Simple animals may live in Martian brines: Wikinews interviews Vlada Stamenkovi?

Friday, November 9, 2018

Vlada Stamenkovi? and his colleagues have developed a new chemical model of how oxygen dissolves in Martian conditions, which raises the possibility of oxygen-rich brines; enough, the work suggests, to support simple animals such as sponges. The model was published in Nature on October 22. A Wikinews reporter caught up with him in an email interview to find out more about his team’s research and their plans for the future.

The atmosphere of Mars is far too thin for humans to breathe or for lungs like ours to extract any oxygen at all. It has on average only around 0.6% of the pressure of Earth’s atmosphere, and this is mainly carbon dioxide; only 0.145% of that 0.6% is oxygen. The new model indicated that these minute traces of oxygen should be able to enter salty seeps of water on or near the planet’s surface at levels high enough to support life forms comparable to Earth’s microbes, possibly even simple sponges. Some life forms can survive without oxygen, but it permits more energy-intensive metabolism. Almost all complex multicellular life depends on oxygen.

“We were absolutely flabbergasted. I went back to recalculate everything like five different times to make sure it’s a real thing,” Stamenkovi? told National Geographic.

“Our work is calling for a complete revision for how we think about the potential for life on Mars, and the work oxygen can do,” he went on to tell Scientific American, “implying that if life ever existed on Mars it might have been breathing oxygen.”

Stamenkovi? et al cite research from 2014 that showed that some simple sponges can survive with only 0.002 moles per cubic meter (0.064 mg per liter) . Some microbes that need oxygen can survive with as little as a millionth of a mole per cubic meter (0.000032 mg, or 32 nanograms per liter). In their model, they found that there can be enough oxygen for microbes throughout Mars, and enough for simple sponges in oases near the poles.

This isn’t the first time researchers have suggested that multicellular life may exist on Mars. In 2014, de Vera et al using the facilities at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) studied some lichens, including Pleopsidium chlorophanum, which can grow high up in Antarctic mountain ranges. They showed that they can also survive and even grow in Mars simulation chambers. However, they can do this because their algal component is able to produce the oxygen needed by the fungal component. Stamenkovi? et al’s research provides a way for oxygen to get into the brines without algae or photosynthesis.

Stamenkovi? et al found that oxygen levels throughout Mars would be high enough for the least demanding aerobic (oxygen using) microbes, around 25 millionths of a mole per cubic meter (0.0008 mg per liter) even in the southern uplands where concentrations are lowest. They found that at regions poleward of about 67.5° to the north and about ? 72.5° to the south, oxygen concentrations could be high enough for simple sponges, and closer to the poles, concentrations could go higher, approaching levels typical of sea water on Earth, 0.2 moles per cubic meter (6.4 mg per liter). In their paper they described some uncertainties in the calculations but with their best case estimate, which they think is close to the true situation, and supercooling oxygen concentrations could reach higher values as high as two moles per cubic meter (64 mg per liter). On Earth, worms and clams that live in the muddy sea beds require 1 mg per liter, bottom feeders such as crabs and oysters 3 mg per liter, and spawning migratory fish 6 mg per liter, all well within their 0.2 moles per liter.

((Wikinews)) Does your paper’s value of up to 0.2 moles of oxygen per cubic meter, the same as Earth’s sea water mean that there could potentially be life on Mars as active as our sea worms or even fish?
Stamenkovi?: Mars is such a different place than the Earth and we still need to do so much more work before we can even start to speculate.

Stamenkovi? et al studied mixtures of magnesium and calcium perchlorates, common on Mars. They found that the highest oxygen concentrations occur when the water is colder, which happens most in polar regions.

((WN)) The temperatures for the highest levels of oxygen are really low -133 °C, so, is the idea that this oxygen would be retained when the brines warm up to more habitable temperatures during the day or seasonally? Or would the oxygen be lost as it warms up? Or – is the idea that it has to be some exotic biochemistry that works only at ultra low temperatures like Dirk Schulze-Makuch’s life based on hydrogen peroxide and perchlorates internal to the cells as antifreeze?
Stamenkovi?: The options are both: first, cool oxygen-rich environments do not need to be habitats. They could be reservoirs packed with a necessary nutrient that can be accessed from a deeper and warmer region. Second, the major reason for limiting life at low temperature is ice nucleation, which would not occur in the type of brines that we study.

As Stamenkovi? et al explain in the paper, the brines they study smoothly transition to a glassy state after supercooling rather than forming sharp crystals that rip apart the cell as they freeze. They cite simulation experiments that show that these can be supercooled to temperatures as low as -123 to -133 °C before they transition from liquid to a glassy state. They do this even when mixed with the soil of Mars.

The usual cold limit of life cited is -20 °C (not a hard limit because metabolisms slow down at lower temperatures, to the point where individual microbes have lifetimes measured in millennia which his hard to distinguish from dormant life). Stamenkovi? is suggesting that because of the supercooling properties of the brines, life on Mars which usese these brines internally may be able to thrive at temperature more than 110 °C colder than this. Alternatively, he says, it may be able to take advantage of the oxygen in warmer seeps from below that encounter colder layers.

Stamenkovi? et al’s paper is theoretical and is based on a simplified general circulation model of the Mars atmosphere – it ignores distinctions of seasons and the day / night cycle. But it takes account of topography such as mountains and craters etc and the axial tilt. Stamenkovi?’s team combined it with a chemical model of how oxygen would dissolve in the brines and used this to predict oxygen levels in such brines at various locations on Mars.

When asked about plans for a future model that might include seasonal timescales, Stamenkovi? told Wikinews, “Yes, we are now exploring the kinetics part and want to see what happens on shorter timescales.”

Stamenkovi? et al’s model took account of the tilt of the Mars axis, which varies much more than Earth’s does. They found that for the last five million years, conditions were particularly favorable for oxygen-rich brines, and that it continued like this for ten million years into the future, which was as far as they ran the model. For the last twenty million years, as far back as they took their modeling, oases with enough oxygen for sponges were still possible.

Wikinews asked Stamenkovi? if he had any ideas about whether and how sponges could survive through times when the tilt was higher and less oxygen would be available:

((WN)) I notice from your figure 4 that there is enough oxygen for sponges only at tilts of about 45 degrees or less. Do you have any thoughts about how sponges could survive periods of time in the distant past when the Mars axial tilt exceeds 45 degrees, for instance, might there be subsurface oxygen rich oases in caves that recolonize the surface? Also what is the exact figure for the tilt at which oxygen levels sufficient for sponges become possible? (It looks like about 45 degrees from the figure but the paper doesn’t seem to give a figure for this).
Stamenkovi?: 45 deg is approx. the correct degree. We were also tempted to speculate about this temporal driver but realized that we still know so little about the potential for life on Mars/principles of life that anything related to this question would be pure speculation, unfortunately.
((WN)) How quickly would the oxygen get into the brines – did you investigate the timescale?
Stamenkovi?: No, we did not yet study the dynamics. We first needed to show that the potential is there. We are now studying the timescales and processes.

As examples of the dynamics of the Martian atmosphere, the Mars rover Curiosity, which is currently active, measures temperature changes of around 70 °C between day and night. Also there are large pressure differences between summer and winter. In Mars’ Gale crater, pressure varies from under 7.5 mbar to nearly 9.5 mbar. There are also large pressure differences between day and night, varying by 10% compared to a tenth of a percent on Earth. On Earth we see such large pressure differences only during major hurricanes.

((WN)) Could the brines that Nilton Renno and his teams simulated forming on salt / ice interfaces within minutes in Mars simulation conditions get oxygenated in the process of formation? If not, how long would it take for them to get oxygenated to levels sufficient for aerobic microbes? For instance could the Phoenix leg droplets have taken up enough oxygen for aerobic respiration by microbes?
Stamenkovi?: Just like the answer above. Dynamics is still to be explored. (But this is a really good question ?).

Wikinews also asked Stamenkovi? how their research is linked to the recent discovery of possible large subglacial lake 1.5 km below the Martian South Pole found through radar mapping.

((WN)) Some news stories coupled your research with the subglacial lakes announcement earlier this year. Could the oxygen get through ice into layers of brines such as the possible subglacial lakes at a depth of 1.5 km?
Stamenkovi?: There are other ways to create oxygen. Radiolysis of water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen can liberate oxygen in the deep and that O2 could be dissolved in deep groundwater. The radiolytic power for this would come from radionuclides naturally contained in rocks, something we observe in diverse regions on Earth.

Wikinews asked “could it get into a layer of fresh water just 30 cms below clear ice melted by the solid state greenhouse effect, as in Möhlmann’s model (which forms subsurface liquid water at surface temperatures as low as -56 °C).”. In reply, Stamenkovi? suggested the same response, i.e. Radiolysis\Radiolysis from radionuclides in the rocks.

According to Stamenkovi? et al’s paper, present-day Mars would have more oxygen available for life than early Earth had prior to 1.4 billion years ago. They remark in the paper that on Earth, photosynthesis seems to have come first, generating the oxygen for the first animals, while on Mars, which seems to have had different sources of oxygen, oxygen breathers could arise without photosynthesis. The paper concludes by suggesting that this gives broader opportunities for oxygen-breathing life on other planets.

((WN)) And I’d also like to know about your experiment you want to send to Mars to help with the search for these oxygenated brines
Stamenkovi?: We are now developing at “NASA/JPL-California Institute of Technology” a small tool, called TH2OR (Transmissive H2O Reconnaissance) that might one day fly with a yet-to-be-determined mission. It will use low frequency sounding techniques, capable of detecting groundwater at depths down to ideally a few km under the Martian surface, thanks to the high electric conductivity of only slightly salty water and Faraday’s law of induction. Most likely, such a small and affordable instrument could be placed stationary on the planet’s surface or be carried passively or actively on mobile surface assets; TH2OR might be also used in combination with existing orbiting assets to increase its sounding depth. Next to determining the depth of groundwater, we should also be able to estimate its salinity and indirectly its potential chemistry, which is critical information for astrobiology and ISRU (in situ resource utilization).
((WN)) Does your TH2OR use TDEM like the Mars 94 mission – and will it use natural ULF sources such as solar wind, diurnal variations in ionosphere heating and lightning?
Stamenkovi? : The physical principle it uses is the same and this has been used for groundwater detection on the Earth for many decades; it’s Faraday’s law of induction in media that are electrically conducting (as slightly saline water is).
Stamenkovi? : However, we will focus on creating our own signal as we do not know whether the EM fields needed for such measurements exist on Mars. However, we will also account for the possibility of already existing fields.



Hiring A Truck Accident Attorney In Albuquerque

byAlma Abell

A Truck Accident Attorney in Albuquerque will devise strategies based on the outcome of the accident investigation and report. After an 18-wheeler accident, it is a requirement of the highway patrol to investigate the circumstances of the accident to determine the exact fault. This investigation is performed due to insurance requirements. If you were involved in a truck accident in which you sustained injuries, contact the Killion Law Firm.

Investigating the Accident

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The first objective of a personal injury claim in which an 18-wheeler was involved is to acquire a copy of the accident report. The highway patrol launches an investigation after these accidents to verify the exact cause. Once this cause is established and it does link to the accused, you have an almost guaranteed win. The reason for this is that it will prove that the driver was either impaired or that faulty equipment was involved. If the driver caused the accident, you have a claim against him or her. If equipment was the cause you have a viable claim against the manufacturer.

Local Accident Attorney

The Killion Law Firm provides assistance with personal injury and business law-based cases. This law firm will acquire the findings of your truck accident to establish fault and to fight for compensation. If criminal charges are filed by the highway patrol based on the circumstances of the accident, these attorneys can utilize this additional case to secure a win for you. You should contact the Killion Law Firm to schedule an appointment and begin the litigation process if you Browse their site at


A Truck Accident Attorney in Albuquerque presents you with several avenues in which you may file a claim against the individual who caused your injuries. This includes developing a carefully devised plan to present your claim to the judge. It is necessary in these proceedings to acquire effective evidence. Due to insurance requirements, the highway patrol is required to conduct an investigation into how the accident occurred. The findings of this investigation can provide you with all of the proof you need. To hire an attorney to assist you in the personal injury litigation process, call the Killion Law Firm.


HIV-positive man receives 35 years for spitting on Dallas police officer

Sunday, May 18, 2008

An HIV-positive man was sentenced to 35 years in prison Wednesday, one day after being convicted of harassment of a public servant for spitting into the eye and open mouth of a Dallas, Texas police officer in May 2006. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that no one has ever contracted HIV from saliva, and a gay-rights and AIDS advocacy group called the sentence excessive.

A Dallas County jury concluded that Willie Campbell’s act of spitting on policeman Dan Waller in 2006 constituted the use of his saliva as a deadly weapon. The incident occurred while Campbell, 42, was resisting arrest while being taken into custody for public intoxication.

“He turns and spits. He hits me in the eye and mouth. Then he told me he has AIDS. I immediately began looking for something to flush my eyes with,” said Waller to The Dallas Morning News.

Officer Waller responded after a bystander reported seeing an unconscious male lying outside a building. Dallas County prosecutors stated that Campbell attempted to fight paramedics and kicked the police officer who arrested him for public intoxication.

It’s been 25 years since the virus was identified, but there are still lots of fears.

Prosecutors said that Campbell yelled that he was innocent during the trial, and claimed a police officer was lying. Campbell’s lawyer Russell Heinrichs said that because he had a history of convictions including similarly attacking two other police officers, biting inmates, and other offenses, he was indicted under a habitual offender statute. The statute increased his minimum sentence to 25 years in prison. Because the jury ruled that Campbell’s saliva was used as a deadly weapon, he will not be eligible for parole until completing at least half his sentence.

If you look at the facts of this case, it was clear that the defendant intended to cause serious bodily injury.

The organization Lambda Legal (Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund), which advocates for individuals living with HIV, says that saliva should not be considered a deadly weapon. Bebe Anderson, the HIV projects director at Lambda Legal, spoke with The Dallas Morning News about the sentence. “It’s been 25 years since the virus was identified, but there are still lots of fears,” said Anderson.

The Dallas County prosecutor who handled the trial, Jenni Morse, said that the deadly weapon finding was justified. “No matter how minuscule, there is some risk. That means there is the possibility of causing serious bodily injury or death,” said Morse. Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins stated: “If you look at the facts of this case, it was clear that the defendant intended to cause serious bodily injury.”

Contact with saliva, tears, or sweat has never been shown to result in transmission of HIV.

A page at the CDC’s website, HIV and Its Transmission, states: “HIV has been found in saliva and tears in very low quantities from some AIDS patients.” The subsection “Saliva, Tears, and Sweat” concludes that: “Contact with saliva, tears, or sweat has never been shown to result in transmission of HIV.” On Friday the Dallas County Health Department released a statement explaining that HIV is most commonly spread through sexual contact, sharing needles, or transfusion from an infected blood product.


Magnitude 7.7 earthquake strikes Antofagasta, Chile

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Authorities in Chile say at least two people have been killed and more than 100 injured after a powerful earthquake struck in the north, sending terrified residents into the streets and cutting power to some of the country’s copper mines. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the quake struck on Wednesday, November 14, 2007 at 15:40:53 UTC.

Officials said two women were killed Wednesday when their houses in the town of Tocopilla collapsed during the 7.7 magnitude earthquake. They also said another person may have died in a tunnel collapse there, which has trapped some 50 workers.

Government spokesperson Ricardo Lagos said “They will be evacuated by the Navy via the ocean. As far as we know there are no injured or dead [among the workers].”

The USGS said the quake was centered west of the town of Calama. It was felt as far away as the Chilean capital, Santiago, and neighboring Peru and Bolivia.

Television images showed cars crushed under the concrete awning of a hotel in Antofagasta, 170 kilometers south of the epicenter.

The police chief of Arequipa, Hernan Tamayo said, “People ran out into the streets because of how prolonged the quake was. There was a lot of alarm but no material or human damage.”

The quake was followed by six aftershocks with magnitudes of up to 5.7. Additionally, the quake triggered a tsunami warning which was later lifted.

In Tocopilla, 115 people were injured. Mayor Luis Moyano said about 1,200 houses had been flattened. “Today, the people of Tocopilla are going to have to sleep in the streets,” he said in a radio address.

In total, 3,000 homes have been destroyed in Chile, according to the Housing Minister. The government has airlifted hundreds of portable homes to provide shelter.

In August, an 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck Peru, killing about 540 people and injuring more than 1,000 others. The southern port city of Pisco was one of the areas devastated by the powerful quake, which lasted two minutes.

This article is based on Powerful Earthquake Strikes Northern Chile by VOA News which has a copyright policy compatible with our CC-BY 2.5. Specifically “Copyright status of work by the U.S. government


2007 Taipei 101 Run Up invites elite runners Run to Top of the World

Thursday, October 25, 2007

With prize money of NT$1,010,000, the 2007 3rd “Taipei 101 Run Up” will take place at Taipei 101 on the morning of November 25. The building is a landmark in Taipei, Taiwan. Taipei 101 and the Taipei City Government not only invited Hotai Motor Co., Ltd (agency for Toyota Motor Corporation in Taiwan) titled this competition, but also cooperated with Foundation of 2009 Summer Deaflympics Organizing Committee by donating funds of registration fee to the foundation for the promotion funds of “2009 Summer Deaflympics”.

“The run-up competition slogan – ‘Run to Top of the World’ is echoed with our brand achievement – ‘moving forward’ and recent topics ‘Toyota Production System’ in the management level, all those words with one goal – keep moving forward, hoped every participants or runners challenge for a higher achievement. With the combination of 2009 Summer Deaflympics at this run-up challenge, it reached our pursuit of charity and close to people. We hope this game can ‘move forward and realize our dream’ with supports of Deaflympics athletes in Taiwan.” Ming-chieh Chang (Manager of Vehicle Sales of Hotai Motor) remarked at the Press Conference.

According to some media in Taiwan, Hotai Motor also held “Toyota Ten Thousand People Walking with Ten Thousand Steps” from 2005 in 5 cities in Taiwan for a passion of life. This series activity surely promoted a healthy walking sport and showed excellence and good image of their product symbol.

Even though the on-line pre-registration for lucky draw of 1,500 athletes on Self-Challenge Group, but Wikinews Reporter Brock experienced an error with the information for 2005 version replaced by 2007 version. For this replacement factor, the Public Relationship Division of Taipei 101 commented that the replacement is just for a experiment for some new functions for 2007 version, with this fault, Taipei has already prepared a new web address for current version, and old (2005) data will be restored to original web for the coherence and completion. It won’t take effect on current registration system, and we’ll announce the 1,500 athletes after a draw on November 1.

“With good reviews of the Enterprise Group since last year and a trial at 2005, we’ll invite companies from Taipei 101 Skyscraper and outside of Taipei 101. We also welcome good elite runners challenging the extremity with 10 minutes and 29.32 seconds.” Cathy Wen-chi Yang (Associate Director at Taipei Financial Center Corp.) remarked.

According to the main organizers, this run-up challenge for “Enterprise Group” and “Elite Group” runners register by invitation, “Self-challenge Group” runners are welcomed to register on-line during October 25-31 for the final draw of 1500 participants. On November 18, organizers will hold a warming up match for some Deaflympics athletes in Taiwan. At the main competition (Nov. 25), Taipei 101 will invite medical team ready for emergency at some key floors, start and finish areas. Also, the organizers will set up “Digital Imaging System” with a memory and award a certification for participated runners.


What To Look For When Purchasing A Dash Cam System In Orange County

byAlma Abell

Are you shopping around for a new dash cam for your vehicle, but are unsure of where to start or what camera to purchase? Not everyone is a technology wizard. Knowing how to find the right Dash Cam System Orange County for your vehicle can be difficult. Dash cameras are quickly becoming an extremely popular item. They are used for more than just recording traffic accidents. This article will assist you in finding the right vehicle camera for your needs. Browse website for more details.

First off, when choosing a Dash Cam System Orange County, you will want to ensure that the system is hidden from plain sight. In most cases, you want a black camera that is smaller. Keep in mind, however, that the more options the camera has, the more expensive it will be more than likely. If you cannot get the camera you desire in black (although, that would be extremely unlikely, as that is the most popular color for a dash camera), then it would be best to choose a close darker color such as dark blue.

Next up are the features. You will definitely want to ensure that it has a good video recorder. This is probably the single most important factor to consider when choosing a camera. If at all possible, try to get a camera that will support at least 720p (HD) resolution. The higher the resolution the better the quality of the video. If something illegal were to be captured, or a traffic accident witnessed, you want to ensure that the images are high enough quality to be able to be seen clearly.

Subsequently, a great camera should have good quality night video recording features. Because you should be driving around with your headlights on anyway, having what is called true night vision as a feature on your camera isn’t really necessary. The next features are looping mode and date and time stamp. Loop recording mode enables your camera to continue to record when the memory becomes full. Date and time stamps are important due to the fact that your video could be submitted as evidence if a crime or accident is witnessed.

In conclusion, you can see that these are a few basic, must have features when shopping for a Dash Cam System Orange County. Having a great quality camera system may one day assist in catching a criminal or any other misdeeds. For more information, visit Blackbox Guard Inc.


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French campaigning film director René Vautier dies

Monday, January 5, 2015

René Vautier, the self-described “most censored director in France”, died yesterday aged 86.

Vautier focused on French colonies. He made over 150 films and targeted what he described as “lack of teachers and doctors, the crimes committed by the French Army in the name of France, the instrumentalization of the colonized peoples”. One topic of particular focus was the war in Algeria. Between 1954 and 1962 Algerians fought for, and won, their independence from France.

His work on the conflict included Algeria in Flames in 1958 and 20 Years in Aures, which also investigated post-conflict Algeria and won 1972’s international critics’ award at the Cannes Film Festival. That film looked at killings by young French conscripts.

In 1950 he was imprisoned in France for a year for, amongst other things, unauthorised filming in Upper Volta, a colonial region that became Burkina Faso. His footage was seized but he salvaged sufficient material to make Afrique 50, a seventeen-minute work that was banned in France until 1990.

His work in the 60s and 70s looked at racism in former Rhodesia, which is now Zimbabwe, and in South Africa. He compared his investigative footage with the official position of local authorities. In 1974 he co-directed Human, Too Human, an almost-unspoken film depicting Citroen car manufacture in France.

Other topics he covered include pollution, women’s rights, and the French far-right.

Vautier’s achievements outside of directing include a hunger strike in 1973 against what he viewed as political censorship. French law was changed. His activism went back to age 15 when he joined the French Resistance during World War II. He documented himself in a 1998 book. In the 1960s he headed back to newly-independent Algeria to teach film directing.

Vautier himself was trained at the Advanced Institute for Cinemagraphic Studies, in Paris.


Last British volume car manufacturer closes down

Friday, April 15, 2005

The last British-owned volume car manufacturer, MG Rover, has closed down, with the loss of 5,000 jobs.

International accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCooper was brought in last week to put the company into administration. Today PwC announced that MG Rover’s only hope, the Chinese car company SAIC, had no interest in buying the ailing firm. With no further source of revenue, PwC has closed the company’s factory in Longbridge, Birmingham and has laid off 5,000 workers.

Some 1,000 workers will continue for a while to complete the remaining cars left on the production line.

The BBC reported PwC joint administrator Tony Lomas as saying “We’ll explore what we would describe as the break-up of the business, we will carry on with the interested parties who want to talk about pieces of the business.”. PwC said around 70 offers for various parts of the company had been made but no serious offers of money made.

Recent efforts to save the company had been centered on convincing SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp.) to buy the company as a going concern, but the Chinese company stated it would only buy the company if it’s financial position could be guaranteed to be secure for at least two years. The British government could not make such a commitment due to European Union trade and competition rules.

The SAIC company did buy the designs for the 75 and 25 models and for the K-Series engines for £67m.

The Rover car company has a long but troubled history. It was formed in 1968 after a series of mergers of existing car manufacturers, and was nationalized in 1975 after it ran into financial difficulties. In 1979 a long-running deal to collaborate on developing new vehicles was established with the Japanese company Honda. In 1988 the company was privatized and was bought by British Aerospace. In 1994 British Aerospace sold the business to BMW, who then sold the Land Rover brand to Ford and finally sold the company in 2000 for just £10, retaining the well-known Mini brand for themselves. The MG Rover company was run by a private group until its collapse.

MG Rover has not launched a new model since the 75 was introduced in 1998 during the period of ownership by BMW. Their next newest model was the 25, originally launched as the 200 series some ten years ago. Rover also produced the 45, which dates from 1990, and the ZF sports car first launched in 1995. Sales of Rover cars accounted for just 3% of the UK car market in 2004.

Tony Blair announced a £150 million support package for the recently unemployed workers of the MG Rover plants, though it has been claimed that his generous offer may be more as a result of the nearby marginal seats in the upcoming elections than compassion on his part.


Wikinews Shorts: March 7, 2007

A compilation of brief news reports for Wednesday, March 7, 2007.

The European Union has banned the 35 planes in the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) 45 aircraft fleet from flying in EU airspace. The reason provided by EU was that these plans do not fulfill the safety requirement for international planes and thus were banned. PIA has redeployed its Boeing 777 jets from US to EU flights to facilitate passengers in Europe. Flights PK 782 and PK 790 are still running on time from Toronto in Canada.


The Oklahoma Senate approved a bill introduced by lawmaker Patrick Anderson of Enid that enables police to seize vehicles when drivers fail to produce proof of insurance. The bill was tacked onto a measure to prohibit inserting microchips into people without their permission. 91,000 drivers have been ticketed for lack of insurance in Oklahoma to date.


The New Orleans Saints have released All-Pro wide receiver Joe Horn because of money issues. The Saints hope to draft LSU (Louisiana State University) wide receiver DeWayne Bowe in the NFL Draft to fill Horn’s place.