The Fed minutes also note that "a couple" members wanted a 50 basis point cut, based primarily on the weak inflation readings.The Fedread more
Market focus is largely attuned to the Federal Reserve, with the U.S. central bank scheduled to publish its latest meeting minutes.Bondsread more
Federal Reserve members worried over future growth are highly concerned about the U.S.-China tariff battleThe Fedread more
President Trump and Apple CEO Tim Cook have had a rocky relationship in recent years, but Trump is now complimenting the executive publicly.Technologyread more
Here's what Nordstrom reported in their fiscal second-quarter earnings.Retailread more
Corporate debt recently passed the $1 trillion mark in a continuing sign of global financial displacement.Marketsread more
"Federal debt, which is already high by historical standards, is on an unsustainable course," CBO director Phillip Swagel said in the report.Politicsread more
The president's remark followed a string of criticisms aimed at his predecessors, whom he claimed had ignored China's alleged malpractice on trade.Politicsread more
President Trump liked Germany's sale of no-interest, 30-year bonds Wednesday, but investors weren't so eager to buy them.Market Insiderread more
SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analysts said in a research note the "Off-Facebook Activity" feature "appears to fall somewhat short of the original pledge by CEO Zuckerberg of...Technologyread more
"If you look at the market over the past week, stocks don't need any help. They are roaring ahead, without the Fed doing anything," says the longtime market strategist.Marketsread more
On April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine released a plume of radiation that eventually blanketed an estimated 77,000 square miles of Europe and Eurasia. While the worst of the contamination occurred near the plant — an area still closed to human habitation, now referred to as the exclusion zone — the effects are still seen further afield as well. Radioactive wild boars roam German forests, and radioactive mushrooms grow in Bulgaria.
Now, an international team of experts warns that Europe could receive fresh doses of Chernobyl radiation from forest fires.
Radioactive isotopes of cesium, strontium and plutonium take decades to millenniums to decay. The contaminants remain in soil and in plants that, once on fire, can release them into the air.
Climate models predict that rising temperatures combined with stable or declining precipitation will increase the risk of wildfires in the already fire-prone Chernobyl landscape.
Forest covered just 50 percent of the area before the disaster, but trees and brush now cover 70 percent of the exclusion zone — an area about four times the size of New York City. Fire prevention and fighting capabilities there are minimal.
Timothy Mousseau, a biologist at the University of South Carolina, and his colleagues created a computer model that incorporates fire patterns, climate predictions and field data collected in contaminated areas in Ukraine and Belarus.
"We've invested billions to put a new cover over the old reactor building," Dr. Mousseau said. "But forest fires have the ability to remobilize radioactive material from the original event."According to their analysis, published in Ecological Monographs, wildfires that broke out in the exclusion zone in 2002, 2008 and 2010 have cumulatively redistributed an estimated 8 percent of the original amount of cesium-137 released in the 1986 disaster.
While the researchers did not predict how much radioactive material might be redistributed in the future, they warn that large blazes could leave significant amounts of radioactive soot around Chernobyl and across Europe, possibly leading to crop contamination.
How much of a health threat this would pose is unknown. But, Dr. Mousseau pointed out, "There is never a positive consequence of having increased amounts of mutagenic materials in our environment. It's always negative."