Donegal United Nations veterans to be remembered

first_imgMembers of the United Nations Veterans Association will gather next Sunday at a wreath-laying ceremony in Letterkenny.The Post 19 Branch Letterkenny will host the event and all the different associations are invited to attend and join the Guard Of Honour.The different associations and families of deceased members who lost their lives on active service overseas with the United Nations will lay wreaths in their honour. Association dress and medals are to be worn.The event will be hosted at the U.N. memorial in Conwal Graveyard Letterkenny at 2pm on Sunday, September 15.Proceedings will get underway at 2pm and the different associations taking part are asked to attend at 1.30pm.Refreshments will be served after the event in the Mount Errigal Hotel. The event is also open to the public.Donegal United Nations veterans to be remembered was last modified: September 8th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare 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

Warriors-Blazers cheatsheet: Who will head into All-Star break feeling better?

first_imgThe Trail Blazers have struggled recently, losing their last two. But, with the Warriors coming to town on the second night of a back to back, Portland hopes home cooking makes the difference.When/Where: Moda Center, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSBA)Blazers projected starting lineup: Al-Farouq Aminu, Maurice Harkless, Jusuf Nurkic, Damian Lillard, CJ McCollumBlazers Stock Report: Since the last matchup between these two teams, Portland has maintained its standing as one of the five best teams in the …last_img

Step Aside Lucy; It’s Ardi Time

first_imgA new fossil human ancestor has taken center stage.  Those who love Lucy, the australopithecine made famous by Donald Johanson (and numerous TV specials), are in for a surprise.  Lucy is a has been.  Her replacement is not Desi Arnaz, but is designated Ardi, short for Ardipithecus ramidus – the new leading lady in the family tree.  Actually, she has been around for years since her discovery in Ethiopia in 1992.  It has taken Tim White and crew 15 years to piece together the bones that were in extremely bad condition.  But now, Ardi has made her debut and is stealing the limelight.    The special issue of Science published this week had no less than 16 articles on this one fossil – an exceptional amount of coverage for any topic.  In the lead Editorial,1 Bruce Alberts proclaimed, “Darwin was certainly right” to predict that science would solve the mystery of human origins.  Popular science reporters, by habit, are going ape with “Read all about it!” headlines announcing the latest saga of human evolution.2  But wait – wasn’t Lucy the last word back in the 1970s?    A completely new paradigm is emerging alongside the unveiling of Ardi.  The scoop is this: Lucy had nothing to do with our family tree after all.  She and her kinds were on a separate branch that did not lead to us.  In fact, all chimpanzees and great apes are now on different branches.  There goes a lot of storytelling.  The century and a half since Darwin commonly portrayed humans as higher up the family tree on a continuous lineage with chimpanzees our nearest living relatives.  Not any more.  Now we are to see all the great apes as highly-evolved (“derived”) mammals on separate branches from a more distant common ancestor that was probably more like small monkeys.  Getting tossed out with the housecleaning are some other popular notions: that humans came down out of the trees to hunt in the savannah (Ardi appears to have inhabited a woodland), and that hominids remained on the ground (it appears Ardi still had the feet for tree grasping).    Most important, the new paradigm changes the mechanism of evolution itself.  In classical neo-Darwinism, traits evolve in a stepwise fashion through mutations and natural selection (the “referential model”).  Some evolutionists are now moving toward a more nuanced view called “adaptive suites.”  These are groups of traits that emerge together and evolve together as a package.  C. Owen Lovejoy (Kent State U) explained this idea in his Science article “Reexamining Human Origins in Light of Ardipithecus ramidus.”3  (Since reporting on all 16 articles about Ardi would be excessive, we will focus on this one article that surveys the broad issues.)  Before proposing his adaptive suite model, Lovejoy described how wrong all his predecessors had been:An essential goal of human evolutionary studies is to account for human uniqueness, most notably our bipedality, marked demographic success, unusual reproductive physiology, and unparalleled cerebral and technological abilities.  During the past several decades, it has been routinely argued that these hominid characters have evolved by simple modifications of homologs shared with our nearest living relatives, the chimpanzee and bonobo.  This method is termed referential modeling.  A central tenet has been the presumption (sometimes clearly stated but more often simply sub rosa) that Gorilla and Pan are so unusual and so similar to each other that they cannot have evolved in parallel; therefore, the earliest hominids must have also resembled these African apes.  Without a true early hominid fossil record, the de facto null hypothesis has been that Australopithecus was largely a bipedal manifestation of an African ape (especially the chimpanzee).  Such proxy-based scenarios have been elevated to common wisdom by genomic comparisons, progressively establishing the phylogenetic relationships of Gorilla, Pan, and Homo.Out with the old referential model, in with the new adaptive suites model:An alternative to referential modeling is the adaptive suite, an extrapolation from optimization theory.  Adaptive suites are semiformal, largely inductive algorithms that causally interrelate fundamental characters that may have contributed to an organism’s total adaptive pattern.  One for the horned lizard (Phyrnosoma platyrhinos) of the southwestern U.S. serves as an excellent example (Fig. 1).  For this species, the interrelation between a dietary concentration on ants and its impact on body form imply, at first counterintuitively, that elevation of clutch size and intensification of “r” strategy (maximize the number of offspring by minimizing paternal care) are the ultimate consequences of this specialization.So when we look at upright human bodies with all their specializations, we are to see them as suites of adaptations that evolved together out of some initial lifestyle change.  In the case of the horned lizard, some normal-looking lizard ancestor took on a taste for ants.  That made it consume more of its new prey because of the large amounts of chitin that had to be digested.  This, in turn, changed its body plan and made it more fat and sluggish.  Now it had to evolve armor (spines and horns) and camouflage for protection from predators.  So from one lifestyle change, a whole suite of adaptations evolved together.    What, then, was the stimulus that made some unknown monkey begin its path to humanity?  Lovejoy looked at Ardi for clues.  The discoverers claim three traits stand out: (1) less sexual dimorphism (body size differences between males and females), although this is speculative; (2) reduced canine teeth; and (3) evidence Ardi walked upright (though this is disputed).  To him, this means the common ancestor changed its reproductive habits.  Sparing our readers the lurid details Lovejoy discussed about genitalia shapes and sizes, promiscuous behaviors and Darwinian concepts like “sperm competition” and “ovulatory crypsis”) he deduced that Ardipithecus had a suite of adaptations that would emerge in full flower in the human race – monogamy, straight teeth and upright stance.  Maybe it began as a sex-for-food deal.  This required explaining away some of the peculiar characteristics of male genitalia, but whatever: the adaptive suite is now the preferred explanatory model.  Along with the human adaptive suite came big brains, tool use, fire, language, spear-throwing, food hauling, hugging, and eventually, abstract mathematics and music.    Lovejoy concluded that Lucy was an unfortunate detour in our understanding of where we came from:Even as its fossil record proliferated, however, Australopithecus [Lucy and her friends] continued to provide only an incomplete understanding of hominid origins.  Paradoxically, in light of Ardipithecus, we can now see that Australopithecus was too derived—its locomotion too sophisticated, and its invasion of new habitats too advanced—not to almost entirely obscure earlier hominid evolutionary dynamics.    Now, in light of Ar. ramidus, there are no longer any a priori reasons to suppose that acquisition of our unique reproductive anatomy and behavior are unconnected with other human specializations….    When viewed holistically, as any adaptive suite requires, the early hominid characters that were probably interwoven by selection to eventually generate cognition now seem every bit as biologically ordinary as those that have also affected the evolution of lizards, frogs, voles, monkeys, and chimpanzees.  Comparing ourselves to our closest kin, it is somewhat sobering that the hominid path led to cognition, whereas that leading to Pan, our closest living relatives, did not, despite the near-synonymy of our genomes.By closest living relatives, Lovejoy means close on different branches.  The old picture that they were closer down the same branch.  One notices that Lovejoy still employed the word “selection.”  That’s right; he is not abandoning Darwin.  “As Darwin argued, the ultimate source of any explication of human acumen must be natural selection,” he explained.  “The adaptive suite proposed here provides at least one evolutionary map by which cognition could have emerged without reliance on any special mammalian trait.”  Ostensibly this means that now evolutionists do not have to explain cognition by the sudden emergence by mutation of just one the “neural substrate” (big brain; see 09/24/2009).  Now they can employ the word “emergence” to an interwoven suite of adaptive traits that makes us human.    The popular media are all echoing this line that chimpanzees are no longer on our branch of the family tree.  The image of Lucy’s famous skeleton has been supplanted by artwork from J.H. Matternes showing a hairy, upright female with Mona-Lisa-like cheeky smile.  Surely Johanson is not taking this sitting down, is he?  According to the U.C. Chronicle of Higher Education, he conceded that this fossil is “terribly important for all of our thinking” about human origins (emphasis on terribly), but “will undoubtedly generate widespread debate” in days to come.  The Chronicle added that the debate will include “the question of whether Ardi is actually a human ancestor.”    One point not emphasized in the popular reports is the fragmentary condition of the bones.  Casey Luskin of the Discovery Institute, writing for Evolution News and Views uncovered statements that the specimen was “crushed nearly to smithereens.”  The substrate was chalky and squished, resembling an “Irish stew” that would turn to dust at the slightest touch.  This included the critical pelvic bones necessary to establish whether the creature walked upright.  Six years ago, Tim White himself had cautioned fellow scientists that geological deformation of fossil fragments can produce misleading impressions of species diversity (03/28/2003).  Now it’s clear he was working on these badly-damaged Ardipithecus fragments at the time he said that (see, for example, 04/19/2006 and especially the 10/29/2002 and 09/23/2004 fights).    In a second article for Evolution News, Luskin commented on the game-changing nature of this find.  Actually, Luskin pointed out, it’s another episode out of an old playbook – claiming that the new find “overturns the prevailing views on human evolution.”    Perceptive readers may also take note of the fact that White dates Ardi at 4.4 million years BP (before present), while Johanson’s Lucy was found not far away and dated at 3.2 million years BP.  Some questions not being asked are (1) which way was evolution going for 1.2 million years between Ardi and Lucy, (2) how much did the landscape change geologically in that time, and (3) is it possible these species were contemporaneous.  Only Biblical creationists seem to be asking the other overlooked question: how can they prove those dates without assuming evolution?  For some creationist responses to Ardipithecus in particular and human evolution in general, see articles 1, 2, and 3 on CMI.1.  Bruce Alberts, “Understanding Human Origins,” Science, 2 October 2009: Vol. 326. no. 5949, p. 17 DOI: 10.1126/science.1182387.2.  A short list of popular reports: National Geographic News, Science Daily, Live Science, PhysOrg and the BBC News.3.  C. Owen Lovejoy, “Reexamining Human Origins in Light of Ardipithecus ramidus.” Science, 2 October 2009: Vol. 326. no. 5949, pp. 74, 74e1-74e8, DOI: 10.1126/science.1175834.OK, so Tim White is getting his 15 minutes of fame (see 04/27/2006).  If you have been following the Early Man stories in CEH for any length of time, you know the rivalries that exist between the fossil hunters.  Every year or so, as if on cue, the news media go berserk with euphoria over the latest human ancestor fossil, essentially declaring EYKIW (everything you know is wrong).  Rewrite the textbooks; all the stuff taught up till now has been overturned and revised by this latest fossil.  There’s the Leakey group, the Haile-Selassie Group, the Johanson group, the Spaniards, the Georgians and others, all competing for the spotlight.  With a successful media blitz comes speaking tours, book deals and fame.  The competition is especially effective when you can give a cute name to your fossil – Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Ardi, or Ida.  (Speaking of Ida, that attempt at EYKIW last May flopped badly – see 05/19/2009.  Even the shameless overboard paleoanthropology crowd thought that was a little too shameless and overboard.)    If you enjoy comedy, read through the 271 Early Man stories we have published here over the last 9 years.  You see the playbook played out over and over again.  The latest contender promises that the new find “sheds light on evolution” and is helping us “understand our origins.”  Each time, numerous miracles are required to get humans their cognition and “unparalleled cerebral and technological abilities” (e.g., 03/29/2004).    This time they are trying to forestall criticism with the sheer volume of words being written.  It’s like launching a hundred decoy missiles to get the enemy to waste all their interceptors.  You can go read all those papers if you wish, but there’s no sense in taking any of it seriously, because as we have pointed out repeatedly, it’s self-refuting nonsense to begin with.  If Tim White’s brain is a product of some ancient sex-for-food game played by Ardi’s genes, without her cognitive choice in the matter, then we have no way of knowing that Tim White’s brain is a product of some ancient sex-for-food game played out by Ardi’s genes.  Get it?  It undermines his whole reasoning apparatus.  We can’t believe a word he said.  His scenario crumbles to dust like Ardi’s bones.  If he really wants to reason, if he cares about finding the truth, then he has to abandon Darwinism and become a creationist.  Then he will have the causal resources to employ reason, logic, evidence and rhetoric – not until.    What is most sad about all this is the deception to our young people.  How many of you were taught one of these tales in school?  Maybe it was Java Man (if you are getting into your senior years), or one of Louis Leakey’s National Geographic cover stories (if you are middle-aged), or Orrorin, Kenyanthropus, Toumai, Lucy or any number of other more recent tales.  The artwork is so deceiving.  Tim White cannot possibly know what that creature looked like in the condition those bones were in (don’t forget his statements from 2003).  Artists take the fragments and emphasize some traits and de-emphasize others to communicate the desired message, that this fossil has something to do with our origins.  The hair, the soft tissues, and the facial expressions are all imaginary.  National Geographic has been one of the worst offenders over the years.  The charts these people make up, placing each fossil into an artificial timeline and connecting dots between them, are just as bad.  Don’t trust any of it (e.g., 03/05/2004).   Would you follow one of these blind guides up ten floors of a house of cards so he can show you a steel girder he claims is holding up a ceiling, or a light fixture that is shedding light on a dark closet?  Their superstructure of paper, no matter how elaborate their origami, lacks substance.  What’s more, it sits on quicksand in a windstorm.  Get out of the away.    It is alarming to look at old textbooks and NG mags and see how much revision there has been.  Paleoanthropology is not converging on a progressive, steadily-improving story coming into sharper focus.  It’s stanza after stanza of the EYKIW dirge.  Playing a dirge with a hip-hop rhythm doesn’t help.(Visited 74 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

South Africa remembers Nelson Mandela

first_img19 November 2014 Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula launches the Unite4Mandela campaign. (Image: Unite4Mandela)Several events to remember Nelson Mandela are lined up as 5 December, the day the world icon passed away, approaches.On Saturday, 22 November, the Union Buildings in Pretoria will host a Departments of Arts and Culture Unite 2.0 campaign in honour of Mandela. The event will include 67 artists and comedians who will entertain thousands of people expected to flock to Union Buildings on the day.Music concertThe Union Buildings’ South Lawns will host a music concert featuring some of South Africa’s greatest artists. Crowds will be entertained by Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Lira, the Parlotones, Kurt Darren, the Mahotella Queens, Zakes Bantwini, Sibongile Khumalo, AKA, Beatenberg, Sifiso Ncwane, Naima Mclean, Phuzekhemisi, Zahara, Karen Zoid, Desmond and the Tutus, Zandile Mzazi, Supreme I Crew, Botlhale, Kryptonite, Gcina Mhlope, Di Tswina Tsa Ngwao and Mzwake Mbuli.The free concert starts at 12noon and will run until 7pm.Speaking about the arts and culture program, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa said his department has been delegated with the special responsibility to lead and coordinate programs on nation building and social cohesion.“We believe this event contributes to the significant initiative to uphold the legacy and promote the values of the late former President and international icon, Tat’ uNelson Mandela. As Arts and Culture, we are privileged to have leadership role and appreciate our partnership with Sports and Recreation,’ he said.Sporting activitiesOn top of the musical and comedy entertainment, this year’s affair will include sporting activities including a cycling and athletics competitions. Amateur and professional sportsmen are welcome to enter the athletics competitions which will be graced by #Unite4Mandela ambassadors including Comrades Marathon legend Bruce Fordyce; Ironman and 1991 Comrades winner Nick Bester; and 2012 and 2014 Comrades Marathon winners Ludwick Mamabolo and Bongumusa Mthembu.The prize monies for the 27km road race will also be as attractive. Both male and female winners of the race will pocket R150 000, with those coming in second getting R100 000 and third place winners will walk away with R50 000. On the other hand, the winner of the 9.4km run will receive R40 000, while the 9.4km walk winner will get R20 000.The 27km road run will start at 6.30am, the 9.4km race starts at 6.45am and the 5km Fun Walk will start at 7am. The Union buildings will be the starting point for all these races.The cycling competition will see professional cyclists like Daryl Impey, Chris Froome and Cherise Stander enter the fray to compete with TV personalities, politicians, comedians and musicians for top honours. This race will start off at Loftus Stadium at 6am and finish the Union Buildings.The 67km cycling race winners, in both male and female categories, will receive a whopping R250 000, second-placed riders will get R150 000, while third-place riders will pocket R100 000.Nelson Mandela Legacy CupThen there is the Nelson Mandela Legacy Cup taking place on 5 December at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. On this occasion, the Blue Label Telecoms Proteas will clash with the Springboks T20 match.Organised by the Cricket South Africa (CSA), the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the South African Rugby Union (SARU), proceeds of the match will go to the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The Proteas and Springbok team management have promised to play their best available players on the day.Everybody will cherish last year’s match between the Proteas and Springboks in Cape Town when a sell-out crowd enjoyed the rivalry between these two national teams, according to CSA Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat. “With this match eagerly anticipated by sports fans around the country, we are expecting the same enjoyment from fans who make their way to the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium,’ he said.Jurie Roux, CEO of SARU said the passing of Madiba affected all South Africans and left the nation with a duty to continue his legacy.“He worked tirelessly to bring people together from different communities and in a small way this sporting celebration of his contribution to South Africa does that in a symbolic way. The fact that a donation will be made to his Foundation is our contribution to continuing that work.“The Springboks really enjoyed last year’s encounter and I know that meetings of the selectors have already taken place,’ said Roux.It will not only be cricket only on the day. though. Fans will be entertained by top local artists and fans will be afforded a chance to collect some rare autographs from their favourite players. For those feeling lucky, they can enter the popular Hit a Six competition which be held after the match.Tickets for the T20 match are available from the Ticketpros website and range from R90 to R200.Nelson Mandela ChallengeOn 30 November, the annual Nelson Mandela Challenge featuring high-riding Bafana Bafana and a guest national team take place at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit. This year Bafana Bafana will play host to West African giants Ivory Coast and kickoff time has been set at 3pm.Initiated in 1994 when South Africa attained democracy, the Nelson Mandela Challenge is an annual football tournament aimed at raising money for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. In 2013 Bafana Bafana played Nigeria and lost the match 0-2 to the Super Eagles.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

National Genotyping Center open

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The National Agricultural Genotyping Center officially opens its doors with representatives from government and industry on hand for the grand opening of the new facility. Together North Dakota Ag Commissioner Goehring, Fargo Mayor Mahoney, legislative staff and agricultural association leadership discussed the center’s possibilities while touring the state-of-the-art laboratories.“This facility is the first of its kind for a farmer-led association, giving growers more influence on research agendas,” said Larry Hoffmann, chair of the Research and Business Development Action Team for the National Corn Growers Association. “NAGC will help growers increase production and lower costs. With so many stakeholders on hand and actively expressing interest, it was apparent to all present that the exciting potential for innovation is enormous and will lead to concrete results that can strengthen the bottom line for U.S. farmers.”The National Agricultural Genotyping Center will translate scientific discoveries, such as the information from the maize genome project, into solutions for production agriculture, food safety, functional foods, bioenergy and national security.The NAGC partnership brings together Los Alamos National Laboratory, the premier research institution in the world with a proven track record in developing high-throughput genotyping technology, and the National Corn Growers Association, an organization representing more than 42,000 farmer members.last_img read more

President Trump signs Japan trade deal

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest President Trump today signed the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement, which is an important step forward with U.S. agriculture’s fourth-largest export market. The following may be attributed to American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall:“Today’s signing marks the successful end to more than a year of negotiation between Japan and the United States. This agreement means sharply lower tariffs on our farm and ranch exports with the promise of more to come. And while we aren’t yet finished opening this market, the conclusion of these talks means we can now trade with Japan with the same advantages enjoyed by signers of the CP-TPP trade agreement. That’s great news.“We hope the momentum from this win carries through to the negotiations with China this week and sets the stage for similar bilateral agreements with other countries involved with the CP-TPP. We appreciate this Administration’s efforts to improve trade opportunities for farmers.”BACKGROUNDU.S. negotiators have been working to develop new trade agreements with Japan and other countries in the wake of U.S. withdrawal from the multinational Trans-Pacific Partnership process.The Japan bilateral agreement keeps intact essentially all the trade benefits the United States would have gained in Japan under TPP.The agreement immediately eliminates all tariffs on U.S. exports of sweet corn, almonds, broccoli and prunes, among other things. Other tariffs on products such as ethanol, cheese and whey, fresh cherries and other farm and ranch products will be phased out over a number of years.The U.S. will also benefit from increased export quotas on products such as corn starch, malt, potato starch, fructose and more.AFBF has further analysis concerning the agreement here: https://www.fb.org/market-intel/japan-u.s.-agriculture-agreement-could-help-u.s.-catch-up-to-global-competi.Contact: Will Rodger Director, Policy Communications Office (202) 406-3642 willr@fb.orgCyndie Shearing Director, Internal Communications Office (202) 406-3649 cyndies@fb.org Return to Newsroomlast_img read more

Graffiti depicting India’s diversity, culture unveiled in central Delhi

first_imgNew Delhi, Jun 16 (PTI) A graffiti depicting India’s diversity was unveiled at Barakhamba Road in central Delhi today as part of a multi-city initiative to celebrate the country’s art, culture, sports and unity.An on-ground carnival with food, music street plays and other entertainment activities was also held at the venue.Actor Dia Mirza participated in the event organised by Radio Mirchi and Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance, according to a statement from the organisers.”I’m very thrilled to be here – as part of a campaign that believes in clean and beautiful cities. “I believe that as a society and as citizens of this country, we all have a responsibility towards our nation and creating an atmosphere of cleanliness and beauty for everyone,” the statement quoted Mirza as saying.The initiative aims to celebrate India’s art, culture, unity and diversity, India’s sports achievements through graffiti.It is being launched in Delhi and will travel to Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Trivandrum, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Pune, Hyderabad, and Ahmedabad this year, the statement said.The idea behind the initiative is to bring out the idea of everyone standing up for their city and taking pride in it, the statement added. PTI BUN BUN ABHABHlast_img read more

Seven-Year Secondary-School Programme a Game Changer – Dr. McLean

first_imgStory Highlights She noted that, traditionally, secondary students who move into grades 12 and 13 are required to do the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) and earn four units for each of the two respective grades.She said that the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) is reconfiguring the units at grades 12 and 13 to enable students to attain at least 60 credits as specified by the University Council of Jamaica (UCJ) in order to earn that associate degree.“So, that is a decision that has been taken and developed by the Caribbean Examinations Council. So all students that are doing CAPE can now have the opportunity to leave with an associate degree, which is two years of college education,” Dr. McLean stressed.The NCE/NCEL training programme was designed to equip principals and Board chairs with the skills needed to effectively influence and guide the strategic direction of their respective schools; increase awareness of the legal and regulatory framework governing public educational institutions; and empower school Boards to effectively interrogate and navigate the various issues.Public Relations Officer of the National College for Education Leadership (NCEL), Toni-Ann Rankine, presents one of the new handbooks for school Boards to Chairman of Greater Portmore Primary School, Troy Bygrave. Occasion was the NCEL/National Council on Education (NCE) training workshop for principals and Board chairs, held at the Melia Braco Village in Trelawny on Monday, March 12. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Dr. Grace McLean, says the introduction of a full seven-year secondary school programme “is a serious game changer for education in Jamaica”. “What it means is that every single child, whether they are at the lowest level or the highest level, the kind of instruction that is being provided will allow them to be brought up to the required level, so that they can at least leave with an associate degree,” she noted. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Dr. Grace McLean, says the introduction of a full seven-year secondary school programme “is a serious game changer for education in Jamaica”.She explained that the programme grants sixth-form students the opportunity to leave grade 13 with an associate degree and enables them to move into a tertiary institution to complete their bachelor’s degree in another two years.“What it means is that every single child, whether they are at the lowest level or the highest level, the kind of instruction that is being provided will allow them to be brought up to the required level, so that they can at least leave with an associate degree,” she noted.Dr. McLean was addressing the National College for Education Leadership (NCEL)/National Council on Education (NCE) training workshop for principals and Board chairs held at the Melia Braco Village in Trelawny on Monday (March 12).Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Dr. Grace McLean, reads from the new handbook for school Boards while addressing a training workshop for principals and Board chairs hosted by the National College for Education Leadership (NCEL)/National Council on Education (NCE) at the Melia Braco Village in Trelawny on Monday (March 12). She explained that the programme grants sixth-form students the opportunity to leave grade 13 with an associate degree and enables them to move into a tertiary institution to complete their bachelor’s degree in another two years. New handbooks for school Boards were also distributed to those in attendance.last_img read more

Malala Yousafzai Helps UN Celebrate In San Francisco

first_imgBringing the idea of the United Nations to life required huge leaps of statecraft to bridge differences, declared Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday in San Francisco, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Charter, which he said “symbolizes the hope and aspirations that we can bring the world as it is a little closer to the world as it should be.”Ban Ki-moon addresses a ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Charter in San FranciscoCredit/Copyright: UN Photo/Mark Garten“In signing this document, the founders achieved what many thought impossible. It falls to us to heed the Charter’s call to ‘unite our strength’ and to use their creation – the United Nations – for the common good,” he said, adding that the drafting of the Charter was a “glorious gamble.”Several high-level officials attended the ceremony, including; Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman and Democratic Leader of the United States House of Representatives; Jerry Brown, Governor of California; Edwin Lee, Mayor of San Francisco; and Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, whom the UN chief called the “torchbearer” of her generation.“So much faith was lost in the trenches and gas chambers of two world wars in the space of one generation. But they dared to believe in something bigger than person or country. Through intense negotiations, the delegates realized their dream.”He said that for two months, they turned San Francisco’s War Memorial into a ‘Peace Palace.’ More than three thousand women and men took part. One of them was Ellen Magnin Newman, a high school senior at the time. She was a Spanish interpreter – and helped everyone speak the universal language of peace, he said welcoming Ms. Newman to the ceremony.With the adoption of the Charter, a world in rubble found a path to renewal, the Secretary-General went on to say, recalling that while he had been born just months before the UN, it did not take long for the Organization to change his world for good.“When the Korean War ravaged my country, I lost my home, my school, all I knew. Help came bearing the United Nations flag: sacks of grain from UNICEF, textbooks from UNESCO, and many young soldiers from 21 nations, including the United States. The United Nations showed us we were not alone,” said Mr. Ban.“Today, when I travel to refugee camps and conflict areas around the world, I tell young people: you are not alone. I made it. You can, too. The United Nations will stand with you,” said the UN chief, underscoring that every day, the UN feeds the hungry, shelters refugees and vaccinates children against deadly disease.“Every day, we defend human rights for all, regardless of race, religion, nationality, gender or sexual orientation,” and in that regard, he welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States that paves the way for gay and lesbian Americans to have their relationship legally recognised, no matter which part of the United States they are living in.Continuing, he said the United Nations had led the charge in dismantling colonialism, bringing freedom to millions. It had mobilized the world to defeat apartheid. Its peacekeepers are on the frontlines of war; our mediators bring warriors to the table of peace.“Yet tragedy has also been with us every step of the way. Genocide, war and a thousand daily indignities and abuse plague far too many people, especially women’” he said, explaining that conflict has forced more people to flee their homes today than at any time since the Second World War.“Forces of division are on the march, peddling the false promise of isolation in ever more interdependent world. And the planet itself is at risk,” he said, declaring: “We have big work ahead.”To that end, he noted that in September, world leaders will adopt an inspiring new development agenda to end global poverty. In December, the international community has committed to reach a bold climate change agreement to place the world on more sustainable footing.“These are once-in-a-generation opportunities. This is our San Francisco moment,” he said, stressing that in signing the Charter, the founders achieved what many thought impossible. The United Nations is the hope and home of all humankind. The Charter is our compass. Let us never relent on the journey to a better world for ‘we the peoples,’” concluded the Secretary-General.At an event in New York to mark the anniversary, Deputy Secretary-general Jan Eliasson said the UN Charter is essentially an expression of hope. It was written at the end of one of the darkest chapters in human history. “It symbolises the hope and aspirations that we can bring the world as it is a little closer to the world as it should be. This we can do through cooperation, dialogue, peaceful settlement of disputes and respect of human rights.”“Yes, the UN Charter is truly a gift. It reminds us – as the present stewards of the United Nations – of our responsibilities to live up to the Purposes and Principles of the Charter. It connects us to our strongest roots and our best aspirations as we reach out to an uncertain, yet hopeful, future – if we travel the right road, Mr. Eliasson said.Also addressing the ceremony, Einar Gunnarsson, Vice-President of the General Assembly, speaking on behalf of Assembly President Sam Kutesa, said that over the course of 70 eventful years, the UN has addressed severe global problems that afflict and challenge humanity’s stability and progress.The contributions of the UN to the contemporary issues of our time are undeniable. From supporting the major decolonization efforts across Africa and Asia to providing a critical platform for discourse throughout the Cold War; the United Nations has, and continues to be, at the forefront of efforts to ensure a secure, prosperous and equitable world.“As we mark this historic anniversary, we have every reason to celebrate all that we have accomplished as a community of nations over the last seven decades. We also need to reflect on how to adapt and align the United Nations to remain effective and relevant in a dynamic and globalized new world,” he said.Source:United Nationslast_img read more

Athabasca Chipewyan the tar sands are making us sick

first_imgAPTN InFocus with Cheryl McKenzie:In October leaders, Elders, members and supporters of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) rallied at the Federal Court in Vancouver.Today, they’re waiting for the court’s response on a judicial review.They want federal Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq’s decision to allow expansion of the Alberta tar sands, quashed.In addition to ACFN’s argument that their section 35 Constitutional rights were violated in the process, they also have results of an environmental health study on their side.The study links contaminants from the tar sands to incidence of illness in their community.Video courtesy: One River News (onerivernews.ca)last_img