Mandatory water rationing struck California’s celebrity-filled enclave of Montecito last year and, within weeks, residents created a market based on avoidance.

Gardens stayed lush and lawns verdant as citizens paid tanker trucks to deliver thousands of gallons to homes in the seaside suburb of Santa Barbara. They drilled in back yards, driving the county’s tally of new wells to a record. Some simply paid fines for exceeding allocations, padding the water district’s budget by more than $2 million.

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A device which switches all red traffic lights to green has been launched in Newcastle to prevent cars from ever needing to stop.

The pioneering technology is being tested ahead of trials of driverless vehicles, which would be linked to traffic lights so that fully-automated convoys could pass quickly through urban areas.

The new gadget, which attaches to the windscreen like a Sat Nav, detects traffic lights from around 100 metres away and requests priority so that they switch to green as soon as the car arrives.

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A salty ocean is lurking beneath the surface of Jupiter’s largest moon, Ganymede, scientists using the Hubble Space Telescope have found.

The ocean on Ganymede—which is buried under a thick crust of ice—could actually harbor more water than all of Earth’s surface water combined, according to NASA officials. Scientists think the ocean is about 60 miles (100 kilometers) thick, 10 times the depth of Earth’s oceans, NASA added. The new Hubble Space Telescope finding could also help scientists learn more about the plethora of potentially watery worlds that exist in the solar system and beyond.

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An African civil society group has voiced concerns about the takeover by giant multinational seed companies of home-grown African seed companies, the latest of which involves Africa’s SeedCo.

The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) said in a 7 October press release that several multinational seed companies acquired a large part of SeedCo,

SeedCo, which describes its vision as “To dominate agro-industry in Africa,” has agreed to sell 49 percent of its share in Africa’s only cottonseed company, Quton, to Mahyco of India, according to AFSA. Monsanto owns some 26 percent of Mahyco, which has a 50-50 joint venture to sub-licence Monsanto’s genetically modified “bt cotton traits” in India, they said.

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Children who play games at nursery school involving fruit and vegetables are more likely to develop a taste for their greens and could kick-start a healthier diet late in life, research found.
A study of youngsters aged between 12 and 36 months found that the children who were introduced to unusual fruit and vegetables through fun games were almost a third more likely to taste those vegetables over different ones at meal times.

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