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New species of seadragon classified in WA

Posted by admin on 30/09/2019
Posted in 苏州半永久 

A dried seadragon that lay unidentified in the Western Australian Museum’s specimen collection for almost a century has been classified as an entirely new species.

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The first recorded specimen of the uniquely adorned creature washed up on Cottesloe Beach in 1919 and was until now thought to be a common seadragon, which has yellow and purple hues.

But through a combination of modern DNA sampling technology and research linking it to other specimens, it’s been shown by WA Museum scientist Nerida Wilson and her colleagues to be a new species.

It is only the third kind of seadragon ever recorded, the other being the instantly recognisable leafy seadragon, which has a green and orange hue.

The ruby seadragon’s deep red colouring suggests it inhabits deeper waters than the other two species because the shading effectively goes black at depth, serving as camouflage.

Dr Wilson said seadragons were unique to southern Australia and the symbol for conservation in those waters.

And there’s a chance there could be more species out there, she said.

“There’s a lot that we don’t know,” Dr Wilson told AAP on Thursday.

“Given it has taken 150 years since the last one was described, we might not know the answer for another couple of hundred years.

“We certainly would need to put a lot more into exploration of habitats that we don’t look at very much.

“We know very little about the deep sea environment in all parts of the ocean but particularly off Australia.”

The ruby seadragon ‘holotype’, which is the irreplaceable specimen now considered the international reference point for the species, was collected in 2007 at the Recherche Archipelago near Esperance off WA’s south coast.

The stadium announcer had already confirmed the goal and Porto had finished celebrating and were back on the halfway line ready for the re-start before Mark Clattenburg, after a long consultation with his linesman, ruled it out.

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The incident in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw was curious because nobody seemed to notice that the two officials were talking as Porto celebrated.

Television replays suggested that two Porto players were offside when Casemiro snapped up a rebound after Basel goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik had parried Maicon’s first effort.

“I have never experienced this, that the assistant has so much courage in bringing a mistake to the referee’s attention,” said Vaclik. “I was clearly impeded.

“The referee deserves respect for giving us back the goal. I take my hat off to him,” added Fabian Frei.

However, Porto coach Julen Lopetegui was less impressed.

“It was a very strange decision and it emotionally affected the team,” he said. “It was difficult for us to get going again when the decision was changed after such a long time, and our players reacted very well.

“Can a referee take two or three minutes to make a decision? Obviously, yes, because that’s what happened.”

The match report on Porto’s official website described the delay as “ridiculous.”

“The decision was questionable, the delay was ridiculous and it can lead to all sorts of speculation, given that the team of five referees can communicate by radio,” it said.

Football’s authorities have said that referees can take their time to make decisions, although it inevitably leads to confusion and interrupts the flow of the game, one of the main arguments against the use of video replays.

Last year, Italy’s World Cup referee Nicola Rizzoli took around five minutes to make a decision during a league match involving Sassuolo and Roma.

He initially awarded a penalty to Sassuolo, who had put the ball on the spot and were preparing to take the kick when he changed his mind after consulting with his linesman.

FIFA’s head of refereeing Massimo Busacca last year said the priority for referees was to make the right decision.

“Sometimes it takes time, two or three minutes, but the important thing for us is the decision which should be correct,” he said. “What would be better, to decide in 30 seconds, and give a wrong penalty, or two or three minutes?”

“Everyone says we should use videos but if we have a video, we will waste three or four minutes with every decision.”

(Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

Greece asks for six-month loan extension

Posted by admin on 30/09/2019
Posted in 苏州半永久 

Greece has formally asked the EU for a six-month loan extension, officials in Athens and Brussels say, hoping to avoid default and draft a new deal with its creditors.

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Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem said on his Twitter account on Thursday that he had received the request, without giving further details.

“Received Greek request for six months extension,” said Dijsselbloem, who is also the Dutch finance minister.

Eurozone finance ministers will hold a special meeting on Friday to decide on the Greek request for the loan extension.

“It is confirmed. The meeting will take place at the usual time,” on Friday afternoon (0100 AEDT Saturday), a European Union spokeswoman said.

Athens is trying to sidestep the restrictions of its bailout, but a number of eurozone hardliners including Germany are likely to resist the move.

“Our proposition will be written in such a way that it will cover both the demands of the Greek side and the head of the Eurogroup,” Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis told reporters late on Wednesday.

Europe and Greece are racing to reach a deal to avoid a Greek exit from the eurozone – dubbed a “Grexit” – after talks in Brussels ended in acrimony on Monday with both sides digging in their heels.

The European phase of Greece’s EU-IMF bailout expires on February 28, and Athens needs to find 11.9 billion euros ($A17.32 billion) for bond repayments to the IMF and the European Central Bank by August.

Athens is under mounting pressure to reach a deal to forestall a bank liquidity shortage and lasting damage to its fragile economic recovery.

The European Central Bank decided on Wednesday to extend and increase the amount of emergency liquidity available to Greek banks to 68.3 billion euros, according to a bank source.

The decision to raise the ceiling by only 3.3 billion euros, however, was seen by analysts as pressure from the ECB for Athens to clinch a deal and reverse a rise in deposit outflows, which could spark a funding crisis.

The new radical government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that came to power last month wants to reverse many of the fiscal reform obligations tied to the EU-IMF rescue packages which have been keeping the country afloat since 2010.

The government has halted privatisations and promised to increase wages and roll back labour market reforms.

Messi, Luis Enrique truce on shaky foundations

Posted by admin on 30/09/2019
Posted in 苏州半永久 

A series of inspirational Messi performances have helped Barca put together a streak of 11 wins in all competitions since a 1-0 La Liga defeat at Real Sociedad on Jan.

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4, matching their best run under former coach Pep Guardiola in 2008-09.

They are on the verge of a place in the King’s Cup final, through to the Champions League last 16 to face Manchester City and will climb above Real Madrid to the top of La Liga if they avoid defeat at home to Malaga on Saturday.

The surge in form means that rather than looking on helplessly as their club teetered on the edge of crisis, Barca fans are now starting to dream of a repeat of their historic 2009 treble.

The turmoil that followed the reverse at Sociedad, when reports of a rift between Messi and Luis Enrique surfaced in the Spanish media, is a distant memory, at least for the time being.

The forward quashed speculation he was considering leaving the club he joined as a 13-year-old but has pointedly declined to comment on his relationship with Luis Enrique, who took over from Messi’s compatriot Gerardo Martino at the end of last term.

A former Barca and Spain midfielder, Luis Enrique knows that if Messi is not content, the team’s chances of getting back to winning ways after failing to win major silverware in 2013-14 will be seriously diminished.

WON NOTHING

For the moment, the smile is back on Messi’s face and the fans are happy but that could all change very quickly if the team loses its way again.

Messi sounded a note of caution in a Argentine television interview broadcast on Wednesday.

“We still haven’t won anything,” he told Mundo Leo, a TV channel dedicated to the four-times World Player of the Year.

“There are many months of competition left both in La Liga and in the Champions League,” added the 27-year-old.

“The truth is that we are in very good shape. Luckily, after the Real Sociedad game, when we did not start the year well, everything changed.

“Now we are on a different path and everything is coming off for us.

“The team is confident and changed its attitude and desire and that is why we are like we are today. But there is a long way to go.”

Barca play their last 16, first leg at City on Tuesday, with the return at the Nou Camp on March 18, and take a 3-1 advantage to Villarreal for their King’s Cup semi-final, second leg on March 4.

(Editing by John O’Brien)

Aust plays part in comet rendezvous

Posted by admin on 30/09/2019
Posted in 苏州半永久 

In the fields of human achievement, landing a washing machine sized probe onto a speeding comet millions of kilometres from earth must rank up there with man’s first steps on the moon.

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The stunning rendezvous occurred late last year when the Rosetta orbiter released its Philae lander to touch down on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko half a billion kilometres from earth – and Australia played its part.

Dr Paolo Ferri, head of mission operations for the European Space Agency, said aspects of this mission had never been encountered before and were extremely challenging.

“What I found most difficult of this mission was the rendezvous and flying around the comet. It has very little to do with normal space flight,” he said.

Dr Ferri, in Australia to deliver a presentation on the Rosetta mission, said ESA operated the small Gnangara antenna outside Perth which tracked initial progress of Rosetta following launch from French Guyana, South America, in 2004.

Subsequently the larger deep space tracking station at New Norcia, north of Perth, tracked Rosetta to the comet.

Rosetta’s probe Philae landed on the comet surface but failed to anchor properly.

It now lies on an angle in the shadow of a cliff or crater wall, its battery depleted. Scientists hope to revive Philae next month as the comet approaches the sun and extra light falls on its solar panels.

The mission produced the first images from the surface of a comet plus a huge amount of scientific data on comet composition.

The US journal Science billed this as the top scientific achievement for 2014.

Australia is a significant user of space services, launching satellites through both ESA and NASA.

But once Australia hosted space facilities and even launched a satellite in 1967, the third nation on earth to launch a satellite from its own territory.

Now the federal government has commissioned another report into the future of Australia’s space industry.

That will be completed by the end of October, assessing what Australia is doing in terms of civil space-related technology.

Dr Ferri said the future of space was in international co-operation and an increasing role could only be good for Australia.

“Globally I think it makes a lot of sense not to replicate capabilities everywhere,” he said.

“Co-operating in space is a vehicle for many things which are not strictly related to space – science, technology, development, outreach and education. – it’s inspirational.”