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By Seth Borenstein The Associated Press

In invasive species battle, thinking outside the cage works

WASHINGTON — A robot zaps and vacuums up venomous lionfish in Bermuda. A helicopter pelts Guam’s trees with poison-baited dead mice to fight the voracious brown tree snake. A special boat with giant winglike nets stuns and catches Asian carp in the U.S. Midwest.

In the fight against alien animals that invade and overrun native species, the weird and wired wins.

US had near record heat, costly weather disasters in 2016

WASHINGTON — With steamy nights, sticky days and torrential downpours, last year went down as one of the warmest and wildest weather years on record in the United States.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Monday that 2016 was the second hottest year in the U.S. as Alaska warmed dramatically and nighttime temperatures set a record.