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New Zealand's Mount Ruapehu erupts

New Zealand's Mount Ruapehu, famed as a key location in the "Lord of the Rings" film trilogy, has erupted, spewing out ash and rock that injured one climber, officials said, adding there could be further eruptions.

The 10-minute eruption started at about 8.20 p.m. on Tuesday (4:20 a.m. EDT) and threw boulders 1-2 meters in diameter up to two kilometers from the crater, crown agency Geological and Nuclear Sciences said.

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Orphan chimps turned killer find Leone refuge

They can leap playful somersaults or maul a human to death. Meet the chimpanzee, man's closest relative.

Today, Philip, a powerful male, plays tricks to earn a juicy passionfruit. But last year he was among 31 chimps from the Tacugama sanctuary in Sierra Leone which mauled one man to death and attacked four others after escaping from their enclosure.

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Indonesia urges incentives for forest conservation

Indonesia, host of a major climate change conference in December, called on rich countries on Tuesday to compensate poor states which preserve their rainforests to soak up greenhouse gases.

"Countries that seek to enhance their carbon sinks -- through forestation, afforestation, avoided deforestation -- should be given incentive and rewarded fairly for doing so," President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono told the U.N. General Assembly.

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New snake and orchids found in Vietnam

Scientists have discovered 11 plant and animal species, including a snake, in a remote area of Vietnam, environment group World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said on Wednesday. The new species, found in an area of Vietnam's Annamites Mountain Range known as the Green Corridor, also include two butterflies, five orchids -- including three leafless varieties -- and three other plants. >> Read the Full Article

U.S. plans long border wall in south Texas

The U.S. government said it plans to build 70 miles of 16-foot-tall (5 meter) border fencing in southern Texas, including a section through a sensitive wildlife refuge, but local opponents vowed on Tuesday to keep fighting the wall. >> Read the Full Article

Congo rangers break suspected gorilla traffic ring

Congolese park rangers have arrested two members of a gang they suspect of trying to traffic rare gorillas for $8,000 each, but were too late to save a young ape found rotting in the forest, conservationists said.

Poachers and gunmen have killed at least nine mountain gorillas this year and a possible revival in trafficking poses another threat to the mighty beasts, of whom just 700 remain, spread between Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Rwanda.

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World Energy Revolution Needed For Climate, Says Condoleezza Rice

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Monday the world needs a revolution on energy that transcends oil, gas and coal to prevent problems from climate change.

"Ultimately, we must develop and bring to market new energy technologies that transcend the current system of fossil fuels, carbon emissions and economic activity. Put simply, the world needs a technological revolution," Rice told delegates at a special U.N. conference on climate change.

A landmark report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change this year said human activities such as burning fossil fuels and forests are very likely causing climate change that will lead to more deadly storms, heat waves, droughts and floods.

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U.S. breast cancer death rate continues dropping

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The death rate from breast cancer continues to drop steadily by about 2 percent a year, but black women are not seeing the same benefits as whites, the American Cancer Society said on Tuesday.

The group found that during 2001 through 2004, breast cancer diagnoses fell by an average of 3.7 percent a year -- in part because women stopped taking hormone replacement therapy and in part because fewer got mammograms and therefore were not diagnosed.

Death rates fell by 2 percent during that period.

For women over the age of 50, breast cancer rates fell more sharply, by 4.8 percent a year since 2001, the group said. Breast cancer rates were stable among black women and younger women, the group said.

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Wal-Mart Greens Supply Chain

On the heels of unveiling "Great Value" brand CFLs last week, Wal-Mart announced today that the company is working with suppliers to gauge and reduce the energy consumed in buying, manufacturing and distributing the products they sell, beginning with a focus on seven products (DVDs, toothpaste, soap, milk, beer, vacuum cleaners and soda). >> Read the Full Article

Rare albino ratfish has eerie, silvery sheen

A ghostly, mutant ratfish caught off Whidbey Island in Washington state is the only completely albino fish ever seen by both the curator of the University of Washington's 7.2 million-specimen fish collection and a fish and wildlife biologist with more than 20 years of sampling fish in Puget Sound. Powerful jaws and grinding teeth able to crack the shells of crabs and clams require caution by researchers and fishermen who handle them. Ratfish don't bite divers or swimmers in the water, Reum says, but they get snappish when brought on board. >> Read the Full Article