The UN drugs agency says Africa has become a huge heroin and cocaine hub, with all the associated organised crime behind it. The cash is being traded for weapons by radical groups dedicated to bringing down governments, and Somalia's chaos, along with that of any number of deeply unstable West African countries (e.g. Guinea, Mali, Guinea-Bissau), feed the fire. Recently a downed Boeing was found in Mali with some 10 tonnes of Venezuelan cocaine aboard. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime says up to 60 tonnes of cocaine crosses West Africa each year, with some 35 tonnes of Afghanistan heroin reaching East Africa annually. Apart from rising addiction, al-Qaeda’s North African Wing operates in a wide stretch from Algeria to Mauritania and Mali. The West fears this could become a springboard for attacks on Europe.Read more: BBC, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, The Telegraph, Business Day
The filming of The Beach permanently damaged the ecosystem on the Thai island it was located on.