Category: CTV

Iceland commemorates first glacier lost to climate change

Iceland on Sunday honours the passing of Okjokull, its first glacier lost to climate change, as scientists warn that some 400 others on the subarctic island risk the same fate.

A bronze plaque will be unveiled in a ceremony starting around 1400 GMT to mark Okjokull — which translates to “Ok glacier” — in the west of Iceland, in the presence of local researchers and their peers at Rice University in the United States, who initiated the project.

Iceland's Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir, Environment Minister Gudmundur Ingi Gudbrandsson, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson are also due to attend the event.

“This will be the first monument to a glacier lost to climate change anywhere in the world,” Cymene Howe, associate professor of anthropology at Rice University, said in July.

The plaque bears the inscription “A letter to the future,” and is intended to raise awareness about the decline of glaciers and the effects of climate change.

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Man or machine? Robot bartender goes head-to-head with humans

We’ve got robots that can vacuum our floors, robots that can pull up a recipe or the perfect song with a voice command, and even robot security guards.

Now, a robot can mix you a cocktail if you’re too tired to do it yourself.

But is it better than a good old-fashioned, flesh-and-blood bartender?

Makr Shakr is the company behind the new robot bartender, but the elegant white machine goes by “Toni.”

“(Toni) can crush ice, he can put lime, lemon, white and brown sugar and (up to) 200 ingredients, different ingredients, in order to create a new cocktail,” said Lorenzo Risitano, project manager for Makr Shakr.

Toni’s setup includes two white mechanical arms that can grasp cups and shakers, and an overhanging ceiling covered in colour-coded bottles of spirits. The six-axis arms can swivel in every direction and are waterproof, according to Makr Shakr’s website, and there are 158 bottles mounted on the overhang.

To create a drink, Toni’s arm raises a shaker to the ceiling for noz..

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Trade rules debated to halt ‘unprecedented’ species declines

Conservationists warned of “unprecedented” species declines Saturday as countries met in Geneva to tighten rules on trade in elephant ivory and products from other endangered animal and plants.

Thousands of conservationists and policymakers from more than 180 countries will meet for 12 days to evaluate regulations and species protection listings under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

“Business as usual is no longer an option,” CITES Secretary General Ivonne Higuero said at the start of the meeting, warning that “nature's dangerous decline is unprecedented.”

The treaty, created more than four decades ago, regulates trade in over 35,000 species of plants and animals and contains mechanisms to help crack down on illegal trade and sanction countries that break the rules.

The sense of urgency was palpable at the conference, which will evaluate 56 proposed changes to protection listings, for species of large mammals like elephants, rhinos and ..

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Cyberattacks targeting students on the rise: Here’s how to protect your data

Cyberattacks targeting post-secondary students are becoming increasingly common, but new research shows only 15 per cent of Canadian students have taken extra steps to protect their online data.

According to research from cybersecurity firm McAfee, publically disclosed cyberattacks targeting the education sector increased 50 per cent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2019.

But of the 1,000 students surveyed by McAfee, only 15 per cent admitted to taking extra steps to protect their personal academic data online – while over 70 per cent proactively protected their bank of financial information.

“It is crucial that students, parents and educational institutions are more thorough and proactive about protecting what matters to them – and students’ futures,” Gary Davis, McAfee’s chief consumer security analyst, said in a release.

“It is equally important that we educate students about cyber safety, after all, nearly half of college students are unaware of the likelihood that th..

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From tusks to tails, nations eye trade in endangered species

GENEVA — From guitars to traditional medicines and from tusk to tail, mankind's exploitation of the planet's fauna and flora is putting some of them at risk of extinction. Representatives of some 180 nations are meeting in Geneva to agree on protections for vulnerable species, taking up issues including the trade in ivory and the demand for shark fin soup.

The World Wildlife Conference on trade in endangered species, known as CITES, which takes place every three years, aims to make sure that global trade in specimens of wild animals and plants doesn't jeopardize their survival.

The conference opens Saturday and runs through Aug. 28, with key decisions expected to be finalized in the last two days. It had originally been due to take place in Colombo in May and June, but was moved to Geneva after a series of terror attacks in the Sri Lankan capital.

The gathering follows three months after the first comprehensive U.N. report on biodiversity warned that extinction is..

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Thailand’s lost baby dugong dies from shock, eating plastic

BANGKOK — An 8-month-old dugong nurtured by marine experts after it was found lost near a beach in southern Thailand has died of what biologists believe was a combination of shock and ingesting plastic waste, officials said Saturday.

The female dugong — a large ocean mammal — was named “Marium” and became a hit in Thailand after images of biologists embracing and feeding her with milk and seagrass spread across social media. Veterinarians and volunteers had set out in canoes to feed Marium up to 15 times a day while also giving her health checks.

Last week, she was found bruised after being chased and supposedly attacked by a male dugong during the mating season, said Jatuporn Buruspat, director-general of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources.

She was brought in for treatment in the artificial sea on Libong Island in Krabi province.

“We assume she wandered off too far from her natural habitat and was chased and eventually attacked by another male dugong, or dugongs..

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NASA picks Alabama’s ‘Rocket City’ for lunar lander job

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA picked Alabama's “Rocket City” on Friday to lead development of the next moon lander for astronauts.

Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville beat out Johnson Space Center in Houston, which managed the Apollo lunar lander a half-century ago.

The new lunar lander — not yet built or even designed — is meant to carry an American woman and a man to the moon's south pole by 2024. Under the plan, the astronauts will depart for the surface from a small space station around the moon and return there.

Three Republican members of Congress from Texas — Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, and Rep. Brian Babin — had asked that the decision be reconsidered. Babin, who was on the initial guest list, was missing from the ceremony, held near a rocket test stand at Marshall one month after the 50th anniversary of the first lunar footsteps by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

“'Houston' was one of the first words ever uttered on the Moon, and Houst..

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Black hole at centre of Milky Way emits mysterious light: Scientists

Astronomers have released a time lapse video depicting record amounts of light swirling around the supermassive black hole at the centre of the galaxy.

The “unprecedented” observation was made in May when researchers at the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii witnessed the central region of the Milky Way galaxy known as “Sagittarius A*” (or Sgr A* for short) grow 75 times brighter in a span of less than three hours.

“It was probably even brighter before we started observing that night!” wrote astronomer Tuan Do in a tweet sharing the time lapse video. Do’s team published a paper earlier this month about the discovery in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Researchers were unable to conclusively say what led to record levels of light near the supermassive black hole, but offered some guesses, including light from a passing star in 2018, or a “delayed reaction” to the approach of an object in 2014. Black holes don’t emit light themselves. Instead, we are able to observe their shadows as li..

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Sri Lanka probes elephant cruelty at Buddhist parade

Sri Lanka Friday ordered an investigation after a skeletal 70-year-old elephant was paraded at a high-profile Buddhist pageant in a move criticised as cruelty to the ailing animal.

Tourism and wildlife minister John Amaratunga said he ordered wildlife authorities to investigate how the elephant known as Tikiri was forced to take part in a lengthy parade despite her poor health.

Animal-lovers slammed the authorities for forcing the aged animal to participate in the annual Esala Perehara (pageant) wearing elaborate clothing at the hugely popular night festival in the central city of Kandy earlier in the week.

After a howl of protests over social media, festival organisers withdrew the aged animal from the grand finale on Wednesday.

“I have been informed that the elephant collapsed yesterday,” the minister said in a statement.

“Considering what has transpired, I have ordered officials to initiate an inquiry and ascertain how and why an elephant in such poor health was used in th..

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Quebecer among LGBTQ creators suing YouTube alleging discrimination

MONTREAL — A Canadian is among a group of LGBTQ content creators who have launched a class action lawsuit against YouTube in the United States, alleging the popular video-sharing website is censoring their content.

The group of eight, which includes several prominent U.S. creators and Montreal-based transgender YouTuber Chase Ross, announced it is taking a stand against the video publisher and its parent company, Google, in a suit filed in California on Wednesday.

In a statement, YouTube said it doesn't target LGBTQ content. But Ross, the lone Canadian plaintiff for now, said the mere mention in videos of such words as “transgender,” “gay” and “lesbian” — or the use of those words in titles and tags — can get a video flagged as sensitive, restricting their views and curtailing advertising.

“We are a group of LGBTQ creators that have had enough,” Ross said. “It has been affecting us for years and I'm so glad we're going to be doing something about it, because aft..

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Grasshoppers came to Vegas but didn’t stay in Vegas

LAS VEGAS — A migration of mild-mannered grasshoppers has left Nevada, but the swarm could return in a few years, a report said.

National Weather Service meteorologists say the arrival of the grasshoppers in July was attributed to an uncharacteristically wet winter and spring that is likely to repeat in at least five years, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Thursday.

Nevada recorded more rain in six months than the annual average of more than 4 inches (10 centimetres) a year before the migration arrived, scientists said.

It could be a few years before Las Vegas encounters another grasshopper migration, as rainfall totals of more than 4 inches seem to happen about every five years, National Weather Service meteorologist Caleb Steele said.

The migration brought thousands of adult pallid-winged grasshoppers from northern Arizona to Laughlin and as far north as central Nevada, but the swarms left as quickly as they arrived, officials said.

“That's kind of what we figure..

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July officially becomes the hottest month ever recorded

New weather data suggests July was the hottest month in recorded history, while polar sea ice has also reached record lows.

The National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration released its Global Report for July 2019 on Thursday, which shows July reached an average global temperature of 16.7 C, making it the hottest month in the NOAA’s 140 years of recorded data.

This July appears to be the continuation of a trend. The NOAA said the past five Julys are the five hottest months in their data.

Additionally, July set a record low for Arctic and Subarctic ice, with 1.9 million square kilometres of ice, about 19.8 per cent below average.

Thus far, 2019 has been tied for the second-hottest year on record. It has been the hottest year, however, for parts of North and South America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Africa. Parts of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans are also showing record highs.

The previous hottest month came in July 2016, which occurred during one of the stron..

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