Dino-Feather Story Gets Fluffier

first_imgXing Xu is at it again, claiming that dinosaur feathers are found everywhere – in China, at least, where the bulk of “feathered dinosaur” claims keep turning up in farmyards.  The latest claim is that “Feather structures in maturing dinosaurs changed as they grew.”  This story is accompanied by artwork showing the critters looking as big and fierce as dinosaur monsters (see PhysOrg and National Geographic); in reality, though, they would have been as small as pigeons.    Xu’s paper in Nature concerns two specimens of Similicaudipteryx, which is, obviously, similar to Caudipteryx.  Yet Caudipteryx has long been considered by some as not a dinosaur but a member of the class Aves (birds) that became secondarily flightless (see 12/27/2000, 01/25/2008, 01/21/2009).  Since none of the critics of dinosaur-to-bird evolution were allowed to rebut the claims of the paper in Nature, it is hard to have confidence this fossil has anything to say about a transition from dinosaurs to birds.    Xu claims that the plumage patterns seen in these few fossils “suggests that early feathers were developmentally more diverse than modern ones” and have no counterparts in modern birds.  This is assuming that his team has correctly identified the fossils of extinct animals as members of the same species and can know their ages within acceptable margins of error without having living examples to observe.  Even if that is true, the results do not provide any simple story for the evolution of feathers.  Instead, it appears that modern birds’ moulting habits are simpler now than they were in the past.1.  Xing Xu, Xiaoting Zheng, Hailu You, Exceptional dinosaur fossils show ontogenetic development of early feathers,” Nature 464, 1338-1341 (29 April 2010) | doi:10.1038/nature08965.The supplemental materials in Xu’s paper include a phylogenetic tree showing all the dinosaur groups that supposedly have feathers, and the feather types that have been found.  At first glance it looks impressive, but a closer look raises questions.  He has tyrannosaurids mixed in with the oviraptors and velociraptors and all these other animals.  The cladogram supposedly shows ancestral relationships, with feather types at the tips of each group.  You look at the feather types, though, and the clear bird feathers (pennate feathers with quills and barbs and barbules, and asymmetric flight feathers) have question marks by half the groups.  You read the caption and find his disclaimer that the evidence is questionable for these.  The ones that have the bird-like feathers could be said to be extinct bird lineages or secondarily flightless birds. circular reasoning.    Xu tries to answer the argument that some of the feather-like structures might have been flayed collagen, but we need to see the counter-arguments from Feduccia and the guys at University of Oregon (02/09/2010).  Nature, Science and National Geographic are giving way too much press to one side, to the Mr. Feathered Dinosaur guy Xing Xu.  This is not good science.  The whole story is not being heard.(Visited 35 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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10 Ways Social Media Will Change in 2011

first_imgWith more than 550 million people on Facebook, 65 million tweets posted on Twitter each day, and 2 billion video views each day on YouTube?, social media has become an integral part of our connected lives. But this is just the beginning.For the past two years, I have been forecasting the evolution social media will undergo. Key trends for 2010 included social media integration across applications and devices, lowered technological barriers, mobile pervasiveness and social media ROI as a focus. It is safe to say that these trends indeed became reality and I expect these to continue and materialize in new solutions, applications and case studies in the year ahead.2011 will also be marked by new developments that will shape the very fabric of our behavior, culture and identity. These developments will challenge us to consider important questions about the future of our experience as connected people and consumers. Here are key trends to watch in the coming year:1. Social media will be supersizedGuest author Ravit Lichtenberg, founder and chief strategist at Ustrategy – a boutique consultancy specializing in helping companies excel in the socio-digital age. Ravit authors a blog at www.ravitlichtenberg.com and is on Twitter @ravit_ustrategy.Following the success of various social media SaaS vendors and application providers, and fueled by ?Apple envy,? in 2011 we will see a surge of service providers bundling social networks, engagement widgets, video, mobile capabilities, cloud services and analytics, with their own unique services and proprietary capabilities. Ad agencies, for example, will offer bundles that include layers of creative strategy, campaign management and advertising deals all handled through a central dashboard; telecommunications companies will offer video tools for businesses and consumers with greater bandwidth, storage and syndication; learning management systems (LMS) integrators will add engagement, archiving, training and collaboration tools for a deeper and more engaging academic experience. By the end of the year, using today?s à la cart solutions will seem as efficient as buying a pocket knife with only a bottle opener in it.2. Companies will integrate social feedback into their decision making processRead Ravit’s Previous Forecasts10 Ways Social Media Will Change in 200910 Ways Social Media Will Change in 2010 Tags:#Features#Trends#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts ravit lichtenberg from ustrate 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market In 2011 we will see a growing number of companies finally go beyond using social channels merely for building awareness and providing support. As ?social thinkers,? these companies will use the social engine to inform strategic decisions, and execute on the organization?’s objectives, marketing plans, product roadmaps and more. ?It?s not just about technology, it?s about a fundamental shift into a new age of leadership with new type of executives who behave and operate in new ways,? said Marc Benioff, Salesforce.com chairman and CEO. Expect to see a rise in companies who, by end of year, will be recognized for socially-informed innovation, customer focus and work environment, ?much like Zappos and Amazon were a few years back.3. Mobile will become our gateway to the world2010 marked the year in which infrastructure, technology and design finally intersected in the mobile space. For the first time, sales of smartphones outpaced sales of desktops and laptops, iPhone and iPad applications were downloaded more than 7 billion times and research shows e-mail access is now on the rise on the iPhone while declining on the computer.With the foundation in place, in the coming year we will witness the scales tip: Mobile device users will interact with content, companies and the Web more on their phones and iPads than on their computers, and IT and service providers will create solutions that are defined by our mobile consumption and use behaviors. ?The highway has been there but until now we needed a special car to get us to our destination, so the average pedestrian was not going to get there. Now that technology barriers have been lowered, mobile will become an extension of who we are,? said Philippe Suchet, CEO of MyShopanion, and the recipient of the Web2.0? Summit 2010 award for most innovative startup in the mobile shopping category.From social shopping on the go, to easy paperless transactions and check-ins, to watching (and creating) videos with friends abroad, to in-class learning and collaboration, to managing our health real-time – prepare for an explosion of connected experiences across all points of interactions between people and people, people and companies, and people and information in the cloud.Photo by LotusHead4. Video will be everywhereWith plummeting video delivery costs and highly accessible and flexible video management platforms (like Brightcove, Ooyala, and the open-source platform Kaltura*), custom-use of video by enterprises online, on mobile devices, and across screens is on the rise across all sectors.Consumer? engagement with video will also continue to rise. In October alone, 5.4 billion videos were viewed – 2 billion of these on Facebook. ?People today can shoot and share HD videos from their phone. The user experience is getting to the same level as broadcast or professional media from an image quality standpoint. Image acquisition is entirely changing content production,? said Brett Leonard, renowned writer and director and pioneer of ?frag? technology in the movie industry.When it comes to ROI, it seems that companies want to cook gourmet risotto but most are still busy washing the rice: Despite 2010 being a year filled with ROI discussions and some strong case studies, Forrester research shows that most companies still have no clue how to meaningfully measure ROI.In the coming year, gaps in our video experience will be filled with the integration of filtering, tagging, editing and locating tools into each and every video feed. Both companies and consumers will increasingly rely on video to provide information and behavioral cues that are not otherwise present in texts, tweets and status updates, making video a critical component of the value chain for its impact on shaping people?s’ perception about companies and about each other.5. The next big Online Social Network will not be a network at allSocial networks have transformed human access capabilities much like modern transportation and the telephone did over 150 years ago. But they are also changing the very structure of our relationships? – flattening our naturally varying levels of intimacy in real life.In the coming year we will see the rise of dynamic, engaging, easy-to-use community platforms and applications like Diaspora, Path and Looppa* that will better mimic and facilitate the innate way people seek to manage relationships. ?People today look for more personalized, authentic, private information (where we make) a ?social contract? around a topic or context that is beyond the reach of search engine results and Facebook crowds,? said Dave Blakely, director of technology strategy at IDEO.For consumers, this means the ability to create smaller, more intimate, context-specific communities using their existing social graph and livestreams. For companies, this means the ability to facilitate a custom-branded, dynamic and engaging experience on their online properties in ways not possible on Facebook. ?Every company should think of itself as a media company,? said Tom Foremski, journalist and thought-leader.As they become more social, on their own turfs, companies will once again own their customer relationships and brand in a whole new way, ?ultimately building greater community value for both the company and its customers.6. ROI will be redefinedWhen it comes to ROI, it seems that companies want to cook gourmet risotto but most are still busy washing the rice: Despite 2010 being a year filled with ROI discussions and some strong case studies, Forrester research shows that most companies still have no clue how to meaningfully measure ROI.As brands move this year from being on social media to using the social media ecosystem, ROI metrics will finally evolve beyond counting ?likes? and comments. Aligning with actionable business objectives and their corresponding metrics will be critical to being able to demonstrate repeatable contribution to the bottom line. Companies who hire social media strategists with proven marketing analytics background and business strategy experience will have the upper hand and will place first in the race to cracking the ROI code.7. Psychology is shiftingUntil now, human psychology has been regarded slow to change. In the coming year we will begin to see evidence that we are, in fact, witnessing a growing psychological plasticity.?We have changed the importance of time, geography, age? and the assumption of how the world works. We have new levels of cognitive flexibility, which is creating a new way of thinking about the world and about ourselves,? said Dr. Pamela Rutledge, director of the Media Psychology Research Center and co-founder of A Think Lab.Once feeling powerless to fight against personal and cultural injustices, today people know they have the power to voice their grievances, the tools to bring about change and the ability to take control of their experiences.As the constructs of relationships, privacy and our ability to influence others evolve, we will also face important questions: How do we respond to the changing definition of relationships? How does the elimination of behavioral cues, only available face-to-face, impact our ability to connect? How does our need for emotional balance get addressed in the face of constant change?In the coming year, companies wishing to succeed should already start to set practices and create a charter to understand the intersection between technology and psychology. Focusing on behaviors is no longer sufficient.8. Citizen activism brings back purpose and powerWith the power made possible by social technologies to connect, inform and mobilize, we will see a surge in self-organized and managed citizen activism. ?Value will come from being able to facilitate groups as a human infrastructure?, not from technology,? says Andrea Saveri, a thought-leader and researcher at the intersection of foresight and strategy.Wikipedia and Mozilla FireFox are early and ongoing examples of the value of the connected human infrastructure; many more, including Causecast, and OpenIDEO, as well as lesser known projects like It Gets Better will light up the grid. By the end of the year we may each join a group of people we have never met in order to take part in bringing about change in completely new ways.9. Social business intelligence will heat up and so will privacyAs we become ever more connected, and rely on giants like Apple and Google to funnel our most personal information, the field of social business intelligence, and with it, our privacy, will move to the spotlight. Wikileak?s‘ eruption on the social media waves and Do Not Track are just previews. Every company now looks to tap into the boundless user data being collected in the cloud. While personalized, targeted experience can be extremely valuable in helping companies and consumers cut through the clutter, the line between perceived use and abuse can be thin at times, as data mining and targeted ad delivery pioneer RapLeaf saw in past months.In the year ahead we will witness (and be part of) major data virtualization initiatives designed to map our activities, preferences and choices. Mechanisms designed to triangulate our mobile, online and physical information will yield more accurate information than our Social Security numbers can. We will see fierce regulation battles and hear about companies who use our data to test boundaries? and our trust. When done, Tom Cruise?’s shopping scene in Minority Report will seem as sophisticated as scenes from Time Tunnel in the 1970?s.10. The role of the social media strategist will be changingThe glory days when social media strategists rose to stardom overnight (and too often, with little relevant experience) are finally over. Social media roles today focus on tangible, results-driven capabilities within the organizational structure and processes. Hiring managers are more informed and better connected, making it easier to separate the wheat from the chaff.In 2011, social media strategists will need to contend with much more actionable, and often mundane, tasks such as selecting and piloting new tools, integrating social widgets and analytics, helping to educate the organization, and integrating social-based thinking into the organization?’s process and culture. Process design, stakeholder management, strategic planning, and the ability to manage large projects within complex environments will all be required.Strategists looking to remain inspired and work at the cutting edge will have to look outside today’?s leading corporations. Some of the most interesting social media work will come from new media digital agencies, smaller innovative companies, international companies who are just entering the field and late-to-adopt sectors such as health, finance and insurance.In the year ahead we will see more of the same: more users on Facebook, more videos, more social media widgets, more tools, more devices, more applications. But it will also be a year of important accomplishments and fundamental shifts in our thinking, behavior and psychology. As social media and social technologies integrate deeper into our daily lives and across vast audiences, our areas of focus will begin to transform.Companies will begin to overhaul their internal structures and decision-making processes even if at a fairly superficial levels at first; consumers will seek to make sense of their evolving relationships, always-on connectedness, and to redefine value and meaning.As we finally surface from social media stimulus overload, the questions we will ask in the coming year should not be about technology but about what it enables, what it jeopardizes and about how we, as the connected collective, want to shape the years to come.(Disclaimer: Companies marked with * are Ustrategy clients.) Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

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UFC strips Jones, reinstates Cormier as 205-pound champion

first_imgFILE – In this Jan. 3, 2015, file photo, Jon Jones, right, kicks Daniel Cormier during their light heavyweight title mixed martial arts bout at UFC 182 in Las Vegas. Jones has threatened to show up at WWE’s SummerSlam event and scout potential rival Brock Lesnar. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)LOS ANGELES— The UFC has stripped its light heavyweight title from Jon Jones for a third time and reinstated Daniel Cormier as the 205-pound champion after Jones’ latest failed doping test.The mixed martial arts promotion announced its decision Wednesday after the California State Athletic Commission changed the result of Jones’ victory over Cormier on July 29 to a no-contest.ADVERTISEMENT Jones has a lengthy history of misbehavior. After avoiding serious punishment in previous incidents involving cocaine use and a drunk-driving conviction, he was stripped of his title in 2015 after his involvement in a hit-and-run accident that left a pregnant woman with a broken arm.He returned to the octagon several months later and reclaimed an interim title while Cormier was injured, but Jones’ belt was stripped again in November 2016, four months after he was pulled from a rematch with Cormier at UFC 200 for failing a pre-fight doping test.Jones served a one-year suspension before returning in July, pronouncing himself wiser and more mature.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES MOST READ Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Read Next BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMCcenter_img Cormier lost the belt to Jones in a third-round stoppage at UFC 214 in Anaheim, California. Last month, USADA announced Jones had violated the UFC’s doping policy with a second positive test.The California commission made its no-contest ruling after Jones’ backup sample also failed a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency test for the same substance, the banned steroid Turinabol.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutCormier (19-1) has never lost to any opponent except Jones (22-1), the troubled UFC star. Cormier held the light heavyweight title for most of the previous two years while Jones was largely sidelined by disciplinary issues.The 30-year-old Jones could face a four-year suspension from the California commission for his second failed test, but his representatives have indicated he is expected to appeal the result by arguing that it resulted from a contaminated nutritional supplement, a defense that has worked in previous MMA doping cases. Hontiveros wants NBP doctor stripped of license for giving hospital passes PLAY LIST 01:19Hontiveros wants NBP doctor stripped of license for giving hospital passes00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  40-year-old Stephon Marbury ‘working on’ return to NBA Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding View commentslast_img read more

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NFL Eyes Extra Point Change

first_imgPHOENIX (AP) — Spice it up. The NFL’s dullest play, the extra point, appears to be headed for some changes, perhaps significant ones, for the 2015 season.While team owners didn’t vote on any extra-point proposals March 25, there was so much discussion and interest in potential changes that the issue will be a main focal point for the next set of league meetings in May.“There’s a clear movement to wanting to change and change it this year,” said Rich McKay, Co-chairman of the competition committee and president of the Falcons.McKay’s committee will “develop alternatives and be ready for a potential vote” in two months in San Francisco.Among the possibilities are moving the line of scrimmage back for PAT kicks; placing the ball on the 1½-yard line for a 2-point conversion; eliminating the PAT kicks entirely, requiring teams to run a play from scrimmage; and allowing the defense to score, as in college football, if the ball is turned over on a 2-point try.McKay described the discussions as “lively, with lots of ideas … it’s time to make this a football play.”“A couple coaches said they favor just lining up on the 2 and going for the 2-point play,” he said. “Or move the ball to the 1 1-2 for two points, or kick from the 15 for one, your choice.”The league experimented with extra-point kicks from a longer distance last preseason. Currently, the line of scrimmage for both an extra point and 2-point conversion try is the 2-yard line.Voted down as the meetings concluded was Chicago’s proposal that each team get a possession in overtime regardless of what happens on the first series.Now, if the side receiving the OT kickoff scores a touchdown, the game ends. If it kicks a field goal, the opponent gets a possession.Unsportsmanlike penalties handed out at the end of a half now will carry over, either to the second half or to overtime.Lining up players with eligible numbers at ineligible positions, as New England did against Baltimore in the playoffs, now has more specific guidelines. Those players must line up inside the tackle box.The owners also approved teams with retractable domes being allowed to open them at halftime, weather permitting, and allowing linebackers to wear numbers from 40-49; previously they could wear only numbers in the 50s and 90s.Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke briefly about two high-profile personal conduct cases in which both players, Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson, remain on the exempt list.Goodell said the league continues to review Hardy’s case to determine if discipline is warranted. Hardy signed earlier this month with Dallas.Goodell said the date for Adrian Peterson’s suspension to end remains April 15. The Vikings running back had the ban overturned by appeal, a decision the NFL now is appealing itself.Also March 25:—The NFL is not focused necessarily on having a team or teams back in Los Angeles in 2016, but it is a hot topic. Goodell noted the league “wants to succeed long term” in LA, so “right now the focus is on the process and also understanding what it takes to be successful in the LA market.”A report on all three teams interested in moving there — the Rams, Chargers and Raiders — is expected in late April, and Goodell said the owners then would discuss it in San Francisco.—Expansion of the playoffs by two teams was discussed, but won’t be happening for a while. Goodell mentioned scheduling issues as well as competitive questions for such delays.—Ted Wells’ investigation into the deflated footballs in the AFC championship game is ongoing, with no timetable on its conclusion.—Texting during a game by Browns General Manager Ray Farmer is still being investigated to see if any league rules were broken.Earlier in the week, of the 13 video replay alterations proposed, including extending the number of coaches’ challenges and letting them challenge all officiating calls, the only one passed will allow game officials to use replay for clock issues at the end of a half, game or overtime if more than 1 second remains.Five player safety rule changes were made, the most notable allowing a medical adviser to stop a game if he believes a player is disoriented, having the player removed from the field and examined on the sideline or in the locker room.(BARRY WILNER, AP Pro Football Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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Everything you need to know about #NTL2016

first_imgNeed to find out information about the 2016 National Touch League? Everything you need to know is here: 2016 National Touch LeagueDrawLive streamingNTL TV AnnouncementWhat we are looking forward toKeep up-to-date with all of the latest news, information and results from the 2016 National Touch League:Website – www.touchfootball.com.au and www.ntl.mytouchfooty.comFacebook – www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustraliaTwitter – www.twitter.com/touchfootyaus (#NTL2016)Instagram – www.instagram.com/touchfootballaustralia (#NTL2016)YouTube – www.youtube.com/touchfootballausRelated LinksEverything you need!last_img read more

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a month agoWatford boss Quique Sanchez Flores: The result today damages me a lot

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores: The result today damages me a lotby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveWatford boss Quique Sanchez Flores fears for his players after their 8-0 thrashing by Manchester City.He apologised numerous times to the club’s supporters following the thumping loss, but claims that the nature of the performance makes his position as coach more difficult.”We know how tough is the Premier League and every single match,” said Sanchez Flores.”When we accepted the invitation of the club to come here, to lead the team, we knew we were going to play against Arsenal and we were going to play against Manchester City.”It’s not about the margin you have when you come or not. Pep said yesterday in his press conference we know it’s not about you as a coach, it’s about the results.”So, of course, the result today it damages a lot myself, but one week ago, the results supported me. “We can see more than one week, we can see longer than one next match. It’s like this, so we need to live with this kind of consequence. It’s like this, it’s our work.”First we have to say sorry to the fans because they came to the stadium waiting for a good performance from the team and it was very difficult to be on the pitch today.”After 30 seconds we realised it would be very tough and then after 15 minutes it was impossible to play like this.” last_img read more

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Message for National Heroes Day 2017 Leader of the Opposition Dr. Peter Phillips

first_img‘A GREAT HERITAGE, A GREAT LEGACY’Once again it is time for us to recognize and celebrate the achievements of our national heroes.  Collectively,their exploits and accomplishments have paved the way for Jamaica to move from plantation slavery to nationhood. The bravery and courage of Nanny of the Maroons and Sam Sharpe propelled us along the path from slavery to freedom. Paul Bogle and George William Gordon led the fight for social justice and access to land.Marcus Garvey gave Jamaicans the self-confidence to rise above their circumstances, and compete successfully with the best in the race of life.Alexander Bustamante’s deep commitment to the workers and Norman Manley’s confidence in Jamaica’s capacity for self-government charted the course from colonialism to nationhood. The journey from plantation slavery to nationhood has made us a proud visionary and ambitious people, always striving for excellence, committed to equality and social justice and caring for each other. However, we need to bear in mind that with each passing year fewer and fewer Jamaicans have any living memory of any of our heroes. It is therefore of the utmost importance that we utilize the media, the classroom and our creative artists to inform and educate our children of the great heritage and the great legacy that we have inherited.Today, as we celebrate our National Heroes; let us also pause to recognize the tremendous contributions of the thousands of our ordinary Jamaican citizens who have given and continue to give service way beyond the call of duty to keep Jamaica going. Particularly at this time, we pay tribute to the members of our security forces, who put their lives on the line battling violent criminals, often without adequate support.  We also pay respect to our teachers, health care workers, and the other public sector workers who often give of their personal time and resources, to keep the nation’s social services functioning in very difficult circumstances.  Respect is also due to the thousands of Jamaicans who give voluntary service through their citizens’ associations, neighbourhood watches or youth clubs, on behalf of their fellow citizens.These are the present day heroes, who by their collective effort remind us that the vision, hopes and aspirations of the founding heroes of our nation are still to be fully realized.  There are still too many suffering from poverty, joblessness and a lack of housing or access to land.  Too many of our children are left behind in our educational system without adequate preparation for responsible citizenship and the world of work. The Jamaica that our heroes lived worked and died for is one in which no citizen would be a squatter in the land of their birth. In that Jamaica no child would be left behind by an educational system which fails the majority of students. It would be a Jamaica in which every worker would have a fair share of the wealth they create and equal enjoyment the rights that our heroes secured for them.This Jamaica, however, can only be built by a political leadership that places the highest premium on integrity; and which is committed to the highest standards of public service while recognizing the importance of a partnership with the people they serveWe can best honour our heroes by providing this leadership in our various areas of endeavor as we rededicate ourselves to the task of building a Jamaica that offers opportunity to all its people, and where we all share and care for each other.Have a happy Heroes Day and may God bless you all and Jamaica land we love.last_img read more

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Health Canada concerned by cannabis companies sponsoring music events

first_imgHealth Canada said Friday it’s prepared to crack down on licensed medical marijuana producers who are sponsoring music festivals and other events.The federal department said it’s “concerned” about some companies that have engaged in corporate sponsorships and other promotional activities that go against the Cannabis Act.It said the government has made it “abundantly clear” what isn’t permitted under the laws, such as marketing to minors.Health Canada issued a statement noting that cannabis companies have been dabbling in various forms of marketing that raise red flags, although it highlighted music festivals as a particular point of concern.Tweed, a brand owned by Canopy Growth Corp., is among the companies that have been sponsoring events, including the Field Trip music festival and Pride Toronto this summer.The company’s spokeswoman, Caitlin O’Hara, wrote in an emailed statement that Canopy is focused on education and responsible use of its product.“We have reviewed all activities with counsel to ensure compliance and continue to work collaboratively with regulators in support of this shared objective,” she said.Aurora Cannabis is another producer has taken a prominent sponsorship role at various Canadian events, including the North By Northeast music festival in June. Representatives for the company declined to comment on Friday.Eileen McMahon, a partner at Torys LLP who leads the drug and regulatory practice, said Health Canada’s warning doesn’t come as much of a surprise, since the cannabis market is experimenting ahead of legalization on Oct. 17.She said many companies are attempting to get their brand names into public consciousness before they expect regulations to be enforced.“This is an opportunity where companies say, ‘What is legal and illegal under current law? What is grey and in the grey area? And can we play there in a way that’s defensible?’” she said.“Some companies will take some risks … others won’t. I think you see that activity taking place and the government’s reaction.”While Health Canada didn’t directly acknowledge companies it deemed offenders, it said the actions have underscored a need for “rigorous enforcement” of the laws.“The department is reviewing the actions of existing licensed producers and will be taking every possible step to bring them into compliance or prevent non-compliance with existing laws,” it said.“Those who do not adhere to the applicable prohibitions will face serious consequences, which may include, if appropriate, suspension of their licence.”Follow @dfriend on Twitter.last_img read more

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Alberta boosts job numbers in spite of doom and gloom forecasts

first_imgOTTAWA (660 NEWS) – Some jobs numbers are shocking economists from coast to coast especially in this province.Stats Canada said there were more than 94,000 jobs added in the month of November across the country.This is coming as donations for charities in Alberta have plummeted, economic forecasts have been shaky, and some economists expect major layoffs in the oil and gas industry. Yet Alberta is one of the leaders when it comes to this growth.We sit second in the country when it comes to jobs added. There were 24,000 positions added in the province, and we’re only behind Quebec when it comes to growth.Stats Canada reports that growth is not coming at the expense of contractors as the rate of self-employed workers has stayed roughly the same, but there was an increase in public sector jobs.“There was very strong gains in areas like health care and social assistance, in public administration, in information culture and recreation, those things that tend not to be driven as much by the energy price,” noted ATB Financial Chief Economist Todd Hirsch.Hirsch believes these numbers are good news, but the price of oil is still a problem for Alberta.“If we don’t see some positive news early in the new year, I think we will then start to see more layoffs. But I don’t expect we will see massive layoffs between now and the new year,” said Hirsch. “If we are hearing some positive news about pipelines going ahead or around this oil price differential, I think we’ll be in okay shape. But I think there are a lot of companies too that are just holding on by their fingernails.”More volatility in employment: Canada added a net 94,000 jobs in November, far above estimates, driven by full-time work. The unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 5.6%, “the lowest since comparable data became available in 1976” says Statscan.— Richard Dettman (@rwdettman) December 7, 2018The unemployment rate dropped a full percentage point to sit at 6.3 per cent in the province.In Calgary, that rate is down 0.3 percentage points to sit at 7.9 per cent.Royce Mendes with CIBC Capital Markets is skeptical of any kind of celebration over these figures.“These numbers are extremely volatile on a month-over-month basis.”He believes there are factors that could lead to a swing towards less pleasant outcomes.“There was a big increase in jobs in Alberta. Now you will remember, during November is when the price of Western Canadian Select oil prices fell dramatically. So it’s odd then that Alberta increased 24,000 jobs during the month. So there are major concerns about the sustainability of the jobs gained in November.”last_img read more

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Cong may include Healthcare Act promise in manifesto says Rahul

first_imgRaipur: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday said his party is considering inclusion of a Right to Healthcare Act promise in its manifesto for the ensuing Lok Sabha election to guarantee minimum healthcare to all.Gandhi also criticised the Ayushman Bharat flagship health scheme of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government and termed the programme as a handout to 15-20 select businessmen of the country. He was interacting with medical professionals during the concluding session of the two day national convention on Health for all organised by an NGO here. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!”In our manifesto, we are considering three things: Including Right to Healthcare Act by which we can guarantee a certain minimum healthcare to all Indians; increasing our healthcare expenditure to 3 per cent of the GDP and increasing the number of doctors and healthcare professionals, Gandhi said answering a question from the professionals. Gandhi also asserted that if his party is elected to power in the 2019 general elections, its focus will be on increasing expenditure on healthcare and education. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killed”India is transitioning from a rural system to urban system. There is a massive shifting taking place and it is a painful shift. It is not an easy shift, it is a traumatic shift,” he said. Gandhi said there are three things that any government in the 21st century has to do to protect Indias citizens. “First we have to fix unemployment problem and second is we have to give low cost high-quality education. The third thing is that we have to ensure better healthcare system, he said. “These to me are non-negotiable things. If we dont do all of these, we are not going to be successful, he added. Gandhi said the biggest cause of falling back into poverty is healthcare. “Everybody knows that. Healthcare in the sense is foundation. We have to ensure that this foundation is built firmly. A Congress government in 2019 is dramatically going to increase the amount of money in healthcare and education, he said. We are not going to put money in waste that allows limited number of people to make massive amount of money, he said. He said that is how he views the Ayushman Bharat scheme. “I see it as a limited scheme that is targeting very limited number of healthcare issues. If I want to be frank it is a handout to the 15-20 richest businessmen in India. That is not the type of scheme we are going to put in, he said. “My main criticism of the Ayushman Bharat scheme is that it gives insurance without proper support structure from hospital and medical professionals. Without the capacity to deliver the medical care, no insurance system can function”, he said.last_img read more

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