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15/12/2018 06:06:09  

US intervention comes as Canadian officials granted access in China to Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor

The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has said China should free two Canadian citizens who were detained this week following the arrest in Canada of a senior Huawei executive on a US extradition warrant.

Pompeo’s comments were the first by a senior US official on the Canadians’ arrests, which the country’s prime minister Justin Trudeau said could escalate a growing trade conflict between China and the United States.

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15/12/2018 06:05:15  

Joint USAF/NOAA Solar Geophysical Activity Report and Forecast 14 December 2018
15/12/2018 06:05:13  

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Scientific American: A panel of 19 scientists drawn from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine recommended yesterday that the Department of Energy should continue an international experiment on nuclear fusion energy and then develop its own plan for a "compact power plant." A panel of 19 scientists drawn from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine recommended yesterday that the Department of Energy should continue an international experiment on nuclear fusion energy and then develop its own plan for a "compact power plant." But as the National Academies' report noted, major challenges must be overcome to reach these goals, beginning with how to contain and control a burning "plasma" of extremely hot gas, ranging from 100 million to 200 million degrees Celsius, that can produce more heat than it consumes. The report calls the resulting plasma "a miniature sun confined inside a vessel." The world's biggest experiment intended to create and draw energy from burning plasma is under construction at Cadarache, France. It's called the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project, and its centerpiece is a large, doughnut-shaped, Russian-inspired reactor called a tokamak. Several member nations have already developed their own national programs, and the assembled National Academies experts concluded that the United States should eventually follow, once the ITER experiment shows there are ways to contain and manipulate a sustained fusion reaction. "It is the next critical step in the development of fusion energy," says the report.

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15/12/2018 06:02:46  
15/12/2018 06:02:14  

The move angers the Russian Orthodox Church, which sees Ukraine's parishes as under its jurisdiction.
15/12/2018 06:02:14  

The challenge from a coalition of 20 US states is now likely to go to the US Supreme Court.
15/12/2018 06:02:07  

It's been a busy week in British politics, from Parliamentary squabbles to meetings with European leaders, and a confidence vote.
15/12/2018 06:02:06  

Campaign group's analysis suggests the spray is too often used "unsafely and inappropriately".
15/12/2018 06:02:05  

Politicians must compromise and find a plan that a majority in Parliament can support, minister says.
15/12/2018 03:06:13  

A federal judge in Texas ruled the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional based on a change in tax law last year

A US federal judge in Texas ruled on Friday that the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, is unconstitutional, a decision that was likely to be appealed to the supreme court.

US district judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth agreed with a coalition of 20 states that a change in tax law last year eliminating a penalty for not having health insurance invalidated the entire Obamacare law.

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15/12/2018 03:05:17  

schwit1 shares a report from Variety: Streaming services snatched their biggest piece of the TV pie ever in 2018. According to FX's annual report on the number of scripted originals on TV, the number of streaming shows has surpassed the number of basic cable and broadcast shows for the first time ever. Out of 495 scripted originals that aired in 2018, 160 of them did so on a streaming platform. That is compared to 146 on broadcast and 144 on basic cable. Pay cable accounted for the remaining 45 shows. Streaming shows also saw the biggest increase year-to-year, growing from 117 last year. Broadcast dipped slightly, dropping from 153 in 2017. Basic cable saw a more sharp decline, compared to the 175 shows that aired on basic cable the previous year. Pay cable was up slightly from 42. On a percentage basis, streaming shows now account for approximately one third of all scripted originals, with approximately 32%. Broadcast made up 30% and basic cable 29%, with pay cable making up 9%. The total number of shows across all of TV was up again as well, rising from 487 in 2017. The year-to-year growth was less than that of previous years, however. For example, the number of shows grew from 455 to 487 between 2016 and 2017. The 495 scripted originals this year was also off from FX Networks CEO John Landgraf's prediction that 520 such shows would air this year.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

15/12/2018 03:02:45  
15/12/2018 03:02:14  

PM Scott Morrison says Australia will not immediately move its embassy from Tel Aviv.
15/12/2018 03:02:08  

People on universal credit say they face a difficult Christmas because of delays to benefit payments.
15/12/2018 03:02:07  

A new BBC podcast, 1800 Seconds on Autism, aims to dispel that no-humour myth, among other assumptions, with razor-sharp wit.
15/12/2018 02:12:26  

  • Updates from the second day of play at Perth Stadium
  • Any thoughts? Email or tweet @collinsadam

Prithvi Shaw is doing some extensive throwdowns on the field with Ravi Shastri. Fit for the Melbourne Test? Looks like it. And the current Indian captain is one who especially enjoys making changes. Watch out, Murali Vijay. In fact, watch out any Indian batsman. You never know how things can go.

Morning all. And a very different morning to yesterday with ample cloud cover. The sting from yesterday’s heat has also vanished overnight, which should play to the home side’s advantage with the ball later today.

The early exchanges this morning will be interesting. Will Paine and Cummins (then Starc) bust out all their shots in order to get as many on the board as possible before one rolls along the ground or shoots at their head? On the evidence of yesterday, it’s going to be that kind of Test.

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15/12/2018 02:11:46  

Cloudflare is facing accusations that it's providing cybersecurity protection for at least seven terrorist organizations. "On Friday, HuffPost reported that it has reviewed numerous websites run by terrorist organizations and confirmed with four national security and counter-extremism experts that the sites are under the protection of Cloudflare's cybersecurity services," reports Gizmodo. "Among Cloudflare's millions of customers are several groups that are on the State Department's list of foreign terrorist organizations, including al-Shabab, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, al-Quds Brigades, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and Hamas -- as well as the Taliban, which, like the other groups, is sanctioned by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)," reports HuffPost. "In the United States, it's a crime to knowingly provide tangible or intangible 'material support -- including communications equipment -- to a designated foreign terrorist organization or to provide service to an OFAC-sanctioned entity without special permission," the report continues. "Cloudflare, which is not authorized by the OFAC to do business with such organizations, has been informed on multiple occasions, dating back to at least 2012, that it is shielding terrorist groups behind its network, and it continues to do so." Gizmodo reports: The issue that HuffPost raises is whether Cloudflare is providing "material support" to sanctioned organizations. Some attorneys told HuffPost that it may be in violation of the law. Others, like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, argue that "material support" can and has been abused to silence speech. Cloudflare's general counsel, Doug Kramer, told Gizmodo over the phone that the company works closely with the U.S. government to ensure that it meets all of its legal obligations. He said that it is "proactive to screen for sanctioned groups and reactive to respond when its made aware of a sanctioned group" to which it may be providing services. HuffPost spoke with representatives from the Counter Extremism Project, who expressed frustration that they've sent four letters to Cloudflare over the last two years identifying seven terrorist-operated sites without receiving a reply. Kramer would not address any specific customers or situations when speaking with Gizmodo. He said that's simply company policy for reasons of protecting privacy.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

15/12/2018 02:06:21  
15/12/2018 02:05:47  

Yemen's truce deal is fraught with risk, but it brings the country a step to closer to elusive peace.
15/12/2018 02:04:04  

Ashley, Faye, Joe and Stacey look back on the past 14 weeks and ahead to Saturday's Strictly final.
15/12/2018 01:13:15  

Says it will give people $100,000 to ditch their smartphone. It won't

It's your lucky day: sugary soft drink maker Vitamin Water has said it will give you $100,000 if you are able to give up your smartphone for a year.…

15/12/2018 01:13:09  

Scare tactic efforts may be the work of a single group

Yesterday's 'bomb scare' spam campaign may have been a follow-up to another infamous email extortion effort.…

15/12/2018 01:13:05  

Complaint argues false pixels, notch, and measurements don't fit with ad claims

Two iPhone owners sued Apple on Friday claiming that company misrepresents the screen resolution and screen size of its recent model iPhones.…

15/12/2018 01:12:16  

Would a huge archway over George Street be Australia’s ‘most significant artwork’ in decades or a ‘ridiculous vanity project’?

The sun is setting over evening commuters on Broadway in central Sydney. Several businessmen turn off the main thoroughfare and find themselves suddenly taking showers in coloured light. One man is so enamoured that he drops his briefcase and begins stretching, collecting the wild swirl of reds, blues and purples along his arms. It’s like watching an impromptu gym session unfold in the garden of Eden.

“Are they flowers or birds?” the man asks his friend, squinting at the pattern.

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15/12/2018 01:12:07  

Rights groups say refugee footballer’s extradition to Bahrain would constitute an ‘unlawful refoulement’

Supporters of the Australia-based refugee Hakeem al-Araibi have petitioned the United Nations to seek the young footballer’s freedom from a Thai jail cell, where he awaits extradition to Bahrain over a conviction he says is politically motivated.

Al-Araibi has been in detention for more than two weeks after he was arrested at Bangkok airport after arriving for a holiday with his wife. A Thai court has ordered further detention of 60 days while it processes an extradition request from Bahrain, despite strident appeals from the Australian government to return Al-Araibi.

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