Finland begins fishing plastic “ghost nets” out of the Baltic | AFP

Finnish environmental authorities have begun a project to trawl the Baltic sea and remove abandoned fishing nets, known as “ghost nets”, which continue to trap fish and other wildlife. Plastic fishing equipment disintegrates extremely slowly in the sea, and the UN’s food body claims ghost nets constitute one tenth of all plastic waste in the world’s seas.

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Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters form human chain | AFP

Thousands of people hold hands across Hong Kong in a dazzling, neon-framed recreation of a pro-democracy “Baltic Way” protest against Soviet rule three decades ago.

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Hong Kong protesters form human chain in creative show of dissent | AFP

Thousands of people hold hands across Hong Kong in a dazzling, neon-framed recreation of a pro-democracy “Baltic Way” protest against Soviet rule thirty years ago. IMAGES

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Amid worries over Russia, Sweden returns troops to Baltic island

Under an icy rain, camouflage-clad Swedish soldiers crouched behind a log pile, aimed their machine guns towards the Baltic Sea and, at their officers’ barked orders, opened fire down the snow-covered range. It was routine training for the young recruits based on the Baltic island of Gotland, but these troops are at the forefront of Sweden’s efforts to bolster its military as Stockholm worries about Russian intentions in Europe and the Baltic.