• China refuted a recent US National Academy of Sciences report, which notes that a new strain of the H5N1 bird flu virus has emerged in southern China.

• Argentine President Nestor Kirchner has asked the World Bank to halt loans for the controversial pulp mill in neighbouring Uruguay, until the countries resolve their conflict in international courts.

• Africa's most polluted city Kabwe, home to 300,000 people, has been ranked the world's fourth most polluted site, notes a survey published by the Blacksmith Institute, a New York-based organisation monitoring pollution in the developing world.

• A tenth of China's farmland is polluted with heavy metals and other toxins, a state environmental protection agency report notes. The pollution contaminates at least 12 million tonnes of grain every year, incurring losses of 20 billion Yuan (around US $2.5 billion) to the state exchequer, the report notes.