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Watching the World

Watching the World


The World Health Organization has concluded that exposure to diesel engine exhaust “is associated with an increased risk for lung cancer” and possibly also for bladder cancer.


Fossilized pollen and spores recovered from seabed sediment reveal that the Antarctic once supported palms and near-tropical forests. During the so-called “Eocene greenhouse period,” winters were mild and “essentially frost-free” and temperatures at the poles were not vastly different from those at the equator.


A report published in 2012 by Ireland’s Association of Catholic Priests indicates that 87 percent of Catholics surveyed in this country believe that priests should be allowed to marry; 77 percent believe that women should be allowed to enter the priesthood.

Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia

Analysis of antimalarial drugs revealed that in some areas the medicines were often substandard or fake, leading to inadequate or failed treatment. In Southeast Asia, 36 percent of the drug samples tested were judged to be counterfeit, as were 20 percent of the drug samples in sub-Saharan Africa.

El Salvador

In mid-April 2012, government officials heralded El Salvador’s first murder-free day in almost three years. Plagued by drug-related violence, in 2011 the country had a homicide rate of 69 per 100,000—one of the worst in the world.