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Wednesday, Apr 26th

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California storms: rains drench the north as south braces for huge hit

California stormsHeavy rain has returned to California with the first in a fresh series of storms moving across the northern half of the state while the south awaited a storm that forecasters said could be the strongest in years if not decades.

Rain, accompanied by heavy winds, pelted the San Francisco Bay area, where Marin and Napa counties logged up to 2.2cm (1in) of precipitation. San Francisco recorded 4.24cm (1.67in) for the day, according to the National Weather Service.

Precipitation also moved down the central coast counties, but forecasters said it was only a light precursor to a dangerous atmospheric river taking aim at southern California.

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Climate Change Is A Far Bigger Threat To Wildlife Than We Thought, Study Says

Wildlife in dangerFor the analysis, a team of researchers from Australia, Italy and Britain combed through all relevant studies published from 1990 to 2015 that documented a species that was affected or not by changes in climate. For each of those more than 2,000 species, the authors categorized the effect as negative, positive, unchanged or mixed.

Of the 873 mammal species looked at, 414 were hurt by climate change, with elephants, primates and marsupials among the most vulnerable. For threatened birds, 298 of 1,272 species are experiencing negative effects, with waterfowl and birds who live at high altitudes being among the hardest hit, according to the findings.

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DuPont settles lawsuits over leak of chemical used to make Teflon

DupontDuPont and Chemours Co have agreed to pay $671 million in cash to settle thousands of lawsuits involving a leak of a toxic chemical used to make Teflon, the companies said on Monday.

Shares of Chemours jumped 13 percent. The company said it would pay half of the settlement, although liability for litigation connected with the chemical was passed onto it when DuPont spun it off in 2015.

In addition, Jefferies analyst Alexander Laurence said the liability was $300 million below Wall Street estimates, and DuPont shares rose 1 percent.

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'Catastrophic' fire danger looms over parts of Australia

Australia firesFirefighters in parts of Australia warned of "potentially catastrophic" fire conditions as a heatwave sweeps across the country's east coast.

New South Wales Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said typical fire-danger ratings go as high as 100, indicating the highest fire danger conditions. The danger Sunday is more than 150, he said. Authorities are likening the conditions to those leading up to blazes in 2009 that left 173 people dead.

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Persepolis: Iran tourism gateway faces climate threats

PerspolisIt has been more than a year since international sanctions against Iran were lifted, symbolically reopening the country to the rest of the world.

While political tensions between the West and Tehran continue, one of the industries that has benefited most from the thawing of relations is tourism, with the country reporting 18 percent growth in international arrivals last year. Visitors from North America, Europe and the Middle East represented more than a quarter of the total number of arrivals from January to December 2016, according to a ForwardKeys study published in January.

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Trump brings big change to climate policies

Trump climate policy changesPresident Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress are working to undo President Obama’s actions on climate change, underlining what could be a major shift on a policy that affects the world.

While it’s been just three weeks since Trump’s inauguration, the president has already issued memos to approve the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, which were both blocked by Obama partly due to concerns about how they would contribute to climate change.

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Six Red Cross aid workers killed in Afghanistan

Red Cross workers killed in AfghanistanSuspected ISIL fighters have killed at least six Afghan employees of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) who were carrying supplies in the north of the country to areas hit by deadly snow storms, according to government officials.

Another two employees were unaccounted for after Wednesday's attack in Jowzjan province, said Thomas Glass, ICRC spokesperson, adding that the group  did not know who was responsible for the attack.

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