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Progress too slow on saving tropical forests: report

PARIS — All but seven percent of the world’s tropical forests are “managed poorly or not at all” despite efforts to boost sustainability, according to a major report released Tuesday. Forces driving forest destruction across four continents — including rising food and fuel prices, and growing demand for timber —…

NASA: Huge solar flare may disrupt power and communications

WASHINGTON — An unusual solar flare observed by a NASA space observatory on Tuesday could cause some disruptions to satellite communications and power on Earth over the next day or so, officials said. The potent blast from the Sun unleashed a firestorm of radiation on a level not witnessed since…

Food prices to stay high into 2012: UN agency

ROME (AFP) – Food prices are to remain high and volatile into 2012, presenting a “threat” to poor countries that will have to spend up to a third more on food imports this year, the UN food agency said on Tuesday. The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said its…

U.N. study: $40 billion annual investment needed for global carbon reduction

NAIROBI (AFP) – Investing $40 billion annually in the forest sector is needed for the world to transition into a low carbon, resource-efficient green economy, according to a UN report released here Sunday. The additional investment “could halve deforestation rates by 2030, increase rates of tree planting by around 140…

New melanoma treatment breakthrough boost survival: studies

CHICAGO — Two new treatments, including therapy blocking a gene mutation occurring in half of melanoma patients, are prolonging lives of people suffering from the deadliest form of skin cancer, clinical trials unveiled Sunday show. Vemurafenib neutralizes mutation of the key BRAF gene by inhibiting production of a protein which…

Death toll from Joplin tornado rises to 141: officials

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The death toll from the May 22 Joplin, Missouri tornado has risen to 141, city officials said on Sunday. Lynn Iliff Onstot, public information officer for Joplin, said the city had identified three new victims who died from injuries sustained as a result of the twister. The…

Scientists close in on anti-matter: study

PARIS (AFP) – Scientists said Sunday they had trapped and stored antihydrogen atoms for a record 16 minutes, a stunning technical feat that promises deeper insights into the mysteries of antimatter. Particles and anti-particles annihilate each other in a small flash of energy when they collide. At the moment of…

Sprouts might be responsible for bacteria: officials

HANOVER, Germany (AFP) – Seed sprouts are suspected of being at the root of a deadly E. coli outbreak which has killed 22 people, mainly in Germany, a regional agriculture minister said on Sunday. Gert Lindermann, who represents Lower-Saxony, said there was not yet definite proof but a connection had…

Scientists ‘trap’ anti-matter for record 16 minutes

PARIS — Scientists said Sunday they had trapped and stored antihydrogen atoms for a record 16 minutes, a stunning technical feat that promises deeper insights into the mysteries of antimatter. Particles and anti-particles annihilate each other in a small flash of energy when they collide. At the moment of the…

World must invest $40 billion a year to save forests, says United Nations

NAIROBI – Investing $40 billion annually in the forest sector is needed for the world to transition into a low carbon, resource-efficient green economy, according to a UN report released here Sunday. The additional investment “could halve deforestation rates by 2030, increase rates of tree planting by around 140 per…

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