Career-High Performance Powers Nicholls’ Kevin Johnson to Men’s Basketball Player of the Week Honors

first_imgJohnson was 14-of-15 from the stripe in the second half, including making 7-of-8 in the final 1:16 to fend off SHSU. He converted 6-of-9 from the field, drilled half of his six attempts from long range and tallied four assists to help Nicholls improve to 9-1 at home this season. This is Johnson’s first career Player of the Week award. FRISCO, Texas – Nicholls guard Kevin Johnson is the Southland Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week, the league announced Monday.  On the court for all but two minutes in each of the Colonels’ contests last week, he averaged 23 points per game while shooting 69 percent from the field, 50 percent from three and 91 percent from the free-throw line. Johnson converted 18 of 20 attempts from the charity stripe in a win over Sam Houston State on Saturday, tying UT-Arlington’s Dink Ford (Dec. 12, 1964) for the 10th-most free throws made in a game in conference history. Nicholls split its matchups with the league’s top two squads, falling to league-leading Stephen F. Austin 70-64 on Wednesday before rebounding with an 88-82 win over the Bearkats on Saturday. The win secured a season sweep of the SHSU and secured sole possession of second place for the Colonels. Nicholls wraps up a three-game homestand against Lamar at 7 p.m. CT Wednesday and Southeastern Louisiana at 3 p.m. Saturday. Tied with Sam Houston State in the standings after the loss, Johnson turned on the jets in Saturday’s showdown for second place and poured in a career-high 33 points in the win over the Bearkats. He was automatic from the free-throw line, sinking 18 of his 20 attempts to tie UTA’s Dink Ford for 10th on the league’s all-time single-game leaderboard. Week 15 Southland Conference Release (PDF) Men’s Basketball Player of the Week – Kevin Johnson, Nicholls – Jr. – Guard – Thibodaux, La.Against first-place Stephen F. Austin, Johnson scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half as the Colonels dwindled a 10-point halftime deficit down to three, but the ‘Jacks proved to be too much down the stretch. Johnson shot 5-of-7 from the field and dished out four assists. Honorable Mention: Nathan Bain, Stephen F. Austin; Nikos Chougkaz, Northwestern State; Payten Ricks, Abilene Christian; Myles Smith, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.last_img read more

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Children should be involved in ICT from young age – researcher

first_img…sector “does not have firm plan for young children” – Ministry’s coordinatorDespite being cautioned that children, from a very tender age, should be involved in Information and Communications Technology (ICT), the Telecommunications Ministry on Monday said that the Ministry does not have firm plans to include the topic for younger minds.This was explained by the Ministry’s Outreach Coordinator, Donnella Collison, who spoke on behalf of the subject Minister, Catherine Hughes, at a media conferenceOutreach Coordinator Donnella Collisonon Monday.According to Collison, the Ministry is always evolving on its plans but does not have a firm one as it relates to ICT being introduced for children at the nursery level, although it was recommended during a presentation by a speaker at the forum.During the presentation of the findings from two ICT programmes that were conducted last year with children, researcher, Lenandelar Singh, highlighted that students are more exposed to ICT in schools at the secondary school level. In fact, students spend the last three years in high school trying to learn to operate computers, he said.It was against this backdrop that a call was made for ICT to be introduced to children at a young age, as they are often afraid to learn about computers when they are older.The presenter said, “…There are still hundreds and thousands of kids that we want to reach before they get discouraged or before they get to third and fourth form in school”.Collison, however, in response to a question posted by Guyana Times said, “WeResearcher Lenandelar Singh(Telecommunications Ministry) are always evolving in how we plan and what we plan to offer (but) we don’t have a firm plan in place for the very young ages but that’s something that we’ve already began the conversation about. It’s something that we know we have to consider”.The coordinator explained that the Ministry is fully aware that children from very tender ages are becoming involved in ICT and even detailed that five and four-year olds are involved in coding and programming activities in other nursery schools across the globe.When asked by this publication when ICT programs or subjects will be available to children in nursery schools locally, the Telecommunications Minister clarified that this specific matter had to be dealt with by the Education Department.“The Ministry of Education is the body that designs the curriculum,” she said.An Education Ministry official, who was at the event on Monday, chimed in saying that the Ministry is currently working to reform the curriculum to involve such areas for younger children.When she was asked, however, to provide a name and designation she declined.The official only noted, “I’m sure that all of you know that the Ministry of Education is involved in the process of curriculum reform and we are in the process of looking at our curriculum, we have a whole project surrounding curriculum reform and yes IT and programming and robotics are all a part of that curriculum reform.”She said that the Ministry is at phase three of that reform which is the actual writing of the curriculum.last_img read more

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Are these the men Mark Warburton should target? Possible Rangers signings

first_img Dominic Ball (Tottenham Hotspur) – After playing at Ibrox on loan last season, Warburton would be mad not to attempt bring in the defensive star again either on loan, or in a permanent deal. Ball can play at the back or in midfield and would add some continuity for the Light Blues with several new signings already snapped up. The fact Spurs have Cameron Carter-Vickers also coming through the ranks could persuade them to let Rangers have him. Joe Dodoo (Leicester City) – Don’t snigger at the name because the Foxes forward means business. The Daily Record claim the player has been in Glasgow and even trained with the club as they look to do a deal. He burst onto the scene last season, scoring a hat-trick on his debut against Bury in the League Cup and scored in the next round against West Ham too. Talking about a possible deal, he said: “It’s a great club. Any player would be excited to play for a team like Rangers.” Tom Bradshaw (Walsall) – Click the right arrow above for more possible Rangers signings… – The striker continues to be linked with a move away from the League One side but the Saddlers have announced Bradshaw will be wearing the no.9 shirt again next season hoping to stop speculation over his future. The Daily Record, however, report that Walsall have accepted his transfer request as Rangers lurk keen on a £900,000 bid. His absence from a recent friendly against Norwich looked like it had confirmed his exit, with Rotherham and Barnsley also attempting to sign him. 5 Rangers manager Mark Warburton has signed a new contract which ties him to the club until 2019.The ex-Brentford boss got the Gers back into the top-flight of Scottish football as they won the Championship last year, beating Falkirk, Hibernian and Raith Rovers to the title.Now Warburton must gear up his troops to battle with famous foes Celtic in the Scottish Premiership but to do so they will need to sign reinforcements and keep key stars.Clint Hill, Niko Kranjcar, Joey Barton, Matt Gilks, Josh Windass, Jordan Rossiter and Lee Hodson have already joined this summer, but reports suggest they will move for a striker and a centre-back.So, who could Rangers move for in the transfer market? Click the right arrow above to find out… 5 Hal Robson-Kanu (Free Agent) – After a spectacular Euro 2016, the ex-Reading forward is likely to be in demand this summer, but Rangers could easily sneak in with a winning offer. Still only 27, he could be a hero in Scotland and push the Light Blues to a title challenge with his goals and excellent link-up play. 5 Adrian Mariappa (Free Agent) – Jamaica international Mariappa left Crystal Palace at the end of the last campaign and is searching for pastures new. He made just three Premier League appearances last year but has plenty of experience following three seasons with the Eagles, as well as time with Reading and Watford, the club where he began his career. At 29 he would be a good signing for newly promoted Rangers. 5 5last_img read more

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GARDA: ‘TOUT TOLD ME LIFFORD MAN WAS IN IRA’

first_imgA Garda Chief Superintendent told the Special Criminal Court in Dublin today that she believed a Co Donegal man was an IRA member in 2010.Chief Superintendent Terry Mc Ginn said that she believed that Philip McGavigan was a member of the IRA on February 2, 2010. She told the court that her belief was based on confidential information from a source and she added that she did not want to disclose that source.The court has heard that McGavigan told Gardaí that he had travelled to an isolated rural house, which had been placed under surveillance by armed detectives, to poach deer by lamp light.McGavigan (aged 50), of Coneyburrow, Lifford has pleaded not guilty to membership of an unlawful organisation, namely the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA, on February 2nd last year.Chief Superintendent McGinn said that she had been attached to the Special Detective Unit and the National Surveillance Unit between 1985 and 1991 investigating the activities of terrorist organisations.She said that she also investigated terrorist financing when she worked in the money laundering unit after her promotion to Inspector in 1995.Chief Supt McGinn said that in 2009 Gardaí in Co Donegal targetted an IRA group in the Lifford, Sion Mills and Stranorlar area which was involved in various activities, including tiger kidnappings and shootings.Cross examined by defence counsel Mr Brian Mc Cartney QC (stet), Chief Supt McGinn claimed privilege in relation to the confidential source who had identified McGavigan as an IRA member.The trial resumes next Tuesday.GARDA: ‘TOUT TOLD ME LIFFORD MAN WAS IN IRA’ was last modified: May 19th, 2011 by gregShare 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)last_img read more

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‘Harry Kane should be rested by Tottenham for start of new Premier League season’

first_img“They need to get away from football for a while for them to come back and give their best again.“When there is a World Cup or European Championship, the season is so long. Players are not robots, they need to have a break.“Harry Kane is perhaps the best example of that – playing so many games for Tottenham and then playing until the World Cup semi-final with England.” 2 Harry Kane was top scorer at the World Cup with six goals – ahead of five players who all scored four 2 He will now have a break before beginning his preparation for the new Premier League campaign – which is only three weeks away, with Spurs facing a trip to Newcastle United on Saturday August 11.Kane told the media when he arrived home with the rest of the England squad on Sunday that he was planning to take two weeks off before returning to Spurs, saying that his next goal is to break his unwanted record of not scoring in the league in August.But Ginola believes Tottenham should give their homegrown hero extra time off to ensure he is fully rested and fighting fit for a big campaign for the club.Asked if Kane should be rested for Spurs’ first few games, Ginola told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast: “I think so.“The new Premier League season is starting pretty soon and obviously Harry Kane will need a break, like most of the players who have played a lot of games. Kane is keen to end his record of never scoring in the league in August Harry Kane should be rested by Tottenham for the start of the new Premier League campaign after England’s run at the World Cup took his appearance total to almost 60 games this season.That’s according to former Spurs star David Ginola, who told talkSPORT the Three Lions captain needs an extended break after helping his country to the semi-finals in Russia.Kane has played a mammoth 59 games for club and country over the past season – scoring a sensational 52 goals.The 24-year-old was also top scorer at the World Cup with six goals in six games – becoming only the second England player to win the Golden Boot after ex-Tottenham striker Gary Lineker in 1986.last_img read more

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BOYCOTT OF HOUSEHOLD CHARGE REMAINS STRONG – CAN’T PAY WON’T PAY GROUP

first_imgThe boycott of the Household Charge remains solid according to the Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay campaign as new figures show the numbers refusing to pay the charge have not been significantly affected by the latest warning letters.‘It is still the case that the Household Tax is being resisted by more than 700,000 households across the state’ said spokesperson Francis McCafferty.‘Fewer than 28,000 in total have paid since mid-July1, mostly multiple properties. Despite going for the easy target of those already registered as having a second property, the authorities have been unable to make any real progress. The boycott remains solid.’ ‘Another batch of warning letters is due out very soon to a list of households cobbled together from the ESB, social welfare and Revenue records, in another trawling exercise. This will also fail to get significant numbers to pay.”The group added that homeowners need to remain firm and refuse to be bullied into paying this unfair tax.“They realise that if they pay the Household Tax, they are also registering for a Property Tax of hundreds of Euro next year By continuing to stand together in large numbers, we will make it impossible to pursue all 700,000 of us.’‘Before they went on their holidays, the government decided that next years Property Tax will be collected by the Revenue Commissioners. Not only is this a vote of no confidence in the ability of the local councils to force us into paying the Household Tax, it is also a final admission that Household/Property Tax has absolutely nothing to do with funding local services. “We will have a Property Tax which is levied and paid centrally to the Revenue in Dublin. It will form part of general taxation, like income tax or VAT. There are better and fairer ways to fund general taxation like a wealth and assets tax, but that does not appear to fit the government’s agenda of making the ordinary people of the country shoulder the costs of the bank bailout.’ BOYCOTT OF HOUSEHOLD CHARGE REMAINS STRONG – CAN’T PAY WON’T PAY GROUP was last modified: August 15th, 2012 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:Can’t Pay Won’t PayHOUSEHOLD CHARGElast_img read more

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Cal Poly’s streak getting noticed nationally

first_imgBreezie Jordan, like a lot of her teammates on the Cal Poly Pomona women’s volleyball team, checked the polls early and often on Monday. When she left her last class late Monday night, the senior finally learned exactly what she and the entire team thought they accomplished over the weekend with road defeats of Cal State San Bernardino and UC San Diego: AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 “We’ve put so much hard work into it,” said Jordan, of a Cal Poly team that entered the rankings earlier this season for the first time in seven years. “We’re all glad it’s paying off, that our program is getting some recognition.” That poll’s impact on the team stops there. More importance lies in the so-called “next game” (which happens to be tonight at 7 in Kellogg Gym against Cal State Dominguez Hills), their standing in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (8-0) and where they eventually fall in the regional rankings, which will be released today. “We had a meeting, and we said we wanted to prove (our program’s worth) to ourselves,” senior Allison Anderson said. “We don’t need to prove it to the crowd or prove it to San Bernardino or to the people who rank us. And we did it.” They did it in convincing fashion, too. Freshman Jenna Young had a match-high 14 kills, and Anderson collected 13 kills, five blocks and three digs in a 30-28, 30-26, 31-29 win that dropped Cal State San Bernardino to No. 6 in Division II. The next night, the Broncos rallied from a 30-22 loss in the opening game to take the next three, 30-26, 30-26, 30-28. Anderson and senior Kellie Francis had 20 kills apiece, and Jordan had three service aces, just like she did in the Cal State San Bernardino victory. “We talked the talk and walked the walk,” Jordan said. “We never thought we’d lose that match (against Cal State San Bernardino), even when down in that third game.” The two wins over the weekend made the Broncos five-for-five when facing ranked opponents on the road, the product of a team hungry to prove it belonged among the nation’s elite programs. Now that they’re making headway in that direction, the Broncos will wear the other shoe: A lot of teams, like a 4-9 Cal State Dominguez Hills squad, will want to define their season by ending the Broncos’ run. “That’s definitely how it is,” Jordan said. “We’ve always wanted to be the ones to knock teams off, and now that’s not us. Everyone plays their best match against us, and everyone wants to knock us off. It’s definitely a lot harder to be on the top. San Diego played awesome against us, and everyone we’ve played has played amazing against us. “But that shows our strength, being able to step up and play through tough matches.” WATER POLO EVENT ON TAP NCAA Division III teams can’t compete with Division I programs on the football field or on the basketball court. But they can in the pool – and they will this weekend at the 13th Annual Claremont Convergence Tournament – because water polo teams in Division I typically don’t have more than four scholarship athletes. Brown, Harvard, George Washington, Santa Clara, Chaminade andBYU-Hawaii are the upper-division programs participating in thisweekend’s tournament, held all day Friday and Saturday at both CMS’and Pomona-Pitzer’s pools. Johns Hopkins will represent the head of the Division III class, as will Chapman and Washington & Jefferson and SCIAC programs La Verne (9-4); Redlands (7-8); Pomona-Pitzer (6-8); Occidental (5-7); Whittier (3-8) and Cal Lutheran (3-9). FOOTBALL REWIND Chaffey’s offense struggled for much of Saturday, but got in gear in time to score a 17-15 win on an 18-yard touchdown pass that Darryl Price hauled in with seven seconds left in the game. Fortino Amancio kicked a field goal, Donald Brown caught a 38-yard touchdown pass – one of two thrown by quarterback Casey Hansen (18-of-38, 235 yards, one interception) – and Bernard Payton ran for 97 yards on 27 carries. The win improved Chaffey to 2-2 overall and 2-0 in the Foothill Conference, a mark it will test on Saturday against rival Grossmont (4-1 overall, 3-0 in conference). “We’ve got our hands full,” Panthers coach Carl Beach said. “This is a different animal coming in, and they are probably (upset) because they didn’t have a good showing against San Bernardino.” Grossmont survived a 20-17 win over San Bernardino Valley (2-2, 1-1 in Foothill). Citrus ran its win streak to three games with a 24-13 win over Compton, and Mt. SAC lost its second in a row, a 31-28 defeat at the hands of Saddleback. Both Citrus (3-2) and Mt. SAC (2-3) are idle this week. TOUGH ROAD AHEAD La Verne’s women’s volleyball team, ranked fourth in the nation in NCAA Division III, ran its record streak to 55 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference wins in a row with a sweep of Whittier (30-18, 30-25, 30-27) on Saturday. The Leopards (10-4, 5-0 in SCIAC) faced Redlands on Tuesday and have two difficult matches scheduled later this week. La Verne will travel to Cal Lutheran on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Cal Lutheran is the only other SCIAC team to garner points (49) in the latest CSTV/AVCA Division III poll. La Verne also hosts No. 2 Juniata on Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Rains Center at Pomona College. Earlier in the season at the Teri Clemens Invitational in Missouri, Juniata (14-1) scored a 3-1 win (30-26, 30-25, 30-27, 30-25) over the Leopards. THIS AND THAT The men’s team isn’t the only Mt. SAC squad making a splash in the community college soccer world. The women’s team is also among the state’s best, with a 9-2 overall record and a 1-0 mark in conference play. And don’t forget the Chaffey women, sitting at 8-3-1 and 1-1 in conference play. … Michelle Daley, a senior midfielder at CMS, scored three goals (a hat trick against Occidental) and had two assists during the week of Sept. 19 to Sept. 25 to be named the SCIAC’s female athlete of the week. CMS is 5-4 overall and 3-1 in conference play, just one point behind Redlands (3-0-1). … La Verne quarterback Brian Guerrero was the male athlete of the week after throwing for 384 yards and four touchdowns against Puget Sound on Sept. 24. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img The pollsters were finally coming around. The Broncos, the lone undefeated team left in NCAA Division II, pushed its school-record win streak to 16 with a sweep of then No. 2 Cal State San Bernardino and a 3-1 win over then No. 10 UC San Diego – an effort that pushed Cal Poly Pomona into the No. 9 spot, up from No. 18, in the latest CSTV/AVCA Division II poll. last_img read more

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Birds of Different Feathers Evolve Together

first_imgAre pigeons like parrots?  Are hummingbirds like hawks?  And are falcons unlike eagles?  Scientists are all a-flutter after results of a massive genetic comparison of birds has put some members in unlikely pigeonholes.  “The largest ever study of bird genetics has not only shaken up but completely redrawn the avian evolutionary tree,” said Science Daily.  “The study challenges current classifications, alters our understanding of avian evolution, and provides a valuable resource for phylogenetic and comparative studies in birds.”    That last clause seems unjustifiably optimistic considering what news reports are saying about this study.  Here is a short list of quotations gleaned from Science Daily, New Scientist, Reuters, and the blog Living the Scientific Life.  They give you a sense of the upheaval among scientists upon finding out that birds’ appearances tell little about their supposed evolutionary history.The findings challenge many assumptions about bird family relationships and suggest many biology textbooks and bird-watchers’ field guides may need to be changed.One of the lessons we’ve learned is appearances seem to be very deceiving.  Things that are quite different-looking sometimes end up being related.[Sushma] Reddy said these quick changes have made bird evolution hard to pin down, and several smaller prior studies have led to conflicting results.  “We didn’t have a good sense of how any of these major bird groups were related to each other,” said Reddy, who worked with researchers at several other labs.Their findings suggest birds can be grouped broadly into land birds, like the sparrow; water birds, like the penguin; and shore birds, like the seagull.  But there are many paradoxes within these groupings.This analysis effectively redraws avian phylogeny, or family tree, thus shaking up our current understanding of the early, or “deep”, evolutionary relationships of birds.So why is avian taxonomy suddenly in such a state of upheaval?These analyses reveal two major findings: First, the classifications and conventional wisdom regarding the evolutionary relationships among many birds is wrong.  Second, birds that have similar appearances or behaviors are not necessarily related to each other.Shorebirds are not a basal evolutionary group, which refutes the widely held view that shorebirds gave rise to all modern birds.This research also affect publishers and birders because biology textbooks and birdwatching field guides will have to be rewritten.This new tree contains several notable surprises.  For example, falcons are more closely related to songbirds than to other hawks and eagles.  The closest kin of the diving birds called grebes turn out to be flamingos.  And tiny, flashy hummingbirds, according to the new tree, are just a specialised form of nighthawks, whose squat, bulky bodies make them an unlikely cousin.In fact, the new tree ended up regrouping about a third of all the orders in earlier phylogenies of birds.For example, the new tree puts an order of flying birds, the tinamous, squarely in the midst of the flightless ostriches, emus and kiwis.  If true, this implies either that flightlessness evolved at least twice in this lineage, or else that the tinamous re-evolved flight from a flightless ancestor.  “A lot of us actually don’t believe their result,” says [Joel] Cracraft, who says that further studies will be needed to resolve the issue.Similarly, distinctive lifestyles (such as nocturnal, raptorial and pelagic, i.e., living on the ocean or open seas) evolved several times.The results of the study are so broad that the scientific names of dozens of birds will have to be changed, and biology textbooks and birdwatchers’ field guides will have to be revised.So what are scientists to believe – their eyes or their phylogenetic software?  The results defy common-sense arrangements.  They render morphological classification (the way Darwin and his followers did it before genetics became a science) unreliable.  That is why Cracraft and others are finding it hard to believe.  The anonymous writer of the “Living the Scientific Life” blog tried to explain why the data are so confusing:So why is avian taxonomy suddenly in such a state of upheaval?  The precise evolutionary relationships between major groups of birds have long been contentious because they underwent an explosive radiation event sometime between 65 million and 100 million years ago.  Nearly all of the major avian groups arose within just a few million years — a very short period of evolutionary time.  As a result, those groups of birds, such as parrots, doves and owls, that are united by distinct morphological characteristics seem to have appeared suddenly because there are few, or no, known evolutionary intermediates that provide clues to their deeper relationships with other avian groups.She thus tried to “save the appearances” within the evolutionary framework by appealing to a lack of data.  The hidden events that led to the “emergence” of groups of birds left no trace in the record.  What’s more, the new phylogeny requires more appeals to “convergent evolution”  Now, scientists will have to believe that unlikely events occurred multiple times in unrelated groups.    The five-year “Early Bird” study was part of the “Assembling the Tree of Life” (AToL) research project funded by the National Science Foundation (10/30/2002, 09/08/2006).This entry falls in the category of “Everything you know is wrong.”  Throw out the field guide and forget everything your teacher told you about how birds evolved.  Now we know “the truth” about bird evolution.  Evolutionists play this game every once in awhile to look busy.  It provides job security.  You need the evolutionist to interpret the world for you lest you be misled by your senses and common sense.    Evolutionary theory is looking more and more like divination (cf. 06/12/2008).  The mystery religion of understanding the deep relationships in Darwin’s mythical tree requires faith in the professionals.  Ordinary bird-watchers should not try this at home.  It requires the skill of the duly possessed shaman who alone has the power to conjure up the image of Charlie in the crystal ball of the genes. (Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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SA seeks water infrastructure funding

first_img14 March 2012 South Africa is seeking international funding for its multi-billion rand water infrastructure building plans, Deputy Water Affairs Minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi said at the World Water Forum (WWF) in Marseille, France on Tuesday.“We’ve got countries coming forward and offering us technology. They’re saying they’d like to partner with us,” Mabudafhasi said after opening a joint South Africa-Lesotho display at the WWF.Asked if South Africa was hoping to attract foreign capital for its plan to spend more than R60-billion on water infrastructure over the next three years, she said: “Yes, that is why we have this stand. We need funding for infrastructure.”Mabudafhasi declined to reveal any details, or to say whether a big deal was imminent. “We are still talking,” she told Sapa.The display-stand at the WWF includes a backdrop photograph of the giant Khatse Dam in Lesotho, the main reservoir for the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP).One of the biggest projects in the worldThe project, one of the biggest of its kind in the world, supplies water from Lesotho to South Africa’s industrial heartland, Gauteng.Phase two of the project, which includes the building of a second big dam in Lesotho, as well as the boring of a 38km-long tunnel, is set to start supplying water in July 2020. It will cost an estimated R15.4-billion.Cutting a ribbon to officially open the display, Mabudafhasi described the LHWP as a “classic example” of how to manage water across a border.“Both countries benefit from the water that flows from the mountain kingdom of Lesotho. It’s a classical example of [trans-border] water management.”Lesotho benefited from the revenue it received, and from the jobs the project had created in that country; South Africa benefited from an assured supply of water for Gauteng.Posing for photographs with officials from the Lesotho Highlands Water Commission, the deputy minister assured them: “We won’t waste a drop.”Growing demand for waterShe also noted that urban migration and ageing infrastructure had put a strain on the delivery of water and the provision of sanitation in South Africa.Supplying rural areas and meeting the demands of the country’s growing economy were also contributing factors.Asked to comment on forecasts of a water crunch in South Africa about a decade from now, she said: “We’re very confident our water won’t get finished.”The exhibition hall where she was speaking had a water problem of its own around midday on Tuesday.While several of the country stands inside the hall displayed dozens of ingenious water and sanitation devices, a queue was forming outside the door of the venue’s single, three-toilet restroom.Sapalast_img read more

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How Blockchain Can Put an End to Conflict Minerals

first_imgTrends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industry Tags:#Africa#Blockchain Tatsiana Levdikova Blockchain – Impending Revolution in Glob… Related Posts What Nobody Teaches You About Getting Your Star… Tatsiana Levdikova is a Content Marketer at OpenLedger ApS, a blockchain development company. She is passionate about blockchain, IoT, health IT, natural language processing, web and software design and development, and more. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of where their products are coming from. Ethically sourced materials have become a selling point for companies around the world. More and more companies are working on ditching conflict minerals and ensuring that their products are not associated with human rights abuses. Blockchain can put an end to conflict minerals globally.Note that conflict minerals remain a big problem today. Take the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), for example. It is the second largest country in Africa, a land full of natural resources such as gold, diamonds, and oil. More than 64% of the Congolese population is extremely poor — living on less than $2.00 a day.Conflict Minerals in CongoThe country has been torn apart by political conflicts and corruption. In this war-torn nation, only in 2017 and 2018 alone, more than two million people have been displaced. More than five million people died in the region between 1998 and 2007. That is more than half a million people per year.What is worse is that armed groups present in the country exploit Congo’s natural resources to fund these conflicts. In 2008, they were able to raise over $180 million from mining there. Many of the mines in Congo function through the use of intimidation, slavery, and child labor.These children are forced to work in extreme conditions at all points of the supply chain, from mineral excavation and processing up until trading and transportation. Rather than going to school or playing with their friends, these children are being forced to spend days sorting through dirt to find precious minerals. The mines are their playground, and the soil is their toy.However, unlike conventional playgrounds, these are anything but safe. Mines are hazardous and are no place for a child. Children in mines are often injured or killed from mining accidents. Death and suffering from poisoning due to overexposure to mercury — which is used to process gold — is common.Watch an episode of the 2008 series of “House,” and watch an actor try to portray what metal poisoning feels like. Now picture these small children exposed to this torture. Both adults and children develop respiratory diseases from exposure to dust and other harmful substances present in mines.Illegal mines damage wildlife by destroying habitats in surrounding areas killing birds, animals, and other creatures living there. Hunting pressure and commercial bushmeat trafficking also have devastating effects on wildlife.Steps to Decrease Forced Labor and Human Right AbusesNations throughout the globe are finally beginning to realize that something needs to be done. Many of the materials these illegal mines produce are present in objects we use on a daily basis.The four most commonly mined conflict minerals are gold, coltan, wolframite which is used for tungsten, and cassiterite, which is used for tin. These items are found throughout items many of us use on a daily basis — including TVs, cellphones, cars, computers and many other electronics.Additionally, these minerals are also found on airplanes and larger devices that primarily function with the use of electronics. Considering many of these items are developed within the U.S., in 2010 a new set of regulations was introduced to help aid in the reduction of forced labor, human rights abuses, and wildlife losses.The Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 and Other RegulationsSection 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act requires that businesses operating in the United States ensure that the resources they are using in their products are not being sourced from conflict mines. Again, this is in the mining for gold, coltan, wolframite which is used for tungsten, and cassiterite which is used for tin.The Dodd-Frank Act was made in 2010 in an era of responsibility — when all people are calling on global initiatives for protection for those who don’t have a voice. It calls on companies that require these resources to perform due diligence when sourcing materials.The 2010 act and other regulations require that businesses keep a better eye on their supply chains, which ultimately means increased transparency and gaining the ability to tell where their company materials come from. This legislation also requires visibility about the types of labor practices being conducted in those regions.Similar regulations are now being established within the EU as well. The EU Conflict Minerals Regulation will come into effect in January 2021. Like the Dodd-Frank Act, it requires businesses operating in the EU to do their due diligence when sourcing materials for their products.Companies will then have to provide a Conflict Minerals Report, which would need to be audited by an independent audit company, whose costs typically start from $25,000 per report for a small company, and from $100,000 for a larger one.All of this means a lot of expenses that small, medium-sized, and large businesses will have to account for down the road. It’s estimated these new regulations would affect between 600 to 1,000 EU businesses.A 2016 study by Amnesty International found that companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung possibly used cobalt in their products that had been collected from mines using child laborers. That means many of the iPhones being used daily and the Microsoft computers we are using — currently, operate on child labor.So although the Dodd-Frank Act went into law in 2010, the issues remain and are spreading on a massive scale. The advent of millennials becoming a more substantial purchasing power will help all of us. The millennial has their eyes cast upon saving the planet — and gaining civil rights for all persons globally. Companies will be forced to show accountability at some point.The Effects of New RegulationThe Dodd-Frank Act and the EU mineral regulations have brought up intense auditing systems that require companies to spend significant amounts of money to ensure their products are being developed ethically. Despite how expensive these audits are, they’re not genuinely effective — but they will be.Modern auditing is mainly performed through random sampling, meaning verification is only conducted from random information. This means a business might be able to luck out (as they suppose) for a while — but not forever.Blockchain can track everything, making random sampling audits using a method that can look into the past. These companies will do better in these coming future audits — if they will fix their lapses of judgment (and mining), now.How Blockchain Functions in AuditingBlockchain technology has the potential to ensure compliance, reduce audit costs, and protect human rights, eliminating forced and child labor in mineral mining. Although this technology is mainly used to increase supply chain efficiency, it can be adapted to make sourcing more ethical as well.With all points in a supply chain linked to the blockchain, all aspects of mines can be uploaded to the chain, such as details about the workforce, production, quality of minerals, the prevalence of minerals, and many others. With blockchain, every aspect of mineral products can be logged and looked back at when necessary.Blockchain requires a majority vote for previous information, or “blocks,” to be altered, which ultimately ensures there would be no chance of foul play. Each member of the chain will have the ability to see what has been added, and exactly when it is added.Does Blockchain Mean the End of Auditing?Auditing institutions can learn to adopt the technology to provide a more efficient and effective auditing service. Currently, auditing relies on methods that sometimes offer illegitimate results, and an audit conducted through random sampling can hardly be considered an audit at all, but more a “game of chances.”However, auditing companies could develop their own blockchain services. Plus, with blockchain auditors could provide more consistent testing. Not only auditors, but corporations themselves could be positive that they are not utilizing illegal or child labor practices.Current Blockchain Use Cases in Eliminating Conflict MineralsEliminating conflict materials has never been an easy task. Even with global companies performing their due diligence, there’s often no way for them to know or find out if conflict minerals got their way into the supply chain due to the number of intermediaries the mining industry traditionally has.Until recently, the $600 billion mineral industry did not have any real means actually to track itself. It all started changing just recently, with the help of blockchain.German company Minespider has introduced a blockchain-based solution that tracks the entire mineral cycle, from mining to shipment and payment. Their system works in three stages: certification, transfer, and report.During the first certification stage, Minespider gets certifications of mineral sources from their partner company, BetterChain. The confirmed, certified mines then receive electronic certification tokens, which are based on their production tonnage. These certifications are subject to annual audit and review.During the transfer stage, the purchaser gets a number of tokens equivalent to the ordered tonnage, transferred to their account via blockchain. In the third and final reporting stage, the report is generated, showing the percentage of documented material that moves through the supply chain. This makes the whole process as transparent and straightforward as possible, allowing mineral mining companies to ensure compliance and save on auditing costs as well instantly.Making Society Safer with BlockchainWhy do conflict minerals continue to exist? Why do workers continue to be injured or killed in mines? The answer is simple: our supply chains lack the necessary amount of transparency. Blockchain technology can sustain more transparent supply chains.Its ability to act as an immutable digital ledger is improving industries across the globe. It is making the medical industry more effective, decreasing shipping times with better and swifter communication, changing the way we bank, and increasing trust and accountability throughout business transactions.By using blockchain to increase transparency in the supply chain, we are taking the first step to ridding the world of conflict minerals altogether. Why is Bitcoin Soaring?last_img read more

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