Rare Anti-Leftist Editorial Posted on Science Site

first_imgConservatives rightly get a bad rap for anti-science policies. But progressives can be just as bad(Visited 73 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Finding an article on a secular science site that criticizes the left and defends the right is so rare, it’s news.On New Scientist today, Alex Berezow and Hank Campbell blasted political leftists for their “war on reason” with “lefty nonsense” that pretends to be scientifically-based but is not.  The caption reads, “Conservatives rightly get a bad rap for anti-science policies. But progressives can be just as bad, say Alex Berezow and Hank Campbell.”As an example, the two describe a Congressional “green” initiative to keep plastic and styrofoam utensils out of the Capitol and replace them with biodegradable ones.  It sounded good; it felt good; but it ended up more wasteful and harmful to the environment than before.  This led to their key paragraph:Conservatives’ sins against science – objections to stem cell research, denial of climate science, opposition to evolution and the rest – are widely reported and well known. But conservatives don’t have a monopoly on unscientific policies. Progressives are just as bad, if not worse. Their ideology is riddled with anti-scientific feel-good fallacies designed to win hearts, not minds. Just like biodegradeable spoons, their policies often crumble in the face of reality and leave behind a big mess. Worse, anyone who questions them is condemned as anti-science.This paragraph makes it clear that they are not embracing or defending conservatism – just calling out anti-science (as they conceive it) on both sides.  “We have all heard about the Republican war on science; we want to draw attention to the progressive war on reason.”  This statement, though, begs the question whether science and reason are separable.Berezow, editor of RealClearScience.com, is clearly anti-creationist but also anti-nonsense from any political stripe.  Campbell is his co-author of a book whose title is self-explanatory: Science Left Behind: Feel-good fallacies and the rise of the anti-scientific left.  While not letting conservatives off the hook for their “sins against science” (as perceived by Berezow and Campbell), they feel the charges need to be fairly distributed on both sides of the political spectrum. While claiming only a “lunatic fringe” among progressives is guilty, the guilt is pressing:We contend that there is a disturbing and largely unreported trend among influential progressive activists who misinterpret, misrepresent and abuse science to advance their ideological and political agendas.Of all of today’s political philosophies, progressivism stands as the most pressing problem for science. Progressives, not conservatives, are the ones most likely to replace scientific research with unscientific ideology.Strong words coming from a news site that typically takes the progressive position as a given.  “Conservatives who endorse unscientific ideas are blasted by the scientific community, yet progressives who do the same get a free pass,” they ended.  “It is important the problem be recognised, and that free pass revoked.”Update 2/05/13: New Scientist admitted to a leftist bias.  Commenting on Berezow and Campbell’s rebuke, they agreed it is right to “Challenge unscientific thinking, whatever its source.”  They considered whether the left gets a free pass by scientists and reporters.  Their conclusion was a call to freedom:Is there any substance to that suspicion? We should go to every possible length to ensure there isn’t. Unreason of any hue is dangerous; any suggestion of bias only makes it harder to overcome. Science and liberalism are natural allies, but only in the literal sense of liberalism as the pursuit of freedom. That means freedom of thought, freedom of speech and, above all, freedom from ideology – wherever on the political spectrum it comes from.Trying to explain the bias, they said, “The suspicion must be that this is because scientists themselves lean towards the left, as does the media that covers them.”  Then in parentheses, they added, “(Both friends and critics of New Scientist tell us we lean in that direction.)”Freedom from ideology?  Good luck.  Everyone has a world view, whether carefully thought out or not.  We’d like the editors of New Scientist to explain “unreason” in Darwinian terms.Refreshing as the main article is, it doesn’t even come close to levelling the playing field.  First of all, Berezow and Campbell adopt, without question, the leftist talking points that anti-evolutionism is unscientific, that global warming theory is scientific, and that no one has a scientific right to question “stem cell science” (presumably the destruction of human embryos, an ethical question, not an issue of science).  They already condemned conservatives before examining irrational ideas from progressives.  They essentially tarred and feathered all conservatives before pointing out that just a few leftists on the “lunatic fringe” are just as bad or worse.  Is this the best New Scientist can say?  It’s too little too late.  (Understand that it’s not because Republicans or conservatives actually are anti-science that gives them the bad rap; the leftists who control the media, education, labor and scientific societies hate conservatives for everything they stand for, scientific or not.)Berezow and Campbell did well to distinguish liberalism from progressivism:Liberalism, as defined by John Locke, means the pursuit of liberty. By that definition progressives are not liberal. Though they claim common cause with liberals (and most of them are Democrats because very few progressives are Republican), today’s progressive movement is actually socially authoritarian. Unlike conservative authoritarians, however, they are not concerned with banning “immoral” things like sex, drugs and rock and roll. They instead seek dominion over issues such as food, the environment and education. And they claim that their policies are based on science, even when they are not.This distinction is correct and rarely recognized.  If Berezow and Campbell wish to promote liberalism of the Locke version, though, then let them promote academic freedom and freedom of inquiry – including freedom to criticize evolution, global warming and stem cell research, without pre-judging it as anti-science in a socially authoritarian way.Berezow and Campbell appear to employ a simplistic philosophy of science known as positivism or scientism, which can be described as, “anything the scientific institutions describe as scientific is scientific; anyone from outside who disagrees is a nut.”  While we appreciate them calling out progressives for their “sins against science,” we suggest they define their terms in context of the idol they trust, Darwin.  Define sin, define science, and define reason in evolving, aimless, purposeless terms of natural selection.  We contend they cannot.  Their appeal to reason is coming from their soul, not their body; from their conscience, not some imagined evolutionary past.  They are acting “like theists” in spite of themselves.Nevertheless, thanks to New Scientist and these men for the partial recognition of a huge problem.  We wish them well on their journey toward a non-self-refuting rational foundation.last_img read more

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SADC to secure 2010 power supply

first_imgRegional manufacturers will be encouraged to reduce pressure on the interconnected SAPP power grid by slowing production during evening peak periods and increasing production during off-peak periods, Eskom said in a statement last week. Eskom’s Project 2010 MD ,Johnny Dladla, said the initiative confirmed that the 2010 Fifa World Cup was “truly an African event”. SAPP members include Eskom, the Botswana Power Corporation, Electricity Supply Commission of Malawi, Empresa National de Electricidade (Angola), Lesotho Electricity Corporation, NamPower (Namibia), Societe National d’ Electricite (Democratic Republic of Congo), Swaziland Electricity Board, Tanzania Electric Supply Company, and Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority. 4 May 2009 Some may even take their plants off the grid for planned maintenance when Confederations Cup and World Cup matches are being played. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material Other initiatives will include ensuring adequate transmission capacity for transfering electricity to South Africa, taking preventative pre-event maintenance, bringing co-generation plants into the SAPP grid, and making more use of renewable energy sources.center_img SAinfo reporter According to the initiative, announced at a meeting of the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) in Maputo, Mozambique last week, the SAPP’s 12 member countries will conduct a number of power-saving exercises, passing the surplus power created on to South African state company Eskom for use during the 2009 and 2010 football events. South Africa won’t be going it alone when it comes to powering Fifa’s footballing showpiece in 2010. Countries from the southern African region have agreed to a range of measures to help South Africa ensure an uninterrupted World Cup electricity supply. Mozambique’s members are Electricidade de Mozambique, Hydro Cahora Bassa and the Mozambique Transmission Company, while Zambia’s members are the Copperbelt Energy Corporation and Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation. The member countries’ commitment will be backed by commercial agreements, to be negotiated separately between SAPP members and Eskom, that will include targets for the supply of power generated from renewable sources.last_img read more

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Lalu calls key meeting on Monday, Nitish a day after

first_imgAmid the tense political atmosphere in Bihar, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad has called a meeting of party legislators on Monday, while alliance partner Janata Dal (United) has called a meeting of its core committee on Tuesday.The Opposition BJP, for its part, has appealed to RJD and JD(U) MLAs to pressure their party leaders to seek the resignation of Mr. Prasad’s son, Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav, in the wake of the CBI booking him for alleged corruption in the award of a contract for managing two railway hotels.Nitish silentBihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar returned to Patna on Sunday afternoon, after three days in Rajgir, and drove straight to his 1 Anne Marg residence. He did not speak to the media.Mr. Kumar and his party leaders have been maintaining a stoic silence on the CBI raids on Mr. Prasad’s premises and the charge sheet filed against Rabri Devi and Mr. Tejaswi Yadav in connection with the railway hotels scam.The “image conscious” Chief Minister was expected to take a decision on Mr. Tejaswi Yadav after reaching Patna. But that did not happen. Mr. Kumar has also cancelled his weekly Lok Samvad programme on Monday due to “ill-health”.Mr. Prasad has been meeting senior party leaders and legal advisers at his 10 Circular Road residence for the past two days.Legal advisersParty sources said he spoke to eminent lawyer and party’s Rajya Sabha member Ram Jethmalani twice.Party leaders coming out after meeting the RJD chief said they would not be cowed down by the BJP’s political vendetta. Party sources told The Hindu that the RJD chief had identified another member for Deputy Chief Minister should Mr. Tejaswi Yadav need to be replaced.Not to quitNames of State Finance Minister Abdul Bari Siddiqui, Lalit Yadav, MLA, and Mr. Prasad’s elder son, Health Minister Tej Pratap Yadav, came up at the closed-door meeting with some top party leaders. However, party insiders said neither Mr. Tejaswi Yadav nor any of the family members favoured his resignation.Meanwhile, senior State BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi told presspersons that he was appealing to all RJD and JD(U) MLAs to demand the resignation of Mr. Tejaswi Yadav.The party’s leaders have been holding meetings for the last two days to discuss the fast changing political situation. Top State BJP leaders asked legislators on Sunday to gear up for a possible mid-term poll.last_img read more

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Graduating Alejandro laments not playing more years under NU coach Jarin

first_imgJohn Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding LATEST STORIES For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. MOST READ Alejandro’s affection for Jarin, though, doesn’t go unnoticed as Jarin plans to make their final games of the season special for his outgoing player.NU is currently in sixth place with a 4-8 record and is in danger of falling off the race to the semifinals.“We will dedicate these games to our senior captains J-Jay and Matt Salem,” said Jarin. “Of course, we are still going for the win but I’m disappointed with what is happening. We’re still positive that we can still pull out these last two games.”ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netJ-Jay Alejandro has undoubtedly become National University’s heart and soul, and with his final season nearing its potential end, the senior regrets that he only played for one year under head coach Jamike Jarin.“When coach Jamike arrived at NU, it sunk in that I knew that this will be my last year,” said Alejandro in Filipino Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum. “It’s just unfortunate that we were only together for one year.”ADVERTISEMENT CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA And Alejandro’s time under Jarin could last for just two more games after NU lost its eighth game in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament following a 101-76 defeat to defending champion De La Salle.READ: Green Archers lock up top two, blow out BulldogsFEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutAlejandro finished with 20 points, eight rebounds, and five assists in a losing effort.“With coach Jamike it’s like a love-hate relationship, because even though he’s furious at you, you know that he loves you,” said Alejandro. “Even though he’s shouting at us, that’s just coach Jamike.” Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Sablan downplays UST’s potential 0-14 campaign, says others had winless seasons before Read Next View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Archers, Eagles favorites to win UAAP Season 80 PLAY LIST 02:36Archers, Eagles favorites to win UAAP Season 8000:50Trending Articles02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMClast_img read more

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IPL 2011: Trends and traits of auction

first_imgMoney flowed like the water of a flooded river in Bangalore on Saturday as top players in international cricket were bought by the 10 franchisees of the Indian Premier League. The amount splurged in the 2011 auction trumped the millions spent in the inaugural sale in 2008.If $1.55 million (Rs 7.13 crore) was the biggest amount spent till last season – on Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff – the fourth edition of the league kicked off with franchisees spending over $2 million (Rs 9.2 crore) on players like Gautam Gambhir ($2.4 mn; Rs11.04 cr), Robin Uthappa and Yusuf Pathan ($2.1 mn; Rs 9.66 cr).A player like Andrew Symonds commanded $1.35 million earlier (Rs 6.21 crore at current rate), but the trend this time around is clear – if you have to splurge, splurge on the Indian players. What emerged from the auction on Saturday is that the team owners have become smarter. It’s not that they didn’t make sound business decisions earlier or that the deals struck for the new season were reasonable.But if one is allowed to spend up to $9 mn (Rs 41.4 crore), it makes sense to spend one’s millions on Indian stars than on international ones.There are a few reasons behind it. Firstly, the Indian team is one of the top sides in world cricket right now and most of the players are in red hot form. And more importantly, they will be available for the entire duration of the IPL, unlike players from England or the West Indies.The unavailability of foreign players in previous editions hurt the franchisees, who paid them huge sums but couldn’t play them for a large number of games. The team owners have become wiser and have taken the availability of foreign players into account while deciding on their buys.advertisementIt is for that reason that the top seven most expensive players are Indians and the highest amount commanded by a foreign players is $1.5 million (Rs6.9 cr) – for Mahela Jayawardene by Kochi. What the teams have learnt is that irrespective of the quality of the international players, it will be the Indian stars who will form the backbone of the sides. They are the ones who will attract most of the crowds and will be most sought after.Another trend that was visible is the loss in market value of the Australian players. With the aura surrounding the players from Down Under fast diminishing with a string of defeats over the past year, the Aussies are not so much in demand.However, the stock of the English players hasn’t risen correspondingly. It has, however, gotten more to do with the uncertainty over their availability. In the inaugural auction, a lot of money was spent on international players who did well in their domestic T20 tournaments. But this time, the moolah has been splurged only on proven international performers as the franchises would rather take chances with unknown local talent.But the fact remains that unheard of amounts have been spent on players for a one-anda- half month tournament. Even in this apparent madness, there is a method. And the method is to back the Indians.IPL 4 teams till now:KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS Previous squad Sourav Ganguly; Ajit Agarkar; Shane Bond; Ashok Dinda; Chris Gayle; Brad Hodge; Murali Kartik; Brendon McCullum; Angelo Mathews; Ajantha Mendis; Cheteshwar Pujara; Wriddhiman Saha; Owais Shah; Ishant SharmaCurrent squadGautam Gambhir (Rs 11.04 cr), Yusuf Pathan (Rs 9.66 cr), Jacques Kallis (Rs 5.06cr), Brad Haddin (Rs 1.49), Shakeeb Al Hasan (Rs 1.95cr); Brett Lee (Rs 1.84cr); Eoin Morgan (Rs 1.61 cr); Manoj Tiwary (Rs 2.18cr)ROYAL CHALLENGERs  BANGALOREPrevious squad Anil Kumble; Mark Boucher; Rahul Dravid; Dillon du Preez; Shreevats Goswami; Jacques Kallis; Virat Kohli; Praveen Kumar; Abhimanyu Mithun; Kevin PieteRs en; Steven Smith; Dale Steyn; Ross Taylor; RobinCurrent squad Tillakaratne Dilshan (Rs 2.99 cr), Zaheer Khan (Rs 4.14 cr), AB de VillieRs  (Rs 5.06 cr), Daniel Vettori (Rs 2.53 cr), Saurabh Tiwary (Rs 7.36 cr); Dirk Nannes (Rs 2.99 cr); Cheteshwar Pujara (Rs 3.22 cr); Virat Kohli (retained)RAJASTHAN ROYALSPrevious squad Shane Warne; Swapnil Asnodkar; Johan Botha; Abhishek Jhunjhunwala; Kamran Khan; Michael Lumb; Morne Morkel; Naman Ojha; Munaf Patel; Yusuf Pathan; Shaun Tait; Siddharth Trivedi; Adam Voges; Graeme Smith Uthappa; Cameron WhiteCurrent squad Ross Taylor (Rs 2.6 cr), Rahul Dravid (Rs 2.3 cr), Johan Botha (Rs 4.37 cr); Paul Collingwood (Rs 1.15 cr); Shane Warne (retained); Shane Watson (retained)MUMBAI INDIANSPrevious squad Sachin Tendulkar; Dwayne Bravo; Shikhar Dhawan; JP Duminy; Dilhara Fernando; Harbhajan Singh; Zaheer Khan; Dhawal Kulkarni; Lasith Malinga; Ali Murtaza; Abhishek Nayar; Kieron Pollard; Aditya Tare; Saurabh TiwaryCurrent squad Rohit Sharma (Rs 9.2 cr), Andrew Symonds (Rs 3.91 cr), David Jacobs (Rs 87 lakh), James Franklin (Rs 46 lakh); Sachin Tendulkar (retained); Harbhajan Singh (retained); Kieron Pollard (retained); Lasith Malinga (retained)advertisementDECCAN CHARGERSPrevious squad Adam Gilchrist; Anirudh Singh; Azhar Bilakhia; HeRs chelle Gibbs; Harmeet Singh; Ryan Harris; VVS Laxman; Mitchell MaRs h; Pragyan Ojha; Ravi Teja; Kemar Roach; Rohit Sharma; RP Singh; T Suman; Andrew SymondsCurrent squadKevin PieteRs en (Rs 2.99 cr), Cameron White (Rs 5.06 cr), Kumar Sangakkara (Rs 3.22 cr), JP Duminy (Rs 1.38 cr), Shikhar Dhawan (Rs 1.38 cr); Dale Steyn (Rs 5.52 cr); Amit Mishra (Rs 1.38 cr); Ishant Sharma (Rs 2.07 cr) Pragyan Ojha (Rs 2.3 cr)MUMBAI INDIANSPrevious squad Sachin Tendulkar; Dwayne Bravo; Shikhar Dhawan; JP Duminy; Dilhara Fernando; Harbhajan Singh; Zaheer Khan; Dhawal Kulkarni; Lasith Malinga; Ali Murtaza; Abhishek Nayar; Kieron Pollard; Aditya Tare; Saurabh TiwaryCurrent squad Rohit Sharma (Rs 9.2 cr), Andrew Symonds (Rs 3.91 cr), David Jacobs (Rs 87 lakh), James Franklin (Rs 46 lakh); Sachin Tendulkar (retained); Harbhajan Singhlast_img read more

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London Olympics: Jiao wins gold in women’s 200m butterfly swimming

first_imgJiao Liuyang of China sped to gold in the women’s 200m butterfly at the London Olympics on Wednesday. Jiao, the Beijing silver medallist at the age of 16, went one better this time to win in 2 minutes, 4.06 seconds, a new Olympic record.”It was my strategy to accelerate in the last 50, as in the semifinal I swam too fast in the first half and it made me really tired for the second half,” Jiao said.”I am really happy but I still need to put more effort in training as it was not an easy win.”Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia won a surprise silver in 2:05.28, while Japan’s Natsumi Hoshi took the bronze in 2.05.48.”I felt nervous but strong. I feel like I’ve achieved a dream,” Belmonte Garcia said.”I thought nothing as I left the pool. My mind went blank.”last_img read more

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NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh backs away from giving provinces a veto over

first_imgDennis Ward APTN NewsNDP leader Jagmeet Singh is backing away from giving the provinces a veto over resource projects that would be built, or run through their territory.Singh made the comments during an interview with APTN News on Tuesday.“That’s not what I’ve said and those words actually never came out of my mouth,” he said. “What I’ve said very clearly is that we have to do things differently, and that means not imposing pipelines on provinces, and that means working with communities, and it absolutely means working with Indigenous communities.“We’ve seen the past approach of Liberal and Conservative governments have been disrespectful and it hasn’t worked,” Singh continued. “And what we need to do is have a collaborative approach, one that is based on the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We need to move forward in a way that actually is collaborative that actually respects and works with people so that we can solve problems and move ahead with projects.”APTN asked Singh if the issue was misreported.“Absolutely, that is something that I’ve never said. And I’ve said very clearly that my approach is to do things differently.“We’ve got a series of powers that exist but the way those powers have been used has not achieved the results. So instead of continuing down the same path of trying to do things the same way let’s do things differently. And our approach is that we actually have to have serious conversations, work collaboratively with people, make sure Indigenous communities are respected, given dignity and work with as partners not as imposing and enforcing things.”While not using the word veto, Singh told the CBC on Sept. 23 that an NDP government would not impose a resource project on the provinces.“I would not impose projects on any province,” he said. “And that means there has to be social acceptability, there has to be communities that are onside, provinces that are onside.“If we want to move forward with a project, there has to be a buy-in from all the people involved. Indigenous communities have to be onside. It’s hard work but we know if you don’t do that work the project isn’t going to go ahead anyway.“What if you’re not able to build that consensus,” Singh is then asked in the CBC interview.“It just won’t go forward.”Singh was pressed on the matter after the NDP released its commitments to Quebec, a province where the party saw a surge of support in the 2011 election but watched that support collapse in 2015.In ‘Together for Quebec’ the party says on its website that it “firmly believes that Quebec should have a say on any oil pipeline project that passes through its territory, in the appointment of judges representing Quebec, in agreements with web giants, and in any trade deal that impacts Quebec.“The NDP firmly believes that infrastructure projects which could have an environmental impact – particularly those related to the transportation of hydrocarbons – must be subject to Quebec’s environmental assessment procedures; they cannot bypass Quebec’s environmental laws and cannot proceed without the agreement of the Government and people of Quebec.”APTN asked the NDP to clarify its position.“It’s not a veto – the current approach doesn’t work. Clearly no pipeline has been built and all we’ve done is spend millions of taxpayers money fighting in courts,” a spokesperson for the party said in an email.“Jagmeet is going to adopt a different approach — actual consultation with communities, municipalities and provinces impacted to get the social license required to build these projects.”The idea of giving a veto to Indigenous communities came up during the 2015 campaign.In an interview with APTN, host Cheryl McKenzie asked the Liberal leader if a ‘no’ from Indigenous communities would mean ‘no’ under a Liberal government.“We cannot have a government that decides where the pipelines (are going to) go without having proper approval and support from the communities that are (going to) be affected,” said Trudeau during that interview.When pressed again, Trudeau responded saying, “Absolutely.”Aside from the resource project issue, Singh also talked about UNDRIP and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 calls to action in a wide-ranging interview that aired on APTN National News Tuesday night.“I believe that to build a country where we move forward and tackle the problems we have to do it in a different way,” he said. “And it’s got to involve honestly working towards reconciliation. Not just talking about it but actually implementing. That’s why we’re committing to not just vague promises but very clear and distinct things. We’re saying we need to respect Indigenous communities, and that means implementing the declaration.“We’re committed to cleaning drinking water, making sure there’s equal access to education, not taking Indigenous kids to court to challenge whether they have the right to equal funding,” Singh said. “We believe fundamentally, at a minimum, Indigenous kids have the right to equal funding and more. We have to go beyond that.”On climate change, Singh says Indigenous communities have to be more involved in the solution.dward@aptn.ca@denniswardnewslast_img read more

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