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Climate change threatens Seychelles habitat

Bursts of torrential rain lash the idyllic white beaches of theSeychelles, where conservationists fear that rare species such as the giant tortoise are at severe risk from climate change. As changing season patterns bring harsher storms and much longer dry spells, international organisations are helping fight climate change in the tiny nation, the only one…

China may send its first woman into space: Xinhua

China may send its first woman into space this year after including female astronauts in the team training for its first manned spacedocking, state media said Monday. Three astronauts will blast off on board Shenzhou (“Divine Vessel”) IX between June and August to conduct a manual docking with the Tiangong-1 module currently…

Worldwide water crisis looms without action on waste: UN

Water problems in many parts of the world are chronic and without a crackdown on waste will worsen as demand for food rises and climate change intensifies, the UN warned on Sunday. Issued on the eve of a six-day gathering on world water issues, the United Nations, in a massive…

NASA faces trial over alleged discrimination against intelligent design proponent

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is preparing to defend itsef against a lawsuit by a former employee who claims he was demoted and then fired for promoting his views on intelligent design. NASA’s explanation is that computer specialist David Coppedge lost his status as “team lead” after his co-workers complained of…

Trial in class action suits against Big Tobacco to get underway in Canada

A groundbreaking trial gets underway in Montreal Monday against three leading tobacco companies which face a $25 billion lawsuit for allegedly failing to adequately warn smokers of the dangers of cigarettes. Plaintiffs have filed two separate class actions in what is Canada’s biggest-ever civilian lawsuit, against Imperial Tobacco, JTI-Macdonald and…

Even mild global warming could completely melt Greenland’s ice cap

The Greenland icesheet is more sensitive to global warming than thought, for just a relatively small — but very long term — temperature rise would melt it completely, according to a study published on Sunday. Previous research has suggested it would need warming of at least 3.1 degrees Celsius (5.6…

Salt-loving wheat could help ease food crisis

PARIS — Plant scientists on Sunday said they had bred a strain of wheat that thrives in saline soils, boosting the quest to feed Earth’s growing population at a time of water stress and climate change. Durum wheat with a salt-loving gene had yields which were up to 25 percent…

Portable chargers, boosters to ease electric car objections

Chevrolet Europe’s president Susan Doherty drives to work every day in an electric car, and thanks to a recharging station at work, she never worries about running out of power. For most other people, however, it remains a challenge to find electric charging stations to refuel. As a result sales…

1,000 women a day die in childbirth, says Doctors Without Borders

About 1,000 women die each day in childbirth or from preventable complications related to pregnancy, humanitarian group Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) said Thursday. “Worldwide, at any time, 15 percent of pregnancies incur the risk of a potential fatal complication,” said Kara Blackburn, responsible for women’s health at MSF…

Adventure-seeking bees are a lot like humans: study

Some bees love a good adventure while others prefer to hang out at the hive, and a new analysis of bee brains suggests some of the same chemicals that affect human personality could explain why. Honey bees are known to have a structured society in which different bees serve different…

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