Current News and Topics
Akayed Ullah was charged with supporting terrorism
SpaceX has delayed its latest space station grocery run by another few days
Fossils from New Zealand have revealed a giant penguin that was about the size of a grown man
A team of researchers, including Stephen Hawking, is investigating whether the first known object from outside the solar system contains the first sign of life beyond our planet.
Polls are all over the map
Defects were found in equipment for a third-generation nuclear reactor under construction in southern China with the problematic parts being replaced, the state-owned China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) said Wednesday. The issue concerned equipment used in one of two new European Pressurised Reactors (EPR), large units designed to offer improved power and safety. With EPRs in Finland and France facing setbacks, the Chinese Taishan 1 and 2 are on track to become the first working reactors of their kind in the world.
Russian airstrikes tipped Syria's civil war in Assad's favor
Scientists in Australia have mapped the genetic sequence of the extinct Tasmanian tiger, raising hopes of reviving the species, whose last survivor died in a zoo in the city of Hobart in September 1936. The landmark study of the Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, was based on examination of DNA from a female pup that had been preserved in ethanol at a museum since 1909. Andrew Pask, a researcher from the University of Melbourne, said that establishing a blueprint of the thylacine’s entire genetic code was the first step in trying to bring back the species through cloning. “As this genome is one of the most complete for an extinct species, it is technically the first step to ‘bringing the thylacine back’,” he said.  “We are still a long way off that possibility. We would need to develop a marsupial model to host the thylacine genome, like work conducted to include mammoth genes in the modern elephant.” Tasmanian tigers became extinct on the Australian mainland about 3,000 years ago but survived on the island state of Tasmania. The species was hunted by European settlers who believed the animals threatened their sheep and who were encouraged by a government bounty of £1 per carcass. Tasmanian tigers or thylacines photographed at Beaumaris Zoo in Hobart in Australia's Tasmania state in 1918 Credit:  AFP / TASMANIAN MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY The last known creature died in captivity in 1936, though the species was not officially declared extinct until 1982. But the genome study revealed that the sandy-coloured marsupial may have become extinct even if humans had not settled in Tasmania. The sequencing found that the thylacine had little genetic diversity, making it harder for it to survive changes in environmental conditions. "They were actually in pretty bad genetic shape and it wasn't because of their isolation on Tasmania. It was a longer-term decline in their history," Dr Pask said. “We certainly made them go extinct — there's no question about that. But we now know even if [thylacines] were still around today they'd probably be in the same genetic dire circumstances as the Tasmanian devil [a local species that is under threat]." The Tasmanian tiger has a somewhat mythical status in Australia and there is still frenzied speculation about whether it may have survived in the wild. There have been regular reported sightings, though most experts believe that the creatures that are spotted are probably feral dogs and that the thylacine is unlikely to have survived. Recent unconfirmed sightings in the state of Queensland prompted a fresh search which has so far proven fruitless. The study found that the genetic health of the thylacine became compromised about 70,000 to 120,000 years ago, an era which coincided with an ice age. The Tasmanian species became  isolated when the island was cut off from the mainland due to rising seas about 14,000 years ago. On the mainland, the species became extinct due to extreme weather and drought, according to a study released earlier this year. Experts said it could take some years – and billions of dollars - to revive the species. "We still have a way to go to get the technology and to get that at a reasonable cost," Christy Hipsley, from Museums Victoria, told Channel Seven. However, Dr Pask said he believed humans have a moral obligation to try to revive the species. "I think we were responsible for hunting [the species] to extinction - in that case, we almost owe it to the species to bring it back," he said. The findings were published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.
Pistorius sustained a minor injury in the alleged assault
Major investors vowed Tuesday to move away from Earth-warming fossil fuels as world leaders met in Paris seeking to unlock new cash to save humanity from climate "doom". Two years to the day since 195 nations sealed the Paris Agreement to avert worst-case climate change, banks and companies announced billions of dollars of intended divestments from coal, oil and natural gas at a finance-themed climate summit. "We are losing the battle" against climate change, French President Emmanuel Macron told delegates.
Protests erupted in the northern state of Haryana
Ever wondered what motivates someone to commit the most heinous of crimes? We found a few traits that unite them -- and you may have them too.
It's not often that a whole new chunk of land just comes jutting out of the ocean, but that's just what happened with a new island in the South Pacific. A large undersea volcano blew its top in late 2014, shooting rock and ash skyward, and once everything calmed down an entirely new island had been formed. Now, NASA is looking at the newly formed landmass for possible hints at how the landscape of Mars behaved billions of years ago.The new island, which is being referred to by the unofficial name Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai, didn't seem to have a bright future when it first emerged in the wake of the volcano's fury, but researchers now believe it actually might stick around for quite a while. New data suggests it might even last as long as 30 years."Everything we learn about what we see on Mars is based on the experience of interpreting Earth phenomena," Jim Garvin of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center explains. "We think there were eruptions on Mars at a time when there were areas of persistent surface water. We may be able to use this new Tongan island and its evolution as a way of testing whether any of those represented an oceanic environment or ephemeral lake environment.", liquid water, and a suitable atmosphere are thought to be some of the most crucial ingredients for life as we know it. If Mars was once dominated by an ocean, and if that ocean experienced volcanic activity as ours do here on Earth, that's very good news for anyone who dreams of one day hearing that life did exist on Mars.In its present state, the island is essentially a huge pile of volcanic ash and rock which is slowly eroding into the ocean from which it was born. Storms and wave activity have already pushed lots of material back underwater, but a large portion still remains. On Mars, despite billions of years of wind erosion and impacts from space rocks and debris, similar volcanic features still remain, and the newly born island is helping to inform astronomers about what the martian surface may have looked like a long time ago. 
The group hopes this marks the "beginning of the end" of the Jewish state
By Tom Polansek CHICAGO (Reuters) - Monsanto Co will give cash back to U.S. farmers who buy a weed killer that has been linked to widespread crop damage, offering an incentive to apply its product even as regulators in several U.S. states weigh restrictions on its use. The incentive to use XtendiMax with VaporGrip, a herbicide based on a chemical known as dicamba, could refund farmers over half the sticker price of the product in 2018 if they spray it on soybeans Monsanto engineered to resist the weed killer, according to company data. The United States faced an agricultural crisis this year caused by new formulations of dicamba-based herbicides, which farmers and weed experts say harmed crops because they evaporated and drifted away from where they were sprayed.