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Trilobites: Arctic Foxes on a Swedish Mountain Turned ‘Blue.’ It Was a Good Thing.

Arctic Foxes on a Swedish Mountain Turned ‘Blue.’ It Was a Good Thing. Arctic foxes are endangered in Sweden, Norway and Finland, scattered in isolated populations that can fall victim to severe inbreeding, further threatening their survival.
That’s what happened to a group descended from six white foxes that settled in the early 2000s on Helagsfjället, the highest mountain in southern Sweden.
But in 2010, a local ranger noticed something different: slate-colored or “blue” Arctic foxes, which had to be newcomers. The immigrants presented a rare opportunity for scientists to study what happens when new genetic material flows into a small, isolated population threatened with extinction.
In a study published Wednesday in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, scientists from Sweden and Norway reported that just three new males dramatically reduced inbreeding and produced a generation of more robust offspring in the Helagsfjället arctic fox population.
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Is China extending influence in Africa with $32m grant?

Free gift? China extends influence in Africa with $32M grant for regional HQThe African Union building in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was also a gift from China. It cost $200 million to build and was handed over in 2012. (CNN)China raised eyebrows this month by announcing it will give the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) a $31.6 million grant to build a new headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria.
Accepting the grant, the president of ECOWAS, Jean-Claude Brou, thanked China and confirmed the organization's commitment to promoting future ECOWAS-China cooperation. A press release said that Brou called this a mark of goodwill from China. But critics questioned the Asian economic powerhouse's motives for the donation, which positions it at the center of West African politics.African, right, and Chinese workers, left, build railway track sections for the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) line in Tsavo, Kenya.Earlier this year, a published report in the French daily..

UK businesses are not educating themselves on what Brexit actually means

Some companies have been been altogether ignoring vital preparations and contingency plans for Brexit
“Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed,” so the UK and EU negotiating teams say. While it wasn’t signed, last week saw the transition agreement endorsed by the European Council – meaning that firms across the UK and the EU can confidently make investment and hiring decisions over the next three years.
The trouble is that companies have not only been waiting to enact expansion and investment plans – many have also been ignoring preparations for Brexit altogether.
Large, well-resourced firms have both the time and the capacity to analyse and plan for the ups and downs of the negotiations, as well as put contingency plans in place.
Read more GKN: Business Secretary intervenes amid anger over Melrose’s bad bid But what about SMEs (small- and medium-sized enterprises)? When you are a business with 50 employees, focussed on making a profit at best or making ends meet at worst,..

Saudi Arabia and Japan's Softbank to create world's biggest solar power project

Planned project is expected to have the capacity to produce up to 200 gigawatts of energy by 2030
Softbank Group has announced a $200bn (£141bn) investment to create the world’s biggest solar power project in Saudi Arabia through its Vision Fund private equity arm.
The Japanese conglomerate’s chief executive, Masayoshi Son, told reporters on Tuesday that the planned project is expected to have the capacity to produce up to 200 gigawatts (GW) of energy by 2030.
According to Reuters, that would add to around 400GW of globally installed solar power capacity and is comparable to the world’s total nuclear power capacity of around 390GW as of the end of 2016.
Read more Softbank chief signals interest in Uber and Lyft investment The deal will also fit into Saudi Arabia’s broader goal of diversifying economically and reducing its reliance on the often volatile oil industry – a programme it has dubbed Vision 2030.
The kingdom is one of the sunniest countries in the world but it is also ..

Average British person wastes more than £30,000 in lifetime on monthly direct debits they never use

Around £40 of direct debit spending each montih is for products or services we have either forgotten about or never use
The average Briton will waste more than £30,000 in their lifetime after losing track of monthly direct debits.
Researchers found the typical adult pays out just over £111 in direct debits every month.
But around £40 of that is for products or services we have either forgotten about, or never use.
Of the monthly outgoings we regularly find ourselves paying for, gym memberships were deemed “most expendable”.
Museum memberships, subscription to the National Trust and Cinema club fees were all also considered direct debits we’d cancel if we could be bothered.
The shocking figures emerged following a study by Sky Mobile which was launched after discovering their UK consumers were wasting an estimated £2bn a year paying for data on their phone tariff they didn’t use by the end of each month.
Sophia Ahmad, director of Sky Mobile said: “It’s important to keep an eye on..

Tech We’re Using: Covering Disasters With 2 Phones, in Case One Falls in the Mud

Covering Disasters With 2 Phones, in Case One Falls in the Mud How do New York Times journalists use technology in their jobs and in their personal lives? Julie Turkewitz, a correspondent who is based in Denver, discussed the tech she’s using.
How often are you on the road on assignment?
I’m on the road about a third of the year. I cover a section of the West, which means I spend a lot of time in small towns and on winding mountain roads. I also work breaking news stories all over the country.
So that must mean you live out of a suitcase. What are your most essential tech tools for doing your work?
Photo Photographing flooding from Hurricane Harvey in downtown Houston. Ms. Turkewitz uses a Canon 5D. Credit Kelli Machado My travel bag is a constant work in progress. I try to be prepared for anything, because I never know when a trip is going to involve a surprise sit-down with a governor or an unexpected flight to cover a hurricane.
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Facebook Introduces Central Page for Privacy and Security Settings

Facebook Introduces Central Page for Privacy and Security Settings Photo “One of our biggest responsibilities is to protect data,” Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, told The New York Times last week. Credit Jeff Roberson/Associated Press Facebook said it will roll out a centralized system for its users to control their privacy and security settings in response to an outcry over the way it has handled personal data.
The system, which will be introduced to Facebook users globally over the coming weeks, will allow people to change their privacy and security settings from one place rather than having to go to roughly 20 separate sections across the social media platform.
Photo Facebook is rolling out a new centralized page for people to view and control their privacy and security settings. From the new page, users can control the personal information the social network keeps on them, such as their political preferences or interests, and download and review a file of data Facebo..

In Win for Environmentalists, Senate Keeps an Obama-Era Climate Change Rule

In Win for Environmentalists, Senate Keeps an Obama-Era Climate Change Rule Photo Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, broke with his party on Wednesday to help keep a regulation to control the release of methane. Credit Cliff Owen/Associated Press WASHINGTON — In a surprising victory for President Barack Obama’s environmental legacy, the Senate voted on Wednesday to uphold an Obama-era climate change regulation to control the release of methane from oil and gas wells on public land.
Senators voted 51 to 49 to block consideration of a resolution to repeal the 2016 Interior Department rule to curb emissions of methane, a powerful planet-warming greenhouse gas. Senators John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Susan Collins of Maine, all Republicans who have expressed concern about climate change and backed legislation to tackle the issue, broke with their party to join Democrats and defeat the resolution.
The vote also was the first, and probably the..