By Elizabeth Pennisi Dogs may be social butterflies, but wolves are top dog when it comes to working together as a team. That’s because unlike dogs, wolves haven’t evolved to avoid conflict; instead, members of a pack “sort things out” as they forage together, according to a new study. The work calls into question a long-held assumption that domestication fostered more cooperative individuals. “This study is a fabulous first go at experimentally comparing the ability of wolves and dogs to cooperate with their groupmates,” says Brian Hare, a dog cognition expert at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, who was not involved with the work. “Wolves run circles around dogs.” We tend to think of dogs as team players because they work with us to hunt, rescue trapped people, herd livestock, and play. But though dogs can be easily trained to work with people, it’s much harder to get them to work with fellow dogs. That’s especially true of village dogs, free-ranging canines with no owners or training that make up some 80% of the world’s pooches. They hang out in loose packs, surviving primarily on garbage and scraps. And there’s very little study of them, says Clive Wynne, a comparative psychologist at Arizona State University in Tempe. Continue reading by clicking the name of the source below.
By Aylin Woodward It is almost a month since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, yet nearly 80 per cent of the island is still without electrical power and more than 30 per cent of people there don’t have access to potable drinking water. The US Environmental Protection Agency reports that some citizens are so desperate for drinkable water that they have resorted to obtaining it from wells on a contaminated site, despite signs warning of danger. The Dorado Ground Water Contamination site, which lies west of capital city San Juan on Puerto Rico’s northern coast, contains wells that once provided water to nearly 67,000 people. The EPA added it to its Superfund list of hazardous sites last September, but had not started cleaning it up when Maria struck. EPA information from two years ago shows that some wells in the western part of the site are contaminated, whereas some of those in the eastern part meet drinking water standards. On Sunday, the agency said it had taken samples from three western locations that people had used for drinking water and expected results “by the end of next week”. The EPA says it has also reinstalled fences to secure the contaminated wells so people can’t access them. Continue reading by clicking the name of the source below.
By Jane Mayer On September 14th, the right-wing pundit Ann Coulter, who last year published a book titled “In Trump We Trust,” expressed what a growing number of Americans, including conservatives, have been feeling since the 2016 election. The previous day, President Trump had dined with Democratic leaders at the White House, and had impetuously agreed to a major policy reversal, granting provisional residency to undocumented immigrants who came to America as children. Republican legislators were blindsided. Within hours, Trump disavowed the deal, then reaffirmed it. Coulter tweeted, “At this point, who doesn’t want Trump impeached?” She soon added, “If we’re not getting a wall, I’d prefer President Pence.” Trump’s swerve did the unthinkable—uniting Coulter and liberal commentators. After Trump threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea, Gail Collins, the Times columnist, praised Vice-President Mike Pence as someone who at least “seems less likely to get the planet blown up.” This summer, an opinion column by Dana Milbank, of the Washington Post, appeared under the headline “ ‘president pence’ is sounding better and better.” Pence, who has dutifully stood by the President, mustering a devotional gaze rarely seen since the days of Nancy Reagan, serves as a daily reminder that the Constitution offers an alternative to Trump. The worse the President looks, the more desirable his understudy seems. The more Trump is mired in scandal, the more likely Pence’s elevation to the Oval Office becomes, unless he ends up legally entangled as well. Continue reading by clicking the name of the source below.