Widespread tool-using chimp culture discovered in Democratic Republic of Congo

first_imgResearchers spent 12 years documenting the behaviors exhibited by a population of Eastern chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) whose range extends across more than 50,000 square kilometers (over 19,300 square miles) of northern Democratic Republic of Congo.The paper published this month in the journal Folia Primatologica detailing the team’s findings includes a description of an entirely new chimpanzee tool kit featuring four different kinds of tools: a long ant probe, a short probe, a thin wand, and a digging stick.These tools are used to harvest five different food types, including a variety of driver and ponerine ant species as well as honey from the nests of ground-dwelling and arboreal bees. And they’re not the only evidence of unique behaviors discovered among this chimp population. Scientists have discovered a new chimpanzee “behavioral realm” in the Bili-Uéré region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).A research team led by Thurston C. Hicks of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany and the University of Warsaw in Poland spent 12 years documenting the behaviors exhibited by a population of Eastern chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) whose range extends across more than 50,000 square kilometers (over 19,300 square miles) of northern DRC.The paper published this month in the journal Folia Primatologica detailing the team’s findings includes a description of an entirely new chimpanzee tool kit featuring four different kinds of tools: a long ant probe, a short probe, a thin wand, and a digging stick. These tools are used to harvest five different food types, including a variety of driver and ponerine ant species as well as honey from the nests of ground-dwelling and arboreal bees.“We found that the tool types each have different distinctive characteristics,” Hicks told Mongabay. “The tools used by some of our chimpanzee communities to harvest driver ants are the largest known for insect prey in Africa, on average 1.2 meters long, but some are 2.5 meters! Given the painful bites these ants inflict, adding some extra length makes sense, but we still don’t know why they make them so long compared to other populations.”Cleve Hicks with the different chimpanzee tool types described in the study. Photo Credit: Sonia Uribe, 2018.According to Hicks, just a few decades ago, chimpanzees’ various behavioral traditions appeared to be distributed in a fairly haphazard manner, with few discernible patterns. But now that scientists have collected data from many additional chimp study sites, patterns are emerging: chimps in Central Africa use clubs to pound open beehives, for instance, while the use of stone and wooden hammers to crack nuts is limited to chimps in a certain region of West Africa.“With this paper we add the Bili-Uéré,” Hicks said. In addition to their novel tool use, he added, the Bili-Uéré chimps are also distinguished by their construction of ground nests. “Up to 28 percent of nests in some areas are made on the ground, gorilla style,” he explained. “This is rather puzzling, because in most areas chimpanzees sleep in trees, presumably to avoid predators. In [the Bili-Uéré] region, predators like leopards and hyenas are abundant — and there are even lions!” (A student of Hicks’ is currently studying the Bili-Uéré chimps’ use of ground nests.)But Hicks says that he thinks the most interesting quirk of the Bili-Uéré chimps is what he calls their “expanded ‘pounding behavior.’” Many chimpanzee groups are known to pound fruits against branches or roots in order to open them up, but the Bili-Uéré population also pounds open two different kinds of termite mounds, Cubitermes and Thoracotermes, across the entire 50,000-square-kilometer region Hicks and team surveyed.Bili chimpanzee ground nests in the Gangu Forest, 2012. Researchers Cleve Hicks and Ephrem Mpaka (second from left and far right, respectively) with Zande field assistants Ligada Faustin (left) and Mbolibie Cyprien. Photo Credit: Cleve Hicks.“What is intriguing is, this population seems to totally ignore the widespread and abundant Macrotermes termite mounds, which are preyed upon using stick tools in many other chimpanzee populations such as, famously, at Gombe,” Hicks said. “Instead, they are pounding open the mounds of two other widespread termite types which are ignored by most other chimpanzee populations (with one exception: Tai Forest). This to me is consistent with human-like quirky food preferences and supports the proposal of my colleague Thibaud Gruber that chimpanzees, like humans, have ‘cultural override.’”Potential ecological factors have to be ruled out before we can be sure that the Bili-Uéré chimps are just being choosy about their meals, Hicks is quick to add, but genetic explanations are unlikely, he said, “as all Eastern chimpanzees appear to have diversified very recently in prehistory, with little genetic differentiation.”Though the behavioral similarities demonstrated by the Bili-Uéré chimps across such a large region could have arisen through other means, Hicks believes that social learning is the most likely explanation for the development of this unique animal culture.Field assistant Kisangola Polycarpe next to a freshly-pounded termite mound. Leguga Forest 2008. Photo Credit: Cleve Hicks, The Wasmoeth Wildlife Foundation.“Although it is possible that these patterns could reflect ecological factors or genetic differences, I find them to be much more consistent with cultural diffusion,” he said. In other words: “A chimpanzee in a particular community invented a certain behavior, it became the community norm and then it spread through the surrounding forests via territorial expansions or immigrating females, until hitting some natural barrier.”The Bili-Uéré chimpanzee population’s range actually occupies two very different habitat types on the two sides of the Uele River: savanna woodland forest mosaic to the north and tropical moist forest to the south. Though the behaviors of the population overall are strikingly similar, it’s perhaps not surprising that Hicks and team did discover some geographic variation, such as a lack of honey-digging tools to the south of the river even though the same types of bees are common there. Meanwhile, long driver ant probes and fruit-pounding sites were found only to the north of the Uele River.“One would think, given the diversity of chimpanzee behaviors elsewhere, these chimpanzees would have reacted to the different habitat types and invented a different material culture,” Hicks said. It’s possible that the Bili-Uéré chimps have only recently colonized the area. “Perhaps chimpanzee traditions are rather conservative, and they have not had time to differentiate their behaviors to match the very different habitats they were colonizing,” Hicks speculates. He and his colleagues plan to visit the Ituri Forest, which lies about 400 kilometers southeast of the Bili-Uéré region, later this year to test the theory that the Bili-Uéré chimps are part of an even more widespread behavioral realm that occurs across northern DRC.Cleve Hicks holds the skull of a poached chimpanzee at a hunting camp south of Bili in 2016. Bushmeat is a major threat to free-living great apes. Photo Credit: Cleve Hicks, 2016.Whatever the reason for the distinct behavioral similarities shared amongst the Bili-Uéré chimpanzee population, Hicks says that this research can help us understand how culture spread through generations of our ancient hominin ancestors. “It could be that we are observing the first stages in behavioral differentiation between subpopulations,” he said. “Whatever the case, we are very lucky to have this ‘natural laboratory’ in Northern DRC to study the spread of chimpanzee traditions.”The team’s findings about the Bili-Uére chimp culture could also have important implications for the conservation of chimpanzee populations. “We have evidence from Bili-Uére, for instance, that chimpanzees living in areas hunted more heavily by humans no longer make ground nests and reduce their amount of vocalizing, probably to avoid detection by hunters. This must have an impact on their social lives,” Hicks said.“To the south of Uele River the apes are being slaughtered as gold and diamond mines spread across the region. This has not yet happened in the more remote Bili-Gangu Forests north of the Uele. If they disappear, the tragedy of their loss will be compounded by the accompanying loss of a priceless opportunity allowing us to understand how great ape traditions spread across time and space. Our activities are robbing these apes not only of their forests but their ‘wisdom of the elders,’ their ingenious cultural solutions to survival in the forests and savannas developed over hundreds or thousands of ape generations.”Young Bili chimpanzee in the Gangu Forest, 2006. Photo Credit: Cleve Hicks, The Wasmoeth Wildlife Foundation.CITATION• Hicks, T. C., Kühl, H. S., Boesch, C., Dieguez, P., Ayimisin, A. E., Fernandez, R. M., … & Hart, J. (2019). Bili-Uéré: A Chimpanzee Behavioural Realm in Northern Democratic Republic of Congo. Folia Primatologica, 90(1), 3-64. doi:10.1159/000492998Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Animal Behavior, Animal Intelligence, Animals, Apes, Charismatic Animals, Environment, Great Apes, Mammals, Research, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Article published by Mike Gaworeckicenter_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Connolly’s Audi gear up for exciting 2019 after successful Letterkenny test-drive

first_imgAfter a hugely successful Test Drive Event in Letterkenny, Connolly’s Audi Sligo is gearing up for an exciting new year for 191.With the release of several models both new and existing the 2019 Audi range promises to be one that won’t disappoint. The second-generation Audi Q3 arriving in showrooms in late November boasts unparalleled style, versatility and space for enhanced comfort.The all new Audi Q8 which is the newest edition to the Audi range combines the best of both worlds: the elegance of a four-door luxury coupe with the practical versatility of a large SUV. The Audi Q8 is a confident companion for both business and leisure featuring S Line as standard is now available in our showrooms for test drives.Next, the Audi A1 second generation due in Showroom in December offers cutting edge infotainment systems, new driver assistance systems for more safety and comfort. Lastly but certainly not least the most anticipated model release of the year – the Audi A6 is now sporty and elegant in design.Featuring the latest technologies such as HD Matrix LED headlights providing optimum road lighting, 400 customisable functions and 4 choices of suspension.The eight generation A6 is creating innovations with vision, enhancing comfort, and setting new standards in the luxury class. To learn more about any of the cars above or to arrange a test drive call out sales in on 071 9115333 or visit Connollys.ie. Connolly’s Audi gear up for exciting 2019 after successful Letterkenny test-drive was last modified: October 23rd, 2018 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Connolly’s AudiletterkennyTEST DRIVElast_img read more

Changing the world, one IT Boot Camp at a time

first_imgSiyabonga Vilikazi (centre) (17) fromZitikeni High School scooped the competition prize, with 16-year-old Khotofo Takgafela (right) from Diepsloot Combined Schoolcoming second, and Phumzilema Mathuthu (left), also 16, from Rabasotho High School, thirdIn partnership with the Dell Development Fund and Tata Consultancy Services, the Change the World organisation hosted its second ICT and IT Boot Camp competition for high school students on Saturday 21 June, with top students from schools around Tembisa and Diepsloot participating.“This is really to give them a chance to create something beautiful on their own and really get a taste of what it’s like to be a programmer and to get more into IT and consider it as a career option,” explained Jonathan Novotny, co-founder and programme director at the Change the World Trust.The organisation offers IT and ICT training workshops to school pupils in Tembisa Alexandra, Olivenhoutbosch , Zandspruit and Diepsloot to help the pupils improve their IT skills to successfully join the modern world of work.“I think it’s exciting for them to start with nothing and finish with a project that has some of their own characteristics and carries some of their own interests.”Pupils from Rabasotho Combined School, Diepsloot Combined School and Zithikini High School gathered at the Wings of Life Centre in Diepsloot to compete for the grand prize of an RCT Android Tablet valued at just under R2 000.“They’re all 10th and 11th graders; we don’t take any matric students into the Boot Camp because we don’t want to interfere with their preparations for the exams coming up at the end of the year,” said Natalie Emery, co-founder of the Trust.“We do however we involve most senior students who we feel have a passion and desire to learn IT in our programmes.”TOP OF THE CLASSThe competition challenged pupils to build a static three-page website using the HTML/CSS coding language they had been taught during their courses.“They’re very confident,” Emery said; “I’ve had a variety of responses; some of them feel that it’s very complicated and others feel that maybe it’s too easy.“They’ve had quite a few classes with our trainers so I’m sure they all know what’s going on. What I’ve seen from them so far makes me feel that we’re doing the right things.”The Change the World courses cover basic computer operation, programmes such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel and more advanced subjects such as HTML/CSS coding and programming.Siyabonga Vilikazi (17) fromZitikeni High School scooped the competition prize, with 16-year-old Khotofo Takgafela fromDiepsloot Combined Schoolcoming second, and Phumzilema Mathuthu, also 16, from Rabasotho High School, third.A confident Vilikazi said, “I’ve always been interested in computers and how they work and I wanted to learn more about IT, so when I was told at school that we were going to be trained in the use of computers and IT I was very excited.“Winning this competition has encouraged me to pursue a career in IT.“If it wasn’t for Change the World and this boot camp I wouldn’t have known that I’m capable of making my own website. It has opened my eyes.”Marlin Madondo, head of donor relations and marketing for Change the World, said the organisation’s students have taken to programming and “some of them say they are really considering careers in the IT industry”.The learners were given the task of creating a static three-page website using laptops and the HTML/CSS coding knowledge they had acquired from the workshops that the organisation had been running at their schools during previous monthsTHE CHANGE THE WORLD INTERN PROGRAMME“If you look at the world the way it is, technology is the way forward. So what we’re trying to do is spark an interest in IT amongst young students and hopefully impart these skills … and give them that initial footing they can use to go on and pursue these careers,” Madondo said.In light of this, Change the World encourages some students to join the organisation as trainers. Once the students complete the courses they are encouraged to “give back” by enrolling in intern programmes where they are deployed to training centres. The best-performing interns can opt to join the organisation as full-time trainers.“We can’t just preach employment without trying to create some ourselves,” explained Madondo; “We hope to expand more and as we do so it will allow us to take on more of the talented youngsters that come through our programmes.“Right now we’re operating in two provinces; the Eastern Cape and Gauteng, but we’re looking to spread into Limpopo, the Western Cape, the North West and Mpumalanga and maybe, to a certain extent, reach out beyond our borders to places like Malawi, Mozambique or Zimbabwe.“But for us, as long as we see the value in what we’re doing our growth will be organic.”PLAY YOUR PARTTo get involved or learn more about Change the World visit the organisation’s website, email marlin@changetheworld.org.za, or call 27 (0)71 5333 656 or +27 (0)11 455 2282.last_img read more

Discussion: Webified Desktop Apps

first_imgRelated Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market richard macmanus Tags:#web Already there’s some great discussion happening regarding Ebrahim Ezzy’s post onRead/WriteWeb entitled WebifiedDesktop Apps vs Browser-based Apps. As I noted in the intro to that post, in some ways Ebrahim’sviews contradict my own.I’m a big fan of the concept of the browser as a ‘lowest common denominator’ platformfor the Web. And there is a lot of innovation happening in the browser space right now –Flock, Opera, Firefox and even IE7 is doing its bit to keep up (although we’re stillwaiting for some truly original knock-yer-socks-off features from IE7). So I like tothink there is plenty more innovation to come in the browser – and imho the WebOS playersare one of the more interesting set of startups using the browser as a platform. I alsolike the technology being delivered by Personalized Start Pages and associated widgets(Pageflakes, Netvibes, et al) and Web Office contenders (Zoho, Zimbra, ThinkFree, etal).Having said that, I do recognize that the browser has its limitations and that Ajaxisn’t the be all and end all of interactive technology. My profileof the upcoming NY Times Reader showed some of the possibilities of a web-enabled desktopapp (or a webified desktop app, to use Ebrahim’s term). Times Reader has richfunctionality, courtesy of Microsoft’s Windows Presentation Foundation technology – butit also relies on the Web to get the NY Times content and to communicate with otherpeople (email a story, for example).Other discussion on Ebrahim’s post:Ryan Stewart: “The best RIAsprovide a layer of abstraction over both the web and the desktop. The Webified desktopapplication, as Ebrahim uses the term, implies installation, which is an old, antiquatedmodel for software delivery.”Tim Bart: “Ipersonally prefer Desktop application over web-based applications, but I appreciate beingable to access to my data from anywhere, and get it synchronised over multipleapplications.”Alex Iskold calls it the“webification” of the desktop and mentions desktop widgets as an example. He notes:“There is no reason why our desktop applications can not be web-aware. An improvement inthis area would drive up our productivity, because switching back and forth between theapplication and the browser is very inefficient.”BuzzSort is firmly in favor of webified desktop apps and dislikes webtops: “It is a great technologicaltrick taking this platform we have within the web browser, one that is restricted in sucha tight way, and make it attempt to mirror your computer desktop. It is however a stepbackwards to a thin client way of working.”Emre Sokullu is in favor of browser-based apps, “except web based operating systems”. He sayssomething that I always point out too: “Connectivitity should not be seen as a drawbackbecause the world is getting more and more connected everyday.”Eric also prefers web apps: “Web applications have a number of advantages not easily duplicatedby desktop applications; sharing, collaboration, platform agnosticism, stability, lowrisk of data loss, accessibility.”John Milan does the numbers on desktop vs browser apps for email.There are othergreat comments to Ebrahim’s post and I encourage you to leave your comment there too.Perhaps the biggest point to make is that it’s not either/or, despite the headline Iwrote for the previous post! There is a place for both webified desktop apps andbrowser-based apps. Indeed the browser is basically just a desktop app at its mostgeneric.The biggest advantage the browser still has though is its ubiquity on computers– and we’ll continue to need common Web platforms, that utilize web standards, for quitesome time yet.UPDATE: We’ve published a poll, for you to tell us which type of app you prefer – desktop or browser-based.center_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

Napoli defensive problems for Salzburg

first_imgDefenders Faouzi Ghoulam, Elseid Hysaj, Nikola Maksimovic and Mario Rui are all unavailable for Napoli’s Champions League clash with Red Bull Salzburg. Their omissions mean Napoli travel to Austria with just two recognised full-backs in Giovanni Di Lorenzo and Kevin Malcuit, neither of whom are left-footed. Although Hysaj, Maksimovic and Mario Rui are all injured, Ghoulam’s exclusion is something of a mystery. The Algerian recovered from two serious knee injuries in October 2018 and had played in five of the Partenopei’s eight Serie A games so far this season. However, AreaNapoli reports there are doubts over his physical condition, namely that he has lost a yard of pace following his knee problems. Napoli squad to face Salzburg: Allan, Callejon, Di Lorenzo, Elmas, Fabian, Gaetano, Insigne, Koulibaly, Karnezis, Llorente, Lozano, Luperto, Malcuit, Manolas, Meret, Mertens, Milik, Ospina, Younes, Zielinski Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/last_img read more

Leno hails incredible Lucas

first_imgArsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno has praised teammate Lucas Torreira after the Uruguayan midfielder put in a stellar performance in their 4-2 win against Spurs.Torreira scored the fourth goal as Arsenal came back from 2-1 down at half-time to win 4-2, and Leno was happy with the midfielder’s contribution.“Torreira is incredible,” Leno told the club’s website.“He’s a fighter and he’s so important for our game, for the whole defense. He produced another perfect game today”Leno, who joined Arsenal from Bayer Leverkusen experienced his first North London derby and revealed they are aiming for the top four this season.Jadon SanchoMerson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.“It was my first derby and the atmosphere was incredible. It was an important game for our fans and for us as well,” he said.“We want to finish the season in the top four and now we’re in front of Tottenham. It was very important.“It’s not just an important game for a manager to win against a team from the top six, it’s important for us as a team.“We lost the first two games against Chelsea and Manchester City but against Liverpool, we played very well.“We didn’t win that one but today we won against a good team and showed a very good performance.”last_img read more

Antonio backs Sterling following racist abuse

first_imgWest Ham winger Michail Antonio has come out in support of Raheem Sterling and described the City forward as “brave” for his stand against racism.Sterling was the target of an alleged racial abuse on Saturday during City’s 2-0 defeat at Chelsea and Antonio who have had a similar experience is supporting the England international for his stand on the issue of racism in football.“I experienced it when I was younger. I was like 10 or 11. A kid called me a monkey,” Antonio told Sky Sports.“I’ve not experienced it as a professional footballer myself, but it’s just one of those things where it happens. It’s just how it gets dealt with.Premier LeaguePremier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“To be honest, I think he’s a very brave man.“He’s showing facts and I honestly believe he’s done the right thing.“You can blame one person, but putting it out there and showing it’s not just one person that’s doing it, he’s saying the media, if we can stop it being in the papers, if we can stop it from the source, that’s how it ends.”last_img read more

DOD to Install Water Treatment System at Stewart ANGB to Limit Water

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR The Defense Department has agreed to install an interim filtration system to prevent contaminated water flowing off of Stewart Air National Guard Base, N.Y., to Washington Lake, which had been the primary drinking water source for the city of Newburgh until elevated levels of PFOS and PFOA were discovered there in 2016. The Army Corps of Engineers is expected to finish installing a stormwater filtration system within three to six months, reported WAMC. The project is estimated to cost between $2 million to $3 million and will be funded by the Air National Guard. The December announcement followed a visit to Newburgh by Robert McMahon, assistant secretary of defense for sustainment, and John Henderson, assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and energy.Testing in May 2016 at one of the outfalls at the base discharging stormwater into Recreation Pond, where the treatment system will be installed, revealed a PFOS level of 5,900 parts per trillion, almost 85 times the Environmental Protection Agency’s health advisory limit of 70 parts per trillion.Air Force photo by Breanne Humphreyslast_img read more

Houston Gives Useful Tips To Small Businesses

first_img Listen Al OrtizHouston Mayor Sylvester Turner (center) announced ‘Innovation Week’ on April 19th after the City Council weekly meeting and underscored it is a good opportunity for local small businesses and also for Houstonians that want to start one.Houstonians who have a small business or those that want to start one have an opportunity to learn useful tips this week through Innovation Week, a five-day event that offers 30 free workshops for Houston’s small businesses and entrepreneurs.At the workshops, participants will learn about financing, marketing, networking and, of course, innovation.The event is organized by the group PeopleFund, which provides capital to small businesses and has a very specific target.“Last year 91 percent of our loans went to minority, women and veteran businesses because, historically, those are underserved businesses,” notes PeopleFund’s chief executive officer Gary Lindner.PeopleFund is partnering with the City of Houston’s Office of Business Opportunity.Carlecia Wright is in charge of that department and says the workshops will help people get the idea for their business off the ground because “these are free resources and then you can also leverage the additional resources of the City of Houston and our partners.”Innovation Week ends on Friday, May 5th, and Thursday’s workshops will be conducted entirely in Spanish. X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /01:02 Sharelast_img read more

Trump Signs 2 Year Spending Bill Averting Shutdown

first_imgZach Gibson/Getty ImagesCongress approved a bipartisan budget agreement shortly before sunrise.Updated at 9:07 a.m. ETPresident Trump signed a bipartisan budget agreement Friday morning, following approval of the bill in Congress shortly before sunrise.Just signed Bill. Our Military will now be stronger than ever before. We love and need our Military and gave them everything — and more. First time this has happened in a long time. Also means JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2018The two-year spending pact will let lawmakers spend $300 billion more than current law allows.The deal suspends a 2011 budget law championed by conservatives that set hard caps on discretionary spending and included an automatic trigger known as “sequester” cuts if Congress attempted to bust those spending caps.The bill also included a one-time emergency influx of about $90 billion to help with ongoing recovery efforts for the hurricanes and wildfires that have hit the U.S. in recent months. All told, the bill hikes federal spending about $400 billion through September 2019.Fiscal conservatives squawked at new spending levels. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., delayed the vote on the bipartisan measure to rail against his fellow Republicans for acquiescing to more spending than they ever did under President Barack Obama. The delays forced a partial government shutdown after midnight, to minimal impact.“I ran for office because I was critical of President Obama’s trillion-dollar deficits,” Paul said on the floor. “Now we have Republicans hand-in-hand with Democrats offering us trillion-dollar deficits.”Alex Wong/Getty ImagesSen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., blocked a budget deal Thursday as the government ran out of funding at midnight. Paul sought a vote on an amendment to restore budget caps in the funding bill.The Senate passed the measure 71-28.The bill was equally delayed in the House after Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., made an impassioned case to her colleagues this week to vote against a bipartisan measure negotiated by her Senate counterpart, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.Many Democrats support the budget deal, but were unhappy with the compromise because it doesn’t tackle immigration — specifically addressing the plight of DREAMers, including the roughly 700,000 immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally after being brought to the country as children and who are enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which is set to expire on March 5.In the end, however, Democrats declined to hold the spending bill hostage over immigration.The House ultimately passed the measure on a bipartisan 240-186 vote just after 5:30 a.m. Only 73 Democrats voted for the bill; 67 Republicans voted against it.The bill faced similar opposition in the House from fiscal conservatives who saw it as a broken promise to their base.With a budget deal wrapped, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has already started the procedural hurdles to begin an open Senate debate next week on immigration. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., pledged on the House floor early Friday morning that he also intended to address immigration.“My commitment to working together on an immigration measure that we can make law is a sincere commitment. We will solve this DACA problem,” he said. Sharelast_img read more