Newsworthy – Aug 16th, 2019

July was the hottest month ever on record, playing football affects players brains, hydrogen powered planes may reduce emissions, molestation victims in New York have one year to file lawsuits that had previously been barred by the statute of limitations.

These, and more, are the newsworthy stories from this past week.

Science and Environment

  • July was the hottest month measured on Earth since records began in 1880, NOAA reported. NOAA said July was 0.95°C (1.71°F) warmer than the 20th century average of 15.8°C (60.4°F).

    The finding is the latest in a long line of peaks that scientists say backs up predictions for man-made climate change.

    From AP
  • Scientists said they found tiny plastic particles in Arctic snow, indicating that microplastics are being sucked into the atmosphere and carried around the planet.

    From AP
  • New research shows that African wildfires supply the Amazon with vital nutrients.

    Winds blow nutrient-rich aerosol (such as phosphorus) from Africa that keep the Amazon Basin fertile.

    From ZME Science

Health and Society

  • The first chlamydia vaccine has passed a major test. A clinical trial for a vaccine against the sexually transmitted disease found that the product provoked an immune response.

    From Science News Magazine
  • Even without concussions, just one football season may damage players’ brains. Collisions in practices and games may be causing changes in white matter in the brain stem.

    From Science News Magazine
  • Many of the nation’s current pathologies are centered in the majority-white population of rural America, heavily hit by the opioid crisis and facing falling populations, job losses and rising suicide rates.

    From Axios

Business and Economics

  • ZeroAvia, a California-based startup, alleges that their hydrogen powered plane has a 500-mile range which might lead to massive reductions in aircraft emissions if the technology is applied at scale.

    From ZME Science
  • Facebook has been paying hundreds of outside contractors to transcribe clips of audio from users of its services. The company says it has paused human review of conversations.

    From Bloomberg
  • The housing market is booming—just not where you might expect. Small and midsize cities like Boise, Idaho, South Bend, Ind, Columbia, Mo, and Youngtown, Ohio, are on a sustained upswing, while a long rally in hot spots like the Bay Area and Seattle has run out of gas.

    From The Wall Street Journal

Politics and Government

  • President Trump, with varying degrees of seriousness, has repeatedly asked advisers whether the U.S. can buy Greenland, according to people familiar with the discussions, and listened with interest when they discussed its abundant resources and geopolitical importance.

    From The Wall Street Journal
  • The Trump administration announced that it would change the way the Endangered Species Act is applied, significantly weakening the nation’s bedrock conservation law.

    For the first time, regulators would be allowed to conduct economic assessments — for instance, estimating lost revenue from a prohibition on logging in a critical habitat — when deciding whether a species warrants protection.

    The changes would also make it more difficult for regulators to factor in the effects of climate change on wildlife when making those decisions because those threats tend to be decades away, not immediate.

    From The New York Times
  • The NRA promised $6.5 million to buy a mansion for its CEO Wayne LaPierre, renewing questions about the gun-rights group’s financial dealings.

    From The Wall Street Journal
  • Today marks the start of a one-year window in New York allowing molestation victims to file lawsuits that had previously been barred by the statute of limitations.

    The Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts, public school districts and hospitals are among the expected targets.

    From AP
  • Tens of thousands of Russians on Saturday flooded a broad boulevard in the Russian capital, calling for an end to political controls under President Vladimir Putin and decrying police violence in previous weeks.

    From The Wall Street Journal
  • Hong Kong protesters shut down the airport after a night of bloody clashes with police and dozens of arrests. Chinese authorities condemned weekend demonstrations as “the first signs of terrorism” in the semiautonomous city and vowed a merciless crackdown.

    Thousands of Chinese paramilitary police have moved into a sports stadium in Shenzhen, less than five miles from Hong Kong.

    From The Wall Street Journal

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