| Tennessee under water
Rains and flash floods that pounded central parts of the US state of Tennessee, killed 29 persons. The toll was expected to rise as floodwaters receded. The region received over 33 cm rain in 48 hours. The Cumberland river that passes through Nashville, the state capital, crested at about 16 metres, a level not seen since 1937.
Over half of Nigeria’s 14 million people are threatened by growing food crisis brought on by drought and poor harvests last year. UN humanitarian chief John Holmes said the situation this year is worse than the last food crisis in 2005 and asked UN for US $130 million emergency funds.
A crackdown on illegal and unregulated fishing in Kenya has affected flow of fish into the European Union. Exporters are finding it difficult to push fish consignments owing to stringent EU regulations.
Over 341 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa lack access to potable water as water resources have high levels of toxins originating from domestic waste-water and industries, said a recent report. The findings are views of 180 scientists from Europe and Africa.
Indigenous people from around the world protested outside Brazil’s permanent mission in New York to express solidarity with people affected by the Belo Monte dam project. The Brazilian government had successfully appealed against a federal court order halting bidding for the world’s third largest dam project.
A large pulp mill in Uruguay can keep operating, said the International Court of Justice while rejecting Argentina’s case that the plant was polluting a river bordering both countries. The court said the construction of the mill did not breach environmental obligations.
tam, Brazil’s biggest airline, will hold a demonstration flight in the coming months using a mixture of aviation fuel including biofuel from the jatropha plant. In Brazil, 60,000 hectares of land are under jatropha cultivation.
The virus that causes white-nose syndrome in bats has already killed more than a million bats in the US and Canada and is spreading. With nine bat species threatened, crop plants are in danger—bats consume large number of insects that are also crop pests.
More than 500 European mayors have committed to cut CO2 emissions by more than 20 per cent by 2020. They signed the Covenant of Mayors, pledging to save energy, foster renewable energy and raise awareness among their citizens.
The European Transport Commission estimated airline losses somewhere between US $1.9 billion and $3.2 billion because of the volcanic ash cloud that grounded a number of planes and stranded 10 million passengers around Europe.
The European Union has recommended making an additional two billion euros (US $2.7 billion) of loans available to poor countries to combat climate change. Belarus, Iraq, Libya, Iceland and Cambodia were also added to the list of over 70 countries EU can lend to.
Russia and Norway reached an agreement on the demarcation of their maritime borders in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean. The Arctic territories, believed to hold vast untapped oil and gas reserves, were at the centre of disputes between Russia and Norway.
The tropical forest in Hainan Island, off south-eastern coast of China, is rapidly losing out to golf courses; there are about 30 of them. The imported soils for the courses have brought in exotic pests.
Israel has imposed a two-year fishing ban in the Sea of Galilee to preserve fish stocks. The ban would be gradual, starting with a ban during the breeding season.
Turkmen president Gurb-anguly Berdimukhammedov met Chinese leader Hu Jintao to discuss gas export. Russia had reduced gas purchase from Turkmenistan last year.
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