Oceans Heating Up 40 Percent Faster Than Thought, 2018 Expected To See Record Temperatures, Scientists Say

By Kashmira Gander Ocean heating—which could trigger potentially devastating weather events including hurricanes and storms—is happening 40 percent faster than previous thought, scientists have warned. And if nothing is done to slow the warming, sea levels could rise by around 12 inches in addition to that caused by melting ice, said the authors of the …

A Mirror Image of Our Universe May Have Existed Before the Big Bang

By Erik Vance Like a mountain looming over a calm lake, it seems the universe may once have had a perfect mirror image. That’s the conclusion a team of Canadian scientists reached after extrapolating the laws of the universe both before and after the Big Bang. Physicists have a pretty good idea of the structure of …

‘Smiling face’: Saudi teen fleeing family is granted asylum in Canada

By Wilawan Watcharasakwet and Timothy McLaughlin A Saudi woman who fled her family, claiming fear for her life, and used social media to amplify her calls for safe haven was granted asylum by Canada on Friday, an official in Thailand said. The decision to give haven to the 18-year-old Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun capped a nearly …

FL Democrat Introduces Bill Requiring Public High Schools to Offer Bible Classes

By Hemant Mehta Florida State Rep. Kimberly Daniels, a Democrat, has a history of promoting Christianity throuigh the government and looking like a fool in the process. Last year, she condemned witches and warlocks while calling on everyone to pray for Donald Trump. (It didn’t help.) She responded to the Parkland massacre by getting public schools to put up “In …

Atmospheric Mystery on Saturn’s Largest Moon

By Erik Larson Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, is bigger than the planet Mercury and has the thickest atmosphere of any known planetary satellite. Its blanket of gases is incredibly similar in some ways to our own: it is made predominantly of nitrogen, for example, and the surface pressure—roughly 100 times greater than that of Mars …

Evangelical group wants gays removed from anti-lynching bill

By Brooke Sopelsa The U.S. Senate last month unanimously passed a bill that would explicitly make lynching a federal crime. Not everyone, however, is pleased with passage of the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act. Liberty Counsel, an evangelical nonprofit that opposes gay rights, and its chairman, Mat Staver, are taking issue with the bill’s inclusion of …

What’s Better Than One Mysterious Cosmic Signal?

By Marina Koren The mysterious signals come from all directions in the sky. No one knows exactly what they are, or what causes them, but astronomers have detected dozens over the past decade. The signals, known as fast radio bursts, originate from deep within the cosmos, well beyond the Milky Way galaxy. The radio waves travel …

Saudi teen may get asylum in Australia after plea goes viral

By Jen Kirby A Saudi teen who made international headlines this week after fleeing to Thailand to seek asylum from her abusive family may now get what she’s desperately been seeking. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has referred Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun’s case to the Australian government. The Australian Department of Home Affairs confirmed …

The Battle for the Meaning of Religious Freedom Day

By Frederick Clarkson There’s an oxymoron embedded in one of the model bills in the Christian right’s state legislative campaign called Project Blitz. Their model resolution for Religious Freedom Day celebrates a day devoted to something they oppose: religious freedom. Yes, the authors mouth many of the right things, including boilerplate platitudes and cherrypicked historical artifacts as recommended by Project …

MI Democratic Gov. Signs Non-Discrimination Directive With No Religious Loophole

By Hemant Mehta While the Republican-run federal government remains a sinking ship, there’s a lot of good news to be found in Democratic-run state governments. In Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive directive prohibiting LGBTQ discrimination among state employees and job applicants. That includes people hired by outside groups working on a state contract. While her GOP …