office

The UK this year has seen its hottest June on record, both in terms of mean temperature and the average maximum temperature, the British Meteorological Office said Monday.. Last year England had its joint hottest summer on record, tied with 2018, and the fourth hottest for the whole of the UK, leading to school closures and train cancellations. 

Activists protest over ship pollution at maritime meet

Environmental campaigners protested Monday outside the London-based International Maritime Organization, which is meeting to discuss curbing carbon dioxide emissions from the high-polluting shipping sector.. Participants are under pressure to agree ambitious emission reduction targets and consider a tax on pollution by the sector.

EU official sees 'contradiction' between China's climate goals, coal plants

A top EU climate official said Monday there is a "contradiction" between China's ambitious goals to combat global warming and its continued building of coal-fired power plants.. The jump in approvals for coal-fired power plants has added to concerns that China will backtrack on its goals to peak emissions between 2026 and 2030 and become carbon-neutral by 2060.

Vietnam farmers planting in the dark as heatwave looms

It's 3 am and pitch black when rice farmer Tran Thi Lan heads into water-logged fields on the outskirts of Hanoi to begin planting, desperate to finish before the day's brutal heat arrives.. "It's so hard to plant the rice when the strong sun is directly on my back and the warm water in the field splashes my face," Lan, 47, told AFP. Lan had managed a few days of daytime planting during a brief respite from the heat.