Intermediate Word:  vichyssoise (a) someone who collaborates with the enemy  (b) potato soup  (c) Gallic hauteur  (d) perfume made from trailing arbutis
Difficult Word: - spirula (a) mineral-rich, edible seaweed  (b) mollusk  (c) skin infection characterized by spiral pattern  (d) device for measuring lung capacity

Russian Clipper Ship Draws European Interest - Space.com  Europe is eying Russia’s proposed crew-carrying Clipper spaceship, not only for use in International Space Station operations, but also to carve out their role in future Moon, Mars and beyond exploration. It is expected that a decision on Europe’s future involvement in the Russian Clipper concept will be made this December. The craft would be capable of hauling six people and some 1,540 pounds (700 kilograms) of cargo.    
Boost to CO2 mass extinction idea  - BBC  A computer simulation of the Earth's climate 250 million years ago suggests that global warming triggered the so-called "great dying". A dramatic rise in carbon dioxide caused temperatures to soar to 10 to 30 degrees Celsius higher than today, say US researchers. The warming had a profound impact on the oceans, cutting off oxygen to the lower depths and extinguishing most lifeforms, they write in the latest issue of Geology. The research adds to the growing body of evidence that higher temperatures, rather than a giant space rock hitting the planet, led to the greatest mass extinction in history. Some 95% of lifeforms in the oceans became extinct, along with about three-quarters of land species. "The implication of our study is that elevated CO2 is sufficient to lead to inhospitable conditions for marine life and excessively high temperatures over land would contribute to the demise of terrestrial life," 

Deforestation of Amazon 'halved'  - BBC  Brazil's government has announced estimates suggesting that deforestation of the Amazon rainforest has fallen by 50% this year. The government says it believes this is the result of new protection policies. But environmental groups warn it is too soon to be sure there has been a long-term reversal in the destruction of the world's largest rainforest. Environment Minister Marina da Silva said some 9,000 sq km (3,475 sq miles) of forest was felled in the last year. Environment Minister Marina da Silva said some 9,000 sq km (3,475 sq miles) of forest was felled in the last year.    

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