China has a duty to stop rhino killings

Chinese demand for ivory, rhino horn, and shark fins does great harm to the country's image, a reader says. Other letter topics: population increase, new coins, Angela Merkel, big teams and chickens.

These rhinos, grazing in India's Kaziranga National Park, look serene but are at great risk from poachers because of a brisk market, in China, for their horns, a plight a reader calls heartbreaking. Anupam Nath / AP
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Rhino killings show that China needs to change

The story The rhinos of Kaziranga are under siege (January 12) was truly heartbreaking.

I know that the demand for potions and parts from different, magnificent animals are in demand in many countries, but it seems to me that China is the biggest consumer of rhino horn, ivory, shark fin, and so on.

When I was in Hong Kong recently I saw countless jewellery stores selling what they call "ancient mammoth tusk" carved into different shapes. Who can believe there were that many mammoths? This is plainly just modern ivory.

The Chinese (and Hong Kong) governments should realise how much goodwill they could win around the world with a truly vigorous effort to stamp out this trade in endangered species.

Helen Jutras, Dubai

Iran opposition leaders vulnerable

I admire the men who are the subject of your article Iranian opposition leaders in the spotlight ahead of poll (January 12). They have taken great risks, showing courage.

But they should be careful lest they be jailed for tax evasion or some other trumped-up charge, or lest something similar happens to their children.

This regime has no decency, nor does it care if anyone believes the lies it keeps telling.

Frank Burkhardt, US

Don't believe population scares

I was shocked by the absurd use of the pathetic fallacy in What's the truth about water? (January 12).

The US campaign group Population Media Center is quoted as saying " … the earth is attempting to impose its own checks on human population … in the form of … new disease strains, food and water shortages, poor harvests, and violent and destructive weather."

This kind of claptrap ranks right down with the Mayan calendar nonsense.

Self-serving alarmists have been trying to scare us about population since Malthus, and they're still at it. But more humans live better lives today than ever before.

Kent Perkins, Abu Dhabi

Avian alarm clocks are not welcome

People who keep chickens in residential areas are creating a real problem, one that municipalities should take more seriously.

The noise the birds in my Dubai neighbourhood make is a real nuisance; we can't sleep because these stupid animals keep going all night long. I don't understand how the owners can stand this.

Name withheld by request

Think twice about the 'biggest' team

You missed something in The biggest team in English football? Why that would be Coventry City (January 10).

What about the mighty Norwich City? They are the only club in the area. Their closest rivals Ipswich are over twice as far away as Coventry is from all the Birmingham teams. They also won the league cup equivalents in 1962 and 1985.

This covers your requirements, and in addition On the Ball City is the oldest song in football, and Norwich are the only English team to win away to Bayern Munich.

Tim Bentley, UK

Team should win for female fans

In light of your news report Gulf Cup: UAE women attending match causes a stir on Twitter (January 8) all I can say is come on UAE team - win it for the ladies this year!

Some men should leave their egos in the car park.

Jill Thompson, Abu Dhabi

Merkel has earned world's respect

Your article Europe, the triumph of the Iron Lady (January 11) shows that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stood her ground on many issues, proving her mettle.

In these troubled times she has kept Germany's economy steady and that is laudable.

K Ragavan, India

Machines should accept new coins

I was very pleased to see the letter to the editor Wanted: a place to change coins (January 9).

Until I read it I thought I was the only one who had trouble feeding new one-dirham coins into Mawaqif machines. This was the first mention of the problem I've seen.

It doesn't make sense that coins, intended for use as legal tender, are not accepted by machines put out by an official agency.

What this problem has done for me, however, led to an improvement: I finally went and got a Mawaqif card, and so I no longer have to worry about keeping a stack of (old) dirham coins in the car.

Still, it should be possible to use the new coins.

Terry Mulvaney, Abu Dhabi