In short

Published: Friday 30 November 2007

>> About 500,000 hill lambs suspected of foot and mouth disease will be culled and incinerated in Wales and Scotland over the next few weeks to avoid a 'welfare disaster'. The restrictions imposed during the outbreak in the region has left the lambs trapped in hillsides. With winters beginning the grass has started running out. Breeding ewes need to stay in the hills over the winter to ensure lambs for next year, and they will not have enough to eat unless the trapped lambs are removed quickly.

>> The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear Exxon Mobil Corp's appeal seeking to overturn the US $2.5 billion in punitive damages for the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off Alaska. A US appeals court had awarded the punitive damages to about 32,000 commercial fishers, people of Alaska, property owners and others harmed by the nation's worst tanker spill.

>> Australia slashed its wheat crop forecast by 22 per cent on October 31, the second downgrade in just six weeks, as drought and searing temperatures have led to total crop failure in the region. This year's harvest is expected to yield 12.1 million tonnes of wheat, down from a September forecast of 15.5 million tonnes.

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