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- China hopes U.S. can learn not to 'blurt things out' after Zambia denial
China hopes the United States can learn a lesson and "not blurt things out", the foreign ministry said on Monday, after Zambia denied claims by a White House official that China is about to take over its state power utility to recover debt. U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton said on Thursday that China's quest for more power in Africa was evident in nations like Zambia, where China was poised to take over utility company Zesco to collect the $6-10 billion debt.
- No Respite Seen for Korean Chip Giants as Analysts Slash Targets
South Korea’s NH Investment & Securities reduced on Monday its target on SK Hynix Inc. by 15 percent to 85,000 won ($75.16), citing a worse-than-expected decline in prices of dynamic random-access memory, or DRAM. Eugene Investment also lowered its price target by 15 percent, noting that earnings momentum will be weak until the first half of next year. Operating profit at the Suwon-based behemoth will likely be 13.9 trillion won in the fourth quarter, NH Investment & Securities’ Doh Hyun-Woo wrote in a note last week, missing “significantly” his previous estimate.
- Oil prices pressured by oversupply, global economic concerns
Oil prices were largely steady on Monday after falling 2 percent in the previous session, but remained under pressure amid weaker growth in major economies and concerns about oversupply. Brent crude oil futures
were at $60.31 per barrel at 0722 GMT, up 3 cents, or 0.05 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $51.27 per barrel, up 7 cents, or 0.14 percent.
- Japan's PayPay to Update App After Wrongful Charge Complaints
An unspecified number of customers called in and e-mailed to report charges on their bills that they didn’t recognize, according to PayPay spokesman Fumihiro Ito. Several consumers say they hadn’t even installed the app but their credit cards were billed for purchases they didn’t make. PayPay will make changes to the app as early as Monday and has recommended users contact their credit card providers directly about suspicious activity, Ito said.
- Qatar Fund Building Venture Capital Unit for U.S. Startups
The Qatar Investment Authority, created to handle the windfall from the country’s gas and oil exports, has invested in companies including Foursquare Labs Inc., biotech firm Rubius Therapeutics Inc., Homology Medicines Inc., Thoughtspot Inc. and Grail Inc., said the people, asking not to be identified because the deals are private.
- China confirms new African swine fever cases in Sichuan, Heilongjiang
China confirmed two new cases of African swine fever, as the disease continues to spread through the world's largest hog herd, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said late on Sunday in a statement on its website. Another case was confirmed in a district of the city of Jixi in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang where 24 pigs died on a farm of 84 pigs. China has reported about 90 cases of the disease since it was first confirmed in the country in early August.
- Japanese electronics firms look to re-engineer their design mojo
Many at Panasonic were puzzled. "Someone said the office full of people wearing this would look weird," said Kang Hwayoung, another member of the 10-person design team. The project is among a range of efforts in the Japanese electronics industry to reinvigorate industrial design.
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome may be triggered by hyperactive immune system, study suggests
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome may be triggered by an out-of-control immune system which overreacts to an illness or emotional stress, a new study suggests. CFS, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), is a long-term illness, characterised by extreme tiredness, but the biology of the disease has remained a mystery. Now researchers at Kings’ College London have discovered that some patients who were given drugs to ramp up their immune system to fight hepatitis C show similar symptoms to people suffering CFS. Out of 55 patients studied, 18 developed lasting fatigue, suggesting that their boosted immune system had triggered long term changes in the body. And crucially, even before treatment, those who went on to develop lasting fatigue already had higher levels of biomarkers associated with inflammation, suggesting their immune system had already been primed to over-respond. Lead researcher Dr Alice Russell from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s said: “‘For the first time, we have shown that people who are prone to develop a CFS-like illness have an overactive immune system, both before and during a challenge to the immune system. “Our findings suggest that people who have an exaggerated immune response to a trigger may be more at risk of developing CFS.” In Britain 250,000 people are affected by CFS, with one in four so severely affected they are rendered housebound or bendbour, with some even needing to be fed via a tube. Chronic fatigue syndrome Sufferers are often confined to their beds, unable to walk, and need help even to shower - an action that could them lay them low for days, even weeks. Senior researcher Professor Carmine Pariante added: “A better understanding of the biology underlying the development of CFS is needed to help patients suffering with this debilitating condition. “Although screening tests are a long way off, our results are the first step in identifying those at risk and catching the illness in its crucial early stages.” The research was welcomed by charities who called for more research into the link between the immune system and the condition. Dr Charles Shepherd, the ME Association’s medical advisor, said: “Piecing together the scientific jigsaw, it now seems increasingly likely that we are dealing with a sequence of events in ME/CFS that involve both infection and the immune system response.” “A straightforward viral infection is leading to a immune system reaction that then fails to settle down. “And the on-going production of inflammation then causes immune system chemicals that affect various parts of the body - muscle and brain function in particular.” “These findings also reinforce the need to investigate treatments - as are being used very successfully in inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis - which can dampen down low-level immune system activation.” The research is published in the journal Psychnoneuroendocrinology.
- Scientists who revealed cause of 'great dying' mass extinction call for action to halt climate change
The scientists who revealed what caused the “greatest crisis in the history of life of Earth”, have called for immediate action to halt the further warming of the planet through human caused climate change. Oceanographers based in Seattle said the largest mass extinction in the planet’s history - what has been termed the “great dying” - was caused by extreme global warming that saw ocean temperatures rise by as much as 10C around 252m years ago. The scientists said this resulted in the seas losing as much as 80 per cent of their oxygen.
- Pemex aims for splash in shallow waters, retreats from the deeps
Almost half the Pemex budget is earmarked for exploration and production, mostly in shallow water and some onshore areas. Setting out his plans on Saturday, Pemex Chief Executive Octavio Romero said two previous governments had little to show for putting 41 percent of exploration funding into deep waters: "At best we'd have the first drop of oil by 2025," he said. Pemex aims to increase production by almost 50 percent by the end of the six-year term of Lopez Obrador, who wants to reduce Mexico's dependence on imported fuels.
- Next-generation of GPS satellites are headed to space
- China’s $856 Billion Startup Juggernaut Is Getting Stuck
Some of this comes from China’s technology giants turning themselves into conglomerates. For years, China relied on cash subsidies to encourage development of key industries. As of the first half, various levels of the government had established 1,171 guidance funds, aiming to raise and deploy a staggering 5.9 trillion yuan ($856 billion) according to China Venture.
- The Future of Drones Might Involve Bees
- Shareholders call on ExxonMobil to set greenhouse gas reduction targets
A number of institutional investors in ExxonMobil Corp
have said they will file a shareholder resolution which calls on the world's largest oil company to set targets for lowering its greenhouse gas emissions. The call, led by the New York State Common Retirement Fund (NYSCRF) and the Church Commissioners of England (CCE), comes in the wake of shareholder moves at other major energy firms seeking to make them more responsive to climate change and its impact on the business. The statement released on Sunday by the CCE asked Exxon to disclose, for the first time, short, medium and long-term targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from both its operations and the use of its products.
- Nord Stream 2 can be justified if Ukraine's interests safeguarded
Germany's economy minister said he believed the Russian-backed Nord Stream 2 pipeline can go ahead while preserving Ukraine's vital interests, but that Berlin is also in talks to diversify its energy supply with liquefied natural gas. U.S. President Donald Trump in July accused Germany of being a "captive" of Russia due to its energy reliance and urged it to halt work on the $11 billion, Russian-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that is to be built in the Baltic Sea. Berlin and Moscow have been at odds since Russia annexed Crimea four years ago, but they have a common interest in the Nord Stream 2 project, which will double the capacity of the existing Nord Stream 1 route from next year.
- HQ Trivia App Co-Founder Found Dead in New York, NYPD Says
A representative for the New York City Police Department said Kroll was found unconscious and unresponsive early Sunday morning. Emergency medical services responded to 56 Spring Street following a wellness check and soon after pronounced him dead, Detective Ahmed Nasser of the NYPD said.
- Rocket Lab Completes Successful 1st Mission For NASA
- Snow, rain and wind in late-week storm to impact holiday travel in eastern US
As students embark on winter break, last-minute shoppers head to the stores and holiday travel ramps up across the country later this week, a major storm could lead to widespread travel headaches in the eastern U.S.
- Green Groups Are Set to Crash Into Global Populists Over Pollution Cuts
Fresh from endorsing rules to implement the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change, diplomats, along with pressure groups and United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, are shifting toward persuading governments to back deeper cuts in fossil fuel emissions. It’s taken the form of Yellow Jacket protests in France, the Australian government being ousted, and U.S. President Donald Trump’s support for coal mining.
- Green Groups Are Set to Crash Into Global Populists Over Pollution Cuts
- Open UBI Ecosystem Launched by GoodDollar and Partners in Berlin
At Web Summit 2018, in early November, Yoni Assia, Chief Executive of eToro, announced the launch of GoodDollar: an ecosystem-led project that explores how cryptocurrency and blockchain technology may reduce inequality through models based on universal basic income (UBI). Less than two weeks later, on November 19, GoodDollar’s first community event took place, in Berlin, and was designed to establish an OpenUBI ecosystem. The OpenUBI community has been formed to encourage collaboration and discussion around UBI and its technological implementation.
- Is Yemen finally on the road to peace?
At the same time, the United Nations must prepare for critical discussions on a wider truce and a framework for political negotiations to end the conflict. The nearly four-year-old war, which has killed tens of thousands of people, pits the Iran-aligned Houthi group against other Yemeni factions fighting alongside the Saudi-led coalition trying to restore the government of Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. The Houthis, who ousted Hadi's administration from the capital Sanaa in 2014, and their coalition foes are due to start implementing the Hodeidah ceasefire on Tuesday.
- Qatar Petroleum to invest $20 billion in U.S. in major expansion
Qatar Petroleum (QP) is looking to invest at least $20 billion in the United States over the coming few years, its chief executive told Reuters, after the Gulf Arab state unexpectedly quit OPEC this month. Saad al-Kaabi, who holds the energy portfolio of the world's top liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplier, also said on Sunday the company aimed to announce foreign partners for new LNG trains needed for an ambitious domestic scale-up by the middle of next year, but was keeping open the possibility of going it alone. Qatar, a tiny but wealthy country is one of the most influential players in the LNG market due to its annual production of 77 million tonnes.
- California pushes for 100 percent zero-emissions buses by 2040
- Your Horoscope This Week
After a brief void-of-course period from 9:20 a.m. to 11:27 a.m., she will wax to fullness in Cancer. On Thursday, the sun will form a trine with Uranus retrograde, helping us to create change from lessons learned.
- Does Baby Powder Contain Asbestos? What Women Need to Know About Johnson & Johnson’s Ovarian Cancer Lawsuit
- 5 Reasons Why You Should Ditch Your Old Laptop for an Apple iPad Pro
- Dutch build artificial islands to bring wildlife back
Dutch ranger Andre Donker sighs as he looks out at the rippling grey waters of the Markermeer, one of Europe's largest freshwater lakes. Now the hope is that a new artificial archipelago of five islands will bring nature back to the area via a typically ambitious engineering project for a low-lying country that has battled the sea for centuries. It is "one of the largest rewilding operations in Europe", says Donker.
- Snow showers, squalls to accompany fresh wave of cold air in northeastern US Monday
- Robots Are Creating These New Jobs for Us — Here’s How to Qualify for Them
- Indonesia's Soputan volcano erupts, ejecting thick ash
- Rocket Lab Launches 13 Cubesats on 1st Mission for NASA
Rocket Lab's ramp-up is going well so far. The spaceflight startup launched 13 tiny satellites on its first-ever mission for NASA early this morning (Dec. 16), just a month after acing its first commercial flight. A Rocket Lab Electron booster lifted off from the company's launch site on New Zealand's Mahia Peninsula at 1:33 a.m. EST today (0633 GMT and 7:33 p.m. local New Zealand time), kicking off the ELaNa-19 mission for NASA.
- Rocket Lab sends 13 miniature satellites into orbit from New Zealand for NASA
Rocket Lab has sent its first payloads for NASA into orbit from its New Zealand launch pad, atop a low-cost Electron rocket powered by 3-D-printed engines. Liftoff from Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula came at 7:33 p.m. Dec. 16 New Zealand time (10:33 p.m. PT Dec. 15), after a two-day delay due to weather concerns. Ten of the 13 small satellites packed aboard the rocket were funded through NASA’s Educational Launch of Nanosatellites program, or ELaNa. The other three came along for the ride, and are designed to test new imaging technologies and study how high-frequency radio… Read More
- Quantum Computers Threaten the Web's Security. We Must Take Action Now.
- Why Australia Needs Robot Tanks
So why are robots so important for Australia? Because of Australia’s peculiar circumstances: a vast continent, with a relatively small population clustered on the coasts, and a relatively small military.
- Nations agree milestone rulebook for Paris climate treaty
Nations on Sunday struck a deal to breathe life into the landmark 2015 Paris climate treaty after marathon UN talks that failed to match the ambition the world's most vulnerable countries need to avert dangerous global warming. Delegates from nearly 200 states finalised a common rule book designed to deliver the Paris goals of limiting global temperature rises to well below two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit). "Putting together the Paris agreement work programme is a big responsibility," said COP24 president Michal Kurtyka as he gavelled through the deal after talks in Poland that ran deep into overtime.
- Nations overcome last-minute divisions to forge climate deal
Nearly 200 countries overcame political divisions late on Saturday to agree rules for implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, but critics say it is not ambitious enough to prevent the dangerous effects of global warming. Eleventh hour disagreements over carbon markets almost derailed negotiations and delayed a final agreement by a day. In the end it took two weeks of talks in the Polish city of Katowice to turn the aim of the Paris accord - limiting global temperature rises to well below 2C - into a more detailed framework. "It is not easy to find agreement on a deal so specific and technical. Through this package you have made a thousand little steps forward together. You can feel proud," Michal Kurtyka, the Polish president of the talks told delegates. After he struck the gavel to signal agreement, ministers joined him on the stage, hugging and laughing in signs of relief after the marathon talks. Michal Kurtyka, who led climate talks in Katowice, Poland, shows his relief as an agreement is reached after marathon negotiations Credit: Kacper Pempel/Reuters Even before negotiators convened, many expected the deal would not be as robust as needed. President Donald Trump has already announced his intention to pull his country - one of the world's biggest emitters - out of the pact. At the 11th hour, ministers managed to break a deadlock between Brazil and other countries over the accounting rules for the monitoring of carbon credits, deferring the bulk of that discussion to next year, but missing an opportunity to send a signal to businesses to speed up their actions. Still, exhausted ministers managed to bridge a series of divides to produce a 156-page rulebook - which is broken down into themes such as how countries will report and monitor their national pledges to curb greenhouse gas emissions and update their emissions plans. Key elements | Paris climate change agreement It allows flexibility for poorer nations, which claim they suffer greater impacts of rising temperatures triggered by more developed countries. But richer nations have long rejected the idea of being legally liable for climate change. As a result, several ministers conceded there was more work to be done but held out the framework as important progress. sites under threat from climate change "While some rulebook elements still need to be fleshed out, it is a foundation for strengthening the Paris Agreement and could help facilitate US re-entry into the Paris Agreement by a future presidential administration," said Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists. Some countries and green groups criticised the outcome for failing to urge increased ambitions on emissions cuts sufficiently to curb rising temperatures. Poorer nations vulnerable to climate change also wanted more clarity on how an already agreed $100 billion a year of climate finance by 2020 will be provided and on efforts to build on that amount further from the end of the decade. A statement by António Guterres, UN Secretary-General, who left the talks on Thursday, stressed the need for more work. "From now on, my five priorities will be: ambition, ambition, ambition, ambition and ambition," it said. "And ambition must guide all member states as they prepare their (emissions cut plans) for 2020 to reverse the present trend in which climate change is still running faster than us." A UN-commissioned report by the IPCC in October warned that keeping the Earth's temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C would need "unprecedented changes" in every aspect of society. Last week, Saudi Arabia, the Unites States, Russia and Kuwait refused to use the word "welcome" in association with the findings of the report. The decision text now merely expresses gratitude for the work on the report, welcomes its timely completion and invites parties to use the information in it.
- The Latest: UN climate talks agree on reporting emissions
- All I want for Christmas is the new, largest diamond ever found in North America
I don't want a lot for Christmas. There is just one thing I need — and it's that gigantic 552-carat diamond recently uncovered by Canadian miners. Because this isn't just your run-of-the-mill huge ass yellow diamond. The gemstone is actually the largest to ever be found in North American history, according to a press release by Dominion Diamond Mines. SEE ALSO: Watch this gymnast nail a massive backflip to set the world record Coming in at 33.74mm by 54.56mm, this stocking stuffer blew the previous record out of the water, which was a 187.7 carat diamond found in the same mine back in 2015. "A diamond of this size is completely unexpected for this part of the world and marks a true milestone for diamond mining in North America," Dominion wrote in its statement. Unearthed in October by Diavik Diamond Mine, the company describes how the "abrasion markings on the stone’s surface attest to the difficult journey it underwent during recovery, and the fact that it remains intact is remarkable." Unfortunately for those of us hoping to see this history-making diamond under our Christmas trees, it's apparently not being sold in its whole, rough form. After being studied for its unique geological properties, it will be cut into a number of smaller pieces instead. It's too early to determine the exact monetary value of the 552-carat whopper. But when the last record-breaking 187-carat diamond was cut down into two smaller pieces, they sold for a total of $1.3 million. So Santa better be raking in some serious dough if he wants to make good on our Christmas list this year. WATCH: This basketball trick shot broke the record for world's highest dunk
- Motiva preliminarily picked to run Curacao refinery: report
The refinery has been idle since May when a legal dispute between PDVSA and U.S. producer ConocoPhillips
forced its closure. PDVSA's contract to run the facility, which is crucial for its storage, refining and shipping operations, will expire at the end of 2019. The government of the Caribbean island is seeking a company willing to handle it in the long run and probably also to finish the lease term next year.
- Photos: Snow, freezing rain from Storm Deirdre causes disruptions across UK
- Nations agree on global climate pact rules, but they are seen as weak
After two weeks of talks in the Polish city of Katowice, nations finally reached consensus on a more detailed framework for the 2015 Paris Agreement, which aims to limit a rise in average world temperatures to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels. After he struck the gavel to signal agreement had been reached, ministers joined him on the stage, hugging and laughing in signs of relief after the marathon talks. The unity which underpinned the Paris talks has fragmented, and U.S. President Donald Trump intends to pull his country - one of the world's biggest emitters - out of the pact.
- Climate talks end with a deal to keep countries committed to the Paris Agreement
There's now a set of standards for all Paris Agreement-aligned countries to stick to as they work to mitigate the harmful effects of climate change. The deal between the agreement's nearly 200 participating countries came after an all-night negotiating session at the COP24 conference in Katowice, Poland. It establishes a "rulebook" aimed at guiding countries toward planning and implementing climate-focused policies and measuring the effects of emissions. SEE ALSO: Climate change made these 17 extreme weather events radically worse "In Katowice, countries made important progress toward realizing the promise of the Paris Agreement — in particular by adopting strong rules requiring countries to transparently report their greenhouse gas emissions and progress toward meeting their national commitments," read a statement from Nathaniel Keohane, vice president of the Environmental Defense Fund. "Those rules, known as the ‘transparency framework,’ are vital to the success of the Paris Agreement. To avoid dangerous warming, countries need to ratchet up their ambition dramatically, which will only happen if countries have clarity about what others are committing to, and confidence that they are meeting those commitments." The agreement also creates safeguards to ensure that more prosperous nations will be on the hook to lay out exactly how they'll help poorer nations keep up. These include contributions to cash pools meant to help nations struggling to hit their goals, such as the Green Climate Fund and the Least Developed Countries Fund. But there are also still concerns some countries won't hold up their end of the bargain, or that it won't be enough even if they do. "It’s clear much greater financial assistance is needed to ensure developing countries can climate solutions and adapt to the increasingly extreme impacts from a warming world," read a statement from Helen Mountford, of the World Resources Institute. "Next year is a key moment for countries to come forward with ambitious pledges for the Green Climate Fund’s first replenishment." There are also those who take a dim view on the talks as a whole, since they gave pro-fossil fuel countries — including the United States — a prominent seat at the table. Particularly in the wake of the recent United Nations report which laid out the dramatic changes that would be necessary to slow global temperature increases over the new 20 to 30 years. "The end result is underwhelming, signalling that not even the last IPCC report" — the aforementioned UN report — "was enough of a wake up call for some of the biggest polluters on the planet," a statement from 350.org's May Boeve read. "Even more troubling, the United States, Russia and Saudi Arabia have gone out of their way to block the official endorsement of the IPCC report, making it clear the low regard in which they hold both science and multilateralism." All participating countries are generally expected to work on upping their efforts to cut emissions ahead of 2020's next round of talks. Although Donald Trump signaled his intent back in 2017 for the USA to bow out of Paris Agreement commitments, a formal withdrawal isn't possible until 2020. WATCH: This algae 'curtain' could make city buildings into urban trees — Sharp Science
- Rules on Fossil Fuel Pollution Cuts Adopted at Climate Talks
The diplomats drawn from energy and environment ministries in almost 200 countries backed rules to implement the three-year-old Paris Agreement, which called for drastic reductions in the use of fossil fuels by the middle of the century. The decision covered technical details of the Paris deal, including everything from a $100 billion pledge to channel aid to developing nations to how to account for emissions cuts. The U.S. participated heavily in the talks, winning a concession from China on accounting for emissions, even though President Donald Trump has vowed to scrap the accord.
- Egypt unveils 'one of a kind' ancient tomb, expects more finds
Egypt unveiled a well-preserved 4,400-year-old tomb decorated with hieroglyphs and statues south of Cairo on Saturday, and officials expect more discoveries when archaeologists excavate the site further in coming months. It was untouched and unlooted, Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told reporters at the site. Archaeologists removed a last layer of debris from the tomb on Thursday and found five shafts inside, Waziri said.
- Early outlook: How will weather leading up to Christmas affect travel, white Christmas chances?
- Soaking rainstorm, interior ice and snow to impede weekend activities in northeastern US
- Qatar says Gulf Arab bloc needs reform to give it teeth
Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said Qatar was still counting on Kuwait and other regional powers to help solve the row that has seen Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and non-GCC member Egypt impose a political and economic boycott on Doha since June 2017. "They have mechanisms in place and never trigger them (to hold people accountable) because some countries believe they are non-binding, so we need to make sure all the rules we are submitting to are binding to everyone in this region." The four states accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism and cosying up to regional foe Iran. Doha denies the charges and says the boycott aims to curtail its sovereignty.
- Egypt unearths tomb of ancient high priest
Egyptian archaeologists have discovered the tomb of a priest dating back more than 4,400 years in the pyramid complex of Saqqara south of the capital Cairo, authorities said Saturday. "Today we are announcing the last discovery of the year 2018, it's a new discovery, it's a private tomb," Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Enany told an audience of invited guests including reporters. In November archeology officials announced the discovery in Saqqara of seven sarcophagi, some dating back more than 6,000 years, during excavation work started in April by the same archaeological mission.
- OPEC has shown it can reach deal despite splits: Iran oil minister
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh praised OPEC on Saturday for what he said was the producer group's ability to reach agreement despite intense internal political differences. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its Russia-led allies agreed on Dec. 7 to cut output by more than expected, despite pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to reduce the price of crude. "OPEC ... has shown the capacity in which members can hold talks and reach important results regarding their common interests despite having the most intense political disputes or even military conflicts (such as during the Iran-Iraq war)," Zanganeh said on Twitter.