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The Best Way To Wear Coral
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
If orange makeup makes you think no way, have no fear. We enlisted a pro makeup artist to show us how to make coral eyeshadow look lovely, not crazy.
Could You Be Weakening Your Immune System?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
Learn how certain types of over-the-counter medication can hurt your immune function – are you at risk?
Brain Augmentation: How Scientists Are Working to Create Cyborg Humans with Super Intelligence
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Scientists Mikhail Lebedev, Ioan Opris and Manuel Casanova have now published a comprehensive collection of research into brain augmentation, and their efforts have won a major European science research prize—the Frontiers Spotlight Award. It focuses on current brain augmentation, future proposals and the ethical and legal implications the topic raises.
An AI just beat 'Ms. Pac
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Ms. Pac-Man was supposed to be the more difficult arcade game. But now it's been laid low — like chess, Go, and poker before it — by artificial intelligence. Researchers with deep learning company Maluuba, which Microsoft acquired earlier this year, decided to tackle the deceptively simple arcade game after developing an unusual AI algorithm that uses a team of intelligent agents overseen by a manager agent to play Ms. Pac-Man. Those agents broke the game down into tasks and sub-tasks and were rewarded (or reinforced) for pursuing those tasks. For example, some agents were charged with finding specific Ms. Pac-Man game pellets, while others were told to avoid ghosts at all costs. The manager agent would then analyze how the agents approached each task and the intensity they applied to them to decide which paths were, in fact, the best. Individual agents had their own reward functions and the manager would prioritize tasks that were more important. In other words, tasks like avoiding ghosts (which kill on touch in the game) were prioritized over other tasks. Using this method, the AI algorithm soon mastered Ms. Pac-Man and reached a maximum score of 999,999, which, according to Microsoft, no AI or human has ever achieved before. Doing so, automatically resets the game. Maluuba researcher Harm van Seijen, who also authored a paper on the AI research (which is being submitted to Cornell University on Wednesday), told me that they designed their AI based on how the iPhone is made. "It's not a single person that makes it," he told me, adding, "It's really inspired by how humans cooperate to do these really great things, like build really great products." The team spent months working on the algorithms, but only applied them to Ms. Pac-Man in the last two months. In all, there were approximately 150 intelligent agents all working in parallel on Ms. Pac-Man. To continuously play the game inside a computer, the team needed three pieces of code: the game, a routine to send actions to the game, and the learning method.  The goal of this research, van Seijen said, was never to beat the game — it was "to solve learning and behavior.”  So, completing Ms. Pac-Man came as a surprise. "It was pretty exciting, but also kind of a letdown at same point," Maluuba product manager Rahul Mehrotra. After running the algorithms overnight on the game the researchers noticed some anomalies in the data, Mehrotra recalled. To understand why the scores didn't simply keep rising, the team sat and watched the AI play the game.  "As we approached this million mark point, we started to get excited. So as soon as we got to 999,990  the game resets to zero. We were like, 'Oh, you can’t score more than that.' We wanted to keep going forward," said Mehrotra. According to Microsoft's blog post on the breakthrough, Steve Golson, one of the co-creators of the arcade version of the game, said that that the deceptively simple Ms. Pac-Man, 1980s sequel to the wildly popular Pac-Man arcade game, was intentionally designed to have less predictability than Pac-Man.  “You want [players to think], ‘Oh, oh, I almost got it! I’m going to try again,’” Golson said. “Ka-ching! Another quarter,” he said in the blog post. Later, I caught up with Golson via Twitter DM and asked him about the score limit and his creation being beaten by an AI: Games, van Seijen said, have been traditionally very popular among AI researchers for testing algorithms and Ms. Pac-Man has already received a lot of attention in AI community. "It’s actually a very hard game to solve," he explained. Seemingly random systems are catnip for researchers trying to test and develop ever-more powerful versions of AI. When there are countless options and no obvious pattern to the choices a system makes, basic computer systems can struggle to conquer them. The divide and conquer approach the Maluuba researchers took, however, proved too much for Ms. Pac-Man, and allowed researchers to complete the game. And though they believe it may have applications that go far beyond the arcade, no one was willing to predict exactly when task-based AIs would appear in more complex scenarios. "This is still a very controlled setting. Pac-Man is very compact and still doesn’t represent complexity of real-world situations," said Mehrotra. That said, van Seijen sees a bigger goal with more far-reaching implications for AI. "At a higher level, we want to solve AI and build really intelligent agents that can not only observe, but act. If you reach that, it could have enormous consequences." Seriously, Game Over. WATCH: Print documents on the go with this tiny, robotic wireless printer
Changing your meal times could help you beat jet lag and shift work
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
How to eat yourself brighter.
World's Oldest Fossilized Mushroom Sprouted 115 Million Years Ago
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
About 115 million years ago, when car-size pterosaurs flew overhead and long-necked sauropods tromped about on Earth, a tiny mushroom no taller than a chess piece fell into a river and later fossilized — a feat that makes it the oldest-known fossilized mushroom on record, a new study finds. Researchers discovered the remains of the Cretaceous-age mushroom preserved in limestone from northeast Brazil's Crato Formation. "Most mushrooms grow and are gone within a few days," study lead researcher Sam Heads, a paleontologist at Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS), said in a statement.
Trump to mayor of sinking island: Don't worry about sea level rise
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Sea level rise caused by global warming is threatening the existence of the tiny community of Tangier Island, Virginia, located in Chesapeake Bay.  Yet a CNN report on the town's plight appears to have prompted President Donald Trump to call the town's mayor to assure him that his town will not succumb to rising seas by the middle of this century, despite what scientists predict.  Instead, Trump told mayor James “Ooker” Eskridge in a phone call on Monday that residents of Tangier Island have nothing to fear when it comes to rising sea levels.  SEE ALSO: Apple is investing $1 billion in clean energy with this unique approach “He said we shouldn’t worry about rising sea levels,” Eskridge told The Washington Post. “He said that ‘your island has been there for hundreds of years, and I believe your island will be there for hundreds more.’” Eskridge, for his part, does not believe that the town's flooding issues are a result of global warming, according to the Post's interview with him.   Map of Tangier Island, Virginia, with 5 feet of sea level rise.Image: climate central“Like the president, I’m not concerned about sea level rise,” he said. “I’m on the water daily, and I just don’t see it.” Eskridge blames erosion for his town's flooding problems, though increased erosion is one result of rising sea levels.  Even as the town slips into the sea, with flooding now becoming a regular part of living on the island, residents nonetheless are mainly supporters of the president. According to the Post, Trump received 87 percent of the vote on the island. Yet whether the mayor sees it or not, the ocean is rising due to warming waters and melting land-based ice sheets and glaciers caused in large part by human emissions of greenhouse gasses.  Nature doesn't care whether one believes in a phenomenon in order for it to take place.  According to Climate Central, a research and journalism organization, in Tangier Island, sea level has risen by 9 inches in the past 34 years alone. Climate Central scientists project a middle-range scenario (i.e. not worst case) in which 5.1 feet of increase would occur there by 2100.  Since sea level rise raises the floor that waves and storm surges launch from, it makes coastal floods more severe and frequent.  The odds of damaging floods in Tangier, for example, are projected to skyrocket during the next few decades. The highest flood on record in Tangier is 4.1 feet, set in 2006, Climate Central found. Yet between now and 2030, there will be a 35 percent risk of a potentially catastrophic 5-foot flood, Climate Central found, but this would rise to a 100 percent likelihood by 2100. Tangier Island mayor James "Ooker" Eskridge, on his boat on May 17, 2017.Image: AP/REX/ShutterstockA 2015 study from the Army Corps of Engineers projected that the Tangier Islands may be completely underwater if sea level rise continues apace for the next century, and that Tangier Island, which is the only populated island in the chain, may need to be evacuated by the middle of this century.  That study, published in Nature Scientific Reports, found that since 1850, the combination of sinking land and rising seas has caused 67 percent of the island's landmass to be lost.  The mayor is hoping that Trump will push through funding for a sea wall or other infrastructure to better protect the town from storm surge flooding during storms.  However, even if that happens, Trump's environmental policies could seal the town's fate underneath the waves.  Trump's June 1 announcement that he will pull the U.S. out of the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change, in which nearly all countries of the world committed to reducing global warming pollutants, raises the possibility that countries won't cut emissions as much as they would have if the U.S. had continued to lead on this issue.  In addition, the Trump administration is rolling back numerous regulations that would cut emissions of carbon dioxide and methane, which are two of the main global warming gases responsible for global warming. In particular, the Environmental Protection Agency has halted its Clean Power Plan, which was aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions from coal-burning power plants. WATCH: It's official, 2016 was Earth's warmest year on record
Scientists Solve Turkey’s Turquoise Puzzle in Bosporus: A Plankton Invasion
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Residents of Istanbul have been taken aback in recent days after the Bosporus transformed from a darkish blue to a fluorescent turquoise. Scientists have finally explained why: a surge of plankton. NASA tweeted an aerial image of the Black Sea that showed turquoise “swirls” and “eye-catching hues” on Monday, explaining the change in color as a result of “organisms known as phytoplankton” in the region.
Members of Congress ask for more security after Scalise shot at baseball practice
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Some members of Congress are asking for more security after a gunman wounded House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and four others at a congressional Republican baseball team’s practice in Virginia Wednesday morning.
Witnesses describe shock of the shooting at a congressional baseball game practice in Virginia
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Five people, including Republican Majority Whip Steve Scalise and a congressional staffer, were taken to hospitals after a shooting Wednesday morning at a practice for the annual congressional baseball game. Witnesses told Yahoo News they initially reacted with disbelief. One bystander also said people on the scene described the shooter asking people on the ballfield whether they were Republicans or Democrats before calmly and “deliberately” drawing a weapon and opening fire.
In the age of Trump, gay pride gets political again
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
The Trump effect that has mobilized so many and turned suburban moms across the country into resistance activists has had an even greater impact on a community with a long history of political organizing.
Is Trump 'disrupting' his own foreign
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
When President Trump chose a Rose Garden press conference to blast away at Qatar as the guilty party in the Gulf Arab states’ sudden falling-out last week, it was a fresh example of the shoot-from-the-hip and mixed-messaging diplomacy that Americans – and the world – may have to accept as the new normal. There may have been nothing unique about Mr. Trump taking a decidedly tougher and less diplomatic approach to Qatar than his top diplomat, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Americans expand the idea of giving – and goodness
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Last year, according to a Giving Institute survey released June 13, donations or grants by individuals and philanthropies totaled $390 billion. The biggest increase, or 6 percent, went to animal-welfare and environmental groups. In the past decade, another type of giving – called “impact investing” – has taken off.
Should You Spray Your Yard for Mosquitoes and Ticks?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers on this website. In the wake of last year’s Zika epidemic, and with the list of mosquito- and tick-borne diseases growing, the insect-con...
6 Things You Should Know About Sex During Pregnancy
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
What you need to know about knocking boots while you’re knocked up.
7 Kinds of Coughs and What They Might Mean
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
While it’s impossible to pinpoint a cough just by how it sounds, there are some key differences to give you clues as to what’s going on. Here's a guide.
Japan kicks off Pacific whaling campaign
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Japan on Wednesday kicked off a whaling campaign in the northwestern Pacific, in a move sure to anger animal rights activists and others calling for an end to the hunts. Three ships are leaving port on a three-month mission to catch 43 minke whales and 134 sei whales, according to the government. The new mission comes after Japan on Sunday started an annual coastal whaling hunt along its northern Pacific shores, aiming to catch 47 minke whales until mid-July.
How Your Education Level May Be Linked to Your Risk of Heart Disease
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
People who do not finish high school are more likely to develop heart disease later in life than those who complete graduate school, a new study finds. In the study, the more education a person had, the lower his or her risk of heart disease was, and vice versa, according to the study. The risk of heart disease was the highest for the people who went only to grade school and didn't go on to high school, the study found.
Elon Musk and linguists say that AI is forcing us to confront the limits of human language
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
In analytic philosophy, any meaning can be expressed in language. In his book Expression and Meaning (1979), UC Berkeley philosopher John Searle calls this idea “the principle of expressibility, the principle that whatever can be meant can be said”. Moreover, in the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921), Ludwig Wittgenstein suggests that “the limits of my language mean…
The most important invention from every state
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Whether it's two bicycle repairmen from North Carolina creating a flying machine or an...
The pigeons of Passchendaele – and why animals still suffer and die in modern conflicts
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The humble carrier pigeon played a huge role in World War I and saved many lives. But despite huge technological advances, animals are still suffering and dying in modern wars.
Live coverage: Gunman opens fire at GOP baseball practice; Scalise, 4 others wounded
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
A gunman opened fire at a GOP baseball practice in Alexandria, Va., on Wednesday morning. Five people, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and two Capitol Police officers, were wounded. The suspect, identified as James T. Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Ill., was shot by police and later died. Follow Yahoo News’ live blog below for all the latest developments.
GOP lawmakers describe baseball field shooting: ‘I felt like I was back in Iraq but without my weapon’
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
A gunman opened fire Wednesday at a baseball field where Republican legislators were practicing. Some Congress members spoke to the media after the attack.
James T. Hodgkinson identified as slain gunman in congressional baseball shooting
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
The gunman who opened fire on Republican members of Congress on a baseball field outside Washington Wednesday morning has been identified as James T. Hodgkinson.
Trump praises cops after Va. shooting, says America best when ‘unified’
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
President Trump on Wednesday hailed the “heroic actions” of Capitol Police who took down the gunman and urged Americans to look past their frequently toxic political divisions.
Gabby Giffords and Steve Scalise’s House colleagues show support after Va. shooting
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
After House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., was shot Wednesday, reactions poured in from his former and current colleagues in Congress, as well as the president and vice president.
Virginia Gov. McAuliffe pushes gun control after Alexandria shooting
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe turned the conversation to gun control following the shooting at a congressional baseball practice on Wednesday.
Baseball shooter had volunteered for Sanders last year; Bernie ‘sickened’ by ‘despicable act’
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., strongly condemned the shooting at a congressional baseball practice in Virginia on Wednesday morning.
A cake mistake: Florida baker says new pans ruined desserts
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida bakery claims faulty cake pans created a dessert disaster and has taken the pan-maker to court.
Rotting clams that stunk up neighborhood are being removed
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
TIVERTON, R.I. (AP) — The rotting clamshells that were used to pave an access road in a small Rhode Island community are being removed after neighbors complained about the stench and maggots.
New solar eclipse simulator shows you what to expect this summer
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A big solar event is taking place across North America in August and to prepare for the big blackout (a whole two minutes in some places) Google and UC Berkeley teamed up to show what the total solar eclipse will look like based on where you are. SEE ALSO: Solar eclipse stamp changes when you touch it They've launched a special simulator, part of the broader Eclipse Megamovie Project, which will give a glimpse of what to expect on August 21. Anyone on the path of the solar eclipse — like Carbondale, Illinois where the max totality is 2 minutes and 40 seconds — is in for a rare show. For those off the path, it's going to be a bit underwhelming. To get a sense of what it'll look like when the moon gets between the sun and the earth in the first total solar eclipse to cross the U.S. in almost 100 years, you just plug in your address or city and watch the simulation. Experience the eclipse from the best spots.Image: screengrab/megamovie projectThe project is stitching together thousands of images from citizens along the path to put together a video of the total solar eclipse. If anyone wants to get involved in the project they can — you just sign up with your Google account and upload materials. Before you attempt to film the sun, though, the team has some safety guidelines to read. We'd recommend following those. Before Aug. 21 rolls around the Megamovie Project has plenty of resources and NASA explainers to become a solar eclipse expert. The next one like this isn't until 2045 — so the time to get involved is now. WATCH: Sun spots
Albert Einstein Letters on Science, Politics and God Could Be Yours
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Several letters written by the iconic, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Albert Einstein will be auctioned off next week. Winner’s Auctions and Exhibitions in Jerusalem has listed six lots for its upcoming auction of more than 100 “rare and special items” on June 20. The auction will be held in its offices as well as online with a live video feed.
Live coverage: Shooting at GOP baseball practice; House Majority Whip Scalise shot
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
A gunman opened fire at a GOP baseball practice in Alexandria, Va., on Wednesday morning. At least five people, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and two Capitol Police officers, were wounded. Follow Yahoo News’ live blog below for all the latest developments.
Shooting at GOP baseball practice in Alexandria, Va.
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
A gunman opened fire at a GOP baseball practice in Alexandria, Va., on Wednesday morning. Rep. Steve Scalise, the House majority whip, was shot, according to Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., who was at the practice. (Yahoo News)
Who is Steve Scalise, House majority whip?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Some background on Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., who was among those shot Wednesday morning while practicing for the annual congressional baseball game.
GOP lawmakers describe baseball field shooting: 'I felt like I was back in Iraq but without my weapon'
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
A gunman opened fire Wednesday morning at a Northern Virginia baseball field where Republican legislators were practicing for their annual charity game with Democratic staffers. GOP legislators who were there relayed their experience throughout the morning.
Kansas husband who robbed bank to avoid wife given probation
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 70-year-old man who said he robbed a Kansas City, Kansas, bank so he could get away from his wife blamed his actions on depression.
Three key questions Sessions didn't answer
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
The most interesting parts of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Tuesday testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence may have been the questions he didn’t answer. Attorney General Sessions appeared to have a two-pronged strategy for his appearance, which came in the wake of fired FBI Director James Comey’s dramatic testimony last week. The second prong was to avoid saying anything about his dealings with President Trump.
Smart Diet Plans for Men
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers on this website. Scour the aisles of any supermarket and you might get the sense that the only diet concern men should have is getting pr...
It's in the genes: songbirds really do sing their own tune
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Flycatchers taken from the nest as eggs, then hatched and raised by a foster family from a different species, consistently harboured a lifelong preference for the tell-tale tune of their genetic kindred, a study has found. This can only mean one thing: the ability to distinguish between songs is innate, not taught, said study co-author David Wheatcroft of Uppsala University in Sweden. "Song discrimination depends on genetic inherited factors," he told AFP.
‘Love Hormone’ Makes Moms Risk Lives For Children
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A hormone called oxytocin, which is involved in social interactions and bonding between a mother and child, might also be what makes a mother risk her own life to protect her children in a life-threatening situation.
Apple is investing $1 billion in clean energy with this unique approach
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Apple just announced a big clean energy investment on the heels of President Trump's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement. The iPhone maker, which supported the landmark climate pact, issued a $1 billion "green bond" on Tuesday. The bond will allow the company to finance projects such wind and solar power plants, energy-efficient buildings, and new approaches to using recycled materials. SEE ALSO: China just built the world's biggest floating solar project The California tech giant has been at the forefront of this young but increasingly popular investment trend since it issued a $1.5 billion green bond last year. Apple's original bond was the first issued by any U.S. tech company, and it remains the largest green bond issued by a U.S. corporation. Following Tuesday's issuance, Apple will be the biggest issuer of green bonds pegged to the U.S. dollar. Apple CEO Tim Cook shows a rendering of the new Apple campus in March 2016.Image: JUSTIN SULLIVAN/GETTY IMAGESWith green bonds, companies can finance renewable energy projects by issuing debt, rather than digging into their cash reserves. The concept is catching on in the U.S. and around the world. Private and government organizations issued a total of $81 billion in green bonds in 2016, up from just $3 billion in 2012, according to the Climate Bonds Initiative, a nonprofit that promotes the debt investment tool. Issuances could reach a record $150 billion in 2017, the group said. Apple's green bond is the first that's been issued since Trump's June 1 announcement on the Paris agreement, which commits the world to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In response, tech leaders — including Apple CEO Tim Cook — have joined with U.S. city officials, governors, and businesses over the past two weeks to voice support for the agreement and to commit to curbing emissions and investing in clean energy. Decision to withdraw from the #ParisAgreeement was wrong for our planet. Apple is committed to fight climate change and we will never waver. — Tim Cook (@tim_cook) June 2, 2017 "Leadership from the business community is essential to address the threat of climate change and protect our shared planet," Lisa Jackson, Apple's top executive on environmental issues and former head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said on Tuesday in an emailed statement. Apple's latest green bond "will support Apple’s ongoing work to lower greenhouse gas emissions, drive renewable energy investment, and conserve precious resources," she added. "We're proud to offer investors another opportunity to join us in this important work." The $1 billion bond will help finance projects that fall within Apple's three environmental priorities: reducing its climate impact by using renewables and driving efficiency in its facilities, products, and supply chain; pioneering the use of safer materials in its products and processes; and conserving natural resources such as minerals and water, the company said. A SunPower solar power plant in southwest China. The project is one of Apple's clean energy developments in China.Image: Stringer/REX/ShutterstockThe MacBook and iPhone maker already gets 96 percent of its electricity globally from renewable energy sources. Facilities in 24 countries, including the U.S., are powered by 100-percent renewables. But Apple's operations are only a slice of the company's overarching carbon footprint. Through its third-party suppliers, manufacturing accounted for about 77 percent of Apple's total carbon emissions in 2016, the company said. To that end, the tech giant is partnering with far-flung suppliers to reduce emissions from factories and manufacturing sites. Eight major suppliers have committed to powering all of their Apple-related operations with renewable energy, including most recently Jabil Circuit Inc., which makes aluminum housing for the iPhone and other parts. Customers line up outside the Apple store in Hong Kong's Central district in 2013 to buy the  iPhone 5s .Image: Lam Yik Fei/Getty ImagesApple's latest bond offering also includes a focus on advancing Apple's goal of a closed-loop supply chain, where products are made using only renewable resources or recycled materials to avoid having to mine for new materials. That particular focus speaks to the remaining gap in Apple's environmental strategy. While the company is ramping up efforts to cut carbon emissions from offices and factories, its endless rollout of new and improved products requires digging up the Earth for precious minerals. It also contributes to the world's growing heap of electronic waste. Apple said it's making progress on this front, too. For instance, the company is transitioning to 100-percent recycled tin solder on the main logic board of the iPhone 6s. It has also melted down iPhone 6 aluminum enclosures to make Mac mini computers for use in its factories, the company said. WATCH: How one company is transforming trash into clean energy
Hong Kong launches ivory ban bill
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Hong Kong launched a landmark bill to ban its ivory trade Wednesday, describing it as an effort to "eradicate" the illegal poaching of elephants. The southern Chinese city is a major hub for ivory sales and announced last year that it would ban the import and export of the goods, but later clarified it would only completely abolish the trade by 2021. A new amendment to the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants ordinance was presented to lawmakers Wednesday, designed to toughen regulations and "phase out the local ivory trade", but said it would be a five-year process.
Indonesia seizes pangolins, scales worth $190,000
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Indonesian authorities have seized hundreds of critically endangered pangolins and scales in a haul worth $190,000 after uncovering a major smuggling operation, an official said Wednesday. It was further evidence that trade in the world's most heavily trafficked mammal remains a major problem despite concerted efforts to clamp down.
The U.S. is reduced to a tiny footnote on a key climate statement
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Over the course of just the past few weeks, the United States has gone from the world leader on fighting global warming to its biggest holdout.  The main trigger for this sudden role reversal was President Donald Trump's June 1 announcement that the U.S. would withdraw from the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change, and now we're starting to see the ripple effects of that decision. Take, for example, what happened at a meeting of the environment ministers from the Group of 7 industrialized nations on Sunday and Monday.  SEE ALSO: An astronaut who just returned from space trolled Trump with the Paris Agreement The ministers issued a non-binding climate and environment statement attesting to the "irreversibility" of the landmark Paris Agreement and committing to taking a variety of actions to slash greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet. The communiqué reads in part:  Under former President Barack Obama, the U.S. would surely have signed onto such a statement, and it would've made little news. However, Trump's representative at the meeting, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Scott Pruitt, instead relegated the U.S. to a footnote that doesn't include the words "climate change." Thank you @glgalletti for the Italian-style welcome to @G7Italy2017. The prosciutto and pasta were delicious! #G7ItalyUS pic.twitter.com/4JBT5hKYL9 — Administrator Pruitt (@EPAScottPruitt) June 10, 2017 The footnote, which is at the bottom of one of the pages in the statement, says that the U.S. will kinda, sorta continue working with international partners on climate change: "The United States will continue to engage with key international partners in a manner that is consistent with our domestic priorities, preserving both a strong economy and a healthy environment," the footnote reads. The communique includes this item on climate science that the U.S. also refused to sign onto: “We support an interactive evidence-based dialogue drawing on the best available science, including reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change...” Instead of that, Pruitt has advocated for establishing opposing teams of experts to debate climate science before the American people, which mainstream climate researchers have called deeply troubling. Today at the #G7Environment, I was honored to deliver a statement on behalf of all Canadians. My main message to the world: Canada will be a climate leader. We will find innovative solutions to the world’s greatest challenge. We will engage with other countries. We need to act together to ensure a sustainable and livable planet for our kids and grandkids. We welcome global partnerships and as a country we are committed to the #ParisAgreement  Aujourd'hui, au #G7, j'ai eu l'honneur de faire une déclaration au nom de tous les Canadiens. Mon message principal au monde: le Canada sera un leader en matière de climat. Nous trouverons des solutions innovantes au plus grand défi du monde et travaillerons avec d’autres pays pour le faire. Nous devons agir ensemble pour assurer une planète durable et habitable pour nos enfants et nos petits-enfants. Nous encourageons les partenariats internationaux et nous sommes dévoués à l’ #AccorddeParis. A post shared by Catherine McKenna (@cathmckennaottcen) on Jun 12, 2017 at 7:05am PDT To cap off the clear abandonment of the traditional American role at these meetings, Pruitt flew home a day early to attend one of the most bizarre presidential cabinet meetings in modern memory. During that  meeting on Monday, cabinet secretaries, including Pruitt, went around the table praising Trump for his leadership and accomplishments to date. Pruitt, for his part, is a longtime critic of the agency he now leads. He has used his short tenure at the helm of the EPA to dismantle environmental regulations put in place under Obama, while also seeking to drastically shrink the EPA's workforce and mission.  He has denied the widely accepted climate science findings that human activities, mainly the burning of fossil fuels for energy, are causing the climate to warm, with a slew of harmful effects.  WATCH: Scientists are creating drones that fly in sync with each other
Coast Guard ship will linger in century
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A hundred years ago in a blinding fog, a U.S. Coast Guard ship was sailing off the coast of Southern California when it smashed into a passenger steamship.
Gillespie to face Northam after mixed verdict for anti
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
The Democratic Party’s enthusiasm to repudiate President Trump was clearly demonstrated by the record number of voters who helped nominate Ralph Northam
Despite Stigma, 'Electroshock' Therapy Gains Patient Appreciation
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), sometimes called electroshock therapy, was once considered "barbaric," but many patients with mental health conditions who receive the treatment today have a positive view of it. The ECT procedure involves placing electrodes on the forehead and passing electrical currents through the brain in order to induce a seizure lasting from 30 to 60 seconds. The treatment has been around since the 1930s, used as a treatment for certain mental health conditions, but it remains controversial.
2 Cases of Legionnaires' Disease in Newborns Linked to Water Births
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Two babies in Arizona who were delivered via "water birth" recently developed Legionnaires' disease, a type of bacterial lung infection, just days after they were born, according to a new report. In the first case, which occurred in January 2016, the baby was delivered by a midwife into a tub filled with tap water. The baby was found to have both Legionnaires' disease and a congenital heart condition that was not related to the infection.
Schiff on Russia investigation: We’ll get the truth to the public ‘one way or another’
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said the truth about Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign would eventually come out, if not in open congressional testimony, then in reports to be issued down the road. Following Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Senate intelligence committee testimony Thursday, Schiff told Yahoo News that he didn’t understand why testimony by National Intelligence Director Dan Coats and NSA Director Mike Rogers about unclassified matters had to be given in closed sessions. “I don’t think they had a sound basis for refusing to testify in open session,” said Schiff, who is the ranking member of the House intelligence committee.