Regional processing arrangements in Papua New Guinea will be significantly expanded and people will be sent to Manus Island as soon as health checks are complete and appropriate accommodation is identified. (Colombo Gazette) The boat with at least 70 people is reported to have gone missing after it left Mirissa and was heading to Australia last week. The attempt to reach Australia by boat came despite the announcement that under a new agreement reached between Australia and Papua New Guinea (PNG), asylum seekers who travel to Australia by boat without a visa will never be settled in Australia but in Papua New Guinea.Under the new arrangement signed with Papua New Guinea unauthorised arrivals will be sent to Papua New Guinea for assessment and if found to be a refugee will be settled there. The Navy says merchant ships at sea off the southern coast have been asked to assist a boat stranded with suspected asylum seekers onboard.Navy spokesman Kosala Warnakulasuriya said that the navy had received information about the boat and they had directed ships in the vicinity to assist the boat as it would take time for navy boats to reach the area. The boat with mostly Tamils had left on July 17th and is believed to have faced engine trouble halfway through the journey, our reporter in the area said.
Earlier this year, Leon announced it has replaced plastic straws with a biodegradable alternative.Co-founder John Vincent told the Evening Standard at the time: “A third of the Barrier Reef is just not functioning, a third is in peril. There’s plastic everywhere on the beaches. I vowed to come back and make a dramatic contribution to end this madness.” Show more Higher-end restaurants have also joined the initiative, including the 40 owned by D&D, which include Quaglino’s and Le Pont de la Tour.Many MPs are urging bars, restaurant and pubs in their constituencies to stop using plastic straws. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. This campaign has cross-party support; earlier this year Business minister Andrew Griffiths asked the pub companies in his constituency to stop using plastic straws. Rosena Allin-Khan, the MP for Tooting, began an initiative to do so earlier this year, and has managed to encourage over half of the local bars and restaurants to sign up.26 out of 41 bars and pubs from Balham, Earlsfield and Tooting have said they will stop using the straws.She told The Telegraph: “Plastic straws can be particularly dangerous for sea-life; if we replaced them with an environmentally friendly alternative, it would go a long way to protecting our oceans and reducing plastic consumption. “As the MP for Tooting, I am proud of how our community always comes together for the greater good. That’s why I’ve been asking local bars and pubs to pledge that they will go plastic straw-free. We all have a responsibility to protect the environment, and this is a small change that can make a big difference.”26 out of the 41 bars and pubs in our area have signed the pledge, other bars have commented that paper straws are more expensive and this prevents them from switching over. The Government should roll this out across the UK and support the small, local pubs and bars to ensure they can get biodegradable straws at the same price as plastic.” McDonald’s has become the latest restaurant chain to say it will phase out plastic straws from its UK restaurants. The fast-food chain said it is “really close” to the point where all its packaging can be recycled, but its straws are still unrecyclable.To remedy this, the company is trialing paper straws from May in some of its 1,300 restaurants, and will be keeping straws behind the counter, so customers have to ask to receive them.Paul Pomroy, the UK chief executive, told Sky News: “Customers have told us that they don’t want to be given a straw and that they want to have to ask for one, so we’re acting on that.”Straws are one of those things that people feel passionately about, and rightly so, and we’re moving those straws behind the front counter.”Other chains have also banned plastic straws from their restaurants.