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Reduction of air pollutants in the UK, a progress

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Saturday, February 17th, 2018

UK environmentalists have welcomed the overall drop in pollutants from cars and lorries.

Total emissions from motor vehicles fell 12% from 2012 to 2016, according to the Office for National Statistics.

However, the UK remains in breach of European limits for nitrogen oxides in 16 cities.

Nonetheless, environmentalists have welcomed the overall drop in pollutants from cars and lorries.

The UK has been given a final warning from Brussels about its failure to bring down nitrogen oxide levels in cities to acceptable levels.

The government has registered significant progress though in reductions of another gas, the sulfur dioxide.

The report said sulfur dioxide emissions decreased by 29% from 2015 to 2016, dropping to a new low.

This is mainly thanks to the steady closure of coal-fired power stations in the country.  — Reuters

 

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Historic deal ends Macedonia name dispute

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, June 18th, 2018

River, bridge of Macedonia. Image grabbed from Reuters video

Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) sealed a historic agreement on Sunday, putting an end to years of disputes over the use of the name Macedonia.

According to the preliminary accord signed by the two countries’ foreign ministers, they agreed to rename the Balkan nation the Republic of North Macedonia, despite strong protests over the deal from both sides.

The signing ceremony took place at the Prespes lake region on the border at the presence of the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, European Commissioner for Enlargement Johannes Hahn and the representative of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo.

The move by the two neighboring states has paved the way for Skopje’s admission to the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Both countries have been working towards settling the decades-old dispute. The issue began in 1991 when FYROM declared independence from Yugoslavia, choosing the name Macedonia, which is also the name of a northern Greek province.

Greece is worried that the use of the same name by the neighboring state could lead to territorial claims.

Sunday’s ceremony was held under draconian security measures as hardliners in both countries object to the deal because they regard it as a national sellout.

The ratification of the agreement needs to go through a series of procedures, including getting approval from parliaments of both countries and a Macedonian referendum in which voters will have a say. — Reuters

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General Data Protection Regulation affects many industries in EU

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of laptop and mobile device users are seen next to a screen projection of Google logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvice/Illustration/File Photo

Many industries including the Internet, financial insurance and tourism services have been affected by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into effect across the European Union (EU) on Friday.

The new data protection rules, regarded as the world’s toughest on data privacy, are expected to revolutionize personal data protection for all of the EU’s citizens.

The GDPR has created a strict legal framework regarding data privacy and imposes fines of up to 20 million euros or four percent of the offending company’s worldwide annual revenue from the previous financial year. It also clearly stipulates data rights of individuals and the obligations of the data controllers and processors to protect these rights.

“Now the definition of personal data in the GDPR makes it very clear that even if those platforms don’t know what our name is, they probably hold enough data about us as if they are tracking our online browsing activities to amount to personal data. So that would be one example of the way in which the legislation is trying to have an effective purchase in the online environment by clarifying the concept of personal data on the circumstance in which it will apply,” said Anya Proops, a lawyer from 11KBW Legal Limited.

The rules require companies to collect information in a legal, equal and transparent way. In addition, they are supposed to explain to users the way they collect data and adopt reasonable measures to delete or correct false information.

“So it’s making data controllers more mindful of their responsibilities by making them aware that they really are going to face significant difficulties if they process data unlawfully and they are not transparent about it when they do that,” Anya added.

GDPR went into effect across the EU after four years of discussion and two years of an interim period. — Reuters

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UK’s Prince Harry and Meghan in first royal event after wedding

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

 

Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace, their first royal engagement as married couple, in London, May 22, 2018. Dominick Lipinski/Pool via Reuters

Britain’s Prince Harry and his new wife Meghan Markle – the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – appeared at their first official engagement since marrying last weekend when they attended an event in the gardens of Buckingham Palace on Tuesday (May 22).

The couple, whose wedding in Windsor on Saturday (May 19) was watched by millions of TV viewers worldwide, was at a party to celebrate Harry’s father Prince Charles’ charity patronages and military affiliations ahead of his 70th birthday this year.

Also, there were several emergency services personnel who were first responders after the Manchester suicide bombing exactly a year ago which killed 22 people, the Palace said.

Charles and his wife Camilla visited Manchester Arena last June to meet staff who were first on the scene immediately after the bombing.

Heir to the throne Charles, who will be 70 in November, played an impromptu role in Saturday’s royal wedding, accompanying Markle up the aisle in the absence of her own father who was unable to attend.

Harry and U.S. former actress Markle are expected to go on honeymoon later, though no details of when or where have been announced. — Reuters

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