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April 2001 Archive

As the world observed Earth Day over the weekend, Johannesburg, South Africa, is gearing up for a much bigger environmental stage: hosting next year's 10-year follow-up conference to the historic 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

The tiny and colorful mandarin fish that live in shallow coral reefs are helping scientists better understand the reproductive habits of ocean spawners. But ecologists are concerned that heavy harvesting for aquariums is threatening local populations of the fish.

A mysterious ship off the coast of Benin last week heightened world concern about child slavery in West Africa. This week, Red Cross agencies in the region are meeting to propose answers to the problem.

Despite the vast range of beers available today, the underlying process of converting grains into "liquid bread" has remain little changed for thousands of years.

As the world observed Earth Day, Christie Todd Whitman, head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, sat down with National Geographic Today anchors Susan Roesgen and Tom Foreman to discuss timely energy and environmental issues.

Having culled more than 1.3 million farm animals in a ruthless remedy to arrest the epidemic of foot-and-mouth disease, British authorities are now faced with serious public health concerns as they try to find ways to dispose of the carcasses.

A host of interesting fossils acquired in recent years is providing growing evidence that some dinosaurs were "feathered." This week, scientists unveiled what they call an "amazing" specimen that adds greater weight to the theory.

Environmental activists from around the world who have defied governments, big business, and life-threatening situations, were presented with the 2001 Goldman Environmental Prize at National Geographic's Washington, D.C. headquarters Wednesday. Richard N. Goldman, founder of the prize, was honored in turn with the National Geographic Society Chairman's Award for his contribution to conservation and global environmental awareness.

In a study of Lake Chad in Africa, two scientists have concluded that human activities—not natural changes over millennia—are the biggest factor in the lake's demise.

New dating analysis indicates that the ancient Peruvian site of Caral may have been one of the first urban centers in the Americas. The finding, reported in Science, points to the existence of a powerful settlement that thrived more than a thousand years before other known cities.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has ruled that American airlines must carry heart defibrillators and other items on all but the smallest of aircraft in case of midair medical emergencies. National Geographic Today interviews a National Geographic Traveler magazine editor about the significance of the FAA ruling.

Caves usually attract interest because of their interesting geological formations, but some scientists are drawn to that subterranean world to find and study forms of life that live in the extreme conditions.

A "dog tag" worn by a Union soldier for identification was discovered inside the Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley, archaeologists said Friday. The find baffles researchers, sparking speculation as to why it was found in the sub. Was it a war souvenir, or did it belong to a defector—or a spy?

Technology has changed dramatically the way maps are made, sold, delivered, and used. At the recent North American convention of the International Map Trade Association in Washington, D.C., National Geographic Maps President William Stoehr discussed the latest developments in cartography. logo