The first solar brick road is created in France.

Solar panels being installed on the road. (Image courtesy of TakePart)

The world’s first solar panel covered road was recently opened in Tourouvre-au-Perche, France. Segolene Royal, France’s environment minister, opened the road aspiring to install solar panels throughout the country. The French project took about $5.2 million, yet isn’t very cost-effective as panels flat on the floor do not generate as much energy as those tilted towards the sun. The company plans to lower the cost as they build more solar panels, while panels have also been installed on many business buildings to cut down the costs.

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Drone regulations to be increased in the United Kingdom.

A drone being flown in the UK. (Image courtesy of BBC)

New regulations regarding drone usage in the UK have been proposed, such as undergoing registration, passing safety tests and having criminal liabilities for those who fly a drone in unauthorized zones. Alongside these new measures, ministers are planning to make drones identifiable to ensure police traceability. The growing popularity of these vehicles has led to an increasing number of accidents with passenger jets. Lord Ahmad, the Aviation Minister stated that although drones have enormous potential, by being unaware of the rules, some operators have put the public under risk. If the new measures are approved, all drone users will be required to take a theory test, facing charges if the regulations are not followed.

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Record breaking heatwave sweeps Arctic on Christmas Eve.

Temperatures at the North Pole are close to freezing. (Image courtesy of University of Maine)

Climate scientists say unseasonably warm weather patterns in the Arctic are directly related to anthropogenic climate change. Dr. Friederike Otto, a senior researcher at Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute, said “in pre-industrial times, a heatwave like this would be extremely rare – occurring about once every 1 000 years.” This year, temperatures through November and December were 5 degrees Celsius higher than average, following a summer in which Arctic sea ice reached the second lowest extent ever recorded by satellites. Dr. Thorsten Markus, chief of NASA’s Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory, commented that he was confident Santa’s sleigh would cope with the conditions, although he may be somewhat overdressed for the occasion. 

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Berlin attack suspect killed in shootout in Milan.

Investigators are trying to determine if Amri had a network of supporters helping him over the course of the crime. (Image courtesy of AP)

Anis Amri, a Tunisian man suspected to be responsible for a deadly attack on a Christmas Market in Berlin, was killed in a shootout in Milan, ending a Europe-wide manhunt. Amri reportedly travelled from Germany through France into Italy after the attack. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria claimed responsibility for the Berlin attack, where a truck plowed into a crowd of people, killing 12 and injuring 56 others. Amri was stopped by two officers during a routine patrol outside a deserted train station at 3 am. When he was asked to show his identification, he pulled a gun from his backpack and was killed in the subsequent shootout.

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GM’s China venture fined $29 million in anti-monopoly case.

GM sales in China are up 8.5% from last year. (Image courtesy of AP)

General Motor’s main joint venture in China was fined $29 million, charged with colluding with dealers to fix the prices of Cadillac, Chevrolet, and Buick models. Shanghai authorities said GM improperly hurt competition by striking agreements with dealers to put price floors on cars. This comes at a delicate time for U.S. –  China relations, as U.S. President-elect Trump recently selected Peter Navarro, who believes that China does not play fairly on trade, to head a new trade council. GM has a lot to lose in China, where they sell more vehicles than in the U.S. 

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