SEOUL: Hyundai Motor Group said Sunday that it planned to invest nearly $6 billion this year, similar to 2008, and would focus on developing environmentally friendly automobiles as it eyes longer-term growth beyond the current crisis.

Until recently, the idea that the world's most powerful nations might come together to tackle global warming seemed an environmentalist's pipe dream.

WASHINGTON: The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to act for the first time to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that scientists blame for the warming of the planet, according to top Obama administration officials.

NEW YORK: Barely a year after the U.S. Congress enacted an energy law to foster a huge national enterprise capable of converting plants and agricultural wastes into automotive fuel, the goals lawmakers set for the ethanol industry are in serious jeopardy.

SAN FRANCISCO: Google will announce its entry Tuesday into the small but growing business of "smart grid," digital technologies that seek to both keep the electrical system on an even keel and reduce electrical energy consumption.

DETROIT: When Shai Agassi set out in 2007 to develop an infrastructure to service electric cars, circumstances were hardly in his favor.

Gasoline was cheap, and big pickups and SUVs still ruled the road in the United States. While auto companies were working on alternative-fuel vehicles, they seemed destined for a tiny niche market of green-minded consumers.

SYDNEY, Australia: Fanned by the hottest temperatures on record, a series of wildfires tore through southern Australia over the weekend, killing at least 131 people in the deadliest natural disaster on record, police said Monday.

Forensic investigators descended on the fire zone Monday to begin identifying bodies found in the rubble. Police warned the death toll could rise.

BEIJING: Pressure from a dam, its reservoir's heavy waters weighing on geologic fault lines, may have helped trigger China's devastating earthquake last May, some scientists say, in a finding that suggests human activity played a role in the disaster.

SANTIAGO: When a devastating virus swept through Chile's farmed salmon stocks last year, some of the industry's biggest players laid off thousands of workers, packed up operations and moved to unspoiled waters farther south along the Chilean coast. But the virus went with them.

Wind and solar power grew at a blistering pace in recent years, and that growth seemed likely to accelerate, especially in the United States under the green-minded administration of the new president, Barack Obama.