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Lava Approaches Vacant Lots in Hawaii Subdivision

Lava from one of the world's most active volcanos soon could reach three vacant lots in a rural subdivision on Hawaii's Big Island, but officials are hopeful homes will be spared.

Based on the lava's movement of about 200 to 300 yards a day, the flow from Kilauea volcano was expected to reach the lots in Kaohe Homesteads in coming days, Hawaii County spokesman Kevin Dayton said.

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Rio Slum Unveils Unique Floodlights in 'World First'

It may only be a modest patch of land, but a Rio slum is laying claim to having the first football pitch in the world with floodlights generated by player movement.

The innovation, unveiled in the presence of Pele, is courtesy of a new technology called Pavegen, which can harvest energy from people's footsteps.

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Alien-Like Giant Water-Living Dinosaur Unveiled

Picture the fearsome creatures of "Jurassic Park" crossed with the shark from "Jaws." Then super-size to the biggest predator ever to roam Earth. Now add a crocodile snout as big as a person and feet like a duck's.

The result gives you some idea of a bizarre dinosaur scientists unveiled Thursday.

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Ariane Rocket Launches Asia-Pacific Telecoms Satellites

An Ariane 5 rocket took off from the European space center at Kourou in French Guiana late Thursday, before placing two Asia-Pacific telecoms satellites into orbit, the launch firm Arianespace said.

The twice-delayed launch took place at 7:05 pm (2305 GMT) and shortly afterwards the Measat-3b, of Malaysian operator Measat, and Optus 10, of Australian counterpart Optus were successfully placed into geostationary orbit.

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NASA's Mars Rover Curiosity Finally at Mount Sharp

NASA's Curiosity rover is about to conduct some serious scientific drilling at Mars.

The space agency announced Thursday that the rover has reached the base of Mount Sharp, its destination since landing two years ago. Officials say drilling could begin as early as next week at an outcrop of rocks called Pahrump Hills.

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Amazon Deforestation up 29 pc in 2013 -- Brazil

Deforestation in the Amazon rose 29 percent between August 2012 and July of last year to 5,891 square kilometers (2,275 square miles), Brazilian officials said Wednesday, posting an amended figure.

Last year, authorities indicated a slightly lower figure of 5,843 square kilometers for a 28 percent rise.

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Scientists Say the Ozone Layer is Recovering

Earth's protective ozone layer is beginning to recover, largely because of the phase-out since the 1980s of certain chemicals used in refrigerants and aerosol cans, a U.N. scientific panel reported Wednesday in a rare piece of good news about the health of the planet.

Scientists said the development demonstrates that when the world comes together, it can counteract a brewing ecological crisis.

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Scientists: Strong Solar Storm Heading to Earth

A strong solar flare is blasting its way to Earth, but the worst of its power looks like it will barely skim above the planet and not cause many problems.

It has been several years since Earth has had a solar storm of this size coming from sunspots smack in the middle of the sun, said Tom Berger, director of the Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado. The flare on the sun barely hits the "extreme" on forecasters' scale, but with its worst effects missing Earth it is only looking "potentially strong" at most when it arrives at Earth as a solar storm, he said.

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Three Russian and American Astronauts Return to Earth

Two Russian cosmonauts and an American astronaut returned to Earth on Thursday after spending more than six months working together aboard the International Space Station, as tensions between their countries soared over the Ukraine crisis.

American Steven Swanson and Russians Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev, who left on March 26, landed in the Kazakh steppe at 0223 GMT aboard a Soyuz capsule, the Russian space agency Roscosmos and its U.S. equivalent NASA said in statements.

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Tsunami Could 'Wipe out' Pakistan's Largest City

Pakistan's largest city Karachi, home to around 18 million people, could be "wiped out" by a tsunami, officials said Wednesday after a drill simulating a major earthquake in the Indian Ocean.

The test, and one carried out a day earlier simulating another quake off Indonesia, were designed to check an early-warning system set up after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami which killed more than 230,000 people.

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