Christopher Tolkien, son of Lord of the Rings author, dies aged 95 Bicol riders extend help to Taal evacuees Racela said the goal for Season 81 is to improve from FEU’s fourth-seed finish in Season 80 when the Tamaraws settled for a 7-7 record.“Every day we’re trying to improve from last season up to this season,” said Racela. “With the tournaments we’ve joined, I know that helped in our development.”“That’s the goal for the second phase of our preparations, that we should be better each and every day.”ADVERTISEMENT For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Cloudy skies over Luzon due to amihan “Right now we’re still at 21 players so on we’ll go to Subic to start our boot camp and everyone will be there,” said Racela in Filipino Saturday at Filoil Flying V Centre.“We’ll be in Subic for three days that will be filled with road work and the players will also get into activities to build chemistry.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownThe Tamaraws ended the Filoil Preseason Cup as the third-placers after a dominant 78-58 win over College of St. Benilde and Racela said the summer tournament was the end of the first phase of their preparations for the UAAP.After getting back home to Manila from the Subic trip, Racela said the team will continue the second phase of their offseason preparation in Iloilo on July 17. Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Harvey Weinstein rape trial Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Taal victims get help from Kalayaan town Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netFar Eastern University will push its buildup for the UAAP up a notch a couple months before the 81st season of one of the country’s premiere collegiate leagues rolls off.The FEU men’s basketball team will travel to Subic on July 9 to start a three-day boot camp where the Tamaraws will aim to develop its off court chemistry and also try to trim the roster to a 16-man lineup.ADVERTISEMENT FEU finishes 3rd in Filoil, routs College of St. Benilde MOST READ LATEST STORIES View comments
Students and teachers of Guyana’s premier learning high school are contending that some of the schools’ facilities are in a deplorable state.Queen’s College (QC), a prominent learning institution, which churns out outstanding students at the Caribbean Secondary Examination Council (CSEC) examinations, is said to be in need of a facelift to its archaic structures.Guyana Times was informed that some of the structural components of the institution require rehabilitations so as to make it conducive for academic purposes. Presently, one of the main concerns is the condition of the Science laboratories, which have been described as “grimy”.Sources at the school have revealed that with respect to the quality of students that are produced every year, the institution requires at least one state-of-the-art laboratory.“Structurally, we think that the lab should be done over. In terms of the quality of students and the calibre of the examination practical component, we definitely need a state-of-the-art lab because this is not conducive to lab experiments,” a source stated.It was revealed that in the past, moderators dispatched to the school would comment on the state of the laboratories which are being utilised by the students.“It’s not that we are totally responsible for the practical part. We have an external moderator that has to come to check how the labs were conducted. Every year they come to check how we’re conducting our labs and they’re always comments about how they thought the lab was much better than it is.”While it was stated that they try to make do with the necessary resources that are available in the laboratories, the walls and other sections are unadorned with diagrams due to the fact that the walls are gradually crumbling.“We’re not complaining about the facilities, but we know that it can be better so that the lives of the children can be made easier because many times their spirits are daunted when they come to the lab. It’s not really an excitement to come to the lab because it’s a bit outdated.”Additionally, the school field is invaded with shrubs and unwanted bushes for the past three years which makes it impossible for the athletes to train. As such, the inter-house sports are usually held at the Guyana Cricket Board (GCC) ground.“Most of our exceptional athletes have been missing their field for the last three years. We had to have sports at GCC rather than use our field,” they stated.For the vast number of subjects that are being offered by the institution along with the growing population, additionally classrooms are also a necessity.Meanwhile, this publication was told that majority of the support that the institution has received over the years was from the alumni chapters, which are located in different parts of the world. The refurbishment of computer labs and supplying of equipment in the past are courtesy of these chapters which have been listed as the driving forces behind the functioning of the school.
More than three years after making a commitment to have the country’s overseas mission heads rotated regularly, Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge has assured that this will be done come 2019.“The Ambassadors and the Heads of Missions, we did give an undertaking that they will be rotated and that they will do. I didn’t intent that they would all be rotated at once and you will see in the course of this coming year that there will be rotations… We haven’t forgotten, that is to be done,” Greenidge told reporters at this Ministry’s year end press conference on Thursday.After assuming office back in May 2015, the coalition Government had recalled all Guyana’s overseas Heads of Missions, who were appointed under the previous Administration. The A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change had said that in keeping with international best practices, overseas diplomats should be on a two to four-year rotation and promised to restore this practice.Greenidge, at the time, had pointed out that the intention behind the recall was also for politicians who are not career diplomats, but were given posts by a President, to bring their term of employment to an end, given that that PresidentGuyanese Diplomatshas left office.“There is nothing special about the [People’s Progressive Party] PPP politicians who are wearing the hat of diplomats today. They have to recognise that they served the President who appointed them, then they have to step down, there is nothing peculiar about it,” Minister Greenidge told the Government Information Agency.Nevertheless, the Foreign Affairs Minister had noted that established protocol is that when a new Government takes office, the various Heads of Mission report to the new President. He said at the time, a President has to appoint those persons that he trusts, that he has faith in, and who know and understand his initiatives.However, while the current Administration has since replaced those diplomats at its various missions overseas, this was not done without controversy.In fact, former Guyana High Commissioner to Canada, Harry Narine Nawbatt had filed legal proceeding against Government for wrongful dismissal and was recently awarded $25 million is costs by the High Court.Nawbatt was appointed under the PPP/Civic Government in February 2015 and was dismissed one month after the coalition Government got into office.The former diplomat had sued the Attorney General in April 2016, claiming that his contract of employment was not lawfully terminated, thus he was seeking salaries, emoluments and other benefits owed to him.Nawbatt, through his attorneys Anil Nandlall, Manoj Narayan and Rajendra Jaigobin, sued the Attorney General in April 2016, claiming that his contract of employment was not lawfully terminated, thus he was seeking salaries, emoluments and other benefits owed to him.In his legal suit, the former diplomat was seeking over $49 million for wrongful dismissal and a breach of contract. He requested damages in excess of $25 million for breach of contract and “special” damage in the sum of $24,295,104; the latter of which was awarded by the High Court in October. He was, however, awarded $500,000 for breach of contract, and court costs in the sum of $50,000.Nawbatt, in documents, had said he was being paid a monthly salary of $773,801 and his contract would have expired on February 9, 2016. According to the contract inked, the cost of education for Nawbatt’s children would have been paid by the Government, and he was also entitled to this and other allowances.Nawbatt would have been allowed to terminate his services, provided that a written notice of three months was given.Likewise, the Government would have had to give notice for the same time frame, or pay Nawbatt six months’ salary and station allowance if such notice was not given.According to Nawbatt, he was owed $4.3 million for salary up to February 2016; $5.7 million in gratuity; payment of $4 million for 158 days’ leave; $4.8 million in station allowance; $4.6 million in station allowance for leave for five months, and $2 million in business class return air passages, among other things.
0Shares0000Teboho Mokoena scored with a header as South Africa thrashed Seychelles © AFP / PHILL MAGAKOEJOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Oct 14 – Nigerian Odion Ighalo scored a hat-trick, Moroccan Faycal Fajr spared blushes and Zimbabwean Knowledge Musona was a hero and villain in Africa Cup of Nations qualifying Saturday.China-based Ighalo bagged a matchday 3 treble as Nigeria crushed Libya 4-0 in Uyo to continue a Group E recovery after starting with a shock home defeat by South Africa. Fajr converted a penalty seven minutes into stoppage time as Morocco sneaked a 1-0 Group B win in Casablanca over the Comoros, ranked 104 places below them in the world.Captain Musona scored and was sent off within five minutes as Zimbabwe went clear in Group G thanks to an upset 2-1 victory over the Democratic Republic of Congo in Kinshasa.There was also a record six-goal victory for South Africa and a goalkeeping howler that gifted Namibia three points in Mozambique as the third series of qualifiers was completed.Ighalo converted a fourth-minute spot-kick after being fouled and rounded goalkeeper Mohamed Nashnush to tap in and double the lead on 58 minutes.When a Libyan failed to cut off a low cross, former Watford striker Ighalo scrambled the ball into the net to complete his hat-trick with a quarter of the qualifier remaining.A last-minute Samuel Kalu goal completed the rout of the ‘Mediterranean Knights’, whose Belgian coach Adel Amrouche quit this week over unpaid salaries.Nigeria lie second with six points, one less than South Africa, who scored a record 6-0 win over the Seychelles in rain-lashed Johannesburg.Goalkeeper Romeo Barra prevented an even more embarrassing scoreline for the Indian Ocean islanders as South Africa bettered the five goals they netted against Guatemala in 2010.– Brilliant back-heel –Lebo Mothiba, who has been in sparkling French Ligue 1 form, was among the scorers and set up a goal for Percy Tau with a brilliant back-heel.Another Indian Ocean island state, the Comoros, were on the verge of their greatest achievement as they frustrated 2018 World Cup qualifiers Morocco for 96 minutes.But then came heartbreak for the visitors as they conceded a penalty and Fajr scored to lift Morocco within a point of Group B pacesetters Cameroon.Ronald Pfumbidzai struck a superb goal midway through the first half to put Zimbabwe on the road to glory at a packed 80,000-seat Stade des Martyrs.Musona doubled the lead and then cynically fouled Issama Mpeko for which he got his second yellow card of the match followed by a red.Yannick Bolasie nodded a stoppage-time consolation goal for the Congolese as they suffered a rare loss in their Kinshasa fortress.Zimbabwe top the table with seven points, three more than central African neighbours DR Congo and Congo Brazzaville.Mozambique goalkeeper Jose Guirrugo allowed a long-range, stoppage-time shot from substitute Deon Hotto slip from his grasp and into the net as Namibia fought back to win 2-1 in Maputo.Group K is the tightest of the 12 mini-leagues with Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia all on four points with equal goal differences.Leaders Tunisia battled to a 1-0 Group J win in Rades over Niger, who conceded six goals in Egypt last month amid complaints of a “beans-and-water” diet.Yassine Meriah scored after 17 minutes for the ‘Carthage Eagles’, who had Ghailene Chaalali red-carded in the closing stages.Matchday 4 begins Sunday with fixtures in Kenya and Guinea-Bissau followed by a further 21 qualifiers two days later.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Nationally, sales fell 2.8 percent from December. Only one market – the High Desert, which includes the Antelope Valley and is the state’s most affordable – posted an increase of 4.7 percent annually. But overall statewide, January brought the fourth consecutive month of annual declines. Leslie Appleton-Young, the association’s vice president and chief economist, noted that the January 2005 sales pace was a record and the market was expected to cool this year. It will take until at least this spring to get a better read on how dramatic the rebalancing will be, though. Her forecast calls for a 2 percent drop in 2006 versus a year ago. “I don’t think we are going to see a bubble bursting but it’s definitely a market in transition to lower appreciation and a somewhat slower sales pace,” she said. But she expects this year’s market to still be a strong market historically. There are also different dynamics in play now versus the beginning of the 1990s. Southern California’s economy fell off a cliff back then, with Los Angeles and Orange counties losing 700,000 jobs over the next few years. Many homeowners followed their jobs out of state, flooding the market with properties and driving down prices. Foreclosures spiked as homeowners who owed more than their property was worth let the titles revert back to the lenders. Appleton-Young does not see that happening now. “The economy is improving. I think that’s the big difference. In the 80s, we were on the verge of a tailspin into a major recession,” she said. And this market turn comes at a time when mortgage rates, while moving up, are still low and lenders have flooded the market with a variety of loan products. However, the buyers’ retreat is in response to rising interest rates and prices that continue to move above the year-ago level. And price gains are still strong despite predictions that they would narrow from a year ago by now. During January, the median price of a previously owned home in California increased an annual 13.8 percent to $551,300, the association said. In Los Angeles, the median jumped an annual 17.9 percent to $560,740; it gained just 6.9 percent in Ventura to $682,250; increased 10.2 percent in Orange County to $699,060; and by 15.5 percent in the Inland Empire to $391,250. Appleton-Young said that inventory statewide is now a six-month supply – considered average – and that this will translate into slower appreciation rates and more leverage for buyers. While prices are not expected to fall under year-ago levels, potential buyers could finally be getting a break. Kyser believes the market peaked near the second half of last year and the median price, the point at which half the homes cost more and half less, has moved sideways since then. By summer, when the market traditionally heats up, single digit price gains are expected, Kyser said. David Lereah, chief economist at the national association, said that pending sales started trending down after hitting a record last August. “I expect we are in a bit of a trough that may be followed by a modest rise and then a general plateau in the level of sales activity,” he said. Gregory J. Wilcox, (818) 713-3743 firstname.lastname@example.org 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant Sales fell from their year-ago levels in 19 of 20 markets the association tracks, including a 23.5 percent decline in Los Angeles County, a 16.3 percent drop in Ventura County, a 19.1 percent slide in the Inland Empire and a 24.2 percent drop in Orange County. The biggest decline, 39.3 percent, came in Monterey County. By comparison, sales across the U.S. fell an annual 5.2 percent in January, according to the National Association of Realtors. The state association’s report means that there would be 500,470 sales of previously owned single-family houses in California this year if the market proceeds at January’s pace for the next 11 months. That would be the lowest level since 493,800 annualized sales in September 2004, the association said. On monthly basis the decline statewide was a more modest 5.9 percent compared with December’s figures. But the monthly decrease was much sharper in Los Angeles (19.3 percent), Ventura (27 percent) and the Inland Empire (35.5 percent). Home sales tumbled an annual 24 percent across California during January, the biggest drop in more than a decade and further evidence that the latest boom market is past its peak, a trade group said Tuesday. Price gains remained strong in most areas, though, and analysts do not believe the sales decline will trigger a price collapse that followed the sales bust at the end of the late 1980s buying binge. “Definitely the market has come back down to earth. There’s no bubble but … a more sober residential real estate market,” said Jack Kyser, chief economist at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. January’s sales plunge was the biggest since a 26.7 percent decline in April 1995, said Mark Giberson, a spokesman for the California Association of Realtors.
Ryan Toms and Steve O’Meara comfortably made the 11-stone light-middleweight limit as they weighed-in ahead of Friday’s clash of the two West Londoners.Defending southern-area champion Toms, from Northolt, was a shade over 10st 13lbs and challenger O’Meara was a pound lighter.Toms, 29, is unbeaten in his nine professional bouts, while O’Meara, 27, has won 13 of his 15 contests.They squared-up at Planet Hollywood in Piccadilly, where Hammersmith’s George Groves was also present to promote his forthcoming defence of the British and Commonwealth super-middleweight titles against Paul Smith.O’Meara, who was born in Shepherd’s Bush and lives in West Drayton, believes he can outbox the hard-hitting Toms, who has pledged to “break down” his opponent and maintain his unblemished record.The winner of the fight, which takes place at Bethnal Green’s York Hall, could be in line for a shot at the British title.
Mutation and selection: we’re taught those pillars of neo-Darwinism from high school. How does it measure up to reality, though?Before continuing, readers should understand that the debate about Darwinism is about major evolutionary change. Even the staunchest creationists allow for variability, sometimes called “microevolution,” that merely shuffles existing genetic information around. It’s the origin of new structures, organs and functions that neo-Darwinism is challenged to explain. When scientists go out to look for it, what do they find?Mountaintop Speciation?Borneo’s tallest mountain, Mt. Kinabalu, is the highest point between the Himalayas and New Guinea. A big team publishing in Nature cataloged most of the plants and animals on the summit to see what might have evolved in that unique, isolated environment. In a companion article in Nature, Alexandre Antonelli summarizes what they found:Ever since the first botanical documentation of a tropical mountain by Alexander von Humboldt more than two centuries ago, naturalists have been fascinated by the diverse and unusual variety of life forms found on mountains. But we still lack answers to fundamental questions about the evolution of mountain biodiversity.The location of Mount Kinabalu, surrounded by an exceedingly diverse tropical forest at the crossroads of Asia and Oceania, two regions that have their own distinct fauna and flora, apparently provided the mountain with a rich initial stock for the evolution of its unique biodiversity.The first striking result is that most of the montane organisms examined are relatively young. They started to speciate during the past 6 million years, after, or at the same time as, the rise of the mountain they inhabit. Unlike the ancient creatures found on a remote tropical mountain in Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel The Lost World, this finding suggests a recent origin for montane species across the domains of life, and supports the recent speciation documented for alpine plants on several continents.The second major finding is the dual origin of montane organisms (Fig. 1). Some of the species, in particular those found at the highest elevations of Mount Kinabalu, have their closest relatives outside of Borneo. Their ancestors were often good at dispersing, such as plants or fungi that produced large quantities of light seeds or spores that could be transported with the wind. Other species — about twice as many — derive from local ancestors at lower altitudes on the same island.Finally, the authors’ analysis shows an overarching role for niche conservatism — the tendency for organisms to maintain their environmental preferences over evolutionary time. This result is evident both from the immigrant and the local lineages that gave rise to Mount Kinabalu’s biodiversity. Most of the ancestral species were already adapted to cool conditions, either in temperate regions or in other montane habitats. Even the lineages that ‘climbed up’ Mount Kinabalu often remained in the same broadly defined vegetation zone.The research paper says, “many of these neo-endemics have not evolved by drastic niche shifts from local ancestors, but rather by immigration of pre-adapted propagules from elsewhere.” Needless to say, this doesn’t look like The Origin of Species. It looks like existing organisms found their way to the mountain habitat by dispersal or migration relatively recently, then stayed in their ecological niche. Some variation is evident, but not the formation of new species by macroevolution. What should be disturbing to any reader is that “The evolutionary origins of these unique biotas, however, are poorly understood“—after over two centuries since Humboldt’s epic voyages! How long will it take evolutionists to figure this stuff out?Forces Against Natural SelectionAnother paper, this one in PNAS, seems discouraging to believers in evolutionary theory. A team of Harvard biologists found that numerous forces act to counteract variation and selection. What’s “the fate of a mutation in a fluctuating environment“? It’s not good, if evolutionists want to hope that a rare beneficial mutation will get established and lead to a new structure or function. The reason is that the environment fluctuates. A beneficial mutation in one environment may become deleterious when the environment changes:Evolution in variable environments depends crucially on the fates of new mutations in the face of fluctuating selection pressures. In constant environments, the relationship between the selective effect of a mutation and the probability that it will eventually fix or go extinct is well understood. However, our understanding of fixation probabilities in fluctuating environmental conditions is limited. Here, we show that temporal fluctuations in environmental conditions can have dramatic effects on the fate of each new mutation, reducing the efficiency of natural selection and increasing the fixation probability of all mutations, including those that are strongly deleterious on average. This makes it difficult for a population to maintain specialist adaptations, even if their benefits outweigh their costs.They claim that selection is “well understood” for “constant environments.” How many environments, though, are constant? The world is always changing, especially when geologic ages are assumed. Continents get subducted, volcanoes erupt, climate changes, and major extinctions occur. At large scales, therefore, every environment fluctuates. If any rare, beneficial mutations try to get fixed, so as to “maintain specialist adaptations,” they are like blind swimmers trying to reach a target in cross currents and rip tides. More likely, harmful or neutral mutations will get fixed, reducing fitness.We find that even in enormous populations, natural selection is often very inefficient at distinguishing between mutations that are beneficial and deleterious on average. In addition, substitution rates of all mutations are dramatically increased by variable selection pressures. This can lead to counterintuitive results. For instance, mutations that result in a trade-off but are predominantly deleterious during their lifetime can be much more likely to fix than mutations that are always neutral or even beneficial.Readers should note that neutral drift is the enemy of natural selection. As their paper indicates, selection is blind to goodness and badness of mutations; what gets fixed in the genome is just what happens in a dynamic environment (see Stuff Happens Law). Another enemy is pleiotropy: the tendency of a beneficial mutation to have harmful effects elsewhere in the genome. It was hard enough for natural selection to achieve macroevolutionary progress without these “counterintuitive results.”This theoretical paper, math and all, offers little hope for classical mutation-selection theory. Do the authors provide any example of an actual, observable mutation that produced a clear increase in fitness in any organism? No.Vertebrate OriginsNature published a special section on the origin of vertebrates. Most striking is this quote in the lead article by veteran evolutionary biologist Henry Gee, former senior editor of Nature:To celebrate the golden jubilee of On the Origin of Species, in 1909, the Linnean Society of London held a special meeting on a hot biological topic of the day — the origin of the vertebrates. Such was the lack of consensus that one commentator, the zoologist T. R. R. Stebbing, wrote that “the disputants agreed on one single point, namely, that their opponents were all in the wrong.”The papers investigate “Scenarios for the making of vertebrates” with varying degrees of pomposity and discouragement. “Although our understanding is far from complete, it is much better than it was even 20 years ago,” Henry Gee intones hopefully. But looking over the papers shows a great deal of debate still in progress. The “scenarios” paper alone discusses four debates, one issue being “debated vigorously.” Janvier discusses three debates, remarking in one instance, “All these interpretations are either dismissed or still debated.” When all is said and done, it seems that Stebbing’s ironic assessment of consensus still fits.A Success?PhysOrg published an upbeat article about work at the University of Miami that seems to show evolution as a “tinkerer” instead of an “inventor.” The “inventor” option—possibly implying intelligent design—is less palatable to secular evolutionists than the “tinkerer” option, wherein evolution blindly cobbles together whatever solutions get by for the immediate present. The headline asks: “Is nature mostly a tinkerer or an inventor?”“Our study paints a picture of nature innovating largely through sharing the functional bits of genes—tinkering with molecular genetic material that already exists,” said William E. Browne, assistant professor of Biology at UM’s College of Arts & Sciences and principal investigator of the study.Investigating certain transcription factors that are “conserved during evolution” from microbes to man, the researchers decided that, over time, evolution is a tinkerer. It has swapped and rearranged protein domains, like words in sentences, to generate new functions (meanings) in various organisms. But they never mention mutation or selection. All they show is that, for each of the 48 species investigated, the genes function nicely. And what about the molecular genetic material the personified tinkerer works with? It “already exists,” they said.SillinessDespite all these failings with neo-Darwinism, evolution gets credited for everything in nature. Sometimes the examples get downright silly. Here’s one from Live Science: “Why do breakups hurt more for women? Blame evolution.”So, why are women more affected by breakups than men are? Well, from a scientific standpoint, women typically have more at stake in relationships than men do, said Craig Morris, a research associate at Binghamton University and lead author of the study.“Put simply, women are evolved to invest far more in a relationship than a man [is],” Morris said in a statement. “A brief romantic encounter could lead to nine months of pregnancy followed by many years of lactation for an ancestral woman, while the man may have ‘left the scene’ literally minutes after the encounter, with no further biological investment.“Many men would undoubtedly dispute this characterization—especially those unfortunate divorcees burdened with alimony and child support when the woman left against his heartfelt pleadings, or those men trying to preserve embryos he helped conceive, or those trying to stop the wife from aborting his child. Even so, is this situation the product of mutation and selection? Then there is no one to blame at all; certainly not a personified entity like “evolution.”The inanity of simplistic evolution stories is only exceeded by the vacuity of the findings reported by its most sincere defenders. How long must society endure the uncritical propagation of this hopeless excuse for a “scientific” theory? Join the revolution against evolution. Don’t blame evolution; take responsibility! Blame evolutionists. (Visited 113 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Allocating the Necessary Resources Big data gives us a powerful tool in helping people who are forced to leave their homes, but we need to start using it as soon as possible. The Joint Data Center on Forced Displacement is a good place to start, but the many refugees in crisis need help immediately. Data collection, smart policy, and a healthy dose of compassion need to come together in order to help end the refugee crisis and help the millions of displaced people feel safe and comfortable once again. Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… Ryan Ayers is a researcher and consultant within multiple industries including information technology, blockchain and business development. Always up for a challenge, Ayers enjoys working with startups as well as Fortune 500 companies. When not at work, Ayers loves reading science fiction novels and watching the LA Clippers. Although it can be difficult to imagine for the millions of us who live in safety and comfort, 24 people are forced to leave their homes every minute and become refugees. These are people faced with violence, political unrest, or persecution, and it’s simply not safe for them to stay in their home country. Currently, the ongoing conflict in Syria is driving millions of people from their homes and families, but it’s not the only country people are fleeing.We mostly think of big data as a tool for businesses and smart city development, but in reality, it can serve many different purposes—including helping the most vulnerable people in the world find their footing and get help. But how would this work, and is anyone taking steps to leverage this powerful tool for refugees’ benefit? Creating an Informed DialogueThere is a lot of fear surrounding refugees. Citizens of countries refugees try to enter often object to allowing them to create a new life in their area. Much of this fear is based on misinformation or plain ignorance. Although not everyone will change their mind about refugees thanks to factual information, data is a good place to start.The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the World Bank Group have recently teamed up to encourage a more informed dialogue. Their plan is to create a center known as The Joint Data Center on Forced Displacement where anonymous data will be collected on refugees and distributed to policymakers and anyone else who can use the information to make the lives of refugees better.In addition to collecting data on the demographics, skills, and other information about the people seeking shelter, the center’s goal will be to find innovative and helpful uses for the data, and prompt policymakers to create solutions that work for everyone. The center will likely be located in Europe and will hopefully open in 2019.Where are Refugees Going? Without analytics, it can be difficult to predict where refugees will decide to seek safety. Although countries near their own can expect an initial influx, conflict can occur at any time, and refugees may start seeking other options if the nearest countries are unwilling to accept them. Predictive analytics could hold the key to knowing where refugees will head next.“Sophisticated analytics could help experts confidently chart where refugees are likely to head next,” said Anirudh V. S. Ruhil, professor at Ohio University’s Online Master of Public Administration program, in an article for The Conversation.Ruhil added that, “Policymakers, spotting signs of future influx, might reroute refugees to different countries… This real-time data could also help organizations quickly and accurately shunt money and goods to the locales that need them the most.”This could be especially helpful to countries like Bangladesh, which has seen the influx of refugees from Myanmar facing religious persecution. While the government and citizens have responded with compassion and have handled the situation well, rerouting some of the refugees could help reduce the environmental and financial impact on host countries. About 1 in 4 people in Bangladesh live in poverty. Ryan Ayers How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud Tags:#Big Data#data#health Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … Solving the Employment ProblemJust getting refugees out of unsafe situations is the first step, but it can’t be the last. Many refugees will not be able to return to their homes for some time, if ever. There’s also the issue of acculturation stress, which is a term for the negative effects of adapting to a new culture. Acculturation stress can cause depression, loneliness, and other psychological issues.Being welcomed into the culture and finding employment can help speed up the acculturation process. Refugees can’t live in camps forever, and it’s key for their psychological health and well-being to find placement as quickly as possible. Although studies on what makes placement successful or unsuccessful are relatively new, the results are promising: data indicates that algorithm-assisted placement using big data could increase the odds of refugees finding a job by 40-60%!
The toll in Bihar floods rose to 153 on Fridat while the number of those marooned in 17 districts of the state crossed the one-crore mark.Araria district accounted for 30 deaths, West Champaran 23, Sitamarhi 13, Madhubani 8 and Katihar 7. 11 each have died in Kisanganj, East Champaran and Supual and 9 each in Purnea and Madhepura.Four deaths each were reported in Darbhanga, Gopalganj and Saharsa, 3 each in Khagaria and Sheohar, 2 in Saran and 1 in Muzaffarpur, Special Secretary in the Disaster Management Department Anirudh Kumar said. Around 1.08 crore people have been hit by floods in 17 districts and 1,688 panchayats, he said.Saran was included in the list of affected areas on Friday, taking number of districts under water to 17, Mr. Kumar said. The toll due to the floods triggered by rains in Nepal and northern parts of the state stood at 119 on Thursday, and 98 lakh people in 16 districts were hit. A total of 3.92 lakh people are putting up in 1,289 relief camps in different parts of the state, he said.The MeT office said Patna, Gaya, Bhagalpur and Purnea are likely to witness rain or thundershower tomorrow. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar reviewed the flood situation and gave necessary instruction to officials.Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh, Principal Secretary in the Disaster Management Department Pratyay Amrit and his counterpart in the Health Department R.K. Mahajan were among those who attended the meeting.During the meeting, the CM gave orders for intensive airdropping of food packets in Kursakanta, Palasi, Sikti and Jokihaat in Araria and the Sugauli area in East Champaran, an official statement said. He directed the Road Construction Department to restore the road from Kisanganj to Araria via Bahadurganj by tonight to facilitate relief and rehabilitation work at a warfooting.Mr. Kumar also instructed officials to establish contact with the Border Road Organisation for repairing of damaged roads and bridges. A delegation of Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), an ally of the BJP, under Union minister of State for HRD Upendra Kushwaha handed over a cheque of their one month salary to the CM.Kushwaha and RLPS MP Ram Kumar Sharma gave cheques of ₹50,000 each, while party MLA Sudhansu Sekhar and MLC Sanjeev Shyam Singh donated ₹30,000 each to the CM relief fund. Senior JD(U) leader Shyam Rajak also gave a cheque of ₹81,000, including his one month salary and perks.Normal life affectedTrain services continued to be hit due to floods. An East Central Railways statement said the Guwahati Express ended its journey at Patna itself 15667 Gandgudham-Kamakhya Express will run upto Barauni on Saturday, Chief Public Relation Officer Rajesh Kumar said.Another baby was born on an NDRF rescue boat in Gopalganj district today. A baby was born Wednesday on an NDRF boat in Madhubani district.A total of 28 National Disaster Response Force teams comprising 1,152 personnel are rendering services in the marooned areas with the help of 118 boats. A total of 16 teams of the State Disaster Response Force comprising 446 personnel are helping people in the flood-hit areas with 92 boats.Seven Army teams with 2,228 personnel are assisting relief and rescue operation with the help of 280 boats, a state Disaster Management Department release said. The Special Secretary in the Disaster Management Department said 1,765 community kitchens are catering to 3.44 lakh people in several flood-hit areas. Heavy rains trigger flash floods in Bihar
Shoots of peace are “sprouting” in Jammu and Kashmir and the government is now working to ensure that the people in the State can be uplifted with dignity, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti says.In an interview on Monday night, the 58-year-old Chief Minister welcomed recent attempts by the Centre and the ruling party to reach out to Kashmiris, starting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech where he asked countrymen to embrace Kashmiris. This was followed by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s statement that the Centre is willing to hold talks with all stakeholders and then BJP leader Ram Madhav saying talks can be held with anyone. In his Mann ki Baat speech on Sunday, Mr. Modi praised a poor Kashmiri youth, Bilal Dar, for his attempt to clean up a lake.“These are welcome signs” in the Kashmir Valley where people are eagerly waiting for peace to return, Ms. Mufti said.“The shoots of peace have started sprouting. They have to be watered and fertilized, and I am sure that the fruits of peace will follow,” she said, speaking at her home. Ms. Mufti, who retains the Tourism portfolio, gets a report on tourist arrivals every evening, and the figures are grim — arrivals have now fallen to between 4,000 and 5,000 daily from a peak of 10,000 to 12,000. Most hotels and houseboats are vacant, taxi operators have virtually no business and shops are shut.The Chief Minister said it was wrong to project the entire 70 lakh population of the Valley as pro-militant when Intelligence figures show there are 200 to 300 home-grown militants.Sense of alienation“You talk about the 200 militants but don’t talk about the thousands of Kashmiris in the Indian Army,” Ms. Mufti said. However, she did not deny that there was a sense of alienation among Kashmiri youth, and even children as young as eight, because of the severe security crackdowns that follow stone-throwing incidents.However, the recent statements from the highest level are an opportunity to build peace and give Kashmiris back their dignity, Ms. Mufti said. “All that is required now is to hold their (people of Kashmir) fingers with dignity intact,” she said.The first woman Chief Minister of the sensitive border State said her government favoured holding talks with everyone as had been enshrined in the Agenda of Alliance between the PDP and the BJP.She indicated that she supported the peace talks strategy employed by the Vajpayee government in the early 2000s when Kashmiri separatist leaders were allowed to talk to Pakistan as part of peace-building efforts, while New Delhi and Islamabad were also simultaneously engaged.“There is a need to take the bull by its horns and finding a way out for bringing in a ‘permanent’ peace in the State,” Ms. Mufti said, adding that she was in regular contact with Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who she described as “very supportive”.She noted that Mr. Madhav, the BJP general secretary, had a clear understanding of Kashmir and had been extremely supportive of the alliance government. “I am sure together, we will be able to steer the State to new heights.” Ms. Mufti said Mr. Modi’s mention of Bilal Dar had sent a wave of pride among the youth of the Valley.