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NASA/JPL-Caltech(NEW YORK) — An international team of astronomers has discovered seven potentially habitable exoplanets — or planets outside our solar system — that could have liquid water on their surfaces, according to a paper published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

It is unclear whether any of the newly discovered planets can harbor life. However, scientists pointed out that the new planetary system orbits TRAPPIST-1, a dwarf star that is much younger than our sun and that will continue to burn for another 10 trillion years — more than 700 times longer than the universe has existed so far.

Astronomers said that is “arguably enough time for life to evolve,” the article reported.

TRAPPIST-1 is about 39 light-years away, in the constellation Aquarius.

The seven newly discovered planets orbiting TRAPPIST-1 have been nicknamed “Earth’s seven sisters” and have masses similar to that of Earth’s, in addition to having rocky compositions like our planet, scientists said.

Astronomers noted, though, that they are awaiting the scheduled launch of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope in 2018 to confirm what conditions — such as atmospheric composition and climate — are like on the exoplanets. The James Webb Space Telescope is expected to be significantly more powerful than the Hubble Space Telescope.

The discovery of the new planetary system has also indicated that Earth-sized planets are much more abundant and common in the Milky Way galaxy than previously thought, researchers said.

The international team of astronomers that discovered the new exoplanets said they will be ramping up their efforts to locate and identify other planets around small stars in the vicinity of our sun through project Search for Habitable Planets Eclipsing Ultra-Cool Stars (SPECULOOS).

Additionally, NASA said it plans to launch the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), a space telescope that will spend two years finding planets orbiting over 200,000 of the brightest stars in the sky.

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Creatas/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Copa Di Vino founder James Martin isn’t bothered by the fact that the “sharks” of ABC’s Shark Tank don’t have fond memories of his two infamous appearances on the hit entrepreneurial reality show.

That’s because, despite walking away from the sharks’ offers twice and being known as one of the sharks’ most disliked inventors, Martin’s product is one of Shark Tank‘s most successful.

“We all know the sharks blew it and missed out on the biggest opportunity they ever had — which was me,” Martin told ABC News.

Martin created Copa Di Vino, an on-the-go beverage with a portfolio of seven different types of wine that come in a patented, single-serving, plastic container with a pull-off and resealable lid.

Martin’s Oregon-based, family-owned winery struggled for years before making a profit. When the opportunity arose to appear on the second season of Shark Tank in 2011, Martin jumped at the possibility. He asked the sharks for $600,000 in exchange for 30 percent of his business to help create more inventory.

At first all the sharks expressed interest and quickly began making offers, including Shark Kevin O’Leary, who went on to launch his own wine label, O’Leary Fine Wines, in October 2012.

“[The container] that’s never been done in wine before, and I grant him that was a good move,” O’Leary told ABC News. “The problem with him … is he tried to sell me … on a winery. Now, I’m in the winery business. That is a bad business.”

O’Leary wanted Martin to separate the patent for the Copa Di Vino container from the wine itself so he could focus on licensing the container’s technology to other winemakers, but Martin wouldn’t budge.

Other sharks pitched deals, but as Martin continued to turn down offers, they became less interested with his arrogant attitude. The sharks also commented that Martin seemed to be sweating profusely throughout his pitch. Martin said he was sweating because he became too hot under the TV lights in his turtleneck sweater.

“I started melting and under the pressure of Kevin O’Leary trying to split my company into two, I really started to melt,” Martin said. “For me, all I was trying to do was figure out how to get a taxi to get me out of here. … You see about 10 minutes of the exchange but I was actually out there under those lights for 45 minutes in that pressure of the tank, in the pressure of five different entrepreneurs who are very, very intelligent all firing questions at you, sometimes two or three at the same time.”

In the end, Martin brushed off the sharks’ advice and left without accepting any offers.

But soon after his episode aired, Martin said he received numerous offers from people wanting to invest in his company and Copa Di Vino took off.

Shark Tank producers took notice of Copa Di Vino’s success and offered Martin a rare second chance to go “back in the tank.” He re-pitched the product to the sharks the following year. By that time, Martin said Copa Di Vino had gone from $600,000 to $5 million in sales in just one year.

“I had a hate for Kevin O’Leary at a level that wasn’t healthy at all and my opportunity to come back was also my chance to get the last word in and say, ‘Look, you blew it, but I’m also gracious enough to give you a second chance,’” Martin told ABC News.

But again, Shark Barbara Corcoran said she didn’t appreciate what she said was Martin’s “coy” attitude. “We didn’t respect him either,” she said.

The standoff between the sharks and Martin went into its second round when neither side budged on the same point they were stuck on the first time around. And seemingly instead of working with them to make a deal, Martin just kept taking sips of his wine.

“The second time he came on he stood out there, and he knew we all were interested, and he was trying to be too cool, too smart … thinking like he’s the man,” said Shark Mark Cuban. “It was a lot of money. We were negotiating. And he’s like, ‘I’m going to take a sip.’”

“I think in the second one he forgot his place,” added Shark Robert Herjavec. “He is not the shark. We’re the sharks.”

Even though Martin walked away, again, without any of the sharks’ investment, the chance to promote his product on national television twice had contributed to huge payoffs.

To date, Copa Di Vino has sold 38 million cups of wine in places ranging from local convenience stores and supermarket chains to Marriott hotels and sports arenas and stadiums, and the company claims to have made $12 million in sales in 2016. The brand has also expanded to include Copa Di Vino variety packs, t-shirts, beach coolers and even an “outdoor patio bar.”

“I didn’t need the sharks. They needed me,” Martin said. “They needed a really, really successful brand that went everywhere and they didn’t get it because they got greedy.”

The sharks, however, feel differently. All agree they have no regrets about passing on Copa Di Vino.

“Could you imagine dealing with him on an ongoing basis?” Cuban said.

“He would ruin our lives, our happy lives,” Corcoran added.

Watch the full story on ABC News 20/20 — Shark Tank on 20/20″– FRIDAY at 10 p.m. ET.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Despite rising mortgage rates, sales of existing homes started off at a strong pace in 2017 — up 3.3 percent in January.

“They set a new post-recovery record. They were at 5.69 million sales in January, which is the highest since February 2007,” said Danielle Hale, the Managing Director of Housing Research at the National Association of Realtors.

According to Hale, the gains are a git of a surprise given that mortgage rates have been on the rise.

“Home prices continue to rise — prices were up 7.1 percent in January — and the combination of rising mortgage rates and rising house prices does provide an added challenge for potential buyers,” she said. “But we saw in January sales figures is that buyers are very resilient.”

But Hale added that job growth may be linked to buyer resilience.

“We think that the phenomenal job growth that we’ve seen that has been sustained for quite some time is really helping give buyers the confidence that they need to make the long term purchase that is a home,” Hale said.

As for nationwide trends, the positive numbers are evident across most of the country. Hale said the strongest region in this month’s data was the West, where sales were up 6.6 percent. The Northeast and the South also showed increases.

But, she said, “The only region that showed a bit of weakness was the Midwest, where sales were down, but only slightly.”

Analysts say it is difficult to determine whether January will set the tone for the rest of the year, but one thing that is apparent is low inventory, down 7.1 percent compared to a year ago.

“Inventories continue to fall even as sales are increasing,” she said. “That means that supply and demand are even tighter and that has a tendency to push prices up, so we do expect to see continued strong prices in 2017.”

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Hawai Adda(LUDHIANA, India) — Airplanes aren’t just for globetrotting anymore. In Ludhiana, India, a grounded Airbus A320 is now a restaurant where customers can enjoy a fine dining experience.

According to The Daily Mail, Hawai Adda is a vegetarian restaurant, placed creatively within an aircraft formerly owned by Air India.

The plane can comfortably seat more than 100 diners in its luxurious dining room, cafe and halls.

The interior of the plane took more than a year to convert, according to the Daily Mail.

The renovation team redesigned the entire fuselage of the retired plane, but wanted to keep the original structure and a large portion of the wiring, the Daily Mail reported.

On Hawai Adda’s Facebook page, the restaurant has advertised a variety of dishes from saffron-infused Indian rice pudding and hot fudge sundae cupcakes to vegan club sandwiches.

Around the world, there are several decommissioned planes that have now become restaurants.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — If you love Pop-Tarts, New York restaurant Kellogg’s NYC is where you need to be.

Forbes reports the Times Square restaurant known for featuring the company’s cereals as well as sundaes, shakes and parfaits, has become the Pop-Tarts Café for one week through Sunday, Feb. 26.

Almost 20 flavors of the toaster treats are selling at $1 per tart, but that’s just the start. Among the featured menu items are a Personal Pop-Tarts Pizza for $8, made with a Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts crust, strawberry “marinara sauce,” frosting “cheese,” fruit leather pepperoni and fresh mint.

Birthday Fiesta Nachos, $9, are made with confetti cupcake Pop-Tarts, strawberry “salsa” and frosting “cheese”, while Chili Pop-Tarts Fries, $8, are made from chocolate Pop-Tarts, cookies and creme Pop-Tarts “ground beef.”

The café is also partnering with UberEats on Friday, Feb. 24 from 8-10 p.m. to give away 600 free Pop-Tarts “burritos” to six New York City college campuses.

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U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission(NEW YORK) — Calphalon is recalling approximately two million knives over faulty blades that can break during use, potentially causing a laceration.

The products affected include Calphalon Contemporary Cutlery carving, chef, paring, santoku and utility knives that were sold in stores nationwide and online between September 2008 and December 2016. The recalled knives were sold both individually and in sets.


So far, Calphalon is aware of 27 reports of finger or hand lacerations, four of which required stitches. Overall, the company has received more than 3,000 reports of broken knives.

Affected customers are being asked to stop using the recalled knives immediately. They can reach out to Calphalon to receive a replacement.

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iStock/Thinkstock(SYDNEY) — Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Australia Wednesday, kicking off a four-day visit, marking the first time a serving Israeli prime minster has visited the country.

Netanyahu, joined by his wife Sara, landed in Sydney aboard an El Al aircraft from Singapore, where the Israeli leader met with Singaporean prime minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Landed in Sydney for 1st-ever visit of an Israeli PM to Australia. Thanks for the warm welcome. I’m far from Israel, but feel at home. 🇮🇱🇦🇺 pic.twitter.com/qmUEuSKcJO

— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) February 21, 2017

Prime Minister Netanyahu arrived in Sydney, Australia.
PM Netanyahu will meet today with PM @TurnbullMalcolm and Governor-General Cosgrove. pic.twitter.com/xRlWaNdNA7

— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) February 21, 2017

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull wrote an op-ed Wednesday in The Australian newspaper, in which he expressed the country’s support of Israel and a two-state solution, as well as his disapproval of the United Nations’ “one-sided” resolutions.

“Australia was the first country to vote in favour of the 1947 UN partition resolution adopted by the General Assembly, which led to the establishment of Israel in 1948,” Turnbull writes. “The key role Australia played in ensuring the security and prosperity of the Jewish people should be a source of pride for us all.”

He continues, “Israel is a miraculous nation. It has flourished despite invasion, conflict and an almost complete lack of natural resources, other than the determination and genius of its people.”

Turnbull also cited “the brilliance and the enterprise of our almost 120,000-strong Jewish-Australian community.”

Welcome to Australia Bibi & Sara! @netanyahu pic.twitter.com/ZoL8JqSzmb

— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) February 22, 2017

In a nod to the recent United Nations Security Council resolution, Turnbull writes, “My government will not support one-sided resolutions criticising Israel of the kind recently adopted by the UN Security Council and we deplore the boycott campaigns designed to delegitimise the Jewish state.”

He adds, “At the same time, we recognise that Israel and the Palestinians need to come to a settlement and we support a directly negotiated two-state solution so that Palestinians will have their own state and the people of Israel can be secure within agreed borders.”

Netanyahu — who aside from Turnbull, met with Australian Governor-General Peter Cosgrove — welcomed the comments made by Turnbull in his op-ed, telling reporters in Sydney, “I wasn’t surprised by the friendship expressed in the article but I had no advance warning so when I landed I was given the paper, I was delighted to read it … Australia has been courageously willing to puncture UN hypocrisy more than once.”

With @IsraeliPM‘s visit to #Australia, the bilateral #trade stats indicate a strong partnership between our countries:#IsraelinOZ pic.twitter.com/KyCiW8u9g9

— Israel Foreign Min. (@IsraelMFA) February 21, 2017

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Courtesy UPS(LITHIA, Fla.) — UPS took one step closer Monday to using drones to deliver packages to its customers.

The world’s largest package delivery company used a drone to drop off a package at a home in Lithia, Florida, a suburb of Tampa.

UPS has tested drone deliveries in the past, but this week’s test was notable because it launched the drone from the top of a UPS electric van outfitted with a recharging station for the battery-powered drone.

Using such a van is key, because drones require a significant amount of battery power, so they can only stay in the air for a limited amount of time. Most drones can operate between 20 and 30 minutes.

According to UPS, the drone docks on the roof of the delivery truck. A cage suspended beneath the drone extends through a hatch into the truck. A UPS driver inside loads a package into the cage and presses a button on a touch screen, sending the drone on a preset autonomous route to an address. The battery-powered drone recharges while it’s docked. It has a 30-minute flight time and can carry a package weighing up to 10 pounds.

“This test is different than anything we’ve done with drones so far,” said Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president of global engineering and sustainability, said in a statement. “It has implications for future deliveries, especially in rural locations where our package cars often have to travel miles to make a single delivery.”

He added, “Imagine a triangular delivery route where the stops are miles apart by road. Sending a drone from a package car to make just one of those deliveries can reduce costly miles driven. This is a big step toward bolstering efficiency in our network and reducing our emissions at the same time.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Apparently, this qualifies as big news in Iceland. The country’s president, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, has stirred up controversy by coming down against pineapple as a pizza topping.

While speaking to a high school class in Iceland last week, a student asked Jóhannesson what he thought about the tropical fruit as a pizza topping, typically associated with Hawaiian pizza, which features pineapple and ham. Jóhannesson said that he was against it and if he had the power, he would ban pineapple as a pizza topping altogether.

Iceland Magazine
reports that Jóhannesson’s comment has gone viral, reaching the top 10 trending stories on Reddit and making its way to news outlets around the world. It’s also prompted him to issue a clarification about his comments.

In a Facebook post, Jóhannesson wrote, “I like pineapples, just not on pizza. I do not have the power to make laws which forbid people to put pineapples on their pizza. I am glad that I do not hold such power. Presidents should not have unlimited power. I would not want to hold this position if I could pass laws forbidding that which I don´t like. I would not want to live in such a country.”

He then suggested people put seafood on their pizza instead.

Chances are slim anyone’s genuinely upset with Jóhannesson, who enjoys a 97 percent approval rating in his country.

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iStock/Thinkstock(ZAWIYA, Libya) — Dozens of bodies have washed ashore on the coast of Libya.

At least 74 bodies were found in Zawiya, according to a spokesperson for the United Nations’ International Organisation for Migration. They are believed to be migrants who were trying to reach Italy by crossing the Mediterranean Sea.

The UN spokesperson said a torn dinghy that was found nearby on the beach had departed from Sabratha on Saturday with 110 people on board.

Smugglers are using new boats in order to carry more migrants, but the large rubber dinghies are weak, according to BBC. Ayoub Gassim, spokesman for Libya’s coast guard, said according to BBC that the new boats are “going to be even more disastrous to the migrants.”

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