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Magnitude 3.7, 2.9 quakes rattle Oklahoma town early Sunday

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 17:34:32 UT

EDMOND, Okla. (AP) — The U.S. Geological Survey has recorded two earthquakes that struck near a central Oklahoma town. Both temblors hit just east of the Oklahoma City suburb of Edmond early Sunday. The first quake had a preliminary magnitude of 3.7 and struck at 2:12 a.m. The second quake, with a preliminary magnitude of 2.9, followed soon after, hitting at 2:20 a.m. There were no immediate reports of injury or severe damage. Thousands of quakes have struck Oklahoma in recent years, many linked to the underground injection of wastewater from oil and natural gas production. Researchers have also linked earthquakes in Kansas, Texas and other states to wastewater injection.



Air Force awards $50M contract to research cybersecurity

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 15:31:22 UT

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — The Air Force Research Laboratory has awarded a nearly $50 million contract to a defense contractor to research ways to protect weapons systems from cyberattacks. The Dayton Daily News reports that Colorado-based Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. will conduct the research at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in southwest Ohio. The contract is set to expire in 2023. Lt. Gen. John F. Thompson, former Air Force Life Cycle Management Center commander, has previously told the newspaper that addressing vulnerabilities in weapons systems is "paramount." ___ Information from: Dayton Daily News, http://www.daytondailynews.com



Fotis Kafatos, distinguished Greek biologist, dies at 77

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 18:47:13 UT

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Fotis Kafatos, a Greek molecular biologist who had a distinguished academic career in both the United States and Europe and became the founding president of the European Research Council, has died. He was 77. His family announced his death in Heraklion, Crete on Saturday "after a long illness." on Saturday. Born in Crete in 1940, Kafatos was known for his research on malaria and for sequencing the genome of the mosquito that transmits the disease. He was a professor at Harvard University during 1969-1994, where he also served as chairman of the Cellular and Developmental Biology Department, and at Imperial College in London since 2005.



Washington state delays Dungeness crab season

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 18:40:51 UT

SEATTLE (AP) — Officials in Washington state say they're delaying the start of Dungeness crab season by two weeks because of harmful algae. KING-TV reports (http://kng5.tv/2hAYDHh) that the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Friday that the opening of the season on Washington's coast is being moved from Dec. 1 to Dec. 16. Officials say the crabs contain domoic acid that can build up in crabs and is like poison for the brain for anyone who consumes the crabs. They say it can lead to short-term memory loss and even death. Officials also say the crabs are low in meat and need more time to grow. ___ Information from: KING-TV, http://www.king5.com/



New US weather satellite launched from California

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 18:06:58 UT

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — An advanced U.S. weather satellite designed to improve the accuracy of extended forecasts has been launched into polar orbit from California. The Joint Polar Satellite System-1 lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 1:47 a.m. PST Saturday atop a United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket. The satellite is the first of four next-generation spacecraft for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Circling the Earth from pole to pole 14 times a day, JPSS-1 carries a suite of five instruments intended to make global observations that will improve forecasts of severe weather events three to seven days beforehand.



Virginia becomes first to mandate computer science education

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 17:40:33 UT

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia has become the first state to adopt mandatory standards for computer-science education. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/2zLOnqh ) that the state Board of Education unanimously approved the new standards this week. Board member Anne Holton supported the standards but voiced concerns that the standards might be too ambitious, given that they must now be implemented across the board. While other states have advisory standards, Virginia is the first with mandatory standards. The board's vote follows legislation passed in 2016 requiring that computer-science education be integrated into the state's Standards of Learning. ___ Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.richmond.



100 full moons: Blazing fireball lights up Arctic sky

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 15:13:39 UT

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A blazing fireball lit up the dark skies of Arctic Finland for five seconds, giving off what scientists said was "the glow of 100 full moons" and igniting hurried attempts to find the reported meteorite. Finnish experts were scrambling to calculate its trajectory and find where it landed, according to Tomas Kohout of the University of Helsinki's physics department, who said Thursday night's fireball "seems to have been one of the brightest ones." It produced a blast wave that felt like an explosion about 6:40 p.m. and could also be seen in northern Norway and in Russia's Kola peninsula, he told The Associated Press on Saturday.



Germany bans children's smart watches with listening app

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 14:23:15 UT

BERLIN (AP) — German regulators have banned certain types of smartwatches marketed to children, saying the devices have been used to listen in on school classrooms and run afoul of Germany's surveillance restrictions. The Bundesnetzagentur, or Federal Network Agency, said in a statement issued Friday that watches that would allow parents to "listen unnoticed to a child's environment" constitute an unauthorized transmitting system. The agency said parents have been using watches marketed to children between the ages of 5 and 12 to monitor teachers. It didn't name specific brands, but advised schools to be on the lookout for such devices.



Bonn climate talks end with progress despite US stance

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 13:10:00 UT

BONN, Germany (AP) — As the first glimmer of dawn appeared across the Rhine River, delegates stumbled out of an all-night negotiating session at this year's global climate talks, expressing satisfaction Saturday at the progress made toward creating a comprehensive rule book for fighting global warming. The two-week meeting in Bonn, Germany, was billed as a "blue-collar" event designed to hammer out the technical details of the 2015 Paris climate accord. But fears had loomed large beforehand that the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, who rejects the Paris agreement, would seek to block any advances seen as counter to American interests. In the end, most agreed that U.S.



AP PHOTOS: Many Bosnian war victims still unidentified

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 11:01:39 UT

TUZLA, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — It's been 22 years since Bosnia's bloody 1992-95 war ended, yet the remains of numerous victims of genocide and war crimes still await identification. Forensic anthropologist Dragana Vucetic spends her working hours in a forensic facility in the northern town of Tuzla collecting DNA samples from the bones of people killed in eastern Bosnia during the war, including in the notorious 1995 Srebrenica massacre, and reassembling their skeletal remains. A U.N court will hand down its verdict Wednesday in the case against Ratko Mladic, who led Bosnian Serb forces in their quest to dismember Bosnia, carve out an "ethnically pure" Serb territory and unite it with neighboring Serbia.



Experts: Idaho hatchery built to save salmon is killing them

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 20:06:07 UT

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A relatively new $13.5 million hatchery intended to save Snake River sockeye salmon from extinction is instead killing thousands of fish before they ever get to the ocean, and fisheries biologists in Idaho think they know why. The Department of Fish and Game in information released this week says water chemistry at the Springfield Hatchery in eastern Idaho is so different from that in the central region that the young fish can't adjust when released into the wild. "It's not a disaster, it's part of what you experience when you open a new hatchery," Paul Kline, Fish and Game's assistant fisheries chief, said in a post on the agency's website.



Apple delays release of HomePod speaker until early 2018

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 19:48:35 UT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple is scrapping its plan to release its new internet-connected speaker in time for the holiday season. The delay announced Friday means Apple's HomePod speaker won't be available in the U.S., U.K. and Australia until early next year. Apple intended to release the $349 HomePod in early December so it could be on holiday shopping lists and compete against Amazon's Echo and the Google Home speaker. Apple now says it needs more time to perfect the speaker's technology. The company is touting the HomePod as a high-fidelity speaker programmed to learn people's tastes so it can become a digital disc jockey that can automatically play tunes that its listeners will like.



Tesla wants to electrify big trucks, adding to its ambitions

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 19:45:04 UT

DETROIT (AP) — After more than a decade of making cars and SUVs — and, more recently, solar panels — Tesla Inc. wants to electrify a new type of vehicle: big trucks. The company unveiled its new electric semitractor-trailer Thursday night near its design center in Hawthorne, California. CEO Elon Musk said the semi is capable of traveling 500 miles (804 kilometers) on an electric charge — even with a full 80,000-pound (36,287-kilogram) load — and will cost less than a diesel semi considering fuel savings, lower maintenance and other factors. Musk said customers can put down a $5,000 deposit for the semi now and production will begin in 2019.



20 years of changing seasons on Earth packed into 2½ minutes

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 19:39:10 UT

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA captured 20 years of changing seasons in a striking new global map of the home planet. The data visualization, released this week, shows Earth's fluctuations as seen from space. The polar ice caps and snow cover are shown ebbing and flowing with the seasons. The varying ocean shades of blue, green, red and purple depict the abundance — or lack — of undersea life. "It's like watching the Earth breathe. It's really remarkable," said NASA oceanographer Jeremy Werdell, who took part in the project. Two decades — from September 1997 to this past September — are crunched into 2 ½ minutes of viewing. Werdell finds the imagery mesmerizing.



UN panel agrees to move ahead with debate on 'killer robots'

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 17:59:00 UT

GENEVA (AP) — A U.N. panel agreed Friday to move ahead with talks to define and possibly set limits on weapons that can kill without human involvement, as human rights groups said governments are moving too slowly to keep up with advances in artificial intelligence that could put computers in control one day. Advocacy groups warned about the threats posed by such "killer robots" and aired a chilling video illustrating their possible uses on the sidelines of the first formal U.N. meeting of government experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems this week. More than 80 countries took part. Ambassador Amandeep Gill of India, who chaired the gathering, said participants plan to meet again in 2018.