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Torrid heat bakes millions in large swaths of US, setting records and fanning wildfires

Las Vegas —  Roughly 130 million people were under threat over the weekend and into next week from a long-running heat wave that broke or tied records with dangerously high temperatures and is expected to shatter more from East Coast…

Oldest inhabited termite mounds have been active for 34,000 years

CAPE TOWN, South Africa —  Scientists in South Africa have been stunned to discover that termite mounds that are still inhabited in an arid region of the country are more than 30,000 years old, meaning they are the oldest known…

Fossils show huge salamanderlike predator with sharp fangs existed before the dinosaurs

WASHINGTON —  Scientists have revealed fossils of a giant salamanderlike beast with sharp fangs that ruled waters before the first dinosaurs arrived. The predator, which was larger than a person, likely used its wide, flat head and front teeth to…

Sizzling sidewalks, unshaded playgrounds pose risk of burns

PHOENIX, Arizona —  Ron Falk lost his right leg, had extensive skin grafting on the left one and is still recovering a year after collapsing on the searing asphalt outside a Phoenix convenience store where he stopped for a cold…

Pongamia trees offer renewable energy, plant-based protein

An ancient tree from India is now thriving in groves where citrus trees once flourished in Florida, and could help provide the nation with renewable energy. As large parts of the Sunshine State’s once-famous citrus industry have all but dried…

‘Ready to come out?’ Scientists emerge after year ‘on Mars’

washington —  The NASA astronaut knocks loudly three times on what appears to be a nondescript door and calls cheerfully: “You ready to come out?” The reply is inaudible, but beneath his mask he appears to be grinning as he…

Anti-doping agency sharpens its tools for Paris Olympics

Lausanne, Switzerland —  In the battle against drug use at the Paris Olympics, the International Testing Agency plans to deploy a more streamlined, high-tech approach to identify and target potential cheats. In an interview with Agence France-Presse, Benjamin Cohen, director…

Which states could have abortion on the ballot in 2024?

Voters in five states will decide referendums on abortion rights this year, with potentially more to come. Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Nevada and South Dakota will hold referendums on enshrining protection for abortion rights. The U.S. Supreme Court removed the nationwide…

Crocodiles cannot outnumber people in Australian territory where girl was killed, leader says

WELLINGTON, New Zealand —  Crocodile numbers in Australia’s Northern Territory must be either maintained or reduced and cannot be allowed to outstrip the human population, the territory’s leader said after a 12-year-old girl was killed while swimming. The crocodile population…

Hurricane Beryl destroys homes, uproots trees in Grenada

new york —  The extent of Hurricane Beryl’s damage became clearer Friday, as communications were reestablished with the small, storm-ravaged eastern Caribbean islands and relief began to arrive. The Grenadian islands of Carriacou and Petit Martinique sustained the most severe…