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Sri Lanka Navy personnel in protective clothing clearing the debris from the Sri Lankan beach. Photo: Pushpa Kumara/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The sinking of a cargo ship carrying containers of harmful chemicals and plastics off the coast of Sri Lanka last week is shaping up to be an environmental disaster for the country.

The state of play: The ship, the X-Press Pearl, caught fire on May 20 and burned for two weeks before finally beginning to sink. Toxic debris from the fire has blanketed miles of the country's western coastline.

A man walks past sacks containing debris washed ashore from the X-Press Pearl. Photo: Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP via Getty Images
Sri Lanka Army personnel remove debris on the beach at Moratuwa, near Colombo. Photo: Saman Abesiriwardana/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images
Sri Lanka Navy personnel in protective clothing pull ashore the metal remnants of a container washed ashore from the burning cargo vessel. Photo: Pushpa Kumara/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Chemical granules used to manufacture plastic washed ashore from the burning cargo vessel. Photo: Pushpa Kumara/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Debris and chemical granules used to manufacture plastic washed ashore in Sri Lanka. Photo: Pushpa Kumara/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Go deeper

Updated Sep 11, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Harris, Bush preach unity at Flight 93 memorial, 20 years on from attacks

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a 9/11 commemoration at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris joined former President George W. Bush at a ceremony on Saturday to honor the lives lost 20 years ago on United Airlines Flight 93.

Driving the news: The vice president and the 43rd president devoted much of their remarks to remembering the unity that brought Americans together after the 9/11 attacks.

Gaming CEO calls on industry to help fight climate change

"Catalyst Black." Screenshot: Super Evil Megacorp

Gaming CEO Kristian Segerstrale is calling on leaders in his industry to take action on climate change, after completing a $1.4 million fundraising campaign this summer.

Why it matters: Gaming's pandemic-fueled boom creates an opportunity, and maybe even an obligation, to do some good.

3 hours ago - World

U.S. releases updated vaccination, testing rules for foreign travelers

Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Foreign travelers will be allowed entry to the U.S. beginning Nov. 8 if they can provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination with a shot authorized by the World Health Organization and a negative test within three days of departure, the White House announced Monday.

Why it matters: The updated guidance, which exempts children under the age of 18 from the vaccine requirement, is intended to provide further clarity for airlines and foreign nationals who have been restricted from traveling to the U.S. since early 2020.