TAUNTON, England, (CMC) – Twenty20 World Cup champions West Indies Women will look to turn the page on their ordinary form of the last three weeks when they meet Australia Women in their opening match of the ICC Women’s World Cup here Monday.The contest, which bowls off at 10:30 am (5:30 am Eastern Caribbean time) will be a rematch of the T20 World Cup final India last year when the Caribbean side dominated in style and a repeat of the 2013 World Cup final in which the Aussies got the upper hand.West Indies will start as underdogs especially based on their form in recent weeks. They lost both official warm-up games last week to Pakistan and South Africa respectively and prior to that, went down to England, Southern Vipers and India in other practice games.However, captain Stafanie Taylor told a media conference here that her side had put the hiccups of recent weeks behind them and would be starting afresh.“Warm up games are gone. We’re not focussing on what’s gone,” the Jamaican said.“Tomorrow everyone’s on a level playing field and we’re just trying to focus on what we need to do in that game.”Australia, the reigning champions, are understandably tournament favourites and reiterated that status with convincing victories in their two warm-up matches.They boast the world-rated likes of Meg Lanning, Ellyse Perry and Alex Blackwell but Taylor said West Indies would be focussed on executing their game and not worrying about the Aussies.“We are not focussing too much on the Australians. We’re trying to focus on our game and what we need to do as a team to win,” she explained.“We know that Australia are going to come hard at us and as I said, we just need to focus on our game and what we do best. We can’t focus too much on the Aussies, we just have to remember all the good things we did against them in the last World Cup and go out there and play our cricket.”Taylor, who averages 44 from 98 ODIs, will lead her side’s batting, with help coming from fellow veteran Deandra Dottin, teenaged opener Hayley Matthews and former skipper Merissa Aguilleira.However, it has been the Windies’ batting which has let them down on tour so far, highlighted in their dismal 63 all out in their second official warm-up against South Africa in Oakham last Thursday.Their bowling has been more consistent with new-ball seamers Shamilia Connell and Shakera Selman along with off-spinners Taylor, Matthews and Anisa Mohammed, looking in decent touch.Despite the recent results, Taylor said her side had been working assiduously behind the scenes to strengthen their overall game in preparation for the start of the tournament.“We’re focussing on all areas, trying to get everything right – that’s what you have to do to beat a team, especially a team like Australia,” she pointed out. “We know they’re a strong team so we know we have to get our team right.”She added: “Everyone has their game that they’ve been working on in the nets. Today is a day where people just need to top up and get ready for tomorrow’s game.”SQUADS:WEST INDIES – Stafanie Taylor (captain), Merissa Aguilleria, Reniece Boyce, Shamilia Connell, Shanel Daley, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Qiana Joseph, Kyshona Knight, Hayley Matthews, Anisa Mohammed, Chedean Nation, Akeira Peters, Shakera Selman and Felicia WaltersAUSTRALIA – Meg Lanning (captain), Sarah Aley, Kristen Beams, Alex Blackwell, Nicole Bolton, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Belinda Vakarewa, Elyse Villani and Amanda-Jade Wellington.
How could such ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ beings be capable of unspeakable atrocities?Wonderfully UniqueComprehensive skin microbiome analysis reveals the uniqueness of human skin and evidence for phylosymbiosis within the class Mammalia (PNAS). Only humans among mammals have naked skin. Four scientists say that their findings “demonstrate that human skin is distinct, not only from other Primates, but from all 10 mammalian orders sampled.” In order to rescue Darwinism, they claim that humans and their skin biota have ‘co-evolved,’ but that fails to answer how, when, and why humans became so distinct. The team sampled microbiota from farms, zoos, and the wild, collecting data from 38 species and 10 mammalian orders. Then they compared what they found with us.Previously published skin microbiome data from 20 human participants, sampled and sequenced using an identical protocol to the nonhuman mammals, were included to make this a comprehensive analysis. Human skin microbial communities were distinct and significantly less diverse than all other sampled mammalian orders. The factor most strongly associated with microbial community data for all samples was whether the host was a human.Odors are perceived the same way by hunter-gatherers and Westerners (Science Daily). Evolutionists believe that humans diversified millions of years ago, and spread around the world with little contact between populations till recently. It should be expected that large differences would appear between people groups. As we saw 23 June 2018, brain size can vary twofold, and yet all members of Homo sapiens belong to the same interfertile species. Anthropologists have found that all humans have similar facial expressions to express happiness and disgust. Now, another study shows that hunter-gatherers from Malaysia and Dutch westerners have the same sensations of smell, finding some odors pleasant (like roses) and others disgusting. “This suggests that although culture shapes language, odors are perceived in the same way across the globe in diverse cultures.”Improved ape genome assemblies provide new insights into human evolution (Phys.org). Without careful reading, you might miss the implications in this pro-evolutionary article. Genetically, there are more differences between apes and humans than previously reported.New, higher-quality assemblies of great ape genomes have now been generated without the guidance of the human reference genome. The effort to reduce “humanizing” discovery bias in great ape genomes provides a clearer view of the genetic differences that arose as humans diverged from other primates.The paper in Science (Kronenberg et al., 6 June, 2018) avoids stating a percent difference as a single figure, requiring geneticists to sort out the implications of the data comparisons for different genes. There are indications, however, of substantial structural variants (SVs) between humans and apes, and a three-fold increase in brain size in humans compared to apes. For instance,We focused on identifying all SVs >50 bp in size within ape genomes because these are the least well-characterized differences and are more likely to affect gene function than SNVs [single nucleotide variations]. SVs were identified by mapping each assembly back to the human reference genome, by using the two newly assembled human genomes as a control for reference effects and fixed human differences… We detected 614,186 ape deletions, insertions, and inversions, with the number of SVs increasing as a function of evolutionary distance from human (Fig. 3 and Table 3).The work is not yet complete, but the press release on Phys.org suggests bigger differences are coming than have long been reported in popular media, e.g., that only a 97% difference separates humans from chimpanzees. That faulty conclusion relied on flawed methods of comparison and also a “‘humanizing’ discovery bias” in the ape genomes. Building ape genomes from scratch, like this team is doing, should show truer contrasts.The scientists caution that the ape genomes and their work on them are not yet complete because the genome assemblies are still missing other larger, more complex structural variations that cannot yet be assembled.“Our goal,” said Eichler,” is to generate multiple ape genomes with as high quality as the human genome. Only then will we be able to truly understand the genetic differences that make us uniquely human.”Unnaturally EvilWhy is it that some human beings can rise to the sublime in good deeds, while others sink to the lowest levels of depravity on earth? President Trump just awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously to a World War II veteran “who braved enemy fire to direct U.S. forces during a battle in the war’s final stages” (The Hill). Great acts of valor and creativity we applaud, but we shudder at the worst acts of evil (many in the 20th century committed by regimes that embraced Darwinian evolution). Human evil goes way back, including not only evil actions, but evil beliefs used to justify them.Peruvian genius and atrocity. One article on Science Daily marvels at “Remarkable skill of ancient Peru’s cranial surgeons,” shown in skulls that healed after brain surgery. In fact, researchers at Miami Miller School of Medicine figure that the survival rate of surgical patients in ancient Peru was twice that of Americans in the Civil War. And yet another article, this one on Phys.org about a month earlier, states, “Archaeologists find ancient mass child sacrifice in Peru.” What society could stoop so low as to murder its young? This was an ongoing horror in Old Testament times that the Hebrew prophets condemned in the strongest of terms. And yet here, on the opposite side of the globe, the same Peruvians who could perform successful brain surgery did this to 140 young children aged 5 to 14, a mass grave shows. The Aztecs to the north were just as bad. Fox News reported finding a pile of 650 skulls where the victims had been decapitated and defleshed. The site originally had thousands of skulls, archaeologists think. The Spanish Conquistadors were no angels, but even they were appalled at the “skull rack” they saw in Tenochtitlan (Mexico City) in 1521. The Aztecs used human skulls for bricks there.What does Lizzie Wade, writing in Science Magazine, have to say about the human capacity for evil? In “Feeding the gods,” she doesn’t call it evil. “Social scientists who study religion have shown that costly offerings and painful rituals, such as the bloodletting ceremonies the Mexica also practiced, can help define and strengthen group identity—especially in societies that have grown too large for everyone to know everyone else.” This lets the Peruvians off the hook; they just used different “costly offerings” than western religions do, but neither is more immoral than the other.Gomóz Valdás found that about 75% of the skulls examined so far belonged to men, most between the ages of 20 and 35—prime warrior age. But 20% were women, and 5% belonged to children. Most victims seemed to be in relatively good health before they were sacrificed. “If they are war captives, they aren’t randomly grabbing the stragglers,” Gómez Valdés says. The mix of ages and sexes also supports another Spanish claim, that many victims were slaves sold in the city’s markets expressly to be sacrificed.Wade had referred back to her 2015 article, “Birth of the Moralizing Gods,” what ascribed religion to evolution. “a growing scientific consensus that belief in the supernatural is an evolutionary byproduct of the quirks of the human brain, piggybacking on abilities that evolved for different purposes.” So much for the Ten Commandments; “Thou shalt not murder” is just a product of natural selection, according to her.Evil in the form of self-refuting ideas. Science Daily promoted the foolish idea of two psychologists who claim, “You don’t need to believe in free will to be a nice person.” They conducted “a series of studies of 921 of people and found that a person’s moral behavior is not tied to their beliefs in free will.” Later in the article, they backpedaled a bit, admitting that it is not clear how their results should be interpreted. We can help them out. It should be interpreted as stupid, and whatever is stupid is also evil for humans who should think rationally. Any self-refuting proposition is stupid because it incoherent; it is logically false right out of the starting gate. The psychologists had to use their free will to conduct the study, and the participants who said they don’t believe in free will actually had to use free will to answer the question. And besides, evolution has no category for “nice.” Everybody thinks they are nice. Lenin thought he was nice for helping the Russians launch a worker’s utopia. In his thinking, it was not nice to stand in the way, so he acted nicely by ordering they be shot in the back of the head. Mass murderers think they are good people (15 Oct 2017).Humans: we are uniquely constructed, yet capable of incredible evil. If you think Peru and Mexico were bad, consider that communists like Chairman Mao murdered tens of millions as part of their belief in ‘survival of the fittest.’Let’s test the evolutionary theory. What would Darwinians think of a society that captured evolutionists as slaves to be sacrificed to pagan gods? And what if the goal of that society was to eliminate all opposition to the false religion, and erase all memory of Darwinism? Would they rise up in horror and call that evil? Hey, it’s the Stuff Happens Law in action. Actually, we can accuse evolutionists of committing a similar atrocity. They round up public school children and sacrifice their brains to the Bearded Buddha. According to a new book, that is “how belief in evolution is enforced by expunging dissidents.”Atheists often lash out at Christianity by citing alleged evils in the Old Testament. In this, they confuse permission with sanction, taking passages out of context. But they have no right to call anything evil. In evolutionary theory, stuff just happens. “Feeding the gods” is just an evolutionary strategy for social identity, no different than writing a Constitution or Bill of Rights. The God of the Bible, however, promoted truth, freedom, and righteousness. He was angry at sin, and wept over human depravity. Speaking for God, Jeremiah wrote, “They built the high places of Baal in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to offer up their sons and daughters to Molech, though I did not command them, nor did it enter into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin” (Jeremiah 32:5).The only answer to the conundrum of human exceptionalism and human depravity is Creation as described in Genesis. We were fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 136), but our first parents chose to follow Satan. They were warned of the consequences: death. The story of the Bible is God’s sovereign plan to bring back the sinners into his domain, but since God is a holy and righteous judge, reconciliation demanded punishment for sin. Death, however, ends any chance for reconciliation. The story of Jesus Christ describes how God the Son took on himself our sin, and suffered on our behalf, paying our debt. Then he conquered Satan by rising from the dead. C.S. Lewis used to mock this as just another version of the “death of God” myth he had encountered in his studies of the classics. When J.R.R. Tolkien responded, “Yes, but this is the one myth that is true,” Lewis was stunned by that idea. It began his journey to see that the other myths were corruptions from the memory of the true “myth” which, being true, is not a myth at all. He became a passionate defender of Christianity for the rest of his life. You can, too. 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Bangalore versus Rajasthan IPL match at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore was called off due to unrelenting rains. Details | PhotosWith the match called off, both teams were awarded one point each.Rajasthan now have five points from five matches and Bangalore are at the bottom of the IPL points tally with 3 points from equal number of matches.Originally, the match was scheduled to begin at 10:30pm after the rains had stopped and on-field umpires Billy Doctrove and Rudi Koertzen had decided that the match could be a 12-over-a-side affair. But, just when the teams were beginning to wear their cricketing gear, it began to drizzle forcing the covers back on. And in minutes the drizzle turned into heavy showers.Teams: Royal Challengers Bangalore (From): Tillakaratne Dilshan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers(w), Saurabh Tiwary, Mohammad Kaif, Asad Pathan, Daniel Vettori(c), Ryan Ninan, Zaheer Khan, Charl Langeveldt, Mayank Agarwal, Sreenath Aravind, Arun Karthik, BN Bharath, Raju Bhatkal, Nuwan Pradeep, Muralidharen Gautam, Abrar Kazi, Abhimanyu Mithun, Dirk Nannes, Luke Pomersbach, Rilee Rossouw, Johan van der Wath, Jonathan Vandiar Rajasthan Royals (From): Rahul Dravid, Shane Watson, Johan Botha, Ajinkya Rahane, Ross Taylor, Amit Paunikar(w), Stuart Binny, Shane Warne(c), Nayan Doshi, Siddharth Trivedi, Amit Singh, Swapnil Asnodkar, Deepak Chahar, Ankeet Chavan, Aakash Chopra, Ashok Menaria, Paul Collingwood, Aditya Dole, Samad Fallah, Faiz Fazal, Sumit Narwal, Pankaj Singh, Abhishek Raut, Pinal Shah, Shaun Tait, Dishant Yagnik, Jacob Oram
According to the Minister, the policy statement to the United Nations, usually delivered by the Prime Minister or the Foreign Affairs Minister, is an important medium for communicating the Administration’s foreign policy priorities to the world. Story Highlights The publications, which were printed by the Ministry in collaboration with the JN Group, were presented to representatives of the entities by Portfolio Minister, Senator the Honorable Kamina Johnson Smith. Two publications commemorating the 55th anniversary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade’s establishment have been presented to several State institutions.The beneficiary recipients include the Office of the Cabinet, Houses of Parliament, Jamaica Information Service, Creative Production and Training Centre, Institute of Jamaica, National Library of Jamaica, the National Archives, and Jamaica National (JN) Group.The publications, which were printed by the Ministry in collaboration with the JN Group, were presented to representatives of the entities by Portfolio Minister, Senator the Honorable Kamina Johnson Smith.The presentations were made during a ceremony to launch the publications and open a 55th-anniversary commemorative exhibition at the Ministry in New Kingston on Monday, September 4.Senator Johnson Smith, in a brief address, said the publications were prepared “to capture, for posterity, valuable and pertinent historical information about the Foreign Affairs Ministry”.She said the first publication, titled ‘The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica: A Historical Perspective 1962-2017’, collates information on the Ministry’s origins and development.In this regard, she lauded former Ministry employee, Ambassador Cordell Evans (previously Wilson), for initiating research undertaken several years ago to collate the informationSenator Johnson Smith said the second publication, ‘Policy Statements of Jamaica at the United Nations 1997-2016’, is the third in a series of compendia of policy statements made by Jamaica in the annual debate of the United Nations General Assembly. She stated that the preceding years’ statements were recorded in two previous compendia.According to the Minister, the policy statement to the United Nations, usually delivered by the Prime Minister or the Foreign Affairs Minister, is an important medium for communicating the Administration’s foreign policy priorities to the world.“These will, therefore, be invaluable sources of information for all students and analysts of foreign policy as well as for the general public,” Senator Johnson Smith added.
The Canadian PressOTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is facing increased public pressure from Indigenous women and a feminist alliance to accept a Senate amendment to legislation to end sex discrimination under the Indian Act.Advocates have joined forces with two Aboriginal senators, Lillian Dyck and Sandra Lovelace-Nicholas, in an awareness campaign that kicked off this week urging the Liberal government to change the bill known as S-3.Part of the outreach, supported by the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action, includes the distribution of a letter to women’s organizations, academics and human rights groups to canvass support on the “full and final removal” of sex discrimination in the Indian Act.“We write to you now because the government of Canada is poised to pass Bill S-3, a revision to the Indian Act, which will, one more time, remove discrimination for some but leave the core of the sex discrimination in place,” the letter says.The discrimination has existed since the Indian Act was first introduced in 1876, the letter adds.Sharon McIvor, a plaintiff in a case resulting in a 2009 British Columbia Court of Appeal ruling on status for previously excluded Indigenous women and a signatory of the letter, said the campaign’s goal echoes work she’s done since the 1960s.“The Indian Act has built into it a discriminatory scheme that is very hard on Aboriginal women,” she said. “We have not been able to pass … our status on to our children the same way that the men do.”In June, the Senate unanimously passed a change to Bill S-3 dubbed the “6(1)(a) all the way” amendment _ a change designed to ensure Indian women and their descendants have full Indian status like Indian men do.The House of Commons, however, did not accept the Senate’s change and the government said it required more time to examine its impacts of the amendment. A message was then sent back to the Senate.“The message is essentially asking us to agree with them,” Sen. Dyck said. “I would say the vast majority of senators would say ‘No, we don’t agree with it because you took out the main amendment that we added in.”’Equality for Indigenous women remains on the line in what is clearly a human rights issue, Dyck added.“The prime minister is a feminist,” she said.“He’s gone around telling other countries, ‘Let’s advance women’s issues, let’s give women equality. But if you’re not going to give Indigenous women equality, then there’s something clearly that doesn’t match up with your message to other people. Indigenous women deserve equality as much as any other woman.”In a statement, the office of Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett insisted the federal government is committed to ensuring there is gender equity for all women in Canada.“We will continue to work with First Nations, impacted individuals, experts and parliamentarians to remove all sex discrimination from registration provisions in the Indian Act,” the office said.It also suggested it will be watching the Senate’s next move.“The debate on the current bill has yet to begin in the Senate, therefore, we cannot speculate or comment on how that debate in the Senate will evolve,” it said.Shelagh Day, one of the founders of the feminist alliance, said the Senate was very clear about their position when it passed the amendment last spring.“This is a simple matter of whether women are treated in the Indian Act as men,” she said. “It is 140 years after discriminatory legislation was passed. It is time to end it.”She also said sex-based discrimination in the Indian Act is clearly linked to the murders and disappearances of Indigenous women and girls, now the subject of a national public inquiry.“It is one of the root causes of the violence and has been identified both by the United Nations and by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights as a root cause of the violence,” she said.“The government itself has treated them as though they were not equal human beings and that has made them vulnerable in the broader society and in their own communities.”