The Central American country of Nicaragua and war-torn Syria have joined the rest of the world’s nations in agreeing to sign onto the Paris climate accord, as the world’s nations meet in Bohn, Germany, for the world’s largest climate summit. These two new inclusions to the accord leave the United States as the sole hold-out on the agreement, after President Donald J. Trump announced that the U.S. would withdraw from the accord last June.

President Daniel Ortega announced that Nicaragua would join the deal on September 20: "We have to be in solidarity with this large number of countries that are the first victims, who are already the victims and are the ones who will continue to suffer the impact of these disasters."
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Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has signed a new directive that prevents scientists that are receiving grants from the EPA from serving on the agency’s advisory committees. Pruitt says that this unprecedented move is to remove what he perceives to be a potential bias from the committees, stating that the members of three key EPA boards — the Science Advisory Board, Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, and Board of Scientific Counselors — have received an estimated $77 million in agency funding. The move was quickly criticized by scientists and environmentalists as one that would bar the country’s most qualified scientists from these committees, and at the same time leave the door open for Pruitt to appoint industry-friendly members to advise the EPA.read more

There has been a great deal of concern over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program as of late, with PDRK dictator Kim Jong-Un threatening, on numerous occasions, to launch a nuclear attack against the United States. These concerns have focused primarily on the possibility of a direct nuclear strike, but experts speaking at a House of Representatives hearing held on October 12 pointed out that, while a limited nuclear exchange with direct strikes would cause terrible destruction, North Korea could conceivably wipe out 90 percent of the population of U.S. within a year with the deployment of a single device: the detonation of a high-altitude EMP bomb.
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A new study of 90 different species of whales and dolphins has found a striking similarity in the evolution of the brains of cetaceans and primates, including humans. The study looked at the social complexity of each species, and used that factor to determine if brain size could be used to predict the richness of the culture of each type of marine mammal.
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