Will Smith visits Jordan’s Petra with ‘Aladdin’ crew

Will Smith visited Petra in Jordan with his crew on Wednesday.
Updated 09 November 2017
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Will Smith visits Jordan’s Petra with ‘Aladdin’ crew

JEDDAH: US star Will Smith has thanked the royal family and people of Jordan for taking “perfect care of us.” Smith, who arrived this week in Aqaba for shooting Disney’s “Aladdin” visited Petra with his crew on Wednesday.
“We’re shooting Aladdin in Jordan. Took my crew to see PETRA! It’s been on my Bucket List for about 20 years. IT’S CRAZY! Special ‘Thank You’ to the Royal Family & to the people of Jordan. You all took PERFECT CARE of us. We Shall Return!” the “Men in Black” star wrote on Facebook, posting a group photo of the trip.
Earlier, Al-Rai newspaper quoted Commissioner of Tourism and Commerce at the Aqaba authority’s special economy unit, Sharhabil Madi as saying that Smith’s visit was related to the filming of “Aladdin,” in which the latter plays the role of the Genie.
Madi added that attracting famous international figures to Aqaba comes within the framework of the authority’s plan to promote the region as a safe tourist and economic destination.
“The authority has to take advantage of the presence of such artistic figures who are filming global films watched by hundreds of millions around the world and bearing the name of the place where these films are produced. Aqaba today gained international fame due to these works of art,” he said.
He added: “There will be dozens of artists and international foreign and Arab stars participating in the production of Aladdin, which is being filmed in the ‘Valley of the Moon Wadi Rum’ for a period of up to two months.”
Smith was also photographed having dinner at a restaurant in Aqaba.
Many Jordanians on social media welcomed the actor and his crew to their country.
Hisham Ayyash wrote: “Jordan and Jordanians love you and we were honored to have you in Jordan. We will be waiting for your next trip to us! To everyone and on behalf of all Jordanians, please count Jordan as your 2nd home any time!”
“We are honored to host your new film Mr. Smith, hope you have a blast in Jordan and take a glimpse at the true Middle Eastern culture away from the noise of American mainstream media. Make sure to try mansaf (traditional Jordanian dish),” wrote Shadi Hawari.


Climate change cited in dwindling of Puerto Rico insects

Updated 53 min 5 sec ago
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Climate change cited in dwindling of Puerto Rico insects

  • This decline was accompanied by parallel reductions in insectivorous lizards, frogs, and birds, according to observations by the researchers
  • According to the model used by the researchers, the blame lies principally with global warming
WASHINGTON: After bees and birds, insects and other arthropods have also suffered massive losses, a study from a Puerto Rico forest published on Monday showed, citing the impact of climate change.
Measuring the population of arthropods, which includes insects, caterpillars, and spiders, is not simple but one method is to place sticky traps on the ground and in the forest canopy.
Researchers can also pass nets hundreds of times over the ground or in the foliage before weighing the dry captured biomass.
That is what the biologist Bradford Lister did in 1976 and 1977 in El Yunque National Forest in the US Caribbean commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
Lister, of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, returned there with another biologist in 2011 and 2012 to use the same methods.
They found that the dry weight biomass of arthropods captured in sweep samples had declined 4 to 8 times, and 30 to 60 times in sticky traps, according to their findings published in the US Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
This decline was accompanied by parallel reductions in insectivorous lizards, frogs, and birds, according to observations by the researchers.
“Everything is dropping,” Lister told The Washington Post, warning of cascading effects on the food chain.
“If the tropical forests go, it will be yet another catastrophic failure of the whole Earth system,” he said, “that will feed back on human beings in an almost unimaginable way.”
According to the model used by the researchers, the blame lies principally with global warming. They reach this conclusion by noting Puerto Rico’s rising temperature over about 40 years.
The mean maximum temperatures, recorded by a forest weather station, increased 2 C (3.6 F) between 1978 and 2015.
Several studies around the world have presented evidence of a reduction in insect biodiversity, and of other animal families.
But the effect of climate change is not uniform.
A study published in the journal Science in August concluded that, except in tropical regions, an increase in temperature was on the contrary going to stimulate the population of harmful insects which will proportionately ravage more humans.
Avoiding global climate chaos will require a major transformation of society and the world economy that is “unprecedented in scale,” the United Nations said in a landmark report last week.
It warned that the world must become “carbon neutral” by 2050 to have at least a 50/50 chance of keeping global warming below 1.5 C.