ATLANTA (AP) - With spring on the horizon, entomologists predict that swarms of kudzu bugs will be out in force soon. The bug destroys kudzu, but it also likes soybeans and ornamental flowers. For anyone with a white house, watch out: the kudzu bug is inexplicably attracted to light colors and may try to burrow into the attic for the winter.
The insect also poses a potential threat to farmers, especially those who grow soybeans. University of Georgia tests indicate that the bug can cut soybean yields by 20 to 25 percent. In 2012, Georgia farmers grew nearly 8 million bushels of soybeans worth about $120 million. A 25 percent reduction would equal $30 million.
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) - A rocket carrying an Earth-observing satellite has launched on a mission to track changes to the planet's natural resources. The Atlas V rocket lifted off Monday morning under mostly clear skies from Vandenberg Air Force Base along California's central coast.
The $855 million Landsat mission, headed by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey, is the eighth in a series that began in 1972. For four decades, the Landsat satellites have tracked retreating glaciers, drought conditions, agricultural crop output and deforestation. The newest Landsat carries instruments that are more powerful than its predecessors. It'll send back images to ground stations in South Dakota, Alaska and Norway.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Justice Department is suing a Houston-based company it accuses of illegally discharging oil from a platform in the Gulf of Mexico. The lawsuit filed Monday in New Orleans against ATP Oil & Gas Corp. says the company's alleged federal Clean Water Act violations were discovered during an Interior Department inspection last year.
The lawsuit claims ATP failed to properly operate and maintain the wastewater treatment system on its floating platform. That caused oil to be discharged into the Gulf in greater quantities than it was permitted. Platform workers also are accused of using an unauthorized dispersant to mask the oil sheen on the water's surface. ATP filed for bankruptcy in August. ATP Infrastructure Partners, a company formed by ATP and GE Energy Financial Services, also is a defendant.
BERLIN (AP) - Germany's environment minister says he doesn't expect the extraction of natural gas by "fracking" will start any time soon in Europe's biggest economy. Shale gas is located underground across Europe, but environmental concerns over extracting it are widespread. Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," frees natural gas from shale by injecting a well with chemically treated water and sand. Supporters say it can be an economic boon, but critics say it can pollute groundwater.
Environment Minister Peter Altmaier told Deutschlandfunk radio Monday that Germany's government is working to ensure the practice is subject to limits and he wouldn't advise anyone to seek drilling licenses soon. Altmaier said he "can't see fracking being used anywhere in Germany in the foreseeable future."
NEW YORK (AP) - CBS says 3 million streamed the Super Bowl online, up from 2.1 million who watched the big game online last year.
Sunday's game was streamed for free by both CBSSports.com and NFL.com, as well as via Verizon on mobile. The 3 million unique viewers to CBSSports.com showed that while the televised broadcast is emphatically more desirable to viewers, increasing numbers are following the Super Bowl online.
The game was seen on TV by an average of 108.7 million people, down from the last two years but still ranking as the third most-watched show in U.S. TV history after the last two Super Bowls.
Networks have not sought to make online viewing as desirable as telecasts, but have presented streams with a few alternatives, like social media integration and camera-view options.
More Headlines From 41NBC.com:
- Disney Working on Standalone 'Star Wars' Films
- Exhibitions Plumb Artistic Responses to Disaster
- Connecticut Congressman Sees Factual Flaw in 'Lincoln'
- 'Breaking Bad' Actor Runs for New Mexico School Board Seat
- USDA's Crop Report For 2012 To Show Drought Impact
- Suspect In Ecoterrorism Fires To Be Arraigned
- Salazar, Coast Guard Announce Drill Vessel Reviews
- Southern Co. Faces Risks on Mississippi Power Plant
- Nonprofit Tech Innovators Inspire New Philanthropy
- Sochi Olympic Sites to be Checked for Quake Damage
- Storm Leaves 4 Dead in Central Philippines
- Federal Government Lists Two Ice Seals As Threatened
- Glacier Park Looks To Influence Blackfeet Drilling
- EPA Finalizes Boiler Rule To Cut Pollution
- Panel: Fault Under Japan Nuke Plant Likely Active
- 25 Dead, 14 Missing in Sri Lanka Floods
- Endangered Whale Washes Up On Florida Beach
- Solar Boosts German Renewable Energy in 2012
- NY, 6 Other States Suing EPA Over Drilling Methane
- EPD Meeting On Expedited Environmental Permits
- Scientists Track 2 Great White Sharks Off Georgia Coast
- Grizzly Managers Look Toward Hunts In Rockies
- High Court Wary Of Storm Water Runoff Lawsuit
- Foreign Poachers Target Cameroon Elephants
- Greek Court Convicts 5 Over Deadly 2007 Wildfire
- Oil Leak From Damaged Ship Contained In Bahamas
- US Envoy Hits China's Stand In UN Climate Talks
- Cyprus Offers Mediation Between Lebanon, Israel
- New EPA Rule Could Upend High Court Runoff Case
- More Storms With Heavy Rain To Hit Drenched California