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Chinese Airline Completes Cooking Oil Fuel Flight

A Chinese airline on Saturday completed the country's first commercial flight using biofuel, made from waste cooking oil, as the government seeks to promote greater environmental sustainability.

A Hainan Airlines flight from commercial hub Shanghai to Beijing used biofuel supplied by China National Aviation Fuel company and energy giant Sinopec, according to a statement from U.S. aircraft giant Boeing.

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Neanderthals Shape up as Globe's first Jewellers

The widely-held vision of Neanderthals as brutes may need a stark rethink after research found they crafted the world's earliest jewellery from eagle talons 130,000 years ago, long before modern humans appeared in Europe.

"While reviewing eight, white-tailed eagle talons and an associated phalanx, on the latter I noticed numerous cut marks and a revelation just struck me -- they were made by a human hand," Davorka Radovcic, a curator at Croatia's Natural History Museum, told Agence France Presse.

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As Lakes Become Deserts, Drought is Iran's New Problem

Nazar Sarani's village in southeast Iran was once an island. It is now a desert, a casualty of the country's worsening water crisis.

"We live in the dust," said the 54-year-old cattle herder of his home in the once exceptional biosphere of Lake Hamoun, a wetland of varied flora and fauna, which is now nothing but sand-baked earth.

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Australia: Plan Ensures Great Barrier Reef Future

Australia released its long-term blueprint to save the Great Barrier Reef Saturday, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott saying protecting the World Heritage site was a priority.

The 35-year plan for the major tourist attraction off the Queensland coast includes a complete and permanent ban on the dumping of capital dredge material in the area and sets targets to improve water quality and marine life populations.

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Two Tonnes of Rare Pangolin Scales Seized in Hong Kong Bust

A huge two-tonne haul of scales from the endangered pangolin anteater have been seized by Hong Kong Customs in a bust worth more than U.S.$1 million, authorities said Friday.

The scales of the protected animal, also known as the "scaly anteater", are in demand for traditional Chinese medicine, especially on the mainland, where they are used to boost virility and treat allergies.

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Jumbo Welcome for Solar Impulse Plane in Myanmar

Solar Impulse 2 was met by dancers dressed in an elephant costume as it landed in Myanmar's second largest city Mandalay, completing the fourth leg of its landmark circumnavigation of the globe powered solely by the sun.

The single-seater aircraft touched down at 7:51 pm (1321 GMT) Thursday, several hours earlier than expected, after a 13-hour journey from the Indian holy city Varanasi, cut short thanks to strong tail winds.

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Magical Views from Top of the World for Solar Eclipse

All eyes will be on the skies Friday for a total solar eclipse expected to offer spectacular views, if only in the far northern Svalbard archipelago and Faroe Islands.

A partial eclipse of varying degrees should also be visible, weather permitting, across most of Europe, northern Africa, central Asia and the Middle East.

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Faeroes Invaded by Total Eclipse Seekers

For months, even years, accommodation on the remote Faeroe Islands has been booked out by fans who don't want to miss an almost three-minute-long astronomical sensation. Now they just have to hope the clouds will blow away so they can fully experience Friday's brief total solar eclipse.

Scores of eclipse chasers and scientists have invaded the archipelago armed with telescopes, cameras and glasses for safe direct solar viewing ahead of the big event.

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China Politicians' Tiger Breeding Ring Busted

Three local politicians in China raised at least 11 endangered Siberian tigers, state media has reported, after one of the animals jumped to its death from a high-rise building

Three local politicians in China raised at least 11 endangered Siberian tigers, state media reported Thursday after one of the animals jumped to its death from a high-rise building.

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Scientist Hopes Vest will Broaden Range of Human Senses

Neuroscientist David Eagleman hopes that one day a special piece of clothing he has designed will let the deaf "hear" and allow wearers to sense what is happening online without looking at a computer.

Eagleman's so-called VEST, whose name comes from the futuristic-sounding "variable extra-sensory transducer," is a sleeveless top equipped with vibrating nodes that buzz information onto the wearer's back, essentially giving the wearer a new source of information.

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