Technology 

Great Barrier Reef gets AU$60M in life support – CNET

Getty Images Things aren’t looking good for the Great Barrier Reef, with rising water temperatures leading to coral bleaching that has decimated much of the natural wonder. The Australian government on Monday revealed how it’ll help the ailing reef with AU$60 million over the next 18 months. Most of the money, AU$36 million, will be devoted to battling new polluted water entering and toxifying the reef. Meanwhile, crown-of-thorns starfish, a predator of the reef’s corals, will be the target of a AU$10.4 million attack, with the number of vessels culling…

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Space 

Kepler confirms health of LEO Ku-band cubesat

WASHINGTON — Kepler Communications, a Canadian startup designing a low-Earth-orbit constellation for satellite connectivity, says its first satellite is performing as expected following a Jan. 19 launch on China’s Long March 11 rocket. Kepler’s cubesat satellite was one of six satellites that China Great Wall Industry Corp. launched from China’s oldest spaceport, the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert. Nicknamed Kipp after a robot in the 2014 sci-fi movie “Interstellar,”  the 30-centimeter by 10-centimeter by 10-centimeter nanosatellite is the first of two demonstration satellites Scotland’s Clyde Space built for Kepler,…

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Science 

Oil slick off China coast trebles in size

Smoke and flames were seen coming from the burning oil tanker Sanchi at sea off the coast of eastern China earlier this month (AFP Photo/-) More Beijing (AFP) – The spill from a sunken Iranian tanker off China’s east coast has more than trebled in size, just over a week after the ship sank in a ball of flames. Authorities spotted three oil slicks with a total surface area of 332 square kilometres (128 square miles), compared to 101 square kilometres reported on Wednesday, the State Oceanic Administration said in…

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Science 

Barrier Reef funding boost to tackle predatory starfish

The coral-eating starfish are naturally occurring but have proliferated due to pollution and agricultural run-off (AFP Photo/KATHARINA FABRICIUS) More Sydney (AFP) – A multimillion-dollar campaign to stop the predatory crown-of-thorns starfish devouring the Great Barrier Reef was announced by the Australian government Monday in a push to preserve the World Heritage-listed ecosystem. The coral-eating starfish are naturally occurring but have proliferated due to pollution and agricultural run-off at the struggling reef. Their impact has been profound — a major study of the 2,300-kilometre (1,400-mile) long reef’s health in 2012 showed…

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Top Stories World 

Italy election: Renzi in desperate plea to thwart Eurosceptics – ‘they are like Le Pen’

Mr Renzi, who was the leader of the Democratic Party in Italy, has urged voters to elect his party who want to rebuild Europe, to keep the populist Five Star Movement and the Northern League parties out of power.  Speaking on the Italian news channel ‘Askanews’, Mr Renzi said: “The alternative is clear: on the one hand there is the Democratic Party who wants to rebuild Europe, on the other hand there are parties that see Europe as a threat and they which to leave. In a desperate plea for…

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Top Stories World 

3 killed, 5 injured after explosion on towboat in Kentucky

Three people were killed and five others injured after an explosion on a docked towboat on the Tennessee River in Kentucky on Friday, a U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman said. Authorities are investigating what caused the blast on the vessel, which was moored and being repaired at the First Marine facility in Calvert City, according to Coast Guard spokeswoman Lexie Preston. At least 20 people were doing work on the boat at the time of the explosion, Preston said. Officials have not released the identities of the dead and the injured.…

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Science 

'Blue Planet II' premiere: Bird-eating fish and 5 more sequences you'll be talking about

Planet Earth: Blue Planet II, the eight-part follow-up to the Emmy-winning 2001 nature documentary series, was the top-rated show of 2017 in the U.K. This Saturday, the journey, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, finally begins on BBC America. Most viewers are aware that oceans cover 70 percent of Earth. But over the course of four years in production, Blue Planet II teams filmed behaviors many of us never would have imagined. Here, executive producer James Honeyborne offers a preview of six of the sequences that will wow you in the…

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Science 

President Trump's New Defense Strategy Is a Return to the Cold War

The National Defense Strategy, set to be rolled out by Defense Secretary James Mattis at John Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, directs the U.S. government to engage in a multi-year build-up of the military involving more troops, more weapons and stronger foreign alliances. The document, which serves as the Administration’s roadmap for global security, says China and Russia aim to upend the global hierarchy that the United States has sat atop of since World War II. The strategy serves as the latest sign the Administration wants to…

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Top Stories World 

Iran oil tanker ‘may be leaking bunker fuel’ after worst spill disaster in DECADES

The SOA said several previously unreported slicks were spotted by planes, vessels and satellites near the disaster site. The SOA said one, seen 2.5 kilometers (km) east of the wreck site around 0600 local time on Thursday, may indicate leakage of extremely toxic bunker fuel, the heavy oil used in ship engines. It remain unclear how much bunker fuel was left aboard the tanker, the Sanchi (IMO:93356608), when it sank. Experts estimated it may have been carrying about 1,000 tonnes at the time it collided with the CF Crystal (IMO:9497050)…

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