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Usain Bolt and girlfriend Kasi Bennett welcome twins – Saint Leo and Thunder Bolt | World News



Usain Bolt has revealed he is now father to twins, naming one Thunder Bolt and the other Saint Leo Bolt.

The Jamaican sprint legend posted a picture on Instagram of the new arrivals, alongside his partner Kasi Bennett and daughter Olympia Lightning.

The 34-year-old made the announcement on Father’s Day, adding three lightning bolt emojis for each of his children.

It’s not known exactly when the twins were born.

Bennett also posted photos of the family with the caption: “Happy Father’s Day to my forever love! @usainbolt.

“You are the rock of this family and the greatest daddy to our little ones. We love you world without end!”

Bolt’s daughter Olympia Lightning was born in May 2020, with her name revealed to the world two months later.

Bolt remains the 100m and 200m world record holder and bowed out of athletics as one of the world’s most iconic sports stars in 2017.

He tried to switch to pro football and had a trial with an Australian side but couldn’t agree a contract, and in 2019 announced his career in sports was over.

The Jamaican now has a number of business interests, including an electric scooter company – also called Bolt.

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‘Eye of Sauron’ image reveals disc forming around alien planet | Science & Tech News



Scientists have captured an image of a circumstellar disc, and within it a planet with a moon-forming disc, that looks like the Eye of Sauron from the Lord of the Rings cinematic franchise.

Observations of the system, nearly 400 light years away in the constellation Centaurus, reveal a planet within the circumstellar disc called PDS 70c that has another disc around it, approximately 500 times larger than Saturn’s.

The exoplanet was first directly imaged using infrared wavelengths in 2019, but a new observation from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile has revealed the construction in even more detail.

This image, taken with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), in which ESO is a partner, shows a close-up view on the moon-forming disc surrounding PDS 70c, a young Jupiter-like gas giant nearly 400 light-years away. It shows this planet and its disc centre-front, with the larger circumstellar ring-like disc taking up most of the right-hand side of the image. The dusty..circumplanetary..disc is as large as the Sun-Earth distance and has enough mass to form up to three satellites the size of the Moon.
A close-up view on the moon-forming disc surrounding PDS 70c. Pic: ESO

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) has clarified that the ring visible in the “Eye of Sauron” image is not the new planetary disc, which is only visible as a spot of light in the image above.

PDS 70c is one of two Jupiter-like planets orbiting the star, but until recently astronomers were unsure whether the gas giants had discs forming around them or not.

“Our work presents a clear detection of a disc in which satellites could be forming,” explained Dr Myriam Benisty, who led the research published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

“Our ALMA observations were obtained at such exquisite resolution that we could clearly identify that the disc is associated with the planet and we are able to constrain its size for the first time,” Dr Benisty added.

To date astronomers have discovered more than 4,000 exoplanets – planets orbiting distant stars – but all of them have been detected in mature systems.

The two planets, PDS 70b and PSD 70c, are the first to be discovered that are still in the process of being formed – meaning they offer astronomers insight into planet formation as well as how moons are made.

Radio telescope antennas of the ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) project, in the Chajnantor plateau, Atacama desert, some 1500 km north of Santiago, on March 12,2013. The ALMA, an international partnership project of Europe, North America and East Asia with the cooperation of Chile, is presently the largest astronomical project in the world. On Wednesday March 13 will be opened 59 high precision antennas, located at 5000 of altitude in the extremely arid Atacama desert. AFP PH
ALMA’s radio telescopes are perched high in Chile’s Atacama desert

Planets are believed to form in the dusty discs surrounding young stars, carving out cavities in these discs as they gobble up material to grow.

In doing so, the planets can acquire their own discs which contributes to their growth by regulating the amount of material falling on to it.

“At the same time, the gas and dust in the circumplanetary disc can come together into progressively larger bodies through multiple collisions, ultimately leading to the birth of moons,” explained ESO, although these processes are not yet fully understood.

The PDS system “offers us a unique opportunity to observe and study the processes of planet and satellite formation,” explained ESO Research Fellow Stefano Facchini.

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Tokyo Olympics: Are organisers prioritising revenue over safety as cases of COVID-19 surge? | World News



As the number of COVID-19 cases at Tokyo 2020 rises, public health experts have accused Olympic officials of putting revenue before safety.

Toshiro Muto, the head of the Tokyo Olympics organising committee, has even cautioned the event could still be cancelled if cases continue to increase. Almost 90 officials and athletes have already tested positive.

Public health expert Dr Annie Sparrow said: “They’re not thinking about safety, it’s always revenue first and foremost, which is a huge concern.”

But is this really why the Olympics are going ahead?

The cost of Tokyo 2020

This year’s summer Olympics are the most expensive on record, according to research from Oxford University.

The Japanese government has already spent double the initial budget, an estimated $15.4bn (£11.2bn), and the country’s official auditor projects that total spending could top $20bn (£14.5bn).

Current spending reflects an additional $2.8bn (£2bn) from the one-year delay, which includes expenses like renegotiating contracts and measures to combat the pandemic.

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While the Tokyo organisers have shouldered most of the costs of cancellation, Japan’s prime minister Yoshihide Suga has said that the decision to cancel lies with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

“The IOC has the authority to decide,” Suga said in April. “And the IOC has already decided to hold the Tokyo Olympics.”

What would organisers lose by cancelling?

Former IOC marketing chief Michael Payne says commercial revenues from television, sponsorship and ticketing usually cover the costs of running the Games outside of capital infrastructure investments.

So, given the mounting costs of Tokyo 2020, it seems viable that the organisers would want to push ahead to recoup these losses.

But Payne points out that the IOC’s main revenue streams such as international sponsorship and television deals, which make up around three-quarters of its income, are protected as they are locked in long term or insured.

He said: “The revenue financial decision is not an issue in the IOC’s decision-making process. The sole focus from the IOC is to stage the Games to give the athletes the once every four-year window of opportunity.”

Record local sponsorship is the largest component of the budget for the organising committee in Japan. This revenue stream would be “shocked” and “almost certainly evaporate” if the Games were cancelled, says Seth Kirby, an academic in sport and leisure management at Nottingham Trent University.

But local sponsors and ticketing revenue, which largely goes to the host country, have already taken a hit.

“Sponsorship revenues have already been compromised by the lack of spectators and public concerns over COVID-19,” said Kirby. “Programmes will have been planned with spectators and fan interaction at the heart of their marketing activities.”

Arguably both the IOC and Tokyo organisers are concerned with the reputational damage of cancelling. But continuing given the current state of the pandemic could pose an even greater risk to Japan and the Olympic brand.

Local and international sponsors have distanced themselves from Tokyo 2020 over concerns about COVID-19 cases. As early as May, major Japanese newspaper and local sponsor Asahi Shimbun called for the Games to be cancelled, while Japan’s top carmaker Toyota announced on 19 July that it would pull all of its adverts.

Will Japan’s economy get a boost from Tokyo 2020?

The Tokyo organisers also have to consider the lost boost to Japan’s economy from holding the Games.

In 2016, the Bank of Japan forecast that the country would see GDP increase by $91bn (£66bn) from construction alone, while analysis by Nomura estimated a lower $30bn (£21.8bn) in production value. Whatever the amount, most of this capital expenditure will already have occurred in the lead up to the Olympics.

When it comes to demand, Nomura’s chief economist in Japan Takashi Miwa says it is only revenue from services and some merchandise – amounting to less than half of the increase in demand – that is at risk from cancellation.

Holding the Games also gives Japan the chance to benefit from a significant boost in the years after the event. A review commissioned by the UK government after London 2012 estimated gains from trade and investment of £9.9bn in the first year alone.

But Matthias Firgo, a senior researcher at the Austrian Institute of Economic Research, suggests that some of this spending would occur even without the Olympics: “Even in normal times, not all activities related to such a mega event actually trigger additional value.”

Firgo’s analysis found there is an economic boost of around 3% to 4% from hosting but only at a regional level in the year of the event and the year before. While there are tentative signs of positive long-run effects, the data is uncertain.

The cost of COVID-19

While critics suggest that organisers are putting revenues ahead of safety, there do not appear to be huge economic gains from holding the Tokyo Olympics.

Meanwhile, economists have joined public health experts in warning about the fallout from a post-Olympics surge in infections.

The Nomura Research Institute estimated in May that the hit to Japan’s economy from the first and second state of emergency was around $58bn (£42bn), compared with $16bn (£11.6bn) to cancel the Olympics. That suggests that another similar state of emergency later in the year could amount to around three times the cost of cancellation.

So, arguably it is the potential surge in COVID-19 infections rather than scrapping the Games altogether that is the biggest threat to Japan’s economy.

The Data and Forensics team is a multi-skilled unit dedicated to providing transparent journalism from Sky News. We gather, analyse and visualise data to tell data-driven stories. We combine traditional reporting skills with advanced analysis of satellite images, social media and other open source information. Through multimedia storytelling we aim to better explain the world while also showing how our journalism is done.

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With 100 days to COP26, what are these climate talks and why are they so important? | Climate News



Almost every year since 1995, world leaders have met in person to discuss the climate crisis at a meeting known as Conference of the Parties (COP).

The “parties” are the more than 190 countries who signed up to the United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the UN’s climate body.

The COP is effectively the UNFCCC decision-making body that meets once a year to negotiate on how to best tackle climate change.

The exception was 2020, when the pandemic postponed the 26th instalment.

Why is COP26 so important?


By COP26, countries are due to finalise their national action plans (nationally determined contributions, or NDCs) to cut emissions under the Paris Agreement.

At COP21 in Paris in 2015, countries agreed to try to limit global warming to 2C above pre-industrial levels to curb the climate crisis. This landmark global accord became known as the Paris Agreement.

“COP26 is the first chance for nations to review commitments and further strengthen ambition,” says Cambridge University climate scientist Dr Emily Shuckburgh.

“This is important because since the Paris Agreement there has been much greater clarity in terms of the science of the dangers of exceeding 1.5C [as opposed to 2C] of warming,” she said.

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Friends of the Earth (FOE) called this year’s delayed talks “vital” because the “window of opportunity to remain under that crucial 1.5 degrees of planetary warming is getting smaller and smaller with each passing year”.

It’s particularly important to the UK because, as host, “all eyes will be looking at what the UK is actually doing, rather than what it says”, said FOE’s director of campaigning impact, Jamie Peters

“As one of the nations most responsible for climate change, due to historic pollution, there will be a world focus on the UK’s role in responding to it – as well as how these talks are chaired,” he added.

When is COP26, will it take place in person, and are COVID-19 vaccines compulsory?

The UK government has offered to vaccinate cop26 delegates who would not otherwise have access to the vaccine

COP26 negotiations are scheduled to run from 1-12 November at the Scottish Events Campus (SEC) in Glasgow, although the procedural opening is on 31 October.

More than 30,000 people from roughly 200 countries will likely attend, but some associated events will happen online.

Vaccinations will not be mandatory, but are “strongly recommended” by the UK government.

It has offered COVID-19 vaccines to thousands of negotiators, observers and journalists who would not otherwise have access to one.

The deadline to apply for a vaccine was 23 July, so it’s not yet clear how well the offer was taken up or worked.

The initial programme has been published on the COP26 website.

What will be the sticking points?

Climate finance is pivotal to the success of COP26

“Arguably the greatest controversy will be whether or not what is agreed is sufficient to limit the worst impacts of climate change,” said Dr Shuckburgh.

The first round of government’s NDCs turned out to be insufficient to limit warming to well below 2C. So ahead of COP26, governments are due to submit new – and more ambitious – plans.

So far 62 countries and the EU have done so, but they are “still far away from where they need to be”, said Chatham House environment analyst Anna Aberg.

That’s because many of the new pledges are “not ambitious enough” – and because “several large economies – including China and India – have yet to submit new or sufficient plans”, said Ms Aberg.

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The thorny issue of climate finance will be pivotal to the success of COP26. Generally the world’s richest countries are the most responsible for the climate crisis that is experienced most severely by poorer countries, who have done the least to cause the problem.

Back in 2009, richer countries pledged to raise $100bn per year by 2020 to help developing countries reduce emissions and adapt to climate change impacts. But they missed the target.

“While much more than $100bn per year is needed to meet the financing needs in developing countries, the fulfilment of the pledge has great symbolic value,” said Ms Aberg.

“And when money is involved, along with discussions about who should pay for what, that’s when things get interesting,” said FOE’s Jamie Peters. “But the stakes couldn’t be higher.”

There are also unresolved issues from the Paris Agreement that parties have yet to agree. These include the rules for carbon market mechanisms, which allow countries to offset their emissions by purchasing carbon credits (emissions reductions) from another country, and how to address so-called “loss and damage” from climate change.

What role will China play?

China is expected to attend COP26

China is expected to attend COP26 and has been involved with the ‘”Climate Change Dialogues” online series, which took place last year due to the postponed 2020 COP.

“China attaches great importance to the dialogue,” says Jiangwen Guo, senior research fellow at Chatham House’s energy, environment, and resources programme.

China, the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, has committed to carbon neutrality by 2060. Scientists have said the rainfall that’s caused severe flooding in central regions there was almost certainly linked to global warming.

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With 100 days to COP26, what are these climate talks and why are they so important?

But China is one of many economies – along with Japan, Australia and Brazil – that has “pushed back” on pressure to share net zero plans on a shorter time horizon than 2050, said Rebecca Peters, another fellow at Chatham House’s energy, environment and resources programme.

The US’s climate envoy John Kerry in July urged China to cut carbon emissions faster. The US is the second largest emitter.

Who might be the disruptors at COP26?

Australia, Russia and Brazil are seen by some as potential disruptors at COP26

Some countries, including Mexico and Russia, have submitted new climate plans that were no more ambitious than previous goals. While Australia has become “increasingly isolated from other OECD nations as it lags on action”, said Chatham House’s Rebecca Peters.

“We may expect to see heels digging in around specific elements of the negotiations,” said Ms Peters. For instance, at COP25 in 2019, China, India and Brazil pushed for earlier carbon trading permits to be allowed to count toward their Paris Agreement targets.

“But using these credits – while potentially saving the countries money and effort in the short time – could actually increase global emissions,” she said.

There is also a risk some countries might also resist the revised, tighter 1.5C target to avoid having to drastically curtail fossil fuel production and use.

She said India “also play a crucial role” as the world’s third largest emitter, as it is due to surpass the US by 2040 without a rapid transition in its energy systems.

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Trade Secretary cautions against ‘green protectionism’

Sky News has launched the first daily prime time news show dedicated to climate change.

The Daily Climate Show is broadcast at 6.30pm and 9.30pm Monday to Friday on Sky News, the Sky News website and app, on YouTube and Twitter.

Hosted by Anna Jones, it follows Sky News correspondents as they investigate how global warming is changing our landscape and how we all live our lives.

The show also highlights solutions to the crisis and how small changes can make a big difference.

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