Aldi (Essen, Germany) CEO Jason Hart says the supermarket chain will phase out plastic bags from all 2200 locations by the end of 2023.
The pledge was made via a letter to customers in which Hart said the move will eliminate 4400 tons of plastic from circulation each year. He also outlined the grocer’s recent sustainability achievements, including:
- An increase in the recyclability of packaging so that 62% of ALDI-exclusive packaging is now reusable, recyclable or compostable
- Installed rooftop solar panels on additional ALDI buildings; more than 120 stores and 12 distribution centers now produce and consume green electricity from solar power
- Earned more EPA GreenChill store certifications than all grocery retailers in the nation combined for the second year in a row
- Diverted 74% of operational waste company-wide that would otherwise go to landfills through increased donations, recycling programs and composting pilots
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy honored his smallest soldier Sunday – a famous little Jack Russell terrier named Patron.
The bomb-sniffing dog received state honors at a ceremony in Kyiv for his wartime efforts of finding more than 200 explosive devices after being taught by his owner, Mykhailo Iliev of the Civil Protection Service.
Patron also helps children understand safety rules in areas with mine threats, as Russian forces had left buried land mines and bombs across large parts of the country, according to BBC.
"I want to award those Ukrainian heroes who are already clearing our land of mines. And together with our heroes – a wonderful little sapper Patron who helps not only to neutralize explosives, but also to teach our children the necessary safety rules in areas where there is a mine threat," President Zelenskyy said during Sunday's ceremony.
Patron's efforts went viral last month after he helped defuse dozens of explosive devices and supported Ukrainian rescuers during a Russian invasion, Zelenskyy said in the ceremony. The dog has become a sort of Ukrainian celebrity, even having his own fan art.
A Bellevue woman received a settlement of $125,000 after her tabby cat Miska was accused of trespassing in a Bellevue neighborhood.
. "This case was about the unjustified and incredible prosecution of a domestic house cat in Bellevue," said Jon Zimmerman, cat owner Anna Danieli's attorney. "This was really an historic settlement involving a cat in the state of Washington."
Attorney Jon Zimmerman says Anna called him after her family's cat was taken away, and she received thousands of dollars in fines. Zimmerman and co-counsel, attorney Jeffrey Possinger, argued in the case that Miska is not a "vicious" cat as had been alleged, but is instead a loving pet. Zimmerman said Miska was just "being a cat" when the citations started rolling in.
A Texas man caught a gargantuan alligator gar in a Houston bayou over the weekend.
Payton Moore, a fisherman and wildlife conservationist from Sugar Land, caught the 8-foot, 300-pound alligator said he knew the fish was big the second it started moving. "It felt like somebody's car had just started up and was rolling out of the driveway, and I'm hanging on to the end of it," Moore told the Houston Chronicle.
To get the fish tired, making it easier to catch, Moore made it swim in circles to confuse it. The fisherman then saw a window of opportunity and used a lasso to wrangle it in and secure it around the pectoral fins.
Moore released the fish back into the bayou.
Is this fish a record-breaking one? Unfortunately, it's not. Although the fish likely weighs more than the state record set in 1953 of 302 pounds, to qualify for a state record, the catch must be weighed on a state-certified scale, according to the Houston Chronicle, citing an expert from Nicholls State University. The world record for the largest alligator gar stands at 8 feet, 5 inches and 327 pounds.
While this alligator gar might not be a record-breaking fish, it sure is an old one. Moore estimated the fish is between 50 to 100 years old. "The fish literally could have been swimming around in Texas waters when Truman was president," Moore said.
The American Kennel Club is pleased to announce that Jane Alston-Myers of Ocala, FL has been hired as an Executive Field Representative. Alston-Myers was initially hired as a Field Representative back in 2014. She is an approved AKC judge for the Sporting Group as well as 12 additional breeds and their varieties.
"Jane has been immersed in the sport practically since birth. Having been a past Executive Field Representative, current Group Judge along with her extensive involvement in AKC conformation events and in-depth knowledge of handling and breeding will be valuable assets" said Sandy D'Andrea, AKC Field Director, Conformation. “We are very excited and fortunate to have her come back to the AKC staff.”
The sport has been in Alston-Myers’ family for three generations. She’s handled over 200 AKC champions from all seven groups, winning 12 National Specialties with seven different breeds. She has won Best In Show several times including Best In Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Additionally, she is a successful breeder of Golden Retrievers, German Wirehaired Pointers, Parson Russell Terriers, Lakeland Terriers and Poodles.
Alston-Myers has an Associate’s degree in Applied Science from the State University of New York at Cobleskill and is certified by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP) as a histotechnician. She will cover the New England territory.
The mystery at the heart of the Milky Way has finally been solved. This week at a simultaneous press conferences around the world, the astronomers of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) revealed the first image of Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. It’s not the first picture of a black hole this collaboration has given us—that was the iconic image of M87*, which they revealed on April 10, 2019. But it’s the one they wanted most. Sagittarius A* is our own private supermassive black hole, the still point around which our galaxy revolves.
Scientists have long thought that a supermassive black hole hidden deep in the chaotic central region of our galaxy was the only possible explanation for the bizarre things that happen there—such as giant stars slingshotting around an invisible something in space at an appreciable fraction of the speed of light. Yet they’ve been hesitant to say that outright. For example, when astronomers Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez shared a portion of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics for their work on Sagittarius A*, their citation specified that they were awarded for “the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the centre of our galaxy,” not the revelation of a “black hole.” The time for that sort of caution has expired.
Black holes trap everything that falls in, including light, so they are, in a very real sense, unseeable. But they warp spacetime around them so severely that, when they are illuminated by glowing streams of infalling matter shredded in their gravitational grip, they cast a “shadow.” The shadow is about two and a half times larger than a black hole’s event horizon: its boundary and its defining feature, the line in spacetime through which nothing that passes can ever return.
Two sperm whales have died within a week of each other in the Florida Keys, but officials didn’t immediately see a connection between the deaths.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials say a calf died after beaching itself on Key Largo.
Then an adult male, nearly 50 feet long, was found beached Tuesday night about 15 miles northeast of Key West.
The remains were towed to a nearby marina.
Casey Taylor, the general manager at Robbie’s Boat Yard, told Local 10 News the whale was removed from the water around 3 a.m.
Officials say a necropsy on the calf determined that it likely died from being separated from its mother.
Officials were studying the adult male corpse, noting that the animal appeared to be emaciated.
According to NOAA officials, these animals are typically found in the Gulf of Mexico and in the Atlantic Ocean, but in deep water and nowhere near shore.
If they are close to shore, it typically means that the whale could be ill, they said.
After the necropsy is performed on the adult whale, the carcass will then be placed back in the water and towed offshore “for nature to take its course,” Taylor said.
Body-wide inflammation contributes to the development of acute and chronic diseases in horses such as laminitis or metabolic syndrome. High-starch meals appear to induce inflammatory responses in certain young, old, and overweight horses but at differing time points and severities.
Researchers at Sam Houston University recently explored the pro-inflammatory responses of middle-aged versus old horses and lean versus overweight horses following meals rich in nonstructural carbohydrates (NSC).* All horses were fed steam-rolled barley at a rate to provide 1.2 grams of NSC per kilogram of body weight daily in addition to grass hay, ration balancer, salt, and water.
Inflammation was evaluated at various time points in the study by measuring blood levels of the inflammatory mediator interleukin (IL)-1β.
When considering the effect of body condition in middle-aged horses, overconditioning—a body condition score between 6.5 and 8 on a 9-point scale—was associated with an immediate postprandial increase in IL-1β on day 1. In contrast, leaner horses with a body condition score of 4 or 5 did not have this increase in IL-1β until 14 days after being fed the high-starch diet. Further, older horses between 20 and 23 years of age also had increased IL-1β levels directly after consuming the high-starch diet.
“This study builds on previous work that assessed pro-inflammatory response to diet. Older and overweight horses have a more immediate and elevated inflammatory response, which could be linked to underlying conditions such as the inflammaging process,” explained Catherine Whitehouse, M.S., a nutritionist for Kentucky Equine Research.
Given the results of this study, the feeding management of older and over-conditioned individuals should emphasize lower nonstructural carbohydrate intakes, according to the researchers.
Care should be taken in how calories are provided to horses on low-starch diets. “High-fat diets could also result in similar immune responses depending on the fatty acid composition of the diet. Kentucky Equine Research continues to conduct research on how long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in EO-3, can reduce the production of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids and cytokines, which are inflammatory mediators,” Whitehouse said.
More than 90% of Great Barrier Reef coral surveyed this year was bleached in the fourth such mass event in seven years in the world's largest coral reef ecosystem, Australian government scientists said.
Bleaching is caused by global warming, but this is the reef's first bleaching event during a La Niña weather pattern, which is associated with cooler Pacific Ocean temperatures, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Authority said in its an annual report released late Tuesday that found 91% of the areas surveyed were affected.
Bleaching in 2016, 2017 and 2020 damaged two-thirds of the coral in the famed reef off Australia's eastern coast.
Coral bleaches as a heat stress response and scientists hope most of the coral will recover from the current event, said David Wachenfeld, chief scientist at the authority, which manages the reef ecosystem.
"The early indications are that the mortality won't be very high," Wachenfeld told Australian Broadcasting Corp. on Wednesday.
"We are hoping that we will see most of the coral that is bleached recover and we will end up with an event rather more like 2020 when, yes, there was mass bleaching, but there was low mortality," Wachenfeld added.
The bleaching events in 2016 and 2017 led to "quite high levels of coral mortality," Wachenfeld said.
Last December, the first month of the Southern Hemisphere summer, was the hottest December the reef had experienced since 1900. A "marine heatwave" had set in by late February, the report said.
A United Nations delegation visited the reef in March to assess whether the reef's World Heritage listing should be downgraded due to the ravages of climate change.
In July last year, Australia garnered enough international support to defer an attempt by UNESCO, the United Nations' cultural organization, to downgrade the reef's World Heritage status to "in danger" because of damage caused by climate change.
But the question will be back on the World Heritage Committee's agenda at its annual meeting next month.
One of the most recent snaps beamed back from the Curiosity rover on Mars has revealed a rather interesting feature in the rocks: what looks to be a perfectly carved out doorway nestling in the Martian landscape.
The doorway doppelgänger is so eerily convincing we're almost tempted to start believing that it leads to a little hideaway for Martians, or perhaps a portal to another Universe entirely. We're also getting 'tunnel to the center of the planet' vibes from this.
At the very least, the picture and the geological feature it's captured would seem to be enough to inspire a science-fiction movie or two.
In fact, the largest temblor recorded on the red planet so far happened on May 4 of this year, and scientists are still working to pinpoint where exactly it happened and what caused it.
What's more, while the door-like rock formation may appear to be full-sized in our imaginations, it's possible the cavity seen is only a few centimeters or inches tall in real life, though it's difficult to be certain from the pictures taken.
In the years that we've had access to close-ups of Mars from landers and orbiters, we've been treated to some truly weird and wonderful snapshots of the red planet: craters filled with ice, strange chevron-shaped rock formations, hollowed-out mountains and plenty more.
In terms of spooky discoveries in space that appear to resemble 'alien' structures, it's important we don't get too carried away with what grainy images can sometimes suggest.
You may remember the strange, cube-shaped object spotted on the Moon by China's Yutu 2 rover last year. After further investigation, it turns out that the 'alien hut' was simply another rock – with tricks of light and perspective giving it its cuboid shape.
Similarly, we suspect that this mystery doorway will ultimately have an explanation that's just as ordinary... but we're having plenty of fun speculating in the meantime.
After stunning the horse racing world with a Kentucky Derby win no one saw coming, Rich Strike will sit out the Preakness Stakes and instead focus on preparing for the Belmont Stakes.
The Daily Racing Form originally reported the news of Rich Strike’s absence at the Preakness.
The Preakness, the second leg of the Triple Crown, will be run on May 21 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. The Belmont will be held at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York, on June 11.
In a statement, owner Rick Dawson said that the team’s plan was always to determine Rich Strike’s Triple Crown schedule based on the outcome of the Kentucky Derby. If the horse was able to run in the Derby, they expected to “give him more recovery time” and rest for the Belmont. Despite the unexpected victory at Churchill Downs, that plan will remain unchanged.
“With our tremendous effort and win in the Derby, it’s very, very tempting to alter our course and run in the Preakness at Pimlico, which would be a great honor for all our group,” the statement read. “However, after much discussion and consideration with my trainer, Eric Reed, and a few others, we are going to stay with our plan of what’s best for Ritchie and what’s best for our group, and pass on running in the Preakness, and point toward the Belmont in approximately five weeks.”
While the typical buzz about a Triple Crown chase usually follows the Kentucky Derby winner, that was not the case in Rich Strike’s camp following his monumental upset. Trainer Eric Reed stressed that the well-being of the horse would be the team’s top priority in determining whether or not Rich Strike would be entered at the Preakness.
“I can’t do anything but what’s best for the horse,” Reed told Sports Illustrated this week. “If we flop [at the Preakness] and he gets hurt, they’ll forget we were even there. I’ve got to remember it’s about him. If it starts being about us, that’s a problem.”
Under Reed’s care, Rich Strike has never run on less than three weeks’ rest, with most of his races spaced out across four or five weeks. The setup of the Triple Crown—with three races in the span of 35 days—proved to be too much to ask for the unlikely Derby champion.
Cambodian fishermen were surprised to discover a rare giant stingray they caught by accident in the Mekong River.
The fishermen caught the endangered fish last week in a deep part of the Mekong in Cambodia’s northeastern Stung Treng province. It measured four meters long and weighed about 180 kilograms.
The giant freshwater stingray is one of Southeast Asia’s largest and rarest species of fish.
The stingray was caught when it swallowed a smaller fish that had taken a fisherman’s hook. An international team of experts worked with the fishermen to unhook the fish. The team then examined the stingray before returning it unharmed to the river.
The experts were from Wonders of the Mekong, a U.S. government-financed organization. The group carries out research activities on the Mekong and shares its results with governments and communities along the river.
The Mekong River is Southeast Asia’s longest, passing through China, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam. About 60 million people depend on the river for food and survival.
The Mekong is an important environment for numerous species, both large and small. But the leader of Wonders of the Mekong, Zeb Hogan, says the river’s underwater ecosystem is poorly understood.
“These are unseen worlds, underappreciated and out of sight,” Hogan said in a statement from his employer, the University of Nevada.
Speaking to Reuters, Hogan said the catch was “significant” because it “confirms the existence of these big fish in this stretch of river.” However, Hogan added that the faraway area is not well studied and is considered “under threat.”
The area could suffer "devastating ecological effects" if proposed hydropower dam projects move forward, the scientific team said in a statement. Other threats include illegal fishing and large collections of plastic waste.
Hogan has been studying biodiversity in the Mekong for more than 20 years. He told Reuters the reduction in population of some freshwater fish in the river was very concerning.
"Historically, this (part) of river produced 200 billion young fish,” Hogan said. Then, during the flooding season, the fish were spread “throughout all of Cambodia and even into Vietnam," he added.
Stargazers all over the world will have an opportunity to see a blood moon over the weekend as a lunar eclipse moves into Earth's orbit.
The penumbral eclipse, when the moon is completely immersed in the penumbral cone of the Earth without touching the umbra, the inner part of Earth's shadow, is expected to begin Sunday just after 9:30 p.m. ET, according to NASA. The penumbral eclipse results in only part of the moon going dark. The partial eclipse, when the moon appears to move into the umbra and part of the moon inside the umbra will appear very dark, will occur just before 10:30 p.m. ET.
Totality will begin just before 11:30 p.m. ET, when the entire moon is inside Earth's umbra and transforms to a coppery-red hue. Totality will end before 1 a.m. Monday, and the penumbral eclipse will end at 2:50 a.m.
Residents in the eastern half of the U.S. and all of South America will be able to observe each stage of the lunar eclipse, and totality will be visible in much of Africa, western Europe, Central and South America and most of North America, according to NASA. The lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, Earth and moon align, and the moon passes into Earth's shadow, according to NASA. "Blood moon" is the term to describe the part of the total lunar eclipse in which all the Earth's sunrises and sunsets project onto the moon's surface as it passes through Earth's shadow, darkening it and giving it its crimson color.
Rayleigh scattering, the same phenomenon that gives the sky its blue color and makes sunsets red, is what causes the moon to turn red during the eclipse. Red light, which has longer wavelengths than blue light, is seen during a lunar eclipse because the only sunlight reaching the moon passes through Earth's atmosphere, according to NASA. "It's as if all the world's sunrises and sunsets are projected onto the Moon," according to the administration.
The more dust or clouds in the Earth's atmosphere at the time of the eclipse, the more red the moon will appear.
During the eclipse, cloud cover is expected from Dallas to Chicago, while scattered clouds will range from Atlanta to New York. NASA will broadcast a livestream of the total lunar eclipse.
The next total lunar eclipse will occur on Nov. 8. After that, another total lunar eclipse will not occur until March 13, 2025.
A trio of dogs, rescued from conditions described as “deplorable,” are getting a second chance at a good life after being adopted. The dogs, a mother and two pups, were rescued in March from a yard in Youngstown – the Animal Charity of Ohio recounted the situation:
Thankfully a concerned citizen called YPD today after seeing 3 dogs, a mom and 2 puppies hidden from view on the southside of Youngstown. They immediately called our humane agent to investigate.
Our humane agent arrived and removed all 3 from the deplorable conditions they were being housed in.
Because the dogs had been isolated, they were frightened and lacked social skills. A photo of the hugging puppies revealed the depth of their fear.
But time, patience, and love have paid off. As reported by WKBN News, the trio was recently adopted from the Lake Humane Society.