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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Doomsday is closer

Lawrence Krauss (L), chairman of the "Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists" Board of Sponsors, and board member Thomas Pickering (R), a former US Under Secretary of State as well as US Ambassador to the United Nations, Russia and other countries, unveil that the board has moved the minute hand of their "Doomsday Clock" by 30 seconds to a more ominous 2-1/2 minutes from midnight.

The world is definitely scared.

It is now two and a half minutes to apocalypse.

The group behind the famed Doomsday Clock announced at a news conference that it was adjusting the countdown to the End of it All by moving the hands 30 seconds closer to midnight - the closest the clock has been to Doomsday since 1953, after the United States tested its first thermonuclear device, followed months later by the Soviet Union's hydrogen bomb test.

In announcing that the Doomsday Clock was moving 30 seconds closer to the end of humanity, the group noted that in 2016, "the global security landscape darkened as the international community failed to come effectively to grips with humanity's most pressing existential threats, nuclear weapons and climate change."

"Making matters worse, the United States now has a president who has promised to impede progress on both of those fronts," theoretical physicist Lawrence M Krauss and retired Rear Admiral David Titley wrote in a New York Times op-ed on behalf of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist.

"Never before has the Bulletin decided to advance the clock largely because of the statements of a single person. But when that person is the new president of the United States, his words matter."

The clock is symbolic, sitting at the intersection of art and science, and it has wavered between two minutes and 17 minutes til doom since its inception in 1947. A board of scientists and nuclear experts meets regularly to determine what time it is on the Doomsday Clock.

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