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China Climate Pledges Easily Achievable, Experts Say

China's pledges ahead of a major climate change conference in Paris lack ambition and are easily achievable, experts said Wednesday, adding Beijing could offer more.

Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday unveiled the hotly-awaited climate promises in Paris, which will host U.N. talks at the end of the year tasked with producing a global pact on curbing climate change.

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Solar Impulse Reaches Half Way in Japan-U.S. Leg

A solar-powered aircraft flying between Japan and Hawaii as part of a round-the-world bid passed the halfway point of the perilous Pacific Ocean crossing Wednesday, and broke its own endurance record.

Solar Impulse 2 had traveled 55 percent of the way to the tropical U.S. state by 0700 GMT, having flown 4,305 kilometers (2,675 miles) with 3,430 kilometers more to go, according to the project.

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Last Day of June Was One Second Longer

Many people didn't notice, but the last day in June was just a little bit longer than in years past.

A "leap" second was added Tuesday to compensate for the slowing speed of the Earth's rotation around the sun. 

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Californians Struggle for 'Normal Life,' Without Water

A washing machine stands in the middle of Maria Jimenez's California yard, like a redundant relic of modern life. Nearby are several rented mobile toilets, no longer in use.

For four months, she and her family have had no running water.

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Coral Gardening Beckons Ecotourists to Restore Reefs

Coral reefs are fragile and in danger worldwide, but a growing movement to restore them is based on the science of breaking off pieces in order to grow more, known as coral gardening.

It works like this: marine biologists cut off the tips of live branching corals, hang the pieces on man-made underwater trees where they grow, and later "outplant" them on real reefs on the ocean floor.

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Solar Impulse Reaches Quarter Way Point in Japan-U.S. Flight

A solar-powered aircraft on a round-the-world flight was high above the Pacific Ocean Tuesday, over a quarter of the way to Hawaii after leaving Japan, the mission website showed.

Solar Impulse 2 had travelled 26 percent of the way to the tropical US state by 0500 GMT, having flown 2,204 kilometres (1,377 miles) with 6,136 kilometres more to go, according to the project.

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Rare Case of Wallaby Fostering Tree Kangaroo in Pouch

Australian zookeepers Tuesday said they had successfully fostered an orphaned tree kangaroo with a surrogate wallaby in a rare case after its mother was crushed by a branch.

The Goodfellow's tree kangaroo, named Makaia by its carers at Adelaide Zoo in South Australia, was just five weeks old and at risk of dying after its three-year-old mother was killed by a falling tree branch in November.

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Germany's Oldest Remaining Nuclear Plant Shuts Down

Germany's oldest remaining nuclear reactor has been shut down, part of a move initiated four years ago to switch off all its nuclear plants by the end of 2022.

The Grafenrheinfeld reactor in the southern state of Bavaria was taken offline as scheduled overnight, authorities and operator E.ON said Sunday.

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String of Cargo Disasters Puts Pressure on Space Industry

The global space industry is reeling after three cargo disasters in less than a year have delivered a costly blow to efforts to supply astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

The explosion of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket on Sunday also raised new questions about whether U.S. rockets are safe enough to start launching astronauts to space as planned in 2017.

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Brazil to Open Latin America's First Elephant Sanctuary

Brazil will soon open Latin America's first elephant sanctuary, and its three initial residents will be retired circus animals in need of a safe haven, a report said Sunday.

"The idea is to build an establishment like the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee in the United States," Junia Machado, president of the Santuario de Elefantes Brasil group that is behind the project, told the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper.

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