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France Chemical Spill

NPR's Sarah Chayes reports from Cherbourg that French officials are facing a potential environmental disaster in the English Channel. The Italian tanker Ievoli Sun took on water in rough seas Monday and sank yesterday as it was being towed to Cherbourg. The tanker carried thousands of tons of chemicals, including one called styrene -- which environmental groups say is highly toxic. The incident has raised alarm in the French government, coming less than a year after the oil tanker Erika sank, polluting large stretches of France's Atlantic coast.

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