Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Systematic Change At Last for China?

After years of hand-wringing over China's coal mine death toll, it seems that change may actually be under way that could make a difference. The government reportedly has closed half the country's mines, mainly small operations with bad safety records. Government officials are supposed to divest themselves of economic interest in the mines they regulate. Reuters reports.

Meanwhile China also is struggling with environmental problems related to coal. A South African journalist reports on underground fires that make some areas uninhabitable. The U.S. has seen a few cases of this too, notably in the old anthracite area of Pennsylvania.

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