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"It's Magical." Roger Federer wins record-breaking eighth Wimbledon title at 35 years old, 19th Grand Slam

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Roger Federer, at 35, wins Wimbledon for a record eighth time
WIMBLEDON, England - Roger Federer, who won Wimbledon at 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27 and 30, won it again Sunday at 35, further cramming his name into a men’s tennis record book in which it appears almost as rampantly as it would in a biography.

At 35 years, 342 days old, he became the oldest Wimbledon champion in the Open Era, as well as the oldest Grand Slam champion since Ken Rosewall won the Australian Open in 1972, a category in which Federer surpassed the 2017 Australian Open champion Roger Federer. He also extended his Grand Slam title total to 19 to arrange an arrival in New York in late August with a stunning yet realistic chance at 20, which would have seemed farfetched only six months ago.

Back in mid-January, Federer had just come off a six-month hiatus in deference to a left knee that kept yelling for attention on court while he tried to plot strategic points. With that knee rested, Federer up and won the Australian Open from a No. 17 seed, and set off on a year he has called "a fairy tale"”  read more »

Impact of pollution, climate change - lethal heat waves threaten third of world population, 75 percent by 2100

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Deadly Heat Waves Threaten Third of the World
Currently, nearly a third of the world's population is exposed to lethal climate conditions for at least 20 days a year, according to findings published Monday in Nature Climate Change, a monthly peer-reviewed journal. As the planet's temperature rises, more of the world's population will be exposed to conditions that trigger deadly heat waves, the report said.

For a city like New York, which currently sees about two days per year that surpass the heat threshold, that could mean 50 deadly days per year by 2100.

The researchers analyzed more than 1,900 cases of fatalities associated with heat waves in 164 cities across 36 countries between 1980 and 2014 to define a global threshold for life-threatening conditions based on heat and humidity. Researchers found the overall risk for heat-related sickness or death has increased steadily since 1980.

The study notes well-documented heat waves, including a five-day stretch that claimed hundreds of lives in Chicago in 1995, the European heat wave in 2003 that saw tens of thousands of heat-related deaths and lethal temperatures in Moscow in 2010 that killed more than 10,000. Across Russia, the heat wave in 2010 claimed more than 50,000 lives. But the research team found that heatwaves are more common than most people think, and humidity levels combined with heat play a major role in heat-related heath risks.  read more »

World's largest floating solar plant online in China at 40 megawatts - enough electricity to power 15,000 homes

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China is now home to the world’s largest floating solar power farm, a huge expanse of solar panels stretching across what was once a coal mining town in the central province of Anhui.
The farm connected to the grid last month, is thought to be the world’s largest in terms of capacity at 40 megawatts, providing enough electricity to power 15,000 homes.

It occupies more than 800,000 square meters in an area hit by flooding and subsidence due to coal mining, a problem many coal mining regions in China are plagued with. After the ground sank, residents moved away, an employee at Sungrow, the company behind the panels, told Reuters.

Proponents of water based solar panel farms say they have the advantage of being placed in areas that would not have been utilised for other purposes, as well as being less likely to overheat due to the cooling effect of the water.

The world’s largest floating solar power plant is now online in China. Built by Sungrow, a supplier of PV inverter systems, the 40MW plant is now afloat in water four to 10 meters deep, and successfully linked to Huainan, China’s grid. The placement was chosen in large part because the area was previously the location of coal mining operations; and, as a result, the water there is now mineralized and mostly useless. The lake itself was only formed after years of mining operations, the surrounding land collapsed and created a cavity that was filled with rainwater.  read more »

Canada looks to ban US coal shipments as retaliation for a new US 24% tariff on Canadian softwood lumber

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April 26, 2017
24% tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber British Columbian Premier Christy Clark pressed Trudeau on Wednesday to enforce a trade ban on shipments of thermal coal, also called steam coal, at its terminal in Vancouver in response to the Trump administration's 24 percent tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber imposed Tuesday.

"I told British Columbians that I would use every tool at our disposal to ensure we get a fair deal on softwood lumber," Clark said in an open letter to Trudeau. "Friends and trading partners cooperate," but "clearly, the United States is taking a different approach," she said.

Clark said U.S. coal producers rely on the terminal in Vancouver to ship coal to Asia, with a record of more than 6 million tons shipped last year. The U.S. lacks the capacity to move its own coal on the Pacific coast, making the ban an effective retaliatory response to the lumber tariff.

On Friday Washington state will release an environmental impact statement on a proposed coal terminal for Asian shipments.

Clark also said that steam coal is one of the most carbon-dioxide producing fuels, and banning its shipment would help Canada and the province meet its commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Most scientists blame the emissions for raising the Earth's temperature, resulting in more severe weather, floods and drought.

Clark pointed out that over the past five years most of the U.S. proposals to build its own coal terminals have been rejected for environmental and ecological reasons.  read more »

Canadian oil firm keeps value promise: pulls out of national park in Peru's Amazon, avoiding damage to cultures and surroundings

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Saturday 22 April 2017

"[W]e wish to reiterate the company’s commitment to conduct its operations under the highest sustainability and human rights guidelines, avoiding damages to cultures and their surroundings; a value promise we feel remains intact."

Canadian oil firm pulls out of national park in Peru's Amazon Pacific abandons one million hectare concession including indigenous peoples’ territories along Brazil border.

A Canadian-headquartered company, Pacific Exploration and Production, has pulled out of a huge oil and gas concession overlapping a new national park in the Peruvian Amazon. The concession, Lot 135, includes approximately 40% of the Sierra del Divisor national park established in 2015.

The concession has provoked opposition in Peru and just across the border in Brazil for many years, including regular statements since 2009 from indigenous Matsés people in both countries and a lawsuit recently filed by regional indigenous federation ORPIO. Both Lot 135 and the park overlap territory used by the Matsés and a proposed reserve for indigenous people living in “isolation.”

Pacific signed a contract for the concession in 2007, the year after a significant chunk of it had been declared a supposedly “protected natural area” but eight years before it became a national park.

The company’s decision to pull out was made public by UK-headquartered NGO Survival International. Institutional Relations and Sustainability Manager Alejandro Jimenez Ramirez told Survival in a letter dated 13 March 2017:  read more »

No one behind the wheel. Tesla 'autopilot' car hits Phoenix police motorcycle; Apple to test self-driving cars

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Official: Tesla 'autopilot' car hits Phoenix police motorcycle
A Phoenix police motorcycle was struck by a Tesla Model X reportedly operating on autopilot last week, police said.

The incident came days before a crash in Tempe involving an automated Uber vehicle in Tempe.
The collision prompted Uber to temporarily ground the program as it investigated the incident, but a company representative said Monday that the fleet will be redeployed.

In the southwestern dusk, an accident involving one of Uber’s autonomous Volvo XC90 test fleet cars happened

The iPhone of cars? Apple enters self-driving car race
Ending years of speculation, Apple's late entry into a crowded field was made official Friday with the disclosure that the California Department of Motor Vehicles had awarded a permit for the company to start testing its self-driving car technology on public roads in the state.

Apple will be vying against 29 other companies that already have California permits to test self-driving cars. The list includes major automakers, including Ford, General Motors, BMW, Volkswagen and Tesla, as well as one of its biggest rivals in technology, Google, whose testing of self-driving cars has been spun off into an affiliate called Waymo.

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