Guy Lumumba looks to U.S. for aid in Congo

The son of Congo prime minister Patrice Lumumba, slain in 1961, speaks at DU. He’s on tour “to renew relations.”

The son of slain African hero Patrice Lumumba — the Congo prime minister assassinated after a U. S.-backed 1960 coup — has been touring U.S. universities in an effort to get Americans focused on his ravaged homeland.

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Reports of toxic spills spiking

Rural counties struggle to respond to calls, and cleanup often is left to the polluters.

Hazardous-waste spills and discoveries reported to Colorado authorities nearly doubled over the past decade, from an average of 561 a year from 1998 to 2000 to an average of 1,035 from 2005 to 2007. Population growth, carelessness, and the boom in oil and gas drilling are largely to blame. Much of the increase comes from rural Colorado, where towns often lack equipment and training to deal with the growing number of incidents. Some count on volunteers, or Colorado State Patrol troopers, who respond as soon as possible to contain spills yet lack resources for actual cleanup.

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Toxic plume spurs study of public health

Uranium mill

The federal government has begun a required but long-delayed comprehensive review of public health in Cañon City as newly found toxic pollution spreads from a shuttered uranium mill. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry launched the review in response to new data and community concerns that pollution may contribute to unexplained ailments including cancer, miscarriages and neurological problems. Cotter Corp. officials have been contemplating a reopening of their plant to provide yellowcake uranium for an expected national expansion of nuclear power plants. Since 1986, federal authorities have been required to conduct public-health assessments at every “Superfund” cleanup site.

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