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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska judge on Wednesday struck down a law that allowed the Keystone XL oil pipeline to proceed through the state, a victory for opponents who have tried to block the project.

Lancaster County Judge Stephanie Stacy issued a ruling that invalidated Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman's approval of the route. Stacy agreed with opponents' arguments that law passed in 2011 improperly delegated the decision-making power to Heineman to give the company eminent domain powers within the state. Stacy said the decision should have been made by the Nebraska Public Service Commission, which regulates pipelines and other utilities.

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia company involved in last month's chemical spill is heading back to bankruptcy court.

Freedom Industries will return to the Robert C. Byrd Federal Courthouse for a 10 a.m. hearing Friday. The company wants to hire experts and environmental consultants to assess the circumstances surrounding its Jan. 9 spill.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Arctic isn't nearly as bright and white as it used to be because of more ice melting in the ocean, and that's turning out to be a global problem, a new study says.

With more dark, open water in the summer, less of the sun's heat is reflected back into space. So the entire Earth is absorbing more heat than expected, according to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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BATH, Maine (AP) — Some of the Navy's futuristic weapons sound like something out of "Star Wars," with lasers designed to shoot down aerial drones and electric guns that fire projectiles at hypersonic speeds.

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PRIMM, Nev. (AP) — A windy stretch of the Mojave Desert once roamed by tortoises and coyotes has been transformed by hundreds of thousands of mirrors into the largest solar power plant of its type in the world, a milestone for a growing industry that is testing the balance between wilderness conservation and the pursuit of green energy across the West.

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates hopes to start using drones to fly government documents to citizens and is offering a $1 million international prize for unmanned aircraft that can improve the quality of life in the oil-rich Gulf state, a government adviser said Wednesday.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — To feel what you touch — that's the holy grail for artificial limbs. In a step toward that goal, European researchers created a robotic hand that let an amputee feel differences between a bottle, a baseball and a mandarin orange.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — An unusual coalition of lawmakers from both parties, labor and business leaders, veterans groups and Canada's ambassador to the United States joined forces Tuesday to push for quick approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Five Democrats joined Republicans at a Capitol news conference to urge President Barack Obama to approve the pipeline following a State Department report last week that raised no major environmental objections. The $7 billion pipeline would carry oil from tar sands in western Canada to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast. The project has lingered for more than five years and has become a symbol of the political debate over climate change.

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