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Science News

Antibiotic-resistant Salmonella strain confirmed as 'superbugs' continue to worry experts

Antibiotic-resistant Salmonella strain confirmed as 'superbugs' continue to worry expertsA strain of Salmonella found in beef and soft cheeses in the United States and Mexico has been found resistant to antibiotics, according to the CDC.



08/24/2019 - 12:34 PM

 

Russian capsule carrying robot fails space station docking

Russian capsule carrying robot fails space station dockingA Russian space capsule carrying a humanoid robot has failed to dock as planned with the International Space Station. A statement from the Russian space agency Roscosmos said the failure on Saturday was because of problems in the docking system. Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin said on Twitter that a new docking attempt would be made on Tuesday.



08/24/2019 - 12:02 PM

 

NASA investigating first crime committed in space: report

NASA investigating first crime committed in space: reportUS space agency NASA is investigating what may be the first crime committed in outer space, The New York Times reported Saturday. Astronaut Anne McClain is accused of identity theft and improperly accessing her estranged wife's private financial records while on a sixth-month mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS), the Times said. The astronaut's spouse Summer Worden filed a complaint earlier this year with the Federal Trade Commission after learning McClain had accessed her bank account without permission, while Worden's family filed another with NASA's Office of Inspector General, according to the newspaper.



08/24/2019 - 10:10 PM

 

NASA astronaut accused of crime committed in space

NASA astronaut accused of crime committed in spaceAstronaut Anne McClain has been accused of unlawfully accessing her estranged spouse’s bank account aboard the International Space Station. McClain and her spouse, Summer Worden, have been engaged in a custody battle over Worden’s six year-old son Briggs after filing for divorce in October 2018. “Lt. Col Anne McClain has an accomplished military career, flew combat missions in Iraq and is one of NASA’s top astronauts,” NASA said in a statement.



08/24/2019 - 10:06 PM

 

Global appetite for beef, soy fuels Amazon fires

Global appetite for beef, soy fuels Amazon firesTwo of the industries involved in the infernos consuming the Amazon rainforest and drawing the attention of global powers gathered at the G7 meeting in France are familiar to diners worldwide: soy and beef. Brazil is the world's largest exporter of beef, with a record 1.64 million tons sent to its top markets China, Egypt and the European Union in 2018, according to the Brazilian Beef Exporters Association. All this growth has come at the expense of the Amazon.



08/24/2019 - 08:25 PM

 

Democratic leadership again considers climate change debate -- and again says no

Democratic leadership again considers climate change debate -- and again says noDemocrats have shut the door to a presidential debate focused on climate change. The proposal dominated the party's convention this week in San Francisco and pitted party officials who oppose single-issue debates against activists, who see climate change as an existential threat that deserves special attention heading into the 2020 election. On Thursday, the proposal failed in the Democratic National Committee's resolutions committee, and on Saturday the DNC leadership delivered a final "no" vote.



08/24/2019 - 08:01 PM

 

Brazilian troops begin deploying to fight Amazon fires

Brazilian troops begin deploying to fight Amazon firesBacked by military aircraft, Brazilian troops on Saturday were deploying in the Amazon to fight fires that have swept the region and prompted anti-government protests as well as an international outcry. President Jair Bolsonaro also tried to temper global concern, saying that previously deforested areas had burned and that intact rainforest was spared. Some 44,000 troops will be available for "unprecedented" operations to put out the fires, and forces are heading to six Brazilian states that asked for federal help, Defense Minister Fernando Azevedo said.



08/24/2019 - 07:02 PM

 

Hundreds of new fires in Brazil as outrage over Amazon grows

Hundreds of new fires in Brazil as outrage over Amazon growsHundreds of new fires are raging in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, official data showed Saturday, as thousands of troops were made available to help fight the worst blazes in years following a global outcry. Multiple fires billowing huge plumes of smoke into the air were seen across a vast area of the northwestern state of Rondonia on Friday when AFP journalists flew over the area. Several residents in the capital, Porto Velho, told AFP on Saturday that what appeared to be light clouds hanging over the city of half a million people, was actually smoke from the blazes that had scorched swaths of land and left tree trunks smoldering on the ground.



08/24/2019 - 06:02 PM

 

The Amazon rainforest fires are shaping the G7 summit, where world leaders like Trump and Macron are convening

The Amazon rainforest fires are shaping the G7 summit, where world leaders like Trump and Macron are convening"This speaks to climate change being an issue at the highest level of international discourse," one professor of earth and atmospheric sciences said.



08/24/2019 - 04:02 PM

 

A 29 year study of over 12,000 people is the latest evidence that eating too many animals can hurt your heart, and could even kill you

A 29 year study of over 12,000 people is the latest evidence that eating too many animals can hurt your heart, and could even kill youPeople who eat more plants and less animal products tend to live longer and have fewer heart issues than meat-eaters.



08/24/2019 - 03:46 PM

 

Britain joins Germany in criticising Macron's Mercosur threat

Britain joins Germany in criticising Macron's Mercosur threatBritain joined Germany on Saturday in criticising French President Emmanuel Macron's decision to block a trade deal between the European Union and the Mercosur group of southern American countries to pressure Brazil on Amazon forest fires. In a surprise statement on Friday, Macron said he had decided to block the EU-Mercosur deal and accused Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro of lying in playing down concerns about climate change.



08/24/2019 - 01:33 PM

 

The first crime in space? Nasa investigates an unprecedented divorce case

The first crime in space? Nasa investigates an unprecedented divorce caseThe divorce case has details that are all too familiar - two partners at loggerheads, a young child caught in the middle and claims of financial malpractice.  Except there is a twist. The person accused of wrongdoing was in space.  In what is believed to be a first, Nasa is investigating whether one of its astronauts committed a crime while in orbit.  The person in question, Anne McClain, was taking part in a six-month mission aboard the International Space Station [ISS] when the incident took place.  Taking advantage of the ISS’s internet connection, Ms McClain accessed the bank account of her partner while they were separating, according to a report from The New York Times.  The partner, a former Air Force intelligence officer called Summer Worden, has accused Ms McClain of identity theft and improperly accessing her finances, according to the account.  Ms McClain in turn has denied any wrongdoing, arguing that she was simply overseeing the couple’s intertwined money arrangements as she had done in the past.  NASA’s Office of Inspector General is now investigating.  The International Space Station (ISS) crew members David Saint-Jacques of Canada, Oleg Kononenko of Russia and Anne McClain of the U.S. board the Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft  Credit: REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov The case appears to be unprecedented, with Nasa officials telling the paper that they were unaware of any previous crimes being committed on the space station.   Mark Sundahl, director of the Global Space Law Center at Cleveland State University, went a step further, saying that he was not aware of any allegations of crime being committed anywhere in space before.  “Just because it’s in space doesn’t mean it’s not subject to law,” Mr. Sundahl told The New York Times.  He added: “The more we go out there and spend time out there, all the things we do here are going to happen in space.” The couple were married in 2014. Ms Worden had a son who had been born the year before she met Ms McClain.  Ms McClain wanted to adopt the child, according to the New York Times’s description of the divorce battle, but Ms Worden resisted.  Rusty Hardin, Ms McClain’s lawyer, said “she strenuously denies that she did anything improper” regarding accessing the bank account while in space and “is totally cooperating” with the investigation.  Now back on Earth, Ms McClain has reportedly sat for an interview with the inspector general last week under oath.  Ms McClain, a decorated pilot, was a West Point graduate who flew more than 800 combat hours in Operation Iraqi Freedom before joining Nasa in 2013. She was due to be part of Nasa’s first all-female spacewalk during her time on the ISS, but did not participate in the end.  The case has thrown a spotlight on the little understood world of space law and what happens if a crime is committed in orbit.  There are rules for what laws govern on the ISS, which has astronauts from America, Canada, Japan and Russia as well as several European nations.  National law applies to each person and their possessions, so an American citizen is subject to American law, while a Russian is subject to Russian law.  The significance of legal rules in the cosmos are only likely to increase as commercial space flights become a reality in the near future.



08/24/2019 - 11:52 AM

 

Hundreds of new fires in Brazil as Amazon outrage grows

Hundreds of new fires in Brazil as Amazon outrage growsHundreds of new fires are raging in the Amazon rainforest in northern Brazil, official data showed Saturday, amid growing international pressure on President Jair Bolsonaro to put out the worst blazes in years. Official figures show 78,383 forest fires were recorded in Brazil so far this year, the highest number of any year since 2013, and experts say the clearing of land during the months-long dry season to make way for crops or grazing has accelerated the deforestation. More than half of the fires are in the Amazon, and some 1,663 new fires were ignited between Thursday and Friday, according to the National Institute for Space Research (INPE).



08/24/2019 - 10:10 AM

 

America's 4 Rocket Companies Compete for High-Stakes Air Force Contract

America's 4 Rocket Companies Compete for High-Stakes Air Force ContractTwo companies might win, two more will have their dreams dashed -- and one company might actually die.



08/24/2019 - 08:17 AM

 

Nasa investigating first ever ‘space crime’ as astronaut accused of committing theft from ISS

Nasa investigating first ever ‘space crime’ as astronaut accused of committing theft from ISSSummer Worden, a former US Air Force intelligence officer living in Kansas, has been in the midst of a bitter separation and parenting dispute for much of the past year.So she was surprised when she noticed that her estranged spouse still seemed to know things about her spending. Had she bought a car? How could she afford that?



08/24/2019 - 07:15 AM

 

Docking aborted for Russia's first humanoid robot in space

Docking aborted for Russia's first humanoid robot in spaceAn unmanned spacecraft carrying Russia's first humanoid robot to be sent into orbit failed to dock automatically at the International Space Station on Saturday, in a new setback for Moscow. "Russian cosmonauts issued a command to abort the automated approach of an uncrewed Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station," the US space agency NASA said in a statement. "The craft was unable to lock onto its target at the station," and "backed a safe distance away from the orbital complex while the Russian flight controllers assess the next steps," NASA said.



08/24/2019 - 05:56 AM

 

Economic Nightmare: By 2100, Climate Change Could Tank U.S. GDP By 10.5%

Economic Nightmare: By 2100, Climate Change Could Tank U.S. GDP By 10.5%Failing to adequately address climate change could do significant damage to the U.S. economy and to global markets by the end of the century, new research out this week shows.The study, published in the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) on Monday, is not the first to highlight the dramatic economic cost of allowing global warming to go unchecked. But the analysis is among the most comprehensive to focus on the sheer scope of potential impacts, emphasizing that climate change will have severe implications for even very wealthy nations.Lower-income countries have been seen as the primary victims of rising temperatures, with research repeatedly indicating that tropical islands and regions like South Asia will be among the worst-hit. But the economic data from 174 nations analyzed for the NBER study shows that no country would be spared from grave climate impacts, including the United States.In a “business as usual” scenario in the report, global emissions would remain high and temperatures would continue to increase at around 0.072 degrees Fahrenheit (0.04 degrees Celsius) per year, a scale based on current warming levels between 1960 and 2014. That scenario would be dire, bringing the world to 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) of warming and resulting in GDP per capita worldwide taking a 7.2% blow by 2100. In the United States, that would translate to a deeper 10.5% real income cut. “[Our estimates] suggest that all regions (cold or hot, and rich or poor) would experience a relatively large fall in GDP per capita by 2100 in the absence of climate change policies,” wrote the research team, comprised of University of Cambridge researchers along with colleagues from the United States, Taiwan, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).Other countries that could see GDP losses around 10% include Japan, India, and New Zealand. Canada, a county with a cold climate currently experiencing outsized warming, could experience a 13% GDP blow. Switzerland’s economy could be 12% smaller, with Russia’s taking a 9% dip.Experts almost unanimously agree that climate change will require significant mitigation and adaptation, with communities forced to change everything from transportation norms to eating habits in order to adjust to a warmer world. The NBER study acknowledges that these shifts will help countries stave off some impacts. However, scientific consensus indicates that it takes three decades to truly adapt to climate change, during which point warming only continues, requiring further adaptations. The study also takes a close look at the United States, nodding to the importance of analyzing “geographically-diverse” nations.“By concentrating on the U.S., we were able to compare whether economic activity in hot or wet areas responds to temperature fluctuations around historical norms in the same way as that in cold or dry areas within a single large nation,” said Kamiar Mohaddes, co-author of the study and a member of Cambridge’s Faculty of Economics, in a statement.Looking at the contiguous United States, the researchers analyzed a number of sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing, mining, trade, and retail. They found that every single sector would see impacts from at least one aspect of climate change, including disasters like flooding and general fluctuations in heat.Those impacts could ultimately cause economic problems on a staggering scale.“Heavy rainfall prevents mountain access for mining and affects commodity prices. Cold snaps raise heating bills and high street spending drops,” said Mohaddes. “Heatwaves cause transport networks to shut down. All these things add up.”But the study also offers a silver lining. The researchers mapped out a scenario in which the world “gets its act together” and adheres to the Paris Agreement. That pact seeks to keep the world from passing 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) of global warming over preindustrial temperatures.In the more optimistic scenario, global GDP loss could be limited to around 1.1%, the NBER study finds. The United States would see its GDP shrink less than 2%, as would Canada. Mohaddes pointed to that outcome as far more preferable and argued that meeting the Paris Agreement’s goals is a “good start” if affluent nations want to avoid economic crisis.That might be easier said than done. President Donald Trump’s administration has touted climate impacts as a potential source of economic gain. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo argued in May that melting sea ice in the Arctic could present “new opportunities for trade” to the advantage of countries like the United States. Trump himself has said he will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, arguing that the pact’s climate action agenda is too costly for the U.S. government.This article originally appeared on ThinkProgress on August 20, 2019.E.A. Crunden covers climate policy and environmental issues for ThinkProgress.Image: Reuters.



08/23/2019 - 11:45 PM

 

Climate Debate’s Uncertainty Hangs Heavy Over Democratic Party Meeting

Climate Debate’s Uncertainty Hangs Heavy Over Democratic Party MeetingMany of the 2020 candidates at the Democratic National Committee gathering were silent on climate change, underscoring concerns it's getting scant attention.



08/23/2019 - 09:18 PM

 

Worst drought in decades hits Chile capital and outskirts

Worst drought in decades hits Chile capital and outskirtsOfficials in Chile say the capital city and its outskirts are suffering from the worst drought in many years. The government has declared an agricultural emergency in many areas to try to fast-track a series of relief measures for farmers, including provision of drinking water and medicine for animals. Santiago Metropolitan region, Coquimbo, Valparaiso and O'Higgins are among the worst-hit areas.



08/23/2019 - 08:38 PM

 

Bolsonaro to send army to fight huge fires in the Amazon

Bolsonaro to send army to fight huge fires in the AmazonUnder international pressure to contain fires sweeping parts of Brazil's Amazon, President Jair Bolsonaro on Friday authorized use of the military to battle the huge blazes while thousands took to the streets to protest his environmental policies. Brazilian forces will deploy starting Saturday to border areas, indigenous territories and other affected regions in the Amazon to assist in putting out fires for a month, according to a presidential decree authorizing use of the army. The military will "act strongly" to control the wildfires, Bolsonaro promised as he signed the decree.



08/23/2019 - 08:36 PM

 

Brazil tribal chief Raoni slams Bolsonaro over Amazon fires

Brazil tribal chief Raoni slams Bolsonaro over Amazon firesBrazil's legendary indigenous chief Raoni on Friday accused President Jair Bolsonaro of wanting to destroy the Amazon rainforest and called for international help to put out fires raging in the region. The elderly Kayapo chief, internationally recognizable through his traditional lip plate and feather headdress, called for Bolsonaro's removal from power, as a global outcry over the blazes ignites protests around the world. It's really terrible what he does," Raoni Metuktire told AFP by telephone from Germany, accusing Bolsonaro of emboldening farmers, loggers and miners.



08/23/2019 - 07:41 PM

 

6 charts show why thousands of fires in the Amazon rainforest matter to the world

6 charts show why thousands of fires in the Amazon rainforest matter to the worldThe Amazon rainforest is losing thousands of acres annually to fires and development putting the world's environment at greater risk



08/23/2019 - 07:13 PM

 

Macron spearheads pressure on Bolsonaro over Amazon fires

Macron spearheads pressure on Bolsonaro over Amazon firesFrance's Emmanuel Macron led a growing wave of international pressure on Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro over the fires raging in the Amazon rainforest Friday, telling him Paris would block efforts to seal a major trade deal. The issue will be high on the agenda when global leaders meet for the G7 summit Saturday in the French resort of Biarritz, where they are also set to tackle global trade wars and the Iran nuclear standoff. Just days before hosting the summit, Macron called for urgent talks on the "international crisis" in the world's largest rainforest, saying leaders would hammer out "concrete measures" to tackle it.



08/23/2019 - 05:04 PM

 

AP Explains: The causes and risks of the Amazon fires

AP Explains: The causes and risks of the Amazon firesFires have been breaking out at an unusual pace in Brazil this year, causing global alarm over deforestation in the Amazon region. Brazil's National Space Research Institute, which monitors deforestation, has recorded 76,720 wildfires across the country this year, as of Thursday. The agency says it doesn't have figures for the area burned, but deforestation as a whole has accelerated in the Amazon this year.



08/23/2019 - 04:18 PM

 

Why Some Men Are Obsessed With Inseminating as Many Women as Possible

Why Some Men Are Obsessed With Inseminating as Many Women as Possible"Some men have this very strange identification with their sperm"



08/23/2019 - 03:45 PM

 

Voters Back Liability For Companies That Mislead About Climate Change: Poll

Voters Back Liability For Companies That Mislead About Climate Change: PollSupport for the idea is especially strong among Democrats and independents.



08/23/2019 - 03:26 PM

 

A floating nuclear plant in Russia features a gym, bar, and pool. An expert calls it 'Chernobyl on ice.'

A floating nuclear plant in Russia features a gym, bar, and pool. An expert calls it 'Chernobyl on ice.'Environmental activists worry about the perils of placing nuclear reactors at sea, where they could be vulnerable to climate-related disasters.



08/23/2019 - 01:49 PM

 

Geoengineering: 'Plan B' for the planet

Geoengineering: 'Plan B' for the planetParis (AFP) - Dismissed a decade ago as far-fetched and dangerous, schemes to tame global warming by engineering the climate have migrated from the margins of policy debates towards centre stage.



08/23/2019 - 01:43 PM

 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Greta Thunberg want everyone to fly less to fight climate change. Germany and Sweden are already embracing the 'flight shame' movement.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Greta Thunberg want everyone to fly less to fight climate change. Germany and Sweden are already embracing the 'flight shame' movement.The anti-air travel "flight shame" movement has taken off in Germany and Sweden, but might be doomed in the US, despite Ocasio-Cortez's aspirations.



08/23/2019 - 01:39 PM

 

Scientists harvest eggs of last two surviving white rhino to pull species from brink of extinction

Scientists harvest eggs of last two surviving white rhino to pull species from brink of extinctionA Jurassic Park-style plan to bring back an effectively extinct species took a step towards being realised after scientists successfully harvested eggs from world's last two northern white rhino.  Northern white rhino was thought to be doomed forever when Sudan, the planet's last male, died at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya in March 2018.    He was survived only by Najin, 30 and her daughter Fatu, who live under 18 live under 24 hour armed guard in the same conservancy, but are both unable to become pregnant.   But now an international consortium of scientists is using frozen sperm from four deceased males and eggs harvested from the two females to raise the species from the dead.  "We succeeded in getting 10 eggs, which is fantastic. They arrived in Italy on Friday morning and will be matured before being applied to sperm to create embryos," said Steven Seet a spokesman for the IZW and partner in the project.  Because neither Najin nor Fatu are healthy enough to carry a pregnancy to term, the plan is to implant the embryos in the wombs of  southern white rhinos, a closely related subspecies still found in large numbers in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana.   Fatu is escorted by armed rangers around Ol Pejeta Conservancy near Nanyuki Credit: DAI KUROKAWA/EPA-EFE/REX It has not been tried before and the embryos will have to be frozen while scientists perfect the technique. They hope to produce living offspring withing three years.  "I am pretty sure we will overcome that hurdle. But even if we are able to have those frozen embryos and store them for 3000 years or longer, we can say with have saved the whole organism for future generations," said Mr Seet.   The BioRescue project was formally launched in June with four million Euros in funding from Germany's Federal Ministry of Education and Research, although the scientists involved have been working self-funded for several years.  The IZW describes the project, which also involves the Italian biotech laboratory Avantea, the Dvur Kralove zoo in Czechia, and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), as an "attempt to push the boundaries of what is medically and technically feasible."    While the plan is slightly less far fetched than the one depicted in Jurassic Park, which used DNA frozen for millions of years in amber to clone dinosaurs, its advocates admit it will faces major scientific hurdles and will raise new questions in medical ethics.   In the best case scenario, only a handful of calves maybe born from Najin and Fatu's eggs, and the lack of genetic diversity between the half-siblings could make it impossible to create a viable breeding population.  A team of scientists successfully harvested eggs from the two female northern white rhinos  Credit: AMI VITALE/OL PEJETA CONSERVANCY/HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/ To tackle that, the project has bought in leading researchers from Germany, Italy, Japan, and the US to try and create artificial sex cells via stem cells sourced from the frozen skin tissue of unrelated northern whites.  Using stem cells to create artificial life is one of the most controversial areas of medical science. Barabra Demori, a moral philosopher from the University of Padua, has been asked to oversee the ethical dimension of the work.  John Waweru, the director general of the KWS, said: "We are delighted that this partnership gets us one step closer to prevent extinction of the northern white rhinos. This is particularly touching given the heartbreaking death of Sudan, the last male, who died of old age last year in Kenya." With no natural predators, northern white rhino once roamed in their thousands across the grassy plains that stretch along the southern edge of the Sahara desert, including in Uganda, the Central African Republic, Sudan, and Chad.   But demand for rhino horn for use in Chinese medicine and dagger handles in Yemen fueled a poaching crisis that saw them wiped out in large parts of their range in the 1980s and 1970s. They were considered extinct in the wild in 2008 after a wide ranging survey failed to find any specimens.  One last wild sighting was made by Russian helicopter pilots who saw three rhinos thought to be northern whites while overflying a remote part of Sudan in 2010,  but none have been seen since.



08/23/2019 - 01:24 PM

 

Democratic presidential candidates have a new approach for tackling gun violence: Treat it as a public-health crisis

Democratic presidential candidates have a new approach for tackling gun violence: Treat it as a public-health crisisCandidates like Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker want to draw on tactics used by community-based organizations to fight gun violence.



08/23/2019 - 01:23 PM

 

Scientists think toxic algae may be to blame for Florida's stumbling panthers, bobcats

Scientists think toxic algae may be to blame for Florida's stumbling panthers, bobcatsFlorida's fish and wildlife agency has confirmed that one panther and one bobcat have shown positive results for neurological damage.



08/23/2019 - 12:24 PM

 

European demos held over Amazon fires

European demos held over Amazon firesClimate change activists chanting slogans and waving banners demonstrated outside Brazil's embassy in London on Friday, urging President Jair Bolsonaro to do more to halt the fires in the Amazon rainforest. The protests came as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the fires as an "international crisis" ahead of a G7 summit in France this weekend where the issue is expected to feature prominently. "The fires ravaging the Amazon rainforest are not only heartbreaking, they are an international crisis," Johnson tweeted.



08/23/2019 - 12:00 PM

 

Climate activists demonstrate outside Brazil embassies in Paris and London

Climate activists demonstrate outside Brazil embassies in Paris and LondonPARIS/LONDON (Reuters) - Several hundred environmental activists demonstrated on Friday outside the Brazilian embassy in Paris as a clash between the two countries' leaders over the issue of climate change intensified, while similar protests took place in London. On Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron and U.N. Secretary General António Guterres expressed concerns about wildfires that are raging in the Amazon, but Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro responded angrily to what he regarded as meddling.



08/23/2019 - 11:27 AM

 

Macron Opposes Mercosur Trade, Saying Brazil ‘Lied’ on Climate

Macron Opposes Mercosur Trade, Saying Brazil ‘Lied’ on Climate(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Outraged over the Amazon fires, Emmanuel Macron branded Brazil’s president a liar and threatened to block the European Union’s trade deal with the Mercosur countries as he prepares to whip the Group of Seven leaders into climate action.The French president’s office said that it has become clear that Jair Bolsonaro wasn’t serious about his commitments on tackling climate change when he spoke to world leaders at the Group of 20 summit in Osaka earlier this year."The president can only conclude that President Bolsonaro lied to him in Osaka," at the G-20, the statement said. "Under these conditions, France is opposed to the Mercosur deal."A day before he’s due to welcome G-7 leaders to Biarritz, Macron said he would make the burning of the Amazon jungle a priority at the summit. That provoked an angry response from Bolsonaro, who accused him of acting like a colonialist."The news is really worrisome, but we need to lower the temperature, there are fires in Brazil every year," Brazilian Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina Dias told reporters in Brasilia. "There were fires in Portugal, in Siberia, there were fires all over the world and Brazil wasn’t questioning them."Trade, ClimateThe way that an environmental dispute escalated so quickly into a new front in the global trade tensions shows the growing importance of climate as a fundamental plank of geopolitics. Even before Macron’s announcement, Ireland said it could not vote for the Mercosur agreement and Finland wants the EU to consider a ban on Brazilian beef.The EU has sought to leverage the size of its market to pressure trading partners into doing more to reduce emissions and is also concerned that its companies will be undercut by rivals operating in places with looser restrictions.But the configuration of the G-7 right now will make it difficult for Macron to make a lot headway beyond some token words. Donald Trump famously ripped up last year’s communique and does not want to be cornered. U.K.’s Boris Johnson is eager to tighten his bond with the U.S. president and at odds with European allies over Brexit. Italy is mired in a messy political crisis at home and has no prime minister. Japan is unlikely to stick its neck out -- it is more concerned about the potential fallout from the U.S. trade war with China.In fact, the run-up to the G-7 was overshadowed by China whacking the U.S. with higher tariffs on soybeans, cars and oil in retaliation for Trump’s latest planned levies.And Trump himself has signaled where his priorities lie. On waking up he began tweeting against the Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and China’s Xi Jinping -- not on the Amazon fires. A U.S. official said that the U.S. are deeply concerned about the impact of the fires while indicating the administration did not see it as part of the broader climate issue.The EU wrapped up 20 years of negotiations to seal an accord with South America’s leading customs union just weeks ago, in what was then seen as a major retort toTrump’s attacks on the global system of free trade. The deal could affect almost 90 billion euros ($100 billion) of goods and Brazil expects to see its economy increased by about $90 billion over the next 15 years.Officials on both sides are still fine-tuning the agreement and it still needs to be approved by EU governments before it can enter into force. A Brazilian official, with direct knowledge of the government’s position, said that the EU-Mercosur deal is not ready to be signed yet, and that while the deal could be rejected or put to one side, it could not be changed.The official added that France stood to lose a lot if the agreement didn’t go through, citing the presence of supermarket chain Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA and carmakers such as Renault SA and Peugeot SA.Another senior government official however said that France’s position is a cause of concern and that the Bolsonaro administration needed to change the narrative. There are signs that the president is already poised to do that.Speaking on Friday morning in Brasilia, Bolsonaro said the government is considering declaring a state of emergency in the region, allowing the president to deploy armed forces and extra funding to the region: “We discussed a lot of things and whatever is within our reach we will do. The problem is resources.”(Adds Johnson’s tweet.)\--With assistance from Arne Delfs, Alex Morales, Kati Pohjanpalo, Peter Flanagan, Rachel Gamarski, Mario Sergio Lima and Josh Wingrove.To contact the reporters on this story: Helene Fouquet in Bairritz, France at hfouquet1@bloomberg.net;Simone Iglesias in Brasília at spiglesias@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Flavia Krause-Jackson at fjackson@bloomberg.net, Ben SillsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



08/23/2019 - 11:26 AM

 

Russia's floating nuclear plant sails to its destination

Russia's floating nuclear plant sails to its destinationRussia's first floating nuclear power plant sailed Friday to its destination on the nation's Arctic coast, a project that environmentalists have criticized as unsafe. The Akademik Lomonosov is a 140-meter (459-foot) long towed platform that carries two 35-megawatt nuclear reactors. On Friday, it set out from the Arctic port of Murmansk on the Kola Peninsula on a three-week journey to Pevek on the Chukotka Peninsula more than 4,900 kilometers (about 2,650 nautical miles) east.



08/23/2019 - 11:17 AM

 

Extracted eggs may stop extinction of northern white rhino

Extracted eggs may stop extinction of northern white rhinoWildlife experts and veterinarians said Friday there is hope to prevent the extinction of the northern white rhino because they successfully extracted eggs from the last two remaining females of the species. The eggs will be used to reproduce the species through a surrogate. The groundbreaking procedure was carried out Thursday on the northern white rhinos known as Najin and Fatu who cannot carry a pregnancy.



08/23/2019 - 11:15 AM

 

Science Requires Some Leaps, But No Faith

Science Requires Some Leaps, But No Faith(Bloomberg Opinion) -- When the universe was born, it was hostile to life. There wasn’t even any carbon until after the first stars forged it from lighter elements. We know life emerged from a nonliving universe, but how this happened is such a profound mystery that humanity has struggled to imagine that it could have happened without supernatural help. People often insist that it requires just as much faith to assume the origin of life happened by natural processes alone as it does to attribute it to gods.But they are wrong. Scientists who want to investigate such a mystery make gambles, not leaps of faith. They are betting their time, effort and career status on the hope that there is a natural explanation, and that they can learn something about it. As new discoveries shed light on the mystery, it’s becoming ever more apparent that they made a winning bet.Betting on natural explanations for natural phenomena has paid off time and time again, while betting on supernatural explanations has never paid off, at least not in revealing useful physical and biological rules. There’s no experiment that can tell us about the nature of the supernatural. It’s an intellectual dead end.The origin of life can seem like magic though. A long-held notion known as vitalism once cut a hard line between the living and non-living world. People thought living things were made of a different substance entirely from inanimate things. But now we know the basic elements of chemistry are the same in living things as in the earth’s crust and atmosphere. Some of the complex organic molecules associated with life crop up in asteroids, comets and deep space.Discoveries in chemistry are showing how components of living things can assemble themselves. Recently, scientists from the University of Washington showed how something very much like a cell membrane could form spontaneously from fatty acids and amino acids, which themselves can appear without life. The process of membrane formation may help assemble critical molecules – the proteins – from smaller building blocks.Life is not made from membranes alone, though, and other groups are trying to understand the origin of DNA, which living things use to carry instructions. Scientists think early life used a related information-carrying molecule, RNA, and that this evolved from some simpler information-carrying precursor. There’s been progress testing this idea, too.Understanding how those building blocks came together to make earthly life could help scientists understand how widespread life might be in the universe, and where to look for it.It's possible that piece by piece, scientists will solve the origin-of-life mystery within the coming decades. It will take guts to delve into the unknown and take some chances in pursuit of evidence – testing the plausibility of various steps and precursors that may or may not have been on the road to the formation of life on earth. There will be leaps required, but no faith.To contact the author of this story: Faye Flam at fflam1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Philip Gray at philipgray@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Faye Flam is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. She has written for the Economist, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Psychology Today, Science and other publications. She has a degree in geophysics from the California Institute of Technology.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



08/23/2019 - 11:00 AM

 

Amgen Presents Positive Data From Rituxan Biosimilar Study

Amgen Presents Positive Data From Rituxan Biosimilar StudyAmgen (AMGN) markets Mvasi and Kanjinti, biosimilar versions of Avastin and Herceptin, respectively in the United States, and Kanjinti and Amgevita, biosimilar of Humira, in the EU.



08/23/2019 - 10:36 AM

 

Democrats are blowing it on climate change

Democrats are blowing it on climate changeA carbon tax is the best way to start fighting global warming. Nobody will say so.



08/23/2019 - 10:23 AM

 

Amazon rainforest fire a 'crisis', Macron says, but Brazil pushes back: What we know

Amazon rainforest fire a 'crisis', Macron says, but Brazil pushes back: What we knowAs wildfires rage in the Amazon rainforest, global attention has ignited bitter dispute about who is the blame for burning "the lungs of the planet."



08/23/2019 - 10:22 AM

 

Arcwest Exploration Inc. Provides Exploration Update on its Eagle and Sparrowhawk Porphyry Projects, Central B.C. and Stakes Newly Discovered Porphyry Copper Prospect

Arcwest Exploration Inc. Provides Exploration Update on its Eagle and Sparrowhawk Porphyry Projects, Central B.C. and Stakes Newly Discovered Porphyry Copper ProspectVancouver, British Columbia--(Newsfile Corp. - August 23, 2019) - ArcWest Exploration Inc. (TSXV: AWX) ("ArcWest") is pleased to announce results of reconnaissance geological mapping and rock geochemical surveys on its Eagle and Sparrowhawk porphyry copper-gold (Cu-Au) projects, central British Columbia, as well as the acquisition of a newly discovered porphyry Cu prospect on northern Vancouver Island east of its Teeta Creek Cu-Au Project. Rock geochemical samples were select grabs from outcrops across the ...



08/23/2019 - 08:30 AM

 

Giraffes move closer to endangered species protection

Giraffes move closer to endangered species protectionNations around the world moved Thursday to protect giraffes as an endangered species for the first time, drawing praise from conservationists and scowls from some sub-Saharan African nations. Thursday's vote by a key committee at the World Wildlife Conference known as CITES paves the way for the measure's likely approval by its plenary next week. The plan would regulate world trade in giraffe parts, including hides, bone carvings and meat, while stopping short of a full ban.



08/23/2019 - 08:04 AM

 

Scientists a step closer to saving northern white rhino from extinction

Scientists a step closer to saving northern white rhino from extinctionVeterinarians have successfully harvested eggs from the last two surviving northern white rhinos, taking them one step closer to bringing the species back from the brink of extinction, scientists said in Kenya on Friday. Science is the only hope for the northern white rhino after the death last year of the last male, named Sudan, at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya where the groundbreaking procedure was carried out Thursday. Two females, Najin, 30, and daughter Fatu, 19, are the only survivors of the subspecies of white rhino, and live under 24-hour armed guard at Ol Pejeta.



08/23/2019 - 07:45 AM

 

Retrophin Down on Neurological Disorder Drug Study Failure

Retrophin Down on Neurological Disorder Drug Study FailureRetrophin (RTRX) declines as the late-stage study on a rare neurological disorder candidate failed to achieve its main goal.



08/23/2019 - 07:38 AM

 

Brazil's climate change skeptic government says warnings about the fires consuming the Amazon are 'sensationalist,' 'hysterical,' and 'misleading'

Brazil's climate change skeptic government says warnings about the fires consuming the Amazon are 'sensationalist,' 'hysterical,' and 'misleading'President Jair Bolsonaro dismissed the idea that the Amazon fires should be discussed at the G7 summit, an idea proposed by France's Emmanuel Macron.



08/23/2019 - 06:56 AM

 

Prince Harry’s Shaming Is Bad News for Private Jets

Prince Harry’s Shaming Is Bad News for Private Jets(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Given the swelling ranks of the world’s billionaires, you’d have thought the past 10 years would have been fabulous for private jet suppliers.In reality, the period since the great recession has been a “lost decade” for the industry’s manufacturers, analysts say. A glut of second-hand aircraft sapped demand for new models, while shared ownership and renting became popular alternatives to buying a plane outright. Meanwhile, large corporations that once thought nothing of jetting their execs around in comfort started scrutinizing budgets and worrying about conspicuous excess. In 2017 General Electric Co. said it would sell its fleet after unflattering reports about its former boss, Jeff “two planes” Immelt.The industry seemed to have turned a corner recently thanks to the U.S. economic recovery, a fresh lineup of bigger models, plus tax giveaways from President Donald Trump that made it much cheaper to purchase a plane. North America is expected to account for more than half the global market for private jets in the next five years, according to Honeywell International Inc.Yet suppliers face another looming threat: Our rapidly heating planet might make boarding a fuel-guzzling jet seem unconscionable. In Sweden there’s even a word for this new aversion to flying: flygskam or “flight shame.” Are the super-wealthy 1% susceptible too?It’s not just climate campaigners who think the industry has an image problem. Warren East, chief executive of the jet engine-maker Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc, said recently that aviation as a whole “is built on setting fire to hydrocarbons” and needs to wean itself off that “quite quickly.” Bombardier Inc., owner of the Learjet brand, warned in its annual report that “the impact to us and our industry from legislation and increased regulation regarding climate change is likely to be adverse and could be significant.”The globe-trotting business elite and A-list celebrities who once made private jets such desirable status symbols certainly aren’t helping the industry’s image problem, with the media increasingly taking issue with those who preach the environmentalist faith while turning up at events in their Gulfstreams.The British royal Prince Harry has been dubbed the “Carbon Footprince” by his country’s press after taking several private flights to the Mediterranean this summer despite his outspokenness on ecological issues. It’s doubly ironic that one of those journeys was to Alphabet Inc.’s four-day climate change summit in Sicily, where an epic queue of private jets rather undermined the well-intended activism.You can see what the critics are getting at from a “do as I say, not what I do” perspective. Travelling by private jet produces several times more carbon dioxide than purchasing an economy seat on a commercial flight (precisely how much depends on how many people are on board and whether the jet flies home empty). The average American is responsible for about 16 tons of CO2 emissions per year. That’s already three times the global average, but it’s only a fraction of what private jets produce in a typical year.As such, the tax advantages for private jets are very hard to justify. Nor is it helpful that many operators will be exempt from the aviation industry’s commitment – known as Corsia – to cap net emissions at 2020 levels and to halve these by 2050.(1)Banning private jets, as some have suggested, wouldn’t do much to curb climate change as there are only about 20,000 of them operating today. The aviation industry accounts for about 2%-3% of global emissions and private jets perhaps pump out as little as 0.04% of the total, according to industry groups.But symbolism matters in the climate debate. If private jet users aren’t seen to be doing their bit, they can’t reasonably expect poorer folk to make sacrifices either. While the purchase of carbon offsets to make up for the impact is worthy and rational, intellectual justifications are a hard sell on this topic.Of course, private jets aren’t just frivolous toys, they have their uses too as a time-saving device for executives. As such, their users and makers will be eager to combat any burgeoning environmental backlash through the development of cleaner technologies. Carbon efficiency no doubt will become as important as time efficiency in selling planes.Startups such as Eviation, as well as incumbent manufacturers and suppliers, are already plowing money into hybrid and electric aircraft. The industry is also trying to encourage operators to use non-petroleum fuels, although they’re expensive and hard to get hold of. Because of the limited energy density of batteries, it’s probable that smaller aircraft will be the first to go electric. In the meantime, my guess is that rich folk will think twice before posting a shot of their plush planes on Instagram. The Swedes have a word for that too: smygflyga – “flying in secret.”  (1) Planes with a maximum takeoff weight of below 5700kg and operatorswith fewerthan 10,000 tonnes of annual carbon emissions are excluded. The private jet industry says it will pursue voluntarily the same goals anyway.To contact the author of this story: Chris Bryant at cbryant32@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at jboxell@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Bryant is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies. He previously worked for the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



08/23/2019 - 05:00 AM

 

Heart attacks halved by daily 'polypill', strokes reduced too: study

Heart attacks halved by daily 'polypill', strokes reduced too: studyA cheap, once-a-day pill combining aspirin with drugs that lower blood pressure and cholesterol cuts cardiovascular disease as a whole by a third, and heart attacks by more than half, researchers said Friday. For those with a history of heart problems and strokes, the drug combo was only half as effective compared to the control group, who received advice on healthy living but no drugs. Among participants who took the pill as directed -- at least 70 percent of the time -- heart attack incidence declined by 57 percent.



08/23/2019 - 04:57 AM

 

Scientists a step closer to saving northern white rhino from extinction

Scientists a step closer to saving northern white rhino from extinctionVeterinarians have successfully harvested eggs from the last two surviving northern white rhinos, taking them one step closer to bringing the species back from the brink of extinction, scientists said in Kenya on Friday. Science is the only hope for the northern white rhino after the death last year of the last male, named Sudan, at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya where the groundbreaking procedure was carried out Thursday. Two females, Najin, 30, and daughter Fatu, 19, are the only survivors of the subspecies of white rhino, and live under 24-hour armed guard at Ol Pejeta.



08/23/2019 - 04:56 AM

 

EU piles pressure on Brazil over Amazon fires

EU piles pressure on Brazil over Amazon firesDUBLIN/BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union piled pressure on Friday on Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro over fires raging in the Amazon basin, with Ireland and France saying they could block a trade deal with South America. Bolsonaro has rejected what he calls foreign interference in domestic affairs in Brazil, where vast tracts of the Amazon rainforest are ablaze in what is known as the burning season. Environmentalists have blamed deforestation for an increase in fires and accuse the right-wing president of relaxing protection of a vast carbon trap and climate driver that is crucial to combating global climate change.



08/23/2019 - 03:52 AM

 

 

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