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New Year 2017 delayed by one second



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This new year 2017 will be delayed by one second to compensate for a slowdown in the Earth’s rotation.

The extra second will occur as clocks strike midnight and a time of 23:59:60 will be recorded, delaying 2017 momentarily.

Earlier a leap second last occurred in June 2015 and it will be the 27th time it has occurred.

The change is important as standard time lags behind atomic clocks.

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) which is responsible for the UK’s national time scale – uses the atomic clock to provide a stable and continuous timescale.

Along with other clocks across the globe, it provides the world with its coordinated universal time.

NPL senior research scientist Peter Whibberley said: “Atomic clocks are more than a million times better at keeping time than the rotation of the Earth, which fluctuates unpredictably.

“Leap seconds are needed to prevent civil time drifting away from Earth time.

“Although the drift is small – taking around 1,000 years to accumulate a one-hour difference – if not corrected it would eventually result in clocks showing midday before sunrise.”

Atomic clocks use the change of electron energy levels to tell the time.

The time created by the clocks is used in GPS location devices and is used to control the wave frequency of television broadcasts.

The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service in France gives the information about the Earth’s rotation and declares the requirement for a leap second.

 Wefornews Bureau


First non-stop flight between Australia, UK makes history



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Qantas Flight QF9 should complete its 14,498km (9,009-mile) journey in just over 17 hours, reports the BBC. Image source: Reuters

Perth, March 25: The first non-stop flight between Australia and the UK has left Perth and is due to land in London on Sunday.

Qantas Flight QF9 should complete its 14,498km (9,009-mile) journey in just over 17 hours, reports the BBC.

The historic flight, carrying more than 200 passengers and 16 crew, departed from Perth at 6.49 p.m., on Saturday and is due at London Heathrow at 5.10 a.m., on Sunday.

The airline is using the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, which is twice as fuel-efficient as the Boeing 747.

It is part of ambitious plans by Qantas to add ultra long-haul flights to its schedules.

Chief Executive Alan Joyce has called the new Perth-London service a “game-changing route”.

Speaking at an event ahead of the inaugural flight, he said the earliest Qantas flights between Australia and the UK – known as the “kangaroo route” – had taken four days and involved seven stops.

Western Australia’s state government is also hoping to see an increase in tourist numbers as a result of the new direct route.

The flight will be the world’s second-longest after Qatar Airways’ route from Doha to Auckland, which spans 14,529km, according to the International Air Transport Association.

To minimise the discomfort of such a long flight, the plane has been equipped with improved air quality and lower cabin noise, the BBC reported.

Some of the passengers have agreed to share data on their sleeping and activity patterns with researchers from the University of Sydney.

They are wearing special monitors and devices that also record mental state, eating patterns and hydration.


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Car bomb kills 2 in Egypt’s Alexandria




Cairo, March 24: A car bomb killed two people and injured several others in the centre of the Egyptian port city of Alexandria on Saturday, officials said.

The attack unsuccessfully targeted the city’s security chief while he was travelling in a convoy, the Interior Ministry was cited as saying by Efe news.

Egypt is just two days away from its presidential election, that will be held from Monday to Wednesday, in which President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is competing for a second mandate.

An Interior Ministry statement only confirmed the death of one policeman, adding that three others were injured by an explosive device placed under a vehicle parked near the Alexandria Security Directorate headquarters.

On April 9, 2017 two separate bomb attacks targeted Coptic Christian churches in Alexandria and the city of Tanta in the Nile Delta, killing 44 people and wounding 100 others.

The Islamic State terror organization claimed responsibility for both attacks.


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Australia volunteers rescue 5 after mass-stranding of 150 whales



whales, Photo Credit: @DubaiSityNews

Canberra, March 24: Volunteers have helped rescue five of the 150 short-finned pilot whales that were stranded on a beach in Western Australia, authorities said on Saturday.

The whales were freed by authorities at Hamelin Bay, south of Perth, with the help of vets and more than 100 volunteers, reports the Guardian.

The surviving five whales have been moved to deeper waters, but there was still a risk they could return to dry land.

The Parks and Wildlife Service incident controller Jeremy Chick said whales often came back on to the shore after mass-stranding events.

“We ask the public to keep a lookout and if anyone sees a stranded whale to please report it,” he said.

A sixth whale was freed into shallow waters overnight but it beached again and had to be euthanised.

The authorities continued to sweep the surrounding beaches by air and sea on Saturday, the Guardian reported.

The 145 carcasses were being removed and authorities were taking DNA samples to understand why the whales beached.

A fisherman spotted the large number of whales on Friday morning.


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