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Hundreds of Starving Koalas Killed in Australia

Close to 700 koalas have been killed off by authorities in southeastern Australia because overpopulation led to the animals starving, an official said Wednesday, sparking claims of mismanagement.

Victoria state Environment Minister Lisa Neville said the koalas were euthanised around Cape Otway near the scenic tourist drawcard the Great Ocean Road, in 2013 and 2014, with a caravan site owner saying the whole area "smelt like death" before they were put down.

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NASA Spacecraft Making First Visit to Dwarf Planet Ceres

A NASA spacecraft is about to reach the end of a nearly eight-year journey and make the first rendezvous with a dwarf planet.

The Dawn craft will slip into orbit Friday around Ceres, a dwarf planet the size of Texas. Unlike robotic landings or other orbit captures, the arrival won't be a nail-biter. Still, Dawn had to travel some 3 billion miles to reach the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

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Report: Europe Still off Mark on Sustainability Goals

Europe could miss several key targets for safeguarding its species, water, air and land, said a study Tuesday that warned economic recovery would add to the pressure on natural resources.

While it has made great strides in recycling and greener energy, the continent has failed to stop habitat destruction, overfishing and pollution, said a five-yearly assessment by the European Environmental Agency (EEA).

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Rare 'Alien of the Deep' Goblin Shark Found in Australia

A rare sea creature described as an "alien of the deep" has been found off Australia and delivered to a museum which Tuesday showed off its fleshy snout, nail-like teeth and flabby pink body.

The prehistoric-looking goblin sharks live on deep sea bottoms and little is known about their lives.

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Chinese Ivory Traders Find Haven Online

China's booming e-commerce websites have carried thousands of advertisements for illegal wildlife products including ivory, rhino horn and tiger bone, a wildlife trade monitoring network said on Tuesday.

More than half of such products offered online in recent months are ivory, the British group TRAFFIC found in a survey of 15 Chinese retail websites over a two year period.

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SpaceX Launches Two Communications Satellites

U.S. space transportation company SpaceX launched two commercial communications satellites atop a Falcon 9 rocket Sunday evening.

The rocket, carrying an Eutelsat and Asia Broadcast (ABS) satellite, lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida on schedule at 10:50 pm (3:50 GMT) into the perfectly clear night.

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Heavy Toll as Australian Farmers Struggle Through Drought

On the road to Walgett a sign welcomes visitors: "Farming is not a way of life, it keeps everyone alive." But with drought taking a heavy toll on the region, farming has become a battle for survival.

The Australian agricultural town -- which takes its name from the Aboriginal word meaning the meeting of two rivers -- is in the grip of the worst drought in a century, with disillusioned farmers battling to stay afloat.

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Study: Ice Age Emperor Penguins Hit Hard by the Cold

Antarctica's Ross Sea has been a rare safe haven for emperor penguins for thousands of years, even when temperatures were too harsh for their liking, a study released Monday suggests.

Researchers looking at how climatic changes have affected the highly cold-adapted penguin -- the tallest and heaviest of all penguin species -- over the last 30,000 years suggest that only three populations survived the last ice age.

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Myanmar Finds Rare White Elephant

A rare white elephant has been captured in Myanmar, state media said Monday, a creature traditionally seen as a sign of political good fortune in a country edging towards breakthrough national elections.

The pink-tinged pachyderm, which was caught in a forest reserve in the Irrawaddy Delta area of Pathein, is the ninth white elephant to be held in captivity in the former junta-run country, according to a report in the Global New Light of Myanmar. 

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Solar Plane Passes New Test ahead of Planned World Tour

A solar-powered plane made a third successful test flight in the United Arab Emirates on Monday ahead of a planned round-the-world tour to promote alternative energy.

Organizers hope that Solar Impulse 2 may head off around the globe as early as Saturday but caution that the launch is dependent on the weather, even in the relatively cloudless Gulf.

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