Silicon Valley Carefully Navigates US-China High Tech Cold War

Silicon Valley has long been a power center of American innovation. Now that high-tech is also becoming a focus of tensions between the U.S. and China, companies based here are trying to understand how they fit in. VOA’s Michelle Quinn speaks with the head of the U.S. Defense Department’s local outpost who sees the tech industry as key to U.S. national security.

From: MeNeedIt

Anacondas Born to ‘Virgin Mother’ at Boston Aquarium

Anna, a female green anaconda that has lived most of her life in an all-female enclosure at the New England Aquarium, has given birth.

The anaconda produced 18 snakes in early January. A DNA test has confirmed that the births were a result of a nonsexual reproduction process known as parthenogenesis, or “virgin birth,” according to the aquarium.

Parthenogenesis commonly occurs in the plant world and among animals without a backbone, but is rare among vertebrates. The process has been documented only among lizards, birds, sharks and snakes.

The phenomenon involving Anna is the second known confirmed case of parthenogenesis for a green anaconda. The first was at a British zoo in 2014.

Only two of Anna’s 18 offspring have survived.

Aquarium staff said the young snakes are clones of their mother. Limited genetic sequencing shows complete matches on all the sites tested.

From: MeNeedIt

Anacondas Born to ‘Virgin Mother’ at Boston Aquarium

Anna, a female green anaconda that has lived most of her life in an all-female enclosure at the New England Aquarium, has given birth.

The anaconda produced 18 snakes in early January. A DNA test has confirmed that the births were a result of a nonsexual reproduction process known as parthenogenesis, or “virgin birth,” according to the aquarium.

Parthenogenesis commonly occurs in the plant world and among animals without a backbone, but is rare among vertebrates. The process has been documented only among lizards, birds, sharks and snakes.

The phenomenon involving Anna is the second known confirmed case of parthenogenesis for a green anaconda. The first was at a British zoo in 2014.

Only two of Anna’s 18 offspring have survived.

Aquarium staff said the young snakes are clones of their mother. Limited genetic sequencing shows complete matches on all the sites tested.

From: MeNeedIt

Scientists: Chile’s Southern Patagonia Ice Field Ruptured by Climate Change 

Chile’s 12,000 square kilometer (4,633 square mile) Southern Patagonia Ice Field split in two and is likely to continue to fracture amid climate change, according to a team of Chilean scientists who were in the region in March.

Gino Casassa, chief of the Snow and Glacier Division of Chile’s DGA water authority, told Reuters increasing temperatures along the Andes Mountains in southern Chile and Argentina have meant less snow and ice to replenish the region’s abundant glaciers.

“What occurred is a fracture as the ice has retreated, Casassa said.

The chunk of ice that split off from the main glacier was estimated at 208 square kilometers (80.3 square miles), a relatively small part of the ice field.

But Casassa said it may be a sign of things to come.

The ice field, he said, is now “split in two, and we’ll likely discover further divisions to the south,” he said.

Two icebergs broke off the Grey Glacier in southern Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park earlier this year, adding to fears that such ruptures are becoming more frequent.

 

From: MeNeedIt

Scientists: Chile’s Southern Patagonia Ice Field Ruptured by Climate Change 

Chile’s 12,000 square kilometer (4,633 square mile) Southern Patagonia Ice Field split in two and is likely to continue to fracture amid climate change, according to a team of Chilean scientists who were in the region in March.

Gino Casassa, chief of the Snow and Glacier Division of Chile’s DGA water authority, told Reuters increasing temperatures along the Andes Mountains in southern Chile and Argentina have meant less snow and ice to replenish the region’s abundant glaciers.

“What occurred is a fracture as the ice has retreated, Casassa said.

The chunk of ice that split off from the main glacier was estimated at 208 square kilometers (80.3 square miles), a relatively small part of the ice field.

But Casassa said it may be a sign of things to come.

The ice field, he said, is now “split in two, and we’ll likely discover further divisions to the south,” he said.

Two icebergs broke off the Grey Glacier in southern Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park earlier this year, adding to fears that such ruptures are becoming more frequent.

 

From: MeNeedIt

Mass Cleanup of Italian Beaches Planned for Weekend

Every year, 8 million tons of waste suffocate beaches and sea beds, says Italy’s environment league, Legambiente. Its Beach Litter report issued this week revealed that more than 80 percent of the waste found on 93 beaches was plastic. 

 

A mass cleanup is planned next weekend, involving thousands of volunteers on 250 beaches and coastal sites. Legambiente, which organized the effort, also urged the government to approve the Salvamare (Save Our Seas) bill that would allow fishermen to bring to shore any plastic that ends up in their nets, without having to pay for disposal costs.

Greenpeace Italy sounded its alarm this week when a young sperm whale washed ashore on a Sicilian beach with plastic in its stomach. Giorgia Monti, campaign manager for Greenpeace, said five sperm whales had beached in the last five months in Italy. She could not confirm whether plastic was the cause of the death of the last whale found, but said it was very likely.

“The sea is sending us a cry of alarm, a desperate SOS,” Monti said.

Later this month, Greenpeace is launching an effort to monitor plastic pollution levels at sea, with a focus on the west coast of Italy. 

 

To stem the tide of plastic waste, initiatives have been spearheaded across Italy. Among new technology to combat pollution in many Italian ports are filters called sea-bins, which are active 24 hours and able to capture more than 1.5 kilograms of plastic daily. 

 

While campaigners say much more needs to be done, some tourist resorts have banned the use of non-recyclable plastic and fine violators. 

 

From: MeNeedIt

Mass Cleanup of Italian Beaches Planned for Weekend

Every year, 8 million tons of waste suffocate beaches and sea beds, says Italy’s environment league, Legambiente. Its Beach Litter report issued this week revealed that more than 80 percent of the waste found on 93 beaches was plastic. 

 

A mass cleanup is planned next weekend, involving thousands of volunteers on 250 beaches and coastal sites. Legambiente, which organized the effort, also urged the government to approve the Salvamare (Save Our Seas) bill that would allow fishermen to bring to shore any plastic that ends up in their nets, without having to pay for disposal costs.

Greenpeace Italy sounded its alarm this week when a young sperm whale washed ashore on a Sicilian beach with plastic in its stomach. Giorgia Monti, campaign manager for Greenpeace, said five sperm whales had beached in the last five months in Italy. She could not confirm whether plastic was the cause of the death of the last whale found, but said it was very likely.

“The sea is sending us a cry of alarm, a desperate SOS,” Monti said.

Later this month, Greenpeace is launching an effort to monitor plastic pollution levels at sea, with a focus on the west coast of Italy. 

 

To stem the tide of plastic waste, initiatives have been spearheaded across Italy. Among new technology to combat pollution in many Italian ports are filters called sea-bins, which are active 24 hours and able to capture more than 1.5 kilograms of plastic daily. 

 

While campaigners say much more needs to be done, some tourist resorts have banned the use of non-recyclable plastic and fine violators. 

 

From: MeNeedIt

Cricket Fans in Pakistan Turn to Night Matches in Ramadan

During Ramadan, when many in Muslim-majority Pakistan do not eat or drink during the day, sports enthusiasts turn to night games. For years, amateur cricketers in the capital, Islamabad, used empty roads or local play grounds — any open space with lights — to fulfill their passion. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem shows how informal tournaments are flourishing.

From: MeNeedIt

Cricket Fans in Pakistan Turn to Night Matches in Ramadan

During Ramadan, when many in Muslim-majority Pakistan do not eat or drink during the day, sports enthusiasts turn to night games. For years, amateur cricketers in the capital, Islamabad, used empty roads or local play grounds — any open space with lights — to fulfill their passion. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem shows how informal tournaments are flourishing.

From: MeNeedIt

Belgian Monks, Israeli Researchers Tackle Ancient Beer-Brewing Traditions

A Belgian abbey is reviving its centuries-old tradition of beer-making after 220 years. The monks at Grimbergen Abbey are using ancient recipes to offer specialty beers in their new microbrewery. Meanwhile, researchers in Israel have made beer with yeast from jars that are thousands of years old. Beer is one of the oldest beverages, but producers are making new and attractive brews. As VOA Zlatica Hoke reports, there is a growing interest in traditional beers and the history of brewing.

From: MeNeedIt