Reduction in chemicals slows ozone depletion
The rate of destruction of the protective ozone layer in the upper reaches of the atmosphere is slowing, and scientists say it mirrors a decline in the use of certain man-made chemicals.
Using NASA satellite observations, the scientists say the rate of the ozone layer depletion matches the drop in chlorofluorocarbons, used in refrigeration and air conditioning.
The 1987 Montreal Protocols, ratified by more than 170 countries, requires that CFCs be phased out of production and use in developing countries by 2010. Industrialized nations stopped using them in 1996.
Scientists said that it would take decades to repair the damage to the ozone layer, which helps protect the Earth from ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
House fire kills mother, 5 children
Fire rushed through a two-story brick house, killing five young children and their mother, who was pregnant with twins, police and neighbors said.
The cause of the blaze had not been determined. The house had no working smoke detectors.
The six victims -- Guillermina Valiente Carrasco, 26, and her children ranging in age from 1 to 7 -- were the only people home when the fire started late Tuesday in Pontiac, about 30 miles north of Detroit, said Fire Chief Wilburt McAdams.
A family spokeswoman said the father, Francisco Valiente, 26, was at work when the blaze erupted.
"He's very stressed and having a difficult time," Debra Ehrmann said.