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Kenya move up two places in FIFA rankings

first_img0Shares0000Harambee Stars group photo before their friendly match against DR Congo on March 26 at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 10- Despite not being in action, the national football team Harambee Stars moved up two places in the latest FIFA rankings released on Thursday to sit 82nd with 412 points.Kenya had slumped 10 places from previous ranking of 74th after their loss to minnows Sierra Leone in the opening fixture of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier (AFCON) away in Freetown. Harambee Stars’ hopes of rising further will depend on whether the Football Kenya Federation will secure a friendly match during the next FIFA friendly window in September.Uganda remains the best placed East African country having moved a place up to 73rd while Rwanda have scaled up eight places, moving to 119th courtesy of their win over Tanzania in the CHAN 2018 qualifiers last month.Tanzania on the other hand has dipped six places to 120th same as Ethiopia, Kenya’s opponents in the 2019 AFCON qualifiers who have moved a massive 16 places to 120th.Burundi has moved down 11 places to 132nd while Sudan have moved 12 places up to 152nd.Continentally, Egypt remains the best placed African country despite dropping one place to 25th. DR Congo, Senegal and Tunisia are second third and fourth respectively while African champions Cameroon retain fifth spot and have gone one slot up to 35th.Namibia are the continent’s and world’s best movers having gone up 20 places to 136th.worldwide, Brazil have finally reclaimed their top seat on the throne of world football after moving one spot up to dislodge world champions Germany.Argentina remains third while Switzerland has gone up one place to fourth, followed by Poland.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Earth Myths with a Sprinkling of Data

first_img(Visited 42 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Some recent articles show that tiny bits of data can be used to generate whoppers.According to Live Science, Bill Hammond has been measuring uplift of the Sierra Nevada range since 2000.  Currently they have measured about a millimeter or two of uplift a year for less than 12 years.  Launching from that, the article stated:The amount might seem small, but the data indicate that long-term trends in crustal uplift suggest the modern Sierra could be formed in less than 3 million years, which is relatively quick when compared to estimates using some geological techniques.This represents an extrapolation of five orders of magnitude (stretching 12 years of data to “suggest” what happened in 3 million years).  Nevertheless, they are convinced they have determined a “young” uplift for the California mountain range (see also PhysOrg).  Despite the bold announcements, Hammond said, “he Sierra Nevada uplift process is fairly unique on Earth and not well understood.” Whether “unique” phenomena can be used to inform laws of nature was not explained.Even more hubris was displayed in another article, “Earth history and evolution,” on PhysOrg.  The opening paragraph is the operative statement about mythology referred to in our title:In classical mythology, the cypress tree is associated with death, the underworld and eternity. Indeed, the family to which cypresses belong, is an ancient lineage of conifers, and a new study of their evolution affords a unique insight into a turbulent era in the Earth’s history.This article claimed that genetic data between several genera of cypress thought to have evolved independently after a mythical supercontinent, Pangea, split apart, has “revolutionized the field of biogeography” and given us “understanding” of earth history.The new study confirms that cypresses represent a very old plant family. Their origins can be traced back to Pangea, and the evolutionary divergence of the northern and southern subfamilies of cypresses actually reflects the break-up of Pangea about 153 million years ago. As fragmentation progressed and ancestral lineages were separated from each other, new lineages were established and followed separate evolutionary trajectories. The Cupressaceae is the first plant family whose evolutionary history gives us such a detailed picture of the break-up of a supercontinent.This adds another couple of orders of magnitude to the extrapolations from data evaluated in the present (see PNAS paper for the data used).  The “insight” generated comes with some caveats, however.  “Some groups have turned out to be surprisingly young in evolutionary terms, others much older than people had assumed.”  It appears that using assumptions about a law of nature concerning evolutionary rates requires sacrificing laws of nature in other aspects of the story.Myths usually require sacrifices, so we should not be surprised.Let’s take stock of what we know (or think we know) based on the data presented.  (1) The Sierras have risen 1 or 2 millimeters per year since 2000, give or take the uncertainties that always need to be factored into any measurement.  (2) Certain selected genes in certain selected species of cypress have a measurable percent difference, give or take the uncertainties that always need to be factored into any measurement.That’s it.  The rest is interpretation.Are you better off with modern mythology than the Greeks and Romans were?  The fighting gods of classical lore have been lumped into a new god named Evolution that performs whatever miracles are necessary to keep the myth going.  We are told “new lineages were established”.  By whom?  Evolution, the god of death, the underworld and eternity.  Evolution weaves tales of “turbulent eras in earth history” when he fought the Earth Giants, splitting continents and sending the spirits of Life Force on separate evolutionary trajectories.  We don’t see Evolution, but through his oracles, we gain “understanding”.  We envision “detailed pictures”.  We achieve “unique insight”.Any mythmaker needs a sprinkling of data to keep the outsiders in awe.   The priest of Delphi used gas from a cave to send the priestesses into ecstatic babblings.  Now, GPS (gas of the priestesses of science) does the trick, while another group of divination prophets looks into the genes, like ancient Babble-onians looked into entrails.We know what they tell us is mythology because each new understanding overturns the previous understanding (implying it was never understanding in the first place).  We also keep seeing that the new data contradicts the findings from the gas the previous oracle used.  We also know it’s bunk because the interpreters (the university press departments), translate the incomprehensible babblings into ambiguous pronouncements that can be interpreted various ways. Does evolution run fast or slow?  It depends.  Are the Sierras rising fast or slow?  It depends.  [Scientific principle:  Mathematical physics does not permit the extrapolation of a linear function over five orders of magnitude.  That’s like drawing a mile-long curve from an inch of data.]Old King Croesus would have had equal luck listening to modern scientists tell him whether to go to war with Darius as we have trusting in the “understanding” we get from the priests of Darwinius.  Don’t myth-take this for science.  The rubric of their hubris is rootless.last_img read more

MGP to withdraw support to Goa’s BJP-led coalition

first_imgThe Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) on Friday decided to withdraw its support to Goa’s BJP-led coalition government after the regional partner found itself reduced to having a sole member in the State’s Assembly in the wake of the BJP poaching two of its three MLAs.Party President Dipak Dhavlikar told The Hindu that the Central Committee of the party had taken a decision to withdraw from the coalition government and that a formal letter would be submitted to Governor Mridula Sinha any time on Friday or Saturday.Mr. Dhavlikar, who is contesting the bypoll in Shiroda Assembly constituency in North Goa, said that the party had already decided to support Congress candidates in both the State’s Lok Sabha seats — Francisco Sardinha in South Goa and Girish Chodankar in North Goa — and to back the Congress’s Sudhir Kandolkar in the Mapusa byelection.“The party will decide on who to support against BJP in Mandrem constituency bypoll in next two days,” said Mr. Dhavlikar. “But surely we will support the strongest of the candidates, Congress or otherwise. We are going all out to defeat BJP candidates in the April 23 election to teach the party a lesson for splitting the MGP and sacking senior leader Sudin Dhavlikar unceremoniously from the coalition government,” he added.Last month, two MLAs — Manohar Ajgaonkar and Dipak Pauskar — split the three-member MGP legislature party and merged their group with the BJP. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant also immediately sacked Mr. Dhavlikar from his post as deputy Chief Minister and replaced him with Mr. Ajgaonkar, while inducting Mr. Pauskar as a Minister.Once the MGP formally submits to the Governor its letter withdrawing support, the strength of the BJP-led coalition would decline to 20 in the 36-member truncated house of 40. The coalition includes 14 BJP MLAs, three members of the Goa Forward Party and three independents. In the Opposition, while Congress has 14 MLAs, the Nationalist Congress Party and MGP have a member each.last_img read more

Trump withdraws Warriors invitation to White House

first_imgMOST READ Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa LATEST STORIES View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fightcenter_img Outspoken WarriorsSpeaking at the Warriors media day later Friday, Curry said simply: “I don’t wanna go.”Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James meanwhile took aim at Trump’s withdrawn invite.“U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain’t going! So therefore ain’t no invite,” James wrote on Twitter.“Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!”The NBA Players Association also rallied swiftly behind Curry.ADVERTISEMENT “Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!” Trump wrote.It was not immediately clear if the White House had formally extended an invitation to the Warriors to attend the reception, a tradition that goes back several decades.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSpeaking on Friday, Curry said the Warriors could make a “statement” by declining to attend the White House reception if an invite was offered.“Obviously, you don’t wanna rush to a decision on understanding the magnitude of what this means,” Curry told ESPN. “We have an opportunity to send a statement that hopefully encourages unity, encourages us to appreciate what it means to be American, and stand for something.” Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, left, talks with Kevin Durant, right, in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, March 21, 2017, in Dallas. APLOS ANGELES, United States — President Donald Trump said Saturday he was withdrawing a White House invitation to the Golden State Warriors after several players on the NBA championship-winning side voiced misgivings about attending a reception.Writing on Twitter, Trump singled out Warriors star Stephen Curry, who on Friday had signaled that he would vote against attending the White House reception in any team discussion.ADVERTISEMENT AP source: Knicks agree to trade Carmelo Anthony to Thunder “Steph: consider this withdrawal a badge of honor!” NBAPA executive director Michele Roberts wrote on Twitter.Warriors players have been among the most outspoken against Trump’s administration.Last month, NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant said he would boycott the White House if the Warriors were invited, accusing Trump of escalating racial tensions in the United States.“Nah, I won’t do that,” Durant told ESPN when asked whether he would attend the White House.“I don’t respect who’s in office right now…I don’t agree with what he agrees with, so my voice is going to be heard by not doing that.”Durant said he expected many teammates would follow suit. “That’s just me personally, but if I know my guys well enough, they’ll all agree with me,” Durant said, saying he believed Trump bore responsibility for stoking racial divisions.“He’s definitely driving it,” Durant said. “I feel ever since he’s got into office, or since he ran for the presidency, our country has been so divided and it’s not a coincidence. When (Barack) Obama was in office, things were looking up. We had so much hope in our communities where I come from because we had a black president, and that was a first.“So to see that and to be where we are now, it just felt like we took a turn for the worse, man. It all comes from who is in the administration. It comes from the top.”Trump a ‘blowhard’Warriors coach Steve Kerr has also been one of Trump’s most searing critics from within the ranks of the NBA, describing him as a “blowhard.”“Frankly, I think it’s why Trump couldn’t be more ill-suited to be president, because he’s a blowhard,” Kerr said earlier this year. “You don’t see some of the qualities you talk about, the resilience, the ability to communicate, the compassion. None of that… To be a great leader, there have to be some qualities in there.“Has anyone ever thought that Donald Trump was a great leader?” /cbb Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss PLAY LIST 02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes00:58Trump blames media, Democrats for impeachment during Kentucky rally01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients last_img read more

COSCO Shipping Shuts Down Another Dormant Business

first_imgCOSCO Shipping International (Singapore) has decided to formally dismiss of Cos Lucky Shipping Maritime, one of the group’s dormant subsidiaries.Namely, the company said that a resolution for the dissolution of Cos Lucky Shipping, a subsidiary incorporated in the Republic of Panama, was presented to the business registry of Panama and that the subsidiary has been dissolved.The move was made following the scrapping of the vessel owned by Cos Lucky Shipping.COSCO Shipping informed that the dissolution is not expected to have any material impact on the net tangible assets and earnings per share for the financial year ending December 31, 2017.In mid May, the group opted to strike off and formally dismiss two of its dormant subsidiaries, Cos Fair Shipping and Cos Glory Shipping, both of which were shut down following the scrapping of their respective vessels.last_img read more

FSL to Finance Newbuildings by Selling Ageing Ships

first_imgzoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pexels under CC0 Creative Commons license Singapore-based FSL Trust Management has unveiled its plan to sell ageing vessels in order to collect funds for the construction of two new tankers.The decision comes on the back of a Letter of Intent signed for the construction of two scrubber-fitted tankers, which has now been realized into a firm shipbuilding contract with China’s Cosco Shipping Heavy Industry.FSL is paying USD 97.6 million for the Tier III 114,000 dwt tanker duo, which will be owned by FSLT subsidiaries, FSL-28, Inc. and FSL-29, Inc. The new units would be delivered in November 2020 and January 2021, respectively.The newbuilding acquisition will be funded with up to USD 21.3 million to be collected through the sale of older vessels. The company said that no definitive documentation has been entered into in relation to the sale of vessels as of yet.Additionally, another USD 31 million of net proceeds from the company’s pro rata, non-renounceable and non-underwritten preferential offering, revealed in late November, would be used to fund the newbuildings.FSL informed that the remaining balance would be funded by way of a combination of surplus cash flows from operations and bank financing to be obtained by the company.last_img read more

France fears further protests

first_imgPeople are at work to build a wooden wall aimed at protecting the shop window of store, on 7 December 2018 on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, on the eve of a fourth wave of `yellow vests` anti-government protests. Last Saturday`s riots in Paris, where the Arc de Triomphe war memorial was sacked, dozens of cars torched and shops looted, were the worst in decades, plunging president Emmanuel Macron`s government into a deep crisis. Photo: AFPBusinesses in Paris battened down the hatches on Friday and streets were cleared of material that could be used as weapons amid fears of further violence during a fourth round of “yellow vest” protests.The French capital experienced its worst riots in decades last weekend, plunging president Emmanuel Macron’s government into its deepest crisis so far.The Arc de Triomphe war memorial was sacked, dozens of cars torched and shops looted by the radical fringe of a three-week-old rebellion over taxes and inequality.Interior minister Christophe Castaner on Friday vowed “zero tolerance” towards those aiming to wreak further destruction and mayhem during a new round of protests set for Saturday.”These past three weeks have seen the birth of a monster that has escaped its creators,” Castaner told a news conference, adding: “It’s time now for dialogue.”Shops around the famous Champs-Elysees boulevard — epicentre of last week’s battle — were busy boarding up their windows and emptying them of merchandise on Friday.”We can’t take the risk,” said a manager at a Ducati motorcycle dealership as employees loaded luxury Italian racers onto trucks for safekeeping.The operators of leading museums and landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Louvre and Musee d’Orsay all said they would be closed on Saturday, along with department stores, operas, theatres and libraries.Foreign governments are watching developments closely.The US embassy issued a warning to Americans in Paris to “keep a low profile and avoid crowds”, a warning echoed by the Turkish foreign ministry for Turkish travellers.The Belgian foreign ministry advised Belgians planning to visit Paris over the weekend to postpone their visit.- School pupils rounded up -Macron this week gave in to some of the protesters’ demands for measures to help the poor and struggling middle classes, including scrapping a planned increase in fuel taxes and freezing electricity and gas prices in 2019.But the “yellow vests”, who have become increasingly radicalised, are holding out for more.The government has vowed a tough response in the event of further trouble.Calls on social media for protesters to attack the police or march on the presidential palace have particularly rattled the authorities.Prime minister Edouard Philippe said 8,000 police would be deployed in Paris out of 89,000 nationwide, and that a dozen armoured vehicles would be stationed around the capital — a first.The police were already facing accusations Friday of being heavy-handed.A video showed officers in riot gear barking orders at dozens of high-school pupils kneeling on the ground with their hands behind their heads following a demonstration in Mantes-la-Jolie near Paris.”Whatever wrong was done, nothing justifies this filmed humiliation of minors,” Socialist leader Olivier Faure tweeted.- ‘Not the people’ -The “yellow vests”, named after the high-visibility safety jackets worn by demonstrators, began blocking roads, fuel depots and shopping centres around France on 17 November over fuel price hikes.Since then the movement has snowballed into a wider revolt against Macron’s economic policies and his top-down approach to power.Protests at dozens of schools over stricter university entrance requirements, and a call by farmers for demonstrations next week, have added to a sense of a government under siege.Opposition parties, particularly on the far right and radical left, have sought to capitalise on the protests to try to bring about Macron’s downfall.The protesters accuse the centrist president of favouring the rich and city-dwellers over those trying to make ends meet in car-dependent rural and small-town France.Many are calling on him to resign.Castaner on Friday estimated the number of people still taking part in demonstrations at 10,000 nationwide.”10,000 is not the people, it’s not France,” he argued, despite polls showing the protesters enjoying strong public support.- Macron’s silence -Macron’s “cardinal sin”, in the eyes of the protesters, was to slash wealth taxes shortly after taking office.The 40-year-old former investment banker, dubbed “the president of the rich” by critics, has so far ruled out re-imposing the “fortune tax” on high-earners, arguing it is necessary to boost investment and create jobs.But his climbdown on fuel taxes — intended to help France transition to a greener economy — marks a major departure for a leader who had prided himself on not giving into street protests.Prime minister Edouard Philippe has signalled a willingness to make further concessions.Macron himself has not commented publicly on the crisis since his return from the G20 summit in Argentina a week ago.Parliament speaker Richard Ferrand said the president did not want to “add fuel to the fire” in the run-up to Saturday’s demonstrations.He is expected to address the protests in a speech early next week.last_img

Bangladesh wont repatriate any Rohingya by force

first_imgForeign minister AK Abdul MomenForeign minister AK Abdul Momen on Thursday said Bangladesh does not want to do anything by force and laid emphasis on removing trust-deficit among Rohingyas who refused to return to their homeland, reports UNB. “It’s regrettable… what else you can do!” the foreign minister said while talking to a small group of reporters at his office. Momen said there is a trust-deficit among Rohingyas and reiterated Bangladesh’s call to take 100 “majhis” or Rohingya leaders to Rakhine State, and show them what measures and arrangements are taken to welcome Rohingyas to their own homes as they fear about their safety and security. The foreign minister said he is thinking about forming a commission with people from various countries to go and see the development in Rakhine and inspect whether peace and stability are prevailing there or not with required steps. “Myanmar should prove that development is there and peace is prevailing,” he said adding that Myanmar can also take journalists there to see the situation on the ground. Foreign minister Momen said Myanmar should come forward if they remain honest and should give access to Rakhine to see the situation there. Responding to a question about Rohingyas’ demands, the foreign minister said they cannot be hostage to their demands. “They (Rohingya) need to realise their demands by going back to their homes.” Momen said they were hoping that the repatriation would begin today (Thursday), at least on a small scale, but it’s yet to begin. “We’re still waiting with a high hope. Myanmar has created the problem and solution lies there, too. We don’t want to do anything by force,” he said adding that representatives of Myanmar, China and Bangladesh governments were present there. Responding to another question, the foreign minister said they will identify those distributing leaflets, supplying English-written signboards and carrying out campaigns encouraging Rohingyas not to return to Myanmar. “We’re identifying them,” he said adding that steps will be taken. He indicated about slower fund flow — both from locally and internationally — which might create problems for the Rohingyas though they are living a comfortable life now. “For their own better future, they should go back.” The foreign minister said their efforts will continue for voluntary and safe return of Rogingyas to their place of origin. Responding to a question, he said there are both positive and negative aspects of welcoming Rohingyas in 2017, and Myanmar did never say they will not take back their nationals. Despite all the preparations, no Rohingya turned up on Thursday to avail of the “voluntary” repatriation offer given to them to go back to their place of origin in Rakhine state of Myanmar prompting the authorities to suspend the repatriation process for the day. While briefing reporters, Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Mohammad Abul Kalam said they interviewed the listed Rohingyas over the last couple of days and encouraged them to return to their homeland. But nobody did show up at Ghumdhum transit point on Thursday, he said adding that five buses were kept ready to take the Rohingyas to Myanmar’s Rakhine state, their place of origin. Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas and most of them entered the country since 25 August, 2017. The two countries signed a repatriation deal on 23 November, 2017, but there has been little progress. On 29 July, Bangladesh handed a fresh list of 25,000 Rohingyas from around 6,000 families to Myanmar for verification before their repatriation to Rakhine state. With the latest list, Bangladesh has so far handed the names of around 55,000 Rohingyas to the Myanmar authorities and around 8,000 of them have been verified. Myanmar only cleared 3,450 Rohingyas for beginning the repatriation. On 16 January, 2018 Bangladesh and Myanmar inked a document on “Physical Arrangement”, which was supposed to facilitate the return of Rohingyas to their homeland. The “Physical Arrangement” stipulates that the repatriation will be completed preferably within two years from the start. The first batch of Rohingyas was scheduled to return on 15 November last year but it was halted amid the unwillingness of Rohingyas to go back for lack of a congenial environment in Rakhine. On 20 August, foreign minister AK Abdul Momen said both Bangladesh and Myanmar were “fully ready” to resume the repatriation of Rohingyas to their homeland but some Rohingya leaders and NGOs are reportedly discouraging them to return. “We’ve heard some Rohingya leaders emerged there. They don’t want the return of any Rohingya (to their homeland). They’re trying to stop returnees. Some INGOs and NGOs are instigating them (Rohingyas),” he told a small group of reporters at his office. He said Bangladesh wants to see Rohingyas’ return to Rakhine state as soon as possible.last_img read more