UN urges world to tackle mercury health threat


NAIROBI (AFP) – The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on Sunday urged environment ministers meeting this week in Nairobi to adopt a strategy to curb the use of the highly toxic metal mercury. “The world’s environment ministers meeting in Nairobi,

Clinton leaves for Asia vowing to strengthen US ties

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton left for Asia on Sunday, on her maiden mission as the chief US diplomat after pledging to strengthen US ties with the region. High among her priorities are finding ways to

Australian wildfire death toll hits 181

HEALESVILLE, Australia (AFP) – Firefighters are battling to save Australian communities threatened by searing wildfires that have already claimed 181 lives, a toll that is expected to rise. As tales of the horror wrought by the infernos that have razed

Australian wildlife devastated by fires, say carers

Cuddly Australian icons such as kangaroos and koalas have been “devastated” by the bushfires that have razed swathes of native habitat and destroyed animal shelters, wildlife experts said Tuesday. As the human toll climbed above 170, animal rescue workers said

Hurricane force winds hit north-west France

Travellers were warned not to go to either of Paris’ main airports. Winds of up to 140km/h (87mph) have hit northern and western France, disrupting power supplies and transport routes. Both main airports serving Paris -Charles de Gaulle and Orly

European cities sign climate change agreement

BRUSSELS – Mayors from more than 350 cities across Europe signed an EU climate change agreement Tuesday pledging to cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than 20 percent by 2020. The pact covers urban areas across 23 EU countries and

96 dead – Australian Wildfires worst in history

BBC – The death toll from bush fires in southern Australia has reached 96, the worst in the country’s history. Thousands of firefighters are battling several major fires, and the number of dead is expected to rise as rescue workers

750 houses lost in Australia’s deadliest Wildfires

HEALESVILLE, Australia — A spokesman says fire officials have confirmed that 750 houses have been destroyed in Australia’s deadly wildfires and that tally will rise. Hayden Lane of the Victoria Country Fire Service said Sunday that 550 of the houses

Fires to follow floods as wild weather hits Australia

SYDNEY (AFP) – Eastern Australia braced for more fires and floods Friday as the south faced extreme heat and heavy rain threatened to swell floodwaters ravaging the north. A once-in-a-century heatwave was forecast to intensify over the weekend with high

Sea level rise worse than expected

Long-term sea level increases that could have a devastating effect on southern Florida and highly populated coastal areas may be even larger than once thought, a report suggests. Some studies have suggested that melting of ice in Antarctica and other