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first_imgProtesters blocked CARI’s Entrance, thus preveting workers from entering their offices.Employees and casual laborers at the Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) in Suakoko District, Bong County, on Tuesday, December 10, 2019 instituted a strike action, which paralyzed normal working activities. The protesters were demanding the re-in-statement of one of their colleagues, who they claimed was dismissed by the CARI Management without any “justifiable cause.”CARI Research Assistant, Arthur Wennah, was reportedly dismissed from work by the Caretaker Director, Madam Paulette Findley, for reason this newspaper has not established up to press time last night.Wennah, on Thursday December 5, 2019, told Radio Gbarnga that several assets belonging to CARI were reportedly taken away by one David Tokpah, head of the Natural Resource Department, who acted at that time as acting director in the absence of Madam Paulette Findley, CARI’s Acting Director General.Wennah told the station that at the time the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) was here, some of the soldiers used the CARI’s facilities, but when UNMIL departed in 2018, the mission presented several items, ranging from generators, air conditioners, fencing wires, and chairs to the management of CARI for use.When Wennah disclosed that several missing items, including a 50kva generator, fencing wires and an air conditioner were all discovered by police being packed in the ‘Millionaire Quarter Community’ in Gbarnga over the weekend.But Police have not established whether these materials are part of the items that the peacekeepers donated to CARIMadam Towan Gbeinquio, Casual Laborers’ LeaderDavid Tokpah, the head of the Natural Resource Department, who is at the center of the allegation for reportedly removing those assets from the CARI premises, has denied having any idea about how the materials left CARI and got in the compound in Gbarnga.Tokpah also told Radio Gbarnga recently that while acting as Director General for CARI, the security guards assigned there advised him to remove those materials from the CARI’s premises to different location for fear of being gutted by fire since the dry season is already here.“We don’t want those materials to be taken away by criminals…, this is the reason why we took them to a safer location,” David Tokpah told the local radio station.CARI’s Acting Director General has meanwhile ordered the suspension of David Tokpah, who is at the center of controversy pending police investigation.CARI’s Management letter to police specified that the alleged missing items, include a 50kva generator, two fuel tankers, air conditioners, and some unspecified items, but police have not made any arrest. Howeve, they said they have launched a full scale investigation in the situation.However, Daily Observer’s investigation established that Arthur Wennah might have been dismissed for leaking information to police that led to the discovery of some assets that may be belonging to CARI that went missing few days ago.In separate interview on at the CARI compound, some of the workers said they instituted a strike action until the CARI Management re-instates their colleague, Arthur Wennah.The fuming workers set a road block at the entrance to CARI, preventing other workers from entering the compound.“We want management to re-instate Arthur Wennah, because we don’t see the reason why Wennah should be dismissed, when the person who allegedly took away the materials has been suspended. We will not stop until the government can hear about us. We want Wennah back to work,” the enraged workers shouted over their shoulders.At the entrance, they placed placards with the inscriptions: “We want our generator back David P. Tokpah; We are tired, Go Findley!!! Go David!!!, No Arthur!!  No Work!! Go David!!.“CARI has lost its taste to the people of Bong County as a result of political interference in the running of the institution. CARI is a research center, and it should be a research center; not a political research center,” said Augustine Y. Johnson Research Assistant at CARI.“The Act that established CARI sates that the director general of the institution should hold a doctorate degree in the field of agriculture, but Madam Paulette Findley does not hold doctorate degree in any field of agriculture,” Johnson said.When contacted, the acting Director General, and an official in the Research Officer for Crops Program, Dr. Quaqua Sumo Mulbah, said: “We are only appealing to the people to go back to work.”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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first_imgONE of Letterkenny’s best-known and liked restaurants has closed its doors.Beetroot on the town’s Port Road has enjoyed a famous reputation for doing good quality food since opening three years ago.However the eaterie, which was owned by businessman Donal Cox closed its doors on Wednesday night and the liquidator has now been appointed. A spokesman for the restaurant was today calling diners who had tables booked for future events to tell them they could not honour them.Queries about vouchers for the restaurant are now being referred to the liquidator.It is believed that six jobs have been lost as a result of the closure.Ends TOP LETTERKENNY RESTAURANT CLOSES ITS DOORS was last modified: April 15th, 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:Beetrootclosedletterkennylast_img read more

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first_imgAs an NFL quarterback, Brett Favre was a genius, equal parts intuition, daring and joie de vivre. You didn’t have to be a football fan per se to enjoy watching him play.It was a subdued, occasionally stammering Favre who appeared Thursday on Megyn Kelly Today.“How many concussions did you have?” Kelly asked the man who retired at 41 with the most passing yards and touchdown passes in NFL history.“That I know of, three, four maybe,” Favre said. “But as we’re learning about concussions, …last_img

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first_img(Visited 35 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 It would be helpful if, when discussing natural selection, evolutionists knew what they are talking about.Many times articles promise insight into evolution but fail to deliver. That’s the case in a piece by Amro Zayed in Nature titled, “Evolution: Insect invasions and natural selection.” Zayed tantalizes his readers with visions of new species originating with wonderful new traits and functions that didn’t exist before. Isn’t that what Darwinism was about: the Origin of Species by means of natural selection, by which bacteria became humans? If natural selection is truly capable of such transformations, it should be evident in smaller cases like insect invasions. Here, though, is all that Zayed provides: a tale of bee genes.In 2008, the authors identified only four different alleles at the csd gene, and they estimated that one out of four fertilized eggs would give rise to an inviable diploid male. However, a year later, the authors documented three additional csd alleles. Gloag et al. propose that these three alleles were so rare that they had escaped detection in 2008. The authors showed that the rare alleles were not the result of new mutations because the alleles’ DNA sequence was substantially different from those of the alleles found in 2008. It is also unlikely that these new A. cerana csd alleles were introduced by a secondary invasion, because the authors did not observe new alleles at the other DNA regions they examined. Rather, the presence of these three rare alleles in 2009 is best explained by balancing selection, in which bees that carried the rare csd alleles in 2008 contributed more offspring to the next generation.What is balancing selection? Zayed relies on Gloag et al.‘s study in Nature Ecology & Evolution to explain what was observed when one species of bee invaded another species’ habitat:The authors speculated that a special form of natural selection, called balancing selection, would have a role in reducing imbalances in the frequency of csd alleles. This would, in turn, reduce the production of inviable diploid males in the invasive population. With balancing selection, individuals that have rare csd alleles would be expected to have high fitness because they would be unlikely to mate with an individual that had the same allele — a mating that would result in the production of diploid male offspring (Fig. 1). Carriers of rare alleles should contribute more offspring to future generations and increase the frequency of their initially rare csd alleles over time. A prediction about balancing selection on csd is that an equilibrium would be reached when all csd alleles have the same frequency.Let’s take stock of the situation. Is this a demonstration of neo-Darwinian evolution in action?Did any new traits arise? No; both populations already had genes with “substantially different” alleles for this gene. All that changed were the relative numbers of the two types in the population. Notably, the authors state that the “rare” allele did not happen by new mutations.Did “fitness” increase? Well, how did they measure “fitness”? They fell into the tautology trap by equating it with reproduction (see “Fitness for Dummies,” 10/03/15). In other words, the successful bees did not have any new organs or improvements that made them stronger; they just left more eggs. More precisely, they left enough eggs not to go extinct in the new habitat.Did “natural selection” get demonstrated? No; “balancing selection” only refers to a blind process that “enhances the success of social-insect invasions by correcting imbalances in the frequency of csd alleles that occur during founding events.” It’s a bit like measuring how many children Muslims are having in France, to see whether the refugee invasion will succeed. Both Muslims and French already existed before and after the invasion.But it gets worse. Zayed is not even sure balancing selection has anything to do with the story:Although balancing selection clearly increased the fitness [i.e., the number of offspring left] of invasive Asian honeybees in Australia, it is not clear whether this evolutionary force was essential for the successful establishment of the invasion. The invasive population of A. cerana still increased in size despite the skewed allele frequencies at the csd gene during the early stages of the invasion. Social-insect invaders might have other attributes that predispose them to be successful biological invaders. The intrinsic growth rates of some social insects might be so high that even a 25% increase in female mortality — the amount estimated by Gloag and colleagues to occur in the initial stages of A. cerana‘s invasion — did not prevent population expansion.This admission completely undermines the only appeal to “natural selection” in the article — flimsy as it was to begin with, being only “balancing selection,” not the emergence of anything new. If other causes can suffice to explain the phenomenon, you don’t win the argument that natural selection was the cause; for all he knows, the “other attributes that predispose them to be successful invaders” might have been intelligently designed. And as we saw in the first quote above, the genetic differences were not likely due to mutation. In neo-Darwinism, mutations are supposed to be the raw material for innovation that natural selection selects. Here is the only reference to natural selection in the original paper: “Natural selection prevented the loss of rare csd alleles due to genetic drift and corrected the skew in allele frequencies caused by founder effects to restore high average heterozygosity.” If you don’t understand the jargon, here’s the drift: nothing new happened. There was only a shift in frequency of certain varieties of pre-existing genes.Where, then, is the evidence for neo-Darwinism? It vanished in a fogma of rhetoric, during which Zayed snuck in Darwin’s favorite words fitness, evolution and natural selection and left them hanging on nothing. He gloats, “Gloag and colleagues’ study provides a clear example of how rapid evolutionary changes can affect the fitness of invasive populations.”Vacuous RhetoricHere’s another example of rhetoric masquerading as evidence for evolution. Science Daily titillates with its title, “Drivers of evolution hidden in plain sight.” If this sounds like a mystery story, you’re right. It’s a mystery anybody could be fooled by the promises of European Darwinist Pedro Beltrao, who speaks with all the scientific credibility of a snake oil salesman. “This study is about understanding how evolution works,” he says. We’re promised the ability to “see in detail how life evolves.” We’re going to see how evolutionists “reconstructed evolutionary history” right at the ground level of the genes! But surprisingly, the only mention of “selection” in the article is hypothetical:“If a species needs to adapt to a new setting, it needs to generate a lot of diversity over many generations so that evolution has a pool of options to select from. One way for that to happen is through changes in gene expression, but changes in phosphorylation are equally effective,” explains Beltrao.The reader will look in vain for any increase in fitness, any origin of species, any innovation or progressive improvement in traits. Most importantly, there are no references to mutations in the genetic code. The only “mutations” Beltrao conjures up are post-translational modifications (PTMs) that affect the protein products of genes by means of markers, like phosphorylation tags, that regulate their expression. (These PTMs are what Beltrao calls the drivers of evolution that were “hidden in plain sight.”)A little reflection, though, shows that PTMs can only affect what genes already exist. Where did they come from? Who wrote the code? Unless Beltrao is offering an entirely new theory of evolution contrary to neo-Darwinism, he leaves the big question unanswered: how does evolution make an eye or a wing where none existed before? You can’t design new machinery simply by regulating the number of screws made. The only example he gives of new function is – get this – cancer.It’s doubtful any evolutionist wants to argue that cancer increases fitness. But nothing was lost to Beltrao in propaganda value; he was able to use the word “evolution” 11 times, planting its subtle message in the reader’s mind through repetition.Exposing charlatans; that’s what we do here at CEH, where we call them Charlietans after their founder, the Bearded Buddha.last_img read more

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first_img17 July 2013Government, business, labour and civil society collaboration to improve the quality of education in South Africa entered a new phase on Tuesday with the launch of the National Education Collaboration Framework Trust (NECT).The trust is a civil society partnership aimed at strengthening cooperation among business, labour and civil society formations to improve education outcomes in the country.Speaking at the launch of the trust in Pretoria on Tuesday, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said the initiative would multiply opportunities for collaborations that enabled government and education stakeholders to bring about improvements in a co-ordinated fashion.“Like you, we believe that both the government and the non-governmental groupings have a common goal of improving the quality of education, but do not as yet share a common understanding of the roles that they expect of each other or have to play towards achieving this common goal.”Motlanthe noted that interventions by the private sector had demonstrated that even learners that attended poorly resourced schools could achieve excellent results if provided with the required support.According to the Department of Basic Education, the trust will not replace current civil society and business projects in education. Rather, it will galvanise the many civil society and government commitments that already exist, applying lessons from the past and seizing existing opportunities to improve education.The trust’s objectives will include improving the quality of schooling, overseeing the implementation of national education collaboration programmes, and ensuring that such programmes are suited to their context.Also speaking at Tuesday’s launch, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga commended the trust’s members for working tirelessly for the formation of the initiative, which has the thumbs-up from all stakeholders.The NECT’s founding trustee include FirstRand CEO Sizwe Nxasana; Business Leadership SA’s Mark Lamberti; Deloitte executive chair Futhi Mtoba; Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga; Basic Education Director-General Bobby Soobrayan; National Professional Teachers’ Association of SA president Basil Manuel; SA Democratic Teachers Union deputy secretary-general Nkosana Dolopi; and Brian Figaji, former vice-chancellor of Peninsula Technikon.The NECT’s patrons include businessman Cyril Ramaphosa, former Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Business Leadership SA president Bobby Godsell, and James Motlatsi, former president of the National Union of Mineworkers.Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

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