A Chinese boom in solar panel installation last year helped drive global investment in renewable clean energy technology to record levels, a new study showed Tuesday. After a dip in 2016, overall global investment in the sector rose 3.0 percent to a total $333.5 billion, offsetting falls in Japan, Germany and Britain, according to the Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) study. "The 2017 total is all the more remarkable when you consider that capital costs for the leading technology -‚Äď solar -‚Äď continue to fall sharply," said BNEF chief executive Jon Moore.
BANGKOK (AP) ‚ÄĒ A Thai military court on Wednesday dropped royal insult charges against an 84-year old historian who questioned whether a Thai king had actually defeated a Burmese adversary in combat on elephant-back over 500 years ago.
Two rare artifacts inscribed with ancient letters, or runes, could be the key to a mysterious era of Viking history¬†when they suddenly abandoned their¬†old alphabet and transitioned to a new one. Archaeologists discovered a comb and a small plate while excavating an ancient Viking marketplace in Ribe, the oldest town in Denmark today and a powerful hub during the early Viking Age, according to ScienceNordic. Runes are sets of symbols comprising an alphabet¬†in which each character represents a specific sound.
The European Parliament called Tuesday for a ban on electric pulse fishing in the European Union, defying Brussels which wants the experimental practice in the North Sea done on a larger scale. The parliament, the EU's only directly elected body, will now try to strike a compromise with the European Commission, the bloc's executive, and the European Council, which groups the 28 member states.
UNION GAP, Wash. (AP) ‚ÄĒ A slow-moving landslide in a fertile farming region in Washington state has forced evacuations as officials prepare for what they say is inevitable ‚ÄĒ the collapse of a ridge that sits above a few dozen homes and a key highway.
President Trump needs to lose 10-15 pounds but is generally in excellent health and has no problems ‚Äúwhatsoever‚ÄĚ with his mental ability, his official military doctor said Tuesday. Dr. Ronny Jackson predicted that Trump would stay in good health throughout his time in office, even if it stretches to a second term.
Starting on Monday, Jan. 22, you‚Äôll begin to see how this thinking is now being applied to the Christian Science Perspective. The audio version of the Perspective will now include the full version of the article (not just the short read), and it will be read by the actual author, whenever possible.
A simple cup of tea sparks an instant burst of brainpower and creativity, according to a new study - within minutes of drinking a brew. Volunteers in the study almost immediately scored better results in creative and cognition tests than those who had drunk a glass of water, researchers found. The findings suggest it could be the antidote to everything, from writer's block to artists looking for inspiration during brainstorming sessions. Although tea contains caffeine and theanine, both associated with increased attentiveness and alertness, these do not usually take effect instantly. Instead, researchers believe tea works to enhance and create a 'positive' mood which in turn sparks the brain's cognitive regions into life. In tests for the specialist journal Food Quality and Preference, Yan Huang of Peking University's School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences conducted¬†two tests on up to 50 students, with an average age of 23. Perfect cup of tea As the students gave their name, age and other details to researchers, half were given a cup of black tea to drink and the other half a glass of water, before immediately going into one of two different tests. The first test saw them asked to make an "attractive and creative" design out of building blocks and in the second they were asked to come up with a "cool" name for a new noodle restaurant. Their results were judged by other, non-participating, students for creativity and design and marked on a scale by the researchers. In the block building test, the tea drinkers scored 6.54 points against 6.03 points for the water drinkers. In the name test, the tea drinkers scored 4.11 against 3.78. The results show that tea helped both divergent thinking - the process of coming up with a number of new ideas around a central theme and what most people would consider to define creativity. The report said: "This work contributes to understanding the function of tea on creativity and offers a new way to investigate the relationship between food and beverage consumption and the improvement of human cognition." They added: "Two biological ingredients, caffeine and theanine, have beneficial effects on attention, which is an indispensable part of cognitive function. "But the amount of tea ingredients our participants absorbed was relatively small. Also, theanine facilitates long-term sustained attentional processing rather than short-term moment-to-moment attentional processing." Instead, tea is a 'mood enhancer' and this may have been why it worked so well in the short term, it added.
Three years ago, a farmer in the¬†Hebei province of China uncovered a mysterious fossil and brought it to the¬†the Paleontological Museum of Liaoning. Now, after studying the find, scientists have announced that the fossil is of a new, duck-sized dinosaur‚ÄĒand when it lived it had¬†an incredible feather display that shined like a living rainbow. An international team of scientists studying the dinosaur,¬†called Caihong juji, made the discovery by carefully¬†analyzing tiny melanosomes, the part of the cells that contain pigment, in the fossil, which turned up¬†dramatic evidence of the dinosaur‚Äôs flamboyant plumage.
Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress who was reportedly paid $130,000 by Trump‚Äôs lawyer to stay silent, told Slate in 2016 that she carried on an almost yearlong sexual relationship with Trump a decade earlier.
President Trump proclaimed Tuesday ‚ÄúReligious Freedom Day,‚ÄĚ but he spent the afternoon meeting with an authoritarian who has been accused of conducting a brutal campaign of repression against religious minorities and political opponents in his country.
MOSCOW (AP) ‚ÄĒ Even thermometers can't keep up with the plunging temperatures in Russia's remote Yakutia region, which hit minus 67 degrees Celsius (minus 88.6 degrees Fahrenheit) in some areas Tuesday.
President Trump‚Äôs major policy moves over the course of his first year in office have had a common denominator: They either overtly favor his base of support ‚Äď the roughly one-third of voters who solidly back him ‚Äď or they appear to penalize those states that vote Democratic. The most striking example is tax reform, which struck a blow against blue-state Americans who tend to pay high state and local taxes, or SALT. Other recent policy moves also appear to have an anti-blue tilt.
A year ago Chinese President Xi Jinping offered his vision of the world, one in which China plays the lead role in trade and other world affairs. This year President Trump will speak Jan. 26 at this annual forum of world leaders, sharing his views on international cooperation, informed by his oft-stated ‚ÄúAmerica First‚ÄĚ philosophy. Will Mr. Trump define the place of the United States in the world narrowly, emphasizing that the US will act only if and when its national interests are clear and the benefits immediate?
At this time last year, the Dutch, French, and Germans were heading toward elections whose stakes were no less than the endurance of the European Union. The¬†postwar project did more than survive the far-right rebellion of 2017: The victory in May of French President Emmanuel Macron over the Euroskeptic Marine Le Pen gave the bloc a decisive boost. Recommended: How much do you know about the EU?
It‚Äôs not a matter of proficiency: Karin is equally fluent in German and English, but her emotional experiences are bound more strongly to her mother tongue, simply because she experienced more fundamental, defining emotions as a child. This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Divers in the blue waters around the Yucat√°n Peninsula have discovered three historic treasures: a sunken lighthouse and the remains of an 18th-century Dutch warship and a 19th-century British steamer, according to Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH). The battered wrecks were found near the coastal town of Sisal, Mexico, a modern beach destination that was once a bustling port in the 18th and 19th centuries. The shipwrecks were laden with artifacts, including cannons, cutlery and porcelain, said archaeologist Helena Barba Meinecke, head of the INAH's underwater archaeology of the Yucat√°n Peninsula.
Two millennia-old Egyptian mummies long believed to be brothers are actually half siblings, according to a new paper published in the¬†Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. The researchers argue the two men shared a mother but had different fathers, which may in turn suggest that the civilization valued a mother's influence more than scholars had realized.
A team of scientists will train dogs to see if the animals can sniff out looted artifacts from the Middle East that are being smuggled into the United States. Now, scientists are hoping the canines can also be trained to sniff out artifacts from Syria and Iraq, war-torn countries that have experienced widespread looting¬†of archaeological sites. "Terrorists, organized crime and common criminals are destroying archaeological sites on an industrial scale to cash in on illegal profits ‚Ä¶ that is why we need to find out if we can train dogs to help," said Michael Danti, a consulting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, in a statement announcing the creation of the K-9 Artifact Finders research program.
Grassland fires that are deadly and devastating events for many kinds of wildlife are a boon to certain types of birds known as fire foragers. But in Australia, some fire-foraging birds are also fire starters. Three species of raptors ‚ÄĒ predatory birds with sharp beaks and talons, and keen eyesight ‚ÄĒ are widely known not only for lurking on the fringes of fires but also for snatching up smoldering grasses or branches and using them to kindle fresh flames, to smoke out mammal and insect prey.
What could be the largest oil spill since 1989's Exxon Valdez is unfolding in the East China Sea after a deadly and fiery collision between two vessels caused a tanker to sink. All 32 crew members are thought to have died aboard the Iranian vessel "Sanchi," which was carrying about 1 million barrels of condensate.¬† According to Bloomberg News, the ship was transporting hydrocarbon liquid that's a key ingredient for making petrochemicals, including jet fuel. It was headed to the port of Daesan, South Korea when it struck the transport ship "CF Crystal" off China's eastern coast.¬† SEE ALSO: This chatbot wants to cut through the noise on climate science The tanker and its associated oil slick had been on fire for days after the collision. While the fire likely killed all aboard the ship, it was seen by environmental experts as a way to minimize the broader impacts of the spill, since the flames burned off the lightweight condensate on the ocean surface. ¬† However, the fire is now out, and the ship has sunk, raising the possibility that the harmful cargo is going directly into the sea.¬† The cargo is different than the crude oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez in 1989, but if all the condensate were to leak into the ocean, it would rank as the biggest spill in decades.¬† Much remains unknown about the fate of the cargo, and therefore similar can be said about what the environmental impacts will be. Reports in recent days are not encouraging, since there is word of a rapidly spreading oil slick on the surface of the ocean. Citing Chinese authorities, Bloomberg reported that the spill expanded from 3.9 square miles to 52 square miles between Sunday and Monday local time. ¬† An oil spill in the heavily trafficked East China Sea could have significant environmental repercussions. Humpback whales travel through that area, and heavily fished species such as mackerel and bluefin also spend time in that area.¬† ‚ÄúIt is virtually certain that much of the condensate went into the sea in solution, and that toxic underwater hydrocarbon plume will injure marine life exposed to it,‚ÄĚ Richard Steiner,¬†an oil spill specialist based in Alaska, told Bloomberg. ‚ÄúEven the burned fraction will leave a toxic residue on the water.‚ÄĚ Ma Jun, a Chinese environmentalist, was quoted by CNN as saying the spill took place in one of the most productive fishing areas in the country, known as the Zhoushan fishing ground.¬† A handout photo made available by the Transport Ministry of China shows smoke rising from the fire on the Panama-registered tanker 'Sanchi' on Jan. 14, 2018.Image: TRANSPORT MINISTRY OF CHINA HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock"We still need to keep an eye on how these contaminants might be carried by the ocean flow to have the impact on the fishing ground," Jun told CNN.¬† According to Greenpeace International, it's not clear how large this environmental disaster will be, since the amount of condensate that leaked into the water is unknown.¬† "A major concern is that, now that the tanker has sunk, any condensate which did not yet burn off could continue to leak underwater, disperse and break down quite quickly, significantly complicating clean up operations," the environmental advocacy organization stated in a Jan. 15 fact sheet.¬† WATCH: 2017 is about to be one of the hottest years of all time
It took more than a year, thousands of miles of travel, and a medical exam by a pair of volunteer midwives in the back of a car for C., a Honduran migrant in Mexico, to learn the real value of her temporary humanitarian visa. C.‚Äôs visa includes medical care, permission to work legally in Mexico, and the security of having ‚Äúpapers‚ÄĚ to show when police stop her on the street. Recommended: How much do you know about Mexico?