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Pakistan prepared to release a captured Indian pilot on Friday (March 1) as the nuclear powers scaled back their confrontation, at least temporarily, while Indian opposition politicians raised doubts over whether an initial airstrike had destroyed a militant camp in Pakistan.


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A powerful earthquake struck eastern Ecuador early Friday, sending tremors for miles through a sparsely populated area and into neighboring Peru and Colombia. The quake hit at an intermediate depth of about 82 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey said.


"The preliminary reports of the first earthquakes near Macas do not indicate major damages," Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno said via Twitter. He added that the effects were felt in a large swath of the country and that regional emergency centers had been activated in case they're needed.


The earthquake struck at 5:17 a.m. local time. Its epicenter was 71 miles east-southeast of Palora, far inland and distant from Ecuador's main highways that run along its mountain ranges.

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Two members of the European Parliament and a British conservative are under fire for supporting the political campaign of a Moldovan businessman convicted of a central role in a billion-dollar fraud.



The businessman, Ilan Shor, is running for parliament in the former Soviet republic in a general election on Sunday. In June 2017, a Moldovan court sentenced Shor to seven and a half years in prison for a fraud of around $300 million, part of a larger scam that sucked some $1 billion out of three of the small country's largest banks. Shor maintains he is innocent, and remains free pending the result of an appeal against the verdict.


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Forbes Travel Guide debuted its 61st annual list of Star Rating winners, recognizing the world's finest properties and rewarding gracious, intuitive service.


The 2019 award recipients include 21 new Five-Star hotels, 49 new Four-Star hotels and 62 new hotels in the Recommended category. Other first-time recipients include six Five-Star restaurants, eight Five-Star spas and 21 Four-Star spas.


A standout was The Peninsula Hotels, which made Forbes Travel Guide history by becoming the world's first all Five-Star hotel company. The Peninsula Manila earned its fifth star this year, which pushed the Hong Kong-based brand's tally to 10 Five-Star hotels.

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We all dream of super-fast flights that get us from New York to Paris in an hour flat. But when an aircraft actually does technically travel at the speed of sound, it can really be a shock.


Despite most commercial flights being unable to reach such supersonic speeds, one Virgin Atlantic flight managed to actually surpass the speed of sound by traveling at a ground speed of 801 mph on a flight from Los Angeles to London on Monday, according to The Washington Post.

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Humans have lived alongside England's River Thames for thousands of years, and they've left some interesting things behind in its muddy waters: wooden clubs for bashing in heads, a toilet that fits three butts at once and sometimes, even bits of human skulls.


Tomorrow (Feb. 20), the Museum of London will put one such skull fragment on display. According to a statement from the museum, the fractured frontal skull bone belonged to an adult man who lived sometime around 3600 B.C., making this Neolithic skull chunk one of the oldest human specimens ever pulled out of the Thames.


According to the museum, the specimen was initially discovered near the southern shores of the Thames by a "mudlarker" — a person who digs through the river mud in search of valuables. (Mudlarkers have made scavenging the Thames their business for hundreds of years; in fact, the 500-year-old skeleton of a dead mudlarker wearing thig
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h-high leather boots was recently exhumed from the river.)

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Trees are the Earth's way of soaking up our carbon.



If you wanted to plant enough new trees to absorb all the carbon people emit, guess how many you'd have to plant. Go ahead, guess.



1.2 trillion new trees



At least, that's the number Thomas Crowther, a professor and scientific advisor to the UN, came up with. He and his colleagues used machine learning to calculate just how many trees we could plant to soak up our carbon dioxide.



“There’s 400 gigatons [of carbon] now, in the 3 trillion trees, and if you were to scale that up by another trillion trees that’s in the order of hundreds of gigatons captured from the atmosphere – at least 10 years of anthropogenic emissions completely wiped out,” he said.



Planting trees is great, but I can't help thinking we also need to stop chopping down forests in the first place. When you chop down a tree, you destroy the e

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ntire ecosystem that depended on it. Planting a new tree doesn't bring that back.



And right now, forests are being decimated. The Amazon rainforest, for instance, is being destroyed largely thanks to the Brazilian cattle industry.


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A few months ago, Twitter revealed that it was testing a redesigned reply interface based on threading tweets. Starting today, the company has opened up a public test of the new interface and is inviting all users to sign up.

Twitter first started testing this threaded reply interface in August, and some users quickly expressed their dislike of the new design. Essentially, the threaded reply interface takes a Reddit-like approach to managing conversations.

Twitter itself touts that the new interface is designed “to make it easier to see more of what people are saying,” according to The Verge. Replies from the original sender of the tweet appear in gray, while replies from people you follow appear in blue.
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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he’s "potentially interested" in putting the Facebook login on the blockchain as part of a public interview with Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain. In particular, Zuckerberg said the blockchain could give users unique powers when granting data access to third-party apps.


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President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia is militarily ready for a Cuban Missile-style crisis if the United States is foolish enough to want one and that his country currently has the edge when it comes to a first nuclear strike.



The Cuban Missile Crisis erupted in 1962 when Moscow responded to a U.S. missile deployment in Turkey by sending ballistic missiles to Cuba, sparking a standoff that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.



More than five decades on, tensions are rising again over Russian fears that the United States might deploy intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe as a landmark Cold war-era arms control treaty unravels.



Putin's comments, made to Russian media late on Wednesday, follow his warning that Moscow will match any U.S. move to deploy new missiles closer to Russia by stationing its own missiles closer to the United States or by deploying faster missiles or both.



Putin fleshed out his warning in detail

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for the first time, saying Russia could deploy hypersonic missiles on ships and submarines which could lurk outside U.S. territorial waters if Washington now moved to deploy intermediate-range nuclear weapons in Europe.


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EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says despite constructive talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May he remains downbeat on the prospect of Britain avoiding a chaotic exit from the bloc next month.


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U.S. stocks on Wednesday saw a subdued open as investors awaited minutes from the Federal Reserve's rate-setting meeting last month that led to a major reversal in policy for the central bank. Developments in trade remained on investors' radar as talks between Beijing and Washington continue. President Trump said that the U.S. may not increase tariffs on some $200 billion to 25% from 10% in Chinese goods as scheduled on March 2, saying the negotiating deadline is "not a magical date." The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded up 16 points, or less than 0.1%, at 25,904, the S&P 500 index edged lower by less than a point at 2,779, while the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced more firmly, compared against its equity benchmark peers, up 0.2% at 7,500. An eighth straight gain for the Nasdaq would match its longest win streak since a period ended Aug. 9. Fears that the Fed, run by Chairman Jerome Powell, was raising interest rates too quickly roiled markets last year 2018

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, but the Fed changed its tune at the start of 2019, citing crosscurrents exemplified by one of the worst December returns for stocks in years. In corporate news, CVS Health Corp. shares were lower after its quarterly results disappointed Wall Street. Shares of Tesla Inc. were in focus after another the electric car maker announced that its general counsel, Dane Butsinkas was leaving the firm. Looking ahead, the Federal Open Market Committee's minutes will be released at 2 p.m. Eastern Time.


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Amazon’s sudden announcement that it would back out of building a second headquarters in Queens, New York — which was slated to employ at least twenty-five thousand people supposedly set to earn an average of $150,000 per year — made no sense as a business decision. Amazon had undergone a lengthy and elaborate process to pick the optimal location for its new campus. As suspected, Amazon settled on a city (actually two) that had high concentrations of workers with the needed technical skills, a major airport, mass transit, and the sorts of cultural attractions that would entice employees to move to or remain in that city.


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Varjo VR-1 melts away pixels and gets to retina resolution with eye tracking and a mixed-reality add-on coming this year.


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The Samsung Galaxy S10 is getting announced this week, and it should be running software we’ve already been able to try on the S9: One UI. Dieter Bohn explains how Samsung has learned how to improve its software.


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Superstar fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld dies, aged 85, in Paris, French media report.


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Ijazah in Reading the Poem of Ash-Shatibiya



Imam Al-Qaasim bin Feerruh bin Khalaf bin Ahmed Ash-Shaatibiyy was a scholar from Andalusia and amazing enough, blind, and was a great scholar of the qira’aat. He composed a poem outlining the two most famous ways passed down from each of seven strong imams. This poem is named , but has become known by the name of its author, and therefore often called Ash-Shatibiyyah.



Rawee, when referring to ways of recitation is a narrator who related a specific way from a main imam of recitation. He either took the way from the imam directly or through one of his students.



This is the explanation of Imam al-Shatibi’s famous poem on the 7 Qiraa’aat: حرز الأماني ووجه التهاني في القراءات السبع.  In this poem, Imam al-Shatibi, may Allah have mercy upon him, documents the rules of 7 of the 10 authentic Qiraa’aat, i.e. the Qira’ah of Naafi’, Ibn Katheer, Abu ‘Amr, Ibn ‘Aamir,

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‘Aasim, al-Kisaa’i, and Hamzah.


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Quantum secure direct communication (QSDC) is an important branch of quantum communication, based on the principles of quantum mechanics for the direct transmission of classified information. While recent proof-of-principle experimental studies have made remarkable progress; QSDC systems remain to be implemented in practice. In a recent study, Ruoyang Qi and co-workers at the departments of low-dimensional quantum physics, information technology, electronics and information engineering, proposed and experimentally implemented a practical quantum secure communication system.

In the work, Qi et al. analyzed the security of the system using the Wyner wiretap channel theory. The scientists developed a coding scheme using concatenation (interconnected) low-density parity-check (LDPC) codes in a realistic environment of high noise and high losses. The system operated with a repetition rate of 1 M
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Hz across a distance of 1.5 kilometers and maintained a secure communication rate of 50 bps to send text messages, reasonably sized images and sounds. The results are now published in Light: Science & Applications.
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Custom Made Beer Stubbies which can be personalized.These are best as Personalized beer holders or Customized beer stubbies in Australia.


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How Project Management Streamlines Your Telecom Plans:



You know the ins and outs of your business on an intimate level. But when it comes to your wireless technology, you may be left scratching your head. In a technical telecom field — one that needs a skilled professional handling the installation and troubleshooting. This is where a telecom project manager comes onto the scene.


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We have received information vital to the survival of the Resistance regarding the arrival in UK cinemas of the Episode IX teaser trailer, with the teaser potentially launching as soon as tomorrow (Friday).


Here is what we were told.


A major UK cinema chain has received a Digital Cinema Package (DCP) from Disney this morning called TT1-SW9, (Teaser Trailer 1 Star Wars 9). It’s encrypted with a KDM (Key Delivery Message) so they can’t view the contents until they get the key.


No news on when they’ll get the key, but they had the Aladdin trailer DCP for two weeks before it came out on Monday…therefore, Friday might be the day, but that’s pure speculation.

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Legendary is in negotiations for Aquaman star Jason Momoa to join the cast of Denis Villeneuve’s film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s bestselling novel Dune. Momoa joins an already stellar cast of Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Dave Bautista, Stellan Skarsgård, Charlotte Rampling, Javier Bardem, and Josh Brolin. The script was written by Villeneuve, Eric Roth and Jon Spaihts.


Momoa will play Duncan Idaho.


Set in the distant future, Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides, whose family accepts control of the desert planet Arrakis. As the only producer of a highly valuable resource, control of Arrakis is highly contested among the noble families. After Paul and his family are betrayed, the story explores themes of politics, religion, and man’s relationship to nature as Paul leads a rebellion to restore his family’s control of Arrakis.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Thursday said President Donald Trump was “making an end run around Congress” with his pledge to declare a national emergency in order to secure more funds to build a border wall than Congress appropriated.


“We will review our options,” Pelosi pledged, saying the Trump’s stated “emergency” was “an illusion that he wants to convey.”


Pelosi speculated that future Democratic presidents could declare similar emergencies regarding gun violence or other matters.

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President Donald Trump plans to sign a bipartisan spending deal and then declare a national emergency to fund his border wall, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Thursday.


The move will avert a government shutdown Friday, while immediately fueling a fierce battle in the courts — a fight that Democrats in Congress say they’re eager to take on.


“He is prepared to sign the bill,” McConnell said on the Senate floor, ending days of uncertainty about whether Trump would back the massive funding compromise. “He will also be issuing a national emergency declaration at the same time.”


The White House quickly confirmed the move. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that Trump will “take other executive action — including a national emergency — to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border.”

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The Korean company may have learned the lesson for its new flagship, adding advanced features like an OLED panel that acts like a speaker.


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U.S. stocks retreated Thursday, though trading above session lows, after weak retail sales numbers and rising jobless claims helped wipe out premarket gains that had been attributed to optimism over U.S.-China trade talks and a new deal to avoid a government shutdown.


How are equity markets faring?


The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 104 points, or 0.4%, at 25,438, while the S&P 500 index fell 8 points, or 0.3%, at 2,746. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 2 points, or less than 0.1%, to 7,423.


At session lows Thursday morning, the Dow had dropped as many as 235 points, the S&P had shed 22 points and the Nasdaq was 45 points lower.

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Instagram has launched a new #ShareBlackStories promotion for Black History Month, which aims to honor the black community on the platform, and showcase relevant creators.


As explained by Instagram: "On the official @instagram account, you’ll see stories from incredible creators like Tawny Chatmon, Paola “Pao Pao” Mathé and Uzumaki Cepeda, plus short films featuring distinct Black voices, produced by Clarence Hammond (Life in a Year) and Dougie Cash (To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, Cobra Kai) from Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment, along with Marsha L. Swinton (Beautiful Boy)."


In addition to this, Instagram's also launching some new creative tools for Stories, including camera effects, stickers and custom templates.

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Here's a Devil's Advocate type question - could Facebook's big push on encouraging more group usage have an underlying motive in shifting controversial discussion out of the public eye?


That question stems from a new report in The Guardian, which suggests that The Social Network is not doing enough to curb the growth of private anti-vaccination groups, a concerning movement which, in some regions, has seen long-controlled diseases start to re-occur.

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The government’s push to roll over EU trade deals from which the UK currently benefits has yielded agreements covering only £16bn of the near-£117bn of British trade with the countries involved.



Despite frenetic efforts by ministers to ensure the continuity of international trade after the UK leaves the EU on 29 March, the international trade secretary, Liam Fox, has so far only managed to secure deals with seven of the 69 countries that the UK currently trades with under preferential EU free trade agreements, which will end after Brexit.



Fox’s department has yet to sign agreements with several major UK trading partners – including Canada, Japan, South Korea and Turkey – while sources have said that sufficient progress is unlikely to be made before the Brexit deadline in less than 50 days’ time.



Canada, Japan, South Korea and Turkey alone accounted for goods exports worth £25bn in 2017 and imports of merch

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andise worth £28.6bn, with the UK currently able to access these markets on preferential terms as part of membership of the EU.



The deals are being rolled over under a traffic-light system by the Department for International Trade. According to a document obtained by the Sun, only a handful are colour-coded in green as deals that will enter into force by March 2019. The majority are in amber and red, where deliverability is either off-track or significantly off-track, while some major trade deals, including with Japan and Turkey, are coded in black as “not possible to be completed by March 2019”.


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The top US commander on the Korean Peninsula told Senate lawmakers Tuesday that "despite a reduction" in tensions with North Korea, there has been "little to no verifiable change" in the country's military capabilities since President Donald Trump's first summit with Kim Jong Un last summer.


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People often describe themselves as being a cake person or a pie person. Well, I’m a brownie person (with cake as a close second). And an equal-opportunity brownie person, at that. I love them whether they’re made from scratch or come from a box. But the thing I look for most in brownies is thickness - and big, bold chocolate flavor.


Because of the rich-looking centers and crackly top, I had my eye on these brownies from the second they were first published on our site back in 2017. It was also hard not to be intrigued by the short, budget-friendly ingredient list. Although the lack of actual chocolate anywhere in the recipe threw me off - could they possibly have the intense chocolate flavor I craved and be as impossibly delicious as they looked? The answer is yes and yes. And now it’s my go-to brownie recipe and the only one I make.

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The Academy’s decision to present four categories - cinematography, film editing, makeup and hairstyling and live-action shorts - during commercial breaks on this year’s Oscar show has been greeted with widespread outrage, with the condemnation stretching from Oscar watchers to past Oscar winners Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Cuarón and Emmanuel Lubezki.


“If I may: I would not presume to suggest what categories to cut during the Oscars show but - Cinematography and Editing are at the very heart of our craft,” wrote del Toro, last year’s Best Director and Best Picture winner, on Twitter. “They are not inherited from a theatrical tradition or a literary tradition: they are cinema itself.”

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ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) is offering investors a 4.3% yield, roughly twice what you'd get from an S&P 500 index fund, backed by 36 consecutive years of annual dividend increases. If that's not enough to entice you to the name, then consider this: The integrated oil giant's price to tangible book value of roughly 1.6 times hasn't been this low since the late 1980s. In other words, Exxon's stock is cheaper than it's been in decades and rewarding investors with a fat yield. The best part, however, is that recent quarters show that the future is starting to brighten.



Cheap for a reason



There are real reasons why Exxon's shares are so cheap relative to its past. The big ones include a notable slide in the company's return on capital employed (ROCE), a metric that tracks how well it is using shareholder money, and falling production. There's no question that these are very

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real issues that investors need to be worried about. And there's also no question that things are getting better on both counts.


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IBM today announced that it is freeing its Watson-branded AI services like the Watson Assistant for building conversational interfaces and Watson OpenScale for managing the AI lifecycle from its own cloud and allowing enterprises to take its platform and running it their own data centers.


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Venezuela's embattled President Nicolás Maduro has called Donald Trump's government a "gang of extremists" and blamed the US for his country's crisis.


In an interview with the BBC, Mr Maduro said he would not allow humanitarian aid into Venezuela as it was a way for the US to justify an intervention.


"They are warmongering in order to take over Venezuela," he said.


The US and most Western governments have recognised opposition leader Juan Guaidó as interim president.

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The FBI has asked the public for help in finding a stolen trailer containing about $65,000 worth of energy drinks.


The trailer was stolen late Feb. 2 or early Feb. 3 in the area of East Broadway Avenue and 50th Street in Tampa, Florida, the FBI said in a statement released Monday.


A truck also stolen in the incident was recovered in Broward County on Feb. 7, but the trailer with the drinks remains missing, according to the statement.


The FBI is offering a $2,000 reward for information that leads to the recovery of the trailer and cargo.

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Italian Defense Minister Elisabetta Trenta called Monday for NATO’s national budget spending rules to be amended to include cyber security and infrastructure costs.


Trenta, a member of the ruling Five Star coalition group, said that NATO guidelines requiring member countries to spend 2 percent of their gross domestic product (GDP) on defense should also include non-military investments, as Italy sets out to spend more on social welfare, the Financial Times reported.

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As the pace and complexity of life continues to increase in the 21st century, handling multiple assignments and simultaneous demands is a challenge. Even the most organized person can feel overwhelmed and stressed by worklo


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The sixth Terminator film, set to release at the end of 2019, is officially titled Terminator: Dark Fate.


IGN can confirm the official title for the new movie is Terminator: Dark Fate. James Cameron revealed Dark Fate was the movie's working title in an interview with Yahoo.


Terminator: Dark Fate will be a sequel to Terminator 2: Judgment Day, with Cameron serving as executive producer and Tim Miller directing the film. It will star Linda Hamilton, Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, Gabriel Luna, Diego Boneta, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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Prime Minister Theresa May can reach a deal with the European Union to alter parts of the Brexit agreement relating to the Northern Irish border, Treasury minister Liz Truss told Sky News on Sunday.


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Congressional negotiators dug in for a weekend of talks on a security plan that includes some sort of barrier on the U.S.-Mexican border, hoping to complete a deal to avert another government shutdown that’s also acceptable to President Donald Trump.


Trump was back in the fray late Saturday afternoon, indicating in a tweet that if Democrats didn’t give him all the wall money he’s demanded, he may use executive action to build it. Democrats have warned such action would face court challenges, and some Republicans have suggested it’s an option best avoided.

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Scientists have discovered a brand-new kind of magnet hiding out in a uranium compound.



The compound, USb2 (a compound of uranium and antimony), a so-called "singlet-based" magnet, is novel in that it generates magnetism in an entirely different way than any other magnet known to scientists.



Electrons, which are negatively charged particles, generate their own tiny magnetic fields. These fields have a "north" and "south" pole, a consequence of a quantum mechanical property known as spin. In most objects, these magnetic fields point in random directions, canceling each other out. (This is why your body isn't a giant magnet.) But in certain materials, those fields become aligned. When that happens, they create a magnetic field powerful enough to, for example, move a bunch of iron filing around or cause a compass to point north.



Just about every known magnet in the universe works this

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way, from the ones on your fridge and M.R.I. machines to the magnetism of planet Earth itself.



But the newly discovered singlet-based magnet works in a completely different way.



USb2 is like many other substances in that the electrons inside it don't tend to point their magnetic fields in the same direction, so they can't generate magnetism through their combined magnetic field strength.


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Astronomers have long suspected that the colossal Andromeda galaxy would, in billions years, collide with our humble Milky Way.



The collision was forecast to happen in some 3.9 billion years. But after astronomers analyzed new data captured by the European Space Agency's star-surveying satellite Gaia, they now put the imminent date at 4.5 billion years — so 600 million years later than initially expected.



The event, detailed in The Astrophysical Journal, is characterized as a "swipe" rather than a direct collision. The end result would be a merger of the galaxies into one, monstrous galaxy.



"This finding is crucial to our understanding of how galaxies evolve and interact," Timo Prusti, ESA Gaia Project Scientist who had no role in the study, said in a statement.


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Microsoft replaced Internet Explorer with Edge long ago but users continue to favour Internet Explorer especially when it comes to businesses and government organisations. According to the latest Netmarketshare numbers, almost 8% of the users still use Internet Explorer as opposed to the 4% who use Microsoft Edge.



This is understandable considering most of the working people have spent their life working on Internet Explorer and not on Edge or Google Chrome, and have built internal application which rely on its foibles. However, Microsoft is not urging companies to quit using IE because of a simple reason that it’s not safe. Microsoft has published a whole blog post shedding light on the problems of using IE right now and why users should move to modern browsers.


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