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For green finance enthusiasts, a new flavor of debt could emerge this year—nature bonds. Sales of green bonds—which typically raise money for clean energy projects—are expected to grow by a third this year to record levels, as governments and companies look to capitalize on booming demand at the same time as bolstering their image. Yet academics and activists say this alone isn’t enough to save the planet. They’re lobbying for securities that more explicitly protect the natural world—and are likely to get a hearing from policy makers when the UN meets in to discuss biodiversity and climate change.

Dom Rep to construct fence along Haiti border

President Luis Abinader wants to put an end to the serious problems of illegal immigration, drug trafficking and the movement of stolen vehicles in the next two years
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President Luis Abinader wants to put an end to the serious problems of illegal immigration, drug trafficking and the movement of stolen vehicles in the next two years

The Dominican Republic will begin constructing a fence along its 376-km border with Haiti later this year to curb unauthorized migration and illicit trade, President Luis Abinader said. Abinader wants to put an end to the serious problems of illegal immigration, drug trafficking and the movement of stolen vehicles in the next two years. Construction of the border fence, whose cost has not been disclosed, will begin in the second half of 2021. The barrier will include a double-fence in the "most conflictive" sections, along with motion sensors, facial recognition cameras and infrared systems, he added. According to government estimates, about 500,000 Haitian immigrants resided in the Dominican Republic as of 2018, along with tens of thousands of their children born in the Caribbean country. A large part of the Haitian community, which makes up about 5% of the total population, does not have residency permits.

VIP Vaccination scandal spooks Argentina

Since Argentina began vaccinating its people, only healthcare workers had received the jab until Wednesday
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Since Argentina began vaccinating its people, only healthcare workers had received the jab until Wednesday

Thousands of people demonstrated in cities across Argentina on Saturday to protest the "VIP vaccinations" scandal that forced the health minister to resign. Since Argentina began vaccinating its people, only healthcare workers had received the jab until Wednesday, when over-70s in Buenos Aires province were also invited to be immunized. On Monday, the government released a list of 70 people who received the vaccine outside of the official campaign, which included the 38-year-old economy minister and former president Eduardo Duhalde, his wife and their children. On the railings in front of the Casa Rosada, the seat of the government and the president's office, protesters hung mock black body bags with the names of pro-government leaders vaccinated. Protesters carrying signs reading "Give me my vaccine" and "Stop wasting our money" gathered outside the government headquarters in Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires.

The optimism about future finances

A survey shows 54% of Indian students would like their university course to incorporate more online learning
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A survey shows 54% of Indian students would like their university course to incorporate more online learning

As many as eight in 10 or 80% of Indian undergraduate students feel hopeful about their finances in the future, the second highest of 21 countries surveyed for a new "Global Student Survey" released on Friday, with only China and Kenya jointly ahead at 84%. The findings, published by Chegg.org – the non-profit arm of education technology company Chegg, also reveal that after the covid-19 pandemic, 54% of Indian students would like their university course to incorporate more online learning, the fourth highest of any other country surveyed – equal to Canada (54%) and behind Saudi Arabia (78%), China (77%) , South Korea and Australia (both 57%). The survey's worldwide results show that Indian students agree with their peers across all 21 countries when it comes to how higher education should embrace online learning.

A bill against corporal punishment

There is a patchwork of corporal punishment legislation in Pakistan’s different states, and the current bill applies to Islamabad only
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There is a patchwork of corporal punishment legislation in Pakistan’s different states, and the current bill applies to Islamabad only

Pakistan has passed a bill banning corporal punishment for children in a move described as “historic" by rights activists, reports the Guardian. It comes amid a number of high-profile cases of schoolchildren being badly beaten and even killed in schools, religious institutions and workplaces. Many incidents, including disturbing mobile phone footage widely posted on social media, prompted nationwide debate on a ban in a country where physical punishment is commonplace. The bill, passed by the National Assembly, includes penalties for beating children, and bans all types of corporal punishment at formal and informal workplaces and in various educational settings including religious, government and private institutions. There is a patchwork of corporal punishment legislation in Pakistan’s different states, and the current bill applies to Islamabad only, but it is thought the rest of the country will eventually follow suit.

Massive iceberg breaks off from Antarctica

There is currently no-one in the base, so there is no risk to human life
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There is currently no-one in the base, so there is no risk to human life

A big iceberg approaching the size of Greater London has broken away from the Antarctic, close to Britain's Halley research station, reports BBC. Surface instruments on the Brunt Ice Shelf confirmed the split early on Friday. There is currently no-one in the base, so there is no risk to human life. The British Antarctic Survey has been operating Halley in a reduced role since 2017 because of the imminent prospect of a calving. The berg has been measured to cover 1,270 sq km - nearly 490 square miles. Halley is positioned just over 20km from the line of rupture. BAS has an array of GPS devices on the Brunt. These relay information about ice movements back to the agency's HQ in Cambridge. Scientists will be inspecting satellite imagery as it becomes available. They will want to see that no unexpected instabilities emerge in the remaining ice shelf platform that holds Halley.

Curated by Sohini Sen. Have something to share with us? Write to us at feedback@livemint or tweet to @shohinisen

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