Europe Increases Preventative Measures to Fight Megafires

(Bloomberg) — Climate change is fueling megafires that can’t be extinguished with helicopters and fire trucks, so Europe’s most fire-prone region has come up with new ways to protect forests. In many parts of the continent, countries are letting smaller fires burn, using historic data to model future fire behavior and offering subsidies to encourage land owners and people living close to forests to manage them properly. Over the long term, the goal is to turn forest management into a profitable activity that can also revive rural economies.


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“There are a number of different tools and the secret is combining all that’s available,” said Alexander Held, a wildfire expert at the European Forest Institute, a research center set up by European Union members.

Mediterranean nations spent around 200 billion euros ($237 billion) in the past two decades to build up some of the world’s largest, best-equipped firefighting forces.

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Huawei CFO Resumes Extradition Fight Arguing U.S. Case Is Flawed

Meng Wanzhou arrives at the Supreme Court in Vancouver, Canada, on Sept 28.

Photographer: Darryl Dyck/Bloomberg

Huawei Technologies Co. Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou returned to a Canadian court to resume her long fight against extradition to the U.S., saying fraud claims linked to potential violations of American sanctions against Iran are so deeply flawed that they should be dismissed.

The U.S. accuses Meng of misleading HSBC Holding Plc and tricking the bank into processing transactions that put it at risk of violating the sanctions. At the request of U.S. officials, she was arrested by Canadian authorities in December 2018 while traveling in Vancouver.

Since then, Meng has waged a legal battle that could take years. In May, a Vancouver judge allowed the extradition case to proceed because the alleged crime in the U.S. would also be a crime in Canada. Now Meng claims the case should

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Opponents of facial recognition technology in Detroit are not giving up without a fight

click to enlarge
DPD Chief James Craig inside the city's Real Time Crime Center at police headquarters. - STEVE NEAVLING

  • Steve Neavling
  • DPD Chief James Craig inside the city’s Real Time Crime Center at police headquarters.

Opponents of Detroit’s facial recognition system, which has misidentified suspects and led to their false imprisonment, plan to make some noise ahead of the city council’s scheduled vote to extend a contract on the technology’s software on Tuesday.

The protest group Detroit Will Breathe began an online petition calling for the city to stop using the technology, which opponents say is unreliable, racially biased, and constitutionally dubious. By Monday morning, the petition was close to reaching its goal of 1,600 supporters.

Before the 10 a.m. council meeting, protesters are also planning a car caravan protest to target the home of Councilman Andre Spivey, who expressed support for the technology

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Scientists fight to protect orcas from man-made noise pollution

  • Experts are studying how man-made noise pollution, like from boats and oil drilling, is threatening the lives of orcas.
  • One team of scientists is collecting hundreds of hours of orca recordings off the coast of Norway in an effort to make to region a marine protected area.
  • Man-made noises interfere with orcas’ communication, which they use for hunting and mating.
  • And orcas trying to escape the underwater cacophonies may travel too far to the rocky shoreline, which can result in stranding and death.
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Orcas have a language of their own. They communicate through touch, movement, and most importantly, sound.

And it’s marine scientist Ellyne Hamran’s job to eavesdrop on them. 

Hamran is an acoustic researcher studying the sounds marine mammals like whales and dolphins use to communicate. She’s captured hundreds of hours of orca recordings.

This summer, she’s listening to the

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To Fight Apple and Google, Smaller App Rivals Organize a Coalition

SAN FRANCISCO — For months, complaints from tech companies against Apple’s and Google’s power have grown louder.

Spotify, the music streaming app, criticized Apple for the rules it imposed in the App Store. A founder of the software company Basecamp attacked Apple’s “highway robbery rates” on apps. And last month, Epic Games, maker of the popular game Fortnite, sued Apple and Google, claiming they violated antitrust rules.

Now these app makers are uniting in an unusual show of opposition against Apple and Google and the power they have over their app stores. On Thursday, the smaller companies said they had formed the Coalition for App Fairness, a nonprofit group that plans to push for changes in the app stores and “protect the app economy.” The 13 initial members include Spotify, Basecamp, Epic and Match Group, which has apps like Tinder and Hinge.

“They’ve collectively decided, ‘We’re not alone in this,

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New technology to fight plagues and pathogens in crops

New technology to fight plagues and pathogens in crops
Credit: Asociación RUVID

Researchers at the Institute of Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology (IBMCP), mixed center of the Polytechnic University of Valencia and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), have developed a new technology that will help fight, in a natural way that is respectful towards the environment, against the plagues and pathogens that affect crops.

The team of the IBMCP, coordinated by José Antonio Darós, scientific researcher at the CSIC, has patented a new method that makes it possible to produce, in a fast and affordable way, large amounts of dsRNA. This substance is a natural molecule that can act in an extraordinarily selective and efficient way against pathogens and plagues, silencing their genes and thus preventing them from affecting crops.

“If a nematode, insect or any other arthropod ingests these dsRNA molecules, they can end up dying or, in the best case, have their growth altered. By silencing

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New technology may help in the fight


Here’s the difference between red tide and blue-green algae.

A new tool will soon be deployed in Florida in an attempt to eliminate blue-green algae in freshwater systems.

Florida Gulf Coast University’s Everglades Wetland Research Park in Naples received a $1 million grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to introduce buoys equipped with sonic technology meant to kill harmful cyanobacteria.

“An ultrasonic wave goes through the water and disturbs algal cells, especially some of the blue-green algae,” said Bill Mitsch, director of the research park. “(The algae) thereby loses its ability to stay in the water column and drops to bottom of the lake.”

The Everglades Wetland Research Park will deploy the MPC buoy system in Naples. The solar-powered buoys will be tethered in nine lakes throughout the Treviso Bay Naples community. (Photo: Greg Eiffert)

Mitsch and his team at the research park will set out nine

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