According to Pandor, the Office for Astronomy Development is potentially a breeding ground for African leaders in the field of astronomy and development, with many opportunities for volunteer, contract and part-time work at specific projects. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) and the National Research Foundation (NRF) signed an agreement concluding the selection process in Pretoria on Friday. The NRF is responsible for the SA Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory, and the SA Square Kilometre Array project office. “Finding a home for the Office for Astronomy Development is the first step in the execution of the most ambitious global plan ever conceived in astronomy for development,” said IAU president Robert Williams. “On the behalf of the IAU, I congratulate the SAAO and wish the new Office for Astronomy Development every success in this exciting and important new venture.” SAAO director Phil Charles said they were delighted at the confidence expressed in them. “Astronomy is all about partnerships, and we look forward to strengthening those we already have, as well as to building new ones, as we use astronomy as a vehicle to introduce science and technology to a new generation. “South Africa has been visionary in exploiting the country’s natural strategic advantage in astronomy and using it as an integral part of its science and technology strategy,” Charles said. “We aim to show that the skies are not the limit.” Southern Africa currently boasts two of the world’s most advanced telescopes – Namibia’s High Energy Stereoscopic System (HESS) and the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), the largest single optical telescope in the southern hemisphere. South Africa has also been short-listed, together with Australia, to host the most powerful radio telescope ever, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). The Karoo Array Telescope (MeerKAT), an SKA precursor telescope, is currently being built in South Africa’s Karoo region. Construction of a seven-dish MeerKAT prototype array was recently completed. Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor, speaking after the first announcement of South Africa’s winning bid in May, said the award “represents a boost to all our current astronomy-related activities, including our bid to host the SKA. South Africa beat about 20 countries in its bid to host the office, which will play a central role in coordinating and managing International Astronomical Union educational activities, as well as in recruiting and mobilising volunteers. The South African Astronomical Observatory in Cape Town will soon be host to the International Astronomical Union’s Office for Astronomy Development, which will play a key role in taking astronomy to the developing world. “South African universities will benefit from their proximity to the office, because of the opportunities for workshops and sharing of experiences.” Breeding ground 2 August 2010 It will give South Africans access to the biggest network for astronomy outreach and education in the world – a wonderful injection of energy into an already active and effective science education community. “Everyone is an astronomer at heart – all young people are curious about the universe and their part in it,” Pandor said. “It is not about turning people into professional astronomers; it’s about harnessing their natural curiosity about their environment and turning that into a desire to learn more.” SAinfo reporter and BuaNewsWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material She said that one of the objectives of the office was to take astronomy into parts of the world where there was none at all, and the poor, rural parts of South Africa provided an ideal close location to test and validate projects for wider implementation.
ohio state terry mclaurin spring gameOhio State’s young wide receivers are having a day during the program’s spring game. First, it was Noah Brown corralling a pass one-handed over the middle. Now, Terry McLaurin has his own catch to add to the highlight reel.Right before halftime, McLaurin went up over the top of Buckeye cornerback Damon Webb and hauled in a touchdown from quarterback Stephen Collier. It was a pretty play on both ends. The record-breaking crowd at The Horseshoe today are certainly being treated to some entertaining action.
SANTA CLARA, CA – JANUARY 07: Head coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers looks on during warm ups prior to the CFP National Championship against the Alabama Crimson Tide presented by AT&T at Levi’s Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) @ClemsonFBThere weren’t many upsets in college football this weekend, but there was still plenty of exciting action throughout the country. Michigan, Stanford and Miami eked out last-second victories, with Miami coming in especially improbably fashion. Notre Dame rallied in the final minutes to hold off Temple, and UNC’s win over a ranked Pittsburgh squad bumped the upstart 7-1 Heels into the top 25. But in ESPN’s Weekly Power Rankings, the big news is at the very top of the poll. That’s where you can find a new No. 1 team: Clemson. The Tigers’ ’56-41 win over NC State enabled them to vault over undefeated Ohio State and into the top spot. Poor Buckeyes: they were on a bye this week and could do nothing about Clemson overtaking them. Here are the full rankings:1. Clemson 2. Ohio State 3. LSU 4. Baylor 5. TCU 6. Michigan State 7. Alabama 8. Florida 9. Notre Dame 10. Stanford 11. Iowa 12. Oklahoma State 13. Oklahoma 14. Utah 15. Memphis 16. Florida State 17. Michigan 18. Houston 19. Ole Miss 20. Temple 21. Toledo 22. UNC 23. UCLA 24. Mississippi State 25. Navy Texas A&MCompared to last week’s rankings, how do you think ESPN did?
The cyber mentorship platform is not limited to volunteers who were in Jamaica. Story Highlights Prospective mentors have to submit their police record and they have to pass certain medical tests. Country Representative for CUSO International, Tarik Perkins, explained that the screening process is aimed at protecting the integrity of the project. The Jamaica Diaspora Institute’s (JDI) partner for the Diaspora Youth Connect (DYC) project, CUSO International, has applied a stringent screening process for mentors and volunteers to ensure the confidence of Jamaicans in the project, particularly parents and guardians.Speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’,at the agency’s headquarters in Kingston, on October 8, Country Representative for CUSO International, Tarik Perkins, explained that the screening process is aimed at protecting the integrity of the project, which is aimed at driving the spirit of entrepreneurship among youth in Jamaica.“CUSO mitigates against the risks associated with mentorship programmes. Prospective mentors have to submit their police record and they have to pass certain medical tests. We inform mentors through ‘pre-departure’ and ‘in-country’ orientations, about Jamaica’s Child Protection Policy, for example, as they will be coming to work in different communities and interacting with our youth,” Mr. Perkins explained.He added that the stringent recruitment process is also applied to Diaspora volunteers, including persons who are accustomed to the culture, laws and policies of Jamaica.The DYC initiative seeks to leverage human and financial resources that are located in the Diaspora to strengthen the capacity, the entrepreneurial and business management, community development, youth empowerment/mobilization, and Information Communication Technology (ICT) skills in a number of inner-city communities.CUSOInternational is an international development organization that works collaboratively with overseas partner organizations on locally and nationally managed projects. This is done through volunteers who work on long term solutions that will have an impact for generations to come.“Our role in this project is providing recruitment for Jamaicans in the Diaspora to participate in the DYC project,” Mr. Perkins explained.These volunteers, he said, are integrated with local partners, such as the JDI and communities that host the volunteers for four to six months. They seek to build the capacity of the host communities, so that the initiative is sustained and the young entrepreneurs benefit significantly.Mr. Perkins told JIS News that mentors for the project are successful mid-career professionals, academics, researchers, youth workers, social workers, and persons who can add value to youth entrepreneurship in Jamaica. He also highlighted that there are four volunteers from the United States and Canada who are in Jamaica working with young entrepreneurs.“These volunteers also spend time with the ultimate beneficiaries, the young entrepreneurs, helping them to develop their business plans and design marketing strategies; they inculcate leadership skills, help them to manipulate technology and provide them with social media,” he added.The CUSO representative noted that maintaining the programme and the relationships developed between young entrepreneurs and mentors is also done through a cyber mentorship platform.“After the volunteers’ four to six months have ended, that is where the mentorship process continues,” he explained.The cyber mentorship platform is not limited to volunteers who were in Jamaica. CUSO recruits other professionals in the Jamaican Diaspora to connect more volunteers with young professionals. These volunteers are also screened.
MADRID – A Spanish judge issued an international arrest warrant on Friday for former members of the Catalan Cabinet who were last seen in Brussels, including the ousted separatist leader Carles Puigdemont, who said he was prepared to run for his old job even while battling extradition in Belgium.The National Court judge filed the request with the Belgian prosecutor to detain Puigdemont and his four aides, and issued separate international search and arrest warrants to alert Interpol in case they flee Belgium.Puigdemont’s Belgian lawyer did not answer calls requesting comment, but has said that his client will fight extradition to Spain without seeking political asylum. Belgian federal prosecutors said they had received the arrest warrant and could question Puigdemont in coming days.“We will study it, and put it in the hands of an investigating judge,” spokesman Eric Van Der Sijpt told The Associated Press. “We are not in any hurry.”Puigdemont and the four others are being sought for five different crimes, including rebellion, sedition and embezzlement in a Spanish investigation into their roles in pushing for secession for Catalonia.The officials flew to Brussels after Spanish authorities removed Puigdemont and his Cabinet from office on Saturday for declaring independence for Catalonia. The Spanish government has also called an early regional election for Dec. 21.Puigdemont told Belgian state broadcaster that he was in Belgium “ready to be a candidate” in the early polls and because he had lost faith in the Spanish justice system.“We can run a campaign anywhere because we’re in a globalized world,” he told RTBF, adding that he was not in Belgium to “Belgianize Catalan politics.”“I did not flee, but it’s impossible to properly prepare” a legal defence while in Spain, he told the broadcaster.If Belgium acts on the international warrant issued by Spain and arrests him, Puigdemont would have to be brought before an investigating judge within 24 hours. His extradition procedure would take 15 days, Belgian legal experts say. But should Puigdemont appeal, that process could take a further 45 days, meaning that he would probably not leave Belgium before early January, well after the elections.In her decision on Friday, Judge Carmen Lamela said that Puigdemont “apparently is in Belgium” and accused him of “leading the mobilization of the pro-independence sectors of the population to act in support of the illegal referendum and thus the secession process outside the legal channels to reform the constitution.”Spain says the only legal way to achieve secession is by reforming Spain’s 1978 Constitution with an ample majority in the national parliament. The constitution says the country is “indivisible” and doesn’t allow regional votes on sovereignty.The arrest warrant came a day after the same judge jailed nine former members of Puigdemont’s separatist government. All members of the ousted Cabinet were ordered to appear at Spain’s National Court on Thursday to answer questions in a rebellion investigation. Five of them, including Puigdemont, didn’t show up.Spanish prosecutors want to charge members of the dismissed regional government —as well as six additional members of the regional parliament— for promoting official steps to declaring Catalonia’s independence.Meanwhile, a panel of National Court judges on Friday rejected an appeal seeking the release of two separatist activists who were jailed last month in a separate sedition investigation.A National Court spokesman said the president of the Assemblea Nacional Catalana, Jordi Sanchez, and Omnium Cultural leader Jordi Cuixart will remain in a Madrid jail while the investigation continues. The spokesman spoke on condition of anonymity in line with court policy.Sanchez and Cuixart are being investigated for allegedly orchestrating protests that hindered a judicial investigation to halt preparations for a banned independence referendum held on Oct. 1.Under Spain’s legal system, investigating judges can have suspects detained while a comprehensive probe, sometimes taking months, determines if they should be charged.Spanish government spokesman Inigo Mendez de Vigo deflected questions by the media regarding the jailing of the Catalan officials. The separation of powers meant that the government’s focus was on preparing for the early election it called for Catalonia, Mendez de Vigo said.“What the government guarantees is that there will be elections where the parties that want to run can present their programs, and we hope that the election can end this period of uncertainty and the deterioration of harmonious coexistence in Catalonia,” he said.One of the nine jailed Catalan officials, ex-regional minister for business Santi Vila, posted bail of 50,000 euros ($58,000) and was released from custody on Friday. His passport was confiscated and Vila needs to show up in court regularly as the rebellion, sedition and embezzlement probe continues.The other eight were held without having bail set.“I ask for all political parties across Spain, appealing to their democratic values, to put an end to this terrible situation that has put politicians in prison,” Vila said as he left the Estremera prison near Madrid.Vila resigned in protest a day before Catalonia’s parliament voted in favour of the independence declaration. He has said he wants to lead the centre-right separatist Democratic Party of Catalonia in the upcoming election on a moderate platform.Puigdemont and his Cabinet were removed by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who used extraordinary constitutional authority authorized by the Spanish Senate to depose the separatists, dissolve the regional legislature and call the early regional election.Spain’s Supreme Court is also investigating six members of Catalonia’s parliament. The court postponed a hearing Thursday until next week to allow more time for them to prepare their defences in the case.In all, Spanish prosecutors are investigating 20 regional politicians for rebellion and other crimes that would be punishable by up to 30 years in prison.___Cook reported from Brussels. Associated Press writer Joseph Wilson in Barcelona contributed to this report.___Find complete AP coverage of Catalonia here: https://apnews.com/tag/Spain
Canadians will likely have to pay more for certain food items soon as grocers grapple with the impact of new tariffs in an ongoing trade war and other pressures, said Loblaw Companies Ltd. CEO.“We see a very strong possibility of an accelerating retail price inflation in the market,” said Galen G. Weston during a conference call with analysts Wednesday.The company pointed to new tariffs imposed by the Canadian federal government as of July 1 on $16.6 billion of U.S. imports. The targets include a number of food products, such as yogurt, coffee, soya sauce and mayonnaise.It’s unclear what the financial impact of these tariffs will be, the company said, and the outcome will depend on how both suppliers and Canadians respond.Higher transportation costs and a low loonie add further pressure on the grocery and pharmacy retailer, which indicated it expects to see upward pressure in prices.“We don’t think it’s going to be meaningful, you know, super significant,” Weston said, “but it certainly will be higher than what it is today.”The comments came after the company released its second-quarter financial results.The grocer’s adjusted earnings outpaced analyst estimates, but it also recorded an 86.1 per cent decline in net profit due to a number of unfavourable items including an acquisition expense at its Choice Properties division.Net profit available to common shareholders dropped to $50 million or 13 cents per share for the 12 weeks ended June 16, from $359 million or 90 cents per share a year earlier, the company said.Excluding $100 million or 26 cents per share of costs related to the acquisition of Canadian Real Estate Investment Trust, $192 million or 51 cents in adjustments to the fair value of a liability as well as other items, Loblaw’s adjusted net earnings were down a less dramatic 5.6 per cent to $421 million, or $1.11 per share.Analysts had estimated $1.09 per share of adjusted earnings, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.Overall revenue was in line with analyst estimates at $10.92 billion for the 12 weeks ended June 16, down $157 million or 1.4 per cent from the second quarter of 2017 — reflecting the sale of the company’s gas bar operations last year.Analyst Irene Nattel of RBC Dominion Securities wrote that the second-quarter results are evidence that the company “is hyper-focused on ensuring its sector-leading market position while driving operating efficiency and productivity.”Same-store sales growth at the food retail division — which operates under a number of banners — was 0.8 per cent, excluding gas bar operations, while drug retail same-store sales growth at Shoppers Drug Mart was 1.7 per cent.Follow @AleksSagan on TwitterCompanies in this story: (TSX:L)
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Canada’s gun laws have been much more effective than loads of other nations, but recent events have made the government consider additional restrictions in parts of the country.In wake of the Toronto shooting that took place last month, Toronto city council passed a motion urging the federal government to allow the city to ban the sale of handguns and ammunition within the city limits.Conservative Party Member of Parliment Bob Zimmer explained that he believes Toronto is going after the wrong idea. “What does need to happen is they need to combat gangs getting guns,” said Zimmer. “They need to put more resources into capturing those firearms they brought through the border.”Zimmer added that stopping the smuggling of illegal guns into Canada was the biggest issue regarding the matter.“Stopping the smuggling of handguns into Canada is the problem. They need to crack down on that and I’d be more than happy to see resources put in to do that.”Zimmer mentioned that when in the proper hands, handguns are no more harmful than driving a car.“We have automobile accidents, so does that mean we are going to eliminate all automobiles?”“For some reason that gets attributed to firearms and people say okay. Well, its okay if you don’t use firearms but if you’re a firearms owner that does it lawfully, you use it for sport, some use it for their jobs.” Zimmer added that there are already loads of restrictions to legally acquire firearms and that adding more is not needed.“To own a handgun in Canada you need to be licensed, do training, have a background check and have to maintain that impeccable record just to own one. I don’t think we need to make any more laws to make it more difficult for lawful firearms owners.”Zimmer went on to say that it is unfortunate when shootings like Toronto and most recently Fredericton occur, but the focus should be on illegal firearms.
New Delhi: Families of the 40 CRPF personnel, killed in a recent terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district, have been paid over Rs 1 crore ex-gratia funds till now as per service rules, the force said Friday. Officials said the ‘next of kin’ of these slain personnel will also get an additional ex-gratia amount that has been announced by various state governments, where the troops hailed from, in a case-to-case basis. A total amount of over Rs 1.01 crore has been paid to the families of the 40 personnel who were killed in the Pulwama terror attack on February 14, an official from the force said. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! He added that this amount includes Rs 35 lakh given by the central government as ex-gratia to the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) personnel killed in the line of action, Rs 21.50 lakh under the risk fund, Rs 15 lakh from the ‘Bharat Ke Veer’ corpus and Rs 30 lakh from the SBI paramilitary service pay insurance cover. The families additionally are also being provided financial benefits from various government and non-government agencies even as some institutions have volunteered to take care of education of the wards of these personnel, he said. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killed “Liberalised Pension Award (LPA) is being given to all the 40 families and this amount equals to the last basic pay plus dearness allowance drawn by the killed personnel. This amount will be paid lifelong,” the official said. He added that while in some cases, the ‘next of kin’ of the killed personnel have been offered jobs by state governments, they are also eligible for compassionate appointment for jobs in the CRPF. The force is soon going to launch a special mobile application which has been designed specifically for redressal of grievances relating to the families of killed personnel of the force. This will be launched soon, he said. The 40 CRPF personnel were travelling in a force bus when a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into the bus on February 14. The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has deployed as many as 61 battalions in the state, with about 65,000 personnel, and is the lead counter-terrorist and internal security force in the Kashmir valley.
The buildup to No. 6 Ohio State and No. 10 Nebraska has been growing for weeks. After the Buckeyes dropped a game to Penn State midway through the year, all eyes were on Saturday’s primetime showdown with the Cornhuskers. But the potentially résumé building game against Nebraska spells trouble for OSU. After failing to contain a mobile quarterback in Penn State redshirt sophomore Trace McSorley, who scrambled in for a key touchdown late, the Scarlet and Gray will be faced with an even more difficult challenge in senior quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr.Armstrong has been scoring touchdowns through the air and on the ground for the entire season, much like he has done throughout his career in Nebraska. After running back Ameer Abdullah left, Armstrong has been the go-to guy for the Cornhusker offense, and he has not disappointed.With 1,764 yards passing and 419 yards rushing, Armstrong is well on his way to challenging for 3,000 yards this season. Cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs knows his unit will be pushed and will face adversity against him.“He’s a very dynamic football player,” Coombs said. “He can run, he can throw, he scrambles. He does everything well. He probably has the strongest arm of any of the quarterbacks we’ve seen this year. We know we’ve got to do everything we can to contain him in the pocket, try to make sure we have on-body coverage, but then we also have to stop him when he runs the ball.”OSU has struggled at times against dynamic signal callers this year. On top of McSorley, the Buckeyes faced redshirt junior Baker Mayfield, the lead man for Oklahoma. While the Sooners failed to top the Buckeyes, Mayfield had a decent day passing the ball. His legs were not a factor, as he could only find five yards on eight carries. However, last week against Northwestern, OSU struggled to stop Northwestern’s Clayton Thorson, who scampered for a 35-yard run. So how will the Buckeyes stop Armstrong? It’s simple, really.Crash the pocketOSU redshirt junior cornerback Gareon Conley (8) and OSU redshirt sophomore cornerback Marshon Lattimore (2) celebrate Conley’s first half interception during the Buckeyes game against the Badgers on Oct. 15. The Buckeyes won 30-23 in overtime. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorMobile quarterbacks have a tendency to have “happy feet” in the pocket. Plays occasionally take a long time to develop, and a signal caller who struggles to keep his legs under him in the pocket can have a secondary licking its chops. If OSU wants to have opportunities to be ballhawks, they have to put pressure on Armstrong. Bringing edge pressure will force Armstrong to backpedal away from the pocket. If he rolls to his left, then half the field will be removed from the play. The same can be said for his right. When a quarterback removes himself from the pocket, it’s up to receivers to run rover and find a way to get open. With two stud cornerbacks in redshirt junior Gareon Conley and redshirt sophomore Marshon Lattimore, a trigger-happy Armstrong without his feet under him could make those two corners very happy by the end of the night.Defend the deep ballArmstrong is a cannon-armed quarterback who loves to chuck the ball deep. That much is known, but just how well can the Buckeyes keep the ball from receivers further than 20 yards down the field?OSU has been guilty of giving up chunk plays down the field, including some key ones against Penn State. That could spell trouble for OSU early. The Buckeyes have not seemed like a team that can handle an early deficit well, and expect Nebraska to chuck it downfield early.Sure, Conley and Lattimore are looking good at this point of the year, but the secondary has been guilty of the occasional misread on passes over the top, like this instance against Wisconsin.If the Buckeyes want to find a way to win, they have to keep Armstrong from pitching it deep. Get out in front earlyAlthough Nebraska does not have the most potent offense, any form of lead can be enough for a team that puts up 32 points a game and only lost one game this season.OSU has struggled mightily in the first half this year, and needs to find a way to get points on the board early to keep the dynamic ability of Armstrong from hurting them. If he is playing with the lead, OSU’s defense might tense up and be in for a long night in Ohio Stadium. As aggressive as they are, the Silver Bullets could run themselves right out of the game if overly aggressive.Putting points up early would force Armstrong to push in order to catch back up, and the Buckeyes defense is best with the lead.
Forty-five games into his collegiate career, Zach Boren finally debuted at linebacker, the position he was originally recruited to Ohio State to play. Boren came to Ohio State in January 2009 as the No. 45 overall middle linebacker prospect in the nation according to the recruiting site Scout.com, but, until Saturday’s 52-49 win against Indiana, Boren was used as a fullback. Against the Hoosiers, Boren finished the game with a team-high eight tackles and the position switch is a move his OSU teammates said is for the good of the team. “That’s the ultimate sacrifice. He’s the best fullback in the country, and he’s going to go over and play linebacker and give up three years of playing fullback and maybe be an All-Big Ten playing fullback, to go over there and do everything he can for the team playing defense,” redshirt junior left tackle Jack Mewhort said. “We love him for that and that’s just the guy that he is.” The change might have been less of a sacrifice in Boren’s own mind, because defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Luke Fickell said he has wanted to play defense for years. “He wanted to be a linebacker for three years here. He’s been asking, ‘Hey, can I come over? Can I come over? Can I come over?’” Fickell said. “Tuesday afternoon in practice … (head coach Urban Meyer) brought him over, because we had talked about it, and … he naturally gave us a spark.” Boren was given an opportunity at linebacker because redshirt senior linebacker Etienne Sabino broke his fibula. Meyer said Sabino was “kind of our guy” and called Boren’s switch “temporarily permanent.” Against Indiana on Saturday, Boren played linebacker for the first time since high school, and in his first start, he led the Buckeye defense with eight total tackles. “I think someone said he led the team in tackles, which is hard to believe, but he did,” Meyer said. This was not the first time Meyer has dealt with a depth issue by switching over an offensive player to defense. Meyer said strength coach Mickey Marotti reminded him that while at the University of Florida, Meyer moved current Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey from offensive line to defensive line. “Right in the middle of the practice I moved (Pouncey) to defensive tackle because we were banged and bruised and didn’t have the leadership, didn’t have the toughness at that point. His energy, his leadership, his toughness, and we kept him over there for several games just until guys got back,” Meyer said. Meyer said Boren’s switch would not have happened if it were not for the play of sophomore tight end Jeff Heuerman. He is fourth on the team in reception yards, and is one of five players with a touchdown reception. “That move could not have been made if you didn’t have Heuerman and (redshirt freshman tight end Nick) Vannett. Heuerman has been coming on,” Meyer said. “He’s been playing 10 to 15 plays a game, and now he played 50,” Meyer said. When faced with the challenge of learning an entire defense, Boren had help from some of his teammates, including sophomore linebacker Ryan Shazier.. “We try to help Zach a lot,” Shazier said. “Zach pretty much knows everything because he came in a little bit at (linebacker) and it wasn’t that difficult because he knows what he is doing.”