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7 Dec 1941. Pearl Harbor


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Today in 1941, carrier-based Japanese aircraft staged a surprise attack on U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor. The next day, the United States officially entered World War


Fat Man, the 10,300-pound atom bomb that convinced the Japanese Empire to end the war after 8/9/1945
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Photo courtesy National Air and Space Museum and @AHMalcolm

The Silk Railroad: world longest rail link Yiwu-Madrid railway spans 8,000 miles, crosses 8 countries

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The world's longest train route spans more than 8,000 miles, crosses through eight countries, and is long enough to stretch from Florida to Washington state 3 times.

The China-Europe Block Train begins in the city of Yiwu in China's east and crosses through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, and France before reaching its destination 21 days later in the Spanish capital of Madrid.

Also called Yixinou, the route surpasses the world's second- and third-longest routes, the Trans-Siberian railway (5,772 miles) and the Moscow-to-Beijing (4,340 miles) train.

The Silk Railroad - Episode I: World's longest rail link, from Yiwu to Madrid
An international freight railway network is connecting China to cities across Europe, dubbed the new "Silk Railroad." Two thousand years ago, commodities from China would need a year to reach Europe, along the ancient Silk Road. But today, Chinese consumer goods can reach London by rail in just 14 days.

Yiwu railway station - a massive freight terminus, began transporting cargoes overland to Europe in 2014. It's part of the multi-billion-US-dollar Belt and Road Initiative to boost international trade.

The Yiwu-Madrid railway is the longest rail link in the world. It spreads across 13,000-kilometers through France, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia, and Kazakhstan. Along the way, the train transfers three times due to different track gauges in China, Europe, and Russia.

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Image courtesy Skye Gould / Business Insider

US Supreme Court ruling: warrantless tracking of cellphone user's location violates the Fourth Amendment

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SCOTUS rejects warrantless cellphone location tracking in Carpenter v. United States.
In a blockbuster 5-4 decision issued today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that warrantless government tracking of cellphone users via their cellphone location records violates the Fourth Amendment. "A person does not surrender all Fourth Amendment protection by venturing into the public sphere," declared the majority opinion of Chief Justice John Roberts. "We decline to grant the state unrestricted access to a wireless carrier's database of physical location information."

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Photo courtesy reason.com

New Zealand puts cap on offshore oil and gas exploration - no new permits granted

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New Zealand bans all new offshore oil exploration as part of 'carbon-neutral future'
The New Zealand government will grant no new offshore oil exploration permits. The ban will apply to new permits and won’t affect the existing 22, some of which have decades left on their exploration rights and cover an area of 100,000 sq km.
The prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said her government "has a plan to transition towards a carbon-neutral future, one that looks 30 years in advance”"
The Labour coalition government was elected last year and made tackling climate change one of the cornerstones of its policies, committing to transition to 100% of electricity generation from renewable sources by 2035 and making the economy carbon neutral by 2050.
Last month Ardern accepted a 50,000-strong Greenpeace petition calling for an end to offshore oil and gas exploration.

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Image courtesy 123RF / Radio New Zealand

Cybercrime costs global economy $450billion/yr: CEO; ATM dispensing $100 bills instead of $5; Another mega database: Dr Ron Paul

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ATM dispensing $100 bills instead of $5 bills< /a>
A Kansas woman is facing a pricey lawsuit after a bank accused her of making dozens of withdrawals from a faulty ATM that was dispensing $100 bills instead of $5 bills, a local report said Tuesday.

Cybercrime costs the global economy $450 billion: CEO
In 2016 "cybercrime cost the global economy over $450 billion, over 2 billion personal records were stolen and in the U.S. alone over 100 million Americans had their medical records stolen," said Steve Langan, chief executive at Hiscox Insurance, told CNBC.
"This is an epidemic of cybercrime, and yet 53 percent of businesses in the U.S., U.K. and Germany were just ill-prepared."

Another mega database? Dr. Ron Paul on E-Verification
E-Verify is a (currently) voluntary program where businesses check job applicants’ Social Security numbers and other Information — potentially including “biometric” identifiers like fingerprints — against information stored in a federal database to determine if the job applicants are legally in the United States.

Imagine how much time would be diverted from serving consumers and growing the economy if every US business had to comply with E-Verify. Also, collecting the relevant information and operating the mandatory E-Verify system will prove costly to taxpayers.  read more »

Jack on Twitter's independence: "we're not constrained by the particular whims of one platform versus another"

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Queen Jack Dorsey Says There's Value in Twitter Remaining Independent
Twitter Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey said there’s "strength" in the social-media company remaining independent, deflecting renewed speculation that it may again be an acquisition target.

"There’s a lot of strength to our independence because we can work on every device, work through every medium," Dorsey said Tuesday at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco. "We’re not constrained by the particular whims of one platform versus another."

Twitter shares, which rose 8.1 percent at Tuesday’s close in New York, jumped on several trading days last month on takeover speculation. In a January note to investors, BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield predicted that Twitter will be acquired this year, saying it has become too valuable to remain independent. Reports of acquisition talks regarding the microblogging service first emerged in 2016, with potential suitors including Walt Disney Co. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google.

Twitter has made significant improvements since those talks fell apart without a deal. The company’s shares have more than doubled in the past year, driven by stronger financial performance and changes to the app that are bringing users back to the platform more frequently. Earlier this month, San Francisco-based Twitter reported its first revenue growth in four quarters and its first real profit.

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Photo courtesy Bloomberg

Germans outraged as historic twin towers built by locals, consecrated in 1891, was ripped down for coal mine

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The demolition of a historic German church to clear the way for the expansion of an open-cast mine this week has outraged locals as politicians moot giving up their own clean energy targets.

Built in large part by local people and consecrated in 1891, St Lambertus church in Immerath, North Rhine-Westphalia state, was ripped down by diggers' hydraulic arms on Monday and Tuesday, leaving a heap of rubble where the neo-Roman nave and twin towers once stood.

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Photo courtesy Yahoo / AFP

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