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Soon-to-be illegal Govt clearly directing GECOM

first_imgDear Editor,The popular consensus right now is that the Government will become illegal after March 21, 2019. To fully make this proclamation, we need to understand how the “Government” derives legitimacy. The legitimacy of the Government is derived from us the people accepting their authority. The acceptance of this authority is based on being governed by the Constitution.The three arms of Government remain separate so as to keep the authority of the Constitution in check. The National Assembly (Legislative) is designed to make the laws, whereas the Courts (Judicial) is there to interpret the laws, and the “Government” (Executive) is there to enforce the laws.The People of Guyana voted for a legal and legitimate APNU/AFC Government. They expected the APNU/AFC to follow the Constitution, like they swore to do.If the Government doesn’t enforce Article 106 of the Constitution, they will be violating their very mandate and they will be in breach of the Constitution, which mandates General and Regional Elections in three months after the No-Confidence Motion was passed.President Granger should have announced a date for elections since the passing of the No-Confidence Motion, or, as he is only now saying, he should have asked GECOM for a work plan since December 22, 2018.GECOM is a creature of the Constitution and with this in mind, everyone expected that GECOM would have started preparing for elections after the No-Confidence Motion was carried. On December 27, 2018, the Guyana Chronicle quoted GECOM’s Public Relations Officer as saying that GECOM would be ready to deliver elections. Now that story has changed. The soon to be illegal Government is clearly directing GECOM to any which way they want.This soon to be illegal Government needs to accept that the Legislature has ruled, the High Court has ruled and the clock continues to tick.Guyanese will not accept an illegal Government.Sincerely,Baldeo Mathuralast_img read more

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LNP Refutes Media Report

first_imgThe Liberia National Police (LNP) says it is taken aback over reports in the media that anti-robbery officers were involved with the shooting of a man identified as Prince Toe during an armed robbery raid in Central Monrovia.The LNP said in a statement released in Monrovia on Friday, that the media must be professional in its reportage as the LNP remains committed in providing security to the people of Liberia.The LNP said speculations that the victim was shot by one of its officers who used an AK 47 Assault Rifle is “unfounded, misleading and lacks substance,” as the LNP’s arsenal contains no AK Rifle, least to say assigned to police officers.The LNP said victim Toe, who is currently undergoing medical treatment at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Sinkor, was shot after a suspected armed gang who were retreating, allegedly opened fire with live bullets on LNP anti robbery officers who were on patrol.The LNP said following the shooting incident that night, it was noticed that one of the alleged robbers was shot by a retreating robber from the front at which time the victim was identified as Prince Toe.Afterward, the LNP said the victim was arrested alongside one other suspected armed robber, identified as James Logan.The police said before the August 26, incident, the victim was already among ten hard-core criminals wanted by the LNP for his alleged involvement in series of deadly armed attacks on the home of a Liberian businessman and other residents in Sinkor and Congo Town respectively.The LNP has meanwhile called on residents of Monrovia and its environs to furnish the police with needed information that will lead to the arrest of suspected criminals within their communities.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Liberia’s Judiciary ‘Influenced by Corruption’

first_imgUS Human Rights Reports in 2015 has branded the Judiciary and the entire justice system of Liberia as “corrupt.”Accordingly, acceptance of bribes by judges and juries, police harassment and extortion of money from drivers and biased treatment given alleged corrupt government officials are highlighted in the 2015 report concerning Liberia.In line with the Liberian Constitution, the report says, there should be an independent Judiciary, but the third branch of government that is responsible for interpreting the law is highly influenced by corruption.“The constitution and law provide for an independent judiciary, but judges and magistrates were subject to influence and corruption. Uneven application of the law and unequal distribution of personnel and resources remained problems throughout the judicial system. The government continued efforts to harmonize the traditional and formal justice systems in particular through campaigns focused on trying criminal cases in formal courts. These cases included murder, rape, and human trafficking, as well as some civil cases that could be resolved in either formal or traditional systems,” the report says.The report went further to note that bribery was a factor in determining which cases were tried and what the outcome of cases would be.“Some judges accepted bribes to award damages in civil cases. Judges sometimes solicited bribes to try cases, release detainees from prison, or find defendants not guilty in criminal cases. Defense attorneys and prosecutors sometimes suggested defendants pay bribes to secure favorable decisions from judges, prosecutors, and jurors. Corrections officers sometimes demanded payment to bring a detainee before the Magistrate Sitting Program.”It is also stressed in the report that there is an overwhelming pretrial detainee problem at the Monrovia Central Prison (MCP), which is in violation of the Liberian Constitution and the international convention on human rights.“Although the law provides for a defendant to receive an expeditious trial, lengthy pretrial and pre-arraignment detention remained serious problems. An estimated 78 percent of prisoners were pretrial detainees as of November, despite the large number of detainees released by the Magistrate Sitting Program during 2014 to reduce Ebola virus disease (EVD) transmission in overcrowded prisons. Unavailability of counsel at the early stages of proceedings contributed to prolonged pretrial detention. A 2013 study of the MCP population revealed pretrial detainees were held on average more than 10 months. For example, an LNP officer was detained for nearly four months without a formal charge on suspicion of manslaughter after a civil disturbance in Paynesville in April.”Juries are also accused in the report of being partial due to acceptance of bribes that influence their decisions.“Trials are public. Juries are used in circuit court trials, but not at the magistrate level. Jurors were subject to influence and corrupt practices that undermined their neutrality. Defendants have the right to be present at their trials, consult with an attorney in a timely manner, and have access to government-held evidence relevant to their case. Defendants have the right to be informed of the charges promptly and in detail. If a defendant, complainant, or witness does not speak or understand English, the court provides interpreters for the trial. Defendants also have the right to a trial without delay and to have adequate time and facilities to prepare their defense, although these rights often were not observed. Defendants are presumed innocent and they have the right to confront and question adverse witnesses, present their own evidence and witnesses, and appeal adverse decisions. These rights, however, were not observed consistently.”The Liberia National Police (LNP) is accused in the report of misconduct and corruption as evidenced by suspension or dismissal of several of its officers.It further indicated that in January of 2015, police authorities dismissed and referred to the judicial system for trial of two officers for alleged misappropriation of L$2.9 million entrusted to them for the EVD control operations.The Report also indicated that “The LNP’s Professional Standards Division (PSD) is responsible for investigating allegations of police misconduct, and referring cases for prosecution. In January 25 officers of the division participated in a three-day training activity related to a plan intended to decentralize its operations into five regions; training covered PSD policy and procedure, investigation, and report writing. “The National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) reported that violent police action during arrests was the most common complaint of misconduct.”However, the report also alluded to the fact that regular LNP officers are poorly equipped, ineffective, and slow to respond to criminal activity; although foot patrols met with some successes in curbing crimes in some areas.Limited transportation, communication and forensic capabilities, and lack of capacity to investigate crimes including violence constitute some of LNP’s challenges.“The lack of a crime laboratory and other investigative tools hampered police investigations and evidence gathering that, in turn, hampered prosecutors’ ability to prepare court cases,” the report emphasizes.In reference to the Constitution on free movement within Liberia, foreign travel, emigration and repatriation, the report noted that the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN) and the LNP subjected travelers to arbitrary searches and petty extortion at unofficial checkpoints.Regarding corruption in government, the report said some officials engaged in corrupt practices and went with impunity. It did not state who were involved.It mentioned low salary for civil servants, minimal job training, and little judicial accountability as conditions that exacerbated official corruption and contributed to a culture of impunity.According to the report, the President will dismiss or suspend some officials for corruption, while others will be dismissed and sent to court for prosecution; something that seems to manifest conflict of interest in decision making on the part of the President.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Ex-Tusker assistant named Nairobi Stima boss

first_img0Shares0000St. Anthony’s Kitale head coach George Owoko gestures from the touchline during their Kenya Secondary School Sports Association (KSSSA) game in Eldoret on July 24, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 22 – Former Tusker and Bandari FC assistant coach George Owoko has been named as the new Naiorbi Stima head coach on a two-year deal after the exit of Ibrahim Shikanda and his assistant Fred Ambani following their failure to secure Kenyan Premier League promotion.Shikanda announced after the final game of the season a fortnight ago that he would not be continuing in his role as the club’s head coach following their 4-1 thumping by KCB while Ambani followed suit in exiting the club. Owoko whose most recent duty was with the St. Anthony’s High School team at the National School Games in Eldoret took charge of his first session on Monday morning.“I will have like nine days with the team to assess the players so that I know what we need for the new season before we break for the post-season rest. I had the first session today and hopefully we can work well for the remaining days and plan for the new season,” Owoko told Capital Sport.-Throw chanceStima finished fourth in the National Super League after throwing away a chance of earning both automatic promotion and a play-off slot following a series of bad results over their last four games.Shikanda speaking after the KCC match was an angered man blaming his players for the failure to push for promotion while sources intimate the technical bench and the management were not speaking on the same wavelength.Owoko meanwhile is looking forward to help the team earn promotion and says he is ready for the task.“Shikanda and Ambani did a very good job while with the club and I would like to continue from where they left. I am ready for this challenge and my target is to help the team get promotion to the KPL next season,” Owoko said.The tactician worked under Paul Nkata at Tusker FC helping the club to a memorable league and cup double before following him to Bandari where he also worked as an assistant coach.-School gamesThe 40-year old has majorly been working for schools and won the 2018 Copa Cocacola Championship with St. Anthony’s in Eldoret while his senior team finished third. He also led Barding High School to their maiden school games title in 2016.At Nairobi Stima, he will be assisted by former Kakamega Homeboyz defender Evans Mafuta who joins in after guiding Eldoret Youth to their maiden National Super League promotion.“He is a person I know since he played for me when I was coaching at Homegrown and I trust in his abilities,” Owoko said of his assistant.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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UP TO 20,000 EXPECTED IN BUNDORAN FOR EUROPEAN SURFING CHAMPIONSHIPS THIS WEEKEND

first_imgUp to 20,000 visitors are expected to arrive in Bundoran this Friday as both spectators and competitors head to the European Surfing Championships, Eurosurf 2011.The event is expected to generate €3m for the local economy and considerable exposure for Donegal as a tourism venue.Bundoran has long been associated with world-class surfing along with the neighbouring surfing destinations of Rossnowlagh, Streedagh, Iascaigh and Enniscrone and is a natural home for the event. To boost the appeal of the event, Bundoran town is gearing up to welcome the influx of surfers and will have plenty of music and entertainment on offer during the tournament including traditional Irish and contemporary music.Mr Michael Ring T.D., Minister of State for Tourism and Sport welcomed the European Surfing Championships.“I am very pleased to see such a prestigious and important surfing event taking place in the northwest. Eurosurf 2011 is not only an important surfing event but is also a positive showcase for Donegal and the northwest region as a tourism destination.“I would like to welcome all visitors to Bundoran for this event and, with top class accommodation, music, culture, food and entertainment on offer, there will be plenty of opportunities for all to enjoy and sample a genuinely warm Irish welcome.” The European Surfing Championship is a significant addition to Fáilte Ireland’s calendar of festivals and events and the tourism authority has been working closely with local businesses to ensure that the event is a great success and one that generates as much marketing value as possible, not just overseas but in Ireland as well.Looking forward to the event Paul McLoone, Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Operations in the Noth West, said –“The development of surfing is crucial for the further development of tourism in Donegal. In fact, Fáilte Ireland believes that there is great potential along the whole western seaboard to grow our tourism industry by actively targeting adventure-loving visitors who are seeking outdoor activities and water sports such as surfing. An event like this provides us with the perfect marketing opportunity to show that market how good a product we really have.”Eurosurf Bundoran 2011 can be described as the highlight of the European Surfing Calendar with 16 European countries to take part including Ireland, England, Wales, Channel Islands, Holland, Belgium, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Morocco, Norway, Sweden, Malta.Ireland is currently ranked 8th in Europe with France and Spain at positions one and two respectively. One of Ireland’s best known surfers Al Mennie, who has surfed the biggest ever recorded swell in Irish waters (on December 1st, 2007), ranks his home country highly as a surfing destination –“I’ve travelled all over the globe to surf yet I’ve discovered some of the best waves in the world right here in Ireland. The Irish coastline faces into the wild North Atlantic providing everything from one foot mellow beach break waves to 60 foot expert only monsters.“We have waves at golden beaches, long point breaks, shallow slabs and huge offshore reef breaks – there really is something to suit every level of surfer here in Ireland. It’s amazing to see our coastline introduce some of the world’s best surfers to some of the world’s best waves.”For further information, please see editor’s note attached. More details on the event are available at http://eurosurfbundoran.com/ . UP TO 20,000 EXPECTED IN BUNDORAN FOR EUROPEAN SURFING CHAMPIONSHIPS THIS WEEKEND was last modified: September 19th, 2011 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:bundoranEurosurf 2011last_img read more

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Former Donegal GAA player robbed of €2,000 in opportunist theft

first_imgA former Donegal GAA star had almost €2,000 of valuables stolen from him in an opportunist theft outside a hotel.Three young people appeared before Letterkenny District Court charged with the robbery from the car of Stephen Cassidy. Mr Cassidy, from Gaoth Dobhair, had his Seat Leon car parked outside the Clanree Hotel in Letterkenny on July 7th, 2016.One of the windows was down and the thieves managed to steal a carrier bag containing €1,100 in cash, an iPad, cheque books and tickets to a Barcelona vs Celtic FC football match.Three people Michael Ward, Melissa Fanneran and Sarah Kettle all had various involvement in the crime, the court was told.Ward, of 78 Ballymacool Woods, Letterkenny acted as a lookout during the robbery but did not benefit directly from the robbery.Kettle, of Long Lane, Letterkenny Letterkenny panicked and threw the iPad out of the window of a car and it was never found.Fanneran, of 22 Whitethorn Close then took documents out of the bag and burned them in the fireplace of her home.Both Kettle, 19 and Fanneran, 19, are charged with handling stolen goods.The court was told that a fourth person who was behind the actual theft was not before the court and was unlikely to be charged.Judge Paul Kelly remarked that undoubtedly Ward, Kettle and Fanneran knew this person.He was told that none of the items or the cash had been recovered.Judge Kelly said that there was no question that Mr Cassidy was at a major loss to his employers as a result of the theft.He added that as well as the loss of the cash and iPad, many of the documents were irreplaceable.“This person is out almost €2,000 as well as the inconvenience and upset caused to him and his employer.“None of these three people would like to be in that position. I am being asked to exercise leniency but I will have to make sure that Mr Cassidy is compensated adequately to do that.”Judge Kelly ordered each of the accused to come up with €700 in compensation and adjourned the cases for sentencing until December 17th.Former Donegal GAA player robbed of €2,000 in opportunist theft was last modified: July 4th, 2018 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:carcourtdonegalGAASTEPHEN CASSIDYtheftticketslast_img read more

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Cloughaneely and Naomh Conaill unite in wearing Green Ribbons for mental health

first_imgPlayers from both Cloughaneely and Naomh Conaill showed their support for mental health awareness on Sunday by sporting a green ribbon on their jerseys for their division one clash.The notion was brought forward by Stephen Doohan, the health and well-being officer at the Cloughaneely club. He got the idea from the Donegal game the previous Sunday and felt it was an important matter and certainly one that needed discussed.After getting the green-light from referee Robbie O’Donnell before the game, both teams wore the green ribbons on the sleeve of their jerseys. Doohan who featured in the reserve game on the day stated that he felt it was an important gesture to make in order to help with raising awareness for mental health.“I can’t claim the full idea as Kevin Mulhern suggested that the players wear them on the sleeve of the jersey after I proposed we wore them on our tracksuits to the game,” he said.“I thought that was a much more powerful statement to make so we ran with it. I then decided to get in contact with Martin Regan just to pass it by him and he also thought it was a great idea.”The annual Green Ribbon Campaign takes place every May, and aims to get people talking openly about mental health problems. This campaign promotes open conversation about mental health and it challenges the associated stigma that sometimes comes with it. More than 500,000 free green ribbons are distributed every year to spark a national conversation about mental health in boardrooms, canteens, and around kitchen tables throughout Ireland.Doohan went on to say that every club and sport alike should try their best to wear the ribbon for the month of May and do their best to support the cause.“It’s really important to raise awareness, it’s said that one in four will have a mental health issue in their lifetime.“I suppose we all have challenges every day and life can be stressful from time to time be it work, financial, home, relationships whatever.“Following on from the great work that Darkness Into Light do it’s just another little touch and if it helps even one person to talk about their problems then it will have been worthwhile,” he concluded. Cloughaneely and Naomh Conaill unite in wearing Green Ribbons for mental health was last modified: May 23rd, 2018 by Chris CannonShare 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:Cloughaneelygreen ribbon monthMental Health awarenessNaomh Conailllast_img read more

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Darwinism Seen in Action!

first_imgAn example of Darwinian evolution in action was reported by EurekAlert.  This dramatic announcement called it a “rare example” of a “controversial theory of genetic conflict” in the reproduction of certain fish:The conflict has been likened to a “battle of the sexes” or an “arms race” at the molecular level between mothers and fathers.  At stake: the fetus’s growth rate and how much that costs the nutrient-supplying mother.    The new research supports the idea of a genetic “arms race” going on between a live-bearing mother and her offspring, assisted by the growth-promoting genes of the father.The gist of the story is that some placental minnows had higher levels of a gene called insulin-like growth factor two (IGF2).  “The researchers found that the biggest genetic changes were in those species of the minnows that had developed placentas, supporting the Darwinian theory of natural selection,” the article claimed.    The researchers from UC Riverside believe that the male and female compete for control of the offspring.  The male wants “fast fetal growth, so that his offspring will be the hardiest, best survivors and the ones who demand the most of the mother’s placental nutrients,” while the female gives all her offspring equal maternal care (i.e., equal levels of the growth hormone), “so that her nutrients will be available to support her and the offspring from all her matings.”You have to laugh at the lengths the Darwinists will go to in trying to prop up Charlie’s idol.  They did not see these fish evolve.  They admitted that “The placenta is a complex organ of maternal and fetal tissues that nourishes the developing fetus in the uterus,” but did not explain how this complexity arose; they only found differing levels of one growth hormone.  They admitted that their theory of genetic conflict is controversial.  And they committed the usual grievous sin of the Darwinists, personifying poor little fish that don’t know their right fin from their left with goal-oriented actions and human patterns of conflict.  This was not evolution in action.  The only thing in action was the Darwin fogma machine (05/14/2007).(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Another Fossil “Human Ancestor” Claimed

first_imgMeet Australopithecus sediba – or is it Homo something?  Scientists are arguing over how to classify new fossils found in a cave at Malapa, South Africa.  Announced today in Science,1 the fossils, alleged to be just under 2 million years old, are producing a strange mixture of hopeful headlines and cautionary counsels from experts.    As could be expected, headlines in the popular press tease their readers with tantalizing titillations: “Fossil Skeletons May Be Human Ancestor” wrote Charles Q. Choi for Live Science.  Ker Than wrote “‘Key’ Human Ancestor Found: Fossils Link Apes, First Humans?” for National Geographic.  And Jeff Hecht wrote “Almost human: closest australopithicine [sic] primate found” for New Scientist.  And anything that might please Darwin has to include the shedding-light motif: Science Daily’s long headline proclaimed, “New Hominid Shares Traits With Homo Species: Fossil Find Sheds Light on the Transition to Homo Genus from Earlier Hominids.”  True to tradition, PhysOrg dutifully paraded the iconic image of the march of progress from ape to man, complete with racist skin colors and sexist depictions of naked males only, their right legs or arms artfully concealing their private parts.  It’s not quite clear why most of these charts leave the highest man beardless, unless the chart is Lamarckian, in which case a spare tire should also be evident.    Yet a closer look at the articles reveals a great deal of doubt about many aspects of the story.Taxonomy: Experts disagreed strongly on whether these specimens should be classified within Australopithecus or Homo.  If it had been classified within Homo, it would have represented a dead-end lineage of no consequence to human evolution.  There appears to have been a strong controversy between the discoverers and other experts about which taxon to use.Traits: The skeletons appear to have a mosaic of traits: long limbs and small brain capacity, but indications of upright posture and human-like teeth.Provenance: Experts disagreed whether the bones were buried together, or fell through to other levels after burial.Dating: The dating depends on the provenance, yet was measured with U-Pb dating of materials below the bones.  Assigning a date is critical to how evolutionists perceive the specimen’s relationship to human ancestry.Hope: No one is claiming these fossils clarify a human evolution story.  Hopes that it might are put in future tense: “This new Australopithecus sediba species might eventually clear up that debate, and help to reveal our direct human ancestors.”Credibility: Lee Berger, the lead author of the paper, has been involved in sharp controversies with other paleoanthropologists about which hominids represent human ancestors.  Michael Balter wrote for Science,2 “Some of Berger’s other past claims have sparked strong criticism, including a highly publicized 2008 report of small-bodied humans on Palau, which Berger thought might shed light on the tiny hobbits of Indonesia.  But other researchers say the Palau bones belong to a normal-sized modern human population.”  Berger gave this new fossil a suggestive name: sediba is local lingo for “wellspring” – as if his discovery can garner significance merely by naming it that way.Candidacy: Michael Balter’s headline in Science accompanying the paper is more guarded than the popular press: “Candidate Human Ancestor From South Africa Sparks Praise and Debate.”Dispute: Balter quoted Tim White’s opinion: “Given its late age and Australopithecus-grade anatomy, it contributes little to the understanding of the origin of genus Homo.”Burial: The authors’ hypothesis about how the bones were buried contains many ad-hoc elements (see below).Sequence: Balter considered the opinion of Chris Stringer of the London Natural History Museum: in summary, “At no earlier than 2 million years old, A. sediba is younger than Homo-looking fossils elsewhere in Africa, such as an upper jaw from Ethiopia and a lower jaw from Malawi, both dated to about 2.3 million years ago.”Deflation: Even Lee Berger, the discoverer, made this admission: “Berger and his co-workers agree that the Malapa fossils themselves cannot be Homo ancestors but suggest that A. sediba could have arisen somewhat earlier, with the Malapa hominins being late-surviving members of the species.”Meaning: All Balter could say in conclusion is confusion: “However they are classified, the Malapa finds ’are important specimens in the conversation’ about the origins of our genus, says [Susan] Ant�n [New York U], and ‘will have to be considered in the solution.’”  The statement implies that the conversations do not include solutions – only questions.A second paper accompanying the discovery announcement considered the geological context of the fossils.3  It defends a hypothesis that the skeletons were buried in a debris flow into the cave before scavengers could harm them.  Others, however, are not so sure: “Geochemist Henry Schwarcz of McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, notes that the team suggests that the hominin bodies might have been moved by river flows after they fell into the cave from holes in the earth above,” explained Michael Balter.  “If so, the fossils may not be tightly associated with the dated deposits below and above them.”  Dirks et al dispute that, calling attention to the fact that “the bones were partly articulated with each other, implying that they were buried soon after death.”  A lot of interpretation depends, however, on the dating of the sediments above and below the bones.  The paper’s hypothesis includes many ad-hoc elements: carnivores were attracted to vertical shafts where prey animals had fallen to their deaths: “These factors could have operated to accumulate a diverse assemblage of carcasses in the chamber below, away from carnivore activity,” the authors speculated.  “The sediments imply that subsequent high-volume water inflow, perhaps the result of a large storm, caused a debris flow that carried the still partially articulated bodies deeper into the cave, to deposit them along a subterranean stream.”  It would seem this complex sequence of happenstance occurrences would obfuscate any conclusions about dating.Update 04/09/2010: True to tradition, the counter-claims quickly ensued.  “Please, please, not again,” moaned Carl Zimmer in Slate, recalling the hype about Ida last year (05/19/2009, 03/03/2010).  Zimmer accepts evolution but denies (with Berger) that the term “missing link” have any validity.  As for this fossil, “None of the experts I spoke to this week were ready to accept Berger’s hypothesis about A. sediba’s special place in the hominin tree,” he said.  “It might actually belong to a different branch of hominin evolution.  It may have evolved its Homo-like traits independently of our own ancestors.”  It would seem its ability to illuminate much of anything about human history is dubious.  Zimmer quoted Daniel Lieberman of Harvard admitting, “The origins of the genus Homo remain as murky as ever.”    Meanwhile, Nature News weighed in on the significance (or lack of it) of this fossil.  “Claim over ‘human ancestor’ sparks furore,” headlined Michael Cherry: “the researchers’ suggestion that the fossils represent a transitional species in human evolution, sitting between Australopithecus and Homo species, has been criticized by other researchers as overstated.”  Quotes from Tim White (UC Berkeley) were especially harsh.  He said the Berger team’s claim that these skeletons had anything to do with the rise of Homo is “fossil-free speculation” adding with Ida overtones, “the obsession with Homo in their title and text is difficult to understand outside of a media context.”  Another said the bones could represent nothing more than variation within other known species.  Another noted that the earliest Homo skeleton predates this find by half a million years.  Berger countered that the earlier fossils are less complete.  A supporter of Berger’s classification may have taken more than he gave when he said, “The Malapa specimens will rekindle the debate about the validity of the taxon Homo habilis, and will make us look more carefully at the variability of Australopithecus africanus and her sister species.”  (For info on Homo habilis, see 08/09/2007, 05/27/2009, and 09/21/2009).  Cherry ended his article with doubt: “the latest finds raise important questions about the ancestry of humans.”  That statement raises the possibility that Berger’s fossil is a step backwards in understanding.  For difficulties with the Homo classification, see the 05/27/2009 entry.1.  Berger et al, “Australopithecus sediba: A New Species of Homo-Like Australopith from South Africa,” Science, 9 April 2010: Vol. 328. no. 5975, pp. 195-204, DOI: 10.1126/science.1184944.2.  Michael Balter, “Candidate Human Ancestor From South Africa Sparks Praise and Debate,” Science, 9 April 2010: Vol. 328. no. 5975, pp. 154-155, DOI: 10.1126/science.328.5975.154.3.  Dirks et al, “Geological Setting and Age of Australopithecus sediba from Southern Africa,” Science, 9 April 2010: Vol. 328. no. 5975, pp. 205-208, DOI: 10.1126/science.1184950.If the storytellers cannot agree on their own story, why should the audience judge the performance a history class rather than a comedy?  The bones are real; the interpretations are highly questionable and fallible.  Most likely this is another extinct ape out of many extinct apes that lived not so long ago.  Wishful-thinking Darwinian paleoanthropologists are eager to divine human attributes in whatever bones they find.  They fight and squabble over where the bones fit into their mental picture of how philosophers emerged from screeching monkeys in the trees.  Pay them no mind; we’ve seen this comedy show so many times before, and we know the eventual outcome.  Someone else will appear on stage with a new bone and announce, “Everything you know is wrong.” (02/23/2001, 02/19/2004).(Visited 35 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Good times in SA: Financial Times

first_img12 June 2006Describing South Africa as “a country enjoying the benefits of high commodity prices, solid growth and low interest rates”, a special report by London’s influential Financial Times has expressed qualified praise for SA’s economic successes.Published on Tuesday, the 10-page report pays particular attention to the government’s Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (Asgi-SA), discussing it on almost every page. It describes the policy as “a wordily named plan to pursue promising economic opportunities to remove the bottlenecks in their way”.The lead article, “Good times put system under strain”, uses the example of traffic congestion on the highway between Johannesburg and Pretoria to make its point: that the country’s unprecedented prosperity and economic growth is challenging its infrastructure.“Although unpleasant to negotiate,” journalist John Reed writes, “the traffic is a sure sign of good times in South Africa. High commodity prices and a long period of solid economic growth and low interest rates are contributing to a 10% annual growth in vehicle ownership.”The article discusses the Gautrain project, the “European-style rapid rail network” between Joburg and Pretoria now under construction, describing it as “probably the best known of several government plans to prime the economic growth pump with billions of rand in new infrastructure spending”.Spending spreeIn “Black middle class helps fuel a spending spree”, the Financial Mail get to grips with South Africa’s rapid economic expansion, making the point that the share of income going to the black majority has risen from 35% in 1990 to 50% today.“People talk about the emerging black market,” it quotes a retail developer as saying. “It’s emerged.”The Times says the “spending spree”, which it ascribes to low interest rates, cheap imports and new consumer demand, has “pushed growth up to a rate not seen since the end of apartheid in 1994 or during the decade before that. The official 2005 growth estimate of 4.9% is expected to be revised upwards.”The report profiles the province of Gauteng, which with 9% of Africa’s GDP is the economic powerhouse of the country, and examines “ambitious plans” to expand the tourism industry of KwaZulu-Natal.Tourism and outsourcingTourism is one of two key sectors, with business process outsourcing, identified under Asgi-SA as having particular potential for growth, and the Times looks at both in depth.“Having tripled the number of overseas visitors since 1994,” David White writes of the tourism industry, “it is regarded as being ready for ‘a second phase of growth’ that could take its share of gross domestic product from 8% to 12% by 2014 and add a further 400 000 jobs.”While he emphasises the impact poverty and crime on have international tourists’ experience of the country, White also looks at government efforts to broaden the South African population’s participation in the white-dominated sector .“Scouting for more happy customers” examines South Africa’s efforts to compete with Asian countries – India in particular – for a share of the global call centre and business outsourcing market.“While not competing with India on its own terms, South Africa aims to capture clients looking to diversify their growing offshore operations away from India.“Industry promoters are touting South Africa’s advantages of time zone, a relatively neutral accent and closer cultural affinity with customers in the rich north than Asian countries.”The succession debate around President Thabo Mbeki, his axed former deputy Jacob Zuma and new Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka gets close attention in articles titled “Succession skirmishes at the top” and “Short honeymoon for president’s new protege”.“In today’s economically buoyant environment,” Reed writes, “investors are betting – correctly or not – that the presidential succession will unfold with minimal upset to their profits.”Elsewhere in the report, the Financial Times profiles Soweto businessman Richard Maponya, a highly successful entrepreneur who built up his business empire during the apartheid era. This was when black people were actively discouraged from selling anything but their labour – and a long time before black economic empowerment.It also looks at author Damon Galgut, “better known abroad than at home”, who published his first novel at the age of 17 and was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize for his last book, The Good Doctor, in 2003.Logged-on subscribers can read the full report at www.ft.com/southafrica2006.SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more