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    Daily Digest 1/27 – China releases stunning images of the far side of the moon, Oil plunges as coronavirus outbreak threatens demand

    by Daily Digest

    Monday, January 27, 2020, 9:14 PM


110 Million Consumers Could See Their Credit Scores Change Under New FICO Scoring (Thomas R)

Americans who are struggling to pay off their debt could see lower FICO credit scores in their future, especially if they miss payments.

Fair Isaac Corp., the company behind the popular FICO credit score, announced the launch of its latest FICO 10 model today, Jan. 23, that will start incorporating consumers’ debt levels into their scoring model.

China releases stunning images of the far side of the moon from its pioneering Chang’e-4 mission to mark one year anniversary of its launch (Thomas R.)

China’s space agency has released a huge batch of stunning images from the far side of the moon, revealing the beauty of the mysterious terrain.  The high-resolution images were released on the agency’s dedicated website and were enhanced by a NASA expert.

With Wuhan virus genetic code in hand, scientists begin work on a vaccine (Thomas R.)

When a newly organized vaccine research group at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) met for the first time this week, its members had expected to be able to ease into their work. But their mandate is to conduct human trials for emerging health threats – and their first assignment came at shocking speed.

In just three months time, they likely will be testing the first of a number of potential experimental vaccines against the new SARS-like coronavirus that is spreading in China and beyond.

Saturn’s mysterious moon could support alien life thanks to this new discovery (Thomas R.)

Saturn’s moon Enceladus has an even better chance of supporting extraterrestrial life than previously thought: researchers have discovered its oceans are more complex than first believed.

The moon’s oceans shoot plumes of carbon dioxide into space, researchers have found, using data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.

Louisiana’s jobless rate fifth highest in nation (Thomas R.)

Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for December 2019 rose to 4.9%, ranking it fifth highest among all states and Washington, D.C., according to the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Alaska had the highest unemployment at 6.1%, followed by Mississippi (5.7), Washington, D.C., (5.3%), and West Virginia (5%).

Raw ground beef recalled in nine states due to possible plastic contamination (Thomas R.)

A Chicago company is recalling about 2,020 pounds of raw ground beef that was shipped to nine states, federal health officials said.

The beef is being recalled due to possible contamination with thin pliable plastic, the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced Friday.  Two customers complained of finding the foreign matter in the beef, sparking the recall.

Steven Mnuchin: ‘US economy is outperforming the rest of the world’ (Thomas R.)

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says a significant increase in the American economy and a global slowdown it’s obvious President Trump’s economic policies are working.

Medical center phasing out baby delivery to “better meet the needs of people” in Davidson County (Thomas R.)

Wake Forest Baptist Health says it will no longer offer labor and delivery services at Lexington Medical Center by the end of June. The system wants to focus on women’s health services in the county.

Obstetricians will work with patients to discuss options. Mothers who arrive in the ER could have their baby delivered, if necessary, by ER doctors and nurses.

These 5 charts show the debate over whether the stock market set up for another dot-com crash (Thomas R.)

January’s stock-market rally has seen U.S. equities hit record highs time and again, leaving the major benchmarks at lofty altitudes.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA-1.57%  has gained 2.2% so far in January, while the S&P 500 index SPX-1.57%  has advanced 2.9% and the Nasdaq Composite index COMP-1.89%  4.8%, setting numerous record closes along the way. This has left many market watchers worried about equity valuations and wondering whether investors are in for a nasty correction.


Blue-emitting diode demonstrates limitations and promise of perovskite semiconductors (Thomas R.)

University of California, Berkeley, scientists have created a blue light-emitting diode (LED) from a trendy new semiconductor material, halide perovskite, overcoming a major barrier to employing these cheap, easy-to-make materials in electronic devices.

In the process, however, the researchers discovered a fundamental property of perovskites that may prove a barrier to their widespread use as solar cells and transistors.

Oil plunges as coronavirus outbreak threatens demand (Thomas R.)

Oil prices slid Friday morning as the widening Wuhan coronavirus outbreak threatened to curb global demand.

Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, fell 1.8 percent to $60.90 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the U.S. benchmark, dipped 2 percent to $54.47. They have fallen by 5.9 percent and 6.9 percent this week, respectively.


4.6 magnitude earthquake strikes north of Barstow (Thomas R.)

BARSTOW — A 4.6 magnitude earthquake struck near the city at 7:03 p.m. Friday evening.

The epicenter was about 14 miles northeast of Barstow, in a remote area off Williams Well Road, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. The tremor had a depth of about 2 miles.

Gold & Silver

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