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Canadian platform spills 3,200 gallons of oil-mix into Atlantic

Canadian platform spills 3,200 gallons of oil-mix into AtlanticAn oil platform off the Canadian island of Newfoundland spilled nearly 3,200 gallons of an oil-water mix into the Atlantic Ocean, and efforts were underway to minimize the environmental impact, ExxonMobil said Thursday. The spill occurred a day earlier during "routine activities related to removing water" from a platform storage cell, the American oil giant said earlier. "The estimated volume of oil released from the Hibernia platform was 75 barrels of oil, equivalent to approximately 12,000 liters (3,170 gallons)," according to aerial surveillance, the Hibernia Management and Development Company (HMDC) said in a statement released by ExxonMobil.

Thu, 18 Jul 2019 18:04:05 -0400
Richard Branson inspired by Apollo, his own space shot soon

Richard Branson inspired by Apollo, his own space shot soonVirgin Galactic's Richard Branson said Thursday his spaceship has just a few more test flights before he jumps on board for the first tourist trip. The British billionaire celebrated his 69th birthday at NASA's Kennedy Space Center during 50th anniversary festivities for humanity's first moon landing. Branson said three or four test flights will be conducted from New Mexico, beginning this fall, before engineers allow him to fly.

Thu, 18 Jul 2019 17:38:08 -0400
Trump Says Hes Looking Very Seriously at Pentagon Cloud Deal

Trump Says Hes Looking Very Seriously at Pentagon Cloud Deal(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump said hes looking very seriously at a cloud-computing contract valued at as much as $10 billion that the Pentagon is likely to award to Amazon.com Inc. next month.Im getting tremendous complaints about the contract with the Pentagon and with Amazon, he told reporters Thursday during a meeting with Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte at the White House.The contract wasnt competitively bid, Trump said. The Pentagon is holding a competition for the contract, but Trump said that companies are complaining that the terms favor Amazon, the dominant player in cloud computing services. Microsoft Corp. is the only other company that hasnt been eliminated from consideration.Bloomberg News reported Wednesday that Trump recently raised concerns about the contract with aides after learning of correspondence Republican lawmakers have exchanged with the Pentagon and the White House criticizing the bidding process.Some Republicans have alleged that the contracts terms were crafted from the start to favor Amazon, and that there were conflicts of interest involving the company as the Pentagon considered bids.I will be asking them to look at it very closely to see whats going on, Trump said in apparent reference to the Defense Department, because I have had very few things where theres been such complaining. Not only complaining from the media -- or at least asking questions about it from the media -- but complaining from different companies like Microsoft and Oracle and IBM. Great companies are complaining about it.Trump and BezosWhile Trump didnt mention Amazon founder Jeff Bezos by name on Thursday, he has long denounced the billionaire in tweets criticizing him on many fronts -- from the shipping rates his company pays the U.S. Postal Service to his personal ownership of what Trump calls the Amazon Washington Post.Oracle Corp. has fought the contract process and has led a fierce lobbying campaign against the Pentagons plans to award the project, known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure or JEDI, to a single bidder. But the company lost a legal challenge last week contesting the terms of the bid and alleging the Pentagon had crafted unfair requirements and that there were conflicts of interest involving Amazon.In April 2018, Oracles Chief Executive Officer Safra Catz dined with Trump at the White House and complained that the contract terms seemed designed for Amazon to win, Bloomberg has reported. The final requirements for the contract were released in July of that year.International Business Machines Corp. said in a statement after Trumps comments that it has long raised serious concerns about the structure of the JEDI procurement. We continue to believe that the Department of Defense and our men and women in uniform would be best served by a multi-cloud strategy rather than the Pentagons plan for a winner-take-all award.Oracle and Microsoft had no comment on Trumps remarks.We are aware of the remarks and have nothing to add at this time, Elissa Smith, a Defense Department spokeswoman, said in an email.Interventions RarePresidents and their advisers often set out their visions for defense spending and technology priorities, and Trump has spoken out on matters from the cost of F-35 fighter jets to paint colors for new Air Force One planes.But its rare for a commander-in-chief to intervene in specific Defense Department contract competitions because they are governed by extensive laws and regulations intended to wall off billion-dollar awards from political influence, according to experts on the contracting process."The system is explicitly set up to prevent political officials from being able to influence the outcome of a contract," said Stan Soloway, chief executive officer of Celero Strategies LLC. The president cant pick winners and losers.Federal agencies have to clearly outline the requirements and criteria they will use to choose a winning bid. Losing bidders can challenge a decision to the Government Accountability Office or in the Court of Federal Claims, contending that the ground rules set in a solicitation werent followed. Oracle already has lost a court case challenging the handling of the JEDI contract.But a president has more freedom to exert influence over a projects structure and acquisition strategy, which could effectively help some companies and hurt others, said Trey Hodgkins, the chief executive officer and founder of Hodgkins Consulting."He can shine a spotlight on the process and ask the question: Is this the best option for the warfighter? Is this the best deal for the taxpayer? Hodgkins said. I dont know that it would be politically prudent to ignore executive-level scrutiny of the decision making process."(Updates with Pentagon comment in 12th paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Jennifer Jacobs in Washington at jjacobs68@bloomberg.net;Naomi Nix in Washington at nnix1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at awayne3@bloomberg.net, ;Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net, Justin Blum, Larry LiebertFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Thu, 18 Jul 2019 17:33:25 -0400
My tio's unlikely journey from communist Cuba to key figure in Apollo 11 moon landing

My tio's unlikely journey from communist Cuba to key figure in Apollo 11 moon landingHis fascination for space travel began in Cuba and followed him into exile in New York and Florida. Heroes in this country come from all over.

Thu, 18 Jul 2019 17:26:41 -0400
If You've Finished Cancer Treatment, You'll Relate to This Woman Breaking the 'Cancer-Free' Bell

If You've Finished Cancer Treatment, You'll Relate to This Woman Breaking the 'Cancer-Free' BellA video of a woman ringing the bell after cancer treatment so hard she broke it goes viral.

Thu, 18 Jul 2019 17:18:36 -0400
The Latest: Telescope protest enters 4th day after arrests

The Latest: Telescope protest enters 4th day after arrestsA protest against construction of a Hawaii telescope has entered its fourth day as activists block a roadway to the top of a mountain considered sacred by some Native Hawaiians. The state Supreme Court has ruled that the telescope can be built on Mauna Kea. Gov. David Ige has broadened the state's power to keep activists off the mountain by signing an emergency proclamation.

Thu, 18 Jul 2019 17:12:03 -0400
NHS flu jabs delayed amid scramble to keep up with 'Aussie' strain

NHS flu jabs delayed amid scramble to keep up with 'Aussie' strainThe NHSis scrambling to get hold of the right flu jabs in time for this winter, amid fears millions of Britons will not be protected against a deadly Aussie strain. Health officials say delays by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in selecting the vaccine for this winter mean that some jabs will not be delivered to GP practices until the end of November. Normally flu vaccinations are offered by the NHS from September. In a letter, seen by The Daily Telegraph, health officials urge GPs and pharmacists to check when their stocks will be delivered. They said manufacturers have warned that the lateness of the WHOs decision will mean some vaccine supplies arrive later than normal. The WHO typically makes its recommendations about which strains of flu to protect against in February. But this year it delayed a decision on one strain - H3N2 - for a month, in a bid to adjust to mutations in the key strains in circulation. Since then the virus has proved dominant in Australia, which is currently experiencing one of the worst flu seasons on record. The country, which is now in the height of winter, has already had three times as many deaths as in the whole season last year, with around eight times as many laboratory confirmed cases as normal. NHS officials hope that the jabs will arrive ahead of the UKs flu season, which typically starts in December. But this year Australia has experienced one of its earliest flu seasons in its history. The delays to NHS jabs affect the quadrivalent jabs used for pregnant women and adults with health problems, such as asthma or diabetes. Other types of vaccinations are offered to those aged 65 and over, using a boost designed to improve immune response, while children are given vaccination via nasal spray. The letter from Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at Public Health England, and Deborah Tomalin, director of public health commissioning and operations at NHS England, has been sent to all GPs and community pharmacists in England. Why is the NHS under so much pressure? It says the WHOs delayed recommendations - in response to a recent increase in the proportion of viruses detected which would not be effectively dealt with by its existing vaccine strains - are now set to have knock-on effects across the NHS. We understand from manufacturers that the delayed WHO recommendation on vaccine strain has had an impact on their vaccine supply. Sanofi Pasteur have indicated they plan to phase some of the deliveries of the inactivated Quadrivalent influenza vaccines (QIV) for those at risk and under 65 years, with some vaccines being delivered by the end of November ahead of when the flu season usually starts. The drugs giant is one of four companies which will be isusing vaccines this year. Alll GPs are now being urged to contact manufacturers to check when stocks will be delivered, in order to plan scheduling of appointments. The disclosures come amid growing concern about how the NHS will cope this winter. Last month 471 NHS patients waited for at least 12 hours on a trolley after arrival at Accident and Emergency departments. In June 2012 just two patients waited this long. Age UK's advice to pensioners | How to protect yourself during winter

Thu, 18 Jul 2019 17:00:00 -0400
Apollo's legacy: A quiet corner of Alabama that is forever Germany

Apollo's legacy: A quiet corner of Alabama that is forever GermanyIt's not hard to find schnitzel, a quintessential German dish of breaded cutlets, in Huntsville Alabama, the heart of America's Deep South. Klaus Heimburg, Hans Hoelzer and Peter Grau didn't get tickets and so held their own party at a nearby hotel with dozens of other "second generation Germans": the children of the engineers and scientists who, after developing V-2 rockets for the Nazis, invented those that took Americans to the Moon. You know, when all the wives came," smiled Peter Grau, a former telecoms executive himself born in 1949.

Thu, 18 Jul 2019 16:54:59 -0400
Thanks to Flies, Doctors May Now Believe Your Chronic Pain

Thanks to Flies, Doctors May Now Believe Your Chronic PainA new study shows even flies can experience chronic pain.

Thu, 18 Jul 2019 16:50:19 -0400
New York's climate plan will drive big changes, if it works

New York's climate plan will drive big changes, if it worksA new law signed Thursday by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sets the nation's most aggressive targets for reducing carbon emissions and is intended to drive dramatic changes over the next 30 years. It calls for all the state's electricity to come from renewable, carbon-free sources such as solar, wind and hydropower. Transportation and building heating systems would also run on clean electricity rather than oil and gas.

Thu, 18 Jul 2019 16:46:45 -0400
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