Protests in Nepal causing shortages of gasoline, medicine

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Nepal warned on Friday that shortages of gasoline and medicine would be severe soon as supply trucks from India stopped during protests at border crossings by hundreds of people angry about Nepal's new constitution.

Acting Nepalese Foreign Minister Khagraj Adhikari called Indian Ambassador Ranjit Rae and inquired about obstructions at the border, said Deepak Adhikari, a ministry spokesman.


Analysis: The pope, the speaker and the divided Republican party

For all of the focus Thursday on his remarks on the environment and poverty, the key theme in Pope Francis' speech to Congress was a call for unified action, for "solidarity" in solving problems.

"We must especially guard against the simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil," Francis said. "The contemporary world, with its open wounds which affect so many of our brothers and sisters, demands that we confront every form of polarization which would divide it into these two camps."

He brought up the subject in the context of the fight against violent extremism, but in the next paragraph made clear it also applies to efforts to promote "the well-being of individuals and of peoples."

California regulators aim for 10 percent cut in fuel emissions

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California regulators on Friday restored ambitious rules to cut transportation fuel emissions 10 percent within 5 years.

The rules further strengthen California's toughest-in-the-nation carbon emissions standards, but oil producers warn the changes could drive up costs for consumers at the gas pump.

Environmentalists challenge Commerce rejection of exports records request


The Commerce Department move to deny a request by environmental groups to see records regarding the decision to allow limited crude exports is being challenged in court, FuelFix reports.

Asian Development Bank doubles climate financing

STOCKHOLM (AP) — The Asian Development Bank says it will double its funding to fight climate change to $6 billion by 2020.

The Manila, Philippines-based ADB says that means its spending on tackling global warming will rise to about 30 percent of its overall financing.


North Dakota: Longer deadline but tougher flaring mandate

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota regulators have given the oil industry an additional 10 months next year to cut down on the reduction of wasteful flaring of natural gas but also implemented a stiffer long-term benchmark.

The decision Thursday by the state Industrial Commission pleased neither the industry nor environmental groups, but regulators said it's a give-and-take aimed at putting more natural gas on the market to the benefit of both energy companies and consumers.

State attorneys general launch investigation of Volkswagen

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — At least 27 state attorneys general are opening a multi-state investigation into Volkswagen after it came clean about rigging diesel emissions technology to pass U.S. smog tests.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette's office said Thursday he and at least 26 other attorneys general will send subpoenas to the German automaker. Spokeswoman Andrea Bitely says many states will investigate both through their consumer protection and environmental protection divisions.

Singapore shuts schools, distributes free masks for haze

SINGAPORE (AP) — Singapore shut schools Friday and began distributing free anti-pollution masks to the elderly and other vulnerable people as a thick smoky haze cast covered the island-nation with pollution reaching its worst level this year.

The haze — a pall of grayness that resembles wintry fog and virtually obliterates the skyline while even seeping inside homes — is an annual problem for the region, resulting from forests being burned in neighboring Indonesia to clear the land for farming and plantations.

Interview: UN nuke chief pushback against Iran probe critics

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The head of the U.N. nuclear agency pushed back on Thursday against critics questioning the wisdom of letting Iranian experts take samples meant to help determine whether their own country clandestinely worked in the past on atomic arms, saying he is convinced the process was faultless.

Yukiya Amano spoke to The Associated Press less than a week after confirming that Iranians did the environmental sampling at a site where such alleged experiments took place. Personnel from his International Atomic Energy Agency normally do the work of swiping equipment and sampling the soil and air at sites they suspect was used for hidden nuclear activities.

EPA to change diesel tests to thwart VW-like cheating

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans sweeping changes to the way it tests for diesel emissions after getting duped by clandestine software in Volkswagen cars for seven years.

Chris Grundler, head of the EPA's office of transportation and air quality, indicated the agency would add on-road testing to its regimen. VW's sophisticated software allowed its cars to pass tests in the lab and then spew pollution into the atmosphere while on the highway.


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