Interview with Gen. Joaquin V. Perez Feliz, Minister of Defense of the Dominican Republic:

first_img Diálogo: What are the Dominican Republic’s goals and priorities with regard to issues of national security and sovereignty right now? Gen. Joaquin V. Perez Feliz: The chief objective is to guarantee the defense of our national objectives in matters of national security, strengthening the security system, because in this way we’re able to more effectively confront challenges such as drug trafficking, illegal immigration, terrorism, environmental degradation, and all kinds of illicit trafficking. We also have to strengthen our legal and regulatory framework in order to strengthen the joint institutional structures of the Armed Forces, raise our operational level, and improve the institutional system of military intelligence, so that it can better support operations and better confront threats. Another aspect is to continue supporting the national police, in order to build a much more effective system of citizen security. Diálogo: What is the Armed Forces’ role in confronting the threat of illicit trafficking? Gen. Joaquin V. Perez Feliz: For the Armed Forces, the fight against illicit trafficking is a national high-priority objective and is a duty hallowed by the Constitution of the Republic. It’s our duty to confront transnational criminal activities that affect the country and its inhabitants. That is to say that we have to be strong and combat illicit trafficking of all kinds: drug trafficking, transnational crimes, arms trafficking, and human trafficking. Diálogo: Many countries in the region are studying the possibility of changing their constitutions precisely in order to allow the army to play a role that has belonged to the police until now. Gen. Joaquin V. Perez Feliz: For us, this is defined. We have the Armed Forces for defense and the police for public safety, but at any time when there’s an emergency situation, if the president so determines, we can act and support the national police. We even have a task force, Ciutran (Ciudad Tranquila [Peaceful City]), that supports the national police, especially at night. Diálogo: How has illicit trafficking affected your country? Gen. Joaquin V. Perez Feliz: Illicit trafficking in all its aspects is an evil that has affected not only the Dominican Republic, but all the countries of the world and of the region, including the United States, because crime corrodes families and brings insecurity. The Dominican Republic has invested large sums to counteract drug-trafficking organizations and has also established a good level of cooperation with other institutions, such as the state security agencies and the courts and public prosecutors. This has resulted in our being able to combat transnational crime and drug trafficking more effectively. Diálogo: What more should be done in order to combat these threats? Gen. Joaquin V. Perez Feliz: Despite the fact that we have some resources for the fight, such as the exchange of information, we have to continue with international support, because it’s not true that a country on its own can effectively combat a threat like illicit drug trafficking. Diálogo: What are the benefits of working with the United States and other nations to confront this regional threat and others like it? Gen. Joaquin V. Perez Feliz: The Armed Forces have resolved to be more active in the international arena in order to benefit from the experiences and capabilities of the United States and of other countries in the region. To this degree, we’ll be able to be much more effective, because despite the fact that there is a firm and decisive political will in the Dominican government to confront these plagues, we’ve benefited from support in the exchange of information and in training. For us historically, in our relationship with the United States on matters having to do with the Armed Forces and other institutions, the benefits have been extraordinary. Working with the United States has been very, very beneficial. Diálogo: What is your opinion on the effectiveness of the established parameters for combating the problems of crime and violence related to illicit trafficking in the Caribbean, the parameters promoted by the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative? (Implemented by the United States, the CARICOM member countries, and the Dominican Republic in May 2010) Gen. Joaquin V. Perez Feliz: The initiative is very interesting and has borne a lot of fruit for us, because it’s been demonstrated that no country on its own can successfully confront the threat of illicit trafficking and organized crime. The Dominican Republic is firmly supporting this initiative, to the point that we’ve participated in all the meetings and have placed our own plans at the initiative’s disposition. Hence the significance that the framework of shared responsibility with the United States and all the countries in the region has, because it’s going to be much more effective to combat drug trafficking, transnational crime, arms trafficking, and illicit trafficking. We’re fully on board with President Barack Obama’s initiative. Thanks to the support of the Dominican government and President Lionel Fernández, we in the Dominican Republic have currently reduced the network of illicit-trafficking flights considerably. We’re making progress, and we have the political will to continue constantly improving in the fight against illicit trafficking, which is threatening the region and the world. By Dialogo January 24, 2011last_img read more

QPR’s Eberechi Eze opens up on relationship with Osayi-Samuel

first_imgQueens Park Rangers midfielder, Eberechi Eze, has described his teammate Bright Osayi-Samuel as a brother and a blessing to play with. Loading… “It’s a blessing because you don’t usually get to work with people you’ve grown up with. “He’s like a brother to me, so it’s good to share the field with him and it makes everything we do even more special.” The England-born players are eligible to feature for Nigeria as they are yet to play for the senior team of the Three Lions, and Eze had previously stated he is yet to make a decision on his international future. read also:Ex-England star reveals why Tottenham want Eberechi Eze The Anglo-Nigerians will hope to continue their impressive performances when football activities, which are currently suspended due to the outbreak of coronavirus, resume. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 The Anglo- Nigerians first played together in secondary school before reuniting at QPR in 2017 with Osayi-Samuel linking up with Eze, who has been with the Championship club since 2016. This season they have been in terrific form, scoring 18 goals and providing 12 assists between them and their form has generated interest from a number of European clubs. “Me and Bright weren’t in the same school team. We were in the same district team,” Eze told Football League World.Advertisement Promoted ContentBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemWhat Are The Most Delicious Foods Out There?A Hurricane Can Be As Powerful As 10 Atomic BombsWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?The Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More6 Extreme Facts About Hurricanes10 Places On Our Planet Where The Most People LiveBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever Made10 Phones That Can Work For Weeks Without RechargingWho’s The Best Car Manufacturer Of All Time?10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoThe World’s Most Desirable Fruit – Pink Pineapplelast_img read more

Men’s hockey: Breaking down the regular season for Wisconsin Men’s hockey

first_imgThe Wisconsin Badgers men’s hockey team has exceeded expectations from day one and looks to continue that into the playoffs, but before tournament time approaches, let’s take a look back at the Badger’s regular season.Where the Badgers standThe No. 18 Wisconsin team has secured the second spot in the Big Ten after preseason predictions had the team finishing fifth in the conference. Despite a tough three-game skid, the Badgers have managed to net a program second-best 12 Big Ten wins and have earned themselves a first-round bye in their conference tournament.Key regular season matchupsThat position did not come easy, as the Badgers faced off against ranked opponent after ranked opponent in the regular season.The team’s first real test came against a then-No. 6 Boston College team, who Wisconsin split with in just their second series of the season. This series was a wakeup call to Badger nation, giving hope to a deprived fan base.The Badgers looked poised to be a solid team but lacked consistency in nonconference matchups. But the truth of the tale would be told when Big Ten play began.Men’s hockey: Badgers score two power play goals to help upset No. 6 Boston CollegeThe University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team continues to impress under Tony Granato, taking care of No. 6 Boston College Read…In their third conference series of the year, Wisconsin faced a now-No. 5 Minnesota Gopher team who featured one of the best offenses in the country. In a thrilling overtime loss and a dominating victory the following evening the Badgers split with the top-ranked Gophers, proving they were a serious contender in the Big Ten.That win propelled Wisconsin into its hottest streak of the season, winning five straight, including a sweep of a now-No. 13 Ohio State team.It is possible the biggest indication of the potential of this Wisconsin team came in their second series against the top ranked Gophers. In a hostile environment at Mariucci Arena, the Badgers snagged another key victory Friday night, and nearly stole the weekend sweep but succumbed to a tight, one-goal loss the following evening.Men’s hockey: No. 16 Badgers square off against No. 11 Nittany Lions in final road seriesThe University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team will head to University Park, Pennsylvania, to take on the No. 11 Nittany Read…Offensive firepower Much of Wisconsin’s regular-season success is due in part to their highly skilled and highly talented offense, which ranks eighth in the nation with 3.5 goals per game.For the first time since 2009-10, the Badgers have eight or more players with 20 or more points on the season. The team has also scored five or more goals in 13 matchups, again the most since the 2009-10 team did it 18 times.Sophomore forward and team captain Luke Kunin has been the undeniable face of leadership for the Badgers this season. Kunin, who secured a career-high 36 points on the year, including 21 goals, currently ranks eighth in the nation for points scored.Freshman phoneme Trent Frederic has been right behind the sophomore captain all year, earning 33 points on the season and a National Rookie of the Month award in February.“I think as a whole we’ve been pretty successful together, and I think a big part is how easy he is to play with,” Kunin said regarding his line mate Frederic. “He makes guys around him better and he’s just a great player.”Jonah LeurquinTop five moments from Wisconsin fall sportsThe 2016 fall semester produced many memorable moments that Badger fans want to relive. It was tough to narrow it Read…Special specialty unitsFor a good chunk of the season, the Badgers were the only team in the country to rank in the top 11 in power play and penalty kill percentages. They now hold the ninth spot for power-play conversions, but have dropped down to No. 13 on the penalty kill.In Big Ten, play the Badgers hold the top penalty kill percentage and are number three in power play percentage.Youthful squadIf it isn’t apparent already, this Badgers team is young and full of talent.Three of the top five point-scorers for the Badgers this season are of freshman or sophomore status, as is more than half of their roster.“We really like youth,” assistant coach Don Granato said. “The youth mentality is one of the larger appetite. You know you want more, your eyes are open to absorb more, to find ways to get better, to improve and that kind of exemplifies our team.”Included in this young corhort are defensemen Peter Tischke and Toronto Maple Leaf’s third-rounder J.D. Greenway, who have been key contributors in the defensive unit’s improvement.Staying on the defensive end, Wisconsin goaltenders freshman Jack Berry and sophomore Matt Jurusik have been solid all year for the Badgers, taking turns in front of the net throughout conference play.Men’s hockey: Frederic continues to impress in sweep of MichiganUniversity of Wisconsin men’s hockey freshman standout Trent Frederic had another impressive series this weekend as the Badgers swept Michigan Read…New coaches, early impactFollowing two sub-par years for Wisconsin men’s hockey, the program hired a brand-new coaching staff in hope of beginning an improved era of Badger hockey. Former Badgers Mark Osiecki, Don Granato and head coach Tony Granato headlined this group.“I guess they call it the ‘Granato Era’ or something like that; it’s kinda just getting started and you see how successful we already are, so it’s pretty sweet,” Frederic said.The minute the trio stepped onto campus, things seemed to change. With a new look and some fresh talent, the coaching staff has taken this team from last in the Big Ten to a first-round bye in the conference tournament.“They’ve been huge, a big part of it is them [new coaching staff] and what they’re doing,” Kunin said about the change of coaches. “Just as a whole I think everyone’s been doing things to make us successful but for sure it starts with those guys up top.”David Stluka/UW Athletic Communications Men’s hockey: Tony Granato’s hockey journey comes full circleThere aren’t many people who have more experience and exposure to the game of hockey than Tony Granato. He has Read…What’s next?The Badgers have fallen out of the top 16 in the country, making an NCAA bid more precarious but by no means unattainable. With a solid Big Ten Tournament and some help from the committee, Wisconsin could be looking at their first NCAA Tournament since the 2013-14 campaign, when they fell in the first round to North Dakota.Wisconsin heads to Detroit this weekend for the Big Ten Tournament and will see the winner of the Ohio State-Michigan State matchup.“We’ve played each team four times now and we’ve beat each team at least once, so I think we have a good idea what each team plays like and we have a good feeling, we win two games when we’re in the tournament and we win the Big Ten so I think we can easily do that,” Frederic said about the upcoming tournament.Following the conference tournament’s conclusion, teams will discover their fate in terms of the NCAA Tournament Sunday morning.last_img read more

Governor Whitmer says construction crews can resume operations by May 7

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisLANSING, Mich. — Another vital industry has been given the green light to re-open for business. Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced today that both commercial and residential construction crews can resume operations in May. “This Friday, I will be signing an executive order order that will open both residential and commercial construction by May 7th,” the Governor said.  “We are comfortable taking this step because it is a lower risk enterprise as we’ve scored risks and developed and worked with industry to make sure we’ve got appropriate protocols,” Whitmer said during a COVID-19 press briefing. Most construction projects around the state were considered non–essential business operations and were placed on hold under the Governor’s Stay Home, Say Safe Executive Order.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisContinue ReadingPrevious Local county road commission to seek public responseNext The Salvation Army is calling on sewing volunteers to donate face coveringslast_img read more

Prisoner escapes Police Outpost by chopping off handcuffs

first_imgChaos broke out at the Stabroek Police Outpost on Thursday last when a prisoner armed himself with a cutlass, chopped off the handcuffs from his hands and made good his escape.Stabroek Police OutpostAccording to information, on the day in question, around 16:30h, ranks arrested Gary Grant, a 34-year-old resident of Norton Street, Georgetown, who allegedly stole a cellular phone from a female resident.The Corporal who was in charge of the night shift at the Outpost instructed his subordinates to handcuff the man’s right hand to a metal bar that was attached to a wall inside the structure and place him to sit on a bench.Ranks stated that the man had been banging on the walls and throwing items at them throughout the afternoon.Subsequently, one of the ranks attached to the Outpost informed the Corporal of the man’s behaviour and suggested that he be sent to the Brickdam Police Station, but the request was denied.The rank further stated that the prisoner was shouting at the top of his voice claiming that he was very strong and was a good sprinter, but they ignored the outbursts and slurs.At approximately 22:20h the same night, the prisoner suddenly jumped into the air and kicked down the plywood counter of the outpost. A cutlass that was hidden under the counter was then revealed, and the prisoner used it to chop off the handcuffs and made his escape.However, before leaving, the prisoner used the cutlass to chop several electrical wires thus resulting in the Outpost plunging into darkness.Nevertheless, a large crowd gathered after seeing and hearing the commotion. A public-spirited citizen quickly got into action and attempted to prevent the prisoner from escaping, but he did not succeed as the prisoner kept ‘firing chops’ at them with the cutlass.The lone female Police rank out of fear began to run as the man went after her with the cutlass in his hand.As the woman made efforts to escape, she stumbled over two bread stalls at the Market.The prisoner eventually backed off and made good his escape by running around the fence of the Parliament Building. The patrol vehicle that was summoned arrived shortly after the chaos, at the scene.last_img read more

GAA NEWS – MIXED RESULTS FOR URRIS TEAMS

first_imgCLUB MEETING: There will be a Club meeting on Tuesday night in the new Clubhouse at 8.30pm. All welcome to attend.SENIOR & RESERVE FOOTBALL: The Seniors & Reserves travelled to Killygordon on Saturday evening and played their second game of the season in Division 3. Seniors beat Red Hughs by 2-10 to 2-07. A great start to season for management and all the team. The Reserves lost by 3-09 to 2-03. At time of these notes going to press weekend fixtures not confirmed for Seniors & Reserves, pleases check our Facebook page for details. UNDER-AGE FOOTBALL FIXTURES: U14 girls are playing Carndonagh in Straid on Tuesday evening at 5pm.U14 boys are home to Carndonagh on Wednesday evening at 6.30pm in the semi-final of Joe Mc Geady Cup.UNDER-AGE RESULTS: Results from U14 games played last week: Iorras 4-10 Buncrana 3-06. Iorras 1-04 Carndonagh 1-11 MATCH “N” WIN APRIL 10th: No jackpot winner-numbers drawn: 4, 8, 9 & 20. €15 winners: Gary Doherty, Ardagh, Emmet Moyne, Annaugh,Michelle Doherty, Ardagh, Neil O’Donnell, Crossconnell, Aidean Gilmore, Ballyliffin. Jackpot next week €1,300. Thanks to all who support this draw and all lotto sellers.PLEASE NOTE: There will be no Club Bingo in St. Mary’s Hall on Holy Thursday, bingo resumes as normal on Thursday April 24th.BOOT EXCHANGE SCHEME: for Under-age players- In these times of financial constraints CLG IORRAS/URRIS GAA are hoping to introduce-old football boots in good condition that children have out grown can be dropped in or exchanged for a bigger/smaller pair as required. A minimum donation of €5 to the club for the boots that are taken away. Please contact Nichola Lagan on 0866030736 for further information . Boots can now be dropped at the Clubhouse at all under-age training.Tickets are now on sale for our Easter Draw in aid of Under-age Football in the club. Some lovely Easter hampers to be won, tickets €2 or book of 12 for €20 . Draw in the Square Bar on Easter Saturday at 10pm. Tickets to be returned to team managers and John Frielby Friday night.LADIES FOOTBALL: ladies training is in Straid at 10.00am every Saturday morning, the ladies will begin their league on April 27th. Training for the U16 continues on Thursday at 5pm in Straid.Facebook-Find us on CLG Iorras/Urris GAA and keep up to date on all club news and fixtures.Any items of news for the club notes should be forwarded to Rose on 0877770639 or email [email protected] no later than 9pm on Sunday night.GAA NEWS – MIXED RESULTS FOR URRIS TEAMS was last modified: April 13th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:URRIS GAAlast_img read more

FUBA NBL: KIU, City Oilers clash

first_img Tags: A1 ChallengeChris Omanycity oilersKCCA LeopardsKIU TitansMandy Jurunitop Oilers defeated KIU 83-79 when the two sides met in the first round.FUBA National Basketball League 2019Friday, 14-06-2019MTN Arena, Lugogo-KCCA Leopards vs A1 Challenge (Women)-KIU Titans vs City Oilers (Men)LUOGO – The FUBA National Basketball League returns on Friday evening with two games at the MTN Arena in Lugogo.In the Men division, KIU Titans will renew their rivalry with 6 time defending champions City Oilers at 8:30pm.The two sides have in the past produced magnificent games whenever they clash.Oilers defeated the Titans in the playoffs final en route to their 2017 crown and ever since, KIU approach  games between the two with revenge on their minds.Oilers defeated KIU in the 2017 finals.Despite losing Chris Omany to Warriors at the start of this season, KIU has remained a strong side and currently boost the same record (8-3), as City Oilers.On the back of 5 consecutive wins, KIU will go into the game with confidence.The Kansanga based side last tasted defeat on May 3rd, when they lost 62-73 to rampant Warriors.However, they will need to be on their guard against the League’s best team, if they are to avoid a second loss to City Oilers this season.When the two teams met earlier in the season, Oilers ran out 83-79 winners, on April 28th.For Oilers, they have had a slow start to the current season as per their standards.Mandy Juruni’s side comes into Friday’s game with three losses already. They lost 82-90 to UCU Canons, 66-68 to Warriors and 66-67 to JKL Dolphins.However, at those three losses, Oilers have gone on to win all of their last four games and are once again starting to look like the side that they have been for the last six years.Currently, Oilers and KIU sit 6th and 5th respectively on the League log. This is both sides’ first second round game.In the Women category, out of form A1 Challenge takes on inconsistent KCCA Leopards.A1 come into the game having lost all of their last two games in the FUBA NBL, including a 58-73 loss to Angles BC in their opening second round game.For KCCA, they have proved to be a tough side but have also exhibited inconsistency throughout the campaign.The 64-55 victory over KIU Rangers last Sunday was KCCA’s bounce back victory following a loss to UCU Lady Canons 6 days prior.Gaining momentum and putting up a reseonable string of victories has been an issue for KCCA but they will go into Friday’s game as favorites.Comments last_img read more

How Climate Influenced the Dead Sea and History

first_imgThe Dead Sea, the lowest lake on earth (1368 ft below sea level), figures prominently in the Bible.  Near this body of water, Lot settled and the cities of the plain were destroyed.  David wandered here, battles were fought nearby, and Herod built a fortress at Masada overlooking the lake.  Later, Moslems and Crusaders left marks of their conquests in the region.  Did the Dead Sea preserve a record of climactic changes that affected not only the Great Rift Valley in which it resides, but also the whole land of Israel?  Students of Biblical history will be interested in two papers about the Dead Sea published in the May Bulletin of the Geological Society of America.    The first paper by R. Bookman (Ken-Tor) et al.1 reconstructs a curve of lake levels during historic times.  Currently, the Dead Sea is at a record low due to diversion of Jordan River waters for irrigation.  This has exposed historic shorelines for analysis.  The team took radiocarbon dates of organic material at three sites around the lake to discern periods when the lake shore rose and fell.  They then correlated the lake levels with cultural changes occurring in Palestine at those times:Highstands occurred in the second and first centuries B.C. and the fourth century A.D. during the Roman and early Byzantine periods, respectively, in the eleventh and twelfth centuries A.D. during the Crusader period, and at the end of the nineteenth century A.D.  The rises mark a significant change in the annual rainfall in the region, which likely exceeded the instrumentally measured modern average.    The curve also indicates drastic drops that exposed the sedimentary sequences to erosion.  The oldest and probably deepest drop in the lake level culminated during the fifteenth and fourteenth centuries B.C. after a retreat from a higher lake stand.  The longest lowstand occurred after the Byzantine period and continued at least until the ninth century A.D.  This arid period coincided with the invasion of Moslem-Arab tribes into the area during the seventh century A.D.The team estimated that high-water levels correspond to annual Jerusalem rainfall rates of 26 inches per year or more, and low-water levels to droughts of 18-20 in/yr or less.  Thus Dead Sea lake levels are indicators of overall climate in Palestine.  The oldest part of the curve is the least certain, but seems to indicate a high water level during the patriarchal period:The oldest sediments described (unit I, Fig. 5) correspond to a lake level higher than 411 mbsl dated to 2140�1445 B.C. (3703 � 37 and 3220 � 36 radiocarbon yr B.P., Table 1).  At that time the lake level was falling from an earlier highstand (prior to the fifteenth century B.C.), but no indicator for the absolute lake-level elevation was found at our sites.  However, unit I may correspond to a distinct shore ridge identified in a western location in the Nahal Darga fan delta (Fig. 1C ) at 370 mbsl, where its age was estimated at 3000�4000 yr B.P.The second paper by David-Novak et al.2 examined debris flows in the canyons around the Dead Sea.  Unusually strong storms in 1995 and 1997 allowed them to calibrate, for the first time, the rainfall conditions necessary to trigger a debris flow in an arid environment.  The 1995 storm, in which a convective cell hovered over the area and dumped rain at rates nearly 2 inches per hour, was the most severe and resulted in debris flows in all the canyons under the heaviest rain; the 1997 storm was milder and more localized to the plateau, and only resulted in three debris flows.  Since rainfall measurements were available for these storms, they were able to interpolate an estimate for the rainfall rate necessary to trigger a debris flow, and found the threshold to be approximately 30mm/hr for at least one hour (1.2 inches per hour).  Surprisingly, they found evidence for prehistoric debris flows was rare.  They estimate only zero to three debris flows occurred during the last 3000 years, but they admit that “it is possible that some deposits, mainly at the larger basins, were formed by multiple flows that are currently indistinguishable.”    Although “Debris flows are major processes of sediment transport in arid regions, particularly in areas of high relief,” their rarity has made it difficult to measure the rainfall necessary to trigger them.  Fortunately, at Nahal Arugot and Nahal David on the western slopes of the Dead Sea, rain gauges and a stream flow measurement station were available for the intense storms of 1995 and 1997.1R. Bookman (Ken-Tor), Y. Enzel, A. Agnon and M. Stein, “Late Holocene lake levels of the Dead Sea,” Geological Society of America Bulletin Vol. 116, No. 5 (May/June 2004), pp. 555�571, doi: 10.1130/B25286.1.2 Hagit Ben David-Novak, Efrat Morin and Yehouda Enzel, “Modern extreme storms and the rainfall thresholds for initiating debris flows on the hyperarid western escarpment of the Dead Sea, Israel,” Geological Society of America Bulletin Vol. 116, No. 5 (May/June 2004) pp. 718�728, doi: 10.1130/B25403.2.Bible study is enhanced by considering the environment in which the great sagas of history took place.  How did the geology, climate, zoology, botany, mineralogy, topography and hydrology affect culture, or influence decisions of kings and tribal groups?  Availability of water, for instance, is a primary deciding factor for settlers, and strongly influences the locations of cities and roads.  Of particular interest is the story of Abraham and Lot.  Anyone looking at the Dead Sea shores today would wonder why Lot would find the place attractive; today, it is hot, dry and nearly devoid of vegetation.  Yet when Lot viewed it, it was “well watered everywhere (before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar” (Gen. 13:10).  Was this desert once a garden?    Though scientific investigations of the past depend on assumptions, studies that can be corroborated by eyewitnesses have more credibility.  The paper on Dead Sea lake levels lends support to Lot’s description of its environs.  Now that probable remains of the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah have been found (along with evidence of their fiery destruction) the historicity of the Biblical account has been strengthened, because these ruins hint at thriving civilizations that must have prospered under a milder, wetter climate than is found there today.  Also, from this paper one can see why Herod would have found Jericho and Masada attractive for his palaces, if Palestine were enjoying one of the well-watered periods.  Between those times, from after the Exodus through the monarchies, David and the Judean kings would apparently have found the Dead Sea region much like we see it today, since by the patriarchal period the lake level was falling rapidly, such that “The oldest and probably deepest drop in the lake level culminated during the fifteenth and fourteenth centuries B.C. after a retreat from a higher lake stand.”  A long era of drought would also shed light on the heroic efforts of Hezekiah to protect the Gihon Spring (see 09/10/2003 headline).  Perhaps the “land flowing with milk and honey” was subjected to drought as God’s judgment for Israel’s disobedience, just as prophesied by Moses (see Deuteronomy 28).    The second paper on debris flows is not as pertinent to Bible history, but is important for understanding the conditions necessary for rapid geologic change.  Huge alluvial fans are common in deserts of the world.  Southern California, particularly Death Valley, has massive alluvial aprons surrounding arid peaks in regions of (currently) low rainfall.  The paper shows that a lot can happen in a short time if the rain is concentrated and intense.  Combine that fact with the first paper, that rainfall was more plentiful in ancient times in the Dead Sea region.  There is no reason to reject the possibility that major geological change took place rapidly under the right conditions.  In Red Rock Canyon State Park, California, a usually dry and arid desert, an intense storm under a localized convection cell in 1997 caused a flood that washed out a major highway, deposited mud three feet deep in trailers, and carried objects as big as refrigerators far down the channel.  They estimate this was a “once in 300 to 500 year flood” for the area.  Extrapolating present erosion rates, say from 1990 to 1996, would have been very misleading.  But how do they know these floods are so rare, even at Red Rock?  No settlers who kept records inhabited the area as long as 300 years ago.  Did the formation of large erosional features like alluvial fans require a little water a lot of time, or a lot of water a little time?  Science is limited to make such determinations when they cannot be cross-checked by observations.  These scientists estimated “zero to three” Holocene debris flows in the Dead Sea canyons they investigated, but admitted there could have been more that were indistinguishable.    Today, when you drive through the desert, you see landforms that look static, ancient, and unchanging.  You can come back year after year and see no difference.  All it takes is a flood or earthquake big enough, and you would hardly recognize the place.  Geologists have been becoming increasingly aware of the power of catastrophic agents to effect rapid change.  Perhaps much of what we observe today is not slowly-evolving landforms, but relicts of intense, concentrated forces in the past.(Visited 31 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Entrepreneurs Seek to Cure Ageing

first_imgCould scientists cure ageing, allowing humans to live Old Testament lifespans?  A contest is on to fix the “chronic disease” of growing old.Jacob lived to 147.  Noah lived to 950.  Methuselah lived to 969.  Why not?  A new “Palo Alto Longevity Prize” is attracting teams to “hack aging [sic], cheat death” says an intriguing article on Medical Xpress.  It raises questions about genetics, health, economics and the meaning of life.One year after Google created a company named Calico with the goal of extending human life, Menlo Park investor and Stanford-trained radiologist Joon Yun has launched a $1 million science competition with the lofty aim of “curing” the disease more commonly known as aging [sic].While Calico’s plan remains largely opaque, Yun has laid out specific criteria for the 11 teams that have already signed up to compete for the Palo Alto Longevity Prize, which focuses on improving “homeostatic capacity,” or the ability of an organism to bounce back to normal in the face of stress.And what is ageing?  It’s a treatable condition caused by “Inflammation, stress (and) chronic disease,” according to one stem cell specialist.  Yun is urgent about this contest, saying that “every day 100,000 people die unnecessarily of age-related illness.”  The contest will start with test mammals and eventually move on to human trials.One of the contestants, Joao Pedro de Magalhaes of the University of Liverpool, shared some of his reasons for thinking ageing is mutable on The Conversation.  He points to some birds that stay healthy into their senior years, to tortoises that can live over a century, and to naked mole rats, who are extremely resistant to cancer.  Work on extending lifespan is worthwhile because “it has been calculated that slowing down the process of ageing by just seven years could cut in half the instances of age-related diseases at every single age,” he says. “This would have a massive impact on the human lifespan, and on human health.”Won’t longer life spans hurt the economy?  What about overpopulation, and drains on the earth’s resources?  Those concerns are addressed and dismissed by advocates, who believe innovation can solve them.  Sonia Arrison says,Arrison, a Palo Alto-based author and teacher, claims that increasing the healthy life span, by extending the sweet spot of adulthood that combines vigor with the wisdom of experience, will give the world’s best minds more time to innovate solutions to humanity’s problems.How could life extension be achieved?  Two methods are mentioned: stem cells and genetic engineering.  Doris Taylor thinks the trio of inflammation, stress and chronic disease can be addressed with stem cells.  Yun thinks hacking the “source code” (the human genome) is another approach.“Ultimately, I think we’ll crack the age code and we’ll hack aging [sic],” Yun announced. “And if we do, not only will health care be transformed, but humanity.  At that point we’ll have unlocked human capacity.“Scientists know that telomeres—the end caps on chromosomes—shrink each time a cell divides.  When gone, the cell dies.  Some cells use the telomerase enzyme to replace lost segments of telomeres.  Learning to control that process might allow cells to reproduce an unlimited number of times.  That’s one reason cancer cells are able to proliferate and keep on going.The article was spawned from a meeting that launched the competition.  Participants are optimistic, thinking the contest could appeal to evolutionists and creationists:Eric Weinstein, managing director of Thiel Capital, one of the tycoon’s investment funds, spoke at the launch. People are squeamish about major advances in biomedicine, he said, fearful of disrupting the natural order. But innovations that begin in controversy, such as in vitro fertilization, are accepted by succeeding generations.“We find ourselves sitting on top of our own source code,” said Weinstein, referring to DNA. “We are being invited, either by a deity or by selection, to hack, to create, to collaborate, to join.“Given the accumulation of mutations, and the change in environment from the days of Noah, it’s unlikely that antediluvian lifespans are achievable (see Sanford book).  Significant life extension, though, is conceivable.  What would you do with 100, 150, or 200 healthy years of life?  As has occurred throughout history, some would use their extra time for good, others for evil.  For the ungrateful, even 969 years would not be enough.When Moses spoke of the “threescore and ten” years of human existence in Psalm 90:10, he wasn’t speaking of a divine mandate; he was just mentioning an observable fact.  God told Adam and Eve at the Fall that they would surely die—and they did—but he didn’t say how soon.  Most of the antediluvian patriarchs lived over 800 or 900 years.  To God, for which a thousand years is like a day (II Peter 3:8) because He is unaffected by time, humans died quickly after sinning.  In mercy, the Creator gave sinners enough time to consider repenting and believing in His provision for their salvation.In recent centuries, human life spans were much shorter than ours: 40 years on average (still the case in some countries), and as low as 25 years a millennium ago.  Few were those reaching into their 60s to 80s as is commonplace today.  Many in that age bracket are probably watching the clock, even if their lives have been fulfilling.  When death is at the door, all that time is going to look like a “vapor that appears for a moment, then vanishes away” (James 4:13-15).Is it moral to try to defeat ageing?  Why not?  It’s like treating any other human malady.  We know we will never live forever, but if you or I could get a few more productive years of vigor out of our lives, many of us would probably want that.  We would not want to see terrorists and anarchists with that much time, though.  It’s frightening to consider the evil that men like Hitler or Stalin would do with 200 years of vigor.  Just before the Flood, the world was filled with violence (Genesis 6:11) from people with long life spans: “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (v. 5).  God is merciful to spare us from those kinds of possibilities now.When dementia or pain becomes our lot, we might wish for nature to take its course.  But many a genius, like Mozart, Pascal and Maxwell, died young.  Imagine the good that some could have done with more time.  In God’s wisdom, with His foreknowledge, He may take some home what seems prematurely to us, for His purposes.  Perhaps He knows their work on earth is done (could the world handle 200 Handel oratorios?)  Perhaps He knows some would fall into sin if given more time.Christians believe in a sovereign God who numbers our days and gives us the allotment we need, even if “man knows not his time.”  This is not fatalism.  It does not rule out seeking to extend life with good healthcare.  In fact, doing good to others’ physical needs and being responsible with our bodies are virtues.  The attitude of these Palo Alto contestants is surely better than the “War on Humans” mentality of others.  There’s nothing unethical about trying to defeat ageing.  In the end, though, we must realize that fellowship with our Creator is our highest good, in this life or next.  It’s worth quoting Moses in context (Psalm 90):Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up.In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled.Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath.So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.Return, O Lord, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants.O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil.Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children.And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.The focus of Paul, Peter and the other apostles was not on prolonging earthly life.  Their eyes were on the heavenly prize, where real life begins.  They prayed for one another’s health and prosperity (3 John 1:2-5) primarily that they might be able to use their time in service to others (Philippians 1:20-26).  That is how best to “number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”  Jesus lived a short life by human standards.  He felt urgency to complete His work in the day, “for the night is coming, when no man can work” (John 9:4), and His work was entirely sacrificial for our good.  Christ followers have confidence of a beautiful life without sin, pain and death, but now is the time to make other Christ followers and teach them all that the Lord commanded (Matthew 28:19-20).  Now is the time to pray, “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).  So get busy!  You may not have much time left.  What on earth are you doing for heaven’s sake? (Visited 17 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Advanced Biobased Systems Workshop to explore 
growing industry of biobased products

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Advanced Biobased Systems Workshop: Pipeline to Commercialization will bring together leaders in industry and research to explore the development and commercialization of biobased fuels and products.The workshop, a collaboration between The Ohio State University (OSU) and the Ohio Soybean Council (OSC), will be held Sept. 10 at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center on OSU’s Columbus campus, with a networking farm tour and barbecue on Sept. 9. Keynote speaker Roger Wyse, a managing partner with Spruce Capital Partners, will discuss the investment community’s perspective in funding biobased technologies.President of FDC Enterprises, Fred Circle, will speak about managing perennial grasses for energy production. Richard Fitzpatrick with Kreussler, Inc., and Mike Feazel with Roof Maxx Technologies will share their experience with the practical aspects of commercializing biobased products. Barry McGraw, director of product development and commercialization for the Ohio Soybean Council, and Ram Lalgudi, a senior research scientist at Battelle, will share their views on how to successfully develop biobased products. The workshop will conclude with Patrick Heist, co-owner of Ferm Solutions and the Wilderness Trail Distillery, who will share his story of commercializing microbial products for fuels and beverages.Registration includes a continental breakfast and lunch, and the Sunday networking event. Registration is $60 on or before Aug. 27 and $75 after that date. A special student rate of $30 is offered, but student registrations must be received on or before August 20.The first 50 people to register for the event can use the code “OSC” to waive their registration fee. If applying on paper, please write OSC at the top of your registration.More information about the workshop including agenda and registration can be found by visiting probe.osu.edu or by contacting Barry McGraw at [email protected] or 614-476-3100.last_img read more