Microbes found in one of Earth’s most hostile places, giving hope for life on Mars

first_imgMicrobes can thrive, albeit in slow motion, even in the driest of places, like the Atacama Desert in Chile. Chris Stenger/Minden Pictures By Elizabeth PennisiFeb. 26, 2018 , 3:00 PM Microbes found in one of Earth’s most hostile places, giving hope for life on Mars A hardy community of bacteria lives in Chile’s Atacama Desert—one of the driest and most inhospitable places on Earth—where it can survive a decade without water, new research confirms. The work should put to rest the doubts of many scientists, who had suggested that previous evidence of microscopic life in this remote region came from transient microbes. And because the soils in this location closely resemble those on Mars, these desert dwellers may give hope to those seeking life on the Red Planet’s similarly hostile surface.The work “does a good job of justifying that these organisms really do live there,” says Julie Neilson, an environmental microbiologist at the University of Arizona in Tucson who was not involved with the study. The Atacama Desert may be uninhabitable for us, but for these organisms, “it’s their ecosystem,” she says.The Atacama Desert stretches for 1000 kilometers along the Pacific coast of Chile, and rainfall can be as low as 8 millimeters per year. There’s so little precipitation that there’s very little weathering, so over time the surface has built up a crusty layer of salts, further discouraging life there. “You can drive for 100 kilometers and not see anything like a blade of grass,” Neilson says. Although she and others have found some bacteria there, many biologists have argued that those microbes are not full-time residents, but were blown in, where they die a slow death.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)But that didn’t deter Dirk Schulze-Makuch, an astrobiologist at the Technical University of Berlin. “I like to go to places where people say nothing is alive,” he says. “We decided to take a shotgun approach and throw all the new [analytical] approaches at everything—fungi, bacteria, viruses”—that might be there.He and his team collected samples from eight places in the Atacama—from the coast eastward to the driest places—over 3 years. They first gathered material a month after a record-setting rain in 2015, and then followed up with yearly collections in some of the same places in 2016 and 2017. They sequenced all the copies of a gene known to distinguish microbial species to determine what was in those samples and even recovered some full genomes. The researchers also did a test to determine the proportion of DNA that came from intact, living cells. Finally, they assessed the amount of cellular activity; of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule the fuels this activity; and of byproducts—including fatty acids and protein building blocks—that resulted from that activity to look for additional evidence of life.The coastal samples contained the most number and diversity of microbes, but in 2015, there were signs of life even in the driest spots, Schulze-Makuch and his colleagues report today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Following a rainfall event, there is a flush of activity and [cells] are replicating,” Neilson says.Overall, the coast proved most hospitable in both rainy and dry years: In general, the amount of ATP was 1000 times greater than more inland sites and the amount of breakdown products followed a similar trend, the team reports. The genomes showed, too, that at least a few bacteria were reproducing in the coastal regions and perhaps elsewhere.Over the subsequent 2 years, which were mostly dry, those amounts declined everywhere, especially in the drier places. By 2017, signs of life had virtually disappeared in most places, with intact DNA being more than 100,000 times less common at the driest spot. But some bacteria continued to thrive 25 centimeters below ground there, Schulze-Makuch notes.In their survey, the researchers only identified the bacteria whose DNA resembled DNA already in microbial databases. So what they found in the Atacama was familiar to some degree. During the wet year, bacteria along the coastal region resembled the microbial community typical of sandy soils. DNA from drier areas belonged mostly to bacteria found in very dry deserts or in salt flats. They likely survive as spores or as cells that are barely functioning at all.That these organisms can be dormant seemingly indefinitely gives Neilson and Schulze-Makuch hope that a few are doing the same on Mars, perhaps egged on by nightly snowfalls that he says happen there. Thus, he says, the Atacama Desert “can serve as a working model for Mars.”*Correction, 27 February, 10:40 a.m.: An earlier version of this story misstated the size of the Atacama Desert.last_img read more

a month agoEx-US star Martino says Pulisic will need time to settle at Chelsea

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Ex-US star Martino says Pulisic will need time to settle at Chelseaby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer US international Kyle Martino says Christian Pulisic will need time to settle at Chelsea.Martino has followed Pulisic’s career, and he talked to Sky Sports about the 21-year old.He said, “This move has more implications and more at stake than most. There is a genuine interest here in the US that measures higher on the excitement scale than any American playing abroad ever before. For Christian, I would imagine that has got to wear on him.”Martino added: “If success is him replacing Eden Hazard, then he is not going to succeed because maybe only a handful of players in the world can actually replace Eden Hazard.” last_img read more

Mister Pompadour’s Peppermint Power Trio

first_img Long Hair for Men: Tips for Growing and Maintaining Your Style Start your day with some minty freshness. Try Mister Pompadour’s Peppermint Shampoo and Conditioner Shower Experience. As the hero ingredient, Peppermint does more than just make this stuff smell good. With antiseptic and antibacterial properties Peppermint oil is used to treat a number of scalp ailments. And, the benefits are more than just skin deep. According to Livestrong.com when used in aromatherapy “Peppermint oil is a natural stimulant that can increase your ability to concentrate during mental fatigue or stress. It can also boost your mood and help alleviate jet lag.”Give it a whirl and start with Mister Pompadour’s Peppermint Shampoo and Conditioner duo.Peppermint ShampooThis shampoo gets your hair nice and clean without stripping the moisture from your mane. Peppermint oil soothes and cools down itching and irritation. It also stimulates circulation to help heal the scalp. Added Tea Tree oil moisturizes and promotes hair growth. Use it everyday! It will remove dirt and oil without drying or damaging your hair. Mister Pompadour recommends using a small amount, about the size of a nickel will do the trick. Lather up and let it rest for sixty seconds before rinsing with warm water.Peppermint ConditionerIts okay to skip shampooing and even considered healthy for your hair to do so. However, you should still use a little conditioner on the off days. It will lock in moisture, protect your hair and nourish your scalp. Mister Pompadour’s Peppermint Conditioner is infused with; you guessed it, natural Peppermint oil along with other moisturizing botanicals, vitamins and nutrients. Don’t rush the conditioning process. Leave it on for a full sixty seconds or even longer. Give the product a chance to really sink in so it can protect and moisturize your hair and scalp. Finish up with Peppermint PomadeThis is the potion Jon Hamm used to get his hair just right for the Emmys. Peppermint Pomade won’t way your hair down. It has medium hold and high shine without being overly greasy. It will wash out easily and is made from all natural ingredients. After washing, towel-dry your hair, apply a little pomade and use a comb or your fingers to shape your minty fresh look. How Often Should You Wash Your Hair? We Asked the Experts The Barbershop Renaissance and Men’s Grooming Revolution, According to Fellow Barber’s Sam Buffa Editors’ Recommendations The Best New Men’s Grooming Brands You Need to Know About Sprint Through Airport Security With These TSA-Approved Men’s Grooming Kitslast_img read more

Stars Help End Mountaintop Removal

first_imgEdward, Woody, Daryl and John have all taken the time to share their own stories about mountaintop removal and why they strongly oppose it in Earth Justice’s Featured Heroes section of their Mountain Hero petition page. John Slattery, Edward Norton, Woody Harrelson and Daryl Hannah have come together to help end mountaintop removal.Edward Norton Speaks Out On Mountaintop RemovalThese four celebrities have joined award-winning environmental activists, writers, musicians, and others in taking a stand against one of the most worst environmental travesties of our time: mountaintop removal coal mining.Yes, it is as bad as it sounds – ­ cutting off the top of mountains may be easier to get the coal out, but it also decimates local wildlife, water, and plants. It destroys America’s beautiful vistas and creates the wrong type of American jobs. Many voices have spoken out against mountaintop removal, but now Earth Justice is making their biggest stand yet.“Mountaintop removal coal mining destroys our natural resources, our communities, our health,” said Edward Norton. “It privatizes all the profit of dirty energy and socializes all the costs to the rest of us. It’s a travesty and a scam and needs to be stopped.”last_img read more


first_imgIt was a big year for Paddle, as it celebrated its 50th anniversary (a year late, but who’s counting?) and was invited aboard the Canada C3. This little film that follows the adventures of a small wooden carving on its long odyssey from Lake Superior to the sea is one of the most treasured films in our collection. Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment As we wrap up the year, we thought it would be fun to look at the Top 10 most-watched films 2017. Some of the films are obvious, but a few caught us by surprise. It’s a great mix, and is sure to make for some great viewing during the holidays.Enjoy!10 – Maud Lewis: A World Without ShadowsThe success of last year’s feature film Maudie, starring Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke, was great for Canadian film in general, and one of our films in particular. The renewed interest in Nova Scotia’s most well-known folk artist sent people to our site to watch this short doc from 1976.09 – Paddle to the Sea Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

Rising interest rates a big worry to Canadians: survey

Teetering on the financial brink, many Canadians are feeling the effects of rising interest rates, according to a new study conducted by insolvency firm MNP.The proportion of Canadians who are $200 or less away from financial insolvency at month-end has jumped a significant six points since September — from 40 per cent to 46 per cent on the MNP debt index.Thirty-one per cent say they don’t make enough to cover their monthly bills and debts — up seven per cent — and that’s just under normal day-to-day circumstances.The big problem comes with the unexpected.Less than four in 10 say they are confident in their ability to cope financially if a major expense suddenly occurred.MNP says this all follows the accumulation of debt during the years of low interest rates. The Bank of Canada has since hiked rates five times in the past year and a half.The survey found people in Saskatchwan and Manitoba are closest to the edge, where 56 per cent say they’re within $200 of insolvency.Ontario is at the national average — 46 per cent — and British Columbia is running at 41 per cent, which is up sharply from the previous survey.The data was compiled by Ipsos on behalf of MNP LTD between December 7 and December 12. For this survey, a sample of 2,154 was interviewed online. The poll is accurate to within plus or minus 2.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians been polled. read more

Air Transat to offer compensation for flight cancelled because of drunken pilots

An Air Transat sign is seen in Montreal on May 31, 2016. Air Transat’s president says the carrier will compensate all passengers booked on a flight that was disrupted when two pilots were arrested on suspicion of drunkenness. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson, File Air Transat to offer compensation for flight cancelled because of drunken pilots by The Canadian Press Posted Jul 21, 2016 2:20 pm MDT Last Updated Jul 21, 2016 at 10:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email MONTREAL – Air Transat’s president says the carrier will compensate all passengers booked on a flight that was disrupted when two pilots were arrested on suspicion of drunkenness.But Jean-Francois Lemay’s statement today is short on specifics, saying only the passengers will be compensated “pursuant to the applicable European regulations.”European Union rules stipulate a passenger is entitled to 600 euros in the event a flight longer than 3,500 kilometres is cancelled.The airline is confirming the pilots arrested in Scotland are suspended at least until the end of an internal investigation.Jean-Francois Perreault, 39, and Imran Zafar Syed, 37, were detained at Glasgow Airport on Monday shortly before they were to fly an Airbus A310 with about 250 passengers from Glasgow to Toronto.The two were charged under a section of the United Kingdom’s Railway and Transport Safety Act that precludes people from conducting aviation functions “when the proportion of alcohol in (their) breath, blood or urine exceeds the prescribed limit.”They are also each facing a charge related to threatening or abusive behaviour.Canadian aviation regulations prohibit any aircraft crew members from working while intoxicated or within eight hours after having an alcoholic drink.Air Transat is a subsidiary of Transat A.T. Inc. (TSX:TRZ). read more

EU urges Greece to form govt quickly

first_imgEuropean Union leaders urged Greek parties to quickly agree the formation of a coalition government and pledged to continue to support Athens’ efforts to deal with its debt crisis.”We are hopeful that the election results will allow a government to be formed quickly,” said the presidents of the European Council and the European Commission, Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso, in a joint statement.”We will continue to stand by Greece as a member of the EU family and of the euro area,” they added, in a statement issued in the Mexican town of Los Cabos on the eve of the G20 summit of the world’s leading economic powers.”We look forward to working with the new government and to support the continued efforts of Greece to put its economy on a sustainable path,” it said.”The second economic adjustment program agreed between Greece and the Eurogroup is the basis upon which to build to foster growth, prosperity and jobs for the Greek people,” the statement added.”We stand ready to continue assisting Greece in achieving these goals.” The two main Greek parties committed to honoring the terms of their country’s European debt bailout package clinched enough votes in Sunday’s legislative election to form a government of national unity.Source: AFP / Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Data Financial worth of time spent volunteering rises steadily

first_imgWhile a recently released analysis by The Chronicle of Philanthropy looked at the dollars people give to charities, it didn’t account for the value of volunteers like John Kaloudis, who works weekly at a downtown Vancouver food pantry.The worth of volunteers has steadily increased. In Washington, volunteer time is worth $30.04 hourly and $24.15 hourly in Oregon, according to Independent Sector, a coalition of nonprofits, foundations and corporate giving programs. The figure is calculated using Bureau of Labor Statistics data on average hourly earnings of production and non-supervisory workers.Kaloudis typically does stocking for Friends in Service to Humanity Westside Food Pantry of Vancouver, otherwise known as FISH, and he also retrieves foods from the Clark County Food Bank. The 50-year-old said he has nearly two decades of experience working forklifts, and he’s driven big rigs, so he’s the expert around the FISH warehouse.Still, he helps out wherever he’s needed. One Thursday afternoon, he was working near a side entrance where homeless people pick up bags of snacks. A lot of his friends come up to this window.For 2 1/2 years, Kaloudis was homeless and, he said, he simply accepted his situation for a while. After he and his fiancée moved out of her mother’s place, they couldn’t find a place to live that they could afford. So, they stayed in a tent. They bounced around, sometimes together and sometimes separate.last_img read more

Residents evacuated as fouralarm Portland fire spreads

first_imgPORTLAND — Portland Fire and Rescue personnel responded to a four-alarm scrap yard fire at Northeast 75th Avenue and Northeast Killingsworth Street in Portland on Monday morning. Multiple vehicles caught fire and the black smoke rising from the fire could be seen as far away as Hazel Dell.A duplex and an apartment complex have been burned in the fire. No injuries have been reported.Videos shared on social media showed area residents scrambling to load pets and possessions into vehicles to evacuate as clouds of black smoke hover in the Northeast Portland neighborhood. According to the fire agency, 16 cats were killed in the fire. The Oregon Humane Society  is offering to help shelter displaced pets.Portland fire said piles of scrap cars caught fire, and the blaze was difficult to fight because of the wind, flammable materials and an inadequate water supply in that part of northeast Portland. Multiple agencies are providing assistance.Residents were evacuated on Northeast 75th west to 72nd, and on Alberta north to Killingsworth. Residents within mile auto yard fire were told to shut down HVAC systems and shelter in place, according to the fire department. Portland Public Schools evacuated students from Sacajawea Elementary School. Other schools kept students inside for the day.Multnomah County’s La Clinica de Buena Salud and the social service program Bienestar de la Familia both evacuated their offices due to smoke.last_img read more

High Court to rule in Morrisons payroll data leak case

first_imgMore than 5,500 employees who brought a payroll data leak class action lawsuit against retail organisation Morrisons will see the trial progress to the High Court in London this week.The two-week High Court trial, which commenced on Monday 9 October 2017, is based on a class action lawsuit brought by 5,518 current and former Morrisons employees, who are seeking compensation after a payroll data leak in 2014 led to nearly 100,000 employees’ personal information being posted on the internet. This included staff members’ bank details, salary, national insurance information, addresses and phone numbers.The case, which is the first data leak class action case in the UK, is set to determine whether Morrisons is liable for the data leak. The claimants argue that the retail organisation failed to prevent the leak, therefore exposing staff to the risk of identity theft and potential financial losses. The claimants further allege that Morrisons was ultimately legally responsible for breaches of privacy, confidence and data protection laws.Morrisons denies all legal liability in this instance.The claimants are pursuing a claim for damages, following a Group Litigation Order provided by the High Court in 2015. If the High Court decision rules in favour of the claimants, then a further trial will be scheduled to assess the level of compensation for affected former and current staff.The lawsuit originated from the conviction of Andrew Skelton, a former senior internal auditor at Morrisons. At Skelton’s 2015 trial, the Bradford Crown Court heard that the former employee held a grudge against the organisation after he received disciplinary action for using Morrisons’ mail room to operate an eBay business. He therefore leaked employees’ personal data online, also alerting newspapers and websites. Skelton was jailed for eight years for fraud, securing unauthorised access to computer material and disclosing personal data.At the time of the incident, Morrisons removed published personal information and offered identity theft protection and compensation to anyone who suffered fraud as a result of the leak. Morrisons incurred costs of £2 million due to the fall out.Nick McAleenan, partner and data privacy law specialist at JMW Solicitors, which is representing the claimants, said: “At the trial, the court will decide whether Morrisons bears any legal responsibility for the misuse and disclosure of the payroll information of the many thousands of people bringing claims in this case.”Morrisons declined to comment at this time.last_img read more

Nas Dropping New Album In June Produced Entirely By Kanye West

first_img Twitter The album announcement adds to a stacked lineup of forthcoming new albums produced by West, to be released consecutively over five weeksBrian HaackGRAMMYs Apr 23, 2018 – 12:32 pm June 2018 will official mark the welcome return of Yeezy Season. After returning to Twitter earlier this month to spout philosophy and finally announce new music, GRAMMY-winning rapper/producer Kanye West still had one more bombshell to drop on his salivating fanbase: a new album from legendary New York rapper Nas, produced entirely by West himself.The upcoming, as-yet-untitled Nas album will be the Brooklyn rapper’s 12th studio LP, but his first release since 2012’s Life If Good, ending the longest creative hiatus of his career since first releasing Illmatic in 1994.For his own part, West seems intent on making up for lost time, as he has now announced a total of five albums, including his hotly-anticipated eighth solo album and a new surprise collaboration with Kid Cudi as Kids See Ghost, for which the Chicago native assumed all production duties. The albums are set for release once a week for five consecutive week throughout late May and on through June. Kanye West Reveals He’s Produced A New Nas Album nas-dropping-new-album-june-produced-entirely-kanye-west Altogether, fans can expect new music from Pusha T on May 25; the new, still-untitled Kanye West album on June 1; Kids See Ghost with Kid Cudi on June 8; Nas on June 15; and Teyana Taylor on June 22.Details on all five albums, including first audio teases, remain forthcoming.Catching Up On Music News Powered By The Recording Academy Just Got Easier. Have A Google Home Device? “Talk To GRAMMYs”Read more Facebook center_img Email News Nas Dropping New Album In June, Produced Entirely By Kanye West last_img read more

Google ditches the Pixel Slate sequel

first_imgThe Google Pixel Slate won’t be getting a younger sibling. Sarah Tew/CNET Google is abandoning its tablet-making efforts, confirming that no sequel to the Pixel Slate is coming. The tech giant will instead focus on making laptops, it said Thursday. The company announced the Google Pixel Slate in October 2018 and launched it that November, starting at $599. But though it had a nice display and support for a mouse and trackpad, CNET found it to be pricey in comparison to the Chromebook and to tablet competition. It was also heavy and had buggy software. See It Best Buy 4:35 $999 See It $999 Google Pixel Slate $999 37 Photos Chrome OS Google $749 The Google Pixel Slate The Google Pixel Slate hints at what the iPad Pro needs… See It See it Walmartcenter_img Google Pixel Slate and how it compares to iPad Pro Share your voice Now playing: Watch this: Tags Computers Tablets Google has now stepped away from the tablet form factor despite having two smaller tablets under development, Computerworld reported earlier Thursday. Affected employees have been reassigned from developing tablets to laptops, the report added. For Google-made hardware, the company is now focusing its roadmap on the Pixelbook family of laptops moving forward, a spokesperson told CNET. CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Review • Google Pixel Slate isn’t your best Chromebook bet Preview • Pixel Slate hands-on: The keyboard’s my favorite part Mentioned Above Google Pixel Slate – 12.3″ – Core i5 – 8 GB RAM – 128 GB SSD 2 Google Pixel Slate is the Mirror Universe iPad Pro Google’s pricey vision of a tablet-meets-Chromebook doesn’t quite gel Adorama “For Google’s first-party hardware efforts, we’ll be focusing on Chrome OS laptops and will continue to support Pixel Slate,” the Google spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “Chrome OS has grown in popularity across a broad range of form factors and we’ll continue to work with our ecosystem of partners on laptops and tablets.” Rick Osterloh, Google SVP of devices and services, also confirmed the move. “Hey, it’s true…Google’s HARDWARE team will be solely focused on building laptops moving forward,” he tweeted Thursday. “But make no mistake, Android & Chrome OS teams are 100% committed for the long-run on working with our partners on tablets for all segments of the market (consumer, enterprise, edu).” Originally published June 20, 12:35 p.m. PT.   Update, 12:51 p.m. PT: Adds comment from Google’s Rick Osterloh. Updated at 4:15 p.m. PT: originally published under the headline “Google won’t be making another Pixel Slate” Commentslast_img read more

Game of Thrones Night King storyline gets torched by federal judge

first_img Comments Tags Originally published July 9, 1:46 p.m. PT.  Now playing: Watch this: Burning questions we still have about Game of Thrones 6:00 “My fellow White Walkers, see Cal. Prob. Code § 16050.” HBO A federal appeals court’s opinion on Lindie Banks v. Northern Trust Corp. is — as one would expect from a case charging breaches of fiduciary duties — full of references to assets, investments and irrevocable trusts. Naturally, the Night King from Game of Thrones also makes a showing. In the opinion filed July 5, Judge John B. Owens writes that the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit won’t discard a prior legal precedent “the way that Game of Thrones rendered the entire Night King storyline meaningless in its final season.” “Goddammit, now I’m going to have to watch Game of Thrones just to be able to do my research? Thanks for nothing, Ninth Circuit,” Ann Lipton, a professor of business and securities at Tulane Law School, tweeted the day the opinion was filed.  Goddammit, now I’m going to have to watch Game of Thrones just to be able to do my research? Thanks for nothing, Ninth Circuit:https://t.co/RdxVZoyVEk pic.twitter.com/7kCO25u9OX— Ann Lipton (@AnnMLipton) July 6, 2019 Most heartbreaking Game of Thrones deathscenter_img This isn’t the first time Owens, an Obama appointee to the federal judiciary, has dropped a Game of Thrones reference into an opinion, as Above the Law notes.  In the 9th Circuit case Flores v. City of San Gabriel, Owens noted that the appeals court’s interpretation of a particular point was coming “very close to a qyburnian resurrection of [a rejected case law] standard (emphasis added).”Qyburn is the disgraced unethical former maester and former hand to Queen Cersei who’s killed by his own creation, the Mountain, in season 8, episode 5. The Qyburnian resurrection refers to him zombie-fying The Mountain, which seems to mean rejected case law standards are better left dead.Fortunately, a Game of Thrones prequel’s coming sometime in the next couple of years, which should give Owens plenty of new colorful material.  Share your voice Game of Thrones HBO TV and Movies For those who didn’t watch the final season of the HBO hit, Arya Stark dropped the Night King with a blade to the heart halfway through the final season. Miffed fans complained the White Walker threat had been built up too much and for too long over the course of the series for it all to end so unceremoniously.Owens mentions the supreme leader of the White Walkers in the context of two prior cases, Chadbourne & Parke LLP v. Troice and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc. v. Dabit. The 9th Circuit cites both in ruling in favor of the plaintiff in an appeal of a district court opinion centering on an alleged violation of state law. The defendant “would like us to read Dabit without considering its clarification in Troice. But we will not render Troice meaningless the way that Game of Thrones rendered the entire Night King storyline meaningless in its final season,” reads page 15 of the opinion. The 9th Circuit didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on whether Owens signed that famous petition calling for a Game of Thrones season 8 redo — or what he thinks of know-it-all Bran ruling the kingdom.  42 Photos 6last_img read more

Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center welcomes two new wolves

first_imgThe Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage is welcoming a two new wolves. Robin Randich is the Center’s marketing manager. She says the Center’s two resident wolves, Brie and Deshka, are both females, so to build a pack, males were needed.Listen Now“Kind of a family dynamic of a wolf pack is to bring males in,” Randich said. “It is very healthy for everybody, it evens out the power dynamics, it evens out kind of the Alpha and Beta dynamics, so we needed male wolves introduced to our pack.”Randich said the two new wolves are donations from Oregon’s Zoological Wildlife Conservation Center.“We had the word out we were hoping to form a pack, in hopes that they would actually be animal ambassadors, and help to educate the public,” Randich said. “Because not a lot is known about wolves, in their natural habitat, how they interact, their pack life. So that’s really what their purpose and what they are geared towards.”The male wolves, Dirius and Lothario, and different as night and day. Dirius is a white wolf, classified as a Hudson Bay wolf from Ontario Canada. Lothario is a black phase gray wolf with Alaska ancestry.Randich said the idea is not to breed the wolves.The two male wolves were introduced to the public on Saturday.last_img read more

Alaska News Nightly Tuesday March 19 2019

first_imgBlack box recovered from crashed Southeast flightJoe Viechnicki, KFSK – PetersburgAn air ambulance company says it has recovered the cockpit voice recorder for its plane that crashed in Southeast Alaska’s Frederick Sound in late January.Conservative group hosting Dunleavy fiscal policy eventsAssociated PressMost of the events on the fiscal policy tour announced by Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s office are being hosted by a conservative political organization.At DEC nominee Brune’s confirmation hearing, public testimony centered on Pebble tiesIsabelle Ross, KDLG – DillinghamOpposition centered largely on Brune’s involvement with the proposed Pebble Mine. From 2011 to 2014 he served as the public affairs and government relations manager for Anglo American — a company that backed the project until 2013.Owner of B.C. gold mine near Taku River courts investorsJacob Resneck, CoastAlaska – JuneauA Canadian mining company wants to reopen a long shuttered mine just a few miles from the Alaska border near Juneau. This comes as conservationists question the Dunleavy administration’s commitment to engaging British Columbia over transboundary mining pollution flowing downstream.Anchorage lawmakers weigh options for $1.9B port modernization projectKirsten Swann, Alaska Public Media – AnchorageAnchorage Assembly members are considering whether to spend $100,000 to hire an independent analyst to monitor an ongoing modernization project at the Port of Alaska.Anchorage School Board votes to repair two quake-damaged Eagle River schoolsWesley Early, Alaska Public Media – AnchorageThe Anchorage School Board voted unanimously Monday night to repair two schools damaged by last November’s earthquake.Fish and Game seeks to understand genetic differences between pink salmon populationsAaron Bolton, KBBI – HomerA study by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game looking at chum and pink salmon runs in Southeast and Prince William Sound is expanding to help biologists understand the interplay between wild runs and hatchery strays.Men’s group forms in Homer to foster healthy masculinity but getting new members is a challengeRenee Gross, KBBI – HomerThe Homer Men’s Leadership Forum began late last year in part to address concerns brought up by the #MeToo movement. The leader of the group hopes the discussions will attract men from all different parts of the community to talk about issues such as toxic masculinity.Kaiser gets hero’s welcome in BethelAnna Rose MacArthur, KYUK – BethelBethel welcomed home its own Iditarod champion last night in grand fashion. Musher Pete Kaiser returned to Bethel on Monday after winning the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @AKPublicNewslast_img read more

Iraqi PM declares end of war against IS in Iraq

first_imgMembers of the Imam Ali Division, one of the groups fighting within the Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation) paramilitaries, celebrate after the Iraqi Prime Minister declared victory in the war against the Islamic State (IS) group, about 80 kilometres (about 50 miles) along the Iraqi-Syrian border west of the border town of al-Qaim on Saturday. Photo: AFPIraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi on Saturday declared victory in a three-year war by Iraqi forces to expel the Islamic State jihadist group that at its height endangered Iraq’s very existence.“Our forces are in complete control of the Iraqi-Syrian border and I therefore announce the end of the war against Daesh (IS),” Abadi told a conference in Baghdad.“Our enemy wanted to kill our civilisation, but we have won through our unity and our determination. We have triumphed in little time,” he said, hailing Iraq’s “heroic armed forces”.As the authorities announced a public holiday on Sunday “to celebrate the victory”, Abadi said in a speech at the defence ministry that Iraq’s next battle would be to defeat the scourge of corruption.IS seized vast areas north and west of Baghdad in a lightning offensive in 2014.With Iraq’s army and police retreating in disarray at the time, Ayatollah Ali Sistani, spiritual leader of the country’s majority Shiites, called for a general mobilisation, leading to the formation of Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary units.Iraq’s fightback was also launched with the backing of an air campaign waged by a US-led coalition, recapturing town after town from the clutches of the jihadists in fierce urban warfare.The US State Department hailed the end of the jihadists’ “vile occupation” but cautioned that the fight was not over.“The United States joins the Government of Iraq in stressing that Iraq’s liberation does not mean the fight against terrorism, and even against ISIS (IS), in Iraq is over,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.The coalition, meanwhile, tweeted, using an Arabic acronym for IS: “Congratulations to the government of Iraq and the Iraqi security forces on the liberation of all Daesh-held populated areas in Iraq.”Hisham al-Hashemi, an expert on jihadist groups, warned that IS still posed a threat by retaining arms caches in uninhabited desert zones.Iraq’s close ally Iran already declared victory over IS last month, as the jihadists clung to just a few remaining scraps of territory.But Abadi said at the time he would not follow suit until the desert on the border with Syria had been cleared.The jihadists’ defeat is a massive turnaround for an organisation that in 2014 ruled over seven million people in a territory as big as Italy encompassing large parts of Syria and nearly a third of Iraq.On the Syrian side of the border, IS is under massive pressure too.On Thursday, Russia’s defence ministry said its mission in support of the Syrian regime to oust IS had been “accomplished” and the country was “completely liberated”.In the border region, pro-government forces and US-backed Kurdish-led forces are conducting operations to clear IS fighters from the countryside north of the Euphrates valley after ousting them from all Syrian towns.IS retains capacityThe head of Iraq’s Joint Operations Command set up to fight IS, General Abdel Amir Yarallah, gave an update on Saturday to announce that the desert valley of Al-Jazira was under the control of Iraqi troops and the Hashed all the way from Nineveh province in the north to Anbar in the west.Federal forces “now control the border with Syria from Al-Walid border crossing to that of Rabia”, covering a distance of 435 kilometres (270 miles), he said.Despite the victory announcements, experts have warned that IS retains the capacity as an insurgent group to carry out high-casualty bomb attacks using sleeper cells.Abadi’s victory announcement came the same day as Iraqi forces said they killed 10 IS members in a tunnel near the northern city of Kirkuk and recovered armaments.IS also retains natural hideouts in the deep gorges of Wadi Hauran, Iraq’s longest valley stretching from the Saudi border up to the Euphrates River and the frontiers with Syria and Jordan.The fightback in Iraq kicked off with the “liberation” of Tikrit, north of Baghdad, that had been under IS control for nearly 10 months.The operations have involved both Tehran, through Iranian-trained Shiite militias in the Hashed al-Shaabi coalition, and Washington as head of the anti-jihadist coalition.The western cities of Ramadi and Fallujah followed in 2016 before the turning point of the recapture of Iraq’s second city of Mosul in July this year after a nine-month offensive led by a 30,000-strong federal force.Abadi said the battle for Mosul that left the city in ruins and thousands of its residents displaced marked the end of the jihadists’ “caliphate”.last_img read more

One killed in Vienna shooting

first_imgA Police officer secures the crime scene where a person died and another has been injured by gunshots in the historic centre in Vienna, Austria, on 21 December, 2018. Photo: AFPOne person has died and another has been seriously injured after a shooting in the centre of the Austrian capital Vienna, police said Friday, ruling out a terrorist motive.Police said a man fired several shots in the city’s first district at 1:30 pm (1230 GMT).“A terrorist motive is out of the question,” it said in a series of tweets, adding that early indications pointed to a “targeted crime”.“Following the shooting in the city centre, there are intensive search operations going on throughout the city,” it said.“There is no danger to bystanders at this time!,” it added.Several people have been stopped and questioned over possible involvement but the suspect it still on the run, the police said.A police helicopter hovered over the city centre near where the two casualties were found.The surrounding streets were closed to traffic and pedestrians and local media reported that police in bulletproof vests and helmets had been deployed.One witness told the Kurier newspaper that the victims had been shot at in a passageway.“There were two people lying on the ground, and a third guy was saying: ‘Brother, brother!’ in a Slavic language,” the witness said.Other witnesses said the suspect escaped in a car, according to the ORF broadcaster.last_img read more

Survey Reveals Misconceptions And Opinions Houstonians Have About Muslims

first_img Listen Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz/Houston Public MediaOn Jan. 11, 2019, Houston Matters host Craig Cohen (left) interviewed Robert McKenzie, senior fellow at New America (right), about a study on opinions that Houstonians and residents from other American cities have about Muslims. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Houstonians interviewed for a survey about Muslims are significantly mistaken about the size of that community nationwide and have positive and negative opinions about the people who form it.That is the main takeaway of a study conducted by the D.C-.based think tank New America. Robert McKenzie, senior fellow at New America and director of its Muslim Diaspora Initiative, talked about the study with Houston Matters host Craig Cohen Friday.The survey was conducted leading up to the November 2018 midterm election.Besides Houston, interviews were also conducted in Orlando, Tampa and Washington, D.C.  McKenzie noted the researchers surveyed the Bayou City because of its diversity.The survey showed that the Houstonians who were interviewed don’t know that Muslims comprise approximately 1 percent of the population of the United States. McKenzie explained that, after combining the answers provided by respondents who live in Texas’ biggest city, the average answer was that Muslims make 19 percent of the population nationwide.The survey also found that nearly 80 percent of Houstonians think that diversity is good for America and 71 percent believe that Muslims are making positive contributions to the country and society.The respondents also touched on politics. McKenzie underlined that “seventy percent of Houstonians think that it’s a positive sign for our country that over a hundred Muslims ran for public office this cycle.”When he talked about the “negatives” of the survey, McKenzie said that 31 percent of the Houstonians who were interviewed “believe that Muslims are sympathetic to jihadist terrorist attacks” and “one in three Houstonians believe that Muslim Americans should get extra security screening at the airport.”For McKenzie, some of the results of the survey can be attributed to a lack of interaction with Muslims and negative memories from the 9/11 terrorist attacks, as well as the rise of ISIS in 2014 and “rhetoric from folks running for president.”The researcher also highlighted that “negative views of Muslims span the entire political spectrum.” “This is not just a Republican set of views, as it’s often thought.”McKenzie wants to do a deeper dive with focus groups and conduct another survey in October 2019 in Houston and other cities, as well as in 2020, coinciding with the presidential election cycle.center_img X 00:00 /00:00 Sharelast_img read more

Houston Food Pantries Help Put Food On The Table As Immigrants Opt

first_img 00:00 /00:55 Listen X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: “I see families every day and they talk about how afraid they are. The number one [fear] I hear is deportation. They are afraid to be separated from their spouse,” said Angie Ochoa, a case manager at Epiphany Community Health Outreach Services (ECHOS) in Houston. Ochoa helps people enroll for public benefits like food stamps, health care and baby formula. Since President Trump was elected, Ochoa and her colleagues have seen a significant number of their clients opt out of the benefits they, or their citizen children, qualify for. ECHOS is reporting dips in enrollment for food stamps (SNAP), children’s health insurance (CHIP), young mother’s nutritional assistance (WIC) and Harris County’s Gold Card, which provides financial assistance. Elizabeth Trovall/Houston Public MediaAngie Ochoa helps out a young mother fill out paperwork to enroll her daughter in benefits.But the need for food, baby formula and health care remains whether or not families are accessing benefits. That’s why many families are turning to food pantries, according to Cathy Moore, executive director of ECHOS.“It’s been an incredible jump for the need in the food pantry based on the fact that people are not applying for SNAP or food stamps,” said Moore.She said the demand for food at their pantry went up almost 70% from last year. Meanwhile, SNAP enrollment has decreased 25% at ECHOS in the first six months of 2019, compared to the same period last year. Elizabeth Trovall/Houston Public MediaThe ECHOS pantry does not require people to give out any sensitive personal information to access food.SNAP data for Harris County shows a 17% decrease in food stamps enrollment since December 2016, a month before President Trump’s inauguration. Other food pantries in the area have also reported an increase in the amount of food they offered families this year, though they don’t necessarily attribute it directly to the decrease in SNAP enrollment. The Guadalupe Center pantry, run by Catholic Charities, saw an increase of 20% in food distributed this year, totaling 1.2 million pounds of food.Their spokesperson said though they are not certain what factors are contributing to the increase, their pantry does serve mostly Spanish-speaking clients and workers there have heard stories from clients about their sense of vulnerability in public settings. center_img Elizabeth Trovall/Houston Public MediaCathy Moore, executive director of ECHOS, says food in her organization’s food pantry has been in high demand this year.Policy change proposals, raid threats and political rhetoric have all contributed to growing anxiety among immigrants when they are asked to provide sensitive information to the government, including their legal status.That’s in turn led immigrant families to opt out of food stamps and other public benefits across the country and in Houston. Sharelast_img read more