Deputy PM: Luxembourg’s Space Mining Mission Begins Tuesday

When Luxembourg’s new law governing space mining comes into force on Tuesday, the country will already be working to make the science-fiction-sounding mission a reality, the deputy prime minister said. The legislation will make Luxembourg the first country in Europe to offer a legal framework to ensure that private operators can be confident about their rights over resources they extract in space. The law is based on the premise that space resources are capable of being owned by individuals and private companies and establishes the procedures for authorizing and supervising space exploration missions. “When I launched the initiative a year ago, people thought I was mad,” Etienne Schneider told Reuters. “But for us, we see it as a business that has return on investment in the short-term, the medium-term, and the long-term,” said Schneider, who is also Luxembourg’s economy minister. Luxembourg in June 2016 set aside 200 million euros ($229 million) to fund initiatives aimed at bringing back rare minerals from space. While that goal is at least 15 years off, new technologies are already creating markets that space mining could supply, said Schneider. He said firms could soon make carrying materials to refuel or repair satellites economically feasible or supply raw materials to the 3-D printers now being tested on the International Space Station. Lifting each kilogram of mass from Earth to orbit costs between 10,000 and 15,000 euros ($11,000 to $18,000), according to Schneider, but firms could cut these costs by recycling the debris of old satellites and …

Trump to Travel to Promote Tax Overhaul Legislation

President Donald Trump, who has been criticized for not doing enough to help pass health care legislation, will do more traveling to try to drum up support for tax legislation, a senior White House aide said on Monday. Specifically, Trump could travel to some Midwest states like Michigan and Wisconsin that he won during the 2016 presidential campaign but are still represented by Democrats in Congress. “In terms of travel, I think you will see him out there more … in the states where we need votes,” said Marc Short, the White House’s legislative liaison. The Republican effort to repeal Obamacare failed in the Senate last week, leaving party leaders looking ahead to try to tackle an overhaul of the tax code. But it has also left many questioning how taxes will be different, especially if Trump, who suffers from low national approval ratings, does not become more actively involved in pushing for the bill. Short said that unlike the health care, which he called more complicated, the White House has been working to build support for tax reform among national groups aligned with their ideology. His remarks came at a tax panel discussion sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, a group funded by Republican donors Charles and David Koch that organizes supporters across the country to contact their members of Congress in favor of conservative legislation. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, speaking on the same panel, echoed his remarks. “The message is [tax reform] may not be perfect for everything you …

US, for First Time, to Sell Coal to Ukraine

The U.S. said Monday that for the first time it will sell coal to Ukraine, easing its reliance on Russia and Moscow-back separatists in eastern Ukraine to meet its energy needs. The accord calls for Xcoal Energy & Resources in the eastern state of Pennsylvania to ship 700,000 tons of thermal coal by the end of the year to Ukraine’s state-owned energy firm Centrenergo to help it heat homes and businesses in the coming winter months. The first shipment, at a cost of $113 a metric ton, is expected to leave the U.S. port of Baltimore in August. U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said the transaction was “crucial to the path forward to achieve energy dominance” for the United States. President Donald Trump has vowed to bring back the country’s coal industry, which has lost thousands of jobs as the U.S. has turned sharply toward use of cleaner and cheaper forms of energy, chiefly natural gas, even as demand for coal has risen in Europe and Asia. Ukraine has struggled to meet its energy needs since March, when it cut off coal deliveries from the eastern part of its country controlled by Russian-backed separatists fighting the Kyiv government for control of the industrialized sector. Ukraine has called for a complete ban on coal imports from Russia, which Kyiv and Western countries have accused of supporting the rebellion in eastern Ukraine that has claimed 10,000 lives in the last three years. Speaking at the U.S. embassy in Kyiv, Xcoal president Ernie …

Online Suicide Searches Spike After Netflix Released ’13 Reasons Why’

Online searches about suicide and suicide methods spiked in the weeks following the release of Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, a show that dramatizes the suicide of a teenage girl, according to a U.S. study released Monday. Google searches about suicide were 19 percent higher than average in the 19 days following the show’s release on March 31, translating into 900,000 to 1,500,000 more searches, researchers reported in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine.  The study did not examine whether the actual number of suicides increased following the series’ release, but researchers said the internet search trend is troubling. Google search volumes for things like “how to commit suicide,” “commit suicide” and “how to kill yourself” all decisively spiked during the 19-day window after the show’s release. A 2009 study suggested “suicide search trends are correlated with actual suicides,” according to a letter accompanying the study in JAMA. Many mental health experts concluded that Netflix acted unethically by releasing the series. In it, a high school girl leaves behind 13 cassette tapes that explain the decision to take her own life. The series, which some argue glamorizes suicide, has been renewed for a second season. The San Diego State University researcher who led the study, John Ayers, called on Netflix to reconsider the show and the effects it is having on its teenage-skewing audience. “Psychiatrists have expressed grave concerns because the show ignores the World Health Organization’s validated media guidelines for preventing suicide,” Ayers told VOA in an …

With Uber in Turmoil, Lyft’s Ridership Surpasses All of 2016

Ride-hailing service Lyft carried more passengers through June this year than it did in all of last year as it capitalized on missteps at Uber.   The company says ridership through June surpassed the 162.5 million rides it gave in all of 2016. A spokeswoman wouldn’t give an exact number.   Lyft has made its gains as some shun much larger rival, Uber. Riders boycotted Uber after allegations that it took advantage of a New York taxi boycott in protest of President Donald Trump’s first order on immigration. There also were reports of widespread sexual harassment.   Lyft wouldn’t comment on Uber but says it added 160 U.S. cities this year. The company operates only in the U.S.   Uber says it’s given more than 5 billion rides since 2010.     …

Уряд: номінальна заробітна плата українців у червні зросла на понад 37%

У Кабінеті міністрів України повідомили, що номінальна заробітна плата українців у червні 2017 року зросла у порівнянні з відповідним періодом 2016 року на 37,9 відсотка, і становила 7360 гривень. Про це інформує урядовий портал з посиланням на дані статистики. Згідно з повідомленням, найбільше зростання заробітної плати у червні було в сфері виробництва комп’ютерів, електронної та оптичної продукції (12136 гривні), електронного устаткування (7038), автопрому (7798) та на виробництві коксу і продуктів нафтопереробки (8802 грн). «У червні 2017 року у порівнянні з відповідним періодом 2016 року номінальна заробітна плата працівників освіти зросла на 51,9% (7151 гривні), діяльності у сфері творчості, мистецтва та розваг – на 48,4% (6159 гривні)», – повідомили в уряді. Економісти в ефірі Радіо Свобода нещодавно заявили, що номінальне підвищення рівня зарплати на сьогодні не є відчутним для громадян, оскільки реальні доходи українців є значно меншими. Тенденція до зростання зарплат є, однак в Україні вони досі лишаються значно меншими за сусідні європейські країни. …

Запаси газу в Україні за тиждень зросли до 13 мільярдів кубометрів – «Укртрансгаз»

Запаси природного газу в українських підземних сховищах газу (ПСГ) у період з 22 до 29 липня зросли на 3,1%, до більш як 13 мільярдів кубометрів. Про це свідчать дані оператора газотранспортної системи України держкомпанії «Укртрансгаз». Раніше міністр енергетики і вугільної промисловості Ігор Насалик заявив про плани нагромадження на 1 жовтня 2017 року 17 мільярдів кубометрів для проходження опалювального сезону 2017–2018 років. При підготовці до минулого опалювального періоду профільне міністерство також наполягало на необхідності нагромадити 17 мільярдів кубометрів газу, але керівництво «Нафтогазу України» запевняло, що 14,5 мільярда кубометрів буде цілком достатньо. У результаті, в опалювальний сезон 2016–2017 років Україна ввійшла із запасами «блакитного» палива на рівні 14,7 і завершила сезон на рівні 8,4 мільярда кубометрів. …

Child Advocates Urge Back-Seat Alarms as 2 Die in Arizona

A proposed new law that would require carmakers to build alarms for back seats is being pushed by child advocates who say it will prevent kids from dying in hot cars. The law also would streamline the criminal process against caregivers who cause the deaths – cases that can be inconsistent but often heavier-handed against mothers. The latest deaths came in Arizona on triple-digit degree days over the weekend, with two baby boys found forgotten in vehicles in separate incidents. More than two dozen child and road safety groups are backing the Senate bill introduced last week aimed at preventing those kinds of deaths by requiring cars to be equipped with technology that can alert drivers if a child is left in the back seat once the vehicle is turned off. It could be a motion sensor that can detect a baby left sitting in a rear-facing car seat and then alert the driver, in a similar way that reminders about tire pressure, open doors and seat belts now come standard in cars. “The technology would help because if you’re in a vehicle, your child is in the back seat, and you ignore that alarm: Go jail. Do not pass go. You had a chance,” said Janette Fennell of the advocacy group Kids and Cars. “You talk to any of the judges, they’ll tell you, they’re beyond the hardest things they have to deal with.” Police say 1-year-old Josiah Riggins was in the car for hours Saturday, discovered dead only …