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Winter likely to finish off some energy firms, analysts say

Image copyright Getty Images More small energy suppliers are likely to go bust this winter, analysts say, leading to potential disruption and higher costs for customers. Economy Energy was the latest to collapse earlier this month, following customer complaints about service including delayed bills and refunds. It followed a string of similar collapses and analysts say five or 10 more could go as winter costs rise. If so, domestic customers’ supply is protected but their tariff is not. When an energy company ceases trading its customers are automatically transferred to…

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Lifestyle 

China kicks off month-long winter festival in northern city of Harbin

HARBIN, China (Reuters) – Swimming enthusiast Yu Hongtao, 50, trained for months in the freezing water of the Songhua river to compete in a winter ice swimming tournament held annually in China’s northern city of Harbin, known for its bitterly cold weather. “You have to start swimming from autumn so that the body can conquer the sudden icy impact on one’s cardio-vascular system,” said Yu, a Harbin resident. “The feeling of diving into the water is very cool.” More than 300 men and women, wearing just ordinary trunks and swimsuits,…

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Science 

Winter birds thrill Norfolk wildlife photographers

A gathering of winter visitors has attracted crowds of birdwatchers and photographers to a Norfolk police station. The waxwings were spotted eating berries from a rowan tree outside the building in Long Stratton. The birds, recognisable by their distinctive red and yellow feathers, are not native to the UK but tend to visit during the winter months. “They are a scarce winter visitor but do on occasions appear in larger numbers,” said Peter Hayman, from Rare Bird Alerts. “It just depends on the availability of food and/or weather within their…

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Sports 

Bruins defeat Blackhawks in NHL Winter Classic

Sean Kuraly’s tiebreaking goal midway through the third period carried the Boston Bruins to a 4-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2019 Bridgestone Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Ind., on Tuesday. Jan 1, 2019; South Bend, IN, USA; Boston Bruins center Sean Kuraly (52) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Chicago Blackhawks in the third period in the 2019 Winter Classic hockey game at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports Kuraly broke a 2-2 tie when he backhanded in his…

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Thousands make ice fog to mark winter solstice in China

Residents of China’s north-eastern Heilongjiang province gathered to mark the winter solstice by spraying hot water into the freezing air to create swathes of ice fog. Thousands of people braved sub-zero temperatures to take part in the eye-catching celebration of the shortest day of the year – though it’s not a trick to try at home. Source link

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Lifestyle 

Thousands descend on Britain’s ancient Stonehenge for winter solstice

Ann Bloom, from Canada, joins revellers as they welcome in the winter solstice at Stonehenge stone circle, in Amesbury, Britain, December 22, 2018. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY STONEHENGE, England (Reuters) – Wrapped in warm and brightly colored clothes, thousands of revelers gathered at Britain’s Stonehenge to watch the first sunrise after winter solstice on Saturday. People of all ages, including druids and pagans, sang, clapped and cheered as the sun rose over the prehistoric site made up of huge standing stones in the southwest of England. Ann…

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Science 

Mars: Pictures reveal ‘winter wonderland’ on the red planet

Image copyright ESA Earth’s North Pole is famous for its snowy climes – and for hosting Santa’s workshop, of course. But as these pictures reveal, it’s not the only planet with snow scenes this holiday season. This is the Korolev crater, near the north pole of Mars, as captured by the European Space Agency (ESA)’s Mars Express mission. The crater is 82km (50 miles) across, and filled with ice 1.8km thick. It was named after rocket engineer and spacecraft designer Sergei Korolev, the architect of the Soviet Union’s space programme.…

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Science 

Climate change is ‘shrinking winter’

Image copyright NASA Image caption Satellite images from 2002 (left) compared with 2017 (right) highlight the decreasing snowpack Snowy mountain winters are being “squeezed” by climate change, according to scientists in California. Researchers who studied the winter snowfall in the mountains there revealed that rising temperatures are reducing the period during which snow is on the ground in the mountains – snow that millions rely on for their fresh water. They presented their findings at the American Geophysical Union meeting – the world’s largest gathering of Earth and space scientists.…

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England v West Indies: Tourists’ Test squad unchanged for winter tour

England have won their last five Test matches England have named an unchanged 16-man squad for the three-Test series in the West Indies starting next month. Joe Root’s team beat Sri Lanka 3-0 last month, with wicketkeeper Ben Foakes and opener Rory Burns making their debuts. Tom Curran and David Willey return for the five-match one-day series starting in February, with Sam Curran, Liam Dawson and Olly Stone left out. The squad for the three-match T20 series which completes the tour in the Caribbean in March will be named later.…

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Sports 

Calgary 2026 Winter Olympics bid dead after ‘no’ vote

(Reuters) – Calgary’s hopes of hosting the 2026 Winter Olympics were dashed on Tuesday after citizens voted resoundingly against the western Canadian city’s plan to bid for the Games. FILE PHOTO: Samaranch Jr, IOC Vice-President, speaks during the 133rd IOC session in Buenos Aires More than 56 percent of voters said ‘No’ in the plebiscite, a surprisingly lopsided margin after both sides had expected a close call in the city which hosted the 1988 Winter Games. After witnessing a high turnout, with more than 304,000 ballots cast in a reflection…

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