Journalist to return to Russia after top investigator guarantees his safety

first_img News News News Novaya Gazeta deputy editor Sergei Sokolov has announced that he will return to Russia this week following an apology from Gen. Alexander Bastrykin, the head of Russia’s Investigative Committee, for threatening to kill him (see below). The death threat caused a major outcry in Russia.Gen. Bastrykin and the newspaper’s editor, Dmitry Muratov apologised to each other during a meeting in the presence of representatives of leading news media on 14 June and Bastrykin gave a guarantee that both Sokolov and Novaya Gazeta’s reporters in the Russian Caucasus would be safe. The two men shook hands at the end of the meeting and said their differences had beenresolved.Muratov said the important thing was that the demands he made in his open letter had been satisfied. But many aspects of the case are still unexplained. Gen. Bastrykin has admitted “flying off the handle” but still denies taking Sokolov to a forest outside Moscow to intimidate him.——————————————————————————————–13.06.2012 – Novaya Gazeta deputy editor flees into exile after threat from top copReporters Without Borders is appalled to learn that Gen. Alexander Bastrykin, the head of Russia’s Investigative Committee, an agency with powers similar to the FBI, personally threatened to kill Sergei Sokolov, the deputy editor of the independent Moscow-based tri-weekly Novaya Gazeta, because of his critical coverage of his agency.The press freedom organization also voices its full support for the journalists who are currently staging a protest in Moscow about the threat, some of whom were arrested illegally.“How ironic,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Gen. Bastrykin is one of Russia’s top police officers and is in charge of the investigation into Novaya Gazeta reporter Anna Politkovskaya’s 2006 murder. Yet he explicitly threatened a representative of the same newspaper, one that has become the symbol of the martyrdom of independent journalists in Russia.“With a total of five of its journalists killed in connection with their work, Novaya Gazeta has paid a high price for its determination to do its duty to report the news. It is more than shocking that Bastrykin played on the failure to punish these murders and suggested that the police and justice system would protect those who murder journalists.”In an open letter to Bastrykin in today’s issue, Novaya Gazeta editor Dmitry Muratov accused him of organizing a disturbing one-on-one meeting in a forest with Sokolov on 4 June at which he threatened to have the journalist killed. If safety guarantees are not given to Sokolov, who has since left the country, other methods, including judicial ones, will be used, the letter said.Journalists have been demonstrating outside the Investigative Committee’s Moscow headquarters today in support of Sokolov and the rest of the Novaya Gazeta staff. Although they are demonstrating one by one, a form of protest that does not need any permission, the police briefly detained the first demonstrators, most of whom were in the process of preparing placards at the time.Radio Echo of Moscow deputy editor Vladimir Varfolomeyev, Alina Grebneva, Olga Bychkova and Natella Boltianskaya were among the journalists who were detained. They were taken to the Basmanny district police station. The well-known journalist and dissident Alexander Podrabinek was also detained.Bastrykin’s threats were prompted by a 4 June article by Sokolov about the fact that a former parliamentary representative for the southwestern region of Krasnodar had just been sentenced to nothing more than a fine although he had been found guilty of protecting a criminal gang responsible for the deaths of 12 people in 2010. Sokolov’s article also accused Bastrykin of colluding with this gang.Bastrykin invited Sokolov to a public event linked to the case the same day, during which Sokolov apologized for the “pointlessly virulent words” he used in his article. Bastrykin refused to accept his apology and summarily ordered him to leave the room. In his open letter, Muratov said he found this to be fair, but added, “unfortunately, the story did not stop there.”On returning from this event, Sokolov was bundled into Bastrykin bodyguards’ car and, without explanation, was driven to an isolated spot in a forest on the outskirts of Moscow for a one-on-one meeting with Bastrykin. According to the open letter, Bastrykin threatened to kill him, said what he thought about Novaya Gazeta, its editorial policies and Anna Politkovskaya “in a manner that could not have been more expressive” and said that if something happened to Sokolov, “he would be the one who led the investigation.”The Investigative Committee declined to comment when contacted by Reporters Without Borders.Follow the protest outside the Investigative Committee live here or here On Twitter: #оккупайскOn Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/456057601089902/members/ Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown Help by sharing this information (Photo: Yuri Timofeyev, Radio Svoboda) June 19, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Journalist to return to Russia after top investigator guarantees his safety to go further June 2, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts Listed as a “foreign agent”, Russia’s most popular independent website risks disappearing May 21, 2021 Find out more RSF_en RussiaEurope – Central Asia News Two Russian journalists persecuted for investigating police corruption Follow the news on Russia RussiaEurope – Central Asia Organisation May 5, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

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5 money tips from mom

first_imgValue of a dollar‘Money doesn’t grow on trees,’ was a common phrase in my household. At the time is was a heartbreaking thing to hear as I was eyeing a new bike, but now that idiom has new meaning. My mother wasn’t saying ‘no,’ so much as instill a respect for the hard work it takes to earn that bike. It doesn’t grow on trees because it you have to earn it through hard work.The true price of a bargainMom was always looking for bargains and ways to better save money, but she explained sometimes you have to spend more for a better value. If a bargain pair of sneakers would only last a couple months, you save money in the long run by starting off the with more expensive, higher quality pair.Need vs. WantSometimes it seemed like my mother was the queen of ‘no.’ It got to the point where my mother would preemptively say no as we were driving past the ice cream shop before my siblings or I could even ask. At one time everyone has thought they needed a triple scoop of mint chocolate chip to survive, and while it felt like we need it at the time, being told no kick started one of the healthiest money habits.Save but don’t over do itEven when saving may have been in the forethought, mom always knew when it was okay to spend. While it is important to save, mom taught it’s never okay to sacrifice a big bank account for your health and well-being. We should never sacrifice our mental or social health for a financial one. If one night on the town brings up our spirits, we can save better in the long wrong and be happy about it.Ask for helpWhile she didn’t intend for this to be about finances, she always said to never be too proud to ask for help. You can’t know everything and there will always be someone who knows more than you.Another great phrase I heard a lot as a child was, “because I said so.” (If you haven’t gathered at this point I was a rather difficult child) But it is precisely because she said so that I have some healthy financial habits. All moms have their own ways of unknowingly teaching these values, and while she may have been about saving and bargaining, I think any mother would be okay if you were splurge on some flower for her this mother’s day. 182SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Tyler Atwell Web: www.cuinsight.com Detailslast_img read more

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Iago Aspas bags brace in stunning Celta Vigo win over Barcelona

first_imgBarcelona 100 percent start to the Liga season came to an abrupt end as Celta Vigo inflicted a sensational – and well deserved – 4-1 defeat on the Spanish champions.After fielding something of an experimental side in the weekend’s win over Levante, Luis Enrique opted for a full-strength lineup at the Balaidos.However, Celta Vigo dominated the contest – particularly in the opening 45 minutes – taking a well-earned and fully warranted 2-0 lead into the half-time break.Barcelona’s second half resurgence never materialised, with the former Liverpool striker Iago Aspas bagging his second on a breakaway counter attack.Neymar gave the Catalans a lifeline with 10 minutes left to play, but John Guidetti netted a fourth to complete a chastening night for the champions.The result means Real Madrid can join Celta Vigo at the top of La Liga with a win against Athletic Bilbao – as Barca and Atletico Madrid trail – with Enrique’s side continuing to struggle for traction in the opening few weeks of the season. –Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more

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2018 NBA All-Star Weekend: Quavo named 2018 Celebrity Game MVP as Team Clippers outlasts Team Lakers

first_img Clippers rookies key overtime victory over Oklahoma City Video recap of the 2018 Celebrity Game at #NBAAllStar Weekend. Team Clippers come out on top of Team Lakers. pic.twitter.com/9AgWbjolFH— James H. Williams (@JHWreporter) February 17, 2018 Clippers’ rhythm is missing but their spirits strong before playoff opener Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse had his name in the MVP conversation in his celebrity game debut. The Olympic medalist had 17 points with six rebounds and four steals for the Clippers.Rachel A. DeMita of NBA 2KTV was the leading scorer for the Lakers with 17 points.THANK YOU LA 💛💜 pic.twitter.com/AsZD0FAHDm— Rachel A DeMita (@RADeMita) February 17, 2018Nate Robinson added 14 points, five rebounds and four assists. He also recorded two steals.The first ever @RUFFLES 4⃣-pointer comes from #GLeagueAlum @nate_robinson! #RufflesCelebGame 👌 pic.twitter.com/SjyB2EbERT— NBA G League (@nbagleague) February 17, 2018Robinson was responsible for a handful of highlights including the first ever 4-pointer and a monster block.#GLeagueAlum @nate_robinson comes across for the rejection! #NBAAllStar #RufflesCelebGame pic.twitter.com/THtyNIr57A— NBA G League (@nbagleague) February 17, 2018Related Articles How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years PreviousActor Michael B. Jordan, left, of Team Lakers, flips actor Miles Brown, of Team Clippers, following the NBA All-Star celebrity basketball game Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)Actor Michael B. Jordan, left, of Team Lakers, drives past Canadian personality Jonathan Scott, of Team Clippers, during the NBA All-Star celebrity basketball game Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)Team Clippers’ Stefanie Dolson, left, of the Chicago Sky, talks with Team Lakers’ Justin Bieber during the NBA All-Star celebrity basketball game, Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsFlea, of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, enters the court during the NBA All-Star celebrity basketball game, Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)Actor Jamie Foxx, left, talks with actor Nick Cannon prior to the NBA All-Star celebrity basketball game Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)Former NBA player Paul Pierce, right, warms up as actor Jamie Foxx watches prior to the NBA All-Star celebrity basketball game, Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)Singer Justin Bieber warms up prior to the NBA All-Star celebrity basketball game Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)Actor Jamie Foxx, left, greets singer Justin Bieber at the NBA All-Star celebrity basketball game Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)Actor Jamie Foxx jokes around prior to the NBA All-Star celebrity basketball game Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)Rapper Quavo, right, of Team Clippers, shoots as singer Justin Bieber, of Team Lakers, defends during the NBA All-Star celebrity basketball game Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)Actor Jamie Foxx jokes around with fans prior to the NBA All-Star celebrity basketball game Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)Actor Jamie Foxx jokes around prior to the NBA All-Star celebrity basketball game, Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)Singer Justin Bieber, of Team Lakers, talks with a referee during the NBA All-Star celebrity basketball game, Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)Actor Brandon Armstrong, of Team Clippers, left, talks with singer Justin Bieber, of Team Lakers, during the NBA All-Star celebrity basketball game, Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)Actor Michael B. Jordan, left, and Arcade Fire singer Win Butler shake hands during the NBA All-Star celebrity basketball game Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)Musician Justin Bieber, right, of Team Lakers, loses the handle on the ball as he leaps past musician Quavo, of Team Clippers, during the NBA All-Star celebrity basketball game Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)Musician Justin Bieber, left, of Team Lakers, and musician Quavo, of Team Clipper,s go for a loose ball during the NBA All-Star celebrity basketball game Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)Musician Justin Bieber, of Team Lakers, top, has some fun with actor Miles Brown, of Team Clippers, during the NBA All-Star celebrity basketball game on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)Musician Justin Bieber, top, of Team Lakers, listens to actor Miles Brown, of Team Clippers, during the NBA All-Star celebrity basketball game Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)Pro boxer Terence Crawford, left, of Team Lakers, drives past Arcade Fire singer Win Butler, of Team Clippers, during the NBA All-Star celebrity basketball game Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)Musician Common, left, one of the coaches of Team Clippers, laughs with actor Miles Brown on the bench during the NBA All-Star celebrity basketball game Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)Actor Michael B. Jordan, left, of Team Lakers, knocks the ball away from Arcade Fire singer Win Butler, of Team Clippers, during the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)Actor Jamie Foxx, right, of Team Clippers, banters with with TV personality Rachel DeMita, of Team Lakers, during the NBA All-Star celebrity basketball game Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)Actor Jamie Foxx, right, and Canadian TV personality Jonathan Scott, of Team Clippers, react to a referee’s call during the NBA All-Star celebrity basketball game Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)Rapper Quavo, left, of Team Clippers, holds up his MVP trophy alongside musician Common, one of the coaches of the team, following the NBA All-Star celebrity basketball game Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)Rapper Quavo, of Team Clippers, the MVP of the NBA All-Star celebrity basketball game, lifts up his trophy after the team’s 75-66 win over Team Lakers on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)Actor Michael B. Jordan, left, of Team Lakers, flips actor Miles Brown, of Team Clippers, following the NBA All-Star celebrity basketball game Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)Actor Michael B. Jordan, left, of Team Lakers, drives past Canadian personality Jonathan Scott, of Team Clippers, during the NBA All-Star celebrity basketball game Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)NextShow Caption1 of 26Actor Michael B. Jordan, left, of Team Lakers, drives past Canadian personality Jonathan Scott, of Team Clippers, during the NBA All-Star celebrity basketball game Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)Expandcenter_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersLOS ANGELES — Quavo, a rapper for the group Migos, was named the MVP for the 2018 celebrity game during NBA All-Star Weekend as Team Clippers defeated Team Lakers 75-66 on Friday night at Staples Center.Quavo recorded 19 points, five rebounds and three assists for the Clippers.Toronto mans can ball! #[email protected] w/ 11 pic.twitter.com/kNTNvgVCRX— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) February 17, 2018 Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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Sussex golf club’s community spirit wins top national award

first_img15 Mar 2017 Sussex golf club’s community spirit wins top national award A Sussex golf club with great ideas to attract new people to the sport has won a top national award. Hollingbury Park Golf Course, just outside Brighton, was presented with the Strongest Community Engagement Award at last night’s 2017 England Golf Awards at Lord’s. The runner-up was Bromley Golf Centre, Kent, and both finalists are operated by Mytime Active. The Awards shone the spotlight on great moments and achievement at all levels of English golf and Hollingbury Park was honoured alongside Olympic champion Justin Rose, Masters champion Danny Willett and Solheim Cup player Charley Hull, as well as other players and heroes from the grass roots game. “It’s great that we have been recognised for the hard work we have done in the community to build foundations for the future of the game,” said the club’s General Manager Maria Dolan. “We are open for the whole community and we are not afraid to try new ideas,” she added. The club is featured in a specially filmed video. One of their latest ideas to take golf to people who’ve never tried the game was to stage a Christmas open air cinema screening. They put on the festive favourite, Elf, and it was hugely successful with local families, attracting over 600 people who received information about children’s parties, coaching courses and playing offers. Planning the event also helped the club make new contacts with local companies and organisations and helped it to spread the message about the benefits of golf. “We are passionate about developing new ways to improve and increase access into the game,” said Maria. “The whole team is proud to promote the game we love to the local community, inspiring the future generation of players.” The club is involved with the local council’s ‘Take Part’ event and attracted 400 people to try golf in one day. It followed up with an open week for all which drew 200 people to the club. Links have been created with four local schools, giving 180 children an hour’s introduction to the game plus an invitation to the club for more tuition. Parent were welcomed too! “Everyone is welcome to our venue whether they’re a golfer or not,” said Maria. Hollingbury Park wins a prize worth £500 from 59 Club of a 12 month subscription to the my59 self-testing benchmarking software, allowing then to arrange their own member surveys & mystery shopper tests. Click here to read more about the England Golf Awards Hollingbury Park representatives receive their award from (right) Richard Flint, England Golf Director of Participation and Club Support. (Image © Leaderboard Photography).last_img read more

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Huge Blow: Smriti Mandhana set to miss the first ODI against West Indies in…

first_imgImage Courtesy: ScrollAdvertisement 69d6NBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs9Wingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E8eegr( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) iuWould you ever consider trying this?😱aoCan your students do this? 🌚eRoller skating! Powered by Firework Indian women’s team opener Smriti Mandhana will miss the first ODI against the Windies in Antigua after still recovering from a fractured toe during the last home series against the Proteas.Advertisement Image Courtesy: ScrollThe explosive opener, who underwent rehab to treat her fracture at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore is expected to join the squad by Friday as per officials from the BCCI. Here’s what the official mentioned:“She will not be available for the first ODI. But she will travel to the West Indies tonight (Thursday) or by Friday,” Advertisement The Women In Blue will play the second ODI on Sunday, and there is no clarification as to whether Mandhana would be able to partake in that particular fixture.While the other members of her squad travelled to the Caribbean, the left-hander remained in Bangalore to complete her recovery. Mandhana was replaced by Pooja Vastrakar after sustaining the injury.Advertisement The team are in dire need of Mandhana as the replacement opener could only score 46 runs across 4 innings. The team is scheduled to play 3 ODIs and 5 T20Is, it is yet to see how many games the opener would play in.Read Also:It’s Not Always Sunny: Glenn Maxwell opts to take an indefinite break from all forms of cricket owing to mental health issuesIndia beat Sri Lanka to win the Women’s Emerging Asia Cup 2019 Advertisementlast_img read more

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Selling Confabulation as Science

first_imgScience is supposed to be all about demonstrable proof through experiment.  Should some scientists get away with confabulation – mere storytelling?  Look at these recent headlines published on science news sites and consider whether some serious housecleaning is in order. 1.  Baby apes’ arm waving hints at origins of language:  New Scientist had no problem with the suggestion that arm waving by chimpanzees led to the Sermon on the Mount and every other great work of moral or conceptual communication. “Actions speak louder than words,” wrote Nora Schultz cheerfully, as if that justifies scientifically what she is about to say. “Baby chimps, bonobos, gorillas and orang-utans – our four closest living relatives – quickly learn to use visual gestures to get their message across, providing the latest evidence that hand waving may have been a vital first step in the development of human language.”  Then why did apes get stuck at such a simplistic vocabulary?  Michael Corballis (U of Auckland) came to the rescue with this confabulation: “I suspect apes have evolved their own idiosyncratic gestures since they diverged from hominins.” 2.  Whiskers marked milestone in evolution of mammals from reptiles:  With no evidence of a bewhiskered reptile anywhere, PhysOrg published notions coming from “research” at the University of Sheffield that whiskers led to an explosion of possibilities in the mammal world.  On what evidence is this based?  Merely that a grey short-tailed opossum “has many similarities to an early mammal that would have lived more than 125 million years ago; that is, around the same time that the evolutionary lines leading to modern rodents and marsupials diverged.”  No such mammal is found in the fossil record.  But wait: aren’t marsupials and rodents both mammals?  Where are the reptiles claimed in the headline?  “This evidence suggests that some of the first mammals may also have whisked like a modern mouse or rat, and that the appearance of moveable whiskers was pivotal in the evolution of mammals from reptiles.”  In other words, no evidence for transitional forms was presented at all – just the assumption that mammals evolved from reptiles.  And that’s not all: a “professor” piled on additional miracles: “This latest research suggests that alongside becoming warm-blooded, giving birth to live young, and having an enlarged brain, the emergence of a new tactile sense based on moveable facial whiskers was an important step along the evolutionary path to modern mammals,” said Tony Prescott.  “Although humans no longer have moveable whiskers they were a critical feature of our early mammalian ancestors.”  According to this confabulation, bearded men can only regret that they are devolved remnants of some imaginary power-whiskered reptile with a great future ahead. 3.  Seeking Alien Artifacts in the Solar System:  Astrobiology Magazine, funded by NASA, posted an interesting press release that suggests that, possibly, conceivably, there might be not not aliens (double negative intended).  That is, just because we haven’t found any alien artifacts orbiting the sun yet doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t exist.  Scientists at Penn State have concocted some kind of equation that is supposed to let them know whether we’ve looked hard enough yet.  The conclusion at this point is, “The researchers found that it is, at this point, difficult to say that there are not nonterrestrial objects in our solar system.”  Presumably it is, at this point, difficult to say that there are not angels in our solar system (insert any unknown you wish). 4.  Welcome to the multiverse:  Discover Magazine gave sprightly coverage to Caltech prof Sean Carroll, giving him free rein to describe his conversion to the multiverse religion.  “Could our universe be just one of a multitude, each with its own reality?” he asked.  “It may sound like fiction, but there is hard science behind this outlandish idea.”  The reader hunts for said hard science as he is dragged through another retelling of one of science’s favorite martyr tales, the burning at the stake of Giordano Bruno,1 as if this will provide insurance against a similar fate for Carroll for what he is about to say.  Safely inoculated against taking heat, he continues: “These days, cosmologists like me may be safer, but our ideas have grown only more radical…. Also like Bruno, cosmologists are reaching far beyond what observational evidence can tell them.”  Looking still for the “hard science” he promised, we get this line: “It is not that cosmologists are so fond of all those universes; it’s that we are fond of inflation, because inflation explains the observed properties of the cosmos with great precision. But many versions of inflation theory also predict an infinite number of universes, like it or not.”2  Adding string theory to the mix doesn’t help his case much, since both theories have no observational support.  Carroll knows this: “Even if such a theory were true, the worry goes, how would we ever know? Is it scientific to even talk about it?”  We’re like tribesmen on a cloudy planet who can’t see the stars, he explains, only our cloud is the big bang.  Imagine if everyone took his final advice: “Right now we don’t know, and that’s fine. That’s how science works; the fun questions are the ones we can’t yet answer. The proper scientific approach is to take every reasonable possibility seriously, no matter how heretical it may seem, and to work as hard as we can to match our theoretical speculations to the cold data of our experiments.”  That’s odd.  This was his first and only mention of “experiments.” 5.  Searching for the origins of life… and our future:  While presenting multiverses, why not present science as the answer to everything, past present, and future?  Why not build a cathedral to whatever evidence-free notion a scientist has to say about the really big questions?  Karen Weintraub saw no problems with this in her BBC News article about NASA’s Origins program.  If she’s right, there is no limit to anything scientists want to say about anything.  Her hero is Professor Dimitar Sasselov of Harvard, head of a project called “Origins of Life.”  Even though he knows it is unlikely anyone will solve the origin of life for a century or more, he believes he is preaching science.  He even prophesies: “One morning we’ll wake up with a fundamentally different view of the world and who we are.”  Other players enter Hollywood-alien-decorated article as Weintraub asks, “What is life?” and other big questions, sans evidence.  But evidence is not needed if you can assert something and back it up with an appeal to authority.  “Lawrence Krauss, a physicist who leads the Origins Project at Arizona State University, says trying to figure out how the universe came from nothing doesn’t tread on religious ground, either – at least no more than Copernicus and Darwin did.”  If some technological spinoff comes from all this “pure science” that Weintraub claims is happening thanks to taxpayer dollars, won’t it be worth it?  Her last paragraph lets the cat out of the bag: “Instead of building the metaphorical buildings that most three-year scientific grants afford today, he [John Sutherland, molecular biologist] says, the Origins researchers are constructing a cathedral. It may take them a century to find answers, but what they build will still be standing in a millennium.”  Yes, there will be pay day, someday, in the sweet by and by.  Keep those offering plates coming. 1. Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) was not burned at the stake for embracing Copernicanism or positing a multiplicity of worlds, but for advocating multiple heresies against the Catholic teachings, dabbling in magic, and espousing weird beliefs such as transmigration of souls into animals.  Regrettable as his execution was, the myth that Bruno was a martyr to science was first proposed in the 19th century by Andrew Dickson White, whose “warfare hypothesis” pitting science against religion has since been roundly criticized by historians of science.  For example, see Maya Bohnhoff’s blog entry on Common Ground Group.  Even Wikipedia downplays the notion that Bruno was a martyr to science. 2. Inflation is neither an observation nor confirmation of big-bang cosmology, but instead, was an ad hoc proposal by Alan Guth in the 1980s to overcome serious flaws in the standard big bang model. Since then, his theory-rescue device has taken on a life of its own, with other cosmologists offering even more outlandish models, each unobservable and untestable. See 9/29/2009, 2/21/2005, also 10/6/2004. Oh, what tangled webs of belief science weaved, when Darwin first let the confabulators in to deceive (12/22/2003 commentary).  The scientists in the stories above are not dumb.  They had to show a pretty high level of intelligence (or parental money, or a good advisor) to get through the rigors of a PhD program.  But is a PhD credential a license to say anything?  There are PhD’s in other fields, too (history, philosophy, theology) who have just as much knowledge and intelligence, and who exhibit far better integrity and exercise far more rigor in their research than the storytellers above. Out of their own mouths they condemned themselves as con artists and false prophets, offering some kind of enlightenment they can’t describe that may take a century to get here, long after current taxpayers are dead. You wouldn’t fall for a snake oil salesman making a promise like that.  Why take it from a so-called scientist?  Out of their own mouths they condemned themselves as priests of a gnostic religion, divining visions of emanations from other universes, or visions of mythical transitional animals their religion requires.  You wouldn’t fall for a mystery religion that taught things like that; why take it from a so-called scientist? Out of their own mouths they condemned themselves as manipulators, taking the public as dupes and fools by associating chimpanzee arm-waving with Newton’s Principia.  You wouldn’t take that kind of ridicule from anyone; why allow it from a so-called scientist?  If we can take Carroll at his word, “the fun questions are the ones science can’t answer, so the only reasonable approach is to take every reasonable possibility seriously, no matter how heretical it may seem” – such as the reasonable possibility that the so-called scientists and so-called reporters above are all nuts. This kind of unmitigated evidence-free garbage spews non-stop from the sewer pipes of science news outlets, alongside the clean, healthy fare.  It’s like having a kitchen sink with knobs for hot water, cold water, and sewage, the sewage turning on by default any time you turn on the other knobs.  The clean water taps represent science that is observable, testable, and repeatable – the kind of science we learned as children, the kind we were led to believe represented the practices and ideals of all who wore the proud label “scientist.”  The sewage is sent across the internet pipes unfiltered, requiring the consumer to turn it off. It’s a deplorable situation.  It started with Darwin and his X-men, who were determined to (1) substitute naturalism for design, and (2) make confabulation permissible in science.  If scientists were required to shut up unless they had something observable, testable and repeatable to say, the sewage pipes would shut off.  Don’t count on it.  There’s too much momentum and money involved.  The naturalistic web of belief is now made of steel girders with battleship-heavy chains, able to absorb the shocks of any falsifying evidence.  All we can do is hope that the confabulators have some conscience left, so that when publicly shamed, they might repent.  Reward those researchers who stick to the classical standards for science.  Train the young to appreciate real science but to deplore the deceitful interlopers.  Vote wisely.  Speak out.  And reach your network with the truth, one soul at a time.(Visited 22 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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SA’s women’s rights to advance

first_imgWith South Africa’s gender equality status before the UN, women’s rights in the country will receive new impetus. (Image: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more free photos, visit the image library) Women’s rights in South Africa will take a great stride forward when a national alliance of women’s organisations presents the country’s first shadow report in 12 years on the status of women in the country. On Friday 21 January, four representatives, led by the East London-based Masimanyane Women’s Support Centre, will stand before the UN’s Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (Cedaw) committee.Here they’ll present research they conducted regarding the progress of women’s rights since the presentation of the first report at Cedaw’s 19th session in 1998. Gender equality is one of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.Each Cedaw party state is required to report to the committee every four years. South Africa will therefore be submitting its second, third and fourth reports.Cedaw will review the report and present recommendations to the government on which steps to take to improve the situation.Identifying achievements and obstaclesAccording to Masimanyane’s executive director Lesley Ann Foster, the alliance that conducted research last year consisted of women’s groups across seven provinces.“We have worked with other organisations and have collected information on how women’s rights have been enforced by government,” she said.The study asked women to identify the achievements towards gender equality, and also considered ways in which obstacles faced by women and girls on a daily basis could be overcome. However, judging from the research, Foster said the country has not made enough advances in the right direction.In a statement delivered to Cedaw on 17 January, she acknowledged that the South African government has made significant efforts to address these gender equality issues through the ratification of the Cedaw convention and its Optional Protocol, which was introduced in 1999.“Despite these efforts, the lived realities of women, their quality of life, and their status within society has not seen a significant change,” she added.Foster and her colleague Thabisa Bobo, also of Masimanyane, discussed three main issues, namely discriminatory laws, violence against women, and challenges to young women – specifically those from rural areas – with the Cedaw committee.South Africa’s shadow report may be downloaded from the Masimanyane website.Kenya, Israel and Liechtenstein will present their reports around the same time as South Africa.Forming the allianceSouth Africa started to catch up with Cedaw reports in October last year when 22 women’s rights activists from around the country gathered in East London for a Cedaw seminar.This was a drive by Masimanyane to form a national alliance of women’s rights organisations from each province. They would then contribute to a report on the progress of gender equality in the last ten years.It was here that South African activists learnt how to use Cedaw as a tool for advocacy and lobbying. To guide them through the process were activists Ivy Josiah, the executive director of Malaysia’s Women’s Aid Organisation, and Shireen Huq of the Nariphokko organisation in Bangladesh.According to Josiah, the activists educated South Africans on the Cedaw policies, explaining how they could be used as a useful instrument.  “I showed women how this is a tool to analyse and solve problems.”Josiah believes the tool is an international principle that holds governments accountable. “There is this power called government that is duty-bound to make sure women are safe.”Foster added that Cedaw is a primary standard setting document that guides all UN member states which have ratified the policy as to how they should treat women and girls within their countries.The convention was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1979 and is often referred to as an international bill of rights for women.last_img read more

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South African hockey teams fall to England

first_img11 July 2014The South African women’s and men’s hockey teams both suffered losses to England in the Investec Cup in London on Thursday, with the women going down 1-2 and the men being overwhelmed by a 7-0 margin.The South African women, who surprised the English with a convincing 4-1 victory in the recent World Cup, created numerous scoring opportunities, but were made to pay for not making the most of them.Commonwealth Games preparation“We have had very little time to prepare, and are using this tournament as preparation for the Commonwealth Games,” South African captain Marsha Cox said after the game.“We’re pretty pleased with the way certain things happened in the game. We felt that in the first half we had great moments of control and many opportunities to score, so while we are happy with that, we are disappointed that we didn’t put our chances away.”GoalsEngland scored a minute before half-time with a brilliant solo goal by world-class forward Alex Danson, but South Africa replied in the 47th minute with a superb backhand strike from the top of the strike zone by Ilse Davids.Nine minutes from the end of the contest, Georgie Twigg nailed the winner for England from the penalty spot.With the win over South Africa and an 8-0 drubbing of Wales in their first round match on Wednesday, England are through to Sunday’s final.Final rematch likelyA return clash with South Africa looks likely, with Cox and her team set to meet minnows Wales in their final round-robin match on Saturday. South Africa beat Scotland 2-0 in their first match on Wednesday.“If you look at our performance yesterday, compared to today, I think that we definitely took one step forward in the right direction and we’re looking forward to playing Wales,” Cox said.Midfield dominanceIn the clash between the two men’s teams, England, the Investec Cup favourites, used a dominant first half performance to lay the platform for their victory after they raced into a 5-0 half-time lead.Nick Catlin, playing in his 100th test, struck twice in the first half, Ashley Jackson also slotted a brace, and captain Barry Middleton added another in the opening stanza.Better second halfSA, who had their moments up front on either side of half-time without converting any those opportunities into goals, enjoyed a better second half after tightening up matters in the middle of the park, which led to more possession and positive moments going forward.It was, however, the English who had the last say with further goals from Simon Mantell and Mark Gleghorne.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

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Farmers in northwest Ohio counting down the days until black layer

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Many farmers in the northwest part of Ohio were wondering if they would have a corn crop to harvest this year. Now, with disease pressures adding to the challenge of stalk quality issues as corn enters the dent stage, many farmers are hoping black layer gets here sooner than later. The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins talks about the corn progress and harvest outlook with DuPont Pioneer Account Manager Chasitie Euler for this week’s DuPont Pioneer Field Report.last_img read more

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