A misty mountain range on the Philippine island of Luzon boasts more than 100 species of reptiles and amphibians, according to a new catalog of the region´s species. On the entire island, more than 150 reptile and amphibian species exist. The catalog, published Wednesday (Feb. 7) in the journal ZooKeys, is the first for the remote region, known as the Sierra Madre Mountains, which lies on the Northeastern portion of the island. The study reveals that the region may be a hidden hotspot for biodiversity. The study combined data from several extensive surveys done over the past years, as well
Comments: I don´t know how an island with a population of 47 million people, including the 11th largest city in the world, can be considered "remote".
The Philippines has a history of using scientists to promote bigger government. In the Marcos era the scientists kept finding stone age tribes. Now they find new species of animals and plants.
LiveScience -- proud purveyors of popular junk science for the 21st century...
Not a credible source of scientific analysis, as the majority of their ´discoveries´ are really still just speculation, and qualifiers are almost as numerous in their stories as punctuation marks.
It´s possible, some say, that LiveScience may evolve into a worthwhile source of stories that could turn out to have some truth in them. But as of now it seems they are content to bring tabloid reporting to science related stories.
Washington - Rebecca M. Blank was a top candidate in 2011 to lead President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, but then the White House turned up something politically dangerous. “A commitment to economic justice necessarily implies a commitment to the redistribution of economic resources, so that the poor and the dispossessed are more fully included in the economic system,” Ms. Blank, a noted poverty researcher, wrote in 1992. With advisers wary of airing those views in a nomination fight, Mr. Obama passed over Ms. Blank, then a top Commerce Department official and now the chancellor of
Just a "tiny fraction" of Americans stand to lose their current health insurance plan and pay more for coverage under Obamacare, a new study said Thursday as concern over canceled policies remained a pressing issue for the White House. The analysis found that only 0.6 percent of people under age 65 are at risk of losing their individual plan and having to pay higher premiums for coverage approved by the Affordable Care Act, according to Families USA, the consumer health advocacy group that issued the study. Acknowledging that the study was an effort to counter a steady stream of bad publicity
Manila — A major 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck near one of the Philippines key tourist hubs on Tuesday, the United States Geological Survey reported. The quake struck at 08:12 local time (0012 GMT) some five kilometres (three miles) east of Balilihan, in the Bohol region of the archipelago, at a depth of 56 kilometres, the agency said. The town lies across the Cebu Strait from the popular tourist destination of Cebu City, the country´s fifth most populous city, about 60 kilometres (37 miles) away. USGS issued a yellow warning, after the quake saying "some casualties and damage are possible and the
Shelly Ross of San Francisco was looking forward to the opening of the new health insurance marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act because she was hoping to get a better deal. But now that she´s seen her options, Ross is disappointed. Turns out she earns slightly too much money to qualify for federal financial aid to help her buy coverage in the state´s exchange, called Covered California. And because policies have to be upgraded to comply with the new law, her rates are going up nearly 10 percent. "Every plan is going to cost more than what I pay now.
Tuesday is inspection day for building owner John Vicars. He´s got a commercial property on College Avenue, right in the heart of Oakland´s busiest shopping district. His quest is simple: to see an ice cream parlor opened on the ground floor of the building. But his journey has been a regulatory nightmare. It´s taken him nine months to prepare 1,700 square feet of retail space to the city´s satisfaction - at least to where they were satisfied enough to actually come out to inspect it. It all started in December, when Vicars forked over $3,500 for the right to apply
Britain is privatizing its Royal Mail postal service through a public stock offering within the next nine months. The step was expected as the British government has been giving the Royal Mail a big overhaul in preparation for going public, including paying its whopping $6.9 billion pension fund deficit and bolstering its profit. So far, so good. Revenue from parcel deliveries was up 13 percent in the last fiscal year, thanks to the growing popularity of online shopping. Overall profit climbed to $600.5 million, from $226.5 million in the previous year. All that success has led Moya Greene, Royal Mail´s
Seattle - A protester holding a sign reading "Repent or Else" was attacked by a group of people following a loud argument during Pridefest Sunday, according to the Seattle Police Department. Bicycle officers heard a loud debate between two groups of people near Fourth Avenue North and Broad Street but continued on their way. According to video shot by a witness, after officers leave the crowd continues to yell at and shove two religious protesters, one of whom is holding a sign that reads "Repent or Else" and "Jesus Saves from Sin." At one point, the video shows a 36-year-old
SACRAMENTO — FBI agents searched offices in the Capitol on Tuesday — the first such raid in 25 years — serving warrants and carting away evidence in what law enforcement officials said was a corruption probe that began in Los Angeles County. As the agents combed the offices of state Sen. Ron Calderon (D-Montebello) and the Latino Legislative Caucus into the evening, a federal law enforcement source said Calderon, a member of the caucus, was "the focus of the investigation." Authorities would not say what they were seeking or disclose the nature of the investigation. FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said only that
American eaters, let’s talk about the birds and the bees: The U.S. food supply – from chickens injected with arsenic to dying bee colonies – is under unprecedented siege from a blitz of man-made hazards, meaning some of your favorite treats someday may vanish from your plate, experts say. Warmer and moister air ringing much of the planet – punctuated by droughts in other locales – is threatening the prime ingredients in many daily meals, including the maple syrup on your morning pancakes and the salmon on your evening grill as well as the wine in your glass and the
A Russian scientist has claimed that he has found the first fragments of a mystery object which caused a huge explosion over Siberia more than a century ago. The Tunguska Event in June 1908 saw a mysterious blast more powerful than the Hiroshima atomic bomb flatten trees over an 800 square mile radius, knock people from their feet and shatter windows. The widely accepted theory is that the explosion was caused by an asteroid or comet breaking up as it entered the Earth´s atmosphere. But with no evidence of a comet, just one death and few witnesses, experts have been
NEW YORK - Niall Ferguson, a Harvard history professor and author, is apologizing for saying economist John Maynard Keynes didn´t care about the future because he was gay and had no children. Ferguson made the remarks on Thursday during a question-and-answer session after a prepared speech at the Altegris Strategic Investment conference in Carlsbad, Calif. Asked to comment about Keynes, he suggested that the British economist´s philosophy was shaped by being homosexual and therefore childless. The remarks were reported by the website of Financial Advisor magazine and other online publications. On Saturday Ferguson acknowledged the remarks and said he never
My National Journal colleague Ron Brownstein wrote a column for last week’s magazine that I thought was the most important piece of the week. In it, he argues that “large portions of the Democratic base still don’t understand the political and economic dynamics of the party’s changing electoral coalition.” Brownstein is absolutely right. For liberals, Democrats, and others to argue that Social Security and Medicare should not be touched in any way sends the message that we are just going to run up the tab and send the bill to the millennial and subsequent generations. Given the size of baby-boom
A Republican strategist is reminding his party that President Reagan is dead. Ford O´Connell, who worked on Sen. John McCain´s (R-Ariz.) 2008 presidential campaign, says if Republicans want to win the White House in 2016, they need to break free of the "obsessive Reagan disorder." Rule #1 of the political analyst´s newly released book, "Hail Mary: The 10-Step Playbook for Republican Recovery," is: "Ronald Reagan is dead. Accept it." Such a sentiment is sure to be tough to digest for a party insistent on using the 40th president´s legacy as a GOP litmus test to prove conservative credentials. "The Reagan fixation is a drag
Jeffrey P. Bezos has never been known for thinking small. And in an interview aired Sunday on CBS´s "60 Minutes," he outlined his latest plan for revolutionizing the retail industry: using drones to deliver packages in as little as 30 minutes. Declaring himself an "optimist," the Amazon.com founder and chief executive predicted the technology could be brought to market in as little as five years. This is more than a theoretical idea. Bezos showed CBS´s Charlie Rose a working prototype of an eight-rotor helicopter drone called an "octocopter." Emblazoned with "Amazon Prime Air," the flying robot has a claw at
Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) said on MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation” Wednesday that when Jesus fed five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish, “he didn’t charge food stamps.” “When Jesus had those five loaves and two fishes, he didn´t charge food stamps. He didn´t ask anybody how much money they had. He fed them because they were hungry, and that´s really where we ought to be,” McDermott said in response to Republican critics of the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). In September, the House approved a plan by Republicans to cut $39 billion in food stamps over the next
WASHINGTON — As a small coterie of grim-faced advisers shuffled into the Oval Office on the evening of Oct. 15, President Obama’s chief domestic accomplishment was falling apart 24 miles away, at a bustling high-tech data center in suburban Virginia. HealthCare.gov, the $630 million online insurance marketplace, was a disaster after it went live on Oct. 1, with a roster of engineering repairs that would eventually swell to more than 600 items. The private contractors who built it were pointing fingers at one another. And inside the White House, after initially saying too much traffic was to blame, Mr. Obama’s
An education official at a Texas high school is under fire after telling some female students they have been dressing like ‘hoes.’ According to KRIV Fox 26, School Support Officer Dr. Tameca Richardson made the remark to female students at Jack Yates High School in Houston during an assembly on campus. A spokesperson for the Houston Independent School District confirmed the language used by Richardson, the station reported. Some parents expressed anger over Richardson’s terminology, saying the Ph.D.-level educator should have used language that was less offensive. "That was out of line and she should be disciplined for that,"
MIDDLETOWN, Del.- Remembering the plot of a short story is no longer good enough in teacher Amy Lawson´s fifth-grade classroom. Today´s students are being asked to think more critically. For example, what might a character say in an email to a friend? "It´s hard. But you can handle this," Lawson tells them. Welcome to a classroom using the Common Core State Standards, one of the most politicized and misunderstood changes in education for students and their teachers in kindergarten through high school. In 45 states and the District of Columbia, Lawson and and other teachers are starting to use the standards
Gov. Chris Christie’s “bizarre behavior’’ in refusing to say he’ll support a possible GOP challenger to Gov. Cuomo next year could derail his chances to become president, state and national GOP insiders have told The Post. “Christie already has a problem with many Republicans refusing to forgive him because of his embrace of [President] Obama and his socially liberal policies,’’ said a nationally prominent GOP operative. “But this bizarre behavior in suggesting he won’t help a Republican defeat a Democratic governor, and a Cuomo no less, could finish off his chances of becoming his party’s nominee for president in 2016,’’ the
In the US we are used to abortion advocates claiming that the risk of elective abortion is relatively trivial, and major medical organizations denying any link between abortion and breast cancer. Now a powerful new study from China published last week by Yubei Huang and colleagues suggests otherwise. The article, a meta-analysis pooling 36 studies from 14 provinces in China, showed that abortion increased the risk of breast cancer by 44% with one abortion, and 76% and 89% with two and three abortions. This new article is another example of the recent excellent scholarship on abortion in peer-reviewed journals coming out
Senior officials in the White House have said that Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu “is desperate and weak,” in reaction to Netanyahu´s remonstrations against the deal struck with Iran over its nuclear weapons program. Israeli television Channel 10 quoted the officials as saying “His pronouncements show a lack of self-confidence,” in an unusually harsh personal attack on Netanyahu. “We are not perturbed by his vocal opposition.”
A push by activists to ease the 30-year-old blanket ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men faces a key test this week as a federal panel hears results of the latest research. The findings will be released amid growing pressure from politicians and advocates, including college students, to change the policy. Critics say the ban is a hangover from the early, fear-filled days of AIDS, stigmatizing gay men and ignoring advances in treatment and detection in the decades since. Supporters of the policy say politics, not science, is driving the proposed change, which would heighten the risk of
President Obama completed an ambitious fundraising schedule for Democrats in November, but many of the congressional candidates he is trying to help are finding their election prospects next year imperiled by the president’s faulty health care law. Several polls in the past week have shown congressional Republicans pulling even or slightly ahead of Democrats in generic balloting for the midterm elections, a swing of at least 10 percentage points in less than a month. Pollsters attribute the seismic shift to the series of glaring flaws in Obamacare, most of which came to the public’s attention after the program’s rollout Oct.
Former Obama advisor David Plouffe appeared on This Week With George Stephanopoulos Sunday morning and predicted that President Barack Obama’s approval rating would rise over the next few months, following the increasing functionality of the Affordable Care Act. “This has been a tough task,” Plouffe said. “It’s not just health care. The shutdown affected everybody’s confidence in government. But let’s fast-forward to the State of the Union and the months after that. Health care working better, a lot of people signing up. The economy continuing to strengthen. Hopefully no Washington shutdowns.