Mexico captured a rare vaquita marina porpoise as part of a bold program to save the critically endangered species, but released it because it was too young to be separated from its mother, officials said. The vaquita, the world's smallest porpoise, has been pushed to the brink of extinction by illegal fishing. "The successful rescue made conservation history," Mexican Environment Minister Rafael Pacchiano said in a statement.
When Dan Barker was a Pentecostal minister in California, he knew he could exclude his clergy housing allowance from his income tax returns, taking advantage of an IRS benefit that the federal government grants to “ministers of the Gospel” – though not to anyone else. Back then, he didn’t give much thought to this special social benefit, which today gives American ministers a tax break worth some $800 million a year. In the 1970s, Mr. Barker was never that concerned about the nitty gritty of social policy.
In the Afghanistan war’s 2015 and 2016 fighting seasons, Taliban insurgents made significant gains, capturing the provincial capital Kunduz each year before losing it again, and seizing an increasing number of district centers. The systematic Taliban advances also threatened a number of other provincial capitals, as their reach extended across one-third of Afghanistan, a setback for American aims in the longest war in United States history. Recommended: How well do you know Afghanistan?
On a sunny Saturday at the Nevins Farm MSPCA animal shelter in Methuen, Mass., dozens of hopeful adopters turn out to meet a new batch of puppies. Eight dogs rescued from hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico arrived at the shelter last week looking for their forever homes. When natural disasters strike, animal shelters in the affected areas quickly become overwhelmed as facilities already full of adoptable dogs attempt to handle incoming loads of displaced pets.
A unique citizen science project in which volunteers will be trained to move a piece of steel machinery using the power of their mind begins on October 27. The Mental Work project uses brain-machine interfaces developed at EPFL (Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne), as Jim Drury discovered.
Donald Trump fabricated a linked between a rise in United Kingdom crime to Islamic terror Friday morning, causing confusion among Brits. Trump is apparently referring to a report released Thursday by the United Kingdom’s Office of National Statistics, which indeed cited a 13 percent rise in crime.
The online retailing giant Amazon set Oct. 19 as the deadline for applications from cities wishing to host the company’s second headquarters, its “HQ2,” as the company is calling it. The prize for the winning city indeed will be golden: 50,000 new jobs with an average wage of $100,000, Amazon says. Amazon, based in Seattle, has set out a few prerequisites for bidders: The metro population should be more than 1 million, the airport should have direct flights to key US and international cities, and the mass transit system should be top-notch.
President Trump gave the federal response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico a 10 out of 10 on Thursday. Yes. Really. He gave himself the highest marks for what has been a well-documented and tragic mess. SEE ALSO: Photos from Puerto Rico reveal the devastating power of Hurricane Maria He said this, and other objectively inaccurate statements about the U.S. territory, with a straight face while sitting next to Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló at the White House Thursday. Here's his full answer to the reporter's question: WATCH: President Trump, seated next to Gov. Rosselló, grades the federal response efforts in Puerto Rico a 10 out of 10 pic.twitter.com/Wyywx1QUOp — NBC News (@NBCNews) October 19, 2017 In no world is the U.S. government's response to the natural disaster perfect. Far from it. Based solely on basic statistics from the Puerto Rican government — in the words of the governor — "a lot still has to be done." “I think we’ve done a really great job," says Pres Trump on disaster relief in Puerto Rico. Gov Rosello says "a lot still has to be done." pic.twitter.com/futAvxexq1 — Mark Knoller (@markknoller) October 19, 2017 As of Thursday — nearly a month after Hurricane Maria made landfall on the island nation as a Category 4 storm — these are just some of the grim statistics: Only 21.6 percent of Puerto Rico has power. 71.58 percent has access to drinking water, but this varies greatly by region. Northern Puerto Rico, for example, has just 37 percent. Just 25.07 percent of cellphone antennas and 46.57 percent of cell towers are back in operation The situation is so dire in some communities that some Puerto Ricans — who are American citizens — have resorted to drinking from contaminated water sources, including Superfund sites containing extremely hazardous substances. Trump gives his Puerto Rico response a 10 despite 85% of island still lacking electricity https://t.co/t8sDNYDcIH #breakingnews #news — Antonio Saalamandras (@Apocrifos) October 19, 2017 Those are not 10 out of 10 numbers. WATCH: Balloons may be Puerto Rico's best chance for communication
The children of the Magic School Bus had the impossible opportunity to shrink down and zoom through parts of the body in all three dimensions. The hope was to get a clearer picture of the brain at a level that scientists normally learn about by cutting through sliced samples of brain tissue. Neurons are surrounded by blood vessels and other supporting cells.
A family digging in their garden in the Israeli village of Eilabun have unwittingly uncovered a complex of underground stables, hewn into the soft rock in Roman times 2,000 years ago. Archaeologists, led by Nir Distelfeld, told Haaretz that the man-made caves would also have been used for storage, given some of the remnants found there. The animals would have been tied to the carved holes that formed a handle, with a stone trough laid below them for food and water.
Lake Baikal is undergoing its gravest crisis in recent history, experts say, as the government bans the catching of a signature fish that has lived in the world's deepest lake for centuries but is now under threat. Holding one-fifth of the world's unfrozen fresh water, Baikal in Russia's Siberia is a natural wonder of "exceptional value to evolutionary science" meriting its listing as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Starting in October, the government introduced a ban on all commercial fishing of omul, a species of the salmon family only found in Baikal, fearing "irreversible consequences for its population", the Russian fisheries agency told AFP.
Amazon is on the hunt for its second headquarters in North America and with 50,000 thousand jobs on the line, cities are trying to woo the ecommerce giant. From orange monuments to social media campaigns, here’s a roundup of the most creative and craziest ways cities submitted their bid.
Bees, moths, and other flying insects can be a bit of a nuisance when you're trying to enjoy a nice sunny day outside, but they're still incredibly vital links in the ecological chain. Now, new research out of Germany has caused a panic in the scientific community, revealing that the total biomass — that is, the total amount of flying insect life in the surveyed area — has plummeted by a whopping 75% over just the past 27 years.
The research, which was published in the journal PLOS One, was conducted by monitoring the insect biomass in 63 different protected nature areas within Germany, and paints an extremely dire picture. What makes the troubling trend even worse is that the researchers found the decline was universal across all habitats and was seemingly not affected by weather change or the type of land the insects call home.
To get the best possible idea of the insect population in the surveyed areas the scientists used what are known as Malaise traps. Vaguely resembling a mesh tent, the traps act like a funnel, and as insects collide with the trap's wall, they fly upwards and are directed into a cylinder where they are captured. These types of traps allow long-term observation of insect activity without the need for constant monitoring.
No matter where you look on the Earth, insects are an incredibly vital part of the ecosystem. They're one of the very first bricks in nature's tower, and when those bricks begin to crumble, bad things happen for everything above them, and that includes humans.
This new study doesn't point the finger at any one source in particular, but past research has pinned the decline of bees in particular on human use of pesticides and fungicides. It's not exactly a stretch to think that manmade chemicals or other human factors are also contributing to the loss of insect populations on a much larger scale, and it's incredibly important that scientists pinpoint the cause and propose a solution.