Category: ouruvrkm

Jackson, Lakers still seek answers

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first_imgSuch was the back story to the second Kobe Bryant-LeBron James showdown of the season. The Lakers had to end their four-game losing streak in order to reach the unofficial halfway point of the season on any sort of a positive note. The Lakers came into Thursday with a 30-23 record after taking a .500 record into the All-Star break last season. They were 28-26 for comparison after 54 games; the Lakers would have to win either 20 or 19 of their last 28 games to reach 50 wins this season. After a series of disappointing games, Lamar Odom was an inspirational player at the start of the fourth quarter. He attacked for a three-point play, tied up Sasha Pavlovic on the defensive end and gunned a no-look pass to Andrew Bynum for a basket. Even when Bynum missed the free throw with a chance for a three-point play, Odom grabbed the offensive rebound, leading to a Bynum basket. Gone were the memories of Odom’s airball to end Tuesday’s loss to the New York Knicks. There still are 28 games left in the regular season, but the Lakers are settling into sixth in the Western Conference standings. They came into Thursday trailing fifth-place Houston by four games and leading seventh-place Denver by three games. That likely would bring a first-round playoff series against Utah or San Antonio and the Lakers would not have home-court advantage. They were the No. 7 seed last season and exited in the first round, but not until pushing Phoenix to a seventh game. Jackson conceded the Lakers have not played well in about three weeks, but said the primary concern was how they closed the regular season. The Lakers went 19-11 after the All-Star break last season and won their final five games before the playoffs. “The thing that’s important is about gaining momentum and going into the playoffs with momentum,” Jackson said. “Yes, you want the best record. You want matchups that work for you, whatever. “We don’t want to tank games to get better position, like perhaps the Clippers did last year. We don’t want to aim for anybody specifically. “But we do think that if you get momentum – we had it last year, we went in, we played a great playoff series – and that’s what we want to have when we finish up this season. Whatever the record is, that’s what it’s going to be.” The Lakers started the season with Bryant recovering from knee surgery and Jackson from a hip replacement. They took advantage a front-loaded schedule with 15 of their first 20 games at home and beat each of the Western Conference’s top five teams. But the Lakers lost Odom for 21 games with a knee injury, then watched center Kwame Brown suffer a severe ankle sprain on New Year’s Eve. The same game as Odom returned last month, Luke Walton went down with a sprained ankle of his own. The injuries and schedule caught up to the Lakers as they went 3-5 on an Eastern Conference road trip. They came into Thursday’s game having lost 10 of their previous 14 games and four in a row. ross.siler@dailynews.com (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! • Photo Gallery: 02/15: Lakers vs. Cavaliers LOS ANGELES – Maybe it’s not a surprise for the coach who reached 900 wins faster than anyone in NBA history, but Phil Jackson arrived at Staples Center for Thursday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers having had only two five-game losing streaks in all his years of coaching. center_img He now has three after Thursday’s 114-108 loss. The last thing Jackson wanted to do was spend the four-day All-Star break thinking about ways to correct the bearings of a Lakers team that had lost its course. Neither did his players, who were headed to Las Vegas, Cabo San Lucas and points in between. last_img read more

Defense won’t rest with Oilers

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first_imgIt doesn’t take long to analyze Montebello High School’s opponent, Foothill, for tonight’s 8:30 CIF-Southern Section Division I girls water polo championship game. The key word: defense.. Montebello lost to Foothill earlier this season, 6-3, but the score was tied, 3-3, with five minutes to play. “Then we gave them a couple of easy goals, and that was the difference,” Clements said. “But otherwise, I thought we outplayed them the whole game.” Montebello is led by Priscilla Orozco, who has been a four-year standout for the Oilers. Clements, asked what position she plays, merely said, “Wherever she wants to. We know she’ll be a key focus for their defense.” Along with Orozco, Clements also cited senior Kimberly Romero as the “center of the defense, and offensively, one of our better shooters.” But he quickly emphasized the Oilers’ approach is based on an offense that relies on everyone contributing almost equally. “I also expect a big game from Sarah Orozco (Priscilla’s sister),” Clements said. “She played her best game of the year in the semis (an 8-7 win over Corona del Mar Friday).” Foothill, 27-1, is the Sea View League champion and the division’s No. 1-seeded team. Montebello, 24-5, is the Almont League champion and the division’s No. 3 seed. roger.murray@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3046 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img Montebello coach Ken Clements describes the Knights’ defense as “very solid,” then offered as evidence this tidbit from their semifinal against Newport Harbor: “(Foothill) had 11 ejections, including the goalkeeper once, and Newport couldn’t score on any of them,” Clements said. “Foothill isn’t as fast as CdM (Corona del Mar), but what they lack in speed they make up for with size and a very physical game.” last_img read more

Match to be played in memory of tragic friends

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first_imgA memorial soccer match in memory of two of the young men killed in the Buncrana road tragedy will be held tomorrow night (Fri).Every year a memorial match is played at the Illies Development in remembrance for PJ McLaughlin And Eammon McDaid both star players for Illies Celtic.This year it will be held at 7:30 at the Illies Development. All are welcome.Match to be played in memory of tragic friends was last modified: November 10th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:buncranaEamoon McDaidPJ McLaughlinlast_img read more

PML Daily weekly sports round up

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first_img Tags: Sports round uptop On Monday-July 30, East African Breweries through their brand Pilsner Lager, come out and gave the FUFA Super 8 a major boost days before its official kick-off. The beverage company sponsored the maiden tournament with a package of 90 million and this was confirmed during the launch of the tournament at the breweries headquarters in Luzira.Still on Monday-July 30, Uganda Chess Federation (UCF) commemorated the International chess day with a Tournament held in Jinja. The one day event took place at the Source Gardens, ending with D Mark Chess Club being crowned as the overall winners after fending off stiff competition from Chess Warriors who finished second.On the same day, it was confirmed that Uganda’s Men and Women teams had qualified for the FIBA 3*3 Africa Cup slatted for November in Togo after finishing fourth and third respectively in the qualifiers held in Madagascar.Godfrey Cadribo, a young footballer who has been studying at Uganda Christian Christian University (UCU) in Mukono departed for the United States of America on Tuesday-July 31. Cadribo had also been a scorer in Park FC which features in the National Futsal League. The 20 year old landed a sport scholarship with North Carolina Wesleyan College where he will double his studies with football, playing for the College Men’s soccer team.Still on Tuesday-August 31, Mpindi Clan triumphed over Mmamba Kakoboza to take the first slot in the 2018 Bika Bya Baganda football grand finale. None of the teams scored in the return leg at Wankulukuku meaning that Mpindi qualified thanks to a1-0 aggregate score line having carried the opening leg played a week back at the same venue.On Wednesday-August 1, KCCA FC announced the signing of another player from 16 time record league champions SC Villa. Nicholas Kasozi who had been at Villa for two years completed a move to the reigning Uganda Cup champions on Monday evening. The move was confirmed by the Kasasiro Boys through a video posted on their twitter handle like it has become the norm at the Lugogo based side of late when announcing new arrivals. Kasozi joined former Villla captain Bernard Muwanga and midfielder Allan Kyambadde as the latest players to depart troubled Villa for eternal rivals, KCCA FC in the current transfer window.Still on Wednesday-August 1, former Vipers SC head coach Miguel Da Costa landed a new job with Botswana side Jwaneng Galaxy FC. The Portuguese who was fired just less than two months after guiding Vipers to a first league title in three years is believed to have signed a three year deal with the Botswana Premier League side. He was at Vipers for one and a half years, winning one major title and losing the 2018 Uganda Cup final to KCCA FC.The organizers of the NSSF KAVC international got another timely boost from an Agro Processing company based in Paliisa on Wdnesday-August, days before the start of the tournament. Chairman LOC, Peter Buyondo received the 3Million shillings from Mr Sadik Nasiwu, Director of the Rice Processing plant at the UOC offices in Lugogo.The Uganda Cranes on Wednesday morning lost 3-2 to KCCA in a buildup up game as they intensify preparation for the Cranes regional tour. Yassar Mugerwa and Joel Madondo were on the score sheet for the side on the day while new recruits Allan Kyambadde netted two and Sulaiman Mutyaba (1) for Mike Mutebi’s side. This was all part of efforts to intensify their preparations for the tour of Eastern Region in Bugiri this weekend.With just over a month to the start of the new Big League season, money bags Wakiso giants started their preseason training on Wednesday-August 1. Under the watchful eye and guidance of former SC Villa, Lweza and and Mbarara City FC tactician, Ibrahim Kirya, the team conducted its first training session at IUIU University in Kabojja. All the 22 squad players were present on day one of preparations with only Steven Bengo (thigh) and Swaibu Mude (illness) not taking part in the day’s drills.On Thursday-August 2, Charging Rhinos had to do it the hard way in order to earn a win over Our Saviour in one of the two FUBA National Basketball League (NBL) games played at the MTN Arena. The Rhinos required overtime with the scores tied at 74 all after normal time to win the game 88-84.Still on Thursday-August 2, Police FC become the latest team to opt out of the inaugural Pilsner FUFA Super 8 tournament. This came just days to the start of the tournament after draws were conducted on Monday morning and the Cops drawn against 16 time record league champions SC Villa. The Cops who were not initially slated to take part in the tournament were invited to replace reigning league champions Vipers SC who also withdrew sighting other off-season engagements.On Thursday-August 2, Timothy Toroitich won bronze in the 10,000m finals at the 21st Africa Senior Athletics Championships. Toroitich needed to fend off competition from Kenya’s Vincent Kipsang to finish third in a time of 29 minutes and 11.87 seconds.On Friday-August 3, the Uganda Cranes conducted their last training at the Startimes Stadium ahead of their Eastern tour slated for this weekend. Sebastien Desabre, the team coach was happy to see a number of players who tuned up and he was positive that the team will do well in the East. He added that players like Yassar Mugrewa, Moses Oloya and Murushid  Jjuuko are good players and their fitness levels are superb  and he’s optimistic that the boys will put on a good show.  The last Cranes tour match was against Kitara and the team could only manage a 2-2 draw with Allan Kyambadde and Dan Sserunkuma on the score sheet for Desabre’s side.Meanwhile, it was confirmed that Ivan Mangomu would not take part on Saturday as the Uganda Rugby Cranes faced Tunisia in the Africa Gold Cup 2018. After losing the first two games to Namibia (06-55) and Kenya (22-38), John Duncan’s charges must collect maximum points this time round to stand a chance of at least making the Repechage competition as automatic qualification to the 2019 Rugby World cup looks less likely. As part of preparations for the Tunisia game, Duncan summoned a team of 22 players that will feature on Saturday.The FUFA Competitions committee on Friday-August 3, released the FUFA Women Elite League groups for the upcoming season. Like in the past, the league will feature two groups, each consisting of eight teams. The two groups maintained their names; Victoria and Elizabeth.Still on Friday-August 3, the FUBA National Basketball League (NBL) would return in evening with two games in the Men’s division. Last year’s finalist KIU Titans and City Oilers would face off in the late kick off of the day with second spot high on the agenda. This would be the second meeting between the two sides after Oilers swept the Kansanga based side in the play-off finals on route to lifting a fifth consecutive crown early this year. The league leaders BetWay Power would also be in action against JKL Dolphins.Comments last_img read more

QPR v Blackpool player ratings

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first_imgSee also:Hoilett rescues point but QPR waste chanceBond realistic after QPR stutter againQPR 1-1 Blackpool: Highlights of Rangers’ draw with the TangerinesFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img

Cell Membrane Has Ticket-Operated Turnstiles

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first_imgCells are like castles surrounded by walls.  A wall without gates, however, would prevent commerce and trap the inhabitants inside.  The cell has ingenious gates that control the flow of goods and services through its outer membrane under tight surveillance and quality control.  This controlled flow, as opposed to passive diffusion or osmosis, is termed active transport.  Depending on the type of import or export required, the cell uses a variety of mechanisms.  It might wrap the cargo in clathrin proteins and send it through in a self-mending breach of the walls (endocytosis; 05/15/2005, 11/04/2005, bullet 7).  It might use one of the specialized authenticating channels through the membrane (e.g., aquaporins 04/18/2002 and ion channels, 05/29/2002).  It might export genetic material or proteins through one of the pumps, or secretion systems (10/11/2005, 11/10/2004).   Or, it might check cargo through one of the varieties of self-operating ticketed turnstiles.    A description of one of these gates excited awe in a commentary in PNAS.1  Robert M. Stroud summarized decades of work on a kind of lactose turnstile.  Key researchers published their latest results in the current issue of the journal.  They believe they have finally figured out how this molecule-sized machine works.  It is a protein, 417 amino acids long, folded into a kind of rocking door in the membrane.  For a lactose passenger to get through the membrane using this transporter, it has to pay the fare: a proton ticket must first be inserted into the active site.  Then, the lactose molecule gets in and fastens its seat belt, so to speak, for the short but wild ride.  The nanomachine undergoes a conformational change that seals off the outside and opens the door to the inside, where the passengers undock.  Then, the gate automatically repositions itself for the next load.  Called LacY, or lactose permease, this molecular machine operates with practically 100% efficiency: each proton ticket grants admittance to one and only one lactose passenger.    LacY is one of a whole family of gates called the “Major Facilitator Superfamily” (MFS).2  “The mechanism most probably pertains to the many other transporters of the MFS that are found throughout all domains of life,” Stroud says.  Another member of this family, for instance, is called GlpT.  This machine works with a reverse-ticketing process; a phosphate outside the cell is exchanged for a glycerol phosphate inside.    Stroud was palpably delighted with the elucidation of the mechanism of these intriguing nanomachines after so much research by so many scientists for so many years.  Here’s what he said about the LacY device:The MFS of transporters can be run in reverse, such that outward movement of lactose, driven by reverse concentration gradient, can generate an H+ gradient across the membrane; LacY can work in either direction toward a coupled equilibrium.  It is a beautiful example of energy transduction at the level of the membrane and is a near-perfect machine in the sense that the stoichiometry3 is always 1:1 without any leakage.Leakage would allow contraband through.  Experimental inventory shows all goods accounted for, before and after.  The protein undergoes “large global conformational changes to transport the cargo” that are reversible, providing “oscillation between structural states that become accessible alternately to one side or the other, which can therefore be coupled to other sources of energy.”    Understanding how these machines work could lead to treatments for diseases, such as cystic fibrosis and lactose malabsorption, caused by malfunction of the gates.  In addition, medical researchers may discover novel ways to co-opt the gates for special delivery of antibiotics and chemotherapeutic drugs.1Robert M. Stroud, “Transmembrane transporters: An open and closed case,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 10.1073/pnas.0610349104, published online before print January 24, 2007.2Another superfamily of transporters, the ATP Binding Cassette (ABC) family, is driven by ATP hydrolysis inside the cell.2Stoichiometry refers to the ratios of combining elements in a chemical reaction, from the Greek stoichea, “basic principles,” as used in Colossians 2:8.Wonderful, amazing, mind-boggling discoveries come from the investigation of design in nature.  Stroud said nothing about how these machines arose by evolution; indeed, he said these mechanisms are “found throughout all domains of life.”  Moreover, this particular 100%-efficient machine is made up of 417 amino acids.  Our online book calculates the probability for a 400-amino-acid protein arising by chance as one in 10161.  This unfathomably low probability rules out its formation by any lucky accident in trillions upon trillions of universes (ch. 7).    The LacY protein machine cannot tolerate much error, either.  One primary method the scientists use to learn about them is by replacing amino acids with the wrong ones, and watching how the machines break.    From the top of the giraffe to the lowly crocus, molecular machines transduce life within a physical medium.  This is no hocus, folkus.  This is intelligent design coming into focus – at the locus of mind and matter, at the intersection of faith and reason.  Let the NCSE run for cover, wailing, “Cloak us from the face of ID, for the facts emerging from biophysics provoke us to shame and despair.”  Rejoice, O science, as the lens of molecular biology leads to a refocus on intelligent design.(Visited 30 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

The Left’s Anti-Science Agenda on Sex

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first_imgOne would think re-affirming women would gain a leader praise. In this instance, the leader is vilified.Captain ObviousOne of the most obvious things about people is that they come in two forms: male and female. Because of successful propaganda from the LGBT movement, though, leftist politicians dare not say that. They want to be known as tolerant and inclusive of so-called protected classes. LGBT activists are making great strides in shoving their way into recognized class identities worthy of “civil rights.” Recently, all Democrats in the House of Representatives voted for a badly-named “Equality Act” which would actually punish anyone who refuses to recognize transgenders as a protected class falling under the protection of the Civil Rights Act (CNS News). That law, first enacted to prevent discrimination against blacks, has become a highly-desirable big tent under which additional groups want cover. Anyone successfully gaining recognition under that law can sue persons or groups who “discriminate” against them. The effect is that people with sincere religious or scientific beliefs that will not kowtow to the protected class can be severely punished financially or even imprisoned – a fate already occurring in some states and Canada, and in other countries caving in to the LGBT activists. No matter how much the person or institution tries to accommodate the aggrieved person, their rights must bend to the complainant’s new “rights” under anti-discrimination statutes. Often the complainant’s rights lead to serious erosion of the rights of other protected classes. What then? Whose rights are allowed to prevail?Dark Clouds on the HorizonIn Anchorage, Alaska, a man tried to enter a homeless shelter for women right before closing time. Family Research Council described how the staff at the shelter tried to refer him to a more suitable place for him. He came back claiming he was really a transgender “woman” even though he was clearly a biological male. Now, the shelter is facing powerful opposition from LGBT lawyers, including a court-ordered injunction compelling the Hope Center to let him in. The court even prohibits litigants from talking about the case! They are not allowed even to publish the policy so that the public can know what is going on. The women, however, are horrified at the prospect of having a biological man sleeping in their quarters, where the beds are just three to five feet apart. One woman said she would rather sleep in the woods, even in the harsh Alaskan winter, than have to sleep next to a biological man. LGBT activists care nothing about women having to endure “transgender women” (biological men) entering their most private safe spaces, including restrooms, dressing rooms and showers. A “transgender woman” need not have taken hormones or undergone sex-change operations in order gain access. He need not have any scientific support for his claim. He can look entirely masculine, but just use the magic words that he “identifies” as a woman that day. The potential for abuse is clear.The progressive Left keeps pushing these agendas against popular opinion by using a smorgasbord of propaganda tactics (see our Baloney Detector). Scientifically, cases of gender dysphoria do exist, and are well known, but they represent a tiny fraction of the human population. Those with “ambiguous genitalia” or chromosome abnormalities have the strongest case for assistance and accommodation, yet they represent less than 0.1% of newborns. Many achieve happy lives by siding with one sex or the other. Children psychologically suffering from “gender dysphoria” usually grow out of it by their teenage or young adult years. Even adults can change their minds, as in the case of Jamie Shupe. He was the first to classify himself as “Non-binary” but later changed his mind (The Daily Signal). Now, as a contented man, he is sorry for what he did, calling it a sham, even though the Leftist media celebrated his “brave” declaration at first.The point is: if only a tiny fraction (about 0.06%) have to deal with sexual ambiguity, why must the >99.9% suffer with punitive loss of their rights, when accommodations are available? For instance, more businesses are offering one-person bathrooms for use by parents with infants and transgenders. Why, then, must all men’s bathrooms and women’s bathrooms be modified as well, and why must transgenders be allowed to offend men and frighten women by going into the bathroom of the opposite biological sex? Society accommodates the needs of the handicapped with placards and privileged parking spaces, but businesses don’t have to modify every parking space in the process. This is not good enough for the hard-core LGBT activists. Transgender “women” must be allowed to shower and sleep with women, or else be prepared to face punitive damages. Everyone must learn 70 new gender pronouns and when to use the appropriate one, or face loss of their jobs. It was not good enough for one teacher to use a transgender student’s preferred name when addressing her. Because he refused to refer to the biological girl with the masculine pronouns “he” or “him,” he was fired. As with the label “gay” all history books and fiction that used the word suffer confusion. Undoubtedly, LGBT revisionists will scorn any historical book that fails to conform to the new terminology.A Backlash Coming?The LGBT activists may have gone too far. Recently, after a biological man walked away with all the prizes in women’s weighlifting, the female contestants complained that they couldn’t be expected to compete against a man’s body, with its extra muscle mass and testosterone. The school subsequently rescinded his prizes (Breitbart News), but such unfair competitions have also occurred in track and field. So far, most schools and colleges recognize different competitions for men and women, and the Olympic committee has not done away with the distinction – yet. Some women, even liberal and left-leaning women, are vocal in their opposition to this obvious unfairness. As Everett Piper, President of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, has argued, feminists should be outraged at the LGBT program, because it amounts to the denial of the existence of women. What is a women’s college if men can join? What is women’s sports if men can compete in their events? Women are real, he says: that is the foundation for feminism. For his outspoken position in support of female realism, Piper has been subjected to bitter denunciations by the Left.Earlier this year, President Trump started reversing policies instigated by former President Barack Obama who, by executive order, opened the floodgates for transgenders to enter the military. Defense leaders had tried to oppose this move, knowing that it would put team cohesion and morale at risk. Obama’s use of the armed forces for a controversial social experiment, furthermore, had nothing to do with the military’s purpose, which is to fight and win the nation’s wars. Risking the hatred of LGBT activists and their Leftist defenders in the mainstream media, Trump made his decision anyway in a decision upheld by the courts (Reuters). This week, the Trump administration also reversed Obama’s policy of requiring health care centers to acknowledge “transgenders” as a protected class (Chicago Tribune).In addition, the Civil Rights arm of the Department of HHS (Health and Human Services) is trying to return to the “plain use of the word sex” in line with what lawmakers originally intended, reports Family Research Council.Also this week, HUD Secretary Ben Carson reversed Obama policies that required housing services to accept transgenders into housing for the opposite sex (Breitbart News). It would have forced shelters like the Hope Center to take in that biologically-male “transgender woman.” Already Carson is taking intense heat from media flamethrowers denouncing the move – even though the new policy is just a return to the old policy as it was a couple of years ago. Progressives tend to think that new is better. But is it? The arc of history is just as often downward as upward—perhaps more so, because wisdom takes more effort than folly. Sometimes wisdom demands reversing direction to avoid driving over a cliff.Who Is Anti-Science?As stated earlier, biological sex is one of the most obvious things about an individual, and it has been ever since Adam and Eve. There have always been small minorities of homosexuals, tomboy girls and effeminate men, but no confusion over the biological sex of even those individuals. (Even now, some journals use the convoluted term “men who have sex with men [MSM]” instead of homosexual [example], but what does that phrase mean if “men” is not a real category?) In the kaleidoscopic leftist vision of gender, you are whatever you declare you are, even if it changes day by day. The confusion that will come – and the suffering of the majority that will inevitably follow – can only be stopped if pro-science people, true feminists and logical-thinking voters have the courage to slam this Pandora’s Box shut in time.It’s Memorial Day weekend in America. Did our American heroes pay the ultimate sacrifice for this? Some of them would be turning over in their graves if they knew what is going on now in their beloved country. Every Democrat in Congress is pushing the LGBT program, while condemning the Trump administration for its common-sense, pro-science steps to recognize the reality of biological sex. Here’s a question: why don’t scientists talk about transgender bears, transgender kangaroos, or transgender fruit flies? Biological sex is always clearly recognized in zoology, yet even the scientific journals are falling in line with the LGBT bandwagon, condemning Trump at every turn, and vowing to fight “discrimination” – a formerly useful word that has been co-opted by the Left to challenge anything they don’t like. Where’s the science in that?Leftists have gone stark-raving crazy in their agendas. California is pushing kinky sex in kindergarden classrooms, and inviting “drag queens” to read stories to them! The schools do not allow parents to know what is going on. Parents are neither notified nor allowed to opt out. Meanwhile, a statue of Kate Smith, the beloved singer of “God Bless America,” has been taken down. George Washington, the father of our country, has been deemed too offensive to grade school kids! What has happened to America? Leftists are destroying our country and erasing its history. They want a Revolution (think October 1917).Even under a conservative administration, the only thing standing in the way of the LGBT juggernaut in many states is the work of groups like the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Liberty Counsel, the Thomas More Law Center and similar organizations who specialize in the legal defense of of our religious freedom and constitutional rights. We must support them financially, because they and their clients face intense opposition from the ACLU and other well-funded leftist groups who use the intimidation of lawsuits to crush the liberties of the meek who are only trying to live according to their consciences. Leftists are totalitarians. They don’t believe in freedom of speech, religious liberty, freedom of association and freedom of conscience guaranteed by the First Amendment. They use pressure and propaganda to force acceptance, or they will punish them! I have seen the hatred and intolerance of leftists on social media. Believe me, it is scary. The heads-on-fire wrath of these people, laden with profanities and lies, cannot be stopped by appeals to science, logic, or facts. These mindless robots of the Left could easily become the brownshirts that willingly fulfill the orders of the next dictator. They will have zero mercy for Christians or conservatives. In fact, they will congratulate one another on their ferocity, claiming that their enemies deserve even worse.From a wider perspective, we must recognize this as spiritual warfare. Political solutions are only short-term. If Trump succeeds in his efforts to return the country to biological normalcy, there is no doubt that the next Leftist administration will quickly reverse all his policies. It’s important to vote, and make your voices heard; never give up on that. But unless these lost people hear the gospel and become born again, they will march on to fulfill Paul’s warning in II Timothy 3:1-5:But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.Right before this, he had said in II Timothy 2:254-26:And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil,  correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.In the image of God He made them; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27 (Credit: AiG Creation Museum)Alexandr Solzhenitzen, looking back over the decades of suffering his countrymen endured under totalitarian communism, had a simple explanation: they had forgotten God. It’s time for America to return to our motto, “In God We Trust.” For a country whose young are never even hearing God’s word, we need to go back to the beginning, and acknowledge that we have a Creator. The one who invented human beings decides the meaning of sex. He said, “And God made man in His own image; in the image of God He made him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27). Those are the only two categories. (Visited 522 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Steinhoff bids for European retail chain

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first_img12 December 2010JSE-listed diversified group Steinhoff International is in exclusive talks with French luxury goods and retail company PPR to acquire the entire issued share capital of Conforama, a leading European retailer of furniture and household goods, for €1.2-billion in cash.In order to procure the exclusive negotiations with PPR, Steinhoff has secured the support of holders of 53% of its ordinary shares for this transaction.“Should this transaction be concluded, it will allow us to reinforce our position as one of Europe’s leading integrated furniture and household goods companies by giving us access to key markets such as France, one of Europe’s largest household goods markets, and other territories where Conforama operates,” Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste said in a statement this week.“Steinhoff will also continue to support and honour its strategic relationships with retail partners and customers in its traditional territories where it has operated for more than 40 years. Furthermore we will support Conforama in the implementation of its exciting growth plans for the future.”Strategic opportunity, complementary marketsConforama is a leading retailer of furniture and household goods, with over 13 000 employees and reported sales of some €3-billion for the 12 months to June 2010.It operates from a network of 241 stores, of which 190 stores are located in France, making it France’s second-largest furniture and household goods retailer. In addition, Conforama operates 51 stores in 6 other European countries. Its real estate assets include 98 owned retail sites, 14 warehouses and 6 administrative buildings.“This planned cession to a global furniture sector player is a major strategic opportunity for Conforama,” said PPR chairman and chief executive Francois-Henri Pinault. “Steinhoff International has an intimate understanding of Conforama’s business and the two companies operate in complementary markets.“The expertise and experience of these two players would provide Conforama with the means to successfully continue to mine the potential of its markets.”Accelerating developmentThe proposed transaction should be concluded in the coming weeks, following consultation with personnel representative bodies, as required under French law, and will be submitted for the approval of the relevant competition authorities.Subject to the successful conclusion of the negotiations, Conforama will refund PPR’s working capital facility and, in this regard, Steinhoff has secured a new working capital facility for Conforama.“I would be particularly proud and eager to see Conforama join the Steinhoff group,” said Conforama chairman and CEO Theirry Guibert. “With Conforama being part of an industry player like Steinhoff, we will be able to pursue the strategic goals of the company, accelerate its development and establish itself as a leader in products for the home.”SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

There are plenty of questions as the farm bill debate kicks off

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first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Though it seems like the last farm bill has just been finally implemented, discussions are already ramping up for the next farm bill in Washington, D.C. With a new Administration, a challenging farm economy and the ever-shifting whims of public perceptions about agriculture, there is plenty of uncertainty about the outcome.“There is a lot of conversation about where this Administration is going to spend the money. We are going to have a lot of push from conservative groups who typically align with rural Americans for cuts in the farm bill. It is a continual effort on our part to help farmers understand who is working for them and who is working against them. This will be critical to continue to talk about in the ag community,” said Adam Ward, executive director of the Ohio Soybean Association. “I think we will see more support from conservation compliance going forward, but I think a big part of the conversation is that conservation is helping us grow better crops and develop long-term opportunities for farmers beyond this generation. I think that will be part of the fight and I see the conservation title being stronger.”While there is endless potential for speculation, there are some likely scenarios.“We have to really understand collectively as the commodities that we have to be on the same page this time in the farm bill. We can’t have fractured commodities going after their own pieces and parts. There is a lot of concern about Title I going forward. Will Title I programs even exist anymore? That is why we are talking to farmers about what works and what we are going to fight to protect,” Ward said. “We will see the same debate we saw last time between the House and the Senate with the Senate seemingly more for the Midwest and the House more for the South. Those factors played a huge role in the debate last time and also made agriculture look fractured. The goal is to not look fractured in this debate.”In the spirit of a unified agriculture, Ward said the American Soybean Association could play an important role.“Soybeans are unique from the standpoint of the geographic range they cover. Soybeans get beyond the Corn Belt and dig deeper into the south than corn,” he said. “We have some geographical diversity amongst our soybean leaders at the national level and ASA can be a leader in pulling everyone together to get a farm bill that works for all interests. It will be up to the farmer leadership working with their respective commodities to get a good safety net for all farmers.”Ward also expects to see other things in smaller farm bill titles that are of increased interest including access to rural broadband and access to some of the different trade programs. Trade was one of the most common discussion topics brought up by Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA) members in a recently held series of Farm Bill Listening Sessions.“We set up six listening sessions across Ohio and invited members of the OCWGA. We administered a 34-question electronic survey with multiple-choice questions on farm bill related topics. It covered Title I commodity safety net programs, Title II conservation programs and general overall questions. Those were asked at all six sessions so we could see the trends around the state. That took around 25 minutes or so at each session, and then we were able to have a discussion about differences of opinions that showed up in the real-time results. There were some minor differences but nothing really too divergent across the state and no real surprises. One of the things that was interesting, though, was related to one issue that has been top of mind — international trade as it relates to farm commodities,” said John Torres, director of government and industry affairs for OCWGA. “One of the things we really wanted to find out was whether or not trade was a top-of-mind issue for our members. Most came back to say that they may not think about trade every minute of the day, but when they have time to sit down and think about the implications of the market on their farm’s income potential, trade was something they were thinking about. With what the Trump Administration is doing in regard to trade, it is top of mind. I think it is going to guide the OCWGA board of directors to strategize in a way that puts trade at the forefront of what we’re asking Congress to focus on.”Trade is not necessarily a major component of the farm bill, but there are some important provisions included.“When a farmer goes in to the Farm Service Agency office they are not signing up for a trade program, but there are two small provisions within the farm bill that involve trade. One is Foreign Market Development and another is Market Access Program. Those are small funded programs within USDA that help enable organizations like the U.S. Grains Council and U.S. Wheat Associates in conjunction with checkoff dollars and other private investments to organize trade missions around the world to nurture relationships with potential buyers,” Torres said. “Those are programs that have long-run benefits as we start seeing open market opportunities around the world. That is something farmers want to learn more about to see how we can leverage those dollars for developing new markets.”Of course, along with these smaller programs, the larger pieces of the farm bill were also covered extensively in the OCWGA listening sessions.“We will probably see more discussion about whether we need to tighten our belts a little more in response to what Congress and the public has asked for in terms of fiscal conservatism. In the last couple of farm bills, U.S. farmers have done their part to tighten their belts. We are reaching the point, though, in which there is not a lot of tightening left to be had. If we are being asked to give up more, where should we reallocate resources moving forward? One thing that came out of the listening sessions very clearly was that the No. 1 program that has helped Ohio grain farmers from previous farm bills is the subsidies to crop insurance premiums. That is where they find the most benefits. Yes, they participate in Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC-County or ARC-Individual) but really rely on that crop insurance program as the biggest risk management tool,” Torres said. “We will have to have discussions about what will be politically palatable with Title I programs. We have seen cuts already to the crop insurance program and we’ll have to see where the discussion goes with ARC and Price Loss Coverage (PLC). All of those programs benefit various regions and crops differently. Do we maintain that diverse portfolio or do we narrowly focus on just a few things moving forward?“Everyone seemed very satisfied with the ARC-County or ARC-Individual Program. Some wheat growers participated in PLC. Almost everyone had a great understanding of those Title I programs at the listening sessions.”There were several potential concerns brought up in the listening sessions as well.“One concern was that the ARC-County Program calculates payments based heavily on the National Agricultural Statistics Service surveys through USDA. Those are reliant on farmers returning those surveys and some farmers are reluctant to do that. How reliable then are those calculations and are the NASS surveys a reliable source of data? Farmers would like to see the Risk Management Agency crop insurance data that has to be submitted through the crop insurance program used to calculate payments for ARC-County,” Torres said. “The question of base acres has been coming up too. Should we continue to use historic base acres in calculating those payments or should farmers be able to resubmit actual planted acres on an annual basis? There are questions of whether or not doing so is World Trade Organization compliant between amber box and green box restrictions, which we test our domestic farm programs through based on internationally agreed upon standards. How would that be administered moving forward?“We did hear that one reason for using historical base acres is that if you allowed farmers to enroll planted acres on an annual basis, farmers may look to the government for signals that may indicate which crops may be more profitable to plant than others year-to-year thus creating government induced distortions in the market. It could give the appearance to the world that maybe the U.S. is incentivizing one commodity over another from year-to-year instead of allowing the natural market conditions to guide what farmers choose or don’t choose to plant. When you use historical base acre numbers it removes the appearance that the government is artificially incentivizing farmers to plant or not plant certain crops.”The long-running debate about pairing nutrition assistance programs with the farm programs in the farm bill will also be a part of the 2017 discussion.“Eighty percent of the 2014 Farm Bill funding was designated to food assistance programs. Do we continue to keep those together for political reasons to get the bill passed or do we separate those out?” Torres said. “Farmers are kind of self conscious of the perception that the public might have thinking that all of this federal funding is going to them. The public often does not understand that most of the farm bill goes to nutrition programs. Farmers feel like their reputation is taking a hit in the public arena because of these misconceptions about what the farm bill does and doesn’t do.”All of these factors will certainly be part of a very uncertain debate moving forward.“Sonny Perdue, President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Agriculture, has been pretty quiet on this so far and the Trump Administration has not said much. We have heard some speculation that President Trump will be very conservative with agriculture, but we don’t really know exactly what that means. We’ll have to wait and see how things shake out at USDA and the discussions surrounding the farm bill,” Torres said. “Whatever association, farmers need to find opportunities to communicate to their representatives and their organizations to share those real life stories about what is working in the current farm bill and what isn’t working. We don’t want Congress writing the next farm bill without any farmer input about what needs to be changed. That is why we held these listening sessions, so we can pass this information on to Congress as the discussion ramps up.”And make no mistake, the discussion has already started.“Chairman Roberts of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry actually convened a joint meeting of the House and Senate Ag Committees on Jan. 23 to start the farm bill discussions. We thought we’d see the first hearings in Congress start in February and it looks like that is on track. These discussions will be fact-finding hearings. They want those personal stories about how farmers have been interacting with the programs. How are people utilizing these programs? How are they working?” Torres said. “Some people are speculating that if Congress feels like it has enough information by the end of the summer they may start drafting a farm bill as early as this fall and not even wait until next year to start. We could see this progress fairly quickly.”last_img read more

Will the growing season last through September?

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first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Jim Noel, NOAAThere is good news as it appears we will not have an early freeze in Ohio in September.Below normal temperatures will be with us to end August and possibly into the first half of September per the NOAA/Climate Prediction Center Week 2 early September temperatures.Rainfall will likely be normal or above normal in August, but the trend will be normal to below normal to start September.You can keep up with the two week freeze risk at:https://www.weather.gc.ca/ensemble/naefs/produits_e.htmlYou need to select the minimum temperature for 0C and push your end date 16 days into the future.Looking further ahead, models continue to support a switch to wetter weather in harvest season. It is not clear whether that occurs in October or November, but like last year the timing could challenge later harvested crops. Since crops went in late, harvest season could become a challenge. We will update this as we get closer. Check here: https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/long_range/lead01/off01_prcp.gifhttps://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/short_range/NAEFS/Outlook_D264.00.php.Even though we will favor below normal temperatures into the first half of September we will see bursts of warm weather too.The September outlook calls for below normal temperatures first half switching to above normal second half of the month. This will help support no early freeze. Rainfall will switch from below normal first half of September to above normal second half.The probability of a freeze through September 10 from the North American Ensemble Model is 0%.last_img read more