Container ships are positioned under cranes at the Port of Oakland in Oakland, Calif. Ships carrying cargo have introduced rash-causing parasites and the Asian clam, which has altered the food web of San Francisco Bay.
California is cracking down on invasive species, and that could have a big impact on national regulations due out later this year. The state has passed the strictest rules in the country to prevent cargo ships from bringing foreign plants and animals to San Francisco Bay. But the standards are so high, California may not be able to enforce them.
NATO stepped up its attacks on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's forces this week, with intensified airstrikes on ammunition, supply and command sites in several cities, including the capital, Tripoli.
But one of the pillars of NATO — Germany — was not involved. Germany is not participating in the U.N.-backed effort to protect Libyan civilians.
Germany's decision not to take part in the NATO air war has come in for withering criticism at home and abroad. And it may have dealt a blow to the country's efforts to win a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council.
The Mountain Goats are John Darnielle, Peter Hughes and Jon Wurster, and the band's been around, in one form or another, since 1991. Darnielle's lo-fi beginnings involved just his poetry, his guitar and a dual-cassette recorder, but resulted in some of the finer albums of the '90s (Zopilote Machine, Nine Black Poppies, Full Force Galesburg).
But in other big health news, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ordered the Department of Veteran Affairs to overhaul how it handles mental health care for vets suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other serious conditions.