The Western Carolina University community is mourning the loss of Chancellor David O. Belcher, who died Sunday, June 17, at the age of 60 after a more than two-year battle with brain cancer.WCU’s chancellor since 2011, Belcher was widely recognized for energizing the university community to work with regional leaders to serve the needs of Western North Carolina, a combined effort that resulted in WCU reaching all-time highs in student achievement, enrollment, retention and graduation rates, in student and alumni engagement and in philanthropic giving. Belcher, who went on medical leave Dec. 31, 2017, had been battling brain cancer since April 2016. He underwent surgery to remove a glioblastoma brain tumor in May 2016, followed by an 11-month treatment plan that initially seemed successful. But in early August 2017, he informed the WCU campus that he had experienced a recurrence of the cancer and, in late November 2017, announced his plan to go on medical leave at the end of the calendar year with no plans to return to his position.Belcher’s legacy at WCU includes support and implementation of two pivotal statewide initiatives that are expected to greatly enhance public higher education in WNC – the NC Promise tuition program that dramatically lowers student college costs, and his efforts toward the successful passage of the Connect NC bond, which included $110 million in funding for WCU’s Apodaca Science Building, a state-of-the-art facility that will prepare students for 21st-century professions in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.In addition, his support for the consolidation of WCU economic growth-oriented graduate and undergraduate programs at a new instructional site in Asheville represented an unprecedented strategic investment in economic development opportunities for the WNC region. Plans are in the works for a memorial service to be held on the WCU campus. Details will be announced when they become available.News of Belcher’s death has resulted in an outpouring of statements of grief, admiration and appreciation from across the WCU community and University of North Carolina System.Margaret Spellings, president, UNC System: “David Belcher’s passion, integrity and vision have forever shaped and strengthened the university that he loved so much. David’s fierce belief in Western Carolina University’s ability and responsibility to change the lives of students and transform the region it serves inspired the Catamount community, and it inspired me. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Susan, whose own unfailing support and passion for WCU continues, in part through the Belchers’ heartfelt and significant personal gift towards Catamount student scholarships.”Louis Bissette, chair, UNC Board of Governors: “North Carolina has lost an incredible public servant and a great advocate for higher education. David Belcher was one of most inspiring leaders in higher education that I have ever encountered. As a longtime resident of Western North Carolina, I have a deep and abiding appreciation for the work he did on behalf of the mountain region and for Western Carolina University. My thoughts are with his family and friends during this time.”Patricia Kaemmerling, chair, WCU Board of Trustees: “Today, we are heartbroken. David Belcher, my friend and our chancellor, was a truly inspiring leader with an uncanny ability to touch the soul of everyone he met. With his razor-sharp wit, his intense focus on the pursuit of excellence and his abounding love for students, David re-energized our Western Carolina University community. If you had the chance to know him, you admired him. If you had the opportunity to work with him, you respected him. If you had the honor to call him friend, you loved him. He brought us leadership, which made us stronger. He brought us transparency, which instilled us with trust. He brought us music and laughter, which gave us joy. His stamp will forever be on this campus, in this region and in our hearts. As we all mourn the passing of our friend, our colleague and our leader, please save a special thought for Susan Belcher and other members of the Belcher family as they grieve this unimaginable loss. We are especially thankful to them for sharing David Belcher with us for these past seven wonderful years.”Brian Railsback, chair, WCU Faculty Senate: “As chair of the Faculty Senate, working with David Belcher reminded me how knowledgeable he was about how the university works at all levels. When we were working on funding several major Faculty Senate initiatives, his advice on how to get from A to Z was genius. He made my job much easier. His incredible administrative skill might have been easy to miss because he made it look so easy and because his huge personality, artistry and humanity shined so brightly.”Mandy Dockendorf, chair, WCU Staff Senate: “Dr. Belcher’s tenure marked a deeply positive shift in employee morale and engagement. He showed us what one person working with purpose and a generous spirit could accomplish. He made us feel like we were valued and that our work made a difference. Under his leadership, WCU came together as a community with pride of place. Dr. Belcher’s enthusiasm and energy was infectious; after hearing from him, you couldn’t help but to aim higher, work harder and give more. He led by example, not only giving back to university scholarships but also pouring his heart and soul into WCU students, staff and faculty. His legacy is the renewed sense of dedication we each have for WCU and our community. Dr. Belcher left us too soon, but our days are brighter and more purposeful for having known him. We will keep his legacy of excellence and generosity alive here at WCU.”Katherine Spalding, president, WCU Student Government Association: “Chancellor Belcher never failed to make the student voice the loudest in the room. He will forever be in our purple and gold hearts, and remembered for leading this institution into a new era. He will be missed as more than just our chancellor, but also our friend, cheerleader and hero.”Robin Parton Pate, president, WCU Alumni Association: “Alumni across Catamount Nation are heartbroken over the loss of our beloved and legendary leader, Chancellor David Belcher. His inspirational passion, love for WCU and the people it serves, and inclusive leadership has positively transformed our university and the region. There is a renewed sense of pride among alumni as a result of his tenure at WCU, which was characterized by a unique ability to motivate others and empower them to thrive under his leadership. We are forever grateful for his vision, dedication and the lasting impact he and Susan have made in the lives of our students, community and alumni.”Prior to his appointment at WCU, Belcher served at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock from 2003 until 2011 as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, and at Missouri State University from 1988 until 2003, first as coordinator of keyboard studies in the Music Department (1989-1992), then as assistant dean (1993) and dean (1994-2003) of the College of Arts and Letters.Known as a champion of public service, Belcher served on key boards of directors, including the My Future NC Commission on state educational attainment, the NCAA Division 1 board on intercollegiate athletics, the North Carolina Arboretum and the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute in Arkansas. He also was the founder and five-year director of the statewide Missouri Fine Arts Academy.A native of Barnwell, South Carolina, Belcher was predeceased by his parents, Jean Orr Belcher and Posey Belcher Jr. He was a 1975 graduate and valedictorian of Barnwell High School and earned his bachelor’s degree from Furman University in 1979, master’s degree from the University of Michigan in 1981 and doctorate from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester in 1989, all in piano performance. He studied in Vienna, Austria, for two years, funded in part by a Rotary Foundation Graduate Fellowship.Belcher was regarded as a passionate and committed believer in the power of education. His message – “We are in the business of changing lives” – became both an inspiration and a challenge to those sharing his commitment. He enjoyed travel to experience new cultures, and was an avid gardener. Many remember his infectious laugh, quick wit and energetic leadership style.Surviving are his wife of 14 years, Susan Brummell Belcher; brother Philip Burgess Belcher and wife Kelly of Asheville, North Carolina; sister Elizabeth Belcher Mixon and husband Ben of Rock Hill, South Carolina; and sister Miriam Belcher Ponder and husband Dean of Huntersville, North Carolina. He also is survived by his aunt, Martha White of Allendale, South Carolina, and nephews and nieces Owen Belcher and wife Olga Shupyatskaya, Kera Belcher, Sarah Mixon, Eleanor Mixon and Noah Ponder.Susan Belcher extends her thanks to family, friends and colleagues for their caring support, as well as the medical teams of Duke University Medical Center and Cancer Care of WNC.In lieu of flowers, the Belchers request that memorials be directed to the foundation endowments of Western Carolina University, Furman University, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Missouri State University.For additional information, visit the website belcher.wcu.edu.
In this week’s web design and development news roundup, you’ll learn about the three enemies of user experience, find out how web broke the web, discover how to disable WordPress plugins on specific pages/posts, and more. If you’re new to my blog, each Friday I publish a post highlighting my favorite user experience, accessibility, WordPress, CSS, and HTML posts I’ve read in the past week.Hope you find the resources helpful in your work or projects!Want more resources like these on a daily basis? Follow me @redcrew on Twitter.Tweet of the WeekI’m taking a 30-hour journey with @webfoundation to celebrate the web’s 30th birthday.First stop @CERN — where it all began.We’ll be visiting London, UK today and finishing in Lagos, Nigeria tomorrow.Follow the celebrations at #Web30 #ForTheWeb. pic.twitter.com/utQlJC8bNj— Tim Berners-Lee (@timberners_lee) March 12, 2019User ExperienceMake it easier for users to make a decision with these 5 techniques to make mobile call to action buttons intuitive. Avoid using color alone as a visual cue. In So you want to be a UX manager?, Chelsey Glasson shares the top five things that surprised her when she took on a new management role at Google.My hope is that my reflections will drive more informed discourse for those considering management as a career ladder transition.We often get caught up in semantics. What do other industries call information architecture?.@louisrosenfeld goes on to suggest maybe we don’t use the word “information architecture” and call it “findability.” What do other industries call how they handle information? It’s a marketing issue. #IAC19— IAC – information architecture conference #iac19 (@theiaconf) March 15, 2019What keeps us from delivering great user experiences? Lee Duddell and Chris Lockhart take a closer look at the three enemies of user experience and how to defeat them. From my work as a college web developer, I’m very familiar with HiPPOs (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion). AccessibilityThe WebAIM accessibility analysis of the top one million website home pages caught the attention of the web accessibility community and has everyone talking. On how we failed and how we broke the web. For images missing alternative text, Chrome has a solution (now available only in the Chrome Canary experimental version)Coming later this year: Screen reader users can ask Chrome to get automatic image descriptions from Google when an image is missing alt text. Get a sneak preview now using Chrome Canary, just open the context menu! #a11y #CSUNATC19— Google Accessibility (@googleaccess) March 14, 2019 Why decrease site performance by loading a plugin on all pages/posts on your site, when you only need it installed on one page or post? Learn two methods you can disable WordPress plugins form loading on specific posts and pages. CSS and HTMLChallenged with convincing your team to adopt CSS Grid? Here’s one excellent reason:Because Grid is just native CSS, there’s no risk that it’s going to break and you’ll have to refactor your project in a year’s time.Steve Faulkner gives a brief description of how to use the abbreviation element, with a reminder to provide explanation of the abbreviation with plain text, not with the title attribute (which is problematic). Works in all browsers, except Internet Explorer (still a usable experience).you can make images dark mode friendly if you apply mix-blend-mode: multiply; to them because what’s the point of a dark mode if you have a huge bright image in itcourtesy to @SaraSoueidan blog pic.twitter.com/ZvNfk0HLra— Nadir Seghir (@se_nadir) March 11, 2019Rachel Andrew explains what an aspect ratio unit of CSS is and how it will work. Think of a div with content inside it. It has no size until you assign a width and height. Currently, there is no option to say you want the div to maintain a 16/9 aspect ratio. Have a long data table and need to make the table headings sticky as users scroll? Try this method of combining position: sticky; with overflow: scroll.What I Found InterestingHave some fun playing the Where on Google Earth is Carmen Sandiego game online. I spent a few minutes traveling to London and Tokyo, searching for the world’s greatest super thief.With weekly, almost daily, news about another privacy breach, it’s important to guard what private information you share online. Find out what Google knows about you, and steps you can take to limit what Google gathers. If you have a free Dropbox account, you will now be limited to connecting only three devices to your Dropbox account. In the past, Dropbox allowed you to connect an unlimited number of phone, tablets, and computers. Fun, animated video from Microsoft Enable on how a screen reader user navigates a website with landmarks, headings, and tabs [five-minute video]. I’m honored to included as an accessibility advocate in Kim Krause Berg’s top web accessibility resources for digital marketing companies post. You’ll find useful information about accessibility testing tools, manual testing, accessibility guides, accessibility companies, courses, and resources. WordPressReleased this week, WordPress 5.1.1 patches a critical cross-site scripting vulnerability.Looking to increase your WordPress knowledge? WordCamp Miami is livestreaming their workshops, sessions, and trivia contest this weekend, March 15th through March 17th. The latest version of Easy WP Guide has been released, with support for WordPress 5.1. One of my favorite WordPress resources! If you like what you’ve read today, share the post with your colleagues and friends.Want to make sure you don’t miss out on updates? Subscribe to get notified when new posts are published.Did I miss some resources you found this week? I’d love to see them! Post them in the comments below.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading…RelatedMarch 1, 2019 Weekly Roundup of Web Design and Development NewsIn this week’s web design and development news roundup, you’ll learn how to design content to create better user experiences, find the results of an accessibility evaluation of the top 1,000,000 websites, discover how to size grid content using keywords, and more. If you’re new to my blog, each Friday…In “Web design & development links”November 8, 2019: My Weekly Roundup of Web Design and Development NewsIn this week’s web design and development news roundup, you’ll learn how to create online experiences that work well for older people, find a recap of the annual WordPress State of the Word, discover new underline CSS properties, and more. If you’re new to my blog, each Friday I publish…In “Web design & development links”August 9, 2019: My Weekly Roundup of Web Design and Development NewsIn this week’s web design and development news roundup, you’ll learn about seven different inspection methods for user research, find out why the WordPress community is upset with the latest Jetpack version, discover how to use a CSS selector to target an empty element, and more. If you’re new to…In “Web design & development links”
A miner holding the Cullinan Diamond. Stone mine managers houses beautiful preserved. A replica Cullinan Diamond, with the nine stones it was cut into. The mine now, with the big hole in the background. The early workings, with coco pans carrying the rock from the mine surface.(Images: Petra Diamonds)MEDIA CONTACTS • Cathy MalinsCorporate Communications Manager,Petra Diamonds+27 (0)44 20 7494 8203• Dave Alderson-SmithCurator, McHardy House Museum+27 (0)12 734 1415Lucille DavieA rare 25.5 carat blue diamond was found at the Cullinan Mine, the third biggest diamond producer in South Africa, last month. Blue diamonds are among the rarest and most highly coveted of all diamonds and the Cullinan mine is the most important source of blues in the world, according to Petra Diamonds, the company that owns the mine.“They are so rare that there aren’t official statistics on their discovery rate,” says Cathy Malins, Petra’s corporate communications manager. In the five years that Petra has operated the mine, over 15-million tons of rock have been brought to the surface, producing about 5-million carats but only three world-class blue diamonds, she adds.A carat refers to the weight of a diamond. One carat weighs 0.2 grams. The diamonds are recovered from one of the biggest kimberlite pipes in the world. Kimberlite is named after the South African diamond mining town of Kimberley, where the gems were first discovered in the country. It refers to a type of potassic volcanic rock known to contain diamonds.Cullinan is some 40km northeast of Pretoria in Gauteng Province. The mine goes to a depth of 732 metres, where this blue diamond was found. “Once the ore is transported to surface, it goes through the processing plant and the blue diamond was recovered during the normal process of concentrating underground material, with final recovery by method of x-ray,” says Malins.In the past five years, several blue diamonds have been recovered at Petra, including a 26.6 carat rough stone which was cut into a flawless and vivid blue 7 carat stone that sold for US$9.49-million – or US$1.35-million per carat – on auction in May 2009. At the time, it was the highest price per carat for any gemstone sold on auction, and the highest price for a blue diamond sold on auction. It was named the Star of Josephine by its new owner, a Hong Kong property tycoon.Malins indicates that it is not clear exactly at present what will be done with the latest discovery. “The blue is currently being evaluated in order to decide the best route to market,” she says.In all, the Cullinan Mine has yielded 11 rare blues which were displayed in 2000 at London’s Millennium Dome alongside the Millennium Star. Famous larger blues recovered at the mine include the 27 carat vivid blue Heart of Eternity, and an unnamed 39.2 carat rough blue which was recovered and sold in 2008.Petra Diamonds indicates that demand for the gems continues to rise, particularly in developing countries like China and India. “Demand growth for diamonds in emerging markets is expected to continue as global wealth and consumer spending increase,” says the mining house.At present, there are 30 significant diamond mines operating in the world today. “To date, the most important discoveries (other than Argyle in Australia) have clustered into three regions of the world: southern Africa, Siberia, and western Canada.”The Cullinan DiamondThe world’s most famous diamond was found in Cullinan around 1905 by Frederick Wells. Thomas Cullinan had bought the farm Elandsfontein in 1903 when he heard that an English prospector, Perceval Tracey, had found a three carat diamond on the neighbouring farm. The diamond was found nine metres down, protruding from the pit wall.Known as the Cullinan Diamond, it was 3 106 carats and measured 10.5cm across, and was as large as a man’s fist. The huge diamond was cut into nine diamonds of varying sizes, the largest, named Cullinan 1 or The Great Star of Africa, weighed 530.2 carats. It is the second largest polished diamond in the world. It, together with the lesser Star of Africa or Cullinan II, forms part of the British Imperial State Crown, and are on display in the Tower of London. They were given to King Edward VII of England on his 66th birthday.The largest polished diamond in the world, the 545 carat Golden Jubilee, also comes from Cullinan. Thomas Cullinan, who was later knighted, was a building contractor. His house, on the ridge in Parktown, Johannesburg, still exists. He remained involved in the mine until 1923, when he resigned as chairman. He died in 1936.Other large diamondsOther large diamonds recovered at Cullinan include the Premier Rose (353 carats), the Niarchos (426 carats), the De Beers Centenary (599 carats), the Golden Jubilee (755 carats) and the famous Taylor-Burton diamond (69 carats). More recently, the Cullinan Heritage, with 507 carats, was recovered and sold for US$35.3-million in 2010, the highest price ever obtained for a rough diamond.Over the years, the mine has produced more than 750 stones weighing more than 100 carats, 130 stones weighing more than 200 carats, and around a quarter of all diamonds weighing more than 400 carats. Prospects for its future are good – it has been estimated that the lifespan of the mine could still be more than 50 years.Petra acquired the Cullinan Mine in 2008, and has interests in eight other mines, seven of which are in South Africa; one is in Tanzania. It also has an exploration programme in Botswana.When the mine was first established, about 26 000 workers were employed in the operation. Nowadays, just 1 000 people work the mine, going down 760 metres by means of 560 kilometres of tunnels. The early excavations have left a large hole, which is three times bigger than the more famous Kimberley hole in the Northern Cape. The vast hole measures a kilometre across and half-a-kilometre wide, and leaves a gap going down into the earth of 700 metres. It is continually widening, as 80 000 tons of rock fall into it every year.Original villageThe original village of Cullinan is largely intact, with a row of semi-detached stone Edwardian houses on either side of Oak Street, now converted into curio and craft shops, interspersed with coffee shops and restaurants. Larger houses within the mine property, with their green roofs and white fascias, belonged to mine managers. A Masonic Hall, a number of churches and a recreation hall, all dating back to the early 1900s and built in local sandstone, indicate the diversity of the early mining community. These days the village consists of 460 houses.The McHardy House Museum in Oak Street belonged to William and Evalina McHardy and their seven children. McHardy was the general manager of the mine and the house was built in 1903. After the deaths of the two daughters in 1984, the mine bought the contents of the house and turned it into a museum. The museum, like many other shops and restaurants in the village, is open every day except Tuesdays.A steam train leaves from Pretoria on the weekends, taking commuters for a day trip to the village and back again. Several tour companies offer tours of the mine and village, providing an informative look inside the operation of hauling large skips above ground, taking the rock to be crushed and washed, and once fine sorting has taken place, to be hauled off to join a mountain of discarded rock being created west of the site.Visitors walk near the big hole. Jacaranda, pepper and coral trees that dot the site, are reminders of another time. The tour ends in the mine shop, where diamonds ranging from R23 000 to R2.3-million can be bought. Diamond cutting can also be observed.On display is a 66-faceted diamond, referred to proudly as the Cullinan cut, a cut that is unique to the Cullinan Mine. A glance at the diamond through a magnifying glass reveals a beautifully crafted gemstone.
Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Nest, the Google-owned smart home device, is poised to show off its capabilities as more than just a thermostat at the Consumer Electronics Show this week. See also: Nest Makes Its Move In The Smart HomeIn June last year, Nest unveiled its public API that would allow independent programmers to create new applications for the company’s devices. In the following six months, dozens of companies have taken Nest up on it. At CES, the company will show off collaborations between Nest and Whirlpool, Philips Hue, and other smart home contenders. According to Nest’s announcement, the exhibit will take up at over a dozen booths and display features from a phone service that automatically forwards your calls to a washing machine that runs on quiet mode when you’re in the house. Nest will be showcasing its collaborations with other smart home companies, but the beauty of the API is that anyone can use it. For example, you can now use Nest with IFTT to automate particular behaviors for the thermostat without any programming.Photo via Nest lauren orsini A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#api#connected home#Google#Nest#Nest thermostat#smart home Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
U.S. asked to consider designating 300 primates at Oregon research center as threatened lesser slow loris, Nycticebus pygmaeus; Philippine tarsier, Tarsius syrichta; white-footed tamarin, Saguinus leucopus; black howler monkey, Alouatta pigra; stump-tailed macaque, Macaca arctoides; gelada baboon, Theropithecus gelada; Formosan rock macaque, Macaca cyclopis; Toque macaque, Macaca sinica; long-tailed langur, Presbytis potenziani; and purple-faced langur, Presbytis senex. Japanese macaques, also known as snow monkeys, relaxing in a hot spring. By Meredith WadmanMar. 8, 2017 , 3:45 PM Andrew Sproule/robertharding/Newscom The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has been asked to consider repealing a rule that exempts captive members of 11 threatened primate species from protection under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). If the agency agrees to the request — and a decision might not come until 2018 at the earliest — the captive animals would be designated as threatened, like their wild counterparts, and researchers would need to apply for permits for experiments. To be approved, studies would have to be aimed at species survival and recovery. A rule change would affect biomedical researchers who work with several hundred captive Japanese macaques housed in Oregon.People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), a Norfolk, Virginia–based animal rights organization, petitioned FWS this past January, asking it to extend ESA protections to captive members of the 11 species housed in research labs, zoos, and held as pets. For obscure reasons, a “special rule” exempted these captive populations from ESA protection in 1976. Among the 11 species, the Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata) appears to be the only one regularly used in U.S. research. A troop of roughly 300 resides at the Oregon National Primate Research Center in Hillsboro. That is where the main impact of a successful PETA petition would be felt by scientists. 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There is precedent indicating that the agency might agree with PETA. In 2015, it designated captive chimpanzees as endangered, like their wild counterparts. In doing so, it wrote that its reading of the law indicated that “Congress did not intend for captive specimens of wildlife to be subject to separate legal status on the basis of their captive state.”PETA’s Goodman says a listing change would allow animal rights activists to better track—and challenge—research involving captive Japanese macaques. When a researcher applies for a permit to conduct an experiment on a species listed under ESA, the application is published in the Federal Register and open to public comment. That means, says Goodman, “We have the opportunity to stop experiments before they happen. And we have more information as to what the animals are actually being used for, how invasive the experiments are.”The Japanese macaques, also known as snow monkeys, have been housed at the Oregon center, part of Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), since 1965. The troop has provided animal models for multiple sclerosis and for an inherited form of age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of human blindness. Ongoing work studies the effects on offspring when pregnant dams are fed a high-fat diet. Several years ago, some males were castrated and received hormone replacement to study the effect of androgens on neurons thought to motivate aggressive behavior. Females with their ovaries removed have been used to study the effects of hormone replacement therapy on stress and anxiety, with potential applications to mood and stress in menopausal women.OHSU declined to make senior officials at the Oregon primate center available for comment.Others who support nonhuman primate research did weigh in.“PETA’s actions have nothing to do with conservation and everything to do with pushing forth a political agenda, which is ending the use of all animals in biomedical research,” says Thomas Rowell, former director of the New Iberia Research Center, a large primate research facility affiliated with the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, and president and chief operating officer at Primate Products, an Immokalee, Florida, company that imports and houses nonhuman primates bred for research.Allyson Bennett, a developmental psychobiologist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison who works primarily with rhesus macaques (which are not covered by the PETA request), argues that if the animals are removed from research, they may end up in zoos or other settings with a lower standard of care and less public oversight and transparency. “That is not a win for the animals,” Bennett says.Though much of PETA’s petition addresses abuses of the 11 species by roadside zoos and exhibitors, the group also points to lapses at the Oregon facility. A 2014 government inspection report notes that a Japanese macaque died of respiratory distress during an imaging procedure because a pop-off valve on an anesthetic machine was left closed. A 2016 report documents the death of an animal whose species is not described when it became entrapped in a chain securing an enrichment device. In 2013, 21 rhesus macaques were hospitalized and six died after a fight apparently prompted by loud construction noise beside the animals’ enclosure. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which enforces the Animal Welfare Act, fined the Oregon center $11,679 for repeated violations of the law.It could be years before FWS makes a final decision. In its letter to PETA, the agency noted that it is bound by law to respond to other pending work first, and doesn’t expect to focus on PETA’s petition before October 2018.FWS designated the wild Japanese macaque as threatened in 1976, because the Japanese forests needed for its survival had been heavily logged. The other species listed in the PETA petition are: The petition lists a 12th species, the Tonkin snub-nosed langur, Pygathrix (Rhinopithecus) avunculus, which was also exempted from ESA protection in 1976. The wild snub-nosed langur has since 1990 been categorized as endangered in the wild—the most vulnerable category under ESA. Because of this, the agency wrote, FWS will this year extend ESA protections to captive members of the species.Correction, 10 March 2017, 4:48 p.m.: The FWS has not yet decided whether it will consider protecting the species listed in the PETA petition, as an earlier version of this article reported. Instead, the agency has simply confirmed to PETA that it has received the petition, and explained that it is not likely to review it until 2018, as a result of prior work commitments. Once it has reviewed the petition, the agency can reject it or agree that it has merit. Acceptance of the petition would trigger a fuller review of the conservation status of the species in question.
Australia captain Ricky Ponting feels playing a Test series in India just ahead of the Ashes at home will require major adjustments in the squad.”It’s obviously vastly different, if you look at the squad that we could probably put out for the first Test in Brisbane compared with the squad you’d think about playing on a spinning wicket in India, they’re probably two completely different squads,” Ponting was quoted as saying by ‘The Age’.”It’d be nice to get some match hardness into the guys, having not played a lot of Test cricket at that stage, but we’ll come home then and be back into one day cricket in Australia anyway so we’ll just have to manage that as well as we can,” he added.Australia’s tour of India later this year was supposed to be a seven-match ODI affair but after India became the world number one Test side, the BCCI requested Cricket Australia to include five-day matches during the tour.CA is yet to respond but there is a possibility that it would not have any problem in accommodating the Indian Board’s request.The Aussies are busy gearing up for the Ashes, aiming to beat old rivals England in the historic series at the end of the year.”We won’t be underdone, there’s no doubt about that, we’ll make sure that hopefully every player will get at least two Sheffield Shield games under their belt leading into that first Test, which I think would be really good preparation,” Ponting said.advertisement
Madan La1 square driving Shivalkar to the fenceWith the first cricket test against New Zealand starting in Bombay on November 10, interest in cricket circles is now riveted on the Indian line-up. The national selectors will be waiting for the Duleep Trophy final, commencing in Madras on November 4, before,Madan La1 square driving Shivalkar to the fenceWith the first cricket test against New Zealand starting in Bombay on November 10, interest in cricket circles is now riveted on the Indian line-up. The national selectors will be waiting for the Duleep Trophy final, commencing in Madras on November 4, before finalizing the Indian team.Nobody is likely to grudge Bishen Singh Bedi’s appointment as captain for the first two tests. He may not have proved himself a great captain so far, but in terms of seniority, experience, shrewdness and accomplishment as a player he appears to be the best choice for the post at present. That he has yet to gain full confidence of the selectors is reflected in his appointment for the first two tests only. While it is hoped that his generalship will grow in stature, he should guard against his penchant for faux pas. The selectors are not likely to have forgotten how he gave up the Sabrina Park test against the West Indies by declaring at 97 for 5 when the rivals needed only 13 runs for victory! The Vivian Richards incident in the Port of Spain test, when the “black Bradman” was not allowed by Bedi to resume his batting early after he had got hurt, also generated controversy, although, to be fair, it is matter of debate whether the Indian skipper was right in exercising his prerogative under the cricket law.We will again be dependent on spin attack for the simple reason that there are just no fast bowlers on the scene. Mohinder Amarnath and Madan Lal are not even medium pace; more like slow-medium. Both are good enough only to take the shine off the ball and sometimes keep the runs down if the spinners lose their rhythm. Frankly, both of them are in the side not because of their penetration as bowlers but because of their additional utility as batsmen.advertisementThe spinning department will be led by Bedi, who, with his smooth and easy left-arm bowling action, is functioning with his usual efficiency, as could be seen in the Irani Trophy match. It is tough luck for the competent Shivalkar that he has had to remain on the sidelines because he bowls the same stuff as the Indian skipper. The off-spinner’s job should go to Venkatraghvan, who can also lend some support to the batting. Prasanna, not getting any younger or fitter, seems to be past his prime but could be recalled if his sharply-turning spinners are needed on a helpful wicket.As for leg-spinning, Chandreshekhar will take top honours. But he pushes the ball through at almost slow-medium pace and cannot be regarded as a genuine wristy leg-spinner of the Subash Gupta vintage. Because of his polio-affected hand, he has the natural advantage of an occasional, undecipherable turn, and can, therefore, prove a trump card. But when out of his element, as happens not uneaten, he can be a miserable performer because of his inability to command the nuances of flight and spin.The batting side will be led by Gavaskar and Vishwanath. Although some believe that the Indian opener is the best batsman in the country, I am inclined to give the pride of place to Vishwanath, who is cast in the same mould as technically superior batsmen of the past like Vijay Hazare, Vijay Manjrekar and Chandu Borde. The other two specialist batsmen are likely to be Anshuman Gaekwad and Brijesh Patel. There would be one more place for a specialist batsmen and the four likely contenders are Ashok Mankad, Vengsarkar, Surinder Amarnath and Parthsarathy Sharma. I would plump for Vengsarkar. In his knock of 90-odd runs for Bombay in the Irani Trophy match Mankad did not show much self-assurance. If Mankad and Vengsarkar were to be considered on par as regards their batting ability, Vengsarkar is the younger man. Sharma should be left out because of his poor fielding, although he is one of the best strikers of the ball in the country off the front foot. Surinder Amarnath has not done much after his century in New Zealand as his batting continues to lack anchorage.The wicket-keeping job is Kirmani’s, unless Farookh Engineer makes a last-minute appearance. In that case, Kirmani will have to be sidelined again as Engineer, his advancing years notwithstanding, continues to be the best in the country, apart from his forceful batting. Thus the Indian team for the first test against New Zealand in batting order could be: Gavaskar, Vengsarkar, A. Gaekwad, Vishwanath, Brijesh Patel, Mohinder Amarnath, Madan Lal, Venkatraghvan, Kirmani, Bedi, Chandreshekhar. 12th man Surinder Amarnath. It is necessary to emphasize that nobody should be selected who is a poor fielder and all the above-mentioned players are fairly good in the field with the possible exception of Chandreshekhar.advertisementWhile the game of cricket has a pronounced element of chance, it may not be out of place to make a prognostication on the basis of some indicators. The most probable outcome of the series would be a draw. India cannot be rated a very strong side in world cricket today. Even Pakistan, with their superior batting and pace bowling, are a stronger side. New Zealand has never been a front-ranking side in international cricket and the present team is regarded as somewhat depleted. Over the years India-New Zealand confrontations show that neither has been able to establish supremacy over the other. Some may feel that India, playing on her home ground, may just scrape home the winner. On the other hand, New Zealand has the advantage of pace bowling. India, being totally dependent on spin attack, is to that extent at a disadvantage. Spin bowling has severe limitations in terms of penetration. If a batsman decides to just stick to the crease and not take any initiative, it is rather difficult for a spin bowler to dislodge him. But pace bowling can shatter an obdurate batman’s defence by sheer speed and hostility.Roy Gilchrist of the West Indies, who annihilated our batsmen in the 1958-59 West Indies-India series, is reportedly keen to come to India for coaching. He is presently working in a rubber factory in Manchester. But Gilchrist is mentioned as just an example and we could spread our net far and wide and look for other speed merchants.
Former Pakistan wicketkeeper Imtiaz Ahmed has died in Lahore, aged 88. He had been suffering from a chest infection and was Pakistan’s oldest living Test cricketer.He played for Pakistan in 41 Tests between 1952 and 1962 and was also captain for four matches. Imtiaz scored 2079 runs in Tests at an average of 29 and as a wicketkeeper he had 77 catches and 16 stumpings to his name. His highest score of 209 was against New Zealand in Lahore in 1955.Imtiaz had a prolific first-class career after making his debut as a 16-year-old for Northern India before partition. From 180 games, he scored 10391 runs, took 322 catches and effected 22 stumpings.After retirement, Imtiaz was a selector for 13 years and between 1976 and 1978, he was the chief selector of Pakistan cricket team.
Patna: As the “captain” of the NDA in Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is hitting fours and sixes and inflicting defeat on rivals, his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi said on Wednesday, in an obvious rebuff to a BJP leader who had advocated a change of guard after the next assembly polls. The remark by Modi, one of the seniormost leaders of the BJP in Bihar, comes in the wake of a “personal opinion” expressed by party MLC Sanjay Paswan a couple of days ago that Kumar should move to the Centre instead of running for the fourth consecutive term. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details “@Nitish Kumar is the captain of NDA in Bihar and will remain its captain in next assembly elections in 2020 also. When captain is hitting fours and sixes and defeating rivals by innings where is the question of change,” the deputy chief minister said on Twitter. Paswan had named Modi, besides state BJP president and Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai as potential chief ministerial candidates. The MLC’s remark evoked angry outbursts from leaders of the JD(U), headed by Kumar, who urged the BJP high command to rein in people like Paswan who, in their view, was exceeding his brief. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday Notably, Modi – in a rare gesture – had said in July on the floor of Assembly that the NDA would contest the polls next year under the leadership of Kumar, rubbishing speculations that the BJP might insist on having an upper hand after achieving unprecedented nationwide dominance. The state unit of the saffron party had earlier distanced itself from the views expressed by Paswan, who had served as a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. “We have formed a government led by Nitish Kumar for Bihar’s development. Our alliance with the JD(U) and the LJP (headed by Ram Vilas Paswan) is a collective decision taken by the central leadership of all three parties. “The BJP respects its allies and their leaders. We abide by the coalition dharma. Expression of a personal opinion, or even that of sentiments of workers or general public must not be confused with the party’s official stand,” BJP state spokesman Nikhil Anand tweeted on Tuesday.