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  1. Whether you are a billionaire or someone with a modest background, we all have some form of carbon footprint. We get to work in cars, go on vacations in planes and use electricity in our homes. However, when it comes to billionaires, energy usage can increase to astronomical levels as they often travel for work, own yachts or have multiple houses that use a lot of energy. However, not all billionaires are the same as some have a very low carbon footprint as compared to others, according to a recent study and report. © unsplash Bill Gates stressed in his recent book, the importance of climate change and how we should reduce our carbon footprint. Gates wants people to stop eating meat and switch to synthetic meat instead. He also feels going to Mars in a rocket may not be the best way to go about space travel. In fact, even though billionaires have tried to be environmentally conscious, some of them have a larger carbon footprint than the average person. © unsplash Two anthropologists from Indiana University wanted to find out whether wealth translated to a higher footprint due to consumption. The calculation by Richard Wilk and Beatriz Barros was published in The Conversation and found that billionaires do in fact have a higher carbon footprint, sometimes thousands of times higher than the average person. Since many of the billionaires own yachts, planes and multiple mansions, it all contributes to the overall carbon footprint. For perspective, a helicopter pad, submarines, pools and a yacht with a permanent crew emit about 7,020 tons of CO2 a year. In order to determine an accurate footprint, the two anthropologists focused on real estate transportation to calculate the carbon emission from each billionaire. However, to everyone’s surprise, neither Musk nor Bezos or Gates had the highest carbon footprint as the top spot is currently being held by a Russian billionaire, Roman Abramovich. According to Forbes, the Russian billionaire owns the world second largest yacht which he bought for nearly $400 million in 2010. The billionaire is also best known for owning Chelsea F.C., a Premier League football club. The second-highest carbon emitter was David Geffen, an American businessman who is a producer, film studio executive, and philanthropist. © unsplash Bill Gates on the other hand had a very "modest" carbon footprint since he does not own any yachts. Most of his carbon footprint is related to flying as he owns four private jets, a seaplane and “a collection” of helicopters. His annual footprint was measured at 7,493 metric tons of carbon. Elon musk also has a surprisingly low carbon footprint even though he owns a yacht but doesn’t take any vacations. Musk also sold all of his 8 houses and reduced his carbon footprint since 2018 as well. "While his personal carbon footprint is still hundreds of times higher than that of an average person, he demonstrates that the super-rich still has choices to make and can indeed lower their environmental impact if they so choose,” the anthropologists said. It is worth pointing out that the study excluded most billionaires from the Middle East and Asia. Most of the data relies on public records and does not include the emissions of companies they own. For example, emissions from Amazon or Tesla were not included as it would have “added another significant degree of complexity.” Source: The Conversation View the full article
  2. Daesh. Photo: File More than 150 people were killed in around six terrorist attacks claimed by Daesh in 2017. This is stated in the Pakistan Security Report 2017, released by Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), an Islamabad-based think-tank specialising in security and conflict dynamics of Pakistan and the region. The organisation compiled its findings on the basis of its multi-source database, coupled with interviews and articles by subject experts. Decrease in number of attacks, fatalities The report tallied that militant, nationalist/insurgent and violent sectarian groups carried out a total of 370 terrorist attacks in 64 districts of Pakistan in 2017 ? including 24 suicide and gun-and-suicide coordinated attacks ? killing 815 people, besides injuring 1,736. These attacks posted a 16 per cent decrease from the total in the previous year; even the number of people killed fell by 10 per cent. Terror attacks in Pakistan down 58%: NACTA 2017 witnessed 681 terror incidents ? the lowest ratio since 2006 Of these attacks, as many as 213 or 58 per cent, were perpetrated by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), its splinter groups mainly Jamaatul Ahrar and other militant groups, killing 186 people. Meanwhile, nationalist insurgent groups, mostly in Balochistan and a few in Sindh, carried out 138 attacks, or 37 per cent of the total, killing 140 people. As many as 19 terrorist attacks were sectarian-related, in which killed 71 people and inflicted injuries on 97 others. Cross-border attacks increase The report also noted that compared to 2016, a significant surge of 131 per cent was witnessed during 2017 in cross-border attacks from Pakistan?s borders with Afghanistan, India and Iran. A total of 171 cross-border attacks claimed 188 lives and injured 348 others. Pakistan lost Rs10tn in 16-year fight against terrorism Pakistan suffered highest Rs2037bn losses in year 2010-11, sources say Furthermore, security forces and law enforcement agencies killed a total of 524 militants in 2017 ? compared to 809 in 2016 ? in 75 military/security operations as well as 68 armed clashes and encounters with militants reported from across four provinces and FATA. Emergence of Daesh At the same time, some new challenges raised their heads; these included emergence of self-radicalised individuals and small terrorist cells, growing incidence of religious extremism including on educational campuses, and, most importantly, increasing footprints of Daesh in parts of the country and convergence of its fighters in Afghanistan near the border. In 2017, Daesh and its local affiliates/supporters claimed six major terrorist attacks, killing 153 people. In Balochistan, the group carried out a suicide attack on the convoy of Senate Deputy Chairman Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri in Mastung, besides abducting Chinese nationals from Quetta and killing them later. Sindh?s deadliest attack in terms of casualties was on the Sufi shrine in Sehwan Sharif, claimed by Daesh as well. Confusion over NAP?s ownership In the report, National Security Adviser Lt Gen (retd) Nasser Khan Janjua reveals that the National Security Policy has been documented and internally circulated in the government. Similarly, National Counter Terrorism Authority National Coordinator Ihsan Ghani said that the new National Internal Security Policy is in review at present and it, along with a Counter-Extremism Policy, will be released in 2018 too. The report also reveals ambiguities about which government body is responsible for implementing the National Action Plan.
  3. BARCELONA: Scientists have discovered a fossilised footprint from about 247 to 248 million years ago in the Pyrenees mountains in Spain that they believe was made by a previously unknown species of reptile. The footprint was found among a series of tracks made by the ancestors of crocodiles and dinosaurs – a group known as archosauromorphs, the researchers from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the Catalan Institute of Palaeontology said in a statement. The scientists dubbed the new species of reptile Prorotodactylus mesaxonichnus in an article published in scientific journal Plos One. They believe the species looked like a crocodile but with wider legs and was about a metre-and-a-half (five feet) long. The researchers said the footprints suggest the tracks which they found in the Pyrenees mountains in northeastern Spain on the border with France were made by animals that used all four limbs to walk and often also left marks with their tails. "The new Pyrenean footprints indicate that these animals used all four limbs to walk and often also left marks with their tails," said Catalan Institute of Palaeontology researcher Josep Fortuny. The researchers believe the archosauromorphs dominated the river beds of the ancient Pyrenees. They said they are now looking for fossilised bones of the animals that made the tracks. At the time, the Earth was very different from today, with continents grouped into one supercontinent called Pangaea and the planet was recovering from a mass extinction that wiped out most animals. About 252 million years ago, a mass extinction devastated life on land and in the oceans. Some 90 percent of species disappeared.
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