Elizabeth Warren (seen during a campaign rally, 4 March 2020) has bowed out of the US presidential election. Photo credit: Elizabeth Warren on Facebook
Exxon CEO dismisses climate targets, Dimon has emergency surgery and a skeleton theft. Delano’s breakfast briefing for Friday.
Warren ends presidential bid
Elizabeth Warren, a US senator, has quit the Democratic presidential primary race. That leaves two men, the former vice president Joe Biden and US senator Bernie Sanders, as likely contenders to face Donald Trump in November. (Tulsi Gabbard, who sits in the House of Representatives, is officially still running.) Sources: CNN, Deutsche Welle, The Guardian, NPR and Reuters.
2nd coronavirus case in Luxembourg
A second person has been diagnosed with covid-19 in the grand duchy. The Luxembourg resident had returned from northern Italy, Luxembourg’s health department said. They are currently hospitalised at the CHL. Public health inspectors are checking people who were in close contact with the patient. Source: Government press release.
More coronavirus updates
China: There was a small spike this week in new coronavirus infections in Wuhan, the epicentre of the covid-19 outbreak, but no cases were detected outside the city and a Chinese health official expects the number of new cases to drop to zero this month (per Reuters and South China Morning Post). Stock market: Shares closed down again sharply on Thursday, after recovering slightly earlier this week, in what has been a rough year for the markets (per the Financial Times, Marketwatch and Reuters). Hard hit: Airlines have been particularly impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, with shares “getting crushed” (per CNBC and Seeking Alpha) and the industry could lose $113bn this year (per the BBC and Guardian). Consumer protection: Regulators and lawmakers in the US and UK have warned retailers about price gouging (per Reuters, Vox and Yahoo Finance).
The presidents of Russia and Turkey, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, agreed on a ceasefire in the Syrian province of Idlib, which has taken effect. Sources: AFP, Associated Press and Deutsche Welle.
This winter in Europe was hottest
Europe experienced its warmest winter on record. Temperatures in December, January and February were 1.4C above the previous high and 3.4C above the 1981-2010 average. Sources: BBC, The Guardian and Yale Environment 360.
The CEO of the oil giant Exxon Mobil, Darren Woods, called his rivals’ climate pledges a “beauty match” and reaffirmed its investments in new oil and gas projects. Sources: Financial Times, Reuters and Seeking Alpha.
Amazon tax trial begins
Amazon, which is disputing a European Commission order to pay Luxembourg €250m in back taxes at the EU General Court in Kirchberg, argued the commission was not impartial in its assessment. The commission said Amazon benefited from illegal state aid. Hearings continue on Friday. Sources: Bloomberg and Courthouse News Service. Background: Reuters.
Here are 7 science & technology stories you may have missed
Coronavirus: To avoid getting sick, we should stop touching our face, “but we still can’t manage to shake the habit,” per GQ. Environment: Working at home may not be more ecologically efficient than commuting into the office (depending, of course, on where, when and what kind of energy is used) per the BBC. Space exploration: Japan’s space agency will send a robotic mission to the Martian moons Phobos and Deimos in 2024, which will return to Earth with samples from Phobos in 2029, per MIT Technology Review. Astronomy: Researchers detected a cosmic explosion that took place millions of years ago about 390m light years from Earth that caused a crater to form which is roughly the size of 15 Milky Way galaxies, per The Guardian. Biology: Scientists discovered a parasite that inhabits the muscle tissue of salmon which is believed to be the first ‘animal’ that does need oxygen to live, per CBS News. Technically talking: A study found that articles containing too much jargon puts the public off reading about science, per Nature. Voice activation: Cybersecurity researchers demonstrated how ultrasonic waves could be used to secretly send commands to a mobile phone causing calls to be placed or messages read aloud (although it’s tricky to do and easy to prevent) per The Register.
Neighbour steals skeleton
A woman in the US state of New Mexico, charged with allegedly stealing a neighbour’s model skeleton, “told Santa Fe County Sheriff’s deputies she was offended by the way the skeleton’s hand was posed--with the middle finger pointed up,” per the Associated Press.