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Researchers find 151-million-year-old Morrisonnepa Jurassica insect fossil in Utah

Tori Holland

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Researchers find 151-million-year-old Morrisonnepa Jurassica insect fossil in Utah
The fossil of Morrisonnepa Jurassica along with a modern giant water bug, Lethocerus.

How many more insects will rise to fame in 2020? 

Fortunately, unlike “murder hornets” and gypsy moths, the insect recently found in Utah isn’t a threat to anyone anymore. Paleontologists in the state discovered a 151-million-year-old fossil of a giant bug called Morrisonnepa Jurassica, the Utah Department of Natural Resources wrote in a blog post

Researchers found the fossil in the geologically rich Morrison Formation in southeastern Utah, the DNR’s blog post said. 

“The insect fossil consists of most of the abdomen, two elements of the forewing, and possibly the head and is only the second insect body fossil ever discovered from the Morrison Formation,’ the DNR wrote. 

Asian giant hornets spotted in the US: What are ‘Murder Hornets’ and should I be worried?

According to the Utah DNR, the insect was first discovered in 2017 and appears to be related to “giant water bugs,” which are known for their extremely painful bites. 

“The new fossil insect appears to be a relatively large predator whose modern relatives are known to attack and eat not just other invertebrates like snails and crustaceans but also vertebrate prey such as fish, amphibians, and snakes,” the department wrote in its post. 

The fossil was found in the same Rocky Mountain region that has produced dinosaurs like apatosaurus, allosaurus and stegosaurus, according to the Utah DNR. The area has also “yielded an abundance of plant fossils.” 

“We always dreamed of finding actual insect fossils in the Morrison, but until the first report in 2011 there had been nothing,” Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum paleontologist John Foster told the department.

“That report gave us hope, but still, when this specimen appeared under a microscope, mixed in with a bulk batch of unidentified plant fossil material, it was shocking to realize that we were looking at an insect abdomen and wing – and big ones.”

The fossil is in the paleontology collections at the Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Morrisonnepa Jurassica: 151-million-year-old bug fossil found in Utah

After being a professional journalist for 5 years and understanding the ups and downs of health care sector all over the world, Tori shifted her focus to the digital world. Today, she works as a contributor for News Brig with a knack for covering general and health news in the best possible format.

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U.S. senator Scott says China trying to sabotage vaccine development

Evan Lewis

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U.S. senator Scott says China trying to sabotage vaccine development

FILE PHOTO: Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) attends a luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 14, 2020. REUTERS/Erin Scott

LONDON (Reuters) – The United States has evidence China is trying to slow down or sabotage the development of a COVID-19 vaccine by Western countries, Republican senator Rick Scott said on Sunday.

“We have got to get this vaccine done. Unfortunately we have evidence that communist China is trying to sabotage us or slow it down,” he said during an interview on BBC TV.

“China does not want us … to do it first, they have decided to be an adversary to Americans and I think to democracy around the world.”

Asked what evidence the United States had, Scott declined to give details but said it had come through the intelligence community.

“This vaccine is really important to all of us getting our economy going again. What I really believe is whether England does it first or we do it first, we are going to share. Communist China, they are not going to share.”

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Jason Neely

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Portland protesters dispersed near midnight

Tori Holland

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A protester holds a sign that reads "kill, it is being filmed" in Marseille, southern France, Saturday, June 6, 2020, to protest against the death of George Floyd, who died after he was restrained by police officers May 25 in Minneapolis, that has led to global protests. Further protests are planned over the weekend in European cities, some defying restrictions imposed by authorities due to the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)

TOP OF THE HOUR:

— Portland police disperse Oregon protesters near Justice Center

— Statue of Confederate Gen. Wickham is toppled in Richmond, Virginia

— Police use flash bangs, pepper spray to disperse Seattle protesters

— Portland mayor orders police to use CS gas only as a last resort

— Floyd protests held in London, Paris, Berlin and elsewhere

___

PORTLAND, Ore. — Just before midnight, police began dispersing protesters in Portland near the county’s Justice Center after declaring “a civil disturbance and unlawful assembly.”

Portland police Lt. Tina Jones said on Twitter that a firework had been lobbed over the fence at the Justice Center, injuring a Multnomah County deputy. She says police were making arrests in the area.

In a video posted on Twitter by a Portland Tribune reporter, a voice from a loudspeaker could be heard ordering demonstrators to leave the area “or you will be subject to use of force and arrest.”

In earlier videos, popping noises could be heard as whiffs of smoke wafted from a street filled with demonstrators, and a police officer is seen momentarily clashing with a protester.

___

RICHMOND, Va. — In the former capital of the Confederacy, demonstrators toppled a statue of Gen. Williams Carter Wickham from its pedestal after a day of mostly peaceful demonstrations across the commonwealth.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that most of the demonstrators had already dispersed when a rope was tied around the Confederate statue, which has stood since 1891 in Richmond’s Monroe Park, which is surrounded by the Virginia Commonwealth University campus. In 2017, some of Wickham’s descendants urged the city to remove the statue.

A Richmond police spokeswoman didn’t know if there were any arrests and the extent of any damage.

Confederate monuments are a major flashpoint in Virginia. Last week, Gov. Ralph Northam announced that a state-owned statue of former Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee would be removed from its perch on the famed Monument Avenue “as soon as possible.”

___

SEATTLE — Police used flash bang devices and pepper spray to disperse a crowd of protesters in Seattle on Saturday night, the ninth consecutive day of George Floyd protests in the city.

The mayhem in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood followed a large, peaceful demonstration earlier in the day with medical workers demonstrating against racism and police brutality. It also came a day after Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best imposed a 30-day moratorium on the department’s use of one kind of tear gas.

KING-TV reports that a small group of protesters started throwing objects at officers about 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. Police ordered the crowd to move, then used incendiary devices.

After police were severely criticized by protesters and public officials alike for using tear gas and pepper spray to disperse largely peaceful crowds, Durkan and Best said Friday outside groups would review and update crowd-control policies, including the use of pepper spray and deadly force techniques such as neck and choke holds. She and the mayor added that the ban on one kind of tear gas known as CS could be extended if groups need more time for policy review.

___

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has ordered the city’s police not to use a type of tear gas except as a last resort in life-threatening situations.

Wheeler issued a statement Saturday saying he shares community concerns about the use of CS gas, especially during a respiratory-illness pandemic.

Critics have called on the Portland Police Bureau to permanently ban the use of CS gas on protesters.

The announcement came a day after the mayor said police would no longer use a “long-range acoustical device,” or LRAD, to disperse protesters. The device can emit high-pitched, loud frequencies and can cause hearing damage.

___

ATLANTA — Protests downtown assumed an almost festive feel at times on Saturday, with Atlanta’s curfew lifted and police and National Guard presence somewhat out of view.

A group of black college band alumni were serenading one main protest area with a tuba-heavy mix of tunes from atop a parking garage.

Students from historically black colleges and other young people marched to City Hall to demand more action on police violence. Jauan Durbin said he began organizing protests after two fellow college students were pulled from their car and shocked with a stun gun last Saturday by police in Atlanta. The incident was caught on video by WGCL-TV and six officers were fired and then criminally charged.

Durbin said youth protesters are calling for increased financial assistance for black businesses from Atlanta’s city government and increased funding for the city’s public school system.

___

LONDON — Tens of thousands gathered in cities far from the United States to express anger over the death of George Floyd, a sign that the Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality is resonating with wider calls to address racism from Australia to Europe.

In Berlin, where police said 15,000 people rallied Saturday on Alexander Square, protesters chanted Floyd’s name and held up placards with slogans such as “Stop police brutality” and “I can’t breathe.”

Some 20,000 others rallied in Munich, while thousands more took part in protests in Frankfurt and Cologne. In Paris, several thousand demonstrators ignored a protest ban — issued due to the coronavirus pandemic — and assembled within sight of the U.S. Embassy,

In London, tens of thousands staged a rally outside Parliament Square, invoking Floyd’s memory as well as people who died during police encounters or indifference in Britain. Many dropped to one knee and raised their fists in the air outside the gleaming U.S. embassy building. There were chants of “Silence is violence!” and “Color is not a crime!”

___

Follow more AP stories on the George Floyd protests and reaction at https://apnews.com/GeorgeFloyd

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Sheriff’s deputy killed and 2 other officers shot in California ambush

Evan Lewis

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Sheriff's deputy killed and 2 other officers shot in California ambush

SANTA CRUZ, Calif.— A Northern California sheriff’s deputy was killed and two law enforcement officers wounded Saturday when they were ambushed with gunfire and explosives while pursuing a suspect, authorities said.

Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller, 38, was shot and killed in Ben Lomond, an unincorporated area near Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart said. A second deputy was injured, and a third officer from the California Highway Patrol was shot in his hand, Hart said.

Gutzwiller “was a beloved figure here at the sheriff’s office,” the sheriff said.

“Damon showed up today to do his job, to keep this community safe, and his life was taken needlessly,” a visibly shaken Hart said.

The suspect, Steven Carrillo, 38, was shot during his arrest and was being treated at the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, Hart said. The Sheriff’s Department and the FBI are investigating.

The deputies responded to a 911 call around 1:30 p.m. about a suspicious van. The caller said there were guns and bomb-making devices inside, Hart said.

When deputies arrived, the van pulled away and the deputies followed. The van went down a driveway at Carrillo’s home and the deputies were ambushed by gunfire and explosives after getting out of their vehicle.

Gutzwiller was wounded and later died at a hospital. Another deputy was wounded by gunfire or shrapnel and struck by a vehicle as the suspect fled.

Carrillo attempted to carjack a vehicle and was wounded while being arrested.

Hart said Carrillo was taken to the hospital for treatment and would be charged with first-degree murder.

The shooting shocked Ben Lomond, a town of about 6,000 people tucked up in the Santa Cruz mountains.

Resident Kathy Crocker brought a bouquet to the sheriff’s office as Hart gave a news conference about the shootings.

“It just breaks my heart that this keeps happening,” she said, as teary-eyed deputies entered the building.

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