Nissan LEAF Sales In Europe Dip Below 2500 In August 2018


Source: Electric Vehicle News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on September 25, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Nissan LEAF Sales Up 234% In Japan Nissan e-NV200 Orders In Europe Up 128% To 7,000 Nissan Sells 43,000 LEAF In Europe In 2018: 70% To Previous ICE Owners Total Nissan LEAF sales in the four biggest markets amounted to 6,910 in August:Europe – 2,480Japan – 2,065U.S. – 1,315Canada – 1,050 In August, Nissan sold some 7,000 LEAFs globally.August was one of the slowest months for the new Nissan LEAF in Europe as just 2,480 were sold. That is still almost 5% of total Nissan volume in Europe, but far from the peak of 6,503 in March.The results are not fully understood as on several occasions now, Nissan stated that there is tremendous demand for the LEAF with a total of no less than 43,000 orders (we estimate that well over 20,000 received LEAFs and another 20,000 customers wait for delivery).Nissan sales read more


Quick Look At New Bigger Battery Volkswagen Passat GTE Video


first_imgGTE will not be the most popular Passat version, but it is quite interestingAutogefühl, as one the first to cover the world premiere of the new European Volkswagen Passat, devoting a lot of attention to the Volkswagen Passat GTE plug-in hybrid and new features.The new Passat brings more of what’s useful – it’s solid and without too many cowbells.With up to 55 km (34 miles) of WLTP range, the Passat GTE should be one of the top choices among PHEVs in Europe.VW news 2019 Volkswagen Passat GTE Plug-In Hybrid Spied Electric VW For Less Than $22,900 Coming By 2023-2024 Source: Electric Vehicle News New 2019 Volkswagen Passat GTE Plug-In Hybrid Revealedcenter_img Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 6, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Volkswagen Passat GTE Volkswagen Passat GTE specs:13.0 kWh battery (31% more energy than previous generation – 9.9 kWh)up to 55 km (34 miles) of WLTP range; up to 70 km (43.5 miles) of NEDC range (20 km or 40% more than previous generation)system output: 160 kW (218 PS) from 1.4 TSI gasoline turbocharged engine (110 kW / 150 PS) and 85 kW / 115 PS electric motor.3.6 kW on-board charger (full recharge in around four hours)last_img read more


Tesla makes CCS adapter standard on new European Model S and X


first_imgTesla developed its proprietary Supercharger system because it wasn’t willing to wait for other automakers to agree on a fast charging standard. Since then, CCS has become the most popular standard in the US and Europe, and sprawling new networks based on CCS are being rolled out as we speak.Last November, Tesla announced that Model 3 vehicles sold in the European market would come with a CCS Combo 2 charge port, and that European Supercharger stations would be retrofitted with dual cables.Now Tesla has begun including a new CCS adapter with all new Models S and X delivered in Europe. This means that all European buyers of new Teslas will have convenient access to CCS fast chargers as well as to Superchargers. According to Electrek, the device is only being provided to new buyers in Europe for now, but it seems likely that Tesla will make it available for existing owners to purchase before long.Tesla says the adapter allows charging at rates of up to 120 kW, a limitation which is imposed “by the car and not the adapter.” Source: Electrek Source: Electric Vehicles Magazinelast_img read more


Jaguar Considers AllElectric Future Following IPace Success


first_imgAccording to sources, the parent company is committed to Jaguar Land Rover and it is determined to turn it’s faith around. And the imminent replacement of both the Jaguar XE and XF models looming behind the horizon, paired with the success rates of the all-electric I-PACE, is making the British carmaker turn to EVs for their future success.It was revealed in an article published by AutoCar, that the British carmaker is eyeing a clean slate design for both. According to the information revealed, Jaguar is eyeing to migrate all of their mainstream models into a single flexible platform in the preparation for their entire range becoming electric in the next few years. In turn, this follows a similar path that BMW AG took with their new multi-modal platform, giving the Bavarian carmaker the option of using it for both their ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) models, but also, to hybridize and electrify some of its range, while keeping complete flexibility.With the European Commission announcing recently that the CO2 emissions of new cars registered in the EU will have to be 15% lower in 2025 and 37.5% lower in 2030, Jaguar will be hard pressed to rethink their strategy. And this comes in the face of a potential problem where not even the 2023 plug-in hybrid XE/XF and the XJ could not be enough to help meet the 2025 targets. While a logical answer to this problem would be to go electric, the British carmaker is well aware of the potential issues stemming from the dependency of EV uptake on government incentives, charging infrastructure and legislation changes.However, the success of the Jaguar I-Pace might move the carmaker in the direction of hybridization and battery-powered vehicles in the near future. If Jaguar decides to go completely electric, the appealing styling of their newer models, combined with the premium brand awareness and likeability, might actually turn the tides around for one of the world’s most coveted car companies in the long run. With the world moving to a cleaner future, some low-yield carmakers like Jaguar might benefit more from skipping the hybridization phase altogether. But, having said that, moving to battery-powered vehicles completely is a big decision to make. Especially for a company that’s been struggling to keep things going at a reasonable rate. However, an electrified Jaguar F-Type with a 0-60mph (0-100km/h) in 3.0 seconds, gorgeous looks and impressive handling, sure sounds like a good idea. Fast Charging Comparison: Audi e-tron, Mercedes EQC, Jaguar I-PACE Jaguar Driverless Electric Pods Broadcast Their Moves In January, Jaguar I-PACE Sales Dropped To 1,000 The British carmaker might also migrate all mainstream models to a single flexible platform in preparation for electrification of their entire model rangeWhile Jaguar is in a hole these days – mostly of its own making – the company is looking at an electrified future to turn the tides. The company posted a series of quarterly losses with the latest revealed on February 7th with £273m ($351m) in the latest three-month period. To add insult to injury, there was an additional whopping asset write-down, of £3.1bn.In turn, the immediate aftermath produced a rippling effect across the board. The shares in its parent company, Tata Motors, which is the carmaking arm of the Indian conglomerate, collapsed by 18% and have now fallen by 60% in the past year. To make matters even more compelling, Jaguar Land Rover accounts for about 80% of the total sales and all of its profits for the Indian company, making us believe a big change is coming behind the scenes.More from Jaguar Source: Electric Vehicle News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 15, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more


BYD To Deliver 100 MWh Energy Storage In Mexico


first_img CATL Delivered China’s Largest 100 MWh Battery Energy Storage More about the project:“The introduction of BYD’s lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) ESS technology opens the door to a wide variety of applications at the residential, commercial, industrial and power grid level. These include investment deferral, frequency regulation, virtual power plants, emergency backup, peak shaving, load shifting and net-zero energy.”“By partnering with BYD, Pireos Capital will be able to offer for the first time in Mexico an integrated PV+ESS solution, with smart integration software capabilities, designed to maximize the environmental and economic benefits of renewable energy, minimizing the financial risks associated with multiple-vendor integration and energy storage technology.”BYD President Stella Li said:“BYD is a pioneer in achieving zero emissions energy ecosystems, offering affordable solar power, reliable energy storage solutions and electrified transportation. Specifically, we have more than 24 years of experience in battery R&D and manufacturing, resulting in the largest power battery output capacity in the world,”Manuel Vegara, CEO of Pireos Capital said:“BYD and Pireos Capital have executed an industry-first partnership agreement to deploy 100 MWh ESS in Mexico. This is part of a larger two-year plan to deploy more than 240 MW of distributed generation and large-scale solar projects. We have created a specialized financial vehicle to finance the largest PV+ESS project pipeline in Mexico,”Source: Green Car Congress BYD joins the 100 MWh ESS club (in a single installation)BYD, together with Pireos Capital, will deploy one of the world’s largest battery energy storage system of 100 MWh in Mexico. The new ESS will use BYD’s LiFePO4 lithium-ion battery cells.The installation will be integrated with a photovoltaic farm – for the first time in Mexico. Fully charged batteries could power 30,000 households for one day.ESS 50 MWh Tesla Battery ESS Launched At Solar Farm In Australia Source: Electric Vehicle News Q4 2018: Tesla Deployed 225 MWh Of Energy Storage, 73 MW Of Solar Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on March 27, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more


VW and Northvolt form European Battery Union to advance EU battery research


first_imgVW and Swedish battery maker Northvolt will lead a new consortium, the European Battery Union (EBU), which aims to push battery research forward in Europe.Through the EBU, the partners plan to research the entire battery value stream – from raw materials through cell technology to recycling. The group’s prime objective is to accumulate broader know-how on battery cell production.Rresearch activities will also focus on the development and engineering of plant technologies that allow sustainable, climate-friendly and competitive battery cell production in the EU.VW says all consortium partners will step up investments for the planned research, and funding could also include support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.Partners will share all results of the consortium’s research work, which should start at the beginning of 2020. Source: VW via Green Car Congress Source: Electric Vehicles Magazinelast_img read more


Jaguar Melts PreProduction IPaces To Make New Body Panels


first_imgThe British brand has already reduced its manufacturing operation’s CO2 output by 46 percent per vehicle produced, and although the 180,000 tonnes of aluminum it consumes every year is small fry compared with the 80 million tonnes produced, it wants to cut its use of virgin aluminum. Nissan LEAF & Jaguar I-PACE Receive Canadian Car of the Year Awards Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on April 9, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Jaguar plots ambitious aluminum recycling programmeJaguar is trialing a scheme that sees aluminum taken from its old cars recycled to make components for new models.The Reality programme is part of Jaguar Land Rover’s plan to develop a ‘closed-loop’ aluminum strategy whereby the lightweight metal from old vehicles would be re-used in next-generation models. Eventually, such a scheme could see the company dramatically reduce its need for new aluminum, as well as reduce carbon dioxide emissions.More I-Pace News Jaguar I-PACE Overview By TEVA In Winter Conditions: Videocenter_img At present, the Reality team is being tested on early, pre-production examples of the I-Pace, which have their batteries removed before being broken up and the metal sorted. Once it is separated out, the aluminum can then be melted down and turned into parts for new Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) models. Scientists at Brunel University then test the new components to ensure they are safe and strong enough to be used in car body panels.Aluminum recycling is nothing new. It’s one of the most widely recycled metals on the planet, with around 75 percent of all the aluminum ever made still being in circulation, and Jaguar is already heavily involved. Since 2013, the company has given around 300,000 tonnes of old metal a new lease of life in its aluminium vehicle architecture. The XE saloon, for example, uses a “significant amount” of recycled aluminum in its body structure, and the car was also the first in the world to use aluminum alloy grade RC5754, which contains up to 75 percent recycled aluminum, in its body panels.Eventually, JLR plans to use retired fleet cars to source its aluminum, recovering, de-polluting and shredding cars on an industrial scale. This, the Tata-owned firm says, would make the use of its own recycled metal viable for the business.Gaëlle Guillaume, lead project manager for the Reality programme at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “More than a million cars are crushed every year in the UK and this pioneering project affords us a real opportunity to give some of them a second life. Aluminum is a valuable material and a key component in our manufacturing process and as such we’re committed to ensuring our use of it is as responsible as possible.” Jaguar I-PACE Sales Rebound To Almost 1,400 In February 2019 Source: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more


BYD launches the worlds longest electric bus


first_imgChinese automobile manufacturer BYD is launching the K12A, an 88.5-foot-long electric bus. The K12A has a passenger capacity of 250 and a top speed of about 43 MPH. According to BYD, the K12A is the world’s longest electric bus and the first with a distributed 4WD system that can switch between 2WD and 4WD.The bus features DC and AC charging ports and a range of over 185 miles per charge. Each K12A can save the equivalent of 80 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually and 95,000 gallons of fuel over its lifetime, according to BYD.BYD has delivered more than 50,000 of its shorter electric buses.Luis Carlos Moreno, CEO of Colombia’s Express, said, “I’m confident that BYD’s super-long pure electric buses are the future of bus rapid transit systems. On a trip to Shenzhen, I’ve seen that the city’s public buses are already 100% electrified, and I firmly believe that electrification is a future global trend.”Source: BYD Source: Electric Vehicles Magazinelast_img read more


LG Chem is working on a potential new billiondollar US battery cell


first_imgLG Chem, one of the leading producers of Li-Ion battery cells for electric cars, is working on a potential new billion-dollar US battery cell factory. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1zk7Eb8r-s&list=PL_Qf0A10763mA7Byw9ncZqxjke6Gjz0MtThe post LG Chem is working on a potential new billion-dollar US battery cell factory for electric cars appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img


Search Turns Up Stolen Items in Okanogan CountyGrant County Sheriffs K9 Officer


first_imgThe Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office, North Central Washington Narcotics Task Force and Spokane’s Auto Theft Task Force have recovered stolen items after search warrants were served recently near Frosty Creek Road in the Aeneas Valley in Okanogan County.Stolen items include several trailers including a U-Haul trailer, two enclosed construction trailers, a fifth wheel travel trailer,  a goose neck flatbed trailer and a corvette.  Officers are also investigating whether a motorhome, Kubota Tractor, 4 wheeler, a snowmobile, backhoe attachment and chainsaws located on the property may also be stolen. The majority of the stolen property had been taken from the Spokane area.A suspect in the investigation has been identified and is being sought for questioning.  The Okanogan Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in identifying some of the items.  If anyone has any information or is missing the backhoe attachment or Kubota Tractor or need further information please call:Chief Criminal Deputy Steve Brown with the  Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office at 509-422-7210.last_img read more


Queen Mary researcher recognized for advances in improving oral health in children


first_imgJul 27 2018The largest scientific association that focuses on research in the field of dentistry has recognized an academic from Queen Mary University of London for advances in improving oral health in children.The International Association for Dental Research (IADR) announced Cynthia Pine from Queen Mary’s Institute of Dentistry, as the 2018 recipient of the IADR E.W. Borrow Memorial Award.Sponsored by The Borrow Foundation, the IADR E.W. Borrow Memorial Award recognizes research in oral health prevention for children, with an emphasis on using fluoride in different formats to prevent tooth decay.Professor Pine from Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, said: “I am delighted to receive this award and I would like to thank my research collaborators and the many thousands of families who have worked with us in our research on the prevention of childhood dental caries.Related StoriesNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerResearch on cannabis use in women limited, finds new studyAXT enhances cellular research product portfolio with solutions from StemBioSysIt’s a great honor to have our work recognized by the IADR.”Professor Pine’s research focuses on oral health promotion for children, particularly the prevention of childhood dental caries or decay. Professor Pine works with disadvantaged communities nationally and internationally with the goal of reducing health inequalities.Her epidemiological research in the measurement of caries in children has informed national and international quality standards.Her research has helped develop interventions designed to improve parents’ key dental health-related behaviors of controlling dietary sugar and applying fluoridated toothpastes twice daily.Professor Pine’s contributions have been recognised worldwide in many ways including her 10-year position of Director of the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Research in Oral Health of Deprived Communities (2003-2013), award by the European Organisation for Caries Research of the ORCA Prize 2015, and she has also received a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) for “services to dentistry” from the Queen.The International Association for Dental Research (IADR) is a non-profit organization with over 10,800 individual members worldwide. The organization is dedicated to advancing research and increasing knowledge for the improvement of oral health worldwide, supporting and representing the oral health research community, and facilitating the communication and application of research findings.This is the 27th year of the IADR E.W. Borrow Memorial Award, which consists of a plaque and a monetary award of $3,500 USD.The award is presented as part of the annual conference which is being held at the ExCeL London Convention Centre from July 25-28, 2018. Source:https://www.qmul.ac.uk/media/news/2018/smd/queen-mary-researcher-recognised-for-influential-contributions-to-dental-research-.htmllast_img read more


For many college students hunger can make it hard to focus in


first_imgJul 31 2018As students enter college this fall, many will hunger for more than knowledge. Up to half of college students report that they were either not getting enough to eat or were worried about it, according to published studies.”Food insecurity,” as it’s called, is most prevalent at community colleges, but it’s common at public and private four-year schools as well. Student activists and advocates in the education community have drawn attention to the problem in recent years, and the food pantries that have sprung up at hundreds of schools are perhaps the most visible sign.Some schools are also using the Swipe Out Hunger program, which allows students to donate their unused meal plan vouchers, or swipes, to other students to use at campus dining halls or food pantries.Those “free dining passes have given me chances to eat when I thought I wouldn’t be able to,” one student wrote to the program. “I used to go hungry and that would make it hard to focus in class or study. [The passes] really helped my studying and may have helped me get my GPA up.”Pantries and food passes are good band-aids, but more system-wide solutions are needed, advocates say.”If I’m sending my kid to college, I want more than a food pantry,” said Sara Goldrick-Rab, professor of higher education policy and sociology at Temple University in Philadelphia, who founded the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice. “I want to know that they’re addressing high food prices on campus and taking steps to ensure no student goes hungry.”Part of the disconnect may stem from a misperception about what today’s students are really like, said Katharine Broton, an assistant professor in educational policy and leadership studies at the University of Iowa who has published research on food and housing insecurity in colleges. Many of them don’t fit the profile of a “typical” student who attends a four-year institution full time and doesn’t have a job, Broton said. Rather, about 40 percent of students today are working in addition to going to school, and nearly 1 in 4 are parents.The juggling act can be hard to maintain. “Most of the students, we find, are working and receiving financial aid, but still struggling with food insecurity,” Broton said.Adding to the stress is the fact that while tuition and fees continue to rise, financial aid hasn’t kept pace. In the 2017-18 school year, after accounting for grant aid and tax benefits, full-time students at two-year colleges had to cover $8,070 in room and board on average, while those at four-year public institutions faced an average $14,940 in room, board, tuition and fees.Anti-hunger advocates credit students with both sounding the alarm about hunger on campus and in some cases offering ingenious solutions.Rachel Sumekh, who founded the Swipe Out Hunger program with friends at UCLA several years ago, said they wanted to do something useful with the unused credits from the meal plans that they were required to buy. The program now counts 48 schools as participants, and Sumekh said in the past year they’ve seen a “dramatic” increase in the number of colleges that are reaching out to them about getting involved.Related StoriesOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyThe University of California-Berkeley is part of Swipes, as the program is known. It’s one element in a multipronged effort that targets students who may need extra support to meet their basic housing, food and other needs, said Ruben Canedo, a university employee who chairs the campus’s basic needs committee. (He also co-chairs a similar committee for all 10 UC campuses.)According to a survey of Berkeley students, 38 percent of undergraduates and 23 percent of graduate students deal with food insecurity at some point during the academic year, Canedo said. The school targets particular types of students, including those who are first-generation college-goers, parents, low-income or LGBT.Canedo said a key focus this fall will be to enroll eligible students in CalFresh, the California version of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps.Under federal rules, students generally must work at least 20 hours a week to qualify for SNAP, something many cannot manage. But states have flexibility to designate what counts as employment and training programs, said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, director of income and work supports at CLASP, an anti-poverty advocacy organization. In California, for example, students who participate in certain educational programs at school are eligible for CalFresh.”That’s our first line of defense,” Canedo said. “Students are being awarded about $192 per month.”For students who don’t qualify for CalFresh, the school sponsors a parallel food assistance program that also provides benefits.There’s a food pantry that offers regular cooking demonstrations. But what Canedo said he’s particularly proud of is a 15-week nutritional science course that students can take that teaches them about healthy eating, prepping food, budgeting and grocery shopping, among other things. Some of those skills can help students learn to manage their money and food to get them through their time at school without running short.Please visit khn.org/columnists to send comments or ideas for future topics for the Insuring Your Health column.Michelle Andrews: @mandrews110 This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.last_img read more


Paper jam Californias Medicaid program hits print when the feds need info


first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 18 2018In the shadow of Silicon Valley, the hub of the world’s digital revolution, California officials still submit their records to the feds justifying billions in Medicaid spending the old-fashioned way: on paper.Stacks and stacks of it.Stuck with decades-old technology, the nation’s largest Medicaid program forces federal officials to sift through thousands of documents by hand rather than sending electronic files. That’s one of the critical findings in a Sept. 5 report from the federal government’s chief watchdog citing inefficient and lax oversight of Medicaid nationwide.To illustrate, the U.S. Government Accountability Office published a photo showing piles of records submitted for one three-month period. One folder was placed upright to show the height of the heap.”It’s really amazing when you look at that picture,” said Carolyn Yocom, a health care director at the GAO who focuses on Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for low-income people. “For this type of reporting on expenditures, California really should be able to provide that electronically.”California, with more than 13 million Medicaid enrollees, said it’s hamstrung because it uses 92 separate computer systems to run its Medicaid program — although it has plans underway to modernize its technology.”Given system limitations and the magnitude of the supporting documentation, providing it electronically is currently not feasible,” the California Department of Health Care Services said in a statement.The state’s Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal, has struggled with technology for years. The state thought it had a solution in 2010 when it awarded a $1.7 billion contract to Xerox, which included $168 million for a new system. But after years of delay, the state scrapped the contract in 2016 and started from scratch, leaving the patchwork system in place a few more years.Nationwide, despite industry buzz about electronic medical records, smartphone apps and artificial intelligence, a lot of paper is still being pushed across the health care system. Consider all those forms patients repeatedly fill out in the waiting room, the screeching sound of fax machines inside doctors’ offices and the bulging binders of patients’ records in file rooms.Under Medicaid, states submit data quarterly to the federal government on their spending and include supporting documents such as invoices, cost reports and eligibility records. In California, reports on spending are shared electronically, but the copious supporting documentation required for federal review is not, according to the GAO.When the Xerox venture failed, the company agreed to pay California more than $123 million as part of a settlement agreement, according to state officials.Meantime, Conduent, the services unit of Xerox that was spun off into a separate company, was left to keep operating the system and process claims.Last month, the state awarded a contract to DXC Technology of Tysons, Va., to take over some operations from Conduent. The state said the contract could be worth $698 million over 10 years.Separately, California’s Medicaid officials are working on plans for a new system that would cost an estimated $500 million. Under the federal-state partnership on Medicaid, the federal government would cover 90 percent of those costs for design and implementation, and the state’s share would be about $50 million.Related StoriesDOJ lawyers try new tricks to undo Obamacare. Will it work?Why women who work are less likely to develop dementiaMedi-Cal enrollment among immigrant kids stalls, then falls. Is fear to blame?Pressure has been mounting on California to fix the situation. The Medicaid IT system “needs to be replaced, because it is more than 40 years old, its operations are inefficient, maintaining the system is difficult and there is a high risk of system failure,” state auditor Elaine Howle wrote in a June 26 letter to Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders.In her letter, Howle said the state was paying about $30 million annually to maintain the legacy system.Overall, Medi-Cal serves 1 in 3 Californians. The annual Medicaid budget in California is about $104 billion, counting federal and state funds.Beyond California, the GAO criticized the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) more broadly. One complaint: Federal officials assign a similar number of staff to states for reviewing case files — even though some states, like California, pose a far bigger risk for enrollment errors and misspent money due to their size and complexity.For instance, the report’s authors said, CMS reviewed claims for the same number of newly eligible Medicaid enrollees — 30 — in California as it did in Arkansas, even though California had 10 times the number of newly enrolled patients under the Affordable Care Act.The report also said CMS devoted a similar number of staff to review both California, which represents 15 percent of federal Medicaid spending, and Arkansas, which accounts for 1 percent.CMS “needs to step back and assess where are the biggest threats and vulnerabilities,” Yocom said. “If you aren’t looking, you don’t know what you aren’t catching.”Overall, from fiscal years 2014 to 2018, federal Medicaid spending increased by about 31 percent, according to the GAO report. But the full-time staff at CMS dedicated to financial oversight declined by roughly 19 percent over the same period.In a July 18 letter to the GAO, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agreed with the agency’s recommendations for improving oversight efforts.HHS wrote that it “will complete a comprehensive national review to assess the risk of Medicaid expenditures reported by states and allocate resources based on risk.”This story was produced by Kaiser Health News, which publishes California Healthline, a service of the California Health Care Foundation. This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Chad Terhune: cterhune@kff.org, @chadterhunelast_img read more


Key EPA science advisers call on agency to revive an expert soot


first_img By Sean Reilly, E&E NewsDec. 11, 2018 , 3:00 PM Cliff Owen/AP photo Key EPA science advisers call on agency to revive an expert soot panel it just killed Email Read more… Wheeler named both men to the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) in October, around the same time that he fired the approximately 24-member review panel, which was supposed to help the committee with added know-how during its legally required review of the standards.Also urging its revival is Jim Boylan, a senior manager at the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, appointed to the committee last fall by then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. The panel would furnish “additional insight and expertise to allow for a more thorough and in-depth review of the relevant science and policy documents,” Boylan wrote.All of their input is included in CASAC’s preliminary written response to the draft roundup, which will be the subject of a two-day meeting starting tomorrow in a hotel just outside Washington. EPA spokesman John Konkus and other agency press aides did not reply to an email seeking comment. Wheeler has given no explanation for disbanding the panel, apart from saying the decision to concentrate authority with CASAC was consistent with the Clean Air Act and the committee’s charter.By law, the seven-member CASAC provides outside expertise to EPA during assessments of the air quality standards for particulate matter, ozone and four other pollutants. All of its current members have been appointed under President Donald Trump’s administration; the panel is now supposed to conduct the appraisals of the particulate matter and ozone limits under new, streamlined procedures laid out by Pruitt this spring.The review of the ozone standard, kick-started in June, is supposed to conclude by October 2020. By EPA norms, that’s an exceptionally tight timetable with no recent precedent. The review of the particulate matter thresholds, once expected to end early in the next decade, is now supposed to also wrap up in late 2020, just before the end of Trump’s current term.Apart from Frampton, none of the seven CASAC members has a deep background in air pollution research. During a teleconference last month related to the ozone standard assessment, both Lewis and Frampton similarly urged creation of an auxiliary review panel, while Boylan put a higher priority on doing a good job than on meeting the October 2020 deadline.But the review of the particulate matter standards is particularly fraught. So-called fine particulates are linked to a wide spectrum of heart and lung problems that include a heightened risk of premature death.The draft research roundup, spanning almost 1,900 pages and formally known as an integrated science assessment (ISA), cites evidence that the existing limits on fine particulate exposure are too weak to adequately protect public health. Business groups, however, are worried about the added compliance costs that would likely follow any decision to tighten the existing limits. Moreover, 15 former members of the disbanded particulate matter review panel yesterday slammed EPA’s fast-track game plan for the review and hinted that a legal challenge could be in the offing (Greenwire, Dec. 10).”We remind CASAC and EPA, and CASAC should remind EPA, that the courts have recognized the importance of CASAC’s role and the need for adequate scientific review time,” they wrote in the letter to Tony Cox, the committee’s chairman.In an email, Cox yesterday called the scheduling and process questions “well worth considering,” but said they are not the committee’s primary responsibility. While Cox has previously said he has not reached any conclusion on whether the fine particulate standards should be changed, his past work for industry has left some scientists and environmental groups skeptical of his evenhandedness. In his comments on the draft research roundup, Cox wrote that he wanted more evidence, saying EPA should also provide “quantitative estimates” for “the amount of human health harm preventable by reducing PM exposures.”The clashing viewpoints enveloping the issue will be on full display tomorrow, with more than 25 speakers scheduled to address the committee. Many have already made written submissions of what they plan to say. Among them is Stewart Holm, chief scientist for the American Forest and Paper Association, who cited another study that he said “illuminates the complexity and uncertainty” surrounding the research over fine particulates’ health effects. “Until this uncertainty is addressed, it is possible that a substantial portion of the conclusions reached by the ISA regarding adverse health effects may be unreliable,” Holm wrote in recommending that the existing standards be left in place.They will also include Daniel Costa, a cardiopulmonary physiologist who headed EPA’s air quality research program from 2008 until early this year, according to his advance written testimony. Recalling how his father died in 1998 from heart arrhythmia, Costa acknowledged that he probably could not definitively pin the death on exposure to particulate pollution from a nearby coal-fired power plant operating at the time in the coastal Massachusetts area.But, he added in the statement, “Do I believe that the emissions of the power plant were responsible? You’re damn right I do!”Reprinted from Greenwire with permission from E&E News. Copyright 2018. E&E provides essential news for energy and environment professionals at www.eenews.net.Related story: Q&A: This air pollution expert advised EPA for a decade. Now, he’s a leading critic Originally published by E&E NewsTwo of acting Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Andrew Wheeler’s appointees to a prominent advisory committee are pushing back against his recent decision to disband an auxiliary panel involved in a closely watched review of airborne particulate standards.EPA “should immediately” reconstitute the particulate matter panel, Dr. Mark Frampton, a retired University of Rochester, New York, pulmonologist, wrote in comments made public yesterday. The panel “should be retained to enable more thorough review” of a draft EPA roundup of scientific research on the health and environmental effects of particulate matter exposure, said Tim Lewis of the Army Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Andrew Wheeler, acting administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.last_img read more


The oceans tallest waves are getting taller


first_img By Colin BarrasApr. 25, 2019 , 2:05 PM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe The ocean’s tallest waves are getting taller iStock.com/Bobbushphoto The frigid Southern Ocean is well known for its brutal storms, which can sink ships and trigger coastal flooding on distant tropical islands. Now, a new study suggests the biggest waves there—already the world’s largest—are getting bigger, thanks to faster winds attributed to climate change.Peter Ruggiero, a geophysicist at Oregon State University in Corvallis who was not involved in the study, calls the increase “substantial,” and says he is particularly concerned by evidence that the tallest waves are gaining height at the fastest rate. “If [those waves hit] at high tide, it could be potentially catastrophic.”For the past 33 years, global satellites have been collecting data on ocean waves—and the winds that drive them. By bouncing energy pulses off wave crests and measuring the time those pulses take to come back, instruments called altimeters aboard satellites can measure wave height—the taller the waves, the faster the signal returns. Other satellite instruments monitor changes in the reflectivity of the ocean surface, which is reduced by wind-generated ripples, to estimate the speed of ocean winds. But interpreting the data is difficult: Different satellites can give different estimates of wind speed, for instance. Emailcenter_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country To minimize those discrepancies, physical oceanographer Ian Young at the University of Melbourne in Australia, and mathematician Agustinus Ribal at Hasanuddin University in Makassar, Indonesia, compared information from different satellites and calibrated their data against an independent data set collected by a global network of buoys floating in the ocean. When they were done, two trends stood out: Since 1985, average ocean wind speeds in most of the world have increased between 1 centimeter and 2 centimeters per second per year, leading to increases in wave height in many places.In the Southern Ocean, the trends are particularly strong. For instance, although average wind speeds there have increased by 2 centimeters per second each year, the speed of the top 10% fastest winds has increased by 5 centimeters per second per year. And although average wave heights there have increased by just 0.3 centimeters per year, the top 10% highest has grown by an average of 1 centimeter per year—a growth of 30 centimeters since 1985, they report today in Science.The trends could be bad news for coastal communities, which face serious risks from sea level rise and extreme storm events, Young says. If oceanic winds are stronger and waves are taller, storms could be far more damaging.Young and Ribal have done a good job of cross-checking and double-checking data from the three different types of satellite instrument, says Ole Johan Aarnes at the University of Bergen in Norway. But, he adds, it might be “optimistic” to think that the data now contain no errors. Confirming the trends will likely require more work, he believes.The new paper doesn’t say definitively why wave height and wind speed is changing, although Young suspects a link with climate change. Ruggiero thinks that makes sense: He points out that a recent study in Nature Communications suggests higher global temperatures related to climate change are driving an expansion of the tropics—and an increase in wind speed there. “These are the secondary effects of climate change, not the obvious ones like sea level rise,” Young says. “This is where a lot of the research emphasis is now being placed.” Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Waves in the stormy Southern Ocean have grown an average of 30 centimeters since 1985.last_img read more


NASA lander survives harrowing descent to surface of Mars


first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Paul VoosenNov. 26, 2018 , 3:25 PM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe InSight’s first image, relayed to Earth by CubeSats, shows a curving horizon beyond a dust-covered lens cap. JPL-Caltech/NASA Update: NASA’s InSight spacecraft survived its descent through the thin atmosphere of Mars and successfully landed on the planet’s surface today. Although hurdles remain to achieve operating status, the lander is well positioned to begin to take Mars’s heartbeat in the next few months.“It was intense, and you could feel the emotion,” says NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, who was on hand for the launch. NASA was able to quickly confirm the landing thanks to a flawless performance by two tiny satellites that accompanied the lander. These CubeSats caught and relayed InSight’s signal to Earth, along with a bonus: a first picture of the terrain where the lander will place its two instruments. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email NASA lander survives harrowing descent to surface of Mars Although the picture is obscured by motes of dust on the camera, the terrain looks promising, says Rob Manning, chief engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) here. “It looks like there’s not a lot of rocks in the field of view.” A confirming “beep” of health, sent directly from InSight followed, soon after the CubeSat relay. Now, the agency must wait 5 hours for confirmation that the lander’s solar panels have been deployed.Here is our story from earlier today:PASADENA, CALIFORNIA—A boring spot on Mars is about to get real interesting. Later today, at 11:54 a.m. PST, NASA’s $814 million InSight spacecraft will attempt to land on a flat lava plain near the martian equator. The mission will be NASA’s first landing on the Red Planet since the Curiosity rover in 2012.“I’m really confident, personally, that we’re going to land safely,” says Bruce Banerdt, the mission’s principal investigator here at JPL. “Doesn’t mean I’m not nervous.”The size of an SUV, InSight is designed to explore the martian interior by sensing “marsquakes.” It has spent the past 6 months uneventfully cruising through space, making occasional tweaks to its trajectory. That calm will break at 11:41 a.m., when the spacecraft pivots and presents its heat shield to the atmosphere. At 11:47 a.m., the spacecraft will begin its screaming plunge toward the surface; the rapidly compressed atmosphere will send temperatures on the heat shield soaring to 1500°C. JPL-Caltech/NASA The descent will take just over 6 minutes, less than the “7 minutes of terror” made famous by the Curiosity rover. (And also less than the 8 minutes it takes for communication to reach Earth from Mars; all times in this story reflect the arrival of InSight’s signal.) Based on NASA’s Phoenix spacecraft, which landed in 2008, InSight uses retrorockets to slow the craft directly, rather than a “sky crane” to lower itself like Curiosity. But InSight is heavier than Phoenix, and its landing site is 1.5 kilometers higher, which means there is less atmosphere to slow the spacecraft. This meant reinforcing InSight’s heat shield and parachute suspension lines.After deploying the parachute, InSight will discard its heat shield and extend three legs. A belly-mounted radar will begin to sense the approaching ground. After detaching from the parachute, 12 thrusters will slow the lander’s descent to just over 2 meters per second before it touches down.If all goes as hoped, NASA will catch word of a safe landing thanks to two briefcase-size spacecraft that launched with InSight, together called Mars Cube One (MarCO). These first-ever interplanetary CubeSats sport experimental antennas that will relay InSight’s signal to Earth some 10 to 20 seconds after landing. A small fuel leak on one of the CubeSats has forced its engineers to creatively compensate, angling the spacecraft so the leak pushes in the desired trajectory, says Joel Krajewski, MarCO’s project manager at JPL. “The current trajectory is completely good.”The MarCo satellites could also relay InSight’s first picture of its landing site. The image, which could come several hours after landing, relayed by an orbiter passing overhead, will be fuzzy—the lander’s two cameras will still have dust caps on. But it should be enough to give JPL’s scientists a good look at their landing site. “Hopefully it’ll be flat and boring,” says Tom Hoffman, the mission’s project manager at JPL.If MarCO doesn’t do the job, NASA should still hear a “beep” directly from InSight by 12:01 p.m. Yet one of the most critical phases of the landing won’t occur until 16 minutes after touchdown, when the dust kicked up by its landing has settled and Insight unfurls its two solar panels. A status report on the panels won’t arrive until some 5 hours after landing. “Frankly, I will be a little bit nervous until I have the solar panels out,” Hoffman says. “After that, we should be in good shape.”NASA scientists chose InSight’s landing zone, the vast and dull Elysium Planitia, because they’re interested in Mars’s interior, not its surface. Rocks on the surface could complicate placing the lander’s two primary instruments—a sensitive seismometer and a heat probe—directly on the surface with a robotic arm. It will take several months for the InSight team to choose where to place them. The process mirrors selecting a landing site, and both endeavors have been led by the same JPL scientist, Matthew Golombek. “It’s pretty simple,” he says. “We don’t want a rock underneath. We don’t want a slope that’s too steep. We don’t want underdense material for it to sink into.”Once mission managers are ready, InSight’s robotic arm will pluck the volleyball-size seismometer from the lander’s deck and place it on the ground, with its power provided by a tether. The arm will then place a wind and heat shield on top of it like a bell jar. The station, developed by French partners, will catch rumbles of marsquakes, important for interpreting the planet’s interior. To avoid the wind vibrations that could trip up its measurements, it will be placed as far away from the lander as possible, up to the arm’s limit of some 1.5 meters away.The heat probe, developed by German partners, will be deployed soon after. Over the course of a few weeks, it will drive a rod 5 meters into the surface with thousands of strokes of a tungsten hammer, slipping around small rocks—and hopefully not hitting large ones. The heat probe will measure how much heat is escaping from the planet, and how quickly—a clue to when it was most volcanically active. But if there’s only one ideal instrument site, the seismometer takes priority, Golombek says, as it is InSight’s primary scientific payload.Once all this work is complete, InSight can finally get down to business, using the 50 to 100 marsquakes it might see over its 2-year primary mission to reveal the dimensions and composition of the martian interior—and, in turn, the story of its creation.Correction, 27 November, 3:10 p.m.: A previous version of this story incorrectly said that friction would drive up the heat shield’s temperature. This heating is instead driven by rapid compression of the atmosphere; friction provides the drag to slow the lander’s descent. Twelve thrusters slowed InSight to the surface of Mars.last_img read more


In letter researchers call for fair and just treatment of Iranian researchers


first_imgIranian wildlife scientists using camera traps to study animals including the Asiatic cheetah have been accused of espionage, but some government officials have called the charges baseless. In letter, researchers call for ‘fair and just’ treatment of Iranian researchers accused of espionage Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe By Richard StoneNov. 21, 2018 , 10:45 AM Charles Sharp (CC BY 4.0) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Update: In a letter released today, more than 330 conservationists and scholars from 66 countries assert that the imprisoned Iranian environmentalists “worked and carried themselves with the highest moral integrity” and call for a “fair and just evaluation of the evidence, access to lawyers of their choice, and a transparent trial.” In the letter addressed to Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, the authors, including primatologist and United Nations Messenger of Peace Jane Goodall, “strongly condemn” the possibility that “the neutral field of conservation could ever be used to pursue political objectives,” and they declare that they “are convinced our colleagues had no such part.”Here is our earlier coverage from 30 October:Prosecutors in Iran have charged four conservationists with “sowing corruption on Earth”—a crime punishable by death. Email The environmentalists, who work with the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation in Tehran, were arrested in January on suspicion of espionage. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards accused them of using camera traps—intended for monitoring rare Asiatic cheetahs and other wildlife—to eavesdrop on the nation’s ballistic missile program. Many observers view the detainees as pawns in a power struggle between the hardline Revolutionary Guards and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s relatively moderate administration, which in a review last spring determined that the spying accusation is baseless. But Rouhani’s allies have been powerless to secure the conservationists’ release.“The scientific community can do a lot by challenging the narrative that is being sold by [the Revolutionary Guards],” says Kaveh Madani, a water management expert at Imperial College London who served as Iran’s deputy vice president for the environment for several months before leaving the country in April after coming under escalating pressure from hardliners. “People trust the scientific community, and once they come with their counternarrative, the hardliners cannot sell their BS easily.”Human rights organizations learned last week that the charges against the four—believed to be Taher Ghadirian, Houman Jowkar, Morad Tahbaz, and Niloufar Bayani—have been upgraded to a capital offense. “This is a very bizarre charge to bring against environmental activists,” and “totally unprecedented,” says Tara Sepehri Far, a researcher with Human Rights Watch in New York City.Two of the accused serve on International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) panels that weigh evidence of the status of wildlife populations and recommend whether to add or remove species from IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species. Ghadirian and Jowkar are members of the cat specialist group, and Ghadirian is also on the bear specialist group. “IUCN is deeply alarmed by the charges,” says IUCN Species Survival Commission Chair Jon Paul Rodríguez, a conservation biologist at the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research in Caracas. Camera traps are “indispensable” for tracking the status and biology of threatened species, he says. “As far as I am aware, practically the only information we have on the Asiatic cheetah comes from camera traps.”Iranian security officers have detained five other environmentalists on similar accusations; one, Kavous Seyed-Emami, co-founder of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation, died in mysterious circumstances in Tehran’s Evin Prison in February. Authorities claim he committed suicide. No trial date has been set for the remaining eight detainees.last_img read more


Rare Manuscript Found Reveals Massive Lost World of 16th Century Books


first_imgHernando Colón (anglicized to Ferdinand Columbus) was born in 1488 to explorer Christopher Columbus, or Cristóbal Colón in Spanish, and his mistress Beatriz Enriquez de Arana. Although an out-of-wedlock child, Colón was recognized by his father. Like father like son, Colón also had a project which was larger than life. While Columbus was exploring the oceans and pursuing a quest to find the New World, his son was avidly trying to read every book he could lay hands on. In fact, he aimed “to create a universal library ‘containing all books, in all languages and on all subjects, that can be found both within Christendom and without’,” according to the Guardian.For his zealous effort, Colón even hired a fleet of scholars to go through the books he owned, asking them to produce quick summaries for what would be a ground-breaking 16-volume manuscript with cross-references to other items in the library collection. He would personally proofread and edit each of those summaries before submitting them to the manuscript.Hernando ColónThe manuscript was called Libro de los Epítomes (The Book of Epitomes) and has been compared to being a Middle Age search engine due to its extensive cross-referencing. In it, the knowledge of the books and other early print material collected by Colón was meticulously distilled and classified.For centuries, The Book of Epitomes was considered lost, until it was recently identified as part of the Arnamagnæan Collection at the University of Copenhagen, the Guardian reports. The summaries fill over 2,000 pages and a great deal of them refer to books that have been entirely lost to history. For shorter volumes, the scribes added one-pagers; for books such as those of the great Greek philosophers more extensive abstracts taking up dozens of pages were added.Related Video: Mysterious Ancient Societies That DisappearedThe manuscript was, in fact, one of four means of navigating through Colón’s library. According to The Arnamagnæan Institute, Colón had “four types of inventories to keep track of his books,” included “a list of authors, a list of sciences (that is, subjects), a list of materials (that is, themes of keywords) and finally a list of epitomes.” Each of these “could be cross-referenced through numbers assigned to the books in each of the lists.”Colón tirelessly added to the book collection until his death in 1539. It’s estimated that the library comprised around 15,000 volumes; sadly, only a quarter of these are known to have survived. After his death, Colón’s collection was relocated to Seville Cathedral, where negligence led to the loss of much of the library.Cambridge-based scholar Dr. Edward Wilson-Lee, author of a recently published biography of Hernando Colón titled The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books, has said The Book of Epitomes is like a window into a “lost world of 16th century books,” reports the Guardian.Photo courtesy of Suzanne Reitz/Arnamagnæan Institute, University of Copenhagen“It’s a discovery of immense importance, not only because it contains so much information about how people read 500 years ago, but also, because it contains summaries of books that no longer exist, lost in every other form than these summaries,” he said.The collection in which The Book of Epitomes has now resurfaced is ascribed to Icelandic-Danish scholar and collector Árni Magnússon, who lived from 1663 until 1730.Upon his death, Magnússon gifted his personal book collection to the University of Copenhagen. The great majority of his 3,000 volumes donation is in Icelandic and other Nordic languages. Only about 20 items are in Spanish, including The Book of Epitomes, and the language barrier was likely a reason why hardly anyone paid attention to it over the last few centuries.Illustration from La Piteuse Complainte, from the works of Pierre Gringore, with handwritten note by Fernando ColónIn 2013, during a visit to the Arnamagnæan Institute, Guy Lazure, an Associate Professor at Canada’s University of Windsor and a researcher on Colón, was the first to point out the manuscript could be connected with Hernando Colón’s library. Following which, other scholars were contacted by the Danish-based institute to investigate and confirm the find.The information eventually reached Colón’s biographer, Wilson-Lee, and co-author María Pérez Fernández. In collaboration with the Arnamagnæan Institute, Wilson-Lee and Fernández are due to work on digitizing the long lost manuscript.It’s surprising that The Book of Epitomes reappeared in a country so far north, and how, in the first place, a copy of it came to be a possession of Árni Magnússon. One possibility is that it journeyed with a bunch of other manuscripts, from Seville to Copenhagen, through diplomatic channels.Signature of Ferdinand Columbus in a lease contract dated 1534, preserved at the Provincial Historical Archive of Seville, SpainBack in the 16th century, Spain was the wealthiest country on the planet and its prowess was reflected in undertakings such as the voyages of Christopher Columbus. In the same spirit of achieving greatness, his son wanted a library of the sort never seen before. A universal library that would function like “the brain” of the powerful Spanish empire.If Colón had someone to look up to for such an aspiration, it was definitely his explorer-father, who was confident enough to believe Spain would one day reign over the entire known world.Hernando Colón’s houseColón himself traveled a lot, sometimes even accompanying his father. He also authored one of the earliest biographies on Columbus. “Between 1509 and his death in 1539, Colón traveled all over Europe — in 1530 alone he visited Rome, Bologna, Modena, Parma, Turin, Milan, Venice, Padua, Innsbruck, Augsburg, Constance, Basle, Fribourg, Cologne, Maastricht, Antwerp, Paris, Poitiers and Burgos,” notes the Guardian.The purpose of his extensive traveling time was again to collect books and any other printed material, for example, tavern posters or news pamphlets. At the time, his mass of books was called Biblioteca Hernandina and it grew to be at least three times the size of other private library collections of the era.Colón also had some intriguing reading habits. On each book, he noted where and at what cost the copy was purchased — in what currency the exchange rate that day. He was also keen to note where he was reading the book and his thoughts as he moved through the pages. Colón also kept to strict protocols of organizing his collection of books, so the production of The Book of Epitomes should come as no surprise.Biblioteca Colombina, 1913At the time the biggest private library in Europe, today Biblioteca Hernandina is called Biblioteca Colombina. The collection has shrunk to as few as 4,000 titles. While it was stored at Seville Cathedral, some of the copies are said to have been stolen; others were damaged in incidents such as flooding.Read another story from us: The Ancient Cathedral Library Where all the Books are Chained to the ShelvesBeyond the loss of books, the remnants of Colon’s great project are here with us, and his character teaches a fantastic story about a man who was resolute to gather all the books out there. If not read them all, at least have a brief idea of what they were all about. Unknowingly, Colón was reinventing the very idea of knowledge.last_img read more


Men charged in horrific child abuse case released


first_imgMen charged in horrific child abuse case released By Linda Kor Three men who were arrested in 2015 for their alleged involvement with the torture and sexual abuse of five children and the death of another in a 2005 case have been releasedSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Ad April 24, 2018last_img


Petersons chosen as grand marshals for Pioneer Days


first_img By Diana Hutchison There are few things in Snowflake that Elwood “Woody” and Beth Peterson haven’t been active in over the years. That is exactly why they were chosen by the Snowflake Pioneer Days CommitteeSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Ad July 17, 2018 Photo by Diana HutchisonLongtime Snowflake residents, Elwood “Woody” and Beth Peterson, have been chosen as this year’s Snowflake Pioneer Days parade marshals. They will be honored at the Pioneer Program this Saturday, July 21.center_img Petersons chosen as grand marshals for Pioneer Dayslast_img