WASHINGTON (AP) — After more than six weeks of sometimes testy talks, House and Senate negotiators have agreed on a compromise plan to fix a veterans health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays.
Australia has approved a massive coal mine that could ultimately provide electricity for up to 100 million Indians, angering environmentalists who warned Monday it may threaten the Great Barrier Reef. Environment Minister Greg Hunt said approval for Indian firm Adani's Aus$16.5 billion (US$15.5 billion) Carmichael coal mine and rail project in Queensland state was subject to 36 conditions. The development proposes open-cut and underground coal mining some 160 kilometres (100 miles) northwest of Clermont in central Queensland, as well as a 189-kilometre rail link. State officials say the project, which could potentially be the largest coal mine in Australia and one of the largest in the world, will play a major role in opening up Queensland's resource-rich Galilee Basin.