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Solar Impulse Leaves Japan on Delayed Pacific Flight

The revolutionary Solar Impulse 2 aircraft passed "the point of no return" Monday after it left Japan bound for Hawaii, the most ambitious leg of its quest to circumnavigate the globe powered only by the sun.

Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg, 62, left the city of Nagoya around 3:00 am (1800 GMT), five days after weather problems forced the organizers to cancel an earlier attempt.

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Conservationists to Move 7 Lions from South Africa to Rwanda

A conservation group plans to move seven lions from South Africa to a national park in Rwanda, where it says the lion population was wiped out 15 years ago.

The five female lions and two males will be transferred beginning Monday to Rwanda's Akagera National Park by truck and plane in a journey lasting more than 24 hours, said African Parks, a South Africa-based group that runs national wildlife parks in Africa.

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SpaceX Rocket Explodes after Launch

An unmanned SpaceX rocket exploded less than three minutes after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida on Sunday, in the first major disaster for the fast-charging company headed by Internet tycoon Elon Musk.

The accident was the third in less than a year involving U.S. and Russian supply ships bound for the International Space Station, and raised new concerns about the flow of food and gear to the astronauts living in orbit.

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Colombia's President Blasts Rebels for Oil Spill

President Juan Manuel Santos says an oil spill triggered by a rebel attack on a pipeline the worst environmental disaster in Colombia's history.

Santos made the comments Friday while visiting the southern port city of Tumaco to survey damage from the June 22 bombing by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

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Shanghai Police Remove Protesters who Oppose Chemical Plant

Police in China's financial hub Shanghai took away at least three busloads of environmental protesters outside the municipal government Saturday, preventing the latest rally that started with a rumor that a petrochemical plant could move into the area.

Concerned with public health but shut out of decision-making, more affluent Chinese are increasingly taking to the streets to oppose potentially hazardous projects such as petrochemical plants. Authorities in turn have suppressed the assemblies that have in the past turned violent and weakened the authority of local governments.

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First Lions to Return to Rwanda after over Two Decades

Lions will return to Rwanda for the first time in more than two decades, wildlife officials have said, after the endangered animal was wiped out following Rwanda's 1994 genocide.

Seven lions -- two males and five females -- are being transported from South Africa and will arrive by air in Rwanda on Monday after a 36 hour journey, where they will be taken and released after two week quarantine into the eastern Akagera National Park.

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Python Dies after Eating Giant Porcupine in S.Africa

An African rock python died in unusual circumstances after swallowing a giant 13.8 kilogram porcupine at a private game park in South Africa, the manager said Friday.

The 3.9 meter snake should have been able to cope with the porcupine no matter how prickly the quills, Lake Eland Game Reserve's Jennifer Fuller told Agence France Presse.

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Wishing on a Shooting Star in Japan with Man-Made Meteors

Fancy a meteor shower racing across the night sky to mark your birthday? One Japanese start-up is hoping to deliver shooting stars on demand and choreograph the cosmos.

And, say scientists, it's not just about painting huge pictures on the night-sky that would be visible to millions of people; artificial meteors could help us to understand a lot more about Earth's atmosphere.

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Solar Impulse Could be Stuck in Japan for a Year

A solar-powered plane attempting to fly around the world must cross the Pacific within a few weeks or it could remain stuck in Japan for a year, its pilot said in an interview published Thursday.

Solar Impulse 2, which has been stranded in Japan for three weeks and had to postpone a planned take off this week due to bad weather over the Pacific, only has a short window for making the next leg of its journey, one of its two pilots, Bertrand Piccard, told the Tribune de Geneve daily.

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Oslo Creates World's First 'Highway' to Protect Endangered Bees

From flower emblazoned cemeteries to rooftop gardens and balconies, Norway's capital Oslo is creating a "bee highway" to protect endangered pollinators essential to food production. 

"We are constantly reshaping our environment to meet our needs, forgetting that other species also live in it," Agnes Lyche Melvaer, head of the Bybi, an environmental group supporting urban bees, which is leading the project. 

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