Govt spends $40M on Buju Banton tickets for supporters – Jagdeo

first_img…”it is not Govt’s money, it is PNC’s money” – Amna AllyOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday blazed the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government for purchasing $40 million worth in tickets for the upcoming Buju Banton show, with hard earned taxpayer’s dollars.PNC General Secretary Amna Ally shared a photo with supporters during the distribution exerciseThe money he stated was used to purchase 8000 tickets for the show which is billed for Saturday evening at the Guyana National Stadium. The cost for each ticket is GY$5000.“Spending $40 million to share out to kids? Amna Ally is going around handing out, that is not her money, that is taxpayers’ money. But at the same time they don’t have money to put medicine in the hospitals where many people are going there, pensioners etc. They cannot find insulin, they cannot find basic medicine, but they (Government) are handing out, Amna Ally taking taxpayers’ money and handing out to kids.”According to the Opposition Leader, he is not against the idea of persons going to such shows and having their recreational moments but slammed the Government and by extension, the People’s National Congress (PNC) for taking taxpayers’ monies to fund their political agenda, deeming the move a campaign strategy.“I don’t begrudge people who are getting the tickets because it is our people and they should enjoy the tickets. But the fact is that this is part of the plan by the APNU to campaign using the taxpayers’ money and it is part of a broader design and it shows how disparaging they are about people, particularly young people,” he stated. The tickets were distributed to residents in Sophia, Norton Street, South Road, Cemetery Road and Bourda Market.In an invited comment on Thursday just as the Minister was making her way into Parliament Chambers, Ally denied that the monies were taken from the public coffers but stated it was in fact, the PNC’s money that was used to purchase the tickets.“Government money? Sorry, it is not Government’s money, it is the PNC’s money and we are distributing it to people. I cannot remember the amount that we bought but we are distributing.”She added that the reason for the large investment was to allow persons the opportunity to be a part of such major events.“We believe that it is a good opportunity for people, generally, to go to the Buju Banton show.” The show titled “I am Legend” will see the Jamaican artiste as the main act, accompanied by First Born, Alabama and Natural Black.last_img read more

Moussaoui jury deliberates

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) – Prosecutors showed the most gruesome and heart-rending photos of Sept. 11 again on Monday and told jurors that only Zacarias Moussaoui’s death could give the victims justice. The defense asked his jury to spurn retribution and not let a delusional and inept terrorist bait them into making him a martyr. With those final arguments, the life of the 37-year-old Frenchman was placed in the hands of the same nine men and three women who early this month found him responsible for at least one death on 9/11 even though he was in jail at the time. Now they must weigh the suffering and the glee the confessed al-Qaida conspirator took in it on the witness stand against his role, his mental health and background to decide whether he deserves the death penalty or life in prison without possibility of release. The jurors deliberated three hours and went home for the day. They will resume Tuesday morning. Prosecutor David Novak showed photos of a charred body in a Pentagon office, of body parts at the base of the World Trade Center, and of young children who lost a parent. “No one can give them justice but you,” Novak said. “You are the voice of this nation.” He told jurors a death penalty would say: “We are the United States of America, and we are not going to put up with a bunch of thugs who invoke God’s name to kill nearly 3,000 Americans.” Displaying a photo of the youngest 9/11 victim – 2 1/2-year-old Christine Hansen holding an American flag – who died on her way to Disneyland, Novak recalled Moussaoui’s “utter lack of remorse” when he took the witness stand and asked: “How can any human being rejoice in her death?” Moussaoui “is nothing but a mass murderer,” Novak said. “This defendant is pure evil.” With such arguments, defense attorney Gerald Zerkin said, “the government opts for retribution.” But “this is about history,” he said. “It is about how our justice system responded to the worst terrorist attack on our soil.” He said even the Nuremberg trials of Nazis after World War II handed out only 11 death sentences for “the worst atrocities in the history of man” and paved the way for reconciliation. Moussaoui is a “a veritable caricature of an al-Qaida terrorist,” “the operative who couldn’t shoot straight” and “the only al-Qaida operative inept enough to be captured before 9/11,” Zerkin said. “He is offered as a sacrificial lamb” while no charges are brought against 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, coordinator Ramzi Binalshihb and other captured al-Qaida leaders, Zerkin said. He said the government “has held out the prospect of Moussaoui’s execution as the cure” for the pain of the victims. But because their pain is so severe, “his death cannot and will not make them better.” Zerkin recalled other relatives of victims who testified on Moussaoui’s behalf that they began to recover when they found ways to do something positive. Moussaoui’s testimony about how he relished the pain of the victims “is proof that he wants you to sentence him to death,” Zerkin said. “He is baiting you into it. He came to America to die in jihad and you are his last chance.” Instead, Zerkin said, the jury can “confine him to a miserable existence until he dies and give him not the death of a jihadist he wants, but the long slow death of a common criminal.” Once Judge Leonie Brinkema had sent the jury to deliberate, rejected another defense motion to throw out the death penalty and recessed the court, Moussaoui, who calls the trial a charade and a circus, raised his hands above his head and left court smiling and applauding. He had been defiant when leaving for the day’s earlier breaks, calling out: “Never get me, America,” “Our children will carry on the fight,” and “There’s more than one way to skin the American pigs.” This is the fourth death penalty case in which Zerkin and Novak have faced off; Zerkin’s clients in the three earlier ones all got life sentences. Some rancor surfaced as each used their closings to criticize the other by name for an argument or line of questioning during the trial. Both may have misstepped somewhat in their closings, and on the same issue: Moussaoui’s sanity. Zerkin briefly lost track of his outline and had to go back, almost as an afterthought, to the importance of testimony from defense psychiatrists that Moussaoui was a delusional schizophrenic. Mental illness “affects your judgment,” he said. Later, Novak may have forgotten that one female juror is a mental health researcher when he said that testimony “is a bunch of psycho-hogwash.” He ridiculed the diagnosis as a “magical schizophrenia” that Moussaoui could turn on or off and that “didn’t appear in front of you all.” Moussaoui himself nodded vigorously up and down when Zerkin said he truly believes President Bush will release him before leaving office in 2009. Zerkin called that a delusion; Novak said it was a religious belief. The six-week trial revealed new data about 9/11. Jurors saw photos and video of carnage that had never appeared on television. Using a multimedia presentation, prosecutors virtually put them in the cockpit of United Flight 93 while they listened to the first public playing of the cockpit tape recording as passengers tried to retake the jet before it plunged into a Pennsylvania field. Prosecutor David Raskin asked jurors: “Can you imagine how horrible it was to die in those buildings and on those planes?” The prosecution had done its best to make it possible for them to do just that. Defense lawyers brought out more evidence than previously seen about how the FBI ignored intelligence turned up by its own agents and others about Moussaoui and other al-Qaida terrorists that government agents knew before 9/11 were in this country. It listed more than a dozen instance in which the government was told or concluded before 9/11 that terrorists might fly planes into buildings. It submitted lengthy digests of what Shaik Mohammed and other captured al-Qaida leaders had said about Moussaoui during their interrogations. Novak and Raskin said it was an insult to poor people of Arab origin everywhere for the defense to submit evidence of Moussaoui’s upbringing in France in an impoverished family with rampant mental illness and afflicted by a violent, alcoholic father and his later encounters with racism in France and England. Millions of poor Muslim immigrants do not become al-Qaida terrorists, Raskin said, pointing out that Moussaoui’s own brother, Abd Samad, is “a successful engineer and teacher.” Zerkin responded that Abd Samad had not gone to London, found himself in homeless shelters and been recruited by the radical Islamic fundamentalists who thrived there in the 1990s. Raskin told the jurors: “Your decision … is not a close call.” Zerkin told them their ruling would be “the legacy for our children.” The jurors left to make their way through a verdict form that runs 42 pages and requires them to disclose what factors influenced their decision. Associated Press writer Matthew Barakat contributed to this report.last_img read more

YOU GOTTA ‘HAND’ IT TO DONEGAL SCHOOL AFTER HANDBALL MEDAL HAUL!

first_imgGrúpa SN an ChoimínOne tiny Donegal school have proved that great things really do come in small packages.SN an Choimín, Gleann Fhinne featured heavily in the recent Cumann na mBunscoil Handball Co. Finals held in Glenfin. In fact the small, 3 teacher school in the Gaeltacht, scooped no less than 8 Co Medals in the competition. In the U11 Girls Doubles, Katie Nig Fhloinn and Katelyn Nic a tSeachtlainn came up trumps, while in the boys U11 Doubles, Daniel O’ Mearthaile and Oisín Mag Fhloinn had a great victory. Luke Mag Fhloinn gave a great account of himself and emerged victorious in the U11 Boys singles.There was also success for Coimín in the U13 section- Eleanor Ní Mhuaighe and Danielle Nic Fhionnghaile worked well together to win the U13 Girls Double title, while Caoimhe Nig Fhloinn also won the Girl’s U13s singles to make it a total of 8 Co. Medals in total for Coimín.Comhghairdeachas a pháistí agus bígí bródúil!YOU GOTTA ‘HAND’ IT TO DONEGAL SCHOOL AFTER HANDBALL MEDAL HAUL! was last modified: March 31st, 2015 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:donegalglenfinHANDBALLmedalslast_img read more

Letterkenny Athletic Club: Fine performances at Shaun Graham Memorial 3K

first_imgATHLETICS: A large number of Letterkenny Athletic Club members turned out last Thursday night to run in the Shaun Graham Memorial 3K. The race, which seeks to keep Shaun’s memory alive, was won by Danny Mooney in 9.11. Pauric Breslin was third in 9.53. There were also good performances from several runners who came home in sub 11 minutes – Raymond Birch, Eoin Hughes, Rayan Maguella, first woman Natasha Adams, Gwyn Yemm and second woman, Fionnuala Diver.Mark Diver and Colly O’Donnell both clocked sub 12 minutes, as did Barry Mackey, who is currently training for the Dublin Marathon. Sub 13 minute times were achieved by Seamus Gallagher and Paul Sweeney. Richard Raymond, Ben Dunleavey who made a welcome return to the racing scene, Deirdre Diver, Anna Boyle and Sharon Black all finished in sub 14 minutes.There were also fine runs from Niamh McDaid, Rory and Gerard Callaghan, Shauna McGeehan and CJ McGinley, who is also making a return to racing.Peter McLean ran his 26th Letterkenny parkrun on Saturday. He clocked 28.12 for the 5K distance.Trialougha in Northern Fanad was the picturesque setting for Sunday’s Donegal Novice cross country championship. It was a highly successful day for Letterkenny AC, with magnificent individual and team performances. The fine October weather meant that, for the second consecutive week, overhead and underfoot conditions were ideal. Noeleen Scanlon was in superb form as she transferred the excellent road form she showed on the road all summer to cross country. She emerged as a convincing winner in the women’s championship.Noeleen finished the 3K course in 11.53 which was 28 seconds clear of her closest challenger, Finn Valley’s Natasha Kelly.She received very good back up from Siobhan Gallagher, Fionnuala Larkin and Marian Kerr. This quartet of LAC women combined to take the second team prize. The four counters also had assistance from Rachel Crossan, who had a strong run.The men’s novice race had one of the most exciting finishes ever witnessed in Donegal cross country. In a unbelievably tight finish, two in-form LAC men, Pauric Breslin and Anthony Doherty, finished together in 21.18, with Pauric being given 1st place.The two men combined with 11th placed Daniel Hannigan and Liam Doherty, 12th, to take the team prize for LAC by a margin of seven points from Finn Valley AC. This is Liam’s first cross country season for the club and he showed he will be a real asset in the season ahead. The four counters were given good support from club mates Martin Dooley, Martin Devenney, Paul Cosgrove, Denis Shields, Michael Galvin, Gwyn Yemm, Seanog Foody, Ben George, John Hughes and Liam Tinney.Letterkenny Athletic Club will be organising the ‘Michael Murphy Sports and Leisure’ New Mills 10K on Sunday October 23rd. Hardworking race director, Brendan McDaid, has organised an extensive prize list and the loop is conducive to fast times. Registration will be at Aura Leisure Centre from 10.00am. The 10K start time is 11. 30am.Letterkenny Athletic Club: Fine performances at Shaun Graham Memorial 3K was last modified: October 10th, 2016 by Rachel McLaughlinShare 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:athleticsCLUB NOTESDonegal Novice cross country championshipletterkennyLetterkenny Atheltic Club notesRunningShaun Graham Memoriallast_img read more

Who do Man City start against and when is Manchester derby? PL fixtures in full

first_imgBut how have City fared in the fixture computer’s calculations? The Etihad club’s full fixture list for 2018/19 can be seen below…AUGUSTAugust 11: Arsenal (a)August 18: Huddersfield Town (h)August 25: Wolverhampton Wanderers (a)SEPTEMBERSeptember 1: Newcastle United (h)September 15: Fulham (h)September 22: Cardiff City (a)September 29: Brighton and Hove Albion (h)OCTOBEROctober 6: Liverpool (a)October 20: Burnley (h)October 27: Tottenham Hotspur (a)NOVEMBERNovember 3: Southampton (h)November 10: Manchester United (h)November 24: West Ham United (a)DECEMBERDecember 1: Bournemouth (h)December 4: Watford (a)December 8: Chelsea (a)December 15: Everton (h)December 22: Crystal Palace (h)December 26: Leicester City (a)December 29: Southampton (a) Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won whoops Latest Manchester City news REVEALED 1 BIG PRESENTS UP TOP Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade REVEALED What every Premier League club’s fans dream of this Christmas silverware England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won Manchester City start the new Premier League season as reigning champions, but who are their first opponents in 2018/19?The Premier League fixtures have been released for the upcoming campaign, revealing exactly when teams will be in action against their opponents.center_img Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars City won the Premier League in 2017/18, also becoming the first team to pick up 100 points in an English top flight season targets Did Mahrez just accidentally reveal Fernandinho is leaving Man City this summer? crackers Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? How the Premier League table could change after the Boxing Day fixtures shining possible standings JANUARYJanuary 1: Liverpool (h)January 12: Wolverhampton Wanderers (h)January 19: Huddersfield Town (a)January 30: Newcastle United (a)FEBRUARYFebruary 2: Arsenal (h)February 9: Chelsea (h)February 23: Everton (a)February 27: West Ham United (h)MARCHMarch 2: Bournemouth (a)March 9: Watford (h)March 16: Manchester United (a)March 30: Fulham (a)APRILApril 6: Cardiff City (h)April 13: Crystal Palace (a)April 20: Tottenham Hotspur (h)April 27: Burnley (a)MAYMay 4: Leicester City (h)May 12: Brighton and Hove Albion (a) Brown’s half-time antics, eight-goal thrillers… relive these Boxing Day classics smart causal last_img read more

CALLING ALL DONEGAL COASTAL ENTHUSIASTS ……..!

first_imgClean Coasts are delighted to be bringing their Clean Coasts Roadshow to Donegal.The Roadshow aims to bring together all those with an interest in protecting their local beaches, seas and marine life.The event will include talks from local Clean Coasts groups and discussions on the coastal environment. The event takes place at 7pm on Thursday 30th of April at the Ionad Naomh Pádraig Centre, Dore, Bunbeg.Speakers include:Clean Coasts Programme – Olivia Crossan, Coastal Programme Officer, An TaisceMarine Litter Talk – Annabel Fitzgerald, Coastal Programme Manager, An Taisce Refreshments will be served  CALLING ALL DONEGAL COASTAL ENTHUSIASTS ……..! was last modified: April 16th, 2015 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:Clean Coasts RoadshowdonegalGaoth Dobhairlast_img read more

Scientific Terms Can Obfuscate, Not Enlighten

first_img1.  Jeffrey Parson and Yair Wand, “A question of class,” Nature 455, 1040-1041 (23 October 2008) | doi:10.1038/4551040a.2.  Editorial, “A look within,” Nature 455, 1007-1008 (23 October 2008) | doi:10.1038/4551007b.It was good for Nature to point out these problems with scientific terminology.  Unfortunately, their brains are so completely sold out to Darwin they are incapable of looking in the mirror.  That’s why one moment they can be admitting the evidence is so scanty it gives ease to untested, untestable Just-So Stories about human evolution, then the next moment they give their editorial blessing to a stupid Just-So Story about the evolution of religion (10/26/2008).    Philosophy of science is a vital topic for anyone interested in science or apologetics or both.  In philosophy of science you learn to ask questions that scientists themselves rarely ask.  Consider the important topic of classification, brought up in bullet 2 above.  Scientists too flippantly invoke class terms that are totally subjective when scrutinized.  For instance, what is a predator?  We think we understand the term, but in the class of predators you can find snails, tigers, and even the Venus Flytrap.  The differences between these objects in the class predator seem more significant than the property they share: that they eat animals.  In addition, each object belongs to multiple other classes that either distinguish it or include it: organism, vertebrate or invertebrate, plant or animal.  The class you focus on is the one that is useful at the moment.  If you are playing “Twenty Questions,” for instance, the categories initially useful to you are animal, vegetable or mineral, where animal could be anything from a flatworm to a giraffe, vegetable could be anything from algae to a redwood tree, and mineral could include diamonds and space stations.  A corollary of this idea is that classes are merely human constructs – not necessarily ways of dividing up the world as it really is, or as Plato is said to have worded it, “carving nature at its joints.”    In his excellent lecture series on philosophy of science for The Teaching Company, Jeffrey L. Kasser used a humorous illustration.  He invented a word broccosaxodile, which he defined as “anything that is broccoli, a saxophone, or a crocodile.”  While one might question the usefulness of such a composite classification, he asked if it is any less meaningful than predator which, as we said, includes things just as diverse.  “Predator” is just a shorthand word for a composite category that we could just as well call a “snail-tiger-VenusFlytrap.”  Let’s add another example: what is a fossil?  If you immediately picture bones in rock, you are ignoring the fact that fossils can include whole insects in amber complete with their soft tissue, footprints, petrified wood, and mere impressions of jellyfish or leaves, like shadows, without any bones at all.  Fossils are not permanent, either: the dinosaur trackways in the entry below (10/28/2008) are eroding and will eventually disappear.  In that sense, a corpse in a morgue is a fossil, or the ashes of a cremated person sitting in a bottle in the heartbroken spouse’s bedroom.  (Not to be morbid, but it is almost Halloween.)    A classification is meaningless without a context in which the term is useful to some human being for a subjective purpose.  There is nothing objective about a class if you want to think of it as referring to something that is “out there” in the world which scientists “discover” without bias.  This should be a lesson to evolutionists who think they are talking objectively when they use class terms like missing link, transitional form, ancestors, phylogenetic tree, homologous traits or innovation.  Such terms are employed for their utility – in this case, the utility of making evolutionary theory appear scientific.Application.  Let’s apply what we’ve learned to a Biblical example some find embarrassing.  Many skeptics have ridiculed the Bible for classifying bats with birds in Leviticus 11:13-19 (see EvidentCreation.com).  OK, their point is?  This classification was amply useful to Moses, who was helping the Israelites distinguish what they were allowed to eat.  The property apropos to their circumstances was clean and unclean edible animals.  Moses, or God for that matter, was under no obligation to use modern scientific taxonomy for the purpose.  In fact, it would seem much more helpful to Israelites wandering in the wilderness to point out which of those things flying around in the dark was safe to eat.  Those of you who have camped in the desert know that swifts and bats can look very similar in the way they dart about.  Formally, we can say that the property at issue in the class being defined was “flying things” – call them “volant vertebrates” if it makes you feel better – not whether the things had fur or feathers or laid eggs.  Moreover, it would be an unfair disparagement of the mental capabilities of people who grew up in the advanced Egyptian civilization and their well-educated leader to assume they didn’t know the difference between birds and bats.  We mustn’t be chauvinistic.  They probably possessed more savvy about nature than the typical modern couch potato.Exercise.  Teachers and home-school parents: here is an opportunity to introduce your precocious young thinkers to some philosophy of science.  Have them invent categories similar to broccosaxodile (above) and make lists of objects that fit.  Is the category useful in some way?  Does it allow inferring additional information?  Which members belong to other categories?Silly categories: Make up your own silly category and defend its usefulness: vege-toy-mobiles, dirt-bike-chocolate, sister-TV-cotton (anything that is either a sister, a television, or made of cotton), etc. Trivial categories: Round things, small potatoes, friends, food, containers, pets, creeping things, rhyming words, oxymorons, shapes, etc.  Think of more.  In what circumstances are these useful categories?  What are examples of extremely different things that can fit in the same category?  Can you dream up a story to explain how the category evolved?Scientific categories:  omnivore, migratory species, gene, hybrid, moon, cloud, field, particle, wave, force, reagent, network, factor, family, biome, ecosystem, riparian dweller, marine invertebrate, intelligent life, sentient being.  List some extremely different objects that fit into the same category.  Pick an object in the category and list what other categories it belongs to.  How well does the category reflect distinctions in the external world?  What kinds of observations are required to make the distinction?  Who does the observing?  When is the category useful and not useful?  Are the evolutionary stories told about these classes the only possible ways to understand them?  What does “understanding” mean without the preconditions of immaterial concepts, reason, truth, and mind?(Visited 19 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 When scientists classify things and use scientific terms, are they really shedding light on nature and natural history?  It’s possible they may just be glossing over their own ignorance, suggested three articles in Nature last week.  They underscore cases where subjective human conventions are falsely assumed to correlate with external realities.  They lead us to ask, what do we mean by meaning?Words demean things:  Apparently the editors of Nature have had it with certain clich�s.  One editorial, published also on Nature News, pointed out the ambiguity of popular words and phrases used in scientific papers and by science reporters.  The editorial began,To a great extent, science is about arriving at definitions.  What is a man?  What is a number?  Questions such as these require substantial inquiry.  But where science is supposed to be precise and measured, definitions can be frustratingly vague and variable.As examples, the editorial reviewed the terms paradigm shift, tipping point, race, epigenetic, complexity, stem cell, consciousness and significant.  Those terms may seem intuitively obvious but in fact have multiple definitions. For the word consciousness to have meaning, for instance, there must be a physical basis for it – but none has been found.  And significant is in the eye of the beholder, despite mathematical crutches like p-values that lend a false air of confidence in scientific results.  Scientists often use a 5% confidence level as a measure of significance.  That number, though, is an arbitrary convention – and often a useless one:Even if a result is a genuinely statistically significant one, it can be virtually meaningless in the real world.  A new cancer treatment may ‘significantly’ extend life by a month, but many terminally ill patients would not consider that outcome significant.  A scientific finding may be ‘significant’ without having any major impact on a field; conversely, the significance of a discovery might not become apparent until years after it is made.  “One has to reserve for history the judgement of whether something is significant with a capital S,” says Steven Block, a biophysicist at Stanford University in California.Class warfare:  What do we mean by a class of objects?  Take terms like species and planet: which objects belong in the class, and which are excluded?  It’s not always easy to decide, said Jeffrey Parson and Yair Wand in an essay in last week’s Nature.1  The authors illustrate problems with these two examples.  Look at the conflict over Pluto: is it a planet, a minor planet, or a plutoid?  Depending on which properties of objects in space are considered useful to humans, it could be any one of these things – yet Pluto itself hasn’t changed.  “Plutoid” is a recently made-up word about a class of objects of which Pluto is the best-known example.  Just because the International Astronomical Union declares that from henceforth and forevermore Pluto is a plutoid, that does little more than provide a consensus for human beings and their nomenclature.  Similarly, the term species contains considerable uncertainty, as even Ernst Mayr realized when he tried to define a species as a class of organisms that can produce fertile offspring (the “biological species concept”).  Too bad that doesn’t work for the vast majority of organisms – asexual microbes and fossils.    Some classifications can lead to false and even fatal results.  Consider the word disease, which originally just meant discomfort – or “not at ease.”  The classification of diseases has usually been centered on etiology, or causes of disease.  These fall into 3 subclasses: genetic, environmental or pathogenic.  For nearly 40 years, the authors said, doctors misdiagnosed ulcers because they could not bring themselves to believe that a bacterium, H. pylori was capable of living in the acidic environment of the stomach.  “When considering the reasons why the bacterial hypothesis was missed for such a long time (and then not readily accepted), the main problem was the misattribution of the property ‘cannot grow in the acidity of the stomach’ to the class of bacteria,” they explained.  “Re-evaluating this fundamental property involved a major mind-shift that was difficult to accept.”    Classification is a human enterprise.  The authors gave an evolutionary spin on this skill: “Classification … is recognized as an evolved mechanism that supports survival.”  Supposedly it helps humans get food and shelter.  They did not ask whether lions and lizards needed to evolve the mechanism to sort out their food and shelter, too.  They tried to distinguish between “categories” and “classes” by defining the former as a group of objects with shared properties, and the latter as a category that allows humans to “infer further information” consistently “over a reasonable time period.”  A little reflection, however, shows that they have simply substituted the word class for a meta-category with the same difficulties.  The information that can be inferred from a class is simply a collection of objects with shared properties – things that humans find useful.  Their final paragraph, though, revealed that they are aware of the main pitfall of classification: it happens in the mind, not in the external world.Taking a classification perspective on scientific discourse suggests a sequence of questions to ask when studying a domain of phenomena.  What are the properties of interest of these phenomena?  Are there stable sets of properties common to these phenomena?  Are there stable relationships in some of these sets?  And finally, and most importantly, what is the evidence or rationale that these relationships reflect the true nature of the phenomena?  This perspective has two important implications.  First, scientists should make every effort to ensure that the assumed relationships among properties are indeed correct.  Second, rather than arguing over which of several classification schemes is preferable, researchers should recognize that several correct and useful schemes can coexist.  And overall, scientists should recognize that classification happens in the mind and, as a result, it can be influenced by beliefs and emotions.  This is where science can go astray.The human element:  The lead editorial in Nature last week brought these lessons home to the human species.  What does it mean to be human? the editors asked.2  The Delphic oracle may have advised Know thyself, but that is often hard to follow, they said.  Watch the editors balance their confidence in Darwin’s ability to help us know ourselves with doubts about the evidence:Modern science can help, but using it to uncover truths about ourselves can also be fraught with difficulty.  Consider, for example, that an important first step towards understanding contemporary human behaviour – establishing the evolutionary context in which it emerged – means piecing together odd scraps of evidence left by our hunter-gatherer ancestors tens of thousands of years ago.  The paucity of data makes it all too easy to come up with untested, and even untestable, Darwinian versions of Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories.After acknowledging that science’s just-so chickens have come home to roost, the editors resurrected an old conflict that illustrates the impossibility of speaking objectively about ourselves without wandering into politics:Another major challenge for researchers is being objective about a topic as philosophically, politically and ethically charged as human nature.  Take the sociobiology wars of the 1970s and 1980s.  Left-wing scholars rejected biological explanations for phenomena such as gender roles, religion, homosexuality and xenophobia, largely because they feared such explanations would be used to justify a continuation of existing inequalities on genetic grounds.  The resulting debates became hugely political.    The combustibility of the interface between science and society is one major reason for the extraordinary fragmentation of research that tackles human behaviour.  In part because of the sociobiology battle, most social scientists still steer clear of using evolutionary hypotheses.  And even researchers who do work under the unifying framework of evolution tend to fall into distinct camps such as gene-culture co-evolution or human behavioural ecology – their practitioners divided by differences of opinion on, say, the relative importance of culture versus genes.The editors clearly think that evolutionary theory deserves to be a unifying theme, but have just cast doubt on the evidence behind it and the pragmatics of using it.  They attribute the problems to the complexity of our species and the lack of interdisciplinary communication.  In a belief that their magazine can help, they said they are starting a series of essays which, though they might make for “uncomfortable reading,” will try to draw lines between human evolutionary prehistory and the complex societies we live in.  The first was by Pascal Boyer about the evolution of religion.  Did it accomplish its purpose?  See our review in the 10/26/2008 entry.last_img read more

African markets to cross list exchange traded funds

first_img17 August 2015Discussions are under way between market participants in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya to launch the cross listing of exchange traded funds (ETFs), which will lead to improved liquidity on Africa’s exchanges.ETF issuers are working to cross list new and existing ETFs on other exchanges, while the exchanges themselves are putting in place the right frameworks to enable this.ETFs are a collection of equities, commodities or bonds bundled together in a fund to ensure that investor risks are evenly spread across this range of securities. They are only written off specific index-related securities that are listed on a stock exchange, which makes it possible to invest in a diverse range of securities through a single exchange traded product.The concept of cross listing an ETF is the same as cross listing a share, or listing it on more than one exchange. It provides domestic investors with access to opportunities from another market, in the convenient and cost effective form of an ETF.By cross listing ETFs on African exchanges, investors will be given access to liquid company shares tracked by indices such as the FTSE/JSE Top 40, the FTSE/NSE Kenya 15 Index, and the MSCI/Nigeria.Fastest growing asset class“ETFs are one of the fastest growing asset-class categories in the world. By collaborating with Africa’s largest stock exchanges, we hope to spearhead this trend in Africa,” explains Donna Oosthuyse, the director for capital markets at the JSE.The cross listing of ETFs will fulfil two main functions: investors will have exposure to a diverse range of top-performing South Africa, Nigerian and Kenyan companies in a convenient and cost-effective way; and the cross-listings of ETFs will improve the liquidity of Africa’s largest stock exchanges.Oosthuyse says that the advantages for companies included in the ETF indices, and for the exchanges from whence they come, are that ETFs need to be “fully covered”.“This means that the asset manager that is managing the ETF portfolio has to buy and sell the underlying shares on the home exchange, depending on the activity of buying and selling of the ETF.”Home market liquidityIf an ETF from Kenya or Nigeria, for instance, is listed on the JSE, she adds, then the asset manager in Kenya or Nigeria has to buy and sell the constituent shares on the home market, as units in the ETF are bought and sold. This drives liquidity in the home market.“In addition to this, it provides extra visibility on the shares on that exchange to new investors who in all likelihood don’t yet trade on that market.”Haruna Jalo-Waziri, the executive director of business development at the Nigerian Stock Exchange, says: “This collaboration underscores our commitment to providing investors with a wide range of investment products to help them realise their financial goals. ETFs are becoming attractive to many investors offering them portfolio diversification and reduced cost of investing.“We are proud once again to be collaborating with reputable exchanges in Africa to bring this new and exciting investment opportunity to bolster trade across multiple markets.”Building African Financial Markets SeminarMeanwhile, as part of an on-going effort to deepen and promote liquidity, choice of products and investor interest across African markets, the JSE and the African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA), supported by the World Bank Group, will be hosting the third Building African Financial Markets Seminar from 16 to 18 September.The conference will gather key representatives from stock exchanges, regulatory bodies, stockbroking firms and other market participants from several African countries. Ideas on how to grow Africa’s capital markets will be discussed.Source: APOlast_img read more

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast November 27, 2018

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Plenty of clouds around today, but more so in the northern part of the state, where we can see some lake effect snow off an on through the day. Most of this will be limited to the typical lake snow areas and will not drift too far south of US 30 in north central and northeast Ohio.  There can be some significant lake effect snow and accumulations in NE Ohio. The rest of the state will see a mix of clouds and sun, but significantly colder air will continue to blast in out of the NW, leading to even colder wind chills. We stay cold with partly sunny skies for Wednesday, and on Thursday we start with sun, but see clouds increase as we gear up for our next chance of precipitation. A warm front lifts through the state overnight Thursday night into Friday mid-morning. This warm front likely triggers scattered precipitation totaling a few hundredths to .3” over 60% of the state. While we can see rain or snow showers with this frontal passage, we think that snow will mostly be limited to areas from I-70 northward. Precipitation is done by early afternoon, and we should remain mostly cloudy for the balance of the day Friday. A cold front and a strong low-pressure center arrive for Saturday and move off to the east and north Sunday. This will bring moderate to heavy rain Saturday, and then scattered showers with wrap around moisture on Sunday. Combined rain totals for the event will be from half to 1.5” and 100% coverage. This will be a significant rain event, fueled by warm, moist, south flow into the state. The map shows the set up for Saturday afternoon. We turn dry and colder for Monday -Wednesday of next week. Light snow is possible Tuesday (lake effect snow) in north central and northeast Ohio, and on Wednesday (fast moving clipper system) over the central 65% of the state. Totals are not impressive enough to really talk about at this time, but a fresh coating is likely. We turn out partly sunny and cold for next Thursday. For the extended period, we are keeping an active pattern in over the state but shifting timing a bit. We have a chance of light snow in over 50% of the state next Friday with a coating to an inch possible and 60% coverage. Then a chance of snow comes in next Sunday, the 9th, from I-70 northward. Most of the significant snows hit MI or OH, but we won’t rule out flurries over about 60% of the state from I-70 northward. Some of this will linger into the following Monday and will still be mostly north of I-70. The rest of the week after next looks dry, but we do see a significant mild push for the 11th through the 13th, as temps go above normal.last_img read more

Landslides kill two Amarnath pilgrims, one critical

first_imgTwo Amarnath pilgrims have died and one is critical following major landslides triggered by rain on Tuesday evening in central Kashmir’s Sonamarg area, which hosts the Baltal route to the cave shrive. “Two bodies of the pilgrims have been brought to the Baltal base hospital. Of four others injured, one is critical,” said a police spokesman.At least five Amarnath pilgrims were hit by flash floods and landslides apparently caused by cloudbursts near Baltal area in the evening. The incident took place between Brari Marg and Rail Pathri stretch, said an official.A major rescue operation was launched in the area by several teams of the police, ITBP, Army, CRPF and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF).The injured were shifted to Srinagar hospitals for “specialised treatment”.Earlier in the day, three pilgrims died at the Baltal and Pahalgam camps. Two died of cardiac arrest and one had slipped off the slope and succumbed to his injuries.Eight people have died on the twin routes since the yatra started on June 28.Around 18,467 pilgrims paid obeisance at the shrine on Tuesday. Till date, 54,833 yatris have visited the shrine, said the official spokesman.last_img read more