Mass fish die-off in German Polish river worries conservationists

Conservationists have called for an investigation following a mass fish die-off in a stretch of river flowing between Germany and Poland. 

Huge numbers of dead fish have washed up on the banks of the Oder River, which flows from Czechia into the Baltic Sea, this week, with volunteers in Germany and Poland to organise clean-up operations. 

Piotr Nieznanski, the conservation policy director at WWF Poland, said it appears that a toxic chemical was released into the water by industry, while low water levels caused by the drought gripping Europe have made conditions far more dangerous for the fish.

“A tragic event is happening along the Oder River,” he said. “There is no transparent information about what is going on.”

Nieznanski urged government authorities to investigate the mass die-off in what is Poland’s second-longest river.  

People living along the river have been warned not to swim in the water or touch it.

Poland’s state water management body said drought and high temperatures mean that even small amounts of pollution can trigger an ecological disaster in its vital waterways, though it said the source of the pollution has not yet been identified. 

The water level along Germany’s Rhine River is at risk of falling so low that it could become difficult to transport goods — including critical energy items like coal and gas. 

Yet, Poland and Germany are not the only European countries facing acute environmental problems caused by weather extremes.

In northern Serbia, the dry bed of the Conopljankso reservoir is now littered with dead fish that were unable to survive the drought.

This week officials in Hausen, near Zurich, rescued hundreds of fish in the almost dried-up Heischerbach, Juchbach and Muehlebach creeks. 

The fish, many of them brown trout, were anaesthetized with electric shocks and quickly placed in a water tank enriched with oxygen, local media reported. Later, the fish were taken to creeks that still carry enough water.

In Italy, which is experiencing its worst drought in seven decades, the parched Po River has already caused billions of euros in losses to farmers who normally rely on Italy’s longest river to irrigate their fields and rice paddies.

The drought is causing a loss of agricultural products and other foodstuffs at a time when supply shortages and Russia’s war against Ukraine have caused inflation to spike.

Incredible moment plane barely misses beachgoers as it makes ‘lowest ever landing’

This is the breathtaking moment a plane barely misses beachgoers as it makes the “lowest ever landing” at an island airport.

Greek islanders and holiday-makers who had gathered on the beach to watch jets got a scare when a Wizz Air flight came in to land on Skiathos, The Sun reports.

Footage shows the Airbus A321neo approaching the runway and everything appears normal at first.

However, the aircraft comes a bit too close to comfort and seems to barely clear the perimeter fence before touching down at the Skiathos Alexandros Papadiamantis Airport.

The noise of the jet engines drowns out the gasps of the aviation buffs below as the planes passes over their heads.

Dust from the road is kicked up as the plane passes over it and a number of people can be seen ducking.

“How many of the spectators do you think needed new pants?” one person asked beneath the video, which was published by GreatFlyer.

The YouTube account asked followers whether the landing was the “lowest ever” at the airport.

One person hit back at suggestions the pilot had been playing up to the crowd of people who had gathered on the beach.

“Before jumping to conclusion, let’s just say we don’t know why the plane ended up so scarily low on a fairly routine approach but I doubt it was ‘intentional’ ‘showing off,’” they said.

“However, the people standing there were definitely standing there intentionally despite the warning signs and traffic lights.

“You cannot get injured if you’re not standing there. Glad to see the plane eventually touched down without any damage.”

Due to the geography of the island, Skiathos Airport has a particularly short runway, meaning pilots have to approach lower than they would for longer runways. Plane watchers particularly like that spot as it gives them an up-close view of the jets.

This story was originally published by The Sun and reproduced here with permission.

Originally published as Incredible moment plane barely misses beachgoers as it makes ‘lowest ever landing’

Deshaun Watson to start Cleveland Browns’ preseason opener despite facing suspension for sexual misconduct allegations

Watson, as well as many other of the team’s starters, will play against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Browns announced on Wednesday.

In a statement, the team said: “QB Deshaun Watson is scheduled to start the game at QB. The three-time Pro Bowler is set to make his Browns preseason debut after he was acquired in a trade with the Texans in March.”
Watson is currently facing a six-game regular season suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy in private meetings with massage therapists while he was with the Houston Texans.

The decision, handed down last week by former federal judge Sue. L Robinson, came as a result of Watson’s “predatory conduct.”

However, the six-game ban was well below the full-season suspension the NFL was seeking, and as a result is being appealed by the league.
Speaking on Tuesday at an owners meeting in Minneapolis, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called Watson’s behavior “egregious” and “predatory.”

When asked why the league continues to seek a harsher punishment for Watson, Goodell said: “Because we’ve seen the evidence. (Robinson) was very clear about the evidence, she reinforced the evidence that there was multiple violations here and they were egregious and it was predatory behavior.”

“Those are things that we always felt were really important for us to address in a way that’s responsible,” Goodell continued.

Watson looks to pass during a training camp session.

The league appointed former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey to hear the NFL’s appeal.

According to the collective bargaining agreement signed in 2020, Harvey’s ruling “will be binding upon the player(s), Club(s), and parties’ to the CBA.”

Watson has repeatedly denied the accusations.

“I’ve never assaulted, I never disrespected, and I never harassed any woman in my life,” Watson has said. “I don’t have any regrets.”

Twenty-four civil lawsuits were filed against Watson; 23 have been settled confidentially. Two grand juries in Texas declined to charge Watson criminally.

A three-time Pro Bowler, Watson did not play last season with the Texans because of a trade demand as well as the investigations into these allegations.

Earlier this year, the Browns traded three first-round picks for Watson and then signed him to a five-year, fully guaranteed $230 million contract, the most guaranteed money in NFL history.

Rivian (RIVN) earnings Q2 2022

Rivian electric pickup trucks sit in a parking lot at a Rivian service center on May 09, 2022 in South San Francisco, California. 

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Electric vehicle maker Rivian Automotive maintained its full-year guidance for deliveries Thursday and reported second-quarter revenue that was higher than Wall Street expected.

But it trimmed its full-year financial outlook, saying that investors should now expect a wider loss and lower capital expenditures than it had previously forecast.

Here are the key numbers from Rivian’s second-quarter report, compared with average Wall Street analyst expectations as complied by Refinitiv:

  • Revenue: $364 million versus $337.5 million expected.
  • Adjusted loss per share: $1.62 versus an expected adjusted loss of $1.63 per share.

Rivian’s net loss for the quarter was about $1.7 billion. The company had $15.5 billion in cash and equivalents remaining as of June 30, down from $17 billion as of March 31.

The stock was down roughly 5% in extended hours after the report to trade below $38 per share. It debuted on the public markets at $106.75 per share nine months ago.

Rivian said Thursday it had about 98,000 net preorders for its R1-series truck and SUV as of June 30. It had “over 90,000” preorders as of May 11, when it reported its first-quarter results.

The company also confirms it still expects to make about 25,000 vehicles in 2022, in line with the reduced guidance it first provided in March. But it said that it now expects its full-year adjusted loss before income, taxes, depreciation, and amortization to come in at $5.4 billion, wider than the $4.75 billion loss on the same basis that it guided to in May.

It also said it expects $2 billion in capital expenditures for the full year, down from $2.6 billion in its May guidance.  

Rivian said in its shareholder letter that the guidance revisions reflect its current estimates of impacts from its delayed production ramp, higher raw material costs and freight expenses, and continuing supply-chain challenges.

Rivian said on July 6 that it delivered 4,467 vehicles during the second quarter.

Correction: This story has been updated to correct that Rivian had $15.5 billion in cash and equivalents remaining as of June 30.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

UK teen car thief caught hiding in giant stuffed teddy bear: Police

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A teenager in the United Kingdom wanted in connection with a stolen car was caught hiding from police in a giant stuffed teddy bear, police revealed Wednesday. 

Joshua Dobson, 18, was arrested last month near Manchester on charges of motor vehicle theft, driving while disqualified, and leaving a gas station without paying, police said. 

A giant teddy bear in which police say a teenager hid in to evade authorities. 

A giant teddy bear in which police say a teenager hid in to evade authorities. 
(GMP Rochdale)

Police searched for Dobson at a home in Rochdale where they found him hiding in a “bear-y” peculiar place. 

“When we went to arrest him, our officers noticed a large bear breathing in the address before finding Dobson inside,” police said. 

FLORIDA WOMAN ARRESTED FOR HURLING UNCOOKED STEAK AT BOYFRIEND OF 20 YEARS, POLICE SAY

Dobson was officially sentenced last week on the charges and will spend nine months in prison, Rochdale authorities said. 

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The department quipped: “Hopefully he has a bearable time inside.”  

Billionaire Rupert Murdoch, Jerry Hall finalize divorce

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch and former model Jerry Hall have swiftly finalized their divorce, which comes six years after they tied the knot.

The erstwhile couple announced the end of their marriage on the same day that Hall requested that her divorce petition be dismissed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

“Jerry and Rupert Murdoch have finalized their divorce. They remain good friends and wish each other the best for the future,” Hall’s attorney Judith L. Poller said in a statement to The Times.

A similar statement was issued on behalf of Murdoch’s attorney Robert Cohen to Reuters.

The NewsCorp. executive chairman, 91, and Hall, 66, married in 2016, and news of their separation went public in June. The “Batman” actor filed for divorce in Los Angeles on July 1 citing “irreconcilable differences” and seeking unspecified spousal support and attorneys’ fees.

On Wednesday, Hall asked the court to dismiss her petition without prejudice — meaning she could refile — though it is unclear if she did so because they agreed to settle the divorce out of court.

The petition said that Hall was “unaware of the full nature and extent of all (Murdoch’s) assets and debts, and will amend this petition when the information has been ascertained,” Reuters reported.

Forbes estimates that Murdoch, whose media empire includes Fox News, the Times of London and the Wall Street Journal, has a net worth of about $19.6 billion.

The marriage — Murdoch’s shortest — coincided with major milestones in the tycoon’s decades-long professional career, including Disney’s eventual $71.3-billion acquisition of Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox empire.

Murdoch served as Fox News’ acting CEO until 2019, following Roger Ailes’ sexual harassment lawsuit and eventual ouster in 2016.

It’s the fourth divorce for Murdoch and the first for Hall, who has four children with Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger.

Murdoch was previously married to former model and flight attendant Patricia Booker from 1956 to 1967, journalist Anna Maria Torv from 1967 to 1999 and businesswoman Wendi Deng from 1999 to 2013.

Times staff writer Alexandra Del Rosario contributed to this report.

Arctic Warming 4 Times as Fast as the Rest of the Planet, New Analyses Find

Thomas Ballinger, a researcher at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, said how the region is defined “is a very, very relevant conversation for understanding Arctic change.” A bigger Arctic would include more land, reducing the impact of the ice-ocean feedback on average temperatures.

Dr. Ballinger, who was not involved in either study, is an author of the annual Arctic Report Card prepared for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The latest report card, for 2021, details a region undergoing vast change, overwhelmed by rising temperatures. Indeed, some scientists now say that the Arctic’s fundamental climate has changed, to one characterized more by liquid water than ice, with profound effects on the plants, animals and people living there.

Loss of sea ice is putting polar bears in jeopardy, which in turn affects the well-being of the people who have hunted them for centuries. Sailing routes that were once perpetually choked with ice are opening up, bringing the environmental risks of ocean shipping to pristine waters. Shorelines are eroding more quickly, and more permafrost is thawing, leading to increased greenhouse gas emissions and damaging Arctic infrastructure.

Dr. Ballinger said some of the findings in the Finnish study were especially interesting, including those showing very high rates of warming in the late 1980s and 1990s. “That really was when Arctic amplification rates were the strongest,” he said.

The earlier study, published last month in Geophysical Research Letters, looked at data from 1960 onward and defined a larger Arctic, north of 65 degrees latitude, which includes more land. It found that the rate of warming reached four times the global average starting about 20 years ago. And unlike the Finnish study, it found that there were two decade-long periods, from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, and in the 2000s, with large jumps in warming in the region.

With bird flu on the rise, Germany set to slaughter 110,000 hens

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About 110,000 chickens are to be slaughtered after an outbreak of H5N8 bird flu on a farm in north Germany, authorities said on Thursday.

The disease was confirmed on an egg-producing farm in Langwege in the Vechta district in the northern state of Lower Saxony, the Vechta district council said.

ZOOS IN US RESPOND TO BIRD FLU OUTBREAK AS INFECTION RATES MOUNT

Vechta is a major region for poultry production. A three-kilometer lockdown area has been imposed around the farm plus an observation area with a ten-kilometer radius, the council said. These areas contain 352 farms.

North America is also experiencing a rise in avian flu. Migrant birds suspected of carrying the avian flu wash up on the shores of Point Lance, Newfoundland, Canada, on July 25, 2022.

North America is also experiencing a rise in avian flu. Migrant birds suspected of carrying the avian flu wash up on the shores of Point Lance, Newfoundland, Canada, on July 25, 2022.

The spread of bird flu around the globe has raised concerns among governments and the poultry industry due to its ability to ravage flocks, generate trade restrictions and the risk of human transmission.

France’s farm ministry in June removed bird flu-related restrictions on poultry farming across the country, citing a halt in outbreaks after the worst-ever crisis of the highly contagious virus led to the culling of 16 million birds.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATING SEAL DEATHS LINKED TO AVIAN FLU

Risk to humans from the disease is considered low, but past outbreaks among farm birds have needed extensive slaughtering programs to contain it.

Samples of Popular Diabetes Drug Contain Potential Carcinogen, F.D.A. Says

The Food and Drug Administration said that traces of a potential carcinogen had been found in samples of a popular diabetes drug produced by Merck, the latest instance in which impurities were detected in top-selling pharmaceutical products.

Millions of people with Type 2 diabetes rely on the drug, sitagliptin, to keep high blood sugar levels in check. Merck markets the drug as Januvia and Janumet. Last year, sitagliptin generated more than $5 billion in revenue for Merck and was its third best-selling product.

Despite finding the impurities in some batches, the F.D.A. will allow Merck to continue selling the drug temporarily, saying the risks are outweighed by the immediate medical needs of patients. “It could be dangerous for patients with this condition to stop taking their sitagliptin without first talking to their health care professional,” the agency said in a statement.

Merck, which first detected the contamination and reported it to regulators, said it was trying to address the problem and would work with health authorities around the world. “We remain confident in the safety, efficacy and quality of our sitagliptin-containing medicines,” the company said, adding that it did not anticipate shortages of the drug, which the F.D.A. first approved in 2006.

The impurity, known as NTTP, belongs to the family of nitrosamine compounds that have in recent years been discovered in a number of medications. Since 2018, federal regulators have alerted the public about nitrosamine contamination in samples of the heartburn medication Zantac, the antibiotic rifampin and the smoking-cessation drug Chantix.

The F.D.A. has described NTTP as a “probable human carcinogen,” based largely on laboratory testing. The agency lacks data to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of NTTP directly and instead said it used information about a closely related compound to determine exposure limits. Scientists at the agency have set a lifetime exposure to nitrosamine in medication at 37 nanogram per day, though it will allow up to 246 nanograms in sitagliptin for the time being.

In its statement, the F.D.A. called the additional cancer risk “minimal.”

Incredible moment plane barely misses beachgoers as it makes ‘lowest ever landing’

This is the breathtaking moment a plane barely misses beachgoers as it makes the “lowest ever landing” at an island airport.

Greek islanders and holiday-makers who had gathered on the beach to watch jets got a scare when a Wizz Air flight came in to land on Skiathos, The Sun reports.

Footage shows the Airbus A321neo approaching the runway and everything appears normal at first.

However, the aircraft comes a bit too close to comfort and seems to barely clear the perimeter fence before touching down at the Skiathos Alexandros Papadiamantis Airport.

The noise of the jet engines drowns out the gasps of the aviation buffs below as the planes passes over their heads.

Dust from the road is kicked up as the plane passes over it and a number of people can be seen ducking.

“How many of the spectators do you think needed new pants?” one person asked beneath the video, which was published by GreatFlyer.

The YouTube account asked followers whether the landing was the “lowest ever” at the airport.

One person hit back at suggestions the pilot had been playing up to the crowd of people who had gathered on the beach.

“Before jumping to conclusion, let’s just say we don’t know why the plane ended up so scarily low on a fairly routine approach but I doubt it was ‘intentional’ ‘showing off,’” they said.

“However, the people standing there were definitely standing there intentionally despite the warning signs and traffic lights.

“You cannot get injured if you’re not standing there. Glad to see the plane eventually touched down without any damage.”

Due to the geography of the island, Skiathos Airport has a particularly short runway, meaning pilots have to approach lower than they would for longer runways. Plane watchers particularly like that spot as it gives them an up-close view of the jets.

This story was originally published by The Sun and reproduced here with permission.

Originally published as Incredible moment plane barely misses beachgoers as it makes ‘lowest ever landing’