Ammon News, Panorama

IAU names Martian valley after Zarqa River

[1/20/2020 5:21:05 AM]

AMMONNEWS - The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has named one of the most visible Martian valleys as (Blue River Valley), in honor of the famous 'Zarqa River' of Jordan, the second largest tributary of the Jordan River. A statement by Head of the Crescents at the Jordanian Fatwa Department, Imad Mujahid, on Monday said the valley was submerged in water with a diameter of 490 km, located on a zero longitude/80 degrees north of the Mars equator, and is one of the most visible valleys on the surface of the planet. "IAU has previously named other Martian mountains after the 'Souf' camp of Jerash Governorate, and 'Faqou' town of Karak Governorate," the statement added.

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Jordan's tourism income up 10.2pct in 2019 at $5.8bln

[1/16/2020 7:00:41 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Jordan's tourism income expanded by 10.2 percent in 2019 to a staggering $5.8 billion (about JD4.11 billion dinars) compared to 2018. The Central Bank of Jordan attributed the rise to an increase in the number of overnight tourists by 8.9 percent over the past year, to 5.66 million tourists compared to 2018. On the monthly level, the Kingdom's revenues from tourism income increased during the month of December of 2019 to $437 million, with an increase of 14 percent compared to the same period in 2018 as a result of the increase in the total number of tourists by 16.9 percent.

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Royal Jordanian among top 20 global airlines list

[1/7/2020 8:17:38 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Flag carrier, Royal Jordanian (RJ), ranked high on the top 20 global airline safety standard, according to an airline safety and product review website. issued its annual list of "Top Twenty Safest Airlines 2020." RJ was selected from a pool of 405 different airlines it monitors. Among the top 20 safest airlines are four Arab airlines: Etihad, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Royal Jordanian. Australia’s Qantas topped the list, ranking 1st. The safety-rating system in this list was developed based on different factors, including airlines' compliance with international regulations, the age of their fleet of aircraft, safety innovation, operational excellence and the utilization of new, more advanced, aircraft like Boeing 787 and Airbus A350. RJ’s President/CEO Stefan Pichler said he was pleased with the rating along side other big international carriers, adding that RJ has been known for its great record in safety and operations for the past 56 years, a result of the hard work of its employees who are keen to maintain this high standard. He stressed that the carrier will continue the hard work to improve its operations, products and services, thus making sure to always offer passengers the best. RJ made it several times on the AirlineRatings’ Top 20 Safest Airlines list over the past few years. The rating website has become the industry standard for safety and product rating.

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Exhausted kangaroo cools down in backyard pool as bushfires rage

[12/23/2019 12:56:30 PM]

AMMONNEWS - A kangaroo has been spotted cooling off in backyard pool in a bush fire-ravaged region of Australia while elsewhere firefighters have been rescuing koalas from trees threatened by flames. Australia's wildlife has been hard hit by fires that have destroyed more than 3.7 million hectares (9.1 million acres) of bushland and killed six people. With scorching heat and fire conditions expected to worsen, animal sanctuaries and rescue organizations have to decide whether to try to evacuate threatened areas or risk staying to try to protect the animals. Some koala and flying fox populations have been destroyed while kangaroos, koalas and echidnas have been spotted seeking shelter in urban areas. While not known for their swimming skills, kangaroos do seek bodies of water in intense heat, though usually in the wild. A family in the upper Hunter region of New South Wales filmed a 70 kg (154 lb) kangaroo taking a dip in their swimming pool at the weekend as temperatures topped 42 Celsius. The kangaroo, which was filmed in water up to its chest, flapped its ears and appeared unharmed. Meanwhile in Victoria state, Twitter user Bill Wallace posted pictures of yellow-crested cockatoos that had apparently died of heat stress. “The thermometer under the back veranda got to 48.9C today, not an official reading obviously, but it was enough to kill these sulphur crested cockatoos,” he wrote. While protecting homes in South Australia, a fire crew rescued koalas from gumtrees in the path of the fire. In New South Wales, an environmental group estimated more than 2,000 koalas had been killed as one third of their habitat burned. A wildlife sanctuary north of Sydney evacuated its 300 animals as the flames approached. “We decided to evacuate and were lucky to escape the fires,” said Tassin Barnard, operations manager of the Walkabout Wildlife Park. While there are no official statistics, Barnard said it was likely that millions of animals had been killed. “Other sanctuaries have decided not to move their animals and just to do their best to defend them and I understand that too because it is extremely difficult to do,” Barnard said. *Reuters

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NASA says Boeing Starliner is ‘healthy,’ to land in New Mexico

[12/23/2019 12:54:06 PM]

AMMONNEWS - The Boeing Co Starliner spacecraft that failed to reach the right orbit to reach the International Space Station is “healthy,” in a stable orbit and expected to land in New Mexico on Sunday morning, NASA said on Saturday. The Boeing CST-100 Starliner astronaut capsule was successfully launched from Florida on Friday, but an automated timer error prevented the spacecraft from attaining the correct orbit for it to rendezvous and dock with the space station. NASA and Boeing officials said on a Saturday conference call they are still investigating the causes of the failure. NASA and Boeing officials said on a Saturday conference call they are still investigating the causes of the failure. The Starliner’s debut launch to orbit was a milestone test for Boeing, which is vying with SpaceX, the privately held rocket company of billionaire high-tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, to revive NASA’s human spaceflight capabilities. SpaceX carried out a successful unmanned flight of its Crew Dragon capsule to the space station in March. The Starliner setback came as Boeing, whose shares dropped 1.6 percent Friday, sought an engineering and public relations victory in a year punctuated by a corporate crisis over the grounding of its 737 MAX jetliner following two fatal crashes of that aircraft. The implications for any further design and testing requirements before Starliner is approved for its first crewed mission also remained unclear. The prospect that Boeing might need to repeat an unmanned orbital test flight could substantially delay NASA’s timeline and drive up costs. *Reuters

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Dubai-based singer to set world record: 1000 songs in 1000 days

[12/19/2019 8:06:49 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Dubai-based singer and songwriter Swapna Abraham is on track to set a new world record: writing and singing 1000 songs in 1000 days. Abraham, who has released one song every day since April 8, 2017, and is on track to reach her 1,000 song goal on January 2, 2020, told Al Arabiya English the experience has been exhausting and fulfilling. “The exhaustion is something I cannot even start to describe. Having said that, this has been a very fulfilling experience, musically and personally, I certainly feel at a zenith of sorts,” said Abraham in an interview with Al Arabiya. Her album “1000 Songs In 1000 Days” will qualify to be considered as the record for “most songs on a digital album” with the Guinness Book of World Records. The final composition will coincide with the launch of Dubai’s EXPO 2020, a timing Abraham chose to make the record special for Dubai. “I decided to culminate the effort with the start of the year of EXPO 2020 being based in Dubai and with the greatest regard for the UAE. It will be good at the grand finale to write on the glory that awaits Dubai in hosting the world at EXPO 2020,” Abraham said. Abraham, who works full-time for a global management consulting firm, puts aside two to four hours each day to write, produce, and record two original songs, with the second being for children. Her style of music stretches across genres including pop, country, rock, folk and soul. Even though she is a one-woman-band, Abraham says the routine of the process makes it easy to do all on her own. “The force of habit makes anything imagined to be difficult relatively easy over time,” she said. Originally from Kerala, India, Abraham started her music career at a young age in the gospel genre and has won various awards for her musical talents. Despite the success, Abraham said the 1,000 song in 1,000 day challenge was initially born from feeling unfulfilled with the music industry. Abraham, who has lived in the UAE since 1971, will celebrate the challenge’s completion at an event at the Burj Al Arab on January 2, 2020.

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Wakanda free trade forever? Fictional nation removed from US trade list

[12/19/2019 8:05:04 AM]

AMMONNEWS - The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) removed the fictional country of Wakanda from an online list of nations that have free trade agreements with the United States on Thursday. There was no immediate response from the USDA for comment. A spokesman told The Washington Post that the inclusion of the mythical African nation from the universe of Marvel superheroes was a mistake made as part of a test officials were running. Francis Tseng, a New York-based software engineer who was looking for data on US agricultural tariffs for a fellowship he is pursuing, first noticed the listing for Wakanda on the US tariff list and called it out on Twitter. “I was very confused at first and thought I misremembered the country from the movie and got it confused with something else,” Tseng told Reuters. Before it was removed, Tseng managed to download an Excel sheet listing “Harmonized Schedule” tariff codes for various categories of goods traded between Wakanda and the US including live animals, dairy goods, tobacco and alcohol. After the list was corrected, Tseng tweeted: “Well, the USDA took Wakanda off the list. Guess we’re in a trade war with them too.” The Kingdom of Wakanda is the home of Black Panther, the Marvel superhero, and is portrayed in comic books and the 2018 blockbuster as an isolated African nation with the most powerful technology on the planet. There was no USDA entry for vibranium, the fictional metal from space that is the source of Wakanda’s power. *Reuters

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