Students granted UG, 6th Form entry under “temporary” arrangement

first_imgAnnandale Secondary’s CSEC resultsBy Shemuel FanfairEven as the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) continues its investigation into the reported technical glitch that caused several students of the Annandale Secondary School to be issued with incorrect grades, the students are now being allowed to attend Sixth Form classes and the University of Guyana.Guyana Times was on Tuesday informed that this was a temporary arrangement, pending the release of the actual results by CXC. When this publication called CXC’s Headquarters in Barbados, the Head of Examinations was at the time unavailable and could not be reached for a comment.When contacted, Superintendent of Examinations, Sauda Kadir explained that the Education Ministry was collaborating with the Examination Council to ensure that the missing grades were sorted out. She could not, however, give a definite timeframe as to when the results would be likely released.“It is collaborative effort between us and CXC, and we are working to get it completed in the shortest possible time,” Kadir told this publication.On Sunday, acting Chief Education Officer (CEO) Marcel Hutson, pointed out that he could not definitively say when the error would be corrected. He assured that he has been employing strategies to ensure students could move forward with their studies.“I can’t say definitively [when the students would get their results], but I told those responsible that we need those results… because our children are waiting those results to know how they would have performed from a holistic perspective,” Hutson recently told this newspaper.It has been reported that a “technical glitch” was responsible for the students not seeing their correct grades. In some cases, students were seeing “ungraded” and others were not seeing results for some subject areas. It is still not yet clear just how many students have been affected.Last week, parents of the affected students had called off a planned protest after they were told by the school’s management and operatives of the Education Ministry that the matter would have been resolved.It was in August that Guyana Times first reported that many of the students were unable to obtain passes in certain subjects owing to the school’s alleged non-submission of the SBAs, but the Education Ministry later denied that this was the case.“This is not a situation that the teachers did not do what they had to do, it was a technical glitch,” Hutson had indicated.When this publication spoke to Education Minister, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine on the sidelines of the Education Month launch on September 1, he indicated that he would personally investigate the matter since, at that time, he was “not aware of the report”.Guyana Times had further reported that the school’s teachers had received the requisite training in sending the SBA grades via the Internet to CXC, but they did not adhere to the deadline. This publication also reported that many of the secondary school students were disappointed since their grades, as published, had barred them from proceeding with their studies.last_img read more

Differences in Canadian and American energy policies said to be causing anxiety

first_imgThe oil and gas sector in the United States seems very excited about the years ahead, while the Canadian sector is very anxious about its declining competitiveness and the hurdles it continues to face to build export pipelines, even as oil and gas prices recover.The jury is still out about whether energy companies that are still active will stick around.Story courtesy The Financial Post: http://business.financialpost.com/news/energy/anxiety-is-building-as-canada-and-u-s-energy-policies-head-in-opposite-directions WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Financial Post is reporting that anxiety appears to be building between Canada and the United States when it comes to their national energy policies.Though the two neighbouring countries have very integrated oil and gas markets, Canada is looking to tax and restrict oil and gas activity and infrastructure to meet international climate change agreements, while U.S. President-elect Donald Trump is said to  be looking to push the American energy renaissance to the next level.According to the president and CEO of the U.S. oil industry lobby, the American energy renaissance will continue to keep energy costs low, repatriate manufacturing, create jobs and boost the U.S. as a world energy superpower and exporter, while reducing environmental impacts through innovation in the private sector.- Advertisement -On the other hand, Canada’s policies seem to be aiming for a balance between energy development and environmental protection.In a speech Tuesday in Washington on the state of American energy, the American Petroleum Institute’s CEO Jack Gerard said that his group will advocate to re-examine the “regulatory onslaught” and repeal many of the 145 regulations and other executive actions implemented by President Obama that are stifling oil and gas activity. It will also push for quick approval of energy infrastructure, increased access for oil and gas drilling, reduce taxes.There is a good chance it will get what it wants, given Trump’s pro-fossil fuel cabinet picks, including former Exxon Mobil Corp. chairman Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, and former Texas governor Rick Perry as Energy Secretary.Advertisementlast_img read more

Redistricting plan could jump-start reforms

first_img– San Diego Union-Tribune 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! California is awash in calls for reform. Whether the issue is health care, education, prisons, water or the environment, there are scores of impassioned activists appalled by the haphazard way that Sacramento addresses critical state problems. Nevertheless, fixing redistricting is by far the most important reform of all – because it would make progress on other reforms much easier. ? There’s a good chance that a compromise bill will emerge from the Assembly in coming days that borrows from various proposals put forward this spring. There’s growing hope that Senate President Don Perata will then agree to place the measure on the February ballot. ? If this finally happens, hallelujah. We are now stuck with electoral districts ? that are ridiculously tilted toward one party or the other. ? If an impartial panel handles redistricting ? it would be easy to create at least 25 swing seats in the Assembly and Senate. Having this many vulnerable lawmakers would immediately create a huge incentive for the parties to work together – and finally, the tens of millions of Californians who don’t inhabit the hard left or the hard right would have a voice in the Legislature. last_img read more

New social phobia emerges as antibacterial goods surge

first_imgHis friends say he’s an antibacterial freak. But after suffering through a painful staph infection on his face that he thinks he got from his local gym, Rumcin Givergis said there’s nothing crazy or compulsive about being cautious. “For a while when I was going to the gym, I would wear surgical gloves,” the 42-year-old Toluca Lake man said. “Eventually, I convinced the gym manager to get a dispenser for alcohol.” For Givergis, the war against germs is a battle fought with rubbing alcohol – which he carries everywhere – hand sanitizer, extra wipes and in some cases plastic gloves when he goes to the store and uses a shopping cart. And he avoids touching his eyes or nose after he pushes elevator buttons or pulls open public doors. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champWhile Givergis’ experience with staph infection was unfortunate and extreme, his behavior and concerns have become more mainstream, health experts said. Americans are increasingly becoming afraid of germs – and one another. “I’m seeing a new social phobia emerge,” said psychologist Sheri Meyers, a local therapist who appears regularly on national and local television shows. “We’re becoming afraid of each other. We’re becoming afraid of our humanity.” Public health and news media warnings about superbugs and pandemic flu, along with the abundance and variety of antibacterial soaps and lotions, are fueling the compulsion, health experts say. And it’s especially bad during flu season, which peaks from December to March. The antimicrobial market alone has grown to a $1 billion industry, according to published reports. While Meyers and others say the change in behavior isn’t quite as extreme as those with obsessive-compulsive disorder – who wash their hands repeatedly – the increasing fear of germs is troubling. “Suddenly, there is a persistent fear,” Meyers said. “What we begin to do is overestimate the risk of danger of germs. Then stories about bacteria in spinach show up, and it reinforces that fear. Fear restrains our freedom.” And it’s also fueling the growing antibacterial market, experts say. “In a way, the companies that encourage cleanliness and that sell those products are to blame,” said Romeo Isidro, a psychiatrist at Northridge Hospital Medical Center. “I think (those products) are being pushed on society. One thing they are doing is playing on the obsessive-compulsive traits of people.” Despite the trend among Americans to oversanitize, experts say they have seen little evidence to show that the public is transforming into famous OCDers. There’s TV detective Adrian Monk, who carries sanitary wipes everywhere. Germ aversive “Deal or No Deal” host Howie Mandel, who doesn’t shake hands and offers a fist bump instead. And the man who could have defined germaphobia in popular culture, the legendary Howard Hughes. But a recent survey conducted by TripAdvisor, which tracks traveling trends, found that germs creep to the top of concerns among those planning to head out on vacations in 2008. — 80 percent of respondents said they are concerned about germs, bacteria and viruses when traveling. — Airplanes are the “most germy,” according to 28 percent of those polled, followed by public transportation, restaurants, hotels and airports. — 55 percent of travelers said they tend to wash and disinfect their hands more often while traveling. — 27 percent of Americans either bring their own disinfectant and cleaning supplies, shower shoes, pillows, towels or linens when going on a trip, up 22 percent from 2005. Germaphobia, known in medical circles as mysophobia, is an abnormal fear of dirt and germs and is associated with OCD. “There’s no evidence that OCD or OCD-type behaviors are increasing, but absolutely the availability of hand sanitizer makes it difficult to resist the urge to clean excessively,” said Melanie Zermeno, attending psychiatrist with the OCD Intensive Treatment program at UCLA. And when those with OCD see the mainstream use hand sanitizers regularly, the behavior is perceived as normal, she said. “Whereas a `normal’ person will do that a few times a day, someone with OCD will use (hand sanitizers) for hours,” Zermeno said. Health experts also are concerned about adults passing on the anxiety about germs to children. “What we really have to be conscious of is what are we teaching our children,” Meyers said. “As adults, we’re giving them a whole new level of fear, of Earth, of environment and each other. I am seeing children that are nearly OCD.” In recent years, scientists have cautioned that overuse of some antimacrobial products can weaken the immune system and that there is a difference between good germs and bad germs. Consider the increase in staph infections, which has been linked to an overuse of antibiotics. Or sexually transmitted diseases, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, which are proving to be drug resistant. In one finding published last year, researchers with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that while antibacterial products used in hospitals are more effective, some of those sold to the public are useless. “Despite a label claim of reducing `germs and harmful bacteria’ by 99.9 percent, we observed an apparent increase in the concentration of bacteria … after cleansing,” according to the study. In the end, the fight against germs of the 21st century comes down to an age-old adage: soap and warm water. “What the CDC recommends is after you use the restroom or before you eat, you should wash your hands,” Zermeno said. “Any more than that is considered excessive or unnecessary.” Givergis doesn’t buy it. In fact, since his staph infection, he says he takes time to speak to anyone who will listen about being more cautious. “I lecture those in the gym, my friends about it,” he said. “Some of them have listened and changed because of me.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Neville interrupts Mourinho’s interview with reaction to De Gea’s howler

first_imgThe Special One then walked towards the TV monitor himself to view the incident, and looked surprised himself at the manner of the error.It ended up being a day to forget for De Gea and co, with Troy Deeney converting from the penalty spot soon after Sarr’s effort, securing a big three points for Nigel Pearson’s relegation-threatened Watford side.Despite De Gea’s howler proving so costly, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer refused to blame his ‘keeper for the defeat.“It’s one of those things,” said Solskjaer. “He’s been so good in training and focused.“One goal is a mistake and the second is a penalty. David’s been very confident lately and I don’t look at it any other way.” 2 And while Mourinho was conducting his interview with Sky Sports’ Geoff Shreeves, Neville could be heard giving his verdict to the Hornets opener, saying: “Look at that! Oh my…,”Shreeves then turned to the Portuguese boss to ask him about Neville’s reaction, jokingly questioning his colleague’s professionalism.He said: “Jose, can I have your opinion on the unprofessional nature of Gary Neville?“You and I are doing a professional interview and he falls to the floor in disgust. What does that tell you about his lack of standards?”Mourinho responded, chuckling: “I think Gary can not hide his hide his United connections, but he’s a very good pundit.” 😂 It’s fair to say @GNev2 could not believe what he was seeing there, watching David De Gea’s error. Watch Super Sunday live on Sky Sports PL now 📺 pic.twitter.com/mVlxy7KubR— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) December 22, 2019 2 Twitter/SkySportsPL center_img Twitter/SkySportsPL Gary Neville can not believe his eyes after watching David de Gea’s howler Gary Neville interrupted Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho’s pre-match interview on Sunday with his reaction to David de Gea’s howler against Watford.The former Manchester United defender watched on in disbelief as the Spaniard fumbled a tame effort from Ismaila Sarr into his own net to give the Hornets a second-half lead. Jose Mourinho saw the funny side to Neville’s reaction last_img read more

Lee Clark laments Kilmarnock chances that got away in Firhill draw

first_imgLee Clark bemoaned Kilmarnock’s spurned goalscoring opportunities as his side could only record a 0-0 draw at Partick Thistle.The Ayrshire visitors created enough chances to claim all three points, but poor finishing let them down at Firhill.Their cushion over Dundee United has been trimmed to just five points following their win over St Johnstone, tightening things up at the foot of the Scottish Premiership.Clark said: “Of course I’m disappointed, we came here to win and hit the post and the bar and we just need to find a wee bit of luck in front of goal to start getting the wins we require. “It’s not as if we are not making opportunities, we just need to keep having some belief.“To win football matches you need to take your chances and I’m not going to stand here and lambast my players for not taking them. “I would be lambasting them if they were not being brave enough and getting themselves into positions.“We are at the stage now where we may need just to get a lucky goal, even a ricochet, but I would be more concerned if we were not making chances.” One of those opportunities Clark spoke of was when the normally clinical Kris Boyd failed to find the target in the 74th minute after excellent set-up play by substitute Josh Magennis, but the Kilmarnock manager was keen not to apportion too much blame to the experienced former Scotland striker.Clark said: “It’s just one of those things, Kris said the ball came just behind him and I’m not going to criticise him.“He’s someone who has scored at the highest levels and these are just things which are not going for us at the moment.”last_img read more

Future of Media Video: Google Takes Over the World by 2050

first_imgTags:#Analysis#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Davide Casaleggio sent a tip to Read/WriteWeb about a video his company produced exploring the future of media. It is a very cool 6-minute video, which takes some educated (and imaginative) guesses at how the Web and media will evolve over the next 40-50 years. In the short movie, Google, Amazon.com and Second Life are the big winners – with Google buying Microsoft, Amazon buying Yahoo, and Second Life becoming the dominant virtual world.The core future media concept is the Agav – an Agent-Avatar, which “finds information, people, places in the virtual worlds”. Here’s where it gets interesting. In 2022 Google launches Prometeus, the Agav standard interface, and Amazon creates ‘Place’ – a company that replicates reality. Then in 2027 Second Life evolves into ‘Spirit’, where people can become who they want to, via avatars. And then finally, the ‘Google overloads’ moment – when Prometeus buys Place and Spirit! By 2050 virtual life is the world’s biggest market and Google/Prometeus reigns supreme.Of course it may turn out different, but the video does make you think about where the Web is headed. Check it out… richard macmanus A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

More Bad News For HP: The New Google Chromebook Compared to a Typical HP Laptop

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… But Wait, the HP Laptop Has 500GB of Storage… the Chromebook Has ZeroWhat about storage – that’s got to be the HP laptop’s trump card, surely? After all, 500GB is a lot of space on your computer for documents, photos, music and a whole lot more. But even there, Google is chipping away at the HP/Microsoft computing paradigm.With the Google Docs office suite, you don’t need to store files on your machine – it’s all done in the cloud. Likewise for mail, photos and any other type of file that traditionally has been saved to your hard drive. Let’s not forget also the emergence of cloud storage companies like Dropbox, which comes with 2GB of free storage and 50GB for just $100 a year. Google, Apple and Microsoft itself all offer similar free or very cheap cloud storage.These days, most people can get by with their main files stored in the cloud and not on their computer hard drive. In fact, it’s becoming essential to use cloud storage, given how many computing devices we use every day (smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops and more).Conclusion: Watch Out HP…HP and other PC manufacturers will continue to have a slight hardware advantage over Google’s cloud machines, for the forseeable future. But that advantage is being chipped away at, primarily because of changes in software.We’re now at a point where an everyday consumer can weigh up a typical HP laptop with a Google Chromebook and not see much difference on the software side. What’s more worrying for HP and Microsoft is that consumers will soon see advantages in having their software run via the Web – better syncing of files, more convenience with Google Docs and more. That’s when HP will really be in trouble. richard macmanus The HP Pavilion g6 is being marketed as “just what you need for everyday life,” with words like “reliable” and “just right” being used to describe it. The machine costs $550, but you can get it for $430 after savings. The default OS for the HP Pavilion g6 is Windows 7 Home Premium and it comes pre-loaded with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser. The display is 15.6″, which admittedly is quite a bit larger than the latest Chromebook’s 12.1″ display (but let’s ignore that for the purposes of this post). It runs on an AMD Dual-Core processor and comes with 4GB of RAM, with a free upgrade to 6GB currently on offer. It has a 500GB Hard Drive, if you include another free upgrade.Google’s latest Chromebook – the Samsung Chromebook Series 5 550 – will cost between $450 (for the Wi-Fi version) and $550 (for the 3G version). It runs on an Intel Core processor and comes with 4GB of RAM. So if a consumer is looking for a new laptop and has between $450-550 to spend, she may well end up deciding between the Chromebook and an HP Pavilion g6. Today, Google announced two new computers, the latest Chromebook laptop and a new desktop machine called the Chromebox. After reading Jon Mitchell’s thorough review, it became apparent that there’s now very little difference in user experience between the Chromebook and a traditional laptop (for example, one from HP that runs on a Windows OS). Should traditional PC manufacturers such as HP – not to mention the world’s biggest software provider for laptops, Microsoft – be worried about this? You bet they should.Let’s use a specific laptop from HP as an example. Note: This isn’t an exact feature comparison, because it’s the user experience I’m exploring here. With that disclaimer in mind, I’m going to use the HP Pavilion g6 laptop as my example. I chose it because it was in the “Everyday” category on HP’s website, which is basically the same market for Google’s Chromebook laptop. The price points are similar, too. There are differences in the hardware that a consumer will weigh up, mostly to HP’s advantage. But let’s look beyond that to the user experience, which basically comes down to software. After all, it’s what you do on the computer that matters most. On that point, it should be noted that you have to pay extra to get Microsoft’s full-featured productivity software on the HP machine. So even though the HP has better hardware specs than the Chromebook at the $450-550 price point, you’ll end up paying more on the HP for software.Despite Appearances, There’s Not Much Difference in SoftwareAt first glance the software on the two machines is fundamentally different, since the HP laptop relies on desktop apps for the main tasks (such as Microsoft Word), while on the Chromebook you can only run Web apps (such as Google Docs in the browser). But actually, the difference in user experience of the software is minimal. Caesar Sengupta, director of Chrome OS, claims that “the distinction between a Web app and a native app for most people is very blurry if it exists at all.” In Jon Mitchell’s tests, on the desktop that was mostly true.Indeed, Jon found that the Chromebook was more than sufficient for most of his daily work and casual computing. He concluded: “If you’re a hardcore gamer or professional musician, this [the Chromebook] won’t be your main machine. But if your computer use is mostly casual, Chrome OS doesn’t lack anything.”Mostly casual = everyday. So the Chromebook is hitting directly at HP and Microsoft’s mainstream market for laptops, even though it isn’t an apples-to-apples feature comparison. Tags:#cloud computing#Google#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

(AUDIO) Columbia’s next city manager John Glascock

first_imgThe Columbia City Council tabbed John Glascock as the next permanent city manager. He has five major hires to make, including police chief.Glascock says he wants a diverse range of people, but he also wants someone in his old deputy city manager post who is ready to succeed him someday. That doesn’t mean he plans to leave his new office any time soon.“I used to say I wanted to retire in three years, but that’s out the window,” Glascock says. “I’m having a good time with this. This is fun. I enjoy the job immensely. It’s very rewarding.”Glascock joined Wake Up Columbia on Wednesday:(This story was last updated at 10:20 a.m. Wednesday.)last_img

Afghan president: 3 Taliban released for held US, Australian

first_img(AP) — Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday announced that his government has released three prominent Taliban figures in an effort to get the insurgents to free an American and an Australian professor they abducted in 2016 and have held captive for over three years.At a press event broadcast live on state television, Ghani told the nation that the “conditional release” was a very hard decision he felt he had to make in the interest of the Afghan people.The announcement comes at a sensitive time for Ghani, as President Donald Trump halted talks between the U.S. and the Taliban in September, after a particularly deadly spate of Taliban attacks, including a Kabul suicide bombing that killed a U.S. soldier. Also, the future of Ghani’s government is in doubt as the results from the Sept. 28 presidential elections have not been released yet. Preliminary results are expected on Nov. 14.The three members of the Taliban-linked Haqqani network that Ghani said were being released include Anas Haqqani, Haji Mali Khan and Hafiz Rashid. Ghani added that they are being released “conditionally in exchange” for the two professors.By mid-afternoon, no visuals had emerged of the three figures. It was not immediately clear if they were still in Afghanistan, on their way or had already been sent — for example — to Qatar, where the Taliban maintain a political office.There was also no statement from the Taliban or the Haqqani faction holding the American and Australian hostages, or any indication if and where the two would be freed.The three Taliban figures were under the custody of the Afghan government, Ghani said, and were held at the Bagram prison, an air base that also houses U.S. troops just outside Kabul.“In a demonstration of respect for humanity by the government and nation of Afghanistan, we decided to conditionally release these three Taliban prisoners who were arrested in close cooperation with our international partners from other countries,” Ghani said, without elaborating.The Taliban have long demanded the release of Anas Haqqani, the younger brother of Sirajuddin, the deputy head of the Taliban and leader of the Haqqani network, often considered the strongest of the Taliban factions fighting in Afghanistan.Anas Haqqani was arrested in Bahrain in 2014 and handed over to the Afghan government, which later sentenced him to death. It was not clear when his execution was supposed to take place.The two captives held by the Taliban — an American identified as Kevin King and an Australian man identified as Timothy Weekes — were abducted in 2016 outside the American University in Kabul where they both work as teachers.The following year, the Taliban released two videos showing the captives. A January 2017 video showed them appearing pale and gaunt. In the later video, King and Weekes looked healthier and said a deadline for their release was set for June 16 that year.Both said they are being treated well by the Taliban but that they remain prisoners and appealed to their governments to help set them free. It was impossible to know whether they were forced to speak.Subsequently, U.S. officials said that American forces had launched a rescue mission to free the two, but the captives were not found at the raided location.In Tuesday’s address, Ghani added that the Taliban kidnapping of the two American University teachers was not representative of Islamic and Afghan traditions.“We have decided to release these three Taliban prisoners who were arrested outside of Afghanistan,” Ghani said, adding that it was meant “to facilitate direct peace negotiations.”In a statement, the American University of Afghanistan said it welcomed the development and was “encouraged to hear reports of the possible release of our two colleagues, Kevin King and Timothy Weeks.”The statement added that while the university was not part of any negotiations with the Taliban or government discussions, it continues “to urge the immediate and safe return of our faculty members who have been held in captivity, away from their friends and families, for more than three years.”Ghani said the release of the teachers was “part of our main demands during the indirect negotiations with the Taliban.”“We can assure the families of both teachers that we welcome and honor those who come to our country to pursue education,” Ghani said.Meanwhile, talks are underway about another round of so-called “intra-Afghan dialogue,” this time in Beijing, which would include a wide selection of Afghan figures and Taliban representatives. The meeting was initially to take place last month but has been postponed with no new date set. The last time it was held was in July in Qatar.The dialogue is a separate process from the U.S.-Taliban talks under U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad that collapsed in September.The Taliban have refused to talk directly with the Kabul government while Ghani insists his government must lead any talks with the Taliban.last_img read more