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Dance Team wins Ireland championship

first_imgThe Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame’s Irish Dance team was victorious over the weekend in their competition held in Killarney, Ireland.The group, comprised of eight women — five from Saint Mary’s and three from Notre Dame — took first place during the All-Ireland Dance Championships, competing in the Ceili Club Competition Feb. 21. The team is coached by Deirdre Robinett, a senior at Saint Mary’s who won the 2009 World Irish Dancing Championships, and Katie Grennan, a senior at Notre Dame.This was the group’s first time at this event, said Caitlin O’Brien, a Saint Mary’s senior on the team.O’Brien said even though this was the team’s first time competing together at the international level, all of the girls have competed at the national level before individually. Mary Miller, a Saint Mary’s junior on the team, said it was nice to finally come together with her former opponents to compete.“It was just so exciting competing with all my Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame friends,” Miller said. “We all went to different dance schools and competed against each other when we were younger, and it was awesome for all of us to compete on the same team years later in Ireland.”O’Brien said each competing team performs two choreographed dances, which are judged by a panel of five judges.“In this particular competition, the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s Ceili was the only American team and also the only college team to participate,” O’Brien said.She said the team hoped to represent the Irish background of both the University and the College.“Because the team is comprised of both Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame students, we hoped that attending the All-Ireland Dance Championships would bring further recognition to the strong Irish heritage that is prominent between the two campuses,” O’Brien said.She said she hopes this victory will bring more attention to the club on the two campuses, like the recognition they have gained in the Irish dancing community.“We also hoped that beginning this tradition would help to provide great recognition to a club that is very much involved with activities between the Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame community,” O’Brien said.O’Brien said the team wants to make the All-Ireland competition a tradition in the years to come.“We hope that our success at the competition has laid a strong foundation for future teams to be sent on behalf of Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame,” she said.The entire dance team at Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame is actually made up of more than 50 dancers, and is “one of the largest and highest quality teams in the country,” O’Brien.The decision to participate in the competition was “made to further perpetuate the growth and improvements that the team has been experiencing since its inception in 2000,” O’Brien said.last_img read more

Smart as a tree

first_imgBy Kim D. CoderUniversity of GeorgiaAre black mulberry trees smarter than people? You’ve probably metsome people you have suspicions about.Many people think humans are the most complex creatures on Earth.And we are complex. We carry around a huge amount of geneticmatter that tells our bodies what to do and how to do it.But we don’t even come close to a tree like the black mulberry.Trees are smart. They’ve developed defenses to competition andpests, adjusted to stress and modified growth because of changingenvironments.All the while, trees are stuck in one place. They can’t get outof the way of damaging agents or move to better sites. Trees mustfigure out how to survive and make it on their own without moving.CopingTo do this, they carry responses in their genes for everyenvironmental event they may encounter. As its world changes, atree reads its genetic material to see how to respond. It reactsto changes through predetermined responses recorded in its genes.Tree genes, like animal genes, are a part of larger units calledchromosomes. As animals or plants reproduce, the chromosomes areshared or traded. The chromosomes contain the genes that allowliving creatures to respond to their environments.People have one set of 46 chromosomes matched in 23 pairs. Treescan have many more or fewer chromosomes in their cells.Three genetically simple trees are the redbud, red alder andriver birch. They have 12, 14 and 14 chromosomes, respectively.If chromosome number is a gauge of complexity, these trees aremuch less complex than people.WhoaOther trees, though, like American basswood (82 chromosomes),white ash (138) and silver maple (78), could be considered muchmore complex than people. Green ash and the fringe tree each have46 chromosomes, just as people do.Of course, counting just the number of chromosomes doesn’t tellthe whole story.In people, each of the 23 chromosome pairs is unique. Each cellhas only one copy of each pair. Trees may have many sets of thesame chromosome pairs.For example, southern magnolia has three complete sets ofchromosome pairs in each cell. Sassafras (two sets), redwood(three), weeping willow (two) and black gum (two) all have morethan one set of chromosome pairs.Some tree species have different races in which each has adifferent number of chromosome pairs. Yellow birch and red maplecan each be found with two, three or four chromosome sets. Yetall members of each species look similar.Most of our conifers are fairly simple, with 22 to 24chromosomes. Pines have one set of 12 chromosome pairs, as dospruce, fir and hemlock. Ginkgo also has 24 chromosomes, likepine. Giant sequoia can have 44 chromosomes.Finally, though, the black mulberry — are you ready for this? –has 308 chromosomes in 11 complete sets.Does this mean the black mulberry is better prepared for itsenvironment or smarter than people? Judge for yourself.(Kim Coder is a professor in the University of Georgia’sWarnell School of Forest Resources.)last_img read more

UN To Reduce Haiti Mission, Peacekeepers At Record High

first_imgBy Dialogo October 17, 2011 The United Nations aims to cut back its peacekeeping force in Haiti this year as the number of blue-helmet troops around the world hits a record of more than 120,000, officials indicated on October 13. The new head of UN peacekeeping, Herve Ladsous, said cutback was not linked to the sexual assault and cholera scandals that have hit the Haiti mission, known as MINUSTAH, this year. The UN Security Council is to approve an extension of the MINUSTAH mandate. The United Nations sent a “surge” of about 3,000 specialist engineering troops to Haiti after the January, 2010 earthquake which killed more than 200,000 people. “We believe that it should be possible to reduce, to come back to the levels of MINUSTAH before the earthquake,” Ladsous told a press conference. At the end of August there were about 8,700 troops from 18 countries in the mission, 3,500 police and 500 civilian personnel. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has recommended reducing this by about 2,750 over the next 12 months. “In general I think there is a desire from the government of Haiti to retain MINUSTAH,” Ladsous said, quoting one survey which said 60 percent of the population wants to keep the mission. Ladsous said there were now more than 120,000 peacekeepers around the world, including about 98,000 uniformed troops. “We are at about the highest level ever,” the Frenchman added. “It is true that we have to cut back where we can,” he said. “Of course we are going to reduce numbers where we can, and of course costs.” UN peacekeeping has an annual budget of about $8 billion and the Haiti mission alone will cost about $800 million in the current financial year.last_img read more

Italian cruise ship in Japan has 48 coronavirus cases

first_imgTopics : To make room at hospitals for severely ill patients, some local governments have begun monitoring those with milder symptoms in hotels or at their homes – a move that proved fatal for one man in his 50s in Saitama prefecture who died at home on Wednesday while waiting for a hospital bed.Asked about the man’s death, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Thursday the health ministry was working to find out how many COVID-19 patients were being monitored at home.On the Costa Atlantica, 48 positive cases have been found out of 127 people tested so far, bringing the infection rate to 38%. Those showing only mild or no symptoms remain on board, and officials said they hoped to complete testing of all 623 crew this week.  The Costa Cruises-operated ship was taken into a shipyard in Nagasaki in western Japan in late February by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries after the COVID-19 pandemic had scuttled plans for scheduled repairs in China.The latest cases have raised concern about the potential impact on Nagasaki residents after revelations some crew had left the restricted area despite assurances from the ship operator that they would stay within the wharf, according to Nagasaki officials.Authorities are also concerned about the potential rise in patients who require hospitalization, as an increase in domestic coronavirus cases strain medical services around the country.Japan has seen more than 11,500 infections and close to 300 deaths from the new coronavirus, excluding figures from the Diamond Princess.center_img Nearly 50 crew members on an Italian cruise ship docked for repairs in Japan’s Nagasaki have tested positive for the new coronavirus, raising concern about the strain on the city’s hospitals if conditions worsen for those infected.Results on Thursday showed 14 more aboard, all either cooks or those serving food, were infected with the virus, an official in Nagasaki prefecture said. One patient who had been taken to hospital previously was now in a serious condition and on a ventilator, he told a live-streamed news conference.The Costa Atlantica infections come after the cases on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama two months ago, where more than 700 passengers and crew were found to be infected, although this time only crew members were on board.last_img read more

German media scheme piles up reserves to invest in infra, alternatives

first_imgVersorgungswerk der Presse, the provider of pension provisions for employees in the German communications and media industry, has piled up “enough reserves” to invest in asset classes with attractive risk-return profiles such as infrastructure or other alternatives, chief executive officer Manfred Hoffmann told IPE.The scheme has invested in fixed income with a focus on a very accurate asset-liability management approach, he said, adding that it currently turns to illiquids to generate returns.Hoffmann said: “Low interest rates and volatility are here to stay. We will continue to minimize downside risks and focus on diversification while taking advantage of market opportunities.”The scheme’s investment portfolio is broadly diversified in more than 50 asset classes and invested in various countries, regions and currencies, according to its latest financial statement. Its portfolio includes government bonds in developed countries (24%), corporate bonds (21%), government bonds in emerging markets (14%), equities (11%), mortgage lending (10%), real estate (8%), secured loans (7%), and infrastructure, renewable energy and convertible bonds making up 5% of the portfolio.The scheme holds 77% of capital investment in nominal values, and 94% have an investment grade rating.Besides nominal values, 23% of the capital investment is deployed in value assets, including equities, real estate renewable energies and infrastructure.The net return was 4.1% last year compared to 3.8% in 2018. The book value of security assets rose year-on-year by 2.9% to €6.7 bn at the end of 2019.The valuation reserves grew from €1.1bn to €1.9bn based on a broad increase in value in almost all asset classes. This corresponds to 28.9% of the book value at the end of 2019, the statement disclosed.“The Presse-Versorgung has had an excellent new business growth of more than 30% last year,” Hoffmann said.It recorded an increase in new businesses of 36.1% to 6,640 members. The sum insured rose by 34.1% to €285.8m. Contributions were also up by € 7.1m to €334.7m.“Our customers enjoy a profit participation of up to 3.7% in 2020,” Hoffamn said.The scheme will, however, stop taking on new businesses for its Pensionskasse product from 1 October 1.“It was a formality – we have never had our own Pensionskasse but implemented this form of corporate pension as part of the Allianz-Pensionkasse when deferred compensation (Entgeltumwandlung) was introduced by law in Germany in 2002,” Hoffmann explained.The demand for the Pensionskasse product was non-existent for a number of years, and closing it for new businesses reduces complexity and costs.The fund has always focused on direct insurance (Direktversicherung), Hoffmann said.“When the law changed in 2005 and deferred compensation opened up for direct insurance, most of our customers moved away from the Pensionskasse,” he said.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here.last_img read more

Boy, 5, killed in house fire

first_imgThree more houses were partiallydamaged.  The BFP declared “fire out” around6:10 a.m.            Authorities have yet to determine thecause of fire./PN The estimated worth of damage toproperties was P50,000. center_img According to the Bureau of FireProtection (BFP), the blaze started at the house of Belinda Cuadra around 5:20a.m. on Nov. 28. Her house was totally gutted.       Bacolod City – A 5-year-old boy, who sustained burns on the body, has diedin a house fire in Barangay 2.         last_img read more

Premier League clubs welcome contact training

first_imgRead Also: Saudi bidders insist £300m Newcastle takeover on course despite rumble“Of course it would feel different because if you win any trophy and receive it without any fans there, it would be pretty strange,” Henderson told the BBC.“We still have work to do and we still need to perform at a high level right the way until the season finishes because we want to finish as strongly as we can to make sure it is a full season,” he added.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Premier League clubs voted unanimously on Wednesday to resume contact training as the English top-flight took a significant step towards restarting in June. Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola holds up the Premier League trophy The Premier League was put on hold in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Liverpool just two wins away from sealing the title. Clubs returned to training in small and socially distanced groups last week but they have moved to stage two of the “return to training protocol”. “Premier League shareholders today voted unanimously to resume contact training, marking another step towards restarting the Premier League season, when safe to do so,” the league said in a statement.Advertisement Promoted ContentYou’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of AnimeBest Car Manufacturers In The World10 Risky Jobs Some Women Do2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This YearWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?6 Unforgettable Shows From The 90s That Need To Make A Comeback10 Awesome 2019 Movies You Probably MissedThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More20 Facts That’ll Change Your Perception Of “The Big Bang Theory”7 Worst Things To Do To Your PhoneWho’s The Best Car Manufacturer Of All Time?7 Universities In The World With The Highest Market Value “Squads are now able to train as a group and engage in tackling while minimising any unnecessary close contact.” The decision was made following consultation with clubs, players, managers and the government. Clubs that have already completed the necessary risk assessments are expected to move to the new phase as soon as Thursday. Later on Wednesday, the Premier League announced four more positive findings from 1,008 tests of players and club staff. – Positive tests –center_img Liverpool are on the verge of winning the Premier LeagueThat meant there had been just 12 cases detected from a total of 2,752 tests.The small number of positive tests has raised hopes of a return next month.In the second-tier Championship, just two positive tests were registered from 1,014 tests.A series of issues including the restart date and plans in the event of a curtailment will be discussed when the 20 Premier League clubs gather again on Thursday.A targeted return date of June 12 – behind closed doors – was described by Premier League chief executive Richard Masters last week as a “staging post”.Players and coaches have argued they will need more time to reduce the risk of injuries after such a long lay-off.And some players have voiced fears over their safety and that of their families due to the virus.Watford captain Troy Deeney has not returned to training after three positive cases were registered by the Hornets. He fears he could spread the virus to his five-month-old son.French World Cup winner N’Golo Kante has also been given permission by Chelsea to train at home.Germany’s Bundesliga, the first of Europe’s big five leagues to resume, will complete its third round of fixtures behind closed doors on Wednesday evening and there has been little player opposition to La Liga’s plans to return in Spain from June 11.Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho is keen to get playing again after seeing football resume elsewhere, with 92 games left to play in the Premier League.Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho“Honestly, since the moment Bundesliga started, the Portuguese league and Spanish league announced a date to start, I think it is the most difficult moment for us, because we want to play,” he told Sky Sports.“It is hard to see other countries playing football and we don’t do it.”Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson said playing at an empty Anfield and winning the Premier League title with no fans present would be “pretty strange”.Liverpool were 25 points clear of 2019 champions Manchester City when the league was shut down, on the verge of being crowned English champions for the first time in 30 years. Loading… last_img read more

Jamaican judges critical of statements made by PM about Justice Bryan…

first_imgNinety-seven judges in Jamaica have called on Prime Minister Andrew Holness to retract statements he made recently regarding the appointment of a Chief Justice and to publicly acknowledge that the head of the judiciary is not answerable to him.Register grace concernThe judges from the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court and Parish Courts said it was “necessary to publicly register our grave concern regarding some statements made by the Honorable Prime Minister, following the appointment of the Honorable Mr. Justice Bryan Sykes to act as Chief Justice of Jamaica as of February 1, 2018.”Holness is quoted as saying that “actions that brings results will determine the assumption of the role of chief justice,”But the judges said “by his unfortunate comments the Honorable Prime Minister, the head of the Executive branch of Government and a member of the Legislature, has sought to place the head of the judiciary, a separate and equal arm of Government, under his supervision, direction and control, and subject to a process of evaluation by him.Breach of separation of powers“This is clearly inappropriate and in breach of the fundamental doctrine of the separation of powers. We ask the Prime Minister to retract his statements and to publicly acknowledge that the Chief Justice is not answerable to him,” the judges said in their lengthy statement. Our concern is heightened as this is against a background of previous statements made by other members of the executive that have crossed the line of the separation of powers and have had the effect of undermining the independence of the judiciary.”The judges said they wanted to make it clear “we do not speak on behalf of the acting Chief Justice, and are acting independently of him and without his concurrence in indicating our disquiet.” They also said it should be clearly recognized that the safeguards of separation of powers and independence of the judiciary are not intended for the benefit of the judges who are the office holders.“Rather they are intended for the benefit and protection of Jamaican citizens and all others who come within our jurisdiction. For that reason, judges must be free to enforce the laws of the land, “without fear or favor, affection or ill-will”, which they are sworn to do.“For the judiciary to adequately and appropriately perform its constitutional functions and maintain its authority and legitimacy, judicial independence must be zealously safeguarded and preserved.”last_img read more

Tua Tagovailoa draft predictions: What NFL mock drafts say about QB’s most likely landing places

first_imgTua Tagovailoa is saying aloha to Alabama and aloha to the NFL.The Crimson Tide quarterback who had an untimely end to his college career is staring down a lengthy NFL stint, and it starts in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft on Thursday night. 6. Los Angeles ChargersTagovailoa could be a perfect fit out west, replacing the now-departed Philip Rivers to become the next great Chargers passer. Lots of mock drafts think that’s a very likely scenario, too:What they’re saying:Mel Kiper, ESPN: “With Herbert going to Miami in this scenario, Tagovailoa is there for the Chargers, and he’d create some much-needed buzz around a team that is competing with the Rams in a huge market.”Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com: “The Chargers have a talented roster and now they have a point guard to distribute the ball for the next decade-plus.”Peter Schraeger, NFL.com: “Tagovailoa to Los Angeles at No. 6 would be a good fit for all parties involved. Tyrod Taylor for a year; Tua from there. But this is a guess. I repeat — a guess.Nate Davis, USA Today: “Hard to imagine a better destination than a Hollywood team seeking star power – and one that wants a mobile quarterback to guide a relatively balanced offense. The presence of veteran QB Tyrod Taylor would permit Tagovailoa any time he needs to mentally and, more important, physically settle in.”Josh Shrock, NBC Sports: “A guy who was projected to go No. 1 overall five months ago falls into the Bolts’ lap. Take him and run.”Chad Reuter, NFL.com: “The Chargers get a steal here. Tua should lead this team to success for a long time — IF his injury history was more fluke than trend.”Albert Breer, Sports Illustrated: “The Chargers have a lot of brewing contract situations with established veterans, and too good a roster to count on being bad again, so having a high-end QB on a rookie deal would solve a lot of problems, and it’s worth the risk.”Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports: “The Chargers simply cannot pass on Tagovailoa here. And with Tyrod Taylor on the roster, there won’t be a major need to rush Tagovailoa onto the field in 2020.”Michael Middlehurst-Scwhartz: “So long as the Chargers are comfortable with his medical outlook, Tagovailoa gives the franchise the rare opportunity to transition from one mainstay behind center to potentially another.”9. Jacksonville JaguarsConsidering Gardner Minshew’s promising first year in Jacksonville, selecting a QB seems not to be a priority for Jacksonville. But that won’t stop the mocks from getting to it when the Jaguars pick at No. 9.What they’re saying: Bucky Brooks, NFL.com: “The Alabama standout is a significant upgrade over Gardner Minshew and gives the team a long-term option at QB1.”13. New England Patriots (trade)At least one mock draft has the Patriots jumping up to select a falling Tagovailoa.Peter King, NBC Sports: “Tough call for a franchise, but when would the Patriots ever get a shot at a potential superstar quarterback? Even if they had to throw in next year’s first-rounder, I think this would be a risk worth taking for the Patriots.” There are few storylines more exciting than seeing where the lefty signal caller is going to land, and mock drafts have been very open about that fact; the countless, endless, limitless amount of mock drafts have been open about that fact.That, in turn, means that the countless, endless, limitless amount of mock drafts have Tua going to all 32 teams (and even some CFL teams!). OK, maybe that’s hyperbolic, but there are lots of potential landing spots according to educated guesses from all corners of NFL media.So, where will Tua land? Here’s what some of the industry insiders are saying about Tua’s NFL future.MORE NFL DRAFT 2020:Latest news | SN’s 7-round mock | Top 100 big board5. Miami DolphinsWhat first seemed like a slam-dunk, no-doubt-about it pick for Miami has since been turned on its head, with reports swirling that the Fish might be more inclined to take Oregon QB Justin Herbert over Tagovailoa. Though Herbert may be an option, some are still picking Tua to bring his talents to South Beach.What they’re saying:Todd McShay, ESPN: “When he is healthy, he’s special. In a best-case scenario, the Dolphins get their franchise quarterback without having to move up and then build out the rest of their roster with a boatload of picks.”RJ White, CBS Sports: “To me, (the Herbert rumors) seems like a play to avoid trading up to get their guy, and it could be successful this year in a way it might not be in any other, with most teams possibly hesitant to trade a lot of draft capital for one player after not getting to do a full work-up during a stay-at-home predraft process.”Josh Edwards, CBS Sports: “If teams are truly calling Washington to potentially move up, then there is interest in the quarterbacks. I still believe Tagovailoa is the better prospect.”Charles Davis, NFL.com: “There has been a lot of chatter that Oregon QB Justin Herbert will be the ‘safe’ pick for the Dolphins. Instead, they choose the bold route and welcome the ‘Lefty Drew Brees’ to Miami.”Walter Cherepinsky, WalterFootball.com: “I’ve said that I heard the Dolphins prefer Justin Herbert over Tua Tagovailoa, but that was information I gathered in early March. I’ve since heard differently.”Will Brinson, CBS Sports: “It is my belief the Dolphins are smokescreening right now to land Tua at No. 5. And you know what? It’s been hilariously transparent but I think it’s working!”Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: “Tagovailoa is an accurate, mobile, deep-ball throwing QB with the upside of Russell Wilson, only throwing with his left arm.”MORE: All the potential Tua scenarios for the 2020 NFL Draft (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/1c/62/tua-tagovailoa-110719-getty-ftrjpg_13hbd1dmz4dzp1dfg6yw7fxqxc.jpg?t=1194375326&w=500&quality=80last_img read more

NASCAR’s Confederate flag ban has Alvin Kamara excited to attend Homestead

first_imgMORE: NASCAR ratings get a boost after Confederate flag is banned from races Alvin Kamara will be supporting Bubba Wallace in Miami on Sunday, having become a NASCAR fan following its decision to ban the Confederate flag this week.The Confederate flag — which is viewed by many as a symbol of racism and slavery — was banned from all NASCAR races and properties in a decision made prior to Wednesday’s race at Martinsville Speedway. Its banishment came amid a renewed focus on the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minnesota on May 25. NASCAR’s decision was praised by many sports stars, including New Orleans Saints running back Kamara, who watched Wednesday’s race with interest and tweeted the division to ask when the next race was.On Saturday, the three-time Pro Bowler tweeted a picture of some merchandise of Wallace, NASCAR’s only black driver, confirming he would attend the Cup Series’ latest race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.Wallace is a fan of the University of Tennessee, where Kamara played two seasons of college football prior to entering the NFL in 2017.last_img read more