San Francisco oil spill larger than thought
November 8, 2007 04:14 PM - By Adam Tanner, Reuters
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Many beaches in the San Francisco area remained closed on Thursday as officials tried to clean up 58,000 gallons of fuel that spilled into the West Coast city's famous bay the day before.
"This is a major spill," said Wil Bruhns, a division chief at the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board. "It certainly has the potential to cause damage to birds, fish and other wildlife."
The Cosco Busan struck a tower of the Bay Bridge on Wednesday morning in dense fog, creating a long slash along the ship that allowed bunker fuel to spill into the water.
FBI warns of possible shopping mall attacks
November 8, 2007 04:07 PM - Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An FBI report warned al Qaeda may be planning to strike shopping malls in Chicago and Los Angeles during the Christmas season, but a bureau official said on Thursday there was no information it was a credible threat.
ABC News first disclosed portions of the report that was based on intelligence received by the FBI in late September. The report said al Qaeda hoped to disrupt the U.S. economy and had been planning the attack for the past two years.
Bassett recalls 8,900 cribs due to entrapment risk
November 8, 2007 03:05 PM - Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Bassett Furniture Industries Inc is recalling about 8,900 Chinese-made baby cribs because the bolts can loosen, posing an entrapment and strangulation hazard, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Thursday.
The company has received 85 reports of bolts connecting the top corners of its "Wendy Bellissimo Collection Convertible Cribs" loosening. In one case, a 13-month-old child's hand became trapped between the railings, the agency said.
The cribs have been sold at Babies "R" Us stores in the United States since July 2005 for about $500 each, it said.
U.S. smoking rate stalled at 21 percent: CDC
November 8, 2007 03:03 PM - By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nearly 21 percent of Americans smoke, a number that has been stalled since 2004, federal researchers reported on Thursday in a study they said means governments must spend more to persuade people to kick the habit.
More than 45 million Americans smoked in 2006, or 20.8 percent of the population, 80 percent of them daily smokers, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
The CDC said the numbers have not changed since 2004, which suggests that smoking prevention efforts have "stalled."
"It is completely commensurate with the stall in resources that been going into tobacco control," Dr. Matt McKenna, who directs CDC's Office on Smoking and Health, said in a telephone interview.
Childrens Toy Contains Date Rape Drug, Millions Recalled
November 8, 2007 12:36 PM - By Karey Wutkowski, Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Toy maker Spin Master Ltd of Toronto recalled its Aqua Dots toys from North American retailers after a similar line of toys called Bindeez was recalled in Australia. At least three children were hospitalized in Australia after swallowing beads from the toy that contain a chemical that converts into the sedating drug GHB when swallowed.
GHB is also known as the "date rape" drug. Spin Master, which distributes Aqua Dots in North America, said in a statement it stopped shipping the item and was trying to identify any shipments that could be included in a recall by U.S. and Canadian officials.
Cholera and Dengue Threaten Mexican Flood Victims
November 8, 2007 08:14 AM - Reuters
VILLAHERMOSA, Mexico - Tens of thousands of Mexicans forced into makeshift shelters by massive flooding are threatened by ailments ranging from colds to cholera, health officials said on Wednesday. About 80,000 people from the flooded city of Villahermosa have taken refuge in crammed schools, churches and a multistory parking garage. Colds, respiratory illnesses and foot fungus have become common, and doctors in the tropical city fear outbreaks of more serious diseases like cholera due to a lack of running water.
Safety agency issues new batch of toy recalls
November 7, 2007 10:13 PM - By Karey Wutkowski, Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More recalls of lead-tainted toys made in China were announced on Wednesday by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, including 380,000 toy cars sold at Dollar General stores.
Other warnings included smaller recalls of Dizzy Ducks music boxes, Winnie-the-Pooh spinning tops, "Big Red" wagons, Dragster and Funny Car toys, and Duck Family collectible wind-up toys, all because of paint with unsafe levels of lead.
Millions of similar toy recalls, most involving Chinese-made products, have alarmed American consumers in recent months. Lead is toxic and can pose serious health risks to children, including brain damage.
Ship Emissions Seen Causing 60,000 Deaths a Year
November 7, 2007 10:05 PM - By Lindsay Beck
BEIJING (Reuters) - Emissions from ocean-going ships are responsible for about 60,000 deaths a year from heart and lung-related cancers, according to research published on Wednesday that calls for tougher fuel standards.
Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong, three of the world's five busiest ports, were likely to suffer disproportionate impacts from ship-related emissions, said the study, published in Environmental Science and Technology, a journal of the American Chemical Society.
"For a long time there's been this perception that ship emissions are out there in the ocean and they don't really affect anyone on land and I think this study shows that this is clearly false," said David Marshall, senior counsel at the Boston-based Clean Air Task Force, which co-commissioned the study.
What's Killing the Bees?
November 6, 2007 05:23 PM - Bay Paul Tukey, Author and HGTV Host
The author of this commentary is Paul J. Tukey, HGTV Co-Host & Executive Producer, Publisher, named by People, Places & Plants magazine the 2006 COMMUNICATOR OF THE YEAR by the American Horticultural Society, the author of The Organic Lawn Care Manual, National Spokesperson and the co-founder of safelawns.org.
60 Minutes is on the case. NPR recently published an expose. The media everywhere is scrambling for an angle on one of the most chilling and compelling questions of our time: what is killing the bees?And while it’s exciting to see all the attention on this subject — since bees’ pollination accounts for about one third of the food we consume daily — it’s also enormously frustrating for beekeepers when many of our media brethren stop just short of telling the beekeepers’ version of the story.
Diesel fumes may increase heart attack, stroke threat
November 6, 2007 01:58 PM - By Will Dunham
ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - Inhaling diesel exhaust fumes causes changes in the body that may make people more prone to heart attack or stroke, researchers said on Tuesday.
European scientists found that blood clots are more likely to form in otherwise healthy people exposed to relatively high amounts of diesel engine exhaust for a short time. This could cause a blocked vessel, heart attack or stroke.