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Google CEO Backs Privacy Law, Denies Bias in Remarks to Congress

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 15:28

"I lead this company without political bias and work to ensure that our products continue to operate that way," Pichai said, according to the transcript released on Monday. "As an American company, we cherish the values and freedoms that have allowed us to grow and serve so many users," Pichai said.

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Activists again demand Green New Deal; stage demonstration at Dem leaders' offices

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 15:20

Hundreds of pro-environment activists lobbied lawmakers on Capitol Hill Monday in an attempt to pressure Democratic leaders to endorse a Green New Deal for the new majority’s agenda in the next Congress. Protesters staged sit-ins at the congressional offices of Reps. Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer and Jim McGovern, calling for a transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy and urging Democrats to leverage their power in the 116th Congress to enact green legislative proposals championed by progressives.

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Here's Why You Get Dizzy When You Stand Up Too Fast

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 15:18

If this happens more than occasionally, speak with your doctor.

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Delivering a baby increases - then lowers - risk of breast cancer: study

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 15:13

Nichols and colleagues found that the breast cancer risk peaks 4.6 years after a woman's most recent birth but then begins to fall. After another 19 years, the risk returns to the same level as a woman who has never given birth. By 34.5 years after birth of the youngest child, the breast cancer risk is 23 percent lower than the risk in women who had never been pregnant.

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Canadian doctors urge women to weigh pros and cons of breast cancer screening

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 15:07

The new guidelines released today by the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care are similar to recommendations released in 2011, researchers note in CMAJ. "The evidence continues to show a close balance between potential benefits and harms of breast cancer screening," Moore said by email. "This balance appears to be less favorable for younger women." The goal of mammograms is to detect tumors before they can be felt in a physical breast exam, catching cancer sooner when it's easier to treat.

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The Geminid meteor shower is coming to a sky near you Thursday night

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 14:58

There's a cool space doubleheader this week: In addition to comet 46P/Wirtanen, the often spectacular Geminid meteor shower will also make its annual appearance.

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5 Surprising Issues That Physical Therapists Treat

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 14:58

Your PT can help with more than just rehabbing your bum ankle.

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To quell unrest, France's Macron speeds up tax cuts but vows no U-turn

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 14:52

In his first national address following France's worst unrest for years, Macron sought to restore calm and struck a humble tone after accusations his governing style and economic policies were fracturing the country. "We will respond to the economic and social urgency with strong measures, by cutting taxes more rapidly, by keeping our spending under control, but not with U-turns," Macron said in the 13-minute TV address from the Elysee Palace. In measures that are likely to cost billions to state coffers, Macron said people on the minimum wage would see their salaries rise by 100 euros ($113.76) a month in 2019 without extra costs to employers.

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Phone Carriers Fear Possible Order to Rip Out Huawei Equipment

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 14:47

The Rural Wireless Association in a filing to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission asked for funding and time to “rip and replace” if U.S. officials order carriers to remove equipment from Huawei, which Congress has identified as a security threat for its ties to the Chinese government. Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver on Dec. 1 on the orders of U.S. authorities for allegedly violating American sanctions on selling technology to Iran. The arrest has become a flash-point in ties between the U.S. and China that’s rattled investors and sent stock markets tumbling.

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This Mapping Service Blurred Out Secret Military Bases a Little *Too* Well

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 14:33

Israeli and Turkish military bases are now helpfully identified with by big blurry blocks.

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Qualcomm Says It Won Case Banning Sale of Older iPhones in China

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 14:24

The Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court ruled that Apple is infringing two Qualcomm patents and issued injunctions against the sale of the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X, the San Diego, California-based chipmaker said in a statement Monday. The most recent models introduced in September, the iPhone XS, XR and XS Max, are not covered by the ban.

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Climate change made these 17 extreme weather events radically worse

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 14:15

Just as scientists confidently predicted last century, climate change is pushing weather to extremes all over the planet.  A new report, published Monday by the American Meteorological Society, again proves the point. The 100-page report assessed 17 extreme weather events from 2017 — including floods, droughts, and heat waves — and determined global warming either significantly boosted the odds of these events, or simply made such extreme, often deadly events possible in the first place.  "We are in a world that is warmer than in the 20th Century, and we keep moving farther from that baseline," Martin Hoerling, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientist who worked on the report, said at the 2018 American Geophysical Union conference on Monday.  "There are very few places escaping from the warming that is occurring on our planet today," Hoerling added. Global temperatures compared to the average, with blues showing cooler temperatures.Image: nasa Global temperatures compared to the average, with yellows and reds showing warmer temperatures.Image: nasa For each extreme event, the report outlines just how much climate change increased its likelihood, which is a growing field of science known as attribution research.  And when it comes to heat waves, rain, and drought, scientists have a good handle on how climate change exacerbates these events, often by modeling the chances of extreme weather events in the absence of today's globally disrupted climate. "These attribution studies are telling us that a warming Earth is continuing to send us new and more extreme weather events every year,” Jeff Rosenfeld, editor in chief of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, said in a statement. Extreme deluges Of note, Earth's hydrological, or water systems, have been propelled to the extreme. One reason is simple: Warming temperatures mean more water vapor is loaded into the atmosphere. Specifically for every 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) of warming, the air can hold 7 percent more water. That can mean historic, prolonged deluges. Overflowing water surging out of California's damaged Oroville Dam spillway in 2017.Image: Dale Kolke/ California Department of Water ResourcesIn the U.S., scientists pointed out deluges during the 2017 California winter that threatened to collapse the state's largest reservoir (the Oroville Dam), and the most extreme rain event in the nation's history, Hurricane Harvey.  "No single storm (Oroville) or instantaneous precipitation rate (Harvey) was to blame; rather, the damages were caused by precipitation that did not seem to stop," the authors wrote. The report also highlights severe 2017 flooding in Bangladesh, Peru and China.  In Bangladesh, for example, extreme rain fell for six straight days before the expected monsoon, or summer rainfall season, even began. Human-caused warming, the authors found, was 100 percent responsible for the unusual rainfall event. Heavy precipitation is becoming more intense and more frequent across most of the United States, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest. #climateindicators — (@usgcrp) November 27, 2018 Heat, heat, heat  Heat waves, the number one natural killer of humans, made a strong appearance in 2017 (and then again in 2018).  Since the onset of the Industrial Revolution in the mid-1800s, climate change has boosted the average global temperature by 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, or 1 degree Celsius. This background warming makes typical heat waves all the more extreme, resulting in record heat.  "I’m virtually certain that nearly all heat waves have been made more severe by climate change," Michael Wehner, a senior scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, said this summer amid a flurry of global heat waves.  SEE ALSO: Smokey Bear's world is on fire. But the old mascot won't die. In 2017, southern Europe experienced an "exceptional heat wave" which was nicknamed "Lucifer." Temperatures in the Balkans and Italy sustained in the triple-digits for days, records fell, and nighttime temperatures elsewhere exceeded over 85 degrees. Such a scorcher is three times more likely than it was in more temperate 1950s, the authors conclude.  And while Europe burned, China did the same.  The northeastern portion of the country saw its hottest temperatures on record, as a sustained mass of warm air hovered over the vast region.  "The key thing to remember about the report is that it’s clear that the best time to have reduced emissions was 25 years ago, but the second best time to reduce emissions is right now.” — Gavin Schmidt on the recent @IPCC_CH report. — NASA Earth (@NASAEarth) October 19, 2018 The authors concluded that climate change, all the more enhanced by decreasing Arctic sea ice (which ultimately helped produce this block of warm air), were the environmental culprits.  While once rare, severe heat events in this part of China are now believed to have a one in five chance of happening during any given year.  Paralyzing Drought A particularly harsh drought hit the Northern Great Plains of the U.S. in 2017 — even threatening an essential ingredient in beer.  This event, which proved to be a billion dollar disaster, hit Americans with a double whammy. Hot temperatures dried out the soil, easily outpacing dismal, record-low rains.  After modeling different climate scenarios, researchers determined that this event was 1.5 times more likely under our current climate scenario, wherein the atmosphere is saturated with its highest levels of carbon dioxide in some 15 million years.   WATCH: A scientist claims to have made the world's first gene-edited babies — Sharp Science

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Look Up This Week and Watch the Geminid Meteor Shower

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 14:13

The best views will come very early in the morning on Friday, Dec. 14.

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Militia forces Libya's NOC to declare force majeure on biggest oilfield

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 14:07

NOC said the shutdown would result in a production loss of 315,000 barrels per day (bpd) at its biggest oilfield, and an additional loss of 73,000 bpd at the El Feel oilfield. Chairman Mustafa Sanalla NOC would not negotiate with the militia group. NOC said armed militia had stormed the premises on Saturday after some guards and locals claiming to be attached to the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) force opened the gates.

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The Latest: Catholic pilgrims bear climate change warning

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 14:04

KATOWICE, Poland (AP) — The Latest on climate talks taking place in Poland (all times local):

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Why You Shouldn't Put Just Two Winter Tires on Your Car

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 13:59

It might sound like a cheaper alternative with real benefits, but it's actually incredibly dangerous.

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Presidential hopefuls pushed to go big on climate change

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 13:51

WASHINGTON (AP) — Environmental activists are ramping up a pressure campaign designed to drum up Democratic support for a sweeping agenda to fight climate change, with the 2020 presidential campaign in their sights.

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Russia gas pipeline to boost grip on Ukraine, Europe: U.S. diplomat

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 13:44

"Through Nord Stream 2, Russia seeks to increase its leverage of the West while severing Ukraine from Europe," Francis Fannon, the U.S. assistant secretary for energy resources at the State Department, told reporters in a teleconference. The pipeline has been opposed both by President Donald Trump, a Republican, and his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama as a political tool for Russia to consolidate power over Europe. Much of the gas that Europe currently gets from Russia via pipeline goes through Ukraine, which collects billions of dollars in transit charges making up to 3 percent of its gross domestic product.

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NASA's intrepid Voyager 2 probe crosses into interstellar space

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 13:35

Data from instruments aboard the spacecraft showed it crossed the outer edge of the heliosphere, a protective bubble of particles and magnetic fields produced by the sun, on Nov. 5, the U.S. space agency said. The boundary crossed by the intrepid probe as it journeys a bit more than 11 billion miles (18 billion km) from Earth is called the heliopause, a place where the hot solar wind runs up against the interstellar medium, the soup of stuff residing between the stars of our Milky Way galaxy. "This is a very exciting time again in Voyager's 41-year journey, so far, of exploring the planets and now the heliosphere and entering interstellar space," Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist based at Caltech, told a news briefing.

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Croak to croon: City frogs sing more alluring love songs

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 13:27

WASHINGTON (AP) — City frogs and rainforest frogs don't sing the same tune, researchers have found.

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