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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cambodia to see more participation in Earth Hour event

PHNOM PENH, Mar 26, 2011 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Some eighty businesses, and groups of individuals in Cambodia switched off their lights and electrical devices for an hour, starting at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday to celebrate "Earth Hour".

About 80 hotels, restaurants and shopping malls in the capital, including Hotel Cambodiana, Hotel Le Royal and Hotel Inter- Continental, as well as many individuals from across Cambodia have turned off their lights or partly turned off their lights for one hour to celebrate their action in protecting the environment.

"We have turned off the lights and lit candles instead during the Earth Hour, let the guests enjoy the unique atmosphere of romance, they feel very happy," a manager of Hotel Le Royal said.

Earth Hour is the world's largest environmental movement which encourages individuals, businesses and communities around the world to turn off their lights for one hour on March 26 at 8.30 p. m. local time in a bid to raise awareness about climate change.

Seng Teak, WWF-Cambodia's director, said Saturday that this is the second year that WWF has encouraged people in Cambodia to participate in this international event.

"It's still few participants, but it has doubled the number in 2010's event and I believe that year by year, more people will be aware of it and there will be more participation," he said.

WWF-Cambodia has assumed two Cambodian famous actors Yuthara Chhany and Tep Rindaro as the Earth Hour Ambassadors.

"Action for earth of these legendary actors will be a great example and will influence fans, families and friends to join forces with the rest of the world in the celebration of one thing that unites all of us -- the planet," he said.

Yuthara Chhany said, "The planet is ours and we can do our part to protect it, make your action for our only planet with the rest of the world."

"As individuals, we can do our own part to reduce the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere and take action on climate change for 365 days," he added.

The event was launched in 2007 in Sydney, Australia.

In 2010, hundreds of millions of people, in 128 countries and territories across the world, took part in the event.

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WT students return from Cambodia

By Matt Hamilton

Two weeks ago we brought you the story about the West Texas A&M University Readership Program and their trip of a life time.

Well, those 14 students have returned from their trip to Cambodia and they say the experiences they gained on the trip are irreplacable.

"It was a life changing trip. We went to different NGO's and basically learned to research where your money goes, because what some organizations seem as, they sometimes aren't," said Tyler Sweeney, a Senior Peer Leader and documentary filmmaker who went on the trip.

The trip also made the students realize how lucky they are.

"I also saw all of Cambodia and it made us thankful for all we have."

12 freshman along with two Peer Leaders were chosen out of hundreds who wrote essays to win the trip. This year marks the fourth international trip WTAMU has taken in conjunction with its Freshman Readership Program. The WT students traveled with student essay winners from Texas A&M International University in Laredo.

Cambodia was chosen as the destination because this year's common reader for Freshman Readership Program was The Road of Lost Innocence by Somaly Mam. In the book, Somaly talks about her experience of being sold into sex slavery and how she helps others.

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