"More than $4 billion is needed by the end of March to help nearly 20 million people who risk starvation in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday."
"Qayyarah, Iraq - Six months after ISIL fighters torched oil wells in Qayyarah, Iraqi fire crews are still battling the flames. Like a scene from a Hollywood blockbuster, a vast and pervasive darkness hangs over Qayyarah, as toxic black smoke billows from the burning wells.
Oil has been a key source of income for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group, making Qayyarah an important strategic town. Its recapture last August by Iraqi forces was a significant gain in their advance towards Mosul.
The National Response Center, run by the Coast Guard, takes reports of toxic spills and is supposed to keep a database on spill incidents. But a new study shows that it does nothing of the sort -- putting the public at risk by keeping them in the dark.
"U.S. Navy-trained dolphins and their handlers will participate in a last-ditch effort to catch, enclose and protect the last few dozen of Mexico's critically endangered vaquita porpoises to save them from extinction."
"The Mosul Dam is failing. A breach would cause a colossal wave that could kill as many as a million and a half people."
"Rebel groups reportedly dumped diesel into the source of the city's water supply, prompting authorities to shut down pipelines. Government forces are laying siege to the source of the water."
A Portland Oregonian investigation turns up problems with toxic lead in National Guard armories around the country, exposing not just military personnel, but the general public. TipSheet reports that a database built for the investigation gives journalists around the nation a way to track problems in their local facilities.
"In a former Montana National Guard armory where more than 20 workers got sick, lead-laced dust bunnies the size of tangerines clogged the ventilation system. ... Hundreds of armories across the United States have been contaminated by dangerous amounts of lead dust, an 18-month investigation by The Oregonian/OregonLive has found."
"The assassination of Goldman Prize-winning activist Berta Cáceres last March shocked the global community. But in her home country of Honduras, where more than 100 activists have been cut down in the past five years, it was business as usual."
"Michael Wood Jr., a Marine Corps veteran and former Baltimore police officer, is leading a group of 2,000 veterans to North Dakota this weekend to join ongoing protests against the Dakota Access pipeline."