Plus endangered spies and lots more.
We begin with neglect via the McClatchy Washington Bureau:
70 percent of Americans with HIV don’t have virus under control, study finds
Amid ongoing fears of an Ebola outbreak in the United States, Americans got a grim reminder on Tuesday about the ongoing public health threat posed by another deadly virus: HIV.
Seventy percent of Americans who have HIV do not have the disease in check, and many of them are no longer receiving treatment, according to a study published Tuesday.
The study found that of 1.2 million people who were living with HIV in the United States in 2011, fewer than three in 10 had the virus under control. Twenty percent had never even been diagnosed. And about 66 percent of those who had been diagnosed were no longer in care.
From TheLocal.no, an unwanted discovery:
Deadly Enterovirus D68 found in Norway
Cases of the potentially deadly enterovirus D68 has been found in Norway, it was revealed on Tuesday.
The virus, which can cause paralysis and is without cure, and there is no cure, has been found in a few cases affecting Norwegians, informed the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (Nasjonalt Folkehelseinstitutt – FHI).
Senior physician of the Division of Infectious Disease Control at FHI, Trude Arnesen, said to NTB: “Enteroviruses are spread from excrement via hands to food, and also by coughing. Good hand and coughing hygiene will reduce the chance of infection.”
From the London Daily Mail, oops:
Bombshell report reveals a TYPO may have led 5,565 nuclear waste drums to be packed with wrong kitty litter that caused Los Alamos plutonium leak debacle
- The New Mexico facility switched from a clay-based to a plant-based litter, which caused a drum to leak in February
- A report from the Santa Fe New Mexican out last week details the bumbling–including an order for the wrong litter–predating the leak
- The barrels containing the organic litter are also mislabled and say they contain inorganic litter
- Sixteen of the barrels are believed to contain the other chemical elements that led Waste Drum 68660 to basically become a bomb
A tiny typographical error may have been what led to a plutonium waste barrel packed at Los Alamos National Laboratory to explode, leak through the ground and contaminate 22 workers early this year, says a new report.
An order to use the wrong type of kitty litter in the barrels is the likely culprit and thousands of other barrels were packed with it.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reported last week the unbelievable bumbling that made a minor mixup into a massive problem at America’s only permanent nuclear waste dump.
From Xinhua, dam-nation:
China to accelerate water projects
China will step up work on major water conservation projects, especially in rural areas and central and western regions.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Monday that governments should accelerate 172 water conservation programs that have strong economic and social importance, during a visit to the Ministry of Water Resources (MWR).
Li prioritized central and western regions to address regional water issues, which included diversion projects, reservoirs and irrigation.
It will not only conserve water but attract investment, boost employment, improve incomes of rural dwellers, bolster industry and even stabilize the economic growth, Li said.
All projects, both under construction or still at the discussion stage, should be quickened in a bid to provide a sustainable driving force for growth.
An urban air airing from Global Times:
China’s haze directly linked to gaseous pollutants from traffic, industrial emissions: study
Severe air pollution in Beijing and other Chinese cities might be directly related to gaseous pollutants rather than particles emitted from urban transportation and regional industry, researchers from China and the United States said Monday.
Photochemical oxidation of gaseous pollutants, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2), is primarily responsible for the formation of a large amount of fine particulate matter (PM), called secondary particles, during China’s severe haze pollution events, the researchers said.
The contribution from primary emissions and regional transport of PM, known as primary particles, is small, they reported in the US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Another cost of coal from Shanghai Daily:
24 killed in coal mine fire in NE China
A coal mine fire killed 24 workers and injured 52 others in northeast China’s Liaoning Province early Wednesday, the state-owned Liaoning Fuxin Coal Corporation told Xinhua.
The fire occurred in a coal mine under Hengda Coal, a subsidiary of Fuxin Coal, a major coal producer in the province.
Fuxin Coal said the rescue has been over and all the injured workers have been hospitalized.
From Homeland Security News Wire, an environmental impact assessment:
California’s transportation infrastructure ability to withstand a major earthquake questioned
A significant number of bridges and elevated roadways lie above or close to active fault lines, and Californians often wonder how the state’s towering interchanges and freeway network would perform during a major earthquake.The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has spent over $13 billion in the last forty years to reinforce vulnerable bridges and interchanges. Caltrans officials note that during a major earthquake, freeways are likely to sustain significant damage, but engineers feel confident that freeways will not collapse.
Californians often wonder how the state’s towering interchanges and freeway network would perform during a major earthquake. A significant number of bridges and elevated roadways lie above or close to active fault lines. “You see it looming, and as you get closer, it just gets taller and taller,” said Noel Vasquez of Whittier, as he eyes the Harbor Freeway before connecting with the 105 freeway. “You drive by and you think, ‘Man, I’d hate for that thing to break.’”
During the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, a double-decked portion of interstate 880 crumbled in Oakland, killing forty-two people. The 1971 magnitude 6.7 San Fernando temblor destroyed ramps linking the 5 and 14 freeways in the Newhall Pass interchange. After reopening two years later, the interchange collapse during the 1994 Northridge quake.
From Deutsche Welle, a much-needed preservation effort:
South Africa: Saving the Cape Parrots
There are only a thousand or so Cape parrots left. The species is in danger of extinction. The Cape Parrot Project wants to ensure its future.
Action at a distance, via Reuters:
In wake of China rejections, GMO seed makers limit U.S. launches
China’s barriers to imports of some U.S. genetically modified crops are disrupting seed companies’ plans for new product launches and keeping at least one variety out of the U.S. market altogether.
Two of the world’s biggest seed makers, Syngenta AG and Dow AgroSciences, are responding with tightly controlled U.S. launches of new GMO seeds, telling farmers where they can plant new corn and soybean varieties and how can the use them. Bayer CropScience told Reuters it has decided to keep a new soybean variety on hold until it receives Chinese import approval.
Beijing is taking longer than in the past to approve new GMO crops, and Chinese ports in November 2013 began rejecting U.S. imports saying they were tainted with a GMO Syngenta corn variety, called Agrisure Viptera, approved in the United States, but not in China.
The developments constrain launches of new GMO seeds by raising concerns that harvests of unapproved varieties could be accidentally shipped to the world’s fastest-growing corn market and denied entry there. It also casts doubt over the future of companies’ heavy investments in research of crop technology.
From the New York Times, Republican reaction anticipated:
Obama to Introduce Sweeping New Controls on Ozone Emissions
The Obama administration is expected to release on Wednesday a contentious and long-delayed environmental regulation to curb emissions of ozone, a smog-causing pollutant linked to asthma, heart disease and premature death.
The sweeping regulation, which would aim at smog from power plants and factories across the country, particularly in the Midwest, would be the latest in a series of Environmental Protection Agency controls on air pollution that wafts from smokestacks and tailpipes. Such regulations, released under the authority of the Clean Air Act, have become a hallmark of President Obama’s administration.
Environmentalists and public health advocates have praised the E.P.A. rules as a powerful environmental legacy. Republicans, manufacturers and the fossil fuel industry have sharply criticized them as an example of costly government overreach.
After the jump, tar sands oil boom leads to Canadian cowboy shortage, a Canadian pipeline protest, the bill for British air pollution, banking on a coal funding cutoff Down Under, Big Coal and Big Power await the ruling of a mercurial court, then on to Fukushimapocalypse Now!, first with the latest measure to stop of escape of radioactive water, then on to British nuclear power woes, plus a massive Vietnamese haul of dead endangered turtles. . . Continue reading