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Europe's space agency braces for Brexit fallout
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The European Space Agency (ESA) is drawing up contingency plans for projects, commercial deals, and staffing that may be adversely affected by Brexit, senior officials said Wednesday. Programmes throw in flux by Britain's pending departure from the European Union (EU) include the Copernicus satellite constellation to monitor environmental damage, and the Galileo satellite navigation system. Britain's EU-linked participation in both programmes will come to an end after Brexit, unless it negotiates a specific deal, the ESA has said.
Five Navy Officers Face Charges of Negligent Homicide for Their Role in Ship Collisions
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
17 sailors died in two crashes last year
'Haunting and Disturbing.' 13 Siblings Found Shackled Looked Like 'Fun Family' in Facebook Photos
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Louise Anna Turpin and David Allen Turpin, were jailed on $9 million bail for possible charges including torture and child endangerment.
Mantis Shrimp Can Punch Each Other to Death But Prefer to Resolve Conflicts Peacefully
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
When an argument comes to blows, it’s especially devastating for a mantis shrimp. Scientists at Duke University decided to create some conflict between mantis shrimp in order to see if and when they would resort to drastic violence to solve it. They took pairs of mantis shrimp of a certain species, Neogonodactylus bredini, and gave one of each pair a burrow. Mantis shrimp have a punch strong enough to break glass, boil water and kill each other.
Myanmar and Bangladesh Are About to Return Rohingya Refugees. Rights Groups Say It’s Too Soon
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Amnesty International called the plans "alarmingly premature"
National Park Service advisory board members resign in protest
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Nearly all the members of the U.S. National Park Service advisory board announced their sudden resignations on Monday night, in protest of what they say has been a lack of engagement by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke during the past year. In a resignation letter, the members said Zinke refused to meet with the panel, which is legally required to provide input to the department regarding how to take care of America's most treasured landscapes. SEE ALSO: The National Park Service removed climate change plans from website, but it may be for a good reason Former Alaska Gov. and advisory board member Tony Knowles turned in the letter of resignation for himself and eight others, citing "a profound concern that the mission of stewardship, protection, and advancement of our National Parks has been set aside." The other eight members of the board that joined Knowles include: Gretchen Long, Paul Bardacke, Carolyn Finney, Judy Burke, Stephen Pitti, Milton Chen, Belinda Faustinos, Margaret Wheatley. Just three members remain a part of the board. You can read Knowles complete letter below (via The Washington Post). In an interview with Alaska Public Radio, Knowles went a bit more in-depth about what drove the board's frustrations with the current administration.  NPR notes that the nine members who stepped down were all Obama-era appointees and were scheduled to end their terms in May, anyway. But their public resignation sends a clear message of frustration with the way the Trump administration has bungled its way through managing not just the National Park Service but several other Interior Department organizations.  For example, the administration still hasn't nominated anyone for Park Service director, and has proposed steep fee hikes for Americans to access many of the most popular parks in the system, including Yosemite National Park in California.  And the Interior Department faced backlash last year for omitting "climate change" from its strategic plan because, presumably, we have a president that still doesn't believe it's a problem (though the recent disappearance of climate change plans from national parks website was for a different, far better reason.)  As Interior Secretary, Zinke has pursued a pro-growth agenda, removing restrictions on drilling for oil, gas, and coal on public lands, and shrinking national monuments set aside by former president president Obama. Zinke is under investigation by his department for his use of private and departmental assets for travel.  WATCH: 2017 is about to be one of the hottest years of all time
Killing of Ivy League Student Stabbed More Than 20 Times May Have Been a Hate Crime, Parents Say
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The killing may have been a hate crime against their gay son, Blaze Bernstein
Scientists may finally know what caused the mysterious epidemic that killed millions of Aztecs
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
In the 16th century, an epidemic wiped out approximately 80% of the Aztec population in when Central and South America. The horrific epidemic known as "cocoliztli" was responsible for killing millions of people in Mexico, Guatemala, and even as far as Peru. Those infected would experience severe vomiting and even bleeding, and the death rate was believed to be among the highest in history. Despite the massive scale of this demographic catastrophe, the cause of the epidemic has remained a mystery for all these years. Now, nearly 500 years later, scientists may have made a breakthrough discovery that finally reveals the pathogen responsible for the devastating epidemic. A team of scientists believe they have solved the cocoliztli mystery that has puzzled mankind for centuries. The team analyzed skeletal remains in a mass grave filled with victims of the cocoliztli epidemic, and their findings have apparently confirmed what some experts have suspected for years: The cocoliztli epidemic that killed millions of Aztecs was seemingly caused by Salmonella. The team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Harvard University, and the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History say they found traces of Salmonella enterica Paratyphi C in ancient DNA extracted from the mass grave. Remains of the Salmonella strain were said to be present in a number of skeletons from the site, samples of which were recovered during a dig and returned to labs for analysis. The researchers' paper was published this week in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution. "Indigenous populations of the Americas experienced high mortality rates during the early contact period as a result of infectious diseases, many of which were introduced by Europeans," the researchers wrote. "Most of the pathogenic agents that caused these outbreaks remain unknown. Through the introduction of a new metagenomic analysis tool called MALT, applied here to search for traces of ancient pathogen DNA, we were able to identify Salmonella enterica in individuals buried in an early contact era epidemic cemetery at Teposcolula-Yucundaa, Oaxaca in southern Mexico." They continued, "This cemetery is linked, based on historical and archaeological evidence, to the 1545–1550 CE epidemic that affected large parts of Mexico. Locally, this epidemic was known as ‘cocoliztli’, the pathogenic cause of which has been debated for more than a century. Here, we present genome-wide data from ten individuals for Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Paratyphi C, a bacterial cause of enteric fever. We propose that S. Paratyphi C be considered a strong candidate for the epidemic population decline during the 1545 cocoliztli outbreak at Teposcolula-Yucundaa." According to the scientists, this is the first direct evidence of a potential cause of the epidemic.
China, Europe jointly test technology for storm satellite
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
China and Europe are jointly testing new technology that could help satellites peer through clouds and analyze storms
Can Jeff Flake turn the tide in the Republican war on the media?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
President Trump has waged war on the media, to the delight of his base and with the unspoken – or explicit – support of his party. Now, on the floor of the Senate, one Republican, Jeff Flake of Arizona, has denounced Trump for labeling the press “the enemy of the people,” a phrase also used by Stalin. Will it change anything?
Bipartisan bill tells Russia hands off U.S. elections, Sen. Van Hollen says
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Sen. Chris Van Hollen detailed how a new bipartisan bill aims to deter Moscow by imposing punishing sanctions in retaliation for future election meddling.
Goldman co
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former personal assistant to Goldman Sachs Group Inc Co-Chief Operating Officer David Solomon has been charged with stealing hundreds of bottles of wine worth more than $1.2 million from his former boss. U.S. prosecutors on Wednesday said Nicolas DeMeyer's theft scheme ran from 2014 to October 2016, when he allegedly stole seven bottles from the famed French estate Domaine de la Romanee-Conti in Burgundy that his boss had bought for $133,650. Using the alias Mark Miller, DeMeyer would sell stolen bottles to a North Carolina wine dealer, who would have them picked up at Solomon's Manhattan apartment, the indictment said.
Peru shamans hold rituals, foresee good news during Pope's visit
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
Peruvian shamans said on Wednesday they expect good news from the visit of Pope Francis to the Andean nation, and held rituals on a beach near Lima to give him strength to fight against accusations of sexual abuse that have plagued the Roman Catholic Church. Dressed in ponchos, the shamans passed rue leaves - believed to ward off evil and bring good luck - over photos of the Argentine pontiff, and stood by the ocean playing percussion instruments.
In push to 'fast track' women into office, gender quotas gain traction
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
When Laura Chinchilla was elected Costa Rica’s first woman president in 2010, she made sure to thank some of her symbolic supporters. Schoolchildren cast ballots in their own mock presidential elections, which she won by a landslide. “When I showed up at the schools, teachers pulled me aside to say that a lot of their girls returned to class after the election more outspoken,” former President Chinchilla says in an interview.
How insecurity in Afghanistan is constraining the Red Cross
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
The International Committee of the Red Cross, which has been in Afghanistan since 1987, generally runs toward disaster and conflict, not away from them. Najmudin Helal is just one symbol of the ICRC’s ability to transform lives broken by war in Afghanistan. In 1988, he arrived at the ICRC’s newly opened orthopedic center in Kabul for treatment after having lost both his legs to a landmine years before.
Coarse words and new thinking
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
As is often pointed out, coarse or profane language usually represents an outburst of emotion, not careful reason. The president of the United States recently used coarse language while discussing important legislation regarding immigrants with members of Congress.
Sen. Rand Paul: President Trump Has Had a Year of Accomplishments
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The Senator writes that while he has disagreed with the President, the White House's successes with the tax cut, coal mining and foreign aid are major accomplishments
President Trump Is Making It Harder for Congress to Make a Deal on Immigration
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The federal government is hurdling toward a shutdown in part due to floundering negotiations over the future of DACA recipients.
In Tanzania, mothers learn how to teach the facts of life
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Kuwa Mjanja, a program in Dar es Salaam, the capital of Tanzania, works with mothers and their daughters to encourage them to consider the consequences of teen pregnancy.
Eric Trump: 'My father sees one color — green'
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Eric Trump on Wednesday dismissed the backlash over President Trump’s caustic comments on immigration that have led some members of the media to label his father a racist.
Fundraiser saves pony who lost penis to cancer, frostbite
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
BRIDGTON, Maine (AP) — A Maine animal rescue group says it has raised enough money to save a 15-year-old pony that lost part of its penis due to cancer and frostbite.
Spain, Portugal seize cocaine hidden in shipped pineapples
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Spanish and Portuguese police say a joint operation resulted in the seizure of 745 kilograms (1,642 pounds) of cocaine, much of it allegedly concealed inside pineapples shipped from Latin America.
In a threatened Cambodian forest, hand
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
For the Chong people of Cambodia, Siamese crocodiles are revered, respected, and left alone. Wearing the everyday clothes of rural Cambodia – old jeans, faded collared shirt, and sandals – plus a GPS and machete, he ventures through forest rivers to investigate signs of illegal hunting. Put Poeurn is one of the wardens at the frontline of efforts to ensure that human activity does not disturb the critically endangered crocodiles, a job he took over from his father four years ago.
Libya crisis as opportunity: Who are the Madkhalis?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
While the Islamic State has grabbed headlines as it tries to regain its footing in war-torn Libya, a less-known, fundamentalist Islamist movement is quietly extending its influence across the country. The Madkhalis, an ultraconservative Salafist movement from Saudi Arabia, have been taking advantage of Libya’s post-revolution chaos to impose their hardline interpretation of Islam through force and coercion, patrolling the streets and using their control over mosques to dramatically alter Libyan society. To that end, the Madkhalis have aligned themselves with nearly every self-proclaimed government and warlord in Libya over the past three years, silencing liberal and Islamist critics in the process.
Joshua Wong, Hong Kong's Most Prominent Pro
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Dealing another blow to the territory's pro-democratic youth movement
Ultraviolet Lizards: Chameleon Bones Glow Fluorescent Under UV Light
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Chameleons don’t just change the color of their skin. Scientists have discovered their bones can glow fluorescent under ultraviolet light, creating intricate luminous patterns. The ability, it turns out, is widespread among chameleons from Madagascar and other parts of Africa.
Second giant panda cub born in Malaysia
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A giant panda loaned to Malaysia from China has given birth to a second cub during its stay in the Southeast Asian country, zoo officials said Wednesday. The baby was born Sunday to Liang Liang, who has been on loan to Malaysia since 2014 along with a male panda, said Mat Naim Ramli, director of the national zoo's panda centre outside Kuala Lumpur.
Olympic Champion Simone Biles Says She Was Also Sexually Abused by Team Doctor
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
In a tweet, Biles says she was also abused by national team doctor Larry Nassar
Great Pyramid Void May Contain Mysterious Throne Carved From Meteorite Described in Ancient Texts
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Ever since archaeologists revealed in November 2017 that one of the Great Pyramids of Giza contained a void potentially more than 100 feet long, the question of what exactly lies inside it has tantalized scientists and the public alike. Now, one expert has put forth a hypothesis addressing the mystery: The void could contain a great iron throne referenced in the Pyramid Texts, the oldest known religious texts in the world. Cheops' Pyramid, sometimes called the Pyramid of Khufu or simply the Great Pyramid, is the largest of the three Giza Pyramids.
A 'Natural Meteor Fireball' Just Exploded in the Sky Over Michigan
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Authorities have urged witnesses to stop calling 911
'Extremely Disturbing.' A Danish Inventor Has Been Charged With Killing Journalist Kim Wall
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Prosecutors are seeking life imprisonment
See How Trump's Approval Rating Stacks Up Against Other Presidents After One Year
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Trump has ping-ponged between a low of 35% and a high of 45% during his first year in office
The U.S. Has Cut Half of Its Aid to Palestinian Refugees Pending U.N. Reform
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The U.S. is the largest donor to the agency that supports millions of Palestinian refugees
NASA captures rare image of a distant galaxy nearly as old as the Universe itself
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
When astronomers at NASA capture images of far-off galaxies, they typically appear only as tiny red dots. These distant celestial bodies are so far away that even the strongest telescopes are usually incapable of distinguishing between the many stars contained within a galaxy. In an exciting turn of events, however, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope managed to capture a rare up-close view of the farthest and oldest galaxy known to man. In fact, this particular galaxy is so old that it's nearly as old as the Universe itself. In a remarkable case of being in the right place at the right time, NASA scientists managed to capture a remarkably detailed shot of a galaxy called SPT0615-JD. The name might not be very catchy, but the significance of this image is huge. The image below shows the oldest galaxy known to man with an amount of detail that should be impossible. "This Hubble Space Telescope image shows the farthest galaxy yet seen in an image that has been stretched and amplified by a phenomenon called gravitational lensing," NASA explained in a post on its website. NASA explains that several early galaxies in this age range have been photographed in the past, they have always appeared merely as small red dots because of their small size and the tremendous distance between these galaxies and Earth. In this case, however, a happy accident allowed NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to capture a surprising amount of detail. The gravitational field created by a cluster of galaxies called SPT-CL J0615-5746 that sits between us and SPT0615-JD distorted light in such a way that the image above could be captured. "The gravitational field of a massive foreground galaxy cluster, called SPT-CL J0615-5746, not only amplified the light from the background galaxy but also smeared the image of it into an arc (about 2 arcseconds long)," NASA explained. "Image analysis shows that the galaxy weighs in at no more than 3 billion solar masses (roughly 1/100th the mass of our fully grown Milky Way galaxy). It is less than 2,500 light-years across, half the size of the Small Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of our Milky Way. The object is considered prototypical of young galaxies that emerged during the epoch shortly after the big bang." According to astronomers, the SPT0615-JD galaxy has existed for more than 13 billion years. The Universe itself is believed to be between 13 billion and 14 billion years old, which means SPT0615-JD could be among the first galaxies created by the Big Bang.
Divers find 'amazing' underwater tunnel network that could unravel mysteries of Mayan civilisation
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
By connecting two underwater caverns, the Gran Acuifero Maya (GAM) project identified the 216-mile (347km) cave after months of exploring a maze of underwater channels. The project, which is dedicated to the study and preservation of the subterranean waters of the Yucatan peninsula, said the discovery could shine new light on the ancient Maya civilisation. Near the beach resort of Tulum, the group found that the cave system known as Sac Actun, once measured at 163 miles (263km), communicated with the 52-mile (83km) Dos Ojos system, the GAM said in a statement.
The Person Who Sent Hawaii's False Missile Alert Has Been Reassigned
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
They're "in a role that does not provide access to the warning system"
Trump's language on immigrants provokes a backlash in the pulpits
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Many Christian pastors and educators were deeply troubled President Trump’s demeaning language about some foreign countries — less because of the vulgar language he used than the racist views it implied. Many churches have sent missions to Haiti and appreciate their struggles.
Meteor credited for bright light, noise rattling Michigan
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
DETROIT (AP) — Experts say a bright light and what sounded like thunder in the sky above Michigan was a meteor.
The White House Doctor Called President Trump's Health 'Excellent.' Here's the Full Summary of His Physical Exam
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The White House doctor said Trump is fit to serve for the duration of his term
EMILY'S List President: Trump Has Empowered American Women — By Accident
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY's List, shares how she thinks President Trump has affected women during his first year in office.
Scientists Explain Why the Black Death Wasn't Actually Caused by Rats
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Human ectoparasites may be the culprits behind medieval plague.
Allied Leaders at Casablanca: The Story Behind a Famous WWII Photo Shoot
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The conference took place 75 years ago
The Trump Administration Is Appealing a Ruling That Blocked Its Plan to End DACA Protections
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A judge temporarily blocked the decision to end protections for young immigrants
'Hanging On to Life.' 4 Police Officers Shot Responding to Domestic Disturbance Call
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The suspect was also wounded
Chinese solar boom sparks global renewables boon: study
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A Chinese boom in solar panel installation last year helped drive global investment in renewable clean energy technology to record levels, a new study showed Tuesday. After a dip in 2016, overall global investment in the sector rose 3.0 percent to a total $333.5 billion, offsetting falls in Japan, Germany and Britain, according to the Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) study. "The 2017 total is all the more remarkable when you consider that capital costs for the leading technology -– solar -– continue to fall sharply," said BNEF chief executive Jon Moore.
New discovery of water on Mars could help future missions to the planet
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Scientists found eight sites with evidence of ice beneath the martian surface. These discoveries were made based on recent images sent back by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Thai court drops royal insult charges against academic
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
BANGKOK (AP) — A Thai military court on Wednesday dropped royal insult charges against an 84-year old historian who questioned whether a Thai king had actually defeated a Burmese adversary in combat on elephant-back over 500 years ago.
Meteor?: Bright light, loud noise rattle Michigan residents
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
DETROIT (AP) — The National Weather Service says the bright light and what sounded like thunder in the sky across the Detroit metropolitan area may have been a meteor.
Early Vikings Revealed Through Two Rare Artifacts Inscribed With Ancient Runic Texts
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Two rare artifacts inscribed with ancient letters, or runes, could be the key to a mysterious era of Viking history when they suddenly abandoned their old alphabet and transitioned to a new one. Archaeologists discovered a comb and a small plate while excavating an ancient Viking marketplace in Ribe, the oldest town in Denmark today and a powerful hub during the early Viking Age, according to ScienceNordic. Runes are sets of symbols comprising an alphabet in which each character represents a specific sound.
Donald Trump Is in Good Physical and Mental Health, White House Doctor Says
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
President Donald Trump's doctor has recommend that he lose some weight, but said the president is in excellent physical and mental health.