Watch Live NASA Press Conference on Exoplanet Discovery

Today at 1pm ET NASA will hold a press conference about their latest exoplanetary discovery.

They have been building this up, so we hope it will be really important and exciting. To date scientists have discovered approximately 3,500 planets orbiting other star systems in outer space, largely by analyzing the data set gathered by the Kepler orbital telescope.

Watch NASA Press conference Live (NASA)

 

Photo: wikimedia commons – This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

 

Breaking news from around the world

Breaking news from around the world

NASA’s Announcing a Big Discovery “Beyond Our Solar System” Tomorrow
“…We’re so excited, we’re going to be live blogging the exoplanet announcement as it happens, so you guys will be first to hear the news. And we’ve embedded the NASA TV live stream below, so we can all witness the potentially history-making announcement together…” (Science Alert)

One of the Biggest Myths About Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Just Got Debunked
“…But for decades, researchers have struggled to find an underlying cause, leading to an assumption by many doctors that it’s ‘not a real disease’. Now, Australian researchers have blown that myth wide open, showing for the first time that CFS is linked to a faulty cell receptor in immune cells…” (Science Alert)

Cracking story: French artist to entomb himself in rock for a week, then use body to hatch eggs
“A French artist is preparing to be entombed for a week inside a 12-tonne limestone boulder in a modern art museum in Paris, after which he will emerge and attempt to hatch a dozen eggs by sitting on them for weeks on end…”(The Guardian)

The rise and fall of Milo Yiannopoulos – how a shallow actor played the bad guy for money
“So there is, after all, a line that you cannot cross and still be hailed by conservatives as a champion of free speech. That line isn’t Islamophobia, misogyny, transphobia or harassment…” (The Guardian)

Wannabe workshop to the world
“Vietnam is prospering but working conditions remain harsh. Business leaders hoped the Trans-Pacific Partnership would help make it an offshore manufacturing base to rival China. That may not happen…” (Le Monde diplomatique)

Tajikistan plans world’s biggest dam“After 58 years of delays, work has restarted on the Rogun Dam, Tajikistan’s sole hope for being part of the modern world; and neighbouring Uzbekistan may at last drop its opposition to the project.” (Le Monde diplomatique)

Fathers go shirtless outside school to protest over fees
“Fathers of several students removed their shirts outside a private school in Jalandhar on Tuesday to protest against the school issuing a notice that their wards would not be allowed to appear in the final exams if they did not deposit annual charges…” (Times of India)

PM Narendra Modi conveys to US India’s unease over likely H-1B curbs
“PM Narendra Modi has urged the US to take a “reflective, balanced and far-sighted” perspective on the movement of skilled professionals, indicating India’s discomfort with the Trump administration’s intent to curb H-1B visas…” (Times of India)

 

Photo: By ESO/L. Benassi – CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Breaking news from around the world

Breaking news from around the world

China orders GPS tracking of every car in troubled region
“Security officials in China’s violence-stricken north-west have ordered residents to install GPS tracking devices in their vehicles so authorities are able to keep permanent tabs on their movements…” (The Guardian)

Revealed: Kim Jong-nam was gripped by fear and paranoia, says friend
“Kim Jong-nam spent his last few years highly paranoid, hiding from the regime run by his dictator half-brother while struggling with a sense of powerlessness over the fate of his homeland, according to people who knew him…” (The Guardian)

British Muslim teacher denied entry to US on school trip
“A British Muslim schoolteacher travelling to New York last week as a member of a school party from south Wales was denied entry to the United States…” (The Guardian)

Shadier side to Trudeau’s sunny ways
“Justin Trudeau looks and sounds progressive, especially now that the world is turning to extreme or restrictive forms of nationalism. But he’s not what he seems…” (Le Monde diplomatique)

The candle revolution
“South Koreans have been demonstrating for more than three months against President Park. Following her suspension in December on corruption charges, they now want far-reaching change…” (Le Monde diplomatique)

No more two-state solution
“After Donald Trump took office, Israel announced the construction of 6,000 new settler homes. Now Trump has warned Binyamin Netanyahu such building ’may not be helpful’ for peace. Israel’s far right demands more than building: it wants to annex the Palestinian territories…” (Le Monde diplomatique)

Jet mid-air scare: 1 pilot slept, other on wrong frequency
“Satellite-based communication prevented the ‘incommunicado’ Jet Airways Mumbai-London flight with 330 passengers on board from getting into more trouble over German skies when it was intercepted by fighter jets+ last Thursday for not responding to air traffic control (ATC) calls. In fact, ‘alert’ crew of another Jet flight just ahead of this one came to the rescue of the out-of-reach crew of the flight from Mumbai (9W 118)…” (The Times of India)

Delhi police teach girls to fight trouble
“Delhi Police on Monday launched Sashakti, an initiative where girls would be trained in easy-to-learn-and-use self-defence techniques across the capital. Delhi Police aims to train over 1 lakh (100,000) girls and women under the programme…”(The Times of India)

Woman thrashes Odhav cop in public for indecent proposal
“In a massive embarrassment for the state police which is responsible for enforcing the recently tightened prohibition laws, assistant sub inspector Amrutji Khatuji of Odhav police station was publicly thrashed for teasing a woman while drunk. The cheering public shamed the ASI and encouraged the harassed woman, a vegetable vendor in Thakkarnagar, to slap the cop and drag him by his uniform on to the road…” (The Times of India)

 

Photo: By USAF [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Breaking News from around the world

BREAKING NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Woolly mammoth on verge of resurrection, scientists reveal
“The woolly mammoth vanished from the Earth 4,000 years ago, but now scientists say they are on the brink of resurrecting the ancient beast in a revised form, through an ambitious feat of genetic engineering…” (The Guardian)

Millions of premature births could be linked to air pollution, study finds
“Air pollution could be a contributing factor in millions of premature births around the world each year, a new report has found…” (The Guardian)

More than 70 killed in Isis suicide attack on Sufi shrine in Pakistan
“Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a bomb blast that killed at least 70 people and injured about 150 at a crowded shrine in southern Pakistan on Thursday…” (The Guardian)

Mark Zuckerberg pens major Facebook manifesto on how to burst the bubble
Mark Zuckerberg has written a long-winded riposte to criticisms of Facebook and growing anti-globalization sentiment. (The Guardian)

Last supermarket before Antarctica
“At the world’s end, where South America meets the stormy polar seas, cruise ship tourists are promised a wild and untouched land. Also a shopping mall in the free trade zone…” (Le Monde diplomatique)

Wannabe workshop to the world
“Vietnam is prospering but working conditions remain harsh. Business leaders hoped the Trans-Pacific Partnership would help make it an offshore manufacturing base to rival China. That may not happen…” (Le Monde diplomatique)

Passing through
“The US president’s executive order to build a massive wall along the border with Mexico brings to mind other such endeavours: among them, the 3,286 km long fence separating India from Bangladesh, the longest geopolitical barrier in the world…” (Le Monde diplomatique)

No more two-state solution
“After Donald Trump took office, Israel announced the construction of 6,000 new settler homes. Now Trump has warned Binyamin Netanyahu such building ’may not be helpful’ for peace. Israel’s far right demands more than building: it wants to annex the Palestinian territories…” (Le Monde diplomatique)
Photo: By Honymand (Own work) CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Paul Manafort implicated along with Flynn in Russian contacts

Will Vladimir Putin have buyer's remorse?

Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign manager and strategic advisor, who stepped down in favor of Kelly Ann Conway when his business interests began to catch up with him, is back in the spot light. This time, leaked U.S. intelligence sources have identified Manafort as one of a few top Trump aids in contact extensively with Russian operatives during the Presidential campaign.

This revelation comes on the heals of Michael Flynn’s dismissal as National Security Advisor, following his own controversy over speaking to the Russians, and apparently lying about it to the Administration. Manafort, a long-time Washington lobbyist and political advisor, has represented Russian interests in the Ukraine. But he categorically denies speaking with Russian representatives at all during the campaign. His story contradicts leaked U.S. intelligence information.

The growing scandal surrounding Russian contact with top-level Trump advisors angers Democrats, but doesn’t appear to significantly phase Republicans, despite the obvious national security concerns. Since the Russian government has been implicated in a hacking scandal of DNC e-mails, which were publicly released, to the detriment of Hillary Clinton during the election, the recent revelations are of great interest to journalists and concerned citizens alike.

But it’s important to note that intelligence sources don’t know what the content of these communications actually was, and linkage to the hacking scandal remains speculative. However, those concerned with the President’s role want to know what he knew, precisely, and when he knew it—-questions echoing those asked of Richard Nixon during the Watergate years.

So, we are left to wonder, what on earth is going on in the Trump White House? Is there a connection between the e-mail hacking scandal and calls between Top White House aids and the Russians? If so that would be a serious national security breech, and a major ethical violation. If not, then why would they place so many calls to a foreign power at the height of a domestic election? Is Manafort lying or telling the truth about his actions? If he’s lying, what is he trying to cover up? And exactly how much does President Trump know about these events and goings on?

Learn more about Paul Manafort’s role (CNN)

 

Photo:

Sean Spicer Press Conference over Michael Flynn resignation

Sean Spicer Press Conference over Michael Flynn resignation

Sean Spicer holds a press conference to discuss the resignation of Michael Flynn, President Trump’s National Security Adviser, who has an impressive resume, but has transgressed. Flynn secretly discussed sanctions with the Russians, but didn’t report his activities accurately to the administration. This has serious national security ramifications for the United States. His actions appear deceptive at best, from those looking on in from the outside, and may be criminal.

At first the republican controlled congress held its tongue, refusing to launch an investigation into the precise content of Flynn’s talk with Putin’s Russia, which outraged Democrats. It’s hard to imagine an apparent transgression like this in President Obama’s administration that wouldn’t have been met with harsh republican criticism and a full, official investigation by congress.

However, in an apparent change of heart, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that it’s “highly likely” the Senate will investigate Putin’s talks with Russia. Clearly a fair, thorough, bi partisan investigation is what’s called for to maintain the highest standards of government. Only the worst partisan hacks could disagree.

The press has many questions about how much President Trump knew, and when. Many believe Flynn’s actions violated the law. This is another scandal for the fledgling Trump administration, coming on the heals of numerous gaffs and failures spotlighted in the press over the last three weeks.

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