China has successfully launched its second geostationary orbit meteorological satellite, Fengyun-2D (FY-2D), to provide better weather forecasting services for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. The satellite will monitor weather changes at the games venues to help weather forecasts during the games.
More than 1,000 mallard ducks recently died along a southeast Idaho creek bed. The ducks mysteriously began dying in the first week of December around Land Springs Creek, near the remote town of Oakley. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game and the US Department of Homeland Security fear an avian flu outbreak and are testing tissue samples.
Canadian mining giant Barrick Gold Corporation (the world's largest gold-mining company) has acquired another gold mine in San Juan, a west Argentine province. The farm is already facing worldwide protests for its Pascua Lama gold mine project, which has caused serious environmental, social and economical damages.