New Stoke boss Gary Rowett sends message to wantaway stars

first_imgNew Stoke City manager Gary Rowett has sent a message to the club’s wantaway stars as he prepares to start work on getting the club back in the Premier League.The Potters boss only wants to work with players totally committed to the cause, with a number linked with a move away from the relegated side – including Xherdan Shaqiri to Liverpool.The relegated Potters have already started to plan for life outside the top flight, releasing former England defender Glen Johnson and midfielder Stephen Ireland, while Austrian centre-back Kevin Wimmer has joined Bundesliga club Hannover.Rowett hopes to be able to retain captain Ryan Shawcross and midfielder Joe Allen but the Championship club are also looking to strengthen, with a surprise move for striker Benik Afobe – less than a week after he joined Wolves from Bournemouth for £10million – in the offing.Switzerland midfielder Shaqiri, meanwhile, says “it is no secret” he will leave Stoke this summer, with Liverpool reportedly ready to stump up £12million for him.Rowett made it clear just what he expects from his squad when the issue was raised during Thursday’s press conference following his first week at the bet365 Stadium.“No player will leave the club that is contractually with the club unless the club feel it is a good deal and the right deal for them,” the Stoke manager said.“That is the most important thing, but on the flip side to that, if players say they want to leave, then I want to work with players that want to be at the club.“I want to put players on the pitch next season that want to be in a different league and understand the challenges of that league.“I want players who are committed to Stoke City – and if players want to leave, I will try and find the best solution to make that happen if that is the case.”Rowett refused to be drawn on specific transfer targets but is determined to only sign the right calibre of player.“There will be changes made before the start of the season, quite a few I would imagine, and we are already working hard to identify the quality of player that we would like to bring into the club,” he said, quoted on the club’s website.“I think when you look at some of the players that we have been linked with – and at this stage of the summer I could look at 100, probably five are true, the others will be agent-led.“It’s the nature of the business, but the standard of some of the players we’ve been linked with are the standard we want to bring to the club, for sure.”Rowett added: “In my opinion we should be trying to sign the type of player that, age-wise, fit the profile we are after and are good enough to play in this division and also the division above should we achieve our goal.” Gary Rowett is aiming to take Stoke straight back up to the Premier League 1last_img read more

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Fossil Fish Pushes Evolutionary Time

first_imgQuick!  When was the Age of Fishes?  If you said “Devonian,” you were correct according to the textbooks and museums, but where’s your evidence?  Look at this diorama in the Smithsonian depicting the seas of the Silurian, the period preceding the Devonian: crinoids, trilobites, corals and nautiloids, but no fish.  It may be time to change the artwork and the textbooks.  A fully-finned fish, jaws and all, has been found in Silurian rock in China.    Prior to the announcement in Nature,1 the only tentative fossil evidence of a gnathostome (jawed) fish in the late Silurian consisted of head fragments dated 416 million years ago (Mya).  Now, a nearly complete fossil of a jawed fish the discoverers named Guiyu oneiros pushes the date three million years earlier, well into the Silurian.  The fact that it is already fully a boned fish means its non-fish predecessors had to have evolved, according to Darwin’s theory, much earlier than that.  “As the oldest articulated sarcopterygian, the new taxon offers insights into the origin and early divergence of osteichthyans [bony fish], and indicates that the minimum date for the actinopterygian�sarcopterygian split was no later than 419 million years ago,” the authors said.  “No later than” translates to “probably a lot earlier than.”    This puts pressure on the whole fish family tree.  Prior to the division between actinopterygians (which includes most familiar fish species) and sarcopterygians (lungfish, Coelacanth, and all four-footed animals, including us), there was supposed to be some branching points within the osteichthyes (bony fish) and chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fish), and between jawed and non-jawed vertebrates.  How well documented have these major branching points been in the fossil record?Osteichthyans, which fall into two major monophyletic groups, namely actinopterygians (bichirs, sturgeons, gars, bowfins and teleosts) and sarcopterygians (coelacanths, lungfishes and tetrapods), make up 98% of recognized living vertebrate species.  The rise of osteichthyans from other primitive gnathostomes is a key transition in vertebrate evolution, yet this transition is poorly documented by the fossil discoveries of the last century.  Major morphological gaps existed between actinopterygians and sarcopterygians, and between osteichthyans and non-osteichthyan gnathostomes (chondrichthyans, acanthodians and placoderms).  The past decade has seen the gap narrowing with fossil discoveries such as Psarolepis, Ligulalepis and Dialipina, which show fascinating combinations of osteichthyan and non-osteichthyan gnathostome characters, providing new opportunities for studying the polarity and evolution of these characters.  However, the basal osteichthyan phylogeny remains uncertain owing to the large number of unknown character states in these early forms and the provisional assignment of disarticulated remains to a single taxon.  A better understanding of these fishes is therefore crucial in reconstructing the part of phylogeny close to the split between actinopterygians and sarcopterygians.That’s where Guiyu comes in.  It is unquestionably sarcopteryginian.  Before now, evolutionary paleontologists drew their phylogenetic trees of the Silurian in the absence of evidence about jawed vertebrates.  The three specimens mentioned above are all well in the Devonian, except for Psarolepis, “an indeterminable osteichthyan” tentatively dated to the late Silurian.  Now, Guiyu puts one of the major branching points well into the Silurian.  Whatever led to the evolution of the sarcopterygians had to happen earlier, and more rapidly, than previously believed.    Michael I. Coates (U of Chicago) commented on this find in the same issue of Nature.2  “Discovery of an unusually intact and ancient fossil fish provides further evidence that the search for modern vertebrate origins requires breaking out of the Devonian and into the preceding period,” he began.  Usually, the earliest fossils are scrappy and indistinct, concocted into “conjectural species” from fragments, but this one is remarkably well preserved.  Coates agrees that it comes from a “poorly resolved patch of vertebrate evolution.  Crucially, this piscine offshoot of our own distant past is both unusually intact and exceptionally old.”    What does this find indicate about our knowledge of past eras?  After discussing other remarkable recent finds, some of which have surprising mosaics of features, he said that “The straightforward message is that the origin of modern gnathostomes is not a Devonian phenomenon, after all.”  Add some fish to that Silurian diorama.  In fact, in his article he showed a 1940s-era artwork of a fishless Silurian sea, and said, “What else might be absent?  Evidence of early actinopterygians (ray-finned fishes) and chondrichthyans (sharks and chimaeras) must be lurking out there, somewhere in the Silurian sediments.”  Here’s another straightforward message by Coates: “By pushing a whole series of branching points in gnathostome evolution out of the Devonian and into the Silurian, the discovery of Guiyu also signals that a significant part of early vertebrate evolution is unknown.”  He encouraged paleontologists to take a new look at their Silurian fossils and dig up evidence that must be there.1.  Zhu, Zhao, Jia, Lu, Qiao and Qu, “The oldest articulated osteichthyan reveals mosaic gnathostome characters,” Nature 458, 469-474 (26 March 2009) | doi:10.1038/nature07855.2.  Michael I. Coates, “Palaeontology: Beyond the Age of Fishes,” Nature 458, 413-414 (26 March 2009) | doi:10.1038/458413a.The collapse of a mythology – the fishless Silurian sea – occurring before our eyes.  Evolutionists like to quote the maxim “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence” when they are confronted with the lack of transitional forms.  That maxim cuts both ways.  They jeer creationists about the lack of any “Precambrian rabbit” fossils, but notice two things about that: (1) use the same maxim against the evolutionists, and (2) the evolutionists have rigged the names and dates of the strata to prevent such a thing from being found.  We’ve seen them reclassify a stratum from one end of the geological column to the other when it suited their purposes (01/03/2007).  Finding a rabbit in a Precambrian bed would not make them abandon Darwin Daddy.  They would just say, “Well, what do you know; this bed is Pleistocene.”    When you find anomalies like this within their own dating scheme, the case for falsification is more convincing.  Notice that the “earliest” fossils are not transitional.  They neither show primitive features nor clear-cut lineages.  Prior to Guiyu, they said the earliest specimens like Psarolepis had a mosaic of features.  This means it did not clearly fall into a single lineage.  Now, an even earlier specimen is unquestionably sarcopterygian and 100% fish.  The artist conception shows a fish you could catch and eat.  It’s got teeth, gills, scales, fins, eyes and all the equipment a fish could want.  It wasn’t becoming a fish from something else, and it wasn’t evolving into something else.  Think how many lucky mutations must have been required to get all these parts working together from some non-fish predecessor.  Since vertebrates have now been found all the way back to the early Cambrian (01/30/2003), it’s not that big a stretch to imagine finding a mammal in Cambrian or Precambrian strata some day.  After all, the skeletal system, immune system, digestive system, circulatory system, central nervous system had already “emerged” by then, so what’s the big deal shaping the outward morphology a little?    Another case of the “absence of evidence” maxim bears repeating.  The world is full of “living fossils” – species alive today that left no trace for supposed tens or hundreds of millions of years (see list on CreationWiki).  There are two possible lessons here.  One is that Precambrian rabbits could conceivably be found.  If you accept the evolutionary timeline, you would have to believe that the tuatara, coelacanth and Wollemi Pine lived through tens of millions of years, catastrophes and all, without leaving a trace in the fossil record – because they are still alive today.  There you go – “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”.  Secondly, living fossils argue against the evolutionary timeline altogether.  Is it plausible to think that these organisms survived unchanged for all that time?  Where is the evolution?  Just maybe those millions of years are fiction.  It would make more sense to believe that not much time has passed between the fossil and living representatives.  Whichever way you take it, today’s entry should shame the Darwinists into admitting they don’t know what they claim in their museum dioramas.(Visited 50 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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SA looks to nuclear power

first_img2 May 2007The South African government is looking to increase its reliance on nuclear power generation as a means of ensuring energy security, diversifying the country’s current energy supply and reducing its greenhouse gas emissions.Addressing the Nuclear Energy and Uranium Renaissance Conference in Johannesburg in February, Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica said there was a need to develop advanced, efficient, non-polluting, cost-effective energy technologies, especially for use in developing countries.“You are all aware that currently the South African electricity generation is dependent on coal. The over-reliance on coal will need to be reduced, particularly as investment is being made into new national electricity generation capacity,” Sonjica said.South Africa is to spend R97-billion to increase the capacity of its electricity grid over the next five years.In February, the government backed state-owned power utility Eskom in its plans to build a second nuclear power station in the southern part of the country, to contribute upwards of 1 000 megawatts of base-load power.The country is also busy experimenting with the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor concept, with a demonstration reactor set to be operational outside Cape Town by 2010.To prepare for an expanded nuclear programme, the Department of Minerals and Energy is putting together a strategy that will outline the future of nuclear energy in South Africa, while also ensuring investment in uranium beneficiation, given the presence of the mineral in the country.“[The] government is strongly encouraging the beneficiation of our minerals resources,” Sonjica said. “It goes without saying that beneficiation of uranium comes with its own responsibilities and sensitivities, and we should pursue this beneficiation within our national and international obligations.”‘Shift in mindset’According to Sonjica, developing a nuclear industry of such magnitude requires a shift in mindset from all role players in the local industry. South Africa would have to invest in nuclear research and development – currently being undertaken by the Nuclear Energy Corporation of SA (Necsa), as well as in manufacturing capacity.She said, however, that current rates of skills development were not sufficient, and that the government had to look into other methods, such as twinning local talent with international experts, to accelerate skills development.The department has since introduced initiatives such as the South African Young Nuclear Professionals Society and Women in Nuclear South Africa to promote the industry among previously disadvantaged people.Necsa chief executive Rob Adam told Engineering News that the corporation had been given R10-million a year for the next three years to establish a National Nuclear Manufacturing Centre.The centre will incorporate Necsa’s existing facilities at the Pelindaba complex outside Pretoria, including Fabritek (the manufacturing component of the old Atomic Energy Corporation), an existing design centre, and Necsa’s current fuel manufacturing activities at the Safari-1 research reactor.“What we have discovered is that South African companies are finding it hard to manufacture to nuclear specifications, and we fear that, when the building of new nuclear power stations starts, local companies will find it difficult to respond and money that we had hoped would be spent in South Africa will have to be spent abroad,” Adam told Engineering News.“This centre would both do its own manufacturing and help other South African companies to meet the required standards and be able to manufacture for nuclear.”Sonjica also called on the National Nuclear Regulator to strengthen its capacity to evaluate different technologies, adding that the state would also have to improve its system for ensuring compliance with its non-proliferation obligations.“Nuclear safety is going to be paramount in the pursuit of our objectives,” she said.SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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High-level ministerial committee to tackle migration issues

first_imgOn Tuesday 21 April South African President Jacob Zuma convened the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Migration, instructing members on what they need to do to promote orderly and efficient migration as well as peaceful coexistence between citizens and non-South Africans.The IMC is tasked with ensuring all aspects of migration are handled efficiently, including the social, economic and security aspects.The IMC will also address concerns South Africans have raised about migration, while also taking care of the wellbeing of all immigrants in the country, from all continents.Zuma has expanded the membership of the IMC by including the Departments of Small Business Development, Trade and Industry and Human Settlements. He has also appointed the Minister of Police as deputy chairperson of the IMC.The full membership of the IMC is now as follows:1. Minister in the Presidency: Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation as Chairperson2. Minister of Police, Deputy Chairperson3. Minister of Home Affairs4. Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs5. Minister of International Relations and Cooperation6. Minister of Defence and Military Veterans7. Minister of Social Development8. Minister of Health9. Minister of Basic Education10. Minister of State Security11. Minister of Justice and Correctional Services12. Minister of Small Business Development13. Minister of Trade and Industry14. Minister of Human SettlementsEnquiries: Ms Phumla Williams on 083 501 0139Issued by: the PresidencyPretoriaWebsite: www.thepresidency.gov.zaOperation Phakisa: www.operationphakisa.gov.zalast_img read more

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Thiruvananthapuram temple riches spark ownership debate

first_imgKerala’s Padmanabha Swamy temple is being called the world’s richest. Riches worth over Rs one lakh crore have already been unearthed from the underground vaults of the temple, while one more chamber was being opened on Monday. The discovery has sparked off a controversy as to what happens to the treasure now. Does it belong to the public or to the royal family? The wealth was discovered when the underground vaults in the temple were opened on June 27 on the Supreme Court orders following a private petition seeking transparency in the running of the trust and what came out dazzled the seven-member panel appointed by the apex court. The treasure trove in Kerala temple includes a gold sheaf weighing 500 kilos, 18-foot gold chain weighing 10.5 kilos, three-and-a-half feet tall Lord Vishnu idol studded with diamonds, emeralds and rubies, 36-kilo golden veil, 1200 ‘Sarappalli’ golden chains, some sporting ‘navaratnas’, three gold stone-studded crowns, diamonds, precious stones, including cat’s eye, rubies and emeralds and 1,000 kg of gold coins. Former High Court Judge M.N. Krishnan said, “We are expected to take the inventories and submit before the Supreme Court.” Two of the six underground vaults of the temple have not been opened in 136 years. One chamber was last opened 140 years ago. The last remaining chamber – the oldest one termed the B vault, will be opened after July 8. Meanwhile, security has been heavily beefed up in and around the temple complex. But the question is who the wealth belongs to. What happens to this treasure now? Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said, “The government will assist in safeguarding the treasure.”  Former High Court Judge Justice C.S. Rajan said, “That is for the court to decide who is the owner. Who is the authority that is a dispute before the court – whether the maharaj is the owner or somebody else is the owner or the government can take over all this.” Legal Expert V.R. Krishna Iyer said, “The wealth should be used in public interest. The treasure should be handed over to a national trust and spent for the welfare of the poor.” Activist Jaya Jaitley told Headlines Today, “People offer money to the God. The God’s represented by the temple. There is no question that the state can say it has a right over the wealth. There will be huge turmoil in that event. Leave it to the temple.” However, Jaitley added, the temple can use some money for the welfare of the people. “The money belongs to the temple. It’s a great treasure we have found?it’s atrocious to suggest it’s black money,” Sabrimala temple spokesperson Rahul Easwar told Headlines Today. The government, though, says that the treasure will be used in public interest, but only if the Supreme Court allows. Till the time SC decides on who gets the treasure, the world’s richest temple will continue to be the guardian of God’s own wealth.  Experts believe the value of the treasure trove is nearly three times the annual budget size of Kerala. It is almost double of the annual budget of Bihar, which was Rs. 65,000 crore for year 2011-12.  The treasure trove is more than the budgetary allocation for rural development programmes with a total allocation of Rs 74,143 crore. It is four times the annual health budget, which was allocated at Rs 26,760 crore in this Budget.advertisementHow the Kerala temple compares to other rich temples  Five hundred and twenty two silver bricks were recovered from the ancient Jagannath temple in Puri in February this year. The bricks weighing 18 tonnes were worth Rs 90 crore. The recovery, from a room that had remained closed for decades, had been a surprise. It was the Balaji Temple in Tirupati that was the richest Hindu temple in the world, till the Padmanabha Swamy temple surpassed it. The insurance cover for Tirupati Balaji’s jewels is whopping Rs 52 thousand crore. The Tirupati temple is also known to have 3000 kg of gold, worth Rs 42 thousand crore. One third of this gold was deposited with the State Bank of India last year. Several temples in India have crores of rupees worth of wealth as devotees donate gold and other precious objects. But with one more vault left to be opened, the wealth of Lord Padmanabha could possibly be the largest in the world – larger than even the most celebrated religious repository of treasure, the Vatican. While the Vatican has more artefacts of proven artistic, historical and religious value, most of them cannot even be quantified in terms of money. Its Rs 1500-crore annual revenue pales in comparison to the treasure of Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple. The Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512, maybe priceless, but the gold from the Kerala temple would earn more interest per year, year after year. – With Sreekesh in Thiruvananthpuramadvertisementlast_img read more

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