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Public Hearings Held in LA, Philadelphia on Stricter Federal Smog Standards

Activists and asthma patients urged federal environmental officials Thursday to go further in tightening smog standards to protect children and others from ailments caused by dirty air. The Environmental Protection Agency held its first public hearings in Los Angeles and Philadelphia on plans to reduce the permissible amount of the noxious gas formed when car exhaust, industrial emissions and gasoline vapors are cooked by heat and sunlight. >> Read the Full Article

Industrial Nations Shy away from Stiff 2020 Goals

Industrial nations were shying away from fixing stiff 2020 guidelines for greenhouse gases cuts at U.N. talks on Friday in what environmentalists said would be a vote for "dangerous" climate change. A draft text at the U.N. talks dropped mention of steep cuts in greenhouse gases of 25 to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 as a non-binding "guide" for rich nations' work on a pact to fight global warming beyond 2012, delegates said. >> Read the Full Article

2008 Declared Year of Frog to Save Amphibians

Conservationists from around the world have declared 2008 the Year of the Frog to highlight their new campaign to save threatened amphibians from extinction. The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) said on Friday that up to half of amphibian species could be wiped out in coming years through habitat loss and climate change -- the biggest mass extinction since dinosaurs disappeared. >> Read the Full Article

Food Demand and Climate Straining Soils

World food demand will surge this century with a leap in population, highlighting a need to protect soils under strain from climate change, experts said on Thursday. About 150 scientists and government experts will meet in Iceland from August 31-September 4 to try to work out how to safeguard soils from over-use and desertification when more food is needed and some farmers are shifting land to biofuels. >> Read the Full Article

Rich Countries Deadlocked Over 2020 Climate Goals

Industrial nations were deadlocked on Thursday about whether to set stringent 2020 goals for cutting greenhouse gases at a first U.N. session about long-term climate targets, delegates said. A draft text at the Vienna meeting said rich countries should recognize a need for cuts of between 25 and 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 to avert the worst effects of climate change. Russia, Japan, Canada, New Zealand and Switzerland objected that such goals would be too demanding after a first period of the U.N. Kyoto Protocol, the main plan for fighting global warming, ends in 2012, delegates said. >> Read the Full Article

Not All Risk Is Created Equal, Men Take On More, Sooner

ANN ARBOR, Mich.— A camper who chases a grizzly but won't risk unprotected sex. A sky diver afraid to stand up to the boss. New research shows that not all risk is created equal and people show a mixture of both risky and non-risky behaviors. The survey also shows that men are significantly riskier than women overall. >> Read the Full Article

Flaxseed Shows Potential to Reduce Hot Flashes

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Data from a new Mayo Clinic study suggest that dietary therapy using flaxseed can decrease hot flashes in postmenopausal women who do not take estrogen. The findings from the pilot study are published in the summer 2007 issue of the Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology. >> Read the Full Article

Tropical Depression Could Form In Atlantic

NEW YORK - A tropical wave in the central Atlantic Ocean was a little better-defined early Thursday and could become the sixth tropical depression of the season in the next day or two, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in its morning advisory. A tropical depression is a tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained wind speed is 38 mph or less. >> Read the Full Article

NASA Study Predicts More Severe Storms With Global Warming

NASA scientists have developed a new climate model that indicates that the most violent severe storms and tornadoes may become more common as Earth’s climate warms. >> Read the Full Article

Toys 'R' Us Recalls 27,000 Chinese-Made Lead-Tainted Coloring Cases

NEW YORK - Toys "R" Us Inc is recalling about 27,000 Imaginarium wooden coloring cases that were made in China because they violate federal lead paint standards. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which announced the recall on Thursday, said the 213-piece coloring cases were sold at the toy retailer's stores and on its Web site from October 2006 through August 2007 for about $20. The printed ink on the outer packaging of the wood case contains lead, and some of the black watercolor paint contains excessive levels of lead, the agency said. >> Read the Full Article