California Firm Reports Progress on Blood Tests to Detect Cancer

A California company says its experimental blood test was able to detect many types of cancer at an early stage and gave very few false alarms in a study that included people with and without the disease. Many companies are trying to develop early detection “liquid biopsy” tests that capture bits of DNA that cancer cells shed into blood. Grail’s new results are from 2,300 people. The test detected 55% of known cancers and gave false alarms for 1%. It also accurately suggested where the cancer may be about 90% of the time. The company gave results in news release Friday and will report them Saturday at a conference in Chicago. They have not been published or reviewed by other scientists. …

«Держава в смартфоні» функціонує вже 3 роки – Кубів

Перший віце-прем’єр-міністр Степан Кубів заявив, що в Україні щонайменше три роки діють цифрові сервіси, якими громадяни можуть скористатися за допомогою смартфонів. «Те, що зараз називають «державою в смартфоні», ми уже створили. Завдяки Мінекономрозвитку державні закупівлі, мала приватизація, звіти про технічну допомогу та державні підприємства – у кожного громадянина в смартфоні. Ви можете купувати у держави, продавати державі та контролювати державу, не виходячи з дому», – сказав Степан Кубів під час звіту у Верховній Раді щодо цифрової економіки за  2016-2018 роки. За словами Кубіва, адміністративні послуги вже також доступні у смартфоні. «На сайті Урядового порталу можна отримати 125 публічних послуг повністю онлайн. Ви можете зареєструвати бізнес онлайн; отримати численні довідки та витяги з реєстрів; подати заяву на допомогу при народженні дитини та багато іншого», – сказав Кубів. Він також закликав депутатів долучитися до створення «держави у смартфоні» в контексті підтримки законопроекту про «Є-малятко». «Ця ініціатива дасть батькам можливість отримати в електронному вигляді 10 послуг, пов’язаних із народженням дитини», – сказав урядовець. 23 травня президент України Володимир Зеленський заявив, що його команда прагне зробити «​країну в смартфоні, уряд у смартфоні». …

Chinese Scientists Find CO2 Better for Fracking than Water

Chinese scientists have discovered that carbon dioxide is more efficient to use in fracking than water. Fracking is the controversial process in which water or other fluids are injected into underground rocks at high pressure to release oil and natural gas deposits.  U.S. environmentalists have denounced the process because of the huge amounts of water needed, the contamination of underground water supplies, and small earthquakes it triggers. In a new report in the journal Joule, scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and China University of Petroleum discovered that using CO2 instead of water resulted in as much as 20 times more oil. ​”These real-world results revealed that as compared to water fracturing, CO2 fracturing is an important and greener alternative,” especially in arid areas where the water has to be trucked in, the report says. Carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas blamed for global warming.  The scientists say the CO2 used in fracking would stay underground and not be released into the atmosphere. The scientists say further research is needed as well as the winning over of cooperation from the industry. …

CDC: US Reports Most Measles Cases in 25 Years

Government health officials say there have been 971 cases of measles in the United States so far this year, the most cases since 1994, when there were 963 cases for the entire year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday if current outbreaks in and around New York City continue into the fall, the United States could lose its status as a country that has eliminated measles. “That loss would be a huge blow for the nation and erase the hard work done by all levels of public health,” a CDC statement said. Measles was declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000, and the CDC says one of the primary reasons is the availability and widespread use of a safe and effective vaccine. Fighting anti-vaccine propaganda The CDC, World Health Organization, and other experts are fighting propaganda from parents and anti-vaccine activists who refuse to inoculate their children, insisting the vaccine is dangerous. “Again, I want to reassure parents that vaccines are safe, they do not cause autism. The greater danger is the disease that vaccination prevents,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said. “Measles is preventable and the way to end this outbreak is to ensure that all children and adults who can get vaccinated do get vaccinated.” Before vaccine, 4 million cases Before 1963, when the measles vaccine was considered perfected, the CDC says as many as 4 million Americans got the disease every year and up to 500 victims died. The measles virus is highly contagious and …

Energy Secretary: US Aims to Make Fossil Fuels Cleaner 

The Trump administration is committed to making fossil fuels cleaner rather than imposing “draconian” regulations on coal and oil, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Thursday at an energy conference in Salt Lake City. Perry previously said the administration wants to spend $500 million next year on fossil fuel research and development as demand plummets for coal and surges for natural gas.    “Instead of punishing fuels that produce emissions through regulation, we’re seeking to reduce those emissions by innovation,” Perry said at the conference. Fossil fuel emissions have been cited by scientists as a major source of global warming.    U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently said the world must change how it fuels factories, vehicles and homes to limit future global warming. Perry said the Trump administration has proven it can make energy cleaner, but he provided no details involving coal and other fossil fuels, other than the closing of old, inefficient coal-burning power plants and exporting increasing volumes of natural gas, an alternative to coal.   Department of Energy spokesman Dirk Vande Beek didn’t immediately return an email and voicemail seeking more details about Perry’s claim. Perry pointed to an overall drop in emissions as proof of progress. Greenhouse gas emissions dropped 13 percent from 2005 to 2017, according to the most recent report from the Environmental Protection Agency. Lindsay Beebe of the Sierra Club in Utah said trying to make fossil fuels cleaner is misspent energy. “I don’t know that it’s possible right now, but what is ready right now …

IMF Denies Pressuring Venezuela to Release Economic Data

The International Monetary Fund said on Thursday it had not pressured Venezuela to release economic indicators after years of silence, while two sources said the country’s surprise data release this week was due to pressure from China. The central bank on Tuesday unexpectedly released data confirming Venezuela is suffering hyperinflation and massive economic contraction. The release reversed President Nicolas Maduro’s unofficial policy of classifying economic indicators as state secrets. The data reported a 22.5 percent contraction in Venezuela’s economy in the third quarter of 2018 from the same period of the previous year. The bank did not provide a full-year 2018 figure for economic activity. Monthly inflation in April 2019 was 33.8 percent, while 2018 full-year inflation reached 130,060 percent, the bank said. The IMF said it suspended work with Venezuela on its economic data in January, when opposition leader Juan Guaido invoked the constitution to assume the interim presidency, arguing Maduro’s 2018 re-election was illegitimate. Most Western countries, including the United States, have backed Guaido as the OPEC nation’s interim head of state. However, Maduro and ruling socialist party continue to control state institutions including the military, state oil company PDVSA and the central bank. The Fund said in March it was awaiting guidance from member countries on whether to recognize Guaido as the country’s leader. The United States and Venezuelan ally China are important IMF members, as they have the world’s two largest economies. “Work in this area has been suspended since late January as political developments gave …

Wall Street Slump Continues on U.S.-China Trade Uncertainty

U.S. stocks lost ground again on Thursday, as conflicting comments on trade talks from President Donald Trump and Beijing  reinforced investor nervousness that a lengthy battle could be in the offing and harm global growth. Trump said talks with China were going well but those comments were countered by a senior Chinese diplomat who said provoking trade disputes is “naked economic terrorism.” The lack of clarity around the trade battle has rattled investors of late, after the S&P 500 had risen more than 17% through the first four months of the year on optimism a trade deal between the two countries could be reached. That optimism has faded, however, as the escalating dispute between the two countries has weighed heavily on Wall Street in May, with each of the three main indexes declining at least 5% for the month. The benchmark S&P 500 is nearly 6% lower from its closing high on April 30. “The market is coming to that realization that we are not getting really clean or clear information and it is going to be a lot of noise and just prepare for that,” said Ben Phillips, chief investment officer at Eventshares in Newport Beach, California. “It is a difficult market right now. There are a lot of macro signals that are starting to roll over and the question is the trade dispute causing that or is it other factors.” A government report on Thursday showed U.S. inflation was much weaker than initially thought in the first quarter …

Trump: China Maybe Regrets Backtracking on Trade Provisions

President Donald Trump said Thursday he still believes China “would love to make” a new trade deal with the United States and might now regret backtracking on some agreements negotiators for the two countries had reached. “We had a deal and they broke the deal,” Trump said at the White House. “I think if they had to do it again they wouldn’t have done what they did.” Trump contended that tariffs he has imposed on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of Chinese imports has prompted some manufacturers in China to move their production to other countries. “I think we’re doing very well with China,” he said, adding that tariffs have had little effect on inflation in the U.S. Trade talks between officials of the world’s two biggest economies broke off recently, but U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said he likely will travel to Beijing “in the near future” to continue negotiations. Meanwhile, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Hanhui  accused the U.S. of engaging in “naked economic terrorism” in the trade war. He leveled the accusation in Beijing during a news briefing on President Xi Jinping’s official visit to Russia next week. Beijing and Washington have been engaged in a trade war since last July, when Trump first imposed tariffs on hundreds of Chinese products worth billions of dollars, leading to a set of retaliatory tit-for-tit tariff increases. Trump and Xi had agreed to de-escalate the trade war last December while they started negotiations to reach a lasting deal. …

Місія МВФ готова повернутися до Києва після визначення пріоритетів новим урядом – заява

Місія Міжнародного валютного фонду, яка завершила напередодні візит в Україну, заявила, що повернеться знову, коли новий український уряд визначиться із пріоритетами своєї роботи. «Команда фахівців МВФ мала дуже плідні дискусії з владою України, включно з президентом Зеленським, стосовно перегляду програми стенд-бай між Україною та МВФ. Експерти МВФ дійшли висновку щодо реалістичності грошово-кредитної та податково-бюджетної політики. Місія готова повернутися до Києва для продовження дискусій після парламентських виборів, щойно новий уряд визначиться з пріоритетами своєї політики», – вказав у заяві за підсумками візиту керівник місії МВФ в Україні Рон ван Роден. Місія Міжнародного валютного фонду розпочала роботу в Україні 21 травня. У перебігу візиту експерти місії мали зустрічі з керівництвом НБУ, представниками фінансового та економічного секторів уряду, з президентом Володимиром Зеленським. Останній на зустрічі з місією заявив, що співпраця з фондом буде продовжена. 18 грудня 2018 року посол України у США Валерій Чалий повідомив, що в штаб-квартирі Міжнародного валютного фонду у Вашингтоні затвердили виділення Україні фінансової підтримки для продовження реалізації важливих реформ. Обсяг нової програми – 3,9 мільярда доларів. Згідно з повідомленням, вона має стати основою для економічної політики уряду в 2019 році – передбачається, що ця політика буде зосереджена на зниженні інфляції та реформах оподаткування, фінансового і енергетичного секторів. 21 грудня Україна отримала перший транш за новою програмою співпраці з Міжнародним валютним фондом обсягом близько 1,4 мільярда доларів. …

China Cheers State TV Anchor in Face-Off with Fox

The highly anticipated showdown on Wednesday night between Trish Regan of Fox Business and Liu Xin of China Global Television Network (CGTN) — the overseas arm of state-controlled China Central Television (CCTV) — turned out to be a tame question-and-answer session with little exchange of barbs.   Some observers say that, as both are neither policymakers nor experts on trade, their “disappointing” talks contributed nothing of substance, but stoked up emotions of national pride in China. Others, however, welcome such dialogues that allow free exchange of differing views to continue and set an example for U.S. and Chinese officials to resume their trade negotiations.   The media hype has not only shed light on the increasingly sharp divide between the two countries over trade but also press freedom in China as well, they add.   Face-off   The buildup for the debate started last week when Liu released a commentary, accusing Regan of “economic warmongering,” which led to Regan’s invitation via Twitter for an “honest” debate and Wednesday’s face-off between them. Liu appeared as a guest, via satellite from Beijing, on Regan’s U.S. based show. Citing rights issues, CGTN wasn’t allowed to livestream the segment, but many Chinese appeared to watch it on the internet.   As expected, during the 16-minute-long segment, Liu stuck closely to China’s talking points on every question Regan raised, be it China’s intellectual property (IP) theft, state capitalism or tariffs.   When asked by Regan to respond to a hypothetical question if the United States “forces” China’s …