Climate Change & Environment
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U.S., China Join Climate Deal in 'Turning Point' for Planet

The United States and China on Saturday formally joined the Paris climate change agreement, with President Barack Obama hailing the accord as the "moment we finally decided to save our planet."

The move by the world's two biggest polluters is a major step forward for the 180-nation deal, which sets ambitious goals for capping global warming and funneling trillions of dollars to poor countries facing climate catastrophe.

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Obama Warns against Global Warming's Impact on Pacific Atoll

President Barack Obama plunked down on a speck of coral reef in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on Thursday and gazed out at the turquoise waters of the marine monument he's widened to become the largest in the world.

Hundreds of albatrosses and rare birds fluttered in the skies halfway between Asia and North America as the president paid an unusual visit to Midway Atoll, one of the most remote areas of the ocean. Driving on a golf cart past dilapidated buildings left over from World War II, Obama said protecting the atoll and its surroundings was critical to ensuring delicate ecosystems survive the throes of global warming.

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Hermine Downgraded to Tropical Storm, Lashes Florida Coast

Tropical Storm Hermine was downgraded from hurricane status as it weakened after hitting Florida's Gulf coast early Friday, but officials still warned of "life-threatening" conditions.

The storm's center was around 50 miles (80 kilometers) northeast of Florida's capital Tallahassee at 0900 GMT, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

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U.N. Says Millions at Risk from Rising Water Pollution

Increasingly polluted rivers in Africa, Asia and Latin America pose a disease risk to more than 300 million people and threaten fisheries and farming in many countries, a U.N. report warned Tuesday.

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Dutch Police Seize Two Tons of Coral, Illegal Animal Parts

Dutch police have uncovered a record haul of skins and bones from endangered wildlife, as well as two tons of coral which may be hundreds of years old.

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Strong Typhoon Lionrock Slams into Japan's Northeast

A strong typhoon slammed into northeastern Japan on Tuesday, dumping heavy rain and generating high waves that caused flooding along the Pacific coast.

Typhoon Lionrock made landfall near the city of Ofunato shortly before 6 pm (0900 GMT), the Japan Meteorological Agency said, after moving up Japan's Pacific Ocean coastline.

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French Environment Minister Announces Partnerships in Iran

French Environment Minister Segolene Royal met with her Iranian counterpart in Tehran on Sunday to announce plans for a number of joint projects addressing energy, water shortages and pollution. 

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Obama Establishes World's Largest Marine Reserve

President Barack Obama on Friday burnished his environmental legacy by establishing the world's largest marine reserve, home to thousands of rare sea creatures in the northwestern Hawaiian islands.

Obama's announcement more than quadrupled the size of the existing protected area, known as the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, which is now 582,578 square miles (1.5 million square kilometers) -- about four times the size of California.

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Singapore Shrouded in Smog as Haze Returns to SE Asia

Acrid smog blanketed Singapore Friday as the city-state was hit by the year’s first major outbreak of haze, an annual crisis sparked by forest fires in neighboring Indonesia.

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Storm in Heaven: Bali Protests Target Major Development

Not far from tourists sipping cocktails on Bali's tropical, palm-fringed beaches, thousands of protesters in sarongs and headdresses waved banners and chanted during a noisy protest.

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