now browsing by tag
The controversy over Stephen Meyer’s intelligent design paper (see 09/16/2004 headline) continues. Science printed a brief but dismissive news item claiming its publication was a mistake, but journal editor Rick Sternberg has answered the charges on his personal website. Meyer has responded to criticisms leveled by Richard Monastersky in the Chronicle of Education. The Discovery Institute has provided materials to reporters due to the unprecedented attention this publication has raised.This is a good chance to study both sides of an issue and do some baloney detecting.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
With local government elections set for next year, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Pravin Gordhan discusses the importance of reforming municipal structure to ensure optimal governance and service delivery.South Africans queue to vote in the 2014 national elections. (Image: The Presidency) Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Pravin GordhanSouth Africans are no doubt looking forward to the local government elections next year. They are an important because municipalities form the first line of contact between citizens and government.Since 1994 our nation has undergone many changes. But for all our success we are still plagued by issues from our past.Among them is the need to review governance structures, including municipal structures. There are municipalities that struggle to deliver services because of insufficient revenue and inadequate governance.The Back-to-Basics programme analysed municipalities across the country and found about a third to be dysfunctional. This was determined by measuring economic and financial viability, tax sustainability and dependence on inter-governmental transfers.Measures to address these challenges are aimed at ensuring sustainability and viability. The measures include direct interventions in cases where laws have been flouted or municipalities lack the capacity to deliver services. They also include strengthening district municipalities so that they deliver services. In certain cases there is a need to disestablish and amalgamate local municipalities to improve governance and functionality.The eagle-eyed would by now have noticed that the changes tend to coincide with municipal elections. There is a small window to make changes between local government election cycles. Having consulted all MECs responsible for local government in the provinces, the Ministry for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs requested the Municipal Demarcation Board in terms of section 22(2) of the Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act of 1998 to determine/re-determine the boundaries of various municipalities based on assessments conducted by the Department of Cooperative Governance.There were 25 specific requests in respect of seven provinces, with a total of 61 municipalities affected. There are also another 15 municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal where the request to the Board requires adjustments to municipal boundaries to align traditional rural communities.Historically, these changes have been met with only limited opposition. The process is open and transparent and any proposed change must pass legislative muster.Proposed changes are first scrutinised by the Board, which is an independent body that derives its mandate from the Constitution, the Municipal Demarcation Act, and the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act of 1998.In 1993, provincial boundaries were formed using the erstwhile magisterial districts and 843 municipalities were created. This was not sustainable as municipal areas were based on skewed settlement patterns, great spatial separations and disparities between towns, townships and urban areas.After the 2000 municipal elections, the number of municipalities was reduced to 284. There were also 16 cross-boundary municipalities that were created affecting five provinces.After a further review in 2006 the number of municipalities was reduced from 284 to 283. Further change was implemented in 2011 when 283 municipalities were reduced to 278.The proposal to establish 267 municipalities post the 2016 municipal elections demonstrates the continuous evolution of our system of local government, and should be seen within the context to build a capable state. It should be seen as the first phase towards addressing non-viable municipalities.The latest round of proposed demarcations will, no doubt, illicit strong responses from various quarters. Robust debate is part of our democracy and is welcomed. Nonetheless, we believe that the proposed changes will lead to better governance and stronger functioning municipalities.These changes are part of our Back-to-Basics approach to serve communities better. It prioritises the delivery of basic services, good governance, sound financial management and building capabilities.The Board will determine whether the identified municipalities meet the objectives of demarcation, and the factors that must be taken into account when the boundaries are determined. In considering the request by the Minister, certain legislated requirements will be followed.It must publish a notice in a newspaper circulating in the area concerned stating the intention to consider the matter and to also invite written representations from the public within a specified period, which may not be shorter than 21 days.After this, the Board must consider all submissions, and may hold a public meeting, or conduct a formal investigation, or do both.Thereafter, it must publish its determination or redetermination of a municipal boundary in the relevant Provincial Gazette, and any person aggrieved by a determination of a municipal boundary may within 30 days of publication of that determination submit objections in writing to the Board. Objections are then considered, and the Board must either confirm, vary or withdraw its determination. After having complied with the above requirements, the Board then publishes its decision in the relevant Provincial Gazette.It is clear that the determination of municipal boundaries may only be undertaken by the Board, an independent institution which finds its origins in the Constitution. No politician, including myself, may determine boundaries.This article was first published in the Sowetan on 24 March 2015.
Christian Benteke wants to stay at Liverpool but is reluctant to commit his future to the Anfield club unless he gets more game time under manager Juergen Klopp.The former Aston Villa striker scored nine league goals during a mixed first season at the Merseyside club but made 15 of his 29 Premier League appearances from the bench.Benteke was signed by Klopp’s predecessor, Brendan Rodgers, for 32.5 million pounds ($47.00 million) and under the German found himself behind Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi and Roberto Firmino in the pecking order.TOO SLOW FOR KLOPP? “At 25 years old, I’m neither old nor young but it’s important to play,” Benteke told British media.”I still have a contract at Liverpool and I’d like to stay there, if I remain in the coach’s plans.”If that’s not the case, it will become difficult to stay. I’ll think about it after the Euros. When he arrived I saw that I wasn’t in his plans.”That was frustrating … But we had several discussions together, I respect and I understand his decisions.”Benteke was named in Belgium’s 23-man squad for the European Championship in France, where they face Italy, Ireland and Sweden in the group stage.
Video: Virginia’s Darius Thompson Banks In Buzzer Beater To Complete Amazing Comeback vs. Wake Forest
With 1:20 left in the game, Wake Forest led No. 11 Virginia 64-54 at home. Over those final 80 seconds, the Cavaliers scored 18 points, capped off by a wild buzzer-beating bank shot by Darius Thompson, to beat the Demon Deacons 72-71. Virginia wins!! https://t.co/9SYoM5JmBv— Will Ojanen (@WillsWorldMN) January 27, 2016FOR THE WIN! @dthomp15 finishes off an incredible comeback in Winston-Salem for @UVAMensHoops ! #WAHOOWA # pic.twitter.com/Pe2ZXsAxRW— VirginiaSportsTV (@VaSportsTV) January 27, 2016The game log is crazy.College basketball has been impossible to predict this season, and the ACC is no different. Current ACC standings: UNC D$:[email protected]/&,!3 BC— Mark Armstrong (@ArmstrongABC11) January 27, 2016March will be here very soon. We can’t wait.
Two former Big 12 rivals will square off in the Sweet 16 Thursday evening with an Elite Eight berth on the line. In case you missed it, the No. 3 seed Texas A&M Aggies, now of the Southeastern Conference, are in this game thanks to the largest comeback in the history of college basketball. Senior guards Alex Caruso (25 points, nine rebounds) and Danuel House (22 points, eight rebounds) spearheaded A&M’s improbable rally.Second-seeded Oklahoma, meanwhile, survived against No. 10 seed TCU, 85-81. Senior guard Buddy Hield was lights-out as usual, pouring in 36 points.The winner of this matchup will face either fourth-seeded Duke or top-seeded Oregon for the right to go to the Final Four. Date: Thursday, March 24Time: 7:37 p.m.TV Channel: TBSLocation: Anaheim, CaliforniaAnnouncers: Verne Lundquist, Jim Spanarkel, Allie LaForceOpening Betting Line: Oklahoma – 2Prediction: On paper, this game projects to be an outstanding one. Both sides have veteran stars and dynamic backcourts. The Sooners have the best player (Hield), while the Aggies probably have a slight advantage in size and bench scoring. An A&M win would put the program in the Elite Eight for the first time in program history, while an OU victory would clinch the Sooners’ first Elite Eight since 2009.We’re going to ride with Buddy Hield to keep Oklahoma’s season going with another huge performance.
AUBURN HILLS, MI – DECEMBER 23: Molly Qerim and Jalen Rose of ESPN watch the Golden State Warriors play the Golden State Warriors at the Palace of Auburn Hills on December 23, 2016 in Auburn Hills, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)Ahead of tonight’s NBA Draft in Brooklyn, John Calipari is all over the ESPN airwaves this morning. He did a long spot on Mike & Mike earlier, and he is currently filling the seat left vacant by Skip Bayless on First Take opposite Stephen A. Smith. The episode got off to a rocky start, however, when he was accidentally introduced as “Coach K” by host Molly Qerim. Calipari’s comments about Mike Krzyzewski’s Duke recruiting pitch this off-season makes the gaffe even more awkward. Calipari joked about it and played it off well, and they’ve moved on to the standard inane Stephen A. Smith ramblings, but we’re sure Kentucky fans weren’t amused.MORE FROM COLLEGE SPUN:The 10 Most Aggressive Fan Bases In CFBIn Photos: Golfer Paige SpiranacESPN Makes Decision On Dick Vitale
Reverb is auctioning guitars signed by some great artists.Reverb provides comprehensive, custom greening programs for music tours while conducting grassroots outreach and education with fans around the globe.Among the guitars going under the hammer are a Martin Sustainable Series Acoustic signed by Willie Nelson, a Bedell Earthsong Acoustic signed by the Dave Matthews Band, a First Act Acoustic signed by Ben Harper, a Taylor Acoustic signed by the Barenaked Ladies, and a Alvarez Acoustic signed by the String Cheese Incident.To find out more about these auctions, click here.
Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers ended the New York Giants’ season with a 38-13 blowout on Sunday. As long as one looks no deeper than the final score, one might be tempted to consider the Packers the new NFC favorites.But the wiseguys in Las Vegas aren’t fooled: They watched the game more closely, and made the Packers four-point underdogs at Dallas next weekend. What did they see that the box score didn’t?For one, they saw Packers receiver Jordy Nelson carted off the field with a rib injury: “That’d be a huge loss for us,” Rodgers admitted in his postgame press conference, when asked about Nelson’s potential absence at Dallas. Nelson’s ability to get open and draw coverage sparked a midseason explosion in the Packers’ offensive effectiveness. Without a fully healthy Nelson, the Packers’ second game against the Cowboys this season might go the way their first did, in Week 6 — when according to Football Outsiders, the Packers’ offense posted their second-worst single-game offensive DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average) of the season (-25.1 percent).But the concerns run even deeper than the Packers’ receiver depth: For much of the game, Rodgers and company struggled mightily to score. Before a short punt let them start a drive on the Giants’ 38-yard line with less than four minutes left in the first half, the Packers had been shut out entirely.Rodgers registered the fifth-longest average time to throw of any quarterback in the NFL, per NFL.com this season, and while he was also pressured on 29 percent of his dropbacks, according to ESPN Stats & Information, he adapted in the pocket and got his throws off. For the season, he had a QBR of 71.8 when pressured — the league average for such plays is 31.5 — with 10 touchdowns and 1 interception.The hard-to-contain combination of top-notch pass protection and elite pocket movement was on display against the Giants, as Rodgers extended plays as long as he needed to to make offense happen: But the mother of invention is necessity, and it quickly became clear Rodgers would have to wait ages for his receivers to get open against the Giants’ excellent secondary — too long, in fact, as Rodgers was sacked five times and forced into an intentional grounding penalty over the course of the game.But after the field-position gift that turned into the Davante Adams touchdown above, and a Hail Mary pass somehow found its way to Packers wideout Randall Cobb 132 seconds later, putting the Packers up 14-6. Before those two drives, the Giants had outgained the Packers 194-7. After halftime, Eli Manning and the Giants were the first to score. With less than 18 minutes left in the game, the Packers led by only one point.Of course, 20 minutes and nine seconds later, the Packers had outgained the Giants 406-365, and outscored them 38-13. Part of that production came from Cobb, who caught five passes for 116 yards and three touchdowns, including that Hail Mary. It was Cobb’s return from two missed games with an ankle injury, it was Cobb’s best statistical game of 2016, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.But the reality of the Packers’ path to the Super Bowl is inescapable: They have to go from Lambeau Field, where the Cowboys already beat them 30-16, to the toasty indoor track of AT&T Stadium. Should they win there, they’ll either have to win a shootout with the Atlanta Falcons in the Georgia Dome, or a slugfest with the Seattle Seahawks in CenturyLink Field.Without Nelson it’s hard to see how the Packers win one, let alone both, of their subsequent contests. Rodgers will need open options against the Cowboys defense — whose fifth-ranked scoring defense allowed just 1.38 more points per game in 2016 than the Giants’ second-ranked scoring defense.Of course, the Packers won’t roll over and forfeit if Nelson isn’t fit to play. But the impression a casual fan might get from the box score is that the Packers are ready to roll over the rest of the NFL — and unless Nelson is healthy enough for defenses to respect, that’s just not true.
Ohio State quarterback Craig Krenzel scores a touchdown against Miami during the second quarter of the Fiesta Bowl on January 3, 2003.Credit: Courtesy of TNSAfter last season’s nearly improbable run to the first-ever College Football Playoff National Championship, the 2015 Ohio State Buckeyes opened camp on Aug. 10 with the goal of repeating as national champions — something that was last accomplished by the 2011 and 2012 Alabama squads.The last OSU team that tried to meet this achievement fell short with an 11-2 record and a win in the Fiesta Bowl. Like the 2003 squad, this year’s Buckeye team is loaded with potential NFL talent and is considered by many to be the early favorite to win the national championship.How does this year’s unit compare to those ’03 defending-champion Buckeyes as they entered camp?To give some perspective, when the 2002 Buckeyes defeated a Miami (Florida) team chock-full of future NFL stars in the national championship game, OSU, virtually, was not given much of a chance. That ’02 team seemed to overcome adversity and doubt time and time again, much like the 2014 national title-winning Buckeyes.Going into camp in 2003, OSU fans had much excitement for the upcoming season. Starting quarterback Craig Krenzel was returning for his senior season alongside his go-to, playmaking wide receiver and future NFL first-round pick, Michael Jenkins. In total, OSU was returning 13 starters: seven on offense and six on defense. Two of the new starters in 2003, linebacker A.J. Hawk and offensive lineman Nick Mangold, became all-Americans quickly; and are still competing in the NFL.Fourteen players were drafted the following spring, and 19 total starters were drafted from the 2003 team. To look at some of the losses from the 2002 national championship team, Mike Doss and Matt Wilhelm played huge parts on the defensive side, but there was no greater loss than running back Maurice Clarett. The running back from Youngstown proved he was one of the best backs in the nation in 2002 as a freshman and scored the game-winning touchdown in the national championship game.However, the potential Heisman Trophy winner and first-round pick was reported to have stolen $10,000 out of a borrowed car from a dealership. In September 2003, Clarett was suspended for the season and never returned to play for the Scarlet and Gray. With a massive quandary at running back, and most of the offensive production from the previous year gone, it is easy to see why the Buckeyes finished 93rd in the country in total offense. The 2003 Buckeyes started at No. 2 in the polls but lost on the road to Wisconsin and Michigan.Fast forward to 2015, where the Buckeyes knew Monday entering the Woody Hayes Athletic Center for camp they would open the season at No. 1 in the polls and travel to Virginia Tech to face a Hokies team on Sept. 7 that handed the Buckeyes their lone loss last season. The biggest question mark on the team — and maybe in the country — is who will start at quarterback for the Scarlet and Gray come Sept. 7. Maybe a “question mark” is not the best way to describe the quarterback controversy, though, because if we know one thing, it’s that the Buckeyes are skilled at almost every position.The two competing quarterbacks in redshirt junior Cardale Jones redshirt sophomore and J.T. Barrett are Heisman candidates along with their teammate in the backfield, junior running back Ezekiel Elliott. The Buckeyes return 15 starters in 2015 — eight on offense and seven on defense — compared to 13 in 2003.Like the 2003 team that was 10th in the country in total defense, the 2015 edition of the Scarlet and Gray is stacked on that side of the ball as well, led by junior defensive end, and possible first-overall NFL selection, Joey Bosa. Linebackers Joshua Perry and Darron Lee are relentless run-stoppers who pace the defense known as the Silver Bullets. OSU also returns all of its quarterbacks and its leading rusher from a year ago. The team even added a major weapon in redshirt senior Braxton Miller at the H-back position, along with a healthy junior Dontre Wilson to give the Buckeyes the threat at wide receiver they needed to replace departed senior wide receivers Devin Smith and Evan Spencer.The offseason gives us a chance to reflect on past teams including great ones like the 2003 Buckeyes at the helm of coach Jim Tressel. Now under the command of Urban Meyer, the defense is just as good as Tressel’s, but quicker. The offense is faster, as well, and more suited for Meyer’s spread offense rather than Tressel’s ground-and-pound style. Similar to the 2003 team, this OSU team has several future NFL picks and first-rounders on the roster.As Meyer’s team looks to climb the mountain once again and capture OSU’s first back-to-back championships, with three Heisman-hopeful players in Jones, Barrett and Elliott, the Buckeyes stand the best chance to repeat since the two Alabama squads. Coaches have changed and styles of play have changed, but if there is one constant from 2003 all the way to 2015, come Sept. 7 at Blacksburg, Virginia, the Buckeyes will be ready to play and contend for the school’s ninth national title.
Former Juventus captain Alessandro Del Piero has criticised the way Gianluigi Buffon handled himself after Real Madrid were awarded a late penalty to knock them out of the Champions LeagueThe Serie A leaders produced a stunning comeback against Real at the Santiago Bernabeu, after losing the first leg 3-0.Yet, despite putting the aggregate scoreline level at 3-3, Juventus’ outstanding progress was undone when referee Michael Oliver awarded Real a late penalty with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring from the spot to put the hosts through to the semi-finals.Buffon himself had been sent off after furiously protesting the penalty decision to Oliver, but instead the Englishman choose to send the legendary Italian goalkeeper with substitute Wojciech Szczesny helpless to prevent Ronaldo.Fiorentina owner: “Ribery played better than Ronaldo!” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso was left gushing over Franck Ribery’s performance against Juventus, which he rates above that of even Cristiano Ronaldo’s.Afterwards Buffon vented his frustrations with the referee and called Oliver “an animal” and claimed that he has a “a trash can in place of a heart”.“When Gigi spoke about the referee… I found it hard to understand, honestly,” Del Piero told Sky (via Football-Italia).“I don’t understand why we should refer to the first leg, that’s how football is and you analyse the moment, whether it’s nice or ugly.“I think in a few days he’ll say different things about the referee than what he said.”