So long, snout

first_imgBirds are among the most successful creatures on the planet, with more than 10,000 species living across the globe, occupying a dizzying array of niches and eating everything from large animals to hard-to-open nuts and seeds.Part of the key to that success, scientists say, might be right in front of their faces.Led by Arkhat Abzhanov, a former associate professor of organismic and evolutionary biology, a team of researchers has shown that bird beaks are the result of skeletal changes controlled by two genetic pathways, shedding light on the origins of one of nature’s most efficient tools. The study was described in a paper published earlier this year in the journal Evolution.“The evolution of the beak was a seminal step for modern birds that made them distinct from primitive birds who still had snouts,” Abzhanov said. “With this paper we wanted to understand that process in mechanistic terms.”The first step toward answers, Abzhanov said, was to clarify why birds have beaks at all.“The immediate ancestors of birds had very long fingers and a somewhat opposable thumb,” he said. “It’s believed they could use their hands to build nests and manipulate small prey … and that’s exactly what birds lost when they evolved wings — those fingers became bones in the wing. So once birds lost them, they replaced them with a finger on their face — the beak.“Both the upper and lower beak can move, so it works like pincers, allowing a level of accuracy in handling and manipulating objects you can only achieve with fingers. I like to show my students a video of weaver birds, which use long grasses to weave nests, and even tie real knots during construction. You cannot do that with a snout.”To get an up-close-and-personal view of how developmental patterns reveal the evolution of birds, Abzhanov and colleagues turned to their closest living relative — the alligator, a crocodilian.“Because we can get live alligator embryos with snouts, we can actually compare them with beaked modern birds to see how they develop their faces, and what genes are activating during that process,” Abzhanov said.The team discovered two genetic pathways, both of which are present in virtually all vertebrates, but which work differently in the development of bird faces.These signaling pathways, FGF8 and WNT, tell cells how to proliferate and differentiate, and in land vertebrates are normally expressed in two regions, around the left and right nasal pits. In birds, however, expression also occurs in the middle of the face, causing the two regions to fuse to produce a single beak bone instead of paired facial bones.“We later found that FGF8 mediates the expression of WNT,” Abzhanov said. “So the critical molecule in this entire story is FGF8. It’s expressed very early, and only transiently, but this change, this novel medial expression of FGF8, coincides with the appearance of the beak in modern birds.”For insight into beak development, Abzhanov and colleagues interrupted the pathways in chickens, producing embryos with facial bones that looked remarkably like their snouted dinosaur ancestors.“What happened is we got a range of phenotypes,” Abzhanov said. “Some looked fairly normal, and others were very different. In some embryos the bones that make up the beak did not fuse properly and developed more blunt shapes.”The results of the study, he said, indicate that beaks did not emerge fully formed, but developed gradually through intermediate shape changes, some of which are yet to be found in the fossil record.“We suggest paleontologists will be able to find fossils in the future which will bridge this gap between beaked modern birds and their snouted ancestors,” Abzhanov said. “That transition may have happened in an isolated geographic area, or may have happened very quickly, so they may be hard to find, but we predict that such transitional fossils will eventually be recovered and they will match some of our experimental animals.”He added: “What’s important is we can now explain an important characteristic of the face unique to modern birds, an example of an evolutionary novelty.”last_img read more

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Mike Hosking: Polls show the public knows better than Government on cannabis

first_imgNZ Herald 17 February 2020Family First Comment: Once again, well said Mike!“Poverty, deprivation, crime, emergency housing, feeding kids with no lunch, mental health, and every one of those social issues can be directly linked to drug issues of some sort. Mental health especially is riddled with drug abuse. They can’t be the government who wants to heal the ill, and yet pedal dope in a decriminalised environment. We have all worked that out, of course, and that’s why the poll is the way the poll is.”And then the cannabis, this is the one that has a real battle going on. People like me, and as it turns out the majority of the country who don’t want to legalise it, against taxpayer funded, concerted, ideologically driven obsession that somehow making drugs more available is good news.There are a couple of clear reasons why the gap is 12 points – 51 per cent voting for it to remain illegal, compared to 39 per cent for it to be legalised.And that is because, apart from the basic fact that most of us have seen a bit of life, have kids, worry about them, and know full well we already have an abysmal drug issue in this country, so there can’t be any good reason to exacerbate it, but the government has blown their messaging.Firstly, they’ve left it to Chloe Swarbrick. That’s a fatal mistake, she appeals to those who already vote yes. She’s not a voice of reason, experience, or any sort of gravitas.Where are the heavyweights? Where is Jacinda Ardern, Grant Robertson, Winston Peters, or James Shaw? You know where they are? Hiding, they are only involved in this because of a pathetic coalition sop to the Greens.It is yet another weakness of MMP. We will spend millions on this farce when it never should have seen the light of day.But perhaps more importantly than that, the reason the government can’t sell this is because they’ve spent the last two years, and literally billions, on the myriad of social issues they’ve identified as being their calling card.Poverty, deprivation, crime, emergency housing, feeding kids with no lunch, mental health, and every one of those social issues can be directly linked to drug issues of some sort. Mental health especially is riddled with drug abuse. They can’t be the government who wants to heal the ill, and yet pedal dope in a decriminalised environment.We have all worked that out, of course, and that’s why the poll is the way the poll is.Whether poor old Swarbrick gets that or not, who knows? But consistency in messaging is critical; you have to be authentic and they’re not.Fortunately, we are saving ourselves from ourselves, because tragically those charged with the job in Parliament are failing abysmally.READ MORE: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?objectid=12309214&ref=twitterlast_img read more

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Nimba Utd, BYC II Crowned Champions

first_imgNimba United was crowned “Football Champions” on Sunday when she defeated LISCR FC on penalties to win the 2014/2015 Championship after 120 minutes of action produced no goals.Nimba United, formerly Adorence FC – won the top league title for the first time in five years as they edged LISCR FC 3-2 on lottery shot following a goalless draw after extra time in the finals at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium in Monrovia.When the match tied 1-1, Nimba United’s goalkeeper Emmanuel Deanneh blocked a penalty attempt which psychologically scared LISCR players as they kicked two kicks away – causing their defeat.It took a total of nine kicks to settle the outcome on Sunday after Nimba United had missed their first two attempts.Victory for Nimba United also handed Coach Kollie Corvy, alias Coach Mission-the distinction of lifting his first championship title, unlike LISCR Coach Cooper Sarnor, who has never lifted the “Cup” at either at the County Meet or the national football league.LISCR played excellently but failed to display their winning tactics as Nimba United controlled most of the match. The Mountaineers’ skipper Titus Cooper was the star of the game, delivering a fine performance that had fans chanting his name throughout the 90 minutes.Referee Jerry Yekeh disallowed a goal from Nimba United in the 26th minute after claiming that striker Adetu fouled a LISCR defender before shooting the ball into the back of the net. The “Mountaineers” – as Nimba United is known – continued their dominance in the match. However, their lack of capitalization on goal chances saw them head into penalty kicks before becoming victorious.Nimba United’s triumph earned them the amount of L$1.2 million (US$13,636) as the cash price. They will represent Liberia in the 2016 Confederation of African Football Champions League.Fans of the un-favor champions described the “win” against LISCR FC as sweet victory, having struggled narrowly to top Group A with 19 points, putting Watanga FC behind with 18 points.Flattened LISCR FC was the favorite team; having topped Group B with 25 points.Sunday’s 4-3-3 plot was not only workable for Nimba United which caused the team satisfaction at the end of the encounter.Their scheme lineup included goalie Emmanuel Deanneh; defenders Edward Dean, Anthony Buogbor, Joseph Dennis and Kermue Kamara. Others were Wilton Ninneh, Sunnyboy Dolo and Barbue Kollie, Adetu Evanononye, Titus Cooper and Patrick Sengbeh.Earlier, in the first game, Mighty Dragons clinched the 2nd division champions on a 3-2 aggregate against ELWA United, in spite of their 2-1 defeat. In the first leg, Mighty Dragons whipped ELWA United 2-0.On Saturday, Barrolle escaped relegation with a 2-0 win over Joy Conquerors and BYC II was crowned champions of the Knockout (LFA Cup) after pinning Club Breweries, 2-1 in a lottery shot, after a goalless match.This is the second time for BYC II to win the knockout title. In the 2012/2013 league, the Blue Boys whipped Watanga FC 2-1 to clinch the title.In the 2013/2014 league season, BYC II grabbed the 2nd division championship.Already, Aries FC, Jubilee and Club Monrovia Breweries have been sent down (relegated) to the 2nd division; while Nimba FC, Sesay FC and Joy Conquerors have been sent back to the 3rd division.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Ag Credit/Country Mortgages opens new Mt. Gilead facility

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ag Credit/Country Mortgages, an agricultural lending cooperative serving farmers and rural residents and agribusinesses in northern Ohio, has moved their Mt. Gilead branch to 5362 US Hwy. 42 in Mt. Gilead. The move was made official with a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house on September 16, 2015.“We’re looking forward to serving our community in the new ag service center,” said Joseph Erb, “We will continue to provide the same superior customer service in our new facility.”  The building currently houses five Ag Credit team members:  Branch Manager, Joseph Erb; Account Officer, Andrea Bayles; Mortgage Loan Originator, Michael Kleinknecht; and Operations Support Specialists, Kristen Redmond and Brandy McKinney.The cooperative purchased the property in March 2014.  Jim Brucker of Mt. Gilead designed the new 11,700 square foot building and 2K General Company, Inc. was the lead contractor.  The new Ag Credit offices opened on Sept. 9, 2015. The initial tenants will also include:  Morrow Soil and Water Conservation District, OSU Extension, Community Tax Service LLC, and Community Bookkeeping LLC.“We are very excited about our new facility in Mt. Gilead and believe it will help us better serve the rural and agricultural community in Morrow and surrounding counties,” said CEO Brian Ricker.Morrow County Development Director, Brandon Miller, added, “I feel the new facility plays an intricate role in community by bringing a plethora of businesses, organizations and services under one roof.  The new facility is a direct reflection of Morrow County moving forward and investments in our future coming to life.  This is an exciting time for Morrow County residents, business owners and organizations as we shift into a growth and expansion phase of our community development.”last_img read more

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As Online Video Continues to Boom, Fox Goes Mobile with Bitbop

first_imgRole of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement chris cameron Numbers released from comScore today show that U.S. Internet users watched nearly 34 billion videos online in the month of May, up from just over 30 billion in April. Hulu served up nearly 1.2 billion videos last month, nearly 3.5% of the overall market, while Google remained supreme, accounting for 43% of the market – a whopping 14.6 billion videos – with its powerhouse property, YouTube. Still, Hulu, a place where many watch full episodes of network television, is slowly inching from the pack, and Fox Interactive Media, sitting near the bottom of comScore’s rankings, wants a piece of the action. They’re target? Mobile.Back in January, Hulu managed just over 900 million videos, 2.8% of the overall market and nearly twice as much as the next highest ranked provider, Microsoft. Since then, they’ve grown slightly to 3.5%, fending off the other providers and cementing their position as a leading online video provider. Hulu’s 43.5 million unique visitors in May watched an average of 27 videos each, which is more than a quarter of the number watched by YouTube visitors.Fox Launches Mobile Hulu-esque Subscription Service Fox Interactive Media, which ranks 9th on comScore’s top 10 based on total videos served, announced today that it is taking a stab at mobile video subscription service with what it calls Bitbop. Is it an iPhone app? No. An Android app? No. A mobile website? No. It’s an application for the BlackBerry.BitBop, available on the BlackBerry Bold, Curve and Tour models, is a free application that allows users to watch many of the same TV shows and movies they know from Hulu directly on their phones. While the app is free to download, it comes with a subscription fee – $9.99 a month – to access content. Family Guy, The Office, 30 Rock, Glee, CSI, Friday Night Lights – all the major players are present and accounted for.If you’re asking yourself why the service is only available on the Blackberry – and why wouldn’t you – it’s because Fox has inked an exclusive deal with BlackBerry makers RIM (Research In Motion). It’s a curious partnership, since the majority of BlackBerry owners use their devices mainly for work and enterprise functionality – not exactly the kind of people who are more like to watch online video on their mobile device, if you asked me. Still, it will be interesting to see how it plays out and if Fox can boost their low video market share numbers. There is certainly a market for on-demand mobile video – the success of Netflix’s iPad app and the anticipation of its iPhone app can speak to that thread. Whether that market is on BlackBerry devices is yet to be seen, but this partnership could bode well for both parties. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …center_img Related Posts The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Tags:#mobile#web last_img read more

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Adriano Moraes says Geje Eustaquio ‘a true warrior’ for overcoming bizarre knee bar

first_img“Did you see that? Man, I love that position and I like to call it the ‘Mikinho Knee Bar From the Back,’” said Moraes during the post-fight press conference. “When I go for this position, everybody in training tapped but Geje didn’t.”Eustaquio (11-7) said he was ready to lose his left knee to Moraes, who owns a 2-1 record against him, instead of tapping out and losing the belt via submission.“That was a deep knee bar and I’m waiting for Adriano to take my knee off and let him bring it,” said Eustaquio. “But I will never tap. I decided to finish the fight that if it takes five rounds then I will finish it.”Although, Eustaquio didn’t tap, the hold left an impact on his left knee that Moraes knew factored in the fifth round.“I didn’t believe it when he didn’t tap and I let him go and try other things,” said Moraes. “When we finished the round he tried to stand up and he felt his knee so I was ‘oh my God I got him.’”ADVERTISEMENT Both fighters displayed stellar striking and grappling but there was one submission hold that became the highlight of the fight when Moraes locked Eustaquio from below and pulled the former champion’s left leg over his head.😱 UNREAL FLEXIBILITY 😱 #WeAreONE #HerosAscent #Manila #MartialArts pic.twitter.com/pZK5bICKkrFEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) January 25, 2019Moraes (18-3) said there really is no proper name for the submission hold that he pulled off near the end of the fourth round, but it was a hold that left his teammates at American Top Team tapping out. ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem Luka Doncic’s 32, Maxi Klebler’s D and 3 lift Mavs over Pistons Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—The third fight in the trilogy between Adriano Moraes and Geje Eustaquio for the ONE world flyweight title fulfilled it promise of bringing the fireworks.There was no shortage of action in the fight that Moraes eventually won via unanimous decision to take the belt in the main event of ONE: Hero’s Ascent Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting ONE: Geje Eustaquio, Adriano Moraes looking for convincing finish to trilogy PLAY LIST 01:27ONE: Geje Eustaquio, Adriano Moraes looking for convincing finish to trilogy00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krausscenter_img MOST READ US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “He didn’t tap, he’s a true warrior. Congratulations to him, he did it,” added Moraes.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town View commentslast_img read more

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Rangers Bill Dull Ducks, 7-2

first_imgNEW YORK — Cam Talbot finally had a night in which he didn’t have to be nearly perfect to help the New York Rangers win.The Rangers managed only 13 goals in the previous eight games, but went 6-1-1 in that stretch, with Talbot backstopping all but one of the wins.On March 22, Derek Stepan broke out of his long slump with two goals and an assist, and the Rangers rode the offensive outburst and caught the Western Conference-leading Anaheim Ducks atop the NHL standings with a 7-2 rout.Talbot allowed only two goals to Corey Perry in the first period when the Rangers netted three. He held off the Ducks the rest of the way.“They showed in the first how they can score two pretty quickly,” Talbot said. “You can never think that you’ll be safe against that team with the firepower that they have. “You can never lose focus.”Perry had a chance at a third goal in the third period, but Talbot didn’t let that happen.“It was a big save, but at the time the game was maybe a little out of hand,” Talbot said. “It’s nice not to give up an opposing team hat trick in our building.”Stepan, who had no points in his previous 12 games, scored a goal in each of the first two periods as the Rangers coasted in the second of back-to-back games.“It feels like a couple of pianos came off my back,” Stepan said. “When the offense comes, we’ve got to make sure we bear down and continue to play hard. When you play a good team like Anaheim, you raise your level.”New York snapped the Ducks’ four-game winning streak as Anaheim (46-21-7) began a five-game trip.The Rangers (46-18-7), Ducks, and Montreal Canadiens all have 99 points, but New York has played fewer games than both.“I think they were embarrassed on national TV,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said of his club. “You’re playing a team that’s right behind you in the race for being No. 1. We looked more like No. 30, but it’s over.”New York jumped on starter Frederik Andersen and chased him in favor of John Gibson 10:16 in. Chris Kreider and Carl Hagelin also scored in the opening frame, and J.T. Miller and Stepan tallied against Gibson in the second as New York built a 5-2 lead.Jesper Fast put the Rangers ahead by four at 6:12 of the third, and Derick Brassard made it a season-high seven goals for New York 2:05 later. Keith Yandle tied a career high with three assists — his first helpers in 10 games with the Rangers.Talbot finished with 36 saves and improved to 15-3-3 since No. 1 goalie Henrik Lundqvist was forced out of the lineup by a neck injury. The Rangers are 17-3-3 in that span, including a 3-2 shootout win at Carolina on March 21.Kreider got New York on the board first with his career-best 18th goal, 1:24 in, when he slammed in a loose puck from the crease after a shot by Ryan McDonagh was tipped by Stepan.The Ducks responded 1:26 later when Perry scored his first to get to the 30-goal plateau for the fifth time in the NHL.Anaheim gave the struggling New York power play an early chance with 15:02 remaining when Patrick Maroon drove defenseman Dan Girardi into the boards.Andersen made back-to-back, in-close saves on Kreider and Rick Nash about 50 seconds into the advantage, but fine passing along the blue line set up New York’s second goal. Yandle moved it to his left to Stepan at the point for a shot that got through Kreider’s screen and beat Andersen at 5:43 for his 12th goal.The Rangers weren’t done yet. Kevin Hayes spun in the right circle and fired a shot that hit Hagelin and got past Andersen for his 16th goal at 10:16.That ended Andersen’s night after he stopped only four of seven shots. Gibson turned aside all four he faced in the first.“Obviously, our goaltender was better than their goaltenders,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. “Cam made some big saves at the right time, and we caught their goalies a little bit off.”Perry got the Ducks back within a goal with 8:48 left in the first, driving by McDonagh and flipping a shot past Talbot for his 31st goal.“We’re going to flush it and move on,” forward Ryan Getzlaf said. “Tonight was embarrassing, terrible. We didn’t have anything.”(IRA PODELL, AP Hockey Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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Back-to-School Message by Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid

first_img Together we must build on that partnership and stakeholder engagement this year as we continue to work for the educational development of our children and overall economic growth in our country. My fellow Jamaicans, as we begin this new school year 2017 / 2018, we do so with much optimism and confidence that this will be a very good year for the education of our young people in Jamaica.Much work has been done to lay the foundation for improved student performance. School plants have been renovated, furniture and other equipment have been provided and most important, the first tranche operational grants have been sent to our schools in good time to allow for the smooth re-opening of our institutions.Last year, we experienced a tremendous partnership among stakeholders – teachers, the Jamaica Teachers Association, students, parents, school board members, administrative, ancillary, and staff of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.Together we must build on that partnership and stakeholder engagement this year as we continue to work for the educational development of our children and overall economic growth in our country.So we start this new school year with a great sense of hope that our united efforts will lead to better education outcomes.The encouraging results from our students’ performance in the GSAT exams and improvements at the CSEC, CAPE, NVQJ and City and Guilds levels point to the progress being made through new initiatives to improve outcomes. With the continued excellent guidance of our teachers and application of our students we will see good results.I turn now to our plans and policies for the education system for the start of the 2017/2018 academic year.We now spend over thirty seven billion, six hundred and ninety nine million, six hundred and twenty four thousand, three hundred and sixty one dollars (37,699,624,361) on secondary education which includes Salaries, Grants, TVET, ICT, Science, Infrastructure, furniture and nutrition. That means we are spending between $176,994 and $190,000 per capita at the secondary level.We will honour our commitment to increase funding to Primary, All Age and Junior High Schools for the academic year 2017/2018 with a budget of $1B outside of salaries.In the meantime, we have adopted a non-obligatory policy towards the payment of parents’ contribution. We are however encouraging parents to contribute to their schools once agreement has been reached and approved by the Board of Governors.New policies are also in place to help schools address pressing problems and help with their cash flow.i. The first tranche has already been disbursed from June 2017.ii. The second tranche to be disbursed in the second week of September.iii. The third tranche in the second week of December.iv. The fourth tranche will be paid in the second week of April 2018All other support grants to school including STEM, TVET, Curriculum, Infrastructure repairs are being disbursed.In addition to the support mentioned earlier, we are also providing other areas of support for the new school year:These include payment for: • Additional teachers for those schools that require special support based on the nature of the students and special programmes being offered.• Twenty five (25) temporary Deans of Discipline• Over 1000 young persons to be engaged as lab technicians, Safety and Security Support Officers, Clerical Officers and environmental Wardens will be placed in selected schools.• Payment of 913 cooks across the system to the tune of 274.8 million.• Upgrading of canteens and provision of equipment to the tune of over $200 millionThis administration believes no child should be left behind because of the family’s economic circumstances. So the Government has increased funding for students on PATH to ensure they receive lunch for five days per week and literature books commencing with the grade 7, 10 and 11 in this new term at a cost of $116 million.Payment for insurance will also be made for students on PATH and wards of the State at a cost of $26M.PATH allocation of $2000 will be used to cover the cost of ID and uniform related items. Book vouchers are being provided for the neediest students up to $ 2000 per student. Total to be spent is $50M.Transportation will be provided for students on PATH in eight parishes.This will be done in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) as well as the Ministry of Transport and Mining. A total of $200M will be allocated for this activity.At the early childhood level, many of our institutions need help. As part of the efforts to improve standards and give our children a strong foundation as they begin their education journey, theMinistry will be taking over a number these schools. In addition with the support of the Ministry, 117 basic schools will be converted into 56 Infant Departments.Our mantra Every child can learn, every child must learn is at the centre of what we do. So we are ensuring that our children with special needs are not left behind. The Ministry’s Special Education Unit will place one thousand, four hundred and seventy four (1,474) students in special education facilities at a cost of fifty seven million, seven hundred and eighty six thousand, two hundred and forty dollars ($57, 786, 240), for 2017- 2018.Of course, among the most essential tools for students are textbooks. Therefore under the National Textbook Loan Scheme and the Primary Textbook Programme, the Ministry of Education is spending approximately eight hundred million ($800,000,000.00) on books for the new school year. The delivery of books to schools has started and will be completed by October 6, 2017.With regard to nutrition, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information School Feeding Unit in collaboration with the Nutrition Products Limited will continue to provide funds and or snacks to schools directly for the School Feeding Programme.The Ministry is happy to report that the delivery of furniture to schools primarily for students started from the second week in July and will be completed by the last week of September.To ensure that critical infrastructure issues are addressed, we have identified 172 schools for upgrades from the Schools Maintenance Project at a cost of Five Hundred and Fifty-four Million ThreeHundred and Three Thousand Eight Hundred and Eighty Dollars ($554,303,880.00).This infrastructure upgrade also addresses sanitation concerns. Forty two schools still utilize pit latrines as the only means of faecal disposal. As such, Seventy-six million dollars ($76,000,000.00) has been allocated in the 2017 – 2018 budgets for 35 schools under the Ministry’s Sanitation Programme.Schools are being encouraged to ensure that safety and security committees are in place and that the safety and Security Guidelines are utilized within the schools to treat with this area.We began the phased roll out of the new national curriculum last year and for this year it will be fully implemented in all grades up to grade 9 in the first term of the new school year. The Alternative Pathway for Secondary Level Education will also be launched in 84 schools.In the meantime, the Career Advancement Programme has been expanded as the flagship programme for the creation of an additional two years at the secondary level. Over 123 schools have been approved to offer the programme to date and others are being processed.My fellow Jamaicans, this year we have another great opportunity to redouble our efforts to help create an education system which enables every child to achieve his or her full potential.As we do so in a spirit of unity and partnership, this will be to the benefit of all of us in the short, medium and long term. Together let us rise and build Jamaica, land we love.Thank you. My fellow Jamaicans, this year we have another great opportunity to redouble our efforts to help create an education system which enables every child to achieve his or her full potential. As we do so in a spirit of unity and partnership, this will be to the benefit of all of us in the short, medium and long term. Together let us rise and build Jamaica, land we love. Story Highlights My fellow Jamaicans, as we begin this new school year 2017 / 2018, we do so with much optimism and confidence that this will be a very good year for the education of our young people in Jamaica. last_img read more

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Is Tom Brady Finally Getting Old

Brady’s worst five-game stretchesTom Brady’s lowest cumulative expected points added (EPA) in any five-game window, 2007-2017 20149/7/1410/5/1420219.543-2 200911/22/0912/20/0918419.813-2 201010/4/1011/7/1019518.144-1 Neither quarterback gave any indication that anything was different if you look at the full-season statistics. But while we think a decline for a player happens neatly at the start of a season, Manning showed the circus can leave town at any time. For him, that time was his 12th game of the 2014 season. Previously, he was characteristically crushing the NFL with a third-best 109.5 passer rating and fourth-best 8.05 yards per attempt — that’s very similar to Brady’s first 11 games this year, with a 111.7 passer rating (first) and 8.27 yards per attempt (third).But then Manning instantly transformed into an old quarterback: a 78.7 rating (24th) in his final five games with a TD-to-interception rate of 5-to-6, compared with 34-to-9 in the first 11 games.Manning’s 2014 season ended with a home loss in the divisional round because of his poor play against an inexperienced playoff team with a third-year quarterback (Indianapolis’s Andrew Luck). Coincidently on Saturday, the Patriots will also take the field as a significant favorite at home against an inexperienced playoff team with a third-year quarterback (Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota).Premature obits have been written for Brady before. There’s little reason to doubt New England based on what they’ve accomplished this century. But if Belichick and Brady are to get that unprecedented sixth ring, they will need Brady to look more like what he’s been and less like what he is: a 40-year-old quarterback.Check out our latest NFL predictions. 20139/29/1310/27/1321618.743-2 On paper, 2017 seems like a very typical Tom Brady season. He is leading the NFL in passing yards and sporting a 102.8 passer rating that’s his second-best since 2011. The Patriots are once again the No. 1 seed in the AFC, and Brady is the leading candidate to be named the NFL’s most valuable player.But over the past five weeks, there has been some trouble brewing in Foxboro — at least by New England’s own ridiculous standards. After the Patriots traded away Brady’s heir apparent, Jimmy Garoppolo, an ESPN report of an internal power struggle between Brady, coach Bill Belichick and owner Robert Kraft has clouded the future of the five-time champions. But perhaps more worrisome than this report is that Brady himself has been quietly marred in a slump.Brady’s last five games of the 2017 regular season were uncharacteristically mediocre, despite New England going 4-1 in that span. Beginning in Week 13, Brady has posted a passer rating of 81.6, 17th best in the NFL,1Minimum of 80 pass attempts. and his yards per attempt in that span were 6.95, 15th best in the league. He’s also been far worse in touchdowns to interceptions, going from 26-to-3 in his first 11 games to an unusual-for-him 6-to-5.In the context of his career, Brady’s extended sample of poor play is surprising but not unprecedented. Dating back to 2007, when he turned 30, this is Brady’s sixth worst five-game stretch measured by expected points added2EPA is a measure of offensive productivity that accounts for the value of yards gained, field position and down/distance. based on the quality of his play. Brady accumulated 22.16 EPA in his last five games, for an average of 4.43 per game. His average in Games 1 through 11 was more than 2 points higher (6.76 EPA). 201712/3/1712/31/1720722.164-1 Does not include overlapping periods or playoff games; single-season stretches only. Action plays include pass attempts, QB runs and sacks.Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group 201510/29/1511/29/1522622.194-1 201512/6/151/3/1620418.592-3 Yes, Brady was without his best weapon, Rob Gronkowski, for the worst game in the stretch, a 27-20 loss to the Dolphins in Miami, when he managed only a 59.5 rating and 4.16 EPA. But he capped the regular season at home against the New York Jets with his lowest yards per attempt of the year (5.14), with an active Gronkowski being held catchless.This could all be random variance. Maybe Brady is still eluding Father Time better than any quarterback in history and will soon erase all doubts, as he has before. He’s certainly fired up about even faint whispers of his decline. And the Patriots last year reportedly were planning as if his commitment to diet and training would allow him to play at an elite level for at least another couple of seasons. Brady, of course, seems to think he can continue pushing defenses around even when he’s pushing 50.But if we were to look at the half-empty glass, we can draw comparisons to the career arc of Brady’s former longtime nemesis, Peyton Manning. No, not the Manning we last saw in 2015, who somehow won a Super Bowl with play so poor that his league-leading defense was forced to overcome it. Brady’s 2017 season is actually eerily similar to the 2014 Manning, who was his typical dominant self for the first 11 games of the year before falling off a cliff that can be seen now only in hindsight. At the time, the poor play was attributed to nagging injuries and not the inevitable end of one of the NFL’s greatest careers. 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