"A former foreman at one of West Virginia's largest underground coal mines admitted Wednesday that he lied about conducting a key safety test, as a federal criminal probe continued into allegations that Patriot Coal officials covered up evidence of explosive methane levels at their Federal No. 2 Mine in Monongalia County."
The Pacific "ring of fire" -- the zone where tectonic plates crunch -- doesn't stop at the equator. It extends through the U.S. Pacific Northwest, which is also vulnerable to intense quakes. States like Oregon are just beginning to retrofit potentially lethal buildings, and the seismic clock is ticking.
"They ran for blocks when they saw the big truck with the Minnesota license plate roll by. Little girls and old women, little boys and young men, all chasing the shiny silver tanker down streets of Cite Soleil, one of the world’s worst slums. Past fly-infested garbage piles, by canals reeking of raw sewage, they carried buckets, pans, pots, tubs — anything that could hold what has become gold in the ruins of Haiti’s catastrophic earthquake: clean water."
"Istanbul is one of a host of quake-threatened cities in the developing world where populations have swelled far faster than the capacity to house them safely, setting them up for disaster of a scope that could, in some cases, surpass the devastation in Haiti from last month’s earthquake."
Cholera may be the next disaster in Haiti as thousands in tent cities face the coming rainy season without sanitation.
"Twenty-two electric utility facilities with coal ash impoundments have written action plans to make them safer. But on Thursday, as the U.S. EPA made these plans public, the agency also released engineering assessments of 40 more coal ash impoundments showing they have the 'high' or 'significant' potential to cause loss of human life, environmental damage, or damage to infrastructure."
A series examining Rwanda's efforts to build an eco-friendly economy after genocide, and an Iowa-based initiative that's leading the way. Des Moines Register, December 20-23, 2009, by Perry Beeman.
"Long-term efforts to help Haiti recover from the earthquake will have to reverse environmental damage such as near-total deforestation that threatens food and water supplies for the Caribbean nation, experts say."
"The poor nation has long suffered from a lack of medical care and rampant disease. With the earthquake, aid agencies must build a healthcare system on the fly."
"Doctors and aid workers worry that a wave of infectious disease may soon spread through Haiti, with masses of the newly homeless clustering in public spaces without clean water or sanitation."