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Etihad SIA Air NZ executives join Virgin Australia

first_imgThe chief executives of Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand will join the Virgin Australia board as executive directors.The move reflects the respective airlines’ investments in Virgin as an upstart challenger to Qantas Airways, together they own nearly 70 per cent of the airline.Etihad chief executive James Hogan, Singapore Airlines chief executive officer Goh Choon Phong and Air NZ chief executive Christopher Luxon will join for the first board meeting in Sydney.The airlines are both friend and foes, collaborating and competing in a variety of markets.Virgin Australia has written up protocols to manage inevitable conflicts of interest however, it is unclear if this will help solve board disagreements.Source = ETB News: Tom Nealelast_img read more

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Unusual relic language comes from small group of farmers isolated for thousands

first_img Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country In the new study, led by population geneticist Mattias Jakobsson of Uppsala University in Sweden, researchers sequenced the genomes of eight ancient skeletons found in the heart of Basque country, from El Portalón cave in northern Spain. The cave, located near other early human remains in the Atapuerca Mountains, was occupied almost continuously between 30,000 and 1000 years ago. It contains artifacts left by both hunter-gatherers and early farmers, as well as graves that were the product of deliberate burials. The interred skeletons—four female and four male including a male child—were directly radiocarbon dated to between 5500 and 3500 years ago, a span bridging the Chalcolithic (Copper Age) period and the Bronze Age. They were clearly farmers and not hunter-gatherers, based on their later age and on the typical artifacts, including pottery, that were found in the graves.After extracting DNA from the skeletons and sequencing their genomes, the team compared their genetic profiles with more than a dozen from skeletons spanning the hunter-gatherer and early farming periods in Western and Central Europe—ranging from 8000 to about 5000 years ago. They also compared the ancient DNA with more than 2000 genomes from modern-day Europeans. As in earlier studies, the team found that the genomes of ancient European farmers represented a mixture of genes from earlier, indigenous hunter-gatherers and incoming agriculturalists. But today’s Basques turned out to be more closely related to the El Portalón farmers than to any other group in the study, including early hunter-gatherer genomes.The findings are “surprising,” the team writes online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, given previous claims that the Basques represented a relic population of hunter-gatherers that had somehow remained isolated in Europe for thousands of years. If that were true, they would have been more closely related to ancient hunter-gatherers than the farmers found in the El Portalón cave. Therefore, Jakobsson says, “we can finally set aside this old story.”So what accounts for the genetic distinctiveness of the Basques and the unique features of their language? Jakobsson says that there is indeed evidence that the Basques became isolated, but not during the initial spread of agriculture across Europe. Instead, their ancestors probably became isolated during subsequent waves of migration from central European and North African farmers that began about 5000 years ago. Modern-day Basques do not show genetic mixing from these later migrants, whose genes contribute between 10% and 25% of the genomes of non-Basques living in the Iberian Peninsula of Spain and Portugal today. “The El Portalon individuals, very similar to the Basques, do not show this additional genetic material,” Jakobsson says.As for the Basque language, the team suggests that it might have been a descendant of a tongue spoken by early farmers, before the Indo-European language family became dominant on the continent. But the team concedes that it cannot entirely rule out the possibility that Basque still has its origins in a hunter-gatherer language that was retained and carried along as farming spread throughout Iberia.Carles Lalueza-Fox, a geneticist at the University of Barcelona in Spain whose team has also been studying the spread of farming in Iberia, says that Jakobsson and his colleagues have got it right: “The Basques preserve the [genetic] signal” of the earliest farmers “more than other Iberians,” he says, and thus their “singularity” is owed to that agricultural heritage and not their hunter-gatherer ancestry.center_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe If you find yourself along the Atlantic coastal border between Spain and France, here are some phrases that might come in handy: Urte askotarako! (“Pleased to meet you!”), Eskerrik asko! (“Thank you!”), and Non daude komunak? (“Where is the toilet?”). Welcome to Basque Country, where many people speak a musical language that has no known relationship to any other tongue. Many researchers have assumed that Basque must represent a “relic language” spoken by the hunter-gatherers who occupied Western Europe before farmers moved in about 7500 years ago. But a new study contradicts that idea and concludes that the Basques are descended from a group of those early farmers that kept to itself as later waves of migration swept through Europe.The great majority of Europeans speak languages belonging to the Indo-European family, which includes such diverse tongues as German, Greek, Spanish, and French; a smaller number speak Uralic languages like Finnish, Hungarian, and Estonian. But Basque stands truly alone; what linguists call a “language isolate.” This uniqueness is a source of pride among the nearly 700,000 Basque speakers, some of whom have called for the creation of an independent nation separate from Spain and France.For scientists, however, Basque is a major unsolved mystery. In the 19th century, some anthropologists claimed that Basques had differently shaped skulls than other Europeans. Yet although that racial idea had been discredited by the 20th century, researchers have been able to show that the Basques have a striking number of genetic differences that set them apart from other Europeans. Variations in their immune cells and proteins include a higher-than-normal frequency of Rh-negative blood types, for example. Those findings led to the hypothesis that the Basques descended from early hunter-gatherers who had somehow avoided being genetically overwhelmed when farming spread into Europe from the Near East. But some recent studies have questioned just how genetically distinct the Basques really are.last_img read more

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