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Nobel Peace Prize goes to UN World Food Programme

Nobel Peace Prize goes to UN World Food Programme

World
The 2020 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) for its efforts to combat hunger. The Norwegian Nobel Committee said the WFP had acted "as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict". The prize is worth 10m Swedish krona ($ 1.1m; £872,600).The WFP, the 101st winner of the prize, said it was "deeply humbled"."This is in recognition of the work of WFP staff who put their lives on the line every day to bring food and assistance to more than 100 million hungry children, women and men across the world," it said on Twitter. WFP head David Beasley told the Associated Press news agency it was "the first time in my life I've been without words". Yem
Nobel Prize for Medicine goes to Hepatitis C discovery

Nobel Prize for Medicine goes to Hepatitis C discovery

Health
Three scientists who discovered the virus Hepatitis C have won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology.The winners are British scientist Michael Houghton and US researchers Harvey Alter and Charles Rice.The Nobel Prize committee said their discoveries ultimately "saved millions of lives".The virus is a common cause of liver cancer and a major reason why people need a liver transplant. In the 1960s, there was huge concern that people receiving donated blood were getting chronic hepatitis (liver inflammation) from an unknown, mysterious disease.The Nobel Prize committee said a blood transfusion at the time was like "Russian roulette".Highly sensitive blood tests mean such cases have now been eliminated in many parts of the world, and effective anti-v...
Tech stocks slide as Wall Street goes into reverse

Tech stocks slide as Wall Street goes into reverse

Business
Stocks on Wall Street went into reverse on Thursday as shares in the five biggest US companies tumbled.Companies that have powered US markets to record highs - Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft and Facebook - fell between 4% and 8%.Analysts said fears about the economic shock of coronavirus and a possible second wave prompted the sell-off.The tech-heavy Nasdaq closed down 5%, the Dow Jones fell almost 3%, and the broad-based S&P 500 finished 3.5% off.Carmaker Tesla, whose shares have soared this year, tumbled 9% on Thursday after falling sharply in the previous two sessions. Another tech heavyweight, Nvidia, ended 9.3% down. Apple's 8% fall meant $ 150bn (£113bn) was wiped off the value of the iPhone maker.The sell-off came
Britain goes coal free as renewables edge out fossil fuels

Britain goes coal free as renewables edge out fossil fuels

Science
Britain is about to pass a significant landmark - at midnight on Wednesday it will have gone two full months without burning coal to generate power.A decade ago about 40% of the country's electricity came from coal; coronavirus is part of the story, but far from all.When Britain went into lockdown, electricity demand plummeted; the National Grid responded by taking power plants off the network.The four remaining coal-fired plants were among the first to be shut down.The last coal generator came off the system at midnight on 9 April. No coal has been burnt for electricity since. The current coal-free period smashes the previous record of 18 days, 6 hours and 10 minutes which was set in June last year.The figures apply to Britain only, as Northern Ireland i...
Italy’s genetic diversity goes back at least 19,000 years, study says

Italy’s genetic diversity goes back at least 19,000 years, study says

Science
May 22 (UPI) -- Italy has been a genetic melting pot for almost 20,000 years, according to a new study. Nowhere else in Europe hosts a greater mix of genetic heritage. In addition to the deep history of the region's genetic diversity, dating to the Late Glacial Maximum, the genomic survey of modern and ancient Italians showed people in the north and south of Italy have evolved unique genetic characteristics in response to the divergent environmental conditions. The genetic peculiarities of the people of those two regions at least partially explain why these populations a reduced risk of kidney inflammation, certain skin cancers, diabetes and obesity -- all of which favor a longer lifespan. Pockets of Italy are often included on lists of so-called "blue zones," places and populations char...