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NAACP joins boycott of Giants; co-owner claims ignorance led to controversial donation

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO–Charles Johnson, one of the principal owners of the San Francisco Giants, doesn’t keep up with the news.That’s the explanation Johnson’s attorney Joe Cotchett offered Monday when asked why Johnson and his wife Ann each donated the maximum $2,700 to the campaign of Cindy Hyde-Smith, a Republican U.S. Senator from Mississippi who has come under fire recently for expressing racist remarks.“I’m not so sure that Charlie reads the paper every day the way you and I read the paper,” …last_img

Big Science Portrays Embryonic Stem Cell Issue as Political Litmus Test

first_imgThe number of articles in scientific journals on embryonic stem cell research (also called “therapeutic cloning”) has been on the rise, particularly those referring to Britain’s or John Kerry’s support of it (see 08/11/2004 editorial), and Germany’s or Bush’s opposition to it.  Though science journals are expected to be above politics, on this issue their desire for political leaders with liberal policies on embryonic stem cell research is palpable.  How do they justify it morally?  (For the alternative, see 09/03/2004 headline.)A Nature editorial1 urged Germany to get over its hangups about its Nazi past and move forward.  Referring to a recent position paper by the National Ethics Council, the editorial states, “Its cautious tone illustrates how slow has been the evolution of attitudes towards the sanctity of life, which have been so deeply influenced by the Nazi abuse of genetics.  In no other Western country is the spectrum of attitudes towards cloning so narrow, and so skewed towards conservatism.”  (Emphasis added in all quotes.)Michael Gross, editorializing in Current Biology,2 similarly urged Germany to follow the UK’s lead in liberalizing stem-cell research policy, even though two-thirds of the public oppose doing so.  He regrets that “those who believe that Christian morality rules out any research with human embryos insist that the current restrictive legislation should not be touched or even debated at all,” because “The trouble is that any further delay will contribute to the brain drain and help to slow down German biotech.”Gretchen Vogel in Science has reported twice recently on the controversy.  In the Sept. 10 issue,3 she analyzed California’s Proposition 71, which seeks $3 billion in state bonds to fund embryonic stem cell research.  The qualms about cost and morals are set against economic benefits and predicted treatments for disease.  She quotes promoters who “argue that tax revenues and royalties from companies spun off from new discoveries will help offset the $6 billion it will cost to pay off the bonds over 30 years.  ‘You could think of it as an intellectual stimulus package,’ [Fred] Gage [Salk Institute] says.”  In the Sept. 24 issue,4 Vogel discussed the arguments in Europe over who gets to patent stem cell discoveries.Giuseppe Testa and John Harris discuss ethical questions of using embryonic stem cells (ES) for reproductive therapies in the Sep. 17 issue of Science.5  Pragmatics include benefits for same-sex couples and infertile couples being able to have genetically-derived children: “We suggest that from an ethical and legal perspective, this procedure is most appropriately framed as a therapeutic intervention to treat infertility.  It replaces in vitro the physiologic function normally responsible for reprogramming the germline genome, analogously to the well-established medical technologies that replace other deficient bodily functions,” (not that social parenthood should lose preeminence, they are quick to add).  This is not human “cloning” – it’s more like modified in-vitro fertilization.  The social implications are important, however: “The possibility of an all-male or all-female couple’s being able to have a child sharing the genetic make-up of both parents in virtually the same way as for heterosexual couples is thought-provoking and can be used as a lens through which to discern our attitudes toward parenting and family, as well as our notions of what is ‘natural.’”  As long as safety is preserved, such techniques are no less natural than medical practice itself, they argue. David Baltimore (Caltech president), in an editorial in Science Sept. 24,6 targeted the Bush administration for what he feels have been politically-motivated, anti-science policies.  These included positions on HIV/AIDS (not enough support for condoms; see 07/15/2004 headline) and global warming (not enough support for the international policy), as well as ES stem cell research (Bush’s “arbitrary decision” to restrict research to existing cell lines).  He suggests two motivations that, in his opinion, have been preventing the administration from letting “policies track the science” – i.e.,“either religious conservatism or economically based political caution.”The team that cloned Dolly the sheep is now seeking to clone a human embryo, reports the BBC News.  Does this represent crossing the ethical line of no return?  A representative of the Church of Scotland lauded the intent to find a cure for motor neuron disease, but said that cloning a human embryo to the blastocyst stage and then destroying it “raises big ethical issues.”Meanwhile, adult stem cells continue to demonstrate promise, without raising ethical questions.  For instance, EurekAlert reported research from University of South Florida where scientists used umbilical cord stem cells to reduce stroke damage.  Recently also, Nature Science Update reported on stem cells from adult bone marrow being used to prevent a form of blindness, and the 08/27/2004 headline discussed adult stem cells being used to treat hearing loss.  See 05/24/2004 headline on the media bias toward ES cells over adult stem cells.1Editorial: “Time to look to the future,” Nature 431, 385 (23 September 2004); doi:10.1038/431385b.2Michael Gross, “UK cloning moves prompt questions abroad,” Current Biology, Volume 14, Issue 18, 21 September 2004, Pages R732-R733, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2004.09.002.3Gretchen Vogel, “California Debates Whether to Become Stem Cell Heavyweight,” Science, Vol 305, Issue 5690, 1544-1545, 10 September 2004, [DOI: 10.1126/science.305.5690.1544].4Gretchen Vogel, “Stem Cell Claims Face Legal Hurdles,” Science, Vol 305, Issue 5692, 1887, 24 September 2004, [DOI: 10.1126/science.305.5692.1887a].5Giuseppe Testa and John Harris, “Ethical Aspects of ES Cell-Derived Gametes,” Science, Vol 305, Issue 5691, 1719, 17 September 2004, [DOI: 10.1126/science.1103083].6David Baltimore, “Science and the Bush Administration,” Science, Vol 305, Issue 5692, 1873, 24 September 2004, [DOI: 10.1126/science.305.5692.1873].The advice of the politically-savvy voter holds true here: follow the money trail.  The advocates of ES research are straining to find moral rationalizations for creating human beings for the purpose of destroying them, while the underlying drumbeat is always money, priority and prestige.  Big Science is concerned about who will be first, not who will be right.  Individual scientists who promote it have Nobel Prize dollars in their sights.    Adult stem cells already have many successes, with no ethical problems, while ES stem cells have none, and many practical and ethical problems.  On empty promises of wonder cures, Californians are being asked to dole out $6 billion of tax money in an already-overtaxed state, climbing out of a severe deficit, to feed the Big Science appetite for glory.  If this is such a good investment, why not ask Bill Gates for a few tens of billions?  Why should taxpayers be forced to fund what might many of them find morally reprehensible?    Baltimore’s anti-Bush article (see also 08/24/2003 headline) and all the others are liberal down the line, reinforcing our assertion that Big Darwinian Science is indistinguishable from political liberalism (see 08/05/2004 commentary).  He merely assumes that the liberal positions on AIDS, global warming and stem cells are the “scientific” ones, and that opponents are motivated only by “religious conservatism.”  Proposition: Big Darwinian Science is motivated by political liberalism.  Why let them get away with the opposite statement?    Notice also the openly liberal gay agenda advanced by Testa and Harris, and their willingness to redefine what is natural by letting two gay men clone their genes to have a kid (a female womb is just a commodity they have to borrow for the procedure).  This is a “therapeutic intervention to treat infertility”?  What kind of doubletalk is this?  Two men can’t have babies; that is the law of nature; that is not “infertility.”  In this brave new world, where words mean anything you want, why not redefine cannibalism as natural while we’re at it?  After all, you are what you eat, and with a little help from medical science, the procedure could be made both safe and wholesome (see 08/28/2003 commentary).    To liberals, “Christian morality” is the evil.  It’s the meddling obstacle in the way of scientific progress.  As the ghost of Mengele vanishes in the fog of political rhetoric (see 04/22/2004 headline), maybe the world would be better off if we followed the progressive lead of North Korea.  After all, their little god Kim Jong Il has no such Christian morals standing in his way of experimenting on humans, embryonic or adult (see this BBC News story).  The “evolution” of his “attitudes towards the sanctity of life” has been rapid, and the brain drain very effective.(Visited 15 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Broadcast hub ready for kick-off

first_imgJournalists will be able to produceprogrammes about the 2010 Fifa WorldCup from the IBC. It’s through the IBC that the world will seethe World Cup, said FIFA General SecretaryJérôme Valcke. (Images: Bongani Nkosi)MEDIA CONTACTS• FifaDelia FischerMedia Officer+27 11 567 2010+27 11 567 2524+27 83 201 [email protected]• Local Organising CommitteeJermaine CraigMedia Manager+27 11 567 2010+27 83 201 [email protected] NkosiThe International Broadcast Centre (IBC) in Johannesburg, equipped with top-of-the-range technology, is fully prepared for the thousands of reporters who will converge there to cover the 2010 Fifa World Cup.Journalists were introduced to the facility on 21 May, ahead of its official opening on 2 June by Fifa president Sepp Blatter.The impressive IBC is based at Soccer City, where the opening and closing World Cup matches will be played. It will be the nerve centre of live broadcasts from there and the other nine host stadiums around the country.Some 1 900km of cabling has already been laid to connect the 10 facilities and enable all 64 matches to be broadcast live, in high definition, to 204 countries. It’s estimated that this coverage will reach billions of people around the globe.“It’s very clear that it’s from here [the IBC] that the world will be able to watch the World Cup from South Africa,” said Fifa general secretary Jérôme Valcke.About 13 000 international journalists and other media personnel have been accredited to use the IBC and some organisations have already set up their studios. A total of 189 media groups have confirmed that they will broadcast from the 30 000m2 centre.The top-rated Host Broadcast Services (HBS) will facilitate live feeds of every match to the licensed television and radio stations. It will use about 32 cameras per match for the live transmissions, an improvement from the 26 cameras used per match during the 2006 Fifa World Cup.“[The World Cup] will be broadcast in more homes than ever before. There will be a lot of television companies in South Africa,” said Fifa TV’s Niclas Ericsson.For the first time in the history of broadcasting the tournament, HBS will use 3D cameras to shoot some of the matches. Fifa said 25 of the 64 matches will produced in 3D.The IBC also boasts 80 interview and presentation studios, and facilities for mobile network operators to produce live broadcasts for mobile phones. South Africa’s MTN announced in 2009 that it will use this service.“We trust that we’ll make broadcast history with Fifa in this World Cup,” said HBS CEO Francis Tellier. “It [mobile phone broadcasts] is one of the innovations that we’ve brought to this World Cup.”Powering the IBC Reporters and fans need not be worried about blackouts at the IBC, as organisers have enlisted the services of Aggreko, a reputable international electricity company, to ensure power supply at all times.About 16 diesel-powered generators, each with a capacity of 1MW, will be used to back up Eskom’s national electricity grid.“In every major sporting event there’s a risk for power failure … We’re here to stop that from happening,” said Aggreko’s CEO Rupert Soames.Aggreko believes that their power plan is “as robust as we can technically make it”. The company, which has provided back-up power for major events such as the Olympics and Barack Obama’s US presidential inauguration, will set up 1.5MW-capacity generators at each stadium for broadcasting operations.Aggreko has partnered with Shanduka Group, a leading South African investment company, for the World Cup project. “We’re sure that everything will work smoothly,” said Shanduka’s chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa.Centres for print journalistsPrint media journalists will be catered for in centres called “Media Tribunes” at each host stadium. Telkom has equipped the centres with telephones, fax machines, printers and data ports to make the reporting process as convenient and efficient as possible.Photojournalists will be able to download and send off their images at any time, thanks to Telkom’s advanced equipment.last_img read more

University turns humiliation into success

first_img30 June 2014The Ministry for Women in the Presidency has called on South Africans to be inspired by the story of five cleaning workers from the University of the Free State who have turned their humiliation into success.In 2009, Emma Koko, Rebecca Adams, David Malete, Naomi Phororo and Mittah Ntsaleng were subjected to a racist “initiation” ritual in which they were forced to eat urine-soaked food. The incident shocked the country as it exposed the levels of racism that were prevalent at the university.Since then, however, not only has the university turned its reputation around, but the five former employees are now the owners of a cleaning company and have been awarded a four-year contract by the university.Speaking at the launch of the company, Mamello Trading, at an event at the university’s Bloemfontein campus on 19 June, vice-rector of external relations Choice Makhetha said Mamello Trading had been awarded a four-year contract to clean the university’s southern campus.Kenosi Machepa, spokesperson for the Ministry for Women, said on the weekend: “The university did not just give the cleaners a contract. They invested in their capacity development and made sure they were mentored all the way, and even gave them an opportunity to prove themselves. This is sure to have a ripple effect on their families and the communities they live in.”Machepa called for more institutions in the public and private sectors to introduce programmes to help women play a more active role in the economy.Minister for Women in the Presidency Susan Shabangu, speaking to journalists in Cape Town following President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation address two weeks ago, said women should be prepared to take a central role as South Africa prepared to implement radical socio-economic transformation policies over the next five years.Shabangu said her reconfigured department would form partnerships with other government departments and agencies, as well as the private sector and civil society, to accelerate women’s access to productive resources.“The central message as we move South African women forward is – nothing about women without women. We need to move women from the status of being victims to victors by ensuring that they are not left behind.”SAnews.gov.za and SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Ohio corn growers tackle RFS and trade at Commodity Classic

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins sat down with Ohio Corn & Wheat’s Jed Bower and Dennis Vennekotter to talk the topics they’ve been keeping top of mind at Commodity Classic 2018. The Renewable Fuel Standard has corn growers abuzz right now. Learn more in the video below.last_img

Case Study: The Growing Desktop Challenge

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts alex williams Tags:#solution-series#Sponsored Resources A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Workers are dispersed. They use multiple devices. Operating costs are spiking as security becomes a heightened concern. Now comes Windows 7 and a new upgrade requirement.It’s in many ways a desktop crisis. This brief explores how Cisco and VMware are working together to help organizations eliminate the guesswork from the implementation of a strategic desktop infrastructure. Download Now Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img

3 days agoArsenal hero Wright slams Emery over Ceballos selection: Start him!

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Arsenal hero Wright slams Emery over Ceballos selection: Start him!by Freddie Taylor3 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal hero Ian Wright has questioned Unai Emery’s decision not to start Dani Ceballos in Monday’s loss to Sheffield United.The Spaniard was brought on as a second-half substitute and immediately provided the creative spark which Arsenal were severely lacking.Wright told Premier League Productions: “I think he’s [Emery] got to come here and Ceballos has to play. He’s played the youngsters and I’m pleased to see them in there, with Saka.”But Saka, for an 18-year-old, if you’re leaving Ozil totally out of the squad, then we have to see more from him [Saka], we have to see more from Joe [Willock].”Unfortunately, it was a game where it passed them both by and then it comes down to the manager and his choices.”He’s made the change at half-time, with Ceballos, so you’re thinking to yourself: ‘Why didn’t you start him in the first place?'”Start him. He’s someone that gets on the ball when they want to try and play out, [Matteo] Guendouzi’s got a lot of energy and get the boys playing.”[Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang didn’t have anything to play off because there wasn’t any creativity.” last_img read more

SCF Tanker Grounded in Suez Canal due to Steering Failure

first_imgThe crude oil tanker Zaliv Amurskiy, owned by Russian shipping major Sovcomflot, grounded in the Suez Canal on February 13 due to a steering failure.The vessel ran into trouble at 41 kilometer mark in the afternoon hours, while transiting the canal in northern direction.GAC cited the Suez Canal Authority as saying that the incident affected vessel traffic in the area. The ship was number 19 in the Northbound convoy, made up of 25 vessels. All Southbound vessels cleared the canal, while 6 vessels were detained from the Northbound convoy.Suez Canal tugs managed to refloat the 104,542 dwt tanker and the ship was to towed to Port Said, the canal exit from the eastern branch.All vessels which were detained following the incident have subsequently cleared the canal, while both convoys were expected to return to normal operation on February 14 at around noon.GAC added that there were no reports of damage to the ship.last_img read more

The War to June 6 1944 How the decisions surrounding DDay came

first_imgOTTAWA — THE WAR TO JUNE 6: Allied fortunes had rebounded by 1944 after the massive German conquests of 1940-41. British and American armies had driven the Germans from North Africa and Sicily, forced Italy to surrender and were moving up the Italian boot while Allied bombers were pounding German cities and towns day and night. In the East, the Soviets were on the march to Berlin. And in the Pacific, the Americans were making headway against the Japanese.WHY INVADE? Military planners recognized Germany could not be defeated by strategic bombing or naval blockade. Instead, they would have to invade to both free occupied Allies and ensure Europe didn’t fall into the hands of the Soviet Union.WHY NORMANDY? The decision was largely dictated by technology and supply problems. Beaches had to be within range of British-based fighter planes and easy striking distance of a port, which would be needed to unload supplies. The Nazis believed the Allies would attack at the Pas de Calais, which was the closest point to Great Britain. Knowing this, the Allies devised an elaborate deception to keep the Nazis focused on this area while actually preparing for Normandy, which had lighter defences, suitable beaches and the requisite proximity to ports.WHO HAD THE ADVANTAGE? In many ways, the Allies and Germans were well-matched. The Allies had far superior air and sea power; the Germans had troops and tanks available for quick reinforcement. The Germans had better tanks and anti-tank guns while the Allies had more of both. German troops, in many cases, were better trained and superbly led by hardened veterans. The Germans, however, were hampered by shortages of supplies, especially fuel while the Allies had plenty of everything. German generals also faced ham-handed interference by Adolf Hitler; Allied generals were able to unfold their plans without harassment from above.WHY D-DAY? A combination of factors including weather, the phases of the moon and the tides led to June 6 being the day of the invasion. As for the moniker, military planners habitually designated the day an operation was to begin as D-Day — the ‘D’ has no particular significance. However, because the Normandy invasion was largest of its kind ever attempted, D-Day became forever associated with the operation on June 6, 1944, the official name of which was Operation Overlord.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Nerlens Noel Projected No 1 NBA Pick Out With

Nerlens Noel, Kentucky’s freshman center who was projected as the No. 1 pick in June’s NBA draft by many league observers, tore the ACL in his left knee Tuesday night in Florida, throwing the Wildcats’ season and his immediate future into question.Noel’s 6-foot-10 frame crumbled to the floor when he landed awkwardly after blocking a shot from behind with just over eight minutes left in the Gators’ 69-52 win. He lay on the floor writhing in pain as his teammates and Kentucky followers held their collective breath.But it did not look good when teammates had to carry him off the floor. Losing Noel is a significant hit to the Wildcats (17-7, 8-3 SEC), who now trail Florida (20-3, 10-1) by two games in the SEC standings. Noel leads the nation in blocked shots (4.5 per game) and averages 10.6 points per game and is second in the SEC in rebounding (9.6 per game).“I met with Nerlens,” coach John Calipari said in a statement Wednesday. “The meeting was really positive, and I loved his attitude. The way he is already dealing with this injury lets me know that he is going to come back stronger than ever.”Some have feared that Noel’s injury may have cost him millions as he had been projected to be a Top 5 pick in this year’s NBA draft had he elected to leave early. Calipari, however, dismissed that notion.“The good news is he is insured,” Calipari said, “so he would have been fine even if the injury would have been worse. Obviously this is not a career-ending injury and it’s one that athletes bounce back from all the time.”It is highly unlikely Noel will enter the draft now, as many suspected he would. He must rehab and play next season to prove to NBA teams he is healthy. read more