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Volcanoes, asteroid wiped out dinosaurs: study

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A boy inspects the teeth of a dinosaur at an exhibition in Melbourne on May 29,2008.-AFP

A massive asteroid strike 66 million years ago triggered a string of potent volcanic eruptions that spelled doom for the dinosaurs, US researchers said Thursday.

Just what led to the demise of the dinosaurs is often debated among scientists, and the latest findings in the journal Science suggest that both events are to blame, not one or the other.

Scientists studied the Deccan Traps lava flows in India, and their most accurate dating yet shows that the volcanoes doubled their output in close proximity to the asteroid or comet strike that set off the last mass extinction on Earth.

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“Based on our dating of the lavas, we can be pretty certain that the volcanism and the impact occurred within 50,000 years of the extinction, so it becomes somewhat artificial to distinguish between them as killing mechanisms: both phenomena were clearly at work at the same time,” said lead researcher Paul Renne, a University of California, Berkeley professor of earth and planetary science.

“It is going to be basically impossible to ascribe actual atmospheric effects to one or the other. They both happened at the same time.”

Together, the asteroid impact and the volcanic eruptions would have “blanketed the planet with dust and noxious fumes, drastically changing the climate and sending many species to an early grave,” said a statement from UC Berkeley.

The impact of the asteroid changed the underground plumbing in the volcanoes, making some magma chambers larger so they spouted more lava when they erupted.

It would take Earth and its land and ocean life about 500,000 years to emerge from the devastation.

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“If our high-precision dates continue to pin these three events – the impact, the extinction and the major pulse of volcanism – closer and closer together, people are going to have to accept the likelihood of a connection among them,” said co-author Mark Richards, also a UC Berkeley professor of earth and planetary science.

“The scenario we are suggesting — that the impact triggered the volcanism — does in fact reconcile what had previously appeared to be an unimaginable coincidence.”


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Chad Wolf’s authority is ‘illegitimate’: Hispanic Caucus chairman demands DHS chief ‘resign in disgrace’

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Immigrant rights groups and Texas Democrats are urging a review on the legality of Trump administration immigration policies after a government watchdog found two of the White House’s top immigration officials are not legally eligible to serve in their respective positions.

The Government Accountability Office on Friday determined that Chad Wolf, acting Department of Homeland Security secretary, and Ken Cuccinelli, a senior official performing deputy secretary duties, aren’t legally qualified to hold those posts.

United We Dream, an advocacy group pushing for immigration reform, said the GAO’s conclusion calls into question the latest guidance from the DHS on the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program that was initiated in 2012.

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2020 Election

Lots of red hats — but not many COVID masks — at Bedminster ‘Cops for Trump’ event with the president

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Enhanced unemployment benefits have expired and there is still no deal on the next COVID-19 stimulus package, but the president of the United States left Washington, DC on Friday for yet another weekend at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster.

"This weekend’s trip to Trump National Bedminster is the president’s 23rd since taking office, and will increase his golf-related taxpayer tab to $142 million in travel and security expenses," HuffPost White House corresponded S.V. Dáte reported Friday. "Trump has already spent 268 days on golf courses that he owns in his 1,303 days in office, of which 85 have been at Bedminster."

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2020 Election

Trump declares that Fox News is ‘no longer the big deal’ in the 2020 presidential campaign

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Donald Trump on Friday reflected on what he sees as the key differences between his 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns.

"The biggest difference between the Presidential Race in 2020 and that of 2016 is the 2016 candidate, Crooked Hillary Clinton, was much smarter and sharper than Slow Joe, we have even more ENTHUSIASM now, and [Fox News] has become politically correct and no longer the big deal!" Trump tweeted after arriving at his Bedminster Golf Club for the weekend.

Trump has grown increasingly frustrated by the network and its polls, which gave him more bad news on Thursday.

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