Christmas hockey game to benefit Selkirk Saints Hockey Program

first_imgThe Christmas Classic Hockey game and the Broomball Dance will be joining forces this year at the Complex in Castlegar on (Saturday) December 27.The cause behind the Christmas Classic Hockey game is to raise funds for our Selkirk Saints Championship Hockey Program. All proceeds from the game will be donated to the Selkirk Saints.  The game is from 7-9:00 p.m. at the Castlegar Complex. There are beer gardens, various giveaways and Broomball Dance tickets at the game. After the game, the Broomball Dance will be held in the Complex main banquet hall.All the proceeds from the Dance will go to the Castlegar Broomball Association. The Broomball Dance tickets are $20 each.For more information email xmasclassic@hotmail.comlast_img read more

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Djokovic out in second round,

first_imgMELBOURNE, Australia (AP): It started badly for Novak Djokovic, who needed 24 serves, six break-point saves and 15 minutes just to hold his first game in the second round. This was not the close-to-invincible Djokovic that fans were used to seeing at the Australian Open, where he has won a record-equalling six titles, including five in the previous six years. In his earliest loss at a Grand Slam tournament since 2008, Djokovic lost 7-6 (8), 5-7, 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 yesterday to No. 117-ranked Denis Istomin, a 30-year-old wild-card entry from Uzbekistan.last_img read more

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NBA fines Celtics’ Smart, Cavs’ Smith for shoving match

first_imgGov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The league announced the fines Monday.In the first quarter of Saturday’s game in Cleveland, Smith and Baynes got tangled up while boxing out under the Boston basket. Smith gave Baynes a two-handed push, and Smart ran in from near mid-court to retaliate with a shove of his own.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSmart was given a technical foul and ejected. Smith was given a technical. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazilcenter_img Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Boston Celtics’ Marcus Smart is held back by teammates during a scuffle in the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, in Cleveland. Smart was ejected from the game. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)NEW YORK — The NBA has fined Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart and forward Aron Baynes and Cleveland Cavaliers forward J.R. Smith for an on-court shoving match in their exhibition game.NBA discipline boss Kiki VanDeWeghe fined Smart $25,000 for escalating the altercation and Smith $15,000 for shoving. Baynes was assessed $15,000 for initiating it.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown View comments Chinese athletes visit North Korea in latest sign of thaw in ties Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruptionlast_img read more

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Champion powerlifter urges youths to take sport seriously

first_imgNational Junior Powerlifting Champion Runita White took the opportunity to share some insightful advice with young sportsmen and women during the presentation ceremony of the REO Inter Secondary School Cricket Competition. Owing to her father’s, businessman Rudyard White’s, sponsorship under his business W and R Electrical, the powerlifter found herself in the unique position to give some advice to the young and upcoming players.In her heartfelt remarks, Runita White urged students to see sports as an avenue to boost their self-confidence. She stressed that sport helps in several areas. “This is the first time that my father, through his business, is sponsoring a sport event. However, based on the response that we have seen and the fact that I am confident that it has helped in identifying some of our better school cricketers, I am confident that my father will continue sponsoring this and other sporting disciplines,” she said.Runita White (R) presenting the sponsorship cheque to REO Region Four, Ms. Pauline LucasWhite elaborated on her experiences and how she has benefited holistically from her involvement in sport. “What I would like to do, however, is to urge students — mostly our young people — to see sport as an avenue for creating development and enhancing themselves, as it helps in inculcating discipline, sportsmanship, unity, dedication, love, cohesive behaviour, commitment and dedication,” she said.She added, “As a young woman, I am not just saying that sports is good because I want to sound impressive and look good; but, rather, because I have benefited significantly from the very advice that I am giving you. I have seen how it has helped me with my own personal life; with my holistic development as an individual, as a young lady; and most importantly, in my business and professional life,” she said.She declared that she began competing in the sport of bodybuilding in February of 2018, and has excelled thus far, as she takes whatever she is involved in seriously. The talented young businesswoman noted that the aim should not be “just taking part,” but rather, competing at the highest possible level.“You must not just play a sport; you must do it with passion, determination, humbleness, and most importantly be very disciplined and dedicated; as once you possess these attributes, then you would certainly be excelling,” she told those at the presentation ceremony.White assured the players that while her chosen sport is powerlifting, she is very impressed with the level of competition that she saw, and most importantly the discipline and sportsmanlike behaviour exhibited among the players; and therefore she would be urging her father to come on board for another year.White recently made history when she became the first woman in Guyana to claim a National Dead Lift Record of 195KG in the Junior 84+ KG category. The record is an unofficial FESUPO (South American Powerlifting Federation) record, and is considered the heaviest deadlift ever done by any woman in Guyana. Further, she has a Squat of 165 KG, which is a Junior record in the 84+ KG category; and a Bench record of 65.5KG which is another junior record in the 84+KG category.last_img read more

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Unai Emery remains tight-lipped on Arsenal ace’s future amid exit reports

first_img Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT silverware Ramsey is almost certain to leave Arsenal over the coming months However, reports from earlier this week suggested the Gunners have withdrawn their latest offer with NO new contract on the table.This means Ramsey will leave the club for free at the end of the season, though it is said Arsenal will attempt to sell Ramsey in January to make a profit on the Wales international.Ramsey has started all but one of Arsenal’s six Premier League fixtures since Emery was appointed the club’s manager, and he appears to be a rather important player for the former Sevilla and PSG coach. 2 latest predicted Nonetheless, Emery refused to be drawn into discussions over Ramsey’s contract situation – insisting his focus is on preparing the team and getting good performances on the pitch.“There are three elements, three aspects,” Emery responded when pressed on the Ramsey situation.“One is the player and also the player with their family and representatives. The other is the club and the other is the squad.“My focus is always on the team. My focus is preparing with the players and only thinking about the match tomorrow. Most read in Premier League REVEALED gameday cracker Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City Emery refused to be drawn in to discussions over Ramsey “Each player has individual aspects to work or to do or to speak with the club or with the team. But my aspect for the focus, only to think, is the matches and preparing for the matches, and to speak with the players if they are thinking and are very concentrated on work for giving us the best performance and to help the collective performance.” Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? 2 England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won Guardiola-inspired tactics: Is this how Arsenal will line up under Arteta? SORRY whoops Unai Emery refused to be drawn on reports Aaron Ramsey will leave Arsenal having failed to agree a new contract with the north London club.Ramsey, the midfielder, entered the final year of his deal over the summer and has been in discussions to extend his 10-year stay at the Emirates. changes Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update tense Did Mahrez just accidentally reveal Fernandinho is leaving Man City this summer? The average first-team salaries at every Premier League club in 2019 revealed How Everton could look in January under Ancelotti with new signings Sky Sports presenter apologises for remarks made during Neville’s racism discussion last_img read more

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DUNGLOE LIBRARY SAVED AS COUNCIL ANNOUNCES REGULAR OPENING HOURS

first_imgDungloe Library is to re-open after uncertainty over its future.A statement from Donegal County Council said the facility opened again today and will open from Monday to Friday from 10.30am until 1pm and from 2pm until 5.30pm.These hours will apply until further notice. The library had been closed on and off because of a shortage of staff.    DUNGLOE LIBRARY SAVED AS COUNCIL ANNOUNCES REGULAR OPENING HOURS was last modified: August 14th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Donegal County CouncilDungloe libraryopenedlast_img read more

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Heat and Light Emitted in Collisions of Darwin vs ID

first_imgRhetoric over evolution is increasing in the media largely because of the school board debates in Kansas (see 04/29/2005 entry and previous Education links).  The largely pro-Darwin press seems to be giving a little more coverage to the ID side; the anti-Darwin alternative media are getting more bold about asserting their views.MSNBC News says the Kansas hearings ended on a bitter note.  It gave approximately equal press to both sides, including attacks and counterattacks.CNN host Lou Dobbs led a lively interchange between Michael Ruse, John Morris of ICR and Jonathan Wells and printed the entire transcript. NBC Nightline hosted a debate between Michael Ruse and William Dembski.Bryan Leonard, PhD candidate, made a case for teaching the controversy in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  Rob Crowther on EvolutionNews.com calls it “one of the most compelling presentations of the entire Kansas Board of Education hearings on teaching evolution.”Dr. Philip S. Skell, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, wrote an open letter to the Kansas school board encouraging them to teach the controversy on evolution.  The letter is posted on Discovery Institute News.The Discovery Institute lambasted evolutionary scientists for failing to appear and answer criticisms.John Gibson’s Big Story on Fox News May 6 included Eugenie Scott facing off with Stephen Meyer.  Gibson seemed to lean in the direction of Meyer’s intelligent design position, based on the harder questions he posed to Scott, who tried to justify the evolutionists’ decision to boycott the Kansas hearings.World Magazine published a pro-ID report of the Kansas debate.Agape press writer Jim Brown claims Darwinists are getting desperate to defend a faulty theory.MSNBC News also posted a lengthy and lively interchange between creationist David Bump and cosmic evolutionist Neil deGrasse Tyson, after the latter compared Darwin with Einstein in an interview with science editor Alan Boyle (see MSNBC April 19).  Boyle received a hard-hitting critique from David Bump and printed it in its entirety, along with Tyson’s point-by-point responses.Part of the reason Darwinism may be getting a harder run for its money, compared to the days of the Scopes Trial, is the internet: blogs and rapid dissemination of news and reader responses.Tyson is a Darwin demagogue who cannot be trusted.  Look at the propaganda piece he pulled in the TV series Origins (see 09/29/2004 review), a Saganesque phantasmagoria of evolutionary imagery two-thirds animation and one-third irrelevant data.  There, as here in this interchange, he shows himself a bluffing ignoramus about history and biology, more interested in snappy sound bites than truth.  He repeats debunked ideas about Copernicus and Galileo, even when confronted about it.  Remarkably, he preaches Lamarckian ideas, even when confronted about that, too: he said, “Frequent use of organs or appendages, where that use contributes to one’s survival until reproductive years, will reinforce the existence and utility of that feature, as continuous variations of that feature get further tuned for survival.”  Can you trust someone that ignorant about evolutionary theory making TV specials about it?  Frequent use or disuse has nothing to do with natural selection; that’s basic high school Darwinese.  Unless a random mutation brings about some selective advantage, you can use your parts to the ultimate and none of the increased fitness will make it into the progeny.  Tyson also is a naive positivist, reiterating the canard that, despite a century and a half of evolutionary frauds, science has “built-in error correction” that eventually leads to progress.  OK, what will he think when science corrects the errors of Darwinism?  He also lies about Darwin’s theory of inheritance: “You are mistaken if you believe that Darwin’s ideas of inheritance were wrong,” he chides Bump.  What?  Pangenesis was out of style as soon as Darwin published it.    Alan Boyle, pathetically, doesn’t seem to have enough baloney detecting skill to discern who’s right.  He just seems to be leaning on Tyson’s reputation as a prize-fighter for Darwin.  Bump landed some pretty solid blows, which Tyson tried to dodge with misdirection, hot air, audience baiting and arm-waving.  The Darwinists had better send this champ back to the corner and give him some remedial education before he embarrasses them further.    All the articles listed above are worth reading.  It is a good sign when journalists stop printing outworn stereotypes from only one side, realizing they will get called on the carpet by readers.  It’s a good sign when the journals can no longer give ID a one-sided brush-off (compare 08/21/2003 with 04/27/2005).  The persistence of anti-Darwinists – some eminently qualified scientists and some informed laymen – no longer cowed into silence, is keeping editors on their toes.  Perhaps a few journalists are beginning to notice themselves the weakness of the ruling Darwin Party’s responses.  The most vocal Darwin advocates themselves are becoming cautious in their rhetoric (see 05/06/2005 entry).    When ID reaches critical mass, the demise of Darwinism could be quick and relatively painless.  It might even start celebrations, like the fall of the Berlin wall.  It will become chic to ridicule Charlie and uncool to wear the Darwin Fish logo.  Editors will remark, “I never really did believe that stuff, anyway.”  The hard-core Darwinists will be forced to support their ideas with real empirical work (see 08/20/2003) instead of bluffing from a position of usurped authority and pilfered prestige (see 05/02/2003 commentary).  Like welfare queens put on a work-for-food program, accountability will be their undoing (see 12/22/2003 commentary).  The culture need not worry at the collapse of such a large institutionalized paradigm.  Good science with all its desirable fruits will prosper – yea, flourish – within the new Reformation (see 08/19/2003 commentary).(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Upsets Surprise Evolutionists

first_imgAnimals Don’t Always Evolve Big56-million-year-old fossils complicate long-held theories about mammalian body size (Phys.org). It might have seemed intuitive to Darwinians that new animals should start small and evolve to get bigger over time, but a fossil mammal found in Alberta is shaking up expectations.The discovery of a new species of mammal in Alberta’s fossil record has shaken up some long-held beliefs about other species in its lineage.The ancient Catopsalis kakwa (C. kakwa) was only about the size of a squirrel, and weighed between 400 and 600 grams. What it lacks in size, however, it makes up for in terms of its implications for previous research proposing the evolution of larger body mass in multituberculates, rodent-like mammals named for their teeth that have many cusps, or tubercles, arranged in rows.According to evolutionists, these mammals persisted for a long time in the moyboys’ fossil record. Since it came late in their timeline, shouldn’t it be bigger and badder? It isn’t. It’s one of the smallest ever found. Not only that, the ghost of Darwin is haunting the evolutionary story:“Because the trend in these multituberculates seems to be getting bigger and bigger, this thing is so unexpected in that it’s quite small and temporally it’s quite late in the game,” Scott explains.C. kakwa’s size—and the fact that it was alive in the late early Paleocene—complicates the evolutionary history of Taeniolabidoidea, and implies either a ghost lineage or an evolutionary reversal of characteristics, going from large to small body size. A ghost lineage is when there is an extensive part of the evolutionary record of an animal that is not currently recognized in the fossil record; in this case, the fossil history of the mysterious small-sized Catopsalis has not yet been found.Early Bird Out of Place, Out of TimeBird family tree shaken by discovery of feathered fossil (BBC News). A fossil turaco dated at 52 million Darwin Years old, has been found in the Americas. That’s astonishing, because modern turacos, known by their bright plumate, head crests and penchant for fruit, are found only in African savannahs and forests today.A beautifully preserved fossil bird from 52 million years ago is shaking up the family tree of the exotic birds.The fossil’s weird features suggests it is the earliest known living relative not just of the turacos, but of cuckoos and bustards (large long-legged birds).And the fact the remains were unearthed in North America shows the distribution of different birds around the globe would have been very different in the past.Red Tide in the Desert?Red tide fossils point to Jurassic sea flood (Science Daily). When discovering marine life far inland, like seashells on the world’s highest mountains, evolutionists appeal to stories of long ages where continents rose and fell, and seas advanced and retreated over the land. This announcement about a red tide in Australia, though, is a little bizarre. Evolutionists found fossil dinoflagellates, the small organisms responsible for red tide, in Queensland near the town of Roma, 250 miles from the coast. They date the fossils as Jurassic. They didn’t think the sea inundated this area till the Cretaceous, 40 million years later. This means they have to adjust the evolution rate to repair their just-so story.“However, this new microfossil evidence from the same region suggests there was a short-lived precursor to this sea 40 million years earlier.”Dr Wainman believes these microfossils must have been brought inland by an incursion of sea water and then evolved quickly to adapt to the freshwater or brackish conditions as the sea waters slowly receded.“There is no other feasible explanation for how they managed to reach the interior of the Australian continent when the ancient coastline was thousands of kilometres away,” Dr Wainman says.Of course there is another feasible explanation: a global flood, as presented by creation geologists and paleontologists. That idea, though, is ruled out by fiat in the current Charlie & Charlie* dynasty (*Darwin, Lyell).Monkey Shines onto Stone AgeSome monkeys in Panama may have just stumbled into the Stone Age (New Scientist). Colin Barras waves magic wand of chance to explain why certain monkeys use rocks to smash nuts:Another non-human primate has entered the Stone Age – the fourth type known to have done so. A population of white-faced capuchins living on a Panamanian island routinely use stones to smash open nuts and shellfish. Other nearby populations don’t use stone tools, which might suggest that primates – perhaps including our ancestors – stumble into the Stone Age by chance.This nutty explanation implies that human ancestors were too stupid for millions of years to figure out how to hold a rock in their hands to open a nut. The assumption of millions of years by moyboy evolutionists, though, applies to capuchin monkeys as well. Why now? If monkeys have been around longer than humans, why did some just figure out this simple behavior? Barras speculates that the lack of predators on the island makes it worthwhile for monkeys to experiment. No; that idea gets tossed immediately by Brendan Barrett of the Max Planck Institute, who immediately replaces it with another just-so story:But that doesn’t explain why capuchins elsewhere on JicaroÓn, which also experience those conditions, don’t seem to use stone tools.Perhaps it takes a single hyper-intelligent individual to make the leap and begin using stone tools, with others then copying the idea. “Good innovations are pretty rare, but if they are adaptive they can take off,” says Barrett.According to neo-Darwinism theory, that lucky individual had to have had a mutation in its germ line that produced hyper-intelligence. One day, SuperBrain Capuchin realized that striking a nut with a rock made it easier to eat. Then, its stupid monkey-mates just copied its behavior. This explanation, though, is Lamarckian, because the stupid monkeys lacked the hyper-intelligence gene to be able to pass on the behavior, and should have reverted out of the Stone Age shortly thereafter.The story is also implausible because monkeys move around. During the assumed millions of years capuchins lived on JicaroÓn island, is it credible that the others never saw or learned to the time-saving trick? Long ages work against this story, because surely millions of years is plenty of time for all monkeys everywhere to learn how to crack nuts with rocks. Without the required millions of years, the conundrum vanishes.Darwin skeptics have no trouble believing that animals were endowed with intelligence necessary to learn, the migratory ability to explore new habitats, and the epigenetic programming to adapt within limits to shifting environments. Creationists add that God endowed them with these abilities not that long ago. Darwinians keep getting shook up by upsets because they deny intelligence as a cause, and insist on keeping their beloved millions of years. (Visited 626 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 These announcements show that fossils have ways of contradicting evolutionary expectations.last_img read more

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West African lion linked to Asiatic cat

first_imgWest and Central African populations ofthe continent’s iconic big cat have beenfound to be genetically closer to Asiaticlions than to their Southern Africancousins – this discovery has implicationsfor the conservation of the species.(Image: Luke Harwood)MEDIA CONTACTS • Sarel van der MerweChairperson, African Lion Working Group+27 53 22 7158 or +27 83 607 0986RELATED ARTICLES• Lions return to Great Karoo• Call of the wild in Sabi Sand• Kruger’s animal populations growing• Game park facelift to boost tourism• African tusker now two speciesChristel JordaanNew DNA evidence is suggesting that lions in Africa’s Western and Central regions are more closely related genetically to the Asiatic lion than to their East and Southern African cousins.A team of researchers from the Leiden Institute of Biology in the Netherlands conducted the study and published their results in the peer-reviewed Journal of Biogeography. The article, titled Genetic diversity, evolutionary history and implications for conservation of the lion (Panthera leo) in West and Central Africa, appeared in the journal’s July issue.The team concluded that genetically, Western and Central lions resemble the Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica) rather than the African lion (Panthera leo leo).An in-depth knowledge of genetic variation within a species is crucial when planning effective strategies to manage wild populations as well as captive breeding stock, and this discovery will be of value to conservationists.Africa’s lions, while protected in many areas, are under threat. According to the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the total lion population has declined by about 30% over the past 20 years, and today a mere 1 700 individuals roam the West and Central African regions.Lions face a diminishing habitat and food supply, as well as fragmentation of populations. They are also targeted by farmers and killed in retaliation for livestock theft, as well as by hunters seeking trophies. The Red List classifies West African lions as “regionally endangered”.Saving the big catDuring the study, researchers analysed the mitochondrial DNA of lions found across Africa and India.They also tested the genetic material of extinct species such as the Barbary or Atlas lion, which roamed the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and became extinct in the wild in the 1920s. Specimens in captivity were also believed to have died out, but scientists have recently identified possible Barbary individuals in a number of circuses and zoos.Although the differences in genetic make-up between African and Asiatic lions are not as marked as those found in different human racial groups, the research team maintains that the subspecies are distinct enough that one could distinguish one from the other if one knew what to look for.African lions are bigger and heavier – the average male lion weighs in at a hefty 185 kg, and has a weight range between 150 kg and 230 kg. Asiatic males weigh between 160 kg and 190 kg, while the females of both subspecies weigh roughly the same.Asiatic males have smaller, sparser manes which tend to leave their ears visible at all times. African males have fuller manes which are also generally lighter in colour. A lion’s mane gives other lions – both competitors and potential mating partners – an indication of the overall strength and fitness of that particular individual.Pride and prey sizes also differ between the two subspecies. In Africa’s vast savannah, prides often consist of between four and six females and up to four males. The faster, more agile females generally do the hunting and the stronger, larger males patrol and defend their territory against trespassers.The larger pride size offers an advantage in terms of hunting, as it means a greater chance of success when attempting to bring down bigger prey such as zebra or wildebeest.Asiatic prides usually consist of two to four females, and males are often solitary. Since the Asiatic lion is confined to the Gir Forest in the Indian state of Gujarat, it’s restricted to smaller prey, most commonly the Chital deer which only weighs around 50 kg. This makes larger pride sizes unnecessary.The genetic link between Western and Central African lions and their Asiatic counterparts can partly be attributed to natural phenomena such as Central Africa’s rain forest and the Rift Valley in East Africa. These structures have formed natural barriers which effectively inhibit lion populations from overlapping.Another factor to consider is the region’s climatological history. Scientists estimate that the local population of lions became extinct during the Pleistocene period of 8 000 and 40 000 years ago, as a result of a drought. The survivors would have roamed far in search of food and water, and may have wandered into the Middle East and Asia.Eventually some of these Middle Eastern animals may have recolonised the African region, which explains the close genetic relationship between these lions.last_img read more

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Moody’s affirms South Africa’s credit rating

first_imgSouth Africa’s current credit rating has been confirmed, as Moody’s Investors Service kept the government bond long and short-term ratings unchanged at Baa2 and P-2 respectively, while assigning a negative outlook.Moody’s is the only solicited rating agency that assigns the same rating for both the domestic and foreign currency denominated debt, Baa2 – a rating that is two notches above sub-investment grade.The confirmation of South Africa’s investment grade credit rating marks an end to the evaluation period that started on 8 March 2016, when Moody’s placed the country’s ratings under review for possible downgrade.On Saturday, the National Treasury released a statement outlining the three reasons Moody’s affirmed the ratings.1. South Africa’s economic growth will start recovering after 2016, having reached its trough this year.“Government will continue to collaborate with business, labour and civil society to restore confidence in the economy and address the structural constraints to economic growth,” Treasury said in the statement.It said the National Development Plan remains the catalyst for growth. The Nine-Point Plan will ensure its milestones are achieved. These include:promoting a stable and cooperative labour relations environmentencouraging development of energy efficient, job-creating industrieslowering the cost of doing business, removing regulatory constraints and acting swiftly to remove policy uncertaintyboosting investment through launching Invest SAimplementing reforms to ensure that state-owned companies are financially sound, operate efficiently, are well-managed and properly governed2. The adoption of more aggressive consolidation measures in the 2016 Budget will increase the likelihood that general government debt to gross domestic product (GDP) will stabilise in the current year.Treasury said the government’s decision to implement fiscal consolidation to return public finances to a sustainable path, while protecting core social and economic programmes, was correct.“This was done through tax policy adjustments to boost revenue, moderate current expenditure and reprioritised budgets. Furthermore, government’s recent track record of achieving fiscal targets gives credence to the future fiscal plans, especially maintaining an expenditure ceiling and recapitalising state-owned companies in a budget neutral manner.”3. According to Moody’s, the recent political developments are testament to South Africa’s institutional strength, compared to its peers.Treasury said South Africa’s monetary and fiscal institutions have remained sound over time.“Despite adverse political developments in recent months, government continues to demonstrate determination to bring public finances under control and ensure that programmes such as nuclear and the National Health Insurance are financed at a scale and pace that is affordable.”Moody’s warned of the need to implement the structural and legislative reforms agreed to by the government, business and labour. The rating agency said the future trajectory of the rating will be “highly dependent on government’s success in enhancing medium term growth prospects, stabilising debt and restoring investor confidence.”It said the country’s outlook can be changed from negative to stable if the government delivers on commitments that support growth and achieve fiscal targets.South Africa’s government, meanwhile, is intensifying efforts and focus on inclusive economic growth, job creation and improving investor confidence through addressing structural constraints.“Collectively working with business, civil society and labour, government will continue to demonstrate its commitment to translate plans into concrete actions that will ensure South Africa remains an investment grade country,” Treasury said.Ramaphosa welcomes ratingDeputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has welcomed Moody’s decision. He was in Mbizana in the Eastern Cape when he responded to the credit rating on South Africa.“We are very pleased with Moody’s report, where they have kept our rating status as is. Many people were thinking that they would downgrade us. They haven’t and that is a great success for us because it shows what we can achieve when we work together.“We have to congratulate Treasury for having led the charge working together . with other organisations, trade unions, business and civil society. It was very pleasing to see them travel to investors overseas as a united team, essentially as Team South Africa, going to sell South Africa and explain everything about our country.“So it’s great news and great success. As South Africans, we can congratulate ourselves.”Ramaphosa cautioned, however, that the country should not relax.“It is not over yet because there is another rating that is coming and this is when we must work harder and unite and demonstrate that South Africa is solid, stable and a worthy investment destination.” Source: South African Government News Agencylast_img read more

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