EU proposes single-use plastic ban
BRUSSELS • The European Commission yesterday proposed banning single-use plastic products, such as cotton buds and plastic straws, and putting the burden of cleaning up waste on manufacturers in an effort to reduce marine litter. Under the proposal, single-use plastic products with readily available alternatives will be banned and replaced with more environmentally sustainable materials.
The proposal also requires EU countries to collect 90 per cent of single-use plastic drink bottles by 2025.
Landslides kill over 32 in Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA • Landslides caused by heavy rain killed at least 32 people in southern Ethiopia over the weekend. The Government Communication Affairs Office said yesterday nine people died in the Gamo Gofa zone, with 17 injured. Last week, flooding and strong winds caused by Cyclone Sagar killed at least 25 people in Djibouti and Somaliland, while heavy flooding left 21 dead in Somalia, according to the United Nations' humanitarian coordinator Ocha.
Ivanka's tweet on son draws flak
WASHINGTON • Ms Ivanka Trump is facing an online backlash for tweeting what one critic called a "tone-deaf" photo of herself cuddling her son as outrage grows over a federal government policy to separate the children of undocumented migrants from their parents.
The eldest daughter of United States President Donald Trump posted the picture of her with her son on Sunday, with the caption: "My 3! #SundayMorning".
Critics were quick to point to a "zero-tolerance" policy announced earlier this month by Attorney-General Jeff Sessions that authorises border security agents to take away the children of people who enter the US unlawfully.
Dutch wins bid to be gender neutral
THE HAGUE • A Dutch citizen has won the right for the first time to be allowed to register as neither a man nor a woman, with judges urging lawmakers to recognise a "third gender".
The Limburg District Court in Roermond ruled yesterday the unnamed plaintiff can now be recorded in the Dutch birth register as "gender undetermined" as opposed to male or female.