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Lightning strike kills 19 children in Uganda

A lightning strike at a primary school in western Uganda killed 19 students and injured 50, Ugandan police said on Wednesday. Lightning on Tuesday hit Runyanya primary school in Kiryandongo district, about 225 kilometres (135 miles) northwest of Kampala, killing 18 children outright with a further child dying from burns…

Greenland ice melts most in half-century: U.S.

Greenland’s ice sheet melted the most it has in over a half century last year, US government scientists said Tuesday in one of a series of “unmistakable” signs of climate change. “The world continues to warm,” the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a briefing paper for reporters. “Multiple…

New Zealand’s lost penguin faces long swim home

An Emperor penguin found in New Zealand will be released into the ocean when fully fit so it can swim the 3,000 kilometres (1,900 miles) home to Antarctica, wildlife experts said Wednesday. The penguin, nicknamed “Happy Feet”, was found wandering on a beach near Wellington last week and was taken…

Experts warn epic weather ravaging US could worsen

CHICAGO — Epic floods, massive wildfires, drought and the deadliest tornado season in 60 years are ravaging the United States, with scientists warning that climate change will bring even more extreme weather. The human and economic toll over just the past few months has been staggering: hundreds of people have…

Google predicts U.S. will miss up to $3.2 trillion in GDP growth if green tech isn’t encouraged

Web giant Google said Tuesday that the United States stands to lose up to $3.2 trillion in potential gross domestic product (GDP) growth if it further delays policies that encourage renewable energy technology. In an economic study published on the company’s official blog, Google researchers assumed several key breakthroughs would…

Debris narrowly misses space station

MOSCOW — An unidentified piece of debris narrowly missed the International Space Station on Tuesday in a rare incident that forced the six-member crew to scramble to their rescue craft. The piece of space junk missed the fragile orbiter by just 250 metres (820 feet), the Interfax news agency quoted…

Russian scientists expect to meet aliens by 2031

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian scientists expect humanity to encounter alien civilizations within the next two decades, a top Russian astronomer predicted on Monday. “The genesis of life is as inevitable as the formation of atoms… Life exists on other planets and we will find it within 20 years,” Andrei Finkelstein,…

New cooperative programs may jumpstart HIV vaccine development

After the discovery of the HIV virus in 1984, many people both in and out of the medical community assumed that an effective vaccine would soon be developed. And yet, 30 years after its identification, that goal still seems far off. Despite the enormous amount of thought, effort and money…

Where to from here?: AIDS’ anniversary prompts speculation about the future

In June 1981, the first cases of a mysterious and lethal illness affecting gay men were reported in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The illness was characterized by a rapidly failing immune system, and was subsequently termed Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). In 1984,…

Japan’s TEPCO meets wrath of shareholders

Angry TEPCO shareholders on Tuesday slammed the company for its handling of the nation’s worst ever atomic accident after the March quake-tsunami, amid calls for the firm to abandon nuclear power. About 100 police officers were deployed around the Prince Park Tower Hotel where Tokyo Electric Power Co. held its…

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