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first_imgDeputy Pat the Cope Gallagher has challenged the Department of Education and Skills to speed up the process of the tendering for St Mary’s National School, Stranorlar.He said it is his firm belief that this is being dragged out at present and that inordinate delays are occurring in this most urgent project for a new school build at St Mary’s National School.Pat the Cope added it is also important that Donegal registered or based Building Contractors are shortlisted at pre-qualification stage in order that they are able tender for the project. “I raised this matter in advance of pre-qualification of contractors with the Minister in the Dáil some months back, that in my view that many Donegal firms were being excluded from pre-qualification and tendering of State Contracts due to their location and that vast inconsistencies exist within the state tendering process at present.“All I require is that Donegal firms get an opportunity to tender – a fair chance to compete for state contracts as opposed to be continuously excluded from state jobs,” added Pat the Cope.The Donegal Deputy said he is not satisfied that the tendering of St Mary’s National School is moving at the pace which other projects are at within the Department at present.He added that inordinate delays are occurring and even yet no firm date can be given by the Department of when we will see contractors on site. He added “I have worked diligently and tirelessly on this project along with my Municipal Area colleague Cllr Patrick Mc Gowan, who continues to work closely with the school authorities on this priority project for the Finn Valley area.“This is simply not good enough for this urgent school building project – we all need to put our shoulder to the wheel and bring St Mary’s NS to brick and mortar stage without further delay – this project needs an urgent injection of priority status within the Department and that is what I am publically calling on the Minister and his Department to do – to immediately move this project through the final stages at a priority level speed and get construction underway in Stranorlar for St Mary’s National School”Copy of Dáil Question –QUESTIONTo ask the Minister for Education and Skills if the shortlisting of contractors for a school (details supplied) has been completed; if firms or contractors in County Donegal have been successful in the shortlisting process; the number of firms and contractors in County Donegal that applied to be shortlisted for the contract; the timeframe for the next part of the tendering process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Details Supplied) St Mary’s National School Stranorlar Co DonegalREPLY The major building project for the school to which the Deputy refers is at an advanced stage of architectural planning Stage 2b (Detailed Design), which includes the application for statutory approvals and the preparation of tender documents.  All statutory approvals have been secured.The Design Team is currently in the process of completing the pre-qualification process to select a shortlist of contractors for tender stage.  The outcome of the pre-qualification process has been notified to contractors who expressed interest in tendering for this project.  Feedback and issues arising from same are currently being dealt with by the Design Team.  In the circumstances, it would be inappropriate at this point in time for my Department to comment on the composition of the shortlist.In parallel with the pre-qualification process the Design Team is currently working on a submission to the Department outlining the steps required to achieve compliance with Part L of the Building Regulations 2017 (NZEB – “Near Zero Energy Building”).When the pre-qualification process has been completed and the design team’s NZEB submission has been considered and any consequential amendments to Stage 2(b) design and tender documents have been implemented this project will then be progressed to tender stage. A tender stage normally takes between 7 and 8 months to complete.Delay in appointment of contractors for Donegal school slammed was last modified: May 22nd, 2019 by Staff WriterShare 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:contractorsdelaySt.Mary’s schoolStranorlarlast_img read more


first_imgPhew, finally: now we know how cacti evolved, reports EurekAlert.  Ouch!  On second thought, how’s that again?    Two Yale scientists set out to figure out how the succulent plants turned leaves into spines.  Using molecular methods, they identified the earliest cactus, but then said it “already showed water use patterns that are similar to the leafless, stem-succulent cacti.” “[Our] analyses suggest that several key elements of cactus ecological function were established prior to the evolution of the cactus life form,” explain the authors.  “Such a sequence may be common in evolution, but it has rarely been documented as few studies have incorporated physiological, ecological, anatomical, and phylogenetic data.”But if the key innovations for cactus ecological function were already present, how is this an example of evolution?The press release is shamefully titled, “How did cactuses evolve?”  It should be titled, “Did cacti evolve?”  Apparently not; they were already adapted for their water use lifestyle from the start.  If “this sequence is common in evolution,” where the function already exists before the evolution begins, it sounds like creation, not evolution.    Enough with the Darwinian tales.  Focus instead on the design features of these amazing plants.  The article rightly states, “The cactus form is often heralded as a striking example of the tight relationship between form and function in plants.  A succulent, long-lived photosynthetic system allows cacti to survive periods of extreme drought while maintaining well-hydrated tissues.”  That is design, folks, not evolution.(Visited 59 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more


first_imgInstead of showing remorse over a Lazarus taxon, evolutionists invoke another besetting sin: vestigial organs.The poster child for living fossils is Coelacanth, a lobe-finned fish long thought extinct till a living one was found swimming just fine in 1938 off the coast of South Africa. That discovery drowned notions of it evolving into a land animal, because its bony fins were not used for locomotion on the bottom in shallow waters. Instead, the fish spends much of its time in a vertical posture.One might suppose that evolutionists would be embarrassed by this double falsification. One might hope they would turn their attention to either finding more fossils of coelacanths in the intervening layers of the fossil record, or admitting that evolution did almost nothing to these fish for allegedly 66 million years since they went extinct. Even worse, evolutionists must admit there was no major change to the coelacanth kind for 344 million years, according to their standard evolutionary timeline.Instead, a paper in Nature Communications (open access) now alleges that living coelacanths have a vestigial organ: a lung.  This term “vestigial” has long been an embarrassment to evolutionists, because most (or all) of the hundred-some-odd vestigial organs alleged in the human body a century ago have since been found to be functional. Nevertheless, the team of international researchers uses the term freely:Coelacanths are lobe-finned fishes known from the Devonian to Recent that were long considered extinct, until the discovery of two living species in deep marine waters of the Mozambique Channel and Sulawesi. Despite extensive studies, the pulmonary system of extant coelacanths has not been fully investigated. Here we confirm the presence of a lung and discuss its allometric growth in Latimeria chalumnae, based on a unique ontogenetic series. Our results demonstrate the presence of a potentially functional, well-developed lung in the earliest known coelacanth embryo, and its arrested growth at later ontogenetic stages, when the lung is clearly vestigial. The parallel development of a fatty organ for buoyancy control suggests a unique adaptation to deep-water environments. Furthermore, we provide the first evidence for the presence of small, hard, flexible plates around the lung in L. chalumnae, and consider them homologous to the plates of the ‘calcified lung’ of fossil coelacanths.Live Science repeated the idea uncritically, without mentioning the embarrassments about this fish not evolving for hundreds of millions of years, then disappearing and reappearing after tens of millions of years.It’s possible that the lung became less developed as the coelacanth moved to deeper waters, but remnants of it still exist as a vestigial organ, the researchers said. However, as the lung shrank and became useless, a fatty organ that the fish uses for buoyancy control in deep waters grew and took over the space once occupied by the lung.But what this implies is that a more-complex organ, a lung, appeared fully formed in the fossil coelacanths, then atrophied:This lung likely helped the fish survive in low-oxygen, shallow waters hundreds of millions of years ago, the researchers said. During the Mesozoic era, more commonly known as the dinosaur age, it’s likely that some species of coelacanth (see-leh-kanth) moved to deeper waters, stopped using their lungs and began relying exclusively on their gills to breathe, the researchers said.PhysOrg‘s coverage didn’t mention “vestigial organs” directly, but says, “Similar to the human appendix, the organ was likely rendered defunct by evolution.” This is a common myth. A function for the appendix was found eight years ago (10/06/07, 8/21/09). It’s obvious, anyway, that evolution’s major challenge is to create function, not render it defunct.The article did call the coelacanth a “Lazarus” taxon, “a group of animals ‘resurrected’ from extinction.” The antecedent Lazarus (a man who was in a tomb four days), it must be remembered, was raised to life by intelligent design—the divine power of Jesus Christ, according to the Gospel of John, chapter 11.Let’s count the ways that evolutionists have bungled and mangled the story of coelacanth. (1) This large, well-adapted fish appears fully formed 410 million years ago in their timeline, the early Devonian period. (2) The Devonian is not that long after the Cambrian explosion, still a MAJOR embarrassment for evolutionism since Darwin worried about it (see Darwin’s Doubt and Darwin’s Dilemma). (3) Coelacanths thrived for 344 million years largely unchanged, with some allowance for horizontal variation. (4) Coelacanths never did evolve into land animals, despite the just-so stories evolutionists told about them, imagining their bony fins turning into legs. (5) The fish turned up in 1938 alive and well despite evolutionists’ stories that they had gone extinct with the dinosaurs. (6) The fish had not evolved in all that time, either. (7) The 66-million-year gap calls into question the evolutionary timeline itself. (8) And now, this new paper wants to resurrect the extinct evolutionary notion of “vestigial organs.”Why should anyone trust these guys?The fossils are hard data. The living fish are hard data. That much can be studied scientifically. The tall tales about great antiquity of these fish over millions of unobserved years are “fish stories” concocted to fit an evolutionary worldview. It’s long past time to scuttle the evolutionary gaffes and view coelacanths as beautifully designed fish.The proper approach to coelacanth research would be to look at the alleged “vestigial lung” as a feature with an unknown function (note to evolutionists: if it functions during embryogenesis, it is not vestigial, anymore than your bellybutton is). Science should sanitize its vocabulary of debunked evolutionary verbiage like “vestigial organs” and examine things with the wisdom of Paul Nelson’s father, “If something works, it’s not happening by accident” (quote from Flight: The Genius of Birds). (Visited 496 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more


first_imgThe Wildly Creative campaign calls for a collaborative effort in designing a vibrant new ad campaign for South Africa. (Image: Brand South Africa) MEDIA CONTACTS • Simon BarberUS country manager, Brand South Africa+1 202 276 5084 or +27 76 061 3295Skype: barber.simonRELATED ARTICLES • Brand SA unveils 2010 campaign• World Cup fever spreads abroad • World Cup fever hits the road • New board for Brand South AfricaSouth Africahas marked the start of the 100 days countdown to the 2010 Fifa World Cup on 2 March with a variety of patriotic celebrations and flag- flying spectacles. The football spectacular kicks off on 11 June.The Get Wildly Creative About South Africa online advertising contest aims to inspire South Africans to get together as a nation, use their creativity, collaborate with the international community, and come up with ways to promote the country as a vibrant destination ahead of the World Cup.The eight-week, people-inspired, online ad contest, which starts on 15 March, is part of a major nation branding research project undertaken by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and Brand South Africa, the organisation responsible for defining and shaping the country’s image throughout the world.With social media networks hosting billions of monthly visitors, conversations and connections, the CMO Council’s new GeoBranding Centre is looking to evaluate the level of voice, influence and creative pull in these interactive online communities, particularly as it relates to shaping perceptions of countries, destinations, locations and origin of products.Community-driven advertisingThe Get Wildly Creative About South Africa ad contest will be hosted on the Zooppa.com people-inspired advertising platform and will use viral communications, online conversations, blogging and cyber chatter to talk up interest and participation in this inventive country branding program targeted at the world’s 1.7-billion Internet users.Current and aspiring creative professionals, digital media buffs, South African citizens and expatriates, and anyone with a lust for travel to Africa, are invited to come up with inventive ways to produce a fresh and evocative message about a country that has gone from tragedy to triumph in less than two decades.Contest entry information and a creative brief, giving background on the assignment and links to South African resources, are available at the Zooppa.com contest centre.Cash and prizes – donated by SA Tourism, in-country partners and creative technology solution providers – will be awarded to the top submissions within each category. These are Best Print Campaign, Best Online Banner Campaign, and Best Video Segment or Commercial.Winning entrants will have their work showcased globally to the CMO Council’s 5 000 members who control more than US$150 billion (R1.2-billion) in annual marketing spend and recognised at a special Brand South Africa-hosted reception in New York City, the world’s media centre and creative hub.They will also win trip packages courtesy of SA Tourism and other travel, hospitality, lodging and merchandise partners inSouth Africa.Inspired messaging“We’re looking for inspired messaging and out-of-the-box advertising executions that capture the essence, attributes and qualities of Brand South Africa,” noted CMO Council executive director Donovan Neale-May.“With the world’s eyes upon it as host of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, South Africa is seeking to establish itself as a competitive and relevant nation brand,” added Paul Bannister, CEO of Brand South Africa. “We’re excited about the potential for social media channels to generate greater discourse and narrative about our brand from people who have experienced or researched our special place in the world.”Separately, the CMO Council’s GeoBranding Centre will conduct monthly analytics on the tonality, sentiment and prevalence of conversations, commentary and news about Brand SouthAfricaleading up to the four-week World Cup.It will source PR Newswire’s Social Media Metrics service, which tracks the tonality and sentiment of global media coverage through 30 000 online news sources in 12 languages. The platform also intelligently and analyses 5-million forum posts a day, as well as conversations and commentaries in 20-million blogs, social media networks, news groups, bulletin boards, etc.“We’re thrilled to partner with the CMO Council on this very exciting initiative and provide the team with powerful and meaningful analytics to support the success of the new GeoBranding Centre, said Susan McPherson, vice president, business development at PR Newswire.With billions invested in the African sports spectacular, the CMO Council’s GeoBranding Centre will be looking at the host country’s effectiveness in shaping perceptions and using the global football spectacle to optimise its reputation and appeal worldwide.For more information contact:Simon Barber US Country Manager International Marketing Council of South Africa Phone: +1 202 642 4994 Cell: +1 202 276 5084 / +27 76 061 3295 Skype: barber.simon Email: [email protected]last_img read more


first_img4 November 2014As relations between Denmark and South Africa continue to improve, visiting Danish minister Mogens Jensen says his country will step up trade with the Southern African country by a 50% margin.Speaking at a bilateral meeting with South Africa’s Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies in Cape Town on 3 November, Jensen said his government regards South Africa “as a port to the rest of Africa’.Jensen, a minister of Trade and Development Cooperation, said South Africa is one of the favourite destinations for his countrymen, with 27 000 Danes visiting the country each year. In this regard, Denmark is looking into introducing a direct flight from his country to South Africa.South Africa’s total trade with Denmark has been increasing steadily, from R2.9-billion in 2009, to R4.8-billion in 2013, according to Davies.“The total exports to Denmark from South Africa increased from R1-billion in 2009 to R1.4-billion in 2011, with the exception of 2010 (R917-million), 2012 (R1- billion) and 2013 (R890-million). The decrease in total exports from South Africa to Denmark in 2012 and 2013, can be attributed to a decline in external demand, due to slow recovery in the EU,’ said Davies.In addition, total imports from Denmark to South Africa have been increasing exponentially since 2009, according to Davies. “Total imports increased from a low base of R1.9-billion in 2009, R1.9-billion in 2011, R2.4-billion in 2012, and R3.9- billion in 2013, with exception of 2010,’ he said.At the meeting, the two ministers also discussed the Bilateral Investment Treaty and the yet-to-be-launched Tripartite Free Trade Area.On the Bilateral Investment Treaty, Davies said South Africa has submitted a notice of termination of the Bilateral Investment Treaty to the Danish government. Davies said a new investment policy will be drafted to replace the old treaty.The investment policy aims to modernise and strengthen South Africa’s investment regime by implementing a series of policy measures. These measures will ensure South Africa remains open to foreign investment, provides adequate security and protection to all investors, while preserving the sovereign right of the South African Government to pursue developmental public policy objectives, according to Davies.On the Tripartite Free Trade Area, Davies said the programme will be launched next month, replacing the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, East African Community and Southern Africa Development Community (COMESA-EAC- SADC).Adding, Davies said the Tripartite Free Trade Area approach is developmental and rests on three pillars: infrastructure development, industrial development, and market integration. It is envisaged the free trade area will remove barriers to trade and promote regional integration.SAinfo reporter and SAnews.govlast_img read more


first_imgThe Shiromani Akali Dal has accused the Congress government in Punjab of trying to “regularise unconstitutional” appointments by deciding to amend a law under which advisers to the Chief Minister for planning and political matters will not be disqualified for holding offices of profit.Offices of profitThe Punjab Cabinet on Friday decided to amend the Punjab State Legislature (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1952. After this amendment, members of the Assembly appointed as advisers in the rank of Ministers under this category will not be disqualified for holding offices of profit. In a statement, former Minister and Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia said that Congress MLAs Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, Kuljit Singh Nagra, Sangat Singh Gilzian, Inderbir Singh Bolaria, Kushaldeep Dhillon and Tarsem Singh DC had already invited disqualification by accepting an office of profit in the form of advisers in the rank of Cabinet/Minister of State rank. The appointments violate the 91st Amendment of the Constitution which stated that the total number of Ministers shall not exceed 15% of the total strength of the State Assembly, he said. Asserting that these appointments could not be regularised retrospectively, Mr. Majithia said that the Congress government trying to “regularise” the appointments by moving a Bill to amend Section 2 of the Punjab State Legislature (Prevention of Disqualification) Act proves that the appointments were not made as per law. “The government should not compound its mistake by going in for desperate measures to save these appointments, and should scrap them immediately,” he said. Mr. Majithia said the SAD would also ask the Congress government to explain the rationale behind appointing MLAs as advisers at a time when the State was unable to give midday meals, scheduled caste scholarships and old age pension. The State government has appointed six Minister-rank advisers to CM Amarinder Singh. Five Congress MLAs were given the status of Cabinet Ministers and the sixth that of a Minister of State. Four MLAs were designated as advisers (political) while one was designated as adviser (planning) with the cabinet rank and status.last_img read more


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first_imgAustralian controversial tennis star Nick Kyrgios has pulled out of the ongoing Italian Open due to a hip injury .The tournament organizers confirmed the news shortly before the 22-year-old was due to face Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut in the opening round.Kyrgios will now be replaced by Ukrainian lucky loser Alexandr Dolgopolov, who suffered a defeat in the final round of qualifying,Sport24 reported.The 18th-ranked Australian also withdrew from the men’s doubles event of the tournament, where he was paired with Italy’s Fabio Fognini.The announcement of his withdrawal comes less than two weeks before the French Open, thus raising doubts about his participation at the Roland Garros.last_img


first_img Facebook Login/Register With: The Junos will open with a performance from electronic group A Tribe Called Red, before other big acts such as Alessia Cara, Sarah McLachlan and Shawn Mendes take the stage. Advertisement OTTAWA — The curtain rises tonight on the Juno Awards show — and the annual celebration of standout Canadian music promises to offer at least a few surprises. The Junos air on CTV and will stream online at CTV.ca.BY DAVID FRIEND – CANADIAN PRESS Co-hosts Bryan Adams and comedian Russell Peters will set the tone for show, which will be broadcast live from Ottawa’s Canadian Tire Centre. Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Among the highlights, Feist is slated to pay tribute to the late Leonard Cohen with an arrangement of one of his classic songs. And Juno organizers are also keeping the lid on a mystery guest who will close the show. Twitter Awards will be handed out in categories that include album, group and breakthrough artist of the year. Viewers will also have their say with the Juno Fan Choice award.last_img read more


first_img March 3, 2019 Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The San Diego Music Awards are around the corner, and we were lucky enough to have one of the nominees for “best blues album” in studio Saturday morning.Blue Largo will perform March 6th at Tio Lio’s on 5302 Napa St, and March 11th at Humphrey’s. Please visit www.bluelargoblues.com for more information. KUSI Newsroom KUSI Newsroom, center_img Blue Largo announces upcoming performances on Good Morning San Diego Posted: March 3, 2019 FacebookTwitterlast_img

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