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Jul 22, 201304:48 PM

Cheat Sheet: July 22, 2013

Earthquake demolishes northwest China

A between 5.9 and 6.6 magnitude earthquake struck the Gansu province in northwest China Monday morning, killing 89 and injuring 584. Rescue teams are already headed to the epicenter, including the Red Cross and armed police and heavy machinery, but efforts will be restricted due to the heavy rain the region has experienced over the past month. Tremors continue to ripple through the area, causing roofs to collapse and trees to fell, cutting crucial communication lines to the province. Train services have also been suspended until the region has been deemed safe again for travel. (Source)

Kate Middleton in early stages of labor

The Duchess of Cambridge was admitted to St. Mary’s Hospital early Monday morning and is expected to give birth in the private Lindo Wing of the hospital, where Princess Diana gave birth to William and his younger brother, Harry. Crowds have gathered outside the hospital and at Buckingham Palace, awaiting the infant who will be third in line to the throne after Prince Charles and William. The couple’s spokesman said only “things are progressing as normal,” and Sky News royal correspondent Paul Harrison said Kate’s condition had been described as “very well.” Protocol requires that the queen be informed about the birth before the general public is told. (Source)

Resurgent bee population sends entomologists abuzz

For nearly two decades there has been a growing concern about the dwindling numbers of bees in the northwest. The western bumblebee is one of four species of bees which has seen a steady decline. Experts have pointed to a number of factors, including pesticides, the fracturing of habitats and parasites, as well as cross breeding from Europe. The lower numbers sparked concern for farmers as the bees are the chief pollinators of tomatoes and cranberries. However, bees which are possibly resistant to the fungus that may have caused the drop in numbers are making a comeback, and entomologists and bee enthusiasts alike are excited for the optimistic news, as it opens the door for increased populations of the western bumblebee and hope for more species to make a comeback. (Source)

Bids for VA costal wind turbines set for Sept 4

The Bureau of Ocean Management has revealed their plan to auction off over 110,000 acres of Virginia’s continental shelf for the development of electricity-generating wind turbines. The project, set to begin by 2020, is to build turbines capable of generating enough energy to power 700,000 homes, not to forget the thousands of jobs the contracts would bring to Virginia. Project bidders, which include Dominion Virginia Power and Energy Management Inc., if they were to win the bid, would have to negotiate with the Navy and shipping companies to make sure their structures do not compete or impede traffic. The project would be one of the first in the nation, but many steps, including a thorough mapping of the shelf bottom, would have to occur. (Source)

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