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The United States has done it. The Philippines and China too. Even Hong Kong has said it will destroy some of its contraband ivory. But ahead of a conservation conference in London next month where world leaders will descend to seek a solution to wildlife crime, the debate about the future of stockpiles is set to heat up.

The Chinese boat, Min Long Yu, at the Tubbataha Reef area off the coast of Palawan province, Western Philippines. 12 crew members ran it aground on 08 April at a northern islet of the Tubbataha Marine National Park off Palawan province.

Crew of Chinese boat held as meat from protected animal the pangolin is found on board

A Chinese vessel that ran into a protected coral reef in the south-western Philippines held evidence of even more environmental destruction inside: more than 10,000kg of meat from a protected species, the pangolin or scaly anteater.

Five people killed in South African military helicopter crash

The South African military says five air force members have died in the crash of a helicopter that was patrolling as part of an anti-rhino poaching operation.

Chelsea captain John Terry on the bench

Manchester United v Chelsea - FA Cup sixth round match preview

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Nicky the baby rhino with David Attenborough in the last of BBC1’s Africa series

Three ivory traders for every Thai elephant

The host nation for this weekend's global conservation gathering is called to account for its role in African elephant poaching

In South Africa alone, 633 rhinos were killed in 2012

Top of the conference agenda: The last chance to save the rhino

With illegal trade in rhinos and elephants soaring, East Asian countries are under pressure to cut demand

Indian militants target rare rhino

Officials in one of India’s north-eastern states have asked federal investigators to help track down militants suspected of using automatic weapons to kill rare one-horned rhinos.

Top accountancy firms accused of exploiting tax laws they helped to draft

Britain’s largest accountancy firms help the Treasury draft financial legislation which they then use to help their clients evade tax, it was revealed today.

Supermarkets ombudsman aims to stop bullies

The first ombudsman designed to crack down on the big supermarkets bullying suppliers in the £163bn grocery sector has been named by the Government.

The Chessmen, By Peter May. Quercus, £14.99

Joyce once described Ireland as a priest-ridden country. God knows what he would have made of the Hebrides as presented in Peter May's accomplished trilogy, of which The Chessmen is the concluding volume. The influence of a hidebound church is all-pervasive and all-stultifying. But this is only part of the rich texture with which May has invested these books, elevating them above most contemporary crime fiction.

Editorial: A hunt chasing the wrong fox

In the aftermath of the RSPCA's successful private prosecution of the Cotswolds' Heythrop Hunt – which saw an entire hunt charged, for the first time, and two prominent members also fined – the charity has come in for quite a drubbing. It is time, then, for a show of support.

A female rhino, with a male companion, who survived a brutal dehorning in South Africa

Rhino poaching peaks across Africa as demand for horns soars

The world is facing a new wildlife crisis with rhino and elephant poaching in Africa now running out of control, as the illicit wildlife trade booms across the globe as never before.

Hunt saboteur 'beaten by gang'

Police have arrested a 23-year-old man after a hunt saboteur was apparently beaten with sticks by a gang of men on quad bikes during a Boxing Day hunt.

South Africa is home to about 20,000 rhinos

Poachers' trade in rhino horn is 'pushing species into decline'

Demand in Far East for horn's medicinal qualities drives killings to record levels

<p><strong>Rhinos rumbled</strong></p>
<p>Rhino tracking offers thrills to bush detective and adrenalin junkie alike. With the huge but placid white rhino, this is not too hard. The smaller, shyer and stroppier black rhino is more of a challenge. Imfolozi Game Reserve, in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal, is Africa’s rhino capital. Mkhaya Game Reserve in nearby Swaziland also offers excellent tracking of both species. Imagine Africa (020-7622 5114; <a href=imagineafrica.co.uk) has a six-night self-drive South Africa/Swaziland package, including the three-night Imfolozi Wilderness Trail and two nights at Mkhaya, Swaziland, from £1,569, including car hire and international flights. The same company also offers a one-week self-drive safari to Namibia, including three nights at Desert Rhino Camp in Damaraland and two nights in the Etosha National Park, for £2,600, including international flights and car hire.

" title="The insatiable demand for horns has sparked the worst recorded year of rhino poaching in South Africa in decades" width="80" height="60" onclick="location.href='http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/rhino-killings-for-horns-rise-rapidly-in-south-africa-8364209.html';" class="" />

Rhino killings for horns rise rapidly in South Africa

By the time ranchers found the rhinoceros calf wandering alone in this idyllic setting of scrub brush and acacia, the nature reserve had become yet another blood-soaked crime scene in South Africa's losing battle against poachers.

Anthony Hilton: Banks can keep loans up if they change culture

Every time someone in government suggests the banks would be safer if they held more capital against their loans, the banks say they could only increase their capital by cutting back on their lending. It is one of the ways they routinely scare the government.

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