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Rio Paralympics a stepping stone for Pacific nations

first_imgRNZ reports Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Papua New Guinea each had two athletes in Brazil, with a number managing to set season best, or personal best, milestones.Fijian table tennis player Mere Rodan may have lost her two singles matches but President of the Oceania Paralympic Committee, Paul Bird, said just by competing the 48-year-old created history.”That’s the first that’s happened in our Oceania group to get someone outside of athletics and power-lifting through, so that has been an outstanding effort from Fiji to a fledgling program, that we’ve only just started over the last 18 months to two years,” he said.”That bodes well for our future and we’re trying to develop table tennis as well as badminton in our smaller developing countries because badminton is a new sport for (the 2020 Paralympics in) Tokyo and we are trying to look at sports that take little equipment, little infrastructure but maximise opportunities.”Mr Bird was also encouraged by the potential of Samoan discus duo Alefosio Laki and Maggie Aiono, who are just 19 and 26-years-old.”Young Sio, he qualified in his own right as a thrower and we had Maggie – she really is someone to look to the future. If we can keep them both into training they showed tremendous potential,” he said.”I think (they) probably would have gone home maybe disappointed with their performance but first time on a big stage and they showed great potential and have got the opportunity, if they’re looked after and if we can maintain their interest and particularly their training and opportunity over the next four years, they should go well so that was a bright light.”Vanuatu and Solomon Islands did not compete in Rio but Mr Bird said planning towards the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo had already begun.”It’s a pretty big ask for them to come to a stage like this and perform, so we are trying to change that by running talent ID programs now, we’re trying to target athletes, get them into a local programme, provide opportunities for qualification and then try to continue them on,” he said.”It’s a challenge because in a lot of cases the funding isn’t there and, where we can we’re trying to put them into mainstream programmes in those countries – now we do that well in Australia and New Zealand, but it is a struggle in other Oceania countries and that’s our challenge.”This year Vanuatu made the decision they felt they did not have an athlete ready to take a wildcard so they rejected the wildcard – they felt it was more important to develop at the grassroots level … it’s a pity they didn’t at least have maybe their developing athlete there to experience and understand what it’s about.”We would expect that out of all the six countries, plus Kiribati which will become a new National Paralympic Committee for us in November, we will have seven NPC’s that will be represented in Tokyo.Four of the eight Pacific athletes qualified directly for Rio and Paul Bird said Oceania hopes to lift that number and rely less on wildcard entries going forward.last_img read more

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Whales not enough sustenance for polar bears in fast-changing climate

first_imgAnimal Behavior, Animals, Arctic Animals, Bears, Climate Change, Conservation, Ecology, Environment, Extinction, Extinction And Climate Change, Impact Of Climate Change, Mammals, Marine Animals, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Conservation, Marine Ecosystems, Marine Mammals, Oceans, Polar Bears, Research, Sea Ice, Whales, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Article published by John Cannon 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 Scientists believe that whale carcasses may have helped polar bears survive past upswings in temperatures that melted the sea ice from which they usually hunt seals.As the current changing climate threatens to make the Arctic ice-free during the summer, this strategy may help some populations of polar bears to survive.But according to new study, whale carcasses won’t provide enough food for most bear populations because there are fewer whales than there once were, and human settlements, industry and shipping could affect the bears’ access to any carcasses that do wash ashore. Dead whales are a nutritional boon for polar bears, and they’ve likely helped bears survive lean periods during warm spells in the past when much of the Arctic was ice-free. In the future, however, most bears won’t be so lucky, writes a team of scientists in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment on Oct. 9.“[When] we look at the situation now, ecologically, with respect to food sources, it’s a very different picture,” Ian Stirling, a biologist at the University of Alberta in Canada and a co-author of the paper, said in a statement. “The potential of whale carcasses to bail bears out may still be important in a few areas but, quite simply, their overall availability is going to be substantially less than before humans invaded the Arctic.”A female polar bear and cub feed on the remains of a dead whale that washed ashore nearly a year earlier. Image by Ian Stirling/University of Alberta.Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) depend on sea ice, which allows them to stalk seals, their primary prey. But as the climate heats up, sea ice is disappearing, and ice-free Arctic summers could become a reality by 2040.Right now, when warmer temperatures carve up Arctic ice, some bears fast until the ice appears again, unless they come across another source of food. A whale carcass that washes ashore, for example, is a great source of fat and protein, and scientists figure that this strategy may have helped polar bears get through temperature spikes in the past.“I think this is likely one of the most probable explanations for how polar bears made it through previous warm interglacial periods,” Stirling said.The carcass of a bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus), weighing in at perhaps 100 metric tons (110 tons) can provide bears with about the same amount of nourishment as 1,300 ringed seals (Pusa hispida), the authors write. Such a windfall can feed dozens of bears, sometimes for years at a time.Polar bears feeding on the carcass of a fin whale in Svalbard, Norway. Image by Daniel J. Cox/Arctic Documentary Project.But do enough whales wash up to sustain polar bears? Stirling and his colleagues wanted to find out. They estimated that a population of 1,000 polar bears would need around 28 whales to die, float to the surface and wash ashore every year to meet their caloric needs. In a place like the Chukchi Sea, which sits north of the Bering Strait between Russia and Alaska and has stable numbers of bowhead and gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus), the team found that there are likely enough that die and come ashore to support that many polar bears.“Scavenging on large whale carcasses is probably important for bears in some areas and may buffer them from sea ice loss,” Kristin Laidre, a marine biologist at the University of Washington and the study’s lead author, said in the statement.“However, carcasses of large whales are not expected to replace seals as nutritional resources as we move towards an ice-free Arctic,” Laidre added. “In most regions, the environmental changes are too large and the whale carcasses are too few.”Polar bears scavenging on the carcass of a dead bowhead whale that washed ashore on Wrangel Island, Russia. Image by Chris Collins/Heritage Expeditions.Most subpopulations of bears don’t live in places where as many whale carcasses appear each year. Whale numbers used to be much higher, prior to the whaling of the past few centuries. And where they do wash up, the carcasses are only valuable to polar bears if they can find them and if bears aren’t kept from accessing them by human settlements, industry or shipping.Those complicating factors mean that the opportunistic strategy that helped polar bears survive ice-free periods in the past might not work in the coming decades.“If the rate of sea ice loss and warming continues unmitigated, what is going to happen to polar bear habitat will exceed anything documented over the last million years,” Laidre said. “The extremely rapid pace of this change makes it almost impossible for us to use history to predict the future.”Dozens of polar bears make their way to the shore to feed on a bowhead whale on Wrangel Island, Russia. In total, more than 180 bears were seen feeding on this single whale carcass in September 2017. Image by Olga Belonovich/Heritage Expeditions.Banner image of polar bears feeding on the carcass of a fin whale in Norway by Daniel J. Cox/Arctic Documentary Project. Citation Laidre, K. L., Stirling, I., Estes, J. A., Kochnev, A., & Roberts, J. (2018). Historical and potential future importance of large whales as food for polar bears. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

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Francis rubbishes Akan departure rumour

first_imgQuarter-miler Javon Francis has denied rumours that he has left his long-time coach Michael Clarke and is now based overseas. “I am still in Jamaica and everybody will see that soon,” Francis said. The Gleaner has been reliably informed that the former Calabar High School standout is now based in Texas and is being guided by Darryl Woodson. It is reported that Francis has made attempts to switch to another club based in Jamaica but he was not able to come to an agreement and decided to go overseas. However, Francis has denied it all. Clarke has also refused to comment on the matter. Francis won the hearts of local track and field fans when he ran a superb 4x400m relay leg to win Jamaica a silver medal at the 2013 IAAF World Athletics Championships while he was still a student at Calabar. He was also a part of the 4x400m relay team that won silver at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. A year earlier, he ran his lifetime best of 44.50 seconds. But since 2016, he has not been able to break the 45 seconds barrier. Last season, his best time (45.11) came at the Commonwealth Games, where he won a bronze medal.last_img read more

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Say goodbye to the old hospital this weekend

first_imgTo say an official goodbye to the existing facility, a barbecue is being held this Saturday, June 9. Northern Health will be serving hamburgers and cake from 2 – 4 p.m. on the patio area beside the administration entrance. Maureen Haley, Communications Officer for Northern Health, says the event will be a good time to reflect on the old hospital. “It will be fitting for people to get a chance to say good-bye,” she says. “The old hospital has served many people and has provided many memories. It will be nice to give people the opportunity to talk about their memories and experiences before we move into the hospital.”- Advertisement – The barbecue will take place rain or shine, and is free for the public.last_img read more

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More claims filed in melee on May Day

first_imgSobel said individuals filing the claims hope to get a court order forcing the LAPD to implement an annual training program to comply with the procedures that were supposed to be in effect after the Democratic National Convention in 2000, when more than $4 million was paid to demonstrators who had been attacked by officers. “It does no good to say we are going to have a new training program unless it is put into effect every year,” Sobel said. “Unfortunately, the LAPD has a short institutional memory. “What happens is they are provided training in the academy, but once they go to the stations they’re told to forget all that, that they will teach them what they need to survive on the streets.” Sobel said the legal action seeks to force a permanent change in the LAPD. “Policies are only words on a piece of paper, and we’ve seen over and over again in this city that officers ignore policies and ignore training sometimes because they are so instilled with a view, that they get from other officers, that it’s OK to use force as a first means, it’s OK to use force against poor communities, it’s OK to use force against people of color. “That’s part of the culture of the Police Department that needs to be changed.” While attorneys welcomed the changes proposed by Bratton and Deputy Chief Mike Hillman, Sobel said she questions whether the message will be passed down to officers. “And what happens when Hillman retires?” Sobel asked. “He has been on the cutting edge of reforms, and once he’s gone, who will be there to make sure the department does the right thing?” Nick Velasquez, a spokesman for City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, said the department is concerned about the number of claims, but cannot comment until they are received and studied. The city has 45 days to review the claims. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said the high number of claims reflects the seriousness of the problems that day, and that he is eager to see the final report on the incident from the LAPD and Police Commission. Antonio Rodriguez, part of the team of attorneys involved in the legal challenges to the city, said the goal is to force change. “We want the mayor, the chief, the Police Commission and the City Council to pay attention to this,” Rodriguez said. “They are the ones who can make the department change.” In the claims, the attorneys acknowledge that some protesters threw items at the police, but say it was primarily fruit and empty water bottles and that the police could have easily contained the protest. The claims also say the police order to disperse could not be heard by most in the crowd – including officers on the scene – and that it was issued only in English by officers in a helicopter. Bratton has ordered a number of changes in procedures, including better planning and cooperation between the LAPD and demonstrators. rick.orlov@dailynews.com (213) 978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! But police officials have previously said the melee developed after an officer was pushed off his motorcycle. Police said they declared the event an unlawful assembly but were unable to disperse the crowd. Sobel said witnesses have told attorneys the officer was not pushed and that his motorcycle fell over on its own. The situation quickly escalated, and officers eventually shot rubber bullets into the crowd. Televised images showed several people, including members of the news media, being struck by police with batons. The rally, which attracted a crowd of about 5,000, came at the end of a peaceful day of speeches and demonstrations for immigration rights in the city. Police Chief William Bratton took responsibility for the incident. He disciplined the two top commanders who were on the scene and also developed a new training program for crowd control. Disputing statements by Los Angeles police that demonstrators started the melee that erupted at the May Day immigration rally in MacArthur Park, attorneys for 152 people filed additional claims Thursday for damages. “We are providing video clips and evidence that the problems that developed that day were not caused by demonstrators, but by the police themselves,” attorney Carol Sobel said at a news conference outside City Hall where the claims were filed. The claims, the precursor to a lawsuit, now total more than 240, and Sobel and other attorneys are asking federal courts to allow a class-action suit to be filed. The Los Angeles Police Department had no comment on the claims, which are being reviewed by the City Attorney’s Office. last_img read more

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Martin Luther King weekend events

first_imgThe Museum of Tolerance, 9786 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, will host several events. The influence of Martin Luther King Jr. on the lives of sports figures, jazz musicians and educators, 2 p.m. today. For reservations, call (310) 772-2526. “Citizen King,” a 2004 documentary on King’s life, wil be shown, 2 p.m. Monday. For reservations, call (310) 772-2527. An exhibit by the Los Angeles Ribet Academy depicting King’s contributions will be on display through Jan. 20. For more information, see www.museumoftolerance.com. Yolanda King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., will be the keynote speaker at a ceremony honoring her father’s legacy, 9 a.m. Monday at the Soka Gakai International auditorium, 525 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. Kingdom Day Parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. Monday on Martin Luther King Boulevard, from Crenshaw Boulevard to Western Avenue. The two-mile parade, hosted by the Council on Racial Equality, will include numerous floats, marching bands, drill teams and local dignitaries. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will serve as grand marshal. “The Road to Civil Rights,” featuring a screening of “Negroes with Guns,” 4 p.m. Monday, West Hollywood Community Center at Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita 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

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DANIEL AND FAMILY HEARTBROKEN AS MUM JULIA PASSES AWAY

first_imgTributes have been flowing in for Daniel O’Donnell’s mother Julia who passed away in the early hours of this morning.Daniel and late mum JuliaJulia, 94, passed away at Dungloe Community Hospital at 3.50am.Mrs O’Donnell had been in hospital for a number of days after taking ill last week. A heartbroken Daniel posted a message on his Facebook account announcing his mother’s passing.“It is with great sadness that we have to announce that our dear mother Julia passed away peacefully in the loving care of the staff of Dungloe Hospital surrounded by her family at Sunday at 3.50am.“My siblings John, Margaret, Kathleen, James and myself would like to thank you all for the kindness shown to her down through the years.“May her gentle soul rest in peace,” he said. Daniel’s sister Margo has revealed how she had spent the past number of weeks reading her soon-to-be published autobiography to her mum.“A very sad day for me and my siblings, my mam passed away in the early hours.“John Bosco, myself, Kathleen, James and Daniel all spent special time by her bedside, also her nephews and nieces.“My mum was so looking forward to my autobiography being published. I am glad I spent time over the past few months reading paragraphs to her,” she said.Daniel was due to perform at a concert to raise funds for Dungloe Community Hospital later today. Organisers have now cancelled the event as a mark of respect to the late Mrs O’Donnell.Mrs O’Donnell’s remains will be taken from McGlynn’s funeral home at 4pm today and taken to her home in Kincasslagh.She will be buried after funeral mass at 1pm at St Mary’s Church in Kincasslagh on Tuesday.Other tributes have been flowing in for Mrs O’Donnell on Facebook and Twitter. DANIEL AND FAMILY HEARTBROKEN AS MUM JULIA PASSES AWAY was last modified: May 18th, 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:daniel o’donnelldonegalJULIA O’DONNELLlast_img read more

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Patients get help looking better

first_imgLANCASTER – With many women battling cancer in the Antelope Valley, the American Cancer Society and Antelope Valley Hospital have teamed up to present the “Look Good & Feel Better” program. This program helps patients who have experienced changes in their hair and skin quality due to chemotherapy treatments and radiation learn special makeup techniques to help them feel better about themselves. “Once we found out about this program, we wanted to offer it immediately,” said Sue Galvin, director of the hospital’s 3 North and 4 Tower wards. “The program helps patients restore their appearance and self-image during treatment, which can help give them the will to continue fighting the cancer.” The first session tonight will be in a private, comfortable setting at the hospital, organizers said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Patients will participate in a small group session facilitated by a licensed cosmetologist and will receive a makeup gift pack to take home. Each cosmetologist who volunteers for this program is specially trained to teach patients how to use makeup, scarves, wigs and other accessories to enhance their appearance during treatment. “We are thrilled to be working so closely with the hospital on this program,” said Celyna Meade, American Cancer Society Director of Community Services. “The Look Good & Feel Better program helps the patient take that important step to regain their self-esteem,” explained Bonnie Daniel, vice president of nursing services at the hospital. To make reservations, call (800) ACS-2345 and ask to register for program in Lancaster. For more information, visit the American Cancer Society’s Web site at www.cancer.org.last_img read more

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Singer Smokey Robinson speaks in Whittier

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John Phillips165Let’s talk business.Catch up on the business news closest to you with our daily newsletter. Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WHITTIER – Smokey Robinson is known for his velvet-smooth falsetto and a string of blockbuster hits that include “Tears of a Clown,” “Shop Around” and “Tracks of My Tears,” among many others. But he’s also the successful CEO of Smokey Robinson Foods, and in that role he was the keynote speaker today at the Board of Equalization’s day-long small business fair at the Radisson in Whittier. For more on this story, pick up tomorrow’s Whittier Daily News.last_img read more

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‘We can now go to the coast’ – Carvalhal believes Swansea can survive

first_img1 Carvalhal has earned a reputation for his use of metaphors Carlos Carvalhal has admitted his Swansea City side can ‘now get to the coast’ as they continue their remarkable revival with a 1-0 win over Burnley.After gaining just 13 points from their opening 20 games, the Swans have won four of their last seven under Carvalhal and look likely to complete an unlikely escape.The former Sheffield Wednesday boss has earned a reputation for conjuring unlikely results as well as obscure metaphors and produced both on Saturday afternoon at the Liberty Stadium.Carvalhal said: “When we arrived we were in the deep ocean. It was very deep and dark.“We saw no fishes.“We won some games, to put our noses out of the water. It was the first time we’d smelled the fresh air.“Now, in this moment, we have started swimming and we can now go to the coast.“But we must continue to swim to reach the coastline.”Carvalhal has developed a habit of using metaphors when it comes to talking about Swansea, after comparing their transfer business to shopping for ‘sardines not lobsters’ last month.Victory over the Clarets moved Swansea up to 15th in the table and two points clear of the relegation places.After a tricky FA Cup fifth round tie at former club Sheffield Wednesday, Carvalhal will take his troops to the Amex Stadium for a huge clash against fellow strugglers Brighton.last_img read more