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One of the six ravens in the Tower of London has disappeared
Workers fear he is dead, which could be a grim sign for the UK. According to legend, if there are less than six ravens in the Tower, the kingdom will perish.
The fusion energy device kept a temperature of 180 million degrees Fahrenheit, or 100 million degrees Celsius, for 20 seconds
The Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR) fusion reactor recently set a world record by maintaining its plasma temperature at a super-hot 180 million degrees Fahrenheit for 20 seconds. It may not seem like a long time, but no previous fusion plant has operated for more than 10 seconds under these conditions - even the KSTAR reactor only lasted eight seconds in 2019.
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Bank of Canada keep key rate at 0.25 per cent, warns of economic decline in 2021 - CTV News
The Bank of Canada says the national economy will go in reverse for the first quarter of 2021, hammering the hardest-hit workers again on the path to a recovery that rests on the rollout of vaccines.
OTTAWA -- The Bank of Canada says the national economy will go in reverse for the first quarter of 2021, hammering the hardest-hit workers again on the path to a recovery that rests on the rollout of vaccines. Workers in high-contact service industries will carry the burden of a new round of lockdowns, which the central bank warns will exacerbate the pandemic's uneven effects on the labour market. Governor Tiff Macklem, in his opening remarks at a late-morning news conference, warned the first-quarter decline could be worse than expected if restrictions are tightened or extended. As a result, the bank announced it is keeping its key interest rate on hold at 0.25 per cent, citing near-term weakness and the "protracted nature of the recovery" in its reasoning. But the short-term pain is expected to give way to a brighter outlook for the medium-term with vaccines rolling out sooner than the central bank expected. Still, the bank warns in its updated economic outlook that a complete recovery from COVID-19 will take some time. Nor does the Bank of Canada see inflation getting back to its two-per-cent target until 2023, one year longer than previously forecast. "There is clear reason to be more optimistic about the direction of the economy over medium-term. But we are not there yet," reads part of Macklem's opening statement. "The resurgence in COVID-19 cases weighs heavily on the near-term economic outlook. And this underlines the ongoing need for extraordinary fiscal and monetary policies." The bank's latest monetary policy report, which every quarter lays out its expectations for economic growth and inflation, forecasts that COVID-19 caused the economy to contract by 5.5 per cent last year. Despite an upswing over the summer and fall that may have spared the country from a worst-case economic scenario, the drive to a recovery will hit a pothole over the first three months of 2021. The bank forecasts real gross domestic product will decline by 2.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020 before improving thereafter if severe restrictions start easing in February. The bank is forecasting growth of four per cent this year, then 4.8 per cent next year, and finally 2.5 per cent in 2023. Getting there will be like riding a roller-coaster as the bank warned that resurgence in COVID-19, or new, more virulent strains, could weigh down a recovery in one quarter before leading to strong upswing in the next. Inflation may be equally rocky. Gasoline prices, which have weighed down the consumer price index this year, will by March be "well above their lows of a year earlier," the bank's report said, even if prices hover around where they are now. That should significantly bump inflation, possibly pushing the headline reading to roughly two per cent in the second quarter. The bump will even out over the rest of the year with the bank forecasting inflation for 2021 at 1.6 per cent. The outlook for subsequent years estimates 1.7 per cent in 2022 and 2.1 per cent in 2023. Separately Wednesday, Statistics Canada reported the annual pace of inflation slowed in December as the consumer price index was up 0.7 per cent compared with a year earlier. The agency also reported that the average last month of Canada's three measures for core inflation, which are considered better gauges of underlying price pressures and closely tracked by the Bank of Canada, was 1.57 per cent. All the numbers in the bank's lookahead rest on efforts to vaccinate Canadians by the end of the year without any hiccups in that timeline, which would mean broad immunity six months sooner than the bank previously assumed. The bank says the shorter timeline should mean less scarring overall for the economy in the form of fewer bankruptcies and fewer workers out of jobs for long stretches, which makes it more difficult for them to get back into the labour force. The long-term unemployment rate, capturing those who have been out of a job for six months or more, reached 2.4 per cent last month, which the central bank noted was a "serious concern" because those workers may eventually drop out of the labour force altogether. Recent restrictions will harm low-wage workers, who by December had employment levels four-fifths of what they were pre-pandemic, as well as youth and women who are more likely to work in hard-hit sectors like accommodations and food services. The central bank's report warned the longer restrictions remain in place, the more difficult it may be for these workers to find new jobs since the majority move to a new job but in the same industry. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021.
SpaceX expands public beta test of Starlink satellite internet to Canada and the UK - CNBC
Elon Musk's company is now offering early public access to its Starlink satellite internet service in Canada and the U.K.
A Starlink user terminal attached to the roof of a building. SpaceX has launched more than 1,000 of its Starlink high-speed internet satellites to date and, as it seeks regulatory approval in other countries, Elon Musk's company is now offering early public access to the service in Canada and the U.K. "Earlier this month we expanded our 'Better than Nothing Beta' program to include customers across the pond in the United Kingdom," SpaceX lead manufacturing engineer Jessie Anderson said during the company's launch webcast on Wednesday. "Within the northern U.S. and Canada, and now the U.K., we are focused on rural and remote areas where there is no easy access to fiber or cable," Anderson added. SpaceX began the public beta program in October, with service priced at $99 a month, in addition to a $499 upfront cost to order the Starlink Kit, which includes a user terminal and Wi-Fi router to connect to the satellites. Starlink is SpaceX's plan to build an interconnected internet network with thousands of satellites, designed to deliver high-speed internet to anywhere on the planet. The network is an ambitious endeavor, which SpaceX has said will cost about $10 billion or more to build. But the company's leadership estimates that Starlink could bring in as much as $30 billion a year, or more than 10 times the annual revenue of its rocket business. SpaceX deploys 60 Starlink satellites in orbit. SpaceX launched its 17th Starlink mission from Florida on Wednesday morning, with a Falcon 9 rocket carrying another batch of 60 satellites to orbit. The launch also marked a milestone for SpaceX's reuse of its rockets, with the Falcon 9 booster launching and landing for a record eighth time. Musk has previously said that SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets are designed to launch and land up to 10 times without major repairs or refurbishment. Anderson noted that, in addition to individuals in rural areas of the northern U.S., SpaceX has signed up the town of Marysville, Ohio, and Virginia's Wise County Public School District for Starlink service. In the Ontario province of Canada, the rural indigenous community of Pikangikum First Nation became the first in the country to receive Starlink service. Pikangikum is about 300 kilometers northeast of Winnipeg and has a population of less than 3,000 people, with about 400 to 500 households. SpaceX partnered with Canadian information and technology services company FSET to bring Starlink user terminals to the Pikangikum community. Satellite internet connectivity kits for SpaceX's Starlink are delivered via airplane to the remote Canadian indegenous community of Pikangikum First Nation. "I hope that this gives them, the younger generations, a little bit of hope," Pikangikum Health Authority victim services leader Vernon Kejick said in a video on SpaceX's launch webcast. "We're creating a pathway for the younger people." The Starlink kits were delivered via airplane, which is the main way the community connects with more populated areas of Canada. "There's still a lot of work to do, but at least we have access to technology and information, and hopefully that playing field is at least a little closer to being level," FSET CEO Dave Brown said on the launch webcast on Wednesday. Starlink recently received approval to begin operating in the U.K., where it is priced at £89 per month plus the £439 cost of the kit. It's unclear how many homes and offices are currently using Starlink's service. SpaceX continues to look to expand Starlink internationally, with public records showing the company registered in Austria, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, France, Chile, Colombia, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Africa and Spain. The company also requested market access in Japan, and Musk has talked about Starlink coming to India and the Caribbean as well. Subscribe to CNBC PRO for exclusive insights and analysis, and live business day programming from around the world.
Adding Brantley would give Jays elite offence, set up more possible moves - Sportsnet.ca
The Blue Jays engaged in serious talks with Michael Brantley on Wednesday. If completed, a deal would give Toronto's already-potent lineup yet another impact bat, but given how crowded the Blue Jays’ outfield mix would look with Brantley, adding him might als…
TORONTO The Toronto Blue Jays may have just been getting started when they agreed to terms with George Springer on a franchise-record six-year, $150 million contract late Tuesday night. On Wednesday, they engaged in serious talks with Michael Brantley, according to multiple industry sources. Earlier on Wednesday, Hazel Mae and Sportsnet reported that a deal was in place with Brantley, but a Blue Jays team official later refuted the report. If completed, a deal would give Toronto's already-potent lineup yet another impact bat. But given how crowded the Blue Jays outfield mix would look with Brantley, adding him might also prompt further moves. First, let's turn our attention to Brantley, Springer's former Astros teammate and fellow client of Excel Sports Management. Now 33, he remains one of MLB's best bat-to-ball hitters, as his lifetime .297 average suggests. He combines those contact skills with an excellent plate approach that often sees him walk nearly as often as he strikes out. While he doesn't offer Springer's power, he hit 17 home runs in 2018 and 22 homers in 2019, making the AL all-star team both times. Defensively, Brantleys a corner outfielder at this stage in his career with the bulk of his career experience coming in left field. He was also Houstons designated hitter 26 times in 2020, so manager Charlie Montoyo would likely include him in the teams DH mix, too. With 34th percentile sprint speed, hes doesnt chase down fly balls with the same ease that he did when he first came up with a Cleveland team overseen by current Blue Jays executives Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins. All told, he's been worth 3.8 wins above replacement per 650 plate appearances, meaning he's consistently been an all-star player when healthy. During the shortened 2020, he generated 1.7 WAR according to Baseball-Reference, and the year before that he was worth 4.8 WAR. Where exactly the Blue Jays go from here is unclear, but it stands to reason that a deal with Brantley would be a precursor to more. As soon news of advanced talks broke Wednesday, industry speculation began about possible trades involving Lourdes Gurriel Jr. or Randal Grichuk. Its even possible the Blue Jays already have a framework in place for a possible deal involving one of those players (Gurriel Jr., who has three years and $14.7 million remaining on his contract before one final year of arbitration eligibility in 2024, has far more trade value of the two). Regardless, the additions of Springer and Brantley would give the Blue Jays one of the best lineups in the American League. From here, the Blue Jays have further needs on the infield and on the pitching staff, but this week has already been extremely productive for a team looking to build on its first playoff appearance in four seasons.