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Preview: Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Science Health & Science News From the Associated Press


At least 43,000 homeless after Aceh quake in Indonesia

Sat, 10 Dec 2016 04:13:32 UT

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — At least 43,000 people have been displaced by the powerful earthquake that hit Indonesia's Aceh province, authorities said Saturday, as the government and aid agencies pooled efforts to meet the basic survival needs of shaken communities. The estimate of the number of homeless people continues to grow while relief efforts fan out across the three districts near the epicenter of Wednesday's magnitude 6.5 quake, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency said in a statement

China opens investigation into slaughter of rare sea turtle

Sat, 10 Dec 2016 03:35:12 UT

The case grew to national prominence after cellphone video circulated showing the 200-kilogram (440-pound) turtle being sliced into pieces and sold to eager villagers in a fishing village in the southern province of Guangdong. China's growing animal rights movement has sought to raise awareness of abuses ranging from the slaughter of canines for an annual dog meat festival in a southern city to the farming of bears milked for their bile to be used in traditional Chinese medicine.

John Glenn, astronaut and senator, to lie in state in Ohio

Sat, 10 Dec 2016 01:17:50 UT

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — John Glenn will lie in state in Ohio's capitol building before a celebration of his life of military and government service and two history-making voyages into space. The public viewing at the Ohio Statehouse and a memorial service at Ohio State University's Mershon Auditorium are planned for late next week. Democratic President Barack Obama on Friday ordered flags at federal buildings and on ships around the world flown at half-staff until sunset on the day of Glenn's internment. [...] just as important as what John Glenn accomplished is how he accomplished it: with a combination of fierce determination and profound humility, and always with integrity. Glenn was a fighter pilot in World War II and Korea and served on the Senate Armed Services Committee, among other Washington service. Char Lyn Grujoski, of Connersville, Indiana, stopped in after spotting a roadside sign for the museum while driving home from Pittsburgh and listening to a radio report on Glenn.

Sources: Google to give Cubans faster access to content

Sat, 10 Dec 2016 01:04:53 UT

HAVANA (AP) — Google and the Cuban government have struck a deal giving Cubans faster access to the internet giant's content, two people familiar with the agreement said Friday. The U.S. and Cuba have struck a series of bilateral deals on issues ranging from environmental protection to direct mail since the declaration of detente on Dec. 17, 2014, but business ties have failed to keep pace. If the Google deal proves to truly improve internet access for a significant number of Cubans, it ties information access to U.S.-Cuban detente in a way that could prove politically difficult to undo for anti-Castro officials in the incoming Trump administration. Neither was it clear how much faster Cuban users would be able to see Google content — home internet connections remain illegal for virtually all Cubans, forcing them to use public WiFi spots that are often shared by dozens of people at a time and run at achingly slow speeds.

4 more Zika cases, likely homegrown, found in Texas

Sat, 10 Dec 2016 00:16:21 UT

Dr. John Hellerstedt, the state health commissioner, said colder weather and mosquito-control efforts have decreased mosquito activity in the area, but he warned that South Texas' mild winters mean mosquito populations can quickly rebound during short periods of warmer weather. The locally transmitted Florida cases were detected over the summer. [...] all U.S. cases had been connected to people traveling to countries with outbreaks, mostly in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Could familial DNA crack case of slain New York City jogger?

Sat, 10 Dec 2016 00:12:03 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — With a DNA profile but no suspect to match in the strangling of a woman who went for a run and met a killer, authorities are looking to an emerging approach: using the DNA to look for the killer's relatives. A state commission voted Friday to review familial DNA searching and decide whether it should be used following a request from prosecutors and police yearning for a lead in the case of 30-year-old runner Karina Vetrano. [...] critics view the technique as a DNA dragnet that can single out otherwise law-abiding people for scrutiny because of family ties. After Vetrano's beaten body was found Aug. 2 in a marshy park in her quiet Queens neighborhood, investigators developed a DNA profile of the probable attacker from material under her fingernails and on her neck and phone, but it didn't match anyone in law enforcement DNA databases. Police chased down 85 tips, interviewed runners, looked for clues in Vetrano's personal life and examined surveillance video and panhandling reports from areas nearby. Concerns about familial DNA searching hit home for New Orleans filmmaker Michael Usry in 2014, when police showed up with a warrant to get his DNA as a possible suspect in a 1996 killing in Idaho.