Published: Friday 15 December 2006

China refuted a recent US National Academy of Sciences report, which notes that a new strain of the H5N1 bird flu virus has emerged in southern China.

Argentine President Nestor Kirchner has asked the World Bank to halt loans for the controversial pulp mill in neighbouring Uruguay, until the countries resolve their conflict in international courts.

Africa's most polluted city Kabwe, home to 300,000 people, has been ranked the world's fourth most polluted site, notes a survey published by the Blacksmith Institute, a New York-based organisation monitoring pollution in the developing world.

A tenth of China's farmland is polluted with heavy metals and other toxins, a state environmental protection agency report notes. The pollution contaminates at least 12 million tonnes of grain every year, incurring losses of 20 billion Yuan (around US $2.5 billion) to the state exchequer, the report notes.

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