Pope urges better preservation of water resources

Pope Francis appealed for better preservation of water at his weekly audience at the Vatican on Wednesday, as a major conference on the issue got underway in New York.

“I pray for a good result” from the UN meeting “and hope this important event will accelerate initiatives to help those who suffer from the shortage of water, this basic resource”, the 86-year-old pontiff said.

“Water cannot be the object of waste or abuse, or a reason for wars, but must be preserved for the benefit of us and for future generations.”

Co-hosted by the governments of Tajikistan and the Netherlands, the UN Water Conference will gather some 6,500 participants, including around a hundred ministers and a dozen heads of state and government.

In a report published ahead of its opening, the UN warned water is increasingly at risk around the world due to “vampiric overconsumption and overdevelopment”. — Agence France-Presse

QR code menus spark love-hate row in Rio, and beyond

Leafing through the leather-bound menu at a classic Rio de Janeiro restaurant, the tile-floored, wood-paneled Armazem Sao Thiago, 28-year-old Paula Cardoso says something that amounts to heresy in this establishment: “I prefer QR code menus.”

Philippines on alert as volcano spews ash

Philippine scientists said that a “hazardous eruption” of a volcano in the archipelago could be days or weeks away, and urged the evacuation of nearby residents from their homes.