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first_imgTaken from an Oct. 10 column posted at ­prisonradio.org.Herman WallaceThe long and tortured life of Herman ­Wallace, of the famed Angola 3, was meant to ­terrorize us; to stifle the resistance that flamed throughout Black America (and many others across the country) during the 1960s and 1970s.If so, it failed utterly.For Herman Wallace, former Black Panther, despite the monstrous torture he sustained over 41 years in the hole of Angola (I will not dignify it with the name “prison”) slave plantation, was one who was caged precisely because, in mind, if not in body, he was free.He was one of three, [along with] his fellow ex-Panthers, Robert Hillary King and Albert Woodfox, who made up the Angola 3 and exemplified strength, determination and will during their hellish times in Louisiana’s wretched dungeons.I have used the word “torture” and I don’t use it lightly.Juan Méndez, special rapporteur for the United Nations, has found that solitary confinement, for any period past 14 days, constitutes real psychological torture that destroys human beings. Fourteen days.Herman Wallace, convicted on trumped-up charges under poisonous Louisiana “justice,” spent 41 years in ­solitary.In Angola. In Lousiana. In the United States of America.Forty-one years. Let’s put it another way. Herman Wallace spent 14,965 days in solitary. Herman Wallace spent 359,160 hours in solitary. Herman ­Wallace spent 21,549,600 seconds in solitary.When a federal judge tossed out his illegal and unconstitutional conviction, ordering his release, Herman Wallace, bed-ridden, spent three days in freedom until returning to his ancestors.His flesh is returned to the earth, our Mother. But his spirit burns with strength and rock solid commitment to freedom for us all.According to published reports, Herman’s last words were, “I am free!”But he always was.Herman’s contribution to freedom, even while in the vilest dungeons in America, while in shackles and chains, in Angola, was immense.If he were still present, he would urge us all not to forget his brother-in-chains, Albert Woodfox. For, as the saying goes, “Freedom is a constant struggle!”In the Black Panther Party, there was a saying: “When an oppressor dies, it is lighter than a feather; but when a revolutionary dies, it is heavier than a mountain.”Herman’s death is heavier than a mountain, for he deserved more than three days of freedom, away from the stench of Angola and Louisiana “justice.”Yet his death, his suffering, his torture, his loneliness reminds us all of the true nature of the System; and the dark, monstrous features of the prison-industrial complex; a complex of matchless cruelty and unbridled savagery.Herman, Albert and Robert were subjected to such treatment because they courageously resisted and opposed such repression. They organized a chapter of the Black Panther Party while prisoners in Angola!They were targeted and tortured for engaging in (I kid you not) “Black Pantherism”!So remember Herman’s sacrifice: 41 years. 14,965 days. 359,160 hours. 21,549,600 seconds.And his last words: “I am free!”May we all live to find such freedom!FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

first_imgBen Stokes blasted his eighth century and third against Australia.England levelled the five-match Ashes series 1-1.England were bowled out for 67 in their first innings. highlights For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.center_img New Delhi: During the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, there were a lot of comparisons for the Pakistan cricket team when they were making progress. The progress of the Pakistan cricket team in 2019 was very similar to the one in the 1992 World Cup. After losing to West Indies, they defeated England and their next match against Sri Lanka was abandoned. After losing to Australia and India, Pakistan won their next games against South Africa, New Zealand, Afghanistan and Bangladesh and it mirrored their success in 1992, where they won all their games after winning only one out of five games. The comparisons are back in cricket, this time for the Ashes contest. Ben Stokes’ brilliant, unbeaten 135 helped England secure a thrilling one-wicket win against Australia in Leeds. The comeback win for England is simply remarkable after they were bowled out for 67, the lowest total at home for the hosts in Ashes contest since 1948. England seemed to be down and out when they were reduced to 286/9 but Stokes shared a brilliant 76-run stand with Jack Leach for the final wicket as the hosts squared the series in style. Many social media users, cricket fans and other analysts are comparing Ben Stokes’ effort with that of Sir Ian Botham, who had blasted 149 and helped England revive their fortunes at the same venue in 1981. However, the comparisons go much deeper than that. In 1981, Australia had won the first Test in Trent Bridge by four wickets while the second Test in Lord’s ended in a tense draw. In the third Test, England were following on but Sir Ian Botham blasted 149 in the second innings and Bob Willis took 8/43 as England registered a remarkable 18-run win. England leveled the series 1-1 after three Tests.The progress in 2019 is eerily similar. Australia won the Edgbaston Test by 251 runs while the Lord’s Test ended in a thrilling draw with only four wicket remaining. In Leeds, Australia had almost retained the Ashes on England soil but a devastating knock from Stokes ensured England leveled the series in Headingley. In 1981, Botham produced remarkable all-round performances with both bat and ball to help England win the next two Tests and win the series 3-1. With Stokes having produced a knock of similar impact in Leeds, will England go for the kill against an Australia side which will be thoroughly deflated after the carnage in Leeds? last_img read more

first_img…loss of money of utmost concern – Chairman Farmers of Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) are fuming after the seed paddy which they obtained from the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) did not germinate, causing additional financial burden to replant acres of land.However, the GRBD is claiming that the farmers are not being truthful. According to the GRBD, the rice farmers on the Essequibo Coast are telling a different story to the one told in Parliament on Thursday last by Rice Producer Association (RPA), General Secretary Dharamkumar Seeraj in relation to failed-seed paddy.Head of the Rice Farmers Association of Region Two, Naithram, who is also the agriculture coordinator for the region, said he is currently making representation for several farmers who were sold seed paddy, particularly the GRBD 10 seed paddy, by the RPA.He said that contrary to what was related in the National Assembly, it was not the GRDB 10 seed paddy that failed to germinate, but the paddy sold to farmers by the RPA during the last crop.However, Regional Chairman Devanand Ramdatt is not entertaining any of the explanations, noting that it is the plight of the farmers he is concerned about, and as such, is calling on the GRDB to assist the affected farmers. The Regional Chairman maintained that the GRBD 10 seed paddy is indeed the variety mentioned by the farmers as the one they would have purchased, and which is not germinating.Speaking with Guyana Times on Saturday, Ramdatt said, “The concerns the farmers are raising is that they purchased this variety that is known as GRDB 10… If they’re now having this issue with the seed paddy not germination and an additional expense to sow again, then cost of production is increasing. I think that the GRDB needs to help in whatever way they can.”Ramdatt indicated that the cost for one bag of seed paddy is just under $5000. He noted that since the seed paddy did not germinate, a loss is incurred while additional money is spent to buy new seeds and replant. He added that in many cases, farmers bought over 100 bags of seeds which they had to return.“A number of farmers would have said that they had to purchase back seed paddy to sow and it is an increased cost we have to incur. The actual cost per bag of paddy to sow is about $5000. If they have to sow for every acre, it will cost them not only a bag and a half per acre but they have to pay to broadcast (plant) the seed which is to sow back again,” the Chairman related.He noted that the concern lies within the financial constraints which these persons have been faced with, having been owed by millers and increased production costs.“My concern is that all of this is a burden on the farmers because this now adds to additional existing challenges that they’re facing. It has to do with the delay in payment by millers, increase in prices for fertiliser and fuel.”On Wednesday, the Chairman visited some of the affected farmers where complaints surfaced about hundreds of acres of rice fields being affected.The farmers said those who sowed the GRDB 10 were forced to replant their fields using different varieties of seedlings, which is an additional cost to them. According to several farmers who were present during the site visit, the entire Region Two rice industry is in trouble since farmers are not being treated equally and millers are taking advantage of their situation.Farmers also complained that they are losing confidence in the GRDB, noting that that the field officers are not doing their jobs by visiting the farmers and monitoring the industry. According to the farmers, since the new Administration assumed duties, subvention was removed from the RPA and the GRDB is the only body left to give technical support.last_img read more

first_img(Visited 20 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Cellulose is the most abundant biomolecule, but how it’s made still baffles scientists.  Soon, though, you may be able to eat it.Two stories in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) talked about cellulose: one, about how it’s made, and the other, about we might remake it into food.Baffling Molecular MachineThe first paper in PNAS is trying to tease out the structure of cellulose synthase (CESA), a complex enzyme that puts together the ingredients into the strong stacks of microfibrils that make wood sturdy and hard to digest.  The team of 7 researchers said, “A 3D atomistic model of a plant cellulose synthase (CESA) has remained elusive despite over forty years of experimental effort.”  The enzyme is composed of over 500 amino acids.  Even this paper doesn’t have the structure all worked out. “Cellulose is nature’s most abundant renewable biomaterial and an important resource for production of biofuels that represent alternatives to fossil fuels,” the press release said, without revealing the details of how it works.A press release from North Carolina State University where one of the researchers works shows it to look like a ring that braids the microfibrils.  Lecture notes from the University of Kentucky show the machine climbing a microtubule as it removes the fructose from sucrose, weaving the microfibrils of glucose into a stiff tapestry.  Box 1 of a paper from Trends in Plant Science (2012) says that 36 proteins are involved with CESA, adding, “many proteins regulate the synthesis of cellulose, either via a direct interaction… or indirectly… Mutations in any of these genes also lead to reduced cellulose content or crystallinity and cell expansion defects of roots and hypocotyls.”   With the structure becoming better known, the enzyme’s processivity (method of operation) is bound to be interesting.  The research team studied CESA within cotton fibers.  What cotton-picker or cotton-spinner of centuries past would have thought that in his or her hands was a molecular machine that would defy the understanding of 21st century scientists?Swords to PlowsharesThe second paper in PNAS describes a way to convert cellulose into starch.  Cellulose, consisting primarily of glucose in chains, has proven indigestible except by bacteria within the stomachs of some herbivores.   Cellulose and starch (made of glucose) have the same basic structure, differing only in the linkages between molecules.  Finding a way to turn that abundant biomolecule into food would be valuable to feed a growing world population.  A team at Virginia Tech found a way to do it using 5 non-natural enzymes derived from fungi, yeast and plant material.The process yielded 30% of amylose, a linear form of starch, with the remainder available for biofuel.  It’s environmentally friendly, according to Science Daily; it doesn’t require heat, chemicals or expensive equipment, and can be upscaled for commercial production.  And because the enzymes can be recycled with magnetism, it doesn’t generate any waste.  The abstract stated, “Next-generation biorefineries based on simultaneous enzymatic biotransformation and microbial fermentation could address the food, biofuels, and environment trilemma.”  Earlier this month, PhysOrg reported on attempts to turn xylan, the world’s second most abundant biomolecule, into biofuels.  It’s more challenging because of the pentose structure of its sugars gets in the way of extracting the hexose sugars in cellulose that are more easily fermented.  The article spoke of this Department of Energy initiative in Biblical terms, likening it to turning “swords to plowshares.”Like the old motivational speech “Acres of Diamonds” emphasized, people are surrounded by treasures if they just knew how to find them and use them.  Here is more good Darwin-free science that can actually increase our understanding (and wonder) of the natural world, and at the same time, turn that understanding into technologies that can help humanity.last_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest USDA Ohio Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director, Steven Maurer announced that nearly 100,000 Ohio farms that enrolled in safety-net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill will receive financial assistance for the 2015 crop year. The programs, known as Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC), are designed to protect against unexpected drops in crop prices or revenues due to market downturns.“These safety-net programs provide help when price and revenues fall below normal, unlike the previous direct payments program that provided funds even in good years,” Maurer said. “These payments will help provide reassurance to Ohio farm families, who are standing strong against low commodity prices compounded by unfavorable growing conditions.”More details on the price and yield information used to calculate the financing assistance from the safety-net programs is available on the FSA website at www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc and www.fsa.usda.gov/oh.“Payments by county can vary because average county yields and guarantees will differ,” Maurer said. “In some cases, the average price for a crop for the market year was higher than the historical benchmark established by the program, so financial assistance did not occur.”Statewide, over 86,000 farms participated in ARC-County and over 9,000 farms participated in PLC.  More details on the price and yield information used to calculate the financing assistance from the safety-net programs is available on the FSA website at www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc andwww.fsa.usda.gov/oh.last_img read more

first_imgFormer NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal has once again teamed up with the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org) to promote responsible drinking to those planning to drink while their favorite teams are shooting hoops this month.Shaquille O’Neal says fans should consider using the Virtual Bar before hitting bracket partiesResponsibility.org wants individuals to better understand what it actually means to drink responsibly and, if they choose to drink, to know their own individual limits. To that end, the organization created the Virtual Bar to educate individuals about responsible drinking, whether hosting or attending parties where alcohol is served.“The Virtual Bar is a smart tool for fans to consider using before hitting bracket parties,” said O’Neal, who is featured in just-released Public Service Announcements about the Virtual Bar mobile app.The Virtual Bar helps explain how different factors affect blood-alcohol concentration or BAC on an individual level and can also help you see how your night could go depending on the food you eat, the water you drink, and other important variables.“We are very pleased to work with Shaq at this time of year to get the message out about what responsible drinking means for individuals and the tools available to make that a reality for them,” said Ralph Blackman, president and CEO of Responsibility.org.The organization is working to inspire conversations about what it means to drink responsibly, and the Virtual Bar is one tool to help keep that discussion going. The Virtual Bar is available for free from the iTunes App and Google Play stores and is also available online at Responsibility.org/VirtualBar.last_img read more

first_imgST. JOHN’S, N.L. – The Supreme Court of Canada will be asked Tuesday to reopen a notoriously lopsided 1969 deal that has so far generated more than $27.5 billion for Hydro-Quebec, versus about $2 billion for Newfoundland and Labrador.Lawyer Doug Mitchell will argue the contract for the Churchill Falls hydro station in Labrador should be renegotiated to reflect vastly changed circumstances. He says negotiators almost 50 years ago could not have foreseen how energy markets would completely shift, allowing Hydro-Quebec to buy that power at cheap fixed prices then sell it for huge profits.The resulting disparity has fuelled a bitter feud between the two provinces.“It’s a landmark contract in Canadian legal history,” Mitchell said in an interview. “It’s also an important point in law that many jurisdictions are wrestling with: What do you do if there are unforeseen circumstances that change the equilibrium of the contract? Does the law do nothing or does the law do something?“It’s a topical issue in Quebec law and Canadian law more broadly — and, frankly, around the world.”At issue is whether partners in long-term deals are obligated by so-called good faith principles to adjust terms over time.Hydro-Quebec says it helped finance Churchill Falls in exchange for price guarantees that don’t expire until 2041.This latest bid to reopen the contract “presupposes the existence of a judicial power to review and amend contracts in the event of changed circumstances,” says Hydro-Quebec’s submission to the high court.“This right does not exist under Quebec civil law irrespective of whether one uses the term … good faith, duty to co-operate or abuse of right to describe it.”Under the 1969 terms, Hydro-Quebec agreed to buy almost all the energy from the Churchill Falls plant. The deal set a fixed price for that power that would decrease in stages over time.Various aspects of the contract have already been argued before the top court on different legal principles, twice, without success.This most recent challenge started when Churchill Falls (Labrador) Corp. Ltd. — whose parent company is Crown corporation Nalcor Energy — went to Quebec Superior Court in 2010. It argued that profits of such magnitude from electricity were unforeseen in 1969 and that Hydro-Quebec had a duty to renegotiate terms. It lost.The Quebec Court of Appeal upheld the 2014 lower court decision, agreeing the provincially owned power utility has no obligation to reopen the agreement.“It is inappropriate to re-examine the parties’ circumstances when they signed the contract,” ruled the five appeal court judges. “The uncontradicted evidence establishes that they knew that the price of hydroelectric power was subject to fluctuation but they voluntarily agreed to fix the price.”The decision also said the general principle of “good faith,” as found in Quebec’s civil code, doesn’t apply to Churchill Falls as the contract has remained “profitable” for Newfoundland.Mitchell argues the appeal court “applied a flawed standard of foreseeability that renders the concept essentially meaningless.”A decision from the Supreme Court is not expected for several months.Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady says a win could mean billions of dollars as Newfoundland and Labrador faces deficits and mounting debt. The oil price crash starting in 2014 was a major blow to provincial finances.“It’s very important,” Coady said. “There could be some remedies by the Supreme Court that will make a difference to this province.”Follow @suebailey on Twitter.last_img read more

first_imgOTTAWA – First Nova Scotia’s Jamie Baillie, then Ontario’s Patrick Brown, and finally Ottawa’s Kent Hehr.The toppling of three politicians in the space of two days obliterated all other talk around federal politics this week, reverberating through caucus meetings in Victoria and Ottawa, and reaching the prime minister during his trip to Davos, Switzerland.While circumstances around each man’s downfall are dramatically different, they all link to allegations of sexual misconduct — and have prompted politicians of all stripes to take a hard look at what happens behind closed doors.Whether the introspection will turn into better working conditions for women in politics and young staffers, or whether it will turn into a tit-for-tat leaking of lurid tales is an open question.Drowned out by the scandals were developments on mail delivery, opportunities for trade and investment with Asia, and the taking root of a Canadian brand of populism.Here’s how politics mattered this week:OF CANADA POST AND ELECTION PROMISESHome delivery was a contentious issue in the 2015 election campaign after the Conservatives moved to halt it and replace the service with community mail boxes that residents would have to walk to.This week, the Liberals rolled out their response. After many months of consultation and close scrutiny of the numbers, they say they will not convert any more home delivery routes to community mail boxes. More controversially, however, they also say they won’t “put the tooth paste back in the tube” by restoring the conversions of 840,000 households that have already taken place.Not going ahead with the Conservative plan to eliminate door-to-door delivery means foregoing $350 million a year in savings. But the Liberals say they are giving Canada Post new freedoms and incentives to spread its wings and compete on parcels, on remittances, and off-hour deliveries.Does all this mean Justin Trudeau has kept an election promise? Many voters had the impression — from comments made by Trudeau and his team — that home delivery would be completely restored. The Liberals’ election platform promises to “save home mail delivery.”OF FREE TRADE WITH JAPANIn the wee hours of Tuesday morning, as Trudeau was consorting with the rich and famous in Davos and the bulk of Canada’s trade negotiators were holed up in Montreal for the renewal of NAFTA, Canadian officials in Japan agreed to sign on to a massive trade and investment agreement with Asia-Pacific countries.The treaty will give Canada free trade with some of the world’s most dynamic economies — Japan, Australia, Vietnam. But the cheers of joy have been tempered in Canada by concerns about secrecy, and an outcry from the auto sector and dairy farmers.Canada held off signing on to the deal late last year because of concerns about the cultural and auto industries. It came away this week with a cultural exemption in hand.On the auto front, officials point to a side deal with Japan that will protect Canada’s interests. But since that bilateral agreement has yet to be made public, the auto sector and its unions fear for the worst — at a time when the NAFTA negotiators in Montreal are also under pressure to make concessions on auto manufacturing.OF CANADA-STYLE POPULISMFormer Conservative leadership contender and MP Kellie Leitch announced this week she would not seek re-election, and massive new polling and research by EKOS and The Canadian Press could give some insight as to why.During her ill-fated leadership campaign, Leitch did not hesitate to invoke Donald Trump. She advocated screening immigrants for so-called Canadian values, and made no bones about adopting some of Trump’s populist tactics. She finished sixth.Research published this week shows that populism may have a foothold in Canada, but it’s unique and doesn’t exactly replicate forces that drove voters to choose Trump.EKOS Research took polls involving 12,604 people who discussed their opinions on economics, culture, openness towards the world and towards immigration. The polling firm formed an index that plotted the respondents according to how “open” or how “ordered” they preferred their world to be.Fewer than half are on the “open” side of the spectrum. About 30 per cent are “ordered” — feeling economically and culturally insecure. And about 25 per cent have a mixed view.The 30 per per cent of “ordered” respondents is not generally linked to race or immigration. Rather, there is a stronger correlation with education, income and hopes for the next generation.last_img read more

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Family Literacy Week has been proclaimed by The City of FSJ for January 20th – 27th.The FSJ Literacy Society is encouraging families to participate and have fun as literacy is important and starts with children and their families.  Learning together builds good habits by sharing ideas builds stronger connections, develops independent thinking and helps gain confidence.The 2019 theme for this year’s literacy week is ‘Let’s Make It!’ Recognizing when children have the time, tools and materials to make things they learn problem-solving, to express themselves creatively and to communicate more effectively. The Fort St. John Literacy Society and Decoda Literacy, and other partnering organizations will be celebrating throughout the week with fun for families. In FSJ the Library will host a sleepover, January 26, 2019, from 7:00 pm to 11:00 am. Registration for the event is free and opens January 2nd, 2019.Decoda Literacy is also helping to celebrate literacy week with a Province-wide online Photo Contest (#FamilyLiteracyWeek) and created free activity sheets for families and care providers to use with young children.“Making things can help build a range of skills, including literacy. And, when children make things with their parents and caregivers, families can have fun and learn together,” says Margaret Sutherland, Executive Director of Decoda Literacy Solutions, BC’s provincial literacy organization.To learn more about family literacy, information on the contest or download activity sheets CLICK HERElast_img read more