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Glow-in-Dark Roach, World's Smallest Frog Among Top New Species

A cockroach that glows in the dark, a black fungus that's ruining prehistoric cave art and a frog smaller than a child's fingernail. These are three in a top-ten list of newly discovered species for 2012. An international committee of taxonomists announced their annual picks this week.

Committee chairman Antonio Valdecasas, a Spanish biologist and research zoologist, says the committee looks for organisms with "unexpected features or size, and those found in rare or difficult-to-reach habitats." Committee members also weigh the species' significance to humans. This is the sixth year the International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University has selected the Top Ten New Species.

Also on this year's list are a tiny violet, a harp-shaped carnivorous sponge, the lesula monkey, a snail-eating snake and a flowering shrub from the endangered Madagascar forest. The committee also included an extinct hangingfly identified in a 165 million-year-old fossil, and a lacewing identified from an image a photographer shared on the Internet.

An average of 18 thousand plant and animal species are discovered each year, but scientists have identified only about 2 million of the earth's 10 to 12 million living species -- and that's not counting most of the teeming microbial world. Quentin Wheeler, founding director of the Institute, called for "a NASA-like mission to discover 10 million species in the next 50 years." He said such an achievement could provide important new evidence about the origins of life on Earth, and new insights into how humans can live more sustainably on the planet.

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Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
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Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
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Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
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For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
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Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
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Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

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