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Science News

Read This Before You Buy Any New Cancer Drug Stocks

Read This Before You Buy Any New Cancer Drug StocksAround $36 billion worth of biopharma acquisitions over the past few years suggests smaller might be better.



06/24/2019 - 09:43 AM

 

Pfizer's Talzenna Gets Approval in Europe for Breast Cancer

Pfizer's Talzenna Gets Approval in Europe for Breast CancerPfizer's (PFE) PARP inhibitor, Talzenna, receives approval in Europe for treating BRCA-mutated locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer.



06/24/2019 - 08:33 AM

 

Verastem Up on Positive Data From Early-Stage Copiktra Study

Verastem Up on Positive Data From Early-Stage Copiktra StudyVerastem (VSTM) presents encouraging data from an early-stage study evaluating its recently approved drug, Copiktra, for treating peripheral T-cell lymphoma.



06/24/2019 - 08:33 AM

 

Jay Inslee Declares War On Fossil Fuels With Plan To Make Industry Pay For Climate Change

Jay Inslee Declares War On Fossil Fuels With Plan To Make Industry Pay For Climate ChangeThe 2020 climate candidate's latest proposal calls for ending federal support for fossil fuels, ramping up prosecutions and putting a new spin on carbon pricing.



06/24/2019 - 08:00 AM

 

Rocked by Stock Collapse, ‘Hunger Games’ Studio Is Ready to Talk

Rocked by Stock Collapse, ‘Hunger Games’ Studio Is Ready to Talk(Bloomberg) -- The studio that brought you “The Hunger Games,’’ “Mad Men’’ and “John Wick’’ is now facing its own existential question.Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. has lost more than half its market value over the last year as the once-idolized filmmaker struggles to find new megahits. On top of that, recent mergers have created entertainment behemoths that threaten to make smaller studios an afterthought in Hollywood’s new blockbuster environment.All that has created a new sense of urgency around the 22-year-old Lions Gate as it weighs its future: open itself to being acquired, sell off pieces, or try to bulk up to compete with the giants.“Some studios have scale and unfortunately some studios are now subscale,” said John Tinker, an analyst at Gabelli & Co. “The question is obviously, if you are a smaller studio and you do not own Marvel, what are you going to do?”Lions Gate declined to comment.The studio was formed in 1997 in Vancouver by movie-loving mining financier Frank Giustra. It made its name distributing R-rated movies like “American Psycho” and, with the acquisition of Summit Entertainment in 2012, was propelled into the big leagues by the teen-vampire “Twilight” film saga. That same year it also launched the “The Hunger Games’’ franchise. (The studio announced last week there might be a prequel.)But as a smaller company, Lions Gate has long been a target of merger speculation. Companies from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to Sony to CBS Corp. have been linked to potential deals. Two years ago, Lions Gate walked away from talks with game-maker Hasbro Inc. involving a $41 a share offer, worth almost $9 billion, people familiar with the situation said.Today, the stock trades at around $12, weighed down by two years of declining revenue in its motion picture division, and merger talks have picked up again. Lions Gate has held informal discussions in the past year with companies that may be interested in buying the whole business, people with knowledge of the situation said. But with the stock at seven-year lows, the studio isn’t interested in selling itself at the moment, people close to the situation said.A handful of other strategies are under discussion. One is to buy a stake in Miramax, the film producer formerly owned by the Weinstein brothers, one of the people said. Its current owner, beIn Media Group, has recently sought buyers for a minority stake. Such a move would give Lions Gate access to a library of Oscar-winning movies such as “Shakespeare in Love” and, more recently, revived franchises like “Halloween.” A Miramax spokesman declined to comment.Starz SaleThe company is also considering selling the studio’s pay-cable network Starz, which contributes more than half its profits. Lions Gate last month turned down a $5 billion informal bid from CBS for Starz, but a sale remains a possibility, according to people familiar with the situation. If that happens, industry sources say, a slimmed-down Lions Gate might become more attractive to potential bidders. Others suggest the studio would be a tough sell without Starz.Meanwhile, the studio is looking to raise perhaps several hundred million dollars from investors to expand Starz internationally. That effort will be slowed down by upcoming negotiations with AT&T’s DirecTV over fees to carry the channel.At recent stock prices, Lions Gate is valued at less than the sum of its parts, according to Tim Nollen, a Macquarie Capital analyst. Shares could be worth $21 in a breakup, with a $5 billion valuation for Starz, $1.5 billion for the motion picture unit and $1 billion for the TV segment.Malone StakeFor investors such as cable magnate John Malone, who first bought shares in 2015 at around $30, it’s a rare miss. He controls about 8% of Class A shares. Hedge fund manager Mark Rachesky, Lions Gate’s chairman, is the biggest investor with a 19% Class A stake. He has owned shares since 2004 and backed the studio in fighting off a takeover by Carl Icahn in 2010.A spokeswoman for Malone did not return requests for comment. A spokeswoman for Rachesky declined comment.Trends sweeping Hollywood will only make it more difficult for Lions Gate to remain independent. The merging of Disney and Fox’s film companies, and AT&T and Time Warner Inc., along with Comcast’s Universal Pictures, has created a trio of studios that own and produce well-known blockbuster movie franchises, such as the Marvel superhero universe and DC Comics. The result is a small group of big films increasingly dominating the box office.Netflix ProductionMoreover, buyers for Lions Gate’s typically mid-budget fare may be shrinking. Disney and WarnerMedia are investing billions in making their own shows to lure subscribers to new streaming services. Netflix Inc., too, is producing more and more of its original content in-house, a big change from the early days when Lions Gate’s “Orange Is the New Black’’ helped make the streaming channel required viewing. That trend could lessen demand for TV programs and films made by independent studios.Lions Gate has had some successes lately. “John Wick: Chapter 3--Parabellum” helped lift it to fourth in the box office this year, ahead of competitors like Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures. And the studio is still finding buyers for its shows, recently selling to HBO, NBC and even streaming platforms run by WarnerMedia and Apple Inc.Jim Gianopulos, chief executive officer of one of the smaller shops, Paramount Studios, said that appealing programming will ultimately win out regardless of production size. “Scale has its virtues, but the creative process is independent of it,” Gianopulos said in an interview.But some analysts aren’t so confident.“For the longest time, people thought the studios would come out as the winners because they own the content,” Geetha Ranganathan, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst, said. But in the wake of the mergers, “You need established franchises. If you don’t have scale, you can’t compete.”To contact the reporters on this story: Anousha Sakoui in Los Angeles at asakoui@bloomberg.net;Nabila Ahmed in New York at nahmed54@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at papadopoulos@bloomberg.net, ;Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net, Larry ReibsteinFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



06/24/2019 - 08:00 AM

 

World faces 'climate apartheid': UN expert

World faces 'climate apartheid': UN expertThe world faces "a climate apartheid" where the wealthy are better able to adjust to a hotter planet while the poor suffer the worst from climate change, a UN expert said Monday. Alston's report, which will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council next week, cited previous research that climate change could leave 140 million across the developing world homeless by 2050. "Perversely, while people in poverty are responsible for just a fraction of global emissions, they will bear the brunt of climate change, and have the least capacity to protect themselves," Alston said in a statement.



06/24/2019 - 06:31 AM

 

Indonesian iPhone Retailer Surges as It Nears Partnership With Juul

Indonesian iPhone Retailer Surges as It Nears Partnership With Juul(Bloomberg) -- Shares of PT Erajaya Swasembada, an Indonesian distributor of Apple Inc.’s iPhones and Samsung Electronics Co.’s smartphones, surged the most in more than a year after the company said it was close to a tie-up with electronic cigarette manufacturer Juul Labs Inc.Erajaya will soon announce details of the partnership with Juul, Budiarto Halim, president director, said by phone on Monday. “I’m currently bound by a non-disclosure agreement,” he said.Juul has signed an exclusive distribution deal with one of Erajaya’s units and will begin to retail e-cigarettes in greater Jakarta area, Java and Bali from the end of this month, Citigroup Inc. said in a report, without saying where it got the information. In the launch stage, the product will consist of Juul basic kit, charger and refill kits, analysts Vivi Lie and Ferry Wong wrote in the report.Juul’s device will have a one-year warranty and the roll-out will be supported by marketing campaigns on television, digital, billboards and print media, Citi said. Still, its impact on combustible cigarette market will be relatively limited and it is more likely Juul will attract vape users and non-smokers in urban areas, it said.Indonesia is one of the world’s largest markets for cigarettes and known for a variety of clove cigarettes it produces. The market is dominated by cigarette makers PT Hanjaya Mandala Sampoerna, a Philip Morris International Inc. unit, and PT Gudang Garam.Erajaya’s shares jumped 19%, the most since April 30, 2018, while its Indonesian counterpart PT Hanjaya Mandala Sampoerna fell 1.5%. The nation’s benchmark index Jakarta Composite Index closed 0.4% lower.(Updates share moves in final paragraph.)\--With assistance from Rieka Rahadiana.To contact the reporter on this story: Tassia Sipahutar in Jakarta at ssipahutar@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Divya Balji at dbalji1@bloomberg.net, Thomas Kutty AbrahamFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



06/24/2019 - 05:25 AM

 

Medical groups warn climate change is a 'health emergency'

Medical groups warn climate change is a 'health emergency'The new climate change agenda released by the groups, including the American Medical Association and the American Heart Association, comes amid early jostling among Democratic candidates over whose environmental platform is more progressive. The health organizations' policy recommendations, while a stark departure from President Donald Trump's approach, represent a back-to-basics approach for an internal Democratic climate debate that has so far revolved around the liberal precepts of the Green New Deal .



06/24/2019 - 05:19 AM

 

Facebook Is Building An Oversight Board. Can That Fix Its Problems?

Facebook Is Building An Oversight Board. Can That Fix Its Problems?(Bloomberg) -- On a recent Wednesday afternoon in late May, roughly 30 Facebook Inc. employees gathered at the company’s Menlo Park, California, headquarters to talk about sexual harassment.The group was there to consider a single, controversial Facebook post: an unsubstantiated list of more than 70 academics accused of predatory behavior, which also encouraged people to submit more “sexual harassers” to the list. The Facebook employees were asked to decide: Should the post remain up?The reality is the group had no authority to determine the post’s fate – that had been decided years ago by Facebook’s content moderators, who decided to leave it up. The employees were instead gathered for a role-playing exercise, the latest in a series of simulations Facebook is running globally on its way to creating a new Content Oversight Board that will review controversial decisions made by the company’s content moderators. If someone believes their post was removed in error, or the general public takes issue with a post that was allowed to remain, the board may step in and provide a final ruling. The list of creepy academics is the kind of post the board may one day review.For more than two hours, the group grappled with the list, taking notes on floor-to-ceiling whiteboards. Were the allegations credible? How many people saw the post? How many people reported it? What did Facebook’s content policies stipulate?One employee posed a question to the group right before they adjourned. “These are evolving situations, right?” said the employee, who Bloomberg agreed to keep anonymous as part of observing the session. “[Pretend] one week later, two weeks later, someone on that list commits suicide. A week later another person commits suicide. Do we take it down? Do we say, no, we decided to keep it up?’” In the end, the group voted overwhelmingly that the list should remain up – 22 votes in favor, 4 against – though few employees seemed fully convicted in their decision. In a world where Facebook is deemed much too powerful, and where the company is constantly criticized by some for taking down too much, and by others for taking down too little, the new Oversight Board represents a potential solution to one of Facebook’s thorniest problems: Its control over global speech. This new board, which doesn’t yet exist, will make content decisions for a global network of 2.4 billion people, making it a de-facto Free Speech Supreme Court for one of the biggest communities on the internet.It undoubtedly comes with challenges. The board’s independence will most certainly be an issue, and it’s unlikely the board will move at the speed necessary to keep up with the internet’s viral tendencies. But Facebook is on an elaborate listening tour in hopes of turning this Supreme Court vision into a reality that people can trust. The idea for Facebook’s Supreme Court originated with Noah Feldman, an author and Harvard law professor who pitched the concept of a “Supreme Court of Facebook” to Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg in January 2018. (Feldman is also a columnist for Bloomberg View.) Feldman’s pitch outlined the need for an independent, transparent committee to help regulate the company’s content decisions. It was passed along to Zuckerberg, and Facebook ultimately hired Feldman to write a white paper about the idea and stay on as an adviser. The first time the idea was floated publicly was on a podcast that Zuckerberg did with Vox’s Ezra Klein, where he mentioned the idea for an independent appeals process “almost like a Supreme Court.” It's been more than a year since that podcast, and more than seven months since Zuckerberg formally announced plans to build an Oversight Board, and the company is still trying to agree on its fundamental structure. Basic decisions like how many members it should have, how those members should be picked, and how many posts the board will review, are all still undecided. Facebook’s tentative plan is outlined in a draft charter. The company will create a global 40-person board made up of people appointed by Facebook. It’s unclear how many content cases the board will review, though Facebook envisions each case will be reviewed by 3 to 5 members. Once a decision is made, it’s final, and the ruling board members will then write a public explanation, and could even suggest that Facebook tweak its policies.About the only thing that has been decided is that the board should be independent. Critics have slammed Facebook for having too much control over what people are allowed to share online. For years, conservative politicians and media personalities have accused the company of bias against conservative ideas and opinions. Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes criticized Zuckerberg’s power in a recent New York Times op-ed, saying that it was “unprecedented and un-American.” The board is intended to take some of that power. Zuckerberg has promised these decision makers will be free of influence by Facebook and its leaders – though getting to true independence will be the company’s first big challenge.  “It’s all well and good for people on the outside to kind of prescribe that, yeah, Facebook needs to cede some of its power to outsiders,” said Nate Persily, a Stanford law professor and expert in election law. “But when you start unpacking how to do that, it becomes extremely complicated very fast.”Persily has already seen a version of the board come together. At Stanford, he just completed a two-month course with a dozen law school students who created their own version of the Facebook Oversight Board. The class presented their findings to Facebook employees at the end of May, suggesting that the board be much larger than the 40 part-time members Facebook outlined in its draft charter.“If they’re going to do any reasonable slice of the cases that are going to go through the appeals process, it’s going to have to be much larger or it’s going to have to be full-time,” Persily said.These kind of suggestions are why Facebook says it’s been running these simulations with academics, researchers and employees all over the world. Each serves as an elaborate survey. Since the start of the year, Facebook has hosted board simulations in Nairobi, Mexico City, Delhi, New York City, and Singapore.It also opened the process to public feedback. During a recent open comment period, Facebook received more than 1,200 proposals from outside individuals and organizations with recommendations on what the company should build. Responses came from established groups like the media advocacy organization Free Press, and also concerned individuals from Argentina, France and Israel. Others like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights at Oxford, provided Facebook with input through their own papers and blog posts.The Bonavero Institute summarized its suggestions in a 13-page report, which included everything from different ways Facebook could pick cases for the board to review, to recommendations on how the board should be compensated. Both the EFF and the Bonavero Institute hammered home the importance of keeping the board independent.“But our biggest concern is that social media councils will end up either legitimating a profoundly broken system (while doing too little to fix it) or becoming a kind of global speech police, setting standards for what is and is not allowed online whether or not that content is legal,” Corynne McSherry, EFF’s legal director, wrote on its blog. “We are hard-pressed to decide which is worse.”Facebook is expected to publicly release a new report with findings from its simulations later this week. Achieving real independence will be tricky given Facebook plans to appoint the initial board members, who will serve three-year terms. It will also pay them, though through a trust. Then the plan is for the board to self-select its replacement members as terms expire. The idea is that, while Facebook may appoint the initial group, future generations of the board will be free of Facebook’s influence.“It isn’t just the people who we’re picking, but the process in which we’re picking them,” said McKenzie Thomas, a Facebook program manager helping lead the Oversight Board project. She emphasized the importance of having the board self-select its own replacement members as a key element of its independence. “This is a starting off point,” she added.Then there’s the speed problem. It’s unrealistic to expect that the board’s decisions will happen with the speed necessary to police the internet. That means the board will likely serve more as a post-mortem – a way to review decisions that have already been made, and if needed, issue a ruling that could impact how future posts are handled by moderators.It won’t, however, be a very efficient way to police Facebook in the moment, which is when content can usually cause the most damage. Facebook’s virality can mean that troubling content reaches millions of people in a matter of hours, if not minutes. The board won’t be necessary to make decisions on extreme violence, like the shooter who livestreamed his killing spree in New Zealand. Facebook already has strict policies in place for that kind of material. But borderline content, like deciding whether a post includes hate speech or just a strong opinion, could remain up for weeks until the board gets to it.“One of the things we need to figure out is…what is a version of a more urgent [board] session?” said Brent Harris, director of governance and global affairs at Facebook. “Does that make sense, and what does that look like?”Kate Klonick, a professor at St. John’s Law School, has written extensively about free speech, including an op-ed about Facebook’s oversight board in the New York Times. She’s observing the board’s creation for a law journal article she’s writing, and already spent one week embedded with the company.The board, she says, may not move quick enough to solve all of Facebook’s content problems, but at least it should provide an outside voice so that Facebook alone isn’t responsible for free speech rules online.  “I see this [oversight board] as a solution for maybe that problem,” she added, “and unfortunately, not for the problem of the outrage machine.”In a best case scenario, Klonick thinks Facebook’s oversight board could inspire similar organizations at other private companies. But she’s also prepared for an alternative outcome.“Part of me is terrified [and] totally not delusional to the fact that...there’s just a really big chance that this just flops,” she said.To contact the author of this story: Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at kwagner71@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Emily Biuso at ebiuso@bloomberg.net, Jillian WardFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



06/24/2019 - 05:00 AM

 

Know any NASA nerds? This AR space mug and notebook combo makes a great gift.

Know any NASA nerds? This AR space mug and notebook combo makes a great gift.TL;DR: This futuristic NASA AR notebook and mug bundle is $5 off, dropping the price to $54.99.* * *Space is the place, amirite? Sadly, most of us will never actually blast off on our own voyages of discovery. But for those who still dream about exploring the cosmos, this NASA AR Notebook and Space Mug combo might be the next best thing.The two-piece NASA set features both a notebook and mug that use augmented reality to help you explore the stars. Ever wondered what the Amazon Rainforest looks like from space? Well, the Space Mug gives you a simulated spaceship experience from about 500 million square kilometers up in space. That means you can pretend you're at the International Space Station looking down on us earthlings.The NASA AR Notebook, on the other hand, brings history to life before your eyes. It starts with the launch of the National Aeronautics and Space Act in 1958 and ends with the Antarctic Ozone Hole in 2018. You might even be able to convince strangers you're a real astronaut.Get a sneak peek at how it works:If you've always dreamt of being an astronaut and want to treat yourself, or your best friend is a NASA nerd, this bundle is the perfect gift.This AR notebook and space mug bundle would usually cost you $60, but you can slash a few bucks off and get it for $55 in the Mashable Shop. NASA AR Notebook & NASA Space Mug Bundle -- $54.99 See Details



06/24/2019 - 05:00 AM

 

A Glint Of Light And A Hint Of Life: Mars Is Getting Very Interesting Right Now

A Glint Of Light And A Hint Of Life: Mars Is Getting Very Interesting Right NowThe bright spot in the distance was photographed days before the rover detected a possible sign of life on the Red Planet.



06/24/2019 - 04:41 AM

 

Indian rescuers to airlift bodies back from Himalaya slope

Indian rescuers to airlift bodies back from Himalaya slopeBad weather hampered efforts Monday to bring down the bodies of seven climbers from the upper reaches of the Himalayas, an Indian military spokesman said. The search for the final member of the group of four Britons, two Americans, one Australian and their Indian guide was set to continue in harsh conditions, said Indo-Tibetan Border Police spokesman Vivek Kumar Pandey. The seven bodies were retrieved Sunday on Nanda Devi in India's northern state of Uttarakhand and taken to a "safe place" some 800 feet (245 metres) down, after a search operation that lasted nearly a month.



06/24/2019 - 03:54 AM

 

Carrefour Sells Control of China Business at a Discount

Carrefour Sells Control of China Business at a Discount(Bloomberg) -- Carrefour SA has agreed to sell an 80% stake in its China unit for 4.8 billion yuan ($698 million) in cash to local retailer Suning.com Co. as it rethinks its exposure in the world’s No. 2 economy after years of decline.The yielding of control comes after a long search for a partner for the French company’s struggling Chinese operations. Once the premier foreign supermarket chain locally, it failed to adjust to the onslaught of e-commerce in recent years and sales slumped.The shares rose as much as 2.9% early Monday in Paris.Carrefour will retain a 20% stake in the China business, which generated net sales of 3.6 billion euros (28.5 billion yuan) in 2018. It will also get two seats out of seven on the China unit’s Supervisory Board, according to a statement Sunday. The valuation of Carrefour’s China unit at 0.2 times its 2018 sales -- compared to an industry average of 0.8 times -- is at a “significant discount to peers likely due to poor financial results,” said Citigroup Inc. analysts led by Lydia Ling in a note Monday.“The consolidation in store network, supply chain, logistics and membership could improve efficiency and profitability for both parties,” said the Citi note.A growing number of European and American retailers are either scaling back their presence or tying up with local partners in order to stay competitive in China, where e-commerce penetration is one of the highest globally. Walmart Inc., which has a network of around 400 supermarkets, relies on JD.com Inc. for its delivery service, while Germany’s Metro AG is said to be trying to offload a majority stake in its Chinese business.“The big problem for Carrefour and other western grocery chains is that they have major challenges in their home countries and can’t afford to grow in China,” said Pascal Martin, a Hong Kong-based partner at OC&C Strategy Consultants. “In China, if you want to grow in the groceries space, you have to continue to invest capital in less developed cities.”End of an EraIt’s the end of an era for one of the first foreign brands to gain a loyal following among Chinese consumers. Carrefour entered the country in 1995, ahead of Walmart, and its massive hypermarkets where one could buy fresh pork along with a TV ushered in a new style of shopping for a country just opening up to the outside world.But it has struggled to maintain profitability as buyers moved online rapidly in recent years, a shift that’s favored home-grown giants like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Despite efforts to digitize its operations, and an initiative to rent out store space to local retailer Gome Retail Holdings, Carrefour’s China sales declined about 10 percent last year to 3.6 billion euros, according to the company’s annual report.Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization were 66 million euros or 516 million yuan last year. It operates 210 hypermarkets and 24 convenience stores in China currently.The transaction represents an enterprise value of 1.4 billion euros ($1.6 billion) for Carrefour China. For Nanjing-based Suning, primarily an electronics retailer, the deal will help it cut procurement and logistics costs and boost profitability, the company said in a statement Sunday. Its Shenzhen-listed shares rose as much as 6.5% in early trading on Monday as investors rewarded the retailer for closing the deal at a low price.Alibaba holds a 20% stake in Suning and the two companies are closely allied. They’ve been investing in brick-and-mortar retailers with the goal of building an empire where offline and online shopping are seamlessly integrated. Earlier this year, Suning bought 37 department stores from Wanda Group, while Alibaba paid $2.9 billion in 2017 for a 36% stake in Sun Art Retail Group Ltd., China’s biggest supermarket chain. The Carrefour deal is likely to strengthen Alibaba’s foothold in the fiercely competitive groceries market in China.The acquisition has been cleared by Carrefour’s board and is expected to close by year end, but still needs approval from the Chinese regulator, said the companies.Carrefour’s decision to retain a 20% holding shows how China remains a strategic market for global retailers. Keeping that stake will allow it to maintain a foothold in an innovative retail market, a company spokeswoman said Sunday.(Updates with shares in third paragraph.)\--With assistance from Robert Williams.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Geraldine Amiel in Paris at gamiel@bloomberg.net;Daniela Wei in Hong Kong at jwei74@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rachel Chang at wchang98@bloomberg.net, Bhuma ShrivastavaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



06/24/2019 - 03:14 AM

 

Is there life on Mars, or on other worlds beyond Earth? The answer may be squishy

Is there life on Mars, or on other worlds beyond Earth? The answer may be squishyBELLEVUE, Wash. — NASA's Curiosity rover has detected fresh whiffs of Martian methane, once again sparking speculation about a potential biological source — but researchers at the space agency say it's too early to raise the alert for life on Mars. Scientists who are gathering here for the annual Astrobiology Science Conference, or AbSciCon, acknowledge that depending on the context, methane could be an indicator of biological activity, as it is on Earth. But it could just as well be of purely geological origin. "It's not in itself a biosignature," Abigail Allwood, a field geologist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory,… Read More



06/24/2019 - 02:21 AM

 

Bitcoin Surpasses $11,000 as Memories of Popped Bubble Fade

Bitcoin Surpasses $11,000 as Memories of Popped Bubble Fade(Bloomberg) -- Bitcoin traded above $11,000 for the first time in 15 months, recouping more than half of the parabolic increase that captured the attention of mainstream investors before the cryptocurrency bubble burst last year.“The bounce-back of Bitcoin has been fairly extraordinary,” said George McDonaugh, chief executive and co-founder of London-based blockchain and cryptocurrency investment firm KR1 Plc. “Money didn’t leave the asset behind, it just sat on the sidelines waiting to get back in.”Bitcoin surged as high as $11,251.21 on Monday, a 13% gain from late Friday that put it at the highest levels since March 2018. It was at $10,797.91 as of 1:28 p.m. in Hong Kong.The largest cryptocurrency had a furious run higher in late 2017 that culminated with a top above $19,500, before an almost-as-relentless move downward over much of 2018. It languished around the $3,300 to $4,100 range for several months.Bitcoin’s ride back accelerated in April, puzzling onlookers trying to pinpoint a reason for the surge. A study by Indexica, an alternative data provider, showed three main drivers: a more complex conversation surrounding Bitcoin, fewer concerns about fraud and a shift in the tense of how Bitcoin is talked about from the past to the future.“The market has matured greatly since the last time Bitcoin crossed $10,000,” said Matt Greenspan, a senior market analyst at eToro. “This run is far more justified given the current level of adoption.”Read more: Why Is Bitcoin Surging? Alternative Data Shows It’s Grown-UpIn contrast with last year, there are now signs of renewed mainstream interest in cryptocurrencies and the underlying blockchain technology, most prominently Facebook Inc.’s Libra. The social-media giant is working with a broad group of partners from Visa Inc. to Uber Technologies Inc. to develop the system, which has already attracted attention and criticism from politicians raising privacy and security concerns.Read more: Facebook Wants Its Cryptocurrency to Rival the GreenbackThe advent of Libra “is validating the crypto space and sending all the major digital coins higher,” said Edward Moya, chief market strategist at Oanda Corp. in New York. “Bitcoin volatility is likely to persist, with $12,000 and $15,000 as the next two critical resistance levels.”Crypto-related stocks advanced as well. GMO Internet Inc. rose 7% in Tokyo to its highest level since October. Remixpoint Inc. gained 9.2%, Metaps Inc. advanced 7.5% and Ceres Inc. increased 5%.Still, the speed of the rally has some observers warning caution is once again warranted.To Whitney Tilson, founder of Empire Financial Research and a former hedge-fund manager, Bitcoin is “exhibit A” in the lexicon of “scams that enrich insiders at the expense of average folks.”“Don’t get fooled by the dead-cat bounce this year,” Tilson said in comments last week. “Mark my words: A year from now, it will be a lot lower. This is a techno-libertarian pump-and-dump scheme that will end in ruin.”(Updates market pricing and adds crypto stocks in ninth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Adam Haigh, Sarah Wells and Kurt Schussler.To contact the reporters on this story: Eric Lam in Hong Kong at elam87@bloomberg.net;Vildana Hajric in New York at vhajric1@bloomberg.net;Joanna Ossinger in Singapore at jossinger@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Anstey at canstey@bloomberg.net, Ravil ShirodkarFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



06/24/2019 - 01:46 AM

 

This Photo Is Dangerous: It Could Be the Future of Navy Submarines

This Photo Is Dangerous: It Could Be the Future of Navy SubmarinesThe construction strategy for the Orca and other drones is to engineer a new “upgradeable,” multi-mission drone able to quickly integrate new technology and payloads as they emerge. This technical platform could, in key instances, obviate the need for the Navy to build new undersea drones in the future. The concept, when it comes to application, could involve newer, upgraded sonar, networking systems, new weapons and countermine technologies.(This first appeared last month.)The Navy is planning to launch a massive, 50-ton undersea drone to expand mission scope, increase attack options, integrate large high-tech sensors, further safeguard manned combat crews and possibly fire torpedoes -- all while waging war under the ocean surface.The 50-ton Orca, which would not fit in a submarine launch tube, brings an unprecedented sensing, endurance and attack advantage. The Navy has finished its Critical Design Review of the Orca, called an Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicle.and begun construction, Capt. Pete Small, Program Manager for Unmanned Systems, Naval Sea Systems Command, said in early May at the Navy League’s Sea Air Space symposium.Earlier this year, Boeing was awarded a $43 million deal to build four Orcas. Boeing's XLUUV Orca is based upon its Echo Voyager and Echo Ranger undersea drones. The Echo Ranger is an 84-foot long, massive underwater drone able to reach depths of 11,000 feet and hit ranges up to 6,500 nautical miles, according to Boeing data. The drone has obstacle avoidance, senor carrying capacity of up to 34-feet, autonomous buoyancy and Synthetic Aperture Sonar, Boeing data states.Initial applications for the Orca include land-launched operations as a key step toward surface and undersea launches, Small said. The 50-ton Orca is too large to be launched from a submarine or ship in most instances, at the moment. For now, the drone is primarily launched from a land dock The larger Orca drone fits into the Navy’s broad priority of pairing undersea drones with surface “mother ships” able to coordinate command and control, receive information and, in some cases, direct mission activity for the drones.



06/23/2019 - 10:00 PM

 

With plastic straw ban, Washington turns its back on its own invention

With plastic straw ban, Washington turns its back on its own inventionIt is a question the city of Washington will soon face after deciding, in the interest of the environment, to ban plastic drinking straws -- an almost sacrilegious act in the birthplace of this simple object, a seemingly indispensable part of daily American life. In the last century, millions of straws were produced in the Stone Straw Building, a stolid-looking structure of yellowing brick in a residential neighborhood. According to legend, Stone, who settled in Washington after being wounded while fighting for the Union side in the Civil War, had the inspiration one evening while sipping on his favorite cocktail, a mint julep.



06/23/2019 - 09:17 PM

 

Zimbabwe wants ivory ban lifted so it can sell $600-mln stockpile

Zimbabwe wants ivory ban lifted so it can sell $600-mln stockpileZimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa opened a UN wildlife summit on Monday with a call to lift the global ivory trade ban so that the country can sell $600 million of stockpiled tusks. Mnangagwa said selling the elephant tusks and rhino horns would enable the impoverished nation to fund conservation efforts for 20 years. Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia have all cited the growing number of elephants in some areas in their bid to have the ban relaxed, angering many conservationists.



06/23/2019 - 08:36 PM

 

Pence: Trump Administration 'Will Always Follow The Science' On Climate Change

Pence: Trump Administration 'Will Always Follow The Science' On Climate ChangeBut CNN's Jake Tapper didn't let the vice president off the hook that easily.



06/23/2019 - 06:19 PM

 

‘We Didn’t Understand the Risks’: Neil Armstrong’s Sons Remember Life Under an Apollo 11 Astronaut’s Roof

‘We Didn’t Understand the Risks’: Neil Armstrong’s Sons Remember Life Under an Apollo 11 Astronaut’s Roof‘We Didn’t Understand the Risks’: Neil Armstrong’s Sons Remember Life Under an Apollo 11 Astronaut’s Roof



06/23/2019 - 05:25 PM

 

Agriculture Department buries studies showing dangers of climate change

Agriculture Department buries studies showing dangers of climate changeThe Trump administration has stopped promoting government-funded research into how higher temperatures can damage crops and pose health risks.



06/23/2019 - 05:04 PM

 

Physician, heal thyself: how depression affects cancer caregivers

Physician, heal thyself: how depression affects cancer caregiversAshley Sumrall was an early career brain oncologist when she got a case that would stay with her for the rest of her career. A former White House aide, he had come into her care after years of experimental trials failed to halt the advance of his glioma.



06/23/2019 - 03:59 PM

 

Cyprus racers show budget solar cars have a sunny future

Cyprus racers show budget solar cars have a sunny futureVenetia Chrysostomide fastened her helmet and rolled her solar-powered car into the sunny streets of Cypriot capital Nicosia for a race to showcase such vehicles' eco-friendly potential, even on a budget. The 16-year-old's 5,000-euro (nearly $5,700) car is one of that took part in Sunday's three-hour "Cyprus Institute Solar Car Challenge", running solely on the Mediterranean island's most plentiful resource: sunshine. Tassos Falas, a teacher at her school, spent weeks working in his garage with colleague Anthoulis Hadjitali and mechanic Simos Markitanis to put together the car, capable of hitting 80 kilometres (50 miles) per hour.



06/23/2019 - 03:58 PM

 

German energy giant RWE vows action against climate activists

German energy giant RWE vows action against climate activistsGerman energy giant RWE said Sunday it will be seeking prosecutions after hundreds of climate activists occupied their open-cast mine at the weekend to protest against the use of coal. Following a cat-and-mouse game with police on Saturday, around a thousand activists invaded the vast Garzweiler lignite mine, some 43 kms (21 miles) west of Cologne. Police say it took until Sunday morning to completely clear the area of protesters, who RWE accuse of trespassing and arson.



06/23/2019 - 02:48 PM

 

Mercury climbs as Europe braces for summer scorcher

Mercury climbs as Europe braces for summer scorcherTemperatures were climbing on Sunday as Europe braced for a blistering heatwave with the mercury set to hit 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) as summer kicks in on the back of a wave of hot air from North Africa. Europeans are set to bake in what forecasters are warning will likely be record-breaking temperatures for June with the mercury set to peak mid-week. Hot and humid nights can be expected, officials say, with many issuing guidelines for surviving the scorcher, and local authorities and hospitals on high alert for a surge in cases of dehydration, heat-stroke and other weather-related conditions.



06/23/2019 - 02:46 PM

 

Researchers trained seals to sing 'Twinkle Twinkle' and the 'Star Wars' theme song. NBD.

Researchers trained seals to sing 'Twinkle Twinkle' and the 'Star Wars' theme song. NBD.Seals are a lot more talented than we give them credit for. Sure, they swim, dive, bark, and clap, but with a little vocal training they can actually sing.Thanks to researchers at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, three gray seals were taught to mimic sounds and even sing songs like "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" and the Star Wars theme.Footage shared on YouTube by the Associated Press shows the focused seals intently listening to sounds, flexing their nostrils, and repeating the noises via a hum that sounds a bit like if a human baby were to whine into a kazoo. It's cute, we promise!SEE ALSO: The fat bear cams are back in businessUniversity of St Andrews researcher Vincent Janik and his colleagues have reportedly been working with the seals since they were born, according to New Scientist. The seals were trained to copy their own sound sequences first, then Janik and his team challenged them to create melodies and copy human vowel sounds."It takes hundreds of trials to teach the seal what we want it to do, but once they get the idea they can copy a new sound pretty well at the first attempt," Janik told New Scientist. "Since seals use the same neural and anatomical structures as humans to produce these sounds, they provide a good model system in which to study how speech sounds are learned."As shown in the video above, one seal named Zola was able to copy several notes of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and do a mean rendition of the Star Wars theme.Amanda Stansbury, lead researcher in the study, told BBC, "I was amazed how well the seals copied the model sounds we played to them.""Copies were not perfect but given that these are not typical seal sounds it is pretty impressive," she went on. "Our study really demonstrates how flexible seal vocalisations are. Previous studies just provided anecdotal evidence for this."For those interested in learning more about the findings from Stansbury and Janik's study, the research has been posted in an online report.If we're lucky, seals could be singing Beyonce or even Seal songs in the future, but for now there's still more training and learning to be done. WATCH: This robot can sort recyclable materials without even so much as a peek at them



06/23/2019 - 02:02 PM

 

Banks Stay on Sidelines for Facebook Coin After Apple Pay Struggle

Banks Stay on Sidelines for Facebook Coin After Apple Pay Struggle(Bloomberg) -- U.S. banks might be happy to stay away from Facebook Inc.’s push into cryptocurrencies. For now.The Libra Association, the governing body for the coin, is in talks with lenders around the world to join its ranks. Banks are mostly keeping their distance after seeing tepid consumer reaction to digital wallets such as Apple Pay and regulatory scrutiny of digital currencies.“If Facebook is able to create mass adoption on this platform, then banks will want in,” David Donovan, who leads the global financial-services consulting practice at Publicis Sapient, said in a phone interview. “There’s a business decision they have to make. Facebook is saying the market is not being served well.”Banks were absent when Facebook announced Libra last week, saying that more than two dozen other companies, including payment networks Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc., joined the project. The social-media giant said Libra will be backed by fiat currencies to provide payment services to the 1.7 billion people worldwide without easy access to banking.Facebook and its 2.4 billion active users are hard for the largest U.S. banks to ignore -- and Citigroup Inc.’s Michael Corbat has said his firm would consider joining Libra if asked. But it’s not the first time a technology giant promised sweeping changes to the payments world.Apple Inc. introduced Apple Pay in 2014 to much fanfare. Banks spent millions promoting the service and created card rewards tied to customer use of the product. In a sign of how eager they were, banks even gave Apple a cut of the coveted interchange fees they earn from each swipe of a card.But five years in, Apple Pay has struggled to take off. Large retailers including Walmart Inc. have been hesitant to accept the technology. And while consumers spent roughly $3 trillion using digital wallets in 2018, almost two-thirds of that spending occurred in China where apps like Alipay and WeChat Pay dominate commerce, according to a report from Juniper Research.“Advanced payment methods haven’t really taken hold unless they’re mandated,” Tim Spenny, a senior vice president at market researcher Magid who has consulted for Facebook and Visa, said in an interview. For him, the question is: “What is the use case or what is the pain point that would cause people to say ‘Hey, I’m going to put money into a cryptocurrency to start paying for things.’”After years spent trying to promote Apple Pay, U.S. banks turned their attention to tap-to-pay cards, which use the same technology while keeping the familiar card product. It’s a recipe that’s worked for JPMorgan Chase & Co. customers.“There’s a big segment that never used mobile wallets, but the moment they got their contactless cards, they’re starting to tap right away,” Abeer Bhatia, president of card marketing, pricing and innovation for the bank, said in an interview last month. “When they have the choice to use either, they’re overwhelmingly using tap-to-pay.”Banks have been conducting their own experiments with cryptocurrencies, such as JPMorgan’s JPM Coin, which is meant to speed up corporate payments. The largest U.S. lenders have also promoted a new real-time payments service spearheaded by The Clearing House.Regulatory ResponseThere have been cases where startups were assessed for compliance lapses. And Libra’s debut drew attention from regulators, as members of the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee promised hearings on the digital coin and its governance.John Smith, who used to lead the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, said tech companies and the banks they work with “will be held accountable” if they violate the law.“There’s a view within the fintechs that, ‘We couldn’t possibly do the rules that big banks do because we’re trying to be quick,’” Smith, co-head of Morrison & Foerster’s national security law practice, said Friday at a conference. “There’s going to be a rude awakening.”\--With assistance from Lananh Nguyen, Michelle F. Davis and Kurt Wagner.To contact the reporter on this story: Jenny Surane in New York at jsurane4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael J. Moore at mmoore55@bloomberg.net, Dan Reichl, Daniel TaubFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



06/23/2019 - 02:00 PM

 

Amazon’s Merchants Are Feeling the Pain of a Trade War With China

Amazon’s Merchants Are Feeling the Pain of a Trade War With China(Bloomberg) -- Over the past several years, Shanghai entrepreneur Yung Lin has built a decent business selling wrenches, screwdrivers and other tools on Amazon.com. Then President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on thousands of goods made in China, and Lin faced a difficult choice: eat the additional cost or try and pass it onto his mostly American customers. He chose to raise prices and watched sales of some products dive by as much as one third in just two weeks. Amazon.com Inc. merchants around the world are scrambling to navigate an unpredictable trade war that’s upending their proven business model of buying inexpensive goods in China and selling them at a markup in the U.S. The problem is particularly acute now as Trump weighs another $300 billion worth of tariffs, many on consumer goods.Mom and pop sellers won’t be able to wait for Trump’s decision: They have to place factory orders now and figure out pricing if they want to get their goods made in time for the lucrative Christmas shopping season, when they make as much as half their annual revenue. The most obvious solutions—raising prices, shifting production to other countries, stockpiling inventory—all have costs and complications of their own.These businesses—many of them one-person shops—are especially vulnerable because they lack big companies’ wherewithal to ride out the uncertainty as well as the negotiating power to shift tariff costs onto their suppliers. “The smaller companies have a significant problem,” says Joel Sutherland, managing director of U.C. San Diego's Supply Chain Management Institute. “We have an administration that says one thing today and does something else tomorrow, which poses tremendous risks.”Amazon is more insulated than the merchants in the near term but it too could take a hit if sales slow and cut into the commissions and fees the company charges merchants to use its online store. Much depends on whether the U.S. and China can come to terms. Trump will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping for the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, on June 28-29, and both sides have agreed to resume trade talks after a weeks-long stalemate. But even if they hammer out an agreement, the trading relationship between the world’s two largest economies probably will never be the same.“We’re going to assume the tariffs are here to stay,” says Chuck Gregorich, who sells China-made hammocks, patio furniture and 2,000 other products on Amazon. “We can’t have this happen in a year or two and get caught with our pants down again.”Like many other importers, Gregorich tried to move up orders early last year to beat a Jan. 1 tariff hike on Chinese imports from 10% to 25%. He wound up spending an extra $400,000 on shipping only to see the tariff hike delayed. Burned once by the guessing game, Gregorich  is looking to shift about 30% of his production to factories in Vietnam and elsewhere. He’s not alone. Many other Amazon merchants are considering having their goods made in India, Southeast Asia and Central America. Michael Michelini relocated to China from New York  in 2007 to make Italian coffee presses and upscale bar supplies for U.S shoppers. Eight months ago he decided to move with his wife and kids to Thailand, where he’s working with a new factory to develop a line of high-end kitchenware. “Now when I think of China, I think of risk,” he says.Moving isn’t easy, however. Merchants say finding the right factory, securing raw materials and conducting product quality testing can easily eat up a year. Jerry Kavesh sells cowboys boots and hats on Amazon and recently spent months locating a factory in India that could make his products. But Kavesh discovered he would still have to import raw materials from China, negating any advantage. So as a last resort, he’s cutting his holiday inventory by about 15% and raising prices by about 12%, which he figures will spook enough customers to hurt sales.“When I hear the [U.S.] administration say just move, that's just not realistic,” says Kavesh, the chief executive officer of 3P Marketplace Solutions. “You can’t just suddenly turn all of your production over to someone new.”Even as U.S. sellers try to diversify their manufacturing base, their Chinese counterparts are looking for new customers in Europe, Japan and Australia to offset the potential hit to their U.S. business. “If you are a Chinese seller, money is money,” says Eddie Deng, a former Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. strategist who now runs an online clothing brand called Urbanic that sells Chinese-made, Western-style clothing in India. “It doesn't matter if it's from the U.S., India or the Middle East.”Amazon has said little publicly about the trade war. It wasn’t among 600 businesses including Walmart and Target that wrote the Trump administration earlier this month seeking an end to the trade war because it’s bad for U.S. shoppers. Amazon is a member of the Internet Association trade group, which signed the letter.Behind the scenes, Amazon has agreed to pay some vendors up to 10% more for products affected by tariffs, according to two people familiar with the matter. “Companies of all sizes throughout the supply chain are adjusting to increased costs resulting from new tariffs,” Amazon said in an emailed statement. “We’re working closely with vendors to make this adjustment as smooth as possible.”But that help will apply only to products Amazon buys wholesale and resells itself. The mom and pops that sell directly to consumers on Amazon’s marketplace are on their own.The hardest part is the uncertainty—the temptation to parse Trump tweets in a mostly vain effort to divine the future. “This could all be a head fake,” says Steve Simonson, who sells Chinese-made home goods and electronics and has been scouting factories in India, Vietnam and Central America. “In two months, this could all go away and all of this time and work will be wasted.”To contact the authors of this story: Shelly Banjo in Hong Kong at sbanjo@bloomberg.netSpencer Soper in Seattle at ssoper@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



06/23/2019 - 12:01 PM

 

The fat bear cams are back in business

The fat bear cams are back in businessIt's high time to devour 4,500-calorie salmon.The live webcams along Katmai National Park's Brooks River -- set in remote Alaska and operated by the wildlife streamers explore.org -- just came online for the 2019 season. For the next few months brown bears will wolf down copious amounts of salmon as they fatten up, some in extreme ways, in preparation for the winter's long, callous hibernation.The bears grew impressively fat in 2018, and global viewers may witness a similar plumping up of the ravenous omnivores this summer and fall. Bear 409, also known as "Beadnose," was crowned the park's Fat Bear Week champion last October, after a remarkable transformation."Bears benefitted from the abundance of fish," said ecologist Mike Fitz, a former park ranger at Katmai National Park who now reports on bear activity for explore.org. "Nearly every one at Brooks River last fall was fat or extremely fat."> BearCam is now LIVE. What are you waiting for? https://t.co/s57727MRTp pic.twitter.com/nNTJSk0wiF> > -- explore.org (@exploreorg) June 22, 2019Fitz is pleased the bears have started their return to the river. Each bear has its own tales of victory, defeat, and hardship. It's a natural, live-streamed drama, set in the unforgiving wilderness."Watching bears and salmon always reminds me that these animals live in a changing, competitive world where survival and success are not guaranteed," said Fitz.As of June 22, explore.org had turned on five webcams, though seven cameras will eventually stream live from the Alaskan subarctic this winter.The salmon run really ramps up in early July -- so don't be discouraged if the cams aren't yet teeming with bears. Still, bears can already be watched fishing for salmon at the now world-famous Brooks River falls.  Bears to watch for this summerKatmai's park rangers and biologists get to know the webcam bears quite well, because many bears prudently return to the salmon-rich river each year -- and some return for decades.Fitz has already spotted a few usual culprits along the Brooks River, and noted some particularly intriguing developments to look out for this summer:1\. Bear 856An aggressive Bear 856, on right.Image: NPs / Mike FitzThis tough bruiser earned the title as the Brooks River's most dominant bear last year. Since 2011, bear 856 has forced other big bears out the most desirable fishing spots, and lesser bears often flee from his very presence. But, in 2017, bear 856 appeared weak and lost his claim of supreme dominance to the younger male bear 32, or "Chunk."Will bear 856 still reign as king in 2019?"We watched 856 regain his status as the river's most dominant bear last year, but each year I wonder if he'll be able to maintain that rank," said Fitz. "He's not getting any younger and there are several other large bears to contend with."Bear 503Bear 503Image: npsBear 503 has had perhaps the most dramatic history of any Brooks River bear. In the summer of 2014, as a 1.5-year-old bear, his mother abandoned him, leaving bear 503 helpless -- and likely to soon starve to death.But bear 503 did not die. He was, to the amazement of park rangers, adopted by another bear, and has since grown into a large, healthy bear.Perhaps 503, like bear 856, will mature into one of the more dominant males this summer.SEE ALSO: A big red reason not to dig a mine in Alaska's fat bear country"He's grown a lot during the intervening years and has been largely playful and tolerant of other bears," noted Fitz. "Five-zero-three still has a lot of growing in the next few years and even 856 played with other bears when he was younger, but I wonder how he will behave as his priorities change and he matures into a fully grown bear."Bear 402Bear 402 and cubs in 2018.Image: nps / Mike FitzBear 402 arrived at the Brooks River with a rare four newly-born cubs in 2018. It's challenging for cubs to survive their first year, amid dangerous males, competition for food, and the harshness of the Alaskan wild. Bear 856, for example, killed a cub last summer.The question that looms large is how many of 402's cubs will survive?"I'm curious to know whether all of her cubs survived the winter and spring," said Fitz. "We've seen a few other instances of bears with litters of four at Brooks River, but no mother has successfully weaned a litter of four, generally losing one or more cubs before their second year."Don't forget...Beyond these well-known characters, the bears' diligent webcam watchers will almost certainly look for 2018's conspicuously fat omnivores, the likes of bear 409, bear 747, and old Otis (bear 480).But, let us not forget the foundational reason why any bears are there at all: the hefty salmon. Bounties of the fish have come to spawn in Katmai's river and streams. Yet along the way, some will meet the claws of the ravenous bears, who consume the salmons' fatty brains, skin, and vivid red flesh."Salmon make the ultimate sacrifice in order to reproduce and without them, Katmai's ecosystem would be impoverished," said Fitz. WATCH: Ever wonder how the universe might end?



06/23/2019 - 11:17 AM

 

These 3 Biotech Stocks Skyrocketed Last Week -- Are They Buys Now?

These 3 Biotech Stocks Skyrocketed Last Week -- Are They Buys Now?These stocks were huge winners last week. But can their momentum continue?



06/23/2019 - 09:00 AM

 

Nasa's Curiosity rover detects methane in latest hint at life on Mars

Nasa's Curiosity rover detects methane in latest hint at life on MarsNasa's Curiosity rover has detected another methane "spike" on Mars, in what could be a sign of alien life on the red planet. According to the New York Times, which obtained an email about the discovery written by senior scientists at Nasa, the rover detected "startlingly high amounts of methane in the Martian air." The detection of methane hints at an even greater discovery - life on Mars - as the gas is often generated by microbes underground known as methanogens,which can survive without oxygen. "Given this surprising result, we’ve reorganized the weekend to run a follow-up experiment, " wrote scientist Ashwin R. Vasavada  in the email published by the New York Times. It is not the first time Nasa's robot has detected methane levels on the planet, and scientists are still not sure whether the gas is caused by living microbes.  This is because geothermal reactions, with no biological life involved, can also create methane.  When Curiosity landed on Mars in 2012 it could find barely any traces of methane, with less than one part per billion in the atmosphere.  Then in 2013 the rover detected a sudden increase in methane levels, with seven parts methane per billion, which endured for several months and then vanished.  The most recent discovery of Methane is 21 parts per billion, three times higher than the "spike" in 2013.  While increased methane levels measured by @MarsCuriosity are exciting, as possible indicators for life, it’s important to remember this is an early science result. To maintain scientific integrity, the science team will continue to analyze the data before confirming results. pic.twitter.com/zSrONQHuc5— Thomas Zurbuchen (@Dr_ThomasZ) June 22, 2019 Scientists are also not ruling out the possibility that the methane was not recent, having been trapped underground for millions of years, and only now is gradually emerging through cracks in the surface.  Thomas Zurbuchen, from Nasa's science mission directorate, advised people not to jump to any conclusions about the methane detection in a message on Twitter.  "While increased methane levels measured by Mars Curiosity are exciting, as possible indicators for life, it's important to remember this is an early science result," he wrote.  "To maintain scientific integrity, the science team will continue to analyse the data before confirming results."



06/23/2019 - 08:36 AM

 

Germany holds climate change protest over open pit mines

Germany holds climate change protest over open pit minesHundreds of climate activists are keeping up their protest inside one of Germany's biggest open-pit mines despite police orders to leave the place immediately, citing life-threatening danger. Authorities pulled out some of the protesters from the Garzweiler lignite coal mine in western Germany on Sunday, the third day of protests in the Rhineland region since Friday, when 40,000 students rallied for more action against climate change in the nearby city of Aachen. Other protesters blocked railroad tracks used to transport coal, a day after thousands of demonstrators marched peacefully near the mine. Signs reading the names of relocated villages are seen in a garden near the open-cast mines of Garzweiler near Keyenberg, western Germany, Credit: INA FASSBENDER Protesters and police inside the mine accused each other of hostile behavior and injuries, but no one gave any figures. The protests come after European Union leaders failed last week to agree on how to make the EU carbon neutral by 2050.  On Saturday, dozens of protesters temporarily blocked railroad tracks used to transport coal. The vast majority of rallies and protests remained peaceful. Police officers arrest climate activists after they entered the Garzweiler brown coal mine in Garzweiler, western Germany Credit:  INA FASSBENDER The mine has been a focus of environmental protests in recent years because the operator, German utility company RWE, planned to cut down a forest to enlarge it. "It's important to increase the pressure on the government," protester Selma Schubert said. "The government doesn't do enough against climate change." Participants in the Saturday protests held banners calling for climate protection and sang songs as they marched. According to German environmental group Bund, more than 8,000 people took part. Climate activists walk on a driveway after entering the grounds of the Garzweiler brown coal mine in Garzweiler, western Germany, Credit: DPA "You're building a movement, that's beautiful," Seimi Rowin, who came from Scotland to protest, said. "But we need to get to the next step ... otherwise future generations will pay for it." Following months of climate protests by students and a sharp rise in the polls for Germany's Green party, Chancellor Angela Merkel recently threw her weight behind the goal of making Germany climate neutral by 2050. That would mean the country's economy no longer would add greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Scientists say ending fossil fuel use by mid-century is a must if countries want to achieve the 2015 Paris climate accord's most ambitious goal of keeping global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to pre-industrial times.



06/23/2019 - 07:41 AM

 

Space Investors, Rejoice! There May Be Something Worth Mining on the Moon

Space Investors, Rejoice! There May Be Something Worth Mining on the MoonScientists think they've discovered a gargantuan metal deposit on the moon's far side. But what metal is it?



06/23/2019 - 06:33 AM

 

As a young mother dies after refusing chemotherapy, how social media is fuelling the rise of fake cancer cures

As a young mother dies after refusing chemotherapy, how social media is fuelling the rise of fake cancer curesLast week, at a converted 18th-century farmhouse near Derby, friends gathered in memory of Katie Britton-Jordan, who died recently after a valiant struggle against breast cancer. She was 38 and leaves a grieving husband, Neil, and Delilah, their five-year-old daughter. Neil, who announced his wife’s death on Facebook earlier this month, called for the event to be a celebration of Katie’s strength and resilience. He asked friends to “bring smiles, love, dancing shoes, bubbles and sparklers”. By rights, should Katie still be alive? That troubling question is bound to ripple through the minds of her loved ones. When Katie’s stage 2a triple negative breast cancer was diagnosed in 2016, she was offered a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. But she rejected conventional therapy in favour of a vegan diet of mainly raw fruit and vegetables, supplemented with turmeric, seaweed and spells in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. She sought help at a clinic in Mexico, where therapies included placing her feet in a basin of water that supposedly drew toxins from her body. Britton-Jordan was an intelligent woman with a long-standing interest in alternative therapies, who made a decision based on her beliefs. But doctors are becoming increasingly concerned at the targeting of vulnerable cancer patients by charlatans peddling well-meaning but useless therapies – a problem that is gathering pace thanks to the use of social media, and drawing parallels with the newly emboldened anti-vaccination movement. Patients who refuse conventional treatment and opt for alternatives are two and a half times as likely to die within five years of being diagnosed. David Gorski, an American surgical oncologist who specialises in breast cancer, and a crusader against “quackery” through his blog, Respectful Insolence, is convinced that if Katie had opted for conventional treatment, she would still be alive. “From what I’ve learnt about her cancer, I can say with confidence it was quite treatable,” he says. “It hadn’t gone to the lymph nodes. With a combination of surgery plus chemotherapy, she could have expected an 85 per cent chance of long-term survival. Yes, surgery is nasty. Chemotherapy is even worse, I get that. The alternative, however, is near-certain death.” The anti-vaccination lobby has been adept at using social media, with doctors and government agencies caught on the back foot, using old-fashioned means of communication. In England, take-up for the measles, mumps and rubella jab by children’s fifth birthday is down, alarmingly, to 87.2 per cent, below the level needed to provide widespread immunity.  Rebekah Smith says she was targeted by companies on social media selling alternative remedies after disclosing her cancer diagnosis Credit: Andrew Fox A similar stream of anti-establishment rhetoric around cancer – dismissing chemotherapy as “poison” – seems to be taking hold. Amazon Prime was recently found to be carrying unscientific “documentaries” purporting to show that cancer might be cured through dietary changes, including the story of a German woman, who claimed to have overcome cancer in 30 days using laetrile, a substance derived from fruit pits, which breaks down into cyanide in the body. Amazon has since taken these documentaries down. Outlandish stories about “cures” for cancer have been doing the rounds for years, of course, but social media is speeding up dissemination, making it easier than ever to take the message direct to cancer sufferers. Anyone who posts on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag “cancer” is likely to find themselves bombarded by news of miracle cures and treatments, from turmeric shakes, green tea and high-dose vitamin C to proteolytic enzyme therapy, cannabis or frankincense oil. “There are a lot of people out there selling this kind of quackery,” says Catherine Priestley, clinical nurse specialist at the charity Breast Cancer Care, which funds research and supports women through diagnosis and treatment. “It’s easy to think ‘It can’t do me any harm’, but just because it’s natural does not mean it is safe.” Priestley draws a clear distinction between complementary therapies like massage and acupuncture, which have been shown to relieve symptoms and side effects from cancer treatment, and alternative therapies, which aim to replace conventional chemo and radiotherapy. Trends come and go: one of the most popular alternatives doing the rounds until recently was the idea that you could “cure” cancer with maple syrup and bicarbonate of soda (the apparent logic being that cancer cells love sugar and thrive in an acidic environment, so if you took both together the cells would soak up the sugary syrup then be destroyed by the alkaline soda). “Now it’s CBD (cannabis) oil,” says Priestley. “Don’t believe everything you read on the internet, look for evidence and talk to your medical team. If a website says something has been studied, look up that study. It might be that 50 per cent of people got great benefit from a treatment but if that 50 per cent is two out of four people, it’s meaningless.” Rebekah Smith, 35, was diagnosed with breast cancer exactly a year after Katie Britton-Jordan, in July 2017. She was found to have a similar triple negative cancer, but more advanced, at stage 3. After announcing her diagnosis, she says she was deluged with “help” from friends: “People don’t know what to say, so they try to offer hope. It’s ‘Have you tried honey? What about an alkaline diet? Eat lots of lemons. If you eat loads of turmeric it’s meant to cure cancer’ and so on… In the early days, I took natural honey every day, tried a spoonful of turmeric and thought ‘if it works, it works’, but in my head I knew that science was my best warrior.” About | Breast cancer Smith, from Leicester, who has two sons, Louis, 3, and Henry, 5, had surgery to remove the tumour, then six rounds of chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy. Once she started posting about her cancer on social media, the messages began. “Lots of stuff from people trying to sell you vitamins. They say all sorts of things: other people have taken it, and it’s done this and done that. It’s hard to tell, is it a company targeting me to purely make cash, because I am vulnerable? Or someone who genuinely wants to help me? The messages always seem to come second-hand, from someone who knows someone who took something. It’s never the person themselves, saying ‘I took CBD oil and it’s made my cancer shrink’.” Nine months on from her diagnosis, Rebekah was cancer-free and has since run a marathon. Sophie Sabbage, author of The Cancer Whisperer, was diagnosed with incurable lung cancer that had spread to her bones and brain, five years ago. She has had both conventional and complementary treatment. “There are some dodgy people out there, but there are also some amazing people, doing amazing things.," she says. "The trouble is that, as a patient, you get caught in the crossfire. Conventional oncologists will say ‘Don’t bother with all that quackery.’ Natural practitioners will say ‘Don’t do chemo, it will kill you.’ They’re both taking a position and you have to somehow make decisions with very little help.” Sabbage runs a Facebook group for fellow sufferers and says she has to be “extremely strict” about who is allowed to join, as people keep attempting to use the group to sell remedies. The members of her group swap experiences and advice. “We can ask each other ‘have you tried this?’. In general, what I’d say is: do your homework. Don’t just say yes because someone is promising you something. In fact, if they are promising, say no.” Katie Britton-Jordan was well aware that friends and family were worried. She admitted, two years ago, that she was getting “almost daily messages” pleading with her to try the conventional path. After she died, her husband, Neil, said: “I know some people may have their own opinions on what Katie should or should not have done, but whatever that is, it does not alter her bravery and dignity over the last three years.” No one will know how things might otherwise have been – but it is a tragedy for him, and their little daughter, that she is gone.



06/23/2019 - 03:00 AM

 

Oregon's Republican state senators go into hiding over climate change vote amid militia threat

Oregon's Republican state senators go into hiding over climate change vote amid militia threatA group of Republican state senators in Oregon remain in hiding after walking out of the state Capitol over refusing to vote on a climate change bill. Eleven Republicans refused to show up to work on Thursday and went into hiding in protest of HB2020, a bill that establishes a carbon cap, in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Industries that emit carbon dioxide -- power plants, manufacturers, etc. -- would have to buy an "allowance" for each metric ton emitted, thereby reducing the incentive to produce carbon dioxide in the first place.



06/23/2019 - 02:05 AM

 

India's space startups ignite investor interest

India's space startups ignite investor interestFrom companies building palm-sized satellites to those aiming to propel satellites into space using cleaner fuels, a new wave of space technology startups are mushrooming in India, catching the attention of investors keen to join the space race. Bengaluru-based Bellatrix Aerospace, which wants to propel satellites into orbit using electric and non-toxic chemical thrusters, has raised $3 million from a group of investors, co-founder Yashas Karanam told Reuters. Venture capital fund IDFC Parampara is leading Bellatrix's pre-Series A round.



06/23/2019 - 01:51 AM

 

Police arrest 70 climate change protesters outside New York Times

Police arrest 70 climate change protesters outside New York TimesPolice arrested 70 environmental protesters outside the New York Times headquarters who laid down in the street and climbed onto the building to demand the newspaper start referring to climate change as a climate emergency, police and media reports said. New York police arrested 67 people and Port Authority police arrested three others, a police spokesman said. Protesters blocked the street by lying down in a "die-in" and affixed a banner to the skyscraper in midtown Manhattan saying "climate change = mass murder," with the word "change" crossed out and replaced with "emergency," according to pictures posted by the website of 1010 Wins radio.



06/22/2019 - 11:52 PM

 

Climate change protesters arrested outside New York Times

Climate change protesters arrested outside New York TimesPolice say 70 climate change protesters were arrested after they blocked traffic outside the New York Times building. The protesters from the group Extinction Rebellion hung banners on the skyscraper in midtown Manhattan on Saturday and on the outside of the Port Authority Bus Terminal across the street. The protesters were taken into police custody after they lay down on Eighth Avenue and blocked traffic.



06/22/2019 - 07:16 PM

 

Police arrest 70 climate change protesters outside New York Times

Police arrest 70 climate change protesters outside New York TimesPolice arrested 70 environmental protesters outside the New York Times headquarters who laid down in the street and climbed onto the building to demand the newspaper start referring to climate change as a climate emergency, police and media reports said. New York police arrested 67 people and Port Authority police arrested three others, a police spokesman said. Protesters blocked the street by lying down in a "die-in" and affixed a banner to the skyscraper in midtown Manhattan saying "climate change = mass murder," with the word "change" crossed out and replaced with "emergency," according to pictures posted by the website of 1010 Wins radio.



06/22/2019 - 06:45 PM

 

Arrests at protest over New York Times' 'unacceptable' climate coverage

Arrests at protest over New York Times' 'unacceptable' climate coverage* Protesters block avenue between Port Authority and NYT * Extinction Rebellion calls for better coverage of climate crisisActivists sit on an intersection as others are taken into custody by police officers outside the New York Times building. Photograph: Julio Cortez/APA climate change protest orchestrated by the Extinction Rebellion activist group briefly blocked Eighth Avenue in New York on Saturday afternoon, between the Port Authority transit hub and the home of the New York Times.The New York police department (NYPD) said 70 people were arrested as they called for more effective media coverage of the dangers of climate change, in a dramatic demonstration that saw people stage a die-in in front of the newspaper building and disrupt traffic in midtown Manhattan.Two demonstrators scaled the front of the Port Authority building, which houses a major bus terminal and subway interchange, to hang a protest banner. Protesters also climbed on to the canopy outside the Times headquarters and unfurled a banner that encouraged the use of the phrase “climate emergency” instead of “climate change”.One protester, Donna Nicolino, told the Guardian she was ready to be arrested, because “we want the New York Times as well as all the other media to treat climate change as the crisis it is”.She joined a line of people with arms linked on West 40th Street and Eighth Avenue, blocking the road. The group remained until they were arrested by New York City police officers.“The lack of coverage of the climate crisis is completely unacceptable,” said Becca Trabin, a member of Extinction Rebellion’s press and fundraising teams. “It’s a public safety crisis on a global scale.”> New sign encourages the Times to use the same style for climate change as the Guardian does: climate emergency https://t.co/WiOrDJm8ny pic.twitter.com/imxWtPFjM5> > — Amanda Holpuch (@holpuch) June 22, 2019Trabin said that though it might not be convenient to report on, read about and discuss climate change every day, it should nonetheless be a media priority.“No one wants to hear about the climate crisis every day but if we don’t read about it every day we endanger ourselves,” she said.A spokeswoman for the New York Times, Danielle Rhoades Ha, said that in 2018 the newspaper published 795 articles about the climate, including investigative stories and dispatches from across the globe about the impact of climate change.“There is no national news organization that devotes more time, staff or resources to producing deeply reported coverage to help readers understand climate change than The New York Times,” Rhoades Ha said.“We fully support this group’s right to express their point of view, even when we disagree with it as it relates to our coverage.”For nearly an hour, the block outside the Times building was crowded with demonstrators, onlookers and NYPD officers. A police recording repeated a warning that anyone who did not clear the street would be arrested. A helicopter flew overhead.“Seas are rising and so are we,” chanted one group of demonstrators on the sidewalk, where surprised tourists, workers and bystanders asked for more information.The block remained closed after the demonstration ended as police officers processed the arrest of several demonstrators, including two who had rappelled down the face of Port Authority to hang a sign.Passersby stopped police to ask if a movie was being shot or if there had been a terrorist attack.



06/22/2019 - 04:14 PM

 

Climate protesters storm open-pit mine in western Germany

Climate protesters storm open-pit mine in western GermanyHundreds of environmental activists broke through a police cordon to enter one of Germany's biggest lignite coal mines Saturday, determined to draw attention to the urgency of climate change after a plan to make the European Union carbon neutral by 2050 failed to find agreement. Police ordered the activists to leave the vast, open-pit Garzweiler mine in western Germany, citing life-threatening dangers. The occupation was among several demonstrations near the mine and adjacent power plants that attracted thousands of people to the village of Hochneukirch and surrounding Rhineland areas.



06/22/2019 - 03:28 PM

 

Experts raise alarm over climate change threat to cultural heritage

Experts raise alarm over climate change threat to cultural heritageClimate change could wreak "irreversible damage" on the world's most precious ancient monuments and other cultural sites, experts warned Saturday as they pushed for UN protection for major global sites. Academics and policy makers gathered in Athens for a meeting on the threats to world heritage called for an array of tools to predict, measure and counter the effects of climate change. The UN Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) warned in October that warming was on track towards a catastrophic 3C or 4C rise, and that avoiding global chaos would require a major transformation.



06/22/2019 - 01:17 PM

 

Experts raise alarm over climate change threat to cultural heritage

Experts raise alarm over climate change threat to cultural heritageClimate change could wreak "irreversible damage" on the world's most precious ancient monuments and other cultural sites, experts warned Saturday as they pushed for UN protection for major global sites. Academics and policy makers gathered in Athens for a meeting on the threats to world heritage called for an array of tools to predict, measure and counter the effects of climate change. The UN Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) warned in October that warming was on track towards a catastrophic 3C or 4C rise, and that avoiding global chaos would require a major transformation.



06/22/2019 - 12:41 PM

 

Militia threat shuts down Oregon Statehouse amid walkout

Militia threat shuts down Oregon Statehouse amid walkoutThe Oregon Capitol will be closed Saturday due to a "possible militia threat" from right-wing protesters as a walkout by Republican lawmakers over landmark climate change legislation drags on. Republican state senators fled the Legislature — and some, the state — earlier this week to deny the majority Democrats enough votes to take up the climate bill, which would dramatically reduce fossil fuel emissions by 2050.



06/22/2019 - 12:00 PM

 

10 Little-Known Medicare Benefits You Might Easily Miss

10 Little-Known Medicare Benefits You Might Easily MissWhat's covered by the government's health insurance program for seniors can be surprising.



06/22/2019 - 10:54 AM

 

How Can You Tell if Your Kid’s Rash is the Measles?

How Can You Tell if Your Kid’s Rash is the Measles?Rashes can be scary, particularly when news headlines keep reporting measles cases in young children. With over 1,000 measles cases reported at last count, 2019 is proving to be a terrible year for the US and vaccine-preventable diseases. These alarming statistics can put frantic parents on the offensive when it comes to identifying rashes on […]



06/22/2019 - 08:00 AM

 

Wild Weather Is Endangering World's Oldest Form of Clean Power

Wild Weather Is Endangering World's Oldest Form of Clean Power(Bloomberg) -- The Kariba Dam has towered over one of Africa’s mightiest rivers for 60 years, forming the world’s largest reservoir and providing reliable electricity to Zambia and Zimbabwe.But as drought grips the region, flow on the Zambezi river has dwindled to a third of what it was a year ago. Last month, Zambia’s state-owned power utility began cutting output, unleashing daily blackouts that leave more than 17 million people in the dark.“The Kariba Dam has been absolutely essential for that region,” said Randall Spalding-Fecher, an energy adviser whose doctoral thesis included examining how climate change may impact hydropower on the Zambezi. “The challenge is the future doesn’t look like the past.”Around the globe, climate change is sapping hydropower’s dependability as rivers that once ebbed and flowed with seasonal regularity have grown erratic. In Brazil, record drought triggered blackouts in 2015. In California, output from dams has swung wildly from year to year. And in Europe, Spanish utility giant Iberdrola SA’s hydro output reached a record high in 2016, then plunged 57% the following year.The shift has profound implications for regions that depend on dams for power and is prompting utilities and investors to more closely scrutinize what’s long been one of the largest sources of carbon-free electricity.“Hydropower is going to be less effective,” Jenny Kehl, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Sciences. “As the water levels decline, the capacity for hydropower plants to generate electricity will decrease.”Droughts are only half the problem. As California was enduring one of its wettest winters on record in 2017, heavy rains inundated the lake supplying Oroville’s hydroelectric power northeast of San Francisco. The pressure crippled a spillway, forcing nearly 200,000 people living downstream to evacuate.Feast-or-famine precipitation swings have forced California reservoir operators to make hard choices over whether to keep water levels high -- and risk floods -- or open spill gates and then wait for rain.“We were emptying out our reservoirs to make room for the next storm that was not on the horizon and did not materialize,” said Noah Diffenbaugh, a professor at Stanford University’s Woods Institute for the Environment.The near-disaster at Oroville, and others like it, have prompted companies to invest heavily to shore up dams.Norway’s largest power producer, Statkraft AS, has more than doubled spending over the past decade to reinforce dams to withstand heavy rains. It plans to spend 1.5 billion kroner ($176 million) on hydropower maintenance and upgrades through 2025.“The industry has had an awakening,” said Mike Haynes, chief operating officer of Seattle City Light, which gets 90% of its power from hydroelectric dams.While hydropower has become less predictable in some regions, BloombergNEF forecasts its share in the globe’s electricity mix will decline only slightly over the next three decades, from 16% this year to 12% in 2050.And yet, the volatility has been enough to prompt Aquila Capital -- a Hamburg, Germany-based firm that manages about $9.4 billion for institutional investors -- to make climate change central to its decision making. The company now commissions at least two independent studies before investing in any new dam to determine whether precipitation patterns are apt to change. Still, Aquila remains bullish on hydro in the long term.“We are pretty confident that although the business model might change in the next 20 years, it will still be a viable business,” said Tor Syverud, Aquila’s head of hydropower investing.Opportunities also remain for profits. In regions that depend heavily on hydropower -- such as Scandinavia -- power prices tend to rise during dry periods. So while dams may produce less power when reservoir levels dip, rising prices can make up for lower sales volume. That dynamic allowed Aquila to earn some of its biggest profits ever on a dam in Norway last year when the region suffered its driest summer in a century.But in regions where long-term forecasts calls for an increasingly arid climate, hydropower’s outlook is less promising.Back in Sub-Saharan Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia are planning another dam upstream on the Zambezi to address electricity shortages. This month, they chose General Electric Co. and Power Construction Corp. of China to build the $4 billion project.The river, meanwhile, is near its lowest level in half a century. If the water level continues to fall, Zambia has warned power generation at the existing dam will be suspended entirely in September. And while droughts may come and go, the river’s future looks grim.“Unfortunately climate models are showing decreases in rainfall,” said Spalding-Fecher, who works for a Norwegian development consultancy called Carbon Limits. “The Zambezi is particularly at risk.”\--With assistance from Brian Eckhouse, Millicent Dent, Paul Burkhardt and Brian K. Sullivan.To contact the reporters on this story: Gerald Porter Jr. in New York at gporter30@bloomberg.net;Jeremy Hodges in London at jhodges17@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lynn Doan at ldoan6@bloomberg.net, Joe Ryan, Reg GaleFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



06/22/2019 - 08:00 AM

 

The Weirdest Lies Patients Have Ever Told Doctors

The Weirdest Lies Patients Have Ever Told DoctorsThese people weren't fooling anybody.



06/22/2019 - 07:58 AM

 

NASA's Multibillion-Dollar Bet on the Moon: Good News for Space Companies, and for Taxpayers Too

NASA's Multibillion-Dollar Bet on the Moon: Good News for Space Companies, and for Taxpayers TooIt cost $150 billion (after inflation) to get America to the moon once. We'll go there a second time for 20% of that cost.



06/22/2019 - 06:34 AM

 

Electric Planes, Flying Taxis, Supersonic Jets: Paris Air Show Gives Us a Peek at the Future of Flight

Electric Planes, Flying Taxis, Supersonic Jets: Paris Air Show Gives Us a Peek at the Future of FlightElectric Planes, Flying Taxis, Supersonic Jets: Paris Air Show Gives Us a Peek at the Future of Flight



06/22/2019 - 06:30 AM

 

 

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