Understanding the relationship between soil biodiversity and ecosystem functioning is critical to predicting and monitoring the effects of ecosystem changes on important soil processes. However, most of Earth’s soils are too biologically diverse to identify each species present and determine their functional role in food webs. The soil ecosystems of Victoria Land (VL) Antarctica are functionally and biotically simple, and serve as in situ models for determining the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem processes. For a few VL taxa (microarthropods, nematodes, algae, mosses and lichens), species diversity has been intensively assessed in highly localized habitats, but little is known of how community assemblages vary across broader spatial scales, or across latitudinal and environmental gradients. The composition of tardigrade, rotifer, protist, fungal and prokaryote communities is emerging. The latter groups are the least studied, but potentially the most diverse. Endemism is highest for microarthropods and nematodes, less so for tardigrades and rotifers, and apparently low for mosses, lichens, protists, fungi and prokaryotes. Much of what is known about VL diversity and distribution occurs in an evolutionary and ecological vacuum; links between taxa and functional role in ecosystems are poorly known and future studies must utilize phylogenetic information to infer patterns of community assembly, speciation, extinction, population processes and biogeography. However, a comprehensive compilation of all the species that participate in soil ecosystem processes, and their distribution across regional and landscape scales is immediately achievable in VL with the resources, tools, and expertise currently available. We suggest that the soil ecosystems of VL should play a major role in exploring the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, and in monitoring the effects of environmental change on soil processes in real time and space.
He added that the terminated cases had been quite diverse, namely allegations of corruption lodged against regional heads, state-owned enterprise (SOE) executives, law enforcement officials, high-ranking officials of ministries and other state bodies, as well as members of the legislative body.However, the spokesperson said that such termination was not unusual as the antigraft body had terminated hundreds of cases since its establishment.“In the last five years, the KPK has terminated the investigation of 162 cases,” said Ali.Read also: Manpower shortage hampers KPK investigations Topics : The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has confirmed that it has stopped preliminary investigations for 36 cases, raising skepticism over the performance of the country’s leading antigraft agency under its new leadership.KPK acting spokesperson Ali Fikri said the antigraft body had considered “carefully and responsibly” before making the decision.“Some cases had been worked on since 2011. They also did not fulfill requirements to be processed further, such as lacking preliminary evidence, not identified as an act of corruption and other reasons that can be legally accounted for,” Ali said in a statement on Thursday. During a preliminary investigation, KPK investigators are tasked with determining whether a case involves an act of corruption. They are also required to gather sufficient and strong evidence before deciding whether to continue the investigation or name any graft suspect in the case. Otherwise, the investigation should be terminated.Article 40 of Law No. 30/2002 on the KPK prohibits the antigraft body from stopping a case at the investigation or prosecution stage; prompting investigators to ensure that all cases at the preliminary stage have strong evidence.The provision, however, was revised in the 2019 KPK Law, allowing the antigraft body to terminate an investigation and prosecution of a graft case if they have not been completed within two years.“Our investigators are still required to handle graft cases carefully,” Ali said.The Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) has condemned the investigation termination, doubting whether the antigraft body had carried out case screenings for each case before finally deciding to terminate them.“KPK leaders should not get trapped into committing abuse of power in deciding investigation terminations because the cases allegedly involve important people, such as regional leaders, law enforcers and legislative members,” ICW activist Wana Alamsyah said in a statement on Thursday.“Moreover, the KPK chairman is an active police officer, so it is feared that there has been a conflict of interest,” he went on to say, referring to the antigraft body’s current chairman, Firli Bahuri, a three-star police general.Read also: KPK chairman Firli named in Muara Enim bribery trialWana highlighted the number of terminated cases, saying that the KPK had on average terminated two cases every month in five years. However, the number spiked to 36 cases two months after the new leaders were inaugurated.“When we look deeper into the matter, the current leadership has yet to start an investigation,” he said.The KPK recently arrested Saiful Ilah, the regent of Sidoarjo in East Java, as well as General Elections Commission (KPU) commissioner Wahyu Setiawan last month. However, the investigation of both cases started during the tenure of previous chairman Agus Rahardjo. The ICW quoted a survey by Jakarta-based pollster Alvara Research Center on Feb. 12 that showed public satisfaction toward the current KPK leadership had plunged.“With the large number of cases terminated in the preliminary investigation process, it reinforces the public’s notion that the KPK’s performance in terms of law enforcement against corruption will decline sharply,” said Wana.
Auction clearance rates have hit a fresh high a week earlier than the start of the seasonal peak period in March.AUCTION clearance rates hit their highest level so far this year, setting a strong pace many hope will hold through 2017.Preliminary CoreLogic capital city auction statistics for the week to Sunday February 26 saw Brisbane pull a clearance rate of 63,6 per cent, a strong rise over last year’s 57.4 per cent.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:35Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:35 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenWeekend Wrap: 25-26 Feb00:35More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home2 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor8 hours agoThe weighted average across the capital cities also jumped to 78.6 per cent – from 71.4 per cent last year.There were dramatic increases in the number of properties taken to auction, with 3,232 auctions held across the capitals. New South Wales had the highest price fetched for a residence over the week, with 404 Edgecliff Rd Woolahra landing $6.55m. Picture: Realestate.com.au“The record highs for the number of auctions were confined to the Sydney (1,169) and Melbourne (1,613) markets, where auction numbers were the highest on record for the month of February,” according to the CoreLogic Property Market Indicator.Numbers were “significantly higher”, though the market usually saw “auction volumes generally reaching their seasonal peaks around March”.The highest price fetched for a property in the past week was $6.55 million for 404 Edgecliff Road, Woollahra in New South Wales, with Queensland’s highest coming out of Hope Island at $4.75m.
A victory parade to mark Manchester United’s 20th league title and Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement has drawn thousands of fans on to the streets.Many supporters gathered at the club’s Old Trafford stadium as the open-top bus tour got under way.The parade travelled towards the city centre and arrived at Albert Square, where the bus was greeted by more fans.Sir Alex, who is retiring at the age of 71 after 26 years in Manchester, has won 38 trophies at Old Trafford.Speaking from the bus, the septuagenarian Scotsman thanked fans for their support over the years and for the reception he received at his final home game, United’s 2-1 win against Swansea City on Sunday.He said it had been “a day I will never forget – it was wonderful”. “It was something all my family enjoyed and the grandkids will never forget it.”‘Moment in history’The bus left the stadium via Sir Matt Busby Way – the road named after another celebrated United manager – at about 18:30 BST.Fans lined every part of the route from the stadium to the square, with police by 19:00 refusing entry to any more fans after the plaza and the surrounding streets filled to capacity.Some supporters ignited red flares, several climbed lamp posts for a view of the bus and others were seen leaning from windows and standing on rooftops. Many people travelled from far and wide to attend the parade, with some coming from as close as Stretford and others from as far away as South Africa.Famara Bojang from London said he had “come to the parade today as I wanted to be part of this moment in history”, while Darren Reid from Barrow-in-Furness said he had been to “every parade since 1999, but I’m obviously here this time to say goodbye to Fergie”.Ryan Giggs, who has played a part in virtually all of Sir Alex’s 38 trophies, said he was happy the manager – who joined the club from Aberdeen in November 1986 – was leaving with another piece of silverware to his name.He said: “It has been tough, especially for the players who have known him for a long time. We are delighted that we were able to end on a high and won the league in his last season.”During the celebrations in Albert Square, Manchester band The Courteeners played and United defender Rio Ferdinand led the crowd in singing songs about the club’s players.