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Elephant Killings in Africa Outpace Births

More elephants in Africa are being killed by poachers than are born each year, and the problem may be worse than previously understood, according to the most detailed assessment yet.

Using a newly refined approach to estimate elephant deaths, developed at Kenya's Samburu National Reserve, researchers said Africa's elephant population is declining at a rate of about two percent annually.

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Orbital Cargo Ship Makes Planned Re-Entry to Earth

Orbital Sciences Corporation's unmanned Cygnus cargo ship disintegrated as planned Sunday as it re-entered Earth's atmosphere after a month-long resupply mission to the International Space Station.

The spacecraft had been released from the orbiting lab on Friday at 6:40 am (1040 GMT), and then stayed in independent orbit for two days, before firing its engines and pushing into Earth's atmosphere.

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Dig at Colonial Battleground Turns Up Artifacts

An archaeological dig at a Colonial military site in the southern Adirondacks of New York has turned up thousands of artifacts, from butchered animal bones to uniform buttons, along with a lime kiln used to make mortar for a British fort that was never completed.

The six-week project that ended Friday at the Lake George Battlefield Park also uncovered a section of a stone foundation and brick floor of a small building likely constructed alongside a barracks in 1759, during the French and Indian War.

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Orbital Cargo Ship Departs Space Station

Orbital Sciences Corporation's unmanned Cygnus cargo ship left the International Space Station Friday on its way to a fiery re-entry into Earth's atmosphere.

The spacecraft was released from the orbiting lab at 6:40 am (1040 GMT), NASA said in a live broadcast of the event.

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Mexico Acid Leak Leaves Orange River, Toxic Water

Ramona Yesenia stood in her town square with two empty jugs, waiting for water to replace the municipal supply contaminated by a chemical spill that turned Mexico's Sonora river orange.

Yesenia is one of 20,000 people left without water since a massive sulfuric acid leak last week at the Buenavista copper mine in northwestern Mexico, one of the largest in the world.

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SeaWorld Plans Bigger Killer Whale Environments

After more than a year of public criticism of its treatment of killer whales, SeaWorld said Friday that it will build new, larger environments at its theme parks and will fund additional research on the animals along with programs to protect ocean health and whales in the wild.

The Orlando, Florida, company said the renovations have been in the works for some time and that they are not a response to the documentary "Blackfish" or the criticism of the company that followed the release of the film.

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Stardust Grains May Reveal First Look at Interstellar Space

Seven grains of stardust that are believed to come from outside our solar system are revealing new hints about what the universe is made of, scientists said Thursday.

Some are fluffy like snowflakes, not dense like experts expected, according to the study in the US journal Science that describes the first close look at what astronomers have only been able to view from afar -- until now.

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Study Blames Humans for Most of Melting Glaciers

More than two-thirds of the recent rapid melting of the world's glaciers can be blamed on humans, a new study finds.

Scientists looking at glacier melt since 1851 didn't see a human fingerprint until about the middle of the 20th century. Even then only one-quarter of the warming wasn't from natural causes.

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Tuvalu PM Says Climate Change 'Like Weapon of Mass Destruction'

Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga likened the impact of climate change on Pacific island nations to "a weapon of mass destruction" Friday, saying strong global leadership on the issue was needed.

Sopoaga said a U.N.-sponsored summit on climate change in New York next month was a chance to set the scene for real progress in the quest to seal a global pact on greenhouse gas emissions by the end of 2015.

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Study Reveals Antarctic Minke Whales Feeding 'Frenzy'

Antarctic minke whales engage in an underwater feeding frenzy, filling their huge mouths up to 100 times an hour as they gorge on prawn-like krill during the summer, new research showed Friday.

The Australian Antarctic Division said it was the first time that the feeding behaviour of the animals under the sea ice had been recorded, and the frenetic pace of the activity was unexpected.

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