Senate fails to cut off funds

first_imgDemocrats vowed in January to force an end to the war, and nowhere is the shift in sentiment more evident than among the party’s presidential contenders in the Senate. For the first time, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, Barack Obama of Illinois and Joe Biden of Delaware joined Sen. Chris Dodd in lending support to the notion of setting a date to end U.S. participation in the war. Clinton, the Democrats’ presidential front-runner in most early polls, has adamantly opposed setting a date for a troop withdrawal, and she gave conflicting answers during the day when asked whether her vote signified support for a cutoff in funds. “I’m not going to speculate on what I’ll be voting on in the future,” she said at midday. But a few hours later she said: “I support the … bill. That’s what this vote … was all about.” Other Democrats were unmistakably clear. WASHINGTON – Anti-war Democrats in the Senate failed in an attempt to cut off funds for the Iraq War on Wednesday, a lopsided bipartisan vote that masked growing impatience within both political parties over President Bush’s handling of the four-year conflict. The 67-29 vote against the measure left it far short of the 60 needed to advance. More than half the Senate’s Democrats supported the move, exposing divisions within the party but also marking a growth in anti-war sentiment from last summer, when only a dozen members of the rank and file backed a troop withdrawal deadline. “It was considered absolute heresy four months ago” to stop the war, said Sen. Russell Feingold of Wisconsin, author of the measure to cut off funds for most military operations after March 31, 2008. Ironically, the vote also cleared the way for the Democratic-controlled Congress to bow to Bush’s wishes and approve a war funding bill next week stripped of the type of restrictions that drew his veto earlier this spring. “How many more soldiers do we have to bury? How many more do we have to bring into our military and veterans hospitals? How many more thousands of innocent Iraqis have to die before we finally accept our responsibility to bring this war to an end?” asked Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois. Republicans voted unanimously against the measure, and several judged it harshly. Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the GOP leader, said it fixed a “surrender date” for the United States. There were 28 Democrats in favor of advancing the bill, and 19 opposed. “An arbitrary cutoff date would take away an important negotiating tool,” said Sen. Jim Webb, of Virginia, a Democratic critic of the war elected to his first term last November. He noted that the administration had recently taken steps to engage Iran in diplomacy in hopes of easing the sectarian violence in neighboring Iraq. The vote occurred as Congress pursued multiple objectives in connection with a war that has claimed the lives of more than 3,400 U.S. troops. Congressional leaders hope to send Bush legislation by the end of next week providing more than $90 billion to pay for the war through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year, and at least part of the reason for the day’s events was to give lawmakers an outlet for their unhappiness. Several Republicans, led by Sen. John Warner of Virginia, proposed legislation that threatened a reduction in reconstruction funds if the Iraqi government fails to make progress toward a series of military and political goals, and provides for outside experts to report to lawmakers on the subject. “The Iraqi government, it strikes me, needs to understand that they’re running out of time to get their part of the job done,” said McConnell. But the same proposal would have given Bush authority to waive the requirement for Iraqi progress, and it drew objections from Democrats as a result. “It’s is really very tepid, very weak,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. In the end, the vote was 52-44, more than a majority but less than the 60 needed to advance under the rules in effect. While Feingold’s attempt to cut off funds is likely to recede into the background, at least for the time being, the suggestion that the Iraqis be held to account for their promises to foster democracy and strengthen their own military has wide currency within Congress. Bush, too, has said he is willing to accept so-called benchmarks within legislation that provides the funds the Pentagon needs, although so far, he has not agreed to enforcement measures that might reduce reconstruction funds ticketed for Iraq. That is one of the issues that is likely to surface – if it hasn’t already – in secretive talks that Reid and McConnell have held in recent days with White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten in hopes of forging a compromise war funding bill. Warner’s measure also said the United States should begin a withdrawal if the Iraqi government requests one, another idea that is quietly gaining support in Congress. At the White House, deputy press secretary Dana Perino said: “The U.N. Security Council resolution, which provides the present basis for coalition forces in Iraq, has always been subject to termination by the Iraqi government. So this is nothing new.” There is relatively little controversy over the amount of money to be provided for the Pentagon, but Bush and congressional Republicans object to billions of dollars in domestic spending that Democrats favor. Of less concern to the White House is a Democratic attempt to add a minimum wage increase to the measure. It calls for three increases of 70 cents an hour over the next two years, and would provide the first raise in more than a decade in the federal wage floor. The debate over Iraq has dominated the work of the Democratic-controlled Congress this year, and in recent weeks, Republicans, too, have begun to show their impatience with the war. A group of 11 moderate House Republicans met with Bush and several top advisers at the White House recently, bluntly telling him that the party’s political prospects in 2008 were in jeopardy as a result of the war. Several GOP lawmakers in both houses have said they are looking for a significant change in the war by September, signaling they could part company with the president as the 2008 election year draws close.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

It’s over: Bolt’s Australian football dream fails

first_imgThe 32-year-old superstar’s quest garnered worldwide attention, which intensified when he scored two goals in a pre-season friendly.But his abilities were questioned and the club reportedly offered him only a fraction of the Aus$3 million (US$2.1 million) his management were said to be seeking, with outside sponsors needed to make the deal viable.“As previously stated, the club and (Bolt’s representative) Ricky Simms have been in conversations with external partners to find a commercial solution that suits all parties,” the Mariners said in a statement.“Despite several promising potential partners, both Bolt and the Central Coast Mariners have amicably concluded that they will not be able to settle on a suitable deal in a timely manner.”The 100m world record holder, who retired from athletics last year and has previously tried out with clubs in Germany, South Africa and Norway, thanked the Mariners for the opportunity.“I would like to thank the Central Coast Mariners owners, management, staff, players and fans for making me feel so welcome during my time there,” said the Jamaican, who is reportedly in Melbourne and will head to Europe soon for a previously agreed commercial engagement.“I wish the club success for the season ahead.”Usain Bolt started his trial in August. © AFP / PETER LORIMERBolt recently turned down a trial-free contract from cashed-up Maltese champions Valletta to focus on trying to make the grade in Australia.That offer prompted the Mariners to table their own deal, but they didn’t have the funds to make it work without outside help.And coach Mike Mulvey made clear that Bolt, who favours playing up front, was unlikely to get much game time in the A-League even if he signed, with the team boosting an experienced front line.It includes Aston Villa marksmen and Scottish international Ross McCormack, who is on a season-long loan deal, and Tommy Oar, who has played 28 times for the Socceroos.– Jamaica calling –Bolt’s abilities were also questioned by pundits and some players, including former Ireland striker Andy Keogh who last month said he had a “touch like a trampoline”.Usain Bolt scored his first goals in professional football with the Mariners. © AFP / PETER PARKSKeogh, who used to play for Wolves and Cardiff, added: “He’s shown a bit (of potential) but it’s a little bit of a kick in the teeth to the professionals that are in the league.”The breakdown in his Australian quest coincided with Jamaican FA chief Michael Ricketts urging him to sign for a club in his homeland, dangling the prospect of being picked for the national team.“If he can make the transition from being a superstar on the track to being a good enough football player, then we will certainly call him up,” he told ESPN.Despite the failure to agree terms, Bolt’s presence at the Mariners has garnered huge publicity for a club that finished bottom of the A-League last season.Usain Bolt won eight Olympic gold medals before retiring from track and field. © AFP / Peter PARKSOwner Mike Charlesworth acknowledged Bolt’s massive pulling power and said it had been a pleasure to have him on the Central Coast, around an hour’s drive north of Sydney.“This has been a mutually beneficial partnership that brought an increased level of excitement and attention to both the Mariners and the A-League,” he said.“From day one, Usain dedicated himself to being part of the Mariners. He integrated very well into the team and made great strides as a footballer.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt started one game for Australia’s Central Coast Mariners. © AFP / PETER PARKSSYDNEY, Australia, Nov 2 – Sprint king Usain Bolt’s attempt to become a professional footballer with Australia’s Central Coast Mariners collapsed Friday as his trial period was terminated after contract talks failed.The eight-time Olympic champion had been trying out with the A-League side for an indefinite period since arriving in August, hoping to fulfil a childhood dream to become a soccer player.last_img read more

Arsenal boost as key defender commits to club long-term

first_img1 Nacho Monreal in action for Arsenal Nacho Monreal has committed his future to Arsenal by signing a new long-term contract.The Spanish full-back has made more than 100 appearances for the Gunners since arriving from Malaga in January 2013 in a deal worth more than £8million.Having initially struggled to make an impact, he has gone on to become a key member of Arsene Wenger’s team and has kept Kieran Gibbs out of the team this season.The 29-year-old has played in all 22 of table-topping Arsenal’s Premier League games this season, helping them keep 10 clean sheets.“I’m really happy because my intention was to keep playing for Arsenal. I feel really good playing here,” said Monreal.“I have a good relationship with my team-mates and we keep improving year after year. I wanted to stay here and I could extend my contract. I would like to play here for many more years.“The trust of the Arsenal fans is really important for us because they are helping us in every moment as we are fighting to win the Premier League.“I met the boss three years ago and I have a really good relationship with him and I’m really happy with him. For these reasons I extended my contract.“I’m very happy with my performances this season. At the beginning it was difficult because I was a new signing and I didn’t speak English.“But now I feel more comfortable with my team-mates and with everything in general so that has helped me to play better because I have more confidence in myself.”Arsenal manager Wenger hailed Monreal’s impact following his arrival from La Liga three years ago.“He is a very important player at the club because he can play left-back and centre back,” said the Frenchman.“He has the consistency in his performances that is requested at the top level.“Overall, his attitude has been absolutely fantastic on a daily basis since he arrived here. He’s 100 per cent committed and I think as well he has always improved since he has arrived and has shown that in many big games as well.“He’s calm, focused and dedicated. He’s well-accepted and loved by his partners. He has the modest approach of a player who wants to give his best to the team. Everybody senses that and that’s why I think it’s important for the club to have that stability.“Everyone in the Premier League would say that he has become a very strong player. Arsenal are gifted at the moment, I must say, with two top-class left backs. We have many young players. They need to be surrounded by experienced players, especially at the back.“We now have experience at the back. Nacho is part of that – he’s a good example for the young players and we have a good bunch of young players.”last_img read more

The Eighth Amendment debate – One Donegal woman’s heartbreaking story

first_imgA Donegal mother has opened up about the impossible decision she faced after discovering her baby had a fatal foetal abnormality.Nicola Cavanagh’s second pregnancy turned into an unimaginable nightmare after her first scan.The Inishowen woman and her husband were heartbroken when doctors told them that their baby was not going to live. Nicola was forced to endure the torment of this knowledge and carry the baby for another 39 days, when doctors could not touch her or her child until he died. This, she said, was because the Eighth Amendment would not allow her to get an induction, and she felt an overwhelming sense of abandonment. Nicola has recounted her experience of the Eighth over the years for the TFMR Ireland organisation. As the referendum draws closer, she shared her story with our sister website Donegal Woman:It was the 1st of November 2009 when I heard the news that my much wanted second child had fatal foetal abnormalities and would not survive. I was 19 weeks pregnant and this was my first scan. I had been waking up crying for about a month before I was told the news by anyone medical. I just had a feeling that something was wrong. I was told that basically my baby was going to die. It might live and go full term and die after birth, or it could die tomorrow! The only certainty was that my baby was going to die.I was calm when I received the news. I was calm and strong while myself and my two year old son waited for my husband to arrive at the hospital. He had to work that day so I had gone alone to the scan along with my little son. I was calm when my husband arrived and the sonographer came into the room to talk to us. She told us our baby was very very sick. I simply said “Ok so, what next? If my wee baby is so sick, when will I be induced?”That was the Tuesday and I was told that they would bring me in on the Thursday for induction. I went home and cried. I grieved. I hugged my son Jack and my husband and we all grieved together. I organised for my mum and dad to come up on the Thursday to mind Jack while I went into hospital. I felt so much sadness but I also felt calm and ready as my little family had had the couple of days to prepare. When we arrived at the hospital the staff were fantastic and so considerate of myself and my husband’s feelings. It was all very calm and respectful. My baby boy Sam was born at 2am on Friday the 10th of December 2009. He was beautiful and very like his big brother. We got to hold our son.It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do but I got home the next day and had loads of support from family, friends and the medical team from the hospital. It would take time but we could start to move forward again.Unfortunately, I would love if the above was true. However, I live in Ireland so let me tell you what really happened.“Ok so, what next? If my wee baby is so sick, when will I be induced?” The sonographer’s response was, “I’m very sorry Nicola, we can’t do that, not in Ireland.” “What? Then what will happen? When will my baby be born? I can’t wait another 20 weeks knowing my baby is so sick. Oh my God, oh my God. You have to induce me. Why can’t you?”To which I got the response, “That is classed as an abortion in Ireland, we can’t perform an induction while your baby is alive, it can only be done after your baby has died.” It was at this stage I stopped being calm. I lost control. I couldn’t comprehend this. After the doctors had confirmed my babies diagnosis, they left the room. One of the female doctors gave me the name of a crisis pregnancy counsellor in town before she left. It was then left up to the sonographer to deal with me. I have to say she was amazing. She explained to me that some of her other parents in the same situation had travelled to the UK to avail of a termination. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.I couldn’t fault her. She was so kind. She told me I could call up to her at any time for a scan to check on my baby.‘Most women are getting scanned to make sure their babies are alive and thriving, yet I would be getting scanned to check if my baby had died’The next morning I travelled to Holles Street from Donegal. The consultant there just confirmed what I already knew. We asked what we should do. He told us that we would have to continue with the pregnancy unless we travelled overseas for a termination. He said that if I lived in the UK or Europe I would be offered a termination.On the Thursday, I visited the crisis counsellor. She was very good and helped me ring around the UK hospitals to find out a bit more about travelling for the procedure. What we found out was that because I was 19 weeks pregnant the procedure would probably be around £1600. Factor into that the travel and accommodation costs and we were taking well over £2000. Also, if I didn’t have the procedure before I was 21 weeks pregnant the cost would rise considerably again. I felt under such pressure to make a quick decision as I could barely afford the fee as it was. Let me now add that both myself and my husband were looking for work after moving home to Donegal. The recession was just beginning. My husband was getting a few days with a friend but had nothing steady. We had spent our little bit of savings on our house. We could not afford this type of money.This was the beginning of what was to be the most stressful few days of my life. Close friends were offering us money as a gift. Anyone who knew what we were going through wanted to help. I really wanted to travel so that we could start to get on with our lives again. However, the thought of leaving my two year old son behind nearly broke me. Also, the whole ordeal of travelling overseas and also putting my little family into debt nearly drove me insane. Couple that with feeling my little baby’s movements every few hours and you can only start to imagine how I felt.And so began an agonising journey. I was functioning just for the sake of my husband and Jack. It was like a dream. I could feel Sam’s little movements. They were more like a flutter than a kick. He was obviously very weak.I’d never had sleep problems before but now I used to wake up to the feeling of his slight movements and I would lie awake wondering was he suffering as much as his mum.Once I let the sonographer know my decision, I agreed that I would visit her for a scan every Monday morning to see how Sam was getting on. My son Jack came with us to the scans.I remember one day arriving and the sonographer told me sympathetically that she could hardly see Sam today. She said he was all curled up and seemed very unwell today.Can you imagine how that feels? To think of your wee sick baby all curled up inside you? Wondering was he in pain? There were times after I heard this that I literally couldn’t stand up with grief. I couldn’t get that picture out of my head. I never will. I feel like curling up as I write this.I stopped going out very much as I didn’t want people to ask me how far gone I was and when I was due. Two of my best friends were pregnant with their first babies and were due within weeks of me. I still tried to be upbeat and happy for them. I knew when I spoke to them that their hearts were breaking for me. I felt like I was tainting their first pregnancy with my awful situation.On one of the few occasions that I went anywhere, my friends brought me for a spa treatment. The therapist asked me all upbeat about my pregnancy. I simply said “my baby is dying, please don’t ask me about it”. I’ll always remember the poor girl’s face.I remember Sam dying inside of me! It was 5am on Saturday the 5th of December. I could hardly feel his movements that day. I would whisper to him, “Go baby, mammy allows you to go.”I woke at 5am. I had broken out in a cold sweat. I felt sharp pains in my stomach. I knew he was gone. I waited for my next scan which was 3 days later. I spent the weekend coming to terms with the fact he was gone and at peace. I was 24 weeks pregnant. Before the sonographer turned on the ultrasound I told her he was gone. She confirmed it straight away.Now let me tell you, I had not seen a doctor since they broke the news to me that Sam was dying. Once they had broken the news to me they had walked out of the room. Now the sonographer had to get a doctor to confirm that there was indeed no heartbeat. The doctor came and confirmed it. He then said, “We can take you in this evening to deliver your baby”. What? Just like that?What about the 5 weeks I was after going through? If it hadn’t of been for the sonographer I would have had no contact with the hospital at all. I told the doctor, no, I would not be in that evening. I had a two year old and I had to make arrangements for his care.I came into hospital on Thursday 9th December and Sam was indeed born at 2.40am on the 10th. He was beautiful. Myself and my husband held him. I felt very peaceful.I got out the next day. We had a wee service for Sam the following Thursday. I wasn’t feeling well and ended up back in hospital that evening. In fact, I ended up spending two weeks in hospital after his birth. I had to have two D&Cs and two blood transfusions, due to an infection from part of the placenta being left behind.I got out for Christmas Day but ended up back in on St Stephen’s Day. For the final week I was there I was in a ward in the gynecological department. Every night several new women would be admitted to the ward with miscarriages, and I would have to lie there listening to them crying on their phones to family members or their mums. It was horrific.I didn’t get a chance to grieve for my Sam. When I had to have my final blood transfusion two of the nurses had to hold me down to insert the needle, as I was so distraught. I got out on New Year’s Eve. My husband had to take me to our local NowDoc who prescribed valium. I was convinced I’d have to go back into hospital and was having panic attacks. My poor son didn’t know what was happening to his mum.And so I started on the road to recovery. What could have been such a short ordeal turned into a 4 month ordeal. We had to wait until March 2010 to receive the results of genetic testing that was carried out on Sam. We were told to hold off trying for another baby until we received these results as we needed to make sure Sam’s condition wasn’t passed on through us.Throughout my whole ordeal I had felt an overwhelming sense of abandonment. We were very much alone. Our friends and family were brilliant but I felt like we had been let down by our medical system and by the government.I am at peace now with my son’s illness and his death. However, I am not at peace with the fact that in our time of need this country turned its back on us. You can only imagine how I felt when it started coming to light that so many other 3 of 4 women had went through what I did. When I started hearing about the women who had travelled abroad and the ordeal they had to also go through, the anger and feeling of abandonment grew.I was only starting to recover from depression at the time and constant stories on the TV and radio made it impossible for me to move forward. Making the decision to travel, or making the decision to stay because you feel you have no choice, it doesn’t matter. Either way you are alone and the country you call home abandons you during what can only be described as the hardest and most heartbreaking time of your life.Speaking this week, Nicola said she is at peace with her baby boy’s illness. She has had two children following that pregnancy in 2009, a little boy and a girl.Her experience still affects her terribly, she says: “It’s been fresh in my mind recently because of the fight that ladies are going through to get the Eighth amendment changed.”“I’ve been to counselling, I can visit my child’s grave. What haunts me is the way that I was treated and the way that women are still being treated.“Making the decision to travel or stay was nearly worse than the diagnosis. Some would have made the decision I made and some would have travelled. I stayed behind, but I don’t believe I received the care that should have received. Whether you stay in Ireland or travel to the UK, you are swept under the carpet.”“This was 10 years ago, I don’t know if maybe things have changed, but between Holles Street and the last scan confirming his death I never saw a doctor.”Nicola’s account has been used in an Oireachtas submission by the Abortion Rights Campaign to the Special Committee on the 8th Amendment. In the campaign, she has met other Irish women who are facing the same agonising decisions.Nicola will be calling for a Repeal of the Eighth amendment on May 25th, so the law can allow women to have the option of ending their pregnancy early in Ireland after the diagnosis of a fatal foetal condition.Nicola added: “This is going on every day. There other women going through what I’ve been through. It is women coming out with their stories that can change things.”If you have been affected by this story, support is available with Leanbh Mo Chroi – a parent group for women and men who have experienced a fatal or severe diagnosis during pregnancy. Visit for details.Donegal Daily and Donegal Woman welcomes accounts and letters from both stances ahead of the referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment. To get in contact, email either or news@donegalwoman.ieThe Eighth Amendment debate – One Donegal woman’s heartbreaking story was last modified: April 18th, 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:abortiondonegalEighth Amendmentvotelast_img read more


first_imgThe finalists have been announced in this year’s Finn Harps Donegal Road Safety Competition after judging was completed last Friday.And with more than 700 entries, judging was tougher than ever.The competition, which is being held for the second year, aims to promote road safety through sport and has proved an outstanding success with over seven hundred entries this year. The nine finalists, who will all receive prizes, will be presented with their awards at the Finn Harps v Waterford United game on Saturday 11th of June where the winning overall entry will be revealed and unveiled by Donegal County Mayor Cora Harvey.Eamon Browne Donegal Road Safety Officer, stated: “When you see the responses it is clear that our road safety message is getting across to children. It is ongoing work and we are delighted to work with Finn Harps on projects such as this.”Finn Harps Community Officer John Campbell stated: “We are delighted to be working with Donegal Road Safety, we have an excellent working relationship and we look forward to it continuing.”Both Finn Harps and Donegal Road Safety would like to thank all those who participated – the children, the parents who helped, the Judges and in particular all the teachers in the schools without whose help and assistance this would not be possible. The following are the Finalists in the Finn Harps Donegal Road Safety Art Competition.Mary Mannering Scoil Mhuire GlentiesBernard Mc Brearty St Josephs NS Rathdonnell LetterkennyKevin Gavigan Scoil Mhuire GlentiesKate Carlin Townparks Lifford Susie Cunningham Gaelscoil Adhamhainn LetterkennyConor Lafferty St Patricks Boys Carndonagh Co DonegalHannah Mi Chanoinn Ui Chathain Scoil Brid DowningsChloe Maxwell Killaghatee NS Bruckles Co Donegal Shane Mc Devitt Scoil Mhuire GlentiesFINALISTS ANNOUNCED IN ROAD SAFETY ART COMPETITION was last modified: May 30th, 2011 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)last_img read more


first_imgCaroline Walsh took this picture of Danny Wilkinson in actionCongratulations to Gary McPhillips & Paul Sheridan from Co.Monaghan who are the NEW An Chuirt Harvest Stages Rally Winners.Runner Up was Local Mark 2 Ace Driver Patrick McHugh navigated by Pauric O’Donnell.Patrick Boyle & Donal McCole was 3rd. Class 1: Francie McKenna / Sean CraigClass 2: Winner – Michael McCafferty / Damien Whoirskey. Runner Up – Aiden Wray / Kieran McGrath. 3rd In Class – Andrew McLaughlin / Stephen McLaughlin.Class 4:Winners – Martin Doherty / Damien McCauleyRunner Up – Trevor Bustard / Fabian McShaneClass 5:John Mulholland / Damien McCann Class 6:Winner – Callum Devine / Liam McLaughlinRunner Up – Alastair Glen / John SweeneyClass 9:Winner – Damien O’Reilly / Damien McCabeRunner Up – Nicholas Alcorn / James HeartyClass 10:Winner- Gary Kiernan / Niall TierneyRunner Up – John & Niall Kelly3rd in class – Martin & James EwingClass 11:Winner – Dermot O’Hagan / Pierce Doheny JnrRunner Up – Barry Treanor / Colm Connolly3rd in Class – Stephen McDonagh & James O’DonnellClass12:Winner – Arthur & Mac KieransRunner up – James Cassidy / Declan Smith3rd in class – Patrick Bonner & Patrick McHugh Class 13:Winner – Raymond Conlon & Darren McCagueRunner Up – Daniel Conaghan & Terence McGee3rd in class – Victor Hunter & Paddy McCruddenClass 14:Winner – Wesley Patterson & Johnny BairdRunner Up – Conor Watters & John Boyle3rd in Class – Camillus Bradley & Crawford HendersonJunior Category:Winner – Kevin McLaughlin & Kieran McGinleyRunner Up – Kevin Cole & Killian O’Reilly3rd in Class – Barry McLaughlin & Barry McBrideOVERALL Winners – Main Field:Winners – Gary McPhillips & Paul SheridanRunner Up – Patrick McHugh & Pauric O’Donnell3rd O/A – Patrick B Boyle & Donal McCole GARY AND PAUL CROWNED AN CHUIRT HARVEST RALLY CHAMPS was last modified: October 13th, 2013 by John2Share 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:An CHuirtDonegal rallyingHarvest RallyResultslast_img read more

Eating Meat Made Us Human

first_img(Visited 106 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Sorry, vegans; evolutionists tell us that eating meat 1.5 million years ago made us what we are today.In “Anthropologist Finds Evidence of Hominin Meat Eating 1.5 Million Years Ago: Eating Meat May Have ‘Made Us Human’,” Science Daily swallowed the evolutionary line without asking where’s the beef.  “A skull fragment unearthed by anthropologists in Tanzania shows that our ancient ancestors were eating meat at least 1.5 million years ago, shedding new light into the evolution of human physiology and brain development.”If meat eating made us human, what does that make T. rex?  Lots of animals ate meat.  Carnivores go way back.  Didn’t the anthropologist consider that?“Meat eating has always been considered one of the things that made us human, with the protein contributing to the growth of our brains,” said Charles Musiba, Ph.D., associate professor of anthropology at the University of Colorado Denver, who helped make the discovery. “Our work shows that 1.5 million years ago we were not opportunistic meat eaters, we were actively hunting and eating meat.“But lots of carnivores hunt their meat.  That’s what makes a carnivore a carnivore and not just a scavenger.  Is hunting meat what makes eagles human?Somehow Musiba built his conclusion on a malnourished juvenile “hominin,” as inferred from the skull fragment. The reader looks in vain for deeper thinking about this than the headline suggested.The study offers insights into the evolution of hominins including Homo sapiens. Musiba said the movement from a scavenger, largely plant-eating lifestyle to a meat-eating one may have provided the protein needed to grow our brains and give us an evolutionary boost.Some scientists have argued that we became human when we became carnivorous-omnivorous creatures.“Meat eating is associated with brain development,” he said. “The brain is a large organ and requires a lot of energy. We are beginning to think more about the relationship between brain expansion and a high protein diet.”Certainly a T. rex or a lion eats much more protein per ounce of brain than a human does.  How can Musiba say such things?  How can Science Daily publish it uncritically?  Musiba says that chimpanzees have smaller brains and eat less meat, but nowhere did he apply his notion to the large carnivores that have inhabited earth.He may be convinced of his hypothesis: he said that our meat eating “separates us from our distant cousins.”  But he also can’t explain why our ancestors went to the meat market: “The question is what triggered our meat eating? Was it a changing environment? Was it the expansion of the brain itself? We don’t really know.”This story is so full of baloney it’s hard to know where to start slicing.  First, he says meat eating made us human (ignoring all the other carnivores that ever stalked the earth).  But then he offers the idea that the expansion of the brain came first. This guy needs an evolutionary boost, all right; a boost out of the garbage bin he’s in.So let’s just take him at his word.  “We don’t really know”  (the “we” referring to himself and his fellow baloney sellers).  Science Daily knows even less, because the editors didn’t call him on it.  What do you do with people who don’t know what they’re talking about?  Ignore them.We can’t ignore the sad fact, however, that thousands of people read this kind of baloney and think it is wonderful science.Assignment: Feed meat to a guinea pig, wait a million years, and see if it starts writing books on logic.last_img read more

Amarula project uplifts South African women

first_imgWomen from Sir Lowry’s Pass village,make golden tassels for Amarula toearn money and improve their lives.(Image: Amarula Trust)MEDIA CONTACTS• Lorien KeeAmarula Trust+27 21 809 7000 or +27 83 661 4780Nosimilo RamelaFor nearly a decade now, the Amarula Trust has run a job-creation project in the Western Cape’s poverty-stricken Sir Lowry’s Pass village, giving the women involved access to much-needed income.The scheme, called the Sir Lowry’s Pass Community Empowerment Project, is driven by 85 formerly unemployed women who knot and brush out the golden-braided tassels that adorn the neck of Amarula bottles. The project started with just four participants.Most of the women are young mothers and grandmothers who need the money to support their families.“Many of the women are not only working for the first time in many years, but with their relatively modest income derived from the tassels, have been able to save hundreds of rand every month for the benefit of their families and their homes,” said project chairperson Toni Rimell.The women use the money they earn to pay their children’s school fees and, as they are often the breadwinners of their households, buy food for their families. “They also buy furniture and household equipment and even, in some instances, buy homes of their own,” Rimell added.The participants get paid according to the number of tassels they make every month.“This gives them the flexibility to work in their own time and so maintain their commitments to their families,” said Rimell.The project began operating out of a garage in 2003, but has since moved to a privately owned building in the village. The facility is within walking distance from the women’s homes, so they do not have to spend any money on transport costs.Rimell said they are currently looking for bigger premises as the project is growing at a rapid rate. “We have also now expanded to such an extent that we are seeking financial support to create a dedicated facility where the women can work and also receive training in additional life skills, including proficiency in English.”HIV/Aids, domestic violence, crime and substance abuse are rampant in Sir Lowry’s Pass village due to high levels of unemployment and a historical lack of access to quality education and resources.But the Amarula project is helping reverse this by exposing participants to empowering activities, such as exercise classes and training in good parenting and community counselling. They use the knowledge they acquire in these classes to help others in the community develop better coping mechanisms.“This project has become a springboard for their intellectual, spiritual, physical and emotional development, which equips them with some of the resources to help stem community vulnerability to such problems as teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, illness and disease,” said Rimell.The Amarula Trust’s Lorien Kee agrees: “The tassels are a small, but highly effective way of enhancing the lives of the people in Sir Lowry’s Pass village. While the trust gives extensive focus to elephant conservation, we also support enabling projects intended to help marginalised rural communities find ways to break the impact of poverty.”Amarula, a popular creamy alcoholic drink, is made from the marula fruit that’s indigenous to Southern Africa. As South Africa’s most widely distributed liquor, it’s sold in 103 countries worldwide and is ranked among the world’s fastest-growing spirit brands, according to research by Drinks International.last_img read more

‘Shelf-help guide’ to buying local

first_imgBy Anne Taylor13 November 2013Want to buy local, but don’t know how? Ute Kuhlmann has put together a “South Africa’s first shelf-help guide”, listing more than 1 000 South African products and profiling more than 300 brands.Categories in Happiness in a Handbasket include food and drink, clothes, shoes, bags and jewellery, baby and child goods, personal care products, office equipment, household appliances, as well as cars and bicycles.“You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy local. That’s really the same thing.” – Ute KuhlmannKuhlmann, who published the book herself, says on her Facebook page that by following her guide, “you’ll support South African jobs, lower your carbon footprint and discover great local products”.Also included is a guide to markets – great places for organic, local produce – a colour-coded guide to help you find out if goods are imported or not, information about working conditions and the impact of some common products on the environment.Happiness in a Handbasket Facebook pageContact to buy the bookAlso available from Cape Town stores: Blank Books, the Ethical Co-op, and the Book Loungelast_img read more

Implementing the president’s nine-point plan

first_imgMinister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Gugile NkwintiWednesday, 28 October 2015 – Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Gugile Nkwinti, addressed the media at the Economic Sectors, Employment and Infrastructure Development cluster meeting where he expanded on Jacob Zuma’s nine-point plan that is designed to increase economic growth and create jobs.Download the speechMinisters and Deputy MinistersDirectors-GeneralMembers of the MediaLadies and gentlemenGood morning and welcome to the Economic Sectors, Employment and Infrastructure Development (ESEID) Cluster media briefing.South Africa adopted the National Development Plan (NDP) and Vision 2030 to create a better life for all its citizens in an inclusive society. We are over a year into the implementation of the NDP; on a path to accelerate economic growth and resolve the triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality.You will recall that President Jacob Zuma announced the Nine-Point Plan to ignite growth and create jobs in his State of the Nation Address (SoNA) on 11 February 2015. President Zuma further provided a progress report on the Nine-Point Plan in his Mid-Year SoNA implementation update to the media on 11 August 2015.The Nine-Point Plan, whose priority interventions are the main concern of the Economic Cluster, has been designed to accelerate economic growth and create jobs by, among other things, transforming the economy and increasing investments. The three types of interventions – job drivers, enablers and cost-cutting interventions – have been designed to work in collaboration to grow the economy.A key cross-cutting priority of the Nine-Point Plan is to build stronger and enduring partnerships with the private sector.This media briefing expands on the President’s progress report by providing more detailed information and providing an opportunity for engagement on the implementation of the nine priority interventions.Economic ContextThe global economy continues to face significant headwinds. The global economy grew by 3.4% in 2014. South Africa’s main trading partners have experienced divergent economic growth. The European Union grew by just 0.9% while Japan shrunk by 0.1%. However, Sub-Saharan Africa grew by 5% and the United States grew by a robust 2.4%. China’s economy continues to slow down with growth moderating to a still impressive 7.4%. Commodity prices of iron-ore, coal, platinum and oil are still well below their 2008 highs. The substantial drop in the international oil price has brought benefits for South Africa but will reduce growth in oil-producing African countries which are key destinations for South Africa’s manufactured exports.Overall, global outlook is still very uncertain with gross domestic product projections being revised downwards by the International Monitory Fund. South Africa cannot depend on global growth alone to catalyse domestic growth. The uncertain global economic outlook has depressed business and consumer confidence in the domestic economy.South Africa continues to face macroeconomic constraints. However, government is cautiously optimistic that the economy will return to growth largely on the back of a significantly improved electricity supply outlook and intense efforts by government to grow investment levels.Government is also pleased to note the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report, which indicates that South Africa has risen seven places to rank 49th out of 140 countries in the Global Competitiveness Index.In August 2015, President Zuma received the Status of Women in the South African Economy report. The report identified the need for an explicit intervention to enhance the economic empowerment of women across the country, starting with the Nine-Point Plan and Operation Phakisa initiatives.The report serves as a baseline to promote socio-economic empowerment of women and gender equality, and to advance their human rights.Government has prioritised leveraging private-sector investment in the infrastructure build programme, the manufacturing sector and the Ocean Economy under the auspices of Operation Phakisa.Operation Phakisa is an innovative and pioneering approach to translate detailed plans into concrete results through dedicated delivery and collaboration. Through Operation Phakisa, government aims to implement priority programmes better, faster and more effectively.Update on progress on implementation of the nine-point planGovernment is working towards a reliable energy supply to ensure energy security for now and the future; an enabler for economic growth.On 30 August 2015, President Zuma officially opened one of six generating units at the Medupi Power Station in Lephalale in Limpopo, which contributes about 800 megawatts (MW) to the grid.Medupi Power Station will add 4 764 MW to Eskom’s grid once completed and will be the world’s largest coal-fired power station. This is also the fourth dry-cooled, baseload station to be built in 20 years by Eskom, after Kendal, Majuba and Matimba power stations.The R2 billion Kouga project that has been established will provide renewable energy that can power as many as 50 000 houses, adding to the large new energy capacity that solar and wind energy has brought to the grid. Electricity supplied by 37 approved Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme (REIPPP) projects also continued to increase and supply just over 1 500 MW to the grid. In an effort to influence the increase in local content of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants under the REIPPP – as a first step towards this – the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has established a 100 kilowatt (kW) concentrated solar energy pilot facility with a unique design that uses smaller, smarter and modular heliostats (solar collectors) to overcome cost challenges.More recently, we completed work on the process to select the preferred bidders for the Small Projects Independent Power Producers Programme (1 – 5 MW), which aims to assist small developers to gain experience in project development and raise the necessary funding for similar projects.Recently, 21 284 households were connected to grid electricity and 2 761 connected to off-grid technology.The DST is finalising the bio-energy atlas that indicates the potential energy that may be generated using agricultural/forestry/sawmill residues and organic waste across the country. This policy and investment decision support tool seeks to improve energy security and increase levels of energy access, and will be launched before the end of the financial year. The atlas provides a sense of the proximity of bio-energy resources to energy infrastructure and areas that have limited energy access. It also gives an indication of employment-creation potentials in harvesting and converting biomass to energy.Construction of the two Integrated Energy Centres (IECs) in Bushbuckridge and Nkomazi in Mpumalanga are at a planning stage and will be completed in March 2016.On average, an IEC can employ up to 30 permanent staff members, complemented with temporary capacity. Temporary and permanent people employed during the building period will all have the opportunity to acquire training that makes them employable in the greater job market.Progress has been made in revitalising agriculture, the agro-processing value chain and land reform.The Agricultural Policy Action Plan has been reviewed to ensure that it becomes a job driver and promotes growth, employment, rural incomes, investment, output, export and African regional development.Work is continuing in the development of 44 Agri-Parks across the nine provinces. One Agri-Park is ready to be launched in North West. Production plans have been developed and are being implemented across the country to ensure increased production in the areas supporting the Agri-Parks. The DST is busy with a feasibility study on agro-innovation hubs that will support the development and dissemination of appropriate technologies to be implemented in Agri-Parks.A total of 12 221 smallholder producers were supported through advisory services, training, technical support and infrastructure from April to June 2015. In addition, 36 additional farms are being supported under the Recapitalisation and Development Programme.The DST is in the process of establishing a wheat-breeding platform to support the development and commercialisation of new breeding technologies for emerging and commercial farmers. Five new cultivars will be produced by 2020 to support increased productivity and food security. The DST also supports the Eucalyptus Genome Project, a local platform for tree genomics research in South Africa. This project focuses on the identification of desirable traits which speed up and allow for more accurate breeding. The project has the potential to increase industry competitiveness based on improved physical and chemical properties of wood and improved disease resistance to support the forest, pulp and paper industry, thus grow the economy and create employment opportunities.The Recommissioning Strategy for the Western Cape forestry exit areas has been approved to put about 22 000 hectares (ha) of state forestry land back into commercial forestry operation. The resultant benefits range from job creation, local economic development and future improvement in timber supply.According to the LHA study that was commissioned by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Independent Development Corporation, the recommissioning of Western Cape plantations will employ 350 full-time workers for the five-year period. This number will increase to 1 500 when the plantations are in full production.In an effort to enhance the competitiveness of the agricultural sector through research, development and innovation, government – together with the private sector – have invested R104 058 468.78 million to implement innovation programmes for the fresh produce, aquaculture, wine, citrus and forestry sectors.To increase the amount of land under irrigation, a total of 74.6 ha were revitalised during the first quarter of the current financial year and five water-use authorisation licences were issued to previously disadvantaged individuals, amounting to 3.79 million m3 volume of water that will be used for irrigation. Some 15 resource-poor farmers were supported to access water for production.As at 30 June 2015 the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights had settled over 78 138 land claims, which benefitted more than 1,9 million individuals from 385 691 families have benefitted from an award of 3 231 787 hectares of land acquired at the cost of R18.7 billion.  Some beneficiaries opt for financial compensation, to date the Commission has paid over R9.1 billion. An additional R4.1 billion has been awarded to beneficiaries that have opted for land as development assistance.South Africa is advancing beneficiation and adding value to our mineral wealth; a job driver in the economy.Operation Phakisa in the mining industry is designed to unlock investment, enhance the nation’s productive capacity and encourage participation in key mineral value chains.Plans are in place to save jobs and to find alternatives to the threat of job losses in the mining sector. All key stakeholders signed a declaration on 31 August 2015 to save jobs and alleviate the impact of job losses in the industry.The Department of Trade and Industry provided support for a 100kW static fuel cell that runs on platinum and natural gas installed at the Chamber of Mines offices in Johannesburg.Engagements are underway with public and private sectors to promote market development, early adoption of the technology and manufacturing plants in South Africa.Through public-private partnerships, the DST facilitated the deployment of three 5kW hydrogen fuel cell units at three schools in the Cofimvaba district in the Eastern Cape and another 5kW hydrogen fuel cell unit at a clinic in Windsor East, Johannesburg, Gauteng. Apart from providing energy access in support of the provision of education and health services, the technology lays the foundation for the growth of a new industry based on South Africa’s platinum resource.We are moving towards more effective implementation of a higher-impact Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP).The President announced during the Mid-Term SoNA implementation update to the media that progress was being made on implementing the IPAP, which is one of the job drivers in the economy.Government continues to create a conductive environment to attract both local and foreign investments. This is achieved through industrial financing that includes offering support to enterprises that can create and sustain jobs.Through the Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Programme, government approved 161 enterprises for funding and leveraged investment of R5.8 billion with 28 212 jobs sustained.The Automotive Incentive Scheme approved 13 enterprises for funding and leveraged investment of R1.5 billion.Government is committed to transforming the economy by ensuring that previously marginalised groups participate meaningfully in the economy. This has led to the drafting of the Black Industrialists Policy Framework, which has been presented to the ESEID Cluster and the Cabinet Committee in July 2015.Significant progress is being made in terms of attracting investment into the Industrial Development Zones (IDZs). For example, in Coega IDZ, 12 new investors with an investment value of more than R8 billion were signed, five investors with an investment value of more than R140 million were signed in the East London IDZ and the Richards Bay IDZ signed five new investors with an investment value of more than R2.8 billion.Government is playing its part in moderating workplace conflictYou will be aware that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa leads the interface between business and labour to normalise labour relations.Consensus on a working definition of a National Minimum Wage was reached at the National Economic Development and Labour Council.Other mechanisms to reduce workplace conflict include a Code of Conduct for strikes, lockouts and compulsory arbitration by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.South Africans are generally peace-loving and law-abiding citizens. We must stop all criminal and violent activities during industrial action and labour strikes.I would like to emphasise that peaceful negotiations are the best solution to deal with disputes and problems.Unlocking the potential of small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs), cooperatives, township and rural enterprises as job drivers in the economy.620 informal traders were trained in all nine were trained through the National Informal Business Upliftment pilot project in partnership with the Wholesale and Retail Sector Education and Training Authority (W&RSETA). The training focused on entrepreneurship, marketing your business, customer-care, financial management, purchasing skills, regulatory and by-law compliance, hygiene and food safety, merchandising, and point of sale.489 enterprises and cooperatives were supported through the rural development, environment and tourism sectors’ initiatives. A fresh-produce market has been established in uThungulu District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal.To support the development of a vibrant bio-economy industrial sector, the Biomanufacturing Industrial Development Centre that was established at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research now supports 17 small and medium high-tech enterprises.To support the development of a competitive mobile innovation industry, a mobile solutions lab (mLab Southern Africa) was established at The Innovation Hub and now supports 11 small and five medium mobile innovation enterprises.As part of facilitating access to finance for SMMEs and cooperatives, the Department of Small Business Development’s Black Business Supplier Development Programme supported 376 enterprises to the tune of over R95 million (R95 821 711.23 million). This has supported 10 399 jobs.The Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA) disbursed R344 million to 24 711 SMMEs. It also financed 5 305 youth-owned businesses, 22 296 black-owned,21 940 women-owned, 22 620 SMMEs and cooperatives in priority provinces. It is important to note that 43% of the allocations were in the priority sectors – such as construction, information and communications technology (ICT), mining, manufacturing, agriculture and tourism – as defined in the New Growth Path and IPAP.It is encouraging that 98% of support is towards informal businesses. This is consistent with the Nine-Point Plan announced by the President during the 2015 SoNA. It is important to note that most of the SEFA’s loans are not supported by any form of collateral.The Small Enterprise Development Agency’s network of 48 incubators supports 2 236 clients. A total of 535 permanent jobs were created by incubated small enterprises, mostly in the agriculture and construction sectors.Progress has also been registered in cross-cutting areas to reform, boost and diversify the economy. They were designed to support the other nine priority interventions.TelecommunicationsThe Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services has started the process of providing broadband connection services in eight districts in provinces where the National Health Insurance programme is being piloted, including the appointment of a network service provider to connect the facilities. Furthermore, the development of   the connectivity plan of schools in the eight selected districts is underway.380 schools have been connected through Universal Service Obligations imposed by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa. The process will include classification of schools based on its proximity to existing network infrastructure. A total of 1 938 schools were equipped with facilities and computer rooms, and a further 131 rural communities provided with ICT equipment and services. The roll-out of broadband and ICTs will stimulate local economic development and promote economic opportunities for the youth.Water and sanitation27 200 households recently gained access to safe drinking water. Two water projects funded through the Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant were completed in Masilonyana Local Municipality in the Free State, and the construction of 15 bulk infrastructure schemes are at different phases.Phase 1 of the Mokolo Crocodile Water Augmentation Project has been completed and has met all short term water requirements in the Waterberg areas. This will contribute in meeting water requirements for the Medupi and Matimba power stations.3 978 households recently gained access to sanitation through the Rural Household Infrastructure Grant and 3 822 buckets in formally established areas have been replaced with proper sanitation services.Transport, rail and roadsTransport infrastructure supports all the other nine priority interventions and is an important enabler for economic growth.The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s Rolling Stock Fleet Renewal Programme is underway, with one of the trains being manufactured in Brazil ready for delivery on 30 November 2015.In an effort to maintain provincial roads, 19.24km have been surfaced, 62km resealed, 18km gravelled, 821km bladed and 227 628 m² potholes patched. The provincial road network is funded through the Provincial Roads Maintenance Grant (PRMG). A list of these roads is in Table B5 of the Division of Revenue Act: Provincial Roads Infrastructure projects list funded through the PRMG.Construction of three bridges is at different stages in Mbombela, Bushbuckridge and Nkomazi in Mpumalanga (reconstruction of flood-damaged bridges).The Bus Rapid Transport System continues to be operationalised in various cities of South Africa:– In Cape Town, MyCiTi is moving an average of 42 522 people against a target of 50 000 per weekday. – Rea Vaya in Johannesburg is moving an average of 33 670 people against a target of 40 000 per weekday. – In Pretoria, A Re Yeng is moving an average of 3 000 people against a target of 10 000 per weekday. – Go George is moving an average of 7 630 people against a target of 10 000 per weekday in George.The construction has continued to expand the coverage of the system in the abovementioned and other cities in accordance with roll-out requirements and available funding.The South African National Roads Agency Limited has begun preliminary designs and other preparatory work for the upgrade of Moloto Road.The feasibility study for the construction of the rail factory in Ekurhuleni has been approved. This factory will produce 580 coaches and generate approximately 33 000 direct and indirect jobs.The development of a cabotage policy to support the Oceans Economy programme of Operation Phakisa is nearing completion.A draft private sector participation framework for ports and railway sectors has been developed and is due for finalisation.The Nine-Point Plan interventions were designed to stimulate the economy in a phased manner over the long term. Each priority intervention does not work in isolation but is part of an integrated national effort. It is a national effort towards inclusive economic growth. The economic empowerment of women is critical in order for South Africa to achieve real economic development and growth. The Nine-Point Plan interventions will yield results over different time frames in the immediate, medium and long term.We are confident that these priority interventions will help to grow South Africa’s economy and address the challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality if we all work together. The economy is everyone’s responsibility.Together let’s move the country forward.I thank youlast_img read more