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With PBA Draft coming up, Matt Salem continues to fine tune game

first_imgLATEST STORIES Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew “It’s a good experience, it’s an international tournament and it shows that I can work that I can eventually use in the PBA,” said Salem. “It’s going to take a lot of time to be able to work on those skills I need to develop.”“Offensive-wise, I got my shooting, I can attack when I want on and off the ball screen. I think I could develop a few more skills after seeing these international players.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award “I’m just working out for the last couple of months and I have to get ready for the draft pretty much,” said Salem Friday at Studio City here.Salem is part of the Philippine representatives the iECO Green Warriors in the Asia League The Terrific 12 where they played against the top club teams from China, Japan, Chinese-Taipei, and Korea.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissAlthough iECO went winless in Group C and failing to enter the semifinals after two games, Salem was a solid contributor for the team and was able to display his deft stroke from outside.Salem averaged 12.5 points and three triples per game for the Green Warriors, who was formed just weeks before the competition started on Tuesday. Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew PBA IMAGESMACAU—Matt Salem knows reaching the PBA is the goal for any aspiring Filipino basketball player, and he’s doing everything ito equip himself with all the right tools that would be useful once he steps into the big league.He’s already made a name for himself during his collegiate career as a marksman for National University and De La Salle, but he knows there’s still room to improve before submitting his name to the draft.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img View comments MOST READ Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title ONE: Team Lakay’s Kingad ready for war vs Japanese foe Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazillast_img read more

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Darwinists Topple Darwin’s Tree of Life

first_imgDarwin’s “Tree of Life” is a myth.  It’s based on circular reasoning.  It is a pattern imposed on the data, not a fact emerging from the evidence.  We should give up the search for a single tree of life (TOL) as a record of the history of life on earth, because it is a “quixotic pursuit” unlikely to succeed – and the evidence is against it.  Who said this?  Not creationists, but a new member of the National Academy of Sciences in his inaugural paper for the academy’s Proceedings.1    W. Ford Doolittle and Eric Bapteste decided to celebrate this inauguration with fireworks.  What they wrote is less a scientific paper than a reprimand.  They let Darwin-lovers have it between the eyes:Darwin claimed that a unique inclusively hierarchical pattern of relationships between all organisms based on their similarities and differences [the Tree of Life (TOL)] was a fact of nature, for which evolution, and in particular a branching process of descent with modification, was the explanation.  However, there is no independent evidence that the natural order is an inclusive hierarchy, and incorporation of prokaryotes into the TOL is especially problematic.  The only data sets from which we might construct a universal hierarchy including prokaryotes, the sequences of genes, often disagree and can seldom be proven to agree.  Hierarchical structure can always be imposed on or extracted from such data sets by algorithms designed to do so, but at its base the universal TOL rests on an unproven assumption about pattern that, given what we know about process, is unlikely to be broadly true.  This is not to say that similarities and differences between organisms are not to be accounted for by evolutionary mechanisms, but descent with modification is only one of these mechanisms, and a single tree-like pattern is not the necessary (or expected) result of their collective operation.  Pattern pluralism (the recognition that different evolutionary models and representations of relationships will be appropriate, and true, for different taxa or at different scales or for different purposes) is an attractive alternative to the quixotic pursuit of a single true TOL.The last sentences from the abstract (above) and other quotations from the paper (below) show that they are not abandoning evolution.  They are simply claiming that this icon of a single branching tree is unsupportable, and indeed, is a figment of human imagination.  “We will argue that inclusive hierarchical classifications do not emerge naturally and consistently from the relevant prokaryotic data considered in general (in their entirety),” they state.  “Instead, they have been imposed on them by selective analyses that are based on the assumption that a tree must be the real natural pattern, even if only certain of the data can be trusted to reveal it.”  Later, they said, “Importantly, Darwin did not and could not test the reality of the tree pattern.  Indeed, one is hard pressed to find some theory-free body of evidence that such a single universal pattern relating all life forms exists independently of our habit of thinking that it should.”  Homologies, for instance, do not comprise independent evidence for a tree of life: “homologies are more often deduced from trees than trees are from homologies,” they explain.  “Thus, explanans melds with explanandum, and neither is tested.”  The reasoning is circular.  The fossil record and biogeography cannot be used to infer a universal tree except by extrapolation of limited evidence from “specific groups, areas, or times.”  No evidence, in short, produces a tree pattern necessarily; biologists should be open to other patterns, like networks.    Growing realizations that lateral gene transfer (LGT) is rampant in biology, at least among the prokaryotes, render the discernment of a tree pattern impossible.  One cannot draw a tree out of a scrambled egg.  Is it justifiable to infer a tree when only 5% or less of the data conform to the expected pattern?  Some evolutionists have tried to dispute the extent of LGT, but commit another circular argument in doing so.  Doolittle and Bapteste explain: “to make ‘vertical descent’ the null hypothesis against which claims for LGT must be tested is to assume that which is to be proved: that an inclusive hierarchy exists independently of our beliefs.”  In addition, the authors complain that a “phylogenetic signal” in the genetic data is often weak at best.  Despite what students have been led to believe, “there is no strong expectation that a universal hierarchy that embraces all life should be produced with molecular markers.”    They spent some time analyzing the TOL hypothesis from Darwin’s own words.  This next excerpt argues that Darwin committed a circular argument by confusing pattern with process.  Doolittle and Bapteste reveal that generations of scientists have grown up with this confusion.  They claim the TOL concept is unnecessary, given other strong evidence for evolution (which they did not specify):Problematically, Darwin depended on the notion that the true pattern of natural relationships is a tree in the construction of his theory of the responsible process and, as Panchen (17) notes, his explanandum [the thing to be explained] was subsequently considered by him as a part of the proof that his theory (explanans [the explanation]) was right.  That classifications should be constructed as hierarchies because evolution is a branching process and that hierarchical classification is a proof of branching evolution is the mixed message many of us took from our early education as biologists.  But we now have ample other evidence supporting the reality of evolution.  We could thus dispense with the tree (and such semicircular reasoning), should this particular historical premise about branching fall short, without weakening the solid edifice of evolutionary biology.Why Darwin’s argument was called semicircular instead of circular reasoning was not explained.  Also the “ample other evidence” and “solid edifice” was assumed, if by evolution they were implying a universal, mechanistic, unguided natural process that gave rise to all of life without a Designer or Creator.  Nevertheless, this paper clearly argued that there was no reason inherent from the data that the pattern of relationships we observe must look like a branching tree.  It could look like a web, or a network, or something else.2  In fact, some evolutionists have argued for a ring instead of a tree (09/09/2004).  The possibility of “pattern pluralism” arising from multiple mechanisms requires that evolutionary biologists rid themselves of the predilection for “tree-thinking.”    Elsewhere, the authors chide critics of evolution.  They clearly do not want their statements to fuel the controversy.  Darwin’s Tree of Life may be false, but it was a useful lie that got many biologists fired up about a new path of inquiry.  That being accomplished, they no longer need the metaphor.  The metaphor of a tree is getting in the way of further understanding.  To argue this, they invoke a metaphor of their own: a ladder –Darwin’s TOL hypothesis, like most biological theories, is a claim about the process that underlies a pattern.  It is important for modern phylogeneticists to remember that reconstructing the TOL was not the goal of Darwin’s theory, but rather it was an integral element of his developing model of the evolutionary process.  Importantly, this simile prompted generations of scientists to take Darwin’s claim that evolution had occurred seriously, for all his lack of a coherent theory of inheritance.  The TOL was thus the ladder that helped the community to climb the wall of acceptance and understanding of evolutionary process.  But now that we have climbed it, we do not need this ladder anymore.  In 2006, our understanding of evolution at the molecular, population genetic, and ecological levels is rich and pluralistic in character and does not require (or justify) a monistic view of the phylogenetic pattern.    Holding onto this ladder of pattern is an unnecessary hindrance in the understanding of process (which is prior to pattern) both ontologically and in our more down-to-earth conceptualization of how evolution has occurred.  And it should not be an essential element in our struggle against those who doubt the validity of evolutionary theory, who can take comfort from this challenge to the TOL only by a willful misunderstanding of its import.  The patterns of similarity and difference seen among living things are historical in origin, the product of evolutionary mechanisms that, although various and complex, are not beyond comprehension and can sometimes be reconstructed.Again, however, they did not provide examples of evidence supporting their emphatic assertion that life has evolved.  They just claim that it did: that the evidence is “rich” within the broad categories of molecular studies, population genetics and ecology.  They also did not explain why it was necessary to “struggle” against those who doubt this, if in fact, as they argued, pattern and process cannot be used as supports for each other.3    Their final paragraph argues that evolutionary biology is like history.  Discerning the history of life on earth should invoke a variety of tools:In this regard, our task is not different from that of contemporary cultural or social historians.  We know much about what can happen and have a variety of tools by which we might unravel what has happened.  We should use them all, but without seeking some elusive unifying “metanarrative,” either tree or web.  Phylogenetics could become again the rich and realistic science of the genesis of phyla and address within a multifaceted pluralistic framework not only new questions about the past [identification of networks, hubs and highways of gene exchange and vertical descent] but also the present (in particular, through integration of metagenomic data with evolutionary and ecological theory).Yet this statement begs the question of why a pluralistic approach is better.  A pluralistic approach involving mutually contradictory presuppositions would seem fruitless.  And why one correct approach should be discounted merely in favor of pluralism seems equally pointless.  One thing is clear from their argument, though: Darwin’s Tree of Life has fallen.    Radical as this paper seems, others have echoed similar ideas.  Carl Woese, the one who reorganized taxonomy into three kingdoms (archaea, bacteria, and eukarya), wrote an article with Nigel Goldenfield in Nature last week that is even more radical.4  They even call it revolutionary.  “The emerging picture of microbes as gene-swapping collectives demands a revision of such concepts as organism, species and evolution itself” they said in a Connections article called, “Biology’s next revolution.”  In a hail of verbal gunfire, they talked about an “extraordinary time for biology” in which multidisciplinary approaches and new definitions and concepts are about to overturn much of what we thought we knew about evolution.  Such new concepts might even include cybernetics and information theory.  Old Darwin himself may have to step back, and share the limelight with none other than his despised rival, Lamarck:Nowhere are the implications of collective phenomena, mediated by HGT [horizontal gene transfer, same as LGT], so pervasive and important as in evolution.  A computer scientist might term the cell’s translational apparatus (used to convert genetic information to proteins) an ‘operating system’, by which all innovation is communicated and realized.  The fundamental role of translation, represented in particular by the genetic code, is shown by the clearly documented optimization of the code.  Its special role in any form of life leads to the striking prediction that early life evolved in a lamarckian way, with vertical descent marginalized by the more powerful early forms of HGT.    Refinement through the horizontal sharing of genetic innovations would have triggered an explosion of genetic novelty, until the level of complexity required a transition to the current era of vertical evolution.  Thus, we regard as regrettable the conventional concatenation of Darwin’s name with evolution, because other modalities must also be considered.They welcome new players into biology: statistical mechanics, dynamical systems theory, and other disciplines more capable in dealing with the concepts of generic energy, information and gene flow.  The old habits of post-hoc modelling will give way to the methods of quantitative prediction and experimental test more characteristic of the physical sciences.    Progress in biology will require something else, they argue: a new language. Sometimes, language expresses ignorance rather than knowledge, as in the case of the word ‘prokaryote’, now superseded by the terms archaea and bacteria.  We foresee that in biology, new concepts will require a new language, grounded in mathematics and the discoveries emerging from the data we have highlighted.  During an earlier revolution, Antoine Lavoisier observed that scientific progress, like evolution, must overcome a challenge of communication: “We cannot improve the language of any science without at the same time improving the science itself; neither can we, on the other hand, improve a science without improving the language or nomenclature which belongs to it.”  Biology is about to meet this challenge.51W. Ford Doolittle and Eric Bapteste, “Inaugural Article: Evolution: Pattern Pluralism and the Tree of Life Hypothesis,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 10.1073/pnas.0610699104, published online before print January 29, 2007.2“So firm is the grip of tree-thinking” on biologists that they illustrated the fallacy with a spoof.  They gave two examples of tree-like patterns imposed on non-biological data sets that clearly could not represent an ancestral sequence.  One was a pattern of evolutionary authors with similar surnames that are not related.  Another showed a branching pattern of departments in France based on counts of similar surnames.  This “misapplication of tree-thinking” is a fallacy, they argued, that traps evolutionists intent on finding Darwin’s branching pattern when the pattern is not real.  The authors gave real-world examples of how, in some molecular studies, less than 5% of the data is in agreement with a TOL pattern.  In the case of the “tree of cells,” the phylogenetic signal is as low as 1%.  They decry “the continued enthusiasm for universal tree building and its broad application on the basis of very few and often contradictory data.”  The reader can decide whether this situation constitutes a Half Truth or a Big Lie.3Here is another example of their defense of evolution: “To be sure, much of evolution has been tree-like and is captured in hierarchical classifications.  Although plant speciation is often effected by reticulation and radical primary and secondary symbioses lie at the base of the eukaryotes and several groups within them, it would be perverse to claim that Darwin’s TOL hypothesis has been falsified for animals (the taxon to which he primarily addressed himself) or that it is not an appropriate model for many taxa at many levels of analysis.  Birds are not bees, and animals are not plants.”  Yet these claims depend on generalities, dogmatic assertions, and arguments that are self-refuting from other arguments in the paper, such as the propensity of biologists to follow an “elusive unifying metanarrative” to explain the data when other metanarratives or patterns might explain it just as well.  At the risk of being perverse, we refer the reader to the 01/10/2007 discussion of animal phylogeny.4Nigel Goldenfield and Carl Woese, “Connections: Biology’s next revolution,” Nature 445, 369 (25 January 2007) | doi:10.1038/445369a.5Embedded within this paragraph are a couple of presuppositions: (1) that science is progressive, and (2) that a new language brings improvement.  If, as Woese has illustrated, language can express ignorance instead of knowledge, who would be able to judge that a new language for expressing evolution would not represent a regression into a new kind of ignorance?  Biology may be about to “meet this challenge,” but who is the judge who will be able to declare the outcome a victory?Once in awhile, among the hundreds of tedious titles in scientific journals about the effect of gamma rays on marigolds or whatever, a paper announces its presence like a trumpet.  Without news sources like CEH to bring these papers to the attention of the lay public, this blast by Doolittle and Bapteste might have been muted.  The intellectual elite readership in academia, already deafened by Darwin, might fail to heed its warning.  They might explain it away as a false alarm, or hush it up.  No longer: the trumpet has sounded!  Darwin’s Tree of Life is fallen!  The sound has reached the Visigoth camp (05/06/2006) and elicited shouts of triumph.  Echoing through the valleys round about Darwin’s castle is heard the taunt, “We told you so!”    First, it’s necessary to dispense with Doolittle and Bapteste’s protestations that the castle is still safe.  They bluffed that the walls are solid, buttressed with mounds of evidence from molecular biology, genetics and ecology.  They mocked the doubters who, by “willful misunderstanding,” would use their arguments to question evolutionary theory itself.  Don’t fall for this trick.  Their own arguments refute evolution without our help.  They have cut the branch Darwin was sitting on.  Worse, they cut down the whole tree!  They have replaced the tree with a web, Charlie’s Web, that spells out “SOME PIG” in a feeble attempt to bolster his self-esteem while doing nothing to change his circumstances.  Then Woese adds insult to injury by inviting Lamarck back into the leadership.  This is sure to bring on another of Charlie’s worst vomiting attacks, right when he was already gagging over intelligent design, to the point where he can’t stop gagging even when there’s nothing more down below to up Chuck.    How could PNAS let this trade secret get out?  We know nothing of the motives or beliefs of the authors except what they stated in this paper, and by all appearances, they are loyal members of the Darwin Party.  They did, of course, pay the obligate incense to Charlie and curse the doubters.  You can’t publish in the Darwiniac-controlled Big Science journals without it.  But the damage is done.  Do you realize how big this admission is?  The Tree of Life is arguably the central icon of evolution.  From the single illustration in Charlie’s book till now, the image of a branching tree from a single root emerging from a primordial soup has been the symbol of evolution.  Papers are regularly published with phylogenetic trees.  There are whole journals devoted to tree-building.  Phylogenists employ elaborate software programs that take genomes and try to decipher the hidden tree within.  Is this all for naught?  Is it nothing more than playing games, tilting at windmills that don’t fight back and aren’t even aware of you?    These authors basically said that tree-thinking evolutionists are dreaming.  Data don’t build trees, people do!  The software programs only succeed in finding a “consensus tree” or “maximum likelihood tree” or “maximum parsimony tree” because that is what biased programmers told them to find (see 07/25/2002).  If the program’s job is to find a tree, then find a tree it will.  It may have to throw out long-branch attraction (04/30/2005), massage the data to account for molecular clock heterogeneity (05/02/2006), and select between a dozen equally-valid results or whatever, but out pops a tree – whoop-de-doo!  The scientist gets a nice graphic to publish in his paper, and everyone is happy except Mother Nature.  If you doubt this, look at what they do with evidence in the 06/13/2003 and 04/30/2005 entries.    The wishful-tree fallacy perpetuates itself because evolutionists approach the data with tree-thinking lenses on.  (Blinders help, too.)  Their tree may only be supported by 5% of the data, after tossing out the other 95% as irrelevant, but they feel justified in believing in it because they know in their hearts from the get-go that Darwin was The True Prophet.  Look how giddy some of the disciples get (see this Darwin Day advertisement with the “World’s Largest Edible Tree of Life”).    Can you imagine how grating it must be to be told that Darwin confused pattern with process, that the trees exist only in their imaginations, and that the evidence contradicts this 146-year-old myth Darwin sketched on paper, the only place it exists in the world?  What does this paper do to the $150 million NSF project “Assembling the Tree of Life”? (09/08/2006, 10/30/2002, 03/14/2003).  It pulls the rug out from under it!  No amount of rationalizing about potential applications or better storytelling can justify spending $12 million a year of public money on a quixotic pursuit by a few dogmatic disciples of a tree-worshipping cult.    Despite their pledges of allegiance to evolution, you will look in vain in these two papers for actual evidence that life emerged and diversified by a blind, materialistic, aimless process from molecules to man.  Yes, scientists observe mutations in genes.  They find variations within the clades, evidence of duplicated genes, and various homologies.  So what?  Other non-Darwinian, non-materialistic explanations are available.  The Darwinist may counter that all life uses the same genetic code, and that this proves a universal common ancestor.  But think outside the Darwin box: does this not fit the creation model?  A network of highly adapted kinds, each springing from a common Hand – what else would you expect?For instance, Walter ReMine made it a theme of his book The Biotic Message that life was designed to indicate that it did not evolve, and that it came from a single Creator.  The universal genetic code proves the latter, and the intransigence of life’s nested hierarchies to fit a tree pattern proves the former.  If each group had completely separate codes, one might be justified in believing polytheism.  If all life had a clearly-traceable ancestry, then one might be justified in believing in evolution.  According to ReMine, the Creator guaranteed that the “biotic message” would rule out those alternatives and validate a single, intelligent origin.While we’re outside the box, consider further that the evidence fits just what a Bible-believing Jew or Christian would expect.  The world was created perfect, but has degenerated since Creation and the Flood.  Limited diversification from the original created kinds has occurred because of variability built into the genomes of each created kind for robustness and adaptability to change – features perfectly consonant with good design.  Diseases represent degenerative process and a curse on the original creation.  Natural selection works on horizontal scales but does not add new genetic information or functional novelty.  If Carl Woese is justified in looking at the genetic code as an operating system, why should not these patterns based on a Biblical metanarrative, which fit the evidence to a T, be allowed in the Garden of science?  If everybody starts with a metanarrative, why should Charlie’s mythical Tree of Life be protected by angles with flaming words? (puns intended).66The pun density in our commentaries is proportional to p(u)n, where n is the number of stinking evolutionary ideas in paper p, a function of its underlying assumptions u.    A sinister side of this comical tale is embedded in Doolittle and Bapteste’s fable of the ladder.  What does a ladder do?  It is not an end in itself, but a means to an end.  The ladder helped the Charlietans climb into the castle of Science and pretend to belong: “The TOL was thus the ladder that helped the [atheistic storytelling] community to climb the wall of acceptance and understanding of evolutionary process,” they admitted.  “But now that we have climbed it, we do not need this ladder anymore.”  Having invaded the stronghold, the cultists were in position to enter the inner sanctuary of Science.  They desecrated it by removing its Commandments of observability, testability and repeatability.  They built in its place a Temple of Charlie with a mystical Tree hidden behind a material veil, promising golden apples of enlightenment.    The Darwin Party conspirators carried out their plot, working tirelessly till their cult became the State Religion.  They hypnotized the peasants with just-so stories to keep them from revolting.  They changed the language into a dialect of materialism and made it illegal to speak the old language of teleos.  Critics were shouted down by mob rule and kicked out of the city.  Former heads of state, despite their eminence and experience, were labeled barbarians and forced to build their own camps outside the walls.  Children were taught that the barbarians were ignorant, insane and wicked.  They had to be kept at bay lest they chop down the sacred Tree.  Children gasped at the prospect of never receiving the promised golden apples.    Unopposed, the conspirators consolidated their power.  All groups in the castle were required to obtain and display the Darwin Party imprimatur.  They had achieved Utopia.    For over a century, the Darwinian conspirators have maintained a totalitarian rule over Science.  Indulging their lusts at banquets amply supplied with tantalizing speculations (12/22/2003), they have become fat, lazy and corrupt.  They send their lackeys to enlist cult prostitutes (e.g., 12/11/2006), plan the Tree Festivals and Darwin Days, perform ritual child sacrifice (i.e., the Darwin-only rule in the schools), persecute infidels, brainwash reporters and supervise the cult propaganda in the media.  The noble barbarians, denied access to the institutions, communication channels, funding sources and positions of influence, have suffered long and done the best they can.    But hark!  A messenger.  He brings word that the people inside are suspecting the Tree was a fake all along.  A trumpet blast from within the wall hints that officials inside are scrambling to maintain order.  Panicking, they issue public service announcements to explain away the embarrassing revelation, claiming that the Tree symbol was necessary to establish the Utopia they all need and enjoy.  They command the people to continue the Darwin Day celebrations, Tree or no Tree.  Edible icons of Darwin’s Tree of Life (example) are distributed to placate the crowds.  Yet murmurs of doubt and discontent remain.  The shrillness of the Party propaganda rises as the enthusiasm of the peasants wanes.  OK, Visigoths and Ostra(cized)goths, now you know why it’s time for Biology’s Next Revolution.(Visited 64 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Arts festival with an edge

first_imgProf Tawana Kupe, founder of the WitsArts and Literature Experience namedWale 4.0, said this year’s programme isset to establish the festival as one of thecountry’s esteemed arts event. Bongi Lecoge-Zulu, a former student atWits, performed at the launch of Wale 4.0 Elaine Hirschowitz is one of the artists whowill be exhibiting at this year’s festival(Images: Nosimilo Ramela)MEDIA CONTACTS• Vanessa PerumalJT Communication Solutions+27 11 788 7631/2Nosimilo RamelaThe fourth annual Wits Arts and Literature Experience, also known as Wale 4.0, runs from 11 to 14 May 2011 and celebrates rising local talent and well-known South African artists.It was launched at The Adler Museum of Medicine at the University of the Witwatersrand’s (Wits) Faculty of Health Sciences in Johannesburg on 20 April.Boasting a diverse four-day programme, the festival will feature performances by 15 well-known artists, 27 student productions, and 33 Wits staff and alumni contributions. All performances will take place at the Johannesburg-based institution.“Our new team has delivered an exceptional programme said Wale founder, Prof Tawana Kupe. It really takes forward what we’ve built up over the past few years to create a significant arts event that makes Johannesburg a real cultural destination in May.”Speaking at the launch Kupe said it was important that the university remains accessible to the community. “Often universities become communities unto themselves, however it is important for us to retain the university space to the larger community that we are part of.”He said in creating this year’s programme the emphasis has been placed on collaboration as well as opening the university’s doors to all citizens to come and enjoy a creative line-up in their own city. “It’s about opening up the festival, broadening its offering and tipping it over the edge”.To establish its position as one of the country’s esteemed arts festivals, Wale 4.0 will host an impressive opening concert on 11 May at the Wits Great Hall Plaza. The show will feature well-known band Kwani Experience, among other celebrated musicians, dance productions and poetry performances, which will kick off the four-day event.“Over the past three years Wale has built itself into one of the country’s best festivals,” said Wits theatre general manager Ahraf Johaardien.ParticipantsElaine Hirschowitz, one of the artists who will be exhibiting at this year’s festival, said she is looking forward to sharing her art with the public. “Art is a form of therapy. When you communicate or share something you’re going through with others, you start to heal.”Hirschowitz, an art and psychology graduate, said she uses her work to find peace, beauty, and healing during hard times. “Art helps me to find harmony in a world that can often be very cruel.”Bongi Lecoge-Zulu, a former student at Wits, performed at the launch of Wale 4.0. With a decade worth of experience, she wowed guests with her refined flute-playing skills. “I’m excited to be part of the festival, I look forward to playing at the opening concert, and encourage everyone to come and enjoy the festival.”Diverse line-upTheatre production Smoke and Mirrors, directed by well-known South African choreographer and performer Athena Mazarakis – in partnership with the Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaboration, will be performed at the Wits theatre during the festival. “We live our lives negotiating an endless series of smoke and mirrors,” said Mazarakis.Other performances theatre-lovers can look forward to include Planet B presented by respected director Helen Iskander. Sexetera, directed by Phyllis Klotz, also promises to impress audiences. The Titled, directed by Eliot Moleba, will be another theatre highlight this year. This production is an expansion from Moleba’s 2010 Wale piece called The Untitled.For music-lovers the festival will feature international music icon Zim Ngqawana’s Zimology. During the course of his 30-year career as a musician, Ngqawana has created the “Zimology” philosophy based on the belief that music can help people connect with their true selves.A musical concert, to be held in honour of the late academic and musicologist Mary Rorich, promises to be another highlight of the festival.The film element of Wale 4.0 has also been heightened, with 10 film screenings during this year’s event. Four of these will be a reflection of the festival’s impact on greater Johannesburg.There will be a book fair at the festival certifying literature as a strong feature of Wale 4.0. It will feature booksellers and publishers as well as a full programme of launches.There will also be discussions and debates added to this year’s programme. These will give individuals an opportunity to share their festival experiences and explore some of the topics and themes presented throughout the event.last_img read more

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Rail expansion ‘to boost SA economy’

first_img5 February 2014 The upgrading and expanding of South Africa’s rail network will relieve the burden on the roads, significantly increase the country’s export capacity and stimulate further investment and job creation, says Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba. Speaking at a briefing in Pretoria on Monday, Gigaba said a total of 6 405 kilometres of rail would be replaced on South Africa’s general freight, coal and ore lines, increasing the country’s freight capacity by 149.7-million tonnes. “Existing logistics corridors will be expanded and new ones will be established, and 1 317 new locomotives and 25 000 new wagons will be procured [over the next five years],” he said. “We will be able to increase our exports of coal by over 50%. Our ability to move general freight on rail will have more than doubled in capacity, and Transnet’s container handling capacity will increase by 75%.”Catalysts for further investment, employment Gigaba said that state-owned companies were acting as catalysts for additional investment in the economy. Infrastructure development was a critical stimulant, Gigaba said, with Eskom planning to invest over R500-billion in the economy over the next five years, and Transnet set to invest over R300-billion over a seven-year period. State-owned companies falling under the Department of Public Enterprises invested R53-billion in the economy three years ago, Gigaba said; this year they would be investing over R113-billion – an increase of over 100%. “Our infrastructure state-owned companies are already key providers of employment, and with the additional infrastructure capacity that will be built, [they] will become even more important sources of employment.” By 2017, he said, Transnet alone would support the direct and indirect employment of approximately 30 000 people. The company had also secured R175-million from the Department of Higher Education and Training to recruit and train 1 000 learners to study maritime engineering. “State-owned companies are playing a leading role in skills development and will be investing over R2.8-billion in the current financial year,” he added. “Over the last year, more than 16 000 learners were trained in scarce and critical learning programmes within state-owned companies of the DPE.” Also addressing Monday’s briefing, outgoing Eskom CEO Brian Dame said the power utility was “serious about helping black business to bloom”, and that Eskom had “finalised the structure of a fund for developing mines to assist emerging black miners”. Gigaba added: “By 2015, we will ensure that over 50% of coal for Eskom comes from black miners.” Source: SAnews.govlast_img read more

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Pork supplies edging up for 2016

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The pork industry has largely overcome the impacts of the 2014 porcine epidemic diarrhea virus. Pork producers have been disciplined in limiting expansion after record 2014 profits.As a result, pork supplies should be only modestly higher in 2016 and provide prices that cover all costs of production. However, there are some concerns for the longer run as global meat and poultry supplies continue to expand with a weak world income base.The industry is rapidly leaving behind the impacts of the 2014 PED virus. The number of pigs per litter has set new quarterly highs in each of the three quarters so far this year. In the most recent summer quarter, the number of pigs per litter reached an all-time high of 10.39.The PED virus left a deficit in market hogs a year ago, but that deficit will rapidly close by the end of this year. This can be seen in the current count of market hogs compared to year-ago levels. Pigs that were 180 pounds or larger on Sept. 1 were up 10%. While 10% higher is a large increase, it is a reflection of the deficit of market hogs one year ago.The number of market hogs weighing 120 to 179 pounds that will come to market in October and early November was up 8%, but the number of 50-to-119 pound pigs that will come to market from late November to early January was up only 3%. Finally the under-50 pound pigs that will be the foundation of the first quarter 2016 supplies were down modestly.In the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s September Hogs and Pigs report, producers indicated that they had expanded the breeding herd by just 1%. In addition they were going to decrease fall farrowings by 2% and winter farrowings by 1%.Pork supplies are expected to be up 4% in the final quarter of 2015 with a combination of 5% more hogs and 1% lower weights. For 2015, pork supplies are expected to be 7% higher than supplies in 2014. Supplies for 2016 should be about 1% higher than in 2015 with the first three quarters being down one%, unchanged, and up 1%, respectively.Hog prices averaged near $55 per live hundredweight for the third quarter of 2015 and are expected to drop to an average in the higher-$40s in the final quarter. Prices are expected to average near $50 in the winter and then move up seasonally to the mid-$50s in the second and the third quarters of 2016. Prices in the final quarter of 2016 are anticipated to be in the mid-to-higher $40s.For the 2015 calendar year, hog prices are expected to average about $51 on a live weight basis. Current projections for 2016 are for a similar average price. These prices are in sharp contrast to the $76 record high prices of 2014 when PED reduced pork supplies.Costs of production in both 2015 and 2016 are expected to be similar, around $51 per hundredweight. Costs for both years are the same as the projected price, and thus at breakeven. These cost projections include costs for full depreciation and a normal rate of return for all capital and labor. Therefore, break-even means all costs are covered.After the record profits of 2014, there has been concern that the industry would over-expand. At this point that concern has not developed with supply and demand anticipated to be in balance for the coming 12 months. This also serves as a warning to the industry to make sure that further expansion plans remain moderate.There seem to be growing threats in the future for the meats sector. Those include continued expansion of total meat supplies into 2016 and 2017 with rapid expansion of poultry and increased beef supplies. The large drop in finished cattle prices in recent weeks suggest that retail beef prices could begin to drop this fall and provide added competition for pork. In the longer run, beef supplies will continue to expand for multiple years.Potential weakness of meat and poultry exports is also a concern with slowing world economic growth and a strong U.S. dollar.Feed prices will remain low for the next nine months due to strong yields for 2014 and 2015 crops and weakened exports. Animal product producers will want to take advantage of harvest price lows this fall. However, longer-term, managers need to remain aware that low feed prices are not guaranteed if weather should turn more adverse in some important growing areas.last_img read more

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Social Network Users Reportedly Concerned About Privacy, but Behavior Says Otherwise

first_imgRelated Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… sarah perez Recently, new data from security solutions company Webroot revealed some interesting insights into the thoughts and behaviors of users on social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, and others. According to their survey, a majority of users (78%) reported concerns about their social network profiles’ privacy, but when asked about specific behaviors it was apparent that “concern” didn’t translate into action. In fact, it didn’t even seem to translate into a basic understanding of how to use the privacy tools already in place on the networks today.Is Your Profile Public? Err…I Don’t KnowSeeing that a majority of social networking users expressed concerns about the information they shared in their profile, it’s somewhat surprising to find that 80 percent of those same users allow their profiles – or at least, part of them – to be indexed by public search engines like Google. And 66% of users don’t restrict any profile information from being publicly searchable. Those numbers are based on the realities of the situation as tracked by Webroot, but when asked directly about their profile’s publicity, a lot of respondents didn’t even know the answer. A whopping 59% of the 1100 surveyed said they weren’t sure who could see their profile. To top it off, 32% of users shared at least three pieces of identifiable information on their profile pages and 28% accepted friend requests from complete strangers. These sorts of behaviors show a distinct lack of understanding about the risks of sharing personal information with those you don’t know. It also certainly shows that being concerned about privacy hasn’t been enough of an incentive for users to take any action to change their behavior. The Younger You Are, the More You Share TrustWebroot also found that younger social networking users took more risks than any other demographic. Those users ages 18 to 29 tended to use the same password across multiple sites (51% versus 36% overall), accepted friend requests from strangers (40% versus 28% overall), and shared more personal information online. In this age group, 67% shared their birthday (vs. 52% overall), 62% shared their home town (vs. 50% overall), and 45% shared their employer (vs. 35% overall). Not surprisingly, this overly trusting group also reported more security attacks than others with nearly 40% having experienced an attack versus 30% overall. Are Privacy Settings Too Hard to Use?What’s surprising about these findings is that most of today’s modern social networks provide privacy settings that allow you to keep your personal information from being indexed or viewed by anyone except those you choose. Even simple social networks, like microblogging site Twitter, let you set your feed to private, if you so desire. Facebook, now the largest social network in the U.S., offers robust privacy settings and is working on making them even more reflective of our real-world relationships. But clearly, there’s a disconnect between what tools are out there and the users’ knowledge of what’s available or how to use them. What can social networks do, though? Is it enough to simply offer the tools then put the onus on the users to dig around until they find them? Or should there be more guides and wizards provided in order to make turning on privacy settings a chore that even the less technically-inclined can handle? As it stands today with so many mainstream users joining social networks, it may be time that social networks stopped hiding privacy options features deep within the settings (an area we’d wager the everyday user rarely accesses). Networks need to start highlighting your options or at least linking to the settings, somewhere a bit more obvious – like the profile page itself, for example. Of course, even if social networks did so, there would still be a subset of users who were simply uninterested in doing anything about it. We suppose they would still have to learn the hard way about the risks of over-sharing, but at the very least, a larger part of the online population would be able to protect themselves and their personal info. Tags:#Trends#web center_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

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Infidelity and Military Couples: Risks & Effects

first_img[4] Nemeth, J.M., Bonomi, A.E., Lee, M.A., Ludwin, J.M. (2012). Journal of Women’s Health, 21(9), 942-949. This post was written by Kacy Mixon, M.S., LMFT, Social Media Specialist.  She is a member of the MFLN Family Development (FD) team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, YouTube, and on LinkedIn. [5] Allen, E.S., Rhoades, G.K., Stanley, S.M., Loew, B., & Markman, H.J. (2012). The effects of marriage education for army couples with a history of infidelity. Journal of Family Psychology, 26(1), 26-35. References[1] Baucom, D., Snyder, D. K., & Gordon, K. (2009). Helping Couples Get Past the Affair. New York, NY: The Guilford Press. By Kacy Mixon, M.S., LMFT[Flickr, The First Couple- Moments of Togetherness by U.S. Embassy New Delhi, CC BY-ND 2.0] Retrieved on September 17, 2015Infidelity is a common problem faced by many couples and is one of the leading causes of divorce [1]. Research shows: “…21% of men and 11% of women will engage in sexual infidelity during their lifetime” [1].  Contexts surrounding  infidelity can vary greatly.  However, consequences to the relationship once infidelity is disclosed tends to be devastating and disruptive.Are Military Couples At-risk?Military couples can be particularly vulnerable to infidelity because of the types of stressors experienced in these relationships [2].  For instance, prolonged separation due to deployment, high incidences of stress-related mental health problems, and a high prevalence of couples who marry young are a few of the reasons that military couples are particularly at-risk for infidelity.How Can Infidelity Impact Your Well-being?[Flickr, Broken air by Angelo Amboldi, CC BY-ND 2.0] Retrieved on September 17, 2015Infidelity is known to connect to a broad range of adverse emotional and behavioral issues [3]. People who have learned that their partner is having an affair are at increased risk for having depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Especially in times of marital separation and divorce, people who have taken part in an affair are at great risk for depression, suicidal thoughts, and anxiety. Domestic violence is also a problem that co-occurs with infidelity and can be exacerbated upon disclosure or discovery of the affair(s) [4].What Are Treatment Options for Couples? Military couples can utilize therapy to assist with navigating their way through problems associated with infidelity. Issues surrounding trust, trauma, and forgiveness can assist in repairing the damage that infidelity often causes to a relationship. Furthermore, it can be helpful for couples to consider family therapy when children are involved because they may absorb and react to some of the negative effects infidelity can bring to family life. Marriage education programs offered for military couples can be beneficial by increasing communication skills in couples with a history of infidelity. However, research indicates these programs may not effectively address marital satisfaction [5]. Stay tuned for our upcoming post exploring an evidence-based couples’ treatment approach specifically tailored to military couples struggling with infidelity. [3] Gordon, K.C., Baucom, D.H., & Snyder, D.K. (2004). An integrative intervention for promoting recovery from extramarital affairs. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 30(2), 213-231. [2] Snyder, D.K., Gasbarrini, M.F., Doss, B.D., & Scheider, D.M. (2011). Intervening with military couples struggling with issues of sexual infidelity. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 41, 201-208.last_img read more

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One Reason You May be Fighting with Your Spouse About Money

first_imgBy Carol ChurchMoney is an incredibly common area of conflict for couples, and it can be a really serious one. Some research suggests that fighting over money is one of the most common causes of divorce, especially if the fights are particularly angry or intense. It’s hard, because learning to negotiate finances with another person can be really difficult. We all have our own styles of saving, budgeting, and spending, and what feels right to one person may feel really wrong to another. And in most families, at least some of the time, it can feel like there just isn’t enough money to go around.Perceptions of Spending Styles MatterSo how can partners reduces some of the destructive stress around finances? Surprisingly, one recent study found that some of the problem may be our perceptions about our spouses’ spending styles, more than anything else. In this research, men and women were asked how much financial conflict they experienced along with various other questions, such as how much they earned, how they thought their partner did with money, how much money stress they were under, and so on.When the researchers tallied the results, they found that the #1 predictor of financial conflict was men’s belief that their wives were “bad with” money, which negatively affected men and women both. It also wasn’t good when women thought their husbands were bad with money, though this was less serious.Most of us might have assumed that being under financial stress or not earning much money would predict money conflict the most. It did– but not as much as thinking that one’s spouse was an over-spender. Even couples with plenty of money and few financial worries suffered when someone believed their partner to be a money waster! This problem is especially tricky when you consider that “tightwads” and “spendthrifts” often tend to be attracted to each other and end up together.Image via Pixabay.com/CC0So, how can partners who are experiencing financial stress due to different money personalities (or even just the perception of different money personalities!) improve their situation? One way to handle this is to work on a realistic budget together that allows for each spouse’s hobbies, needs, and interests. If there is frequent conflict over purchases, it may be useful to create a small “fun money” account for each spouse that can be spent as each person sees fit, without spousal discussion. (If the saver wants to put the money in the bank, that’s fine too!) But aside from that account, make a rule not to keep financial secrets from each other. Sometimes false perceptions come about because one spouse suspects the other of “financial infidelity”—hiding spending—even when it isn’t true.Although it may be surprising to learn just how powerful our perceptions can be when it comes to financial conflict, it may also help to know that some of this issue may just be “in our minds.” Financial disagreements with a spouse or partner are difficult, but are something that can be overcome.Save the dates of our 3-part Family Finances Series which begins July 10 with a webinar on Separation & Single Parenting in the Military.References:Britt, S.L., et al. (2017). Tightwads and Spenders: Predicting Financial Conflict in Couple Relationships. Journal of Financial Planning, 30, 36-42.last_img read more

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SEA Games: PH duo settle for silver in men’s tennis

first_imgRead Next “It’s too bad, they got ahead in the tiebreak and we couldn’t shake it,” said Alcantara, the 2009 Australian Open juniors doubles champ.The Thais zoomed to 4-0 in the super tiebreak. The Philippines tried to catch up with some power baseline drives but there was no stopping the Thai twins, who have now won four men’s doubles titles.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“At this level there’s no easy points. We had to be solid in serves and returns. It was very close which was already good at this level,” added Alcantara.Anna Clarice Patrimonio, meanwhile, hopes to end the country’s gold medal drought in women’s singles when she takes on Luksika Kumkhum of Thailand in the finals Saturday. The 23-year old Patrimonio is looking to become the first FIlipino SEA Games singles champ since Maricris Fernandez in 1999.“I will do everything that I can to win, said Patrimonio, who is the daughter of former PBA four-time MVP Alvin Patrimonio.Clarice defeated fourth-seed Ka Andrea Daray of Cambodia, 6-0, 6-3, in the semifinal round to advance to her first gold-medal match in her career.Kumkhum, the No. 1 ranked, defeated Tan Li Yan Stefani of Singapore, 6-0, 6-0, in the other semifinals. The Thai has career-best ranking of 85th in the world in singles and won gold in doubles in 2014 Incheon Asian Games.ADVERTISEMENT WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Lyceum completes first round sweep with Mapua rout SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program LATEST STORIES View comments LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Gamescenter_img Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief KUALA LUMPU—Francis Casey Alcantara and Ruben Gonzales dropped a tough three-set decision to the defending champions from Thailand to settle for silver in the Southeast Asian Games tennis men’s doubles Friday.The Filipino pair took the fight to twins Sonchai and Sanchai Ratiwatana before yielding a 6-4, 2-6, 10-7 decision in the final at Jalan Duta Tennis Complex.ADVERTISEMENT UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Gameslast_img read more

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Ex-Arsenal player takes Chinese citizenship in landmark move

first_imgGrace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations However, that would not stop them playing for China because they did not represent the countries of their birth as senior internationals.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war LATEST STORIES MOST READ Knicks send Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas, say he requested a trade ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes View comments (L-R) Arsenal’s French midfielder Francis Coquelin, Arsenal’s German defender Per Mertesacker and Arsenal’s defender Nico Yennaris celebrate after their team scored the 0-1 during the football friendly match 1. FC Koeln vs. FC Arsenal London in Cologne, western Germany, on August 12, 2012. AFP PHOTO / DANIEL ROLAND (Photo by DANIEL ROLAND / AFP)A London-born former England youth international signed for Beijing Guoan on Thursday and will take Chinese citizenship, in a landmark move for Chinese football.Ex-Arsenal player Nico Yennaris arrived from English second-tier side Brentford and was joined at Guoan by fellow midfielder John Hou Saeter, who was born in Norway.ADVERTISEMENT ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woescenter_img Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Saeter, 21, who will use his Chinese name Hou Yongyong, moves from Stabaek in Norway’s top league.By naturalizing both men, Guoan can field them as domestic players instead of overseas ones.Chinese Super League teams are restricted to a maximum of three foreign players on the pitch at the same time.The pair’s switch to Chinese could also be a boon to the struggling national side, who badly need quality reinforcements.Yennaris has represented England at under-17, under-18 and under-19, and Saeter played for Norway in several age groups.ADVERTISEMENT The duo — both of whom have Chinese mothers — are set to become China’s first naturalized footballers “after all the formalities are completed”, Guoan said.The capital club, who won last season’s Chinese FA Cup under German coach Roger Schmidt, said they hope the two players will go on to represent China.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsThe 25-year-old Yennaris, who has taken the Chinese name Li Ke, tweeted: “I’m delighted to announce I’ve signed for Beijing Sinobo Guoan FC as a Chinese citizen. “It’s an exciting opportunity for me to play in the birth country of my mother and grandparents.” Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH 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 SEA Games hosting troubles anger Dutertelast_img read more

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