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AFRICA NEWS

Lesotho Coup: Exiled Prime Minister vows to return home after fleeing

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DEBATE

Child Migrants In America: What to do about the wave of unaccompanied minors? (Part Two)

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DEBATE

Child Migrants In America: What to do about the wave of unaccompanied minors?

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THE INTERVIEW

Abbas Araghchi, Iranian deputy foreign minister

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THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

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FOCUS

When water becomes a weapon of war

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ENCORE!

Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

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THE INTERVIEW

Ed Husain, Author of 'The Islamist'

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DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put to the test

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  • IS video purports to show beheading of second US journalist

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  • Could France sell the Mona Lisa to pay off its debts?

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  • Video: Bodies ‘left behind’ as Ukraine forces flee rebel assault

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  • Trust and 'bio-disaster units' needed to fight Ebola

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  • France vows crackdown on unemployment benefit ‘abusers’

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  • Julie Gayet wins privacy case against French glossy Closer

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  • Germany blocks popular car pick-up service Uber

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  • Several UN peacekeepers killed in Mali explosion

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  • NATO plans new 'spearhead' force to counter Russia

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  • French clubs left behind as others spend big

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  • Britain drops arrest warrant for ill boy’s parents

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  • When water becomes a weapon of war

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  • Arab media strike back at IS Islamists – with cartoons

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  • US military targets Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group

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  • Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

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  • Boko Haram Islamists seize northeast Nigerian town

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  • Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

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  • Monaco’s Falcao leaves Ligue 1 for Man Utd

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SCIENCE

This week: clouds are accumulating over the sun's energy

Text by Eve IRVINE

Latest update : 2009-06-22

Every 40 minutes enough sunlight falls on earth to potentially provide humanity with a years worth of energy. In this show we'll be looking at the value of the sun.

The sun is a great natural resource and it could provide electricity to the entire planet but for that to happen, more technical advances will have to be made.

 

Scientists are working on new solar panels, that will be more powerful, easier to use, and cheaper than what is currently available. For the moment, silicon chips are the basis of most solar panels. They are effective but pricey

 

As the economic crisis hits hard businesses are investing less in renewable energy. Indeed, the International Energy Agency estimates that we'll see a 38 percent drop this year.

 

Solar subsidies are also falling across Europe as governments tighten their belts. The cloud hangs heaviest in Spain. The photovoltaic sector which was booming, has hit hard times. Organisations such as Greenpeace are upset with what they see as mismanagement of the energy market.

 

Finally, fame often comes with a price: Egypt's white desert is becoming more and more popular with tourists, but the attention is taking some of the shine off the impressive sloping sands there, and now some holidaymakers find themselves getting out their rubber gloves and cleaning up.

 

Date created : 2009-05-30

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