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'Killer bees' descend on New Orleans

MERAUX, La. - Africanized honeybees, a fierce hybrid strain sometimes referred to as "killer bees," appear to have established themselves in the New Orleans area, the state agriculture commissioner said.

A swarm of the bees was captured about five miles from where demolition workers found a colony of Africanized bees in January, commissioner Bob Odom said Tuesday.


Powerful 7.9 quake hits Indonesia

JAKARTA, Indonesia - A powerful earthquake hit Indonesia on Wednesday, causing buildings to sway strongly in the capital, and authorities issued a tsunami warning for much of the Indian Ocean region.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.9 and hit at about 6:10 p.m. (7:10 a.m. EDT). It was centered 9.7 miles underground in the southern Sumatra area, the USGS said.


Magic Wand

Spiders Spin Giant Web in Texas

WILLS POINT, Texas - A variety of spider species built on one another's work to create a sprawling web that blanketed hundreds of yards of trees and shrubs at a North Texas park, according to entomologists who studied the unusual formation.


This year could be warmest on record in eastern Arctic

This year could be the warmest on record since climate monitoring in the Arctic Ocean began, a meteorological official said Tuesday.

"This year, the water is unusually warm in the Arctic Ocean and the summer ice has significantly declined, and is further to the north than usual with only one-year ice present. The ice, due to the influence of warm air and water, has been greatly reduced," Sergei Balyasnikov, the press secretary of the Russian hydrometeorological service's Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, said.

Magic Wand

Gifted research parrot Alex found dead

A gifted parrot that could count to six, identify colors and even express frustration with repetitive scientific trials has died after 30 years of helping researchers better understand the avian brain.

©Alex Foundation

Cloud Lightning

Farmers in Virginia and Maryland Growing Desperate For Rain

St. Mary's County farmer Tommy Bowles has been pumping water to his pumpkin patch and corn maze to prepare for pre-Halloween crowds. But he can't afford to irrigate all his crops, and the corn, soybeans and wheat are suffering in the heat and bone-dry soil.

"This is about the worst drought I've seen since I've been in farming -- and I've been farming for 33 years," Bowles, 52, said. "We just haven't really had any rain at all."

Cloud Lightning

15 dead in Nepal floods, landslides

Landslides and floods triggered by torrential rains in Nepal have killed at least 15 people in the last three days, officials said Sunday.

"Five bodies were recovered Sunday morning after they were swept away by a flooding river in Rautahat late Saturday," local official Durga Prasad Bhandari told AFP from Rautahat district, 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of Kathmandu.

Cloud Lightning

Record-breaking rainfall pounds Oklahoma City

Heavy rainfall pounded south Oklahoma City early Monday, causing flash flooding and shattering an 82-year-old daily rainfall record in less than one hour.

By 8:30 a.m. Monday, 6.28 inches of rain had fallen at Will Rogers World Airport since midnight, including 2.73 inches between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m., according to the National Weather Service. The previous record for rainfall in a 24-hour period at the site was 2.4 inches in 1925.

Cloud Lightning

Freak snow in Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic

After an unusually warm summer, Europe saw autumn coming directly with a massive snow fall. In Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic, people were taken by surprise on Thursday morning, waking to see mountains covered in snow.

Cloud Lightning

Flash floods strike Northern Thailand

The worst floods of the year caught the people of Loei and Phetchabun off guard while they slept yesterday.

Pre-dawn forest run-off from Huai Dong Thip and Huai Nam Pung in the mountains of Loei's Dan Sai district roared into Nam Pung village at 3am yesterday, destroying three houses.

©The Nation
Villagers look at the spot where three houses used to stand near Dong Thip River in Loei's Dan Sai district.

One house with a family of three was swept away. Local officials retrieved the body of Somyupin Seechamuk seven kilometres from a broken bridge and later found her 10-year-old son's body, but her husband was still missing.