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On thin ice. Christopher Michel / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The Russian military is taking measures to protect the residents of a remote Arctic settlement from a mass of polar bears, German press agency DPA reported.

The move comes after regional authorities declared a state of emergency over the weekend after sightings of more than 50 bears in the town of Belushya Guba since December.

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This year's letter from Bill and Melinda Gates focused on nine things that surprised them. For the Microsoft-cofounder, one thing he was surprised to learn was the massive amount of new buildings the planet should expect in the coming decades due to urban population growth.

"The number of buildings in the world is going to double by 2060. It's like we're going to build a new New York City every month for the next 40 years," he said.

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The Paradise Fossil Plant in western Kentucky. CC BY 3.0

Trump is losing his rallying cry to save coal. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) voted on Thursday to retire two coal-fired power plants in the next few years despite a plea from the president to keep one of the plants open.

Earlier this week, the president posted an oddly specific tweet that urged the government-owned utility to save the 49-year-old Paradise 3 plant in Kentucky. It so happens that the facility burns coal supplied by Murray Energy Corporation, whose CEO is Robert Murray, is a major Trump donor.

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The National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas is not only a sanctuary to some 200 species of butterflies, it's also a home for the area's other unique wildlife.

With border wall construction imminent, the center posted a two-minute video featuring a bobcat living in the facility's southern 70 acres that will be cut off by the barrier once it's built.

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sonsam / Getty Images

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will propose a regulatory determination on highly toxic nonstick chemicals "by the end of this year," a timeline that's been criticized as too slow to take on the notorious drinking water contaminants.

At a press conference on Thursday in Philadelphia, EPA acting administrator Andrew Wheeler announced a "comprehensive cross-agency plan" to tackle perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl compounds, or PFAS, while keeping the federal health advisory level at 70 parts per trillion.

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ArtBoyMB / E+ / Getty Images

A new meta-analysis of glyphosate suggests that people who are highly exposed to the popular herbicide have a 41 percent increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is the world's most widely used weedkiller and has been surrounded by controversy ever since the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified it as "probably carcinogenic to humans" in 2015.

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Death Valley National Park ranger and a group of students. The new bill codifies an Obama-era act that allows students and their families to visit national parks for free. NPS / Kurt and Edwige Moses

In a rare bipartisan push, the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of a major public lands package on Tuesday.

The Natural Resources Management Act, approved 92-8, establishes 1.3 million acres of new wilderness, adds 694,000 acres of new recreation and conservation areas, creates four new national monuments, among other important conservation measures, according to Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), who introduced the bill with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).

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"A Polar Bear's Struggle." Justin Hofman

The Natural History Museum in London announced on Wednesday the winner of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year: LUMIX People's Choice Award.

After counting 16,000 votes from nature fans, wildlife photographer David Lloyd's shot of a pair of nuzzling Serengeti lions, called Bond of Brothers, was crowned the top image.

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Border wall prototypes near the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in San Diego. Mani Albrecht / U.S. Customs and Border Protection

A federal appeals court on Monday sided with the Trump administration's bypassing of numerous environmental laws to expedite border wall construction projects in southern California.

In a 2-1 decision (pdf), the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an earlier district court ruling that determined the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has broad authority under the Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 to waive statutes such as the National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Act and many more environmental rules to build border barriers.

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Caribou grazing on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. USFWS

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers introduced a bill on Monday would block oil and gas drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

Reps. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) aim to repeal a little-known Arctic drilling provision that was quietly snuck into the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

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