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Fukushima reactors being cooled with recycled water

TOKYO (AFP) – Japan’s TEPCO said it started on Monday pumping in decontaminated runoff water to cool reactors at its crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant, a key step towards stabilising the tsunami-hit nuclear site. The effort to recycle water back into reactors at the power plant had been delayed due to…

Spectacular new species discovered in New Guinea

MANILA (AFP) – A frog with fangs, a blind snake and a round-headed dolphin are among more than 1,000 new species recently found on the incredible Melanesian island of New Guinea, environment group WWF said. Scientists made the astounding discoveries, which also included a river shark and dozens of butterflies,…

Top medic operates on New Zealand’s ‘lost’ penguin

WELLINGTON (AFP) – One of New Zealand’s top surgeons was enlisted to operate on an ailing Emperor penguin found on a beach near Wellington, some 3,000 kilometres (1,900 miles) from its Antarctic home. More used to dealing with sick humans than poorly penguins, surgeon John Wyeth on Monday performed a…

U.S. lightbulb rules spark new political fight

WASHINGTON (AFP) – With a January deadline looming on a US law mandating energy efficiency standards for lightbulbs, some political forces don’t want to turn out the lights. More than a dozen Republican lawmakers are backing efforts to repeal the 2007 law that requires bulbs to consume less energy. Meanwhile…

Cost of air conditioning for U.S. troops in MidEast more than NASA budget

The United States spends $20.2 billion annually on air conditioning for troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan — more than NASA’s entire budget, NPR reported. In fact, the same amount of money that keeps soldiers cool is the amount the G-8 has committed to helping the fledgling democracies in Tunisia…

Arctic-crossing algae, whale show threat to Atlantic

OSLO (Reuters) – Tiny algae and a whale native to the Pacific have crossed a thawing Arctic Ocean in what may portend a marine invasion threatening Atlantic fish stocks, scientists said on Sunday. The Pacific algae, absent from the North Atlantic for 800,000 years according to fossil records, apparently returned…

Adult diabetes rate doubles: study

LONDON (AFP) – The number of adults with diabetes worldwide has more than doubled since 1980, with almost 350 million now affected, according to a new study published in The Lancet medical journal. Scientists from Imperial College London and Harvard University analysed blood sugar date of 2.7 million people aged…

Wal-Mart hikes branded diabetes drug prices: study

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) – Big-box retailers Wal-Mart Stores and Kmart, pioneers in the push to cut consumer prices for generic drugs, have been raising prices for the most popular brand-name diabetes drugs, according to a new study. Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer began in 2006 to sell some generic drugs…

Levee breach in Iowa along Missouri River prompts evacuations

OMAHA, Nebraska (Reuters) – A levee breach on Saturday near Missouri Valley, Iowa flooded farmland and threatened to impact U.S. Highway 30, which connects Iowa and Nebraska over the Missouri River, officials said. “It is emptying into agricultural lands and the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge,” said Larry Oliver, emergency management…

Kansas town rises green from tornado rubble

Kansas town rises green from tornado rubble GREENSBURG, Kansas (Reuters) – When community leaders in tornado-ravaged places such as Joplin, Mo., consider the future, they look to Greensburg, Kansas. Destroyed by a powerful tornado on May 4, 2007, Greensburg is renowned for its rebirth as a community of sustainable living.…

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