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Countries must work towards enforcing agreements – Ghana’s Director

first_imgAir Transport Meeting…more needs to be done to address barriers The recently concluded Air Transport Meeting which was organised by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has tacked the main barriers that countries face when promoting air travel across the diaspora.In an interview with <> on Friday, Director General of Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, Simon Allotey, said that while the conference was successful in its aim to establish new relations, countries must work towards enforcing agreements that are signed with other nations.“The conference has lived up to its objectives on promoting air connectivity between the diaspora. The discussions were very practical because, over the years, we took several corporation agreements, MoUs which were never implemented,” said Allotey.He said the barriers lie within these policies which had never materialised, and member states are now working towards resolving the issues. This is evident in the memorandums of understanding (MoUs) that Guyana signed with Aruba and Ghana respectively.“This forum, we’ve realised that we need to put our words into actions. We have identified our key barriers to improving connectivity. Collectively, we’ve all resolved towards addressing these barriers and improving air links.Some of the barriers relate to regulations, policies at state and regional levels,” he stressed.For now, the participants have decided that free movement across the continents is the next step which can eliminate some of the glitches of the past.“We’ve all agreed that we should allow free movement of people within Caricom and Africa. We can achieve that by states accepting and implementing the various protocols on free movement of people, and these have been some of the barriers,” he explained.This publication also sought a comment from the Director of Policy Planning at the Aviation Ministry in Ghana, Ellis Hugh Tamakloe, as he appealed for more action on the part of governing aviation bodies in each country.Many officials would have shared their perspectives, and the conference would be successful only if the talks are followed by effective action.“From the discussions, there are a lot of things that we need to do. There are a lot of things that we’ve been doing, but we need to do more to actualise what we need to do to ensure that there is connectivity between the Caribbean and Africa and the Caribbean and elsewhere. We think that [if] the findings and discussions are implemented, then this will be successful for all of us,” stated Tamakloe.The MoU signed between Aruba and Guyana will see direct flights from Georgetown to Aruba in the near future. The same is expected in the agreement between Guyana and Ghana.last_img read more

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Sparks to fly as Frankfurt host Dortmund

first_imgDortmund defeated Hannover 5-1 in the last game (Agency Photo)Luka Jovic, Marco Reus, Paco Alcacer and Sebastian Haller will all have one eye on the Bundesliga golden boot when Eintracht Frankfurt host Borussia Dortmund on Saturday afternoon.Two games into the Second round, Frankfurt’s 20-year-old Serbian Jovic, who is on loan from Portuguese giants Benfica, leads the scoring charts with thirteen goals, one ahead of Dortmund pair Reus and Alcacer, as well as Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski.Frankfurt boast the German top flight’s third most efficient striking line with thirty nine goals, eleven fewer than table topping Dortmund.  The difference between the two sides, is that over sixty percent of Frankfurt’s goals have been scored by striking triumvirate Jovic, Sebastian Haller and Ante Rebic whereas Dortmund’s goals are coming from all over the pitch.Dortmund boss Lucien Favre is sweating over the fitness of crocked pair Manuel Akanji and Dan Axle Zagado. The Black and Yellows makeshift central defensive partnership of Abdou Diallo and Julian Wiegl did wonders by thwarting Hannover in last week’s 5-1 victory, but Frankfurt are bound to be a different kettle of fish.At the BayArena, reigning champions Bayern Munich will be pushed to the limit by resurgent Bayer Leverkusen. The return to form of German internationals Julian Brandt, Karim Bellarabi and Kai Havertz guarantees a close encounter. National team coach Joachim Loew should be an interested spectator as six Bayern Munich stars – Leon Grotezka, Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng, Nicklas Sule, Matt Hummels and Joshua Kimmich are all likely to feature.Robert Kovac’s Bavarian juggernaut are in red-hot form, having registered six victories on the bounce but they still find themselves six points behind Dortmund. Despite the star-studded German cast, Polish striker Robert Lewandowski will once more be Bayern’s man to watch.An avalanche of goals is expected in Hoffenheim where Julian Nagelsmann’s free scoring stylists welcome newcomers Fortuna Dusseldorf. Matters won’t get easier for ambitious visitors Dusseldorf who experienced a reality check last weekend when they were pummelled 4-0 by Ralf Ragnick’s Red Bull Leipzig.The rest of the weekend matches see bottom club Nuremberg test their survival instincts against Werder Bremen; second from bottom Hannover confront dangerous RB Leipzig, Augsburg host Mainz and Stuttgart go head to head with Freiburg.FRIDAY: -Hannover v Red Bull Leipzig @10:30pmSATURDAY: -Bayer Leverkusen v Bayern Munich @5:30pm-Eintracht Frankfurt v Borussia Dortmund @5:30pm-Nuremberg v Werder Bremen @5:30pm-Hertha Berlin v Wolfsburg @5:30pm-Hoffenheim v Fortuna Dusseldorf @5:30pm-Schalke v Gladbach @8:30pmSUNDAY: -Augsburg v Mainz @5:30pm-Stuttgart v Freiburg @8pmComments Tags: German Bundesligatoplast_img read more

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Travel Alert: Flooding in parts of Buncrana

first_imgSpot flooding has been reported in parts of Buncrana this afternoon following a series of heavy downpours.The Fahan area is said to be worst affected, according to Gardaí.Motorists are being advised to slow down on wet roads and allow plenty of extra room between your vehicle and the one in front. Met Eireann has forecast for more isolated showers in the north west tonight.Travel Alert: Flooding in parts of Buncrana was last modified: August 12th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare 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)last_img read more

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SETI Mania Strikes Again

first_imgAnother unexplained anomaly has SETI enthusiasts scrambling for their telescopes.Either it’s fundraising time at the SETI Institute, or something really strange is going on. Just weeks ago, the news media were aflame with news about “Tabby’s Star” as a possible site for an advanced civilization (8/18/16). Now, Russian scientists reported a strong signal from HD 164595, a star 94 light-years away. Will this be the new “Wow!” signal? (Space.com explains the history of that.)The signal is consistent with something an alien civilization might send out, astronomers have said. But that’s just one scenario, and not the most likely one, researchers cautioned; the signal may also have resulted from a natural celestial event or terrestrial interference of some sort.Seth Shostak, playing the cautious and dispassionate scientist, warns that we may never know the cause of the signal unless we get a follow-up detection. Even non-detections, though, can serve the SETI community, in the same way bad publicity is still publicity. For instance, SETI enthusiasts still point to the “Wow!” signal of 1977 to keep the dream alive, even though nothing of intelligent origin was ever confirmed.HD 164595 is called an “earth-like” planet with one known Neptune-sized planet. The signal was phenomenally strong, Live Science says. “Based on the received signal’s characteristics, aliens would have to generate about 100 billion billion watts of energy to blast it out in all directions. And they’d still have to produce more than 1 trillion watts if they beamed it only to Earth for some reason, Shostak said.” Still, without confirmation, it is just “interesting”.New Scientist is less hopeful. “Mysterious signal unlikely to be aliens after SETI draws a blank,” Shannon Hall writes. The cosmos remains so quiet, “You could hear a pin drop.” The Russians were “either extremely lucky to detect this source in their observations, or that the transient is due to local interference or other calibration issues”, write Steve Croft of the Berkeley SETI Research Center. Nevertheless, various radio telescopes will be watching the star.Instant Recall: No sooner had we written the above than the claim was retracted:That ‘Alien’ Signal? New Observations Are Coming Up Empty (National Geographic)‘Alien’ Signal Had Earthly Cause, Russian Scientists Say (Live Science)We’re no strangers to ‘alien’ false alarms – one was caused by a microwave oven (Mark Gallaway, The Conversation)Party’s over. It was fun while it lasted.Astrobiology UpdateTwo Yale researchers have come up with “a better way to learn if alien planets have the right stuff.” Astrobiology Magazine reports on their new model that takes into account the chemical composition of a planet, not just its distance from its host star. The subject of “diamond planets” enters their discussion.Like mysteries? New Scientist printed the headline, “Mystery object in weird orbit beyond Neptune cannot be explained.” The “rebellious” TNO has a 110-degree inclination and orbits the sun backwards. “It’s wonderful that it’s so confusing,” an astronomer said.To follow up on our story about Proxima b, the newest “earth-like planet” candidate (8/25/16), New Scientist now says that the star may be blasting away the planet’s atmosphere. Red dwarf stars are notorious for sending out massive flares that would fry any life on an orbiting planet, even if it were in the habitable zone. Despite the probable bad news, Seth Shostak weighed in on the significance of finding life there, even if it is unlikely. In Live Science, he gave the reason why astrobiologists and SETI enthusiasts remain hopeful against the odds. A confirmed detection would do the following:For one, it would demonstrate that the emergence of life is not a miracle unique to Earth, Shostak said.“I think that from the philosophical point of view — set aside all the biology and other scientific implications — the philosophical import would be very substantial: sort of like being in Europe in 1492 and learning of the existence of a New World,” Shostak said.[Astena] Coustenis added that any discovery of life in the universe — even if it’s evidence of past life — would be “mind-blowing.”“It would turn around all kinds of scientific models and put everything into perspective in a very different way,” she said. “Whether life is found in the solar system or outside it, to me it’s the same thing. And either a positive or negative result would have huge implications for what we understand about the emergence of life.“Ross Anderson is surprisingly criticial of this enthusiasm in his essay for The Atlantic. “Fancy Math Can’t Make Aliens Real,” he writes. You can’t make a case for anything with a sample size of one. You can’t even make a case for life with 2,000 exoplanets now known. Evolutionary theory does not necessarily guarantee the emergence of intelligence, he argues.We can’t extrapolate from our experience on this planet, because it’s only one data point. We could be the only intelligent beings in the universe, or we could be one among trillions, and either way Earth’s natural history would look the exact same. Even if we could draw some crude inferences, the takeaways might not be so reassuring. It took two billion years for simple, single-celled life to spawn our primordial lineage, the eukaryotes. And so far as we can tell, it only happened once. It took another billion years for eukaryotes to bootstrap into complex animal life, and hundreds of millions of years more for the development of language and sophisticated tool-making. And unlike the eye, or bodies with legs—adaptations that have arisen independently on many branches of life’s tree—intelligence of the spaceship-making sort has only emerged once, in all of Earth’s history. It just doesn’t seem like one of evolution’s go-to solutions.At Space.com, Nola Taylor Redd puts out some reality-check facts about habitability. Being in “the habitable zone” is not enough, she says. The temperature of a planet depends on its interior composition as well as its atmosphere and distance from a star. The media spin now? Space.com writes, “Is the Nearest Alien Planet Proxima b Habitable? ‘It’s Complicated‘.”The bad news is usually outweighed by the hope. Astrobiologists have their evolutionary “scenarios” that are almost guaranteed to popular the universe with life, some of it like ours. On PhysOrg, a “geospatial expert” delivers her post-mortem spin, describing all the wonderful spin-offs that might come from imagining aliens out there.The thing to note here is the mental attitude of the SETI enthusiasts. Their minds are geared up for a big find. Based on their evolutionary worldview, the universe must be populated by other intelligent beings like us. They really expect to make contact at any time. It escapes their notice, of course, that they must use intelligent-design reasoning to infer aliens as the source of an anomalous signal (see Shostak try to work his way out of that trap, 12/03/05).So what if they do make contact? Could this be part of the great deception that the Apostle Paul spoke of in II Thessalonians that would precede the coming of the Lord? Jesus warned of false christs and false apostles in the last days who would perform great signs and wonders that might “lead astray, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24). SETI would be the perfect setup for Satan. He could engineer a signal to deceive the world. Most SETI enthusiasts believe that aliens are probably far older and wiser than humans, and have much to teach us. Satan would love to fill that role.Given the prepared minds of the world’s intellectuals, many could fall for the deception. Satan doesn’t even need to mimic a communication; just evidence of an advanced civilization would be enough to send the secular science community, the media and the world to believe the lie. Then he could indwell the anti-Christ and his false prophet on earth, pretending to proclaim knowledge from the aliens to save humanity. They’ve already rejected their Creator and chosen to live in sin and self-love. “Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (II Thessalonians 2:11-12). Satan gets a brief time of glory before the Lamb returns in power like a Lion, destroying Satan along with his lies and his dupes.“See, I have told you beforehand,” Jesus said to his disciples. The deception may not come in the form of SETI, but it is coming. Be prepared. Watch. Wait. He who endures to the end will be saved, Jesus said. Only the redeemed, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, will have the power to endure. He won’t let a single one out of His hand. (Visited 52 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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NCP, BJP lock horns in graduate constituency

first_imgThe NCP has geared up to ensure the defeat of BJP candidate Niranjan Davkhare in the Konkan graduate constituency election to be held on June 25.The NCP will be fielding Najib Mulla, Mumbra MLA and close associate of party MLA Jitendra Awhad. Mr. Awhad said, “Najib will be taking on the BJP candidate Davkhare. We are fighting to win this election. Those who wanted to leave have defected from the party. Now those who have faith in the party will be given an opportunity. We will ensure the BJP loses this election.”Sources in the party said that NCP chief Sharad Pawar had held a meeting of senior party leaders last week and instructed the cadre to ensure Mr. Davkhare’s defeat. A senior NCP leader on condition of anonymity said, “First of all, party leaders are hurt over his decision to join the BJP. Secondly, letting him win the seat would send a wrong message among party activists that anyone who joins the BJP gets the position of power. We cannot let that happen and therefore he has to be defeated.”For the Konkan graduate constituency, which is spread across Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Palghar and Thane, the NCP have tied up with the Peasants and Workers Party. It is also likely to get support of other regional parties such as the Bahujan Vikas Aghadi. A day after Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray announced that his party would be contesting future elections on its own, the party said that Thane’s former mayor Sanjay More would be its candidate.Graduate and teacher constituencies in Mumbai will also go to the polls on June 25. The graduate constituency is currently being held by Health Minister Deepak Sawant of the Sena. The party is yet to announce its candidate. Kapil Patil , belonging to Sharad Yadav’s Loktantrik Janata Dal, currently holds the teacher constituency and will be contesting the June 25 poll.last_img read more

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Sidhu’s meet with Rahul sends ‘wrong’ signals

first_imgNavjot Singh Sidhu’s visit to New Delhi to meet Congress president Rahul Gandhi even as the former cricketer remains a minister without portfolio after having been divested of his originally assigned ministries, and given that he is yet to take charge of the newly allotted responsibility, has sparked speculation that he has sought the “high command’s” intervention in his tussle with Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. As part of a post-poll cabinet reshuffle last week, Capt. Amarinder had divested Mr. Sidhu of the key Local Government portfolio and allocated him Power and New and Renewable Energy Sources.Mr. Sidhu, who met Mr. Gandhi, general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and veteran leader Ahmed Patel on Monday, is learnt to have apprised the “high command” about being singled out “unfairly” in the cabinet rejig on the pretext of party’s “poor performance” in the urban areas of the State in the general elections.That Mr. Gandhi, who had avoided meeting most senior party leaders including Chief Ministers of Congress-ruled States since the poll debacle and the Congress Working Committee meeting last month, agreed to meet Mr. Sidhu has drawn criticism from political analysts. “Cabinet reshuffle is prerogative of the Chief Minister and after the reshuffle has been done, if now the old portfolio of Mr. Sidhu is reinstated it would be a bad move for the party,” said Ashutosh Kumar, professor of Political Science at Panjab University. “Mr. Sidhu’s audience with the high command also hints that Congress’s culture of keeping alive dissidence at the State level against the State leadership is not dead,” he remarked.“Capt. Amarinder is a mass leader who has in the past threatened the high command to break the party in case he was not declared as chief ministerial candidate in 2017,” Prof. Kumar observed. “Capt. Amarinder, after the Assembly polls and Lok Sabha polls, has emerged as a strong leader and on the other hand Congress’s high command looks weak after its performance in the Lok Sabha polls,” he asserted.Any effort to push for the reinstatement of Mr. Sidhu as the Local Government minister in an attempt to resolve the ongoing tussle in the State unit risked undermining the Chief Minister’s authority and further worsening the rift within the party in Punjab, Mr. Kumar opined. The party, however, downplayed the significance of Mr. Sidhu’s meeting, with Asha Kumari, the AICC incharge of Punjab affairs, asserting that every Congressman was ‘entitled’ to meet the Congress president. “As far as his [Mr. Sidhu’s] taking charge of the new portfolio is concerned, if Mr. Sidhu does not desire it’s entirely his wish. He [Mr. Sidhu] is a minister of Capt. Amarinder’s cabinet and it’s for the Chief Minister to decide who will hold which portfolio,” Ms. Kumari added.Ronki Ram, Dean at the Department of Social Science at Panjab University, said Mr. Sidhu’s meeting with the party’s central leadership appeared like an attempt at capturing a “power stronghold”. “If the Chief Minister has to take decision on the dictation of party high command, it’s not in good taste,” asserted Prof. Ram. “This shows party is highly centralised,” he added.The two Punjab leaders have been openly at loggerheads in recent months with Mr. Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu accusing Capt. Amarinder of blocking her Lok Sabha candidacy from Chandigarh. Later, the chief minister had asserted that “Sidhu’s remarks ahead of polling” had affected the party’s performance. He had also blamed Mr. Sidhu’s poor handling of the key local bodies portfolio as another factor for the Congress’s “poor performance” in urban areas. Mr. Sidhu had retorted by asserting that he was being “singled out publicly” even though urban areas had played a critical role in the party’s victory in the Lok Sabha polls. The Congress won 8 of the 13 seats it contested, improving on its 2014 tally of just 3.last_img read more