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Methane-munching crabs may be adapting to climate change: report

Methane-munching crabs may be adapting to climate change: report

Crabs that have a normal diet of plankton have been seen munching on methane-filled bacteria off British Columbia’s coast in what experts say could be their way of adapting to climate change.

Researchers with Ocean Networks Canada, an initiative of the University of Victoria and Oregon State University, discovered the snow crabs using other food sources because their main meal may be disappearing with a warmer climate.

The crabs were previously thought to exclusively eat phytoplankton and researchers say this is the first evidence that a commercial species is finding some of its nutrition from other food sources.

The study’s co-author, Fabio De Leo, senior scientist at Ocean Networks Canada, says this shows the crabs may be able to adapt if their common food source becomes scarce.

De Leo says that by collecting these specimens, researchers can learn how a variety of sea-dwelling species are adapting to ongoing changes linked to climate change.

“There are other mobile species, not only crabs, but fish species that are commercially harvested. We’re excited to start tracking other food webs to see if we find the same signature,” said De Leo. 

The crabs were previously thought to exclusively eat phytoplankton and researchers say this is the first evidence that a commercial species is finding some of its nutrition from other food sources. (The Canadian Press)

The crabs have also found a creative way to ingest the methane, De Leo said.

“It was quite funny because of the way the crab accumulated the methane bubbles under its body and kind of lifted off from the sediment, took a turn and flipped head first into the sediment,” he said.

The crabs were feeding on methane-processing bacteria in methane seeps, which are found over fissures on the ocean bed. The seeps support a variety of species including clams and mussels that rely directly on the energy provided by such bacteria.

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Compliments brand chicken nuggets recalled due to salmonella risk

Compliments brand chicken nuggets recalled due to salmonella risk

Compliments brand chicken nuggets have been recalled due to possible salmonella contamination, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency says.

The agency says people who bought the chicken nuggets should throw it out or return it to the store where it was purchased.

The possibly contaminated chicken nuggets came in a 1.5 kg package with a best-before date of  2019 JL 18. The UPC code is 0 55742 33690 0.

Compliments chicken nuggets were sold across Canada, except in Quebec.

The agency says the recall was triggered during its investigation into a foodborne illness outbreak. On Jan. 25, Crisp & Delicious brand chicken nuggets (1.6 kg, with best-before date of July 19, 2019) were also recalled due to risk of salmonella. Both recalled brands of chicken nuggets were manufactured by Sofina Foods. 

There are currently 59 cases of illness linked to this salmonella outbreak across Canada, but none of those affected have been hospitalized, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. The provincial breakdown of cases is:

  • British Columbia – 4
  • Alberta – 13
  • Saskatchewan – 1 
  • Manitoba – 4
  • Ontario – 22
  • Quebec – 4 
  • New Brunswick – 2
  • Nova Scotia – 5
  • Prince Edward Island – 3
  • Newfoundland and Labrador – 1

Food contaminated with salmonella may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick, with symptoms including fever, headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea, the agency noted.

Young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems who become ill may contract serious and sometimes deadly infections, the agency warns.

Compliments brand chicken nuggets recalled due to possible salmonella contamination. (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)

Compliments brand chicken nuggets with a July 18 2019 best-before date should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased. (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)

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Emergency closure of Groat Road Bridge after incident involving crane

Emergency closure of Groat Road Bridge after incident involving crane

Edmontonians who use Groat Road Bridge will have to find another way home this afternoon.

A tweet from the city said the bridge is closed in both directions following a “crane wheel derailment.”

The message said there are no injuries or damage and work is being done to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

In the meantime, motorists are being asked to use alternate routes.

The city said the goal is to have the bridge reopened in time for Thursday morning’s commute.

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Construction has started on the largest solar project in Nepal

Construction has started on the largest solar project in Nepal

The reports say that the constructions of a 25MW largest solar PV project in Nepal has begun. The foundation stone was laid last week at Devighat in Nuwakot by Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Barsha Man Pun.

The government plans to finish the construction of the project in a year.

As stated by Pankaj Kumar, national capacity building expert, this is the first large-scale solar project in Nepal.

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Quora intros bulk ad creation, editing

Quora intros bulk ad creation, editing

Ready to scale up your Quora ads? Good timing. The company just added the ability to create and edit ads in bulk in Quora Ads Manager.

How it works. Upload and download. The bulk ads editor has templates to download. You’ll create and edit ads in a CSV file or in Excel.

The bulk ads creator is available for text ads only at this time. You can edit text in existing image ads now, though.

Why you should care. Quora has checked off a lot of boxes — conversion tracking, retargeting, new ad formats, etc., but nobody wants to spend time on tedious, repetitive tasks. The need to manually add and edit a bunch of ads in a UI adds friction and can keep advertisers from fully investing. Bulk editing capabilities are key for any ad platform to increase advertiser adoption and budget flow. This could help attract more advertisers and entice existing advertisers to further build out their campaigns.

If you’re a current Quora advertiser, now’s a good time to download and spot check your current ads by downloading them with the editor.

About The Author

Ginny Marvin is Third Door Media’s Editor-in-Chief, managing day-to-day editorial operations across all of our publications. Ginny writes about paid online marketing topics including paid search, paid social, display and retargeting for Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, she has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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Barrick makes $18B bid for Newmont to become world's biggest gold miner

Barrick makes $18B bid for Newmont to become world’s biggest gold miner

Barrick Gold Corp. has made a formal merger offer for rival Newmont Mining Corp. in an all-stock deal that would combine two of the world’s largest gold producers.

Barrick chief executive Mark Bristow said the proposed merger would unlock more than $7 billion of synergies due in large part to combining the companies’ assets in Nevada.

“Most important, it will enable us to consider our Nevada assets as one complex, which will result in better mine planning and fully realize the state’s enormous geological potential for all stakeholders,” he said in a statement.

Under the zero-premium proposal, Newmont shareholders would receive 2.5694 Barrick shares for each Newmont share they hold.

Based on the closing price at the Toronto Stock Exchange on Friday, the offer would be worth about $44 per Newmont share.

The Toronto-based Barrick said its shareholders would own 55.9 per cent of the combined company and the rest would be owned by shareholders of the Colorado-based Newmont.

Bristow said a Barrick-Newmont deal was “long overdue” and would be “far superior” to Newmont’s proposed acquisition of Goldcorp Inc.

“Considered globally, the merger represents a radical and long-overdue restructuring of the gold industry, and a transformative shift from short-term survival tactics to the long-term creation of sustainable value,” Bristow said.

The possibility of a deal with Newmont comes less than two months after Barrick completed its merger with Randgold Resources that saw Bristow, Randgold’s founder, become chief executive of the combined company.

Barrick said the combined company would match Newmont’s annual dividend of 56 cents per share which, based on the proposed exchange ratio, will represent a pro forma annual dividend of 22 cents per Barrick share compared with Barrick’s current annual dividend of 16 cents per share.

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Pence, Freeland to address Venezuela crisis as Lima Group meets in Colombia

Pence, Freeland to address Venezuela crisis as Lima Group meets in Colombia

U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence is set to announce “concrete steps” and “clear actions” to address the Venezuela crisis when he meets on Monday with regional leaders in Bogota, Colombia, a senior U.S. administration official said.

The official declined to comment on what the new measures would entail ahead of Pence’s speech, to be delivered to a summit of the Lima Group around 10:30 a.m. ET after he meets with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, who has been instrumental in the formation and progress of the Lima Group, which includes 13 Latin American countries, will attend in Bogota.

“For the past two years, the world has watched with great concern as Venezuela, under Nicolas Maduro’s rule, has descended into chaos,” Freeland said in a statement late ast week. “Throughout all of this, the international community has been vocal in standing up for the rights of Venezuelans.

“Monday’s meeting of the Lima Group will build on the important work that Canada is doing with its partners in the Lima Group to support the people of Venezuela in their fight for freedom and democracy.”

As the group met in Ottawa earlier this month, Canada pledged $53 million in humanitarian aid and development support, focused on the needs of Venezuelans who have fled the country.

Over 3 million have fled country

On Friday, UN refugee and migration agencies said some 3.4 million people have now fled Venezuela, up from a November estimate of three million.

The UNCHR and the International Organization for Migration said Colombia hosts the highest number of Venezuela emigrants — more than 1.1 million — followed by Peru with 506,000 and Chile with 288,000. Brazil has taken in 96,000 Venezuelans.

The meeting Monday comes after convoys of aid were blocked at the Venezuelan border by forces and gangs loyal to  Maduro. Separate clashes between protesters and Venezuelan troops took place near the country’s border with Colombia and Brazil, with dozens injured and at least four reported killed.

“Canada is deeply concerned by the acts of violence allegedly perpetrated by the Maduro regime, designed to block the entry of relief items from neighbouring countries,” Canada’s Foreign Ministry said Friday. “Canada calls for these unacceptable attacks to be investigated and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.”

Canada, the United States and most other Western nations no longer recognize Maduro as the country’s leader.

U.S. President Donald Trump and other Western leaders have recognized Guaido, the head of Venezuela’s national assembly, as interim president. The official said Washington wants to find ways to empower him. In recent weeks, Trump has said all options were on the table for supporting Guaido and has declined to rule out the use of military force.

Watch: Freeland speaks to CBC on Feb. 4 about Venezuela crisis

‘I think what history shows is once a leader of an authoritarian regime discovers there are no alternatives, that is when you see democracy restored,’ says Freeland. 14:13

Maduro retains the backing of both Russia and China. 

Beijing has lent more than $50 billion to Venezuela through oil-for-loan agreements over the past decade, securing energy supplies for its fast-growing economy.

“We again call on the government and opposition in Venezuela to seek a political resolution under the framework of the constitution and law, and call on the international community to do more that really benefits Venezuela’s stability, economic development and improvement in livelihoods,” China’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

China “hopes the international community can provide constructive help to Venezuela under the precondition of respecting Venezuela’s sovereignty,” it added.

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Mysterious underground vault discovered on grounds of N.S. legislature

Mysterious underground vault discovered on grounds of N.S. legislature

Archaeologists expected the land surrounding Province House in downtown Halifax to be fertile ground for finding artifacts, but they never expected to uncover an underground stone vault roughly the size of a living room. 

“It was a total surprise to the archaeologists and the construction crew,” said April MacIntyre, principal archaeologist, in recalling the work she supervised over three months last summer and fall.

The structure was discovered Aug. 7 during part of the work to remodel the grounds surrounding the Nova Scotia legislature.

Crews had already dug a series of trenches to install a new electrical system and run audio and video cables, when a backhoe hit what was assumed to be bedrock near the corner of Prince and Hollis streets.

“When they tried to break up the bedrock, it very quickly fell away,” said MacIntyre.

“What we discovered was an open, dry-stone-laid chamber with a semicircular, vaulted-type roof.”

In MacIntyre’s recently filed report to the government, she described the mysterious chamber as “a subterranean stone-walled feature measuring approximately six metres north-south by four metres east-west and approximately three metres high to the top of the silt that has collected on the floor.”

April MacIntyre stands at Province House in Halifax. She was the principal archaeologist on site during work to remodel the grounds last year. (Jean Laroche/CBC)

That’s an approximation, because it wasn’t deemed safe for crews to enter the chamber to gather precise measurements. They used remote cameras instead to investigate and photograph the chamber. 

“The full extend to the top of the feature was not exposed and extended eastward beneath the lawn inside the fence of the property,” the report said.

There’s no record of anything of that nature being here on the property.– April MacIntyre , principal archaeologist

During the 48 hours she had to examine the structure, MacIntyre’s only access was the shoulder-width hole the backhoe had initially made.

Despite its size and prominent location, MacIntyre has been unable to find any information related to the structure, its origin or use.

“There’s no record of anything of that nature being here on the property,” she said. “No indications on maps or any records that we’ve been able to find.”

MacIntyre works on the grounds of Province House last July. She said the chamber discovered underground is ‘a pretty big room and quite deep from what we could tell.’ (Jean Laroche/CBC)

The only clues were artifacts found on the roof which dated to the very later part of the 18th century or early 19th century. 

“We’re not entirely certain as to what it is, but it’s similar in construction to some powder magazines that were built around that period,” said MacIntyre, whose report noted a similar underground store was built in the late 1790s at Fort Anne in Annapolis Royal, N.S. 

Chamber left mostly undisturbed

The entrance hole has since been covered over with a dark cloth and the area filled with crushed stone to mark the site.  

Would MacIntyre have liked a closer look?

“Absolutely,” she said with a chuckle.

She has recommended the government investigate further using ground-penetrating radar.

“Future interpretive endeavours may also be possible and may include further archeological excavation of the feature, though it is believed to be stable at this time and, therefore, essentially mitigated,” said her report.

Lynette MacLeod of the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage, said the report is still being reviewed, and next steps have not yet been determined.

Overall, the excavation work and subsequent examination by archeologists unearthed a total of 1,534 objects, many of them glass or pottery. Some of the fragments have been pieced together to form half-finished bowls, goblets or basins.

“It’s actually unusual how complete some of the material is,” said MacIntyre, who found most of it in a midden, or local dumping ground, adjacent to where MLAs park their vehicles.

All of it has been identified and catalogued and will be handed over to the province for safekeeping. Some of it may be displayed, but most will be stored.

Much more to discover

Other features uncovered include a well, a coal chute, numerous stone walls, storm drains and drain pipes.

There are plans to, some day, rip out the paving on the parking lot side of the building to change it into a park. MacIntyre said she would love to have access to that land, given what archaeologists uncovered when part of the lot was dug up this past summer.

“There is now buried a portion of a stone enclosure wall which we think may have been related to either the governor’s cottage or the later governor’s mansion,” she said. 

Archaeologists try to get a closer look at a well discovered on the grounds of Province House. (Jean Laroche/CBC)

Those structures were among the first and most prominent buildings in Halifax around the time of its founding.

“So the fact that we are still seeing those sorts of resources intact tells us that there may also be remnants of the cottage and the mansion, potentially outbuildings as well.”

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