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Pamposh Raina

The True Cost of a Cup of Assam Tea

This article originally appeared on Women & Girls, and you can find the original here . For important news about women and girls around the world, you can sign up to the Women & Girls email list.

Pinky Munda, 25, is eight months pregnant with her second child. She lives at a tea plantation in India's northeastern state of Assam, where her husband is a laborer.

Six days a week, Assam's tea workers—more than 50 percent of whom are women—have to collect at least 48lb (22kg) of tea leaves to earn 137 rupees ($2.10) for a day's work, well below the 250 rupees ($3.80) minimum daily wage for unskilled labor in the region. Most plantations have no toilets, no drinking water and no running water. Workers are forced to defecate in the tea bushes and have no way to wash their hands before they go back to picking.

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Leonardo DiCaprio Just Gave $1 Million Toward Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

By Phineas Rueckert

The list of celebrities pitching in to help out the victims of Hurricane Harvey is growing.

And the most recent star to contribute to the relief effort is no stranger to helping out those in need.

Thursday morning, Leonardo DiCaprio pledged $1 million to the United Way Harvey Recovery Fund, Variety reported.

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Extensive Coral Bleaching in the Pacific Shocks Scientists

By Marnie Cunningham

A crew of scientists who are spending two years aboard a research ship traveling around the world have said they were shocked to find basically all of the Pacific Ocean's reefs to be affected by bleaching.

"What we've seen in really isolated spots like Samoa for example, even though it's very far away from [developed] countries with pollution, we struggled to find any coral life," the captain of the ship, Nicolas De La Brosse, told the ABC.

"It doesn't matter where you are in the Pacific, coral is starting to bleach."

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World's Biggest Floating Solar Farm Goes Live on Top of a Former Coal Mine

Coal power is getting buried in China—both literally and figuratively.

Earlier this week, a new floating solar farm went live in the Chinese city of Huainan above a retired coal mine, China Daily reported.

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Power to the People: Wyoming Residents Reject First New Coal Mine in Decades

By Joe McCarthy

Wyoming produces 40 percent of the U.S.'s coal, nearly quadruple the amount produced by West Virginia, the second highest producer.

So far this year, production in the state has increased by 15 million tons.

Yet Wyoming hasn't opened a new coal mine in decades—long-standing mines are filling the demand.

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This South Pacific Nation Is Saying Goodbye to Single-Use Plastic Bags and Bottles

By Marnie Cunningham

The Pacific nation of Vanuatu is addressing its waste problem by banning certain plastic items. Prime Minister Charlot Salwai made a public declaration on Independence Day (July 30) that they would be phasing out the use of plastic bags and bottles.

According to the Vanuatu Daily Post, PM Salwai stated in his announcement that it was his government's priority to protect Vanuatu's environment and oceans and to keep the country "clean and safe."

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100 Panda-Shaped Solar Farms Are Being Built in China

By Tess Sohngen

As the country's national animal, pandas are everywhere in China. They appear on fuzzy slippers, crackers and coins.

And now, the beloved bear will make an appearance in a new field, quite literally: solar energy farms.

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6 of the Hottest Places in the World

By Joe McCarthy

This past June was the third hottest June in recorded history—only 2016 and 2015 had hotter Junes.

The global average temperature has been surpassing the 20th century average for 41 straight years. "Record-breaking temperatures" has almost become a platitude since the turn of the century, yet the consequences of this shift are devastating communities and environments in new ways around the world.

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Poacher Accused of Poisoning More Than 100 Elephants Is Arrested After Four Years on the Run

By Joe McCarthy

Tony Maphosa, a Zimbabwean poacher, is accused of putting cyanide in watering holes and salt pans used by elephants numerous times over several years.

All told, his poisoning spree is said to have killed more than 100 elephants, according to Zimbabwean authorities who have been searching for Maphosa for four years.

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