The Eagles demolished the Vikings 38-7 and booked their third trip to the Super Bowl in franchise history, and first since the 2004 season. In Minneapolis on Feb. 4, they will meet the Patriots, who earlier on Sunday beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-20 in the AFC Championship Game.
Australian Aboriginal lore is replete with references to birds carrying fire, and some traditional ceremonies even depict the behaviour. Now ornithologists have collected accounts from witnesses across the savannas of Australia's far north, known as the Top End, suggesting three Australian birds of prey species use smouldering branches to spread fires and scare prey into their waiting talons. Black kites (Milvus migrans), whistling kites (Haliastur sphenurus) and brown falcons (Falco berigora) all regularly congregate near the edges of bushfires, taking advantage of an exodus of small lizards, mammals, birds and insects -- but it appears that some may have learnt not only to use fire to their advantage, but also to control it. read more
Eliot A. Cohen, Foreign Affairs: [Donald] Trump was remarkably lucky in 2017. He did not experience any external shocks and paid no visible price for alienating the United States' friends. But at the same time, no part of the world is conspicuously better off for his efforts. Instead, the preexisting fissures in the international system are either the same or getting worse; no U.S. adversary is noticeably weaker, and some are getting stronger; and the president's behavior has devalued the currency of the United States' reputation and credibility. Sooner or later, his luck will run out. And when it does, the true costs of the Trump presidency will become clear. read more
A Texas judge interrupted a jury's deliberation to tell them that God told him that the defendant was not guilty. The jury disagreed and found the 32-year-old woman guilty of continuously trafficking her teen niece to a much older man. Judge Jack Robison apologized to the jurors but explained that he felt he had to pass on the message from God. Judge Robison recused himself before the sentencing phase of the trial. The defendant was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Early on Saturday, amid blowing snow and temperatures at minus 13 Fahrenheit, three caribou were blindfolded, earplugged and bundled into a helicopter on an island in Lake Superior. The animals, survivors of a herd that was decimated by wolves in recent years, were among nine animals relocated by the Ontario government last weekend in an attempt to save them from disappearing from around Lake Superior, where they once thrived. A team of pilots, veterinarians, research scientists and animal handlers moved eight cows and one bull from Michipicoten Island to the Slate Islands some 80 miles away, where the government hopes the animals will have a chance to repopulate. read more