Falkland Islands Referendum — Residents of the Falkland Islands have voted in a referendum to remain a British Overseas Territory, notes Reuters. Even as Argentina strengthens its territorial claims over the islands in the South Atlantic Ocean, 99.8% of Falkland Islanders voted in favor of keeping British rule. The Argentine government has questioned the legitimacy of the referendum, calling on London for talks to determine the sovereignty of the islands.
Spain’s Horses — Horses, which were once a status symbol in Spain, are now perishing in slaughterhouses because of the country’s economic downturn, reports AFP. As Spaniards struggle to get by, abandoned horses now die of hunger or are taken to slaughterhouses. According to data from the Spanish government, roughly 60,000 horses were killed in abattoirs last year and the number of slaughtered horses has doubled since 2008, when Spain’s economy crashed.
Japan Gas Extracts – Japan says it has successfully extracted natural gas from frozen methane hydrate in what is being called a ‘world first,’ reports the BBC. The gas field, which is about 50km off the coast of the country’s main island, could provide energy sources for Japan, which depends on imports for all its energy needs. “It is the world’s first offshore experiment producing gas from methane hydrate,” an official told the AFP news agency. Japanese researchers estimate that there is at least 1.1tn cubic meters of methane hydrate in offshore deposits, which amounts to more than a decade of the country’s gas consumption.
Cyber Security – China has agreed to talks with the U.S. over cyber security following months of accusations from both sides of Internet hacking into government and corporate websites, writes Reuters. On Monday the U.S. National Security Advisor Tom Donilon called on China to meet for talks and discuss the escalating issue of computer hacking. Last year two major Chinese military websites were subject to over 140,000 hackings per month with almost two-thirds coming from the U.S. Over the weekend the Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi described cyberspace as “a community of common destiny,” and place that does not need war, but “rules and cooperation.”
Italy Angers India – The Italian government has decided not to send two Italian marines accused of murder back to India for trial, notes the BBC. India’s Supreme Court allowed the two men, accused of shooting dead two fisherman in Kerala in Feb. 2012, to travel home to vote in last month’s elections with an order to return within four weeks. Rome says the men should be tried in Italy, claiming that the shooting occurred in international waters and that Delhi is violating international law by putting them on trial in India.