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Toxic mining disasters ‘loom in eastern Europe’

Toxic mining disasters loom in eastern Europe as the European Union has failed to pass legislation a year after Hungary’s lethal toxic mud spill, an environmentalist group said on Monday. “Hungary has let its presidency of the EU pass without taking any action to defuse further ticking time bombs in Central and Eastern Europe,” said Gabor Figeczky, the head…

Microsoft tycoon Bill Gates to reinvent toilets

WASHINGTON — The man who reinvented computers and made PCs a household item in most wealthy nations, Microsoft tycoon turned philanthropist Bill Gates, is now focusing his attention on recasting the toilet. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is pledging millions of dollars in grants to reinvent the toilet, its…

EU tightens nuclear waste disposal rules

The European Union on Tuesday tightened rules on the disposal of radioactive waste with strict conditions on exporting it outside EU borders. The new legislation requires EU governments to present by 2015 plans to dispose of waste produced by nuclear reactors as well as other sources including electricity production, medicine,…

Firefighters making headway against wildfire at Los Alamos

LOS ALAMOS, New Mexico (Reuters) – A New Mexico wildfire raged largely unchecked for a fourth day near one of the nation’s top nuclear arms production plants on Wednesday, but firefighters finally gained some ground in corralling the flames. The so-called Las Conchas Fire has scorched at least 90,000 acres…

Swedish firm applies to bury nuclear waste amid protests

STOCKHOLM – A Swedish nuclear industry group applied to authorities Wednesday for permission to bury nuclear waste for the period it is unsafe, but Greenpeace protesters warned of the risks of leakage. If the plan is approved, Sweden could become the first country in the world to bury spent nuclear…

US cities take aim at junk mail

WASHINGTON – Five US cities launched initiatives Tuesday to let residents refuse junk mail, hoping to support the environment and cut expenses by stopping waste at its source. Americans receive some 100 billion pieces of advertising mail a year, according to the US Postal Service. Catalog Choice, a non-profit group,…

Study: US wasted billions in Iraq, Afghanistan

WASHINGTON – Corruption and waste has cost the US government billions of reconstruction dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to an official study on wartime contracting released on Thursday. The report found that “criminal behavior and blatant corruption” were responsible for much of the waste related to the nearly $200…

Chevron sues Ecuadorians who stood up to toxic contamination

Update: Chevron ordered to pay $8 billion An Ecuadorean judge ruled Monday that Chevron must pay at least $8.2 billion for allegedly dumping oil-drilling waste. The company has pledged to appeal the ruling. Original report continues below… Chevron, accused of dumping oil-drilling waste in the Ecuadorean jungle, is facing a…

Obama stands by vow to cut waste from federal budget

WASHINGTON – US President Barack Obama said on Saturday he was determined to carry out budget cuts needed to improve America’s balance sheet, but insisted on making key investments in the country’s future. The president unveils his spending blueprint on Monday, with White House officials saying it will freeze annual…

Key Republican calls UN Human Rights Council ‘a waste of taxpayer dollars’

WASHINGTON – As part of their efforts to cut the federal budget, numerous House Republicans have made moves to slash US funding for the United Nations. House Foreign Affairs Committee chair Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL.) has called for hearings to slash US funding for the United Nations’ Human Rights Council…

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