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Lion among 23,000 Species Threatened with Extinction

The mighty lion, reclusive cave crabs and the world's rarest sea lion are among nearly 23,000 species at risk of dying out, a top conservation body warned on Tuesday.

In an update to its "Red List" of threatened species, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature hailed some clear advances in saving endangered species like the Iberian Lynx.

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Australian Fishermen Lure Rare Monster Shark

Fishermen off Australia who accidentally caught a whopping 6.3 metre basking shark have provided scientists with a rare opportunity to study the second-biggest fish on the planet.

Little is known about the species -- smaller only than the whale shark -- because it does not need to surface for air to survive and so is not often spotted. 

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Rosetta Comet-Chasing Mission Extended to September 2016

The European Space Agency (ESA) announced Tuesday that its historic comet-chasing mission Rosetta had been extended until the end of September 2016.

"ESA's Science Programme Committee has given formal approval to continue the mission for an additional nine months," ESA said.

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Probe after GM Jellyfish-Lamb Sold as Meat in France

French authorities are looking into how a lamb genetically modified with jellyfish protein was sold as meat to an unknown customer, a judicial source told Agence France Presse on Tuesday. 

The jellyfish-lamb, called "Rubis", was sent to an abattoir from the National Institute for Agricultural Research in Paris late last year and somehow ended up on a butcher's slab.

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Team: Solar Impulse Set to Take off Early Wednesday

A solar-powered plane that has been trapped in Japan for three weeks by the rainy season is set to take off for Hawaii early Wednesday, the team said.

Solar Impulse 2 had been trying to fly from Nanjing, China to Hawaii, when a developing weather front forced it to divert to the central Japanese city of Nagoya at the start of the month.

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Europe Launches Next Phase of Hi-Tech Earth Satellites

The European Space Agency (ESA) has launched the second phase of a 4.3-billion-euro ($4.91-billion) program to deploy new-generation satellites to monitor environmental damage and aid disaster relief operations, officials said early Monday.

Sentinel-2A was hoisted by a lightweight Vega rocket from ESA's base in Kourou, French Guiana, overnight Monday-Tuesday, launch operator Arianespace said.

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Japan Confirms Plan to Resume Whale Hunt

Japan's chief whaling negotiator confirmed Monday its ships would return to the Antarctic this year, despite a call by global regulators to provide more evidence that the hunt has a scientific purpose.

Joji Morishita said the whole debate about whether or not Japan should be killing the mammals had long since moved away from science and into politics.

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Comet Probe Philae Dials Home, 'Doing Very Well'

Europe's robot lab Philae phoned home on Friday after several days silence in its journey towards the Sun on the back of a comet and is "doing very well", the German Aerospace Center (DLR) said.

The latest contact lasted 19 minutes and is the third time that Philae has touched base with Earth since it landed on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on November 12 after piggybacking on its mothership Rosetta.

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Japan Must Do More to Justify Whaling Plans

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) on Friday demanded that Japan provide more information to prove that its revised Antarctic whaling programme was for scientific research, saying it could not reach a consensus based on documents submitted.

The British-based IWC had been expected to judge whether Japan's "NEWREP-A proposal", which would target 3,996 minke whales over 12 years, had addressed the issues that led to its predecessor being ruled illegal by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

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Cars Threaten Spain's Lynx, World's most Endangered Feline

The world's most endangered feline species, the Iberian lynx, is making a comeback in Spain after being pushed to the brink of extinction.

But the costly efforts to reintroduce the spotted cat into the wild face an unexpected enemy -- cars.

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