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EPA Announces Environmental Justice Video Contest: Faces of the Grassroots

EPA Announces Environmental Justice Video Contest: Faces of the Grassroots

WASHINGTON --The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is sponsoring an environmental justice video contest that challenges professional or aspiring filmmakers to create videos that capture the faces of the environmental justice movement. The Faces of the Grassroots contest is an opportunity to publicly exhibit creativity with environmental justice stories, and connect with others working to raise awareness of the movement.

“Faces of the Grassroots will help EPA expand the conversation on environmentalism and work for environmental justice,” said Charles Lee, director of EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice. “Participants can make a difference for the historically underrepresented in their community by using motion pictures to show the struggles and triumphs they have endured to advance environmental justice.”

Who Has Never Wanted to Dump Sewage Sludge on City Hall? Here's Your Chance

Organic Activists Will Dump Sewage Sludge and Hold a Press Conference on the Steps of San Francisco City Hall March 4 at Noon

Bay Area Gardeners Will Give Back Toxic Sewage Sludge that City Distributed
Using the Ruse of “Organic Compost”

SAN FRANCISCO, February 23, 2010 -- Community gardeners who were misled into
accepting toxic sewage sludge from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) are giving the sludge back to the Mayor¹s office at 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place on March 4th at 12 Noon.

Twice a year since 2007, the SFPUC has hosted “Compost Giveaway Events” in locations throughout the city. Although the city has marketed the material as “organic compost” or “organic fertilizer,” it turns out that it is really toxic sludge generated by San Francisco and seven other counties’ industrial, hospital, commercial and residential sewage. Residents who had lined up at the giveaways were outraged to learn of SFPUC¹s bait-and-switch.

The Environmental Activists of Climate Ground Zero and Mountain Justice Stand Up to Big Coal in West Virginia

The Environmental Activists of Climate Ground Zero and Mountain Justice

In the hills and hollers of southern West Virginia, a protest movement for environmental justice, social justice and human rights has arisen in the recent past that is having tremendous success. Arrayed against this movement is the multi-billion-dollar coal industry that owns the government of the State of West Virginia. Stepping into the breach with calls for an end to mountainop removal coal extraction are two groups that practice civil disobedience on behalf of the environment: Climate Ground Zero (CGZ) and Mountain Justice (MJ). Comprised of volunteers, these organizations have peacefully protested coal company practices that run a real risk of bringing death, dismemberment, horror and mainfold tragedy to thousands of people in southern West Virginia's Coal River Valley.

“Peaceful” doesn't mean “ineffectual,” however, and the actions of CGZ and MJ have, forced the "Coal Mob" to tip its hand by engaging in the same sort of ham-fisted tactics that have always been coal's stock-in-trade. Using the bought-and-paid-for West Virginia justice system, peaceful protesters arrested for trespass and the like have been subjected to merciless cash bails that have literally kept them behind bars while alleged child molesters have walked free on bond. They have been threatened with death, assaulted and terrorized. In the face of it all, they have not flinched.

Public Comments on Natural Gas Fracking Due By March 12

John Jonik sent the following information:

Here's one link to info on where to send Public Comments to stop the Fracking for Natural Gas in Pennsylvania public and private lands, and the theft of our water, the threats to the Delaware River, the poisoning of our water, the pollution and environmental damage from trucks, and so forth.

Sierra Club isn't exactly the strongest ally in any natural lands defense, but the info is here anyway.

For very thorough coverage of the situation, Google up University City Press Review articles here.

Look up plenty of other articles on the topic there.

Americans Cooling On Climate Change, Survey Says

Americans cooling on climate change, survey says | CNN

Trust in scientists dropped nine percent from 83 to 74 percent, while faith in the mainstream news media slumped from 47 percent in 2008 to 36 percent.

Public concern about global warming and trust in climate leaders has dropped sharply in the U.S. according to a survey.

Fifty-seven percent of Americans polled at the end of 2009 and early 2010 believe climate change is happening compared with a figure of 71 percent in October 2008.

The report, "Climate Change in the American Mind" published jointly by Yale University and the George Mason University Wednesday also reveals a picture of falling trust in scientists, politicians and the media concerning climate change.

Anthony Leiserowitz, principal investigator and director of the Yale Project on Climate Change told CNN: "I'm not surprised by the direction of the results but I am surprised at the magnitude of them.

"These are steep drop offs and this is despite the fact that, if anything, the climate science is getting stronger and more concerning over the past year." Read more.

Chilean Earthquake Update

Chilean Earthquake Update, 12:00 PM Noon CST

BREAKING: USGS Reports 8.8-Magnitude Earthquake Hits Chile; Tsunami Watch for Ecuador, Columbia, Panama, Costa Rica, Hawaii

USGS Reports 8.8-Magnitude Earthquake Hits Chile | Yahoo! News

SANTIAGO, Chile – A massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake capable of tremendous damage struck central Chile early Saturday, shaking the capital for a minute and half and setting off a tsunami. Buildings collapsed and phone lines and electricity were down, making the extent of the damage difficult to determine.

The quake hit 200 miles (325 kilometers) southwest of the capital, Santiago, and at a depth of 22 miles (35 kilometers) at 3:34 a.m. (0634 GMT; 1:34 a.m. EST), the U.S. Geological Survey reported. Its epicenter was just 70 miles (115 kilometers) from Concepcion, Chile's second-largest city, where more than 200,000 people live along the Bio Bio river, and 60 miles from the ski town of Chillan, a gateway to Andean ski resorts that was destroyed in a 1939 earthquake.

Buildings shook and collapsed in Santiago. With phone lines down, confirmation of damage was difficult elsewhere, especially further south toward the epicenter. The quake was felt in Argentina as well.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a warning for Chile and Peru, and a less-urgent tsunami watch for Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica and Antarctica.

"Sea level readings indicate a tsunami was generated. It may have been destructive along coasts near the earthquake epicenter and could also be a threat to more distant coasts," the center said. Read more.

David v Goliath, Vermont Style

By Charlotte Dennett

A driving snowstorm could not keep Vermonters away from the statehouse in Montpelier yesterday as the Vermont Senate convened a historic debate and then voted on the future of the state’s aging nuclear power plant. Some 1300 people – most of them standing before live video coverage outside the small, overcrowded Senate chamber -- listened to several hours of respectful debate that even included the proposition of building a new nuclear power plant in Vermont as per President Obama’s pro-nuclear agenda. But when it was all over, senators from both parties resoundingly voted against a last-minute amendment for a new plant to replace the old one, and similarly defeated re-licensure of Vermont Yankee in 2012 by a vote of 26 to 4. Amidst cheers, clapping and hugs from the victors, it was clearly another Vermont moment for a state that prides itself on being cutting edge on social, political and environmental issues. As the only state in the nation that by statute allows its legislature to decide whether to re-license a nuclear power plant, the vote is likely to have wide-reaching ramifications, including for residents of Massachusetts who live near the Vermont Yankee plant.

Avatar: The Prequel Will Earth’s Last Stand Sweep the 2013 Oscars?


Avatar: The Prequel
Will Earth’s Last Stand Sweep the 2013 Oscars?

By Michael T. Klare | Tom Dispatch

From TomDispatch this afternoon: looking beyond Oscar week, Michael Klare, author of Resource Wars, suggests to James Cameron what his next Avatar film should be, a 2144 prequel set on a resource-ravaged planet Earth -- Michael Klare, "Avatar: The Prequel, Will Earth's Last Stand Sweep the 2013 Oscar's"

For his latest post directed toward the upcoming Academy Awards, Michael T. Klare, our premier scholar of "resource wars," offers himself to director James Cameron as a "technical consultant" on the next Avatar film which, he suggests, should be a prequel set on planet Earth in 2144 (a decade before the present Avatar begins). It would be, he writes, "a Pandora-style, sensory-expanding guided tour of our own planet... part of a harrowing tale of environmental degradation, resource scarcity, and perennial conflict in the twilight years of humanity’s decline. Think of it as Avatar: Earth’s Last Stand."

Klare's suggestion is based on hints already embedded in the global smash hit now in 3-D movie theaters across the planet: according to Avatar, Jake Scully, the renegade Marine who joins the Na'vi, previously served in "the First Marine Reconnaissance unit" on three combat tours in Venezuela (where he evidently got his spinal injury) and his commander on Pandora, Colonel Quaritch, fought in Nigeria. Both, Klare points out, are embattled oil-rich countries which may still have energy reserves deep into the twenty-second century.

Drawing on his "resource wars" expertise -- the phrase "resource wars" was the title of his pathbreaking 2001 book -- Klare paints for Cameron a picture of our energy-starved, ravaged world of 2144, so that you understand just why giant mining companies would set off for Pandora in search of "unobtanium."

Klare's latest post offers an initially light-hearted, but striking way of outlining our environmental and energy dilemmas a century-plus down the line. His piece suggests the next step after Avatar and is a splendid political prequel to the upcoming Academy Awards ceremony. He concludes: "It’s not that hard to imagine just such a future world if we continue on our present course toward ever greater resource consumption, increased carbon emissions, and the militarization of resource dependency. Can you doubt that the movie Cameron and I would make, Avatar: Earth’s Last Stand, would be both gripping and spectacular? It would be an amazing, if tension-producing place to visit in 3-D. Here’s the only catch: you wouldn’t want to live there." Read it!

Navy Agrees To Study Impact Of Camp Lejeune's Toxic Water

Navy agrees to study impact of Camp Lejeune's toxic water
By Barbara Barrett | McClatchy Newspapers

The Navy has agreed to pay $1.53 million for a mortality study that could show a linkage between toxic water at Camp Lejeune, N.C., and the deaths of Marines and their family members who lived there over a 30-year period.

Some estimates are that during that time, as many as 1 million people were exposed to well water at the base that contained trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, benzene and vinyl chloride.

The chemicals were dumped into storm drains, leaked from fuel tanks or were buried in pits across the base. They seeped through the groundwater and into wells that fed the base areas of Hadnot Point and Tarawa Terrace.

The main contaminated well was shut down in November 1984.

Documents that McClatchy revealed Sunday indicate that a fuel storage farm at a central part of the base might have had far greater significance to the contamination than previously was known.

Some 800,000 gallons of fuel were thought to have been spilled over the years from the fuel farm, close to the main well serving Hadnot Point — the location of the base's enlisted barracks, some officers' quarters and the hospital.

Benzene is a component of fuel and a known carcinogen. Read more.

The Military's War On The Earth

The military's war on the Earth
By Linda Greene | Bloomington Alternative

Use as many low-energy lightbulbs as you like, turn down the thermostat and drive a hybrid car, but whatever you do as an individual -- indeed, the sum of what we all do for the environment --does almost nothing to alleviate the U.S. military's destruction of the earth.

In The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism, Barry Sanders writes that like other capitalist institutions, "each military branch ... must grow larger and fatter each year; expansion is the life blood of imperialism." Further, Sanders asserts, "The military can brook limits of no kind whatsoever. ... The Pentagon conducts its business behind very thick and very closed doors. It writes its own rules and either follows them or violates them, depending on the situation."

Almost all "military numbers remain off of official reports, secret and out of sight." Sanders obtained the information he cites in the book by gleaning what he could from "arcane reports" and obscure Web sites belonging to the Department of Defense and Government Accounting Office, plus books and articles.

Sanders describes, in horrifying detail, how the military is "the largest single source of pollution in this country and in the world: the United States military -- in particular the military in its most ferocious and stepped-up mode -- namely, the military at war." He goes on to say, "When we declare war on a foreign nation, we now also declare war on the Earth, on the soil and plants and animals, the water and wind and people in the most far-reaching and deeply infecting ways." Read more.

Where was the skepticism when Bush started the GWOT?

Role of Mass Media in Climate Change Skepticism

ScienceDaily (Feb. 23, 2010) — Mass media have been a key vehicle by which climate change contrarianism has traveled, according to Maxwell Boykoff, a University of Colorado at Boulder professor and fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, or CIRES.

Boykoff, an assistant professor of environmental studies, presented his research February 22 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Diego. He spoke during a panel discussion titled "Understanding Climate Change Skepticism: Its Sources and Strategies."

Boykoff's segment was titled "Exaggerating Denialism: Media Representations of Outlier Views on Climate Change" and discussed prominent pitfalls.

Breaking America's Addiction to War & Debt: Out with the Enablers!

by Marcy Winograd

Imagine if in 2010 we did not spend one more borrowed penny to manufacture new weapons, occupy new lands, or recruit new mercenaries. Going cold turkey on military spending would wipe out nearly $1 trillion of our 1.6 trillion dollar deficit. A year and a half of war & weapons abstinence could erase our debt entirely.

Unfortunately, America is addicted to war and to debt. Fortunately, we can work together to kick the perpetual war and debt habit.

Doubling of Childhood Leukemia Rates Confirmed in Southern Iraq

ScienceDaily (Feb. 18, 2010) — Childhood leukemia rates have more than doubled over the last 15 years in the southern Iraq province of Basrah, according to the study, "Trends in Childhood Leukaemia in Basrah, Iraq (1993-2007), published in the American Journal of Public Health.

The authors, three of whom are from the University of Washington, say they hope their calculations can now pave the way for an investigation into reasons why the rates have climbed so high, and why they are higher than found in nearby Kuwait, or in the European Union or the United States.

The study documents 698 cases of leukemia for children aged 0-14 during the 15-year period, with a peak of 211 cases in 2006. Younger children had higher rates than older ones.

Really?

They will also support numerous treaties, including the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the proposed treaty to ban the production of nuclear materials for weapons.

Nuclear Downsizing: Report Identifies Steps to Reduce US Arsenal, Prevent Spread of Atomic Bombs and Keep Stockpile Safe

ScienceDaily (Feb. 19, 2010) — The American Physical Society (APS), the world's leading organization of physicists, has released a report identifying technical steps that will help the U.S. achieve its goals to downsize the nuclear arsenal, prevent the spread of atomic bombs and keep the stockpile safe and secure.

Vice President Joe Biden outlined those objectives during a speech in Washington, D.C., and the APS report, Technical Steps to Support Nuclear Downsizing, provides concrete steps -- including the use of nuclear archaeology to validate nations' production of atomic material -- that will help the nation accomplish its goals.

Free Trade, Loss of Support Systems Crippling Food Production in Africa

ScienceDaily (Feb. 15, 2010) — Despite good intentions, the push to privatize government functions and insistence upon "free trade" that is too often unfair has caused declining food production, increased poverty and a hunger crisis for millions of people in many African nations, researchers conclude in a new study.

Market reforms that began in the mid-1980s and were supposed to aid economic growth have actually backfired in some of the poorest nations in the world, and just in recent years led to multiple food riots, scientists report Feb 15 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Good news for people who eat fish

Energy-Efficient Lighting Made Without Mercury

ScienceDaily (Feb. 15, 2010) — RTI International has developed a revolutionary lighting technology that is more energy efficient than the common incandescent light bulb and does not contain mercury, making it environmentally safer than the compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb.

Sanders Introduces Major Solar Energy Initiative

Sanders Introduces Major Solar Energy Initiative | Press Release

WASHINGTON, February 4 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), chairman of the Senate’s green jobs subcommittee, today introduced legislation with nine cosponsors to encourage the installation of 10 million solar systems on the rooftops of homes and businesses over the next decade.

“At a time when we spend $350 billion importing oil from Saudi Arabia and other countries every year, the United States must move away from foreign oil to energy independence,” Sanders said. “A dramatic expansion of solar power is a clean and economical way to help break our dependence on foreign oil, reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, improve our geopolitical position, and create good-paying green jobs.”

At a Senate committee hearing today, Sanders questioned Energy Secretary Steven Chu about President Obama’s budget for next year. The White House requested $2.4 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. The requested 5 percent boost overall included a 22 percent increase for solar power.

The potential for solar power also was the subject of testimony last week before Sanders’ green jobs subcommittee by Jeff Wolfe, chief executive officer of groSolar in White River Junction, Vt. Wolfe said Sanders’ bill “would help homeowners and small businesses stabilize their energy costs.”

Sanders’ bill would authorize rebates which, along with other incentives, would cover up to half the cost of the 10 million solar power systems and 200,000 water heating systems. Non-profit groups and state and local governments also would be eligible. The legislation would ensure that participating homeowners and businesses also receive information on incentives to improve energy efficiency.

Sanders said a recent report shows that solar power could help make every state more energy independent if solar units were installed on available rooftop space, because every state can meet 10 percent or more of its electricity needs just through rooftop solar. Moreover, because solar energy creates more jobs per megawatt than other energy sources. Sanders’ bill could create hundreds of thousands of jobs over the next ten years in the solar industry.

The legislation’s cosponsors include Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.).

Sanders’ measure is patterned after successful state programs promoting solar energy in New Jersey and California, where prices have fallen as the number of solar units increased.

To read a copy of the bill, click here.

Wisconsin Offers On-line Green Business Degree - BS In Sustainable Management


With a Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Management, you will be qualified to help businesses develop sustainable practices for a global marketplace, while still helping to preserve natural resources and strengthen community.

CO2 Abatement: Exploring Options For Oil And Natural Gas Companies

CO2 abatement: Exploring options for oil and natural gas companies
Oil and natural gas companies play a central role in CO2 emissions. How can the industry meet the challenge from climate change regulations?
Scott Nyquist and Jurriaan Ruys | McKinsey Quarterly

The oil and natural gas industry is directly responsible for just 6 percent of global CO2 emissions, but the debate over how to reduce the global greenhouse gases (GHG) commonly associated with climate change focuses primarily on oil and natural gas companies. These companies are under constant regulatory and reputational pressure to reduce both upstream and downstream CO2 emissions, and in the coming years they will increasingly be expected to provide solutions and make investments. The reason for this emphasis on the industry is that when you add the CO2 emitted in the end uses (transportation, power and heat generation), the petroleum and gas sectors account for almost half of all global emissions.

It is important to understand the position of the oil and gas industry in the context of the larger debate over climate change. By exploring some of the options that the sector has for reducing GHG emissions, oil and natural gas companies can not only stay ahead of regulatory and economic developments but also potentially profit from them. Read more, requires site registration.

PROUT Plans Second Summit of the World PROUT Assembly 11/25-28, Hyderabad, India

PROUT stands for PROgressive UTilization Theory. It means, the progressive utilization and rational distribution of all the earth's natural resources. PROUT advocates another type of revolution called "nuclear revolution." In nuclear revolution, every aspect of collective life - social, economic, political, cultural, psychic and spiritual - is completely transformed. New moral and spiritual values arise in society which provide the impetus for accelerated social progress. The old era is replaced by a new era - one collective psychology is replaced by another. This type of revolution results in all-round development and social progress.

We have begun organizing the Second Summit of the World Prout Assembly. It will take place November 25-28, 2010 in Hyderabad, India. Please visit the conference website - www.wpasummit2010.org for more details. Some of you wrote to us that the First Summit was the best conference you had ever attended. Others wrote that the Radford conference was a glorious event. We intend to make the Second Summit even better, even more glorious, than the first. We hope that all of you will plan to attend. Those wishing to help with the organizing should please write to wpaeditor@gmail.com.

Check out the WPA Conference site. - If you aren't familiar with PROUT, click here to visit.

Iraq Littered With High Levels of Nuclear and Dioxin Contamination, Study Finds

Iraq littered with high levels of nuclear and dioxin contamination, study finds
• Greater rates of cancer and birth defects near sites
• Depleted uranium among poisons revealed in report
By Martin Chulov | Guardian.co.UK

More than 40 sites across Iraq are contaminated with high levels or radiation and dioxins, with three decades of war and neglect having left environmental ruin in large parts of the country, an official Iraqi study has found.

Areas in and near Iraq's largest towns and cities, including Najaf, Basra and ­Falluja, account for around 25% of the contaminated sites, which appear to coincide with communities that have seen increased rates of cancer and birth defects over the past five years. The joint study by the environment, health and science ministries found that scrap metal yards in and around Baghdad and Basra contain high levels of ionising radiation, which is thought to be a legacy of depleted uranium used in munitions during the first Gulf war and since the 2003 invasion.

The environment minister, Narmin Othman, said high levels of dioxins on agricultural lands in southern Iraq, in particular, were increasingly thought to be a key factor in a general decline in the health of people living in the poorest parts of the country. Read more.

A Global Push for Renewable Energy

A Global Push for Renewable Energy
With 142 member nations already signed on, the new International Renewable Energy Agency is promoting a fast, global transition to clean, safe, and renewable energy.
by Alice Slater | Yes!

Since 1995, when more than 170 nations voted to extend the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, civil society has been calling for the establishment of an international agency to promote renewable energy sources to take the place of fossil fuels without resorting to nuclear power.

Recognizing the “inextricable link” between nuclear weapons and nuclear power, Abolition 2000, a global network for the elimination of nuclear weapons, drafted a model statute for the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and lobbied nations around the world to institute it. [1] Joining with other grassroots networks working to avoid catastrophic climate change through a transition to sustainable energy, activists spoke up at numerous international meetings and conferences and conferred with national environmental departments, seeking support for an energy agency focused solely on clean, safe, renewable energy.

In January 2009, one year ago, Germany, Denmark, and Spain launched the founding meeting for IRENA in Bonn, Germany. [2] A year later, 142 of the 192 member states of the United Nations, as well as the European Union, have signed the IRENA statute. The agency has opened headquarters in Abu Dhabi and branch offices in Bonn and Vienna, and its interim-director general, Helene Pelosse, a former French environmental minister who held positions in trade and finance as well, is determined to hire a staff comprised of at least 50 percent women.

IRENA is committed to becoming a principal driving force in promoting a rapid transition toward the sustainable use of a renewable energy on a global scale. It has a mandate to promote all forms of renewable energy produced in a sustainable manner, including solar, wind, geothermal, hydropower, ocean, and appropriate bio energy. It will provide practical advice and support for both industrialized and developing countries, helping them to build capacity and improve their regulatory frameworks. Read more.

Defense Launches Online System To Coordinate Haiti Relief Efforts

Defense launches online system to coordinate Haiti relief efforts
By Bob Brewin | Next Gov | Jan. 15, 2010

As personnel representing hundreds of government and nongovernment agencies from around the world rush to the aid of earthquake-devastated Haiti, the Defense Information Systems Agency has launched a Web portal with multiple social networking tools to aid in coordinating their efforts.

On Monday, Jean Demay, DISA's technical manager for the agency's Transnational Information Sharing Cooperation project, happened to be at the headquarters of the U.S. Southern Command in Miami preparing for a test of the system in a scenario that involved providing relief to Haiti in the wake of a hurricane. After the earthquake hit on Tuesday, Demay said SOUTHCOM decided to go live with the system. On Wednesday, DISA opened up its All Partners Access Network, supported by the Transnational Information Sharing Cooperation project, to any organization supporting Haiti relief efforts.

The information sharing project, developed with backing from both SOUTHCOM and the Defense Department's European Command, has been in development for three years. It is designed to facilitate multilateral collaboration between federal and nongovernmental agencies.

Demay said that since DISA set up a Haiti Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Community of Interest on APAN on Wednesday, almost 500 organizations and individuals have joined, including a range of Defense units and various nongovernmental organizations and relief groups. Read more.

Vancouver: Liquid City

By David Swanson

When they schedule the olympics in a city, the city usually schedules a massive international advertising campaign for its greatness as "the best place on earth," which is actually the brilliant and oh-so-convincing motto selected by Vancouver, Canada, next host of the winter olympics. That we will learn a great deal about Vancouver from watching the olympics is placed in more doubt than usual by the fact that Canada arrested American journalist Amy Goodman at the border based purely on the random and baseless suspicion that she might someday say something critical of the best olympics on earth.

Major Earthquake Off Haiti Causes Hospital To Collapse

Major earthquake off Haiti causes hospital to collapse | Telegraph.co.UK

A magnitude 7.3 earthuake hit the impoverished country of Haiti on Tuesday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The epicenter of the quake, which was initially reported a magnitude 7.0 off the coast, was located inland, six miles west of Carrefour, and just 10 miles from the capital Port-au-Prince.

An AFP correspondent in the nearby town of Petionville said one three-story building had been toppled, and a tractor was already at the scene trying to dig out victims as people fled onto the streets in panic.

A hospital collapsed near the epicentre, and cries of people within the structure were reported by witnesses.

The quake prompted a tsunami watch for Haiti, Cuba, the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic, the Pacific Tsunami Center said.

A major earthquake, of magnitude 7 or higher, is capable of causing widespread and heavy damage. There was no immediate report of casualties.

Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

Raw footage video below the fold. Click "Read more." WARNING! Graphic footage.

Travel News - not about terrorists

On the upside:

Cold War Offered Odd Benefit -- It Limited Species Invasions

On the downside:

H1N1 Virus Spreads Easily by Plane

It's seems the same airline industry that has failed to install secure cockpit doors also has failed to install effective cabin air filters. Also, it's a sad commentary that we can look back on the Cold War as a "good".

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