Researchers performed a test of the Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response (FINDER) prototype technology — which can locate individuals buried in disasters — at the Virginia Task Force 1 Training Facility in Lorton, VA. The device uses radar technology developed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., to sense the heartbeats and breathing of humans hidden behind piles of rubble. (UPI/DHS/John Price)
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mario Molina, winner of the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1995 and the only Mexican scientist to be honored with a Nobel, died Wednesday in his native Mexico City. He was 77 years old.
Molina’s family announced his death in a brief statement through the institute that carried his name. It did not give a cause of death.
He won the prize along with scientists Frank Sherwood Rowland of the United States and Paul Crutzen of the Netherlands for their research into climate change.
Molina and Rowland published a paper in 1974 that saw the thinning of the ozone layer as a consequence of chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, chemicals used in a range of products.
Molina’s work contributed to the drafting of the first international treaty on the subject, the Montreal Protocol, which phased out the use of the chemicals. Later, he focused on confronting air pollution in major cities like his own Mexico City and pushing for global actions to promote sustainable development.
One of his last public appearances was alongside Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, also a scientist, in a video conference during which Molina reflected on the coronavirus pandemic and the importance of wearing masks to avoid transmission.
Molina was a member, among other institutions, of the National Academy of Sciences and for eight years was one of the 21 scientists who composed President Barack Obama’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology.
Only two other Mexicans have been awarded Nobel Prizes: Alfonso García Robles received the Peace Prize in 1982 for his work on nuclear weapons negotiations and writer Octavio Paz was awarded the prize for literature in 1990.
Molina died on the same day this year’s prize for chemistry was awarded.
Tennessee Court of Appeals upholds decision finding Gov. Bill Lee’s education savings account program unconstitutional
Gov. Bill Lee’s education savings account program took another hit Tuesday, with the Tennessee Court of Appeals upholding a lower court’s decision that the controversial plan is unconstitutional.
A three-member panel of the Court of Appeals upheld a previous decision by Davidson County Chancery Court Judge Anne Martin, who ruled against the school-voucher law because it only applies to Memphis and Nashville.
The state attorney general quickly appealed that decision, hoping to kick off the program with the 2020-21 school year, but the courts blocked the state from receiving applications and preparing for the program’s kickoff for this academic year.
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PREVIOUSLY: Judge rules Gov. Bill Lee’s education savings account program unconstitutional
In its appeal, the state argued that education policy is the state’s responsibility — and that the local constitutional protections, known as “home rule,” don’t apply in this case. Martin had ruled that the law violated the home rule provision since the legislature imposed the program on just two counties without their say.
The program would allow students in Davidson and Shelby school districts to attend private schools and pay for it, in part, by with public funds. The General Assembly passed the controversial law in 2019 over the objections of officials in Davidson and Shelby counties. The education savings account program is one of Lee’s signature education initiatives.
After a remote hearing in May, Martin ruled the state could no longer accept applications and ordered the program’s website to say that applications were closed, and since the program’s fate