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Huge tyre fire causes Kuwait 'catastrophe'
by Staff Writers
Kuwait City (AFP) April 17, 2012

Hundreds of Kuwaiti firemen on Tuesday fought to contain a massive fire in a dump for used tyres, with some members of parliament calling the blaze an environmental catastrophe.

Firemen from the national guard, the army and the oil sector joined efforts to extinguish the fire that was still raging 10 hours after it broke out in the dump of more than five million tyres, the fire department said.

Environment authorities advised residents in the area to stay away and to use masks, but the education ministry rejected calls by MPs to suspend classes at local schools.

A number of MPs described the fire as an "environmental catastrophe" and vowed to demand a debate on the issue in a special parliamentary session next week. Some said they will demand an official probe.

Medics said that one man was treated for minor burns.

OSCE to help Albania destroy communist-era chemicals
Tirana (AFP) April 17, 2012 - The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has signed a deal with Albania to help destroy communist-era chemicals often stored in bad conditions, Tirana said Tuesday.

Under the agreement the OSCE will help Albania's defence ministry to safely dispose of some 80 tonnes of chemical products kept in army depots.

The project is largely financed by the Czech Republic and Turkey but the OSCE is looking for additional donors, the ministry said.

Albania, which joined NATO in 2009, has also committed itself to destroying some 40,000 tonnes of surplus and out-dated ammunition by next year.

In 2008 a blast in a communist-era ammunition disposal facility in Gerdec killed 26 people and wounded 302. Since the explosion the OSCE presence in Albania stepped up its efforts to help Tirana to dispose of surplus ammunition and dangerous toxic chemicals.

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Black carbon ranked number two climate pollutant by US EPA
Washington, DC (SPX) Apr 10, 2012
The US Environmental Protection Agency concluded in a report to Congress that targeted strategies to reduce black carbon "can be expected to provide climate benefits within the next several decades," based on black carbon's strong warming potential and its short atmospheric lifetime of days to weeks. EPA concluded that black carbon was likely to be causing more warming than any climate pol ... read more

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