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Updated: 2 hours 19 min ago

Scientists: Saturn spent billions of years without its rings

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 14:48

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Saturn may have flown solo for billions of years — almost its entire existence — before getting its stunning set of rings, a new study suggests.


Illinois parents get 25 years in death of boy, 6, who weighed 17 pounds when he died

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 14:17

An Illinois father and stepmother will spend decades in prison in the starvation death of their 6-year-old son, who authorities say weighed just 17 pounds when he died.


Photos: At least 6 fatalities reported as intense storms slam California

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 14:04

Amid a relentless series of storms, a powerful storm has been wreaking havoc in California from Wednesday into Thursday, further raising concerns of flooding, mudslides and avalanches.


Oxford University suspends funding from China's Huawei

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 13:37

The University of Oxford said on Thursday it has stopped accepting funding from China's Huawei Technologies [HWT.UL], the leading global supplier of telecoms network equipment, after scrutiny over the company's relationship with China’s government. "Oxford University decided on January 8 this year that it will not pursue new funding opportunities with Huawei Technologies Co Ltd or its related group companies at present," the university said in a statement. "The decision has been taken in the light of public concerns raised in recent months surrounding UK partnerships with Huawei.


Apple boss Tim Cook attacks 'shadow economy' of data in call for new privacy law

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 13:36

Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook has called for the US to introduce a national privacy law, attacking a “shadow economy” in which people’s personal data is bought and sold without their knowledge. Mr Cook said companies should have to collect as little data as possible and make it easy for people to delete the information that is held about them. It is the latest attempt from Apple to position itself as the steward of consumers’ privacy, and to draw a line between itself and companies such as Facebook and Google. Mr Cook said that people need to “win back their right to privacy” and that companies that sell data should have to register with the Federal Trade Commission, the US consumer watchdog. “I and others are calling on the US Congress to pass comprehensive federal privacy legislation - a landmark package of reforms that protect and empower the consumer,” Mr Cook wrote in Time Magazine. He singled out “data brokers”, companies that purchase, bundle up and sell data on individuals, such as credit reference agencies, saying that most people were unaware of how companies transact in their data. “Right now, all of these secondary markets for your information exist in a shadow economy that’s largely unchecked. Let’s be clear: you never signed up for that,” Mr Cook wrote. The US does not have a national equivalent to the UK’s Data Protection Act or the European privacy legislation, GDPR. Facebook, Amazon and Google have all said they would support a law, but failed to put forward any concrete proposals. Mr Cook said companies should aim to minimise the amount of data they collect and make it easier for people to delete or correct it. Mr Cook has played up Apple’s privacy credentials in recent months, as sales of its iPhones stumble and as Google and Facebook have been embroiled in repeated data controversies. Its privacy commitment has come under scrutiny, since Apple receives billions of dollars a year from Google to be the default search engine on the iPhone. Mr Cook has defended the deal, saying the company has built in controls to limit how much users can be tracked.


Facebook blocks accounts linked to Russian state-owned Sputnik

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 13:18

In a separate statement, Sputnik attacked the social network for a decision it said was political and amounted to censorship of seven Facebook pages belonging to its news hubs in neighboring countries. Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, said in a blog post https://bit.ly/2W1h9LR it had unearthed two separate operations which originated in Russia, with one active in multiple countries across eastern Europe and the other specific to Ukraine. The social media company said it had taken down about 364 Facebook pages and accounts operating in Baltic Sea states, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and parts of Europe, and that the pages were linked to employees of Sputnik.


Trump Pushes for Funding to Expand U.S. Missile Defense Program

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 12:49

“Our goal is simple: to ensure we can detect and destroy any missile launched against the United States,” Trump said Thursday in a speech at the Pentagon. The review, Trump said, calls for 20 new ground-based interceptors in Alaska as well as new radar and sensors to detect missiles.


An All-Electric Ford F-150 Pickup Truck Is Happening

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 11:40

A hybridized truck is in the cards from Ford, too; both will likely appear once the F-150 gets redesigned.


NASA’s Cassini spacecraft spotted fresh rainfall on Saturn’s moon Titan

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 11:39

NASA's Cassini orbiter has been dead for well over a year now, but its incredible discoveries continue to trickle in as researchers pore over data and images it collected while it was active. Consequently, studies focused on the orbiter's findings continue to crop up on a regular basis, such as a recent study from University of Idaho in Moscow doctoral student Rajani Dhingra, who, along with her colleagues, found evidence of rainfall on the north pole of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, in an image taken on June 7th, 2016. This indicates that summer had arrived on the moon's northern hemisphere later than climate models had predicted. "The whole Titan community has been looking forward to seeing clouds and rains on Titan's north pole, indicating the start of the northern summer, but despite what the climate models had predicted, we weren't even seeing any clouds," said Dhingra, lead author of the study. "People called it the curious case of missing clouds." Dhingra and her colleagues spotted a reflective feature near the north pole of Titan in the aforementioned image -- a feature which covered approximately 46,332 square miles -- which had never appeared before, and didn't appear when Cassini passed by again. Dhingra concluded that the reflective nature of the feature was due to sunlight reflecting off of a wet surface, which she believes was the result of a methane rainfall event. This is the first time summer rainfall has ever been observed on Titan. While Earth experiences four seasons over the course of a year, a single season on Titan lasts seven Earth years. When Cassini reached Titan, clouds and rainfall were observed in the southern hemisphere, signaling a southern summer. Climate models predicted the rain would move to the northern hemisphere "leading up to the northern summer solstice in 2017," but the clouds still hadn't appeared by 2016. The images above should help reseachers understand why this was the case. We want our model predictions to match our observations. This rainfall detection proves Cassini's climate follows the theoretical climate models we know of," Dhingra said. "Summer is happening. It was delayed, but it's happening. We will have to figure out what caused the delay, though."


The 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Gets More Angular Styling and a Big New Screen

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 11:32

Minor changes are coming to Hyundai's hybrid Ioniq hatchback.


Portugal promises no visas for Britons in any no-deal Brexit

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 11:24

Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29 but parliament's rejection this week of Prime Minister Theresa May's withdrawal agreement with Brussels has thrown those plans into chaos and opened up a range of outcomes, from quitting with no agreement on future relations to halting Brexit altogether. "At this moment we do not even know what the United Kingdom wants," Siza Vieira told Reuters in an interview late on Wednesday. "In the absence of an alternative proposal by the United Kingdom, what every (EU) member state is doing is adopting measures that allow them to react to a unilateral circumstance." Even without a Brexit deal, British citizens living in Portugal would retain rights including access to healthcare.


Giuliani Can't Say No One Colluded, Only That Trump Didn't

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 10:59

“I never said there was no collusion between the campaign, or people in the campaign,” Giuliani said during an interview on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time” show Wednesday night. “I said the president of the United States. There is not a single bit of evidence the president of the United States committed the only crime you can commit here, conspiring with the Russians to hack the DNC,” he added, referring to the Democratic National Committee.


Burkina Faso: Body of Canadian found days after abduction

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 10:29

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — A Canadian national has been found dead a day after reports of his kidnapping by suspected jihadists in Burkina Faso's volatile north near the Niger border, the West African nation's security ministry said Thursday.


Syria suicide bomb that killed four US citizens also reignites debate over US pulling troops

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 08:57

A suicide bomb reignited the debate over President Donald Trump's assertion that the Islamic State has been defeated and his decision to exit Syria.


7 dreamy Tuscan villas for rent

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 08:16

Homebase Abroad shares some of its most alluring vacation rentals in Tuscany.


Your favorite salmon recipe just got SO much better

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 08:00

Welcome to Best Bites, a twice-weekly video series that aims to satisfy your


BMW unveils 2020 7 Series sedan with controversial redesign

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 07:31

While the interior design and mechanics haven't significantly changed in the latest version of the BMW 7 Series, the exterior received a serious facelift that is leaving some fans confused and a few disappointed. BMW officially unveiled the latest 7 Series luxury sedan Wednesday with a redesign that the company says gives it a "confident presence" while some onlookers are giving it a mediocre review. The focal point of the new design is the inflated, trademark 7 Series kidney grille placed on a two-inch taller front end which has grown about 40 percent since the last generation, an expansion that already hasn't been welcomed very warmly.


David Webb’s White Privilege

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 06:30

Areva Martin, a CNN “analyst” — whatever in hell that means anno Domini 2019 — was in the middle of a spirited exchange with the conservative talk-radio host David Webb about racial preferences in hiring. Webb argued — as conservatives of many different races argue! — that race should not be a factor in such decisions, which should be based strictly on qualifications. “That’s a whole ’nother long conversation about white privilege,” she sniffed.


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