Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
from Environment Forum:
Ever wondered what kinds of wildlife dominate the world's seas and oceans? Now there's an answer, at least in terms of the number of species in different categories. It's not fish. It's not mammals. It's crustaceans!
A mammoth Census of Marine Life has revealed that nearly one-fifth, or 19 percent, of all the marine species known to humans are crustaceans -- crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimp, krill, barnacles and others far too numerous to mention here. The census didn't count the actual numbers of animals beneath the waves -- that would have been impossible -- but it did count up the number of species in 25 marine areas. The aim is to set down a biodiversity baseline for future use.
It took 360 scientists to figure this out. Their findings were posted on Monday in PLoS ONE, an open-source peer-reviewed online scientific journal. An even more fulsome list will be out in October.
For now, there's plenty of data to chew on: of the 25 marine areas around the world that were examined, Australian and Japanese waters were the most biodiverse, with nearly 33,000 species in each of these locations. The oceans off China, the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico round out the top five most biodiverse marine regions.
from Afghan Journal:
President Barack Obama's announcement that the United States will begin pulling its troops out Afghanistan in 2011 provides a good opportunity to look back and study history. This will, after all, be the second time Afghans have bid farewell to a superpower, and Nikolai Gvosdev in Foreign Affairs offers an interesting take on what happened the last time, when the Soviets pulled out in 1989.
The man the Soviets left in charge was Mohammad Najibullah, who clung to power for three more years, then sheltered for another four years in the U.N. compound in Kabul, before finally ending up strung up by the Taliban from a Kabul traffic lamp in 1996. Najibullah's grisly end means his career hardly seems like one that President Hamid Karzai would want to emulate. Yet Gvosdev's account is a reminder that Najibullah actually held on to power far longer than most in the West expected. His government in fact actually outlasted the Soviet Union itself, which collapsed in 1991.
In Gvosdev's account, the key to Najibullah's success lay in part in lavishing funds on tribal and provincial chiefs. That tactic became impossible after the Soviet Union disintegrated and the money dried up. Even so, Najibullah might have still hung on had Pakistan not been given free rein by the West to back the Mujahideen that unseated him.