The world’s second-biggest economy, which has vowed to cap its carbon emissions by 2030 and curb worsening air pollution, is the latest to join countries such as the U.K. and France seeking to phase out vehicles using gasoline and diesel. The looming ban on combustion-engine automobiles will goad both local and global automakers to focus on introducing more zero-emission electric cars to help clean up smog-choked major cities.

People 55 and older own 53 percent of U.S. owner-occupied houses, the biggest share since the government started collecting data in 1900...That’s up from 43 percent a decade ago. Those ages 18 to 34 possess just 11 percent. When they were that age, baby boomers had homes at almost twice that level... Property-tax exemptions for longtime residents keep older Americans from moving. Zoning rules make it harder to build affordable apartments attractive to senior citizens.

Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. electoral system before Donald Trump’s election was far more widespread than has been publicly revealed, including incursions into voter databases and software systems ... In Illinois, investigators found evidence that cyber intruders tried to delete or alter voter data. The hackers accessed software designed to be used by poll workers on Election Day ... In all, the Russian hackers hit systems in a total of 39 states

For some mysterious reason, the same mile of road or train track costs a lot more to build in the U.S. than in other rich countries like France or Japan. When it comes to trains, the disparity is particularly egregious ... One popular villain is union labor ... But unions probably don’t help explain the yawning gap between the U.S. and other rich countries ... places like France have some of the strongest unions in the world ... Yet France’s trains cost much less.

A top-of-the-line E5 is the size of a postage stamp, retails for $4,115, and uses about 60 percent more energy per year than a large Whirlpool refrigerator. You use them whenever you search Google, hail an Uber, or let your kids stream Episode 3 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt in your car. These feats of computer science are often attributed to the rise of the smartphone, but the hard work is being done on thousands of servers. And pretty much all of those servers run on Intel chips.

This near-absence of racial diversity means that racism is largely left out of Utah’s conversations about economic inequality. That leads to some conversations around inequality that would be unbearably fraught elsewhere. When the poor people are, by and large, the same race as the richer ones, people find it easier to talk about them ...  as folks who may have made some mistakes and started with some disadvantages, but also as folks who could be self-sufficient after a little help

Parts suppliers in the American South compete for low-margin orders against suppliers in Mexico and Asia. They promise delivery schedules they can’t possibly meet and face ruinous penalties if they fall short. Employees work ungodly hours, six or seven days a week, for months on end. Pay is low, turnover is high, training is scant, and safety is an afterthought... Many of the same woes that typify work conditions at contract manufacturers across Asia now bedevil parts plants in the South.

In low-earth orbit, space debris travels at velocities approaching 5 miles per second—roughly 18,000 mph—which gives even the tiniest bits of junk enormous destructive energy. A 1-centimeter-wide aluminum sphere in low-earth orbit packs the kinetic equivalent of a safe moving at 60 mph.

Colorado, the average price sought by wholesalers has fallen 48 percent to about $1,300 a pound since legal sales to all adults started in January 2014, according to Cannabase, operator of the state’s largest market. Supply is surging as growers expand and install the latest agricultural technology ... The focus on efficiency can cut production costs for some indoor growers to less than $300 a pound from more than $1,000

Employing a human welder in a factory in the U.S. costs about $25 per hour including benefits, according to a 2015 study by the Boston Consulting Group; that drops to just $8 per hour for a robot, including installation, operating costs and maintenance. By 2030, "the operating cost per hour for a robot doing similar welding tasks could plunge to as little as $2 when improvements in performance are factored in," BCG said.