Larson C ice shelf in Antarctic could break off at any moment. 

The rift grew by seventeen kilometres between 25 May and 31 May. (Image courtesy of Jeremy Harbeck)

An iceberg two thousand square kilometres in size is hanging precariously off the Antarctic peninsula, separated by a rift nearly two hundred kilometres long. As the fracture grows larger, more pressure is placed on the remaining ice holding it to the peninsula. It is no longer a question of if, but when the ice shelf will break off. The size of the iceberg to break off will not be the largest ever recorded—that record is held by the Ross Ice Shelf, which was the size of Jamaica. However, this break cannot necessarily be attributed to climate change, and may be simply part of the life cycle of the ice shelves.

Source and more information can be found here.

ISIS claims attack on Philippines resort that killed thirty-six.

$2.27 million worth of casino chips were stolen and later recovered. (Image courtesy of Rappler)

A gunman attacked a casino in the Philippine capital of Manila, setting gambling tables on fire which caused the death of thirty-six people. Approximately fifty-four people were injured in the attack from smoke inhalation or fractures as they tried to escape. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, but the announcement was rejected by authorities. There were no gunshot wounds among the wounded and the gunman directly targeted the casino chips storage room, hinting at a botched robbery. The gunman committed suicide in a hotel room shortly after being wounded by security officers.

Source and more information can be found here.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen builds world’s largest plane to carry satellites into space.

The aircraft has a wingspan triple that of a Boeing 737 at 383 feet. (Image courtesy of Stratolaunch systems)

The twin-hull Stratolaunch Aircraft, equipped with twenty eight wheels and six engines, is a massive aircraft that will carry ‘air launch vehicles’ into the upper atmosphere. The launchers will then use their own rockets to enter low Earth orbit. Traditional rockets expend massive amounts of fuel to fly through the denser lower atmosphere. The Stratolaunch vehicle can generate lift from the thick air, which is more cost effective and efficient. It is designed to carry up to three Pegasus XL air launch vehicles, each of which can carry a thousand-pound satellite into low Earth orbit. The first launch demonstration is scheduled for 2019.

Source and more information can be found here.

Ireland to have their first gay prime minster.

Leo Varadkar will serve as Ireland’s first gay prime minster. (Image courtesy of CBC)

Leo Varadkar, the gay son of an immigrant, was recently elected as the Fine Gael party’s leader. He defeated Simon Coveney to replace the current party leader, Enda Kenny. In response to his victory, he mentioned that it shows that no discrimination exists in the republic. Although Coveney won majority of the party member votes, Varadkar won under the party’s electoral system as he was backed by many lawmakers and representatives. He is likely to become prime minister in the next few weeks, which will make him not only the first gay prime minister, but the youngest and first from an ethnic-minority group as well.

Source and more information can be found here.

Unites States withdraw from the Paris accord.

Donald Trump announces the USA’s withdrawal from the Paris accord. (Image courtesy of Financial Post)

United States President, Donald Trump, announced his country’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord. Although this step fulfills his campaign promise, it lessens the global efforts being made to fight against global warming. Despite the lobbying by many world leaders, businessmen, and Trump’s own daughter, the president’s decision did not change. Trump claimed that he was reflecting the views of the voters who had elected him. Although the country is open to renegotiate the deal, the United Nations said that the deal cannot be changed due to the request of only one party. One hundred and ninety-five other countries have joined the accord, with countries like China stating that they will stick with the agreement despite Trump’s actions.

Source and more information can be found here.