RSF concerned by proposed reforms to Canada’s National Security legislation

first_img News February 22, 2018 RSF concerned by proposed reforms to Canada’s National Security legislation News Organisation On eve of the G20 Riyadh summit, RSF calls for public support to secure the release of jailed journalists in Saudi Arabia RSF_en Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and local partner Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) have today sent the following letter to Canada’s Minister for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Ralph Goodale, detailing both organizations’ numerous concerns with Bill C-59, the proposed overhaul of Canada’s National Security framework. CJFE and RSF filed a joint submission to the Standing Committee reviewing the draft legislation earlier this month, highlighting how the legislation could seriously impact press freedom and the free flow of information. Follow the news on Canada CanadaAmericas Online freedomsProtecting sources WhistleblowersFreedom of expressionInternet to go further News CanadaAmericas Online freedomsProtecting sources WhistleblowersFreedom of expressionInternet Forum on Information and Democracy 250 recommendations on how to stop “infodemics” Help by sharing this information January 15, 2021 Find out more “We must impose democratic obligations on the leading digital players” Receive email alerts November 19, 2020 Find out more Minister for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph GoodaleFebruary 20, 2018We are writing on behalf of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), a non-profit, non-governmental organization that works to promote and protect press freedom and freedom of expression around the world, and Reporters Without Borders/Reporters sans frontières (RSF) an international non-profit organization that defends freedom of information in all five continents.We are deeply concerned by measures in Bill C-59, the federal government’s overhaul of Canada’s National Security framework, that threaten the integrity of journalism and the free expression rights of Canadians. CJFE filed a joint submission with Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Part 3 of Bill C-59, entitled the “Communication Security Establishment Act,” to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, detailing our specific legal concerns with the legislation.Chief among these concerns is the establishment of an offensive cyberwarfare mandate for the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), which would allow the CSE to “degrade, disrupt, influence, respond to or interfere with the capabilities” of non-Canadian entities. An aggressive reading of this statute could permit the CSE to, for example, “disrupt” access to the website of a foreign news organization, “influence” a foreign news organization by forging or altering documents relied upon by its journalists, or “interfere with” key technologies such as encryption tools and anonymity software that journalists and others routinely use in their work. All of these scenarios pose unacceptable risks to journalists and the free press.We are also concerned that foreign communications monitoring activities of the CSE could incidentally or intentionally result in the collection, use, and analysis of the communications of Canadian journalists with overseas sources. Permitting a surveillance program which allows for the interception of communications between journalists and their sources could deter whistleblowers and people in sensitive sectors, repressive regimes or warzones from communicating with Canadian journalists, interfering with their work and impoverishing the news on which Canadians rely.The CSE Act also allows the organization to collect “publicly available information” on Canadians. This includes anything anyone posts on the open web or on social media. It may even include data collected by third-party data aggregators, such as Equifax Canada, or even information that has been hacked and made available for sale on the ‘dark web.’ Considering the breadth of information available online, in combination with the CSE’s powers to collect information from foreign allies by entering into Arrangements, and from other branches of government, the CSE could potentially build comprehensive digital dossiers on Canadians without ever running afoul of Bill C-59’s prohibition on directly targeting Canadians. This form of mass surveillance has a demonstrable chilling effect on the free expression rights of Canadians.Bill C-59 outlines an approval process for the use of these powers that vests too much authority in the hands of a few decision-makers without providing concrete substantive standards to guide them. This structure merely serves to reinforce the CSE’s power to collect vast amounts of information in secret. This level of oversight is not sufficiently meaningful or independent given the extent and scope of the proposed powers for CSE. We join our friends in civil society in calling for substantially strengthened oversight and review mechanisms. We are also concerned that Part 4 of Bill C-59 authorizes Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) to engage in ‘threat disruption activities’. These activities include the ability to create and disseminate false documents, as well as the ability to falsify identities for investigative purposes. This raises the spectre of government-backed disruption activities such as CSIS employees posing as members of the press or disseminating ‘fake news’ in Canada or abroad. Permitting such activities could substantially undermine public trust in reporting and the professional relationship reporters have with their subjects.The government of Canada must create a National Security framework free from the potential for abuse, and consistent with the International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance (also called the “Necessary and Proportionate Principles”). This can be facilitated by separating the CSE Act from Bill C-59 and reintroducing it as new legislation to be debated and challenged on its own merits. It is important to note that the 2016 public consultation on Bill C-51 and national security reform did not include the CSE Act. We believe that if the proposal to expand the powers of the CSE is truly in the best interests of Canadians it ought first to be subject to the fullest extent of democratic scrutiny available.We thank you for your attention and look forward to your reply.Yours sincerely,Alice Klein, CJFE PresidentMargaux Ewen, RSF North America DirectorCanada ranks 22nd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index, after falling 14 places in the past two years. News November 11, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more


first_imgTo recall, Treñas ended the restriction on alcoholic beverages on June 15, saying the move would gradually ease the city to the “new normal” and slowly revive the local economy./PN ILOILO City – Starting today, the sale and consumption of liquor in this southern city will be prohibited once again.  “Let us not make it hard for our medical frontliners to manage the cases because if they all get tired there will be no one left to save us from this adversity,” said Treñas.   In Executive Order (EO) No. 113 issued yesterday morning, Treñas cited recommendations from different sectors he consulted.  Establishments providing for essential goods shall be allowed to accept persons above 70 years of age during the first hour of operations. Succeeding operating hours shall be dedicated for all other patrons. “This [liquor ban] lessens unnecessary social gatherings which will be of great help for us to contain the virus,” said Treñas. “In Manila, hospitals are getting full and medical frontliners are getting tired,” the mayor pointed out during Monday’s flag-raising ceremony. As of Aug. 3, Iloilo City has a total of 104 confirmed cases. Of the 104, 57 were active while 42 already recovered and five died. Thus, he reinstated the prohibition for two weeks. RESTRICTION TO MOVEMENT Mayor Jerry Treñas does not want the city to be falling into a “dire” situation similar to Metro Manila – the country’s original epicenter of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. Under the EO entitled “Safety Guidelines for Iloilo City,” the city mayor also ordered all persons and establishments, whether public or private, to observe the 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew from Aug. 4 to 18.  He urged Ilonggos: “Cooperate with us by following all our health protocols.” Meanwhile, those 70 years old and older and those aged below 21 years are not allowed to leave their houses except to buy or secure essential goods such as food, and medicine, or to seek medical attention at hospitals or clinics. The EO likewise reiterated the implementation of health standards like strict physical distancing and provision of hand sanitizers or alcohol and among others in all establishments here. Under the EO, all employees aged 55 years old and above are allowed to avail themselves of work from home arrangement. BUYING FRENZYA store personnel loads boxes of alcoholic beverages into this man’s pedicab on Ortiz Street, Iloilo City on Monday, a day before the city government reinstated a two-week prohibition on the sale and consumption of liquor. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PNlast_img read more

Jaguars crowned PCL four-day champions despite losing final match

first_imgTHE Guyana Jaguars plummeted in dramatic fashion to a humiliating 10-wicket defeat against the Leeward Islands Hurricanes inside three days in the final match of the West Indies Cricket Board’s Professional Cricket League (PCL) four-day game at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence yesterday.However, Sunday’s defeat did not stop the Jaguars from being crowned Regional four-day champions for a third straight year.A complete bowling effort from the Hurricanes led to the demolition as the Jaguars were all out for 143 in their second innings.Faced with a first innings deficit of 119, only a handful of the Jaguars batsmen got starts, but no one carried on – Chanderpaul Hemraj’s 29 was the top score, while Keemo Paul (26), Anthony Bramble (23) and Veerasammy Permaul (20), were the other batsmen with any meaningful contributions.Pacer Gavin Tonge bagged 3-33, while off-spinner Rakheem Cornwall (3-68), Jeremiah Louis (2-16) and debutant left-arm spinner Elvin Berridge (1-12), completed the destruction mid-way through the final session. Cornwall was adjudged man-of-the-match after ending with match figures of 9-136.Set 25 runs to win, the visitors’ openers Montcin Hodge and Chesney Hughes overhauled the winning target without much trouble.Guyana Jaguars captain Leon Johnson collects the WICB Professional Cricket League winning trophy from a Digicel representative.Resuming at 255-7, Louis began the day with attacking intent, dispatching pace bowler Raymond Reifer to the square-leg fence before cutting him for a square boundary.However,he was soon after trapped leg before wicket from a lovely trademark inswinger from the pacer, which brought an end to his attractive innings.That dismissal did not only brought about the end of the brisk 68-run eight-wicket stand, which began late on day two but also completed Reifer’s third five-wicket haul.Jacques Taylor added 12 runs to his overnight 60 before Reifer completed an excellent innings figures of 6-75 when he had the right-hander caught behind. Taylor struck ten fours and a six off 160 balls and batted for 217 minutes.Tonge struck three fours in his unbeaten 17 before Permaul took the final wicket.The start to the third innings was superb for the tourists as Tonge got a wicket in the third over when Assad Fudadin edged a nearly unplayable delivery to wicketkeeper Jahmar Hamilton.Hemraj joined Bhaskar Yadram and the duo survived a tricky period until the last over before lunch when Yadram fell into a trap, edging a sharp turning delivery from Berridge straight into the hands of Cornwall at first slip.After the interval Hemraj and skipper Leon Johnson came together to prop up the innings in a 34-run, third-wicket partnership but things fell apart afterward.Johnson was taken at extra-cover off Tonge, while Hemraj misjudged the line, shouldered arms and had his off stump rattled off the bowling of Louis.At that stage the hosts’ were a fair distance from the deficit and were heavily dependent on Reifer and Bramble, but to compound the hosts’ woes,Reifer was run out in a dreadful mid-pitch mix-up after the pair was undecided about a second run.Paul and Bramble batted safely to tea, at 93-5. However, the hosts lost Bramble in the session’s third over when he offered a simple return catch to Tonge, while Steven Jacobs made little impression before he was removed by Cornwall.The eight-wicket stand between Paul and Permaul then cancelled out the tourist’s lead before Cornwall and Louis claimed the final three wickets in quick succession.Despite the defeat, the hosts claimed their third straight Regional four-day title. LEEWARD ISLANDS Hurricanes 1st innings (o/n 255-7)M Hodge c Johnson b Reifer 70C Hughes c wk Bramble b Pestano 40K Carty c wk Bramble b Reifer 10A Saunders c Paul b Reifer 4J Hamilton c wk Bramble b Reifer 37R Cornwall b Jacobs 0S Peters c Sub (Motie) b Jacobs 5J Taylor c wk Bramble b Reifer 72J Louis lbw b Refier 32G Tonge not out 17E Berridge lbw b Permaul 0Extras: (w-6, nb-5, lb-8) 19Total: (all out; 127.2 overs) 306Fall of wickets: 1-79, 2-115, 3-125, 4-126, 5-129, 6-140, 7-211, 8-279, 9-305, 10-306Bowling: Refier 30-8-75-6, Pestano 24-6-70-1, Jacobs 18-2-52-2, Paul 15-3-53-0, Adams 12-6-13-0, Permaul 28.2-15-36-1GUYANA JAGUARS 2nd inningsA Fudadin c wk Hamilton b Tonge 1B Yadram c Cornwall b Berridge 13C Hemraj b Louis 29L Johnson c Saunders b Tonge 9R Reifer run out (Taylor) 2A Bramble c&b Tonge 23K Paul c Berridge b Cornwall 26S Jacobs c Hodge b Cornwall 0V Permaul lbw b Cornwall 20C Pestano c wk Hamilton b Louis 5A Adams not out 0Extras: (nb-1, b-5, lb-9) 15Total: (all out; 53.3 overs) 143Fall of wickets: 1-5, 2-30, 3-53, 4-64, 5-76, 6-96, 7-103, 8-138, 9-143, 10-143Bowling: Tonge 16-6-33-3, Louis 11.3-3-16-2, Cornwall 23-4-68-3, 3-0-12-1LEEWARD ISLANDS Hurricanes 2nd inningsM Hodge not out 6C Hughes not out 13Extras: (lb-1, b-4) 5Total: (no wickets; 9.1 overs) 25Bowling: Reifer 3-0-9-0, Adams 3-1-3-0, Johnson 2-0-5-0, Yadram 1.1-0-3-0last_img read more

There’s one city Alex Bregman wants to beat in 2019

first_imgThe Red Sox and Astros will face off first in a three-game series starting May 17 in Boston, and, if Las Vegas is to be believed, they have a good chance to face off in the postseason, as well.The Astros and Red Sox both have 7/1 odds to win the American League pennant, according to The Astros fell to the Red Sox in five games in the ALCS, but were only outscored by seven runs in the series. Houston came within an impossible Game 4 catch by Andrew Benintendi of a win and had a warning-track fly ball gone a few feet farther, the Astros would have taken a lead in the ninth inning of Game 2.Houston, however, beat Boston in the ALDS in 2017 on its way to the World Series. A rivalry is brewing and Bregman is here to stoke the fire. Related News Doug Fister set to retire, agent announces Phillies pitcher Pat Neshek thinks MLB’s labor peace is going to come to an endcenter_img New England’s win in the Super Bowl only made him want to beat Boston more.”After watching the Patriots win and with the Red Sox beating us last year, there’s no other city that I would like to beat more this year than Boston,” he said.This isn’t the first time Bregman has stirred things up with the Red Sox. Before Game 3 of the ALCS, he posted a video on Instagram showing back-to-back-to-back homers the Astros hit off of the game’s starter, Nathan Eovaldi, when he was still with the Rays.​ Eovaldi answered by throwing six innings of two-run ball in an 8-2 win. Alex Bregman hasn’t forgotten the Astros’ loss to the Red Sox in the American League Championship Series last season.“We battled. They got the better of us. A few of the guys on our team were banged up,” Bregman said on the “Going Deep with Chad and JT” podcast this week, via “That’s not an excuse at all. They played really well and played really good baseball. They’re well-coached and have a ton of good players.”last_img read more

Home Run Derby 2019: Three takeaways from Pete Alonso’s win over Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

first_img MLB All-Star 2019: CC Sabathia receives invite, will be honored before game Bell and Alonso entered the day as favorites, but Bell had a first-round exit after hitting 18 compared to Acuña’s 25. Alonso survived by knocking out the hometown-favorite Santana in the first round and made it to the finals with a walk off to knock out Acuña.Alonso ended up winning the contest, beating out Guerrero in the finals for $1 million and the derby championship. Related News Santana spent the first seven years of his career in Cleveland and was traded back to the Indians after spending a year with the Phillies.He is batting .297. MLB All-Star Game 2019: Yankees’ Gleyber Torres added to AL team as injury replacement Justin Verlander ‘100%’ believes MLB is juicing balls for more home runs Everybody loves the long ball and there was plenty of that Monday in this year’s Home Run Derby.Matt Chapman, Pete Alonso, Josh Bell, Alex Bregman, Joc Pederson, Ronald Acuña Jr., Carlos Santana and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. all showed their stuff at Progressive Field, but it was the young stars who stole the show. Let loose. ❄️🐻— New York Mets (@Mets) July 9, 2019Chapman, the top seed who had the unfortunate luck of being pitted against Guerrero, was eliminated in the first round.Here are three takeaways from the 2019 Home Run Derby:Vladimir Guerrero Jr. proves he belongs, and then someGuerrero wanted 30 in the first round. He didn’t get it, but he was certainly close.Guerrero ended regulation with 24 home runs — the most of anyone in the first round — but then had a 30 second bonus. It was in that time the 20-year-old third baseman fired off five more homers to set a derby record. He beat Josh Hamilton’s previous mark of 28 in a round.MADE FOR THE MOMENT! #PLAKATA 💥 | #LetsGoBlueJays— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 9, 2019As the youngest player in the derby, many wondered how Guerrero would handle the pressure after he had just eight home runs before the All-Star break.He proved his first-round feat wasn’t just a one time thing. He hit 29 again in regulation during the semifinals against Pederson. When that round finally ended, he had the most home runs (69) in a single derby ever and still had a round to go.Guerrero finished with 91 total homers.The derby had its first ever swing offPederson and Guerrero were in the playoffs. Yes, the playoffs. While they both hope to be competing in the postseason after the second half of the season, they were in another high-pressure scenario Monday.Pederson and Guerrero were tied throughout the second round and extra time, which forced a swing off for the first-time ever. Each batter got three swings, Guerrero picked his cautiously but only had one home run. Pederson also had just one homer in the first swing off.The two went toe-to-toe again but it was Guerrero who had the edge, beating Pederson 40 to 39.We’re watching HISTORY! #PLAKATA 💥| #LetsGoBlueJays— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 9, 2019Carlos Santana couldn’t get it done in front of a home crowd.Santana received by far the biggest cheer during the player introductions to start the night. If anyone is used to hitting in the park, it’s the Indians infielder.But, he was eliminated from the derby in the first round after Alonso beat his mark of 13. Santana, who entered with 19 homers so far this season, struggled Monday. It took him about a minute to get going and he was able to gain momentum with 90 seconds left. Despite the early elimination, Santana, who is a first time All-Star, still enjoyed his day“I’m excited, especially here in Cleveland. I’m going to enjoy it,” Santana said.last_img read more

40th Annual Harbor Days Coming To Olympia Waterfront

first_imgSubmitted by The Port Of OlympiaTugboats return to the southern tip of Puget Sound for three days of entertainment, food, art, history, and a last farewell to summer during Harbor Days, Aug. 30-Sept. 1, on the Olympia waterfront.See more than 30 working, vintage and retired tugs along with the historic Lotus and the Virginia V Steamship at Percival Landing. Experience rowing a Dragon Boat. And cheer on your favorite vessel during the annual tugboat races at noon on Sunday!Port Plaza will be a gathering spot for musical entertainment, more than 150 arts and crafts and commercial booths, Port of Olympia’s giant Lego building blocks, model tugboat demonstrations, maritime history, plenty of food and other activities for children.Port of Olympia is proud to be a sponsor of the 40th Annual Harbor Days Maritime Festival and Tugboat Races which is brought to you by the Kiwanis Club of Olympia. Facebook60Tweet0Pin0last_img read more


first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 14, 2016)–Superstar California Chrome, who at age five is North America’s all-time leading money earner, is scheduled to run in the Grade I, $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes on Saturday, Oct. 1 at Santa Anita, according to his trainer, Art Sherman. Fresh off victory in the Grade I Pacific Classic Aug. 20, the California-bred son of Lucky Pulpit has record earnings of $13,252,650 and is line for a $1 million bonus if he wins both the mile and one eighth Awesome Again and the mile and a quarter $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 5.“He’s come out of the Pacific Classic in great shape,” said Sherman from his Los Alamitos base. “We’ll bring him up to Santa Anita about a week before the race and let him get re-acclimated there. We did that earlier this year and it worked out real well. The million dollar bonus is very nice, but if he wasn’t ready, we wouldn’t be running. The Breeders’ Cup Classic is our major objective, no question, but he’s doing great and we expect him to run big in the Awesome Again.”Ridden in his last 17 starts by Victor Espinoza, California Chrome has won four out of seven starts at The Great Race Place–all of them stakes.“We are elated at the prospect of California Chrome running on our Breeders’ Cup Preview Day here at Santa Anita on Oct. 1,” said Joe Morris, Senior Vice President, West Coast Operations for The Stronach Group. “At this point, he has truly become a superstar in our game and we want to thank his owners, Perry Martin and Taylor Made Farm, as well as Art Sherman, for making the commitment to run here on Oct 1. This is going to be huge for our fans and for our sport.”A winner of the 2014 Santa Anita Derby, Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, “Chrome” is now riding a five-game winning streak, which began with victory in Santa Anita’s Grade II San Pasqual Stakes on Jan. 9. A subsequent winner of two stakes in Dubai, including the Dubai World Cup on March 26, California Chrome was then freshened at Taylor Made Farm in Kentucky prior to winning the Grade II San Diego Handicap on July 23.The Awesome Again is one of five Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” qualifying prep stakes on Oct. 1. Santa Anita will be hosting the two-day Breeders’ Cup for a record ninth time on Nov. 4 & 5. For more information on Santa Anita’s upcoming Autumn Meet, which opens on Sept. 30, please visit Reserved seating for the Breeders’ Cup can be purchased by calling the Breeders’ Cup Ticket Office at (877) 849-4287 or online at [email protected]last_img read more

‘You put THAT no.1?!’ All 20 new Premier League home kits ranked worst to first

first_img 20 16. Southampton’s official home kit 2016/17 20 12. Leicester City’s official home kit 2016/17 5. Tottenham Hotspur’s official home kit 2016/17 15. West Ham’s official home kit 2016/17 20 20 1. West Bromwich Albion’s official home kit 2016/17 20 13. Stoke City’s official home kit 2016/17 20 20 20 20 20 19. Hull City’s official home kit 2016/17 20 Check out talkSPORT’s ranking of every Premier League home kit for the 2016/17 season by viewing the slideshow above.Every Premier League club has released their home kit, but which set of fans will be wearing a superb shirt and which supporters will be clad in something tragic?It’s all a matter of opinion, and we want to know what you think of ours.Agree with our ranking? Let us know by leaving a comment! 20 20 14. Bournemouth’s official home kit 2016/17 18. Watford’s official home kit 2016/17 10. Everton’s official home kit 2016/17 20 20 9. Crystal Palace’s official home kit 2016/17 7. Liverpool’s official home kit 2016/17 8. Sunderland’s official home kit 2016/17 20 6. Arsenal’s official home kit 2016/17 20 20 20 4. Manchester City’s official home kit 2016/17 17. Swansea City’s official home kit 2016/17 20. Middlesbrough’s official home kit 2016/17 – find out where your club’s home kit ranks… just click the arrow above to see which one is number one! 11. Burnley’s official home kit 2016/17 2. Chelsea’s official home kit 2016/17 20 3. Manchester United’s official home kit 2016/17 last_img read more

Rosetta Mission Crashes Into Comet Theories

first_imgThe historic Rosetta mission has ended with a crash landing. How has it changed ideas about comets?We’ve followed the Rosetta mission with great interest since we announced in January 2003 that it would carry the story of Genesis to a comet. It seemed too ambitious to actually land a craft on a comet, but mission engineers succeeded in building, launching and flying the craft and its Philae lander all the way to a landing on the surface of a comet for the first time (compare the 2001 landing of Eros on an asteroid, 2/13/01). Only a few mishaps, like a launch delay that required a target change to Comet 67P (1/13/03) and then Philae’s premature silence after it landed (11/12/14, 11/13/14), marred an otherwise magnificent achievement. Rosetta passes into the history books now that engineers sent it to the surface last Friday (Sept 30), but its data will be analyzed for years to come. Here are reports with video clips about the end of mission:Rosetta’s descent towards region of active pits (PhysOrg, Sept 9 preview of the descent plan)Rosetta mission ends in comet collision (BBC News)Mission accomplished: Rosetta crashes into comet (Nature)NASA posted a sharp image of the surface of the comet from 10 miles up, and then a close-up just before it crash landed (NASA-JPL participated in some instruments, but the mission was designed and operated by the European Space Agency, ESA).As the back-slaps and nostalgia begin to fade, what will the legacy of Rosetta be? We reported on 1/26/15 that the first results were surprising: the dumbbell shape, the surprising diversity of surfaces, and the meringue-like low density. A year later (1/26/16), scientists who had been surprised not to find water were surprised to find water. This past June, astronomers were proposing the strange idea that bi-lobed comets bust up and reform continuously (6/17/16).Now, reporters are beginning to sum up the major findings of the mission. Nature says that mission scientists have only analyzed about 5% of the data so far after its two years in orbit.Rosetta has already made striking findings, including the discovery of water from comet 67P with a different isotopic composition to that on Earth, as well as molecular oxygen and nitrogen, which points to the comet being as old as the Solar System itself. Scientists also determined how 67P got its strange rubber-duck shape, deducing that the head and body were formed separately.But many questions remain. A big challenge will be to figure out how the pebbles visible in Rosetta’s final shots were created, says Lowry.Rebecca Boyle at New Scientist summarized “Rosetta’s Biggest Hits,” the top seven findings to date:Comets are more than meets the eye: This one had a curious duck-like shape, two lobes with a narrow neck. Scientists had expected a potato-shaped body. “At first, no one was sure how this was possible,” Boyle says. Later, scientists concluded it was a binary body that became joined at the neck.Comets have complex topography: so much for boring, homogeneous dirty snowballs. “Comet 67P has cliffs and canyons, boulders and weird bumps, inky pits and fine fractures – and regions as hard as asphalt, with others soft as sand.“Comets contain the building blocks of life (if you can call miscellaneous organic compounds “building blocks of life”). Scientists detected phosphorus, and glycine, the simplest amino acid among ethanol and other compounds.Comets can be bone dry: scientists expected lots of water ice on the surface, but they found Comet 67P to be parched at first. Water-ice jets started forming when it got closer to the sun. “Comet 67P has water, but its chemical signature is nothing like that on Earth,” Boyle says. “This may go against the theory that comets supplied Earth with its water in the solar system’s youth.”Comets sing: a low-frequency hum was detected, apparently from charged particles in the jets.Comets stink: if Philae had carried an astronaut, he would have to hold his nose. Philae found smelly stuff down on the surface: “These included hydrogen sulphide, ammonia and hydrogen cyanide – compounds that respectively call to mind rotten eggs, cat urine and bitter almonds.” Hydrogen cyanide is also extremely toxic to life.Landing on a comet is hard, but we did it: Philae unexpectedly bounced a couple of times, ending up miles away from its target point. Too bad the harpoons didn’t fire to grip the surface. It did land, though, sending some data and photos before its shadowed location made it lose power.On July 28, PhysOrg posted an article about the birth of comets based on Rosetta’s findings. Are they primordial, as has long been thought, or do they show processing from collisions with other bodies? For decades, planetary scientists thought comets formed from pristine material in the outer solar system, combining ices with various molecules to form “dirty snowballs.”The unusually high porosity of the interior of the nucleus provides the first indication that this growth cannot have been via violent collisions, as these would have compacted the fragile material….Earlier work showed that the head and body were originally separate objects, but the collision that merged them must have been at low speed in order not to destroy both of them….The article favors the pristine accretion model, but one must keep in mind that only 5% of Rosetta’s data has been analyzed. And Comet 67P might not be representative of all comets. Other comet missions, especially Stardust and Deep Impact, startled astronomers by revealing evidence of compounds that required high temperatures for their formation.One thing is certain: we don’t see comets accreting today. We see them disintegrating. The Hubble Space Telescope just found another one, named Comet 332P, disrupting into fragments. Science Daily says:“In the past, astronomers thought that comets die when they are warmed by sunlight, causing their ices to simply vaporize away,” Jewitt said. “But it’s starting to look like fragmentation may be more important. In comet 332P we may be seeing a comet fragmenting itself into oblivion.”The researchers estimate that comet 332P contains enough mass for 25 more outbursts. “If the comet has an episode every six years, the equivalent of one orbit around the sun, then it will be gone in 150 years,” Jewitt said. “It’s just the blink of an eye, astronomically speaking. The trip to the inner solar system has doomed it.”PhysOrg’s comet theory article claimed that small “goosebump” objects on Rosetta’s comet indicate slow accretion of small cometesimals. Yet small particles lack the gravity to accrete. If comets cannot accrete slowly, yet disintegrate rapidly, what does that say about their formation? What does it say about their lifetimes? Can these delicate cotton-candy rubble piles really exist for billions of years?We’ve already seen the demise of the theory that comets delivered water to Earth. That leaves our planet in a theory drought, waiting for an explanation how a wet world 70% covered with water emerged from a hellish inferno of volcanoes and impacts. We’ve already seen, furthermore, surprising discoveries from other comet missions in addition to Comet 67P. While we celebrate the engineering success of Rosetta (good examples of intelligent design), we must be wary of assumption-laden theories based in a materialistic worldview. The ubiquitous “surprise effect” observed at each first-time encounter with solar system bodies reveals deep conflict between those assumptions and the truth. Maybe it’s time for ESA to actually read a replica of the Rosetta Stone they placed on the spacecraft: i.e., the words of Genesis 1-3 inscribed on a disc in 1,000 languages. (Visited 50 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Pollinators and planting

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Beekeepers in Ohio again suffered substantial losses of colonies over the exceptionally long and cold winter of 2014-2015. Here in Wooster we lost more than half of our colonies, and beekeepers around the state are reporting levels of winter kill as high as 80%. While the frigid temperatures played a substantial contributing role, losses were undoubtedly made worse by all of the problems facing bees today: parasites, diseases, pesticides, breeding problems, and a general lack of summer and fall forage.Spring is the only reliably good season for bees in Ohio. Colonies that survived the winter and new colonies brought up from the Gulf Coast or California are in the process of harvesting nectar and pollen from spring-blooming trees and weeds — but little honey will be made. This spring bounty will be eaten by the bees themselves as they multiply and grow into large productive colonies that will be able to make a honey crop off of clovers, black locust, alfalfa and soybean in the coming months. Additionally, robust colonies are needed to pollinate the fruit trees soon and pumpkins, squash and cucumbers later in the summer.This spring build-up of honey bee colonies can be directly threatened by corn planting. Insecticide seed treatments used on corn seed produce an insecticidal dust when they are planted. Depending on conditions, this insecticidal dust can settle on the flowering trees and weeds that bees are visiting. Insecticides formulated as dusts are the absolute worst for honey bees because they do not immediately kill the bees visiting flowers. Rather than causing immediate death, the dust is packed up with the pollen and brought back to the colony where it is can poison young bees inside the colony.In spring of 2013 and 2014, we sampled pollen from six bee yards in Madison, Union and Clark Counties. During corn planting, all colonies were bringing back pollen containing corn seed treatment insecticides. While no spectacular bee-kills were observed in our colonies, we did observe a significant increase in the number of dead bees appearing in front of colonies during the week of corn planting in 2014. It is possible that different planting conditions could have led to no increase in bee death, as we say in 2013, or obvious piles of dead bees as were observed in 2012. In 2013 and 2014, corn planting in central Ohio coincided with the start of bloom for fruit trees and hawthorns — extremely attractive flowers for bees — which likely drew bees away from the riskier and somewhat less attractive dandelions, mustards and purple deadnettle growing in corn fields and on field margins. In some years, planting may happen before or after fruit tree bloom when bees are intensely interested in weeds growing in and near fields. This may have been the case in Ohio in 2012 when planting started early and a number of bee-kill incidents were reported.last_img read more