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Taiwan swears in first female President Tsai Ing-wen

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TAIPEI, TAIWAN — Taiwan swore in Tsai Ing-wen as its first female president Friday as relations with rival China rapidly cool.

Beijing-sceptic Tsai took the oath of office at the presidential palace in Taipei after winning a landslide victory in January signalling the end of an eight-year rapprochement with China.

Public support for outgoing president Ma Ying-jeou plunged as voters felt he moved too close to Beijing, which still sees the island as part of its territory.

Tsai raised her right arm as she read the oath in front of Taiwan’s national flag while celebrating crowds watched the ceremony on big screens outside.

She then received the seal of the Republic of China — Taiwan’s official name — and the presidential seal.

Tsai accompanied Ma out of the presidential office as the outgoing leader shook hands with smiling staff and a brass marching band paraded.

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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