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Environmental Activists Risk Jail over Istanbul Protests

Fifteen Turkish ecological activists could face up to seven-and-a-half years in jail after prosecutors charged them with public order offences over protests against the construction of a mosque in Istanbul last year, judicial sources said Thursday.

The activists have been charged in the indictment by prosecutors with breaking the law on protests and throwing bottles and stones at the security forces.

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Scientists Seek Source of Giant Methane Mass over Southwest

Scientists are working to pinpoint the source of a giant mass of methane hanging over the southwestern U.S., which a study found to be the country's largest concentration of the greenhouse gas.

The report that revealed the methane hot spot over the Four Corners region — where Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona meet — was released last year.

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Report: Japan to Pledge 20% Greenhouse Gas Cut

Japan will promise to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent from 2013 levels ahead of a global summit on climate change this year, a report said Thursday, despite uncertainty over post-Fukushima energy policy.

The government will likely announce the new target at the Group of Seven (G7) summit in June in Germany, the leading business daily Nikkei reported, citing unnamed government sources.

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Vietnam Hunts for Missing Box of Radioactive Material

Vietnamese authorities are searching for a lead box containing hazardous radioactive material which has gone missing from a steel factory, an official said Wednesday.

The box of cobalt-60, which has a wide range of uses including for radiotherapy and in industry, has disappeared from the Vietnamese-owned Pomina steel mill in the south of the country.

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Shell Takes Legal Action over Greenpeace Protest on Rig

Oil giant Shell filed a legal complaint Tuesday against Greenpeace protestors who have boarded an Arctic-bound oil rig in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, a spokeswoman said.

The six activists are camping out on the 38,000-ton Polar Pioneer platform, which they boarded 750 miles northwest of Hawaii using inflatable boats from the Greenpeace vessel "Esperanza."

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Scientists Map Caribbean Seafloor as Part of 12-Year Project

U.S. scientists on Tuesday completed a nearly two-week mission to explore waters around the U.S. Virgin Islands as part of a 12-year project to map the Caribbean seafloor and help protect its reefs.

A team with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration studied an area of 270 square miles (700 square kilometers), using equipment including underwater gliders and a remotely operated vehicle to help map the seafloor and locate areas where fish spawn. They focused mostly on the southern coast of St. Croix and the northwestern coast of St. Thomas.

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A Tall Story: Why Do the Dutch Tower over Us?

The Netherlands is the land of giants: on average, its women stand almost 1.71 meters (5.6 feet) tall, and its men 1.84 meters.

But how the Dutch became the world's tallest people has been somewhat of a mystery.

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Radiation from Fukushima Detected Off Canada West Coast

Traces of radioactivity originating from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant in 2011 have been detected in a seawater sample collected near Canada's west coast, according to a radiation monitoring group.

The Integrated Fukushima Ocean Radionuclide Monitoring (InFORM) Network said Monday that it was the first time traces of Cesium 134 had been detected off North American coasts. 

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USAID BALADI Program Inaugurates Ecological Adventure Park at Bentael Nature Reserve

The Building Alliance for Local Advancement, Development, and Investment (BALADI) program, funded by the United Stated Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Rene Moawad Foundation (RMF), inaugurated the Ecological Adventure Park in Bentael Nature Reserve in Mechehlen, Jbeil.

The inauguration took place in the presence of USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator Mrs. Mona Yacoubian, USAID Mission Director Mrs. Carolyn Bryan, Former Minister and President of René Moawad Foundation Mrs. Nayla Moawad, the representative of the Head of the Office of Common Administration at the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities Mrs. Racha Hourani, other relevant ministry representatives, as well as representatives from the Edde municipality, Bentael Nature Reserve Committee, and the community of Bentael, Bhdidat, Kafar, Kfoun, Dmilsa, and Kfarmashoun.

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Greenpeace Boards Oil Rig, Shell Slams 'Stunt'

Greenpeace activists have boarded an Arctic-bound Shell oil rig in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the environmental group and oil giant said Monday.

Shell denounced the action as a "stunt" and said it would not deflect it from its Arctic oil exploration plans.

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