California uses light-blocking plastic balls to conserve water

Battling a record dry spell that has left reservoirs badly drained, the Las Virgenes County water district on the outskirts of Los Angeles has decided to fill its reservoir with hundreds of black plastic balls. The balls sit on top of the water and block the sunlight from hitting it, helping to reduce water evaporation as well as natural contamination and certain chemical reactions that could cause algae blooms in the reservoirs. Aug 13, 2015

China: People forced to evacuate homes after Tianjin blasts

Residents of a housing complex near the site of two powerful explosions in the northeast Chinese port city of Tianjin were forced to evacuate on 13 August, after the blasts severely damaged buildings and destroyed a temporary housing structure. The blasts killed at least 44 people, officials and state media said. Aug 13, 2015

Rapidly rising London house prices force people to the canals

High rents and sky rocketing house prices have sparked a 50 percent rise in the number of people living on Londons canals in the past five years, with many seeing life on a house boat as a viable cheaper alternative to renting rooms elsewhere in the capital. Aug 13, 2015