Top Stories

June 06, 2022


Ryanair forces South Africans to do Afrikaans test to board flights

Airline Ryanair is facing accusations of racial discrimination after forcing South Africans to take a test in Afrikaans before boarding flights home from the UK and Europe. The company, which claimed that the “simple questionnaire” was part of efforts to tackle fraudulent South African passport holders, is facing criticism for conducting the general knowledge test in a language that is the third-most used in the country with a controversial role in the oppression of Black citizens during apartheid. Ryanair’s spokesperson said, “due to the high prevalence of fraudulent South African passports, we require passengers traveling to the UK to fill out a simple questionnaire.” However, it is unclear why the test has been conducted in Afrikaans, rather than Zulu and Xhosa, which are the first and second most used across South African households. (The Guardian) 


New global fund invests in nature to shore up climate change fight

A new international fund backed by wealthy nations aims to invest at least $500 million in protecting nature in developing countries and giving Indigenous people a bigger role in conserving their environment. The Climate Investment Funds one of the world’s largest multilateral climate financing instruments, launched its ‘Nature, People and Climate’ (NPC) programme. Backed so far by Italy and Sweden, with a target of raising $500 million by November 2022, the NPC will provide finance and expertise to initiatives that conserve wildlife, plants and forests, promote sustainable agriculture and food supplies, and enable people to cope with rising sea levels and extreme weather. The NPC expects to invest in efforts to expand carbon storage, mangrove restoration and climate resilience in small island developing states, sub-Saharan Africa and forested countries globally. (Eco-Business)


Macron & Bloomberg announce plans to standardise net-zero data

French President Emmanuel Macron and UN Special Climate Envoy Michael Bloomberg have announced the creation of a new committee as part of efforts to enhance transparency to monitor business climate actions. The proposed committee – called the Climate Data Steering Committee – will bring together international organisations, regulators, policy makers and data service providers charged with designing an open-data public platform that will collect and standardise net-zero transition data in the private sector. The Committee will present findings and share a roadmap for a global open-data platform by September 2022. International leaders and investors have long argued for the need to improve transparency about climate action, with activists accusing companies of “greenwashing” with bold announcements of programmes that do little to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions. (Reuters)


Waitrose scraps coloured milk caps in effort to streamline waste

British supermarket Waitrose has announced it will replace the coloured plastic caps on its milk bottles with clear alternatives in a move that should increase the availability of recycled plastic. The change will make recycling the plastic much easier, potentially resulting in lower costs and higher recycling rates, increasing available recycled plastic by an estimated 1,560 tonnes in the market. The move follows a successful trial with the company replacing familiar blue, green and red milk bottle caps with clear alternatives. The change will now be made permanent across all its 331 shops with immediate effect. The change means the bottle and cap can now be recycled together in a 'closed loop' system allowing the caps to be recycled and reused as food grade material – a streamlined process not possible with coloured caps. (Business Green)*


Ofcom: technology firms must do more to protect women online

The UK’s media regulator Ofcom has said that tech firms must do more to protect women online, after its research into UK media habits found women are more likely than men to face online abuse or see harmful content. Only 42% of women in Ofcom’s survey of 6,600 UK adults said they felt comfortable about speaking freely online. Furthermore, just 21% of people said content they had reported had been removed. In response, Ofcom’s chief executive said firms should prioritise user safety over revenue, arguing it would be much harder to “retro-fit” safety measures. Ofcom is set to become the regulator of social media platforms as part of the UK government’s Online Harms Bill, which puts the onus on tech companies to act swiftly to protect users and remove hateful content. (BBC News)

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