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Brazil awards rights to develop Belo Monte dam

Indigenous tribes say the Belo Monte dam poses a threat to their way of lifeA consortium of nine companies has won the right to build a hydroelectric dam on a tributary of the Amazon in Brazil. Brazil's electricity regulator said the Norte Energia consortium would build the Belo Monte dam, to which indigenous groups and environmentalists object.

It is led by the state-owned Companhia Hidro Eletrica do Sao Francisco. Officials say the dam on the Xingu River is crucial for development, but critics argue thousands of people will be displaced and an ecosystem damaged.

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Earth's missing heat could haunt us later: report

Missing heat could haunt usThe rise in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere means far more energy is coming into Earth's climate system than is going out, but half of that energy is missing and could eventually reappear as another sign of climate change, scientists said on Thursday.

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DNA analysis traces whale meat from Japan to U.S., S. Korea

Meat from whales killed as part of Japan's "scientific" huntMeat from whales killed as part of Japan's "scientific" hunt was served last year in upscale sushi restaurants in Los Angeles and Seoul, according to a DNA analysis published Wednesday.

A global ban on whaling was imposed 14 years ago, but Japan has courted controversy for years by invoking an exception in the ban for scientific research and by dispatching a whaling fleet that harpoons several hundred whales a year.

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'No malpractice' by climate unit

The row surrounds e-mails hacked from the University of East AngliaThere was no scientific malpractice at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit, which was at the centre of the "Climategate" affair. This is according to an independent panel chaired by Lord Oxburgh, which was convened to examine the research published by the unit.

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Study Says Overuse Threatens Gains From Modified Crops

A Missouri corn and soybean farmer with a sample of BioTech seed corn.Overuse of this seductively simple approach to weed control is starting to backfire. Use of Roundup, or its generic equivalent, glyphosate, has skyrocketed to the point that weeds are rapidly becoming resistant to the chemical. That is rendering the technology less useful, requiring farmers to start using additional herbicides, some of them more toxic than glyphosate.

“Farmer practices may be reducing the utility of some G.E. traits as pest-management tools and increasing the likelihood of a return to more environmentally damaging practices,” the report concluded. It said the problem required national attention.

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Wash. sues to stop feds from abandoning Yucca site

Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repositoryWashington state filed suit Tuesday to stop the federal government from permanently abandoning the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, marking the latest clash in a long-standing dispute over where the nation's nastiest radioactive waste should be stored.

Waste and spent nuclear fuel from south-central Washington's Tri-Cities, site of the highly contaminated Hanford nuclear reservation and the Northwest's only commercial nuclear plant, had long been intended to go to Yucca Mountain.

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'Avatar' director and star protest against Amazon dam

Director James Cameron and actress Sigourney Weaver are in Brazil to protest against a proposed dam in the AmazonDirector James Cameron and actress Sigourney Weaver are in Brazil to protest against a proposed dam in the Amazon that would be the world's third-largest hydroelectric project. The Hollywood celebrities will join about 1,000 demonstrators in Brasilia's streets Monday as they urge the government to halt the planned Belo Monte project.

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