VP Bokai: “We Cannot Afford Distractions”

first_imgThe President of the Liberian Senate, Vice President Joseph N. Boakai has admonished current and incoming members of the Liberian Senate that the state of affairs of the 4th Session must summon the best out of them.Addressing the opening of the first sitting of the 4th Session of the 53rd Legislature in the Senate Chamber yesterday, Vice President Boakai warned Senators against being distracted.  He cautioned that they cannot afford distraction, adding, “The sacred trust placed in each of you must be upheld.”The President of the Senate continued: “Let us remind ourselves as I have always reminded you, that this is the Upper House; the House of Elders. Actions and utterances from here should accordingly be as elevated as they are virtuous.”During his January 14, 2014 message to the 3rd Session, Vice President Boakai brandished the possibility of a scenario in which the Senate could end up ushering in a dominance of new faces to take up most of the 15 open seats.And true to his somewhat prophetic hint, and evidenced by prevailing declarations and pronouncements, only two of the 15 seats were retained, those of Senators Jewel Howard-Taylor (Bong) and Prince Yormie Johnson (Nimba).Vice President Boakai challenged the Senators, saying “we have a lot more to do. We should not proceed from here without acknowledging that that as the Secretary of the Senate’s record shows, the majority of those Legislations received in our 3rd session still linger in committee rooms as we enter upon our 4th session.”Ambassador Boakai recalled that the Senate entered the 3rd Session with 65 legislations in committee rooms, “while today we turn the door knob open on this 4th Session with 72,” adding that the enormity of challenge in the 4th session is more as manifested in the critical nature of some of the legislations that await their disposition.Among the 72 challenging legislations in committee rooms are: the Land Act, National Youth Act of Liberia 2013; An Act to establish the National Infrastructural Plans; An Act to Amend the Telecommunications Act of 2007; the proposed Pension Bill, and an Act to Establish the Fire-Arms and Ammunition Control Act of Liberia.In a related development, 12 of the15 Senators-elect yesterday presented certificates of election and credentials to the Secretary of the Senate, which is in accordance with Chapter 2, Rule 1 Section 1of the Standing Rule of the Senate.Senators-elect from Bomi, Margibi and Grand Cape Mount Counties however, were absent from the program due to injunctions filed against them resulting from the just ended Special Senatorial Elections.In accordance with the dictates of Senate plenary, a motion was proffered and seconded that the certificates and credentials received by the Secretary of the Senate be referred to the Committee on Rules, Order & Administration, which will examine them and submit a report to the plenary for further action.Meanwhile, according to Secretary of Senate J. Nanborlor F. Singbeh, the act of inducting the newly elected Senators is predicated upon the report from the Committee on Rule, Order & Administration, which may happen today during the first official plenary sitting of the 4th Session.  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Yet Another Dinosaur Extinction Theory: Bugs

first_imgA press release from Oregon State claims that insects may have finished off the dinosaurs.  Two main reasons were given for this hypothesis: (1) the extinction coincides with the rise of flowering plants and their pollinators, and (2) the impact theory has serious problems.“There are serious problems with the sudden impact theories of dinosaur extinction, not the least of which is that dinosaurs declined and disappeared over a period of hundreds of thousands, or even millions of years,” said George Poinar Jr., a courtesy professor of zoology at Oregon State University.  “That time frame is just not consistent with the effects of an asteroid impact.  But competition with insects, emerging new diseases and the spread of flowering plants over very long periods of time is perfectly compatible with everything we know about dinosaur extinction.”The theory actually proposes a brew of toxic effects, including geological catastrophes like impacts and volcanoes, mixed in with new diseases from biting insects.  George and Roberta Poinar have found evidence of “leishmania, malaria, intestinal parasites, arboviruses and other pathogens” in dinosaur coprolites (fossil dung) and in the guts of amber-entombed insects.  They suggest that waves of epidemics caused dinosaur extinction over a long period of time.    Rather than a single event, therefore, the Poinars propose that “The confluence of new insect-spread diseases, loss of traditional food sources, and competition for plants by insect pests could all have provided a lingering, debilitating condition that dinosaurs were ultimately unable to overcome.”    Science Daily posted the hypothesis with a picture of a tick encased in amber.One would think that the highly-versatile and adaptable dinosaurs would have enjoyed some nice salad after millions of years of pine cones and ferns.  Maybe they couldn’t get used to the taste of broccoli.  Now that 25 years of animations of horrific space bombardments have to go out the window, it’s open season for you to propose your own theory about dinosaur extinction.  Add to the historic list: diarrhea, cosmic rays, poached eggs, tobacco (Gary Larson), asteroids, and not listening to Mom (see ARN for more ideas).    All these hypotheses fail to explain why so many contemporary creatures avoided the extinction – including some good-size mammals and birds (the reputed dinosaurs of today).  Remember that dinosaurs came in a wide variety of sizes.  They roamed the entire planet – including Antarctica (12/12/2007).  Whatever killed them off must have been both global and very selective.    Since we now know that soft tissue, proteins and maybe even blood has been preserved in some dinosaurs, indicating that they lived much more recently than assumed by evolutionists, put the pieces together.  Maybe humans killed off the remaining ones after the Flood.  Professor Noah from the University of Ark claims that this hypothesis is “perfectly compatible with everything we know about dinosaur extinction.”(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

New centre to enhance food security

first_imgRay Maota Through the 2003 Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security in Africa, countries on the continent committed to allocating at least 10% of their national budgetary resources to agriculture and rural development within five years. (Image: International Land Coalition) Mompati Merafhe, vice-president of SADC, urged the centre to put both regional and international resources to good use and to launch new technologies that would enhance the productivity of small-scale and commercial farming operations. (Image: Wikipedia) MEDIA CONTACTS • Southern African Development Community  +267 395 1863 RELATED ARTICLES • SA allocates R500m for black farmers • Quality inputs for Kenya’s farmers • First World Forestry Congress for South Africa • R104m leg-up for Zim cotton farmersFood security efforts in Southern Africa have been boosted by the launch of a new organisation focusing on agricultural research and innovation.The Centre for the Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development in Southern Africa (CCARDESA) opened in mid-July 2011 in Botswana.An initiative of Southern African Development Community (SADC), the centre is based at the Ministry of Agriculture in the nation’s capital city, Gaborone.The SADC aims to facilitate the economic integration of all Southern African countries and improve living standards, social justice and sustainable growth throughout the region.Christian de Graaff, Botswana’s minister of agriculture, said at the launch: “The issue of food security is particularly challenging to our region because despite the various challenges we have, the region is endowed with reasonable resources that, if put to good use, can change the situation.“Food security is undeniably one of the major challenges that the world has to deal with.  Food insecurity is more pronounced in our continent Africa and particularly prone in our region, hence it is a priority for all of us.”Research and innovationResearch, technology and innovation have been identified as key ways to achieve food security for SADC member states and the continent as a whole.The centre will help facilitate joint regional research programmes, the sharing of research information and resources, while also strengthening partnership ties.The research and development centre is hoping to help SADC countries reach their Millennium Development Goals through the coordination of the SADC’s Multi-country Agriculture Productivity Programme.It will also address challenges the SADC countries face in trying to feed over 250-million people.Mompati Merafhe, vice-president of SADC said: “To keep pace with population growth and other life demands, research and technology development must remain focused and ahead of time. Africa must position herself to compete with the best in the global market.“The theme for this meeting is Research and Development:  Key to Food Security. I find the theme both timely and appropriate.”Merafhe urged the centre to put both regional and international resources to good use and to launch new technologies that would enhance the productivity of small-scale and commercial farming operations.Agriculture vital for food securityHeads of states on the continent endorsed the Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security in Africa in July 2003.Through this declaration, African states committed to allocating at least 10% of their national budgetary resources to agriculture and rural development within five years.Merafhe said: “We cannot afford to ignore the fact that agriculture is the backbone of most SADC states as about 80% of our people depend on the sector for food, employment and income.”Botswana has identified and funded agricultural programmes involving backyard gardening and bee-keeping to eradicate poverty in the country.Merafhe added that African countries needed to have faith in their scientists, who have an abundance of traditional knowledge, and use this to drive agriculture on the continent so that it could compete with the rest of the world.Rural development programmeAs part of its poverty reduction plan, South Africa initiated the R54-million comprehensive rural development programme in Louis Trichardt, in the Limpopo province, in 2010.The programme, funded by the National Lotteries Board, is a partnership between the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform; the NGO Resource Africa and the Matsila Community Development Trust.Zwelivelile Mandela, a portfolio member of parliament for rural development and land reform, said at the launch of the programme: “This government is conscious that our people in rural areas face the harshest conditions of poverty, food insecurity and lack of access to basic services on an almost daily basis. Women, in particular, who form the majority of residents in rural areas, face the burden of poverty even more.”Mandela aded that the government will prioritise rural development across the country over the next five years.last_img read more

Social Revolution: Crowdsourcing For Change

first_imgRelated Posts Tags:#Government#People in Tech#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market michael tchong A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting How often have you thought our country needs to change? That something is fundamentally and systemically wrong that needs fixing? And that things could be fixed if we leveraged social media to find the best ideas to agree on?In the world of technology, we’re used to upheaval. In fact, we rely on it to drive innovation and improvements. So why can’t we use technology to solve some of the underlying problems we all agree need to change?Technology innovations have often been able to fill gaps – even leapfrog them in many cases – between our “old world” habits and the demands of the “new world.”How Technology Plugs GapsApple is a classic example of what I’m talking about. We used to live in a world where music lived on compact discs. Then came MP3 files, which made music infinitely more accessible – too accessible some might say. But it took Apple to make buying music and transferring it to a portable player easy, putting your entertainment microcosm in the palm of your hand. Today, the iTunes Store is the world’s largest music retailer.Another revolution is taking place in retailing, where the use of “big data” – the technology of parsing huge amounts of customer information to help companies like Target, for example, identify whether a female shopper is pregnant and offer her appropriate products – is significantly reshaping marketing.This type of insight has privacy advocates up in arms. Technology’s benefits often cut both ways, yet it’s evident that this type of arrangement holds the potential to benefit both marketers and consumers – letting Target offer shoppers useful and timely promotions without consumers having to lift a finger.In our high-speed world ruled by Time Compression, nothing has roiled financial markets more than the art of high-frequency trading, which combines sophisticated algorithms with millisecond performance to give equity traders a distinct advantage.And in education, perhaps the thorniest challenge of all, Khan Academy has made giant strides using a primitive set of YouTube videos that can be watched for free. This is a remarkable achievement considering U.S. spending on education has jumped 17-fold since 1970 without a lot to show for it. Change Everyone Can Believe InThese examples vividly illustrate how technology has brought beneficial change to entertainment, retailing and education, so the question is why can’t we use technology to change the body politic?As the founder of Social Revolution, I am trying to do just that. Social Revolution aims to harness innovative ideas through crowdsourcing, and distill them into a “Business Plan for U.S.A.” to help propel the country forward.We’re going to crowdsource ideas in five key areas – education, healthcare, business, finance and government. All these sectors are clearly ripe for a major disruption.To manage the idea stream, we’re relying on an innovative crowdsourcing platform from Pleasanton, Calif.-based Spigit. If you’re a company or individual that wants real change, and have a cogent idea about how to implement it, we want to hear from you. If you’re using technology to make things better, we need to hear from you.At Social Revolution, we believe that applying the new technologies offered by social media will unleash the power of ideas and turn the status quo on its head. Crowdsourcing has already shown its disruptive power in a number of fields.Wikipedia is perhaps the best-known example of a crowdsourcing success story, leading Encyclopedia Britannica to give up on its print edition earlier this year.Yelp has similarly reinvented the restaurant review business, while TripAdvisor has upended the travel industry with its incisive crowdsourced reviews.The time is certainly right. A surging interest in “clicktivism” has enabled Change.org to sign up 13 million clicktivists, proving that our population wants to get more engaged and involved.As President John F. Kennedy once said, “A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.” To put a sharper point on it, allow me to paraphrase Steve Jobs’ pitch to hire Pepsi’s John Sculley, “Do you want to read sugar water the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?” last_img read more

One more holy cross desecrated

first_imgPANAJI: The desecration of religious artefacts in South Goa district continued on Friday, with another Catholic cross vandalised in Margao in the early hours of the day. A spokesperson for the Goa Police said, “The desecration of the cross occurred in the Calconda area in Margao.” This is the seventh instance of desecration of a religious artefact in South Goa in the last few weeks. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had earlier called the desecrations an attempt to disturb the communal harmony of the State. Goa and Daman Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao had urged the police to crack the cases, and called on people to maintain peace and harmony.last_img

US Open fashion: Crystals, shapes and knee-high socks

first_imgAfter her first-round upset of No. 2-seeded Simona Halep, a triumphant Sharapova even gave her fashion choices a little plug.“Behind all these Swarovski crystals and little black dresses, this girl has a lot of grit,” she said.But for those seeking to get Sharapova’s dress to make the ultimate tennis club entrance, it won’t come cheap. Nike stores sell them for $500 — $700 for the matching warm-up jacket.The prevailing fashion theme at Flushing Meadows seemed to be designs with geometric shapes of color, bold but more understated than last year’s fluorescent reds, oranges and yellows. (Rafael Nadal bucked that trend with a bright pink shirt).Rising star Dominic Thiem led a slew of players wearing Adidas’ most ubiquitous kit, also designed by Williams, featuring big rectangles of red, blue and yellow. Top-seeded woman Karolina Pliskova wore a Fila skirt made up of tiny triangles of blue and red.And then there was tour rebel Fabio Fognini, whose rain-delayed match Tuesday was expected to feature him in one of the most daring designs of all: a mostly black outfit from Hydrogen emblazoned on the back with a huge tattoo-like design of a snarling rattlesnake ready to strike. Nadal says it’s noisy under US Open roof, despite changes LATEST STORIES UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Read Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Zverev himself acknowledged after his match ended early Tuesday that he was thinking about doing the same, but was mindful Williams was sitting in his spectator box.“Obviously I didn’t want to disappoint him and put them down a little while he’s watching me,” he said.Maria Sharapova got a much different reaction when she took the court Monday under the lights at Ashe, her first Grand Slam appearance after serving a 15-month ban from the game for doping. The Russian sported a black Nike mini dress that featured lace in the sleeveless top and shimmering Swarovski crystals dotting the skirt.“She’s got lace AND sequins,” Chris Evert commented during the ESPN broadcast. “She’s all sparkly.”Sharapova said in an interview with Vogue that she and designer Riccardo Tisci chose black for her night matches because it is the same color she wore on her way to her lone U.S. Open title in 2006 and because it evokes the image of “Audrey Hepburn and her classic Givenchy dress.”ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:46Duterte has only scratches on elbow, knee after motorcycle accident — Go00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Alexander Zverev, of Germany, returns as shot to Darian King, of Barbados, during the first round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)NEW YORK — Crystals, shapes and knee-high socks.Some players at this year’s U.S. Open are making daring fashion choices that scream everything from shimmering sophistication to retro dorky. And in the age of social media, the reaction — good and bad — can come in as fast as a 120-mph serve.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding MOST READ LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Take the Twitter backlash to No. 4-seeded Alexander Zverev’s getup for his first-round match: a pinstriped shirt and striped headband that evoked Bjorn Borg, and striped knee-high socks that some fans compared to Will Ferrell’s 1970s basketball player look from the movie “Semi-Pro.”It was part of a line designed for Adidas by Pharrell Williams, the musical artist behind the hit “Happy.” Critics of his Zverev ensemble were more “Snarky.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Zverev’s socks make me want to vomit,” said one Twitter critic. Added others: “Preoccupied with Zverev’s schoolgirl-meets-Borg look.” … “He was moving slow because he was wearing an extra 10 pounds of socks.”Even the Adidas store a few steps away from Arthur Ashe Stadium seemed to downplay the $35 knee-highs in its picture-window displays. Mannequins wore them scrunched down around their ankles. View commentslast_img read more

I’d love to do sports film, says Sonakshi Sinha

first_imgActress Sonakshi Sinha, mostly seen as the traditional Indian girl on the screen, will be seen as a boxer in a sequence in A.R. Murugadoss’ forthcoming directorial Holiday: A Soldier is Never Off Duty. She says “personality wise, the role is closest to me as possible”.There are not many leading actresses in the Hindi film industry who shed their “girly” look to play a strong sportsperson on the big screen. But Sonakshi, who has also studied fashion designing, has no qualms about essaying such roles.”I was interested in it immediately because I played sports in school and college. Personality wise, the role is closest to me as possible. It was like being myself on screen and doing what I love to do,” Sonakshi told IANS here. Sonakshi Sinha plays a boxer in Holiday”I would love to do a film in the future where I can explore this facet a little bit more where I can play sports probably longer,” added the actress, known for serenading the big screen in saris-backless blouse or bright coloured traditional attires with her curls left loose in movies.For the scene, in which she is seen as a boxer participating in an inter-college championship, she took some training from Olympics bronze medallist Vijender Singh and her co-star Akshay Kuma too gave her tips to prepare for the role.”Yes, I did (take training) but I’ve always been a sportsperson. The basic body language has always been there. I play a lot of sports like tennis, basketball and volleyball but boxing is something that I’ve never done before and I needed help on it,” said the 26-year-old.advertisementShe said that the Ghajini director wanted her to look as realistic as possible, so be it her co-star Akshay or Vijender, who will soon make his acting debut with Akshay’s production Fugly, all forces got together to help her get into the skin of the character.”He (Murugadoss) didn’t want me to look girly or stylised or fake. Akshay showed me a little bit about boxing and made me meet boxer Vijender Singh who told me about the body language of a boxer and that helped in making it more convincing on the screen,” said Sonakshi.While the men made sure that she got the boxing moves right, the women helped her to achieve the sporty look.”The sporty look was styled by Sakshi Mehra, who is my stylist. Rest of the film has been done by Ami Patel,” she said.While she is yet to get an offer that would let her step into shoes of a sportsperson, she is thrilled about being chosen for the role in Holiday.”Akshay has worked with me before and he knew I am into sports. We’ve played sports on many of our film sets. He knew that I would be capable of pulling off the character and would be able to do what the role requires me to do physically,” said the actress, who acted with the 46-year-old in movies like Rowdy Rathore and Joker.Produced by Vipul Shah and presented by Reliance Entertainment, Holiday will hit theatres June 6.last_img read more

10 months agoNewcastle striker Gayle opens door to West Brom stay

first_imgNewcastle striker Gayle opens door to West Brom stayby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveNewcastle United striker Dwight Gayle says there’s a good chance of signing permanently with West Brom.Gayle scored a classy treble away at Rotherham United on Saturday to move up to 13 goals for the season.It prompted calls of ‘sign him up’ from the sold-out away end, and Gayle has left the door open for a permanent switch.”I don’t know really, it could be on the cards,” he said. “For me the most important thing is getting promoted this season and finishing in the top two.”We all know what we’ve got to do and we’ve got a lot of hard work before the end of the season to do that. I’m loving it here at the moment and hopefully that continues.” TagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Songs of Hope XIV Presented by Spotify

first_imgWorld-renowned independent cancer research and treatment center City of Hope today announced that the Warner/Chappell Music “Icon of Hope” Award will be awarded to lauded musical theatre lyricist and composer Stephen Schwartz, composer of hit musicals Godspell, Pippin, and Wicked, among many others.Warner/Chappell’s Chief Operating Officer Carianne Marshall, and Senior Vice President of Theatrical and Catalog, Kurt Deutsch will present the award to Schwartz at Songs of Hope XIV presented by Spotify.In his four-decade plus career, Schwartz has won four Grammy Awards and three Academy Awards, has been inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame and Theatre Hall of Fame, and was awarded the Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award, a special award for his commitment to fostering new talent and championing important causes.Songs of Hope XIV presented by Spotify will be held on Thursday, September 13, 2018 at hit-maker Alex da Kid’s KIDinaKORNER Kampus, in Sherman Oaks, CA. Last year, Songs of Hope XIII was hosted at the Kampus for the first time, raising more than $400,000 for City of Hope.City of Hope previously announced award presenters and recipients including:Clive Davis “Legend in Songwriting” Award, presented by Clive Davis to Benny Blanco and Mike Will Made-ItMartin Bandier “Vanguard” Award, presented by Marty Bandier to Sarah AaronsElectronic Arts “Composer of the Year” Award presented by Steve Schnur to James Newton HowardSongs of Hope Beverly and Ben Horowitz Legacy Award presented by Zach Horowitz to international expert in leukemia, lymphoma and bone marrow transplantation, Stephen J. Forman, M.D., the Francis & Kathleen McNamara Distinguished Chair in Hematology and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation at City of Hope. This award will include the presentation of $100,000 to support the research of Stephen J. Forman, M.D. and his team.Universal Music Publishing Group and Spotify will also present awards, with more information provided closer to the event.For the 14th consecutive year, the event is co-chaired by David Renzer, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Spirit Music Group; Doug Davis, Founder/Principal of The Davis Firm; Evan Lamberg, President of Universal Music Publishing Group, North America; and Steve Schnur, President of Music, Electronic Arts.This year’s music and entertainment sponsors include Spotify, Clive Davis, Sony/ATV, Electronic Arts, Universal Music Publishing Group, and Warner/Chappell Music.To purchase tickets for Songs of Hope XIV presented by Spotify, visit www.cityofhope.org/music/songs or contact City of Hope at 626-218-6313 or mfei@coh.org.Warner/Chappell’s Chairman and CEO Jon Platt will be honored by City of Hope at the annual Spirit of Life gala on October 11. For more information and to purchase tickets to that event, click here.last_img read more

CEDA opens office in Fort St John after acquiring Dawson Creek company

first_img“Now with the addition of the Fort St. John office, we are well positioned to meet the increasing demand for our services,” said Joe Loomis, CEDA’s Vice President of Operations for the B.C. Region. “Our new location strengthens our presence in Northeastern B.C. and allows us to be more accessible to our growing client base. We look forward to making a positive contribution to the local economy and giving back to the community,” Mr. Loomis added.CEDA’s new office is located in the 9800-block of 78th St. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – CEDA has announced that it recently opened a new office and shop in Fort St. John as part of its strategy to further expand its reach within the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin.The company says its newly-appointed Operations Manager Steven Cooper is overseeing the 10,000 square foot shop, which houses a fleet of pressure and water trucks, tankers, hot oilers, steamers, hydro vacuum and combination vacuum units used to deliver comprehensive industrial cleaning services.In 2017, CEDA entered the B.C. market by acquiring Joe Loomis Trucking in Dawson Creek, and continued to grow its operations through the recent acquisition of Breakthrough Oilfield Services.last_img read more