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15 января, 12:00

Grenache, the toughest grape in the world

It survives in inhospitable terrain and its wines are too often undervalued. So try a few of these …Grape vines of all kinds can cope with the most extraordinarily difficult and extreme environments. But few varieties of this tenacious plant are as tough as grenache, aka garnacha in Spain. It can survive, even thrive, in some of the dustiest corners of the wine world, roots plunged many feet deep into inhospitable terrain seeking out moisture.The wonder of grenache is that the meagre crops of fruit produced by vines which can be anything up to 100 years old create some of the most vivacious wines around: a stream of soft, mouth-filling juiciness, with flavours of bramble jam, raspberry, cherry, tangy plum and paprika. How all this primary-coloured flavour emerges from such harsh surroundings is a wonder of nature on a par with something from a David Attenborough documentary – like one of those desert plants that lie dormant for years waiting for the briefest rain shower to bring them into bloom. Continue reading...

07 января, 15:04

Manchester United v Reading: FA Cup third round – live!

Live updates from the 12.30pm GMT kick-offEmail [email protected] equals Charlton’s Man Utd goals record of 249Live scoreboard: the latest from Saturday’s matches 2.16pm GMT 89 min Blind is lucky not to be booked for a cynical foul on Gunter, who had skipped past him on the right wing. 2.15pm GMT 86 min So, Manchester United are still just about on course for the Alternative Quadruple. This is their eighth win in a row; the last time they did that was in the 2008-09 season, when they were two games and a penalty shoot-out away from the Actual Quadruple. Continue reading...

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28 декабря 2016, 10:00

Grass was greener but wildlife struggled in muggy 2016

Brambles and birds did well, but bees dipped and butterflies were hindered, according to a review of the year’s wildlife and weather by the National TrustFarmers made hay but rampant grass growth in 2016 made life hard for butterflies and even puffin chicks, according to a review of the year’s wildlife and weather by the National Trust.The nation’s ever more variable weather brought both booms and busts, with brambles and birds doing well, and slugs flourishing. But bumblebees dipped and owls found field voles hard to find. Continue reading...

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23 декабря 2016, 08:30

The snap of a twig, the running of the deer

Fermyn Woods, Northamptonshire I watch them through thickets of interwoven hazel and birch as they make their getawayCrack! A stick snaps a little distance to my right. Too big a snap for a small animal. Probably deer-sized, I estimate. I wonder how close I can get to the originator before being detected in the wood’s growing afternoon gloom. I creep away from the muddy path, through snagging brambles and naked hazel. I have advanced 15 meters towards the target when I feel a stick give under my foot and an inevitable, and similar, “crack” resonates through the still hush. Instantly, three young roe deer start from cover 20 meters away; I watch them through, and between, thickets of interwoven hazel and birch as they make their unswerving getaway with a stiff, springing gallop.My tracking skills are good enough to know how rudimentary they are. As a young lad I would, entranced, read Jim Corbett’s accounts of years spent pursuing man-eating leopards and tigers in the forests of India. Marvelling at how his corporeal self was absorbed into the forest. The meaning of every rustle, crack, bird call and grunt so familiar and significant that they keyed directly into his nervous system, and into that of the cat that was sometimes his quarry, sometimes his hunter, often both. Continue reading...

16 декабря 2016, 23:04

Humans Just Killed Off These 12 Animals, And You Didn't Even Notice

For thousands of years, the Bramble Cay melomys, a small, mouse-like rodent, eked out a living on a tiny coral island in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. It was the reef’s only endemic mammal species, and survived on the few plants that grew on its island home. But as climate change expedited sea level rise and increased storm surges that flooded the low-lying island, the Bramble Cay melomys and its food supply was severely threatened. In June, after years of fruitless searching, scientists announced that they could no longer find any trace of the rodent.  The melomys was posthumously bestowed the ignominious title of the first mammal to go extinct because of human-induced global warming. “Sadly,” WWF-Australia spokesperson Darren Grover told The New York Times, “it won’t be the last.”  Scientists say the planet is currently on the precipice of the sixth mass extinction, an event that could see the wiping out of at least 75 percent of the Earth’s species. The current extinction rate is at least 100 times higher than normal, according to a 2015 study. Humans have triggered an extinction episode “unparalleled for 65 million years,” the researchers said.  Habitat destruction, poaching and pollution have killed off many species, and as we hurtle toward a 2-degrees Celsius temperature rise, climate change is rapidly becoming another major threat.  “The climate is changing faster than it ever has in the entire history of many species, and heading towards a ‘new normal’ that is outside the conditions that species have become adapted to in their long evolutionary history,” co-author Anthony Barnosky, executive director of Stanford University’s Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, told The Huffington Post this week. “They can’t move to new places, because humans now use 50 percent of the Earth’s land, and they can’t evolve fast enough to keep up with the changes.” In the past 10 years alone, we know at least a dozen animals, including several mammals, birds and amphibians, have been driven to extinction by humans. And that number is likely a staggering underestimate. “Only approximately 2 million species have been scientifically described, but the number of species on Earth is estimated at 15 million or more. So many species are unknown to us,” said Gerardo Ceballos, a veteran ecologist at Mexico’s National Autonomous University and another of the study’s co-authors. “I think most species that are extinct will never be known to science.” It can also often take years for scientists to confirm an extinction. Conservationists often maintain a lingering hope that an animal presumed to be extinct could still be found alive, said Craig Hilton-Taylor, head of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. “It can take several years to tens of years of repeated surveying before we can say a species has gone,” he said.  Based on the work of the IUCN, as well as government reports and other research, HuffPost has compiled a list of 12 creatures that have almost certainly left us for good in the past decade: the Bramble Cay melomys, Pinta giant tortoise, Western black rhino, Vietnamese rhino, Rabbs’ fringe-limbed tree frog, South Island kokako, a Malaysian snail known as Plectostoma charasense, Barada Spring minnow, Christmas Island pipistrelle, Cryptic Treehunter, Ua Pou monarch and a mysterious springtail which has yet to be scientifically described.  Each of these animals was last spotted, or heard, alive in the past 10 years, and disappeared without a trace over the same period.  Before It’s Too Late From the smallest springtail to the largest rhinoceros, the loss of any species is a tragedy. “All species are ecosystem engineers, which means that the way they modify the environment around them can foster new environments for other organisms to live in,” Mark Williams, a paleobiology professor at England’s University of Leicester, told HuffPost. For certain “keystone” species, which play critical roles in their environments, an extinction could mean the collapse of entire ecosystems. There are also species that “belong to very ancient groups. [Losing those] would be one major component of the evolutionary story of life on Earth wiped out forever,” Williams said. The loss of animal species can also affect humans. “We’re losing services that are valuable, even critical, to people,” Barnosky said. “For example, commonly used high blood-pressure medications were derived from a little-known and highly poisonous snake that lives in jungle environments, the fer-de-lance.” Scientists have estimated that the biosphere ― all the parts of the world where life exists ― provides services to humans worth about $33 trillion a year. The benefits of conserving species outweigh the costs of doing so by a factor of 100, according to a 2002 study. Ceballos says that species extinctions can also have profound knock-on effects ― potentially even threatening kind’s own survival.  “Imagine that you are in a room where the walls are made of bricks. If a brick is lost, the wall will not collapse, but will start to work less efficiently,” said Ceballos. “But if you continue to take bricks, the wall will eventually collapse. In environmental terms, [a brick is a species] and the collapse will be a collapse of environmental services and eventually the collapse of civilization.”  Humans could kill off two-thirds of all wildlife by 2020, according to an October WWF report. If we continue at the rate we’re going, “we are likely to be left with an impoverished biodiversity for several million years to come,” said Williams.  He stressed, however, that it is not to late to turn the tide. “We might be on the brink of a mass extinction, but we can still avoid it!” Williams said. “We haven’t lost the biodiversity yet. All is to play for.”  Humans would need to fundamentally change consumption habits and treatment of the planet in order to do so, scientists say, and there is little time to waste.  “When we’re going to start seeing impacts more locally ― your favorite lake dries up or your favorite species is no longer there ― maybe at that point you start thinking longer-term,” said Colby Loucks, senior director of WWF’s Wildlife Conservation Program, in an interview earlier this year. “But at some point the earth is going to say ‘enough.’ And that’s going to be catastrophic.” type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related Coverage + articlesList=5746a423e4b0dacf7ad3fe0a,580f2f63e4b0a03911ee8c9e,58185d9de4b0390e69d24d94,562eaf7ae4b00aa54a4aef64,5812e332e4b064e1b4b190bd,58136094e4b09b190529c379 -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

07 декабря 2016, 12:26

Ты прибыл сюда как в кошмар, молясь о том, чтоб забыться.

ООО, это было непросто.Даже читать это невыносимо тяжело, не говоря уж чтобы привести в относительно читабельный вид гугл-переводНе пришлось задумываться только над первым стихотворением.Оно собственно и подсказка)Что объединяет следующие четыре поэмы?Осторожно не для слабонервных:Страна уже принадлежала нам, А мы ей нет. Мы ею обладали, Не став ее народом. Весь восток Уж век был наш, а мы... мы оставались Английскими и, только колонисты, Владели тем, что нами не владело, Во власти у того, что потеряли. Мы всё искали, где же наша слабость, Пока не поняли, что отделили Себя от той земли, где мы живем, И отдались ей, и нашли спасенье. Мы уступили раз и навсегда, Не побоявшись воевать за это, Стране, туманно охватившей запад, Где всё: народ, история, искусства - Всё предстояло, в ней одной теперь.=====================(чуть-чуть подкорректированный гугл-перевод)Скала, Река и Дерево От тех, кто давно ушел,На них омертвевшие знаки:Различных древних существ, Шагавших по нашей планете,Но сгинувших в сумрак веков,Не справившись с тревогойУскорившей их уход.Но ныне взывает Скала к намРешительно и ясно:"Приди, поднимись на меняВглядись в своё назначениеИщи, но не прячься в тени,Сгустившейся у подножья,Внизу не создашь укрытия Ты создал намного меньшеТех ангелов, что притихли,Укрылись лишь ненадолгоНо сумрак их успокоилНадолго лишив движеньяЗаставив застыть в равнодушие.Твой рот источает слова,Заточенные на убой.Скала к нам сегодня взывает:"Ты можешь стоять надо мной,Но только не прячь лицаВзгляни через стену мираРека там поёт свою песню,К себе всех оставшихся манит:"Каждый из вас как страна, Которую терпеливо и нежно Учили быть гордойИ окружили границейНо вы всё равно под осадойИ в вечной борьбе за прибыль.Мой берег усеян хламом,Но я все равно приглашаюК себе, если ты научился Прожить эту жизнь, не воюяПриди сюда с миром и слушайЯ буду петь тебе песни,Которые наш СоздательВдохнул в нас, когда мы едиными С деревьями, скалами были.Пред тем, как твой ум пропиталсяЦинизмом и знаньем ложным,Незнанью аналогичным.Так пела река и пелаСлова той реки поющейИ мудрой скалы поведайЕврею, испанцу, азиатуАфриканцу и коренному американцу сиуКатолику, мусульманину, французу, греку, Ирландцу, раввину, священнику, шейхуГею, гетеросексуалуСвященнику и учителюБездомному и именитомуОни услышат, все услышатО том, что сказало Дерево.There is a true yearning to respond toThe singing river and the wise rock.So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew,The African and Native American, the Sioux,The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek,The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh,The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher,The privileged, the homeless, the teacher.They hear. They all hearThe speaking of the tree.Впервые и лишь однаждыСегодня случится чудо -- Каждое дерево сможетБеседовать с человечеством "Прибудь ко мне, на берег реки. Сядь со мной и послушай:Ты тот потомок, что дал мнеВпервые моё названьеТы пауни, апач, сенека,Чероки… ты мог отдохнуть со мноюНо встав на ноги, покинул,Оставив другим ловцам счастья,Помешанным на корысти,И вечно жаждущим золотаТы турок, шотландец, швед, немецТы, кру, ашанти, йоруба, Тебя покупали, сбывали, кралиТы прибыл сюда как в кошмар,Молясь о том, чтобы забыться.Укорени себя рядом Я Дерево у Реки, Меня не подвинут отсюдаЯ -- Река, Я – Скала, Я -- Дерево Я с тобой – твой проход оплачен...==================Единое солнце над нами, сегодня взошло, разгоревшись над нашими берегами, и скалистыми ### горамиприветствовав лица Великих Озёр, распространяя простую истину над Великими Равнинами, и затем вновь заряжаясь над Скалистыми горами.Один свет, пробуждающий крыши домов, под каждой из которых – история, рассказанная нашими беззвучными жестами, что ползают в окнах.Моё лицо, твоё лицо, миллионы лиц в утренних зеркалах, зевающие на жизнь, врывающиеся внутрь нашего дня: жёлтые школьные автобусы, ритмичное переключение сигнала светофора, фруктовые ларьки: яблоки, лаймы и апельсины, разложенные под радугу, выпрашивающие нашу похвалу. Серебристые грузовики, наполненные нефтью или бумагой, кирпичами или молоком, кишащие на магистралях, около нас, на нашем пути на работу, Мы будем там чистить столы, читать бухгалтерские книги спасать чьи-то жизни, обучать геометрии или пробивать продукты, как это делала моя мать в течение двадцати лет, чтобы я смог написать это стихотворение для всех вас сегодня.Всех нас, таких же полных жизни, как тот единый свет, что мы пропускаем сквозь себя, тот же свет, что падает на школьные доски с заданиями на сегодня: уравнения, чтобы их решать, история, чтобы задавать вопросы, или атомы, чтобы их представлять, строчка «Я мечтаю о…», которую мы до сих пор храним в себе, или неподъёмный словарь печали, который не объяснит нам, почему опустели парты двадцати ребятишек, отмеченных отсутствующими сегодня и навсегда**. Много молитв, но один свет с разноцветным дыханием в запятнанных окнах, жизнью в лицах бронзовых статуй, теплотой в шагах по нашим музеям, возле скамеек в парках, где мамаши присматривают за своими детьми, скользящими в разгар дня.Одна земля. Наша земля, привязывающая нас к каждому стебельку, к каждому колоску пшеницы, что тяжким трудом посажен руками, теми руками, что собирают уголь или строят мельницы в пустынях и на вершинах гор, чтобы нам было тепло, руками, что роют траншеи, прокладывают трубы и кабель, руками, такими же тёплыми, как руки моего отца, срезающие сахарный тростник, чтобы я и мой брат могли иметь книги и обувь.Вся пыль, лежащая на фермах, в пустынях, городах и прериях, смешанная с единым ветром, – это наше дыхание. Дыши. Слушай дыхание сквозь ежедневное яркое гудение такси, автобусов, катящихся по проспектам, симфонию шагов, гитар, визжание вагонов метро, неожиданную песню птицы, севшую на верёвку для сушки белья.Слушай: скрип качелей на детской площадке, свист поездов или шёпот за столиком в кафе, слушай: двери, которые мы открываем для каждого, чтобы сказать: хэллоу, шалом, бон джорно, как дела, намасте или буэнос диас, на том языке, что учила меня мать – на каждом языке, издающемся в едином ветре, что несёт наши жизни без предубеждения, как эти слова, сорвавшиеся с моих губ.Одно небо: с тех пор как Аппалачи и Сьерра-Невада заявили о своём величии, а Миссисипи и Колорадо проложили себе дорогу к морю. Благодари старания наших рук: заливать сталь в мосты, во время сдавать ещё один отчёт для босса, зашивать ещё одну рану или униформу, сделать первый мазок кистью на портрете или последний этаж Башни Свободы, выпирающей в небо, которое уступает перед нашей несгибаемостью.Одно небо, на которое мы изредка поднимаем наши глаза, уставшие от работы: иногда, чтобы догадаться о предстоящей погоде, иногда, чтобы поблагодарить за любовь, что отвечает нам взаимностью, иногда, чтобы воспеть свою маму, которая умела жертвовать, или чтобы простить отца, который не мог дать нам то, чего мы хотели.Мы управляем нашим домом: сквозь блеск дождя или тяжесть снега, или сквозь сливовый багрянец сумерек, но всегда, всегда – домом, всегда под единым небом, нашим небом. И всегда одна луна, как тихий барабан, стучащий по каждой крыше и каждому окну единой страны, всех нас, глядящих на звёзды с надеждой встретить новое созвездие, ожидающее нас, чтобы мы нанесли его на карту, ожидающее нас, чтобы мы подарили ему имя, все вместе. We have memorized America, how it was born and who we have been and where. In ceremonies and silence we say the words, telling the stories, singing the old songs. We like the places they take us. Mostly we do. The great and all the anonymous dead are there. We know the sound of all the sounds we brought. The rich taste of it is on our tongues. But where are we going to be, and why, and who? The disenfranchised dead want to know. We mean to be the people we meant to be, to keep on going where we meant to go. But how do we FASHION the future? Who can say how except in the minds of those who will call it Now? The children. The children. And how does our garden grow? With waving hands—oh, rarely in a row— and flowering faces. And brambles, that we can no longer allow. Who were many people coming together cannot become one people falling apart. Who dreamed for every child an even chance cannot let luck alone turn doorknobs or not. Whose law was never so much of the hand as the head cannot let chaos make its way to the heart. Who have seen learning struggle from teacher to child cannot let ignorance spread itself like rot. We know what we have done and what we have said, and how we have grown, degree by slow degree, believing ourselves toward all we have tried to become— just and compassionate, equal, able, and free. All this in the hands of children, eyes already set on a land we never can visit—it isn’t there yet— but looking through their eyes, we can see what our long GIFT to them may come to be. If we can truly remember, they will not forget.

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30 ноября 2016, 08:30

Tamar's manure canal returns to nature

Gunnislake, Tamar Valley Barges that carried coal, corn, manure, granite, bricks and lime had to be hauled manually upstream against the currentFrom the hilltop railway station, rain clouds veil sight of Dartmoor and, in nearby Stony Lane, run-off flows between shoals of sodden beech leaves. Down this sunken way towards the river, ferns, mosses and pennywort show green under the tangle of fading bramble, yellow-leafed hazel and bare sycamore; the enclosing hedge-banks frame occasional glimpses across the valley where steep woodland engulfs river-cliffs and pinnacles like Chimney Rock.Sound of water roaring over the weir carries uphill and becomes even louder below Hatches Green, where tennis court and football pitch in King George’s Field are overlooked by the orange and dark green deciduous and coniferous woods opposite – once part of the Duke of Bedford’s estate. Continue reading...

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20 ноября 2016, 09:00

Gardens: about a boysenberry

Now’s the time to plant this most delicious of hybridsTo me, the best thing about growing your own fruit and veg is that it opens up a vast array of flavours that just aren’t sold by the supermarkets – and nowhere is this truer than when it comes to berries. Gooseberries, currants and many of the weird and wonderful bramble hybrids that were once commonplace in the British diet have become increasingly rarer finds in the bland uniformity of flavourless commercial offerings. Fortunately, they also happen to be the easiest of all fruit to grow and now is the perfect time to plant the delicious boysenberry – my favourite of all.Wonderful bramble hybrids are the easiest of all fruit to grow Continue reading...

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19 ноября 2016, 08:30

In a Lilliputian world of leaf litter

Holmsley Inclosure, New Forest Each silk button spangle gall has a minute larva inside. Looked at later under the microscope, they remind us of a scrumptious doughnutWe drop down the side of this woodland on a bright day buffeted by a cold wind. First planted in 1811 with scots pine and oak, its fences now enclose a wide variety of trees. We turn along the eastern edge to find the lower gate and, on entering, are plunged into a claustrophobic tangle of branches, before quickly coming to a narrow path close set with brambles on one side and hollies on the other. The recent rains have made the soil beneath the fallen leaves a muddy squelch, deeply incised with fresh bike tracks. Getting our eyes in, we begin to see a host of small brown and greyish fungi tucked into the patchwork of sodden foliage and decaying leaf-fall. For us, most of them are “little brown jobbies”, as they are known to those without sufficient skill to identify them. We notice, too, some so much smaller that we are drawn into a Lilliputian world. Continue reading...

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15 июня 2016, 19:11

Впервые целый вид млекопитающих вымер из-за глобального потепления

Из-за климатических сдвигов вымерли рифовые мозаичнохвостые крысы — единственные млекопитающие, обитающие на территории огромного барьерного рифа, и первые жертвы глобального потепления среди данного класса животных.

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15 июня 2016, 19:11

Впервые целый вид млекопитающих вымер из-за глобального потепления

Из-за климатических сдвигов вымерли рифовые мозаичнохвостые крысы — единственные млекопитающие, обитающие на территории огромного барьерного рифа, и первые жертвы глобального потепления среди данного класса животных.

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14 июня 2016, 06:44

Revealed: first mammal species wiped out by human-induced climate change

Exclusive: scientists find no trace of the Bramble Cay melomys, a small rodent that was the only mammal endemic to Great Barrier ReefHuman-caused climate change appears to have driven the Great Barrier Reef’s only endemic mammal species into the history books, with the Bramble Cay melomys, a small rodent that lives on a tiny island in the eastern Torres Strait, being completely wiped-out from its only known location.It is also the first recorded extinction of a mammal anywhere in the world thought to be primarily due to human-caused climate change. Continue reading...

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23 мая 2016, 21:05

I’m coming out – as a gardener | Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett

Transforming a bramble jungle into my very own urban sanctuary has given me peace of mind. Gardening’s lost generation should turn over a new leafOne gloriously hot day last summer I was in my kitchen with a friend, sweating into our lemonades, and wanting desperately to be outside. “I wish we had some kind of outdoor space,” I moaned. My friend was standing by the window. “Um,” she said, “don’t you already have a garden?” Related: How do we spark a gardening revolution? Continue reading...

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18 мая 2016, 09:56

Severed foot found in Bath may have been training aid, say police

Human foot discovered in a park in Bath could have been anatomical specimen used by schools or colleges, say investigatorsA severed human foot found in a park in Bath could have been an anatomical specimen used as a training aid, police have said.Dog-walkers discovered the left foot on top of bramble bushes in Weston Park East on 19 February, sparking a police investigation. Continue reading...

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17 мая 2016, 07:30

The whitethroat expresses both acacia thorn and bramble

Claxton, Norfolk The song is as lowly and modest as the bush from which it emerges. It inhabits our spring subliminallyI can tell the weather by the St Mark’s flies, because, as they sail over the brambles, their fore-legs dangle together and are held so that they face directly into the oncoming breeze and fractionally ahead of the body. Rather like a boat’s keel, those legs keep the fly true in relation to the airstream, and they now point southwest. Those warm winds brought the summer migrants streaming home. As I walk down the beck the whitethroats sing at intervals. They are lithe creatures, adept at threading mouse-like through spiked vegetation. Two tiny extravagances of plumage are the ginger patches mainly in two wing feathers and a white powder puff at the throat, which swells up when they sing. Continue reading...

29 марта 2016, 11:31

Utah Governor Signs Anesthesia Requirement For Some Abortions

(Reuters) - Utah's governor on Monday signed a bill requiring doctors to administer anesthesia to women receiving an abortion at the 20th week of gestation, his office said. The bill, the first of its kind in the nation according to the Salt Lake Tribune, states that an anesthetic or analgesic will "eliminate or alleviate organic pain to the unborn child." "The governor is adamantly pro-life. He believes in not only erring on the side of life, but also minimizing any pain that may be caused to an unborn child," a spokesman for Republican Governor Gary Herbert said in a statement. Supporters of the bill and anti-abortion groups say that around the 20th week of pregnancy a fetus can feel physical pain, and anesthesia can eliminate discomfort. Reproductive health advocates, including Planned Parenthood of Utah, told the Tribune the position is scientifically unproven and lawmakers have inserted politics into a private medical matter. Under the new law, doctors performing abortions would be required to administer anesthesia to women seeking an elective abortion around 20 weeks. Previous state law gave women the choice whether or not to opt for anesthesia. Abortions are prohibited in Utah after the point when the fetus is viable, which is around 22 weeks. The law will not affect a large number of women, the Tribune reported, with 17 women in Utah receiving abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy or later in 2014, it said. Republican state Senator Curt Bramble, who sponsored the bill, had originally wanted to ban abortions after 20 weeks but was told the move would be unconstitutional, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.   -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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20 марта 2016, 08:59

Wines for Easter | David Williams

You’ve slammed in the lamb and decorated the eggs, now what are you going to drink? David Williams chooses three bottles for a perfect Easter weekendCave de Lugny Sparkling Burgundy Blanc de Blancs, France NV (£10.49, down from £13.99, Waitrose) Easter may be a little quieter and altogether less gaudy, expensive and stressful than Christmas, but it’s still a time when many of us will be cooking for family. The supermarkets inevitably have a few deals to reflect this outbreak of entertaining, with sparkling wines at the top of the list. Waitrose for example, has brought down the price of this very good champagne-alike. A 100% chardonnay made by a reliable co-operative in the village of Lugny, in Mâcon in the south of Burgundy, it offers patisserie creaminess with the snap of green apples. Very good value for a wine that works just as well with starters such as scallops or smoked salmon as it does as an aperitif.Salvaje del Moncayo La Garnacha, Spain 2014 (£8.99, majestic.co.uk) For the roast lamb that will be at the heart of my own Easter Sunday meal, the splash out option would be a mellow mature traditional old Rioja. The soft and savoury style of classics such as La Rioja Alta 904 Gran Reserva 2004 (£36, Oddbins, Booths) and López de Heredia Viña Tondonia Reserva 2003 (£25.50, Hennings Wine) fits so snugly with tender pink meat, while the more youthful CVNE Crianza does a similar, if less deeply satisfying job for £12.99 (Waitrose). An alternative would be to match the fat of the lamb with the brighter, more vibrant brambly-fruited youthfulness of garnacha from elsewhere in Spain in the shape of a vivid, succulent, fresh red from the mountains of Moncayo in Aragon. Continue reading...

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10 марта 2016, 18:00

Food in books: syllabub from Brambly Hedge Summer Story

As she waits patiently for spring weather, Kate Young revisits her bookshelves and stumbles upon this sweet tale of mice making cheese and celebrating weddingsBy Kate Young for The Little Library Café, part of the Guardian Books NetworkThe kitchens of Brambly Hedge were full of activity. Cool summer foods were being made. There was cold watercress soup, fresh dandelion salad, honey creams, syllabubs and meringues. Brambly Hedge Summer Story, Jill Barklem Continue reading...

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05 марта 2016, 15:30

The wild west of my dreams: California’s Sequoia national forest

A little-visited peak above the San Joaquin valley feels like ‘my mountain’, says American novelist TC BoyleAs a boy growing up in the tame, tramped-over precincts of the Hudson Valley, 30 miles up the river from what was then the world’s biggest city, I couldn’t help wanting more from nature. I avidly read Outdoor Life magazine, watched documentaries about the Rockies and Alaska, traced my finger along the serrated spine of California’s Sierra Nevada on the relief map our teacher thumbtacked to the wall in elementary school.There were bears out west, mountain lions, coyotes and wolves, badgers, marmots, golden eagles – and what did we have? Deer, squirrels, maybe a fox or two (not that I ever saw any). Westchester County was the only place I knew then, a place of housing developments and remnant woods, swamps, brambles and fished-out lakes, and I couldn’t help thinking that everyplace I set down my sneakered foot was a place where dozens of others had stepped before me. It was all so used, landscape like second-hand clothing. Continue reading...

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29 февраля 2016, 01:30

Ascending larks keep the bird-snarer busy: Country diary 100 years ago

Originally published in the Manchester Guardian on 4 march 1916As the snow melted from the middle of the broad meadow under the down, larks appeared, almost in a multitude, with one or two occasionally rising towards the sun, as if to start an early song, but soon settling again. The bird-snarer was busy taking them by the half-dozen, for it appears that there are epicures among us yet. A partner, he said, was on lower land a few miles away after plover; “a cold job, worth all the money.” As for the birds, it was a mistake that they had been created so wild. In the early morning we had one of the first of those peculiar ground mists that hide the earth and seem to lift most things feet above the surface of the land. Cattle coming from the byre appeared as if raised out of a low, white cloud; then in places where the fog cleared they sank as if dropped gently on to the grass. But the scene soon altered, for the younger heifers, gambolling and prodding with their horns, were away to the hedge shelter, sniffing and tossing the hay fodder thrown there in heaps for them. The birds delighted in their company, or perhaps it was the breakfast which attracted them in the hay seeds. Yellow-hammers, a stray wagtail, three or four pairs of chaffinches, a titmouse, most of them chirping or singing, and then - the sun shooting a beam of warm light on to the small green shoots of the thorn and the straggling bramble - all gave us a promise, if no more, of spring. Continue reading...