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High-end TV today is all about intricate story arcs, deep serialization, a requirement for sequential viewing and a serious attention span. That’s a lot of commitment, even for a binger. And that's what many “Star Trek” shows today are, too. So what’s a planet-of-the-week fan of the original series and its episodic aesthetic to do? The answer is “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds,” which is chronicling the voyages of the USS Enterprise before Kirk became its captain. Led by Capt. Christopher Pike, the show is essentially a workplace drama in deep space. It's the intergalactic equivalent of visiting some really cool people at the office and getting varied tastes of what exactly it is that they do.

AP
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Parts of Australia’s largest city have been inundated by four major floods since March last year, leaving weary residents questioning how many times they can rebuild. The latest disaster follows Sydney’s wettest-ever start to a year with dams overflowing and a sodden landscape incapable of absorbing more rain that must instead run into swollen waterways. There are climate, geographic and demographic factors behind Sydney’s latest flooding emergency.

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Italy endured a prolonged heat wave before an Alpine glacier broke off and killed seven hikers and left others unaccounted for. Hotter temperatures are linked to climate change and can destabilize glaciers, although it is difficult to name climate change as the cause of specific events. Experts said higher temperatures make ice avalanches more likely and that melted ice and snow may have triggered the event. Drought conditions may also have helped loosen the ice's hold on the mountain slope. The avalanche occurred in the Dolomites in northeast Italy.

AP
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Italian officials in an Alpine resort town say 13 people are still unaccounted for and seven hikers were killed a day earlier by an avalanche of ice and stone unleashed when a massive piece of glacier broke off on a mountaintop.  Regional official Maurizio Fuggati told reporters Monday afternoon that people had contacted authorities to say loved ones didn't return. Eleven of those unaccounted are Italian, three are from Czechia and one from Austria. Premier Mario Draghi says climate was a factor. The dead were being identified at a morgue set up in an ice rink in the town of Canazei. Earlier Monday, thunderstorms made it too difficult for rescue teams, their search dogs or drones to operate in the area.

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Medication abortions were the preferred method for ending pregnancy in the U.S. even before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. As more states seek abortion limits, demand is expected to grow. They involve using two prescription medicines days apart _ pills that can be taken at home or in a clinic. The drug mifepristone is taken first. It blocks the effects of the hormone progesterone, which is needed to sustain a pregnancy. Misoprostol is taken 24 to 48 hours later. It cause the womb to contract, expelling the pregnancy. Use of the pills has been increasing in recent years.

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Companies that want to sell shampoo bottles, food products and other items wrapped in plastic in California will have to cut down their use of the material. That's under a bill signed Thursday by Gov. Gavin Newsom that sets the nation's most stringent plastics reduction rules. It would require producers to use 25% less plastic for single-use products 2032. That could be met through using less material, switching to another type of packaging or making the products refillable or reusable. It was negotiated by lawmakers, environmental and business groups. Backers of a similar ballot measure have removed their initiative from the November ballot.

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Social media users shared a range of false claims this week. Here are the facts: A 2019 amendment to a Kentucky abortion law was proposed as satire and not seriously considered. A Department of Defense statement issued after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade did not say the Pentagon would defy the ruling, nor did it say it would violate any state laws on the matter. Pallets of bricks pictured on a Washington, D.C., street were for ongoing construction, not to incite rioting. Research at a Tennessee laboratory studied neutron activity, not a portal to a parallel universe.

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President Joe Biden’s hope for saving the Earth from the devastating effects of climate change may not be dead. But it's not far from it. A Supreme Court ruling Thursday limits the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate climate pollution by power plants and suggests the court is poised to block Biden’s other efforts to limit the fumes emitted by oil, gas and coal. It’s a blow to Biden’s commitment to slash emissions in the few years scientists say remain to stave off deadlier levels of global warming. It's a sign to Democrats of the dwindling chances left for Biden to reverse the legacy of President Donald Trump, who mocked the science of climate change.

AP
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India banned some single-use or disposable plastic products Friday as a part of a federal plan to phase out the ubiquitous material in the nation of nearly 1.4 billion people. Officials said that making, importing, stocking, or selling these banned items will lead to fines and, in some cases, jail time. It's part of a long-term effort by India to cut down on plastic waste. Reducing the manufacture and consequent waste of plastic is crucial for India to meet its goal for reducing carbon emissions. The first step targets plastic items that aren’t very useful but have a high potential to become litter.

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In a blow to the fight against climate change, the Supreme Court has limited how the nation’s main anti-air pollution law can be used to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. By a 6-3 vote Thursday, with conservatives in the majority, the court said that the Clean Air Act does not give the Environmental Protection Agency broad authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants that contribute to global warming. The decision, environmental advocates, dissenting liberal justices and President Joe Biden said, was a major step in the wrong direction at a time of increasing environmental damage attributable to climate change amid dire warnings about the future.