"As the last bit of life drained from his frail body, Ahmed Nur was still tethered to an intravenous tube. His father brushed his fingers over the boy’s eyes to close the motionless eyelids. He gently pulled a sheet over his son’s face and removed the tube from his thin arm."
"At the rim of the Arctic Circle in Canada, gold mining firm Agnico-Eagle is learning how tough it is to operate in a remote region with temptingly large, but frustratingly inaccessible, reserves of oil, gas and minerals. Commentators rarely mention nightmarish logistics, polar bears and steel-snapping cold when they confidently predict that as the Arctic warms up, melting sea ice and shorter winters will open up the expanse to exploration."
"HONG KONG — The bankruptcies of three American solar power companies in the last month, including Solyndra of California on Wednesday, have left China’s industry with a dominant sales position — almost three-fifths of the world’s production capacity — and rapidly declining costs."
"The world's largest tobacco company is attempting to gain access to confidential information about British teenagers' smoking habits."
"Chinese environmental groups accused Apple Inc. of turning a blind eye as its suppliers pollute the country, the latest criticism of the technology company's environmental record."
"A record rise in global greenhouse emissions and ever tighter economic constraints make it crucial for United Nations climate talks in South Africa in November to overcome years of deadlock and deliver a solution, the U.N.'s climate chief told Reuters."
"MOSCOW — Exxon Mobil won a coveted prize in the global petroleum industry Tuesday with an agreement to explore for oil in a Russian portion of the Arctic Ocean that is being opened for drilling even as Alaskan waters remain mostly off limits.
The agreement seemed to supersede a similar but failed deal that Russia's state oil company, Rosneft, reached with the British oil giant BP this year — with a few striking differences.
"For centuries, water has been a potent weapon between warring states. When Pisa was at war with Florence, Leonardo da Vinci and Machiavelli planned to divert the Arno and leave Pisa dry."
"An independent investigation panel has confirmed that [Japan's] Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency asked utilities in at least three cases to mobilize their employees for government-sponsored symposiums on nuclear power and express supportive or neutral opinions."
The bubonic plague or Black Death that scourged Europe in the 1340s seems to have been far more virulent and contagious than the Yersinia pestis microbe that survives today. Now an old plague-era London cemetery is yielding DNA evidence that may begin to answer some of the mysteries.