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Italian skier Goggia crowned, Vonn finishes third in final Olympic women's downhill

Italian skier Goggia crowned, Vonn finishes third in final Olympic women's downhill

Sports
Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Sofia Goggia of Italy claimed the gold medal of Alpine skiing women's downhill Wednesday at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games. American skiing great Lindsey Vonn, gold medalist of the event at the Vancouver 2010, won bronze in her final Olympic downhill race.Goggia clocked a competition-best time of one minute and 39.22 seconds, becoming the first Italian winner of the women's downhill event."I still haven't quite realized yet. I think I'll realize when I'm on the podium. I'm very proud. I feel so focused on the day that I haven't realized yet what I've done. It's about me and my skiing and not the others," said the Italian after clinching her first Olympic medal in any discipline.Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway finished second, nine hundredths of a second behind Goggia.Vo...
A third of coral reefs 'entangled with plastic'

A third of coral reefs 'entangled with plastic'

Science
Plastic is one of the biggest threats to the future of coral reefs after ocean warming, say scientists.More than 11 billion items of plastic were found on a third of coral reefs surveyed in the Asia-Pacific region.This figure is predicted to increase to more than 15 billion by 2025.Plastic raises by 20-fold the risk of disease outbreaks on coral reefs, according to research. Plastic bags, bottles and rice sacks were among the items found."Plastic is one of the biggest threats in the ocean at the moment, I would say, apart from climate change," said Dr Joleah Lamb of Cornell University in Ithaca, US. "It's sad how many pieces of plastic there are in the coral reefs ...if we can start targeting those big polluters of plastic, hopefully we can start reducing the amount that is going on to the...
Ripple surges 89% in single day, briefly becomes third biggest digital currency

Ripple surges 89% in single day, briefly becomes third biggest digital currency

Finance
Ripple is vying with bitcoin cash to be the third-largest cryptocurrency by market value.Ripple, or XRP, surged 89 percent Thursday to a record high of 89.2 cents and was last trading near 81 cents, giving it a market value of $ 31.6 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.Those gains temporarily pushed ripple's market value past that of bitcoin's offshoot bitcoin cash, and into third place just behind the largest digital currencies, bitcoin and ethereum, according to CoinMarketCap. The website showed bitcoin cash had regained third place by late Thursday afternoon, with a market value of $ 32.1 billion. Ripple surpassed the market value of litecoin on Wednesday after starting the week in fifth place by cryptocurrency market capitalization, according to CoinMarketCap. Ripple seven-day performa...
Economic growth strengthens in third quarter

Economic growth strengthens in third quarter

Business
UK economic growth picked up in the third quarter of the year to a better than expected 0.4%, according to preliminary figures.In its first estimate of growth for the three months to September, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said spending in the dominant services sector continued to be the engine behind the economy's performance.However, the fact growth was driven by a pick-up in retail spending and car sales will intensify worries at the Bank of England that people are living beyond their means as unsecured consumer debt levels hover around pre-crisis highs at £200bn.The headline growth figure fuelled expectations the Bank will move to make borrowing less attractive and tackle rising inflation next month by raising interest rates from their post-Brexit vote low of 0.25%.Video:Th
Heathrow third runway public consultation reopened

Heathrow third runway public consultation reopened

Business
A public consultation into the planned third runway at Heathrow Airport has been reopened to include new evidence.The Department for Transport (DfT) published a series of new reports on the environmental impact of expanding the west London airport. It also revealed that London's airports are expected to hit full capacity by 2034 if there is no expansion.The consultation initially closed in May, but will now be reopened until December. The DfT insisted it is "on track" to publish final proposals for expansion in the first half of 2018, ahead of a vote in Parliament.Among the series of new reports are an updated noise analysis and a new air quality plan.The government said higher demand for flights also meant the capital's five airports would hit full capacity six years sooner than expected...