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Russia and China pledge to save the tiger

Russia and China vow to save tigersRussian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Tuesday agreed with other Asian nations to try to double the world's wild tiger population by 2022 and save it from extinction.

Just 3,200 tigers now live in the wild, down from 100,000 a century ago, and those that remain face a losing battle with poachers who supply traders in India and China with tiger parts for traditional medicines and purported aphrodisiacs.

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GM mosquito wild release takes campaigners by surprise

Experts in the safety of genetically modified (GM) organisms have expressed concern over the release of GM mosquitoes into the wild on the Cayman Islands, which was publicised internationally only last month — a year after their initial release.

The trial of the OX513A strain of the dengue-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito, developed by UK biotechnology company Oxitec, was carried out on Grand Cayman island by the Cayman Islands' Mosquito Research and Control Unit (MRCU) in 2009, followed by a bigger release between May and October this year. Together they represent the first known release of GM mosquitoes anywhere in the world.

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Peru Amazon's rare species, uncontacted tribes face risks from logging

Alto Purus National Park, PeruHere in the vast wilderness surrounding Peru's Alto Purús National Park, the locations of such trees, worth tens of thousands of dollars in the United States, have become closely guarded secrets among members of indigenous tribes.

Industrial logging is pushing ever deeper into the area, making mahogany the leading front in the ever-growing battle for control of the resource-rich Peruvian Amazon. But the threat goes far beyond any single species, said Chris Fagan, director of the Upper Amazon Conservancy.

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Disappeared Gulf 'Swan Doctor'

SwansWorld-renown doctor who owned Lakeland Veterinary Hospital and conducted research on paralyzed swans and dead birds since onset of the Gulf of Mexico operation has disappeared, just before due to release his research. Citizen reporters trying to locate him continue to be stonewalled, even someone who has known him for years who says his sudden absence is out of character.

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E.P.A. Issues Guidance on New Emissions Rules; Texas says 'no way'

EPA sets emission rulesSeeking to reassure major power plant and factory owners that impending regulation of climate-altering gases will not be too burdensome, the Environmental Protection Agency emphasized on Wednesday that future permitting decisions would take cost and technical feasibility into account.

Under the Obama administration, the E.P.A. declared that gases that contribute to global warming are a danger to human health and the environment and thus must be regulated under the Clean Air Act. The agency is starting with the largest sources of such emissions — coal-burning power plants, cement factories, steel mills and oil refineries — and then will extend the regulations to smaller facilities.

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Halliburton to EPA: Just Trust Us and Go Away

Haliburton refuses to reveal fracking chemicals Two months ago, U.S. EPA wrote nine major natural gas drilling companies a letter. It politely asked the recipients to voluntarily tell agency officials the secret brew of chemicals they use to "frack" gas from the shale deposits.

EPA wasn't even planning to make the ingredient list public, a policy the industry is fighting tooth-and-nail in Congress. Instead, it just wanted the information to help with a crucial first-ever federal study of the health and safety risks of hydraulic fracturing, a drilling technique that has already ruined water and air quality in towns across the country and has proceeded unregulated thanks to the Dick Cheney-pushed "Halliburton loophole" passed in 2005.

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Illegal tiger trade 'killing 100 big cats each year'

Illegal trade killing tigersThe illegal trade in tiger parts has led to more than 1,000 wild tigers being killed over the past decade, a report suggests. Traffic International, a wildlife trade monitoring network, found that skins, bones and claws were among the most common items seized by officials.

The trade continues unabated despite efforts to protect the cats, it warns. Over the past century, tiger numbers have fallen from about 100,000 individuals to just an estimated 3,500.

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