Wed, Dec 23, 2015 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take



Airplane crash kills 10

A small paramilitary airplane carrying 10 people — eight engineers and two pilots — yesterday crashed just outside the main airport in the nation’s capital, New Dehli, killing all on board, an official said. The airplane, belonging to the Indian Border Security Force, crashed into the boundary wall at the airport and landed in a small body of water, Delhi Fire Services director A.K. Sharma said. Part of the plane was submerged under water, he said. The cause of the crash of the Super King aircraft was not immediately known. At least 15 fire engines and scores of police officials were at the crash site, Sharma said. The plane was heading from New Delhi to the eastern city of Ranchi.


Wild bees in decline

Wild bees, crucial pollinators for many crops, are on the decline in some of the main agricultural regions of the nation, according to scientists who produced the first national map of bee populations and identified numerous trouble spots. The researchers on Monday cited 139 counties as especially worrisome, with wild bee numbers decreasing, while farmland for crops dependent on such pollinators is increasing. The counties include agricultural regions of California, such as the Central Valley, the Pacific Northwest, the upper Midwest and Great Plains, west Texas and the southern Mississippi River valley. The counties grow crops such as almonds, pumpkins, squashes, blueberries, watermelons, peaches and apples that are highly dependent on pollinators, or have large amounts of less-pollinator-dependent crops, including soybeans, canola and cotton. Taylor Ricketts, director of the University of Vermont’s Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, said the 139 counties represent 39 percent of the pollinator-dependent crop area of the nation and would most likely face inadequate pollination in the future.


Sea snakes discovered

Scientists yesterday hailed the discovery of two sea snake species feared to have become extinct years ago off the nation’s west coast. The short-nose sea snake and the leaf-scaled sea snake had not been seen since disappearing from their only known habitat on Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea more than 15 years ago, James Cook University researchers wrote in the Biological Conservation journal. However, they have since been “spotted alive and healthy” at Ningaloo Reef and Shark Bay respectively, thousands of kilometers south. “This discovery is really exciting. We get another chance to protect these two endemic western Australian sea snake species,” the study’s lead author Blanche d’Anastasi said in a statement about the two species, listed by authorities as critically endangered.


Fire destroys museum

A large fire tore through the Museum of the Portuguese Language in Sao Paulo on Monday, partly destroying the historic building, but apparently claiming no victims, authorities said. Flames engulfed the third floor of the museum, which is closed on Mondays, as clouds of smoke poured from the building. Firefighters said there were no immediate reports of victims. The building, built in 1901 in the style of a British railway station, was in 2006 turned into a museum dedicated to this former Portuguese colony’s rich language, which has integrated elements of indigenous and African languages. It features interactive multimedia exhibits and is one of the most popular museums in Brazil. “It is a real tragedy,” museum director Isa Ferraz said.

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