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The Associated Press
AP Top Science News At 4:49 a.m. EST

EPA coal ash standards a setback for environmental groups
AP Photo
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Six years ago, there was a massive spill of coal ash sludge in Tennessee. Three years later, tons of coal ash swept into Lake Michigan. Last February, there was another spill and gray sludge spewed into the Dan River in North Carolina....

Flu season, early again, hitting hard in South and Midwest
NEW YORK (AP) -- Health officials say the flu is now hitting hard in parts of the country, especially the South and Midwest....

Weird weather lingers in Alaska's largest city
AP Photo
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- A week before Christmas, Alaska's largest city should look like a postcard wonderland, and the last place you'd expect to see equipment making snow....





PacifiCorp Energy pleads guilty in bird deaths
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) -- Wind farm operator PacifiCorp Energy will pay $2.5 million in fines after pleading guilty Friday to charges related to the deaths of protected birds in Wyoming....

Efforts to save rare northern white rhino continue
PRAGUE (AP) -- Experts will meet in Kenya next month to discuss ways to save the critically endangered northern white rhinos from extinction....

Protesters in contempt of court for anti-whaling campaign
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers were found in contempt of court for continuing their relentless campaign to disrupt the annual whale hunt off the waters of Antarctica....

Chevron: Big flames at refinery no cause for alarm
RICHMOND, Calif. (AP) -- Large flames and white clouds of steam visible for miles from a San Francisco Bay Area refinery caused no harm to the surrounding community....

2 astronauts will expand envelope with 1-year spaceflight
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- The two men assigned to a one-year spaceflight said Thursday that their upcoming mission will allow the world to push deeper into space....

SpaceX delays space station delivery until Jan.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- The space station astronauts will have to wait until next month for their Christmas delivery....

Arctic offshore drill company enters guilty pleas
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- The company hired by Royal Dutch Shell PLC in 2012 to drill on petroleum leases in the Arctic Ocean pleaded guilty Friday to eight felony environmental and maritime crimes....