The “temporary international mechanism” would be limited in scope and duration and operate with full transparency and accountability, the Quartet said in a statement, pledging to review whether it is still needed after three months.“The mechanism facilitates needs-based assistance directly to the Palestinian people, including essential equipment, supplies, and support for health services, support for the uninterrupted supply of fuel and utilities, and basic needs allowances to poor Palestinians.”The statement voiced the Quartet’s hope that other donors, international organizations, and Israel would consider participation in the mechanism. “Donors are also encouraged to respond to humanitarian and other assistance requests by international organizations, especially UN agencies, active in the West Bank and Gaza,” the group noted.The Quartet also reiterated its call for the Palestinian Authority Government to commit to the principles of nonviolence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations, including the Roadmap. “The Palestinian Authority government must fulfill its responsibilities with respect to basic human needs, including health services, as well as for proper fiscal management and provision of services,” the Quartet said. The mechanism was discussed at a meeting of Quartet principals on 9 May, when they grappled with the problem of deteriorating conditions in the West Bank and Gaza as donors balked at funding a Hamas-led Palestinian Government that has yet to renounce violence.
A fossilized fern leaf has been found in a recent core sample taken from a project in Tumbler Ridge, BC. Sonic Drilling had been contracted to drill to 48.7 m, provide core samples and assist with soil penetration testing every 1.5 m. Bill Fitzgerald, General Manager of Sonic Drilling said “The drillers just arbitrarily picked up a piece of the core sample and found the leaf inside. It was pretty exciting to see something that old.”The engineer on site estimated the leaf to be approximately 80 million years old. It was cored at 48.7 m below the surface and embedded in coal. Sonic drill rigs are often used on projects like this due to their ability to provide undisturbed, continuous core samples to over 90 m. Using patented sonic drilling technology, samples, ranging from 76 mm to 203 mm in diameter, can be obtained from a variety of overburden including boulders, clays, silts, sand and gravel which can often get jammed with other types of drilling.The core samples are placed into clear plastic sleeves and neatly laid out allowing detailed visual examination and analysis, followed by sampling, photographing and archiving for a permanent record of existing conditions.