EU unveils 'right to repair' rules to cut tech waste

The EU's executive arm proposed new rules on Wednesday that would force manufacturers to allow customers to have broken products repaired, in a bid to cut the number thrown out.. The 10-year rule will apply to products that are subject to the EU's "repairability requirements", with the bloc promising to add phones and tablets to that category soon.

EU bids to clean up product 'greenwashing' mess

The European Union's executive arm waded into the forest of dubious green labels, fairy tale carbon footprints and false eco-friendly advertising on Wednesday, proposing ways to clean up the "greenwashing" of consumer products.. The proposed directive, which will be submitted to the European Parliament and EU member states, will seek to rationalise green labelling and impose "dissuasive" punishments on dishonest advertisers.

Natural disasters, inflation upped insurers' costs in 2022: Swiss Re

Natural disasters increased insurers' costs in 2022, with inflation pushing up the bill even more, reinsurer Swiss Re said Wednesday, warning of likely further rises in the future due to climate change.. The growth has been and will be largely driven by rising loss severity of individual catastrophes... and a backdrop of hazard intensification due to climate change effects," the reinsurance giant said.

Meet the youth reframing the news for TikTok, YouTube

In the suburbs of Madrid, four young women are hard at work creating videos summarising the news that is viewed every day by millions of people on TikTok.. "We thought if it's hard for us, there must be more people like us too," she told AFP. So the pair joined forces with two other friends to launch an account on TikTok called "ac2ality" in June 2020, just as the popularity of the Chinese short-video sharing app was soaring among young people.

French inventor of abortion pill calls Wyoming ban 'scandalous'

French scientist Etienne-Emile Baulieu, known as the father of the abortion pill, said it was "scandalous" and "a setback for women's freedom" that the US state of Wyoming has banned the drug.. "It is a setback for women's freedom, particularly for those in the most precarious position who do not have the means to go to another state" to get an abortion, he told AFP in an interview.

'Uncharted territory': South Sudan's four years of flooding

It had not rained properly for months but the floods kept coming, inching up the mud-earth fortifications that stood between Bentiu's marooned and starving people and the endless water beyond.. This is the worst I've seen," he said, using a cane as mud sucked at his feet.

Dust storms cause air pollution spike across north China

Air pollution soared in Beijing on Wednesday as the Chinese capital was hit by a huge sandstorm, and dust also shrouded other parts of the country in a sickly orange haze.. The official air quality index in Beijing hit the maximum level of 500, indicating "severe pollution", though some unofficial readings were nearly twice that figure.

RNA base in asteroid samples suggests origins of life on Earth: study

The black particles from an asteroid some 300 million kilometres away look unremarkable, like pieces of charcoal, but they hold a component of life itself.. The discovery offers "strong evidence that one of the RNA components has been provided to the Earth even before the emergence of life", Oba told AFP. "We expect it plays a role for prebiotic evolution and possibly the emergence of the first life," he said.

Ghost lake set to reappear as California hit again by rain

A lake that dried up 80 years ago looked set on Tuesday to reappear, as monster rainfall accumulated over California's wet winter season overwhelms the state's rivers.. In California's Central Valley, authorities issued evacuation orders for residents of communities in Tulare County, where a lake that dried up around World War II was set to reappear.

'Vampiric' water use leading to 'imminent' global crisis, UN warns

Humanity's "lifeblood" -- water -- is increasingly at risk around the world due to "vampiric overconsumption and overdevelopment," the UN warned in a report, published hours ahead of a major summit on the issue was set to begin Wednesday.. The world is "blindly travelling a dangerous path" as "unsustainable water use, pollution and unchecked global warming are draining humanity's lifeblood," United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in a foreword to the report, released hours ahead of the first major UN meeting on water resources in nearly half a century.