Ivanka Trump: First Daughter offers to take COVID-19 vaccine LIVE on air

It comes as Mr Trump has repeatedly said a vaccine is possible before the November 3 election and accused a “deep state” within the nation’s top health regulator of trying to slow pivotal clinical trials to hamper his chances at a second term.

The US Food and Drug Administration refuted that claim, saying its decisions will be guided by data alone. Drugmakers, seeking to bolster public confidence amid political squabbles on Tuesday pledged to uphold scientific safety and efficacy standards in their quest for a vaccine.

However, comments from companies suggest they could have an answer on whether their vaccines work within that time frame.

Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Reuters: “It would really be an amazing vaccine to show that.”

He said: “I just think humility is a good thing right now.

“The FDA set out some pretty strict criteria for success. So that’s going to take a pretty good vaccine to do that.”

Dr Henry Miller, a senior fellow at the Pacific Research Institute think tank and former director of the FDA’s office of biotechnology, said an emergency use authorization based on a small number of infections would not deliver an adequate answer on the safety of a vaccine intended for use by millions of healthy people.

Some side effects could take four to six months to occur, he said.



Huawei launches new MacBook Air lookalike but powered by Windows 10

Under the hood, you’ll find it possible to add the latest 10th Gen Core Intel i7 processor and there’s some new High Excursion Quad speakers which should boost things when watching content on the screen.

Huawei has even included a number of modes for the optimal audio with users able to switch between Music, Gaming, Theatre and Calls.

Other features worth mentioning include a 9-hour battery life, two USB-C ports (one on either side), dual microphones to boost those Zoom calls and access to Wi-Fi 6 which should mean faster downloads.

There’s also a clever Thermally Conductive Hinge – a world 1st according to Huawei – which helps get rid of heat that can build up during memory-intensive tasks.



Robot dogs join US Air Force exercise giving glimpse at potential battlefield of the future

Emerging from United States Air Force planes, four-legged robot dogs scampered onto an airfield in the Mojave Desert, offering a possible preview into the future of warfare.

But the exercise conducted last week, one of the US military’s largest ever high-tech experiments, wasn’t a movie set.

Flying into a possibly hostile airstrip aboard an Air Force C-130, the robot dogs were sent outside the aircraft to scout for threats before the humans inside would be exposed to them, according to an Air Force news release dated September 3.

The electronic canines are just one link in what the US military calls the Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS). It uses artificial intelligence and rapid data analytics to detect and counter threats to US military assets in space and possible attacks on the US homeland with missiles or other means.
A Ghost Robotics Vision 60 prototype operates at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, on September 3.

Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics, said on a future battlefield, soldiers will face “a dizzying array of information” to assess and will need to rely on data synthesis done in nanoseconds to fight effectively.

“Valuing data as an essential warfighting resource, one no less vital than jet fuel or satellites, is the key to next-gen warfare,” Roper said in an Air Force news release on the ABMS exercise.

The latest ABMS exercise, from August 31 to September 3, involved every branch of the US military, including the Coast Guard, plus dozens of teams from industry, and used 30 locations around the country.

Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada was one of those, and that’s where the robot dogs came into the mix.

“The dogs give us visuals of the area, all while keeping our defenders closer to the aircraft,” said Master Sgt. Lee Boston, a member of the Devil Raiders, the nickname for the Air Force’s 621st Contingency Response Group, said in the Air Force release.

US Air Force Tech. Sgt. John Rodiguez provides security with a Ghost Robotics Vision 60 prototype during an exercises on Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

The dogs are called Vision 60 UGVs, or “autonomous unmanned ground vehicles” by their manufacturer, Ghost Robotics of Philadelphia.

It touts their ability to operate in any terrain or environment while being adaptable to carrying an array of sensors and radios on, for a dog robot, a fairly simple platform.

“A core design principle for our legged robots is reduced mechanical complexity when compared to any other legged robots, and even traditional wheeled-tracked UGVs,” the company’s website says.

A Ghost Robotics Vision 60 unit operates with a US Air Force sergeant during an exercises at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

“By reducing complexity, we inherently increase durability, agility and endurance,” it says. “Our Q-UGVs are unstoppable.”

And in the US military of the future, they may be a vital component of what an Air Force release calls the “kill chain.”

“We are exploring how to use … ABMS to link sensors to shooters across all battlespaces, at speed and under threat. Maturing these concepts and capabilities is necessary to fight and win in the information age,” Gen. John Raymond, chief of space operations, said in an Air Force release.

“Our warfighters and combatant commands must fight at internet speeds to win,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Brown Jr.

Labor Day weekend air travel hits nearly 6-month high, but holiday caps dismal summer season

Travelers wearing face shields and protective masks walk with their luggage inside Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020.

Bing Guan | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Late-summer getaways helped lift air travel during the Labor Day weekend but the coronavirus pandemic has left its mark on what has shaped up to be a dismal season for airlines.

The number of people screened by the Transportation Security Administration reached 968,673 on Friday, the highest since March 16, agency data released on Monday showed. During the Friday-through-Monday holiday weekend, close to 3.3 million passengers passed through TSA checkpoints, down nearly 60% from the holiday weekend in 2019. That, however, is an improvement from the depths of the coronavirus crisis in April when passenger volume was off by more than 95%.

From Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend, which comprises what is generally the busiest and most lucrative time of year for airlines, TSA screened 65 million people, down nearly 76% from the 269 million it screened on the same dates last year.

Airlines are now scrambling to create more flexible policies to win over travelers, particularly as what is generally the slower fall season followed by the end-of-year holidays approach. Among the changes is a scrapping of domestic ticket-change fees by United last month. A move Delta and American followed with similar policies.

Facing a dearth of business travel as companies are still reluctant to fly workers for meetings and events during the pandemic, carriers are also adding service to leisure destinations near mountains or beaches to try to fill planes.

Sophie Wessex heartbreak: Countess of Wessex visits air ambulance which saved her life

Sophie marked the 21st anniversary of the Thames Valley Air Ambulance this morning by meeting members of its staff. This face-to-face royal engagement has been particularly important for the Countess of Wessex, whose life was saved by crew members at the Thames Valley Air Ambulance in December 2001. 

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Sioux City brothers discover a passion for air flight

To be honest, it was a skill that Quintin had, initially, no intention of acquiring.

“Taking flying lessons was literally the last thing I wanted to do,” he admitted.

This was when a bit of sibling peer pressure came in handy.

You see, Quintin was born in January 2002 while Liam and Colin were born about 11 months later.



Flight 232 survivor returns to memorial site, shares emotional memories after more than 30 years

“Even though I’m the older brother according to the calendar, I’ve never felt like an older brother,” he said. “Turned out all three of us began flying lessons at the same time.”

Eventually, Quintin started to enjoy his time in the wild blue yonder as much as his younger brothers.

“For sure, it puts everything into perspective,” he said. “Taking a math exam seems less intimidating once you pass a solo flight test.”

Actually, the lessons learned at flight school can also come in handy in a more conventional classroom setting, Colin said. 






Three brothers learn to fly

Quintin Greenwell sits in the pilot’s seat of his father’s 1972 Beechcraft Skipper single-engine airplane at Sioux Gateway Airport Wednesday.




“When you’re a pilot on a plane, you need to keep your cool, stay focused, and be able to multitask with confidence,” he said. “That will help you out at school.”

Taking flying lessons has made Quintin less patient when it comes to careless drivers.

“The craziest thing about flying lessons is the drive back home,” he explained. “When flying a plane, you’re keeping tabs on everything. Driving a car, you’re essentially steering, accelerating, braking and that’s it. Some people can’t even handle on those skills.”

United CEO says air travel demand will roar back once there's a coronavirus vaccine

United Airlines president Scott Kirby speaking in Chicago, Illinois, June 5, 2019.

Kamil Krzaczynski | Reuters

Watch United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby walk through the company’s O’Hare Airport hub and two things jump out.

First, there are so few customers in the terminal that Kirby calls it “surreal” to see one of the world’s busiest airports so quiet.

Second, there is a steady stream of United employees asking Kirby about the state of the business. 

“How are we looking?” one United ramp worker asked him.

“We’ve got a tough year ahead until there’s a vaccine,” Kirby answered. “The good news is, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

This is the world of Kirby a little over one hundred days into his tenure as CEO.   Despite aggressive cost cuts, United is still burning through an estimated $40 million every single day.  The airline has parked about 40% of its fleet and could cut up to 36,000 jobs starting Oct. 1.  As bleak as the outlook is for United and the airline industry as a whole, Kirby believes demand will come roaring back once there’s a vaccine for Covid-19.

“There’ll be huge pent-up demand for leisure travel, for business travel, for people to get back out on the road,” Kirby told NBC News during an interview discussing  the company’s decision to permanently waive ticket change fees.   

Almost six months after the Coronavirus caused airline passenger levels to plunge 95% in the U.S., the industry has not seen a sharp rebound in business. The Transportation Safety Administration says passenger levels are still down 70% compared with the same time a year ago, mainly because leisure travel remains weak. Another factor is the depressed state of corporate travel, with businesses slashing budgets and opting to have employees make video calls instead of getting on a flight. Kirby doubts that switch is permanent.

“Zoom can be a substitute when you can’t be there, but it is not the same as being there in person. I think that it won’t happen overnight, but within a year or two, I do think business travel will come back,” he said.

It’s also unclear how long it will take to actually get a vaccine for Covid-19 approved and administered to the more than 330 million Americans. U.S. officials have said they think a coronavirus vaccine will be cleared, at least on an emergency basis, for public distribution by the end of this year or early next. Manufacturing enough of it and distributing it across the U.S. will take months, they’ve said.

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said last week that vaccine doses will likely be in short supply once a candidate is cleared for public distribution in the U.S. 

“At first, there will likely be a limited supply of one or more of the Covid-19 vaccines, because limited doses will be available,” Redfield said Friday on a conference call with reporters.

That will ultimately determine how long it will take for passenger traffic to return to pre-pandemic levels. Kirby and his team at United are not planning to see 2019 passenger levels until 2024. Until then, United will become a smaller airline with far fewer employees and far more debt.

“In order to survive this crisis, we’re taking on an awful lot of debt and we’re going to have to pay that back,” Kirby said.

After spending time talking with ramp workers, including one employee who’s been with the airline since 1969, Kirby ended the brief meeting one a cautiously optimistic note.  “I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s still a long tunnel unfortunately, but I feel increasingly confident.” He said.

‘Ground trembling’ Air Force scrambled to Yellowstone after terrifying 7.3 magnitude quake

The first US national park is home to the Yellowstone caldera – a supervolcano that gets its name due to its capability to cause untold devastation in the event of an eruption. Located below the states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, the area is constantly monitored by the USGS (United States Geological Survey) for signs that such an eruption is on its way. But, 61-years ago, visitors and scientists alike were caught off-guard during the Hebgen Lake earthquake which would inevitably create a new lake on the Madison River following a landslide.

The 7.3 magnitude quake claimed the lives of 28 people and caused more than £200million worth of damage, and the survivor stories are just as sobering.

John Owen was 15 at the time of the event and was in a vacation cabin with his family that night, but he still remembers being jolted awake.

He said: “I was thrown off the couch onto the floor.”

Fearing the Hebgen Dam would burst after the quake, the owner of the resort where the Owen family was staying told his guests to flee to nearby high ground.

Mr Owen added: “And before long there was just a stream of cars coming in.”

More than 250 people made their way to what was later named Refuge Point.

The massive landslide pushed a wave of air in front of it at 100mph, sweeping people away and ripping the clothes off others.

It was not until the next day the true force of the event would become known.

Mr Owen added: “In the middle of the morning, a plane flew over and a couple of smokejumpers came out.”

READ MORE: Yellowstone volcano’s ‘devastating’ threat as scientist warns of ‘explosive 40km eruption’

“I’ve heard accounts the ground essentially didn’t stop trembling the night of the earthquake.”

The Air Force sent rescue helicopters to take out the seriously injured while a highway construction crew working to the east jumped into action.

Mr Owen added: “And so, by late on August 18, there was a road, more or less, where cars could drive out.

“It took me a while till I realised the significance of the disaster at the slide, for me to calm down a little bit.”

After only three weeks the damned river created a lake more than 50 metres deep which now covers an area five miles long and a third of a mile wide.

Today, tourists to the area can stop by the Earthquake Lake Visitor Centre, which is situated 27 miles north of West Yellowstone to relive the horrors from more than half a century ago.



Hurricane Laura: TV reporter flees after shattered glass rains down live on air – VIDEO

The Weather Channel’s Stephanie Abrams was left visibly shaken after fleeing on air after debris from Hurricane Laura rained down on her during a live TV broadcast. Abrams was speaking from Lake Charles, Louisiana, one of the first places hit by Hurricane Laura, when the incident took place. The glass can be seen raining down on Abrams as she tries to run away from the falling debris.

It is understood that the window exploded under pressure from Hurricane Laura’s 150 miles per hour winds.

Abrams managed to dodge most of the glass but “sounded a bit shaken” following the close call, according to viewers.

The Weather Channel reporter said that being out in the storm’s catastrophic winds felt like “pebbles were being thrown at my face”.

The video of the live TV escape quickly went viral, with fans left concerned for Abrams’ safety.

JUST IN: BBC Weather: Risk of more wildfires as Europe gripped by heatwave

Forecasters have warned of an “unsurvivable” storm surge rising up to 20 feet.

The National Hurricane Center warned that the storm surge could push as far as 40 miles inland.

The hurricane is expected to be one of most powerful storms to ever hit the US mainland.

Govenor John Bel Edwards of Louisiana told residents: “I’m asking people right now to pay attention to this storm, to get out of harm’s way.

Experts fear that the Category 4 storm could leave parts of the US uninhabitable for months.

In just 24 hours the storm grew by nearly 90 percent in power.

The storm jumped from a Category 1 on Tuesday to a high-end Category 4 Wednesday night.

Half a million residents have been told to leave parts of Texas and Louisiana.



UK weather forecast: Chart turns RED as hot Azores air grips Britain in September scorcher

Weather maps produced by WXcharts, show the whole of the UK turning red as hot air closes in from the Mediterranean next month. Heat from Portugal begins its journey towards Britain from September 7, as temperatures rocket into the mid-20s.

On Monday, September 7, the mercury will reach up to 24C in the southeast of England with 21C in the Midlands and 19C in Scotland, forecasters claim.

The barmy temperatures will continue into Thursday, September 10, when the weather maps turn dark-red across the whole of the UK.

The BBC long-range forecast says the high pressure from the European Island will bring dry and bright weather, with England and Wales experiencing the best of the conditions.

The forecasters outlook from September 7, to September 20 says: “Changeable weather conditions appear likely through the middle part of September.

“There are signs of a temporary change to drier and warmer weather just before mid-month, this is because high pressure may expand northwards from the Azores for a time.

“England and Wales are likely to see the lengthiest of any drier, calmer and warmer periods of weather.

“However, Scotland and Northern Ireland are favoured to become less wet and less windy for a time with nearer-average rainfall.”

Netweather.TV long-range forecast for September 7-14, says temperatures will remain above average for the time of year, with settled and sunny weather for most of Britain.

The forecast says: “High pressure will probably come further north at times during this week, bringing longer spells of dry, settled and mainly sunny weather to much of the UK.

“The north and west of Scotland will remain most prone to continued changeable west to south-westerlies and belts of cloud and rain heading in off the North Atlantic.”

It adds: “Mean temperatures are generally expected to be 1 to 2C above the long-term normal during this week, with most parts of the UK seeing larger positive deviations from normal by day than by night.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus map LIVE: Army on alert as Spain calls in 2,000 soldiers

This afternoon a number of places in England and Wales have seen their highest ever gusts of wind provisionally recorded in August.

The Met Office said gusts of 74mph have been recorded at Lake Vyrnwy in Powys, Wales – the highest August gust in this location since 1994.

Gusts of 68mph were also recorded at Pembrey Sands, 52mph was recorded at Shobdon in Herefordshire, and 49mph was recorded at Pershore in Worcestershire.