Trophy hunting ban

Brown bears, wolves, lynx and wildcats will be able to rest a little more easily since a government ban on hunting for sport. Though protected under European law, a loophole had allowed hunting to become a multimillion-euro industry. The move is expected to save around 1,700 wild animals within the next year.

A home of their own

Women in Afghanistan are getting a foot (or perhaps a toe) on the property ladder for the first time through a pilot scheme in Kabul that sees ownership rights spilt equally between married couples. In a country where homes are almost exclusively owned by men, campaigners are hailing this as an important first step towards sole property rights for women.

Net benefit

The internet ideal of equal access for all – or ‘net neutrality’ – has been upheld, in Europe at least. Campaigners are celebrating the announcement of a law passed by the EU that prevents large corporations bagging smoother-running sites and faster loading times at the expense of small businesses and non-profits. It follows similar laws enacted in Brazil, the US and India.

UN backs beasts

Conditions for farm animals around the world are set to improve since the UN took a stand on animal welfare for the very first time. Its global policy recommendations emphasize that animals should live free from pain, distress and hunger. ‘Countries will no longer ask: “should we include animal welfare?”’ said World Animal Protection International, ‘but “how do we deliver better animal welfare?”’

Tom Lawson