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French far-right leader Marine Le Pen hails Brexit, calls for French referendum

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PARIS — French far-right leader Marine Le Pen on Friday hailed Britain’s decision to leave the European Union and called for a similar referendum in France.

“Victory for Freedom! As I have been asking for years we must now have the same referendum in France and EU countries,” the National Front (FN) leader tweeted.

The eurosceptic, anti-immigration FN has accused the EU of suffering a “democratic deficit” and has long urged all members of the bloc to follow Britain’s example.

The Brexit vote is likely to fire up eurosceptic populists across the bloc, with Dutch far-right MP Geert Wilders also calling for an EU referendum in his own country following the result.

Fears are high that a domino effect could see other countries following in Britain’s footsteps, threatening the core of the European project.

“France has possibly a thousand more reasons to want to leave the EU than the English,” Le Pen said at a gathering of far-right parties in Vienna last Friday.

Le Pen has accused the EU of pursuing closer integration “against our will”.

She says the union is responsible for high eurozone unemployment and has failed to keep out “smugglers, terrorists (and) economic migrants.”

AFP

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Over 70% of deep-sea fish of Atlantic Ocean have ingested plastic : Study

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Fragments of plastic are found throughout the world, from nearly every continent to nearly every body of water. But, researchers recently have found 73 percent of Northwest Atlantic deep-sea fish are also eating it — the highest reported frequency of plastic-eating fish in the world.

Plastic particles were found in some of the most remote parts of the Atlantic Ocean with almost three quarters of a sample of more than 230 deep-water fish collected by NUI Galway scientists having ingested plastic particles.

The contamination level among the fish species, located in the northwest Atlantic thousands of kilometres from land and 600m down in the ocean, is one of the highest reported frequencies of microplastic occurrence in fish worldwide, according to the study published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science.

The NUIG scientists, as part of the study, participated in a transatlantic crossing onboard the marine institute’s Celtic Explorer vessel.

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PhD candidate and lead author Alina Wieczorek said, “Deep-water fish migrate to the surface at night to feed on plankton [microscopic animals] and this is likely when they are exposed to the microplastics.”

During this research cruise they took dead deep-sea fish from midwater trawls such as the spotted lanternfish, rakery beaconlamp, stout saw-palate and scaly dragonfish.

Microplastics are small plastic fragments that commonly originate from the breakdown of larger plastic items entering the ocean. Other sources may be waste water effluents carrying plastic fibres from clothing and microbeads from personal care products. Due to their low density, most of these microplastics float at the sea surface.

The fish ranged in size from the smallest species the Glacier Lantern at 3.5cm to the largest species, the stout saw-palate at 59cm.

Agencies

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