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Apple Shows Headset to Board in Sign of Progress on Project

Apple executives previewed its upcoming mixed-reality headset to the company’s board last week, indicating that development of the device has reached an advanced stage. Apple has also ramped up development of rOS, the software that will run on the headset. That progress, coupled with the board presentation, suggests that the product’s debut could potentially come within the next several months. The headset, which combines elements of virtual and augmented reality, is Apple’s next big bet. It represents the company’s first major new product category since the Apple Watch in 2015 and would vault the tech giant into a still-nascent industry

Wingcopter details plans to deploy 12,000 drones across Africa

Wingcopter announced a partnership with Continental Drones designed to establish a massive delivery network spanning 49 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa. The deal sets the lofty goal of deploying 12,000 of Wingcopter’s 198 drone systems over the course of the next 5 years. Various locales in Africa certainly make sense for such a rollout, with drones potentially offering faster access to important resources, including vaccines, medicines, lab samples and other key medical supplies. “Wingcopter will act as the drone technology provider and support Continental Drones who will be the distributor of Wingcopter‘s delivery drones.”

Science News

Daily dose of cranberries can ‘dramatically’ boost memory, ward off dementia, and even lower cholesterol

Researchers say people who ate a small bowl a day had better memory after just 12 weeks. Scans show that more blood was flowing to the brain, which increases cognitive abilities. “We found the participants who consumed the cranberry powder showed significantly improved episodic memory performance in combination with improved circulation of essential nutrients such as oxygen and glucose to important parts of the brain that support cognition – specifically memory consolidation and retrieval.” The volunteers also had 9 percent less “bad” cholesterol — low density lipoprotein (LDL) — which can block blood vessels.

New US lab to create versions of atoms never recorded on Earth

Physicists are hoping to gain an unprecedented glimpse into their origins, with the opening of a new facility that will create thousands of peculiar and unstable versions of atoms never before recorded on Earth. By studying these versions, known as isotopes, they hope to gain new insights into the reactions that created the elements within exploding stars, as well as testing theories about the “strong force” – one of the four fundamental forces in nature, which binds protons and neutrons together in an atom’s nucleus. “There are 285 isotopes of elements that exist on Earth, but we think that there are potentially 10,000 isotopes for the elements up to uranium.”

Business News

S&P 500’s ESG index boots Tesla

The S&P 500 index devoted to highlighting companies excelling at ESG, which stands for environmental, social and governance issues, has removed Tesla from the index. The claims of racial discrimination and poor working conditions at Tesla’s Fremont manufacturing plant are controversial risks for Tesla. The automaker was also damaged by its handling of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation into fatal crashes involving its Autopilot driver-assist technology. “While Tesla may be playing its part in taking fuel-powered cars off the road, it has fallen behind its peers when examined through a wider ESG lens.”

McDonald’s to sell Russian business to existing Siberian licensee

McDonald’s said it has struck a deal to sell its Russian business to Alexander Govor, its current licensee in the market. Govor will acquire all of McDonald’s locations in Russia and will operate them under a new brand. He also agreed to retain employees for at least two years, on equivalent terms, and fund the salaries of corporate employees who work in 45 regions of the country until the deal closes and existing liabilities to suppliers, landlords and utilities. It spells the end of an era for the fast-food giant, which first entered the country just months before the Soviet Union dissolved. “McDonald’s in Russia embodied the very notion of glasnost and took on outsized significance.”

Miscellaneous News

EU rushes out $300 billion roadmap to ditch Russian energy

The European Union’s executive arm moved to jump-start plans for the 27-nation bloc to abandon Russian energy amid the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine, proposing a nearly 300 billion-euro package that includes more efficient use of fuels and faster rollout of renewable power. The initiative is meant to help the 27 EU countries start weaning themselves off Russian fossil fuels this year. The goal is to deprive Russia, the EU’s main supplier of oil, natural gas and coal, of tens of billions in revenue and strengthen EU climate policies. It comes amid troubling signs that have raised concerns about energy supplies that the EU relies on and have no quick replacements for.

NATO now has 40,000 soldiers on Europe’s border with Russia

The number of troops under NATO command stationed across the alliance’s eastern flank has reached 40,000, nearly 10 times what it was last year. A month after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine started, there were 40,000 allied troops under direct NATO command with each existing battlegroups sharply strengthened — Poland’s went from 1,010 troops to 10,500 — while four new battlegroups were set up in Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. Furthermore, many European countries have requested additional US troops on their soil under bilateral agreements, bringing the total number of American soldiers across Europe to about 100,000 — the highest level since 2005.

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