Home' Greymouth Star : April 9th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Thursday, April 9, 2015
Scientists restore good name of Brontosaurus
restoring the good name of
Brontosaurus more than a
century after it was deemed
scientifically invalid and
the famous dinosaur was
reclassified as another genus
In Washington this week they unveiled an
exhaustive analysis of Brontosaurus remains,
first unearthed in the 1870s, and those of
closely related dinosaurs, determining that
the immense, long-necked plant-eater was
not an Apatosaurus and deser ved its old
Palaeontologist Emanuel Tschopp of
Portugal’s Universidade Nova de Lisboa
cited important anatomical differences
including Apatosaurus possessing a wider
neck than Brontosaurus and being even
more massively built.
“The differences between Apatosaurus
and Brontosaurus are numerous enough to
revive Brontosaurus as a separate genus from
Apatosaurus,” Tschopp said.
Brontosaurus, which lived in North
America around 150 million years ago in
the Jurassic Period, was about 22m long and
weighed about 40 tonnes.
“Brontosaurus and T-rex are the two
most popular dinosaur names ever,”
said Universidade Nova de Lisboa
palaeontologist Octavio Mateus. “Even 112
years after palaeontologists considered it
invalid, the name Brontosaurus still echoes
in the popular culture. It was indeed a very
cool dinosaur name. ”
“This will be like recovering Pluto as a
planet again,” Mateus added, referring to
astronomers’ 2006 decision to downgrade
Pluto from a full-fledged planet to a dwarf
After his team excavated fossils of two
huge long-necked dinosaurs, prolific 19th
century palaeontologist Othniel Charles
Marsh named the first one Apatosaurus
(“deceptive lizard”) in 1877 and the second
one Brontosaurus (“thunder lizard”) in
In 1903, palaeontologist Elmer Riggs
declared that Brontosaurus and Apatosaurus
were too similar for each to be considered
a separate genus. Because Apatosaurus was
named first, under the rules of scientific
naming it supplanted Brontosaurus.
But the name was so popular it sur vived its
burial, with “Brontosaurus” and things like
“ Bronto Burgers” appearing in numerous
books, cartoons, movies and elsewhere.
Brontosaurus belonged to a group of
dinosaurs with long necks and tails and
pillar-like legs called sauropods that
included Earth’s largest land animals.
This study, published in the scientific
journal Peer J, focused on the anatomy
and relationships among a category of
sauropods called diplodocids, which includes
Brontosaurus, Apatosaurus, Diplodocus and
“ I remember finding out that Brontosaurus
was actually called Apatosaurus as a child,”
University of O xford palaeontologist Roger
“ It didn’t seem right, and I think a lot of
people will secretly be pleased that Bronto is
back again.” — Reuters
An artist ’s rendering of a Brontosaurus as researchers see it today, with a Diplodocus-like head.
Charleston (South Carolina)
The white police officer who
fatally shot a fleeing black man
in the American city of North
Charleston has been fired after
he was charged with murder, the
Speaking at a highly charged
press conference overnight, Mayor
Keith Summey said the city had
moved quickly to fire the officer
after Saturday ’s shooting.
“ I will also let you know that the
officer . . . was terminated. He is
no longer here,” he said, vowing
to speed the introduction of body
cameras to be worn by police to
record alleged abuses.
In Washington, White House
spokesman Josh Earnest said he
had not spoken to President Barack
Obama about the case, but that
video footage of the shooting was
“awfully hard to watch”.
“It’s an example of how body
cameras worn by police officers
could have a positive impact in
terms of building trust between
law enforcement officers and the
communities they ser ve,” he said.
The officer, 33-year-old Michael
Slager, has been charged with
murder after he was filmed
shooting father-of-four Walter
Scott, 50, repeatedly in the back
after a scuffle that began with a
traffic stop for a broken tail light.
An unidentified passer-by recorded
the chilling incident, in which Scott
is seen being shot as he tried to run
from Slager, then is handcuffed as
he lay fatally wounded.
Slager was charged with murder
yesterday, and could face a sentence
of up to life in prison or the death
Scott ’s father, also named Walter,
said the family was devastated by
his son’s death, but was grateful for
the video evidence.
“The way he was shooting that
gun, it looked like he was trying to
kill a deer or something running
through the woods. I don’t know
whether it was racial or something
wrong with his head or what,” the
father told NBC’s Today Show.
“ I thank God they had the video.
God has my back. When I saw it,
my heart was broken. I said, ‘It can’t
be.’ I saw it. I couldn’t take it any
Slager says into his radio after
the shooting that Scott had taken
his stun gun, The New York Times
said, quoting police reports.
However, the video shows wires
from the stun gun extending from
Scott ’s body, implying that the
victim rather than the police officer
had been hit as the two men scuffled.
As Scott tries to flee, Slager draws
his pistol and shoots eight times
toward his back. Scott falls after the
The officer then approaches Scott,
telling him to put his hands behind
his back, before putting him in
The killing of unarmed black teen
Michael Brown in August was a
catalyst for protests and a renewed
debate on racism and police tactics.
A jury chose not to indict a
Ferguson, Missouri, police officer
for the shooting. Since then, other
killings by police have prompted
protests in cities from coast to
The United States Justice
Department unearthed what it
called damning evidence of racism
in the Ferguson police force after
Brown’s shooting and says it will
take appropriate action in the
North Charleston case. — AFP
Police officer charged, sacked after shooting
North Charleston police officer Michael Slager, right, is seen allegedly shooting 50-year-old Walter Scott in the back as he runs away, in this still
image from video.
Dzokhar Tsarnaev was found guilty
today of the 2013 Boston Marathon
bombing that killed three people and
injured 264 others, and the jury will now
decide whether to sentence him to death.
Tsarnaev, 21, is the sur viving member
of pair of ethnic Chechen brothers who
planted the homemade pressure-cooker
bombs that tore though the crowd at the
famous race’s finish line in one of the
most shocking attacks on United States
soil since September 11, 2001.
His lawyers opened Tsarnaev ’s federal
trial in Boston a month ago by bluntly
admitting “it was him” who planted one
of the bombs on April 15, 2013 and
three days later shot dead a police officer,
kicking off a day of chaos in Boston.
After 11 hours of deliberations over
two days, the jury found him guilty of all
30 criminal counts he faced.
The slightly built, lightly goateed
defendant stood silently, shifting
uncomfortably as a US District Court
official read out each guilty finding, a
process that took 25 minutes.
With Tsarnaev’s guilt established, the
trial now moves into a second phase
where prosecutors and defence lawyers
will call another round of witnesses. The
jury will decide whether to sentence
him to death or life in prison without
possibility of parole. That phase begins
next week. — Reuters
Police are waiting to question a woman
whose car plunged into a suburban
Melbourne lake, killing three young
children and critically injuring a five-
The car went into into Lake Gladman, a
small water way surrounded by parkland
in a modern housing development in the
city’s outer west, about 3.40pm yesterday.
It sparked a frantic rescue effort as
passers-by and police tried to free the
female driver and her child passengers,
all aged under six.
Despite lengthy attempts to resuscitate
them, one child died at the lake, a second
died in an ambulance and the third died
They were two boys, aged one and four,
and a four-year-old girl.
A five-year-old girl remains in a
critical condition in the Royal Children’s
Police say the driver of the car, a
35-year-old Wyndham Vale woman, was
released from hospital overnight but is
yet to be inter viewed.
Detectives from the major crash squad
and the homicide squad are jointly
investigating the incident.
They have inter viewed witnesses but
particularly wish to speak to anyone else
who saw the Toyota Kluger four-wheel-
drive between 3.30 and 3.45pm.
remained in the lake overnight and is
expected to be towed out today, once
police have collected evidence that could
help explain how the incident unfolded.
left the road slightly behind us, we don’t
know why and we don’t know how,”
Superintendent Stuart Bateson said at
the scene last evening.
“All we do know is that we have a
very tragic set of circumstances here,
and it is going to be a very harrowing
investigation for everyone involved. ”
People left flowers and teddy bears
at the lakeside, near the police cordon,
which was floodlit overnight.
The car is about 20m offshore, only its
roof and upper portion of the windows
above the water line. All four doors are
ajar, and some windows are smashed.
Witnesses have described how nearby
residents jumped into the lake to pull
the woman and children from the car.
Sara Omar, 17, was walking in the
parklands near the lake’s edge when the
“I heard a massive ‘boom’, ” Omar said
of the moment the car hit the water.
She then saw a man run into the lake
to try to rescue the vehicle’s occupants.
“He broke the window of the back seat
of the car and he tried to take the little
kids out and he put them on the end of
the lake,” Omar said.
“I saw the ambulance taking a little kid
and I think they were resuscitating him. ”
One woman who lives opposite the
lake saw firefighters pull one child from
“They couldn’t get the car open,” she
said. “ They were banging, trying to get
the car open and trying to smash its
Emergency workers tried CPR for a
long time, she said.
“They looked very emotional, they
were exhausted.” — AAP
A federal judge rejected a bid by
two women to join a high-profile
sexual abuse lawsuit and ordered
scandalous sex allegations against
Britain’s Prince Andrew and a
prominent United States lawyer
removed from the court record.
US District Judge Kenneth Marra’s
ruling came in a case involving
wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein. The
two women, identified as Jane Does
No. 3 and No. 4, claim to be among
dozens of women Epstein sexually
abused as teenagers at locations
ranging from a Palm Beach mansion
to a private Caribbean island to a
sprawling New Mexico ranch.
The women wanted to join a lawsuit
filed by other alleged victims. The
lawsuit against the US government
seeks to reopen a non-prosecution
agreement Epstein reached with
federal prosecutors. Epstein pleaded
guilty more than six years ago to
State sex offences and ser ved a
13-month jail sentence, but could
have received a much longer prison
term if the Justice Department had
allowing the two Jane Does to join
the lawsuit, which was filed in 2008,
and Marra agreed.
“ Justice does
amendment in this instance,” the
Marra also ordered sensational
allegations against Prince Andrew
and well-known lawyer Alan
Dershowitz, a former Har vard
Law School professor, stricken
from the court record. Both denied
any wrongdoing, with Dershowitz
contending in his own court filings
that Jane Doe No 3 made up
sex abuse stories involving him.
Buckingham Palace stood by Prince
Andrew, the second son of Queen
Elizabeth II, who is also known as
the Duke of York.
Marra said the sex abuse details
had no bearing on the lawsuit ’s
goal of reopening the Epstein non-
“The factual details regarding
with whom and where the Jane
Does engaged in sexual activities
are immaterial and impertinent to
this central claim,” the judge wrote.
“These unnecessary details shall be
Buckingham Palace had no
comment. Dershowitz, in a state-
ment, called the decision “a vindication
of my position” and said it should
ser ve as a warning to lawyers against
making unsupported claims. — AP
Judge rejects sex allegations against Prince Andrew
A man is expected to be charged
over the murder of Leeton bride-to-be
Stephanie Scott who disappeared on
A 24-year-old man was arrested last
evening at a home on Maiden Avenue in
Leeton in south-west New South Wales.
He is in police custody and will appear
in Griffith Local Court later today.
Scott had been excitedly planning her
wedding to her childhood sweetheart
and a week from the big day went to her
workplace, Leeton High School, to finish
off a handover to a teacher replacing her
while on honeymoon in Tahiti.
Family, friends and volunteers had
said Scott ’s disappearance was out of
Her mother, Merrilyn Scott, feared her
daughter’s car may have rolled off the
“ It ’s either something with her car or
foul play,” she said.
Scott ’s body has not been found.
Police are still searching for Scott ’s car,
a red Mazda 3 sedan with the NSW
The 26-year-old was due to marry
her fiance, Aaron Leeson Woolley, in
Eugowra on Saturday.
Police are also keen to speak to anyone
who may have seen an older model, white
Toyota Hilux space-cab two-wheel-drive
with a canopy over the back travelling in
Leeton or the surrounding area. — AAP
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess
of Cornwall will today celebrate their
10th wedding anniversary.
Charles and Camilla married in a civil
ceremony at the Windsor Guildhall on
April 9, 2005, after a relationship that
spanned nearly 35 years.
The prince and the duchess are
spending their tin wedding anniversary
today privately at Birkhall — a retreat
on the Balmoral estate in Scotland
where they honeymooned and spent
their first wedding anniversary.
Camilla Parker Bowles became a
signed-up member of royal family as
she said her vows, emerging with a
wedding band of Welsh gold on her
finger, a future king and husband on
her arm and Her Royal Highness the
Duchess of Cornwall as her title.
Ten years on from when the prince
married his former mistress, Camilla’s
role within the royal family has
In the 90s, she was dubbed a
marriage wrecker and the “other
woman” — held responsible for the
breakdown of Charles’s relationship
to Diana, Princess of Wales.
Now the duchess regally appears at
the prince’s side at the State opening
of Parliament and takes her place on
the Buckingham Palace balcony for
When Camilla married Charles,
aides insisted she did not want to
be known as queen when the prince
acceded to the throne, but intended to
be known as Princess Consort instead.
But according to some legal experts,
unless there is change in the law,
Camilla will technically become
queen when Charles is king — no
matter what she decides to call herself.
At the time of her engagement to
the prince in 2005, a poll showed that
only 7% of people believed Camilla
should one day be queen.
A new You Gov poll has found
that 10 years later, 49% of the British
public now back her becoming queen
consort when Charles becomes king.
Charles and Camilla mark 10-year milestone
Nearly 1000 gang members have been
arrested in the United States after a
major operation, federal authorities say.
Police arrested 976 people with ties to
239 gangs in 282 American cities, the US
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
agency (Ice) reported.
The arrested were mostly Americans
who were wanted for crimes including
murder, rape and drug trafficking,
Many of the gangs had ties to Latin
The arrests took place in February and
March as part of Ice’s anti-gang efforts.
“Criminal gangs inflict violence and
fear upon our communities, and without
the attention of law enforcement,
these groups can spread like a cancer,”
Ice director Sarah Saldana said in a
statement. — AFP
US gang crackdown
nets nearly 1000
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