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Brazil Builds Giant Tower in Amazon to Monitor Climate

Brazil is building a giant observation tower in the heart of the Amazon to monitor climate change and its impact on the region's sensitive ecosystem, a newspaper reported Sunday.

The Amazon Tall Tower Observatory (ATTO) is a project of Brazil's National Institute of Amazonian Research and Germany's Max Planck Institute, O Estado de Sao Paulo said.

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State Media: Wild Chinese Sturgeon on Brink of Extinction

The wild Chinese sturgeon is at risk of extinction, state media reported, after none of the rare fish were detected reproducing naturally in the polluted and crowded Yangtze river last year.

One of the world's oldest living species, the wild Chinese sturgeon are thought to have existed for more than 140 million years but have seen their numbers crash as China's economic boom brings with it pollution, dams and boat traffic along the world's third-longest river.

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Singapore Air Pollution Soars Due to Indonesian Forest Fires

Air pollution in Singapore rose to unhealthy levels Monday, blanketing the city-state's skyline with clouds of smog from fires raging across giant rainforests in the neighboring Indonesian island of Sumatra, officials said.

Singapore's National Environment Agency said the pollutant standards index (PSI) reached a high of 111 at 7:00 am (2300 GMT) before easing to 80 a few hours later.

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Environmentalists Criticise Australia Reef Protection Plan

Environmentalists criticized a new Australian government plan released Monday to protect the Great Barrier Reef in the face of U.N. concerns, saying it will not do enough to halt the marine park's decline.

The draft plan, now open for consultation, comes after UNESCO threatened to put the reef on its World Heritage "in danger" list and gave Canberra until February 1, 2015 to submit a report on what it was doing to protect the natural wonder.

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Whale Huddle Braces for Clash over Japanese Hunting

Nations will square off in Slovenia next week over the fate of hundreds of whales in the crosshairs of Japanese and Greenland hunters accused of sidestepping a commercial killing ban.

The stage is set for fiery debate among International Whaling Commission (IWC) members, touching on issues of national sovereignty, aboriginal rights and the conservation of Earth's bounty.

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SpaceX's Next Cargo Launch Set for Sept 20

SpaceX's next unmanned cargo trip to restock supplies at the International Space Station is scheduled for September 20, the US space agency said Friday.

The Dragon spacecraft will launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket at 2:16 am (0616 GMT) on September 20 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, NASA said.

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Lava Approaches Vacant Lots in Hawaii Subdivision

Lava from one of the world's most active volcanos soon could reach three vacant lots in a rural subdivision on Hawaii's Big Island, but officials are hopeful homes will be spared.

Based on the lava's movement of about 200 to 300 yards a day, the flow from Kilauea volcano was expected to reach the lots in Kaohe Homesteads in coming days, Hawaii County spokesman Kevin Dayton said.

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Rio Slum Unveils Unique Floodlights in 'World First'

It may only be a modest patch of land, but a Rio slum is laying claim to having the first football pitch in the world with floodlights generated by player movement.

The innovation, unveiled in the presence of Pele, is courtesy of a new technology called Pavegen, which can harvest energy from people's footsteps.

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Alien-Like Giant Water-Living Dinosaur Unveiled

Picture the fearsome creatures of "Jurassic Park" crossed with the shark from "Jaws." Then super-size to the biggest predator ever to roam Earth. Now add a crocodile snout as big as a person and feet like a duck's.

The result gives you some idea of a bizarre dinosaur scientists unveiled Thursday.

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Ariane Rocket Launches Asia-Pacific Telecoms Satellites

An Ariane 5 rocket took off from the European space center at Kourou in French Guiana late Thursday, before placing two Asia-Pacific telecoms satellites into orbit, the launch firm Arianespace said.

The twice-delayed launch took place at 7:05 pm (2305 GMT) and shortly afterwards the Measat-3b, of Malaysian operator Measat, and Optus 10, of Australian counterpart Optus were successfully placed into geostationary orbit.

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