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Scientists See a 15-Year Window for Affordable Action to Limit Global Warming

Officials and experts brought together by the UN are reviewing options for curbing emissions driving climate change. The meeting in Berlin of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change follows its starkest-ever warning about the impact of global warming on the earth’s weather system. The IPCC will meet until Friday before issuing a report intended to inform policymakers of their options. A draft of the document suggests there is a 15-year window for affordable action to safely stay within the UN’s warming limit of two degrees Celsius. The report, the product of four years’ work by hundreds of experts, is intended to boost the struggling effort to forge a worldwide pact by next year to curb greenhouse gases and help poor countries cope with climate change. Agence France-Presse, The Guardian

GlaxoSmithKline is investigating allegations of bribery by Middle East employees. A person familiar with Glaxo’s Mideast operations emailed the UK drug company late last year and earlier this year to report what were said to be corrupt practices in Iraq, including alleged misconduct last year and in 2012. The emails cite behavior similar to Glaxo’s alleged misconduct in China, where authorities last summer accused Glaxo of bribing doctors. The company says it appears that some of its senior staff in China may have broken the law and that it is cooperating with Chinese investigators. Glaxo said it started investigating the Iraq issues as soon as it became aware of them and that its probe of what took place in the country is continuing. The Wall Street Journal

Anadarko Petroleum to pay $5.15 billion to settle claims over thousands of sites tainted by hazardous chemicals. The U.S. government’s pact with the Texas company is the largest settlement ever for environmental contamination. More than $4 billion will be divided among more than 2,700 sites across the country, many of which have been languishing during litigation over who would pay for cleanup. The rest of the settlement will pay claims by people who got sick from the pollution. The settlement resolves a legal battle over Tronox Inc., a spinoff of Kerr-McGee Corp., a company Anadarko acquired in 2006. The Justice Department said Kerr-McGee, founded in 1929, left behind a long legacy of environmental contamination, including leaving behind radioactive waste piles throughout the territory of the Navajo Nation. The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal

Assessment finds that up to one-third of autos recalled for safety defects are never repaired. Figures from Carfax, a service that compiles vehicle history reports for used-car buyers, also showed that last year 3.5 million recalled cars and light trucks were offered for sale online to unsuspecting buyers. A Carfax spokesman said an “alarming number” of used vehicles are sold “without anyone knowing a recall exists.” The findings echo a 2011 Government Accountability Office report on the failure to remove defective vehicles from the roads. Since then, U.S. regulators have taken such steps as requiring automobile manufacturers to use distinctive labeling on recall notices so consumers do not confuse them with junk mail. Regulators also launched a smartphone app that allows consumers easy access to safety information. The Washington Post

Flawed buckle prompts recall of nearly 1.4 million child safety seats, but the manufacturer rejects a broader action. Evenflo’s recall of the forward-facing car seats was prompted by a balky buckle that could make it hard to free a child in an emergency. The company this month will send replacement buckles to owners of the seats covered by the recall. But Evenflo is refusing to recall rear-facing infant seats using the same buckle. Evenflo’s move echoes a decision by Graco Children’s Products, which is recalling about 4.2 million forward-facing child restraints, but rejected a request by U.S. regulators to also recall 1.8 million rear-facing infant seats. Graco and Evenflo argue that the rear-facing seats do not have to be recalled because the portion of the child seat holding the infant can be detached from the base and taken out of the vehicle. The New York Times, The Associated Press

Compiled by Stuart Silverstein

 

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