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Is Science Drawing Closer to an Alien World?

NASA's discovery of Earth-like exoplanet Kepler-452b, nicknamed "Earth 2.0", has social media buzzing about the chances of finding a faraway world, possibly with alien life or key resources such as water.

Science or fiction? The experts respond.

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Australian Humpback Whale Comeback a 'Symbol of Hope'

Australia's humpback populations have recovered so well from years of devastating whaling that they could be delisted as a threatened species in a conservation success story scientists Tuesday hailed as "a symbol of hope".

Humpback whales were commercially harvested around the Australian coast between 1912 and 1972, with tens of thousands of the animals killed, decimating the species.

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Study: Storm Surges Amped by Rain Increase U.S. Flood Risk

Sea storm surges amplified by heavy rain are a greater flood threat to U.S. coastal cities than previously understood, and are occurring more frequently according to a study published Monday.  

The number of such "compound" events "has increased significantly over the past century," said a paper in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate Change.

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Clinton Promises to be the Renewable Energy President

Hillary Clinton was set to lay out an ambitious plan Monday to invest in solar and other renewable energy sources if elected president, drawing a contrast with her fossil fuel-loving Republican rivals.

The Democratic front-runner was to speak at 1500 GMT at the main bus station in Des Moines, Iowa where she has been campaigning since Saturday.

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Mafia and Multinationals Milk Italy's Green Energy Boom

Thousands of solar panels glint in the sun, but the prized farmland beneath lies barren. While the Italian island of Sardinia revels in a renewable energy boom, the long arm of organised crime risks sullying its clean power ambitions.

Famed for its lush plains and emerald waters but racked by poverty and unemployment, Sardinia has jumped at the chance to boost the economy by converting its long months of sunshine into green energy.

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Bangladesh Discovers Only 100 Tigers in Famed Sundarbans

Bangladesh has only about 100 tigers living in the world's largest mangrove forest, far fewer of the endangered animals than previously thought, following a recent survey, a top forestry official said Monday.

Some 440 tigers were recorded during the previous census conducted in 2004 in the World Heritage-listed Sundarbans, one of the world's last remaining habitats for the big cats. 

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Grenada Reports Decreased Activity at Underwater Volcano

An underwater volcano north of Grenada is showing a decline in seismic activity, authorities on the eastern Caribbean island said Saturday.

Grenada's National Disaster Management Agency said it expects to lower the alert level from orange to yellow if that pattern continues.

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Conditions on Pluto: Incredibly Hazy with Flowing Ice

Pluto is hazier than scientists expected and appears to be covered with flowing ice.

The team responsible for the New Horizons flyby of Pluto last week released new pictures Friday of the previously unexplored world on the edge of the solar system.

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Deep-Sea Mining Looms on Horizon as U.N. Body Issues Contracts

The deep oceans span more than half the globe and their frigid depths have long been known to contain vast, untapped deposits of prized minerals. These treasures of the abyss, however, have always been out of reach to miners.

But now, the era of deep seabed mining appears to be dawning fueled by technological advances in robotics and dwindling land-based deposits. Rising demand for copper, cobalt, gold and the rare-earth elements vital in manufacturing smartphones and other high-tech products is causing a prospecting rush to the dark seafloor thousands of meters (yards) beneath the waves.

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Reports: Powerful Typhoon Kills 11,000 Farmed Tuna in Japan

A powerful typhoon which lashed Japan last week has killed more than 11,000 farmed bluefin tuna, costing over $10 million in damage, local media said Saturday.

Typhoon Nangka made landfall in southwestern Japan on the night of July 16 and slowly moved northward before turning into a tropical depression.

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