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Crews try to contain oil spill in Texas' Galveston Bay as peak bird migration season nears

MCALLEN, Texas - A barge carrying nearly a million gallons of especially thick, sticky oil collided with a ship in Galveston Bay on Saturday, leaking an unknown amount of the fuel into the popular bird habitat as the peak of the migratory shorebird season was approaching. Booms were brought in to try to contain the spill, which the Coast Guard said was reported at around 12:30 p.m. by the captain of the 585-foot ship, Summer Wind. Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Kristopher Kidd said the spill hadn't been contained as of 10 p.m., and that the collision was still being investigated.

Ministry changes guidelines in recognizing Minamata disease victims

The Environment Ministry notified local governments concerned Friday that it has changed guidelines to recognize people as victims of the Minamata mercury-poisoning disease, one of Japan's worst illnesses linked to industrial pollution. Under the government's criteria adopted in 1977, recognition of Minamata disease sufferers basically requires a combination of disorder of sensation plus separate symptoms.

Haze shrouds Malaysian capital amid drought

Haze shrouded Malaysia's capital and its surroundings on Tuesday, causing "unhealthy" air quality due to fires from a drought that has led to water rationing. While dry spells are common in the tropical nation, the current two-month heatwave has been unusually long, sparking bushfires and water supply cuts to more than two million people as reservoirs threaten to run dry. The air pollution index rose as high as 150 on Tuesday in seven areas -- mostly in Kuala Lumpur and the central state of Selangor, the country's economic hub which surrounds the capital.

Freighter, oil tanker collision cause oil spill off Busan

BUSAN, Feb. 15 (Yonhap) -- An 80,000-ton freighter collided with an oil tanker Saturday, spilling an undisclosed amount oil into the water off South Korea's largest port of Busan, Coast Guard officials said. The collision opened a large hole, about 20 centimeters by 30 centimeters, in the hull of the cargo ship, from which fuel oil gushed out, they said. The accident occurred at about 2:20 p.m. as the freighter approached the oil tanker to replenish its fuel, the officials said, adding that the tanker had planned to transfer 1,500 tons of oil, the officials said.

Fisheries minister fired for slip of tongue over Yeosu oil spill

SEOUL, Feb. 6 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye on Thursday fired the head of the Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries, Yoon Jin-sook, for making a series of inappropriate remarks over a recent oil spill and for a late response to the incident. On Jan. 31, a speeding Singapore-registered tanker collided into pipelines operated by GS Caltex, the country's second-largest refiner, causing an oil spill into waters off the coast of Yeosu, 455 kilometers south of Seoul.

Fisheries minister fired for slip of tongue over Yeosu oil spill

SEOUL, Feb. 6 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye on Thursday fired the head of the Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries, Yoon Jin-sook, for making a series of inappropriate remarks over a recent oil spill and for a late response to the incident. On Jan. 31, a speeding Singapore-registered tanker collided into pipelines operated by GS Caltex, the country's second-largest refiner, causing an oil spill into waters off the coast of Yeosu, 455 kilometers south of Seoul.

Fisheries minister fired for slip of tongue over Yeosu oil spill

SEOUL, Feb. 6 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye on Thursday fired the head of the Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries, Yoon Jin-sook, for making a series of inappropriate remarks over a recent oil spill and for a late response to the incident. On Jan. 31, a speeding Singapore-registered tanker collided into pipelines operated by GS Caltex, the country's second-largest refiner, causing an oil spill into waters off the coast of Yeosu, 455 kilometers south of Seoul.

S. Korea cleans up after oil spill

South Korea's coastguard said Monday it would take at least two weeks to clean up the shoreline fouled by an oil spill off the southwestern port of Yeosu. More than 164,000 litres of crude oil spilt into the sea after a Singapore-registered tanker, Wu Yi San, hit a pier and pierced a pipeline on Friday. A 10-kilometre (6.2 mile) stretch of coastline was affected by the incident. "We're afraid of damage to fish farms in that area," Yeosu coastguard chief Kim Sang-Bae told reporters.

S. Korea cleans up after oil spill

South Korea's coastguard said Monday it would take at least two weeks to clean up the shoreline fouled by an oil spill off the southwestern port of Yeosu. More than 164,000 litres of crude oil spilt into the sea after a Singapore-registered tanker, Wu Yi San, hit a pier and pierced a pipeline on Friday. A 10-kilometre (6.2 mile) stretch of coastline was affected by the incident. "We're afraid of damage to fish farms in that area," Yeosu coastguard chief Kim Sang-Bae told reporters.

Gov't to propose changes in recognizing Minamata disease victims

The Environment Ministry plans to propose changes to make it possible for people who suffer only from sensation disorders to be recognized as victims of the Minamata mercury-poisoning disease, officials said Friday. Under the government's criteria adopted in 1977, recognition of Minamata disease sufferers requires a combination of the disorder of sensation plus separate symptoms.
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