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  • Trump administration readies draft plan to speed environmental permitting

    Trump administration readies draft plan to speed environmental permittingThe Trump administration will complete a draft proposal to streamline environmental permitting for big infrastructure projects by next month, an administration official said on Wednesday, marking a key step in its controversial effort to cut red tape for industry over the objections of conservationists. Ted Boling, associate director for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) at the White House Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ), said the draft rule to reform NEPA would be sent to the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs for review in June, but did not disclose what changes the proposal would include.


  • F-35 Fighter Pilots Might Soon Fly With Robotic Wingmen

    F-35 Fighter Pilots Might Soon Fly With Robotic WingmenOne fighter jet could control many unmanned jets, changing the face of aerial warfare forever.


  • Ford’s demo of a robot working in unison with a self-driving car is a wild glimpse into the future

    Ford’s demo of a robot working in unison with a self-driving car is a wild glimpse into the futureIf you're skeptical of or put off by the idea of self-driving cars, then there's a good chance you won't be a fan of Ford's intriguing research project designed to have robots get out of self-driving cars and deliver packages right to your door.Over the past few months, Ford and Agility Robotics have been working on a new initiative designed to assess how intelligent robots and self-driving cars can work in unison to more efficiently deliver items like groceries, packages, and even pizza, straight to your door. The impetus behind the idea certainly makes sense insofar that a self-driving can only bring an ordered item to a nearby curb. And sure, a human could come out and pick up a given package, but why expend any energy at all when an advanced robot can literally do all the heavy lifting for you?The idea seems to straddle the line between futuristic and creepy, but that's just par for the course whenever we're talking about advanced robotics.As envisioned by Ford, a self-driving car would pull up to a specified house whereupon a robot would climb out of the back, pick up the package in question, and then bring it right to the front door.Designed by Agility Robotics, the robot is called Digit and can eerily mimic the gait of a human and can even go up and down stairs. What's more, Ford CTO Ken Washington notes on Medium that Digit can "walk naturally through uneven terrain, and even react to things like being bumped without losing its balance and falling over." As far as getting around is concerned, Digit is outfitted with LiDAR and a suite of other sensors. Strength wise, Digit can lift packages that weigh as much as 40 pounds.What's particularly interesting about the venture is that self-driving cars of the future may serve dual purposes simultaneously, with Washington noting the following:> Since self-driving vehicles can potentially move people and goods simultaneously, they hold great potential to make deliveries even more convenient and efficient. A ride-hailing trip could double as a delivery service, dropping off packages in between transporting passengers.A video demo of Digit in action can be seen below. It's interesting to note that the video illustrates how Digit manages to identify an obstacle -- in this case a scooter -- and come up with a new path in real-time.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHWciIxNK2c


  • 2 elderly African lions die at San Francisco, San Diego zoos

    2 elderly African lions die at San Francisco, San Diego zoosSAN DIEGO (AP) — Two beloved, elderly lions have died at zoos in California.


  • New York man put SpaceX rockets in jeopardy by forging inspection reports, feds say

    New York man put SpaceX rockets in jeopardy by forging inspection reports, feds sayJames Smalley, 41, is accused of forging signatures on inspection reports for parts used by SpaceX.


  • Interior Chief Can’t Shake Comment About Not Losing Sleep Over Climate Change

    Interior Chief Can’t Shake Comment About Not Losing Sleep Over Climate ChangeDavid Bernhardt’s apathy about the global crisis has become fuel for Democrats, including a few running for president.


  • Donald Trump is a big booster of fossil fuels, so why are their stocks slipping?

    Donald Trump is a big booster of fossil fuels, so why are their stocks slipping?With carbon dioxide at a record 48% over preindustrial levels, the public and investors grow increasingly worried about climate change: Our view


  • High school holds early graduation, prom for teen diagnosed with cancer: ‘We’re gonna give her everything that we can’

    High school holds early graduation, prom for teen diagnosed with cancer: ‘We’re gonna give her everything that we can’A high school in Washington held an early graduation for a teen diagnosed with cancer.


  • US Adult Cancer Deaths Have Dropped, But Heart Disease Deaths Are Up

    US Adult Cancer Deaths Have Dropped, But Heart Disease Deaths Are UpA new CDC report shows that while fewer American adults are dying of cancer, more are dying from heart disease.


  • U.S. judge appoints Ken Feinberg mediator for Bayer Roundup settlement talks

    U.S. judge appoints Ken Feinberg mediator for Bayer Roundup settlement talksFeinberg has been instructed to meet with lawyers for Bayer and plaintiffs within the next 14 days, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco said during a court hearing on Wednesday. Chhabria, who oversees some 900 federal Roundup lawsuits, on April 11 ordered the parties to start confidential mediation.


  • NYC Subway’s New Way to Pay Prompts Banks to Update Cards

    NYC Subway’s New Way to Pay Prompts Banks to Update CardsMore than 20 years after the initial switch to MetroCards from tokens, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is unveiling the ability to use tap-to-pay credit and debit cards for subway and bus fares. Visa Inc. says 80 of the top 100 U.S. retailers now accept the cards, with companies including Target Corp. and CVS Health Corp. adding the technology in recent months. “Mass transit is a really terrific use case for tap and pay -- people commute 10 times a week,” Visa Chief Executive Officer Al Kelly said in a Bloomberg Television interview.


  • Explainer: China's rare earth supplies could be vital bargaining chip in U.S. trade war

    Explainer: China's rare earth supplies could be vital bargaining chip in U.S. trade warRare earth elements are used in a wide range of consumer products, from iPhones to electric car motors, as well as military jet engines, satellites and lasers. Rising tensions between the United States and China have sparked concerns that Beijing could use its dominant position as a supplier of rare earths for leverage in the trade war between the two global economic powers. WHAT ARE RARE EARTHS USED IN?


  • Companies lobby U.S. Congress on carbon tax; senator expects bill in weeks

    Companies lobby U.S. Congress on carbon tax; senator expects bill in weeksThe gathering, which included PepsiCo, Johnson & Johnson, Tesla and General Mills, was the largest business group in a decade to advocate at the Capitol for climate legislation. The companies were seeking to be heard as lawmakers consider more aggressive plans to tackle climate change. Most of the Democratic candidates in the 2020 presidential election including Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren have embraced the Green New Deal, a set of policy goals introduced by congressional Democrats to transform the energy system to 100% renewable sources by 2030, using federal funds to invest in infrastructure and green jobs.


  • Mom Donates a Lifesaving Kidney to Firefighter Who Helped Daughter: 'It's a Lifetime Bond'

    Mom Donates a Lifesaving Kidney to Firefighter Who Helped Daughter: 'It's a Lifetime Bond'Mom Donates Kidney to Firefighter Who Helped Daughter


  • Trump administration readies draft plan to speed environmental permitting

    Trump administration readies draft plan to speed environmental permittingThe Trump administration will complete a draft proposal to streamline environmental permitting for big infrastructure projects by next month, an administration official said on Wednesday, marking a key step in its controversial effort to cut red tape for industry over the objections of conservationists. Ted Boling, associate director for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) at the White House Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ), said the draft rule to reform NEPA would be sent to the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs for review in June, but did not disclose what changes the proposal would include.


  • Exclusive: Guaido says Washington should help Venezuela keep U.S. refiner Citgo

    Exclusive: Guaido says Washington should help Venezuela keep U.S. refiner CitgoVenezuela's opposition is pushing to remove President Nicolas Maduro amid a catastrophic economic collapse that has created a humanitarian crisis. It also wants to protect overseas assets that it says will be crucial for a future economic recovery after Maduro leaves office. Guaido, who invoked the constitution in January to assume the interim presidency after declaring Maduro's 2018 re-election a fraud, said a U.S. executive order protecting Citgo from seizure was the best option to keep the refiner in Venezuelan hands.


  • Amazon shareholders support selling face recognition tech to police

    Amazon shareholders support selling face recognition tech to policeAmazon on Wednesday confirmed that shareholders rejected proposals to prohibit sales of facial recognition technology to governments and study how it might threaten privacy or civil rights. The proposals voted down at Amazon's annual stockholders meeting were put forth by a group of shareholders but opposed by the board of directors. Seattle-based Amazon developed facial-recognition technology called Rekognition and sells it as part of its cloud services unit.


  • Qualcomm Leans on Appeals, Trump Help to Reverse FTC Order

    Qualcomm Leans on Appeals, Trump Help to Reverse FTC OrderThe San Diego-based chipmaker is dealing with the fallout from a decision by a California federal judge, who sided with the Federal Trade Commission in a case brought in 2017 accusing the company of anticompetitive practices. Qualcomm is asking that U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh’s decision be put on hold while it pursues a rapid appeal, where it may get support from other branches of the federal government, which in the past have indicated the company’s importance to U.S. technology leadership and security outweigh questions about how it does business. Koh’s judgment on Tuesday, coming about a month after Qualcomm settled a worldwide legal fight with Apple Inc., is a heavy blow.


  • Sea dragons captivate visitors at California aquarium

    Sea dragons captivate visitors at California aquariumLA JOLLA, California (AP) — At first glance, it looks like a branch of kelp, but then an eye moves among its leafy appendages, and ridges of tiny, translucent fins start to flutter, sending the creature gliding through the water like something from a fairy tale.


  • Novartis CEO plans gene therapy price 'far lower' than $4 million to $5 million range

    Novartis CEO plans gene therapy price 'far lower' than $4 million to $5 million rangeNovartis is expecting the drug initially to be approved for infants and is in discussions with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about whether approval will include other forms of the disease beyond the most serious Type 1, he said.


  • This Super Rare Mud Meteorite Crashed into a Costa Rican House

    This Super Rare Mud Meteorite Crashed into a Costa Rican HouseIt could provide huge clues about the origins of our solar system.


  • Array BioPharma Gains on Colorectal Cancer Study Success

    Array BioPharma Gains on Colorectal Cancer Study SuccessArray BioPharma's (ARRY) phase III study, evaluating the Braftovi triplet for treating metastatic colorectal cancer, meets the primary goal of ORR and OS. Shares rally.


  • Musk's SpaceX sues U.S. Air Force over rocket-building contracts: filings

    Musk's SpaceX sues U.S. Air Force over rocket-building contracts: filingsIn the complaint, Space Exploration Technologies Corp said contracts were awarded for three "unbuilt, unflown" rocket systems that would not be ready to fly under the government's timeline, "defeating the very objectives" outlined by the Air Force's program. SpaceX asked the court to force the Air Force to reopen the $2.3 billion Launch Service Agreements competition and reconsider the Hawthorne, California-based company's proposal. In the watershed race for dominance in the space industry, new entrants including SpaceX and billionaire Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, compete for lucrative contracts for military launch services.


  • 494 Children in Pakistani City Have Been Diagnosed with HIV

    494 Children in Pakistani City Have Been Diagnosed with HIV494 Children in Pakistani City Diagnosed with HIV


  • Facebook, Twitter, Google Seek to Assuage Lawmakers About 2020

    Facebook, Twitter, Google Seek to Assuage Lawmakers About 2020The tech giants sought to assure lawmakers that they take the threat of foreign influence seriously after being blindsided by Kremlin-backed disinformation campaigns on their platforms during the 2016 election. "There is no silver bullet, but we will continue to work to get it right," said Richard Salgado, Google’s director of law enforcement and information security.


  • Canada's Trudeau to invest C$15.7 billion in coast guard overhaul

    Canada's Trudeau to invest C$15.7 billion in coast guard overhaulPrime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday said Canada would spend an estimated C$15.7 billion ($11.7 billion) to renew its coast guard fleet and that it would partner with a new shipyard to complete the project. Two Arctic icebreakers will be among a total of 18 new ships ordered, Trudeau told reporters in Vancouver. "Our government will be doing a full renewal of the Canadian coast guard fleet and creating new shipbuilding jobs right here in British Columbia," said Trudeau, who is standing for re-election later this year.


  • Tethers Unlimited works on technologies for ‘LEO Knight’ satellite servicing robot

    Tethers Unlimited works on technologies for ‘LEO Knight’ satellite servicing robotBothell, Wash.-based Tethers Unlimited works on space technologies ranging from radios to robotic arms, but the company is planning to put all those pieces together to create a space robot called “LEO Knight.” “LEO Knight is a microsat-class system intended to support in-space servicing, in-space assembly and in-space manufacturing activities,” Tethers Unlimited CEO Robert Hoyt told GeekWire in an email. “Likely timeline for the first mission is 3-4 years from now.” The robot takes advantage of technologies that Tethers Unlimited has been developing under the terms of NASA and Defense Department contracts, plus some internally funded projects. Hoyt ticked off… Read More


  • Massive double asteroid will cruise by Earth later this week

    Massive double asteroid will cruise by Earth later this weekMost space rocks that pass nearby Earth are solo travelers making their way around the Sun and slipping past our planet as they do so. Asteroid 1999 KW4, which will make a distant pass of Earth on May 25th, is quite a bit different. The large primary body of the object is thought to be around a mile wide, and it's large enough that a smaller "asteroid moon" now orbits it.The smaller "moon" of the larger rock is still fairly sizable on its own, measuring over a quarter mile in diameter. If the double asteroid were to pose a threat to Earth, we'd be in for some serious trouble, but thankfully that's not the case.1999 KW4 shouldn't be a problem for us here on Earth for the foreseeable future, and when it passes by later this week it will do so at a reasonably comfortable distance of just over 3.2 million miles. For context, that's over 13 times the distance between the Earth and our own Moon.So it's not going to be all that close, but that doesn't mean it's not an interesting opportunity for astronomers who want to learn more about it and other asteroids in our system. Past observations of the rock have revealed that it has a strange diamond-esque shape similar to other well-known asteroids like Ryugu.How these space rocks get their shapes, and what processes may affect how they change over time, remains largely unknown. For 1999 KW4 specifically, the origins of the smaller "moon" orbiting the larger body are also of interest to researchers. Is it a piece of the larger rock that broke off long ago, or perhaps even a rogue asteroid that was drawn in by the gravitational pull of the larger body?Answering those questions would take a lot of work, but the asteroid's relatively close visit later this week could offer astronomers an opportunity to offer some new theories.


  • Old mold: Fossil of world's earliest fungus unearthed in Canada

    Old mold: Fossil of world's earliest fungus unearthed in CanadaScientists said on Wednesday the multicellular fungus that they named Ourasphaira giraldae - forerunner to an immensely diverse group that today includes the likes of mushrooms, yeasts and molds - lived in an estuary environment about 900 million to 1 billion years ago. Until now, the oldest-known fungus fossil was one about 410 million years old from Scotland. Fungi play a crucial role in global ecosystems such as in the organic decomposition process.


  • The Anti-Vaxxers Spreading Measles in Portland Should Be Arrested

    The Anti-Vaxxers Spreading Measles in Portland Should Be ArrestedWhen private decisions have dire public consequences, it's appropriate for law enforcement to step in.


  • It Was All Glitz and Glamour at Saks and Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Spring 2019 Ball

    It Was All Glitz and Glamour at Saks and Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Spring 2019 BallA live auction helped rake in a whopping $1.7 million for MSK’s Department of Pediatrics.


  • Parents have an important message after 'beautiful, vibrant' daughter's tragic death in college

    Parents have an important message after 'beautiful, vibrant' daughter's tragic death in college“All of a sudden, within two days, we lost her.”


  • Israeli researchers drink to old times with ancient-style beer

    Israeli researchers drink to old times with ancient-style beerIsraeli researchers said Wednesday they had managed to extract yeast from ancient jars and produced a head-spinning concoction with it: beer similar to what the pharaohs would have imbibed. Beer with a six-percent alcoholic strength and similar in taste to a wheat ale was presented to journalists, as was mead at 14-percent strength. Researchers from Israel's Antiquities Authority as well as three Israeli universities gathered at a Jerusalem pub to announce their findings and called the project a first.


  • It's Not in Your Head: The Temperature Inside Your Office Really Does Impact Your Work Output

    It's Not in Your Head: The Temperature Inside Your Office Really Does Impact Your Work OutputA new study found that women have a hard time concentrating in a chilly workplace. Their male colleagues, on the other hand, perform better in colder offices.


  • Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy: The Rare Mental Health Problem Behind the Gypsy Rose Case

    Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy: The Rare Mental Health Problem Behind the Gypsy Rose CaseBased on a true story, the Hulu show "The Act" is shining a light on an unusual form of child abuse known as Munchausen syndrome by proxy.


  • China is shredding the ozone layer with banned chemical emissions, study says

    China is shredding the ozone layer with banned chemical emissions, study saysSome alarming news from the stratosphere. Chinese foam manufacturers are releasing an ozone-destroying chemical into the air.


  • Tortoise poachers get stiff sentence in Madagascar

    Tortoise poachers get stiff sentence in MadagascarA court in Madagascar upheld Wednesday six-year sentences against three people convicted of dealing in 10,000 extremely rare tortoises, the WWF wildlife conservation group said. An appeals court in Tulear, southwest Madagascar, also fined the defendants 100 million ariary (23,800 euros, $26,500) and ordered them to pay 100 million ariary to the environment ministry. Judges ordered the three -- two men and a woman -- to remain in detention, the WWF said.


  • Oil loses about 2% on swelling U.S. stockpiles, demand worries

    Oil loses about 2% on swelling U.S. stockpiles, demand worriesOil prices fell about 2% on Wednesday as an unexpected build in U.S. crude inventories compounded investor worries that a trade fight between Washington and Beijing could dent crude demand over the long haul. U.S. crude inventories swelled by 4.7 million barrels in the latest week to their highest since July 2017 at 476.8 million barrels, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported.


  • 8 Surprising Signs You May Develop Erectile Dysfunction

    8 Surprising Signs You May Develop Erectile DysfunctionIs your erection about to fail?


  • Sterling K. Brown Interviews Cancer Survivors in New Series to 'Help People Find Community'

    Sterling K. Brown Interviews Cancer Survivors in New Series to 'Help People Find Community'Sterling K. Brown Launches New Series Called Survivorship Today


  • Israeli scientists brew beer with revived ancient yeasts

    Israeli scientists brew beer with revived ancient yeastsJERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli researchers raised a glass Wednesday to celebrate a long-brewing project of making beer and mead using yeasts extracted from ancient clay vessels —some over 5,000 years old.


  • Israeli researchers drink to old times with ancient-style beer

    Israeli researchers drink to old times with ancient-style beerIsraeli researchers said Wednesday they had managed to extract yeast from ancient jars and produced a head-spinning concoction with it: beer similar to what the pharaohs would have imbibed. Beer with a six-percent alcoholic strength and similar in taste to a wheat ale was presented to journalists, as was mead at 14-percent strength. Researchers from Israel's Antiquities Authority as well as three Israeli universities gathered at a Jerusalem pub to announce their findings and called the project a first.


  • In landmark case, Brazil sues top tobacco firms to recover public health costs

    In landmark case, Brazil sues top tobacco firms to recover public health costsBrazil is suing the world's largest cigarette makers, British American Tobacco Plc and Philip Morris International, in a landmark case aimed at recovering the public health treatment costs of tobacco-related diseases over the last five years. The Brazilian solicitor general's office, known as the AGU, announced the lawsuit late on Tuesday against the two multinational companies and their Brazilian subsidiaries, who produce most of the cigarettes sold in the country. The suit seeks to recover the cost of treating patients for 26 illnesses related to smoking tobacco or coming into contact with cigarette smoke, the AGU said in a statement.


  • Congo wants more use of Merck vaccine rather than J&J newcomer: minister

    Congo wants more use of Merck vaccine rather than J&J newcomer: ministerBoth vaccines are experimental drugs that can be used under strictly controlled research protocols but Merck's has been used throughout the outbreak and has proven highly effective, the World Health Organization (WHO) says. Congolese Health Minister Oly Ilunga Kalenga told reporters in Geneva that the government would roll out a "geographic ring" vaccination strategy in the coming days. "You have to consider the household as the case and then vaccinate all the households around the case." The virus has killed 1,223 of the 1,847 people who have fallen ill, making it the second-worst Ebola outbreak on record.


  • Libyan commander Haftar told Macron no ceasefire for now: French presidency

    Libyan commander Haftar told Macron no ceasefire for now: French presidencyThe flare-up in the conflict in Libya - which has been gripped by anarchy since Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in 2011 - began in early April, when Haftar's Libyan National Army advanced on the capital Tripoli. The LNA is now bogged down in southern suburbs by fighters loyal to Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj's Government of National Accord (GNA). Macron and French officials have for weeks repeated their official support for the GNA and have called for an unconditional ceasefire.


  • Doctor under investigation in Pakistan for allegedly knowingly spreading HIV

    Doctor under investigation in Pakistan for allegedly knowingly spreading HIVAn HIV epidemic has been discovered in the Sindh province of Pakistan and is being linked by officials to a local physician. By the latest count, 617 patients were diagnosed as HIV positive out of 20,880 patients screened, according to Dr. Sikandar Memon, manager of the Sindh AIDS Control Programme.


  • Philippines' Duterte orders garbage shipped back to Canada

    Philippines' Duterte orders garbage shipped back to CanadaPresident Rodrigo Duterte has ordered tonnes of garbage dumped in the Philippines years ago to be shipped back to Canada, his spokesman said Wednesday, but Ottawa announced arrangements to take back the offending cargo which led to a diplomatic row. If Ottawa would not formally accept the shipment of trash it would be dumped inside Canada's territorial waters, Duterte's spokesman also warned.


  • NASA will send your name to the Red Planet on the Mars 2020 rover

    NASA will send your name to the Red Planet on the Mars 2020 roverMars 2020 is shaping up nicely, with NASA recently revealing that its rover-hauling spacecraft is essentially complete and currently undergoing testing well ahead of its July 2020 launch window, and NASA is now accepting names of hopeful Mars "travelers" who want to get in on the action.No, you can't actually go to Mars -- nor would you probably want to -- but as with past Mars missions, NASA will be including up to several million names of regular folks who want to participate in the mission in a small way.The names, which will be printed very, very small onto a chip affixed to the rover, will be pulled from NASA's sign-up list which you can add to right now. For your contribution, you'll receive a "boarding pass" to commemorate your involvement in the mission, and you'll also get what NASA refers to as "frequent flyer miles" that accrue for each mission you submit your name to.The most recent mission to use this same system was the Mars InSight lander, which traveled some 301 million miles to the Red Planet and landed safely. NASA tracks all of this data and you can check your own Frequent Flyer Club membership on the agency's website.You've really got to hand it to NASA when it comes to involving the general public in the important scientific work its scientists are doing. Aside from studies and more formal reports, the agency is incredibly open, publishing raw images from rovers and satellites on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis for everyone to see.If you want to include your name on the Mars 2020 mission all you have to do is submit a brief form and then wait a couple of years for the mission to actually get off the ground. Happy flying!


  • Sleep Apnea and Cancer: Here’s What We Know About How They’re Related

    Sleep Apnea and Cancer: Here’s What We Know About How They’re RelatedA scary new report links this common sleep problem to cancer, especially in women—but how worried should you be?


  • Illegal ozone-depleting gases traced to China: study

    Illegal ozone-depleting gases traced to China: studyIndustries in northeastern China have spewed large quantities of an ozone-depleting gas into the atmosphere in violation of an international treaty, scientists said Wednesday. Since 2013, annual emissions from northeastern China of the banned chemical CFC-11 have increased by about 7,000 tonnes, they reported in the peer-reviewed journal Nature. "CFCs are the main culprit in depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer, which protects us from the Sun's ultra-violet radiation," said lead author Matt Rigby, an atmospheric chemist at the University of Bristol.