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First polar bear cub born in Britain for 25 years – video

Footage from a documentary about the first polar bear cub to be born in the UK in the past 25 years has been released. The cub was born at the RZSS Highland Wildlife Park in Kincraig, Scotland. Before the first sighting this month, the birth – which took place a week before Christmas – had only been confirmed by high-pitched noises from the den

• Britain’s Polar Bear Cub airs Sunday at 7pm on Channel 4

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The quest for bike-friendly children's books in a world where cars rule

From cute cars to smiley emergency vehicles, kids’ culture is awash with rosy images of driving, so a new Mr Men book about cycling is a welcome read. What are your favourite cycling-friendly children’s books?

“Give me the child until he is seven and I will show you the man,” is a maxim usually attributed to the Jesuits, but it’s not only religious institutions that use early years training to hook people for life. There’s a mainstream indoctrination that is considered perfectly normal: the promotion of motoring to children.

Car companies don’t have to pay for this brainwashing; we do it automatically. We sit toddlers on our laps and let them pretend-steer our cars while stationary. We buy babies’ bibs festooned with anthropomorphic trucks and nee-nah emergency vehicles. Pixar’s Cars movie is so popular because the fetishisation of driving is deeply embedded in our society. Motor vehicles are spoon-fed to children as benign, cuddly, and desirable. Passing your driving test remains the preeminent rite of passage into adulthood.

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Is Fukushima doomed to become a dumping ground for toxic waste?

Despite promises of revitalisation from Japan’s government, seven years on from the nuclear disaster the area is still struggling

This month, seven years after the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi reactor meltdowns and explosions that blanketed hundreds of square kilometres of northeastern Japan with radioactive debris, government officials and politicians spoke in hopeful terms about Fukushima’s prosperous future. Nevertheless, perhaps the single most important element of Fukushima’s future remains unspoken: the exclusion zone seems destined to host a repository for Japan’s most hazardous nuclear waste.

No Japanese government official will admit this, at least not publicly. A secure repository for nuclear waste has remained a long-elusive goal on the archipelago. But, given that Japan possesses approximately 17,000 tonnes of spent fuel from nuclear power operations, such a development is vital. Most spent fuel rods are still stored precariously above ground, in pools, in a highly earthquake-prone nation.

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The week in wildlife – in pictures

Gentoo penguins, an albatross chick and spring crocuses are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world

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Shutting down EU ivory trade is a ‘personal priority’ for Boris Johnson

• An estimated 20-30,000 elephants are killed by poachers each year

• UK was world’s largest legal ivory exporter between 2010 and 2015

A government minister has promised that the UK will lead a fight to shut down the ivory trade in the EU, describing the issue as “a personal priority” for the foreign secretary Boris Johnson.

Speaking at a conservation summit in Botswana, the Africa minister, Harriet Baldwin, said: “The UK will lead by example. We will be shutting down our ivory trade. We will be working with the EU to do the same. That is something we can do irrespective of whether we are in the European Union or not.”

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