Trump Cancels Trip to Denmark After PM Says Greenland Not for Sale
Trump was scheduled to visit the country Sept. 2 and 3 on the invitation of Queen Margrethe II, The New York Times reported. But he announced the trip was off via Twitter Tuesday after Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen dismissed the idea of selling the semi-autonomous territory.
"Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen's comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for another time," Trump tweeted. "The Prime Minister was able to save a great deal of expense and effort for both the United States and Denmark by being so direct. I thank her for that and look forward to rescheduling sometime in the future!"
....The Prime Minister was able to save a great deal of expense and effort for both the United States and Denmark b… https://t.co/kG39jlNg1P— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1566345113.0
Reports emerged last week that Trump had long expressed interest in purchasing the world's largest island. When asked about the idea Sunday, he treated the sale more as a possibility than a concrete plan.
"It's just something we talked about," Trump told reporters Sunday, as ABC News reported. "So the concept came up and I said, 'Certainly, I'd be. Strategically, it's interesting, and we'd be interested.' But we'll talk to them a little bit. It's not number one on the burner, I can tell you that."
He also said that discussing such a purchase was not the purpose of his trip to Denmark, The New York Times reported.
But he also seemed to relish the attention sparked by news of the potential sale, The New York Times said, even tweeting an image of Greenland Photoshopped to include a Trump tower.
"I promise not to do this to Greenland!" he wrote.
I promise not to do this to Greenland! https://t.co/03DdyVU6HA— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1566259634.0
But the Danish prime minister doused his hopes Sunday.
"It's an absurd discussion," Frederiksen told the Danish broadcaster DR, as Reuters reported.
Greenland is home to 57,000 people. It is an autonomous Danish territory with its own parliament, but receives two thirds of its budget revenue from Denmark, according to BBC News. Denmark is also responsible for its defense and foreign policy, Reuters reported.
"Greenland is not for sale. Greenland is not Danish. Greenland belongs to Greenland. I strongly hope that this is not meant seriously," Frederiksen further told the newspaper Sermitsiaq of a potential sale.
Greenland is also on the front lines of the climate crisis, something Trump has long denied. Its ice sheet is melting at alarming rates, though this could also increase access to the island's mineral resources, BBC News said. Ironically, it is resources like coal and uranium that have attracted Trump's attention to the territory, according to The New York Times.
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By Aaron W Hunter
A chance discovery of a beautifully preserved fossil in the desert landscape of Morocco has solved one of the great mysteries of biology and paleontology: how starfish evolved their arms.
The Pompeii of palaeontology. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<h2></h2><p>Although starfish might appear very robust animals, they are typically made up of lots of hard parts attached by ligaments and soft tissue which, upon death, quickly degrade. This means we rely on places like the Fezouata formations to provide snapshots of their evolution.</p><p>The starfish fossil record is patchy, especially at the critical time when many of these animal groups first appeared. Sorting out how each of the various types of ancient starfish relate to each other is like putting a puzzle together when many of the parts are missing.</p><h2>The Oldest Starfish</h2><p><em><a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/216101v1.full.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cantabrigiaster</a></em> is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. It was discovered in 2003, but it has taken over 17 years to work out its true significance.</p><p>What makes <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> unique is that it lacks almost all the characteristics we find in brittle stars and starfish.</p><p>Starfish and brittle stars belong to the family Asterozoa. Their ancestors, the Somasteroids were especially fragile - before <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> we only had a handful of specimens. The celebrated Moroccan paleontologist Mohamed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.06.041" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ben Moula</a> and his local team was instrumental in discovering <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031018216302334?via%3Dihub" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">these amazing fossils</a> near the town of Zagora, in Morocco.</p><h2>The Breakthrough</h2><p>Our breakthrough moment came when I compared the arms of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> with those of modern sea lilles, filter feeders with long feathery arms that tend to be attached to the sea floor by a stem or stalk.</p><p>The striking similarity between these modern filter feeders and the ancient starfish led our team from the University of Cambridge and Harvard University to create a new analysis. We applied a biological model to the features of all the current early Asterozoa fossils in existence, along with a sample of their closest relatives.</p>
Cantabrigiaster is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<p>Our results demonstrate <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> is the most primitive of all the Asterozoa, and most likely evolved from ancient animals called crinoids that lived 250 million years before dinosaurs. The five arms of starfish are a relic left over from these ancestors. In the case of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em>, and its starfish descendants, it evolved by flipping upside-down so its arms are face down on the sediment to feed.</p><p>Although we sampled a relatively small numbers of those ancestors, one of the unexpected outcomes was it provided an idea of how they could be related to each other. Paleontologists studying echinoderms are often lost in detail as all the different groups are so radically different from each other, so it is hard to tell which evolved first.</p>
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