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This ‘pseudo-satellite’ drone can fly 70,000 feet up in the sky

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A solar-powered drone that can stay aloft for weeks or months at a time could one day replace expensive satellites in space for certain tasks, such as monitoring the environment and snapping photos from super-high altitudes.

The latest model of the so-called Zephyr drone was revealed by Airbus last week. The drone embarked on a test flight on July 11 and has been circling high above Arizona, miles above the weather and regular air traffic, ever since. The drone is slated to land in early August.

Solar panels on the drone’s wings power its electric motors and charge its batteries during the day. At night, the motors are driven by the batteries alone.

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Image: Airbus Zephyr

Airbus’ Zephyr drone can stay aloft for at least a month. A company spokesman said future versions could fly for up to four months at a time.Ben Stansall / AFP – Getty Images

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Click link below for article:

https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/pseudo-satellite-drone-can-fly-70-000-feet-sky-ncna894071

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Why this blind, catlike robot could transform search and rescue

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Scientists at MIT have created a four-legged robot that can climb debris-ridden stairs and leap almost three feet into the air, but the ominous-looking catlike bot — dubbed “Cheetah 3” — is intended not to hasten the robot apocalypse but to help bring about a new generation of first-responder robots.

As seen in a video released by the university, the 90-pound, retriever-sized robot navigates with touch sensors rather than cameras — a bit like the way humans feel their way when it’s too dark to see.

“Cheetah 3 is designed to do versatile tasks such as power plant inspection, which involves various terrain conditions including stairs, curbs and obstacles on the ground,” Sangbae Kim, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at MIT and one of the robot’s developers, said in a statement.

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Cheetah 3

MIT’s Cheetah 3 robot can climb stairs and step over obstacles without the help of cameras or visual sensors.Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Click link below for article:

https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/scientists-say-blind-catlike-robot-could-transform-search-rescue-ncna892116

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Puerto Rico Concedes Hurricane Maria Deaths Were More Than 1,400

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Puerto Rico has conceded that Hurricane Maria killed more than 1,400 people on the island last year and not just the 64 in the official death toll.

The government acknowledged the higher death toll with no fanfare in a report submitted to Congress this week in which it detailed a $139 billion reconstruction plan for the island.

That quiet acknowledgement was first reported Thursday by The New York Times.

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A man wades on the water while pushing his bicycle through a flooded street in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Catano, Pu

AFP Contributor via Getty Images
A man wades on the water while pushing his bicycle through a flooded street in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Catano, Puerto Rico on September 22, 2017.

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Click link below for article:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/puerto-rico-raises-death-toll_us_5b6b6d81e4b0bdd062062b0b

 

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Lawsuit in fatal duck boat sinking seeks $100 million

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The owners and operators of a duck boat that sank in Missouri, killing 17 people, put passengers’ lives at risk by going out to water when severe thunderstorms were predicted, lawyers involved in a $100 million federal lawsuit argued Monday.

“For 20 years, we have known that duck boats are death traps. It was proven yet again in devastating fashion in Branson, Missouri,” attorney Robert Mongeluzzi said during a news conference Monday morning.

“It is clear that they knew severe weather was coming and they tried to beat the storm by going on water first rather than refunding the 40 bucks that each of these people paid putting their lives at risk,” he said, later adding. “This was not in any way a storm that came out of nowhere.”

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Stretch Duck 7 salvage

The duck boat that sank is lifted out of Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, on July 23, 2018.Lora Ratliff / U.S. Coast Guard

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Click link below for article:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/lawsuit-fatal-duck-boat-sinking-seeks-100-million-n895746

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From a Space Station in Argentina, China Expands Its Reach in Latin America

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The giant antenna rises from the desert floor like an apparition, a gleaming metal tower jutting 16 stories above an endless wind-whipped stretch of Patagonia.

The 450-ton device, with its hulking dish embracing the open skies, is the centerpiece of a $50 million satellite and space mission control station built by the Chinese military.

The isolated base is one of the most striking symbols of Beijing’s long push to transform Latin America and shape its future for generations to come — often in ways that directly undermine the United States’ political, economic and strategic power in the region.

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Our correspondent went to the deserts of Patagonia to examine how China secured its new base, a symbol of its growing clout in the region.

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Click link below for article:

https://www.nytimes.com

 

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Doctors And Policymakers Struggle To Keep Up As Opioid Use Surges Among Women

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Rachael Pomerleau, 40, had taken opioids before, having had procedures like wisdom teeth removal and gallbladder surgery.

But during the tumultuous two years that her children, now ages 7 and 8, were born, opioids took over her life, she told HuffPost. She was put on bed rest as a result of complications with the pregnancy of her daughter. A few months after her daughter’s birth, she became pregnant with her son. This time, her back and abdominal pain grew so severe that doctors prescribed Vicodin followed by Percocet during her pregnancy ― which wasn’t an unusual prescription for pregnant women at the time, prior to the onset of the opioid epidemic.

“It hurt so bad,” she said. “There were times when I could hardly walk without being in pain.”

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Rachael Pomerleau, 40, was prescribed opioids in a medical setting.&nbsp;Her&nbsp;years of addiction have included homelessne

Erin Schumaker/HuffPost
Rachael Pomerleau, 40, was prescribed opioids in a medical setting. Her years of addiction have included homelessness, loss of custody of her children and struggles to get the resources she needs.

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Click link below for article:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/doctors-policymakers-struggle-to-keep-up-as-opioid-use-surges-among-women_us_5b3b82fde4b07b827cbb0ca8

 

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The week in 34 photos

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Take a look at 34 photos of the week from July 20 through July 26.

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Click link below for article:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/26/world/gallery/week-in-photos-0727/index.html

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