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

(quote)
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.

(unquote)

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

(quote)

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"

(quote)

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.

(unquote)

Photo courtesy Bloomberg

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

(quote)

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.

(unquote)

Photo courtesy Yahoo / AFP

Got a boat? Cars float in Boston's 15ft flood of ice chunks, once-in-a-generation storm surge


Boston : Sea ice floats in Boston Harbor, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, in Boston. After a week of frigid temperatures, a major winter storm is predicted for the region on Thursday. /AP-PTI


A Boston firefighter waded through floodwaters from Boston Harbor on Long Wharf in Boston on Thursday.


Boston firefighters waded through floodwaters from Boston Harbor in front of the Marriott Long Wharf hotel Thursday.


A flooded car is stranded on Central St. near Commercial Wharf as the storm surge floods the waterfront. Herald photo by Dan Atkinson


Boston firefighters help a pedestrian into a rubber rescue boat at Atlantic and State Streets as seawater from the storm surge floods the coast. Herald photo by Dan Atkinson


Boston Fire Rescue One save a man from his flooded car on Commercial Wharf during the storm on Thursday,January 4, 2018. Staff Photo by Nancy Lane

 read more »

Solo racing! 4Nov-17Dec2017 French sailor around Earth covered 27859mi, 6 days faster than record

(quote)

French sailor smashes world record for solo journey around the world after cutting six days off the current mark
Francois Gabart, 34, managed to circumnavigate the planet in 42 days and 16 hours, with a start and finish on the west coast of France. He was six days faster than the previous record holder, set by fellow Frenchman Thomas Coville last year. He departed on November 4 and covered the 27,860-mile journey in 42 days, 16 hours, 40 minutes and 35 seconds.

From November 4 to December 17, Gabart and his 30m MACIF trimaran covered 27,859.7 miles at an average speed of 27.2 knots. His top speed was 39.2 knots, and his top speed over a 24 hour period was 31.8 knots.

Gabart also broke several others records for solo racing, including the fastest navigation of the Pacific and the longest distance covered in 24 hours - 1,575km (851 miles). His 30m (98ft) boat was custom-designed for the purpose.

François Gabart is a French professional offshore yacht racer who won the 2012-13 Vendée Globe in 78 days 2 hours 16 minutes, setting a new race record.

(unquote)  read more »

"Peace Constitution" drafted by US lawyers, Japan's law, renounces war: 3 collisions, US-Japan naval drill


in June 2017, the USS Fitzgerald and a cargo ship chartered by Nippon Yusen KK smashed into each other off Japan

(quote)

The Constitution of Japan is the fundamental law of Japan. It was enacted on May 3, 1947, as a new constitution for a post-war Japan - "Post-war Constitution" or the "Peace Constitution", largely drafted by US lawyers in the occupation authority - is best known for its Article 9, by which Japan renounces its right to wage war.

19Nov2017
The incident came as Japanese and US forces take part in a 10-day joint naval drill
An American warship has been damaged after a tug boat drifted into the destroyer during a drill off Japan, according to the US navy, the latest in a spate of incidents in Asia.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold was participating in a scheduled towing exercise in Sagami Bay on Saturday when the Japanese tug lost propulsion, according to the US 7th Fleet.

The Japanese coastguard said the tug lost control and drifted into the warship as a rope got caught in its propeller, but confirmed there were no injuries.

Back in June, the USS Fitzgerald and a cargo ship smashed into each other off Japan, leaving seven sailors dead.

23Aug2017
The 7th Fleet has been involved in more than one deadly collision in Asia so far this year.  read more »

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