Mines use toxic chemicals including cyanide, mercury, and sulphuric acid, to separate metal from ore. The chemicals used in the processing are generally recycled, however residues may remain in the tailings, which in developing countries are often dumped directly into lakes or rivers with devastating consequences. The accidental spillage of processing chemicals can also have a serious impact on the environment. For example, at the Baia Mare mine in Romania cyanide is used to extract gold from slurry. In January 2000 a dam containing tens of thousands of tonnes of slurry burst, poisoning the local river with cyanide and heavy metals. Up to 100 tonnes of cyanide were released into the river, a tributary of the Danube. The drinking water supply for more than 2 million people was affected. Within hours, dead fi sh were seen washed up along the river.
The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is now 80 miles across and the size of Jamaica, and according to new reports is five times worse than first thought, leaking around 5000 barrels into the sea, as opposed to the 1000 barrels first estimated.
The new estimates were released after the discovery of another leak from the pipeline crippled after fire ravaged the Deepwater Horizon rig, and early attempts by robotic submarines to seal the well have failed. Despite the new leak, BP officials have claimed the original estimate of 1000 barrels a day is closer to the truth. However US Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry disagreed with the statement at a news conference and said she was relying on the new estimate of 5000 barrels from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.
When it comes to educational Olympics, not one single country emerges as the overall literacy winner. In fact, countries across the globe have different standards when it comes to educating their youth. While the United States has 12 years of compulsory education, this isn’t necessarily the standard for the rest of the world. For instance, Germany requires 13 years of education while Angola only requires four.
In 22 countries, at least half of the population is illiterate. 15 African countries have an illiteracy rate of 50 percent or higher. Interestingly, in Iceland, women earn more than two-thirds of college degrees overall.
Japan still reigns supreme as the country that manufactures the most automobiles. And based on the country’s current production, it doesn’t look as if Japan is going to surrender this title anytime soon.
That doesn’t mean that China, the United States and Germany are slouches. These countries, which rank second, third and fourth, continue to produce a significant number of automobiles each year, too.
Japan produced more than 11.5 million vehicles in 2008. That gave the country a healthy lead on runner-up China, which produced more than 9.3 million vehicles. The United States, even with its down economy and domestic automaker problems, wasn’t too far behind China. The country produced more than 8.7 million vehicles in 2008.