Reuters : Environment (68)

Hong Kong braces for typhoon Hato, some flights canceled

HONG KONG - Hong Kong's weather observatory said it might issue its third-highest typhoon warning at midnight, with severe tropical storm Hato forecast to veer within 100 km of the city early on Wednesday, disrupting flights and other services.

Austria, carmakers agree to update software of 600,000 diesel cars

VIENNA - Austria's Transport Minister Joerg Leichtfried said on Tuesday he had agreed with carmakers to update the software of 600,000 diesel cars to reduce pollution following a similar deal struck in Germany after a large-scale emissions scandal.

Quake kills at least two on Italian holiday island, tourists flee

ROME - An earthquake hit the tourist-packed Italian holiday island of Ischia on Monday night, collapsing buildings, killing at least two people and injuring dozens, officials said.

Chile rejects $2.5 billion copper and iron project; company vows appeal

SANTIAGO - The Chilean government rejected on Monday a controversial $2.5-billion copper and iron project proposed by privately-held Andes Iron, though the company vowed to appeal.

Chilean government rejects controversial $2.5 bln copper and iron project

SANTIAGO - The Chilean government rejected on Monday a controversial $2.5-billion copper and iron project proposed by privately-held Andes Iron after a prolonged evaluation period that conservatives alleged was tainted by political decision-making.

Diesel still needed to meet climate goals, Merkel says

BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned on Sunday against a swift abandonment of diesel cars after a series of emissions scandals, saying the fuel is still needed if climate change targets are to be met.

South African court grants rhino rancher permission to auction horns

JOHANNESBURG - A South African court on Sunday ordered the government to allow the owner of the world's biggest private rhino herd to hold an online sale of rhino horn, which he aims to hold this week, his lawyer said.

Pilot killed as helicopter crashes while fighting Portugal blaze

LISBON - A light helicopter that was taking part in firefighting efforts in northern Portugal crashed and exploded on Sunday, killing its pilot and further raising the death toll from the country's deadliest summer of wildfires, officials said.

VW gives green light for electric version of classic Microbus camper van

BERLIN - Volkswagen has decided to go ahead with production of an electric version of its classic Microbus camper van as it seeks to boost its electric vehicle credentials.

South Carolina aquarium to monitor animal behavior during eclipse

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Animals in the path of the first total solar eclipse to travel across the United States in 99 years have a big surprise awaiting them on Monday afternoon, biologists say.

Ranchers in parched U.S. Northern Plains welcome hay lottery

- Hundreds of livestock ranchers in the drought-stricken U.S. Northern Plains are embracing what organizers say is the first lottery designed to provide some much-needed relief to their operations.

British Columbia extends wildfire state of emergency for third time

CALGARY, Alberta - The Canadian province of British Columbia has extended a state of emergency for a third time until Sept. 1 because of wildfires raging across the region, the provincial government said on Friday.

Sierra Leone buries 461 mudslide victims, more still missing

FREETOWN - Sierra Leone has buried 461 victims of a mudslide that swept away homes on the edge of the capital this week, an official at the central morgue said on Friday.

Congo landslide death toll likely to rise over 200: Ituri vice governor

DAKAR - A landslide in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo likely killed more than 200 people, based on estimates from the number of households submerged, the vice governor of affected Ituri province said on Friday.

Earthquake of 6.4 magnitude strikes west of Tonga: USGS

SINGAPORE - An earthquake of 6.4 magnitude struck 500 km west of the Pacific island of Tonga on Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey said, but there were no immediate reports of any casualties or damage.

Cities across Africa face threat of landslides like Sierra Leone

DAKAR - Natural and human factors made Sierra Leone's capital vulnerable to a landslide that killed more than 400 people this week: heavy rain, deforested land and communities forced by overcrowding to live on steep hillsides.

Swiss road agency bans new Porsche Cayenne registrations

ZURICH - Switzerland's road agency on Friday imposed a preliminary ban on new registrations of Porsche Cayenne cars equipped with manipulated diesel engine management software.

Hundreds of mudslide victims buried in Sierra Leone, search for hundreds missing goes on

FREETOWN, Aug 17 - Burials began on Thursday for 300 people killed in Sierra Leone's mudslide while the search went on for hundreds of others still missing.

"What's 'smog' in Kazakh?" China language mix snags environment inspectors

BEIJING - With one national language often spoken poorly and thousands of regional dialects and ethnic minority tongues, China is having to employ multilingual officials as it embarks on its latest round of environment inspections across the country.

Montana wildfire triggers hundreds of evacuations

- A lightning-sparked wildfire burning for more than a month in western Montana has flared anew, prompting the evacuation of nearly 750 homes on Thursday as firefighters braced for more hot and windy weather forecast for the weekend, authorities said.

Fire put out at major PetroChina refinery in Dalian

BEIJING - A fire that broke out on Thursday at state oil major PetroChina's plant in northeastern China, one of the country's largest refineries, has been put out with no reported casualties, state media reported.

Governor urges Trump to drop Virginia from offshore drilling plan

WASHINGTON - Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe urged the Trump administration to exclude his state from a federal offshore oil and gas drilling plan, citing concerns about revenue sharing and environmental issues, in a letter that his office revealed on Thursday.

Magnitude 6.7 quake strikes north of Ascension Island: USGS

- An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.7 struck on Friday in the South Atlantic Ocean about 790 km north of Ascension Island, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Brazil to swap environmental fines for recovery works

BRASILIA - Brazil will allow environmental transgressors to exchange millionaire fines for recovery works at a discount, the environment minister said on Thursday, in a bid to reduce litigation and raise funds for projects in times of austerity.

Norway authorities stop Greenpeace protests at Arctic well

OSLO - Norwegian coast guards stopped Greenpeace from protesting at a site of the country's northernmost exploration well drilled by Statoil, the environmentalist group said on Thursday.

Anti-poaching activist shot dead in Tanzania; motive unclear

NAIROBI - A prominent conservationist who worked on high profile ivory smuggling cases has been shot dead in Tanzania, colleagues said on Tuesday, although the motive for the killing was unclear.

Tropical Storm Harvey forms in Atlantic Ocean: NHC

- Tropical Storm Harvey became the eighth named storm of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said on Thursday.

Wildfire-plagued Portugal declares public calamity as braces for more

LISBON - Parts of Portugal, beset by its deadliest summer of wildfires in living memory, were declared in a state of public calamity on Thursday as the government put emergency services on alert for further outbreaks.

Hundreds still missing in Sierra Leone mudslide as search intensifies

Soldiers and volunteers with shovels and pickaxes dug through the perilous site of a mudslide in Sierra Leone on Thursday in search of hundreds of bodies believed still buried days after the disaster.

Forty killed in landslide in eastern Congo, vice governor says

KINSHASA - Forty people have been killed in a landslide in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Pacifique Keta, the vice governor of Ituri province, said on Thursday.

South African rhino rancher asks court to permit horn sale

CAPE TOWN - The owner of the world's biggest private rhino herd took court action on Thursday to force South Africa's government to allow its first online sale of rhino horn, which he aims to hold next week.

Shell says fire out at Deer Park, Texas JV refinery

HOUSTON - Royal Dutch Shell Plc said a fire was extinguished on Thursday morning at its 325,700 barrel-per-day joint-venture Deer Park, Texas, refinery.

Fire breaks out at Petrochina refinery in Dalian: Xinhua

BEIJING - A fire broke out on Thursday at a refinery owned by state oil major PetroChina in Dalian, in northeast China's Liaoning Province, state news agency Xinhua reported.

NHC says 80 percent chance of cyclone east of Lesser Antilles

- A low pressure system about 550 miles east of the Lesser Antilles has an 80 percent chance of strengthening into a tropical cyclone over the next couple of days, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said on Thursday.

Gert strengthens into Category 2 hurricane, moves off to sea: NHC

- Hurricane Gert, swirling away from land in the Atlantic Ocean off Nova Scotia, strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane on Wednesday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Hyundai Motor to launch electric vehicle with 500 km range after 2021

SEOUL - Hyundai Motor Co said on Thursday it will launch a long-range electric vehicle with a driving range of 500 km per charge after 2021, seeking to address investor concerns that it is lagging rivals in the green car race.

U.S. forecaster says 40 percent chance of cyclone east of Lesser Antilles

- A low pressure system about 800 miles east of the Lesser Antilles has a 40 percent chance of strengthening into a tropical cyclone, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said on Wednesday.

Risk of disease as hundreds line up to identify Sierra Leone mudslide victims

FREETOWN, Aug 16 - Hundreds of Freetown residents queued on Wednesday to identify relatives killed in a mudslide on the edge of the Sierra Leone capital, as aid workers warned of an impending health crisis caused by nearly 400 corpses.

Firefighters contain destructive wildfire near Athens

ATHENS - Firefighters on Wednesday contained a wildfire burning for nearly four days near Athens after it destroyed thousands of hectares of pine forest and dozens of homes.

Swiss, EU move closer to linking emissions trading systems

ZURICH - Switzerland and the European Union have moved closer to linking their carbon emissions trading systems after the European Commission and Swiss government gave their backing for a deal.

Hurricane Gert strengthens, expected to weaken by Thursday: NHC

- Hurricane Gert, the second of the 2017 Atlantic season, strengthened slightly on Wednesday as it accelerated through the Atlantic Ocean in a northeasterly direction, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Northern China air quality worsens in January-July: ministry

SHANGHAI - Air quality worsened in China's northern region of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei in the first seven months of this year, piling pressure on authorities to crack down on firms in their efforts to meet politically crucial 2017 pollution targets.

China to ban primary mercury mining by 2032 as convention comes into force

BEIJING - China will ban the production and trade of a range of products containing mercury by 2020, including thermometers and blood pressure monitors, and ban primary mercury mining by 2032, as a global pact to cut pollution from the metal comes into effect.

Flash floods hit Freeport Indonesia's mining operations

JAKARTA - Flash floods have left one worker missing and caused extensive damage to a power plant at U.S.-owned miner Freeport Indonesia's operations in the eastern-most province of Papua, company officials said on Wednesday.

EPA erred in denying renewable fuel hardship exemption: courts

NEW YORK - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency used too strict of a test when it denied Sinclair Oil Corp's request for an exemption from the country's biofuel regulations, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Tuesday.

270 bodies recovered from Sierra Leone mudslide: mayor

FREETOWN - Rescue workers have recovered 270 bodies so far from a mudslide in the outskirts of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown, the mayor said on Tuesday, as rescue operations continued and morgues struggled to find space for all the dead.

German green group to pursue diesel bans as agreed steps inadequate

BERLIN - German efforts to overcome a diesel scandal were dealt a blow on Tuesday after prosecutors widened a Volkswagen probe and a key environmental group said steps proposed by automakers to cut pollution remained inadequate.

Two swans found with bird flu H5N8 in Switzerland

ZURICH - Two new cases of bird flu have been reported in western Switzerland, the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office said in a statement on Tuesday.

Firefighters battle wildfires near Athens for third day

ATHENS - Firefighters battled a wildfire northeast of the Greek capital for a third day on Tuesday, trying to prevent a blaze that scorched thousands of hectares of pine forest from spreading further.

Gert strengthens to hurricane force, second of 2017 Atlantic season: NHC

- Storm Gert has strengthened into the second hurricane of the 2017 Atlantic season, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said on Monday.