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News Roundup: Asteroids, Dead Birds, and Other News

France To Start Taxing Internet Companies

On Thursday, French lawmakers passed a law which will add a 3% tax on money made in France by “digital” companies like Google, Facebook, or Microsoft. These companies make a lot of money from things related to computers, such as web sites, apps, and other services. Digital companies usually pay tax in the country where they have their main offices, even though they may do business all around the world. This means that they usually pay much less in local taxes than companies that sell things you can touch, such as shoes or groceries.

Last year the European Union thought about a digital tax like the one France is starting, but some countries were against the idea. The US has said that it doesn’t like France’s idea because it will affect some US companies.

Japan’s Hayabusa2 Spacecraft Lands On Asteroid Again

Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft landed successfully on an asteroid known as Ryugu on Thursday. The Hayabusa2 reached Ryugu, about 185 million miles (300 million kilometers) away from Earth, in June of last year. Since then it has touched down on the asteroid once. During that visit it fired a special bullet into the asteroid to collect samples from the surface of the asteroid.

In April, the Hayabusa2 hit Ryugu with a small explosion in order to create a crater – a bowl-shaped hole in the asteroid. On Thursday, the spacecraft collected some material from below Ryugu’s surface that was thrown up by the bomb. The Hayabusa2 will return to Earth with its samples next year. The scientists behind the project hope to use it to learn more about the beginning of the solar system and perhaps even the beginning of life.

Dozens of Australian Birds Drop from the Skies

Over 60 corellas – a kind of cockatoo found in Australia – dropped out of the sky on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. The birds were found near a primary school. The birds were alive, but in very bad shape when they fell. Since then almost all have died.

Long-billed Corella (Cacatua tenuirostris), Pinegrove Memorial Park, New South Wales, Australia
Over 60 corellas – a kind of cockatoo found in Australia – dropped out of the sky on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. There are several different kinds of corella. Almost all of the birds killed were long-billed corellas – a bird that is protected in Australia.
(Source: JJ Harrison [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons.)

There are several different kinds of corella. A few of the dead birds were a kind of corella that is very common. But most of the birds killed were long-billed corellas – a bird that is protected in Australia. It seems likely that the birds were poisoned in some way because they all suffered so quickly at the same time. It could take several weeks to find out the result of the tests for poison.

Truck Drops $175,000 Onto Highway

On Tuesday afternoon, a door came open on an armored truck carrying lots of money. The truck, which is run by a company called Garda, was traveling down a highway outside Atlanta at the time. As the truck rolled down the road, money was flying out of the door. The company says that in all, about $175,000 fell out.

Over a dozen drivers stopped their cars by the side of the road, got out, and ran to collect the cash. One driver said he collected over $2,000 in just a few minutes. Much of the money was just $1 bills, but there were also $50 bills and $100 bills. The local police department said they understood why drivers wanted to collect the cash, but warned people that they still needed to return the money. Taking it is considered stealing.

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