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Consumption of shark fin soup in China has fallen by about 80 percent since 2011, government figures and private surveys show, after a celebrity driven public awareness campaign and a government crackdown on extravagant banquets.But the news is offset by a rise in the consumption of this dish in places such as Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Macau, according to a new report by WildAid, a San Francisco based group that campaigns to curb demand for wildlife products.”While consumers in mainland China have changed their behavior in response to awareness campaigns and a government banquet ban, shark fin soup remains on the menu in Hong Kong and Taiwan, and consumption is growing in places like Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Macau,” said WildAidchief executive Peter Knights.Not only does shark fin have no nutritional benefit it is often tasteless strands of cartilage in a chicken broth but it also can be harmful. The shark’s position at the top of the food chain means it can contain dangerous amounts of mercury, cadmium, arsenic and other poisonous metals, the report said.The dish from ancient imperial China was popularized after the country’s economy took off and a wealthy class emerged with a penchant for ostentatious displays of social status. Costly shark fin soup became a popular dish at weddings and banquets, and the oceans were exploitedfor this new fad.Today, about 100 million sharks are killed every year, with parts of 73 million ending up in soup, WildAid estimates.

The town square near the courthouse features an enormous bronze statue of the Man of Steel. A smaller wood cutout nearby allows a visitor to pose as Superman for a photo. Then there’s the phone booth. My brother stood up in the centre of the room and said, wedding has been called off because you have AIDS. Smiles again, and pauses for me to laugh out loud, should I feel like it. The drama of the scene is both chilling and faintly absurd.’That is how I found out.’Six months prior to this, Toku had travelled with his brother in law, the minister, to Chennai to help him organize an operation.

A new poll asked 415 world travelers about the risks they see. Companies in the fields of health care, oil and gas, mining, nonprofit work, aviation and for government agencies as well. (The survey was conducted by International SOS, which provides emergency medical assistance to companies whose employees work and travel abroad, including media organizations like NPR.).

The survey data seemed to suggest that drivers who use text messaging or cellphones while driving believe that other users pose a bigger danger than they do. Eighty seven percent supported laws against sending or receiving text messages while driving. Seventy percent wanted laws against the use of hand held cellphones, and half of those surveyed said all cellphone use should be outlawed while driving..

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