dkmpsmzg

‘That was no draw’, says Walters after boxing decision

admin No Comments

first_img“I clearly won the fight; that was no draw. I am shocked by this decision,” were the words of a disappointed Nicholas ‘The Axeman’ Walters yesterday, when asked to comment on the majority draw decision of the judges in his fight against Jason Sosa, at the Turning Stone Resort in Verona, New York, on Saturday night.In what has been declared by journalists who watched the fight at ringside as ‘the worst scored fight of 2015’, one judge, Tom Schreck, had Sosa the winner 96-94, while the other judges, Wynn Kintz and Don Ackerman, had it 95-95. The Gleaner scored the fight 97-93 for Walters, and as another point of reference, experienced HBO scorer and former international boxing judge, Harold Lederman, scored it 99-91 for Walters.It was a hard-fought and entertaining fight, with Walters, (26-0), fighting as a super featherweight (130 lb) for the first time. Having lost his featherweight title in June on the scale, when he weighed in a pound over the featherweight limit of 126 lb, Walters was using this fight as a benchmark to see how he would perform at the higher weight class.On this occasion, he fought a bigger man in the person of Sosa, who entered the ring with a 18-1-3 record, but he held his own in a fight that was mostly at close range, and his vicious body attacks clearly bothered his opponent. If one could find fault with his work during the 10 bruising rounds, it would be that he did not use his jabs enough.Whenever Walters went on the outside, he looked far superior than his opponent, and it was surprising that his trainers, Celso Ch·vez and Job Walters, did not tell him at any time in the fight to use his jabs more.The impression given was that they wanted to prove a point. They wanted it to be seen that Walters could outslug a bigger opponent.This tactic nearly backfired, however, as the judges clearly did not give Walters full credit for the good, clean punches to the body that he landed repeatedly. Walters was clearly the better fighter, and in the fifth round, he shook Sosa with a left hook to the body and right cross to the head combination.Surprisingly, he did not follow through and Sosa weathered the storm.BEST ROUNDSWalters gained the ascendancy as the fight progressed, and in the eighth round, he seemed as if he was trying to end it. This was one of his best rounds.Ironically, Sosa came out aggressively for the ninth, which was perhaps his best round.Walters came back firing on all cylinders in the final round, using jabs and hooks to good advantage, and it seemed a mere formality when the fight ended that it would be the Jamaican raising his hands in victory for the 27th time. That was not to be, however, as he had to share the spoils.He told The Gleaner that he will be taking a break for Christmas and the New Year and will be in Jamaica for a holiday soon.”I am coming home for a short holiday, after which I will sit down with my team and decide what we will do in 2016,” said Walters.last_img read more

ACE-Liberia Trains Principals, KRTTI Instructors

admin No Comments

first_imgDr. Williams explains to reporters how the new modules of training the teachers works.Africa Community Exchange (ACE) Liberia, the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority (Zeta) and Liberia Community Network (LCN) over the weekend completed training of 25 private school principals and 11 teachers from the Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute (KRTTI). The two-week intensive training was held in Monrovia from July 10 to 20, 2018.ACE-Liberia Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dr. Sophie Williams, said her organization, in collaboration with Zeta, KRTTI and LCN, has developed a “Teacher Development and Continuing Education” program to improve the qualification and skills of teachers in the country.It is currently instrumental in assisting in the creation of a model school in Liberia to provide the template for quality, tuition-free primary education in the nation, with the cooperation and support of the Ministry of Education (MoE).According to Dr. Williams, since 2007, ACE has provided staff development training for teachers. In 2010, it received funding from Plan International to conduct teacher training at Ann Sandell Independent School (ASIS) but partnered with The Link, Incorporated in 2013, and conducted a Train-the-Trainers seminar for participants from the MoE, the University of Liberia (UL), ASIS, The African Methodist Episcopal University (AMEU) and School for the Blind in Virginia, outside Monrovia.The recent training exercise was based on the previous model that was crafted during the training of trainers, which brought together a good number of teachers.Dr. Williams and other facilitators posed with the participants shortly after the training ended in Monrovia over the weekend.As for Zeta Phi Beta, it was founded on the campus of Howard University, United States, on January 16, 1920. The Sorority’s international programs, such as Z-HOPE (Zetas Helping Other People Excel), through mind, body and spirit serve to empower people from all walks of life.As the sorority moves toward its centennial, it retains its original zest for excellence. It espouses the highest academic ideals and that have resulted in its members serving as trainers of teachers in every part of the world.Dr. Williams said that the initial focus of the program is teachers that are unqualified but are being assigned in private schools, teaching from K-6th grade, serving low income populations with annual tuition and fees under US$200.According to her, schools selected for the recent training program are MoE accredited institutions in Montserrado and Margibi counties that have shown commitment to improve the qualification of their teachers and the academic performance of their students.Dr. Williams said that under the arrangement, the schools will be expected to provide year-round supervision, monitoring and support to the teachers who are trained.The schools are also expected to benefit from curriculum enrichment activities that include student-centered cognitive activities, language arts, mathematics, health and hygiene, ethics and sex education.Dr. Williams said that a second training of 80 teachers is expected to take place in August at the campus of KRTTI, near Kakata, in Margibi County. She said that the three-week intensive training workshop will be conducted by the KRTTI’s trainers, who benefited from the previous training.The training at KRTTI, she said, will focus on basic skills proficiency in language arts, mathematics and science; teaching skills and method. Other areas of focus, according to Dr. Williams, will be classroom management, behavior and learning problems to include content on behavioral change, ethics, civil engagement, personal growth and sex education. Some beneficiaries were provided gifts, including a laptop computer and a camera, by Zeta’s facilitators for their outstanding performance during the course of the training.In separate remarks, participants lauded ACE Liberia, the sorority sisters for the training and promised to put into practice what they have learnt.Dr. Williams and other facilitators posed with the participants shortly the training ended in Monrovia over the weekend.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

‘Two bridges are better than one’ – Harmon

admin No Comments

first_imgGovernment is soon to commence construction of a new bridge across the Demerara River, but the Department of Public Information (DPI) has reported Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, to have said there is no reason for the current structure to be demolished.Minister Harmon is reported to have said, “Two bridges are better than one”, and to have noted that, as Minister responsible for Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), he would be lobbying for the upkeep of the current bridge even after the new one has been completed.“I see absolutely no sensible reason to decommission one (when) you have another one. I will lend my voice to that chorus which says that we should keep both bridges,” he told staff members and special invitees at the Demerara Harbour Bridge’s 40th anniversary celebration on Sunday at the Umana Yana.The new Demerara River Bridge will see construction of an approximately 1,500-metre-long fixed bridge with a movable span, and two approach roads of a total length of 600 metres. It is envisaged that the project will commence in 2018 and be delivered in 2020.A ‘feasibility study and design’ report for the new Demerara River Bridge completed by consulting company Lievense CSO has determined that the proposed location of Houston-Versailles is the most ideal.The structure, the report said, will provide the greatest socio-economic benefits for Guyana, and lead to the lowest urban environmental impact. Furthermore, it was recommended that the promotion of alternative transportation routes should be encouraged, to lend to the longevity of the new bridge.last_img read more

Migrant status bill advances

admin No Comments

first_imgCarlton said landlords check on potential to pay by looking at Social Security cards or driver licences. In the case of foreign students, they need to check to see how long they might be staying, she said. But this provision would take that ability away. Calderon said he is willing to negotiate with the association, but doesn’t believe it really wants to find a solution. “The California Apartment Association stands out like a sore thumb from many of their colleagues on this issue,” he said. “I don’t know if we’ll every find the words that will satisfy them. If they had a rational argument, I would attempt to accommodate them.” AWARD: Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Lakewood, has been honored for her environmental and water protection efforts with the 2006 H. David Nahai Water Quality Award by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board. The award recognizes extraordinary efforts to safeguard or restore water quality in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Sanchez has secured federal funds for innovative local storm water reduction projects, including a bioswale to be constructed along Whittier Boulevard in Whittier. Mail items for It’s Politics to the Whittier Daily News, P.O. Box 581, Whittier, CA 90608; fax (562)698-0450; phone (562)698-0955; e-mail mike.sprague@sgvn.com.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Editor’s note: It’s Politics reports Saturdays on the ins and outs of Whittier-area politics and city government. State Sen. Charles Calderon’s legislation to ban local cities and counties from requiring landlords to inquire about a tenant’s immigration status took a key step forward this week. The Assembly Judiciary Committee on a 7-3 vote approved the legislation, sending it to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Calderon’s AB 976 was introduced after the city of Escondido approved an ordinance banning landlords from renting to illegal immigrants. A federal court has since struck down the law as unconstitutional, but Calderon, D-Industry, said cities shouldn’t be adopting these kind of laws. “It put landlords in an impossible situation,” he said. “It imposed strict penalties and other punitive measures if \ didn’t evict or do the inquiry,” he said. “We’re trying to make a very simple statement,” Calderon said. “The federal government sets immigration policy, not the cities, counties or states.” While the bill has the support of the Apartment Association of Southern California, the California Apartment Association is opposed. Deborah Carlton, a lobbyist for the California Apartment Association, said her organization dislikes a provision in the bill banning landlords from inquiring on their own about immigration status. last_img read more

Xherdan Shaqiri likened to Philippe Coutinho by former Reds star

admin No Comments

first_imgXherdan Shaqiri has been hailed as a bargain by Neil Mellor and the man Liverpool have been looking for since Philippe Coutinho left.The Swiss forward, who joined the Reds from Stoke in the summer for £13million, was in stunning form during their Champions League thrashing of Red Star Belgrade on Wednesday night. The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star RANKED Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update “Not since Coutinho have Liverpool had that sort of creative player in the midfield three.“We know about the front three and they’re going to score plenty of goals.“But if you’ve got someone with that creative influence just in behind he could well make a big difference.“Adam Lallana has been that player but unfortunately injuries have limited his game time. So Shaqiri could be a big difference in games where teams are going to set up and say ‘come and break us down’. REVEALED Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade gameday cracker 3 “Someone like Shaqiri could be the answer in those tighter games.”The game also saw Mohamed Salah bag a brace which took his overall goal tally for the club to 50.The list of Liverpool legends Mohamed Salah scored 50 goals faster thanRoberto Firmino and Sadio Mane scored the other goals as they finished matchday three at the top of Group C which also contains Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli. 3 ‘Best signing in history’ – Liverpool fans rave about Xherdan ShaqiriAnd Mellor, who played for Liverpool for four years (2002-06), believes the club have signed a player similar to that of former fan favourite Philippe Coutinho, who left to join Barcelona in January.“I really like Shaqiri. What a bargain he seems like when you think what Liverpool bought him for in the summer from Stoke,” Mellor told Love Sport Radio.“He has that creative ability in the final third to open up defences. Again at the weekend against Huddersfield with his assist for the goal and again in the second half with a lovely little through ball. Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? huge blow Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars latest 3 shining Latest Liverpool FC News Shaqiri embraces with Reds boss Jurgen Klopp REVEALED Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Coutinho was a fan favourite at Anfield REVEALED Shaqiri supplied the assist for Mohamed Salah’s winning goal against Huddersfield last weekend last_img read more

Big Science Pops its Zits

admin No Comments

first_imgIf you think institutional science has a smooth complexion, look closer. From every angle, serious blemishes are coming to light.Observational ErrorsThere are five times more urban foxes in England than we thought (New Scientist). Some biologists think red foxes are multiplying in cities and vanishing from the countryside. This article puts the blame on scientists’ methods of counting them. “It is also possible that foxes haven’t become much more numerous in cities – we just didn’t realise they were there before,” Aisling Irwin writes. And it’s not just foxes. “Older figures for bird and mammal populations have often turned out to be gross underestimates” too, one conservationist points out. What might this mean for published numbers of endangered species and other population estimates? Scientists have been outfoxed by animals they didn’t even know where there.Ancient human disturbances may be skewing our understanding of Amazonian forests (PNAS). Whoops; the plots of ground scientists have been using to monitor rainforest ecology, called “forest inventory plots,” are not natural. “New spatial analyses show that plots significantly oversample areas with high abundances of archaeological evidence of past human activities,” this paper warns forlornly. “This suggests that our interpretations of the Amazon’s structure, composition, and function are based disproportionately on forests still reflecting the legacies of past human disturbances.” CEH reported earlier that scientists were unaware of the extent of historical human alteration of Amazonia (9/02/08). They were astonished to find evidence of vast civilizations that they knew nothing about. “It’s only been 400 years since they vanished,” one scientist said. “Why does nobody here know anything about them? They were living here for such a long time, and nobody knows who they were.” Clarification: nobody = scientists who were supposed to know, and thought they knew all about the rainforest.Methodological ErrorsPublishing: Journals, agree on manuscript format (Nature). In a letter to Nature, Quanmin Guo complains that different journals have different standards for formatting manuscripts. Because of this human procedural inconsistency, important work can be overlooked. “An ‘incorrectly’ formatted manuscript submission risks immediate bounceback by the authors’ chosen journal, irrespective of the value of its content.”Does ‘publication bias’ affect the ‘canonization’ of facts in science? (University of Washington UW Today). Talk about fake news! Four researchers publishing in eLife Sciences consider cases where false claims can become “canonized” merely because of the habit of publishing positive results but failing to publish negative results. One example is how the consensus all believed that stress causes stomach ulcers. A maverick later had difficulty proving to his peers that they were caused by a microbe; the mistaken belief went on for half a century. The authors say that science “can” self-correct, but they cannot establish that it always does. Indeed, some errors have persisted for centuries or millennia because of trust in expert opinion.“Science is a process of revealing facts through experimentation,” said Bergstrom. “But science is also a human endeavor, built on human institutions. Scientists seek status and respond to incentives just like anyone else does. So it is worth asking — with precise, answerable questions — if, when and how these incentives affect the practice of science.”In an article published Dec. 20 in the journal eLife, Bergstrom and co-authors present a mathematical model that explores whether “publication bias” — the tendency of journals to publish mostly positive experimental results — influences how scientists canonize facts. Their results offer a warning that sharing positive results comes with the risk that a false claim could be canonized as fact. But their findings also offer hope by suggesting that simple changes to publication practices can minimize the risk of false canonization.—Minimize, perhaps, but not eliminate. The authors reveal their own bias in the following paragraph, wherein they feel it necessary to assure their peers that they are loyal defenders of the consensus. Why do they feel it necessary to affirm two controversial claims? Are they afraid of losing status among their peers?“We’re modeling the chances of ‘false canonization’ of facts on lower levels of the scientific method,” said Bergstrom. “Evolution happens, and explains the diversity of life. Climate change is real. But we wanted to model if publication bias increases the risk of false canonization at the lowest levels of fact acquisition.”The end of their paper claims that evolution and anthropogenic climate change are supported by “massive volumes of research”. Then they affirm their faith in scientism: “Of all the institutions and methods that humankind have developed to make sense of our universe, science has proven unparalleled in its power to generate useful models of physical phenomena,” they say. “Nothing that we have written here changes this.” Now read our 12/30/16 critique of scientism.Nevertheless, they do ask many hard questions about scientific methodology that make it hard to believe the problems could be easily fixed. “In the model of scientific inquiry that we have developed here, publication bias creates serious problems,” they conclude. And “at present, publication bias appears to be strong, given that only a small fraction of the published scientific literature presents negative results.”They define “canonized” facts as those that “can be taken for granted rather than treated as an open hypothesis in the subsequent primary literature.” We have reported many of them in the pages of CEH over the years, especially in regards to Darwinian evolution: unquestioned repetition of the ideas that peppered moths, finch beaks and Lucy provide incontrovertible support for evolution, for just a few examples. A scientific paper will often just assert such things and include a reference to someone else’s publication. That’s how falsehoods can be canonized for decades; researchers just take them for granted as gospel truth.What makes influential science? Telling a good story (University of Washington UW Today). After the previous revelations from UW, this idea stinks. What worse way to canonize false facts than to engage in storytelling? A grad student and two profs at UW praise scientists and journals that engage in “narrative” writing instead proving facts using technical details. The ending sentences of this press release should cause gasps from anyone who values truth over just-so stories:The researchers used a crowdsourcing website to evaluate the narrative content of the journal articles. Online contributors were asked a series of questions about each abstract to measure whether papers had a narrative style, including elements like language that appeals to one’s senses and emotions.The researchers hope this work might lead to advances in scientific communication, improving the odds that science might lead the way to better decisions in the policy realm.Open peer review finds more takers (Nature). How many years have science students heard sermons that scientific peer review guarantees validity better than any other form of inquiry? How many know that peer review in its modern form has only been around since World War II? And how many know that today, peer review is under attack by scientists? In this article, Ewen Callaway points to a trending revolution in peer review, called open peer review, where scientists can critique papers online instead of in back rooms by secretive reviewers. Journal editors are hesitating, but there are “open peer review evangelists” pushing for the transparency provided by the new method. Yet open peer review presents its own set of problems – demonstrating once again that science is fundamentally a fallible human enterprise.Moral ErrorsIn Canada, case spurs concern over misconduct secrecy (Science Magazine). Here’s another example of a persistent problem we have reported for years (e.g., 9/08/16): scientific misconduct. You can’t have a scientific enterprise without trust in the moral integrity of scientists. But often trust is assumed, not taught. Like other humans, scientists can be tempted to cheat. In this example, researchers in Canada published tainted work involving “serious” misconduct and failed to correct it. The fallout is enormous. It includes the UW’s concern (above) that false facts can become canonized:To the dismay of some scientists familiar with the case, however, UBC never publicly released the damning report or named the researcher, who has since left the institution. And critics say the case highlights a troubling lack of transparency in Canada’s system for policing scientific misconduct. Some believe the secrecy allows unreliable papers to remain in circulation, and could enable researchers to continue to raise funds from donors and investors who may not be aware of misconduct findings.The biggest mistake in the history of science (The Conversation). As pointed out January 3, Darren Curnoe argues that science made a colossal mistake assigning people to different races. But in his article, he puts the blame at only one end of the political spectrum:But race theory stands out among all of them because it has wreaked untold misery and been used to justify barbaric acts of colonialism, slavery and even genocide. Even today it’s still used to explain social inequality, and continues to inspire the rise of the far right across the globe.In this, Curnoe fails to point out the far left’s role in these crimes against humanity. There’s plenty of racism on the whole political spectrum, but he fails to recognize that it was Democrats who endorsed the KKK (video), American slavery, Jim Crow laws and segregation (see Dinesh D’Souza’s interview with Vanderbilt professor Carol Swain). He fails to point out that Darwin’s half-cousin Francis Galton took Darwin’s theory and founded the pseudoscience of eugenics, which ended up killing hundreds of thousands of “defectives” in Nazi Germany and led to American politicians forcibly sterilizing tens of thousands of American citizens deemed “imbeciles” (see Darwin Day in America by John West). He fails to finger the Social Darwinists (primarily atheists and political leftists) for promoting “scientific” racism that led to genocides, such as those against Australian aborigines and the Herero of Africa (ENV). He fails to exonerate creationists like Ken Ham who use the Bible to promote the truth that all human beings are members of one single race, the human race (AiG). So as a scientist, how well is Curnoe performing in terms of unbiased research integrity?Logical ErrorsAre we living in a Matrix-style simulation? (Phys.org). Many scientists fail to see how their claims can be self-refuting. In this example, Jason Kornwitz criticizes TV astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson and engineer Elon Musk for failing to recognize that their proposal we are all living in a simulation is self-defeating.In principle, the strong version of the hypothesis cannot be tested. It is entirely unverifiable, unfalsifiable, irrefutable, and thus unscientific. This impasse illustrates the point that once we take one step along this dead-end path, its solipsistic end is just a few steps away.Kornwitz similarly criticizes the Boltzmann Brain hypothesis (5/17/14). He knows this, too, is self-defeating, but doesn’t admit that it is a logical consequence of the leading scientific theory of cosmology: the big bang (see volume III of Spike Psarris’s DVD series, What You Aren’t Being Told About Astronomy).A viscous solvent enables information transfer from gene-length nucleic acids in a model prebiotic replication cycle (Nature Chemistry). Is this proposition logical? A team from Georgia Institute of Technology thinks they are making progress understanding the origin of life by unguided material causes simply because they concocted a solvent that slows down DNA and RNA from locking up (strand inhibition). When they put artificially-constructed DNA and RNA into the solvent, they were able to demonstrate a primitive sort of “information transfer” by base pairing, provided they added in lots of free activated homochiral nucleotides. Their claims from this are grandiose:These results suggest that viscous environments on the prebiotic Earth, generated periodically by water evaporation, could have facilitated nucleic acid replication—particularly of long, structured sequences such as ribozymes. Our approach works with DNA and RNA, suggesting that viscosity-mediated replication is possible for a range of genetic polymers, perhaps even for informational polymers that may have preceded RNA.The PCI (perhapsimaybecouldness index) for this claim is astronomical. Did they demonstrate unguided formation of ribozymes? No. Did they get RNA to form naturally? No; that is an enormous problem for materialists. Did they get ribose to form naturally? Again, that’s an enormous hurdle. Did they demonstrate a natural solution to the homochirality problem? No, they used only homochiral ingredients. Worst of all, did they demonstrate the spontaneous generation of genetic information worth replicating? Absolutely not. The chance of that happening is staggeringly improbable (see “The Amoeba’s Journey” video clip from Illustra Media’s film Origin). This irrelevant paper contains more assumption than demonstration at every stage, but it got published the world’s leading science journal, Nature. What does that reveal about the logical expertise in Big Science these days?Galaxy formation through cosmic recycling (Science Magazine). Check the logic in this article (again from one of the world’s leading science journals). It claims to explain galaxy formation, but it requires previous galaxies to work. Nina Hatch tests the reader’s logical reasoning:Extremely massive galaxies are seen in the young universe, but their presence is puzzling because we do not yet understand how they became so massive so quickly. How do they get enough fuel to form stars so rapidly? The raw fuel for forming stars is cold molecular gas, and although this gas is common within young galaxies, we do not know how it is replenished once the first reservoirs are converted into stars. On page 1128 of this issue, Emonts et al. report observations that may provide our first clue to this fueling problem. They have detected a giant reservoir of recycled molecular gas that is replenishing the fuel supply of one of the most massive galaxies in the young universe.Hold on just a cotton-pickin’ minute. “Recycled” molecular gas? Where did that come from? Why, from a previous generation of stars. OK, next logical question: where did the previous generation of stars come from? You can’t keep up this recycling explanation forever. You can’t assume stars to explain stars, and you can’t assume galaxies to explain galaxies. It never seems to occur to Nina that this is a logical problem. Big bang cosmologists have no primary evidence that big-bang-era gas can make a star; no zero-metal (Population III) stars have ever been found.Please notice that all the zits pointed out in this article are revealed in the scientific literature by secular scientists. Big Science presents itself as the beauty queen of the knowledge parade, but underneath the caked-on makeup we find a lot of ugly sores leaking sour pus. That’s because scientists are only human. Isaiah indicted the human race, saying “From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.” Patting face powder over sores is as worthless as whitewashing a tottering fence. Science needs regeneration from the inside out. That can only happen when each individual (scientist or not) submits to radical remake by their Creator (i.e., becoming born again). Christ Jesus has provided full healing through his death and resurrection, fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy (1:18), “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” The Creator God champions reason, because He made a reasonable universe approachable through creatures He made in His image. But when human reason is fallen, it needs to be regenerated. That’s why the gospel must precede science.Regenerate scientists can never gain exhaustive knowledge, because humans are not omniscient. They can, however, be Spirit-led to value honesty, consistent logic, and humility—moral traits Big Science drastically needs (5/24/15, 2/21/16), having repeatedly shown itself deficient in those essential qualities.(Visited 84 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Veteran farming program offers heroes help

admin No Comments

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Bob Udeck gingerly uses his hands and feet to slowly steer his four-wheeled walker carefully through the dirt- and grass-covered field, adeptly maneuvering through the ruts, divets, mounds of dirt, rocks, and plants that line the path leading to the Heroes Garden.The 74-year-old Vietnam veteran pulls up to a section of raised garden beds filled with rows of radish and pepper plants and smiles as he admires his handy work. Many of the plants have already begun bearing fruit, some of which were ripe and ready for picking.“I used to farm when I was younger,” Udeck said, as he wistfully looked out over the plot that houses the Veteran Farming Program. “It feels really good to get your hands dirty again — planting something, nurturing it, and watching it produce.“Not only does this garden keep me active, it’s also therapeutic — it keeps your mind busy, gets you outside, gives you a goal, and something to focus on. That’s really helped with my post-traumatic stress disorder.”Through participation in the Veteran Farming Program, organized by the Central Ohio VA Healthcare System and Ohio State University Extension, Udeck is one of 18 central Ohio veterans who spent the summer of 2019 farming at the Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory on the Waterman is part of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) campus in Columbus.The Veteran Farming Program is a VA Innovation Center pilot project created to facilitate veterans’ mental wellness through gardening and horticulture. A goal of the program is to create meaningful opportunities for veterans interested in pursuing a potential career in farming, said Nancy Gosztyla, coordinator of the program and a licensed independent social worker at the VA Central Ohio Healthcare System in Columbus.Participants in the program are all veterans interested in gaining farming/gardening skills while also benefiting from the therapeutic aspects of gardening, Gosztyla said.“OSU Extension is uniquely qualified to provide both the classroom learning experience as well as hands-on training in gardening and horticulture,” said Gosztyla, who, in addition to working with veterans, has also completed the OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteers program.The program, which is available in 77 of Ohio’s 88 counties, offers participants 50 hours of in-depth horticultural training. Then, every year, each graduate of the program provides at least 50 hours of horticultural volunteer service.Gosztyla’s service as a Master Gardener Volunteer is what led her to work with OSU Extension to develop the Heroes Garden. She wanted to expose veterans to the beneficial aspects of gardening, she said.The veterans who tended the Heroes Garden this summer first spent several weeks in classrooms learning the basics of horticulture. Then, they spent the summer working in the garden at Waterman. The crops they planted included sweet corn, radishes, carrots, peppers, beans, several squashes, watermelon, tomatoes, eggplant, lettuce, basil, thyme, rosemary, lavender, and cabbage.Working individually or as a group, they started with a basic plot of land, added topsoil, planted seeds, watered, weeded, and then harvested the produce, said Mike Hogan, an OSU Extension-Franklin County educator who facilitates the program.“They took home bags of produce every week, which for some, having access to fresh, free food may be an important economic benefit,” Hogan said. “Additionally, many of them had no gardening experience at all before starting the program, so they were able to come away from the program learning a new skill that they could use to develop a small horticultural enterprise and maybe sell produce at a farmers market as a potential income source.”Working on the land also has proven therapeutic effects, Hogan said.“Some of the vets suffer from PTSD or have other mental health challenges,” he said. “Research has shown that there are numerous health benefits experienced when people are out in nature, including lowering blood pressure. Plus, they’re experiencing the social benefit of being outdoors and working with others.”For Navy veteran Alicia Perenkovick, the social aspect of the program was its biggest draw. After eight years in the military, including serving in the Iraq War, she said she suffered from depression and PTSD once she was no longer in the service.“I was spending time home alone, ruminating about what could have happened, what should have happened, not knowing how to connect with people outside of the military, and not adjusting well to civilian life,” she said. “But coming here to garden each week has helped lift my feelings of depression and given me a sense of purpose.“When you’re home alone, you don’t have that human connection anymore. But being here, especially around other veterans who’ve had similar experiences, has really helped reconnect me to a life outside my house and provided me a sense of belonging.”The program ended Sept. 3 and included a graduation ceremony. Moving forward, the vets are encouraged to continue farming at Waterman, Hogan said.“We’re going to continue to dedicate the space at Waterman for the Heroes Garden next year, to be a place for veterans to come and garden together if they wish to,” he said. “We’ll also open the garden up to any veteran who would like to participate.”Beyond gardening, the skill sets developed in military service match many of the characteristics of a successful agricultural professional. Many veterans have naturally transitioned into farming, ranching, and other agricultural opportunities nationwide. To help facilitate veterans in agriculture, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency provided $64.5 million in direct and guaranteed farm operating loans to Veterans in 2018 — and Veterans have preference under most USDA farm credit and farmland conservation programs. Veterans are eligible for increased cost share assistance, additional financial incentives, and funding preferences for engaging in conservation efforts.“Nearly one quarter of Veterans, approximately 5 million, live in rural areas,” said Bill Ashton, USDA Military Veteran Agricultural Liaison. “They [Veterans] can be a positive force for our communities. USDA is committed to making our programs accessible to help Veterans start or grow a career and maximize the potential talent of this population.”USDA’s Rural Development has more than 40 loan, grant, and technical assistance programs including support to:Purchase and develop land and facilitiesPurchase equipment and suppliesRefinance for job expansionFinance for energy efficiency improvements.Veterans in urban areas also have resources available. Whether its backyard or rooftop farming or cutting-edge technologies in intensive indoor hydroponic or aquaculture farms, USDA can help urban Veterans explore opportunities in agriculture. USDA’s Urban Agriculture Toolkit is a great place to start.Resources are available in every aspect of the agricultural industry, including Entrepreneurship, Education and Employment. USDA’s Veteran website at usda.gov/our-agency/initiatives/veterans serves as a one-stop navigator for Veterans looking to learn more and support the critical mission of preparedness and defense of America’s food and agriculture sectors. Contact Mike Hogan at 614-292-7670 for more information about the OSU Extension gardening program at Waterman Farms.last_img read more

Jeddah Suicide Bomber was Indian, Confirms DNA Test

admin No Comments

first_imgThe operative from banned terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba who blew himself up outside the U.S. consulate in Jeddah in 2016 was an Indian national, a report in the Indian Express said, quoting a senior security official. Saudi Arabia confirmed the identity of the suicide bomber on basis of a DNA test, according to the report. The man was identified as Fayaz Kagzi.Indian officials received confirmation from Saudi Arabian authorities that the DNA samples sent by New Delhi last year matched those of the bomber, the report said.The incident was one of the four suicide bombings that took place at three different locations in Saudi Arabia on July 4, 2016. While one bombing at the parking lot of Al-Masjid an-Nabawi killed four people, two other bombs targeted the Shia mosque in Qatif, and the Masjid-i-Nabvi in Medina, respectively. The fourth blast happened near the U.S. consulate in the western coastal city of Jeddah, where the police attempted to arrest Kagzi. Two police officers were injured in the blast.When Saudi Arabia released photos of the Jeddah bomber, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad and National Investigation Agency tried to verify if it was Kagzi, a man wanted in many terror-related cases in India.Kagzi hailed from Beed in Maharashtra and is believed to be the mastermind and financier of the blasts at German Bakery in 2010 and Jangli Maharaj Road in 2012 in Pune, according to the Indian Express. Kagzi was also wanted in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case and is featured on the wanted list of the Central Bureau of Investigation with the Interpol. While Kagzi was not linked to the 26/11 Mumbai attack, he is believed to have taught 10 of the terrorists Hindi for the operation, including Ajmal Kasab, who was executed in 2012.New Delhi sent Kagzi’s DNA profile to Saudi Arabia in August last year. The NIA has informed the investigating agency’s special court in New Delhi of Kagzi’s death, the Indian Express quoted sources as saying.Kagzi had fled to Pakistan via Bangladesh in 2006, along with 26/11 handler Zaibuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, according to security officials. He later moved to Saudi Arabia to look into the recruitment of Indian nationals for the LeT. Before the July 2016 suicide bombing, he returned to Pakistan for a brief period. The report further said that Kagzi may have shifted his loyalties to the Islamic State group in 2014 and may have been tasked with carrying out suicide bombing in Saudi Arabia. Related ItemsjeddahSaudi ArabiaTerrorismlast_img read more

Traffic resumes on Jammu-Srinagar NH

admin No Comments

first_imgTraffic on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway resumed on Sunday after remaining suspended for over 13 hours following a massive landslide in Ramban district, officials said. The highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country, was cleared of debris around 3 a.m., paving the way for resumption of traffic, the officials said. A massive landslide occurred on the highway near Mahar, two kilometres short of Ramban town, around 2 p.m. on Saturday forcing the closure of the strategic road within hours after it was thrown open for traffic after remaining closed for two days due to heavy snowfall and multiple landslides. While light motor vehicles were allowed to move on the highway from both Jammu and Srinagar sides this morning, the movement of heavy vehicles was restricted to one-way and only Kashmir-bound trucks carrying essential commodities are being cleared, the officials said. Kashmir valley and high altitude areas of Jammu region including Jawahar Tunnel along the highway experienced first major snowfall of the season on Thursday and Friday. Meanwhile, the Mughal road, which connects border districts of Poonch and Rajouri in Jammu region with south Kashmir’s Shopian district, remained closed for the fifth day on Sunday, the officials said. The road was closed for traffic on Wednesday after heavy snowfall between Pir Ki Gali and Shopian stretch, the officials said.last_img read more

Steve Smith best Test player in the world: Tim Paine after Australia win Ashes opener

admin No Comments

first_imgAustralia captain Tim Paine hailed Steve Smith as the best player in the world after his successive centuries steered Australia to a 251 run win over England in the first Ashes Test on Monday.Chasing a daunting 398 runs to win on day five at Edgbaston, England were bowled out before tea for 146 as Australia won the opening Test of an away Ashes series for the first time since 2005.With Australia struggling on 122-8 in the first innings, Smith guided his team out of trouble with a sensational 144. Three days later he became only the fifth Australian to score successive centuries in an Ashes Test as he scored a fluent 142 to put the visitors in control of the match.”Steve Smith was unbelievable,” Paine said. “He’s the best Test player in the world. He’s probably the best ever, statistically. And while he’s at the crease our team has got real confidence.”Today we were superb with the ball but having someone like Steve… definitely helps.”Smith was stripped of the captaincy and handed a 12-month ban by Cricket Australia after team mate Cameron Bancroft was caught on camera attempting to change the condition of the ball with sandpaper during a March 2018 Test in South Africa.Bancroft and David Warner were also banned for their part in the incident and they returned to Test action with Smith on Thursday.While Warner endured a torrid time with the bat, scoring two and eight runs respectively in the first Test, the 30-year-old Smith has made up for lost time by punishing the England bowlers.advertisement”I’m loving being back playing cricket for Australia, doing what I love and contributing to wins,” Smith said.”To score two hundreds in a match – the first time I’ve done that in any form of cricket in my life – is very special and I’m very proud.”Paine also praised 31-year-old spinner Nathan Lyon, who made the difference with the ball on the final day, taking 6-49 to give his side the early advantage in the five-match series.”He’s a bit the same as Smith – every Test or series they seem to get better, which is astonishing at their age.”If you come and see them train you’ll see that while they keep getting better, they’re a great example for our group.”There’s still four Tests to go. We’re here to win the Ashes, not just one Test,” Paine concluded.Also Read | Australia win 1st Test at Edgbaston in 18 years after Steve Smith, Nathan Lyon heroicsAlso Read | Steve Smith, Nathan Lyon script victory as Australia go 1-0 up vs EnglandAlso Read | Rory Burns the 2nd English batsman to bat on all 5 days of an Ashes Testlast_img read more