African vultures under the gun as lead ammunition takes a toll

first_imgAnimals, Biodiversity, Birds, Conservation, Critically Endangered Species, Endangered Species, Environment, Featured, Forests, Green, Hunting, Interns, Pollution, Research, Scavengers, Vultures, Wildlife Article published by Shreya Dasgupta Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Fragments of lead ammunition in abandoned animal carcasses may be poisoning Africa’s vultures, a new study has found.Researchers found elevated blood lead levels among vultures in hunting areas and during hunting season in Botswana.This study adds to the growing evidence from around the world that identifies lead ammunition as a problem for a number of bird species.South African hunters are sympathetic to vultures but oppose a total ban on lead ammunition, citing the cost and availability of lead-free alternatives. Lead bullet fragments in animal carcasses left behind by game hunters could be poisoning vultures in Botswana, according to a new study that echoes similar findings from elsewhere around the world.The African white-backed vulture (Gyps africanus) is already under grave threat. Its populations have declined by as much as 90 percent across much of its range, and the species is now classified as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List. Much of the catastrophic decline has come from the vultures consuming poisoned carcasses left behind by poachers wanting to prevent the birds from drawing attention to the animals they kill, or by pastoralists intending to kill predators to protect their livestock.A new study published in Science of the Total Environment now suggests that vultures face yet another threat: poisoning from lead ammunition.‘No other logical explanation’Hunting wildlife, both for meat and sport, has long been a popular pursuit across the southern African nations. Botswana was considered a premier game-hunting destination prior to the ban of all hunting on state-owned land in 2014. Hunters often leave the internal organs of carcasses, known as gut piles, or even entire carcasses out in the bush. This poses a problem for the vultures, scientists say.“Hunting is such a huge industry in Africa which led us to investigate whether vulture populations in Africa could be at risk of poisoning from ingesting spent ammunition,” said lead author Rebecca Garbett, a researcher with the non-profit Raptors Botswana and a doctoral student at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. “When an animal is shot, the lead bullet will release fragments widely throughout the carcass. Vultures can then ingest fragments while they are feeding.”To assess the possible risk of lead poisoning from ammunition, Garbett and her team captured and drew blood from 566 vultures at 15 locations, in both hunting and non-hunting areas across Botswana, between 2012 and 2015. The researchers did this all year round to see if blood lead levels changed between the hunting season, from April to November, and the non-hunting season, from December to March.“Thirty percent of almost 600 white-backed vultures that we tested had elevated blood lead levels above what could be considered background exposure,” Garbett said.The team also found some distinct patterns: vultures that had been captured from hunting areas had higher blood lead levels than those captured from non-hunting areas. Moreover, vultures captured during hunting season had higher blood lead levels than those captured outside of hunting season. The researchers say these results suggest that lead ammunition is likely responsible for the vultures’ elevated blood lead levels.“There is no other logical explanation for this pattern, other than these higher levels were linked to lead ammunition associated with hunting,” said co-author Arjun Amar, a conservation biologist at the University of Cape Town, who oversaw the study.African white-backed vultures feeding on a carcass in Botswana. Image by Rebecca Garbett.Vinny Naidoo, a professor of veterinary pharmacology at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, who was not involved in the study, agreed that lead poisoning could be affecting vultures.“Lead is a neurological toxin and commonly affects the brain,” Naidoo said. “The most common clinical signs are weakness, stargazing, blindness, seizures, depression and inability to walk.”Lead can also affect vultures in less visible ways, such as reduced breeding success with infertile eggs, and weak or abnormal chicks, he added.However, Naidoo cautioned against stating definitively that ammunition was the only source of the vultures’ high blood lead levels.There is “certainly a strong causal link,” Naidoo said. But it could be argued that there are factors other than lead ammunition that may be poisoning vultures, he added.Where’s the lead from?One finding that Garbett’s team did not expect was that blood lead levels of vultures in both hunting and non-hunting areas increased after the 2014 hunting ban. The researchers think this increase can be explained by the vultures feeding on carcasses in private game farms where hunting still continues (the 2014 ban applies only to state-owned land) or by a possible increase in illegal hunting after the ban.According to Naidoo, the high blood lead levels post-ban could also indicate that there were other potential sources of lead besides ammunition. In a study published in 2016, Naidoo and other researchers concluded that environmental factors explained some of the elevated blood lead levels in three African vulture species that his team examined in South Africa. One factor he identified was high level of lead in soil from leaded fuels regularly used in South Africa until 2006. There was still a proportion of lead poisoning the research team was unable to account for, but they said it could be explained by leaded ammunition.One challenge in pinpointing the source of lead in the blood of vultures is that the birds range widely.“For Lappet-faced vultures [Torgos tracheliotos] that were tagged in Botswana we know they spent time in all of the five countries surrounding Botswana,” Amar said. These are Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Angola.When vultures cover such a wide area, proving conclusively that lead ammunition is the leading cause of increased lead levels in the birds’ blood can be challenging.“Nonetheless, I’m convinced that leaded bullets are a problem,” Naidoo said.A widespread problemThe findings square with similar research done elsewhere.“This is an expected result because it has been found in many other areas around the world,” said Rafael Mateo, a toxicology expert from the Institute for Game and Wildlife Research (IREC) in Spain.In the U.S., for example, conservationists have been concerned since the 1930s about waterfowl being poisoned by lead shot. Shotguns commonly used for hunting waterfowl fire cartridges that contain tiny lead pellets known as shot. When hunters fire over water, a large amount of shot inevitably enters the water. Many waterfowl swallow small, hard pebbles to grind up food in their gizzards, and the birds that mistake the shot for pebbles then become exposed to lead poisoning. Lead ammunition is now a widely accepted threat to waterfowl around the globe, by hunters and conservationists alike.Lead poisoning has also been identified as a threat to the critically endangered California condor (Gymnogyps californianus), with the state of California banning the use of lead ammunition for hunting within the condor’s range in 2008.In 2012, Myra Finkelstein and Donald Smith of the University of California, Santa Cruz, published a study showing that lead ammunition was still the major source of lead poisoning in California condors despite the 2008 ban. To arrive at this conclusion, the researchers matched the chemical makeup of locally used lead ammunition to the lead found in the birds’ blood.“Our studies show that lead-poisoned condors most commonly exhibit blood lead isotopic signatures that match the signatures in lead ammunition,” Smith said. “We have only encountered a small number of birds lead-poisoned from sources other than ammunition.”Finkelstein and Smith’s research was an important part of the evidence that convinced the California Fish and Game Commission to ban the use of lead ammunition for all wildlife hunting statewide in October 2013. The ban comes into effect in 2019, and Finkelstein said she was hopeful it would reduce lead poisoning rates among California condors.Ammunition has been identified as a source of lead poisoning for the critically endangered Californian condor. Image by Joe Burnett.A loaded subjectGiven the findings of their own study, Garbett and Amar, too, are now calling for a similar ban in southern Africa.“A regional ban on the use of lead ammunition is needed — but a national ban would be a start,” Garbett said.However, “the hunting industry may not be so convinced without more proof,” Naidoo said. The use of lead ammunition has been a hotly debated topic across the globe, with strong opinions on both sides.“The hunting lobby … is very strong and actively engaged in environmental conventions,” said Masumi Gudka, vulture conservation manager with BirdLife International.At the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii in 2016, for instance, conservationists proposed a motion to phase out all lead ammunition. FACE, the European Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation, fought fiercely against this, resulting in a watered-down version of the motion requesting governments to limit the use of lead shot over wetlands and in areas where scavengers are at particular risk.Similarly, in the U.S., a ban on lead ammunition for hunting on state lands was introduced as one of the last acts of the Obama administration in 2017. The ban was immediately overturned by the new secretary of the interior, Ryan Zinke, a keen hunter himself — a move that was strongly applauded by pro-gun groups like the National Rifle Association.In both instances, pro-hunting organizations questioned the scientific basis on which the bans were proposed, and the issue became highly politicized.A researcher with a California condor being investigated for lead poisoning. Image by Zeka Glucs.There are no major hunting associations in Botswana, but Mongabay spoke with three executive members of the South African Hunters and Game Conservation Association (SAHGCA). Although all three members were opposed to an all-out ban on lead ammunition, their position was sympathetic to the plight of Africa’s vultures.“We cannot condone any activities or products that could be detrimental to scavenging birds,” said Gerhard Verdoorn, president of the SAHGCA.The SAHGCA reviewed the evidence on lead two years ago and says it believes it’s possible to mitigate against vulture lead poisoning without banning lead ammunition. According to Fred Camphor, chief executive of the SAHGCA, the only “materially supported evidence” they were able to find directly linking lead ammunition to lead poisoning in vultures was that of the California condor.Based on this evidence, the SAHGCA has advised its members to remove the wound channel, the path that a bullet takes through the animal, and burn any removed material to ensure it is not ingested by vultures or other scavengers.Alternative ammunition is available: premier bullets have the lead core bonded to the outer shell or jacket of the bullet, leaving minimal lead scatter in the target’s flesh upon impact. There are also monolithic bullets, made from solid copper or brass, that are totally lead-free. But at roughly three times the price of regular ammunition, the cost and limited availability of these alternatives remain the main barriers for a ban on lead ammunition, said Brian Reilly, vice president of conservation at the SAHGCA.Despite the higher costs, Verdoorn said he believed that persuading members to switch to alternatives for hunting was a realistic proposition, so long as the cheaper lead alternatives could still be used on shooting ranges.“The percentage of bullets used for hunting compared to that used for target shooting is very small,” he said. “We are already convincing our members to use these [lead-free] bullets for hunting.”Verdoorn added that, in general, hunters had a positive attitude toward vultures, and many were simply not aware that lead ammunition may be poisoning Africa’s vultures.“I am sure once they know, their acceptance of monoliths and premier bullets will rise,” he said. “If we have to make small sacrifices to protect vultures we will do so.”UCSC’s Smith, who has studied the effects of the partial hunting ban in California and found it not very effective, said a total ban on lead ammunition was necessary.“My professional opinion is that industrial uses of lead … should be eliminated, especially when a viable alternative is available, as it is for ammunition,” he said.Despite their precipitous declines, African vultures have not captured the public conscious and support in the same way other charismatic African species like elephants have. And without more support, funding, public awareness and political will, their position remains perilous.Garbett said more research was needed to fully understand the impacts of lead ammunition. But with time running out for Africa’s vultures, lead ammunition should be a comparatively easy issue to address, she said.“We hope that the fight for vultures only gets bigger and stronger,” Garbett said. “However, we may already be too late.”African white-backed vultures assembling at a carcass in Botswana. Image by Rebecca Garbett.Citation:Bellrose, F. C. (1959). Lead poisoning as a mortality factor in waterfowl populations. Illinois Natural History Survey Bulletin; v. 027, no. 03.Cade, T. J. (2007). Exposure of California condors to lead from spent ammunition. Journal of Wildlife Management, 71(7), 2125-2133.Finkelstein, M. E., Doak, D. F., George, D., Burnett, J., Brandt, J., Church, M., … & Smith, D. R. (2012). Lead poisoning and the deceptive recovery of the critically endangered California condor. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(28), 11449-11454.Garbett, R., Maude, G., Hancock, P., Kenny, D., Reading, R., & Amar, A. (2018). Association between hunting and elevated blood lead levels in the critically endangered African white-backed vulture Gyps africanus. Science of The Total Environment.Naidoo, V., Wolter, K., & Botha, C. J. (2017). Lead ingestion as a potential contributing factor to the decline in vulture populations in southern Africa. Environmental research, 152, 150-156.last_img read more

AFC Cup: Ceres slays giant JDT, makes Asean zonal finals

first_img“I had confidence in myself, but I also thought about my family (as I was taking the penalty),” said Rodriguez, who also scored in the first leg.Farizal’s frustrations boiled over before the restart as he was seen shoving the Fu Ming as well as another assistant referee.While JDT, which ruled the competition in 2015, walked off the pitch in despair, the Busmen went on their victory lap, exorcising the ghosts of last season’s heartbreaking exit in the same stage against South China of Hong Kong.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ The Busmen were rewarded for their enterprising play early on paid with Kota Kawase stabbing home a Kevin Ingreso delivery in the 26th minute, before Gabriel Guerra levelled for the visitors 20 minutes into the second half, rifling home a shot from a tight angle just inside the box.Guerra’s goal sucked the energy out of the Panaad, which had witnessed Ceres blitzed through the opposition in the group stage.OJ Porteria almost restored the advantage for Ceres two minutes later, but his volley at the far post from Iain Ramsay’s cross went over.But just when it looked like all hope was lost for the Busmen, they were handed a lifeline when Chinese referee Fu Ming called a foul on Zafuan for pulling Rodriguez down as he went for the ball on Ingreso’s corner kick.With the entire stadium on pins and needles, Rodriguez calmly sent his penalty down the middle, even as Farizal lunged to his right.ADVERTISEMENT Yanson buses to keep operating despite legal battle China reports 17 new cases in viral pneumonia outbreak Swing Out Sister back to PH this April Trump’s impeachment defense, prosecutors dig in Ex-Bulacan town vice mayor, village chief shot dead More Taal volcanic quakes recorded despite weaker eruptions View comments Gerald: Just because I’ve been bashed doesn’t mean I’d stop working Star outlasts Alaska in OT thriller Fouled by Aidil Zafuan, Rodriguez slotted the ball past JDT goalkeeper Farizal Marlias in the 92nd minute, turning the stadium into a garden of delight.“I think after the 180 minutes, we deserved to go through,” said Ceres coach Risto Vidakovic. “We got a bit lucky with the penalty, but what’s most important is we got the win.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnSPORTSBreak new groundRodriguez’s goal made it 4-4 on aggregate, but the Busmen advanced on the away goals rule, after scoring twice in the first leg in Johor Bahru.Ceres will play Home United of Singapore in the two-legged Asean finals, the equivalent of which is the quarterfinal stage in Asia’s second-tier club competition, in August. PENALTY? Johor Darul Ta’zim defender AIdil Zafuan pulls Ceres-Negros Fernando Rodriguez’s jersey while defending a corner kick, leading to the penalty that won the AFC Cup Asean zonal semifinal tie for Ceres. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/Mymy AlagabanBACOLOD CITY – Ceres Negros treated this football-loving city another performance to remember. This time, the Busmen overcame a Southeast Asian giant, while adding a touch of history to their achievement.Spanish striker Fernando Rodriguez kept his cool from the penalty spot in stoppage time as Ceres nipped former champion Johor Darul Ta’zim, 2-1, to become the first Filipino club to reach the AFC Cup Asean zonals at Panaad Stadium.ADVERTISEMENT For Ina, portraying a zombie is like an ‘out-of-body experience’ Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

The net foreign assets vs local currency in circulation

first_imgBy: SASE Singh; M.Sc – Finance, ACCAForeign asset investments overseas by the Central Bank as at the end of 2018 have regressed. The evidence reveals that the nation in at its weakest position since 2009. What does this imply for the country today?New figures issued by the Bank of Guyana have shown that the bank is even more vulnerable to external shocks today than at any time since 2009. That is because the bank’s net foreign assets (NFAs) are at their lowest-ever point since 2009, despite the economy having grown by some 84 per cent since that time. Today we have a bigger economy, but less net foreign assets to pay for the imports that are needed to fuel this bigger economy.The Bank of Guyana has stated that its NFAs are valued at G$108.2 billion as at the end of 2018, compared to a peak in 2012 of G$161.7 billion (See graph below). This stark fact exemplifies that, since 2012, the Central Bank has lost G$53.5 billion of its NFAs. The Ramotar Administration can appeal to the fact that the average oil price between 2012 and 2014 was US$103 per barrel, which consumed significant chunks of the NFAs. But what is the excuse of Team Granger? The average oil price between 2015 and 2017 was US$47 per barrel, 54 per cent cheaper than previously, but yet we lost billions in NFAs.Oil is the largest consumer of foreign currency in Guyana. With cheaper prices, we still saw that some G$20 billion, according to the Monetary Survey from the Bank of Guyana, evaporated during the three and half years with Mr Granger at the wheel. What a mystery!The answer to this mystery lies in the fact that, under Team Granger, Guyana imported too many unnecessary items, which can be produced at home. Can you imagine we are importing canned pigeon peas today? Between 2015 and now, the importation of clothing and footwear doubled. Yes, doubled! Meanwhile, our exports have declined by some 3 per cent. We continue to import and buy utter nonsense to feed the parade and pageantry machinery that Mr. Granger sits on top. But pageantry and parades do not generate foreign currency; to earn foreign currency, you have to have an export-focused mentality and attitude. Any great thinker will tell you that great nations are built when their collective teams work smarter and with a determination focused on exports, rather than dress and drinks.But what is even more concerning is that the stock of national debt (both domestic and external) has expanded by more than US$120 million since APNU/AFC came to office. This means that more of those NFAs are being reserved for the payment of debts, rather than being made available to fuel the expansion of the private sector and the economy.If one were to look at the graph again, one would find that, since 1999, there were enough NFAs to back every Guyana dollar in circulation — which had been a stabilising factor on the value of the currency. However, for the first time in 20 years, there is, in 2019, more local currency in circulation than there are NFAs. The situation reverts to the horrible old days of 1989, when all that was done was the printing of valueless paper money that was not even worth its face value in real terms. Investors are not fools; they know that if you have more local currency than foreign currency in the system, then the currency of trade will always be the foreign currency. Thus the Guyana dollar is slowly losing its relevance in domestic and international trade.I was reliably advised that an increasing number of transactions, but “on-the-books and off-the-books”, are being negotiated in US dollars in Guyana. What does this do to the wealth of the working class? It will vaporise their little wealth and demolish their economic wellbeing, just like what happened to them in 1989 under the then PNC’s ERP Programme.Why are we here again? Oh yes, the same old PNC attitudes of dress, drinks and parades, rather than the good, old-fashion principles of working smarter, exporting more, incentivising the investors, and building the nation. It is time for change again!last_img read more

BARRETT SHINES AS BLUES COME UP SHORT

first_img Preview Buy Tickets Live Stats Matchup History The University of Toronto Varsity Blues men’s basketball team fell 77-71 to the No. 7 Ottawa Gee-Gees on Saturday afternoon (Jan. 5) at Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport.TORONTO STATS: Fourth-year guard Christopher Barrett registered a career-high 23 points, while fellow guard Evan Shadkami chipped in with 11 points, three rebounds and three assists.Fourth-year forward Nikola Paradina grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds and added six points on the day.HOW IT HAPPENED: Barrett recorded the Blues first eight points of the contest, to help them get out to an early 13-2 advantage. Ottawa responded with a 13-4 streak to only trail 17-15 after the opening 10 minutes. Toronto outscored the Gee-Gees 15-13 in the second quarter to head into the locker room up 32-28. Barrett led all scorers with 13 points in the opening half.The two teams continued to go punch for punch after the break, but this time the Gee-Gees took the round 19-17. The Blues remained in front though, 49-47, after three quarters. Ottawa started the fourth on a 10-2 run to take the lead for the first time in the afternoon, and they didn’t look back.UP NEXT: The Blues are back in action tomorrow afternoon (Jan. 6) at home against the No. 1 Carleton Ravens. Tip off is scheduled for 4:00 p.m., at Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport.For more information, scores and highlights on your favourite U of T athletes and teams, please visit www.varsityblues.ca. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat and Facebook for the latest and greatest in Varsity Blues intercollegiate athletics.  Print Friendly Version Next Game: Carleton University 1/6/2019 | 4:00 p.m. Watch Live Full Schedule Roster last_img read more

Juma stunned by KCB sacking

first_img0Shares0000NAIROBI, Kenya, April 14 – Sacked KCB head coach, Abdallah Juma, is at pains to explain the club’s poor form that led to his dismissal on Sunday night.The Kenyan Premier League (KPL) Coach of the Year earned plaudits by leading the Bankers to the top four last season but the team slumped to their sixth defeat in nine games on Saturday in a 2-1 reverse to visiting Bandari to remain rooted at the bottom. “It’s a nightmare. Since I started coaching, I have never witnessed something like this, I was at Thika United for nine years and I never had a bad run like this season, same as when I was at Bidco United and Congo United that’s why I suspect something must have gone wrong in the technical bench,” the axed coach told Capital Sport on Monday.“In fact today (Monday) I decided to stay indoors to try and convince myself that I’m no longer the coach of KCB. “It’s very painful and I was actually stressed, I tried to look left, right and centre to find a solution why I was not winning but could not find an answer. May be I did not have luck because I tried my best but it was not working,” Abdallah who was appointed in December 2012 narrated after failing to notch a win this term.However, the coach was proud to leave the club with his head high having led the Bankers to the Top 8 for the first time and boast of nurturing top players like midfielder Brian Osumba and forward Clifford Alwanga who are currently at Tusker.“We had a meeting with the chairman yesterday (Sunday) and since I had not performed well I had no option but to accept and give someone else a chance and who knows, maybe they will start winning.“I’m not the first coach to be sacked, and I don’t feel bad to exit the league early since I’m last year’s coach of the year. My regret is I will miss the Top 8 this weekend against Ulinzi Stars since it was my desire to lead the team in the competition.“I’m sure coach Robert Matano will come knowing KCB are demoralised and that’s why I’m cautioning the players to be ready for anything,” the former Under 20 national coach added.Juma becomes the fourth coach to shown the door the door this season after newcomers Top Fry Nakuru fired German Oliver Page, Western Stima parting ways with Francis Baraza and recently AFC Leopards sacking James Nandwa.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Special ed takeover expensive

first_imgFourteen school districts in the Antelope and Santa Clarita valleys potentially stand to lose about $15 million. Officials say a new law would unfairly penalize the districts for taking over the operation of special education programs for severely disabled students from Los Angeles County. School officials said the law, Assembly Bill 2947, would require districts to repay the state for part of the cost of constructing special education classrooms that were built with 100 percent state funding given to the county when it ran the programs. “The law is saying the money that was approved by the state to build the classrooms, since you did a program transfer after the fact, you have to give money back. We believe there is no reasonable basis for that,” Wilsona School District Superintendent Ned McNabb said. “The districts don’t have that kind of money.” The special education programs were transferred from LACOE to the districts between 2000 and 2004. At the time school officials said the districts had grown to such a point that they commanded the resources to assume responsibility for providing such services. The law was authored by termed-out state Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg and approved last year. Several superintendents are traveling to Sacramento at the end of this week to discuss the law with the Office of Public School Construction. The districts are also seeking assistance from state Sen. George Runner and his wife, Assemblywoman Sharon Runner, Republicans from Lancaster. “The way the law was written, there was some retroactivity to it and they put in a reimbursement requirement that doesn’t make a lot of sense,” George Runner said. “The problem with the retroactivity, if they all knew, they would have either not done it (the program transfer) or made a different kind of agreement.” Goldberg was not sympathetic to the districts’ plight. She said the payback provision was put in the bill at the request of the OPSC. “Let’s say the county builds $7 million dollars worth of funding for schools. We have a program where districts pay 50 percent of the cost. Later the districts say, `We want to run it county, we are kicking you out and we will run it ourselves,”‘ Goldberg said. “They are only entitled to $3.5 million. They had no eligibility to get 100 percent of the money. If they are going to run it instead of the county, they have to go by the rules as if they built it themselves.” Goldberg said if the districts don’t have the money to reimburse the state, they can give control of the special education programs back to the county. “The inequity is people who run their own programs in their own districts for special education had to pay 50 percent. It doesn’t matter they had no malicious intent. They would get an advantage over every school district who didn’t do it that way.” LACOE officials said they sought the legislation but did not intend for it to affect the districts. The transfer of the special education programs led the OPSC to consider LACOE as having declining enrollment, which LACOE considered to be “erroneous methodology.” “It basically tanked LACOE’s eligibility,” said Kenneth Shelton, LACOE’s assistant superintendent for business services. When the local officials told the state of its dilemma, OPSC officials said the problem could be corrected through legislation, Shelton said. The legislation included a provision where OPSC would recalculate LACOE’s eligibility going back three years, Shelton said. LACOE also suggested Goldberg insert language that when new county school facilities are built with hardship funding from the state, that no special education program transfer take place to a district for five years. Shelton said that was proposed because there was a “belief in Sacramento that there was collusion to scam the state. “It was let’s be reasonable and try to address the concern. If that was a true concern, then make a proposed way of dealing with it.” What ended up in the final version of the bill was a surprise to LACOE officials, according to a letter from LACOE Superintendent Darline Robles to Newhall School District Superintendent Marc Winger. “We had no advance knowledge of this approach. It was never our intent or expectation that the funding model for previously completed facilities projects be impacted while solving the calculation error with the status of our construction eligibility,” Robles wrote. OPSC officials disputed LACOE’s version and said LACOE was fully aware of the amendment to the bill that contained the payback provision. “OPSC has long been concerned with preserving a level playing field for all school districts in the use of those bond funds and making sure the potential doesn’t exist for anyone to game the system unfairly and obtain bond money they are not entitled to,” OPSC spokesman Bill Branch said. “I want to be absolutely clear that, in saying this, we are not accusing anyone of gaming the system – we are merely trying to make certain that adequate safeguards are in place.” Any suggestion that the districts in north Los Angeles County did something intentional to gain classroom space free of charge couldn’t be further from the truth, officials said. “They think there was collusion, which wasn’t the case. We took the program back. We didn’t do it to try to get free buildings,” former Lancaster School District Superintendent Steve Gocke said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “This is going to be devastating to my districts,” said Margaret Cherene, director of the Santa Clarita Valley special education local plan area, or SELPA. “The districts would have to repay the state out of general fund money, out of money that we need to operate the schools and teach students.” AB 2947 states that if the Los Angeles County Office of Education transfers title of the classrooms to the districts within 10 years of it being occupied, then the districts would have pay the state back. The county still has title to the classrooms but wants to transfer it to the districts because the law says LACOE’s eligibility for special education school construction funding, which was hurt by the transfer, can’t be restored until the title transfer occurs. County offices of education generally receive hardship funding from the state in which the state pays for the total cost of constructing school facilities when other resources aren’t available. School districts pay 50 percent of the cost unless they qualify for hardship funding. Ten Antelope Valley school districts could be out more than $12 million, and four elementary school districts in the Santa Clarita Valley could lose $2.3 million, based on the number of classrooms that were built. last_img

Mao-era pianist to honor Mozart

first_imgMONTEREY PARK – At the height of the Cultural Revolution, Yin Cheng-Zong owned one of the few pianos in China. At the time, revolutionaries sought to destroy Western artifacts across the nation, and Yin’s piano was in danger of becoming kindling. So he hauled his piano out to the middle of Tiananmen Square, sat down, and started playing. He incorporated the Western instrument into a revolutionary classic, “The Legend of the Red Lantern.” “Everybody over 40 years old from Mainland China, I think they know this music,” Yin said. Yin will perform at 7:30p.m. Saturday in the San Gabriel Civic Auditorium. He will perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 and Symphony No. 40. “Mozart is one of my favorite composers,” said Yin, 64, who makes his home in New York. After his Tiananmen Square performance, Yin became a favorite of Chairman Mao’s wife, Jiang Qing. But when she was arrested after the chairman’s death in 1976, Yin was rounded up and thrown in jail. In 1983, Yin was freed and allowed to move to the United States. He has released more than 20 albums and gained mainstream popularity for his “Yellow River Concerto” recording. a tribute to Mozart in honor of the composer’s 250th birthday jason.kosareff@sgvn.com (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2717 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Ferry will helm school

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventFerry will replace John Monnig, who is retiring. Currently an assistant principal at Saugus High, Ferry was the man behind Valencia High’s school spirit when he served the fledgling campus as associated student body director. He orchestrated circus-like homecomings and at Saugus tossed “Ferry” dust on the crowd during a rally. Ferry also was re-elected earlier this year to his third four-year term on the Santa Clarita City Council. A father of two, Ferry holds a master’s degree in education and a law degree. As an Alemany student Ferry was junior class president, ASB president, a member of the band and goalie for the school’s CIF championship soccer team. SANTA CLARITA – Councilman Frank Ferry, the assistant school principal who once donned fairy wings and “flew” across the Saugus High gym, was named principal Friday of Alemany High School. A 1983 graduate of the Catholic school in Mission Hills, Ferry said he will take the job July 1, the day after his contract expires with the William S. Hart Union High School District. “I had such a great experience there,” he said. “I’m returning home to a great place as principal. I’m really looking forward to it. I’m excited.” Alemany is operated by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and boasts an enrollment of about 1,500. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

N. Korea vote may be delayed

first_imgNEW YORK – The United States pressed for a vote today on a Security Council resolution that would sanction North Korea for its nuclear test, but questions from China and Russia on Friday evening cast the timing and possibly the content of the document into doubt. The terms of the resolution have already been softened three times this week to meet objections from China and Russia, and earlier Friday there appeared to be agreement on holding a vote this morning. John R. Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said the new problems appeared “technical” rather than “substantial,” but said they would require another conference of Japan and the five permanent council members, Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, today before the full 15 member panel would meet later in the day. While the wording of the resolution was still being worked out, U.S. intelligence officials said Friday evening they had found radioactive material in air samples taken over the region, providing more evidence that North Korea did indeed detonate a nuclear bomb. “An overwhelming majority of the council members want to vote as soon as possible,” Bolton said. “They still think it is important to send a swift and strong signal, and I’m confident we’re going to be able to do that.” Wang Guangya, the Chinese ambassador, said, “It all depends on the final text, because we are not at the final text yet.” The United States and Japan, the driving forces behind the resolution, had earlier thought they had surmounted the Chinese and Russian objections to the resolution when they submitted a revision Thursday night that softened some of the earlier provisions. Bolton said the United States was “very satisfied” with the document as it stood Friday morning and was prepared to vote for it immediately. But Wang, while asserting his country was happy with the progress that had been made, said his country was still studying the text before officially pronouncing on it. “With progress we are always satisfied, but if we work harder, we might make more progress,” he said. Vitaly I. Churkin, the Russian ambassador said, “I think we are on the right track, but we are not there yet.” In Washington, officials, apparently confident of imminent passage of the measure, announced that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would travel to Asia next week to discuss how to implement the resolution, as well as to discuss other efforts to deter North Korean proliferation of a nuclear bomb or bomb-making materials. Sean McCormack, the State Department spokesman, said Rice would travel to Tokyo, Seoul and Beijing. The trip, he said, is “an opportunity for her in the region to reaffirm and talk about the strength of our existing alliances there, and also to have a bit more of a wider conversation with others in the region about the current situation, about the security situation, and also to talk broadly about nonproliferation efforts.” Senior State Department officials portrayed the U.N. momentum toward a resolution as evidence of a united, multilateral front agreeing to punish North Korea. “So the first issue we need to do is to make clear that the sense of outrage and condemnation by the international community to have a resolution in the Security Council, which will not only be a resolution condemning North Korea, but actually a resolution with some teeth to it,” said Christopher Hill, the assistant secretary of state for east Asia and Pacific affairs. “North Korea needs to understand that this is indeed a very, very costly decision that will leave North Korea far worse off and far more isolated than ever before,” said Hill, speaking at a conference in Washington. “We need to give that message very clearly and make sure that North Korea cannot find any differences in our views. So I think so far so good.” The resolution condemns the nuclear test claimed by North Korea on Oct. 9 as a “flagrant disregard” of Security Council warnings, orders it not to conduct nuclear or missile tests and urges North Korea to return to six-nations talks with South Korea, China, Japan, Russia and the United States. It freezes funds overseas of people or businesses connected to the unconventional weapons programs and bans the sale of luxury goods to North Korea. “I think the North Korean population has been losing height and weight over the years,” Bolton said. “Maybe this will be a little diet for Kim Jong Il,” he said, referring to the North Korean dictator. Under the resolution, member states are to report to the Security Council within 30 days on steps they have taken to comply with its demands.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John PhillipsThe new draft dropped or softened several provisions to placate China and Russia. It eliminated explicit mention of military enforcement of the sanctions; placed more limits on inspecting cargo going in and out of North Korea; and dropped a blanket embargo on conventional weapons. Bolton indicated one area of dispute remained the methods and legalities of how to inspect cargo moving into and out of North Korea, which the resolution is expected to authorize. The new draft resolution limits the weapons ban to large-size arms, military systems and weapons of mass destruction. The measure, drafted by the United States, still requires all countries to prevent the sale or transfer of material related to North Korea’s nuclear, ballistic missile and unconventional weapons programs and maintains a ban on travel by persons associated with those programs. It also bars North Korea from exporting such weapons, a provision aimed at the international concern over the possibility of unconventional arms from North Korea ending up with terrorist groups or rogue states. Kenzo Oshima, the Japanese ambassador and president of the Security Council, announced the council would gather at noon Saturday, but could not say whether they would vote. last_img read more

Aaron Ramsey scores on Serie A debut for Juventus to spark comeback

first_imgAaron Ramsey scored for Juventus on his Serie A debut as he sparked a comeback victory against Verona.The 28-year-old officially joined Juve for free over the summer following the expiration of his contract with Arsenal. Getty Images – Getty Strugglers Wigan hold Blackburn to goalless draw in Championship targets What every Premier League club’s fans dream of this Christmas ⚽ Juve back on level terms with Verona!⚫⚪ Aaron Ramsey gets his first goal since his move from Arsenal pic.twitter.com/Pr4O0qb54g— Premier Sports 📺 (@PremierSportsTV) September 21, 2019Ramsey got them back on level terms in the 31st minute when his shot from distance deflected into the bottom corner.Cristiano Ronaldo then completed the comeback in the second half as they won 2-1 to remain unbeaten after four games. rookie error Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti on target latest Top scorer in 2019: Messi, Mbappe and Sterling trailing Europe’s top marksman BIG PRESENTS UP TOP stalemate center_img Liverpool transfer news live: Star man wanted by Real Madrid, Mbappe latest and more Aaron Ramsey made his Serie A debut against Verona 1 Ian Holloway thinks Arsenal have made a mistake in hiring Mikel Arteta LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS statement The Wales international made his debut for the club with a short cameo in the Champions League during the week.Ramsey made an instant impact on his first start for the Turin club as he scored.Verona had taken an unlikely lead when Miguel Veloso volleyed in from 25 yards against the Serie A champions. appointed Returning goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon had to produce a good save late on to make sure they got all three points with the 41-year-old making his second debut.Verona’s Marash Kumbulla received a red card in added time after he brought down Blaise Matuidi, which is the club’s third red in four games.Ramsey had been prevented from making an earlier debut for the club because of a hamstring injury and subsequent fitness issues. Steve Round reveals how Mikel Arteta convinced him to join Arsenal staff Spurs investigation into alleged racial abuse of Rudiger is so far ‘inconclusive’ last_img read more