Why is Prajapati still in Cabinet, U.P. Governor asks CM Akhilesh Yadav

first_imgAkhilesh campaigns for Gayatri Prajapati  ‘Sack Minister’U.P. BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya also attacked the Chief Minister, saying if he cannot get his “favourite” Minister arrested, he should at least sack him.Mr. Maurya, whose comments come a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the SP-Congress combine of chanting “Gayatri Prajapati Mantra,” also said the BJP would get Mr. Prajapati arrested after the poll results.Mr. Prajapati’s passport was impounded on Saturday and a look-out notice too was issued against him.On the SC’s directive, the U.P. police filed an FIR against Mr. Prajapati, in connection with separate cases of gang rape and attempt to rape another woman and her minor daughter. Warrants, look-out notice issued against Prajapati  He said it had also come to his notice that the CM himself had asked the Minister to surrender but he had not done so till now and was absconding. There were apprehensions that he might have fled to some foreign country, he said. The police were searching for the Minister and trying to arrest him, the Governor said.BJP president Amit Shah too raised the issue on Sunday at an election meeting in Ambedkarnagar, where he rued the U.P. government’s failure to arrest its rape-accused Minister. Listing Mr. Prajapati’s arrest as one of the first tasks in case his party formed the government in the State, Mr. Shah said, “As soon as the BJP forms the government in U.P. on March 11, we will search even in hell and send him to jail.”Mr. Prajapati holds the Transport portfolio in the Akhilesh Council of Ministers.Mr. Shah also alleged that the rape-accused Minister campaigned for the SP for nearly six days, and even exercised his voting rights on February 27.“But, the police were not able to do anything. On the other hand, the CM appealed to Gayatri to surrender. The job of the police is to hold the criminal by the collar and send him behind bars,” said Mr. Shah.“Akhilesh claims that ‘kaam bolta hai’ [actions speak]. But, the reality is that U.P. tops in crime against women and here ‘karnama bolta hai’ [misdeeds speak],” he said.Also Read The continuance of rape accused Gayatri Prajapati as a Minister in the Akhilesh Cabinet has raised serious questions of “constitutional morality and dignity,” said Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik on Sunday, even as the BJP attacked the State government for its failure to arrest him.Mr. Naik made the remarks in a letter he shot off to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, seeking to know if he “justifies” having the tainted Minister in his Cabinet.“A non-bailable warrant has been issued against Prajapati after an FIR was registered against him in the rape case. Serious questions of constitutional morality and dignity arise on his remaining in the Cabinet,” the Governor said in the letter.Mr. Naik said that according to media reports, a look-out notice was issued against Mr. Prajapati on the apprehension that he might flee the country and his passport also was impounded. “This is serious in nature, Prajapati being a Cabinet Minister,” he pointed out.Also Readlast_img read more

"Why is Prajapati still in Cabinet, U.P. Governor asks CM Akhilesh Yadav"

Goa BJP to felicitate Amit Shah on April 9

first_imgPanaji: The Goa Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will felicitate Amit Shah, the party’s national president, during his visit to the State on April 9, for his role in the party’s victory in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand Assembly elections.He will also be felicitated for formation of BJP-led government in four out of five States that went to poll recently.Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said the idea was to have an opportunity for the party’s rank and file in Goa to listen to Mr. Shah.He said around 25,000 people will attend the felicitation cum public rally. The Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari, who was in charge of the BJP’s Goa Assembly polls, will also attend the event. Mr. Gadkari, along with Mr. Parrikar, is credited as playing a crucial role in formation of a BJP-led government in Goa after the Assembly elections, in which the party secured the second position with 13 MLAs. Mr. Parrikar said he and the party’s Goa chief, Vinay Tendulkar, will felicitate Mr. Shah at the rally.last_img read more

"Goa BJP to felicitate Amit Shah on April 9"

Madan Tamang murder case: CBI seeks arrest warrant against Bimal Gurung, 21 others

first_imgThe Madan Tamang murder case has come to haunt the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leadership with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday approaching the Chief Judge of City Sessions Court and urging it to issue non-bailable warrant against GJM president Bimal Gurung and 21 others.During the day the Court of Chief Judge, City Session Court Kolkata was hearing the Madan Tamang murder case where charges were to being framed against the accused. Of the 54 accused in the case, four have died while two others are absconding. Of the 48 remaining accused 26 were present in the court but 22 others including Mr Gurung were not present in the Court.Pointing out that the charges in the case cannot be framed unless all accused are present in the Court CBI counsel Arun Bhagat urged the Court to issue non bailable warrant against Mr Gurung and others who were not present in the Court. The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday directed that hearing on framing of charges in the Madang Tamnag murder case be completed by August 17 in the court of chief judge, city sessions court.All India Gorka League leader Madan Tamang was killed in open in broad daylight in Darjeeling in May 2010.last_img read more

"Madan Tamang murder case: CBI seeks arrest warrant against Bimal Gurung, 21 others"

JeM attack leaves eight dead

first_imgEight security personnel and three militants were killed when militants of the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) stormed the heavily fortified District Police Lines premises in Pulwama in a pre-dawn attack on Saturday. The operation continued till late in the evening. “The bodies of two militants were recovered. The third militant was trapped in another building,” said Jammu and Kashmir DGP S.P. Vaid.The militants stormed the Special Operation Group building, housing the police arm that deals with counter-insurgency operations, by scaling a wall close to orchards at the extreme end of the sprawling premises around 3.45 a.m.Two multi-storey blocks were blasted by the security agencies to flush out the “well-trained and highly motivated” militants. There was pressure “to wind up [the] operation fast” as locals had started assembling near the site and hurling stones “constantly,” but the operation lasted the whole day.“Two trapped SPOs and one orderly employee [of the police] were killed as one block caught fire in the exchange of fire. The trapped security personnel could not manage to leave the complex. We tried to send fire tenders with ladders to evacuate them but the militants fired upon them too,” a police official said.Freshly infiltrated group“We evacuated 40 to 50 families from the premises where the gunfight was on,” said Muhammad Aslam, Supreintendent of Police, Pulwama. One policeman was killed during the evacuation of the stranded families.Top counter-insurgency officials told The Hindu that these militants seemed from a freshly infiltrated group.“There were inputs about the presence of a new group that has infiltrated from the Poonch side a few days ago. The group stayed in Shopian’s Keehgam village before heading for Pulwama. We are corroborating the intelligence inputs. These were highly trained militants and apparently carried weapons to fire grenades too,” said another police official.JeM spokesman Hasan Shah said JeM militants had carried out the attack. “Our militants present there are giving a tough time to the Indian troops.”last_img read more

"JeM attack leaves eight dead"

Bhopal gangrape case: four cops suspended, another transferred

first_imgFour police officials in Madhya Pradesh were suspended today and the city Superintendent of Police (SP) was transferred over a delay in lodging a complaint of a 19-year-old woman, who was allegedly gang-raped here three days ago. Director General of Police (DGP) R.K. Shukla announced the suspension of the four officials — three inspectors and a sub-inspector — for their alleged negligence which led to the delay in registering the offence.“We have suspended three station in-charges (of MP Nagar, Habibganj and GRP police stations), a sub-inspector and transferred the city SP to the police headquarters over the issue (of delay in registering a complaint),” he told PTI. The action was taken after it was reported in the media that it took nearly 24 hours for the survivor to file a complaint, after three police stations refused to lodge an FIR citing jurisdiction issues, a senior police official said. The media reports were verified by the police before the action was taken, he added. The woman, a student, was allegedly raped by four men near the railway tracks here when she was returning from a coaching class in MP Nagar, a police officer had said. The incident had occurred on Tuesday night in the vicinity of the Habibganj railway station, but came to light yesterday. The police arrested all the four accused after the woman lodged a case at the GRP police station (at the Habibganj railway station).last_img read more

"Bhopal gangrape case: four cops suspended, another transferred"

Ngaitlang Dhar richest candidate contesting in Meghalaya elections

first_imgNgaitlang Dhar was the richest candidate in the 2013 Assembly elections. He continues to be so even in 2018.The 49-year-old Mr Dhar, who can barely read despite studying up to Class 8, is richer by ₹55 crore than five years ago. His affidavit says his fleet of vehicles too has increased by six to touch 144. But 129 of these are trucks and earth movers. The remaining are high-end SUVs and sedans of brands such as Mercedes and BMW.The affidavit of this former Congress leader, who hopes to retain the Umroi assembly seat on an NPP ticket, says his assets are worth ₹290 crore.His son Dasakhiatbha Lamare, a first-timer at 25, is a millionaire too. He owns 15 vehicles, a few of them luxury cars, and his movable and immovable assets are worth ₹40 crore.Mr. Lamare is the NPP candidate for the Mawhati seat. One of his rivals is Julius Kitbok Dorphang, an independent in jail on charges of raping a minor several times in December 2016. Mr. Dhar’s younger brother Sniawbhalang, 36, is poorer in contrast. He declared ₹28 lakh as assets.Sniawbhalang Dhar, who won the Nartiang seat on a Congress ticket last time, is an NPP candidate this time.last_img read more

"Ngaitlang Dhar richest candidate contesting in Meghalaya elections"

Haryana schools to remain closed on May 7, 8

first_imgThe Haryana government on Sunday announced that in the wake of the warning of heavy rain, thunderstorms and dust storms issued for Haryana between May 7 and 8, all government and private schools across the State will remain closed on these two days.Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma said the decision has been taken after the Haryana Meteorological Department issued the weather warning. ‘No need to panic’ The Haryana Revenue and Disaster Management Department said that there was no need for panic. All the departments have been directed to stay alert, a government spokesperson said.The spokesperson said that people should prepare an emergency kit with essential items for safety and survival in case the weather turns rough.last_img read more

"Haryana schools to remain closed on May 7, 8"

Hardik meets Tejashwi in Patna, snubs CM Nitish

first_imgGujarat Patidar leader Hardik Patel on Saturday met Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav in Patna and decided to snub Nitish Kumar, saying there was no point in meeting the Chief Minister. The two had met on Mr. Patel’s previous trip to Patna in December 2016.The Patidar leader also appealed to his members of his caste to unite so that they can reap political and social benefit in “proportion to their population”.“Nitish Kumar and I were treading on the same path but he later changed track and joined hands with the BJP. There is no point meeting him now,” Mr. Patel said while addressing a programme, ‘Patel Jagrukta Sammelan’, at the S.K. Memorial hall in Patna.Addressing the gathering, the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti leader appealed to Kurmis, Kushwahas, Dhanuks to unite and make their political and social presence felt in the country, introducing himself with “my name is Kurmi, Kushwaha, Dhanuk Hardik Patel”. “Like in Bihar, Patels are also divided in Gujarat but their unity showed there strength to the world,” Mr. Patel said. “If we get united, no one would be able to face us. We need to sink our differences and come on a common platform otherwise others will rule over us,” he said while exhorting the three castes that together constitute 12% of the population in Bihar.Bigger rallyTargeting the Bihar Chief Minister obliquely, Mr. Patel said that he knew a rally was organised at Patna’s Gandhi Maidan in 1994 (referring to Mr. Kumar’s ‘Kurmi Chetna’ rally, which established him as a leader of note) and promised to organise a bigger rally than that in two years. “Several people became leaders and Ministers after that rally but the people belonging to the community remained where they were,” he added.last_img read more

"Hardik meets Tejashwi in Patna, snubs CM Nitish"

Jammu and Kashmir: BJP says ready to debate on scrapping of Article 35A

first_imgThe Jammu and Kashmir unit of the BJP on Saturday said the party was open to a debate over Article 35A of the Constitution, which confers special status to permanent residents of the state, as protests continued against the August 6 Supreme Court hearing on petitions challenging the provision.The apex court is hearing a batch of petitions in the matter, including the one filed by an RSS-linked NGO ‘We the Citizens’, seeking quashing of the article.“The BJP is open to a debate with anyone or any political party on whether or not Article 35A is in the interest of the people of the state. We are extending an open invitation,” the state BJP chief spokesperson Sunil Sethi told reporters here.He said over the last few days, the political climate in the state has heated up over Article 35A and some political parties, especially those active in Kashmir, have taken an “anti-national and anti-people” stand on the issue.Targeting the National Conference (NC) and the Congress, Mr. Sethi said people in the Valley are being misled over Article 35A by being told that it is for their betterment and in the interest of the state.“The continuation of Article 35A will not have any benefit for the state. The central government has pumped crores of rupees into the state over the last 70 years but the development has not been as it should have been,” he said.He said Article 35A has acted as an obstacle in the state’s development because it did not allow outside investment.“Investors do not come here to set up Infrastructure. The youth are not getting the jobs,” he added. The BJP spokesperson alleged some politicians want to maintain the position for vote bank politics.Responding to a statement by the NC’s provincial president Devender Singh Rana that the special provision was introduced by Maharaja Hari Singh to safeguard the interests of the state, Mr. Sethi said the situation was different from what it was now when the law was enacted.“It was a princely state and not a part of India at that time. After accession, Jammu and Kashmir became part of India,” he said.“When we are a part of India then what is the need for separate provisions and that too when it has created hurdles in the development and is also discriminatory in nature,” he added.Accusing Mr. Rana of playing politics over the name of Maharaja Hari Singh, Mr. Sethi said it was the NC and the Congress who conspired to send the king out of the state and did not allow him to return till death.As a result of Article 35A, West Pakistan refugees, who came to the state in 1947, have been denied the right of being state subjects, which was promised to them, and local girls who marry outside the state lose their right over property, he said.“Jammu and Kashmir is not for foreigners but West Pakistan refugees are Indians and can live anywhere in the country, but not Rohingyas and Bangladeshi nationals,” he said.“My appeal to the people of Jammu and Kashmir is to understand the real purpose of Article 35A. It is like an iron chain which is keeping us from moving forward. If the state subject laws change, it will benefit the state,” Mr. Sethi said.He said if the article is repealed, new laws could be made to pave way for industrial growth and to prevent outsiders from settling in residential areas.Article 35A, which was incorporated in the Constitution by a 1954 Presidential Order, accords special rights and privileges to the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir and denies property rights to a woman who marries a person from outside the state. The provision, which leads such women from the state to forfeit their right over property, also applies to their heirs.last_img read more

"Jammu and Kashmir: BJP says ready to debate on scrapping of Article 35A"

11 families of Bru refugees set to return to Mizoram

first_imgEleven families of displaced Brus are set to return to Mizoram from relief camps in adjoining Tripura on Wednesday, despite an organisation of the refugees refusing to budge unless the Centre accepts its set of demands.The Ministry of Home Affairs had on July 3 signed an agreement with the Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum and the Mizoram and Tripura governments for repatriation of 5,407 Bru families by September 30. More than 40,000 Brus had fled Mizoram after ethnic clashes in 1997. But an MHA team that visited Tripura in August said all Bru refugee camps in the Kanchanpur subdivision of North Tripura district will be closed down after September 25.“We have no deadline as such, but 11 families are ready to move to Mizoram tomorrow [Wednesday]. We hope some more families will accept the repatriation package and return home by September 30,” R. Darlong, Kanchanpur Sub-Divisional Magistrate, told The Hindu.Rehabilitation packageThe renewed repatriation bid has seen 31 families go back from the refugee camps till September 19. But the Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Coordination Committee, which claims to represent a majority of the refugees, has refused to vacate the camps unless New Delhi improves the rehabilitation package.“The MHA has not yet responded to our seven-point demand. We will not move unless they are fulfilled,” MBDPCC leader Laldingliana Reang said. The demands include allocation of five hectares of land to each refugee family, their settlement in a cluster comprising at least 500 families, ₹4 lakh compensation to each family before repatriation, revision of electoral rolls, and identification of 1,000 refugee families allegedly not counted by the State governments involved.The package offered by the MHA includes one-time financial assistance of ₹4 lakh to each family as a fixed deposit, a house, and free ration for two years, besides ₹5,000 as monthly assistance. The MHA had said the refugees would not get free rations and other assistance from October if they don’t return to Mizoram.“The free ration and so-called facilities are too meagre for survival. The refugees anyway do odd jobs to sustain themselves,” Mr. Reang said.last_img read more

"11 families of Bru refugees set to return to Mizoram"

Six diarrhoea deaths in Haryana CM’s constituency

first_imgThe Congress on Friday asked the BJP government in Haryana to take responsibility for death of six persons, reportedly due to diarrhoea, in the past five days in Karnal.Hundreds of protesters had on Thursday staged a dharna against Karnal’s new grain market committee authorities as the deceased had been mostly labourers working in the market. They gathered outside the market committee office with the body of Rohit, a teenager, and shouted slogans against the authorities, accusing them of not ensuring clean drinking water for the labourers.Hitting out at the BJP government, Haryana Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala accused the government of “criminal negligence”.“Six people have died in Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s constituency [Karnal] due to drinking contaminated water. Many are in hospital. This is inhuman. Will Mr. Khattar take responsibility,” asked Mr. Surjewala in a tweet.Labourers working in the grain market alleged that as many as six persons had died in the past five days due to “diarrhoea” as the area had been getting contaminated water. Several others were still admitted to various hospitals for treatment of similar symptoms of the water-borne disease, they alleged.The State health department has been organising health camps in the area for the last two days. “Around 80 persons have been detected with symptoms of mild diarrhoea. We have referred 18 of them to Kalpana Chawla Government Medical College and Hospital and the Civil Hospital,” said Dr. Saroj, Deputy Civil Surgeon.last_img read more

"Six diarrhoea deaths in Haryana CM’s constituency"

Plot to attack Punjab leader foiled, 3 arrested

first_imgThe Uttar Pradesh police have arrested three suspected Khalistani sympathisers after an encounter in Shamli district on Monday.The trio, identified as Karam Singh, Jinta and Amreet alias Amrit, were caught while transporting weapons reportedly to be used to target former Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal patron Parkash Singh Badal.The police have seized two rifles, snatched from the police recently, from the three accused. One pistol, 21 live cartridges and one motorbike have also been recovered from their possession.Shamli Superintendent of Police Dinesh Kumar P. told The Hindu that the police acted on a tip-off that some Khalistani sympathisers were planning to transport weapons from Shamli to Punjab. “The accused had planned to target politician Parkash Singh Badal. It is yet to be ascertained whether they had planned to attack Mr. Badal directly or create panic by attacking his rally,” Mr. Kumar said. Further investigation is on in the matter as the mastermind of the gang named German and another accused, Karma, are still at large, he added.“We cannot share more details but our teams are working to arrest German and Karma,” Mr. Kumar said. The police said German is in touch with pro-Khalistan groups.The rifles recovered from the accused were snatched on October 2 in Shamli’s Jhinjana police station area. A police post was attacked by some criminals who shot at head constable Sansaar Singh and home guard Sanjay Verma and made off with their rifles.Karam Singh hails from Shamli, Jinta from Saharanpur while Amreet is a resident of Karnal in Haryana. Both German and Karma are from Shamli.When asked about the background of the arrested accused, SP Kumar said no criminal history has surfaced so far but they are Khalistani sympathisers who were involved in planning an attack.Mr. Badal, 90, had organised a mega rally on October 7 in Patiala. “The criminals had planned to attack Mr. Badal’s rally on October 7, but due to some reasons the attack was postponed,” Mr. Kumar said.last_img read more

"Plot to attack Punjab leader foiled, 3 arrested"

RTI Act applicable to Secretariat of Governor: Goa CIC

first_imgThe Goa State Chief Information Commissioner(CIC) Prashant Tendolkar on Monday allowed a complaint filed by advocate Aires Rodrigues over the non-compliance of the Right to Information (RTI) Act by the Secretariat of the Governor at Goa Raj Bhavan. In his order disposing of the complaint, the Goa CIC has granted the complainant’s plea by confirming the findings of the Goa State Information Commission(GSIC)  in appeal No.10/2008 and complaint No.613/SCIC/2010.(PIO) and directed the Secretariat of Governor at Raj Bhavan Goa to appoint a Public Information Officer(PIO) and also make the mandatory disclosures under Section 4 (1) of the RTI as required in compliance of the law.In the complaint filed under section 18 (1) (a) of the RTI Act, activist lawyer Rodrigues had pleaded that the Goa Raj Bhavan despite being a “Public Authority’ in terms of section 2 (h) of the RTI Act had not appointed a PIO nor made the mandatory disclosures required under section 4 (1) of the RTI Act.last_img read more

"RTI Act applicable to Secretariat of Governor: Goa CIC"

Another PDP leader Mir quits party

first_imgPeoples Democratic Party (PDP) received yet another setback as its senior leader and former minister Javaid Mustafa Mir resigned from the party on Sunday.Mr. Mir served as a Revenue Minister in the Mehbooba Mufti’s Cabinet but was dropped from the council of ministers later. He is likely to join Congress. He has joined a list of prominent faces who quit the PDP since the PDP-BJP government fell in Jammu and Kashmir in June last year.Among those who quit included former minister Syed Basharat Bukhari, Haseen Drabu and Imran Ansari. Two MLCs, Yasir Reshi and Saifuddin Bhat, also distanced themselves from the party. MLA Abbas Wani also left the party.last_img read more

"Another PDP leader Mir quits party"

‘No cloud hanging over INLD-BSP alliance’

first_imgINLD leader Abhay Singh Chautala has rejected reports that his party’s alliance with the BSP was under strain after the drubbing it received in the Jind bypoll, asserting that the two parties will jointly contest the coming polls. “Has anyone said that the INLD-BSP alliance ended? Our alliance stands. We entered into an alliance (last year) to fight (the upcoming) Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha polls together and we will jointly contest these polls,” he said. “If there are any issues, we will sit together and discuss them,” he said at a press conference after his party’s executive committee meeting, which was chaired by Indian National Lok Dal’s State unit chief Ashok Arora here. Abhay Chautala, the younger son of INLD chief and ex-Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, said that “a section of media is trying to portray as if our alliance has broken. Has any BSP leader given a statement that this alliance has ended?” “(Bahujan Samaj Party supremo) Mayawati has said that the INLD, which has split, should unite which will strengthen the alliance. After the Jind bypoll, I spoke to her,” Mr. Chautala said. Asked what transpired between the two leaders, he said, “all things cannot be made public”. Jind defeatThe INLD failed to hold on to the Jind seat, which was represented by its senior leader Hari Chand Middha, whose death in August last year had necessitated the bypoll. Middha’s son Krishan Middha, a BJP candidate, registered an emphatic win. But Abhay Chautala’s nephew Digvijay Chautala of the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) finished at number two spot. The INLD’s Umed Singh Redhu lost his security deposit and finished a poor fifth. The JJP was floated in December last year after feud in the Chautala family. Ajay Singh Chautala is patron of the JJP while his two sons — Digvijay and Dushyant Chautala — are spearheading the party in the absence of Ajay Chautala, who is serving a jail term in connection with the teachers recruitment scam in Haryana. At the humiliating defeat of INLD candidate Umed Singh Redhu in the Jind bypoll, Abhay Chautala said the Election Commission should order a probe into the alleged misuse of money power.last_img read more

"‘No cloud hanging over INLD-BSP alliance’"

ScienceShot: Humans Spread Mutation That Smoothes a Horse’s Ride

first_imgAll horses can canter, gallop, walk, and trot, but some can also move to different beats, ones that make for faster harness-racing animals and smoother riding by cowboys and other long-distance travelers. For horses around the world, the same genetic mutation—bred into the horses by humans—underlies these additional gaits, researchers report in the March issue of Animal Genetics. Some horses “pace,” a gait used in harness racing where the two feet off the ground at any one time are on the same side (shown above). Others, the so-called gaited breeds, amble, a fast walk characterized by having at least one foot on the ground at all times, but not necessarily three as in a true walk. The new research builds on work reported in 2012. At the time, scientists studying Icelandic horses known for a special gait discovered that they, as well as American Standardbred horses used in harness racing, share a somewhat shortened version of a gene called DMRT3. The team showed that this gene, whose protein influences the activity of a bunch of other genes, helped control leg coordination in mice and suggested the mutation made the rhythm and order of footfalls more flexible. Now, the researchers have looked for this version, called gait keeper, in 4396 horses from 141 breeds from around the world. They find it in high frequencies in 68 breeds, which include all the gaited breeds as well as those used in harness racing. Further analyses indicated that this mutation arose relatively recently in equine evolution and was spread by horse breeders. Broader genetic studies are needed, however, to pinpoint where the mutation arose.See more ScienceShots.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(*)last_img read more

"ScienceShot: Humans Spread Mutation That Smoothes a Horse’s Ride"

NIH’s New Grant Policy, an Earth-Like Alien World, and ‘Unsustainable’ Biomedical Research

first_imgNIH to Relax ‘Two Strikes’ Grant Submission PolicyThe National Institutes of Health is dropping a policy that gave researchers only one chance to revise a rejected grant application before having to start over with a new idea—a rule that was especially hard on young investigators. Instead, the agency will allow an applicant to resubmit the identical proposal as many times as they like as a new submission.Almost-Earth Tantalizes Astronomers With Promise of Worlds to ComeSign 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(*)Ever since the first exoplanet was discovered in 1996, astronomers have been scanning the heavens for another Earth: a rocky planet orbiting its star at just the right distance for it to harbor liquid water and thus, potentially, life. Now, sifting through data collected by NASA’s Kepler orbiting observatory, they have discovered just such a planet, although it’s not quite Earth 2.0. Named Kepler-186f, the planet orbits a star that is less than half the size of the sun and much cooler.Are Beards About to Die Out?Beards are everywhere these days. From the urban lumberjacks of Brooklyn to the hirsute hackers of San Francisco, men’s faces have taken a turn for the hairy. But according to one theory of evolutionary population dynamics, the look is destined to die down because of its own popularity. And now an experiment involving 3 dozen bearded men lends credence to the prediction.U.S. Biomedical Research ‘Unsustainable,’ Prominent Researchers WarnThe U.S. biomedical science system “is on an unsustainable path” and needs major reform, four prominent researchers write in an opinion piece published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers should “confront the dangers at hand,” the authors write, and “rethink” how academic research is funded, staffed, and organized, according to Science Careers.Unhappy Marriages Due to Low Blood Sugar?Feeling peeved at your partner? You may want to check your blood sugar. A new study suggests that low levels of glucose in the blood may increase anger and aggression between spouses. The researchers say their findings suggest a connection between glucose and self-control, but other experts disagree about the study’s implications.last_img read more

"NIH’s New Grant Policy, an Earth-Like Alien World, and ‘Unsustainable’ Biomedical Research"

‘Carnivorous Ballet’ Helps Cheetahs Coexist With Lions

first_imgAfter humans, the lion is indisputably the top predator in Africa’s Serengeti. Since the 1990s, the big cats have been regarded as serious threats to the survival of both cheetah and wild dog populations. But a new study reveals that cheetahs are more adept at living with the lions than previously recognized, although wild dogs don’t fare so well. The work is likely to alter approaches to protecting all three carnivores.  Lions were first fingered as being particularly tough on Africa’s cheetahs in 1994. A researcher documented the big cats attacking and killing up to 57% of cheetah cubs in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. (They rarely ate the cubs, although the cheetah mothers often consumed the remains of their offspring after the lions had left.)Things seemed almost as bad for African wild dogs, long-legged canines that are not related to domestic dogs. They have colorful, patchy coats and hunt ungulates such as wildebeest and gazelle. In the park, researchers documented that as the lion’s population surged (it nearly tripled from less than 50 to nearly 200 between 1966 and 1998 because of increasing numbers of prey, particularly wildebeest), the wild dogs, which had once numbered about 50, declined. Eventually, in 1992, the animals vanished from Serengeti National Park altogether, although small numbers persisted in lion-free areas outside the park’s boundary. Biologists have estimated that lions kill up to 32% of the canines.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(*)Scientists noted the same pattern in fenced reserves in southern Africa, with lions ruling and smaller predators suffering. It’s easy to see why: Brawny African lions tip the scales at 120 to 180 kilograms, while cheetahs pack only 25 to 40 kg, and wild dogs weigh in at a mere 18 to 25 kg. But scientists still do not know why lions kill the smaller predators, which don’t compete directly with the big cats for prey.Lions’ dominance has led some researchers to argue that efforts to protect cheetahs and wild dogs should be focused primarily on areas with few or none of the larger carnivores. Indeed, after a study in 2011 suggested that actively conserving lions might push cheetahs to the brink of extinction, some scientists advocated reconsidering strategies for protecting the big cats. Some have even suggested reducing their numbers, says Alexandra Swanson, a graduate student in ecology at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and the lead author of the new study. “It was a controversial paper, and so I decided to test the idea that African lions suppress the populations of cheetahs and wild dogs.”Drawing on data from three long-term projects that have monitored lion, cheetah, and wild dog populations in Serengeti National Park, Swanson and her colleagues examined how the three species used the park’s habitats and calculated the chance of cheetahs and wild dogs encountering a lion within the park. They also analyzed the population densities of the animals and the amount of available prey in fenced reserves in South Africa.The results were clear: In the park, the increasing lion population has not triggered a drop in cheetah numbers; the smaller cats have remained stable, despite losing many of their cubs. But the lions (as well as a bout of canine distemper and rabies) had unquestionably spelled the end of the wild dogs in the park. Dogs that have managed to hang on in the Serengeti ecosystem live in marginal areas on the park’s edges. The researchers found a similar pattern in the South African fenced reserves. Those with numerous lions had fewer wild dogs, yet the cheetah populations were stable, the researchers report this week in the Journal of Animal Ecology.Why the difference? Swanson’s team suggests that wild dogs “are so intent on avoiding lions” that they simply “get kicked out of huge areas of the landscape.” In contrast, cheetahs are able to use those same areas by carefully monitoring the lions and staying 100 meters away from them—thus, lions rarely kill adult cheetahs. The largely solitary cheetahs also attract less attention than do the noisy, conspicuous packs of wild dogs.And cheetahs are apparently able to compensate for the loss of their cubs, perhaps because females become fertile within 2 weeks of losing their offspring. In contrast, lions target wild dogs of all ages, and the dogs’ packs don’t recover quickly when they lose adults.  Most intriguingly, cheetah females often set up their dens precisely where there are the most lions. “It is counterintuitive,” Swanson says, “and we don’t have a good explanation yet. But den sites are limited, and these are where the best resources are for raising their cubs, so it may be that the benefits outweigh the risks.”The study offers a “plausible mechanism” for the cheetahs’ success, says John Fryxell, a wildlife ecologist at the University of Guelph in Canada, who was not involved in the research. The spotted cats practice a “fine scale behavioral avoidance of the lions, a sort of carnivorous ballet.”Wild dogs, unfortunately, don’t have the dance moves of the cheetahs, and they lose out when lions are abundant, particularly on the open plains of the Serengeti. “They do better at coexisting in densely wooded areas, such as Selous National Park [in Tanzania] and Kruger National Park [in South Africa], where there’s more cover,” Swanson says.The report “shows the complexity of inter-relationships between large carnivores,” says Luke Hunter, a biologist and the president of Panthera, a conservation organization in New York City. “People often underestimate how resilient and adaptable a species the cheetah really is. On the other hand, the paper elevates the conservation urgency for the African wild dog.”As for the idea of culling lions to help these smaller predators? “That’s probably not an effective management policy,” Fryxell says. It’s far better to create larger reserves, reduce habitat loss, and persuade ranchers not to kill predators, large or small.last_img read more

"‘Carnivorous Ballet’ Helps Cheetahs Coexist With Lions"

Planned Arizona copper mine would put a hole in Apache archaeology

first_imgArchaeologists and Native American tribes are protesting language in a Senate bill that would approve a controversial land exchange between the federal government and a copper mining company—a swap that may put Native American archaeological sites at risk. The bill is needed to fund the U.S. military and is considered likely to pass the Senate as early as today.The company Resolution Copper Mining hopes to exploit rich copper deposits beneath 980 hectares of Arizona’s Tonto National Forest. The land, however, also contains important archaeological sites and places sacred to local Native American tribes, especially the Apache. “This is the best set of Apache archaeological sites ever documented, period, full stop,” says John Welch, a former historic preservation officer for the White Mountain Apache Tribe and a professor at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, Canada.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(*)Archaeologists fear that the standard process for approval of a land exchange is being sidestepped. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) lays out a process to determine a land transferal’s potential impact on the environment, archaeological and historic sites, and places sacred to Native Americans. The language inserted into the defense spending bill states that the land will be transferred to Resolution Copper 60 days after an environmental impact statement, part of the NEPA process, has been completed. That prejudges the outcome of the evaluation, says Jeffrey Altschul, president of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) in Washington, D.C. “The bill says that Congress has already decided that the land swap will take place,” he says, “so we’ll do the land swap and then we’ll do NEPA.”Resolution Copper has pointed out that there will be an environmental review in any case. In a statement published in 2013, the company says that the NEPA review will take place “[u]nder any circumstances,” including if work on the exchange begins at the same time. The swap has been controversial for years. Between 2005 and 2011, bills proposing it died in committee five times in the House of Representatives and six times in the Senate, says David Lindsay, SAA’s government affairs manager, who tracks legislation for the organization. Those bills faced determined opposition from Native American tribes. Attaching the land exchange rider to the defense spending bill is a way to circumvent that opposition, says Michael Nixon, an environmental lawyer who works with the Maricopa Audubon Society and has fought the land exchange since the beginning. “Stuffing riders into… bills that are not germane to the subject is undemocratic,” he says. What is at stake is a landscape that has remained essentially unchanged, except for a few modern roads, since the Hohokam people lived there more than 500 years ago, says J. Scott Wood, an archaeologist for the Tonto National Forest. The area was once a trade center where the Hohokam exchanged goods from as far away as the Pacific Coast. It also preserves a full range of Apache archaeological sites, which are rare. Little is known about Apache history prior to contact with Europeans.The most important historic site is called the Apache Leap, where a group of Apache who were being pursued by U.S. cavalry plunged off a cliff to their deaths rather than be captured. The land exchange rider exempts Apache Leap from becoming part of the copper mine, but it’s right next door, says Vernelda Grant, who is the tribal historic preservation officer for the San Carlos Apache Tribe. She says that having a working copper mine next to the site will change how people experience it. The same holds true for other culturally sensitive sites nearby, such as a place called Devil’s Canyon “where the spiritual beings that represent healing live,” Grant says. “We have songs and ceremonies that are sung there—it’s a place to just pray and pray for healing.”The Senate is expected to pass the defense spending bill as early as today; the House has already passed it. Next, it will go to the White House for President Barack Obama’s signature, and archaeologists don’t think there is much chance of changing or removing the rider. “They should be going through the standard process that everybody else uses to get a mine going,” says Simon Fraser University’s Welch. “It’s really suspicious to be coming up with new laws every time somebody wants to put in a mine.”last_img read more

"Planned Arizona copper mine would put a hole in Apache archaeology"