19 Aug

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective


All countries and global regions



Ferguson, Missouri: police display confiscated weapons after another night of unrest

Ferguson: 31 arrested as huge show of force fails to quell unrest

Another night of chaos 10 days after shooting of Michael Brown by police in Missouri dashes hopes of easing crisis

By , and in Ferguson and in Washington

Palestinian boys play Gaza City 18 August 2014

Palestinian boys play near an old tree east of Gaza City on 18 August 2014, shortly before the ceasefire was due to expire. Photograph: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto/Corbis

Hama and Israel prolong ceasefire

Ceasefire extension made in the hope that a lasting deal will be negotiated on Tuesday

Pope Francis on plane

Pope Francis talks to journalists on his flight back to Rome from South Korea. Photograph: Grzegorz Galazka/Sipa/Rex

Pope Francis says he expects to live two or three more years, and may retire

77-year-old says he may ‘soon be off to the Father’s house’ and would retire if he could no longer perform his duties

Pope Francis has publicly broached the prospect of his own death for the first time, light-heartedly giving himself “two or three years” but not ruling out retirement before then.

Talking to reporters on a flight back to the Vatican from South Korea, the 77-year-old pontiff, who seemed in good spirits, was asked about his global popularity, which was evident again during his five-day visit.

“I see it as the generosity of the people of God. I try to think of my sins, my mistakes, not to become proud. Because I know it will last only a short time. Two or three years and then I’ll be off to the Father’s house,” he replied.

Coley fish swim underwater.The world has now reached the point in the year when humans have exhausted supplies such as land, trees and fish. Photograph: Rick Price/CORBIS

Earth sliding into ecological debt ‘earlier and earlier’

World has already exhausted a year’s supply of natural resources in less than eight months, campaigners say

Humans have used up the natural resources the world can supply in a year in less than eight months, campaigners have warned.

The world has now reached “Earth overshoot day”, the point in the year when humans have exhausted supplies such as land, trees and fish and outstripped the planet’s annual capacity to absorb waste products including carbon dioxide.

The problem is worsening, with the planet sliding into “ecological debt” earlier and earlier, so that the day on which the world has used up all the natural resources available for the year has shifted from early October in 2000 to August 19 in 2014.

In 1961, humans used only around three-quarters of the capacity Earth has for generating food, timber, fish and absorbing greenhouse gases, with most countries having more resources than they consumed.

But now 86% of the world’s population lives in countries where the demands made on nature – the nation’s “ecological footprint” – outstrip what that country’s resources can cope with.




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