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Picture: 123RF/DAMEDEESO
Picture: 123RF/DAMEDEESO

1. Forests for sale

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is auctioning part of its rainforests in a search for oil. This week’s auction will extend into Virunga National Park, a gorilla sanctuary.

Tosi Mpanu Mpanu, the DRC’s representative on climate issues and an adviser to the cabinet, says it needs to finance poverty alleviation. “Our priority is not to save the planet.”

2. Boring story

Two San Francisco start-ups, Petra and Earthgrid, say they have independently developed contactless thermal drilling robots that can bore through the hardest rock.

Petra bored a 60cm tunnel through 6m of Sioux Quartzite, said to be the hardest rock on earth. Earthgrid said its drill could dig tunnels 100 times faster and 98% cheaper for rewiring the US.

3. Beware of the dog police

Police in Iran have begun enforcing a law banning dogs in parks, arresting the walkers to “protect the safety of the public”. The animals are considered impure in Islamic tradition. The government also considers dogs a symbol of “westernisation”, even though keeping them is common in rural areas.

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