big diamonds
Miner Finds Enormous 706-Carat Diamond, Promptly Hands it Over to the Government

A pastor and independent miner in Sierra Leone has unearthed an uncut 706-carat diamond estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars. The pastor turned the diamond over to the government in hopes that the proceeds from its sale will help the impoverished nation. But given the history of this former “blood-diamond” nation, what happens from here is anyone’s guess. Read More >>

animals
Eastern Lowland Gorillas Are Now Critically Endangered Thanks to Your Stupid Phone

The eastern lowland gorilla—the largest member of the great ape family—is now officially listed as a critically endangered species, according to data presented today by conservationists. These iconic apes have been in steady decline since the 1990s, the indirect result of our insatiable desire for mobile phones and other technological gadgets. Read More >>

animals
Congo’s Civil War Has Practically Wiped Out the World’s Largest Gorilla

The largest great apes on Earth have suffered a “catastrophic” population collapse over the past twenty years, according to a report published by the Wildlife Conservation Society. Grauer’s gorilla, a subspecies found only in the lawless eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, is a victim of the same brutal civil war that claimed up to six million human lives from 1996 to 2003. Read More >>

environment
The Congo Mines That Supply “Conflict Minerals” For the World’s Gadgets

Most people who own a smartphone—or a laptop, or a new car—aren’t familiar with tantalum, the rare, blue-grey metal that conducts electricity through these devices. But thanks to skyrocketing demand from electronics makers, tantalum—along with a handful of other rare minerals—is an incredibly sought-after metal. And it’s fuelling the ongoing conflict in Congo. Read More >>

business
Human Rights Group Sticks Nintendo Right At The Bottom of Conflict Minerals List

In a quite contrasting view of the friendly game console and software maker, a human rights group has put Nintendo dead last in its conflict minerals ranking list, in a report that details sourcing minerals that are mined in war conditions amongst human rights abuses. Read More >>