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Iowa caucus chaos: Trump calls it an ‘unmitigated disaster’ but what caused it?

Iowa caucus chaos: Trump calls it an ‘unmitigated disaster’ but what caused it?

Technology
A coding error in the app used by the Democratic Party in Iowa has been blamed for significant delays in reporting the results of the state's caucus.The new app was developed so caucus results - the votes of Democratic Party members for their preferred presidential candidate - could be reported more quickly following Monday's vote. But instead of speeding things up a coding error in the app led to the data being only partially reported, forcing the Democratic Party to resort to manual systems in order to verify vote counts. The results are now expected at 5pm local time (10pm UK time) on Tuesday.Shadow, the company which developed the app, posted on Twitter: "We sincerely regret the delay in the reporting of the results of last night's Iowa caucuses, and the uncertainty it has caused t...
Study measures river ice loss caused by global warming

Study measures river ice loss caused by global warming

Science
Jan. 1 (UPI) -- Many communities and industries utilize frozen rivers for transportation purposes during the heart of the winter, but new research suggests the planet's rivers are likely to spend fewer and fewer days frozen solid each year as temperatures continue to rise. In addition to supporting transportation networks, frozen rivers also curb the release of carbon dioxide from freshwater into the atmosphere. But just like glaciers, ice sheets, sea ice and frozen tundra, frozen rivers are vulnerable to accelerated melt rates. To find out how river ice is being affected globally by climate change, scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill compiled and analyzed nearly half a million satellite images of major rivers of the last three-plus decades. "We used more than 4...
Obesity not caused by lack of willpower – psychologists

Obesity not caused by lack of willpower – psychologists

Health
Obesity is not a choice and making people feel ashamed results only in them feeling worse about themselves, a report by top psychologists says.It calls for changes in language to reduce stigma, such as saying "a person with obesity" rather than an "obese person".And it says health professionals should be trained to talk about weight loss in a more supportive way.A cancer charity's recent ad campaign was criticised for "fat shaming".Obesity levels rose by 18% in England between 2005 and 2017 and by similar amounts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.This means just over one in four UK adults is obese while nearly two-thirds are overweight or obese.But these increases cannot be explained by a sudden loss of motivation across the UK - it is a lot more co...
Vet says badger culls caused ‘immense pain’

Vet says badger culls caused ‘immense pain’

Science
Up to 9,000 of badgers are likely to have suffered "immense pain" in culls to control cattle TB, according to a former government adviser.Prof Ranald Munro is the ex-Chair of an independent expert group appointed by the government to assess its trials.He has written to Natural England to say that the policy is causing "huge suffering".He adds that the culls are not reducing TB in cattle and in one area the incidence of the disease has gone up.The culls began in 2012 following appeals from cattle farmers whose livelihoods are continuing to be damaged by the spread of TB. Prof Munro's independent expert group found that up 23% of badgers took more than five minutes to die after they were shot. These figures prompted the group to conclude that the culls were...
French heatwaves caused an extra 1,500 deaths, officials say

French heatwaves caused an extra 1,500 deaths, officials say

World
Two heatwaves that engulfed France over the summer led to an additional 1,500 deaths, the country's health minister has confirmed.Speaking to France Inter radio on Sunday, Agnes Buzyn said preventative measures meant there was a drastically lower number of deaths in comparison to a heatwave in 2003 that killed 15,000 people. Ms Buzyn said: "The 2003 heatwave lasted 20 days. We had 18 days in two waves and we managed to cut mortality by a factor of 10 thanks to preventative measures."According to the health ministry, there were 1,465 more deaths than usual: 567 during the first heatwave in June, and 868 during the second heatwave in July.The average number of deaths reported increased by 9.1% over the period, with more than half aged over 75. ...