Earth ChangesS

Bizarro Earth

Prince Charles's "sacrifice" - what a joke!

Prince Charles, criticised for booking a trans-Atlantic flight to collect an environmental award, has cancelled a ski trip to Switzerland to reduce greenhouse gases, a palace source said on Saturday.

The decision not to take the annual holiday in Klosters was made some time ago and was part of the heir-to-throne's commitment to reduce his "carbon footprint", the source said.

Better Earth

Sex and the seahorse

They are among the most graceful and intriguing animals of the ocean and their strictly monogamous lifestyle breaks one of the golden rules of biology - it is the male rather than the female who is left holding the baby.

Scientists have unravelled another mystery of the seahorse and in the process discovered that these unusual fish may be more vulnerable to environmental pollution than was previously believed.

Bizarro Earth

One third of fish species in Yellow River dead

Human encroachment, pollution, overfishing and dam-building have killed one third of fish species in the Yellow River, China's second-longest waterway. Its increasingly desperate plight is also threatening economic growth.

The mighty Yellow River once made its away along 3,395 miles through nine provinces, supplying water to more than 150 million people and watering 15 per cent of China's scarce agricultural land.

Bizarro Earth

5.1 Earthquake shakes Panama

PANAMA CITY - A moderate earthquake shook Panama on Thursday, startling people but producing no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The quake measured a magnitude of 5.1 and originated close to Cerro Punta, a coffee-growing area in Chiriqui province near the Costa Rican border, the University of Panama's geoscience institute said.

Bizarro Earth

5.3 Earthquake hits Iran, no casualties reported

TEHRAN - An earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale hit an area in southwest Iran on Friday, state television reported, but did not report any casualties.

The brief headline on state television said the tremor hit an area around Ramhormoz in Khuzestan province at 3.56 p.m. (1226 GMT)

Better Earth

Australia Braces for Renewed Bushfire Threat

CANBERRA - Bushfires killed one and threatened a major Australian alpine resort on Thursday as firefighters prepared to face three days of searing temperatures and high winds expected to fan flames across two states.

Fire crews discovered a body in a gutted house in South Australia, which has so far escaped the worst of the summer fire emergency touching five of the country's six states.

Bizarro Earth

Drowned Town Resurfaces as Albania Dries up

KUKES LAKE - The long-submerged ruins of the old town of Kukes have re-emerged because of lack of rain.

Caked mud encrusts Albania's Fierza power dam.

For a second year boats lie high and dry on banks terraced by the receding water levels.

"Some people started working the land they lost to the lake in the 1970s," said Kukes resident Fatime.

It is the clearest evidence yet that Albanians are in for a further spell of power blackouts.

Meteorologists say only one third of the average quantity of rain fell in the area from September to December. It was the worst dry spell since 1915 when a rainless summer caused famine.

Cloud Lightning

Germans Told to Stay Indoors as Hurricane Nears

BERLIN - Germans were told to stay indoors and many schools across the country closed early on Thursday as a rare hurricane bore down on the country, cutting air traffic at its biggest airport by half.

Germany's DWD meteorogical service said the storm "Kyrill" could generate winds of up to 180 km/h (112 mph) in high and exposed areas and as much as 130 km/h in lower-lying regions.

"What's unusual about this storm is that it will affect the whole country and not just certain zones," said Christoph Hartmann, a spokesman for the DWD in Offenbach.

Cloud Lightning

Icy Storm Blamed for 65 Deaths in U.S.

An icy storm blamed for at least 65 deaths in nine states spread snow and freezing rain across Texas all the way to the Mexican border, immobilizing communities unaccustomed to such cold.

Hundreds of airline flights were canceled, tens of thousands of electricity customers lost power and a 300-mile (482.7-kilometer) stretch of Interstate 10, a major east-west highway, was closed.

Cloud Lightning

Okla., Mo., and Texas Brace for Storm

MUSKOGEE, Okla. Jan 19, 2007 (AP) - Still recovering from snow and ice storms that downed power lines and trees in a large swath of the country, residents of Oklahoma, Missouri and Texas braced for another round Friday.

With thousands of customers in Oklahoma still without power, Gov. Brad Henry on Thursday requested a major federal disaster declaration, which would make people in hard-hit counties eligible for housing grants and low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses. He had already declared a state of emergency.

"Unfortunately, the worst may not be over," Henry said.