Climate

Climate talks start with calls for new global deal
August 27, 2007 08:21 AM - Alister Doyle - Reuters

Climate negotiators from more than 150 nations assembled in Vienna on Monday with calls for a global deal beyond 2012 to replace the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol and include outsiders such as the United States and China. "Climate change is already a harsh reality, a massive obstacle to development," Austrian Environment Minister Josef Proell told the opening ceremony at a meeting of more than 1,000 senior officials, activists and other experts.

63 Dead,Thousands Homeless, Greek Forest Fires Surround Villages
August 27, 2007 07:38 AM - Vassilis Triandafyllou -Reuters

Desperate Greek villages encircled by flames appealed for help on Monday as strong winds continued to fan forest fires sweeping through the country, killing 63 people in three days. People sought refuge by river banks as towering flames engulfed homes, farms and forests and firefighters battled scores of blazes across the country, which has declared a nationwide emergency

Beijing Traffic Restriction Not a Silver Bullet for Air Pollution
August 27, 2007 07:31 AM - Ling Li - Worldwatch Institute

A recent traffic restriction that limited driving in China’s capital city during the four-day “Good Luck Beijing” Olympic test games initially resulted in a measurable improvement in the city’s haze, according to Beijing officials. But over the full period of the restriction, air pollution levels in fact showed a slight increase, The Washington Post reported. Zhao Yue, vice director of the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau, noted on the agency’s Web site that humid, windless conditions had trapped particulate matter in the city, preventing greater improvement.

Indonesia hopes to include peat in new climate deal
August 27, 2007 07:10 AM - Adhityani Arga

Indonesia wants emission cuts from preserving its vast carbon-rich peatlands to be eligible for trade in a new deal on combating global warming at upcoming climate talks, a forestry official said on Monday. Under the Kyoto Protocol, developed nations can pay poor countries to cut emissions from activities such as the manufacture of refrigerants and fertilizers as well as capturing greenhouse gases from farm waste and rubbish dumps.

Germany's Merkel Presses China On Climate Change
August 27, 2007 07:07 AM - Claudia Kade -Reuters

German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged China on Monday to do more to halt climate change, prompting the response that the developed West has been polluting the skies for much longer than the newly developing Chinese. Merkel is on her second visit to China as Chancellor and the trip comes four months before world environment ministers meet in Bali to try to launch new talks to extend the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012. She pressed for stronger protection of intellectual property rights and said the ground rules for gathering resources should be the same worldwide, an apparent criticism of China's relations with Sudan.

N.Korea Floods Left 600 People Dead Or Missing
August 26, 2007 04:38 PM - Jon Herskovitz, Reuters

SEOUL - Some of the worst flooding to hit North Korea in decades has killed at least 600 people, double the previous known toll, the official news agency said at the weekend.

Greek Fires Kill 56, Threaten Ancient Olympia
August 26, 2007 04:17 PM - Vassilis Triandafyllou, reuters

ANCIENT OLYMPIA, Greece - Firefighters battled to save ancient Olympia on Sunday as Greece's worst forest fires in decades ravaged hills around the historic site and the death toll rose to 56. Thick black smoke billowed above the ancient ruins as dense pine and cypress woods burned around the site of the first Olympic Games and fire brigades evacuated nearby villages on Greece's southern Peloponnese peninsula.

Rain eases in Midwest but flood threat remains
August 26, 2007 08:28 AM - Bob Burgdorfer -Reuters

Residents of parts of Ohio, Illinois and Indiana struggled on Saturday to recover from nearly a week of destructive thunderstorms while preparing for more floods from overburdened rivers and streams. The worst of the storms, which have been blamed for 14 deaths throughout the Midwest, was believed to over but power outages still plagued the region.

Greek fires kill 51 and threaten Olympia
August 26, 2007 08:17 AM - Vassilis Triandafyllou -Reuters

EU firefighters and planes joined the battle on Sunday against the fires raging in Greece for three days, killing 51 people and threatening areas near ancient Olympia, historic site of the first Olympic games. Greece declared a state of emergency on Saturday as towering walls of flame cut a swathe of destruction through the southern Peloponnese peninsula and across other areas of the country.

Toll rises in South Asia floods
August 26, 2007 08:15 AM - Reuters

Flood victims in eastern India were eating raw wheat flour to survive as devastating monsoon flooding in South Asia continued to spread misery among millions. Nearly 2,000 people have been killed by snake bites, drowning, diarrhea and in house collapses since July when swollen rivers burst their banks, inundating huge areas in eastern India and Bangladesh.

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