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Hundreds flee wind-whipped wildfires in Oklahoma, Kansas

Wildfires in Kansas and OklahomaHowling winds whipped up several wildfires late Tuesday across Oklahoma and Kansas, destroying homes and forcing hundreds of people to flee the flames.

At least six fires were reported across the state Tuesday, and many are continuing to burn Wednesday, according to Hannah Anderson, a spokeswoman for Oklahoma Forestry Services.


Keystone pipeline springs leak in South Dakota

Keystone leak in South DakotaA key section of the Keystone pipeline has been shut down due to an oil spill in South Dakota, TransCanada said on Monday.

TransCanada, which operates the pipeline, reported a spill of about 187 gallons of crude oil to the Coast Guard’s National Response Center on Saturday afternoon.


U.S. judge approves BP civil settlement with U.S. government over 2010 spill

BP settlement with USU.S. Judge Carl Barbier granted final approval on Monday to BP Plc's (BP.L) civil settlement over its 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill after it reached a deal in July 2015 to pay up to $18.7 billion in penalties to the U.S. government and five states.

The company at the time said its total pre-tax charges from the spill set aside for criminal and civil penalties and cleanup costs were around $53.8 billion.



Mexico's Popocatépetl volcano violently erupts, launching burning rocks

Mexican volcano eruptsMexico's Popocatépetl volcano violently erupted over the weekend, launching ash and burning rocks into the air after weeks of increased activity.

Mexico's National Center for Disaster Prevention last week raised the environmental alert level to the second degree out of three, meaning nearby residents should be prepared to evacuate.


Strong earthquake strikes off Vanuatu; tsunami unlikely

VanuatuA strong earthquake hit off of the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu on Sunday, but authorities said any threat of a tsunami had mostly passed, and there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The magnitude-6.9 quake struck 81 kilometers (50 miles) north of the town of Port Olry and 407 kilometers (253 miles) north of Vanuatu's capital, Port Vila, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It had a depth of 35 kilometers (22 miles).


Paris Climate Treaty: 'Significant step' as US and China agree to sign

US and Chine closer to Paris Climate agreementThe US and China have issued a joint statement confirming that both countries will sign the Paris Climate Agreement next month.

Both say they will take all the "domestic steps" necessary to join the agreement as soon as possible. They are encouraging other countries to sign the document at UN headquarters in April.


Thailand hit by its worst drought in decades

Thailand hit by its worst droughtThailand is in the grip of its worst drought for more than 20 years, with water levels in the country's biggest dams lower than 10 percent.

The current drought has hit the north hardest, with 22 of Thailand's 76 provinces affected.

Agriculture has been severely affected, and there are genuine fears that taps could run dry within a matter of weeks. Several major reservoirs in the country are below 50 percent of their water capacity.


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