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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

News Follow-up

Air Date: Week of September 14, 2001

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New developments in stories we've been following recently.

Transcript

CURWOOD: Time now to follow up on some of the news stories we've been tracking lately.

In February, we reported on the earthquake that struck El Salvador. Now, much of Central America faces a crippling drought. According to the United Nations, as many as one and a half million people across the region cannot feed themselves. Oscar Andrade works for Oxfam America in El Salvador. As bad as things are now, he says the worst may be yet to come.

ANDRADE: We think that by the next year it's going to be felt better because we still have in the countries the reserves on last year's crops. But the following year is going to be when we see the worst of it.

CURWOOD: To compound the problem, water supply of El Salvador's capitol city has been turned off for a week as the country repairs its delivery system.

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CURWOOD: The first suspected case of BSE or Mad Cow Disease has been discovered in Japan. World Health Officials say earlier imports of animal feed placed Japan at risk. Yoichi Watanabe, First Secretary of the Japanese Embassy in Washington, D.C. says, the farm that housed the suspected case of BSE has been placed under quarantine.

WATANABE: The Minister of Agriculture and the livestock industry, as well as consumers are very concerned. But the first point is that it is still suspect.

CURWOOD: A portion of the dead cow's brain was sent to the United Kingdom where it will be tested to confirm if the cow, in fact, had the disease.

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CURWOOD: In April, we reported on human intervention and some of the more intimate aspects of captive animal breeding. Now, for the first time, artificial insemination has produced a whale calf. Dr. Todd Robeck says the calf is doing well in its San Diego home at Sea World.

ROBECK: The calf is nursing within six hours, which is really, really good. The calf bonded with his mother, had his sister in the pool. And it's just very exciting to see the whole thing.

CURWOOD: This is the first time artificial insemination was successfully accomplished with marine mammals. It's hoped this technique could assist in the preservation of endangered species.

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CURWOOD: And, finally, traffic cops in merry old England discovered recently that solar energy may not always be the way to go. Thanks to the gloomy skies that often plague the British Isles, about a quarter of solar powered parking meters installed earlier this year in the city of Nottingham keep running out of juice. So violators get off fine free. No sunshine, no ticket. And that's this week's follow-up on the news from Living On Earth.

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