Kim exit wouldn’t change US goals: Pompeo

first_img“I did have a chance to meet her a couple of times, but the challenge remains the same — the goal remains unchanged — whoever is leading North Korea,” Pompeo told Fox News.He renewed the US promise to bring the North Korean people “a brighter future” if the leadership gives up nuclear weapons.”They’ve got to denuclearize. We’ve got to do so in a way that we can verify. That’s true no matter who is leading North Korea,” he said.Pompeo flew to North Korea four times in 2018 as he arranged historic summits between Trump and Kim after more than a half century of enmity between the two countries. The United States will keep seeking North Korea’s denuclearization no matter who is in charge in Pyongyang, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday, amid speculation about leader Kim Jong Un’s health.US officials including President Donald Trump have declined to discuss Kim’s condition after a report, downplayed by South Korea, that the reclusive authoritarian was ailing.But asked in an interview, Pompeo said he had met Kim’s powerful sister, Kim Yo Jong, whose recent elevation in the hierarchy raised pundits’ view that she could be a successor. But hopes for a breakthrough before US elections in November have dimmed, with North Korea firing off rockets and the United States refusing Pyongyang’s demands for sanctions relief before full denuclearization.Daily NK, an online media outlet run mostly by North Korean defectors, said Kim had undergone a cardiovascular procedure earlier this month triggered by heavy smoking, obesity and fatigue.CNN also quoted a US official as saying Kim was in “grave danger” after surgery.But South Korea, which is technically still at war with the North, said it had detected no unusual movements in its neighbor.Topics :last_img read more

Aon Belgium wins mandate for pan-European scheme for researchers

first_imgIt also assisted the Task Force with its final report, in which the committee suggested the pension fund be set up under Belgian legislation as an OFP structure.The Task Force shortlisted Belgium’s OFP, a trust-based arrangement in Ireland or a SEPCAV and ASSEP in Luxembourg as “the most practical locations”.Ultimately, it named Belgium’s OFP as the “preferred” vehicle and said it was “fully in line” with the EU’s IORP Directive.It also cited the fact the regulator is “accessible, open-minded and supportive”, there are no “quantitative investment and financing regulations” and the zero tax base.In the report, Aon estimated the initial costs to be €3m for the first three years of the scheme. It said it would take 15 years for the fund to finance itself.The IORP will be rolled out to EU member states this year and then be extended to include the whole of the EEA by 2018.The Commission said the IORP would help employers in “attracting researchers in an increasingly competitive environment” and further assist the development of the European Research Area. Aon Belgium has been awarded a four-year contract worth €4m for providing “support services” to the recently launched pan-European pension project for researchers.The costs, along with other “initial set-up costs”, over the first four-year period will be covered by the European Commission.A cross-border IORP is to be set up later this year, after a consortium of first supporters was named last autumn.Aon had been helping to set up the project in recent years.last_img read more

P.V. Sindhu aims to start new year on a high at Malaysia Masters

first_imgKuala Lumpur: Since the World Championship win, P.V. Sindhu hasn’t had a great run and the ace shuttler will look to put that behind her and start the new year on a high when she begins her campaign at the Malaysia Masters Super 500 tournament, starting here on Tuesday.Sindhu made early exits in the rest of the season since becoming the world champion and also failed to defend the World Tour Finals crown in December.Sixth-ranked Sindhu should ease past Russia’s Evgeniya Kosetskaya in the first round and the Indian will look to stay on course for an expected meeting with world No 1 Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying in the quarterfinals.Saina Nehwal, who also endured a lean patch last year since winning the Indonesia Masters, will open against a qualifier at the Axiata Arena. B. Sai Praneeth will meet Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoen in the first round.Former world number six Parupalli Kashyap will face top seed and world No. 1 Kento Momota of Japan in the first round, while H.S. Prannoy, who was down with health issues for the most part of last season, will meet Japan’’s Kanta Tsuneyama. Kidambi Srikanth will take on Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan.Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, who became the first Indian men’s pair to claim a super 500 title at the Thailand Open and also reached the finals of the French Open Super 750 event, will lock horns with Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi. Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy will take on Korea’s Chang Ye Na and Kim Hye Rin. IANS Also Read: PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal Advanced to French Open QuartersAlso Watch: Torch Relay of 3rd Khelo India Youth Games received by District Administration in Kokrajharlast_img read more

Pin the Feather on the Dinosaur

first_imgOnce again, careless artists and reporters have put imaginary feathers on a three-ton dinosaur that couldn’t fly.Baby Louie is not a new fossil; it was discovered 25 years ago in China. “Although the fossil of the infant dinosaur is small, it would have grown into an adult weighing more than 1,000kg,” reports Helen Briggs for the BBC News. What is it? It’s a hatchling of an oviraptorasaur, a type of dinosaur well known from eggs but rarely found as an adult. Specifically, this one they call a “caenagnathid oviraptorosaur.” It is named Beibeilong sinensis, or “baby dragon from China.”Briggs goes out of her way to make sure readers know this big creature was very much like a bird. The artist reconstruction, prominent at the top of the article, shows the hatchling’s body covered in downy feathers. Its doting mother has striped feathers, with special feathers lining its arms as if trying to evolve flight. Briggs says,The fossil of a baby dinosaur discovered in China more than 25 years ago has formally been identified as a new species of feathered dinosaur….They say it is the first known specimen of a gigantic bird-like dinosaur belonging to the group known as oviraptorosaurs….”It stretches the mind to imagine these wee little embryos growing into a one-ton feather-covered dinosaur that would have looked quite a bit like Big Bird,” he [Stephen Brusatte] said.”And they were weird – with feathers and beaks, but no teeth.”Surely the paper in Nature Communications will illuminate us about these feathers. Let’s look. Veteran dinosaur expert Philip J. Currie is a co-author. He ought to know.Search on feathers: zero mentions.Search on integument: zero.Search on quill knobs: zero.Search on bird: zero (except in the references).Search on ostrich, emu, cassowary: zeroSearch on wing, flight, or flying: nothing.Search on evolution: none, except in the references, and a phylogenetic chart.If this creature had feathers, the paper says nothing about them. It would seem an important trait to mention, if they were present.A look at photos of the fossil seems to show only bones. The only place where possible feathers can be seen is in an artist’s drawing of the embryo in its egg. It appears to be covered in some kind of downy material (not shown on the actual bones). Some have suggested that things that resemble fuzz might be decayed collagen, or integumentary structures that had only stems, like hair: no branches like those on true feathers. “All bones of the skeleton show fibrous juvenile bone texturing,” the paper says, but nothing like fuzz or hair is apparent on the bones. “Most of the forelimbs, feet and tail are missing or not visible.” Yet those are prominently feathered in the BBC’s artwork.Live Science doesn’t mention feathers on this fossil, but twice makes it seem like a bird. New Scientist says, “Flightless Beibeilong sinensis, which lived around 90 million years ago, had feathers, primitive wings and a beak, but dwarfed any of its modern bird relatives.” Both articles reproduce the artwork, imaginary feathers and all.Another creature from China is clearly a bird, but National Geographic calls it a dinosaur. Jianianhualong had asymmetrical flight feathers like Archaeopteryx, which clearly had aerodynamic capabilities. It looked like a bird, it walked like a bird, and it flew like a bird. So why are evolutionists calling it a dinosaur? This fossil shows that flight evolved earlier than evolutionists had believed, forcing them to push featherhood into the more distant past:But finding asymmetrical feathers in a species that holds Jianianhualong’s unique place in the phylogenetic tree suggests that such feathers might be present in the common ancestor of both birds and troodontids—placing this link further back in the tree than previously thought, to about 160 million years ago.Live Science repeatedly calls this fossil a dinosaur, and makes the preposterous claim that aerodynamic feathers evolved in dinosaur ancestors before they could fly. That’s right; the paper in Nature Communications begins, “Asymmetrical feathers have been associated with flight capability but are also found in species that do not fly, and their appearance was a major event in feather evolution.” Phil Currie was a co-author on this paper, too.This type of shoddy science reporting is comparable to Haeckel’s embryos. When they don’t have evidence, they just draw it or paint it on. If this oviraptorosaur had feathers, show the feathers! Where are they? They’re imaginary. So is the reporters’ credibility. If Jianianhualong had wings and flight feathers, why are they calling it a dinosaur?Henry Gee said in Nature in 1999, “The attribution of ancestry does not come from the fossil; it can only come from us. Fossils are mute; their silence gives us unlimited license to tell their stories for them, which usually take the form of ancestry and descent…. Everything we think we know about the causal relations of events in Deep Time has been invented by us, after the fact.” (cited by Tom Bethell in Darwin’s House of Cards, p. 29). With that in mind, analyze this paper in Nature (April 27, 2017) about some supposed common ancestral tree of birds and dinosaurs, and look at all the Darwin Flubber they cook up in their storytelling lab.In his new book Zombie Science, Jonathan Wells says this about the dinosaur-to-bird evolution story:“Dino-bird advocates base their view on cladistic analyses of various skeletal features shared by dinosaurs and modern birds. But as we have seen there are no ancestors in a cladogram, so the idea that birds evolved from dinosaurs is only a hypothesis. Nevertheless, the dino-bird party has declared itself to be The Scientific Consensus. As far as they are concerned, the debate is over, and Science Says birds are dinosaurs” (p. 62)….“Meanwhile, both sides in the dino-bird controversy must invent ghost lineages to connect the fossils with each other. Neither has found the ancestor of modern birds. But one thing is sure: Archaeopteryx is not it” (p. 63).If evolutionists insist on playing pin the feather on the dinosaur, we’re going to pin the blame for fake science on them when this dino-bird story collapses. (Visited 705 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

South Africa’s gift to baseball

first_imgSouth African Gift Ngoepe is a professional baseball player in the US and has been playing for the Minor League since 2008. Ngoepe and his baseball team – the Pittsburgh Pirates.(Images: Major League Baseball) MEDIA CONTACTS • Rick Magnante   Manager to Gift Ngoepe  +1 412 323 5031  RELATED ARTICLES • Amputee golfer challenges the odds • Afcon ceremony honours hero • Venus, Serena for SA showdown • Team SA ready for London • Paralympic heroes back in SACadine PillayFrom growing up in a modest mud hut in rural Limpopo to living a single room with his family inside a Johannesburg baseball clubhouse, and later becoming the first black South African ever to sign a professional baseball contract,  Gift Ngoepe’s story is nothing short of extraordinary.Ngoepe (22) was signed to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2008 – and he is putting South Africa on the world baseball map.Growing up on the field of dreamsAs a child, a chance job opportunity for Ngoepe’s mother Maureen meant that the small family of three, including his brother Victor, had to move from Polokwane in Limpopo to stay in a single room at the clubhouse owned by the Randburg Mets Baseball Club in Johannesburg. Maureen was the clubhouse’s caretaker, in charge of cleaning and maintenance duties.  “We all slept in the room in the clubhouse,” says Ngoepe. “It was a small, but happy place.”The sport star used to help his mother with some of her work, while he learned about baseball.“I didn’t want to play other sports,” Ngoepe recalls. “I would watch ESPN until 2am and dream about playing in the Major League someday. I saw the national baseball team play at the field I grew up on, and it inspired me.”He adds that he would continue playing by himself after dark when the others had gone home.Noticing his interest in the sport, the Mets players would mentor Ngoepe on a daily basis, eventually adopting him as their protégé. He started off as the team’s mascot and waterboy, before being recognised as their most gifted young player.The Mets raised funds for Ngoepe to represent South Africa in a tournament played in Mexico in 2005, and a year later in Cuba. He was about to take a life-changing trip in 2007.Far from the clubhouseTwo years after Mexico, Ngoepe travelled to Italy, where he was invited to attend the Major League Baseball’s (MLB) annual three-week European Academy for promising international players. There he competed with players 10, 15 and even 20 years older than him.MLB scouts present at the academy showed an interest in Ngoepe and in the second week, he received the news that the Pittsburgh Pirates wanted to sign him, making him the first African to sign with in MLB organisation.Ngoepe also received a US$15 000 (R129 000) bonus from the Pirates after attending the academy.  In 2009 he again represented South Africa at that year’s World Baseball Classic in Taiwan.Despite having to deal with racial discrimination in some countries, Ngoepe did not succumb to pressure and even went as far as to learn Spanish to make it easier to communicate with other players while in Mexico.His manager Rick Magnante refers to Ngoepe as a legend, while Edwin Bennett, CEO of the South African Baseball Union, says the young man is ‘one of the many jewels found in South African sport’. Many who have played with him describe Ngoepe as an ‘energy guy’ because, they say, he brings positive energy to the game, even when morale is low.“I’m a person who always believes in himself,” says Ngoepe, “I trust in people to believe in me.” Changing the mindset Despite baseball’s long history in South Africa, going back to 1895 according to Baseball South Africa (BSA), it is not as attractive as soccer, cricket and rugby, which remain the three most prominent codes in the country after many years. The national team is ranked 23rd in the world, and is the only African team in the sport’s top 40 countries.According to BSA, there are 250 000 active players in organised baseball in South Africa.“It is one of those sports that people don’t know about,” notes Ngoepe, “but once they get to play it they kind of enjoy it.“If I tell people I play baseball, they are not convinced, and some of them have never heard of any of the teams.”But he is determined to change that outlook, for the world and his country.“I want to be the first from my country to play in the Major League,” says Ngoepe, who currently plays in the Minor League.“I don’t want to be the first black South African. I want to be the first South African because I don’t see colour. It is all the same in my country now.”last_img read more

Digicel continues restoration efforts of home TV and broadband services

first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#TurksandCaicos, October 13, 2017 – Providenciales – Customers in Discovery Bay and Plantation Hills up to the Blue Hills roundabout are receiving Digicel Play services again.  They join those in Leeward Palms, Leeward Landing, Grace Bay, Juba Sound, Long Bay, Leeward Highway, The Bight, Glass Shack, Cherokee Road, Abundant Life Ministry Road and Walter Cox Drive in Kew Town, Providenciales, where Play services were re-established last week.Please be advised that in same area where services has resumed, there may still be a lapse in service for some customers in that same location who may be connected to a grid outside of that area.   We encourage those affected customers to  check the status of their services and for assistance please call 339-4866, or visit our bill pay centre, Leeward Highway, Providenciales for help from our staff.The Digicel Turks and Caicsos technical team continues to work tirelessly on full network restoration.Press Release: Digicel Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

The Governor General at Sir Durward Knowles Day Festivities at Queens College

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, December 6, 2017 – Nassau – Queen’s College held a special ‘Sir Durward Knowles Day,’ December 4, with celebrations at the school in honour of the 100th birthday and accomplishments of Queen’s College alumnus, Sir Durward Knowles.The festivities were attended by Governor General Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling and Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis.  In the photo are Sir Durward (centre), his wife, Lady Holly (centre right), Governor General HE Dame Marguerite Pindling (left), Sir Durward’s daughter, Charlotte (right), and Principal of Queen’s College, Andrea Gibson (standing just behind Lady Holly).(BIS Photo/Peter Ramsay) Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more