Dates for Chinese fossils of Homo erectus have been pushed back 200,000 years to 780,000 years before the present, reported Live Science. The report is based on a paper in Nature by scientists who used cosmogenic nuclide dating methods for the first time.1 Ciochon and Bettis, in the same issue of Nature,2 said the report “prompts a rethink of the species’ distribution in both the temperate north and the equatorial south of east Asia.” Zhoukoudian Cave near Beijing has been a prime site for Homo erectus remains since 1918. “Homo erectus stood 145�180 cm tall, walked fully upright with a modern-like human footprint, and used stone tools,” Ciochon and Bettis said. “The species is easily distinguished from H. sapiens by its distinctive torso, which was much more barrel-shaped and larger in volume.” Six crania and bones of 40 individuals have been found at the site (Ciochon and Bettis count 50 individuals and 17,000 artifacts). How certain are the dates? A variety of methods have been employed since the 1970s. “A time range of ~230 to 500 kyr ago for the hominin-fossil-bearing layers has been widely accepted by palaeoanthropologists, although with a few critical comments,” the authors said. They pointed out problems, though, with previous dating methods:The age of Zhoukoudian Homo erectus, commonly known as ‘Peking Man’, has long been pursued, but has remained problematic owing to the lack of suitable dating methods.In contrast, much older ages were determined using mass spectrometric U-series dating of intercalated pure and dense calcite samples, known to be a more reliable chronometer.The suggestion that Zhoukoudian H. erectus is substantially older than previously estimated remains to be validated by independent checks.However, numerical dating beyond the upper limit of mass spectrometric U-series dating, ~600 kyr ago, is difficult in China because the lack of contemporaneous volcanic activity nearly precludes the application of 40Ar/39Ar dating.The U-series dates, being substantially older, led to their attempt to use an independent method—cosmogenic radionuclide dating. This depends on the exposure time of surface sediments to cosmic radiation. The ratio of aluminum-26 (half-life 717,000 years) and beryllium-10 (half-life 1,360,000 years) in quartz crystals is 6:8:1 when exposed to the ground surface. “Their initial concentrations depend on the mineral’s exposure time, which in turn is controlled by the erosion rate of the host rock,” they explained. “If quartz grains from the surface are deeply buried, for example by deposition in a cave, then the production of cosmogenic nuclides nearly stops.” Because the aluminum-26 decays faster than beryllium-10, the ratio decreases exponentially with a half-life of 1.52 million years. “The strengths of this method are its radiometric basis and its independence from other dating methods,” they said. Nevertheless, the method must be used with caution. “However, it must be recognized that cave sediments can have complex stratigraphy, particularly in vadose fills. If fossils are mixed with quartz sediments with a prior burial history, the resulting age will be erroneously old.” They took six samples from different levels and four quartzite samples from artifacts that directly indicate hominin presence. Three of the latter were consistent, but one gave an anomalous date of 1.6 Mya (million years ago). “This particular sample could have been taken from an older cave fill or terrace before manufacture,” they suggested, so they threw it out. Of the sediment quartz samples, three gave consistent results “slightly older than, but within error of, the weighted mean of the results from the three artefacts, indicating that some sand might have entered the cave with a previous burial signal.” One sample, though, gave a result of 2.78 Mya. How did they explain that? “This sample may possibly date to an earlier phase of cave formation, as it was collected from a thin sandy layer that is adhered to the north wall and is now out of stratigraphic contact with the main cross-section.” The other two had to be tossed, also. “The two samples from the basal fluvial sediments do not yield statistically meaningful results,” they said; “Their inherited cosmogenic nuclide concentrations are quite low due to rapid erosion in their source area, leading to large uncertainty.” In summary, they had to eliminate four out of ten measurements to arrive at a consistent result. “Taken together, we consider the weighted mean of the six meaningful measurements, 0.77 [plus or minus] 0.08 Myr, to best represent the age for layers 7�10. This is consistent with both previous U-series and palaeomagnetic data.” Future refinements of these estimates will be necessary, they said, correlating the cave sediments with the local geology and ecological history. They summarized their findings within the wider context of dating uncertainties:A reliable chronology is critical for resolving debate over the mode of Middle Pleistocene human evolution in East Asia. Previously, the chronology of Chinese sites has been largely based on the U-series and electron spin resonance dating of fossil materials, which are known to be vulnerable to post-burial U migration. 230Th/234U dating of speleothem calcite has repeatedly shown that the previous timescale for Middle�Late Pleistocene hominin sites in China may have been underestimated as a whole. The results of this paper show that such a tendency persists beyond the range of mass spectrometric U-series dating. It is foreseeable that 26Al/10Be burial dating will be applied to other hominin sites in China and elsewhere, contributing substantially to a robust chronological framework and thereby to a better understanding of human evolution.What are the consequences of the new dates? Ciochon and Bettis claim that Homo erectus arose in equatorial Africa two million years ago, then migrated to Asia 250,000 years later over a 150,000 year period, with some surviving (Solo Man in Java) till 50,000 years ago. If Homo erectus was in Asia as long ago as the new dates indicate, then the population had to endure an ice age. “Many scientists thought that the species moved north with the interglacials and south with the glacials,” the Live Science article said, but Ciochon told them the new date shows they must have hung around during colder periods. It’s not like the land was covered with ice, he explained: it was just a colder, dryer period. Presumably the caves provided some warmth. The new date also tells evolutionary paleoanthropologists there were two migrations–one to China, and one to Java. Before, they thought the Chinese population was related to the Indonesia population. Ciochon told Live Science that Homo erectus had legs: “Aside from Homo sapiens,” he said, “it’s the most widespread hominin species.” One can only wonder why such a migration-capable population took 400,000 years to do reach China when modern man spread from the Fertile Crescent in one thousandth of that time. Despite these questions, Live Science provided its readers a matter-of-fact synopsis of the human evolution saga:The Homo genus, which includes modern humans, originated in Africa with Homo habilis about 2.5 million years ago. H. erectus likely derived from some early version of H. habilis around 2 million years ago, anthropologists think. Some portion of the H. erectus population later left Africa and spread out across the Old World (the population left behind in Africa likely led to Homo heidelbergensis, from which the first early Homo sapiens likely derived, Ciochon said). Other sites of H. erectus bones show that the migration had reached Dmanisi, Georgia (in Asia), by about 1.75 million years ago and Java by about 1.6 million years ago.Filling in details will require future work, like finding more fossils along the migration route, the article said.1. Shen, Gao, Gao, and Granger, “Age of Zhoukoudian Homo erectus determined with 26Al/10Be burial dating,” Nature 458, 198-200 (12 March 2009) | doi:10.1038/nature07741.2. Russell L. Ciochon, and Arthur Bettis III, “Palaeoanthropology: Asian Homo erectus converges in time,” Nature 458, 153-154 (12 March 2009) | doi:10.1038/458153a.It should become evident that Darwin Party hacks are engaging in another of their colossal storytelling episodes. This is akin to listening to an ancient Babylonian creation myth. The only difference is improved arcane terminology with which they con the listeners into thinking they are worthy Shamans, worthy of respect as Wise Knowers. If you think this judgment is too harsh, look at what they did. They tossed out half their samples to get the dates they wanted—dates that would match up with their predetermined myth. Well, we think they should use the outlier measurements: we propose that our ancestors emerged suddenly 2.78 million years ago, then just sat in a cave for 2,730,000 years till the last one, Solo Man, wasted away without a bride (alone again, naturally). We say the African population arose independently, or started when a few Peking Man people moved there. Why not? We have data to support that myth just as much as they have to support theirs. Pick which lie you like better. This is not science. It is storytelling with a vengeance. Aluminum and beryllium isotopes and cosmic rays have nothing to do with it. These people have a predetermined script they are following. Data are just props to make it sound convincing. For one thing, they completely eliminated from consideration any alternative script (like creation). No matter how much the evidence supports alternatives, and no matter how much data causes problems to their script, they cling to it tenaciously, even when it is absurd on the face of it. Why? Because it supports their naturalistic, materialistic world view. Consider how absurd their story is. For one thing, they invented a class of “hominins” (a word embedding evolutionary assumptions masquerading as knowledge) to describe as “other” a class of people that are, for all practical purposes, just like us. How many people today can you find on the beach with normal brain size, walking upright, using tools, but sporting a barrel-shaped chest? That description easily fits within the range of human variability. They expect us to believe that these people were smart enough to migrate long distances, endure the cold of an ice age, and make tools, but were too dumb to ride horses or make art or build cities. Smart enough to survive diverse habitats in Georgia, China and Java, they couldn’t figure out for over two million years anything better than cave life. And if you don’t believe this, well, they have the dates to prove it – provided you toss out half the samples they don’t like. These con artists make reckless drafts on the bank of time (07/02/2007), and expect us taxpayers to bail them out with our endless credulity. Picture a wise person unaccustomed to Western evolutionary mythology listening to this tale and deciding if it made any sense. “What?” he might exclaim. “Are you telling me that upright-walking, world-migrating, tool-making people were not human? And that they lived in caves for two million years – hundreds of times longer than the history of civilization? What planet are you from?” Most of us only give the myth the time of day because we were taught to respect “science” and somehow think the Darwin Party shamans have their reputations tied to that otherwise noble enterprise. The shamans perpetuate the ruse by working in science labs and knowing how to speak the right mumbo-jumbo about uranium isotopes (see association in the Baloney Detector). Occasionally they announce finds that make them “rethink the story of human evolution.” They’re not really rethinking. They’re just rearranging the cave furniture to keep the public thinking they are busy and therefore need the ongoing flow of research dollars. Like the medieval scholars who forbade the populace to read the Scriptures, because only they were capable of interpreting the blatant discrepancies between its teachings and church practice without contradiction, these shamans distract others from pointing out contradictions between the evidence and their stories by hiding behind an appearance of scholarship. Thus we allow them to explain away the contradictions, toss out the anomalies, and arrange the remaining bits into support for their schemes. If natural disasters were to bury some modern beach bums in California, South Africa, Yugoslavia and Siberia and fossilize their bones, how much would you want to bet that evolutionists would be able to concoct a story of the emergence of man, migrations and all, and support it with dating methods of their choosing? You better believe they could. Their imaginations are constrained only by their prior commitment to their over-arching world view. As long as they could use the data to teach that the universe, life, and man all arose from slow, gradual processes of evolution, a plethora of new papers would hit the journals. With a little selective sampling, a little weeding out of anomalous measurements, and a lot of imagination, they could make the new data fit. The only difference with Homo erectus is that the cave people are no longer here to explain what really happened. Finding human bones in caves should not be surprising. There are people living in caves today. There are also people living under freeways and in abandoned buses. Whoever lived in the caves of Dmanisi, Beijing and South Africa may have been outcasts, nature-lovers, temporary residents, refugees, early followers of Rousseau or the Sierra Club, or just the dumbest of the tribe with nowhere else to go. Maybe they were expelled from their tribes for not accepting the local myth. Just because they didn’t leave textbooks and iPods among their artifacts doesn’t mean they were non-human. The writer of Hebrews described men of whom the world was not worthy wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth (Hebrews 11:38). Let’s use that to start a new paradigm. It has just as much scientific and historical evidence, if not more: cavemen represent the greatest sojourners on Earth, rejected by their fellow men, but heirs by faith of the promises of God: among them Moses, Elijah, the prophets hid by Obadiah, David, and John the Baptist. On scales of wisdom and righteousness, there are some primitive individuals inhabiting modern research labs.(Visited 22 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Doug Tenney, Leist MercantileU.S. corn exports continue an alarming trend for reduction this fall. With two months into the September to August marketing year, weekly export inspections with the Monday 11 a.m. ET USDA report have seen numerous weeks of disappointing numbers. Many of those weeks saw corn exports at or below the low end of trader expectations. Typically, weekly corn export loadings have outpaced those of soybeans. However, this has not been the case for much of the summer and fall. At the end of October, corn exports were running 60% behind compared to USDA projecting an 8% drop for the year. Corn exports for 2019-2020 were lowered 150 million bushels with the October report. Since May, USDA projections for corn exports have dropped 375 million bushels for a 16% decline. Strong export competition and higher production from Brazil and Argentina has played a major role in the corn export decline.The Nov. 8 WASDE Report is just around the corner. Supply bulls are hoping for reduced corn production, bringing down ending stocks. Some are suggesting the U.S. corn yield would need to decline three to five bushels per acre for December 2019 CBOT corn to climb above the $4 mark. The October WASDE Report pegged the U.S. corn yield at 168.4 — a tiny increase from September. The trade had been expecting a small decline.Don’t be surprised if this November WASDE Report shows little change in the U.S. corn and soybean yields. While both corn and soybean harvest this fall have lagged behind historical progress, corn especially is behind normal. Maturity levels in the Upper Midwest continue to be behind normal as well. The Dakotas already had a blizzard the second weekend of October. Another snow event the last week of October reached Iowa, Minnesota, and northern Illinois. The Monday 4 p.m. weekly crop progress report for Oct. 28 had the corn harvest at just 41% while the average was 61%. Soybean harvest reached 62% with the average of 78%. Bottom line, many hundreds of millions of bushels of corn and soybean production continue to be at risk with the lagging harvest progress.If you are tired of hearing about the on again, off again progress of the U.S./China trade talks you’d best grab a snack, pillow, and blanket as they are far from concluded. Much of October was about reaching agreement on Phase 1 of a partial trade deal, which potentially would be signed by the presidents of the U.S. and China in mid-November in Chile. It seems the talks themselves are not the only thread being woven into the blanket called a “trade deal.” Late last month Chile removed itself from hosting the APEC (Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Conference. These meetings were to focus on the digital economy, regional connectivity, and women’s role in economic growth. This summit was cancelled on Oct. 30 due to ongoing protests. With that cancellation. even if a trade deal is reached, the signing could not take place. In the following days, the U.S. offered Iowa as a signing location for Phase 1. Remember that Phase 1 is still incomplete — no deal yet at this writing. In September, China cancelled farm visits to Nebraska and Montana which were meant to be part of a goodwill tour. The Iowa invitation could likely be unacceptable due to China’s concerns of security and other factors.Look for U.S. yields to still be unclear and up in the air in spite of the Nov. 8 reports. This means 2019 yields will not be finalized until Jan. 10, 2020.
The bail plea of sacked CWG Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi, which was to be decided by a Delhi court on Saturday, has been postponed for May 26 after he said he would place ‘new facts’ to prove his innocence in a corruption case relating to awarding of a Games-related contract to a Swiss firm.Special CBI Judge Talwant Singh, before whom CBI filed the charge sheet against him, deferred the order on his bail plea by five days after taking into consideration Kalmadi’s plea seeking to argue his case on “new” grounds.CBI filed a 50-page charge sheet against him and ten others including two companies.Others named in the chargesheet are OC Director General (Procurement) Surjit Lal, Joint Director General (sports) A S V Prasad, Treasurer M Jayachandran, A K Reddy, Managing Director of Hyderabad-based AKR Constructions, and the promoters of Faridabad-based Gem International, A K Madan and P D Arya. The Faridabad firm was outsourced a substantial portion of the contract that Swiss Timing-Omega won for the Commonwealth Games.It also names the two companies AKR Constructions and Swiss Timing-Omega.All accused have been charged under sections 120(B) (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery) and 471 (using forged documents) of Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act. The chargesheet will be taken up for cognizance on Monday.CBI said it might file a supplementary charge sheet, if need be, as further investigation is going on and certain aspects are yet to be investigated.Arguments on the bail pleas of Surjit Lal and A S V Prasad will also be heard on May 26.advertisementBhanot and Verma were arrested on February 23 while Kalmadi, Prasad and Lal was apprehended on April 26.They stand accused of awarding TSR contract to Swiss Firm Swiss Timing which caused an estimated loss of over Rs 90 crore to the exchequer.- With PTI inputs
Terrence Romeo talks to reporters as he attends his first practice with San Miguel. INQUIRER photo/Denison DalupangFor those wondering how a troubled superstar can fit himself into a title-studded roster, here’s an encouraging start: Terrence Romeo knows his place in the San Miguel Beer lineup.“Wala talaga akong maipag-mamalaki sa kahit kanino sa team na ‘to,” the controversial playmaker told reporters after his first practice with the Beermen Thursday.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games PLAY LIST 01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening Jimmy Alapag as SMB assistant coach has homecoming feel to it “I’ll just have to play the right way of basketball,” said Romeo. And that means leaving the past way behind him.The PBA’s three-time scoring champion refuses to dwell on his unceremonious exit from the KaTropa, who reportedly dealt him away to preserve their cherished chemistry.“Kung sasabihin ko ‘yung totoong dahilan, hahaba lang ‘yung usapan,” he said. “I’m moving on.”“Whatever they say about me, whatever the writeups say about me—about going Awol, about being unreachable during our Christmas party, I don’t know any more … I have no control over that now,” he added in Filipino.Before his tour of duty with KaTropa, Romeo played for GlobalPort for five years, a partnership that also ended on a sour note after a spat with coach Pido Jarencio that was caught on national TV.ADVERTISEMENT Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue “I’ll just make the most out of it with my new team. It is what it is,” said the 26-year-old guard known for his isolation skills. “We’re in a world that sometimes, there are things you just couldn’t control.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? MOST READ View comments LATEST STORIES Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte It’s a mind-set he needs to hold on to if he wants to squeeze out the most of this last chance to smooth out a career that has alternated between highlights and unsavory headlines: “I have nothing on the guys on this team.”“I want to learn from them. I want to learn how to become a champion,” he said of the stars of the team that has won four straight all-Filipino titles.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionReportedly on a demand by the stars of his former team, Romeo was shipped out by TNT for San Miguel’s Brian Heruela, David Semerad, and a 2021 first round pick. The transaction ended Romeo’s affair with the KaTropa, one that didn’t even last a whole season.To make this shot at relevance work, Romeo knows he has his work cut out for him. LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño
The State Cup will see teams from 53 affiliates across NSW contest 16 divisions, including the introduction of the Mixed B division.The three day tournament is in its 33rd year and 2009 is the 21st consecutive year that it has been played in Port Macquarie. All 23 fields at the precinct will be used for the 184 teams who have entered in the event. The following divisions will be contested at the event: two divisions in the Men’s, Women’s and Mixed Open’s divisions, as well as Men’s and Women’s 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, Men’s 35’s, 45’s and 50’s and Senior Mixed. The introduction of the Mixed B division has proved popular, with 12 affiliates taking advantage of the new division. Among the most popular divisions also include the Men’s Open B Division, with 21 teams, while the Men’s 50’s division has 16 teams in the running for the title.Wests Magpies will be looking to go for back to back titles in the Men’s Open division, after their win over Hornsby in the 2008 grand final. Canterbury Bulldogs and Wests Magpies will be aiming to make it four consecutive titles in the Women’s and Mixed Open divisions respectively, having won their respective titles in 2006, 2007 and 2008. The round games will be contested on Friday and Saturday, before finals commence on Sunday at 8am. The first of the grand finals will be played at 12.40pm. The Women’s Open final will be played at 1.50pm, followed by the Dash for Cash at 2.30pm. The Men’s Open final will be played at 2.40pm, with the Mixed Open final to follow at 3.30pm.Stay tuned for the next edition of the Touch Footy Show, which includes a preview of the NSW State Cup. NBN and Port Macquarie News have already started their coverage of the event. To view their stories, please click on the following links:http://www.nbntv.com.au/index.php/2009/12/01/wests-hot-favourite-for-state-cup/http://www.portnews.com.au/news/local/sport/general/state-cup-boasts-international-flavour/1695426.aspxhttp://www.portnews.com.au/news/local/sport/general/port-macquaries-state-cup-hopefuls/1695428.aspxFor more information, please visit the following websites: www.nswtouch.com.auhttp://www.sportingpulse.com/assoc_page.cgi?assoc=856&pID=14%20
SAN FRANCISCO – Opposition to Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline has followed Justin Trudeau to sunny California, where protesters demonstrated Friday outside the hotel where the prime minister was holding meetings with top state officials.About a dozen protesters made up of local climate change activists held signs demanding Trudeau reverse his decision on the project, chanting anti-pipeline slogans from across the street.Three of the protesters briefly got inside the hotel and demonstrated with their backs up against the wall directly outside the room where Trudeau met with California Gov. Jerry Brown.Trudeau has given no indication he’s willing to back down from the project, pledging to get it built one way or another.One of the protesters, Vanessa Butterworth, said Trudeau must to back up his talk about protecting the environment and climate by rejecting the Kinder Morgan pipeline.“If you want to be a real climate leader, you’re going to have to live up to your Paris agreement and say no to Kinder Morgan or the communities are going to shut it down,” said Butterworth, who is from Toronto.The message was different than the one Trudeau received inside the stately hotel first from Brown, and then his deputy Gavin Newsom, who is a favourite to replace Brown at the end of the Democrat’s term.During staged photo-ops, Brown said his state and Canada had much to do while the White House was “temporarily missing in action in terms of climate action.” Newsom thanked Trudeau for his leadership “at a time when that’s not lost on many of us in the political sphere out here.”California and more than a dozen other states have moved ahead with carbon pricing schemes, including a cap-and-trade system with Ontario and Quebec. Brown said he wants to forge other agreements with various provinces, and push for growth in zero-emission vehicles.Tensions around the development of the controversial $7.4-billion pipeline project escalated last week when the B.C. government announced plans for more consultations on oil spill readiness and a limit on increased diluted bitumen shipments until it can be confident of response measures.Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer asked for an emergency debate on the pipeline impasse, but deputy Speaker Bruce Stanton told him the issue does not meet the criteria.“The House of Commons should discuss all options in order to put an end to this crisis,” Scheer said in French in the House of Commons.Earlier during question period, Kim Rudd, the parliamentary secretary for the minister of natural resources, said Canada won’t let B.C. kill off the pipeline.“Any decision by the B.C. government to limit the flow of bitumen through the pipeline would be outside the province’s jurisdiction,” Rudd said.Protester David Turnbull, with Oil Change International, said Americans are also worried about what could happen to the waters along their western coast if Kinder Morgan is built.“The Kinder Morgan pipeline, if it was built, would increase the tanker traffic along the west coast, including in the United States along Seattle’s bay as well,” Turnbull said.“We’re concerned that the Kinder Morgan would both imperil our climate and also imperil our coast lines as well.”
WASHINGTON – New orders for long-lasting manufactured goods fell 3.7 per cent in January, the biggest decline since July 2017, following two months of increases that reflected strength in the country’s industry.The Commerce Department said Tuesday that orders were depressed by a 10 per cent drop in demand for transportation equipment, a category that can bounce around from month to month. Excluding transportation, durable goods orders slipped only 0.3 per cent. Orders for defence capital goods plunged 26.3 per cent. Excluding defence, new durable goods orders fell 2.7 per cent.Overall orders in January for durable goods, which are meant to last at least three years, decreased 3.7 per cent to $239.7 billion. Orders were up 5.8 per cent for the full year 2017, the best showing in six years.American manufacturers have benefited from a pickup in global economic growth and a weaker dollar, which makes U.S. goods less expensive in foreign markets.Details:—The Commerce Department downgraded the December increase in durable goods orders to 2.6 per cent from the 2.9 per cent gain it originally reported.—January orders for computers increased 6.4 per cent after falling 4.9 per cent in December.—Machinery orders fell 0.4 per cent after gaining 0.5 per cent the previous month.
Washington DC: President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign is set to report that it raised more than USD 30 million in the first quarter of 2019, edging out his top two Democratic rivals combined, according to figures it provided to The Associated Press. The haul brings the campaign’s cash on hand to USD 40.8 million, an unprecedented war chest for an incumbent president this early in a campaign. The Trump campaign said nearly 99 per cent of its donations were of USD 200 or less, with an average donation of USD 34.26. Trump’s fundraising ability was matched by the Republican National Committee, which brought in USD 45.8 million in the first quarter its best non-election year total. Combined, the pro-Trump effort is reporting USD 82 million in the bank, with USD 40.8 million belonging to the campaign alone. Trump formally launched his reelection effort just hours after taking office in 2017, earlier than any incumbent has in prior years. By contrast, former President Barack Obama launched his 2012 effort in April 2011 and had under USD 2 million on hand at this point in the campaign. Obama went on to raise more than USD 720 million for his reelection. Trump’s reelection effort has set a USD 1 billion target for 2020. Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement that Trump “is in a vastly stronger position at this point than any previous incumbent president running for re-election, and only continues to build momentum.” Trump’s fundraising with the RNC is divided between two entities: Trump Victory, the joint account used for high-dollar gifts, and the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, the low-dollar digital fundraising operation known internally as “T-Magic.” The campaign is set to launch a traditional “bundling” programme which it lacked in 2016 in the coming weeks. Bundlers are mid-tier donors who bring in contributions from their associates. Together, the Trump entities have raised a combined USD 165.5 million since 2017. Trump is benefiting from the advantages of incumbency, like universal name recognition and his unrivaled position atop the Republican Party. Among Democrats, dollars are divided across a candidate field of well more than a dozen, while the Democratic National Committee remains in debt and has suffered from being dramatically outraised by the RNC in recent months. Bernie Sanders topped the Democratic field in the first quarter, raising slightly more than USD 18 million, followed by Kamala Harris with USD 12 million and Beto O’Rourke with USD 9.4 million. Trump is reporting a haul of USD 30.3 million. Republicans have trailed Democrats in online fundraising ever since the medium was invented roughly two decades ago. But Trump has closed the gap, driving small-dollar donors who make recurring donations to the GOP like the party has never seen before. According to RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, Trump’s campaign has already had eight seven-figure fundraising days this year, and has taken in money from more than 1 million new online donors since Trump’s inauguration including 1,00,000 this year. The Republican committee said it is planning on spending USD 30 million on maintaining and growing Trump’s email list alone, recently expanded its headquarters space to an annex in Virginia and will soon invest in developing an app. In 2015, Trump swore off outside money, declaring in his opening speech: “I’m using my own money. I’m not using the lobbyists’. I’m not using donors’. I don’t care. I’m really rich.”
Activists of the youth wing of India’s main opposition Congress party burn a cut-out with an image of billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi.reutersIn a deja vu moment, a UK Court Judge, Emma Arbuthnot while hearing the bail plea of fugitive diamantaire, Nirav Modi on Friday, March 29, said in a lighter vein that he could share the same space in jail along with India’s liquor baron, Vijay Mallya. Judge, Arbuthnot coincidentally heard Mallya’s extradition trial last year when he had filed an application against the order. At that time, the Indian government shared the video of Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail where it was planning to lodge the flamboyant businessman with the UK Court. The Judge told the lawyers that “she was getting a sense of deja vu” as she ordered the extradition of Mallya last year.During the hearing, the judge asked the prosecution if he knows which part of India would Nirav Modi be jailed in. “Do we know which part of India he [Modi] is being sought in,” the Judge asked. The Crown Prosecution Service, represented by the Indian government, said that it would be the same Mumbai jail where Vijay Mallya will be held in. To this, Judge, Arbuthnot replied in a light-hearted manner that it could even be the same cell as “we know from the previous video that there is still some space left in that jail”.Mumbai’s Arthur Road prison is described as one of the most fortified jails in the country which has also housed the Mumbai, 26/11 attack convict and a Pakistani national, Muhammad Ajmal Kasab. It has been proposed that Vijay Mallya will be kept inside a highly secure barrack of a two-storeyed building of the Arthur Road jail complex. The Indian government recently reviewed the security cover of the Arthur Road jail and submitted the findings along with the video to the UK Court.Judge, Arbuthnot had sought the footage of Arthur Road prison from the Indian government during the Mallya extradition case. The Indian officials responded by saying that the medical as well security arrangements at the prison are in compliance with the international standards and that Mallya once extradited would get complete security cover. LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 10: Indian businessman Vijay Mallya smokes during a break in his extradition ruling at Westminster Magistrates Court on December 10, 2018 in London, England. India is seeking to extradite Mr Mallya from Britain to face criminal action over loans taken out by his defunct Kingfisher Airlines and debts amounting to £1.1 billion pounds, which Indian authorities say Kingfisher owes. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)Jack Taylor/Getty ImagesBoth Modi and Mallya are sought by the Indian government in money laundering and fraud cases amounting to billions of dollars. The fugitive billionaires are currently in the UK, however, Narendra Modi government has sought their extradition, the trial cases of which are being heard in the Westminster Magistrates Court.
Obaidul QuaderRuling Awami League’s general secretary and road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader has expressed his helplessness in dealing with the chaotic situation in the country’s transport sector.”I, myself, am helpless. Helplessness grasps me, too. Aren’t I a human being? I’m a minister, shall I evade my responsibilities?” Obaidul Quader said while talking to newsmen after a programme on Friday.Over the state of roads, he said, ”Wherever you go in Bangladesh, you’ll see development works going on for roads and bridges. Won’t they have birth pains? Why don’t you accept this? A section of our media is politicising this matter.”The road transport and bridges minister urged all not to criticise him over the transport sector.”I urge everyone not to corner me. I have limitations, of course. But, I remain a fighter and won’t be depressed since criticism just corrects me. Those who criticise me will one day realise that the criticism was not right,” he said.Slamming the drivers of public transport, Obaidul Quader said, ”No one maintains road discipline. Our drivers don’t bother about lives; they just keep money and earning in their mind.”