Oakland A’s projected to come back down to earth in 2019

first_imgThe A’s reached the postseason last year for the first time since 2014, but projections for this upcoming season have them crashing back down to earth.Baseball Prospectus released their PECOTA projections for all 30 Major League Baseball teams Thursday morning. A 2019 finish of 80-82 is what the A’s are estimated to finish with, which is a downgrade of 17 wins from their 97-65 record from last season. The 80 wins would qualify for third in the American League West, according to the …last_img read more

Call for unity as South Africans celebrate Heritage Day

first_imgThe mood among South Africans was celebratory as they commemorated Heritage Day, with those who attended the main celebrations in the North West being addressed by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.Cyril Ramaphosa, the Deputy President, says Heritage Day is a day for citizens to tell their stories about who they are and where they come from. (Image: GovernmentZA, Flickr)Brand South Africa reporterEach year on Heritage Day, 24 September, South Africans dig deep into their wardrobes and fish out their traditional attire to celebrate their unity in diversity.Some citizens, however, see this as a day to meet together with friends and undertake what has become a unique South African tradition – buy plenty of boerewors for a braai.Formally known as Shaka Day before 1995, the day is a national holiday and gives South Africans a chance to pause and take stock how their diversity can contribute to building a better South Africa.Heritage DayThere are different ways that South Africans have come to celebrate Heritage Day. Some wear traditional attire at work – usually on the day before Heritage Day – and some gather at stadiums for a day of celebrations which includes music, dance and speeches by local leaders.Tsonga women adorn their familiar xibelani attire, a waist-high skirt made of metres of cloth; married Zulu women wear skirts made of cow hide called izidwaba; Venda women parade in their colourful skirts called minweda; and Xhosa women distinguish themselves with their beautifully painted faces and head gear.But it’s not only women who showcase their flair for traditional fashion. Zulu men also embellish modern trousers and shirts (usually khaki trousers and shirts) with detailed designs and patterns which have come to be known as umblaselo.In most cases the big occasion is the “official” Heritage Day celebrations where a top government official addresses masses of people in a chosen region. This year the official celebrations were held in Klerksdorp, in the North West province, where Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa urged citizens to forge a united society.“South Africans unite”Ramaphosa said South Africa has done quite a lot to unite all South Africans in the past 20 years, but should continue to strive to build “a nation of citizens that care for each other, respect one another and share a deep love for our country”.“We are building a nation that is proud of its national symbols, our flag and our anthem. They reflect our shared values and the principle of unity in diversity,” he said.He said South Africa has developed a National Development Plan as a way to guide its efforts to develop a better society over the next 20 years.“The NDP accelerates our efforts towards building the society that is envisaged in the Freedom Charter.“In particular, the NDP is concerned with securing a better future for young people through better educational and economic opportunities.“In isiZulu, we say: ‘Indlela ibuzwa kwabaphambili’. Before we undertake any journey we must remember where we come from and learn from those who have gone before us.“We dare not neglect our past. We dare not ignore our heritage,” Ramaphosa said. Heritage Day is a celebration of South Africa’s “rich, proud and diverse heritage”. Although South Africans speak different languages, practice different beliefs and engage in different cultural practices, they are bound by a common African heritage. “This notion is reflected in the words inscribed on our country’s coat of arms, !ke e: /xarra //ke, which calls on diverse people to unite,” he said.Telling storiesHeritage Day encourages South Africans to celebrate not only their own cultural traditions, but also the diversity of cultures, beliefs and traditions that make up the South African nation, according to Ramaphosa.He said it is a day for citizens to tell their stories about who they are and where they come from. “This day allows us to create awareness through educational programmes, dialogue and public engagements about the meaning and importance of our heritage.”But society is not static. As society transforms, so does heritage, said Ramaphosa, adding that as people do not replace what has come before, rather, they should enrich and enhance what they inherited.While South Africa has made significant progress in changing the institutional barriers that previously divided country, the quest for a non-racial society is far from over.Ramaphosa conceded that too many citizens “cannot live where they want, cannot pursue the professions they desire, and cannot achieve the standard of living they seek”. “We are still prone to stereotyping each other. We are reluctant to trust those who do not look like us or who don’t speak like us – or who do not belong to the same economic stratum.“The challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment unmask the reality that there is much that still divides us.“We are all too aware that our cultures, traditions and value systems are still influenced by the spatial, economic, social and ideological distortions of colonialism and apartheid,” he said.However, this reality is what should drive South Africans to forge a common identity, an inclusive nationhood and a better future.“This is a future where all people feel they belong, have access to opportunities and can develop their talents. It is a future where their quality of life will give them a sense of place, security, purpose and comfort,” Ramaphosa concluded.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Deadend for Alexis Tsipras

first_imgBefore a new round of tough talks with Greece’s creditors gets into full swing, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is aiming to secure the support of opposition party leaders for a contentious overhaul of the pension system.Tsipras on Thursday asked President Prokopis Pavlopoulos to arrange a meeting with party leaders on Friday for talks on pension reform and the refugee crisis.Rather than trying to convince opposition leaders to back the government’s pension reform when it goes to Parliament, Tsipras’s key aim is to reach a consensus with them on the broad strokes of the reform before government officials start discussing it with creditors, sources indicated.At the meeting, the prime minister is expected to present the key points of Athens’s draft plan for pension reform.The points that creditors are said to object to are plans to increase social security contributions, to link retirement payments to growth, and to recapitalize pension funds with reserves from a Greek asset fund that was the key sticking point in labored talks between Tsipras and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the summer.The agreement then was that 75 percent of the revenue in the asset fund would go toward debt repayments and 25 percent toward investments.The other major issue Tsipras wants to discuss with party leaders is the refugee problem ahead of Sunday’s EU summit on the issue that is to include Turkey, a key transit country for migrants.Reaction from the opposition was cautious but it appeared clear that all parties except the Communist Party would attend (neo-Nazi Golden Dawn was not invited).Conservative New Democracy, which has been in turmoil since a thwarted leadership election last Sunday that prompted the resignation of the party’s interim leader Evangelos Meimarakis, is expected to be represented by caretaker leader Yiannis Plakiotakis.Plakiotakis met on Thursday with former ND premiers Costas Karamanlis, Antonis Samaras and Constantine Mitsotakis for talks that are said to have focused on the stance that ND will hold in the meeting.Source: Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

VIDEO Learn About The Towns New Effort To Increase Affordable Housing In

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — On the latest episode of Wilmington Community Television’s “Town Topics,” host and WCTV Executive Director Shaun Neville sat down with Wilmington’s Planning Director Valerie Gingrich to discuss inclusionary zoning.“Inclusionary zoning is a requirement that affordable housing units be constructed when housing units are built in general,” explained Gingrich. “It’s a requirement that affordable units be part of a development.”Wilmington does not currently have an inclusionary zoning bylaw. All but one of its neighboring towns, however, do already have such a bylaw in place.“Most towns across the state have it,” said Gingrich. “It’s not a new idea. It’s been talked about here in the past.”Gingrich and Neville got into the details of the draft of a inclusionary zoning bylaw that voters will likely be asked to approve at May’s Annual Town Meeting.“As the draft currently stands, the requirement would be any multi-family (condos, apartments, duplexes) developments that are 8 units or more, would be required to provide 15% of their units as affordable,” said Gingrich. If 20 units were proposed, under the bylaw, 3 would need to be designated as affordable.Builders could take advantage of a “density bonus” — an additional market-rate (regular) unit would be allowed (added) for every affordable unit built. The bonus helps offset the loss that the developer endures by selling a unit at less than market value.So, if 20 units were proposed, and 3 were affordable, the developer could add 3 additional market value units, for a total of 23 units.Additional details are included in the draft, which is posted HERE on the Department of Planning & Conservation page of the town’s website.Gingrich encourages comments, questions, or suggestions. She can be reached at vgingrich@wilmingtonma.gov or 978-658-8238.Watch the 15-minute interview, courtesy of Wilmington Community Television, below:—Video Playerhttp://wilmington.vod.castus.tv/vod/dl.php/e/6/4/3/6/b/e6436b23-4c4a-49e3-a72a-3559107de4f01546546324.651+51329023.694@castus4-wilmington+15466189811546618435113013.vod.720p.20191103_Town_Topics_Inclusionary_Zoning.mp4Media error: Format(s) not supported or source(s) not foundmejs.download-file: http://wilmington.vod.castus.tv/vod/dl.php/e/6/4/3/6/b/e6436b23-4c4a-49e3-a72a-3559107de4f01546546324.651+51329023.694@castus4-wilmington+15466189811546618435113013.vod.720p.20191103_Town_Topics_Inclusionary_Zoning.mp4?_=100:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.—Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedHOT BUTTON ISSUE: Should The Town Prevent New Condos & Apartments From Being Built? Could It Backfire? (Article 1)In “Government”AFFORDABLE HOUSING NEWS: Inclusionary Zoning Bylaw To Go In Front Of Voters, But NOT At This Year’s Town MeetingIn “Government”SELECTMEN RACE Q&A: Fasulo & Eaton Discuss Affordable Housing, Sciarappa FarmIn “Government”last_img read more

Wall collapse at Indian wedding kills 24

first_imgMap of India. AFPA wall collapsed during a wedding party in western India, killing 24 people including four children, police said today.Guests had taken shelter from a storm under a tin shack that adjoined the wall when it collapsed late Wednesday, local police officer Anil Tank told AFP.”The wall and a tin shed attached to it at the marriage venue collapsed due to a storm,” said Tank, superintendent of police in Bharatpur, the district of Rajasthan state where the disaster occurred.He said another 26 were injured, 15 of them seriously.The Press Trust of India news agency said there were food stalls set up along the wall for the wedding.Rajasthan is one of India’s most arid states, but suffers frequent dust storms during the hotter months.A heatwave has swept across many parts of India in recent weeks, with temperatures reaching 44 degrees Celsius (111 degrees Fahrenheit) in the capital Delhi.Building collapses are common in India, especially during the annual monsoon season.A massive influx of people to cities in search of jobs and a shortage of cheap housing have fuelled the construction of illegal buildings across the country, often with sub-standard material.Millions also live in dilapidated old buildings that often cave in during heavy rains.last_img read more

Full genome sequence of Nipah virus discovered

first_imgillustration by Prothom AloA group of scientists discovered the full genome sequence of Nipah virus, isolated from the Pteropus Medius bat samples taken from Bangladesh from January 2011 to April 2014.The discovery also helped the 15 scientists, including three from International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), to learn about the bat’s procreation and activity in Bangladesh.The three icddr,b scientists are Ashraful Islam, MZ Rahman and Emily S Gurley.They hoped this discovery would help prevent the spread of the Nipah virus infection and enable creating its vaccine.The scientists published an article, “Isolation and Full-Genome Characterisation of Nipah Viruses from Bats, Bangladesh” in US science journal Emerging Infectious Diseases on 1 January.The researchers are from icddr,b, Singapore Medical School, EcoHealth Alliance in New York, Australian Animal Health Laboratory, University of Guelph in Canada, Stanford University in USA and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.The World Health Organisation (WHO) considered the infection as a global health priority and has pandemic potential because of its human-to-human transmissibility, wide geographic distribution of bat reservoir species, high case-fatality rate in humans, and lack of available vaccine or therapeutic agents.No vaccine has so far been invented for the disease. Among the infected, 40-75 per cent die, WHO says.Saif Ullah Munshi, professor of virology department at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) considered the discovery as an important step to invent the vaccine of the virus.“Bats spread the virus while drinking date juice. The disease can spread if people drink that juice. The same can happen if people take fruits eaten by bats,” he told Prothom Alo.Saif Ullah Munshi advised people to drink date juice after boiling it.The virus was first detected in Bangladesh in 2011.According to the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) of Bangladesh, 303 people were infected in the past 18 years. Among them, 70 per cent died. The survivors suffer from various nervous system complexities.The disease is recurrently infecting people of neighbouring west Bengal in India. Seventeen victims out of 19 died in Kerala of India, 1800 kilometres west of West Bengal.The researchers say the Pteropus Medius species of bat is the main carrier of Nipah virus in this region of Bangladesh and India.Until now, the infection was identified through polymer-age chain reaction but the scientists could not discover the genome sequencing of the live virus except two instances in Malaysia and Cambodia.The virus was first identified in Sungai Nipah village in 1999 and named after the place. Among the 300 infected, over 100 people died there that year. The virus spread among men through pigs.The Pteropus Medius bats, also known as flying Indian Fox, lives in the Indian subcontinent, Australia, East Africa and Pacific Ocean regions.Ashraful Islam told Prothom Alo, “Pteropus Medius bats are the natural carriers of Nipah virus in Bangladesh. The discovery of the genome sequencing has paved way to the invention of its vaccine. The primary work has already begun.”The researchers collected samples of urine and saliva of the bats from 2,749 spots of the country from January 2011 to April 2014 during the times the disease spread most, between January and April.The samples were analysed at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory. The researchers identified 10 types of Nipah virus from the samples. Their genetic traits resemble around 99.9 per cent.The genetic traits of the virus resemble with those collected from the bats of other places as well. For example, the genetic sequence of the virus of bats from Sylhet and Lakshmipur are almost similar. The distance between the two districts is around 300 kilometres.Professor Haseena Khan at Biochemistry and Molecular Biology department of Dhaka University thinks the continuity of research is very important to create a vaccine of the virus. “The government has to be pro-active in this regard.”*The report, originally appeared in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Shameem Rezalast_img read more

Selfies reveal if you are going through romantic crisis

first_imgAccording to researchers from Florida State University, more selfies an individual posts on the social media site Instagram, the greater the likelihood he or she might experience conflict in romantic relationship.”The results show that body image satisfaction can be detrimental to Instagram users’ romantic relationships, especially when users’ body image satisfaction is promoted in the form of Instagram selfie posts,” explained lead author Jessica Ridgway and assistant professor Russell Clayton. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The duo teamed up to examine the predictors and consequences associated with Instagram selfie posting. With an online survey of 420 Instagram users between the ages of 18 to 62, the researchers found that Instagram selfie posting is associated with and predicted by an individual’s overall body image satisfaction.In other words, those who think they look good are more likely to post selfies. However, Instagram selfie posting behaviours were found to be associated with increased Instagram-related relationship conflict. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe researchers defined Instagram-related conflict as jealousy and arguments occurring due to either or both partners’ Instagram selfie posting behaviours. Not surprisingly, Instagram-related conflict was found to be associated with increased negative romantic relationship outcomes, which were defined as emotional or physical infidelity, breakup and divorce. “The results from this study provide an avenue for future body image research,” Ridgway said in a paper published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behaviour, and Social Networking. The findings contributes to a growing body of scholarly literature that has examined the predictors and consequences associated with using social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.  “For instance, future research could examine whether social media users post images of their actual selves or their virtual ideal selves, and whether such online behaviours are associated with similar negative outcomes found in our study,” the authors noted.In order to prevent negative relationship outcomes from arising, Instagram users must limit their selfie posting behaviours, especially when selfie posting becomes problematic in a user’s romantic relationship.last_img read more