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Swiss flushing away millions in gold and silver every year

ZURICH (Reuters) – While London’s sewers can get clogged with fatbergs made up of grease and diapers, it seems Switzerland’s waste system is flecked with silver and gold. Researchers last year detected 3 tonnes of silver and 43 kg of gold in effluent and sludge from waste water treatment plants – amounting to around 3 million Swiss francs ($3.1 million). But before people start hunting in their drains for jewelry, the government study said the tiny particles were likely to be mostly from the watchmaking, pharmaceuticals and chemical industries, whichRead More


Trump undermines U.S. birth control coverage requirement

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s administration on Friday undermined requirements under the Obamacare law that employers provide insurance to cover women’s birth control, keeping a campaign pledge that pleased his conservative Christian supporters. Administration officials said effective immediately two new federal rules will let any non-profit or for-profit entity make religious or moral objections to obtain an exemption from the law’s contraception mandate. The changes also let publicly traded companies obtain a religious exemption. It was not clear how many employers would actually drop birth control coverage onRead More


Golden getaway: cost, safety prompt more Chinese tourists to stay closer to home

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – As China’s army of tourists prepares for next week’s ‘Golden Week’ vacation, the hottest destinations aren’t Paris, New York or Tokyo. Instead, a cooling economy means holidaymakers are staying closer to home – on the beaches of Sanya or the peaks of far-western Yunnan. Chinese travelers – who spent $261 billion overseas last year – are increasingly opting for ‘staycations’, a boon for domestic tourism operators, but a challenge for retailers and hotel chains tapping into Chinese demand abroad. The country’s tourists made 2.54 billion trips inRead More


Man dies after rushing into Burning Man festival flames

A man rushed past layers of security officers into a massive fire at the Burning Man festival’s signature ceremony, suffering burns that left him dead just hours later. Authorities are investigating the death of Aaron Joel Mitchell, 41, who broke through a two-layer security perimeter during the Man Burn event in which a giant, wooden effigy is set ablaze. Nevada’s Pershing County Sheriff Jerry Allen estimated that there was a crowd of about 50,000 people who were present when the festival’s crew of firefighters pulled Mitchell out of the blaze.Read More


Why whales are coming back to New York City’s once-polluted waters ‘by the ton’

Growing up on his father’s boat off the Rockaways in Queens, New York, Tom Paladino was always on the lookout for whales. “My father started a fishing business in 1945 when he came back from the service, so I never really had a job. I was just on the boat my whole life,” Paladino said as he steered his own boat, the American Princess, back to shore. The giant animals rarely ventured into the city’s busy, dirty waterways, Paladino told ABC News, and “in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, weRead More


Whole Foods slashes prices on some produce; also selling Amazon’s Echo

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – On its first day as part of Amazon.com (AMZN.O), organic grocery chain Whole Foods Market Inc (WFM.O) slashed prices on popular items like avocados and apples on Monday by a third as it bid to shake off its “Whole Paycheck” reputation for high prices. In another sign of changes to come, a display offering Amazon’s Echo and smaller Echo Dot hands-free smart speakers for $99.99 and $44.99, respectively, was nestled amid the colorful produce at the Whole Foods in downtown Los Angeles. Those gadgets sell forRead More


Former workers at U.S.-owned miner Freeport Indonesia injured in clash with police – world news headlines from reuters

(Reuters) – Hundreds of workers laid off by Freeport Indonesia clashed with security forces, injuring three, near the company’s mines in the eastern province of Papua on Saturday, company and union officials said. The Indonesian unit of U.S. mining giant Freeport McMoran Inc. has been embroiled in a labor dispute since May, when around 5,000 workers went on strike to protest against mass layoffs. Freeport says the layoffs were triggered by unexpected revisions earlier this year in government rules on taxes and royalties. Police on Saturday fired warning shots inRead More