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‘Ebola a Serious Threat to Liberia’s National Existence’

first_imgMadam PresidentMembers of the CouncilSRSG LangrenAmbassador Marten GrunditzLadies and GentlemenIt is a privilege for me to participate, for the second time, in a meeting of this Council on UNMIL activities in Liberia. Let me begin by expressing the profound gratitude of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the Government and People of Liberia to the Council for its continued support of peace and stability in Liberia. We also want to congratulate you Madam President, on your assumption of the presidency  of the Council for this month.Madam President,We are meeting at a time when Liberia is facing a serious threat to its national existence.  The deadly Ebola virus has caused a disruption of the normal functioning of our State.The disease, which early this year was identified in the remote villages of our country,, has now reached urban centers, including the capital Monrovia. It is now spreading like wild fire, devouring everything in its path. The already weak health infrastructure of the country has  been overwhelmed. Health workers,  including doctors and nurses, who are at the frontline of the fight to control the disease  have been highly affected, with several losing their lives, including some of the country’s prominent doctors and nurses.The rapid spread of this virus created a health crisis, requiring the President to  institute measures aimed at containment.  These measures included establishment of the National Task Force on Ebola, headed by the President herself; creation of an Incident Management Team, led by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare,  and declaration of a State of Emergency for 90 days.  Additional measures included one month compulsory leave for non-essential government employees, now extended for second month, to limit human to human contact.  Communities with  high incidence of infections were contained and, in specific cases, quarantined in order to limit movement.  A nation-wide curfew is currently in place.The Government of Liberia launched an awareness campaign with the full support  of UNMIL, the Liberian media, civil society organizations, the business community and other bilateral and international partners.  The Government also, through the national Legislature, provided an initial allocation of $5 million dollars to support the national strategy against the spread of the deadly virus.  A subsequent appeal was made to the international community to provide financial, logistical and material support for the implementation of the national strategy which prioritized the following actions: Personal protection and safety of healthcare workers – providing better health care services for all ebola virus disease cases (EVDs), and providing general health care for the population, among other measures.In spite of all these measures, continued denial, traditional practices, religious rituals, fear and community resistance still constitute obstacles to progress.  Government is using all available means to overcome these obstacles and minimize actions of mob violence and other infractions of peace and security.From the few cases in March 2014, the pandemic has mushroomed into a health emergency exceeding the Government’s response capacity. As we speak, this deadly disease continues to spread and cause havoc in many communities.  Nine of the fifteen counties in Liberia are currently affected.  Liberia lacks the infrastructure, logistical capacity,, professional expertise and financial resources to effectively address this disease.Madam President,To be candid, the response by the international community to the  appeal of our Government and partners, in particular WHO and Medecins Sans Frontiere (MSF) was initially less than robust.  However, we are thankful to the Secretary General for his leadership and initiatives in focusing global attention on this virus, including his appointment of a Special Coordinator for Ebola in the person of Dr. David Nabarro.  We are very encouraged by current efforts of the UN to mobilize resources and coordinate the scaling up of interventions to bring surge capacity to bear in response to this tragic situation.  We are equally appreciative of the action taken by the African Union in dispatching a technical team and making funding available to support national efforts.  Even today, the African Union has issued a call to all its Members State to urgently lift all travel bans imposed on countries affected by the ebola outbreak in Africa.  We ask Council members to all use their good offices to support this call.This health emergency is affecting every sector of our society.  Our economy has been very seriously disrupted. Local economic activities such as domestic food production, mining, and transport services have been undermined.  Moreover, the slowdown in domestic food production, particularly in affected areas of the country, has negatively impacted food supply, thus  triggering increasing demand for imported commodities, at higher prices.  The hospitality industry has also been seriously affected by the epidemic.  Today, only two international airlines, SN Brussels and Air Maroc are flying to and from Liberia. The suspension of flights has accentuated the difficulties we are facing and exacerbated the constraint of humanitarian delivery. Madam President,Until today, there have been no reports of infections among UNMIL staff,  both national and international.  The Government is aware that the stakes are high as troop and police contributing countries habour concerns for the health and safety of their citizens.  We extend our appreciation to these countries and appeal for their solidarity by allowing their forces to continue their assignment in Liberia. The UN plan for scaling up the international response needs to benefit from the use of military assets as well.  We thank those countries which have provided these assets and encourage others to do the same.Madam President,The Government of Liberia fully supports the Secretary-General’s request for a technical roll-over of UNMIL’s mandate for the next three months.  Our attention and focus need to be directed towards containing and eliminating the ebola virus from Liberia and other countries. We encourage continued flexibility on the part of the Council in these very difficult circumstances for Liberia. We also hope that the deliberations will take into account the imperatives of protecting the investment and gains made in Liberia over the years for peace and stability.I thank you.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Datebook 2/11

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! TODAY Breakaway From Cancer Charity Bike Ride, 9 a.m., Amgen, 1 Amgen Center Drive, Thousand Oaks. Call (805) 313-6151. Mail Datebook entries – including time, date, location and phone number – to Daily News City Desk, P.O. Box 4200, Woodland Hills, CA 91365; fax (818) 713-0058; e-mail

Bucs trade for Plummer, sign Garcia

first_imgThe Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed free-agent quarterback Jeff Garcia and potentially nabbed even more competition for incumbent starter Chris Simms by obtaining the rights to Jake Plummer from Denver on Saturday. Garcia, a three-time Pro Bowl selection who nearly signed with the Bucs as a free agent in 2004, agreed to a two-year deal he hopes will give him a chance to finally get to the Super Bowl. San Francisco signed defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin and re-signed wide receiver Bryan Gilmore. St. Louis signed wide receiver Drew Bennett, who led Tennessee last season with 46 catches for 737 yards. The Houston Texans signed Pro Bowl receiver Andre Johnson to a multiyear contract extension. NFL steroid caseThe NFL is looking into reports that a Pittsburgh Steelers doctor was on the customer list of a Florida pharmacy whose owners have been indicted by a grand jury in Albany, N.Y. League spokesman Greg Aiello said that the league routinely checks out reports about activities with drugs or other substances that involve NFL personnel. Records showed that Dr. Richard Rydze purchased about $150,000 in testosterone and human growth hormone. The purchase was made on Rydze’s personal credit card. The Steelers said after the disclosure that Rydze told them he made the purchase for his personal practice. Wooden AwardFlorida’s Joakim Noah, Ohio State’s Greg Oden, Wisconsin’s Alando Tucker and UCLA’s Arron Afflalo are among the 22 players on the ballot for the John R. Wooden Award as college basketball’s player of the year. Florida’s Corey Brewer and Taurean Green joined Noah on the ballot Saturday, making the defending national champion Gators the only team with more than one candidate. The winner will be announced April 7 at the Los Angeles Athletic Club. Freshmen are on the ballot for the second time in the award’s history, with Oden and Kevin Durant of Texas represented. The other candidates are LSU’s Glen Davis, Tennessee’s Chris Lofton, North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough, Nevada’s Nick Fazekas, Oklahoma State’s Mario Boggan, Oregon’s Aaron Brooks, Boston College’s Jared Dudley, Butler’s A.J. Graves, Pittsburgh’s Aaron Gray, Texas Tech’s Jarrius Jackson, Texas A&M’s Acie Law, Michigan State’s Drew Neitzel, Kansas’ Brandon Rush, Virginia’s Sean Singletary, and Florida State’s Al Thornton. For the first time, fans can vote for the winner, with their votes counting as one ballot toward the final tally. N.J. Devil suspended New Jersey forward Cam Janssen was suspended for three games by the NHL for his late hit on Toronto defenseman Tomas Kaberle. The hit happened during the second period of Toronto’s 4-3 shootout win Friday night. Kaberle made an uncontested pass in his own zone and was skating backward when Janssen checked him to the head about 3 seconds later. Kaberle fell and appeared to hit his head on the side boards. “There’s no correlation between Cam Janssen getting suspended three games and the Toronto Maple Leafs losing a key player like Tomas Kaberle at this time of year, especially after the trade deadline,” Leafs general manager John Ferguson said before Saturday’s game against Buffalo. “It’s as bad a hit that I’ve seen in a long, long time.” Kaberle was on the ice for several minutes and eventually was wheeled off after a neck brace was applied. “We don’t know how long (Kaberle will be out),” Ferguson said. “It’s too early to tell.” Referees Kelly Sutherland and Brad Watson didn’t call a penalty, and they refused to be interviewed after the game. Janssen will miss New Jersey’s games against Boston, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and could return at Buffalo on March 10. He will forfeit $7,220.16 because of the suspension without pay. U.S. vs. Brazil The United States will play four-time winner Brazil at this summer’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup men’s soccer tournament. The U.S. team was grouped with Brazil, Poland and South Korea in Saturday’s draw for the 24-country event. As host, Canada automatically qualified and will play Chile in a group that includes Austria and Congo. Toronto, Burnaby, Victoria, Edmonton, Ottawa and Montreal will host the June 30-July 22 event, FIFA’s second-largest after the World Cup. The draw put Spain, Uruguay, Zambia and Jordan in Group B. Portugal will face Mexico in Group C, which includes New Zealand and Gambia. Argentina, Czech Republic, Argentina, North Korea and Panama are in Group E. Japan, Scotland, Nigeria and Costa Rica are in Group F. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Dielman agreed to stay with the Chargers at about the same time that another coveted guard, Eric Steinbach, signed a $49 million, seven-year deal to join Cleveland from Cincinnati. A person familiar with the terms said Dielman will get $39 million over six years. He requested anonymity because the contract had not yet been completed. Washington stayed busy, agreeing to terms with cornerback Fred Smoot. He’ll receive a signing bonus of at least $2 million, returning to the team he left two years ago before two tumultuous seasons with Minnesota. New England signed 35-year-old tight end Kyle Brady, who played for Jacksonville the last eight seasons and veteran backup running back Sammy Morris. Morris could replace Corey Dillon, who was released Friday. Tennessee released running back Travis Henry, who led the team with 1,211 yards rushing last season. He was flying to Denver to talk with the Broncos, but the Titans remained hopeful that they can lure him back after he checks out the market. center_img In other major moves, Adalius Thomas signed with New England. Thomas led Baltimore with 11 sacks last year and played in the Pro Bowl, where the Patriots’ Bill Belichick was his coach for the AFC. Guard Kris Dielman re-signed with San Diego after making a trip to Seattle to test the market. last_img read more

Ex-Liverpool star to shine? Predicted Atletico Madrid XI v Bayern Munich

first_imgYou can listen to the Champions League semi-final first leg between Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich live on talkSPORT from 19:45(BST).Diego Simeone’s well-drilled battlers will host their German opponents at the Vicente Calderon on Wednesday night, as they look to progress to their second Champions League final in three years.It will be a tough task to make it past Pep Guardiola’s red machine, but if anyone can snuff out the Bundesliga’s leading light, it’s a team led by El Cholo.Having already dumped out trophy holder Barcelona in the last round, confidence will be high, but their attempts have been made more difficult by the loss of star centre-back Diego Godin (hamstring) with either ex-Manchester City player Stefan Savic, or Jose Giminez, likely to replace him.At the other end of the pitch, Simeone has another selection dilemma with ex-Liverpool and Chelsea striker Fernando Torres back on form with five goals in six games, while Angel Correa has two goals in his last two substitute appearances – and that’s before you consider Yannick Ferreira Carrasco, whose ball retention could prove handy against Bayern.So what could the Atletico Madrid XI look like tonight? Click the right arrow above to see our predicted team… 6. Koke (centre midfield) 3. Filipe Luis (left back) – see the full line up, in squad number order, by clicking the arrow above 11 12. Augusto Fernandez (centre midfield) 17. Saul Niguez (right midfield) 14. Gabi (centre midfield) 11 11 9. Fernando Torres (attack) 20. Juanfran (right back) 11 11 11 11 7. Antoine Griezmann (attack) 13. Jan Oblak (goalkeeper) 11 19. Lucas Hernandez (centre back) 11 11 11 24. Jose Giminez (centre back)last_img read more

Arson attack at Donegal stables caused “several hundred thousands” in damage

first_imgTwo people have been charged in connection with the arson of an equestrian centre in which two horses were killed and a woman injured in Co Donegal.Julie McCartney, aged 31, and Gerard Given, 27, appeared at Letterkenny District Court today charged in connection with the attack at Lenamore Stables in Muff. The court heard that one of the horses which died in the blaze is a pedigree showjumping horse worth more than €100,000.Giving evidence, Garda Sergeant Gerry Farry told the court that it is estimated that “several hundred thousand euro” of damage was caused in the blaze.As well as severe damage to the stables, a horse transporter was also completely destroyed.A woman in her 20s, who works at the centre, had to receive hospital treatment for minor burns and smoke inhalation.Both McCartney and Given are charged with arson, theft and trespassing.Sgt Farry told the court that he felt the attack followed a threat allegedly made by Mr Given on October 19th last.Ms McCartney is a 31-year-old mother of three who is originally from Derry where she lives in Sheltered accommodation at Ashmore House.Although she had rented an apartment in Greencastle in Donegal, Gardai said the owners said she was not welcome there anymore.He said he considered her a flight risk and was objecting to bail because she now had no connections with Donegal.However, the accused woman’s solicitor Mr Ray Lannon, said his client was a vulnerable person who was on medication for mental health issues.He said she had no passport, had only £300 (pounds) in savings and did not plan to go anywhere.The court was also told the equestrian equipment including saddles were found in Ms McCartney’s possession.Having considered the bail application, Judge Paul Kelly said he was refusing bail as she had “no connection with the State.”He remanded Ms McCartney in custody until November 12th.Mr Given’s solicitor, Mr Donagh Cleary said he was applying to have his client remanded in custody until November 12th also.He asked for medical treatment for Mr Given, of Circular Road, Derry, for shotgun wounds to the knees and wrists he received several years ago.Arson attack at Donegal stables caused “several hundred thousands” in damage was last modified: November 12th, 2018 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:arsoncourtdonegalGerry GivenJulie McCartneymuffstablestheftlast_img read more


first_imgTHREE DONEGAL soccer stars represented our country in last night’s friendly clash with Uruguay – and they all did us proud.Gaoth Dobhair (via Castlemilk) striker James McCarthy had a great game in the 3-2 defeat at a half-empty Aviva Stadium.As did Ciaran Clark (via Ballyare) – and ever-ready Gaoth Dobhair star Aiden McGeady when he came on as a sub for the last 12 minutes. World Cup semi-finalists Uruguay held off a second-half comeback by the Republic of Ireland for a 3-2 win in an a decent friendly.Diego Lugano put the visitors ahead from close range after Diego Forlan’s free kick was not cleared. Shane Long headed Ireland level minutes later from a Liam Lawrence cross.However, Ireland found themselves two down at half-time after well-taken goals from Forlan’s strike partners, Edinson Cavani and Abel Hernandez. Our defence was shockingly bad – and second rate at that stage.Keith Fahey pulled one back with a penalty after our James McCarthy had been fouled when certain to score or create a scoring chance, but Ireland could not find the equaliser despite a late period of pressure led by Donegal’s McGeady. Giovanni Trapattoni had done what he never does – experimented!This time with a 4-4-1-1 system and, at times in the first half, the World Cup semi-finalists gave his inexperienced line-up the run around as they struggled to adapt.In fairness to the home side, Uruguay’s starting XI did contain nine of the players that started the World Cup semi-final against Holland last summer.Trapattoni, who made eight changes from the side that beat Macedonia, will know that there is some work to be done on his back-up defence.However, he will take some encouragement from his side’s attacking play. Long led the line well in the absence of Robbie Keane and Kevin Doyle, and was a constant threat.Fahey was the first to try his luck with a swerving, dipping shot that Fernando Muslera was relieved to see bounce off his shoulder and over the bar. However, Ireland’s problems were at the other end of the pitch and they found themselves behind on 12 minutes. Fahey’s attempted clearance of Forlan’s free-kick struck Cavani and dropped nicely for the unmarked Lugano to sweep home.Ireland were level minutes later after a move started and finished by Long. The striker held off Lugano to feed Paul Green, who in turn picked out Liam Lawrence. Long was there to head the winger’s cross past Muslera for his sixth international goal.Much was expected of McCarthy in his role behind Long, but Uruguay’s holding players, Diego Perez and Egidio Arevalo Rios, limited his space and influence.Trapattoni will not be happy with the manner in which Cavani put Uruguay back in front. Maxi Pereira was allowed to run across the front of the Ireland defence and pick out Cavani, who curled his shot beyond Kieren Westwood. The athletic Hernandez was proving to be a real handful for Ireland’s defence, both in his own movement and his links with strike partners Forlan and Cavani.Uruguay are ranked 27 places above Ireland in the FIFA rankings and that difference in class was shown with their third goal.Alvaro Pereira nipped in as Lawrence was caught on his heels and Uruguay broke away at speed. Hernandez galloped on to Pereira’s pass and finished coolly into the far corner.Ireland needed a fast start to the second half and they got it. Long skipped past Lugano and squared for McCarthy, but he was upended by Martin Cacedes. Fahey made no mistake with the penalty.Green then shot over the bar as Ireland pressed for an equaliser that had seemed unlikely at half-time. Keogh was next to test Muslera with a stinging shot that was parried straight to Long, although he could not find the composure to find the target.Ireland switched to a more familiar 4-4-2 when Trapattoni introduced Darron Gibson and Keith Treacy for Fahey and McCarthy after the hour mark.Treacy did not take long to get into the action as he forced Muslera to parry away his shot for a corner.As the game swung from end-to end, Westwood kept the deficit at one with a fine double save, before Hernandez skied a shot after Forlan and Maxi Pereira had cut Ireland open on the right.Keogh should have got Ireland level with ten minutes remaining, but he contrived to head the ball wide when it seemed easier to score. The Bristol City man seemed to take his eye of the ball after Muslera had fumbled Treacy’s free-kick.Despite some late pressure from the home side, who brought on Aiden McGeady and Anthony Stokes, Uruguay held on for a victory that their first half performance merited.Republic of Ireland: 1 Westwood; 2 Foley, 4 O’Dea, 5 Kelly, 3 Clark (15 Delaney 75); 7 Lawrence (13 McGeady 79), 6 Green, 8 Fahey (14 Gibson ’66), 9 Keogh (17 Stokes ’85), 10 McCarthy (12 Treacy ’66); 11 Long.Subs not used: 16 Randolph (GK), 23 Forde (GK).Booked: O’Dea,Uruguay: 1 Muslera, 2 Lugano, 3 Godin, 22 Cacedes; 16 M Pereira, 15 Perez (19 Scotti ’90), 17 Alvaro Rios (5 Gargano 64), A Pereira; 7 Cavani, 10 Forlan, 20 Hernandez (8 Eguren ’84).Subs not used: 4 Fucile, 12 Castillo (GK), 13 Abreu, 14 Gonzalez, 18 Ramirez, 21 Fernandez.Booked: Cavani.Referee: Said EnnjimiIRELAND 2 – 3 URUGUAY: DONEGAL LADS DO US PROUD was last modified: March 30th, 2011 by gregShare 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


first_imgThe use of mouthguards for all underage players will be compulsory from this year onwards, and for all ages (including seniors) from next year. More details available at; and on the club website.The senior team manager, Joe Higgins, has decided to step down with immediate effect. The club would like to thank Joe for all his efforts. Naomh Colmcille are now seeking applications for the position of senior team manager. Applications should be made to the Club Secretary, Alison Ferry (087 9154559). Shane McAteer will act as manager on an interim basis.Registrations for 2013 are now available from Sharon Monaghan (registrar) – senior player €50, non-playing member €20, junior member €10, family membership €50. Registrations will only be taken up to 25th March 2013 to ensure that they’re entered on the central Croke Park system. Please note only registered members can be considered for county tickets (e.g. Donegal v Tyrone match if it takes place in Ballybofey on 26th May) – depending on ticket allocation. The minors lost out to Buncrana in the Division 1 league. Next up is an away game next Sunday (24th) against Cloughaneely.Well done to the Young Boys team of Mark Friel, Michael Friel, Kieran Friel, Mark Ferry and Eugene Rainey who won the sports quiz on Friday night. The youngsters came with a storming late finish to defeat the Likely Lads (including the Chairman, Paul Callaghan). Not sure how Kieran, Eugene and Mark came up with the team name though! A great turnout of eleven teams enjoyed a fantastic night’s entertainment. Special thanks to Joe Cannon for acting as quizmaster and Leo Devenney for looking after the scoring. Thanks also to our sponsors.A Night at the Races is being held on Easter Sunday (31st March). Horses can be bought by contacting Paul Callaghan (0876843608), Alison Ferry (0879154559), Adrian Marsh (0872873076), or any other coach, player or committee member. Horses cost €10 each. €40 to each winning owner. All proceeds to Naomh Colmcille CLG. Thanks for your support.The Donegal County board have organised a 5K run/walk in Ballybofey on Saturday 6th of April at 11:00 am. If you can participate in this on behalf of the club please contact Paul Callaghan (0876843608) or Alison Ferry (0879154559) or any committee member for more details. Copies of the Donegal yearbook (€10 each) are now available from Catherine Clarke.You can now keep up to date with the latest club news on twitter: Go to and hit Follow.The club is again registered for the Sainsbury’s Active Kids scheme so please start collecting the vouchers on behalf of the club.The club would like to extend its sympathies to the Marley family on their recent Bereavement.Training and Match Schedule Information here is correct at the time of compilation of the weekly notes. Check the Training Schedule section on the club website for latest updates on training for all age groups. The page will be updated regularly throughout the week. Updates also on the club’s Facebook page.Subscription of €2 per player (up to and including minors) per week for training. Please make sure you bring your full kit (shorts, track bottoms, boots, sports top/hoodie/coat, drink). Remember a mouth guard is needed for training sessions as well as matches. All players need to be registered by 25th March.New players most welcome for all teams. Come along to the session scheduled below, or contact the team coach/manager (contact details on the training schedule section of the club website) for details.U8. Training continues Saturday 23rd March at 11:00 am sharp for one hour. U10 girls can also come to this session U10. Training continues Friday 22nd March at 6:30 pm sharp for one hour.U12. Training continues Friday 22nd March at 6:30 pm sharp for one hour.U14. Training continues on Sunday (24th March) at 1 pm sharp for one hour.Minors. Membership needs to be paid at training. See Facebook page and website for training updates during the week. Away match against Cloughaneely on Sunday (24th) at 12 noon.Seniors / Reserves. Training at the pitch on Tuesday (19th) and Thursday (21st) at 6;45 pm, and on Saturday at 10:00 am. Bring boots and runners, and a weekly subscription contribution of €5 .Naomh Colmcille Weekly LottoThe numbers drawn were 12, 11, 3, 1, 15. The three winners (who win €25 each) were Darragh McGrath, Barry McDaid and Monica McDaid. The Club would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone for their continued support of the Lotto as it gives the club the essential means of continuing to give our local kids and adults the chance to avail of a great and healthy pastime.GAA NEWS: NAOMH COLMCILLE CLUB NOTES was last modified: March 18th, 2013 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:Naomh Colmcille noteslast_img read more


first_imgIs the Donegal flag heading back to Wembley?Donegal soccer stars Carl McHugh and Stephen McLaughlin are still on course to face each  other at Wembley later this month in the League Two play-off final.McHugh from Lettermacaward played in Plymouth’s 3-2 home defeat to Wycombe in their opening leg defeat last night. Plymouth Argyle are managed by former Republic of Ireland player John Sheridan and his side found themselves 3-0 down after just 52 minutes. However, Plymouth showed great character and scored two goals in the last five minutes to give themselves a fighting chance in the return leg on Thursday night.McHugh will be hoping his side can produce a better performance on Thursday that will see him return to Wembley.McHugh was a pivotal figure in Bradford’s epic Carling cup run and reached the final of the competition in 2013.Former Harps star McLaughlin played for Phil Brown’s Southend in their 1-1 away draw with Stevenage FC. McLaughlin was impressive for Southend and played 78 minutes before being replaced.McLaughlin will be confident that Southend can use their home advantage to book themselves into the play-off final at Wembley.  WEMBLEY DREAMS FOR DONEGAL DUO STILL ALIVE AFTER PLAY-OFF DRAMA was last modified: May 10th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare 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:Carl McHughLeague TwonewsPlay-offsoccerSportStephen McLaughlinWEMBLEYlast_img read more

Insects Pester Darwinian Story

first_imgIt’s enough to bug any Darwinian: where did the insects come from?  Here are some problems right off the bat sonar:Insects are fantastically diverse.Insects are among the most successful animals.There are no insect fossils earlier than the Devonian (evolutionary date: 410 million years ago).The earliest segmented body plans appeared in the Cambrian (511 million years ago).There are no marine insects, but the first segmented Cambrian animals were marine organisms.Now, visualize the following: (1) an insect with six legs, (2) a spider with eight legs, (3) a centipede with 15 to 173 pairs of legs, and (4) a crab with 10 legs, two of which are claws.  Your job is to organize these into an evolutionary story of common descent.  It’s enough to challenge the most committed Darwinist, as the opening to a paper in Science demonstrates:1Although hexapods–those arthropods having six legs, including insects–are the most diverse group of contemporary animals in terms of biological niches and number of species, their origin is highly debated.  A key problem is the almost complete absence of fossils that connect hexapods to the other major arthropod subphyla, namely Crustacea, Myriapoda (such as centipedes and millipedes), and Chelicerata (such as scorpions and spiders).  Over the years, hexapods (insects, springtails, proturnas, and diplurans) have been phylogenetically linked to all of these major arthropod taxa.By this, the authors mean evolutionists have attempted to link the insects to all these groups (see also 05/16/2002).  Glenner et al described the latest theory: that insects descended from crustaceans (crabs, lobsters, shrimp, barnacles, etc.), particularly from a group of freshwater branchiopods including fairy shrimp and water fleas.  They based this on molecular studies, Hox gene behavior and the emergence of these ancestors a few million years before the rise of insects in freshwater habitats.  Another piece of circumstantial evidence comes from a real estate boom supposedly taking place throughout the animal kingdom 423 to 416 million years ago:The successful colonization of the terrestrial environment by hexapods seems to coincide with other major groups of land pioneering animals such as the chelicerates and the myriapods in the Late Silurian and the tetrapods (amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) in the Late Devonian.  All these events appear to have occurred through a freshwater dwelling phase in their evolutionary transition from marine to true terrestrial animals.  The Devonian is believed to have been a time of severe drought, which might have forced these animals (at least hexapods and tetrapods) onto land as their freshwater habitats vanished.Their manifest destiny assured, insects invaded all the land, air and fresh water niches the continents could provide.  Sounds neat, but being such successful colonizers, why didn’t they ever return to their marine roots?  Simple; all the rooms were taken:It has been a puzzle as to why hexapods–in particular insects, which possess a morphology that apparently enables them to adapt to virtually all types of terrestrial environments–have not been able to diversify successfully in the marine environment.  It is likewise remarkable that the crustaceans–fulfilling a biological role in the sea comparable to the insects on land–have not been able to invade land to a greater extent despite their considerable age.  The recent phylogenetic analyses of molecular sequence data suggest a paradigm shift concerning the phylogenetic position of hexapods–that crustaceans successfully invaded land as insects.  It is possible that when insects entered terrestrial habitats, their crustacean ancestors had already diversified in marine environments and occupied all potential niches, which could explain why insects were prevented from colonizing the sea subsequently.So with no room in Neptune’s Inn, they took whatever they could get in caves, swamps, deserts, forests, lakes, high mountain peaks, and suburban kitchens.  Now the Darwinian story holds together again, with an added benefit: “Most important, however, the new molecular results offer a solution to the enigma concerning the absence of marine hexapod remains in the fossil records prior to the Devonian.”1Glenner et al, “Evolution: The Origin of Insects,” Science, 22 December 2006: Vol. 314. no. 5807, pp. 1883-1884, DOI: 10.1126/science.1129844.Commercial: This portion of Just-So Stories for Grown-Ups has been brought to you by Darwin Party Facilitators, the research problem solvers extraordinaire.  In a tangle?  Got an enigma?  Call DPF for a quick, easy way out of any pernicious puzzle or distressing dilemma.  Why do research the old-fashioned way, with tedious observations and rigorous analysis, when you can finish your paper in no time.  Our technicians can help you escape your troubles as if by magic!  Don’t fret any longer over that missing fossil evidence.  Worry no more when the review board checks your data.  DPF experts have the inside connections needed to get you through peer review.  Drawing on their international resources, they will customize a solution to fit your needs, no matter the subject, with just the right blend of natural selection, sexual selection, kin selection, group selection, game theory, niche construction, Lamarckism, orthogenesis, gradualism, punq eq, microevolution, divergence, convergence, determinism, contingency, anthropomorphism, Gaia or whatever else the occasion calls for.  They can help you adjust the molecular or paleontological clocks to fit your uncooperative data points.  Their secret blend of jargon, speculation and personification, seasoned lightly with equivocation, is laboratory-proven to lubricate the editorial process, no matter how many contradictions you struggle with.  When all else fails, they know the magic word* to hypnotize the reviewers and get you on the fast track to publication.  After all, most reviewers are current or former members of the DPF, so it’s futile to try doing research these days alone.  Don’t let your career fall behind by focusing on accountability and scientific integrity when you can pad your resume with dozens of publications in reputable high-impact journals.  Darwin Party Facilitators, the world’s largest charlatan agency with thousands of licensed practitioners, can help you rise above your peers.  Gain tenure faster.  Publish without fear of perishing.  Earn the respect of the movers and shakers of the modern world.  All DPF work is backed by the full force and protection of the ACLU.  What are you waiting for?  Operators are standing by.  Call now: 1-800-SNOW-JOB.    Stay tuned for the next exciting episodes, The Ghost of Kiwi Past and How Rocky Earned His Sails (12/13/2006).(Visited 17 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

World Cup of Motorsport for SA

first_img15 October 2004The world of high-performance motor racing is set to be revolutionised by the establishment of A1 Grand Prix, which will oversee the World Cup of Motorsport. South Africa won’t be missing out. In fact, the country is heavily involved in the exciting new competition, and will host an event in the inaugural six-race season.A1 Grand Prix: SA car unveiledSA motorsport entered a new era with the launch of the A1 Grand Prix South African team. President Thabo Mbeki attended the launch and first track test at Kyalami in Johannesburg, unveiling the new car in its South African livery.Formula One has long been the standard setter for ultimate motor racing, but it has been largely European-based.Many would complain that it has also, in many ways, become a battle of finances and technology, not a contest between top drivers competing in equally matched supercars.A1 Grand Prix aims to change all that. It wants to take world-class racing to previously unvisited territories – and the cars used in the competition will all be equal.A test of driving skillsWith the blessing of motorsport’s governing body, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), A1 Grand Prix’s World Cup of Motorsport will take place during Europe’s winter – after the completion of the Formula One season – starting in September 2005.Organisers are billing it as a test of driving skills, because all drivers will be equipped with similar cars.Lola Cars International, which has a long history in motor racing, has been commissioned to build the cars, and 30 are already on order. New 3.4-litre V8 engines have also been developed specifically for the new competition by Zytek Engineering, which has been the sole supplier to the FIA’s F3000 Championship since 1996.Serious testing on the cars got under way in July, with former Formula One driver Ralph Firman acting as test driver. John Wickham, who oversaw Bentley’s historic victory in the Le Mans 24-hour race in 2003, was put in charge of the Test programme. He carries the title of Operations Manager for A1 Grand Prix.A tyre deal was also inked in September. After testing, it was decided that Cooper Tire and Rubber Company had what the new competition wanted, and they were signed up.24 countries targetedIt is early days yet for A1 Grand Prix, with just the six countries having signed on so far for the inaugural season, but the aim is to extend the series to eventually include 24 countries.The first season will feature races in Bahrain, Qatar, China, South Africa, Malaysia, and Australia, with the South African leg scheduled for Kyalami in December 2005.A1 Grand Prix offers some unique opportunities. According to Lola Cars: “For the first time in motor sport history, driving seats will be available on a franchise basis. This will allow new entrants, as well as those already established in motor sport, to bid for ownership of a team, and discussions are already at an advanced stage with 24 countries.National teams on a level playing field“Each national team will drive a single type of high-performance car … ensuring a level playing field that will place driver skill at the heart of the competition.”The first six national seat holders were named on 30 September by A1 Grand Prix’s CEO, Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum al Maktoum, with the United Kingdom, South Africa, Pakistan, Lebanon, Portugal and China all securing their seats.Underscoring the legitimacy of the new series was the fact that John Surtees MBE, the only man to have won world championships on two wheels and four wheels, was on hand to take delivery of the United Kingdom’s car.Sexwale heads SA teamHeading up South Africa’s team is businessman Tokyo Sexwale, who was in London for the announcement of the six seat holders. He says the South African car will carry former President Nelson Mandela’s prison number, 46664, as well as 2010, a reference to the 2010 Soccer World Cup that South Africa will be hosting.The official South African seat holders’ launch takes place in Johannesburg on 1 November.Sheikh Maktoum, a member of Dubai’s Royal Family, is the founder of the series, and is one of three men putting up the money for the ambitious project. The other two are South Africans Brian Menell and Tony Teixeira.South African backersMenell is the chairman of South African natural resources company Energem Resources Incorporated (formerly Diamondworks Ltd). The firm’s vice-chairman is Sheikh Maktoum, while Teixeira is the CEO. Menell is also director of AngloVaal Mining.Former Formula 3000 driver, and Formula One test driver, Stephen Watson, will serve as general manager of A1 Grand Prix. Richard Dorfman, who handled negotiations for television rights to the last rugby and soccer World Cups, has been appointed director of media affairs and TV rights.Independent research commissioned by A1 Grand Prix suggests it is a concept that could go far and bring in big money for the investors. Estimates are that there are over a quarter of a billion motorsport fans in the 24 countries targeted for the World Cup of Motorsport – figures that will be very inviting for sponsors and those wishing to buy franchises.A rival to Formula OneThe Sheikh, who is the Crown Prince of Dubai’s nephew, hopes that A1 Grand Prix will become a rival to the monolithic empire of Formula One, run by Bernie Ecclestone.“Most of the stars currently in F1 were not well known before”, he commented. “I’m looking to create new stars.“We are going to have probably the first African driver in motorsport in A1 Grand Prix. We are going to have the first Indian driver in a blue-chip event. It’s an opportunity for these nations to shine.” Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more