first_imgDear Editor,In conversations I had with specialists who know parliamentary and legal affairs, it seems that the Speaker ruled wrongly in the opposition’s request to disallow the Prime Minister, acting in the capacity as President, from sitting in the Assembly. The Speaker referred the matter to the constitutional commission committee. The opposition had challenged the acting President from sitting in the assembly – saying he was squatting there. The Speaker needed to rule whether the acting President could sit in the assembly or not. It was not about amending the constitution. So he ruled erroneously unless he was seeking advice on how he should rule.The fraudulent Burnham constitution is very specific in articles 96, 103, and 178 in who can act as President and what happens thereafter. The latter states that the acting president must temporarily vacate his or her seat in the assembly with someone replacing him or her until such time that the acting president ceases the duties. Clearly, any functionally literate person would understand this to mean that the acting President cannot sit in the assembly.Having noted the above, I disagree with the Burnham constitution on this issue. I am of the view that a person (any Cabinet member) acting as President should be allowed to sit in the House to give stability and order to the Assembly since he or she is familiar with the affairs of the House. But this would require constitutional reform to which the coalition is not interested. Also, the fact that the numbers in the House don’t change when a person acts as President renders the issue moot in any side having an advantage or disadvantage. The acting President does not lessen the numbers of the coalition in Parliament if he leaves the House. According to the fraudulent Burnham constitution, a person from the parliamentary list of the ruling coalition (of May 2015) could be appointed to temporarily fill the seat vacated by the acting President. And even if a vacancy is not filled, there will be a 32-32 tie assuming no one deviates from the vote. And by the way, 32 is not a majority or passage of bill as the Speaker once declared two years ago. A vote of 32-32 is maintenance of the status quo. The Speaker cannot vote; the fraudulent Burnham constitution is clear on that point.Yours truly,Vishnu Bisramlast_img read more

first_imgLandon Gomes had four rushing touchdowns and Ferndale High completed a sweep of the Little 4 Conference, wrapping up the regular season with a 34-13 win over McKinleyville Friday night at the Redwood Bowl.The senior do-it-all player for the Wildcats couldn’t be stopped Friday night.Gomes opened the scoring for the Wildcats with an 18-yard touchdown run in the beginning of the second quarter to tie the game after a McKinleyville touchdown by Kyler Carr earlier in the game gave the home team an …last_img read more

first_imgIf phrases like “the conservation of conservatism” or “the production of productivity” leave you scratching your head, you may wear off a few hairs thinking about a paper in PNAS1 on the “evolution of evolvability.”  Entitled, “Is evolvability a selectable trait?”, this paper by two scientists at Rice University considers whether the rate of change of evolution can change.  (Pause here to think about that.)  In other words, can the ability of a population of critters to adapt to its environment quickly be selected by natural selection?  Might some critters become sluggish in their ability to change, while others develop flexibility in adapting to changing conditions?  Why is anyone even asking this question?    It’s not that no one has thought about this before, but the idea has been shrugged off by other evolutionists in the past.  How could a population plan ahead to be flexible?  For this reason, the authors seem a little defensive writing this paper:Whether the propensity to evolve, or evolvability, can be an object of Darwinian natural selection is a topic of interest.  Causality would suggest not because of the apparently anticipatory nature of evolvability.  Many within the field of evolutionary biology are uncomfortable with the concept that evolvability is a selectable trait.  A growing body of experimental data, however, would be explained if evolvability were a selectable trait.    Higher organisms cannot evolve, or adapt, by germ-line mutation to an environmental change within their own lifetime.  Does this mean that lineages and individuals cannot be under selection for evolvability?….….Although the use of the term evolvability has only recently come into vogue in the scientific community, investigations into the evolution of adaptation go back several decades.  Prominent from a theoretical perspective are works in population genetics and game theory [see 02/10/2004 headline].  Despite the insights that these studies give as to the origin and maintenance of evolvability, evolution of and selection for evolvability remains a contested issue primarily because of the causality principleSo the burden of proof is on them to show that evolvability evolves.  Their paper is primarily a mathematical model, similar to computer models of evolution (see 07/04/2004 headline).  A model is needed, they say, because of the difficulty of measuring the effect in the wild:Whether evolvability is selectable has been a difficult question to answer, primarily because observations in evolutionary biology tend to be correlative in nature and difficult on which to make mechanistic conclusions.  Therefore, we consider here the dynamics of evolvability in a well defined theoretical model of protein evolution.  Within this model of protein structure and function, we have a fixed population of proteins, which we take to be 1,000.  We have a microscopic selection criterion, which we take to be the folding and binding of a protein to a substrate.  And we have a means of inducing constant, random environmental change.They claim the model shows that evolvability is a function of environmental change; the more dynamic the environment, the more evolvable the protein.  This, they emphasize, is their important finding.  It’s kind of like physics:An analogy with thermodynamics illuminates the issue: How is free energy minimized in a physical system of particles despite the difficulty in defining the entropy of a given configuration of the particles?  An ensemble of particle configurations allows the definition of free energy and the approach to thermodynamic equilibrium just as a population of evolving organisms allows the definition of and selection for evolvability.They seem to be viewing individual organisms as molecules, and treating Darwinian selection as a force acting on the ensemble– a form of group selection (see 05/31/2004 headline for opposing view).  Is there any evidence in nature for their position?  They point to a few possibilities:Many observations within evolutionary biology, heretofore considered evolutionary happenstance or accidents, are explained by selection for evolvability.  For example, the vertebrate immune system shows that the variable environment of antigens has provided selective pressure for the use of adaptable codons and low-fidelity polymerases during somatic hypermutation.  A similar driving force for biased codon usage as a result of productively high mutation rates is observed in the hemagglutinin protein of influenza A.  Selection for evolvability explains the prevalence of transposons among bacteria and recombination among higher organisms.Is this concept useful?  The authors feel that “therapeutics also confer selective pressure on the evolvability of pathogens, and that this driving force for antigenic drift should be considered in drug- and vaccine-design efforts.”    The believe their model shows that “The rates at which the various events within the hierarchy of evolutionary moves occur are not random or arbitrary but are selected by Darwinian evolution.  Sensibly, rapid or extreme environmental change leads to selection for greater evolvability. This selection is not forbidden by causality and is strongest on the largest-scale moves within the mutational hierarchy.”    One of their concluding statements summarizes their view into a pithy sound bite: “Not only has life evolved, but life has evolved to evolve.”1David J. Earl and Michael W. Deem, “Evolvability is a selectable trait,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 10.1073/pnas.0404656101.It must get boring at the Darwin Party storytelling banquets (see 12/22/2003 commentary), so every once in awhile someone has to come up with a new plot to argue about.  To these guys, proteins in a test tube are a microcosm of caribou in the tundra or humans in Manhattan.  This paper might suggest a short story or novel on whether New Yorkers are evolving evolvability in response to terrorist attacks.  If so, terrorism might be a good thing; it makes the species more adaptable to sudden change.    It doesn’t matter whether the model corresponds to reality or not, or can be observed or not, as long as it makes entertaining reading, generates lively discussions and opens new markets for GameBoy.(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

first_imgMEDIA CONTACTS • Siobhan McCarthy Head of communication Department of Home Affairs + 27 82 886 6708 USEFUL LINKS • Department of Home Affairs • Department of International Relations • South Africa Travel Advice RELATED ARTICLES • SA passport made more secure • UK promise visa flexibility • Expats allowed to vote overseas Khanyi Magubane South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs has introduced an innovative new system that will help speed up the processing of identity documents (IDs).According to the Identification Act of 1997 all South African citizens aged 16 years and older are required to carry an ID book as a positive form of identification. A citizen cannot vote or do certain banking transactions without a valid ID.The department’s new system enables officials to scan photos of ID applicants on to a computerised system, which then prints the image directly on the document.This will save officials time, as they no longer have to manually stick an applicant’s photo on his or her new ID.Until now home affairs has only used the digital system to process new South African passports, as a means of meeting international standards.The system, known as live capture, is part of the department’s turnaround strategy, which involves a complete overhaul of document-processing methods.Some 20 home affairs offices in the country have now been fitted with live capture workstations. Each unit is valued at about R250 000 (US$31 000).The government plans to equip every home affairs office with such a workstation by the end of its turnaround drive in March 2011. The drive kicked off in April 2008.The live capture system is also able to digitally capture applicants’ signatures and fingerprints.This will dramatically reduce the department’s admin duties and mass of paperwork, as until now copies of all citizens’ fingerprints and ID photos have had to be manually collected and filed.The system is linked to the department’s headquarters in Pretoria, which means that once an ID applicant’s details have been logged at a regional home affairs’ office, it can instantly determine whether the applicant is on the South African Population Register.This will enable IDs to be processed at the home affairs office where the application is made, as opposed to forms being transported and processed in Pretoria and then returned to the regional office. Such a method will reduce the waiting time for a new ID.Moving to an online systemProblems with inaccuracy in the past have strengthened the department’s need to capture details electronically.For example there have been gender glitches where a male is erroneously registered as a female, or vice versa, and in some cases home affairs has declared a person dead when he or she is still very much alive.The new Minister of Home Affairs Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is adamant that the department needs to move in line with global standards. In many overseas countries citizens are able to apply for documents online.“It is very clear that home affairs does need to ensure we can capture data electronically,” she said, quoted in government’s online news publication Bua News.“Of course with the global economic situation we may not be able to move as fast as we would like, but we will be moving to greater online services,” she added.The minister said the goal is to digitise most of the work that’s currently done manually.“We would eventually want to move towards becoming a paperless department. This is our ultimate objective,” she said.But changing from the old to the new system has not been without glitches.In May 2009 home affairs offices in the process of changing over were beset by IT problems.At the time Home Affairs Director-General Mavuso-Msimang acknowledged that the temporary setback was an inconvenience to the public, but said the changeover was necessary.“Home affairs is moving from some very old technology to new, improved systems. It is the interfacing of these systems that has created some delays in the production of passports,” he said.“The technology upgrades are imperative to the department’s programme to improve service delivery and the security of the passport,” he added.Speeding up the processThe department is confident that it will be able to achieve a number of its goals by 2011.One of these is to reduce the time taken to issue valid documents such as birth, marriage and death certificates. In 2007 the process took between six and eight weeks. By 2011 the department hopes to issue the documents on the same day people apply for them.The time taken to grant temporary passports and other emergency travel documents such as diplomatic passports and crew member certificates – issued to airline pilots and cabin crew staff to facilitate travel –will also be reduced to one day by the end of 2009.Permanent and temporary citizenship certificates will take one month to issue by 2011, as opposed to the current six-month waiting period due to sluggish document processing.Part of the department’s strategy includes the 2009 launch of a campaign that will run for the next two years. Under this campaign the department will ensure that every child in South Africa up to the age of 14 has a birth certificate.Thousands of children born in deep rural areas in South Africa go without birth certificates because their parents are too far away from a home affairs office.The department’s turnaround strategy will also have a strong human resources component, as its ultimate success is dependent on well-trained, disciplined and competent staff.In the past this has not been the case.According to a strategy document issued by the department, “the current employees’ capacity in terms of numbers, competencies and utilisation are not at the levels required to meet service delivery demands”.“The department is also not able to attract and retain the critical skills it requires. It is thus important to be proactive in planning for future resources in line with service delivery requirements.”As a means of addressing these problems, the department’s human resources division is embracing a new leadership model.This entails an increased delegation of authority to line mangers, who will work directly with staff in processing documents and liaising with the public.The new model will go a long way in reducing tedious bureaucratic processes, as immediate managers will have the power to take decisions and resolve issues without having to consult a long line of senior staff.last_img read more

first_imgNew visa changes have been introduced to address concerns raised by tourists, South African travellers and stakeholders in the tourism sector regarding revisions to regulations introduced over the last year.(Image: Department of International Relations and Cooperation)Brand South Africa reporterThe announcement was made jointly on Friday, 23 October by the Tourism Ministry and Jeff Radebe, minister in the Presidency for planning, monitoring and evaluation.#SouthAfrica to relax visa rules for visitors from #India, #China and #Russia, after tourism industry suffers pic.twitter.com/PisULYvinF— CCTV Africa (@cctvnewsafrica) October 24, 2015New visa rules, that came into effect in October 2014, required visitors to apply for visas in person at South African embassies to record biometric information. There was also a rule for children under 18 years old travelling in and out of South Africa to produce an unabridged birth certificate at entry ports, which included detailed particulars of the mother and the father of the child.While it has been noted by the government that these requirements were necessary to safeguard the best interests of children and prevent child trafficking, a recent Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Immigration, spearheaded by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, has now made several recommendations to deal with the security consideration and the unintended consequences of the regulations on various sectors, including tourism and investment.“In respect of South African children (outbound travel), the IMC accepted the implementation of the current child-travel requirements, including the parental consent affidavits as these seek to protect children,” Radebe said at a media conference on Friday. The new amendments will be implemented over the next three months to a year.The amended allowances now require South African children travelling through South African borders to have their parents’ identification and citizenship details printed in their passports, doing away with the requirement to carry unabridged birth certificates on entry or exit.For school tours and other group tours including under-age children, entry and exit regulations now only require confirmation letters from the school principals or a similar authority, along with the amended passport requirements. This authority will also be extended to include registered sports bodies on tour.“In respect of inbound travellers (international visitors), the IMC took the position that where visas are required, provision of original birth certificates or certified copies of required documents should continue during the visa application process, as this is in line with practice in many other countries,” Radebe said.Travellers from visa-exempt countries travelling with children will be strongly advised to bring with them proof of the relation and consent from the absent parents or guardians.Concessions that will take effect within the next three months include allowing people in countries where no South African missions exist to post their application to enter the country to the Department of Home Affairs.Radebe said the Department of Home Affairs would implement the biometrics, including fingerprints and photos, at the pilot sites at OR Tambo, King Shaka and Cape Town international airports.Cape Town Tourism chief executive Enver Duminy said in a statement the tourism industry would benefit from the approved recommendations that travel agents be allowed to make visa applications on behalf of clients and that the birth certificate requirement for travelling minors would no longer include the word “abridged”.FAQs: Business Visa for South Africa Read more here: https://t.co/dOd8yWdnJu #SouthAfrica#Immigration#Visa pic.twitter.com/ewdWs5ELbj— Auswandern Sudafrika (@AuswanderungSA) October 26, 2015To aid investment by international companies into South Africa, the department will also introduce an Accredited Tourism Company (ATC) Programme for China, India and Russia, with possible extension to other visa requiring countries.Additionally, within the next three months to a year, the Department of Home Affairs will increase Visa Facilitation Centres (VFC) in China, India, United Kingdom, Nigeria Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda, while VFCs have been fast-tracked for November in Zimbabwe, UAE and Botswana.Corporate travel advisers Grant Thornton Advisory Services told News24 the changes would streamline visa requirements for foreign tourists to South Africa and would make it easier to obtain visas, thereby ensuring a much simpler process for travellers to the country.“These changes will most definitely assist in getting the tourism industry back on track,” said Lee-Anne Bac, Grant Thornton director.Travelling to SA soon? #SouthAfrica has revised its #visa rules. Check out the changes: https://t.co/d9OOEm7dVL pic.twitter.com/2NIbrUMIfQ— LelaMobile (@LelaMobile) October 26, 2015According to a Statistics South Africa report released in September 2015, the impact of the previous visa requirements had a sharp effect on tourists visiting South Africa. A comparison between June 2014 and June 2015 showed that, with the exception of France, the number of tourists decreased for all the other nine leading overseas countries. China had the largest decrease of 28.4% – from 5 823 tourists in June 2014 to 4 167 in June 2015.David Green, chief executive of the V&A Waterfront, said tourism had a powerful economic impact, and his group strongly supported the removal of any hurdles that impeded ease of travel to South Africa. “These recommendations can only bring about positive results for the industry.”Enver Mally, chairperson of Cape Town Tourism, said: “This is great news, just the kind of boost to our morale that we need as we enter the holiday season.”“We really have turned a corner”, says Tourism minister @Derek_Hanekom. https://t.co/CyI3nug2jz— 702 (@Radio702) October 26, 2015Here’s what you need to know about the changes to South Africa’s visa rules:In countries with no South African mission or embassy, Home Affairs will accept applications by registered mail, applicable to tourist and medical visitors only.These postal applications will then be finalised with the capture of traveller biometrics: finger prints and photos at selected port entries to South Africa – OR Tambo/Johannesburg, King Shaka/Durban and Cape Town international airports.South African children travelling out of the country will still be required to submit the current child-travel requirements, including parental consent affidavits as a means to protect the minors. These documents are valid for six months.Full details and identification and biometric information of parents will also be printed in the children’s passports; therefore they will not be required to carry the birth certificates. Home Affairs, however, does advise that this form of identification still be carried as an additional form of proof.For inbound travellers, proof of original birth certificates or certified copies will only be required during the application process, as this is in line with practice in many other countries.The South African government has agreed to amend the law that includes the term “unabridged birth certificate”, changing it to “birth certificate containing parental details”.Home Affairs is currently considering the possibility of issuing long-term multiple entry visas for frequent business travellers.The Department of Home Affairs said that “the mandate issued by government to the department is to put in place the necessary legal instruments to give effect to this decision. The status quo will remain until such time the [department] has provided a legal instrument for this category of travellers. In the meantime travellers are encouraged to comply.”Source: South African Government News AgencyWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

first_imgLATEST STORIES Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Four-time NBA MVP LeBron James said keeping Curry from a breakout game is imperative for the Cavs to have any chance at making the first comeback from a 3-0 deficit in NBA playoff history.“Our key is to limit certain guys,” James said. “You can’t take away everything from great players and Steph is one of those players. Just try to make it tough on him. He’s going to make shots. He’s going to make plays not only for himself but for his teammates. Just try to make it tough on him and you can live with the results.”Bringing defensive help against Curry leaves someone else open for a pass and scoring opportunity, Durant warned.“We got two on the ball, that means that somebody’s open,” Durant said. “Steph was doing a good job of taking on that double team and trying to find a pass and we just tried to make plays after that.”Lue says the Cavaliers have few options.“When he’s open, he’s going to make shots,” Lue said. “And when he’s playing free and you don’t bring physicality, he’s able to roam and do whatever he wants offensively. He’s one of the most dangerous guys in our league.”Warriors coach Steve Kerr said falling behind decisively early made it tough to free up shots for Curry.“They did a good job on him,” Kerr said. “Hardest thing is playing from behind. There are some things we can do to free him up and we’ll try that.”Curry would love to celebrate the title in front of home supporters by winning Monday.“It would be a great night to get it done,” Curry said. “We just got to play with more force, energy and just lock in defensively.” “When I have the ball in my hands, I’ve just got to be a little bit more aggressive than I was in game four, try to get in the paint, make plays, and not let them try to take me out of it,” Curry said.The Cavaliers would sometimes double-team Curry to ensure he found no rhythm while still containing Warriors star forward Kevin Durant and guard Klay Thompson.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“He’s dangerous so we just wanted to limit his shots, take the ball out of his hands,” Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said. “We did a good job of that in game four. We have to try to do it again.”Much of the work on that will fall to Cavs guard Kyrie Irving. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Bolick, San Beda ‘not satisfied’ with win over Nambatac-less Letran What ‘missteps’? WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage “It was definitely a conscious effort on my end to make sure that we limited Steph and Klay to just some tough shots,” Irving said.“They’re some special players, and they make some unbelievable plays. But you just have keep a body on them as much as possible and try to make their shots a little bit more difficult. We did a good job of that. Hopefully we can do that going forward.”Curry’s heroics in finals matchups against Cleveland the past two years have taught some valuable lessons.“He does a great job of just affecting the game on both ends of the floor so you just try to keep a body on him, understanding that he can get hot in a matter of a second,” Irving said. – ‘Make it tough on him’ –ADVERTISEMENT 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ CLEVELAND, OH – JUNE 09: Stephen Curry #30 and Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors look on in the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 4 of the 2017 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 9, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/AFPTwo-time NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry promises more aggressive play in Monday’s fifth game of the NBA Finals after being kept to half his playoff scoring average.The Golden State sharpshooter went 4-of-13 from the floor for only 14 points as the Warriors lost 137-116 at Cleveland in game four, still leaving Curry and his teammates ahead 3-1 in the best-of-seven title series.ADVERTISEMENT Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View commentslast_img read more

first_imgThe recently launched Mi A2 by Xiaomi is all set to go on sale in India today. This is the first ever time that the second Android One phone from Xiaomi will be available for buying, the first one being the Mi A1 which launched last year. The Xiaomi Mi A2 sale will kick off at 12 noon today on Amazon India store, Mi.com and also on offline channels like Mi Home and Mi Preferred Partner Store.The Xiaomi Mi A2 will be available with a starting price tag of Rs 16,999. This is for the 4GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage variant. At the launch last month, alongside the 4GB RAM model, Xiaomi also launched the 6GB RAM with 128GB storage model, but this variant will not be available for now. The company had said that the 6GB RAM will be coming soon. Xiaomi is yet to reveal the price of the 6GB RAM model of the Mi A12, but chances are it could be priced under Rs 20,000.During today’s sale, the Mi A2 will be available in four colours — Black, Gold, Lake Blue, and Rose Gold.The Xiaomi Mi A2 price in India starts from Rs. 16,999 for the 4GB RAM/ 64GB inbuilt storage variant. It will come with a soft case in the box. The 6GB RAM/ 128GB inbuilt storage variant was also launched, but, the smartphone will be coming soon, and no price has yet been revealed. It will be made available in Black, Gold, Lake Blue, and Rose Gold colour options.advertisementFor the sale, Xiaomi has partnered with Jio to offer data benefits to the buyers. The customers will get Rs 2,200 instant cashback and 4.5TB additional data.As far as the specs are concerned, the Mi A2 Android One phone sports a 5.99-inch FHD+ IPS LCD display with a 2160x1080p resolution. On the hardware front, the phone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processors, which also run phones like Vivo X21, Nokia 7 Plus, BlackBerry Key 2.ALSO READ: Xiaomi Mi A2 review: Two steps forward, two steps backOn the camera front, the Mi A2 comes with a 20-megapixel camera on the front paired with a soft LED flash. Additionally, the selfie camera uses AI for better portrait shots. On the rear panel, the Mi A2 comes with a primary camera of 12-megapixel Sony IMX 486 sensor, while the secondary camera includes another 20-megapixel Sony IMX 376 sensor. The rear camera setup comes paired with a dual LED flash. On the software front, the Mi A2 runs a stock version of Android 8.1 Oreo out-of-the-box. The smartphone is backed by a 3,000mAh battery and comes paired with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4.0 technology support.To know more about Mi A2, read our reviewlast_img read more

first_imgLondon, Dec 10 (AFP) England kept faith on Monday with the squad that delivered a Test whitewash in Sri Lanka, naming the same 16 players who finished that tour for the series against the West Indies.That means no place for Surrey’s Ollie Pope, who was initially selected for Sri Lanka but left early to get game time with the second-tier Lions side, and a reprieve for Kent’s Joe Denly.The uncapped 32-year-old was not required during the 3-0 win but will once again travel as batting cover for the three Tests, ahead of Pope and his overlooked county colleague Jason Roy.Wicketkeeper Ben Foakes was a late addition in Sri Lanka after an injury to Jonny Bairstow and takes his place as a first-choice pick after collecting man-of-the-series honours.The 15-man one-day squad also has a familiar look as the countdown to next summer’s World Cup continues.Left-armer David Willey returns and Mark Wood is included ahead of Olly Stone, who made his bow in Sri Lanka.Ben Stokes and Alex Hales have both been named in the ODI squad after a disciplinary hearing into their roles in a fight outside a Bristol nightclub in 2017, with all-rounder Stokes also in the Test squad.”Ben is obviously in all England formats and is one of our leading cricketers in this country,” national selector Ed Smith told Sky Sports.”Alex has been a central part of the white-ball team for a number of years. He’s currently missed out on selection at times but when he’s got his opportunities, he’s taken them.advertisement”So nothing has changed. They are available for selection, they have been selected and that’s the situation — that’s what is appropriate for me to consider as a selector.” England are due to play three Tests, five one-day internationals and three Twenty20 internationals on their tour of the West Indies, which starts next month.The T20 squad will be announced at a later date.Test squad: Joe Root (Yorkshire, capt), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Jimmy Anderson (Lancashire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Rory Burns (Surrey), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Sam Curran (Surrey), Joe Denly (Kent), Ben Foakes (Surrey), Keaton Jennings (Lancashire), Jack Leach (Somerset), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Olly Stone (Warwickshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire) One-day squad: Eoin Morgan (Middlesex, capt), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Tom Curran (Surrey), Joe Denly (Kent), Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire), Liam Plunkett (Surrey), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Jason Roy (Surrey), Ben Stokes (Durham), David Willey (Yorkshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Mark Wood (Durham). AFP BSBSlast_img read more

first_img A Labour Market Forum, to be hosted by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security on Wednesday (December 13), will seek to facilitate a robust discussion on access to employment opportunities for youth, the labour market needs and the existing skills gaps in the sector. Mrs. Robinson said the forum will look at the major job prospects for youngsters and how access can be improved; what the best practices are in addressing similar challenges in other jurisdictions; and the forging of partnerships. The issues highlighted by the National Labour Market Study include the recognition of a skills gap, lack of relevant work experience by jobseekers and lack of soft skills in the workplace, inclusive of behavioural and customer service skills. Story Highlights A Labour Market Forum, to be hosted by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security on Wednesday (December 13), will seek to facilitate a robust discussion on access to employment opportunities for youth, the labour market needs and the existing skills gaps in the sector.According to Portfolio Minister, Hon. Shahine Robinson, the forum will bring together academic professionals, employers and policymakers in a series of panel discussions looking to provide answers to a series of questions arising out of a labour market study completed in March this year.The issues highlighted by the National Labour Market Study include the recognition of a skills gap, lack of relevant work experience by jobseekers and lack of soft skills in the workplace, inclusive of behavioural and customer service skills.Mrs. Robinson said the forum will look at the major job prospects for youngsters and how access can be improved; what the best practices are in addressing similar challenges in other jurisdictions; and the forging of partnerships.“The major concerns remain in the questions to be addressed, such as… are young people finding decent work and what are the challenges; [as well as] how do we address the issue in relation to soft skills and work experience in the job market,” she said.The Study revealed that 80 per cent of employers are optimistic about business prospects, but also showed that there is uncertainty as to whether these expansions will create quality jobs and simultaneously close the skills gap.Mrs. Robinson said the Ministry aims to adequately address these issues through targeted collaboration with various stakeholders.Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Colette Roberts-Risden, said the insight to be gained from the Forum is critical to a range of stakeholders, particularly educational and training institutions, and youth contemplating an area of study.“Educational and training institutions need to know what the market needs, where the growth prospects in terms of employment are for the economy, so that they can play their role in training our people to meet the demands of the market,” she said.“The ideal is for us in Jamaica to generate and create jobs for people to be gainfully employed, reducing the unemployment rate, thereby leading to growth and a reduction of poverty in society,” Mrs. Roberts-Risden added.Funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Forum will be streamed live, and the public, particularly students, are being urged to participate. Persons are also invited to register for attendance online.The Forum will be held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel under the theme ‘Jamaican Employers and Educators, Working Together to Close the Skills Gap’.last_img read more