"Iraq's prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, said on Sunday he had urged the U.S. military to halt work on a wall separating a Baghdad Sunni enclave from nearby Shi'ite areas after sharp criticism from some residents."
"The two main opposition candidates in Nigeria's presidential election have said they will not accept the results of Saturday's poll... Nigeria is one of the world's biggest oil producers."
France's Nicolas Sarkozy and Ségolène Royal will face each other in a runoff presidental election.
CA-37: Representative Juanita Millender-McDonald died of cancer at the age of 68. Speaker Nancy Pelosi writes, "The loss of Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald is a personal one for me. She was always optimistic and determined to make a difference. The dignity with which she faced her illness was an indication of the determination with which she always served the people of her district. They have lost an effective leader and spokeswoman, and I have lost a dear friend." Condolences to her family, friends, and supporters.
Somalian unrest escalates. "Continued fighting in Mogadishu killed 41 civilians and six insurgents on Sunday, taking the death toll in the last five days of battles to 230."
Alberto Gonzales is still Attorney General.
Democratic presidential candididates out-raised the Republicans by 35 percent in the first quarter of 2007. "The Republicans are dogged by the unpopularity of... Bush and the war in Iraq" and the "specter of... actor and former senator Fred Thompson" who left more than a few of House Republicans "starry-eyed".
Senator John Edwards "has been able to keep together the core of donors who fueled his 2004 run for the presidency."
"Frozen out of casino profits, thousands of descendants of Minnesota's Dakota Indians have sued, asserting their rights to the money. A federal judge in Washington has strengthened their claims... The case could leave U.S. taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars. It also could leave Indians across the country wrestling anew with the meaning of tribal identity."
Julia Campbell, a 40-year-old Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines, was murdered and found buried in a shallow grave. She was "killed by blows to the head and there were signs that she had tried to ward off an attack, police said Saturday." Campbell was a "freelance journalist who had been teaching English in the Philippines since October 2006."
"Elephant manure will heat a new exhibit at the Denver Zoo... Inspiration came from the 75 tons of manure produced annually by elephants Dolly and Mimi." This interesting Denver Post story for Earth Day highlights what some Colorado communities are doing with sustainable and renewable energy. I think it would be awesome if the 2008 Democratic National Convention held in Denver could be literally powered by elephant dung.
An OpEd piece in the Star Tribune, Time to build a better railroad, brings to attention two Minnesota bonding bills that may help advance plans for a high speed passenger rail line between the Twin Cities and Chicago.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed a $8 fee on car drivers, and $21 for truck operators driving into Manhattan.
Tsetsegee Munkhbayar, a self-educated Mongolian yak herder, has won a "$125,000 Goldman Environmental Prize for founding the Onggi River Movement which is Mongolia's largest environmental pressure group."
Tonight is the last really good night to watch the Lyrid Meteor Shower for this year. "They began last week, and should remain visible until Wednesday. But the most activity is predicted to occur tonight into Monday morning. Early in the evening, a bright moon will drown out the fainter shooting stars. To see more meteors, wait until the moon sets around 2 a.m." People in Longmont, Colorado reported seeing a greenish-red fireball in the sky late Friday night. A meteorite reported landed somewhere near NORAD and the Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs.
How are the birds and the bees doing on Earth Day? Well Migratory birds poisoned by pesticides in Latin America. Migrating song birds are "facing habitat loss, lack of food and chronic pesticide poisoning in the tropics. When it's time to head north, many of these migrants are too thin and sick to make the journey back to breed... farmers in Latin America use pesticides like an insurance policy: the chemicals are cheap and easy to get, so they use them all the time, even if their crop is bug-free, to make sure it stays that way."
Honeybees aren't faring any better. Beekeeper Steve Bentley, reported to Florida regulators in February that "thousands of his honeybees had died that month after the pesticide Lorsban was sprayed in a Sebring citrus grove... The ensuing state investigation confirmed that the pesticide had been sprayed even though bees were in the area - contrary to federal law - and regulators issued a technical-violation warning letter to the subcontractor that applied the chemical... But ever since filing the report, Bentley says he's been banned from the area..."
We become part of the food chain when we buy these foods that were cultivated using pesticides and herbicides. While "some people just worry about how their food affects them, but this is damaging ecosystems that we depend on." Buying produce that is in season, local, and organic has a broader impact than just on our own bodies, buy doing so we can help ecosystems thousands of miles away from where we live.
In the Pacific Northwest, gardeners and yardworkers are chosing to go green. According to the Seattle Times, "surveys indicate that about 25 percent of gardeners choose products labeled organic." And "once you've chosen to eliminate toxic chemicals from your lawn or garden, you can display a "Pesticide-Free Zone" sign. These cheerful, red ladybug-centered signs adorn institutions and private homes throughout Washington."
In case you missed yesterday's digest, please listen to Professor Tyrone Hayes's talk "From Silent Spring to Silent Night". His talk explains how we're killing frogs and other amphibians by using the herbicide Atrazine on major crops such as corn.