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Mary Robinson Named U.N. Special Climate Change Envoy

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday named former Irish president Mary Robinson as his special envoy for climate change, ahead of a summit set for September.

Robinson will seek to "mobilize political will and action" ahead of the special summit of heads of state and government, called by Ban, to be held in New York on September 23, the U.N. said.

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Water Everywhere for DR Congo City Yet Scarcely a Drop to Drink

Goma, a city in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, sits by one of the world's largest freshwater reservoirs and has some of Africa's heaviest annual rainfall, yet it is a thirsty place.

Most of the city's one million residents, living close to the shores of Lake Kivu, have to struggle every day to fetch water home.

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Italy Cruise Wreck Salvage: Facts and Figures

The operation to refloat the wreck of Italy's Costa Concordia cruise ship due to begin on Monday is the biggest salvage project of its kind ever attempted.

Here are some facts and figures about the 114,500-ton hulk and how salvage workers are planning to float it:

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Carbon Emissions Causing Southern Australia to Dry

Greenhouse gases and depletion of the ozone layer are causing southern Australia to become drier, researchers reported on Sunday.

Scientists at the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said that southern Australia suffered a decline in rainfall that began around 1970 and increased over the next four decades.

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Orbital Launches Cargo Ship to Space Station

Orbital Sciences Corporation on Sunday launched its unmanned Cygnus cargo carrier on a journey to resupply the astronauts living aboard the International Space Station.

The spacecraft lifted off from Wallops Island, Virginia at 12:52 pm (1652 GMT) aboard a gleaming white Antares rocket. 

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Thailand Faces Trade Ban over Ivory Failings

Thailand faces an international wildlife trade ban unless it reins in its illegal ivory sector, which is a magnet for traffickers, global regulator CITES said on Friday.

"There have been years without any real action on the ground when it comes to controlling the illegal ivory market, be it illegal imports or trade within Thailand," said Oeystein Stoerkersen, chairman of CITES' governing body.

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Polar Vortex? Nope, Just Cooler Midwestern Weather

Unseasonably cool weather will arrive next week in the Midwest and as far south as Arkansas and Oklahoma.

It is not, however, the second coming of a polar vortex, a phrase the National Weather Service's Chicago office tweeted earlier this week to describe the upcoming sweater weather. The office quickly learned that wasn't such a good idea, said Amy Seeley, a weather service meteorologist who spent a good chunk of Friday morning fielding a flood of telephone calls from the media.

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US: Dinosaur Skeletons Returning Home to Mongolia

U.S. officials on Thursday turned over to the Mongolian government enough 80 million-year-old dinosaur skeletons to stock a museum, including two relics of a kind of dinosaur that a prosecutor said "memorably stampeded" in a Hollywood movie.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said the fossilized remains of more than 18 dinosaurs recovered by federal authorities were transferred after a ceremony attended by Mongolia's ambassador to the United Nations.

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Ohio Company Wins Rights to Shipwreck's Gold

A fugitive treasure hunter's company has lost its bid to stop deep-sea explorers from bringing up gold and other artifacts from a ship that sank off the South Carolina coast in 1857 and has been the subject of legal fights for nearly 30 years.

In a ruling Wednesday, federal Judge Rebecca Beach Smith declared that an Ohio company, Recovery Limited Partnership, has the salvage rights to the ship, the SS Central America.

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South Africa Rhino Poaching Toll Jumps

Some 558 rhino have been killed in South Africa already this year, setting the country on course for a gruesome new record number of poaching deaths, wildlife officials said Thursday.

Despite stepped-up efforts to curb the scourge, the number of animals killed is around 100 higher than at the same point in 2013, a year which saw a record 1,004 deaths.

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