Armoured car used in Cold War that is completely road legal could be yours for £20,000

AN ARMOURED tank used in the Cold War that is completely road legal is set to go under the hammer for £20,000.

The Mark II Ferret comes with a replica machine gun and thick armoured plating which can protect drivers from landmine explosions.

Built by Daimler, the scout car was used by the British Army of the Rhine in Germany during the 1960s and 1970s.

After it decommissioned in the 1990s, the model was picked up by private collector Andrew Adams.

The hulking motor was originally equipped with a machine gun on its turret to protect occupants, but has since been replaced with a replica.

It boasts a 4.25-litre Rolls Royce engine that can propel it to speeds of 50mph, with the vehicle only having 7,000 miles on the clock.



The tank is even classified as a classic vehicle, meaning it's tax exempt and doesn't require an MOT certificate.

The driver sits in a seat low to the ground with a front hatch to look through, while the passenger can peak through the turret.

The four-tonne machine is expected to get plenty of interest when it goes up for auction in May.

Ned Cowell, arms and armour expert at Woolley and Wallis Auctioneers, said: "It is enormous fun to drive and is remarkably easy.

"The interior is fairly compact and you are surrounded by a lot of metal. There is a holder for maps and smoke grenades right next to the driver.

"The steering wheel position is slightly above you and points down at your lap and you have a hatch on three sides of you to look out of.

"But if you are under attack you can pull the hatch up and look through vision slits to drive.


"It is a bit noisy but is probably just as loud as a tractor.

"It a military vehicle that is now accessible to normal people to own without having to have a massive private estate to drive it on.

"It is road legal and is not too big to handle on ordinary roads. It would certainly turn a few heads if you drove it into your local supermarket car park."

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Elon Musk is launching SIXTY 'internet satellites' today in defiance of 'space junk' critics

ELON Musk plans to send another 60 internet satellites into space today – just two weeks after a launch took the same number into orbit.

The tech billionaire's rocket firm SpaceX is launching the satellites in defiance of angry critics who say Musk is clogging up Earth's orbit with "space junk".



Starlink is Musk's bid to create a network of satellites in space that will beam internet back down to Earth.

Dozens of satellites have already been launched – and Musk has approval to send tens of thousands more into orbit.

Just last month, a 229-foot-tall Falcon 9 rocket took 60 satellites into space, where they will orbit 341 miles above Earth.

And a further 60 satellites will be carried into space on Monday February 17, at 10.05am New York time (3.05pm UK time).


But despite his good intentions, Musk is facing growing criticism from the astronomy community.

There have been concerns that humanity could be trapped on Earth by too much space junk in Earth's orbit.

That's according to one space scientist, who says Musk's plan could create an impenetrable wall of space junk around our planet.

A catastrophic clutter of space debris left behind by the satellites could block rockets from leaving Earth, an effect known as "Kessler syndrome".

"The worst case is: You launch all your satellites, you go bankrupt, and they all stay there," European Space Agency scientist Dr Stijn Lemmens told Scientific American.

"Then you have thousands of new satellites without a plan of getting them out of there. And you would have a Kessler-type of syndrome."


It will take thousands of years for any SpaceX satellites left in our orbit to descend to Earth and burn up in the atmosphere.

The firm says it's already taken steps to avoid cluttering up the region. It's launching the satellites into a lower orbital plane than most space tech to avoid collisions.

Even with such precautions, mega-constellations like Starlink will results in 67,000 potential collisions per year, another space scientist warned.

"This is something we need to pay attention to,” aerospace engineer Glenn Peterson told MIT Technology Review. "We have to be proactive."

The Starlink satellites are tightly packed into the nose of one of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets, which is currently poised on a launchpad at Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Musk has previously said he plans to send up nearly 12,000 satellites by the mid-2020s.

If everything goes to plan for SpaceX then internet users across the world could have 40 times faster internet speeds no matter where they live.

How much this service will cost has not yet been revealed but Musk intends to keep prices low.




What is Starlink?

Here's what you need to know about Elon Musk's satellites…

  • Starlink is a satellite project led by billionaire SpaceX CEO Elon Musk
  • Musk intends to put 12,000 satellites into the Earth's orbit so they can provide cheap WiFi to the whole world
  • SpaceX also intends to sell satellites for military, scientific and exploratory purposes
  • The satellites are being launched on top of unmanned Falcon 9 rockets
  • How they will affect the night sky is causing concern as they look brighter than expected
  • It will take at least 12 trips to take all of the satellites into Space and they will be staggered at different heights above the Earth

Last year, astronomers complained that the satellites were appearing as bright trails of light in the night sky.

"Wow!! I am in shock!! The huge amount of Starlink satellites crossed our skies tonight," said Clarae Martínez-Vázquez, an astronomer at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in northern Chile.

"Our DECam exposure was heavily affected by 19 of them. The train of Starlink satellites lasted for over 5 minutes.

The astronomer added: "Rather depressing…this is not cool!"

Back in June, the International Astronomical Union issued a statement complaining about the reflective Starlink satellites.

It argued that the probes could be "detrimental to the sensitive capabilities of large ground-based astronomical telescopes".

In November, Musk's Starlink satellites were accused of "photo-bombing" footage of the Unicorn meteor shower.

Bill Cooke, the lead of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office told Space Weather that the video of the satellites over the rare Unicorn meteor shower was a "real eye opener".

He added: "This kind of thing could force us to change how we write software to auto-detect meteors."

The Global Meteor Network (GMN) caught the footage on camera at the Farra Observatory in Italy on November 25.

GMN has over 150 meteor cameras all over the world and over half of these caught the Starlink satellites in action.

University of Western Ontario meteor researcher Denis Vida stated in a GMN blog post: "One has to be concerned how will our skies look like when hearing that there are plans to launch a total of 42,000 satellites.

"This might completely deny us to do any optical meteor observations as soon as 2024."

In other news, a supersonic Nasa X-plane that's as quiet as the "thump of a car door" is nearly ready.

Nasa has unveiled the design of a moon lander that could be taking astronauts back to the lunar surface by 2024.

And Nasa recently revealed a surreal photo of Earth taken from 4billion miles away.

What do you think of Musk's orbital antics? Let us know in the comments!

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UK Property: Asking prices soar as buyers flock back to the market after Brexit

Latest data from property search portal Rightmove suggests that the price of properties which have been listed for sale over the last four weeks have reached a new high, rising by 0.8 per cent on a monthly basis, leading to an average increase of £2,589, which is just £40 short of the record high seen in June 2018. This appears to be the result of the number of properties available for sale failing to keep pace with buyer demand, even though the number of new sellers coming to the market rose by 2.1 per cent over the course of the past month.

READ MORE

  • Housing boom: ‘Boris bounce’ could see house prices hit record high

This uptick in activity has led to an increased number of agreed sales, which are up by 12.3 per cent year-on-year nationally and 26.4 per cent in London.

Many solicitors and conveyancers up and down the country have anecdotally suggested that they are seeing one of the busiest first quarters of the year since 2006.

However, whilst there is a long-awaited and welcome recovery in the number of new sellers coming to market, this is being exceeded by a surge in demand from buyers in many areas, as a result of a post-election release of pent-up housing demand.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director commented: “There is a boom in buyer activity outstripping the rise in the number of new sellers, which we expect to lead to a series of new price records starting next month. This means that spring buyers are likely to be faced with the highest average asking prices ever seen in Britain.

“Buyers who had been hesitating and waiting for the greater political certainty following the election outcome may be paying a higher price, but they can now jump into the spring market with renewed confidence.”

Shipside adds: “Owners coming to market this spring face the best selling prospects for several years, with good demand for the right properties at the right prices.

“However, sellers should be careful not to get carried away with their pricing, as this is still a price-sensitive market with stretched buyer affordability.

“Those who over-price risk missing out on the window of increased activity that could run at least until we approach the next Brexit deadline at the end of the year.”

DON’T MISS:
Brexit boom: Busiest ever month on Rightmove as EU exit spurs property market into action
Property: Estate agents trick to avoid when trying to sell a house – expert warning
House prices: Brexit Day ‘good news’ for property market – will you be affected?

Edward Heaton, founder and managing partner of property search agency Heaton and Partners, said that: “It’s great to see vitality in the market once again after a year dogged by election worries and low growth. In an uncertain world, certainty suddenly seemed to have been restored.”

But Edward also cautioned: “I would expect any house price rises we’ve seen in January to flatten by the latter part of the year, as attention will inevitably turn to ‘Deal or No Deal’.

“Trade negotiations will unavoidably affect market confidence, both in attracting foreign investors and housebuilders who rely on European materials.”

Tomer Aboody, director of property lender MT Finance is also optimistic: “Rightmove is delivering some more good news about a property market which has been stagnant at best for the past three and a half years.”

READ MORE

  • Property: Average home value increased by £600 in January

“The uncertainty around Brexit, coupled with three general elections since 2016, has meant that buyers and sellers have long been waiting to see what happens on the political front. 

“Now we have a majority government which has confirmed that Brexit will finally go ahead, and this has sparked off a quick frenzy in the market from buyers who have been waiting. 

“Next month’s Budget will be an interesting one with regards to possible changes to stamp duty. If the new Chancellor is brave enough to cut stamp duty, it will give the market a boost, encourage downsizers to sell up and persuade more buyers to take advantage of low mortgage rates and get on with a purchase.”

The Rightmove figures follow a similarly positive narrative from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). According to the latest RICS survey of its members, the report based on January data signals continued improvement in both buyer and seller activity, with indicators on demand, sales and new properties being listed for sale all moving further into positive territory.

What’s more, surveyors across all UK regions seem to be optimistic that sales volumes will continue to gain momentum over the next twelve months.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist, said: “The latest survey results point to a continued improvement in market sentiment over the month, building on a noticeable pick-up in the immediate aftermath of the General Election.

“The rise in new sales instructions coming onto the market is a noteworthy and much needed development, given the lack of fresh listings over the past few years had pushed stock levels to record lows.

“It remains to be seen how long this newfound market momentum is sustained for, and political uncertainty may resurface towards the end of the year. But, at this point in time, contributors are optimistic regarding the outlook for activity over the next twelve months.”

All in all, it seems that new Housing Minster Christopher Pinscher may find the current property market conditions make for a rather full in-tray in his new office. Whether or not his fresh perspective will unlock any new solutions around how more homes can be built or indeed the ongoing cross-party consultation around the mandatory regulation of estate agents, rather remains to be seen.

Follow Louisa on Twitter: @louisafletcher

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Floods Put Mississippi Capital In ‘Precarious Situation’

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — With the waters in the Pearl River continuing to rise in and around Mississippi’s capital city and more rain on the way this week, the governor warned residents that it would be days before floodwaters start to recede.

Gov. Tate Reeves said Sunday morning that the Pearl would continue to rise throughout the day, and he warned that the state faces a “precarious situation that can turn at any moment.”

In one Jackson neighborhood, residents paddled canoes, kayaks and small fishing boats to check on their houses, giving lifts to other neighbors. Some were able to get inside while others peeked into the windows to see what, if any damage, had been done inside. Outside floodwaters lapped at mailboxes, street signs and cars that had been left in driveways.

In a bit of good news, officials at a reservoir upriver of the capitol said Sunday that water levels in the reservoir had stabilized, allowing them to send less water downriver. The National Weather Service, which had been anticipating the river would crest Sunday at 38 feet, on Sunday slightly reduced that to 37.5 feet. The river is now anticipated to crest Monday.

But even with that development, officials urged residents to pay attention to evacuation orders, check on road closures before traveling and stay out of floodwaters, warning that even seemingly placid waters could mask fast-moving currents and pollution. Law enforcement officials went door to door in affected areas, telling people to evacuate, Reeves said.

Rescuers performed four assisted evacuations Saturday, although they said none were needed overnight.

“We expect the river to continue to rise over the next 24 hours or so, “ Reeves said at a news conference in Jackson. “We are not out of the woods yet.”

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba said power had been shut off to 504 residences as a safety precaution. He said some city homes had been flooded but officials do not yet know how many. About 30 people are at a shelter that has been set up in Jackson, he said.

Nearly 2,400 structures across the three counties closest to the river and the reservoir — Hinds, Rankin and Madison counties — could be impacted, meaning they either get water inside or are surrounded by water, said Malary White, of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

In the suburb of Flowood, John and Jina Smith had packed up as much as they could and left their home as waters rose Thursday.

On Sunday, their neighbor Dale Frazier took them back to their house in a rowboat, where they checked on the damage, then got in their own canoe and rowed away.

“We’ve been able to stay in here when the water gets up,” John Smith said. “But as you’ve watched it over the years, you know when to get out. It’s time to get out this time.”

A foot and a half of water was inside his house, Smith said. He’d already been in touch with a contractor and insurance agent about rebuilding. Both he and his wife said they love their home, where they can sit on their back porch and watch deer and other wildlife.

”It’s going to take a while for us to rebuild, but we are safe, and we’re all OK,” Jina Smith said.

On Frazier’s lot next door, the water was at the bottom of the driveway but had not crept inside the one-story house where he’s lived for 23 years.

“The water is very close to my house. It could flood; it could not flood. It depends on the crest right now,” he said.

Down the street, a Presbyterian church and several businesses were flooded.

While the focus now is on the Jackson area, the heavy rains and flooding has affected a much larger swathe of the state. State emergency management officials said Sunday that they had received preliminary damage reports from 11 counties connected with the severe weather that hit the state starting on Feb. 10.

The Pearl’s highest recorded crest was 43.2 feet on April 17, 1979. The second-highest level occurred May 5, 1983, when the river rose to 39.58 feet.

On Saturday night, officials released water from the nearby Barnett Reservoir to control its levels. They urged residents in northeastern Jackson who live in the flood zone downstream from the reservoir to leave immediately. By Sunday morning, Reeves said the reservoir’s inflow and outflow had equalized.

Reservoir officials said that allowed them to release less water than expected.

“We have some good news today,” said John G. Sigman, who oversees the reservoir’s operations, during a separate news conference Sunday afternoon.

Once the river crests Monday, it will take the water three to four days to go down significantly. Part of the reason is that forecasters expect more rain between midday Tuesday and Wednesday evening.

”It will be days before we are out of the woods and waters start to recede,” the governor said.


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Mark Zuckerberg wants Facebook to be regulated so hard it 'HURTS'

BILLIONAIRE Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has called for his apps to be regulated so hard that it "hurts".

The Harvard drop-out, 35, said that Facebook needed more oversight – and said tech giants "should serve society".

Facebook has had countless privacy, security and content catastrophes in recent years.

The firm has been hacked, has leaked data on hundreds of millions of users, and even suggested "child abuse videos" to shocked users.

Governments, experts and the public are quickly tiring of Facebook's rogue antics – with many calling for better regulation of social media.

Now Zuckerberg himself has asked for regulation in an article for the Financial Times.

"Companies like mine need better oversight when we make decisions," wealthy mogul Zuckerberg wrote.

He went to explain how good regulation would likely hurt Facebook – but would be worthwhile in the end.

"Tech companies should serve society," Facebook's founder and chief explained.

"I believe good regulation may hurt Facebook's business in the near term.

"But it will be better for everyone, including us, over the long term."

Zuckerberg added: "We won't agree with every proposal. Regulation can have unintended consequences."

In Facebook's United States homeland, there is limited regulation of social media.

Tech firms take care to avoid illegally collecting the data of children – but are generally free to operate as they like.

US lawmakers have investigated and questioned Facebook several times, with little effect.

In the UK, tech regulation has been stepped up a notch.

Just last week, then-Digital Secretary Nicky Morgan and Home Secretary Priti Patel confirmed plans that would see all social media firms sign up to a new legal duty of care

Ms Patel warned sites like Facebook and Snapchat must no longer be used as a “hiding place” for vile criminals – but stayed silent on what punishment they would be given if they breach the new code.

They are expected to face fines, but the government has yet to decide what sanctions if any to issue.

It will apply to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Reddit – as well as smaller sites that include forums, comments or video sharing.

However, Ofcom won’t respond to individual complaints and instead will decide what kind of behaviour is appropriate.

Ofcom will get new powers to carry out its extended responsibilities, including making sure online companies have the systems and processes in place to keep platforms safe.

Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok will need to ensure illegal content is removed quickly and minimise the risk of it appearing.

The government will set the direction through legislation, but will leave things flexible for Ofcom to adapt to emerging harms.


Who is Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook?

Here's what you need to know…

  • Mark Zuckerberg is the chairman, CEO and co-founder of social networking giant Facebook
  • Born in New York in 1984, Zuckerberg already had a "reputation as a programming prodigy" when he started college
  • While at Harvard, Zuckerberg launched a site called Face Mash, on which students ranked the attractiveness of their classmates
  • Harvard shut the site down after its popularity crashed a network and Zuckerberg later apologised saying it was "completely improper"
  • The following term he began working on an early version of Facebook
  • The 33-year-old launched the social network from his dorm room on February 4, 20o4 with the help of fellow students
  • The friends would end up embroiled in legal disputes as they challenged Zuckerberg for shares in the company
  • Zuckerberg also faced action from Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, as well as Divya Narendra who claimed he had stolen their idea – the disagreement was later turned into the film, The Social Network
  • The tech prodigy dropped out of Harvard to focus on Facebook, but received an honorary degree in 2017
  • Speaking about the site to Wired magazine in 2010 he said: "The thing I really care about is the mission, making the world open"
  • By 2012 Facebook had one billion users. By June 2017 it had reached two billion users every month

Some have suggested that Facebook should take more action now – rather than waiting for regulation.

But Zuckerberg hit back at those criticisms in his op-ed.

"To be clear, this isn't about passing off responsibility," the divisive tech whizz wrote.

"Facebook is not waiting for regulation; we're continuing to make progress on these issues ourselves.

"But I believe clearer rules would be better for everyone.

"The internet is a powerful force for social and economic empowerment. Regulation that protects people and supports innovation can ensure it stays that way."

In other news, Mark Zuckerberg was accused of "helping child abusers" with his plan to encrypt chats.

Several Facebook privacy blunders in 2018 caused Zuckerberg's firm to lose about £180billion in value.

And furious Facebook employees even resorted to buying burner phones to badmouth Zuck's leadership.

Do you think Mark Zuckerberg is a well-meaning tech geek or an evil genius? Let us know in the comments!

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Alstom in Talks for $7 Billion Buyout of Bombardier Train Unit

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French train maker Alstom SA confirmed it’s in talks to acquire the rail business of embattled Canadian train and plane maker Bombardier Inc., in a fresh attempt to bulk up against Chinese competition.

Discussions are ongoing and no final decision has been made, Alstom and Bombardier said Monday in separate statements, without providing further details. The business could fetch about $7 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter.

A purchase would make Alstom the clear No. 2 in rail equipment and help it counter the industry leader, China’s CRRC Corp., which is increasingly targeting global sales. The Franco-Canadian deal would come after a merger between Alstom and Germany’s Siemens AG was blocked last year by the European Union on antitrust considerations.

Alstom shares advanced 2.1% to 49.60 euros as of 9:42 a.m. in Paris. The company has a market value of 11.1 billion euros ($12.1 billion), after rising 32% in the past year.

Bloomberg News reported last week that talks were at an advanced stage, following its initial Jan. 21 report on the discussions. Dow Jones said over the weekend that an outline was in place for a deal with a price of more than $7 billion.

Bombardier has been offloading assets to pay down debt following a costly expansion of its commercial aviation business. The embattled Canadian transportation firm shocked the market last month by warning of disappointing fourth-quarter sales. Bombardier announced Thursday it will exit a venture with Airbus that builds the A220 jetliner to preserve cash.

Consolidation

A planned combination of Alstom and Bombardier’s Berlin-based rail division would face close antitrust scrutiny, having a near 50% share of the market for electric multiple units and a leading position in Europe’s urban transport market, according to analysis by German consultancy SCI Verkehr.

Alstom and Bombardier have discussed potential remedies to address antitrust concerns, people familiar with the matter have said.

A takeover of Bombardier’s rail business by Alstom would mark the latest attempt by some of the world’s biggest trainmakers to counter growing competition from China. Bombardier in 2017 held talks to combine its rail operations with competitor Siemens AG until the German company suddenly opted to pursue a deal with Alstom, which ultimately failed.

In February 2019, the European Union blocked the planned Franco-German merger, which the companies said would have created a European rail champion. Regulators refused to cave in to warnings by executives and politicians from both France and Germany about the looming threat of Chinese competition.

Bombardier in 2015 sold a 30% stake in its Berlin-based train business to pension fund Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, valuing the unit at $5 billion at the time and helping the firm raise capital as it faced a cash drain from delays for its new jets.

— With assistance by Dinesh Nair

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Supersonic 990mph Nasa X-plane as quiet as 'thump of car door' is nearly ready

AN EXPERIMENTAL Nasa X-plane that soars "quietly" at supersonic speeds is on track to be built before the end of the year.

The stealthy jet's sonic boom is expected to sound no louder than the thump of a car door closing at ground level.

Nasa greenlit the project to be built by Lockheed Martin just last year.

The goal is to create a plane that can cruise at Mach 1.42 speeds, with a sonic boom one-thousand times quieter than previous supersonic aircraft.

It's been named X-59 QueSST by the US Air Force, and also has the potential to make supersonic passenger travel more viable.

Now a Lockheed Martin representative has told Space.com that the X-59 is due to be complete this year.

"It's moving very fast on the shop floor in terms of manufacturing and production," a Lockheed Martin rep told Space.com

The aviation giant plans to assemble the aircraft, proof test the frame and trial other systems – before rolling it out for test-flights in 2021.

"We're very confident. All kinds of modelling simulations and predictions align," the rep explained.

"So we believe, based on these models and simulations we've run, that it will achieve that low-boom sound once it reaches supersonic speeds."

The barrier for supersonic flight is 768mph – a speed known as Mach 1.

When flying at the speed, sound waves can't get out of the way fast enough, and so create an audio "wake".

This is known as a sonic boom, and is a loud and annoying giveaway that a supersonic plane is flying overhead.

Nasa's X-59 hopes to cruise at 937mph (with a top speed of 990mph, or Mach 1.42), with a "quiet" sonic boom.

A Concorde's "perceived" sound was 110dB – which is thousands of times louder than the X-59's planned noise level.

Air experts hope the shape of the X-59 will max its sonic boom out at between 60dB and 75dB for people on the ground.

That "thump" is somewhere between a car door closing and the sound of a vacuum cleaner.

If successful, Nasa's design could be rolled out for commercial flights – or possibly even the US military.

Sonic boom – what is it?

Here's what you need to know…

  • A sonic boom is a loud and powerful sound created by aircraft travelling faster than 768mph
  • These supersonic planes can be heard for miles around due to the sonic boom
  • One way of understanding sonic booms is to think about objects in water
  • If you toss a rock into water, waves will be released all around the point of impact
  • But if a boat is moving through water, the boat travels through the waves
  • When a boat travels fast enough, the waves can't get out of the way – creating a wake
  • Wakes are large waves made up of lots of little waves combining together
  • Similarly, airplanes create soundwaves as they travel
  • Once a plane travels faster than the speed of sound, the sound waves can't get out of the way enough
  • This creates a giant "wake" of sound waves – or a sonic boom
  • It's just like when a large boat goes past you on a lake
  • You won't experience anything immediately, but later you'll see the wake waves hit the shore
  • A sonic boom works in the exact same way


The cost of the program is $247.5million (£189.7million).

And the craft is expected to be 94 feet long with a wingspan of 29.5 feet.

It will boast a maximum take-off weight of 32,300lbs, and cruise at an altitude of 55,000 feet.

The craft will be propelled by a single General Electric F414 engine, and will sport a 4K camera at the front for added visibility.

In other news, Nasa recently revealed a surreal photo of Earth taken from 4billion miles away.

A space rock shaped like a snowman that formed 4.6billion years ago may have sparked life on Earth.

A lost planet in our Solar System was gobbled up by Jupiter billions of years ago.

And, here are five times the world was supposed to end… but didn't.

What do you make of this sci-fi plane design? Let us know in the comments!

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Bizarre new creatures cooked up by Photoshop geeks – from 'bird baboon' to 'owl tiger'

PICTURES of curious new creatures have been shared online by Photoshop whizzes.

The cleverly edited snaps create hybrid breeds by merging one animal with another, such as a dog with a seal, or an owl with a tiger.

The result in an array of bizarre beasts that look like the result of a lab experiment gone wrong.

Photos were put together by a crack team of editors and shared to the Reddit page r/HybridAnimals.

Some of its top creations include a chameleon blended with a toucan, and a panda melded with an orangutan.

Take a look at some of our favourites below.

1. Armadillo Crab

2. Toucan Chameleon

3. Bird Baboon

4. Zebra Gorilla

5. Golden Retriever Seal

6. Polar Bear Giraffe

7. Orangutang Panda

8. Seahorse T-Rex

9. Whale rhino

10. Penguin Cat

11. Rabbit bird

12. Crocodile Bear

13. Butterfly Elephant

14. Banana Ducks

15. Owl Wolves

16. Horse Seal

17. Marmot Lion

18. Dog Penguin

19. Cat Elephant

20. Chicken snake

21. Magpie Killer Whale

22. Crocodile octopus

23. Snowy Owl Leopard

24. Chameleon Cat

25. Hedgehog Toad

26. Horse hippo

Horse hippo – an animal hybrid cooked up by Photoshop geniuses

27. Cat spider

28. Oreo zebra

In other news, an amazing shot of an owl was among the winners of last year's annual iPhone Photography Awards.

If you're interested in more Apple advice, check out our guide to texting faster on an iPhone.

We also reveal some of the easy iPhone tricks you probably didn't know about.

Which hybrid animal is your favourite? Let us know in the comments!

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AGL calls for gas import solutions to avoid looming crisis

Australia's biggest energy supplier, AGL, says the development of terminals for importing liquefied natural gas along the east coast is needed if the nation is to avoid a looming supply shortage in the southern states.

In a warning on Monday, the competition regulator found that although there was a slight improvement in the east coast gas supply outlook for 2020, concerns remained about a gas shortage within a few years unless more supply was made available in southern states.

A jetty at Crib Point, where the floating gas import terminal would be placed. Credit:AGL

Two ways gas supply could be increased included the easing of the Victorian government's moratorium on gas exploration, which will be reviewed this year, as well as the construction of LNG import terminals, such as AGL's proposed $250 million terminal in Western Port bay.

"If we did start exploring today, I would say ambitiously seven to 10 years to deliver that supply to the market," said Phaedra Deckart, AGL's general manager of energy supply.

"So I think it's LNG imports and domestic gas – not one or the other."

Ms Deckart said AGL was committed to its environmentally contentious import terminal proposed at Crib Point despite a bitter community backlash, and was "very close" to submitting the project's environmental effects statement, which could be as early as May.

"We take the community concerns very seriously – that's why it's taken us longer than we had expected to ensure we complete a robust environmental effects process," she said

"What I can say is that when the terminal reached final investment decision, it will deliver 500 terajoules a day of capacity into the market … and up to 750 terajoules of peaking capacity. LNG imports provide something that is very hard to get into the market, which is significant capacity and back-up security of supply."

Frank Tudor, the managing director of east-coast electricity and gas transmission company Jemena, said LNG import terminals had come a long way in the past five years, with LNG imports now being considered by 40 countries.

"They are not a traditional terminal that we would've known five years ago when you've got onshore large tanks, to the tune of $1 billion dollars," he said. "We are talking about is floating infrastructure, floating re-gassification, floating storage."

The problem of a tightening gas market takes on increasing urgency with heavy gas users such as manufacturers  openly blaming historically high gas price as they close factories in Victoria and NSW.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on Monday pointed to an improvement in the gas supply outlook when compared to the previous report in July.

"This is good news for households and businesses in eastern Australia as increased supply drives
down prices," Energy Minister Angus Taylor said. "That’s why we signed our landmark state deal with NSW to get more supply into the market."

But as the report found the long-term gas supply outlook for southern states remained tight, Mr Taylor renewed his calls for the need for state governments to "remove blanket bans and moratoria" on gas developments.

The Commonwealth has struck a $3 billion agreement in return for NSW committing to increasing production of natural gas. It has already flagged a hard line in talks with Victoria, which has a moratorium on onshore gas drilling despite facing supply shortage and some of the nation's highest gas prices.

AGL argues the Crib Point could begin operating in 2022 and could prove crucial in shoring up gas supplies for Victoria and NSW. Another proposed east-coast LNG import terminal is at NSW's Port Kembla, backed by a consortium including Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest’s Squadron Energy and Japan's JERA.

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High flying software stock Altium warns of coronavirus impact

High flying software group Altium has blamed the impact of the coronavirus and a slow start for its Octopart business for a downgrade to its financial forecasts.

Delivering its half-year results Atlium said it now expects full year revenues and profit margins to come in at the lower end of a previously stated range. Its shares had just hit a record high of $42.53 in anticipation of the announcement.

Altium chief executive Aram Mirkazemi. Credit:Ben Rushton

"They are still going to hit guidance but the share price has run so hard the market was likely expecting another upgrade," said Altium investor TMS Capital's Ben Clark after the announcement.

Altium confirmed that revenue would still be between US$205 million to US$215 million with an earnings before, interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) margin of 39 per cent to 40 per cent.

"Notwithstanding the strong first half performance, the company is likely to land at the lower end of the full year guidance range. This is due to the emerging uncertainty about the impact of the Coronavirus in China and the slower start to Octopart in the first half," the company said.

Altium chief executive Aram Mirkazemi said China continued its powerful performance in the first half. "However, the unfolding developments associated with the Coronavirus" is expected to have a significant impact on its second half performance, he said.

Altium said Octopart – a search engine, that helps electronics designers find the right components for their inventions – was negatively impacted by the reduced volume in the parts distribution industry due to an inventory build up driven by the trade war. It was also "temporarily impacted" by changes to the Google search algorithm, said Altium.

According to Bloomberg, analysts are forecasting the company will report revenue totalling more than $US210 million for the year, and earnings before interest and tax (EBITDA) of $US81 million.

For the half year ending December 31, Altium reported revenue growth of 19 per cent to $US92.8 million with strong performances in all key business units and regions except for Octopart.

Its reported net profit was down slightly to $US23 million due to a higher tax rate, but EBITDA was up 22 per cent to $36.8 million.

"Altium has delivered a strong performance for the first half, particularly in comparison with an outstanding first half performance in fiscal 2019," said Mr Mirkazemi.

"Revenue growth of 19 per cent and an EBITDA margin of 37 per cent, excluding the positive impact of the new leasing standard, for the half mark over eight years of successive periods of double-digit revenue growth and expanding margin.”

The company's software designs the electronic circuitry which is at the heart of a growing range of everyday goods which are being connected to the internet.

The long term goal is to create a digital platform to manage the design, manufacture and distribution of goods for the $US2 trillion global electronics industry.

Altium announced an unfranked half year dividend of 20 cents a share, up 25 per cent from the prior first half.

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