NASA delays Mars copter flight for tech check

  WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — NASA has delayed by at least several days the first flight of its mini-helicopter on Mars after a possible tech issue emerged while testing its rotors, the US space agency said Saturday. Ingenuity’s trip, which is to be the first-ever powered, controlled flight on another planet, was set for Sunday but is now on hold until at least April 14. A high-speed test of the four-pound (1.8 kilogram) helicopter’s […]

AstraZeneca jab clots link plausible but unconfirmed: WHO experts

  by Robin MILLARD Agence France Presse A link between AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 jabs and blood clots is plausible but unconfirmed, the World Health Organization’s vaccine experts said Wednesday, stressing that reported occurrences were “very rare”. The statement came after the EU’s EMA drug regulator said earlier in the day that blood clots should now be listed as a “very rare” side effect of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine. But the jab’s benefits continue to outweigh the […]

US promises ‘much more’ vaccine aid, puts envoy in charge

  WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — The United States will soon be able to ramp up vaccine assistance abroad and will not seek “favors in return,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday, putting a veteran aid administrator in charge. Blinken said the top US priority was to fight Covid-19 at home but that the goal would be achieved soon, pointing to President Joe Biden’s promise that 90 percent of Americans will be near a […]

EBC Films’ “Guerrero Dos” wins SoCal Film Award of Excellence for Best Feature film in the US

  (Eagle News) — EBC Films’ “Guerrero Dos: Tuloy ang Laban (The Fight Continues)” bagged the Award of Excellence for Best Feature film at this year’s SoCal Film awards in the United States. This is the film’s first win in a foreign filmfest.  It also came after “Guerrero Dos” became the Philippines’ official entry for Foreign Language Film at the 78th Golden Globe Awards. It also reached the official selection level at the 2020 Montreal […]

Past ice melts may have caused seas to rise 10 times faster than today: study

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Ice sheet melting at the end of the last ice age may have caused sea levels to rise at 10 times the current rate, a study published Thursday by a team led by scientists from Britain’s Durham University said. Based on geological records, the researchers estimate that oceans worldwide rose 3.6 metres per century over a 500-year period some 14,600 years ago. The findings raise a red flag about the […]

Russia registers ‘world’s first’ Covid vaccine for animals

  MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) — Russia announced Wednesday it had registered what it said was the world’s first coronavirus vaccine for animals, describing the step as important for disrupting virus mutations. It said mass production of the vaccine could begin in April. The agriculture oversight agency Rosselkhoznadzor said in a statement that the vaccine called Carnivak-Cov had been tested since October on dogs, cats, mink, foxes and other animals and was proven to be effective. […]

WHO experts give nod to China jabs, Sinovac and Sinopharm, boosting global vaccine drive

  by Nina Larson and Robin Millard, with AFP bureaus Agence France Presse GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — Two Chinese coronavirus jabs are safe and effective, WHO experts said Wednesday after reviewing partial data, providing a potential boost to countries from Australia to Europe struggling to roll out vaccines fast enough. Fewer than 600 million jabs have been given out across the world, three months after vaccination programmes began in earnest in Western countries and leaders […]

Comet ‘most pristine’ object from outer space seen in Solar System

    by Marlowe HOOD / Patrick GALEY Agence France Presse A newly observed interstellar comet is the most pristine visitor from outer space ever seen in our Solar System, according to a pair of studies released Tuesday detailing its unique characteristics. Pristine, in astronomical terms, describes a comet that has never passed close enough to a star to be transformed by its searing heat. 2I/Borisov was discovered in 2019 by Ukrainian astrophysicist Gennady Borisov […]

OPINION: Inequity and inequality in the time of Covid-19

By Dr. Ma. Angela Leonor Aguinaldo Contributor/ columnist   A few days ago the BBC made a startling revelation about the earnest efforts of developed nations such as the UK, US, and the European Union to block vaccine plans for developing countries.  As reported, although these richer nations are posturing themselves to be at the forefront of pushing for global solutions to the worldwide pandemic, in truth there is a conscious and massive effort to […]

Global leaders push for pandemic preparedness treaty

  by Robin MILLARD Agence France Presse GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — World leaders pushed Tuesday for a new international treaty to prepare for the next global pandemic — and avoid the unseemly scramble for vaccines hampering the Covid-19 response. Leaders from 25 countries, the European Union and the World Health Organization (WHO) sought to get the ground rules down in writing to streamline and speed up the reaction to future global outbreaks. The treaty would […]

A ‘starter kit’ for supermassive black holes?

by Marlowe HOOD PARIS, France (AFP) — Scientists have reported the discovery of a rare, medium-sized black hole that may help answer one of the more tantalising questions in astronomy: how do their supermassive counterparts come into being? There are two well-known sizes of black hole — at one end, so-called stellar-class ones which are typically three to ten times the mass of our Sun — and at the other, supermassive ones, found at the […]

Cities worldwide dim lights to mark Earth Hour

  By Agence France Presse From Singapore to Buenos Aires, cities around the world turned off their lights Saturday to mark Earth Hour, with this year’s event highlighting the link between the destruction of nature and increasing outbreaks of diseases like Covid-19. After starting in Asia, the call to action on climate change made its way around a planet reeling from the coronavirus pandemic. As the day came to an end, it was the turn […]