Tropical Storm Celia may become hurricane off Mexico

Tropical Storm Celia formed on Saturday in the Pacific off southern Mexico and could soon become a hurricane as it moves away from the coast, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. Celia, the third named storm of the Pacific hurricane season, was 340 miles south of the tourist resort of Acapulco, the Miami-based hurricane center said.

Floods and landslides kill 53 in southwest China

Flooding and landslides caused by heavy rain have killed 53 people in China's southwestern Guangxi region since late May, including three children swept away as they walked home from school, state media reported on Monday. The death toll was announced after rescuers found nearly 20 bodies in the aftermath of torrential rains between May 31 and June 2, the local flood control office said. The three dead children, missing since finishing school on June 1, were aged between 8 and 11. Their parents had left to work in cities, so they were walking unaccompanied to their grandparents' home.

BP increases amount of oil being collected from leak

BP Plc has increased the amount of oil it is collecting through a containment cap fitted over its ruptured Gulf of Mexico oil well, and is working to improve on that rate, the U.S. national oil spill response commander said on Saturday. U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen told reporters the containment effort was working "with caveats", although it was still only collecting part of the leaking oil at this stage. "In the first full 24-hour cycle yesterday ... they were able to bring up ... 6,000 barrels of oil from the well," Allen said, speaking in Theodore, Alabama.

Cyclone hits Oman, disrupting oil and gas infrastructure

Cyclone Phet, despite weakening to a Category 1 storm, pummeled Oman's coastline on Friday, killing two and halting the small oil-producing country's oil and gas production, officials and state media said. Phet's first confirmed casualties were an Omani man who died trying to cross a flooded area in Oman's northern al Dhahira region and a Bangladeshi woman who was electrocuted in Qurayyat village near the capital Muscat, state television said. "Some of the rescue operations are being hampered by poor visibility and strong winds," inspector general of police and customs Malik bin Suleiman al-Maamary said on Omani television. "There is bound to be damage but it is too early to assess it."

Stronger evidence pollution damages the heart

The evidence is stronger than ever that pollution from industry, traffic and power generation causes strokes and heart attacks, and people should avoid breathing in smog, the American Heart Association said on Monday. Fine particulate matter from burning fossil fuels such as gasoline, coal and oil is the clearest offender, the group said. "Particulate matter appears to directly increase risk by triggering events in susceptible individuals within hours to days of an increased level of exposure, even among those who otherwise may have been healthy for years," said Dr. Robert Brook of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, who headed the group writing the report.