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Fatal bat disease has now spread to half of U.S.

Fatal bat disease now in half of U.S.

A fungal disease that has killed millions of North American bats now has been detected in half of the United States, officials said Thursday. White-nose syndrome has spread rapidly since it first was documented near Albany, N.Y., in 2006. There is no cure. Bats provide a huge economic and ecological benefit by feasting on nuisance insects.

Global murder rates fall slightly

Global murder rates have fallen slightly, but are very high in two areas, a new U.N. study shows. Homicide rates in southern Africa and Central America in 2012 were more than four times higher than the global average of 6.2 victims per 100,000 people, the report said. The U.S. homicide rate was 4.7 per 100,000.

Times wires