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US braces for ‘extreme weather event’ from space that could result in $2 trillion in damages

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NASA illustration of subatomic particles hurtling towards Earth

Faced with the prospect of a massive solar flare that could destroy satellites, spacecraft, and vital telecommunications systems, the White House National Science and Technology Council has released plans to protect vital systems from being devastated, reports Business Insider.

According to the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center, the Earth is constantly being bombarded with charged subatomic particles, traveling on solar winds, that can normally be deflected by the planet’s magnetic field.

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However scientists warn that there is a 12 percent chance of Earth being hit with a mammoth solar storm in the next decade that could wreak over $2 trillion dollars in economic damage.

“You can think of the sun as kind of like a volcano,” explained Thomas Berger, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) “It’s difficult to predict precisely when it’s going to erupt, but you can see the signs building up.”

While scientists admit they can’t stop the solar discharge, a distant early warning system can relay information of the oncoming solar storm at the speed of light, allowing delicate systems to be shut down before being destroyed.

The NOAA will soon replace an antiquated satellite — similar to a “tsunami buoy” — with a Deep Space Climate Observatory satellite (DSCOVR) at a midway point between Earth and the sun. At the first sign of a major solar flare, DSCOVR will notify Earth up to an hour before the planet is bombarded by with particles.

“Using that we can say … ‘OK we know exactly how big this thing is and how bad it’s going to be,'” Berger explained.

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Under the plan developed by the National Science and Technology Council, various departments have been directed to establish benchmarks, “creating engineering standards, developing vulnerability assessments, establishing decision points and thresholds for action, understanding risk, developing more effective mitigation procedures and practices, and enhancing response and recovery planning.”

The U.S. isn’t the only country taking threat of a massive solar outburst seriously. Thursday the European Space Agency (ESA) announced they are working with scientists from 14 European countries to develop their own network.


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Pro-Trump internet trolls tried to hijack Nickelodeon’s kid’s survey on who should be president — and failed

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On Tuesday, Nickelodeon hosted its "Kids Pick The President" straw poll, in which young viewers of the network give their own opinion on who should win the presidential election. The poll has no electoral significance, given that kids cannot vote and given that the survey methodology is not scientific and lets anyone opt in regardless of how it balances the sample.

Despite this, pro-Trump internet trolls reportedly sought to hijack the results, spreading the message to get people to flood the poll with votes for President Donald Trump.

In the end, however, they couldn't even do it. Joe Biden won the poll, 53 percent to 47 percent.

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2020 Election

Wisconsin sees ‘nightmare scenario’ of COVID cases — as Trump ignores medical advice for campaign rally

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Wisconsin residents saw a “nightmare scenario” situation unfold Tuesday as 5,262 COVID-19 cases rocked the state, resulting in 64 deaths as President Donald Trump held a large campaign rally with few masks and zero social distancing.

"This is no longer a slow-motion disaster," said Gregory Poland, director of the vaccine research group at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. "This is a disaster in warp speed. And it's maddening to me as a physician because a whole lot of people have died and are dying."

https://twitter.com/MJSphotog/status/1321224234270625794

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the state Department of Health Services reported 5,262 new cases and 64 deaths Tuesday, both records far above any previous daily counts. The death toll now stands at 1,852.

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2020 Election

Trump’s website hacked and defaced to stop the ‘fake-news’ spread by the president: report

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President Donald Trump's website appeared to have been briefly hacked on Tuesday -- one week before the 2020 presidential campaign.

Visitors to the site briefly saw a fake DOJ takedown notice.

"This site was seized," the message read. "The world has had enough of the fake-news spreaded (sic) by President Donald J. Trump."

"It is time to allow the world to know the truth," the message continued.

The message also claimed "secret conversations" prove the Trump administration "is involved in the origin of the coronavirus."

There is no evidence that is the case, experts believe the virus originated in China.

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