Timeless Collins targets records in Rio

first_imgVeteran sprinter Kim Collins is aiming to set records should he qualify to represent St Kitts at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this summer.Should he make the team, it would be his sixth Olympic Games, but that is not the record he is aiming for.Collins says he would be going to Rio to do something no other man his age has ever done.The sprinter turns 40 years old in April, and has for the past few years defied time and convention by running faster as he has aged. In 2014 at age 38, Collins who is based in Jamaica, ran a personal best and age group record for men 35 and over, 9.96 seconds in London, almost a full tenth of a second faster than the 10.07 seconds he ran to win World Championship gold in Paris, France 13 years ago. In Rio, he wants to be faster.”I think it would be an amazing achievement to just have been to six Olympics,” said Collins. “First of all, I want to make the team, but for me personally I am looking to run under 10 at 40. That is my main goal and then whatever else happens, if I go out in the first round or whatever I would be happy with that because not everybody can hold up as a sprinter.”The 13-year-old age-group record for 40-year-old men is 10.29 seconds and is held by Troy Douglas of The Netherlands.CUTTING BACKTo ensure that his body holds up this year, Collins, who is coached by his Jamaican wife, Paula plans to cut back on his indoor season.”Last year, I had nine races. This year, we will have five including Dusseldorf, Berlin, Karlsruhe, Stockholm and Glasgow and then World Indoors,” he said.With the reduced schedule, Collins believes he will have enough left in the tank for that big push towards his goal for Rio.”I think I have it in me, based on where I am now I think I can go,” said Collins, who explained that he believed he could have achieved that goal in Beijing at the IAAF World Champions last August. “I got a little distracted after indoors last year and it threw everything off and I lost focus.”He concluded that at his age he is not trying to keep pace with the younger generation.”I am not trying to keep up with them. I am trying to run wey lef’ dem,” he said with a laugh.last_img read more

PSAC rejects government offer to compensate public servants for Phoenix pay fiasco

first_imgOTTAWA — The union that represents the majority of federal employees has rejected the government’s “meagre” offer to compensate public servants who’ve fallen victim to the Phoenix pay system fiasco.The Public Service Alliance of Canada says the government is offering general compensation of just 1.25 days of paid leave per year, for four years.“PSAC could not agree to this meagre proposal,” union president Chris Aylward said in a statement Friday.“Our union will not trade in four years of our members’ pain and suffering for a settlement that does not adequately compensate for the terrible toll Phoenix has had on their lives and that of their families.”PSAC represents some 180,000 workers.The union says more than 270,000 workers have been affected by the disastrous adoption of the Phoenix pay system, which left them underpaid, overpaid or not paid at all.According to PSAC, the fiasco forced many public servants to “delay career advancement, cancel parental leave, experience high levels of anxiety, reduce their support of family members and delay retirement — to name but a few of the serious adverse effects.”The union says a backlog of 240,000 cases is still not resolved and more than 100,000 workers are still waiting to have their last collective agreements implemented.Aylward said PSAC also found other elements of the government’s compensation proposal to be unacceptable, such as imposing a $1,500 threshold before some compensation claims can be made and preventing members from taking cash in lieu of the proposed paid leave. The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Hasina says wanted a strong opposition

first_imgArmed Forces Division congratulates prime minister Sheikh Hasina for her landslide victory in the 11th parliamentary election at her official Ganabhaban residence on Wednesday. Photo: PIDMentioning that her party wanted a strong opposition through the 11th general elections, Awami League president prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said the possibility of such an opposition diminishes when a party indulges in nomination trade.”For democracy, a strong opposition is needed. That’s why we wanted that there would be a good opposition, but the possibility to become such an opposition lessens when a party indulges in nomination trade,” she said.The prime minister said this while delivering her speech when a cross-section of people, including Bankers Association of Bangladesh (BAB) and FBCCI, greeted her at her official residence Ganobhaban by presenting bouquets to her for her party’s landslide victory in Sunday’s parliamentary elections.She said it was very much regrettable that the attitude of the opposition was peculiar. “The way they gave their nominations was not for participating in the election. They just did business in the name of giving nominations,” she said.Sheikh Hasina mentioned that a person came to the Bangladesh mission in Dubai to submit his nomination paper when the mission officials informed him that he had to submit it to the respective returning officer or through online which made him angry.”The person told the mission officials that he gave so much money in London that they told him he could be able to submit his nomination paper even from Dubai. This is just an incident. There’re more incidents like this,” she said.About the BNP’s nominations to more than one person in most of the seats, the prime minister posed a question, “For what did they give more than nomination in one seat? What type of election will they do who can do this type of incident?”She also said she saw people’s desires for casting their votes in favour of Boat, the electoral symbol of Awami League, in the 11th general election like 1970 and 1973.Talking about the plans of her government in the next five years, Hasina said the people of the country will get homes, education, food, nutrition and treatment. “Their lives will be beautiful and developed, this is my expectations for the coming days,” she said.Expressing her deep gratitude towards the people of the country for keeping their trust and belief in her, the AL chief sought cooperation from all so that she could honour the trust and belief.last_img read more

Civil Rights Group Honors Dole Holder and Murphy

first_imgLaura Murphy, Eric Holder and Bob Dole (right) were honored at the 39th Annual Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Awards Dinner. (Photo by Rob Roberts).Former ACLU Washington Director Laura Murphy, the recently retired U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, and former Sen. Robert Dole were the 2015 honorees at the 39th Annual Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Awards Dinner on May 13. The event was held at the Washington Hilton Hotel. Wade Henderson, the president and CEO of the dinner’s sponsor, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said that the work of the honorees is needed now more than ever.“We have major national problems to solve,” Henderson said. “On nearly every indicator that we use to measure progress, people of color, low-income people, and other marginalized groups are falling further behind and, in many ways, doing worse than they were in 1960. Our schools are more segregated, our levels of unemployment are at an all-time high, we faced continued discrimination in voting and employment, and our incarceration rates have increased exponentially.”The dinner is named after Humphrey, U.S. vice president from 1965-1969 and senator representing Minnesota from 1949-1964 and 1971-1978. Humphrey was a strong advocate for civil and human rights and played key roles in the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.Murphy was lauded by many speakers as one “who looks like Bambi but bites like Jaws.” Former Minnesota State Sen. Mee Moua, the president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, introduced Murphy to the audience as “my role model, confidant and friend.”“When I grow up I want to be just like you,” Moua said.Murphy, a descendant of AFRO founder John H. Murphy Sr., is a native of Baltimore. She has worked for U.S. Rep. Shirley Chisholm, California Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, and in the administration of D.C. Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly.As the chief lobbyist for the ACLU, Murphy spearheaded efforts in the enactment of the Fair Sentencing Act, the 1982 and 2007 extension of the Voting Rights Act, and the Family Medical Leave Act. She has also been outspoken on issues such as the rights of citizens’ post-9/11 attacks and immigration reform.Murphy, joined at the event by members of her family including prominent Baltimore attorney Billy Murphy, said that as a child, her family discussed the issues of the day at the dinner table.“We [my siblings] were expected to know the news and especially what was in the family newspaper, the AFRO,” Murphy said.Murphy thanked her former ACLU staff members and encouraged them to be zealous in the fight for civil and human rights. “Let’s carry on,” she said.Pulitzer-prize winning author Taylor Branch introduced Holder calling him “an attorney general in the tradition of Robert Kennedy.”Holder, replaced by the first Black female U.S. attorney general Loretta Lynch, said, “[The] Justice Department is in good hands.”Noting his achievements in fair sentencing, defending voting rights laws, fighting state discrimination laws and standing for marriage equality, Holder said “that if you got a better Justice Department, show me.”“This has been a Justice Department that has been unafraid to act,” he said.Dole was presented by Sheila Bair, former chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and a former staffer for the senator. Dole said that he supported every major piece of civil and voting rights legislation, as well as the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday bill, while serving on Capitol Hill.“I believe if you are a citizen of this country, you should vote in this country,” he said.Ivan Thornton, Ballou Senior High School junior member of its nationally-renowned band, attended the dinner with director, Darrell Watson, and some of his colleagues. Ivan said that he was glad he came to the event.“This is magnificent,” Ivan said. “All of us are in awe of the people who are here and what is going on. This is opening my eyes to a lot more stuff than what we see going on in Southeast.last_img read more

The Company Leading the Future of Farming

first_imgMay 23, 2013 4 min read This story appears in the June 2013 issue of . Subscribe » Sustainability » Love & Connecting » Invention » Urban Life »Rural LifeFood & Beverage » Work Life » Gaming » Crowdsourcing & Collaboration » Sports & Recreation »Here’s a crazy idea: Combine 3-D printing and tissue engineering to “print” animal products and tackle some of the planet’s biggest problems. Animal farming, after all, accounts for about half of all human-caused greenhouse gases, taking place on one-third of the available, non-frozen land on Earth. All to feed people’s appetites for 300 million tons of meat a year.Enter Gabor and Andras Forgacs, father-and-son founders of Modern Meadow, a company they started in 2011 that may very well be the model for the farm of the future.Five years earlier they helped start Organovo, a firm that makes human tissues for pharmaceutical research and other medical applications, and was a commercial spinoff of Gabor’s pioneering work at the University of Missouri in “bioprinting,” which he describes as “extending biological structures in three dimensions.” Modern Meadow’s output is based in part on this work. On a basic level, the process involves using 3-D printing to deposit clumps of cells into patterns of tissue. The particles fuse post-printing–similar to cell development in embryos. Unlike Organovo’s final products, which must be kept alive, Modern Meadow’s postmortem animal tissues are simpler to build and faster to market.Leather, a $60 billion trade globally, is first on the agenda. “What we build is skin, or hide, and we do this elaborate game to turn it into leather,” explains Gabor, who serves as chief scientific officer of Modern Meadow, which is based in Columbia, Mo., and Moffett Field, Calif. A prototype material will debut later this year, so the company is currently focused on building out commercial relationships. “Our goal after that is to be able to do a limited production run and to incorporate [the leather] into fashion accessories and apparel in 2014,” says Andras, CEO. “Then, it’s all about scaling.”Interest has been resounding. Large manufacturers and designers of apparel and accessories–even automotive manufacturers–stand to benefit from a more efficient leather supply chain. For consumers, fabricated leather could alleviate environmental and animal-welfare concerns.Meat is a longer-term project but should have similar financial blessings. On the research side the company has garnered equally keen interest, winning competitive grants from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and scoring funding from organizations like Peter Thiel’s Breakout Labs. “The grants were approved and awarded with the speed of light,” Gabor says, noting how extraordinary it is for research to be backed with such “glowing fanfare.” To date, Modern Meadow has received $2 million in funding, an amount that should skyrocket as the company completes its prototypes and pursues further phases of grant funding from Small Business Innovation Research. “It illustrates where we stand,” Gabor declares, “that what we are doing is timely, we have the right reputation, and it is of interest to society.”More Rural BrillianceFreight FarmsFreight Farms upcycles shipping containers into stackable modular mini-farms, reducing the footprint required for growing crops and allowing for locally grown produce in urban areas.Wide Open SpacesA deal site for hunting and fishing gear, Wide Open Spaces also curates under-the-radar brands.AgLocalAgLocal scored $1 million in funding last year from Andreessen Horowitz for an online platform that allows local and family farms to sell responsibly raised meat directly to consumers.Rent-a-Goat.comOnline directory Rent-a-Goat.com lists herders around the world who rent out their goats for clearing away unwanted brush and weeds, as an eco-friendly alternative to machinery or chemicals.Kusa”Syn-turf” flip-flops from Kusa make you feel like there’s grass beneath your feet.Front Yard CoopThe Full Monty by Front Yard Coop: A solar-powered, self-propelled coop that moves around the yard to provide birds with fresh foraging, while a fence keeps them safe from predators.FarmersOnly.comDating site FarmersOnly.com solves the problem of how to meet someone when you work on a farm all day.WildBlueWildBlue, part of the Exede internet service, offers high-speed internet to rural communities (virtually every home and small business in the contiguous U.S.) via satellite; no need for cable or phone lines.MetwitThe Metwit iOS and web app aggregates weather information from users who report local conditions (including photos); a smart push notification system makes it the first crowdsourced severe-weather alert system.   Register Now » Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Globallast_img read more