If you notice your partner doing any of the following things, your relationship is probably doomed to fail.Behavior in difficult situations »
The glitzy emirate of Dubai broke the record for the world's largest fountain on Thursday, as the Gulf city seeks to boost its hard-hit tourism sector amid the coronavirus pandemic.
LeBron James is once again the top player in "NBA 2K." Here are the other athletes who can match his run of excellence.
China has closed the gap, according to Australia's Lowy Institute think tank, but neither Beijing or Washington is destined to dominate the region.
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Across the globe, Pope Francis’ comments endorsing same-sex civil unions were received by some as encouragement for an advancing struggle and condemned by others as an earth-shaking departure from church doctrine.In the Philippines, officials saw the potential for political change in the wake of the pope's words.
Doug Falter hopes to visit Giovanne Branzuela one day to retrieve his board and teach him how to surf
During a blip in time in the late Jurassic, a dinosaur that weighed no more than a chinchilla flung itself from tree to tree, spread its wings and tried to soar. In theory, it sounds beautiful -- an early attempt at flight before birds figured out the blueprint.In practice, it was chaotic.The dinosaur, Yi qi, only barely managed to glide, stretching out and shimmying its skin-flap, downy-feathered wings in a valiant attempt at flying. "It was rocketing from tree to tree, desperately trying not to slam into something," said Alex Dececchi, a paleontologist at Mount Marty University in South Dakota. "It wouldn't be something pleasant."Unsurprisingly, Yi qi is not an ancestor of modern birds. It went extinct after just a few million years, presumably doomed by its sheer lack of competency in the air. In a study published Thursday in the journal iScience, Dececchi and other researchers analyzed how Yi qi and the dinosaur Ambopteryx could have flown. Both animals were scansoriopterygids, a little-known group of small dinosaurs. The researchers did not expect the two to be great flyers, but their results painted a picture of bumbling creatures that weren't truly at home on the ground, among the trees or in the sky.Found by a farmer in northeastern China, Yi qi was first described in 2015 by paleontologists Xing Xu, of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Xiaoting Zheng, of Linyi University. When Dececchi first learned about the dinosaur's bizarre anatomy, he was taken aback. "I said words that cannot be put into print," he said.In addition to the batlike wings, which had never before been observed in a dinosaur, Yi qi had an extraordinary long bone jutting out from its wrist. "Like Edward Scissorhands," said Michael Pittman, a paleontologist at the University of Hong Kong and an author on the paper.In 2018, Dececchi presented Yi qi in one of his classes as a way of teaching the scientific method: "Here's a weird creature. How do you think it would fly?" The more he thought about the question, the more he wanted to answer it.When Dececchi presented a preliminary paper on Yi qi at a conference in 2018, he saw a similar paper by Arindam Roy, a graduate student in Pittman's lab. The scientists decided to collaborate, with Pittman reconstructing the dinosaur's wing and Dececchi modeling its flight. When Ambopteryx was described in 2018, the scientists incorporated the dinosaur into the study.Pittman's lab scanned the fossil using a technique called laser-stimulated fluorescence to detect soft tissues that might have gone unnoticed when the Yi qi was first described. The laser technique revealed new soft tissues around the neck and face and provided close-up images of the membrane, which allowed Pittman to revise the model for what Yi qi's wing might have looked like.With wing models in hand, Dececchi ran the dinosaurs through a panoply of mathematical models to test its flight ability. "I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt: the biggest wings, the most muscles, the fastest flapping," he said.The creatures failed even the most generous models. Their pectoral muscles were too weak to achieve flapping flight. They could not sprint fast enough to launch themselves from the ground. They were poor turners. They could not even take off after running on an incline while furiously flapping their wings.The only scenario left was a bumbling glide wherein the dinosaurs stretched out their arms like flying squirrels and jumped from tree to tree, clattering among the branches.Xu, who led the study first describing Yi qi, said he found the new paper's analysis rigorous, although he was a bit surprised by how poorly the dinosaur seemed to fly. "I don't consider this a final word on the flight capabilities of Yi," he said, adding that the discovery of better-preserved specimens may produce different results."It's a nice exploration of an odd group," said Jingmai O'Connor, a curator of fossil reptiles at the Field Museum who also described Yi qi. "However, the authors seem to be reading too much into a handful of poorly preserved specimens." She noted that only three adult scansoriopterygid fossils are known to science.Yi qi and Ambopteryx's strategy may have worked in the short term. But as early birds took over the skies, eagle-size pterosaurs leered from above and wolf-size dinosaurs salivated from below, the scansoriopterygids tumbled into extinction.Although their failed flights offer little insight into how true birds evolved from dinosaurs, they shed light on the many ways that creatures tried to take to the skies. "The more fossils we find, the more we see how messy this evolutionary transition was," said Steve Brusatte, a paleontologist at the University of Edinburgh who was not involved with the research.In Dececchi's eyes, the dinosaurs might have skirted doom if they had more time to evolve past the equivalent of their awkward teen years. "Then today, you might have had bats, birds and these weird and wonderful guys," he said.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company
Flight attendants have taken on various roles in the public imagination over the last century: nurse, companion in the skies, doting provider, glamorous traveler.Although commercial flights have become much cheaper and more frequent since the TWA heyday, there's still an inherent magic to air travel that rests on the cabin crew providing safety and comfort.The job is far from a traditional 9-to-5. Perks include schedule flexibility, international travel and, in some cases, work uniforms designed by the likes of Zac Posen and Vivienne Westwood. Oh, and an office above the clouds."It's hard not to appreciate the moment when the sun shines in through the airplane window," said Allie Malis, 30, an American Airlines flight attendant. "It gives me perspective on how I want to spend my working hours and my life."But for the time being, that view is out of reach for many flight attendants. United Airlines and American Airlines furloughed more than 32,000 employees this month. Among them were about 15,000 flight attendants, or close to 12% of the total flight attendant workforce.Airlines are reporting billion-dollar losses for the year after months of curtailed travel. The International Air Transport Association predicted that air traffic this year will be 66% less than in 2019.Many flight attendants have been grounded for months, but since the furloughs were announced, the number has shot up. Now they are forced to wait as the government deliberates over a stimulus package. And while the future of travel remains uncertain, some are considering giving up a career that has afforded them stability and adventure, and become a way of life.'We Are There for People' in Good and Bad TimesAngel Ricumstrict-Zamora, a flight attendant who lives in Detroit with her 2-year-old daughter, bought her first home this year. "I bought a house for $75,000 less than I was approved for," she said. "I wanted to live within my means."She has worked for United Airlines for 17 years. "It was my plan to do this job forever," Ricumstrict-Zamora, 41, said. "We are there for people in their good times and bad times. We have had people find out a family member passed, and they're on the airplane. We have people going to see their first grandchild. We have little kids and adults going on their very first flight, their eyes full of wonder."But in recent months, she saw the social world of her profession shrink. "It was like being in 'The Twilight Zone,'" Ricumstrict-Zamora said. "Chicago is a crazy city. In the Chicago airport there's always activity, people running here and there. In August it was a ghost town. More than half the stores were closed. All of us -- airline workers, janitors, attendants, pilots, people driving the vans -- we knew this dark cloud was hanging over us."On Oct. 1, she was furloughed. Soon after, she applied for unemployment benefits and food stamps. "I have taken half of the money out of my 401(k)," she said. A member of the Association of Flight Attendants, she has been tweeting, and calling and emailing her representatives in Congress, as well as those of her colleagues."Come December, I have to drain my 401(k)," Ricumstrict-Zamora said. Though she is looking for other jobs, nothing has come through. "I've already cut back. I don't know how much more I can cut back. I'm in danger of losing my slice of the American dream."'I Don't Want to Do Anything Else'"The last flight I worked was the end of February," said Robert Garcia Remmert, 45, a flight attendant for United Airlines who flies out of Chicago and lives in Houston with his husband, who is also a flight attendant. "I had no idea that was going to be my last flight."In March, Garcia Remmert, a member of the Association of Flight Attendants, decided to take a voluntary leave of absence because he has an autoimmune disease.Although the couple have been able to hold on to their insurance, basic living costs have stretched them thin. Now, Garcia Remmert is concerned about what will happen to his insurance in the new year. Without coverage, his medication costs $18,000 a month."My doctor asked, 'Why is your blood pressure so high?'" Garcia Remmert said. "I can only assume it's from stress. Are we going to be able to pay our bills? Am I going to have a job?"Garcia Remmert is the son of a preacher and used to travel around Texas and Mexico doing missionary work. He attended five elementary schools, six middle schools and four high schools."I loved meeting other people and seeing new cultures," he said. In 2015, he and his husband decided to make a change. "He wasn't happy with his sales job," Garcia Remmert said. "I wasn't challenged at all." At the time, he worked in accounting.In 2016, Garcia Remmert began flying with United."I never expected to make those big changes, especially at 40 years old," he said. "Once I did it, I found I loved the job. I don't want to do anything else."'It Was Always the Job I Wanted'Amy Ticknor took after her mother and grandmother when she joined American Airlines as a flight attendant in 2014. "It was always the job I wanted," she said."My grandma used to fly in the times when it was super glamorous," Ticknor, 29, said. "She took movie actors on her planes. She had to quit because she married my grandpa, and you couldn't be married and be a stewardess. My mom was a gate agent, and she had the same experiences. She met a ton of famous people. We always went on vacations because we would always fly for free."Early in her career, Ticknor, who lives in Denver, relished the freedom to travel. Now that she's a mother of two, she appreciates the job's flexibility."I get to spend a lot of time with them, but my husband also gets a lot of time with them when I'm away on a trip," she said.Ticknor hasn't flown since March, when she was pregnant with her second child. Now she's not sure when she will again. In the meantime, she has been applying for other jobs; her husband is self-employed, so she is the main insurance provider for her family."We just had a baby, and we have doctor's appointments coming up for her almost monthly that we won't be able to go to if I don't find a full-time job that can get us health insurance," she said.Like many of her colleagues in the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, she has been calling and emailing her representatives every day. She even joined Twitter to speak on behalf of her profession."You have a chance to keep your job," Ticknor said. "You don't. You do. It's been back and forth almost daily. The Republicans are saying it's the Democrats, and the Democrats are saying that it's the Republicans. It's hard to keep up with who is on our side, if anyone even is."'Our Families Depend on Us'A couple of years after joining American Airlines, Allie Malis decided to take on a role with an American Airlines union, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants. As a government affairs representative, she has been fighting to extend the Payroll Support Program."I've been doing this for four years," Malis said. "We've had issues we've activated on, like minimum rest times, but this is astronomical compared to any other issue we've worked on. The flight attendants are more engaged than they've ever been before."But after months of watching Congress negotiate the bill, Malis said she feels that she and her co-workers are political pawns. "It's really hard on us," she said. "These are our lives, our livelihoods. Our families depend on us."Malis became a flight attendant in 2014; some of her colleagues have been in their roles for decades."A lot of people love this job because it's not a 9-to-5, it's not an office job," she said. "There are delays, exhaustion. You miss special family events. There are sacrifices. At the same time, our office view is a beautiful blue sky with white puffy clouds."When Malis began working for American, her father retired. During the next three years, Malis and her family took advantage of her benefits and visited 10 national parks. "We would fly to Utah or North Dakota or wherever, rent a car and go hiking," she said. "We would stay at a cheap motel or maybe camp. We created some really incredible memories."Malis said she does not have a backup plan if the aid bill fails.Her immediate goal is to see the bill through and get her job back, as well as the jobs of thousands of her co-workers."For many of us, this job changed our lives," Malis said. "It's provided opportunities that we couldn't have dreamed of. To have done everything right and worked hard at this job and to lose it is devastating."'The Lifestyle Feels Natural'During the past few months, Phillip Delahunty has joined colleagues in the airline industry to rally for extension of the Payroll Support Program in Florida, where he lives, and in Texas. In early September, he and 30 others picketed outside the office of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.Delahunty, 27, has flown with American Airlines for six years and belongs to the Association of Professional Flight Attendants. Seeing his colleagues joining together to fight for their jobs has made him hopeful."There are people who are willing to organize in 2020," he said. "We think of this generation as Netflix and Facebook, but I've definitely seen an organized-labor resurgence."Delahunty followed in the footsteps of his parents, a captain and a flight attendant, when he joined American Airlines. Because he speaks French and Italian, he has regularly flown to Montreal, Milan and Paris. "The lifestyle feels natural," he said. "It's kind of how I grew up, just traveling constantly."But flying in a pandemic introduced new challenges to an already demanding job. "The mask compliance is a huge issue on airplanes," he said. "We're taught how to deescalate a situation. That's the emphasis of our training up and down, and diplomacy. Take a tense situation and make it survivable for the next couple of hours. When you have one person not wearing a mask, you have three people who are agitated around them."Delahunty expects to file for unemployment benefits in a couple of months and to move back in with his parents, who say this is worse than any of the crises they saw during their time in the industry."That's a story you'll hear a lot," he said. "I'm 27. My generation hasn't had the same financial stability that our parents did at this age. It always feels like we're behind. That's part of the problem here. I had a solid union job that paid well and had great benefits. Now it's going away."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company
The list of the health benefits of drinking tea are long (here's what happens to your body when you consume it), so it may come as no surprise that sipping a lot of this beverage can help lower your blood pressure. Tea—like berries, apples, pears, and more foods—contains flavanols. And a diet high in flavanols can lead to lower blood pressure, according to a recent study.An analysis of the food choices of 25,618 people in the U.K. published in the journal Scientific Reports found a high intake of flavanols "was associated with a significantly lower systolic blood pressure" in both men and women comparable to following the Mediterranean diet or the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet—or from eating less salt. The biggest change occurred in participants with existing high blood pressure. (For more on eating cleaner, here are the 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time.)"What this study gives us is an objective finding about the association between flavanols—found in tea and some fruits—and blood pressure," Gunter Kuhnle, a professor and nutritionist at the University of Reading and who led the study, said. "This research confirms the results from previous dietary intervention studies and shows that the same results can be achieved with a habitual diet rich in flavanols. In the British diet, the main sources are tea, cocoa, apples, and berries."Overall, the risk of cardiovascular diseases would go down if more people eat more flavanol-rich foods, according to scientists. This may be as simple as drinking a cup of tea every day or adding in more berries and apples to your diet.Need some inspo? How about this Berry Cauliflower Smoothie for breakfast? Or here are 25 Delicious Apple Recipes That are Perfect for Fall.
A Mexican television broadcaster confirmed Thursday that Pope Francis’ bombshell comments endorsing same-sex civil unions were made during a May 2019 interview that was never broadcast in its entirety. Broadcaster Televisa said Thursday that the emphasis of its interview was on clergy sexual abuse and suggested it didn’t consider the comments on civil unions as newsworthy because Francis had previously indicated support for them. The Vatican, which had the full interview in its archives, apparently allowed the comments to be aired now in the documentary “Francesco,” which premiered Wednesday.
Catholic lawmakers in the Philippines “no longer have a basis” to refuse same-sex civil unions after the Pope gave them his backing, a presidential spokesman suggested.
With an intelligence network so good they have been compared to the CIA, Thai street vendors are often first on the scene at "guerilla" democracy protests in Bangkok, where they hawk sour pork and fishballs to a democracy-hungry crowd.
India is closing in on an agreement with the United States that will give it access to satellite data for better accuracy of missiles and drones, government and industry officials said, as it tries to narrow the gap with the powerful Chinese military. The two sides are expected to announce the pact during the visit next week of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper for talks in New Delhi with Indian counterparts Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Rajnath Singh. The United States, which antagonised Beijing this week by approving the potential sale of three weapons systems to Taiwan, has also been pushing for stronger security ties with India to help balance China's growing regional influence.
China's paramount leader, Xi Jinping, sees himself as a savior, anointed to steer the Communist Party and China away from corruption and foreign influence, into a 'new era' of prosperity, power and political devotion. Whether his vision matches reality is another question.
Banksy’s playful take on a famous Impressionist painting has sold at auction for 7.6 million pounds ($9.8 million), the second-highest price ever paid for a work by the British street artist. “Show Me the Monet” sold to an unidentified bidder at Sotheby’s in London on Wednesday evening, surpassing its upper pre-sale estimate of 5 million pounds. In the 2005 work, Banksy added abandoned shopping carts and an orange traffic cone to Claude Monet’s image of water lilies in his garden at Giverny.
A secretive 2018 agreement between Beijing and the Vatican was renewed Thursday, despite strident US condemnation and warnings from underground Chinese priests loyal to Rome that they have only become more marginalised since it was signed.
Thailand's premier on Thursday revoked an emergency decree that had been intended to quell pro-democracy rallies despite it failing to stamp out daily protests demanding he resign and for reforms of the unassailable monarchy.
Rage is what many Filipinos are feeling whenever the controversial multi-million Manila Bay rehabilitation is brought up, but for a small bakeshop in Cavite province, the topic became the source of inspiration for a confection that has just become netizens’ favorite. Read: Dead fish floating in Manila Bay raises questions on dolomite safety (VIDEO) The ... This article, Just Desserts: Cavite bakeshop’s Manila Bay cake takes jab at dolomite scandal, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.
Taiwan says it has no intention of starting an arms race with the Chinese mainland but will further consolidate its defence ties with the US, following Washington approval for the sale of long-range cruise missiles to the self-ruled island.The latest batch of proposed arms sales – the eighth to be approved during Donald Trump’s presidency – was welcomed by Taipei on Thursday in the face of growing military intimidation from Beijing. The US$1.8 billion package includes 135 AGM-84H cruise missiles and 11 truck-based rocket launchers with a striking range of more than 270km.Taiwanese defence minister Yen De-fa said the approval indicated the US had “taken note of security in the Indo-Pacific region and security in the Taiwan Strait”.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.“We have no intention to have any arms race with the Chinese Communist forces and our arms purchases are made in line with our combat operation needs and the latest situation, as well as strategic consideration,” Yen said. He added that the sale still needed approval from the Taiwanese legislature.Yen said the island would do all it could to consolidate its partnership with the US in upholding peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and the region. How Beijing’s ‘red lines’ over Taiwan could lead to war with USTaiwan’s presidential office also welcomed the weapons sales, saying it was in line with the security commitment stipulated by the US Taiwan Relations Act and Washington’s “Six Assurances” – the semi-formal guidelines which underpin US policy towards the island.“The deal can help strengthen our defence capability, modernise our combat readiness and promote our asymmetric warfare, which will increase our capability and confidence in safeguarding peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” said presidential spokesman Xavier Chang.The AGM-84H stand-off Land Attack Missile Expanded Response (SLAM-ER) missiles and related equipment from Boeing are estimated to be worth more than US$1 billion, while the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) rocket launchers made by Lockheed Martin will cost an estimated $436.1 million. The deal also covers six MS-110 Recce external sensor pods made by Collins Aerospace for planes, at an estimated cost of US$367.2 million.More from South China Morning Post: * China’s military moves targeting Taiwan are more about intimidation than invasion, analysts say * US urged to strengthen military and economic ties with Taiwan by a prominent think tank * Taiwan’s defence chief rejects Hong Kong’s explanation for turning back government flight to Pratas IslandsThis article Taiwan welcomes latest US arms deal, says no intention of weapons race with Beijing first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2020.
A number of world leaders have a personal stake in the outcome, with their fortunes depending heavily on the success – or failure – of President Donald Trump. Perhaps none has so much riding on a Trump victory as Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli leader, who had a rocky relationship with President Barack Obama, has praised Trump as “the greatest friend” Israel ever had in the White House.
President Donald Trump's national security adviser accused China on Wednesday of trying to steal COVID-19 vaccine research from the West, casting it as a malign rival that was seeking to monopolise every important industry of the 21st Century. Trump identifies China as the United States’ main competitor, and has accused the Chinese Communist Party of taking advantage over trade and not telling the truth over the novel coronavirus outbreak, which he calls the “China plague”. In a 20-minute broadside against China, Robert O’Brien told top British and U.S. military and intelligence officials that China was a predatory power that repressed its people and had sought to coerce both neighbours and Western powers.
Japanese researchers showed that masks can offer protection from airborne coronavirus particles, but even professional-grade coverings can't eliminate contagion risk entirely. Scientists at the University of Tokyo built a secure chamber with mannequin heads facing each other. The other mimicked natural breathing, with a collection chamber for viruses coming through the airway.