Injured in cross-border firing, 10-day-old baby dies in J&K’s Poonch

first_imgA 10-day-old infant who was injured during cross-border firing in Poonch sector on Sunday has succumbed to the injuries at a hospital there.“The baby was undergoing treatment but unfortunately he succumbed [late on Sunday],” Deputy Commissioner Poonch Rahul Yadav said.The infant and his mother, Fatima Jan, were injured in cross-border firing in Shahpur area of Poonch district on Sunday night.The baby was yet to be named, according to the family.According to officials, the Pakistani army started firing and mortar shelling around 7.30 p.m. in Bandi Chechian, Karmara and Kerni areas of Poonch sector on the Line of Control. “A total of three persons were treated at the Poonch hospital,” the official said.last_img

$140 Million Spent on Drain Cleaning

first_imgStory Highlights ODPEM commended on its drive to not just focus on disaster response, but on building the resilience of communities Just under $140 million has been allocated by Government for drain cleaning this year in preparation for the Atlantic hurricane season and to guard against flooding.This was disclosed by Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott, at a briefing at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on Wednesday, September 12, to look at Jamaica’s state-of-readiness for a hurricane.The event, hosted by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), was held on the 25th anniversary of Hurricane Gilbert.Mr. Arscott informed that most of the drains across the country “have substantially been prepared and I think we will be in a good position if we have any kind of flood events to be as best prepared as we can.”He stressed that the issue of the dumping of garbage in drains, gullies, river ways and open lots, “is something that we are going to address very seriously as a country”, reminding that he has already warned that the fines for these breaches are going to be severe.He further commended ODPEM on its drive to not just focus on disaster response, but on building the resilience of communities.“We have to work to ensure that the resilience is in-built in what we do and our citizens are part and parcel of trying to mitigate some of the problems,” he said.Acting Director General of ODPEM, Richard Thompson,said that greater attention is being placed on disaster prevention and mitigation. “We are doing a lot of work in the communities where we are putting a lot of micro mitigation projects (in place),” he said.He noted that under the Building Disaster Resilient Communities (BDRC) project, ODPEM has worked in many communities for the past five years to strengthen their ability to withstand disasters.In the meantime, Meteorologist, Evan Thompson, informed the country is “not entirely out of the woods” in terms of continued weather developments.“We are expecting that the rest of September, going into October, going into November, will have increased activity in comparison to what we experienced in the first three to four months,” he said.Today’s briefing reflected on the devastation caused by the eight-hour-long category 4 hurricane. The event also sought to examine Jamaica’s current state-of- preparedness from a sectorial perspective. The country is “not entirely out of the woods” in terms of continued weather developments The rest of September, going into October, going into November, will have increased activitylast_img read more

Scientists identify worlds oldest lizard fossil in northern Italy

first_imgEDMONTON – Scientists say they have identified the world’s oldest lizard fossil — a discovery that sheds light on the evolution of lizards and snakes.The fossil, which is 240 million years old, is called Megachirella wachtleri and is believed to be the most ancient ancestor of scaled reptiles known as squamates. The conclusion is based on an analysis of data from both living and extinct reptiles.The research by scientists in Alberta — as well as in Australia, Italy and the United States — was published Wednesday in the journal Nature.“It’s a fossil lizard that we found to be the oldest-known lizard on the planet,” said Tiago Simões, a PhD student in the University of Alberta’s biological sciences department and the study’s lead author.The specimen is 75 million years older than thought when it was first described in 1993, he said.Simões said it fills a gap in understanding the evolution of lizards and snakes.There are about 10,000 species of squamates around the world, and scientists say they are still learning about the early stages of the animals’ evolution.Researchers initially thought the fossil, which was found in northern Italy’s Dolomite Mountains, was related to but not actually a lizard.Further analysis, however, determined it to be the oldest relative of existing lizards and snakes, which, Simões pointed out, are essentially limbless lizards.He said researchers in the last four years compiled the largest dataset ever. It included micro CT scans, photographs and molecular analysis rather than relying on previous research.“We are sure it’s a lizard by the particular combination of features,” said Simões.Some of those features include the shape of bones in the brain, shoulder and trunk of the fossil. The results indicate a more gradual evolution than previously thought.“It’s important … to understand how such a diverse and important component of the modern biological world originated,” said Simões. “There has been a lot of hot debate in the past.“For the first time, we are providing agreement.”He said it’s also valuable to know how invertebrates evolved during drastic shifts in environmental conditions.“One of the things we learned in this study was that most of the larger groups of reptiles were already present in the Permian period, which means they were present and evolved before the largest mass extinction in the history of the planet.”The Permian mass extinction killed about 90 per cent of the Earth’s species.last_img read more