Writer Wendell Berry Takes Aim at the Modern Research University

first_imgWendell Berry, 75, is a literary luminary in Kentucky, where his poems, essays, and fiction explore his home state’s disappearing agrarian heritage. Perhaps most notable was his 1977 paean to the family farm, The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture. Now Berry has decided to pull his personal papers from the University of Kentucky’s (UK’s) archives to protest what he believes is its misguided emphasis on research to the detriment of teaching and its insensitivity to environmental stewardship. The school’s acceptance of a $7 million donation from coal interests and the subsequent renaming of a dormitory for basketball players as the Wildcat Coal Lodge, he says, was the “last straw” in a long series of public fights with the institution. He says he planned to write about the issue but was compelled to speak out when the local newspaper learned this week about his decision and called him for comment. Here is an edited version of his conversation yesterday with ScienceInsider. Q: The University of Kentucky aspires to be a top research university. But you believe land-grant universities like Kentucky have gone astray in their mission.W.B.: The Morrill Act [which in 1862 established what became a vast network of so-called land-grant colleges and universities] says they’re to give [money] “to the endowment, support and maintenance of at least one college where the leading object shall be, without exclusion of other scientific and classical studies … to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts in order to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the pursuits and professions of life.” Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) I think [UK] has gone astray first with its long emphasis on research instead of teaching. If you promote research, which can be quantified, and make it the paramount issue with promotion and tenure and salary raises, then you diminish the standing and importance of teaching necessarily, which can’t be quantified. … Administrators have to find a way to reward professors for teaching. And so the University of Kentucky has for some time had a program to become a top-20 research institution. Every sizable university in the country has that program, as if the present top 20 is going to stand back while the others pass them. I don’t think that’s going to happen for most of them. Well, let me not speculate. The issue for me is that the University of Kentucky has a mandate to look after the country people and the rural landscapes. [It’s] promoting a research agenda that is without standards. Will it do harm to our people here, or will it be of some use? I can’t discover that there is any such standard by which the effectiveness or usefulness or beneficence of the research can be judged. They’re going to take the [research] grant money and do what they are asked to do with it. I’ve raised an issue … with the president’s promotion of a program he calls STEM: science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This is not conformable to anybody’s idea of a liberal education. This is a curriculum entirely devoted to technical subjects. Q: One might argue the best way to help “country people” is to prepare them for this new [science-based] economy we have.W.B.: To prepare them for city life. Q: But you don’t need to be in a city to do science or technology.W.B.: They can live in the country and be city people by means of their computer. But what we’re doing here is ignoring the economic value of landscape and doing very little to protect it. I’ve been helping the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas, promote their 50-year farm bill that would address in agriculture, for example, the issue of land leased, soil erosion, toxicity, and the destruction of rural communities and the cultures of husbandry. Q: What was wrong with the University of Kentucky naming its building the Wildcat Coal Lodge?W.B.: I want to mention another issue before we get to the coal. The University of Kentucky owns a forest called Robinson Forest. For many years that forest has been unlogged. And very careful records have been kept about water quality and so on. Recently, the university decided that the forest had to produce an income and they contrived of an experiment that required logging part of it. A number of years ago they sold the coal rights on part of it and strip mined it. [But] logging is going on all over this state. They can do a logging experiment without resorting to logging this forest if they wanted to. They dealt very poorly with those who opposed the project and wanted to talk to them about it. I was a member of the opposition. Then the issue of the Wildcat Coal Lodge came up. I have been an opponent, in my writing and in other ways, of surface mining. … The university has never taken a stand on the issue, … but when they accepted a $7 million gift from the coal industry and named their dormitory the Wildcat Coal Lodge, that meant that they had explicitly come out as an ally of the coal industry. That meant I can’t be an ally of the university anymore, obviously … This is a heartbreaking thing for me. The university is an alma mater. I have two degrees from the University of Kentucky. I taught there. They have honored me. I have friends there; I have friends that are currently teaching there. And so this is a break that feels to me like a family disruption.last_img read more

Jupiter’s chaotic storms have roots deep beneath its surface

first_img Jupiter’s chaotic storms have roots deep beneath its surface NASA/JPL/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt/Justin Cowart/Flickr (CC BY) By Paul VoosenMar. 7, 2018 , 1:00 PMcenter_img The gaseous veil of Jupiter’s surface has long cast a pall over scientists’ quest to understand the giant planet’s depths. In particular, researchers have debated whether the bands of east-west winds that sculpt Jupiter’s distinctive surface, complete with the curlicues of stormy cyclones, extend deeper into the planet, or are merely superficial. Now, a series of papers from NASA’s Juno spacecraft, published today in Nature, has revealed that the roots of Jupiter’s winds indeed run deep. Since arriving at the gas giant in 2016, Juno has swung around the planet in an elliptical 53-day orbit; with each pass, Jupiter’s gravity has tugged the spacecraft back and forth, revealing glimpses of its interior through Doppler shifts in Juno’s radio signal collected on Earth. In these data, Juno’s scientists discovered an asymmetry in Jupiter’s north-south gravitational field that reflected shifting masses driven by rising winds from 3000 kilometers deep within the planet. These flows of hydrogen and helium, the team shows, are driven up by energy lost from the planet’s deeper interior, which rotates like a solid because of crushing high pressures. When compared with similar observations taken by Cassini before its dive into Saturn last year, the NASA missions could soon clarify the internal dynamics of gas giants, helping understand their origins—and the composition of worlds beyond our solar system.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

It hurts, says Zinedine Zidane after first defeat on return as Real Madrid boss

first_imgZinedine Zidane urges fans to back Gareth Bale Barca leave it late to sneak past Leganes Spain great Iker Casillas: Wrong to award Ballon d’Or to Cristiano Ronaldo Instead, Valencia surged to a convincing victory, Goncalo Guedes and Ezequiel Garay scoring in each half to leave Marcelino’s team within a point of La Liga’s top four. Karim Benzema headed in a late consolation in injury-time. “We lacked a bit of spark up front,” Zidane said. “I am not going to criticise my players. They have tried and we played a good team. But losing always hurts.” For Zidane, after two victories, this was perhaps something of a reality check. Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates Zinedine Zidane dropped Gareth Bale and endured his first defeat since returning to Real Madrid as his side were deservedly beaten 2-1 by a resurgent Valencia on Wednesday. The last time Zidane left Bale on the bench, the Welshman proved a spectacular substitute against Liverpool in the Champions League final 10 months ago but there was to be no rescue act at Mestalla.Related Newslast_img read more

There’s no way I could win 23 Grand Slams without Venus: Serena Williams

first_imgSerena Williams clinched a record 23rd grand slam title at the Australian Open on Saturday but spent most of the immediate aftermath talking about her older sister Venus.The 35-year-old American clinched her seventh Melbourne Park crown with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Venus to surpass Steffi Graf as the most prolific grand slam title winner of the open era. (List of Serena Williams’ 23 Grand Slam titles)In an emotional presentation on Rod Laver Arena, seven-times grand slam champion Venus made clear her pride in her younger sister and Serena, whose victory ensures she will return to number one in the world, repaid the compliment.”She’s my inspiration and the only reason the Williams sisters exist,” she said.”There’s no way I would be at 23 without her, there’s no way I would be number one without her.”She’s the only reason I’m standing here today so thank you Venus for inspiring me to be the best player I could be and inspiring me to work hard.”Serena said the quality of Venus’s play rather than nerves at playing her sister in a grand slam final for the ninth time were responsible for her uncharacteristically giving up two service breaks in a topsy-turvy opening set.”She’s the toughest player I’ve ever faced,” Serena added.”The fact that she is so good makes it that much harder. I felt like she knew where I was going to be, she was there before I hit the shots, and it was really difficult.”I think the only really thing that changes the dynamic is because she’s great, she’s a great player.advertisement”I was out there just relying on heart and fight. That’s all I could really do today and it paid off.”After a single service break secured the second set and the victory for Serena, she slipped on a custom-made pair of Air Jordan shoes with 23 – also the number worn by basketball great Michael Jordan – embossed on the side.”I finally made it to Jordan status at 23,” she said.Alexis Ohanian, Serena’s fiance and co-founder of social news website Reddit, was in the stands watching the match and Tweeted of his pride at her achievement.Serena said that having got the 23rd grand slam crown in the bag, she could now turn her thoughts to organising the wedding.”Bridesmaids, Venus and my sisters,” she said. “I really don’t want to talk about it until February. I still have a couple more days. I’ll take my time. It was good, now I have to think about that.”last_img read more

Solari hails Madrid’s Club World Cup triumph

first_imgSantiago Solari revelled in Real Madrid’s winning mentality after his side made Club World Cup history by downing Al Ain 4-1 in Saturday’s final.Victory in Abu Dhabi ensured Madrid have won the title three years in a row, the first team to do so, while their haul of four titles in the tournament surpasses the three of rivals Barcelona.Madrid’s trio of Club World Cups follows three consecutive Champions League crowns collected under Zinedine Zidane, who surprisingly resigned from his post in May. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! After winning his first silverware since succeeding Zidane’s short-lived replacement Julen Lopetegui, Solari shared the credit for Madrid’s latest trophy.”This club is used to repeat successes. But the more you win, the more you know how difficult it is to win,” Solari told a news conference.”I liked the seriousness that the players have given to this tournament.”We made two very complete matches. Although football can give you surprises, we handled it as we wanted. It has a lot of merit: they do not get tired of winning.”I think you should not forget the titles you’ve won. You have to keep them in mind, but do not rest on your laurels.”#ClubWC | @realmadriden 4-1 @alainfcae_enLos Blancos made it three successive #ClubWC titles after victory over Al Ain in Abu Dhabi  pic.twitter.com/TmVvwa01xQ— #ClubWC  (@FIFAcom) December 22, 2018Zoran Mamic’s Al Ain had an equaliser ruled out for offside after Luka Modric’s opener, but Madrid’s quality shone through in the second half when strikes from Marcos Llorente and Sergio Ramos, as well as a Yahia Nader own goal, created an emphatic scoreline.Solari added: “Al Ain’s performance was great. They were the only one [at the Club World Cup] who were not continental champions, and they reached the final. They fought until they could not.”This is the merit of the [Madrid] players. Win three Champions Leagues and three Club World Cups – it is something difficult to repeat. This group has made history.”I already told you that I am very fond of this cup, I came in 1996 and we know how difficult it is to win it. Then I returned in 2000 with Real Madrid and I lost it.”@GarethBale11 Club World Cup Golden Ball winner#RMCWC | #HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/Mn7vi4SsWE— Real Madrid C.F.  (@realmadriden) December 22, 2018Solari’s side now have a break until January 3 when their LaLiga campaign resumes against Villarreal, with the coach unwilling to say whether he expects arrivals when the transfer window opens.”It is not for me to discuss it here,” he continued.”What I’m sure of is that this team has fought for this trophy and they deserve to enjoy it. I brought this cup here [to the news conference] to be seen, but now I’m going to return it to the players, which is theirs.”The next step is to go on vacation.”last_img read more

NRP SELECTS SOO REFEREES

first_imgThe National Referees Panel has selected the referees to attend the 2006 State of Origin tournament in Brisbane this August. Congratulations to the following referees (in alphabetical order):Dave BaggioDave BonserJason CharltonAnnabelle ConnollyScott DewsDave FieldAdam FoleySharon FosterLawre GafaAlan HodsdonNick HollingworthJason HortonMarty JonesDale LawrenceJenny MaddersLuke McKenzieBarry McNamaraMick MedlinGary MournehisSam MournehisGreg MyersRichard O’ConnorBernard O’DonoghueJamie OliverKim PerryGlen RichardsonDerek ShuttleworthBill SladeAnthony SmithBrad SmithKeith SteelKaren StrachanKaren Woodslast_img

NCAA Releases 2019 College Football Preseason Top 25

first_imgtrevor lawrence throws a pass during alabama-clemsonnSANTA CLARA, CA – JANUARY 07: Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Clemson Tigers attempts a pass during the first quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Levi’s Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)The college football season hasn’t been over for even a week yet, but it isn’t too early to look ahead to 2019.A number of outlets have already put out their way-too-early preseason top 25 lists. NCAA.com is the latest to do so.The early NCAA rankings for next fall were released today. Clemson and Alabama are once again No. 1 and No. 2.The full top 25 can be seen below:ClemsonAlabamaOhio StateGeorgiaOklahomaTexasMichiganLSUNotre DameTexas A&MOregonFloridaPenn StateWisconsinUCFWashingtonAuburnWashington StateUtahStanfordVirginia TechIowaMissouriNorthwesternNebraskaThe full analysis from NCAA.com on all 25 teams can be found here.Like any other early preseason rankings, these will change a lot over the next few months.last_img read more

Ministers to Make Announcement on Funding for Parochial Roads

first_img Local Government and Community Development Minister, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says an announcement will be made shortly regarding funding for the maintenance of parochial roads across the island. Minister McKenzie was delivering the keynote address at a special appreciation luncheon for the all-island property tax team at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort in Montego Bay, St. James on Friday (July 7). Minister McKenzie informed that since early this year, he has been having discussions with Minister of Finance and Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, regarding the establishment of a dedicated source of funds to deal with these thoroughfares. Story Highlights Local Government and Community Development Minister, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says an announcement will be made shortly regarding funding for the maintenance of parochial roads across the island.He informed that since early this year, he has been having discussions with Minister of Finance and Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, regarding the establishment of a dedicated source of funds to deal with these thoroughfares.“I am pleased to announce that in short order, myself and the Minister (Shaw) will be making a special announcement as to how we are going to respond to parochial roads across the country,” he said.Minister McKenzie was delivering the keynote address at a special appreciation luncheon for the all-island property tax team at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort in Montego Bay, St. James, on Friday (July 7).Meanwhile, Minister McKenzie said representatives of his Ministry will shortly be engaged in discussions with Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) with a view towards collecting outstanding trade licence fees.He pointed out that these fees represent the second largest source of income for the local authorities.“If we are able to collect 40 per cent of the trade licences across this country, combined with the level of compliance with property taxes, we would be able to cover sufficiently, the obligations of the local authorities,” Minister McKenzie contended.“The trade licences must be collected. The same way we are going after those who have outstanding property taxes…we are going to ensure that we do a similar thing for those who owe trade licences,” he noted further.Minister McKenzie commended the property tax compliance team, noting that their efforts assisted in the collection of over $7 billion in outstanding fees.He is urging Jamaicans to pay their property taxes, noting that it is their  contribution to the orderly and sustained development of the country.The all-island property tax team, comprised of representatives of the Ministry and the TAJ, was moblised to collect outstanding taxes.last_img read more

$1.69 Billion for Major Infrastructure Works

first_imgSeveral major infrastructure development contracts valued at $1.69 billion have been approved by Cabinet, says Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid.Addressing a post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House on July 11, the Minister said of the sum, $887.3 million was awarded to ASHTROM Building Systems Limited for infrastructure works, under phases three and four, for the Colbeck Castle Development between the parishes of St. Catherine and Clarendon.Senator Reid said $141 million has also been awarded to N.F. Barnes and Company to undertake civil infrastructure works for the Jacksonville Housing Scheme in Clarendon.“Cabinet took particular note of the need to monitor the construction of adequate draining systems, in light of the tendency for flooding in this community,” the Minister pointed out.Additionally, $400 million has been awarded to Trevor Dunkley and Company Limited to undertake civil works for the Windsor Housing Development project in Trelawny.Another $100.8 million was awarded to Surrey Paving and Aggregates Limited to undertake infrastructure works in keeping with the Maxfield Park Housing Development.Also, $161.5 million was awarded to ASHTROM Building Systems to carry out a design-and-build contract for the buildout of Longville Park Housing Development, Phase 3A.last_img read more

Found the superhero within me

first_imgLos Angeles: Lady Gaga says her experiments with make-up began in her youth when she would see her mother put on her “bravest” face and go to work every day. The Oscar-winning singer, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, said growing up she never felt beautiful and battled with the idea of beauty. The ‘Born This Way’ hitmaker said she invented ‘Lady Gaga’, her stage name, and found the courage to be her own superhero. “I found the superhero within me by looking in the mirror and seeing who I wanted to be. Sometimes beauty doesn’t come from within. But I’m so grateful that make-up inspired a bravery in me I didn’t know I had,” she wrote on Instagram.last_img

Unemployment rate tumbles to 57 to reach lowest mark in more than

first_imgOTTAWA – Job creation in 2017 reached a pace not seen in a calendar year since 2002, reduced the unemployment rate to its lowest mark in more than 40 years — and surely came as a profound relief to Canada’s embattled federal finance minister.Statistics Canada’s job numbers Friday offered a year-end look at a healthy 2017 performance. The surprisingly strong run was capped off by a December report that led some forecasters to cement, or even move up, their predictions that the Bank of Canada would raise its benchmark interest rate, possibly as early as this month.Finance Minister Bill Morneau, whose new year’s resolutions likely include efforts to change the channel following a tumultuous political year he’d probably prefer to forget, also made a point of highlighting the jobs data.In the second half of the year, Morneau was battered by controversy over a highly contentious tax-reform plan, stinging ethical questions over how he arranged his personal assets upon entering cabinet and conflict-of-interest allegations.On Friday, he used Twitter to claim at least part of the credit for the federal Liberal government.“These are the real results of a plan that’s working,” Morneau tweeted. “We did this together, Canada, and there’s a lot more to do.”In December, the unemployment rate dropped to 5.7 per cent, down from 5.9 per cent the month before, to reach its lowest mark since comparable data became available in 1976. The rate fell as the economy generated 78,600 net new positions, including 23,700 full-time jobs.Looking at 2017 as a whole, employment rose 2.3 per cent for its fastest growth rate in 15 years. Over the past 12 months, the economy added 422,500 jobs with the gains driven by 394,200 new full-time positions, the agency’s labour force survey said.In December 2016, the unemployment rate was 6.9 per cent, the report said. The last time the jobless rate was 5.8 per cent was October 2007.Several analysts said Friday’s solid labour report might be enough to encourage Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz to introduce another interest-rate hike later this month. Poloz has raised the rate twice since the summer, citing the stronger economy.“It looks like as much as Canadian economic growth has softened a little bit over the second half of the year, the labour market is just still rolling right on,” said BMO senior economist Robert Kavcic.“We know the Bank of Canada is back into a rate-hike mode and they are pretty well data-dependent right now in terms of when and how quickly that pace of rate hikes is going to play out.“This is pretty obviously one vote in favour of the bank certainly moving in March, if not bringing that forward to raising rates in January.”Still, Kavcic remains a little bit hesitant to predict that a rate increase at the Jan. 17 policy meeting is a sure thing.He expects Poloz to carefully assess the findings in the Bank of Canada’s business outlook survey, which will be released Monday. The central bank also might wait a little longer months into 2018 to analyze the economic impacts of new changes to mortgage stress tests, Kavcic added.Other experts, however, think the December report will be enough to convince the central bank to raise the rate sooner rather than later.“We think that today’s report is enough to push governor Poloz into a rate hike later this month,” CIBC economist Nick Exarhos wrote Friday in a research note to clients.By region, Quebec and Alberta saw the biggest increases last month with each province adding more than 26,000 new jobs. Quebec’s unemployment rate fell 0.5 percentage points to 4.9 per cent, while Alberta’s dropped 0.4 percentage points to 6.9 per cent.The December reading marked the 13th-straight month of job gains, however, about half of those positive numbers were within the survey’s margin of error.Looking back at 2017, factories saw employment increase 3.5 per cent, while the services sector experienced a boost of two per cent. The number of public-sector employees rose by 2.3 per cent compared to a 1.8 per cent increase in paid positions in the private sector.In a separate report Friday, Statistics Canada says the country’s merchandise trade deficit widened to $2.5 billion in November, compared to a $1.6-billion deficit the month before, as imports outgrew exports.Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitterlast_img read more

Billions of dollars in limbo as incoming Ontario premier nixes cap and

first_imgTORONTO – The cancellation of Ontario’s cap-and-trade system will leave billions of dollars in carbon credits in limbo and consumers on the hook for pricey home upgrades that were expected to be part of a rebate program.Incoming premier Doug Ford has vowed to immediately dismantle cap and trade, but has offered few details on how the system will be wound down, and how or if participating companies will be reimbursed.Jennifer Small, president of a national group that represents the Canadian window and door industry, said it wants an extension to a cancelled rebate program that has paid $500 per opening in which energy-efficient windows are installed.The GreenON rebate program, which also funded incentives for renovators to buy qualified heat pumps, insulation, solar panels, thermostats and other energy-saving projects, has been closed. A government website originally said work had to be completed by Aug. 31 to receive rebate funds, but Ford later said his government would honour the rebates until the end of October.“We were very surprised by the cancellation and a lot of members are very disappointed,” said Small, who is president of the Fenestration Canada trade association.“Consumers are concerned that they’re not going to get their rebate.”Under the Ontario Liberal government, which was defeated in the June 7 election, the rebates were funded by proceeds from auctions that collected nearly $2.9 billion from companies that bought tradable carbon emission allowances through six auctions in 2017 and 2018.These companies face uncertainty, as California and Quebec have stopped accepting trades with Ontario-registered accounts as of June 15, and it’s not clear what happens to the previously-issued allowance contracts.“It certainly has the potential to create a class of stranded assets,” lawyer Lisa DeMarco said in an interview.She said the Ontario accounts could hold contracts worth between $2.6 billion and $3.8 billion, and may include emission allowances auctioned off by California and Quebec but no longer tradable because they’re in Ontario-registered accounts.DeMarco, whose firm DeMarco Allan LLP specializes in climate laws, said there are a number of avenues available to the companies — including corporate suits to recover losses or even a challenge by foreign entities under the North American Free Trade Agreement — but “it really depends on what the government does next.”She said the province might compensate the entities with compliance units in their Ontario-registered accounts, or negotiate a deal.A number of participants in Ontario’s past carbon allowance auctions declined to comment on the change of policy until the Ford government provides more detail.Suncor Energy of Calgary, Canada’s largest integrated oil and gas company, said it was “premature to speculate.”“We look forward to working with the Ontario government to help develop a framework that achieves what’s needed for the climate, provides regulatory and investment certainty, and considers the impact for people and businesses.”A spokesman for Ontario’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change said the incoming government’s intention is to “end cap and trade and provide clear rules for the orderly wind down of the program” but declined to comment further.Premier-designate Ford has said his government will also join Saskatchewan in challenging the federal government’s power to impose a carbon tax on provinces.At the federal level, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said that they want to work with the incoming Ontario government but will continue with their climate initiatives.McKenna said in a conference call that she looked forward to speaking with her new provincial counterpart.In the meantime, McKenna said, the federal Liberals will continue “to fight climate change with Ontarians, creating good jobs. . . and growing a clean economy because that’s what Ontarians expect and that’s what our kids and grandkids deserve.”— with a file from Mia Rabson in Ottawa.Companies in this story: (TSX:SU)Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version carried outdated information about the cut-off date for receiving GreenON funds.last_img read more

Sony quarterly profit rises on games financial services

first_imgTOKYO – Japanese electronics and entertainment company Sony Corp.’s net profit rose 32 per cent in the last quarter, helped by healthy video game sales and its financial services business, the company said Tuesday.Tokyo-based Sony’s profit totalled 173 billion yen ($1.5 billion) in July-September, up from 131 billion yen the year before.Quarterly sales totalled 2.18 trillion yen ($19.3 billion), up from 2.06 trillion yen.Sony’s popular mobile-game application “Fate Grand Order” and favourable revenue in Sony’s insurance business helped boost profits, the maker of PlayStation video game machines said.Robust image sensor sales of image sensors also helped offset restructuring costs in its movies division, the studio behind the Spider-Man films, and falling smartphone sales in Europe and Latin America.In recent quarters, Sony’s PlayStation 4 video game operations, especially software sales, have been doing well.Sony raised its full year profit forecast through March to 705 billion yen ($6.3 billion) from an earlier 500 billion yen ($4.4 billion).___Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyamaOn Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/yurikageyama/?hl=enlast_img read more

Moroccan Activist Karima Rhanem Wins Pan-African Humanitarian Award

Rabat – Karima Rhanem, a Moroccan civil society activist, has been named winner of the 2017 Pan-African Humanitarian Award.The activist is the first Moroccan young woman to be nominated for this prestigious award, in the category of “Young Achievers Award on Social Leadership and Nation Building.”Rhanem is an international development and communication expert with a specialty in governance and public policy advocacy with over 15 years of experience working with and managing civil society and youth programs with multidisciplinary organizations. The Moroccan activist was chosen by the summit’s Advisory Board for her efforts to develop and promote the attainment of peace, integrity, democracy, and good governance.Rhanem will receive the prize at the third edition of the Pan African Humanitarian Summit scheduled to take place on November 18 and 19 in Tanzania. The two-day event will be held under the theme “Peace is Possible.”The activist will also take part in the summit as a panelist. She will discuss the prevention of violent extremism among youth through education.The two-days event will gather together 200 international participants from 37 African countries. Attendees from different sectors, including business and industry, will discuss highlight “barriers to peace in Africa and provide a holistic and multidimensional approach to sustainable peace and development in the continent,” according to the organizers.Rhanem told Morocco World News that she feels honored to be the first young Moroccan woman to be selected for this prestigious award in its third edition. “I am more happier that as the event will coincide with Morocco’s independence day (November 18).”“I feel prouder as a Moroccan and African who was able to contribute to the human development and progress of my country in addition to my initiatives through a wider youth platform across Africa.”The activist said that this achievement will push her to work even harder as she believes that “Africa has a great human capital potential that should be a subject of investment.”“The talented young leaders of today will decide the fate of the African continent in the future,” she added.Rhanem said that she will be working on the upcoming months on “inspiring young African leaders to drive change through innovative solutions to some of the pressing issues impacting youth inclusion and participation in decision making processes.”“More importantly, I will be leading citizen diplomacy capacity building projects to empower young leaders to be better ambassadors of their own respective countries while learning soft skills in multi-track regional and global diplomacy and negotiations.”She explained that this will lead the youth leaders to be better advocates for their own issues and eventually help peacefully influence policies that impact their development, quality of life, and livelihood. read more

Morocco Extends No-Duty Soft Wheat Imports to Keep Price Stable

Rabat – The government council approved a decree on Thursday maintaining the suspension of import duties on soft wheat and its derivatives for four months until April 2019.The government had decided earlier to apply a fixed customs duty of 30 percent on soft wheat starting January 2019, down from 135 percent.The duty would raise the domestic prices of soft wheat and flour, and therefore bread prices, Government Spokesperson Mustapha El Khalfi said at a press conference after the government council meeting. Through the decree, the government seeks to keep the price of flour stable at MAD 260 per quintal. Flour is also subsidized.If Morocco added the 30 percent import duty on wheat, El Khalfi said, the import cost of soft wheat would be between MAD 290 and MAD 300 per quintal.Read Also: France to Compete with Russia and Ukraine to Export Wheat to MoroccoThanks to good weather, Morocco expects to have a 70-million-hectare cereal crop in 2019, increasing domestic wheat production to 8.2 million tons this season, nearly 1 million tons more than last year.According to El Khalfi’s statistics, the national soft wheat stock at mills and storage centers is estimated at about 14.3 million quintals, covering three months and seven days of the country’s industrial mill needs.The government affirmed that the decree is one part of the kingdom’s social measures. Morocco also subsidizes butane gas to maintain its price at MAD 41 per 12-kilogram bottle. The state subsidizes each bottle by MAD 56.In the 2019 Finance Bill, the government allocated MAD 17.67 billion for the subsidy fund to subsidize butane gas, sugar, and flour. The figure is a significant increase of MAD 4.65 billion from the 2018 budget.In April 2017, the government decided to raise import duties for soft wheat from 30 to 135 percent. The former economy minister Mohamed Boussaid explained that the switch was made to stabilize prices and boost local soft wheat marketing.In October 2017, the government council adopted draft decree 2.17.633 to lower the import tax to 30 percent in December 2017 “to protect the national production and the purchasing power of the citizen by ensuring the supply of good quality wheat to the national market,” according to a statement by El Khalfi at the time.Morocco’s main wheat imports come from the EU (31 percent), Russia (18 percent), Ukraine (18 percent), and the US (16 percent). read more

Markets Right Now Banks among early gainers on Wall Street

NEW YORK — The latest on developments in financial markets (all times local):9:35 a.m.Stocks are opening slightly higher on Wall Street led by gains in banks and communications companies.JPMorgan Chase rose 1.2% in the first few minutes of trading Monday, and Netflix rose 2.3%.AT&T jumped 4% in heavy trading after Elliot Management, an activist investor, announced a $3.2 billion stake in the company and called for a huge shakeup.Apple rose 1% a day before the company is expected to announce its new lineup of iPhones.The S&P 500 rose 20 points, or 0.1%, to 2,984.The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 24 points, or 0.1%, to 26,813. The Nasdaq added 11, or 0.1%, to 8,114.Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.61%.The Associated Press

EPL match delayed because of medical emergency

BURNLEY, England — The start of the English Premier League game between Burnley and Newcastle has been delayed by 30 minutes because of a medical emergency.Britain’s Press Association said referees’ assessor, Eddie Wolstenholme, collapsed in the tunnel and was taken to hospital.The Premier League said in a tweet that he was in a conscious state.Kickoff in Monday’s game will take place at 8:30 p.m. local time.Wolstenholme was formerly a Premier League referee who retired from officiating in 2003.___More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsThe Associated Press

British Airways could serve passengers digital pill to monitor inflight happiness

first_imgBritish Airways could soon serve passengers a “digital pill” so it can monitor their stomach acidity levels and change their in-flight dining options accordingly.This is just one way the British flag carrier thinks having fliers swallow an “ingestible sensor” could help improve their travel experience.The pill would be one part of a myriad of sensors, including temperature, sleep phase and heart rate, that the airline would use to check on a passenger’s physiological state through a flight and manage their sleep times, meals and in-flight entertainment usage. The data acquired by the sensors would be used to change the passenger's cabin environment Lighting, seat position and air conditioning are other “environmental conditions” that could be altered according to information from the sensor.The idea is that it would save the passenger from entering data manually.According to the patent application, BA wants to create an app that helps aids passengers’ entire travel experience, from leaving their house or work, through the airport and flight, to their onward journey. A spokesperson for British Airways told the Standard: “We are always looking to deliver new innovations for our customers, whether it be in design or digital transformation. As such, we develop many ideas and submit many patents.”Patent applications in the travel industry have in the past unveiled a number of interesting innovations airlines and aircraft manufacturers are mulling over. A system that affords adjustable legroom The system “for controlling the travel environment for a passenger” has been explained in a patent application filed to the Intellectual Property Office earlier this year.“What is desired is a system that facilitates greater efficiencies within the aircraft travel environment and enables improved control and personalisation of the passenger’s travel environment, in particular for enhanced passenger wellness and wellbeing when flying,” the application says.It cites a “Jet Lag Fighter” app from Virgin Atlantic that allows users to enter personal data to acquire a programme to alleviate jet lag as a similar approach to customer wellbeing in the industry.center_img British Airways reckons that by using data from a number of sources it can best understand how to manage a passenger’s sleeping, eating, stretching and entertainment preferances on flights. The sensor could help tell whether a passenger was “awake, asleep, hungry, nervous, hot, cold [or] uncomfortable” – and inform crew.Of the “digital pill”, technology developed in the last few years, BA’s patent said: “Digital pills or other ingestible sensors, that detect internal temperature, stomach acidity and other internal properties and wirelessly relay this information outside the passenger’s body.” A system that affords adjustable legroomCredit:B/E Aerospace The data acquired by the sensors would be used to change the passenger’s cabin environmentCredit:Alamy One such proposal was Airbus’s idea to create a mezzanine in planes to make more efficient use of cabin space. Another saw industry supplier Zodiac Seats France consider how flights would be were passengers sat opposite each other.A Telegraph Travel favourite was the B/E Aerospace design that allowed crew to adjust the legroom afforded to each seat according to the passenger’s height and height of those behind and in front.last_img read more

New disease from abandoned foreign snakes threatens Britains native reptiles

“This has happened in other areas, It is not an isolated incident,” he said. “It’s totally irresponsible for people to simply abandon these snakes like this. There are plenty of others who would take them into their homes and look after them properly if the owner can’t manage.“Our primary concern is they can introduce pathogens and diseases and introduce them to native species.”Mr Chapman said the sizeable cost of feeding snakes like boas, along with the effort required to prove them with a healthy habitat, could lead owners to dumping them, at a time when ecologists are trying to safeguard native species.“Snake Fungal Disease is already having a severe effect on snakes in the US. We are trying to stabilise our population of native snakes, such as adders and grass snakes, which are under threat and this could lead to a further decline in their numbers and even localised extinction.” Nigel Hand, a reptile and amphibian ecology who works with the National Trust, said: “We have found evidence of Snake Fungal Disease killing native grass snakes. It appears the strain is a European one and there could also be an indication of the presence of the US strain.“Dumping non-native snakes into the environment could worsen the threat of Snake Fungal disease, compounding the threat to what is already a declining population of native species.”“If you add non-native native species in there’s a chance pathogens or diseases can cause real problems to a very small adder population. We may end up wiping them out if this happens.”Mr Hand added: “When we found the first one [non-native snake], we thought that potentially it was an escapee but the fact we have found five snakes, we really think there is a case they have been released on this site.”Releasing foreign species of wildlife into the British countryside is illegal and can be punished with a fine of up to £5,000 or six months in prison.Ewan Chapman, a lead ranger with the National Trust, said the discovery of the boa and Western Hognoses at Kinver Edge had highlighted a growing problem. A deadly new disease introduced into Britain by exotic snakes has attacked and killed some of the country’s native adders and grass snakes, threatening to decimate their numbers.The National Trust has warned that pet owners who abandon unwanted exotic snakes such as boa constrictors in the countryside have created a fatal new danger for already threatened native species.Experts have found evidence that a number of native grass snakes have succumbed to Snake Fungal Disease, which causes lesions on the snake’s body, leading to infection and death.In the latest case a 4ft (1.2m) Dumeril’s boa constrictor from Madagascar was found abandoned at Kinver Edge, on the Staffordshire/Worcestershire border.That followed the discovery of four American Western Hognose snakes at the same beauty spot.The trust has been looking after Kinver Edge for more than 100 years and its experts have reported that the number of adders and grass snakes at the site is falling.They say the habit of abandoning exotic snakes can only serve to further threaten the native population of grass snakes and adders, already under threat from urbanisation and loss of habitat.The pathogen has been found in 23 species of wild snake in the US and at least three in Europe. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more