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Headlines: Monday, July 16, 2:20 PM
South Korean girl group Mamamoo returned with new music Monday.The K-pop stars released the EP Red Moon and a sultry music video for the single "Egotistic."The "Egotistic" video shows Solar, Moonbyul, Wheein and Hwasa singing and dancing in a tropical locale. Solar performs a pole dance that the group previewed in a teaser video last week.Mamamoo sent love to fans in a tweet Monday morning."'#Red Moon' the seventh mini-album," the group wrote. "Much love."Red Moon is a followup to Mamamoo's EP Yellow Flower, which debuted in March. The group was formed in 2014 and is known for the singles "You're the Best, "Dcalcomanie" and "Starry Night."
Jason Momoa sits in the deep depths of the ocean in the first poster released for Warner Bros. and DC's upcoming underwater epic, Aquaman.The poster, released Monday by the official Twitter account for the Aquaman film, features Momoa being surrounded by various sea creatures including sharks and killer whales while holding onto his signature trident.The image comes before the first trailer for Aquaman is set to be debuted during the San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday."Home is calling. #Aquaman - in theaters December 21. Watch the new trailer this Saturday," reads the caption.The home is calling line refers to how Aquaman is a half-human, half-Atlantean who will be taking up a more permanent residence in Atlantis after living his life on land.Aquaman, from director James Wan (The Conjuring, Furious 7), also stars Amber Heard as powerful Atlantean Mera, Patrick Wilson as Aquaman's half-brother Orm -- also known as the villainous Ocean Master, Abdul-Mateen II as signature antagonist Black Manta, Nicole Kidman as Aquman's mother, Willem Dafoe as Aquaman's adviser Dr. Vulko and Dolph Lundgren as King Nereus of the aquatic kingdom of Xebel.
Lava from Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano has created a tiny new island on the Big Island.The Hawaii Volcano Observatory field crew discovered the new island just about 10 feet offshore, which is estimated to measure between 20 to 30 feet in diameter."It's most likely part of the fissure 8 flow that's entering the ocean-and possibly a submarine tumulus that built up underwater and emerged above sea level," the observatory said.The lava overtook a school and park last week, bringing the total number of destroyed structures since eruptions began in May to more than 700, the U.S. Geological Survey said.Lava continues to flow from fissure 8, but all other fissures became inactive as of Monday.The eruptions have displaced thousands of people. Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim declared a state of emergency earlier this month which lasts through next month.
Real Housewives of New York star Luann de Lesseps is back in rehab.The 53-year-old television personality confirmed through co-star Bethenny Frankel that she checked into a treatment facility over the weekend and will miss the Season 10 reunion."This weekend, Luann was surrounded by her girlfriends and decided -- with their support -- that in light of recent circumstances, it is the healthiest choice for her not to attend Tuesday's reunion taping so that she can continue her healing process," Frankel told People Monday."Luann is now surrounded by a core group of people who truly have her best interests at heart and who are working to make sure she gets the help she needs," she added.Bravo, which airs Real Housewives of New York, voiced its support for de Lesseps Monday."Bravo supports Luann's decision to focus on her health," a network rep said in a statement to Entertainment Tonight. "She is part of the Bravo family and we continue to stand by her as she copes with this challenging situation. At this time, we hope everyone will respect her privacy."Page Six said friends and family attempted to stage an intervention for de Lesseps prior to her return to rehab.De Lesseps completed her first rehab stint in January after seeking treatment for alcohol abuse. She had checked into a facility in December after she was arrested and charged with disorderly intoxication and battery on a police officer.The Real Housewives of New York star celebrated six months of sobriety with her ex-husband Count Alexandre de Lesseps and their children this month. She previously told ET she was a sober and "happier" person since her arrest.
A worker at a Houston high rise captured video of an unusual sight outside one of the building's windows -- dozens of bats gathered in a swarm on the wall.Dave Rojas, who works in an office at the building, tweeted a video showing dozens of bats gathered together to roost right outside a window.Rojas said the building is an annual hub of bat activity."Every year the bats make a visit to our office. It must be that time of the year again. I think they are migrating," he wrote.
President Donald Trump's apparent denial Monday of Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential elections drew sharp criticism from leaders.Answering questions at a joint press conference, Trump said, "He just said it's not Russia. I will say this: I don't see any reason why it would be." He also said the U.S. investigation into Russian involvement has been a "disaster" that's kept the United States and Russia "separated."The entire U.S. intelligence community determined months ago that Moscow attempted to interfere."I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today," Trump said.Despite a Department of Justice indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers last week, Trump did not condemn any alleged Russian action during the press briefing. Instead, he called on both countries to jointly conduct investigations before he targeted the emails of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the servers of the Democratic National Committee.Trump was swiftly criticized by Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who despite his GOP credentials has been a Trump critic."I never thought I would see the day when our American President would stand on the stage with the Russian President and place blame on the United States for Russian aggression. This is shameful," Flake tweeted.House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was similarly disdainful, saying Trump "had the opportunity to stand up to Putin."Today, less than 72 hours after DOJ indicted 12 additional Russian officials for attacking the 2016 elections, he blames... both countries," she wrote.Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., also condemned Trump's comments."This is bizarre and flat-out wrong," he said. "The United States is not to blame. America wants a good relationship with the Russian people but Vladimir Putin and his thugs are responsible for Soviet-style aggression."When the President plays these moral equivalence games, he gives Putin a propaganda win he desperately needs."Former CIA Director Thomas Brennan called Trump's comments treasonous."Donald Trump's press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of 'high crimes & misdemeanors.' It was nothing short of treasonous," he said. "Not only were Trump's comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???"Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., called Trump's acceptance of Putin's answer a "Missed opportunity.""Missed opportunity by President Trump to firmly hold Russia accountable for 2016 meddling and deliver a strong warning regarding future elections," he said. "This answer by President Trump will be seen by Russia as a sign of weakness and create far more problems than it solves."Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., called Trump's comments "disgraceful.""Trump takes to the international stage to embarrass America, undermine our institutions, weaken our alliances, & embrace a dictator," she tweeted. "Russia interfered in our elections & attacked our democracy. Putin must be held accountable - not rewarded. Disgraceful."
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz got married to longtime girlfriend Madison Oberg after proposing in February.Wentz and Oberg tied the knot Sunday at the Lake House Inn in Bucks County, Penn. Wentz, 25, proposed to Oberg on Feb. 6, two days after the Eagles beat the New England Patriots in super Bowl LII. He popped the question while on a rooftop, surrounded by white candles."Such a blessing to finally get to marry my best friend! It was an incredible day and God has his fingerprints all over our story! I'm a lucky man with one amazing wife," Wentz posted Monday morning on social media. He also used the hashtag "#WentzUponATime."Eagles tight end Zach Ertz and Wentz's former teammates Jordan Matthews and Trey Burton were groomsmen in the wedding.Wentz, who missed the Super Bowl due to multiple knee injuries, appeared spry in several videos shot from the ceremony. In one of the videos, he could be seen dancing and sidestepping as he was introduced with his new wife at the wedding reception.Wentz was an MVP candidate last season before tearing his ACL and LCL. He completed 60.2 percent of his passes for 3,296 yards, 33 scores and seven interceptions in 13 games. He also had a league-best touchdown percentage of 7.5 percent en route to being named the 2017 NFL Bert Bell Award winner for Player of the Year.The Eagles report to training camp on July 25 at the NovaCare Complex in Philadelphia.
Animal rescuers are warning of possible bird-eating tarantulas on the loose in Britain after three baby spiders were found in a parking lot.The RSPCA said 10 pots were found at the side of a parking lot at Bateman's Yard Stable in Somercotes, Derbyshire, England, and rescuers discovered three baby Brazilian tarantulas in the pots.Two of the pots were broken after apparently being struck by cars, leading the animal rescue group to suspect the baby tarantulas' parents might be on the loose.The pots bore labels including one saying, "Brazilian pink bird-eating spiders," the RSPCA said."The women caller who contacted us was understandably shaken when she realized the pots contained spiders as she is terrified of them," RSPCA Inspector Kristy Ludlam said. "It appears someone ran over two of the pots and the driver told the woman who called us he thought he saw two larger spiders. No bodies were found so it is assumed they may have escaped."Ludlam said the RSPCA is keeping the empty pots warm in case the tarantula eggs inside them hatch.The RSPCA said the tarantulas, which can grow to a leg span of up to 10 inches, would be unlikely to survive for very long in the wild, due to their preference for hot and humid climates."It is likely that the spiders were unwanted pets which they may have been breeding and then decided to dispose of for whatever reason," Ludlam said.The baby tarantulas are being cared for at Arnold and Carlton Veterinary Center in Nottingham until a permanent home can be found, the RSPCA said.
Nathan Fillion portrays treasure hunter Nathan Drake in a fan-made film based on Sony's Uncharted video game series.The project was directed by filmmaker Allan Ungar (Gridlocked) who uploaded the 15-minute clip to YouTube on Monday.The fan film features Fillion's Drake being interrogated by a group of mercenaries before he breaks loose and escapes with information regarding the lost treasure of the Flor de la Mar.Other characters from the video game series make appearances including Drake's partner Sully, portrayed by Stephen Lang (Avatar) and Drake's love interest Elena, portrayed by Mircea Monroe (Book Club).The fan film captures the fun and humor of the series, and includes an action sequence that mimics how shoot-outs take place in the game.Sony is still developing an Uncharted film helmed by Stranger Things director Shawn Levy which features Spider-Man: Homecoming star Tom Holland in the lead role."Here's this incredible property, it's out there, and no one has done anything with it yet. Brilliant characters, gripping stories, tailor made for me -- add in Allan's passion for Uncharted, and talent -- why wouldn't we?" Fillion said in a statement to IGN about the fan film."I've been a huge fan of this franchise since it started back in 2007. I was still in school and remember thinking that it was going to change both the gaming landscape and the way we experience immersive storytelling," Ungar said. "While the set pieces were always incredibly fun and inventive, it was the importance of character and story that really hooked me. You were able to put yourself in the shoes of someone that embodied everything we love about heroes, including their flaws. Over the years I always felt that if it was ever adapted into a film or series, there was only one guy out there that could play the part. Turns out I wasn't the only one."The Uncharted video game series, which has appeared exclusively on Sony's PlayStation consoles, wrapped up Drake's story in 2016's Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. The series continued with two new protagonists, Chloe and Nadine in 2017's Uncharted: The Lost Legacy.
Pollution is bad for trees, too. According to a new study, particulate matter in the air can make trees more vulnerable to drought.Research showed particulate matter caused leaves to transpire, which could exasperate the ill effects of a drought. Several recent surveys suggest prolonged droughts are taking their toll on tree health around the world.Most recently, hot, dry conditions were blamed on the deaths of several of Africa's oldest baobab trees."There have been different explanations for these regional events, but a comprehensive explanation is still missing," Juergen Burkhardt, researcher at Bonn University's Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation in Germany, said in a news release.Stomata, the pores on the leaves of plants, allows in carbon dioxide, which is essential to photosynthesis. Without enough CO2, the plant can't convert sunlight into food and it will starve. But the opening of the plant's leaf pores also allows water vapor to be released into the air. The transpiration process allows plants to stay cool, but during drought conditions, plants need all the water they can get.Sometimes, plants are forced to balance the risks of starvation against the risks of dehydration. Over millions of years, plants have evolved to master this balancing act."Plants have adapted stomatal regulation to prevailing ambient conditions over evolutionary timescales, but particulate matter concentrations were generally much lower than they are today," Burkhardt said.In the lab, scientists exposed Scots pine, silver fir and common oak seedlings to different air and moisture conditions. Trees exposed to clean, filtered air allowed less water vapor to escape than those exposed to polluted air from the city. All of the trees had the same stomata structure -- their pores were closed."The deposition of particulate matter increases foliar transpiration," Burkhardt said. "These experiments point to a direct, but so far missing, link between air pollution and drought vulnerability."Scientists detailed the missing link this week in the journal Environmental Research Letters.In the newly published paper, scientists argue particulate matter encourages transpiration by triggering condensation."These are tiny amounts of water, however, invisible to the naked eye," said Burkhardt. "And rather than being pure water, they are highly concentrated salt solutions."Burkhardt and his colleagues believe these tiny salt solutions are able to penetrate closed stomata, forging a link between the air and the insides of a trees' leaves. These wick-like links pull water out of the leaves.When the tiny salt solutions evaporate, they leave behind salty crusts. In the lab experiments, researchers were able to identify the salty signatures on the leaves of trees exposed to air featuring high concentrations of particulate matter."Such crusts have been observed on damaged trees in the past, and the phenomenon was then named wax degradation, but its origin has remained elusive," said Burkhardt. "Particulate matter, which is usually imagined as small granules, has not been considered a contributing factor."