Bennett expects big medal haul at CARIFTA

first_imgHead coach of Jamaica’s Carifta Games squad, Corey Bennett, is upbeat ahead of the team’s departure for the regional track and field meet today. “The athletes are coming off a high from the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Championships, and I am hoping that they will be highly motivated to continue with their excellent performances at the Carifta Games,” Bennett told The Gleaner yesterday. Bennett said it was tough to lose several top performers, but there are other capable athletes to replace them for the three-day meet which starts on Saturday in Willemstad, CuraÁao. “We are taking it event by event as we have 84 athletes, who I think will do very well, and once the weather is fine, I expect another big medal haul,” Bennett said. Jamaica won 86 medals at last year’s meet in Grenada. He added that he expects a lot from Christopher Taylor who was unbeaten at Boys’ Champs, Junelle Bromfield, who is now a part of the powerful UTech programme, hurdler Britany Anderson and young sprint stars Kevona Davis and Michael Stephens. Jamaica’s haul last year included 42 gold, 28 silver and 16 bronze medals. Bahamas were next on 34 medals – six gold, 15 silver and 13 bronze.last_img read more

Schoolboy stabbed by bicycle bandits

first_imgA 15-year-old student of Central High School was stabbed multiple times by two bandits as he was on his way home from after school lessons.Reports are on Tuesday, the teen was almost a corner away from his Green Heart Street, South Ruimveldt, Georgetown home when he was attacked by the duo.Guyana Times was told that the bandits, who appeared to be in their teens, approached him and one of them then pushed his hands into the school boy’s pocket and took away his cellphone.A fight then broke out among the three, after which the school boy was pushed to the ground and dealt several blows to his body.In a bid to block further injury, the teen attempted to bar the stabs with his arm, and the duo still managed to inflict five stab wounds on his right arm.This newspaper was told that persons in the area saw was transpiring and raised an alarm. This led to the two fleeing the scene.Speaking with this publication, the teen’s mother said after learning about the incident, she went to the scene and took her injured teen to the East La Penitence Police Station to file a report.While at the Police Station, the mother said a friend who saw the incident, decided to drive behind the alleged bandits and saw that they went into a house in the East La Penitence area.The mother then related this information to the Police, who encouraged her to take the child for a medical and return to the station. The Police have since launch an investigation into the matter. No arrest has been made yet.last_img read more

Finance Minister claims staffing for separate oil and gas unit a challenge

first_imgThe Government is unsure whether it will go ahead with setting up a separate oil and gas unit in the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) or not. It is sure about one thing, however, and that is staffing such a unit will be a challenge.Winston-JordanMaking this pronouncement was Finance Minister Winston Jordan on the sidelines of a reception at the Marriott Hotel on Monday for the arrival of ExxonMobil’s Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) vessel.According to Jordan, he has had discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the available options for the unit. However, Jordan noted that he is leaning towards scrapping the idea and building capacity within GRA’s current, albeit small, oil and gas unit.“The IMF is in the country right now to do technical assistance. I had a brief meeting with them and we discussed whether we want to set up the unit separately or whether we will build capacity in the existing unit that we have”.“I’m thinking that we’re going to build capacity, because it’s very difficult, not setting up the unit, but it’s very difficult staffing it. So I want to just build on the staff we have there already and use some funding form the World Bank loan to complement the staff we have there”.Jordan also noted that a few other qualified locals could be brought on board to add to the staffing complement of the unit. He pointed out that the unit would also be helped by the Ministry’s Economic Policy Unit.While there has been much advocacy for local content, a commonly cited obstacle has been the lack of tertiary-trained local oil and gas personnel. Guyana already has a troubling ratio of university-trained graduates to persons who have never attended university.These statistics are notwithstanding the percentage of those specialising in oil and gas. A survey released by the Bureau of Statistics last year had found that less than ten per cent of Guyana’s population had completed post-secondary education.However, there have been efforts to build capacity at the University of Guyana. Earlier this year, the University announced that it had launched its Associate of Science Degree in Petroleum Engineering which would be a two-year duration and have students engaged in workshop training and skill courses.It had been announced that the course was being offered in collaboration with Trinidad and Tobago, with some courses expected to be delivered in Trinidad. A UG team had visited the University of Trinidad and Tobago and the University of the West Indies, and an agreement was struck to develop various courses.Speaking during a forum titled “The Youth and the Oil and Gas Sector”, UG Registrar Nigel Gravesande had noted that while the Technical and Vocational Training Education (TVET) institutions have started to create an enabling environment for training, more had to be done to ensure “sustainable exploration, development and production of the nation’s petroleum assets”.Gravesande had explained that “Guyana found itself not only as a newcomer to the industry, but also relatively unprepared without the necessary skills to make a significant contribution to the production that was targeted to commence in 2020”.The University Registrar had underscored that “this situation gave rise to the demand for these requisite skills in this highly-specialised area of petroleum engineering to be developed locally, but also rapidly”.last_img read more

Kenya drops one place in latest FIFA ranking

first_imgHowever, with head coach Paul Put underlining a requirement of at least two friendly matches in March, Kenya will give a shot at going into double digit rankings, with the aim being to surpass the best ever placing of 68.Neighbors Uganda remain the best placed Eastern Africa country despite slumping down five places after their poor performance at the African Nations Championship and are now ranked 78th.Rwanda have moved up two places and are now placed 114th while Zdravko Logarusic’s Sudan who reached the CHAN 2018 semi finals have moved six places up and are now ranked 118th.Meanwhile, Tunisia remains the best ranked African country despite staying put at 23rd while Senegal has dropped three places down to 27th though remaining second in Africa. DR Congo has broken into the top three after a massive rise of four places to rank 39th.World Cup bound Egypt have dropped 13 places to rank 43rd, the highest African dip alongside Burkina Faso who have dropped all the way to 57th.The status quo in the top five worldwide remains the same with Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina and Belgium retaining the first five slots.0Shares0000(Visited 3 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Harambee Stars players line up before their CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup match against Libya in Machakos on December 5, 2017. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaNAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 15- Kenya’s national football team Harambee Stars has dropped one place to 106th in the latest FIFA rankings released on Thursday afternoon after a period of inactivity since their CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup win last December.Having failed to play in the African Nations Championship (CHAN) after being stripped of hosting rights and no FIFA friendly window available since the Senior Challenge Cup, the team has not had an opportunity to increase its points.last_img read more

Transfer latest: Real Sociedad confirm interest in Manchester United outcast

first_img Manchester United starlet Adnan Januzaj 1 Real Sociedad have confirmed their interest in signing Manchester United outcast Adnan Januzaj.The Belgian was deemed surplus to requirements by Jose Mourinho last season and shipped out on loan to Sunderland.The 22-year-old midfielder started 18 times for the north east club, who were eventually relegated from the Premier League.Now Januzaj looks set to leave Old Trafford again, although this time it seems that a permanent transfer is on the cards.Both Celtic and Roma have been linked with the former Borussia Dortmund loanee but now Real Sociedad are hoping to lure him to Spanish football.Sociedad president Jokin Aperribay told El Mundo Deportivo: “It’s true that we are interested him but we are not in talks with Manchester or with him.“We are waiting for the decision of Manchester United and then we will act. There are more teams interested in him and his signing won’t be easy.”last_img read more

Ulster Woman’s Association: Cup Final schedule

first_imgWomen’s/Girl’s Cup for 2016. Schedule for finals Girls under 14 cup finalKilmacrennan Celtic vs. GreencastleSaturday, 3rd September 2016. Kick off at 5:00pm.Women’s senior cup finalGreencastle vs. Lagan HarpsSunday, 4th September 2016. Kick off at 6:00pmGirls under 16 cup finalDonegal Town vs. GreencastleSunday, 11th September 2016. Kick off 5:00pm.  All games played at Aileach FC Ground at Lakeside, Inch Road, Burnfoot, Co. DonegalUlster Woman’s Association: Cup Final schedule was last modified: August 31st, 2016 by Elaine McCalligShare 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:Burnfootcup finalwomen’s girls cuplast_img read more

DONEGAL PROTESTERS FIRE FIRST SHOT ACROSS GOVERNMENT’S BOW

first_imgFed-up protesters fired the first shot across the bow of the Government as a number of angry protests were held across Donegal today.Hundreds of protesters made their voices heard in demonstrations in villages and towns including Letterkenny, Buncrana, Raphoe, Convoy, Gleneely and Castlefin.Organisers say they hope today’s protest is just a ‘toe in the water’ for one mass rally in the coming weeks against the latest austerity measures. The protest will included campaigners from Can’t Pay Won’t Pay, Donegal Action for Cancer Care, Forum for Change, the JML Diesel protest, the Abolish VRT Campaign, and Joe Murphy who has organised protests around the county recently.Ryan Stewart of the Abolish VRT Campaign said he was encouraged by the number of people who came out.“This is just the start and we plan to make our voices heard louder the next time.“There were more than 400 people in Raphoe and that is very encouraging. “We can’t allow this Government to get away with the cuts and the taxes they are forcing on people.“They are depending on people being apathetic and we simply can’t afford that.“We will sit down now and decide our next plan of action.“But the bottom lien is that people must show a willingness to stand up to these so-called austerity measures and let the Government known that we will not accept them,” he said.Ends DONEGAL PROTESTERS FIRE FIRST SHOT ACROSS GOVERNMENT’S BOW was last modified: January 8th, 2012 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:buncranaconvoyletterkennyprotestRaphoeRyan Stewartlast_img read more

How Hollywood star Chris couldn’t get enough of Donegal man’s red chair story!

first_imgThe Co Donegal man who left Graham Norton speechless has revealed how actor Chris O’Dowd begged him to tell him the rest of his hilarious red chair story!Sean McInerney hit the headlines when he appeared on Norton’s chat show.The Letterkenny man told the story of how a wedding groom revealed how eight of the male guests at his wedding had slept with his new bride while they were engaged. He then left the wedding and annulled his marriage.Now Sean has revealed how he has been inundated with calls and texts since his surprise appearance on the show.“It’s been mad. I didn’t tell anyone after it was filmed and then my phone went mental after the show aired.“I wasn’t even sure if it would be on the show, as they leave several out apparently. “It was funny though. After I walked off Chris O’Dowd went mad, he wanted to ask me more questions about it. But they edited that all out sadly,” revealed Sean.Sean said the wedding was bizarre but he graciously declined to give any clue as to the identification of the unfortunate couple.He added “In regards to the bride and groom it was crazy, it was in front of all their family and friends. Everyone was in shock and I felt mega awkward as I didn’t really know any of them. I was there as a guest with my ex. We all left pretty quickly after the reception.“It has been a pretty bizarre day so far, been gettin loads of FB messages, posts and texts. Great craic though.”How Hollywood star Chris couldn’t get enough of Donegal man’s red chair story! was last modified: October 15th, 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)last_img read more

Penza: Humboldt State football continues to deliver even with its future hanging in the balance

first_imgArcata >> When Rob Smith is talking about his football team, you simply press record and let him go.That was no different after Saturday night’s 42-32 win over Western Oregon at the Redwood Bowl that saw Humboldt State continue its quest for a Great Northwest Athletic Conference title.And it wasn’t simply for on-field reasons, either.“Can’t say enough about the Jacks,” Smith began. There was a slight pause, and then he got rolling again.“I’m very pleased to be 6-1 right now with …last_img

Mystery of the Left-Handed Proteins: Solved?

first_imgSome molecules come in left- and right-handed forms that are mirror images of each other.  All biological proteins are composed of only left-handed amino acids.  How this could have come about in a primordial soup has long been a puzzle to origin-of-life researchers, since both L (levo, left-handed) and D (dextro, right-handed) forms react indiscriminately.  (That biology is single-handed was first noted in the 1800s by Louis Pasteur.)  For those familiar with the problem (see online book for background information), a press release from Imperial College, London is sure to draw attention.  Its optimistic title proclaims, “How left-handed amino acids got ahead: a demonstration of the evolution of biological homochirality in the lab.”    It refers to a paper in the German journal Angewandte Chemie1 by Blackmond et al., who begin their paper with a review of research on this mystery.  (Terms are defined in brackets.)The origin of homochirality [one-handedness] has intrigued scientists ever since the biological importance of L-amino acids and D-sugars was first recognized.  Although a theoretical basis for the evolution of high optical activity [purity of one hand rotates polarized light, thus optical activity] from a minute initial imbalance of enantiomers [each hand is an enantiomer of the other hand] was suggested more than half a century ago, experimental proof of such a concept eluded scientists until a remarkable report by Soai and co-workers in 1995.  The Soai reaction offered the first, and to date the only, example of an asymmetric autocatalytic reaction employing a catalyst with a very low enantiomeric excess and ultimately yielding the catalyst with a very high enantiomeric excess catalyst as product.  While the Soai reaction serves as a mechanistic model for the evolution of homochirality, the dialkylzinc chemistry involved in the reaction is unlikely to have been of importance in an aqueous prebiotic environment.  Therefore speculation has continued concerning the types of transformations that might have been directly responsible for the development of high optical activity in biological systems.  The area of amino acid catalysis may hold significant clues to the evolution of prebiotic chemistry.The paper presents a three-scheme model describing how, given an initial excess of one hand over the other, the products from a second and a third reaction scheme might act as catalysts, producing more reactants for the first scheme.   Here is their model in a nutshell:We report herein a proline-mediated reaction exhibiting an accelerating reaction rate and an amplified, temporally increasing enantiomeric excess of the product.  Thus, catalysis with amino acids is implicated in an autoinductive, selectivity-enhancing process, providing the first general chemical strategy for the evolution of biological homochirality from a purely organic origin.This hypothetical self-perpetuating, autocatalytic system might generate an excess of one hand.  The resulting purified mixture, if sufficiently isolated, might then contain the ingredients for primitive proteins.    They used proline, the fourth-lightest amino acid, for these experiments.  A textbook describes it: “Proline, a cyclic secondary amino acid, has conformational constraints imposed by the cyclic nature of its pyrrolidine side group, which is unique among the ‘standard’ amino acids.”2    The authors seemed surprised and delighted that the desired reaction sped up.  It was what they sought: “a process whereby the catalyst is improving over time, as in autocatalytic or autoinductive reactions, in which the reaction product either is itself a catalyst or promotes the formation of a more effective catalyst.”  To them, the non-linear rate increase was the signature of an autocatalytic reaction that amplified the desired product: “Amplification of the enantiomeric excess of the product is a key feature of a chemical rationalization of the evolution of biological homochirality.”  Despite earlier researchers’ linear reaction rate curves, that suggested no autocatalytic reaction, they saw a higher than expected rate increase.  “Rate acceleration and continuous improvement of enantiomeric excess are requisite characteristics for chemical models of the evolution of homochirality from precursors of low optical activity,” they noted.    Some caveats were mentioned.  Cross-reactions of L- and D- reactants had to be prevented, and the environment had to be kept out of equilibrium, or it would have reverted to the mixed-handed (racemic) mixture: “However,” they speculate, “it is important to note that such erosion of enantiomeric excess is predicted only for a closed system such as that occurring in reaction vials in the laboratory.  In an open system, in which catalyst and product fluxes can exist across the system boundaries, the chemical propagation mechanism described in Scheme 1 would permit enantiomeric excess to continue to rise.  Kinetic amplification of enantiomeric excess as observed in the present studies could be sustained,” provided reaction rates between steps in the process are kept in favorable relation to one another, and enough free proline is available as input.  One other thing: since proline might condense with itself, it is unknown whether oligomers of proline would lead to “enhancement or suppression of the nonlinear effect.”  Other potentially damaging cross-reactions that might limit the effectiveness of the autocatalytic process are mentioned.    Though limited in scope, these experiments lead the authors to believe their work is relevant to a purely mechanistic model for the origin of homochirality:The experimental observation of an unexpectedly high, accelerating reaction rate and an amplified, temporally increasing enantiomeric excess of product in the proline-mediated aminoxylation of aldehydes is consistent with a mechanistic model for a selectivity-enhancing autoinductive process as given in Schemes 1-3.  This represents the first example of a purely organic reaction exhibiting characteristics that are key to a chemical rationalization of the evolution of biological homochirality.1Mathew, Iwamura, and Donna G. Blackmond, “Amplification of Enantiomeric Excess in a Proline-Mediated Reaction,” Angewandte Chemie International Edition Volume 43, Issue 25, Pages 3317-3321, Published Online: June 21, 2004.2Vogt and Vogt, Biochemistry 2nd ed., John Wiley & Sons (1995), p. 60.Since evolutionists tend to take an inch and boast a mile, we need to bring out the tape measure to keep speculation in check.  In short, under very controlled, hypothetical conditions, one unique amino acid seemed to undergo chemical amplification of one hand.  Does this explain the 100% purity of biological proteins?  You decide.Only one amino acid was tested, and a unique one at that—proline.They did not state the value of their best enantiomeric excess.It is unrealistic to minimize the damaging effects of cross reactions.  Nature would not exclude products that would destroy any “progress.”It is also unrealistic to depend on open systems.  All real systems, both open and closed, are subject to the laws of thermodynamics.  All real systems, in time, tend toward equilibrium.The reaction required specialized ingredients and conditions.  For a feeling of this, the following paragraph from their paper is included—not that you need to understand it, but just for a look at the special care they had to take with ingredients and lab conditions.  Ask yourself how much of these special conditions tailored to proline could be generalized to the set of all amino acids, including those with polar and hydrophilic side chains.The key to the effectiveness of this system lies in the fact that the reaction product 3 is multifunctional; it is both an aldehyde and an amine.  Scheme 2 suggests that proline 4 may attack the carbonyl group of the reaction product 3 to form the new catalyst 5.  This reaction is virtually irreversible on the reaction timescale, since product racemization was not observed.  This species 5 is a special amine bearing an alpha-oxygen atom with lone pairs of electrons.  The alpha effect describes the unexpectedly high activity of such a nitrogen nucleophile, thought to be due in part to stabilization of the transition state by the lone pair on the oxygen alpha to the nucleophilic atom.  Thus 5 may be a highly efficient competitor to proline for nucleophilic attack on propionaldehyde, forming a new enamine, 6.  This enamine may be competent to attack PhNO, forming a transition state such as 7 by interaction with the carboxylic acid proton as a Brønsted acid cocatalyst.  This leads to the formation of product 3 and regeneration of the improved catalyst 5.The authors make no attempt to describe a plausible environment in which such specialized conditions would exist on a prebiotic earth.Any relaxation of the special conditions, and the enantiomeric excess reverses to equilibrium.The hypothesis is glued together with wiggle words like might, could, may, perhaps, and clues.Proteins require 100% pure one-handed amino acids.  Close enough is not good enough; the enantiomeric excess has to be 100%.  The addition of one wrong-handed link in a protein can destroy its function.What about sugars?  Even if a mechanism were found to amplify one amino acid, the sugars in nucleic acids are 100% right-handed.  No plausible naturalistic mechanism for creating nucleotides has been found, let alone purifying them to all one hand.Natural selection cannot be invoked unless a system can replicate itself with high fidelity.Remember, chemicals have no desire to evolve.  They are subject to the laws of mass action, thermodynamics, valency, and all the vagaries of their environment.  In a naturalistic world, with no chemist to care, the chemicals are no “better off” in one state or another.  To merely assume chemicals evolved into a living organism is an argument a posteriori based on naturalistic presuppositions.  Without a plausible demonstration of the entire sequence, it is illogical to assume, “We’re here, therefore it happened” (without a designer).These are just a few of the problems with this story.  What’s more revealing in the paper than the bombast and hype are the damaging admissions.  They admit this has been a problem for over a hundred years, and that only a theoretical approach was suggested half a century ago.  Then, not until 1995 was there any experimental evidence for slight excess of one hand, but even then, the Soai reaction invoked unrealistic conditions for abiogenesis.  So now these authors claim theirs is the first experimental model to show any hope, subject to all the caveats listed above.  Are you impressed?    Origin of life by the inch is a cinch; by the yard it’s hard (especially to get a yard full of trees, eventually).  We should go the extra mile for someone out of mercy, but not yield the extra inch for illogical and unsupportable claims.  Unwarranted extrapolation is undeserving of mercy.  Chemical evolution must be prosecuted to the full extent of the natural law.(Visited 236 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more