THE MEDITERRANEAN: A Poisoned Sea

Clinching a cleanup treaty

In Naples 19 people die in a cholera epidemic caused by eating contaminated mussels. In Istanbul fishermen complain that their catch diminishes with every voyage. In Spain an outbreak of typhoid fever in a coastal town sends 20 people to the hospital. And along France's famous Côte d'Azur black pollution flags and even police lines keep bathers off beaches.

Over the past decade, the alarms have sounded with ever greater frequency and urgency. Pollution in the celebrated body of water that was the cradle of Western civilization endangered those who make their home or living along its...

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