Tag Archives: years

Someone Turned the Lights On in Pripyat, 31 Years After Chernobyl

Pripyat is a radioactive ghost town just outside Chernobyl, the site of the infamous nuclear disaster on this day in 1986. Deep within the Exclusion Zone, the city has been permanently evacuated. Because of the contamination, officially you can’t live there, although 200 or so defiant oldster locals still do. They just kept on going back to their houses until the officials gave up. Chernobyl seems like exactly the kind of place to not go. But there’s a booming local tourism industry that has — dare I say it? — ...

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Biggest fall in UK retail sales in seven years

UK retail sales posted their biggest quarterly fall in seven years in March, as the prices of everyday goods continued to climb. By volume, sales were down 1.4% on the preceding quarter, and down 1.8% compared with February 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics. In the quarter, they fell across all types of shop except those selling textiles, clothing and footwear. But the total amount spent was still higher than a year ago. ‘Clouds gathering’ Kate Davies, senior statistician at the ONS, said: “This is the first time ...

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Arkansas executes Ledell Lee in first death penalty use in 12 years

Media playback is unsupported on your device Arkansas has executed Ledell Lee in the US state’s first use of the death penalty in 12 years. It came after the US Supreme Court rejected a challenge arguing Arkansas was unfairly rushing several executions before its supply of a lethal injection drug expires at the end of April. On Thursday the state’s Supreme Court overturned a ruling blocking the use of a different drug. Lee was convicted for murder and recently told the BBC he was innocent. His third request to stay ...

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Real-life tricorders are here 230 years early, courtesy of the Tricorder XPrize

In the far future, tricorders are invented and humanity spends many centuries prospering due in part to their widespread adoption. It’s too early to tell whether we’re on that timeline or a different one, but rest assured that one part of Gene Roddenberry’s quixotic vision for the future has indeed come to pass. Tricorders are coming to the mass market, courtesy of the just-awarded Tricorder XPrize. The $ 2.5 million first prize went to Final Frontier Medical Devices, a team of seven including four Trekkie siblings, for their DxtER diagnostic ...

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H-1B visa applications decline for first time in 5 years

H-1B visas by the numbers Fewer people want to come to America to work. On Monday, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that the number of H-1B applications fell below 200,000 this year for the first time since 2014. Just 85,000 H-1B visas (20,000 of which are reserved for master’s degree holders) are granted annually, but the past few years have seen swelling demand. Applications for the visa opened on April 3, and it was the fifth consecutive year that the cap was met within five days. During that period, ...

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U.S. debt to double over the next 30 years

Debt vs. deficit: What’s the difference? U.S. debt is likely to double as a share of the economy over the next 30 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Considering President Trump’s push for big tax cuts and a promise not to touch key drivers of the debt, the picture could worsen. Right now the nation’s debt amounts to 77% of GDP. That’s already the highest level since the post-World War II era. If current law remains in effect, it’s on track to jump to 150% by 2047, according to ...

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Royal Marine Alexander Blackman gets seven years for Taliban killing

A Royal Marine convicted of killing a wounded Taliban fighter in Afghanistan has been jailed for seven years. Sgt Alexander Blackman, 42, will be freed in weeks as he has already served more than three years in jail. The sentencing came after the Court Martial Appeal Court ruled Blackman’s original murder conviction should be reduced to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. The 2011 shooting took place after a British patrol base came under fire. One of two insurgents was seriously injured by gunfire from an Apache helicopter sent ...

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Stolen Van Gogh paintings back in Amsterdam after 14 years

By Thomas Escritt| AMSTERDAM Two paintings by Vincent Van Gogh were unveiled, barely damaged, at an Amsterdam museum on Tuesday, 14 years after they were stolen in a mafia heist. The works, 1882’s “View of the Sea at Scheveningen” and the 1884 “Congregation Leave the Reformed Church in Nuenen”, are from a period that was crucial to the post-impressionist master’s development as a painter. “They are back,” said Van Gogh museum director Axel Rueger ahead of the unveiling of the paintings, each valued by investigators on their recovery by Italian ...

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Computer model indicates Silk Road may be thousands of years older than thought

Conventional wisdom holds that the fabled Silk Road began operating around 200 BCE and continued through the late 14th century. This trade route allowed the transport of goods between China and the Mediterranean region, but it may not have been an invention of powerful empires looking to expand trade. A new analysis of human movements across Asia suggests the Silk Road may have grown out of the paths used by simple nomadic herders thousands of years earlier. This claim is not based on archaeological evidence, but rather by a modeling ...

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