Public Procurement Commission– “this is something that the Government saidthey were keen on” Having vowed to move swiftly to establish the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) in the first hundred days once elected to office, the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government, led by President David Granger is now being questioned over its seeming slothfulness to appoint the members of the PPC, despite the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Parliament unanimously agreeing on the nominee and the National Assembly subsequently approving those nominees.Chairman of the PAC, Irfaan Ali, an opposition legislator in the National Assembly on Monday questioned President David Granger’s delay in swearing-in the members so they can commence working.Ali told Guyana Times that the committee would have fulfilled its responsibility as it relates to selection and agreement on the nominees and it is now President Granger who needs to officially appoint the commissioners. Ali questioned the President’s motive behind the delayed swearing-in.“This issue is now solely at the feet of the President and it is very strange that the members of the Public Procurement Commission to date have not been sworn in. This is something that the government said they were keen on, so I can’t understand what is causing the delay in the swearing-in of the members, these members have all been agreed on unanimously by the Parliament and it is solely at the feet of the president,” Ali stated as he issued a strong call for the President to fulfil his obligation with the appointment of the Public Procurement Commissioners.“We are calling on the President to move in an assiduous manner to ensure that the members of the Public Procurement Commission are sworn in and the commission commences its works,” the opposition legislator urged.Administrative mechanismPrime Minister Moses Nagamootoo was quoted by the Government-run Guyana Chronicle as saying that PPC will soon be established as “the process is now awaiting some administrative procedures, including finalising the remuneration packages.”But Ali said this is not preventing the swearing-in of the commissioners. He went on to explain that the PAC will soon move to put in place the administrative support mechanism for the Commission.“The PAC after the Parliament comes out of recess, would be moving to have this issue as a priority on its agenda in setting out the administrative mechanism to support the work of the Public Procurement Commission, so there is nothing that is stopping the President from swearing-in the members of the Public Procurement Commission,” Ali reasoned.Nominees approvedAt the end of July 2016, The Ali-led PAC agreed on the names of the nominees for the PPC and that list was subsequently approved by a two-thirds majority of the National Assembly on August 8.The nominees are Attorney Emily Dodson, Carol Corbin, University of Guyana lecturer, Sukrishnalall Pasha, Educator Ivor English and former Labour Minister, Nanda Gopaul.The list of the nominees was sent to President Granger, who under provisions of the Constitution could only appoint members of the PPC after their nomination has been approved in the House, and by a two-thirds majority.The PPC has been a contributing factor that predated the holding of the General and Regional Elections in May 2015, as the then opposition had insisted that Cabinet should cease the practice of giving ‘no objection’ to contracts for state projects and services, in favour of appeals by aggrieved contractors to the PPC.
A town trip mini-truck crashed into two people, who residents said were having “random sex” late Monday night under a market table outside a popular trading center on Waterside in Monrovia.The two, according to eyewitnesses, were in an act of sexual intercourse when a truck that reportedly suffered brake failure lost control and ran into them, killing the two “lovers” on the spot.Wailing residents began murmuring after they noticed that a condom, which the male partner had used during the incident, could be seen on him as he lay dead.“The man and this hopo-jo (sex worker) were hooked up in casual intercourse after becoming acquainted prior to the incident,” some of the residents, who were at the scene following the incident, told the Daily Observer.Officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP), who arrived on the scene to control a teeming crowd of onlookers, removed the lifeless bodies and took them to a local mortuary.While the bodies of the two were being removed, a number of onlookers were heard saying, “God is tired with those [sex workers], so He let one of them to die in such form and manner.”“The man was so stupid to let himself die like this, only so he could enjoy a woman through the use of a condom. Why he did not move from over the woman and run when the car was breaking other market tables before reaching to them?” some of the onlookers wondered, many of whom were women.As the crowd grew larger up to mid-day Tuesday, nobody could establish the next of kin of the deceased. Police said shortly after plunging into the market tables, the driver reportedly escaped in order to “apparently avoid mob attack.”Police quickly cordoned off the area to allow marketeers to go about their normal businesses. The incident, eyewitnesses said, occurred at night; however, the mini truck had earlier broken down and parked for repairs.The driver is believed to have returned to the car late in the night in order to drive it to the garage. Apparently due to brake failure of the vehicle, the driver reportedly lost control of the truck, drove from up the hill, and ran into the two people, who were believed to be in an act of sexual intercourse at the time.What has left residents shocked about the incident, according to eyewitnesses, was that the woman and her partner reportedly did not try to escape from the on-coming vehicle, though the truck is believed to have taken about 15 minutes before crashing into them.“The car did not just reach them right away. It was hitting and damaging market tables, which made a lot of noise; yet they chose to stay where they were. It’s sad. But this is their usual habit. Whenever we leave, they come here to have sex and leave their bad luck on our table,” another by-stander said.A source has denied any indication of foul play on the side of the driver, but police are said to be investigating all possibilities following the crash that took place around midnight on Monday.Other eyewitnesses said people ran away screaming from the city square after the crash, but police quickly cordoned off the area after ambulances rushed to the scene.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
0Shares0000Harambee Stars players in their final training session in Basra on Wednesday. PHOTO/FKFNAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 2 – The friendly match pitting Harambee Stars against Zambia that was scheduled to be played in Machakos November 14 has been called off.The move has been occasioned by Zambia’s inability to fly to Kenya in time for the build-up match. “It’s unfortunate that Zambia will not be able to honor the friendly due to what we have understood to be logistical issues around the team’s travel,” Football Kenya Federation CEO Robert Muthomi announced.“As such we have been forced to cancel the friendly and are already looking elsewhere for an alternative,” Muthomi added.The news about the cancellation comes a day after Harambee Stars First Coach Stanley Okumbi had named a provisional squad of 28 local-based players to report to camp with Nakumatt FC talisman Kepha Aswani earning a call up.Earlier on Football Kenya Federation were forced to cancel a friendly match against the Amavubi Stars of Rwanda after the team was handed an opportunity to 2018 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) where they are set to face Ethiopia in a playoff.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
A lighthearted look at the weekend’s sporting action with Johnny Vaughan joined in the studio by Gavin Woods and James Brown. This week’s special guest is former Everton and Leeds midfielder Ian Snodin.
DISCLAIMER: Like Wayne Rooney’s hair, this isn’t real. It’s just a joke!In the latest instalment of talkSPORT’s funny fake interviews, we meet Liverpool manager-in-waiting Jurgen Klopp, ex-Reds boss Brendan Rodgers, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, Arsene Wenger, Alan Pardew and Tim Sherwood.For a regular dose of football entertainment, check out youtube.com/talksport
WASHINGTON – White House and Justice Department officials, along with senior members of Congress, advised the CIA in 2003 against a plan to destroy hundreds of hours of videotapes showing the interrogations of two operatives of al-Qaida, government officials said Friday. The chief of the agency’s clandestine service nevertheless ordered their destruction in November 2005, taking the step without notifying even the CIA’s own top lawyer, John A. Rizzo, who was angry at the decision, the officials said. The disclosures provide new details about what Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the CIA director, has said was a decision “made within CIA itself” to destroy the videotapes. In interviews, members of Congress and former intelligence officials also questioned some aspects of the account Hayden provided Thursday about when Congress was notified that the tapes had been destroyed. Current and former intelligence officials say the videotapes showed severe interrogation techniques used on two al-Qaida operatives, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who were among the first three terror suspects to be detained and interrogated by the CIA in secret prisons after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat Kings Top CIA officials had decided in 2003 to preserve the tapes in response to warnings from White House lawyers and lawmakers that destroying the tapes would be unwise, in part because it could carry legal risks, the government officials said. But the government officials said Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., then chief of the agency’s clandestine service, the Directorate of Operations, had reversed that decision in November 2005, at a time when Congress and the courts were inquiring into the CIA’s interrogation and detention program. As the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee in 2003, Porter J. Goss, then a Republican congressman from Florida, was among congressional leaders who warned the CIA against destroying the tapes, the former intelligence officials said. Goss became CIA director in 2004 and was serving in the post when the tapes were destroyed, but was not informed in advance about Rodriguez’s decision, the former officials said. It was not until at least a year after the destruction of the tapes that any members of Congress were informed about the action, the officials said. On Friday, Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., who was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee from 2004 to 2006, said he was never told that the tapes had been destroyed. “I think the intelligence committee needs to get all over this,” said Hoekstra, who has been a strong supporter of the CIA detention and interrogation program. “This raises a red flag that needs to be looked at.” The first notification to Congress by the CIA about the videotapes was delivered to a small group of senior lawmakers in February 2003 by Scott W. Muller, then the agency’s general counsel. Government officials said Muller had told the lawmakers that the CIA intended to destroy the interrogation tapes, arguing that they were no longer of any intelligence value and that the interrogations they depicted over hundreds of hours put agency operatives who appeared in the tapes at risk. At the time of the briefing in February 2003, the lawmakers who advised Muller not to destroy the tapes included both Goss and Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., who was the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. Harman described her role Friday. Goss’ role was described by former intelligence officials. According to two government officials, Muller then raised the idea of destroying the tapes during discussions in 2003 with Justice Department lawyers and with Harriet E. Miers, who was then a deputy White House chief of staff. Miers became White House counsel in early 2005. The officials said Miers and the Justice Department lawyers had advised against destroying the tapes, but that it was not clear what the basis for their advice had been. A message left at Muller’s law office Friday was not returned, and White House officials would not comment about Miers’ role. It was also not clear when the White House or Justice Department were told the tapes had been destroyed, or whether anyone at either place was notified in advance that Rodriguez had ordered that the step be taken. Dana Perino, the White House spokeswoman, said Friday that President Bush had “no recollection” of being made aware of the tapes’ destruction before Thursday, when Hayden briefed him on the matter. In his message to CIA employees Thursday, Hayden said the leaders of the intelligence committee had been informed of the agency’s “intention to dispose of the material,” but he did not say when that notification took place. Several former intelligence officials also said there was great concern that the tapes, which recorded hours of grueling interrogations, could have sparked controversies about the legality of the interrogations and generate a backlash in the Middle East. According to one former intelligence official, the CIA then decided to keep the tapes at the CIA stations in the countries where Abu Zubaydah and al-Nashiri were interrogated. Abu Zubaydah was captured in Pakistan, and it has been reported that he was taken to Thailand for part of his interrogation. It is unclear where al-Nashiri was interrogated by CIA operatives. Al-Nashiri, an al-Qaida operations chief in the Arabian Peninsula until his capture in 2002, is thought to have been the mastermind of the October 2000 bombing of the destroyer USS Cole in Yemen. The current and former intelligence officials said that when Rodriguez ultimately decided in late 2005 to destroy the tapes, he did so without advising Rizzo, Muller’s successor as the agency’s top general counsel. Rizzo and Goss were among the CIA officials who were angry when told that the tapes had been destroyed, the officials said. Rodriguez retired from the agency this year. The Senate Intelligence Committee announced Friday that it was starting an investigation into the destruction of the tapes. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., who is chairman of the committee, said, “Whatever the intent, we must get to the bottom of it.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. 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BOSTON – There’s a lot we still don’t know – and might never know – about the National Security Agency’s surveillance of Americans’ phone calls. But one striking tidbit has emerged: that the agency is mining phone records for patterns of terrorist activity. USA Today reported May 11 that the NSA was performing “social network analysis” to detect patterns of terrorist activity in its database of U.S. call records. In defending the program, Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., confirmed that the White House had told him the NSA was probing calling patterns to “detect and track suspected terrorist activity.” But is that really possible? The “tracking” part makes sense. Assuming intelligence had sussed out suspected terrorists, certainly the vast database could be used to track whom those people had called. Can the government dig deeper into all of these groups? Fortunately for the stability of society, but somewhat unfortunately for intelligence analysts, there are vastly more groups of 19 people organizing soccer games and bake sales than there are teams like the 19 hijackers of Sept. 11. “Those patterns that we leave out there when we do things are going to look the same no matter what we’re doing, and 99 percent of the time we’re not going to be doing anything illegal,” said Valdis Krebs, who consults with companies on the organizational insights they can glean from social network analysis. “There probably isn’t a pattern that’s different from doing something bad vs. doing something good or something neutral.” The Pentagon apparently isn’t certain of that. It has funded research into a field known as “scalable social network analysis” that aims to identify whether terrorist plotting indeed leaves different organizational patterns from planning a bake sale. But Krebs doubts that enough terrorist cells have been mapped to provide a statistically significant sample of what those patterns are. The main point of social network analysis is to produce a map of how people in an organization tend to interact. By analyzing e-mail traffic or interviewing members of a group, network analysts can reveal the strength of ties between people in an organization, and who the key hubs are.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2The “detecting” part, however, is another story. Can terrorists be spotted simply by analyzing who calls whom and when – without any other leads? There’s reason to be skeptical. That’s because diverse kinds of human organizations share certain traits. If you and I and 17 other people are in a book club, we’re likely to call each other often. Sometimes almost all of us would ring up just one person on the same day to ask, “Can I bring dessert to tonight’s meeting?” Viewed in silhouette, in the cold analysis of a computer, it might indeed be apparent from our phone records that the 19 of us frequently communicate to plan something. But further investigation would be necessary to determine just what we were up to.
GAA: Donegal defender Eamon McGee feels the GAA need to address the on-going problem with club fixtures. With the inter-county season now done and dusted for 2015 – the on-going issues surrounding club fixtures still exist.The Dublin SFC club championship for example will now be condensed and played-off over a very short period of time – similar to what happened here in Donegal when we reached the All-Ireland finals in 2012 and 2014. While the Donegal SFC is at the semi-final stage, a backlog of league games will mean many clubs will still be in action at the end of October and early November.Donegal defender Eamon McGee feels it’s time to address the problems regarding the fixtures crisis, but feels it’s unlikely the GAA will do anything to resolve it.He took to Twitter and asked followers what they thought of the yearly problem with fixture scheduling.McGee tweeted, “If by some miracle the GAA have an epiphany and realise the fixtures structure is a complete mess when is soonest could it be implemented? There have also been calls for the All-Ireland Football Championship to be overhauled with too many one sides games on show throughout the summer.Former Donegal manager Jim McGuinness devised a structure he feels can ‘save the game’ and give the smaller counties hope.The provincial championships in Leinster, Munster and Connacht are no where near as competitive as Ulster – and that means some of the top sides like Kerry, Mayo and Dublin have an easy passage to the last eight of the All-Ireland.Donegal played four extremely tough bruising encounters in the Ulster SFC and that takes it toll according to McGee.In his column with The Irish Daily Star McGee said, “A preliminary round in Ulster is like a racehorse carrying a 14st jockey. DONEGAL STAR SAYS IT’S TIME FOR THE GAA TO ADDRESS CLUB FIXTURES ‘MESS’ was last modified: September 23rd, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare 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:donegalEamon McGeeGAAnewsSport
A popular social psychologist in the Netherlands has been exposed of committing “fraud on an astonishing scale,” forging data in dozens of scientific papers for nearly a decade. The exposè doesn’t just destroy his reputation. The fraud will cause “huge damage,” said Susan Fiske, a social psychologist at Princeton University,” because “His work is very central—or was.”Diederik Stapel reported experiments he never conducted, manipulated data, and even made it up, according to Gretchen Vogel in Science this week (4 November 2011: Vol. 334 no. 6056 p. 579, DOI: 10.1126/science.334.6056.579). The ripple effect of his fraud tainted the PhD theses of 14 students he supervised. Some of his students were given data to analyze but never conducted an experiment. Ironically, “Stapel’s studies encompassed a broad range of attention-catching topics, including how a position of power influences moral thinking.” Having set such a bad example in that regard, he admitted “he ‘failed as a scientist’ and is ashamed of his actions.”How could this level of fraud go unnoticed for so long? Ewen Calloway, writing for Nature, said “When colleagues called the work of Dutch psychologist Diederik Stapel too good to be true, they meant it as a compliment” (Nature 479, 15, 1/5/2011, doi:10.1038/479015a). Maybe they wanted it to be true. He was a “wunderkind” in his field, “highly published, highly cited, prize-winning, worked with lots of people, and very well thought of in the field.” Medical Xpress added that Stapel also appeared on TV chat shows as a social psychology expert. Some 30 papers are known to be faked, with others expected. Stapel faces prosecution for his misdeeds.New Scientist said this is one of the worst cases of scientific misconduct on record. Not only is Stapel ashamed; the social psychologists who were duped are ashamed. The article quoted the reaction of social psychologist Laura King (University of Missouri): “This is absolutely horrifying. We are talking about research that has major impact in the field of social cognition.”Update 11/28/2012: A year later, Stapel apologized (see Medical Xpress), saying he had failed as a scientist, was sorry for the fraud he inflicted, and that the truth would have been better off without him. The article stated that during his heyday he had been the “darling” of the psychology establishment.Update 11/29/2012: Science Insider reported in more detail on Stapel’s apology, but stressed that the investigative report points out bigger problems: “They paint an image of a ‘sloppy’ research culture in which some scientists don’t understand the essentials of statistics, journal-selected article reviewers encourage researchers to leave unwelcome data out of their papers, and even the most prestigious journals print results that are obviously too good to be true.” The article includes a link to the investigative report and quotes portions of it.There are bad apples in any field, and it appears Stapel acted alone in his deceit. But in social psychology, this was a disaster waiting to happen. According to the New Scientist article, the field is sometimes attacked for “sexy” studies “likely to titillate the media.” Of course, we know that is the ONLY field of SCIENCE with THAT problem (9/8/2011). Hart Blanton, an insider from the University of Connecticut, let the cat out of the bag: “‘Our field is one where a great deal of currency is placed on surprising you,’ says Blanton, who is concerned about a dynamic that encourages researchers to progress from ‘counter-intuitive to cute, to provocative, to “defies gravity”’.” Of course, that is the ONLY field of SCIENCE with THAT problem (9/20/2011).What qualifies as a “science,” anyway? How did social psychology ever get in the tent? The word science stands for too little, because it attempts to stand for too much. If you follow some vague “method” (consistency not required), know how to decorate it with some mathematical symbols, and publish in so-called scientific journals of some sort, you might be welcomed into the tent as a card-carrying “scientist” along with your snake-oil booth. Remember that Stapel said he failed as a scientist, not as a preacher, teacher or charlatan. We would like to assume that other scientists are skeptical of their colleagues, but look how many in this field were astonished – even horrified – that they, too, had been duped.An important take-home lesson from this fraud is that science, no matter how you define it, requires morality. The Medical Xpress article spoke with irony about how Stapel published papers about “how people in positions of power can have their moral compass go askew.” Stapel acknowledged a moral compass exists, but didn’t calibrate his very well. Exercise: Describe how a scientist should calibrate his or her own moral compass. Explain whether the calibration standard can evolve or not.(Visited 43 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
(Visited 37 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Except among certain special-interest groups, Darwin Day seems to have been a non-event, but one Darwinist won an award for Censor of the Year.There wasn’t as much news this year about Darwin Day, February 12 (Charles Darwin’s birthday). Most of the celebrations seemed to be local events, like one in Tampa Bay, Florida, listed on Nature‘s event directory:Join us as we celebrate science, education, and clear thinking at our Annual Darwin Day Celebration 2014 with Daniel Dennett: One of America’s Greatest Living Philosophers and one of the famed Four Horseman of Atheism, along with Hitchens, Dawkins, and Harris.It’s not clear how helpful it is to Darwin defenders to link Darwin Day to atheism – particularly using a Biblical metaphor. Besides, Christopher Hitchens, being dead, is no longer an atheist.University College London’s Darwin Day was a bit of a bust, literally. They needed to replace a bust of Darwin that was loaned, so they had a contest. Entries included a bust of Darwin with ants inside (see Evolution News & Views). The winner was a floating crochet head of Darwin, conceived and produced using intelligent design.A little bit of science did get done. A beetle Darwin collected in Argentina on his voyage on the HMS Beagle was rediscovered and named in his honor, Darwinilus sedarisi. PhysOrg has a picture of the beetle with its iridescent blue-green head and thorax. The 2008 rediscovery of the beetle in the Natural History Museum’s collection was published Feb. 12.Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) did take the floor of the House on Tuesday night to call for a celebration of Darwin Day (see The Raw Story and The Blaze), but it’s not clear if anyone was listening. (See 2/02/14 entry). The only ones mentioned agreeing with Holt were 12 co-sponsors and members of the American Humanist Association. That’s been another common thread: supporters of Darwin Day seem to cluster around atheist. leftist and humanist organizations. Syracuse.com says, “The International Darwin Day Foundation says over 90 groups of atheists, humanists and other freethinkers are holding local celebrations, including potluck dinners, nature outings, lectures, book discussions and film screenings.”Rob Brooks tried to drum up support for Darwin Day on The Conversation, calling for “a celebration of science and reason.” By reason, he meant a denial of “Biblical literalism,” placing creationists in a subset of reason-deniers and reality-deniers. Brooks placed “reason” with evolutionary biology and science, but did he have a good reason to think reason evolved by mindless processes? Darwin himself wondered if there were any convictions in a monkey’s mind (see 1881 letter to William Graham).The big news about Darwin Day was the new “Censor of the Year” Award offered by the Discovery Institute, which has used Feb. 12 to promote Academic Freedom Day rather than Darwin Day – co-opting Darwin’s own words from The Origin of Species, “A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.” The winner for this inaugural year is author of the blog “Why Evolution Is True,” evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne. Reasons for his nomination, and how Coyne received it, are explained in an ID the Future podcast by David Klinghoffer. In another ID the Future podcast, neurosurgeon Michael Egnor explains why evolutionists are so bent on censoring views that oppose theirs.The definitive volume on Darwin’s influence on politics and culture is Darwin Day in America by John West.Update 2/18/14: Science Magazine reported that Rush Holt, Mr. Darwin Day in Congress, will be leaving the House of Representatives when his term is up at the end of the year.OK, the atheists, humanists and leftists had their little party. If you didn’t notice or care, that’s fine. Now let’s get on with the business of science: intelligent design.Isn’t it odd that the purveyors of “reason” are the very ones who have no reason to account for reason. These are the “freethinkers” who don’t want people to be free to think. These are the censors, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18-25).For those who missed it, a few years ago we created a list of party games for Darwin Day, like “Pin the feather on the dinosaur” and a “Malthus Food Fight.” For the complete lists, see 2/09/06 and 2/13/04.