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Smith returns home to Tridents

first_imgRegional Twenty20 star Dwayne Smith will return to the Barbados Tridents in the second big transfer move ahead of the next season of the Caribbean Premier League. The move follows the seismic shift of batting superstar Chris Gayle from defending champions Jamaica Tallawahs to the emerging St Kitts Patriots franchise. Smith played for the Guyana Amazon Warriors in this year’s CPL, the region’s premier Twenty20 tournament, a move that was met with great consternation in his native Barbados. The 33-year-old all-rounder was the third-highest scorer with 279 runs for the Warriors, helping them to reach the final, where they lost to Gayle’s Tallawahs. “It’s great to be back with the Tridents,” said Smith, who spent the first three years of the fledgling CPL with the franchise based in his native Barbados. “I’m sure the fans will be also. Let’s hope the runs are plenty like 2014.” Smith had his best season in the CPL during the 2014 tournament, amassing 353 runs at an average 44.12, highlighted by two memorable centuries at Kensington Oval against St Lucia Zouks (110 not out) and the Amazon Warriors (104 not), helping the Tridents win the title. “It’s great to have Dwayne back with us,” said Tridents captain Kieron Pollard. “Dwayne has been instrumental in our best perfor-mances and he will be crucial in our plans to win the championship next year.”last_img read more

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School for the Blind Celebrates 18th Graduation Exercise

first_imgJoy and sorrow over took the campus of the School for the Blind in Mango Town, Virginia, outside Monrovia on Friday, June 13, when the school hosted its 18th graduation ceremony.The ceremony which was attended by several individuals including officials from the Ministry of Education (MOE) saw eight of the visually impaired students graduating from the 6th grade to the next class. Among the graduates were five males and three females—some of whom walked out with honours for their academic ‘excellent performance.’Those who did not form part of the graduation ceremony were also promoted to the next classes. Among them too, were students who were given double promotion.During the exercise, some of the parents and well-wishers shed tears of joy, while others visibly wept as they could not withstand the atmosphere where the students that could not see, but read from the Braille and pronounced distinctly.The graduates have ‘satisfactorily completed the course of study in Braille reading and writing as prescribed by authorities at the MOE.Earlier, the keynote speaker, a consultant to the Minister of Education, Olivia Shannon urged the graduates not to stop at the 6th grade, but to continue their academic pursuit.She, however, assured the Administration that she would engage the MOE authorities to ensure that the school become viable to the extent where the students and instructors will have access to at least a van.But the question that remains is since there are on other school for the blind except apart from the only blind primary school in the country, where will the graduates enrol during the next academy to facilitate or continue their learning when institutions in the country lacked basics Braille information.However, the principal, Mr. Jackson M. Suah, has in that regard, called on the government to improve the blind students’ welfare, and also develop the standards of the school or any institutions of higher learning in the country to include materials containing the Braille lessons.“We intend to enrol more students who are sometimes roaming the students, but before doing so, we need partnership that would solve our many challenges including the lack of transport service to convey the visually impaired students and their instructors,” Mr. Suah, a blind himself lamented.According to him, the blind intend to get off the streets and become workable, but would need the support from the government to improve their welfare and advance their academic capacities.He also appealed to the parents and the society at large to accept the blind students by seeking for their wellbeing where they would become professionals in any career they might want to pursue.The School for the Blind operates under the motto: “With our Seeing Hands, We Shall Overcome.”Early this year, the school celebrated its 37th anniversary with activities including the holding of a lecture series focusing on HIV/AIDS and preventable diseases— specifically those found in the tropics that have more likely affected the students in their eyes.The School was established on February 26, 1977 through collaboration between the ministries of Health and Social Welfare and Education. But to present, it lacks basic equipment, such as teaching aides for the instructors, support staff, and students.Meanwhile, Mr. Suah has commended institutions like the American-based Links Incorporated, the International Finance Corporation, which is a subsidiary of the World Bank, the National Oil Company of Liberia, and Super Petroleum for their continued support to the institution.In a remark, the chairman for the parents-teachers-students association, Charles W. Konnah urged the parents to visit the campus of the school at least during the weekends to assure their visually impaired child or children that being blind does not alienate one from the family, “because the condition of blindness was bought or willingly acquired by the affected person or persons.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Lofa Major Highway in Deplorable Condition

first_imgThe Voinjama, Kolahun and Foya road corridors are in very deplorable condition as the raining season reaches its peak, commuters have said.Reports from the three administrative districts speak of businesspeople, farmers encountering serious difficulties to travel on the road in Lofa County.Reports also revealed the presence of large potholes in various parts of the road.Travelers and farmers have reported that the extensive use of the road by bigger commercial trucks has contributed to the poor road condition.They said the regular seven hours travel time from Monrovia to Voinjama City now takes nearly 12 hours by commercial vehicles.“It took us nearly 12 hours from Foya to Monrovia and most of our produce got rotten due to the prolonged drive from our farm areas in Lofa County,” a farmer said.As a result, commercial drivers have begun to hike transportation fares to and from the affected areas in Lofa County, travelers said.Interviews conducted with farmers on Monday and Tuesday at the Red-light market in Paynesville exposed the need for an urgent attention to fix the affected roads in Lofa County.Businessman Moses B. Mulbah, 55, told the Daily Observer Tuesday that majority of his profit margin was used to transport his goods.“The trip cost me a lot of money because the transportation fares have gone high up to reach Monrovia,” Mulbah said.Cocoa and Coffee farmer Kollie B. Yonkedeh, 50, said too much money was spent to transport the few bags of the processed coffee and cocoa to Monrovia.“I’m now constrained to seek the sale of my produce to the nearest markets of Guinea-Conakry and Sierra Leone,” farmer Yonkedeh lamented.Peanut and bitter balls producer Kebbeh G. Karzaku, 45, said she is not happy because of the high cost of transportation.“Out of the eight bags of the peanut and bitter balls that I brought to Monrovia, five bags got rotten on the highway,” Madam Karzaku said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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GVL’s Oil Palm Mill Is Good News, but Will the Company Keep Its Promise?

first_imgSeveral years ago, when Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL) and Sime Darby, Malaysian palm oil companies, entered Liberia, they pledged to introduce value-added products, such as cooking oil, Vaseline and other cosmetics products for export to world markets.The Daily Observer hailed this pledge. For too long, Liberian raw materials, especially rubber and iron ore, have been exploited solely for export.In 2026, which is less than a decade away, the Firestone Plantations Company would have been producing and exporting Liberian rubber as pure raw material for a century, and still the country cannot yet produce a simple rubber band!How the Tubman and Tolbert administrations, which ruled the country since 1944—that is only 14 years after the advent of Firestone in Liberia—and were manned by educated people, could have allowed Firestone to treat the country like that, is mindboggling (unbelievable).The only explanation we can give is that Firestone got away with this corporate rape of a country simply because it encouraged top Liberian officials to plant rubber, making them rich. These included President C.D.B. King, during whose administration Firestone came. King’s grandchildren insist that the former President started his farm long after leaving office—1935. King’s Secretary of the Interior, James (Jimmy) Francis Cooper, was already in the mid-1940s reputed to have become the first Liberian to “cry” millionaire.Other top government officials who made serious money from rubber included President W.V.S. Tubman, whom Firestone helped plant huge rubber farms in Totota, Bong County, and Boneken, Maryland County. Other Liberian officials who also became rubber planters also included other Coopers, Vice Presidents C.L. Simpson and W.R. Tolbert, the Dennises, Brights and Shermans. The king of all these Liberian rubber planters was, of course, Harry L. Morris, who started planting rubber in his late teens or early 20s, following the death of his father, John Louis Morris. Harry was yet a high school junior in the United States when, in the early 1930s, as the eldest of several children, he had to return for his father’s funeral and to care for his aging mother, Mrs. Maude Morris. Harry did not return to the USA, but remained to manage his father’s small rubber farm and to develop Harry’s own rubber plantation in Kakata and Todee. Shortly following the outbreak of World War II, when rubber was in great demand, Harry and several other Liberian rubber planters struck it rich. By 1955, Harry Morris was declared “the Rubber King of the World,” and had more than 10,000 acres planted in rubber. The farm, which today exceeds 25,000 acres, is still the world’s largest by one family. It is now operated by Harry’s son, Bill.Harry Morris had the power to help the Liberian government convince Harvey Firestone to start adding value to rubber. But he and his family were close family friends of the Firestones. A photograph of Harry, his wife and Bill, then a boy, with Harvey Firestone is displayed at the farm home. So Harvey Firestone had a free ride in Liberia, and almost a century later, after trillions of tons of exported rubber and billions of US dollars in earnings, Liberia cannot produce a rubber band or latex glove.The same thing happened with our iron ore beginning 1946 through 1990 with Landsdell Christie’s Liberia Mining Company (LMC) of Bomi Hills, Bomi County, and later LAMCO, in Yekepa, Nimba County, and Bong Mining Company (BMC). Since then, until now, Liberians have had to import all their steel rods and other steel products, at exorbitant prices.As we said in an earlier Editorial, “Let this not happen to Liberia’s oil palm!” We hope that the incoming administration, following the 2017 elections, will work with all the oil palm companies—GVL, Sime Darby, Equatorial Palm Oil (EPO) and Maryland Oil Palm Company (MOPC), etc.—and encourage them to keep their promises to add value to Liberia’s oil palm and begin our palm oil-based industries.In that same Editorial, we mentioned a young, enterprising Liberian woman, Maisie Dunbar, who runs a successful cosmetics company in the United States. We mentioned also two other young Liberians, Richelieu Dennis and Nyema Tubman, who are also running a great skin care products enterprise in New York and have made millions. Another Liberian, Mahmud Johnson, is making waves with his locally produced KernelFresh body lotion, made from palm kernel oil. Like Mahmud, the others should be encouraged to return and use Liberian palm oil to expand their industries, right here in Liberia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Essequibo one-day Circuit Trip – excitement of several days in one package

first_imgThe tourist experience in Guyana has now been taken to new heights with the introduction of the Essequibo Circuit Tour by the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG).Mathematics teacher, Dr Richard YatesAccording to a Department of Public Information (DPI) report, the new one-day tour package includes visits to several historical sites and resorts along the mighty Essequibo River, and those visits would be facilitated by Old Forts Tours.During the fun-pack, mind-blowing trip, visitors will make stops at Fort Island, which has the Court of Policy; and Fort Zeelandia, Hurakabra Resort, the Municipality of Bartica, Aruwai White H2O Water Resort, BK Quarries, Sloth Island and Baganara Island Resort. The package costs just $13,500, and includes lunch, and snacks provided throughout the day.Members of the media were among a group of sightseers who were given a firsthand experience of the trip yesterday. The experience has left them wanting more. Even though many have visited a few of the local resorts before, all said the experience being offered was like no other.President of THAG, Mitra Ramkumar, is encouraging Guyanese to take advantage of the package, which he says is very affordable. According to Ramkumar, there is no need to spend several days visiting the various locations when it can be done in one day, and visitors will leave with the same feeling as if they had spent several days at the tourist spots.“The beauty of this is that it is within the reach of Guyanese, and that is what we want to showcase. We want local participation. This is a blessed country, and we need to showcase that; we need to see the beauty and sell it to the world,” Ramkumar stated.The Court of Policy building on Fort IslandPopular Mathematics teacher Dr. Richard Yates, who was a part of the tour, said it is a tour that needs to be experienced by all Guyanese and persons who come to visit Guyana.“I say to the people, ‘Guyana, know your home’. This tour has been more than an eye-opener. It gave me the opportunity to actually experience what it is like to see areas in Guyana that we were not aware of or given the opportunity to see,” Dr. Yates said. He further added, “I have learnt so much, and cannot wait to share it with folks not only on social media, but also on my education programme, called Graspmatxy.”Zack Chow, who also participated in the tour, said he enjoyed every part of the trip. He pointed out that it would be impossible to choose a favourite destination, since each destination has its own uniqueness. He is encouraging everyone to take advantage of the package being offered. “It is not all about work. You should come out here, even for just one weekend, to enjoy this, because it is really nice,” Chow stated.The Essequibo Circuit Trip is one of the many special getaway packages and other exciting activities that are being launched during November for Tourism Awareness Month 2018.At the official launch of the month’s calendar of activities in late October, Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), Brian Mullis, said the organisation is partnering with the private sector to provide economical trips for locals and foreigners to explore Guyana“We are working with the tourism private sector on new management and pricing strategies so that they can offer some specials. These will not only be available during the month of November; some will be available year-round. And as the number of participants in the packages increases, the price per participant decreases,” Mullis said.Tourism Awareness Month 2018 is being observed under the theme “Promoting sustainability and celebrating diversity.”last_img read more

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MOUNTCHARLES SWIM TO GO AHEAD TODAY

first_imgThe annual RNLI New Year’s Day Swim in Monte Carlo (Mountcharles) is all set to go for 3.30pm TODAY. The weather is a wee bit damp but it’s calm.The voluntary crew of this RNLI Lifebboat are on standby 24/7 to go out in waves the size of houses–and in the dark so please come along whether you’re swimming or not.  MOUNTCHARLES SWIM TO GO AHEAD TODAY was last modified: January 1st, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:MOUNTCHARLESRNLIswimlast_img read more

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Holden continues his NFL campaign

first_img Tooling around in a new Lincoln Navigator, the most expensive of 170 taxpayer-paid-for cars in the city’s fleet? Hey, he’s saving the city money by not trading it in every year. Holden was known for his once-frequent pronouncements often made in front of the Coliseum that the Raiders were ready to come back to Los Angeles. When it comes to chutzpah, few local politicians carried it in bigger supply than longtime former Los Angeles City Councilman Nate Holden. Several-thousand-dollar-a-month consulting jobs for termed-out-colleagues? He’s trying to help out a few unemployed friends. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 All they wanted was a new stadium with luxury boxes, Holden would proclaim while wearing a Raiders hat, sweatshirt and a straight face. This not only threw Oakland officials into a frenzy, it left many in Los Angeles ready to run to the Grapevine and throw their bodies across both lanes of I-5. NFL officials had a more reasoned reaction: “Ridiculous.” All of which brings us to Pasadena, where Councilman Chris Holden, Nate’s son, concluded that just because after months of very public discourse there weren’t enough votes on the council back in June to continue the city’s pursuit of a NFL team, well, it’s time to take the game to a new arena. So this week, the younger Holden filed notice with the city clerk that he intends to put the same proposal the City Council considered, mulled over, debated and then considered some more on the ballot in a special election. “We’ve got to get this to the people,” Holden said. “They’re entitled to make a decision.” center_img Audacity, apparently, is not a recessive gene. Now, to be fair, this isn’t exactly like father, like son. When Chris Holden talks, he is more measured than his flamboyant father and appears more earnest. As firm as he is in his belief that the economic benefits of a stadium deal outweigh the costs, there’s the sense that misguided or not he’s acting less in his interest than in the city’s. While he’s carried the ball on this virtually alone keeping in touch with the NFL and helping craft the initiative it’s hard to see where this will go in the end. Forget, for a moment, the headaches Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is having getting his initiatives on the November ballot. Forget, too, about all the opposition that will be mobilized, from Mayor Bill Bogaard to the residents’ associations and preservationists that threatened Councilman Steve Madison this spring with a recall political blackmail, as Holden called it then. When the city attorney returns a ballot title and summary to Holden by Aug. 26, he must publish a notice of intent to hold a special election for the measure. Then he has 180 days to collect signatures from 15 percent of the city’s registered voters (an estimated 11,000, according to city clerk Jane Rodriguez). The county then has 30 days to verify the signatures, after which the City Council would order the election. Then there is the cost to the city of a special election: about $200,000, according to Rodriguez. Holden says if all goes well, the election could be held by next February. The problem is the NFL plans to make a decision on a stadium site at its late October meeting. “If (NFL owners) select one this fall, then Pasadena would be out,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy said. “However, if no decision is made, and the Pasadena referendum is successful, then the city would be considered as a possible site.” What’s holding up the NFL are unresolved labor issues. How the revenue-sharing plan is tweaked despite Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ foot-stamping that changes could kill the NFL’s return here and what the new collective-bargaining numbers look like will shape the formulas the league is negotiating with the Coliseum and Anaheim. Progress on revenue sharing reportedly was made at a owners’ meeting in Chicago this week, but there are so many revenue-sharing models being bounced around that even the NFL doesn’t know what the numbers will look like. For those wondering why the NFL is not discouraging Holden, it’s all about options or as much leverage as they can squeeze. The NFL knows the Coliseum’s biggest threat in the stadium game is the Rose Bowl, and the league was clearly taken aback last month when the Coliseum Commission not ready to give in on several issues didn’t ratify an agreement the NFL thought it had on terms. So, when Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says in a radio interview that the NFL best not dawdle and then follows it up the next day with a call to commissioner Paul Tagliabue in the same week Holden begins the initiative process and shortly after his top aides have been briefed on the Coliseum’s negotiations with the NFL, draw your own conclusions. None of this means the NFL is any closer to coming to the Rose Bowl. There seems to be but one person who believes it can happen. And, used or not, he intends to keep pushing forward, against the political winds, the odds and, seemingly, windmills. “There’s still a lot of hurdles,” Holden said. “But I wouldn’t be wasting my time if I didn’t think we could win.” Futbol in L.A.: There wasn’t much English-language media attention lavished on the Guadalajara-Club America soccer match Wednesday at the Coliseum. (Oh, right, the Galaxy and Chivas USA also played). But when 88,816 people show up for the Yankees-Red Sox of Mexican soccer, it vividly illustrated the possibilities for the NFL. If a NFL team comes to the Coliseum, a sublease would allow the new owner to control revenues on soccer matches, concerts and other large-scale events, providing revenue streams they don’t have in Jacksonville. “It has to be timed right; you couldn’t put one of these on every week, but those are big, big numbers,” Coliseum general manager Pat Lynch said. “Those numbers are every bit as good as any U2 or Metallica concert.” While USC’s booming ticket sales helped show that football fans will come to Exposition Park, Guadalajara-America showed what kind of numbers are out there in Los Angeles’ Latino market, an attractive possibility considering the league’s nationwide research shows 72 percent of Latinos, ages 12 and up, are NFL fans. Sound off: This being the entertainment capital of the world, and for all the hoopla the NFL plans to generate around its kickoff concert on Sept. 8 at the Coliseum, the best they could do for a headliner is Maroon 5? If getting an L.A. band was a necessity, how about X or the Red Hot Chili Peppers instead of an act whose work ranges from treacle to vacant? Then again, it’s not about the music, but the demographics. The show in New England, prior to the Raiders at Patriots, features Green Day, which might get a chilly reception not for its music, but for its hometown: Oakland. On T.O.: Terrell Owens received some sympathy, if not support, from Monday Night Football commentator John Madden. The former Raiders coach said during a visit Wednesday to the Cowboys’ camp in Oxnard that Eagles coach Andy Reid should show some flexibility. “There are times when you have to give a little,” Madden said. “They ought to be able to get along. It’s like when you’re coaching in high school, there’s a guy you save the bus for. The coach says the bus leaves at 3 o’clock, and when it’s 3 o’clock and your great running back isn’t on the bus, you say, ‘Hey, driver, you better check the tires.’ ” How would Bill Parcells handle Owens? “About the way he handled LT,” Madden said of Lawrence Taylor. “He knows there’s not one way to do things.” — Billy Witz covers the NFL for the Daily News. He can be reached at (818) 713-3621 or billy.witz@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Picture special: Donegal Down Syndrome and Oxford Bulls star at Brandywell

first_imgTHERE was a second big derby game at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium last night.Members of the Donegal Down Syndrome played a half-time match against Oxford Bulls at half-time in the Derry City v Finn Harps game.The Donegal Down Syndrome members were mascots for Finn Harps while the Oxford Bulls acted as the Derry City mascots. It was a memorable occasion for all involved as they got to play in front of a big derby crowd.The players received a warm welcome onto the pitch and rapturous applause as they left again after a cracking game during the interval. Pictures by Joe Boland, North West News Pix…Picture special: Donegal Down Syndrome and Oxford Bulls star at Brandywell was last modified: October 26th, 2019 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Running the Numbers in the FIRST Bill

first_imgLegislators once liked to brag about increasing the budgets of their favorite programs. Today, in an era of fiscal constraints, most members of Congress prefer to remind voters how they have held down federal spending.Representative Lamar Smith (R–TX) says he’s accomplished both goals—boosting spending in certain areas while remaining fiscally prudent—in his pending bill setting out policy for the National Science Foundation (NSF). But it takes some unorthodox arithmetic to square the claims by the chair of the House of Representatives science committee with the actual numbers in his Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science, and Technology Act (FIRST) Act.In a recent online commentary for Scientific American, Smith claims that FIRST would authorize Congress to increase funding next year for four of NSF’s seven research directorates—engineering, mathematics and physical sciences, computer science, and biology “by between 7 and 8 percent.” Yet, in the bill itself, the 2015 budgets of those four directorates would rise by only 2.2%, 2.4%, 2.2%, and 2.2%, respectively, from 2014 levels.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)What accounts for the difference? It turns out that Smith isn’t using the numbers in his own bill in calculating the proposed growth rates. Instead, he is comparing the FIRST Act’s proposed 2015 spending levels to the actual spending that NSF estimates the four directorates will have this year. Those actual 2014 numbers turn out to be lower than the 2014 authorizing levels in the bill. So, by ignoring his own numbers, Smith is able to claim a bigger increase for those disciplines “with the greatest potential to yield transformational new technologies, catalyze new industries and … create millions of new jobs.” That reinforces his argument that he and other Republicans are shifting NSF’s priorities.To maintain fiscal prudence, Smith offsets those increases with big cuts in two programs. His bill would slash the social and behavioral sciences and economics directorate by 28% this year, to $200 million, and hold its funding at that level in 2015. Likewise, the 2014 and 2015 budgets for international and integrative activities, which include funding for less research-intensive states and for graduate research fellowships, would shrink by 17%, to $400 million.Those deep cuts allow Smith to set the overall 2015 budget for NSF at $7.277 billion, an increase of only 1.5%. The total is actually $22 million higher than what President Barack Obama requested for NSF (although Obama also submitted a supplemental budget request that would give the agency an additional $550 million). Still, Smith believes that it’s small enough to placate most of his fiscally conservative colleagues.To be sure, the FIRST Act is largely aspirational when it comes to funding. It is an authorizing bill, meaning it can set only spending targets.Allocating money to each agency is the job of the appropriations panels in Congress. That difference accounts for one more numerical surprise in the FIRST Act: Its 2015 authorization for NSF is some $127 million less than the $7.408 billion that the House Appropriations Committee has already approved. The lower number turns the usual relationship between authorizers and appropriators on its head: Authorizers are usually the “good cop,” urging more spending, while appropriators play the “bad cop,” imposing restraint.At a committee markup of the bill last week, some Democrats said they didn’t understand why the panel’s Republicans, in effect, would ask for less than they knew their colleagues were prepared to spend on NSF. One theory is that Smith plans to propose an amendment to NSF’s spending bill, which is expected to be voted on by the full House of Representatives this week, that would reduce the amount approved by appropriators to the level in the FIRST Act.The amendment would appeal to members looking for ways to cut spending. However, if it were to happen, it would squeeze NSF at a time when the agency is already struggling to maintain its current portfolio.last_img read more

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