SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A California lawmaker was removed from the state Senate floor Thursday after refusing to stop delivering a speech criticizing late state Sen. Tom Hayden for his leadership role in the anti-Vietnam War movement of the 1960s.
You may have seen photos of a young girl and her Goldendoodle, Wonder, on the steps of the Supreme Court on social media. So who is she and why is she smiling? Ehlena Fry, a 13-year-old girl with cerebral palsy, has won her Supreme Court case, which will allow her to sue her local school board for damages for the emotional distress she said she suffered by being denied the assistance of her service dog.
Nigeria on Thursday said it had summoned South Africa's top diplomat to register its fears about a fresh wave of violence against immigrants near Johannesburg and Pretoria. Junior foreign minister Bukar Ibrahim said the high commissioner would be "informed of (the) government's concerns on the situation" and asked to ensure action was taken. "The Federal Government of Nigeria strongly urges the South African Government to take all necessary measures to protect the lives and property of foreigners living and working in South Africa," he added in a statement.
Here’s a question that’s baffled health reporters in the months since the election: Why would people who benefit from Obamacare in general—and its Medicaid expansion specifically—vote for a man who vowed to destroy it?
New pair of shoes? Or transatlantic flight from the UK to the US? That's the new conundrum at travelers' disposal, with this week's launch of bottom-of-the-barrel fares by Norwegian Air, which is offering flights for as low as $65 USD one-way.
North Korea’s state media broke a 10-day silence Thursday on the murder of Kim Jong-Un’s half brother, launching a ferocious assault on Malaysia for “immoral” handling of the case and for playing politics with the corpse. In its first comments on the airport assassination of Kim Jong-Nam, KCNA said Malaysia bore responsibility for the death, and accused it of conspiring with South Korea. "Malaysia is obliged to hand his body to the DPRK (North Korea) side as it made an autopsy and forensic examination of it in an illegal and immoral manner", the North's Korean Jurists Committee said, in comments carried by the state-run news agency.
An online commercial released by Nike this week that showed Arab women fencing, boxing and spinning on ice-skates has stirred controversy over its attempt to smash stereotypes about women leading home-bound lives in the conservative region. Maybe they'll say you exceeded all expectations." Within 48 hours the video was shared 75,000 times on Twitter and viewed almost 400,000 times on YouTube. "An ad (which) touches on the insecurities of women in a society digs deeper and becomes an empowerment tool rather than just a product," Sara al-Zawqari, a spokeswoman for the International Red Cross in Iraq, wrote on her Twitter page.
BEIJING (AP) — China's defense ministry said Thursday it expects economic growth and a strengthened social security system to solve problems faced by former soldiers, following reports of new street protests by disgruntled veterans who say they've been denied their promised retirement benefits.
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas legislators pushing to roll back Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's signature income tax cuts scrambled Wednesday to find a new plan to fix the state's dire budget problems after he vetoed their bill.
A new study on an ancient ice sheet may hold important clues about our planet's future. The research focuses on the Laurentide Ice Sheet, the massive expanse covering North America during the last Ice Age, which ended about 10,000 years ago. A team of scientists found that small spikes in the temperature of the ocean — not the air — likely caused periods of rapid melting and splintering of the ice. SEE ALSO: This 'GOT' star teamed up with Google to capture Greenland's melting ice Their findings add to a growing body of evidence that climate change could ultimately drive sea levels even higher than today's models predict, according to the study published Feb. 15 in the journal
Nature. Glaciers in Greenland, Antarctica and other areas have been melting rapidly in recent years due in part to increasing ocean temperatures.
"It is possible that modern-day glaciers ... are more sensitive to ocean warming than we previously thought," said Jeremy Bassis, the study's lead author and an associate professor of climate and space sciences at the University of Michigan. Ice floats near the coast of West Antarctica as viewed from a NASA research aircraft. Image: Mario Tama/Getty Images For the study, Bassis and his colleagues looked at so-called Heinrich events: the periods during which the Laurentide Ice Sheet would rapidly disintegrate. Roughly every 8,000 years, the ice sheet's edges would break off, sending a vast armada of icebergs flowing into the Atlantic Ocean. The icebergs carried sediment from around Canada's Hudson Bay and deposited the dirt on the ocean floor. They also boosted sea levels by more than 6 feet over the course of hundreds of years. What triggered these Heinrich events has largely befuddled scientists. The rapid melting periods occurred during the coldest times of the last Ice Age — exactly the opposite of what you'd expect during a major ice melt. Image: university of michigan To determine why the ice melted despite the cold air temperatures during these times, the University of Michigan team focused on the role the oceans played, studying ice core and ocean-floor sediment records to estimate how temperatures varied over thousands of years. They also used Bassis' mathematical model for describing how ice reacts to air and ocean temperatures, and the implications for sea level rise. The scientists next created simulations of the timing and size of the massive Laurentide melting events. They found that even small changes in sub-surface ocean temperatures — of just 1 degrees Celsius, or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit — could lead to sea level-boosting Heinrich events. "Warm warm ocean water that's just tickling the edge of the ice sheets can trigger these catastrophic [ice] retreats that could last for centuries," Bassis said. The
Nature study supports earlier findings that warmer North Atlantic water temperatures may have set the Heinrich events in motion. Image: university of michigan A 2011 study led by Shaun Marcott of the University of Wisconsin proposed that, thousands of years ago, sub-surface warming likely destabilized the ice and caused ice shelves to collapse near the Hudson Strait, which links the Hudson Bay to the Atlantic Ocean. The
Nature study also lends further credence to the idea that Heinrich events reflect what's happening today on the rapidly melting Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, said Richard Alley, a professor of geosciences at Penn State University, who was not involved in the new research. Alley co-authored a 2015 paper that concluded that — based on the Ice Age's events — changes in ocean temperatures could drive future sea level rise even before the air grows significantly warmer in Antarctica. Unlike in the past, when air and ocean temperature shifts were natural in origin today's oceans are warming largely due to human-driven climate change. More than half of the increase in global ocean heat content has occurred in the last two decades, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Image: U.S. environmental protection agency "This new paper is a nice demonstration supporting earlier hypotheses that ice sheets are highly sensitive to warming in the surrounding water, as well as to warming in the air," Alley said. It also shows "that predicting the future of the ice sheets will mean understanding the changes in the ocean and the air," he added. For Peter Clark, however, the fact that Wednesday's study only affirmed earlier conclusions meant the researchers didn't actually offer new evidence that future sea levels may be higher than we're predicting. "Current models may be underestimating future sea level rise, but the results of this new paper don't give us any reason to think that this is the case," said Clark, an earth, ocean and atmospheric sciences professor at Oregon State University. BONUS: Leonardo DiCaprio's new film 'Before the Flood' says we can fix global warming
When Elon Musk sets his sights on an industry, he does so with purpose and with the intention of completely turning said industry on its head. While most people are readily familiar with Musk's efforts at Tesla, the groundbreaking work being done by SpaceX, Musk's other company, has only recently started to attract attention from the mainstream.
To be sure, Elon Musk was bold for thinking that Tesla could revolutionize the auto industry. That said, Musk's plans to enter the aerospace industry with SpaceX and compete with and work alongside NASA wasn't just bold, it was downright crazy. And yet, both of Musk's ventures continue to amass greater success with each passing year.
Earlier this month, we stumbled across a thread on Quora asking if it's better for engineers to work at NASA or SpaceX. Of course, the question itself was a bit misleading because it's not as if one company is superior to the other. Without question, some of the smartest minds on the planet can be found at both. Still, there are a number of interesting differences between the work environment at NASA and SpaceX that are worth highlighting.
Tackling this issue, an engineer named Andre Lavoie -- who has spent significant time at both companies -- details a number of fascinating differences between life at NASA and SpaceX.
Not surprisingly, the fact that NASA is a government agency, as opposed to a private company like SpaceX, impacts the work environment in both positive and negative ways. While Lavoie points out that the work-life balance at NASA is a positive, the work there can sometimes be encumbered by "an institutional aversion to risk" and predictably slow-moving bureaucracy.
Projects can start with much fanfare and then be cancelled. Repeatedly. Maybe this is because there are many worthy things that should be studied but funds are always limited. It can be rewarding because you have more opportunity to really dig in and understand things and learn. Your job is very secure, even when budgets get cut or you yourself don't succeed.
As for life at SpaceX, the work environment there, not surprisingly sounds awfully similar to a forward-thinking start-up, albeit on steroids.
In contrast, Space X is a product company. It designs, builds, sells and launches rockets. Your job there is to make that happen no matter what. Nobody gives up. Failure is acceptable, to a point. Risk taking is expected, but stupidity and recklessness is punished unceremoniously. You just get fired. There is no job security. Schedule is critical because as a privately funded company if it fails to succeed before the money runs out then it's game over. The sense of urgency is huge. At Space X you can have plenty of responsibility even if you have little experience. This is great if you are energetic, resourceful and work obsessively. If not you will probably fall behind and then your days will be numbered.
Lavoie's full answer, along with the full thread is well worth digesting in its entirety. You can check it out over here.
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan sports doctor who treated elite female U.S. gymnasts was charged Wednesday with sexually assaulting nine girls, including some too reluctant to speak up about the alleged abuse years ago because he was considered a "god."
UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. (AP) — A suburban St. Louis Jewish cemetery badly damaged by vandals is getting a show of support from cleanup volunteers, well-wishers and financial contributors from across many faiths.
The chief of staff of French far-right leader Marine Le Pen was put under formal investigation on Wednesday after a day of questioning over the alleged misuse of EU funds to pay parliamentary assistants, a judicial source said. Catherine Griset was taken into custody for questioning along with Le Pen's bodyguard Thierry Legier, who was later released without being put under investigation, according to the source. In reaction to the news, Le Pen said that she formally denied any wrongdoing in a case that she said was being used to undermine her campaign.
By Mohammed Mukhashaf ADEN (Reuters) - The second-in-command of the Yemeni army was killed on Wednesday when a missile fired by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement hit an army camp, a military source said, the most senior Yemeni officer killed in the country's civil war. Major General Ahmed Saif al-Yafei was killed outside the strategic Red Sea coastal city of al-Mokha, which the army captured from the Houthis last month. President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's internationally-recognized government, backed by a Saudi-led Arab coalition, has been trying to re-take the country from the Houthis for nearly two years.
Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, speaks on Tuesday to employees of the agency in Washington. A batch of 7,564 pages of emails and other records from Scott Pruitt’s tenure as Oklahoma attorney general — made public Wednesday morning — show that he worked with the fossil fuel industry in its efforts to roll back environmental regulations. The documents were handed over to the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) Tuesday night as a result of an Open Records Act request and lawsuit.
VW has announced that the latest-generation plug-in electric Golf will come with an EPA-estimated range of 125 miles (200km) when it goes on sale in the US this spring. Despite a more potent motor, the car can go further on a single charge because of improved and more efficient battery chemistry.
Turkey said Wednesday fewer than 100 jihadists were still holed up in the flashpoint Islamic-State Syrian town of Al-Bab, as rebel commanders predicted its capture was imminent. The fight for Al-Bab has seen the bloodiest clashes of Ankara's half-year campaign inside the conflict-torn country and its capture would be one of the most significant reverses for Islamic State in Syria. Speaking to NTV television, Defence Minister Fikri Isik said half of the town of Al-Bab was in the hands of Turkish troops and allied pro-Ankara Syrian rebels, after the government repeatedly said it was "largely under control".
Lyle Denniston, the National Constitution Center’s Supreme Court correspondent, explains the Trump administration’s policy change about transgendered students and how courts play an important role in the issue.
Texas has a new plan for its 2.5 million feral hogs: total annihilation. Sid Miller, the state's agriculture commissioner, just approved a pesticide — called "Kaput Feral Hog Lure" — for statewide use. "The 'hog apocalypse' may finally be on the horizon," Miller said in a statement on Tuesday. SEE ALSO: First human-pig chimeras created, sparking hopes for transplantable organs — and debate "This solution is long overdue," he added. "Wild hogs have caused extensive damage to Texas lands and loss of income for many, many years." Texas's agriculture commission estimates that feral hogs cause $52 million in damage each year to agricultural businesses by tearing up crops and pastures, knocking down fences and ruining equipment. The so-called hog lure is derived from warfarin, a blood-thinning agent that's also used to kill rats and mice in homes and buildings. Animals don't die immediately from eating the odorless, tasteless chemical. That would be too kind. Instead, they keep eating it until the anti-clotting properties cause them to bleed to death internally. This week, Miller approved a rule change in the Texas Administrative Code that allows landowners and agricultural producers to use Kaput — essentially warfarin-laced pellets — to keep feral hogs off their property. Not on my watch, hogs. Image: mark thompson/Getty Images Proponents of the hog toxicant, including the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service, say it's an effective tool because it's only strong enough to kill the swine, and not other wildlife populations or livestock. In January, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency registered Kaput's hog bait under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, a move that made the product available for general use. Still, environmentalists and hog hunters alike staunchly oppose using warfarin to stamp out Texas's feral pig problem. Pigs poop, after all, and other animals could ingest the warfarin along the way. Some Texans hunt the pigs for sport and food, and they're worried about eating poisoned swine. "For Texas to introduce a poison into the equation is a bad decision in our opinion and could likely contaminate humans who unknowingly process and eat feral hogs," the Texas Hog Hunters Association said in a Change.org petition to block the rule change. MIke and his big ole boar from yesterday. Lamar county Texas https://t.co/jQoS5JbtnQ pic.twitter.com/2SeAKs7zbh — TX Hog Hunters Assn. (@texashoghunters) February 14, 2017 Louisiana might become the next state to use Kaput to quell its feral hog population, which worries state wildlife veterinarian Jim LaCour. He said local black bears and raccoons could easily lift the lid to the cages containing the warfarin-laced pellets. "We do have very serious concerns about non-target species," LaCour told the
Times-Picayune in New Orleans. "When the hogs eat, they're going to drop crumbs on the outside, where small rodents can get them and not only intoxicate themselves but also birds of prey that eat them. Since the poison will be on the landscape for weeks on end, the chances of these birds eating multiple affected animals is pretty good," he told the newspaper. The pesticide's manufacturer, Scimetrics Ltd. Corp., assures the pesticide is safe for humans and wildlife — just not for feral pigs.
SpaceX made headlines earlier this week when its Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched and then performed a perfect vertical landing. Today's SpaceX news isn't nearly as cheerful, as the Dragon cargo ship that was placed into orbit by the rocket has been forced to make an emergency abort before it reached the International Space Station, delaying the delivery of supplies to astronauts aboard the craft.
The Dragon capsule, which is unmanned and guided entirely by remote commands, experienced a software glitch that produced a faulty value in its navigation calculations. The Dragon was less than a mile from the ISS when the capsule's software cried foul and, according to a NASA spokesperson, the SpaceX craft "did exactly what it was designed to do" by breaking off its approach. According to both SpaceX and NASA, the crew of the ISS was never in any real danger, and the capsule itself is said to be "in excellent shape." SpaceX and NASA appear to be chalking up the erroneous data as a fluke.
The capsule is carrying 5,500lbs of supplies for the astronauts on board the International Space Station, and this is SpaceX's tenth cargo run in service of NASA. The supplies will still make it to their destination, however, as SpaceX is planning on making another attempt at delivery Thursday morning. The 24-hour delay in supply delivery won't spell doom for anyone on board the space station, and "will not adversely impact" any of the biological materials or experiments housed within the Dragon.
If there's one single beach that leaves visitors enamored, recharged and inspired, it's Baia do Sancho in Brazil, which captured the title of world's best beach by TripAdvisor travelers for a third time.
By Alistair Smout LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's top court backed a government attempt to limit immigration by ruling on Wednesday that an income test for those who want to bring their non-European spouses to the UK is acceptable and does not infringe human rights. Prime Minister Theresa May introduced a rule in 2012 when she was interior minister that Britons who wanted to bring spouses from outside the European Economic Area to the UK had to be earning at least 18,600 pounds ($23,170) a year. The Supreme Court said the minimum income requirement had caused significant hardship to many, but ruled that in principle it was not inconsistent with the European Convention on Human Rights.
By Venus Wu HONG KONG (Reuters) - Former Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang was jailed for 20 months on Wednesday for misconduct in public office, making him the most senior city official to serve time behind bars in a ruling some said reaffirmed the financial hub's vaunted rule of law. The sentence brings an ignominious end to what had been a long and stellar career for Tsang before and after the 1997 handover to Chinese control, service that saw him knighted by the outgoing British colonial rulers. "Never in my judicial career have I seen a man falling from such a height," said High Court justice Andrew Chan in passing sentence.
By Colin Packham SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull offered a staunch defense of Israel on Wednesday, criticizing the United Nations and vowing never to support "one-sided resolutions" calling for an end to Israeli settlement building on occupied land. Turnbull welcomed Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday as the first Israeli prime minister to visit Australia and reiterated Australia's support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis.
The Trump administration issued tough new orders for a sweeping crackdown on illegal immigrants, putting nearly all of the country's 11 million undocumented foreigners in its crosshairs. The orders sent shivers through US immigrant communities, where millions of people who have spent years building families and livelihoods in the country, most of them from Mexico and Central America, were seriously threatened with deportation for the first time in decades. Rights groups labeled the move a "witch hunt," warning that mass deportations would damage families with deep roots in the United States and hurt the economy.
Austria arrested one of Ukraine's richest men, a fresh twist for the one-time ally of ousted pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych. Gas magnate Dmytro Firtash was taken into custody over alleged links to organised crime in Spain, moments after a Vienna court ruled he could be extradited to the US on corruption charges. Firtash, 51, made money through connections with Russian gas giant Gazprom, and was at one time linked to a former campaign aide of US President Donald Trump.