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Physicist: ‘Blind luck’ is all that prevents ‘city-killer’ asteroids from striking Earth

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According to physicist and former NASA astronaut Ed Lu, the Earth has been hit by “26 multi-kiloton explosions since 2001, all of which are due to asteroid impacts.”

This evidence — gathered by the asteroid-hunting B612 Foundation — demonstrates that “asteroid impacts are not rare, but actually 3-10 times more common than we previously thought.”

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Just last week over the Russian city of Murmansk, a fireball came screaming across the sky around 2:10 a.m. local time:

Russian astronomers believe it was an early arrival from the annual Lyrid meteor shower, but its sudden and unexpected appearance underscores Lu’s point: “The only thing preventing a catastrophe from a ‘city-killer’ sized asteroid is blind luck.”

Lu and fellow former astronauts Bill Anders and Tom Jones will make a presentation on Earth Day tomorrow, in which they will endorse the construction of a sophisticated asteroid warning system around the Sentinel Infrared Space Telescope (SIST).

The SIST will be launched on a privately funded SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in 2019, and will scan the solar system via infrared wavelengths to identify the trajectory of any near-Earth objects larger than 500 feet. The team hopes it will discover many currently undetectable near-Earth objects that could pose a threat to the planet.

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The potential risk to the planet posed by impacts was magnified by the arrival of a near-Earth object in the skies above Chelyabinsk, Russia in February of last year.

The resulting explosion had a power nearly 20 to 30 times that of the atom bomb detonated over Hiroshima, and many scientists consider it fortunate that only 1,500 people were injured by the blast.

[“Asteroid striking Earth” on Shutterstock]

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Economist who hoped for ‘V-shaped’ recovery now predicting a prolonged downturn even worse than the Great Recession

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Tim Bartik is among the economists who has described the type of “V-shaped” economic recovery he would like to see in the United States following the coronavirus pandemic. Ideally, Bartik has asserted, all the businesses that have been shut down by the pandemic would reopen quickly when it’s safe to do so and put millions of Americans back to work. But journalist Andy Balaskovitz, in an article published in MiBiz on April 8, explains why Bartik (a senior economist at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in Kalamazoo, Michigan) now believes that predictions of a “V-shaped recovery” are wishful thinking — and why Americans are in for a lot of economic pain in the months ahead.

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‘Recipe for disaster’: Officials in Florida city say they face ‘unimaginable’ potential death from COVID-19

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Officials in the Florida city of Hialeah are warning that they are uniquely vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic and face the possibility of "unimaginable" death from the disease.

In interviews with The Daily Beast, the officials explained how their large population of senior citizens is at grave risk if Hialeah erupts as a major COVID-19 hotspot.

"I think it is going to get a lot worse," Hialeah Councilman Jesus Tundidor tells The Daily Beast. “The experts have been telling us to expect a peak [in Florida] near the end of the month. As we get more testing sites up and running, the more positive cases we will see. And that will create more fear."

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November 2019 intel report warned of COVID-19 ‘cataclysmic event’ — even as Trump still insists no one saw it coming

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An intelligence report issued in November 2019 warned that COVID-19 could severely disrupt daily life throughout the world and described it as a potential "cataclysmic event."

ABC News reports that the military's National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI) late last year issued a report that raised alarms about "an out-of-control disease" that "would pose a serious threat to U.S. forces in Asia."

"Analysts concluded it could be a cataclysmic event," one source tells ABC News, who also says that the report was briefed "multiple times" to the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon’s Joint Staff and the White House.

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