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Woman, Nonagenarian, Mourou Share $1.01M Nobel Physics Prize

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Nobel Physics Prize

Three researchers, including a woman and a nonagenarian, on Tuesday shared the 2018 Nobel Physics Prize for inventions in the field of laser physics which have paved the way for advanced precision instruments used in corrective eye surgery and industry, the jury said.

Arthur Ashkin of the United States won one half of the nine million Swedish kronor (about $1.01 million or 870,000 euros) prize, while Gerard Mourou of France and Donna Strickland of Canada shared the other half.

Ashkin, 96, was honoured for his invention of “optical tweezers” that grab particles, atoms, viruses and other living cells with their laser beam fingers.

With this he was able to use the radiation pressure of light to move physical objects, “an old dream of science fiction,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.

Meanwhile Mourou, 74, and Strickland — only the third woman to win the Physics Prize — won for together developing a method to generate ultra-short optical pulses, “the shortest and most intense laser pulses ever created by mankind,” the jury said.

Their technique is now used in corrective eye surgery.

Last year, US astrophysicists Barry Barish, Kip Thorne and Rainer Weiss won the physics prize for the discovery of gravitational waves, predicted by Albert Einstein a century ago as part of his theory of general relativity.

On Monday, two immunologists, James Allison of the US and Tasuku Honjo of Japan, won this year’s Nobel Medicine Prize for research into how the body’s natural defences can fight cancer.

The winners of the chemistry prize will be announced on Wednesday, followed by the peace prize on Friday. The economics prize will wrap up the Nobel season on Monday, October 8.

For the first time since 1949, the Swedish Academy has postponed the announcement of the 2018 Nobel Literature Prize until next year, amid a #MeToo scandal and bitter internal dispute that has prevented it from functioning properly.

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World News

Theresa May Survives Confidence Vote

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Theresa May Survives Confidence Vote

British Prime Minister Theresa May can rest easy after winning a vote of confidence on Wednesday night in the conservative party by 200 to 117.

After alighting from the vote last night unscathed, she is now immune from a leadership challenge for a year.

But rocky road still lies ahead as she tries to push through a vote in parliament to adopt her Brexit deal with the EU.

After the all important confidence vote on wednesday night, May was in Brussels again thursday morning to finetune the divorce deal she had struck for Britain.

May vowed, after vote results were announced on Wednesday night, that she will deliver the brexit “people voted for.”

She acknowledged the rather high number of her MPs who had voted against her. She promised to listen to, and address, their concerns.

The vote was triggered by 48 of her MPs who are angry at her Brexit policy. They say the deal betrays the demands of the 2016 referendum result.

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Business News

IATA Forecasts Airlines Will Generate $3b More In 2019

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IATA Forecasts Airlines Will Generate $3b More In 2019

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents most global carriers, has forecast airlines will generate $3 billion more in total profits in 2019. The industry realized $32 billion this year. IATA says although airlines face increased taxes, they will carry more passengers next year that would boost industry profits.

Iata says airlines in North America are performing the best, but Africa remains the weakest region for aviation.

Net profits for airlines across Africa are expected to fall, for the fourth consecutive year next year by three-tenths of a percent.

Losses for carriers across Africa have widened as fuel costs have increased.

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World News

UN Urges Immediate Action On Climate Change

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UN Urges Immediate Action On Climate Change

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday at the ongoing 24th Conference of Parties (COP24) in Poland that it will “not only be immoral, but suicidal”, should the world body fail to agree on climate change action.

He challenged the more than 100 government leaders gathered in Katowice to find consensus and “finish the job”, noting the roadblocks continuing at the (COP24) climate change conference over how to implement the historic 2015 Paris Agreement.

Since Dec. 2, the conference has brought together thousands of climate action decision-makers, advocates and activists, with one key objective – to adopt global guidelines for the 197 parties of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The 197 parties of the 2015 Paris Agreement committed to limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees Centigrade – and as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Centigrade – above pre-industrial levels.

As the conference nears its end, the UN chief acknowledged progress in the negotiations but said a lot still remains to be done.

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