News December 2019
Index
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Thursday, December 12 2019
Topics & News
Canada > Moncton's Weather  > at 5:00 am it is minus 10°C / 14°F, clear // forecasting for this afternoon will be minus 6°C / 21°F - sunny to cloudy with a 30% chance of some light snow
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UK > Today, voters are hitting the polls for the country's third general election in less than five years. Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for this election as a way to "get Brexit done." The UK's never-ending (read: three-year) breakup with the EU has left Parliament at a political standstill. Now, Johnson is hoping he can win a majority in Parliament to push Brexit through. He's tea-ing up against Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party. Corbyn has focused his campaign around revamping Britain's health care system and other public services instead of just Brexit. // If Johnson wins a majority, he says he'll pass a Brexit deal by the end of January. Corbyn says he would renegotiate a Brexit deal and offer a second Brexit referendum.
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New Zealand > Earlier this week, a volcano erupted on an island off the country's coast. At least eight people have died and dozens more are in critical condition. Medical officials say some patients have burns to as much as 90% of their bodies. New Zealand is asking for the US to assist by donating skin tissue. Meanwhile, concerns that the volcano could erupt again are stalling search and recovery efforts for those still missing..
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Wednesday, December 11 2019
Topics & News
Canada > Moncton's Weather  > at 5:30 am it is 0°C / 32°F, mostly cloudy // forecasting for this afternoon will be minus 1°C / 30°F - Flurries. Amount 2 to 4 cm.
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Greenland > Climate Change > The Greenland ice sheet’s losses have accelerated so fast since the 1990s it is now shedding more than seven times as much ice each year, according to 89 scientists who use satellites to study the area. >  Article > AR5 Synthesis Report
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Tuesday, December 10 2019
Topics & News
Canada > Moncton's Weather  > at  6:00 am it is 12°C / 54°F, light rain // forecasting for this afternoon will be 12°C / 54°F - Rain ending this morning then mainly cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. (total rainfall > 19.4 mm / 0.76 inches)
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Sweden > Climate Change > Reindeer in Sweden's Arctic are hungry, AP's David Keyton reports. // Why it matters > Climate change is altering weather patterns, choking off herds' food supply. // What's happening > The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the globe. /1> Unusually early snowfall in autumn was followed by rain that froze, trapping food under a thick layer of ice /.2> "Rain-on-snow" events are having devastating effects > The food is still there, but the reindeer can't reach it. / 3> The animals grow weaker, and females sometimes abort their calves. / 4> Some retreat to the mountains where predators abound, and the risk of avalanches is great. // Elderly herders recall that they once had bad winters every decade or so. / But Niila Inga, whose community herds about 8,000 reindeer year-round, said that "extreme and strange weather are getting more and more normal, it happens several times a year."
> Article with photos and video
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Word of the Year > Merriam-Webster declared the personal pronoun "they" as word of the year, with a 313% increase in Merriam-Webster.com lookups over 2018, AP reports. //  Why it matters > Merriam-Webster recently added a new definition to its online dictionary to reflect use of "they" as relating to a person whose gender identity is nonbinary. / In October, the American Psychological Association endorsed "they" as a singular third-person pronoun in its style guide for scholarly writing. / "We believe writers should try to use a person's self-identified pronoun whenever feasible," said Jasper Simons, chief publishing officer for the APA. / "The singular 'they' is a way for writers to avoid making assumptions about gender when it is not known." // Flashback > The American Dialect Society, which is dedicated to the study of the English language in North America, named "they" its word of the year for 2015, in recognition of its emergence among people who reject "he" and "she." > Article
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Monday, December 09 2019
Topics & News
Canada > Moncton's Weather  > at  8:00 am it is 5°C / 41°F, Cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries changing to 60 percent chance of rain showers this morning. // forecasting for this afternoon will be 7°C / 45°F - Rain beginning this afternoon. Rainfall amount 5 mm (total  Rainfall >  6.1 mm / 0.24 in)
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France >  The fight over France's social safety net > As France braces for a fifth day of nationwide strikes, much of its train network is at a standstill. The national railway company has warned travelers to stay away from train stations today to prevent overcrowding on platforms. // The workers driving the strikes fear that President Emmanuel Macron will strip away the generous pension benefits that were enshrined in France after World War II, and which still allow some workers to retire in their 50s. At stake, our correspondent writes, "is nothing less than the future of the country's vaunted social safety net." // What's next > Unions are calling for another nationwide demonstration on Tuesday, a day before the government is scheduled to unveil fresh details of a pension overhaul. Mr. Macron has called the country’s tangled retirement system outdated, unfair and unsustainable.
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Art > A $120,000 duct-taped banana, see side paeal, on display last week at Art Basel Miami Beach. The work, by the Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, had to be taken down on Sunday because of the Mona Lisa-like attention it was getting. > NYT Article  // Maurizio Cattelan, 59 years old, is an Italian artist. He is known for his satirical sculptures, particularly La Nona Ora, Him, America, Love Lasts Forever and Comedian.
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Saturday & Sunday, December 07-8 2019
Topics & News
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Friday, December 06 2019
Topics & News
Canada > Moncton's Weather  > at  6:00 am it is minus 5°C / 23°F, cloudy  with wind chill minus 11°C / 12°F // forecasting for this afternoon will be minus 2°C / 28°F - sunny
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Thursday, December 05 2019
Topics & News
Canada > Moncton's Weather  > at  6:00 am it is minus 3°C / 26°F, cloudy  with wind chill minus 5°C / 23°F // forecasting for this afternoon will be 0°C / 32°F - Cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries.
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France > 'Magic and dreams' as Lyon's beloved Festival of Lights kicks off Christmas season // Lyon's hugely popular Festival of Lights (Fête des Lumières) marking the start of the Christmas season kicks off this Thursday. // In the next four days, the French city's public monuments will light up in the evening and streets will be filled with art installations - 40 in total, according to the festival's website.
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France > Art > A rare canvas by French artist Paul Gauguin from his time in Tahiti fetched 9.5 million euros ($10.5 million) in Paris on Tuesday, nearly twice its estimated value, the auction house said. // The bidding had drawn keen interest amid growing controversy over Gauguin's relationships with young girls on the Polynesian island and his depictions of them. // The 1897 painting, "Te Bourao II" or "tree" in the local Tahitian language, had been expected to go for around five to seven million euros. // The buyer is an "international collector", the Artcurial auction house said, adding the artwork depicting an evocative Tahiti landscape would remain in France. // It is one of the few paintings from the post-impressionist's Tahiti period still in private hands. // According to Artcurial, the last sale in France of a Gauguin from this period was 22 years ago. // Recent years have seen increasing attention on Gauguin's attitudes to the young women who feature in the paintings of this period. // An exhibition of the painter currently at the National Gallery in London said "that it aims to consider Gauguin's relationships and the impact of colonialism through the prisms of contemporary debate." / The bidding had drawn keen interest amid growing controversy over Gauguin's relationships with young girls on the Polynesian island and his depictions of them. // The 1897 painting, "Te Bourao II" or "tree" in the local Tahitian language, had been expected to go for around five to seven million euros. // The buyer is an "international collector", the Artcurial auction house said, adding the artwork depicting an evocative Tahiti landscape would remain in France. // It is one of the few paintings from the post-impressionist's Tahiti period still in private hands. // According to Artcurial, the last sale in France of a Gauguin from this period was 22 years ago. // Recent years have seen increasing attention on Gauguin's attitudes to the young women who feature in the paintings of this period. // An exhibition of the painter currently at the National Gallery in London said "that it aims to consider Gauguin's relationships and the impact of colonialism through the prisms of contemporary debate."
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Wednesday, December 04 2019
Topics & News
Canada > Moncton's Weather  > at  6:00 am it is minus 2°C / 28°F, cloudy  with wind chill minus 8°C / 18°F // forecasting for this afternoon will be 1°C / 34°F - A few flurries ending this morning then a mix of sun and cloud.
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History > Newspapers > December 04, 1881, the first edition of the LA Times is published. >  Article
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Cities and Food > Gastronomy begins at home > Last week a friend who recently moved to Copenhagen told me that he doesn’t think there's a particularly good food culture in the Danish capital. I was shocked. What about Noma, foraging, smørrebrød and all the brilliant bakeries? Yes, he conceded, you can go out and eat very well but there's a dearth of good supermarkets or corner shops stocked with quality produce --  so it's tough to feel inspired when it comes to cooking at home. Despite the relatively recent Nordic food revolution led by René Redzepi (who founded Noma in 2003), it seems that the culture of eating well is still working its way down to grassroots cooking in Copenhagen. // When we think of a "foodie city", it tends to be a place with an abundance of glamorous restaurants and slick cafés. But what about the other aspect of eating -- the part that pays less attention to Michelin stars and more to what is being cooked inside homes? By this metric any Italian city excels, as do many in France. Australia does pretty well too. But how does a place become a hub for stellar home cooking? Perhaps a series of accessible cookbooks that go viral would offer a spark. However, as I'm sure any good cook would tell you (and I say this as someone who's anything but), it has to start with inspiring ingredients and good local markets. A great supermarket chain focused on fresh produce can do wonders. I'm working on my new business pitch - and planning a move to Denmark. - Jamie Waters
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France > As France prepares for a massive strike on Thursday against a planned pension reform, French rail company SNCF announced on Tuesday that only one high-speed train out of 10 will run across the country. Other services such as the Parisian metro will also be "disrupted".  > Article
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Tuesday, December 03 2019
Topics & News
Canada > Moncton's Weather  > at  6:00 am it is minus 1°C / 30°F, Light snow  with wind chill minus 9°C / 16°F // forecasting for this afternoon will be 2°C / 36°F - freezing rain or snow (Total Rainfall 15.1 mm / 0.59 in // Snowfall 3.0 cm / 1.18 in )
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France > The Trump administration said on Monday that a new French tax on technology companies like Facebook and Google was "unusually burdensome for affected U.S. companies." In retaliation, it recommended tariffs as high as 100 percent on French imports valued at $2.4 billion, including wine, cheese and handbags. // The United States may also open investigations into similar legislation proposed by Italy, Austria and Turkey -- moves that would jeopardize international efforts to negotiate a truce on so-called digital taxes. // Background: In October, the U.S. slapped tariffs on French aircraft, wine and cheese, among other European products, after the World Trade Organization gave it permission to retaliate against E.U. subsidies to the plane maker Airbus. The W.T.O. said on Monday that the Airbus subsidies still ran afoul of global trade rules.
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Spain > Migrants > Sunbathers on a Spanish island went to the aid of migrants whose boat washed ashore on Friday. // Two-dozen people arrived on Aguila beach in the Canary Islands on a rickety boat, many of them exhausted and with some apparently in a state of shock following their perilous journey. // Members of the public who had been soaking up the sun on the beach joined emergency workers in helping the migrants, who had three children and a pregnant woman amongst them. // Food, water and blankets were handed out, as medics checked up on the new arrivals, who Red Cross officials said were from northern and sub-Saharan Africa. // One member of the public was seen cradling a weary woman in her lap as another swimsuit-clad woman fed her water. // Some 27,594 migrants have arrived in Spain so far this year by mid-November, according to data from the Interior Ministry, a decrease of more than 50% from the same period last year. // The popular tourist destination of Canary Islands, however, has seen an increase of 22% in arrival this year, with 1,493 migrant arrivals so far registered by mid-November.
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History > December 3, 1926, Agatha Christie vanishes from her home and remains missing for eleven days. Thousands of officers and volunteers search the countryside for her. Arthur Conan Doyle engages a medium to help locate her.  > Agatha
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Monday, December 02 2019
Topics & News
Canada > Moncton's Weather  > at  5:00 am it is minus 11°C / 12°F, partly cloudy  with wind chill minus 13°C / 09°F this afternoon. // forecasting for this afternoon will be minus 1°C / 30°F - a mix of sun
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Movies > "Frozen 2" set the record "for the highest-grossing weekend in Thanksgiving history," Frank Pallotta wrote. "It made $123.7 million domestically over the five day holiday weekend, breaking the record held by 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,' which made $109 million in 2013."
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Video >  About Comcast's E.T. ad on Thanksgiving . . . > Watch it on YouTube, where it has nearly 11 million views. The idea: "After 37 years, E.T. comes back to visit his friend, Elliott, for the holidays. During his stay, E.T. learns that Elliott now has a family of his own and that technology has completely changed on Earth since his last visit." // The ad was crafted by Omnicom Group's Goodby, Silverstein and Partners, Variety's Brian Steinberg reports. Comcast approached Steven Spielberg with the concept "and secured his permission for the effort... Spielberg was consulted throughout the process..."
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Spain > UN Climate Change conference > On Monday, the United Nations Climate Change conference kicks off in Madrid. Leading scientists are calling for heightened efforts in the fight against global warming as data continues to show the earth heating up at an alarming rate. The summit aims to strengthen the terms and commitments outlined in the 2015 Paris climate accord and map out a path to achieve the goals of reducing emissions by 45 percent by 2030, achieving climate neutrality by 2050 and stabilizing global temperature rise at 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2100. The Associated Press reports that President Trump’s plan to formally pull out of the accord next fall has added a new level of urgency to the gathering. "We are close to the point of no return on global warming," Madrid-based climate activist Laura Laguna told the AP. "Our generation's future depends on what we do now."
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Sunday, Dec. 01 2019
Topics & News
Art > Making a scene > Who wouldn’t want to go to Art Basel Miami Beach? A week in the Florida sun, the world’s best galleries gathered in a newly refurbished complex a few blocks away from the sand and, of course, those infamous parties. This fair's reputation as the wild child of the Art Basel family has always had enormous pull with collectors and journalists. // But there’s another reason why the fair's location makes it particularly attractive. Florida has always served as a meeting point between North and Latin America. The art inside the halls often reflects this. And as the politics across the continents turns ever more incendiary, the more relevant this fair becomes. It’s a place to explore the relationship -- and contrasts – between the US and its southern neighbours. // The debut of a new section called Disruptions, held outdoors in the sea-front Collins Park, should feed into this theme. Born out of a collaboration with Art Basel Cities: Buenos Aires (a new addition to the Basel roster), the exhibition will present works by Argentinian artists with the intent of showing how art can “interfere with everyday life”. Those heading to Miami Beach should expect their balance to be thrown off over the next few days – and not just thanks to morning-after hangovers. - Chiara Rimella
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December
It's the  twelfth and final month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and is the seventh and last of seven months to have a length of 31 days.
December, from the Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry
    December got its name from the Latin word decem (meaning ten) because it was originally the tenth month of the year in the calendar of Romulus c.750 BC which began in March. The winter days following December were not included as part of any month. Later, the months of January and February were created out of the monthless period and added to the beginning of the calendar, but December retained its name.
    In Ancient Rome, as one of the four Agonalia, this day in honor of Sol Indiges was held on December 11, as was Septimontium. Dies natalis (birthday) was held at the temple of Tellus on December 13, Consualia was held on December 15, Saturnalia was held December 17–23, Opiconsivia was held on December 19, Divalia was held on December 21, Larentalia was held on December 23, and the dies natalis of Sol Invictus was held on December 25. These dates do not correspond to the modern Gregorian calendar.
    The Anglo-Saxons referred to December–January as Ġēolamonaþ (modern English: "Yule month"). The French Republican Calendar contained December within the months of Frimaire and Nivôse.
Nov 21 2019
Nov 21 2019