Twelve years after the inaugural Earth Hour observance in Australia, countries around the world continue joining the grassroots gesture against manmade CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions. This year in the Philippines, armed with lightsabers, fans of the movie Star Wars joined the world with a nod to a galaxy far, far away. Arash Arabasadi has more.
The spread of invasive water hyacinths in and around Cameroon's port city of Douala is causing problems for residents. The hyacinths' stubborn growth hampers shipping, reduces fish catches, blocks streams and invades houses. But local NGOs are working to clean them up and artists are finding new uses for the hyacinths. Moki Edwin Kindzeka narrates this report by Anne Mireille Nzouankeu from Cameroon's port city of Douala.
The environment in a neonatal intensive care unit can be overwhelming, as staff care for infants who are ill or were born premature. Many exhausted parents and loved ones can't be with their newborns around the clock, but at one Long Beach, Calif., hospital, trained volunteers are stepping in to help. Known as NICU cuddlers, they give infants the human touch that is so vital to every baby. For VOA, Angelina Bagdasaryan visited the hospital and has this story, narrated by Anna Rice.
Once stigmatized and banned across the United States, marijuana is now legalized in many parts of the country, primarily for medicinal use, but increasingly also for recreation. As cannabis becomes mainstream, Americans in their 70s and 80s who used to get high on marijuana in their youth, are now using cannabis-infused products to relieve old age aches and pains. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has this report.
So far this year, more than 300 people have had measles in 15 states in the U.S. Almost half have occurred in Rockland County just north of New York City. County officials are now banning anyone who is unvaccinated from frequenting public places. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.