Top Stories

April 12, 2022


YouTube blocks Russian parliament channel, drawing ire from officials

Video sharing platform YouTube has blocked Duma TV which broadcasts from Russia’s lower house of parliament, drawing criticism from Russian officials. YouTube, owned by technology giant Google has faced pressure from Russian communications regulator Roskomnadzor to restore access to the Duma channel immediately. Google said it was committed to compliance with all applicable sanctions and trade compliance laws and found that the Duma account violated its Terms of Service. Russian authorities accused the US authorities and US companies of attempting to “obtain a monopoly on promoting information”. Using the country’s Telegram messaging service, a spokesperson for Russia’s foreign ministry urged users to hurry to “transfer [YouTube content] to Russian platforms”. Russia has already restricted access to social media platforms Twitter, Facebook and Instagram since invading Ukraine. (Reuters)


KFC faces backlash over ‘misleading’ portrayal of chicken welfare in its farms

Fast food chain KFC has been accused of a “misleading” portrayal of chicken farming after activists revisited a farm recently highlighted in a film commissioned by the company. Titled ‘Behind the Bucket’, the KFC-sponsored film portrays birds in a shed enjoying fresh straw and perches providing enrichment. However, undercover investigators working on behalf of vegan food brand VFC described finding severe overcrowding, little fresh straw and sick, lame and dead birds when revisiting the same farm. Footage reveals a floor sodden with animal faeces and bins containing chicken carcasses. Experts say the footage shows that the birds exhibited “behavioural signs of stress such as feather pecking and topical skin infection”. KFC responded to say, “We take the welfare of the chickens in our supply chain extremely seriously”. (The Guardian)


Food banks ‘deeply concerned’ about suffering amid increase in demand

Food banks have warned they are “deeply concerned about the scale of suffering” across the UK as they struggle to keep up with demand. In a letter, over 550 independent food banks have called on the prime minister and chancellor to act urgently to combat “rapidly rising levels of poverty, destitution and hunger”. The letter adds that emergency food supplies only act as a temporary plaster as food banks “could well be unable to continue to pick up the pieces.” Grassroots charity the Independent Food Aid Network says many are struggling through the cost-of-living crisis. Foodbank NGO The Trussell Trust added that it is concerned about the rising number of people struggling to meet rising costs of food and energy with inflation leading to a cut in real-terms benefits as prices outpace payments. (Sky News)


UK must ban plastic waste exports to poor countries, says Environment Agency

The UK Environment Agency has argued that the UK must ban all exports of litter “as soon as possible” to stop plastic food wrappers and digital waste polluting the shores of poorer countries. The intervention is the first time the Environment Agency has called for a complete ban on all waste exports. The UK is one of the biggest exporters of plastic waste globally, with around two-thirds of waste collected sent abroad. Often the waste ends up in poorer countries that lack the facilities to process it. Waste from packets of ham to newspapers, milk bottles and dog food trays have been found in illegal dumps in Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia and other developing countries. In 2021, the Environment Act banned export of waste to non-OECD countries unless provided explicit permission. (iNews)


Study: renewables & energy efficiency create more jobs than fossil fuels

A study has found that for every £1 million invested, renewables creates three times more jobs than fossil fuels, and energy efficiency delivers five times more jobs. The study, conducted by the UK Energy Research Centre, found that “policy support for, and investment in, low carbon energy and energy efficiency can deliver more jobs than gas or coal power generation.” The report brings together studies from a range of international sources to assess the number of jobs which can be created by policy support for investment in low carbon energy and energy efficiency compared to supporting fossil fuel incumbents. It concludes that the net employment impacts of renewable energy investment account both for jobs that are created and ones that are displaced. (Business Green)*

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