Did Modern Jews Originate in Italy?

first_imgModern Jews may traditionally trace their ancestry to the Holy Land, but a new genetic study finds otherwise. A detailed look at thousands of genomes finds that Ashkenazim—who make up roughly 80% of the world’s Jews, including 90% of those in America and half of those in Israel—ultimately came not from the Middle East, but from Western Europe, perhaps Italy.  Most mainstream historians regard Ashkenazim as the descendants of Jews who moved into central Europe from the Middle East sometime before the 12th century C.E. Ashekenazim, like most members of this religious, cultural, and ethnic group, traditionally trace their ancestry to the ancient Israelites. The Israelites, in turn, arose between 3000 and 4000 years ago in the Middle East, according to both Biblical sources and archaeological evidence. They dispersed after the Romans destroyed their Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70 C.E.Recent genetic work has supported this traditional view. Two studies, one led by geneticist Harry Ostrer of the New York University School of Medicine, and the other by geneticist Doron Behar of the Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa, Israel, traced the three main Diaspora groups—Ashkenazim, Sephardim from Spain and Portugal, and Oriental Jews from the Middle East—to people who all lived in the Middle East about 2000 years ago. The Ostrer study used DNA from the nucleus of the cell in its analyses, and the Behar study used both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA); the latter comes from tiny bodies in the living cell that provide it with energy. Many other researchers considered these results to be definitive at the time.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Yet there were lingering questions. Ostrer and Behar had samples from only a couple of hundred Jews, for example. And while the Behar group identified four major mtDNA “founder groups” for the Ashkenazim, all supposedly with roots in the Middle East, it was able to trace only about 40% of Ashkenazi ancestry overall.So a different team of scientists, led by geneticist Martin Richards at the University of Huddersfield in the United Kingdom, embarked on a new search for the origins of these four founder groups. The team focused on mtDNA, which is often employed in genetic studies because it is easier to sequence and allows analysis of huge population samples. However, mtDNA is inherited through the mother and not the father, so it reveals the history of maternal lineages only.Geneticists have identified certain mtDNA markers that define lineages in different parts of the world. Behar’s group had traced the Jewish founder groups to two mtDNA genetic lineages called haplogroup K and haplogroup N1b. The Jewish lineages were nested within these two larger groups, which include both Jews and non-Jews. So Richards and his colleagues first set out to understand the history of these broader lineages. They analyzed about 2500 complete and 28,000 partial mtDNA genomes of mostly non-Jews worldwide, plus 836 partial mtDNA genomes of Ashkenazi Jews, to see where the Ashkenazim fit into the overall history.The result was very clear-cut, the authors say: As reported online today in Nature Communications, more than 80% of Ashkenazi mtDNAs had their origins thousands of years ago in Western Europe, during or before Biblical times—and in some cases even before farming came to that part of the continent some 7500 years ago. The closest matches were with mtDNAs from people who today live in and around Italy. The results imply that the Jews can trace their heritage to women who had lived in Europe at that time. Very few Ashkenazi mtDNAs could be traced to the Middle East.The results not only conflict with the Ostrer and Behar results, but also with widespread assumptions about Jewish identity. Jews have traditionally considered that the mother determines the ethnic identity of her children. If being Jewish is defined as genetically descending from the Israelites through the maternal line, then many Ashkenazi Jews fail the test, according to this data.Richards acknowledges that the work is likely to be controversial. “I’d anticipate some resistance to our conclusions in certain quarters,” he says. One way to reconcile his team’s findings with those of other researchers, he says, is to assume that the founders of the male Ashkenazi lineages were indeed originally from the Middle East, but that the maternal line arose in Europe much earlier. The European women then converted to Judaism after male Jews moved into the continent, establishing the Ashkenazi lineages that we see today. That suggestion fits with the contention of some historians that many women converted to Judaism across Mediterranean Europe during the so-called Hellenistic period between about 300 B.C.E. and 30 B.C.E.“The data are very convincing,” says Antonio Torroni, a geneticist at the University of Pavia in Italy and a leading expert in the genetics of Europeans. He adds that recent studies of DNA from the cell nucleus have also shown “a very close similarity between Ashkenazi Jews and Italians.”The new data also put the nail in the coffin of another, highly controversial, hypothesis about Jewish ancestry: that the Ashkenazim actually descend from the Khazars, a Turkic people in Western Asia’s Caucasus region whose rulers are known to have converted to Judaism in the 8th century C.E. That idea was promoted in a 2008 book by historian Shlomo Sand of Tel Aviv University in Israel. Ostrer and Behar found no such link, however, and Richards’s team, which sampled mtDNAs from Asia and the Caucasus specifically to test this idea, also found no evidence for it.Behar remains unconvinced. He says it’s “clear that Ashkenazi maternal ancestry includes both [Middle Eastern] and European origins,” but he does not agree that the deepest roots of the Ashkenazi Jews can be found in prehistoric Europe. He says that he and his colleagues will be submitting their critique of the Richards study soon to a peer-reviewed scientific journal.*Correction, 9 October, 12:40 p.m.: The photo that originally accompanied this story has been replaced, as the original photo was unrealistic.last_img read more

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Podcast: Tracking Depression, Transforming Your Gut, and How Earthquakes Are Like Forest Fires

first_imgCan regularly monitoring your mood combat depression? Do extreme diets alter your gut bugs? And how are earthquakes like forest fires? Science’s Online News Editor David Grimm chats about these stories and more with Science’s Sarah Crespi.Listen to the full Science podcast.Read the transcript.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Hear more podcasts.last_img read more

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In search of Kenya’s elusive wild dogs

first_imgMPALA RESEARCH CENTRE, KENYA—Most visitors to Africa come for the lions, elephants, and rhinos. But for the tourists who helicoptered into this somewhat remote region of central Kenya last month, wild dogs topped their list. Once so common in Africa that they were shot as vermin, the elusive canines are becoming poster children for conservation: Fewer than 7000 are left in Africa, their native range.A reporter visiting the center, I love dogs and so jumped at the chance to track some down in advance of the tourists’ arrival. It was a dusty, bumpy ride into the bush, for a fleeting view of animals that aren’t really dogs after all. But along the way, I came to appreciate their incredible story. They are full of wanderlust, and their packs show camaraderie and coordination to rival the best military unit. Yet they are quite vulnerable, and even though several teams of researchers have dedicated large chunks of their lives following these animals, much about them remains mysterious.Despite the name, Lycaon pictus is a distant relative of household canines. Dogs, wolves, and coyotes can all interbreed but not with wild dogs, which are sometimes called painted wolves because of their colorful and variable coat patterns. Compared with their domesticated namesakes, wild dogs have bigger ears, lack the fifth dewclaw on the front feet, and have a distinctive musty smell like the badger that they are distant cousins with. Dogs take a long time to mate—wild dogs do it in a minute or less.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Today’s mystery: locating one of the numerous packs that roam the 20,000-hectare Mpala ranch and research center grounds. It should have been an easy task. For the past 3 months, Stefanie Strebel, project manager for the Kenya Rangelands Wild Dog and Cheetah Project, based at the Mpala center, has monitored the movements of these animals, continuing an effort begun in 2001. Wild dogs had disappeared from that part of Kenya in the early 1980s. But one day in 1999, three females jumped out of the bush onto the road in front of Rosie Woodroffe as she was driving back to the center. “I burst into tears,” recalls Woodroffe, a conservation biologist at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).At the time, she was studying how people coexist with lions, but 2 years earlier she had co-authored a species survival plan for wild dogs, and the prospects hadn’t looked promising. “Wild dogs are victims of their own wide-ranging behavior—they wander so far that most reserves are too small to contain them,” she explains. When she realized wild dogs were back in the area, she and her colleagues immediately began to look into how these carnivores might coexist with people outside reserves. “By working on a community conservation area rather than a centrally protected national park, they have extended our understanding of wild dog ecology,” says Scott Creel, a behavioral ecologist at Montana State University, Bozeman.In contrast, Creel and his wife, Nancy Creel, and independently Robert Robbins and Kim McCreery, who founded the African Wild Dog Conservancy in Tucson, Arizona, have studied wild dogs in reserves. During their 9 years watching wild dogs in Zimbabwe, Robbins and McCreery tracked known individuals to learn how packs formed and changed through time and cataloged the range of vocalizations. “Wild dogs sound like birds, cats and dogs,” they say. “They are complex social carnivores very similar to human families.”In 1990, very little was known about why wild dogs were always found at low densities—averaging between 300 to 1200 square kilometers per pack—and the Creels spent 5 years in the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania trying to find out, leaving only after their infant daughter got very sick. They wrote a book about wild dogs, and ultimately concluded that the animals were rare when lions and hyenas were common, as those larger predators could steal the wild dogs’ prey and sometimes prey upon them as well. Today, they study wild dogs and other large carnivores in reserves in Zambia.Another team, led by J. Weldon “Tico” McNutt, has a similar long-term project in Africa’s Okavango delta called the Botswana Predator Conservation Trust.”Surprisingly, we do not yet have good, reliable estimates of the size of many important wild dog populations,” Creel says. Nor do researchers know what controls wild dog numbers in many places.All of these researchers are awed—and challenged—by the nomadic life of these animals. “There’s very little you can do to predict where they are going,” says Joshua Ginsberg, incoming president of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York. Over 24 hours, they can roam many or few kilometers, depending on how hungry they are. During the day, they settle down for 4 to 6 hours of napping in the shade of an acacia tree, staying within 300 meters of each other. Credit: Elizabeth PennisiHer purple sneakers leave a footprint in the dust on the hood. The dogs seem to be on the right side of the road, back a little ways, so she turns around and looks for a place where the banks are low enough to breach.We bushwhack, stopping frequently to take another reading. But Strebel no longer gets out of the car and instead sticks the antenna out the roof hatch. The animals let cars come really close, but they shy away from people on foot. The tree density thickens and we reach a point where no amount of obstacle course driving will help. Strebel wiggles the car back toward the road and tries twice more from two different directions to get to the source of the beeps. Her frustration is palpable. Her nostrils flare, and she shakes her head. “Usually they are such good dogs and don’t go into difficult places to get to,” she apologizes. “They are right in front of us.”Blocked on all sides with bushes and trees, Strebel decides we should hike the rest of the way. We’ve now been searching for 3 hours. We soon hear a short, deep bark and a lot of twittering. They know we’re here, and they quickly leave. There are 24 adults in this pack, 10 of them pups, but all I catch is a fleeting glimpse of the side of one pup and the legs of one adult as they take off. We’ve driven 70 kilometers total. Eventually a pack was tracked down for the tourists to see, but for me, it was a wild dog chase.At Mpala, these elusive animals seem to be doing better. “They appear to be in better shape now than I would have thought 20 years ago,” Ginsberg says. Yet there’s still a lot to be learned about what makes them thrive, as there are many places in Africa where they are still missing or are in dire straits, say Robbins and McCreery: “Some key challenges are to get researchers to start thinking in novel ways to address wild dog conservation questions and the people that live with them to understand we are all part of the great web of life.”If that happens, many wild dogs won’t be so hard to find.Postscript: Two weeks later, driving through Tsavo East National Park, I did finally see wild dogs—twice by the side of the road. They were in the bushes when my husband and I and a Kenyan scientist drove by in the morning and then resting in the road as we returned that afternoon. The scientist said we were quite lucky, as they were a rare sighting in that park.For more on man’s best friend, see the Science News team’s latest coverage of doggy science. Credit: Mohammed Boru, Zeitz FoundationAlthough the wild dogs can be a menace to livestock, they represent a draw for tourists and, in the end, the herder comes to realize there are steps he can take so he can coexist with these animals.The play reflects the changing view of wild dogs. “Also, 25 years ago, they were not considered something tourists would want to see, says the Cary Institute’s Ginsberg. “That is not true anymore.” Tourists are charmed by the doglike nature of these animals. And researchers find them extraordinary. “Watching a wild dog move is to see the perfection that arises from eons of natural selection to perform an exceptionally difficult task,” Scott Creel says. “Everything unnecessary has been whittled away, leaving only a perfect running machine.”But first one needs to find them. At one point we get stuck in a traffic jam of camels, kept as livestock on the ranch. Credit: Elizabeth PennisiBut at last, Strebel hears beeping coming from the radio, so she stops the car and pulls out a directional antenna, circling with it held high. The dogs are still down the road, and as she drives, the signal gets stronger, then weaker. She pulls over, hops onto the roof, and tries the directional antenna again. Mohammed Boru, Zeitz Foundation Stefanie Strebel Credit: Stefanie StrebelTypically, siblings will sleep with each other; the top male will rest with his head on the alpha female. “They don’t like to be alone,” Strebel says, and this close proximity seems to reinforce the cohesiveness of the pack.As sunset approaches—about 5:30 p.m.—young dogs will start to chase each other and they and others begin to twitter, sounding like a flock of birds instead of a pack of dogs. A romp and greet session ensues. As young dogs race around, older ones nuzzle. There’s lots of licking of noses and mouths (as in this video). They set out, the direction often determined by the alpha female, first trotting and then running full speed when prey are spotted, silent until a prey is killed, often through the coordinated action of the pack. Then they “hoo” as a dinner call. Older dogs ensure that pups eat first, then they chow down. If there’s nothing left, the latecomers beg food from the well-sated, who may regurgitate some. Once it gets dark, they settle down for a few hours, regrouping just before sunrise for a hunt that lasts until about 9 in the morning.ZSL’s Woodroffe discovered that given the right circumstances, wild dogs can thrive in human-dominated landscapes. “This was a huge surprise and a rare piece of good news,” she says. Coexistence worked in Laikipia, the local county, for three reasons. The local Maasai and Samburu people focused on raising sheep, goats, and cattle and rarely hunted antelope and other ungulates, leaving them fair game for the wild dogs. At the same time, shepherds kept close watch on the livestock, protecting them from wild dogs and therefore reducing the likelihood that people would kill wild dogs in retaliation for livestock losses. Finally, these communities often set aside the hillier and less accessible land for dry-season grazing, leaving the areas free for wildlife to use. Wild dogs prefer these areas, further reducing contact between them and people and their dogs. Today, the area supports the sixth largest wild dog population in the world.By the time Strebel joined the Mpala project, Woodroffe was following eight packs including three with radio-collared individuals, of the 30 in Laikipia and the surrounding region. Strebel is systematically photographing each wild dog in those packs, so the researchers can pick out coat color patterns and other characteristics that enable them to identify each individual. In this way, they can build a more detailed picture of their movements. She knows her animals well. “If you love dogs, you associate with them right away,” she says. With their big ears, “they look pretty goofy.”To track down the pack this morning, she climbs into a dusty Toyota Land Cruiser equipped with an omnidirectional antenna on the roof. Strebel attaches a radio to the antenna so she can hear any beeps indicative of contact with a radio-collared animal—each pack has one or two animals with tags. As she goes to leave the research center compound, a security guard comes up, and there’s an excited exchange in Swahili. She beams as she translates: Two wild dogs were sighted running past the nearby campsite. She heads that way first but soon decides they belong to one of the packs without a collared animal and so will be hard to track down. She turns on to a different bumpy road.We speed at 30 km per hour or less along dirt tracks that wind around the countryside, past giraffes, zebras, and tiny antelopes called dik-diks. We’ve traveled 40 kilometers, but so far, there’s only static on the radio. She frets that perhaps the two wild dogs spotted earlier this morning may have been a better quarry. But by now, they are well out of range.Because the wild dogs do not respect boundaries, they often cross from conservation areas to community land, where children tending goats tend to run away from the wild dogs, leaving the animals vulnerable. Strebel and Woodroffe spend a lot of time trying to convince locals that adults should care for the animals and that when they stand their ground, the wild dogs will move on.As part of their community outreach, the Kenya Rangelands Wild Dog and Cheetah Project has teamed up with the Zeitz Foundation, which has programs to encourage sports in developing nations. During halftime at Zeitz-sponsored soccer tournaments, a theater group performs a play about the dilemmas presented by wild dogs and cheetahs. The play begins with a herder who loses several goats to wild dogs and wants retribution. A meeting of the elders ensues in which the herder’s, dogs’ and cheetahs’ points of views are aired. Elizabeth Pennisi Elizabeth Pennisi last_img read more

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Ethnic Status Demand For Sikhs Triggers Row In UK

first_imgThe demand of considering Sikhs as a separate ethnic group in the upcoming 2021 census in the UK has triggered a row and a large section of Indian workers, scholars and politicians feel that the demand is a flawed idea and will create division among the Punjabis.Read it at Tribune Related Itemslast_img

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Room With a Due

first_imgEight five-star hotels in New Delhi are behind almost $120 million in rental payments to the government, according to an investigation by Tehelka magazineHotel Lalit          $76 millionHotel Samrat      $22 millionLe Meridien        $15 millionTaj Mansingh      $8 millionAshok Hotel       $6 millionHotel Claridges   $3 millionTaj Palace           $740,000Hotel Janpath     $500,000 Related Itemslast_img

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SC to hear Dhananjay Munde’s petition on Friday

first_imgThe Supreme Court will on Friday hear Maharashtra MLC Dhananjay Munde’s petition challenging a Bombay High Court order directing registration of an FIR against him in a case of an alleged illegal purchase of government land.The NPC leader, in his petition, has sought stay of the High Court order that directed the police to file a case against him for alleged grabbing of a government land at village Pus, Taluka Ambajogai, Beed district.The High Court had directed the police to register the case on the basis of a complaint made by one Rajabhau Phad on October 23, 2017 at Bardapur police station.The public prosecutor had told the High Court that after making some inquiry, the police realised that the government land was being grabbed by creating false revenue record and by showing some transactions.“Even when such opinion is formed by investigating agency, the complaint given to P.I. of Bardapur police station, Tahsil Ambajogai is not treated as FIR and crime is not registered,” the High Court had remarked.Mr. Munde, who is the opposition leader of the Maharashtra Legislative Council, has alleged in his plea before the top court that the “facts alleged by Respondent No. 5 [Mr. Rajabhau] are politically motivated” and on the behest of his political rivals.last_img read more

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Congress drawing political mileage from floods and calamity: BJP

first_imgThe war of words between the BJP and Opposition over management of the floods continues with the Congress and its senior leadership being accused of politicising the rescue and relief operation. This follows former chief minster Prithviraj Chavan’s allegation last week that the government was biased against the flood-hit western Maharashtra and may have responded differently if it had affected Vidarbha, a BJP stronghold and home to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. State unit BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari pointed out that the CM had cancelled his Vidarbha tour and returned to Mumbai to hold an emergency cabinet meeting. “He then went to New Delhi to participate in the last rites of Sushma Swaraj only to come back and visit Kolhapur the same day. This CM is 24×7 focussed. He even cancelled a tour to Russia,” said Mr Bhandari. Comparing the relief work to that during the 2005 floods, Mr. Bhandari said while over a thousand people had died then, not everyone was adequately compensated by the then government. Not everyone benefited from the State’s schemes and the Congress should ponder over the fact that it left Mumbai to fend for itself under the watch of its then leader from western Maharashtra, he said. “Mr. Chavan should be concerned about the work done by his party’s government during the 2005 floods,” Mr. Bhandari said.last_img read more

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J&K curbs to stay till tomorrow

first_imgThere will be no easing of the prevailing curfew-like restrictions and communications blockade in Kashmir, at least till the Independence Day functions — planned to be held in all districts of the Valley — are concluded, as the administration is buoyed by the calm maintained by people during Id and Friday prayers.“The restrictions are being eased out in a phased manner in the Valley,” said J&K government spokesperson Rohit Kansal. “Normal situation in the Jammu division has been restored,” he added.Mr. Kansal, however, remained non-committal about any time frame for restoring communications including the Internet in the Valley. Residents in the valley have largely been cut off from the rest of the country and the world since August 5. He also asserted that no untoward incident had been reported anywhere in Kashmir in the past 24 hours.Also Read Newspapers pause publication  Police officials said authorities did not want to leave anything to chance ahead of Independence Day. All venues were in the process of undergoing “security sanitisation”, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.Mr. Kansal said full dress rehearsals for the I-Day functions were held in every district of the Valley on Tuesday. “The necessary arrangements have been put in place for grand and befitting functions,” he added.Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan unfurled the Tricolour and took the salute at the march-past in Srinagar’s main venue Sher-i-Kashmir Stadium.Once the hotspot for separatists to organise street protests, Lal Chowk’s Ghanta Ghar was also being spruced up for the I-Day celebrations.In a separate move, Mr. Kansal said the J&K government would host a first-ever global summit, attracting investors from many countries, between October 12-16. “The summit will see investors travelling to Srinagar, Jammu and Ladakh,” he added.This is a major bid by the authorities to establish confidence among the local population on the development front.The Centre has affirmed that J&K offers major potential in tourism and information technology sectors and is keen to help the province to tap it.last_img read more

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Share financial burden of Kartarpur pilgrims: Dal Khalsa

first_imgSikh radical outfit Dal Khalsa has asked the Punjab government and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to equally share the financial burden of pilgrims who cannot afford $20 fee proposed by Pakistan for visiting the Gurdwara through the upcoming Kartarpur corridor.The organisation also urged Pakistan to reduce the fee to an affordable level for poor pilgrims. “We urge the SGPC and the Punjab government to work out modalities and bear the expenses of a pilgrim who could not afford but desire to have ‘darshan’ of Guru Nanak’s place. On the other hand, Pakistan administration too needs to reduce the fee to half,” said Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh.Mr. Singh said if the Punjab government could bear the entire costs of boarding and lodging of all pilgrims from Amritsar, Talwandi Sabo and Anandpur Sahib to Hazoor Sahib in 2015-2016, under the Tirath Yatra Scheme, there was no point in denying it to pilgrims to Kartarpur Sahib.Union Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal has also urged Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to ensure free pilgrimage to Kartarpur Sahib on the pattern of a service provided to pilgrims under the Mukh Mantri Tirath Yatra Scheme during the previous Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janta Party regime in Punjab.last_img read more

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U.P. to get its first conservation centre for vultures

first_imgUttar Pradesh is set to get its first conservation centre for endangered vultures. And a gau sadan (cow conservation centre) built by the State government may have led to the selection of the village site for the vulture conservation in Eastern Uttar Pradesh’s Maharajganj district, as per an official.The Jatayu Conservation and Breeding Centre would be set up in the Bhari Baisi village in Pharendra tehsil under the Gorakhpur Forest Division. Covering an area of five hectares, the centre would be developed on the lines of the Pinjore Conservation and Breeding Centre in Haryana, the nation’s first for vultures, the Uttar Pradesh Information department said in a statement.Uttar Pradesh Principal Forest Conservator (Wildlife) Sunil Pandey said more than 100 vultures were spotted in the Maghwalia range of the Maharajganj Forest Division in August.A committee of vultures was also spotted close to a gau sadan built by the State government, said Mr. Pandey in a statement.Since destitute animals are kept at the gau sadan and they die soon due to their age, it is natural for vultures to be spotted there due to the availability of the dead animals, said Mr. Pandey. “Due to this, Bhari Baisi village was selected [for the conservation centre],” Mr. Pandey said.Joint projectThe vulture conservation centre in Maharajganj would be a joint project of the Bombay Natural History Society and the Wildlife Research Institute. The BNHS has prepared a Detailed Project Report for the centre.Around 60% of the survey work was complete, Mr. Pandey said.As per the 2013-14 census, around 900 vultures were found in 13 districts of Uttar Pradesh, he said.last_img read more

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Kushwaha ends fast unto death in Bihar

first_imgThe Rashtriya Lok Samata Party president and former Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha ended his fast unto death in support of his demand for free land to open two Central schools in the State after five days on Saturday. “I ended my fast.. but my protest will continue,” Mr. Kushwaha said soon after mahagathbandhan leaders reached him at the Patna Medical College and Hospital and offered him juice to end his fast. Senior mahagathbandhan leaders like Sharad Yadav, Jitan Ram Manjhi, Tejashwi Yadav and Mukesh Sahni said they would take forward the protest against the State government. Mr. Kushwaha had begun his fast on November 26 demanding five acres to open the two Kendriya Vidyalayas (KV) sanctioned for Bihar by the Central government.However, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had said that the State government could not provide the land for free.last_img read more

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NU, UP dominate their way to finals berths in UAAP badminton

first_imgMOST READ Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST PLAY LIST 01:00Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST00:50Trending 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 BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Defending champions National University and University of the Philippines continued to tear the house down in their respective divisions to earn outright Finals berths in the UAAP Season 80 badminton tournament Thursday at Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall.The Bulldogs continued to stay unscathed in the men’s division, dispatching their last foe University of the East, 5-0, to gain entry to the championship round.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PHcenter_img Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC The Green Archers and the Blue Eagles face off for the last semifinals ticket in the men’s division on Friday.Meanwhile, UP turned back Adamson, 4-1, to proceed to the Finals after a six-tie sweep of the eliminations.La Salle bagged the second-seed, which comes with a twice-to-beat incentive, after pulling off a 4-1 win over NU, while Ateneo silenced UST, 5-0.The Lady Eagles and the Lady Bulldogs clash in the first of the step-ladder semifinals on Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Brownlee admits Ginebra got outplayed in Game 2, vows next game will be different Alvin Morada, Keeyan Gabuelo, and Alem Palmares hoisted NU’s flag in the singles category, while tandems of Morada and Palmares, as well as Christian Cuyno and Mike Minuluan as the Jhocson-based crew went unbeaten in six matches this year.The Bulldogs have now gone undefeated through 33 ties harking back to 2014, and will be waiting for its best-of-three Finals date next week.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 shutoutUP claimed the twice-to-beat advantage in the men’s stepladder semis after turning back La Salle, 4-1, behind singles’ bets JM Bernardo and CK Clemente and doubles’ squads Betong Pineda and Paul Gonzales to rack up a 5-1 record.University of Santo Tomas forced a three-way tie for third place with a dominant 5-0 victory againstAteneo, and has moved up to third place thanks to the quotient system. LATEST STORIES View commentslast_img read more

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Irving, Celtics beat skidding Kings for 6th straight

first_imgJohn Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Boston Celtics’ Kyrie Irving (11) shoots over Sacramento Kings’ George Hill (3). APBOSTON — Jaylen Brown has already figured out he’ll receive a lot less attention from opposing defenses when he’s on the floor with Kyrie Irving. Brown has also realized he’ll get some open shots, too. “This is about where we’re going to be two years from now. I have to look at it in a broader lens on a day-to-day basis.” Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Read Next “Kyrie and (Al) Horford are going to draw so much attention, especially Kyrie,” Brown said. “I’m just licking my chops anytime they double-team Kyrie. I’m just trying to be as ready as possible to take the pressure off them.”Irving also scored 22 for the Celtics, who posted their 11th consecutive win over the Kings in Boston, dating to their last loss on Jan. 19, 2007. Terry Rozier added 12 points, and Daniel Theis had 10 points with 10 rebounds.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“You know what was interesting? I thought that he only took eight shots, but obviously 22 points on eight shots is great,” Boston coach Brad Stevens said about Brown. “I thought that he took all the right ones.”Buddy Hield scored 17 points and Zach Randolph 16 for the Kings, who lost their sixth in a row — the last three by an average of 24 points. Giannis Antetokounmpo powers Bucks in bounce back win over Celtics PLAY LIST 02:29Giannis Antetokounmpo powers Bucks in bounce back win over Celtics00:50Trending Articles01:48NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers01:37Protesters 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 CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA MOST READ Warren has career-high 40, Suns rally to beat Wizards QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion LATEST STORIES “Despite these losses, I think we’re playing better. We’re moving the ball, playing with each other,” Hield said. “It can mentally break you down. We’ve just got to be mentally strong each and every day.”Boston led 58-45 at halftime and took complete control early in the third quarter, pushing it to 66-47 on Irving’s second 3-pointer in the opening two minutes.Brown hit consecutive 3-pointers 27 seconds apart during a 17-2 run that made it 87-56 late in the third. Irving had seven points during the spree, including his third from beyond the arc in the quarter.The Celtics led 89-60 after three.TIP-INSADVERTISEMENT Kings: Have been held to 100 points or fewer in four of their seven losses. . Sacramento was outrebounded 52-26 and shot only 43 percent. “We just struggle to score,” coach Dave Joerger said. “When you play a team that can score, sometimes that inability lets them be even more free and more loose.”Celtics: F Marcus Morris, who has not played this season due to a sore left knee, worked “really hard” on Wednesday and the team expects to see him play “sooner than later,” Stevens said. Morris is scheduled to go on the upcoming road trip.HAYWARD UPDATEStevens talked about star Gordon Hayward’s progress from a gruesome broken left ankle suffered in the team’s opener at Cleveland.“He’s going to be in a boot for however long,” the coach said. “It’s going to be a while before he’s allowed to put any weight on it.”Stevens said Hayward is in “good spirits” and “has been doing his chair shooting every day.”The injured forward has visited the team’s practice facility a few times.STAY CALMJoerger talked about the need to stay positive before the game despite his team’s rough start.“I try not to hit them over the head every timeout, being negative,” he said, breaking into a smile. “Very rarely have I lost it this season, which I think you can do twice a season — you can go temporarily insane. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Brown scored 22 points on 7-of-8 shooting in three quarters, and the Boston Celtics coasted past the skidding Sacramento Kings 113-86 on Wednesday (Thursday Manila time) for their sixth straight victory.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH View commentslast_img read more

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