Life

WHO says DRC Ebola outbreak not a ‘global’ emergency

By Ben Simon Agence France-Presse GENEVA, SWITZERLAND —  (AFP) The World Health Organization said Friday that the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo does not qualify as an international threat, despite the spread of the virus to neighbouring Uganda carried by an infected family. The closely-watched decision followed advice from WHO’s emergency committee, which only meets to review the world’s most severe outbreaks. The head of the UN health agency Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who is in […]

Encephalitis from lychees kills 31 children in India: official

PATNA, India (AFP) — At least 31 children have died in northern India in the last 10 days from a deadly brain disease believed linked to a toxic substance found in lychee fruit, health officials said Wednesday. The deaths were reported from two hospitals in Bihar state’s Muzaffarpur district, famed for it lush lychee orchards, officials said. The children all showed symptoms of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), senior health official Ashok Kumar Singh told AFP, […]

Uber eyes drones for food delivery, unveils new autonomous car

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Uber said Wednesday it plans to speed up restaurant meal delivery by using drones for its Uber Eats service, in the latest effort by the ride-hailing giant to disrupt the transport sector. At its Uber Elevate Summit, the company said it had regulatory approval to begin tests of delivering food by drone in the region of San Diego, California. “Our goal is to expand Uber Eats drone delivery so we […]

Hunting for black holes

Videographic locating the global network of telescopes involved in the observation of the most powerful known forces in the universe: black holes. Scientists on Thursday unveiled the most detailed simulation of a black hole yet, solving a mystery dating back more than four decades over how the star-devouring monsters consume matter. Marian Henbest / AFP Videographics / AFP

Do you consume a credit card’s worth of plastic every week?

by Marlowe HOOD Agence France Presse Paris, France (AFP) — People worldwide could be ingesting five grammes of microscopic plastic particles every week, equivalent in weight to a credit card, researchers said Wednesday. Coming mostly from tap and especially bottled water, nearly invisible bits of polymer were also found in shellfish, beer and salt, scientists and the University of Newcastle in Australia reported. The findings, drawn from 52 peer-reviewed studies, are the first to estimate […]

Solo, yet tutti: App puts orchestra in your living room

Aix-en-Provence, France (AFP) – It’s a musician’s dream — rehearse alongside a full orchestra, but in your own living room. And the immersive experience is possible because, yes, there’s an app for that, courtesy of a French start-up, Digital Music Solutions. “NomadPlay” is all down to an algorithm which separates out the sound components of a score to remove any instrument as desired, fading out an oboe or piano part for instance, and allowing the […]

Canada to ban single-use plastics from 2021

by Jacques LEMIEUX MONTREAL, Canada (AFP) —  Canada will ban single-use plastics from 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Monday, declaring it a “global challenge” to phase out the plastic bags, straws and cutlery clogging the world’s oceans. “I am very pleased to announce that as early as 2021, Canada will ban harmful, single-use plastics from coast to coast,” Trudeau said, arguing Canada has a unique chance to lead the fight against plastic pollution as […]

Media group study finds Google makes billions from news

  WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Google took in some $4.7 billion in revenue in 2018 from “crawling and scraping” news websites without paying publishers, according to an industry-sponsored study released Monday which was disputed by the tech giant and media analysts. The study by the News Media Alliance underscores industry arguments about Google and other online giants harming traditional news organizations by dominating the internet news ecosystem and ad revenues generated through it. According […]

Former Red Sox star David Ortiz shot in ambush at Dominican Republic bar

  SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — Former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was ambushed by a man who got off a motorcycle and shot him in the back at close range Sunday night in his native Dominican Republic, authorities said. Dominican National Police Director Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte said Ortiz was at the Dial Bar and Lounge in Santo Domingo around 8:50 p.m. when the gunman approached from behind and shot him. Ortiz […]

Microsoft gives glimpse of new Xbox console

by Glenn CHAPMAN LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Microsoft on Sunday gave the world a first glimpse of a powerful next-generation Xbox gaming console that it aims to release late next year. Xbox head Phil Spencer pulled back the curtain on “Project Scarlett,” the creation of a successor to the Xbox One that will give game makers “the power they need to bring their creative visions to life.” No pricing plans for the new […]

NASA to open International Space Station to tourists from 2020

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — NASA said Friday it will open up the International Space Station to business ventures including space tourism as it seeks to financially disengage from the orbiting research lab. Price tag? Tens of millions of dollars for a round trip ticket and $35,000 a night. “NASA is opening the International Space Station to commercial opportunities and marketing these opportunities as we’ve never done before,” NASA chief financial officer Jeff DeWit […]

NASA to open International Space Station to tourists from 2020

  NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — NASA said Friday it will open up the International Space Station to business ventures including space tourism as it seeks to financially disengage from the orbiting research lab. Price tag? Tens of millions of dollars for a round trip ticket and $35,000 a night. “NASA is opening the International Space Station to commercial opportunities and marketing these opportunities as we’ve never done before,” NASA chief financial officer Jeff […]