Why South Africa’s Karoo is a palaeontological wonderland

first_imgSouth Africa’s Karoo region provides not only a historical record of biological change over a period of Earth’s history but also a means to test theories of evolutionary processes over long stretches of time.A typical landscape in the Karoo semi-desert region of South Africa. (Image: Media Club South Africa)• Newly found ape-man lived alongside Lucy, 3 million years ago• South African scientists track the sun’s storms• Cape bones add new chapter to human history • Bloggers take a trip back to humanity’s origins • South African research funding fourth-highest in the worldBruce Rubidge and Mike Day, University of the WitwatersrandSouth Africa’s Karoo region has been in the headlines in recent years because of the prospect of a controversial fracking programme to exploit its potential shale gas resources. But, to palaeontologists, the Karoo Supergroup’s rocks hold the key to understanding the early evolutionary history of the major groups of land vertebrates – including tortoises, mammals and dinosaurs.More than 200-million years ago, South Africa formed part of the southern hinterland of Pangaea, the great single supercontinent, which was inhabited by a diverse flora and fauna.In only a few places, where conditions were conducive to their fossilisation, can palaeontologists catch a glimpse of these ancient ecosystems. The Karoo is one such place.A representation of the ancient supercontinent of Pangaea, showing modern country borders. Some 200-million years ago, South Africa formed part of of the southern hinterland of this great continent. Click image for a larger view. (Image: Massimo Pietrobon) Why it’s such a special placeAbout 265-million years ago, the Beaufort Group of rocks within the Karoo sequence was beginning to be deposited by rivers draining into the shrinking inland Ecca Sea. As these rivers filled the basin with sediment they entombed the remains of land animals that lived around them. The youngest Beaufort rocks are around 240-million years old.Today, more than 30 000 fossils of vertebrate animals from the Beaufort are to be found in museum collections across the world. The Beaufort was followed by the Molteno and Elliot formations. The Elliot formation is made up of a succession of red rocks that records some of the earliest dinosaur communities.The area plays a crucial role in revealing the distant origin of mammals, tortoises and dinosaurs. It also covers two great extinction events, the end-Permian (252-million years ago) and the end-Triassic (200-million years ago).Because of its continuity of deposition, the Karoo provides not only a historical record of biological change over this period of Earth’s history, but also a means to test theories of evolutionary processes over long periods of time.Map showing the formations of the Karoo Supergroup. Click image for a larger view.The 400 000-square-kilometre area is internationally noted for its record of fossil therapsid “mammal-like” reptiles. These chart anatomical changes on the path to mammals from their early tetrapod forebears.The Beaufort Group has also yielded the oldest recorded fossil ancestor of living turtles and tortoises – the small, lizard-like Eunotosaurus. The younger Elliot Formation preserves a record of early dinosaurs that could help palaeontologists understand the rise of the giant sauropod dinosaurs of the Jurassic Period.Physiology and behaviourMany studies are still being done on the identification of new species from the Karoo. But a lot of current research is also focused on the relationship between the extinct animals and their environments.The story of the therapsid’s burrow is a good example of how insights are being gained on the behaviour of prehistoric animals. Roger Smith was the first palaeontologist to recognise therapsid vertebrate burrows in the Karoo. He described helical burrows, which he attributed to a small species of dicynodont (two-dog tooth) therapsid called Diictodon. In the fossil record, burrows are preserved not as hollows, but as the plug of sediment that filled them.X-ray tomography at a facility in France was recently used to scan one of these burrows. This showed that it was home not only to its maker – the meerkat-sized therapsid Thrinaxodon – but also to the early amphibian Broomistega. Further research revealed that the Thrinaxodon was probably hibernating, which was why it tolerated the intruding amphibian which was using the burrow to convalesce while suffering from broken ribs.Partners forever, the amphibian Broomistega and mammal fore-runner Thrinaxodon preserved in a fossil burrow. Click image for a larger view.Studying how fossil bones are preserved – a discipline known as taphonomy – can provide similarly rich insights. For example, it has been suggested that changes in preservation style between skeletons in the latest Permian Period (about 253-million years ago) to those in the earliest Triassic Period (about 252-million years ago) can be attributed to changes in climate. The region developed from being seasonally dry floodplains with high water tables to predominantly dry floodplains.Because of the abundance of fossil tetrapods in the rocks of the Karoo Supergroup, they have been used to divide the rock succession into fossil zones, called biozones. This has enabled the biozones to be correlated with equivalent sequences elsewhere in the world and forms the basis of reconstructing global patterns of diversity.Understanding the sequence of events is crucial for testing hypotheses of evolutionary processes. It is an area of research being pursued for both the Permian and Triassic periods.The big wipe-outsThe end-Permian mass extinction, the greatest, was responsible for the elimination of 90% of species living in the sea and 70% of species living on land. Roger Smith’s work on Karoo fossil vertebrates shows this extinction to have lasted some 300 000 years, terminating at the Permian-Triassic boundary 252-million years ago. It was followed by a lesser extinction pulse approximately 160 000 years later in the Early Triassic.Our current work is focusing on the more obscure Guadalupian extinction which occurred 8-million to 10-million years before the end-Permian. This is recognised from marine sequences. For the first, time empirical evidence for this event on land is being discovered from the Karoo fossil record.What’s next?These are exciting times for palaeontologists. Technological and scientific developments have opened up new vistas for their work.A comprehensive database of all the Karoo fossil vertebrate collections in South Africa has been built. This is the first database of Permian-Jurassic continental vertebrates. It is available to scientists globally, an invaluable tool for biogeographic and biostratigraphic studies.Better dating techniques are opening up the possibility of working out rates of evolution in fossil tetrapod lineages. High-resolution scanning techniques are also enabling palaeoscientists to explore areas which were previously inaccessible, or at least not without damaging the fossils.There are a myriad questions that remain unanswered. Were the early mammal ancestors of the Karoo warm-blooded? What can the Karoo tell us about the reaction of terrestrial ecosystems to mass extinction events? How can the Karoo’s shifting ecological make-up shine a light on evolutionary tempo? These are questions we can now attempt to answer.Bruce Rubidge is Director, Centre of Excellence in Palaeosciences at University of the Witwatersrand.Mike Day is Postdoctoral Fellow at Organisational Unit:Evolutionary Studies Institute at University of the Witwatersrand.This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.last_img read more

What NSF’s new diversity grants say about attempts to help minority students

first_img By Jeffrey MervisSep. 14, 2018 , 11:50 AM Nima ShahabShahmir/Green Bank Observatory Students design, construct, and test radio telescopes at the Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia under a National Science Foundation grant. Ted Hodapp has spent the past 5 years helping boost the number of minority students pursuing U.S. graduate degrees in physics. But Hodapp, who works on education and diversity issues at the American Physical Society in College Park, Maryland, knows the society’s Bridge Program will at best make only a small dent in the nationwide dearth of blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans working in all science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. He wanted an opportunity to show that Bridge’s approach—which starts by encouraging graduate schools to de-emphasize scores on the standardized GRE entrance exam in the student selection process—could work in other STEM disciplines and, in doing so, promote the value of diversity in U.S. higher education.Last week, the National Science Foundation (NSF) in Alexandria, Virginia, gave Hodapp $10 million to make that happen. The grant was one of six 5-year awards that the agency announced on 6 September under its new Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (INCLUDES) initiative, which NSF Director France Córdova rolled out in 2016 as one of her priorities. The $57 million outlay marks NSF’s first major investment in INCLUDES. The five Alliances, as NSF calls them, will allow STEM educators to scale up existing diversity efforts by partnering with like-minded businesses, schools, nonprofit organizations, and local and state governments. The goal is to tear down disciplinary, geographic, and cultural barriers that hinder efforts to promote broader participation in STEM. (NSF also made a $10 million award to SRI International in Menlo Park, California, to coordinate activities and carry out research across all the alliances.)center_img Removing a barrierFor Hodapp, the new grant means extending Bridge—which includes remedial training, mentoring, and other means of support—to graduate training programs in chemistry, astronomy, the geosciences, and material sciences. He’ll be working with the professional societies in those fields, as well as other academics, in hopes of revising graduate admissions practices at departments throughout the country.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(*)“A major research university might get 600 applications for 30 slots, and maybe 350 of the students would do just fine,” he says. “So how do you choose? As a first cut, many use the GRE, which is not a good indicator of success and also puts women and racial minorities at a disadvantage.”In 2013, Hodapp found six universities willing to abandon that simplistic metric and welcome a dozen deserving students with low GRE scores, most of them minorities, who had either been rejected by other programs or who considered it pointless to even apply. Five years later, 38 departments are on board, 168 students are pursuing advanced degrees, the retention rate is 87%, and the program expects its first cohort of Ph.D.s to graduate next spring.Surging enrollment, Hodapp says, puts the Bridge program within reach of its goal of halting the steep attrition rates in physics between undergraduate and graduate training and, simultaneously, doubling the annual number of black, Hispanic, and Native American students earning a physics Ph.D. Hodapp hopes the new Alliance grant, dubbed the Inclusive Graduate Education Network, will produce similar numbers across the physical sciences.The NSF three-stepINCLUDES is the latest addition to NSF’s $925 million stable of diversity programs, which range from elementary school through postdoctoral training and beyond. They are not meant to be mutually exclusive; Hodapp, for example, received a $3 million NSF grant in 2012 to launch Bridge. At the same time, INCLUDES reflects Córdova’s conviction that the only way to make a dent in this seemingly intractable problem is to enlist many sectors of society for the long haul.“The design and focus of INCLUDES is on collaborative partnerships, communications, sustainability, and scale,” says Sylvia James, who leads the Human Resource Development division within NSF’s education directorate. “We’re looking for unique approaches that can integrate NSF’s investment in broadening participation.”“It’s one of NSF’s 10 big ideas,” James adds. “So there’s a 10-year plan for it in our budget.”The distinctiveness of the INCLUDES Alliance program is reflected in how NSF structured the awards. Instead of just asking the community for its best ideas, NSF officials pursued a three-step process.It began with a 2016 call for proposals for pilot grants that would give scientists the chance to test their ideas. NSF received several hundred proposals and chose 70 of these 2-year, $300,000 grants in two rounds of funding.The foundation’s second step was to bankroll a dozen conferences so that the lead scientists on the pilot grants could find soulmates. The idea was to broaden the scope and size of the pilots. It hoped those intellectual marriages would spawn more comprehensive and sophisticated proposals for one of the large Alliance grants. To ensure continuity, each Alliance application had to include a principal investigator from at least one of the pilots.In the end, NSF received 27 Alliance applications, and funded five. That’s twice the number NSF suggested it would fund in the solicitation, James notes, a testament to the high quality of the proposals and the willingness of other NSF directorates and programs to chip in. Applications for a second round of Alliance grants are due in April 2019.An unplanned tiltPreparing a diverse STEM workforce requires engaging students at all levels. But the first round of Alliance winners is skewed toward higher education, specifically, running from 2-year community colleges through graduate training.In addition to Hodapp’s project, NSF gave $10 million to the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, based in Washington, D.C., and the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. They are pursuing a three-pronged attempt to improve the skills of STEM faculty members at dozens of universities in mentoring minority students, grow the ranks of minority STEM faculty, and promote diversity throughout academia. Another $10 million Alliance award, based at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California, will help community college students in California and three other states overcome deficits in math as the first step into a STEM major. A fourth $10 million Alliance grant, based at the University of Texas in El Paso, will support expansion of a 12-year-old computing alliance among academic institutions that serve a large number of Hispanic students.The absence of any Alliances focused on precollege or informal science education “was not intentional,” James says. “These projects rose to the top during our merit review process. We’re definitely interested in K-12 and we hope to provide support to that sector in subsequent awards that would complement our first cohort.”Matchmaking woesBecause K-12 education in the United States is largely a local and state responsibility, scientists with pilot grants focused on that population faced a higher bar in trying to build coalitions and attract other partners. April Marchetti, a chemistry professor at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia, ran into that challenge in when she tried to recruit partners for an Alliance proposal.The pilot project offers a summer STEM program for Hispanic girls starting high school, with the goal of bringing them back in subsequent years to provide a glide path for their entry into college and a STEM career. Marchetti had already forged ties with STEM-based companies and other employers of STEM workers, and she hoped an Alliance grant would strengthen those ties and provide additional student support. But like-minded programs were scarce.“We couldn’t find a suitable partner in time for the [Alliance] deadline,” she says “There are so many populations to be served, and so many types of interventions. We want to continue to be part of INCLUDES, but we don’t want to have to change our focus.”Marchetti was able to parlay a chance meeting at one of the NSF conferences into a consultant’s role with a fifth new Alliance. Led by Erica Harvey, a chemistry professor at Fairmont State College in West Virginia, the First2 STEM Success Network will work with students from rural West Virginia, many of them the first in their families to attend college. The $7 million project hopes to reduce the steep outflow from STEM fields in the first 2 years of college with an array of activities designed to cement a student’s interest in science and engineering by showing its relevance to their lives.Harvey was co–principal investigator on a pilot project led by Sue Ann Heatherly, senior education officer at the Green Bank Observatory in rural West Virginia. The radio telescope, built by NSF, had long served as a magnet for STEM educators throughout the state seeking research opportunities for their students. The pilot provided rising freshmen with a 2-week summer program at one of the two institutions, and the Alliance hopes to build out that successful trial.The West Virginia Alliance has an unusually diverse group of partners assembled in large part to satisfy an NSF requirement that all projects include an institutional “backbone” to coordinate activities and to work with NSF and the other Alliance programs. That capacity and expertise already exists at most major research universities and large nonprofit organizations. But it was a significant obstacle for the grassroots operation run by Heatherly and Harvey.“I’m a chemistry professor, and I have my hands full running the internships along with everything else I do,” Harvey says. “It had never occurred to us that it’s worth paying for the infrastructure needed to provide that type of continuity and accountability.”So Heatherly and Harvey reached out to a state entity, the Higher Education Policy Commission. The commission was already managing an NSF-funded program, the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, to help states with relatively small amounts of federal research funding, and was eager to come on board. The scientists also enlisted SRI International as a “mentor backbone” to help the commission climb the learning curve.Bending the barsHowever, some scientists with pilot grants found the backbone component to be an insurmountable hurdle.Jannette Carey, a chemistry professor at Princeton University, and a few colleagues have been running a science education program in the New Jersey prison system for a dozen years with more than 100 student volunteers. She used the pilot, dubbed STEPS (Scholarship and Transformative Education in Prisons) to STEM, to add additional offerings, including a first-ever laboratory course, as stepping stones toward a 4-year degree for prisoners after they are released. “But as a volunteer organization,” she says, “we couldn’t meet the requirement for the infrastructure needed to collaborate and communicate with other organizations and institutions.”Her own attempts at matchmaking also proved a disappointment. “We went to the conferences in hopes of finding partners who had a realistic chance of submitting a credible proposal,” Carey says. “But none of the other pilots shared our goals of bringing university-level courses into a prison.” A last-minute partnership with another pilot grantee that focuses on improving the math skills of underrepresented minorities failed to make the initial cut, she says.Carey has a good sense of what passes muster at NSF, having run an NSF-funded program to provide research experiences for undergraduates (REU) in biophysics for several years. And she hasn’t abandoned the idea of gaining additional NSF support for something that occupies a unique niche in the agency’s portfolio of efforts to reach underrepresented populations.That hope is embodied in her latest proposal. She’s asking that her next REU grant allow her to work with students in all fields that NSF supports, not just in the physics, mathematics, engineering, and computer science programs that relate to biophysics. It’s an essential step in meeting the needs of this underserved population, she argues.“A lot of formerly incarcerated students gravitate toward psychology, sociology, political science, economics, and other disciplines in the social sciences,” she says. “So including them could make an important contribution to growing the STEM workforce.” What NSF’s new diversity grants say about attempts to help minority studentslast_img read more

Video: Mike Brey Flying Hip Bumped 2 Seniors In Post-Game Locker Room

first_imgA closeup of Notre Dame basketball coach Mike BreySOUTH BEND, IN – NOVEMBER 12: Head coach Mike Brey of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish watches the action on the floor against the Monmouth Hawks at Purcel Pavilion on November 12, 2012 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Monmouth 84-57. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)Notre Dame closed out the regular season with an 89-75 win over NC State at home. After the game, head coach Mike Brey was in a celebratory mood. Brey asked the team’s two seniors, Austin Burgett and Zach Auguste, to give him a flying hip bump in the locker room. Brey didn’t get much hang time, but Auguste still almost knocked him over. INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOMTHE JUMP – SENIOR STYLESorry, Matt Gregory, but our Z.A. & Burg had to get a chance. pic.twitter.com/dvZgBeD4Oj— Notre Dame MBB (@NDmbb) March 5, 2016Always good to see a coach having fun with his players. If UNC beats Duke later on today, the Fighting Irish will clinch the No. 4 seed in the upcoming ACC Tournament and an automatic double-bye into the quarterfinals.last_img read more

The story of Cyril Polchies and the showdown at Burnt Church

first_imgAPTN National News When the Mi’kmaq first asserted their right to fish lobster 14 years ago, they faced racism from other non-Indigenous fishermen and violent clashes with officers with the department of Fisheries and Oceans.A lot has changed since the Marshall decision was handed down by the Supreme Court of Canada.Especially in one busy port near Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick.APTN’s Trina Roache reports.last_img

Oilsands technology alliance aims for cuts in industrys need for steam

first_imgCALGARY – An oilsands research alliance says it is entering its sixth year focused on finding new ways to reduce the sector’s need for steam, the generation of which leads to almost 80 per cent of its greenhouse gas emissions.Dan Wicklum, CEO of Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance or COSIA, says generating steam to separate heavy sticky bitumen from the northern Alberta sands in which it’s trapped is responsible for about 56 million tonnes per year of the total of 71 million tonnes of GHGs emitted from the oilsands.Wicklum says COSIA members hope to cut GHG intensity by 10 to 30 per cent over the next five years, while also sharing technologies to lessen the industry’s impacts on land and water and deal with tailings ponds.Canada generates about 1.8 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and the oilsands contribute about 9.3 per cent of that total — the Alberta government has set a hard cap of 100 million tonnes per year, which could limit growth in the oilsands unless GHG emissions can be reduced.Stephen Kaufman, general manager for external innovation and regional development for Suncor Energy Inc., says some “game-changing” innovations like the less-GHG-intensive extraction technology in use at its newly opened Fort Hills oilsands mine are only practical to use in a new project.But the company is actively pursuing new technologies including radiofrequency electromagnetic heating and the use of solvents with steam that offer “incremental” environmental benefits as it pursues a goal of reducing GHG emissions per barrel by 30 per cent by 2030.“Steam for us is a huge operating cost,” he said. “It’s often said that an in situ (oilsands) project is really a water treatment and steam generation plant more than an oil-producing plant, in terms of the size of the kit that you need and the ongoing cost to buy natural gas.”last_img read more

Walmart CVS Health hammer out new PBM pharmacy network deal

first_imgBENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart will continue to operate through CVS Health’s pharmacy benefit management commercial and managed Medicaid retail pharmacy networks.Shares of CVS, which have been under pressure since Tuesday when it said it could not come to an agreement with Walmart on pricing, rose more than 2 per cent before the opening bell Friday.Including Walmart, the CVS Caremark national pharmacy network will have nearly 68,000 participating pharmacies for members to choose from, including independently-owned, community-based pharmacies, other local pharmacies in grocery stores and mass merchants and regional and national chains.Walmart Inc. and CVS Health Corp. have an existing agreement for Walmart’s participation in the CVS Caremark Medicare Part D pharmacy network. Walmart’s Sam’s Club also has an existing deal to participate in the CVS Caremark pharmacy networks.The Associated Presslast_img read more

BC OGC issues order to Coastal GasLink following an investigation regarding archaeological

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The B.C. Oil & Gas Commission has issued an order to Coastal GasLink after an investigation determined the company carried out cutting without having an archaeological impact assessment completed.Some of the requests within the order, from the OGC, include that Coastal GasLink submits a post-impact archaeological assessment for review by the Commission of a portion of Section 8 right of way by October 11, 2019, and that they must submit records indicating the implementation of the Pre-Construction Compliance Assurance Process and Procedure on the specific area by October 25, 2019.In August, Coastal GasLink said construction began in a number of places before archaeological assessments were complete. The company said an internal audit found there were two areas along the right of way east of Kitimat where land was cleared before archaeological impact assessments occurred.The Coastal GasLink pipeline inspired global protests when hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation said it had no authority without their consent.The company said it had signed agreements with all 20 elected First Nations along the 670-kilometre route to LNG Canada’s export terminal on the coast in Kitimat, including the Wet’suwet’en council.Coastal GasLink does have the opportunity to appeal this order to the Oil and Gas Appeal Tribunal.last_img read more

Man held for raping minor

first_imgGreater Noida: Gautam Buddh Nagar police have arrested a rewarded criminal, carrying bounty of Rs 25, 000 on his head, from Mamura area of Noida on late Thursday night. Police said that the accused was wanted in a gang rape case with a minor girl by Jewar police. According to police, the arrested accused has been identified as Furkan Qureshi, native of Jahangirpur area of Jewar. Cops said that Qureshi, along with his accomplice Nanhe allegedly abducted a girl student from Jewar area in a car after making her consume a drink laced with sedatives, in the month of June last year. The duo of accused kept the girl at a secluded place and gang raped her for a couple of days. Later they let her go and threatened her with death consequences if she tells about the incident to anyone. However, the minor rape victim reached home and narrated her ordeal to parents, following which a case was registered.last_img read more

India was granted permission to wear caps in memory of fallen soldiers

first_imgNew Delhi: The International Cricket Council (ICC) Monday said India was granted permission to wear camouflage military caps in the third ODI against Australia as a tribute to the country’s armed forces, a gesture which Pakistan has objected to. In the third ODI in Ranchi on March 8, the Indian team sported military caps as a mark of respect to the CRPF personnel who were killed in the Pulwama terror attack and donated its match fee to the National Defence Fund. Also Read – Dhoni, Paes spotted playing football together”The BCCI sought permission from the ICC to wear the caps as part of a fundraising drive and in memory of fallen soldiers who have died, which was granted,” ICC’s General Manager Strategic Communications Claire Furlong said. The Pakistan Cricket Board had sent a strongly-worded letter to the ICC, calling for action against India for wearing the caps. “They took permission from ICC for some other purpose and used it to do something else, which is not acceptable,” PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani said on Sunday. Last month, the BCCI had asked the ICC to “sever ties with countries from which terrorism emanates” following the Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed. The responsibility of the attack was taken by Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed.last_img read more