Tornadoes leave trail of destruction in US: 12 dead

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Mayflower, Arkansas: Tornadoes sliced through central and southern United States on Sunday, killing at least 12 people and leaving behind a miles-long path of destruction in a violent kick-start to the nation’s tornado season.

The scene was the same in town after town, with emergency workers and volunteers going door-to-door to check for victims. State troopers performed the same task among the damaged and toppled 18-wheelers, cars and trucks on a two-mile stretch of Interstate 40, a major thoroughfare in and out of Arkansas’ capital city.

UN issues warning over global warming delay

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Report says waiting until 2030 to reduce emissions could force reliance on little-tested technologies to extract greenhouse gases

Berlin: A United Nations report said on Sunday that governments must act faster to slow global warming and delays until 2030 could force reliance on little-tested technologies to extract greenhouse gases from the air.

The study, drawing on work by more than 1,000 experts, said a radical shift from conventional fossil fuels to low-carbon energy such as wind, solar or nuclear power would shave only about 0.06 percentage point a year off world economic growth.

UK warns may not buy power from independent Scotland

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London: Britain may not buy electricity from an independent Scottish state if imports from alternative markets are cheaper, the UK government has warned, putting further pressure on Scotland five months before its independence vote.

A Scotland split from Britain would have to rely on electricity exports to the United Kingdom to sell excess renewable energy generation because its grid is connected only with England and, to a lesser extent, Northern Ireland.

Global warming: Hope amid gloom

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The world still has a long way to go so far as ensuring a greener planet is concerned, but the good thing is that there is some positive action around the globe

Here we go again. Yesterday, the world’s governments and top climate scientists published the most devastating assessment yet of what global warming threatens to do to the planet. And that, in turn, will intensify a new bid to forge an international agreement to tackle it. World leaders will meet in New York in September to address climate change for the first time since the ill-fated 2009 Copenhagen Summit. Then they assemble again in Paris in December next year to try once more to conclude a pact to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouses gases. But they are approaching it in a very different atmosphere from five years ago. Not that the scientific warnings are any the less severe — quite the reverse.