Algeria's President Inaugurates Africa's Largest Mosque

The Djamaa El-Djazair, or Algiers Great Mosque, is seen Wednesday, Feb.21, 2024 in Algiers. (AP)
The Djamaa El-Djazair, or Algiers Great Mosque, is seen Wednesday, Feb.21, 2024 in Algiers. (AP)
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Algeria's President Inaugurates Africa's Largest Mosque

The Djamaa El-Djazair, or Algiers Great Mosque, is seen Wednesday, Feb.21, 2024 in Algiers. (AP)
The Djamaa El-Djazair, or Algiers Great Mosque, is seen Wednesday, Feb.21, 2024 in Algiers. (AP)

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune officially inaugurated the Grand Mosque of Algiers, the third largest in the world and the biggest in Africa, on Sunday.

The vast mosque, which can hold 120,000 worshippers, first opened for prayers in October 2020, but Tebboune was suffering from Covid-19 and did not attend.

Known locally as the Djamaa El-Djazair, the modernist structure extends across 27.75 hectares (almost 70 acres).

It boasts the world's tallest minaret -- 267 metres (875 feet) -- fitted with elevators and a viewing platform that looks out over the capital and the Bay of Algiers.

The mosque's interior, in Andalusian style, is decorated in wood, marble and alabaster.

The mega-project cost more than $800 million dollars and took seven years to build, according to AFP.

Tebboune's mandate officially expires at the end of this year but the president, elected in December 2019, has not yet made known whether he intends to run for a second term.



Thai Town Maddened by Marauding Monkeys Launches Plan to Lock Them up and Send Them Away 

A worker chases monkeys away from a customer in front of an auto-part shop in Lopburi Province, north of Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, May 24, 2024. (AP)
A worker chases monkeys away from a customer in front of an auto-part shop in Lopburi Province, north of Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, May 24, 2024. (AP)
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Thai Town Maddened by Marauding Monkeys Launches Plan to Lock Them up and Send Them Away 

A worker chases monkeys away from a customer in front of an auto-part shop in Lopburi Province, north of Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, May 24, 2024. (AP)
A worker chases monkeys away from a customer in front of an auto-part shop in Lopburi Province, north of Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, May 24, 2024. (AP)

A Thai town, run ragged by its ever-growing population of marauding wild monkeys, launched an offensive against the simian raiders on Friday, using trickery and ripe tropical fruit.

Several high-profile cases of monkey-human conflict recently convinced authorities in Lopburi in central Thailand that they had to reduce the animals' numbers.

If all goes well, most will end up behind bars, before starting a new life elsewhere.

The first stage of the plan, instituted Friday, is to bait cages with the animals’ favorite food, then wait for hunger to get the better of their natural caution.

There was early success for the catchers on one street, with three of the macaques falling for the ruse and ending up trapped because they had fancied a taste of rambutan fruit. The cages had been placed on the street earlier in the week so the monkeys got used to them and found them less threatening.

There are thought to be around 2,500 monkeys running around the town. The capture of the unlucky trio and around 30 others - trapped in other parts of the town - slightly pared down that total.

The effort will go on for five days this month, then is likely to be repeated. Some of the monkeys will be left free to maintain Lopburi’s image as Thailand’s monkey town.

But no one is expecting it to be easy.

“With the monkey’s intelligence, if some of them go into the cage and are caught, the others outside won’t enter the cage to get the food because they’ve already learnt what’s happened to their friends,” said Patarapol Maneeorn from Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation.

The roaming monkeys have long been a symbol of the town, 140 kilometers (90 miles) north of Bangkok, and are a major tourist draw. They've become increasingly aggressive, however, with several videos of them snatching food from residents and causing injuries being widely shared online.

One auto parts shop now trades from behind wire. The owners erected it at the time of the coronavirus pandemic, but keeping out the light-fingered primates was also a prime concern. They say they’ve adapted to the monkey problem, but not everyone has.

“When there are a lot of monkeys around, customers are afraid of buying the goods at the shop. Only our regulars aren’t frightened,” said Supaporn Tantiwong.

The town’s mayor, Chamroen Salacheep, agrees that the monkeys, while bringing in visitors, have also become bad for trade, with shops and malls seeing a drop in income and even people’s homes damaged. Lopburi, he said, is almost an “abandoned town.”

“After our operation is over,” Chamroen said, “I will do a big cleaning across the town and paint all the buildings to regain the faith of the people.”

These may seem like grim times for monkeys in Lopburi, but there is a plan to give them a fresh start.

On Friday authorities began sedating them to carry out health checks before cleaning and sterilizing them and inking them with tattoos so they can be identified to keep accurate records.

After that they’ll transfer them to a series of huge holding pens, just outside the town center, while looking for a permanent home.


Asharq Network Wins Telly Company of the Year for 2024

Asharq Network won 117 awards, including 12 gold, 49 silver, and 56 bronze, at the prestigious Telly Awards. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Asharq Network won 117 awards, including 12 gold, 49 silver, and 56 bronze, at the prestigious Telly Awards. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Asharq Network Wins Telly Company of the Year for 2024

Asharq Network won 117 awards, including 12 gold, 49 silver, and 56 bronze, at the prestigious Telly Awards. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Asharq Network won 117 awards, including 12 gold, 49 silver, and 56 bronze, at the prestigious Telly Awards. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Asharq Network has won 117 awards, including 12 gold, 49 silver, and 56 bronze, at the prestigious Telly Awards. The network was also named Telly Company of the Year.

The Telly Awards was established in 1979 in the United States to celebrate excellence across a wide range of categories, from traditional cable television commercials to cutting-edge digital content. Major international brands and companies such as CNN, Fox News, HBO, and Time Warner, also actively participate in these prestigious awards.

This achievement comes in conjunction with the expansion witnessed by Asharq Network, with its various platforms, channels, new programs, and its distinguished and modern coverage of the most important events and developments.

Since its first launch in 2020, the network has been able to establish a solid and professional position through its audio and visual platforms to meet the aspirations and trends of its audiences. The process of expansion and content development included the launch of Asharq QuickTake, Asharq Podcasts, Asharq Documentary, Radio Asharq with Bloomberg, and Asharq Discovery in partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery. This expansion has further solidified the network’s position as the fastest-growing news platform on social media.

Asharq Network has competed against a record-breaking 13,000 entries from five continents.

In addition to being named the Telly Company of the Year, the network’s brands won several other prominent awards. Asharq Business with Bloomberg received a Gold, a Silver and three Bronze Awards in the Video Journalism category for the Asharq Business with Bloomberg Tech+ show. The Asharq News Conflict in Darfur Story won three Silver Awards in the Explainers category, and its coverage of COP28 earned two Silver Awards in the Show Opening Segment category.

Nabeel Alkhatib, General Manager of Asharq News, commented: “Being named the ‘Telly Company of the Year’ is a testament to the dedication and creativity of the entire Asharq Network team. This achievement reaffirms our commitment to delivering in-depth analysis and insightful perspectives on the stories, people and events shaping the world today. Our mission is to set a new industry standard by providing content that truly resonates with our diverse audience.”


King Charles III Won’t Be out and About Much Over the Next Six Weeks Amid Election Campaign 

Britain's King Charles III meets members of the public during his visit the Discovery Center and Auld School Close to hear more about the 3.3million pound (4.1 million US dollars) energy efficient housing project in the area, in Tomintoul, Scotland, on Sept. 13, 2023. (AP)
Britain's King Charles III meets members of the public during his visit the Discovery Center and Auld School Close to hear more about the 3.3million pound (4.1 million US dollars) energy efficient housing project in the area, in Tomintoul, Scotland, on Sept. 13, 2023. (AP)
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King Charles III Won’t Be out and About Much Over the Next Six Weeks Amid Election Campaign 

Britain's King Charles III meets members of the public during his visit the Discovery Center and Auld School Close to hear more about the 3.3million pound (4.1 million US dollars) energy efficient housing project in the area, in Tomintoul, Scotland, on Sept. 13, 2023. (AP)
Britain's King Charles III meets members of the public during his visit the Discovery Center and Auld School Close to hear more about the 3.3million pound (4.1 million US dollars) energy efficient housing project in the area, in Tomintoul, Scotland, on Sept. 13, 2023. (AP)

King Charles III won’t be out and about much over the next six weeks — and it’s not because of his ongoing cancer treatments.

Shortly after UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called an early parliamentary election for July 4, Buckingham Palace said that all members of the royal family were canceling most public engagements until after the vote to avoid doing anything that might divert attention from the campaign.

That announcement is just one of the ways that Charles will seek to play his part as a unifying head of state during the election, without violating a constitutional ban on interfering in politics. While the king’s role in government is largely ceremonial, it's bound up by traditions that embody the way royal powers were gradually transferred to Parliament over the last 800 years.

Here’s a look at the monarch’s role in the run up to the election, including a few dos and don’ts.

DID CHARLES PLAY ANY ROLE IN CALLING THE ELECTION? The decision to call an election was entirely Sunak’s. But before he could do so, the king had to grant permission to dissolve Parliament early.

Technically, the king still has the power to refuse a dissolution request if he believes an election would be detrimental to the nation. But the last time this happened was in 1835.

Ignoring that precedent “would expose the monarch to allegations of political interference of an undemocratic nature, even if the intention of the refusal was to preserve the good functioning of democracy,” according to the Institute for Government, an independent think tank.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE KING? The current session of Parliament will be “prorogued,” or ended, on Friday based on an order that Charles approved during a meeting of the Privy Council on Thursday at Buckingham Palace.

The king won’t attend the formal end of the session, a ceremonial affair where the speaker of the House of Commons and other members of Parliament will troop into the House of Lords to hear a speech written by the government.

WHAT ABOUT THOSE PUBLIC APPEARANCES? The royal family is barred by law and tradition from interfering in politics at any time, but ensuring that those rules are strictly followed is even more important during an election.

That means the royals can’t campaign for candidates, endorse policies, or even let their political preferences be known.

Buckingham Palace spelled it out soon after Sunak's announcement, announcing that members of the royal family would postpone all engagements that “may appear to divert attention or distract from the election campaign.’’

That meant the king on Friday ditched trips to a Bentley car factory and a community center helping people who are struggling financially.

WHAT’S A MONARCH TO DO? Well, some things are above reproach.

The king and queen still plan to attend ceremonies marking the 80th anniversary of D-Day on June 6.

Other engagements will be examined on a case-by-case basis, the palace said.

WHY DOES THIS MATTER? One of the modern monarchy’s primary roles is to provide a unifying figurehead who is seen as above politics and can provide a sense of stability in difficult times.

This is the first general election of Charles’ reign. His mother, Queen Elizabeth II, oversaw 21 during her 70 years on the throne.

George Gross, a royal expert at King’s College London, said elections are by definition moments of turbulence in which people look to the monarchy for continuity.

“There is ... a power vacuum in political terms. Power is now handed back to the British people, and they will review the offering over the next six weeks,” Gross said. “So what that means, though, is that the head of state has a new role. Or rather, (the) key role of stability and continuity comes to the fore. Now, (the royals) cannot be political in any way.”


Soaring Towers Shape Hong Kong's Urban Landscape

Hong Kong has more than 550 buildings that are at least 150 meters (492 feet) tall. Dale DE LA REY / AFP
Hong Kong has more than 550 buildings that are at least 150 meters (492 feet) tall. Dale DE LA REY / AFP
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Soaring Towers Shape Hong Kong's Urban Landscape

Hong Kong has more than 550 buildings that are at least 150 meters (492 feet) tall. Dale DE LA REY / AFP
Hong Kong has more than 550 buildings that are at least 150 meters (492 feet) tall. Dale DE LA REY / AFP

Home to some of the world's densest living districts and tallest skyscrapers, Hong Kong has for decades mesmerized locals and visitors alike with its famed skyline.
The Chinese finance hub has more than 550 buildings that are at least 150 meters (492 feet) tall and is the "number one tallest city" in the world, according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat skyscraper database, said AFP.
Hong Kong saw a construction boom in the latter half of the 20th century as its population skyrocketed, and development kept pace after the former British colony was handed over to China in 1997.
The city's two tallest buildings, the International Commerce Centre (484 meters) and the Two International Financial Centre (412 meters), stand gleaming on opposing sides of the Victoria Harbour and cast shadows on the rushing traffic below.
Meanwhile, many of the city's 7.5 million residents live in cramped flats, with households having a median per capita floor area of around 16 square meters in 2021.
A cluster of residential blocks nicknamed "Monster Building" in Quarry Bay was catapulted to international fame after it was featured in the 2014 blockbuster "Transformers: Age of Extinction".
Older public housing complexes, such as Ping Shek Estate and Lai Tak Tsuen, have well-like central courtyards whose dramatic visual signature has made them popular with photographers.
Constrained by natural geography and a restrictive land policy, Hong Kong's urban development in decades to come has nowhere to go but up, scholars say.


Earth-like Planet Discovered by Researchers

Gliese 12 b's distance of 40 lights years away means it is too far away to experience more closely (NASA)
Gliese 12 b's distance of 40 lights years away means it is too far away to experience more closely (NASA)
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Earth-like Planet Discovered by Researchers

Gliese 12 b's distance of 40 lights years away means it is too far away to experience more closely (NASA)
Gliese 12 b's distance of 40 lights years away means it is too far away to experience more closely (NASA)

Scientists at the University of Warwick say they have been part of an international team to discover a new new habitable Earth-sized planet.

Working with NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), they said Gliese 12 b has the same temperature as the 2022 UK heatwave and is one of the few known rocky planets where humans could theoretically survive, BBC reported.

But the planet's distance of 40 lights years away means it is too far away to experience more closely, the university said.

Warwick astrophysicist Dr Thomas Wilson said: "This is a really exciting discovery and will help our research into planets similar to Earth across our galaxy."

The planet has an estimated surface temperature of about 42C, but the scientists said they were still unsure of what, if any, its atmosphere was like.

It orbits its version of the sun every 12.8 days and is a similar size to Earth.

The planet’s equivalent of the Sun, called Gliese 12, is a cool, red dwarf located in the constellation Pisces and the planet receives 1.6 times more energy from its star as Earth does from the sun, the university said.

The team used data from NASA and ESA’s satellites to confirm the planet’s existence and characteristics like its size, temperature, and distance away from Earth.

"Thrillingly, this planet is the closest Earth-sized and temperature planet we know," Dr Wilson added.

"The light we are seeing now is from 1984 (40 years ago) – that’s how long it has taken to reach us here on Earth.

"Planets like Gliese 12 b are very few and far between, so for us to be able to examine one this closely and learn about its atmosphere and temperature is very rare."

According to BBC, Larissa Palethorpe, co-lead of the study and doctoral student at the University of Edinburgh and University College London said it was "a unique candidate" for further atmospheric study to help unlock some aspects of our own solar system’s evolution.

"Earth remains habitable, but Venus does not due to its complete loss of water. Gliese 12 b’s atmosphere could teach us a lot about the habitability pathways planets take as they develop," she added.


Massive Cradle of Baby Stars Revealed in New Space Telescope Images

This image provided by the European Space Agency on Thursday, May 23, 2024, shows Euclid’s new image of galaxy cluster Abell 2390. (European Space Agency via AP)
This image provided by the European Space Agency on Thursday, May 23, 2024, shows Euclid’s new image of galaxy cluster Abell 2390. (European Space Agency via AP)
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Massive Cradle of Baby Stars Revealed in New Space Telescope Images

This image provided by the European Space Agency on Thursday, May 23, 2024, shows Euclid’s new image of galaxy cluster Abell 2390. (European Space Agency via AP)
This image provided by the European Space Agency on Thursday, May 23, 2024, shows Euclid’s new image of galaxy cluster Abell 2390. (European Space Agency via AP)

A massive cradle of baby stars has been observed in new detail by a European space telescope, adding to its celestial collection of images.
The European Space Agency released the photos from the Euclid observatory on Thursday, The Associated Press reported. They were taken following the telescope’s Florida launch last year as a warm-up act to its main job currently underway: surveying the so-called dark universe.
From its perch 1 million miles (1.6 million kilometers) from Earth, Euclid will spend the next several years observing billions of galaxies covering more than one-third of the sky. The shape and size of all these galaxies can help scientists understand the mysterious dark energy and dark matter that make up most of the universe.
"Euclid is at the very beginning of its exciting journey to map the structure of the universe," the space agency's director general, Josef Aschbacher, said in a statement.
Among the newly released pictures is one of an enormous cradle of baby stars some 1,300 light-years away known as Messier 78. A light-year is 5.8 trillion miles. Euclid's infrared camera peered through the dust enveloping the stellar nursery, revealing new regions of star formation, according to ESA.


King Abdulaziz Royal Reserve Marks International Day for Biodiversity

The Saudi Green Initiative is a driving force behind achieving global climate goals and reaching carbon neutrality by 2060 - SPA
The Saudi Green Initiative is a driving force behind achieving global climate goals and reaching carbon neutrality by 2060 - SPA
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King Abdulaziz Royal Reserve Marks International Day for Biodiversity

The Saudi Green Initiative is a driving force behind achieving global climate goals and reaching carbon neutrality by 2060 - SPA
The Saudi Green Initiative is a driving force behind achieving global climate goals and reaching carbon neutrality by 2060 - SPA

The King Abdulaziz Royal Reserve Development Authority observed the International Day for Biodiversity on Wednesday. Under this year's theme, "Be Part of the Plan," the United Nations emphasizes the critical role biodiversity plays in achieving sustainable development, a core principle of Saudi Vision 2030, SPA reported.
The Saudi Green Initiative is a driving force behind achieving global climate goals and reaching carbon neutrality by 2060. Demonstrating this commitment, significant progress has already been made: over 192,000 hectares of land have been revitalized, more than three million wild seedlings have been cultivated, 49 million trees have been planted across the country, and 18.1% of wild areas have been transformed into protected nature reserves. These efforts promote wildlife conservation, with over 1,660 endangered animals being reintroduced to their natural habitats.
Aligned with Saudi Vision 2030 and the comprehensive strategy for royal reserves, the King Abdulaziz Royal Reserve Development Authority plays a vital role. Through collaboration with public, private, and non-profit sectors, it pursues a multifaceted mission that includes restoring environmental balance by removing over 45 million kilograms of waste and reintroducing 330 threatened species, such as the Arabian oryx and the houbara bustard.

The authority also prioritizes preserving the region's rich heritage and natural resources.
As a government member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the authority plays a key role in boosting the Kingdom's biodiversity efforts.


Saudi Arabia Showcases Saudi Dates, Coffee at World Water Forum

The Kingdom ranks among the top 10 coffee-consuming nations globally - SPA
The Kingdom ranks among the top 10 coffee-consuming nations globally - SPA
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Saudi Arabia Showcases Saudi Dates, Coffee at World Water Forum

The Kingdom ranks among the top 10 coffee-consuming nations globally - SPA
The Kingdom ranks among the top 10 coffee-consuming nations globally - SPA

The Saudi pavilion at the World Water Forum Exhibition in Indonesia, held from May 18 to 25, garnered significant attention from visitors. Saudi hospitality, exemplified by the quality and variety of dates and coffee on offer, proved a major draw, SPA reported.
Saudi coffee, presented as a symbol of hospitality, added a unique cultural touch to the pavilion. The Kingdom's diverse and flavorful dates impressed attendees, enhancing the positive image of Saudi agricultural products on the international stage.
Saudi Arabia's date exports saw a 14% increase in 2023, reaching a value of SAR 1.462 billion compared to SAR 1.280 billion in 2022. The number of countries importing Saudi dates has grown to 119, with exports of dates and by-products experiencing a staggering 152.5% increase since 2016, reaching SAR 1.462 billion by the end of 2023.
The Kingdom ranks among the top 10 coffee-consuming nations globally, exceeding 80,000 tons annually. This high per capita consumption translates to an estimated 70,000–90,000 tons of coffee imported into Saudi markets each year.

Saudis spend over SAR 1 billion annually on coffee preparation, prompting significant efforts to increase coffee cultivation and production through establishing 60 model coffee farms on agricultural terraces. These initiatives aim to strengthen food security in rural areas and boost overall agricultural output.
The organizers expressed pride in the presence of the Kingdom at this crucial international forum. They emphasized that Saudi participation extended beyond product displays, also highlighting the nation's efforts to improve sustainable agriculture and promote water efficiency, aligning with the World Water Forum's global objectives.


Flower or Power? Campaigners Fear Lithium Mine Could Kill Rare Plant

A Tiehm's buckwheat plant starts to bud in its native habitat in the Silver Peak Range in Esmeralda County, Nevada beside Rhyolite Ridge, the site of a proposed lithium mine. Robyn Beck / AFP
A Tiehm's buckwheat plant starts to bud in its native habitat in the Silver Peak Range in Esmeralda County, Nevada beside Rhyolite Ridge, the site of a proposed lithium mine. Robyn Beck / AFP
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Flower or Power? Campaigners Fear Lithium Mine Could Kill Rare Plant

A Tiehm's buckwheat plant starts to bud in its native habitat in the Silver Peak Range in Esmeralda County, Nevada beside Rhyolite Ridge, the site of a proposed lithium mine. Robyn Beck / AFP
A Tiehm's buckwheat plant starts to bud in its native habitat in the Silver Peak Range in Esmeralda County, Nevada beside Rhyolite Ridge, the site of a proposed lithium mine. Robyn Beck / AFP

Delicate pink buds sway in the desert breeze, pregnant with yellow pompoms whose explosion will carpet the dusty corner of Nevada that is the only place on Earth where they exist.
Under their roots lie vast reserves of lithium, vital for the rechargeable electric car batteries that will reduce planet-heating pollution, AFP said.
But campaigners fear the extraction of the precious metal could destroy the flower's tiny habitat.
"This mine is going to cause extinction," says Patrick Donnelly, an environmentalist who works at the Center for Biological Diversity, a non-governmental organization.
"They somehow claim that they're not harming the (plant). But can you imagine if someone built an open-pit mine 200 feet from your house? Wouldn't that affect your life profoundly?"
The plant in question is Tiehm's buckwheat.
There are only around 20,000 known specimens, growing in a few very specific places on a total surface area equivalent to around five soccer fields.
In 2022, the wildflower was classified as endangered by US federal authorities, with mining cited as a major threat to its survival.
The plant and the lithium reserve on which it grows embody one of the key challenges and contradictions of the global climate struggle: how much damage can we inflict on the natural world as we seek to halt or reverse the problems we have already created?
- 'Coexist' -
Bernard Rowe, boss of Australian miner Ioneer, which holds the mineral rights to the area, says the lithium produced at Rhyolite Ridge "will be sufficient to provide batteries for about 370,000 vehicles" a year.
"We'll do that year-on-year for 26 years," he said.
Those nearly 10 million vehicles will go a long way towards meeting the goal President Joe Biden has set of cutting down the nation's fleet of gas-guzzlers as a way to slash US production of planet-warming pollutants.
So-called zero-emission cars make up around 7.5 percent of new vehicle sales in the United States today -- more than double the percentage just a few years earlier.
In California, the figure is more than 20 percent.
And while expansion in the sector has slowed, the category remains the fastest-growing, according to Kelley Blue Book.
And it's not only in the United States: Global demand for lithium will increase five to seven times by 2030, according to the International Energy Agency.
The difficulty for US manufacturers is that much of the world's lithium supply is dominated by strategic rival China, as well as Australia and Chile.
"The United States has very, very little domestic production," said Rowe.
"So it's important to develop a domestic supply chain to allow for that energy transition, and Rhyolite Ridge will be an integral part of that."
Ioneer's plans show that over the years the mine is in operation -- it is projected to start producing lithium in late 2027 -- around a fifth of the plant's habitat will be directly affected.
But the company, which has spent $2.5 million researching the plant, says mining will not affect its survival; it is already growing well in greenhouses and biologists think it can be replanted.
"We're very confident that the mine and Tiehm's buckwheat can coexist," Rowe said.
- 'Greenwashing' -
Donnelly counters that Ioneer is "basically greenwashing extinction."
"They're saying. 'We're going to save this plant,' when actually they are going to send it to its doom," he said.
Under the company's plans, the strip mine will use hundreds of trucks, which Donnelly says will raise clouds of dust that will affect photosynthesis and harm the insects that pollinate the plants.
Ioneer says it has already planned mitigation methods, like dust curtains, and keeping the roads wet.
Still, Donnelly says, why not just move the mine? But Rowe counters that it's not as simple as just digging somewhere else.
Ioneer has invested $170 million since 2016 to demonstrate the feasibility of this site, which it believes is one of the best around.
"Many of these other deposits haven't had that amount of work, so they're not viable alternatives to a project like this," he said.
The US Department of Energy has offered Ioneer a $700 million loan for the project, if the Bureau of Land Management signs off on an operating permit.
Donnelly insists the issue is not just the future of one obscure wildflower, but rather just one example of large-scale biodiversity loss that is threatening millions of plants and animals.
"If we solve the climate crisis, but we drive everything extinct while we do it, we're still going to lose our world," he said.


SDRPY Accelerates Work on Yemen's Heijat Al-Abed Road Rehabilitation Project

The road lacks essential traffic safety elements (Photo by SPA)
The road lacks essential traffic safety elements (Photo by SPA)
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SDRPY Accelerates Work on Yemen's Heijat Al-Abed Road Rehabilitation Project

The road lacks essential traffic safety elements (Photo by SPA)
The road lacks essential traffic safety elements (Photo by SPA)

The rehabilitation project for Heijat Al-Abed Road, a vital route connecting Taiz with other governorates, is progressing rapidly under the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen (SDRPY). This road is crucial for the lives of 5 million Yemenis, and the project aims to improve its efficiency, implement safety measures, reduce accidents, and alleviate the daily challenges faced by commuters, SPA reported.
Rehabilitating this essential road will ensure safe traffic flow and facilitate the movement of people and goods, including essential supplies like food and medicine, while reducing costs and travel time. Additionally, the project will create immediate employment opportunities and benefit various sectors, including the economy, services, education, and more.
With a significant elevation difference of 1,000 meters from the highest to the lowest point, the road lacks essential traffic safety elements, such as concrete barriers for vehicle protection, and is prone to rockfalls.
Rehabilitating the rain drainage system and constructing new drainage channels are also essential to prevent water penetration into the road pavement layers.

This project is part of 229 projects and initiatives implemented by SDRPY across various Yemeni governorates. These initiatives serve the Yemeni people in key sectors, including education, healthcare, water, energy, transportation, agriculture and fisheries, development and support of Yemeni government capacities, and developmental programs.