By Alisa Tang BANGKOK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The world's vegetation has expanded, adding nearly 4 billion tonnes of carbon to plants above ground in the decade since 2003, thanks to tree-planting in China, forest regrowth in former Soviet states and more lush savannas due to higher rainfall. It is present in the atmosphere primarily as carbon dioxide (CO2) - the main climate-changing gas - and stored as carbon in trees. Through photosynthesis, trees convert carbon dioxide into the food they need to grow, locking the carbon in their wood. The 4-billion-tonne increase is minuscule compared to the 60 billion tonnes of carbon released into the atmosphere by fossil fuel burning and cement production over the same period, said Yi Liu, the study's lead author and a scientist at the University of New South Wales.
SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil says it has accepted China's invitation to join a Beijing-backed international infrastructure bank.
Apple stores in North America and parts of Europe are to accept Android, Blackberry and Windows phones from March 30 as trade-ins towards new handsets. The move is made possible due to an existing agreement with platform-agnostic distributor Brightstar, which as part of its remit, specializes in retail trade-ins. As 9to5mac notes, store credit can then be applied to purchases of the iPhone 5c, 6 and 6 Plus, to the exclusion of the Apple Watch. Last week, Apple had announced a buyback program for China, with manufacturer Foxconn to oversee the resale of used handsets, initially through a selection of e-commerce websites and then other physical stores.
Foreign ministers from major powers pressed their Iranian counterpart on Monday as they sought to slot into place the final but also the trickiest pieces of a deal curtailing Tehran's nuclear programme as Tuesday's deadline loomed. Britain's Philip Hammond said as he became the last of the foreign ministers to arrive in a rainy Switzerland that they "believe a deal can be done". "But it has to be a deal which puts the bomb beyond Iran's reach," he said. With time of the essence, US Secretary of State John Kerry, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Hammond and the top diplomats of Russia, China, France and Germany are meeting for the first time since November.
Global powers were Sunday narrowing in on a deal to stop any Iranian bid to develop nuclear weapons, with diplomats saying some key parts of an outline had been tentatively agreed. The "framework" accord -- no one knows how detailed it will be -- is meant to be fleshed out into a comprehensive agreement by June 30 to end over a decade of tensions with the Islamic republic. Here are the possible contours of such an agreement, which Iran and the so-called P5+1 -- Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States -- have been negotiating since late 2013. To reach a verifiable comprehensive agreement that limits Iran's ability to harness enough fissile material to build a nuclear bomb.