By Will Dunham and Scott Malone WASHINGTON/CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Reuters) - Scientists for the first time have detected gravitational waves, ripples in space and time hypothesized by Albert Einstein a century ago, in a landmark discovery announced on Thursday that opens a new window for studying the cosmos. The researchers said they identified gravitational waves coming from two distant black holes - extraordinarily dense objects whose existence also was foreseen by Einstein - that orbited one another, spiraled inward and smashed together at high speed to form a single, larger black hole. The waves were unleashed by the collision of the black holes, one of them 29 times the mass of the sun and the other 36 times the solar mass, located 1.3 billion light years from Earth, the researchers said. "Ladies and gentlemen, we have detected gravitational waves. We did it," said California Institute of Technology physicist David Reitze, triggering applause at a packed news conference in Washington. "It's been a very long road, but this is just the beginning," Louisiana State University physicist Gabriela Gonzalez told the news conference, hailing the discovery as opening a new era in astronomy. The scientific milestone was achieved using a pair of giant laser detectors in the United States, located in Louisiana and Washington state, capping a decades-long quest to find these waves. "The colliding black holes that produced these gravitational waves created a violent storm in the fabric of space and time, a storm in which time speeded up, and slowed down, and speeded up again, a storm in which the shape of space was bent in this way and that way," Caltech physicist Kip Thorne said. The scientists first detected the waves last Sept. 14. The two instruments, working in unison, are called the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). They detected remarkably small vibrations from the gravitational waves as they passed through the Earth. The scientists converted the wave signal into audio waves and listened to the sounds of the black holes merging. At the news conference, they played an audio recording of this: a low rumbling pierced by chirps. "We're actually hearing them go thump in the night," Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicist Matthew Evans said. "There's a very visceral connection to this observation." 'A NEW SENSE' "We are really witnessing the opening of a new tool for doing astronomy," MIT astrophysicist Nergis Mavalvala said in an interview. "We have turned on a new sense. We have been able to see and now we will be able to hear as well." While opening a door to new ways to observe the universe, scientists said gravitational waves should help them gain knowledge about enigmatic objects like black holes and neutron stars. The waves also may provide insight into the mysterious nature of the very early universe. The scientists said that because gravitational waves are so radically different from electromagnetic waves they expect them to reveal big surprises about the universe. Everything we knew until now about the cosmos stemmed from electromagnetic waves such as radio waves, visible light, infrared light, X-rays and gamma rays. Because such waves encounter interference as they travel across the universe, they can tell only part of the story. Gravitational waves experience no such barriers, meaning they offer a wealth of additional information. Black holes, for example, do not emit light, radio waves and the like, but can be studied via gravitational waves. Einstein in 1916 proposed the existence of gravitational waves as an outgrowth of his ground-breaking general theory of relativity, which depicted gravity as a distortion of space and time triggered by the presence of matter. Until now scientists had found only indirect evidence of their existence, beginning in the 1970s. Scientists sounded positively giddy over the discovery. "This is the holy grail of science," said Rochester Institute of Technology astrophysicist Carlos Lousto. "The last time anything like this happened was in 1888 when Heinrich Hertz detected the radio waves that had been predicted by James Clerk Maxwell’s field-equations of electromagnetism in 1865," added Durham University physicist Tom McLeish. Abhay Ashtekar, director of Penn State University's Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos, said heavy celestial objects bend space and time but because of the relative weakness of the gravitational force the effect is miniscule except from massive and dense bodies like black holes and neutron stars. A black hole is a region of space so packed with matter that not even photons of light can escape the force of gravity. Neutron stars are small, about the size of a city, but are extremely heavy, the compact remains of a larger star that died in a supernova explosion. The National Science Foundation, an independent agency of the U.S. government, provided about $1.1 billion in funding for the research over 40 years. (Reporting by Will Dunham in Washington, Irene Klotz in Cape Canaveral, Florida, and Scott Malone in Cambridge, Mass.; Editing by Tom Brown)
- Yahoo News
One of President-elect Joe Biden’s first acts after being sworn in on Jan. 20 will be to rejoin the Paris climate agreement.
- NBC News
The Bond Fire started with flames at one home, before it reached nearby vegetation and spread out of control.
- Associated Press
The leader of a pro-gun group that stages armed protests against police violence has been charged with pointing a rifle at federal officers while in Kentucky for a demonstration. John F. Johnson, who calls himself “Grandmaster Jay,” is facing a federal charge of assaulting task force officers. A complaint filed in federal court in Louisville said Johnson pointed a rifle, which had a flashlight mounted to it, at officers who were on a roof in downtown Louisville on Sept. 4.
- The Week
Florida attorney reportedly under investigation after telling Republicans to change 'your address for the next 2 months' for Georgia runoffs
A Florida attorney is reportedly under investigation after trying to register to vote in Georgia ahead of the January runoff election and encouraging other Republicans to change "your address for the next two months" so they can vote in the state as well, WSB-TV reports.Attorney Bill Price in a Facebook video that has since been deleted was reportedly seen speaking to members of the Bay County GOP in Florida last month, saying "we have to do whatever it takes" to "hold the Senate" and that he's "moving to Georgia" for the January runoff."And if that means changing your address for the next two months, so be it," Price says. "I'm doing that. I'm moving to Georgia and I'm gonna fight and I want you all to fight with me."Price reportedly says in the video he's "moving to my brother's house in Hiram, Georgia and I'm registering to vote." Then, he reportedly tells the Florida Republicans his brother's name and his address, and when a woman asks if they "can truly register at that address," he reportedly responds, "Sure."Georgia's office of Secretary of State told Fox News that "registering without the intention of permanent residency is a felony," as "only permanent residents are eligible to vote in Georgia." According to Fox, Price says in the video he will "move back to Florida on Jan. 6." Price told WSB-TV these were just "humorous comments" and that he "did not change my voter registration." But according to the report, he did register to vote using his brother's Georgia address the day after he made the remarks, and he's now under investigation. Price admitted to Fox News that he filled out the voter registration but claimed, "I wanted to see how easy it was to do it. I'm not actually moving to Georgia. I was joking." Read more at WSB-TV. > "If that means changing your address for the next two months,so be it.I'm doing that. I'm moving to Georgia."Our 6 investigation reveals deleted video-a FL attorney telling GOP members how to move to GA,vote in runoffs. It's illegal.There's more,& an investigation @wsbtv gapol pic.twitter.com/or2PgWQrT1> > -- Nicole Carr (@NicoleCarrWSB) December 2, 2020More stories from theweek.com 5 absurdly funny cartoons about Trump's desperate fraud claims Trump reportedly derailed a GOP meeting about the Georgia Senate runoffs by praising QAnon California imposes regional stay-at-home order so hospital system doesn't become 'overwhelmed'
- The Telegraph
Former US president Bill Clinton did visit Jeffrey Epstein's infamous private island despite his claims to the contrary, his former associate has claimed. Doug Band, who worked for Mr Clinton for around two decades, claimed the former president flew on Epstein's jet dozens of times and visited the convicted sex offender's private Carribean island in January 2003. Although ignorant of Epstein's crimes at the time, Mr Band claimed in an interview with Vanity Fair that he attempted to keep his boss away from the financier after a 2002 trip to Africa. Mr Band told the magazine the trip had left him with a bad impression of Epstein and he advised Mr Clinton to end his relationship with the multimillionaire financier. The two men were friends in the 2000s, with Mr Clinton taking several trips on Epstein’s private jet, which has come to be known as the "Lolita express" after it was alleged that the financier used the jet to traffic underage girls between his various properties.
- The Daily Beast
Earlier this week, Project Veritas released the first of what it promised would be many shocking revelations from CNN’s internal editorial meetings, which founder James O’Keefe appears to have infiltrated and recorded over the course of several weeks.First, the right-wing group tried to make hay out of the fact that one high-level CNN staffer considered Fox News host Tucker Carlson to be racist—while simultaneously misidentifying the staffer in question. Their latest bombshell? CNN President Jeff Zucker thinks Rudy Giuliani is “crazy.”According to Project Veritas’ website, O’Keefe believes it will be “virtually impossible for the American public to take CNN’s reporting seriously after listening to these tapes.” And yet, once again, nothing that Zucker has said should surprise anyone who has been paying attention to Giuliani, especially in the weeks since Trump lost the presidential election to Joe Biden.“There is a term for what Rudy Giuliani is suspected of being, which is ‘useful idiot,’” a voice identified as Zucker’s can be heard saying in a tape made just a couple of days after the man formerly known as “America’s mayor” started pushing material supposedly obtained from Hunter Biden’s laptop.He goes on to call Giuliani’s efforts to undermine the election a “really important story,” adding, “It gets tied to the Hunter Biden email disinformation campaign. That’s the way we do this, because it’s all tied and part-and-parcel of one. I know Washington is working on putting that all together.”In a more recent call, when another staff member suggests that the “real craziness is the client,” referring to President Trump, “not the lawyers,” the voice ID’d as Zucker agrees before saying, “I think you raise a good point about not just pawning it off on the crazy legal team, but the client is the one who is directing the crazy legal team.”Other comments from Zucker that seem to have outraged Project Veritas concern the baseless allegations of pedophilia against Biden that circulated online, especially among QAnon Facebook groups, in the run-up to the election.“The president of the United States has just retweeted a post accusing Joe Biden of being a pedophile to his 86 million followers which is just beyond,” he says on another tape. “You know it also is just unacceptable that the president of the United States is trafficking in this and doing it.”Once again, an exposé intended to make Zucker and CNN look bad has only revealed that they are simply adhering to reality.Project Veritas’ CNN Sting Uncovers Explosive News That Tucker Carlson Is RacistRead more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
The Atlantic Fleet will confront the Russian navy, which has been "deploying closer and closer to our East Coast."
U.S. House of Representatives Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Thursday he is more optimistic that a coronavirus relief bill can get done in Congress now that the national election is over. "The election is over so I'm more optimistic now that we can get something done," McCarthy, whose party is in the minority in the House, told reporters. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is also a Republican, said earlier Thursday said there was some positive movement in efforts to reach a compromise.
- Associated Press
Connecticut police arrested two men and seized an estimated $15 million in marijuana after discovering a storage facility was being used illegally as a hub for pot distribution in the Northeast, authorities said Thursday. West Haven police said local officers and agents with the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration found 1,700 pounds (770 kilograms) of marijuana on Wednesday when they stopped a U-Haul truck while investigating what they called an international marijuana trafficking operation. “The investigation revealed that individuals were utilizing a storage facility in West Haven as a hub to distribute large quantities of marijuana throughout the tri-state area,” West Haven police said in a statement, referring to the area that includes Connecticut, New York and New Jersey.
- The Week
The Wisconsin Supreme Court declined to hear a case from President Trump's legal team that seeks to challenge the state's presidential election results, The Washington Post reports.On Thursday, the court ruled that Trump's team should have taken up the matter with a lower court. The ruling is yet another blow to Trump's longshot effort to overturn his election loss in several states; he has claimed voter fraud led to President-elect Joe Biden's victory, but there is no evidence of widespread fraud.Trump lost to Biden in Wisconsin by more than 20,000 votes. The campaign alleges that Wisconsin election officials improperly accepted thousands of ballots in two of the state's most Democratic counties. Read more at The Washington Post.More stories from theweek.com Florida attorney reportedly under investigation after telling Republicans to change 'your address for the next 2 months' for Georgia runoffs 5 absurdly funny cartoons about Trump's desperate fraud claims Trump reportedly derailed a GOP meeting about the Georgia Senate runoffs by praising QAnon
- USA TODAY
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been a top official dealing with the pandemic.
- The Telegraph
Indian police arrest Muslim man under 'love jihad' law for allegedly attempting to convert Hindu woman to Islam
A Muslim man has been arrested under a controversial anti-Muslim "love jihad" law in India after a Hindu father accused him of harassing his daughter to convert to Islam and marry him. The man was arrested on Thursday from his village in Uttar Pradesh state, under the new legislation approved five days earlier. In his complaint the woman's father claimed that three years ago the man had ‘harassed’ his teenage daughter, with whom he went to high school, pressuring to convert to Islam by offering her ‘allurements’ in order to marry him. He claims the man had threatened to kidnap his daughter if she refused. Police said the father, who strongly objected to his daughters association with a Muslim man, had similarly accused the man at the time of kidnapping his daughter, but the case was closed after the girl was found and denied having been abducted. Local media reports indicated that the two were in a relationship, but this has not been confirmed. The woman, who has not been named, married someone else in June, but in his complaint after the approval of the ‘love jihad’ law last week, her father claimed the man continued pursuing and harassing her. Under the law, which carries a 10-year sentence and a £500 fine, all marriages between Muslims and Hindus can be annulled if it is proved the woman had converted solely for that purpose. Hindu women who want to change their religion to Islam after marriage need to apply to the local district authorities for permission to do so. The law was passed by the ruling Hindu fundamentalist Bharatiya Janata Party, the BJP, which believes that Muslim men have launched a "love jihad" to turn Hindu women Muslim, which would dilute India’s Hindu majority. Hindu’s constitute around 80 per cent of India's population of 1.3 billion, while Muslims comprise around 15 per cent. Over the past six years in power, the BJP has increased its political and electoral support across India, primarily by portraying Muslims as the ‘enemy’ poised to ‘dominate’ Hindus. Opposition parties and critics have called the ‘love jihad’ legislation ‘regressive’ and accused the BJP of normalising anti-Muslim sentiment, charges the nationalist have ignored. In October, a leading Indian jewellery brand was withdrawn by its manufacturer after one of its advertisements featuring an inter-faith Hindu-Muslim family was viciously trolled online by BJP supporters. Senior BJP ministers accused Netflix of the same in a scene in The Suitable Boy television series, in which a Hindu woman kisses a Muslim man. Senior BJP leaders are demanding legal action against the producer and director of the series for this ‘outrage’. In the meantime, other than Uttar Pradesh at least four other Indian states, all ruled by the BJP, are readying to pass identical ‘love jihad’ legislation.
- Yahoo News Video
China on Thursday accused critics in the U.S. government of “an escalation of political suppression” against Beijing following a report of new visa restrictions on members of China’s ruling Communist Party and their immediate family members.
- Associated Press
The official serving as President Donald Trump’s eyes and ears at the Justice Department has been banned from the building after trying to pressure staffers to give up sensitive information about election fraud and other matters she could relay to the White House, three people familiar with the matter tell The Associated Press. Heidi Stirrup, an ally of top Trump adviser Stephen Miller, was quietly installed at the Justice Department as a White House liaison a few months ago.
Man, 41, had no teeth and could barely speak after his mother locked him in their suburban apartment for 28 years, say reports
A 70-year-old Swedish woman has been arrested for imprisoning her son in her Stockholm flat. He was found by a relative covered in wounds and pus.
- Architectural Digest
From a private island to a tiny Vermont tree houseOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- CBS News
In an unsigned order with no noted dissents, the Supreme Court said a federal district court must revisit an earlier ruling against the church.
- The Telegraph
France to investigate 76 mosques suspected of 'separatism' in 'unprecedented' crackdown on Islamist extremists
France’s embattled interior minister on Thursday announced raids on dozens of mosques suspected of Islamist extremism following Emmanuel Macron’s pledge to fight “separatism” in the wake of terror attacks. Gérald Darmanin said 76 mosques out of the more than 2,600 Muslim places of worship had been flagged as possible threats to French Republican values and its security. Any mosque found to be fomenting extremism would be closed down, he added. Eighteen of the 76 are in the Paris area and 18 face imminent closure, according to reports. The first swoops were due on Thursday afternoon. "There are in some concentrated areas places of worship which are clearly anti-Republican (where) imams are followed by the intelligence services and where the discourse runs counter to our values,” Mr Darminin told RL radio. Investigators will probe the mosques' funding and the background of imams deemed suspicious. The Right-wing minister insisted the relatively small number of mosques targeted showed that "we are far from a situation of widespread radicalisation". "Nearly all Muslims in France respect the laws of the Republic and are hurt by that (radicalisation)," he said.
- The Week
A team of Trump-adjacent lawyers are turning on the electoral process as a whole.Sidney Powell, a former lawyer for the Trump campaign who has since been disavowed, and high-profile lawyer Lin Wood, along with a bunch of other people falsely alleging the whole 2020 election was rigged, gathered Wednesday in Georgia for a so-called "Stop the Steal" rally. There, they brought up some old favorite Trump rally chants and election conspiracy theories, though with a decidedly non-GOP-approved twist.With Trump campaign flags flying, the scantily masked crowd was reminiscent of a rally for the outgoing president. But the "lock him up" chants at this rally were actually targeted at Brian Kemp, Georgia's Republican governor. Wood initiated the chants, calling for a protest outside Kemp's house and his resignation because he hasn't moved to overturn President-elect Joe Biden's win in the state.Powell added to that, calling for ballots that are signed and marked with a thumbprint -- an idea that doesn't jibe with the secret ballots mandated in Georgia and most of the U.S. "I would encourage all Georgians to make it known that you will not vote at all unless your vote is secure," Powell added, essentially advocating for a boycott of the January runoffs that will decide control of the Senate. And when Rep. Vernon Jones (R-Ga.) tried to butt in and encourage people to turn out, Wood jumped back in, telling everyone to stay home until Trump is given the win and even suggesting Trump should split from the GOP altogether.If all that wasn't enough, someone brought a literal pitchfork to the event. > Someone at the rally literally carrying a pitchfork. pic.twitter.com/y4lteN9Xwn> > -- Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) December 2, 2020More stories from theweek.com Florida attorney reportedly under investigation after telling Republicans to change 'your address for the next 2 months' for Georgia runoffs 5 absurdly funny cartoons about Trump's desperate fraud claims Trump reportedly derailed a GOP meeting about the Georgia Senate runoffs by praising QAnon
- The Independent
When first lady Melania Trump revealed the Christmas decorations for her last holiday season in the White House, one aspect that stood out was a room dedicated to the Kennedys. The Vermeil Room on the ground floor of the executive mansion features a collection of 1,600 display pieces of silver-gilt tableware, and this year holiday decorations were themed on president John F Kennedy and first lady Jackie.