In hindsight, it makes perfect sense that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beat Joe Crowley – a veteran, leading Democratic congressman twice her age – in the primary. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s youth, energy, family story, and left-wing populist message fit the working-class, Latino-majority New York district in a way that Congressman Crowley couldn’t counter. “This campaign sent a national message to all the United States that you have to work for the community,” says Ramón Ramirez, founding president of the United Dominican Coalition, standing in Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign headquarters in Queens.
Packed into a black minibus heading from Jerusalem into the occupied West Bank, the group of Israelis is on a mission. Ali’s older brother, Ahmed, 4 at the time, survived severe burns and is being raised by Hussein Dawabshe and his wife, Satira. Gadi Gvaryahu shakes his head, astonished by the cruelty of those words.
One legacy that Justice Anthony Kennedy leaves as he retires after three decades on the US Supreme Court is some principled guidance on how to hold a dignified debate over choosing his successor. As members of the Senate arm themselves for a battle royal over President Trump’s nomination, they may want to build on, rather than ignore, his judicial legacy. When he wrote the court’s official opinions, Justice Kennedy often sought a path for many of those who lost their legal case to see their views expressed in policy.
CHICAGO (AP) — Doctors have long known that separating families and other traumatic events can damage children's well-being. More recent research has shed some light on how that may happen: Severe early adversity may cause brain changes and "toxic stress," resulting in lasting psychological and physical health problems.
Swiss food giant Nestle confirmed Thursday the suspension of its membership in a body aimed at ensuring sustainable palm oil production and use, blaming "fundamental differences" in theories on how to reach that goal. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, a non-profit group that counts members from across the palm oil supply chain, suspended Nestle Wednesday and revoked the sustainable palm oil certificates at several of the company's facilities. "We share the RSPO's ambition for improving the social and environmental performance of the palm oil sector," a Nestle spokesperson told AFP by email Thursday.
BALI, Indonesia (AP) — The Mount Agung volcano on Bali shot ash 2,000 meters (6,600 feet) into the atmosphere Thursday, disrupting the travel plans of thousands as several airlines canceled flights from the Indonesian tourist island.
Jim Bridenstine was far from the science community’s first choice for NASA administrator, but his first few months have won “cautious optimism” from even his fiercest critics. The former Republican congressman vows to keep politics out of his current post, as he sets his sights on the moon and Mars.
Shortly before the White House announced President Trump will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin next month, the commander in chief relayed Moscow’s denial that it interfered in the 2016 presidential election — despite the conclusions of top U.S. intelligence agencies that it did.
NASA says the launch of its flagship James Webb Space Telescope is being rescheduled for no earlier than 2021, with its total price tag boosted to $9.66 billion. That price tag includes a development cost of $8.8 billion, which breaks the $8 billion development cost cap mandated by Congress in 2011. That was the last time the Webb project went through a do-or-die debate. “Congress will have to reauthorize Webb through this next cycle of authorization,” NASA Associate Administrator Steve Jurczyk said today during a teleconference announcing the reset. NASA officials strongly supported going ahead with the telescope, which is… Read More
President Xi Jinping told U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis he wouldn’t give up any territory that China considered its own, an unusually blunt warning as security disputes simmer below a fight over trade.
Complex organic molecules have been discovered originating from one of Saturn's moons, Enceladus, adding to its potential to support life, researchers said on Wednesday. The Cassini spacecraft first flew close to the ice-covered moon in 2005 as part of a mission to gather data on Saturn that will be analyzed for years to come. A team led by Frank Postberg and Nozair Khawaja of the University of Heidelberg in Germany said they had identified fragments of large organic molecules in ice grains that were ejected from geysers through cracks in the moon's icy exterior.
Some people have compared the disgraceful caging of children on the southern border to the internment of Japanese-Americans in 1942. But the internment was qualitatively different from what we’re seeing today.
Mongolia, women are experiencing their own #MeToo movement. A year ago, Saranzaya Chambuu says she was raped by a member of Mongolia’s parliament. According to Mongolia’s first nationwide survey on gender-based violence, 1 in 7 Mongolian women (14 percent) says she has been subjected to sexual violence by someone who is not her partner – twice as many as the estimated world average.
It has played football with former US president Barack Obama and danced for German leader Angela Merkel, but Honda's ASIMO robot may have reached the end of the line. Launched in 2000, the humanoid machine resembling a shrunken spaceman has become arguably Japan's most famous robot, wheeled out to impress visiting politicians over the years. "We will still continue research into humanoid robots, but our future robots may not be named ASIMO," Honda spokesman Hajime Kaneko told AFP.
A federal judge just tossed out a lawsuit brought against the world's largest oil companies for selling fuels they knew would boost sea levels and disrupt the global climate. This decision, on its surface, is a victory for big oil. But the fight against these huge companies and their roles in stoking climate change is far from over. The suit thrown out on Monday — which was filed by San Francisco and Oakland — won't doom similar lawsuits by New York, Colorado and six others in California against big oil for the damages wrought by future floods, droughts, and wildfire. SEE ALSO: After attempts at censorship, National Park Service finally releases climate change report "The overall effect on those state cases is negligible," Ann Carlson, the director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the UCLA School of Law, said in an interview. These ongoing lawsuits sit in state courts, and this week's federal decision by U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup — who previously received an unprecedented climate change lesson from both oil companies and scientists in the courtroom — has little bearing in these separate, and more favorable, legal systems. It's also a potentially good sign for future cases that Alsup didn't throw out the case on any scientific grounds. Alsup agrees with the scientific findings that fossil fuel burning has spiked global temperatures and accelerated sea level rise, but when he threw out the suit, he decided that a U.S. court alone cannot solve such a weighty, global problem. A NASA graph, based on satellite measurements, showing global sea level rise since the early 1990s.Image: nasaIn a 16-page statement, Alsup details that 120 years of advancing climate science shows fossil fuel burning has unquestionably driven climate change by releasing substantial amounts of heat-trapping carbon dioxide into Earth's atmosphere. However, he notes that a court by itself can't decide past and future damages that are "breathtaking" in scope. "In Alsup's view, because climate change is a global problem, it requires a global solution," Michael Burger, the executive director of Columbia University's Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, said in an interview. "The issue is not over science," wrote Alsup, who cited that "glaciers around the world have been shrinking" and "ice sheets over Greenland and Antarctica have been melting." "The issue is a legal one — whether these producers of fossil fuels should pay for anticipated harm that will eventually flow from a rise in sea level," said Alsup. Alsup believes he can't possibly decide how to impose punishment for the past, current, and future actions of these companies — in large part because energy production has also benefited humanity, providing billions of people with electricity and improved lives. These questions, "of how to appropriately balance these worldwide negatives against the worldwide positives of the energy itself," need the help of congress, the president, and foreign nations, he argues. "It [Alsup's decision] implicates other countries," said Burger. "He's saying ultimately the case needs to be resolved by political branches." Not all climate lawsuits are doomed Alsup is a well-known federal judge whose opinion could very well influence other cases against oil companies like Shell and Chevron. But many similar lawsuits, like those in Colorado and New York, are subject to different, more well-established laws. "His decision is irrelevant from a legal perspective," Carlson said, as long as these cases stay in state courts. Federal courts, like Alsup's, are less favorable to lawsuits like San Francisco and Oakland's, which contend that fossils fuel companies are liable for damages because they've created a public "nuisance," said Carlson. (Nuisance is a realm of law that means an action that, broadly speaking, causes trouble or injury.) On the national level, judges simply don't have much to work with. Congress hasn't even weighed in on what the law should be for cities suing fossil fuel companies, said Carlson. "We're really in a new world in state court," Carlson added, noting that California nuisance laws are well-established, written statues with guidelines to follow. Portions of Antartica's ice sheets, like the Thwaites glacier, are experiencing an accelerating ice loss.Image: nasaAccordingly, Alsup's earlier decision to allow this case to stay in federal court may have been a big problem to begin with. "He’s just starting with a roadblock," said Carlson. "My view is he got the question wrong. It [this case] should stay in the states." And these state cases appear to be safe for now, meaning they won't be tossed out because Alsup thinks they require a political, or even global, solution. State courts are separate entities from federal courts, and their unique nuisance laws might be effectively used in these lawsuits. Still, though, there's more to come from Alsup's judgement. The decision, said Burger, could soon be appealed to another federal court, where another judge will decide if such a case must indeed fall under the dominion of the federal government for an appropriate law to be made — if any. This sort of lawsuit — suing fossil fuel companies for stoking climate change — is relatively new, uncharted territory. But one thing is certain: Climate change, said Alsup, is not in dispute. It's who has to pay, how much, and who's going to decide. "It’s Alsup’s view that because sea level rise impacts all navigable water of the U.S., it falls under the jurisdiction of the United States," as opposed to a certain state, said Burger. "And because of the global nature of climate change, it requires as uniform a rule as can be developed." It's less clear, however, if U.S. lawmakers will tackle the problem. “By kicking the case to a do-nothing congress and a climate denying White House, the court essentially ruled that taxpayers alone should pay the massive costs of adapting to climate change," Richard Wiles, executive director of the Center for Climate Integrity, said in a statement. "There are always adverse decisions along the road to victory," Wiles added. "That was true in tobacco, lead, and asbestos, where the courts ultimately crafted a solution to a major crisis. This fight is just getting started and we expect to win.” WATCH: Ever wonder how the universe might end?
No, there isn't a supervolcano brewing beneath New England, despite what some media outlets are saying. That said, something weird is going on about 100 miles below the lush New England ground. Scientists have found a mass of warmer rock that appears to be welling upwards. This research, led by geophysicist Vadim Levin, appeared last year in the scientific journal
Geology. SEE ALSO: Deep beneath the Pacific, another active Hawaiian volcano waits to emerge "We never advocated it could lead to volcanism," Levin, who performs research at Rutgers University–New Brunswick's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, said in an interview. This mass of warmer rock — relative to the rock around it — is nowhere near becoming a volcano. Steaming Yellowstone National Park; a supervolcano.Image: nps"It's basically a blob of hotter rock that rises through cooler rock," Jess Phoenix, a volcanologist that took no part in the study, said in an interview. In a press release about the research, Levin is quoted as saying it will take "millions of years" for this blob of hot rock to "get where it's going." But this doesn't mean the rocks will melt or lead to a supervolcano or any volcano at all. "The one thing you can be absolutely sure of — nothing is going to happen on the surface of New England involving volcanic activity in your lifetime or that of countless generations to come given its current geological situation," Stanley Mertzman, a volcanologist at Franklin and Marshall College who had no involvement with the study, said via email. "I just hope some sort of human related descendant is still in existence on Earth given how far into the future this REMOTELY POSSIBLE event might be." Scientists have known that this hot mass of rock existed under the region for decades, Phoenix said. But Levin and his team advanced the understanding of the geologic oddity, using a sophisticated technology called Earthscope, which employs thousands of seismic devices spaced throughout the country to "see" what's happening deep beneath the ground. "It's basically a large antenna looking down into the Earth," said Levin. "The cool story that should come out of it is that scientists have a new technology," said Phoenix. "That's the story." Yellowstone's Crested Pool hot spring — not something found in New England.Image: npsLevin is interested in how this 200-kilometer (125-mile) long mass of warmer rock might behave over time, and how it came to be. "It exists — we can see it — but why does it exist?" asks Levin. It's all the more curious, he said, because New England shows no evidence of active geologic activity for 200 million years. Levin plans to continue studying the area, and hopes to have more answers, perhaps in a decade's time. Sometimes, hot masses of rising warmer rock can push up and contribute to mountain formation, like in the case of California's Sierra Nevada Mountains, said Phoenix, who noted these iconic peaks are not volcanic. The hot rock well beneath New England, though, isn't close even meeting the definition of a volcano. "To even be a volcano you have to have stuff coming out of it," said Phoenix. And the hot rock under New England is certainly no "supervolcano," capable of erupting at least 240 cubic miles of magma, like Yellowstone. "The reader should immediately take away the fact that there was no liquid (magma) detected by this particular study. So, NO SUPER PLUME," Mertzman said. For those comparing this developing geologic research to a burgeoning supervolcano, scientists are largely unimpressed. "It's terrible journalism," said Phoenix. WATCH: Ever wonder how the universe might end?
U.S. officials offered Nestle, the maker of Arrowhead bottled water, a three-year permit on Wednesday to keep taking millions of gallons of water from a national forest in Southern California — but with new restrictions designed to keep a creek flowing for other uses. The offer announced by the U.S. Forest Service allows Nestle Waters North America, the biggest bottled-water company in the nation, to keep piping water from the Strawberry Creek watershed that it's tapped for decades. The permit would allow extraction only when water is available to protect natural resources in the San Bernardino National Forest northeast of Los Angeles.