first_img SUBJECT TO APPROVAL Ahead of Jamaica’s 55th Independence celebrations next year, Minister of Culture, Gender Affairs, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, has revealed that statues of decorated Olympians Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will be commissioned as part of the National Stadium Statue Park’s development plans. According to Grange, a total of four statues will be commissioned. The others are for former men’s 100m record holder Asafa Powell and multiple Olympic medallist, Veronica Campbell-Brown. “The ministry will commission four statues over the next two years for the following athletes – Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce, Veronica Campbell-Brown and Asafa Powell,” said Grange. “The first two statues of Usain and Shelly-Ann will be completed in time for the Jamaica 55 Independence celebrations next year and the other two statues of Veronica Cambell-Brown and Asafa Powell for the following year,” she continued. Grange was speaking during a programme of celebration for Rio Olympians and Paralympians, at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston, yesterday, adding the statues will be of the athletes’ liking. “Of course, the images will be subject to the approval of each athlete and the sculptor who is commissioned to do the work is the same sculptor who did the work for the Herb McKenley statue,” she pointed out of Basil Watson. The development plan for Independence Stadium Complex, which will include the national sports museum, according to Grange, will be done on a phased basis over a period of two years. “There are other plans that are in the works, but at this time I will hold those announcements for the future,” informed Grange. “I will emphasise that what we are doing is not just about celebrating the achievements of our athletes by having a big party, but we also will ensure that we have legacy projects that will be a lasting tribute to their achievements,” Grange stressed. She was speaking in reference to the Heroes weekend celebrations (October 14-16) for Olympians and Paralympians from the Rio Games, recently .last_img read more

first_imgEvery day, billions of viruses are carried by high winds from continent to continent.There’s no escape. Our planet is swarming with viruses. UBC Science describes new measurements from mountaintops in Spain, saying, “An astonishing number of viruses are circulating around the Earth’s atmosphere – and falling from it – according to new research from scientists in Canada, Spain and the U.S.” The number of viruses they found is 9 to 461 times as high as for bacteria carried aloft.“Every day, more than 800 million viruses are deposited per square metre above the planetary boundary layer—that’s 25 viruses for each person in Canada,” said University of British Columbia virologist Curtis Suttle, one of the senior authors of a paper in the International Society for Microbial Ecology Journal that outlines the findings.The viruses are swept up by sea spray and by winds over the land. Carried upward above the clouds, they can be transported across continents before rains and Sahara dust intrusions deposit them back onto the land. This helps explain why genetically identical viruses have been found in different environments around the globe.Evolution News reported that tens of thousands of bacteria live in dust grains carried by clouds. The article asked whether the global transport of biological systems might be necessary for a  planet’s habitability. Another article on Evolution News considered the rich biological communities that live in soil biocrusts. These ecosystems could possibly neutralize some of the static electricity that plagues the planet Mars, the moon, and Saturn’s large moon Titan.For all we know, the dust carrying genetic information around the earth could be for our good. Nature reported that “Dirt yields potent antibiotics.” Some microbes found in soil produce antibiotics able to conquer some of today’s most feared antibiotic-resistant bacteria:One gram of soil contains at least 1,000 bacterial species. To explore the medical potential of that diversity, Sean Brady at the Rockefeller University in New York City and his colleagues analysed roughly 2,000 soil samples collected across the United States. The researchers extracted DNA from the samples and screened it for genetic sequences involved in the production of antibiotics by various bacteria.The search turned up a new family of antibiotics that the team named ‘malacidins’. The compounds kill many formidable pathogens, including a microbe resistant to vancomycin, which is considered to be the antibiotic of last resort. When applied to the skin of rats, the new antibiotics sterilized wounds infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a bacterium that can ravage large expanses of tissue.There could be acres of diamonds all around us, microbes with cures for disease, inoculating us against the worst infections if we only knew all that these tiny travelers on dust particles are there for.Microbes and viruses live everywhere, from the ocean floor to the high atmosphere. These invisible realities may do far more for the earth than we realize: they may contribute to its habitability. The ubiquity of organisms also indicates that the earth is the Information Planet. Even the clouds “are perfused with huge amounts of complex specified information: the genetic codes of tens of thousands of organisms.”(Visited 309 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Chelsea boss Lampard delivers new Kante updateby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea boss Frank Lampard says N’Golo Kante could be back for their Champions League tie with Lille.Kante missed victory over Brighton yesterday with a hamstring strain.Lampard said, “I spoke to N’Golo about it and I didn’t want to take the risk. “He’s so important for us but it’s been difficult for him to get going because of the break-up of his pre-season, with his injury carried over from last season. It wasn’t right to risk it today but he could have a chance for Lille.” last_img read more

first_imgDistrict Attorney Jerry D. Jones at his desk discussing the dropped charges of Alabama football players.KNOE.comAlabama football got huge news this afternoon, when Monroe, La. district attorney Jerry Jones announced that he has dropped the drug and gun charges against Cam Robinson, one of the nation’s best tackles, and reserve safety Hootie Jones. KNOE News has more from Jones, including a very interesting quote regarding this decision.Jones says, “I want to emphasize once again that the main reason I’m doing this is that I refuse to ruin the lives of two young men who have spent their adolescence and teenage years, working and sweating, while we were all in the air conditioning.”In the station’s video report on the story, reporter Nicholas Picht says that the DA could not prove who, between Robinson, Jones, and two other men arrested with them, was in possession of the marijuana or the gun, and cited a 2001 case that necessitates a connection between the two offenses.We’ll continue to update this story as more is released.[KNOE]MORE FROM COLLEGE SPUN:The 10 Most Aggressive Fan Bases In CFBIn Photos: Golfer Paige SpiranacESPN Makes Decision On Dick Vitalelast_img read more

first_imgOTTAWA – Canada Post issued wide-ranging new contract offers to its employees Wednesday in the hope of preventing a work stoppage at the Crown corporation ahead of the busy holiday online shopping season, The Canadian Press has learned.The offers included “improvements to pay and benefits, adding job security for rural and suburban employees and no changes to the existing defined benefit pension plan,” the agency confirmed in an emailed statement.“It also includes more certainty and opportunities for temporary and part-time workers,” Canada Post said.The proposals came after high-level talks were held over the weekend aimed at bridging an impasse in negotiations with the union representing 50,000 of its workers.The talks had stalled in recent weeks, mainly over wages and working conditions.Failure to reach agreements with the agency’s 42,000 unionized urban carriers and 8,000 rural and suburban employees could result in a strike or lockout once a 72 hour notice period expires.Any job action at Canada Post this time of year could threaten deliveries of packages to consumers who shop online. Canada Post said last year that it delivered about one million parcels per day during the holiday season — an increase of 20 per cent over the same period in 2016.Canada Post said its new offers acknowledged a “rapid increase in the number of parcels” by including what it called “short and long-term measures to address the resulting workload issues for employees.”A spokesman for the Canadian Union of Postal Workers confirmed the union had received new proposals from the Crown corporation late Wednesday, but said the bargaining agents would need to analyze them before commenting.The counter offers were issued more than two weeks after CUPW issued broad-ranging contract proposals of its own that included demands for 3.5 per cent annual wage hikes.Canada Post had earlier offered wage increases of 1.5 per cent per year but did not provide details on it latest proposals.The agency did say, however, that the new offer for rural and suburban carriers, known as RSMCs, “goes above and beyond the important changes made as a result of the recent pay equity ruling.”An arbitrator last month ordered Canada Post to give RSMCs pay increases of up to 25 per cent to settle a long-fought pay-equity dispute.Not including added benefits that were part of the ruling, CUPW said the pay increase amounted to as much as $13,000 annually, retroactive to the beginning of 2016.In bargaining for a new RSMC contract, CUPW had sought hourly pay rates for rural and suburban carriers equivalent to what urban letter carriers are paid, along with better job security and minimum guaranteed hours.An initial Sept. 26 deadline for reaching agreements passed with no job action after the union said it would wait to see whether progress could be made at the bargaining table.Postal workers have been without contracts since the beginning of the year.The union has said it also hoped the latest round of bargaining would see agreements for both sets of workers combined into a single, new contract.Federal Labour Minister Patty Hajdu has encouraged both sides to continue negotiating toward collective agreements, with the help of a mediator, to avoid a work stoppage.last_img read more

first_imgOTTAWA — Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. saw its third-quarter profit drop compared with a year ago as the housing market showed signs of cooling off.The country’s largest mortgage insurer says it earned $387 million for the three months ending on Sept. 30, down from $467 million in the same period a year earlier.Revenue totalled $1.05 billion in the third quarter, compared with $1.26 billion last year.CMHC offers mortgage default insurance for homebuyers as well as loans for multi-unit residential projects and portfolios of loans secured by residential properties.It says it anticipates tighter mortgage rules, rising interest rates and a slowing economy to reduce demand for housing and continue to impact its earnings over the near term.The agency says for the first three quarters of 2018, the average CMHC-insured homebuyer bought a home for nearly $276,000 with down payment of 7.7 per cent.  Nearly all CMHC-insured homebuyers chose a 25-year amortization period. Thirty-one per cent opted for a variable-rate mortgage over a fixed-rate loan.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

first_imgNew Delhi: In a big bang election promise, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday announced that 20 per cent families belonging to the poorest category will be given Rs 72,000 each annually as minimum income if his party comes to power. Making the announcement at a press conference here, Gandhi said five crore families and 25 crore will directly benefit from the scheme. “Final assault on poverty has begun. We will wipe out poverty from the country,” he said Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Gandhi said the Congress has studied the fiscal implications of the scheme and consulted renowned economists and experts before finalising the scheme. “It is an extremely powerful, ground-breaking and well-thought through idea. We have consulted many economists on the scheme,” he said. “People have suffered in the last five years and we are going to give justice to them,” he added.last_img read more

first_imgNEW DELHI: The Delhi Electoral Office (CEO) has received several complaints about the AAP government departments and BJP-ruled MCDs starting work on projects before the model code of conduct came into force, but seeking formal approvals later, an official said.The office of Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) has shot off a letter to head of departments, saying the projects that actually started on the ground after obtaining all necessary permission, before the poll code came into force, can be continued. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe model code of conduct (mcc) came into force on March 10 when the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced the dates for the Lok Sabha elections, which will be held in seven phases starting April 11. According to the letter, the CEO office has received various complaints and references from the ECI, public representatives about formal approvals being given to those projects after the model code of conduct came into force, but their ground work started before the announcement of dates of Lok Sabha polls. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchings”It is also mentioned in some cases that in order to avoid MCC compliance, the new works have been started before March 10, 2019, however, their formal approvals etc. have been taken subsequently after the MCC has come into force,” stated the letter. The CEO office had on Thursday said over 2.25 lakh banners have been removed from across Delhi while 74 FIRs and complaints have been filed in connection with poll code violation. Of the 74 FIRs and daily diary entries lodged, nine are against the AAP (six FIRs, three DD entries), six against the BJP (four FIRs, two DD entries), one against the Congress (one DD entry), one against the BSP and 57 are under the head of others/non-political.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: The Ministry of Home Affairs has turned down a plea of Mamata Banerjee government to retain 35 companies of central forces posted in once Maoist-dominated Jangalmahal region in south Bengal, a senior state government official said Sunday. The state government has then written to the ministry to reconsider the decision stating that the move might re-ignite Maoist problems in the region, he said. The forested areas of West Midnapore, Jhargram, Bankura and Purulia districts in the southern part of the state forms Jangalmahal. The areas which share border with Jharkhand were once affected by Maoist insurgency. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja “A second letter has been sent to the Home Ministry a couple of days ago requesting it to retain the forces in Jangalmahal. A special mention has been made in the letter that withdrawal of the forces may re-ignite the Maoist problem in the area which has borders with Jharkhand. We are waiting for a reply from the ministry,” the IAS officer said. The ministry, about a fortnight ago, had informed the state government of its decision to pull out the 35 companies of central forces and deploy them on election duty in other parts of West Bengal. “We had written to the home ministry opposing the decision citing intelligence reports on the Maoists trying to regroup in the Jangalmahal area. We also have cited reports about visits of Maoist leaders from Jharkhand,” he said.last_img read more