Climate change
August 10, 2014
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A new study published in Nature Climate Change says that building the Keystone XL pipeline could cause as much as four times the amount of greenhouse gas emissions as previously estimated.

In February, the State Department released its environmental impact statement on Keystone XL, estimating that the pipeline could increase emissions of the heat-trapping gases by 1.3 million to 27.4 million metric tons each year, the Los Angeles Times reports. The new study estimates it could be as high as 100 million to 110 million metric tons every year.

"The sole reason for this difference is that we account for the changes in global oil consumption resulting from increasing oil sands production levels, whereas the State Department does not," write authors Peter Erickson and Michael Lazarus, scientists with the Stockholm Environment Institute.

The $5.3 billion pipeline would stretch from Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, Nebraska, ultimately carrying 830,000 barrels of oil every day. In June 2013, President Obama said he would let the project go on "if it does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution." Catherine Garcia

The Daily Showdown
1:27 a.m. ET

"Last week was amazing," Jon Stewart said on Monday's Daily Show, pointing to the Supreme Court decisions on ObamaCare, fair housing, and, especially, same-sex marriage. But of course, prominent national Republicans weren't pleased with the gay marriage decision, and Stewart played a few of the more vocal dissents, gleefully shooting them down as soon as they were raised. Then he got to the bottom line.

"Look, justices, senators, your problem isn't judicial activism, or overreach, or politically correct policing," Stewart said. "Your problem here is bald-faced, out-in-the-open, common sense experience. That's why you're not going to win the marriage-equality fight." To illustrate his point, he showed a clip of Donald Trump acknowledging that his three marriages aren't very traditional. "You're not going to win the marriage-equality fight because even a man pathologically disposed to not understand other people's points of views," he said, pointing at Trump, "even he gets it." You can watch below. Peter Weber

This just in
12:58 a.m. ET

A man died on Tuesday after setting himself on fire while riding a bullet train from Tokyo.

Another passenger on the train went into cardiac arrest, Reuters reports, and two others were seriously injured. The man is believed to have been in his 30s, and was found covered in a flammable liquid, officials said. The train was headed to Osaka with 1,000 passengers when someone hit the emergency button and the passenger was discovered. Local media is airing footage showing passengers streaming out of a train carriage filled with smoke.  Catherine Garcia

12:15 a.m. ET

At fairs across the United States this summer, people will be eating some unusual food, but it looks like the Orange County Fair in Southern California will take the deep-fried cake when it comes to offering artery-clogging delicacies.

Vendor Chicken Charlie's — the purported inventor of the deep fried Oreo — is taking the ironic route by deep frying a Slim Fast bar, then topping it with chocolate sauce and powdered sugar. They will also serve up a pickle filled with peanut butter, dipped in corn dog batter, then fried. For those who enjoy mixing the highbrow with the low, there's the pièce de résistance: a $125 Twinkie topped with one ounce of caviar. "I'm a big seafood guy," Chicken Charlie's owner Charlie Boghosian told the Daily Pilot. "About a year ago, I tasted my first caviar and I liked it. Since then, whenever caviar came up, I wanted to taste it, learn it."

Chicken Charlie’s doesn't have the monopoly on fried foods, though. Another vendor, Apple Fries, will sell the Deep Fried Birthday Cake (yellow cake fried in a sweet batter, topped with whipped cream and sprinkles) and Deep Fried Pizza (a slice of pepperoni or cheese, dipped in a beer batter, fried, and served with a side of ranch dressing). What will they think of next? Catherine Garcia

12:12 a.m. ET

On Friday, after the Supreme Court recognized a constitutional right to same-sex civil marriage nationwide, rainbows sprouted everywhere — gay-rights celebrations nationwide, the White House, Niagara Falls, the Empire State Building, the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis, probably your Facebook feed, and even in the mist from the water cannons Turkish police used to break up a gay pride parade on Sunday. But how did the rainbow become the symbol for gay rights?

A man named Gilbert Baker designed a rainbow flag for a gay pride parade in San Francisco in the 1970s, and it stuck, Time explains in the video below. Each color originally meant something, and you can listen to Baker explain why he chose a rainbow below. Peter Weber

June 29, 2015

Researchers have found that people who drink copious amounts of orange juice or eat a lot of grapefruit could be raising their risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

In the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the researchers say that grapefruit and oranges contain compounds called furocoumarins and psoralen. Furocoumarins make the skin more sensitive to sunlight, and furocoumarins and psoralen cause melanoma cells to multiply when exposed to ultraviolet light. The team looked at more than 40,000 men participating in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and more than 60,000 women in the Nurses' Health Study, and found that the risk of melanoma was very low, with fewer than 2 percent ending up with melanoma over the course of 25 years.

For those who ate or drank at least 1.6 six-ounce servings of citrus fruit or juice daily, the risk of getting melanoma was 36 percent higher compared to those who consumed them less than twice a week. Researchers looked at other factors, like smoking, but didn't find any other connections. "That was our first thought, that people who live in Florida and California were out in the sun more and eating more citrus," Dr. Walter Willett of the Harvard School of Public Health told NBC News. "But that did not turn out to be the case." While researchers aren’t saying to cut back on citrus just yet, they do urge people to always wear sunscreen. Catherine Garcia

show them the money
June 29, 2015
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The Obama administration could announce as early as Tuesday that it plans to expand overtime eligibility for millions of Americans by 2016.

The 1938 law that established the federal 40-hour workweek exempts professional, administrative, and executive employees from overtime pay requirements. Under the draft rules, a person classified as a manager or professional who earns $970 a week or less and works more than 40 hours would have to earn overtime pay, an administration official told Bloomberg. Retail workers and restaurant employees are the most likely to be affected. "You would be hard pressed to find a rule change or an executive order that would reach more middle class workers than this one," says Jared Bernstein, former economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden and senior fellow at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. Catherine Garcia

Foreign affairs
June 29, 2015
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British Prime Minister David Cameron said Monday that the gunman behind last week's massacre in Sousse, Tunisia, declared war on Britain when he shot and killed at least 30 Britons.

Cameron said the government will provide a "full spectrum" response, including helping security forces in Tunisia track down any accomplices, The Guardian reports. Cameron said the government would not ramp up travel advisories to Tunisian coastal resorts for now, saying the killer wanted to destroy the tourist industry, which accounts for 15 percent of the country's economy. He also said that soon, his government will publish a new counter-extremism strategy that will likely ban several organizations deemed to be radical and suppress extremist messages online and on television stations.

Cameron announced that on Tuesday and Wednesday, a major exercise will take place in London to test the country's readiness for a terrorist attack. "We are a target," Cameron told BBC Radio 4's Today program. "Frankly, we cannot hide from this thinking that if you step back you become less of a target. They are attacking our way of life and what we stand for, and so we have to stand united with those that share our values." Catherine Garcia

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