A German aid agency, Sign of Hope, says an oil consortium in southern Sudan has contaminated water supplies affecting at least 300,000 people, after tests found life-threatening metals in wells near two major oil fields. The Sudanese-Malaysian joint venture, White Nile Petroleum Operating Company, said protecting water quality was a priority. The aid agency said it tested the water after villagers complained it tasted salty and had been making them sick. Oil is a testy political issue in Sudan, especially as a 2010 national election paves the way for a referendum on the secession of oil-rich south Sudan in 2011. Read more: BBC, Global Witness, AllAfrica.com
The filming of The Beach permanently damaged the ecosystem on the Thai island it was located on.