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The past seven years have been the hottest on record says satellite data

 - Science - Jan 11 SHARE ON:
The past seven years have been the hottest on record says satellite data

According to new data from the EU’s satellite system, the past seven years have been the hottest ever on record. 

The Copernicus Climate Change Service said 2021 was the fifth-warmest year, with some regions registering record-breaking heat. The amount of warming gases in our atmosphere continued to increase as well to alarming numbers. 

Scientists have been warning that time is fast running out, with governments now committed to limiting global temperature rise to 1.5C to curb climate change. 

Europe just lived through its warmest summer, with temperature records in western US and Canada broken by several degrees. Raging wildfires in July and August burnt down almost entire towns and forests, killing hundreds. 

Copernicus Climate Change Service director Carlo Buontempo said that these events are a stark reminder of the need to change our ways, take decisive and effective steps towards a sustainable society and work towards reducing net carbon emissions. 

The data comes from a constellation of Sentinel satellites that monitor the Earth from orbit as well as measurements taken at ground level. 2021 was deemed the fifth-hottest on record, just marginally warmer than 2015 and 2018. 

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Free lawyer assistance for persons with less than €13,000 income

 - Local - Jan 11 SHARE ON:
Free lawyer assistance for persons with less than €13,000 income

The amount of money bank accounts and the last year income of persons who qualify for legal assistance in Court cases increased from €7,000 to €13,000. 

Director of the Agency for Legal Assistance Bruno Zahra said that the increase has been adjusted with the inflation rate and in the same level of the minimum income for social assistance. 

Zahra stated that applications for legal assistance will be available online through the e-id, to register their request for legal and specify the case. He used the example of housewives who had bank savings but were unemployed and maybe exceeded more who were not able to continue with their case in Court. 

Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis state that consideration will be also made to an individuals’ expenses so that more people can access the service when needed. 

‘An individual with a net income, not mentioning maintenance payment and rent payment, the person will benefit form legal aid in the civil camp. It is good to emphasise that this includes the care and custody, access to minors and family law issues.’ 

Legal assistance services will thus be applicable from home through this system. The Minister added that this service is being strengthened with the increase in legal assistance lawyers as well as with continuous contact with lawyers on cases they are assisting. 

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20 weeks of parental leave for each parent proposed by Volt

 - Local - Jan 11 SHARE ON:
20 weeks of parental leave for each parent proposed by Volt

Political party Volt has just issued its proposal for parental leave to be paid and equal for all parents regardless of their sex, gender and orientation, and also whether they choose adoption or surrogacy. Defining parental leave in two different categories – individual and shared – Volt believes that this is essential to further gender equality, combat employer discrimination and also improve the child’s personal well-being. 

Kassandra Mallia, Volt Candidate and VP, said that parenthood has always been one of the most vital roles humans must undergo. ‘In today’s socioeconomic climate, the struggle of parenthood has been exacerbated. We aim to mitigate these struggles by making an equal and supportive policy of Parenthood, one that does not place the responsibility of parenthood on the pregnant individual alone.’ 

For Individual Parent Leave, each parent would receive 20 weeks of fully paid parental leave. This will be paid by both employer and the State, at a rate of 100% of their respective income. They may also opt for 25 weeks at 80% of their income, with self-employed individuals completely paid by state. As for shared parental leave, a couple would receive 20 weeks of additional paid leave paid at 70% of the couple’s average income. This would be accessible to foster parents as well. 

‘The party aims to also ensure that unemployed individuals would also benefit from both types of parental leave and receive money from a Parental Leave Fund (equivalent rate to today’s Maternity Leave Benefit) for their share.’ Single parents would also be eligible for Individual parental Leave equivalent to two parents and the ordinary amount of Shared Parental Leave. An option would also be introduced for parents to transfer part of their parental leave to their partner, family member or guardian. 

Volt Co-President Arnas Lasys said that ‘we need to normalise that any individual regardless of their sex or gender can be an active participant in the upbringing of their children, and move away from expecting mothers to be the primary parent who stays at home with the kids. It’s about time our laws reflect that.’

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Photo Source: Volt Communications

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Massive ‘Sea Dragon’ dinosaur dolphin discovered in UK

 - Science - Jan 11 SHARE ON:
Massive ‘Sea Dragon’ dinosaur dolphin discovered in UK

The largest-ever sea dragon dinosaur fossil has just been discovered in the UK, with it’s fossilised remains first discovered at Rutland Water Nature Reserve in February 2021. 

The remains were found by Joe Davis, the conservation team leader at Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust. The so-called sea dragons, which resemble dolphins in terms of shape, have been known to vary in size from 3ft to 82ft (1m to 25m).This particular ichthyosaur skeleton was revealed as being 33ft (10m) in length. It is not only the biggest of its kind that has been found in the UK to date, but it is also the most complete. 

It is also anticipated as being the country’s first Temnodontosaurus trigonodon, which is a very specific species of ichthyosaur. Davis discovered it when the lagoon’s island was drained in the area’s re-landscaping.Upon removing the skull and its clay encasing to conserve and study the fossil, it was discovered that the 2m skull weighed a tonne on its own. Dr Dean Lomax, a palaeontologist who has studied thousands of these dinosaurs said that; 

‘Their fossils have been unearthed here for over 200 years. Despite the many ichthyosaur fossils found in Britain, it is remarkable to think the Rutland ichthyosaur is the largest skeleton ever found in the UK.’ It is being hoped that the bones will be able to be displayed and protected near to where they were located, with funding being sought by the owners of the area. 

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