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Ice in the Arctic Ocean melted to its second lowest level on record this summer, triggered by global warming along with natural forces, U.S. scientists reported Monday. The extent of ice-covered ocean at the North Pole and extending further south to Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Russia reached its summertime low of 1.4 million square miles last week before starting to grow again. Arctic sea ice reaches its low point in September and its high in March after the winter.
Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law Friday a measure giving state regulators power to deny development permits to businesses whose operations pollute predominantly Black and other minority communities. Murphy, a Democrat, cast the legislation in sweeping terms, calling it historic and saying it amounted to a"monumental reform" that puts New Jersey at the forefront nationally of what is known as environmental justice legislation.
Flooding has affected well over a million people across East Africa, another calamity threatening food security on top of a historic locust outbreak and the coronavirus pandemic. The Nile River has hit its highest levels in a half-century under heavy seasonal rainfall, and large parts of Sudan, Ethiopia and South Sudan have been swamped amid worries about climate change.
Microsoft is buying the company behind popular video games The Elder Scrolls, Doom and Fallout. The software giant said Monday that it is paying $7.5 billion for ZeniMax Media, the parent company of video game publisher Bethesda Softworks.
About three quarters of the country’s movie theaters are open, but Americans are not going back in significant numbers in the COVID-era, even with new films coming into the marketplace weekly. The biggest movies continue to limp along. According to studio estimates Sunday, Warner Bros.’ “Tenet” earned $4.7 million in its third weekend from nearly 2,930 locations, Disney’s “The New Mutants” added $1.6 million in its fourth weekend, “Unhinged” brought in $1.3 million and Sony’s rom-com “The Broken Hearts Gallery” picked up an additional $800,000 in its second frame.
The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week to 860,000, a historically high number of people that illustrates the broad economic damage still taking place nine months after the first case of COVID-19 was detected in the U.S. The Labor Department said Thursday that U.S. jobless claims fell by 33,000 from the previous week and that 12.6 million are collecting traditional unemployment benefits, compared with just 1.7 million a year ago.
A humpback whale has found its way back to sea weeks after getting lost in a murky, crocodile-infested river in northern Australia, while an estimated 270 pilot whales became stranded in the country's south. There have been no previous recorded sightings of whales in remote East Alligator River in the Northern Territory's World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, and no one can explain why at least three of the blue water mammals ventured so deep inland in a river with little visibility.
With precision and boundless energy, a team of carpenters used medieval techniques to raise up — by hand — a three-ton oak truss Saturday in front of Notre Dame Cathedral, a replica of the wooden structures that were consumed in the landmark's devastating April 2019 fire that also toppled its spire. The demonstration to mark European Heritage Days gave the hundreds of people a first-hand look at the rustic methods used 800 years ago to build the triangular frames in the nave of Notre Dame de Paris.
Strong winds pushed a wildfire burning for nearly two weeks in mountains northeast of Los Angeles onto the desert floor and spread it rapidly in several directions, causing it to explode in size and destroy homes, officials said Saturday.
Two days after a federal judge ordered the U.S. Census Bureau to stop winding down 2020 census operations for the time being, the statistical agency said Tuesday in court papers that it's refraining from laying off some census takers and it's restoring some quality-control steps.
Big technology stocks tumbled again on Tuesday, continuing the Icarus-like flight path for companies that just a week ago were the high-flyers carrying Wall Street to record heights.
As lawmakers straggle back to Washington for an abbreviated pre-election session, hopes are dimming for another coronavirus relief bill — or much else.
"There were two things about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg I admired deeply. One was her relentless defense of abortion and reproductive rights, and the other was her excellent planking form in the gym. Balancing your body weight on your hands and feet for 30 to 60 seconds is a challenge at any age, let alone 80-plus years old," writes Carla Hall. "But, then, fighting for abortion rights and holding a plank draw on some of the same skills — tenacity and a willingness to push through fatigue."
"Each year, New York City releases data in an annual Mayor’s Management Report that’s supposed to account for how well city agencies are performing. This year, more than any in recent memory, that report helps us make sense of what’s happened and still happening to New York," writes Laura Nahmias. "The statistics form a snapshot of our collective anguish — a sense of the extraordinary breadth and scope of what we’ve lost to the coronavirus."
"Attorney General William Barr gave a perplexing speech last week about the relationship between politics and prosecutorial decisions at the Justice Department," writes Michael McGough. "Barr, remember, intervened to soften a sentencing recommendation by Justice Department prosecutors for Roger Stone, a confidant of President Donald Trump who was convicted of seven felony counts, including witness tampering and lying to Congress. He also moved to have a judge dismiss a charge against former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. That may look like politics infecting the administration of justice. But in the Bizarro World portrayed by Barr, some politicization of prosecutorial decisions is actually a good thing."
On a particularly hot day, when even the air conditioning can’t seem to keep you from breaking a sweat, your best bet may be to get out of the city. On hot days, air temperatures in a city can be as much as 22°F (12°C) hotter than the air in nearby, less developed areas. Scientists have come to call this the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect.
The exact origins of the first pickle are unknown, but archaeologists believe ancient Mesopotamians were pickling food as far back as 2400 B.C., over 4,000 years ago. From Queen Cleopatra, Napoleon Bonaparte, to the Little Rascals, a love for pickles has lasted the test of time.
New research indicates that air quality may have a significant impact on one’s likelihood of dying due to a COVID-19 infection.
Peggy Lehner, a Republican state senator in Ohio, doesn't sugarcoat what she has seen happen to support for President Donald Trump in her suburban Dayton district. "It hasn't ebbed. It's crashed," said Lehner, who is not seeking reelection in the district of working-class and white-collar communities the president won comfortably four years ago. "He is really doing poorly among independents."
President Donald Trump said Saturday he's given his "blessing" to a proposed deal that would see the popular video-sharing app TikTok partner with Oracle and Walmart and form a U.S. company. Trump has targeted Chinese-owned TikTok for national security and data privacy concerns in the latest flashpoint in the rising tensions between Washington and Beijing. The president's support for a deal comes just a day after the Commerce Department announced restrictions that if put in place could eventually make it nearly impossible for TikTok's legions of younger fans to use the app.
President Donald Trump on Saturday promised to put forth a female nominee in the coming week to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, pushing the Republican-controlled Senate to consider the pick without delay. Taking the stage at a North Carolina rally to chants of "Fill that seat," the president said he would nominate his selection despite Democrats' objections. And, after conducting what he joked was a "very scientific poll" of the Fayetteville crowd as to whether supporters wanted a man or a woman, he declared the choice would be "a very talented, very brilliant woman."
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