Liberia Removed from US Defense Department ‘Imminent Danger Area’

first_imgLiberia has been de-listed from the United States Government’s Defense Department’s imminent danger area. This means that Liberia’s territorial limit no longer poses any threat or threat coming from Liberia toward any US military service personnel “has been significantly reduced.”In a release, the Defense Department said: “Today, the Defense Department announced the recertification of some locations as imminent danger pay areas while discontinuing that designation for others. A periodic review and recertification was conducted for Imminent Danger Pay (IDP) purposes and was made in coordination with the joint staff, combatant commands and military services.  The combatant commands conducted in-depth threat assessments for countries within their areas of responsibility. Following the Defense Department’s review, it was determined that the imminent threat of physical harm to U.S. military personnel due to civil insurrection, civil war, terrorism, or wartime conditions  has been significantly reduced in many countries.  As a result, IDP will be discontinued in those areas. IDP is authorized in areas designated by the Defense Department.  Periodic recertification of IDP ensures that imminent danger designations match the actual conditions of designated countries so that the department can provide fair entitlements and benefits.  The last recertification was completed in 2007.The following locations will no longer be designated as imminent danger areas for IDP purposes, effective June 1, 2014:• The nine land areas of East Timor, Haiti, Liberia, Oman, Rwanda, Tajikistan, United Arab Emirates, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. • The six land areas and airspace above Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, and Montenegro. • The four water areas of the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, and the Red Sea.• The water area and air space above the Persian Gulf.IDP will remain in effect for Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Jordan, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, and Egypt within the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Bong Wins Spelling Bee Competition

first_imgA Spelling Bee competition hosted by the Ministry of Education has ended with Bong County emerging as the 1st place winner of this year’s competition.Bong County’s David Howard, Jr. was followed by Vera Lah from Nimba & Courage G. Noring from River Gee in second and third places, respectively.Student Howard is an 8th grader from Bong Mines Central High School, while second place winner, Ms. Lah, is a 7th grader of ArcelorMittal High School in Nimba County. Third place winner Courage G. Noring is an 8th grader of Kaytoken Elementary & Junior High School in River Gee County.The Ministry of Education held the Spelling Bee competition in collaboration with partners, including the Lone Star Cell MTN.Forty-two students participated in this year’s Spelling Bee finals, held at the Monrovia City Hall.First-place winner David Howard Jr., walked away with US$1,500, while the second and third winners cashed in on US$1000 and US$500, respectively.In Education Minister Edmonia Tarpeh’s speech, she said the competition was intended to showcase the spectacular display of scholars and talented students and the best performing students in grades 4 to 8.According to Minister Tarpeh, reading and spelling have been a serious challenge in Liberian schools, and the Spelling Bee competition was one of the ways of motivating the young people to seek academic excellence and focus on preparing themselves for academic activities.“This means reading and spelling should not just be an annual event, rather they must be an activities in the academic life of our students; and we want to encourage teachers, parents, education officers and all partners in the sector to be fully involved,” she said.This year’s competition, which was the 7th annual event of its kind to be organized and hosted by the Ministry of Education, was themed, “Promoting Reading and Spelling in Liberia.”The Minister further reassured participants of her Ministry’s commitment to promoting reading and spelling in Liberian schools in order to foster academic excellence. Tarpeh added that she was overwhelmed by the many parents and students, who showed interest in the competition, throughout the country.She disclosed that ‘avenues’ were being explored in order for future winner to be able to participate in future international Spelling Bee competitions in other countries.“Participating in international Spelling Bee competitions will not only heighten their profile and network, but primarily broaden their academic horizons,” the Education Minister explained.The Country Director of Right to Play, Madam Josephine Kora-Thama, another collaborating partner of the contest, gave each of the 42 participants footballs and said the three winners are Ambassadors of Sports in their respective counties.Madam Kora-Thama expressed appreciation to the MOE for motivating students in their academic activities. She used the occasion to call on parents and teachers to encourage and allow the children to have time to play.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

American Doctor Contracted Ebola in Liberia

first_imgAn American doctor treating Ebola-infected patients in Liberia has contracted the deadly virus, the organization for which he works said Saturday.Thirty-three year old Dr. Kent Brantly has a private practice in Fort Worth in Texas, and had been working as the medical director for the Ebola Consolidated Case Management Center of Samaritan’s Purse in the capital of Liberia, Monrovia, since October 2013.The Samaritan’s Purse said Brantly has been receiving treatment at the organization’s isolation center at the Eternal Love Winning Africa (ELWA) Hospital after he was diagnosed positive for the virus.Melissa Strickland, spokeswoman of Samaritan’s Purse, said Brantly’s wife and two children had been living with the doctor in Liberia, but currently they are in the U.S.Few days ago, a doctor in Sierra Leone, who is also leading the fight against Ebola, also catches the disease.The latest incidents of Ebola infection have increased fears that the virus might spread in other most densely populated cities in the region. Nigeria which is the largest city in Africa with 21 million residents, recorded its first case after a Liberian man died last week in Lagos, Nigeria.The Ebola outbreak has so far killed more than 600 patients in four West African countries this year.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Companion says she was forced into job transfer

first_imgRiza was moved to a high-paying job at the State Department in September 2005. “I have now been victimized for agreeing to an arrangement that I have objected to and that I did not believe from the outset was in my best interest,” she said. Her comments were made in a memo to an ad hoc committee of the World Bank looking into the circumstances surrounding her transfer. Wolfowitz has said he made a mistake and has apologized for his role in Riza’s promotion. The Bush administration expressed fresh support for Wolfowitz on Friday. Treasury Secretary Harry Paulson said the World Bank has a process in place to review the Wolfowitz matter, which he said should be allowed to proceed. “This should not be called into question or be read as any lessening of support for Paul.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – The woman at the heart of the controversy that has embroiled World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz says she is a victim and was forced into a job transfer because of their relationship. Shaha Riza’s comments are included in new documents released by the World Bank on Friday that also show Wolfowitz had a direct hand in arranging her promotion and generous pay package. Wolfowitz is fighting to retain his job. Riza said that at no time did she report directly to Wolfowitz and that he had proposed to recuse himself from any decisions involving her to avoid a potential conflict of interest. She said the ethics committee of the World Bank’s board had required her “to go on external assignment contrary to my wishes.” last_img read more

‘He’s better injured than Fellaini is fit!’ Man Utd fans on major injury news

first_img1 Bastian Schweinsteiger has returned to the recovery room.Reports have claimed the Germany international has suffered a partial tear of the medial collateral ligament in his right knee while on duty for his country.The midfielder had only just recovered from a knee injury having been out of action since mid-January before returning in the 2-0 Europa League defeat to Liverpool on 10 March.With the Red Devils closing in on the top four, the loss of Schweinsteiger will be a major blow to Louis van Gaal.And fans are concerned by his absence… Bastian Schweinsteiger could be sidelined for the remainder of the season and is in danger of missing out on the 2016 European Championship finals last_img read more


first_imgIreland North & West MEP Marian Harkin today welcomed the agreement reached by EU leaders in Brussels which could well see banking debt taken off the shoulders of Irish citizens with consequent benefits for our economy.She said: “This agreement proposes that the ESM could be used to directly re-capitalise eurozone banks. This is a significant change in policy which I and others have called for over the last number of years.“This is a real step forward and we can finally see a way to break the link between Irish sovereign and banking debt which has crippled this country economically. This new deal could bring down borrowing costs for Ireland and potentially reduce the short term burden on the Irish taxpayer but most importantly, will not include any new economic reforms.” The MEP added: “I hope this deal will help to bring some form of stability back to Ireland, make our path back to the financial markets easier and crucially, can go some way to ensure we avoid a second bailout. This is not a get out of jail card and the debt still remains but however this agreement may give us some breathing space, an opportunity to get back into the markets and help to restore confidence in the Irish economy.” HARKIN WELCOMES BANKING DEAL was last modified: June 29th, 2012 by BrendaShare 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:HARKIN WELCOMES BANKING DEALlast_img read more

Can the Warriors avoid another playoff letdown vs. Clippers?

first_img“You’re up … Klay Thompson subscribes. You can too for just 11 cents a day for 11 months + receive a free Warriors Championship book. Sign me up!LOS ANGELES — A big lead usually calls for a team to feel relieved.Its star players usually ice their legs. Its bench warmers usually receive mop-up duty. The fretting over the playbook and officials usually stop.During a timeout, though, one of Steve Kerr’s assistants told the Warriors coach why he may not want to feel at ease just yet.last_img read more

Unique Mammal Senses

first_imgThe ability to sense the environment is vital to all living things, and is a key characteristic that separates life from non-life.  The senses are not limited to the five we learn as children – sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell.  In the animal kingdom there are more.  Some of them repurpose existing organs; some detect other information from the world not detectable with the normal sense organs.  In mammals, two very different animals – bats and dolphins – have expanded our understanding of sensation. Two papers in Science this week added to our understanding of echolocation in bats.  One paper explored how bats are able to separate target information from background clutter.  Bates, Simmons and Zorikov, writing in Science,1 experimented with “big brown bats” and found that they “exploit harmonics to distinguish clutter echoes from target echoes, sacrificing delay acuity to suppress masking.”  That ability would be amazing enough for a stationary target, but bats do this while flying rapidly through complex aural surroundings.  One would think from the researchers’ description that they are sophisticated audio engineers: “The key to how the bat recognizes weaker FM2 from lowpass filtering is an interaction between the amplitude of an echo and the timing, or latency, of the neural responses it evokes—an effect called amplitude-latency trading.” In the other paper in Science,2 Simon, Holderied, Koch and von Helversen discovered a neat cooperation between a nectar-eating bat and its host plant.  Targeting of the plant is enhanced by a specialized leaf that reflects the bat’s echoes like a satellite dish.  Science Daily showed a picture of the flower with the sonar dish right over the flowers.  This host plant lives in low abundance in the tropics, so it relies on the bat’s wide foraging range and excellent spatial memory.  By providing the bat with an echolocating enhancer, the plant has a 50% higher chance of being found.  The bat gets its energy drink, and the flower benefits from the pollination that occurs.  The shape of the leaf, therefore, serves a similar purpose to an echolocating bat that beautiful colors in flowers serve for daytime pollinators.  “Because of their peculiar shape and presentation, we hypothesize that these special leaves evolved as echo beacons that attract pollinating bats,” the authors said. M. Brock Fenton analyzed these two papers in the same issue of Science.3  Since echolocation was first discovered, he said, it has been a “gift that keeps on giving” as scientists learn more about it.  “The sophistication of bat echolocation is becoming increasingly apparent—they ‘design’ echolocation signals (by manipulating the frequency, intensity, and harmonics in their calls, for example) as well as their patterns of call production (such as call duration and time intervals between calls) in particular situations,” he said.  “Furthermore, the echolocation signal that one individual bat uses to collect information can simultaneously serve a communication function, allowing, for example, group members to remain in contact with one another.”  In addition, bats have to control their calls to outsmart rivals and to sneak up on prey that can hear the bats coming. Fenton ascribed the phenomena to “evolutionary arms race” and to “coevolutionary relationships,” but did not describe how these abilities might have arisen by random mutations.  “At what point in their evolution did echolocation appear?  How often did echolocation evolve in bats?” he asked, indicating that fundamental questions remain for evolutionists.  Reviewing the history of how bat echolocation was discovered, first suggested by Spallanzani in 1794, then confirmed by Donald Griffin in 1944, he added, “Simon et al. and Bates et al. have demonstrated that echolocation is a gift in research that keeps on giving, whether the study organisms are bats, birds, shrews, toothed whales, or even people.”  He was referring to experiments on blind people that show their enhanced ability to locate objects by sound. Dolphins and toothed whales are among the mammals with the sixth sense of echolocation, but now a seventh sense has been found in at least one species.  New Scientist reported that Guiana dolphins can sense electrical fields of their prey.  This species needs to forage in the murky coastal waters of its habitat and find prey at close range, where echolocation is less effective. Experiments by German scientists show that the sense organs are in pits corresponding to the whiskers of land mammals.  Live Science put it, “Through evolution, the dolphins have lost their whiskers, but kept the pores.”  Prime researcher Wolf Hanke from the University of Rostock also ascribed the ability to evolution.  Believing that electrical sensing also evolved in the duck-billed platypus and echidna, he reasoned that “it is relatively easy to evolve, to change mechanoreceptor organs into electroreceptors.” That opinion was not supported by any empirical evidence mentioned in the article. 1. Bates, Simmons and Zorikov, “Bats Use Echo Harmonic Structure to Distinguish Their Targets from Background Clutter,” Science, 29 July 2011: Vol. 333 no. 6042 pp. 627-630, DOI: 10.1126/science.1202065. 2. Simon, Holderied, Koch and von Helversen, “Floral Acoustics: Conspicuous Echoes of a Dish-Shaped Leaf Attract Bat Pollinators,” Science, 29 July 2011: Vol. 333 no. 6042 pp. 631-633, DOI: 10.1126/science.1204210. 3. M. Brock Fenton, “Ecology: The World Through a Bat’s Ear,” Science, 29 July 2011: Vol. 333 no. 6042 pp. 528-529, DOI: 10.1126/science.1209933 Such explanations ignore, even if it were possible to account for the reception of the information, the ability of the brain to interpret the signals and respond appropriately.  If a mutation suddenly gave your skin the ability to detect the hiss of distant quasars, would it cause you to become a cosmologist?  No; for one thing, unless the receptor were connected to nerves that traveled to an appropriate area of the brain, you would not even know about it.  For another, the hissing noise would be a defect that might distract you from getting married.  You would go extinct.  Even if you had offspring, the trait would be unlikely to become established in the population.  Signaling and functional response imply design. The two main papers barely mentioned evolution, but the scientists and reporters who did committed the common fallacy among evolutionists of saying these animals “evolved” this or “developed” that, as if they held a committee and said, “Fellow bats, we would have better luck hunting if we would just invent the ability to echolocate.”  This is the folly of personification, and it misrepresents neo-Darwinism, the intent of which was to eliminate teleology from science.  A bat or dolphin can no more “evolve” echolocation or electrical sensing than a rock can decide to evolve an office building.  If the Creator put into animals and plants the ability to adapt to changing environments, however, then the existence and subsequent enhancement of these innate abilities through microevolution make sense.  Read Randy Guliuzza’s ICR article “Natural Selection Is Not ‘Nature’s Design Process’’ where he describes such Darwinian explanations as cases of personification and circular reasoning.  If we force Darwinists to be faithful to their own theory, they would have to shut up, resulting in less fallacy and greater fascination at the design in living things.(Visited 164 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Winners: 2015 Agility Africa photo competition

first_imgAngola, Kenya and Uganda came out tops in the Africa Agility photo competition. The aim of the contest was to encourage amateur and professional photographers to capture development in Africa in three categories: cities, industry, and technology. Uganda’s Mohsen Taha was named the overall winner. The Digital Age: Everyone in Uganda, from rural to urban areas, can now afford to have a cellphone. The photographer’s one-year-old son uses a mobile phone during a blackout. The photo is the winner in the technology category of the Africa Agility photo competition, as well as the overall winner. (Image: Mohsen Taha, Uganda)• Biogas backpack revolutionises cooking in Ethiopia • Maasai women lead solar revolution in Kenya• Telling our African stories • Kenyan filmmaker takes on race and women• Photo competition to showcase a positive Africa Priya PitamberThe city of Luanda in Angola, wheat fields in Kenya, and a child holding a cellphone in Uganda, were the winning images in the Africa Agility 2015 photo competition.The contest focused on capturing a modern Africa and called on amateur and professional photographers to submit images that showed the growth and development of Africa.A cash prize of $2 000 (about R27 000) was awarded to the winners in each competition category.They were: Carlos Aguiar from Angola (cities), Ahmed A Osman from Kenya (industry) and Mohsen Taha from Uganda (technology).Taha received an additional $2 000 for his photo of a boy holding a mobile phone as the overall competition winner.“I’m proud to be a part of a competition that helps to promote the economic development happening right now in Africa,” said Taha. Wheat fields in Narok embody the rapid growth of Africa’s agriculture sector, which plays a critical role in improving the lives of farmers. The image won in the industry category of the Africa Agility photo competition. (Image: Ahmed A Osman, Kenya) A city striving forward: urban developments in Luanda, Angola. The photograph won in the cities category of the Africa Agility photo competition. (Carlos Aguiar, Angola)“This competition has allowed photographers to show the various aspects of Africa and how we have grown and developed into something different, and better,” Taha said. “Six years ago, I couldn’t afford a mobile phone. Today in Uganda, everyone from rural to urban areas can afford one. These advancements are significant.”@Agility@AgilityAfrica A BIG THANK YOU FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY YOU HAVE GIVEN US TO MAKE THIS A BETTER AFRICA— The Nikon Ambassador (@nikonambassug) September 14, 2015The competition was judged by an independent panel that consisted of Sneha Shah, the managing director of Thomson Reuters Africa; Bronwyn Nielsen, the editor-in-chief of CNBC Africa; and the renowned Ghanaian artist, Professor Ablade Glover.last_img read more

OneRiot Aims to Bring Real-Time Search to Your Site With New Developer Network

first_imgmarshall kirkpatrick Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Real-time search engine OneRiot launched the OneRiot Developer Network this morning. The care and attention it’s paying to partnering with outsiders seeking to leverage its unique offerings could help the company stand out in a very crowded market. OneRiot says it already sees a large majority of its 40 million searches performed each month occur off-site via partners, but now the VC-backed company has put one of its co-founders in charge of taking the developer program to the next level. There’s no shortage of real-time search engines popping up around the web and OneRiot competitor Collecta launched an API of its own just two weeks ago. While Collecta prioritizes recency in its search algorithm, OneRiot takes a different approach.OneRiot says it indexes about 20 thousand links each day from Digg, 5 million from Twitter and a far larger 20 million from its own “panel” of users who have downloaded the OneRiot toolbar opted in to share their web-browsing data in anonymous aggregate. The company claims it has 3 million active users of its toolbar, many of which opted-in to switch from an older product called The anonymous browsing history of 3 million people is a pretty unique asset to bring the real-time search fight.Some critics question to what degree OneRiot is really searching more than just Twitter and Digg, but the company says it chose to emphasize those two known brands in order to maximize its initial appeal to outsiders. The toolbar user panel is actually providing the majority of the links it’s indexing, the company says.Once OneRiot has identified all these pages to index through links being passed around on social networks, the company analyzes the text of the pages being linked-to and applies a ranking algorithm it calls Pulserank, which it positions as “Pagerank for the real-time web.” That ranking is based on recency, domain authority of the source, increasing or decreasing interest on a variety of social networks (the company says it watches Delicious as well, for example) and other factors.OneRiot says that more than 40 other companies have leveraged the OneRiot search API so far, providing the majority of the search queries the company sees. Now that will be turned into a formal Partner Program, where 3rd parties can get support in applying OneRiot powered search results on their sites. Company co-founder Robert Reich will lead that program, which OneRiot says will be a major priority in the way it spends the $7 million in venture capital it added to its previous $22 million this summer.Real Time On Your Site?OneRiot argues that 20% of searches are navigational, 40% are for specific information but the remaining 40% are exploratory enough to be best served by real-time results. That makes sense. And just like some people believe recommendation technology will become a near-universal part of websites so that content can be recommended automatically without requiring it to be searched for – it’s not hard to imagine real-time buzz as a part of millions of topical websites as well. It’s an increasingly real-time web. OneRiot’s strategic approach, including its new hands-on relationship with developer partners, could serve it well in distributing its real-time solution around the web. Tags:#news#NYT#Real-Time Web#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more