Trees that grow six times faster: Scottish indoor farm helps climate

Tree seedlings planted at an indoor vertical farm have grown six times faster than they would if they had been planted outside. These astonishing results follow a trial at a crop research center near the city of Dundee in Scotland and could be a great weapon in fighting climate change. Each tree species, which includes Scots pine, oak, alder, hazel and birch, was grown under its own "recipe" of temperature, light, soil and water. What is the European Political Community? The seedlings grown at t

UK householders face squeeze as budget looms

Blackpool, famous for its annual Illuminations light show, is the most deprived local authority area in England

Blackpool (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Thursday's government budget is unlikely to be uppermost in the minds of people enjoying the annual light show on the seafront promenade of Blackpool.

But for residents and businesses of the town, which is ranked as England's most deprived, the expected spending cuts and tax increases could have wide-ranging consequences.

"My basic supply of eggs,

Despite crisis, UK's Blackpool keeps the lights on

AT this time of year, the British coastal resort of Blackpool shows its best face by night, when one million LED lamps light up the seafront for more than six miles (10 kilometres).

After the Covid pandemic, the tourism-reliant town in northwest England was aiming for brighter times. Then the war in Ukraine and an energy-fuelled inflation crisis hit.

Even though organisations across Britain face soaring electricity bills, the Blackpool Illuminations will stay on this autumn, from early Septemb

Scottish farmer says competition from SA makes harvest 'unviable', donates entire blueberry crop

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A Scottish farmer is giving away his entire crop of blueberries, worth £2 million (R42 million), to charity, saying cheap imports and high labour costs have made harvesting the fruit economically unviable.

Peter Thomson has been growing blueberries at his farm in Blairgowrie, northeast Scotland, for more than four decades, producing 300 tonnes of fruit per year.

But now, he said, growers in Peru and South Africa can sell their berries

'My boy is gone. He is dead': Riots and fears of race war as South African farmers bailed over black teen's death

"They are throwing rocks at the house and are coming through the walls - please hurry," the panicked voice of a woman, speaking Afrikaans, shouts into a two way radio. Minutes later her home was in flames after being hit by petrol bombs. The attack on the Rietvlei maize farm, on the outskirts of the remote South African town of Coligny, came just half an hour after two white farmers were granted bail for the alleged murder of a 16-year-old black teenager. Pieter Doorewaard, 26 and Phillip Schutt

Oscar Pistorius's cell 'raided by prison guards' over links to crime boss

Prison officials in Pretoria confiscated a computer hard drive from paralympian sprinter Oscar Pistorius during a raid on his prison cell earlier this year, as part of an investigation into a Czech mob boss, according to reports.

The Johannesburg based Sunday Times newspaper said the raid on Pistorius’ cell in the hospital wing of Kgosi Mampuru II prison in Pretoria happened before dawn on May 15.

“We know Oscar and Krejcir were spending a lot of time together in prison, so we wanted to get to
Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels

Indonesian fishermen stranded in S.Africa after horror voyage

Dozens of Indonesian fishermen who spent months stranded in Cape Town's harbour, sleeping in cramped and suffocating quarters, have been taken ashore to a repatriation centre after being stuck at sea for years without pay.

The group of 75 fishermen tell of slavery-like working conditions aboard seven Taiwanese-owned vessels -- an ordeal that only grew worse when South African authorities impounded their trawlers for illegal fishing.

The crew spent three months stranded in Cape Town's Table Bay
Photo by jimmy fransiscus on Pexels

Magical Mozambique

'What do you mean you've done away with first class?" I asked the ticket vendor at Joburg's Park Station. "Third class only to Komatipoort," the man said impatiently. "We did away with first class last month."

I looked at my travel partner. She shrugged. "Two, please." The tickets to Komatipoort cost R70. Our plan was to go from there to Maputo and up the Mozambican coast by whatever means possible. We made our way onto the train and luckily found ourselves a double seat. Soon the train was pac