Pollution

North Korea says may slow nuclear disablement: Kyodo
December 26, 2007 07:58 PM - Reuters

"There is a delay in the implementation of economic compensation obligations to be undertaken by the other countries in the six-party talks," Hyun Hak Bong, deputy director of the North Korean Foreign Ministry's American affairs bureau, was quoted as saying late on Wednesday.

Secondhand smoke may raise child allergy risk
December 26, 2007 01:52 PM - Reuters

Experts have known that exposure to secondhand smoke either renatally or early in life can raise a child's risk of developing asthma symptoms. But the evidence regarding allergies in general has been mixed.

Broken Homes Damage the Environment
December 26, 2007 12:45 PM - Michigan State University Newswire

The data are in. Divorce is bad for the environment. A novel study that links divorce with the environment shows that a global trend of soaring divorce rates has created more households with fewer people, that, in turn, take up more space and gobble up more energy and water. The research of Jianguo "Jack" Liu and Eunice Yu at Michigan State University, which was partially funded by the National Science Foundation, appears in this week's online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Egyptian woman dies of bird flu
December 26, 2007 09:01 AM - Reuters

CAIRO (Reuters) - A 25-year-old Egyptian woman has died of bird flu, Egypt's Ministry of Health said on Wednesday. It is the first human death in Egypt from the virus since June and the 16th since the disease arrived in early 2006. The ministry named the woman as Ola Younis from Beni Haroun village in Beni Suef province, south of Cairo. She entered Beni Suef hospital on December 21 with a high temperature and breathing problems, was diagnosed on Tuesday and died the same day, it said in a statement.

The Danger of PBDEs
December 25, 2007 10:34 PM - UC Riverside

Riverside, California - Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), chemicals used as fire retardants, can be found in numerous items in the home, such as the television, computer, toaster and the sofa. Now, they are being found in alarming concentrations, in human blood and breast milk - a potentially major concern for human health. In addition, these industrial chemicals have been associated with cases of feline hyperthyroidism, a potentially fatal condition in cats.

China says is no threat to world energy security
December 25, 2007 09:23 PM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - China said it is not a threat to world energy security and energy issues should not be politicized, urging that conflicts in producing nations be resolved through dialogue and not military force. China, the world's second-largest oil consumer, also is too reliant on international crude markets for last minute oil supplies and needs to arrange more long-term deals, Beijing said in a policy paper released on Wednesday. "China did not, does not and will not pose any threat to the world's energy security," according to the paper, titled China's Energy Conditions and Policies. "China will, step by step, change the current situation of relying too heavily on spot trading of crude oil, encourage the signing of long-term supply contracts with foreign companies and promote the diversification of trading channels," the paper added.

Vietnam suspects bird flu killed young child
December 25, 2007 08:37 PM - Reuters

HANOI (Reuters) - Doctors suspect bird flu may have killed a four-year-old child in northern Vietnam, state-run radio said on Wednesday. A Health Ministry official told a government meeting on Tuesday the child had a fever and serious pneumonia after eating chicken which died of unknown cause in the mountainous province of Son La, the Voice of Vietnam radio said.

Worms infect more poor Americans than thought
December 25, 2007 08:13 PM - Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Roundworms may infect close to a quarter of inner city black children, tapeworms are the leading cause of seizures among U.S. Hispanics and other parasitic diseases associated with poor countries are also affecting Americans, a U.S. expert said on Tuesday. Recent studies show many of the poorest Americans living in the United States carry some of the same parasitic infections that affect the poor in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, said Dr. Peter Hotez, a tropical disease expert at George Washington University and editor-in-chief of the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Beijing to switch to cleaner fuel: report
December 25, 2007 05:23 AM - Reuters

China will phase in cleaner motor fuel in Beijing in the next two months while keeping pump prices unchanged, a local newspaper said on Tuesday, in a move to clean the capital's smoggy skies ahead of the Beijing Olympic Games. Oil product wholesalers and retailers will be required to start supplying gasoline and diesel fuel conforming to the cleaner Euro IV standard from January 1, and complete a replenishing of their tanks with the new fuel by the end of February, the Beijing News said.

Toyota to cement top spot in 2008
December 25, 2007 02:54 AM - Chang-Ran Kim, Asia auto correspondent, Reuters

NAGOYA, Japan (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp will charge further into emerging car markets to achieve another year of record sales in 2008, likely cementing its title as the world's biggest automaker ahead of General Motors Corp. With a product line-up including the Camry and Prius hybrid cars, Toyota has attracted more customers in emerging and mature markets alike, all the while increasing profits through cost cuts and economies of scale.

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