An opposition lawmaker used the floor of Parliament yesterday to charge that the State has not been doing enough for sports persons.Everald Warmington claimed that young athletes are only recognised by the Government at the time of their performance or when they return to Jamaica, and are then forgotten.He said that in recognition of the performance of our young athletes, the Government is to establish a special programme geared at providing for the further education and welfare of young athletes.He said in Parliament yesterday that very often, the State only concerns itself with having motorcades and having special holidays for athletes after they have performed well.”Very little is done for them by the Government to help their welfare and education,” he said.The South West St Catherine MP said that if the Government stepped up to the plate, “they would no longer have to be on the streetside selling bananas after they performed exceptionally well for this country”.Cabinet in December approved the establishment of the Jamaican Athletes Insurance Plan to provide group health and life and personal accident insurance for 1,323 athletes.Guardian Life Insurance and Allied Insurance Brokers have been selected to provide coverage for the athletes. The Jamaica Athletes Insurance Plan has received funding from the Sports Development Foundation, the Tourism Enhancement Fund, the National Health Fund, and the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund.Natalie Neita Headley, minister with responsibility for sports, said at a Jamaica House press briefing last November that the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association and the Sports Development Foundation had been supportive of the athletes’ welfare, and since 2001, the amount spent for the development and welfare of the athletes increased from $670,000 to $9 million in 2013.
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MANCHESTER, England (AP)If Manchester United went on the attack in games as much as its manager does in news conferences, England’s biggest team may not be in such a rut.Yesterday, a defiant Louis van Gaal criticised sections of the British media who reported this week he had offered to resign in the wake of United’s latest poor result a 1-0 home loss to Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday.”I think it’s awful and horrible,” said Van Gaal, who walked out of a news conference last month. “It’s the third time I’ve been sacked and I’m still sitting here.”Lose to second-tier Derby in the FA Cup today and even Van Gaal acknowledges the scrutiny could be too much to take.The Dutchman said yesterday that he hadn’t offered to quit and the support of Ed Woodward, United’s executive vice-chairman, was “fantastic.””It gives you a lot of pressure because when the board has such confidence in you, the pressure is much higher than when they say it’s your last game,” Van Gaal said. “Then the confidence is not so high.”United may be playing Derby just at the right time. They have won only one of their last six games in the FA Cup third round and have dropped off the top of the League Championship.Derby is managed by Paul Clement, the former assistant manager at Real Madrid where he worked under Carlo Ancelotti. Clement said he might speak to Ancelotti before today’s game at Pride Park.”I am not sure it will quite be a giant-killing if we get a good result,” Clement said. “It is a challenge we are really looking forward to, up against a team that is not in great form.”
They have given themselves the acronym FUN, but when they met at several locations in Liberia’s southeast last week, members of the Farmers Union Network realized that they were faced not with matters of fun but with very serious challenges.The farmers took a realistic approach to the problems at hand. Rather than take a general approach to the issues, they realized it was better to hold their consultations in each of the five southeastern counties–Grand Gedeh, River Gee, Grand Kru, Maryland and Sinoe counties. The aim was to determine the problems specific to each. In the process, however, they discovered that the 500 or more southeastern farmers recruited to plant rice faced the same problems: the lack of follow-up on lowland prepared in each county for the rice project of the West African Agricultural Productivity Program; the 50 tons of seed rice that should have come from the Ministry of Agriculture and from OXFAM, the British-based NGO that helps farmers, among others; the lack of tools to execute the project; and the absence of sufficient agricultural extension agents in the entire sub-region.Our Farm Correspondent, Judoemue Kollie, who in Tuesday’s Daily Observer reported on the consultations in the five southeastern counties, quoted FUN president, the Rev. Robert Bimba, as saying that these farmers also lack agricultural loans, extension services and access to information. This has caused many of the farmers to abandon the lowlands where they were to engage in rice production and shift upland.In this one instance, we are playing not only with the southeast but with our staple, rice. Hasn’t this newspaper time and again over the years pleaded with the Agriculture Minister to extend its Extension Services to farmers throughout the country? At the onset of her second tenure as Agriculture Minister, Dr. Florence Chenoweth told this newspaper that hundreds of Ag extension agents were being trained at the Booker Washington Institute (BWI), at the Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) and elsewhere for deployment around the country.With few of them seen anywhere, it is seems that Minister misled the newspaper. During the Vision 2030 Consultations around the country, farmers throughout complained about the absence of Ag extension agents in their areas. Todee in particular, an extensive farming area in Montserrado County, complained that they had not seen an ag extension agent there in 15 years. But the Minister said it was “not true.”A Minister of government cannot afford to be deceptive in the performance of her duties–that is a recipe for trouble, especially in the vital area of farming, in which the vast majority of our people are engaged.Since the government has failed effectively to address the unemployment problem, and tens of thousands of our people, especially our youth, are unemployed, it seems to us imperative that our farmers are told the truth and adequately provided the tools and other resources they need to be successful.This newspaper has also for a long time urged the Agriculture Ministry to see as one of its most serious challenges the shepherding (steering) of our farmers out of subsistence farming and into the money economy. But it seems that nearly nine years of this administration we are just as further from that goal as we were during the pre-war years.Whether or not Florence Chenoweth realizes this, it is a serious indictment not only on her administration as Agriculture Minister, but also on that of her boss, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. We thought that people appointed to important public positions would do their utmost to help their President accomplish critical national goals, even if this President has the penchant (inclination) to protect and even retain non-performing officials in her administration.This newspaper has frequently asked who can afford to ignore the southeast, already for decades one of the country’s most neglected regions? But the more we have written, the more we, too, have been ignored. The Agriculture Minister is on record as saying she does not even “read the tabloids anymore.” A tabloid is a newspaper that turns everything into a scandal, NEVER looking at the positive side of anything. Believe it or not, she casts the Daily Observer in that category!Well, that is what is being said TODAY. But we all work not for today, but for tomorrow, for the future. When Agriculture Minister Florence Chenoweth is no longer on the stage, how will the Liberian people remember her, or the administration she served?Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Bong County Health Officer, Dr. Sampson Azoakoi, has stated that Ebola cases are still high in the county despite frantic efforts by the County Health Team, the County Leadership and partners to fight the deadly virus there.Briefing journalists at the office of the Bong County Health Team at Phebe Hospital on Monday, Dr. Azoakoi said 74 new cases were recorded last week alone.Of the 74 cases, he said, 15 are confirmed and 59 suspected. But he quickly informed journalists that of the 59 suspected cases, 32 are recorded in Bong, while 34 are from Margibi, with 6 registered from Gbarpolu and 2 from Monsterrado County.Of the 15 confirmed cases, 3 are from Bong County, nine from Gbarpolu, and 3 from Margibi County.Dr. Azoakoi also announced that the Bong County Ebola Taskforce received thirty-eight mobile laboratory results last week, of which 15 were positive and 23 were negative.Nine of the cases were undetermined, meaning the nine are required to repeat their EVD test.He was swift to notify the County Taskforce that a cumulative number of 1,326 contacts were recorded from the beginning of October, of which 1,226 persons completed the 21-day quarantine as instituted by the County Health Team.The county also recorded 28 cumulative deaths from the period under review, with six occurring at the ETU in Suakoko District.Dr. Azoakoi indicated that the County Health Team has documented 54 discharged patients from the ETU in Bong County.He said three children from the ETU in Bong County have been reunited with their parents after surviving the killer disease.He named Gbarpolu County as the latest epi-center, with nine cases, all testing positive, reported from that county.The County Health Officer informed the gathering that the Ebola cases began to increase in the county from week ten when the disease engulfed the entire county. Dr. Azoakoi told the Taskforce that he believes the rapid spread of the disease is the direct result of the refusal of local residents to adhere to measures announced by health authorities.“If we do not change our behavior of how to treat this deadly disease, it will surely live with us for a long period of time despite firm commitment of the international community to fight the virus,” Dr. Azoakoi declared shaking his head in disappointment. He told this paper that one of the underlying reasons for the increase in Ebola deaths in recent times is the entrenched culture of silence on the part of Liberians to report for testing in spite of the presence of testing centers in the county. This, he warned, is breaking down the fabric of the society.The County Health Officer stressed that with the ingrained culture of silence, the County Health Team is finding it extremely difficult to fight the Ebola virus disease in the county. This is especially so because suspected Ebola virus carriers are not prepared to be quarantined or to report to the health facilities for early checkup and treatment.Ordinary Bong County residents who spoke to the Daily Observer argued that the virus is not being enclosed due to the lackadaisical response on the part of the residents to the measures put in place by health authorities. Others maintain that the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the Government of Liberia are not doing much to respond to the appeals of health workers to provide services at the health facilities and ETUs around the country. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Former employers of the Grove/Diamond, Neighbouring Democratic Council (NDC), East Bank Demerara (EDB) are five years on awaiting gratuity owed to them.Edward Adolphus, 60, of Lot 9 Section B, Block X Diamond, EBD, and four others who were employed by the NDC from 1997-2013 are still waiting for their payment.According to Adolphus, after he was “let go” as a result of his services being redundant, he was promised gratuity.However, the man who worked as a tractor operator, reported that after continuously visiting the NDC for the money owed and promised to him, he was being given what he described as the “royal run-around.”He said for years he has been visiting the NDC and was reassured that he will get the payment, but none was forthcoming. Adolphus said he then approached the Labour Department and was told that he had to wait until the monies are budgeted for and then he will get his gratuity.The Grove/Diamond Neighbouring Democratic CouncilHe said after several visits to the Labour Department, he grew frustrated since the only response he has been receiving was “the money is on its way” but to date, the money has not been paid.When Guyana Times contacted the current Overseer of the Grove NDC, this publication was informed that the gratuity was indeed outstanding.The Overseer revealed that when he took up his post in February 2017, the money was budgeted for by the NDC and sent to the Communities Minister for approval.He informed that following approval by that Ministry, the Permanent Secretary will have to sign off before the money could be paid out.The Overseer noted that to date, following many requests for updates by his office on the matter, they are still awaiting approval. “We cannot pay without the approval,” he told this publication on Thursday.Meanwhile, a frustrated Adolphus said he is “fed up”, adding that “the same thing I’ve been hearing all these years, that is what they are saying all the time, that they waiting for approval but how long more?”“I was told to get the media involved to let people hear my plight,” the man relayed.Minister Ronald Bulkan was unavailable for a comment on the matter.
Chairman of the Donegal Hospice Dr James McDaid has said Highland Radio will now only get a fixed fee from a new fundraising venture between the two parties.Chairman of the Donegal Hospice, Dr James McDaid.Chairman of the Hospice, Dr McDaid, today gave evidence in court as he applied for a license for a new bingo game.Dr McDaid revealed that the local radio station will now get a fixed fee for the game which will not exceed 40%. The well-known local GP said there had been previous controversy when Highland had an agreement with Rehab.He said local people were concerned that money being raised locally was not being spent locally.He said the Hospice committee had met with Highland and had come to an agreement.Under the new agreement Highland will get a fixed fee which will not exceed 40% of the first 1,600 bingo books sold. However, he said the Donegal Hospice now hoped to increase the sale of bingo books from 1,600 to 2,500.Dr McDaid also referred to the fact that the Hospice was in “dire need” of financial assistance.Highland ended their association with Rehab on May 2nd.The radio station had applied to the Letterkenny District Court for a bingo license several weeks ago, with the station saying it wanted to earn €52,000-a-year profits from “running costs” and giving the rest to the Donegal Hospice.Judge Paul Kelly had asked radio station director Hazel Russell at a previous hearing to provide a break-down of its proposed figures. He also told her that no more than 40 per cent of cash generated could be spent on administration.Ms Russell revealed the station would charge €25 every time bingo numbers were read out, and this happened eight times per day. This would amount to €1,000 per week – or €52,000 per annum – as bingo was played five times per week.But Ms Russell later returned to the same court to say the license application was being withdrawn.At today’s court sitting, Judge Paul Kelly granted the new license and wished Dr McDaid and the Donegal Hospice the best of luck with the new venture. HIGHLAND AGREE TO ‘FIXED FEE’ FOR NEW BINGO GAME WITH DONEGAL HOSPICE was last modified: June 9th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:charitydonegaldonegal hospiceHighland RadioLetterkenny District Court
From Richard Dawkins to new prizewinning engineers, scientists get natural selection all wrong.Artificial selection is not natural selection. They are, in fact, opposites. True, Charles Darwin leaped from artificial to natural selection, but the former has purposeful goals, while the latter has none. It is the very mindlessness of natural selection that is its key characteristic. Adaptations, whatever form they take, are accidental; they are unintended. For this reason, the following are oxymorons:Evolutionary designEvolutionary engineeringDirected evolutionThese terms, if they mean anything, are synonyms for artificial selection, not natural selection. In fact, Darwin wrestled with his term natural selection because it seemed to personify what he considered an aimless, blind process. Yet scientists and reporters continue to confuse the two. Here are recent examples.Evolutionary DesignerThe BBC News proudly announced that “US engineer Frances Arnold has won the Millennium Technology Prize for pioneering ‘directed evolution’.” What she did was randomize stretches of DNA, seeking to identify new functional enzymes. She knows she was doing artificial selection (a form of intelligent design), because she compared it to breeding: it’s “pretty much like we’ve done for cats, dogs, cows, chickens, you name it.” Her “directed evolution” could not be further from natural selection conceptually, but the article completely blurs the two:By driving a sped-up version of natural selection in the lab, the method has created new enzymes for industrial catalysts, household detergents, and even to make rocket fuel from sugar….“Evolution, to me, is the best designer of all time. And I figured out that this should be the algorithm for forward design, for making new biological code that is useful to humans,” Prof Arnold said….With her engineering background, Prof Arnold wanted to make new, useful, problem-solving proteins. So she took her cue from the way nature does the same thing.“I looked at it and said, well, nature didn’t actually design enzymes… How does this happen? You make mutations randomly, you look through a large number of things for the ones that have the properties you’re interested in, then you repeat the process.Natural selection is so misleading a term, Darwin later chose “survival of the fittest” as closer to what he meant. Some evolutionists picture the environment as a selector. Others view survival as a selector. These are both logical fallacies. Neither the environment or survival can select, because neither has foresight, mind, or goals. Whatever happens, nobody cares. Norman Macbeth wrote in 1971, “A process that operates invisibly, with an intensity that cannot be observed and with no ability to explain specific problems, an impersonal process that is continually given personal qualities—this sets my teeth on edge” (Darwin Retried: An Appeal to Reason, p. 46).Selfish GenesRichard Dawkins personified evolution famously with his “selfish gene” concept 40 years ago. Has he grown wiser since then? Apparently not; the BBC News interviewed him, and he’s still clinging to that and his other famous personification, “the blind watchmaker.” Jonathan Webb titles his article, “The gene’s still selfish: Dawkins’ famous idea turns 40.” Does Dawkins clarify these personifications and render them in purely materialistic terms?“If you ask what is this adaptation good for, why does the animal do this – have a red crest, or whatever it is – the answer is always, for the good of the genes that made it. That is the central message of the Selfish Gene and that remains true, and reinforced.”Jonathan Webb never contradicts these misleading statements. He joins in the fun of watching intelligently-designed software tools guiding random changes toward higher goals according to rules chosen by the programmer. Like Darwin long ago, Webb and Dawkins leap from artificial to natural selection, as if the two are one and the same running at different rates (natural selection being slower). But so-called “evolutionary computing” or “evolutionary algorithms” are not evolutionary in the Darwinian sense. The designer pulls good things out of randomness, recognizing what is desirable and what is not.From there, Webb lets Dawkins speak his mind about his pet peeve: religion. Neither of them were of a mind to upset their fun by letting a qualified Darwin skeptic in the room.This is what we’re up against, folks; the leading advocates of a materialistic worldview who don’t even understand their own theory. Read the quotes again at the end of “Time to Ditch Natural Selection?” (10/03/15). A few notable thinkers have realized the illogic of natural selection, blind watchmakers, and selfish genes.We all know what the human mind can achieve with breeding. Even if there is some random variation thrown in, the chief difference is the direction toward a goal supervised by the breeder’s intelligence. Intelligent designers can pull good things out of randomness because they know what they want and how to get it.No such direction is provided by so-called “natural selection”—one of the most misleading phrases ever concocted. The environment doesn’t select; it couldn’t care less what happens. It changes randomly as much as mutations are random. Natural laws don’t select; they produce the same outcomes, not a propensity toward building brains, wings, and eyes. Mutations don’t select, obviously. Everything is blind; everything is chance! Darwin’s theory is a dressed-up version of the Stuff Happens Law: the antithesis of science.So here we have the fulcrum of secular materialistic civilization resting on nothing but the shifting sands of chance. And yet evolutionists position themselves as the champions of logic, spitting on the “people of faith” far beneath them. Did humanity ever get things so backward, calling good evil, and evil good?Yes; twice: in the garden, and at the cross. (Visited 152 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
In a post from last summer on LEED for Homes, I mused on the ineffectiveness and confusion surrounding the required Durability Planning process, the preparation of a project-specific Durability Checklist, and third-party inspection of this work.The general consensus among green raters I know is that the entire Durability Planning process in LEED for Homes is confusing, arbitrary, and extremely difficult for most construction teams to get their heads around. Each project team is supposed to fill out a risk assessment form that ranks each principal durability risk as either low, medium, or high, based on the project design and climate. Issues to be ranked include Exterior Water, Interior Moisture Loads, Air Infiltration, Interstitial Condensation, Heat Loss, Ultraviolet Radiation, Pests, and Natural Disasters.While each issue is critical in high-performance homes, I believe that asking the project team to assess the risk level of each and then come up with lists of specific measures to alleviate these risks is counterproductive to creating durable buildings. RELATED ARTICLES GBA Encyclopedia: LEED for HomesWhy Is the U.S. Green Building Council So Out of Touch?It’s 2012 — Do You Know Where Your LEED for Homes Is?How to Cheat* at LEED for HomesNew Urbanist Andres Duany Lashes Out at LEEDGreen Building Programs Got Some ’Splainin’ to DoEqual-Opportunity Feather Ruffling Almost all other green building programs have checklists of requirements and extra-point items that address durability. Simple process: You do it, check it off, meet the prerequisites or get your points. But not LEED for Homes. They need to create a “process” that the team must go through to make sure that the specific items they include in their project match the specific needs of the project and the climate.In theory, this process may be good, but in practice, teams typically miss critical items, include excessive amounts of items that are marginally effective, and throw in a few that don’t relate to the specific risk. The amount of time spent addressing the durability plan often exceeds the value it brings to a project.In case you didn’t think it was complicated enoughSo, I was on a LEED for Homes conference call this week that included an extended discussion of new clarifications on the Durability Planning process bestowed on us from the USGBC gods in Washington, D.C. The durability plan can provide a bonus of three full points for project teams if they are able to have all their listed measures verified by a third party.The new ruling determines that to obtain the third-party verification points, the Durability Inspection Checklist must have at least 18 to 20 specific items on it (excluding up to six prerequisites that are required to be on the list anyway). So, you now must figure out how to distinguish between prerequisites and regular durability measures, assemble the list with not too many but not too few items on it, and make sure that all of them are independently verified to get your extra points.Almost no one understood it before, so why complicate it further?I have to admit that trying to explain to project teams how to create their durability forms, and reviewing them for accuracy during the process, verges on the comical. In theory, engaging the team to work together to come up with high-performance building specifications is an intriguing idea; in practice, it is like trying to herd cats and ducks together, all of whom would rather be out doing what they normally do. Most green raters are just beginning to get their under-educated project teams to figure out this particular process, when BOOM! The USGBC adds this extra layer of complexity on it.Why can’t they just act like other programs and put together a list of measures to use if they apply to your project? I do believe that most of the people working in D.C. are well-intentioned and honestly do want to make the program better, but there seems to be a lack of focus and leadership when edicts come down that do little more than make minor adjustments and add layers of complexity.It reminds me of doctors who prescribe medicine for one condition, which creates side effects, for which they prescribe another medicine. Eventually, most of the medications are only taken to correct side effects, and no one ever considers taking a holistic view of the situation.I feel like every ruling that comes down from the USGBC is designed to correct a small problem, usually creating other unintended consequences of its own, which then need to be fixed with another ruling. When will someone take a step back and give this program the big-picture overview that it desperately deserves?One final rantI also learned that the USGBC is planning to develop an online checklist for the LEED for Homes program, apparently modeled after the NAHB scoring sheet for their green building program. Anyone who has been following me for a while probably has heard me whine about that online scoring tool. While it is comprehensive and lacks many of the obtuse complexities of the LEED checklist, it is so painfully slow that it makes the NAHB program more rather than less difficult to manage. Incidentally, the NAHB has just come out with an offline, Excel-based version of their checklist, which works quite well, due mostly to push-back from verifiers including myself.While there is no love lost for the LEED for Homes Excel spreadsheet, I am really concerned that, based on previous behavior, moving this particular part of the program to an online tool — if it isn’t thought through completely and systemically from the very beginning — may very possibly make things worse, rather than better.I once saw some brilliant graffiti at a bar: “Eschew obfuscation.” We would all be well served if this was taken to heart.
Nirajoy Tripura, CPI(M) candidate in Chawmanu in Dhalai district of Tripura, has only ₹1,218 on him, says his election affidavit. The sum is ₹302 less than what Chief Minister Manik Sarkar has in hand.Oldest lawmakerBut Mr. Tripura, India’s oldest lawmaker at 90, is “richer in experience” than Mr. Sarkar, 21 years younger. He is eyeing a third straight victory from Chawmanu in Dhalai district, but says he has nothing to prove. “I have lived for the people in my constituency, I will die for them. But before my time is up, I wish to have a PAN card and break the record for oldest lawmaker,” he said.The record belongs to Rishang Keishing of Manipur, who retired as Rajya Sabha member at 94 in 2014. Mr. Keishing died last August.Mr. Tripura’s needs a permanent account number because of the ₹55,170, allowances he has received as MLA, parked in his bank account. “I don’t need this money, as my monthly salary of ₹14,000 is enough for me. The needy in my area can utilise it,” he said.Mr. Tripura lives in a thatched house and does not own a television. His wife died a few years ago. He has a daughter. Among his possessions are four chairs, a cot, a table and some musical instruments.
The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet on Tuesday adopted the proposal to rename the historical city of Allahabad as Prayagraj, a move opposed by the Opposition parties in the State.The State government said it was only restoring an old name to the city. Today, the BJP government had rectified the mistake made by Akbar,” a BJP spokesperson said.Keeping in view the feelings and emotions of the people, Allahabad had been renamed Prayagraj by our government. Five hundred years ago, the name of the place was Prayagraj as it was at the Triveni Sangam [a confluence of three rivers],” Mr. Adityanath said later in Gorakhpur.“Those who are opposing this are not aware of their history, culture and traditions and we can’t have hopes from them,” he told presspersons during at visit to the Budhiya Mata temple in Gorakhpur. There are many Prayags on the bank of the sacred rivers coming from the Himalayas, but this place is Prayagraj (the leading one among them), the Chief Minister said.Before the CentreThe proposal would now go to the Centre before the city is officially renamed, though an Uttar Pradesh Minister seemed to suggest the change had already come into effect.“I am happy to say Allahabad will now be known as Prayagraj,” senior Uttar Pradesh Minister Siddhartha Nath Singh told presspersons after the Cabinet meeting chaired by the Chief Minister. “The government has announced this decision. It has come into effect from today, Mr. Singh said. “There is a process to carry out changes and the departments concerned will undertake it.” The State government would write to the Centre, he said.Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav had earlier criticised the move.The Congress had also opposed it, saying the name change ignored the history of Allahabad, which played a significant role during the Independence struggle.Congress spokesperson Onkar Singh said the region where Kumbh Mela was held was already called Prayagraj. The State government could make that a separate city but Allahabad’s name should not be changed.However, Mr. Siddhartha Nath Singh said the move would help highlight Indian culture internationally.