Astronomers have discovered a small black hole outside the Milky Way by looking at how it influences the motion of a star in its close vicinity.
The team at Liverpool John Moores University in the UK used the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (ESO’s VLT), situated in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, to spot the black hole.
The newly found black hole was spotted lurking in NGC 1850, a cluster of thousands of stars roughly 160,000 light-years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud — a neighbor galaxy of the Milky Way. The detection in NGC 1850 marks the first time a black hole has been found in a young cluster of stars (the cluster is only around 100 million years old, a blink of an eye on astronomical scales).
According to Sara Saracino from the Liverpool John Moores University’s Astrophysics Research Institute, the black hole is roughly 11 times as massive as our Sun. Astronomers started on the trail of this black hole due to its gravitational influence on the five-solar-mass star orbiting it.
Previously such small, “stellar-mass” black holes have been spotted in other galaxies by picking up the X-ray glow emitted as they swallow matter, or from the gravitational waves generated as black holes collide with one another or with neutron stars.
However, most stellar-mass black holes don’t give away their presence through X-rays or gravitational waves.
This is the first time this detection method has been used to reveal the presence of a black hole outside of our galaxy. The method could be key to unveiling hidden black holes in the Milky Way and nearby galaxies, and to help shed light on how these mysterious objects form and evolve, the team said.
“Every single detection we make will be important for our future understanding of stellar clusters and the black holes in them,” said co-author Mark Gieles from the University of Barcelona, Spain.
US President Joe Biden’s ties with Vice President Kamala Harris is in crisis, with the latter’s staff furious that she is being ‘sidelined’, while the President’s team is increasingly frustrated by how Harris is playing with the American public, the Daily Mail reported.
Kamala Harris’ approval rating has plunged further than Biden’s in recent months, with rumours swirling that the US President is considering appointing her to the Supreme Court as a backdoor method of selecting a new Vice President, the report said.
Harris and her top aides are reportedly frustrated with Biden for handing her ‘no-win’ issues like the border crisis, White House insiders told CNN.
They cited how the President defended ‘white man’ Pete Buttigieg, the transportation secretary, more vigorously than her.
At the same time, Biden’s staff are reportedly disappointed with Harris over self-inflicted controversies, like her ‘awkward’ laughter when asked about visiting the border by NBC’s Lester Holt.
They blame her failure on the border crisis for sliding poll numbers. A new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows Biden at 53 percent disapproval and 41 percent approval — down 11 points from April, the report said.
Publicly, the White House insists that the relationship between Biden and Harris remains harmonious and productive.
But privately, Harris’ aides gripe that she’s been set up to fail and handed a portfolio that is not commensurate with her historic status as the first woman, and the first woman of colour, to hold the Vice President’s office, the report said.
“They’re consistently sending her out there on losing issues in the wrong situations for her skill set,” a former high-level Harris aide told CNN.
Typically, the incumbent Vice President is considered an automatic lock for the party’s next open-field presidential primary.
For the Democrats, it’s not clear whether that day will come in 2024 if Biden decides not to seek re-election at the age of 80, or 2028 if he runs again as he has vowed both publicly and privately.
Manchester United fans will soon get a chance to own a stake in the World’s most prominent football club through a Fans Share scheme and can also have a new channel for a board-level dialogue with the club via a Fans Advisory Board.
The club on Monday announced that it is in discussion with the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) about the proposed schemes. The share scheme and advisory board were proposed by Joel Glazer, Manchester United co-chairman, in a meeting with the club’s Fans Forum last June, when he expressed hope that they would “reset the relationship with our supporters [and] strengthen the club as a whole”.
The Fans Share Scheme will open a path for supporters to build an ownership stake in the club.
On Monday, the club gave its fans an update on the progress towards implementing the two schemes.
“We are in advanced talks with MUST about a Fans’ Share Scheme which would open a path for fans to build, over time, a meaningful ownership stake in Manchester United.
“This would give fans a strong collective voice within our ownership structure and help cement a new spirit of a long-term partnership between fans and the club,” Manchester United said in a statement.
“There are significant legal and regulatory complexities being worked through, together with MUST and expert advisers.
“As well as making progress on the Fans’ Share Scheme, we are also creating a Fans’ Advisory Board as a new channel for board-level dialogue with supporters and this is close to launch,” the statement said.
Manchester United, the most successful club in the Premier League history, is owned by the Glazer Family of the United States which bought a controlling stake in the club in May 2005 and took it off the stock exchange.
The funding for the highly leveraged takeover, which valued the club at approximately £800 million (then approx. $1.5 billion), was borrowed by the Glazers; the debts were transferred to the club. As a result, the club went from being debt-free to being saddled with debts of £540 million, at interest rates of between 7% to 20% and this made the Glazers quite unpopular among the die-hard fans.
All new heavy goods vehicles in the UK will be zero-emission by 2040, the UK government said on Wednesday.
This, combined with the UK’s 2030 phase-out for petrol and diesel cars and vans, represents a world-leading pledge to end the sale of all polluting road vehicles within the next two decades.
The UK will become the first country in the world to commit to phasing out new, non-zero emission heavy goods vehicles weighing 26 tonnes and under by 2035, with all new vehicles sold in the UK to be zero-emission by 2040.
This comes as new research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, commissioned by the UK COP Presidency and published on Wednesday, shows the progress made in the passenger vehicle market.
The research shows 31 percent of the global passenger vehicle market is now covered by vehicle manufacturer commitments to end sales of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles, up from a near-zero share of the market at the start of 2021
The global sales of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) have grown dramatically since 2019 from 2.1 million to 5.3 million
ZEVs are forecast to be 70 percent of all new car sales in 2040, with this projection having doubled in the last 5 years.
A group of ministers and industry leaders committed to working towards 100 percent zero-emission new car and van sales by 2040 or earlier at Transport Day at COP26.
Twenty four countries, six major vehicle manufacturers (GM, Ford, Mercedes, BYD, Volvo, JLR), 39 cities, states and regions, 28 fleets, and 13 investors all jointly set out their determination for all new car and van sales to be zero-emission by 2040 globally and 2035 in leading markets.
In this group, companies like Sainsbury’s and countries including El Salvador and New Zealand are making new commitments to 100 percent zero-emission vehicles.
They follow proposals made by the EU, Chile, Canada, and a number of US state this year to ensure all new cars are zero-emission by 2035.
Also announced on Wednesday a number of emerging markets and developing economies have committed to work to accelerate the adoption of zero-emission vehicles in their markets, including India, Ghana, Kenya, Paraguay, Rwanda, and Turkey.
The UK government is also unveiling a new design for electric vehicle charge points, which could become as iconic as the Great British post box, London bus, or black cab.
Showcased in the UK Pavilion at COP26 and designed together with the Royal College of Art and PA Consulting, the concept prioritises inclusivity and ease of use, designed with consumers, local government, accessibility groups and industry.
The design concept will provide greater choice to industry and local government, as well as raise awareness and generate excitement around electric vehicles, as we build one of the most convenient, affordable, and reliable charging networks in the world.
This builds on the goal to make sure everyone benefits from the transition to zero-emission transport. ZEVs are already cheaper to run in the UK than petrol or diesel cars and are expected to become cheaper to buy in the coming years.
As one of the new Glasgow Breakthroughs launched by the Prime Minister at the World Leaders Summit, 30 countries have agreed to work together to make zero-emission vehicles the new normal by making them accessible, affordable, and sustainable in all regions by 2030 or sooner.
Various countries on Wednesday made new commitments at the ongoing UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) on increasing finance to support developing countries to deal with the impacts of climate change, including Norway to triple its adaptation finance, Japan and Australia to double it, and commitments from Switzerland, the US, and Canada for the Adaptation Fund.
This included the largest US adaptation finance commitment, to date, to reduce climate impacts on those most vulnerable to climate change worldwide. Canada committed to allocate 40 percent of its climate finance to adaptation.
New commitments for climate financing also came from the UK, Spain, Japan, Australia, Norway, Ireland, and Luxembourg, which build on the plan set out ahead of COP26 to deliver the $100 billion per year to developing countries.
To combat the difficulties many countries face with the bureaucracy of securing climate investment, 100 million pounds in new funding from the UK was announced to support the approach of the Taskforce on Access to Climate Finance, co-chaired by the UK and Fiji.
The task force launched a partnership with five ‘pioneer countries’ – Bangladesh, Fiji, Jamaica, Rwanda, and Uganda – to support them and their local communities to get the finance they need for their climate plans.
Further commitments are expected over the coming days, including on adaptation. COP will also see the launch of discussions on a new global finance goal to replace the $100 billion goals from 2025.
Demonstrating the direct benefits of what public climate financing can achieve, leaders from South Africa, the UK, the US, France, Germany, and the European Union on Tuesday announced a ground-breaking partnership to support South Africa with an accelerated just energy transition.
As a first step, the international partnership announced that $8.5 billion can be made available over the next 3-5 years to support South Africa – the world’s most carbon-intensive electricity producer – to achieve the most ambitious emissions reduction target within its upgraded and ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution.
The discussions follow new pledges of public climate funding from developed nations at the COP26 World Leaders Summit, including significant pledges for climate adaptation.
Mobilising finance is critical if the world is to deliver urgent action for the need to limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Trillions of dollars of additional investment a year are needed to secure a low-carbon future and support countries already living with the devastating impacts of climate change.
COP26 President Alok Sharma said: “Today, there is more public and private finance for climate action than ever before.
“But to meet the commitments made in the Paris Agreement and keep 1.5 alive, we need developed countries to deliver on public finance and to unleash the trillions required in private investment to create a net-zero future and protect lives and livelihoods from the devastating effects of climate change.
“That is why we have made finance such a key focus of COP26, why these new commitments from nations and the private finance sector are so welcome, and why we continue to push for countries to do more to meet their financial obligations. Countries are telling us what they need, now global finance needs to respond.”
The US, the European Commission, and the UK also committed to working in partnership with countries to support a green and resilient recovery from Covid-19 and boost investment for clean, green infrastructure in developing countries.
The UK also committed 576 million pounds at COP for a package of initiatives to mobilise finance into emerging markets and developing economies, including 66 million pounds to expand the UK’s MOBILIST programme, which helps to develop new investment products which can be listed on public markets and attract different types of investors.
Initiatives announced by the World Bank Group and Asian Development Bank will share risk with developing countries and aim to raise up to $8.5 billion in new finance in support of climate action and sustainable development.
There was also the launch of an innovative new financing mechanism – the Climate Investment Funds’ Capital Markets Mechanism (CCMM) that will boost investment into clean energy like solar and wind power in developing countries.
Private financial institutions also took a major step to ensure that existing and future investments are aligned to the global goal of net-zero.
Thirty-five countries agreed to mandatory actions to ensure that investors have access to reliable information about climate risk to guide their investments into greener areas.
And to ensure common standards, 36 countries welcomed the announcement of a new international body, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB).
Over $130 trillion of private finance is now committed to science-based net-zero targets and near-term milestones, through the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, led by Mark Carney.
GFANZ members are required to set robust, science-based near-term targets within 12-18 months of joining, and more than 90 of the founding institutions have already done so. A key focus of GFANZ is supporting developing countries and emerging markets.
UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak also announced plans to make the UK’s financial centre aligned to net zero.
Under the proposals, there will be new requirements for UK financial institutions and listed companies to publish net-zero transition plans that detail how they will adapt and decarbonise as the UK moves towards a net-zero economy by 2050.
Responding to Chancellor Sunak’s speech, Christian Aid’s UK Advocacy and Policy Lead, Jennifer Larbie, said: “It’s welcomed that the Chancellor recognises London’s financial sector is critical to any meaningful progress towards a global net zero.
“But this announcement does little to shift the dial now on the trillions still flowing into fossil fuel projects every day, with the deadliest of impacts borne by developing countries.
“The UK government must mandate the financial sector to act with urgency to end fossil fuel investments.”
The Ethiopian government has announced a nationwide state of emergency rule amid the ongoing conflict in the northern part of the country.
The decision was made by the Ethiopian Council of Ministers, which is expected to be endorsed by the Ethiopian House of People’s Representatives (HoPR) within the coming two days period, reports Xinhua n.
The state of emergency will remain in force for six months.
The move came amid deteriorating conditions in northern parts of the country, as the conflict that erupted a year ago in the Tigray region between the Ethiopian federal government and forces loyal to the rebel Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) expanded to neighbouring Amhara and Afar regions, and eventually approaching to central parts of the country in recent weeks.
Since the early hours of November 4, 2020, the Ethiopian government has been undertaking military operations against the TPLF.
However, the government in late June announced a unilateral ceasefire in the country’s conflict-affected northernmost Tigray regional state. Forces loyal to the TPLF soon took control of much of the area in the region, including the regional capital.
The conflict has since then expanded to the Amhara and Afar regions, neighbouring Tigray.
The HoPR, the lower house of the Ethiopian Parliament, had previously designated the TPLF as a terrorist organisation.
British star Idris Elba has changed his drinking habits as he’s got older because beer is “not so kind on the belly” anymore.
He said: “Back in the day I was very into beer drinking but as I’ve got older it’s not so kind on the belly. Having visited awesome places in Japan and from speaking to people who know more than me, I’ve got very into whisky, particularly Japanese whisky.
“If it’s the start of a night and we are looking to party and I’m not particularly tired, I’ll kick off with vodka and move on to tequila and tonic – I like to keep it pretty simple.”
The ‘Mountain Between Us’ actor has opened his own bar, Porte Noire in London’s King’s Cross, and used his “warm relationship” with other drinking venues as a source of inspiration, reports femalefirst.co.uk.
He told Big Hospitality: “I’ve been going to bars all my life and I have a very warm relationship with them – probably more so than I’m allowed to admit. I’ve lived in many, many places and I’ve met lots of good people as well as advanced my career in bars.
“I’ve worked in them, drunk in them and they’re a place I feel comfortable in. I wanted to create something that feels luxe and special, but also relatable, warm, and welcoming.”
The UK’s Queen Elizabeth II has been advised by doctors to rest for two more weeks, the Buckingham Palace said.
The Palace said following their recent advice that the Queen should rest for a few days, the doctors have advised that she should continue to rest for at least the next two weeks, reports Xinhua news agency.
The doctors have advised that the 95-year-old monarch could continue to undertake light, desk-based duties during this time, including some virtual audiences, “but not to undertake any official visits”.
It means she will be unable to attend the Festival of Remembrance on November 13, but officials said it is her “firm intention” to attend the National Service of Remembrance the following day, according to the BBC.
It came after the Queen decided on Tuesday that she will not travel to Glasgow to attend the evening reception of the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference.
Instead, she will deliver a video message to the delegates.
The Queen spent a night in hospital for “some preliminary investigations” last week, after she cancelled a visit to Northern Ireland.
Another 41,278 people in Britain have tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of infected cases in the country to 9,019,962, according to official figures released on Saturday.
The country reported a further 166 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 140,558. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test, Xinhua news agency reported.
There are currently 8,983 patients in hospital with Covid-19.
The latest data came as coronavirus infections in England have increased to their highest level since the beginning of the year, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Around one in 50 people had the virus in the week ending October 22, the highest level since January 2, the ONS reported.
The pandemic appears to be growing in England, as the coronavirus reproduction number, also known as the ‘R number’ in England is estimated to have risen to between 1.1 and 1.3.
The R number indicates the average number of people each Covid-positive person goes on to infect.
More than 86 percent of people aged 12 and above in Britain have had their first dose of vaccine and more than 79 percent have received both doses, the latest figures showed. Meanwhile, more than 13 percent have received booster jabs or a third dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia, and the United States have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday said the state was now moving towards becoming ‘Atmanirbhar UP’.
The Chief Minister, while speaking on the occasion of ‘UP Diwas’ said the state was firmly on the path of progress and development.
This is the fourth edition of the UP Diwas, the celebration of which began only after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath came to power in the state.
The celebrations of the foundation day will continue for three days till January 26.
Uttar Pradesh Diwas or the Uttar Pradesh Day is observed as the foundation day of this state. It was on this very same day in 1950 that Uttar Pradesh was renamed. Earlier, the state was known as the United Provinces.
This idea of celebrating the day was proposed by the then Governor Ram Naik and the first UP Diwas was celebrated in 2018.
The main programme is being held at Awadh Shilpgram with state Governor Anandiben Patel and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath as the guests.
Besides the state capital, events are being held in all the 75 districts of the state.
This year the theme of Uttar Pradesh Diwas is ‘Self-reliant Uttar Pradesh: Women, youths, Farmers: Development of all, Honour to All.’
Dignitaries and people contributing in different fields will be honoured on the occasion. The state government will also be presenting ‘Uttar Pradesh Gaurav Samman’ this year to deserving individuals.
The program aims to motivate local talents by encouraging folk music, culture and practices that are instrumental to enriching a society, taking it forward by building exemplary figures.
An app of the MSME department ‘Udhyam Sarthi’ is being launched on this occasion.
The largest mask made from Khadi was also unfolded at the event.
As part of the celebration, the day will witness a number of programmes, to encourage handicrafts, songs and plays. There have been talks of ‘Shilp Mela’, ‘Shabri-Ram’ play, a band display by acid-attack survivors and acts by transgender artistes.