Over fifty people murdered in Las Vegas, USA


This video from Nevada in the USA says about itself:

50 dead, over 100 shot at Las Vegas Country Music Festival near Mandalay Bay Resort 10:08 pm

2 October 2017

Update from police: 50 dead so far. Making this the worse mass-shooting in American history.

Worst Mass Shooting in US History Leaves More Than 50 Dead, 400 Injured in Las Vegas: here.

AT LEAST 50 DEAD, OVER 200 INJURED IN SHOOTING AT LAS VEGAS COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL Police identified Stephen Paddock, 64, as the lone gunman who shot at thousands of concertgoers from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort during the end of Jason Aldean‘s set. Authorities killed Paddock in the hotel room. Eyewitnesses said “the shots just kept coming” as people fled the streets while bodies were dropping. [HuffPost]

I wish strength and recovery to all injured people; and strength to all families and friends of the dead and injured people.

This massacre in Nevada state is the bloodiest mass murder as an expression of ‘gun culture’ in the USA so far. Murderer Stephen Paddock owned at least ten guns. He also had a hunting licence and owned two private aircraft.

Probably, Donald Trump and the Trump supporting National Rifle Association will repeat their shopworn mantra: ‘Guns don’t kill people …’

Trump Offers Condolences To Las Vegas Shooting Victims, Doesn’t Mention Guns. Trump spoke in platitudes while reading prepared remarks from the White House: here.

And no, Rupert Murdoch empire, this bloodbath was not by a Muslim. And no, Rupert Murdoch empire, this bloodbath was not by a Black Lives Matter activist. It was not by an open or closet gay man. It was by a heterosexual affluent white male.

Musicians flocked to Twitter to offer their thoughts and condolences on the Las Vegas shooting.

THE MOM OF A MASS SHOOTING VICTIM IN TEXAS DESCRIBES HER LAST DAYS “As soon as Debbie Lane got clearance to drive after cataract surgery, she filled her pickup truck with used patio furniture and carted it to her only child in Plano, Texas. Meredith Hight, 27, was going through a divorce after six years of marriage, and her house needed a makeover.” [HuffPost]

Big Triassic fossil fish discovered in Nevada, USA


Possible look of the newly discovered predatory fish species Birgeria americana with the fossil of the skull shown at bottom right. Artwork: Nadine Bösch

From the University of Zurich in Switzerland:

Large-mouthed fish was top predator after mass extinction

July 26, 2017

Summary: The food chains recovered more rapidly than previously assumed after Earth’s most devastating mass extinction event about 252 million years ago as demonstrated by the fossilized skull of a large predatory fish called Birgeria americana discovered by paleontologists from the University of Zurich in the desert of Nevada.

The most catastrophic mass extinction on Earth took place about 252 million years ago — at the boundary between the Permian and Triassic geological periods. Up to 90 percent of the marine species of that time were annihilated. Worldwide biodiversity then recovered in several phases throughout a period of about five million years. Until now, paleontologists have assumed that the first predators at the top of the food chain did not appear until the Middle Triassic epoch about 247 to 235 million years ago.

Unexpected find of a large predatory fish

Swiss and U.S. American researchers led by the Paleontological Institute and Museum of the University of Zurich have discovered the fossil remains of one of the earliest large-sized predatory fishes of the Triassic period: an approximately 1.8-meter-long primitive bony fish with long jaws and sharp teeth. This fish belongs to a previously unknown species called Birgeria americana. This predator occupied the sea that once covered present-day Nevada and the surrounding states already one million years after the mass extinction.

Triassic “Jaws

In the United States, almost no vertebrate fossils from the Early Triassic epoch (252 to 247 million years ago) have been scientifically described until now. “The surprising find from Elko County in northeastern Nevada is one of the most completely preserved vertebrate remains from this time period ever discovered in the United States,” emphasizes Carlo Romano, lead author of the study. The fossil in question is a 26-centimeter-long partial skull of a fierce predator, as evidenced by three parallel rows of sharp teeth up to 2 centimeters long along the jaw margins, as well as several smaller teeth inside the mouth.

Birgeria hunted similarly to the extant great white shark: the prey fish were pursued and bitten, then swallowed whole. Species of Birgeria existed worldwide. The most recent discovery is the earliest example of a large-sized Birgeria species, about one and a half times longer than geologically older relatives.

Predators appeared earlier than assumed

According to earlier studies, marine food chains were shortened after the mass extinction event and recovered only slowly and stepwise. In addition, researchers assumed that the ancient equatorial regions were too hot for vertebrates to live during the Early Triassic. Finds such as the newly discovered Birgeria species and the fossils of other vertebrates now show that so-called apex predators (animals at the very top of the food chain) already lived early after the mass extinction. The existence of bony fish close to the equator — where Nevada was located during the Early Triassic — indicates that the temperature of the sea was a maximum of 36°C. The eggs of today’s bony fish can no longer develop normally at constant temperatures above 36°C.

“The vertebrates from Nevada show that previous interpretations of past biotic crises and associated global changes were too simplistic,” Carlo Romano says. Despite the severity of the extinctions of that time and intense climatic changes, the food webs were able to redevelop faster than previously assumed.

Three new toad species discovered in Nevada, USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

24 July 2017

Scientists have discovered three new species of toads living in Nevada’s Great Basin in the US, that have been isolated from other populations for 650,000 years and may already be at risk of extinction. Discoveries of new amphibians are extremely rare in the US with only three new frog species discovered since 1985 – and toad species are even more rare, with the last species discovered north of Mexico, the now extinct Wyoming toad, in 1968.

“We’ve found the toads in small, wet habitats surrounded by high-desert completely cut off from other populations,” said Dick Tracy, professor at University of Nevada in the US. “These are absolutely new, true species that have been separated from other populations for 650,000 years,” said Tracy. The three new species, the Dixie Valley toad, Railroad Valley toad and Hot Creek toad are not connected geographically.

They were found in Tracy’s 10-year long survey of the desert-dominated Great Basin. The toads are small in size, yet each have a suite of unique physical features that differ from each other, as well as other toads in the region. Each of the species have slightly different colours, and they are about two inches long when full grown.

“The Dixie Valley toad is a pretty toad, with flecks of gold on an olive background,” said Tracy. The Dixie Valley toad is only found in an isolated spring-fed marsh which make up less than four square miles surrounded by an arid region where aquatic resources are both rare and widely scattered. The habitat occupied by this newly described species is also adjacent to a proposed site for a geothermal power plant that could dry up the marsh and threaten the toad’s survival.

“If this power plant goes in and the habitat is dried up, this recently discovered species could go extinct,” Tracy said. “It’s a good candidate for an Endangered Species Act listing,” he said. The Dixie Valley species has the smallest body size among the region’s complex of related species in the western US, and can be further diagnosed from other toads in the complex by the large glands on its hind legs in addition to its distinctive colouration.

The Railroad Valley toad is in the Tonopah Basin in the central Nevada desert and the Hot Creek Toad is about 56 kilometres away but in Hot Creek Mountain Range, in a drainage isolated from the Railroad Valley toad. All three new species are natives of the Great Basin in Nevada, which was once covered by large marshes and giant inland lakes during the Pleistocene Epoch and is now among the most arid regions in the US with only one per cent of the landscape containing water. The findings were published in the journal Zootaxa.

From the University of Nevada, Reno in the USA:

Rare discovery of three new toad species in Nevada’s Great Basin

July 21, 2017

Summary: Three new species of toads have been discovered living in Nevada’s Great Basin in an expansive survey of the 190,000 square mile ancient lake bottom, report investigators.

Three new species of toads have been discovered living in Nevada’s Great Basin in an expansive survey of the 190,000 square mile ancient lake bottom. Discoveries of new amphibians are extremely rare in the United States with only three new frog species discovered since 1985 — and toad species are even more rare, with the last species discovered north of Mexico, the now extinct Wyoming toad, in 1968.

“We’ve found the toads in small, wet habitats surrounded by high-desert completely cut off from other populations,” Dick Tracy, a biology professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, and lead scientist on the project, said. “These are absolutely new, true species that have been separated from other populations for 650,000 years.”

The three new species, the Dixie Valley toad, Railroad Valley toad and Hot Creek toad are not connected geographically. They were found in Tracy’s 10-year long survey of the desert-dominated Great Basin. His team used 30 “shape” metrics and DNA studies to analyze these toads’ characteristics to determine if each were distinguishable from the closely related Western toad, found throughout the Western United States.

The evidence supports the recognition of three distinct new species. The toads are small in size, yet each have a suite of unique physical features that differ from each other, as well as other toads in the region. Each of the species have slightly different colors, and they are about two inches long when full grown.

“The Dixie Valley toad is a pretty toad, with flecks of gold on an olive background,” Tracy, a long-time professor in the biology department of the College of Science, said. “It’s not like the big, common green toads you might find in other marshes around the west or even in Rancho San Rafael Park in Reno.”

The Dixie Valley toad is in Churchill County about 100 miles east of Reno. The toad is only found in this isolated spring-fed marsh which make up less than four square miles, surrounded by an arid region where aquatic resources are both rare and widely scattered. Dixie Valley is the hottest and most geothermally active system in the Basin and Range Province. The habitat occupied by this newly described species is also adjacent to a proposed site for a geothermal power plant that could dry up the marsh and threaten the toad’s survival.

The power plant development is on hold while the Bureau of Land Management reviews the geothermal project and the possible impacts on the toad species. The Center for Biological Diversity, a national environmental group based in Tucson, Arizona, marshaled more than 1000 letters to the BLM asking them to reconsider permitting the power plant being built at the site of the newly discovered species.

Potential for Endangered Species Act listing

“If this power plant goes in and the habitat is dried up, this recently discovered species could go extinct,” Tracy said. “It’s a good candidate for an Endangered Species Act listing. The ESA was passed under Richard Nixon in 1973, and the second species listed under the new Act was the Houston Toad. This is a tough conflict between commerce and biological resources, and we need to seek compromises so if the project proceeds, it won’t hurt the toads.”

Tracy’s team includes his master’s student Michelle Gordon from the University’s Biology Graduate Program, who is the lead author of the scientific paper describing the new species, and his former doctoral student Eric Simandle from the University’s Ecology and Evolution and Conservation Biology Graduate Program. Simandle is now an associate professor at Paul Smiths College in New York and is a co-author on the study that discovered the toad in the thick underbrush of the spring-fed marsh.

The small isolated toad populations also have the smallest individuals compared to other western toads.

The Dixie Valley species has the smallest body size among the region’s complex of related species in the western United States, and can be further diagnosed from other toads in the complex by the large glands on its hind legs in addition to its distinctive coloration.

The overall population numbers of the Dixie Valley toad are unknown, and the current range is severely restricted, suggesting that this species’ population is likely very small and especially vulnerable to changes in environment.

“The toads are perfectly concealed in the dense vegetation of their habitat,” Gordon said. “You could easily miss seeing them during the day, making accurate counts difficult. But, during one trip at dusk, toads were everywhere, giving the impression that toads were locally abundant. And, without the water in this habitat, this toad species would completely disappear.”

Isolated by Desert

The Railroad Valley toad is in the Tonopah Basin in the central Nevada desert and the Hot Creek Toad is about 35 miles away but in Hot Creek Mountain Range, in a drainage isolated from the Railroad Valley toad. All three new species are natives of the Great Basin in Nevada, which was once covered by large marshes and giant inland lakes during the Pleistocene Epoch and is now among the most arid regions in the United States with only one percent of the landscape containing water.

“Our goal has been to understand the relationships among toad populations in the Great Basin,” Tracy said. “We’ve found that our knowledge of amphibian diversity in the western United States remains incomplete and that novel discoveries continue to occur, even in unlikely settings. This is really, really neat; an exciting thing, to find something not known to exist before.”

Tracy has been honored as a Guggenheim Fellow, as a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as a Distinguished Scholar at Pepperdine University, and as a Fellow of the Association of Western Universities. He is the recipient of an American Society of Zoologists’ Service Award, a Desert Tortoise Council Conservation Award and a Service Award from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Tracy has authored more than 200 scientific papers, and his work is known internationally.

“Dr. Tracy has long been recognized as one of the world’s leading ecologists,” Jack Hayes, chair of the Department of Biology said. “In recent years as he has turned his attention to conservation issues, he has been translating his basic knowledge into studies that make a difference for Nevada, the U.S., and the biodiversity of the world. The discovery of a new species of vertebrate in North America at this point in time is extremely rare, so the research by Dr. Tracy and his graduate students is a remarkable and exciting accomplishment.”

The discovery of the Dixie Valley toad was announced in the peer-reviewed science journal Zootaxa on July 6.

Cave diving in Nevada, USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

7 April 2017

This amazing Behind-The-Scenes Blue World adventure takes viewers to Devil’s Hole Cave (sometimes called Devil’s Hole II) in Nevada to explore the aquifer that lies beneath Death Valley! The Blue World team is working on their first giant screen film for IMAX® Dome (OMNIMAX®) theaters, featuring the most incredible cave diving adventures around the world. This epic Blue World episode takes viewers behind the scenes of our shoot in Nevada.

JONATHAN BIRD’S BLUE WORLD is an Emmy Award-winning underwater science/adventure program.

New national monuments in the USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

Meet Gold Butte: Nevada‘s Piece of The Grand Canyon

21 January 2015

Get to know a treasure of the Mojave Desert, and how you can help preserve it.

From the New York Times in the USA:

Obama Designates Two New National Monuments, Protecting 1.65 Million Acres

By CORAL DAVENPORT

DEC. 28, 2016

WASHINGTON — President Obama designated two new national monuments on Wednesday, protecting 1.35 million acres of federal land surrounding the Bears Ears Buttes in southeastern Utah and about 300,000 acres around Gold Butte in Nevada, northeast of Las Vegas.

In Gold Butte, there is ancient Native American rock art.

There are also fossils from the Palaeozoic and later fossil dinosaur tracks.

The monuments are Mr. Obama’s latest effort to protect public lands and waters from development and to nail down as much of his environmental legacy as he can before Donald J. Trump assumes the presidency on Jan. 20.

But some local residents and elected Republicans have opposed the Obama administration’s extensive efforts to protect Western landscapes, calling them federal land grabs, and Utah officials voiced vehement opposition on Wednesday. The family of a Nevada rancher, Cliven Bundy, helped take over a national wildlife refuge this year in protest against such federal actions.

The new desert monuments, designated under the executive authority of the 1906 Antiquities Act, encompass Native American sites of sacred and archaeological importance, as well as wildlife habitats and hiking and hunting terrain.

Efforts to place the Bears Ears Buttes under federal protection have been underway since 1936, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s interior secretary, Harold L. Ickes, proposed the monument designation. Native American tribes began promoting legislation to protect Gold Butte in 2008.

“Today’s actions will help protect this cultural legacy and will ensure that future generations are able to enjoy and appreciate these scenic and historic landscapes,” Mr. Obama said in a statement. …

Mr. Obama has designated about 553 million acres of public lands and waters as parks, monuments or wilderness areas, more than any of his predecessors. While Mr. Trump has vowed to undo Mr. Obama’s environmental agenda, White House officials said they did not believe he would have the authority to reverse the designations. No president has undone a predecessor’s designations in the law’s 110-year history.

“The Antiquities Act gives the authority to create monuments and does not give explicit authority to undo them,” said Christy Goldfuss, the managing director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

However, after Mr. Obama this month used an obscure provision of a 1953 law to place about 115 million acres in the Arctic Ocean and about 3.8 million acres of the Atlantic Ocean permanently off-limits to drilling, opponents, including oil companies, said they intended to file a legal challenge.

Native American groups and environmentalists hailed Mr. Obama’s moves Wednesday in Nevada and Utah. Mr. Obama’s designation of Bears Ears as a national monument will create a first-of-its-kind tribal commission of representatives from the five Native American tribes that live in the region. The commission will advise the monument’s federal managers.

“This is an exciting day for Navajo Nation,” Russell Begaye, the tribe’s president, said in a phone call with reporters.

“We have always looked to Bears Ears as a place of refuge, as a place where we can gather herbs and plants and as a place of sacredness,” he said. “It is a place of safety and fortitude. It is a place where our ancestors hid and survived from U.S. cavalry during the Long War.”

United States Democratic party establishment smears Sanders supporters


This video from the USA says about itself:

16 May 2016

Nevada’s Democratic State Committee defended excluding 58 Bernie Sanders’ delegates at their convention Saturday night.

Why Bernie Sanders Is Our Best Chance to Beat Donald Trump: here.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Hillary Supporter Reveals Corruption At Nevada Democratic Convention

18 May 2016

A Hillary Clinton delegate in Nevada explains just what went on inside the Nevada Democratic Convention. Ana Kasparian, and John Iadarola, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

Democratic Party establishment witch-hunts Sanders’ supporters

19 May 2016

In the wake of Hillary Clinton’s two worst showings in closed Democratic primaries—a hair’s breadth victory in Kentucky and a rout at the hands of Bernie Sanders in Oregon—the Democratic Party establishment and the corporate media have launched a vicious provocation against the Sanders campaign, based on claims that Sanders supporters have threatened violence against party officials in Nevada.

The Nevada state Democratic convention in Las Vegas last Saturday ended in chaos after state chairwoman Roberta Lange gaveled through a rigged credentials report that excluded just enough Sanders supporters to ensure a narrow Clinton majority and two additional Clinton delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. When Sanders supporters began to stand up and voice their objections, Lange declared the convention adjourned and summoned sheriff’s deputies to enforce her decision.

Over the next few days, Lange claims to have received more than a thousand email and voicemail messages from all across the country, denouncing her actions in scathing terms. Such messages are predictable expressions of outrage over the typically bureaucratic, bullying methods of the Democratic Party machine. But a media firestorm has erupted over a handful of messages that were abusive in tone or allegedly threatened violence. There is not a shred of evidence that such messages were instigated by the Sanders campaign. They are just as likely to be the work of provocateurs seeking to aid the Clinton campaign or the presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Since the weekend, however, top Democratic Party officials and the media have stepped up their denunciations of the alleged violence and sexism of Sanders supporters, while downplaying or ignoring the vote-rigging by the Clinton camp and the police mobilization to protect Democratic Party officials from an angry rank-and-file.

The Nevada state Democratic Party sent a letter to the Democratic National Committee Monday, lodging a formal complaint against the Sanders campaign, for “failing to adequately denounce the threats of violence of his supporters.” It warned that “the tactics and behavior on display here in Nevada are harbingers of things to come as Democrats gather in Philadelphia.” In language that reeks of McCarthy-style witch-hunting, the state party declared, “Part of the approach by the Sanders campaign was to employ these easily-incensed delegates as shock troops.” While “inciting disruption—and, yes, violence,” the state party continued, “the goal of many of these individuals, sanctioned or encouraged by the Sanders campaign, is not party-building but something more sinister.”

When Sanders sent a letter disavowing any violence or threats of violence, but reiterating the complaints of his supporters over the rigging of the Nevada state convention, DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz gave a round of media interviews Tuesday criticizing his response as “anything but acceptable.” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, the boss of the Nevada Democratic Party, called Sanders to complain and denounced his “silly statement.”

Some Democratic Party leaders and media commentators even sought to equate the conduct of Sanders supporters in Nevada with the thuggery at Trump rallies. Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois said, “We saw what happened at the Trump rallies, which broke into violence, people punching one another. I don’t want to see that happen at the Democratic Party.”

In an editorial Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times—which is backing Clinton in the critical California primary June 7—wrote, “Donald Trump isn’t the only presidential candidate playing with fire and recklessly courting an angry mob. For the latest round of curse-word hurling, chair throwing, social-media stalking and conspiracy-theory swapping, look no further than the supporters of Bernie Sanders.”

The uproar over the Nevada state convention is an entirely manufactured political provocation. It shows both the desperation of the Clinton campaign, which has seen Sanders disrupt the expected coronation of the Democratic frontrunner, and the hostility of the corporate-controlled media to the left-wing sentiments animating millions of young people and working people who have flocked to the campaign of the self-professed “democratic socialist.”

It is grotesque and disgusting to see media pundits like Wolf Blitzer, a publicist and cheerleader for every American war of the past quarter-century, an enthusiast for drone-missile assassinations, complaining about a few chairs being thrown in a Las Vegas casino ballroom.

The Clinton campaign is anxious to be rid of the Sanders challenge so that the Democratic frontrunner can abandon any pretense of economic populism and settle into her general election posture as the candidate of the Wall Street establishment and the military-intelligence apparatus, denouncing Trump as a “loose cannon” compared to Clinton’s proven record as a warmonger and defender of American imperialism.

Lost in all of this is any discussion of the real policies of Clinton and the Democratic Party as a whole, which are thoroughly right-wing and pro-corporate. …

In his speech Tuesday night in Carson, California, Sanders struck a left posture for the final three weeks of the primary campaign, declaring, “I come from the working class of this country, and I will be damned if we will allow the Republican Party, whose job is to represent the rich and the powerful, to win the votes of working-class Americans.”

The candidate whose supporters are bleating about Sanders’s alleged violence, Hillary Clinton, is notorious for her cackling obituary of Muammar Gaddafi [during the war in Libya]: “We came, we saw, he died.” Barbara Boxer and Harry Reid did not object to that celebration of NATO bombs and Islamist lynch mobs.

Millions of people are getting an experience in the reality of capitalist politics. The Democratic and Republican parties have a long history as the political instruments of the capitalist class, and this class divide cannot be bridged. If the Democrats react so hostilely to a candidate who has worked with them loyally for decades, how will they respond to a political movement that really challenges them from the outside?

This video from the USA says about itself:

17 May 2016

Caller Suzanne explains why she registered to become a Bernie Sanders delegate, and what her experience was like at the Nevada Convention.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Bernie Super Delegate Erin Bilbray Speaks Out About Nevada

18 May 2016

Erin Bilbray talks to Thom about her experience at the Nevada Democratic Convention.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Nina Turner Explains What Really Happened in Nevada Last Weekend

18 May 2016

Thom talks to former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner about what she saw at the Nevada Democratic Convention.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Bernie Supporter Says “My Party Left Me…”

18 May 2016

Thom talks to caller Patricia, who is disheartened by the feeling that the Democratic Party no longer represents her.

The corporate-controlled mass media in the United States is intensifying its slander campaign against supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders over allegations of violence during last Saturday’s Nevada state Democratic Party convention: here.