Long Island is not only bracing for high winds and blizzard-like conditions, but also a storm surge and potential flooding from the approaching nor'easter.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture says it’s targeting the fourth quarter of 2022 for the first flight of its orbital-class New Glenn rocket — which marks a major schedule shift. The company had previously planned to conduct its first New Glenn launch from Florida by the end of this year, although it was becoming increasingly clear that timeline wouldn’t hold. In a blog posting, Blue Origin said its team “has been in contact with all of our customers to ensure this baseline meets their launch needs.” Blue Origin noted that the updated timeline follows the U.S. Space… Read More
- Popular Mechanics
Older doesn’t mean better.
The latest crop of NASA-backed concepts for far-out space exploration includes “borebots” that could drill as far as a mile beneath the Martian surface in search of liquid water, and a nuclear-powered spacecraft that could intercept interstellar objects as they zip through our solar system. Researchers in Washington state are behind both of those ideas. The borebots and the interstellar-object checker are among 16 proposals winning Phase I funding from the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program, or NIAC. For more than two decades, NIAC (which started out as the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts) has backed early-stage projects that could… Read More
Twenty years after the first human genome sequence was published, an international research team has kicked the sequencing game to the next level with a set of 64 reference genomes that reflect much higher resolution and more genetic diversity. Since the Human Genome Project completed the first draft of its reference genome, decoding the human genetic code has been transformed from a multibillion-dollar endeavor into a relatively inexpensive commercial service. However, commercial whole-genome sequencing, or WGS, often misses out on crucial variations that can make all the difference when it comes to an individual’s health. “As a metric, 75% of… Read More
- Popular Mechanics
Pictures just won’t do these places justice.From Popular Mechanics
The shapes of fossilized teeth from 65.9 million-year-old, squirrel-like creatures suggest that the branch of the tree of life that gave rise to us humans and other primates flowered while dinosaurs still walked the earth. That’s the claim coming from a team of 10 researchers across the U.S., including biologists at Seattle’s Burke Museum and the University of Washington. In a study published by Royal Society Open Science, the team lays out evidence that an ancient group of primates known as plesiadapiforms must have emerged before the mass-extinction event that killed off the dinosaurs. (Technically, modern-day birds are considered the… Read More
Stoke Space Technologies, the Renton, Wash.-based company founded by veterans of Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture, has attracted $9.1 million in seed investments for extending rocket reusability to new frontiers. The first goal will be to develop a new kind of reusable upper stage, Stoke co-founder and CEO Andy Lapsa said. “That’s the last domino to fall in the industry before reusability is commonplace,” Lapsa told GeekWire. “Even right now, I think space launch is in a production-limited paradigm.” Rocket reusability is the watchword, to be sure — not only at Blue Origin, where Lapsa was an award-winning rocket… Read More
- Popular Mechanics
Expert-tested essentials for hunting deer, elk, ducks, birds, and beyondFrom Popular Mechanics
- Popular Mechanics
Six-packs. For your six-pack. From Popular Mechanics
- Popular Mechanics
Prefer pen and paper to a smartphone or tablet? These smart notebooks will let you take notes the old-fashioned way and easily digitize them.From Popular Mechanics
- The Daily Beast
GettyPresident Biden’s Afghanistan negotiator has begun a diplomatic trip that will include the first meeting of the new administration with the Taliban, sources familiar confirmed to The Daily Beast.The State Department did not immediately provide comment on the agenda Zalmay Khalilzad is bringing to the Taliban, which belatedly resumed peace talks with the U.S. client Afghan government last week. Khalilzad will first travel to Kabul for meetings with an Afghanistan government whose viability in a post-American Afghanistan is an open question. He’ll also visit other crucial regional capitals.Khalilzad “will resume discussions on the way ahead with the Islamic Republic and Afghan leaders, Taliban representatives, and regional countries whose interests are best served by the achievement of a just and durable political settlement and permanent and comprehensive ceasefire,” a State Department official said.Khalilzad, who has been an Afghanistan envoy for three different presidents, arrives in the region at a pivotal time. Two months remain before the Doha Accord, the deal Khalilzad negotiated with the Taliban last year, requires a full U.S. troop withdrawal. There is enormous international speculation over whether Biden will abide by a deal that extricates the U.S. from a 20-year war it will not admit it has lost.She Helped Escalate an Endless War. Will She End It?“I find that leaving right now is more compelling than it’s ever been in the past,” said Carter Malkasian, who has advised the U.S. military in Afghanistan for more than a decade.Almost immediately upon entering office, Biden placed the Afghanistan deal, struck by the Trump administration, under review. It represents the first critical foreign-policy decision of his presidency. While the review is reportedly nearing its terminal phase, sources familiar with it or close to the administration have said nothing – only that it is not completed, a course of action has not been decided, and they consider the process rigorous.Biden, an opponent of escalation in Afghanistan when he was Barack Obama’s vice president, is under significant elite pressure to forestall a pullout stipulated for May 1. Both Democratic foreign-policy eminances and prestige think-tank panels have urged a delay. “Keeping U.S. troops beyond May while sustaining Doha is possible,” argued Lisa Curtis.Curtis was the senior Afghanistan official on Trump’s National Security Council. She’s a critic of what she calls the “flawed peace deal” Khalilzad negotiated at Trump’s behest, as the obligations it places on the United States—the withdrawal—are more specific than for the Taliban, which is supposed to stop Afghanistan from being a staging ground for international terrorism and enter a dialogue with the Afghanistan government to resolve the country’s political future. Negotiators like Khalilzad should “emphasize [Doha’s] sections on a comprehensive ceasefire and political roadmap,” Curtis said.But delaying the pullout risks blowing up the only diplomatic way out of Afghanistan. “If Biden tears up the agreement, he will own the consequences, and the consequences will not be good,” said Christopher Kolenda, a retired Army colonel who in 2017 and 2018 conducted preparatory diplomacy with the Taliban in Doha.Curtis, Kolenda and all other Afghanistan observers agree on a basic fact, if not its implications. The Taliban, which kept up attacks on Afghan forces after signing the U.S. accord, have put themselves in place for a massive offensive that the U.S., its allies and the Afghanistan government may not be able to repel. Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that the Taliban have closed in on several of Afghanistan’s major cities and control the vital roads to many of them. Whatever Doha envisioned for a Taliban-Afghanistan government path to reconciliation, this is not that. The Taliban, having functionally defeated the U.S. at war, now appear on the horizon of outright victory.“They’re in position for a major offensive. That offensive will include mass-casualty attacks on Americans if we miss the deadline,” said Barnett Rubin, another longtime Afghanistan adviser to the U.S. and the United Nations. “They might be prepared to extend, but if we unilaterally say we’re not satisfied with you so we’re not leaving, that’s what they’ll do. And the muscle memory of the U.S. government is to do that.”Kolenda and other longtime Afghanistan observers argue that attempting to defer the pullout will have precisely the violent effect that Curtis and her side argues will follow the pullout. The Taliban, they argue, would likely see that the U.S. cannot be trusted to keep its word—friction between Washington and Kabul in 2012 doomed an earlier peace process in its infancy—ending any hope of a negotiated end to the war, to say nothing of a secure departure for the remaining U.S. troop presence.“If you’re the Biden administration, would you rather depart as agreed in a safe, orderly manner while leaning into a peace process, or would you prefer the optics of C-17s screaming out of Bagram on the heels of a Taliban offensive like Saigon 1975?” Kolenda said. “I don’t hear the stay-forever crowd talking about the possibility of a humiliating exit.”Curtis acknowledged that the Taliban abandoning diplomacy and attacking U.S. troops again “is a risk.” But, she said, “What is our goal and our objective? We don’t want a terrorist safe haven to reemerge. It’s not just covering us for a safe exit.”Malkasian, more than most, has spent many years attempting to prevent the reemergence of such a safe haven. He sees the risk of a subsequent terrorist attack launched from Afghanistan soil as a “bearable” one— something now grimly proven by COVID-19. “For a good number of days in the winter, we were losing more people per day than we lost on 9/11,” he said. “That means leaving is a viable strategy.”While the review is closely held, the early indications out of the Biden administration and its allies have not suggested an intention to stick with the scheduled pullout.On February 12, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said among the issues the review will examine are “whether the Taliban are fulfilling their commitments relating to counterterrorism, reducing violence, engaging in meaningful negotiations with the Afghan Government and other stakeholders.” On February 19, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, after meeting with NATO allies, said he sought a “responsible and sustainable end to this war” rather than emphasizing the deal currently in place. This past week, Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), the Democratic chairman of the armed-services committee and a crucial White House ally, advocated for delaying withdrawal. A source described as familiar with the review told Vox that a full withdrawal is “off the table.”“I think the steps the president has taken, in terms of hinting that we might not pull the rest of our troops out on the 1st of May, is exactly right,” Bob Gates, the former Obama and George W. Bush defense secretary, told The Washington Post on Friday. “We may be in a position where we have to tell ourselves we will have an ongoing presence in Afghanistan for some period of time.”Rubin believes there is a way to sell the Taliban on a one-time troop extension of six months—something he acknowledges could backfire, but something he considers possible owing to the six-month delay between the February accord and the September commencement of pivotal Taliban-Afghan government negotiations, which have proceeded haltingly.The Taliban still want things from the U.S.-led coalition, Rubin pointed out, such as additional prisoner releases and the removal of sanctions placed on it not only by Washington but by the United Nations. Additionally, the administration can take advantage of recently energetic regional diplomacy, particularly by Russia, to accelerate the peace process. Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, pledged a “robust and regional diplomatic effort” in a call last month to his Afghan counterpart, but it has yet to publicly manifest.“If one tries to extend the timeline, it should be cast as ‘we’re fully intending to leave Afghanistan, we have this agreement, we want to see it’s fully met, and then we’re returning to a timeline for us to fully leave,’” urged Malkasian. “There is no peace in Afghanistan as long as we stay. We are a driver of violence. The Taliban is able to cast us as an occupying power and it drives them to fight us. That doesn’t mean all Afghans, it’s just enough to get a critical mass to fight. If we want a peace agreement, we have to be willing to leave Afghanistan.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet 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.
Prince Harry, who shocked Britain last year when he and his wife Meghan stepped back from royal duties, told U.S. interviewer Oprah Winfrey that he had worried about history repeating itself, according to excerpts released on Sunday. The CBS broadcast network released two brief clips from Winfrey's interview of the couple, which is scheduled to air on March 7. "My biggest concern was history repeating itself," Harry said, apparently referring to his mother Princess Diana, who was hounded by the British press and died at age 36 in a car crash in Paris after her divorce from Prince Charles.
Minneapolis approved funding to hire social media influencers to spread information about ex cop Derek Chauvin's trial
Minneapolis is hiring social media influencers to spread information about the trial of the cop, Derek Chauvin, who knelt on George Floyd's neck.
- The Telegraph
Germany urged to follow Britain’s vaccine strategy as regulators look set to approve AstraZeneca for over 65s
Germany was under pressure to change its Covid vaccination strategy on Sunday after the country's top vaccine regulator acknowledged that advice against giving the AstraZeneca jab to over 65s had been flawed. The announcement came as a term of German scientists called on the government to follow the UK in delaying second doses after a study showed it could save up to 15,000 lives. Thomas Mertens, the head of Germany’s Standing Committee on Vaccination (Stiko), said on Saturday that the country was likely to change its controversial guidelines against not to give the AstraZeneca vaccine to over 65s, saying errors had been made. Promising “a new, updated recommendation very soon”, Mertens said: “somehow the whole thing went very badly”. “We had the data that we had and based on this data we made the recommendation. But we never criticized the vaccine. We only criticised the fact that the data situation for the age group over 65 was not good or not sufficient,” he said on Germany’s ZDF news network.
- The Daily Beast
Twitter/Lady GagaLady Gaga’s two French bulldogs, stolen off the streets of Los Angeles Wednesday night, were found tied to a pole in an alley by a passerby who took them to a police station on Friday night, according to TMZ.The unidentified woman reportedly turned the animals in to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Olympic Community Police Station around 6 p.m., Capt. Jonathan Tippett told a local NBC outlet. Tippett said that the woman was “uninvolved and unassociated” with the dog thieves. No arrests have been made in the case. The canines were unharmed, and the singer’s representatives confirmed they were the right animals. Lady Gaga, who is currently in Rome, had offered a $500,000 reward for the canines’ return, “no questions.”TMZ reported Lady Gaga wept “tears of joy” upon receiving the news and sources told the outlet Gaga would “gladly” pay the $500,000 reward to the woman.Lady Gaga’s father, Joe Germanotta, told The Daily Beast on Saturday morning that the family is “extremely happy” with the news. “The phone rang last night, everybody was relieved and there were a lot of happy tears,” he said. Germanotta also thanked the LAPD, and the doctors and nurses who treated dog walker Ryan Fischer, who was shot once in the chest during the robbery. “That’s the most important thing, that Ryan is going to be okay,” he added. “Now, it’s about finding these guys.” Why Lady Gaga’s Dognapping Has Stumped Pet DetectivesMultiple assailants stole the animals from Lady Gaga’s dog walker as he took them for a walk Wednesday evening in Hollywood. They pulled up beside Fischer in a white Nissan Altima with four doors, surrounded him, and shot him in the chest before making off with two of the dogs, Koji and Gustav. A third, Asia, escaped and later made it back to Fischer. Fischer is in treatment and is expected to recover. The LAPD released a description of the two suspects in a Thursday night statement.The suspect who shot Fischer was described as a Black male, aged 20-25, with blond dreadlocks and wearing a black hoodie. He was armed with a semi-automatic handgun. The second man was described as a Black male, aged 20-25, wearing dark clothing.My beloved dogs Koji and Gustav were taken in Hollywood two nights ago. My heart is sick and I am praying my family will be whole again with an act of kindness. I will pay $500,000 for their safe return. Email KojiandGustav@gmail.com to contact us. pic.twitter.com/3NY9u7Mw2K— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) February 26, 2021 Read 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 Independent
Space experts believe object could have come from satellite or spacecraft
- The Daily Beast
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty ImagesBiden’s chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci hit back at South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s harsh criticism of him on Sunday, saying her comments about him at this weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) were “not very helpful” and “unfortunate.”Noem, who has received praise from conservatives for largely ignoring coronavirus restrictions and guidelines, got a standing ovation from the CPAC crowd when she boasted about ignoring the medical advice of experts and called out Fauci for supposedly being “wrong.” Appearing on CBS News’ Face the Nation, Fauci was asked if that sentiment was an impediment to the nation’s recovery.Kristi Noem Under Scrutiny for Using State Plane to Fly to NRA, Turning Points Meet-Ups“It’s unfortunate but it’s not really helpful because sometimes you think things are going well and just take a look at the numbers, they don’t lie,” he said. During an interview with Noem on the same program, anchor Margaret Brennan grilled the Republican governor and potential 2024 presidential candidate on her state’s poor performance with the deadly virus.“So for your state, you have, if you look at starting in July, which was after that spring peak, you have the highest death rate in cumulative COVID deaths per million in the country,” Brennan said, adding: “I know you’re conservative and you care about the sanctity of life. So how can you justify making decisions that put the health of your constituents at risk?”Noem, meanwhile, brushed off the question, instead telling Brennan that “those are questions that you should be asking every other governor in this country as well.”FAUCI REACTS: Dr. Anthony Fauci responds to @govkristinoem's criticism at #CPAC that the veteran medical expert is "wrong" on hospital capacity and #COVID19 caseloads: "It's unfortunate but it's not really helpful… just take a look at the numbers they don't lie." pic.twitter.com/y9Xz30lsr0— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) February 28, 2021 Read 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.
- Business Insider
Trump is expected to use his Florida speech to talk about the future of the Republican Party and the conservative movement.
Prosecutors ordered on Friday that the former director of Greece's National Theatre be remanded after hearing his plea over child rape allegations, his lawyer said. Authorities also launched an investigation into allegations that teachers were abusing students at a private school in Athens following a letter signed by nearly 300 alumni. Dimitris Lignadis, a prominent actor, resigned as head of the National Theatre this month and turned himself in on Saturday after an arrest warrant was issued following lawsuits filed against him by two men who say he raped them when they were minors.
- The Independent
Dana Smith said, ‘I couldn’t hold water down. At some point I started to throw up blood’