Algeria stages presidential vote amid fierce protests

Low turnout expected amid widespread disaffection after months of political crisis

Algeria on Thursday held a presidential vote bitterly opposed by a protest movement that sees it as a regime ploy to cling on to power.

After almost 10 months of political turmoil, all 61,000 polling stations around the country opened as planned at 8am (7am GMT), the official APS news agency reported.

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Thursday, December 12, 2019 - 3:26am

Residents vote against nuclear waste dump near Hawker in South Australia

Green groups say 52% vote against federal government facility should rule out region as potential site

Residents in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges have voted narrowly against having a nuclear waste dump in their region.

About 52% of the people who took part in the ballot voted against the federal government’s facility being established on land near Hawker.

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Thursday, December 12, 2019 - 2:47am

Microfinance lenders in Sierra Leone accused of 'payday loan' interest rates

Borrowers have accused NGOs of charging unfairly high interest, demanding rapid payback, and reporting debts to the police

The world’s largest NGO has been forced to conduct an internal review of a money-lending scheme it runs for the poor in Sierra Leone after some borrowers amassed significant debts and were reported to police when they couldn’t repay loans.

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Thursday, December 12, 2019 - 2:00am

Why are there so few prisoners in the Netherlands?

The Dutch justice system is cutting jail populations by offering specialist rehabilitation to people with mental illnesses

When Stefan Koning, who has a history of psychosis, was found guilty of threatening a stranger with a knife, a long custodial sentence might have felt like the only answer.

In fact, after a short spell in jail, he is back at his home in Amsterdam.

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Thursday, December 12, 2019 - 2:00am

Reach ‘peak meat’ by 2030 to tackle climate crisis, say scientists

Reducing meat and dairy consumption will cut methane and allow forests to thrive

Livestock production needs to reach its peak within the next decade in order to tackle the climate emergency, scientists have warned.

They are calling for governments in all but the poorest countries to set a date for “peak meat” because animal agriculture is a significant and fast-growing source of global greenhouse gas emissions.

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Thursday, December 12, 2019 - 1:21am

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