Bronze mirror linked to Himiko found in China for 1st time

A bronze mirror found in China resembles those associated with Japan’s third-century shaman queen Himiko, providing perhaps the first solid evidence that she was given the mirrors by a Chinese emperor.

Wang Chenyi, a Chinese researcher from Henan province, recently reported in a local archaeological journal that he bought the bronze mirror from a farmer at an antiques market in the ancient capital of Luoyang around 2009.

The mirror is similar in design to Sankakubuchi Shinjukyo (triangular-rimmed deity-and-beast mirrors) widely discovered in Japan. They are believed to have been produced around the third century. Read more.

Kenya burns tonnes of ivory confiscated from poachers

President sets fire to 15 tonnes of elephant tusks at event marking World Wildlife Day to discourage ivory trade.

In a move to discourage poaching and trade in ivory, Kenya’s president set fire to 15 tonnes of elephant tusks at a World Wildlife Day event.

Twenty-five years since ivory trade was banned, new demand from emerging markets threatens Africa’s elephants and rhinos, President Uhuru Kenyatta said at Tuesday’s ceremony at the Nairobi National Park in the capital city.

African countries are concerned about the scale and rate of the new threat to endangered wildlife species, he said.

"Many of these tusks belonged to elephants which were wantonly slaughtered by criminals. We want future generations of Kenyans, Africans and the entire world to experience the majesty and beauty of these magnificent beasts. Poachers and their enablers will not have the last word," Kenyatta said before setting ablaze a tall pile of elephant tusks doused with petrol.

Higher demand for ivory is fuelling elephant killings by poachers across Africa.

Save The Elephants, a London-based wildlife conservation group, said last year that 100,000 elephants were killed in Africa between 2010 and 2012.

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Beijing’s Toxic Sky

In Beijing, awareness of the dangers of the polluted sky is now on the rise, thanks to growing data. China will “declare war on pollution,” Premier Li Keqiang told parliament in an opening address in 2014. A tougher environmental law took effect on January 1, while a new environment minister took charge on Friday. Residents continue to cope in various ways, from wearing filtered masks to keeping children indoors to expressing frustration through art and fashion. The Reuters photographer Kim Kyung-Hoon recently took the following images, including six before-and-after shots (photos number 2 through 7). We’ve made them interactive, allowing you to click and see the difference between a sunny day in Beijing and a polluted one.