Ethiopia distributes wheat and oil to millions facing hunger

first_imgEthiopia’s government has started distributing rations of wheat and oil to people facing hunger in the north and northeastern parts of the country.The government is now supplying 15 kilograms of wheat and half a litre of cooking oil per adult in the areas hit by drought conditions, according to Mitiku Kassa, secretary of the Ethiopian Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Committee.More than 8 million people require urgent food assistance, and the Ethiopian government says there is enough food aid to feed them through December.Sisay Gebrselassie, a resident of Wukro town in Northern Ethiopia who recently moved to the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, said he believed one in five families in his hometown lost their crops. “They have now left their farmlands for their cattle to scavenge whatever they can get from it,” he said, adding that many farmers are selling their cattle before they die.The UN says the scale of the developing emergency exceeds resources available so far.The food insecurity is fuelled by the failure of Ethiopia’s spring rains that resulted in poor crop yields.last_img read more

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Evolutionists Tell Us What Nature Intended

first_imgCan nature intend anything?  A true materialist lacks access to the concept of purpose and intentionality.  Whatever is, is.  Nevertheless, some staunch evolutionists avail themselves of the purpose-driven life by telling us what evolution intended.    Meredith Small tells us on Live Science, for instance, that nature did not intend single parents.  Having become one herself recently, she can vouch for the fact that single parenting is hard.  She used the subject to tell us that evolution intended for us to be social, cooperative creatures.  She got this inspiration not just from experience but from reading a book by evolutionist Sarah Hrdy, entitled Mothers and Others; The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding. The idea that we need each other goes against what has become the accepted theory about the evolution of behavior.  For decades, evolutionary biologists have claimed that all organisms are basically selfish.  The game of reproductive success, they have explained over and over, is won by those who are successful at passing their genes on to the next generation.  As such, every animal, including humans, should be self-centered.  At the most basic, the biologists say, our selfish genes compel us to stay alive, find the best mates, and have the most babies, and to always think of ourselves before others.    Hrdy, a staunch evolutionist, is the first to admit that this now traditional view of individual behavior is ready for revision.  The new view, she and others claim, must include the fact that cooperation, not just competition and selfishness, is also part of our nature.    Her thesis is simple: We are social animals that need each others [sic] to survive, and so humans are born with the ability to understand how others feel (empathy), and to aid others, even if we don’t share genes in common.Ms Small visualized ancient ancestors needing one another to share in the caring for needy babies and small children.  Everyone in the tribe participated in caretaking as well as getting food.  This helped the tribe survive.  It did more than that: it instilled her with a sense of purpose in life:Given this history, my life as a single mother is at odds with how I, and my child, are designed to operate.  I am supposed to have a band of others to help out, and my child is supposed to be caught by that net of friends and kin.    With this in mind, I’ve decided to act on Hrdy’s advice next time I am pressed, and I do know several friends, good humans all, who are clearly willing to give their time and services to co-parent with me when I need it.  And this deal will work, because they know I, too, am the kind of good human who will respond and take care of their kids when they need help as well.Can Ms Small act with free will on an evolutionary instinct?  She did not explore that question.  She also left it unstated whether evolution had endowed Sarah Hrdy with the ability to divine an unseen history and to give advice.  Maybe it was really another trick of the selfish genes to fool them both.    Another book on the subject of life history on human evolution was reviewed on Forbes.com by Harvey Mansfield, but with less alacrity.  Mansfield, a professor of government at Harvard and a distinguished research fellow at the Hoover Institution, took evolutionary anthropologist Richard G. Bribiescas to task for contradictions in his book Men: Evolutionary and Life History.  Bribiescas, like Hrdy, explains human nature with reference to our evolutionary life history.  The first contradiction was one Bribiescas ignored: the opinion of cultural anthropologists that culture, not biology, makes men different from women.  “The charm of his book,” Mansfield smirked, “is that he utterly ignores the opinion, or prejudice, against it [i.e., biological determinism] and proceeds as if all he has to do is explain, and you will agree.”    In describing another contradiction, Mansfield became downright sarcastic against the presumptuousness of evolutionists like Bribiescas who glibly adjust their explanations to dodge falsification:The science in question here is the current version of Darwin’s evolutionary theory.  That theory says that human beings (for the book title speaks of men, not males) are dominated in their lives by the need to get their genes into the next generation.  If you can do this, you have “survived,” even if or despite the fact that you die.    The difference between survival as staying alive and as reproducing–not one’s self but one’s genes–is a theme of Bribeiscas’s book.  It leads him to introduce the recent theory of “life history” into evolutionary theory so as to elaborate on the trade-offs, throughout human life, between expending energy to stay alive vs. devoting it to reproduction.  Those trade-offs have a kind of rationality enabling the twin goals to be satisfied even though they are at odds.  This addition, one might say, is an adaptive mutation intended to maintain Darwinian theory against one of the many threats to its survival arising from its environment of inconvenient facts.After showing evolutionary theory to be a late-comer to already known facts about men and women, Mansfield criticized the author’s philosophy of science.  “Like many scientists,” he said, “Bribiescas lives under the yoke of a crude positivism which denies that scientific fact has any ethical implications.”  Saying something doesn’t make it so.  Bribiescas may claim that evolutionary theory supports no moral stance, “But of course it does.  The trouble is not that Darwinian theory has no implications, but that it contradicts itself with two opposing implications.”  If passing on one’s genes is the purpose of a man’s life, he would not devote himself to science.  Mansfield has caught Bribiescas in a contradiction: he’s fighting his own evolutionary history:Yet as a scientist, a human male would have quite an opposite duty.  A man of science does not take the view of his own sex but rises above it to consider the views of both sexes.  He would be devoted to science, not to his own private genes.  He would not favor his own child at any cost but would support other children if they showed better promise of becoming future scientists–future Darwinians….    Evolutionary theory is at odds with itself: It cannot accept that man is a special being, raised above all others in evolutionary history, and it cannot deny that only man is capable of science, which allows him to transcend his animal selfishness.Mansfield made a key disclaimer in his last sentence.  “In closing, I note that I have made no reference to religion but only brought out the inner contradiction of Darwinism.”Mansfield has shown the way to confront the dogmatic Darwinists.  No appeals to religion are necessary to confront Charles the Dictator who ruined science.  All that is necessary to unravel his false clothing is to pull on the thread of logical consistency.  Once exposed as self-contradictory, Darwinism is finished: nothing that is self-contradictory can possibly be true.  You can see both Hrdy and Bribiescas guilty.  Both said that our human nature is determined by our evolutionary life history, but then both appealed to higher, nobler motives, namely, science – the desire to pursue understanding.  One can only watch self-proclaimed sharpshooters shooting their own feet for so long before deciding to find people who know how to shoot straight.(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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CT airport upgrades near completion

first_img18 February 2010Upgrades at Cape Town International Airport have edged closer to completion with the opening of the 3rd and 4th floor of a new parkade as well as the link between the international arrivals terminal and the new central terminal building (CTB).The 3rd and 4th floor of Parkade 1 makes available an additional 1 600 parking bays, and the entire parkade is earmarked to be complete in March 2010 with 4 000 parking bays in total.The international and domestic open shaded parking will be separated and be known as open shade parking 1 and open shade parking 2.“The infrastructure [at the airport] is rapidly coming on stream; besides the additional parking floors being made available to the public, the link between the international terminal and the central terminal building is now open,” Cape Town International Airport communications manager Deidre Hendricks said in a statement last week.“All international passengers arriving at the airport can now access the new terminal and all its amenities.”Central terminal buildingThe link between the international terminal and the central terminal building routes airport users to the ground floor of the CTB, allowing them access to more retail and restaurant options.It also allows for access to the transport plaza and the central car rental facility, both scheduled to be opened by the end of March.As part of the final plan for the airport, the open shaded parking will be separated as of 10 February 2010; there will be two entrances to the open shaded parking, one close to Parkade 1 and the other at the far end of Parkade 2 near the existing car rental area.Soon to be completed are the southern facing subway, the link between Domestic Arrivals and the CTB, the completed Parkade 1 and the fully upgraded road network.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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South Africa at front line of GM research

first_imgThe development of hardier maize varietieswill change the lives of millions of Africans.(Image: MediaClubsouthafrica.com. For morefree photos, visit the image library) Former UN Secretary-general Kofi Annanpraised the efforts of African scientists in hisclosing remarks at the 2010 African GreenRevolution forum in Ghana. (Image: African Green Revolution) MEDIA CONTACTS • Patricia LucasUCT media liaison+27 21 650 5674 / 3732 RELATED ARTICLES • Super sorghum for Africa • Ethiopian wins World Food Prize • ‘Miracle’ rice fights African hunger • GM crops aid SA food security• All eyes on SA’s new suprt spudApril McAlisterSouth Africa is one of the leading participants in research into genetically modified foods, and particularly maize, the most commonly grown staple food on the continent.Professor Jennifer Thomson of the University of Cape Town’s Department of Molecular and Cell Biology is a principal authority on the subject and has been at the forefront of genetic engineering since the 1970s.She now serves on the National Biotechnology Advisory Committee which advises the Minister of Science and Technology and has advised on the GMO (genetically modified organisms) Act, which was passed by Parliament in May 1997, followed by the regulations in November 1999.According to Thomson, the state of GMO research in other African countries is very positive. One organisation making progress is the non-profit African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), based in Nairobi, Kenya.Its purpose is to develop or acquire biotechnology crops through royalty-free licenses. Intellectual property is transferred to African farmers, some of whom have become hugely successful.Plant pathologist Dr Wilson Songa, the Kenyan Secretary of Agriculture, sits on the organisation’s board of trustees, while Thomson is Chairperson Emeritus.Developing hardy plantsWater deficiency is one of Africa’s biggest challenges, and negatively influences food production as well as economies in severely affected countries. Irrigation is expensive and out of range of the majority of small-scale farmers. Crop plants which can efficiently use what little water there is, and still produce an acceptable yield, will have the advantage in these arid areas.One of AATF’s biggest projects at present is Water Efficient Maize for Africa which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.The gene for drought tolerance is acquired royalty- free from Monsanto, a US-based multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation. It is bred into local maize varieties and is being tested in field trials in South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Mozambique.The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre, based in El Batan, Mexico, is involved in developing hardier varieties of both maize and wheat for developing countries.The results of a study undertaken by the centre in 13 African countries were published in August 2010, and revealed that the distribution of new drought-tolerant maize varieties could improve yields by an average of 25%, help to alleviate poverty, and generate as much as US$1.5-billion (R10.5-billion) in benefits for consumers and producers.Resistant to viral diseasesProf Thomson and her colleagues have focused their attention on the most destructive maize pathogen on the continent – the maize streak virus (MSV). This disease was first observed by entomologist Claude Fuller in KwaZulu-Natal province (known at the time as Natal), and described in his 1901 report as “mealie variegation”.MSV occurs throughout Africa and causes one of the most serious viral crop diseases on the continent. Transmitted by insects, it manifests as pale yellow or yellow-white leaves, stunting the plant severely and often preventing it from producing complete cobs or seed. Research has shown that infection within the first few weeks of planting can result in a total crop loss, and devastation for farmers.The development, through breeding or genetic modification, of a maize variety that resists MSV has been a priority in a number of African countries, among them Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria.Locally, research into MSV resistance is now funded by the South African branch of the Pannar Seed Company, based in KwaZulu-Natal. The project was initially funded by the Claude Leon Foundation, a trust which supports postdoctoral research, then by the Rockefeller Foundation and South Africa’s Maize Trust.The process is slow and expensive, which is why few academic research laboratories are able to undertake it.Strict regulationsSouth Africa has a GMO regulatory body which falls under the Department of Agriculture and is administered by the department’s biosafety directorate. There is a full-time registrar and any application is first directed to a scientific advisory committee and handled on a case-by-case basis.The advisory committee advises an executive council, which is the decision-making body. The council consists of members from the health, environment, and trade and industry sectors, all of whom scrutinise the application closely.The application is approved only if the council is satisfied, or it may be declined or sent back for more research.OppositionSome organisations are opposed to the genetic engineering of foods. Biowatch South Africa, based in KwaZulu-Natal, is the main watchdog and was established in 1997 to keep tabs on issues of genetic modification, and promote biological diversity and sustainable livelihoods. Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace are also active in their opposition.There are five main areas of controversy – safety, effect on natural ecosystems, gene flow into non-GM crops, moral and religious concerns, and corporate control of the food supply.During the research process geneticists have to ensure that they don’t introduce a virus that can harm humans or animals. The Food and Agriculture Organisation has done extensive analyses and has shown that to date no modified foods are harmful in the short term.GM foods are subjected to a battery of tests run by toxicologists. Although all findings are published in books or journals, access to literature on research carried out by government bodies is not always possible.The concern that GM foods are inherently allergenic or cause physiological changes is not based in fact. Testing is rigorous and foodstuffs must undergo and pass the full range of tests before the regulatory body gives approval.When asked about concerns of vegetarians and vegans, Thomson stated that there is no animal DNA in any GM plant that is eaten.The way forwardIn his closing speech at the 2010 African Green Revolution forum held in early September in Accra, Ghana, former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan said , “I saw African scientists this week who are at the forefront of developing Africa’s own solutions to unlock agricultural productivity.”One of the strategies for the future, said Annan, will be to boost investment in science, technology and research, in order to ensure food and nutrition security. He added that this would work only if it’s done on a sustained basis and in cooperation with farmers.It is clear that Africa is taking responsibility for her own needs with a vision and the implementation of a plan. The key to understanding the future regarding GM products is knowledge. There are many publications freely available that debate both sides and without doubt, South Africa and other African states are on par with European countries and the US in the field of research and advancement in GM foods.last_img read more

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New Octopus Hair Claw Clip Butterfly Bull Dog Design Plastic Fast Shipping – with flat bottom is perfect.

first_imgModest but looks like it’ll be extremely comfy.Good high quality clips, but significantly more compact than i’d anticipated. I was not misled by the vendor just a bit upset that the clips have been really compact.Nice matt complete and extra beautiful than most. Awesome matt end and extra desirable than most.Smaller than average but very strong, good clipI discovered octopus clips a year ago and love them as they fit my long wild curly hair Very happy customer!These little things are super strong and have lasted me quite a while nowThis clip broke pretty much immediately after it arrivedFine hair and hair clips Lesser than common but incredibly sturdy, superior clip. Is scaled-down than the regular sizing octopus clip so is difficult applying it in my hair as it’s halfway down my again. It only just holds it if i dig it into my scalp.I would advocate this for someone with shoulder length hair or for a longer period very skinny hair. Is a superior, effectively built sturdy clip. I just want a more substantial a single to plonk into my hair with simplicity.Sturdy clips retains my thick hair in spot all day. Particularly what i was hunting for.Features of New Octopus Hair Claw Clip Butterfly Bull Dog Design Plastic Fast ShippingNew Octopus Hair Claw Bull Dog Design ClipAvailable in 3 Different Colours Black, Brown and Dark BrownPlasticSize : 55 mm long 50 mm wide 40 mm heightBeautiful Colour Ideal for Daily and occasional use Ideal for outdoor activitiesGood QualityThis clip broke quite much right away just after it arrived. This clip broke rather much instantly soon after it arrived. I do not significantly feel it is really excellent worth for funds.It is a amazing design in comparison to my many others. This is a stunning hair claw but it is also significant for use by me who has missing a lot of her hair to aged age. I wish i could use it truly. It is a excellent design in comparison to my others.I found out octopus clips a yr in the past and like them as they in good shape my lengthy wild curly hair. I learned octopus clips a year ago and appreciate them as they healthy my long wild curly hair in them, and you should not break very easily, which i identified the common straight butterfly clips did. These ones are the modest edition, and i truly acquired them by blunder, but they are even better. One particular of these nevertheless suits all my hair in, but they never slip off, like the larger kinds sometimes did, and i can wear them all day without the need of ever obtaining to rearrange my hair (any anybody with curly hair will know that this is a incredibly great point).I criticised the more substantial versions of this but this one isn’t going to slip virtually so significantly. As my hair is fantastic, that will make this 1, okay.With flat bottom is great. . Have been seeking for theses for ages in shops -the size & shape ,with flat base is excellent.It was wonderful but i have thick hair and it did not actually keep it up.This was just what i was wanting for. I am making an attempt to grow my hair out and it only just matches into a silly pony tail, it seems to be a minimal sad sticking out the back again of my head. Cue the octopus claw, it sits nicely with or without having a hairband and leaves me with a neat hair do. It is excellent quality and i suspect it will past. I you should not feel it would fit pretty thick hair as it is rather modest. The octopus claw clip satisfied my demands.Excellent good quality, but stiff in its grip. Fantastic high-quality, but rigid in its grip. It’s popped out of my palms several periods when making an attempt to place it in my hair.These minimal issues are super powerful and have lasted me quite a although now. These small items are super potent and have lasted me really a even though now. I you should not like clips that are weak at the hinge, flimsy in material, and usually are not capable to maintain considerably hair (i have a good deal and they’re thick, but on the thinner facet of thick – am i making feeling?). So these are good for the cost they are offered at, and have been precisely what i was wanting for.Hope you guys equally take pleasure in working with them if you come to a decision to invest in them. They have been a very good obtain for me.last_img read more

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Grazing corn residue

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Corn residue left over from harvesting can make an excellent source of supplemental feed for livestock, according to a forage expert from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.This is especially true for producers who are facing lower hay crop inventories thanks to the excessive rains that impacted the region during the beginning of the growing season this year, said Rory Lewandowski, agriculture and natural resources educator for the college’s outreach arm, Ohio State University Extension.Grazing cows on harvested corn acres within the first 30 to 60 days after harvesting can be a great way for producers to stretch their feed supplies, he said.“This was a tough forage year for many livestock producers,” Lewandowski said. “Many producers are finding that they didn’t get enough hay harvested with all the rain that impacted the crops during the earlier part of the growing season.”For growers looking for a way to extend their forage supplies, grazing corn residue may be one less-expensive option, he said.“For some folks that may be scrambling for alternatives, such as buying extra hay or feeding more grain to their livestock, grazing corn residue is a good option,” he said. “Using temporary fencing allows this as an inexpensive option for many producers.”Based on calculations by Rick Rasby, a beef specialist at the University of Nebraska, for every bushel of corn there are about 45 pounds of residue on a dry matter (DM) basis, Lewandowski said.And for every bushel of corn there are about 16 pounds of husks and leaves on a dry matter basis, he said.“Using those figures, a 170 bushels per acre corn crop will leave 7,650 pounds of dry matter of total residue, with the husks and leaves accounting for about 2,720 pounds of that total,” he said. “And typical harvest leaves about one bushel per acre of corn grain that the animals can graze.”Cows in mid-gestation and ewes in the middle trimester or earlier of gestation typically do well with grazing corn residue, Lewandowski said.last_img read more

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