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US: Veterans with PTSD, anxiety turn to beekeeping for relief
14 September 2019 - Researchers are beginning to study whether beekeeping has therapeutic benefits. For now, there is little hard data, but veterans in programs like the one [at Manchester VA Medical Center in New Hampshire] insist that it helps them focus, relax, and become more productive. The programs are part of a small but growing effort by Veterans Affairs and veteran groups to promote the training of soldiers in farming and other agricultural careers. (more)

British supermarket Sainsbury's vows to halve plastic packaging by 2025
13 September 2019 - Britain's second-biggest supermarket, Sainsbury's, vowed on Friday [13 September] to halve plastic packaging by 2025, promising to switch to alternative materials and refillable options to meet consumer demand for less waste. (more)

Event Horizon Telescope researchers win 2020 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics
13 September 2019 - The 2020 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics has been given to members of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration for obtaining 'the first image of a supermassive black hole, taken by means of an Earth-sized alliance of telescopes'. The $3m prize will be shared equally by all 347 authors of six papers that announced the image on 10 April 2019. (more)

Scientists detect tones in the ringing of a newborn black hole for the first time
13 September 2019 - If Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity holds true, then a black hole, born from the cosmically quaking collisions of two massive black holes, should itself 'ring' in the aftermath, producing gravitational waves much like a struck bell reverbates sound waves. Einstein predicted that the particular pitch and decay of these gravitational waves should be a direct signature of the newly formed black hole's mass and spin. (more)

This clean energy invention runs on nothing but cold, night air
13 September 2019 - Engineers at UCLA and Stanford University have designed a generator that harnesses heat energy from the cool night air to produce renewable electricity. It is a modern twist on a technology that has existed for nearly 200 years, called thermoelectric generators. Right now the device can only power simple LED lights or charge a phone, but [Aaswath Raman, an engineer and materials scientist at UCLA who co-led the study published Thursday in Joule] said a few tweaks could increase its energy output. (more)

US: Michigan becomes first state to ban flavored e-cigarettes
13 September 2019 - Michigan is the first state in the nation to ban flavored nicotine vaping products, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced Wednesday [4 September] after directing the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to issue emergency rules doing just that. (more)

US: New York Governor proposes ban on flavored e-cigarettes
13 September 2019 - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed legislation on Monday [9 September] to ban flavored e-cigarettes statewide in an effort to protect young people from the unknown consequences of vaping. If the proposed legislation were to become law, New York would become the second state to ban flavored e-cigarettes, following Michigan, which passed a ban on Wednesday [4 September]. (more)

Event Horizon Telescope hopes to produce first-ever moving image of a black hole
12 September 2019 - The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration hopes to produce the first-ever moving image of a black hole by the end of the 2020s. Still images of black holes can give scientists a lot of information about the mysterious and fundamental objects. But videos can help them drill into the details of how black holes consume matter and affect the galaxies they find themselves within, EHT project director Shep Doeleman said. (more)

Researchers who took first image of black hole win $3 million prize at the 'Oscars of Science'
12 September 2019 - This year, the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics was awarded to the team of scientists who captured the first ever photo of the black hole. The Event Horizon Telescope team of 347 members was awarded $3 million for the image of the black hole at the centre of the Messier 87 galaxy. The team was able to capture the supermassive blackhole by linking radio dishes from several observatories across the Earth to render the image of the black hole. (more)

US: Chief executives of 145 companies urge Senate to pass gun control laws
12 September 2019 - Leaders of 145 companies wrote a letter to the U.S. Senate on Thursday [12 September], urging the legislative body to take action on gun safety. 'These proposals are common-sense, bipartisan, and widely supported by the American public. It is time for the Senate to take action,' the letter concludes. (more)

Water found in atmosphere of planet beyond our solar system
12 September 2019 - Scientists for the first time have detected water in the atmosphere of an Earth-like planet orbiting a distant star, evidence that a key ingredient for life exists beyond our solar system, according to a study published on Wednesday [11 September]. The latest discovery was reported in research by a team of scientists at University College London (UCL) published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Astronomy. (more)

High schoolers who don't date are less depressed than their counterparts who do, US study says
11 September 2019 - ... A recent study published in the Journal of School Health reveals that adolescents who choose not to date fare as well as, or better than, their coupled counterparts in social and leadership skills. They're also less depressed. (more)

The Bahamas needs your tourist dollars: Here's where you can still visit
10 September 2019 - After Hurricane Dorian tore a path of destruction through the Atlantic, images and stories began to emerge from the Abacos and other Bahamian islands that had been devastated by the Category 5 storm. As these islands begin the slow work of rebuilding, other Bahamian islands remain untouched and open for business. This is good news, as about 60 percent of the country's revenue comes directly and indirectly from tourism. (more)

Romania's Enescu music festival thrives in shaky political times
8 September 2019 - Floating above the turbulent politics of modern-day Romania, the biennial George Enescu Festival is a welcome relief for Bucharest's classical music fans, with performances not just in the main concert hall but on street corners and in bookstores. The 24th festival, which kicked off on August 31, features the London Symphony Orchestra, the Dresden Staatskapelle, the Royal Concertgebouw, and the Berlin Philharmonic under Kirill Petrenko. (more)

Asian cities turn to electric vehicles in anti-pollution drive
6 September 2019 - Asian cities are switching to electric vehicles in a bid to tackle worsening air quality, cut climate changing emissions, and expand their public transport networks, climate experts said on Friday [6 September]. (more)

Teens who don't date are less depressed
6 September 2019 - Dating, especially during the teenage years, is thought to be an important way for young people to build self-identity, develop social skills, learn about other people, and grow emotionally. Yet new research from the University of Georgia [U.S.] has found that not dating can be an equally beneficial choice for teens. And in some ways, these teens fared even better. (more)

Global renewables investment to triple this decade - U.N.
5 September 2019 - By the end of 2019, there will be more solar capacity installed this decade than any other power generation technology, says [a] report. Global investment in new capacity for renewable energy is on course to reach $2.6 trillion by the end of this decade, more than triple the amount of the previous decade, a report commissioned by the U.N. Environment Programme says. (more)

Cafe brews hope for Nepal's trafficking survivors
5 September 2019 - On a busy street in Nepal's bustling capital Kathmandu, a new cafe is seeking to change the lives of trafficking survivors -- one cappuccino at a time. (more)

Man spends $49k at Costco to help the Bahamas
5 September 2019 - A man walked into a Costco in Florida and left with 100 generators, all of which are heading to The Bahamas. His receipt read $49,285.70 and most of that came from paying $450 [apiece] for 100 generators. Peas, beans, coffee, salt, pepper, and other essentials made up the rest of his mega purchase from a Costco in Jacksonville, Florida, on Wednesday. All of it is going to those in need on the hard-hit islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco, he said. The man wishes not to be named. He said he doesn't want the attention and would rather that people focus on helping those affected by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas. (more)

Amazon India to weed out single-use plastic packaging by June 2020
4 September 2019 - Amazon.com Inc's India unit said on Wednesday [4 September] it would replace all single use plastic in its packaging by June 2020 with paper cushions, the latest major company to join the country's fight against environmental pollution. (more)

Celebrity chef Jose Andres feeds thousands in Bahamas
4 September 2019 - Celebrity chef Jose Andres -- who is famous for his humanitarian feeding efforts in areas stricken by disaster -- made his first trip to the Abaco Islands Tuesday [3 September] with food for those devastated by Dorian. ... Andres tweeted that his organization, World Central Kitchen, is setting up a kitchen on Abaco -- 'where there is a lot of hungry people' -- while his team continues to transfer food from Nassau. (more)

Even a little exercise linked to a longer life
4 September 2019 - People who get even a small amount of exercise may be less likely to die prematurely than their more sedentary counterparts, a research review suggests. ... Physical inactivity has long been linked to an increased risk of premature death and a wide variety of chronic health problems, but much of this evidence has been based on surveys that might not provide an accurate picture of how much exercise people really get, the review team writes in The BMJ. (more)

Germany to ban use of glyphosate from end of 2023
4 September 2019 - Germany will ban the use of the weedkiller glyphosate -- the subject of billion-dollar U.S lawsuits over claims it causes cancer -- from the end of 2023 and limit its use before then, the Environment Ministry said on Wednesday [4 September]. (more)

Germany to ban use of glyphosate weedkiller by end of 2023
4 September 2019 - Germany has said it will phase out the controversial weedkiller glyphosate because it wipes out insect populations crucial for ecosystems and pollination of food crops. Austria became the first EU member to outlaw glyphosate use in July, with restrictions also in force in the Czech Republic, Italy, and the Netherlands. France is planning to phase it out by 2023. (more)

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