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Category: Environment

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Wimbledon serves up ban on plastic straws

All England Lawn Tennis Club ditches plastic straws for this year’s championshipsWimbledon would not be the same without a thirst-quenching Pimm’s, but this year visitors to the annual tennis championships will be served the beverage without the custom…

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Ray Wilkins had clever feet and a clever mind | Brief letters

London’s gang violence | Mo Mowlam | Ray Wilkins | Spring lambs | Easter bunnies | KakuroWhen is someone going to notice that gang violence only occurs where there is acute poverty (Police ‘have lost control of the streets’, 6 April)? Or is that too bi…

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When did football become a spitfest? | Brief letters

Footballers | Italian taxes | Extrajudicial killings | Mnemonics | Pie | Frozen pipesOn football past and present (Letters, 7 March), one particularly unpleasant feature of today’s game is the compulsive spitting. Watching Match of the Day now is to ob…

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Pyeongchang Winter Olympics set to be the coldest for 20 years

Fears for both spectators and competitors as temperatures forecast to plummet to -15CFor years, the Winter Olympics were simply not that wintery and temperatures rarely dipped below freezing.But this year’s Games, which open on Friday in Pyeongchang, i…

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How green are electric cars?

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Sri Lankan bowler vomits in Delhi cricket match due to polluted air

Bowlers Suranga Lakmal and Lahiru Gamage are forced to take a break as harmful pollutants reach 12 times WHO safe limit A Sri Lankan player vomited on the field and was escorted off the ground as heavily polluted air continued to plague an internationa…

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Pro-Brexit British billionaire buys Swiss football club Lausanne

Jim Ratcliffe, founder of chemicals giant Ineos, recently tried to get government subsidies to build successor to Land Rover DefenderIneos, the petrochemicals company founded by billionaire Brexit backer Jim Ratcliffe, has announced plans to buy a Swis…

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When Old Etonians won the FA Cup | Brief letters

Football in private schools | Welsh history | Police as protectors | Plastic bag recycling

On Cup final day, I enjoyed reading DJ Taylor’s article on the football novel (Review, 27 May). However, in discussing the first wave of football fiction, largely describing boys’ school stories, he noted that their “real-life, public-school attending equivalents would, of course, have played rugby”. This perpetuates the error, which I thought had been laid to rest, that independent schools shunned football. As an example, before professionalism took hold, Old Etonians contested no fewer than six FA Cup finals, winning two of them. One of their losses was against Old Carthusians.
Ed Lilley
Bristol

• Comforting though it is to see that Oxford students will have to study for exams on “non-British, non-European” topics (Report, 29 May), I wonder whether they might consider studying non-English “British” topics? What does the average student know, for instance, about the Rebecca Riots, the Treason of the Blue Books, Tryweryn, Senghennydd, Pont Trefechan? But then it’s only Wales, so it doesn’t matter, does it?
Dr Meg Elis
Caernarfon, Gwynedd

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Minnesota Vikings’ new glass-plated stadium becomes ‘death trap’ for birds

  • US Bank Stadium study shows birds are flying into its clear glass
  • Conservation groups want authorities to make stadium bird-safe

The US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, which opened last June and cost more than $1bn of mostly taxpayer money, is beautiful, large, glassy – and deadly to birds.

A new report from a trio of conservation groups reveals that – for wildlife, at least – vast swathes of the new home of the Minnesota Vikings are indistinguishable from the sky and birds are being killed by flying straight into the stadium’s 200,000 sq ft of gleaming, clear glass.

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Claudio Ranieri brought colour to a now grey old game | Letters

The mixture of despondency and surprise that greeted the sacking of Claudio Ranieri as manager of Leicester City (Ranieri reign ends in brutal fashion, 24 February) found a natural echo elsewhere in your pages that day. From Leicestershire’s Welland Valley, your country diarist notes the appearance of the yellowhammer, “his head and breast bright against the muted landscape”. Raineri too brought grace, colour and sparkle to what has become a grey old game.
Mike Harle
Claygate, Surrey

• Last season we neutrals wanted the Foxes to win the Premier League. Now we want them to get relegated. Sic transit gloria Monday night football.
Rob Symonds
Birmingham

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Claudio Ranieri brought colour to a now grey old game | Letters

The mixture of despondency and surprise that greeted the sacking of Claudio Ranieri as manager of Leicester City (Ranieri reign ends in brutal fashion, 24 February) found a natural echo elsewhere in your pages that day. From Leicestershire’s Welland Valley, your country diarist notes the appearance of the yellowhammer, “his head and breast bright against the muted landscape”. Raineri too brought grace, colour and sparkle to what has become a grey old game.
Mike Harle
Claygate, Surrey

• Last season we neutrals wanted the Foxes to win the Premier League. Now we want them to get relegated. Sic transit gloria Monday night football.
Rob Symonds
Birmingham

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Kitesurfer has close encounter with great white shark – video

This video taken from a drone shows travel blogger Isabelle Fabre’s close encounter with a great white shark while kitesurfing off the West Australian coast. Fabre explains that she initially thought the shadow under her board was from her kite, and then that it was a dolphin. ‘I heard Cyril shouting “Shark! Isabelle, get out!” He saw everything through the drone and he thought I was done’

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Dancing for a cause: Kiribati’s climate activist Olympic weightlifter

David Katoatau generated headlines in 2016 for his joyous performances in Rio – and for his deadly serious message

Few casual observers would recall the winner of the men’s 105kg weightlifting category at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Many, though, will remember the athlete with the broad smile who danced his way into a 14th-placed finish.

David Katoatau is an unlikely climate change activist. An affable weightlifter from Kiribati, a collection of atolls spread across an area of the Pacific Ocean the size of India, Katoatau never intended to become a global ambassador for his small country. Yet with rising sea levels posing an existential threat to the i-Kiribati (as inhabitants of Kiribati are known), the Olympian felt compelled to raise awareness.

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Rio 2016: Kiribati weightlifter dances to highlight climate change

David Katoatau, who lost his home in Pacific nation to extreme weather, draws cheers as he uses trademark moves ‘to tell people about Kiribati before it sinks’

A weightlifter who lost his family’s house in a cyclone danced off stage at the Rio Olympics on Tuesday to raise awareness of the threat climate change poses to his remote Pacific nation.

David Katoatau got more cheers than any other lifter, including a Brazilian, throughout the men’s 105kg B Group.

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Rio 2016: Kiribati weightlifter dances to highlight climate change

David Katoatau, who lost his home in Pacific nation to extreme weather, draws cheers as he uses trademark moves ‘to tell people about Kiribati before it sinks’

A weightlifter who lost his family’s house in a cyclone danced off stage at the Rio Olympics on Tuesday to raise awareness of the threat climate change poses to his remote Pacific nation.

David Katoatau got more cheers than any other lifter, including a Brazilian, throughout the men’s 105kg B Group.

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Rio’s stench is not rare – the Olympic call to ordure is a familiar ritual

Safety fears over water standards have figured prominently in the Games buildup, but they almost always do: effluence and affluence go hand in hand in modern Olympics

So climbing will be adopted by the Olympic family in 2020, after joining skateboarding, surfing, karate, men’s baseball and women’s softball on a list of new or returning disciplines officially sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee last week. In its pitch for acceptance the International Federation of Sport Climbing described it as “the only basic human movement not yet included in the Olympic Games”, a suggestion that sounds plausible enough – unless you read it on the toilet.

There is an argument that the one still-ignored basic human movement already has its place at the Olympics, albeit only unofficially. Over the past few weeks it has seemed that the focus of attention as the world’s press gathered in Rio was less on the sport than the sewage, a great deal of which is bobbing grimly around Guanabara Bay. “A giant pipe churns human waste into the marina,” reported USA Today on a visit to the sailing venue. “The stench makes uninitiated visitors feel like vomiting or fainting.” These days, Olympic glory can transform an athlete’s life, opening doors and boosting bank accounts. In Rio the sailors will have to cross streams of effluence to sustain their dreams of affluence.

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Megan Kalmoe: I will row through shit for you, America

The media’s interminable hand-wringing over the water quality at the Rio Olympics insults both the host city and us athletes, who have spent years working toward our dream. It’s time to move on

Today I depart for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Competition starts in 12 days; and in 18 days I will have completed the final race of my career. Rio will be my third Olympic team after walking on to my college rowing team in 2002 with no knowledge or background in the sport. Rio will be my first trip to South America. My family and friends are planning on being there to support me for my last ever attempt to make the podium while representing the United States in rowing competition. I will be traveling to Rio as part of one of the most talented and decorated women’s rowing squads in history. I am incredibly excited for this trip, and this opportunity. I have worked for 10 years to get to this point and will continue to work as hard as I can over the next few weeks to make the most of this very special and unique opportunity.

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Megan Kalmoe: I will row through shit for you, America

The media’s interminable hand-wringing over the water quality at the Rio Olympics insults both the host city and us athletes, who have spent years working toward our dream. It’s time to move on

Today I depart for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Competition starts in 12 days; and in 18 days I will have completed the final race of my career. Rio will be my third Olympic team after walking on to my college rowing team in 2002 with no knowledge or background in the sport. Rio will be my first trip to South America. My family and friends are planning on being there to support me for my last ever attempt to make the podium while representing the United States in rowing competition. I will be traveling to Rio as part of one of the most talented and decorated women’s rowing squads in history. I am incredibly excited for this trip, and this opportunity. I have worked for 10 years to get to this point and will continue to work as hard as I can over the next few weeks to make the most of this very special and unique opportunity.

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Formula E in Berlin, the world’s first fully electric series – a photo essay

The electric circus that is Formula E travelled to Berlin this week where Felix Clay plugged himself in. The race result sets up a close finish for the Pro Series finale in London next month Continue reading…

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Freediver plunges 122m into blue hole to set new world record – video

Underwater footage shows William Trubridge’s world record breaking 122 metre freedive at Vertical Blue 2016. The elite annual freediving competition takes place at Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahamas, the deepest known salt water blue hole in the world. Vision: Vertical Blue

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