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Six thousand people have been evacuated after a landslide in Tibet Wednesday blocked a river that flows downstream into India, creating a lake that could cause major flooding in the subcontinent once the debris is cleared, The Associated Press reported.
Chinese emergency officials announced the evacuations Thursday. The landslide impacted a village in Menling County, but no one was killed or injured, Chinese officials said.
Authorities in India are concerned the landslide could cause another emergency along the Siang River in the border state of Arunachal Pradesh.
"The Siang has almost dried up, which is very unnatural. And if the dam breaks, there could be large-scale damage in Arunachal Pradesh and other states downstream," wrote Ninong Ering, who represents the area in the lower house of India's parliament, The Hindustan Times reported.
The Yarlung Tsangpo, the blocked Tibetan river, is the headwater of India's Brahmaputra River, and this isn't the first time it has threatened communities downstream. In 2000, a sudden influx of water from the Yarlung Tsangpo caused major damage to Arunachal Pradesh and other downstream areas, The Associated Press reported.
Floods in northeast India displaced three million people last year, and India partly blamed China for breaking a 2006 agreement to share information about Indian rivers that originate in Tibet, The South China Morning Post reported.
India was concerned China might have retaliated for a military standoff between Chinese and Indian soldiers over a territory claimed by both China and India's ally Bhutan, but relations between the two countries thawed after an informal summit with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping this year, during which China agreed to provide river information to India during the flood season and at any point water levels rose unusually high.
It kept its promise when Yarlung Tsangpo waters rose to an 150-year high in August, and again following Wednesday's landslide.
Tibet is the source of many Asian rivers, making it a strategically important territory for China to control. However, climate change is causing Tibet's glaciers to melt rapidly, raising concern about water resources throughout Asia, The Associated Press reported.
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Ethics investigations have been opened into the conduct of senior Trump appointees at the nation's top environmental agencies.
The two investigations focus on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler and six high-ranking officials in the Department of Interior (DOI), The Hill reported Tuesday. Both of them involve the officials' former clients or employers.
"This is demonstrative of the failures at the very top of this administration to set an ethical tone," Campaign Legal Center Ethics Counsel Delaney Marsco told The Washington Post of the DOI investigation. "When people come to work for government, they're supposed to work on behalf of the public. It's a betrayal of the public trust when senior political appointees seem to give privileged access to their former employers or former clients."
By Dipika Kadaba
We've known for more than 50 years that smoking cigarettes comes with health hazards, but it turns out those discarded butts are harmful for the environment, too. Filtered cigarette butts, although small, contain dozens of chemicals, including arsenic and benzene. These toxins can leach into the ground or water, creating a potentially deadly situation for nearby birds, fish and other wildlife.
By Wenonah Hauter
Five years ago this week, an emergency manager appointed by then-Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder made the devastating decision to save money by switching Flint's water supply over from Detroit's water system to the Flint River. Seen as a temporary fix, the new water supply was not properly treated. High levels of lead leached from the old pipes, poisoning a generation of Flint's children, and bacteria responsible for an outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease killed more than a dozen residents.
Did you know that more than a third of food is wasted or thrown away every year? And that only 25 percent of it would be enough to feed the 795 million undernourished people in the world? That's why today is Stop Food Waste Day, a chance to reflect on what you can do to waste less of the food you buy.