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Wednesday, Dec 17th

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U.S. Food and Water Supply Poisoned by Perchlorate

According to a report by the Organic Consumers Association, a toxic chemical that is a byproduct of rocket fuel is rapidly poisoning the food and water supply in the United States. Known as perchlorate, this chemical has been found in 93% of the nation's milk and lettuce supply in a recent FDA study. It has also been found in the drinking water for at least 22 states at extremely alarming levels. Perhaps the scariest statistic is that perchlorate has been found in the breast milk of 97% of the mothers who were tested.

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Major ice-shelf loss for Canada

The ice shelves in Canada's High Arctic have lost a colossal area this year, scientists report.

The floating tongues of ice attached to Ellesmere Island, which have lasted for thousands of years, have seen almost a quarter of their cover break away

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For the first time in human history, the North Pole can be circumnavigated

Open water now stretches all the way round the Arctic, making it possible for the first time in human history to circumnavigate the North Pole, The Independent on Sunday can reveal. New satellite images, taken only two days ago, show that melting ice last week opened up both the fabled North-west and North-east passages, in the most important geographical landmark to date to signal the unexpectedly rapid progress of global warming.

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A biblical tragedy in Galilee

An arid country, Israel relies on the waters where Jesus sailed to irrigate its farmland and supply its homes. But now the lake is drying up – and only drastic action will save it

The waters of the Sea of Galilee are now at their lowest on record and, officials say, are set to fall even lower

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Nuclear waste containers likely to fail, warns 'devastating' report

Thousands of containers of lethal nuclear waste are likely to fail before being safely sealed away underground, a devastating official report concludes.

The unpublicised report is by the Environment Agency, which has to approve any proposals for getting rid of the waste that remains deadly for tens of thousands of years.

The document effectively destroys Britain's already shaky disposal plans just as ministers are preparing an expansion of nuclear power.

It shows that many containers used to store the waste are made of second-rate materials, are handled carelessly, and are liable to corrode.

The report concludes: "It is cautious to assume a significant proportion will fail." It says computer models suggest up to 40 per cent of them could be at risk.

TVNL Comment: And John McCain wants to bring more nuclear power plants to America. 

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Peru moves to end Amazon protests

Peru has declared a state of emergency in jungle areas where indigenous groups are blocking oil and gas installations in protest at a new land sale law.

The measure allows the authorities to send in troops and bans public gatherings for 30 days.

Some 65 Amazon tribes say the law will make it easier for big energy companies to buy up their land, parts of which are known to be rich in oil and gas. 

They are angry at a law which they say makes it easier for investors to buy their land because it lowers the bar for consent from two-thirds of a community assembly to a simple majority.

The legislation is one of a number of laws being passed as part of Peru's free trade agreement with the US.

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Court says EPA air pollution rule is illegal

A Bush administration rule barring states and local governments from requiring more air pollution monitoring is illegal, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.

Appeals court judge Brett Kavanaugh, a former attorney in the Bush White House, wrote the sole dissenting opinion.

He said that while EPA and state and local governments may disagree about whether monitoring requirements will adequately measure compliance, he found "nothing in the statute that prohibits EPA's approach."

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