September 27th, 2013
06:02 AM ET

Global warming is extremely likely our fault

The world's getting hotter, the sea's rising and there's increasing evidence neither are naturally occurring phenomena.

So says a report from the U.N. International Panel on Climate Change, a document released every six years that is considered the benchmark on the topic. More than 800 authors and 50 editors from dozens of countries took part in its creation.

The summary for policymakers was released early Friday, while the full report, which bills itself as "a comprehensive assessment of the physical science basis of climate change," will be distributed Monday. Other reports, including those dealing with vulnerability and mitigation, will be released next year.

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Filed under: Climate change • Earth • Energy • Environment • Science • Weather • World • World Update
September 3rd, 2013
12:13 AM ET

Japan outlines plan for Fukushima crisis

The Japanese government on Tuesday said it would spend the equivalent of $470 million to try to tackle the toxic water crisis at the country's crippled nuclear power plant.

The government of Prime Minster Shinzo Abe is stepping in, as the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, struggles to deal with an array of problems.

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Filed under: Japan • Nuclear • World
August 28th, 2013
01:05 AM ET

Japan Fukushima toxic water leak 'serious'

Japan's nuclear watchdog on Wednesday said a toxic water leak at the tsunami-damaged Fukushima Daiichi power plant has been classified as a level 3 "serious incident" on an international scale.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) said it had made the decision after consulting with the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, said Juntaro Yamada, a spokesman for the regulator.

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Filed under: Energy • Japan • Nuclear • World
August 27th, 2013
05:37 AM ET

Japan slams Tepco over toxic water crisis

Attempts by the operator of Japan's stricken nuclear power plant to deal with alarming leaks of toxic water are like a game of "whack-a-mole," the country's industry minister said Monday.
The time has come for the government to step in, Toshimitsu Motegi believes.
A litany of problems has beset the Fukushima Daiichi power plant since it was crippled by the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck northeast Japan in 2011. The most troubling at the moment is how to contain the swelling volume of radioactive water flowing from the damaged reactor buildings.

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Filed under: Energy • Japan • Nuclear • World
August 7th, 2013
04:59 AM ET

12 die in Argentina building explosion

Leaking gas was likely to blame for an explosion that killed at least 12 people, injured 60 more and brought down part of a building in Argentina on Tuesday, state media reported Wednesday.

A man who was working at the scene in the city of Rosario before the blast ignited at 9:15 a.m. local time has been taken into custody, said the Telam news agency, which cited investigator Juan Curto.

The explosion gutted one multi-story residential building, and destroyed at least one other building next to it, while blowing out the windows of surrounding structures, images broadcast by CNN affiliate Canal 9 showed.

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Filed under: Accidents • Argentina • Energy • Natural gas explosion • World • World Update
Oil, money, politics: Keystone XL hits a snag
April 23rd, 2013
04:22 AM ET

Oil, money, politics: Keystone XL hits a snag

The politics of oil and ecology have put President Obama between a rock and hard place, as he faces a decision on whether or not to permit construction of a new pipeline. The squeeze just got tighter with a new, negative environmental assessment.

The Keystone XL pipeline will give America energy independence, thousands of jobs, important industrial infrastructure and won't cost taxpayers a dime, say proponents. Many of them are Republican lawmakers.

It is dangerous, inherently filthy and must be stopped, say opponents, some of whom are Democrats who helped get the president elected.

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Filed under: Arkansas • Barack Obama • Business • Canada • Climate change • Democratic Party • Earth • Economy • Energy • Environment • Global Warming • Jobs • Montana • Nature • Nebraska • North Dakota • Politics • Protest • Railroads • Republican Party • State Department • U.S. • World
Report: Flawed device, errors contributed to Super Bowl blackout
The Mercedes-Benz Superdome stands in semi-darkness shortly after halftime of the Super Bowl on February 3.
March 21st, 2013
09:29 PM ET

Report: Flawed device, errors contributed to Super Bowl blackout

A combination of technical and communication failures contributed to the partial power outage that disrupted this year's Super Bowl, an independent analysis has determined, utility Entergy New Orleans said Thursday.

The power was cut off to half the Mercedes-Benz Superdome early in the third quarter of Super Bowl XLVII between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers, causing a 34-minute delay in the February game.

Dr. John Palmer of Palmer Engineering & Forensics said a recently installed relay had a "design defect" that caused it to trip in an unpredictable way.

He said the device's trip level had been left at the factory default setting, which was inappropriate for its application in the dome.

Palmer's report also cited "inadequate communication between the manufacturer and the utility" as a contributing factor.

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Filed under: Energy • Louisiana • New Orleans • Pro football • Sports • Super Bowl • U.S.
Pilot lights not snuffed before K.C. blast
One person died after the gas explosion last month in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.
March 13th, 2013
09:51 PM ET

Pilot lights not snuffed before K.C. blast

A fatal explosion last month in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, was caused by the accidental ignition of natural gas vapors that had accumulated inside a popular restaurant, according to a report from a joint city-federal task force.

After a gas line nearby was ruptured, firefighters asked employees at JJ's restaurant "to put the flames out on the candles, stove and hot water heater" inside, said the report.

When queried after the blast by investigators, the restaurant's manager acknowledged the initial request and said workers "only put the candles out and turned the stove off, but did not turn out the pilot lights for the stove or hot water heater," according to the report issued Wednesday.

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Global warming is epic, new study says
A scientist looks at an ice core from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide coring site.
March 8th, 2013
05:23 AM ET

Global warming is epic, new study says

Global warming has propelled Earth's climate from one of its coldest decades since the last ice age to one of its hottest - in just one century.

A heat spike like this has never happened before, at least not in the last 11,300 years, said climatologist Shaun Marcott, who worked on a new study on global temperatures going back that far.

Things are set to get much worse in the future.

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Filed under: Climate change • Earth • Energy • Environment • Global Warming • Nature • Science • Uncategorized • Weather • World Update
March 7th, 2013
10:20 AM ET

U.N. adopts new North Korea sanctions

The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously on Thursday for a resolution strengthening sanctions on North Korea.

The Security Council resolution targeting North Korea and its nuclear program includes tough new financial sanctions, travel restrictions, and inspection powers.

"These sanctions will bite and bite hard," U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice told reporters after the unanimous resolution vote on Thursday.

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Filed under: North Korea • Nuclear • United Nations
U.S., China reach deal on N. Korea sanctions
The U.N. Security Council, seen here on January 22, is expected to consider more sanctions against North Korea on Tuesday.
March 5th, 2013
09:09 AM ET

U.S., China reach deal on N. Korea sanctions

The United States and China reached a tentative deal for a proposed U.N. Security Council resolution on more sanctions for North Korea after its latest nuclear test, a senior Obama administration official told CNN.

The full council is expected to deal with the issue on Tuesday.

Report: North Korea threatens to end armistice

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Filed under: China • North Korea • Nuclear
February 27th, 2013
02:34 AM ET

Iran, P5+1 conclude second round of talks

Diplomats emerged Wednesday from an unusually secretive round of talks over Iran's controversial nuclear program with a joint announcement to hold a follow-up meeting within weeks.

In a joint statement after the meeting in Kazakhstan, the European Union's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, and the chief Iranian negotiator, Saeed Jalili, announced that technical experts would meet in Istanbul, Turkey, on March 18.

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Filed under: Iran • Nuclear
February 15th, 2013
05:57 PM ET

Tank storing radioactive waste leaking in Washington

A tank storing radioactive waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington is leaking liquids to the tune of 150-300 gallons per year, the governor said Friday.

"This is an extremely toxic substance and we have to have a zero tolerance policy for leaks of radioactive material into the ground, and potentially groundwater of the state of Washington," Gov. Jay Inslee told reporters.

He stressed the leak poses no immediate public heath risk, but said that fact should not be an excuse for complacence.

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Filed under: Energy • Environment • Nuclear • Washington state
Lower gas prices give consumers a pre-holiday break
Gas prices fell 7.4% during November, the U.S. Labor Department says.
December 14th, 2012
09:24 AM ET

Lower gas prices give consumers a pre-holiday break

A November drop in gas prices drove down a key measure of inflation for U.S. consumers, the Labor Department said Friday.

The Consumer Price Index fell 0.3% during the month, thanks to 7.4% drop in gas prices last month alone, CNNMoney’s Chris Isidore reports.

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Filed under: Economy • Energy
November 25th, 2012
05:17 PM ET

Human error blamed in gas explosion at strip club

Human error is to blame in last week's gas-fueled explosion that ripped through a strip club in the western Massachusetts city of Springfield, officials said Sunday.

The blast injured at least 21 people, including firefighters.

A utility worker, responding to a report of a gas odor inside a building, inadvertently punctured a hole in a high-pressure gas line at the foundation of that building, according to a statement from the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

Markings on the sidewalk incorrectly indicated where the line was.

Once the pipe was punctured, the worker called the gas company and the fire department to shut off the gas, and the area around the building was evacuated. Investigators believe gas from the leak entered the building and later ignited.

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Filed under: Energy • Gas pipeline • Massachusetts • Natural gas explosion
November 4th, 2012
10:39 PM ET

News report: 2 South Korean nuclear reactors shut down

Two nuclear reactors on South Korea's southwest coast have been shut down after the government announced it had discovered "unproven" parts were being used in such plants, according to a report Monday from Yonhap news agency.

Minister of Knowledge Economy Hong Suk-woo said there's no threat of a radiation leak, saying the parts in question were "ordinary" - things such as fuses and power switches - and are unrelated to the reactors themselves but haven't met the requirements to be used in nuclear plants.

According to Hong, eight suppliers faked 60 warranties for 234 parts (involving a total of 7,682 items worth about 820 million won, or $750,000) since 2003, Yonhap reported.

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Filed under: Nuclear • South Korea
September 10th, 2012
12:57 AM ET

Millions plunged into darkness as power goes out in Havana, other parts of Cuba

Cubans are used to the mundane inconvenience of brief, localized power outages that regularly hit the country's aging electricity grid, but the large blackout that plunged the western part of the Caribbean island into darkness Sunday night was unusual.

Power remained down early Monday in the capital, Havana. The city's more than 2 million residents were without electricity, except for those at hospitals and other places with generators, according to a government spokesman, who was not identified per government policy.

Residents elsewhere in the socialist-ruled nation - including in Ciego de Avila in central Cuba - also said they didn't have any power, except for a few pockets of light.

"Western Cuba is without power," a pro-government blogger known as Yohandry Fontana tweeted.

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Filed under: Cuba • Energy • Latin America
40% of U.S. food wasted, report says
Average supermarket losses are 11.4% for fresh fruit, the report says.
August 22nd, 2012
12:45 PM ET

40% of U.S. food wasted, report says

Forty percent of food in the United States is never eaten, amounting to $165 billion a year in waste, taking a toll on the country's water resources and significantly increasing greenhouse gas emissions, according to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council released this week.

The group says more than 20 pounds of food is wasted each month for each of 311 million Americans, amounting to $1,350 to $2,275 annually in waste for a family of four. Think of it as dumping 80 quarter-pound hamburger patties in the garbage each month, or chucking two dozen boxes of breakfast cereal into the trash bin rather than putting them in your pantry.

The report points out waste in all areas of the U.S. food supply chain, from field to plate, from farms to warehouses, from buffets to school cafeterias.

"Food is simply too good to waste," the report says. "Given all the resources demanded for food production, it is critical to make sure that the least amount possible is needlessly squandered on its journey to our plates."

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Filed under: Agriculture • Energy • Environment • Food
Chinook crash, Hiroshima bombing among memorable events on August 6
August 6 is the birthday of Andy Warhol, who had a penchant for painting Marilyn Monroe. She died August 5, 1962.
August 6th, 2012
12:12 PM ET

Chinook crash, Hiroshima bombing among memorable events on August 6

August 6 is a day of anniversaries. Unfortunately, some of them are dubious milestones.

Topping the list is the first anniversary of the Chinook helicopter crash in Afghanistan that killed 30 U.S. service members, 22 of them Navy SEALs. Included were some members of Team 6, the unit credited with the raid that killed terror mastermind Osama bin Laden.

CNN.com's Ashley Fantz was able to find a heartwarming angle to this tragic anniversary, revisiting an iReport posted by Braydon Nichols, the son of Army Chief Warrant Officer Bryan Nichols, who piloted the Chinook. The boy, now 11, asked that no one forget his father, and judging from the reaction to young Braydon's iReport post, no one has.

His brother, Monte, adds that Braydon is doing well in school and coping with the loss of his father as well as can be expected.

Monday also marks the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima during World War II.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Japan • Military • Nuclear • Showbiz • Sports • U.S. • U.S. Air Force • World
U.S. announces new sanctions against Iran
The Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran. Iran faces new sanctions over its nuclear program.
July 31st, 2012
02:17 PM ET

U.S. announces new sanctions against Iran

President Barack Obama announced new U.S. sanctions targeting Iran's oil Tuesday, warning Tehran that it faces "growing consequences" for refusing to answer international questions about its nuclear program.

The first set of sanctions announced will target the Islamic republic's energy and petrochemical industries, a move designed to "deter Iran from establishing payment mechanisms for the purchase of Iranian oil to circumvent existing sanctions," a White House statement explains.

The statement continues, "Sanctions are also authorized for those who may seek to avoid the impact of these sanctions, including against individuals and entities that provide material support to the National Iranian Oil Company, Naftiran Intertrade Company, or the Central Bank of Iran, or for the purchase or acquisition of U.S. bank notes or precious metals by the government of Iran."

The second set of sanctions will target banks, "a significant step to hold responsible institutions that knowingly enable financial transactions for designated Iranian banks," the statement said.

The Department of Treasury specifically targeted Bank of Kunlun in China and Elaf Islamic Bank in Iraq. The two financial institutions are alleged to have facilitated transactions worth millions of dollars for Iranian banks that are under sanctions because of the country's nuclear proliferation activities, according to the statement.

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Filed under: Energy • Iran • Nuclear • U.S. • World
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