St Lucia out, Scotland could step in to host 2017 CYG

first_imgAUCKLAND, New Zealand (CMC)Scotland has signalled its interest in stepping in to host the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG), following St Lucia’s decision on Wednesday to pull out.The Caribbean country said it could no longer take on the commitment in light of financial challenges and the inability to get the stadium ready in time for the event.Paul Bush, chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS), said they would seriously consider taking up the responsibility.”We note the withdrawal of St Lucia as hosts of the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games and, along with a number of other countries, we have agreed to consider hosting the event,” he said.”CGS will now work with Scottish partners to evaluate the options over the coming weeks.”Scotland successfully hosted the senior Commonwealth Games last year.canada indicates interestCanada, the venue for the recent Pan American Games, has also indicated an interest in hosting the showpiece which caters to athletes under 18 years old.The Commonwealth Games Federation said it had asked for other ‘expressions of interest’.”The [CGF Executive] Board, met earlier this morning and decided to put this to the meeting, but also give the other members who would like to offer to host the Youth Games in 2017, a chance,” outgoing CGF President Prince Imran indicated.Despite St Lucia’s pull out, the CGF said it would continue to partner with authorities in Castries, to help the country in its delivery of future competitions.”We are obviously disappointed to hear St Lucia has taken the difficult decision to withdraw its commitment to host the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games,” CGF chief executive, David Grevemberg said.”Whilst appreciating the economic and environmental challenges they face as a small island nation, we will continue to work closely with the Commonwealth Games Association of St Lucia and their Government partners, to support and ultimately realise their ambitions, to deliver a positive and lasting legacy for the young people of their island, the Caribbean and the Commonwealth.”The 2015 Youth Games get under way tomorrow in Samoa.last_img read more

UG brings curtain down on 5th Youth Parliament

first_img– Opposition wins debateThe Fifth Annual Youth Parliament came to an end today with students of the University of Guyana (UG) taking on a range of issues in a thrilling debate session.According to the Department of Public Information (DPI), while the Opposition side of the House came out victorious after scoring a total of 939 points, together, the Youth Parliamentarians were said to have “outdone” themselves in the exciting debates. The Government side scored 865 points.Participants of the second sitting of the fifth Youth Parliament as it came to an end on Thursday with students of the University of Guyana (UG) taking on a range of issues in a thrilling debate sessionThe mostly International Relations (IR) students debated motions on the formulation of a comprehensive policy document to address the entry of migrants and refugees to Guyana, the Amendment to the Representation of the People Act (Chapter 1:03) to include youth participation in governance, and the use of funds generated from the oil and gas sector.The Youth Parliamentarians also defended a motion to amend Article 155 (1) (a) of the Constitution, which prevents Guyanese with dual citizenship from serving in the National Assembly.Foreign Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge; Representative of the Centre for Communication Studies of the University of Guyana, Nelsonia Persaud-Budhram; and Regional Radio Manager of the National Communications Network Inc. (NCN Inc.), Michella Abraham-Ali, were the official judges of the debate.Led by David Braithwaite, the Opposition side moved the motion on the use of funds generated from the oil sector, and the Government side introduced the other three motions; but the presentation of the Shadow Minister of Communities, Safraz Yacoob, on the amendment of Article 155 (1) (a), earned him the ‘Best Speaker’ title.Prime Minister Hayma Joseph’s compelling arguments touched on each of the motions. This was enough to see her being adjudged ‘Best Debater’ with 262 points.The winners were announced by Chief Judge, Foreign Secretary Greenidge, who commended both sides for their gut and perseverance. He said the participants did themselves “justice”, and would be excellent future debaters in the National Assembly.Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nayman Gill, moved the motion for the Amendment of Article 155 (1) (a) of the Constitution, calling for the relaxation of that law which excludes Guyanese with dual citizenship from serving in the House.But Minister of Public Health, Jamain Hatton, outrightly rejected the proposition, saying that such a move would bring more harm than good to the country.The Youth Parliamentarians were in agreement, as they suggested ways in which funds from the upcoming oil and gas industry would transform all sectors, and ultimately the country.Minister of Natural Resources, Suphane Dash Alleyne, said Guyana would take all necessary steps to prevent the Dutch disease.“We, as a people, must consider the future and avoid the crises [that] our sister nations are going through, as they have the roads, bridges and hospitals, but when the economic crises struck, they are nothing but remnants of what once was,” she told the House.Minister of Social Cohesion, Orlando Belle, proposed an amendment to the Representation of the People Act (Chapter 1:03). He said this was in keeping with the National Youth Policy, which dictates that young people must have representation on Parliamentary Committees. He believes that young people are agents of social change, technological advancement and economic growth.Minister of Citizenship, Shekina Stuart, called for the formulation of a comprehensive policy document to address the entry of migrants and refugees to Guyana.last_img read more

Smith’s will leaves trust to deceased son

first_imgFORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The question of who will inherit Anna Nicole Smith’s estate was thrown into further confusion Friday with the release of a 2001 will in which the former Playboy centerfold said her fortune should be held in trust for her son – who died last year. The 19-page will did not say how much Smith was worth, so it is still a mystery how much money those battling over her and her baby daughter could get. The document said Smith’s lawyer and boyfriend, Howard K. Stern, should be her executor and hold her estate in trust for son Daniel Smith. But her son died last September at age 20 of apparently drug-related causes, days after the birth of the pinup’s daughter, Dannielynn. And the will explicitly leaves out anything for anyone other than the son. Chris Boyett, a trust and estate lawyer not connected to the Smith case, said that since Smith’s son is dead, the court will probably treat her estate as if she had died without a will, meaning her estate would by law go to her baby daughter. “I don’t think the result will be that it goes to no one,” Boyett said. “I think the courts are going to find a beneficiary, and I think the beneficiary is going to be the minor child.” Jeff Baskies, another lawyer who is not involved in the case, said that it was unclear who should get Smith’s estate and that it would depend on the laws in the place where she claimed residency when she died. Smith had a home in the Bahamas. The document was released hours after the judge – who is trying to broker a three-way dispute over the body – gave the OK to embalm Smith’s remains.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “I have intentionally omitted to provide for my spouse and other heirs, including future spouses and children and other descendants now living and those hereafter born or adopted,” Smith said in the will, which was signed under her legal name, Vickie Lynn Marshall. Circuit Judge Larry Seidlin ordered the release of the will in the latest round in the tangled legal dispute that broke out after the voluptuous blonde died at a Florida hotel Feb. 8 at age 39. The cause of death is under investigation. Stephen Tunstall, a lawyer for Smith’s estranged mother, Virgie Arthur, had questioned the veracity of the will before its release, calling it a “phantom will” because it was not filed in court. He did not answer questions about the document as he left court Friday. “They say he is an executor. You are not an executor or a personal representative unless a court appoints you,” Tunstall said. Ron Rale, an attorney for Smith who also is representing Stern in his case to prove fatherhood of Dannielynn, said he was aware the will alone wouldn’t win the battle. “The judge wanted it produced, but we won’t depend on it for our case,” he said. last_img read more

Chilean court OKs extradition of Peruvian ex-leader Fujimori

first_imgSANTIAGO, Chile – Chile’s Supreme Court on Friday approved the extradition of Peru’s former president, Alberto K. Fujimori, on charges of human rights abuses and corruption during his time in power in the 1990s. The ruling, which cannot be appealed, may have broader influence, legal experts said. In Latin America and elsewhere, former heads of state have normally been able to avoid extradition, even between countries with treaties, or they have been sent for trial before special tribunals, usually after political negotiations between governments. The very fact that Chile’s judiciary seriously reviewed the case at the request of Peruvian prosecutors was exceptional, and the judges then treated Fujimori, Peru’s president from 1990 to 2000, like any ordinary citizen, handling his case in its own courts. After the ruling, Fujimori, 69, continued under house arrest in a mansion in this capital city, where he has been since June while awaiting a ruling on the extradition request. He arrived here in 2005, en route from exile in Japan back to Peru, where he had wanted to return to power. Fujimori faced a return home on Friday under very different circumstances than he had hoped. The prospect of his trial and imprisonment in Peru seems certain not only to undo those ambitions, but also to introduce a polarizing and potentially destabilizing figure back into Peru’s politics. “For me this is an opportunity to return,” Fujimori said in comments on Friday on Peruvian radio, “because my objective is to reunite with the people.” “I’m physically and emotionally prepared to deal with this situation,” he said. Fujimori has retained a loyal following in Peru despite the revelations of abuse and generalized corruption in institutions controlled by him and his former spy chief, Vladimiro Montesinos. Even today the government of President Alan Garcia relies on votes from pro-Fujimori lawmakers to approve legislation, and declarations from prison by Fujimori could alter Peru’s political landscape. “This is not the best scenario for Alan Garcia, since Fujimori will almost certainly make waves,” said Jose Ugaz, a Peruvian lawyer who was a special state attorney investigating Fujimori and Montesinos. “But it is a clear victory against corruption and impunity.” Peru’s comptroller general has estimated that Fujimori received $43.2 million to $59.4 million from the national intelligence service from 1992 to 2000, and he is accused of arranging the transfer of $15 million in state funds to Montesinos shortly before the collapse of his government. In addition, Fujimori is accused of human rights abuses related to the activities of the Colina Group, a secretive squad of military intelligence officers believed to have carried out more than two dozen extrajudicial killings in the early 1990s. The squad carried out killings in which 25 people died in 1991 and 1992.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Datebook

first_img160Want 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 MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Wild mushroom workshop, 10 a.m.-noon, Soka University, 26800 West Mulholland Highway, Calabasas. Holiday Arts Festival, 10 a.m.-p.m., Brand Library and Art Center, 1601 W. Mountain St., Glendale. Admission is free. Call (818) 548-2051 or see www.brand-arts.org. LAUSD Band and Drill Team Championships, 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m., East Los Angeles College, 1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Monterey Park. Winter Arts Festival, noon-4 p.m., Pierce College Art Department quad, 6201 Winnetka Ave., Woodland Hills. Admission is free. Call (818) 719-6498 or see www.piercecollege.edu. Mail Datebook entries – including time, date, location and a phone number – to Daily News City Desk, P.O. Box 4200, Woodland Hills, CA 91365; fax (818) 713-0058; e-mail dnmetro@dailynews.com. SATURDAY: Breakfast with Santa, 8:30 a.m., Burbank Town Center Food Court, 201 E. Magnolia Blvd. For tickets, call (818) 238-5300. Pacoima Holiday Parade, 9 a.m., Van Nuys and Laurel Canyon boulevards. Festival follows, noon-6 p.m., David Gonzalez Park, 10943 Herrick Ave., Pacoima. Free admission. Rotary Club Arts & Crafts Faire, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. today and Sunday, Topanga Canyon Boulevard and Oxnard Street, Woodland Hills. Call (818) 754-4743 or see www.whrotary.org. Toy drive and gift-wrapping party, 10 a.m.-noon at Penny Lane, 15314 Rayen St., North Hills. Call (818) 332-8260 or see www.pennylane.org. last_img read more

REVEALED: HSE IS PAYING €86,400 A YEAR TO RENT NOWDOC OFFICES IN LETTERKENNY

first_imgThe building in Letterkenny which houses the NowDoc offices.The HSE is spending €86,400 a year renting the NowDoc building in Letterkenny, auction documents have shown.Auction details of the building at Oldtown Road has revealed that the HSE has paid rent on the building for the past decade.A reduced rent of €59,000 is currently being negotiated between the HSE and the current owner. Details of the rental agreement are contained in an All-Sop auction brochure which was published last night.The NowDoc offices is one of two joint-buildings to go under the hammer as one lot at the auction in Dublin on October 22nd.The other building is the Dizzy Rascals play centre which has a rent of €15,000 each year.The current combined rent from the 14,000 sq ft warehouse is €101,400. The reserve price on the warehouse office unit has been put at between €490,000 and €540,000.The tenant information posted with the All-Sop brochure for prospective buyers says “The HSE is a public sector organisation with an annual budget of approximately €13 billion, it is also Ireland’s largest employer with approximately 67,000 employees.”There are a total of three Donegal properties for auction at the All-Sop auction.The other two include the Magnolia Restaurant in Letterkenny which has a reserve price of €30,000 and also a half acre of land in Bridgend with a reserve price of €5,000. REVEALED: HSE IS PAYING €86,400 A YEAR TO RENT NOWDOC OFFICES IN LETTERKENNY was last modified: October 2nd, 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:All SopauctiondonegalHSEletterkennyNowDocrentlast_img read more

What Use Is Half a Wing?

first_imgKen Dial is at it again, trying to explain bird flight from the ground up with his own version of a Darwinian story (see 01/16/2003).  The title of his paper in BioScience1 harks back to an old criticism of Darwin’s theory: “What use is half a wing?”  Well, half a wing could be a half a stabilizer is the new answer.  Outstretched proto-wings, according to Dial’s WAIR theory (Wing-Assisted Incline Running) helps chukar partridges keep their balance when running up slopes, presumably escaping predators who might otherwise interrupt their ability to pass on their genes.  Maybe this provides insight into the development of full powered flight in the dim past:As a rebuttal to Darwin’s (1859) explanation of the origin and diversification of life, St. George Jackson Mivart (1871) posed a challenge: “What use is half a wing?”  With this simple question, Mivart challenged Darwin to explain the adaptive role of intermediate forms within an evolutionary continuum, prompting Darwin to expand on the concept of functional shifts within structural continuity (Gould 1985).  This concept of transitional functional and structural stages is the basis for exaptation, an integral component of modern evolutionary theory (Gould and Vrba 1982).  A response to Mivart’s question is that if the wing of a flying bird is a product of small, gradual structural changes, these transitional forms must have had some function during the evolution [sic] of powered flight.Discussing the ground-up (cursorial) theory and tree-down (arboreal) theory, Dial finds fault with both.  Watching partridge chicks run up ramps, his team measured the advantage of stubby wings in helping them maintain stability:The most significant finding from this body of work is that developing ground birds employ their incipient wings, adorned with symmetrical feathers, to execute brief bouts of aerial flight (dorsoventral flapping) and to enhance hindlimb traction (anteroposterior flapping) as they negotiate threedimensional terrestrial environments….Thus, not only does the ontogeny of WAIR demonstrate functionally adaptive intermediate stages or steps, it demonstrates an adaptive continuum between featherless forelimbs, protowings with symmetrical feathers, and derived wings with asymmetrical feathers and a complex wing stroke.As for the arboreal theory, Dial notes that there are no intermediates between gliders and flappers.  But on the other wing, “there are no known contemporary analogs of cursorial bipeds that use their forelimbs to run faster, to run and glide, or to swipe at or capture prey, assumptions proposed among various cursorial hypotheses.”  He says that this debate presents a false dichotomy: “both hypotheses fail to provide the functional and incremental adaptive stages of forelimb evolution necessary to achieve the fully developed flapping mechanics observed among extant species…”  So he came up with his WAIR hypothesis independently, yet it shares advantages of both positions.  “The WAIR hypothesis is a testable and inclusive approach to explain the evolution of avian flight,” he crows, “and it appears to resolve the impasse created from a strict cursorial or arboreal position.”  Not only that, his approach provides a model for explaining transitional forms in the fossil record: identifying analogs among extant forms.Ascribing functional explanations to transitional forms without integrating the wealth of corroborating evidence from other subjects (life history, behavior, development, ecology, and the physical sciences) will only lead to endless “just so stories” about the history of life.    We suggest that incipiently feathered forelimbs of small, bipedal protobirds may have provided the same locomotor advantages for inclined running as are present in extant birds.  Whether sprinting across an obstacle-filled terrain or up inclined or even vertical surfaces, whether being chased or chasing, an animal capable of employing WAIR experiences improved hindlimb traction.  What appear to be partially developed wings of recently discovered theropod dinosaurs [sic] (e.g., Caudipteryx, Sinosauropteryx, Protarchaeopteryx, Rahonavis, Unenlagia, and others) have confused scientists: Were these wings used for running faster, for gliding, for protecting eggs and young in the nest, or for catching food, or were they simply vestiges of once functional wings?  In a protobird [sic], WAIR-like behavior could have represented an intermediate stage in the development of flight-capable, aerodynamic wings.The transition is thus explained: aerodynamic forces on the outstretched “half wings” increase hindlimb traction; and short vertical movements.  Rudimentary aerial ascent and controlled descent, as observed with modern partridge chicks, might have taken off into powered flight in gradual stages.  Therefore, “ontogenetic transformation observed in juvenile species exhibiting WAIR is a plausible behavioral and morphological pathway of adaptive incremental stages that might have been exhibited by the lineage of feathered, maniraptoran dinosaurs attaining powered flight,” he claims.  But with Dial’s frequent use of words like might, could and may have, how this differs from a just-so story might be a matter of debate itself.    See also the Science Daily summary of this paper, with picture of Dial holding a chukar partridge.1Ken Dial et al., “What Use Is Half a Wing in the Ecology and Evolution of Birds?” BioScience, Volume 56, Number 5, May 2006, pp. 437-445(9).Same dumb ideas, and same criticisms three years ago still apply (see 12/22/2003).  All this shows is that evolutionists remain touchy about the criticisms of just-so storytelling leveled at them, and are trying desperately to clear this bad reputation.  Don’t be distracted by the charts, graphs, diagrams and drawings in the paper; these all pertain to living, flying birds – not dinosaurs.  And don’t be distracted by the highfalutin-sounding term “Wing-assisted inclined running” as if inventing a phrase is going to make a case.  This is like the joke about the teenager being told by his doctor his lethargy is simple laziness, to which he responds, “now give me the scientific name so I can tell my parents.”    The mark of just-so storytelling is coming up with a hand-waving explanation that cannot be tested.  That is still the essence of Dial’s hypothesis despite his protests to the contrary.  Sweep away the scientific mumbo-jumbo and visual aids, and the jargon, because it is an irrelevant display of bluffing.  Forget the references to so-called feathered dinosaurs, because there were contemporary modern birds of these that already had powered flight, so the maniraptorans could not have been transitional forms.  Forget also the references to chicks of modern birds, because they already have the genetic information for powered flight; he cannot work backwards from the evolved to the unevolved.  And erase Dial’s own bravado about how much better his hypothesis is than others.    Instead, imagine the Geico gecko trying to evolve powered flight by running up inclines with its forearms stretched out.  A few moment’s visualization will do wonders to put this matter to rest.  There are so many vital, interconnected, required morphological changes that would be required for the Geico gecko to do more than leap a few inches off the ground, it is inconceivable that there would be enough lucky mutations able to converge on turning his descendents into Woody Woodpecker, let alone the Road Runner.  Cartoonists might be able to draw the transitional forms, but evolution needs to wait for mutations, almost all of which are harmful or neutral.  Feathers, lungs, bone changes, flight software – how many thousands of beneficial mutations do you want to wait for?  They all have to arrive simultaneously.  And does WAIR explain flight in insects, pterosaurs and bats?  Like Wiley Coyote forever behind the Road Runner, Ken Dial remains far behind his prey, an evolutionary explanation for flight.    Except for a brief hand-wave to future research needed in homeobox genes and evo-devo, Dial’s explanation is completely lacking in a genetic mechanism for attaining the required information for powered flight.  Rather, it has all the characteristics of a Lamarckian story: the giraffe needed a long neck to reach the leaves, and the gecko needed WAIR to escape the predator.  Presumably, the gecko already had defenses that worked just fine; “What say, mate, like, we just set and chat about a better way to settle our differences, hey?  How would you like to save a lot of money on your car insurance?”    Ken Dial’s only achievement was to exhibit Darwinist sensitivity to charges of storytelling, and to point out that all the other evolutionary explanations don’t work.  For that, his funny pages will get a good chuckle from creationists.(Visited 211 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

5 Takeaways from Andrew Kramer’s AE World Keynote

first_imgVideoCopilot’s Andrew Kramer recently took to the stage at the After Effects World Conference to share his advice for building a creative career.The rise of Andrew Kramer of VideoCopilot.net is an inspiring tale – from helpful internet tutorial creator, to After Effects trainer and bespoke plugins producer, to feature film visual effects specialist. Andrew was invited to present this year’s keynote address at the After Effects World Conference and he delivered a hilarious and informative talk breaking down his insights on how to build a career as a creative artist. The keynote was focused on motion graphic and visual effects creative work, but the lessons apply to many other creative spheres.1. Define prioritiesAndrew made a really great point at the start of his talk, which was that we need to be aware of, and focus on the things that we want to prioritize in life. In the busyness of life our real priorities can slip away and the hindsight revelation for Andrew was that he was focusing on his work more than his family. Many of us we want to be successful at any cost, but if we don’t take the time to figure out what really matters in life we could lose it along the way.2. Cut out the junkA lot of Andrew’s talk has the same point being reinforced in several ways. If you want to get anything good done you’re going to have to cut out the distractions, games and time wasting.3. Learn by doingWith so much knowledge freely available online we can often mistake watching a tutorial for acquiring new experience. Only through trying, making mistakes and solving problems for yourself will you truly acquire experience, knowledge and new abilities. As Andrew kept saying – just get out there and make something.4. Take risks to stand outAndrew’s suggestion would be to spend the time and creative energy to make 25 seconds of really good original content, than to try to recreate a generic showreel demonstrating your core abilities of all the usual things. He pointed to Peter Quinn’s spoof motion graphics showreel as a good example of something clever and a little risky that get’s people’s attention.5. Who knows where you could end up!Be passionate and committed to what you love and you could end up working for JJ Abrams, running a thriving business and growing a family too.last_img read more

Congress bags four seats, BJP two, JD-S one in Council polls

first_imgBengaluru, June 10 (PTI) Karnatakas rulingCongress predictably managed to win all the four seats it contested in the biennial elections to fill seven seats of the Legislative Council from Legislative assembly held today. Opposition BJP too managed to win both the seatsit contested while JD(S), battling dissidence within,could win only one of the two seats it contested. “Out of 225 votes cast, 223 were valid, 2 wereinvalid,” an Election Official said. Allum Veerabhadrappa, Ramappa Timmapur, Rizwan Arshadand Veena Achaiah of Congress, which has 122 members in the 225-member assembly, secured 33,33, 34 and 31votes respectively. For BJP which has 44 members in the assembly, V Somanna secured 31 votes, while the partys second candidate Lahar Singh Siroya got 27 first preference votes and wonthrough second preference votes. BJP leader C T Ravi claimed that the party hasgained additional 14 votes. Out of the two JD(S) candidates, Narayana Swamy K V wongetting 30 votes while the second candidate D R SM Venkatapathi got only 5 votes and lost. JD(S) has40 members in the Assembly. JD(S) MLA Zameer Ahmed, who is among the five rebel MLAs, after casting his vote, said he has voted forCongress candidate Rizwan Arshad. PTI KSU RA VS PAL DKlast_img read more