100m-Wide Meteor Hit Antarctica 430,000 Years Ago

 In a photo taken 10/22/17, near Malaga, Spain, a meteor is seen
streaking past the constellation Canis Minor during the annual Orionid
meteor showers. (Reuters)
In a photo taken 10/22/17, near Malaga, Spain, a meteor is seen streaking past the constellation Canis Minor during the annual Orionid meteor showers. (Reuters)
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100m-Wide Meteor Hit Antarctica 430,000 Years Ago

 In a photo taken 10/22/17, near Malaga, Spain, a meteor is seen
streaking past the constellation Canis Minor during the annual Orionid
meteor showers. (Reuters)
In a photo taken 10/22/17, near Malaga, Spain, a meteor is seen streaking past the constellation Canis Minor during the annual Orionid meteor showers. (Reuters)

Research led by a Kent-based space scientist has uncovered new evidence of meteor particles reaching the Antarctic ice sheet 430,000 years ago. The team said the findings highlight the importance of reassessing the threat of medium-sized asteroids, with the potential for destructive consequences, reported The Metro.

Researchers recovered extra-terrestrial particles on the summit of Walnumfjellet within the Sor Rondane Mountains in east Antarctica. The discovery indicated a so-called low-altitude meteoritic touchdown event – where a jet of melted and vaporized material from an asteroid at least 100 meters in size reached the surface at high velocity.

The impact covered a circular area of around 2,000km – an almost-continental scale distribution, said Dr. Matthias van Ginneken from the University of Kent's School of Physical Sciences.

The research, published in the Science Advances journal, said finding evidence of such events remains critical to understanding the impact history of Earth and estimating hazardous effects of asteroid impacts.

Ginneke said while it is highly unlikely that such an event would happen over a densely-populated area – with less than 1 percent of the surface of the earth considered densely populated – its effects can be widespread.

"Severe effects of such an impact can be felt over hundreds of kilometers. Therefore, even if such an impact were to occur hundreds of kilometers away from a densely populated area, the amount of devastation would not be negligible and would need to be taken into account", he said.

Ginneken said the study could help improve knowledge of the rate of such impacts in the past and therefore how often these might happen in the future. The paper states that these events are potentially entirely destructive over a large area, corresponding to the area of interaction between the hot jet and the ground.



French 'Spiderman' Scales Philippines Tower

Urban climber Alain Robert, also known as the "French Spiderman" climbs the G.T. International Tower in Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines, March 5, 2024. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez
Urban climber Alain Robert, also known as the "French Spiderman" climbs the G.T. International Tower in Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines, March 5, 2024. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez
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French 'Spiderman' Scales Philippines Tower

Urban climber Alain Robert, also known as the "French Spiderman" climbs the G.T. International Tower in Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines, March 5, 2024. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez
Urban climber Alain Robert, also known as the "French Spiderman" climbs the G.T. International Tower in Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines, March 5, 2024. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

A free climber known as the "French Spiderman" scaled a Manila skyscraper on Tuesday to support the Philippines' maritime claims in the disputed South China Sea.
Frenchman Alain Robert, who has scaled more than 150 structures worldwide, including Dubai's Burj Kalifa and France's Eiffel Tower, drew a crowd and disrupted traffic in the Philippine capital's financial district.
He climbed the 47-storey GT Tower without a harness, and was promptly arrested after successfully descending from the skyscraper, Reuters reported.
Robert said he climbed to raise awareness on the maritime disputes between the Philippines and China in the South China Sea.
"I know that there is tension, you know, with the Philippine Sea, and then just to remind people that the sea and the islands belong to the Philippines and no one else, so that's the purpose of my ascent today," Robert said, without explaining why he was drawn to the cause.
Robert climbed the same skyscraper in 2019. He was arrested and fined 1,000 pesos ($18) for his stunt.
The Philippines accused China of "dangerous maneuvers" on Tuesday that led to a collision between its coast guard ship and a Chinese vessel.
The incident was the latest in a series of maritime run-ins between the Philippines and China, which have been locked in a territorial dispute in the South China Sea despite a 2016 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration which found that China's claims had no legal basis. Beijing rejects that ruling.


Bezos Dethrones Musk to Reclaim Title of World’s Richest Man 

Jeff Bezos' net worth stands at $200 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, surpassing Elon Musk's $198 billion. (AFP)
Jeff Bezos' net worth stands at $200 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, surpassing Elon Musk's $198 billion. (AFP)
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Bezos Dethrones Musk to Reclaim Title of World’s Richest Man 

Jeff Bezos' net worth stands at $200 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, surpassing Elon Musk's $198 billion. (AFP)
Jeff Bezos' net worth stands at $200 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, surpassing Elon Musk's $198 billion. (AFP)

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos took back his spot as the world's richest man on Monday, dethroning Elon Musk on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Bezos' net worth stands at $200 billion, according to the tracker, surpassing the Tesla chief's $198 billion.

Musk, who also heads X (formerly Twitter) and SpaceX, has seen his riches fall by more than $30 billion as Tesla's share price has dropped 25 percent in recent months.

Adding to Musk's woes, a court in January approved the annulment of his enormous Tesla compensation agreement, worth $55.8 billion and originally struck in 2018.

Bezos, who no longer runs Amazon, has meanwhile benefited from the ecommerce giant's rising stock price.

Even after recently selling off $8.5 billion in stocks he remains the company's largest shareholder.

The French CEO of the luxury group LVMH, Bernard Arnault, remains in third place in the rankings of the world's richest people, worth $197 billion.


Saudi Arabia: Beast House Opens its Doors to Music Enthusiasts in Diriyah

Beast House is an innovative hub in Jax District. Photo: MDLBEAST
Beast House is an innovative hub in Jax District. Photo: MDLBEAST
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Saudi Arabia: Beast House Opens its Doors to Music Enthusiasts in Diriyah

Beast House is an innovative hub in Jax District. Photo: MDLBEAST
Beast House is an innovative hub in Jax District. Photo: MDLBEAST

MDLBEAST, the leading Saudi music entertainment company, has inaugurated Beast House, a members-only club in Diriyah, Riyadh.

MDLBEAST aims to venture into music venues, strengthening the Kingdom’s music ecosystem. This includes boosting production capabilities, empowering talents, and curating immersive musical experiences globally.

Beast House, an innovative hub in Jax District, fosters talents, offering a creative space for artists and music enthusiasts.

The club includes a cutting-edge recording studio, production rooms, designated spaces for workshops and music seminars, and a versatile stage for concerts and musical events.

“Our aim is to establish innovative spaces and a supportive community that (empowers) musical talent and cultivates production capabilities, providing creative individuals with an inspiring environment to transform ideas into captivating music experiences,” said MDLBEAST CEO Ramadan Al-Haratani.


Muscat International Film Festival Kicks Off its 11th Edition

he Muscat International Film Festival (MIIFF) honors a number of directors and international and local cinema stars (Oman News Agency)
he Muscat International Film Festival (MIIFF) honors a number of directors and international and local cinema stars (Oman News Agency)
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Muscat International Film Festival Kicks Off its 11th Edition

he Muscat International Film Festival (MIIFF) honors a number of directors and international and local cinema stars (Oman News Agency)
he Muscat International Film Festival (MIIFF) honors a number of directors and international and local cinema stars (Oman News Agency)

The 11th Muscat International Film Festival (MIIFF) has kicked off in Oman with the slogan “Renewed Oman,” showcasing 23 films from 11 countries.

Running until March 7, the festival aims to promote global collaboration in cinema and highlight Omani and Arab filmmaking talents.

According to festival director Ammar Al-Ibrahim, films from Oman, the Arab world, and beyond help foster understanding and cultural exchange.

They provide a platform for directors and writers to express their visions.

The festival features 23 feature films and 34 short films, including works from Omani filmmakers.

It also includes a Festival Market for industry players to network and promote their projects.

Notable figures being honored at the festival include directors from Iran, Oman, Palestine, and Bahrain.

The festival also aims to showcase Oman’s diverse landscapes to international filmmakers.

Established in 2002, the MIIF is running its 11th edition and is considered one of the earliest film festivals in the Gulf region.


Berger's Stolen Ferrari Recovered Almost 3 Decades Later

This undated photo provided by the Metropolitan Police on March 2, 2024 shows a Ferrari stolen from former Formula One driver Gerhard Berger 28 years ago which has been recovered. (Metropolitan Police via AP)
This undated photo provided by the Metropolitan Police on March 2, 2024 shows a Ferrari stolen from former Formula One driver Gerhard Berger 28 years ago which has been recovered. (Metropolitan Police via AP)
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Berger's Stolen Ferrari Recovered Almost 3 Decades Later

This undated photo provided by the Metropolitan Police on March 2, 2024 shows a Ferrari stolen from former Formula One driver Gerhard Berger 28 years ago which has been recovered. (Metropolitan Police via AP)
This undated photo provided by the Metropolitan Police on March 2, 2024 shows a Ferrari stolen from former Formula One driver Gerhard Berger 28 years ago which has been recovered. (Metropolitan Police via AP)

A Ferrari Testarossa sports car stolen from Austrian Formula One driver Gerhard Berger during the 1995 San Marino Grand Prix weekend has been recovered by London police almost 29 years later.
The Metropolitan Police said on Monday the red F512M, worth some 350,000 pounds ($444,325.00), was tracked down in four days after Ferrari reported it was the one being sold through a British broker to a US buyer.
Police enquiries found it was shipped to Japan shortly after being stolen from the Italian city of Imola and then arrived in Britain in late 2023.
According to Reuters, the Organized Vehicle Crime Unit said enquiries were ongoing and no arrests had been made.
A second silver Ferrari F355 that belonged to Berger's French former team mate Jean Alesi, which was stolen on the same weekend in the Italian city, remains missing.
Alesi finished second in the race won by Williams' Damon Hill with Berger third, in the Ferrari drivers' final season at the Italian team before the arrival of Michael Schumacher and Eddie Irvine.
Berger had caught the thief in the act of stealing his car but after jumping clear and then giving chase in a friend's Volkswagen Golf, according to a news report at the time, was unable to prevent it from getting away.


Saudi Ministry of Media Signs 4 Agreements with Global Entities at LEAP 24

The agreements were signed on the first day of the LEAP 2024 exhibition in Riyadh. (SPA)
The agreements were signed on the first day of the LEAP 2024 exhibition in Riyadh. (SPA)
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Saudi Ministry of Media Signs 4 Agreements with Global Entities at LEAP 24

The agreements were signed on the first day of the LEAP 2024 exhibition in Riyadh. (SPA)
The agreements were signed on the first day of the LEAP 2024 exhibition in Riyadh. (SPA)

The Saudi Ministry of Media signed on Monday several agreements and memoranda of understanding with local and international companies and entities, in the presence of Minister of Media Salman bin Yousef Al-Dosari.  

The agreements were signed on the first day of the LEAP 2024 exhibition in Riyadh.  

Vice Minister of Media Dr. Abdullah bin Ahmed Al-Maghlouth signed the agreements, which included a cooperation agreement with Alibaba and Alibaba Cloud.  

The agreements aim to develop training programs for workers in the media sector, focusing on AI and other technical fields. Additionally, they aim to host the ministry's infrastructure, services, and platforms, among others, in Alibaba Cloud's data centers. This includes hosting the Disaster Recovery Center and the Saudipedia encyclopedia in its next version.  

Al-Maghlouth also signed an agreement with Cisco to develop the Ministry's emergency and disaster call center and smart building infrastructure. It involves integrating AI techniques in developing infrastructure, equipping the Ministry's facilities with advanced smart solutions, and organizing technical workshops by the company to raise the efficiency of technical operations and enhance the Ministry's human capital.  

The ministry signed an agreement with the Chinese company eWTPA to provide training opportunities for local and international journalists. This, in turn, will offer full media support in Chinese by translating, broadcasting, and publishing news related to the Saudi media sector.  

The agreement also calls for funding and arranging visits between the two sides to exchange knowledge and experiences in the fields of entrepreneurship and media.

 


Vietnamese Capital Hanoi Tops List of Most Polluted Cities 

A man sits on the edge of Hoan Kiem lake in Hanoi on March 4, 2024. (AFP)
A man sits on the edge of Hoan Kiem lake in Hanoi on March 4, 2024. (AFP)
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Vietnamese Capital Hanoi Tops List of Most Polluted Cities 

A man sits on the edge of Hoan Kiem lake in Hanoi on March 4, 2024. (AFP)
A man sits on the edge of Hoan Kiem lake in Hanoi on March 4, 2024. (AFP)

The streets of Vietnam's capital city Hanoi were enveloped in thick smog on Monday which dramatically reduced visibility due to air pollution caused by high levels of particulates from vehicle emissions and construction-linked fine dust.

Levels of hazardous small particles known as PM2.5 in the air in Hanoi were at 187 micrograms per cubic meter late on Monday, the highest among a list of most polluted international cities, according to data from AirVisual, which provides independent global air pollution information via a phone app.

"This is damaging for our health," said Duong Kim Oanh, a 58-year-old Hanoi resident. "I think Hanoi's pollution is caused by a large number of personal vehicles and the fine dust from all the construction, plus this cold weather."

According to a 2021 World Bank report, emissions from Hanoi's 8 million registered vehicles made up 30% of air particulate pollution, and industry emissions another 30%.

The pollution "will affect people's respiratory system, making people feel sick or even suffocated," said Pham Thi Phuong, another resident.

Nearly 100 flights to and from the international airport in Hanoi were delayed or diverted to other cities on Feb. 2 due to heavy fog and worsening air pollution.


Volcano on Uninhabited Galapagos Island Erupts, Sends Lava Flowing to Sea 

In this photo released by Galapagos National, La Cumbre volcano erupts a the Fernandina Island, in Galápagos Islands, Ecuador. Sunday, March 3, 2024. (Galapagos National Park via AP)
In this photo released by Galapagos National, La Cumbre volcano erupts a the Fernandina Island, in Galápagos Islands, Ecuador. Sunday, March 3, 2024. (Galapagos National Park via AP)
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Volcano on Uninhabited Galapagos Island Erupts, Sends Lava Flowing to Sea 

In this photo released by Galapagos National, La Cumbre volcano erupts a the Fernandina Island, in Galápagos Islands, Ecuador. Sunday, March 3, 2024. (Galapagos National Park via AP)
In this photo released by Galapagos National, La Cumbre volcano erupts a the Fernandina Island, in Galápagos Islands, Ecuador. Sunday, March 3, 2024. (Galapagos National Park via AP)

A volcano on an uninhabited island in the Galapagos has begun erupting, lighting up the nighttime sky as lava tumbled down its sides toward the sea.

The La Cumbre volcano on Fernandina island began erupting Saturday around midnight in what officials with Ecuador's Geophysical Institute said could be its largest eruption since 2017. The 1,476-meter (4,842-foot) volcano last erupted in 2020.

Images shared on social media taken by visitors to the Galapagos show the volcano profiled against a crimson red sky.

While the eruption posed no risk to humans, the island is home to a number of species, including iguanas, penguins and flightless cormorants. In 2019, scientists found on the island a giant tortoise not seen in more than a century and had been feared extinct.

The La Cumbre volcano is one of the most active in the Galapagos Island chain, which is famous throughout the world for helping 19th century British scientist Charles Darwin develop his theory of evolution.


Human Resources Ministry Implements Saudization’s 2nd Phase of Licensed Aviation Professions

The Human Resources Ministry implements Saudization’s second phase of licensed aviation professions. (SPA)
The Human Resources Ministry implements Saudization’s second phase of licensed aviation professions. (SPA)
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Human Resources Ministry Implements Saudization’s 2nd Phase of Licensed Aviation Professions

The Human Resources Ministry implements Saudization’s second phase of licensed aviation professions. (SPA)
The Human Resources Ministry implements Saudization’s second phase of licensed aviation professions. (SPA)

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, in partnership with the Ministry of Transport and Logistic Services, announced the implementation of the second phase of the Saudization of licensed aviation professions in private sector establishments, SPA said on Monday.
It added that five or more workers are to be employed in one of the targeted aviation professions.
This is set to begin on March 04, 2024, as part of the ministries' efforts to provide stable and incentivized employment opportunities for both male and female citizens and enhance their participation in the job market.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development has announced that the targeted professions in the second phase will include the Flight Attendant profession with a 60% focus and Fixed-Wing Pilot with a 70% emphasis.
Workers in these aviation professions are required to obtain a professional accreditation certificate from the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA).
The Ministry of Transport and Logistic Services has emphasized its commitment to overseeing the implementation of the second phase.
The goal is to empower private sector establishments by providing comprehensive support and employment programs available through the Human Resources and Social Development system. This assistance is intended to facilitate the hiring and attraction of national talents.
The Ministry has issued a procedural guide outlining all aspects of the decision, its implementation mechanism, and the support and employment programs extended to private sector establishments.

 

 


Scientists Reveal Secrets of Desert Star Dunes

A view of the Lala Lallia star dune of the Sahara Desert, in Erg Chebbi, Morocco, as seen in an undated handout image from 2008 and obtained by Reuters on March 1, 2024. Charlie Bristow/Handout via REUTERS
A view of the Lala Lallia star dune of the Sahara Desert, in Erg Chebbi, Morocco, as seen in an undated handout image from 2008 and obtained by Reuters on March 1, 2024. Charlie Bristow/Handout via REUTERS
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Scientists Reveal Secrets of Desert Star Dunes

A view of the Lala Lallia star dune of the Sahara Desert, in Erg Chebbi, Morocco, as seen in an undated handout image from 2008 and obtained by Reuters on March 1, 2024. Charlie Bristow/Handout via REUTERS
A view of the Lala Lallia star dune of the Sahara Desert, in Erg Chebbi, Morocco, as seen in an undated handout image from 2008 and obtained by Reuters on March 1, 2024. Charlie Bristow/Handout via REUTERS

They are among the wonders of our deserts: star dunes, the vaguely pyramid-shaped sand formations up to about 1,000 feet (300 meters) tall with arms stretching out from a central peak to give them a star-like appearance when viewed from above.
Scientists on Monday unveiled the first in-depth study of a star dune, revealing the internal structure of these geological features and showing how long it took for one of them to form - more quickly than expected but still a process unfolding over many centuries.
The study focused upon a star dune in eastern Morocco called Lala Lallia, meaning "highest sacred point" in the local Berber language, situated within the Sahara Desert in a small sand sea called Erg Chebbi about 3 miles (5 km) from the town of Merzouga, close to the border with Algeria.
Lala Lallia rises about 330 feet (100 meters) above the surrounding dunes and is approximately 2,300 feet (700 meters) wide, containing about 5-1/2 million metric tons of sand.
According to Reuters, he researchers used ground-penetrating radar to peer inside the dune and employed luminescence dating to determine how long Lala Lallia has taken to form, a method based on the amount of energy trapped inside the grains of sand. The answer: about 900 years, accumulating roughly 6,400 metric tons annually as wind relentlessly blows sand through the desert.
Star dunes make up just under 10% of the dunes in Earth's deserts and are the tallest ones, surpassing other types such as crescent-shaped barchan dunes and straight and lengthy linear dunes. They also have been spotted on Mars and on Saturn's large moon Titan.
"I first encountered star dunes in Namibia 20 years ago, and was instantly amazed at the size of them. I have a vivid memory of the long climb to the top, struggling up very loose sand in the heat of the day," said geographer Geoff Duller of Aberystwyth University in Wales, co-author of the study published in the journal Scientific Reports.
"I find desert dunes very beautiful," Duller added. "The sight of the sinuous curves, and the way that the light and shadow changes with the sun mean that they always look different, whether that is in the cool of the morning, the midday sun or near sunset. The different colors of sand in different deserts are also very striking, with yellow, white, red and even black dunes in different parts of the world."
The ground-penetrating radar revealed the layers within the Lala Lallia dune, showing how it was constructed over time through accumulating sand and how parts of its internal structure resembled other types of dunes.
"Star dunes are formed in areas with complex wind regimes, which means winds blowing from different directions, and net sand accumulation, points within the desert where big piles of sand can be blown around to form giant dunes," said Birkbeck University of London sedimentologist and study co-author Charlie Bristow.
The researchers also determined that Lala Lallia is moving westerly at a speed of about 1.6 feet (0.5 meters) annually.
While many star dunes are known today, only a single ancient one has been found preserved as sandstone in the geological record, dating to about 250 million years ago, in Scotland. By revealing their internal structure, the researchers said their findings provide a guide for geologists to identify more sandstone remnants of ancient star dunes.
Earth's largest star dunes are found in the Badain Jaran desert in western China. Star dunes also are found in places including the Namib Sand Sea in Namibia, large sand seas in Algeria such as the Grand Erg Oriental and Grand Erg Occidental, and Rub' al Khali in Saudi Arabia. In North America, Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado contains a series of them.
"They form extraordinary and awe-inspiring landscapes," Bristow said. "From the ground they can be intimidating, mobile mountains of sand."