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Merkel backs Macron's call for G7 talks to focus on Amazon fires

German chancellor ‘convinced of emergency’ but Brazil’s leader accuses European leaders of colonialism

Angela Merkel has backed Emmanuel Macron’s call to put the fires in the Amazon on the agenda at this weekend’s G7 summit, after the French president said the situation amounted to an international crisis.

Steffen Seibert, a spokesman for the German chancellor, told journalists in Berlin on Friday: “The extent of the fires in the Amazon area is shocking and threatening, not only for Brazil and the other affected countries, but also for the whole world.

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White-tailed eagles return to southern Britain after 240 years

Conservationists hope release of six eaglets on Isle of Wight will mirror Scotland success

White-tailed eagles are gracing the skies of southern Britain for the first time in 240 years after six eaglets were released on the Isle of Wight.

The huge birds, which are fitted with satellite tags, are expected to disperse along the south coast of England in a scheme backed by the environment secretary, Theresa Villiers, who welcomed the return of the “majestic” species.

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Python wars: the snake epidemic eating away at Florida

There are tens of thousands of pythons in the Florida wild, attacking animals and damaging ecosystems – and the quest to stop them has become a collective crusade

On a Thursday afternoon in St Petersburg, Florida, Beth Koehler crouches over a cairn terrier named Ginger, trimming intently as fur collects around her feet. On Koehler’s arm is a scratch – red, jagged and freshly acquired, though not in the way one might expect of a dog groomer.

“There was no way I could pin the head,” Koehler says, referring to the snake that was partly responsible. She had grabbed hold however she could, which made it “pissed”: “It decided to coil up and just throw itself at me.” Startled, Koehler had fallen backwards, cutting herself on a vine – an injury far preferable to the bite of a Burmese python.

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Wildlife summit votes down plan to allow sale of huge ivory stockpile

Some African nations at Cites conference argue sales would provide much-needed income

An audacious attempt to allow a huge sale of stockpiled elephant ivory has been defeated at an international wildlife conference. The rancorous debate exposed deep divisions between African nations with opposing views on elephant conservation.

About 50 elephants are still being poached every day to supply ivory traffickers and all countries agree the world’s largest land animal needs greater protection. But southern African nations, which have some of the largest elephant populations, want to allow more legal sales of ivory to fund conservation and community development. But 32 other African nations argue all trade in elephants must end, including the trophy hunting legal in some states.

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Extinction Rebellion activists convicted of public order offences

Three protesters found guilty despite intervention of shadow chancellor in their support

Three Extinction Rebellion activists involved in protests in central London in April have been convicted of public order offences at a trial which heard a message of support for them from the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell.

The men were among more than 1,000 people arrested during the environmental group’s demonstrations – which caused large-scale disruption in what organisers described as the biggest act of civil disobedience in recent British history – but are the first to have gone on trial with legal representation.

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