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International Update Volume 49, Issue 25

HURRICANE DORIAN DEVASTATES BAHAMAS: DEATH TOLL REACHES 30

Thousands of people are missing after the onslaught of Hurricane Dorian, the worst hurricane to ever hit the Bahamas. The United Nations estimates 70,000 people are in immediate need of food, water, and shelter. On the evening of September 5, the death toll stood at 30, although officials expect the final toll to be much higher. International relief efforts by the U.N. World Food Programme, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Netherlands, and Jamaica are currently underway to provide relief supplies.

GERMANY IMPOSES BAN ON GLYPHOSATE WEED KILLER

Germany

Germany will phase out the use of the controversial weed killer glyphosate by the end of 2023 due to its negative impacts on insect pollinator populations. Biologists are concerned about plummeting populations of insects vital for ecosystem health and pollinating crops. Some experts suspect glyphosate may also cause cancer in humans. Bayer, the company that sells glyphosate, opposed the ban, stating that the weed killer can be used safely. Farm groups and the German Chemical Industry Association have also lobbied for the continued use of glyphosate.

NEW ZEALAND ANNOUNCES PLAN TO PROTECT WATERWAYS

New Zealand

On September 5, New Zealand announced plans to enforce greater protections on its waterways in response to pollution from farming and tourism. The new measures include restrictions on farming intensification, conversion of lands for dairy farming, and the use of synthetic nitrogen pesticides. A surge in tourism and the farming industry has taken a toll on New Zealand’s once pristine waters. Experts say New Zealand’s rivers and lakes are now some of the most polluted among OECD countries.