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poisonous past

oldenburg, germany - Seven thousand years ago, the eastern Mediterranean Sea was nothing but a huge lake of poison, German and Dutch scientists have learned. Most of the water was thick with hydrogen sulphide, the result of rotten muck from decomposing plant life. During a humid climactic era - in which a part of the Sahara may even have been green - increasing amounts of sweet water flooded the sea with nutrients. Algae growth surged, releasing the poisonous gas when it died.

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ENVIRONMENT

Howling for a mate

WASHINGTON - A female wolf wandered into Oregon from Idaho this week - the first to be sighted in the state since 1927. Environmentalists are hailing the news as a great step for wolf recovery. The gray wolf came from an area into which the US Fish and Wildlife Service reintroduced wolves in 1995 and 1996. She apparently wandered there looking for a mate.

JUSTICE

Hare Krishnas grounded

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court this week refused to let Hare Krishnas solicit donations or sell religious literature at Miami International Airport, rejecting an appeal that argued such restrictions violate free-speech rights. A ruling in 1992 said that airports may prohibit groups from soliciting donations but must allow distribution of free literature. The appeal asked the justices to reconsider the 1992 decision "in light of ... increased commercialization of airport terminals."

- Compiled from the wires by Kristina Lanier

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