PREPA Failure to Distribute Grid-Repair Equipment ‘Borders on Criminal Act’

first_imgPREPA Failure to Distribute Grid-Repair Equipment ‘Borders on Criminal Act’ FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Intercept:On Saturday, a day after becoming aware of a massive store of rebuilding materials being held by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, the U.S. federal government — the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, along with their security detail — entered a Palo Seco warehouse owned by the public utility to claim and distribute the equipment, according to a spokesperson for the Corps.Rumors of a tense standoff had been circulating on the island, but the encounter was confirmed to The Intercept in a statement from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Asked if the federal officers were armed when they entered the warehouse, USACE spokesperson Luciano Vera said they were indeed accompanied by security detail and quickly began distributing the material after seizing it. Vera declined to say whether there was a confrontation at the entrance, saying only that PREPA officials ultimately toured the warehouse along with the feds:Leadership responsible for restoring the Puerto Rico power grid and their security detail toured the warehouse in cooperation with PREPA. USACE conducted a full inventory and immediately sent out critical materials to contractors at work sites. USACE will continue to distribute critical materials from the site to contractors. The hope is to strengthen the partnership between PREPA and its restoration partners, while increasing visibility of the inventory of all materials on the island. PREPA has invited FEMA and the Corps to visit its warehouses anytime and to distribute material as needed.The armed encounter comes as around half of Puerto Ricans still remain without electricity well over 100 days after Hurricane Maria.PREPA did not respond to The Intercept’s request for comment, though in a statement to the Associated Press, it rejected allegations that it had failed to distribute the warehouse’s contents. The AP only reported that “officials over the weekend also discovered some needed materials in a previously overlooked warehouse owned by Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority.” Sen. Eduardo Bhatia, minority leader of the Senate of Puerto Rico, provided a statement to The Intercept on the hoarded electrical equipment: “The news that has come out today about the discovery made by armed federal agents of thousands of electrical spare parts hidden in an PREPA warehouse borders on a criminal act by its managers. It is time for people to stand up and demand answers. Hundreds of thousands of families have been in the dark for more than 125 days, people keep dying, and businesses continue to close due to the lack of energy while the necessary spare parts were in the possession of PREPA. Lying about not having the parts to cover the inefficiency of PREPA is outrageous and those responsible must be taken before st ate and federal authorities to be criminally processed immediately.”More: https://theintercept.com/2018/01/10/puerto-rico-electricity-prepa-hurricane-maria/last_img read more

Young lawyers to host all six AG candidates

first_img April 15, 2002 Regular News The Young Lawyers Division will accomplish a political first at its upcoming May 2 Board of Governors meeting in St. Augustine. The Y LD will be sponsoring a political forum featuring all six candidates for Florida Attorney General — the first time the six have appeared together.YLD President Liz Rice reported to the Bar Board of Governors last month that details of the program were still being worked out, but the candidates — Solicitor General Tom Warner, Sen. Locke Burt, R-Ormond Beach, Education Commissioner Charlie Crist, Sen. Buddy Dyer, D-Orlando, Assistant Atty. Gen. George Sheldon, and Tallahassee Mayor Scott Maddox — had all agreed to appear.“We are excited all six of the Florida Attorney General candidates have committed to participate in the symposium,” Rice said. “We believe the event will provide an invaluable opportunity for local and state Bar leadership to learn more about the candidates and to explore their views and positions on legal issues that may likely be sparked by legislation passed in the aftermath of the tragic events of September 11.”The event will be at the Casa Monica Hotel in St. Augustine.“It is designed to be question-and-answer,” said YLD board member John Stewart, who is organizing the event.Beside the YLD board, other Florida Bar leaders, leaders of local bar associations, and the local state attorney and public defender have been invited. The theme for the gathering is the balance between effective enforcement and civil liberties in the wake of September 11. Other topics may also be raised. Young lawyers to host all six AG candidatescenter_img Young lawyers to host all six AG candidateslast_img read more

Board asks court not to adopt petition to limit contingency fees in med mal actions

first_imgBoard asks court not to adopt petition to limit contingency fees in med mal actions July 1, 2005 Senior Editor Regular News Board asks court not to adopt petition to limit contingency fees in med mal actions Gary Blankenship Senior Editor It’s too soon for the Florida Supreme Court to consider a proposed new Bar rule based on a constitutional amendment approved by voters last fall to limit attorney contingency fees in medical malpractice cases.And if the court does take up a petition from 55 Bar members urging such a rule amendment, the justices should decline to adopt it, according to The Florida Bar Board of Governors.The board met in executive session on the issue at its June 3 meeting in Palm Beach to hear from retained Bar counsel Barry Richard of Tallahassee and to hear recommendations from the Disciplinary Procedure Committee.The issue came up in April when attorney Stephen Grimes, a former Supreme Court justice, filed a petition signed by him and 54 other attorneys saying they would be asking the court to amend Bar rules to conform to Amendment 3, passed by voters last November.That amendment limits contingency fees in medical malpractice cases to 30 percent of the first $250,000 received, not counting costs. The fee would be limited to 10 percent of all damages in excess of $250,000.The amendment was pushed by the Florida Medical Association, which Grimes represents. The association became concerned after the amendment was approved and feared lawyers would try to sidestep it by getting clients to waive their constitutional right to that specified fee and agree to higher contingency fees. The FMA asked Grimes to file the rule amendment with the court.After its debate, the board voted to tell the court that it would be premature to consider such a procedural rule change before the court has substantively interpreted the amendment and determined its validity. That would afford the public and other interested parties a more thorough exploration of the factual and legal issues involved, according to the board.If the court does agree to hear the petition, the board will ask for a briefing schedule to be established so the Bar and other interested parties have an opportunity to be heard. The board authorized Richard to prepare a response if the court does set a briefing schedule, asking the court to decline to approve the proposed rule amendment.In his filing Grimes wrote that it is wrong for lawyers to negotiate with clients to give up a constitutional right.“To permit such a practice would not only put the lawyer in an unethical position but fly in the face of the constitutional mandate overwhelmingly approved by the voters of Florida,” Grimes wrote.Alexander Clem, president of the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, has criticized the petition, saying it interferes with the rights of citizens to sign contracts.“It is a federal constitutional right to contract as that person sees fit and it has always been a client’s privilege to waive rights that are granted to them under. . . federal and state constitutions,” Clem said. “Our position is that if a client chooses to waive his or her rights under Amendment 3, it is their privilege.”Under court rules, the Bar must be notified at least 90 days before the petition is formally filed, so that the Board of Governors can review the petition and make its comments. The proposed amendment must also be noticed in the Bar News 30 days before it is filed with the court. (See the notice in the April 30 Bar News.)last_img read more

Paralympic documentary: ‘None of the bodies look the same’

first_img COMMENT Matt Stutzman was born without arms — just stumps at the shoulders. Ellie Cole’s right leg was amputated when she was 3, lost to cancer. Bebe Vio had parts of all four limbs amputated after she contacted meningitis as an adolescent. Doctors were able to save her life but not her arms and legs.If your mood is being dragged down by the pandemic, you’ll be uplifted by these three Paralympic athletes — and many others like them — who are profiled in the Nexflix documentary “Rising Phoenix,” which will be released in 190 countries on Wednesday.“In the Paralympic sport, everybody has a story,” Xavi Gonzalez, the former CEO of the International Paralympic Committee, says in the film. “It comes from them breaking barriers to be able to achieve what they want to achieve; move on and live life even if all of us may think that you cannot.”Seen in a private viewing by the Associated Press, the film was to coincide with the opening this week of the Tokyo Paralympic Games. Like the Olympics, it’s been postponed until next year by COVID-19.The documentary weaves the history of the Paralympic Games around the athletes’ lives and the financial ups and downs of the movement. It also includes segments about Dr. Ludwig Guttmann, a refugee from Nazi Germany who put together an athletic competition for the disabled in Britain in 1948 as way to help treat World War II veterans with spinal cord injuries.It also captures what could have been the death knell for the Paralympics just four years ago in Rio de Janeiro when local organizers told Paralympic officials a month before the start that they’d run out of money to run the event. Millions from the Paralympic budget had been taken to pull off the trouble-plagued Olympics.Only a government bailout saved the Rio Paralympics, and just a few months later Carlos Nuzman, an International Olympic Committee member and head of the organizing committee, was arrested on suspicion of money laundering, tax evasion, and racketeering.“If it’s easy, it’s not the Paralympics,” Gonzalez tells film viewers.The Italian fencer Vio might be the star: energetic, smiling, dramatic and frank. Or was it the Australian swimmer Cole, who recounts throwing her prosthetic leg at a school bully who called her “Pirate.” She was not bullied again.“In the Olympics, all of the bodies look the same,” Cole says. “And in the Paralympics, none of the bodies look the same.”Or Stutzman, known as the “Armless Archer,” who grew up wanting to be basketball player Michael Jordan. He deadpans: “There was no way I was going to be Michael Jordan. No way. I’m not tall enough — right.”There are also segments with Tatyana McFadden, Jonnie Peacock, Jean-Baptiste Alaize, Cui Zhe, Ryley Batt, and Ntando Mahlangu — all with stories worthy of their own individual film.And what of the cameo appearances by Prince Harry, who recalled the very successful 2012 Paralympics in London.“The stadiums were packed,” the Duke of Sussex said. “The sport was incredible. “What they saw was undoubtedly better than the Olympics itself.”Philip Craven, the former president of the IPC and a one-time Paralympic basketball player, delivered a similar line. He was talking about London being filled with black billboards after the Olympics ended, promoting the Paralympics. They suggested the Olympics were only a “warmup” for the Paralympics.“I’m not sure the Olympics will be very happy with that, but I’ll tell you it touched a spot with me,” said Craven, who lost the use of his legs as a teenager in a rock-climbing accident.Then there’s the address by the late Stephen Hawking at the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Paralympics. Hawking, the theoretical physicist, died in 2018 of motor neuron disease.“The Paralympic Games is also about transforming our perception of the world,” Hawking said. “We are all different. There is no such thing as a standard or run-of-the-mill human being.”Vio, the Italian fencer, epitomizes the raw and often humorous transparency of the film with athletes talking openly about their tragedies turned to triumph.“When you see someone you just want to know their story before. Why are they on the wheelchair?” Vio asks. “Why are they without arms and legs. There are just funny stories — and other less funny stories.”Andrew Parsons, the current president of the IPC, told Associated Press in an interview that the film was the brainchild of eventual producer Greg Nugent. Parsons said the result “is better than I could have imagined.”“It will change the attitude of whoever watches the movie. That’s for sure,” Parsons said. “It is not a movie you can watch and it will not affect you in some way. If we have 1 million people watch the movie, we will have 1 million people that will have a different attitude toward persons with disabilities. If it’s 10 million, it will be 10 million. We do believe it can be a game changer because the message is so strong.” FOLLOW US Written By First Published: 24th August, 2020 15:48 IST WATCH US LIVEcenter_img SUBSCRIBE TO US Associated Press Television News LIVE TV Last Updated: 24th August, 2020 15:48 IST Paralympic Documentary: ‘None Of The Bodies Look The Same’ If your mood is being dragged down by the pandemic, you’ll be uplifted by these three Paralympic athletes — and many others like them — who are profiled in the Nexflix documentary “Rising Phoenix,” which will be released in 190 countries on Wednesday.last_img read more

The Ladies’ Golf Union and The R&A sign merger agreement

first_img27 Jul 2016 The Ladies’ Golf Union and The R&A sign merger agreement The merger between the Ladies’ Golf Union and The R&A has moved close to completion with the signing of a heads of agreement by the two St Andrews-based organisations. The merger between the Ladies’ Golf Union and The R&A has moved close to completion with the signing of a heads of agreement by the two St Andrews-based organisations. The LGU organises a series of prestigious championships and international matches including the Ricoh Women’s British Open, taking place this week at Woburn, and the Curtis Cup won by Great Britain and Ireland at Dun Laoghaire in June. Trish Wilson, the Chairman of the LGU, said, “Winning the Curtis Cup showed that the women’s elite amateur game is in a strong position and we look forward to building on this at all levels as we move forward with The R&A.” Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said, “We are delighted to complete the heads of agreement for the merger of the two organisations. The merger will be an opportunity to further develop the world class events run by the LGU and to give even greater support to women’s and girls’ golf. We are looking forward to building on the many synergies between the LGU and The R&A for the benefit of the game.” The potential merger between the LGU and The R&A was initially announced in February 2015 and discussions took place between the respective boards and the LGU’s shareholders – England Golf, Scottish Golf, the Golf Union of Wales and the Irish Ladies Golf Union – who gave their unanimous support to the proposal. Plans have been agreed to integrate the staff from both organisations and to implement the agreed governance structure. The LGU’s championships and international matches will run as normal this year with the existing LGU team managing those events.  The business operations of the LGU will be integrated with The R&A group of companies with effect from 1 January 2017.last_img read more

Justin Rose donates trophy to leading women players

first_img England Golf ambassador Justin Rose has donated a special trophy as part of a prestigious new competition calendar for the country’s leading women players. England Golf ambassador Justin Rose has donated a special trophy as part of a prestigious new competition calendar for the country’s leading women players. The 2013 US Open champion is an enthusiastic supporter of the national governing body’s drive to encourage more people into golf and to develop top-class talent. Now Rose, winner of Olympic gold in 2016, has presented a superb cut-glass, engraved bowl to be awarded to the winner of one of five tournaments that bring together the cream of England’s amateur events for women. The Gold Rose will be the second of five scratch competitions that will provide an exciting opportunity for the top women players to improve their world ranking in 2017. A series of existing 36-hole competitions have been paired up to create five 72-hole tournaments which will see players qualify for points on the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR). Rebecca Hembrough, the England Golf Women’s Performance Manager, said: “We are working hard to increase competitive opportunities for women and girls players in England. “The combination of these events provides a fantastic platform for the players and we are delighted that Justin Rose has recognised the importance of helping the women’s amateur game at the highest level with his kind donation.” Rose, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the England Golf Awards, has explained why he continues to support the amateur game. The 36-year-old, who won both the McGregor and Carris Trophies – the English U16 and U18 boys’ championships – as an amateur in 1995, said: “I received so much help from England Golf through coaching programmes, representing my country and travelling all over the world to play for England. That type of experience was unbelievable at the time and stood me in good stead for my professional career.” The five 72-hole competitions for 2017 are: Comboy Leveret – Comboy Scratch at Delamere Forest, Cheshire, on March 26; and The Leveret at Formby Ladies’, Lancashire, on April 1. The Gold Rose – Roehampton Gold Cup at Roehampton, Surrey, on April 1; and the Hampshire Rose at North Hants, Hampshire, on April 9. Critchley Astor – the Critchley Salver at Sunningdale, Surrey, on May 23; and the Astor Salver at The Berkshire on June 7. Frilford Jackson – Frilford Heath Scratch, Frilford Heath, Oxfordshire on June 2; and Bridget Jackson Bowl, Handsworth, Warwickshire on July 4. Birkdale Putter – Pleasington Putter, Pleasington, Lancashire on July 12; and Royal Birkdale Scratch, Royal Birkdale, Lancashire, on August 25. The first three events to be played have produced three different winners to tee up the prospect of a close-fought battle for overall honours. England international Gemma Clews won the Comboy Scratch at her home club, Delamere Forest in Cheshire, for the fourth successive year while Rochelle Morris (Woodsome Hall Golf Club) won The Leveret at Formby Ladies. Lily May Humphreys (Stoke-by-Nayland GC) finished runner-up at both to become the first overall winner of the Comboy Leveret. The Roehampton Gold Cup, which is open to professionals and amateurs, was won by Ladies European Tour player and former England international Sophie Walker. 7 Apr 2017 Justin Rose donates trophy to leading women players last_img read more

Two River Mayors Invite County and State To Discuss Bike Paths

first_imgSHREWSBURY – Members of the Two River Council of Mayors continue to hope to sway the county’s seemingly tepid position on establishing designated bike lanes in the Two River area.The mayors who have reiterated their support for the proposal to have bike lanes on county roads, decided to extend an invitation for their planned July 16 meeting to Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone and other members of the county Board of Chosen Freeholders, hoping to elicit some more support from the board. County officials have expressed reservations for the county’s participation in establishing formal lanes in the area.The mayors’ group plans to also invite state Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-13) to the July meeting, hoping he may be able to facilitate a meeting of the minds between local and county government, it was decided at the June 11 meeting. O’Scanlon and state Senator Joseph Kyrillos (also R-13) “both have been a huge help,” and have supported in theory the proposal, said Fair Haven Mayor Benjamin Lucarelli, who has been spearheading this initiative for approximately the last year.Several calls to Freeholder Arnone were not returned. Laura Kirkpatrick, Monmouth County spokeswoman, declined to respond given she has not yet heard directly from the mayors and did not attend the meeting.As an olive branch offering, Lucarelli also suggested each town consider paying a portion of the project, offsetting what would be the county’s cost if the project moves forward.The mayors who have reiterated their support for the proposal to have bike lanes on county roads, decided to extend an invitation for their planned July 16 meeting to Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone and other members of the county Board of Chosen Freeholders, hoping to elicit some more support from the board. County officials have expressed reservations for the county’s participation in establishing formal lanes in the area.The mayors’ group plans to also invite state Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-13) to the July meeting, hoping he may be able to facilitate a meeting of the minds between local and county government, it was decided at the June 11 meeting. O’Scanlon and state Senator Joseph Kyrillos (also R-13) “both have been a huge help,” and have supported in theory the proposal, said Fair Haven Mayor Benjamin Lucarelli, who has been spearheading this initiative for approximately the last year.Several calls to Freeholder Arnone were not returned. Laura Kirkpatrick, Monmouth County spokeswoman, declined to respond given she has not yet heard directly from the mayors and did not attend the meeting.As an olive branch offering, Lucarelli also suggested each town consider paying a portion of the project, offsetting what would be the county’s cost if the project moves forward.A number of the mayors expressed criticism of the freeholders’ April decision to place the heavy lifting and responsibility on local government to establish these routes, alleging it was an attempt on county government to kill off the proposal.“That’s what they’re hoping,” said West Long Branch Mayor Janet Tucci.“It’s just an outrage, it really is,” added Monmouth Beach Mayor Susan Howard.The freeholders, after a review by county engineer Joseph Ettore, voted in April to establish guidelines for such interconnecting bike lanes on county roads. If municipalities want to do it, each town would have to have its own engineer conduct the study, and pay for that, and the towns would have to be willing to pay for the striping and stenciling the roadways and putting up necessary signs. The towns’ plans would have to be submitted to the county for its approval, first, to ensure it meets state transportation requirements, along with other criteria.County officials have said, while it maybe a worthwhile project, they simply can’t afford to do it and there are issues of liability that have to be addressed.Ettore had told county officials it would cost approximately $15,000 per mile to under take the project. Lucarelli and Rumson Mayor John Ekdahl have disputed that price tag.Having each town responsible could jeopardize the continuity of the project, if all towns fail to participate, and would greatly increase the cost of the project, Lucarelli said, stressing this should be a county project.“The county really has to drive the bus,” on this, he said to the mayors.Ekdahl estimated it would cost about $25,000 per town to undertake the engineering study.If the county
the project and “if you do it right, it’ll be a nominal cost,” Lucarelli said.Lucarelli’s plan is to have designated bike lanes – about four-foot wide – along county roadways from Red Bank, east through the Fair Haven-Rumson peninsula. The lanes would continue through Sea Bright and Monmouth Beach, to Oceanport and loop back toward Red Bank. Lucarelli said this would create a safer and more welcoming environment for those who already cycle on the roadways for recreation and transportation encourage others to do it.His idea would be to stripe the roadways when the county undertakes repaving projects.This is the new paradigm across the U.S. and elsewhere in the world, working to get people out of their cars and on bikes or walking for health and environmental reasons, in the past said Lucarelli, who is a cycling enthusiast.The state Department of Transportation (DOT) has plans to repave state Highway 35 from Asbury Avenue, Ocean Township, to the Middletown border at the Coopers Bridge, with state transportation officials considering adding bike lanes, according to Lucarelli.Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long told the mayors’ group the DOT plans on adding bike lanes in Sea Bright along Ocean Avenue/Highway 36, from Gateway National Recreation Area at Sandy Hook to the Monmouth Beach border, when the road is repaved, following water main replacement work in the fall.According to the DOT, as part of a Route 36 resurfacing project, bike lanes will be installed in the Sea Bright area. The project is expected to begin next spring. It was originally planned for a spring 2015 start but a water main project in the area required NJDOT to wait until the ground settles.Lucarelli remains confident an accommodation can be reached between county and local officials.“We’ll work it out,” he said. He also encouraged the mayors to contact freeholders to voice support for the bike routes.The Two River Council of Mayors, an informal group of 13 area communities, has unanimously endorsed the bike lanes plan, said Shrewsbury Mayor Donald Burden, the current council chairman.John Burton can be reached at [email protected]last_img read more

Leafs look to keep unbeaten streak alive; host Bruins Saturday at NDCC Arena

first_imgFollowing a single-game weekend, the Nelson Leafs return to the fold with a pair of key Kootenay International Junior Hockey League Murdoch Division games.Nelson, locked in a three-way tie for second spot in the division with Beaver Valley and surprising Grand Forks, travel south of the 49th parallel to face the Braves.The Leafs, undefeated in September with five exhibition and three regular season wins, know all too well how difficult it is to win in the Lilac City as the Braves always put up a challenge regardless of the team’s success.Saturday, the Leafs return to the NDCC Arena to host the new-and-improved Grand Forks Border Bruins at 7 p.m.After opening the season with three consecutive wins the Bruins have cooled off after dropping a pair of games to defending KIJHL champ Castlegar and Beaver Valley. The Bruins enter the weekend sporting two of the top three scoring leaders in the KIJHL.Jackson Purvis leads the league with 13 points in five games.Former Leaf Connor Gross is tied for second with three players with 11 points.Purvis and Gross combined have almost half of the Bruins offensive points.Nelson counters with the Jamie Vlanich-Travis Wellman connection.The two snipers have 14 of Nelson’s 44 points.LEAF NOTES: The players have been busy off the ice of late. Three days this week some of the players helped out in the soup kitchen while others were challenged go a floor hockey game at Trafalgar.last_img read more

Cathedral Quarter committee invite Letterkenny locals to annual meeting

first_imgCathedral Quarter will be holding its third annual general meeting in Dillon’s Hotel on Monday, 24 April at 8pm. A spokesperson for the committee said; “We have traveled a long distance in a reasonably short space of time and have had great successes along the way.“Challenges lie ahead but great opportunities also exist as we prepare to take part in IMPROVE – Involving the community to co-produce public services along with Donegal County Council. We are also going to be applying for Pobal for funding. “Our group is not worried about your place of origin but if you live in Letterkenny, we want you to play your part in the development of the Cathedral Quarter. We are looking for new dynamic committee members to join a hard working, ground breaking project.“Ask not what your AREA can do for YOU, but what can YOU do for your AREA.”Cathedral Quarter committee invite Letterkenny locals to annual meeting was last modified: April 16th, 2017 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Cathedral Quarterletterkennylast_img read more

Darwin Fail: Surprising Organisms Follow Their Own Path

first_imgThere are organisms that change too fast, others that change too slow, and others that change without natural selection. What’s a Darwinist to do?The horses that evolve by intelligent design: Here’s a surprising bit of news from Science Daily: “Most modern horses are descendants of recently imported Oriental stallions.” How recently? Just 700 years ago. “Researchers who have analyzed the Y chromosomes of more than 50 horses representing 21 breeds have found that the paternal lines of nearly all modern horses trace to stallions brought to Europe from the Orient over the last 700 years,” this article says. “The findings reported in Current Biology on June 29 reveal the overwhelming influence of breeding schemes driven by strong selection on males.” When you think of all the variation in modern breeds, that’s a lot of change brought about by purpose and design.Doggone wolves: A new study of dog origins “throws dog domestication theories to the wolves,” says Phys.org. Like the horse family tree, the dog family tree “has a single geographic origin,” Science Daily says. “The finding, to be published in Nature Communications, suggests a single domestication event of modern dogs from a population of gray wolves that occurred between 20,000 and 40,000 years ago.” Those are Darwin Years, of course, which can stretch and squeeze whichever way needed to preserve the Darwin narrative. And it may take more Darwin Years to figure this out: “Overall, he emphasized, their new genomic analysis of ancient dogs will help scientists better understand the process of dog evolution.” If you need to understand cat evolution, chief storyteller Mindy Weisberger at Live Science attempts to answer, “Why Dog Breeds Look So Very Different, But Cats Don’t,” appealing to different values of Darwin Years. But of course, artificial breeding is about intelligent design, not evolution. Nevertheless, the transformation of a wolf into a dachshund or a greyhound by artificial breeding is remarkable. See our 5/30/17 article, “Dog breeding: exploring the limits of change.”Nice kitty: The first-ever photo taken of a wild lioness nursing a leopard cub has been posted by National Geographic. Those two species are supposed to be rivals, not friends. “In fact, lions have a habit of killing leopards,” the surprised reporter says of this “unprecedented” behavior observed in Tanzania. Conservationist Luke Hunter quipped, “We never see this in the wild.” And yet scientists knew it is physiologically possible. “While the arrangement is unusual, Hunter says there’s nothing physiologically that should prevent the lion from raising the leopard. Both species produce similar milk and undergo comparable nursing periods.”The vegetarian shark: This headline from National Geographic should perk up the ears of “Shark Tank” fans: “This Shark Eats Grass, and No One Knows Why.” A certain bonnethead shark seems to be going vegan, consuming salad for 50% of its diet. “Scientists have discovered that some sharks are eating a large amount of seagrass, as a significant part of their diet—but experts aren’t sure why the fish are deviating from their traditional carnivorous diet.”Underwater firewood: 60,000 years is a long time for wood to get waterlogged in the ocean, but a video clip at the BBC News worries that divers might try to pull up an “underwater forest” for souvenirs. Has this wood really been buried 60 feet down for that long a time? The stumps now underwater off the coast of Alabama resemble living trees that live in North Carolina today. From the video, the wood looks just like waterlogged wood, not rock. The researcher wanting to protect it drags “climate change” into the story, showing that it’s “proof positive” that sea level rise can occur quickly. What seems to escape the BBC is that SUV’s and coal plants could not have been responsible for sea level rise 60,000 years ago. Live Science doesn’t budge on the 60,000 year date of this “amazing discovery” of an underwater forest, calling it “the oldest of its kind anywhere in the world.” Live Science also posted a video and a photo gallery of the wood. Looks pretty modern.The ancient complex cells: Phytoplankton rule the oceans, CNRS tells us, and they have from long ago. And yet they engage in one of the most complex activities of any cell: photosynthesis. Science Daily says this about fossil eukaryotic plankton found in Australia and Africa: “These microfossils are unusual not only because they are so old, appearing in the geologic record about a billion years after Earth formed 4.6 billion years ago, but because they are large, complex, plankton-like and autotrophs — organisms that can turn inorganic elements into organic material.”The enzyme that refuses to evolve: Bacteria should be the fastest organisms to evolve, because of their numbers and rapid reproduction times. Phys.org talks about a “Four-billion-year-old ‘fossil’ protein resurrected in bacteria” that works pretty much today as it did four billion years ago. “Thioredoxin, a versatile work-horse protein that moves electrons around so that chemical reactions in the cell can occur, is a favorite in the lab because it has been around almost since the origin of life and it is present in all modern organisms,” the article says. “We can’t live without it, nor can E. coli.” It was “a bit surprising” to researchers to find that a reconstructed “primordial” form of the enzyme retained function in today’s counterparts, even though modern bacteria have a completely different environment. The authors found a way to end with a plug for Darwin.Darwin beak airful: What controls beak size in birds? Is it temperature, or is it food? The Grants, studying Darwin’s finches on the Galapagos for decades, thought it was feeding habits. An article on Phys.org tests the idea that temperature or climate has an effect. The results were suggestive but not straightforward: “it’s not yet clear from that whether adaptation to improve feeding efficiency is the only, or even the most important, factor in driving beak evolution across millions of years,” the researchers said, noting that results were not quite as expected: “the researchers found no correlation with summer temperatures but a clear one for winter—the coldest winters were associated with the smallest beaks, whereas warmer winters were associated with larger beaks.” So even though the results were ambiguous, they thought it “exciting” to be working on a problem that had intrigued Darwin. Let’s see; how long ago was Darwin speculating on that? “The next step would be to better understand the relationship between these two factors—feeding efficiency and winter temperatures—in the overall narrative of beak evolution.” Emphasis on narrative (i.e., story).The raven paradox: A paper in Science Magazine announces, “Ravens parallel great apes in flexible planning for tool use and bartering.” Boeckle and Clayton say in a summary of the paper in the same issue of Science, “These results suggest that planning for the future is not uniquely human and evolved independently in distantly related species to address common problems.” Ah yes, convergent evolution: the handiest device in the Darwin-rescue toolkit. That’s the explanation the researchers give in Science Magazine, attributing the similar outcomes in “distantly related species” (apes and crows) to similar selective pressures. But is it smart for humans to employ Darwin Flubber in explanation? “We Knew Ravens Are Smart,” National Geographic quips. “But Not This Smart.”Invisible convergence: Another article uses the convergence concoction to explain marine organisms that employ optical tricks to appear invisible. Jasmin Fox at the BBC News showcases some of these amazing creatures in her stunning photo gallery, only to mix in the Flubber by saying, “It’s so popular in fact that transparency has independently evolved multiple times in completely unrelated animals.” Enjoy the photos anyway. The sea sapphires are especially cute.So much of the Darwin controversy would end if the true believers gave up on the “narrative” business and followed the evidence where it leads. No more moyboy assumptions. No more Darwin Flubber. No more rescue devices. No more propping up Darwin. Make him stand on his own. Turn off the blower. Watch what happens.Video Playerhttps://crev.info/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/darwin-15-second.mp400:0000:0000:16Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Animation by J. Beverly Greene for CEH. All rights reserved.(Visited 560 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more