Canary In The Coal Mine

first_imgBy Katarina Zimmer and Elise HansenOr, warbler near a fracking well.If you’re hiking near small streams in the forests of central Appalachia, you might spot a small brown-greyish bird with a spotted belly, flitting around and chirping near the water. If its tail is bobbing up and down, it’s likely to be the Louisiana waterthrush.“It’s such a cool bird,” said scientist Mack Frantz. “It looks like it’s doing a little dance all the time.”Frantz, a doctoral student at West Virginia University, would know: for six years, he has waded up and down headwater streams in West Virginia, in search of the bird to check on its nests. But his recent research doesn’t bode well for the little bird’s future.Thousands of feet beneath its wooded home lie some of the largest deposits of natural gas in the United States. Hard to get at, they can only be reached through hydraulic fracturing—fracking, the process of injecting fluid at high pressures to crack the underground rock and extract the gas. This can take its toll on wildlife at the surface. As Frantz’ study shows, this includes the Louisiana waterthrush.He and his colleagues found that in areas where fracking efforts have increased over time, fewer nests and fewer fledglings survived. A major reason is that the fracking process—and the infrastructure it requires—drives forest loss, fragments the bird’s habitat, and makes its survival more difficult. As a result, Frantz explained, “these areas of shale gas development are just not producing enough fledglings.”Leesia Marshall, an assistant ecology professor at Louisiana State University of Alexandria, who has been studying the bird for over a decade, says the findings are in line with her own observations. When studying fracking sites in Arkansas, she noticed the nests weren’t faring well: clutch sizes appeared to be smaller, and eggs weren’t hatching, she said.Marshall is concerned that the toxic chemicals used in the fracking process can contaminate streams in the waterthrush’s habitat. Her own study in 2015 found that birds near fracking sites accumulate high concentrations of these chemicals in their feathers, although it’s not clear exactly how these chemicals affect the health of the bird.Frantz’s study has implications beyond the Louisiana waterthrush. The bird is a so-called “bio-indicator” species, meaning that its health is a good indicator of the health of its ecosystem. It’s a “canary in the coal mine,” Frantz explained. “You couldn’t pick a better organism to see what the impact could be on other wildlife that haven’t been studied yet.”Erik Kiviat, executive director of environmental research non-profit Hudsonia, who has studied the potential effects of fracking, explains fracking might affect many species important for commercial reasons, like trout, mink, or American woodcock. “Many of those resources that sporting interests are harvesting are likely to be negatively impacted by fracking,” he said.Fracking can affect wildlife in different ways. There’s the problem of toxic wastewater if it isn’t properly stored. Some studies suggest negative effects on various fish species, including trout, exposed to chemicals used in the fracking process. And since the gas wells are quite salty, spills or leaks could release salty waste into freshwater streams and lakes, potentially impacting species that are adapted to freshwater habitats, Kiviat explained.There are also concerns about the potential impacts on human health. For the most part, these have to do with chemicals that can get into public water supplies. “There is a lot of controversy about how much that’s happening and how that’s happening,” Kiviat explained, “but there isn’t any question that it’s happening in some areas.”For instance, research in 2016 suggested that resident’s water wells in Pavillion, Wyoming, were contaminated with chemicals linked to fracking. There is a mounting concern around toxic chemicals known as “endocrine disruptors,” meaning they can interfere with the hormonal system of humans and wildlife, particularly in reproduction or development of aquatic animals. A study in 2016 found high concentrations of such chemicals in surface water near a disposal site for fracking wastewater in West Virginia. On top of that, the risk of spills or breaks in pipelines is ever-present.Regulations are in place to address some of these concerns, although the rules—and how well they’re enforced—vary by state. But in many ways, science has yet to catch up to fracking. Frantz’s study is one of the very few that looks specifically at impacts on wildlife in the real world, Kiviat noted.The industry has expanded rapidly within the last five or so years, and scientists—particularly ecologists and biologists, who need many years of data in order to reach effective conclusions—are just now beginning to study the potential impacts on wildlife.“We’ve not really got caught up yet,” says Marshall. “[Fracking] was like a gold rush. It started really fast.”As a result, researchers like Marshall are plunging into uncharted territory, trying to discern clues about the future of a practice that has already taken hold. Marshall likens fracking to an uncontrolled experiment. “We’re [allowing] a nation-wide experiment on what impact we’re going to have on wildlife.”While the waterthrush alone may not seem like much, Frantz believes it’s still cause for concern. The loss of any species could come at a cost to the ecosystem, he explained.“A bicycle has many parts, and that’s the same with an ecosystem,” he said. “Once you start to move some of the parts from the bike, it just may not operate the same way and it might have irreversible effects—or take decades to recover.”But these connections can also be a positive thing for conservation efforts. “If you protect a bird that requires clean water and forest, then every plant and animal in that water [and forest] is protected,” said Marshall. “So it’s not just about the one individual, it’s about all of them—and us too.”last_img read more

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Depleted Golden Eaglets off to Tanzania for U-17 AFCON Glory

first_imgGolden Eaglets Five-time world champions, Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets flew out of Abuja Wednesday to Tanzania to take part in the 13th Africa U-17 Cup of Nations taking place in that country between Aptil 14th and 28thActing President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Seyi Akinwunmi charged the players and team officials to do the nation proud by lifting the trophy in Dar es SalaamThe Golden Eaglets secured their ticket to Tanzania after winning the WAFU B U-17 Tournament in Niger Republic in September last year, and will be aiming to be one of Africa’s four flag-bearers at the FIFA U-17 World Cup finals now scheduled for Brazil later this year. Nigeria, Africa’s U-17 football powerhouse, edged fellow juggernauts Ghana on penalties in Niamey to secure their slot in Tanzania, and are in the same Group A as hosts Tanzania, Uganda and Angola.However, the team has been depleted because of six first team players disqualified for failing the MRI age test last week.Last year, the team’s Captain, Sulaiman Sani Abacha was dropped after he was disqualified at the zonal qualifiers in Niamey. Eaglets and the other teams participating in the tournament are to face another round of age tests to be conducted by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) today in Dar es Salam.Tanzania made their way into the draw automatically as hosts, while Uganda won the Central East zonal finals held in Tanzania in August last year, and Angola triumphed at the COSAFA U-17 Tournament in Mauritius a month earlier.Nigeria is making her ninth appearance in this competition, having won it twice previously (Seychelles 2001 and Togo 2007), while Tanzania is making a second appearance. Angola is making a fourth appearance, but it is a first-ever appearance at this level for Uganda.Cameroon, Guinea, Senegal and Morocco make up Group B. Both Cameroon and Guinea are appearing for the seventh time at the U-17 AFCON, while Morocco and Senegal are both appearing for the second time.The Eaglets will take on their Tanzanian counterparts in Sunday’s tournament opener at the National Stadium, Dar es Salaam.An interesting variable in Sunday’s equation is the fact that Nigeria legend Emmanuel Amuneke, who is head coach of the Tanzania national team, Taifa Stars also oversees the other national teams and would be involved in their technical preparation.Amuneke last month qualified the Taifa Stars for a first-ever AFCON finals after 39 yearsAmuneke is highly familiar with the Nigeria bench, which has Manu Garba as head coach and Nduka Ugbade as one of the assistants.When Manu Garba led the Golden Eaglets to win the FIFA U-17 World Cup for the fourth time in the United Arab Emirates in 2013, Amuneke and Ugbade were his assistants.Two years later, in Chile, Amuneke was the head coach as Nigeria won a fifth title at that level.After Sunday’s encounter, the Eaglets will tackle Angola on Wednesday, 17th April and confront Uganda on Saturday, 20th April.Meanwhile, Golden Eaglets’ forward, Divine Nwachukwu has guaranteed Nigerians the team will return with the trophy.Speaking after the Eaglets received former World Cup winner, Kelechi Nwakali, the NFF Zenith U-15 Football Championship top scorer told AOIFootball.com that the boys were ready to defend the colours of the country.“It’s not easy to be here representing the country; we are privileged to be among the thousands that began this process.“It’s not by our power but by the might of God and we want to promise that we are going to Tanzania not to play but to win,” Divine said.The AYG top scorer also promised that the players will play to instructions and ensure they play as a team to achieve success for the nation.“We are going to make our families and the country proud in Tanzania, we will play as a team and also ensure we bring back the trophy,” he concluded.THE 21-MAN SQUADSunday Stephen, Shedrack Tanko, Ogaga Oduko, Samson Okikiola Tijani, Clement Chigozie Ikenna, David Akulo Ishaya, Olakunle Junior Olusegun, Mayowa David Abayomi, Wisdom Ubani, Adrian Akande, Mubaraq Gata Adeshina, Shuaib Abdulrazaq, Akinkunmi Ayobami Amoo, Olatomi Alfred Olaniyan, Charles Etim, Suleman Shaibu, Peter Agba, Divine Nwachukwu, Ibraheem Olalekan Jabaar, Fawaz Abdullahi, Ayomide OluwabusolaShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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Behind veteran leadership, USC defense makes strides

first_imgThe USC football team held their eighth practice on Thursday, with the team focusing on defense and special teams work as the quarterback competition raged on.Defense makes progress Defensive Coordinator Clancy Pendergast hosted a series of defensive and special teams drills during practice. Redshirt senior Ajene Harris participated in an array of cornerback drills. He provided excellent man-on-man coverage. “You just gotta love Ajene cause he got a heart of a lion,” Pendergast said. “He takes on every single challenge … You wish you had 11 guys like him.”Pendergast also highlighted Harris’ leadership abilities over the last few seasons. “When you stand around and eavesdrop on Ajene’s conversation with a nickelback or with a corner, he’s speaking the same language that we are as coaches,” Pendergast said. “That’s fun to hear as a coach.” Senior linebacker Cam Smith warms up at Thursday’s practice. Emily Smith | Daily TrojanSenior linebacker Cameron Smith, who elected to return for his senior season, continued to be a vocal presence during drills, creating pressure and causing plenty of disruptions for the offense. “I’m seeing things a lot faster,” said Smith. “I’ve worked really hard all offseason. Three years in a defense, I couldn’t ask for a better thing.”Still, Smith sees a need for improvement in his defensive game, particularly with some routes, pass rush and placement. “That’s some of [the]things that I think that my game has always needed improvement since freshman [year] of high school,” Smith said. “It’s something I always want to better at.”Even with the need for improvement, Smith has seen the defense truly come together during the spring with nearly five months until the first game. “We’ve moved on from the 11 guys that can play,” Smith said. “We are working out 22 guys that know our defense, can play and we trust … We all work really well together.”Quarterback Competition Redshirt freshman Jack Sears and redshirt sophomore Matt Fink continued to showcase their offensive prowess in multiple drills during practice. Redshirt sophomore Holden Thomas has not been the focus of the competition to fill the void left behind by departing quarterback Sam Darnold, but he had his moments during Thursday’s practice. A high point for Holden came when he connected with sophomore tight end Josh Falo on a deep play in one segment of practice to the adulation of teammates and coaches. Sears continued to work and made some quick throws, but fizzled out late and missed key targets. Still, it was Fink who continued to showcase his maturity, poise and accuracy. In one segment, Fink threaded the needle to connect with redshirt sophomore wide receiver Trevon Sidney in between double coverage. In another instance Fink connected with redshirt sophomore wideout Velus Jones, Jr. on a deep route. InjuriesJunior wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. continued easing into his return to practice by participating in an array of positional drills and route running. Redshirt freshman defensive lineman Marlon Tuipulotu once again worked separately from the team at the onset of practice as he recovers from a back injury. Cornerbacks redshirt junior Dominic Davis (he also plays running back) and redshirt freshman Je’Quari Godfrey were not in pads. Additional NotesUSC alum and current linebacker for the Los Angeles Chargers Hayes Pullard attended practice. Incoming freshman quarterback JT Daniels also visited. Daniels will contend for the vacant quarterback spot after reclassifying and choosing to graduate a year early. He is set to enroll in the fall.last_img read more

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Jamaica and Ghana agree on visa-free travel

first_img Jamaica and the Republic of Ghana have agreed to reciprocal visa-free travel between both countries following a bilateral discussion between Prime Minister Andrew Holness and the Ghanaian President Nana Addo Danka Akufo-Addo.The bilateral discussions, held at Jamaica House in Kingston were aimed at strengthening trade, investment and the movement of people, goods and services between the two countries.Holness said improving air services between Jamaica and Ghana is a priority.“I am pleased to recall that Jamaica and Ghana have signed an air services agreement and we discussed today ideas of how to utilise that instrument to advance our goal of deeper engagement, as we endeavour to further deepen the relationship between peoples and nations, the President and I have mandated our Ministers of Foreign Affairs to negotiate and conclude” stated Holness.The prime minister was giving a media statement following a working lunch with President Akufo-Addo and his delegation, where they also discussed “The Year of Return, Ghana 2019”.“The initiative from our perspective certainly presents excellent opportunities to build on the fraternal bonds and take the relations between our two countries and our peoples to greater heights. We can use this initiative to forge increased personal connections and at the same time deepen the trade and commercial relations between our respective countries,” said Holness.The discussion between the two leaders included cooperation in other areas such as mining, sports, and culture as well as tourism education and training.In that regard, Holness added that discussions on these will advance Jamaica’s goal on driving economic growth and job creation and developing the countries overall sustainable development agenda.Holness also reflected the continued strong and bilateral relationship that exists between Jamaica and the Republic of Ghana.“Our relations are deeply rooted in our ancestral and historic connections forged over many years and only made stronger by our affirmed democratic traditions shared principles and vision for peace and prosperity and the cultural affinities which unite our peoples.” Prime Minister Andrew Holness (right) and President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Danka Akufo-Addo last_img read more

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Tottenham sell Dawson to Hull as they close in on £8m deal for Fazio

first_img Federico Fazio 1 Tottenham have allowed Michael Dawson to join Hull, as the North Londoners move closer to landing Sevilla defender Federico Fazio.Dawson, 30, is undergoing a medical at Hull and is expected to complete his move to Humberside imminently.Tigers boss Steve Bruce told talkSPORT on Sunday a deal was in place to sign the centre-back and Spurs have now given the go-ahead, with Mauricio Pochettino confident Fazio will be incoming.Fazio, who has been at Sevilla for seven years, has an £8million buy-out clause and Tottenham are willing to match it.Sevilla were hoping their club captain would commit his long-term future to the club but the Spanish side are unable to match the money on the table from Spurs and he is keen to move to the Premier League.last_img read more

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SONGQEE(TM) Black Knotted Bow Headband Bow Head Wrap Women’s Headband Fashion Hair Band : It wicks away the moisture rather well from the inside

first_imgThey are wonderful for doing work out and holds sweat like you wouldn’t believe that, this merchandise is excellent, happy.It wicks absent the humidity fairly very well from the within. It wicks away the humidity fairly properly from the within surface and i’ve not had a challenge of sweat beating the absorption fee of the band. And have been on several runs with it.SONGQEE(TM) Black Knotted Bow Headband Bow Head Wrap Women’s Headband Fashion Hair Band100% brand new and high quality.Material is very soft and comfortableCute knotted bow headband, wear it on the side or in the center of the head, with your hair up or down. Knot can be untied and retied for a better fit.Care: Hand Wash cold and lay flat to drylovely for you , sweet!Acquired my headband in the mail now. Quickly i assumed it appeared sweet, i beloved the coloration.I do warm vinyasa yoga and sweat a buckets really worth. I do warm vinyasa yoga and sweat a buckets well worth. This does continue to be put, wicks up what sweat it will keep and keeps my layered hair out of my facebest headband.Prolonged shipping but very superior merchandise. I like it a whole lot, it is actually smooth and comfy.SONGQEE(TM) Black Knotted Bow Headband Bow Head Wrap Women’s Headband Fashion Hair Band : Doesn’t slide off easily but tight enough to hold your hair without giving. I can’t wear a lot of headbands because they’ll give me a headache after a few minutes from being so tight. Doesn’t slide off easily but tight enough to hold your hair without giving a headache. The material is soft and this color will match with a lot of my clothes. I wear headbands on a daily basis so getting another one was very exciting.last_img read more

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Sock Levels U.S. With Uzbekistan

first_imgTweetPinShare0 Shares TASHKENT, Uzbekistan — Jack Sock breezed past Farrukh Dustov in straight sets Sept. 18 to draw the United States level with Uzbekistan at 1-1 in their Davis Cup World Group playoff.The 29th-ranked Sock was rarely in trouble against the little-known Dustov, who is ranked 129 places lower, winning his first career Davis Cup match 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 in 1 hour, 52 minutes.Earlier, Steve Johnson made his Davis Cup debut in a tough five-set loss to Denis Istomin. The two players took turns dictating periods of the match before the 62nd-ranked Istomin prevailed 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-7 (3), 7-5 against Johnson, who is ranked 15 places higher.On Sept. 19, Johnson and Sam Querrey face Istomin and Dustov in the doubles before the reverse singles Sept. 20.The U.S. is trying to continue its 26-year-stay in the top-tier World Group.last_img read more

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MUA Qube Ports Wharfies Fight Proposed Wage Cut

first_imgzoom Wharf workers at Australia’s Qube Ports Newcastle have announced work bans against a company push to cut their wages by 10.5%, according to the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA).Qube is  largest integrated provider of import and export  with national operations that provide a broad range of services.For the next two weeks from midnight tonight, workers will place bans on start times, they will work only 7 hour shifts without extensions and overtime.“Workers have said an emphatic no to Qube’s underhanded attempt to drive down wages, which they see as a transparent step toward terminating their workplace agreement,” the Maritime Union of Australia said.The union added that Qube management has inflamed tensions further “by holding secret meetings with workers, offering them permanent positions if they accepted the 10.5% wage cut.”“Qube has made it clear it intends on terminating the existing workplace agreement which would effectively trash 25 years of employment history,” Warren Smith, MUA Assistant National Secretary, said.If the company terminates their existing agreement, the Qube workforce has decided unanimously not to return to work until a new deal is struck, according to MUA.last_img read more

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