(Reuters) - Here's how world leaders are reacting to Democrat Joe Biden's inauguration on Wednesday. Biden is to be sworn in as U.S. president soon after noon (1700 GMT), taking over from Republican Donald Trump. BRITISH PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON, SPEAKING IN PARLIAMENT "I look forward to working with him (Biden), and with his new administration, strengthening the partnership between our countries and working on our shared priorities: from tackling climate change, building back better from the pandemic and strengthening our transatlantic security." EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT URSULA VON D...
Scientists use ice-core samples and soil samples, drilling down deep, to discover what was happening on the earth millions and millions of years ago. But about 1 billion years ago something strange happened, scientists can't find the data. Geological samples go from about 550-million-year-old rocks to layers of 1.7 billion-year-old rocks sitting atop each other. Now, scientists think they've discovered the missing discrepancy.
Previously, there were two theories about what happened before the Neoproterozoic era. "One suggests that tectonic activity associated with the assembly and breakup of the supercontinent Rodinia created the Unconformity, while another points to erosion from widespread glaciation during our planet’s 'Snowball Earth' phase some 700 million years ago," the report said.
But a postdoctoral researcher in earth sciences led a team at Dartmouth College in looking at glacier movement, which could account for the missing links in fossils and rock samples.
According to Kalin McDannell and her team, "Something really unique was going on in terms of global geodynamics and surface processes that allowed the Great Unconformity to both form and then be preserved. That’s my perspective on why this has captured people's imaginations."
There was obviously tectonic activity in the Rocky Mountains and the Ozark Plateau, but she increased the samples to look at areas of North America that didn't have a lot of tectonic activity. Examining rocks from East Lake Athabasca in Saskatchewan, Canada and the Minnesota River Valley, the team found evidence of rocks cooling with glacial erosion all at the same time.
"Imagine taking the very middle of the U.S. today, and then just eroding kilometers of that in the span of a geologically short period of, let's say, 60 to 100 million years," said assistant professor C. Brenhin Keller, who did another study in 2019 that showed consistencies with McDannell's. "That's not normally what happens. If those kinds of erosion rates were normal, we would have no crust that was older than a few hundred million years."
The next step for the team is looking at samples from more locations all over the world from the same time to get a bigger picture of what was happening on the earth 1 billion years ago.
Tennessee Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton (R) admonished Rep. John Ray Clemmons (D) on Thursday as he was trying to honor International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Clemmons began his remarks by noting that it has only been 76 years since the Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated from the Nazi army.
"We all have a duty to prevent the hate and discrimination that persists to this day," he said. "Now in recent years we have passed laws that are contrary to this. Just recently it was reported a Jewish couple has been denied the opportunity to provide a child a loving home because of their religious faith. That's a result of a law we passed in this body."
"Books are being stripped out of public libraries that give detailed personal accounts from survivors and about victims of the Holocaust," the lawmaker added. "I, myself, had a resolution some of you disagreed with in recent years that denounced anti-Semitism and neo-Nazis."
At that point, Sexton interrupted to complain about the remarks because they were made during the "welcoming and honoring" portion of the calendar.
"This is welcoming and honoring," Sexton said. "That sounded like a floor speech based on legislation. So I don't know which way you're going but it is welcoming and honoring."
Clemmons continued: "I simply want to recognize on this International Holocaust Memorial Day that we have duty. Let's come together. This is something about which we should be united and honoring and recognizing our history and working to avoid it from happening again."
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Sarah Palin was spotted dining out again at a New York City restaurant, prompting officials there to issue a health warning.
The former half-term Alaska governor and failed vice presidential candidate tested positive for COVID-19 while in town for her defamation suit against the New York Times, and city officials expressed concern after Palin was twice spotted dining at Elio's restaurant -- including once after her diagnosis, reported Gothamist.
"Any New Yorker who came into contact with Ms. Palin [is encouraged] to get tested, just as we encourage all New Yorkers to get tested regularly, especially those who believe they may have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19,” said City Hall spokesperson Jonah Allon in a statement.
The trial was delayed Monday after Palin tested positive for the virus, and the judge noted that the outspoken vaccine opponent had not been inoculated, although she dined outdoors at Campagnola on Tuesday and returned Wednesday to Elio's, where she also ate outside.
“Tonight Sarah Palin returned to the restaurant to apologize for the fracas around her previous visit,” said Elio’s manager Luca Guaitolini in a statement on Wednesday night. “In accordance with the vaccine mandate and to protect our staff, we seated her outdoors … We are a restaurant open to the public, and we treat civilians the same.”
The city will not penalize Elio's for allowing Palin to eat indoors without proof of vaccination, because violations must be directly observed by an inspector, and the vaccine requirement does not extend to outdoor dining.