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Elephant countries form ‘E-8′ conservation group

NEW DELHI (AFP) – Eight countries with the largest number of elephants met for the first on Tuesday in New Delhi to plot new strategies to protect the animal. “Delegates here represent two-thirds of the world’s wild elephant population,” Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh told the inaugural gathering of the…

Japan’s TEPCO admits further nuclear reactor meltdowns

TOKYO (AFP) – The operator of Japan’s tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant on Tuesday said it believed fuel had partially melted inside three reactors, as long suspected by experts. Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said new readings on water gauges indicated that the fuel had dropped to the bottom of…

Grim search continues in tornado-hit Joplin, Missouri: 116 dead

JOPLIN, Missouri (AFP) – Rescue crews clawed through the rubble searching for survivors early Tuesday after a tornado in Missouri killed 116 people, amid warnings that more powerful storms were on the way. “That’s all that’s left,” Roger Dedick said on Monday as he pointed to a section of foundation,…

Large Hadron Collider breaks another particle acceleration record

PARIS — The world’s biggest particle collider set a new record early Monday, a feat that should accelerate the quest to pinpoint the elusive particle known as the Higgs Boson, a senior physicist said. “Last night, a symbolic frontier was crossed,” said Michel Spiro, president of the board of the…

Court says widow can use dead husband’s sperm to have a baby

SYDNEY (AFP) – An Australian woman on Monday won a court battle to use her dead husband’s sperm to have a baby in a landmark case in New South Wales, where IVF treatment is banned without consent of the donor. Jocelyn Edwards, 40, and husband Mark had discussed fertility treatment…

Thai police arrest alleged top tiger trafficker

BANGKOK (AFP) – Thai police have arrested an alleged kingpin in what could be the country’s largest tiger trafficking ring, a wildlife protection group said on Sunday. Sudjai Chanthawong, a Thai national, was detained on Saturday in the northeastern town of Udon Thani by undercover officers of the nature crime…

EU announces long-delayed launch date for first Galileo satellites

BRUSSELS (AFP) – The European Union announced Monday it will launch the first two satellites in its long-delayed and hugely over-budget Galileo navigation system from French Guiana on October 20. EU industry commissioner Antonio Tajani said the launch, from the Kourou spacesport in the European enclave at the northern tip…

Sea levels set to rise by up to a meter: report

SYDNEY (AFP) – Sea levels are set to rise by up to a metre within a century due to global warming, a new Australian report said Monday as it warned this could make “once-a-century” coastal flooding much more common. The government’s first Climate Commission report said the evidence that the…

Tornado rips through Missouri, death toll rises to 89

CHICAGO (AFP) – A massive tornado that swept through the Missouri town of Joplin has killed at least 89 people, the city manager announced early Monday. “We have 89 confirmed dead due to this tornado,” City manager Mark Rohr said in a statement. The tornado struck the town of Joplin…

Iceland volcano’s ash plume worries travelers

REYKJAVIK (AFP) – Safety experts warned Sunday that ash from an erupting Icelandic volcano that closed the country’s airspace may blow across large swathes of western Europe, raising fears of new flight chaos. Air safety officials said ash from the Grimsvoetn eruption may reach north Scotland by Tuesday before sweeping…

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