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Critically-endangered orangutan born at US zoo
According to a release from the Audubon Nature Institute, the primate team expected first-time mother Reese to deliver between April and May. The zoo said the mother and baby appear to be doing well and the staff is observing the pair and allowing them to bond and learn to nurse.Video released by the institute showed 12-year-old Reese nuzzling and carrying the baby, whose umbilical cord and placenta were still visible.There are fewer than 14,000 orangutans in the wild, making the species “critically endangered”, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Three new Ebola cases confirmed in Congo, two in Guinea
Three new cases of Ebola have been confirmed in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, bringing to 11 the number of cases since authorities declared a resurgence of the virus last month. In a separate outbreak of the disease in Guinea, the World Health Organization said two new confirmed cases have emerged, bringing the total to 17 in the first resurgence of the virus there since the world’s worst outbreak in 2013-2016. In Congo the new cases were detected in the Butembo health zone, Eugene Nzanzu Salita, the health minister of North Kivu province, told reporters.
Streets covered in ash from Mount Etna eruption
Ash and rock fragments have covered roads and buildings in the nearby towns of Fornazzo, Santa Venerina, and Giarre where residents used brooms to sweep volcanic ash on streets.The south-eastern crater is at the epicenter of the activity that started on Feb. 16 and has lit up the volcano seven times in the past days.
SpaceX’s first paying moon flight customer wants to give away eight seats aboard his spaceship
Yusaku Maezawa, the first paying passenger to book a trip aboard SpaceX’s (still in development) Starship spacecraft around the moon, has provided a promised update about his mission. Now, however, Maezawa is looking for crewmates. The full passenger list will include 10 to 12 crew members, Maezawa said in a video about the announcement, but eight will be selected from the general public.
Biden administration pauses transfer of holy Native American land to mining firm
Parts of handover had been rushed in waning days of Trump to give Resolution Copper control over Arizona’s Oak Flat region Signs posted at Oak Flat protest the possibility of the federal government clearing the way for a copper mine. Oak Flat sits atop one of the largest untapped copper deposits in the world, estimated to be worth more than $1bn. Photograph: Sipa USA/Alamy The Biden administration has put the brakes on a controversial land exchange that would have given a sacred Native American site to a multinational mining company by 11 March. Parts of the handover had been rushed to completion in the waning days of the Trump administration, in an effort to give Resolution Copper control over Arizona’s Oak Flat region before or soon after Trump left office. Oak Flat sits atop one of the largest untapped copper deposits in the world, estimated to be worth more than $1bn. Now the government “has concluded that additional time is necessary to understand concerns raised by the Tribes and the public and the project’s impacts to these important resources”, according to a statement by the US Forest Service, which is currently in charge of Oak Flat. The agency also noted it was following a recent memorandum from Joe Biden encouraging tribal consultation on federal decisions and “strengthening nation to nation relationships”. The Forest Service estimated it would take “several months” to complete the consultations before the land transfer could possibly move forward. Called Chi’chil Bildagoteel in Apache, Oak Flat is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its spiritual and cultural significance to at least a dozen south-west Native American tribes. It contains hundreds of indigenous archaeological sites dating back 1,500 years. “This is the right move,” said Terry Rambler, chairman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe. The government “failed to follow the law in the preparation of a sham environmental impact statement that was used to justify trading away our sacred land to wealthy foreign mining companies”. The San Carlos Apache Tribe currently has a lawsuit pending in US district court in Phoenix that seeks to stop the land transfer, which would have given the 2,422-acre Oak Flat parcel to Resolution Copper in exchange for land elsewhere in the state. While tribes and environmental groups celebrated the Forest Service announcement, they noted the threat of losing Oak Flat remains. “Oak Flat is still on death row,” said Michael Nixon, an attorney for the indigenous activist group Apache Stronghold. “The Forest Service is just changing the execution date.” The Oak Flat campground outside of Globe, Arizona. Photograph: REUTERS/Alamy Apache Stronghold filed a lawsuit in US district court in January arguing that the potential destruction of Oak Flat infringes on Native Americans’ ability to practice their religion. The Forest Service’s announcement on Monday, that it was withdrawing an environmental approval that was published in January, came just six hours before the agency was required to respond to an appeal filed by Apache Stronghold seeking an emergency injunction on the land exchange. A representative for Resolution Copper said that the company “is evaluating the Forest Service’s decision” and is “committed to ongoing consultation with Native American Tribes and local communities”. The land transfer to Resolution Copper – a partnership of the Anglo-Australian mining firms Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton – was authorized unbeknownst to tribes in 2014. In its statement, the Forest Service said that because of legal mandates dictating the land exchange, “long-term protection of the site will likely require an act of Congress”. Such a measure is ready to go, according to the Arizona representative Raúl Grijalva, who said he plans to reintroduce his Save Oak Flat Act “in the coming days”. The bill calls for the repeal of the land exchange legislation and was previously co-sponsored in the Senate by Bernie Sanders. “This fight has never been about just one site,” said Grijalva, who chairs the House natural resources committee. “It’s about ending the cycle of ignoring tribal input whenever it suits polluters.” Now that the clock has been paused and the ball passed to Congress, Grijalva is hopeful a final resolution is in sight with a Democratic-controlled House and Senate. “The Biden administration is doing the right thing with this reset,” he said. “I intend to make sure this needless controversy is settled on the side of justice once and for all.” Last month, the independent Advisory Council on Historic Preservation announced it would not give its approval to the Forest Service’s mining-damage mitigation plan. It noted the Forest Service had determined the mine would not only destroy Oak Flat but also “potentially affect more than 500 sites eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places”.
BCA: Man shot to death during Duluth standoff was aiming gun at deputies
The man who kept law enforcement at bay for nearly 20 hours last week in a Duluth neighborhood was shot to death while pointing a gun at officers, the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said Tuesday. The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) said that David J.W. Conwell, 37, of Duluth, exchanged gunfire twice over the long-running standoff at a home from Thursday night into Friday …
Bunny Wailer, Founding Member of the Wailers, Dies at 73
Bunny Wailer, the reggae icon who was the last living original member of the Wailers, has died at the age of 73. According to the Jamaican Observer, Wailer’s manager, Maxine Stowe, confirmed that he died at 8 a.m. this morning (March 2) and she was by his side. No cause of death has been…
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Endangered orangutan born at New Orleans zoo
The second Sumatran organutan has been born in as many years at the Audobon Zoo in New Orleans; fewer than 14,000 are believed to live in the wild. (Mar. 1)
Today in Accidental Scientific Discoveries: Vampire Squid Fossil
A team of paleontologists has discovered a 30-million-year-old vampire squid fossil, which helps shed light on the origins of the mysterious creature. The post Today in Accidental Scientific Discoveries: Vampire Squid Fossil appeared first on Nerdist.
Supreme Court likely to uphold Arizona voting restrictions
The Supreme Court appeared ready Tuesday to uphold voting restrictions in Arizona in a key case that could make it harder to challenge a raft of other voting measures Republicans have proposed following last year’s elections. All six conservative justices, appointed by Republican presidents, suggested they would throw out an appellate ruling that struck down the restrictions as racially discriminatory under the landmark Voting Rights Act. Less clear is what standard the court might set for how to prove discrimination under the law, first enacted in 1965.
Exclusive: India woos Tesla with offer of cheaper production costs than China
India is ready to offer incentives to ensure Tesla Inc’s cost of production would be less than in China if the carmaker commits to making its electric vehicles in the south Asian country, transport minister Nitin Gadkari told Reuters. Gadkari’s pitch comes weeks after billionaire Elon Musk’s Tesla registered a company in India in a step towards entering the country, possibly as soon as mid-2021.
2nd endangered orangutan baby in 2 years at New Orleans zoo
It’s cute, cuddled, red-haired, and critically endangered — and the second Sumatran orangutan born in two years at the zoo in New Orleans. Veterinarians haven’t yet been able to weigh, measure and determine the sex of the baby born early Sunday to 12-year-old Reese, Audubon Zoo spokeswoman Annie Kinler Matherne said Monday. “Reese is cuddling and being very attentive with the infant, but we cannot confirm lactation and nursing just yet,” Matherne said in an email.
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