Fulham trail at the break to the Championship’s basement club but will be up against 10 men after Tony McMahon’s sending off.An error from Nikolay Bodurov allowed Ishmael Miller to net after just 90 seconds and the lively Blackpool forward set up debutant Jacob Murphy to double the visitors’ lead.In between the two goals, Bryan Ruiz guided a header just over the bar and Hugo Rodallega forced Blackpool keeper Joe Lewis into a good save.Fernando Amorebieta and Moussa Dembele, both back in the starting line-up, combined on 28 minutes but the striker put the Spanish defender’s cross into the side netting.With five minutes left to play in the first half, Blackpool had their captain dismissed when McMahon kicked out at Rodallega following a drop ball.Fulham replied before half-time when their skipper Scott Parker applied the finishing touch from Rodallega’s pass after Blackpool failed to clear a corner.Amorebieta, who had been very impressive at left-back, was replaced shortly before the goal as he limped off.Fulham (4-1-2-1-2): Bettinelli; Zverotic, Bodurov, Burn, Amorebieta (Stafylidis 42); Parker; Christensen, G. Williams; Ruiz; Dembele, Rodallega.Subs: Kiraly, Hutchinson, Roberts, Woodrow, Hyndman, Smith.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
The Los Angeles Lakers wanted Kawhi Leonard to join their team. After Leonard unexpectedly declined their offers to sign with the crosstown Clippers, the Lakers quickly shifted to their back-up plan. That entailed getting role players still left in a thinning free-agent market.Quinn Cook became one of those options Saturday, agreeing to a two-year, $6-million deal to join the Lakers, first reported by Yahoo! Sports. The Warriors had rescinded a $1.9-million qualifying offer to Cook on …
A powerful new documentary coming on January 11 investigates the rise in belief in space aliens, UFOs and abductions.Half of humans believe in alien life, reports Reuters about a new survey. Its not exactly clear how the pollsters would know about all humans, including those in remote tribes with no formal education, but here’s what they say about the results:Nearly half of humans believe in alien life and want to make contact, a survey in 24 countries has found, in what researchers said helps to explain the lasting popularity of the “Star Wars” franchise 40 years after the first movie was screened.On the eve of the release of “The Last Jedi”, researchers published findings that 47 percent of more than 26,000 respondents believe “in the existence of intelligent alien civilizations in the universe”.Only one-quarter of respondents said they do not believe intelligent life exists beyond earth. The highest rates of believers in aliens were in Russia, China and Mexico, at around 68%. By contrast, only 28% in Holland believe in space aliens. Many Americans, fed on a steady diet of alien encounters in the movies and scientific reports about the search for life (astrobiology) and intelligent beings (SETI), treat the actual discovery of space aliens as just a matter of time.Close EncountersA sizable fraction of believers in intelligent aliens aren’t waiting for a scientific discovery: they already “know” they have encountered them. These include a large number of people who have seen unidentified flying objects (UFOs). Roswell, New Mexico, is “ground zero” for the UFO craze, a very popular destination for millions of people (and a booming business for the small town). But this is no joke; UFOs have been reported by astronauts and fighter pilots and other reputable observers. The UFO phenomenon has attracted the attention of world leaders. Even more disturbing are the claims about alien abductions. The number who swear to have been taken up into alien spaceships and examined by alien doctors is quite astonishing, and many of them are intelligent, reasonable people. Clearly these people are not all crazy. They have experienced something. What on earth is going on?Gary Bates of Creation Ministries International (CMI) has studied this phenomenon in depth, resulting in his popular book, Alien Intrusion. He has also spoken to many groups on the subject of UFOs, abductions and the scientific and theological issues with space aliens. Now, CMI has produced a high-quality documentary called Alien Intrusion: Unmasking a Deception narrated by John Schneider that will appear in theaters one night only – January 11, 2018. Watch the trailer to get excited about this premiere!CEH has had a chance to preview the documentary and recommends it highly. If you know anyone who claims to have seen UFOs or has had “close encounters” of whatever kind, by all means encourage them to see this movie; bring them if you can. The film keeps your attention to the end. All aspects of the space alien phenomenon, from UFOs to abductions, are covered sensitively and thoroughly, with respectful interviews of those who claim to have been abducted. Leading UFOlogists and scientists also sharing their expertise. Our own contributing author Henry Richter appears in it as well, sharing his expertise on the physics of travel between the stars. The production quality is superb, with beautiful animations and space footage, and amazing historical documentation.Christians need to be aware of this phenomenon and how to respond to it; encourage your pastor to see it, and try to get your church to go as a group.You can buy your tickets now for the January 11 event. Visit AlienIntrusion.com to find a theater near you and buy your tickets in advance. Gary Bates and the other experts in film uncover what is going on in both the simple UFO reports and the most bizarre of the abduction claims. Like the webpage says, “The truth will surprise you.” (Visited 881 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Mo Ibrahim at the 6 October launch ofthe 2008 Ibrahim Index of AfricanGovernance, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.(Image: Mo Ibrahim Foundation)Mary AlexanderNearly two-thirds of sub-Saharan African countries are enjoying better governance, according to a new report by the Mo Ibrahim foundation. The 2008 Ibrahim Index of African Governance, published in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia yesterday, has given 31 of the region’s 48 countries a better score than that of the 2007 index.The index, produced by a team from Harvard University, assesses government performance in five broad categories: participation and human rights; rule of law; transparency and corruption; human development; and sustainable economic opportunity.Coming out top of the overall ranking was the island nation of Mauritius, with a score of 85.1 out of 100. Second was the Seychelles with 79.8, third Cape Verde with 74.7, fourth Botswana with 74, and South Africa came in fifth with 71.5.The country with the worst governance was Somalia, with an overall score of only 18.9 out of 100. It was joined at the bottom of the ranking by the Democratic Republic of Congo with 29.8, Chad (33.9), Sudan (34.2) and Angola (43.3).‘The real story coming out of Africa’The foundation was set up by Sudan-born entrepreneur Mo Ibrahim in 2006 to support great African leadership.“Obscured by many of the headlines of the past few months, the real story coming out of Africa is that governance performance across a large majority of African countries is improving,” Ibrahim said at yesterday’s launch.“I hope that these results will be used as a tool by Africa’s citizens to hold their governments to account, and stimulate debate about the performance of those who govern in their name.”Apart from producing the index, which was first published in September 2007, the Ibrahim Foundation also confers the Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, which at US5-million is the largest annual prize in the world.A selection panel headed by former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan awards the prize to a retired African head of state who demonstrated excellence in leadership during their time in office. In October 2007 the inaugural prize went to former Mozambique president Joaquim Chissano.The 2008 Ibrahim Index is based on data from 2006, the last year with reasonably complete data available for sub-Saharan countries.“A time lag in indices of this nature is standard practice,” the foundation said in a statement. “This is mainly due to problems with data collection and availability. The Ibrahim Index, with its two-year time lag, is more up-to-date than many other indices.” The 2007 index was produced from 2005 data.Human rights and developmentIn the participation and human rights category, which assesses participation in elections and respect for civil and political rights, 28 sub-Saharan countries improved their scores from 2005 to 2006.“Many of these have demonstrated improved participation in elections generally deemed free and fair by international observers,” the foundation said. “However, many issues remain across the continent in this area, particularly with regard to women’s rights.”Eighteen countries regressed, while only two remained the same. The countries showing the greatest respect for democracy and freedom were Mauritius, with a score of 92.2, Liberia (87.9), Botswana (87.4), South Africa (86.3) and Sao Tome and Principe (83.4).Liberia also saw the greatest improvement, jumping 48.9 points from its 2005 score of 39. Mauritania lost the most ground in participation and human rights, falling 29.6 points from 60.4 in 2005 to 30.8 in 2006.The category which saw the greatest improvement overall was human development, which looks at rates of poverty, health, sanitation and education. Here 35 countries improved from 2005 to 2006, while only six worsened and seven remained the same.Mauritius again came out at the top, with a human development score of 89.9. It was followed by the Seychelles (88.4), South Africa (68.7), Botswana (68) and Gabon (67.8).Economic opportunitySub-Saharan Africa’s next best performance was in the sustainable economic opportunity category, in which 34 countries improved their scores and 11 lost ground. The category looks at economic growth in the context of environmental sustainability, and includes the subcategories of wealth creation, macroeconomic stability and financial integrity, the arteries of commerce, and environmental sensitivity.In the arteries of commerce section, the foundation found that, “Nearly all countries have recorded progress in generating access to technology, with 40 countries improving their scores for internet usage and 44 countries improving their scores for phone subscribers.”The top scorers for economic opportunity were Mauritius (71.4), the Seychelles (70), South Africa (63.5), Gabon (61.6) and Botswana (58.2).Rule of law and safetyTwenty-four countries improved their scores in the rule of law, transparency and corruption category, while 19 regressed and only three remained unchanged. This category looks at the ratification of critical legal norms, judicial independence and efficiency, and corruption.The countries best upholding the rule of law were Cape Verde (86.1), Botswana (81.6), Mauritius (80.5), the Seychelles (80.4) and South Africa (78.1).South Africa’s worst performance was in the category of safety and security, coming in at 42nd out of 48 countries. This category, which looks at national security and public safety, also saw the slowest progress overall, with only 13 countries showing improvement from 2005 to 2006, 10 regressing, and 25 remaining the same.The safest and most secure sub-Saharan African countries in 2006 were Cape Verde (100), Gabon (100), Sao Tome and Principe (100), Rwanda (98.4) and the Comoros (94.4).Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected] articlesAfrica: fast factsAngola heads for democracy Useful linksMo Ibrahim FoundationAfrican UnionKennedy School of Government, Harvard University
The population of African penguins has dwindled drastically over the past three decades, mostly as a result of human activity. Now humans are stepping in to try to save them from extinction. BirdLife South Africa plans to build a new colony for the animals. African penguins are an endangered species and its quickly heading towards extinction. To prevent them from dying out, BirdLife South Africa is looking to build a new colony that will allow them to breed while being safe from harm. BirdLife is looking to the public for aid to establish the colony. Pictured here is an injured penguin. (Image: Grant Peters, Flickr) Shamin ChibbaIn 2001, there were 56 000 pairs of African penguins in South Africa. By 2014, there were just 19 000 pairs. This drastic decline has prompted BirdLife South Africa to try something it has never done before to prevent the penguin from going extinct.Led by Christina Hagen, the Pamela Isdell Fellow of Penguin Conservation at BirdLife South Africa, the organisation wants to establish a new African penguin colony that will help to increase its numbers.The challenge to save the African penguin from extinction is proving to be massive, according to BirdLife South Africa chief executive Mark Anderson. “The penguins need all the help they can get. Establishing new mainland colonies are immensely important management interventions.”If you want to keep the African penguin a part of South Africa’s heritage, donate to the project at Experiment.com.Two major populations of the birds remain, made up of numerous colonies in Western Cape between West Coast National Park and Gansbaai, and of colonies in Algoa Bay, Eastern Cape. The problem for conservationists is the 600km gap between the two populations.Hagen said penguins bred more successfully on islands, where there were no terrestrial predators. But because there was no island between Gansbaai and Port Elizabeth, the gap remained. It was for this reason the new colony would have to be built on the mainland. WATCH: BirdLife South Africa looking to establish a new African penguin colonyBirdLife South Africa was still assessing suitable areas to establish the colony. For now, the choice was between De Hoop in Overberg and Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route, she said.The choice of location will be based on whether there is an abundance of sardines and anchovies in the area; the fish are the penguins’ two main sources of food. “Our overriding concern is that they should be in a location where there are enough sardines and anchovies in the sea,” said Hagen. “The Western Cape sardine stock is shifting eastwards which is why we are looking in those areas.”Besides having enough fish to feed on, there are numerous other factors that determine the perfect location for penguins. Hagen said the land had to be good enough for penguins to burrow and make a nest, the area must make it easy to protect the birds from predators such as caracals, leopards and mongooses, and it should not be too close to sources of pollution such as oil.BirdLife South Africa wants to relocate specific birds to the new colony. “We’ll be using young birds that have fledged and are ready to go to sea but haven’t bred yet,” said Hagen.It will also relocate chicks that have been abandoned. The area will be monitored remotely and be fenced so that predators and people cannot interfere with the birds. Two African penguin populations currently exist in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape. BirdLife South Africa is looking to establish a colony between the two colonies.(Image: BirdLife South Africa)Effects of human activityIn 2010, the African penguin was listed as endangered by BirdLife International, meaning that it had decreased by over 50% in three penguin generations, or approximately 30 years. The decline is expected to continue.The drop in population is largely driven by human activity, according to BirdLife. “First egg-collecting and guano-scraping caused enormous losses. Then overfishing in the 1960s continued to cause decreases.”The biggest concern is a lack of food. Penguins eat mainly sardines and anchovies, which are also the target of the commercial purse seine fishing industry. A purse seine is a large wall of netting that encircles an entire area or school of fish. On average, large purse seine vessels can catch up to 20 tons of fish a day, says the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, with some vessels able to haul more.Today, some penguin colonies have been so drastically reduced that they are now vulnerable to minor events, such as seals preying on adults, gulls taking eggs, or extreme weather causing breeding failure.The project will also help BirdLife South Africa figure out techniques to build future colonies for penguins and other bird species. It will additionally help penguin populations spread across the western and southern coast of South Africa. African penguins prey on sardines and anchovies, but the number of fish available to the birds are dwindling due to their shift eastward and over fishing. This particular penguin was spotted at Boulders Beach near Cape Town. (Image: Nick Perretti, Flickr)More can be doneHagen said there were continuing attempts to stop the decline but BirdLife South Africa felt more needed to be done. These included attempts to increase recruitment by maintaining and improving nesting habitat, and captive rearing and releasing of orphaned wild chicks.Attempts to decrease mortality include eradicating invasive predators, reducing predation by natural predators around colonies such as seals, rehabilitation and release of oiled and injured penguins, disease control, and changing fishing patterns.Building a new colony is the most drastic step taken so far. “Trying to create a colony is a big step and it hasn’t been done before so people are a bit hesitant to try it,” said Hagen. “But we are working with a number of organisations, including the Nature’s Valley Trust and the African Penguin Population Reinforcement Working Group to help make it happen.”WATCH: AZA SAFE short documentary on the African penguinSardines and anchovies migratingAfrican penguins were a good indicator species for the health of the ecosystem, she added. Their falling numbers meant changes were taking place in the sea.Since the mid-1990s, sardines and anchovies have been moving east to the Agulhas area and the south coast, making it difficult for the birds to reach their prey. “Breeding penguins can’t travel far from their colony to find food as they have to return to feed their chicks. So they can’t go further than 20 or 30 kilometres from their breeding ground.”Hagen believes climate change has forced sardines and anchovies to move. “The change in temperature is thought to have shifted the fish because other species have also shifted.”Additionally, high pressure from fishing on the west coast could have played a role in the fish moving east.Despite the shift, BirdLife South Africa said the two colonies on the south coast, which supposedly should have benefited, had continued to dwindle.Fun facts about the African penguinHeight: approximately 60cm tallWeight: between 2.4 and 3.6 kgsLifespan: about 10 yearsHabitat: Within 40km of the coast, preferring rocky offshore islandsBreeding: Usually breeds for the first time between 4 and 6 years of ageBreeding season: Between March and May in South Africa and November and December in NamibiaMoulting: Between 13 and 40 days. Occurs between November and January in South Africa and April and May in NamibiaChicks: Once hatched, the parents will take it in turns to guard and feed the chicks until they are about 30 days old. Thereafter chicks are left alone in crèches. When they are between 60-130 days old they develop juvenile plumage and are able to venture into the ocean and leave the colony.Each African Penguin has a different pattern of black spots on its white chest and belly, which observers use to identify individual animals.They were previously called Jackass Penguins, due to their call that sounded like the braying of a donkey. The name was changed to African Penguin due to other species of penguin making similar sounds, and in addition to that, S. demersus is the only species of penguin on the African continent.Predators looking down from above struggle to see their black backs against the dark ocean. Predators looking up from the water struggle to see their white bellies against the sky – therefore these animals are almost perfectly camouflaged from predators while swimming.Their name Spheniscus demersus is derived from the Greek word spen, meaning wedge, as a reflection of their shape when swimming. Demersus is a Latin word, meaning plunging.The pink markings above their eyes are glands. When the penguin gets hot, more blood rushes to the glands to be cooled down.– Penguin facts courtesy of BirdLife South Africa.
5 July 2013Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula honoured Springbok star Bryan Habana on Thursday for his feat of becoming the first man to score 50 test tries in the green and gold.Habana reached the milestone two weekends ago when he scored twice against Samoa in the Castle Lager Incoming Series decider at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria, which South Africa impressively won 56-23.“Since making his Springbok debut in 2004, Bryan has been an inspiration on and off the field, and it is very well-deserved that his name will forever live in the annals of the game as the first Springbok to reach this special milestone,” South African Rugby Union president Oregan Hoskins said at the time.DonationDuring an event held in Johannesburg on Thursday to launch the Nelson Mandela Sports Day, Habana received a special trophy and R50 000 from the Department of Sports and Recreation. He donated the money to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.“I feel privileged to be honoured in this manner by our minister of sport,” the flying winger said.“However, I think it’s only appropriate that I share the accolades with my team- mates, without whom I would not have been able to score any tries. To get one try for the Springboks was amazing. To reach 50 is almost unreal.”‘Madiba did so much for us’Commenting on his donation, he added: “Madiba did so much for our wonderful country, and this donation is just a small gesture to help his legacy live on forever.“We all know how close children have always been to his heart, and I think the building of this new hospital will ensure the world will forever know what Nelson Mandela was all about.”Habana scored on his test debut against England at Twickenham in 2004 and has gone on to become only the sixth player in test history to score 50 Test tries.Top test try scorersJapan’s Daisuke Ohata tops the list with 69 five-pointers in 58 tests. Australia’s David Campese scored 64 tries in 101 tests, Shane Williams scored 60 tries in 91 tests for Wales and the British and Irish Lions, Hirotoki Onozawa of Japan scored 55 tries in 80 tests, and Rory Underwood scored 50 tries in 91 tests for England and the Lions.Habana was named the IRB’s World Player of the Year in 2007 after South Africa lifted the Rugby World Cup, during which he equalled Jomo Lomo’s World Cup finals record of eight tries in the tournament.He is also a three-time South African Rugby Player of the Year, having received the accolade in 2005, 2007 and 2012.