Russell fires KKR to victory

first_img Maxwell and Wriddhiman Saha (24) put on 40 for the fourth wicket and added a further 67 for the fifth wicket with David Miller (13). However, Maxwell fell in the 16th over with 45 runs needed from 27 balls and Russell returned in the 18th over to remove the dangerous Miller and swing the advantage KKR’s way. In the final over, Russell ran out Axar Patel for 21 after Gurkeerat Singh drove the second delivery back to him and he turned and hit the stumps, with the batsmen at the non-striker backing up too far. Gurkeerat Singh was then run out off the next delivery, attempting a second run to the deep, and Russell picked up his fourth wicket when he trapped Swapnil Singh lbw with a full length delivery, to the first ball he faced. ADDING ON RUNS KOLKATA, India (CMC): Irrepressible West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell played a small cameo with the bat, grabbed four wickets and bowled a remarkable final over as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) shot to the top of the Indian Premier League (IPL) with a tense seven-run victory over Kings XI Punjab here yesterday. The Jamaican lashed 16 from 10 balls at the death as KKR rallied to 164 for three off their 20 overs, after they were sent in at Eden Gardens. KKR were propelled though by openers Robin Uthappa, who stroked 70, and Gautam Gambhir, who gathered 54. In reply, Kings XI’s run chase was crippled by pacer Russell’s opening burst, which reduced them to 13 for three in the fourth over; and despite Australian Glenn Maxwell’s superb top score of 68, the visitors could only reach 157 for nine. Kings XI required 12 runs from the final over but Russell, voted Man of the Match, proved outstanding in conceding just four runs, effecting a run out and grabbing another wicket to finish with four for 20 from his four overs. With the victory, KKR joined new boys Gujarat Lions on 12 points, but topped the standings courtesy of a superior net run rate. Uthappa lashed six fours and two sixes off 49 balls in posting 101 off 81 deliveries for the first wicket with Gambhir, before adding 36 for the second wicket with Yusuf Pathan, who finished on 19 not out. Russell arrived in the 17th over to help give KKR a flourish at the end, belting a four and a six in putting on 27 for the third wicket, before falling to the final delivery of the innings. The 28-year-old then gave KKR a fine start, claiming Marcus Stoinis without scoring off the fourth ball of the innings, with a single run on the board. In his next over, Russell had Manan Vohra caught at deep backward square without scoring as Kings XI tumbled at the top.last_img read more

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Orchids: Epitome of Plant Evolution

first_img“Orchids might be considered the epitome of plant evolution,” said David Roberts [Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew] and Kingsley Dixon [Kings Park and Botanic Garden, Australia] in a primer on orchids in Current Biology.1  Yet some of the facts they shared about these amazingly diverse and well-adapted plants are puzzling for evolutionary theory.    First, the superlatives.  “The Orchidaceae comprise over 850 genera and 25,000 species, representing about 10% of the world’s flowering plants and the largest family in species number.”  Darwin, who delighted in the study of orchids and wrote a book on them in 1862, estimated that the entire globe could be carpeted with orchids in three generations if all their offspring lived.  Orchids produce multitudes of tiny seeds that can drift long distances.  Their habitats are extremely varied.  Some survive in deserts, many in the tropics, and some without soil (epiphytes).  Some no longer photosynthesize, relying on their hosts for nutrients.  One species even lives its entire life underground.    Orchids maintain remarkable symbioses with pollinators.  Some reward their pollinators with nectar; but, like fisherman, a third of species “deceive” pollinators with lures but no reward.  The article shows a picture of one species that has a structure on its flower that looks like the female of a wasp.  When the male lands on it, a trigger flips him onto his back, dusting the flower’s pistil with the pollen he has collected.  Orchids also have complex dependencies on fungi and on other plants.  The diversity of sizes, shapes, lifestyles and relationships among this group of plants is remarkable.    Since the diversity in this plant group affords many opportunities to study evolution, one might think a great deal is known about it.  Roberts and Dixon mentioned some difficulties, however:Missing branch on the family tree:  “The relationship of the Orchidaceae to other monocotyledons is poorly resolved,” they said.  Monocots are one of the major groups of flowering plants.The plant without a country:  “Equally confused is the geographical origin of the family.”Fossily paucity:  “To date the only unequivocal orchid fossil that has been found is the recently described orchid pollinia on the back of a bee trapped in amber,” said to be 76-84 million years old – but that may be dated assumptions about when bees evolved.The unfit:  “Orchids might be considered the epitome of plant evolution,” they said, “but sadly they are among the most threatened of all flowering plants” – a puzzling predicament for organisms that one would think possess the epitome of fitness.Profusion of confusion:  The authors said that “Numerous hypotheses have been put forward to explain why orchids should have such high levels of deception.”  This suggests that Darwinian theory provides no easy explanation of this phenomenon.In short, “While much still remains to be learnt within orchid biology, there is now a mass of literature on their pollination biology and phylogenetic relationship,” they ended.  This volume of literature does not necessarily track with evolutionary explanatory power: “However, much of this has been the description of patterns; what is now needed are studies into the processes that drive diversification in this most remarkable of flowering plant families.”  Sounds like what is needed is work on the “origin of species,” if you’ll pardon Darwin’s expression (that is, his facial one).1.  David L. Roberts and Kingsley W. Dixon, “Primer: Orchids,” Current Biology, Volume 18, Issue 8, 22 April 2008, pages R325-R329, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2008.02.026.Much of the variation among these remarkably diverse and complex plants fits with horizontal diversification – i.e., segregation of existing information among populations that become more specialized.  Some of the variation is due to loss of function.  The authors did not provide any clear case of new genetic information arising from nowhere.  What Darwin needs to explain is the origin of orchids.  That relationship to other plants, they admitted, is “poorly resolved.”  Equally unresolved is the origin of a new kind of flowering plant.  They are all still orchids.    Here was a natural testbed for evolutionary theory.  Variation within the kind is not the issue.  Some of the theories behind the observed variations (genetic drift, variable reproductive success, arms races leading to exaggeration of characters, founder events) fit within microevolutionary change.  Darwin himself studied orchids with a passion after writing The Origin, and called the origin of flowering plants an “abominable mystery.”  Here we are 146 years later with evolutionists still moaning there is “much still remains to be learnt”.  As far as observational science is concernt, Darwin has been spurnt, and the court is now adjournt.(Visited 31 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Positive regional growth by 2010: IMF

first_img“We expect growth in sub-Saharan Africa to rise to four percent in 2010 and five percent in 2011,” IMF African department director Antoinette Monsio Sayeh said in Washington DC this week. Sayeh noted, however, that there were significant downside risks, to which, wherever possible, the IMF would remain supportive until economic recovery was well-established. According to the IMF, the fiscal balance – including grants – for the region as a whole has swung from a surplus of just over 1.25% of GDP in 2008 to an expected deficit of 4.75% in 2009. Prudent economic policies “As the recovery gains strength, the emphasis of fiscal policy will need to shift from stabilisation to medium-term considerations, including debt sustainability. “In many countries the prudent macroeconomic policies pursued in recent years have provided some policy space to counter the effects of the slowdown. “Accordingly, most countries have been able to maintain or even raise public spending, allowing fiscal deficits to widen temporarily. Where possible, monetary policy has also played a supportive role,” she said. New IMF commitments to sub-Saharan Africa had reached over US$3-billion so far this year, compared to some $1.1-billion for the whole of 2008 and only $0.1-billion in 2007, she said. “Looking ahead, it will be critical that other development partners support this effort and those of other international financial institutions.” 7 October 2009 “This contrasts with the much more limited increase in deficits observed in past global slowdowns, not only because the output shocks were smaller but also most likely because in previous downturns high initial deficits, often accompanied by high debt, limited room for manoeuvre,” the report noted.center_img “In countries with binding financing constraints, the room for fiscal policy is more limited and the primary focus will need to remain on reducing macroeconomic imbalances.” Financial sectors have been for the most part resilient, but prudential supervision will need to remain vigilant in the face of the impact of the economic slowdown on the quality of banks’ portfolios, the report noted. Commenting on the main findings of the IMF’s 2009 Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa, Sayeh noted that many of the regional member states were hard hit by the crisis, reducing economic growth to just one percent in 2009 after a period of sustained high economic growth. Sayeh said oil exporters and middle income countries in the region have been particularly badly affected, while most low-income countries somewhat less so, adding that in most countries, however, the crisis will likely slow, if not reverse, progress on poverty reduction. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects a positive recovery in sub-Saharan Africa, despite the negative effects of the global economic crisis. Sayeh said that scaled-up financial support from the IMF has supported countries’ policy response, saying the doubling of lending limits and more flexible policies had facilitated a rapid response to countries’ needs. Increased IMF commitment Downside risks remain Source: BuaNews-NNNlast_img read more

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‘Don’t look away: act against abuse’

first_img24 November 2010Speaking ahead of the launch of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign, the minister responsible for women and children has urged South Africans to do more to reverse the scourge of domestic violence in the country.Briefing journalists in Cape Town on Tuesday, Minister of Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana said her department was concerned over the increase of contact crimes against women and children.The number of cases of attempted murder against children – most of them aged between 15 and 17 years old – had increased from 782 to 1 113, while cases of murder of children had risen from 843 to 965 from 2009 to 2010.“In addition, child welfare organisations are reporting an increase in the number of abandoned children, including here in the City of Cape Town,” she said.She said her department was in the process of conducting a study looking at why certain people murdered children, by questioning inmates in prison sentenced for such crimes.The 16 Days of Activism Campaign, an international initiative endorsed by the UN, runs from 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, through to International Human Rights Day on 10 December.‘Don’t Look Away’This year’s campaign, themed “Don’t Look Away, Act Against Abuse”, will be launched by President Jacob Zuma at OR Tambo Hall in Khayelitsha, Cape Town on Thursday.The launch will focus on the effects that alcohol and drugs have on abuse against women and children.Xingwana said that according to the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) Tracker Survey, released last year, the 16 Days initiative was the second most well known government event after the State of the Nation Address.The survey also revealed that awareness of the campaign in rural areas had risen from 9 percent in 2003 to 33 percent last year.Rights of childrenXingwana said that as part of the campaign, her department would be organising a meeting of children’s rights organisations to look into the rights that are afforded to children through various pieces of legislation.She said the process had become even more urgent following the incident at Jules High School in Johannesburg, where a girl was filmed allegedly having sex with two boys.The department is also concerned that there may still be people in possession of cellphone video clips recorded during the incident. “That video clip constitutes child pornography, and production and/or possession of child pornography is illegal,” Xingwana said.Forced marriagesThe minister said the department had also received increased reports about forced marriages involving children, under the age of 16, which was statutory rape.She said parents often actively took part in arranging these weddings, as they stood to benefit from the lobola when such a wedding took place, adding that she had worked with the district mayor in Eastern Cape’s OR Tambo District, where it was very common.The department also planned to visit the province on this issue, but Xingwana added that the Office of the Premier in the Eastern Cape was running workshops with traditional and religious leaders to tackle the issue.‘Witches’ and widowsThe department was also looking at the issue of witchcraft, which she said was a “backward cultural practice” that often saw old women being targeted as witches and killed.She said the department was also working with non-governmental organisations and other departments on the rights of widows, as some widows lost their rights in the community and had their property confiscated when their husbands died.Preventative strategies neededColleen Morna, executive director of Gender Links, said there was a need to develop more preventative rather than reactive strategies for combating abuse against women and children.She said the country also needed to set up a structure for addressing gender violence which brought together business, civil society and government, similar to the South African National Aids Council.Morna said civil society would be involved with various events during the campaign and emphasised that a big focus would be on women speaking out on violence.Gender Links has also arranged for men who are ex-perpetrators of violence against women to speak out during the campaign.Gender Violence Prevalence StudyThe preliminary results from Gender Links’ Gauteng Gender Violence Prevalence Study found that 51 percent of women in Gauteng experienced violence in their lives and 18 percent had experienced violence in the last 12 months.“Even more shocking is the fact that 78 percent of men in the province admitted to perpetrating those crimes women said they were experiencing,” Morna said.She said 33 percent of women in the survey reported having experienced physical violence, with 25 percent having experienced sexual violence.According to the survey, only one in 25 of rapes had been reported to the police.Women in prisonAlso speaking at the briefing, Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said the past decade had seen a significant increase in the number of women in prison in the country, with many of them jailed for killing their spouses after finding themselves trapped in abusive relationships.She said that about 2 percent of inmates were currently women.The department had commissioned the SABC’s Special Assignment to do a series on women who find themselves in conflict with the law after experiencing abusive relationships, with the first episode to air on 23 November.Mapisa-Nqakula said the message was not to wait until it was too late. “It is better to leave an abusive relationship or marriage than to stay until you are killed or until you kill your partner and end up in prison”.She pointed out that many female prison officials continued to work under dangerous conditions, and said the department would also be increasing awareness among both officials and offenders about gender violence.The minister said her department had taken a decision to create dedicated correctional facilities for women, and that any new prison would have to have dedicated sections for women.“Our new generation facilities in Kimberley, as well as two public-private partnership model facilities, are populated with men, while women remain in old dilapidated facilities, at times with very little service,” she said.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

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CRM: Oracle beats out Salesforce and Microsoft for CSCC-CRM

first_imgGartner announced the results of their CSCC-CRM rankings.  Oracle-Siebel software is positioned as the only entry in Gartner’s upper right ‘Magic Quadrant’ for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Customer Service Contact Center.  Siebel beat out close contenders Salesforce and Microsoft.The products in the study aren’t to be confused with standard CRM offerings.  CSCC-CRM is a specific slice of the CRM market that targets the handling of customer service relative to post sales interactions as delivered from a call center.Gartner notes that there is no vendor that provides a business process platform for the customer service contact center, although the Salesforce.com ecosystem is a concept that may eventually be able to enable that.Low/volume call/contact centers are already predominantly offered as SaaS.  But it will be much longer before the SaaS model will be adopted by higher-volume more-complex environments.  Gartner sees less than 10% of complex environments will be offered as SaaS through 2011, but by 2013 that number will jump to 75%.last_img read more

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Mike Gundy Puts His Trust in the Hands of Two Freshmen (Literally)

first_imgIf you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers! Here is a quote from special teams coach Robby Discher on how Mike Gundy feels about OSU’s special teams.“The best thing we do is that coach Gundy puts a big emphasis on special teams and we spend a lot of time on it,” Discher told Go Pokes. “I would say we spend more practice and meeting time than most teams in the country.“He is in every meeting and if I leave something out or he wants to say something he gets up and says it and he coaches hard on special teams. Guys see that and they buy in because when it is important to the head coach then it is important to the players.”So we are working from a thesis that says Mike Gundy takes special teams very seriously. That’s why I was surprised on Thursday when he put two true freshmen at the top of the depth chart in the return game (Jalen McCleskey returning punts, Jeff Carr returning kicks). That’s not something Gundy usually does.As Bill Haisten pointed out in the Tulsa World, this is uncharted territory.That would be a first for a Gundy team – to have two first-year freshmen involved in the return game.Gundy has sent freshmen out before on kick returns (Perrish Cox and Justin Gilbert come to mind — speaking of Gilbert, let’s take a second and remember his first return for a TD).OK, we good?Gundy sort of previewed this last week when talking about McCleskey. “He’s just making plays and we’re hoping he can help us on special teams. When guys come in and compete and earn the right to play, we’re going to put them in there.”But I didn’t think he’d so willingly place his return game in their hands. It’s all about trust, though, and Gundy has a lot of it when it comes to Carr and McCleskey.“Not only have they shown signs athletically of being able to maybe perform for us at this level but they’ve done very well, they’re great kids.” said Gundy on Thursday. “We don’t ever hear anything from them. With McCleskey and Carr, they’re a lot like Kendall Hunter. I don’t think I’ve ever heard them talk except when I ask them a question. I never hear them say anything. It’s very pleasant to be around young men who are willing to go out and work hard and be a team player.”We looked at how slithery Carr can be yesterday. McCleskey is no different. He’s tiny, but he’s talented. And he’ll get a chance to shine on the big stage in six days.last_img read more

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