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Today in Science: GLV Daily Digest for September 2, 2014

Today in science, cave art discovered in Gibraltar may be the work of Neanderthals, possibly answering a long-running controversy about Neanderthals’ capabilities. Scientists have used enzymes to coax bacteria into producing propane, a potential alternative to fossil fuels like gas and diesel. Fossils of a new species of insect from the Jurassic Period have been discovered in France, a discovery that represents the oldest known member of the water treader family. For better or for worse, there are no indications of a Jurassic Park scenario in the offing. Finally, viruses that attack cholera bacteria can force them to evolve in ways that actually benefit humans, a compelling example of an evolutionary trade-off. Welcome to the Guardian Liberty Voice Science Daily Digest for Sep. 2, 2014. Gibraltar Cave Art by Neanderthals? An engraved design in a Gibraltar cave appears to have been created by Neanderthals, compelling evidence that this ancient species of human was capable of art. The engraved cross-hatched pattern is over 39,000 years old and was discovered underneath layers that have yielded Neanderthal tools, indicating that it was produced by Neanderthals as opposed to modern humans. Neanderthals have long been the source of controversy over precisely how like modern humans they were. This new finding is a possible indication that Neanderthals have been given short shrift, and that like modern humans they were capable of artistic expression. Although earlier discove...  

Kansai scraps “power off” mobile phone ban on trains; Kantō won't budge

There are seemingly endless things one is not allowed to do on Japanese trains: eat or drink, put on makeup, talk on the phone, take up too much room. Most of these are sensible if strict, making life more pleasant for everybody in a jam-packed carriage. There’s one rule that’s a bit more unusual, though, and that’s the requirement that you switch your phone off near the priority seats. Mobile phones can interfere with pacemakers, ran the conventional wisdom. So to give passengers with medical equipment a safe haven from electronic interference, most train companies asked passengers to switch phones off completely in certain areas. This summer, rail companies in Kansai more or less ditched that policy, saying it’s no longer necessary. Tokyo, meanwhile, shows no signs of changing the rules. ▼ Phone-free carriages: also great for people who hate technology. izayoi98re The ‘power off ‘ rule stems from a 2005 recommendation from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. Rail companies’ implementation of it varies, however: some ask that passengers turn phones off near priority seating; other companies have separate carriages; on some lines, all carriages are designated ‘power off’. When 2G mobile phones were phased out, though, the danger posed to people with pacemakers all but vanished. Until 2012, the ministry recommended that phones be kept 22cm from a pacemaker – in a crowded train, there...  

Island nations sweetened in NZ's campaign for UN Security Council seat

The support of small island nations could be the key to New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council, the foreign minister says. From a conference in Samoa, Murray McCully says many of the countries in attendance have been impressed hearing about New Zealand's role in the Pacific. More than 3000 delegates from around the world have been at the UN Small Island Developing States conference where New Zealand has stepped up its bid for a seat on the Council. "We have had a chance to cement our Security Council campaign, talk to a lot of countries we might otherwise have found it difficult to talk to about our attributes as a country - that's been a key feature of being here," Mr McCully told ONE News. He said countries, particularly in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean have a "huge respect for the amount of work we do in this region". New Zealand is seeking one of two non-permanent places on the Council but is competing with Spain and Turkey who are both better resourced and have taken part in many more peace-keeping missions. Mr McCully told ONE News earlier this month that while "we're not the front runner" for the seat, we are in as good a shape as could be expected. Prime Minister John Key and Mr McCully have been campaigning heavily in several countries over the past few months. The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, who visited New Zealand today, was asked whether Mr Key's support for US drone strikes in Iraq could hurt the bid for a seat. "As ...  

NEWS ANALYSIS: Aluminium market looking up, but China confounds

NEWS ANALYSIS: Aluminium market looking up, but China confounds LONDON — For hard-pressed aluminium producers the outlook at the moment is the rosiest in many years. Russian giant Rusal, for example, has just returned to profit for the first time in five consecutive quarters.That is largely thanks to the combination of a robust London Metal Exchange (LME) price — near $2,100 a tonne, its highest since early last year — and historically elevated physical premiums.The price recovery is being underpinned by a tectonic shift in underlying market dynamics.After years of structural surplus, the global aluminium market finally appears to be turning to supply deficit on the back of accumulating capacity closures.Rusal, which reported an 11% drop in production in the first half of this year after its own curtailments, is forecasting a global deficit of1.5-million tonnes for this year.That may be at the high end of the spectrum of forecasts but it no longer sounds like a producer pipe-dream. In the most recent Reuters poll of analysts, four out of 14 submitting a market balance assessment for this year forecast deficit, rising to almost half for next year.The main threat to this optimism comes from China, where output is still rising. More disconcertingly, so too is the stream of semi-manufactured products leaving the country. In the world outside China, aluminium production has been trending lower for a couple of years. Annualised production in July was 24.38-mil...  

UN Security Council condemns attack on peacekeepers in Mali

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council on Tuesday strongly condemned a deadly attack against UN peacekeepers in Mali, which caused four deaths and some severe injuries. "The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the attack by an explosive device, 30 km North of Kidal, Mali, on Sept. 2, 2014, in which four Chadian peacekeepers of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) were killed and other peacekeepers were injured," said a press statement issued here by the 15-nation body. The incident occurred when a vehicle of MINUSMA hit a landmine while carrying peacekeepers who were leaving the country's northern city of Aguelhok, where they accomplished peacekeeping missions. According to MINUSMA, all the dead and injured are Chadian nationals, and six of the injured are in critical condition. In the press statement, the Security Council members expressed their deepest condolences to the families of the peacekeepers killed, as well as to the government and people of Chad and MINUSMA. The Council also called on the government of Mali to swiftly investigate this attack and bring the perpetrators to justice, stressing that those responsible for the attack shall be held accountable. "The members of the Security Council reaffirmed the need to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, and that an...  

Morning MoneyBeat Europe: Markets Likely Stuck Before ECB

Good Morning Europe U.S. stocks pulled back Tuesday from August gains, which were the largest monthly increases for the Dow and S&P since February. The S&P still managed to achieve its 32nd record high of the year during the session but couldn’t hold those gains as investors set up for what is traditionally a tricky month. Europe isn’t likely to move far either way Wednesday, or until investors know what European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi has in store for them tomorrow, after the bank’s monthly monetary policy conclave. The global economic backdrop is reasonably constructive, however, with better-than-expected manufacturing numbers out of the U.S., and the service sector in China likely to lift the mood, even if the conflict in Ukraine seems likely to restrain bulls once again. There’s plenty of local data on tap, including Purchasing Managers Indexes from around the eurozone. But it will have to be eye-popping stuff to tear the markets away from ECB watch, which is as usual the only real game in town at this time of the month. Market Snapshot:  U.S. Markets (Tuesday close):DJIA down 0.2%, S&P 500 down 0.1%, Nasdaq up 0.4%. Nikkei now up 0.4%. September FTSE up 0.2%, September S&P up 0.1%. Brent crude up 42 cents at $100.76. Gold up $2.90 at $1267.90. EUR/USD now at $1.3129. USD/JPY at ¥105.04. Ten-year T-note yields 2.43%, Bund 0.83% and Gilt 2.32%. Watch For: European final service sector PMI, eurozone retail sale...  

Top boxing coach sets out path for more success

Kevin Smith, right, with 60kg gold medal winner Shelley Watts in Glasgow. Pic: Getty ImagesThe man driving the resurgence in Australian amateur boxing has been taking Perth's coaches back to school.Boxing Australia head coach Kevin Smith held three workshops in the city last week as part of the program to standardise training across the country.Smith said getting everyone on board would lead to further success, as he looks to build on the two golds and one silver Australia won at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow."We're just trying to introduce a more standardised coach education program," Smith said."In the past coach education has been delivered individually by each State, and there's a lot of variances between the States. So when the boxers join up (with the Australia team) you're trying to understand how they've been taught. Often it's just terminology."With this, when the boxers get together, they're up to speed straight away, they understand what you're talking about. All the coaches understand what we're talking about when we get together. We're all talking the same language right from the start and it helps each other understand what we're all doing."Englishman Smith said the workshops also offered coaches a crucial support network."I was telling the coaches that back home in Liverpool, there's a rule in the association that you can't be within one mile of another gym, which is 1.6km. In Australia, it'd probably be within 100 kilometres of another gym!" the Everton-su...  

Gulf of Maine: 'Poster child' for global warming

But the statistic — accepted by scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — underscores particular fears about the Gulf's unique ecosystem and the lucrative fishing industries it supports for three U.S. states and two Canadian ...  

Tarrant, Dallas officials take different approaches to Chikungunya

A View photos Chikungunya symptoms Sudden onset of high fever, headaches, rash, and muscle aches and severe joint pain in the arms, back and legs. West Nile symptoms Neuroinvasive disease: Neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis. This form can be deadly. Fever: Headache, fever, muscle and joint aches, nausea and fatigue. Preventing mosquito bites • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, especially at dawn and dusk. • Regularly drain all standing water. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as a tablespoon of water. • Use an approved insect repellent (containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus). By Bill Hannabillhanna@star-telegram.com Now that Chikungunya cases have been confirmed in North Texas, officials in Dallas and Tarrant counties are taking different approaches to combating the mosquito-borne virus.Since late December, Chikungunya has spread across the Americas, with most of the half-million suspected cases reported in the Caribbean. Two cases have been confirmed in Dallas County, two in Tarrant County and one in Collin County. All five patients were infected with the virus while traveling in the Caribbean. Statewide, 15 imported Chikungunya cases have been reported.While no known cases have originated in North Texas, Chikungunya can be carried by Aedes mosquitoes, which bite during the day and are present in North Texas. The West Nile ...  

CVS Renames Itself CVS Health as It Ends Sale of Tobacco Products

CVS Caremark Corp. emerged from its seven-month purge of tobacco products with a new corporate name: CVS Health. The retail chain and pharmacy-benefits manager is unveiling the new moniker Wednesday, coinciding with the sale of its last tobacco product at its 7,700 pharmacies, one month ahead of schedule. In February CVS said it would rid all of its stores of tobacco products by Oct. 1, forgoing around $2 billion in annual... ...  


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