State of the new planet. Astronomers say they have found the first Earth-sized world circling its mother star at a distance suitable for life. It also has good prospects for liquid surface water, believed to be a key ingredient for life. The planet, which is about 50% larger than Earth, circles a star in the constellation Libra known as Gliese 581, about 20.5 light-years away. — Discovery News

Spoof band gets serious about global warming. The spoof heavy-metal band immortalised by the mockumentary This is Spinal Tap has reunited to join a campaign to save the world from global warming. Director Rob Reiner, whose 1984 film set the bar for the “mockumentary” genre, has made a new short film called Spinal Tap as part of a campaign dubbed SOS/Live Earth. — The West Australian

China mum on state of the nation. China has delayed releasing a long-awaited plan for dealing with climate change, an official said Tuesday, amid reports that various levels of government remain divided over the issue. — Yahoo News

Russians kill off leopard species. Hunters in Russia’s Far East have shot and killed one of the last seven surviving female Amur leopards living in the wild, WWF said on Monday, driving the species even closer to extinction. Last week environmentalists said there were only between 25 and 34 Amur leopards — described as one of the most graceful cats in the world — still living in the wild. At least 100 are needed to guarantee the species’ survival which depends upon female leopards breeding. — Planet Ark

Planetary ideas. Stuck for what to do next to help the planet? It’s worth checking out Time‘s 51 suggestions, like number 11: Take another look at vintage clothes. — Time

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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