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Monster Cyclone in India Prompts the Biggest Evacuation in the Country's History

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 08:24

A massive cyclone is set to batter India over the next few days, spurring the biggest evacuation in the country's history.The extremely severe cyclone, dubbed "Fani," is pummeling the Bay of Bengal and is projected to make landfall by Thursday night with approximately 120 mph (190 km/h) winds, with gusts up to 130 mph (210 km/h), according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD). Fani is also likely to bring "phenomenal" sea conditions in parts of the Bay of Bengal, according to the IMD.More than 100 million people are in the path of the devastating cyclone, and nearly 900,000 people have been ordered to evacuate, the Associated Press reported. About 100,000 of those people are from the city of Puri, in the state of Odisha, which is home to the 858-year-old Jaganath Temple, the BBC reported. Officials fear that this ancient temple could be damaged by the cyclone.Cyclone Fani will likely cause "total destruction" of thatched roof houses, as well as "extensive uprooting of communication and power poles," according to the IMD. India's air force, army, navy and coast guard are currently on high alert, and the country has opened 800 shelters for evacuees, the AP reported. The country also has more than 100,000 emergency food packets ready to be airdropped, according to the AP. * The 20 Costliest, Most Destructive Hurricanes to Hit the US * A History of Destruction: 8 Great Hurricanes * Top 11 Deadliest Natural Disasters in HistoryOriginally published on Live Science.


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Navy Plans to Document UFO Sightings, But Keep Them Confidential

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 08:23

Extraterrestrials, take note: The U.S. Navy plans to set up an official reporting and investigative system that will monitor reports from its pilots about unidentified flying objects.But while this "X-Files"-worthy operation sounds newsy, don't expect to hear details about it anytime soon. The Navy doesn't intend to make the data public, citing the privileged and classified information that these reports usually include, according to The Washington Post."Military aviation safety organizations always retain reporting of hazards to aviation as privileged information in order to preserve the free and honest prioritization and discussion of safety among aircrew," Joe Gradisher, a spokesman for the Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare, told The Washington Post. [7 Things Most Often Mistaken for UFOs] In fact, beyond the announcement that the Navy is setting up this UFO-reporting procedure, "no release of information to the general public is expected," Gradisher said.The upcoming procedure comes in the wake of other government-related UFO news. In late 2017, word came out that the Pentagon had a secret "UFO" office that spent $22 million over five years to study strange and threatening aeronautical events. Although funding for the venture, called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), ended in 2012, the program didn't entirely stop, according to those reports.When news of AATIP became public in 2017, the Defense Department released two declassified videos, which showed pilots talking about a bizarre aircraft that appeared to accelerate quickly, even though it had no recognizable means of propulsion. These aircraft, which looked like blobs on the video, could allegedly drive thousands of feet in an instant.By creating this new program, the Navy hopes to destigmatize any reporting associated with incidents that involve UFOs, which could, after all, be militarized aircraft from other parts of the world."There have been a number of reports of unauthorized and/or unidentified aircraft entering various military-controlled ranges and designated air space in recent years," the Navy told Politico, which broke the story. "For safety and security concerns, the Navy and the [U.S. Air Force] takes these reports very seriously and investigates each and every report."The public may get a whiff of these incidents eventually, although the details may be scarce. For instance, perhaps unclassified parts, broad overviews or statistics about the number of sightings could be released, Luis Elizondo, an intelligence officer who ran AATIP before leaving the Pentagon, told The Washington Post."If it remains strictly within classified channels, then the 'right person' may not actually get the information," Elizondo said. "The right person doesn't necessarily mean a military leader. It can be a lawmaker. It can be a whole host of different individuals."The government is making a smart move by announcing its intentions to formally document and analyze these UFOs, said Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute in Mountain View, California."It will make everybody happy because it sounds like a move toward transparency," Shostak told Live Science.With this announcement, the Navy benefits not only because it will formally investigate these strange sightings, which may well be reconnaissance or enemy aircraft from other nations; the Navy is also winning a nod from the roughly two-thirds of Americans who think that the government isn't divulging everything it knows about extraterrestrials and UFOs, said Shostak, citing a 2002 study on attitudes about aliens.That said, the government probably isn't formalizing this program because it's looking for E.T."The military is interested in this stuff not because they think that Klingons are sailing in the skies, but i think because maybe they think the Chinese or the Russians are sailing through the skies," Shostak said. * Gallery of Curiosity Rover's 'UFO' Photos * Top 10 Alien Encounters Debunked * UFO Quiz: What's Really Out ThereOriginally published on Live Science.


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Cognizant Nears Dubious Milestone With Flurry of Downgrades

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 07:52

Wall Street bulls were quick to throw in the towel as eight buy-rated analysts trimmed their ratings to neutral, including Deutsche Bank, which wrote that it was “still confused on what happened during the qtr so suddenly.” JPMorgan cut its rating to underweight from neutral, saying “execution likely played a role” in the company’s first-quarter revenue miss as new Chief Executive Brian Humphries took the reins after the period ended. With at least 33 analysts covering the stock on Wall Street, there could be more downgrades still to come for Cognizant.


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SoftBank Mulls IPO for $100 Billion Vision Fund, WSJ Says

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 07:48

The Japanese conglomerate is also negotiating with the sultanate of Oman for an investment of several billion dollars in the existing Vision Fund, the Journal reported Friday, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter. The bulk of the fund was initially backed primarily from the Saudi Arabian government as well as capital from Apple Inc. and the government of Abu Dhabi. Hiroe Kotera, a spokeswoman for SoftBank, declined to comment on the rerport.


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Ocado's Warehouse Robots Are Three Times Faster Than Amazon's

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 07:47

Warehouse robots travel three times faster at Ocado Group Plc than at Amazon.com Inc., Peel Hunt wrote in a report on Friday. Analysts James Lockyer and Damindu Jayaweera said they were “underwhelmed” by the global giant’s automation investment after a visit to its warehouse in Tilbury, England, its largest and most technologically advanced in Europe. Ocado, whose market value is about a hundred times smaller than Amazon’s $936 billion, has gone from being Europe’s most shorted stock to one of its best performers.


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Buffett Finally Embraces Amazon as Berkshire Acquires Stake

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 07:42

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has been buying Amazon shares and the purchases will show up in a regulatory filing later this month, Buffett told CNBC in an interview Thursday. Buffett, Berkshire’s chairman and chief executive officer, said “one of the fellows in the office that manage money” made the purchases, a reference to investment managers Todd Combs and Ted Weschler.


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Major cyclone kills three in India, Bangladesh

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 07:35

At least three people died Friday as Cyclone Fani, the biggest in years, slammed into eastern India, sending coconut trees flying and cutting off power, water and telecommunications. The monster weather system made landfall at the holy city of Puri in the morning, with winds gusting at up to 200 kilometres (125 miles) per hour. In recent days authorities in Odisha state, where 10,000 people perished in a 1999 cyclone, evacuated more than a million people as they worried about a possible 1.5-metre (five-foot) storm surge sweeping far inland.


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AIDS drugs prevent sexual transmission of HIV in gay men

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 07:32

After eight years of follow-up of the so-called serodifferent couples, the study found no cases at all of HIV transmission within couples. The study proves, the researchers said, that using antiretroviral therapy to suppress the AIDS virus to undetectable levels also means it cannot be passed on via sex, the researchers said. "Our findings provide conclusive evidence for gay men that the risk of HIV transmission with suppressive ART is zero," said Alison Rodger, a professor at University College London who co-led the research.


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Beans or brioche: breakfast is divisive in Libyan conflict

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 06:49

What you have for breakfast has come to symbolize the divisions in Libya where regions, tribes, armed groups and towns with different traditions have been vying for power since Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in 2011. An assault by eastern forces allied to Khalifa Haftar on Tripoli last month has all but wrecked U.N. backed efforts for a peace deal between the rival factions. The cosmopolitan crowd looks down on the bean dish called "fasouliyah", favored by easterners.


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Marriott CEO diagnosed with pancreatic cancer

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 06:27

NEW YORK (AP) — Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson has been diagnosed with stage two pancreatic cancer. The 60-year-old Sorenson will continue to lead the company while he undergoes treatment.


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Presidential hopeful Inslee wants 100% clean energy by 2030

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 06:06

Democratic presidential hopeful Jay Inslee, as part of his pledge to make combating climate change the top national priority, is calling for the nation's entire electrical grid and all new vehicles and buildings to be carbon pollution free by 2030.


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Gov. Jay Inslee unveils sweeping initiative to combat climate change

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 06:02

The rising tide of 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls calling for environmental reform now includes Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington, a politician who has made climate change the crux of his campaign. Inslee unveiled his initiative, dubbed the "100% Clean Energy for America Plan," on Friday morning. The proposal's scope is sweeping -- laying out 100% clean energy standards across three sectors: electricity, new vehicles and the construction of new buildings.


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Jay Inslee Unveils Ambitious Green New Deal-Style Climate Proposal As 2020 Race Heats Up

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 06:00

It proposes rapidly building out electric vehicleinfrastructure and mandating that all buses and new light- and medium-dutyvehicles produce zero emissions within a decade


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Jay Inslee on Beto O’Rourke’s Climate Plan: ‘Better Late Than Never’

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 06:00

Jay Inslee, the Democratic governor of Washington, who is prioritizing climate change in his presidential campaign, is launching an expansive and detailed “100 Percent Clean Energy for America Plan” as his first major policy rollout.The 2020 candidate, who has called for a climate-change-exclusive debate with all his competitors, says no one else in the field holds a candle to his plans to address the crisis. That includes former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), who unveiled a proposal of his own earlier in the week. “Well, look I welcome anyone who will follow my leadership,” Inslee said, in an interview Thursday night. “I’ve been leading on this for over a decade and a half. I think it’s great that people follow my leadership late, but better late than never. That’s a good thing but I think people, as time goes on, will appropriately find a different level of commitment over the decades.”According to a draft of Inslee’s 10-year action plan, the U.S. would reach 100 percent zero emissions in new light- and medium-duty vehicles and all buses and 100 percent zero carbon pollution from all new commercial and residential buildings. It would also set a national 100 percent clean electricity standard requiring all carbon-neutral power by 2030 and “putting America on a path to having all clean, renewable and zero- emission energy in electricity generation by 2035.”The plan, which will be formally announced at a press conference in Los Angeles with the city’s mayor, Eric Garcetti, is designed to meet and exceed carbon-reduction targets laid out in a 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report and is built off a clean-electricity plan that passed in Washington state. In order to implement 100 percent clean electricity, Inslee proposes, among others things creating refundable tax incentives “to speed the development and deployment of clean technologies,” retiring the “increasingly uneconomic U.S. coal fleet by 2030 to eliminate dangerous pollution and repower our economy with job-creating clean energy,” and providing grants for clean-energy projects developed by communities, governments, and academic institutions. For the clean vehicles arm of the plan, Inslee wants to implement a new standard for clean cars, expand business and consumer tax credits to “ensure availability and affordability” of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), and create a “Clean Cars for Clunkers” program that would offer trade-in rebates for fuel-inefficient cars. Inslee also proposes creating a national “Zero-Carbon Building Standard” by 2023, directing federal agencies in 2021 to promote zero-emission appliances like water heaters and dryers and “dramatically increasing access to federal financing to fund both retrofits and new construction to upgrade schools and public building stock for federal, state, local, and tribal governments.”“In his first policy release, it’s clear that Gov. Inslee embraced the goals of the Green New Deal to decarbonize our economy quickly, grow jobs, and address inequity through a just transition,” said Greg Carlock, the lead author for the progressive firm Data for Progress’ Green New Deal report. “The 100% Clean Energy Plan has the greatest detail of any candidate’s plan so far but focuses on only a portion of the energy sector. I look forward to seeing additional policy and investment proposals to address the full scope of the problem and the opportunities it presents the country.” The introduction of the plan comes on the heels of O’Rourke proposing his own, which included $5 trillion in new investments on infrastructure and innovation, Day One executive actions to cut pollution, reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, while getting halfway there by 2030, and a plan to immediately address communities most threatened by extreme weather with pre-disaster mitigation grants, expanding the federal crop insurance program, and legislation to help areas recover more quickly. Inslee’s campaign responded aggressively after his announcement in a statement from campaign manager Aisling Kerins saying in part: “Beto O’Rourke will need to answer why he did not lead on climate change in Congress and why he voted on the side of oil companies to open up offshore drilling.”O’Rourke went on to sign the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge, a decision he attributed not to pressures from other campaigns but because of students and activists he had met on the trail. The campaign also said it would be returning money that didn’t conform to the pledge, which requires rejecting contributions of over $200 from fossil-fuel company executives. “I welcome others who now might make some proposals now that they’re running for president but I’ve been making them for over a decade and a half,” Inslee said of the field overall. “And so, mine are much more based on long-term commitment.” Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here


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Inslee Climate Plan Aims to Quash Coal, Reach 100% Clean Energy

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 06:00

Inslee, who is the governor of Washington and is making climate change a centerpiece of his bid for the White House, modeled his blueprint on initiatives in the state. The effort comes as Democratic presidential candidates race to outline their visions for combating climate change and the greenhouse gas emissions that drive the phenomenon.


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Treatment prevents sexual HIV transmission among gay men: study

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 05:55

HIV-suppressing medication can make the AIDS virus "untransmittable" even among couples who have sex without using condoms, new research showed Friday. The Europe-wide study monitored nearly 1,000 gay male couples over a period of eight years, where one partner was HIV-positive and receiving antiretroviral (ART) treatment, while the other was HIV negative. Doctors did not find a single case of in-couple HIV transmission within that time, raising hopes that widespread ART programmes could eventually end new infections.


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HIV panic grips Pakistan town as quack doctors blamed for infection of 75 children

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 05:46

Dozens of 'quack' surgeries have been closed and a doctor arrested after scores of people including at least 75 children have been found to be infected with HIV in a Pakistani town. Panic has spread through Ratodero in Sindh province after screening has revealed large numbers carrying the virus. Health officials believe the re-use of dirty syringes is spreading the virus. Medical teams deployed after the first reports of cases say they have since tested more than 2,400 people in the past week and found at least 98 positive. That number is likely to rise as testing continues, Dr Sikandar Ali, provincial programme manager for HIV/AIDS control told the Telegraph. Pakistan has one of the worst HIV infection rates in the region, but officials have said the virus is largely found in high risk groups including sex workers and their clients, as well as drug users. “It is very astonishing for us. Usually this disease is not of the general population and here we sadly see lot of the general population is affected which is alarming for us,” Dr Ali said. At least two dozen quack premises have been sealed as investigators try to find the source of the infections Credit: Saiyna Bashir for the Telegraph A doctor at a public hospital in the area was earlier this week arrested and accused of passing the virus, which attacks the immune system and leads to AIDS, to patients. But the doctor, who is himself claimed to be HIV positive, denied the charge. He was also defended by the Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Society of Pakistan (MMIDSP). Officials said they had also closed more than 20 premises run by “quacks” amid fears the reuse of syringes is behind the infections. Quack doctors who practise without training or professional certification are rife in Pakistan. Their backstreet surgeries, which have lax hygiene and often specialise in pick-me-up steroid injections or cut-price dental work. Reused syringes and poorly sterilised instruments are blamed for spreading blood-borne diseases like HIV and hepatitis. However these fake private doctors have thrived because of a shortage of genuine doctors in Pakistan's fragile and underfunded health system. Patients often have little alternative to their neighbourhood quack. HIV has also been passed by blood transfusions. Laws require blood to be screened for diseases, but enforcement is very lax. The rate of new HIV infections has doubled in Eastern Europe and Central Asia “A committee has been set up to thoroughly investigate and look into the matter,” Dr Ali said. “Until now, there is the possibility that it is because of the re-use of syringes.” The World Health Organisation last year warned that Pakistan has the highest rate of HIV infection growth in the region, gaining 20,000 new HIV cases each year. Deaths from the disease are also rising, despite the availability of lifesaving anti-retroviral drugs. United Nations figures estimate around 150,000 people have HIV in Pakistan, but the great majority do not know they are infected. In 2017 around 6,500 died of AIDS and there are an estimated 31,000 AIDS orphans in the country. Fewer than one-in-10 have access to drugs. "The remaining 135,000 people are walking around in the communities as carriers of (HIV) infection who are ready to transmit infections to those who are not infected, even to their unborn babies," Dr Saima Paracha of the National AIDS Control Program, told VOA last year. Worldwide, there are 40 million people living with HIV and almost 1 million died of causes related to the virus in 2017. Nearly 2 million became newly infected that year. Protect yourself and your family by learning more about Global Health Security  Newsletter promotion - global health security - end of article


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Tesla Raises $2.35 Billion in Boosted Debt, Stock Offerings

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 05:29

The electric-car maker raised $750 million of common stock priced at $243 per share and borrowed $1.6 billion through an offering of convertible bonds due 2024 at a 2 percent coupon and a 27.5 percent conversion premium, Tesla said Friday in a filing. Tesla stock, which had been down 30 percent this year, closed 4.3 percent higher Thursday while the price of its bonds advanced. Tesla tapped the markets again after Elon Musk overestimated the ability of the Model 3 sedan to generate enough cash for the company to be self-sustaining.


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Wall Street Weekahead: Record-breaking rally leaving energy stocks behind

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 05:12

The stock market surge since the start of the year that has sent the benchmark S&P 500 index up to new record highs is leaving behind one sector that typically outperforms in an expanding economy: energy. A sharp rebound in the price of oil has not been enough to offset a long-standing reluctance on the part of investors to hold energy companies after prices collapsed in 2014. Energy companies in the S&P 500 are down 13% over the last year, while the broad index is up 10%.


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Beluga whale with Russian harness appears to 'defect' to Norway

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 04:45

"The last days the whale has still been observed in the same area," marine biologist Jorgen Ree Wiig, an inspector for the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries, said in a statement. The whale caused a sensation earlier in the week when video emerged of it swimming alongside fishermen off the coast of Norway last month.


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