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  • Australia v Sri Lanka: T20 World Cup – live!
    by Adam Collins on October 28, 2021 at 3:04 PM

    Updates from the game at Dubai International Stadium‘I am not a racist’: De Kock sorry for refusing to take kneeAny thoughts? Email or tweet @collinsadam3rd over: Sri Lanka 25-1 (Perera 7, Asalanka 9) Asalanka isn’t bothered with playing himself in, slapping a short ball over square leg - what a fine shot first up. And the third umpire says it’s a no-ball too: keep your foot behind the line, Pat. Free hit... low full toss, put away in style over extra cover! “Oh my gosh that’s beautiful batting,” gushes Shane Watson, who I’m drawn to already as a commentator.Urrrgh! Nissanka hit Cummins for a glorious boundary from the delivery ball, clipping him over midwicket with immacute timing, but trying to go in that direction again, he miscues to cover. Continue reading...

  • Biden pitches $1.75tn scaled-down policy agenda to House Democrats
    by Guardian staff and wire on October 28, 2021 at 3:01 PM

    President delayed departure to Europe to finalize deal on the plan, rallying support during meeting of House Democrats Joe Biden ventured to Capitol Hill on Thursday morning to announce a “framework” agreement on his pared back domestic policy agenda, a $1.75tn social spending and climate change bill that can only pass with the backing of nearly every Democrat.Biden, who delayed his departure to Europe to finalize a deal on the plan, rallied support for the emerging deal during a morning caucus meeting of House Democrats, before planning to make his case to the American public in remarks from the White House. Despite the president’s optimism, it was unclear if the compromise could win over progressive lawmakers disappointed by the concessions made to win over a pair of centrist Senate holdouts. Continue reading...

  • Biden releases new $1.75tn framework for Democrats’ reconciliation package – live
    by Joan E Greve on October 28, 2021 at 2:57 PM

    Biden pitches scaled-down policy agenda to House DemocratsProgressives want to see package text before supporting bill$1.75tn package does not include paid family or medical leaveBiden’s framework calls for bill to be funded by new taxes on corporations and the wealthySign up to receive First Thing – our daily briefing by emailCongressional Progressive Caucus chair Pramila Jayapal said she was impressed by Joe Biden’s presentation this morning in his meeting with House Democrats on the framework of the reconciliation package.However, Jayapal said it was still unclear whether centrist Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema would support this framework. Continue reading...

  • Covid live: Vallance warns of ‘difficult UK winter’; Moscow in partial lockdown amid record Russian cases, deaths
    by Tom Ambrose (now); Martin Belam and Samantha Lock (earlier) on October 28, 2021 at 2:43 PM

    Chief scientific adviser to UK government says high level of cases ‘remains a concern’; Russia records over 40,000 new cases and record 1,159 Covid deathsRussia brings in harsh new measures amid record cases and deathsIndia: over 100 million people fail to turn up for second Covid vaccineEU gives go-ahead to UK’s NHS Covid pass as proof of full vaccinationFace mask row in Japan over cost of 80m left in storage unusedSee all our coronavirus coverageStephen Reicher is a member of the Sage subcommittee in the UK advising on behavioural science, and he writes for us this morning saying that Covid measures give us choice – they are not restrictions on British life:Regarding ventilation, I would institute a system whereby all public spaces were required to indicate their “clean air” status, just as kitchens in restaurants are required to indicate their hygiene status. I would also improve the messaging so that people know how important it is and how to know when they are safe. This wouldn’t amount to a restriction. It’s a protection. It doesn’t limit choice. On the contrary, in increasing the number of spaces that are safe, it gives us more choice. Continue reading...

  • Army of Thieves review – fun Netflix prequel swaps horror for more heists
    by Benjamin Lee on October 28, 2021 at 2:36 PM

    Zack Snyder’s surprisingly effective zombie caper Army of the Dead gets a zippy prequel that follows Matthias Schweighöfer’s unlikely safecrackerThere was a surprising amount of fun to be had in this summer’s gory zombie romp Army of the Dead, a film that turned the not-hugely-enticing prospect of Zack Snyder working with Netflix into something strangely hard-to-deny. It was his most ebulliently entertaining offering for years, and rightly predicting its popularity (it quickly became one of the streamer’s most-watched films ever), Snyder started developing a prequel called Army of Thieves months before it had even landed.The result is an unusual one, switching genre and director but maintaining the same rambunctious energy, a zippy adventure that pushes zombies to the background. While Army of the Dead was a horror movie with a heist, Army of Thieves is a heist movie without any horror, more formulaic and less memorable but still slickly effective, a strange next step for the Army franchise (a direct sequel and an anime prequel series are also on the way) that strangely works. Thieves follows Matthias Schweighöfer’s German safecracker Dieter before he ended up in Nevada, six years ago as the zombie outbreak began. We see it on TV screens and in dream sequences but never up-close, the characters amusingly unbothered by the the impending apocalypse. Dieter is a safecracker only in theory, posting YouTube tutorials that nobody watches while going about his humdrum life as a lonely bank teller. But one day, he receives a mysterious message that leads him to Gwendoline (Game of Thrones alumna Nathalie Emmanuel), who enlists him as part of her crew of thieves (Guz Khan, Stuart Martin and Ruby O Fee) to crack the world’s most impossible safes. Continue reading...

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  • Call for action on TB as deaths rise for first time in decade
    by Kaamil Ahmed on October 28, 2021 at 11:09 AM

    Tuberculosis campaigners tell G20 leaders $1bn is needed annually for vaccine research to reverse decades of underfundingA group of tuberculosis survivors are calling for more funding and action to find new vaccines, after the numbers dying of the infection rose for the first time in 10 years.In 2020, 1.5 million were killed by TB and 10 million infected, according to the World Health Organization. Campaigners want world leaders to invest $1bn (£730m) every year into vaccine research, spurred on by the momentum from the Covid jab development. Continue reading...

  • Daylight saving time could be bad for our health – should we get rid of it? – podcast
    by Presented and produced by Anand Jagatia on October 28, 2021 at 9:26 AM

    The clocks go back in the UK this Sunday and many will welcome the extra hour in bed. But research suggests that changing the time like this could be bad for the body. Anand Jagatia speaks to the Guardian’s science correspondent Linda Geddes and chronobiologist Prof Till Roenneberg about how daylight saving time affects our biology – and whether we should get rid of it permanently Continue reading...

  • ‘Rare find’: amphitheatre dig in Kent paints picture of Roman town
    by Harriet Sherwood Arts and culture correspondent on October 28, 2021 at 5:01 AM

    Finds at Richborough include skeleton of cat nicknamed Maxipus and potential evidence of figurative arena panelsA big night out for the people of the Roman settlement at Richborough on the Kent coast about 2,000 years ago might have involved gladiatorial contests, wild beast hunting or the occasional execution of a criminal.Taking place in a vast amphitheatre, seating up to 5,000 people, on the western edge of the settlement, such an event was a “special occasion, drawing people from Richborough town and its surrounds”, said Paul Pattison, a senior properties historian at English Heritage. “These were public spectacles, the equivalent of going to a big blockbuster film, in our terms.” Continue reading...

  • DNA from Sitting Bull’s hair confirms US man is his great-grandson
    by Reuters on October 27, 2021 at 11:48 PM

    Study is the first time DNA from a long-dead person was used to demonstrate a familial link between a living individual and a historical figureA sample of Sitting Bull’s hair has helped scientists confirm that a South Dakota man is the famed 19th-century Native American leader’s great-grandson using a new method to analyse family lineages with DNA fragments from long-dead people.Researchers said on Wednesday that DNA extracted from the hair, which had been stored at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, confirmed the familial relationship between Sitting Bull, who died in 1890, and Ernie LaPointe, 73, of Lead, South Dakota. Continue reading...

  • World’s chief scientists urge Cop26 attendees to step up low-carbon policies
    by Fiona Harvey Environment correspondent on October 27, 2021 at 11:01 PM

    Signatories include scientists from US, EU, India and African and South American countriesChief scientists and presidents of the national science academies of more than 20 countries including Sir Patrick Vallance have written to world leaders ahead of the Cop26 climate summit, urging them to set out policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions sharply, to limit global heating to 1.5C.Governments must rapidly step up their policies to deploy low-carbon energy and other technologies and address emissions from the main high-carbon sectors of the economy, as well as bring forward innovative technologies, the signatories urged. Continue reading...

  • The proteins that domesticated our genomes
    on March 8, 2017 at 8:57 PM

    EPFL scientists have carried out a genomic and evolutionary study of a large and enigmatic family of human proteins, to demonstrate that it is responsible for harnessing the millions of transposable elements in the human genome. The work reveals the largely species-specific gene-regulatory networks that impact all of human biology, in both health and disease. read more

  • Land-based food not nutritionally sufficient for wild polar bears, according to new study
    on September 14, 2016 at 12:03 AM

    A study, by San Diego Zoo Global conservationists, released this week (Sept. 12, 2016) is shedding new light on how scientists evaluate polar bear diet and weight loss during their fasting season. On average, a polar bear loses up to 30 percent of its total body mass while fasting during the open-water season. Although some scientists previously believed land-based foods could supplement the bears' nutritional needs until the sea ice returns, a new study published in the scientific journal Physiological and Biochemical Zoology has revealed that access to terrestrial food is not sufficient to reduce the rate of body mass loss for fasting polar bears. read more

  • Language delivers fourfold speedups on big-data problems
    on September 14, 2016 at 12:03 AM

    In today's computer chips, memory management is based on what computer scientists call the principle of locality: If a program needs a chunk of data stored at some memory location, it probably needs the neighboring chunks as well. read more

  • Experts anticipate significant continued reductions in wind energy costs
    on September 14, 2016 at 12:03 AM

    Technology advancements are expected to continue to drive down the cost of wind energy, according to a survey of the world's foremost wind power experts led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Experts anticipate cost reductions of 24%-30% by 2030 and 35%-41% by 2050, under a median or 'best guess' scenario, driven by bigger and more efficient turbines, lower capital and operating costs, and other advancements (see Figure 1). read more

  • Water helps assembly of biofibers that could capture sunlight
    on September 14, 2016 at 12:02 AM

    When it comes to water, some materials have a split personality - and some of these materials could hold the key to new ways of harnessing solar energy. read more

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  • By boosting flights in the UK, Rishi Sunak has revealed the Tories’ true priorities | Leo Murray
    by Leo Murray on October 28, 2021 at 1:25 PM

    Encouraging short-distance travel by the most damaging mode of transport shows yet again that profit trumps climate actionI don’t like to be constantly complaining about things, so let’s start with the good stuff from Wednesday’s budget announcement that air passenger duty (APD) is going to be halved on domestic flights. It won’t take long.The best thing about it is that the cut in domestic APD will now apply only to those in the cheapest seats – “reduced rate” passengers. The Treasury had consulted on a change that would have cut £39 from the cost of an internal private jet flight, and £13 for a first-class traveller – but this didn’t happen, thankfully. It is also true that the overall direct impact on carbon emissions of this new tax incentive to domestic air travel is likely to be small; domestic flights account for just 4% of UK aviation emissions, and this cut in the tax rates won’t do much to change that.Leo Murray is co-founder and director of innovation at climate charity Possible Continue reading...

  • Is Joe Biden about to show up to Cop26 empty-handed? | Kate Aronoff
    by Kate Aronoff on October 28, 2021 at 1:24 PM

    The tools at Biden’s disposal to limit dangerous global heating are enormous. If he wants it, he can do it – but does he want it?After months of bullish rhetoric about the United States’ climate leadership, the US could still show up to COP 26 empty handed. That doesn’t have to be the case – whatever charismatic obstructionists like Joe Manchin or Kyrsten Sinema have to say about it. The climate certainly isn’t waiting on them to change: the UN Emissions Gap Report released this week finds that the world is on track to warm by a catastrophic 2.7C degrees.The White House has pegged its Paris Agreement success on being able to pass an ambitious spending package, with plenty of money built in for key climate priorities. In recent weeks the administration pegged its audacious goal, of slashing emission by at least 50 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, to something called a Clean Electricity Payments Program (CEPP). That’s out. And even if the compromise $55bn a year of climate spending the White House promised on Thursday makes it through to legislation, carrots for green spending can only go so far. The US will still not have picked up critical sticks needed to go after the polluting industries driving up temperatures. Kate Aronoff is a staff writer at The New Republic. She is the co-author of A Planet To Win: Why We Need A Green New Deal (Verso) and the co-editor of We Own The Future: Democratic Socialism, American Style (The New Press) Continue reading...

  • Cop26 activists head to Glasgow via land, sea – and in a giant metal ball
    by Weronika Strzyżyńska on October 28, 2021 at 12:46 PM

    Arnd Drossel one of many travelling to the summit attempting to raise awareness of the climate crisisArnd Drossel has spent the past three months rolling around inside a 160kg steel ball.The German environmental activist left his home in Paderborn on 30 July in the giant contraption resembling a hamster ball that he made with his son. Continue reading...

  • The greatest songs about the climate crisis – ranked!
    by Alexis Petridis on October 28, 2021 at 12:30 PM

    As Cop26 opens in Glasgow, we provide the soundtrack, ranging from Gojira’s metal fury to gorgeous environmental paeans by Childish Gambino, Neil Young and Joni MitchellSign up to Down to Earth, our weekly environment newsletterFrom its cover shot of a submerged bedroom down, 2019’s Titanic Rising feels like an album informed by the climate crisis, but the lyrics seldom address it explicitly. Something to Believe is the perfect example: a plea not to feel overwhelmed by or nihilistic about the challenges faced, beautifully steeped in the lush sound of early 70s Los Angeles. Continue reading...

  • Australia’s zany prospectus for net zero can’t hide its carbon addiction | Eleanor Salter
    by Eleanor Salter on October 28, 2021 at 12:10 PM

    If we are to reverse the destruction of our planet, it will take more than ‘heroic’ words from ministers in CanberraCountries and corporations have been falling over each other to claim they are doing more than any other in the world to stop climate breakdown.Now Australia has added to the throngs of climate pledges. One of the world’s biggest coal exporters grandly announced an aim to reach net zero by 2050 and said it was doing more than others to address the climate crisis.Eleanor Salter is a writer and climate campaigner Continue reading...

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  • Covid live: Vallance warns of ‘difficult UK winter’; Moscow in partial lockdown amid record Russian cases, deaths
    by Tom Ambrose (now); Martin Belam and Samantha Lock (earlier) on October 28, 2021 at 2:43 PM

    Chief scientific adviser to UK government says high level of cases ‘remains a concern’; Russia records over 40,000 new cases and record 1,159 Covid deathsRussia brings in harsh new measures amid record cases and deathsIndia: over 100 million people fail to turn up for second Covid vaccineEU gives go-ahead to UK’s NHS Covid pass as proof of full vaccinationFace mask row in Japan over cost of 80m left in storage unusedSee all our coronavirus coverageStephen Reicher is a member of the Sage subcommittee in the UK advising on behavioural science, and he writes for us this morning saying that Covid measures give us choice – they are not restrictions on British life:Regarding ventilation, I would institute a system whereby all public spaces were required to indicate their “clean air” status, just as kitchens in restaurants are required to indicate their hygiene status. I would also improve the messaging so that people know how important it is and how to know when they are safe. This wouldn’t amount to a restriction. It’s a protection. It doesn’t limit choice. On the contrary, in increasing the number of spaces that are safe, it gives us more choice. Continue reading...

  • Russia brings in harsh new Covid measures amid record cases and deaths
    by Andrew Roth in Moscow on October 28, 2021 at 2:00 PM

    Moscow closes schools and Putin authorises week-long holiday as many resist getting vaccinatedCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageRegions across Russia have reintroduced severe anti-coronavirus restrictions as the country faces record deaths and new infections amid a lacklustre vaccination campaign.Schools, dine-in cafes and many offices in Moscow will be closed until 7 November, and Vladimir Putin has authorised a week-long holiday period for all Russians that is seen as a creeping lockdown to fight surging Covid numbers, with records for numbers of cases and deaths being broken on a daily basis. Continue reading...

  • England set to remove final countries from Covid travel ‘red list’
    by Aubrey Allegretti, and Daniel Boffey in Brussels on October 28, 2021 at 1:44 PM

    At least 12 more countries’ vaccines also expected to be recognised in significant opening up of bordersCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageAll remaining countries on England’s travel “red list” will be removed and vaccines from at least a dozen more countries are to be recognised, ministers are expected to announce in a significant opening up of borders.The move, which the Guardian understands was signed off at a meeting on Thursday afternoon, means no passengers arriving in England will have to quarantine in a hotel at a cost of more than £2,000. Continue reading...

  • Ryanair to shake up refunds policy after pandemic criticism
    by Miles Brignall on October 28, 2021 at 1:13 PM

    Airline, which even barred some people who sought redress, commits to refunds within five working daysRyanair has promised to start refunding customers for cancelled flights within five working days, after criticism of its reimbursements policy during the pandemic.The Dublin-based carrier, which has previously described itself as a “no-refunds airline”, has also announced significant improvements to the way it treats customers whose flights are delayed or cancelled. Continue reading...

  • Looking for the peak: the cautious optimism over stalling UK Covid cases
    by Nicola Davis Science correspondent on October 28, 2021 at 1:00 PM

    Cases may level off soon, but bets are off until after half-term – and NHS faces winter crisis regardlessCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe Covid pandemic has been a story of twists and turns, with the situation often developing quickly.For much of October, confirmed cases in the UK have risen daily – largely driven by increases in England and Wales. Continue reading...

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