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Top News Stories: (1/31-2/6)

Here are the top stories from domestic news, world news, good news, and science and tech.

It's all summarized so you can stay informed and save time!

All sources are at the end of the post.

Ginger Cat is Local Star for Stealing Hundreds of Toys and Presenting Them Sweetly to Neighbors:

Photos: (Left) Ingrid Moyle, (right) Kay McCall

A cat burglar and kleptocat, has stolen the hearts of Australians after becoming an internet celebrity for his relentless robbing of locals and their toys. Kay McCall and her husband were moving into a new apartment last year in Ferny Hills, near Brisbane, when they met a ginger cat who hopped over the fence looking for a head pat and chin scratches. It became an enjoyable daily encounter, but as the visits continued they began to notice an accumulation of toys in their yard. They caught the cat in the act and found out that he was stealing toys from other homes in the area. The pair then took to Facebook to post about the event where Ingrid Moyle, a resident in the neighborhood that fostered animals, offered to take care of the cat. Kylo now chooses a toy and drags it up the stairs to their bedroom, where he presents it to his new mother while she is presumably trying to sleep. He then runs off to get another one. Since the happy ending, the Pirate Kitty fan base has asserted that Kylo actually now owns Moyle, rather than the other way around and everyone looks forward to new posts about the cat’s mischief in the Ferny Hills home.

House Democrats push through massive manufacturing, tech bill aimed at competing with China:

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo is taking a lead role in courting Republicans to get the legislation through Congress. (Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post)

On Friday, a large bill set to strengthen U.S. tech and advanced manufacturing to ensure competitiveness with China passed the U.S. House. The America COMPETES Act The $350 billion legislative package includes a wide range of provisions such as $45 billion being used for addressing supply chain issues, looking into human rights abuses in China, and issuing directives to U.S. officials to secure further commitments from China on combating illicit fentanyl trafficking. It barely made it through the lower chamber with a party-line vote of 222-210. It is likely that they can reconcile their version with the Senate’s, which has bipartisan support. Their version is roughly $200 billion and aims to establish programs for the commercialization of artificial intelligence and advanced computers while protecting domestic research. The Senate version is likely a better representation of the final bill as Democrats will need Republican support to get it through.

Russian forces at 70% of level needed for full Ukraine invasion, U.S. officials say:

Military vehicles are seen during the joint exercises of the armed forces of Russia and Belarus at a firing range in the Brest Region, Belarus February 3, 2022. Vadim Yakubyonok/BelTA/Handout via REUTERS

Russia has 70% of the forces in place that would be necessary for a full-scale invasion of Ukraine and is actively sending more battalions to the border. The ground is expected to reach peak freeze by February 15, allowing for Russia to freely move its military units offroad. The combination of these two factors suggests that the chance to diplomatically settle this is nearing its end. While massing more than 100,000 troops along its Ukrainian border, Russia has said it has no plans for an invasion but may act if its security demands are not met. Though US executives have said that a full-scale invasion of Ukraine is unlikely, Russia is putting forces in place capable of taking the Ukrainian capital in only a couple of days. According to US estimates, an invasion now could cost between 5,000 to 25,000 Ukrainian troop casualties and between 3,000 and 10,000 Russian troop casualties. This could also cost civilian lives in the range of 25,000 to 50,000 while displacing millions of refugees across Europe.

The heart of the Milky Way looks like contemporary art in this new radio image:

The MeerKAT telescope array in South Africa provided this image of radio emissions from the center of the Milky Way. Stronger radio signals are shown in red and orange false color. Fainter zones are colored in grayscale, with darker shades indicating stronger emissions.- I. HEYWOOD/SARAO

An image that looks like a trippy Eye of Sauron or splatter of modern art is a new detailed look at the Milky Way’s chaotic center, as seen in radio wavelengths. The image was taken with the MeerKAT radio telescope array in South Africa over three years and 200 hours of observing. It combines 20 separate images into a single mosaic, with the bright, star-dense galactic plane running horizontally. MeerKAT captured radio waves from several astronomical treasures, including supernovas, stellar nurseries, and the energetic region around the supermassive black hole at the galaxy’s center. One puffy supernova remnant can be seen in the bottom right of the image, and the supermassive black hole shows up as the bright orange “eye” in the center. Other intriguing features are the many wispy-looking radio filaments that slice mostly vertically through the image. These filaments, a handful of which were first spotted in the 1980s, are created by accelerated electrons gyrating in a magnetic field and creating a radio glow. But the filaments are hard to explain because there’s no obvious engine to accelerate the particles. However, studying the strands all together could help reveal the secrets behind them. Though the understanding of this phenomenon is in progress, this great discovery gives a true visual of the center of it all, the center of our galaxy.


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