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Scientists in first global study of 'poison' gas in the atmosphere

It was used as a chemical weapon in the trenches in the First World War, but nearly a century later, new research by an international team of scientists has discovered that phosgene is present in significant quantities in the atmosphere. >> Read the Full Article

Oil-For-Food Trial Turns to Diplomacy

A businessman implicated in the scandal-ridden United Nations oil-for-food program facilitated unofficial attempts at diplomacy between senior U.S. and Iraqi government officials in the months after the Sept. 11 attacks, according to testimony and documents in the trial of one of his associates, a Texas oil tycoon. >> Read the Full Article

EPA Targets $2 Million to Fight Climate Change with Projects in China, Russia, Seven Other Countries

Washington, D.C. - China, Russia, Argentina, Brazil, India, Korea, Mexico, Nigeria and Ukraine will have projects funded under the auspices of the Methane to Markets Partnership, an international effort promoting near-term, cost-effective projects that capture and use methane as a clean-energy source.  EPA is announcing the award of $2 million for projects that will enhance the capture and use of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas twenty times more effective than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere. The primary component of natural gas, methane is also a valuable and clean-burning energy resource. >> Read the Full Article

Stuck in Traffic? You're Not Alone

WASHINGTON -  Drivers waste nearly an entire work week each year sitting in traffic on the way to and from their jobs, according to a national study released Tuesday. The nation's drivers languished in traffic delays for a total of 4.2 billion hours in 2005, up from 4 billion the year before, according to the Texas Traffic Institute's urban mobility report. That's about 38 hours per driver.  "Things are bad and they're getting worse," said Alan Pisarski, a transportation expert and the author of "Commuting in America."

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Post - Invasion Economies: Comparing Iraq and Afghanistan

Sustainable economic growth has been a major goal of reconstruction efforts in post-invasion Iraq and Afghanistan. Enhancing each state's ability to trade and attract investment will go a long way toward improving citizens' lives, though without governance reforms and an end to instability and violence these economies cannot expect to grow. Despite these obstacles, both countries have significant economic factor endowments—oil in Iraq and arable land in Afghanistan. >> Read the Full Article

Food Firms Want Binding Rules For Safe Imports

WASHINGTON - Top U.S. food companies, worried recent import scares may turn away customers, launched a plan on Tuesday to add teeth to existing safety guidelines and increase funding for bare-bones federal regulators.  The Grocery Manufacturers Association, which includes leading companies like General Mills Inc., Cargill Inc., ConAgra Foods Inc. and Hershey Co., proposed the steps in a bid to ease fears stirred this year by reports of lead-laden toys and chemical-laced seafood and other goods imported into the United States, largely from China.

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Pesticides Pose Risk in Rural and Urban Communities Alike

n a recent study of 60 children of Latino farmworkers in the U.S. state of North Carolina, nearly 90 percent of those tested were found to have pesticide metabolites in their urine, according to a report in Environmental Health Perspectives. On average, the children had four different pesticides present in their urine, posing a potential long-term health risk. “Because children are so much smaller than adults and because they are developing rapidly, the effects of pesticides on their neurological systems can be devastating,” says Danielle Nierenberg, a food and agriculture researcher at the Worldwatch Institute in Washington, D.C. >> Read the Full Article

Ban Urges Strong Message From Climate Summit

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Tuesday for a climate change summit he has convened next week to send a "strong political message" to enable a "bold" new global environment pact to be negotiated. "The science has made it quite clear," Ban told a news conference. "We have been feeling the impact of global warming already ... We have resources and we have technologies. The only (thing) lacking is political will. >> Read the Full Article

Typhoon to Spare Shanghai After Losing Power

SHANGHAI - Typhoon Wipha abruptly lost strength after it crossed the eastern coast of China on Wednesday and looked set to miss Shanghai as it headed north.  However, the storm toppled hundreds of homes and knocked out power and water supplies as it swept in from the sea some 650 km (400 miles) south of the country's financial hub.

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China Faltering On Support For Solar Power: Report

BEIJING - Solar panels could generate over 10 percent of China's power by the middle of the century, but only if Beijing steps up support for pioneering generating plants and sets more ambitious targets, a report said on Wednesday. Although it is the world's No. 3 producer of photovoltaic (PV) cells that convert sunlight into electricity, China sends 90 percent of its output abroad because it is too expensive for domestic use, according to the report launched by Greenpeace, the Chinese Renewable Energy Industry Association (CREIA) and WWF. >> Read the Full Article