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Thu, 01 Oct 2020
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Fire ants on the rise in coastal Va. areas

NORFOLK, Va. - Fire ants are showing up in greater numbers in coastal Virginia, much to the alarm of gardeners and farmers who dare disturb their nests.

"The way they bite, you would think they were the size of an alligator ... " said Carl Lohafer, a Virginia Beach resident who discovered colonies in his yard two years ago. "It was like a hot poker jabbing you."

In Virginia and elsewhere, the ants appear to thrive in the favorable climate of the coastal region.

Infestations of the ants have been reported in greater numbers since 2000 than in all of the 1990s, according to Virginia's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Office of Plant and Pest Services.

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Typhoon rains kill 100, wipe out North Korean villages

GENEVA - At least 100 people are believed dead or missing and 9,000 are homeless after typhoon rains caused severe flooding and landslides in North Korea, wiping out whole villages, the international Red Cross said.

"In some remote areas, whole villages have been swept away and essential public services, such as health care clinics, have been destroyed," said Jaap Timmer, the head of North Korean operations at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

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US simmers as record temperatures reap transport chaos

NEW YORK - US cities opened special "cooling centers" amid a national heat wave that ramped up energy demand and caused a lengthy outage at one of the country's busiest airports.

Temperatures in many regions soared into triple digits, breaking records and leaving resident cradling their air conditioners for comfort.

For New Yorkers, the Big Apple was more like the Baked Apple, and transport woes did nothing to soothe people's frazzled nerves.

Cloud Lightning

Flood affects 10 mln people in E. China

HEFEI, July 6 (Xinhua) -- Seven people were killed and 10.86 million more affected in floods caused by prolonged concentrated torrential rains in Huaihe River drainage basin since last week.

Hard-hit areas included 15 cities of Henan, Anhui and Jiangsu provinces, says information from Huaihe River Water Resources Committee of the Chinese Ministry of Water Resources.

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Monsoon rains flood Mumbai homes, affect life

MUMBAI - Thousands of people waded through knee-deep water in India's financial hub to reach work on Wednesday as monsoon rains continued to flood homes and disrupt transport in Mumbai.

"Our area has been under two feet water for two days," Sumit Tambhe, a resident of the western suburb of Andheri, said.

Municipal officials asked people to stay at home as much as possible.

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Growing Acidity of Oceans May Kill Corals

The escalating level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is making the world's oceans more acidic, government and independent scientists say. They warn that, by the end of the century, the trend could decimate coral reefs and creatures that underpin the sea's food web.

Although scientists and some politicians have just begun to focus on the question of ocean acidification, they describe it as one of the most pressing environmental threats facing Earth.

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Beware falling rocks

A planetary "all clear" sounded late Sun day night. A potentially hostile celestial visitor - a half-mile wide ball of primordial minerals named 2004 XP14 - whipped past our blue island on its way to what we all should hope is an eternal journey.

We should hope the journey is eternal, because if it stops here, so, most likely, would much of what we consider to be civilization.

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Minor earthquake rattles southern Vancouver Island

A minor earthquake measuring 3.7 on the Richter scale rumbled through southern Vancouver Island Tuesday afternoon, bringing the usual flurry of calls to the Pacific Geoscience Centre and a glut of hits to its website.

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Bear Flees for 2nd Time Before Neutering

GOLDEN, British Columbia - A freedom-loving grizzly bear named Boo smashed a heavy steel door and barreled through two electric fences to escape a second time from a resort near this south-central British Columbia town.

Boo was recaptured Friday, two weeks after breaking out of an artificial den at the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, but escaped from tighter confinement within a day, resort spokesman Michael Dalzell said Tuesday.

"It's unbelievable," Dalzell said. "We thought there was no way, it was absolutely impossible, but he found a way. It was basically like breaking out of Fort Knox."

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Prehistoric fish filmed in Indonesian seas

JAKARTA, June 30 (Xinhua) -- A team of Indonesian and Japanese scientists have filmed the first ever live images of the extremely primitive and rare coelacanth fish in deep waters off Manado, North Sulawesi province, a newspaper report said Friday.

The experts from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) Oceanology Center and the Fukushima Aquamarine Institute used a remotely operated vehicle to take pictures of five of the fish swimming at between 150 and 200 meters below sea level, said The Jakarta Post newspaper.