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Hominid Skull Dated at 1.8 Million Years Old Raises Evolution Controversy

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Hominid Fossil Site

A 1.8 million year old hominid skull fossil was found at Dmanisi, a site in the Republic of Georgia. Scientists say they have made a discovery that may rewrite the evolutionary history of our human genus Homo.

David Lordkipanidze, director of the Georgian National Museum, who led the team, reported the discovery of the primitive skull was first found on August 5, 2005 — his birthday. “It was a very nice present,” he said.Hominid Fossil Site

“It’s a really extraordinary find,” said paleoanthropologist Dr. Marcia S. Ponce de León of the University of Zurich during a press conference on Wednesday where she announced the findings. “For the first time, we can see a population from the early Pleistocene. We only had individuals before. Now we can make comparisons and see the range of variation.”

The discovery of this hominid skull alongside the remains of four other hominids at Dmanisi, a site in Georgia the holds rich material of the earliest hominid travels into Eurasia, is being described as “the world’s first completely preserved adult hominid skull.”

Although the site has only been partially excavated so far, it is already providing the first opportunity for researchers to compare the physical traits of human ancestors that coincided in the same time and geological space.

Known simply as Skull #5, the fossilized head bones are most likely a male, whose brain was about one-third the size of a modern human brain. The skull has a “strange combination of features,” Dr. Ponce de Leon said. The face was relatively flat and long, with massive brows, a projecting jaw and big teeth.

The creature had a healed cheek fracture, a touch of arthritis and, by the evidence of wear, used his teeth for gripping things. He stood upright, with relatively modern arms and legs, the researchers said.

“Had the braincase and the face of Skull 5 been found as separate fossils at different sites in Africa, they might have been attributed to different species,” said study co-author Christoph Zollikofer from the Anthropological Institute and Museum in Zurich, Switzerland, in statement from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

“[The Dmanisi finds] look quite different from one another, so it’s tempting to publish them as different species,” explained Zollikofer, co-author of a report about the findings published in the October 18 issue of Science. “Yet we know that these individuals came from the same location and the same geological time, so they could, in principle, represent a single population of a single species.”

1.8 Million Year old Skull Found In Georgia

Scientific community is fascinated by Georgia skull discovery that is the most complete sample ever found for early homo population. Skull 5, which comes from an ancient human ancestor found in Dmanisi,Georgia, implies that all Homo species were once one.

Environmentalist. Consumer Tech Journalist. Science Explorer. And, a dreamer. I've been contributing informative news content since 2010. Follow me on all socials!

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Education

#CancelMyDebt Trends On Twitter As Debtors Urge Student Loan Default

Twitter erupts with #CancelMyDebt sentiments after Sen. Elizabeth Warren asked netizens to share their student loan stories. Click To Tweet

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Twitter erupts with #CancelMyDebt sentiments after Sen. Elizabeth Warren asked netizens to share their student loan stories.
Approximately, there are 45 million Americans who have outstanding student loan. Photo: mancaalberto | CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

#CancelMyDebt trends on Twitter as emotional student loan debtors took to the popular micro-blogging website their frustrations on the debts they are still paying and urged the government to pay off their student loans.

Twitter erupts with poignant posts of Americans paying off their student loans and how their debts affected their lives following their graduation. The angered netizens expressed their opinions on the tax plan that granted America’s 1% with a $1.5 trillion tax cuts while the government turns blind eyes over the student loan problem that the youth has been facing.

The apparent hashtag came after U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren encouraged students and graduates to share their stories using the #CancelMyVote hashtag to support her plan to cancel student loan debts of 95% of Americans currently paying for it. Warren’s policy to cover the student loan repayment from an additional tax on top of the top 0.1%.

“I paid off my student loans after 10 years, but it took me getting a six-figure book deal to do it. Folks shouldn’t have to hope for the equivalent of winning the lottery to have a future. #CancelMyDebt” wrote @nkjemisin on Twitter.

President Donald Trump signed the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” into law on December 2017 and have brought significant tax reforms. “For the wealthy, banks and other corporations, the tax reform package can be considered a lopsided victory given its significant and permanent tax cuts to corporate profits, investment income, estate tax, and more. Financial services companies stand to see huge gains based on the new, lower corporate rate (21%) as well as preferential tax treatment of pass-through companies. Some banks have said that their effective tax rate will drop under 21%.,” Investopedia explained.

As the current tax plan consistently accommodates the rich, student loan debtors remain in limbo as the increasing interest rates and the piling debt are crippling their financial presents and even their futures. Student loans are a form of financial aid used to help students access higher education. Student loan debt in the United States has been snowballing since 2006, rising to nearly $1.56 trillion by 2019. Shockingly, the entire total loan debt of American equals 7.5% of the country’s GDP.

There are approximately 45 million Americans who have an outstanding student loan of $37,172 on average at the time of graduation. On top of that, student loan also appears not to be evenly distributed and is disproportionately concentrated on the for-profit college sector.

Now, student loan debtors are calling for the government to default their debts. They argue that as the outstanding student loan debt totals 1.5 trillion and the tax cut equals the same, the government can afford to pay off all of student loan debts.

People tweeting #CancelMyDebt clarifies, however, that they are not asking for a loan default because they did not owe anything. They said that call was intended for the government to take actions to destroy the systems that allow student loan companies to exploit people with dreams.

“My reality is paying $1200 a month for my student debt ALONE and working 7 days a week over 4 different jobs. I’m not asking for a “hand out,” I’m asking that we as a country address the insane cost those who are not wealthy have to pay to get higher education #CancelMyDebt,” said @steeltoejilly on a Twitter post.

Another Twitter user also chimed in saying that interest hikes have ballooned her student loan debt even if she’s paying them religiously. “I have four jobs in the education field right now. I graduated in 2005 with $100,000 in student loans. After a decade of payments, undergrad debt is over $200,000 bc of interest rates. I can’t lease a car to get to work, so I walk. I don’t own a bed. #cancelmydebt.”

However, sentiments are polarized. A huge chunk of posts bearing the hashtag talks about their disagreement to Warren’s plans. Most of them argued that student loans are student’s decisions, and the government should not be burdened to pay for their obligations.

“#CancelMyDebt? Uh, no. Nobody forced you to take out student loans. Nobody forced you to major in something that won’t land you a good job. Nobody else is responsible for your debt. It’s your debt; it’s your responsibility.” Joe Walsh tweeted Wednesday.

Kurt Schlichter, a veteran, chimed in saying that Americans can serve in the military and reap the benefits of GI Bill as he did. “Well, you could have served your country and earned GI Bill benefits like I did. But you didn’t. So I’m kind of unclear why you think I owe you anything.#CancelMyDebt? Nah. How about you #PayYourOwnDebt?” /apr

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Automotive

Nissan-Renault’s Ghosn: From Hero To Zero

The once-famed Nissan leader has fallen with allegations relating to financial misconduct and dragging the company along with him. Click To Tweet

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Renault-Nissan Alliance. Photo from: Nissan-Global.com

In a time when Nissan was on the brink of declaring bankruptcy, Carlos Ghosn stepped in not only to save the company but help it to rise back as one of the world’s top car manufacturers. Today, Nissan is facing a similar financial crisis, but this time around, the Japanese carmaker had Ghosn removed from the company.

Through Ghosn’s efforts of restructuring and eventually, reintroducing innovations to Nissan, the company rose significantly within the last two decades under Ghosn’s lead. He also made the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi agreement possible that made them one of the leading car companies in the world.

The company had a good track record. But, CNN reported last Tuesday, May 14, that Nissan posted a significant drop in profits where operating profits plunged to 45% at 318 billion yen ($2.9 billion) in the fiscal year that ended in March and revenue fell 3% to about 11.6 trillion yen ($105 billion), while vehicle sales were down 4.4% to 5.5 million.

This is “rock bottom,” Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa said during the earnings presentation.

Moreover, analysts also expect Nissan to plunge at decade-low numbers in the coming year. Nissan forecasts operating profit for the fiscal year to March 2020 would fall to 230 billion ($2.1 billion). Also, Nissan shares closed down at 3% in Tokyo.

On Friday, May 17, the Japanese carmaker proposed plans to make changes within its executive board as a reaction to Ghosn’s fallout from the company.

The firm told shareholders that they would start implementing a new board structure composed of 11 members, which 6 of whom would be external.

“With the lessons from the recent executive misconduct still fresh, Nissan resolves to rigorously pursue the separation of supervisory and executive functions,” said the firm.

Thierry Bollore, Renault’s chief executive and chairman Jean-Dominique Senard will both be included in the proposed board.

Nissan conceded to allowing Senard into the board though Bollore’s urges. The Japanese firm isn’t too happy about Senard siding with Ghosn during his arrest.

On the other hand, Nissan’s current CEO Hiroto Saikawa has also been reported to be pressured from vacating his position in the company for doubts that he is capable of turning things around for the company and his close relations with Ghosn.

Saikawa responded that he wishes to stay on the company until he sees it return to profitability and will consider the idea of stepping down “at the appropriate time.”

Additionally, Saikawa told reporters that Renault chairman Senard “has one idea in mind, which is integration or merger.” He also added that “what we’ve told Mr. Senard is this is not the right timing to discuss this matter.”

Regarding the topic of a possible merger between Renault and Nissan, the Japanese company seems to be against the idea since Nissan brings in a lot more profitable compared to the two. But, ironically, Renault holds more stake in the company.

Obviously, the Japanese brand has been struggling to manage internal structures with Ghosn leaving its ranks for multiple cases alleging financial misconduct.

Allegedly, Ghosn is accused of abusing and taking advantage of his power and position in the company to meet personal gains. Specifically, Ghosn allegedly used a Nissan subsidiary to send millions of dollars of payments to a business partner of the company abroad, which then sent money to a third company that he controlled. The actions were taken for the purpose of obtaining a “personal profit,” The New York Times reports.

Prosecutors accused Ghosn of using the method on three occasions from December 2015 to July 2018, resulting in a total of $5 million in losses to Nissan.

As of date, Ghosn has been arrested on four separate occasions including the first arrest in November on charges of underreporting his compensation. The second when he was rearrested on related charges and then a third time on suspicion that he had shifted his personal financial losses onto Nissan’s books.

However, Ghosn and his team of lawyers have consistently denied all allegations about him. In a video Ghosn posted before his fourth arrest, he told that the allegations made against him “is about a plot, this is about conspiracy, this is about backstabbing.”

Meanwhile, the French carmaker, Renault also made new allegations against Ghosn, claiming that there were “questionable and concealed practices” regarding the expenses made under Ghosn. Moreover, Renault also announced Ghosn’s resignation from its board.

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The ‘2019 NAACP Image Awards’ Issues And Winners

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The 2019 NAACP Image Awards has made Hollywood celebrities jam-packed in a star-studded night held at the Dolby Theater for the first time in history as the organization celebrates its 50th anniversary.

This year’s event focuses on celebrating ‘the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature, and film, as well as, honoring groups or individuals who promote social justice through creative endeavors.’

The NAACP Image Award is an annual awards’ ceremony presented by the US-based National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to honor outstanding performances in film, television, music, and literature.

Similar to other awards like the Oscars and the Grammys, more than 40 categories of the Image Awards are voted on and agreed upon by the organization’s members while Honorary Awards are added which include President’s Award, Chairman’s Award, Entertainment of the Year and the Hall of Fame Award.

Below are the lists of awards and nominations that were given to outstanding Hollywood actors and actresses who show significant roles in the field of entertainment.

Anthony Anderson hosted the said event who won Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series for his role in black-ish. Netflix and HBO had the highest number of nominations garnering 22 and 20 nominees respectively. While ABC followed closely behind with 18, and Black Panther tailed on as it gathered 14 nominations including Best Motion Picture.

Donald Glover’s hit show Atlanta is nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series alongside black-ish, Dear White People, Grown-ish and Insecure.

The most coveted and prominent award is given to ‘Jay-Z’ known as ‘President’s Award’ which centers on dedication to public service. The rapper, during his speech, acknowledged the roles of strong black women who dedicated their full acting prowess in the entertainment world and helped shape future generations through its influential parts in TV shows.

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series goes to Tracee Ellis Ross in her role in black-ish (ABC.

Empire Star ‘Jussie Smollett’ who has been at the center of investigation which shocked the world by faking an attack on January 29 is nominated in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series category. However, he refused to attend the awards night and therefore lost his chance to receive the said reward. On Tuesday, Chicago prosecutors announced that all charges against him were dropped.

Marcus Scribner won an Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series from black-ish (ABC) and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, went to Marsai Martin also from black-ish.

The hit series ‘Power’ (Starz) won the Outstanding Drama Series with Omari Hardwick as the Best Actor for Drama Series, also the lead star of Power. The Best Actress for Drama Series revealed to be Taraji P. Henson for her role in Empire from Fox.

Jesse Williams bagged the Supporting Actor in a Drama Series from the all-time hit TV series, Grey’s Anatomy from ABC. Its counterpart is claimed by Lynn Whitfield from Greenleaf which faced several criticisms from its competitor Thandie Newton in Westworld who believed that the award should be given to someone who has a critical role in TV series.

The long list of the award also gave importance to television movie, and the Outstanding Television Movies, Limited Series or Dramatic Special is awarded to The Bobby Brown Story, and the Outstanding Actor for the same category went to Michael B.Jordan for his award-winning role in Fahrenheit 451, while Regina King from Seven Seconds (Netflix) received the award in the female category.

The Real, won the award for Outstanding Talk Series, and Black Girls Rock for the Outstanding Variety Show. The long-running Doc Mcstuffins from Disney Junior took the Outstanding Children’s Program, while the Outstanding Performance by A Youth Series went to Marsai Martin of black-ish.

Several hosts are also given honor for their outstanding performances for Talk/Variety and Game show. Steve Harvey won Outstanding Host in the Game show from Family Feud, Jada Pinkett Smith, Adrienne Banfield Norris and Willow Smith for Red Table Talk under the Outstanding Host in News/Information Category.

In the music category, major awards were bagged by Bruno Mars for Outstanding Male Artist and H.E.R under RCA Records for the female group.

The said event is an avenue for black people to be recognized for portraying significant roles in different TV programs, but NAACP is being criticized for its flawed standards of choosing the nominees. Critics are pointing out factors such as criminal charges inconsequential in this regard, just like the case of Jussie Smollet who was nominated for a significant award despite his criminal offense.

The nomination of Smollet is similar to the case of Tupac Shakur in 1994. The artist was nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture in a film ‘Poetic Justice’ despite the filing of sexual assault charges against him. R Kelly is no exception to the controversy, where his album Chocolate Factory was nominated for Outstanding Album while he was under indictment for costs related to child pornography.

Although significant issues currently surround NAACP, the organization is still determined to continue its effort on acknowledging the contribution of black people to the entertainment world and field of art as a whole. Other individual and minor awards can be viewed through the organization’s website at www.naacpimageawards.net

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