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Convergence Crams Uncooperative Fossils into Darwinism

first_imgWhen unrelated fossils have similar traits, evolutionary paleontologists twist, shove and stuff them into Darwin’s theory with an all-purpose tool called convergence.It wasn’t supposed to work this way. Animals were supposed to diverge as they evolved. Branches on real trees do that. In neo-Darwinism, the branch tips in Darwin’s image of a branching tree should get farther apart the more they evolve, because neither branch knows what the other one is doing. But the real world is full of counter-examples, where unrelated animals end up becoming very similar. Even more often, fossils exhibit “mosaics” of traits from different branches, or from “stem” (early) or “crown” (mature) members of a single branch. It’s all very confusing to Mr. Darwin, so his disciples invented a trick to keep from getting their story falsified. It’s called convergence, and here’s how it works. (Note: Not being Darwinians, we will dispute inclusion in the occasional first-person plural pronouns.)The Weird FishColin Barras at New Scientist introduces his fossil with a warning: “Weird fish fossil changes the story of how we moved onto land” [Who’s we, Paleface?]. If you thought the story of tetrapod evolution from fishy ancestors was all wrapped up, the wrapping just came off.The evolutionary story we have written [Who’s we, Paleface?] to explain our ancestors’ move from sea to land may need a rethink. A fossil fish from this era has been discovered with several of the features of land animals – yet it was only distantly related to them.Roughly 360 million years ago, one group of lobe-finned fish began evolving into four-legged, land-living animals that resulted in reptiles, amphibians and mammals like us. [Who’s us, Paleface?]Notice first that he calls it an evolutionary “story” – not a scientific discovery. The long-stable account of how lobe-finned fish moved onto land just got unstabilized by a Chinese fossil given the name Hongyu chowi.But when the researchers tried to fit H. chowi into the existing evolutionary tree, it didn’t fit easily.That’s because in some respects, H. chowi looks like an ancient predatory fish called rhizodonts. These are thought to have branched off from lobe-finned fish long before the group gave rise to four-legged land animals.Very well, then. Time to bring in the all-purpose tool called convergence. It works like a vise, cramming the fossil into Darwin’s box whether it wants to fit or not. (Jargonwocky note: Sometimes this is called “independent evolution” or “parallel evolution”).This implies one of two things, the researchers say. The first possibility is that H. chowi is some sort of rhizodont that independently evolved the shoulders and gill cover supports of a four-legged animal.Alternatively, the rhizodonts may be more closely related to the four-legged animals and the elpistostegids than we thought. But this would also imply a certain amount of independent evolution of similar features, because the rhizodonts would then sit between two groups that have many features in common – features the two groups would have had to evolve independently.It implies no such thing, but in Darwinland, everything must fit.The Flying Jurassic Early SquirrelEvolutionists found another misfit: a Jurassic flying squirrel. Trouble is, it’s in the wrong group. It’s not a therian (placental) mammal, and it’s not a marsupial mammal either (that’s another severe case of convergent evolution). This is a “stem mammal” called an eleutherodontid, that is supposed to be earlier than both later groups and not as evolved, but behold: it already was a glider! Plus, it had tooth rows “convergent” with bats, and other specialized traits that weren’t supposed to evolve till later. Writing in Nature, the authors from University of Chicago and University of Beijing seem surprised: “Here we report a new Jurassic eleutherodontid mammaliaform with an unusual mosaic of highly specialized characteristics,” they say, yet they continue to claim they have “New evidence for mammaliaform ear evolution and feeding adaptation in a Jurassic ecosystem.” Whatever it was, it evolved!The inferred dietary adaptation of eleutherodontid gliders represents a remarkable evolutionary convergence with herbivorous gliders in Theria. These Jurassic fossils represent volant [flying], herbivorous [plant-eating] stem mammaliaforms associated with pre-angiosperm plants that appear long before the later, iterative associations between angiosperm plants and volant herbivores in various therian clades.How can this be? Well, the Bearded Buddha was experimenting.The unique mosaic of characters related to tooth replacements and the middle ear of eleutherodonts adds to growing evidence of complex transformations of mammalian characteristics. Their complex dentitions and occlusal patterns are probably adapted for omnivory and herbivory, showing that the volant and herbivorous lifestyle, previously known only in therian gliders, was also part of mammaliaform evolutionary experimentation during the Jurassic.Shameless Plug for ConvergenceBaleen whales are champions of filter feeding with baleen instead of teeth. Long before they appeared on the evolutionary timeline, though, a marine reptile, unrelated to mammals, already had come up with a similar feeding strategy. Phys.org‘s coverage of a plesiosaur that evolved filter feeding puts convergence right in the headline: “Plesiosaur fossil found 33 years ago yields new convergent evolution findings.” All other marine reptiles used their teeth for biting, but Morturneria had interdigitating teeth that allowed them to catch krill, much like baleen whales do. So how did that happen? Bring out the all-purpose Darwin rescue tool:The identification of Morturneria’s whale-like filter feeding is a startling case of convergent evolution between reptiles and mammals. Plesiosaurs and whales shared many of the intervening steps in the evolution of this feeding style and their extreme morphologies are similar despite arising from different ancestors.[Sankar] Chatterjee stresses convergent evolution does not imply Morturneria was in any way related to today’s baleen whales; it just means they both evolved the same way.“They had adopted similar lifestyle and feeding,” he said. “For example, birds and bats fly, but birds are now considered dinosaurs [according to whom, Paleface?] and bats are mammals. These superficial similarities of lifestyles and behavior are called ‘convergent evolution.’” [by whom, Paleface?]Giving something a name is not the same as explaining it. Physicist Lee Spetner spoke about “convergent evolution” for ID the Future, commenting that “convergent evolution is even more improbable than evolution itself” (see Evolution News). Spetner presents an alternative, the Non-Random Evolutionary Hypothesis, which proposes “evidently purposeful evolution as a response to environmental and other stresses.” But then, if it is non-random, such adaptability must have been pre-programmed into organisms—i.e., intelligently designed.Convergence is an essential ingredient in Darwin Flubber. Don’t let the Darwin Party get away it. “Convergent evolution” is simply an empty phrase, a cover for ignorance, a rescue device to avoid falsification. Multiple independent similar adaptations are not proof of evolution in action: they are the opposite of what Darwin predicted. Some convergences in nature are so precise, it takes an expert to identify them (see the “Convergence Concoction” page by Brett Miller).If the Creator pre-programmed organisms with the ability to respond to environmental changes, or to use similar strategies for similar needs, that’s a design feature, not luck. The former is the kind of programming that goes into fault-tolerant systems. It represents intelligent design at a high level. The latter is an example of modular design (see Living Waters for examples of multiple unrelated animals that use magnetic navigation, for instance). Darwinians, by contrast, would rather believe animals won the lottery multiple times when they see finely-tuned, successful creatures with similar designs than to reject their Buddha’s teachings. What better proof of design could there be than similarities between unrelated organisms? What better disproof of blind, unguided evolution could there be than convergence everywhere? Don’t be fooled. Evolutionists get away with this in the media because they are totalitarian bigots, not allowing any criticism or debate. They know that once legitimate debate is allowed, they would be laughed off the stage in disgrace. Bring it on.(Visited 514 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Urban organic agriculture in downtown Joburg

first_imgDiscussions about the regeneration of Johannesburg’s inner city usually revolve around refurbishment of buildings and attracting business and residents into the city. But an award-winning project in downtown Johannesburg with the ambitious long-term aim of feeding poor people in the inner city is changing the conversation.Urban farming has taken root in the run-down suburb of Betrams, as part of a municipal programme to revitalise the city. The Bambanani Food and Herb Garden has reclaimed the abandoned bowling greens of the old Bertrams Bowling Club, once a recreation centre reserved for white people during the apartheid era. Now, the lawns have been turned over, furrows tilled, soil fertilised, and vegetables planted and harvested.Earlier in November 2013 the project won the Mma Tshepo Khumbane Award, from the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, for the best community-based natural resources management project in the province. Khumbane is a grassroots activist and the founder of the Water for Food Movement, which works in rural Gauteng. For 40 years she has tried to fight malnutrition and hunger by encouraging small-scale farming.‘NO NEED TO GO HUNGRY’Turning upmarket bowling greens into food gardens … Volunteers at work tilling the soil to plant organic fruit and vegetables for the Bambanani Food and Herb Garden in BertramsThe brim of Maria Maseko’s hat shades her eyes from the afternoon sun: it’s a cloudless summer day with temperatures pushing into the 30s. One of the original volunteers at the Bambanani project, she takes in the familiar view of the dramatic Johannesburg skyline, with the iconic concrete tube of the Ponte Tower, and Ellis Park Stadium. “There is no need for anyone to ever go to bed hungry in Betrams, not when there is access to healthy affordable food right on their doorstep,” she says.Bambanani is just one of a number of art, sport and agriculture projects in downtown Johannesburg that are changing the way Joburgers experience their city. The garden is part of what is called Hope Village, a redevelopment project that includes a cricket oval and recreation centre for the kids of Bertrams and Hillbrow.Started with a R21 000 grant from the city in 2006 for seed and tools and the efforts of a group of 10 volunteers, the garden supplies cheap organic vegetables to the local community, and sells to street hawkers and the Bertrams Spar supermarket. The generosity of sponsors such as Talborne Organics and Jojo Tanks and the passion of people like Maseko and fellow volunteer Amon Maluleke has kept the project growing.FOOD AND MEMORY“We dug up the lawn and planted our first crop by hand,” says Maseko, who recently retired from Johannesburg’s Department of Social Development. “It was hard, backbreaking work but it’s a crucial part of the creation of a diverse ecosystem and an important bonding tool for the local community.”The gardeners use the companion planting method and their harvests are Participatory Guarantee Systems certified as organic. This allows the cooperative to also sell their products at local organic markets.“We grow our tomatoes next to our basil. This gives the tomatoes a rich taste, but more importantly the basil protects the plants from insects,” Maseko explains. She pulls a head of kale, known as shiyama to most Africans, out of the ground. It is a deep green and fills both her palms. It sells at the garden for R15 a head; at a supermarket it’s R30.As the suburb declined over the years, the Bertrams Bowling Club, the site of the garden, fell into disuse. The City of Johannesburg decided its two bowling greens would be better used to grow vegetables. The gardeners now produce an astonishing variety of vegetables – potatoes, sweet potatoes, cabbage, chillies, spinach, kale, onions and butternut. The once-fallow plot is now a bright green space, filled with activity and colour.“This Congolese man brought us seeds indigenous to the Congo,” Maseko says. “He wanted us to plant them so he could he have a taste of home here. Those are the memories food can evoke.”‘THEY KNOW HOW TO WORK THE LAND’Working on the food garden helps build a sense of community among the people living in Bertrams. Many of them, people who have moved to Johannesburg from rural areas, have the skills and knowledge to work the land (Images: Bambanani Food and Herb Garden)Bertrams, and Johannesburg, offers a collection of stunning architecture and museums but to a transplant like Amon Maluleke, from rural Limpopo, the city lacked green space that would allow people with the skills to farm vegetables. “People come to the city and want to work in a job where they wear a tie but they don’t have the skills,” he says. “Like me they know how to work the land, they can feed themselves, they can feed their neighbours if they were given the space and the opportunity.”Maluleke came upon the inner city farm in July 2007 after he had been retrenched. He is now assistant groundskeeper at the adjacent cricket oval, home to the Johannesburg Cricket Club, and is studying towards a degree in ornamental horticulture.Bambanani also serves as a gardening academy, training nursery school staff from across the city in the art of vegetable gardening. Across Bertrams school grounds that would have been planted with flowers are now being turned into fertile corners bursting with freshly grown fruit and vegetables. These are, in part, driven by need, but spurred on by the efforts of the volunteers at Bambanani.“In the beginning the idea behind Bambanani was regeneration of the neighbourhood and to improve the health of its residents by making fresh organic fruit and vegetables available to them,” says Maluleke. “It’s taken hold of people’s imaginations. They see the importance of fresh, healthy food and the need for green, working space in the city.”GARDEN SUBURB, THEN AND NOWOriginally built as a suburb for the professional classes, Bertrams abuts Old Doornfontein, the preferred neighbourhood for the city’s wealthy entrepreneurial classes in the early days of Johannesburg. Today it’s a suburb in transition with a multicultural population of South Africans and African refugees building a vibrant community of small businesses and sports clubs.Bertrams can lay claim to some famous past residents. Robert Baden Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouts, and colonial magnate Cecil John Rhodes lived on the ridge that today overlooks Ellis Park Stadium. Infamous serial poisoner Daisy de Melker did her misdeeds in the suburb. When it was incorporated into the city in 1897 Bertrams was known for its gardens and stables housing thoroughbred horses. Today it’s a part of the city most people race through with car windows closed and doors locked.What they miss as they speed through the neighbourhood is how the area is becoming a place of fecundity again. On the surface it seems to be on the brink of ecological and social collapse, but if you look closely you will see the green shoots of abundance.First published on Media Club South Africa – Brand South Africa’s library of quality images and articles, available for free.last_img read more

Everybody Wants a Piece of the Mobile Advertising Market – Opera Acquires AdMarvel

first_imgIt seems like everybody is scrambling to secure a piece of the mobile advertising market these days. Google is still sorting out the details of its AdMob acquisition, but barring any regulatory snafus, the acquisition should go through in the next few months. Apple acquired the relatively unknown mobile advertising network Quattro earlier this month. Today, Opera announced that it has acquired AdMarvel, a San Mateo-based mobile advertising company. According to Opera’s new CEO Lars Boilesen, about 50 million people access the web through Opera on their mobile browsers. AdMarvel, Opera and the iPhone It’s interesting to note that AdMarvel also offers an iPhone SDK for developers. At the time of the launch of the iPhone SDK, AdMarvel CEO described the iPhone as “an amazingly innovative platform.” Opera hasn’t announced any plans to bring its browser to the iPhone. When we talked to Opera’s former CEO Jon von Tetzchner in December, he noted that the company wasn’t averse to launching a browser on the iPhone, but Apple’s App Store approval process was holding the company back from even trying to get an app into the store for the time being. It is worth noting, though, that Opera does offer an Android app.Augmenting Revenue Streams Through Mobile AdvertisingThere can be little doubt that mobile advertising is one of the fastest growing markets in the mobile ecosystem. Google obviously wants a piece of this market through the AdMob acquisition. The company’s own AdSense and AdWords programs offers mobile solutions, but the popularity of AdSense and AdWords hasn’t really translated into success in the mobile space yet. Apple’s acquisition of Quattro is a curious move, as advertising isn’t exactly one of Apple’s core competencies.For Opera this move makes sense, though. Just like Apple hopes to profit directly from the iPhone apps and mobile sites that use Quattro, Opera will be able to profit from sites that use AdMarvel. Neither Apple nor Opera are traditional advertising companies, but both clearly believe that the mobile advertising market is poised for growth and that they can augment their current revenue streams by dipping their toes into this business. Related Posts frederic lardinois Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img Tags:#advertising#news#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Ground Broken for Sorrel Plant in Westmoreland

first_imgMinister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Roger Clarke, on Tuesday, June 4, officially broke ground for the establishment of a $24.8 million sorrel processing plant in Bethel Town, Westmoreland.Work on the 204-square metre modern facility, which will consist of production area, dry and cold storage, and sorting area, as well as office and bathroom conveniences, is already well underway, and is expected to be completed within three months.It will process sorrel to make jams, jellies and juices in addition to other value-added products, while significantly reducing the need for further imports for the Jamaican market.The processing facility, which will be operated by the Bethel Town Agricultural Co-operative Society, is being constructed by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) under its World Bank-funded Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI).Minister Clarke, in welcoming the project, said it symbolises Government’s intention to “seriously deal” with import substitution.“This is yet another expression that this Government intends, in a very, very serious way, to deal with import substitution and to grow the agricultural sector. Why is it we have to import sorrel concentrate into this country to make drink, when sorrel can be grown almost anywhere in Jamaica?” he queried.He informed that the Ministry is working with the Mexican Government to train persons in the use of machinery to make the harvesting of sorrel easier.He noted that farmers in Central Westmoreland are already preparing lands to plant sorrel “so you had better hurry with the construction”.General Manager at JSIF, Loy Malcolm, informed that project will “transform over 120 acres of sorrel into value-added products”.“We at JSIF are happy to be a part of this and wish you all every success in this project,” she noted.Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, and Member of Parliament for Eastern Westmoreland, Hon. Luther Buchanan, in his remarks, said the ground breaking exercise “means a brighter future for agricultural development in the parish of Westmoreland”.The agro-processing facility is expected to realise a 400 per cent increase in revenue for farmers, while generating employment opportunities for community members.Contact: Glenis A. Roselast_img read more

DJB working to ensure potable tap water CM

first_imgNEW DELHI: The Delhi Jal Board is “working hard” to ensure that tap water is potable in the city and reverse osmosis purifiers are not needed to filter it, Chief Minister Arvnd Kejriwal said on Tuesday.The chief minister, who is also the Chairman of the DJB, said the Board was now working to ensure that the people of Delhi get 24-hour water supply. “The Delhi Jal Board is working hard to ensure that the water that u get in ur taps is potable and u shud not need an RO to purify it, as it is in developed countries. I am glad our efforts are paying off. Now, we are also working hard to ensure that u get 24 hr supply in ur taps (sic),” Kejriwal tweeted. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe Kejriwal government was also aiming to make Delhi self sufficient in water. “Today after just four and half years, the number of colonies with piped water supply has gone from 58% to 88%. It took 70 years to get to 58% and just 4.5 years to add 30% more colonies. There is still work to be done. There are about 200 colonies that still need to be covered. Apart from those colonies where laying pipelines is not feasible, all other colonies will get piped water in the next 2 years and pipelines are being laid for this purpose,” said the Chief Minister. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsAt present, Delhi gets its water from the Ganga canal, the western Yamuna canal, the Bhakra canal and the Yamuna river. Besides, the DJB draws 80 million gallons of groundwater per day. The chief minister also said his government would provide round-the-clock clean drinking water supply to the entire city by 2024. “It’s our mission. In the last four and a half years we have made a lot of progress. By 2024, the government would provide clean drinking water to every house through taps,” said Kejriwal. The 105-MGD water treatment plant (WTP) at Chandrawal comes after a gap of 13 years. It will be constructed at a cost of Rs 598 crores in 3 years. “At present, we are supplying 930 million gallons of water per day (MGD) against the demand of 1,200 MGD,” Kejriwal said.last_img read more

Collins Says Shell Vote against Emergency Declaration

first_imgSen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said Wednesday she would support a resolution opposing President Trump’s emergency declaration to divert military funds to build a southern border wall.“We don’t know if the [Portsmouth Naval] shipyard will be affected, but it illustrates the danger of allowing unilateral action by the President that reverses what Congress and the President previously agreed to,” Collins said, according to WGME-TV.Her remarks, which came during a ribbon-cutting at a Coast Guard command center in Portland, make her the first prominent Republican to support a resolution that is expected to start in the House next week. Even if it passes both chambers, it is unlikely to do so by a veto-proof majority, making it more likely the issue will play out in the courts.Collins said she also supports a lawsuit that 16 states filed to stop the emergency order, according to the station.U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Zachary Hupp ADC AUTHORlast_img read more

Nipsey Hussles Victory Lap ReEnters Billboard 200 Chart

first_img Facebook Nipsey Hussle, Beloved L.A. Rapper And Activist, Lived As A Patron To His CommunityRead more Nipsey Hussle Re-Enters Billboard 200 nipsey-hussles-victory-lap-re-enters-billboard-200-chart News Twitter Nipsey Hussle’s ‘Victory Lap’ Re-Enters Billboard 200 Chart NETWORK ERRORCannot Contact ServerRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEO Apr 1, 2019 – 4:52 pm Remembering Nipsey Hussle As fans mourn the rapper’s untimely death, Nipsey’s GRAMMY-nominated debut album is now at No. 2 on the all-genre chart, along with several of his mixtapes making their debutAna YglesiasGRAMMYs Apr 8, 2019 – 11:51 am The past week was a difficult one for many, following the news of GRAMMY-nominated hip-hop artist and community activist Nipsey Hussle’s murder in his hometown of Los Angeles on March 31.Fans far and wide, and especially in his community of South L.A., have come together to remember his legacy and listen to his music. Now, according to Billboard’s latest numbers, Hussle’s GRAMMY-nominated debut studio album, Victory Lap, holds the No. 2 spot on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart. The LP originally debuted on the chart at No. 4 last year, following its Feb. 16 release.Prior to Victory Lap, Hussle had dropped quite a few mixtapes over the years, beginning with Slauson Boy Volume 1 in 2005. Now, four of the mixtapes have made their Billboard 200 debut; with 2013’s Crenshaw at No. 63, 2016’s Slauson Boy 2 at No. 109, and 2010’s The Marathon at No. 179 and 2014’s Mailbox Money at No. 192.Hussle is deeply missed, but will never be forgotten. Email last_img read more

PUBG Mobile 0115 update is here New rifle subscription plans and complete

first_img PUBG Mobile Season 4 release date confirmed: What’s new? Close After days of teasing and testing, PUBG Mobile has finally rolled out its latest update, which also celebrates the game’s first year anniversary on the mobile platform. There’s no surprise in PUBG Mobile’s success given its gripping gameplay that has managed to attract over 200 million downloads, 30 million daily active users and several awards in a short span of one year. As a way to thank the PUBG community, a new update has arrived with several surprises.In addition to the anniversary-related features, PUBG Mobile 0.11.0 update brings some noteworthy changes to the game that most players are going to enjoy. The latest update also marks the end of yet another Royale Pass season and soon players will be able to complete missions in the RP Season 6.”We’ve developed some fantastic partnerships with Resident Evil: 2 and Mission Impossible, which give our players even more ways to enjoy the game. This new version’s launch is just the latest example of our player-focused approach where we introduce amazing new features frequently. We continually innovate and improve to produce the world’s best mobile game experience and have more surprises in store in the coming weeks to commemorate this anniversary,” Vincent Wang, General Manager of Global Publishing Department at Tencent Games, said in a statement. PUBG Mobile 0.11.5 update releasedPUBGPUBG Mobile’s first year anniversary celebrations are as grand as the game’s success in the last year. To commemorate this occasion, PUBG Mobile has tweaked the Spawn Island to show festivities and celebrations everywhere. Players can celebrate PUBG Mobile’s birthday by holding parties with fireworks before taking off on the plane. But the anniversary celebrations are not limited to the Spawn Island as players will randomly find cakes in the match, which holds a special surprise.If you’re not all for birthday parties and celebrations, PUBG Mobile 0.11.5 update brings in-game features to help you up your game. As per the PUBG Mobile 0.11.5 patch notes, the biggest features in the game are: PUBG Mobile updatePUBGDynamic weather in Erangel and MiramarNew G36C rifle, which uses 5.56mm rounds and supports stocks. The new rifle replaces SCAR-L in VikendiTukshai, a three-wheeled bus otherwise called auto rickshaw is added in Sanhok. It replaces the Jeep, Dacia and Mini BusSubscription plans will be available from April. PUBG Mobile Prime and Prime Plus will offer free daily UC, RP points, daily 80 percent discount on Crates and purchasing items using BPTired of getting the same items in Crates? The new update fixes that by offering vouchers for those who get certain items multiple times in a rowZombies will enter a weakened state from time to timeFixed areas on the map where zombies could not enterDamage outside the safe zone at night is increasedSome zombie skills have been tunedVehicle fuel levels have been tunedThe popular “I got supplies” message is now back in Quick ChatsView RP rankings for the entire region and your friends from the RP pageElite Pass Plus offers more than just 25 ranksWeekly challenges come with more points and those rewards can be collected with one tapFinally, PUBG has released a throwback video, highlighting the biggest moments in the last year. Watch it below:last_img read more

20party leaders to meet Monday

first_img20-party leaders in a meeting. Prothom Alo File PhotoAmid strong resentment by some alliance partners over the swearing in by five Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) MPs, the top leaders of 20-party alliance are going to sit in a meeting on Monday.The meeting is scheduled to begin at the BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office around 4:00pm, BNP chairperson’s media wing member Sayrul Kabir Khan told news agency UNB on Saturday.A top leader of the alliance, wishing not to be named, said the alliance leaders will seek an explanation from the BNP over sending its MPs to parliament without consulting the alliance partners since they rejected the 30 December election earlier.He said they will also discuss on ways to revive the BNP-led 20-party alliance as a strong political platform alongside BNP’s another alliance Jatiya Oikya Front.Besides, the 20-party leader said they will discuss the country’s latest political situation and work out their next course of action.He also said they are trying to convince Andaleeve Rahman Partha, chairman of Bangladesh Jatiya Party (BJP), one of the key partners of the BNP-led 20-party alliance, to join the meeting revoking his decision to quit the alliance.Earlier on 6 May, Partha announced to quit the 20-party coalition for various reasons, including swearing in by seven MPs of Jatiya Oikya Front.The party also said they left the 20-party alliance as the BNP has become too much Oikya Front-oriented one, while the 20-party a name-only platform to express solidarity with the BNP’s decisions.A BNP senior leader said they will explain their position at the meeting and try to remove the grievances of the alliance partners to keep it intact.last_img read more

ZSI to prepare proposal for monitoring conservation of coral reefs

first_imgKolkata: The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) is preparing a proposal for an All India Coordinated Project for monitoring and conservation of coral reefs in the eco-system.The ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEF) will prepare an action plan on the basis of the proposal which will be adopted across six centres in the country for conservation of coral reefs that are currently facing severe threat of depletion. “We are already working toward preparing the proposal and hope to submit it to the MoEF ministry within this budget year so that work for monitoring and conservation of coral reefs can start from March-April,” said Dr Kailash Chandra, director of ZSI. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe six centres where the action plan will be taken up include Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Gulf of Kutch, Gulf of Mannar, Sindhudurg near Malvan, Maharashtra and Netrani Islands in Karnataka. There will be two separate proposal on the part of ZSI — one exclusively on coral and another on coral reefs and its allied creatures. Recently, a three-day International Conference on Status and Protection of Coral Reefs titled Stapcor 2018 was held at Lakshadweep organised by ZSI in co-ordination with the local administration. Noted scientists from member countries interacted and shared their scientific knowledge for the conservation of coral reefs. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed It may be mentioned that the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) has declared the year 2018 as the International Year of the Reef (IYOR 2018). IYOR 2018 is aimed at raising awareness about the threats to coral reefs and associated ecosystem. According to scientists at ZSI, coral reefs are treasure troves of the world seas. No other ecosystem on Earth is as valued for their aesthetics and biodiversity as coral reefs, which are currently facing severe threat of depletion of great consequences for their immensely rich biodiversity. The current status of coral reefs indicates that it has lost more than half of its cover over the last two decades due to direct or indirect anthropogenic pressures associated with the climate change — mediated bleaching that is reaching alarming dimensions to become “one of the great tragedies of the modern world.” “Protection of coral reefs in our marine environment is possible only through a “collective will” to curtailing the rate of progression of global warming. It also requires field-level implementations of science-based policies with a view to conserving the biodiversity and ecosystem benefits,” a senior ZSI scientist said.last_img read more