By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The world had been wrecked. An asteroid impact in Mexico compounded by colossal volcanism in India 66 million years ago had killed about three-quarters of Earth's species including the dinosaurs. But relatively soon afterward, a plucky critter that looked like a beaver was thriving, exemplifying the resilience of the mammals that would arise from the margins of the animal kingdom to become Earth's dominant land creatures. Scientists on Monday announced the discovery in northwestern New Mexico's badlands of the fossil remains of Kimbetopsalis simmonsae, a plant-eating, rodent-like mammal boasting buck-toothed incisors like a beaver that lived just a few hundred thousand years after the mass extinction, a blink of the eye in geological time. Kimbetopsalis, estimated at 3 feet long (1 meter), would have been covered in fur and possessed large molar teeth with rows of cusps used to grind down plants. Asked what someone's impression of Kimbetopsalis might be, New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science curator of paleontology Thomas Williamson said, "They would probably think something like, 'Hey, look at that little beaver! Why doesn’t it have a flat tail?" It lived in a lush area of forests, rivers, streams and lakes as Earth's ecosystems began to recover from the catastrophe that ended the Cretaceous Period and opened the Paleocene Epoch. "It's larger than almost all of the mammals that lived with the dinosaurs, and also had a plant-eating diet, which few if any dinosaur-living mammals had. It shows just how quickly mammals were evolving in that brave new world after the asteroid cleared out the dinosaurs," said paleontologist Steve Brusatte of Scotland's University of Edinburgh. "Mammals, which actually originated hundreds of millions of years earlier at the same time as the dinosaurs, now found themselves in an empty world, and they took advantage," Brusatte added. Kimbetopsalis was a member of a mammalian group called multituberculates that resembled rodents although they were not closely related. Although now extinct, disappearing about 35 million years ago, multituberculates were extremely successful, having lived for 120 million years. "Mammals survived the mass extinction, but they did not pass through unscathed," Williamson said. "I think it would be better to describe those survivors as being lucky. A few just happened to have been adapted to survive the catastrophe, probably because they were small, could hide in burrows and eat bugs." The research was published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. (Editing by Eric Walsh)
- The Independent
Town in northern California sees spike in crimes perpetrated against Asian Americans
- The State
“You should be ashamed with yourselves,” said the woman, who says she has been banned from the park for five years.
Sule Square sits on land owned by the country's military, according to a United Nations report.
- The Week
The congressional "Big Four" — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) — will meet with President Biden on Wednesday to discuss infrastructure. It is the first time the four congressional leaders have convened at the White House since October 2019, and "this meeting will have a different dynamic, to say the least," Politico says. Biden has "good working relationships" with Pelosi and Schumer, and "a cordial rapport" with McConnell, Politico reports, "but McCarthy's relationship with the president has been rather ... frosty of late, and that's unlikely to change as he arrives at the White House after dethroning a member of his own leadership team" for pointing out that Biden is the legitimate president. If Biden does manage to get a bipartisan infrastructure package, it will likely be because he struck a deal "with rank-and-file members, not the party leadership," though, Politico says, which is "probably why Biden has prioritized meeting with backbenchers since Inauguration Day." In fact, Biden has already hosted Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), and Tom Carper (D-Del.) this week for infrastructure talks, and he will sit down with a group of lawmakers led by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), the GOP's infrastructure liaison, on Thursday. Negotiating a bipartisan roads-and-bridges infrastructure deal is Biden's Plan A, but if that falls through, Plan B requires buy-in for a Democrats-only package from Manchin and Sinema, the Senate's swing votes. Manchin said after meeting Biden on Monday they had "a great conversation" that covered a lot of ground, and mostly common ground. Biden "wants things to happen, I agree with him," Manchin said. "He understands. He's up on everything. He knows what's going on, trust me. He's well-versed in what's going on." More stories from theweek.comThe doom-loop of a falling fertility rateAn anti-vax conspiracy theory is apparently making anti-maskers consider masking up, social distancingCheney was reportedly booed during speech before leadership ouster
GENEVA (Reuters) -A new global system should be set up to respond faster to disease outbreaks to help ensure no future virus causes a pandemic as devastating as COVID-19, an independent World Health Organization review panel said on Wednesday. The experts found crucial shortcomings in the global response in early 2020 - including a delay in declaring an emergency, a failure to impose travel restrictions and an entire "lost month" when countries neglected to respond to warnings - that let the virus quickly spread into a crippling pandemic. To address those problems, the WHO should be given the power to send investigators swiftly to chase down new disease outbreaks, and to publish their full findings without delay.
- The Daily Beast
Sean Rayford/GettyNew body-camera footage shown Tuesday to the family of Andrew Brown Jr. showed sheriff’s deputies “standing on the pavement unloading their weapons” on the 42-year-old Black man as he tried to drive away, the family’s lawyers said Tuesday.The family and one member of their legal team were able to view 19 minutes of about two hours of body-camera footage taken during the April 21 incident. The six new videos included snippets from different body cameras and dash footage. Previously, they’d only been shown about 20 seconds of edited footage, but a North Carolina judge ruled on April 28 that they could see more footage.“At no point did we see Mr. Brown pose a threat to the law enforcement that was there. It was absolutely and unequivocally unjustified,” Chance Lynch, one of the Brown family lawyers, said during a press conference after viewing the extended footage.The description of the new footage corroborates what Chanel Lassiter, another family attorney, said two weeks ago after viewing the original snippet. At the time, Lassiter said that Brown’s hands were on the steering wheel when authorities opened fire—and that he tried to drive away to “evade being shot” before crashing into a tree.Brown was shot at about 8:30 a.m. while deputies were serving a search warrant and arrest warrant at his house in Elizabeth City on felony drug charges. The Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Department released almost no details about the incident for days and, due to North Carolina laws, were unable to release the body-cam footage without a judge’s order.But during a hearing last month about releasing the footage, Pasquotank County District Attorney Andrew Womble insisted that the footage showed that Brown's car moved and “made contact with law enforcement” twice before deputies opened fire.Lynch said on Tuesday that Brown was in his car and appeared to be on the phone when he was “ambushed” by the officers. He said he believed that “at no point” did Brown see the seven deputies initially approach his car.While he did not go into details about what prompted the initial shot, Lynch said the gunfire prompted Brown to “put the car in reverse, putting several feet, if not yards, away from the police who were there” before he turned his steering wheel to the left to drive away. At all times, Lynch noted, Brown’s “hands were visible.”“At no point did we ever see any police officer behind his vehicle. At no point did we ever see Mr. Brown make contact with law enforcement,” Lynch said, adding that Brown was apparently trying to leave the scene as officers were unloading their weapons. “We did not see any actions on Mr. Brown’s part that he made contact with them or tried to go in their direction. In fact, he did the opposite. While there was a group of law enforcement were in front of him, he went in the opposite direction.”‘Tragic Day Here’: Deputy Fatally Shoots North Carolina Black Man While Serving Search WarrantLynch said that the “final shot” to Brown’s head made him “lose control...and collide with a tree.” But there were at least six “bullet holes in the passenger side of his car,” he added. The “windows were shattered” and at least one bullet even went through the front windshield, he said.He said that after deputies pulled Brown out of the car and laid him “face-first flat on the ground” and checked on the fatal bullet wound, they “begin to search his home.”“The video I saw [two weeks ago] was pretty much the same as what I saw today. Just a few more details. He wasn’t in the wrong at all. What’s in the dark will come to the light,” Khalil Ferebee, one of Brown’s sons, said Tuesday. “We will get justice.”Attorneys for Brown’s family have previously asked Womble to recuse himself because of his ties to the sheriff’s department and to ensure “fairness, transparency, and pursuit of the ends of justice.”“We do not believe we will have a fair set of eyes looking at this going forward,” Bakari Sellers, another attorney, said Tuesday. He said that while the family were not shown the full two hours of footage from the incident, they believe what was shown today “tells the entire story of what happened to Andrew Brown Jr.”An independent autopsy commissioned by the family’s lawyers concluded that Brown was shot at least five times in his car—including one “kill shot to the back of the head” while his hands were on the steering wheel. The autopsy, performed by Dr. Brent Hall, showed that while Brown sustained four bullet wounds to his right arm, the fatal shot penetrated his brain and skull and never exited his head.Pasquotank Chief Deputy Daniel Fogg said that the arrest warrant operation was classified as “high-risk” because Brown was a convicted felon with a history of resisting arrest. The search warrant, first obtained by WAVY, revealed that Brown was being watched for over a year and had allegedly sold drugs to an informant. Court records show that Brown had a history of criminal charges since the 1990s, including a misdemeanor drug-possession conviction and at least two pending felony drug charges.However, Brown’s family has said no drugs or weapons were seized from the 42-year-old’s property or car, according to Harry Daniels, one of their lawyers.Three of the seven officers—Investigator Daniel Meads, Deputy Sheriff II Robert Morgan, and Corp. Aaron Lewellyn—fired their weapons during the incident and are on administrative leave. The four other deputies—Lt. Steve Judd; Sgt. Michael Swindell; Sgt. Kendall Bishop; and Sgt. Joel Lunsford—were cleared after a follow-up investigation.The shooting, just hours after a Minneapolis jury found ex-cop Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd, prompted hundreds of North Carolinians to take to the streets in protest.The FBI also opened a federal civil rights investigation into the incident death while North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper called for a special prosecutor to be appointed “to help assure the community” and Brown’s family that a “decision on pursuing criminal charges is conducted without bias.”The release of body-camera footage comes after weeks of legal hurdles put up by the state, city, and local law-enforcement officials. Under North Carolina law, body-camera footage cannot be released unless there is a court order because it is not considered to be a public record.While the judge ruled on April 28 that Brown’s family could see the footage, he said the public would have to wait at least 30 days in order to allow authorities to pursue criminal charges.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
SEOUL (Reuters) -Samsung BioLogics Co Ltd and Pfizer Inc on Wednesday denied a report that they were working together to produce in South Korea a COVID-19 vaccine developed by the U.S. drugmaker. The Korea Economic Daily reported earlier that the biotech arm of Samsung Group had been revamping production lines at its plant in Songdo to produce the Pfizer vaccine, which was jointly developed by the German BioNTech. Samsung BioLogics said in a one-line filing to the stock exchange that the report was "not factual".
- LA Times
After idolizing her for years, 'Drivers License' hitmaker Olivia Rodrigo snapped a photo with her No. 1 inspiration, Taylor Swift, at the Brit Awards.
- Architectural Digest
Get it now! While this chair from Ligne Roset has a rigid structure at its core, the plush, interwoven cushions make it an instant puffy wonder. Get it now! Eny Lee Parker is another designer who has a knack for making ceramic pieces look squishable.
- LA Times
Casualties mount as continued Israeli strikes, Palestinian militants' rocket fire raise specter of all-out war
The violence between Israel and Palestinian militants goes on with an Israeli airstrike killing a Hamas commander and rocket fire from Gaza causing a death.
It is not clear where the bodies came from but local media suggest they may be Covid-19 victims.
- Associated Press
Canada’s largest province said Tuesday it will stop giving out first doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine due to concerns over its link to rare blood clots. Ontario's chief medical officer for health, Dr. David Williams, said the decision was made out of an abundance of caution because of increased instances of the rare blood clotting disorder linked to the shot. AstraZeneca is restricted in some European countries because of a potential link to extremely rare blood clots.
- The Telegraph
Sir Keir Starmer has faced calls for the "total reconstruction" of the Labour Party in the wake of the party's dire performance at the local elections, as two former party leaders joined the tirade of criticism of his leadership. Tony Blair and Ed Miliband said that Sir Keir must go further to reform the party or risk never being able to recapture voters Labour lost at the 2019 general election. Mr Miliband said it was not time "to blow the final whistle" on Sir Keir’s leadership, but that the party must be "bolder" after losing the Hartlepool by-election and a swathe of local council seats across England. "Keir Starmer has provided new leadership, he has put the Remain-Leave argument behind us, but we all have a collective responsibility to show exactly what we stand for going forward," Mr Miliband said. Writing in the New Statesman, Mr Blair warned Sir Keir that unlike Jeremy Corbyn he appeared "sensible but not radical", and urged him to take a position in the culture wars or face drifting into obscurity.
- The Independent
Senate to consider sweeping federal election legislation as Republicans endorse dozens of bills to limit ballot access in nearly every state
The core of the show is Smart’s performance, which brings the perfect balance of steeliness and vulnerability
- Business Insider
Drivers face $3 gas prices after the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack, and some gas stations have run out completely
Drivers face gas prices of $3 a gallon following the Colonial Pipeline hack. Prices could rise further, but the AAA urged against panic buying.
- Reuters Videos
Another plant-based food company – this one backed by big names – prepares to go public. Swedish-based oat milk Oatly – whose investors include Oprah Winfrey, Jay Z and former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz - is aiming for a valuation of about 10 billion dollars in a U.S. initial public offering amid increasing consumer demand for plant-based dairy products. The largest oat milk company in the world, Oatly sells its products in more than 7,500 retail stores and about 10,000 coffee shops across the U.S. since entering the market in 2017. It plans to use proceeds from the IPO in part to help fund its expansion. The plant-based food sector is luring more investors as a growing number of upscale restaurants, supermarkets and fast-food chains add plant-based items. Starbucks offered two new beverages with Oatly, both soon becoming crowd-favorites. Impossible Foods, the maker of plant-based burger patties, is also preparing for a public listing which could value the company at around 10 billion dollars or more, Reuters reported in April. This comes after Beyond Meat's block buster IPO in 2019.Oatly plans to raise about 1.4 billion dollars through the IPO.
Many internationally funded conservation schemes are underfunded and ineffective, researchers conclude.
Windfarm CEO Sarah Merrick says being involved in all areas of her business has paid dividends.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) calls it "a significant step" in the fight against Covid-19.