Peacocks need not sacrifice flying skills for sexiness

first_imgA male peacock’s tail may help him attract mates, but does it also make him an easy meal? Scientists have long believed that these birds had to sacrifice some mobility in order to sport such dramatic decorative plumage, which accounts for 60% of their length. Now, a team of researchers has finally put this idea to the test by measuring peacocks’ ability to make a quick escape—with and without their tails. Working with five Indian peacocks (pictured above), the scientists set up a flight arena where they could film the birds taking off with high-speed 3D video cameras. Rattling a stick to prompt the birds to fly to a higher perch, they measured the peacocks’ velocity at takeoff and at the end of their second wingstroke. Flight performance was assessed in terms of the amount of power used to accelerate and increase the body’s height off the ground—the things that matter most when a bird is trying evade a predator. Later, the researchers removed the birds’ tail feathers (simulating the natural molting that occurs after the breeding season) and filmed them again. After analyzing the video, they found that there was no statistically significant difference in flight performance of peacocks with intact tail feathers and those without, they report online today in The Journal of Experimental Biology. This research complicates the common assumption in evolutionary biology that elaborate sexual ornaments must come at a cost to the animal. But although peacocks’ elaborate feather trains don’t impede speedy takeoffs, the researchers note that they may pose other burdens to the birds, such as compromising their flight control, stability, and ground running performance.last_img read more

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Euro 2016: Turkey beat Czech Republic 2-0 to stay in last-16 contention

first_imgGoals by Burak Yilmaz and Ozan Tufan gave Turkey a 2-0 win over Czech Republic in Euro 2016 on Tuesday that secured third place in Group D and kept alive their hopes of reaching the tournament’s knockout stages.The result left Turkey on three points from as many games, behind Croatia and Spain. They must now wait for the group stage to finish and hope they go through as one of the best four third-placed teams. (Full Euro 2016 coverage )Yilmaz fired the Turks ahead in the 10th minute with a fine finish at the near post after Arda Turan and Emre Mor broke down the right, with the latter squaring the ball for the striker to beat goalkeeper Petr Cech.The Czechs missed several chances to equalise and were punished midway through the second half when Ozan Tufan drilled an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net after Selcuk Inan floated a free kick into the penalty area.last_img read more

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India vs England: ‘Virat Kohli will not look back after his first 20 runs’

first_imgVirat Kohli had a forgettable tour of England in 2014, when he was troubled by the seamers, especially James Anderson. He had scored 134 runs from five Tests as India went to lose the series 1-3 despite taking the lead at Lord’s.Since then, Kohli has scored 15 Test hundreds including six double hundreds, the only man to have scored double hundreds in four successive Test series. As a captain too, Kohli has had a sensational run, winning 21 out of 35 Test.Four years on, India captain Virat Kohli will be leading Team India out for the first Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham from August 1, and former India coach Lalchand Rajput believes he is “matured now”READ – Virat Kohli says he’s not in a frame of mind to prove himself in any country”Virat is a very aggressive player, he wants to be in the forefront and wants to lead from the front. Everyone’s eyes will be on Virat, how will he perform, because last one was a disastrous tour for him,” Rajput told PTI.The two Captains – Joe Root and Virat Kohli pose with the silverware ahead of the five-match Test series.#ENGvIND pic.twitter.com/kEWt4S3DneBCCI (@BCCI) July 31, 2018″He is four years matured now. He knows his game much better than earlier. I would go one step ahead — (James) Anderson and (Stuart) Broad are four-years older — what they were four years back, the same pace wouldn’t be there, but in England they will be handy too as they swing the ball well,” Rajput, who is now the interim head coach of Zimbabwe, said.advertisementREAD – Virat Kohli since England Tests of 2014: 15 hundreds, 3699 runs in 37 TestsRajput feels that Kohli will be itching to prove a point when he takes the field in white.”Virat has worked on his game a lot. He is in tremendous nick and I am sure he would like to start on a big one, first Test is very important, how he gets on. The first 20 runs will be very crucial for Virat, if he gets those 20 runs, then he will not look back.READ – Virat Kohli in with a chance to upstage Steve Smith as best Test batsman”Because he (Virat) wants to make a name for himself, because people are talking that he had a disastrous series, but that’s gone and dusted. This is a new series, he wants to prove himself. Last couple of years his conversion rate is terrific, he has got lot of 100s, he has won lot of matches and he would like to prove it in England,” said Rajput.Lalchand Rajput also had the answers to India’s selection dilemma, saying that India should go in with three medium pacers and two spinners.READ – Virat Kohli will show British public why he is the best: Ravi ShastriEngland won the one-day international series between the teams 2-1 and lost the Twenty20 competition by the same margin earlier this month.Earlier James Anderson conceded that it would be difficult for England to dominate a ‘much-improved’ Virat Kohli.READ – Virat Kohli has improved since 2014, says James AndersonAsked if Anderson could have a similar impact against Kohli when the two teams face off again, the pacer told Sky Sports: “Not really… it’s a long time ago, a lot of cricket has happened since then and he’s improved as a player in that time.”You can’t pay any attention to that at all… it’s not about what’s gone on in the past, that’s not going to help me get him out this week, it’s about what I do and what the team does in the next six weeks.”last_img read more

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Susan Sarandon And Michelle Yeoh Visit Earthquake Victims In Nepal

first_imgSusan Sarandon has arrived in Nepal to help victims of the devastating earthquakes that hit the country.Michelle Yeoh In NepalThe actress is visiting with Live To Love International, and is following a visit by Michelle Yeoh last week.Sarandon is encouraging tourists to keep visiting Nepal to ensure the country’s tourism industry survives.“It is important to emphasize that by the fall, when monsoon ends, people should make their reservations now if they want to help and they want to come and visit because it is very, very important to keep all these jobs alive,” said Sarandon. “I think that would be the next wave – to think of Nepal not as an ongoing disaster, but as a country that has found its way back and has many monuments that haven’t fallen and many beautiful areas that can be still safe to trek.”Last week, Michelle Yeoh – a Live To Love ambassador – announced the construction of community halls, in a collaboration with on-ground partners like the Panchakanya group and the Drukpa Kung Fu Nuns, to house victims of the Nepal earthquakes, a crucial need as monsoon season nears and dry shelter becomes scarce.last_img read more

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Afghans arrested at BIA

A group of Afghan nationals were arrested at the Banadaranaike International Airport (BIA) this morning, Airport officials said.The Afghans included six children and their parents and they had attempted to travel to Germany using fake documents. Further investigations are underway.

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Former TID DIG Nalaka de Silva further remanded

Former Terrorist Investigations Division (TID) DIG Nalaka de Silva was today ordered to be further remanded till January 21.Nalaka de Silva had earlier been remanded till today by court. He was arrested over an alleged plot to kill President Maithripala Sirisena and former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. (Colombo Gazette)

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Qatar Holding has no decision yet on Glencores latest bid for Xstrata

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Qatar Holding, a major shareholder of mining group Xstrata, says it has made no decision yet on whether to accept Glencore International’s latest offer to salvage a multibillion-dollar merger bid for the Anglo-Swiss company.Glencore said Friday it would pay 3.05 shares for each Xstrata share, up from its original 2.8 shares offer.It sweetened the offer further Monday by announcing that Xstrata CEO Mick Davis would be the CEO of the new company, but for no more than six months.Qatar Holding is Xstrata’s second-largest shareholder.It had strongly resisted the lower bid, and its opposition threatened to scuttle the deal. Tuesday’s statement was its first on Glencore’s revised terms.Qatar Holding says it will decide on the new terms “in due course” after considering the revised offer. Qatar Holding has no decision yet on Glencore’s latest bid for Xstrata AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by News Staff Posted Sep 11, 2012 3:27 am MDT read more

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Merck spends 84 billion on Cubist to intensify defence against for superbug

Merck spends $8.4 billion on Cubist to intensify defence against for “superbug” threat FILE – In this Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, file photo, Merck scientist Meizhen Feng conducts research to discover new HIV drugs in West Point, Pa. According to reports, Monday, Dec. 8, 2014, Merck will buy fellow drugmaker Cubist Pharmaceuticals for $8.4 billion, illustrating a new emphasis on combating so-called “superbugs” that have drawn dire warnings from global health organizations. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File) AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Tom Murphy, The Associated Press Posted Dec 8, 2014 5:26 am MDT Merck will spend $8.4 billion to buy Cubist Pharmaceuticals and push deeper into treating so-called “superbugs” that have drawn dire warnings from global health organizations.The company said Monday that the deal will give it stronger footing in hospital acute care and help it address antibiotic resistance, which the Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, drugmaker called a critical area of unmet medical need.Antibiotic-resistant infections are linked to 23,000 deaths and 2 million illnesses in the United States annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The CDC has called the problem a threat to both health and economic stability, and President Obama in September ordered the government to create a national plan to fight them by early 2015.In April, the World Health Organization warned that without a co-ordinated effort, “the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill.”Antibiotics are used to kill or suppress the bacteria behind illnesses ranging from strep throat to urinary-tract infections. The drugs are considered one of the greatest advances in the history of medicine and have saved countless lives.But in recent decades some common bacteria have grown resistant to antibiotics that were once highly effective. Experts say overuse and misuse of the drugs by physicians has contributed to the rise of these so-called superbugs.Cubist draws most of its revenue from the antibiotic Cubicin, and it also has developed another treatment, Zerbaxa, that Merck said will help fight multi-drug resistant infections. The Food and Drug Administration is expected to make a decision on that drug later this month.Cubist paid more than $1 billion last year to buy two rival antibiotic developers: Trius Therapeutics and Optimer Pharmaceuticals Inc.Merck expects the acquisition to add more than $1 billion of revenue to its 2015 base and contribute significantly to its profit in 2016 and beyond.Merck will pay $102 per share of Cubist, a 37 per cent premium to its closing price on Friday.Shares of Cubist, based in Lexington, Massachusetts, soared nearly 36 per cent, or $26.52, to $100.88 Monday after markets opened, while Merck climbed slightly and broader trading indexes slipped.___AP Business Writer Michelle Chapman in New York contributed to this report. Murphy is based in Indianapolis. read more

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Border Controversy CARICOM Heads reiterate unswerving support for Guyanas sovereignty territorial

The Thirty-Ninth Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) was held at Montego Bay, Jamaica, 4-6 July, 2018. The Prime Minister of Jamaica,  Andrew Holness, chaired the proceedings.In the 15-page communique issued at the conclusion of the 39th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government (HOG) of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) that was held at Montego Bay, Jamaica, 4-6 July, 2018, the Guyana and Venezuela border controversy was addressed, among many other things.According to the document, the CARICOM Heads of Government “reiterated their firm and unswerving support for the maintenance and preservation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Guyana.”This was after the Heads received an update on the most recent developments between the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.They noted that Guyana had filed its Application with the International Court of Justice on March 29, 2018, in accordance with the decision of the United Nations Secretary General, which was issued on January 30, 2018 to choose the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as the means that is now to be used for the settlement of the controversy between Guyana and Venezuela.The Heads of Government further noted that Venezuela had indicated its decision not to participate in the case and that in such a case, “the rules of the Court provide for a full hearing of the case and a final judgement that is legally binding on both the participating and nonparticipating countries.”The CARICOM Heads also expressed support for the judicial process underway which was intended to bring a peaceful and definitive end to the long standing controversy and which was in accordance with the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter.File photo: Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge gesturing to Guyana’s mapThe ICJ in 2019 is expected to make a determination on whether or not it has jurisdiction to hear the matter relating to the Guyana-Venezuela border controversy.The delay was based by an objection by Venezuela which said it “does not recognise” the ICJ’s jurisdiction and will not participate in the arbitration.“It will be sometime after February next year that the court will decide on jurisdiction,” Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge had posited.Greenidge said that after such time, the court will proceed with the substantive case which could be heard in two years’ time.Following the decision made by the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, in choosing the ICJ as the next means of resolving the controversy that arose as a result of the Venezuelan contention that the Arbitral Award of 1899 about the frontier between British Guiana and Venezuela was null and void, Greenidge, on March 29, submitted, on behalf of the Government, an application to the ICJ, requesting the Court to confirm the legal validity and binding effect of the 1899 Arbitral Award regarding the boundary between Guyana and Venezuela.In its Application to the Court, “Guyana highlighted that Venezuela had, for more than 60 years, consistently recognized and respected the validity and binding force of the 1899 Award and the 1905 Map agreed by both sides in furtherance of the Award.”Moreover, it was outlined that Venezuela had only changed its position formally in 1962 as the United Kingdom was making final preparations for the independence of British Guiana and had threatened not to recognize the new State, or its boundaries, unless the United Kingdom agreed to set aside the 1899 Award and cede to Venezuela all of the territory west of the Essequibo River, amounting to some two-thirds of Guyana’s territory.Guyana’s Application, notes that while Venezuela has never produced any evidence to justify “its belated repudiation of the 1899 Award, it has used it as an excuse to occupy territory awarded to Guyana in 1899, to inhibit Guyana’s economic development and to violate Guyana’s sovereignty and sovereign rights.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedCaricom Heads support UN’s referral of Guyana/Venezuela border controversy to ICJMarch 4, 2018In “latest news”CARICOM declares Guyana’s borders cannot be compromisedJuly 5, 2015In “Business”President Granger calls on CARICOM to reject oppressive, obnoxious Venezuela decreeJuly 3, 2015In “Politics” read more

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Four Mile project wins prestigious AMEC award

first_imgAustralia’s mining and exploration industry gathered to celebrate the end of a tumultuous year and recognise the work of their peers at The Association of Mining & Exploration Companies’ (AMEC) End of Year Gala Dinner. Among the 190 guests were dignitaries including the Japanese Consul-General Mr Torao Sato, WA Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore, Tom Kenyon MP representing the SA Minister for Mineral Resources Development Paul Holloway and Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson, who delivered a frank key-note speech on Australia’s resources sector.In his address Minister Ferguson acknowledged the challenges facing the sector, re-asserted his Government’s election promise to implement a Flow-Through-Shares scheme and congratulated the WA Government for overturning the previous administration’s ban on uranium mining.The Minister also presented the prestigious AMEC 2008 Teck Prospector of the Year Award to David Brunt, Geoffrey McConachy and Andrea Marsland Smith for their work in discovering the Four Mile uranium deposit located 550 km north of Adelaide, South Australia. AMEC Chief Executive Officer Simon Bennison said the award recognised a special mix of technical and scientific excellence, innovation, persistence and outstanding leadership.“The combination of personal and technical qualities recognised by the Prospector of the Year Award is indicative of the very essence of a successful exploration team,” Bennison said. “Exploring Australia for mineral deposits requires solid science, gut instinct and no end of personal determination. It is not well understood by the general public that explorers make many personal sacrifices and expose themselves to significant risk in order to uncover a viable find.“As well as rewarding individual excellence, the AMEC Teck Prospector of the Year Award highlights the critical importance exploration plays in Australia’s long term social and economic well-being. Exploration is the first step in a long process that eventually delivers thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of royalties to the whole Australian community. Without exploration today, the tax burden for future generations will most certainly increase.“AMEC congratulates the winners of the AMEC 2008 TECK Prospector of the Year Award and all those involved in exploring for a better future,” Bennison said.last_img read more

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