-In July this year(2011), the Indian government introduced a nationwide carbon tax of 50 rupees per metric tonne of coal both produced and imported into India. Officials expect to raise 25 billion rupees for the financial year 2010-2011 from the tax which they are hoping to use for a clean energy fund.

-Bukit Timah Nature Reserve has become an ASEAN Heritage Park on 2011.

-The Singapore Environment Council has implemented the Green Labelling Scheme to enable consumers to make more eco-friendly choices.

-China and Singapore have worked together to build a Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city, which will be fully developed in the early-to-mid 2020s and home to about 350000 residents

-CapitaLand has built Singapore’s first eco-mall, City Square Mall, in Singapore, while another one will be ready in 2012, the JCube mall.

-Since August 2009, Styrofoam takeaway food boxes in NUS canteens have been replaced with the more eco-friendly Microwave Packaging food boxes which are certified with Green Label Singapore

-Since 2006, all households in Taiwan have been required to separate recyclables from kitchen waste and general trash.

-In 2006 in Taiwan, a complete ban on disposable tableware and paper cups was imposed on all government agencies, a ban that was extended to schools in 2007. These measures are estimated to prevent 2,600 tons of disposable tableware and 276 tons of paper cups from entering the waste stream each year.

-It takes between 7 and 11kg of animal feed (mainly corn and soy beans) to produce just 1kg of meat. Added up, the amount of calories required to sustain the global meat industry is more than enough to feed the earth’s entire population (6.2 billion and growing). And yet, there are over one billion malnourished people around the globe.

-The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) labels seafood that are certified to be from sustainable fishing. However, only 8% of Japanese consumers recognise the MSC logo, and although Japan has just 2% of the world’s population, it eats 10% of its fish.

-Three Japanese artistes have set up a non-profit bank called Artists’ Power Bank, or AP Bank in short. It invests in and lends money to environmentally friendly projects.

-Japanese company Genepax recently invented an eco-friendly car that runs on nothing but water.

-Japanese electronics firm Panasonic announced yesterday it will build and test an integrated energy system in Singapore’s Punggol Eco-Town which could increase energy efficiency across public housing towns and advance the city-state’s smart grid pilot study.






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-According to a report in 2010 by the Kaiser Family foundation, US children aged 8 to 18 are now spending more than 53 hours a week using entertainment media. Ten years ago, that figure was 43 hours/week. Children spend an average of 38 minutes a day reading a print publication, compared to 43 minutes a day 10 years ago. The only media they are not soaking up are newspapers, magazines and other print publications.

– A survey found that nearly 14 percent of teens in China are vulnerable to becoming addicted to the Internet

-Between 10 to 13% of Chinese university students are trapped in various states of Internet addiction, and the worry now is that these students would stay addicted into their marriages, bringing the problems with them.

-The Chinese government passed regulations banning youths from Internet cafes and has implemented control programs that kick teens off networked games after five hours.

-The Chinese government is helping to fund eight in-patient rehabilitation clinics across the country. Most children in a clinic in Beijing have been forced to come by their parents, who are paying upward of $1,300 a month — about 10 times the average salary in China — for the treatment.




-The “One Laptop Per Child” project aims to sell cheap, durable laptops to children of developing countries so that they have access to educational materials and to the Internet, connecting them with the world.

-The “Light Up The World” organisation intends to bring affordable, healthy, efficient, and environmentally responsible lighting and energy to developing countries.

-Recently, there have been rapid improvements in prosthetic technology, allowing people to move around almost like a normal person, making use of various technologies such as Bluetooth technology to motors. A technology used to fit a prosthetic tail on a dolphin has recently been discovered to be successful in producing prosthetic legs, helping war veterans normalise their lives.



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The Disabled

-Centres of Training and Integration (CTI) set up by private companies help to train and find employment for the disabled. This is supported by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS).

-A child who is unable to attend any national primary school due to any physical or intellectual disability is exempt from compulsory schooling. The exemption is a double-edged sword. It accommodates the special-needs child by relieving parents from the statutory duty to school their children, but at the same time, provides an excuse for children with physical disabilities not to be schooled.

-A recent recruitment effort targeted at people with disabilities in Singapore showed that there were jobs available but these could not be matched to disabled people.

– Inaccessible public transport makes working uneconomical for people with disabilities (let alone for other social activities). Transport fares by taxi can wipe out more than 70 per cent of one’s income: There is little incentive to work.

-Singapore’s IT master plan does not document any specific strategy towards web accessibility.

-There is the Enabling Masterplan 2012-2016 for those with disabilities. An earlier plan has engaged more than 150 companies to provide work opportunities for 480 people with disabilities.

-The MCYS build 14 new Seniors Activity Centres within the next three years to build strong social relationships.




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-Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an international mutual aid movement declaring its “primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety.”

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Eating Disorders

– 8 million Americans have an eating disorder, but only 1 in 10 people with eating disorders receive treatment.

-An estimated 10 – 15% of people with anorexia or bulimia are males

-Anorexia is the 3rd most common chronic illness among adolescents in the US

-95% of those who have eating disorders in the US are between the ages of 12 and 25

-50% of girls between the ages of 11 and 13 in the US see themselves as overweight

-Eating disorders are one of the most common psychological problems facing young women in Japan.


-In developed societies, anorexia nervosa is the third most common chronic illness for young females. (obesity & asthma are 1 & 2) It is ten times more common than insulin dependent diabetes.

-Dieting is a $33 billion industry in the US, and 100 million-dollar industry in New Zealand.

-The failure rate for diets is 95-98%, with up to 90% of dieters gaining weight.

-Eating disorders are now estimated to afflict one in 100 young Japanese women, almost the same incidence as in the United States


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-It is estimated that between 15 and 25 children commit suicide every year in the UK alone, because they are being bullied.

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-Like other poor African countries the Central African Republic is actually self-sufficient in food but still a lot of people suffer from malnutrition and famine. This is because farm owners rather sell their crops to foreign countries with money than to give it all away cheaply to the fellow countrymen. In 2006 rebel forces not satisfied with the way things were going attacked government forces, leaving another 50 000 people to die of starvation.

-In recent years the poor people of Somalia have found a new way to make money – hijacking international boats and taking the crew and the cargo as hostage. Piracy in Somalia has become so common that when young boys grow up they wish to become pirates because that’s where the money is. International companies are known to pay pirates from 1 to 20 million dollars just to get the ships back. An oil tanker filled with oil can be worth a few hundred million dollars.


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