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Palm Planters Blamed for Decline of Borneo Monkey

Expanding palm-oil plantations in Malaysian Borneo are rapidly eating into the habitat of the rare proboscis monkey and causing its numbers to decline sharply, officials warned Wednesday.

The reddish-brown primate, which is named for its distinctive large and fleshy nose, is found only on Borneo, a large island divided up between Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.

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Planet in Sweet Spot of Goldilocks Zone for Life

A newly discovered planet is eerily similar to Earth and is sitting outside Earth's solar system in what seems to be the ideal place for life, except for one hitch. It is a bit too big.

The planet is smack in the middle of what astronomers call the Goldilocks zone, that hard to find place that is not too hot, not too cold, where water, which is essential for life, does not freeze or boil. And it has a shopping mall-like surface temperature of near 72 degrees, scientists say.

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Fourteen Moon Bears Rescued in Vietnam

Fourteen Asiatic black bears have been rescued from a bear bile farm in Vietnam after their owner decided to renounce the illegal trade, an animal protection group said Tuesday.

The animals, known as moon bears after the distinctive yellow crescent moon-shaped mark on their chests, were given to Animals Asia by bear farm owner Nguyen Ngoc Tien, the group said in a Tuesday statement.

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Japan Whaling Fleet Off to Antarctica

Japan's whaling fleet left port Tuesday for the country's annual hunt in Antarctica, press pictures showed, with security measures beefed up amid simmering international protests.

Three ships, led by the 720-tonne Yushin Maru, set sail from Shimonoseki in western Japan on a mission officially said to be for "scientific research", according to local media reports.

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NASA Spacecraft Exploring Solar System's Edge

More than three decades after launching, NASA's workhorse spacecraft is inching closer to leaving the solar system behind.

Currently 11 billion miles away from the sun, Voyager 1 has been exploring the fringes of the solar system since 2004. Scientists said Monday the spacecraft has entered a new region in the solar system that they have dubbed the "stagnation zone."

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Scientists Find Monster Black Holes, Biggest Yet

Scientists have found the biggest black holes known to exist — each one 10 billion times the size of our sun.

A team led by an astronomer at the University of California at Berkeley discovered the two gigantic black holes in clusters of galaxies 300 million light years away. That's relatively close on the galactic scale.

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Earth-Like Planets Feature in New Survey

Tired of life on Earth? There may be other options, according to a catalog released on Monday of planets and moons that could have the right conditions to support life, planetary scientists said.

A total of 47 exoplanets and exomoons are potential habitable candidates, according to the online ranking of bodies outside our solar system by the Planetary Habitability Laboratory (PHL) of the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo.

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6 Chinese Charged for Turtle Catch in Philippines

A court in the Philippines charged six Chinese fishermen with poaching endangered sea turtles in proceedings Monday aimed at protecting threatened wildlife along the country's coastline.

Authorities discovered a batch of giant green turtles after intercepting the fishermen's speedboat in waters off the western province of Palawan on Friday, said military spokesman Maj. Niel Estrella.

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Scientists Confirm Himalayan Glacial Melting

Glaciers in the Himalayas have shrunk by as much as a fifth in just 30 years, scientists have claimed in the first authoritative confirmation of the effects of climate change on the region.

The findings, published in three reports by the Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), show Nepal's glaciers have shrunk by 21 percent and Bhutan's by 22 percent over 30 years.

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U.N. Official to AP: Pledges to Cut CO2 Will Go on

The top U.N. climate official said Saturday she is confident industrial countries will renew their pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions after their current commitments expire next year.

Further commitments under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, an unshakable demand by poor countries, would avert a feared derailment of U.N. negotiations, but would mark little advancement toward the goal of a rapid and steep drop in worldwide carbon emissions blamed for climate change.

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