Tag Archives: Early

Russia: Too early to consider exchange of US spy suspect

Russia: Too early to consider exchange of US spy suspectMOSCOW (AP) — Russia's deputy foreign minister brushed back suggestions Saturday that an American being held in Moscow on suspicion of spying could be exchanged for a Russian citizen.



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Scientists think they know where the early universe’s dark matter has been hiding

Scientists think they know where the early universe’s dark matter has been hidingMost of the mass in the universe is made up of a kind of matter that none of us have ever seen. It's called "dark matter" and, despite being incredibly abundant, it's also extremely difficult to study. Decades-old calculations suggested that there is more dark matter around younger galaxies than the ancient ones from the early days of the universe, but then where did the dark matter we see today come from? A new study offers the answer.

Past research suggested that galaxies we see nearby have more dark matter than those that are very distant. The farther away a galaxy is the farther back in time we're effectively looking, and scientists believed that those ancient galaxies didn't have all that much dark matter around them. As it turns out, that isn't the case.

After studying some 1,500 galaxies, researchers led by Alfred Tiley of Durham University have determined that the amount of dark matter surrounding these huge collections of stars and planets is about the same as it ever was.

Detecting dark matter around a galaxy can be tricky but it's made easier by calculating the gravitation effect that the matter has on its surroundings. We can't see dark matter in space because it doesn't reflect light, but it still exerts a gravitational pull, just like "normal" matter. By accounting for the size of a galaxy and the speed at which stars on its edges are moving, scientists can calculate how much dark matter is lurking on the fringes.

This latest round of research, applied that same formula to many hundred galaxies both young and old. The scientists now believe that there's not much of a difference between the amount of dark matter around ancient galaxies when compared to much younger ones.

However, as Live Science reports, the astronomy community isn't entirely on board with this new finding. The model that Tiley and his team used has been called into question, especially as it relates to measurements of distant high-mass galaxies which have been studied by others searching for dark matter.

We'll have to wait and see how this all pans out but the results are certainly interesting and will no doubt further the conversation about where the universe's dark matter lies.



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Ocasio-Cortez Breaks With Pelosi in Key Early Vote for Democrats

Ocasio-Cortez Breaks With Pelosi in Key Early Vote for DemocratsThe rules measure, set for a vote on Thursday when the new Congress convenes, will reimpose a “pay as you go” requirement that would allow challenges to legislation that adds to the deficit. The rules were negotiated by likely House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to satisfy concerns among members of the new the 235-member majority representing more conservative areas of the country. Ocasio-Cortez, a 29-year-old representative-elect from New York City, said on Twitter Wednesday that the system referred to as paygo “isn’t only bad economics,” but is “also a dark political maneuver designed to hamstring progress on healthcare+other leg.



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Early winter weather puts U.S. safe-haven corn planting in doubt

Early winter weather puts U.S. safe-haven corn planting in doubtIllinois farmer Brent Johnson had planned to bump up his corn acreage by 10 percent in 2019 and plant fewer soybeans as a way to shelter himself from the lower soy prices caused by U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariff war with China. As soybeans are far more affected by the U.S. trade war with China than corn, the trend adds to economic risk across a U.S. farm belt the Trump administration recently said would get up to $ 12 billion in aid to make up for trade related losses. China resumed buying U.S. soybeans in December as part of a trade war truce following a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump, but the amount of purchases remains well behind the pace of previous years.



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Israel coalition leaders agree on early elections in April: spokesman

Israel coalition leaders agree on early elections in April: spokesmanIsraeli coalition leaders agreed Monday to hold early elections in April, seven months before they are due, a statement issued on their behalf said. Coalition party heads in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government have decided to dissolve parliament and hold elections in early April “in the name of budgetary and national responsibility,” the statement distributed by a spokesman for Netanyahu’s Likud party said. The decision comes with the coalition struggling to agree on a key bill related to ultra-Orthodox Jews serving in the military like their secular counterparts.



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Trump forces Mattis out of Pentagon early as Turkish troops mass on Syrian border

Trump forces Mattis out of Pentagon early as Turkish troops mass on Syrian borderPresident Donald Trump announced on Sunday that he was replacing James Mattis as secretary of defence two months earlier than had been expected, amid what officials said was anger at the general's resignation letter and the attention it had received. Mr Trump's new appointment, the current deputy secretary of defence, Patrick Shanahan, will begin work on January, pushing out his boss from the post he was due to hold until the end of February. Though Mr Shanahan's appointment had been widely predicted, it had not been expected so suddenly. It effectively means General Mattis, who wrote a scathing resignation letter condemning the US leader's decision to withdraw troops from Syria and his disrespectful handling of allies, may not even return to the Pentagon to clear his desk. A senior White House official said that Mr Trump was irked by the attention given to Gen. Mattis' rebuke of his foreign policy. "He just wants a smooth, more quick transition and felt that dragging it out for a couple of months is not good,” the official told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity. Pentagon officials had previously insisted Gen. Mattis would stay through February, when he would attend a NATO defence ministers meeting.     Tweeting the announcement from the White House on Sunday, Mr Trump wrote: "I am pleased to announce that our very talented Deputy Secretary of Defense, Patrick Shanahan, will assume the title of Acting Secretary of Defense starting January 1, 2019. Patrick has a long list of accomplishments while serving as Deputy, & previously Boeing. He will be great!" It was unclear whether Gen Mattis had been informed prior to the announcement.   Minutes later, further questions were raised as the president went on to appear to link the Syria withdrawal to expanding trade deals with Turkey – just as Turkish troops began to mobilise on the Syrian border. Mr Trump wrote: "I just had a long and productive call with President @RT_Erdogan of Turkey. We discussed ISIS, our mutual involvement in Syria, & the slow & highly coordinated pullout of US troops from the area. After many years they are coming home. We also discussed heavily expanded Trade." Last week, Gen. Mattis, a respected military leader who served under both Barack Obama and George Bush, infuriated Mr Trump with an excoriating resignation letter in which he attacked his unilateral decision to withdraw troops from Syria and his lack of respect for America's allies. Brett McGurk, the US ISIS envoy, also announced he was quitting. But Mr Trump's announcement was welcomed by Ankara, which had long been angered by the Western alliance with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in the fight against Isil.  Turkey views the Syrian Kurdish militia as an extension of the insurgency within its territory and has vowed to dislodge it fighters from the Syrian border region. Turkey has begun reinforcing its military deployment near the Syrian border for a possible operation against Syrian Kurdish militia  Credit: AFP As the news that the general was being forced out broke, it was reported that Turkey had begun sending military reinforcements to the Syrian border – the fallout from America's  withdrawal announcement apparently starting to take effect. According to the Turkish news station TRT, which broadcast footage, soldiers were heading to the town of Manbij, an area controlled by Kurdish forces. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also confirmed the movement. "Tens of soldiers and more than 50 military gears including trucks and armoured personnel carriers as well as other carriers that carry armoured vehicles in addition to other material and ammunition where it headed to the countryside of Manbij area, said Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the SOHR. "Around 35 tanks and other heavy weapons, carried aboard tank carriers, crossed the Jarablus border crossing in the early evening."  Although the Americans have issued no timeline for withdrawal, it emerged on Friday that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey had assured Mr Trump that he would finish off the job of eradicating ISIS in Syria during a high-stakes phone call. During that same call, the US leader reportedly said: "You know what? It's yours. I'm leaving." The president has since faced intense criticism at home this past week and yesterday there appeared to be no sign of that fading. Speaking to CNN, Bob Corker, the Republican chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, said: "We're in the final stages, ISIS is now concentrated in the Euphrates river valley, we're just a few months away from finishing something we started where we would annihilate large numbers of ISIS members, and we stopped. I'm just saddened for our country." Exiled Syrian opposition leader Nasr al-Hariri urged the US to coordinate its pull-out with rebel groups. ""An uncoordinated US withdrawal may leave a void that would be filled by Daesh (Isil), the Syrian regime or Iranian militias," Mr Hariri warned on Twitter.



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Trump Ends Mattis Era at the Pentagon Two Months Early

Trump Ends Mattis Era at the Pentagon Two Months EarlyThe abrupt move to cut short Mattis’s tenure was announced Sunday by Trump in a tweet. It follows waves of bipartisan criticism over the president’s sudden change of course on Syria and Afghanistan, which has fueled a sense of turmoil at the highest level of the president’s national security team.



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Do-ahead Christmas dinner: 10 tips for preparing your food early

Do-ahead Christmas dinner: 10 tips for preparing your food earlyWe all know the feeling. It's Christmas Day, but rather than enjoying a glass of wine or catching up with family, you're peeling carrots, boiling Brussels sprouts, and hoping you'll have time to get the bread sauce out of your hair before the turkey needs basting. Dinner will, of course, taste delicious – but by the time you sit down to it, you'll be so exhausted you'll barely have the strength to pull a cracker. With a little pre-planning, such chaos can be a ghost of Christmas past. At the end of the day, remember, Christmas dinner is just a roast – and there are plenty of elements in a roast that can be prepared days, if not weeks, ahead. 1. Gravy You can make a deliciousChristmas gravy long before the main event. Simply freeze it in a container, and defrost on the day. You can then add the juices from your Christmas turkey to it just before serving. Recipe: Stephen Harris's ultimate gravy recipe, which can be made ahead 2. Stuffing Stuffing freezes well – you can even freeze it in an oven dish, so once it's defrosted, you can pop the dish straight into the oven. Some people go so far as to cook the stuffing before freezing, so on the day it only requires warming up: a good idea when oven space is at a premium. Recipe: Stevie Parle's Middle Eastern stuffing 3. Red cabbage Credit: Tara Fisher Braised red cabbage is one of those foods that actually improves its flavour over time, so it’s well worth making in advance. It will keep a few days in the fridge, and reheats brilliantly. Recipe: Diana Henry’s braised red cabbage with blackberry jelly and spices keeps well and has a lovely festive flavour. 4. Brussels sprouts Save time by using what chefs call “blanching and refreshing” – boil the sprouts, drop them in cold water to stop the cooking process, then the next day just reheat them in a pan or in the microwave. You can do this with most other vegetables too. Recipe: Marcus Waering explains how to blanch and refresh Brussels in his Christmas lunch guide, and Diana Henry has delicious recipe for roasted Brussels sprouts with apples and bacon 5. Potatoes Some people parboil and freeze their potatoes to give them a headstart on Christmas Day. Personally, I like them cooked from fresh, but you can still get ahead by peeling and chopping them the night before. Keep the potatoes in a water-filled container overnight to stop them browning. Recipe: The ultimate roast potatoes from the chef director of three-Michelin-starred Dinner by Heston Blumenthal 6. Turkey Credit:  Michael Powell Many turkeys are oven-ready, but if you want to do anything messy like deboning, you’ll want to get it out of the way on Christmas Eve. You can also rinse it and pat it dry, and prepare anything you’re planning on filling it with – be it stuffing or something like chopped onions and herbs. Store them in the fridge in sealed containers. Recipe: Our ultimate guide to cooking a Christmas turkey, complete with tips, timings and side suggestions 7. Bread sauce Nobody wants to be faffing around with sauces on Christmas Day. Bread sauce freezes well, but it also keeps for a surprisingly long time in the fridge – just make it a few days before, and you won't even need to defrost it. Cranberry sauce can also be made ahead. Recipe: Bee Wilson's bread sauce  8. Parsnips You can boil your parsnips and keep them in the fridge for up to a day before, to cut down on the cooking time on Christmas Day. Alternatively, you could freeze them. Recipe: Marcus Waering details how to make the perfect honey-glazed parsnips in his guide to Christmas lunch 9. Yorkshire puddings Credit: Andrew Twort & Annie hudson for The Telegraph If you’re serving Yorkshire puddings, you could make the batter a day in advance. You could also completely cook and freeze them, then, after they're defrosted, just give the puddings a quick 5-10 minutes in the oven to warm them up. Recipe: This Yorkshire pudding recipe is foolproof 10. Desserts Clodagh McKenna's winter berry trifle Credit:  Kirstie Young Christmas pudding, of course, can be made months ahead: simply steam it for a few hours on Christmas Day till reheated. Make sure any other desserts are simple and don’t require oven space. Cold desserts that can be made ahead and served straight away, like a chocolate mousse or a frozen dessert, are ideal. Recipe: Try Diana Henry's marmalade Queen of puddings for plum-pudding haters, or Clodagh McKenna's winter berry trifle with crème de cassis For the classic Christmas pudding, try Stephen Harris's recipe



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Trump, annoyed by resignation letter, pushes out Mattis early

Trump, annoyed by resignation letter, pushes out Mattis earlyOn Thursday, Mattis had abruptly said he was quitting, effective Feb. 28, after falling out with Trump over his foreign policy, including surprise decisions to withdraw all troops from Syria and start planning a drawdown in Afghanistan. Trump has come under withering criticism from fellow Republicans, Democrats and international allies over his decisions about Syria and Afghanistan, against the advice of his top aides and U.S. commanders. The exit of Mattis, highly regarded by Republicans and Democrats alike, added to concerns over what many see as Trump’s unpredictable, go-it-alone approach to global security.



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Oil market likely to rebalance early 2019: OPEC ministers

Oil market likely to rebalance early 2019: OPEC ministersOil ministers from leading OPEC nations said Sunday they expect prices will arrest their recent slide and rebalance early next year, when a deal on new production cuts takes effect. Oil prices have shed more than 36 percent since early October to trade at $ 54 (47 euros) per barrel, due to fears of oversupply and weak global demand. “Based on available figures, we have around 26 million barrels of surplus … compared to 340 million barrels in early 2017,” Mazrouei told a press conference in Kuwait City.



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