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An audit of the federal system that fines mining companies for unsafe conditions found no evidence that more than $1 billion in mine safety penalties over 18 years deterred unsafe mining practices.

The four-year long audit from the Office of Inspector General of the Labor Department says its analysis of Mine Safety and Health Administration accident and violations data "showed no correlation between penalties paid and the safety of mine operations."

Democratic National Committee officials will vote today on whether to hold a presidential primary debate focused only on climate change.

Amid a rise in extreme weather events and increasingly dire scientific reports, the issue has already received more attention than in all debates combined in the last presidential election. But activists with a group called the Sunrise Movement think it deserves more and have campaigned for a climate debate.

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Writer Alexandra Fuller says there is a black sheep in every proper family. And when it came to her very proper family in England, there was never any doubt that black sheep was her father, Tim Fuller. He was bored by England, choosing instead to pursue a large, loose, scrappy life moving around Africa before settling down as a banana farmer in Zambia. He was curious, meandering, famous for drinking to excess and stubbornly stoic when life threw its worst at him.

Fires in Brazil's Amazon rainforest are proliferating at an alarming rate.

That's the gist of an announcement this week by the country's National Institute for Space Research, or INPE. According to the agency, there have been 74,155 fires in Brazil so far this year — most of which erupted in the Amazon. That represents an astonishing leap of more than 80% over last year and by far the most that the agency has recorded since it began compiling this data in 2013.

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So there's a new outbreak of plague just outside Denver, not among humans but rather among prairie dogs. Some parks have been partially closed through Labor Day as staffers try to stop the spread.

When curbside recycling caught on in the 1970s, it was mostly about cans, glass, cardboard and paper. That's how Donald Sanderson remembers it.

Sanderson is 90 years old, an earnest man with a ready smile. Every Thursday in Woodbury, N.J., where he lives, he hauls a big blue recycling bin out to the curb. Recycling is close to his heart. "I guess you could say I'm the father of recycling," he says. "I don't know if that's good or bad."

The U.S. used to send a lot of its plastic waste to China to get recycled. But last year, China put the kibosh on imports of the world's waste. The policy, called National Sword, freaked out people in the U.S. — a huge market for plastic waste had just dried up.

Where was it all going to go now?

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Work at the site of France's damaged Notre Dame Cathedral resumed on Monday, after a three-week pause over concerns about lead that spewed from the fire in April.

As the blaze ripped through the 850-year-old cathedral's roof and steeple, smoke billowed out — its yellow hue a sign of burning lead — spreading toxic dust that settled on streets, homes, businesses and schools in parts of central Paris.

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Native Californian Leslie Ogden has seen her share of wildfires, but never did the retired schoolteacher dream one would roar into her own neighborhood as happened on the night of Dec. 4, 2017.

"On the curve of this street as you come in, one of the houses was in full flame," she recalled while standing on the front deck of her home recently. "And it was sending a river — probably 10 yards wide — of embers across the street. It was this river of fire."

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Diver and photographer Jill Heinerth has explored unmapped, underwater caves deep in the earth, as well as the submerged crevices of an iceberg. She has seen hidden creatures and life forms that have never been exposed to the light of day.

"Since I was the smallest child, I always wanted to be an explorer — to have an opportunity to go someplace where nobody has ever been before," she says. "As an artist with my camera, it's an incredible opportunity to document these places and bring back images to share with others."

It’s in chocolate, cocktails, soap, gummies and bath bombs. These days, it seems like you can buy cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, mixed in with just about every product imaginable.

CBD is a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants. It’s supposed to make a user feel calm while relieving aches and pains. And CBD products are everywhere.

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