1. DISASTER

    Oil Spills From Italy Shipwreck

    Italian firefighters approach the grounded cruise ship Costa Concordia off the Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy, Friday, Jan. 27, 2012. Costa Crociere SpA offered uninjured passengers Ä11,000 ($14,460) apiece to compensate them for lost baggage and the psychological trauma they suffered after their cruise ship ran aground and capsized off Tuscany. But some passengers are already refusing to accept the deal, saying they can't yet put a figure on the costs of the trauma they endured. Costa announced the offer after negotiations with consumer groups who say they are representing 3,206 passengers from 61 countries who suffered no physical harm when the massive Costa Concordia cruise ship hit a reef on Jan. 13. In addition to the lump-sum indemnity, Costa, a unit of the world's biggest cruise operator, the Miami-based Carnival Corp., also said it would reimburse uninjured passengers the full costs of their cruise, their return travel expenses and any medical expenses they sustained after the grounding. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

    Pier Paolo Cito / AP Photo

    The tragedy of the Costa Concordia shipwreck on the coast of Giglio, Italy, just keeps getting bleaker. On Tuesday, authorities called off the search for survivors after raising the body count to 17. On Wednesday, they announced that oil is now leaking from the wreck, spreading out into a thin film on the region’s pristine and sensitive waters. The ship holds 500,000 gallons of fuel and other pollutants that authorities fear could wreak ecological havoc on an area that is the home of dolphins, whales, and other animals. Salvage workers are hoping to pump the remaining fuel from the ship, but suspended the effort Wednesday on account of bad weather.

    Read it at NPR