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(CBS News) – Putin reveals what he admires most about America

Charlie Rose recently sat down for a one-on-one interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss what the Russian leader thinks of America and how the world views him.

Here’s a preview of this Sunday’s “60 Minutes” report:

Charlie Rose: You’re much talked about in America. There’s much conversation, more so than any.

Vladimir Putin: Maybe they have nothing else to do in America but talk about me. [laughs]

Rose: No, no, no, or maybe they’re curious people? [laughs] Or maybe you’re an interesting character? Maybe that’s what it is. As you know, some have called you a czar.

Putin: So what? You know people call me different names.

Rose: But does the name fit?

Putin: No, it does not fit me. It’s not important how I’m called, whether these are well-wishers, friends or political opponents. It’s important what you think about you, what you must do for the interest of the country which has entrusted you with the position as the head of the Russian state.

Rose: Are you curious about America? More than simply another nation that you have to deal with?

Putin: Of course we’re curious about what’s going on. America exerts enormous influence on the situation in the world as a whole.

Rose: What do you admire most about America?

Putin: I like the creativity.

Rose: Creativity?

Putin: Creativity when it comes to your tackling problems. Their openness — openness and open-mindedness — because it allows them to unleash the inner potential of their people. And thanks to that, America has attained such amazing results in developing their country.

Watch the full “60 Minutes” interview this Sunday, Sept. 27 at7:30 p.m. ET/PT.

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The safety of the LHC | CERN press office

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) can achieve an energy that no other particle accelerators have reached before, but Nature routinely produces higher energies in cosmic-ray collisions. Concerns about the safety of whatever may be created in such high-energy particle collisions have been addressed for many years. In the light of new experimental data and theoretical understanding, the LHC Safety Assessment Group (LSAG) has updated a review of the analysis made in 2003 by the LHC Safety Study Group, a group of independent scientists.

LSAG reaffirms and extends the conclusions of the 2003 report that LHC collisions present no danger and that there are no reasons for concern. Whatever the LHC will do, Nature has already done many times over during the lifetime of the Earth and other astronomical bodies. The LSAG report has been reviewed and endorsed by CERN’s Scientific Policy Committee, a group of external scientists that advises CERN’s governing body, its Council.

The following summarizes the main arguments given in the LSAG report. Anyone interested in more details is encouraged to consult it directly, and the technical scientific papers to which it refers.

Cosmic rays

The LHC, like other particle accelerators, recreates the natural phenomena of cosmic rays under controlled laboratory conditions, enabling them to be studied in more detail. Cosmic rays are particles produced in outer space, some of which are accelerated to energies far exceeding those of the LHC. The energy and the rate at which they reach the Earth’s atmosphere have been measured in experiments for some 70 years. Over the past billions of years, Nature has already generated on Earth as many collisions as about a million LHC experiments – and the planet still exists. Astronomers observe an enormous number of larger astronomical bodies throughout the Universe, all of which are also struck by cosmic rays. The Universe as a whole conducts more than 10 million million LHC-like experiments per second. The possibility of any dangerous consequences contradicts what astronomers see – stars and galaxies still exist.

Microscopic black holes

Nature forms black holes when certain stars, much larger than our Sun, collapse on themselves at the end of their lives. They concentrate a very large amount of matter in a very small space. Speculations about microscopic black holes at the LHC refer to particles produced in the collisions of pairs of protons, each of which has an energy comparable to that of a mosquito in flight. Astronomical black holes are much heavier than anything that could be produced at the LHC.

According to the well-established properties of gravity, described by Einstein’s relativity, it is impossible for microscopic black holes to be produced at the LHC. There are, however, some speculative theories that predict the production of such particles at the LHC. All these theories predict that these particles would disintegrate immediately. Black holes, therefore, would have no time to start accreting matter and to cause macroscopic effects.

Although theory predicts that microscopic black holes decay rapidly, even hypothetical stable black holes can be shown to be harmless by studying the consequences of their production by cosmic rays. Whilst collisions at the LHC differ from cosmic-ray collisions with astronomical bodies like the Earth in that new particles produced in LHC collisions tend to move more slowly than those produced by cosmic rays, one can still demonstrate their safety. The specific reasons for this depend whether the black holes are electrically charged, or neutral. Many stable black holes would be expected to be electrically charged, since they are created by charged particles. In this case they would interact with ordinary matter and be stopped while traversing the Earth or Sun, whether produced by cosmic rays or the LHC. The fact that the Earth and Sun are still here rules out the possibility that cosmic rays or the LHC could produce dangerous charged microscopic black holes. If stable microscopic black holes had no electric charge, their interactions with the Earth would be very weak. Those produced by cosmic rays would pass harmlessly through the Earth into space, whereas those produced by the LHC could remain on Earth. However, there are much larger and denser astronomical bodies than the Earth in the Universe. Black holes produced in cosmic-ray collisions with bodies such as neutron stars and white dwarf stars would be brought to rest. The continued existence of such dense bodies, as well as the Earth, rules out the possibility of the LHC producing any dangerous black holes.

Strangelets

Strangelet is the term given to a hypothetical microscopic lump of ‘strange matter’ containing almost equal numbers of particles called up, down and strange quarks. According to most theoretical work, strangelets should change to ordinary matter within a thousand-millionth of a second. But could strangelets coalesce with ordinary matter and change it to strange matter? This question was first raised before the start up of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, RHIC, in 2000 in the United States. A study at the time showed that there was no cause for concern, and RHIC has now run for eight years, searching for strangelets without detecting any. At times, the LHC will run with beams of heavy nuclei, just as RHIC does. The LHC’s beams will have more energy than RHIC, but this makes it even less likely that strangelets could form. It is difficult for strange matter to stick together in the high temperatures produced by such colliders, rather as ice does not form in hot water. In addition, quarks will be more dilute at the LHC than at RHIC, making it more difficult to assemble strange matter. Strangelet production at the LHC is therefore less likely than at RHIC, and experience there has already validated the arguments that strangelets cannot be produced.

The analysis of the first LHC data from heavy ion collisions has now confirmed the key ingredients used in the LSAG report to evaluate the upper limit on the production of hypothetical strangelets. For more details see this addendum to the LSAG report: Implications of LHC heavy ion data for multi-strange baryon production (2011)

Vacuum bubbles

There have been speculations that the Universe is not in its most stable configuration, and that perturbations caused by the LHC could tip it into a more stable state, called a vacuum bubble, in which we could not exist. If the LHC could do this, then so could cosmic-ray collisions. Since such vacuum bubbles have not been produced anywhere in the visible Universe, they will not be made by the LHC.

Magnetic monopoles

Magnetic monopoles are hypothetical particles with a single magnetic charge, either a north pole or a south pole. Some speculative theories suggest that, if they do exist, magnetic monopoles could cause protons to decay. These theories also say that such monopoles would be too heavy to be produced at the LHC. Nevertheless, if the magnetic monopoles were light enough to appear at the LHC, cosmic rays striking the Earth’s atmosphere would already be making them, and the Earth would very effectively stop and trap them. The continued existence of the Earth and other astronomical bodies therefore rules out dangerous proton-eating magnetic monopoles light enough to be produced at the LHC.

Other aspects of LHC safety:

Concern has recently been expressed that a ‘runaway fusion reaction’ might be created in the LHC carbon beam dump. The safety of the LHC beam dump had previously been reviewed by the relevant regulatory authorities of the CERN host states, France and Switzerland. The specific concerns expressed more recently have been addressed in a technical memorandum by Assmann et al. As they point out, fusion reactions can be maintained only in material compressed by some external pressure, such as that provided by gravity inside a star, a fission explosion in a thermonuclear device, a magnetic field in a Tokamak, or by continuing isotropic laser or particle beams in the case of inertial fusion. In the case of the LHC beam dump, it is struck once by the beam coming from a single direction. There is no countervailing pressure, so the dump material is not compressed, and no fusion is possible.

Concern has been expressed that a ‘runaway fusion reaction’ might be created in a nitrogen tank inside the LHC tunnel. There are no such nitrogen tanks. Moreover, the arguments in the previous paragraph prove that no fusion would be possible even if there were.

Finally, concern has also been expressed that the LHC beam might somehow trigger a ‘Bose-Nova’ in the liquid helium used to cool the LHC magnets. A study(link is external) by Fairbairn and McElrath has clearly shown there is no possibility of the LHC beam triggering a fusion reaction in helium.

We recall that ‘Bose-Novae’ are known to be related to chemical reactions that release an infinitesimal amount of energy by nuclear standards. We also recall that helium is one of the most stable elements known, and that liquid helium has been used in many previous particle accelerators without mishap. The facts that helium is chemically inert and has no nuclear spin imply that no ‘Bose-Nova’ can be triggered in the superfluid helium used in the LHC.

Comments on the papers by Giddings and Mangano, and by LSAG

The papers by Giddings and Mangano(link is external) and LSAG(link is external) demonstrating the safety of the LHC have been studied, reviewed and endorsed by leading experts from the CERN Member States, Japan, Russia and the United States, working in astrophysics, cosmology, general relativity, mathematics, particle physics and risk analysis, including several Nobel Laureates in Physics. They all agree that the LHC is safe.

The paper(link is external) by Giddings and Mangano has been peer-reviewed by anonymous experts in astrophysics and particle physics and published(link is external) in the professional scientific journal Physical Review D. The American Physical Society chose to highlight this as one of the most significant papers it has published recently, commissioning acommentary(link is external) by Prof. Peskin from the Stanford Linear Accelerator Laboratory in which he endorses its conclusions. The Executive Committee of the Division of Particles and Fields of the American Physical Society has issued a statement(link is external) endorsing the LSAG report.

The LSAG report has been published(link is external) by the UK Institute of Physics in its publication Journal of Physics G. The conclusions of the LSAG report were endorsed in a press release

The conclusions of LSAG have also been endorsed(link is external) by the Particle and Nuclear Physics Section (KET) of the German Physical Society. A translation into German of the complete LSAG report may be found on the KET website, as well as here. (A translation into French of the complete LSAG report is also available.)

Thus, the conclusion that LHC collisions are completely safe has been endorsed by the three respected professional societies of physicists that have reviewed it, which rank among the most highly respected professional societies in the world.

World-renowned experts in astrophysics, cosmology, general relativity, mathematics, particle physics and risk analysis, including several Nobel Laureates in Physics, have also expressed clear individual opinions that LHC collisions are not dangerous:

“To think that LHC particle collisions at high energies can lead to dangerous black holes is rubbish. Such rumors were spread by unqualified people seeking sensation or publicity.

Academician Vitaly Ginzburg, Nobel Laureate in Physics, Lebedev Institute, Moscow, and Russian Academy of Sciences

“The operation of the LHC is safe, not only in the old sense of that word, but in the more general sense that our most qualified scientists have thoroughly considered and analyzed the risks involved in the operation of the LHC. [Any concerns] are merely hypothetical and speculative, and contradicted by much evidence and scientific analysis.

Prof. Sheldon Glashow, Nobel Laureate in Physics, Boston University,

Prof. Frank Wilczek, Nobel Laureate in Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,

Prof. Richard Wilson, Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics, Harvard University

“The world will not come to an end when the LHC turns on. The LHC is absolutely safe. … Collisions releasing greater energy occur millions of times a day in the earth’s atmosphere and nothing terrible happens.

Prof. Steven Hawking, Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, Cambridge University

“Nature has already done this experiment. … Cosmic rays have hit the moon with more energy and have not produced a black hole that has swallowed up the moon. The universe doesn’t go around popping off huge black holes.

Prof. Edward Kolb, Astrophysicist, University of Chicago

“I certainly have no worries at all about the purported possibility of LHC producing microscopic black holes capable of eating up the Earth. There is no scientific basis whatever for such wild speculations.”

Prof. Sir Roger Penrose, Former Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics, Oxford University

“There is no risk [in LHC collisions, and] the LSAG report is excellent.

Prof. Lord Martin Rees, UK Astronomer Royal and President of the Royal Society of London

“Those who have doubts about LHC safety should read LSAG report where all possible risks were considered. We can be sure that particle collisions at the LHC  cannot lead to a catastrophic consequences.

Academician V.A. Rubakov, Institute for Nuclear Research, Moscow, and Russian Academy of Sciences

“We fully endorse the conclusions of the LSAG report: there is no basis for any concerns about the consequences of new particles or forms of matter that could possibly be produced at the LHC.

R. Aleksan et al., the 20 external members of the CERN Scientific Policy Committee, including Prof. Gerard ‘t Hooft, Nobel Laureate in Physics.

The overwhelming majority of physicists agree that microscopic black holes would be unstable, as predicted by basic principles of quantum mechanics. As discussed in the LSAG report(link is external), if microscopic black holes can be produced by the collisions of quarks and/or gluons inside protons, they must also be able to decay back into quarks and/or gluons. Moreover, quantum mechanics predicts specifically that they should decay via Hawking radiation.

Nevertheless, a few papers have suggested that microscopic black holes might be stable. The paper(link is external) by Giddings and Mangano and the LSAG report(link is external) analyzed very conservatively the hypothetical case of stable microscopic black holes and concluded that even in this case there would be no conceivable danger. Another analysis(link is external) with similar conclusions has been documented by Dr. Koch, Prof. Bleicher and Prof. Stoecker of Frankfurt University and GSI, Darmstadt, who conclude:

“We discussed the logically possible black hole evolution paths. Then we discussed every single outcome of those paths and showed that none of the physically sensible paths can lead to a black hole disaster at the LHC.”

Professor Roessler (who has a medical degree and was formerly a chaos theorist in Tuebingen) also raised doubts on the existence of Hawking radiation. His ideas have been refuted by Profs. Nicolai (Director at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics – Albert-Einstein-Institut – in Potsdam) and Giulini, whose report(link is external) (see herefor the English translation, and here for further statements) point to his failure to understand general relativity and the Schwarzschild metric, and his reliance on an alternative theory of gravity that was disproven in 1915. Their verdict:

“[Roessler’s] argument is not valid; the argument is not self-consistent.”

The paper of Prof. Roessler has also been criticized by Prof. Bruhn of the Darmstadt University of Technology, who concludes(link is external) that:

“Roessler’s misinterpretation of the Schwarzschild metric [renders] his further considerations … null and void. These are not papers that could be taken into account when problems of black holes are discussed.”

A hypothetical scenario for possibly dangerous metastable black holes has recently been proposed(link is external) by Dr. Plaga. The conclusions of this work have been shown to be inconsistent in a second paper(link is external) by Giddings and Mangano, where it is also stated that the safety of this class of metastable black hole scenarios is already established by their original work(link is external).

 

Source: The safety of the LHC | CERN press office

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(USA Today) – Audi shows off e-tron quattro luxury electric crossover

FRANKFURT—In the race to lure luxury customers into electric vehicles, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler is making his ambitions clear.

As Silicon Valley automaker Tesla Motors preps the release of its third luxury electric vehicle this month and Porsche weighs a battery-powered concept called Mission E, Audi is readying its own offering: the e-tron quattro.

It’s a concept, but possibly a realistic vision of where Audi is headed. The company confirmed at Frankfurt Motor Show here that it will release a luxury electric crossover in early 2018.

At 16 feet long, 6.3 feet wide and 5.1 feet high, the four-seat e-tron quattro boasts what Audi described as a “coupe-like silhouette.” It’s longer than Audi’s Q5 crossover and shorter than its Q7.

It has three electric motors, with one in the front and two in the back. Audi said it’s drawing on the engineering expertise it’s gleaned from the R8 e-tron sports car.

The e-tron quattro’s introduction marks the latest sign that the luxury industry is taking Tesla seriously. The California company plans to release the Model X crossover later this month.

Stadler said his goal for the quattro is to “lead the industry in connectivity and energy efficiency.”

Asked how he would do that, he simply turned to his side and motioned to the e-tron quattro, as if to say it spoke for itself.

Audi said the e-tron quattro concept reflects “a concrete foretaste” of the company’s production-model electric crossover.

With a 95 kilowatt-hour battery pack, the vehicle can travel 310.7 miles on a battery charge and can go from 0 to 62 miles per hour in 4.6 seconds. A full charges takes about 50 minutes. It can also be wirelessly charged, though that would take longer. A solar roof adds electrical input on sunny days.

Porsche on Monday introduced the Mission E luxury electric car, which can go 310 miles on a single charge and be recharged up to 80% capacity in 15 minutes. It can hit 62.1 mph in less than 3.5 seconds.

Porsche is expected to deliver a production model within five years.

USA TODAY’s Kim Hjelmgaard reported from Frankfurt. USA TODAY’s Nathan Bomey reported from McLean, Va.

Follow Hjelmgaard on Twitter @khjelmgaard. Follow Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.

Source: Audi shows off e-tron quattro luxury electric crossover

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Europe World

(bangkok post) – No European country ‘can be exempt’ from taking in refugees: Hollande

A young boy looks at a police officer as his family cross the Croatian-Slovenian border in Rigonce on September 20, 2015

TANGIERS (MOROCCO) – No European country can get out of taking in refugees who have the right to asylum, French President Francois Hollande said Saturday, amid a growing row over how to fairly distribute a massive influx of migrants across the continent.

The re-distribution “must involve all European countries — no one can be exempt or we would no longer belong to the same union built on values and principles,” Hollande said during a visit to Morocco, ahead of Wednesday’s EU crisis summit on a contentious proposal to spread 120,000 refugees across member states.

 

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(bloomberg) – Coca-Cola Says IRS Is Demanding $3.3 Billion in Taxes Following Audit

Coca-Cola Co. received notice from the Internal Revenue Service that it owes about $3.3 billion in extra taxes, plus interest, becoming the latest global company to clash with the agency over profits booked in foreign countries.

The IRS’s move follows an audit of the tax years 2007 through 2009, Coca-Cola said in a regulatory filing posted Friday. The IRS hasn’t demanded any penalties, and the beverage giant said it believes the assessment is without merit. The agency told Coca-Cola that the matter has been brought to the IRS’s top lawyer with the recommendation that it be litigated, according to the filing.

Coca-Cola is one of several large American corporations to get embroiled with the IRS over profits recorded in foreign countries, which critics say can unfairly shield money from U.S. taxes. The IRS also is fighting with Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp. on their intracompany transactions. Coca-Cola’s dispute centers on licensing of properties to foreign-based businesses, which manufacture, distribute and sell products.

“We plan to pursue all administrative and judicial remedies necessary to resolve this matter,” Coca-Cola said in a separate statement on Friday. “The company has followed the same methodology for determining our U.S. taxable income from certain foreign company operations for nearly 30 years.”

Under U.S. law, companies owe the IRS up to 35 percent on profits they earn around the world. They get credits for taxes paid to foreign governments, and they don’t have to pay the U.S. until they repatriate the money.

Overseas Revenue

That system gives companies an incentive to book income in low-tax countries and leave profits there. In 2014, Coca-Cola reported earning 57 percent of its net revenue outside the U.S., according to its most recent annual report. For tax purposes, however, the company reported earning 83 percent of its pretax income outside the U.S.

Coca-Cola cut its 2014 effective tax rate by 11.5 percentage points because so much of the company’s earnings were outside the U.S., and it gets tax incentives from Brazil, Costa Rica, Singapore and Swaziland.

As of the end of 2014, Coca-Cola had a total of $33.3 billion in profit held outside the U.S. on which it hasn’t paid U.S. taxes. As of earlier this year, that was more than all but 16 other companies.

Coca-Cola said it has followed the same process for determining its U.S. taxable income on “certain foreign company operations” for three decades and that the IRS had agreed to the methodology for tax returns from 1987 to 1995, and then again during five successive audits through 2006.

Coca-Cola, based in Atlanta, has requested a meeting with the IRS’s chief counsel and expects to file a petition in the U.S. Tax Court to challenge the notice. The company hasn’t taken a writedown over the matter and believes it has adequate tax reserves.

“The IRS now seeks to depart from this longstanding practice in order to increase substantially the amount of tax,” Coca-Cola said. “We are among hundreds of other companies currently facing these types of adjustments involving payments between related companies, and we will vigorously defend our position. We are confident we will prevail on the merits of this case.”

Source: Coca-Cola Says IRS Is Demanding $3.3 Billion in Taxes Following Audit – Bloomberg Business

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(Reuters) – U.S. Treasury official says China trying to keep yuan from falling more 

(Reuters) – A senior U.S. Treasury official said on Friday that China has been intervening to keep its yuan currency from falling more than it otherwise would and that the sooner Beijing lets the market work, the better for China.

The official, who spoke to a group of reporters but asked not to be named, urged Beijing to allow the currency to rise and fall freely.

The comments preceded a state visit to Washington by Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sept. 25, in which Xi and President Barack Obama will discuss economic ties between the two countries as well as their increasingly testy relationship over security matters.

Washington has long urged Beijing to let the yuan appreciate, arguing that China was using a weak currency to make its goods cheaper in America.

But China these days is facing doubts in financial markets over the strength of its economy. The Treasury official said China’s decision to loosen restrictions on currency trading last month, which prompted a sharp fall in the yuan’s value, appeared to be perceived in markets as having the intention to prop up China’s economy, sowing further doubts among investors.

The official said China should not feel like it needs to step in and stop declines in financial markets every time investors send it signals about the economy.

He said China’s commitment to letting market forces play a bigger role in the value of the yuanwill earn more credibility when it allows market forces to push its value up. (Reporting byJason Lange; Editing by James Dalgleish, Andrew Hay and Leslie Adler)

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(abc news) – CDC Predicts Flu Vaccine Will Be More Effective Than Last Year

Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo

After an intense flu season last year, health officials said they are hopeful that this year’s flu vaccine will be far more effective at curbing outbreaks.

This year’s vaccine will target the same strain of the virus, the H3N2 strain, that mutated last year, leaving the vaccine less effective, officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases announced Thursday.

“It was a disappointing year from the point of view of what the vaccine can do,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University and the medical director at the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.

The CDC reported that the rate of flu-related hospitalizations during the last flu season among those over the age of 65 was the highest since records began about 10 years ago. Additionally there were 145 pediatric flu deaths, according to the CDC.

Last year’s flu vaccine against the mutated strain was just 13 percent effective compared to the goal of around 50 to 60 percent effective in other years, CDC director Tom Freiden said at a news conference Thursday.

Health officials are far more optimistic that the vaccine will be more effective this year against multiple strains of the virus that recently affected people in the Southern Hemisphere, Schaffner said.

“A new strain shows up, it continues to be a dominant strain for a few years. We have watched in our summer what has happened in the Southern Hemisphere in their winter,” Schaffner explained. “Their dominant strain has been the same, the H3N2 strain.”

Depending on which vaccine a person gets, the shot will protect against three or four strains of the virus. Experts pick the strains after consulting a number of factors including flu strains in other parts of the world and past outbreaks of the disease.

“At the moment, we have reasonable confidence that we are going to have a good match between the circulating virus of what’s out there and what’s in the vaccine,” Schaffner said.

Every year, 200,000 people are hospitalized from seasonal flu-related complications, according to the CDC.

“Vaccination is the single most important step people can take to protect themselves frominfluenza,” Frieden said. “Flu can be serious and it kills tens of thousands of Americans each year. Vaccination is easier and more convenient than ever, so get yourself and your family protected.”

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(live science) – 16 Pyramids Discovered in Ancient Cemetery

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(smh.com) – Tsunami warning after powerful earthquake hits Chile

 

A powerful 8.3-magnitude earthquake has struck off the central coast of Chile, causing buildings to sway in the capital Santiago and triggering a tsunami warning.

Tsunami alarms sounded in the port of Valparaiso and authorities issued a tsunami alert for Chile’s entire coast.

Hazardous tsunami waves from the quake were possible along the coasts of Chile and also Peru within the next several hours, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said.

The Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre said there was no tsunami threat to the Australian mainland, islands or territories.

US officials said the quake struck just offshore in the Pacific Ocean at 7.54pm, local time,and was centred about 228 kilometres north north-west of Santiago.

The US Geological Survey reported the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.9, however this was later upgraded to 8.3.

It said the quake was five kilometres below the surface.

Chile’s emergency office warned that big waves caused by the quake could hit the coast by 11pm.

Australian rapper Urthboy is in Chile and tweeted that he felt the earthquake strike.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/tsunami-warning-after-powerful-earthquake-hits-chile-20150916-gjojfd.html#ixzz3lws5cZiC
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Source: Tsunami warning after powerful earthquake hits Chile

 

Hazardous tsunami waves were possible along the coasts of Chile and also Peru within the next several hours, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said, while a tsunami watch was also issued for Hawaii.

The Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre said there was no tsunami threat to the Australian mainland, islands or territories.

US officials said the quake struck just offshore in the Pacific Ocean at 7.54pm, local time, and was centred about 228 kilometres north north-west of Santiago.

The US Geological Survey reported the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.9, however this was later upgraded to 8.3.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said the quake struck 10 kilometres below the surface.

“Based on all available data, hazardous tsunami waves are forecast for some coasts,” the centre said.

Officials ordered people to evacuate low-lying areas along Chile’s Pacific shore, from Puerto Aysen in the south to Arica in the north. Cars streamed inland carrying people to higher ground.

Chile’s emergency office warned that big waves caused by the quake could hit the coast by 11pm.

If tsunami waves impact Hawaii, the estimated earliest arrival time would be 3.06am, local time.

Witnesses said the powerful quake was felt as far away as the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, on the eastern seaboard of South America.

Interior Minister Jorge Burgos told reporters there were reports of damages to homes in Illapel, about 280 kilometres north of Santiago. There were no immediate reports of injuries or deaths.

Chile’s state copper miner Codelco said workers at its Ventanas division have been evacuated.

Newsweek published pictures showing people gathering at a tsunami-safe zone.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/tsunami-warning-after-powerful-earthquake-hits-chile-20150916-gjojfd.html#ixzz3lx6T2LyH
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(USA Today) – Study: Fossil fuel burn-off will submerge U.S. cities

If the currently attainable coal, natural gas and oil deposits are burned, the entire ice sheet covering Antarctica will melt into warming oceans, authors of the Sciences Advances study claimed.

The new projections say the first 100 feet of sea level rise would happen over the next 1,000 years, more than an inch a year, said Ken Caldeira, one of the study’s authors and a professor at the Carnegie Institution for Science.

“In the ‘burn it all, melt it all’ scenario, the environmental consequences are unacceptable,” Caldeira said Saturday. “Sooner rather than later the energy system is going to have to be rebuilt so it doesn’t dump carbon dioxide into the air.”

In total, that projected 200-foot rise would devastate low-lying coastal regions across the world.

Consider New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina where the 20-foot storm surge nearly wiped the city off the map. Los Angeles, New York City and nearly all of Florida would flood and disappear.

“Most projections this century are two to three feet of sea level rise, which we can deal with,” Caldeira said. “But 100 feet basically means abandoning London, Rome, Paris, Tokyo and New York.”

The paper’s apocalyptic conclusions are similar to the scenes recently painted by President Obama on his trip to Alaska.

He stressed that time is running short to change course at the Conference on Global Leadership in the Arctic.

“On this issue — of all issues —there is such a thing as being too late,” Obama said. “And that moment is almost upon us.”

Obama called on nations to make commitments to reduce carbon emissions at the United Nations climate summit later this year. “This year in Paris has to be the year that the world finally acts to protect the one planet that we have while we still can,” he said.
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met with Obama at the White House in August to discuss renewable energy and aggressive targets that will be set out in Paris.

Source: Study: Fossil fuel burn-off will submerge U.S. cities

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(Fox News) – Strong earthquake jolts Tokyo; no tsunami risk or injuries reported

 

A strong earthquake shook Tokyo early Saturday morning, knocking books from shelves, but authorities said there was no risk of a tsunami.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The magnitude-5.2 earthquake was 35 miles deep and was centered in Tokyo Bay, near Haneda Airport, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. It struck at 5:49 a.m.

Subway and train service was briefly interrupted for safety checks.

The agency warned that the quake could cause landslides following recent heavy rains

Source: Strong earthquake jolts Tokyo; no tsunami risk or injuries reported | Fox News

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(CNN) – China is dumping U.S. debt

New York (CNN Money) — It’s no secret that China is the largest holder of U.S. debt.

So should Americans be concerned that China has started dumping some of its Treasury holdings?

After all, it raises serious questions about whether China will keep lending Washington money to help finance the federal deficit in the future.

But right now, China is selling because it’s in dire need of cash. Recently, it unleashed multiple moves to support its markets and prevent its currency from a freefall, while at the same time trying to stimulate the economy.

China yanks record sum from war chest

China owned $1.3 trillion of U.S. Treasuries as of June, making it the biggest holder of U.S. debt.

But China’s foreign-exchange reserves plunged by a record $94 billion in August, according to the country’s central bank, leaving it with a war chest of $3.6 trillion. Analysts say it’s very safe to believe a big chunk of that decline occurred due to a reduction in U.S. Treasury holdings.

The selling and the potential that China will not be buying U.S. debt in the near future raises questions on its potential to increase America’s borrowing costs.

Some of this might already be happening, at least at a small scale. When stock markets are turbulent, investors usually rush to the safety of U.S. Treasurys and yields fall. However, despite August’s extreme stock volatility, rates on Treasurys actually rose slightly in late August.

Part of that move is likely due to Wall Street betting the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates next week. But market participants also suspect the unusual action in the bond market was driven by China dumping Treasuries.

China is raising lots of cash

This time, Beijing is cutting its Treasury holdings out of a weakened position as it tries to stave off more declines in its currency. China is also propping up its stock market, which lost half its value in the span of just a few months this summer.

“Capital outflows have skyrocketed in China and the yuan is under intense selling pressure. The only thing they could do is sell Treasuries to buy their own currency,” said Walter Zimmerman, chief technical analyst at United-ICAP.

China isn’t trying to sink the U.S. economy

There have long been concerns that China could sink the American economy by unloading its gigantic holdings of Treasuries, sending borrowing costs skyrocketing.

Thankfully, those doomsday fears don’t appear to be at play here yet.

“If China’s U.S. Treasury stock is a nuclear bomb, moderate sales to offset selling pressure on the yuan are unlikely to set off an explosion,” Michael McDonough, chief economist at Bloomberg Intelligence, wrote in a recent report.

But moves could raise borrowing costs here

Still, China’s sales could make Treasury yields higher than they would normally be. That’s of concern because Treasury rates are used as a benchmark that set the cost of borrowing for items like credit cards and mortgages.

While it’s “not the end of the world,” SkyBridge Capital senior portfolio manager Troy Gayeski said higher yields could lead to a “slowdown in the housing recovery.”

What’s key is how much cash China ultimately needs to raise to defend its currency and stock market. No one, not even China, knows that figure.

China may go on a U.S. debt diet

So far, the American bond market seems to be taking the China move in stride.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note is currently sitting at 2.22%, about unchanged from a month ago.

Demand for U.S. debt is healthy now especially when compared to the ultra-low, or even negative rates in other economic powerhouses like Germany and Japan.

Policymakers in Washington should hope that trend continues. Now that China’s economy is in disarray, America might not be able to count on its No. 1 lender to gobble up U.S. debt like in the past.

“China’s surplus is slowing. That gives them less firepower to accumulate Treasuries,” said Thomas Urano, managing director at Sage Advisory.

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(CNBC) – Here’s how China slowdown will hit your state’s economy

 

Workers stack sockeye salmon fillets after being vacuum packed to be frozen at the Alitak Cannery on Kodiak Island, Alaska. (File photo).

Lucas Jackson | Reuters
Workers stack sockeye salmon fillets after being vacuum packed to be frozen at the Alitak Cannery on Kodiak Island, Alaska. (File photo).

If you export to China, the latest headlines are not good news.

After a decade of rapid growth, China’s appetite for goods and raw materials from the rest of the world appears to be slowing. And that’s left companies and countries that sell to China wondering just how badly their orders may shrink.

On Tuesday, Beijing reported that China’s giant manufacturing sector contracted at the fastest pace in three years. A separate private survey of smaller firms showed the factories slowing to the weakest pace in more than six years.

The slowdown is hitting China’s biggest suppliers and major trade partners hardest. In August, exports from South Korea tumbled by nearly 15 percent—the most in six years.

For U.S. exporters, China represents the third-largest market—behind Canada and Mexico—accounting for $120 billion worth of goods last year. But that trade represents only 7 percent of U.S. exports—or less than 1 percent of total gross domestic product, according to economists at Wells Fargo Securities.

Read MoreChina’s a short-term mess but a long-term buy

“Even when indirect effects are considered, the United States simply does not seem to have significant economic and financial exposure to China,” they wrote in a recent note to clients.

But that impact varies widely from one U.S. state to another, with West Coast states more heavily reliant on Chinese markets.

Among the most dependent states: Washington, which sold roughly 20 percent of its exports to China last year, or nearly $10 billion worth of goods. Airplanes, the state’s largest export by far, made up the bulk of the state’s sales to China.

California exported some $16 billion to mainland China last year, with computers and electronics accounting for nearly 28 percent of the total. Texas was the third-largest exporter to China, with nearly $11 billion worth of products that included chemicals, computers and machinery.

Alaska, which exports a smaller volume of goods, last year sent a bigger share—some 28 percent—to China. Roughly half of Alaska’s $1.5 billion in exports to China last year consisted of seafood.

U.S. farm states are also big exporters to China, which is the biggest for American agricultural products. Some 20 percent of all U.S. farm exports are sold to China, which bought $30 billion worth of foods products in fiscal year 2014, including soybeans, distillers’ grains, hides and skins, tree nuts, coarse grains, cotton and beef, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

While the total impact of Chinese exports is a relatively small share of U.S. GDP, sales have grown faster than any other trading partner on the last decade—nearly tripling between 2005 and 2014. U.S. exports Canada rose 47 percent growth and exports to Mexico roughly doubled.

Source: Here’s how China slowdown will hit your state’s economy

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(eagle radio news) – Syria Condemns Any UK Military ‘Interference’

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Syria has accused the UK of “interference” following reports the Government is seeking to persuade Labour MPs to back airstrikes in Syria.

The Syrian foreign ministry has sent two letters to United Nations chiefs objecting to “brazen standpoints” taken by British officials and accusing the UK of a “colonialist” agenda, according to state news agency SANA.

It comes after Chancellor George Osborne acknowledged that a comprehensive plan is needed to tackle the refugee crisis “at source”.

He has said that means dealing with the “evil” regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad as well as Islamic State fighters.

And, speaking on BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show, he described the UK’s rejection of a previous vote on military intervention in Syria in 2013 as “one of the worst decisions the Commons has ever made”.

However, several opposition politicians have told Sky News they are wary about the prospect of military action.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told the Murnaghan programme she is sceptical about the “efficacy” of airstrikes, given the complex nature of the conflict in Syria.

“I believe the only long-term sustainable solution here, not that it is easy or that it can be delivered quickly, is a political and diplomatic one,” she said.

Her comments were echoed by Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, who asked where the global diplomatic effort had been in getting world powers together to address the conflict.

Both women said they would accept Syrian refugees into their own homes as part of a wider housing initiative.

An estimated 250,000 people have been killed during Syria’s four-and-a-half year conflict and a further 11 million have fled their homes.

Sky News understands that the Government is currently preparing to accept at least 10,000 people from camps on the Syrian border.

The Prime Minister has announced that the UK will take “thousands more” refugees, following fierce public pressure over the UK’s response to the migration crisis, although he is yet to announce an official figure.

Number 10 is keen to demonstrate that, given stinging criticism from elsewhere in the EU, the UK is “pulling its weight”.

According to Mr Osborne, Britain will fund the influx by dipping into its international aid budget.

Some of the UK’s £12bn-a-year foreign aid budget will now be offered to local councils to help them house refugees at home, he said.

David Cameron will be pressed on precisely how many refugees the UK will take and what support local authorities will receive when Parliament returns on Monday.

More than 40 councils across the UK have so far stated their willingness to offer sanctuary to Syrian refugees.

Speaking on Murnaghan, Mrs Cooper welcomed the Government’s promise to help those fleeing persecution in Syria.

But she said the UK should not take refugees exclusively from camps on the Syrian border and should also house those who have already made it to Europe.

She also called for more to be done to help the vast number of unaccompanied Syrian children, saying the UK should bring back its “tradition of compassion and support” seen during the Kindertransport rescue effort in the Second World War.

Labour leadership contender Liz Kendall was more scathing in her criticism, accusing the Prime Minister of making the UK look “uncaring and impotent” compared to other EU countries likeGermany, which is expecting some 800,000 asylum applications this year alone.

She urged the Government to accept tens of thousands, rather than thousands of refugees.

:: Syrian refugees hoarded into camps in Hungary tell Sky News their families are dead, their country is at war and now they are being treated as “criminals”

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(financial express) – 47 dead as rebels battle IS in north Syria: monitor

A battle between Islamic State group jihadists and rebels for control of an opposition stronghold in northern Syria has killed at least 47 fighters, a monitor said today.

Twenty Islamist and other rebel fighters were killed in the clashes in Aleppo province throughout yesterday, along with 27 IS jihadists, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The fighting centred on the town of Marea, a key rebel bastion that IS has been trying to capture for months.

The Observatory said fighting was ongoing around the town, which rebel forces still control, as well in villages in the surrounding area.

Marea is one of the most significant rebel-held towns in northern Aleppo and lies on a key supply route running to the Turkish border.

IS has targeted the town for months, seeking to expand westwards from territory it already holds in Aleppo province.

Last week, IS advanced in the area, seizing five villages from rebel forces around Marea after allegations it had used a chemical agent, possibly mustard gas, in its attacks.

The IS advances came despite an agreement between Turkey and the United States to work on the establishment of an IS-free zone in northern Aleppo.

In recent days, the US-led air campaign fighting IS in Syria has carried out strikes against the group near Marea, according to the Pentagon.

More than 240,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began in March 2011 with peaceful anti-government protests.

It has evolved into a complex multi-front war, with regime and rebel forces as well as Kurds and jihadists involved in the fighting.

 

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(msnbc) – news, video and progressive community. Lean Forward.

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The shows you love, issues that matter: Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell, Chris Hayes, Chris Matthews, Al Sharpton, Ed Schultz, Joe Scarborough.

Source: msnbc: news, video and progressive community. Lean Forward.

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(CSMonitor.com) – NASA finds ‘cousin’ to Earth in age-old quest for other worlds 

NASA announced Thursday that its planet-hunting mission, Kepler, has found an exoplanet that very closely resembles our own.

  • T. Pyle/JPL-Caltech/Ames/NASA/Reuters
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  • NASA has found Earth’s closest lookalike to date.

The space agency announced Thursday that its planet-hunting mission, Kepler, has discovered an exoplanet that is comparable to our own in age and size, orbiting a Sun-like star at a distance that makes it neither too hot nor too cold to support life.

Kepler 452b, as the planet is called, is the smallest known planet outside our solar system that is in the habitable zone of a G2-class star, like the Sun. It is about 6 billion years old, 60 percent larger than the Earth in diameter, and sits in the constellation Cygnus, about 1,400 light-years away from Earth.

Recommended: What makes a planet livable? Five things scientists look for.

Its discovery – 20 years after scientists first proved that stars other than our own host planets – marks a milestone in humankind’s 2,500-year-old quest for other worlds.

“Today the Earth is a little less lonely, because there’s a new kid on the block,” Jon Jenkins, Kepler data analysis lead at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., said at a Thursday news conference announcing the discovery. “We believe … that this is the nearest thing that we’ve found to an Earth system analogue, a twin system to our own.”

John Grunsfeld, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, called the new planet a “close cousin to the Earth.”

It wasn’t until the 1990s that scientists confirmed that suns across the universe host their own planets. But the quest to find another habitable planet dates as far back as the ancient Greeks and Romans, whose philosophers challenged their contemporaries to conceive of the universe as infinite, and populated with a multitude of inhabited worlds.

Roman poet Titus Lucretius Carus is most frequently credited with originating the idea that the universe is infinite, in his poem “On the Nature of Things“: ” ‘Tmust be confessed in other realms there are / Still other worlds, still other breeds of men, / And other generations of the wild.”

During the Renaissance, Giordano Bruno disputed the uniqueness of the sun, suggesting in 1584 that the stars were other suns like ours, with their own planets. For his efforts, he was burned at the stake for heresy.

But all this remained pure conjecture until the development of the telescope in the early 17th century. Within a century or so, astronomers began noticing that stars varied in their brightness, and that they moved with respect to one another.

In 1925, Edwin Hubble proved the existence of other galaxies – clusters of stars similar to the Milky Way. His discovery “forever alters our view of the universe,” according to NASA.

Seventy years later, Swiss astrophysicists Michel Mayor and Didier Quelozdiscovered the giant planet 51 Pegasi b, the first planet found to be orbiting a main-sequence star. The hunt for Earthlike planets has since taken on growing sophistication, through tools such as the Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope, and the Canadian telescope MOST. Spitzer in particular has been crucial in discovering water on an exoplanet.

Kepler’s launch in 2009, and developments in data interpretation since, have pushed the quest for habitable worlds further forward. Including the discovery of 452b, Kepler has now identified a total of 4,675 exoplanets.

And while there’s still plenty we don’t know about our newly discovered “cousin,” scientists are optimistic about the future. Projects such as the James Webb Space Telescope and the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), scheduled to start in the next few years, suggest NASA has every intention of continuing the search for the age-old question: Are we alone in the universe?

“This is a great time we’re living in,” said Dr. Queloz, who was present at Thursday’s conference. “This is just the beginning of a very long journey.”

CSMonitorCSMonitorAstronomyEllipses that drive us dottyIs this moon of Jupiter covered in sea salt? -Google celebrates Inge Lehmann, discoverer of Earth's inner coreWhat would life look like on Saturn's largest moon?Hunt for other Earths just got a bit more sophisticated - #exoplanets #SuperEarth#Briefing: What did #Philae learn in its first 57 hours on the comet?#MarsOne: Who would sign up for one-way trip to #Mars? This guy.Why do comets smell so bad?Monster solar flare: Why is the sun acting up now? -Does #Saturn's moon Mimas have an ocean under its icy surface?Pictures of the 'Supermoon' from around the world - Huntsville, AlabamaNASA's Mars 2020 rover: tools it will use to hunt for ancient microbial life #MarsIs it possible for US astronauts to travel to the International Space Station via trampoline?Hidden sea on Saturn's moon Enceladus revealed, boosting hopes for lifeSeven science lessons from #DoctorWho - It's possible that our universe isn't the only universeThe cold, dry climate of #Antarctica is perfect for astronomy, say scientists.For $75,000, a balloon ride to the mid-stratosphereWhy over 1,000 people are competing to go to Mars – and not come backMars colony project launches plans for 2018 test missionTitan's 'Great Salt Lake'? North pole of Saturn moon looks like Utah.Rare photograph of (itty bitty) Earth as seen from SaturnAs largest star in Milky Way dies, fascinated scientists look onNASA's Juno probe unexpectedly shuts down briefly en route to JupiterPlanet poseurs could confuse the search for extraterrestrial lifeDon't panic: Earth has at least 1.75 billion years to go, scientists sayDid life on Earth come from a #comet? #astronomyDeath spiral: why the universe is producing fewer starsAre you a space whiz? Take our quiz! #AstronomySpitzer telescope revolutionized how we see the universeMenu on Mars could include sushi, borschtHow a pink planet is shaking up planet-formation theoryPortrait of Earth from #Saturn a reminder of just how amazing we areComet ISON: Will the 'Comet of the Century' live up to the hype?King Midas in space? Rare star collision produces gold.US scientists seek to prevent another meteor explosionMystery radio bursts coming from space – but probably not from E.T.Thanks to clouds, some 60 billion planets are habitable in #MilkyWayFour habitable #planets orbiting three tiny suns? New first in planet-hunting.Chinese #astronaut teaches 60 million kids from space - #education #scienceBizarre #supernova completely normal in every way, find astronomersLittle Green Men? New type of star breaks all the pulsar rulesPlanets are basically gigantic cosmic dust bunnies, new study saysCuriosity rover says goodbye to 'Mars Rat'Alien planet photo: Super-hot planet spotted only 300 light-years awaySending humans to Mars holds radiation risk, study shows - Full story: http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2013/0530/Sending-humans-to-Mars-holds-radiation-risk-study-showsWhy doesn't Venus have oceans? Study offers intriguing new theory.Soyuz takes shortcut to International Space StationA vacation to the moon: Worth the splurge?'Space Oddity'? First rock video sung and shot in space wows David Bowie.Colossal hydrogen bridge between galaxies could be fuel line for new stars - #Astronomy
Scientists have discovered a ‘mega-earth’
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Read Source: NASA finds ‘cousin’ to Earth in age-old quest for other worlds – CSMonitor.com

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(Forbes) – Why Gun Sales Boomed In June

Guns are not perishable items. Kept in good repair a firearm lasts generations. So how is it that gun sales continue to set records when more than 100 million American gun owners already have over 300 million guns?

Last month, for example, was the busiest June for gun sales ever. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for firearms manufacturers, says gun dealers completed 886,825 background checks in June 2015. The NSSF follows the FBI-administered National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) closely. Each time someone wants to buy a gun from a licensed dealer their name must be called into the FBI’s NICS database (or, in some cases, a state-operated database) to check if that person is barred from possessing a gun. The NSSF said the number of NICS checks last June was “the highest” on record “for the 17-year-old [NICS] system.” It was an increase of 10.1 percent over June 2014.

Now, some news reports say this jump in sales is all about gun owners’ fears about more gun control coming in the wake of the horrific attack on parishioners on June 17 at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. The thing is this can’t be the whole story because in May 2015 some 918,707 background checks were called into the FBI’s database, making it the second-highest May ever.

For a deeper explanation I contacted Jim Curcuruto, director, industry research & analysis for the NSSF. He said, “Background checks were up over 19 percent in South Carolina, as compared to the previous June, but that one state isn’t enough to make the NICS checks jump 10 percent nationally. So, after making a lot of calls, we found that some of the bump was related to sales and other deals at retail chains. Some percentage of the rise in sales was definitely related to fear of more gun control. There are also typically spikes in sales regionally after something occurs that prompts people to look for ways to protect their own lives. But there has also been a steady rise in gun sales for some time. So there were multiple factors involved.”

Of course, we’re talking about NICS checks here, not actual gun sales. Just because someone undergoes a background check doesn’t mean they necessarily purchased a gun; also, someone could buy multiple guns after a single background check. This is why NICS is seen only as an indicator of the volume of gun sales.

Now, I started by asking why gun sales continue to set records when more than 100 million American gun owners already have over 300 million guns? This probably had a lot of gun aficionados asking, “What, the average gun owner only has three guns?”

Guns, you see, are heirlooms, works of art, and practical tools used for sport, self-defense and hunting. As works of art or tools—or both—guns have a specific purposes. Hunters will have a specific gun or guns for big game, for upland birds, for waterfowl and so on. Those who are into the shooting sports will find their collection expanding as they mature and try new sports. Those looking for self-defense guns will try new carry guns and more as technology and design adds options. As for collectors, well, by definition they just can’t get enough. So it’s actually not all that helpful to compare the number of guns in private hands to the number of gun owners.

Also on Forbes:

Read Source: Why Gun Sales Boomed In June

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(USA TODAY) – Oil prices tumble on Iran nuclear accord – Weekly address

After 18 days of intense and often fractious negotiation, diplomats on Tuesday declared that world powers and Iran had struck a landmark deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions Time

Oil prices tumbled Tuesday after Iran and six world powers reached a nuclear accord that clears the way for Tehran to unleash its oil onto world markets at levels not seen since the West imposed sanctions.

Brent crude and West Texas Intermediate, or WTI, oil futures both fell about 2% as the deal was announced on Tuesday. Oil prices also fell in the prior session.

Brent crude is an international oil benchmark that reflects global prices, and any related turmoil, whereas WTI is focused on the North American market.

WTI cut some of its early losses and was trading down 1.2% at $51.58 a barrel.

Iran has the world’s fourth-largest oil reserves with about 157,530 million barrels, or 10% of the world’s proven oil stores, according to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, of which it is a member.

But Tehran’s ability to export those reserves was severely curtailed by crippling international sanctions that bludgeoned its economy and targeted its industries.

Iran’s oil exports have fallen in half since 2012 to about 1 million barrels a day. Its oil will now reach world markets at a time when crude prices have been under pressure for months due to a global supply glut.

Sara Vakhshouri, Washington-based energy analyst at SVB Energy International, said that with Iran’s sanctions lifted it would be able to boost its oil production from 2.9 million barrels a day to 4.2 million barrels a day by 2020.

Iran’s oil production is worth about $60 billion a year on the world market.

Oil prices can also be expected to drop, Vakhshouri said, because Iran has as much as 37 million barrels of crude in storage on tankers floating in the Persian Gulf.

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(huffington post) – Muslims Around The World Share What Eid al-Fitr Means To Them

Muslims are celebrating Eid al-Fitr, a holy day that comes at the end of Ramadan. Eid al-Fitr is a day of merriment and thanksgiving marked by gatherings with friends and family, preparing sweet delicacies, wearing new clothes, exchanging gifts and putting up lights.

Huffington Post editors around the world asked what Eid means to Muslims and non-Muslims alike using the hashtag #MyEid2015. Scroll below to read readers’ responses.

sanaana_23 hours ago
Ramadan seems to have passed as quickly as it came by. That sense of peace that washes over one’s self is so precious, and this blessed month is a glimpse of who we can be and what we can do. May we be blessed to see Ramadan next year and to bask in His mercy, glory and Light again, not only during this blessed month, but every day. #ramadandiaries #ramadan2015 #myeid2015

“It’s a time for reflection and starting fresh. Its a time to rejoice with family and friends. But also remembering those who dont have enough. Its a time to count our blessings while also giving charity to those who dont only fast for the month, but they must fast for the whole year not by choice but bcoz they r not as blessed as others. Fasting teaches us empathy for those.” – Umm Maria, Facebook

“It gives us the opportunity to get closer to God in various recent works of charity to the poor and by doing prayers imposed and enacted.” -Yasser EdenPark, Facebook

“A moment of happiness and joy shared with family and friends, Muslim or not.” – Yahya Mohamed Sidi, Facebook

“It means a celebration with family and friends after one month fasting, trying to be a better person in all aspects (health, spiritual, manner).” — mai_michan, Instagram

“It’s bittersweet! The end of Ramadaan is heartbreaking and anyone who follows this religion and experienced the beauty of the month will attest, but because it’s a faith based on balance I understand that there is a time for all experiences bestowed upon Muslims and I welcome the closing of one day and the opening of another in the form of Eid-dul-Fitr.” – lamz_gram, Instagram

“It is ime to tell Muslims we love and respect their peaceful religion, essential these days.” – Leo Chabot, Facebook

“Sharing and solidarity. No distinctions between rich and poor. The reason we fast for 29 days is to feel the hunger that the poor are feeling every day. We invite non-Muslim friends and offer our mutton and chicken. We distribute gifts and sweets to children”. – Couro Diop, Facebook

Eid means protection of every single Muslim from evil things. Financial stability, acceptance of genuine dua by Allah. – @AdvocateReevnat, Twitter

When I worked in the East End it meant days of special food and lots of fun & happy people! – Lena Leitrim, Facebook

— “Sharing joy.” Kakoli Tahmina, Facebook

“Celebration of victory, forgiveness with people surrounding, glorious food, happiness and a beautiful time to look and feel great.” — rc55, Instagram

A moment of sharing with my Muslim friends and neighbors! Enjoy your celebration, and thanks for your help and generosity throughout the year. I love living among you! – Claire Andco, Facebook

“It’s the day of acceptance and self realization to tolerence – putting all differences aside and hugging each other with open hearts and broad mind, a day to realization and being thankful” — Muzammil Amer, Facebook

“Eid means reflecting on how to make myself a tad bit better for the ppl around me.” @dasghar, Twitter

— arifwidodo, Instagram

“It’s tradition to hug each other and saying “Eid Mubark,” and when we return home, everyone is excited to eat special Eid food with family. Then th whole day guests, friends and family get together, and this makes this event beautiful.” – Abram Jacob, Facebook

“A feast to end the fasting month and a lovely time of love with the family.” – bobbyanwar, Instagram

“The beauty of Eid, its smiles, its beautiful faces, abundant food, abundant drinks, the gifts, the happiness. Eid is love all around, but it also reminds me that the sun has set on Ramadan, a bittersweet feeling between joy and melancholy….” – Sabrun Jameel, Facebook

“Eid means finally making it to the end of the hardest month of the year with a smile on one’s face.” – Asad Dhunna, Twitter

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