Funding shortfalls and rising fuel costs are hampering efforts to prevent a locust invasion at the Beijing Olympics, according to officials from the plague- stricken area closest to the capital city. Unfavorable winds are also increasing the chances of locust swarms reaching Beijing next month, said Lu Zhanshan, who heads the agricultural office at Duolun County in Inner Mongolia, 110 miles (180 kilometers) north of Beijing. Locusts have infested an area of 5,000 square miles (1.3 million hectares), including more than 550 square miles of farmland in Duolun. Officials counted as many as 70 locusts in every square meter (1.2 square yards). (Bloomberg)

    About the author

    Join the Discussion