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Australia Confident Great Barrier Reef Not 'in Danger'

Australia said Friday it was confident it had done enough to prevent the United Nations from listing the Great Barrier Reef, the world's biggest coral reef ecosystem, as being 'in danger'.

Amid concerns about planned coastal developments, including ports, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is set to announce overnight a draft decision on the site, which teems with marine life.

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Scientists Restore Lost Memories in Mice, Shedding Light on Amnesia

Researchers have gained new understanding on the workings of amnesia through research that used light to revive lost memories in mice, a study published Thursday reported.

Amnesia remains a controversial subject in the field of neuroscience, with some researchers arguing that it occurs when cells are damaged and memory cannot be stored, while others believe that the memories are simply blocked and cannot be recalled.

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India Battles Deadliest Heatwave in Two Decades

Indian authorities urged hospitals to treat heatstroke as an emergency as the toll from a long heatwave topped 1,800 on Friday, making it the deadliest in more than two decades.

Hundreds of mainly poor people die at the height of summer every year in India, but this year's figures are already nearly double the annual average.

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Lebanon Meeting the Need for Water

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will inaugurate three water projects in the Bekaa valley, in eastern Lebanon on Friday. The projects were carried out in cooperation with the Bekaa Water Establishment (BWE), a news release said.

“The conflict in Syria drove large numbers of people into Lebanon. And this put the water infrastructure of the country, particularly in the Bekaa valley, under heavy strain,” said Jorge Solana, an ICRC water-and-habitat engineer in Zahle.

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Elephant Numbers Plunge in Mozambique because of Poachers

Conservationists say the elephant population in Mozambique has dropped nearly 50 percent in the last five years because of poaching, but cite good news from Uganda, where the elephant population is increasing.

Poachers have slaughtered tens of thousands of African elephants in recent years to meet demand for ivory, particularly in China. Conservationists and governments have collaborated on an aerial, continent-wide census of elephants to better marshal efforts to protect wildlife.

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'Lucy' May Not be our Mum, Say Scientists

In 1974, anthropologists in Ethiopia found the astonishing fossilized remains of a human-like creature who last walked the planet some 3.2 million years ago.

Was "Lucy," as the hominid was called, the direct ancestor of Homo sapiens? Was she "The Mother of Mankind," as some headlines claimed?

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U.S.: Less Active North Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast

This year's North Atlantic hurricane season is forecast to be less active than usual, largely because of the El Nino weather pattern, the U.S. government said Wednesday.

There is a 70 percent chance of six to 11 tropical storms during the span from June 1 to November 30, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration said.

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Study: Ethiopian Fossils Indicate New Forerunner of Humans

A fossil find adds another twig to the human evolutionary tree, giving further evidence that the well-known "Lucy" species had company in what is now Ethiopia, a new study says.

A lower jaw, plus jaw fragments and teeth, dated at 3.3 million to 3.5 million years old, were found in the Afar region of northern Ethiopia four years ago.

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Scientists Warn Everest Glaciers at Risk of disappearing

Glaciers in the Everest region could shrink at least 70 percent or even disappear entirely by the end of the century as a result of climate change, scientists warned on Wednesday.

Researchers in Nepal, the Netherlands and France studied weather patterns on the roof of the world and then created a model of conditions on Everest to determine the future impact of rising temperatures on its glaciers.

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Japan Dolphin Fishermen Vow to Continue Slaughter

Japanese fishermen vowed Wednesday to continue their dolphin hunt, despite a pledge by zoos and aquariums not to buy animals caught with the controversial method. 

"We will never stop it," Yoshifumi Kai of the fisherman's cooperative in the western Japanese town of Taiji, where the hunt takes place, told reporters. 

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