Presidents Weah, Xi Jinping to Strengthen Bilateral Ties

first_imgPres. Weah greets Chinese President, Xi Jinping in BeijingSign US$54M grant to construct overpasses at SKD Boulevard, Ministerial ComplexA September 1, 2018 dispatch from Beijing China where President George Weah is currently attending the 2018 Beijing Summit on China-Africa Cooperation says President Weah and Chinese President Xi Jinping have signed two cooperation agreements totaling US$54 million (320 million RMB) for the construction of two overpasses at SKD Boulevard and the Ministerial Complex, while the other is the provision of emergency food aid. The agreements were signed at the Great Hall of the People’s Republic of ChinaAccording to the dispatch, President Weah reiterated Liberia’s firm adherence to the one-China policy and expressed heartfelt gratitude for China’s valuable support, especially the selfless help to Liberia in her fight against the Ebola epidemic in 2014 and 2015 respectively.President Weah said that the mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Liberia has brought perceptible benefits to the Liberian people. “Liberia supports and is willing to take part in China’s Belt and Road Initiative,” he said.He furthered that Liberia supports China’s hosting the Beijing Summit of the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), and is willing to make whatever contribution that would enhance friendship between the two countries and peoples.In his welcoming statement to President Weah and delegation to the People’s Republic of China, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that the friendship between China and Liberia continues to serve the fundamental interests of both countries and people.President Xi reflected on China’s support to Liberia’s peace process, and promised to continue to stand up and support the country in multilateral institutions.He highlighted the Liberian government’s firm position on the One-China Policy, and said his government is willing to increase exchanges at all levels, emphasizing that the two countries should continue to show mutual understanding and support each other on issues involving their respective core interests and major concerns.The Chinese President promised to strengthen bilateral cooperation across various fields, especially those outlined in the Liberian government’s National Development Agenda, focusing on infrastructure development, poverty-reduction, health, agriculture, and education.President Xi then expressed the hope that as a former world football star, deeply admired by his compatriots, President Weah would use his special influence to promote sport and youth exchanges between China and Liberia. FOCAC’s Briefs[Objectives] Equal consultation, enhancing understanding, expanding consensus, strengthening friendship and promoting cooperation.[Consultation Mechanism] As prescribed in the Program for China-Africa Cooperation in Economic and Social Development, adopted at the 2000 Ministerial Conference of FOCAC, China and Africa agreed to set up joint follow-up mechanisms to conduct regular evaluations on the implementation of the follow-up actions.In July 2001, a FOCAC ministerial consultation meeting was held in Lusaka, capital of Zambia, at which the Procedures for Follow-up Mechanisms of FOCAC were deliberated and adopted. The follow-up mechanisms officially took effect in April 2002. The FOCAC follow-up mechanisms are built at the Ministerial Conference, which is held every three years; the Senior Officials Follow-up Meeting and the Senior Officials Preparatory Meeting for the Ministerial Conference are held respectively in the year and a few days before the Ministerial Conference is held; and the consultations between the African Diplomatic Corps in China and the Secretariat of the Chinese Follow-up Committee are held at least twice a year.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Man wins trip in Copa Airlines, Banks DIH Christmas promotion

first_imgCompton Delon Aaron already knows this Christmas will be one of the best ever because he has had an enormous slice of good fortune, and it all came about because he decided to make a prudent purchase.Aaron would have taken advantage of a special offer by Banks DIH to buy two six-packs of Malta Supreme and get a free T-shirt as well as a chance in the Cop-A-Supreme free trip promotion draw.As such, he became the first winner of the promotion—an initiative of Copa Airlines and Banks DIH. He received an award letter to that effect on December 5 in the presence of airline staff members and Banks DIH Brand Manager of Non-Alcoholic Malts, Clayton McKenzie.He now has the incredible opportunity to choose from 80 Copa AirlinesWinner of the first Cop-A-Supreme promotion draw, Compton Delon Aaron (right) poses with Banks DIH Brand Manager of Non-Alcoholic Malts, Clayton McKenzie and Copa Airlines Sales Manager Nadine Oudkerkdestinations to enjoy his prize with someone special.Aaron is ecstatic. “It’s … unbelievable for you to have won a competition that you can select from more than 70 destinations. So with Copa Airlines and Banks Supreme Malta, you can fulfil your dreams. So you can’t go wrong supporting Copa Airlines or Banks Malta.”He applauded Copa Airlines and Banks DIH for rewarding their customers with such generosity and believed they should continue to give something back, for their customers’ support.Aaron won the first of three such drawings in December, and the companies have announced that the closing date for the competition has been shifted from December 8 to December 22. This means the second drawing will be done on December 15 and the final one on December 22.Persons who wish to qualify can buy two Malta Supreme six-packs. The purchase entitles the buyer to a free T-shirt and an entry form which can be deposited into the boxes at Banks DIH Retail Liquor Store, Caesar’s Palace and Banks DIH Cash and Carry centres at Bartica, Berbice, Linden, and Essequibo. Then, it’s all up to the luck of the draw.Speaking at the presentation ceremony where Aaron got his prize, Copa Airlines Sales Manager Nadine Oudkerk said the airline’s management was delighted to be part of a promotion that gives persons a chance to fulfil travel dreams.“We will continue to reward our customers in big ways. We wish Mr Aaron a memorable vacation and are truly pleased to be part of a dream come true,” she said.last_img read more

Conte salutes “unstoppable” leaders City

first_img0Shares0000Man City restored their 16-point lead at the Premier League summit by dismantling Arsenal on Thursday © IKIMAGES/AFP / Ian KINGTONLONDON, United Kingdom, Mar 2 – Antonio Conte has saluted “unstoppable” Manchester City as the Chelsea manager prepares for Sunday’s clash with the runaway Premier League leaders.Conte’s reigning champions head to Manchester lagging 22 points behind City and look certain to have to surrender the title to Pep Guardiola’s men. City have been riding high all season and face Chelsea on the back of successive 3-0 drubbings of Arsenal in last weekend’s League Cup final and then the Premier League on Thursday.Sitting 16 points clear of second-placed Manchester United, it is only a matter of time before City are crowned champions and Blues boss Conte acknowledged their rivals’ quality makes them almost impossible to beat.“In this moment they seem unstoppable,” Conte told reporters on Friday.“We must have great admiration for this team because they are having a fantastic path in this season.“Sometimes it’s very difficult to find a weakness in this team.”City finished third, 15 points behind Chelsea, in Guardiola’s first season in charge, but now are champions elect.Asked the reason for the turnaround in such a short space of time, Conte’s answer hinted at his season-long frustration with Chelsea following a series of reported disagreements with the club’s hierarchy over transfer policy.“When you work very well and there is a great feeling between the manager and the club, you can work in the way you want, to try to improve your team in the best way,” Conte said.“Manchester City has the possibility to spend a lot of money. When you link this situation, good manager, much money to spend in the transfer market, the same ambition, this is the final result.”Asked if he expects City to dominate again next season, Conte had a worrying answer for the rest of the Premier League.“Yes, for sure because they have the possibility to spend money, to improve the quality of the starting XI, the quality of the squad,” he said.“If you remember I always said for the other teams, they have to pay great attention to Manchester City. Manchester City is a fantastic reality.“I think last season Manchester City were always a fantastic team. But after one season, then the manager tried to improve the quality of the starting XI, to improve the quality in his squad. This is the result.”Chelsea are seeking to avoid three successive away league defeats for the first time in five years as they battle to secure a top-four finish.Conte’s team are two points behind fourth-placed Tottenham and he called on his players to fight to qualify for the Champions League.“As I said before, for us, now in this moment, we have to try to get a place in the Champions League. It won’t be easy,” he said.“There are many teams very strong. We must be ready to fight and try to get a place for next season in the Champions League.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Ruto’s Sh50m added into Stars AFCON budget

first_img0Shares0000Deputy President William Ruto listens to Football Kenya Federation boss Nick Mwendwa as Sports PS Kirimi Kaberia and Sports Kenya Chairman Fred Muteti listen in at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani on October 12, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 13 – The ministry of sports has surprisingly included Deputy President William Ruto’s Sh50mn African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualification promise to Harambee Stars in the team’s final approved budget for the preparation of the biennial championship.The Deputy President made a promise to the team that qualification to the 2019 showpiece will attract a hefty reward from the government but now, it appears the ministry has included this as part of the Sh244mn approved budget for the team towards the biennial championship. This promise was made on December 19, 2017 when Ruto hosted the team at his official residence in Karen after their triumph in the CECAFA Senior Challenge trophy held here at home where he also rewarded the team with Sh5mn.RECAP: Harambee Stars promised Sh50mn for AFCON qualificationAccording to Football Kenya Federation (FKF) boss Nick Mwendwa the amount will be deducted from the entire approved budget which they hope to get by end of week.Harambee Stars skipper Victor Wanyama hands over a jersey and signed ball to Deputy President William Ruto when he paid the team a courtesy call at the Kasarani Stadium on Friday October 12, 2018. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya“We had forwarded a budget estimate of Sh244mn for AFCON beginning from the Ghana game to the tournament in Egypt. We also had a separate budget for the team that plays in the Olympic qualifiers but the ministry through the Principle Secretary told us that in football, all we are getting is the Sh244mn until July 1,” Mwendwa said.He added the Federation will keep its promise of giving the team 70pc of the Sh50mn to divide among themselves while the federation keeps the remaining 30pc to aid in preparations. With this, the players are set to receive Sh35mn to divide amongst themselves.“We had a deal with the players and we will stick to it. Once they come in to camp next week we will give them the money hoping it comes into our accounts early and they will divide it among themselves,” Mwendwa noted.This means that the team will now have a sum total of Sh209mn to facilitate all their plans for AFCON 2019 including the final qualifier against Ghana and the intended three-week training camp in France as well as the final tournament in Egypt.The federation however received a Sh20mn boost from betting firm Betin of which Sh15mn will go towards the preparation kitty. FKF boss Mwendwa also noted they are set to unveil two more partners by next week to boost their finances.Football Kenya Federation boss Nick Mwendwa and Betin Marketing Director Carlo Buttaci exchange documens after signing a Sh20mn sponsorship deal for the Harambee Stars on Macrh 12, 2019“We want to give the coach and the team everything they ask for. This money will go into preparations of the team as well as settling bills from last season including Starlets’ unpaid allowances. The team will camp at Safari Park this time and so will the Under-23 Olympics team,” Mwendwa explained.“It is expensive to undertake all these things and that is why we want to bring on board more sponsors. The camp in France is expensive, we will play two or three friendly games there and it is also expensive to have them,” he further stated.At the same time, the FKF boss has estimated a cash reward of Sh7mn for the team for any win they pick in Egypt and if, against all odds they go all the way and lift the title, then the team will earn a whooping Sh120mn reward.“That is what the coach has proposed and that is what other teams do. We have tried to negotiate a bit with the players but that is just about the estimate of what they will earn with one win. This money is not in the Sh244mn budget and that is why we need more partners on board,” Mwendwa noted.According to plans, the team is set to travel to France on May 15 for the training camp at a location selected by the coach in Paris.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Liverpool fury: ‘He should never wear the Reds shirt again’ – defender slammed

first_imgLiverpool were left stunned by Sevilla in the Europa League final, losing 3-1 in Basel.The Reds looked to be on course to victory after Daniel Sturridge’s sublime opening goal, but Jurgen Klopp’s troops collapsed in the second half.SEE ALSO: MISSED THE GOALS FROM THE EUROPA LEAGUE FINAL? WATCH THEM ALL HERE!And one player who has come in for heavy criticism is Alberto Moreno.The Spaniard had a performance to forget in the final 45 minutes, caught out on multiple occasions by Sevilla’s attack and fans have not been shy in voicing their opinion.Have a read below of what football fans had to say on Moreno… 1 Moreno in action during Liverpool’s defeat to Sevilla in the final at St. Jakob-Park last_img

3 SCV sites to get funds from grant

first_imgSANTA CLARITA – Three sites in the Santa Clarita Valley have been tapped for grants of $48,500, part of a $3.2 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security for enhanced protection in case of possible terror attacks. The county Board of Supervisors is slated to accept the grants Tuesday from the federal agency’s 2005 Buffer Zone Protection Program. The funding could be used for planters for use as barricades or other forms of protection approved by federal guidelines. Two of the sites are in Valencia and one in Saugus, though county Office of Emergency Management officials declined to specify their exact locations, citing security concerns. The Santa Clarita Valley is home to the Westfield Valencia Town Center and Six Flags California and is crossed by the California Aqueduct, which carries water from Northern California. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinals160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Man arrested after trying to steal from handbags in nightclubs

first_imgA man who tried to steal from women’s handbags in two different nightclubs has appeared in court.Piotr Zemlik appeared at Letterkenny District Court to face the charge of attempted theft. Garda Sgt Gerard Dalton told the court that on December 12th, 2016 there were two complaints that a man had attempted to steal from two handbags at Voodoo Nightclub in Letterkenny.The accused was identified and seen on CCTV footage with his hand in the handbags but no items were taken.On the second occasion, Zemlick, of The Grange, Letterkenny was witnessed unclipping a woman’s handbag after she had left it on a table.A total of €60 and a passport was taken just after 2am on February 16th, 2017 at the Pulse Nightclub in Letterkenny.The passport or the cash were not recovered, the court was told.Solicitor for the accused, Mr Patsy Gallagher, said his client was extremely drunk and had no recollection of the incidents.He is a 40-year-old married father-of-two and the court was told that he already has 24 previous convictions for various offences including handling stolen goods.Mr Gallagher said his client had no excuse but that he was asking the court not to impose a custodial sentence on his client.Judge Paul Kelly adjourned the case until June 10th to allow for a community service and probation report.Man arrested after trying to steal from handbags in nightclubs was last modified: April 10th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:courtdonegalhandbagsPulsetheftVOODOOlast_img read more

Science Forum to ignite conversations about science and society

first_imgThis week’s inaugural Science Forum South Africa will provide a public science forum for discussions on the role of science in society in South Africa, across the continent, and globally, writes Science And Technology Minister Naledi Pandor.South Africa will host the first “Science Forum South Africa” (SFSA) this week.It is designed as a “public science” event open to all interested stakeholders, to provide a platform for discussion and debate on the role of science in South African, African society as well as globally.The programme is bringing together more than 1 500 participants for discussion and debate in four plenary sessions, 32 (parallel) short seminars and 18 individual lectures – labelled “Science talks.” The Science Forum will also include an exhibition and public outreach activities.The opening plenary session will include remarks by the African Union’s Commissioner for Science and Technology, Japan’s renowned Science and Technology in Society Forum’s Koji Omi, and Prof Salim Abdool Karim, internationally acclaimed for his work in the fight against HIV-AIDS.With the international negotiations on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris enjoying huge public attention, the Science Forum will include a plenary debate on the science, technology and innovation response to climate change.Chaired by the Chairperson of South Africa’s National Advisory Council on Innovation, Prof Cheryl de la Ray, and introduced by renowned South African systems ecologist and contributor to the International Panel on Climate Change, Prof Bob Scholes, the debate will include contributions from experts from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania. These will include Dr Tanya Abrahamse, of the South African National Biodiversity Institute and member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the United Nations Secretary-General.The second plenary debate will focus on how to best harness science, technology and innovation for the National Development Plan, drawing on international experience. The debate will be moderated by the CEO of South Africa’s Technology Innovation Agency, Barlow Manilal. Panellists will include experts, such as Dr Ben Ngubane, democratic South Africa’s first Minister of Science and Technology; Prof Tebello Nyokong, a member of the United Nations high-level panel on the “Technology Bank and Science, Technology and Innovation Support Mechanism”, proposed to support the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals; as well as Prof Anil Gupta of India – an internationally celebrated expert on “grassroots innovation”.The closing plenary discussion will see the awarding of the “SFSA Science Diplomacy Awards”. These awards will recognise excellence and achievements in international scientific co-operation. A report highlighting the main messages emanating from the Forum will be compiled and presented by young officials of the Department of Science and Technology, on which international science policy thought leaders will comment, before I and Prof Romain Murenzi, Executive Director of the World Academy of Sciences, close proceedings.Of special note are the “science talks” programme, a series of 18 lectures of 30 minutes each delivered by eminent thought leaders. These lectures will run concurrently with a networking reception and as with the short seminar programme, participants will be able to move freely between lectures and the networking reception according to their areas of interest. The aim is to create a dynamic and lively discussion environment enabling a vibrant exchange of ideas, fostering partnerships and co-operation.The first cycle will notably include a lecture by the Director-General of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology on “Modern biotechnology and the African challenge.” International partnerships will be on offer in a presentation of “Skoltech – a new English-speaking university in Russia: strategy and international networking.” The scientific response to societal challenges specifically with regard to energy will be presented in a lecture on “A renewable-based South African energy system.”The Science Forum has been actively supported by the Non-Aligned Movement Centre of Science and Technology. Thus, the first cycle of the Science talks will include a lecture by the Centre’s Director-General on “Science, technology and innovation policy-making in developing countries – initiatives in emerging economies.” The last two lectures in the first cycle will focus on large-scale research infrastructures, with a Russian perspective on “Mega science projects” and then “Square Kilometre Array: Big Telescope, Big Science, Big Data.”Find the full programme at read more

Deciding What You Want

first_imgNote: This was originally my Sunday newsletter. Occasionally, I post them here when people email me in large numbers. This was one of those newsletters that generated a big response.I want to offer you an exercise. It’s one that I have done a number of times, always right before a breakthrough. It’s one I am keen to repeat with a greater frequency than I have in the past.Most of us don’t spend enough time deciding what we really want. We are too busy living to spend time deciding what living means, or how to do so in way that is in line with our definition of success, happiness, a good life, and a life well lived.You cannot decide what you want by looking at your task list. The things that you have told yourself you must do have very little to do with what you want. In fact, just looking at all things that sit undone can cause you to believe that these are the things that you should be doing. If you can die happily with a task left undone and unaddressed, you can live happily with it undone and unaddressed.You also can’t decide what you want by looking at your projects, your short term goals, or the many roles you play. Unless the project is “my life,” it’s just a collection of tasks. Short term goals are important, but they’re likely just milestones on the way to something bigger. But what is that “something bigger?”To answer the question, “What do I want,” you have to move up to the highest vantage point available to you, a place where you can see further, a view with the greatest perspective. From that higher place, you can answer the question, “What do I want?”To live a life of purpose and meaning, you have to supply that purpose and meaning. You have to decide why you are here and what you are going to do with your time. Your life belongs to you alone. This fact is easy to forget when you don’t spend the necessary time to decide what you want, and when you end up living a life that is at odds with the life you see in your mind—and what you feel in your heart.If the idea of “what you want” seems nebulous to you, that is my intention. I have no idea what you really want. No one else does either. This is something you have to decide for yourself, even if it is one of the most difficult questions you have to answer.If you want to know what you really want, go some place quiet, where you can be alone. Make that quiet place outdoors, if you can. Write down the answer to the question, “What do I want?” Just write without having to be right. Explore what you surface and decide what it means for you. What you come up with probably fall into the categories of being more, doing more, having more, and contributing more.Once you know what you want, you can start to build the plans to achieve it. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

One hundred and one monarch genomes reveal surprising history of this long-distant migrant

first_imgEach fall, when the first migrating monarch butterflies fluttered past his 11th-floor window in Washington, D.C., Science’s recently retired earth science writer, Dick Kerr, would call us other writers and editors in to watch these harbingers of the coming cold wing their way southward. He’ll appreciate this advance. By sequencing 101 monarch genomes, biologists have rewritten the evolutionary history of the species, discovering what makes the monarch’s wings orange and its muscles well suited for the long flight to boot.”It is a wonderfully complete application of genomics to elucidating a well-known puzzle of natural history,” says Lawrence Gilbert, an evolutionary ecologist at the University of Texas, Austin. “It explains the pattern of migratory and sedentary populations on the globe and probably refines hypotheses on many aspects of monarch biology.”The fall journey takes the monarch, Danaus plexippus, thousands of kilometers south to the mountains of Mexico for the winter. Come spring, the butterflies begin their trek northward, following the blooming of the caterpillar’s host plant, milkweed. Adults stop and reproduce when they encounter the plant; then the next generation heads north as the season progresses to find more milkweed, so it can take several generations for the insects to make it back to Washington, D.C., and beyond to Canada. Females lay eggs on milkweed and their caterpillars feed on this plant, acquiring compounds that make the butterflies toxic to potential predators, as they warn with the striking orange and black pattern on their wings.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Many of the monarch’s close relatives call the tropics home and don’t migrate, so evolutionary biologists had proposed that the North American migrants descended from nonmigratory South or Central American ancestors, much as temperate songbirds originated in the tropics, spreading northward to find food but forced to return south each winter because of the cold weather. Not so, says Marcus Kronforst, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago in Illinois. “The data said a totally different thing.”Kronforst and his colleagues had previously studied another butterfly, Heliconius, and found the key gene involved in determining the color patterns of the various species in this group. So when the monarch genome was first sequenced 2 years ago, he wondered whether there might be a single gene largely responsible for migration behavior in the monarchs.Joining forces with monarch experts, Kronforst obtained DNA from 92 monarchs and nine other closely related butterflies. The samples came from different parts of North America, from places in South and Central America where the local monarchs stayed put all year round, and from elsewhere around the world. Shuai Zhan, now at the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences in China, sequenced all of these genomes. He and his colleagues grouped the genomes by how similar they were to build a family tree. That tree revealed that, contrary to expectations, all the monarchs arose from a population in the southern United States or northern Mexico. The species expanded in three waves, one south into South and Central America, one east across the Atlantic, and a third west across the Pacific. Butterflies in those waves settled down and ceased migrating. Kronforst, Zhan, and their colleagues matched up the DNA from migratory and nonmigratory populations. About 500 genes were different, many of them subtly so. But one muscle gene, called collagen IV alpha-1, stood out sharply. Many other creatures share the gene. Fruit flies with mutations in it have atrophied muscles, and in people, similar mutations lead to frequent muscle cramps. The researchers expected that to make their long trips North American monarchs would need a lot more collagen than their South American counterparts and that the gene would therefore be more active. Instead, the gene was less active in the migrants, they report online today in Nature. Somehow, less collagen in the migrants’ flight muscles made them more efficient.”It’s the first genetic change that’s been shown to be associated with migration,” says Richard Ffrench-Constant, an entomologist at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, who was not involved with the work. But the study is “just a first step,” he adds. These are the sorts of genes “that equip [the monarchs] to migrate, but not the genes that make them fly.” He hopes that next the researchers will find genes involved in turning on the migration behavior.Kronforst and Zahn’s team also sequenced genomes from Hawaiian monarchs, which come in white and orange forms. From breeding experiments, other researchers learned that a single gene was responsible for the color loss. Zahn and Kronforst expected that this gene would be involved in pigment-generating pathways. But instead, their analysis shows it was a gene that codes for myosin, a protein essential for muscle contraction. The butterfly myosin gene resembles a myosin gene that is mutated in a mouse strain that has light instead of dark fur. In the mouse, this myosin helps transport pigments into the hair, so Kronforst thinks the white morph’s myosin may fail to transport orange pigment into the wing scales.Ffrench-Constant says the data are compelling. But he wonders how well the new evolutionary scenario will hold up once more monarch relatives—many of them tropical and nonmigratory—are sequenced. The addition of those genomes to the monarch extended family tree may lead to another revision of this butterfly’s history. Nevertheless, the genetic analysis should reinforce interest in conserving migrating monarchs, whose numbers have dwindled in recent years. “Based on the paper’s findings,” Gilbert says, “sedentary populations cannot easily restore migrating monarchs once the latter are lost.”last_img read more