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Blame Henry Ford for Deadly Superbugs
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The strange journey from soybean-fueled cars to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Satan's Enigma: 'Possessed' Nun's 17th
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A mysterious letter written more than 300 years ago by a Sicilian nun who claimed to be possessed by Satan has finally been deciphered. Scientists used a deep-web code breaker to read the letter. The message — indeed devilish — describes God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as "dead weights," the researcher said.
Nibiru: How the nonsense Planet X Armageddon and Nasa fake news theories spread globally  
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Nibiru conspiracy theories about the end of the world have been circulating online for more than two decades, with the latest dubious prophecy predicting the apocalypse on September 23, 2017. Planet X, or Nibiru, refers to a mythological planet in our solar system that will supposedly crash into Earth and wipe out the human race, however it has been consistently dismissed by Nasa and other experts as an internet hoax. Despite absolutely no scientific evidence to back up the suggestions of a rogue planet getting rapidly closer to Earth, myths about Planet X continue to be perpetuated online. End of the world (23 Sept 2017) Of course, this isn't the first time time harbingers of doom have predicted the end of time; Nasa also had to deny the existence of Nibiru in 2012. Throughout history there have been similar claims, but thankfully none of them so far have been proved correct.  How did conspiracy theories about Planet X start? Online chatter about Nibiru began back in 1995 when Wisconsin native Nancy Lieder created the alien-conspiracy website ZetaTalk. Ms Lieder claims to be a conduit for aliens from the Zeta Reticuli star system, 39.17 light years from Earth, who have warned her about the Nibiru catastrophe. The conspiracy theory hasn’t gone away, with so-called Christian numerologist David Meade claiming Planet X is heading in our direction. Meade believes October could see the start The Rapture and a seven-year tribulation period of widescale natural disasters. Why September 23? It has been claimed an unusual celestial arrangement mirroring signs from the Bible’s Book of Revelation on September 23 will signal the start of the end of the world.   However, the EarthSky blog notes there will be “nothing unique” about the sun, moon and planets on the date. “In the past 1,000 years, this same event has happened at least four times already, in 1827, 1483, 1293, and 1056,” explains astronomer Christopher M. Graney. Haven’t we been here before? Mars, with Earth visible in background Credit: Getty  This isn't the first time the apocalypse has been predicted: 1844 American Baptist teacher William Miller first shared publicly his belief in the coming Second Advent of Jesus Christ in 1833, predicting he would return in the year 1843. The Millerites were his followers and Millerism became a national movement, however when Jesus didn’t arrive, October 22, 1844, became known as the Great Disappointment. 1997 Twenty years ago, 29 members of Heaven’s Gate, a UFO religious millenarian group, committed suicide with the aim of boarding a UFO they believed was hiding behind the Hale-Bopp comet before the supposed end of the world. 2003 Planet X was also supposedly discovered by the ancient Sumerian people and was meant to hit Earth in 2003, but never arrived. “This catastrophe was initially predicted for May 2003, but when nothing happened the doomsday date was moved forward to December 2012 and linked to the end of one of the cycles in the ancient Mayan calendar at the winter solstice in 2012,” say Nasa. 2011 The end of the world was also supposed to arrive on 21 May 2011, with Christian doomsday prophet Harold Camping predicting the Rapture would begin at 18:00 in each of the world's time zones, wiping out nay-sayers with rolling earthquakes as believers ascended to heaven. 2012 Nasa had to debunk an ancient Maya prophecy theory about the world ending back in 2012. The Mayan connection “was a misconception from the very beginning,” astrophysicist Dr. John Carlson said at the time. “The Maya calendar did not end on Dec. 21, 2012, and there were no Maya prophecies foretelling the end of the world on that date." 2015 Chris McCann, leader and founder of the eBible fellowship, said the world would be engulfed and destroyed by a great fire on October 7. McCann said he was "surprised" by the outcome and wrote a blog post entitled: "A response to being incorrect with the prediction that, in all likelihood, the world would end on October 7." What does Nasa say this time? Nasa is confident the world won't end  Credit: AFP Nasa has definitively dismissed wild theories about Nibiru as pseudoscience, issuing a number of statements denying its existence. “Various people are ‘predicting’ that world will end on September 23 when another planet collides with Earth,” say Nasa. “The planet in question, Nibiru, doesn't exist, so there will be no collision. The story of Nibiru has been around for years (as has the 'days of darkness' tale) and is periodically recycled into new apocalyptic fables.” They add: “Nibiru and other stories about wayward planets are an internet hoax. There is no factual basis for these claims. If Nibiru or Planet X were real and headed for an encounter with the Earth … astronomers would have been tracking it for at least the past decade, and it would be visible by now to the naked eye. Obviously, it does not exist. “Eris is real, but it is a dwarf planet similar to Pluto that will remain in the outer solar system; the closest it can come to Earth is about 4 billion miles.” Nasa fake news and the days of darkness tale A fake news story being widely shared online suggests Nasa has confirmed Earth will experience 15 days of complete darkness in November 2015. Another fake news video claims that Nasa has found Nibiru and confirmed it is heading straight for us. Debunking website Snopes explains the “days of darkness” tale is a “bit of fake news lifted from an older viral rumour” They say that it “had already been around the online block several times before,” adding, “it has long since become an evergreen online hoax — a jape that is typically resurrected a few times a year by dubious websites that simply update the time span for the alleged ‘period of darkness’ and send it winging around the internet again. What do other experts say? Nick Pope, who used to investigate UFOs and other mysteries for the Ministry of Defence, says “Nibiru doesn't exist”. He adds: “The world won't end on September 23. Shame on the people promoting this hoax in the name of evangelical Christianity.” Mr Pope told The Telegraph: “I'm certain Nibiru doesn't exist because if there really was a rogue planet heading for Earth, due to hit on Saturday, it would be visible to the naked naked eye by now. “Furthermore, astronomers would have been aware of its presence for years, both through direct observation and through gravitational effects on other planets in the solar system.” Why are some people so keen to promote this conspiracy? “The people promoting this prediction seem to be doing so because of religious belief, tenuously linking the recent eclipse with Biblical passages, including one from the Book of Revelations,” Pope says. “I suspect the reasons include self-publicity and the desire to promote their particular brand of evangelical Christianity.” Is there anything we should be worried about? “All this isn't to say that there aren't some existential threats out there, but if people want to worry about something, they should probably worry about North Korean missiles, or about Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, not about Nibiru,” Pope adds.  “There have been countless previous predictions of the end of the world. Self-evidently all these predictions were false. September 23 will pass without incident, just as we safely negotiated all the previous dates that had been put forward as doomsday.” A prepper's guide to everything you need to survive the apocalypse  
Robert Mueller's Investigators Are Seeking Documents from the White House
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Michael Flynn and Donald Trump Jr. are the focus of this request
Rescuers Race to Free Survivors Trapped After Mexico Earthquake
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The quake killed at least 223 people
Nicaragua joins Paris Agreement, leaving just U.S. and Syria behind
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Nicaragua was one of the final holdouts on signing the Paris Agreement on climate change, but after seeing other countries deal with devastating natural disasters, the country is joining the deal.  That leaves the United States and Syria as the only countries not participating. Under the Trump administration, the U.S. vowed to pull out earlier this year after Obama signed the climate agreement in 2015. Syria rejected it outright.  SEE ALSO: City halls around the world light up in green after Trump pulls U.S. from Paris Climate Agreement Nicaragua hadn't signed before because its leaders thought the deal didn't go far enough to fight climate change. On Monday, the Latin American country announced it was signing to support other nations vulnerable to the effects of climate change, like sea level rise and coastal flooding. Nicaragua confirms intent to join the #ParisAgreement on climate change: https://t.co/3tgzsRnvGk via @elnuevodiario — WRI Climate (@WRIClimate) September 20, 2017 Many noticed that Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega said in an announcement that his country was joining in solidarity with countries reeling from the destruction of natural disasters.  "The main reason" Nicaragua is joining: "Solidarity with the countries most vulnerable to the impact of natural disasters."Imagine that. — Emily Atkin (@emorwee) September 20, 2017 Recent hurricanes battering the Caribbean and U.S. come to mind. Climate studies indicate that hurricane impacts, including storm surge flooding and heavy rainfall, are already worsening due to human-caused global warming. As the world continues to warm, hurricanes are expected to contain stronger winds as well, and may be more prone to periods of rapid intensification. So far this season, the U.S. has been hit by three Category 4 hurricanes, which is unprecedented since reliable records began in the late 19th century. The World Resource Institute's climate program global director Paula Caballero said we should be celebrating that Nicaragua is on board. In a phone call she said it sends a "powerful message for the two countries" refusing to get involved. Though Syria is dealing with a long, devastating military conflict, so climate treaties aren't a top priority right now. She acknowledged Nicaragua has been "committed to tackling climate change" and already working on lowering its dependence on carbon. By signing the agreement, she said the country can only improve its climate impact and economy. Now let's see if Donald Trump notices that the only other country not part of the deal is in the middle of a civil war.  Andrew Freedman contributed reporting. WATCH: Damaging winds and flooding as Hurricane Irma moves on Florida
Powerball Winner Charged With Repeatedly Sexually Assaulting a Child
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Pedro Quezada won $338 million in 2013
Soft soil makes Mexico City shake like it was built on jelly
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Seismologists say Mexico City's dry lake bed of soft soil made the earthquake shaking worse
Kimmel takes a second shot at Cassidy over health care bill
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
For the second straight night, Jimmy Kimmel used his monologue Wednesday to rail against Sen. Bill Cassidy and other critics who say he should stick to comedy.
Trump jokes about 'deplorable' North Korea
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
"I'm happy you used the world 'deplorable,’” Trump told South Korean President Moon Jae-in. “That's been a very lucky word for me and many millions of people."
300 bats caught by janitors at Salt Lake City high school
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A bat infestation prompted a Salt Lake City high school to cancel its after-school programs so school workers could root out the flying mammals.
In Germany's east, populist vote finds root in reunification woes
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“Traitor!” “Merkel, out!” The anger, boos, and whistles greeting Angela Merkel in Germany’s east earlier this month are not the sort of reception many outside observers expect the country’s popular chancellor to receive.
As Fall Equinox Approaches, Was Stonehenge Used to Predict Astronomical Events?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
This Friday night and Saturday morning, druids, pagans, hippies, and assorted hangers-on will gather at Britain’s world-famous neolithic “Stonehenge” site to mark the fall equinox, the point when summer ends and the days begin to shorten. “This is the third of the four ‘sky points’ in our Wheel of the Year and it is when the sun does a perfect balancing act in the heavens,” says a piece on the Stonehenge blog. The nearest full moon to the equinox is known as the “harvest moon.” Farmers would celebrate it as the end of the second harvest.
Why Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron Are the World's Most Important People This Week
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Together, the United Nations' "odd couple" can steer world affairs
Goldfish, released into the wild, are somehow surviving in saltwater
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
In case you didn't know, goldfish aren't meant to survive in saltwater. Yet that's what James Tweedley and researchers from the Centre of Fish and Fisheries at Murdoch University discovered in the Vasse and Wonnerup estuaries, located in south-western Australia.  They've been surveying the invasion of goldfish in these waterways, the results of which have been published in an article in the journal, International Aquatic Research. And well, it's not looking good. SEE ALSO: Man catches rare translucent lobster, throws it back into the sea because it was such a pretty lady "If you have a goldfish at home, you'd just put it in a tank with tap water which has a salinity of zero," Tweedley explained. "By comparison the ocean has a salinity of about 35, and we found [the goldfish] in about 17 — which is halfway between the two, but a lot more than we'd expect." An estuary is a body of water, next to the ocean, where freshwater from rivers and saltwater from the seas mix. Its salinity is higher than a river, but less than the ocean.  The big problem is if goldfish use these Vasse and Wonnerup estuaries as what Tweedley calls a "saltbridge." With these goldfish swimming down to an estuary, the concern is if these goldfish manage to use the estuary to cross into other connected rivers — just like a bridge. "If they can tolerate salt for a short period of time — enough to make the swim — from one river to another, they can spread," he explained. If the goldfish spread, they'll cause even more havoc than they are already. So far they've been accelerating algae blooms, stirring up sediment, and consuming the eggs of native fish species.  And as you may have seen, the size and plentiful food sources of a large waterway mean they can get so big that they have no natural predators, like birds or any other species in the water. Researchers found 526 goldfish over three surveys in these estuaries. "By the age of one, they'll grow to 18 centimetres (7 in) in length ... and they actually get to 40 centimetres (15.75 in) in length and 2 kilograms (4.41 pounds) in that river. Some of the biggest in the world," Tweedley said. There has been a goldfish control program in place since 2003, but when it comes to stopping it, prevention is key. That means people not flushing goldfish down the toilet, or releasing it into an open waterway. Image: Dr Stephen Beatty"With any invasive species, once they're out there, the horse has already bolted," Tweedley explains. "You only need a couple to survive an eradication attempt before they spawn and produce more." If you have unwanted goldfish, you can try and return it to an aquarium. Or you can euthanise it by putting them in the freezer — it's better than unleashing havoc on the environment. WATCH: Add this video to the list of why you should never propose over a body of water
'Nasty' to have service dog in restaurant, customer says
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
DELAWARE CITY, Del. (AP) — An argument broke out after a woman complained about a service dog being allowed inside a Delaware restaurant.
Pennsylvania high school golfer has 2 holes
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania high school golfer has defied huge odds by recording two holes-in-one in the same round.
In the Age of Trump, the World Needs the United Nations More Than Ever
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The U.S. President is far from a multilateralist
President Trump Threatens to 'Totally Destroy' North Korea in U.N. Speech
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
"Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime"
Mexicans Dig Through Rubble Seeking Survivors as Quake Kills At Least 248
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Mexico City's mayor said buildings fell at 44 sites in the capital
Read Barack Obama's Speech Bashing the GOP's '50th or 60th' Attempt to Repeal Obamacare
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The former President praised the efforts of young people while firing shots at the GOP
'This Is All We Can Do': How the Japanese Are Preparing for a North Korean Nuclear Attack
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Many Japanese fear they, and not the South Koreans, would be the first victims of a war with Kim Jong Un.
Could barn owls be key to cure for deafness?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Studying geriatric birds could lead to new treatments for humans with hearing problems
Nikki Haley Defends Trump's 'Rocket Man' Nickname for Kim Jong
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
"Every other international community now is referring to him as Rocket Man"
During Trump's Campaign, Paul Manafort Offered to Privately Brief a Russian Billionaire Friend of Putin's
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Trump's campaign chair said he was willing to give "private briefings" to the billionaire in the middle of the 2016 campaign
Climate Change Is Already Making People Sicker
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Climate change is a prominent topic at the United Nations General Assembly, and the link to health is becoming more apparent.
NASA images show effects of Hurricane Irma on Caribbean Barbuda Island
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
You can see the changes from Hurricane Irma from space. Take a look at these images of the Caribbean Island Barbuda from NASA.
Pharmacist on Trial for Murder in Deadly Meningitis Outbreak
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A 2012 outbreak caused by tainted steroid injections killed 76 people
Scenes From Hurricane Maria's Destruction Across the Caribbean
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Hurricane Maria has killed at least nine and has left Puerto Rico entirely without power
President Trump, North Korea and a Brief History of Nuclear Threats
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A nuclear power has threatened another state with destruction in the past—but the previous episode does not bode well for President Trump
Inside the Second Coming of Nest
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
After some bumps in the road to home-automation nirvana, the maker of smart thermostats tries to level up.
'He Can't Hear You.' Man With Metal Pipe Was Fatally Shot by Police Who Didn't Know He Was Deaf
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The officers were responding to a report of a hit-and-run
Trump Called a U.S.
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The first group of refugees are expected to be resettled to the U.S. "in coming weeks"
Switzerland's Getting a Delivery Network for Blood
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
And it's got some clever new hardware to make it work.
Kohl’s Will Soon Accept Your Amazon Returns
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
It's part of a growing partnership between the companies
President Trump's Pick for Russian Ambassador: 'No Question' Moscow Interfered in Election
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Jon Huntsman says the meddling led to the lack of trust
The Latest: Scientists: Quake test of bridge design worked
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
RENO, Nev. (AP) — The Latest on tests for new bridge construction technology intended to withstand strong earthquakes at the University of Nevada, Reno (all times local PDT):
Reports: Hurricane Maria leaves Puerto Rico entirely without power
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Multiple reports on Wednesday afternoon claimed the entire island of Puerto Rico was without power after Hurricane Maria slammed into the island with maximum sustained winds of up to 140 mph. SEE ALSO: Hurricane Maria may be the most destructive storm in Puerto Rico's history Local Spanish language publication El Nuevo Dia reported the outage, citing Abner Gomez, managing director of Puerto Rico's State Agency for Emergency Management and Disaster Management (AEMEAD). SEGUN DIRECTOR DE MANEJO DE EMERGENCIA, PUERTO RICO ESTÁ AL 100℅ SIN ENERGÍA ELÉCTRICA. — RUBEN SERRANO (@GUARETO1) September 20, 2017 Those reports eventually began to trickle in via the office to U.S. and international media outlets, as well. Blackout: 100% of Puerto Rico is without power, Puerto Rico Office of Emergency Management tells @ABC News - @JoshuaHoyos — Dan Linden (@DanLinden) September 20, 2017 According to the most recent U.S. Census, Puerto Rico is home to just over 3.4 million people who will now have to navigate the post-Maria days without power and with no word as to how long it'll take to restore that power. The complete outage isn't a surprise, however. Governor Ricardo Rossello said he expected it just as the storm prepared to make landfall. The reason: a dilapidated and already-failing utility infrastructure.  Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), the island's sole power company, filed for bankruptcy in July after years of sliding that left it with $9 billion in bond debt.  And according to Reuters, the median age of Puerto Rico's power plants is 44 years old, ancient by industry standards. Just last September, a fire at one of these dilapidated plants knocked out power across the entire island with nearly half the island without power for a week. Image: PREPA internal documentThese old plants power the island by burning imported oil, a drain on the island's economy that has made its rates so expensive that Hawaii is the only U.S. state where energy costs more. And there are tons of other issues, from customer service to safety problems.  It also doesn't help that Hurricane Irma side-swiped the island just one week ago, knocking out power to at least a million people.  And now that Maria has hit, engulfing nearly the entire island with hurricane-force winds, that aging, already-damaged infrastructure is likely completely devastated, meaning the entire island could be without power for days, if not weeks, to come.  This is a developing story... WATCH: This is how hurricanes are named
Bipartisan health care fix dies in Senate
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
The Senate’s rejection of bipartisan health bill is a dispiriting moment for world’s greatest deliberative body.
California suing to block Trump border wall
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
California moved Wednesday to block the Trump administration's construction of a wall on the border with Mexico that would aim to keep out unauthorized immigrants. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed suit in federal district court in San Diego, saying the government violated constitutional and environmental laws in moving to launch new wall projects on the state's southern end. "The Trump Administration has once again ignored laws it doesn't like in order to resuscitate a campaign talking point to build a wall on our southern border," Becerra said in a statement.
Polygamist Leader Lyle Jeffs Pleads Guilty in Multimillion
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Lyle Jeffs was charged in a multi-million dollar food stamp fraud scheme
At Least 12 People Arrested in Spain Amid Catalan Independence Demonstrations
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The region is preparing for a secession vote that Spain says is illegal
A 'Most Wanted' Fugitive Posted His Location on Instagram and Police Arrested Him
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
He was wanted on suspicion of murder
New Group of Iranian Hackers Linked to Destructive Malware
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A suspected Iranian government hacking team known as APT33 may be planting computer-killing code in networks around the world.
So, Australia just had its warmest winter on record
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Australians have just wrapped up the warmest winter on record, according to a new report. The Climate Council's report, titled Hot and Dry: Australia’s Weird Winter, found that Australia's winter had the highest maximum temperatures on record — reaching nearly 2ºC above average. SEE ALSO: 'Game of Thrones' star on climate change: 'A threat maybe even graver than the White Walkers' But while Australians were able to leave a few layers at home, ecologist Professor Lesley Hughes reminds y'all that it's not a positive thing — how about that climate change? “Without any meaningful action to tackle climate change, we will continue to see many more hot winters, just like this, as global temperatures rise,” she said on the Climate Council website. "We must take meaningful action to strongly reduce Australia’s emissions from fossil fuels." According to the Climate Council, Australia's average winter temperatures have increased by approximately 1ºC since 1910, thanks to the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, a big source for the country. SEE ALSO: How M&M’S is taking a stand against climate change with wind power The report comes at a time when Australia's energy policy is under high scrutiny, especially in regards to the country's ability to meet emission reduction targets set at the Paris climate change conference. The report draws attention to Australia’s energy system, a largely coal-based system, which is described as "ageing, inefficient and polluting, and has proved unable to cope with escalating extreme weather, like heatwaves." Australia's not just warmer in winter, but drier Outside of warming, maximum heat temperatures weren't the only records broken over the winter, according to the report, with over 260 heat and low rainfall records smashed.  It was the driest winter recorded since 2002, and second driest Australian June on record. Bushfire risk is above normal for approximately one third of Australia, and the season will begin earlier in in Australia’s southeast. Here's a neat little infographic from the report's findings that paints a pretty concerning picture: Image: Climate council.According to the report, Australia is on track for a warmer than average spring. Nothing important after that though, just Australia's characteristically blistering hot summer. Bondi's going to be crowded. WATCH: Giant icebergs are a big tourist draw in Newfoundland, and a warning sign
New fight in California water wars: How to update old system
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — In California's long-raging water wars, pitting north against south and farmer against city dweller, the one thing everybody agreed on Wednesday was that the outdated method of shipping water throughout the most populous state needs a serious upgrade.
3 Ways the New Obamacare Repeal Bill Would Change Women's Access to Health Care
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Republicans have a new last-ditch effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act
Rescuers in grim search for survivors of Mexico quake
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Rescuers dug frantically Wednesday for survivors of a 7.1- magnitude earthquake that killed more than 200 people in Mexico, as the nation watched anxiously for signs of life at a collapsed school in the capital. The death toll stood at 225, the head of the national disaster response agency, Luis Felipe Puente, wrote on Twitter. President Enrique Pena Nieto warned the figure would likely rise.
How President Trump's Iran Criticism Affects North Korea
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Morning Must Reads: September 20
Will Barcelona secede from Spain? Catalan independence is up for a vote — and Russia is stirring the pot
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Here in Spain’s second-largest city, long a magnet for American tourists, life on the surface appears as festive as ever, from the beach terraces laden with pitchers of sangria to the crowds browsing the kiosks on the pedestrian median of La Rambla, which almost immediately returned to normal after last month’s terror attack. But the tension brewing just below the surface of Catalonia, the wealthy northeast region of 7.5 million of which Barcelona is capital, burst into the open Wednesday morning with a series of raids by national police on the regional ministry of finance, leading to at least a dozen arrests of senior officials, followed by hours of flag-waving marches and demonstrations. At issue is a wave of Catalan nationalism culminating in a referendum on secession, scheduled for October 1.