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No bedbugs for early humans

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first_imgArchaeologists sorting excavated material at Sibudu cave. (Image: Christine Sievers) Leaves in a plaster jacket. In the latest discovery new evidence of well preserved and fossilised plant bedding, dating back 77 000 years, has been found.(Image: Marion Bamford) Sibudu sediments showing evidence for the burning of plants. (Image: Lyn Wadley) MEDIA CONTACTS • Lindsay Marshall   Maropeng  +27 14 577 9021 RELATED ARTICLES • Maropeng sets green standard • Maropeng top evotourism destination • Angola a fossil hotspot • SA varsity leads the way in geosciencesWilma den HartighArchaeological excavations have delivered yet another significant find – this time at a rock shelter near Durban in KwaZulu-Natal province. The fossil discovery, made by a team of researchers, reveals fascinating insights into the development of behavioural practices of early modern humans in Southern Africa.Archaeologists have been excavating the middle Stone Age site at the Sibudu cave, a sandstone cliff in northern KwaZulu-Natal about 40km north of Durban, since 1998.In the latest discovery new evidence of well preserved and fossilised plant bedding, dating back 77 000 years, has been found.The fossilised leaves and other artefacts discovered at Sibudu, such as the oldest bone and arrow, the oldest needle, and fossilised grass stems and leaves, are now on show in a new fossil display at Maropeng at the Cradle of Humankind in Gauteng.Evidence of modern human behaviourThe discovery is an important addition to South Africa’s existing archaeological collection.What makes the plant bedding discovery so significant is that it reveals new information about the evolution of modern human behaviour, and shows how early Homo sapiens lived.Lindsay Marshall, curator at Maropeng, says that similar evidence has been discovered elsewhere in the world, but these discoveries date back to a more recent period than that of the Sibudu caves.The newest discovery is 50 000 years older than earlier reports of preserved bedding.The fossilised leaves reveal that early humans were using plants with insect repellent properties and placing them on the ground to sleep on – and possibly to live and work on too.This discovery could also be the earliest evidence of modern floor coverings, such as the carpets that we have in our homes today.According to the research team, led by Wits University archaeologist Prof Lyn Wadley, the findings suggest that during the Middle Stone Age, 77 000 years ago, our human ancestors had the cognitive ability to choose plants that contained insect repellent to sleep on.The fossilised grass stems and leaves were most likely sourced from the uThongathi River near Sibudu. Wits botanist Marion Bamford identified the leaves as belonging to Cryptocarya woodii, also known as the Cape laurel or river wild quince.The leaves of this tree contain chemicals that are insecticidal, and would be suitable for repelling mosquitoes.Wadley says that the selection of these leaves for the construction of bedding suggests that early inhabitants of Sibudu had an intimate knowledge of the plants surrounding the shelter, and were aware of their medicinal uses.Microscopic analysis of the bedding, conducted by Christopher Miller, a junior professor in geoarchaeology at the University of Tübingen in Germany, suggests that the inhabitants repeatedly refurbished the bedding during the course of occupation.In what could be an early form of house cleaning, the microscopic analysis found that the inhabitants of Sibudu regularly burned the bedding after use, possibly as a way to remove pests.According to Miller, this would have prepared the site for future occupation and indicates a novel use of fire for the maintenance of an occupation site.A rare fossil displayMarshall says that this discovery is one of a long list of important finds at Sibudu over the past decade. Over the years, this rock shelter has become a highly valuable site for archeological research.Other items discovered during the excavations include perforated seashells, believed to have been used as beads.“It is interesting to wonder what the beads were used for,” she says. “They were probably used either as gifts or for exchanges with other communities. Either way they had value,” she says.Wadley considers the discovery of the fossil plants and the perforated shells as major career highlights.“Sibudu is only the second site in South Africa where these shells have been found,” she says. “The other is Blombos Cave in the Western Cape.”Sharpened bone points which could have been used for hunting were also found at Sibudu, and indicate some of the earliest examples of modern human technology.The exhibition consists of lots of smaller items such as pieces of stone tools, tiny shells and fossilised leaves that can be viewed with magnifying glasses placed in each display cabinet.At a glance it might seem like a random collection of bits and pieces of stone, but what you are actually looking at are rare finds that are usually not displayed in exhibitions open to the public.“In the exhibition you look at small things, but their historical significance is huge,” says Marshall. “These discoveries are usually reserved for laboratories and journals.”• The exhibition, What makes us human: The significance of the Sibudu cave shelter, runs until the end of May at the Maropeng.last_img read more

Kasich urges TPP progress

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first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The prime ministers of Australia and Singapore in a joint press conference in Canberra, Australia, urged the United States to stay engaged in the Asia-Pacific region and called on the U.S. Congress to approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. The two countries are part of the TPP, whose 12 nations have a combined 800 million consumers and represent more than 40 percent of the world’s GDP.“The ratification of the TPP by the U.S. Congress would be of enormous importance to the region and … a profoundly strategically important commitment,” said Malcolm Turnbull, Australian Prime Minister.Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore’s prime minister, who said, “we all hope the U.S. will ratify [TPP] soon,” told reports that it’s important for the United States to stay engaged in the Asia Pacific “on a broad range of areas.”Also weighing in this week on the trade deal, was Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who said in a Washington Post op-ed that how congressional lawmakers vote on the TPP “will affect the course of the United States’ security, prosperity and global influence for the rest of the 21st century and determine whether we advance or retreat from our leadership role at a time of worldwide turmoil and uncertainty.”last_img read more

Fernandez enjoys coaching players from other schools in NCAA All-Star

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first_imgCatriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Fernandez was finally able to get one against Robinson, as the Saints team, made up of stars from San Beda, Letran, San Sebastian, Perpetual, and St. Benilde, escaped the late rally from the Heroes crew, comprised of standouts from Lyceum, JRU, EAC, Arellano, and Mapua.The Red Lion mentor  the rare chance to have players like Rey Nambatac, Bong Quinto, and eventual All-Star MVP Prince Eze in his team.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“They’re really good. You know them when you’re facing against them, but once you coach them, you can really see their basketball IQ,” he said.Fernandez was also caught by surprise with how the unheralded players from the Golden Stags and the Blazers worked hard in practice. Coach Boyet Fernandez. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netSan Beda coach Boyet Fernandez isn’t putting too much thought his victory over Topex Robinson when his Saints prevailed over the Heroes, 84-80, in the 2017 NCAA All-Star Game on Friday.“It’s a different situation. Even though Topex is coaching the other team, it’s still an All-Star game and we’re just enjoying today’s game. It’s for the fans and the students of the member schools of the NCAA,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa MOST READ View comments UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH “I’m surprised of the three San Sebastian players. They can play and they just play. The same goes with St. Benilde. They really enjoyed their time even if they came from different schools,” he said, praising the attitude of San Sebastian’s Ian Valdez, Kevin Baytan, and Alvin Baetiong, as well as St. Benilde’s JJ Domingo, Edward Dixon, and Gerard Castor.With the midseason festivities now done with, Fernandez’ focus is back in the second round as San Beda returns to action against St. Benilde.“We know the second round will come on Tuesday. We’re enjoying this now and tomorrow, we’ll already focus on the second round,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT PBA: Globalport stuns TNT SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes PLAY LIST 01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Read Next LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

Folayang preparing for Nguyen’s speed

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first_imgHe has already tweaked his training for his second bout this year, anticipating Nguyen’s quick attacks and counters.Nguyen, meanwhile, said that weight doesn’t pose any problems for him knowing he has bigger things worry about against Folayang.“Surprisingly, I’m still the weight I usually compete during fight camp. I don’t have problems when it comes to that,” said Nguyen.“I know Eduard is going to be strong. I still have my speed. But I know it’s going to be a chess game.”ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lyceum one win away from elims sweep, annihilates JRU Read Next The Makati skyline provides the perfect backdrop for Eduard Folayang and Martin Nguyen’s first face off. Photo by Celest Flores-ColinaFilipino ONE champion Eduard Folayang knows the caliber of opponent he’s up against.Folayang is anticipating a speedier fighter in Martin Nguyen, also the ONE featherweight champion, in his second title defense of his lightweight title on November 10 at Mall of Asia Arena.ADVERTISEMENT Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Alvarez ready to take risk vs Folayang, looks to end clash by ‘knockout or submission’ PLAY LIST 02:18Alvarez ready to take risk vs Folayang, looks to end clash by ‘knockout or submission’02:03MMA legends gather in Tokyo for historic ONE: New Era fight week00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  “Ev Ting is a natural lightweight. Mark is a natural featherweight. So I expect that he will be faster and quicker than Ev Ting. It will be a good match up,” said Folayang on Tuesday during their face off in Makati.The Baguio native said he was impressed with how Nguyen took down Marat Gafurov to earn his world title in Macao just last August months after he defeated Ting in a dominant performance via unanimous decision.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutAgainst his upcoming Vietnamese-Australian foe, who is moving up weight for their cross-divisional fight, Folayang wants to prove that the lightweight is his territory.“I want to teach him that the lightweight division,” said Folayang, who was a high school teacher in Mountain Province before joining Team Lakay. “As a champion, I want my division to be respected so I will do my best to defend the title.” Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasacenter_img BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight MOST READ LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH View comments LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversarylast_img read more

Nokia 130 and Nokia 130 dual rolled out globally

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first_imgMicrosoft acquired Nokia has rolled out two feature phones- Nokia 130 and Nokia 130 Dual globally at EUR 19 (INR 1,500 approx.). The devices which were launched the previous month will first be available in China, Pakistan and Nigeria, followed by other markets, which have not been specified so far.The Nokia 130 and Nokia 130 Dual SIM will be available in Black, Red, and White colour options. Though the devices have been listed on the company’s website but they do not mention the pricing and availability details. The announcement was made public on the company’s blog which said “The Nokia 130 is a perfect device for people young and old alike who are looking for their first mobile phone, or for those looking for a rock-solid backup phone to use alongside their smartphone.”Both the handsets have similar specifications and run on Nokia OS Serries 30+ out-of-the-box. Nokia 130 and 130 Dual come with 1020mAh battery that offers an impressive standby talk time of 36 days and 26 days respectively.The feature phones sport a 1.8 inch QQVGA (128×168 pixels) 16-bit LCD colour display that offers 114ppi. Other than this, it also offers a microSD memory card slot, which supports storage expansion to up to 32 GB and is also equipped with a flash light. Talking about the connectivity options the device offers 2G and bluetooth connectivity options along with a Micro-USB slot for charging.last_img read more

Cannabis NB changes images on its website after concerns were raised

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first_imgFREDERICTON – Cannabis NB has made some changes to its website after concerns were raised by Health Canada last week.The Crown agency came under scrutiny for its product descriptions and pictures of people smiling, posing for selfies and holding yoga poses — images that may violate federal regulations.In a statement, Health Canada spokesman Andre Gagnon said the department is trying to raise awareness about the Cannabis Act and its restrictions on promotion.“In a few cases, Health Canada has reached out to … licence holders to bring concerns to their attention, or to collect information and gain a better understanding of some of the facts pertaining to their promotional activities,” he said.Cannabis NB has removed the original pictures and replaced them with images of chairs, a book and painting supplies.Spokeswoman Marie-Andree Bolduc says the agency did not receive any specific direction from Health Canada.“But based on this conversation and discussion, we made adjustments to some images on the website,” she said. “We will be generally reviewing the website and likely be making a few adjustments in the language as well.”In Ottawa, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor said her department is working with the province to make sure the website meets federal standards.“There are a number of changes that have already been made,” she said in French when asked about the snafu. “Changes have already been made, and we continue to do this work together to ensure that they understand the regulations.”The website includes categories such as “Connect,” “Refresh” and “Discover,” which the agency has described as educational tools for customers.According to figures released Wednesday, Cannabis NB recorded roughly $950,000 dollars in sales during its first 48 hours in business, and more than $71,000 of that revenue was generated by online sales.Cannabis NB President Brian Harriman says the sales figures were in line with expectations.He said the agency sold out of some products, but he said other provinces had the same problem.“Retail stores in communities bordering other provinces, such as Sackville and Campbellton, have seen higher-than-expected demand because of customers coming from other provinces,” Harriman said. “Cannabis NB will continue to closely monitor inventory throughout our stores and work with suppliers to get inventory to normal levels.”last_img read more

More rallies held to support pipelines speaker says convoy coming to Ottawa

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first_imgNumerous rallies and truck convoys have been held across Alberta and Saskatchewan in recent weeks to protest against federal actions that critics say will make building pipelines more difficult. Those include Bill C-69 to revamp the National Energy Board and Bill C-48, which would ban oil tanker traffic on British Columbia’s northern coast.A convoy in Medicine Hat, Alta., last weekend attracted 650 vehicles, according to police, and groups are planning one in February that will travel from Western Canada to Ottawa.“Today, I say to Ottawa, can you hear us yet?” Miller asked the crowd during Saturday’s rally.“Don’t worry, you’ll see us in February when we convoy to Ottawa!”A truck convoy was also held Saturday in Lloydminster, which straddles the Alberta-Saskatchewan boundary.Earlier this month the federal government announced it would spend $1.6 billion to help energy companies struggling due to plunging oil prices. The page stresses that the event is not connected to the so-called yellow vest campaign, which also advocates for pipelines but is associated with opposition to Canada signing the United Nations migration pact.“To be clear, we take issue with bad policies put forward by Justin Trudeau’s government, but we do not favour any political party. This movement is about supporting our families,” the Facebook post states. But Jason Nixon, who represents Rocky Mountain House in the provincial legislature, said what Alberta really wants is pipelines.“Trudeau, we don’t want your money. We want you to get out of the way,” Nixon said to the crowd in Rocky Mountain House.The groups Rally 4 Resources and Canada Action say in a Facebook event post that the convoy to Ottawa is intended to end Feb. 20 on Parliament Hill. The post says letters voicing support for the industry, as well as individual and family photos, will be delivered to the Senate.center_img ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE, A.B. – Speakers at another pro-pipeline rally in Alberta continued their attacks on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Saturday, saying if leaders in Ottawa don’t hear their message now, they will when a planned convoy arrives there in 2019.Chad Miller with the group Oilfield Dads told the crowd gathered in Rocky Mountain House that the province is suffering its “worst recession turned depression” in a generation due to weakened oil prices, exacerbated by a lack of pipeline capacity.“Even those that put away for the rainy days and then some have had to use their savings, and more, to try to weather this never-ending hard times scenario,” Miller said.last_img read more

Russian President Putin challenges Washington in Venezuela power play

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first_imgMoscow: Russia emerged as a crucial power broker in the crisis in far-away Venezuela this week when Washington accused Moscow of convincing President Nicolas Maduro not to flee to Cuba. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Maduro had a plane on the tarmac ready to fly to Havana when “the Russians indicated that he should stay”. Moscow hit back, dismissing the claim as fake and accusing Washington of supporting a coup “that has nothing to do with democracy” by backing opposition leader Juan Guaido. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportMoscow has its reasons for standing behind Maduro — he’s a rare ally in Latin America and Russia has poured billions into the Venezuelan economy. But analysts say Russian President Vladimir Putin is also playing the long game, hoping to use Venezuela as leverage in his global tug-of-war with Washington. “Russia is seeking to translate its influence over Maduro — which is in fact not absolute — into an opportunity to have dialogue with the United States,” Tatyana Stanovaya, head of R.Politik, a Paris-based analysis firm, told AFP. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protests”Maduro is a bargaining chip.” Tensions in Venezuela have soared since Guaido declared himself acting president in January, claiming Maduro’s re-election last year was illegitimate. More than 50 countries led by the United States lined up behind the 35-year-old head of the National Assembly, but Russia and China have backed Maduro. Reeling from Western sanctions, Moscow has quickly sensed an opportunity, even if it meant locking horns with the United States in Latin America, Washington’s traditional sphere of influence. In a highly publicised move in March, Moscow sent two planes with around 100 soldiers and equipment to Caracas, where Russian mercenaries are also believed to be operating. Ties between Russia and the West plummeted over Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, its backing for separatists in eastern Ukraine and military support for President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. But the audacity with which the Kremlin inserted itself into the Venezuela crisis has drawn gasps in Washington. “Russia is making the next play in our hemisphere,” Frederick Kempe, president of the Atlantic Council, wrote last month. “Vladimir Putin may be laying the ground for making Venezuela the defining foreign policy debacle for President Trump in the same way Syria became that for the Obama administration.” Russia and Venezuela enjoy a long history of ties and Maduro’s predecessor Hugo Chavez, known for his passionate tirades against the United States, was a welcome guest at the Kremlin. After Chavez’s death in 2013 the relationship with a country that boasts the world’s largest proven oil reserves has continued to thrive. Russia is the second largest lender to Caracas after China, with Moscow heavily investing in Venezuela’s oil resources and Caracas acquiring Russian arms worth billions of dollars. However that also means, analysts say, that Russia has a lot to lose from a change in leadership. But what it stands to gain from a possible deal with Washington may be more important for the Kremlin.last_img read more

JT Barrett cited for driving while intoxicated suspended

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OSU redshirt sophomore quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) prepares to throw the ball during a game against Northern Illinois on Sept. 19 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won 20-13. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Photo EditorOhio State redshirt sophomore quarterback J.T. Barrett was arrested by Columbus police early Saturday morning near campus for operating a motor vehicle while impaired.The 20-year-old was cited with a misdemeanor OVI and released Saturday morning. Shortly after, OSU coach Urban Meyer announced Barrett would be banned from OSU’s next game, a Nov. 7 meeting at home against Minnesota.The arrest came a week after Barrett made his first start of the season in a 49-7 win at Rutgers. Against Minnesota, the keys to the offense will be handed back to redshirt sophomore Cardale Jones.According to multiple reports, Barrett’s suspension is for one game — not the mandatory two outlined in OSU’s student-athlete drug and alcohol policy when the student is underage — because the citation was for a misdemeanor.OSU athletic director Gene Smith told various outlets that the one-game suspension was fully at Meyer’s discretion.Kickoff is scheduled for the Buckeyes’ meeting against Minnesota for 8 p.m. at Ohio Stadium. read more

DFB furious with Ozil Gundogan

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first_imgThe head of Germany’s football federation (DFB) is furious that their own players  Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan were seen posing for pictures alongside Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip ErdoganThe midfielders are both of Turkish descent but chose to represent their birth country Germany at international level instead.Ozil and Gundogan posed for photos in London on Sunday with Erdogan and have left the DFB chief Reinhard Grindel unhappy with their actions.“The DFB, of course, respects the special situation for our players with migrant backgrounds, but football and the DFB stand for values that Mr. Erdogan does not sufficiently respect,” read a statement from Grindel, as reported on ESPN.Top 5 Bundesliga players to watch during the weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 11, 2019 With the international activity cooling down for the next month, we go back to the Bundesliga’s Top 5 players to watch next weekend.The German…“Therefore, it is not a good thing that our internationals have let themselves be exploited for his election campaign stunt. It certainly hasn’t helped the DFB’s integration efforts.”Germany team coordinator Oliver Bierhoff was also unhappy over their actions and intends to speak with them at some point in the near future.“I still have absolutely no doubts about Mesut and Ilkay’s commitment to playing for the Germany national team and how much they identify with our values. They were unaware of the symbolism of these pictures, but we cannot endorse it, and we will discuss the matter with the players,” he said.last_img read more