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Current International Update

International developments reported in the current issue of ELR's Weekly Update appear below. For previously reported international news, please use the filter function on the left. For older material reported between 2000 and 2010, visit the Weekly Update Archives.

Volume 48, Issue 2

BEIJING ISSUES FIRST MAJOR SMOG ALERT OF WINTER

Country: China

Beijing issued its first major smog alert of the winter, which triggers strict measures to reduce industrial output. The falling temperatures, and the increased demand they cause, triggered an orange alert, the second-highest on China’s four-level system. The Ministry of Environmental Protection warned in a statement that heavy air pollution would envelop Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei and the surrounding area from Friday until Jan. 17. A list of companies in the capital affected by the orange alert numbers more than 700 enterprises.

NEW LEMUR SPECIES DISCOVERED IN MADAGASCAR

Scientists have found a new species of dwarf lemur in southeastern Madagascar. The Grove's Dwarf lemur was discovered in two of Madagascar’s national parks, Ranomafana and Andringitra, two World Heritage sites. The new lemur is nocturnal and smaller than a squirrel. The fur on its back, limbs, and head are a reddish-brown in color, and there are brownish-black rings around its large eyes. An analysis of DNA samples taken from a number of animals was used to confirm that Grove’s Dwarf lemur is in fact a new, distinct species.

POLAND TO CONTINUE LOGGING IN BIALOWIEZA FOREST

Country: Poland

Poland's new Environmental Minister stated that the country will comply with an EU court order to stop cutting trees in Bialowieza forest except where public safety has to be ensured. Environmentalists see the public safety exemption as pretextual. The World Heritage site is one of Europe’s last primeval forests and home to its largest herd of European bison as well as unique birds and insects. In 2016, the former Minister approved a tripling of the quota of wood that can be harvested to stop a beetle outbreak.