Boxer Moran ‘has a lot to answer for’ after South Donegal floods

first_imgThe Minister for Flood Relief has been strongly criticised in the wake of the flooding in Donegal Town this morning.Homes and businesses in three areas of the town were badly affected by floods caused by heavy rain and high tides during Storm Lorenzo.It is not the first time that residents in the town centre have dealt with the devastating effects of floods, but as the waters came in again this morning, there have been calls for urgent action. Cllr Michael Naughton, who was on the scene, said he was upset for the families impacted in New Row, Drumlonagher, O’Cleary Avenue and Brookfield Manor.The Donegal MD councillor has called on the Minister for Public Works and Flood Relief Kevin Boxer Moran to put his words into actions.“Three years ago we took Kevin Boxer Moran down here, he shook our hands and he told us that he was going to solve this problem. Here we are again with flooded homes,” Cllr Naughton told Donegal Daily.“How would he feel coming out of bed and putting his foot in water?” “Families are devastated. They can’t get insurance against floods anymore.”Cllr Naughton commended the fire service, Donegal County Council’s Director of Emergency Services Garry Martin, and all local people who assisted with the emergency this morning.“The community spirit was strong here,” Cllr Naughton said.But the councillor says that questions have to be answered.“I’m not going to sit in the council chamber for another five years and tell people that this will be addressed. I want to see the Minister coming to get this problem solved. “The question is how much will all this cost. We had fire services from Bundoran, Ballyshannon, Killybegs and Letterkenny. The State has to look at the way they spend money.“We need to start putting the horse before the cart because it’s no good handing out money like this,” he said.The residents of Donegal Town have some breathing space today after this morning’s floodwater subsided and the high tide did not surge as feared. But for many, the clean-up has just begun.Boxer Moran ‘has a lot to answer for’ after South Donegal floods was last modified: October 7th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Warriors plan for Steph Curry to return ‘the minute he’s deemed ready’

first_imgMINNEAPOLIS — Warriors guard Stephen Curry plans to play again this season despite an earlier report that he is likely to miss the remainder of the season with a broken hand.“The plan is for him to be back out on the court playing the minute he’s deemed ready to go by our training staff,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr later said, adding the report is “kind of a head scratcher.”A Bleacher Report story indicated Friday that Curry is unlikely to play this season, and that the fracture “was worse …last_img read more

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Molecular Phylogeny Is a Mess of Uncertainty

first_imgGenomes galore – a great opportunity to study evolution, right?  Think again.  A paper in Science by Wong et al1 revealed systematic uncertainty in the way genomes are compared, leading to bias that makes genetic comparisons essentially useless.  Antonis Rokas, in the same issue,2 began his commentary on this problem thus:Darwin relied on fossils, morphology, and geographical distribution to glean important clues about the history of life.  Today, natural historians can study organisms’ history of change and adaptation by probing the DNA record.  Whether to elucidate evolutionary relationships of genes and species or spot the amino acid changes driven by selection, we need to be able to generate accurate alignments of DNA sequences.  On page 473 of this issue, Wong et al.1 provide some important caveats on how this can go awry and how to avoid alignment bias.Rokas continued with a folksy explanation of the basic problem:For years, the standard protocol has been to pick a favorite algorithm to optimize the alignment it generates.  This approach is fast and easy, but it is like being forced to always settle on vanilla ice cream for dessert; doing so can taint one’s opinion about ice cream.  Similarly, sticking to the use of a single alignment from a single algorithm can bias the estimation of phylogenies or of other evolutionary parameters pivotal to our understanding of the DNA record.  Until now, the extent and potential significance of this bias introduced by alignment was unknown.  Wong and colleagues quantify the contribution of alignment uncertainty to genome-wide evolutionary analyses and report that we sweep this uncertainty under the proverbial rug at our peril.Wong and team used seven popular programs to compare seven genomes.  “The term ‘popular’ is not used lightly here,” Rokas notes; “these programs have been employed, judging by citation counts, in at least 25,000 analyses.”  The potential for revision, therefore is enormous.  What did the researchers find? They report that a staggering 46.2% of the genes examined exhibit variation in the phylogeny produced dependent on the choice of alignment method, whereas the prediction of the amino acid changes driven by selection was likewise method dependent for another 28.4% of the genes.The significance of this “whoops” admission cannot be overstated.  For years, evolutionary biologists have depended on the “popular” algorithms to generate phylogenetic trees, expecting their results to be reliable.  Rokas explains that high “bootstrap” values for some trees (a popular index that is supposed to measure robustness in inference) can be misleading, because “bootstrap values do not always equate with phylogenetic accuracy.”  But if the bootstrap value is strong, what is in error – the signal or the phylogenetic inference?  Rokas did not explore the latter possibility.    Wong et al explain how researchers can fall into the trap by trusting algorithms that cannot bear the weight of inference placed on them:A common theme in comparative genomics studies is a flow diagram, or chart, tracing the various steps and algorithms used during the analysis of a large number of genes.  Flow charts can be quite sophisticated, with steps such as identifying orthologous gene sets, aligning the genes, and performing different statistical analyses on the resulting alignments.  The key point, and a great practical difficulty in comparative genomics studies, is that the analyses must be repeated many times.  The procedure, then, is largely automated, with scripting languages such as Perl or Python cobbling together individual programs that perform each step.  In addition, many of the individual steps involve procedures originally developed in the evolutionary biology literature, to perform phylogeny estimation or to identify individual amino acid residues under the influence of positive selection.  Statistical methods that until recently would have been applied to a single alignment, carefully constructed, are now applied to a large number of alignments, many of which may be of uncertain quality and cause the underlying assumptions of the methods to fail.This seems to indicate another problem: the very algorithms trusted were written on the assumption of evolution.  Is there a circularity here?  Will the algorithm select the data that will produce the expected evolutionary result?  They did not elaborate.    The authors state that the uncertainty is not just a matter of sloppy analysis.  A biologist may run the program with great care and precision.  It’s trusting the algorithms themselves, and being unaware of the uncertainties, that leads to huge errors and false conclusions.  They explain how this can happen:Many comparative genomics studies are carefully performed and reasonable in design.  However, even carefully designed and carried out analyses can suffer from these types of problems because the methods used in the analysis of the genomic data do not properly accommodate alignment uncertainty in the first place.  Moreover, the genes that are of greatest interest to the evolutionary biologist probably suffer disproportionately.  For example, in several studies, the genes of greatest interest were the ones that had diverged most in their nonsynonymous rate of substitution.  But, these are the very genes that should be the most difficult to align in the first place.  We also do not believe that the alignment uncertainty problem is one that can be resolved by simply throwing away genes, or portions of genes, for which alignment differs.In fact, throwing out portions that have ambiguous alignments can lead to other problems, such as removing a large portion of the primary data.  It also does not guarantee the remainder will line up well.    Rokas has a good-news-bad-news story.  On the hopeful side, “several novel statistical methods that simultaneously estimate alignment and evolutionary parameters of interest such as phylogeny have shown exceptional promise,” he said.  The bad news is there’s a catch: “The computational demands of these programs are prohibitive.”    Wong et al suggested some ways to mitigate alignment bias.  No matter the quality control used, though, carefulness is not going to solve all the problems.  “The goal is to analyze all of the genes in the genome,” they said.  “As we have shown here, many of these genes will be difficult to align and result in highly variable evolutionary parameter estimates.”  They did not seem to explore the possibility of circular reasoning in the algorithms.    Wow.  This is going to be a shattering revelation to many a biologist.  Rokas put the best possible spin on a bad situation:As in any scientific field, molecular evolution has a long tradition of dramatic transformation.  The development of a powerful computational and statistical arsenal to account for the uncertainty stemming from sequence alignments is heralding the first paradigm shift in the era of genome-scale analysis.Now, the question is what to do about the 25,000 erroneous papers, and how long it will take to overcome the inertia of thousands of scientists continuing to use the popular algorithms oblivious to their inherent uncertainties.1.  Wong, Suchard and Huelsenbeck, “Alignment Uncertainty and Genomic Analysis,” Science, 25 January 2008: Vol. 319. no. 5862, pp. 473-476, DOI: 10.1126/science.1151532.2.  Antonis Rokas, “Lining Up to Avoid Bias,” Science, 25 January 2008: Vol. 319. no. 5862, pp. 416-417, DOI: 10.1126/science.1153156..This shouldn’t be news.  A team of scientists reported six years ago that building phylogenetic trees with any realistic measure of reliability was mathematically impossible (07/25/2002).  Evolutionary biologists have to make assumptions and take shortcuts to get results.  Because the algorithms are built on evolutionary assumptions (e.g., what constitutes positive selection, or what constitutes maximum likelihood or a parsimonious solution), the whole exercise is circular.  Don’t think for a minute that a computer program built by evolutionists for evolutionists is going to generate bias-free, objective, neutral “facts of science.”  They is a-huntin’ for Darwin’s trees, and Darwin’s trees is what they gonna get.    This paper is not likely to make much of a dent.  Life will go on, because “tree-thinking” is inscribed with an iron stylus on the evolutionary biologist’s brain (11/14/2005).  It influences everything he thinks and does.  Besides, the importance of bashing down the creationists with mountains and mountains of scientific evidence for evolution is too important for a little bit of error, say 75% or more, to hinder the mission.  With Darwin Day coming, the show must go on!(Visited 46 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Department of Communications statement on the passing of Collins Chabane

first_imgCollins ChabaneToday, Sunday 15 March 2015 the country woke up to the tragic news of the passing on of one of our own, Minister Ohm Collins Chabane.President Jacob Zuma and government learnt with great shock of this tragic incident. Minister Chabane passed away in a car accident together with his close protectors Sergeant Lawrence Lentsoane and Sergeant Lesiba Sekele, while on their way to Pretoria from Polokwane Limpopo.We are informed that the Minister’s vehicle was traveling from N1 northerly direction towards the southerly direction of the N1. A truck which was also driving in the same direction on the left lane in front decided to make a U-Turn. It was at that point that the minister’s vehicle drove on to the truck which was in the minister’s lane. The driver of the truck has since been arrested for negligent driving.Minister Chabane was a humble, disciplined, passionate and dedicated member of the Executive. He was truly devoted to his work of improving the lives of the people of South Africa. He was an intellectual giant with a great understanding of what we had to do to free our people from poverty. Minister Chabane was a humble person who would never put himself forward for anything as he often said “if I am doing something good, people will be the ones to tell”.He was a gallant member of the African National Congress (ANC) and our liberation struggle, which he joined at the tender age of 17 years. He went into exile in May 1980 and underwent military training with uMkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the ANC. He was later arrested and served a term on Robben Island from 1984 to 1990. He was popularly known by his guerrilla name as Tom or iSilwane/animal or warrior.He dedicated his life to liberate the people of South Africa from the evil system of apartheid. Even in democracy, he continued to play a central role in ensuring that the lives of all our people are improved for the better and that they enjoy the fruits of our freedom.Minister Chabane never lost contact with his roots; he met his untimely death while returning from the funeral of a local Chief Albert Magona of Malamulele in his home village in Limpopo.President Jacob Zuma, after being informed of Minister Chabane’s passing on this morning, expressed his deep shock at the untimely death of a competent, accomplished, dedicated and dependable member of his Cabinet. President Zuma views the death of Minister Chabane as a huge loss to the government and the country as a whole.Prior to being appointed, Minister of Public Service and Administration in 2014, Minister Chabane was Minister in the Presidency responsible for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation.He was responsible for the establishment of the Performance Monitoring and Evaluation function in The Presidency. During his tenure in the Presidency he supported the President in monitoring the performance of government including the introduction of performance agreements between Ministers and the President. He was also the Minister responsible for the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS).He distinguished himself as a Member of the Executive Council resulting in receiving an award for his administrative role in the Limpopo Provincial Administration. He served as the Member of the Executive Council for Public Works and later Economic Development, Environment and Tourism in Limpopo.Minister Chabane also served as a member of the National Executive of the ANC since 1991 and from 2007 was elected to the National Working Committee.He was a keen and passionate golfer and a recorded musician with his group Movement. He was honoured for his contribution to indigenous music by the South African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO). He will be remembered for his great sense of humour, humility and hard work.During this difficult time, on behalf of President Zuma, government and its people, we want to extend our sincere condolences to the Chabane, Lentsoane and Sekele families, friends and all South Africans who knew him.We also wish the Chabane, Lentsoane and Sekele families and all South Africans who knew them strength and courage during this dark period as they attempt to come to terms with their loss.Minister Collins Chabane, as a dedicated serving Minister will be accorded a Special Official Funeral. Details of which will be communicated at a later stage.Minister Chabane is survived by his wife Mavis Chabane and two children.May his soul rest in peace!End.Issued by: Department of CommunicationEnquiries: Ms Phumla Williams (Acting Cabinet Spokesperson)Contact: 083 501 013915 March 2015www.doc.gov.za; www.gov.zaPublic invited to sign condolence books for the late Minister ChabaneAs the country mourns the tragic death of the Minister of Public Service and Administration, Mr Collins Chabane, South Africans are invited to pay their respects and sign the Condolence books to be placed in various areas across the country.Mourners can convey their messages at the following areas:• The Union Buildings, Government Avenue, Pretoria• Tuynhuys, Cape Town• Parliament of South Africa, Cape Town• The Department of Public Service and Administration, Johannes Ramokhoase Street, Pretoria• Office of the Premier, Limpopo Province.Enquiries: Mac Maharaj 079 879 3203 or [email protected]last_img read more

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South Africa: talk directly to local government

first_imgMillions of South Africans are online, which the country is exploiting to bring local government closer to the people. Residents can communicate directly with officials through a new digital platform, which allows them to send instant messages to ward councillors.GovChat is an online platform that allows South Africans to communicate directly with ward councillors. (Image: Screengrab via YouTube)Brand South Africa reporterInternet technology has vastly improved communication. And now there is a platform that gives South Africans a direct line to their respective ward councillors. What’s more, residents are also able to send images, photos, videos, public and private messages in real time.Interact directly with your Ward Councillor about your community’s challenges. Visit https://t.co/4Pett3VrRC and register now #GovChat pic.twitter.com/8C2Nf4wnbl— GovChat (@govchatsa) October 15, 2016The platform is an initiative of the South African Local Government Association (Salga).Follow these five easy steps to access it:Visit www.govchat.org.za and choose the registration button.Fill in your account details and choose a password you’ll remember easily.Set up your profile and share your location.Set up your membership.Agree to the terms and conditions and click on ‘complete sign up’.Once you receive the activation email and follow the directions, you are able to join the conversation. See this:AdvantagesDid you know? You can now create your own community group on the GovChat website. Register to get in touch with your community. pic.twitter.com/iDUmKWyGNj— South African Gov (@GovernmentZA) October 13, 2016“We are pleased that Salga has integrated GovChat as a valuable communications tool that will connect citizens to their local ward councillors,” said Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) director-general Donald Liphoko.GovChat aims to break barriers of communication and support civic engagement.“It will go a long way in bridging the divide between the electorate and public representatives.“The service will improve for the better as councillors will be at the frontline of providing instant and credible information to the people they serve,” the government said.GovChat, said Liphoko, gave people the opportunity to speak to councillors on many topics, including housing, access to water and electricity, safety and job creation initiatives in their areas.The country’s National Development Plan calls for a “responsive, accountable, effective, local government system”, and GovChat is a step towards attaining that goal.According to the GCIS, South Africans are becoming increasingly connected. There are more than 26 million active internet users, 13 million of whom are active social media users.The plan for the near future is to make GovChat available on Android and iOS devices.Click here to go to the GovChat site.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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Leander Paes-Radek Stepanek down Mahesh Bhupathi-Rohan Bopanna to win Shanghai Masters

first_imgLeander Paes of India and his Czech partner Radek Stepanek beat India’s Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna for the doubles tennis title at the Shanghai Masters on Sunday.The fourth seeds claimed a 6-7(7-9), 6-3, 10-5 comeback victory over the Indian duo, seeded seventh.The Indian-Czech tandem saved four of the five break points they faced and broke their opponents twice to claim victory in one hour and 36 minutes. Paes and Stepanek won 50 percent of points on Bhupathi-Bopanna’s second serve and won 70 percent of their own service points.The Indian-Czech tandem saved four of the five break points they faced and broke their opponents twice to claim victory.”Today was a bit more of a personal match for us three Indians,” Paes was quoted as saying by ATP website.”Radek came in and he made it fun for me. He relaxed, laughed, joked. Said, ‘stay smooth, relaxed and have a hungry intensity’.”Paes and Stepanek, who have already qualified for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London, earned 1000 ATP World Tour ranking points and $207,320. Four spots remain at the year-end championships, with Bhupathi and Bopanna bolstering their claim by receiving 600 ranking points.”We’ve had a great year,” said Paes. “It started off with a big bang. To do well early in a partnership is something that can happen. But to continue playing well right through the whole year shows the quality of tennis that we play.”last_img read more

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Paddy fields of dreams: the Myanmar teen making way in women’s football

first_imgView comments Although her parents wanted her to go to university she had other ideas, with her grandfather, an ex-player, the only family member to support her ambitions.Five years ago San Thaw Thaw left the muddy rice fields to take up a place on the U14 national side in Yangon and in 2016 was spotted and recruited by former Myanmar player Than Than Htwe, now coaching Zwe Ka Pin United. FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“Most of my friends from my village have got married and are working in the paddy fields,” San Thaw Thaw told AFP. “But I’m playing football in Yangon and I’m meeting lots of new people.”However, San Thaw Thaw is only too aware of the challenges for girls wanting to follow their footballing aspirations in Myanmar.  MOST READ Her dream is to play in Europe and she devotes all her free time to extra training, admitting she can be a little too competitive at times — something she shares with her hero Rooney. “We’re both aggressive. We give everything to beat our rivals,” she says.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Thai court upholds death sentence for Myanmar men over Brit killings PLAY LIST 01:22Thai court upholds death sentence for Myanmar men over Brit killings02:37Myanmar battles rising floodwaters after dozens killed in landslide00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess “It’s difficult for us to compete with other countries,” she says of women’s football in Myanmar, though the country punches above its weight and is ranked 44th — above Ghana, Cameroon and Slovakia. “They’ve been training since they were seven or eight years old. We start at age 14 or 15.” In April the side reached the third round of the AFC Olympic qualifiers.But this success did little to excite Myanmar’s public, which follows the action in England’s Premier League far more closely than any matches at home — particularly women’s football. San Thaw Thaw says she does not get disheartened even though only “one or two” fans come to cheer on the team.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport Horse death toll rises at Santa Anita Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP LATEST STORIES This photo taken on May 3, 2019 shows Myanmar’s U-19 football player San Thaw Thaw taking part in a training session in Yangon. – Myanmar U19 striker San Thaw Thaw fled from her family’s paddy fields to follow her footballing dreams, inspired by her girlhood hero Wayne Rooney. (Photo by Ye Aung THU / AFP)Myanmar U19 striker San Thaw Thaw fled from her family’s paddy fields to follow her footballing dreams, inspired by her girlhood hero Wayne Rooney.One of five daughters, the 18-year-old grew up in Nyaung Tone township in Ayeyarwaddy division obsessed with football in a country that often frowns on women playing sport. ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

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Lieutenant Colonel MS Dhoni deployed in Kashmir Valley as part of Victor Force

first_imgMS Dhoni will be deployed in the Kashmir valley as part of Victor Force. The former India captain will stay with the troops and he will take on the duties of patrolling, guard and post duty.Lieutenant Colonel (Honorary) MS Dhoni is proceeding to 106 TA Battalion (Para) for being with the Battalion from 31 Jul-15 Aug 19. Dhoni had taken a two-month break from cricket to serve his regiment.MS Dhoni, India’s most successful captain, had made himself unavailable for the West Indies tour.MS Dhoni, who holds the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army unit of the Parachute Regiment (106 Para TA battalion), was accorded the honour by the Indian Army in 2011.4 years ago, MS Dhoni became a qualified paratrooper when he completed5 parachute training jumps from Indian Army aircrafts at the Agra training camp.Dhoni was involved in a gutsy partnership with Ravindra Jadeja in the semi-final of the 2019 World Cup but India fell just short as New Zealand reached the final.MS Dhoni had led India to victory in the 2007 T20 World Cup, 2011 World Cup and the 2013 Champions Trophy.In India’s first match of the 2019 World Cup against South Africa, MS Dhoni had donned the Balidan crest on his wicketkeeping gloves. However, the ICC said it was against rules and he removed the crest for India’s second match of the tournament against Australia.Also Read | Legendary player like MS Dhoni knows when to retire: MSK PrasadAlso Read | Shikhar Dhawan back in ODI side, Manish Pandey and Shreyas Iyer includedAlso See:advertisementlast_img read more

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Jason Collins Talks to Good Morning America About Being

As NBA player Jason Collins announced he is homosexual, his aunt and confidante, Judge Teri. L. Jackson of San Francisco Superior Court, said that she’s “very proud of him” for doing so.Jason Collins’ Good Morning America Interview: Gay NBA Player Talks Decision To Come Out.NBA player Jason Collins talks to Good Morning America’s George Stephanopoulos about his announcement that he is gay.

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