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Teenager uses sign language to communicate with blind and deaf man during flight
23 June 2018 - A 15-year-old is being widely praised for an act of kindness during a cross-country flight. Clara Daly was traveling with her mother Jane from Boston to Los Angeles on an Alaska Airlines flight earlier this week. During the six-hour flight that included a layover in Portland, Oregon, Clara volunteered her skills in sign language to help a blind and deaf man by forming letters with her fingers while he 'read' them with his hands. (more)

Australians install record 3 million small-scale renewable energy systems - CER
23 June 2018 - Looking to have better control over their energy costs, Australian homes and businesses have now installed more than three million small-scale renewable energy systems, show the latest data from the Clean Energy Regulator (CER). The new record comes on the back of a strong solar PV uptake, which gained momentum in 2017 with a record 1057 MW of small-scale rooftop PV registered under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme. (more)

India to bring forward 100,000 megawatts of new solar power
23 June 2018 - The Indian Government has signalled its intention to launch the largest tender for new solar power capacity in the world. Power Minister R K Singh told an event in New Delhi this week that the government plans to launch an unprecedented bid for 100,000 megawatts (MW) of new clean energy. The 100,000MW tender, or 100 gigawatts (GW), would far exceed anything that has ever been constructed, although the minister didn't provide exact timings for the project. (more)

Tens of thousands join Indian leader for world yoga day
23 June 2018 - Some 50,000 people gathered with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday (21 June) in the Himalayan foothills to salute the power of yoga [asanas]. Modi ... traveled to the hill town of Dehradun for the fourth International Day of Yoga, and shortly after sunrise was doing yoga exercises with about 50,000 people. Yoga 'is enriching millions of lives all over the world,' Modi said in a speech. He also urged Indians to take pride in their heritage. (more)

Refugee chefs serve up treats at Brussels food festival
22 June 2018 - In the bustling kitchen of the upscale Le Mess restaurant in Brussels, Majid Akbari ... inspects his dessert, making sure the cardamom tea, rose water rice puddings, and orange cakes are well plated before being served to customers. The Iranian refugee of Afghan descent was among a group of refugees who became chefs for a few days this week at restaurants in Brussels as part of an international festival seeking to bring people together at the dinner table. The festival, which began two years ago in Paris, has become a global event ... Customers have responded enthusiastically to the initiative. The festival has served as a launch pad for some. (more)

The Indian women lighting the way for change
22 June 2018 - In India's desert state of Rajasthan, rural women are becoming the surprise agents of change, convincing coal-reliant communities to switch to solar. They are called 'Solar Sahelis' or 'solar friends', and their job is to convince their neighbours to invest in solar-powered solutions. (more)

International Yoga Day - Rajasthan records biggest yoga gathering
21 June 2018 - June 21 is being observed as International Yoga Day every year, after the United Nations accepted India's proposal in 2014. This year, the national event [in India] was held at Dehradun's Forest Research Institute with the participation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. ... Rajasthan created a world record bringing over a lakh of people [100,000] together at a yoga session to mark the International Day of Yoga. (more)

Summer solstice is Thursday - 5 things to know about the longest day of the year
21 June 2018 - The summer solstice is here ... . It is the longest day and shortest night in the Northern Hemisphere and traditionally considered the first day of summer -- even if it has felt like summer for a while now. The 2018 summer solstice occurred at 6:07 a.m. on Thursday, June 21 [Eastern Daylight Time in United States]. Whether it is your first time learning about the solstice or you are looking for a refresher, here are five things you need to know. (more)

Photos: India strikes a pose on International Yoga Day 2018
21 June 2018 - The fourth edition of International Day of Yoga was observed across India with people striking asanas en masse in yoga and meditation sessions. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi led this day at the campus of the Forest Research Institute (FRI) in Uttarakhand's Dehradun, sections of the general public from the length and breadth of the country, in parks, at monuments, and even on naval vessels. (more)

Companies need older workers: here is why
21 June 2018 - The demographic trend is no secret: the populations of the United States and other major industrial countries are getting older, and fast. That means workforces are aging too ... Leading-edge employers are starting to think about creating alternative career routes for older workers that feature more flexible assignments and schedules, creating opportunities for them to mentor younger workers, and offering phased retirement. Among major manufacturers, automaker BMW is often cited as an innovator in valuing the skills and experience of older workers. (more)

This elite police force guards the Himalayas -- and also practices yoga
21 June 2018 - Members of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police wear military fatigues, with thick boots and heavy jackets. On the job, they guard the vast border between India and China, where the mountaintop temperature can drop to minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Outside their regular duties, they summit Mount Everest. They also practice yoga. The elite police force -- along with yogis around the globe -- are marking Thursday's fourth annual International Yoga Day, which aims to raise awareness of the many benefits of practicing yoga. (more)

The untold good news story of America today
20 June 2018 - Political bickering has long been a roadblock to getting big things done in the US but a grassroots movement getting few headlines could yet herald a new American age of change. ... As the country continues its long recovery from recession, there are signs that a much deeper shift is happening at a local level, the seeds of which were sown years ago. Indicators far more subtle than job numbers suggest a flourishing of entrepreneurship, collaboration and problem-solving, away from the gaze of national media. ... local America seems to be flourishing. (more)

India: Kerala block office turns fully solar-powered
18 June 2018 - Ambalappuzha has become the first fully solar-powered block panchayat office in the district. Officials said that after meeting the energy needs of the office, the local body was distributing additional electricity to the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB). 'The move has helped us to save a lot of money on electricity bills. We have become a model to the rest of the block panchayats in the district,' said an official. (more)

India: State's first electric bus to hit the capital's road today
18 June 2018 - On Monday (18 June), Kerala will launch its first electric bus, becoming the sixth Indian state to run the service. KSRTC chairman and managing director Tomin J Thachankary introduced the bus, which will operate on trial for 15 days in three cities, starting from the capital at 11 am on Monday. (more)

Revamped collider to shine brighter light on physics mysteries at CERN
15 June 2018 - Europe's physics research center CERN launched an upgrade of its Large Hadron Collider (LHC) on Friday (15 June), six years after the huge particle accelerator solved an enduring riddle by confirming the existence of the elusive Higgs boson. Staff said the overhaul will boost the 'luminosity' of proton-smashing experiments at the LHC, a 27-km (17-mile) ring under the Swiss-French border, increasing the number of particle collisions tenfold and producing a clearer picture of the sub-atomic world. (more)

More than 5,000 US schools have solar power installations
15 June 2018 - Approximately 5,489 K-12 schools in the US now have solar power installations, according to a report created by the Solar Foundation titled Brighter Future: A Study on Solar in U.S. Schools, 2nd Edition. (This report is somewhat dated now, so it is likely there are even more schools with solar.) The total capacity of all the school installations is 910 megawatts, which produces enough electricity each year to power about 190,000 homes. With 1,946 solar schools and 489 megawatts of capacity, California is the national leader in school solar power. (more)

US: The Chesapeake Bay hasn't been this healthy in 33 years, scientists say
15 June 2018 - For the first time in the 33 years that scientists have assessed the health of the Chesapeake Bay, the nation's largest estuary showed improvement in every region, a likely sign that a massive federal cleanup plan is working. (more)

VDL to deliver 40 electric buses to Unibuss AS of Norway
15 June 2018 - Norway, the electric car capital of the world, finally is getting electric buses in volume. In May, Dutch VDL Bus and Coach received an order for 40 electric buses from Norwegian company Unibuss AS. The first buses will be delivered by the end of this year, with the rest coming in 2019. May was especially fruitful for the VDL as 25 Citeas SLFA-180 Electric were ordered in Sweden. (more)

Lonely Planet founder wants to change the world -- through business
14 June 2018 - The man who brought backpacking to the masses is now banking on business to make the world a better place. Together with his wife Maureen, Tony Wheeler -- founder of the iconic Lonely Planet travel guide -- has set aside 10 million pounds ($13.40 million) to educate a new generation of leaders to lend their business skills to development issues. (more)

Koreas holding military talks to reduce tensions on border
14 June 2018 - The rival Koreas were holding rare high-level military talks Thursday to discuss reducing tensions across their heavily fortified border. Seoul's Defense Ministry said the military talks would focus on carrying out agreements from a summit between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in which they vowed to take steps to reduce military tensions and eliminate the danger of war. The discussions are the first general-level talks between the militaries since December 2007. (more)

Hawaii's volcano is literally erupting gems
13 June 2018 - Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has been fiercely erupting for well over a month. Now, residents are finding little green gems that have fallen out of the sky during Kilauea's eruption. The green gems are olivine crystals, a common mineral found in Hawaii's lava. At jewelry quality, the mineral is called peridot. There are several places in Hawaii that the beaches are a green color, this is due to a high concentration of olivine that has weathered out of the mafic lava (basalt). In fact, olivine is one of the most common minerals below Earth's surface but it is quite hard to find it separated from the parent rock and even harder to find it of gem quality. (more)

US: Aspen officials invest nearly $2 million on electric bus project
13 June 2018 - Aspen's elected officials this week committed to spending $1.8 million for a fleet of battery-powered buses that are expected to hit the streets next year. ... Next year a pilot program will be considered to see how the buses function in an alpine environment and how long they will hold a charge. Aspen is one of the first towns in the state [of Colorado] to have battery-electric buses. (more)

US: Green and quiet? That's what Chicago Transit Authority says new fleet of electric buses will deliver
13 June 2018 - For some CTA bus riders, their commute will be a bit greener -- and even somewhat quieter -- by year's end, officials say. On Wednesday (13 June), the Chicago Transit Authority signed off on the purchase of 20 all-electric buses at an estimated cost of $32 million. The buses will all be purchased by 2020, with several hitting the streets by year's end. (more)

Solar has overtaken gas and wind as biggest source of new U.S. power
12 June 2018 - The U.S. installed more solar energy than any other source of electricity in the first quarter. Developers installed 2.5 gigawatts of solar in the first quarter, up 13 percent from a year earlier, according to a report Tuesday (12 June) from the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research. That accounted for 55 percent of all new generation, with solar panels beating new wind and natural gas turbines for a second straight quarter. (more)

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