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126 new species discovered in Greater Mekong, Vietnam

From a devilish-looking bat to a frog that sings like a bird, scientists have identified 126 new species in the Greater Mekong area, the WWF said in a new report detailing discoveries in 2011. But from forest loss to the construction of major hydropower projects on the Mekong River, existing…

Two NASA probes crash into the moon

Two NASA probes crashed into the moon on Monday after spending months gathering data by orbiting miles above the lunar surface, the US space agency said. The site where the tiny probes, dubbed Ebb and Flow, crashed will be named after astronaut Sally Ride, the first American woman in space.…

Cyclone Evan leaves trail of destruction in Fiji

Tropical Cyclone Evan left a swathe of destruction across Fiji Tuesday after battering the Pacific nation for more than 12 hours, destroying homes, flooding rivers and stranding thousands of tourists. Despite the damage, officials reported no fatalities as the storm headed out to sea early Tuesday and was downgraded a…

High-tech classrooms in Australia reviving Aboriginal languages

In a high-school classroom in western Sydney, teacher Noeleen Lumby is asking her pupils to recall the Aboriginal name for animals that indigenous Wiradjuri people have used for hundreds of years. As she holds up stuffed toys representing some of Australia’s native wildlife, including a kangaroo, an emu and a…

Mexico to create new police force to fight drug cartels

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto announced the creation of a national police force to crack down on crime and battle the country’s powerful drug cartels. The force — a gendarmerie based on the model of Spain’s Guardia Civil — would be 10,000 strong. Currently Mexico has a patchwork of city…

Nine-year-old survivor of Newtown massacre recounts moments of terror

Nine-year-old Nicholas Sabillon was remarkably composed as he recounted how the Connecticut gunman who killed his schoolmates pounded on the locked door of the room where he was hiding. He shouted “Let me in, let me in!” said Nicholas, who was interviewed with his parents Jose and Sherry. When the…

Hacker jailed for leaking nude pictures of Scarlett Johansson

A US judge jailed a computer hacker for 10 years on Monday for breaking into the email accounts of stars, including Scarlett Johansson, naked pictures of whom were leaked online. A federal judge in Los Angeles also ordered 36-year-old Christopher Chaney, from Florida, to pay a total of $76,000 to…

Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii dies of respiratory problems

Democrat Daniel Inouye, the current longest-serving member of the US Senate, died Monday at age 88, his office and a top senator said. “Our friend Daniel Inouye just died,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on the Senate floor. His last words were “Aloha,” Inouye’s office said in a statement.…

Russians frantically prepare for Mayan apocalypse

The apocalypse is surely near when Ramzan Kadyrov emerges as the voice of reason. The ruthless leader of Chechnya is among dozens of Russians officials, priests, doctors and psychiatrists aiming to calm an anxious populace frantically preparing for the end of the world later this week. “People are buying candles…

White House ‘no specific agenda’ yet on gun violence

The White House said Monday it so far has “no specific agenda” to announce on preventing shooting massacres, as a clamor grew among Democrats and in the media for action on tighter gun controls. President Barack Obama promised victims’ families at a vigil Sunday for 26 people including schoolchildren killed…

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