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Xi-Kim Set to Renew Their Diplomatic Vows

France 24 – Xi is the first Chinese president to visit North Korea in 14 years, after relations between the Cold War era allies deteriorated over Pyongyang’s nuclear provocations and Beijing’s subsequent backing of UN sanctions.

Xi and Kim have been working to repair ties, with the young North Korean leader visiting his older ally four times in China in the past year and Beijing calling for sanctions to be relaxed.

But the Chinese leader waited to reciprocate the visit, biding his time to see how nuclear talks between Kim and Trump would play out before deciding to travel to Pyongyang, according to analysts. | go to source

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Move Over Solar Panels, Nanotubes Are Coming

Phys.org – Physicists have discovered a novel kind of nanotube that generates current in the presence of light. Devices such as optical sensors and infrared imaging chips are likely applications, which could be useful in fields such as automated transport and astronomy. In future, if the effect can be magnified and the technology scaled up, it could lead to high-efficiency solar power devices.

Working with an international team of physicists, University of Tokyo Professor Yoshihiro Iwasa was exploring possible functions of a special semiconductor nanotube when he had a lightbulb moment. He took this proverbial lightbulb (which was in reality a laser) and shone it on the nanotube to discover something enlightening. Certain wavelengths and intensities of light induced a current in the sample—this is called the photovoltaic effect. There are several photovoltaic materials, but the nature and behavior of this nanotube is cause for excitement.

“Essentially our research material generates electricity like solar panels, but in a different way,” said Iwasa. “Together with Dr. Yijin Zhang from the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Germany, we demonstrated for the first time nanomaterials could overcome an obstacle that will soon limit current solar technology. For now solar panels are as good as they can be, but our technology could improve upon that.” | go to source

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Gray Matter Phases Targeted by

Tech Explorist – Yale scientists now have come up with a more accurate way to help classify phases of matter.

Understanding the complexities of these phases could open leaps forward in quantum computing and materials science. A portion of these phases could be utilized as quantum hard drives that will store quantum information. That is the reason researchers are effectively looking for new ways to deal with describing and characterize them….

Dua said, “Topological phases represent an important class of phases of matter. Their study and methods for diagnostics are important, and identifying the right diagnostic tools is fundamental.”

The findings appear in a recent study published in the journal Physical Review Letters and a follow-up work published in Physical Review B. | go to source

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US Unemployment Rate Still Going Down

Investing.com -The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, pointing to underlying market strength despite a sharp slowdown in job growth in May.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 216,000 for the week ended June 15, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Data for the prior week was unrevised. | go to source

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How Fintech Makes it Easier to Migrate…..People

Space Daily – The money transfer business is personal for Ismail Ahmed. It was cash wired by his family that allowed him to make the final leg of his journey from escaping fighting in his native Somaliland to London in 1988 to take up a university scholarship.

Today, Ahmed leads WorldRemit, one of a handful of fintech firms that is upending the remittances business that has long been dominated by three US firms — Western Union, MoneyGram and Ria — as well as banks.

Piggybacking on the development of mobile money systems in Africa and other developing countries, these fintech firms offer migrant labourers a more convenient way to send money home at a lower cost. | go to source

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Satoshi Claimant Suing Everyone Who Says He’s a Fraud

Fossbytes – Following the event drama, Buterin was sent a legal notice by Wright, dated April 12 in the UK for defamation. Additionally, he sued Peter McCormack, a podcaster, and has fined him with around $129,000, and even Roger Ver, who is an early investor in bitcoin.
Wright had been under the limelight for three years when he claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious guy who created bitcoin. | go to source

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British Empire Gets UN Hack

From The NY Times –

The United Nations General Assembly dealt Britain an embarrassing defeat on Wednesday in a protracted dispute over the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean, demanding that the British surrender the archipelago — home to an important American military base — to Mauritius, a former British colony. | go to source

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Taiwan Plays War Games with the Dragon

from The Japan News –

Taiwan’s Navy held a major live-fire exercise Wednesday off the island’s east coast in an area increasingly threatened by Chinese ships and planes.  The drills are part of annual Han Kuang exercises that simulate an attack by China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory to be annexed by force if necessary. | go to source

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Superconducting at Record Fire Levels, Baby

From Science Alert –

Scientists in Germany have hit a new superconductivity milestone – achieving a resistance-free electrical current at the highest temperature yet: just 250 Kelvin, or -23 degrees Celsius (-9.4 degrees Fahrenheit).  The work was led by Mikhail Eremets, a physicist at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry….. | go to source

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US Sends Aircraft Carrier to Deter Alleged Planned Iran Attack

ABC News – The United States is deploying an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East on short notice in response to “clear indications” Iran and Iranian proxies were planning an attack on U.S. forces in the region, a U.S. official said.

Late Sunday night, the White House made a surprise announcement that the USS Abraham Lincoln and a bomber task force were being deployed in response to unspecified “troubling and escalatory indications and warnings.” | go to source

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North Korea’s Food Supply at Critically Low Levels

Reuters (via War News Updates) – 10 million North Koreans face food shortage after worst harvest, says United Nations  * The UN found North Korean protein intake to be very low, with some families consuming protein only a few times a year

North Korea has cut food rations to 300 grammes a day – less than 11 ounces – the lowest ever for this time of year, and further cuts are likely after the worst harvest in a decade, the United Nations said on Friday. | go to source

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New 2500 BCE Burial Site Discovered in Egypt, Near Tombs

NDTV – Egypt’s antiquities ministry on Saturday unveiled a 4,500-year-old burial ground near the Giza pyramids containing colourful wooden coffins and limestone statues dating back to the Old Kingdom.

The site on the southeastern side of Giza plateau contains tombs and burial shafts from various periods, but the oldest is a limestone family tomb from the fifth dynasty (around 2500 BC), the ministry said. | go to source

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Now You Have It, Now You Don’t Anus Could Reveal Evolutionary History

New Scientist – A jellyfish-like creature has a neat trick that makes it unique among animals: its anus forms only when it needs to defecate, then disappears without a trace.

“That is the really spectacular finding here,” says Sidney Tamm of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, who made the discovery. “There is no documentation of a transient anus in any other animals that I know of.”

Tamm thinks the discovery might represent an intermediate stage in evolution. | go to source

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Israel Amps Up Gaza Response, Promises More

Al Jazeera – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered “massive strikes” on the Gaza Strip after a two-day escalation that killed 24 Palestinians and four Israelis.

Israeli warplanes and gunboats continued to target the Gaza Strip on Sunday as fighters in the besieged enclave fired a barrage of rockets into southern Israel. | go to source

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737 Max Safety Issue Hidden from Public by Boinf

Seeking Alpha – Boeing (NYSE:BA) knew for more than a year before telling regulators and airlines that it inadvertently made an alarm alerting pilots to a mismatch of flight data optional on the 737 MAX, instead of standard as on earlier 737s, but insists the missing display is not a safety risk.

It was only after the second MAX crash, in Ethiopia, that Boeing became more forthcoming with airlines about the problem, industry and government officials say. | go to source

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Pornhub Wants to Protect Tumblr From Itself

Ars Technica -“Verizon Communications Inc. is seeking a buyer for blogging website Tumblr, according to people familiar with the matter, as it tries to steady a media business that has struggled to meet revenue targets,” The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday.

Pornhub quickly announced its interest after the news broke, although it isn’t clear whether the two companies have talked. Verizon banned all adult content from Tumblr in December 2018, and Pornhub wants to restore the site to its former porn-filled glory.

| go to source

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US Gas Prices on the Rise

ABC News – The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline jumped 5 cents a gallon (3.8 liters) over the past two weeks, to $2.97.

Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey says Sunday that gas prices have spiked 66 cents since early January. | go to source

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Pooping Out an AirPod Does Not Destroy it

Tech Spot – What’s worse than losing your AirPods? Finding one inside your belly. A man named Hsu went through this unusual experience when he went to sleep and somehow his right AirPod slipped its way into his mouth and down his stomach.

He was able to locate the missing AirPod using the ‘Find My AirPods’ feature. “I could hear the ‘beep, beep’ sound, which seemed to follow me around the room”, says Hsu. After searching his room thoroughly he realized that the sound was coming from within his stomach and it suddenly dawned on him, “I swallowed my Airpod.” | go to source

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CATastrophy Turns Into 50K Powerball Win for Baltimore Woman

Mix 105.1 – A 67-year-old Baltimore, Maryland woman recently claimed a $50,000 Powerball jackpot two months after her cat hid her winning ticket. ….“When I buy Lottery tickets, I never watch the drawings or even check to see if I won until a few days later.  What I didn’t know is that after my cat knocked some papers off my nightstand, a few of my tickets ended up falling behind my bed. I didn’t see the additional papers behind my bed until I did some spring cleaning. To my surprise, one of them was a winner!” | go to source

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Vampire Facials Spa Clients Contract Aids

Boston 25 News – According to the New Mexico Department of Health, both clients “received injection-related procedures” at the now-shuttered VIP Spa in Albuquerque between May and September of last year. 

Tests found that the clients recently were infected with the same strain of the virus, “increasing the likelihood that the two HIV infections may have resulted from a procedure at the VIP Spa,” the news release said. | go to source

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Crypto Banditry Tops $1.2 Billion This Quarter of 2019

Venture Beat – Cryptocurrency thefts, scams, and fraud seem like they’re subsiding as the technology goes mainstream, right? Wrong. Crypto criminals and fraudsters stole more than $1.2 billion in the first quarter of 2019, according to a report by cryptocurrency security firm CipherTrace. | go to source

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Drone Pilots Look for Legal Guidance Near Airports

Digital Trends – Brian Wynne, president and CEO of AUVSI, said this week: “UAS interfering with manned aviation is a serious issue, and it requires serious solutions. That is why we are bringing together the best and brightest minds to recommend a plan to keep our skies safe for the flying public.”

Wynne added: “While UAS hold tremendous societal and economic benefits, occasional bad actors threaten to undermine the great progress we have made and even put responsible, legal UAS operations in a negative light.” | go to source

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Black Holes Ain’t All, Says Science

Times of India – Black holes, known for their intense gravitational pull capable of gobbling up entire stars, may have significantly weaker magnetic fields than previously thought, a study has found.  A 64-kilometre-wide black hole 8,000 light years from Earth named V404 Cygni has yielded the first precise measurements of the magnetic field that surrounds the deepest wells of gravity in the universe. | go to source

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Russian Pussy Riot Activist Allies Granted Swedish Asylum

CTV News – Swedish broadcaster SVT says two activists linked to the Russian protest group Pussy Riot have successfully appealed their rejected asylum application and received shelter in Sweden.

Broadcaster SVT says Lusine Dzhanyan and Alexei Knedlyakovsky, who have two children, on Tuesday won their appeal of a 2018 ruling, where Swedish authorities said their situation didn’t justify asylum. | go to source

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Turns Out, Black Death Should Have Been Called Blue Death

Anomalian – The color of death turned out to be blue. It is in this shade that dead cells are stained with a destroyed calcium compound.  Necrosis led to the blue glow of worms. So, the researchers managed to observe how death was spreading.  This phenomenon is typical not only for worms, but also for many other living organisms.  According to experts, the blue color serves as a kind of conditional signal that is transmitted from cell to cell, reporting on the beginning of the process of death of the whole organism. | go to source

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11 Percent of Mexico’s Gas Stations Stiff You on Liters

Mexico Daily News – The consumer protection agency estimates that 11% of Mexico’s 12,000 gas stations do not sell complete liters of fuel, which many drivers have either realized or suspected for many years.

Profeco chief Ricardo Sheffield Padilla revealed that crooked gas stations tend to rob 100 milliliters of every liter of gasoline sold. He said Profeco inspects an average of 200 gas stations per week. | go to source

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US-China Trade War Negotiations Heat Up, and That’s a Good Thing

ABC News – American and Chinese trade negotiators met Wednesday for talks on their bruising tariff war after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the U.S. side might be moving toward a decision on whether to make a deal with Beijing.

Wednesday’s atmosphere appeared amicable. Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, along with China’s economic czar, Vice Premier Liu He, smiled for photos and shook hands after their one-day meeting. | go to source

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Moose Poop Packing Main Tells Alaska TSA His Package is for Politicians

Miami Herald – According to the TSA, the man’s carry-on was flagged at Juneau International Airport on April 15 because equipment caught “a large organic mass” in the luggage, which could have been a sign of explosive material, the KTOO reports.

That’s when officers looked inside and discovered the bag of feces — and when the man told them “that he collects this and likes to present it, ‘For politicians and their bleep policies,’” Farbstein said, according to KTOO. | go to source

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US Treasury Secretary Says US-China Trade Resolution Coming Soon

CNBC – When asked about Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s suggestion that the White House could announce an agreement with Beijing in the next two weeks, the top Trump advisor said, “I think that’s fair.”  “Someone asked me how long is the negotiation going to go on and I don’t have a specific answer to that,” he said at the Milken Institute Global Conference. “It won’t go on forever. I think at some point in any negotiation you realize: ‘OK: we’re close to getting something done so we’re going to keep going.’ On the other hand, at some point you just throw your hands up and say ‘you know this is never going to get anywhere.’ | go to source