Military preparations ?underway? on North Korea, Trump aide says
ACLU defends Coulter after Berkeley speech cancellation
Body of missing Joliet toddler found in mother's home
JOLIET, Ill. (AP) ? The body of a 1½-year-old girl was found at a "deplorable" northern Illinois home that she and her mother shared with squatters after her mother reluctantly allowed detectives inside to search and a day after she reported her daughter missing, authorities said Thursday.
2 US soldiers killed fighting Isis in Afghanistan region hit by 'mother of all bombs'
Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said that the US personnel were killed overnight in the Nangarhar province, on the border with Pakistan. Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump confirmed to The Independent that the soldiers were killed while fighting Isis-Khorosan, the local affiliate of the terror group. This is the "same general area" - southern Nangarhar province - where the massive ordnance air blast, dubbed the "mother of all bombs" (MOAB) was dropped earlier this month, Mr Stump said.
Sobering visualizations reveal how sea level rise could transform cities in your lifetime
Until recently, it seemed that we would be able to manage global warming-induced sea level rise through the end of the century. It would be problematic, of course, but manageable, particularly in industrialized nations like the U.S. However, troubling indications from the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets show that melting is taking place faster than previously thought and that entire glaciers ? if not portions of the ice sheets themselves ? are destabilizing. This has scientists increasingly worried that the consensus sea level rise estimates are too conservative. With sea level rise, as with other climate impacts, the uncertainties tend to skew toward the more severe end of the scale. So, it's time to consider some worst-case scenarios. SEE ALSO: Trump White House reveals it's 'not familiar' with well-studied costs of global warming Recently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published an extreme high-end sea level rise scenario, showing 10 to 12 feet of sea level rise by 2100 around the U.S., compared to the previously published global average ? which is closer to 8 feet ? in that time period. The research and journalism group Climate Central took this projection and plotted out the stark ramifications in painstaking, and terrifying, detail. The bottom line finding? "By the end of the century, oceans could submerge land [that's] home to more than 12 million Americans and $2 trillion in property," according to Ben Strauss, who leads the sea level rise program at Climate Central. Here's what major cities would look like with so much sea level rise: New York CityImage: CLIMATE CENTRAL New Orleans: Gone.Image: CLIMATE CENTRAL San Francisco International AirportImage: CLIMATE CENTRAL Bienvenido a Miami.Image: CLIMATE CENTRALIn an online report, Climate Central states that the impacts of such a high amount of sea level rise "would be devastating." For example, Cape Canaveral, which is a crown jewel for NASA and now the private sector space industry, would be swallowed up by the Atlantic. Major universities, including MIT, would be underwater, as would President Trump's "southern White House" of Mar-a-Lago. In the West, San Francisco would be hard-hit, with San Francisco International Airport completely submerged. "More than 99 percent of today?s population in 252 coastal towns and cities would have their homes submerged, and property of more than half the population in 479 additional communities would also be underwater," the analysis, which has not been peer-reviewed, found. Image: climate centralIn New York City, the average high tide would be a staggering 2 feet higher than the flood level experienced during Hurricane Sandy. More than 800,000 people would be flooded out of New York City alone. Although the findings pertain to sea level rise through the end of the century, in reality sea levels would keep rising long after that, with a total increase of about 30 feet by 2200 for all coastal states, Climate Central found. As for how likely this extreme scenario really is, here's what the report says: "The extreme scenario is considered unlikely, but it is plausible. NOAA?s report and Antarctic research suggest that deep and rapid cuts to heat-trapping pollution would greatly reduce its chances." More specifically, the NOAA projection says this high-end outlook has just a 0.1 percent chance of occurring under a scenario in which we keep emitting greenhouse gases at about the current rate. While a 1-in-1,000 chance outcome might seem nearly impossible to occur, recent events suggest otherwise. For example, Hurricane Sandy slammed into the Mid-Atlantic in 2012 while following a track that was virtually unprecedented in storm history. In addition, California is estimated to have had just a 1 percent chance of climbing out of its deep drought in a one to two-year period, and it did just that this winter. Also, Donald Trump is president, people. Robert Kopp, a sea level rise researcher at Rutgers University, whose projections formed the basis of the NOAA scenarios, said it's difficult to put exact odds on the extreme scenario. "I would say that our knowledge about marine ice-sheet instability is too deeply uncertain for us to answer that question right now," Kopp said in an email. "We can come up with a physically plausible pathway that gets us to 2.5 meters [or 8.2 feet], we know it is more likely under higher emissions, but we don't have a good way of putting a probability on it." A paper published in the journal Nature in March found that if emissions of global warming pollutants peak in the next few years and are then reduced quickly thereafter, then there is a good chance that the melting of the Antarctic Ice Sheet would be drastically curtailed. However, with the U.S., which is the second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, backing away from making significant cuts under the Paris Climate Agreement, adhering to such an ambitious timetable is looking less realistic. Image: climate centralIn order for NOAA's extreme scenario, and therefore Climate Central's maps, to turn into reality, there would need to be decades more of sustained high emissions of greenhouse gases plus more melting from Antarctica than is currently anticipated. However, recent studies have raised questions about Antarctica's stability, as mild ocean waters eat away at floating ice shelves from below, freeing up glaciers well inland to flow faster into the sea. "What's new is that we used to think 6- to 7 feet was the max *plausible* or *possible* sea level rise this century, and now we've roughly doubled that," Strauss said in an email. "The new Antarctic science says it's plausible." "If you were to survey ice sheet experts today, instead of something like 5 to 10 years ago, I suspect you'd get a significantly higher probability than 0.1 percent," he said. A study published in the journal Nature Climate Change last week found that sea level rise could prompt a wave of internal migration within the U.S., especially as people move from the hardest-hit states such as Florida, Louisiana and New York. It's long been known that Florida is ground zero for sea level rise impacts, but the Climate Central projections are even more pessimistic. The report shows that a whopping 5.6 million Floridians would be at risk before the end of the century under an extreme sea level rise scenario, about double the amount simulated in the study last week. WATCH: Serene underwater footage shows whale's-eye view of Antarctica
The BMW M550d xDrive Touring Is the Quad-Turbo Diesel Wagon of Your Dreams
Slain trooper's young sons in court as killer gets death
MILFORD, Pa. (AP) ? With his victim's two young sons in court for the first time, a gunman who shot and killed a Pennsylvania trooper was formally sentenced to death Thursday, one day after a jury determined he should receive a lethal injection for the ambush at a state police barracks.
Abbas turns screw on Hamas by cutting Gaza's electricity
By Nidal al-Mughrabi GAZA (Reuters) - With the prospect looming of a Middle East peace initiative by a new U.S. administration more sympathetic to Israel, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has decided to turn the screw on the Hamas group that has kept Gaza out of his control for a decade. Abbas's Western-backed Palestinian Authority (PA) on Thursday told Israel it would no longer pay for the electricity Israel supplies to Gaza, a move that could lead to a complete power shutdown in the territory, whose 2 million people already endure blackouts for much of the day.
Apple is working on a service that could compete with Venmo
Apple's plan to build its own cash transfer service in the vein of Venmo appears to be back on track. According to a report from Recode, Apple has recently held discussions with partners in the payments industry about a service that would allow iPhone owners to send money to other iPhone owners.
One source tells Recode that the service could be introduced by the end of 2017, while another remains unconvinced that Apple has set the timing for either an announcement or an official release.
In addition to the payment service, Recode has also learned that Apple talking to Visa about creating pre-paid cards that would run on Visa's debit network. These cards would be tied to the service, giving iPhone owners a physical product as well as a digital one. With the card, someone could spend money sent to them on the service without having to wait for the bank to clear it.
Plus, this would give Apple the opportunity to tie its new service in with Apple Pay, as users would be able to add the pre-paid cards to their digital wallets and use them like they would a standard credit card. The cards would also have their own numbers so that they could be used for online purchases.
Whether or not any of these plans come to fruition is still up in the air, but sources inside major US banks tell Recode that Apple has been underwhelmed by the usage of Apple Pay over the past two and a half years. Launching a peer-to-peer payment service and offering a debit card could turn Apple's luck around... providing the banks don't step in to stop Apple from competing with them.
?Banks spent heavily in insuring their cards were top of wallet when they all built and rolled out Apple Pay,? Cherian Abraham, a digital payments executive at Experian, told Recode. ?So it?s justifiable to be concerned that Apple will have its own card and could potentially be top of wallet. If you are top of wallet, you are top of mind.?
What Eliminating ACA Cost-Sharing Payments Means for You