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Green movement coloring way sports looks at environment
3 July 2015 - Decades after he collected bottles to take to the recycling depot for money while he was growing up in Canada, Andrew Ference, captain of the Edmonton Oilers (professional ice hockey team), has become one of the leading voices in the green movement in sports. Ference participated in an NHL (National Hockey League) panel at the fifth annual Green Sports Alliance Summit this week. He gave one of the keynote addresses at the conference attended by business and sports leaders across the United States. What was once a small conversation about how sports affects the environment and vice versa has turned into an organized wave that influences the plans and construction of major sports venues. (more)

Smithsonian museum honors U.S. innovation
3 July 2015 - The National Museum of American History opened a $63 million wing on Wednesday celebrating the rich U.S. history of innovation and invention. One of the exhibits, 'Places of Invention,' covers hotbeds of American creativity. They include the rise of the personal computer in California's Silicon Valley. (more)

UK construction PMI rises to four-month high in June
3 July 2015 - British construction activity grew at its fastest rate in four months in June, and confidence in the sector surged to an 11-year high, as growth resumed after a lull in the run-up to May's election. Growth was fastest in the house-building sector, but civil engineering projects and commercial work were catching up quickly. (more)

UK services PMI jumps in June, signalling faster economic growth
3 July 2015 - Britain's private-sector services grew more than expected last month, suggesting the economic recovery picked up going into the second half of the year, a survey showed on Friday. (more)

Vietnam Communist Party chief to make first US visit
3 July 2015 - The powerful head of Vietnam's Communist Party will travel to the United States for the first time next week, and said he expects President Barack Obama will visit Vietnam later this year. Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong said he hopes to build trust and create more opportunities to improve relations. Trong's visit comes as the former battlefield foes mark the 20th anniversary of normalized diplomatic ties. The White House said Trong would arrive on July 7, but did not confirm a visit by President Obama to Vietnam, which would be his first. (more)

Spain raises 2015 economy growth forecast to 3.3 percent
2 July 2015 - Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has revised Spain's economic growth forecast upward for this year and next and said the improved circumstances allowed him bring forward a tax reduction plan. Spain emerged from a double-dip recession at the end of 2013 but is now among the fastest-growing economies in Europe. (more)

Tesla tops 11,000 vehicles delivered in second quarter
2 July 2015 - Electric car maker Tesla's second-quarter deliveries surged 52 percent to set a company record exceeding 11,000 vehicles. Tesla makes only one car, the Model S sedan, but CEO Elon Musk said last month he expects to begin deliveries of an SUV, the Model X, in three or four months. (more)

Winton's rescue of Jewish children revealed after 50 years
2 July 2015 - It was 1988, some 50 years since young stockbroker Nicholas Winton found himself in Prague as the Nazis marched on Czechoslovakia and all around him Jewish parents desperately looked for a means of escape, if not for themselves then at least for their children. Virtually single-handedly, Winton saved more than 650 of those children from almost certain death in the Holocaust. But he didn't talk about it for decades, until his wife discovered documents in their attic that revealed the story and for the first time allowed the rescued children to know and thank their savior. Winton's death Wednesday at the age of 106 brought tributes from leaders and Jewish groups in Britain, the Czech Republic, and Israel. (more)

President Obama: US embassy in Havana marks 'new chapter' in Cuba ties
1 July 2015 - President Barack Obama announced Wednesday that the U.S. and Cuba will reopen their embassies in Havana and Washington, heralding a 'new chapter' in relations after a half-century of hostility. Cuban television broadcast Obama's statement live, underscoring the new spirit. The embassy agreement marks the biggest tangible step toward normalizing relations since the surprise announcement in December that the U.S. and Cuba were restarting diplomatic ties. (more)

Canada: Edmonton takes step toward protecting Big Island-Woodbend natural area in the southwest
1 July 2015 - Edmonton moved a step closer to protecting a huge piece of the river valley Tuesday when councillors asked to see an area plan in their next budget. The North Saskatchewan River Conservation Society has been pushing the city to preserve the 400-hectare Big Island-Woodbend natural area in Edmonton's southwest corner. (more)

Israeli family discovers ancient treasure under living room
1 July 2015 - Israeli authorities said Wednesday they have identified a rare, well-preserved 2,000-year-old Jewish ritual bath hidden under the floorboards of a home in Jerusalem. Archaeologists said the discovery in Jerusalem's Ein Kerem neighborhood shines new light on ancient Jewish and early Christian communities in the area. (more)

US manufacturing growth improves in June; hiring jumps
1 July 2015 - U.S. manufacturing growth improved in June, helped by a jump in employment. Manufacturing growth has accelerated for the past two months, evidence that U.S. factories are beginning to adapt and overcome the drags caused by a rise in the dollar's value and cheaper oil prices, two trends that date back to last fall. (more)

UK consumer confidence surges to 15-year high in June - GfK
30 June 2015 - British consumer morale surged to its highest in over 15 years this month as shoppers said they were ready to spend, a survey showed on Tuesday, adding to signs that growth is picking up after a weak start to the year. Market research company GfK said British consumers' mood was now the most buoyant since January 2000. (more)

US, Brazil pledge to raise renewable energy in power output
30 June 2015 - The United States and Brazil pledged on Tuesday to increase their share of renewable energy in electricity generation from sources other than hydro-power to 20 percent by 2030 in an effort to show commitment to fighting climate change. (more)

US: American Ballet Theatre names Misty Copeland first African-American principal dancer
30 June 2015 - Misty Copeland, a soloist with American Ballet Theatre, will become its first African-American female principal ballerina, the dance company, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, said on Tuesday. (more)

US: New York formalizes ban on fracking, ending 7-year review
29 June 2015 - New York formalized its ban on high-volume hydraulic fracturing for natural gas on Monday, concluding a seven-year environmental and health review that drew a record number of public comments. 'After years of exhaustive research and examination of the science and facts, prohibiting high-volume hydraulic fracturing is the only reasonable alternative,' Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said in announcing the decision. 'High-volume hydraulic fracturing poses significant adverse impacts to land, air, water, natural resources and potential significant public health impacts that cannot be adequately mitigated.' (more)

US pending home sales climb to 9-year high
29 June 2015 - More Americans signed contracts to purchase homes in May, as pending sales climbed to their highest level in more than nine years. The index has increased 10.4 percent over the past 12 months, putting it just below the April 2006 level -- which was more than a year before the housing bust triggered the Great Recession. (more)

Arab youth use social media to send message of peace to Israel
28 June 2015 - Youths from Saudi Arabia, Iraq and other Arab countries are sending messages via Facebook declaring that they do not hate Israel and expressing hope for better relations. (more)

Bangladesh to get $505 mln in loan from ADB for railway improvements
28 June 2015 - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the government of Bangladesh on Sunday signed agreements for $505 million in loans to further improve the country's railways that will help the national economy and boost subregional trade. (more)

Libyan factions sit at the same table in U.N. peace talks
28 June 2015 - Officials from Libya's rival parliaments sat down at the same table for the first time on Sunday at the latest round of United Nations-backed peace talks in Morocco -- a move negotiators saw as an important step to forming a unity government. (more)

Monsoon covers entire India ahead of schedule - weather office
27 June 2015 - India's monsoon has covered the entire country, the weather office said on Friday, more than two weeks ahead of the normal schedule in a year that is forecast to see below average rains. Over a quarter higher rainfall since the start of the June-September season has eased concerns of a first drought in six years. (more)

Crow Code Talkers honored in emotional ceremony (+ KTVQ video)
26 June 2015 - Code Talkers proved to be instrumental in the victory of World War II. While many are aware of the famous Native American Navajo code talkers, the Crow Indian Nation were very much part of the effort. In a special ceremony on Friday, Congressional Gold Medals were posthumously awarded to four Crow Code Talkers. Friday's ceremony proved moving. (more)

Canada: New Jasper Planetarium offers the stars
26 June 2015 - Jasper, in the province of Alberta, Canada, has always enticed tourists with the allure of mountains, but a new venture in the town promises an experience that takes travellers even higher. The Jasper Planetarium, opening June 29, will offer interactive, digital Jasper-centric astronomy shows projected onto a domed ceiling and views through what's touted as the largest telescope in the Rockies. Staff will guide visitors through the night sky outside the planetarium or further into the park. It also offers daily views of the sun through special solar telescopes. (more)

US survey: Consumer sentiment up to highest level since January
26 June 2015 - US consumer sentiment rose this month to the highest level since January, suggesting that spending will strengthen this year. For the first six months of 2015, consumer optimism improved at the fastest pace since 2004, three years before the Great Recession. Americans at all income levels registered improving optimism. (more)

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