PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Police Department enlisted federal drug agents to infiltrate crowds of protesters during racial justice demonstrations in the city last spring, a move critics say may have circumvented a decades-old ban aimed at deterring police from spying on activists. The undercover operation was made public last week by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a D.C.-based think tank that obtained emails between police and federal officials through a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act. The emails show Philadelphia police requested the DEA support on Ju...
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters on Thursday said it will fund a project aimed at unionizing workers at technology and e-commerce colossus Amazon.
The powerful labor group, which has some 1.4 million members, vowed to use its resources to rally Amazon workers, the community, and regulators in the effort.
"Amazon presents a massive threat to working-class communities and good jobs in the logistics industry," Teamsters national director Randy Korgan said in a statement.
"Amazon workers face dehumanizing, unsafe and low-pay jobs, with high turnover and no voice at work."
A resolution passed by Teamsters delegates stated that the labor group would fully fund and support an "Amazon Project" with all resources necessary to succeed.
"Amazon workers are calling for safer and better working conditions and with today's resolution we are activating the full force of our union to support them," Korgan said.
The move comes following a failed unionization drive at an Amazon warehouse in the southern US state of Alabama failed in April, with a wide majority of workers rejecting the move.
Unions and political leaders have argued that employees at Amazon -- which has some 800,000 US workers -- face constant pressure and monitoring, with little job protection, highlighting the need for collective bargaining.
Amazon has argued that most of its workers don't want or need a union and that it already provides more than most other employers, with a minimum $15 hourly wage and other benefits.
The Teamsters support for a Project Amazon came as US lawmakers advanced blockbuster legislation Thursday aimed at curbing the power of Big Tech firms with a sweeping reform of antitrust laws, setting the stage for a tough floor fight in Congress.
Actors Samuel L Jackson and Danny Glover, Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann and actress-director Elaine May will receive honorary Oscars ahead of the main 2022 gala, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Thursday.
Jackson, May and Ullmann will be given honorary statuettes, while Glover will receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Governors Awards on January 15, the Academy said in a statement.
"We are thrilled to present this year's Governors Awards to four honorees who have had a profound impact on both film and society," said Academy President David Rubin.
Glover, 74, first earned widespread recognition on the big screen in Steven Spielberg's adaptation of "The Color Purple" (1985) before starring opposite Mel Gibson in the popular "Lethal Weapon" cop buddy movies.
"Danny Glover's decades-long advocacy for justice and human rights reflects his dedication to recognizing our shared humanity on and off the screen," Rubin said.
Jackson, 72, has appeared in dozens of films, earning an Oscar nomination for his indelible turn in Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction" (1994).
He has appeared in multiple Marvel movies as the eyepatch-wearing onetime SHIELD boss Nick Fury, wielded a lightsaber in the "Star Wars" universe as Jedi master Mace Windu, and delivered an unforgettable line in "Snakes on a Plane."
Ullmann, 82, was introduced to international audiences in Ingmar Bergman's "Persona" and would go on to make many films with the Swedish director. She earned two Oscar nominations for best actress in the 1970s.
Rubin said her "bravery and emotional transparency has gifted audiences with deeply affecting screen portrayals."
May, 89, achieved great success through her comedy partnership with Mike Nichols before going on to earn Oscar nominations for writing the screenplays for "Heaven Can Wait" and "Primary Colors."
She also directed several films including "A New Leaf," "The Heartbreak Kid" and "Ishtar."
"Elaine May's bold, uncompromising approach to filmmaking, as a writer, director and actress, reverberates as loudly as ever with movie lovers," Rubin said.
Dinosaur species large and small made the Arctic their year-round home and probably developed wintering strategies like hibernation or growing insulating feathers, according to a new study.
The paper, published Thursday in the journal Current Biology, is the result of more than a decade's worth of painstaking fossil excavations, and puts to rest the notion that the ancient reptiles lived only in hotter climes.
"A couple of these new sites we found in the last few years turned up something unexpected, and that is they're producing baby bones and teeth," lead author Patrick Druckenmiller of the University of Alaska Museum of the North told AFP.
"That's amazing because it demonstrates that these dinosaurs weren't just living in the Arctic, they were actually able to reproduce in the Arctic."
Researchers first discovered dinosaur remains at the frigid polar latitudes in the 1950s, regions once thought to be too hostile for reptilian life.
This led to two competing hypotheses: Either the dinosaurs were permanent polar residents, or they migrated to the Arctic and Antarctic to take advantage of seasonally abundant warm resources, and possibly to reproduce.
The new study is the first to show unequivocal evidence that at least seven dinosaur species were capable of nesting at extremely high latitudes -- in this case the Upper Cretaceous Prince Creek Formation which lies at 80-85 degrees North.
The species uncovered include duck-billed dinosaurs called hadrosaurs, horned dinosaurs such as ceratopsians, and carnivores like tyrannosaurus.
The team are confident the tiny teeth and bones they found, some of which are only a few millimeters in diameter, belong to dinosaurs that were either newly hatched or died just prior to hatching, because of their distinct markings.
"They have a very specific and peculiar kind of surface texture -- it's highly vascularized and the bones are growing quickly, they have a lot of blood vessels flowing into them," explained Druckenmiller.
Unlike some mammals such as caribou that give birth to young that can walk long distances almost immediately, even the largest of dinosaurs had tiny hatchlings that would have been incapable of making migratory treks of thousands of miles (kilometers).
What's more, given what is known about how some species incubated their eggs well into the summer, the dinosaur young would not have had time to mature and be ready for a long journey before winter arrived, the team argues.
- Winter strategies -
The Arctic was warmer in the Late Cretaceous period than today, but conditions were still very challenging.
The average annual temperature was about 6 degrees Celsius (40 degrees Fahrenheit) but there would have been around four months of winter darkness with freezing temperatures and occasional snowfall.
The area was likely forested with conifers, angiosperms, ferns and horsetails.
"We now understand that probably most of the meat eating dinosaur groups we find up there were probably feathered," said Druckenmiller. "You can think of it as their own down parka, to help them survive the winter."
There isn't as strong evidence from current research that the herbivores were feathered, but the team thinks the smaller plant-eaters might have burrowed underground and hibernated.
The larger vegetarians, who had more fat in reserve, could have resorted to low-quality foraging of twigs and bark to make it through the winter.
Additionally, year-round Arctic residency is another clue pointing towards dinosaurs being warm-blooded, as other recent research has suggested, and is in line with the idea that they sit at the evolutionary point between cold-blooded reptiles and warm-blooded birds.
"We think of dinosaurs in these kind of tropical settings, but the whole world was not like that," said Druckenmiller, adding that the Arctic discoveries created a "natural test" of their physiology.
Dinosaurs' ability to survive the Arctic winter is the "most compelling evidence yet" that they can be added to the list of species capable of thermoregulation, concluded co-author Gregory Erickson of Florida State University.
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