Feral cats now dominate the Australian landscape

first_imgFeral cats occupy 99.8 percent of the Australian continent.Cats, brought by European explorers on ships, are blamed for the extinction and endangerment of numerous mammal species found nowhere else.The government plans to cull two million feral cats, but researchers say a more pointed approach – focusing on breeding ground – could be more effective in the long-term. Feral cats now inhabit virtually the entire Australian landscape, and have been implicated in multiple recent mammal extinctions by conservationists. Illuminating the urgency of controlling cat populations across the continent, a new study in Biological Conservation finds that cats occupy over 99.8% of Australia.The study was conducted by over forty scientists—led by wildlife ecologists Dr. Sarah Legge, Professor John Woinarski, and Dr. Brett Murphy of the National Environmental Science Programme’s Threatened Species Recovery Hub — and adds to a growing number of reports regarding the dangers feral cats pose to wildlife. At least 30 species of native mammals have gone extinct from Australia over the last 200 years following the arrival of European colonists with their deadly passengers.Feral cat in Arid zone. Photo Credit: HUGH MCGREGOR & ARID RECOVERY.“Our fauna didn’t evolve with cats or anything like a cat, so they are not adapted to cope with this sort of predator,” explained Legge.In Australia today, feral cats leave virtually zero room for vulnerable native species to persist. However, their populations are notoriously difficult to assess because of their nocturnal and cryptic lifestyles. To answer the question of just how many cats, Dr. Legge and her colleagues analyzed over 90 field studies from across Australia, concluding that the overall feline population size fluctuates between roughly 2.1 and 6.3 million cats – numbers decrease across inland Australia following periods of drought, and increase during wet periods. For perspective, that’s roughly one cat for every four people when their numbers spike during rainy periods.Prior to European settlement in the 18th century, Australia remained an exotic wilderness thoroughly stranger than fiction. Its vibrant indigenous culture reaching back to as early as 60,000 years ago; its landscape accentuated by a menagerie of animals found only in Australia. British colonists arriving in 1788 must’ve foreseen the words of the famous British evolutionary biologist, J.B.S. Haldane, who famously said over a century later, “My own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.”Marsupials like the desert rat-kangaroo (Caloprymnus campestris), pig-footed bandicoot (Chaeropus ecaudatus), toolache wallaby (Macropus greyi), lesser bilby (Macrotis leucura), crescent nail-tail wallaby (Onychogalea lunata), desert bandicoot (Perameles eremiana), broad-faced potoroo (Potorous platyops), among many others, were present when European ships landed in the late 1700s. All of these, plus many other mammals, are now extinct.Bilbies have been hit hard by feral cats. Photo Credit: BERNARD DUPONT.“Mammals are the most susceptible group… We suspect, though, that both birds and reptiles have also been heavily impacted by cats, but the evidence for this is harder to collate,” Legge said.At the time, Europeans could not have realized how devastating their arrival would prove to native wildlife. It was common in the 18th Century for European ships to carry cats to help control rat populations onboard. Inevitably, when ships landed in places like Australia with no native cats – or other natural predators to keep them in check – these small feline passengers wasted no time wreaking havoc on rare and exotic fauna lacking evolutionary adaptations to deal with such predators.Indeed, a recent genetic study published in Ecology and Evolution linked modern feral cat populations in Hawaii and Australia back to Europe, confirming what many biologists have suggested for a long time.“Not only are they bad at recognizing and evading feral cats, Australian mammals also have much slower reproductive rates than mammals in many other parts of the world,” said Legge. She added that cats also “out-reproduce” native mammals.A disappearing native fauna in Australia is especially alarming given the fact that the majority of these animals occur nowhere else in the world.Long considered “hot spots” for biodiversity, islands and isolated landmasses such as Australia are home to remarkably high proportions of endemic species relative to larger continents. Over millions of years, the relative isolation offered by these areas gives rise to distinct genetic characteristics and highly specialized biological adaptations, and as a result, high levels of endemism.“Over 85 percent of Australia’s mammal fauna is endemic – unique to Australia – so when we lose them from here, we lose them from the planet,” Legge noted.A Goanna Foot taken from a feral cat stomach. Photo Credit: NESP – NORTHERN AUSTRALIA ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES HUB.A 2011 study published in Global Change Biology suggests they’ve contributed to 14% of the recent extinctions of mammals, birds, and reptiles on islands. It’s no wonder that in their study, Legge and her colleagues warn that feral cats are “one of the world’s most damaging invasive species.”As the study notes, previous estimates placed the feral cat population in Australia at roughly 18 million, but were not properly tested or supported by peer review. In response, the Australian government recently announced an ambitious conservation target to cull at least two million feral cats by 2020.Legge and her colleagues warn that such a broad-scale target could prove ineffective for a number of reasons. Certain areas tend to support higher densities of feral cats and may act as sources of expansion during extended wet periods. For example, in areas such as garbage dumps or large agricultural operations alternative food sources allow cats to maintain high densities regardless of prey availability.“It may be more beneficial for Australian biodiversity if relatively few feral cats are eradicated from small areas of high conservation value while cats remain widespread and abundant elsewhere, than if the feral cat population was more substantially reduced overall but not eradicated from those important areas,” the paper argues.In other words, culling two million cats won’t do much to help native wildlife unless guided by sound research and executed in the proper areas.Feral cat populations aren’t any easier to control than they are to assess. Legge and her colleagues alarmingly reported that “…the similarity of cat densities between reserved and unreserved areas indicates that for cat-susceptible wildlife, the Australian reserve system is unlikely to provide sufficient conservation security, and that [native species] will continue to disappear from reserves unless those reserves are managed with intensive control of feral cats.”Camera Traps are one tool used to monitor cat numbers. Photo Credit: NESP – NORTHERN AUSTRALIA ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES HUB.Until effective control measures are developed that can be implemented across large landscapes, the most straightforward strategy for preventing further extinctions appears to be protecting areas that are currently without cats to provide safe havens for sensitive native species.Moving forward, it will be crucial to engage public support for the initiative.To this point, Legge appeared confident that a consensus is within reach.“I believe there is more common ground than uncommon ground: we all agree that species extinctions are terrible and we need to prevent them. That means we need to control feral cats; we all agree that we must do so in a humane way, with the cat’s welfare in mind.”She noted that owning pet cats is certainly not a bad thing, but emphasized that it’s crucial they be managed properly to minimize harm for other animals. Owners can help by keeping them indoors or within a confined and protected area outside, or on a leash during walks. Most importantly, owners should ensure that they’re spayed or neutered before reaching sexual maturity.“Feral cats are wreaking havoc on Australian wildlife; it’s not their fault – we brought them here, and they’re just doing what they do best,” Legge observed. “But in bringing cats to Australia we created a problem that we now have to set straight, because numbats, quolls, woylies and bandicoots are paying the price for our mistake.”It’s nearly impossible to overstate the impacts of feral cats on native wildlife populations. Effective solutions remain far away for Australia , but studies like this provide a foundation on which to take the necessary steps toward a less hostile environment for our native faunas.Legge reflected, “We have a responsibility to maintain nature’s integrity and beauty for the sake of future generations, and indeed all living things.” Article published by Maria Salazar Citations:Koch, K., Algar, D., & Schwenk, K. (2016). Feral cat globetrotters: Genetic traces of historical human‐mediated dispersal. Ecology and Evolution, 6(15), 5321–5332. doi:10.1002/ece3.2261Legge, S., Murphy, B.P., McGregor, H., Woinarski, J.C.Z., Augusteyn, J., Ballard, G., Baseler, M.,Buckmaster, T., Dickmanj, C.R., Doherty, T., Edwards, G., Eyre, T., Fancourt, B.A., Ferguson, D., Forsyth, D.M., Geary, W.L., Gentle, M., Gillespie, G., Greenwood, L., Hohnen, R., Hume, S., Johnson, C.N., Maxwell, M., McDonald, P.J., Morris, K., Moseby, K., Newsome, T., Nimmo, D., Paltridge, R., Ramsey, D., Ready, J., Rendall, A., Richaf, M., Ritchie, E., Rowland, J., Short, J., Stokeld, D., Sutherland, D.R., Wayne, A.F., Woodford, L., & Zewe, F. (In press). Enumerating a continental-scale threat: How many feral cats are in Australia? Biological Conservation. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2016.11.032Medina, F.M., Bonnaud, E., Vidal, E., Tershy, B.R., Zavaleta, E.S., Donlan, C.J., Keitt, B.S., Corre, M., Horwath, S.V., & Nogales, M., (2011). A global review of the impacts of invasive cats on island endangered vertebrates. Global Change Biology 17, 3503–3510. Animals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Hotspots, Cats, Conservation, Ecology, Environment, Extinction, Habitat, Interns, Invasive Species, Mammals, Wildlife Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Day aiming for Rio medal

first_imgWorld Championship relay gold medalist, Christine Day, revealed that she has ambitions of winning an individual medal at the Olympic Games in Rio this summer, following what was merely a training run at the inaugural McKenley-Wint Track and Field Classic on Saturday at Calabar High.Day, 29, whose best time ranked her sixth in the world in 2015, won the Olympic Development 800-metre run in 2:15.34 on Calabar’s brand-new synthetic track ahead of her sister, Jonique Day, and Tiffany James, respectively, before telling of her ambitions for later this year.”I really want to get an individual medal at the Olympics, but you have to make it to the trials, which is what I am working towards,” said Day, who finished fourth in the 400m in Beijing last August in a personal-best 50.14.So far, under new coach Bertland Cameron, Jamaica’s first-ever World Championships gold medalist, Day said training has been going well. “Training is going great, and I’m really looking forward to this season. I am working on weak areas, getting stronger in areas I used to struggle with. Once I stay healthy, greater things will come,” said Day, who ran a blistering lead-off leg for Jamaica’s women’s 4x400m team that upset the United States to win one of Jamaica’s seven gold medals in Beijing.As for the 800m run, Day explained the performance was more about training and supporting the inaugural meet named in honour of two of Jamaica’s greatest athletes, Arthur Wint and Herb McKenley.”It was just a part of our training. Coach just wanted to support the track meet, so he sent us out to run an 800m,” she said.last_img read more

Brazil works behind scene to greenlight Manaus-Boa Vista transmission line

first_imgThe long-delayed Tucuruí Transmission Line extension, providing energy autonomy to Roraima state, appears to be moving ahead rapidly under the Bolsonaro government, with federal institutions carrying out secretive political maneuvers to speed construction at any cost, regardless of opposition, say critics.The project’s environmental license has been suspended since 2014. One sticking point: the impact of the project on the Waimiri-Atroari Indigenous Territory. Of the 721 kilometers (450 miles) of extension envisaged for the transmission line, 125 kilometers (78 miles) with 200 electrical towers would cross through the reserve.Another obstacle is ongoing negotiations with Transnorte, the selected construction consortium, which has demand what are viewed by many as excessive returns on the project. The Bolsonaro government has reportedly pressured the National Electric Energy Agency to accept the conditions demanded by the company.Analysts say the transmission line isn’t necessary, as solar power could be utilized to serve the needs of Roraima state, and implementation could be faster. However, some experts suspect that the powerline is connected to plans to open the region to industrial mining, which requires huge amounts of electricity to operate profitably. Since January 2019, the threat of infrastructure development has cast a long shadow across the Brazilian Amazon — generating concern among indigenous and traditional communities in the rainforest. Under the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro, proposals for large new projects have gained momentum to a level not seen since the end of the nation’s military dictatorship in 1985, say critics.To date, much of the intensified planning for these projects has been happening behind closed doors, leaving those likely to be impacted and the media mostly in the dark.The case of a long-delayed electrical transmission line between two regional capitals — Boa Vista in Roraima state, and Manaus in Amazonas — is a case in point. The Bolsonaro government seems intent on pushing the powerline through regardless of opposition, even when resistance comes from within the administration itself. That’s according to documents viewed by Mongabay that reveal hidden intergovernmental clashes in the negotiations behind the initiative.The project, an extension of the “Tucuruí Transmission Line,” aims to guarantee energy autonomy to the state of Roraima. It got underway in 2012, when a public-private company called Transnorte was awarded the construction concession. Transnorte itself is a consortium, resulting from the union of ALUPAR, an association that controls various other companies; with Eletronorte, a state energy firm.From the outset, the project presented logistical, environmental and social challenges: of the 721 kilometer (450 mile) extension envisaged for the transmission line, 125 kilometers (78 miles) would cross through the heart of the Waimiri-Atroari Indigenous Territory, on the border between Amazonas and Roraima states.More than 200 transmission towers would be needed to carry the electrical lines through the reserve — each one occupying an area equivalent to a football pitch. Add to that construction and maintenance roads, and the necessity of regular clearing of foliage along the route. Analysts predicted irreversible impacts on the lives, livelihoods and culture of the Waimiri-Atroari, who say they still suffer the scars inflicted by government violence and genocide during the dictatorship.The Kinja — the name the Waimiri-Atroari use to refer to themselves — point to likely construction damage: the cutting down of tree and plant species that guarantee the tribal food supply, the profaning of sacred places, an escalation of political pressure on communities, more outsiders on tribal lands, the risk of proliferating “white man’s diseases,” and other threats to the indigenous way of life.Due to the complexity and potential harm of the project, the environmental license for its execution has been suspended since 2014. Neither FUNAI, Brazil’s indigenous affairs agency, nor IBAMA, its federal environmental agency, have granted the necessary licenses to move forward.In addition, ANEEL, Brazil’s National Electric Energy Agency, the body responsible for monitoring project implementation, is presently in strong disagreement with the conditions demanded by Transnorte for the line’s construction.As a result of the long delays, Transnorte is negotiating a project renewal, but the two parties disagree over three central points: the annual economic returns to be received by the firm; the logistical difficulties of building the transmission towers within the Waimiri-Atroari Indigenous Territory; and the required consultation with indigenous communities over the damages that the Tucuruí Transmission Line will cause.With regards to the third point, in 2018, Maria Suely, Roraima’s then governor, filed a lawsuit in the Federal Supreme Court “to dispense with indigenous consultation,” pushing for project construction at any cost and without the required meetings with the Kinja.“Systematic and free consultation with the Kinja never happened,” says Fernando Merloto Soave, a public prosecutor with the Federal Public Ministry (MPF), independent litigators in Amazonas state. The MPF has been monitoring the case since 2013, and advocating for the indigenous peoples’ right to consultation and full participation in decisions regarding the project as guaranteed by international law.The MPF has already filed two lawsuits concerning violations of the rights of the Waimiri-Atroari, with charges brought against Transnorte, ANEEL, FUNAI, IBAMA and the national government. One of the lawsuits requests the annulment of the initial concession, and the other requests the cancellation of any environmental licenses that have already been granted.“The military participated in a genocide of the Kinja population in the 1970s, and there are historical conflicts with the State [and indigenous people]. Pushing the Tucuruí Transmission Line ‘down their throats’ represents an immense regression, a return to an era of serious [human rights] violations,” says Merloto, one of the MPF prosecutors assigned to the case.A community in the Waimiri-Atroari Indigenous Territory. Image by Raphael Alves / Court of Justice of Amazonas.A project facing staunch resistance from the outsetThe extension of the Tucuruí Transmission Line to Roraima as currently envisaged would follow alongside highway BR-174, through the northern region of the indigenous reserve. Planning got underway there in 2012. However, it wasn’t long before the relationship between Transnorte and ANEEL showed signs of wearing thin — largely the result over quarrels concerning the studies required to begin construction, including analyses of environmental impacts and possible harm to the Waimiri-Atroari.According to records of the process included in an official letter from ANEEL, and obtained by Mongabay through the Law of Access to Information: “Transnorte expressed its intention to not continue with the project for the first time on November 14, 2014 by asking to schedule a meeting… to discuss the necessary and inevitable suspension of the contract… agreed between TNE [the acronym for Transnorte] and the Union [the national government].”By that time, the Public Ministry had already requested cancellation of the auction. The federal court in Amazonas ruled in favor of the MPF in the case, which was then appealed to higher courts. The lawsuit remains in process. At present, the concession won by Transnorte is still valid, but with one caveat: no environmental license can be granted before the Waimiri-Atroari have been consulted.And, say critics, this consultation must be done properly: “It is not a simple consultation to establish whether they are for or against [the project]: it is intended to level out the decision power of those involved in the process, including the Kinja. What always happens in this [sort of} case is a kind of ‘uneven’ conversation in which the government speaks ‘from the top down,’” explains Fernando Merloto.The legal basis for the federal prosecutor’s case is International Labour Organisation Convention 169, signed by the Brazilian government, which stipulates that the administration in power is responsible for developing “coordinated and systematic action to protect the rights of [indigenous] peoples and to guarantee respect for their integrity.”Map of the Tucuruí Transmission Line extension from Manaus to Boa Vista (in blue and red). The hatched area is the Waimiri-Atroari Indigenous Territory. Image by PRESERVAR – Arqueologia e Meio Ambiente.Disagreement over returns stalls negotiationsIn addition to the lawsuit already described, in 2016, a new problem emerged which would complicate construction even further. Transnorte, conflicted over whether to abandon or move forward with the project, presented a study produced by the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV), with newly revised calculations for the value of the project — as well as its profits.The value initially established at auction for the company’s annual revenue upon project completion was R$ 121 million (US$ 30 million). This was to be the annual return authorized by the federal government, paid to Transnorte once the Tucuruí Transmission Line became operational.But according to Transnorte’s new calculations, its annual returns should be higher: the consortium argues that it should receive R$ 391 million (nearly US$ 100 million) — more than 3 times the original agreed to revenue. The dispute between the government and the consortium over the wide gap between the new evaluation as compared to the initial contract brought the project to a halt.“There is no way… that we can recognize additional costs presented on the grounds that they were unforeseeable. The information was available and the Concessionary [Transnorte] was aware of it, so this should have been incorporated into the value [first] offered,” said ANEEL technicians in a letter from June 2019 concerning the case.Nevertheless, also in 2019, ANEEL redid its calculations, establishing R$ 275 million (US$ 70 million) as the new revenue permitted for the project. That suggestion did not go down well: Transnorte rejected the proposal, which was valid until October 31, 2019, according to the federal agency.A nearly complete breakdown of negotiations then followed between Transnorte and the agency. The unsustainable climate of hostility existing between the two parties then forced the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) to intervene — based on its links with ANEEL. According to Mongabay’s sources, one of the chief reasons for Transnorte’s steadfast tenacity in the negotiations is the backdoor support it receives from MME.A Tucuruí Transmission Line tower as it exists today in the finished stretch between Manaus and Macapá. Image by Growth Acceleration Program (PAC) / VisualHunt.com / CC BY.“Friendly fire”For six years, the Ministry of Mines and Energy remained in the shadows, not interfering in the negotiations over the Tucuruí Transmission Line. However, during the administration of former president Michel Temer, the ministry changed its position, becoming more engaged.At the time, it was headed by Fernando Coelho Filho — now being investigated under suspicion of receiving bribes during the Dilma Rousseff government. The former minister belongs to the same party as Temer, the MDB, which traditionally controls the Ministry of Mines and Energy. Under his tutelage, the MME began pressuring ANEEL to accept Transnorte’s threefold return request.In a letter, sent in February 2018, the ministry’s Secretary of Energy Planning and Development, Eduardo Azevedo Rodrigues, asked the agency to analyze “the situation in its entirety, with all its details, in order to promote, at [the agency’s] discretion, the economic and financial rebalancing of the contract.” Here, the Ministry of Energy and Mines seems to be subtly suggesting ANEEL reconsider a better deal for Transnorte, agreeing to potentially readjust the firm’s returns upward.Other actions carried out under the Temer administration suggest that the growing push to get the transmission line built may have been the result of vested mining interests lobbying behind the scenes to dramatically increase electricity supply to the northern Amazon. Temer tried to allow mining in the gigantic National Copper and Associate Minerals Reserve, known as RENCA, a plan foiled by Brazilian and international public outcry. RENCA, were it opened to mining, would require massive amounts of energy to be productive and profitable. Today, NGOs monitoring the scene still believe that there is an unspoken relationship between the two plans — especially because there is a long history of Brazilian public works energy development projects being discretely linked to new, large-scale private mining projects.Institutional divides and backdoor politicsThe Bolsonaro government, since taking power in January 2019, has signalled through its administrative statements and actions that it regards the Tucuruí Transmission Line as a vital stepping stone to other large infrastructure projects, and to developing the “unproductive Amazon.”This view gained strength on February 27, when the National Defense Council decided that the Tucuruí Transmission Line was strategic for national security — a measure aimed at providing the legal go ahead for construction, despite all indigenous and environmental opposition.Also, the decision-making power of two inter-ministerial councils — both headed by the minister of Mines and Energy, former naval officer Bento Albuquerque — is apparently being leveraged to push the transmission line ahead. The councils are empowered to ask the President of the Republic for exceptional measures — such as, ordering that Transnorte’s contested profitability demands be accepted.In May, the Electricity Industry Monitoring Committee sent a recommendation to the National Energy Policy Council for there to be recognition “by the Granting Power [to ANEEL, in this case] of the exceptional and specific conditions for the implementation of the project, in order to facilitate the beginning of construction on the Transmission Line.”The recommendation clears the way for Bolsonaro to authorize construction, even if the Waimiri-Atroari, ANEEL, the Public Ministry and other institutions object — an indication that the administration wants the project done regardless of monetary, social or environmental cost.In addition, over recent months, Minister Bento Albuquerque held a series of meetings with federal bodies that could potentially interfere and hold up progress, stitching together support for Bolsonaro’s administrative decisions.Between April and September, the minister met with Attorney General of the Union, André Mendonça, who has already given the greenlight to the project; the president of FUNAI, who is responsible for defending indigenous interests; the management of ANEEL; and General Eduardo Villas-Boas, of the Institutional Security Cabinet, a representative of the military wing of the government that defends “neodevelopmentalism” in the Amazon. The military has long supported major infrastructure development in the Amazon as a matter of national security.According to Mongabay’s investigation, a series of meetings were also held between representatives of the Ministry of Mines and Energy and ANEEL to discuss the conditions demanded by Transnorte. At those meetings, the executive MME secretary pressured ANEEL to accept the sums demanded by the consortium. When questioned, the Ministry of Mines and Energy refused to comment on these activities.The Waimiri-Atroari Community Association has announced that it will continue resisting the transmission line through its demarcated territory. Indigenous peoples also reiterated their demand that they be properly consulted and pointed out that of the 37 impacts identified by the project’s studies, 27 are irreversible — underlining the seriousness of their fears.“Up to now, the [indigenous] community’s only concern is with the correct identification of the real socioenvironmental impacts that the undertaking will have on the life, territory and culture of the Waimiri-Atroari people — and what should be done to avoid and/or mitigate them as much as possible,” their representatives wrote in a statement published in June 2019.The Tucuruí hydroelectric power plant, in Pará state, the generator of energy that will supply electricity to Roraima if and when the transmission line is built. Image by PPGEDAM (NUMA/UFPA) / Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NCTucuruí Transmission Line not the only optionAs Bolsonaro moves to fast track the powerline, researchers and the Public Ministry continue to argue that there are better alternatives for achieving Roraima energy autonomy. Researchers at the Federal University of Rondônia (UFRO) and Unicamp, along with NGOs including Greenpeace, have suggested solar energy production could offer a cheaper, faster option.According to experts, the total cost of energy produced by the transmission line (US$ 60/MWh) would be about 30 percent more than that of photovoltaic solar production (US$ 45/MWh). And that’s not to mention the advantage in terms of speed of implementation: a technical note, signed by three solar specialists and endorsed by the MPF in Amazonas, indicated that solar-produced electricity could be made available before transmission line construction completion.“Alternative energies are produced by smaller structures, often in much quicker projects, [but] the [photovoltaic] sector doesn’t yet have a lobby as consolidated and problematic as hydroelectric energy,” explained Marcelo Laterman, from Greenpeace, one of the researchers responsible for the analysis.The question looming today among environmental and indigenous activists is when will the clandestine administrative maneuvers of the Bolsonaro administration necessarily burst into public view — and how strong will public resistance be then to the powerline’s completion?Banner image caption: A portion of the existing Tucuruí Transmission Line close to the Amazonas and Pará border. Image by PAC / Promotional. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Xavier Bartaburucenter_img Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon People, Controversial, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Energy, Energy Politics, Environment, Environmental Politics, Featured, Forests, Green, Indigenous Cultures, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Infrastructure, Land Conflict, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Saving The Amazon, Social Justice, Threats To The Amazon, Tropical Deforestation last_img read more

What is needed to keep Sri Lanka’s leopards roaming free? (Commentary)

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Jagath Gunawardana is a Colombo-based environmental lawyer, lecturer and naturalist. Conservation, Endangered Species, Environment, Leopards, Wildlife The recent killing of a leopard at a national park in Sri Lanka, apparently for its claws and teeth, has sparked a fresh debate on the protection available to these majestic animals and whether conservation efforts are capable of protecting the dwindling leopard population.The leopard has been a protected animal since 1964; despite this, Sri Lanka is fast losing its leopard population, estimated to be around 1,000 at present.Following the recent killing, there are calls to introduce practical and proactive measures to better protect leopards in the wild.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. On Dec. 31, a fully grown male Sri Lankan leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya) was found shot and killed at the famed Uda Walawe National Park. It was also reported that the forelegs of the majestic beast had been severed and its teeth pulled out, giving rise to a fresh public debate about the protection afforded to this charismatic species and whether the current conservation efforts are sufficient.The Sri Lankan leopard is the largest of the four wild cat species found in Sri Lanka, and the apex mammalian predator on the island. It is also a charismatic large animal that is popular among locals as well as tourists. There are some who visit Sri Lanka mainly to view leopards. It is a favourite subject of wildlife enthusiasts and widely photographed.The leopard has been protected under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance since 1964, the first wild cat to be given legal protection. The initial legal protection was partial, as it was still possible to kill a leopard by obtaining a permit to do so. This situation remained so until 1993, when an amendment to the law made the leopard a fully protected species, along with the jungle cat (Felis chaus), the other wild cat that was unprotected until that time.The other two wild cat species in Sri Lanka, namely the fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) and the rusty-spotted cat (P. rubiginosus), were given protected status in 1970. That means the fishing cat and the rusty-spotted cat had more protection under the law than the leopard from 1970 to 1993.Legal protectionThe last amendment to the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance in 2009 moved all four species into the newly established “strictly protected species” category. It is an offense to main, injure, harm or kill a leopard, or to keep a live animal, a dead body or any part of a body. It is also an offense to sell or expose to sell a dead body or any part or trade in live animals.The offenses extend to the use of any implement, instrument or substance to commit any of these offenses. Furthermore, all these offenses are deemed to be cognizable offenses, that is, the offender can be arrested without a warrant. They are, in addition, deemed to be non-bailable offenses as well.It is seen that there are quite strong legal provisions to protect the leopard in Sri Lanka. However, it is the enforcement of these provisions which is still the weakness. The Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) which is entrusted with the protection of all animals and plants and a large number of protected areas declared under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance, is severely understaffed.It does not have enough staff to proactively give protection to species and habitats; the staff serve mainly to protect the habitats and also to take action against offenders. The Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance has empowered the police too, but the police are entrusted with a myriad of law-and-order issues and also lack specialized training on animals and plants.Another vital area that needs to be revamped is the capacity of the professional staff within the DWC, and this needs more officers and more training. This includes, but is not limited to, specialized subject areas such as the identification of animals and plants by genetic testing, detection and producing expert evidence before courts during prosecution, animal forensic studies, and coordinated operations with other state institutions.The last amendment introduced a provision that allows any officer in the DWC of the rank of ranger or above, and who has more than 10 years of experience, to become an “expert witness” in a prosecution. There is a need to provide more training in specialized areas to make the best use of this provision too.Need for proactive measures The conservation and the protection of the leopard needs other proactive measures as well. Even though the leopard holds such an important segment in the tourism sector, given how popular wildlife tourism is, the authorities are yet to team up with wildlife authorities to have a comprehensive plan of action to protect leopards so that tourists will still be able to see them in the future.Such an action plan needs to be multi-dimentional, tourism being one dimension. There are leopards in both the low-country wet and dry zones, and in the hill country up to the highest elevations, with a population in Horton Plains National Park itself. Hence it is needed to consider the populations of the leopards within and outside the protected areas and to have conservation and management actions to cover both these populations.It is said that there are no more than 1,000 leopards remaining in the wilds of Sri Lanka. Furthermore, the subspecies found in Sri Lanka is an endemic one, found nowhere else on Earth.But a number of leopards continue to be killed each year, both intentionally and accidently, taking a toll on the already low population. This animal is included in the National Red Data List as a threatened species within Sri Lanka.It is very clear that time is fast running out for this charismatic carnivore and therefore urgent management action is needed to save this unique population for the future.center_img Article published by dilrukshi Banner image of a playful  leopard, courtesy of Rajiv Welikala.last_img read more

Jagdeo urges expeditious, thorough probe

first_imgAssassination plotDescribing as serious the alleged existence of a plot to kill President David Granger, former President and Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, has urged that a thorough investigation be conducted into the matter.President David Granger“A threat to kill anyone, particularly the Head of State, must be treated seriously. I expect our security forces will ensure that this matter is investigated thoroughly, and that appropriate action (would) be taken against anyone implicated,” Jagdeo told Guyana Times on Saturday, when contacted for a comment on the matter.Jagdeo said the probe must be expeditious, in order to erase any speculation of mischief. “This (investigation) must be done expeditiously to avoid allegations that this plot against the President was fabricated to distract the nation’s attention from the deteriorating economy and to justify increased security spending,” the Opposition Leader added.AllegationsPolice Commissioner Seelall Persaud indicted to reporters on Friday that the Force’s legal advisor, in reviewing the case file, will have to determine whether there is substance to the allegation, or if the allegation is just a ploy to create mischief.President David Granger“The legal advisor is the best person to say whether there is evidence; evidence to show that the allegation has been proven or that there was mischief, or maybe somewhere in between (and) cannot be determined,” he explained.Nevertheless, the Top Cop pointed out that, whatever the case may be, both scenarios are unlawful, and as such, legal actions will be taken.“Well, the allegation is one of treason. Any plot to kill the President or overthrow Government is treason. And on the other hand, if someone tells a police officer something that is false and caused him to act in accordance with the call of duty, then there is a charge of giving false information,” he explained.PlotIn the meantime, the investigation into the alleged plot to kill the Guyanese leader is on-going. After taking statements from the complainant — the person who claimed that a businessman had promised to give him $7 million to assassinate the President — and another individual who had reportedly witnessed the alleged transaction, investigators have handed the case file over to the Force’s legal mind for advice. The file has since been returned for further work to be done by investigators.“We got advice (on Friday). Actually, there was a witness that the police contacted, whom the police’s legal advisor asked to be confronted with the person making the allegation (in order) to clear some issues and resend (the file)… Hopefully, over the weekend that will happen, and we will get advice on that,” the Police Commissioner stated.Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan on Friday also denied reports appearing in certain sections of the media to the effect that senior police officers are involved in the alleged plot to assassinate the Head of State.The Minister has, moreover, charged media houses to be responsible in reporting highly sensitive stories, as in this instance. The Police Commissioner also concurred with this view, noting that the media are a powerful element and have to show some form of maturity and journalistic ethics in reportage.News of the allegation became public on Thursday, when State Minister Joseph Harmon confirmed that the presidential security has been beefed up following allegations that a group of high-profile individuals have been planning to shoot the Head of State should he step out of his secure zone in one of his public outreaches.last_img read more

No defending Lakers in loss

first_imgAs soon as Kevin Martin knocked down an 18-footer in the opening minute of Friday night’s game, the Lakers’ 116-108 loss to the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center might as well have been set in stone. The Kings were on their way to scoring the game’s first 10 points, to shredding the Lakers for 37 points in the first quarter – and 65 in the first half – and to ending the modest three-game winning streak of their Pacific Division rivals. Lakers coach Phil Jackson took inventory of his players who were unable to practice this week – Andrew Bynum, Kobe Bryant, Maurice Evans and Aaron McKie – because of either illness or injury, and made a simple pronouncement. “I told the team they played kind of like they practiced this week – inconsistent – like they were sick,” Jackson said. The Lakers were unable to build on their modest three-game winning streak, as they lost for the first time in eight games within the Pacific Division and fell 3 1/2 games behind Houston for fifth in the Western Conference playoff race. It was undoubtedly one of the Lakers’ worst defensive nights of the season, offering little in the way of confidence heading into a Sunday afternoon showdown against Phoenix, the NBA’s highest-scoring team, to open a four-game road trip. Even when the opening was there to steal the game in the fourth quarter, as they closed to 104-96 with 3 1/2 minutes remaining, the Lakers’ defense failed them yet again. The Lakers were on their way to another listless performance on defense, falling behind by 21 points in the third quarter, proving that a three-day break between games was the worst thing the schedule could have handed them. “After a 10-0 run in the first two minutes, you should be able to recover,” Lamar Odom said. “This game was lost in the first half due to our defense.” center_img All they needed was a stop and a chance to get the ball to Odom, who played an inspired fourth quarter. Odom finished with 26 points, 13 rebounds and six assists for the game, carrying the Lakers with 13 points and nine rebounds in the fourth. Odom had just backed down Ron Artest for a basket at the other end. The Lakers, however, were lost in a fog of miscommunication as Bryant and Sasha Vujacic failed to switch and Martin wound up with an uncontested layup off a Brad Miller pass. That was the last straw of a game in which the Lakers trailed from start to finish. Sacramento made its first four shots and took a 10-0 lead, leaving a question for Bryant about whether a beginning like that can carry through a 48-minute game. “It really depends on us and if we allow that to be what sets the tone for the rest of the night,” Bryant said. “If we buckle down on defense, we’re going to look at that as pretty much as hot as they’re going to get. But we haven’t gotten to that point yet.” ross.siler@dailynews.com (818) 713-3610 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Kerkorian makes a cash offer

first_imgIn the letter to the supervisory board, Tracinda said it is “prepared to immediately commence a more extensive due diligence review of Chrysler” and believes it could complete the study within 60 days. Getting the deal done quickly could benefit DaimlerChrysler, the letter said. “Tracinda believes its offer would permit DaimlerChrylser to dispose of Chrysler at an attractive price and enable DaimlerChrysler to focus on its other operations,” the letter said. The emergence of Kerkorian as a potential buyer would rock the already dramatic auction for Chrysler, which was put for sale by DaimlerChrysler on Feb. 14. On Wednesday, Zetsche told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting in Berlin that talks are under way with prospective buyers of the struggling Chrysler division. DETROIT – Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian has made an unsolicited bid to buy the Chrysler Group for $4.5 billion and offered $100 million to DaimlerChrysler AG for exclusive negotiating rights on the sale. Kerkorian’s Tracinda Corp. investment firm notified DaimlerChrysler of the offer in letters to the German automaker’s CEO, Dieter Zetsche, and its supervisory board. Kerkorian, who tried to buy Chrysler in 1995, said he is prepared to make a cash offer to acquire the U.S. automaker that includes offering a “substantial portion of equity” to the United Auto Workers as part of a solution to cut health care costs. To gain exclusive negotiating rights, Kerkorian is prepared to give DaimlerChrysler $100 million – $25 million of which the company could keep if a deal does not materialize. Bids have been received from three parties – the private equity giants Blackstone Group and Cerberus Capital Management, and Canadian supplier Magna International Inc. DaimlerChrysler was expected to enter deeper discussions with Blackstone, Cerberus and Magna next week in hopes of choosing one to negotiate with exclusively. But Kerkorian’s bid could alter that process immediately. In the letter to Zetsche, Kerkorian aide Jerry York said Tracinda would take a “very longterm approach to solving Chrysler’s problems.” York said the company could ignore short-term results for up to a seven-year period that “it will likely take to build Chrysler into a robust and lasting, stand-alone entity.” The letter to Zetsche also said Tracinda would “offer a substantial portion of equity in the company to the UAW as part of finding a solution to ever-rising healthcare costs.” Finally, York said Chrysler needs a “lasting fix that builds on the fundamental requirements in the automotive industry of product newness and quality.” Kerkorian’s support of a long-term turnaround plan for Chrysler could give him an edge over private-equity players who may seek quicker results from the automaker, which lost $1.5 billion last year. And whether he wins or loses his bid, the return of Kerkorian marks another astonishing turn of events in the long-playing Chrysler saga. The 89-year-old financier, one of the world’s richest men, was Chrysler Corp.’s largest shareholder in the 1990s and a key player in the former No. 3 U.S. automaker’s decision to merge with Daimler-Benz AG in 1998. Kerkorian later sued DaimlerChrysler for failing to live up to terms of the merger agreement. Last year, Kerkorian built up a major stake in General Motors Corp. and pushed the automaker into alliance talks with foreign rivals Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co. When GM rejected the proposed alliance last October, Kerkorian sold his GM holdings. York, who had been a GM director for 10 months, also quit the board. There was no immediate comment from DaimlerChrysler or Tracinda on Kerkorian’s latest move. Kerkorian, who built his fortune in casinos, hotels and the motion-picture industry, launched a failed takeover bid for Chrysler in 1995. The blockbuster offer, made along with former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca, was rejected by Chrysler but set in motion events that led to the company’s merger with Daimler-Benz. Chrysler’s recent history: – Nov. 2, 1978: Lee Iacocca hired as president and CEO of Chrysler Corp. – 1978: Chrysler loses $205 million. – Sept. 20, 1979: Chairman John J. Riccardo resigns; Iacocca elected chairman. – Jan. 7, 1980: President Carter signs Chrysler Corp. Loan Guarantee Act, which provides Chrysler with $1.5 billion in loan guarantees. – July 1980: Iacocca begins appearing in Chrysler’s television advertisements. – 1981: Chrysler reports record losses of $1.7 billion, cuts inventories by $1 billion, and reduces white-collar staff by 50 percent. Production begins on K-cars, Dodge Aries and Plymouth Reliant. – 1982: Iacocca releases his autobiography and it becomes a best-seller. – August 1983: Chrysler pays off loan seven years early. – November 1983: Production begins on minivans Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager. – 1984: Chrysler earns a then-record $2.4 billion. – 1985: Chrysler buys Gulfstream Aerospace for $637 million and begins joint venture, Diamond Star Motors, with Mitsubishi to build small cars in U.S. – 1987: Chrysler reorganizes as a holding company with four divisions: Chrysler Motors, Chrysler Financial, Chrysler Technologies, and Gulfstream Aerospace. Holding company’s headquarters move from Highland Park, Mich., to New York City. Executives approve acquisition of Renault’s 46 percent in American Motors Corp., makers of Jeep and Eagle vehicles, for $800 million. Chrysler introduces unprecedented seven-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty and seven-year/100,000-mile outer body rust-protection warranty. – 1989: Iacocca implements $1 billion cost-cutting program. Begins joint venture with Steyr-Daimler-Puch of Austria to produce minivans for Europe. – 1990: Kirk Kerkorian acquires 9.8 percent of Chrysler to become the company’s largest single shareholder. – October 1991: 35 million new shares are issued at $10 per share. Chrysler sells its 50 percent stake in Diamond Star Motors. – Feb. 16, 1992: Robert J. Eaton becomes vice chairman and chief operating officer. – 1992: Jefferson North Assembly Plant, a $1.6 billion investment in Detroit, is ready to begin production of Jeep Grand Cherokees. – Jan. 1, 1993: Iacocca becomes chairman of executive committee. Eaton becomes CEO and chairman of Chrysler. – 1994: Plans are under way to more then double Chrysler’s export of right-hand-drive Jeep Cherokees to Japan. The company earns record yearlong profits of $3.71 billion. Fourth quarter earnings are a record $1.17 billion. – April 1995: Kerkorian launches an unsuccessful $23 billion hostile takeover bid for Chrysler. – November 1995: FMR Corp.’s Fidelity Investments announces that it owns 55.1 million Chrysler shares, surpassing Kerkorian as Chrysler’s largest investor. – Feb. 5, 1996: Chrysler and Kerkorian reach a five-year agreement in which Kerkorian agrees not to attempt another takeover or attempt to increase his stake. In exchange, Kerkorian is granted a seat on the board. – 1996: Annual sales are the company’s best ever. Dec. 5, 1997: Thomas Stallkamp appointed as Chrysler president. – Jan. 12, 1998: Juergen Schrempp, chairman of Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler-Benz, suggests merger to Eaton while in Detroit for 1998 North American International Auto Show. – May 7, 1998: Merger announced. New company to be called DaimlerChrysler AG. – Nov. 17, 1998: DaimlerChrysler stock begins trading on Frankfurt and New York stock exchanges under symbol DCX. – 1999: Anticipated economies of scale following the merger prompt the new firm to predict $1.4 billion in savings during the year and a total of $3 billion in savings by the year 2004. For its first full-year of operations, DaimlerChrysler posts a 14 percent increase in revenues, to $151 billion; a 16 percent increase in net income, to $6.3 billion; and a 20 percent increase in operating profit, to $10.4 billion. – Sept. 24, 1999: DaimlerChrysler replaces Chrysler president Stallkamp with Jim Holden. – Nov. 3, 1999: Chrysler announces it will discontinue 73-year-old Plymouth brand after the 2001 model year. – Dec. 28, 1999: DaimlerChrysler reports record revenues of about $149 billion in 1999, an increase of 12 percent from 1998. – Jan. 11, 2000: DaimlerChrysler announces that Chrysler PT Cruiser, a small car-van combination, would go on sale in the spring. – Jan. 26, 2000: Eaton says he will retire in March. – March 27, 2000: DaimlerChrysler agrees to buy a 34 percent controlling interest in Mitsubishi Motors for about $2 billion. Eaton retires at end of month, leaving Schrempp in sole control. – June 21, 2000: Holden named CEO of North American arm of DaimlerChrysler. – Oct. 26, 2000: Chrysler posts $512 million loss for third quarter. – Nov. 17, 2000: Schrempp replaces Holden with Mercedes-Benz veteran Dieter Zetsche, appoints Wolfgang Bernhard as Chrysler’s COO. – Nov. 27, 2000: Kerkorian sues company and Schrempp for $9 billion, accusing them of fraud. – Nov. 28, 2000: Two other shareholder lawsuits filed, echoing Kerkorian’s complaints, with more on the horizon. – Jan. 29, 2001: DaimlerChrysler announces it will cut 26,000 jobs, or about one-fifth of the work force of financially troubled Chrysler Group, over next three years. The company says it will idle six plants over the next two years. – Feb. 7, 2001: DaimlerChrysler reports an 11 percent slump in operating profits in 2000, citing heavy losses by U.S. Chrysler arm. – Sept. 1, 2001: Former Chrysler Corp. Vice Chairman Robert Lutz, known for green-lighting some of Chrysler’s most distinctive vehicles during the 1990s, joins General Motors Corp. to head its product-development operations. – March 2001: Stock falls from more than $50 per share to roughly $38 as DaimlerChrysler continues to contend with weak North American and European economies. – March 17, 2001: Iacocca tells newspaper he wants to return to the company he once helped lead, saying DaimlerChrysler Chairman Juergen Schrempp has shut him out. – July 8, 2001: DaimlerChrysler announces it will offer a seven-year/70,000-mile limited powertrain warranty on all purchased or leased vehicles. – December 2001: New management team begins overhauling DaimlerChrysler’s Chrysler Group, which is losing millions of dollars each quarter. – 2003: Despite cost-cutting measures, net income plunges 89 percent to $562 million on revenues of $171 billion. – 2004: DaimlerChrysler reveals plans to reduce stake in struggling Mitsubishi Motors from 37.2 percent to 20 percent, divest its 10.4 percent stake in Hyundai Motor Co. and trim another 6,000 positions in Germany. To boost presence in China, the firm increases stake in Beijing Jeep from 43 percent to 50 percent. Profits rebound to $3.3 billion on revenues that climb 12 percent to $192 billion. – April 2004: Dissident shareholders demand Schrempp’s resignation, asserting that his decision to take control of Mitsubishi four years ago was a poor one. – July 29, 2004: DaimlerChrysler second-quarter profits jump to $670 million, five times last year’s same quarter profits. – Aug. 16, 2004: DaimlerChrysler announces it has sold its 10.5 percent stake in South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co., a move expected to raise more than $900 million. – April 1, 2005: DaimlerChrysler plans to restructure its money-losing Smart car maker, spending up to $1.56 billion this year, cutting 700 jobs and scrapping some models. – April 2005: Mercedes Car Group posts its first quarterly loss in more than 10 years. – 2006: Up to $1 billion is slated to retool and modernize manufacturing plants in Fenton, Mo. A $400 million upgrade is made to company’s Belvidere, Ill., plant to replace production of Neon with new Dodge Caliber. Based on demand, the plant may add up to 2,000 new jobs. – January 2006: Plan are announced to cut 6,000 white-collar jobs worldwide, representing 20 percent of the company’s work force. – Sept. 7, 2006: United Auto Workers union refuses to grant health care concessions to Chrysler Group, even though GM and Ford got them. – Feb. 14, 2007: Chrysler says it will cut 13,000 workers during the next three years, shedding 16 percent of its global work force in a wrenching restructuring plan. Zetsche says he wouldn’t rule out a possible sale of the U.S. operation. – Feb. 27, 2007: Chrysler Group offers blue-collar workers at plants targeted for production cuts up to $100,000 to leave the company as part of an effort to cut 13,000 jobs. – April 4, 2007: DaimlerChrysler Chairman Dieter Zetsche says company is in talks about future of Chrysler but does not say if it will be sold. Sources: Associated Press research; Thomson Gale Tracinda’s letter to Zetsche Excerpts from Tracinda’s letter to DaimlerChrysler Chairman Dieter Zetsche: Dear Dr. Zetsche: I had the chance to meet you briefly at Gary Valade’s retirement party in early 2004, and enjoyed our chat at the time, on Toyota pricing as I recall. Of course the several hundred in attendance at that event were in high spirits, as the impact of Chrysler’s early 2000’s turn around plan was beginning to exhibit remarkable results. But of course this was three years ago, when gasoline prices were still below $2.00 per gallon in the US, and before three more years of rampant healthcare inflation had taken place. … The right (meaning exceptionally patient) private ownership can do things that are difficult for both public companies and the wrong (meaning not so patient) private ownership, specifically: 1. Take a very long term approach to solving Chrysler’s problems without worrying about “EPS results” for the initial five, six or seven year period it will likely take to build Chrysler into a robust and lasting, stand-alone entity. 2. Offer a substantial portion of equity in the company to the UAW as part of finding a solution to ever-rising healthcare costs, which not only are unaffordable by corporations, but over time will likely prove to be unaffordable by governmental entities as well. … The returns will not come quickly. Investors that feel the need to show “mark to market” results in their funds in relatively short time frames (just a few years) will not be willing to invest as necessary over an unusually lengthy period of time to achieve the necessary end results. Long term, patient investing has been Tracinda’s approach. … Tracinda has been the controlling shareholder of MGM Mirage (originally MGM Grand) for twenty years – having built it into a public company with a market capitalization of nearly $21 billion today. That is what we believe all the Chrysler constituencies need. Not a “quick fix,” that may show good results three or so years from now, only to have the company possibly slip into another crisis situation. But a lasting fix that builds on the fundamental requirements in the automotive industry of product newness and quality, and in the process provides returns not only to the investors, but to the employees as well through their ownership stake. … Sincerely, Jerome B. York160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Cause of death inconclusive on body of woman found in Lancaster

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The name of the woman was withheld, pending notification of next of kin, Moore said. —————————————— For the latest news and observations on crime in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, check out the Daily News’ crime blog by clicking here. LANCASTER – An autopsy conducted on the dismembered body of a woman found on a vacant lot outside Lancaster was “inconclusive” on the cause of death, authorities said today. The decomposing remains were found by a man collecting cans near 20th Street West and Avenue G, northwest of the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds, just before 11 a.m. Saturday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reported. “Detectives have learned that an autopsy report by the Los Angeles County Office of the Coroner was inconclusive as to the cause of death,” said Deputy Tony Moore of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau. The remains were “mummified,” said coroner’s Lt. John Kades. More tests will have to be conducted by the coroner’s office to determine the cause of death, Moore said. last_img read more

GAA NEWS: ROISIN DOHERTY NAMED AS RED HUGHS U14 GIRLS PLAYER OF THE YEAR

first_imgRed Hughs GAA News:Lotto & 100+Club Results Numbers Drawn 2,7,8,3,1,6,4,5 One winner matched three numbersQuinn Fuels Ballybofey wins €50Next weeks jackpot is €5,950This weeks luck winner of the 100+ Club was number  10 Ciara Gallagher LismullaghduffAnnual QuizWe Held our annual quiz in the clubhouse on Saturday night last. It was a great nights craic as usual and a good fundraiser. Thanks to everyone who attended. Underage PresentationsWe held our underage presentations in the clubhouse on Sunday with the usual large crowd in attendance. Some of the awards giving out on the day included the following.Under 13 girls received their county championship winners medals. Under 13 girls player of the year Orla Mc Elchar,Under 13 girls most dedicated player of the year Allannah Sweeney, Under 13 girls most improved player of the year Lauren Mc Menamin,Under 14 girls awards : Player of the year Roisin Doherty, Most dedicated Player of the year Caitlin GearyUnder 16 girls merit award for representing the club at under 16 girls county level Eimear GallagherUnder 15 girls merit award to Zara Gibson, Maddison White, Nicola Callaghan & Aimee Callaghan for representing the club in county development squad.Under 13 Boys Awards : Player of the year Aaron Mc Glinchey, Most dedicate player of the year Pauric Mc Kelvey,Under 14 Boys Awards:  Player of the year Oisin Mc Elhinney, Most dedicated player of the year Darragh Mc Menamin. a special award was giving to Ruairi Mc Laughlin for goal keeper.Under 16 Boys Awards : Player of the year Jason Callaghan, Most improved player of the year Josh Mc GheeWell done to everyone who won awards. Great work is being done at underage level within the club at present and it is showing with the amount of boys and girls that are making their way onto  the county development and county teams. A big thank you and  Well done to all the coaches and keep up the good work in 2016. Thanks also to County ladies player Karen Gutherie and now our own County senior team player Stephen Mc Menamin who gave out the awards on the day.Club AGM’sThe club minor board and senior AGM will take place on Sunday 5th December with the minor board AGM at 3pm followed by the senior board AGM at 5pm Anyone intersted in taking up a position on either  board or helping out with the underage teams please come along also.Annual MonsterChristmas BazaarThe clubs annual monster Christmas Bazaar will take place on Sunday the 13th of December. There will be the usual great prizes in every round, Tv’s, Tablets, Bikes, Electricals, Toys, Hampers, Meat Vouchers and much much more. GAA NEWS: ROISIN DOHERTY NAMED AS RED HUGHS U14 GIRLS PLAYER OF THE YEAR was last modified: November 24th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:GAARED HUGHS.Sportlast_img read more

Fernandez feels at home in Fontana

first_img In fact, in six open-wheel events at the speedway, Fernandez has five top five finishes to go with the two victories. His most recent win came a year ago at the Toyota Indy 400. In commemoration of that win, Fernandez will be enshrined in California Speedway’s Walk of Fame on Sunday. He was inducted once before following his Champ Car win in the Marlboro 500 in 1999. What do Adrian Fernandez and Jeff Gordon have in common? Other than being racers, they are the only men who have won two races at California Speedway. Gordon’s wins came in NASCAR Cup competition and Fernandez won two open-wheel races at the Fontana track. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week The traditional ceremony will take place at Gate 14 at 9:35 a.m. A bronze plaque of Fernandez will be unveiled and the Mexican native will put his footprints in concrete and also leave his signature. In 2004, Fernandez won three times, and despite missing the first race of the season, finished fifth in the final point standings. The win at Fontana was a scant 0.0183 of a second ahead over Tony Kanaan, the closest finish in speedway history. ELWAY THE STARTER National Football League Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway will serve as honorary starter for Sunday’s race, waving the green flag to start the 12:30 p.m. race. “I am truly honored to be selected, it’s great being back in Southern California, and I am looking forward to a very exciting race,” Elway said. center_img As quarterback of the Denver Broncos, Elway passed and ran his way into the record books during his storied career. For 16 seasons – 234 games that included an NFL record 148 wins – he led his team to back-to-back Super Bowl victories (1998 and 1999) and five AFC Championships (1986, 1987, 1989, 1997 and 1998). He amassed 47 come-from-behind drives in the fourth quarter. Elways stands second all-time in pass attempts (7,250). passing yards (51,475) and touchdown passes (300) and third in completed passes (4,123). Elway was the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of Super Bowl XXXIII (1999), a nine-time Pro Bowl selection and was league MVP in 1987. In 2004, in his first year of eligibility, Elway was elected on the first ballot to the NFL Hall of Fame. FAST SERVICE The IndyCar Series Pit Stop Pump Tour will visit 7-Eleven stores in Pomona and Ontario on Friday and local drivers will have the opportunity to receive service from 2004 IRL IndyCar Series champion Tony Kanaan and Ethanol Hemelgarn Racing drivers Paul Dana and Jimmy Kite. The drivers will pump ethanol-enriched mid-grade fuel, sign autographs and hand out free race merchandise at the 7-Eleven convenience store located at 2055 N. Town in Pomona beginning at 9 a.m. At 11 a.m., the tour will stop at the 3490 E. Jurupa Street in Ontario location. Gas will be discounted to $2.20 per gallon of fuel during the 90-minute stops, a tie-in to IndyCar Series cars racing at 220 miles per hour. MODEL FOR AUCTION Panther Racing is auctioning a one-of-a-kind 1:18 scale model of the American Red Cross/Hurricane Katrina/Pennzoil Chevrolet-powered Dallara that was raced by Buddy Lazier in the Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 11. The model was made by model builder Eric Hensley, who brought it to Chicagoland Speedway and had Buddy Lazier sign it. Hensley then offered it to Panther Racing to put up for auction for charity benefits. Proceeds of this auction will go to the American Red Cross to help those needing aid and relief from the recent hurricanes in the gulf region. HELIO IN PROFILE Marlboro Team Penske driver Helio Castroneves is one of three racers profiled in the SI Players section of the Oct. 10 issue of Sports Illustrated. The two-time Indianapolis 500 winner joins NASCAR Nextel Cup standouts Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the My Best Friend … In Another Sport feature. Castroneves’ best friend is Detroit Tigers catcher Ivan Rodriguez, whom he met at the Super Bowl in February. The two, who both own homes in Miami, have lunch together in Coral Gables at the Italian restaurant Carmelo’s. “He’s a hell of a driver,” Rodriguez said of the two-time Indy 500 champ, whom he phones before races to wish luck. Although Rodriguez made his 12th All-Star team this year, his skill remains lost on Castroneves. “I watch games,” Castroneves said, “but I don’t understand.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more