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Giant spiders have covered a Greek beach in their webs — Quartz
Giant spiders have covered a Greek beach in their webs September 20, 2018 at 05:03PM https://ift.tt/2prp6La

The Greek lagoon of Aikitiko is postcard-worthy perfection—a rickety wooden pier stretching out into green-blue water, boats bobbing in their bays, rustic shrubbery lining the water’s edge. Lately, there’s something amiss in this idyllic spot.

It’s mating season for stretch spiders, known scientifically as Tetragnatha genus, and to celebrate, they’ve covered almost everything in sight with a dense shroud of webs.

A recent increase on mosquito populations had resulted in perfect conditions for a spider population explosion, molecular biologist Maria Chatzaki told Greek news websites. “The spiders are taking advantage of these conditions, and are having a kind of a party. They mate, they reproduce and provide a whole new generation.” Locals had seen stretch spider web coverage like this before, but not since 2003, she said.

Other than being decidedly icky, there’s no real harm from all these webs. The spiders themselves aren’t dangerous, and they’re so short-lived that their party will soon be over. When it is, the webs will degrade naturally, leaving the plants beneath them undisturbed. Still, arachnophobes may choose to keep their distance for the time being.


Harmless—but still gross.


Halloween has come early to this Greek beach.


The dead flies are a nice touch.


Beach goth vibes.

via Quartz https://qz.com
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1 hour ago by leconeyc
Domino's Pizza tattoos that Russians posted on Instagram for free food — Quartzy
Would you get any of these tattoos for a lifetime of free pizza? September 20, 2018 at 05:03PM https://ift.tt/2MPpDzW

In Russia, Domino’s recently offered a lifetime’s supply of pizza in return for another lifelong commitment: A tattoo of the Domino’s logo, with proof uploaded to Instagram, hash-tagged #dominosforever.

The terms of the promotion—designed to run for two months—said that anyone who got inked would get up to 100 pizzas per year for a century—that’s 10,000 pies. But after an overwhelming response and 381 qualified applications within four days, the company had to withdraw the promotion.

The Wall Street Journal points out that freebies are especially appealing in Russia because of a legacy of scarcity dating back to the Soviet era and to the economic hardships of the 1990s. And since average disposable incomes  are around just $500 per month, two centimeters of skin is not a high price to pay for so much free food.

Domino’s isn’t the first brand to offer free goods in return for a tattoo but the more recent association of tattoos with American hipster culture in Russia, rather than criminal gangs, probably helped boost the campaign’s success.

Here’s a selection of the Domino’s designs Russians made a part of their lives:

via Quartz https://qz.com
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1 hour ago by leconeyc
Theresa May and Britain's unworkable Brexit negotiations, in one picture — Quartz
The dire shape of Theresa May’s Brexit negotiations, in one photo September 20, 2018 at 04:20PM https://ift.tt/2NsQXJH

European Union leaders, exiting a negotiation summit in Salzburg, Austria with British prime minister Theresa May, sounded dour on her Brexit demands.

EU president Donald Tusk said they simply “will not work.”

Germany chancellor Angela Merkel said that there is “still have a lot of work to do.”

French president Emmanuel Macron was quoted saying “we all agreed on this today, the proposals in their current state are not acceptable.” He also alluded to the UK backers of Brexit, calling them “liars.. [who] left the next day, so they didn’t have to manage it.”

It’s frighteningly late in these stages of negotiation for the UK to be approaching the March 2019 deadline to ratify a deal with the EU parliament, without much of deal agreed on. The threat of the UK leaving the EU without any sort of deal in place seems ever more likely.

A Reuters photo from today (Sept. 20) paints the situation all too clearly.

Theresa May arrives for a family photo during the informal EU summit in Salzburg, Austria.
May, in bright red, is on the outside looking in as a group of leaders walk toward her in a tight formation.

There are many images before and after showing everyone exchanging pleasantries and interacting as a group. Still, the timing of this image reinforces the tone of the reporting coming out of Austria—and a possible view of things to come.

via Quartz https://qz.com
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1 hour ago by leconeyc
Cargill issues a ground beef recall after E. coli kills one and sickens 17 — Quartz
A huge ground beef recall was issued in the US after one person died and 17 fell ill from E. coli September 20, 2018 at 02:26PM https://ift.tt/2xrJkZL

The world’s third-largest meat company this week ordered nearly 133,000 pounds (60,327 kg) of its beef product be pulled from the US market after discovering an E. coli contamination was linked to the death of at least one person.

This is at least the second time this summer that Cargill has recalled beef products because of E. coli fears. In August, the company ordered 25,000 pounds (11,300 kg) be removed.

In this latest case, the company in mid-August told the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) about a possible contamination. A subsequent epidemiological investigation found that, in addition to the one death, at least 17 people had likely fallen ill because of the beef. The USDA said in a statement that the meat in question was produced and packed on June 21 and affects 12 different lines of Cargill products (pdf).

Cargill has not yet responded to a request for comment. It remains unclear whether the company knows which or how many of its meatpacking facilities might be contaminated, or if production has shut down at any of its operations to ensure no other contaminated products will reach the market. Meanwhile, the USDA remains on alert for new illnesses connected to Cargill meat that’s already been purchased by people.

“Some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers,” the agency said in a statement. “Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.”

In general, the number of food recalls associated with foodborne illnesses have gone up across the last decade. Though that sounds bad, it’s actually a good thing, because it indicates the government has gotten better at catching and tracing these problems before they spread and wreak more havoc.

via Quartz https://qz.com
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3 hours ago by leconeyc
Engen Ghana not included in Vivo Energy takeover - MyJoyOnline.com
Engen Ghana not included in Vivo Energy takeover September 20, 2018 at 01:58PM https://ift.tt/2O0WEOj The transfer of oil marketing firm Engen Energy’s international operations in nine Sub Saharan countries to Vivo Energy excludes Engen Energy’s subsidiary in Ghana. via JoyOnline - Ghana Business https://ift.tt/2wG0lN1
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4 hours ago by leconeyc
It took only a 45-minute Facebook outage for news traffic to spike — Quartz
When Facebook goes down, people go read the news September 20, 2018 at 01:44PM https://ift.tt/2MPSO5O

What happens when internet users can’t go on Facebook? Some turn to other social media platforms to joke about it. A lot of them, it turns out, spend that time reading the news.

When Facebook experienced a 45-minute outage on Aug. 3 in many parts of the world, traffic to news websites sharply spiked, according to a data from Chartbeat, a firm used by many major news publishers to track traffic to their websites.

Chartbeat presented this data during the Online News Association conference last week, and it told Quartz it’s based on traffic to 4,000 websites in dozens of countries, with many of them in the US and UK. (The websites are Chartbeat clients.)

From the data, it appears that once Facebook went down, internet users went directly to news websites (for example, nytimes.com), or they searched for news (of any kind, including entertainment and sports) through Google or other search engines to replace their Facebook browsing fix.

In the past two years, Facebook has made several moves to downgrade the importance of news content on its platform, focusing instead on users’ interactions between family and friends. This hit news publishers hard, since they depend on traffic for advertising revenue. According to Chartbeat, traffic from Facebook to news publishers’ websites has fallen by 40% since January 2017.

Perhaps publishers will hope Facebook goes down more often in the future.

via Quartz https://qz.com
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4 hours ago by leconeyc
Global poverty reduction is slowing down — Quartz
Global poverty reduction is slowing down September 20, 2018 at 01:36PM https://ift.tt/2NsC21R

From 2002 to 2013, global poverty declined at a breakneck speed. The number of people in extreme poverty, according to the World Bank, fell from about 1.6 billion to 800 million over that time, even as the world’s population grew.

Unfortunately, according to a new data from the World Bank, the progress seems to be slowing. From 2013 to 2015, the latest year with a final estimate, poverty only fell at a rate of 36 million per year—half the rate of the previous decade.

The slower decline is mostly a result of persistent poverty in a few countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. According to a recently released report by the Gates Foundation, nearly half of all people in extreme poverty will live in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria in 2050. World Bank President Jim Yong Kim has called for greater investment in education in the region to bolster poverty-eradication efforts.

via Quartz https://qz.com
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4 hours ago by leconeyc
The first images snapped by NASA observatory TESS — Quartz
See the first images snapped by NASA’s observatory hunting alien planets September 20, 2018 at 01:22PM https://ift.tt/2poRL3y

An satellite observatory launched into space in April has returned its first images of distant galaxies, a promising sign as it begins a search for planets beyond the solar system.

Consider this incredible shot of the Large Magellanic Cloud (right) and the bright star R Doradus (left):

An image of the Large Magellanic Cloud taken by TESS.
The mission, called TESS, for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, and operated by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will use all those stars to find distant planets.

Astronomers have used stars to help them spotlight planets since at least 1639, when Englishman Jeremiah Horrocks was able to predict and observe the planet Venus moving between the earth and the sun. The “transit of Venus” became critical data for 18th century astronomers, and the work of their descendants proceeds along similar principles. The four cameras on TESS will track distant stars to see if they briefly dim while unknown planets pass in front of them, adding to our catalog of astronomical bodies.

The picture above is just one of twelve images collected during the satellite’s first observations. Here’s the full set, with some notable stars labeled by the astronomers:

The full strip of images taken in a thirty-minute period on Aug. 7 2018.
In the next two years, it will monitor 26 sectors of the sky like that for 27 days each, mapping about 85% of the sky. Every two weeks, it will swing close enough to earth to transmit its data back to the scientists, before its orbit takes it back out for an unimpeded view of the universe. The stars it is focused on are 30 to 300 light years from earth; the closest star to earth, Alpha Centauri, is 4.4 light years away.

The scientists hope to identify thousands of planets, and perhaps of most interest, 50 rocky planets with characteristics similar to the earth. Once found, more detailed investigations can be made of these distant planets to understand what they are like.

via Quartz https://qz.com
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4 hours ago by leconeyc
Hurricane Maria death count in Puerto Rico — Quartz
Why some hurricanes are most deadly after the storm September 20, 2018 at 12:54PM https://ift.tt/2MP2Ior

Thousands of people were killed by Hurricane Maria, which blasted Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, 2017 with devastating results. But the Puerto Rican government has only publicly identified 64 victims.

In the weeks and months after the hurricane, reporters from Quartz, Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism, and the Associated Press set out to find the victims left out of the official death toll. We found 487—the most extensive record yet of who died and why because of Maria. Here is how our count compares to the government’s:

Identifying natural disaster victims is not only important to provide closure for grieving family members. It also gives government officials a more detailed picture of how a disaster is unfolding on the ground—and how to better handle it.

Victim relatives we interviewed linked each of the deaths to Hurricane Maria and the island’s damaged infrastructure. But Puerto Rico’s government never did, missing out on key information it might have used to prevent further deaths.

We found that people were dying from the same preventable causes months after Maria hit. Patients with treatable ailments like bedsores and kidney problems couldn’t get medical attention. The lack of power continued to cause accidents: one victim was run over by a car because traffic lights were still out in January 2018, more than three months after the hurricane.

Puerto Rico’s government has acknowledged that many more people died than it originally counted. It has changed its official toll to 2,975, based on a study it commissioned from George Washington University. But that’s a statistical estimate, calculated by comparing all post-Maria deaths in Puerto Rico to mortality in previous years. It doesn’t show what caused the deaths.

The stories from victims’ relatives do. They offer key details that can help Puerto Rico and other places prepare for future catastrophic storms, say experts.

“Accurate death tolls matter because they save lives,” says Mario Marazzi, director of Puerto Rico’s Statistics Institute.

Explore the victim database created by Quartz, CPI, and the AP in English and Spanish here.

via Quartz https://qz.com
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5 hours ago by leconeyc
What Facebook exec Michelle Klein carries in her bag at all times - Business Insider
A Facebook exec breaks down exactly what she carries with her at all times September 20, 2018 at 12:23PM https://ift.tt/2QKwQ7J

Michelle Klein is the senior director of marketing for North America at Facebook.

Klein told Fast Company that she doesn't have a desk drawer at work because she is constantly on the go.

To anticipate her on-the-go lifestyle, Klein said she keeps critical travel items in her personal bag so she's always prepared to hop on a flight.

As the North America marketing director for Facebook, Michelle Klein lives a jet setter life — work desk not included.

"Technically, I don't have a desk drawer because I'm always on the move, so my bag has become my mobile office," Klein told Fast Company. 

Klein has been with Facebook since 2015, and was previously the head of Global Marketing before becoming the North America senior director of marketing in 2015. 

To anticipate her on-the-go lifestyle, Klein said she keeps critical travel items in her personal bag so she's always prepared to hop on a flight. 

A peek in Klein's bag includes:

Two sets of Apple headphones

Purell wipes for plane seats

Two different phone chargers

RX bars

Oyin Handmade Honey Water

It's common for large corporations personnel to be prepared for unexpected travel with essentials to help on-the-go workers. Buddy Media co-founder Michael Lazero keeps Tylenol PM with him whenever he travels to help him sleep. Similar to Klein, Bloomberg anchor Betty Liu always keeps cleaning wipes with her for spills.  

As a mother, Klein said she also carries some tokens from her son. Klein said she can reach her hand in her bag and pull out a Ziploc full of Lego and his Little Passport.

Klein said: "At any point, I may have to jump on a plane, so I keep all essentials in said bag at all times."

SEE ALSO: Mark Zuckerberg has never worked at a company besides Facebook, and that's a blessing and a curse

SEE ALSO: What it's like to work as a barista at Saint Frank, a café exclusively for Facebook employees and guests that serves up to 450 drinks a day

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: I woke up at 4:30 a.m. for a week like a Navy SEAL

via BusinessInsider.com - Strategy https://ift.tt/2LtQyEP
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5 hours ago by leconeyc
COCOBOD finalizes $1.3bn loan for next cocoa season - MyJoyOnline.com
COCOBOD finalizes $1.3bn loan for next cocoa season September 20, 2018 at 11:57AM https://ift.tt/2NRpIb9 COCOBOD has finalized a $1.3 billion receivables-backed trade finance facility for the purchase of cocoa in Ghana in the 2018/2019 crop year. via JoyOnline - Ghana Business https://ift.tt/2wG0lN1
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6 hours ago by leconeyc
EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager is looking into Amazon — Quartz
The EU’s antitrust chief is setting her sights on Amazon September 20, 2018 at 11:07AM https://ift.tt/2MPtxJh

Does Jeff Bezos dream of being chased through a dark forest by Margrethe Vestager? He should. This year alone, the European Union’s competition commissioner stalled Apple’s Shazam acquisition (it’s cleared now), fined Qualcomm $1.23 billion, and hit Google with a $5 billion fine for Android anti-trust violations.

In 2017, Vestager ordered Amazon to pay Luxembourg €250 million for receiving illegal back taxes. Now she has the online retailer in her sights again.

On Wednesday (Sept. 19), Vestager announced that she had started sending questionnaires to merchants who sell on Amazon, a first step toward ascertaining how the company uses the data it collects from those merchants. Specifically, she will be trying to find out if Amazon uses data from its third-party sellers to give itself an unfair advantage when competing against them in selling its own products.

“These are very early days and we haven’t formally opened a case,” Vestager said. “We are trying to make sure that we get the full picture… because this is also what a lot of people are talking about right now.”

Amazon’s dual role as the world’s biggest online platform for third-party sellers and a retailer itself merits examination, according to the antitrust chief.

Should she find evidence of anti-trust behavior, the commissioner has the power to fine companies up to 10% of their global turnover. Based on Amazon’s 2017 net sales, that would be in the neighborhood of $17 billion.

via Quartz https://qz.com
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6 hours ago by leconeyc
Drinking too much on a UK airline is going to cost you — Quartzy
Having too much fun on your next UK flight could cost you £80,000 September 20, 2018 at 08:39AM https://ift.tt/2OzNxB3

It’s no secret that Brits love a drink. And nowhere is this more true than on board a flight to their holiday in Ibiza or Benidorm.

But the UK airlines and airports who serve those passengers? Not so much. Such a problem is the “antisocial behavior” of groups of holidaying Britons, that a public awareness campaign backed by the UK’s aviation minister is urging travelers to think twice before having yet another gin and tonic—or face the consequences.

The One Too Many campaign asserts that “up to two-thirds of incidents caused by irresponsible drinking when traveling have involved those traveling on group holidays including hen and stag parties,” (the British term for pre-wedding bachelor and bachelorette parties).

The campaign—which is also backed by the UK Travel Retail Forum, the Airports Operators Association, the International Air Transport Association, and Airlines UK—is bringing attention to the penalties that can be applied for those who are having too much fun, including £5,000 ($6,650) and two years jail time for not complying with air navigation orders in flight and banning passengers from airlines. Even more stern is the £80,000 fine passengers will have to fork out if their excessive merriment causes a diversion and unscheduled landing of a flight.

This comes in addition to a call from airlines for airport retailers to impose limits on the amount of alcohol they serve passengers waiting for their flights. Airlines like Ryanair complain that their crew are left to deal with the effects of passengers who’ve had one (or three) too many in the departure lounge—which they say happens far too often.

via Quartz https://qz.com
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9 hours ago by leconeyc
Win A Seat At 10X-e’s 10X-ECUTION Bootcamp (Valued At R5900) September 20, 2018 at 08:31AM https://ift.tt/2PREUSH Automatically receive 20% off the Bootcamp just by entering! via Entrepreneur https://ift.tt/2DWWyja
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9 hours ago by leconeyc
Customers Are The Heart Of Innovative Businesses | Entrepreneur
Customers Are The Heart Of Innovative Businesses September 20, 2018 at 08:01AM https://ift.tt/2PSpHkf Keep your customer at the heart of your business. via Entrepreneur https://ift.tt/2DWWyja
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10 hours ago by leconeyc
Be in business for yourself, not by yourself | Entrepreneur
Be In The Property Business For Yourself, Not By Yourself September 20, 2018 at 06:31AM https://ift.tt/2xrCKTc Why property franchising makes good business sense in today’s market. via Entrepreneur https://ift.tt/2DWWyja
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11 hours ago by leconeyc
Withholding VAT kicks in Oct 1 - MyJoyOnline.com
Withholding VAT kicks in Oct 1 September 20, 2018 at 06:26AM https://ift.tt/2PREoEp The implementation of the seven per cent withholding Value Added Tax (WVAT) will take effect from October 1, 2018, the Controller and Accountant General, Eugene Asante Ofosuhene, has said. via JoyOnline - Ghana Business https://ift.tt/2wG0lN1
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11 hours ago by leconeyc
Jo'burg stock exchange looks to tighten listing rules - MyJoyOnline.com
Jo'burg stock exchange looks to tighten listing rules September 20, 2018 at 05:26AM https://ift.tt/2PPSWnW In response to a range of corporate scandals, speculation and innuendo that have characterised South African financial markets over the past year, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) is embarking on a public consultation process. via JoyOnline - Ghana Business https://ift.tt/2wG0lN1
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12 hours ago by leconeyc
Radebe vs Gordhan fight to head to Concourt | News | National | M&G
Radebe vs Gordhan fight to head to Concourt September 20, 2018 at 04:50AM https://ift.tt/2MO1Gcu

Radebe vs Gordhan fight to head to Concourt  Mail & GuardianFull coverage

via Deal Related News https://ift.tt/2GMLgPK
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13 hours ago by leconeyc

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