Hidden bird migrations revealed by DNA

first_imgEvery fall, countless songbirds migrate from their breeding grounds in the United States and Canada. Often flying at night to avoid hawks, the animals head south to spend the winter in Mexico and Central America. But exactly where many of them go, and how they get there, has been something of a mystery. Now, a team has shown that analyzing DNA in feathers can provide new details about bird migrations. Although the technique is still in the proof-of-principle stage, it “could be an immensely powerful tool in implementing conservation measures for the most at-risk bird populations with fine-scale precision,” says Jeff Wells of the Boreal Songbird Initiative in Seattle, Washington.Ornithologists have many ways to track migratory birds. The most common is to put small identification bands on their legs. The trouble is that netters recapture only a tiny fraction of the banded birds. Electronic tracking devices can work well for individual birds, but may not yield insights for an entire population. More recently, researchers have shown that the ratio of isotopes in feathers can provide a rough guide to where a bird has been feeding, because the feather ratios mirror those of food sources. Analysis of mitochondrial and nuclear genes has also offered clues, for example confirming that some birds have geographically distinct breeding populations. But even those techniques couldn’t tease out fine-grained differences in where birds summer and winter. “This is a really big issue,” because conservation groups need to know where to spend their resources to best effect, says Robert Fleischer, a geneticist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Washington D.C.In a bid to get more detail, the new study used genomic markers—called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)—to distinguish populations. The DNA came from a remarkable collection of more than 180,000 feathers from about 50 species stored in freezers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Ecologist Thomas Smith has been gathering the feather samples for more than 2 decades; when other researchers band birds, they pull a tail feather and mail it to Smith. Tissue at the base of the feather contains enough DNA for researchers to analyze.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The researchers focused on a perky, black-capped yellow bird called the Wilson’s warbler (Cardellina pusilla). Previous genetic studies had shown that the warblers have separate breeding populations in the eastern and western United States. But researchers suspected that there are several subpopulations, such as in the Sierra Nevada and Colorado Plateau. To make matters more complex, each might have its own wintering grounds. To see if they could detect those linkages, they first examined DNA from 22 birds captured in five regions of the United States, sequencing 150,000 regions of their genomes. From a pool of a half-million SNPs, they chose 96 that could best distinguish the birds. Then, they compared those SNPs with those taken from a second set of 1626 feathers from 68 locations across North and Central America.The results, posted on 8 August in a preprint on bioRxiv, showed six genetically distinct groups of Wilson’s warbler. The study confirmed that birds breeding along the California coast spend the winter in southern Baja, for example, and warblers in the eastern United States head for the Yucatan, Belize, and Costa Rica. But the SNPs also provided the first strong evidence that warblers in the southern Rocky Mountains and the Colorado Plateau overwinter in El Salvador.The researchers also got the first clear look at migration timing. Team member Kristina Paxton of the University of Hawaii, Hilo, spent 2 months catching warblers in 2008 and again in 2009 as they passed through a stopover site on the Lower Colorado River in Arizona. DNA from the feathers showed that birds headed to California flew through first, followed by those going to the Pacific Northwest, the Sierra Nevada, and finally Alaska. In the future, researchers might be able to tell when at-risk populations of other species pass through.The genomic tools provide “resolution of populations that we’ve never seen before,” says Kristen Ruegg, an evolutionary geneticist at UCLA, one of the study’s authors. Now, Ruegg and colleagues would like to expand the analysis to other migratory birds, including endangered species, if they can get funding. Douglas Robinson, an ecologist at Oregon State University, Corvallis, calls the approach “probably the wave of the future” for determining geographic connections on a regional scale, but he thinks that more detail will be needed to make a difference in conservation.The paper is in review at Molecular Ecology, and Ruegg will discuss the work in a webinar, sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, on Thursday at 2 p.m. EDT.last_img read more

State Bank of India Looks to Broaden UK Customer Base Beyond Indian Diaspora

first_imgThe State Bank of India (SBI) wants to broaden its UK customer base beyond the Indian diaspora after pumping £225 million into its retail business as part of new post-crisis regulations.Bosses of the lender – which is 58.6% owned by the Indian government – said that while they were happy with the status quo, SBI was unwilling to pull out of one of its biggest overseas markets which currently accounts for 20% of foreign operations.Read it at BT Related Itemslast_img

UAAP Finals experience greatly beneficial to young Tigresses, says Kung Fu Reyes

first_imgThomasian spirit will always remain with me, says Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too And Reyes did that with, arguably, the least experienced team the UAAP finals has seen in almost a decade.UST barged into the finals with eight rookies in its lineup and only five players with Final Four experience, a conundrum that plagued Reyes against Ateneo but a privilege moving forward.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“This is great for us because can you imagine how many rookies were playing for us inside? And that’s the good thing for us because whatever they experienced here in the finals will be a learning lesson for us,” said Reyes in Filipino Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.UST stunned Ateneo in Game 1 with a 25-17, 25-16, 25-20, sweep but fell short in the next two games with the Lady Eagles flexing their experience against the Golden Tigresses. LATEST STORIES Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—It could’ve been the mother of all turnarounds, but University of Santo Tomas could only do so much.Head coach Kung Fu Reyes led the Golden Tigresses from a seventh-seed finish in 2018 to the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball finals the following year where they eventually lost to Ateneo in three games.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transportcenter_img ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP Ateneo never missed the Final Four the past five years and got back at the Golden Tigresses in Game 2, 26-24, 14-25, 25-21, 25-15, before clinching the crown in Game 3, 25-17, 25-22, 25-22.Despite the finals loss, the Golden Tigresses had the biggest turnaround in the Final Four era.UST were 4-10 in Season 80 and went 10-4 in Season 81 where it made its first finals appearance since Season 73.“No one expected us to be in the finals, but we won’t ever quit,” said Reyes. “We were in seventh place before, then sixth, the highest we got was third but through Sisi’s sheer will we were able to get to the finals,” said Reyes, referring to his star player Cherry Rondina.Rondina, the Season 81 MVP, willed the Golden Tigresses in her final year, scoring a league-best 259 points in the eliminations, but UST’s bid took a huge blow after Rookie of the Year Eya Laure sprained her left ankle in Game 2.ADVERTISEMENT Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST PLAY LIST 01:00Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss View comments Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue “Our scorers got injured, the second game was supposed to be a different story if only we were fully healthy,” said Reyes. “It happened for a reason.”“Maybe the Lord told us to ‘just settle here first’ and that we shouldn’t rush things. At least, now we have a basis that we can use for the next seasons.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anewlast_img read more

Elina Svitolina ousts former champion Ana Ivanovic at French Open

first_imgAna Ivanovic’s hopes of adding to her 2008 French Open success ended rather tamely on Saturday as she was beaten by Ukrainian 18th seed Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-4 in the third round on Saturday.A year ago, it seemed as if Ivanovic may be emerging from a prolonged slump after making it to the Paris semi-finals for the first time since her title run.However, the Serbian 14th seed’s form has nosedived over the past 12 months and she has since failed to progress past the third round of the subsequent four major tournaments.The 28-year-old recovered from 4-1 down in the second set to level at 4-4 but the brief fightback only delayed the inevitable.A forehand slapped into the net ended her ordeal and she pulled her white sun visor over her eyes as she made a quick exit from the Court One bullring.Svitolina, a quarter-finalist 12 months ago, will next play either defending champion Serena Williams or French hopeful Kristina Mladenovic.last_img read more

Gilas women stay in Division A after rout of India in Fiba Asia Cup

first_imgSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The Philippines fought fire with fire when responding to India’s offense leading to six of its players scoring in double digits while shooting 37-of-82 from the field.Janine Pontejos had 18 points, on 4-of-7 shooting from beyond the arch, with five rebounds, four assists, and three steals to lead the Philippines.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSBecoming his own manSPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40Ana Castillo added 15 points, all of which came from three-point distance, Ria Nabalan added 13 points.Gemma Miranda and Kelli Hayes had 11 points apiece to help the Philippines’ cause while Afril Bernardino filled the stat sheets with 10 points, seven rebounds, two assists, four steals, and three blocks. Gilas women react to win over India. FIBA PHOTOMANILA, Philippines—The Philippines retained its spot in Division A after humbling India, 92-78, in the classification stage of the Fiba Women’s Asia Cup Friday at Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru, India.Gilas Pilipinas finished seventh in the tournament with a lone win in the competition after going 0-3 in Group B.ADVERTISEMENT League owner saddened as Chooks to Go players left off SEA Games 3×3 roster DTI creates Marahuyo, a luxe Filipino fashion brand for global buyers Shireen Limaye led India, which lost all of its four games, with 23 points, six rebounds, and six assists. LATEST STORIES Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:38‘Bato’ to be ‘most effective’ CHR head? It’s for public to decide – Gascon02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal01:28Ex-President Noynoy Aquino admits contracting pneumonia00:45Aquino agrees with Drilon on SEA games ‘kaldero’ spending issue Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READcenter_img Becoming his own man Canadian vaping study details danger from ‘popcorn lung’ chemical Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics This jewelry designer is also an architect Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014? P11-B loan for SEA Games hosting not an issue — Cayetano Ethel Booba on SEA Games cauldron: ‘Sulit kung corrupt ang panggatong’ View commentslast_img read more

Diego Costa hard to replace at Chelsea, says Frank Lampard

first_imgPremier League champions Chelsea will find it difficult to replace influential striker Diego Costa if he departs in the current transfer window, club legend Frank Lampard has said.Costa, 28, has been Chelsea’s top scorer in all three seasons since joining the club in 2014, leading them to two league title wins.Earlier this month, the Spain international said that he would leave Stamford Bridge after being told by manager Antonio Conte that he was not a part of the club’s future plans.”He’s a fantastic striker and we all saw that last season and since he’s been at Chelsea. He would be very difficult to replace, there’s no doubt about it,” Lampard told Sky Sports.”He’s an all-round physical presence that also has the quality to get goals, that’s not easy to find in the modern day.”Costa scored 22 goals in 42 appearances for the London side last season but the club have been linked with a move to get Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, who scored 26 goals last campaign, back to Stamford Bridge.”He’s (Lukaku) certainly developed to a huge degree since he left the club (in 2014), Romelu would certainly be a good option. The only thing Chelsea have to look at is the inflated market that is around now, it makes it very tough,” Lampard said.Costa has said he would favour a return to former club Atletico Madrid but the Spanish side are unable to register new players until January 2018 due to a transfer ban by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).advertisementlast_img read more

Live Streaming India vs England 4th Test Day 2: When and where to watch IND v ENG Test match?

first_imgWhat time is the Test match between England and India?Day 2 of the fourth Test between India and England will start at 3.30pm IST.Where can I watch the England vs India Test match live?You can watch the Test match live on the following TV channels – Sony Six, Sony Six HD, Sony Ten 3 and Sony Ten 3 HD from 2.30pm IST.Live Streaming will be available on SonyLiv app and website – sonyliv.comWhen is the England vs India Test match?The fourth Test between India and England will be played from August 30 to September 3.Where will the England vs India Test match be played?The fourth Test between India and England will be played at Rose Bowl, Southampton.Where can I check the online live updates of the England vs India Test match?You can get all the latest updates, reactions, news of the Test match at www.indiatoday.in/sportsWhat are the team squads for England vs India Test match?India: Virat Kohli (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (WK), Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.England: Joe Root (C), Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (WK), Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Sam Curran, James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Ben StokesJasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami continued to torment England as India took the upper hand on the opening day of the fourth Test at Southampton.India reached 19/0 from 4 overs with Shikhar Dhawan (3 not out) and KL Rahul (11 not out) in response to England’s first innings score of 246.advertisementThere is all to play for both teams with England leading the five-match series 2-1. England had won the first two Tests at Edgbaston and Lord’s before India fought back to win the third Test at Trent Bridge.For the first time under Virat Kohli, India remained unchanged in a Test match. That meant Bumrah, Shami, Ishant Sharma and Hardik Pandya returned to haunt England’s batsmen.last_img read more

Buffon: Leave club colours at home

first_imgItaly v Sweden Buffon tells Italy fans to forget ‘club colours’ before vital qualifier Ryan Benson Last updated 2 years ago 23:08 11/12/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) buffon-cropped Getty Images Italy v Sweden Sweden Italy WC Qualification Europe The legendary goalkeeper wants Azzurri supporters to forget their club allegiances for Monday’s crucial World Cup qualifier against Sweden. Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon wants fans to leave their “club colours” at home as Gian Piero Ventura’s men attempt to overturn a first-leg defeat to Sweden and qualify for the World Cup.Jakob Johansson’s solitary goal in Solna on Friday gave Sweden the upper-hand in their play-off, setting alarm bells off in Italian football.Italy 9/2 to win 2-0 Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player That result left the Azzurri on the brink of failing to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958, coincidentally when it was held in Sweden.Ventura has come under significant pressure as a result and is likely to lose his job should Italy fail to overturn the 1-0 deficit, but Buffon believes their support could give them the advantage and called for them to forget their club allegiances when they head to San Siro on Monday. | #Buffon: “I’d like to see those who go to the stadium take off their club colours and only wear the Azzurro which brings us all together.”#ItalySweden pic.twitter.com/63vz5ZnTAJ— Italy (@azzurri) November 12, 2017The goalkeeper told a news conference: “It’s a crucial game for us, for the whole country and for the whole history of our national team as well.”In my career, I already faced moments like this one, sometimes it went good, sometimes it went bad.”But it won’t change anything about my relationship with the Italian national team. There’s no room left for words and wishes.”It’s time to get something on the pitch. I hope the supporters will help us, not having a too negative approach towards us from the beginning.”I hope there won’t be Juventus, Inter or AC Milan supporters, but just and only Italy supporters. I’d like to see those who attend take off their club colours.”Ventura was not surprised by the situation Italy find themselves in with respect to finishing with a play-off spot, admitting that he accepted as soon as the draw for the group stage was made that Spain were going to finish top.He said: “When I took the job I was exactly expecting this scenario; we were aware that Spain could have been stronger than us, we then targeted to be among the four best second teams, and that’s exactly what we achieved.”last_img read more

10 months agoLeicester defender Morgan defends under-fire Puel

first_imgLeicester defender Morgan defends under-fire Puelby Ansser Sadiq10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLeicester City defender Wes Morgan has come to the defence of under fire manager Claude Puel.The Premier League side were in good form recently, but suffered two surprising defeats to Cardiff and now Newport County in the FA Cup.The League Two side defeated Leicester, after Puel made several changes to his side.But veteran defender Morgan believes the players are to blame.”If you look at the chances and opportunities we had, we could have won that game quite easily,” Morgan said after the game.”We’ve got a good squad and the gaffer’s got the problem of finding the right balance.”He’s got to give players rest and other players opportunities.”It’s the same for every manager and every team – and I thought we were definitely strong enough.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

17 days agoWijnaldum insists Liverpool not getting carried away

first_imgWijnaldum insists Liverpool not getting carried awayby Paul Vegas17 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum insists they’re not getting carried away by title talk.The season is only eight games old but already Jurgen Klopp’s men hold a significant eight-point lead over last season’s champions Manchester City.”We don’t want to think we are already champions. That would be a really wrong thing to do,” Wijnaldum told Sky Sports.”I’m sure the manager will keep us grounded and say that we just have to think about ourselves, and try to play good and try to give 100 per cent every week.”We just have to do what we did before and look at ourselves and not look too much to other teams because we don’t have influence on other teams – we can’t control the performance of other teams.”We just have to make sure we are ready for the games that are to come and to make sure we are ready and try to have good results because we know that it can change quickly.”Then at the end of the season we will see where we stand.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Jamaica Achieves all Targets in IMF Review

first_img The Mission Chief further said that non-borrowed reserves have been overperforming, adding that inflation is anchored in the Bank of Jamaica’s inflation target range of four to six per cent. Story Highlights Jamaica is virtually assured of an additional US$180 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), if needed, by meeting all quantitative targets and structural benchmarks in the second review.The review was conducted under its Precautionary Stand-by Arrangement (PSBA) with the multilateral institution for the period up to June 30, 2017.Head of the IMF’s Mission to Jamaica, which conducted the review over the past two weeks, Dr. Uma Ramakrishnan, says the provision, subject to the IMF Executive Board’s approval at its meeting scheduled for October, will bring the total amount of funds that Jamaica can access to approximately US$790 million.She was speaking at a joint Government of Jamaica (GOJ)/IMF press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister on September 14, where details of the review were outlined.Dr. Ramakrishnan noted that Jamaica’s economic programme continues to deliver strong results, which have been fuelling significant business and consumer confidence and increased job creation.Additionally, she said the central Government’s primary balance surplus has exceeded the programmed target by a “healthy margin”, due mainly to buoyant corporate income tax.The Mission Chief further said that non-borrowed reserves have been overperforming, adding that inflation is anchored in the Bank of Jamaica’s inflation target range of four to six per cent.Dr. Ramakrishnan said despite the impact of adverse weather conditions experienced earlier this year, the economy continues to rebound.She highlighted strong performances recorded in tourism, construction and manufacturing, as also further reduction in the unemployment rate to a seven-year low 12.2 per cent, coupled with a sustained expansion in the labour force, as positive out-turns in this regard.Dr. Ramakrishnan reiterated that growth for the 2017/18 fiscal year is projected to be approximately 1.6 per cent. This, she noted, is slightly lower than the forecast that was given when the initial review was conducted earlier this year, and was due primarily to the impact of the adverse weather conditions.“But in the medium term, we do expect growth to be about 2.5 to three per cent as Jamaica reaps the dividends from higher investment and higher productivity from all of the reforms that are currently ongoing,” she added.In his remarks, Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, said Jamaica, with support from the IMF and other multilateral partners, has demonstrated “incredible and unbroken resolve” in its economic reform agenda.“We have many successes of which we can be proud; however, much remains to be done. Now is the time to recommit ourselves to the task at hand… of ensuring that we secure for future generations a Jamaica that is economically independent and can, one day, be a net contributor to the international community,” he said.For his part, Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, said the Government remained “firmly committed” to meeting and surpassing all targets under the PSBA, including debt reduction “and the ambitious reform agenda we have laid out”.The just-concluded review comes one month shy of a year since the three-year PSBA came into effect, replacing the Extended Fund Facility, which spanned four years. Jamaica is virtually assured of an additional US$180 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), if needed, by meeting all quantitative targets and structural benchmarks in the second review. Head of the IMF’s Mission to Jamaica, which conducted the review over the past two weeks, Dr. Uma Ramakrishnan, says the provision, subject to the IMF Executive Board’s approval at its meeting scheduled for October, will bring the total amount of funds that Jamaica can access to approximately US$790 million.last_img read more

Jamaica to Cement Place as Global Conference Destination

first_img Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says Jamaica should cement its place as a global conference destination when Montego Bay hosts the ‘Global Conference on Sustainable Tourism’ from November 27 to 29. He also said the Ministry has made efforts to ensure the conference offers a “more interactive approach”, and, as a result, the first plenary session will include Ministers of Tourism and Chief Executive Officers of tourism enterprises engaging in dialogue about the make-up of successful, replicable collaboration models. Story Highlights Citing the importance of the involvement of the key multilateral financial institutions, including the World Bank and the IDB, Mr. Bartlett said this is aimed at “putting into strong focus the economic importance of tourism in global arrangements”. Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says Jamaica should cement its place as a global conference destination when Montego Bay hosts the ‘Global Conference on Sustainable Tourism’ from November 27 to 29.The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) conference is being held in collaboration with the World Bank Group and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, St. James.Speaking at a media briefing at the office of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce on October 31, Mr. Bartlett said one of the key outcomes of the conference will be the Declaration of Montego Bay document, which will form the blueprint for sustainable tourism development globally.Mr. Bartlett said the level of collaboration for the conference underpins its value, quality and uniqueness, as this will be the first that “everyone involved in tourism in a global perspective will be here in Jamaica and involved in discussing, deliberating and finalising a UN Declaration”.“The legacy from this conference will make Jamaica immortal, because we will become the centre for a whole range of discussions and applications in the future as we build out tourism down the road,” he argued.The Minister said the conference is going to redefine destination Jamaica as the centre where the world can come on an annual basis to cerebrate on matters relating to the development of tourism.Citing the importance of the involvement of the key multilateral financial institutions, including the World Bank and the IDB, Mr. Bartlett said this is aimed at “putting into strong focus the economic importance of tourism in global arrangements”.These deliberations, he pointed out, will focus on bringing ideas and capital together to create products and to build out a strategy for stimulating economic growth and job creation during the event, which is to be held under the theme ‘Jobs and Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism’.“It is the first time in the history of tourism activities that these elements are coming together to discuss the future of tourism,” the Minister explained.Mr. Bartlett encouraged Jamaicans to register to attend the conference via the UNWTO website.He also said the Ministry has made efforts to ensure the conference offers a “more interactive approach”, and, as a result, the first plenary session will include Ministers of Tourism and Chief Executive Officers of tourism enterprises engaging in dialogue about the make-up of successful, replicable collaboration models.The Minister said the second plenary session will examine the direct contributions of tourism enterprises to the development of destinations, so that new and emerging small and medium tourism enterprises and large companies can “focus on their bottom line”.The third session, he noted, will see the multilateral development banks and their clients pairing up to explore instruments, approaches and requirements for financing large- and small-scale tourism developments, while the fourth will examine donor-funded programmes that demonstrate balanced growth with environmental sustainability and social inclusion.This will be followed by the presentation of the Draft Declaration of Montego Bay, which will be completed by the Scientific Committee during the conference.Among the confirmed speakers at the conference are Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness; President of the Dominican Republic, His Excellency Danilo Medina; and UNWTO Secretary-General, His Excellency Taleb Rifai.Conference collaborators include the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO); the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA); private international development company, Chemonics International; and the George Washington University of the United States.The conference is also sponsored by some major international entities, including Airbnb, CNN, American Airlines, and Ethiopian Airlines, as well as Jamaican companies such as the Sandals Group, Chukka Caribbean, MBJ Airports, CariMed, Red Stripe, and the Jamaica National Group.Hotel partners include Iberostar Hotels, Hyatt Ziva, Hilton Rose Hall, Jewel Grand, Holiday Inn, Zoetry and the Half Moon Hotel.last_img read more

Phoenix Sinclair inquiry continues this week

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe inquiry into the death of five-year-old Phoenix Sinclair will continue this week with nine witnesses expected to be called.One witness will include Dr. Gary Altman. He is expected to deny allegations made by social worker Kerri-Lynn Greeley last week that Altman saw no need for further assessment of Sinclair’s mother.The inquiry has got a look at never before seen pictures of a thriving and happy little girl.The pictures contrast the cold reality of the little girl’s fate.She was murdered by her mother and stepfather then buried in a shallow grave on the Fisher River Cree Nation in Manitoba.Sinclair’s body was found in 2005.APTN National News reporter Meagan Fiddler brings you up-to-date on what’s happened so far.last_img

Moroccan Military Officer Assaulted in Dakhla Security Forces on High Alert

Rabat – Forces from the Moroccan military, Royal Gendarmerie, and police in the southern region of Dakhla in Western Sahara are on high alert following an assault on an army colonel, media sources report.The officer was attacked by individuals with covered faces and armed with knives, who then stole an army pick-up truck.In the wake of the assault, the army, Gendarmerie, police have made a coordinated effort to investigate the incident and increase security in the area. Army forces have conducted a sweep of the area in search of the suspects.Early investigations led by a police unit suggested that the attackers likely belonged to drug- and cigarette-smuggling gangs.The assault is the second in a month, following a similar attack on a solider in August.Smugglers are not the only ones who target security elements in the region. Separatists loyal to the Polisario Front have previously conducted assaults against members of Moroccan police.In December 2016 three separatists attacked a Moroccan policeman with knives. After their arrest, investigations revealed the attackers had worked to incite the local population to show support for Polisario. read more

Haiti UN envoy sends condolences after boat tragedy claims 38 lives

27 December 2011The head of the United Nations peacekeeping force in Haiti today sent his condolences to the country’s President and families of the 38 people who died at sea after their boat sank off Cuba’s eastern coast last week. Mariano Fernández, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), reaffirmed the mission’s commitment to supporting the Haitian authorities in their efforts to improve the living conditions in the Caribbean country so that Haitians do not have to risk their lives in desperate search for a better future abroad.According to media reports, the remains of the 38 people were discovered on Saturday when the Cuban coast guard found the half-sunken boat about 100 metres off the town of Point Maisi.The Cuban civil defence agency said in statement that the dead included 21 men and 17 women, according to the reports. Some 87 people, including four children, were rescued. read more

Foreign exchange rates

These are indicative wholesale rates for foreign currency provided by the Bank of Canada on Monday. Quotations in Canadian funds.Australia dollar 0.9988Brazil real 0.3988China renminbi 0.1904Euro 1.4975Hong Kong dollar 0.162446India rupee 0.01982Indonesia rupiah 0.000095Japan yen 0.01159Malaysia ringgit 0.2959Mexico peso 0.07149N.Z. dollar 0.9265Norway krone 0.1601Peruvian new sol 0.3916Russia rouble 0.02129Saudi riyal 0.3388Singapore dollar 0.9326South Africa rand 0.09541South Korean won 0.001115Sweden krona 0.1566Switzerland franc 1.3086Taiwanese dollar 0.04194Thailand baht 0.03821Turkey lira 0.3605U.K. pound 1.6483U.S. dollar 1.2705Vietnam dong 0.000056

Football Wide receiver Johnnie Dixon to remain at Ohio State for redshirt

Ohio State junior wide receiver Johnnie Dixon (1) scored the final touchdown in Ohio State’s 55-24 loss to Iowa on Nov. 4. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorThere was some thought that redshirt junior wide receiver Johnnie Dixon might forgo his final year of eligibility at Ohio State and enter the NFL draft since he was finally healthy for a full season.But Dixon decided to turn down the opportunity and stay at Ohio State for one last season.Dixon posted a tweet of a video with the text “1 more” and a caption that read “Unfinished business!” The return gives head coach Urban Meyer a key cog on the outside for a new quarterback next season.Unfinished business! 1 last ride #Gobucks pic.twitter.com/NB9ehwe2te— Johnnie L. Dixon III (@YoungKing_JD5) January 12, 2018Dixon is the second receiver to announce his return to Ohio State for a fifth season. H-back Parris Campbell tweeted he would remain a Buckeye for his redshirt senior season.Dixon has dealt with continual knee issues since enrolling at Ohio State in 2014. He hadn’t been able to play more than half-season for the first three years in college, but he remained mostly injury free in 2017.Dixon caught 18 passes for 422 yards with eight touchdowns for the Buckeyes this season. He was one of quarterback J.T. Barrett’s best deep threats in the passing game, catching three touchdowns of more than 40 yards.The 5-foot-11 wideout from West Palm Beach, Florida, had his highlight moment against then-No. 2 Penn State in October, when he caught two touchdowns in the fourth quarter of Ohio State’s 15-point comeback victory against the Nittany Lions.He started in all but one game in 2017. read more

Any attempt to unilaterally appoint Chancellor CJ will be vigorously challenged

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedPresident engaging in ‘Constitutional Heresy’ to undermine Judiciary— NandlallMay 4, 2017In “latest news”Judicial appointments: President says Courts should not be “paralysed,” awaiting legal adviceFebruary 14, 2018In “latest news”Former AG says Judicial appointments a matter for JSC not PresidentDecember 19, 2017In “latest news” Mincing no words, former Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs and Member of Parliament (MP) of the Opposition People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) Anil Nandlall  said if there is any attempt to ignore the strict constitutional prescription as it relates to the substantive appointments of Chancellor and Chief Justice (CJ) his party “will leave no stone unturned in a relentless effort to ensure constitutional compliance.”Former Attorney General Anil NandlallNandlall in a strongly worded statement posited that the pronouncements made yesterday by State Minister Joseph Harmon over the constitutional appointments of President David Granger’s nominees for the substantive post of Chancellor and CJ infers that if no agreement can be reached between the President and the Opposition Leader, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, the appointments can lawfully be made once their is “meaningful consultation.”He made reference to DPI’s article where Harmon was quoted as saying “President David Granger will be writing Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo informing him that another level of consultations will be held before the appointment of a substantive Chancellor of the Judiciary and Chief Justice…”Moreover, Harmon said “….There is a provision in the law which provides that in the event that there cannot be agreement because the requirement is for there to be agreement. Where agreement cannot be met, there is a second level which now requires meaningful consultations, so I believe that is the next step we will have to go to.” According to Nandlall however, Harmon “either wittingly or unwittingly, is grossly misrepresenting the constitutional position.”“The sole relevant Article, 127 (1), is excruciatingly clear. It is expressed in a singular sentence, spanning only three lines. It brokers no place for ambiguity or equivocation. It provides: 127 (1) The Chancellor and the Chief Justice shall be appointed by the President acting after obtaining the agreement of the Leader of the Opposition” said Nandlall.Moreover, he posited that this is one issue that must never be allowed the casualty of partisan politics.“If the head of the Judiciary, the constitutional bulwark of our democracy and the organ of State vested with the responsibility to protect our constitutional and human rights and freedoms and to preserve our democracy, law and order and indeed civil society as we know it, is allowed to be bastardised by the authoritarians who now wield political power, this nation will rapidly degenerate into a state of anarchy from which we may never fully recover” he said.Justice Kenneth Benjamin and current acting Chancellor Justice Yonette Cummings-EdwardsHinting that his party will legally challenge any attempt towards the unilateral appointment of Justice Kenneth Benjamin, as Chancellor of the Judiciary and Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards, as Chief Justice, the former AG said “it is sincerely hoped that the two highly respected and experienced judicial officers identified by the President will not lend themselves to be used in this proposed constitutional heresy, for they will be embroiled in the ensuing litigation which may unnecessary tarnish their high professional standing, stature and professional reputation. I hold both of them in sufficiently high esteem to know that they would recognise the vulgar violation of the Constitution that is being contemplated.”After doing his due diligence, Jagdeo earlier this week rejected the President’s nominees for the substantive post of Chancellor and CJ.Jagdeo said that he remained cognizant of the fundamental importance of securing substantive appointments to these two high constitutional offices.“As a result, I am committed to continuous engagement with your Excellency until there is due compliance with Article 127 (1) of the Constitution” he said. read more

Simon Hick French powers tightening their grip on European rugby

first_imgON WHAT WAS a fairly predictable weekend of Heineken Cup action, the stand out displays came from Clermont and Toulon, last year’s finalists and the two favourites again this season.Neither was flawless, but the sight of a grinning Bakkies Botha slapping a dead-eyed Carl Hayman on the back after they had overpowered the Cardiff scrum sent a message that in European rugby, things will never be the same again.This was one of the best and meanest second rows of all time, packing down behind the best tighthead prop of his generation; of course they were going to push Cardiff around. When you consider that a new €71 million TV deal has been announced between the Top 14 clubs and Canal+, that Sean O’Brien is probably on his way to Toulon and that Zac Guildford and Jonathan Davies are moving to Clermont, real consideration has to be given to the possibility that the Heineken Cup will effectively become a shoot-out every year between the top French teams.It will take the combined efforts of all the other countries if a complete monopoly on success is to be prevented.If the Heineken Cup continues next season with all nations involved, for it to have real credibility it needs the English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh to be realistic contenders. Leinster, Munster and Ulster are doing their part, Glasgow have improved, and the English should strengthen with an increase in their TV money.The Welsh regions, however, have once again been pathetically inconsistent. Over the history of the competition they’re as big a factor as the Scottish teams, which is to say, totally irrelevant. Leinster: host Ospreys on Friday night (INPHO/Billy Stickland)There aren’t even any hard luck stories or signs of progress or tragic last-minute losses. They rarely make the quarter-finals, never mind the semis, and have never threatened to be more than a road bump when playing away from home, besides the odd player-led Ospreys performance.They won’t say it, probably even to each other, but somewhere in the back of the Leinster players’ minds there is the thought that they can get a four-try bonus win on Friday night, and give themselves an outside chance of a home quarter-final. In the back of the Ospreys players’ minds is the thought that they can eliminate Leinster from the competition.Cardiff, Llanelli and the Dragons often seem to accept their fates, beaten down over the years by successive losses. The Ospreys though are like the drunk that keeps coming back swinging, confidence levels outweighing actual ability. That confidence sometimes makes them dangerous.The Ospreys owners have similar ambitions to Leinster’s but with a better stadium and the combined resources of two clubs (Neath and Swansea) that had far better traditions, infrastructure, fan bases and self esteem than Leinster had in the amateur era.They were expected to become European heavyweights but instead they had to stand aside as Leinster and Munster claimed cup after cup. They’re like Josh Hartnett sitting at home watching Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper get all the big parts.Things aren’t perfect at the moment for the Irish teams; performances aren’t matching the results, the quarter-final draw could be daunting and the French are nibbling away at the top players. The way things are shaping up off the field, this might be their last chance to win the tournament for a few years, but if we ever want to feel good about the provincial scene, we just need to take a look at Wales.Here’s the Ireland squad for the U20 Six NationsStrictly business as Ulster’s Afoa plans to ‘do a job’ on Leicesterlast_img read more