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Explosion rocks French nuclear waste site, killing one

CODOLET, France — At least one person was killed and four injured in a blast at a nuclear site in the south of France on Monday as the government sought to play down fears of a radioactive leak. France’s state nuclear regulator had said earlier that there was a risk…

Smoking orangutan goes cold turkey in Malaysia

An orangutan that amused visitors to her Malaysian zoo by smoking cigarette butts thrown into her cage is being forced to go cold turkey, a keeper said Monday. Authorities seized the orangutan, named Shirley, along with a tiger and other animals from a state-run zoo in the southern state of…

Happy Feet the penguin missing in Southern Ocean

Scientists tracking Happy Feet, the wayward penguin who became a worldwide celebrity after washing up on a New Zealand beach, said Monday they had lost contact with the giant bird. Researchers said they had received no transmissions since last Friday from a satellite tracking device that was attached to the…

Fresh crews, light winds help fight Texas wildfires

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) – More than a thousand firefighters, aided by lighter winds, on Saturday began to beat back raging wildfires that have scorched Texas for the past six days torching 1,600 homes and killing four people. “We’ve had quite a bit of success today,” Bill Paxton of the Texas…

Japan to mark six months since March earthquake

Ceremonies to mourn the dead and rallies against nuclear power were scheduled to take place across Japan on Sunday as the nation marks six months since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Silent prayers are to be offered at 2:46 pm, the moment the quake struck six months ago triggering…

U.S. endures hottest summer since 1936

Skeptics of climate change will have to deal with more evidence contrasting their disbelief. The U.S. has experienced its hottest summer in 75 years, according to USA Today and the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. This latest summer season, with an average temperature of 74.5 degrees, has also been recorded…

Philippines urged to free giant crocodile

An animal rights group urged the Philippines to free what is thought to be the world’s largest crocodile in captivity, even though it allegedly killed two people. The monster 21-foot (6.4-metre) male saltwater crocodile was placed in a penned pond after it was caught in a remote southern creek on…

Tiger kills her mate in deadly love triangle

By Patricia Giovine EL PASO, Texas (Reuters) – A female tiger has killed her mate at a West Texas zoo, authorities said on Friday, in a rare attack that came after months of simmering jealousy in a feline love triangle. Three-year-old Malayan tiger Seri killed 6-year-old Wzui at about 4…

PEW study urges Canada to suspend Arctic oil exploration

An environmental group urged Canada Friday to suspend oil exploration in the Arctic, warning that otherwise it risks an environmental disaster worse than the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The PEW environmental group said in a report that it does not necessarily oppose developing the oil and gas…

Early tool-maker fossil should ‘rewrite’ history: study

She swung in the trees like a chimp but had long dexterous fingers for tool-making and hybrid feet for walking upright, a major study Thursday on the ancient hominid Australopithecus sediba suggested. Until now, the first tool-maker was widely believed to be Homo habilis, based on a set of 21…

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