The Daily Populous

Thursday October 14th, 2021 morning edition

image for Pandemic lockdowns improved air quality in 84% of countries worldwide, report finds

(CNN) Coronavirus lockdowns led to air quality improvements in most countries, but the level of pollutants will likely rise as governments lift restrictions and economies swing back into gear, according to a new report.

IQAir's 2020 World Air Quality Report said human-related emissions from industry and transport fell during lockdowns, and 65% of global cities analyzed experienced better air quality in 2020 compared to 2019.

Some 84% of nations polled reported air quality improvements overall.

"The connection between Covid-19 and air pollution has shone new light on the latter, especially as many locations have observed visibly cleaner air -- revealing that air quality improvements are possible with urgent, collective action," the report said.

Researchers from IQAir -- a global air quality information and tech company -- analyzed pollution data from 106 countries, specifically measuring PM 2.5, a microscopic pollutant that can cause serious health risks.

Singapore, Beijing, and Bangkok -- all of which imposed circuit-breaker lockdowns and widespread business closures -- saw the greatest reductions in PM 2.5.

But this effect won't last: air pollution levels will likely rise as Covid-19 containment measures end and businesses restart, the report said. »

Man armed with bow and arrow kills five people in Norway attacks, police say

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OSLO, Oct 13 (Reuters) - A man armed with a bow and arrow killed five people and wounded two others in a series of attacks in the Norwegian town of Kongsberg on Wednesday, local police said.

"The man used a bow and arrow ... for some of the attacks," police chief Oeyvind Aas told reporters.

"The man has been apprehended ... from the information we now have, this person carried out these actions alone," Aas added. »

Analysis-With an eye on China, Japan's ruling party makes unprecedented defence spending pledge

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TOKYOTOKYO (Reuters) - An unprecedented election pledge by Japan's ruling party to double defence spending underscores the nation's haste to acquire missiles, stealth fighters, drones and other weapons to deter China's military in the disputed East China Sea.

Experts don't expect new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to double spending anytime soon, given Japan's debt-saddled public finances and a pandemic-stricken economy.

For now, however, the LDP defence spending pledge does not say how any extra money would be spent or indicate when the 2% goal would be reached. »

Final Fantasy 14 Surpasses 24 Million Players, Becomes Most Profitable Final Fantasy Game In the Series

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Speaking to the press in a digital preview event, Yoshida revealed that the player count has hit 24 million players 11 years after Final Fantasy 14 was first released.

In a chart Yoshida shared with the press, Final Fantasy 14's player count back in 2015 was 4 million registered players.

Indeed, Yoshida says Final Fantasy 14 is the most profitable title in the Final Fantasy series. »