Extraction of wood to be used as fuel has contributed to deforestation in the east African country, forcing the government to ban production of charcoal. But, this has left millions of people without an important source of energy.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited an evacuation centre in the city of Kurashiki in Okayama prefecture, where more than 40 of the 176 victims died.
Scientists in Australia have managed to wipe out more than 80 percent of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, known for carrying Zika virus, in a field experiment, by rendering the male mosquitoes impotent.
Maria was expected to make landfall late on Tuesday, hitting Taiwan's northern region the hardest.
Rescue workers continue door-to-door search for dozens of missing after the worst weather-related disaster in the country in over three decades.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says unprecedented rains and landslides cause tremendous damage even as 73,000 personnel are now involved in rescue and relief efforts across western Japan.
At least 49 people have died and at least 50 others are missing after torrential rain cause flooding in western and central Japan. Almost fifty thousand emergency rescuers have been responding to calls about landslides.
Six Vietnamese nationals were arrested for suspected poaching after being found with skins of the critically endangered Malayan tiger which is also the country's official animal.
Suspected poachers sneaked onto a South African game reserve to hunt rhinos, only to be mauled by lions. Police and an anti-poaching squad later found an axe and three pairs of shoes and gloves.
Experts say sanctions and a dismal economy have resulted in lack of development in the pariah country which in turn may have unintentionally helped with habitat conservation.
Supermarket workers bear the brunt of an angry consumer backlash over moves to ban single-use plastic bags in Australia. More than eight million tonnes of plastic ends up in the world's oceans each year.
Opening up parts of the Virunga and Salonga National Parks to drilling would place wildlife - especially endangered species- at risk and release huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, causing global warming.
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