Age (Australia)

  • Volcano eruption on Argentina-Chile border forces evacuations

    Some 1,500 people were evacuated late Friday as the Chaiten volcano in southern Chile erupted, hurling hot rocks and belching clouds of ash into the sky. The thick clouds of ash that covered the region also spread to towns in the southern Argentine province of Chubut, where authorities closed schools and issued warnings due to low visibility on some roads. Yet despite the fireworks at the volcano, located some 1,300 kilometers (808 miles) south of Santiago, there were no reports of casualties or damage, Chile's Office of National Emergencies reported.

  • Look to Tasmania for water answers

    The Rudd Government is buying into the flawed plans to alleviate the water crisis. IT IS possible to have life without oil, but life without water is impossible for more than a few days. Given the impending water crisis you would think that, at the very least, the Rudd Government would have looked at all the alternatives before Water Minister Penny Wong announced a $13 billion investment program in "strategic water priorities" in a speech to the Annual Water Summit on Tuesday.

  • River focus shifts to states

    PRESSURE over the declining health of Australia's rivers has been thrown back on the states, with federal Water Minister Penny Wong using the announcement of $3.1 billion in environmental flows to highlight the plight of rivers such as Melbourne's Yarra. The $3.1 billion for buying back water entitlements in the Murray-Darling is part of $12.9 billion for water in next month's federal budget.

  • US Senate attacks delay on Syria nuclear claims

    US Senate attacks delay on Syria nuclear claims TOP US politicians have questioned why the US revealed only this week that Syria had built a military-oriented nuclear plant, and asked why Washington had not shared its intelligence with the UN's nuclear watchdog. "I was surprised that they hadn't given the information to the International Atomic Energy Agency," Senator Diane Feinstein, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said on CNN on Sunday.

  • Drips to the fore in water planning

    UNLESS there is heavy rain in the Murray-Darling Basin over the rest of the year, 90% of South Australians face environmental catastrophe caused by the movement of heavy metals in solution up the river by osmosis. Osmosis is the process by which any solution that is in higher concentration in one part of a body of fluid will flow into the other parts with a lower concentration until the solution is evenly distributed.

  • Super cooler gives hope for malaria victims

    It looks a bit like the coolers used to keep drinks fresh on a sunny day but the chill box being tested in sweltering Mozambique serves a higher purpose -- saving lives from malaria. The new cool box is intended to keep malaria medicines at 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit) or below in impoverished rural areas without electricity where temperatures can reach 45 degrees Celsius. As the world marks Malaria Day on Friday, its developers hope the cool box will help save some of the one million lives lost to malaria worldwide every year -- 6,000 of them in Mozambique alone.

  • Children to go hungry as food crisis bites

    THE World Food Program has begun to cut the provision of school meals to some of the world's poorest children as the global crisis over food prices worsens. WFP executive director Josette Sheeran said on Tuesday that the price of basic foods was rising so rapidly that a shortfall in financing for its food relief programs had grown from $US500 million ($A530 million) to $US755 million in less than two months.

  • GM crops linked to $200m farm package

    VICTORIAN farmers must embrace new technology, including genetically modified crops, to battle the effects of climate change and increased global competition, Premier John Brumby has warned. Speaking at the launch of the Government's $205 million plan to secure the future of farming in the state, Mr Brumby said Victoria's farmers faced increasing competition from countries such as Brazil, Russia and China.

  • Pollies just won't grasp the plastic bag

    IN THE 1967 film The Graduate, Dustin Hoffman's character, Benjamin Braddock, receives a single word of advice about his future from a well-meaning friend of his parents: "Plastics." Our fearless, environment-saving duo of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Environment Minister Peter Garrett were 10 and 14 respectively when the film came out, and it seems plausible that they sucked this message in with their generational DNA but were too young to recognise its satirical intent.

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