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Dinosaur Protein Is Primordial

first_imgScientists from 10 universities and institutions have verified that the collagen protein in dinosaur bone is primordial – i.e., from the dinosaur, not from later contamination.  By first studying the molecular packing of collagen in living animals, and using X-ray diffraction modeling, they matched the surviving collagen molecules to those that would most likely survive degradation.  They feel this establishes the authenticity of the protein fragments against claims of contamination and simultaneously offers a mechanism for its resistance to degradation.  The claim of original dinosaur protein was met with skepticism, an article on PhysOrg began: “Although the team had previously presented multiple lines of evidence supporting the veracity of the find, the fact that the age of the peptides far exceeds any previous predictions of how long a protein could resist degradation has generated controversy.” The team set out to test for contamination but also to try to understand how any protein could last for 65 million years or more.  Like every protein, collagen is made up of amino acid sequences (polypeptides).  For collagen, these arrange into a triple-helix structure like a rope, that is further wrapped in higher-level fibrils that give it its high tensile strength.  About 20% of the human body is collagen; it “literally holds the body together,” the article said.  The innermost amino acids in the bundle are the most protected from attack by degrading agents.  Among those, the hydrophobic would be the least likely to degrade in water or other solutions.  In addition, these sequences appeared to be located in stable regions away from the damaging effects of breakdown enzymes.  These are the peptide sequences the team found in the dinosaur samples. “Sequencing and mapping of 11 dinosaur peptides that represented 8 sequences revealed that the dinosaur sequences were from regions of the protein that were partly protected by molecular packing,” the article said, adding, “This localization could be responsible for protecting the peptides over the millenia [sic].”  Of course the problem evolutionists face is not mere millennia but tens of millions of years.  As for how any protein, protected or not, could survive such extensive epochs of time, the team said: “These features provide hard biochemical evidence for why these particular peptides endured for such a long time.”  Actually, though, they only established that the particular peptides were the most likely to be protected.  They did not provide hard evidence that would be protected for tens of millions of years; they only assumed the millions of years, and reasoned that the proteins must have survived that long. The team knows the controversy will continue: “Does this work satisfy the skeptics? Not yet, but having a new mechanism for how ancient proteins might be preserved is a dinosaur-sized step in the right direction.”  The work was published last month in PLoS One,1 but was reported by PhysOrg July 26. 1. San Antonio, Schweitzer et al., Dinosaur Peptides Suggest Mechanisms of Protein Survival,” Public Library of Science One 6(6): e20381 (June 8, 2011). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0020381. The “skeptics” fall into two camps: those who don’t believe the collagen is primordial, and those who don’t believe it is millions of years old.  Every piece of evidence is helpful to nail the case that this is original dinosaur protein, but that is not the crux of the controversy.  The age is.  Evolutionists need to prove that collagen and other soft tissues are able to survive for 65 million years or more, or else they have to cede the science to young-earth creationists who are telling them dinosaurs lived in more recent times and that millions of years is a myth.  The researchers in this article only offered the meagerest suggestions that “might” explain the survivability of the protein.  Worse, they only looked at the collagen, ignoring the blood vessels, blood cells, tendons and medullary bone reported by Schweitzer and others (search on Schweitzer on this site for reports). One cannot carry out a time experiment, naturally, but It shouldn’t be that hard for old-earth evolutionists to make their case.  If their dating is right, look for collagen in various fossils said to be 5 million, 10 million, 30 million years old and compare their amounts of degradation with those of the dinosaurs.  Correcting for other factors such as burial conditions, do they fall on a line?  If, after a certain period on their fossil timeline, all collagen is equally preserved, it would indicate the degradation clock started at the same time for all the fossils – supporting the creationist view (unless evolutionists can argue that collagen degrades to a certain point then stops degrading).  Additionally, taphonomic experiments reproducing burial conditions can be conducted on recently-dead animals for periods of 1, 2, 5, and 10 years, to measure degradation rates under ideal conditions.  Rather than starting experiments anew and having to wait a decade for answers, they could piggyback on the research of others who have such fossilization experiments in progress.  Disgustingly, the research team is not shocked and humbled by the soft-tissue evidence, but is using it to support evolution!  If collagen can survive for 65 million years or more, they speculate, think of the possibilities of comparing ancient collagen with that of living animals to see how it has evolved over millions of years: “Paleoproteomics therefore not only holds significant promise for elucidating evolutionary relationships between extinct and extant organisms, but is potentially useful for enhancing our understanding of protein function in living animals,” the paper said.  Good grief.  Evolutionists are incorrigible spin doctors, incapable of being refuted or embarrassed.  Over and over in the paper you can see them assuming “geologic time” instead of testing it. The discovery of dinosaur soft tissue in its original form is such a dynamite discovery, with such important implications, it would be worth it to rule out all other interpretations, and to establish the limits of soft tissue survivability.  So far the creationist view is looking pretty good.(Visited 50 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

December 19, 2019 0

2010 info centre opens in Nelspruit

first_img1 December 2009The final 2010 visitor information centre, which will ensure that tourists arriving in South Africa for the 2010 Fifa World Cup™ get the best advice and information, has been opened in Mpumalanga province.Opening the centre in Nelspruit this week, Deputy Tourism Minister Tokozile Xasa said the centre concluded the department’s national project to launch such centres in five 2010 host cities located in provinces less visited by tourists.Nelspruit’s Mbombela Stadium will host five first-round matches during next year’s World Cup.One-stop information hubXasa urged tourism operators operators to take advantage of the rare opportunity to market their products at a “one-stop information hub”.The 412 square-metre Nelspruit visitor information centre was built at a cost of R7-million and features a lobby area, information counter and display area, booking area, and area for tour operators and administration offices.The centre also features a boardroom, a multi-purpose space, a training facility, internet stations with server room, a visitors’ lounge and ablution facilities.Information and reservation systemThe five visitor information centres, which together cost R34.3-million, feature a locally developed information and reservation system tailored to cater for the South African market.The other centres are in Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth, Polokwane and Rustenburg.All the visitor information centres are intended to provide a one-stop information service to tourists on a wide range of aspects including information enquiries, reservations, accommodation, tours, vehicle hire, entertainment, dining, sports, adventure, shopping and travel tips.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

December 18, 2019 0

Point-of-Use Electric Tankless Water Heaters

first_imgA couple of years ago, I was standing at my kitchen sink, idly waiting the minute or so for hot water, noticing my poor parched backyard. Central Texas was (and still is) in the death grip of a prolonged, severe drought. Our lakes are in really bad shape, and we are under very tight water restrictions.Then suddenly, I had a mini epiphany: I’m wasting a lot of valuable water while I wait for hot water.I’m certainly not the first to have this realization, but it just killed me to be wasting all that water. I did a little mental math: 2.5 gallons probably 10 times a day = 25 gallons a day, which = 750 gallons a month. At $4/1000 gallons, that’s a minuscule financial hit — but hey, that’s just about a yard watering. It got me to thinking. First, the rumor about whole-house electric tankless being expensive was true. Besides the roughly $2,000 for the unit, we had to do a pretty massive upgrade to the electrical system. I don’t remember how much the work cost, but it was a lot.Second, the rumor about them not working very well was also true. But, we plowed on. I may have been driven, to some degree, by the fact I was going to inherit the water heater closet for my cramped shop. Not a small thing, indeed.We went through several models, and performance was always less than stellar. My family grew weary of my standard response to their complaints: “Hey, there are people in the world that don’t have any hot water.” This did not play well with teenagers (or wives). At the time of the incident above, we were actually using a propane-powered tankless system, fed from propane cylinders. True story. That heater provided much better performance, but it was definitely a bummer when the propane tank ran out during a shower! My family was always mad at me, but by now, it was way too late to give my tricked-out closet back to some water heater. A light bulb goes offWe happen to own a little cottage near the lake that we rent out. It had a small 40-gallon water heater that always smelled like rotten eggs. A while back, when the water heater croaked, I did some research, and replaced it with a small (10”x8”x3”) electric tankless unit from Niagara called a Titan N-120. It’s made in America, got pretty good reviews, and was a piece of cake to install. The renter loves the extra space in the tiny kitchen, loves the instant hot water, and is happy to have the rotten eggs smell gone. I am an inventor of sorts — at least that’s how I’ve made my living for the last 20 years. My most famous product was the original plastic folding sawhorse called StoreHorse. That was a long time ago, and they are now mostly cheap knockoffs. I don’t mean to cast myself as some prolific genius type, but my point is that, almost by definition, as an inventor, I’ve always had a certain lack of respect for conventional wisdom. You won’t get far in this business doing things the way they’ve always been done.So now, back to me standing at my kitchen window watching the grass die while perfectly good water goes down the drain. It seems like I decided then and there to go on a campaign to place a POUET — a point-of-use electric tankless water heater — at every location where we need hot water.The driver was not to save money on my water bill, nor was it to save money on my electric bill; it was to save water. Yes, I am well aware that my 750 gallons a month is the proverbial drop in the bucket (pun intended), but I just thought it would be a good thing, and that’s just the way I am. We’ve tried a lot of optionsI’ve been tankless for years. My house of 32 years does not have access to natural gas. Consequently, we originally had an electric tank-style water heater. Back then, I didn’t know much about anything, but I knew that this was the worst way to make hot water. So, I did a little research, and bought a whole-house electric tankless water heater. All in all, it was not a great experience. RELATED ARTICLES Domestic Hot Water: No Perfect SolutionAll About Water HeatersGBA Encyclopedia: Water HeatingGet Rid of Your Gas Water Heater!Are Tankless Water Heaters a Waste of Money?Storage vs. Tankless Water HeatersWaiting for Hot Water Small, medium, and largeLuckily, I am an extreme do-it-yourselfer. I did my own wiring and plumbing. It turns out that the work was really pretty easy.I bought an assortment of seven POUETs; some from Craigslist, some from Amazon, and some from eBay. The size of the units ran the gamut.At the small end of the gamut was a simple 110-volt, 2.4-kW, 20-amp Eemax unit that I installed in the downstairs half bath. With very little ability to raise the temperature, but with the included extreme flow restricting aerator, washing hands is all it needs to be: just OK.In the middle of the gamut was a new Niagra Titan N120 that I bought off of eBay for about $220. At 220 volts, and drawing 54 amps, it took running a new 6/2 cable in a conduit outside the house. I installed the unit over the showerhead in the tub in the kids’ bathroom, and I hooked it up to the sink as well. The kids say it’s the best hot water they can remember ever having in this house. I painted the unit, because frankly it was pretty ugly. Maybe it’s still a bit ugly, but I’ve always been a “form follows function” kind of a guy.At the furthest extreme in the gamut were two Titan units that I installed in series, again over the showerhead in the tub, in the master bathroom. The reason I installed two is that my wife likes to take scalding (and I really mean scalding) baths, while I take showers. Each of the Titans has four settings or buttons. When she takes a bath, she turns on all eight clicks. When I take a shower in the winter, I turn one unit completely off, and the other on about two or three clicks. In the summer, I only use one click, and I wish there was a way to use half of that. An end to wasted water and wasted energyNow, I am an evangelical POUET convert.Currently, my son and I are remodeling his new older house, and we are using POUET water heaters for the house. One of my buddies, who has been in the biz for years, says I’m @#$%&ing crazy. “Have you ever stood outside and watched the meter spin when that thing is on?” he says. Well, I say that’s conventional wisdom talking. I say that it takes the same amount of energy whether you do it fast or slow. Physics is physics.What’s more, a non-tankless (see, that’s convert talk) system suffers from all the familiar stuff like stand-by losses, cold pipes carrying hot water, hot water being left stranded, etc. But, it’s not just about savings; there is so much more to it, like:Having hot water before you can even fill a glass is a wonderful amenity. It’s like a garage door opener: once you have one, you can’t go back. How many times have you turned on the hot water to wash your hands, and then given up on the wait and just washed them with cold water? Talk about waste — all that hot water summoned, then abandoned. One of the harder habits to break is the routine we all do: turn on the shower, then go do something else while you wait for the hot water. With a POUET heater, the water is hot before I can get around the curtain.Having the ability to adjust the water temperature on the spot is another great feature. On my son’s house, I am working to make all the units as accessible as possible. While he’s a convert, he still is not quite on board with putting the units out in plain sight. But, with what I know now, it seems near criminal to use the energy to heat the water up, then dilute it with cold water. A perfect system allows you to have the hot water you want without using the cold water valve.If a heater goes out (which should seldom happen) you are not left dead in the water (another intended pun). And, replacement is relatively easy.There is, of course, the well-known advantage of endless hot water.If you are installing a POUET heater in a new build, or an extensive remodel, you only have to run a single water line.The units can go just about anywhere: no flues, no fumes, no vents. Some jurisdictions may try to apply “tanked” codes to tankless heaters, but that’s all part of the learning process.They are darn near 100% efficient. This does not address the debate about the inefficiencies of plant-generated electricity, but the fact is that virtually all of the power goes to raising the water temperature. For utilities, there are time-of-use issuesNow, there is one downside that I cannot address: “peak demand.” Power companies will probably not, um, … embrace this idea. They will see all those homes, all spiking the system with their morning showers, all at the same time. I don’t know, I’m not smart enough to know how bad that will be. But, I say, maybe it should be weighed against all those homes not wasting 10,000 gallons a year. Here and now, with the acute shortage of water, it might be a worthy tradeoff.On a recent AIA home tour, I queried several of the designers and builders of touted “green” homes about POUET water heaters. They all wanted to discuss their state-of-the-art recirculation systems. To me, POUET is easier, cheaper, and more efficient.After all these years of lamenting the lack of gas in my home to heat water, I would now choose POUET over some gas-fired system.Someday, I think that POUET will be “conventional wisdom.” In the meantime, my yard is still parched. Rick DuRapau is a regular guy who tends to see things a little differently. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his exceedingly patient wife of 37 years.last_img read more

December 16, 2019 0

How to Stop Drifting

first_imgThe person who discovered the 10,000-hour rule, the one you likely learned from Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, is K. Anders Ericsson, a psychologist and professor at Florida State. When asked about the ability to become an expert in 10,000 hours, Ericsson said, “I have been walking for 48 years, but I don’t believe I am getting any better at it,” making the point that it is deliberate practice, practice focused on improvement which is necessary for expertise.It’s the “deliberate” part that concerns us here, something that Napoleon Hill described as “a definite aim.”Groundhog DayIt is possible that you are having the same year over again. You could be repeating the same patterns, built on the same actions, and guided by the same beliefs. Without changing the patterns, you eliminate the possibility of changing your results.I am writing this to you a few days before the end of the Q1 of 2019, at the end of three rounds of a twelve round fight. For many, this year so much resembles last year that it would be impossible to tell them apart. They have the best of intentions, but those intentions are not enough to keep them from the drift.The DriftLet me help you image The Drift. Picture a large piece of wood being carried down a river by the current (or a paper boat). This piece of driftwood is a passenger, lacking the volition to swim against the current or remove itself from the stream altogether. Whatever happens to the driftwood is outside of its control or influence.Many people drift. They allow circumstances to push them this way and that, carrying them in a direction they don’t want to travel, and toward unpleasant outcomes instead of toward that which they profess to want.Here’s how to stop drifting.Identity: If who you are now was enough, you wouldn’t need to change. Those who stop drifting, leading a life of their own design and producing the results they want, spend time and money, investing in becoming the person who can accomplish these things. They are driven to become the best version of themselves. Who are you becoming?Goals: You can never hit a target you can’t see. Without goals, you are releasing yourself to the current. You have to know what you want and why you want it, and you need to focus on your goals, reviewing and committing to them each day. What do you want?Modifications: Stopping the drift requires you to change what you are doing, how you are doing it, how much you do, and when you do it, or some combination thereof. If you are not where you want to be or headed swiftly in that direction, you need to modify what you are doing. Maybe you need a 180-degree turn, meaning you have everything all wrong, but perhaps you only need a 35-degree turn to start moving toward what you want and away from the drift. What needs to change?Disciplines: The way you beat the drift is with disciplines, the routines you run over and over, the things you do habitually, without delay, and without fail. Your current disciplines (or lack thereof), for good or for ill, is what led you to where you are now. New disciplines, the modifications above, are what is necessary to pull you out of the drift and power you toward your goals. What are you willing to commit to doing?As far as I have been able to discern, first you have to be more, then you can do more, then you can have more, and then you can contribute more, always in that order. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

December 9, 2019 0

David Allen on the GTD Summit – Episode #129

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now Podcast: Play in new window | Download (63.3MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSSlast_img read more

December 9, 2019 0

Buffon is not after the Champions League anymore

first_imgItalian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, told the press that his dream of someday winning the Champions League is long gone from his targets.In the life of Gianluigi Buffon throughout over 24 years of career, winning the Champions League almost became an obsession but he never really could fulfill that life goal after so many years.Watching the goalkeeper crying after losing a final became something very common during his time at Juventus, his side was simply not fortunate enough to get that recognition and he eventually decided to stop losing sleep over it.Now that he has made the switch to PSG, the Italian goalie is mostly thinking about the best way to retire and he considered several options as he revealed this Tuesday.PSG just won a Coupe de la Ligue match vs Orleans 2-1, Buffon got in for Areola during the second half and played a fairly good match in the time he had to prove that he is still in great shape.After the game, the press wanted to ask him some questions about retirement and what he is expecting in the Champions League this season for PSG.Manager Thomas Tuchel has made the decision to split the time for both goalkeepers, something that has filled the Italian with hopes for him this season.It was going to take a special offer to keep Gianluigi Buffon in football.He got it ✍️ pic.twitter.com/N4znJu9lPu— B/R Football (@brfootball) December 18, 2018“I had decided to retire. In my mind, I thought the only option was if Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid or Barcelona had come calling,” he told RMC as quoted by Football Italia.“They were the clubs I considered crazy, a dream that wasn’t really worth thinking about seriously. So I was already organizing my post-football life.”“Yet this call arrived in May. I took two weeks to think about it, because if I make a promise and give my word, I want to do it well. I don’t like to embarrass myself.”“After a little introspection and analysis, I thought to myself, I can do another year or two and I can do it well.”“I think PSG will be my last club, because this was a gift to me from life, a reward for behaving professionally. I want to stop playing at a top level club. I never considered going to another country, as I started at a top level and want to end at a top level, that is for sure.”Neymar responds to PSG criticism with a stunning winner Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Despite all the backlash he got today at Parc des Princes, Neymar responded by scoring a stunning winner vs Strasbourg.We all knew that Neymar’s…“As soon as I met the directors, they said our objective is not to win the Champions League, because over seven years we’ve realized this is really difficult. You can’t set that as a target, but we have the ambition to improve, that is true.”“Paris Saint-Germain reached the quarter-finals, so the objective is to take a couple more steps forward and keep going that way.”“I have been trying for 24 years to win the Champions League and never won it! So I know how hard it is to have just that objective, and above all how wrong it can be to have just that as an objective,” he concluded.Tiene 40 años y sigue compitiendo en la UEFA Champions League. Qué clase de leyenda. ETERNO BUFFON. pic.twitter.com/0RbMsxezIe— Invictos (@InvictosSomos) December 13, 2018At the very start of the season for PSG, things were quite difficult as they started with a defeat at Anfield Road.However, the squad managed to get back on their feet thanks to amazing performances by several of their star players and Buffon’s experiences have also been an essential part of it.The main reason that the French giants decided to convince Buffon to sign for PSG, is because of how much he can bring to the table in terms of wisdom of all the competitions he has been a part of during his time at Juventus.‘Gigi’ didn’t really take too much time to think about the offer, but he doesn’t even like obsessing about the trophy.Sometimes when you stop craving something, it may finally come to you in a more organic manner.Maybe this is the season for Gianluigi Buffon, he has a top squad to achieve great things.46′ PSG made a halftime substitution, with @gianluigibuffon replacing @AreolaOfficiel in goal #AllezParis 🔴🔵#USOPSG pic.twitter.com/yma2KFzRpJ— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) December 18, 2018Do you think ‘Gigi’ Buffon has a big chance to win the Champions League this season? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.last_img read more

September 17, 2019 0

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT Wilmingtons Bischoff Clark Named To Deans List At ColbySawyer College

first_imgNEW LONDON, NH — Colby-Sawyer College recognizes 236 students for outstanding academic achievement during the 2018 spring semester, including the following Wilmington residents:Kathryn Bischoff, a member of the class of 2020 majoring in biologyBridget Clark, a member of the class of 2019 majoring in athletic trainingTo qualify for the Dean’s List, students must achieve a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale while carrying a minimum of 12 credit hours in graded courses.About Colby-Sawyer CollegeColby-Sawyer College is a comprehensive college that integrates the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation. The college’s faculty, staff and students strive for excellence in an engaged teaching and learning community that fosters students’ academic, intellectual, and personal growth. With a strong emphasis on learning outcomes, including breadth and depth of knowledge, self-growth, creative and critical thinking, and effective communication, Colby-Sawyer prepares students to thrive post-graduation and make a positive impact upon a dynamic, diverse and interdependent world.Founded in 1837, Colby-Sawyer is located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire. Learn more about the college’s vibrant teaching and learning community at www.colby-sawyer.edu.(NOTE: The above announcement is from Colby-Sawyer College via Merit.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSTUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Wilmington’s Bischoff & Clark Named To Dean’s List At Colby-Sawyer CollegeIn “Education”STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Wilmington’s Bischoff & Clark Named To Dean’s List At Colby-Sawyer CollegeIn “Education”STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Wilmington’s Bischoff & Clark Named To Dean’s List At Colby-Sawyer CollegeIn “Education”last_img read more

September 11, 2019 0

BSE closes points 13730 down on July 9

first_imgBSE closes points 137.30 down on July 916K views00:00 / 00:00- 00:00:0000:00BSE closes points 137.30 down on July 916K viewsBusinessNew Delhi, July 09 (ANI): Trading at the Bombay Stock Exchange today closed 137.30 points down to stand at 25,444.81. At the National Stock Exchange the Nifty closed 38.20 points down to stand at 7,585.00. Indian Oil Corporation and Adani Ports were among the top gainers of Group A with an increase of 3.35% and 2.67% along with HPCL and TITAN with an increase of 2.38% and 2.18% respectively, while the top losers of Group A include Bharat Electronics Ltd. and Apollo Tyres with a decrease of 7.81% and 7.67% along with Aurobindo Pharma and Ashok Leyland with a decrease of 6.93% and 6.11% at the close of the markets. The Auto sector is down 385.13 points at 15,452.99 while the banking sector is down 86.16 points at 17,108.97 and the realty sector is down 31.04 points at 1,914.69. The Indian currency is 0.08% down at Rs 59.73 per dollar.Ventuno Web Player 4.50New Delhi, July 09 (ANI): Trading at the Bombay Stock Exchange today closed 137.30 points down to stand at 25,444.81. At the National Stock Exchange the Nifty closed 38.20 points down to stand at 7,585.00. Indian Oil Corporation and Adani Ports were among the top gainers of Group A with an increase of 3.35% and 2.67% along with HPCL and TITAN with an increase of 2.38% and 2.18% respectively, while the top losers of Group A include Bharat Electronics Ltd. and Apollo Tyres with a decrease of 7.81% and 7.67% along with Aurobindo Pharma and Ashok Leyland with a decrease of 6.93% and 6.11% at the close of the markets. The Auto sector is down 385.13 points at 15,452.99 while the banking sector is down 86.16 points at 17,108.97 and the realty sector is down 31.04 points at 1,914.69. The Indian currency is 0.08% down at Rs 59.73 per dollar.last_img read more

September 5, 2019 0

Kidnapped USCanadian family freed after 5 years in Pakistan

first_imgFive years after they were seized by a terrorist network in the mountains of Afghanistan, an American woman, her Canadian husband and their children – all three born in captivity – are free after a dramatic rescue orchestrated by the US and Pakistani governments, officials said Thursday.The U.S. said Pakistan accomplished the release of Caitlan Coleman of Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, and her husband, Canadian Joshua Boyle, who were abducted and held by the Haqqani network, which has ties to the Taliban. The operation, which came after years of U.S. pressure on Pakistan for assistance, unfolded quickly and ended with what some described a dangerous raid, a shootout and a captor’s final, terrifying threat to “kill the hostage.” Boyle suffered only a shrapnel wound, his family said. U.S. officials did not confirm the details. “Today they are free,” President Donald Trump said in a statement, crediting the U.S.-Pakistani partnership for securing the release. Trump later praised Pakistan for its willingness to “do more to provide security in the region” and said the release suggests other “countries are starting to respect the United States of America once again.” The couple were kidnapped in October of 2012 while on a backpacking trip that took them to Russia, the countries of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and then to Afghanistan. Coleman was several months pregnant at the time, “naive,” but also “adventuresome” with a humanitarian bent, her father James told The Associated Press in 2012. The Pakistani military said early Thursday the family was “being repatriated to the country of their origin.” But as of Thursday evening, it was not known when they would return to North America. They were together in a safe, undisclosed location in Pakistan, according to a U.S. national security official, who wasn’t authorized to discuss the case publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. The Pakistani military said the family had been freed in “an intelligence-based operation by Pakistan troops” after they’d crossed the border from Afghanistan. Boyle and the High Commissioner for Pakistan to Canada described a scene in which gunshots rang out as Boyle, his wife and their children were intercepted by Pakistani forces while being transported in the trunk of their captors’ car. Boyle told his parents there was a shootout in which some of his captors were killed and said the last words he’d heard from the kidnappers were, “kill the hostage,” his father, Patrick told reporters after speaking with his son. The younger Boyle also told his father he’d been hit by shrapnel in the leg. Three intelligence officials said the confrontation happened near a road crossing in the Nawa Kili area of the district of Kohat in northwest Pakistan. The high commissioner, Tariq Azim Khan, said, “We know there was a shootout and Pakistan commandos carried out an attack and rescued the hostages.” A U.S. military official said a military hostage team had flown to Pakistan Wednesday, prepared to fly the family out. The team did a preliminary health assessment and had a transport plane ready to go. But sometime after daybreak there, as the family members were walking to the plane, Boyle said he did not want to board. Boyle’s father said his son did not want to board the plane because it was headed to Bagram Air Base, a site associated with accusations of prisoner abuse, and Boyle was philosophically opposed to going to there. Another U.S. official said Boyle was nervous about being in “custody” given his family ties. He was once married to Zaynab Khadr, the older sister of former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr and the daughter of a senior al-Qaida financier. Her father, the late Ahmed Said Khadr, and the family stayed with Osama bin Laden briefly when Omar Khadr was a boy. The Canadian-born Omar Khadr was 15 when he was captured by U.S. troops following a firefight and was taken to the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay. Officials had discounted any link between that background and Boyle’s capture, with one official describing it in 2014 as a “horrible coincidence.” The U.S. Justice Department said neither Boyle nor Coleman are not wanted for any federal crime. The couple told U.S. officials and their families they wanted to fly commercially to Canada. Boyle’s father called the rescue a “miracle.” Coleman’s parents, Jim and Lyn Coleman, meanwhile, posted a statement on the door of their Pennsylvania home expressing joy. Lyn Coleman said “I am in a state of euphoria, stunned and overjoyed,” in an interview with ABC News. The developments came rapidly Wednesday afternoon – nearly five years to the day after Coleman and Boyle lost touch with their families while traveling in a mountainous region near the Afghan capital of Kabul. Coleman’s parents last had a conversation with their son-in-law on Oct. 8, 2012, via an email sent from an internet cafe he’d described as being in an “unsafe” part of Afghanistan. From then on, there were only desperate, hostage videos released by their captors and hand-scrawled letters mailed home. “I pray to hear from you again, to hear how everybody is doing,” read one letter the parents shared with the online Circa News service in July 2016, in which Coleman revealed she’d given birth to a second child in captivity. It’s unclear whether they knew she’d had a third. Boyle’s parents say their son told them in a letter that he and his wife pretended to the children that their signs of captivity were part of a game being played with guards. U.S. officials call the Haqqani group a terrorist organization and have targeted its leaders with drone strikes. But the group also operates like a criminal network. Unlike the Islamic State group, it does not typically execute Western hostages, preferring to ransom them for cash. The Haqqani network had previously demanded the release of Anas Haqqani, a son of the founder of the group, in exchange for turning over the American-Canadian family. In one of the videos released by their captors, Boyle implored the Afghan government not to execute Taliban prisoners or he and his wife would be killed The U.S. has long criticized Pakistan for failing to aggressively go after the Haqqanis. In recent remarks on his Afghanistan policy, Trump noted billions paid to Pakistan “at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting. But that will have to change, and that will change immediately.” Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said her country was “greatly relieved” the family was safe, and she thanked the U.S., Afghan and Pakistani governments for their efforts. U.S. officials have said that several other Americans are being held by militant groups in Afghanistan or Pakistan. They include Kevin King, 60, a teacher at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul who was abducted in August 2016, and Paul Overby, an author in his 70s who had traveled to the region several times but disappeared in eastern Afghanistan in mid-2014. END/AP/UNB/AAlast_img read more

September 3, 2019 0