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Severe flooding in Louisiana forces evacuations, school closures

Louisiana floodingA storm system moving through the southern United States killed at least one person in Texas and forced evacuations in Louisiana on Wednesday.

The storms were expected to continue throughout the day with the heaviest rainfall forecast for eastern Texas, parts of Arkansas and western Louisiana, where flash flood emergencies were declared for the parishes of Bossier, Caddo, Webster, DeSoto and Red River due to widespread flooding.

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Egypt parliament expels lawmaker over meeting with Israeli

Egyptian MP oustedAn Egyptian lawmaker and TV talk show host has been expelled from parliament over a meeting he had with the Israeli ambassador to Egypt, which in 1979 became the first Arab nation to sign a peace treaty with Israel.

The controversy over the meeting began when the ambassador, Haim Koren, posted a picture last week on the embassy's Facebook page of himself and Tawfiq Okasha.

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Dwindling bee, butterfly populations pose global agriculture threat

bee and butterflu population dwindlingImportant invertebrate pollinator species, like the honeybee and butterfly, are under a threat of extinction due to a number of environmental pressures, many of them man-made, a new study found.

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services released a detailed assessment regarding pollinators Friday during its fourth plenary in Malaysia. Results come from a two-year, United Nations-sponsored study conducted by the panel.

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So. California oil spill tied to pipeline corrosion

Oilspill in CaliforniaThe federal government said its preliminary report of the May 2015 oil spill at Refugio Beach in southern California found pipeline corrosion to be the culprit.

A pipeline system operated by Plains All American, which has headquarters in Houston, leaked up to 3,400 barrels of oil in Santa Barbara County in mid-May. The company in November indicated the spill volume was around 2,960 barrels and was still working to reconcile the difference. About 30 percent was recovered during remediation efforts.

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Japan: Fukushima clean-up may take up to 40 years, plant's operator says

Fukushima clean-up may take forty yearsCleaning up Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which suffered catastrophic meltdowns after an earthquake and tsunami hit in 2011, may take up to 40 years.

The crippled nuclear reactor is now stable but the decommissioning process is making slow progress, says the plant's operator Tokyo Electric Power Co, better known as TEPCO.

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65,000% Spike In Reported Radioactivity After Tritium Leaks At Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant

Tritium spike at Indian Point ground waterTwo years after being fined for falsifying safety records, nine months after a transformer exploded at the Indian Point Nuclear Reactor just 37 miles from midtown Manhattan, and two months after Entergy - the plant's operator - shut down the Unit 2 reactor after a major power outage cut power to several control rods (when the company assured that no radioactivity was released into the environment), this afternoon NY Governor Andrew Cuomo said he learned that "radioactive tritium-contaminated water" had leaked into the groundwater at the nuclear facility in Westchester County.

Cuomo, in a letter Saturday to the state Health Department and the Department of Environmental Conservation, called for the probe into the Indian Point NPP after he said Entergy, the plant's owner, reported "alarming levels of radioactivity" at three monitoring wells, with one well’s radioactivity increasing nearly 65,000 percent.

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Here’s How Hard It Will Be to Unpoison Flint’s Water

Flint RiverIt is possible to trace every drop of toxic water spewed from Flint, Michigan back to two terrible decisions. The second was switching the city’s supply from treated Lake Huron water to the corrosive broth in the Flint River.

Left untreated, that water unleashed the disaster stored in the walls of the city’s first bad decision: its lead pipes.

In the past few weeks, the nation’s attention has increasingly focused on Flint’s public health disaster. At least 15 percent of the city’s homes have water with lead levels exceeding the safe limit established by the federal government. Several of those homes had water with lead levels 900 times above the safe limit.

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