First ‘murder hornet’ nest eradicated in U.S. [Video]

The Asian giant hornet is pretty much what it sounds like: an enormous, flying insect with a terrifically painful sting.

But on the plus side, the so-called “murder hornets” — that can grow up to two-and-half inches in length — are also large enough to support the long-antenna of a radio transmitter.

That means that if you can trap them, you can track them.

And that’s just what entomologists with the Washington State Department of Agriculture set out to do with this invasive, dangerous species.

This hornet, seen here enjoying a mound of jelly, is carrying a tracking device.

It and others led the hornet-hunters to a tree in Blaine, Washington, last week.

On Saturday, entomologists clad in space-suit like protective gear wrapped up the cavity, and vacuumed out the nest, the first one eradicated in North America.

Sven Spicheger is the Managing Entomologist with the WSDA.

“These particular invasive insects are known to be voracious predators of honeybees, particularly managed honeybees, where only a few Asian giant hornets can take out thirty thousand healthy honeybees in just a matter of a few hours. And unfortunately, the managed honeybees we use here have no natural defense against them that’s effective at all.”

The Asian giant hornets appeared in parts of the Pacific Northwest over the summer. And, in addition to menacing honey producers, they can also pose a threat to humans.

“Well, it’s a different kind of venom than honey bee venom, so most people are going to experience severe pain if they’re stung by one of these.”

Spicheger said that in general, the Asian giant hornets don’t target people. Bu he does not recommend trying to remove a nest on your own.

“I would highly recommend, though, that nobody attempts this without proper gear.”

On Saturday, the WSDA tweeted, “Got ’em.”

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2021 DB Ga’Quincy McKinstry Makes College Decision

Pinson Valley High School standout, 2021 defensive back Ga’Quincy McKinstry is staying home. 

The gifted athlete announced his verbal commitment to the University of Alabama over Auburn and LSU on Sunday afternoon inside his high school’s auditorium in front of friends, family, and media alike. 

McKinstry becomes the 22nd member of the Crimson Tide’s 2021 recruiting class, joining other defensive backs like JUCO prospect Khyree Jackson, safety Kaine Williams, cornerback Devonta Smith, and Kadarius Calloway. 

His recruitment took a lot of twists and turns along the way, including a time when McKinstry was considered an Auburn lean just a little over month ago. Alabama coach Nick Saban and assistant Karl Scott played a pivotal roles in landing ‘Kool-Aid,’ a nickname given to him by his grandmother because of his infectious energy and never-ending smile.  

As a two-sport star, McKinstry also holds an offer from Alabama coach Nate Oats and company and will look to play basketball at the college level as well.

Here is how the team at Sports Illustrated All-American evaluates the All-American candidate: 

Prospect: CB Ga’Quincy McKinstry

Projected Position: Cornerback

Status: SI All-American candidate

Vitals: 6-foot, 175 pounds

School: Pinson (Ala.) Pinson Valley

Schools of Interest: Considering Alabama, Auburn, LSU 

Frame: Tall build with great length relative to height. Well-proportioned with lean muscle and considerable room to add mass.

Athleticism: Two-sport star with national offers in football and basketball. Explosive athlete with great long speed, ball skills and elevation regardless of role. Has above the rim ability on the hardwood with appropriate twitch and body control to set up an offense.

Instincts: Twitchy athlete in traffic or in space. Supreme ball skills, tracking ability and body control make him a big play waiting to happen. Change of direction and reaction time on defense proves elite despite lack of advanced technique. Runs well enough to play cornerback or factor into the return game. Confident prospect.

Polish: Playing well more wide receiver than defensive back in high school, there is a ways to go in man coverage but the combination of length, speed and ball skills proves effective. Can contest 50-50 balls as well as back shoulder attempts with quickness and range. Comfortable in zone coverage, willing to challenge wideouts at the line of scrimmage as well as playing the run.

Bottom Line: McKinstry is one of the most gifted athletes in the class of 2021 in two sports, a rare feat at any age. He can legitimately be considered America’s top cornerback and contend as one of its top wide receivers and scoring guards all in the same breath. If and when he focused on one position, or sport, there isn’t much of an athletic ceiling in his game — the same reason his prospects in the secondary are so intriguing.

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Newly signed law aims to limit the damage from space weather

Space weather like solar flares could seriously disrupt electronics and satellites, and the US government might soon mount a better defense. President Trump has signed the PROSWIFT Act (Promoting Research and Observations of Space Weather to Improve the Forecasting of Tomorrow), a bill that will help to predict space weather and limit the damage when it hits. The newly-minted law orders federal agencies like NASA, NOAA, and the Defense Department to coordinate with private companies to study the potential impact of this weather and spur research for both forecasting and the technology to withstand effects.

The agencies also have to develop a backup for the 25-year-old Solar and Heliospheric Observatory satellite.

The measure was a bipartisan effort sponsored by Colorado Senator Cory Gardner and Michigan senator Gary Peters.

It could take a long time for PROSWIFT to lead to meaningful measures. Politicians believe it could easily be worth the cost, mind you. Gardner pointed to a Lloyds of London estimate that a sever space weather incident could cost up to $2.6 trillion through blackouts, satellite disruptions and air traffic issues. What money the US spends now could reap dividends if the country can bounce back from the Sun’s more extreme behavior with relatively little trouble.

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College football odds, lines, schedule for Week 9: Ohio State, Wisconsin open as double-digit road favorites

Halloween weekend is upcoming, and there are some scary lines out there in the college football world. William Hill Sportsbook released the lines for Week 9 of the college football season, which features several big-time matchups including a Big Ten East showdown between No. 3 Ohio State and No. 18 Penn State in Happy Valley. 

It isn’t the only big game of the week, though. LSU will travel to Auburn in a division matchup that always seems to provide at least one trick or treat. Elsewhere, the AAC slate will feature a matchup between Memphis and No. 7 Cincinnati at noon ET that could have massive ramifications across the Group of Five world.

Let’s break down the odds for the biggest games in Week 9 of the college football season. 

No. 3 Ohio State (-11) at No. 18 Penn State: The Nittany Lions are fresh off a dramatic loss at Indiana, but get a chance to get right at home against the top dog in the Big Ten. Will that loss to the Hoosiers have a lingering effect, or will Justin Fields and Co. orchestrate another blowout? This line surprised me quite a bit. Sure, Happy Valley is normally an intimidating place to play … but there won’t be fans there on Saturday. 

LSU (-2) at Auburn: The SEC on CBS Game of the Week features two SEC West teams that are in desperate need of a win in order to have any chance at being relevant down the stretch. LSU just throttled a South Carolina team that beat Auburn two weeks ago, while Auburn escaped the clutches of Ole Miss in Oxford on Saturday. Weird things always seem to happen in this rivalry. Buyer beware. 

Boston College at No. 1 Clemson (-31.5): The Tigers struggled to get going against Syracuse at home, and have another massive line this week against an Eagles team that, if nothing else, has been pesky in 2020. It’s hard to bet on dial-a-score games involving Clemson since the outcome might hinge on when coach Dabo Swinney decides to take his foot off of the gas. 

No. 9 Wisconsin (-11) at Nebraska: The Badgers suddenly have a passing game after the world got a taste of redshirt freshman Graham Metz on Saturday night in Madison. Nebraska hung around with Ohio State for a bit on Saturday, and will have another big challenge against a quarterback who loves to air it out. 

Texas at No. 6 Oklahoma State (-3): We know now that Texas isn’t “back.” But it could be back to playing the spoiler role against a Cowboys squad that has quietly gone undefeated through the first month-plus of the season. Oddsmakers clearly think that Mike Gundy’s squad is more sizzle than steak even though quarterback Spencer Sanders returned to action and played well last week in a win over Iowa State.

Memphis at No. 7 Cincinnati (-6.5): The Bearcats made a big statement in a Week 8 victory over SMU, while one-loss Memphis needs

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Indiana University student killed by stray bullet on 1st visit to New York City

Ethan Wiliams had wanted to visit New York since seeing Spider-Man as a child.

Ethan Williams, a student at Indiana University in Bloomington, died early Saturday morning when he was hit by the errant bullet while sitting on a stoop of a home he and his traveling companions had rented, police said.

“He has a massive massive heart, he loved people a lot. There’s [an] irony to me that that was the life that was taken. You know, the life of someone that wanted to give his life back to helping people,” his father, Jason Williams, told ABC station WABC-TV in New York.

The shooting unfolded about 2:30 a.m. on Saturday as Ethan Williams was sitting on the front stoop of the Airbnb rental home in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, police said. Witnesses told police they heard at least seven shots and Jason Williams said his son was hit once in the chest.

Ethan Williams was taken to Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

New York Police Department officials said they do not believe Williams was the intended target.

“He was pretty much killed instantly from the stray bullet that went down the street,” Jason Williams said.

Police said Sunday that no one has been arrested in the killing and that investigators are interviewing witnesses and reviewing surveillance video in an effort to identify the person responsible.

“They need to understand that their actions have consequences beyond the moment,” Susan Williams told WABC of the person who killed her son. “Turn yourself in, do what’s right. Let our family have peace.”

Williams was a sophomore at Indiana University and was studying to become a filmmaker, his parents said. They said Ethan Williams was in New York to work on on a short documentary with a film crew.

The Williams said it was their son’s first trip to New York City and that he had worked over the summer and saved up money to pay for the trip.

“When Ethan was a little guy, 3 or 4 years old, he saw Spider-Man and he fell in love with New York,” Jason Williams said.

Susan Williams added, “His hope was always to go to graduate school in New York. That was the dream.”

The parents said their son graduated from high school with four honors diplomas and traveled to Africa to do missionary work.

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AFL 2020 Grand Final Round Table Will Dusty end his career as the AFL’s GOAT?

Our experts debate all the hot topics and burning questions after Richmond secured a third premiership in four years.

2 Related

Did the night Grand Final work? Should the AFL persist with it in 2021?

Niall Seewang: I’m torn on this one. Plenty worked on the night but the build-up left me pretty frustrated and it just didn’t ‘feel’ like Grand Final day (although the fact it was in Brisbane not Melbourne could be a major reason for that). The AFL will pore over the broadcast figures and I fear, if the numbers are strong, we’ll never see a day GF again. Maybe a twilight decider could be the best of both worlds? It’d be worth taking a look at that option before deciding one way or another.

Jake Michaels: There were so many unusual factors contributing to the 2020 Grand Final, so I don’t think you can solely judge the viability of a night decider on just this. But for what it’s worth, I like it. I don’t get the criticism that it’s too long to wait. It’s a night game. What do you expect!? The entertainment was probably a step up and the game was exciting, not sure what more fans want. Victorians, when things are back to normal and the game is at the MCG, you’ll love a night Grand Final.

Matt Walsh: I’ll keep it pretty simple – yes, it did work, but no, they shouldn’t persist with it. This was an extraordinary year that was only possible due to the extraordinary circumstances. There’s something magical about a 2.30pm bounce at the MCG – the shorter build-up that’s still just long enough. The ability to revel in the result and still make an evening of things afterwards is also underrated. If you’re more focused on the half time or pre-game entertainment, then I’ve got some advice for you; there are these wonderful things called ‘gigs’, where you can see artists perform sets up to two hours’ long! Let’s not pander only to the broadcasters chasing what would be maybe a few thousand more eyeballs on TVs. We’ve got something great (and unique!) in a day-time decider. I used to think a night Grand Final was the way forward but not anymore

Will Dustin Martin end his career as the AFL’s GOAT?

NS: It’s getting hard to ignore the argument now. I think he can lay claim to be the all-time greatest finals player, if not the greatest (although Leigh Matthews has to be in the conversation) but he’s still not quite up there with Wayne Carey and Co. yet. I mark modern-day midfielders a bit harder than key forwards though, as they rarely cop a tag and can run around freely, even on Grand Final day!

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NASA astronaut Kate Rubins votes from ISS: ‘If we can do it from space…’

This story is part of Elections 2020, CNET’s coverage of the run-up to voting in November.

However you go about casting your vote, you have to admire this NASA astronaut who managed to cast her vote all the way from space. Kate Rubins, who’s currently aboard the International Space Station, posted a photo of herself in front of a padded booth marked “ISS Voting Booth,” with the text “From the International Space Station: I voted today.”

NASA notes this isn’t Rubins’ first time voting from space. She did so in 2016, when she was also on the ISS. 

“I think it’s really important for everybody to vote,” Rubins said in a video uploaded by NASA. “And if we can do it from space, then I believe folks can do it from the ground, too.” Rubins’ six-month ISS mission began Oct. 14, which was also her 42nd birthday.

Most astronauts choose to vote as Texas residents because they move to Houston for training, NASA said, though, that those who wish to vote as residents of their home state can make special arrangements. 

Ballots from the county where the astronaut is registered are tested on a space station training computer, then the real ballot is generated and uplinked to the ISS with crew-member-specific credentials to keep it secure. The completed ballot is electronically delivered back to Earth to be officially recorded.

“Voting in space has been possible since 1997 when a bill passed to legally allow voting from space in Texas,” NASA said in a statement. “Since then, several NASA astronauts have exercised this civic duty from orbit. As NASA works toward sending astronauts to the Moon in 2024 and eventually on to Mars, the agency plans to continue to ensure astronauts who want to vote in space are able to, no matter where in the solar system they may be.”

NASA had expected the US astronauts on the SpaceX Crew-1 mission to the ISS to join Rubins in voting from space, but their mission has been delayed until early- to mid-November, so they can now vote from Earth.


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College football bowl projections: Michigan, Wisconsin crash New Year’s Day 6 after Week 8

The Big Ten returned to action over the weekend, and that led to some changes in our bowl projections after the Week 8 slate of games.

Michigan replaced Penn State in our New Year’s Day 6 after an impressive victory against Minnesota. Our College Football Playoff picks remain the same, with Clemson, Ohio State, Alabama and Oregon holding their spots. The Ducks begin play in two weeks.

Two more bowls — the Fenway Bowl and Holiday Bowl — announced that they will not be played in 2020. We tweaked our projections to account for the changes.

MORE: AP, Coaches polls after Week 8

This season’s semifinals are Jan. 1 at the Rose Bowl Game and Sugar Bowl. The Playoff championship game will be Jan. 11 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.

With that in mind, here are Sporting News’ picks for the College Football Playoff and New Year’s Day Six heading into Week 9:

Bowl projections after Week 8

Bowl Matchup
Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl TCU vs. Tennessee
AutoZone Liberty Bowl Texas vs. Arkansas
Gasparilla Bowl BYU vs. Liberty
Guaranteed Rate Bowl West Virginia vs. Minnesota
Cheez-It Bowl Kansas State vs. Louisville
Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl UCF vs. FAU
Duke’s Mayo Bowl Nebraska vs. Georgia Tech
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Buffalo vs. San Diego State
FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl Charlotte vs. Miami (Ohio)
Los Angeles Bowl USC vs. Boise State
Camellia Bowl Central Michigan vs. South Alabama
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl SMU vs. Marshall
Military Bowl Navy vs. N.C. State
Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl Utah vs. Missouri
Mobile Alabama Lending Tree Bowl UAB vs. Louisiana
Myrtle Beach Bowl Memphis vs. Appalachian State
New Era Pinstripe Bowl Purdue vs. Virginia Tech
New Mexico Bowl Hawaii vs. Houston
NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl Ohio vs. Air Force
Outback Bowl Kentucky vs. Northwestern
Quick Lane Bowl Toledo vs. Iowa
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Louisiana Tech vs. Coastal Carolina
Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl Army vs. Stanford
SERVPRO First Responder Bowl Iowa State vs. Washington*
TaxSlayer Gator Bowl Auburn vs. North Carolina
Ticket Smarter Birmingham Bowl Tulsa vs. South Carolina
Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl Cal vs. Boston College
TransPerfect Music City Bowl LSU vs. Indiana
Tropical Smoothie Café Frisco Bowl UTSA vs. Nevada
Valero Alamo Bowl Oklahoma vs. Arizona State
VRBO Citrus Bowl Texas A&M vs. Penn State

* indicates non-bowl-tie-in

New Year’s Day 6 projections after Week 8

Date Bowl Matchup
Dec. 30 Goodyear Cotton Bowl Oklahoma State vs. Michigan
Jan. 1 Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl Georgia vs. Miami
Jan. 2 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl Cincinnati vs. Wisconsin
Jan. 2 Capital One Orange Bowl Florida vs. Notre Dame

College Football Playoff projections after Week 8

Date Bowl Matchup
Jan. 1 Rose Bowl Game (semifinal) Alabama vs. Ohio State
Jan. 1 Allstate Sugar Bowl (semifinal) Clemson vs. Oregon
Jan. 11 CFP Championship Game Ohio State vs. Clemson

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NASA reaches key milestone with US companies competing to provide moon landers

NASA has reached a key milestone with the U.S. companies competing to provide landers for future crewed missions to the moon.

The space agency’s Artemis program aims to land American astronauts on the moon by 2024. Working with commercial and international partners, it also plans to establish a sustainable human presence on Earth’s natural satellite by 2028.

NASA’s Human Landing System (HLS) program conducted Certification Baseline Reviews with a Blue Origin-led team, Dynetics, and SpaceX “to better understand their human landing system proposals and approach for the agency’s Artemis program,” the agency said, in a statement.

“The primary purpose of the CBRs was to finalize the functional and performance requirements for the companies’ landing system designs, confirm the standards to be applied to lander development, establish the baseline designs, schedules, and management plans for HLS contract execution and human spaceflight certification,” NASA said.

NASA TESTS BOOSTER ROCKET FOR FUTURE ARTEMIS MISSIONS TO THE MOON

The CBRs occurred about mid-way through the three contracts’ base period, which runs from May 2020 to February 2021.

Concept image of an Artemis Human Landing System approaching the lunar surface. (NASA)

NASA explained that Dr. Lisa Watson-Morgan, HLS program manager at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., chaired the CBR board that approved the certification baseline for each contractor.

“We wanted to be as open as possible in our procurement approach, to accelerate the process and to encourage innovation,” she said, in the statement. “It worked. Within one year, we were able to select three very different design solutions to accomplish the bold and challenging objective of sending astronauts to the lunar South Pole.”

“With firm-fixed-price contracts it is important to come to an agreement up front about how each contractor will proceed,” Watson-Morgan added. “While NASA wants to be as flexible as possible to achieve success, late changes can be costly and add to schedule risk.”

A key element of the Artemis program is also landing the first woman on the moon.

NASA REVEALS ITS VISION FOR THE ARTEMIS MOON LANDER THAT WILL RETURN US ASTRONAUTS TO THE LUNAR SURFACE

NASA recently tested the booster rocket technology that will be used to power future Artemis missions to the moon. The space agency conducted a full-scale booster test for its Space Launch System (SLS) rocket in Promontory, Utah last month.

The test is an important milestone for NASA’s Artemis program.

Last year, NASA revealed details of its vision for the Artemis Moon Lander that will return American astronauts to the lunar surface.

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Some lawmakers, however, have urged NASA to delay putting U.S. boots on the moon until 2028.

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AP football poll: Ohio State climbs after season-opening victory over Nebraska; Penn State tumbles

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A season-opening 52-17 victory over Nebraska helped Ohio State climb in the Associated Press Top 25 poll.

The Buckeyes jumped two spots to No. 3, behind No. 1 Clemson and No. 2 Alabama. The Tigers (52) and Crimson Tide (10) accounted for all of the No. 1 votes.

Ohio State was ranked No. 2 in the preseason poll but had not climbed higher than fifth since the Big Ten canceled the fall season. Some voters had opted not to vote for Big Ten teams until the league season actually began.

• Why cleveland.com’s Nathan Baird changed the No. 1 vote on his Associated Press Top 25 ballot

Notre Dame dropped one spot to No. 4 and Georgia dropped one to No. 5.

Other Big Ten teams include No. 9 Wisconsin, No. 13 Michigan, both of which rose five spots. Indiana debuted in the poll at No. 17 after its victory at Penn State, which dropped from No. 8 to 18.

Rank Team (No. 1 votes) W-L Pts. Prev.
1. Clemson (52) 6-0 1,539 1
2. Alabama (10) 5-0 1,494 2
3. Ohio State 1-0 1,402 5
4. Notre Dame 5-0 1,353 3
5. Georgia 3-1 1,292 4
6. Oklahoma State 4-0 1,201 6
7. Cincinnati 3-0 1,100 9
8. Texas A&M 3-1 1,094 7
9. Wisconsin 1-0 950 14
10. Florida 2-1 933 10
11. BYU 5-0 906 12
12. Miami 4-1 888 11
13. Michigan 1-0 839 18
14. Oregon 0-0 784 13
15. North Carolina 4-1 758 14
16. Kansas State 4-1 562 20
17. Indiana 1-0 466 NR
18. Penn State 0-1 443 8
19. Marshall 5-0 379 22
20. Coastal Carolina 5-0 282 25
21. USC 0-0 243 24
22. SMU 5-1 208 16
23. Iowa State 3-2 205 17
24. Oklahoma 3-2 155 NR
25. Boise State 1-0 113 NR

Others receiving votes: Memphis 105, Liberty 85, Tulsa 80, Louisiana-Lafayette 50, Army 44, Auburn 41, Minnesota 40, Utah 36, Northwestern 20, Washington 15, Arkansas 15, Purdue 8, Arizona State 7, Appalachian State 6, California 4, Boston College 2, Texas 2, San Diego State 1

New Ohio State face masks for sale: Here’s where you can buy Ohio State-themed face coverings for coronavirus protection. A 3-pack is available on Fanatics for $29.99.

Ohio State Buckeyes Adult Face Covering

Fanatics has released Ohio State Buckeyes Adult Face Coverings. This 3-pack of adult masks, retails for $29.99.

More Buckeyes coverage

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Grading Fields’ performance in the victory

Everything that went right and wrong in the Buckeyes’ season opener: Podcast

Chris Olave knocked out of game, but Ryan Day held no ill will

Win over Nebraska was missing something important: You

Players, coaches admit it was ‘weird’ playing in an empty stadium

OSU players sing Carmen Ohio after win over Nebraska

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