According to Live Science, a beetle preserved in amber, dated at 100 million years old, was caught in the act of using chemical warfare. “Soldier beetles” capable of this kind of advanced defense system were not thought to have evolved till 60 million years later. This article contains several statements worthy of the Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week prize:The discovery of a bug that roamed with the dinosaurs has shown that insects were equipped with chemical weapons much earlier than thought…. ….the beetle fired an acidic repellent at the attacker—providing researchers with a frozen glimpse of a 100 million-year-old battle for survival. What’s even more remarkable, he says, is that this finding pushes back the known existence of this type of beetle by about 60 million years, making it the earliest fossil record of chemical weaponry in animals…. ….the researchers concluded that the insect was most likely a member of an extinct soldier beetle species which was an ancestor to modern soldier beetles that pack similar kinds of ammunition…. “That this type of defense has been preserved through 100 million years of evolution is evidence that it works pretty well.”These quotes satisfy the prize criteria by: (1) attributing complex structures to evolution without explaining how they evolved (i.e., telling a just-so story), and (2) holding to evolutionary dating schemes even though the claim pushes the origin of the complex structure further back in time.Student Exercise: Try rewriting the LiveScience article without the evolutionary spin. Describe what was observed. Include facts that are remarkable and interesting, but keep the evidence open to other interpretations that do not simply assume evolution (including the millions-of-years dates).(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Standing in front of their aircraft on the brand new landing strip near the SKA site in the Northern Cape, are (l to r), Prof Justin Jonas, Dr Val Munsami, Minister David Willetts, Sir Steve Smith, Dr Simon Berry, Tim Moody, Vinny Pillay and Tracy Cheetham.(Image: Janine Erasmus)One of the reasons that the SKA is located where it is, is because of the low population density in that part of the country, resulting in little or no radio interference.(Image: SKA)A view of the KAT-7 from the top of nearby Losberg, which acts as a barrier between the installation and the SKA admin and control site.Justin Jonas and David Willetts gaze out over the MeerKAT core. Foundations for the 64-dish telescope are already being poured and the first dish is expected to be installed by the end of the year.(Images: Janine Erasmus)MEDIA CONTACTS • Tommy MakhodeChief director, communications:Department of Science and Technology• Marina JoubertSKA South Africa communications+27 83 409 4254 Janine ErasmusIt’s all systems go at the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) site in the Northern Cape. There’s a brand new landing strip which will cut down on transport time to and from the site, and a whole host of new buildings going up. And there’s also the MeerKAT, the SKA precursor, which is under construction.The all-weather landing strip will eliminate a couple of hours of travelling time, because it saves people having to drive from the airstrip in Carnarvon – about an hour each way – which was previously the case. Getting new equipment in will also be a lot easier.It’s 1.3km long and 18m wide and is registered as a voluntary un-manned landing strip with the South African Civil Aviation Authority. It can accommodate 13-seaters and any smaller craft, but there is provision to upgrade the voluntary registration to a fully licenced landing strip, if larger aircraft should ever need to land.On 11 September the UK’s minister for universities and science, David Willetts, was part of a delegation that touched down on the landing trip for the first time. He was accompanied by Sir Steve Smith, vice-chancellor of Exeter University; Dr Simon Berry, SKA expert from the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council; and Tim Moody, second secretary for science and innovation at the British High Commission.While in South Africa, WIlletts signed an agreement with his South African counterpart Derek Hanekom, to strengthen collaboration between scientists in the two countries. The two ministers pledged their support for an initiative called the Scientific Seminar Scheme. Funded equally by both ministries, this programme will comprise a series of conferences and seminars that will bring together groups of early- to mid-career scientists from South Africa and the UK.“It’s very exciting to see sub-Saharan Africa leading what is going to be one of the big science experiments of the next decade, and it’s going to be a great boost for science in South Africa and across the continent,” said Willetts, adding that he was impressed with the amount and quality of work that had been done on the SKA, as well as the speed with which the local team was working.“Where we are will be the centre of the biggest science infrastructure in the world in a decade or so,” said Prof Justin Jonas, associate director for science and engineering at SKA South Africa. “Africa has already become a big hub for science.”Easier to get thereBuildings around the site, which were quite sparse originally, are now springing up everywhere. One of the most important is the new Karoo Array processor building. This will house all the data processing racks, as well as the power and back-up equipment, required for MeerKAT. Because it’s so important to keep radio interference to a minimum, much of the processor building, including the data rack room and control room, will lie 5m below the ground. In addition, the data rack and control rooms will be shielded with steel panels over the walls and ceiling.There will be 50 racks for MeerKAT and 80 for SKA phase one. “This is where the processing will be happening,” said Jonas. “The dishes themselves use relatively small amounts of power, but a lot of power will be going to the computers.”He explained that the data rack room has to be completely shielded to prevent radio frequency interference affecting the incoming data from the telescope, and that the joins between panels will be examined with a device called a sniffer to ensure that the room is secure. If it’s not, the entire facility will be rendered useless.The door alone will weigh 360kg and will be about 30cm thick. “The amount of force required to put the door in place is more than a person can muster, so it’s pneumatic.”The data must be processed on the fly before it’s sent back to the office in Cape Town, said Jonas, because it would be too expensive to store it or send huge amounts of raw data down a fibre cable – “It’s best to put the computers where the data is,” he said. “They don’t need to be in the big city. We’re talking about data bandwidth that’s equal to that of a small continent.”Another building that’s undergoing changes is the dish assembly shed. With its volume now more than double that of the original, the team can work on two dishes at one time. A pedestal integration shed is also nearing completion – this facility will allow for the addition of the pedestal and electronics, and pre-installation testing as well.The processor building is expected to be finished by March 2014 and the shed by the end of September 2013 – this is a must because MeerKAT dish construction is expected to begin soon.Building the SKAThe 64-dish MeerKAT will be completed in 2016, and will then be the largest radio telescope in the world – until the SKA overtakes it. The team expects the first MeerKAT dish to be completed and installed by the end of 2013.At the time of the site visit, five foundations had been poured. Laying a MeerKAT foundation is not the same as laying one for a building – it’s a complex structure that has to support a 19m-high antenna and keep it stable enough in strong winds to continue accurately gathering data, as well as protect it from lightning damage. Each foundation consists of 78 cubic metres of concrete and nine tons of steel reinforcement and has to comply with a set of rigorous quality standards.The MeerKAT telescope is estimated to cost about R2-billion (US$204-million), but, said Jonas, the total budget is about R3.9-billion ($398-million) because of all the other components, such as the highly successful human capital development programme.MeerKAT will be followed by the first phase of the mid-frequency SKA component, which will be located in the area where KAT-7 and MeerKAT stand, and will comprise the existing dishes plus an extra 190.“SKA phase one extends out for about 100km or so,” said Jonas. “It’s expected that phase one will go operational in 2018, or perhaps a bit later.”Phase two of the SKA will extend further out into the African partner countries, and will also see low-frequency components coming online in Australia and New Zealand.
Take a look at the miniatures, models, matte paintings, puppets, and other practical effects that brought a distant galaxy to life.Star Wars is famous for a lot of reasons, but one of the original trilogy’s greatest accomplishments was its masterful incorporation of practical effects. To celebrate May the 4th, we decided to round up a few videos that showcase the unparalleled talents of the Star Wars special effects team.The original trilogy has been released on home video seemingly a thousand times at this point, and a few of the following videos appear to have been transferred from VHS tapes. So, to paraphrase the Emperor… Let the nostalgia flow through you.Slimy Piece of Worm-Ridden Filth – Life Inside Jabba the HuttBy: Filmumentaries – Jamie BenningIn Jamie’s own words:After interviewing puppeteer Toby Philpott at great length over Skype I decided to go a step further and create a mini documentary about his work on Jabba the Hutt for Return of the Jedi. This led me down many paths. Here is the result.Dennis Muren Interview: The RancorBy: Star WarsKeeping with the theme of Large & Fairly Disgusting Creatures… In this video, hollywood effects legend Dennis Muren discusses the challenges he faced when bringing the Rancor to life in Return of the Jedi.Return of the Jedi – Special Location EffectsBy: Filmumentaries – Jamie BenningRenowned special effects master Kevin Pike talks about his location special effects work on Return of the Jedi, including participating in the construction of a full-sized AT-ST Scout Walker and Jabba’s sail barge. Which is awesome.Star Wars Visual Effects, from AT-ATs to TauntaunsBy: Star WarsThis is easily my favorite video in this roundup. With a couple of segments narrated by Mark Hamill himself, this vintage clip showcases the unbelievable patience and precision it took to create some of the most iconic sequences in film history.BB-8 Droid From the Force Awakens Rolls out on Stage at Star Wars Celebration AnaheimBy: Inside the MagicAnybody worried that Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be Prequel-like display of overdone CGI effects can rest easy. Here’s a quote from J.J. Abrams himself, speaking to fans at the 2015 Star Wars Celebration in California:The thing that struck me, that wouldn’t get out of my head, is just how real you knew and felt Star Wars was when you first saw A New Hope. You couldn’t deny it… It’s Star Wars. There will be an endless number of effects. We needed a standard. You want it to be legitimate and authentic.And in one of the convention’s most exciting moments, Abrams introduced BB-8, a completely practical and present droid. As BB-8 rolled up next to R2D2, on stage and in front of a live audience, it was as if millions of cynical voices suddenly cried out in relief and were suddenly silenced.Things have definitely come a long way, but not so far that the lessons of the past are forgotten. It’s refreshing to see the Star Wars legacy in the hands of people who recognize the undeniable emotional pull of tangible practical effects.If you’d like to see a few more examples of great (and a few pretty not-so-great) special effects, check out these stories from the PremiumBeat blog:Top 10 Practical Movie Effects of All TimeCineFix Presents a Collection of the Best Visual Effects10 Examples of Horrible Hollywood Special EffectsWhat are your favorite Star Wars practical effects? Are practical effects worth the trouble? How adorable is BB8? Share your thoughts in the comment section!
New Delhi has told the Bru (or Reang) refugees in Tripura to either accept a rehabilitation package and return to their villages in adjoining Mizoram or give up the free rations and other facilities being provided to them on humanitarian grounds.Satyendra Garg, Joint Secretary (Northeast) in the Ministry of Home Affairs, had on Monday met senior Mizoram government officials and Bru leaders in Aizawl. Appealing to the refugees to return to Mizoram, he said the names of those who wished to be repatriated would be submitted to the Centre and the Mizoram government, while reminding that the ration and other facilities extended to the refugees would be withdrawn from October 1.The option has not gone down well with a section of the refugees who have threatened to launch an agitation to choke the roads leading to Mizoram. “We have been used to such threats [for stopping of ration] for more than 20 years now. The government wants to dictate terms even if it means pushing the refugees into uncertainty. We won’t take things lying down,” said Laldingliana, president of the Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Coordination Committee.Agreement with refugeesThere are at least three groups representing the refugees. The Centre had in July signed an agreement with one of them – Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum – apart from the Mizoram and Tripura governments for repatriation of some 32,000 Brus to Mizoram by September 30 this year. But a large number of refugees have refused to budge unless some new demands are met. These include creation of an area development council for the minority Brus in Mizoram and payment of one-time Central assistance of ₹4 lakh per family before going back, and repatriation of all in a cluster of villages for security reasons.According to the July agreement, each Bru refugee family would be given ₹4 lakh, to be kept in fixed deposit, within one month of repatriation.‘Not enough’“The Government seems generous by saying it is free ration that it is providing us. Each refugee gets 7 grams of salt per day and a pair of slippers once in three years. A male gets a shirt and a female a skirt annually. Financial assistance for an adult is ₹5 and for a minor ₹2.5 per day, while an adult gets 600 gm of rice and a minor 300 gm per day. These have never been enough, forcing us to do odd jobs for a living,” Mr. Laldingliana.Another group, the Bru Coordination and Equal Package Demand Committee, representing some 8,000 Brus who have already returned to Mizoram, too has raised some demands. “Those who came back accepting small packages earlier should also be given the kind of compensation others are slated to receive,” Committee’s leader Elvis Chorkhy said.More than 40,000 Brus had fled Mizoram, mostly from Mamit district to Tripura, during ethnic clashes with the dominant Mizos in 1997.
Trump campaign, GOP groups attack Google’s new ad policy Urgent reply from Philippine football chief Hong Kong tunnel reopens, campus siege nears end Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netOn a day National University pulled off a huge stunner, Ateneo quietly locked up a fifth straight victory and tightened its hold on the top spot in UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball—and the Lady Eagles owe a lot of their success to the emergence of Bea de Leon as a team leader.The feisty team captain scored 14 points in her breakout game for the season as Ateneo demolished Adamson, 25-8, 22-25, 25-16, 25-10, on Wednesday at Filoil Flying V Centre.ADVERTISEMENT The Lady Maroons, despite the 20 points from Tots Carlos and 15 from Justine Dorog, fell to their third defeat in six matches despite seemingly being in control for a majority of the match. Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem The win did not generate as much thrills as the one later in the day, when the Lady Bulldogs chewed off three match points to shock University of the Philippines, 25-17, 14-25, 17-25, 25-23, 17-15.But it cemented Ateneo’s status as top title threat after that label was put in question by an opening weekend defeat to defending champion and fierce rival La Salle.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesDe Leon received profuse praises from Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro, who said his senior player “always makes things easier for me on the bench.”Known for providing leadership and spunk rather than piling up points, De Leon said she got a boost when Almadro told her that he doesn’t “always need my points, he just wants my voice.” Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Especially since the points came from just about everybody in the Ateneo lineup, with Ponggay Gaston making 16, including six from the service area.Kat Tolentino added 15, while Jules Samonte and Maddie Madayag chipped in seven and six, respectively.“That’s the difference now, they are talking to each other. And they know what they want to do out there,” said Almadro.The Lady Eagles are now alone on top with a 5-1 card while inflicting on the Lady Falcons their fifth defeat in six games.Rookies Ivy Lacsina and Princess Robles combined for 31 points, while libero Jennifer Nierva had 29 excellent receptions and 26 excellent digs for the Lady Bulldogs, who snapped their three-game losing streak.ADVERTISEMENT PH clubs Ceres-Negros, Kaya-Iloilo lead their groups after big victories SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte 1 dead, 3 injured in Quezon road crash PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LATEST STORIES View comments
Chelsea Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge hits back after Eden Hazard’s Chelsea strike Premier League Read more Jürgen Klopp backs out-of-sorts Mohamed Salah to overcome tough spell Share on Pinterest Topics Hazard it was who opened the scoring, spinning in the centre circle and firing the thrusters away from the left side of the Liverpool defence, feet battering the turf at extraordinary speed, like a drum roll before the finish. Mateo Kovacic found him with an expert through pass. As Alisson came out, Hazard found the far corner of the net with a lovely clipped finish.As for Salah, well, no doubt some will exaggerate his bluntness here for effect. Four goals in his last 14 games for Liverpool is a decent enough return, just small potatoes next to the glorious deluge of last season. Salah was also below his best against a stronger team again. Since April, the Premier League player of the year has scored against Brighton, Saudi Arabia, West Ham and Southampton. In the same period, he’s also failed to score against Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Tottenham, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Roma and now Chelsea – again. Flat-track bully, the unkind whispers have suggested, those thrilling performances against Manchester City and Roma in the spring banished too eagerly.Such is the nature of football at the level Salah has reached, a brutal business of starkly metered progress and constant comparison. And yet, even on an off day, he might have scored a hat-trick and still made most of the chances he managed to miss. Chelsea didn’t mark Salah closely, allowing him space at times. Twice he found space for a shot inside David Luiz, who spent those opening minutes running around like a labrador getting its first taste of the beach after a 100-mile car journey, turning somersaults, biting his own tail, chasing squirrels up trees.There was a shot ballooned into the crowd, a fluffed pass across goal. Perhaps the best part of this for Liverpool was the fact that it didn’t seem terminal, mitigated by points of strength elsewhere. Virgil van Dijk was immense again, accepting the offer to wrestle with Olivier Giroud and marching Chelsea’s centre-forward around the pitch like a man making a successful citizen’s arrest. But then, such is Van Dijk’s basic physical scale that bringing him to conservation-area west London probably breaches some kind of planning rule, erection of a semi-permanent Dutch defensive edifice.Liverpool were able to bring genuine strength from the bench, Xherdan Shaqiri missing the chance to level the scores, then Sturridge taking it with a stunningly conceived dipping shot – a moment of brilliance pulled out of the air in the most taut and congested finales.As for Salah, it will be fascinating to see how he resolves a mild but predictable slump after the adrenal success of last season. For now, there will be encouragement for Jürgen Klopp in Liverpool’s ability to keep scoring goals, to dig out results like these, and to show a different kind of strength. Share on LinkedIn Sportblog Share on Facebook Share via Email Mohamed Salah Share on WhatsApp And while there will be concern at the sheer number of chances missed, there was a resilience to Liverpool here. Not to mention some significance in being able to match Chelsea with their star attacker so obviously off form. Salah left the pitch with 25 minutes to go and in that period Liverpool grew stronger, seemed more rather than less likely to score, just as all season they have ground out the odd result and shared the goals around.It is bit of a puzzle: which is the real Liverpool? The fast-breaking dervishes of the second half of last season, powered by the chancy brilliance of Salah’s goal rush? Or the more gristly, more controlled team that has tended to grind a little more, to come on strong rather than devour opponents from the start?What is certain is that Salah does look below his best level. This game had been billed, rightly or wrongly, as a head-to-head in the creative areas, a measure of Eden Hazard’s current sublime form against the memory of Salah’s brilliance last season. If this always seemed like a simplification, then Hazard was brilliant here all the same, confirming his status as the outstanding player in the league right now. Under Maurizio Sarri, Hazard has been asked to engage only the forward gears. This must be the right way to use him. Just give us the good stuff, as much as you’ve got. features Eden Hazard Read more Share on Messenger Liverpool Share on Twitter Twenty minutes after the final whistle, with the sky above the stands fading to a deep pinky-blue, the Liverpool fans were still singing. This was an excellent game with elements of cheer for both teams in a 1-1 draw – and indeed for Manchester City, too, who saw both their main title rivals gouge a piece out of each other at Stamford Bridge.For Liverpool’s supporters, there was a little extra feeling in taking a well-deserved point through Daniel Sturridge’s brilliant late equaliser. There are two elements to this. Most obviously, Liverpool drew at Chelsea despite Mo Salah seeming once again to have his gears misaligned, haring around the Stamford Bridge pitch like a soap box cart with a wonky wheel. Reuse this content
Touch Football Australia (TFA) has recently reviewed and updated the TFA Member Protection Policy, in line with Australian Sports Commission standards. It is a requirement by TFA that all state, regional and affiliate entities formally adopt the TFA Member Protection Policy – 2015 version of this policy, under the TFA constitution. This policy will take effect from 1 January 2015 and will be made available via the TFA website.TFA has a legal obligation in relation to harassment, discrimination and child protection. Furthermore we also have moral obligations to establish appropriate standards of behaviour and to provide safe and respectful sporting environments. As member entities of TFA we require you also to implement and regularly update policies and procedures that assist sports to comply with the law and improve the sporting environment.For more information, please click on the attached memo and policy below. Related Filesmemorandum_-_member_protection_policy_2015_update-pdfmember_protection_policy_2015-pdfRelated LinksMember Protection Policy
TORONTO – Toys “R” Us’s Canadian operations have found a safety net months after the retailer’s demise in the U.S. and overseas.Documents filed in a Richmond, Va. bankruptcy court on Monday revealed the retailer will be cancelling an auction for its 82 Canadian stores and seeking approval on Tuesday to sell them to Toronto-based Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., which is involved in property and casualty insurance and reinsurance and investment management.The auction was triggered by a recent $300-million stalking horse offer Fairfax made that allowed others to make competing bids for the Canadian operations until Monday at 10 a.m. EST, but court filings showed no bidders other than Fairfax registered an offer.Fairfax’s successful bid signals an end to the uncertainty that has followed the beleaguered company’s Canadian arm since September, when it filed for creditor protection and its U.S. division sought bankruptcy protection. The moves, said to be the product of heavy debt and the rising popularity of e-commerce and electronic-based toys, prompted disappointment from toy lovers and investors alike.Among the most upset by the company’s demise was Isaac Larian, the executive behind California-based, Little Tikes- and L.O.L Surprise!-maker MGA Entertainment Inc.He and investors he refused to identify made a bid for the retailer’s Canadian operations, which are run separate from its U.S. dealings, outside of the now-cancelled auction in March, calling Toys “R” Us’s Canadian arm a “good business.”“They run it efficiently, and have good leadership,” he said. “At the right price, it makes economical sense.”When rumours suggesting Larian’s bid had been rejected started circulating last week, he at first said it was “disappointing,” but as more details about Fairfax’s bid emerged, he appeared to have taken on a new outlook.“As long as Toys “R” Us and jobs are saved, I’m happy. That’s what #SaveToysRUs was and is about,” Larian said in a statement.“In regards to Toys “R” Us USA, the fight to save it is just beginning.”For Larian, that fight has largely centred on a crowdfunding campaign he launched on Mar. 21 in hopes of raising $1 billion to salvage the business’ 70-year-old U.S. operations.He chipped in $200 million himself, but as of Monday at noon, had only raised an additional $62,000 from 2,043 toy lovers. The donors were being enticed to give with promises of #SaveToysRUs bumper stickers, special edition toys, invites to a reopening block party and opportunities to tour the oldest toy factory currently operating in the U.S. depending on the amount they give.Larian also vowed to give 10 per cent of proceeds from Little Tikes purchases made between the campaign’s launch and its May 28 end date to the plot.When the campaign launched, Toys “R” Us’s bankruptcy documents showed Larian was facing plenty of competition. There were 20 interested parties vying for the U.S. business, which includes 740 stores.Fairfax has not said whether it will vie for the U.S. operations, but the business, owned by billionaire Prem Watsa, has been on a recent spending spree.In February, it acquired part of infrastructure services company Carillion Canada, which filed for bankruptcy protection in January, and in November, it increased its stake in Torstar media company, which holds an investment in The Canadian Press as part of a joint agreement with a subsidiary of the Globe and Mail and the parent company of Montreal’s La Presse.Companies in this story: (TSX:FFH)
BARCELONA, Spain – New Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez had been barely sworn in Saturday before one of the country’s most critical issues facing his fragile government was pressed upon him: ending the Catalan secession crisis.Less than two hours after Sanchez had taken his oath to uphold the Spanish Constitution, Catalan chief Quim Torra demanded to meet with Sanchez and speak “government to government” regarding the future of the wealthy yet restive northeastern region.“Pedro Sanchez, let us talk, take risks, both you and I. Let us sit down at a table and talk, government to government,” Torra said after swearing in his regional Cabinet in Barcelona on Saturday.Torra, who was chosen by separatist lawmakers to lead the region last month, said his government “accepts the charge to continue forward with the mandate … to form an independent state.”Sanchez, the leader of Spain’s Socialist Party, came to power after he successfully ousted conservative predecessor Mariano Rajoy, who lost a no-confidence vote in parliament on Friday.In order to cobble together the support to cast out Rajoy, Sanchez promised to open talks with Torra in order to get the votes he needed from the Catalan pro-secession lawmakers in the national parliament.Sanchez said Thursday that one of the priorities of his government would be “rebuilding bridges” with the country’s regions and “establishing the foundations that allow us to normalize relations and start a dialogue between the Spanish government and the new government in Catalonia.”Sanchez, however, insisted that any solutions for Catalonia must fit within Spain’s Constitution, which calls the nation “indivisible” and says national sovereignty resides in the Madrid-based parliament.Sanchez had been Rajoy’s most loyal backer of a government takeover of Catalonia’s regional affairs following an illegal and unsuccessful declaration of independence by the region’s parliament in October.That federal takeover came to an end Saturday after Torra formed his Catalan government. Torra’s 13 regional ministers took oaths of allegiance to Catalonia while omitting the traditional oath of allegiance to the Spanish Constitution.Torra, a fervent Catalan nationalist, was hand-picked by former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont to succeed him. Puigdemont is fighting extradition from Germany to Spain, where he is sought on charges of rebellion and misuse of public funds.Torra’s prior statements in articles social media posts deriding Spaniards have been called xenophobic by critics. He has recently apologized for those views.Sanchez himself has called Torra “the Spanish Le Pen,” aligning him with elements of the European far-right like French nationalist Marine Le Pen.Besides inheriting Spain’s worst political crisis in nearly four decades, Sanchez’s government will depend on the support of the far-left Podemos (We Can) party and of a motley crew of regional parties and Catalan secessionists to get anything done in the federal government.Spain’s parliament voted Friday to replace Rajoy’s government with one led by Sanchez after a ruling by the National Court delivered hefty prison sentences to 29 business people and ex-members of Rajoy’s Popular Party, including some elected officials, for fraud, money laundering and tax evasion, among other crimes.Rajoy attended Saturday’s ceremony in the royal Zarzuela Palace and shook Sanchez’s hand after the new leader was sworn in by King Felipe VI. The two political rivals then posed for a photo with the monarch.Sanchez has vowed to fight corruption and help those Spaniards affected by years of public spending cuts under Rajoy’s government. He also pledged to hold an election soon, while not setting a date.Unlike the new populist government in Italy, Sanchez and his party are staunch supporters of the European Union and its shared euro currency.
Los Angeles: Actor Demi Moore says she has changed her life and shifted her priorities over the last seven years. The 56-year-old actor opened up about it while speaking to Gwyneth Paltrow and Arianna Huffington at the ‘2019 In Goop Health’ summit, reports people.com. Moore said she has shifted her priorities to refocus on her health and the people around her in the “last seven years”. “My relationships are more important, and what I do comes second,” she said. She no longer looks outwards for validation. “What does it matter what anyone thinks?” she said. “Nothing is that bad.” This new outlook came after “my health took me down”, Moore said, referencing her 2012 collapse at her home. The actor, who is a mother of three was hospitalised after the incident and entered a rehab treatment for addiction and an eating disorder.