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Amazon store opening in Seattle on Monday uses cameras and sensors to track purchases

Amazon.com Inc. will open its checkout-free grocery store to the public on Monday after more than a year of testing, the company said, moving forward on an experiment that could dramatically alter brick-and-mortar retail.<p>The Seattle store, known as Amazon Go, relies on cameras and sensors to track …

eCommerce

To control rat populations, birth control may be more effective than poison

Every trip Erma Jones makes to her garbage can, she’s greeted by a few unexpected, and unappreciated, guests.<p>“Oh yeah, they get into the house,” says Jones, who lives on Chicago’s South Side. “I got rat poison in different corners of the house. It works, but the idea of them coming in the house and …

Birth Control

Hundreds of Israeli rabbis say they will personally hide African asylum-seekers in their homes

Hundreds of Israeli rabbis, including the sister of comedian Sarah Silverman, announced a bold initiative this week: They say they will personally hide African asylum-seekers in their homes, to protect them from a new Israeli immigration policy.<p>Tens of thousands of African asylum-seekers, largely …

Refugees

Trump and the environment, one year into the presidency

On many fronts — from building a wall on the Mexican border to repealing Obamacare — President Donald Trump’s campaign promises remain unfulfilled after a year in the White House.<p>But when it comes to environment and energy policy, the president largely seems to be living up to campaign promises he …

Environment

Global billionaires eye virtual currencies at the Crypto Finance Conference

More than a dozen billionaires flocked to the Swiss ski resort of St. Moritz this week to meet up with blockchain entrepreneurs, fund managers and government officials to discuss investing in the burgeoning cryptocurrency scene.<p>The meeting came amid one of the most volatile weeks for flagship …

Finance

Fewer international students coming to US for grad school in science and engineering

International student enrollment in graduate science and engineering programs in the US dropped in 2017 after several years of increases.<p>Science and engineering fields saw a 6 percent decrease in international graduate students from the fall of 2016 to the fall of 2017, and almost all of that …

Graduate School

Cape Town could be the first major city in the world to run out of water

"Day Zero." That’s what Cape Town is calling April 21 — the day that taps are expected to run dry.<p>For three years, Cape Town has had below-average rainfall, but in recent months the drought has reached a critical point.<p>The city recommends that each person use 87 liters (about 23 gallons) of water …

Cape Town

UN study shows last 3 years hottest on record

The last three years were the hottest on record, the United Nations weather agency said Thursday, citing fresh global data underscoring the dramatic warming of the planet.<p>Consolidated data from five leading international weather agencies shows that "2015, 2016 and 2017 have been confirmed as the …

Climate Change

Blue salt crystals on meteorites stoke conversation about extraterrestrial life

The odds were infinitesimal at best. First, there was the fact that two meteorites both fell to Earth in 1998 — in Monahans, Texas, and Zag, Morocco, to be exact, giving each its namesake.<p>When Queenie Chan and her colleagues examined both meteorites at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, …

Chemistry

Egypt, Ethiopia look to avoid conflict over Nile dam

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi pledged on Thursday not to let differences over a dam Ethiopia is building on the Nile river ruin relations with Addis Ababa.<p>Ethiopia hopes the hydroelectric Grand Renaissance Dam will make it Africa's largest power exporter.<p>Egypt says it threatens its water …

Egypt

English and French rivalry highlighted by loan of historic Bayeux Tapestry

French President Emmanuel Macron visits England on Thursday to discuss a host of bilateral issues, from migration to Brexit.<p>That seems like a pretty routine, boring story.<p>Yet excitement is rising in both countries because of a single piece of cloth. Yes, cloth.<p>Macron is expected to allow the Bayeux …

Boldly going where no TV prop has gone before

Margaret Weitekamp is Curator of the Social and Cultural Dimensions of Spaceflight at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and has a collection of more than 4,000 pieces of space-related ephemera to show for it. And Weitekamp’s principal not long ago was an object that may resonate more …

Star Trek

Why yes, I do speak Klingon

The new “Star Trek” series is heavily subtitled with dialogue spoken in Klingon — the made-up language of villainous space warriors. The linguist Arika Okrent is a certified Klingon speaker. In her book “In the Land of Invented Languages,” she describes the lure of Klingon and why Earthlings have …

Star Trek

The piece of 'Star Trek' in your pocket

“By 2013, I literally envisioned that I would be retiring on the moon,” says Candy Torres, a former software engineer for the International Space Station. Like so many scientists of her generation, Torres grew up watching “Star Trek” in the late 1960s. On the Enterprise, “science officers” were …

Geek

Aha Moment: Ronald D. Moore on ‘Star Trek’

In college, Ronald Moore's Captain Kirk dorm room poster prompted teasing, but his passion for the original Star Trek has paid off. He became a staff writer for “Star Trek: Next Generation” and ended up doing the unthinkable when he co-wrote the movie, “Star Trek: Generations.”<p>“In that movie, we …

Star Trek

Canonical hoo-hah

“Star Trek” returned to television this fall with a brand-new series, “Star Trek: Discovery.” Marissa Martinelli, a culture writer for Slate and a pretty serious Trek fan, catches us up on the new show and explains how it fits within the Star Trek canon. Also, why is Trek popping up everywhere …

Star Trek

Women veterans want their voices heard in the #MeToo movement

Watching the large numbers of women who've come forward to speak out about their experiences of being sexually harassed and assaulted in the workplace, some women veterans say it hasn't been as easy for them to confront sexual crimes in their ranks.<p>"You know, these are the people who serve our …

Feminism

Some French men are lamenting 'the end of love as we know it'

Being followed by a strange man in the street is few women's idea of romance.<p>But for some French men, the pursuit of the opposite sex on a sidewalk or metro is acceptable, even manly.<p>That's according to Nabil Wakim, a correspondent for the French newspaper Le Monde.<p>Wakim calls that sort of behavior …

Whatever happened to the giant US embassy in Baghdad?

The new US embassy in London has been criticized by none other than President Donald Trump for being expensive, with a price tag of about $1 billion. But it’s still cheaper than the US embassy complexes in Kabul, Afghanistan and Baghdad, Iraq.<p>Given their locations, both complexes require heavy …

Baghdad

British Columbia has a flourishing grizzly bear tourism industry

On an early evening in British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest, Shawn O’Connor, the general manager of Homalco Wildlife Tours, ushered a group of tourists off a bus and toward a wildlife viewing tower on the edge of a river.<p>The group was there for what they might see, but at first, they were …

Canada

Kosovo Serb leader shot dead in northern town

Prominent Kosovo Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic was killed in a brazen drive-by shooting on Tuesday that could reignite ethnic tensions in the region.<p>The assassination of Ivanovic — who was facing a retrial on war crimes charges over the 1990s Kosovo conflict — occurred on the very day that …

Deneuve sends a dated message of empowerment

The open letter in the French newspaper Le Monde <i></i>last week said the #MeToo movement amounted to sexual puritanism and was fueled by "a hatred of men." It was signed by 100 French women — a collection of intellectuals, journalists, writers and entertainers. But the signatory that stood out to me, and …

Empowerment

China races to tackle expanding oil spill after tanker sinks

Chinese ships scrambled Monday to clean up a massive and expanding oil spill after an Iranian tanker sank off China, raising fears of devastating damage to marine life.<p>The Sanchi, carrying 136,000 tons of light crude oil from Iran, went under on Sunday after a new and massive fire erupted, sending …

East China Sea

This Haitian American artist's image of MLK hushing Trump goes viral again

If you were paging through social media on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, you may have caught a glimpse of a particular image that got a lot of shares: it shows King trying to hush a tweeting President Donald Trump.<p>"Basically the picture is an image of Martin Luther King," says artist Watson Mere. …

Viral

In Africa, dams and loss of wetlands are helping to fuel the migrant crisis

Dams in the Sahel of Africa provide power and flood control, but the absence of seasonal floods is changing wetland environments and destroying the livelihoods of people who depend on them.<p>In the online publication, Yale Environment 360, journalist Fred Pearce writes that dams and parched wetlands …

Ecology

Temperature affects human migration, new research shows

If global warming gas emissions continue at the present pace, the number of asylum-seekers to Europe could increase by nearly 200 percent, according to a new study.<p>Unrest, war and terrorism have boosted the number of desperate people fleeing parts of the Middle East and Africa, but new research …

Climate Change

Mining threatens Minnesota's pristine Boundary Waters

Minnesota is called the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and every year, hundreds of thousands of people visit its pristine Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Now, there is a move to mine copper and nickel right next to the vast, protected natural resource, which could lead to serious pollution …

Environment

Sea levels off Dutch coast highest ever recorded in 2017

Storm surges and tidal cycles caused record sea levels along the coast of the Netherlands last year, a Dutch marine institute has found.<p>"The level has been rising gradually since 1890 by about 0.2 cm per year due to the melting of the ice and the warming up of the ocean," expert Fedor Baart, of the …

Climate Change

Two Rohingya refugees start a new life in Boston

It was a feeling Hussein Muhammad had waited years to feel.<p>Ten days after arriving in Boston, he fought the bitter cold to arrive at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center. When Friday afternoon prayers finished, he said he felt “very good.”<p>Muhammad was with his good friend Muhammad Anwar. …

Rohingya

Norwegian statesman Jan Egeland critiques Trump’s reported vulgar remarks

President Donald Trump reportedly asked lawmakers on Thursday why America was accepting immigrants from “shithole” countries like Haiti and El Salvador. He’d prefer folks from Norway.<p>Trump issued a convoluted denial of the remarks on Twitter on Friday, but several people who were present have …

Elections