7 Electric Cars With The Biggest Batteries

As lithium battery cells are produced in growing quantities, and research into improving them continues, they’re become cheaper and more energy dense. These changes mean the batteries powering our electric vehicles hold more kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy and are achieving longer ranges per charge, making them more practical for more people. We expect this trend to continue for a while, though eventually it will make sense to cap the number of kWh a car might have. Then, reducing the physical size and weight of the battery packs will take precedence,…

Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion Boasts Massive 111-kWh Battery, 413-Mile Range

There’s no steering wheel or controls because VW imagines it as a purely autonomous vehicle. Volkswagen has released the first teaser for its latest electric vehicle concept. The I.D. Vizzion will premiere at the Geneva Motor Show as a stylish sedan with fully autonomous capability. Inside, there won’t be a steering wheel or pedals. Instead, occupants will use voice and gesture controls to tell the vehicle where to go. The company’s teaser only shows a sketch of the Vizzion in profile. It features a rounded front end with a short…

Bitcoin Thieves Threaten Real Violence for Virtual Currencies

SAN FRANCISCO — The currency they were after was virtual, but the guns they carried were anything but. In the beach resort of Phuket, Thailand, last month, the assailants pushed their victim, a young Russian man, into his apartment and kept him there, blindfolded, until he logged onto his computer and transferred about $100,000 worth of Bitcoin to an online wallet they controlled. A few weeks before that, the head of a Bitcoin exchange in Ukraine was taken hostage and only released after the company paid a ransom of $1…

To Stir Discord in 2016, Russians Turned Most Often to Facebook

SAN FRANCISCO — In 2014, Russians working for a shadowy firm called the Internet Research Agency started gathering American followers in online groups focused on issues like religion and immigration. Around mid-2015, the Russians began buying digital ads to spread their messages. A year later, they tapped their followers to help organize political rallies across the United States. Their digital instrument of choice for all of these actions? Facebook and its photo-sharing site Instagram. The social network, more than any other technology tool, was singled out on Friday by the Justice…

Major Russian mafia trial opens in Spain

A Russian MP, Vladislav Reznik, and 17 other suspects have gone on trial in Madrid accused of massive money-laundering for a Russian mafia gang. The alleged gang bosses Gennady Petrov and Alexander Malyshev are still at large, believed to be in Russia. Some suspects are alleged to have Russian government connections. Mr Reznik told the court he had turned up in order to prove his innocence. Five Spaniards are also in the dock, accused of helping Russian criminals. The case dates back to 2008, when Spanish police carried out “Operation…

Climate change spells turbulent times ahead for air travel

Phoenix gets hot. But not usually as hot as last June, when the mercury at the airport one day soared above 48C. That exceeded the maximum operating temperature for several aircraft ready for take-off. They didn’t fly. More than 50 flights were cancelled or rerouted. Thanks to climate change, soon 48C may not seem so unusual. Welcome to the precarious future of aviation in a changing climate. As the world warms and weather becomes more extreme, aircraft designers, airport planners and pilots must all respond, both in the air and on the ground.…

World’s most controversial fruit depends on giant bats for pollination

Durian. Depending on whom you talk to it’s either the most beloved or the most despised fruit on the planet. It suffers no moderation, no wishy-washiness. It is the king of fruits or the worst thing you’ve ever tasted. Due to its potent odour – delicate and sweet to its advocates and sewage-like to its detractors – durian has been banned from airplanes, subways, and hotels (though punishments appear light if non-existent). But a recent study in Ecology and Evolution finds there may be no durians at all without bats: big, threatened bats. The…

‘I love Rome, but Rome doesn’t love us’: the city’s new migrant crisis

Italy’s refugee crisis has reached its peak in Rome, where thousands of migrants are being evicted from squatting in the city’s abandoned buildings  Refugees protest after they were evicted from a building they were occupying in Rome, in August 2017. Photograph: Angelo Carconi/AP Mobile phones lie idle, drawers dangle from chests and documents scatter the rooms. On the walls hang photos of weddings and children, all left behind in the rush to leave when the police stormed in. Six months ago the former office block in Via Curtatone, overlooking Piazza…

Cashing out? Why notes and coins may become a thing of the past in Sweden

At a public toilet in a shopping centre in Gothenburg, a struggle is taking place between old and new Sweden. Last year, the the shopping centre installed cash-free toilets, forcing customers to pay with their mobile phones – a process new to most. “I was in a hurry, I really needed to go,” said Freda, 28, after a visit. “It was all a bit confusing, but I never carry cash, so I am just pleased I could get in.” A succession of older customers turned away in bewilderment or disgust. “It’s…

Myanmar government ‘bulldozing Rohingya mass grave to hide evidence’

The government of Myanmar is bulldozing over the site of a Rohingya mass grave in an effort to destroy evidence of a massacre committed last year by the military, according to a rights monitoring group. The claim follows investigations conducted by the Associated Press and Reutersnews agencies, which revealed evidence of other mass graves. The Arakan Project, which uses on-the-ground networks to document abuses against the Rohingya community in western Rakhine state, Myanmar, provided the Guardian with a video of the grave site before its destruction. The footage shows half-buried tarpaulin bags in a forest clearing,…