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$1,000 reward to nail thieves of California hammer sculpture
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
HEALDSBURG, Calif. (AP) — The artist who created an 800-pound (363 kilograms) sculpture of a hammer that was stolen from a Northern California community center is offering a $1,000 reward to nail the thieves.
With legal recreational pot, Canada leads way into uncharted territory
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Canada’s capital city is known for being sleepy, sometimes stodgy. In doing so Canada has moved to the forefront of global drug policy. In open breach of the United Nations conventions on drugs, it has clearly stated that in principle, it does not believe that prohibition of marijuana serves the public good, after nearly 100 years of signing laws to the contrary.
China's cold but cleaner skies bring an economic challenge
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
As winter’s approach brings the first days of heavy smog, thanks to coal-burning heaters, Beijing residents are donning air-filter masks or hunkering down indoors. The good news is that China’s air quality has been improving since 2013, though readings are still several times higher than what the World Health Organization recommends. Beijing has proved its war on pollution can work.
In posthumous message, Hawking says science under threat
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Stephen Hawking spoke from beyond the grave to warn the world that science and education are under threat around the world.
Volcanic underwater world discovered off coast of Tasmania
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Scientists claim to have discovered a new underwater world off the Tasmanian coast made up of volcanic mountain peaks that tower about 3km from the seafloor. 
Why the World Should Be Alarmed at Hong Kong's Expulsion of a Foreign Journalist
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The territory's days of facilitating the work of foreign media reporting freely on China are over
Stephen Hawking’s last book gives just two options for a positive future for humanity
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Stephen Hawking was a physicist and cosmologist whose power lay in his ability to communicate complex theories to the masses. In his latest book, the first published since his death in March, he goes broad. Hawking’s Brief Answers to the Big Questions is a slim book out today (Oct. 16), in which Hawking summarizes his…
Tech world mourns loss of Microsoft co
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Paul Allen's legacy looms large in the technology industry and sports world.
Jared Kushner ‘deeply involved’ in White House response to Khashoggi’s disappearance
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Kushner is leveraging his intensely scrutinized close relationship with the Saudi crown prince to serve as a line of communication between the White House and the Gulf kingdom.
Indiana Sen. Donnelly backs border wall in new ad, and GOP pounces
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Republicans hoping to take back a Senate seat in Indiana said an ad by Democrat Joe Donnelly, backing the idea of a wall on the Mexican border and supporting I.C.E., showed the Democrat was becoming “desperate.”
A seat at the table: Wave of Arab women running in local elections in Israel
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Examining the remains of a hotel built more than a century ago in this working-class, mixed Jewish and Arab city, Fidaa Shehadeh pauses to admire the engraved decorative detail on the building’s arched doorway. “So much could be done here, this should be a tourism site,” says Ms. Shehadeh, noting the handful of other remains nearby that – until the 1948 Middle East war that led to the creation of Israel – was the town’s center, an area that dates back almost 800 years. Shehadeh, a 30-something urban planner, was born and grew up in Lod.
Signs mount of a fundamental shift in US
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
It began as a trade dispute, but it’s becoming much more: a fundamental shift between the United States and China, the single most important great-power relationship in today’s world. One wild card – the initially warm, now decidedly cooler, relationship between President Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping – could yet exert a restraining effect.
To fight corruption, Kenyans study integrity
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Kenya’s official body for fighting corruption conducted a survey last year, and it was shocked at the results. The number of people paying bribes for government services had risen to 62 percent, up from 46 percent two years earlier. The survey found corruption was now seen as the country’s leading problem.
Paul Allen Was So Much More Than Microsoft's Co
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Allen, who died Monday at 65, was a philanthropist and visionary
New York City Goes an Entire Weekend With No Shootings, the First Time in Decades
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
There were no shootings during an entire weekend in New York City, according to the NYPD. The department says that hasn’t happened in decades.
New Pompeii evidence rewrites Vesuvius eruption history
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A newly-discovered inscription at Pompeii proves the city was destroyed by Mount Vesuvius after October 17, 79 AD and not on August 24 as previously thought, archeologists said Tuesday. Archeologists recently discovered that a worker had inscribed the date of "the 16th day before the calends of November", meaning October 17, on a house at Pompeii, the head of archeology at the site, Massimo Osanna, told Italian media. Pompeii and Herculaneum were previously thought to have been destroyed by the massive eruption of Mount Vesuvius on August 24, based on contemporary writings and archeological finds.
Stephen Hawking's warning that genetically altered superhumans could wipe out the rest of us doesn't mention a likely characteristic of the
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The Sunday Times published an excerpt from Stephen Hawking's posthumously-published book "Brief Answers to the Big Questions" in which the esteemed scientist warned that genetically-enhanced humans could become a dominant overclass. This is a concept that has been explored in science fiction, and emerging technologies combined with rising inequality could lead to such a dystopian outcome. Hawking doesn't write that the first humans to take advantage of genetic modification will be the ones who can afford it, but it's hardly a stretch to expect the ultra-rich to become the first super-humans.
Nobel Laureate Donna Strickland: Yes, Women Are Joining Physics. But We've Got Work to Do
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Nobel Laureate Donna Strickland: Yes, Women Are Joining Physics. But We've Got Work to Do
Climate change 'at point of no return': Ban
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Former UN chief Ban Ki-Moon warned Tuesday the world is at the "point of no return" on climate change as he launched an international commission on responses to global warming. The Global Commission on Adaptation is endorsed by 17 countries including major economic powers China, Germany and India and will look at ways the world -- especially poor nations -- can shield themselves against the impact of rising temperatures. "We are at the point of no return," Ban told an audience at the commission's launch in The Hague, where the Netherlands hosted its 28 commissioners.
Apple Is Fixing its Bone
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
But it still lacks lox
World Heritage sites threatened by sea level rise
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
From Venice and the tower of Pisa to the medieval city of Rhodes, dozens of UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Mediterranean basin are deeply threatened by rising sea levels, researchers warned Tuesday. All but two of 49 UN-recognised icons of human civilisation rimming the Mediterranean Sea risk being damaged by the rising watermark, soil erosion, or both, with few options for protecting most of them, they reported in the scientific journal Nature Communications. Venice and its lagoon, the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia, and Ferrera, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta, all hit the top of a risk scale devised for the study.
Trump coins a new nickname for Stormy Daniels after he wins in court
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
The battle between President Trump and Stormy Daniels, the actress who says she slept with him in 2006, took a predictable turn on Tuesday in an exchange of insults on Twitter over her looks and his anatomy.
Doggy bag: Beagle intercepts roast pig at Atlanta airport
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
A passenger traveling from Ecuador was relieved of leftovers when an intrepid beagle found a roasted pig's head in baggage at the world's busiest airport. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection says the Agriculture Detector dog named Hardy alerted to the baggage at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Oct. 11. CBP agriculture specialists then discovered a 2-pound (1-kilogram) cooked pig's head, which was seized and destroyed.
Couple plans to visit 6 Disney parks on 2 coasts in 1 day
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A Tennessee couple plans to visit six Disney parks on two U.S. coasts in one day.
NAFTA’s replacement will have to do, Untangling the Skripal poisoning case, In US tariff talks, Japan should push principles of free trade, Sexual a
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“The North American free-trade agreement was ... stitched back up without major damage to the Canadian economy...,” writes Campbell Clark. “The peace treaty worked out [recently] isn’t going to be a glowing ode to the principles of free trade.... The deal ... doesn’t have so-called poison-pill demands that the U.S. made last October.... Could [Prime Minister Justin] Trudeau have done better if the Canadian team hadn’t been pushed aside when the U.S. and Mexico started to hammer out the framework of an agreement in summer? It’s hard to know.... It’s not the ‘win-win-win’ deal Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland kept talking about during negotiations.
Climate change cited in dwindling of Puerto Rico insects
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
After bees and birds, insects and other arthropods have also suffered massive losses, a study from a Puerto Rico forest published on Monday showed, citing the impact of climate change. Measuring the population of arthropods, which includes insects, caterpillars, and spiders, is not simple but one method is to place sticky traps on the ground and in the forest canopy. Lister, of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, returned there with another biologist in 2011 and 2012 to use the same methods.
This American Embassy Didn't Mean to Invite People to a Pajama Jam Hosted By Cookie Monster Cat
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Cookie monster cat stars in an accidental email that the U.S. Embassy in Australia sends out to a bunch of people.
50 years after Apollo moonshots, will rivalry with China spark a new space race?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An American rivalry with China could stoke a new space race in the years ahead, prominent members of the space community said at a session marking the 50th anniversary of NASA’s Apollo missions. But it may not play out the way the U.S.-Soviet space race did, said Scott Pace, executive secretary for the White House’s National Space Council.  Billionaire-backed space efforts such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin could play a leading role, he said. “China has billionaires, too,” Pace said today at the ScienceWriters 2018 conference, held at George Washington University. “China… Read More
Stephen Hawking's warning that genetically altered superhumans could wipe out the rest of us doesn't mention a likely characteristic of the
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The Sunday Times published an excerpt from Stephen Hawking's posthumously-published book "Brief Answers to the Big Questions" in which the esteemed scientist warned that genetically-enhanced humans could become a dominant overclass. This is a concept that has been explored in science fiction, and emerging technologies combined with rising inequality could lead to such a dystopian outcome. Hawking doesn't write that the first humans to take advantage of genetic modification will be the ones who can afford it, but it's hardly a stretch to expect the ultra-rich to become the first super-humans.
No time to be nervous: cosmonaut shrugs off emergency landing
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Alexei Ovchinin shrugged off his emergency landing last week, saying there had been no time to worry as his capsule plunged back to Earth.
In Senate race, GOP Rep. Blackburn accuses her opponent of being a Democrat
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Marsha Blackburn was navigating her way from table to table, saying hello to voters inside a small restaurant in this bustling suburb of Nashville before sunrise last Saturday when a man took her hand and offered a distinctly odd greeting. Blackburn, the eight-term Republican congressman (her preferred title) from middle Tennessee who is now vying for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat, broke into a wide smile. The number has become a shorthand for one of her main arguments against her Democratic opponent, Phil Bredesen, who has made the race closer than expected in the heavily Republican state.
Trump calls Elizabeth Warren 'Pocahontas' again after she reveals DNA results
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
President Trump on Tuesday revived his nickname for Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who released a DNA test showing evidence she has Native American ancestry.
NAFTA’s replacement will have to do, Untangling the Skripal poisoning case, In US tariff talks, Japan should push principles of free trade, Sexual a
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“The North American free-trade agreement was ... stitched back up without major damage to the Canadian economy...,” writes Campbell Clark. “The peace treaty worked out [recently] isn’t going to be a glowing ode to the principles of free trade.... The deal ... doesn’t have so-called poison-pill demands that the U.S. made last October.... Could [Prime Minister Justin] Trudeau have done better if the Canadian team hadn’t been pushed aside when the U.S. and Mexico started to hammer out the framework of an agreement in summer? It’s hard to know.... It’s not the ‘win-win-win’ deal Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland kept talking about during negotiations.
Remember Palm? It's Back With a Tiny Sidekick for Your Gigantic Regular Phone
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
It's a bare-bones handset for when you want to leave your phone behind
A Giant Net Has Been Deployed to Clean Up Plastics in the Pacific Ocean
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A floating pipe connected to a net three meters deep is designed to trap litter
Audi to pay mega fine in VW's latest dieselgate fallout
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Auto giant Volkswagen cleared a new hurdle in its "dieselgate" scandal Tuesday, paying a hefty fine to close a German investigation into subsidiary Audi, but the group is not yet in the clear over its years of emissions cheating. In a statement, Volkswagen said high-end manufacturer Audi had agreed to pay an 800-million-euro ($927 million) fine issued by Munich prosecutors. "Audi AG has accepted the fine" for "deviations from regulatory requirements in certain V6 and V8 diesel aggregates (motors) and diesel vehicles", the group said.
NAFTA’s replacement will have to do, Untangling the Skripal poisoning case, In US tariff talks, Japan should push principles of free trade, Sexual a
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“The North American free-trade agreement was ... stitched back up without major damage to the Canadian economy...,” writes Campbell Clark. “The peace treaty worked out [recently] isn’t going to be a glowing ode to the principles of free trade.... The deal ... doesn’t have so-called poison-pill demands that the U.S. made last October.... Could [Prime Minister Justin] Trudeau have done better if the Canadian team hadn’t been pushed aside when the U.S. and Mexico started to hammer out the framework of an agreement in summer? It’s hard to know.... It’s not the ‘win-win-win’ deal Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland kept talking about during negotiations.
Tech companies need to work with US military, says Amazon boss Jeff Bezos
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Tech companies need to work with the US military, Jeff Bezos has said, as he defended deals made by Amazon and his aerospace firm Blue Origin.  The space company announced last week that it would provide rockets to the US air force to reduce its reliance on Russian technology.  Amazon, Mr Bezos' more famous company, has previously caused controversy with an agreement to provide facial recognition software to the US government, and it is also considered the favourite candidate for a contract to provide cloud computing services to the Pentagon.  Speaking at the Wired25 conference in San Francisco, Mr Bezos said he would continue to work with defence agencies even if it was unpopular among his own staff, because the US "needs to be defended". "If big tech companies are going to turn their backs on the US Department of Defense, this country is going to be in trouble. "This country is a gem. It is amazing, it’s still the best place in the world, it's a place where people want to come," he said, adding: "I’d let them in if it was up to me. I like them, I want all of them in." He also said that he hoped the space company would begin commercial flights next year, and that "astronauts" who took the short trip above the earth's atmosphere would only need a day's training.  In a video released on Monday the aerospace firm revealed ambitions to send millions of people into outer space. The Amazon tycoon's company says it “believes in a future where millions of people are living and working in space”. In a new video posted on its website the company says “Now is the time to open the promise of space to all, and lay the way for generations to come. “When our descendants look to the stars, perhaps from a rocky moon or colonies floating in space, they’ll remember this time. “When they reflect on where it started, they’ll remember this place.” The Amazon chief executive founded Blue Origin in 2000, and a test flight successfully reached space in 2015. He has previously expressed ambitions to establish colonies of up to a trillion people, but the new video enshrines that ambition in the company’s manifesto. The ambition appears to be a long-held one for Mr Bezos. In his high school valedictorian speech, given in 1982, he told classmates he wanted to “build space hotels, amusement parks, yachts and colonies for two or three million people orbiting around the earth,” the Miami Herald reported at the time. His company has pioneered reusable launch crafts which are designed to lower the cost of space travel, with the ultimate goal of moving heavy industry and large numbers of people away from earth in order to preserve it. "What Blue Origin is doing is lowering the price of admission so that in the next generation we can have the Mark Zuckerberg of space," he told the conference.  "We need that dynamism that we’ve seen online in space." One rocket, the New Shepard, will take commercial passengers into space “soon”, the company promises. Key planned space flights and the three front-runners It features a capsule which detaches and “coasts” into space for a short period, before landing with a parachute, while the launcher lands vertically and is designed to be used again. “With each flight, we’ll continuously improve the affordability of space exploration and research, opening space for all,” the company said. Mr Bezos is the richest person in the world, with a wealth of $151bn (£114.7bn), dwarfing his aerospace competitor Elon Musk, who is worth around $20bn. Mr Musk’s company SpaceX was founded in 2002, and was the first to achieve several milestones, including becoming the first to launch, orbit and recover a spacecraft, in 2010.
Facebook Bans More Myanmar Military
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The military used fake accounts and pages to spread propaganda, Facebook says
Spain's Largest Phone Company Tries to Treat Alcoholism, Body Disorders
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Known as Alpha, the former monopoly's initiative is part of Chairman Jose Maria Alvarez Pallette’s push to experiment with radically new lines of business, a unique fixation in a sector whose track record of losing to the tech giants means that most telcos are now largely sticking to their knitting. “Alpha is where the future of Telefonica is going to be written,’’ says Pablo Rodriguez, the unit’s CEO, a physicist who previously worked at Bell Labs. While the building serves as Telefonica’s Catalonia headquarters, Alpha sits at arms’ length from the rest of the company, which doesn’t disclose the unit’s financials.
A Child Has Become the First to Die in Florida's Flu Season, Officials Say
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The child had not been vaccinated
Archeologists have found a 66
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
When archaeologists began to digitally scan the area close to Jell Mound, a burial site in Østfold County, Norway, they likely expected to find a few skeletons. But what they found was far more than simply some old bones. Beneath the cemetery was a 66-foot Viking ship, buried just 50 centimeters (about 1.5 feet) beneath…
President Trump Suggests 'Rogue Killers' Are Responsible for Missing Saudi Journalist
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
President Trump suggested "rogue killers" could be responsible for the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi regime
Paul Allen, Microsoft co
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Paul G. Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with his childhood friend Bill Gates before becoming a billionaire philanthropist, technology investor and owner of several professional sports teams, has died. Allen and Gates met while attending a private school in north Seattle.
President Trump Says He'd Have to 'Personally' DNA Test Sen. Elizabeth Warren to Settle Bet
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
President Donald Trump said he won’t make good on a bet on Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Native American heritage unless he can personally test her DNA.
Stephen Hawking's warning that genetically altered superhumans could wipe out the rest of us doesn't mention a likely characteristic of the
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The Sunday Times published an excerpt from Stephen Hawking's posthumously-published book "Brief Answers to the Big Questions" in which the esteemed scientist warned that genetically-enhanced humans could become a dominant overclass. This is a concept that has been explored in science fiction, and emerging technologies combined with rising inequality could lead to such a dystopian outcome. Hawking doesn't write that the first humans to take advantage of genetic modification will be the ones who can afford it, but it's hardly a stretch to expect the ultra-rich to become the first super-humans.
She came, she saw, she conquered, British woman claims conker crown
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
Standing in a rain soaked English village, more than 200 competitors armed with horse chestnuts dangling from shoelaces faced off for the World Conker Championship. The quintessential British school playground pastime involves competitors taking it in turns to launch their conkers in a bid to break those of their opponents. Victory can also be claimed if you force your opponent's shoelace to become knotted three times.
NAFTA’s replacement will have to do, Untangling the Skripal poisoning case, In US tariff talks, Japan should push principles of free trade, Sexual a
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“The North American free-trade agreement was ... stitched back up without major damage to the Canadian economy...,” writes Campbell Clark. “The peace treaty worked out [recently] isn’t going to be a glowing ode to the principles of free trade.... The deal ... doesn’t have so-called poison-pill demands that the U.S. made last October.... Could [Prime Minister Justin] Trudeau have done better if the Canadian team hadn’t been pushed aside when the U.S. and Mexico started to hammer out the framework of an agreement in summer? It’s hard to know.... It’s not the ‘win-win-win’ deal Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland kept talking about during negotiations.
Australia Considers Moving Embassy to Jerusalem
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Australia Considers Moving Embassy to Jerusalem
Stephen Hawking's warning that genetically altered superhumans could wipe out the rest of us doesn't mention a likely characteristic of the
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The Sunday Times published an excerpt from Stephen Hawking's posthumously-published book "Brief Answers to the Big Questions" in which the esteemed scientist warned that genetically-enhanced humans could become a dominant overclass. This is a concept that has been explored in science fiction, and emerging technologies combined with rising inequality could lead to such a dystopian outcome. Hawking doesn't write that the first humans to take advantage of genetic modification will be the ones who can afford it, but it's hardly a stretch to expect the ultra-rich to become the first super-humans.