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EPA studies ways to cut air and global warming pollution
WASHINGTON (AP) - Government studies released Thursday show a broad range of potential costs if the United States were to regulate carbon dioxide to curb global warming, from relatively cheap to expensive.
The Environmental Protection Agency said its analyses show the superiority of President Bush's plan for cutting air pollution from the nation's 600 coal-burning power plants.
But Bush's plan, which wouldn't regulate carbon dioxide at all, has been stalled in Congress since its introduction in 2002. Nonetheless, EPA compared it with current regulations as well as competing legislative proposals by Sens. Tom Carper, D-Del., and James Jeffords, I-Vt.
None of the proposals is expected to come up for consideration until next year at the earliest.

North Korea says no disclosure before delivery of reactors
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea won't disclose details of its nuclear programs until it gets civilian nuclear reactors from the United States, a senior North Korean diplomat said Thursday, according to a news report.
Such disclosure is tantamount to "unilateral disarmament" and won't take place until the communist state is given light-water nuclear reactors "as evidence" of the U.S. recognition of the North's peaceful nuclear activity, said Han Song Ryol, deputy chief of the North's mission to the United Nations.
"The U.S. seems to demand DPRK to make its voluntary report on the nuclear weapons. Reporting the nuclear weapons is a kind of abandonment of nuclear weapons first and unilateral disarmament," Han said in Washington, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency. "The provision of light-water reactor has to be completed."

US Lawmakers Okay Some Synthetics for Organic Food
WASHINGTON - Senate and House negotiators have agreed to allow some synthetic materials to be used in processing organic foods, officials of a trade group said on Thursday, calling the step crucial for many organic food companies to stay in business.
The provision was added to the annual spending budget for the US Agriculture Department despite objections from a consumer group, which called it a sneak attack on organic food standards.
The Organic Trade Association, representing North American businesses that grow and market organic foods, sought the special measure after a federal court ruling barred products processed with synthetic ingredients from using the organic label.

Air Pollution Tied to Increased Risk of Strokes
NEW YORK - Increases in particles polluting the air are associated with an increase in the number of strokes caused by a blood clot in the brain -- but not the type caused by an artery rupture in the brain -- new research shows.
Previous reports have shown a link between air pollution and overall risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular events, but the specific effect on stroke risk has not been well studied, lead author Dr. Gregory A. Wellenius, from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, told Reuters Health.
"Our study is the first large study in the US to address this topic," he said

Disorientation Seen in Mass Australia Whale Deaths
SYDNEY - The death of about 110 stranded whales in the southern Australian state of Tasmania was probably caused by the animals becoming disoriented in confusing coastal waters, officials said on Thursday.
The long-finned pilot whales died after two separate strandings on Tuesday and Wednesday in the Marion Bay area, on the southeastern coast of the island state.
Mark Pharaoh, the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service official in charge of the incident, said the most likely reason for the stranding was the complex topography of the area.

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