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We are here to win – Nicaragua FA presidentWe are here to win – Nicaragua FA president

first_imgJose Jacinto Reyes, president of the Nicaraguan Football Federation (NFF), believes it will be youthful exuberance versus the experience and proven track record of Jamaica’s national senior Reggae Boyz, when both teams meet in a crucial World Cup qualifier inside the National Stadium on Friday night.Both teams will lock horns in a crucial qualifying match ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. The game will begin at 8 p.m.Reyes believes the Reggae Boyz are worthy favourites at home, given their wealth of international experience and recent form internationally.”Nicaragua is a team that is coming from less to more (improving), so yes, we are ready for Jamaica,” he told The Gleaner in an interview yesterday, as part of the Nicaraguan delegation that arrived at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston.”Nicaragua team is a young team, and we don’t have the same experience that Jamaica has, but we are prepared,” he reiterated, while labelling Jamaica favourites.Jamaica comes into this contest as the first Caribbean team to play in a Gold Cup Finals, and prior to that, they featured in the Copa America tournament hosted in Chile.playing with heartsMeanwhile, Nicaragua are unbeaten in 2015. The teams they beat in round one and two of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers were Anguilla 8-0 on aggregate and Suriname 4-1.”Even though it’s a young team, we are playing with our hearts, and even though we have a young team, we are here (in Jamaica) to win. And we pray to God that we can win, otherwise, we will still give them a great challenge,” added the president.He says should the match end in a tie, football would be the winner, while noting his association is under a new administration and its thrust is banking on youth.The Reggae Boyz will travel to Nicaragua for the September 8 return leg. The winner on aggregate will advance in the 2018 qualification for Russia, while the loser will be eliminated.last_img read more

NEC Chair Updates IFES on October ElectionsNEC Chair Updates IFES on October Elections

first_imgThe vice president for programs of the Washington D.C. based  International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), last Friday paid a courtesy call on the chairman of the National Elections Commission, Jerome Korkoya.During their discussions at the NEC headquarters in Monrovia, Michael Svetur said his visit was intended to obtain on the spot information on the 2017 Presidential and Representative elections and to take stock of IFES’ support to Liberia’s Election Management Body (EMB). IFES is an American elections charity group.Korkoya described IFES as “an undoubtedly dependable elections partner to the Commission, during this critical time of electioneering in Liberia.”However, Korkoya said he was greatly concerned about many challenges still facing the NEC, including the data center, legal hearings and the capacity of election staff in the 19 magisterial areas outside of the NEC headquarters. He also referred to issues regarding effective communications and logistics. Korkoya told Mr. Svetur that the Commission is seriously considering acquiring the services of helicopters to airlift sensitive election materials, mainly to the southeastern parts of the country where the roads are inaccessible (due to the heavy rainfall occurring through the end of October).  He said in previous elections, the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) provided the Commission with helicopters to airlift sensitive election materials to these difficult to reach areas in the country.Last Thursday at the Commission’s regular weekly press briefing on the 2017 elections  the NEC chairman announced that sample ballot papers were ready for verification by the contesting parties.   He spoke about the disposition of objections and complaints, recruitment of poll workers, electoral disputes and resolution training for magistrates and regional coordinators, as well as the official launch of the Civic and Voter Education Campaign.Korkoya said a Special Recruitment Committee has been set up to work with the elections magistrates to recruit 28,367 competent poll workers, including Presiding Officers (POs), Voter Identification Officers (VIOs), Ballot Paper Issuers (BPIs), and Queue Controllers (QCs). The Chairman said the Commission has already recruited and deployed 436 civic educators and 219 gender mobilizers across the country for a period of two months to carry out door to door outreach as well as face to face interactions with community dwellers.He said the work of the Commission continues to be hindered by challenges such as getting complainants and respondents in some cases to appear when cited for hearings. The Commission will have no other option but to dispose of cases of complainants and respondents who failed to honor citations for hearing these cases by the Commission’s Hearing Office, he said, according to a release.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Welcome to bloggingWelcome to blogging

first_img4)  The breakout.  The pups have gotten in trouble too many times this year with D-men trying to skate the puck out.  Even the ever-responsible Linden A. has given the puck away deep several times.  This means allowing scoring chances that just can’t be allowed.  More importantly, when the D-men are skating the puck out of their zone, even if they do it well, you are taking away arguably the Huskies’ greatest weapon, which is their speed.  Why make guys like Norris wait for the puck to be skated up ice?  Fire it up to them, and let them work their magic.  If the pups can’t generate a quick transition game, their offensive firepower gets wasted.Advertisement Now, the Huskies gave the Wolverines a real test last weekend.  For about 20 minutes.  And then the wheels fell off, and WCT pulled away.  If they can play a full 60 minutes, there’s no reason to think they can’t prevail.  That means a full game of mistake free hockey – just the kind of game they played on Saturday in Peace.  They didn’t try to outscore the Navs on Saturday, they just outplayed them.  The 4 goals included 1) a breakaway on a bad line change, 2) a lucky shot that most people seem to agree never actually went in, 3) a powerplay goal, and 4) an empty netter.  Not the kind of game story you might expect from this club, but the kind that makes for a winning team.  On Saturday, the pups played a complete game, they seldom gave the puck away in their own zone, they allowed very few scoring chances, and they protected their goaltender.  And make no mistake.  For the Huskies, the road ahead leads through Whitecourt.  If the team wants to win the league, it needs to be able to beat Whitecourt.  If the boys have any hopes of playing at provincials in Peace River, they need to be able to beat the Wolverines.  And assuming WCT finishes first overall, they need to be able to beat them in Whitecourt. Sure, there are a couple of possible escape routes.  Maybe the Navigators and Wolverines face off in the semi-finals.  Maybe Peace beats WCT, and suddenly just by playing in the finals you advance to provincials.  Maybe another team rises from the shadows and takes out the defending champs.  But, those don’t seem likely outcomes.  Not that you can bank on.  If you want to win, you have to be able to beat the best – which at this point is Whitecourt. Fine then – allow me to suggest what I see as the five keys for the Huskies to succeed.  Feel free to print this page, cut them out, and re-arrange them into the order you see fit.  Please use recycled paper. 5)  Goaltending.  It’s at the bottom of the list, because the goaltending has been good so far.  Not great, but good.  If you have good team defence, good should be enough.  The problem is, Whitecourt has Ryan Demharter who can steal a game that didn’t need stealing.  So, when the pups take on WCT, one of GM or TG is going to have to play as well as Demharter to even things out. The Navigators will only get better as the season progresses, but so will the Huskies.  FSJ has a lot of talent this year, and judging by their late season form last year, will only get better as they buy into BK’s systems.  Advertisement So, play 60 minutes, play team defence, don’t make mistakes.  What, you may ask, have I learned here that I couldn’t have learned by skipping the Huskies game and memorizing a book of great sports clichés?  2) Payden.  Big number 27 has to be on the ice, and at his best, for this team to beat WCT.  Don’t get me wrong, Cody Kalb may well be the MVP.  CK puts up points like Johan Gutenberg prints newspapers.  If he’s in the lineup, he’ll generate points.  But Payden is the guy that can turn a game upside down, for better or for worse.  His speed strikes fear into opponents, and makes things happen.  Which brings us back to the breakout.  See above.Wongstedt is the captain, he eats a lot of minutes, and is the catalyst in both ends of the ice.  He also plays a physical game, and gets banged up.  Goaltenders always need protecting, and guys like Cody K need to be healthy.  You notice Dylan the most when he’s not in the lineup, because suddenly you just have the puck less.  But to me, Wongstedt is this team’s Brett Favre.  To let him get injured or kicked out a game simply can’t happen.  Adding the likes of Brennan Billey gives the pups more depth, and when you consider a top six forwards that include Cody Kalb, Dylan A., Pappin, Norris, Sidhu, and Billey, the Huskies have no reason to be intimidated by any team in the league.  A supporting cast of Cody Hildebrand, Cam MacKinnon, Brighton Campbell, and more, means the pups could even see some pretty good players sitting in the stands.  Their defence is getting better (teamwise) and the big bodies of Ryan Stickel and Darcy Bell will only get more comfortable, and I hope, more punishing to opposing forwards.  So, my point is, if they can play like they did in Peace on Saturday, and also have the high-end talent to put the puck in the net when they need to, then watch out for the Huskies.  3) The powerplay.  When you get in tight games, against evenly matched opponents, you simply have to take advantage on special teams.  The Huskies did it last night in Peace, and won because of it.  They didn’t do it in Whitecourt last weekend, and suffered the consequences.  You can throw the PK in here to, but the PK has been outstanding already, so we’ll just focus on the PP.  That means getting shots through from the point, and that means getting set up as quickly as possible.  In this league, you will get chances on the PP.  And the fact is, even a powerplay goal-a-game pace probably won’t cut it. Jon Zacks- Advertisement – So, as some of you may have noticed, Mike Feeney has been the only one to fire up a blog entry so far.  But, in honour of the Huskies’ win in Peace River last night, I thought I would officially join the blogosphere this afternoon. What has inspired this entry is the Huskies win over the Navs last night.  Early on in the season, I feel the game was one of the most exciting performances from the Huskies to date.  No, I don’t mean the game was exciting.  Any of you who saw or heard the game will agree, if anything, it was downright boring.  But that’s what makes it exciting for the Huskies.  On Saturday night, they earned, in the words of hockey-guru Jesse Disher, a ‘dirty, greasy, road win’.  And that’s precisely what any team needs to be able to do to have success.  More to the point, last night was exactly the kind of game the team needs to be able to play to compete with the Wolverines. Admittedly, the Navs are still a little disorganized as a team.  They have had huge turnover, and aren’t as good as they will be later on.  They are also lacking scoring punch, meaning the Huskies may have gotten away with any mistakes they did make.  Perhaps I’m giving too much credit to FSJ.  Well, maybe.  But, the Huskies also have the ability to rise to the occasion when facing tough opponents (or maybe the curse of taking weaker teams too lightly).  1)      Play 60 minutes.  What can I say?  I’ve already given out too many pearls.  Ending with a cliché is just too tempting to resist.  But I bet BK would agree. OK – while I’m turning this new leaf, I should mention a couple of other pieces of business.Some of you may have noticed that we have starting podcasting all of our broadcasts.  With limited Success.   Our apologies for that.  We’re working on it.  It’s not easy when the guy who holds all the keys leaves the country.  We’ll get there. Also, any of you hungry for more hockey should definitely check out the Midget Tracker-Flyers.  These kids went 3-0 this weekend, and looked VERY good.  The top line (Dylan Houle, Daylan Pederson, and Logan Daneluk if I’m not mistaken) was terrifying this weekend.  They don’t play on home ice again until November 13th.  But they are well worth the price of admission…Advertisement Thanks for reading.  JZlast_img read more

FBI: Letters link indicted engineer to Chinese officialFBI: Letters link indicted engineer to Chinese official

first_imgThe official, identified as Gu Wei Hao, then stated he would find a way to pay Chung cash in person for any expenses he may have incurred while collecting or purchasing information, and said he can convey any suggestions or information through Chi Mak.“This channel is much safer than others,” the official wrote.A business card included with the letter identified the official as being with China’s ministry of aviation and civil aircraft bureau. The official also identified Mak as a relative and the letter stated that it was meant to be hand-delivered by Mak to Chung.Trunk line typically refers to certain types of commercial aircraft.In a letter that investigators recovered at Chung’s home in Orange, the official noted the Chinese government was forming a ministry of aeronautics and astronautics industry. “I profoundly understand what you have in your mind,” the official wrote. “Therefore I hope that you will introduce advanced technologies and provide advanced technologies and information. … Please provide at any time. It is faster and safer by forwarding through Mr. Mak.”According to testimony, the FBI also found a photo of Mak and the official standing in front of Los Angeles’ Griffith Observatory, and a business card identifying an adviser with the China National Nuclear Corp., which Gaylord said was the rough equivalent of the U.S. Department of Energy.Gaylord said Chung retired from Boeing and then returned as a consultant.Outside court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Staples would elaborate on Chung’s connection to the case.An attempt to locate a telephone listing for Chung through directory assistance resulted in a recording stating the number was not published at the customer’s request.A telephone message seeking comment from Boeing was left at the company’s Chicago headquarters after hours Thursday.Mak was a key engineer at Anaheim-based defense contractor Power Paragon Inc., where, according to testimony, he had access to or worked on sensitive projects for the Navy.He is charged with conspiracy to export defense material to China, failure to register as a foreign agent, attempted and actual export of defense articles, and making false statements. His wife, brother and other relatives, some of whom live in Alhambra, have also been indicted.Gaylord’s testimony included a description of government bugging of Chi Mak and his brother, Alhambra resident Tai Mak.Gaylord said that at various points between June 2004 and October 2005 investigators installed wiretaps on Chi Mak’s home and office, put tiny microphones in his house and cars and placed closed-circuit TV cameras above the dining and computer rooms of his home in Downey.Tai Mak and his wife were taken into custody in October 2005 at Los Angeles International Airport as they were about to board a flight to Hong Kong. Investigators said they found in the couple’s luggage a CD-ROM with encrypted sensitive technology information. At the same time, Chi Mak and his wife were arrested at their home. Gaylord read to the jury transcripts of a conversation in which Tai Mak told his wife that his brother and his brother’s wife were nervous before the scheduled trip to China.“They’re really nervous,” Tai Mak was quoted as saying.According to the transcript, Tai Mak’s wife later said, “Don’t bother with him. He’s just carrying out his duty.”The government of China, meanwhile, denounced the allegations in the Mak case.“We have reiterated many times that allegations that China stole U.S. military secrets are groundless and made out of ulterior motives,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a news conference Thursday in Beijing.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SANTA ANA — A Chinese-American engineer accused of conspiring to send information on U.S. naval technology to China had repeated contact with a Chinese government official who was seeking information about the space shuttle from a Boeing engineer, according to FBI testimony Thursday.Special Agent James Gaylord read translated letters that he said were written by a Chinese aviation official and were discovered during the investigation of Chi Mak, a Downey resident and naturalized U.S. citizen who worked for a California defense contractor and who is now on trial in U.S. District Court.One letter dated, May 2, 1987, was addressed to a Boeing engineer named Greg Chung, who worked on the space shuttle program. In it, the official wrote: “China is in the process of discussing and approving for the trunk-line airplanes and planning and arranging the space shuttle issues. I hope these products will be flying sky high soon. There are some difficult technical issues that need your assistance.”The official then asked: “I was wondering if it is possible to collect some information on airplane design for the trunk line and the development of the space shuttle. In the past, I have asked you to collect some quality control information at your convenience.”last_img read more

Canfor Pulp purchases Taylor pulp mill from parent companyCanfor Pulp purchases Taylor pulp mill from parent company

first_imgThe purchase agreement will also have “additional consideration”  paid by Canfor Pulp to its parent company over three years, dependent on the financial results of Taylor Pulp over that timeframe.“Taylor Pulp is a great strategic fit for Canfor Pulp and this agreement allows us to grow our scale in northern B.C.,” Canfor Pulp President Brett Robinson writes.Taylor Pulp employs 106 people and has an annual production capacity of 220,000 tonnes of bleached chemi-thermo-mechanical pulp.- Advertisement –last_img read more

MORE THAN 2,000 DONEGAL HOMES COULD BE AFFECTED BY DEFECTIVE ‘WEETABIX’ BLOCKSMORE THAN 2,000 DONEGAL HOMES COULD BE AFFECTED BY DEFECTIVE ‘WEETABIX’ BLOCKS

first_imgDamien Mc Cauley demonstrates how weak the blocks are from his house built in 2006 . all the out wall have to be replace at his family home, and his family had yo be moved out. Photo Brian McDaidOne building block supplier has been responsible for cracks appearing in 97% of crumbling homes across Donegal, an angry meeting was told last night.More than 350 people attended the meeting of the MICA Action Group in An Grianan Hotel in Burt.The group was formed to take action against defective blocks which are causing homes across Donegal to crumble just years after they were built. It is estimated that up to 2,000 homes may be affected by the defective blocks which were manufactured between 1985 and 2010 and are now referred to as ‘weetabix’ blocks because of their softness.The meeting heard a promise from Junior Minister Joe McHugh that he will take the issue to the desk of Environment Minister Alan Kelly with a view to a meeting.A spokesman for the MICA Action group told Donegal Daily that they were delighted by the turn-out but were disappointed that no representative from Donegal County Council attended.“It was a very positive meeting which was attended by al our TDs and a lot of county councillors. “But we were very disappointed that nobody from Donegal County Council was there as they were invited to attend.“But the upshot of the meeting is that we are hopeful of now meeting Minister Alan Kelly to take our situation to him,” said the spokesman.He added that a survey of members of the MICA group found that one supplier, referred to as Supplier A, was responsible for providing the defective blocks to 97% of damaged homes.The spokesman added that it was only a matter of time before there was serious structural damage to a house which could result in someone being injured.“We have evidence that the structural damage is so bad that it is only a matter of time before a bison slab is affected resulting in a house coming tumbling down. “That is the reality as blocks get weaker and weaker and more and more cracks appear.“Our survey has shown that it takes 5.6 years for signs of the defective blocks to appear in houses so many houses may not even be showing the signs of cracks yet,” added the spokesman.The group said they will continue to seek new members from people who were sold the defective blocks.“We believe that up to 2,000 houses could be affected. If people see cracks they should contact the group.” MORE THAN 2,000 DONEGAL HOMES COULD BE AFFECTED BY DEFECTIVE ‘WEETABIX’ BLOCKS was last modified: November 18th, 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:blocksdefective homesDonegal meetingMICA Action Grouplast_img read more

CLOSE CALL AS STORM ALMOST WASHES MOBILE HOMES INTO THE SEACLOSE CALL AS STORM ALMOST WASHES MOBILE HOMES INTO THE SEA

first_imgThe picture shows how close the mobiles came to having the ground washed away from beneath them.Three mobile home-owners had a lucky escape when their properties came within inches of being washed away by yesterday’s storms.The mobile homes now hang perilously close to the edge of a steep embankment on scenic Portmor Beach in Malin Head.A rescue operation has been organised and a large crane is due on site to pull the mobile homes back from the edge. The close call came as a high tide occurred on the Inishowen beach during yesterday’s storm.Thankfully there was nobody in any of the three mobile homes at the time.There was some small damage caused to some of the mobile homes and some concrete paving was washed away.One eye-witness said “It was pretty scary because it looked at times as if the tide was going to come even further. “The mobiles will have to be pulled back and I understand a crane is due on the site shortly.“There was nobody in the mobiles at the time but it came pretty close to them being washed away altogether,” he said. CLOSE CALL AS STORM ALMOST WASHES MOBILE HOMES INTO THE SEA was last modified: December 7th, 2013 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:high tidesMalinmobile homesPortmor Beachstormlast_img read more

Smart Money Is on Adult Stem Cells, but Some Scientists Still Lust after EmbryosSmart Money Is on Adult Stem Cells, but Some Scientists Still Lust after Embryos

first_imgWhen adult stem cells do the job, why are some scientists tinkering with human embryos?Stem cells have been a hot topic for nearly two decades now. Hopefully the terminology has become clear. Stem cells are cells that can grow into any tissue type. Embryonic stem cells (ES) are derived from fertilized embryos that, if implanted, would grow into an adult. Adult stem cells (AS) reside in different tissues of adults, where they can regenerate the cells of that particular tissue. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) are tissue cells that have been reprogrammed into a stem-like state, where they can grow into most tissue types. Totipotent means able to differentiate into all tissue types; pluripotent means able to differentiate into most tissue types. The primary advantage of human adult and iPS stem cells is that they do not require killing a human embryo; therefore, they are ethically superior. But can they do as good a job as embryonic stem cells? These articles share recent developments.First, we need to understand the “stem cell paradigm.” Science Magazine asks, “What is an adult stem cell?” As with many definitions in science, the boundaries are often fuzzy. The type specimen for a stem cell was the “hematopoietic stem cell” (HSC) living in bone marrow. It seemed almost magical that it could produce all the different blood cell types, and yet stay intact in a permanent state of self-renewal. Hans Clevers tries to insert evolution into the paradigm:The HSC’s ability to “self-renew” as well as to proceed down hierarchical differentiation pathways involves a rigidly choreographed flow of events. The HSC paradigm currently serves as a template to interpret experimental observations on any other mammalian tissue. Yet, it is not obvious why evolution would have come up with the very same solution for the renewal of all tissues. Attempts to fit observations on solid tissues into the HSC hierarchy mold have led to confusing theories, terminologies, experimental approaches, and heated debates, many of which remain unresolved. Organs differ in size, architecture, and function, and are subject to markedly different biological and physical challenges. It therefore appears plausible that tissues, with their different regenerative demands, have evolved different ways to restore cell numbers.This appears to be quibbling about definitions. If a cell can regenerate the cells of its tissue niche, then it should be called a stem cell, even if it differs from the stem cell of another niche. As for evolution, Clevers only tells us what seems “plausible” to him. Others may find it more plausible to suspect clever design, based on our uniform experience, when any “rigidly choreographed flow of events” is observed.Adult and iPS Stem Cell NewsiPS same as ES: Cambridge researchers “have found the strongest evidence to date that human pluripotent stem cells—cells that can give rise to all tissues of the body—will develop normally once transplanted into an embryo” (Medical Xpress). They appear virtually totipotent, in other words. As such, they are likely to be safe and effective.Faster, better, cheaper: An easier way to produce stem cells from normal cells by putting the squeeze on them, PhysOrg claims. It sounds too good to be true; hopefully this will not turn out to be another STAP-like controversy (1/30/14).Stem cells are now at the cutting edge of modern medicine. They can transform into a cells of different organs, offering new ways to treat a range of injuries and diseases from Parkinson’s to diabetes. But producing the right type of stem cells in a standardized manner is still a serious challenge. EPFL scientists have now developed a gel that boosts the ability of normal cells to revert into stem cells by simply “squeezing” them into shape. Published in Nature Materials, the new technique can also be easily scaled up to produce stem cells for various applications on an industrial scale.iPS are compatible: One question was whether iPS cells would retain some epigenetic memory of their source, and thus be incompatible if implanted into someone else’s tissues. That concern has been alleviated by results found at the University of Helsinki, PhysOrg says. It’s the donor’s genotype that matters, not the source tissue it came from. Here are the key findings:The results were unambiguous: several different indicators showed that the type of original cell made no difference when the stem cell was fully reprogrammed.Says Professor Timo Otonkoski from the University of Helsinki: “It is obvious that pluripotent stem cells derived from different cell types are fully equal. These results are highly significant to biobanks, as this way one collection can feature different source cells, and previously stored living cell samples remain useful for iPS cell production.”What was surprising was how different the iPS cells derived from different individuals were. The genotype of the donor obviously shapes the differentiation behaviour of the stem cell.iPS produces pancreatic cells: Medical Xpress reports that iPS cells derived from human skin showed themselves capable of producing pancreatic cells that can secrete insulin. UCSF researchers also came up with a scalable, sustainable method to produce the cells. “Now we can generate virtually unlimited numbers of patient-matched insulin-producing pancreatic cells,” they said, bringing personalized cell therapy a step closer for patients with diabetes.Skin cells into serotonin: Another victory for iPS cells took place at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where researchers used reprogrammed skin cells create “a specialized nerve cell that makes serotonin, a signaling chemical with a broad role in the brain” (Medical Xpress). Serotonin is involved in “emotions, sleep, anxiety, depression, appetite, pulse and breathing.” One of the researchers expressed altruistic motives for the work. ” I don’t want to just make a publication in a scientific journal. I want our work to affect human health, to improve the human condition.”Sacrificing Embryos for ScienceDespite the successes outlined above, some researchers are intent on continuing to experiment with human embryos, even with the knowledge that doing so poses ethical challenges.Pooled for use: A “study” by the University of Edinburgh concludes that “[embryonic] stem cells that have been specifically developed for use as clinical therapies are fit for use in patients,” according to Science Daily.Eyes on the prize: Another Science Daily article reports that Johns Hopkins researchers have demonstrated that ES cells in a dish that can be transformed into retinal ganglion cells. They have not yet actually treated anyone with glaucoma and other optic nerve diseases; it’s “just the beginning,” they say.Embryo editor: The BBC News reports on a Dr. Kathy Niakin who is making the case to edit human embryos with the new CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing tool (see 6/05/15). Nothing is said about the ethical problems with this procedure. For those who want to think about the implications, Dr. Albert Mohler had some strong words for this “Brave New World” slippery slope in his daily Briefing for January 15. Even more alarming, PhysOrg says Josiah Zayner is making gene editing kits to allow do-it-yourselfers to “play God at the kitchen table,” genetically modifying anything they want to tinker with.We need to be aware of what the mad scientists are up to. When will science ever learn that what they can do does not necessarily correlate with what they should do? That was a huge debate in the 1940s with the development of atomic weapons. The new genetic arsenal has potential for tremendous good as well as terrible evil. Science can do is’s but not oughts. The oughts need to come from morally-informed, righteous thinkers. We’ve already seen the terrible outcomes of viewing human flesh as a commodity. Whenever a human entity, be it embryonic, old or disabled, is no longer considered a person, watch out.(Visited 22 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Madiba’s best birthday gift everMadiba’s best birthday gift ever

first_imgStaff from Brand South Africa do their 67 minutes for Mandela Day at the Ebenezer Hannah Home in Walkerville, south of Johannesburg. Some of the residents of Ebehezer wait outside in the winter sun as their rooms are being painted. (Images: Anish Abraham) Pupils from the Sunrise pre-school in Braamfontein are told of their Mandela Day task – writing message cards for Madiba – by a staff member at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg.(Image: Valencia Talane) MEDIA CONTACTS • Brand South Africa   +27 11 483 0122• Lead SA  +27 11 506 3000 RELATED ARTICLES • Schools to benefit for Mandela Day • Town teams up for Mandela statue • How does Mandela Day inspire you? • Mandela deeds in motion • Mandela Day now a global eventMediaClubSouthAfrica.com reporterCivil society group Lead SA pledged to make former statesman Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday, which was on Wednesday 18 July, one he will never forget. This they ensured by making sure South Africa, and the world, stand as one to wish Madiba the best in song.The organisation wanted to create an endearing memory by giving him the best birthday present ever – the love of the world.Approximately 12.5-million school children participated in the initiative,  which was also supported by the Department of Basic Education, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Shout, Brand South Africa and Proudly South African.A Lead SA spokesperson said the unique and memorable rendition of the Happy Birthday song marks a place in time for all South Africans to preserve Madiba’s living legacy.At 8am South Africans from all walks of life, including pupils, prominent artists and personalities, united their voices in song to wish the country’s favourite icon good health and a blessed day – a gesture of love and appreciation broadcast on national TV and by most radio stations.Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga led pupils from a school in Limpopo in song.Tata Madiba, who has bowed out of public life, was visited by President Jacob Zuma in his rural home in Qunu in the Eastern Cape the week before. Zuma had been in the area to view the construction site of a bridge that is being built in Madiba’s honour to increase access to Mvezo village.Zuma reported that Mandela was in good health, happy and content.67 minutes for TataMany government employees heeded the call to spend some time on Nelson Mandela’s birthday doing something for those less fortunate than themselves. From administrative staff to premiers and even ministers, the 67 minutes campaign received a lot of support on the day.In honour of the iconic leader, businesses, schools, government structures, charitable groups and ordinary South Africans gave 67 minutes of their time to give back to their communities.International Nelson Mandela Day is not only special to the man himself, but to ordinary citizens as they celebrate by taking action to help change the world for the better.And this year has not been any different, as people across the country played their part by ploughing back into communities, either by refurbishing schools, helping out at old age homes and hospitals, among others.Various events, both by government and non-governmental organisations, were planned across the country. The national event was held in Zeerust, where Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile and the Premier of North West Thandi Modise set aside time to do community service.Staff from Modise’s office handed out gifts to three schools,  the Madiba Comprehensive School in Rooigrond, as well as Thutlwane and Madibogo Pan primary schools.Cabinet ministers get involvedSeveral other Cabinet ministers also rolled up their sleeves to do their 67 minutes. Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi was at the Refilwe Orphanage, Disability Centre in Cullinan, east of Pretoria.The centre – which hosts 60 senior citizens, 200 vulnerable children and 56 people with disabilities – operates as a drop-in centre where vulnerable children, senior citizens and people with disabilities are cared for during the day by giving them food, educational and recreational activities.Motshekga’s deputy Enver Surty led proceedings in Gauteng at the Batsogile Primary School in Pimville, Soweto.Deputy Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi was at Boitumelo High School in Ficksburg, where she mobilised the local community to provide their time and labour for free to paint the school; laying the foundation for toilets; cleaning the school yard and planting trees, amongst others.Deputy Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu led a team of volunteers on Tuesday night who handed over blankets, soup and pizza and to people living on the streets in and around Pretoria.Provincial initiativesProvincial administrators also honoured their 67 minutes pledge. The Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport undertook a cleaning campaign at the Mabopane Driver’s Licence Testing Centre – one of the busiest in Pretoria. The campaign is expected to create a new face for the centre and make it environment-friendly.There were other activities including story-telling, motivational talks as well as sporting activities.In the Eastern Cape, the Minister of Transport Ben Martins and the province’s transport MEC Thandiswa Marawu were to honour the 67 minutes initiative by painting road markings in Sutherland Street in Mthatha before educating learners at Milton Mbekele Senior Secondary about road safety.The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) played their part countrywide as their staff dedicated their 67 minutes to as many as 15 projects.One of the projects was the New Jerusalem Children’s Home in Midrand. An estimated 60 IEC staff members were cleaning, painting and maintaining the home, which provides residential care for abandoned, abused, traumatised, orphaned or HIV-positive children and vulnerable youth.Others include the Ratanang School for people with disabilities in Limpopo, Othandweni Family Care Centre in Soweto, and the Kgomotsego Old Age Home in Kuruman.IEC Chairperson Pansy Tlakula said she was excited at the high level of energy demonstrated by her officials nationally, and proud that the organisation would be involved in so many projects.Early birthday messages to Madiba have also been pouring in. Eastern Cape Premier Noxolo Kiviet assured Tata that her department was working tirelessly – more than 67 minutes every day – to make sure that the face of his home province of the Eastern Cape changes for the better.“We understand that unless that life of prosperity and greatness manifests for the most down trodden and poor people and their communities. We will be failing you and other past leaders who made supreme sacrifices for the freedom and democracy we are enjoying today,” Kiviet said before wishing him good health.On Wednesday evening, soccer fans at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban will once again sing for Madiba ahead of kick-off of the match between AmaZulu and Manchester United.Additional reporting from SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

Aquariums in Cape Town and Durban: a blue delight for allAquariums in Cape Town and Durban: a blue delight for all

first_imgMarine Month is the perfect time for a visit to the aquarium, where sea creatures and humans meet. The two biggest in South Africa are the uShaka Marine World in Durban and the Two Aquarium in Cape Town.        Old and young alike are fascinated by aquariums. (Image: uShaka Marine World, Facebook, reposted from Allyzahra Dinath)Compiled by Priya PitamberIt is easy for a grown-up to capture the wonder of a kid again when they visit an aquarium, where the otherworldly sea creatures open their minds to adventure and discovery.South Africa’s main coastal cities of Durban and Cape Town house the country’s two largest aquariums, the uShaka Marine World and Two Oceans Aquarium, respectively. Both are immensely delightful to young and old alike.Make the most of the last week of Marine Month to visit these water treasures.Two Oceans AquariumLocated at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, the Two Oceans Aquarium opened its doors in November 1995.Today, it is recognised as one of the top tourist attractions in the Mother City, reads its website.Through its various exhibits, education and conservation programmes, it has become integral in increasing environmental awareness.There is a lot to see at the Two Oceans: it houses more than 3 000 living sea animals, including sharks, fish, turtles and penguins.It also has an ethereal kelp forest and an exhilarating predator exhibit.WatchSee images of some of the amazing specimens at the aquarium:        (Image: Priya Pitamber)        (Image: Priya Pitamber)        (Image: Priya Pitamber)        (Image: Priya Pitamber)uShaka Marine WorldSpanning more than 16 hectares of prime beachfront, it is easy to understand why uShaka Marine World is the biggest theme park in Africa and the fifth-largest aquarium in the world.There is a lot for visitors to do: wild water rides, visit the aquarium, watch the dolphin shows, or eat and shop.There is also a recreation of a 1920s ship wreck.Watch:See some of the amazing activities at the aquarium:        (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)        (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)       (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)last_img read more