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$2M in rare anteater scales seized in Hong Kong

Hong Kong customs officials have seized $2 million-worth of scales from the endangered pangolin, or "scaly anteater", authorities said Tuesday, in their biggest such haul in five years. Officials intercepted two shipments bound for Southeast Asia containing three tonnes of pangolin scales from Africa around the end of last month, amid a rise in illegal smuggling of the species. Pangolin scales are prized as an ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine while the rare anteater's tough, scaly skin is also used in fashion accessories in Asia. "The seizure was the largest in five years for Hong Kong," a customs spokeswoman told AFP, adding that the raids uncovered 3,300 kilos (8,160 pounds) of the scales, worth about HK$17 million (USD$2.19 million).

Hidden painting found under Picasso's first masterpiece

"The Blue Room," one of Pablo Picasso's first masterpieces sits under a microscope at The Phillips Collection, on Tuesday, June 10, 2014, in Washington. Scientists and art experts have found a hidden painting beneath the painting. Advances in infrared imagery reveal a bow-tied man with his face resting on his hand, with three rings on his fingers. Now the question that conservators at The Phillips Collection in Washington hope to answer is simply: Who is he? It’s a mystery that’s fueling new research about the 1901 painting created early in Picasso’s career while he was working in Paris at the start of his distinctive blue period of melancholy subjects. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Nebraska town braces for massive tornado cleanup

PILGER, Neb. (AP) — Residents of Pilger braced for a massive cleanup after a storm with dual tornadoes tore through their tiny northeast Nebraska town, killing a 5-year-old and damaging more than half of the community's structures.

Israel expands arrests in search for missing teens

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli soldiers arrested 41 more Palestinians in the West Bank early on Tuesday, the army said, expanding the already massive search for three missing Jewish seminary students who disappeared last week.

Ukrainian forces, rebels clash near Russian border

About 30 Ukrainian servicemen were wounded in fighting with pro-Russian separatists near Ukraine's eastern border with Russia early on Tuesday, the border guard service said. It said separatist fighters had fired mortar bombs on government forces and border guards during the night near the city of Luhansk. The separatists say government forces have been shelling their positions this week, including around the city of Slaviansk, scene of some of the heaviest fighting since the uprising began in the Russian-speaking east in April.

Pilot recounts bailing from damaged skydiver plane

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Like in a scene from a James Bond movie, Shawn Kinmartin found himself with fast-dwindling options as he struggled to control a skydiving plane after a jumper's parachute damaged the aircraft's tail.

Fake flowers led to N.J. fire that killed 6, prosecutor says

It was pride of ownership that led a New Jersey family to decorate the front of their home with bright plastic flowers, and it was those same decorations that acted as a fatal accelerant in a fast moving blaze that killed everyone inside, prosecutors said Monday.

Bad in bed? Hate your boss? There's a Secret app for that

Can you keep a secret? With one app, you might never have to again. David Byttow, 32, and Chrys Bader-Wechseler, 30, are the young masterminds behind Secret, a free social application that allows people to share messages anonymously within their circle of friends.

California wildfire threatens 1,000 more homes

A California wildfire that has already destroyed three structures and blackened some three square miles of forest land near Sequoia National Park is threatening 1,000 more homes, officials said.

Fugitive VP: Iraq violence could lead to holy war

The violence in Iraq is part of a broader Sunni Arab revolt that could lead to a holy war in the country, and is not just a rampage by Islamist militants from an al Qaeda splinter group, fugitive vice president Tarek al-Hashemi told Reuters.