BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A former leader of the Montana House of Representatives who once supported funding for an anti-drug campaign was sentenced to 18 years in prison Thursday for his central role in a methamphetamine trafficking ring.
Let this be a warning to Republicans and Democrats as they ramp up their messaging wars as to who will take the blame for a potential government shutdown Friday at midnight: Things don’t always turn out as predicted. Who would have known that visitors to the National Gallery of Art in Washington would raise such a ruckus? Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R) of Georgia thought Republicans had the upper hand in this battle.
Sure, we’re all capable of creativity, but some people are arguably more creative than others. New research may have found a biological reason for why that is, suggesting that highly creative individuals have stronger connections between three key sections of their brain. The study, published online this week in the online journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, used a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine (fMRI) to observe the brains of volunteers as they completed creative tasks.
China's air quality improved across the country in 2017, the environmental protection ministry said Thursday, after the problem was so dire in previous years that some periods were dubbed an "airpocalypse". The average level of PM2.5 particles -- which penetrate deep into the lungs -- in 338 cities stood at 43 micrograms per cubic metre last year, falling 6.5 percent year-on-year, according to a ministry statement. The World Health Organization recommends a maximum average exposure of 25 micrograms per cubic metre in a 24-hour period.
Divers in Mexico have discovered the largest known underwater, flooded cave in the world. The discovery could reveal more about the pre-Hispanic, ancient community that existed in the region. The Yucatan peninsula, where the cave is located, still holds treasures from the ancient Mayan community.
The search for the world's most extreme measurements - biggest, highest, tallest - tends to focus above ground, gazing at towering mountains and epic canyons. But the latest global peak statistic has come from under the soil, in the subterranean depths of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. There, in the famously porous terrain above which the Mayan civilisation once thrived, is what is now considered to be the planet's longest underwater cave system. A diver exploring Sistema Sac Actun Credit: HANDOUT This is not, technically, an uncovering of a new wonder - more a joining of dots. In recent days, divers have confirmed what had been suspected for a while - that the Sistema Sac Actun (a submerged labyrinth which stretches out for 164 miles) and the Dos Ojos system (shorter, but still impressive at 52 miles in length) are one and the same thing, connected by a previously unsurveyed channel. Sistema Sac Actun Together, this pair of vast limestone wormholes add up to 216 miles of below-the-surface space - a number which makes their combined size greater than that of the Sistema Ox Bel Ha (also in eastern Mexico; 168 miles), which was previously thought to be the yardstick for underwater networks. The cave stretches for a staggering 216 miles Credit: HANDOUT The discovery is the result of years of hard work by Gran Acuifero Maya, a project which focuses on the study and preservation of the subterranean waters of the Yucatan. The finding has been hailed as "amazing" Credit: HANDOUT The finding has been described as "amazing" by Guillermo de Anda, who is both the director of Gran Acuifero Maya and an underwater archaeologist. It is the result of years of hard work Credit: HANDOUT He says that expanded knowledge of the cave system will allow for a greater understanding of the Maya people, who thrived in the region before prior to the Spanish conquest of Central and South America in the 16th century. "It allows us to appreciate much more clearly how the rituals, the pilgrimage sites and ultimately the great pre-Hispanic settlements that we know emerged," he told Reuters. The Maya considered cenotes to be holy sites Credit: GETTY The Maya held the "cenotes" - giant sinkholes - of their region in high esteem, regarding them as holy sites and portals to communication with the gods. Religious objects and human skeletons have been found at the bottom of some of these sinkholes, including the Sacred Cenote at the historic city of Chichen Itza - leading to the theory that they were used by the Maya for human sacrifice. Tulum caves locator map One of the Yucatan Peninsula's biggest sinkholes is the Gran Cenote - which sits three miles west of the popular tourist town, Tulum. This is also part of the Sistema Sac Actun, and has been used as a gateway for divers charting its many twists and turns. The beach at Tulum Credit: Monica and Michael Sweet/M Swiet Productions This is not the first time this watery maze - whose name translates from Spanish and Yucatec Maya as "White Cave System" - has been found to have hidden contours. In 2007, it was revealed that the Sistema Nohoch Nah Chich, previously thought to be separate, was also linked to the Sistema Sac Actun. It is not, however, the longest cave system in the world. Going underground | The world's 10 longest caves While its size makes Sistema Sac Actun the longest underwater cave network, the longest on the planet is the Mammoth Cave complex - which is riddled into the hillsides of southern Kentucky, and is thought to extend for 405 miles.
Black-clad protesters in southern Athens have torn down a red sculpture shaped like an angel and broke its wings in a fresh act of violence against an artwork critics liken to Satan. It was displayed in early December in a busy area in the coastal suburb of Palaio Faliro. Protesters have included some residents, religious conservatives and supporters of far right political groups.
It used to be that when a migrant here was the victim in a car accident – a fender bender or such – the local police would still end up blaming them for the collision. “I’ve been teaching them to stand for their rights and told them to keep evidence when they interact with the authorities. For more than a decade, the Refugees and Asylum Seekers Movement in Caserta (MMRC) has been helping migrants stand up to exploitative employers and appeal effectively for documents that allow them to find legal jobs and houses.
Sobering statistics tell the story of how alcohol and driving combine in a tragic mix. Alcohol-impaired drivers in the United States cause more than 10,000 road deaths each year – about a third of all traffic deaths. Nearly 40 percent of the victims are people other than the drunken drivers themselves.
Scientists finally have an answer to what suddenly killed hundreds of thousands of antelope in 2015: a normally harmless bacteria made deadly by climate change. Three years ago, entire herds of saiga antelope dropped dead for no apparent reason. By studying the dead, researchers identified the killer: a bacteria called Pasteurella multocida type B.
On February 4, an asteroid called 2002 AJ129 is due to slip past Earth. It is between 1600 and 4000 feet across, according to NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies, but there's no chance it will make impact—NASA has calculated it will remain 2.6 million miles away.
Nearly every member of the National Park Service advisory board resigned out of frustration that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has not consulted with them over any decisions about the nation’s natural treasures. The agency is considering more than doubling the price of admission for 17 popular national parks during peak season.
IQUIQUE, Chile (Reuters) - Pope Francis ordered his popemobile to stop on Thursday after a mounted Chilean policewoman was thrown off her frightened horse, which had reared up as the pontiff passed by. Francis stepped from his vehicle and waited several minutes on the pavement, at times talking to the woman, until an ambulance arrived to take her away. She was not seriously injured, officials said. (Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)
President Trump defended his plan for a wall along the U.S. southern border on Thursday after White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said some of the immigration policies Trump touted during the campaign — including the wall — had “changed.”
The spill from a sunken Iranian tanker off China's east coast has spawned four oil slicks as authorities prepared to send robots to the wreckage to assess the environmental damage. The Sanchi, which was carrying 136,000 tonnes of light crude oil from Iran, sank in a ball of flames in the East China Sea on Sunday, a week after colliding with Hong Kong-registered bulk freighter the CF Crystal. The State Oceanic Administration of China said late Wednesday that it was monitoring four slicks with a total area of almost 101 square kilometres (39 square miles), roughly the same size as Paris.
Lesson from the GOP in 2016: When a field of candidates is divided 20 different ways, the one who makes a loud, emotional or even outrageous appeal can incite enough of a disenchanted plurality to win.
Iridescent feathers glistened on the dinosaur's head, wings and tail, according to an analysis of the shape and structure of the creature's melanosomes, the parts of cells that contain pigment. "The preservation of this dinosaur is incredible — we were really excited when we realized the level of detail we were able to see on the feathers," study co-researcher Chad Eliason, a postdoctoral researcher at the Field Museum in Chicago, said in a statement. A farmer in northeastern China's Hebei Province discovered the fossil, and the Paleontological Museum of Liaoning in China acquired the find in 2014.
Earth's surface will almost certainly not warm up four or five degrees Celsius by 2100, according to a study released Wednesday which, if correct, voids worst-case UN climate change predictions. A revised calculation of how greenhouse gases drive up the planet's temperature reduces the range of possible end-of-century outcomes by more than half, researchers said in the report, published in the journal Nature. How effectively the world slashes CO2 and methane emissions, improves energy efficiency, and develops technologies to remove CO2 from the air will determine whether climate change remains manageable or unleashes a maelstrom of human misery.
Donald Trump listens to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt after announcing his decision that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 1, 2017. The debate is how do we know what the ideal surface temperature is in 2100? Shifting the ‘debate’ toward ‘the ideal surface temperature’ achieves that goal by creating the perception that we don’t know what temperature we should aim for.