RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR AudioHomepage BannerNews By News Highland – January 19, 2020 Facebook Previous articleInishowen Football League Results 19/01/2020Next articleSwilly go top as Whitestrand are defeated-Donegal Junior League Results 19/01/2020 News Highland Pinterest WhatsApp Harps come back to win in Waterford Cancer patients, people with arthritis and those needing hip replacements, are just some who should be exempt from hospital parking charges, according to the Irish Patients Association.It says the fees, some reaching 15 euro per day, are an added financial burden on patients and their families at an already difficult time.In 2018, Health Minister Simon Harris ordered a review of car parking fees at hospitals, but its recommendations produced a year later have yet to be implemented.Stephen McMahon from the Irish Patients Association believes charges should be abolished:Audio Playerhttp://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/McMahon-ipa6.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. FT Report: Derry City 2 St Pats 2 Twitter Google+ Pinterest WhatsApp ‘Some patients should be exempt from hospital parking charges’ – IPA Derry draw with Pats: Higgins & Thomson Reaction Twitter Google+ Facebook Journey home will be easier – Paul Hegarty DL Debate – 24/05/21 News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th
From the moment I arrived at Harvard Law School in late August of 1995, I feared I wouldn’t last. During the nearly two years I had just spent as a war correspondent in the Balkans, I found myself imagining how gratifying it would be to learn the law and pursue the arrest of Balkan war criminals as a prosecutor at The Hague. But as I struggled to adjust to my new life back in the United States, all I could think about was the place I had left behind.The day before law school began, I had loaded up a Ryder truck in Brooklyn with two suitcases, a bicycle, and my laptop, and driven toward Boston. Just as I reached the city, NPR cut into its radio program with a breaking news bulletin: “NATO air action around Sarajevo is under way.” By my second week at HLS, U.S. air strikes had broken the siege of Sarajevo and brought the Bosnian war to an end.From my new, shared apartment in Somerville, I amassed a steep phone bill, frantically calling my reporter friends in Bosnia and making them hold their phones in the air so I could hear the background sounds of honking horns and celebratory music being played by people finally freed from more than three years of horrific violence. I surrounded myself with reminders of what I had left behind, placing on the living room mantel a 40-millimeter shell that had been engraved and turned into a decorative sculpture.My instincts continued to reflect the fact that I had spent the better part of the summer living in a city under fire: the loud scrape of a desk being moved or a library cart being pushed sent me ducking for cover. Meanwhile, simple conveniences — like a light switch — suddenly delighted me. When I visited the local supermarket, I was now paralyzed by all the options. In Sarajevo, I had counted myself fortunate to find a carton of juice priced like a bottle of Bordeaux, but in Cambridge, I was confronted by more than a dozen flavors of Snapple alone. For two years, my journal reflections had been decidedly grim, but trivial discoveries now passed for big news: “We have cantaloupe Snapple!” I marveled in one entry soon after school started.,My reacclimation to America happened slowly, and when Mort Abramowitz, my mentor from my first post-college job, questioned “why the hell you’re in law school,” I admitted I was wondering the same thing.I didn’t lack the ability to focus — I could bury myself in the library for hours without noticing the setting sun. But I just couldn’t make myself care about the topics we were studying. In “One L,” Scott Turow’s memoir of his first year at Harvard Law School, he compares studying case law to “stirring concrete” with his eyelashes; this description seemed a perfect encapsulation of how I felt reading Civil Procedure cases late into the night.I was also not that quick a study. I became flustered when called upon in class, stammering answers that other students quickly tore apart while a hundred pairs of eyes drilled into my back. When my professors interrogated me, I tried to keep my composure by making an insistent mental note that featured one of the Bosnian Serb war criminals I had hoped to eventually help bring to justice: “This professor is not Ratko Mladić, he’s not Ratko Mladić, he’s not …” But hours after class ended, my cheeks often still felt flushed with embarrassment.On Oct. 29, nearly two months into law school, I picked up The Sunday New York Times at the bottom of my Somerville stoop. There, in the upper left-hand corner, was a huge headline: SREBRENICA: THE DAYS OF SLAUGHTER. A reporting team had spent weeks preparing a special investigation that contained previously unpublished details of the systematic murder of Srebrenica’s men and boys.As I sat reading, I understood what writers reflecting on the Holocaust meant when they described the human capacity to “know without knowing.” I had covered the fall of Srebrenica and had read all of my friend David Rohde’s articles in The Christian Science Monitor about it. Yet my reaction to the Times exposé confirmed how wide the chasm can be between holding out hope that something is not true and actually absorbing devastating facts in all of their finality.I looked back at my own actions and wondered why I hadn’t done more. “I don’t know how that could have been me there,” I wrote in my journal. “I was the correspondent in Munich while the bodies burned in Dachau … I had power and I failed to use it.” In beating myself up, I was clearly exaggerating my actual power back in Sarajevo. I had been a freelance journalist, running my laptop off of a jury-rigged car battery. President Bill Clinton led the most formidable superpower in the history of the world. The president of the United States had not needed my help if he was to be spurred to action.“Writing a story in Sarajevo in 1995.”Nonetheless, I felt at sea. I was sure very few of my Law School classmates were actually aware of The Times investigation that had sent me spiraling, and even those who had seen it would probably have considered it “too depressing” to read. Powerless to affect the fate of men already killed, I decided that I could at least raise awareness on campus.In a move that at the time felt as bold as choosing to live under siege in Sarajevo, I asked my Contracts professor for permission to make an announcement before class. “I apologize for using this forum,” I said nervously after taking the floor. “But I just wanted to draw your attention to something that will be in your mailbox later.” I previewed the article, which documented “the largest single massacre in Europe in fifty years.” My lips quivered as I rushed to try to finish. “So please read it. Thanks.”After class I met up with a new friend, Sharon Dolovich, who had done her Ph.D. in political theory at Cambridge University and seemed genuinely moved by the revelations about Srebrenica. Sharon and I dropped by the Law School copy room to collect the 500 Xeroxes I had ordered earlier in the day. Together, we solemnly stuffed a stapled copy of the article into the mailbox of each first-year law student. A few of my classmates approached me later to thank me for alerting them to what had happened. But I got the feeling that most found me off-puttingly intense.After saying goodbye to Sharon, I made my way to the law library. After a restless hour in a carrel, I wandered to the nearest phone to collect my answering machine messages. I heard the voice of my friend, the journalist Elizabeth Rubin, who had just returned to New York from Sarajevo.“Power, I don’t know if you’ve heard,” she said. There was a pause, and then what sounded like muffled crying. “It’s David.”Another pause. “Um … he’s been abducted.”I flashed back to all that my friend David Rohde had written, doing more than any reporter to uncover Ratko Mladić’s summary executions. “No! No! No!” I said, holding back tears as I raced to the bike rack and began fumbling with my lock so I could get home.When I reached my apartment, I stood in the kitchen with no idea what to do. What more could I contribute to finding David that the U.S. government, the U.N., and the press corps weren’t already doing? I defaulted to what I usually did when I was in a bind, calling Mort.He was constructive and typically specific. He told me to call President Clinton’s Bosnia envoy Richard Holbrooke — who, in a fortunate coincidence of timing, had just arrived in Dayton, Ohio, for peace talks with the warring factions. He also told me to call Steve Rosenfeld, who edited The Washington Post’s editorial page.Unable to get through to Holbrooke, I (somewhat absurdly) asked the hotel receptionist in Dayton to pass on a message — verbatim:“David Rohde has been abducted in Serb territory.Please make him the lead item in the peace talks.”When I connected with Rosenfeld, I begged him to write an editorial demanding that the U.S. government secure David’s release before proceeding with the Dayton talks. “He’s the only Western eyewitness to the mass graves,” I implored. “He’s in profound danger.”Rosenfeld explained that the next day’s paper had already gone to press. “Well, if we don’t do something quickly, it will be too late,” I warned. “You have to understand: people don’t just disappear in Bosnia. We have a short window to shame David’s captors into not harming him, but it is closing.”Rosenfeld gave me an opening. “If you want to write something,” he offered, “we will run it.”Less than 36 hours after I heard Elizabeth’s message, The Washington Post ran my op-ed. The essay, printed Nov. 3, 1995, concluded: “I relay David’s odyssey because he is my colleague and my dear friend. American officials claim they can do no more than ‘raise the issue at the highest levels.’ David did more. Why can’t they?”By nightfall, the Serb authorities acknowledged that David was in their custody. Had they planned to kill him, they would never have admitted to detaining him. I now believed that his family, who had staged a protest outside of the Dayton airbase where the Bosnia peace talks were taking place, would get him back.David was released 10 days after he was seized. Once free, he revealed that he had doctored the date on his expired press pass and driven into Serb territory, where he found the first of the gravesites and evidence of murder: piles of coats, abandoned shoes, Muslim identity documents, even canes and shattered eyeglasses.But as was David’s wont, he had pushed his luck, trying to find even more. He had been arrested at rifle-point at the second grave, just as he was preparing to photograph two human femurs he had discovered. Because he was carrying a camera, a map with suspected gravesites circled, and film stuffed into his socks, the Bosnian Serbs labeled him a spy.His captors forced him to stand through the night, denying him sleep. They threatened him with a lengthy stay in a Bosnian Serb prison camp, and even with execution. After three days of threats, fearful that he would be shot if he continued to hold out, David considered telling the interrogators whatever they wanted. But a friendly guard whispered in his ear that he knew David was a journalist. He urged him to stand firm. This gave U.S. diplomacy and public advocacy time to succeed.I was thrilled by David’s release and rushed to Logan Airport to be part of the crowd that welcomed him. After the dark discoveries of the previous months, the sight of David being reunited with his family felt like a sudden burst of light.Close to midnight on the day of his return, I heard a knock on the front door of my Somerville apartment and saw David outside. We stayed up until daybreak, talking about what he had seen and gone through. We also began a debate, which we continue to this day, about when journalism is most effective in prodding change.,The evidence David gathered was a factor in helping convince the Clinton administration to launch the U.N.-authorized bombing raids that so quickly ended the war. Even though I was now stuck in law school, I told him that he had single-handedly given me a new appreciation for the power of the pen.I returned to Sarajevo twice during my first year in law school, once over Christmas and then again for summer break. I loved being back among my friends, seeing the universities reopened, and watching the markets and cafes bustling with life. Witnessing even a flawed peace gave me a sense of closure, which I had craved.Unfortunately, almost as soon as I arrived back in Cambridge for my second year of law school, I found myself struggling to breathe properly. The ailment that my college boyfriend had called “lungers” was back with a vengeance. In college, these bouts of constricted breathing were a nuisance, an inconvenient background occurrence that never interfered with my life. But now I was unable to concentrate on anything other than whether I would be able to take a proper breath.For the first time, I grew so rattled by this mystery ailment that I could not sleep. Even when I managed to doze off for a few hours, when I awoke, I would experience a split second of deep, regular breathing before recalling the debilitating constriction of my lungs, which would promptly return.After several weeks of mounting torment, I took a long run along the Charles River in the hopes that it would necessitate inhaling large amounts of air. Still running after an hour, I maneuvered along the paved roads near MIT to head back to my apartment. I was so focused on my breathing that I didn’t look where I was running and tripped on an uneven sidewalk slab and landed in a pile of shattered glass. Both of my knees were lacerated and began bleeding profusely.I hobbled as quickly as I could to the University Health Services. When the doctor asked what had happened, I told him I had been struggling to breathe and had not paid proper attention to where I was stepping. He asked if I was experiencing anxiety.“No,” I said, “the complete opposite. I was a journalist in Bosnia, and I think I find the lack of stress here on campus very hard to get used to.”He asked if I would like to be prescribed something to settle my nerves. I told him I was completely fine and needed nothing other than a good knee cleaning so as to avoid an infection. As I was speaking, I glanced down and saw that my knees bore shards of gravel and glass and my white running socks had turned crimson with blood.“On second thought,” I said sheepishly, “I’ll take whatever you recommend.”Within 48 hours, the antianxiety medicine worked wonders; once I started breathing normally and focusing on my classwork, I pushed the incident — and my lungers — to the back of my mind. It would be years before I would begin to explore their source.Ambassador Samantha Power is the Anna Lindh Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and William D. Zabel ’61 Professor of Practice in Human Rights at Harvard Law School. This piece is excerpted from her new book, “The Education of an Idealist,” published by Dey Street Books. Copyright © 2019 Samantha Power. Reprinted courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers. Related Humanizing global problems Samantha Power says the desire to make positive change springs from understanding our connections as people The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.
Martha E. Whisman Hill, 71, of Dillsboro, IN, passed away Wednesday, February 24, 2016.She was born Saturday, April 15, 1944 in Hamilton, OH, daughter of the late Frank Whisman and the late Leona Wood Whisman.Martha was an owner of the Golden Rule Bible Center, for almost 40 years.She was a Co-Pastor and founder of the Cedars of Lebanon Fellowship Church, she was also secretary, treasurer and pianist for the church. She enjoyed reading and sewing. Martha loved her church, her faith and family were very important to her and she will be greatly missed.Surviving are her husband, Pastor Charles Hill, of Dillsboro, IN; children, James A Murrone of Milan , IN., Sharon (John) Reece of Versailles, IN, Daniel (Melinda) Murrone of Dillsboro, IN; Stepchildren, Jeff (Christine) Hill, CO, Camala (Scott) Hensley of Aurora, IN; siblings, Gary Whisman of Aurora, IN, Kathy (Daniel) Rose of Aurora, IN; grandchildren, Ryan Deamron, Josh Murrone; step grandchildren, Thomas Pearson, JW Hill Jr., Kaila Lennartz and Cammi Smith; several great great grandchildren.She was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Leona, and a brother, Sonny Whisman.Friends will be received 4:00 – 8:00 PM, Friday, February 26, 2016 at the Cedars of Lebanon Church, US 50 & Station Hollow Rd. Dillsboro, Indiana 47018.Services will be held at the Church, Saturday, at 10:00 am. with Pastor Sherman Hughes officiating.Interment will follow in the Oakdale Cemetery, Dillsboro, Indiana.Contributions may be made to the Cedars of Lebanon Church, Dearborn County Hospice or charity of donor’s choice. Please call the funeral home office at (812) 926-1450 and we will notify the family of your donation with a card.Visit: www.rullmans.com
Is this the kind of government we deserve? – July 10, 2017 Bio Latest Posts Latest posts by Hugh Bowden (see all) Hugh BowdenExecutive EditorHugh writes editorials, covers Hancock County sports and helps out where needed in The American’s editorial department. When he’s not on the sidelines, he enjoys playing jazz and tennis. [email protected] Like he did in the ’60s, Noel Paul Stookey sings out in troubling times – December 27, 2017 GSA surges in 4th to win Northern Maine title – February 26, 2017 The Golden Bucks avenged a season-opening loss to Washington Academy, cruising to a 19-0 win on Friday in East Machias.Jack Cyr, Tyler Maguire and Jake Gauvin each had three hits for the Golden Bucks in the five-inning contest.Find in-depth coverage of local news in The Ellsworth American. Subscribe digitally or in print. This is placeholder textThis is placeholder text
Sam Swart lined up on the right side of the goal for a free position shot, staring down Coastal Carolina goaltender Harley Barrett. When the whistle blew, Swart exploded off the line before releasing a shot from her right shoulder.The shot was low, bouncing on the ground by Barrett’s feet. Before the goalie knew it, the ball was in the back of the net, and Swart had her second goal of the game. As she dropped her stick, she stumbled — the only time SU’s offense would do so the entire night.In the first 24 minutes of the game, the No. 7 Orange (3-1, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) scored as many goals as they did in their last game on Saturday against No. 1 Boston College. By the end of the contest, Syracuse had matched its season high and defeated Coastal Carolina (1-1), 18-5, its largest winning margin of the season. It marked SU’s fourth-straight game to begin the season with at least 12 goals, a feat that it achieved just twice all of last year. Paced by Meaghan Tyrrell’s four points, the Orange offense opened the game with a dominating first-half run, a trend that has appeared in every game this season.“Little sluggish the first minute or two, but then we turned it around and got on a roll,” SU head coach Gary Gait said. “… Our shooting came around. Overall very happy with the performance of the entire team, again.”Syracuse opened its season on Feb. 8 by outscoring Connecticut 12-1 in the first half. In its second game, against Binghamton, SU scored the first nine goals of the game. Even Saturday against Boston College, the No. 1 team in the country, the Orange offense exploded out of the gate.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSeven goals in the first 22 minutes of the game pushed Syracuse ahead by five and in position for the biggest upset in program history. The Eagles ultimately stopped the run and handed the Orange their first loss, but not before SU’s offense held its own against last season’s national runners-up. Two days after the loss, Syracuse made sure it didn’t suffer the same fate against the Chanticleers.“This was a real quick turn around,” Gait said. “One day to prepare after a tough BC game. It’s kind of what we got stuck with, came out and I thought we played pretty well.”Susie Teuscher | Digital Design EditorWhile Coastal Carolina struck first by scoring just under five minutes into the game, Syracuse didn’t take long to respond. Less than a minute later Tyrrell scored the first of her three goals, kicking off an Orange scoring streak.Megan Carney was next, pouring in a pair of goals that gave Syracuse a lead that it would never relinquish. When Vanessa Costantino scored at the 15:14 mark, just over 10 minutes after Coastal Carolina scored the game’s first goal, the Orange’s lead was 6-1. It prompted a Chanticleers timeout, allowing head coach Kristen Selvage to berate her players in the minute-long huddle.While Tyrrell’s three goals pushed her to eight on the season, second-best on the team, Carney’s pair of scores has her tied for third, with seven. The two freshman attackers have been instrumental to Syracuse’s offense this season and through four games appear to be more than capable of making up for the loss of Riley Donahue, the 26-goal scorer that the Orange lost from last season.“I think me and Meg (Carney) work really well together,” Tyrrell said. “We can definitely do some more work around the crease together.”Selvage’s angry monologue did little to help Coastal Carolina’s cause. With just under five minutes left in the half, the Chanticleers had managed to score their second goal. Syracuse, on the other hand, had poured in six more. Its 13th and final score of the half came with 4:32 left until the break, when Morgan Alexander dropped in her third goal of the game.After scoring, Alexander was hit in the head and fell to the ground. While Selvage stomped her feet on the sideline, Alexander picked herself up and hugged her teammates.After missing her first three seasons at SU due to three separate knee injuries, Alexander is finally on the field for the Orange and has produced immediately. Three goals in her debut against Connecticut have grown to seven goals and two assists through four games as the attacker has carved her way into the rotation.“It’s a huge bonus,” Emily Hawryschuk said. “I think it’s awesome to see someone like Morgan come from years of injuries and make an impact on our team, so it’s really exciting.”It took until the second half for Hawryschuk, Syracuse’s leading scorer, to tally her first goal of the game. By that time, however, it was unnecessary insurance in a contest that, for the third time this season, was controlled by Syracuse’s offense.She’d be joined on the scoresheet by Sarah Cooper, a freshman defender who scored for the first time in her Syracuse career, and Julie Cross, a midfielder who had yet to score this season. Games versus Coastal Carolina, Connecticut and Binghamton allowed the Orange to display their firepower, but against Boston College, SU’s attack failed to last the entire game.With its next five games coming against ranked opponents, Syracuse will have the chance to show if its offensive potential is legitimate.“We’re at a point when we’re gonna hit a tough stage in the schedule, and if we can continue, then what we worked on, we’ll look at as a success,” Gait said. “I think we could’ve scored a lot more goals if we needed to today, but instead, we got the opportunity to play everybody, so we just gotta make sure that we can get that potential to get those numbers up there when we’re playing a top-5 team, top-6 team.” Published on February 18, 2019 at 6:52 pm Contact Eric: [email protected] | @esblack34 Comments Facebook Twitter Google+
Sorghum is one of Africa’s staple foods,and may have been sustaining thecontinent’s people for longer thaninitially thought.(Image: Wikimedia)MEDIA CONTACTS • Julio MercaderUniversity of Calgary+1 403 220 4856Janine ErasmusNew research suggests that early humans in Africa may have consumed grains and cereals much earlier than was previously thought – in fact, over 100 000 years ago.The generally accepted idea is that our Homo sapiens ancestors existed on meat, nuts, fruit, roots and vegetables, with cereals entering the picture a mere 20 000 years ago.This is because the preparation of cereal in order to make it palatable takes special techniques and skill, including roasting over high heat, or grinding into flour prior to baking.To date scientists have associated cereal consumption with the introduction of farming some 10 000 years ago, although in 2004 ancient barley and wheat grain residue was found on a 22 000-year-old grinding stone at the Upper Palaeolithic site of Ohalo II on the southwest shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel. At the time the grains represented the oldest known sign of food processing.Sorghum, a staple food in many African countries and other developing nations, has now been found amongst 100 000-year-old tools in the Ngalue cave, situated along the shores of Lake Malawi in Mozambique. The grain, which originated in Egypt, is actually a genus of various species of grass, and is used in flours, breads, porridges and alcoholic beverages.The discovery was made by Julio Mercader, holder of the Canada Research Chair in Tropical Archaeology at Calgary University’s Department of Archaeology.Mercader revealed his findings during December 2009 in leading peer-reviewed research journal Science, a 130-year-old publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The article was titled Mozambican Grass Seed Consumption during the Middle Stone Age.Stone Age bakingMercader and his colleagues, including scientists from Mozambique and South Africa, recently found various stone tools in a layer of sediment that built up in the limestone cave between 42 000 and 105 000 years ago, across a 60 000-year-long span of human habitation. Although the tools have not been dated, it is likely that the oldest ones, those buried deepest, match the age of the layer itself.Ngalue’s sedimentary layer, wrote Mercader, has five sections. The team focused on the so-called Middle Beds, which hold evidence of a Middle Stone Age industry with tools, animal bones and plant remains. The cave lies along the ancient route of modern human dispersal through Africa and could prove important in gaining more understanding of human habits of the time.Initially the team were looking for tuber remains, since the fleshy roots were an important part of the Stone Age diet. The starch residue found on the 70 tools analysed showed that the Stone Age kitchen contained the African wine palm and false banana or ensete – an important root crop – as well as pigeon peas, wild oranges, and the medicinal African potato, which is a corm rather than a tuber.However, almost 90% of the residue came from sorghum. While the findings don’t conclusively prove that the people of the time ate sorghum, Mercader argues that it had to be used for something specific, as people deliberately brought it into their dwellings. The simplest and most logical explanation is that it was a food item.“This happened during the Middle Stone Age,” he said, “a time when the collecting of wild grains has conventionally been perceived as an irrelevant activity and not as important as that of roots, fruit and nuts.”Starch use an evolutionary turning pointMercader’s discovery has led to some discussion among other experts, who claim that because the sorghum residue was found on tools such as drills, which are not used in the preparation of food, it could just as easily have been used as bedding or kindling.They do agree, however, that the study is interesting because it shows that early humans relied on more from the plant kingdom than just roots and tubers as they went about their daily lives.The consumption of starch is thought to represent a crucial step in human evolution, because through its use the quality of the early human diet improved significantly.“The inclusion of cereals in our diet is considered an important step in human evolution,” said Mercader, “because of the technical complexity and the culinary manipulation required to turn grains into staples.”
Annual binding targets “Addressing education and skills development is one of the core aspects of the New Growth Path,” said Patel. Source: BuaNews Education and training in South Africa have received a major boost through the signing of two accords that will see 30 000 new artisans and 16 000 college lecturers being trained, and under-performing schools receiving business and community support. Business Unity South Africa (Busa) president Futhi Mthoba said the accords represented agreements on areas of concern in respect of the New Growth Path. “The critical part of the accords is that each partner is responsible for deliverables. We will hold each other responsible,” she said. The accords involve partnerships among business, government, labour and communities, and result from engagements that followed the release of the New Growth Path, which aims to create five million jobs in the next decade. The skills accord has eight key commitments designed to drive training and development. Under it, up to 30 000 new artisan students are expected to enter training this year. The majority of this figure (56%) will come from the private sector, 31% from government, and 13% from state-owned companies. Vavi added that unions would work to change the mindset “of all public servants, including educators, to know that our future lies in their hands”. Business also undertook to improve spending on training beyond the 1% compulsory training levy. The accord stipulates that business will urge companies to spend between 3-5% of their total salary bill voluntarily on training. “We are making a commitment to play our part. All accords will require active participation,” he said, adding that the key to the success of the accords was not the signing itself but rather the participation of all involved to make it a success. Help for underperforming schools “The critical challenge for creating more jobs is to deal with skills shortages and issues, and what we’ve assembled here in these two accords is a partnership right across the training pipeline, from primary school right through to FET collages and beyond,” said Patel. “We’ve brought here the people with resources.” 15 July 2011 Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said all partners involved in the accords would be subject to annual binding targets, adding that his department was in the process of finalising how to spend the fund’s money in consultation with the relevant ministers. Changing mindset of public servants Organised labour, business and community organisations have committed to a target of between 100 and 200 poorly performing schools to be supported in the adopt-a-school initiative. “There is over R4-billion of unspent money from the past, and R2-billion from this year,” he said. Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said the government was encouraged by the accord specifically for under-performing schools: “It came at the right time. The accord will help redirect resources.” Business and labour have committed to ensuring that the funding of training is available through the skills development levy. It accord will also phase in opportunities for training in a work environment for at least 16 000 lecturers at Further Education and Training (FET) collages. Improving spending on training Representing organised labour, Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said that labour had for a long time argued that something needed to be done to change the lives of workers through skills development and education. “The accords will focus on concrete issues,” Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said at the signing of the National Skills Accord and the Basic Education Accord in Pretoria this week. New Growth Path The National Skills Fund will be used effectively to support skills that address the priorities of the growth path.
Massachusetts is home to Tim Berners-Lee and the World Wide Web Consortium, world-famous institutions like MIT and Harvard, and of course, the Boston Red Sox. In thinking about his home state, Avid Technology-founder Bill Warner created a scorecard and playbook to strengthen the state of Massachusetts’ tech companies. Although our own Chris Cameron recently featured Boston as a great tech hub, Warner’s posts aim to elevate business in Beantown via sports metaphors. Says Warner, “I believe we have sold too many of our great companies, and we have put our national and global leadership at risk… I propose a scorecard that helps push us towards having companies locally run. It’s a shorthand way of saying: ‘Play big.’ ‘Don’t sell out.’ It’s a way of saying ‘Lead here.’”Warner goes on to define his scorecard with singles as any successful product launch, doubles as companies with sales over $10 million dollars, triples as companies with sales over $100 million dollars, home runs as those with a $1 billion dollar market capitalization and grand slams as any company with a $10 bilion dollar market cap. He suggests Akamai as a grand slam candidate, with established grand slams being Raytheon and EMC. Warner argues that while Massachusetts companies are seeing decent exits, they are selling at the double and triple stage rather than reaping longer-term rewards and contributing to the local tech environment. In his second post, entitled It’s About New Behaviors: A Proposed Playbook for Massachusetts Technology Companies, he explains some ways the community can improve. He suggests investors should be willing to fund inexperienced first-time entrepreneurs, that companies should forgo non-compete clauses to open up the talent pool, and that the community should focus on mentorship, long-term planning and recruiting super angels and outsiders to rebuild the region. Explains Warner, “I believe that we indeed need to look harder – at new ways to measure success, and at new ways to spur success. The good news is, as our behaviors change, so will our fortunes.” It will be interesting to see if the Boston tech community heeds Warner’s advice and aims for the fences. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#start#startups Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market dana oshiro
Pippa Middleton, sister-in-law of Prince William, is reportedly back with her old flame Earl Percy after splitting from banker boyfriend and former cricketer Alex Loudon.Pippa, 28, and George, 27, were seen spending weekend together at a Remembrance Day service in Alnwick, Northumberland. “Their arrival caused a stir and they were very much together. The fact they came to such a public event says a great deal, as does the fact Pippa was with his family,” mirror.co.uk quoted a source as saying.George is heir to the Euro 300mn Duchy of Northumberland. This is not the first time they are sported together. George spent a week in Madrid with friends where Pippa was also seen spending time.”Pippa and George have always had a special relationship. Alex used to get jealous because they danced together and got close at social events,” the source added.
Who’s the best team in the NFL?The answer is as muddled as at any point in the season. According to our Elo ratings, the answer is technically the New England Patriots, who overtook the Denver Broncos after beating them in Week 9. But the Broncos gained ground by beating the Oakland Raiders on Sunday while the Patriots had a bye. Just one Elo point now separates the teams; they’re tied for all intents and purposes.A case could also be made for the Arizona Cardinals, who have the NFL’s best record at 8-1. But the deeper we go, the less impressive the Cardinals look. Jeff Sagarin’s “pure points” rating, based on margin of victory and strength of schedule, has the Cardinals just eighth in the league. Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) ratings, based on an analysis of play-by-play data, has them 15th. The Cardinals’ top quarterback, Carson Palmer, is out for the year. Elo, which tends to strike a middle ground between conventional wisdom and advanced statistics, has the Cardinals fourth.A credible case could also be made for the Seattle Seahawks on the basis of their longer-term performance. They came into the season ranked No. 1 and are the fourth-best team so far this year on the basis of DVOA. And they looked as good as they have since Week 1 while beating the New York Giants 38-17 last week. The Seahawks’ next six weeks consist of home-and-home games against the Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers, and road games at Kansas City and Philadelphia. Within a couple of weeks, we could be talking about how the Seahawks playoff hopes are torpedoed, or how Seattle was the best team in the league all along.So far, however, this season has been characterized by the lack of any one truly dominant team. It’s also been characterized by a bunch of awful teams, such as the Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars. The Raiders have a 31 percent chance of finishing at 0-16, according to our simulations. The Jaguars and the Raiders also have an outside shot at finishing with the lowest Elo rating of all-time.If the elite teams aren’t as great as usual, and the worst teams are worse than usual, that means there are more wins (and Elo ratings points) to go around among the upper-middle class of the league. There is a glut of 12 teams at an Elo rating between 1532 and 1608 — somewhere between “slightly above average” and “pretty good.”The Cincinnati Bengals, who lost at home Thursday against the Cleveland Browns, fell out of that group last week. These types of games — a clear underdog (the Bengals were 8.5-point favorites, according to Elo) winning definitively (the Browns won 24-3) — produce the biggest swings in the Elo ratings. In fact, the 53-point shift against the Bengals and toward the Browns is the largest of the season so far. (The largest swing of all time, 77 points, came Sept. 21, 2008, when the Miami Dolphins ended the Patriots’ 21-game regular-season winning streak by beating them 38-13 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.)Even the result in Cincinnati, however, did nothing to clarify the playoff picture. The Browns, at 6-3, are first in the AFC North; the Bengals, 5-3-1, are second. Both have lower Elo ratings than the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers, who are tied for third at 6-4. No AFC North team has better than a 31 percent chance or worse than a 20 percent chance of winning the division. Playoff odds for the rest of the league follow:My ESPN colleague Gregg Easterbrook wrote this week about the inequities of the NFL playoff system. As Gregg noted, the 4-5 New Orleans Saints would make the playoffs if the season ended today (as NFC South champions). The 6-3 Green Bay Packers, meanwhile, would miss out.One might protest that the Saints aren’t such a bad team: They have plenty of talent and a +26 point differential, and they’re 12th in the league in DVOA. Still, what division a team plays in makes a huge amount of difference to its playoff odds.To demonstrate this, I extracted some additional data from our Elo simulations this week, estimating a team’s chances of winning its division based on its regular-season record. In the NFC North, for example, a roughly average division, teams finishing the season with 10 wins won the division 30 percent of the time.The same 10-win finish would produce a drastically different result in other divisions. In the NFC West, 10 wins were good enough for the division title just 4 percent of the time. In the Saints’ NFC South, meanwhile, 10 wins took the division more than 99 percent of the time.Even an eight-win finish would be good more often than not in the NFC South; teams finishing with that win total won the division 65 percent of the time. (This includes cases where the Carolina Panthers, who tied a game this year, finish at 8-7-1.) Seven wins might be enough. In one of the 5,000 simulations we ran this week, the Panthers even won the division with a 5-10-1 record.If anything, this understates the importance of divisional placement. Not only are teams from weaker divisions more likely to make the playoffs with, for instance, a 9-7 record, they’ll also have an easier time achieving that record because they’re facing softer competition. And the NFL protects division winners in the playoffs, giving them a higher seed than wild cards and a home game in the opening round.These problems will be hard to avoid so long as the NFL insists on having such small divisions and placing such importance upon them. In a four-team division, there’s a 1-in-16 chance that all four teams will be below average — one of them will make the playoffs anyway. Because there are eight divisions, a case like that will come up about once every other season.This is one reason I’d like to see the NFL expand to 36 teams, which would allow for six-team divisions. Short of that, the league could adopt any number of approaches to make division placement less important. The least radical would be to no longer prioritize division winners in setting playoff seedings. (A 7-9 division winner could still make the playoffs, but it wouldn’t get a home game.) More fun: The league could “bump” any division winners that failed to finish with a winning record and replace them with an additional wild-card team.Elo Point SpreadsRecord against point spread: 70-67-3 (6-5 in Week 10)Straight-up record: 103-43-1 (9-4 in Week 10)The point spreads implied by Elo ratings have just barely climbed to a winning record against closing Las Vegas lines. Still, we wouldn’t recommend that you bet on them. Indeed, as the season has worn on, there have been fewer and fewer differences between them, and most of those that exist are easy to explain. Elo is more bullish on the Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles this week than Las Vegas lines imply, for example, but it doesn’t know that their starting quarterbacks are sidelined.Still, there’s a difference of opinion in what’s undoubtedly the biggest game of the week. Whereas Vegas has the Indianapolis Colts as 2.5- or three-point favorites at home against the Patriots, Elo has the Patriots just slightly favored. New England has been one of Elo’s favorite teams this year. It’s strange to think Vegas could underrate a team as high-profile as New England, but that’s been the case historically: The Patriots have covered the point spread about 57 percent of the time since Bill Belichick took over as coach.