Oof!!…that’s rough. First the Russians being banned from the Olympics and now this?
A dozen camels are disqualified from a beauty pageant at the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, near Riyadh, after reports in the media about injections with botox. A veterinarian is caught performing plastic surgery to make the camels more attractive. Rules prohibit to change the natural form of participating camels. (NPR)
The Case for Tesla
STEVE SAILER • JANUARY 23, 2018 • 400 WORDS
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According to the Bloomberg’s data, cryptocurrency miners used more than 37 gigawatt-hours a day – equivalent to 30 1.2-gigawatt nuclear reactors running at full capacity.
Digiconomist’s Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index says cryptocurrency mining could power 4,124,115 US households, and the energy consumed can be compared to Iraq’s electricity consumption.
Thursday, Jan 25, 2018
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says weak dollar is good for U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday that a weak dollar is good for the U.S., sending the dollar plunging in currency markets, The Associated Press reported. “Obviously a weaker dollar is good for us as it relates to trade and opportunities,” Mnuchin said while attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where he is to talk with U.S. trade partners and encourage investment from businesses. Mnuchin’s remarks, ahead of President Trump’s arrival in Davos, marked a break with a decades-long U.S. government commitment to a strong dollar. During his 2016 campaign and since, Trump has occasionally said he would like to see the dollar’s value fall so U.S. goods would become cheaper and exports would increase. But one economist told Politico rooting for a weak dollar was “playing with fire.” Source: The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal
Trump says he’s willing to testify under oath to Mueller President Trump said on Wednesday he is “looking forward” to speaking under oath with Special Counsel Robert Mueller as part of his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Speaking to reporters as he prepared to leave for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Trump also said the interview could come in “two or three weeks.” Shortly after Trump made the comments, his attorney, Ty Cobb, told The New York Times Trump was speaking “hurriedly” and just meant to say he would meet with the special counsel. The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Mueller wants to question Trump about his firing of FBI Director James Comey, as well as the ouster of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Source: The New York Times
Wednesday, Jan 24, 2018
Several rockets fired from Syria strike the Turkish city of Kilis, near the Syria–Turkey border, killing at least one person and injuring 13 others. Turkey blames the YPG group. (Xinhuanet)
The U.S.-led coalition against ISIL says it has killed up to 150 militants in air strikes on a headquarters in Deir ez-Zor Governorate, Syria. (BBC)
Chinese scientists announce they have successfully cloned Crab-eating macaques using somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), making them the first primates to be cloned. (Reuters)
SpaceX conducts the first static fire test of the Falcon Heavy rocket ahead of its maiden flight. (BBC)
Larry Nassar is sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for molesting Olympic gymnasts and other women. Many of the accusers were children, who were told to not question authority. (Chicago Tribune)
LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers from the National Basketball Association (NBA) scores his 30,000 regular season points, in a loss against the San Antonio Spurs on January 23, 2018, as the youngest player ever to do so, at 33 years and 24 days, surpassing Kobe Bryant’s record of 34 years and 104 days. (Sports Illustrated)
Mueller probe reportedly focusing on obstruction of justice Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s push to question President Trump signals that he is “closing in on his determination about what obstruction of justice looks like,” a former aide to Mueller told CNN. The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Mueller wants to question Trump about his firing of FBI Director James Comey, as well as the ouster of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Legal experts told CNN that the recent spate of activity in Mueller’s probe — The New York Times reported Tuesday that Comey was interviewed by Mueller’s team last year, while Attorney General Jeff Sessions was questioned last week — indicates Mueller’s team is increasing its focus on whether Trump or his aides have tried to obstruct the Russia investigation. Source: The Washington Post,
Trump aides try to reassure Davos crowd about ‘America First’ policies Top Trump administration officials made their first comments at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, reassuring global leaders and business executives that President Trump’s “America First” agenda doesn’t mean the U.S. is unwilling to work with other countries. “America First is not America alone,” said Gary Cohn, head of Trump’s National Economic Council. While members of Trump’s Cabinet fight the perception that he is against free trade and globalization, they are also touting the new Republican tax cuts as evidence that Trump is making the economy stronger. Anti-capitalist demonstrators staged protests against Trump in several Swiss cities, including Davos, where he is to deliver a keynote address on Friday. Source: The Washington Post
Tuesday, Jan 23, 2018
Russia’s Ministry of Culture bars the release of the British–French political satire film The Death of Stalin in the country after accusing the film of containing “ideological warfare” and “extremist” content. (BBC)
The United States closes its embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, due to large-scale protests against the policy of U.S. President Donald Trump. (AP via Armenpress)
The United States Senate confirms Jerome Powell as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank with 84 votes for and 13 against. (The New York Times)
The organizers of the Google Lunar X Prize announce that the $20 million grand prize for a commercial lunar lander will expire on 31 March 2018 without a winner because none of its five finalist teams would be able to launch a mission before the deadline. (Space News)
Monday, Jan 22, 2018
A motorcycle bomb kills at least three people and wounds 22 others at a market in Thailand’s southern Yala Province. (Reuters)
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology raises Mount Mayon’s alert level to 4, its second highest volcano category which indicates a hazardous eruption is imminent. Mayon’s activity, which began the afternoon of January 13, 2018, has displaced about 40,000 residents in Albay Province on Luzon island. (Reuters via NBC News)
Mayon erupts at 12:43 p.m. (PST). The eight-minute phreatomagmatic eruption was a dense, five-kilometer tall column of volcanic ash, followed by two explosion-type earthquakes. Fountains of intense but sporadic lava, which lasted between three to 30 minutes, began at 9:37 p.m. (GMA News Online)
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence declares during a speech in the Israeli parliament that the new U.S. embassy located in Jerusalem will open in 2019, sooner than generally expected. (The Guardian)
After a meeting with the President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini again assures President Abbas that the European Union supports his ambition to have East Jerusalem as capital of a Palestinian state. (Reuters)
The United States Senate reaches an agreement to reopen federal agencies through to February 8. A bill is working its way through the legislative process. The first Senate vote was 81–18. (AP).
George Weah takes office as President of Liberia, and Jewel Taylor as Vice President. It is the first peaceful transition between two Liberian presidents in 74 years. (New York Times)
Sunday, Jan 21, 2018
Turkish President Erdoğan announces that Turkish Army ground troops have entered the district of Afrin in Syria. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım says the goal is to establish a 30-km safe zone. (Voice of America)
France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian calls for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council to address the Turkish incursion into Northern Syria’s Afrin Region. The UNSC will convene on Monday. (Reuters)
Abdullah II of Jordan tells U.S. Vice President Mike Pence the U.S. has to rebuild “trust and confidence” to achieve a two-state solution in Israel after the U.S. recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. (Reuters)
Hundreds of thousands protest for a second day throughout the United States in support of women’s rights. (CNN)
U.S. President Donald Trump says on Twitter that if the shutdown stalemate continues, Republicans should consider the “nuclear option” parliamentary procedure in the Senate. Majority leader Mitch McConnell is opposed to taking this step, a spokesperson said. (Bloomberg)
Rocket Lab successfully launches test rocket Electron into orbit from Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand, becoming the first rocket to reach orbit using an electric pump-fed engine, after the original rocket launch in May 2017 had to be aborted by safety officials. (1 News)