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50,000 march across Australia’s Harbour Bridge for WorldPride

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Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese joined 50,000 revelers on Sunday in a march across Sydney’s Harbour Bridge to celebrate the final day of WorldPride festival.

The crowd, decked out in rainbow flags and colourful outfits, streamed across the bridge on Sunday morning in sight of the iconic Opera House, just off to their left.

“This is just a great celebration and it’s symbolic of bringing people together, the unity, that’s what a bridge does,” said Albanese.

“Over the last 17 days it has been a great moment of unity and celebrating the diversity in Australian society and also sending a message to the world that we’re enriched by it.”

People march across the Sydney Harbour Bridge for equality as part of the 2023 WorldPride festival in Sydney, Australia, March 5, 2023. Photo: Reuters

People march across the Sydney Harbour Bridge for equality as part of the 2023 WorldPride festival in Sydney, Australia, March 5, 2023. Photo: Reuters

Sydney is the first city in the southern hemisphere to host WorldPride, a global festival celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community.

The 17-day festival coincides with the fifth anniversary of Australia passing marriage equality legislation.

“I’m very proud to be marching with the community that I love so much and celebrate how far things have come,” said “Jurassic Park” star Sam Neill during the march.

Sharlene Dixon, who travelled from Perth for the march, said she was moved to tears by the procession of “78’ers” who led the march. The group is made up of participants of the first Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in 1978.

“I was in tears on the parade watching them, everything they’ve done and where we’ve come has just been great. I was able to marry my wife and have a normal life, so to speak, so it’s pretty great.”

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese joined 50,000 revelers on Sunday in a march across Sydney’s Harbour Bridge to celebrate the final day of WorldPride festival.

The crowd, decked out in rainbow flags and colourful outfits, streamed across the bridge on Sunday morning in sight of the iconic Opera House, just off to their left.

“This is just a great celebration and it’s symbolic of bringing people together, the unity, that’s what a bridge does,” said Albanese.

“Over the last 17 days it has been a great moment of unity and celebrating the diversity in Australian society and also sending a message to the world that we’re enriched by it.”

People march across the Sydney Harbour Bridge for equality as part of the 2023 WorldPride festival in Sydney, Australia, March 5, 2023. Photo: Reuters

People march across the Sydney Harbour Bridge for equality as part of the 2023 WorldPride festival in Sydney, Australia, March 5, 2023. Photo: Reuters

Sydney is the first city in the southern hemisphere to host WorldPride, a global festival celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community.

The 17-day festival coincides with the fifth anniversary of Australia passing marriage equality legislation.

“I’m very proud to be marching with the community that I love so much and celebrate how far things have come,” said “Jurassic Park” star Sam Neill during the march.

Sharlene Dixon, who travelled from Perth for the march, said she was moved to tears by the procession of “78’ers” who led the march. The group is made up of participants of the first Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in 1978.

“I was in tears on the parade watching them, everything they’ve done and where we’ve come has just been great. I was able to marry my wife and have a normal life, so to speak, so it’s pretty great.”

Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/international/20230305/50000-march-across-australia-s-harbour-bridge-for-worldpride/71975.html

International

At least nine dead, 44 injured in Pakistan after earthquake

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At least nine people were dead and 44 injured in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, a government official said, after a magnitude 6.5 earthquake with its epicentre in Afghanistan struck late on Tuesday.

At least 19 houses were partially damaged by the earthquake, Abdul Basit, a senior official in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government told Reuters on Wednesday.

At least nine people were dead and 44 injured in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, a government official said, after a magnitude 6.5 earthquake with its epicentre in Afghanistan struck late on Tuesday.

At least 19 houses were partially damaged by the earthquake, Abdul Basit, a senior official in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government told Reuters on Wednesday.

Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/international/20230322/at-least-nine-dead-44-injured-in-pakistan-after-earthquake/72202.html

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Asteroid discovery suggests ingredients for life on Earth came from space

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Two organic compounds essential for living organisms have been found in samples retrieved from the asteroid Ryugu, buttressing the notion that some ingredients crucial for the advent of life arrived on Earth aboard rocks from space billions of years ago.

Scientists said on Tuesday they detected uracil and niacin in rocks obtained by the Japanese Space Agency’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft from two sites on Ryugu in 2019. Uracil is one of the chemical building blocks for RNA, a molecule carrying directions for building and operating living organisms. Niacin, also called Vitamin B3 or nicotinic acid, is vital for their metabolism.

The Ryugu samples, which looked like dark-gray rubble, were transported 155 million miles (250 million km) back to Earth and returned to our planet’s surface in a sealed capsule that landed in 2020 in Australia’s remote outback for analysis in Japan.

Scientists long have pondered about the conditions necessary for life to arise after Earth formed about 4.5 billion years ago. The new findings fit well with the hypothesis that bodies like comets, asteroids and meteorites that bombarded early Earth seeded the young planet with compounds that helped pave the way for the first microbes.

Scientists previously detected key organic molecules in carbon-rich meteorites found on Earth. But there was the question of whether these space rocks had been contaminated by exposure to the Earth’s environment after landing.

“Our key finding is that uracil and niacin, both of which are of biological significance, are indeed present in extraterrestrial environments and they may have been provided to the early Earth as a component of asteroids and meteorites. We suspect they had a role in prebiotic evolution on Earth and possibly for the emergence of first life,” said astrochemist Yasuhiro Oba of Hokkaido University in Japan, lead author of the research published in the journal Nature Communications.

Carbonaceous rock samples retrieved from the asteroid Ryugu, that were subjected to chemical analysis by Hayabusa2 soluble organic matter (SOM) team members, led by Hiroshi Naraoka, Yoshinori Takano and Jason Dworkin, are seen in this undated handout photo. JAXA/Handout via Reuters

Carbonaceous rock samples retrieved from the asteroid Ryugu, that were subjected to chemical analysis by Hayabusa2 soluble organic matter (SOM) team members, led by Hiroshi Naraoka, Yoshinori Takano and Jason Dworkin, are seen in this undated handout photo. JAXA/Handout via Reuters

“These molecules on Ryugu were recovered in a pristine extraterrestrial setting,” Oba said. “It was directly sampled on the asteroid Ryugu and returned to Earth, and finally to laboratories without any contact with terrestrial contaminants.”

RNA, short for ribonucleic acid, would not be possible without uracil. RNA, a molecule present in all living cells, is vital in coding, regulation and activity of genes. RNA has structural similarities to DNA, a molecule that carries an organism’s genetic blueprint.

Niacin is important in underpinning metabolism and can help produce the “energy” that powers living organisms.

The researchers extracted uracil, niacin and some other organic compounds in the Ryugu samples by soaking the material in hot water and then performing analyses called liquid chromatography and high-resolution mass spectrometry.

Organic astrochemist and study co-author Yoshinori Takano of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) said he is now looking forward to the results of analyses on samples being returned to Earth in September from another asteroid. The U.S. space agency NASA during its OSIRIS-REx mission collected samples in 2020 from the asteroid Bennu.

Oba said uracil and niacin were found at both landing sites on Ryugu, which is about a half-mile (900 meters) in diameter and is classified as a near-Earth asteroid. The concentrations of the compounds were higher at one of the sites than the other.

The sample from the site with the lower concentrations was derived from surface material more susceptible to degradation induced by energetic particles darting through space, Oba said. The sample from the other site was mainly derived from subsurface material more protected from degradation, Oba added.

Asteroids are rocky primordial bodies that formed in the early solar system. The researchers suggest that the organic compounds found on Ryugu may have been formed with the help of chemical reactions caused by starlight in icy materials residing in interstellar space.

Two organic compounds essential for living organisms have been found in samples retrieved from the asteroid Ryugu, buttressing the notion that some ingredients crucial for the advent of life arrived on Earth aboard rocks from space billions of years ago.

Scientists said on Tuesday they detected uracil and niacin in rocks obtained by the Japanese Space Agency’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft from two sites on Ryugu in 2019. Uracil is one of the chemical building blocks for RNA, a molecule carrying directions for building and operating living organisms. Niacin, also called Vitamin B3 or nicotinic acid, is vital for their metabolism.

The Ryugu samples, which looked like dark-gray rubble, were transported 155 million miles (250 million km) back to Earth and returned to our planet’s surface in a sealed capsule that landed in 2020 in Australia’s remote outback for analysis in Japan.

Scientists long have pondered about the conditions necessary for life to arise after Earth formed about 4.5 billion years ago. The new findings fit well with the hypothesis that bodies like comets, asteroids and meteorites that bombarded early Earth seeded the young planet with compounds that helped pave the way for the first microbes.

Scientists previously detected key organic molecules in carbon-rich meteorites found on Earth. But there was the question of whether these space rocks had been contaminated by exposure to the Earth’s environment after landing.

“Our key finding is that uracil and niacin, both of which are of biological significance, are indeed present in extraterrestrial environments and they may have been provided to the early Earth as a component of asteroids and meteorites. We suspect they had a role in prebiotic evolution on Earth and possibly for the emergence of first life,” said astrochemist Yasuhiro Oba of Hokkaido University in Japan, lead author of the research published in the journal Nature Communications.

Carbonaceous rock samples retrieved from the asteroid Ryugu, that were subjected to chemical analysis by Hayabusa2 soluble organic matter (SOM) team members, led by Hiroshi Naraoka, Yoshinori Takano and Jason Dworkin, are seen in this undated handout photo. JAXA/Handout via Reuters

Carbonaceous rock samples retrieved from the asteroid Ryugu, that were subjected to chemical analysis by Hayabusa2 soluble organic matter (SOM) team members, led by Hiroshi Naraoka, Yoshinori Takano and Jason Dworkin, are seen in this undated handout photo. JAXA/Handout via Reuters

“These molecules on Ryugu were recovered in a pristine extraterrestrial setting,” Oba said. “It was directly sampled on the asteroid Ryugu and returned to Earth, and finally to laboratories without any contact with terrestrial contaminants.”

RNA, short for ribonucleic acid, would not be possible without uracil. RNA, a molecule present in all living cells, is vital in coding, regulation and activity of genes. RNA has structural similarities to DNA, a molecule that carries an organism’s genetic blueprint.

Niacin is important in underpinning metabolism and can help produce the “energy” that powers living organisms.

The researchers extracted uracil, niacin and some other organic compounds in the Ryugu samples by soaking the material in hot water and then performing analyses called liquid chromatography and high-resolution mass spectrometry.

Organic astrochemist and study co-author Yoshinori Takano of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) said he is now looking forward to the results of analyses on samples being returned to Earth in September from another asteroid. The U.S. space agency NASA during its OSIRIS-REx mission collected samples in 2020 from the asteroid Bennu.

Oba said uracil and niacin were found at both landing sites on Ryugu, which is about a half-mile (900 meters) in diameter and is classified as a near-Earth asteroid. The concentrations of the compounds were higher at one of the sites than the other.

The sample from the site with the lower concentrations was derived from surface material more susceptible to degradation induced by energetic particles darting through space, Oba said. The sample from the other site was mainly derived from subsurface material more protected from degradation, Oba added.

Asteroids are rocky primordial bodies that formed in the early solar system. The researchers suggest that the organic compounds found on Ryugu may have been formed with the help of chemical reactions caused by starlight in icy materials residing in interstellar space.

Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/international/20230322/asteroid-discovery-suggests-ingredients-for-life-on-earth-came-from-space/72203.html

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‘Climate time bomb ticking’, emissions must urgently be cut, UN chief says

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U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that the “climate time bomb is ticking” as he urged rich nations on Monday to slash emissions sooner after a new assessment from scientists said there was little time to lose in tackling climate change.

“The rate of temperature rise in the last half century is the highest in 2,000 years,” he said. “Concentrations of carbon dioxide are at their highest in at least 2 million years. The climate time-bomb is ticking.”

In a recorded address, Guterres described the sixth “synthesis report” from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as “a survival guide for humanity” and urged developed countries to commit to reaching net zero emissions by the earlier date of around 2040.

The synthesis report summarized findings from three expert assessments published between 2021 and 2022 that looked at the physical science, impacts, and mitigation of climate change. The summary report is designed to provide clarity for policymakers as they consider further action to slash emissions.

“We have the tools to stave off and reduce the risks of the worst impacts of the climate crisis, but we must take advantage of this moment to act now,” said U.S. climate envoy John Kerry.

The 37-page report was distilled from thousands of pages of previous assessments after a week of deliberations in Interlaken, Switzerland.

The document will also serve as a guide for a global climate change “stocktake” set to take place this year, in which countries will assess progress. Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, nations are also expected to update climate pledges by 2025.

According to the IPCC, emissions must be halved by the mid-2030s if the world is to have any chance of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels – a key target enshrined in the Paris accord.

“If we act now, we can still secure a liveable sustainable future for all,” said IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee.

On current trajectories, the planet is on track to warm by 3.2C by century’s end, and temperatures could still rise by at least 2.2C even if existing pledges are met.

Average temperatures are already 1.1C higher than 1850-1900 levels, driving more extreme weather events worldwide.

“In the words of very senior colleagues in the IPCC, we’re up the proverbial creek – that’s really the key message from the report,” said synthesis report co-author Frank Jotzo of Australian National University.

Observers said the major areas of contention included the language around finance and the projected impacts of climate change, as well as the issue of “equity” and climate justice for poorer countries.

Some governments also wanted to give more prominence to their own favoured climate solutions, including solar power or carbon capture.

The IPCC says the world needs to accelerate the transition to green energy and transform agriculture and eating habits if it has any chance of making the necessary cuts in emissions.

It also warned of more extreme weather, rapidly rising sea levels, melting Arctic ice and the growing likelihood of catastrophic and irreversible “tipping points”. They also said nearly half the world’s population was already vulnerable to climate impacts.

“In short, our world needs climate action on all fronts – everything, everywhere, all at once,” said Guterres.

U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that the “climate time bomb is ticking” as he urged rich nations on Monday to slash emissions sooner after a new assessment from scientists said there was little time to lose in tackling climate change.

“The rate of temperature rise in the last half century is the highest in 2,000 years,” he said. “Concentrations of carbon dioxide are at their highest in at least 2 million years. The climate time-bomb is ticking.”

In a recorded address, Guterres described the sixth “synthesis report” from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as “a survival guide for humanity” and urged developed countries to commit to reaching net zero emissions by the earlier date of around 2040.

The synthesis report summarized findings from three expert assessments published between 2021 and 2022 that looked at the physical science, impacts, and mitigation of climate change. The summary report is designed to provide clarity for policymakers as they consider further action to slash emissions.

“We have the tools to stave off and reduce the risks of the worst impacts of the climate crisis, but we must take advantage of this moment to act now,” said U.S. climate envoy John Kerry.

The 37-page report was distilled from thousands of pages of previous assessments after a week of deliberations in Interlaken, Switzerland.

The document will also serve as a guide for a global climate change “stocktake” set to take place this year, in which countries will assess progress. Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, nations are also expected to update climate pledges by 2025.

According to the IPCC, emissions must be halved by the mid-2030s if the world is to have any chance of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels – a key target enshrined in the Paris accord.

“If we act now, we can still secure a liveable sustainable future for all,” said IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee.

On current trajectories, the planet is on track to warm by 3.2C by century’s end, and temperatures could still rise by at least 2.2C even if existing pledges are met.

Average temperatures are already 1.1C higher than 1850-1900 levels, driving more extreme weather events worldwide.

“In the words of very senior colleagues in the IPCC, we’re up the proverbial creek – that’s really the key message from the report,” said synthesis report co-author Frank Jotzo of Australian National University.

Observers said the major areas of contention included the language around finance and the projected impacts of climate change, as well as the issue of “equity” and climate justice for poorer countries.

Some governments also wanted to give more prominence to their own favoured climate solutions, including solar power or carbon capture.

The IPCC says the world needs to accelerate the transition to green energy and transform agriculture and eating habits if it has any chance of making the necessary cuts in emissions.

It also warned of more extreme weather, rapidly rising sea levels, melting Arctic ice and the growing likelihood of catastrophic and irreversible “tipping points”. They also said nearly half the world’s population was already vulnerable to climate impacts.

“In short, our world needs climate action on all fronts – everything, everywhere, all at once,” said Guterres.

Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/international/20230321/climate-time-bomb-ticking-emissions-must-urgently-be-cut-un-chief-says/72194.html

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