More Examples of “Convergent Evolution” Claimed

first_img(Visited 186 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Traits evolve by common ancestry, evolutionists claim—except when they don’t, which is all too common.“Convergent evolution,” the Darwinists’ explanation for similarities that could not have evolved by homology or common ancestry, keeps popping up in the most unusual places. For example, Evolution News & Views analyzed cases among marine creatures that hit on identical swimming strategies in groups as diverse as flatworms, cephalopods and fish. Also called homoplasy, convergence seems to be the rule more than the exception, as these articles suggest:Spider venom is very similar to centipede venom, even though their branches split 500 million years prior, Science Daily says. Does this falsify evolution? No, it confirms it, Science Magazine claims. “It’s cool that it happens in similar ways for two very different and unrelated arthropod groups,” says Trine Bilde, an evolutionary ecologist at Aarhus University in Denmark. But, “it is common in biology that evolution comes up with similar ‘solutions.’ ”Natural sunscreens are showing up in very diverse organisms, Science Magazine reports. The sunscreens consist of mycrosporine-like amino acids (MAAs) that provide protection from solar UV rays. They have been found in “bacteria, algae, and marine invertebrates … marine fishes … amphibians, reptiles, and birds, suggesting that such internal sun protection could be widespread.”Fly developmental switches have been lost and regained in various groups of flies, Science Daily claims. “The genes that drive embryonic polarity are not conserved across flies and their evolutionary replacement does not seem to be rare at all,” a researcher at U of Chicago says. “The hijacking of this early developmental pathway by novel or newly evolved genes happens at a much higher frequency than previously thought.” It also happens “in a very short amount of time,” he adds.Like human, like fly: An article on PhysOrg claims that the “Biological clockwork of human beings and flies [is] comparable” despite them being extremely far apart on Darwin’s tree diagram. The article includes watchmaker language: “Although both homologous receptors do not act in an identical way, the fact that they modulate the expression of clock genes in Drosophila as well as in mammals demonstrates that very distant organisms, displaying different circadian activities, can present the same type of biological clock gears.”Diving birds: How many specialized adaptations would it require for a flying bird to be able to dive and swim underwater? It would seem to require multiple mutations to eyes, wings, feathers, lungs, beaks, feet and other parts, to say nothing of instincts.  Science Daily shouts, “Go fish!” in another case of convergence: “A new study of some primitive birds from the Cretaceous shows how several separate lineages evolved adaptations for diving.”Bee together: Convergence is also claimed for independent cases where solitary insects evolved group therapy. Science Magazine published a paper by 52 evolutionists claiming, “We compared the genomes of 10 bee species that vary in social complexity, representing multiple independent transitions in social evolution….”Warning cues: What organisms could be more diverse in their evolutionary history than plants and animals? Yet they evolved warning cues independently, another article in Science Daily asserts. This problem dates back to Darwin and Wallace. Readers may be unaware that “Despite a number of attempts, however, no satisfactory evolutionary mechanism for the origin of warning cues has been proposed.” Maybe giving it a name like “concurrent reciprocal selection” can help.Update 6/15/15: Four evolutionists responded in PNAS to an earlier paper by Schopf, a microfossil hunter, who had pointed to “extreme stasis” in bacteria over billions of years (2/04/15). Apparently they don’t like his appeal to long ages without continuous Darwinian evolution. Their solution? Convergent evolution, of course: “We hypothesized that cyanobacterial (and possibly bacterial) evolution is characterized by serial convergence… For example, convergence has also been observed in cyanobacteria dwelling in hot springs, which are considered one of the oldest habitats with living organisms…. In conclusion, we are convinced that the long evolutionary stasis in bacteria is only elusive and might be explained by serial convergence of phenotypic traits, which masks possible continuous metabolic, genetic, and ecological changes.” This new Darwinian maxim might be termed, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”Convergent aliens: Speculating about independent origins of similar traits can get downright silly. Live Science printed a speculation by Fergus Simpson (NOT Homer’s brother) who thinks aliens will be bear-size. Don’t believe it? He has the math to prove it. Some critics aren’t buying it. They say it’s “not clear if humans are a random sample of intelligent beings.”This last one is like the joke about the two fishermen who found a good fishing spot. One suggests, “How’s about we mark an X on the boat where the fishing is good?” The other fisherman, appalled at this expression of imbecility, tries to reason with him. “That’s stupid. Can’t you see that would never work? What if we take out another boat next time?”Homoplasy is quite amazing. It’s astonishing that so many evolutionists, trained at different universities in different countries, would converge on the same illogic over and over.last_img read more

African leaders unite economies

first_imgSouth African president Kgalema MotlantheAnd Ugandan president Yoweri Museveniarriving at the Tripartite Summit inKampala. African leaders at the sitting of the firstmeeting of the three regional economicblocs.(Images: Daily Nation)Khanyi Magubane Heads of states of 26 African countries belonging to three economic regions across the continent, have resolved to merge the blocs into a single regional market.The first ever tripartite summit, held in Kampala Uganda on 21 October, brought together 26 leaders of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), the East African Community (EAC), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).All three regions have agreed to establish a free trade community and a single customs union.This will stretch from South Africa to Egypt and from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Kenya.South Africa’s President Kgalema Motlanthe represented the SADC region as its chairperson. He said that the launch of the free trade bloc would place the African continent in a stronger position to respond effectively to intensifying global economic competition.Speaking to delegates, Motlanthe said, “Our convening here today reflects a profound recognition that sustainable integration into the global economy requires a commitment to an irreversible process of building economic, political and social unity.”Motlanthe also emphasised the importance for African countries to have strong economic ties with each other in the wake of the current global financial crises sweeping through the west.“The process we have embarked on today marks an important step towards the realisation of building an economic bloc in today’s challenging world that will increase the levels of intra-African trade.”Kenyan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade Uhuru Kenyatta, also echoed Motlanthe’s views and said that the tripartite conference has come at the right time when international financial markets are tumbling, “It is important to acknowledge that the global financial crisis, soaring oil and food prices may lead to the weakening of our economies and deterioration of the global economic outlook.”The merger, bound to create the largest free trade area in Africa, will in total, combining the three regions, represent a population of over 248-million people and have a combined Gross Domestic Product of R749-trillion (US$650 billion)The roll out planDuring the summit, it was revealed that the three blocs would have a single airspace within a year and an inter-regional broadband network for internet.The three communities also resolved to coordinate their master plans for regional transport and energy within 12 months.Comesa secretary general Stephen Karangizi said the areas identified as starting points for cooperation among the member states include infrastructure development for regional integration and trade.Karangizi said infrastructure development includes developing energy generation and transmission facilities, transport networks, telecommunication and ICT infrastructure.The chairperson of the EAC Coordination Committee, Charles Gasana, said during the summit that the three regions need to rely more on trade rather than aid to fight poverty in Africa.He said that this mind shift would rid the continent of the stigma it has as the world’s poorest continent. Gasana also said that trade cannot be promoted if countries set barriers that inhibit flow of goods among each other.“We have instituted policies that encourage smooth flow of goods among each other and some members are even offering better terms of trading to developed countries.” He challenged the delegates to start offering the good terms of trade to their neighbours rather than to developed countries.Some of the challenges that the free-trade agreement will have to overcome include the multiple memberships of some countries to various trade blocs and fear of the weaker economies of being flooded by goods from their stronger counterparts like South Africa and Egypt.United states of AfricaThe summit’s host, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, told those gathered for the event, that regional integration was a powerful strategic tool for the group to use since it could ensure the prosperity of all it represents.He said the heads of states should see the move as more than just a trade agreement but an opportunity to create politically stable climates, “Economic integration is not enough. There is need for political integration which will bring about a common army to protect the interests of Africa.“Apart from the economic injustice by the developed world, their overwhelming military superiority is a threat to the future of Africa.”Museveni added that the time has arrived for a united Africa to start protecting its resources,“Some people are saying they want to build their superiority on water, air and land. Where does this leave us?” he asked the participants. “Why should Africans insure cars and bicycles but do not insure Africa?”The three economic regions enter into the agreement as already well-established entities in their own right.The SADC was first established in 1980, as the Southern African Development Coordination Conference in a bid to increase the participation of other countries in the then apartheid South Africa.After dwindling in subsequent years, the organisation was reincarnated as the Southern African Development Community in 1992.In 2006, it was estimated that the SADC region pulled a GDP of R437-trillion ($379-billion.)Some of the social and human development and special programmes that the SADC preside over between regions includes its Hiv/Aids programmes, which has been operational for the past 20 years. They also facilitate the “Roll back Malaria” campaign, aimed at eradicating the number of unprotected people in malaria-rife areas.The region’s social desk also runs education and skills development programmes; these are aimed at building capacity amongst the poor and unemployed.Comesa was established in 1994 and replaced the Preferential Trade Area. Its 20 member states are Angola, Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.According to its objectives, Comesa strives to create a level playing field, i.e. one that allows free and fair competition within the principles of market economics.The countries are engaged in issues of prevention and post-conflict reconstruction, strengthening of democratic infrastructure, and development of a vibrant culture.It includes 398-million people and in 2006, the area had a combined GDP of R33-trillion ($286.7-billion.)The smallest of the three, EAC, had a GDP of R537-trillion ($46.6-billion) in 2006. Established in 1967, disagreements between founding members Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania led to its collapse.On 30 November 1999, 32 years after the demise of the EAC, a treaty was signed, re-establishing the organisation and on 7 July 2000, the EAC officially started its work again.The EAC aims at widening and deepening co-operation among the partner states in, among others, political, economic and social fields for their mutual benefit. In 2005, the EAC countries established a Customs Union and are currently working towards the establishment of a Common Market by 2010.Some of its other future plans include; a Monetary Union by 2012 and a Political Federation of the East African States.Related StoriesBetter government across Africa The African Union SADC Africa: fast facts Angola heads for democracy SADC free trade area launchedUseful linksCOMESA SADCEACAfrican UnionSouth African PresidencyDo you have any comments or queries about this article? Email Khanyi Magubane at: [email protected]last_img read more

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast December 4, 2019

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest No changes whatsoever in the forecast through this weekend, and only a minor tweak to our system coming through early next week. We are dry through the rest of this week and weekend. Temps stay on the cooler side of things today over most of the state, but we do start to see some slight temperature moderation in far southern Ohio this afternoon (particularly southwest). Temps are not as cold tomorrow.  WE should see better sunshine potential statewide the rest of this week, but we wont rule out lake effect clouds today and tomorrow in the far NE part of the state either, as relatively strong NW flow continues to dominate in the mid and upper levels of the atmosphere. A weak trough sags through the eastern corn belt on Friday, and that will bring the small temperature setback for we mentioned yesterday for Friday. Then we have a significant warm up for the weekend. That warm up will come on south flow ahead of our next front.That front arrives Monday. However, the system is not as moisture laden as we see it this morning, and as such, we are pulling back on rain totals just a bit. We expect .1″-.5″ over 80% of Ohio on Monday, and while cold air is still expected to race in overnight Monday night, moisture looks to be gone. Therefore, we do not think snow is an issue for next Tuesday. There is still plenty of time for the system to modify further, so we continue to watch it. but at the moment, this doesn’t look like as big of a deal for our area.Much, much colder for Tuesday afternoon on through Wednesday, and early Thursday, as we see clouds give way to sun. Temps moderate again on Thursday afternoon. But, then we have our next front arriving for Friday the 13th. This front looks more impressive with a chance of liquid equivalent precipitation from 25″-.75″ over the state. However, it looks like we could see rain or snow or both (north vs. south) out of the system with its current track. We will need to watch it. The map at right shows updated liquid equivalent precipitation totals through midweek next week.For the extended period,  colder air comes in for next weekend. After that we warm significantly again for Monday the 16th, and we have our second chance of rain for Tuesday the 17th. We can see totals up to .75″ but the moisture will be mostly focused on southern Ohio, just like we laid out yesterday.last_img read more

Using Canon 5D Mark IV’s Auto-Focus While Shooting Video

first_imgIn this article, we take a look at what you need to know about Canon’s auto-focus (Servo AF) before shooting video for your next project.All images via Canon.As a video offering, the Canon 5D is one of the best available options for prosumers and professional videographers alike. Along with its top-tier DSLR and mirrorless options — like the Panasonic GH5 and the Sony a7S — the Canon 5D has all the bells and whistles to help digital filmmakers do their jobs.One intriguing feature of Canon’s 5D mark IV that is unique to the offering is Canon’s auto-focus technology. This “Movie Servo AF” — which is based off the same photography AF technology — gives video professionals the power to let their camera focus for them. Let’s look at how it works — and some tips for using Canon’s AF.Turning on Movie Servo AFTo begin, you’ll need to know where to turn your Movie Servo AF on and off. You can find the option in the menu (button on the top left of your camera). As the Canon 5D has advanced, so have its menu options, which can now take quite a bit of scrolling to get through. Scroll through to the fourth page of the camera options (the red section), which you can see above, to toggle between enabled and disabled.Note: for all normal shooting functionality with the Canon 5D mark IV, make sure the Servo AF is disabled, or you may get some unwanted focusing in your shots.Pausing/LockingOnce your Movie Servo AF is enabled, you will see it show up on your viewfinder screen in the bottom left corner (pictured above). You can then use the touch screen to pause or un-pause the technology by simply pressing it. When it’s on (as pictured above), the SERVO AF icon will be green. When it’s off, the icon will turn dark grey. You can also set and customize manual buttons for pausing and locking — like the “SET” button in the middle of the dial on the right, or the Depth of Field Preview button on the front of your camera to the left of the lens.Auto Focus MethodsFor more options using the Movie Servo AF, you can go into the menu after enabling the Servo AF to choose one of three auto focus methods. You can also change the method from the viewfinder screen by pressing the Q button on the touchscreen. The Canon 5D mark IV offers a tracking mode, FlexiZoneAF Multi, and FlexiZoneAF Single. Each method serves a different purpose and can be helpful on a wide variety of shots. Let’s look at the three options.TrackingThe tracking option is one of the most useful of the Canon 5D mark IV’s Servo AF functionalities. Using Canon’s facial tracking technology, you can simply have your camera track and auto-focus in real time as your subject moves around the screen. This is great when shooting talking-head interviews or anything with a stationary (or mostly stationary) camera and a single subject.FlexiZone MultiThe FlexiZoneAF Multi is more useful for videographers who are shooting landscapes. The Multi option automatically focuses on the largest object in the foreground of the composition. (For more information on foreground, middle ground, and background terms and theory, check out this article.) From there, you can still tap on the touchscreen to shift focus to a different option. This is helpful when shooting environments, and it gives you a secure starting focus for any shot — which you can move on from when you find a good opportunity.FlexiZone SingleFinally, the FlexiZoneAF Single puts the Servo AF technology at your fingertips. This setting allows you to manually set focus wherever you want in your frame by simply tapping the touchscreen on the person or object you’d like to be in focus. You can also drag the focus by tracing your finger across the touchscreen, and the focus will follow. This is best when using a tripod on a set shot (so that you have a free hand).Changing Speed and Tracking SensitivityAfter you’re comfortable with the Servo AF technology, you can further tweak aspects like speed and tracking to your liking. The speed option (which you can toggle across a scale) defines how quickly or slowly your focus gets set. It’d be the same as manually pulling a rack focus shot with the focus ring with a quick twist or a slow turn. The tracking sensitivity defines the speed at which the AF technology tracks subjects and objects across the screen. If you want it quick and sharp in a shot with lots of motion, crank it up to keep up.You can find out more about using the Servo AF in this video or on Canon’s website here. For more camera and focus tips and tricks, check out some of the great articles below.How to Autofocus Your DSLR in 3 Easy StepsShould You Upgrade the Canon 7D to the 5D Mark IV?The GH5’s Autofocus: A Disaster or Simply Misunderstood?Canon Log Upgrade: Should You Send in Your Canon 5D Mark IV?Get Sharper Footage with These 7 Focus Trickslast_img read more

Scary sight for fans, players as chaos ensues after Ginebra awarded the title

first_imgStronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Read Next LATEST STORIES John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Kobe wants to be presented in Hall of Fame by Michael Jordan or Phil Jackson Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 The post-game security was so disorderly that Ginebra players, coaches, and staff, together with their loved ones, had to walk over the LED board at the sidelines and then to the table of officials just to go back to the dugout area.READ: Dillinger refuses to call Ginebra-Meralco a ‘rivalry’ yetThat raises the question if there was indeed a planned crowd control as the bouncers, together with their ropes that surrounded the awarding area which was supposed to cordon off the masses from the players, seemingly was useless as fans pushed their way to the center of the court.Of course, no security detail is perfect, but the near-stampede which ensued necessitates further planning, and maybe more security, to protect the players from events like these.Luckily, no one got hurt from the turn of events as the Gin Kings got a chance to celebrate their back-to-back title conquest in the season-ending conference without any worries.ADVERTISEMENT Japeth Aguilar was in the middle of the wave of people as he tried to get his loved ones back to safety. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netBOCAUE — Lost in the shuffle of Ginebra’s championship celebration was the near chaos that ensued afterwards.After the Gin Kings received the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup trophy and LA Tenorio was awarded the PBA Press Corps – Cignal Finals MVP, the back-to-back champions faced another problem: the throngs of fans who stormed to the court.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READcenter_img View comments A record 54,086 fans came to the massive Philippine Arena on Friday, and a handful of giddy fans tried to get as close to their basketball idols, eager to get their selfies and photo-ops, to the extent of some people pushing each other off and a select few almost engaging in a fist fight.READ: Ginebra escapes Meralco in Game 7, completes title repeat FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutIt was a scary sight for the players, who celebrated the awarding ceremonies with their loved ones, as they tried to protect their relatives, especially the children, from getting trampled by the wave of people who converged on the court.The same was the case for the PBA staff, the mediamen, and the photographers who were in the middle of it all as everyone tried to get themselves back to the dugout area fearing for safety. QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf PLAY LIST 01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPAlast_img read more

2016 National Touch League

first_imgAustralia’s best Touch Footballers will converge on the beautiful Coffs Coast region next week to compete in the 2016 Touch Football Australia National Touch League (NTL).The event at C.ex Coffs International Stadium will feature 118 teams spanning the breadth of the country across 15 divisions, all striving for national championships honours; commencing on Wednesday, 9 March through to finals day on Saturday, 12 March. The Elite Eight Series, which was first played in 2011 and which is now in its fifth installment, will feature the best-of-the-best Men’s and Women’s players in Australia.  2,000 participants will participate, with divisions ranging from T League through to Men’s 55’s, with teams from every state and territory in Australia participating in the event.The NSW Government, through Destination NSW, is proud to partner with Touch Football Australia to secure major Touch Football events in NSW. This event is part of the NSW Government’s support for Touch Football, including the 2016-2018 NTL events.  Keep up-to-date with all of the latest news, information and results from the 2016 National Touch League:Website – www.touchfootball.com.au and www.ntl.mytouchfooty.comFacebook – www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustraliaTwitter – www.twitter.com/touchfootyaus (#NTL2016)Instagram – www.instagram.com/touchfootballaustralia (#NTL2016)YouTube – www.youtube.com/touchfootballauslast_img read more

10 months agoSevilla forward Luis Muriel happy to make Fiorentina loan move

first_imgSevilla forward Luis Muriel happy to make Fiorentina loan moveby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveSevilla forward Luis Muriel is happy to have made a loan move to Fiorentina.Muriel is joining the Viola on-loan to the end of the season.“I am very happy to be here,” Muriel told reporters as he arrived for a loan move with option to buy.“I had already spoken to Fiorentina and gave my word to them some time ago, so now I am here. I am really eager and cannot wait to get started.“Returning to Serie A is very important to me, as I know this style of football well. I can’t wait to get out there and start proving myself.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img

3 days agoBarcelona coach Valverde worried about feud between Spanish FA and LaLiga

first_imgBarcelona coach Valverde worried about feud between Spanish FA and LaLigaby Carlos Volcano3 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona coach Ernesto Valverde admits he’s concerned the feud between the Spanish FA and LaLiga will be damaging.No agreement has been reached between the two governing bodies on the new date of El Clasico between the Blaugrana and Real Madrid, which was postponed due to the unrest in the Catalan capital, although it was initially scheduled for October 26.”I would like common sense to prevail,” Valverde told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday evening.”Espanyol’s game against Villarreal was played and that of the following week was suspended.”We must trust that Catalan society is fine and it would be a demonstration of maturity on everyone’s part.”I wouldn’t like the internal wars between the federation and LaLiga to affect us.”I would have liked to play [El Clasico] and give everything a normal feel.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Duchess Of Cornwall Hosts Rape And Sexual Abuse Survivors

first_imgThe Duchess of Cornwall recently hosted a reception in support of survivors of rape and sexual abuse at Clarence House.The Duchess of Cornwall (right) talks to guests during a reception in support of survivors of rape and sexual abuse at Clarence HouseCredit/Copyright: http://www.princeofwales.gov.uk/news-and-diary/supporting-survivors-of-rape-and-sexual-abuseThe Duchess organised the reception, whose guests included Home Secretary Theresa May and Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer, to bring together political figures, rape support groups and rape survivors.The Duchess, who has visited nine rape crisis and sexual assault referral centres in the UK since 2009, spoke to those present of the importance of forming a “united front to help victims of rape and sexual abuse”.She said: “Over the past few years, I have seen for myself some of the remarkable work being undertaken by representatives of rape crisis organisations, the National Health Service and the police across the country.“During my visits to some of these centres I have been so impressed by the professionalism and commitment of the individuals who provide a lifeline to the women, the children and the men, who have been left shamed and traumatised and made to feel so worthless through no fault of their own.”She spoke of the need to end the taboo surrounding rape and sexual abuse, adding: “Perhaps, from this small beginning, we will be able to build a future where society will simply not tolerate rape and sexual abuse any longer.”Survivor Mia James chatted to The Duchess for several minutes following her speech. Ms James, from south-east London, said: “I just thanked her for her support.“We need somebody high profile to raise awareness for the common man, because our juries are made up of each and every one of us – and each and every one of us has misconceptions about rape, misconceptions about the causes of rape.“It’s a case of wanting to get the message out as to what it’s all about, and I’m really happy we’ve got The Duchess doing that.”The Duchess said it was “shocking” that relatively few rapes resulted in a conviction.In her speech, she said: “This challenging and emotive subject has been brought to the fore in recent months with some shocking news stories – although it is by no means a new story.“The findings of the Government’s recent report into sexual offending revealed once again that the number of victims reporting these crimes is still only a tiny proportion of the total and even fewer of those cases end in a conviction.”Ms James agreed that more people need to speak out about rape and sexual assault.She said: “I want people to stop sweeping us under the carpet. I want this to be something that is not associated with the word ‘taboo’.“With someone as high profile as The Duchess, survivors will feel more comfortable coming out with their stories. They can report it and know there is no stigma attached.”Mr Starmer admitted that “hard work” was needed to increase victims’ confidence and lead more of them to report their rape.He said The Duchess’s contribution was “really positive”.“It’s fantastic that she’s shown such a level of commitment to this important area,” he added. “Bringing these people together is a very significant step. We’re working together more than we were – but we need to continue to do so.”Ms May said the meeting highlighted the fact there are many victims of rape and sexual violence, with more needing to be done to support them.She added that the Government had ringfenced funding which would provide funding for rape crisis centres, emphasising their importance.Mumsnet co-founder Justine Roberts also attended the reception.Mumsnet has a campaign called We Believe You, which aims to challenge rape myths and raise awareness of the impact of sexual violence on people’s lives.Ms Roberts said of today’s meeting: “You can really tell she’s spoken to victims. She feels very passionately about the issue.”The meeting was the first time such a wide range of representatives from various UK groups had met to focus solely on issues surrounding rape and sexual abuse, a Clarence House spokeswoman said.Source:PrinceOfWales.gov.uklast_img read more

Commentary Do everyone a favor on Saturday Be respectful to Penn State

In many ways, 2011 has been a forgettable year for the Ohio State football program. Tuesday’s announcement by athletic director Gene Smith, Undergraduate Student Government, Block “O” and OSU Sportsmanship Council of an initiative to treat all visiting Penn State fans respectfully for Saturday’s OSU-PSU game stands as a bright spot. Since the December revelation that six OSU football players sold team memorabilia in exchange for improper benefits in the form of tattoos, OSU football and Buckeye Nation has been reeling. Beloved former coach Jim Tressel was forced to resign as part of the fallout from the team’s NCAA violations and the 2010 season, including a 2011 Sugar Bowl victory, was vacated. Ever since, the OSU roster has been a merry-go-round-esque shuffle of suspended and not suspended players. OSU’s football team, its fans and the university itself continue to be the subject of national scrutiny and ridicule. Then a troubling, new scandal was unearthed at Penn State last week. Happy Valley was rocked by its own football program’s misdeeds as former PSU defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was charged with sexually abusing children at a Nittany Lions football facility. PSU’s president for finance and business, Gary Schultz, and athletic director, Tim Curley, were also charged with perjury and failure to report child abuse. University President Graham Spanier resigned in the wake of the charges being made public and Joe Paterno, NCAA Division I’s all-time wins leader and the head coach of PSU football for 46 years, was fired. On the night the PSU Board of Trustees announced Spanier’s resignation and Paterno’s firing, a faction of students rioted in State College, Pa., flipping a TV news truck on College Avenue and harassing police and members of the media. Off-the-field situations like these, particularly the incidents at PSU, put the true significance of a collegiate athletic competition into perspective, and Smith did well to recognize this by encouraging Buckeye Nation to be respectful toward visiting Nittany Lions supporters this weekend. “With the incidents occurring over at Penn State University this past week, we thought it was important that we try and share with our fans this reality that we face by hosting Penn State this weekend,” Smith said at OSU coach Luke Fickell’s Tuesday press conference. “We’re asking all of our Buckeye fans… to continue to show the sportsmanship and class that they represent as we welcome our visitors. “The fans that will come here and the young men that participate in this contest this weekend are coming here as our visitors. We ask that all of our fans continue to demonstrate great respect.” OSU fans should consider themselves lucky that the Tattoo-gate scandal was revealed with only a neutral-site bowl game remaining in its season. By comparison, PSU still had three regular season games to play — two of which are still to be played at Ohio Stadium and at Wisconsin — when news of its scandal broke. PSU could also play two additional games should it qualify for the Big Ten Championship Game and a bowl game after that. “Penn State students love their school just as much as we love ours,” USG President Nick Messenger said at the Tuesday press conference. “It is important to remember the victims of this tragedy, but it is also important to remember that our visitors are not people whom we should direct our anger.” Well said. The potential for Nittany Lions players, coaches and fans to be verbally abused increases exponentially when they leave State College, but OSU fans should be the last to poke fun at a program in suffering. OSU students, faculty and staff have probably heard enough tattoo jokes to last them a lifetime. You remember how that feels — it’s not a good feeling. There’s no reason to make another fanbase feel that way. If you don’t have anything nice to say when you see a Nittany Lions fan on Saturday, do everyone a favor and say nothing. After all, OSU football is not so far removed from its own troubles that Buckeye Nation should feel that it is in a position to judge other football programs. read more