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Science!
August 20, 2014
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For those who believe there could be life in space, this discovery is huge: Scientists have reportedly found traces of plankton on the outside of the International Space Station.

Russian scientists discovered the plankton while studying samples from the exterior of the ISS — samples they only found because they were doing a routine cleaning of the ISS' windows. Scientists are now baffled about how these marine organisms made their way into space.

Vladimir Solovyev, head of ISS's Russian segment and orbital mission, told RT the plankton traces prove that life in space is possible for some organisms — the plankton survived even in subzero temperatures and without oxygen. "The results of the experiment are absolutely unique," Solovyev told Russia's Itar-Tass. "This should be studied further."

The even stranger part of the story is that the Russian scientists discovered the plankton aren't native to Baikonur, Kazakhstan, from where the Russian modules of the station blasted off. The scientists speculate that air currents may have carried the plankton into space.

NASA has not yet commented on the plankton discovery. Meghan DeMaria

Climate change
10:19 a.m. ET

The White House released a video Saturday night previewing President Obama's Monday announcement of a proposal to limit carbon pollution released by the nation's power plants.

BREAKING: On Monday, President Obama will release the final version of America's Clean Power Plan—the biggest, most important step we've ever taken to combat climate change. If you agree that we can't condemn our kids and grandkids to a planet that's beyond fixing, share this video with your friends and family. It's time to #ActOnClimate.

Posted by The White House on Saturday, August 1, 2015

The regulations proposed, tougher than those in a previous draft, will require 32 percent decreases from 2005 levels of carbon emissions by 2030. And at least 28 percent of a plant's generating power must come from renewable energy sources, NPR reports.

"Climate change is not a problem for another generation," Obama said. "Not anymore." Julie Kliegman

music to my ears
9:25 a.m. ET
Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images

Dr. Dre announced on his radio show Saturday he will release his first new album in 15 years, Rolling Stone reports. Compton: A Soundtrack, which he's releasing exclusively on iTunes and Apple Music Aug. 7, will feature artists including Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, and the Game.

"I kept it under wraps, and now the album is finished," he said. "It's bananas. It's an 'inspired by' album. It's inspired by Straight Outta Compton."

Dre called the album his "grand finale." Julie Kliegman

$$$$$
9:13 a.m. ET
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Puerto Rico defaulted Saturday, missing a $58 million debt payment on Public Finance Corporation bonds. Victor Suarez, the governor's chief of staff, said Friday the island only has enough money to operate until November if nothing is done to increase cash flow, Reuters reports.

Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla announced in June that Puerto Rico would need restructuring on an unpayable $72 billion in debt. The White House has said the U.S. will not bail out the territory. Julie Kliegman

flight 370?
7:46 a.m. ET
Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Officials said Sunday they found debris believed to be the door of an airplane on Réunion Island, a French territory in the Indian Ocean. The piece could offer more clues into the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 in March 2014, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Investigators found another piece of airplane debris on the island Wednesday. The wing section arrived in France on Saturday for observation, where Malaysian officials have confirmed it was from a Boeing 777 plane. Flight 370 is the only missing 777.

The airplane's door may help determine whether there's a connection between the debris and the missing plane, since it should have more distinct markings than the wing part.

UPDATE, 9:38 a.m.: Officials said the debris found Sunday is a generic ladder, not part of a plane door, USA Today reports. It is not related to the missing aircraft, according to Malaysian Director General of Civil Aviation Azharuddin Abdul Rahman. Julie Kliegman

global matters
August 1, 2015
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will reportedly seek a fourth term in 2017, unnamed sources told German newspaper Der Spiegel. She's expected to officially announce her run in 2016, Politico reports.

Should Merkel win a fourth term, the first female chancellor would find herself right behind the longest-serving leaders in German history, Helmut Köhl and Otto von Bismarck.

There's no obvious successor in place and Merkel is popular in polls, so Politico reports her 2017 candidacy has been anticipated. Julie Kliegman

race in america
August 1, 2015
Win McNamee/Getty Images

The NAACP kicked off a 40-day march through the U.S. South on Saturday meant to highlight issues of racial injustice in the country, Reuters reports. The Journey for Justice organizers started with a civil rights rally in Selma, Alabama, a city key to the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

The march was sparked by the many recent instances of police officers killing unarmed black men, including Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York. 

"We can continue to be serially outraged, or we can engage in an outrageously patriotic demonstration with a commitment to bringing about reform in this country," NAACP President Cornell William Brooks said.

Marchers will conduct teach-ins in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, as they make their way to Washington, D.C., for a final rally Sept. 16. Julie Kliegman

strange species
August 1, 2015

For years, scientists thought Africa's golden jackals to be the same as Eurasian golden jackals. Only one problem: the African ones turned out to not be jackals at all, The Huffington Post reports.

In a new DNA study published Thursday in Current Biology, researchers concluded that what they thought were jackals are actually African golden wolves, the first new species of canine found in Africa in 150 years, according to The Guardian.

Consider the two species distant cousins. Julie Kliegman

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