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It's Been Reported
for the week ending 18 July 2021

'Hubble is back!' Famed Space Telescope Has New Lease On Life After Computer Swap Appears To Fix Glitch

(Science Mag) — The iconic but elderly Hubble Space Telescope appears to have been resurrected again after a shutdown of more than a month following a computer glitch. Science has learned that following a switch from the operating payload control computer to a backup device over the past 24 hours, Hubble's operators have re-established communications with all the telescope's instruments and plan to return them to normal operations today.

"Hubble is back!" Tom Brown, head of the Hubble mission office, emailed to staff at the Space Telescope Science Institute at 5:56 a.m. "I am excited to watch Hubble get back to exploring the universe."

The problems started on 13 June when the payload computer that controls the science instruments and monitors their health spotted an error in communications with the instruments and put them into safe mode. Hubble's operators initially thought a memory module was at fault but switching to one of three backup modules produced the same error. Various other devices were investigated and ruled out as the problem when the error persisted.
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FCC Votes To Finalize Program To
Replace Huawei Equipment In U.S. Networks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously on Tuesday to finalize a $1.9 billion program to reimburse mostly rural U.S. carriers for removing equipment from telecommunications networks from Chinese companies deemed national security threats like Huawei and ZTE Corp.

Last year, the FCC designated Huawei and ZTE as national security threats to communications networks – a declaration that barred U.S. firms from tapping an $8.3 billion government fund to purchase equipment from the companies. The FCC in December adopted rules requiring carriers with ZTE or Huawei equipment to "rip and replace" that equipment.

"There is a serious risk that this equipment may be manipulated, disrupted, or controlled by foreign actors," Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said. "We will evaluate network after network, base station after base station, and router after router until we have rooted out our equipment that could undermine national security. It's a daunting task."
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 Lightning Strike Kills 18 Selfie Takers
On Tourist Tower In Jaipur

INDIA (NY Post) — A lightning strike killed 18 people Sunday when a bolt blasted a watchtower where tourists were snapping storm selfies in Jaipur, India.

There were a total of 27 individuals at the top of the 12th-century Amer Fort, the popular tourist attraction where the strike occurred, according to BBC News.

Some of the victims leaped to the ground as the lightning came down, and law enforcement officials have reported that most of them were young people. Video captured by Reuters TV partner ANI showed empty shoes left by the dead.

"Many people died in front of our eyes. If people had gotten help and authorities had reached on time then [they would have been alive]," an eyewitness told ANI. "We brought many people down. We rescued the people who were still alive, those who were still breathing and pulled some people out of the gorge."
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 George Floyd Mural Crumbles
After Witnesses Say Lightning Hit It

(Fox News) — A mural in remembrance of George Floyd in Toledo, Ohio, was reduced to rubble after a reported lightning strike.

Witnesses told Toledo Police that a lightning strike destroyed the mural, and doppler radar shows a strike hit at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday near where the mural was painted.

Photos of the destruction show part of the brick wall reduced to rubble, with fragments of mural still remaining on the wall along its border.

The piece, titled "Take a Breath," was created by local artist David Ross about one year ago in honor of Floyd, who was murdered in Minneapolis last Memorial Day by police officer Derek Chauvin.

Ross said he received threats over the mural and speculated the destruction could have been caused by vandalism and not lightning.
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Major Interstate Shutdown, Bridge Demolished After
Tractor-Trailer Crashes Into Overpass And Moves It 6Ft

Georgia bridge pic(Indepenent) — A Georgia Interstate has had to be shut down for days and a bridge has been demolished after a tractor-trailer crashed into an overpass, moving it six feet and taking it off its support structure.

Authorities said on Friday that they hope to open Interstate 16 back up by next week, as workers haul away debris from the site of the crash that knocked the bridge off its support beams.

The Georgia Department of Transportation said crews worked through the night to get the heavily damaged bridge cleared away....
“Apparently, the tractor-trailer has a dump bed similar to a dump truck,” the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation, Russell McMurry, said. “It appears that it was raised, which then struck the bridge.”

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 Coffee Consumption Linked To
 Lower Risk Of COVID-19 Infection

(Fox News) — Regular coffee consumption of at least one cup daily was associated with a lower risk of COVID-19 infection, according to a study.

Researchers with Northwestern University published findings in the Nutrients journal, stemming from an analysis of nearly 40,000 participants in the U.K. Biobank. The team studied participants' dietary habits in 2006-2010 and hypothesized the subsequent risk of coronavirus infection in 2020. Researchers specifically looked at participants’ consumption of coffee, tea, processed meat, red meat, fruit, vegetables and oily fish.

After adjusting for factors like race, age, sex and other factors like physical activity, BMI level and history of certain medical conditions, researchers found "habitual consumption of 1 or more cups of coffee per day was associated with about a 10% decrease in risk of COVID-19 compared to less than 1 cup/day."

"The odds of COVID-19 positivity were 0.90, 0.90, and 0.92 when consuming 1 cup, 2–3 cups, and 4+ cups of coffee/day (vs. <1 cup/day), respectively," the study reads.
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Drinking Coffee
May Reduce Risk Of Getting Liver Cancer

(Fox News) — A new study brews up some good news for avid coffee drinkers.

Consuming three to four cups of joe a day may reduce the risk of liver cancer and other alcohol-related liver diseases, according to findings released Monday in the peer-reviewed medical journal BMC Public Health.

Researchers studied the coffee habits and liver health of nearly a half-million Brits in a biomedical database over 11 years. The subjects of the study were men and women between the ages of 40–69. About 385,000 of them were heavy coffee drinkers.

The study found that the daily grinders were 21 percent less likely to develop chronic liver disease, 20 percent less likely to develop fatty liver disease and nearly half as likely to die from liver ailments, compared to those that abstained.

People that drank ground caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee saw greater liver benefits than those that drank instant coffee, according to the study, which researchers said was the first of its kind.
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 Coffee - is there anything it can't do? 

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