4 ETFs I’d buy for 2021 and beyond

first_imgHave low debt levels Edward Sheldon owns shares in Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Mastercard, and has a position in the iShares Edge MSCI USA Quality Factor UCITS ETF. John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Teresa Kersten, an employee of LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of and has recommended Alphabet (C shares), Amazon, Apple, Mastercard, Microsoft, Nike, NVIDIA, Tesla, and Visa. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Johnson & Johnson and recommends the following options: long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon and short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) can be a great way to access the stock market. Not only do these passive ‘index funds’ provide exposure to a range of companies, but they’re also very cost-effective. In some cases, fees are less than 0.2% per year.Here, I’m going to highlight some of my favourite ETFs for 2021. I think these index funds could help investors build a winning portfolio.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…ETFs for 2021As a UK investor, I think it’s really important to take a global approach to investing. The UK has some great companies. However, many of the world’s most dominant companies are listed internationally.One of my favourite ETFs for global equity exposure is the iShares Edge MSCI World Quality Factor UCITS ETF. It’s listed under tickers IWQU (USD) and IWFQ (GBP).What’s unique about this ETF is that instead of just tracking the entire MSCI World (which contains about 1,600 companies), it provides exposure to a selection of high-quality companies within the index. Specifically, it invest in companies that: Edward Sheldon, CFA | Saturday, 2nd January, 2021 Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! See all posts by Edward Sheldon, CFA 4 ETFs I’d buy for 2021 and beyond “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” Enter Your Email Addresscenter_img Allocate a high percentage of company earnings to shareholders Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares Image source: Getty Images Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. This focus on quality can protect against downside risks. When the MSCI World index generated negative returns in 2015 and 2018, for example, this ETF outperformed. Meanwhile, it has been a solid performer over the last five years, returning 11.2% per year for the five years to 30 November versus 10.7% per year for the MSCI World.Top holdings currently include Apple, Microsoft, Nike, Visa, Roche, and Nestle. Its ongoing charge is 0.30% per year.I also like the US version of this ETF – the iShares Edge MSCI USA Quality Factor UCITS ETF. This provides exposure to large- and mid-cap US stocks exhibiting positive fundamentals (high return on equity, stable year-over-year earnings growth and low financial leverage). Companies in the top 10 holdings currently include Apple, Coca-Cola, Nike, Mastercard, and Johnson & Johnson. This ETF returned 13.4% per year for the five years to 30 November. Fees are just 0.15% per year.A sustainable exchange-traded fundSustainable investing has become popular in recent years as investors have become more concerned about where their money is being invested. In 2020, flows into sustainable ETFs smashed records.One sustainable ETF I hold in high regard is the iShares MSCI World SRI UCITS ETF. This index fund aims to provide access to the global markets through companies with outstanding environmental, social, and governance (ESG) ratings and minimal controversies. Specifically, it screens out companies involved in industries such as oil & gas, weapons, tobacco, and gambling.Since its launch in October 2017, this ETF’s done well. For the year to 30 November, it returned 19.3%. For the three years to 30 November, it returned 12.45% per year.Top holdings currently include Microsoft, Tesla, Procter & Gamble, and Nvidia. Fees are 0.2% per year.A technology ETF for 2021Finally, I remain bullish on the long-term prospects for the technology sector. I think it’s smart to have exposure to a pure-play tech ETF.One of the best ways to gain exposure to the tech sector in my view is to invest in the iShares NASDAQ 100 UCITS ETF. This tracks non-financial stocks listed on the Nasdaq stock market. Its top holdings currently include Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon. Ongoing charges are 0.33% per year. I think this ETF should do well as technology plays an increasingly important role in our lives. Demonstrate strong and stable earnings I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this.last_img read more

Outrage over beating of two Palestinian journalists by Israeli soldiers

first_img IsraelMiddle East – North Africa May 28, 2021 Find out more News News News Receive email alerts IsraelMiddle East – North Africa Follow the news on Israel May 20, 2003 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Outrage over beating of two Palestinian journalists by Israeli soldiers RSF asks ICC prosecutor to say whether Israeli airstrikes on media in Gaza constitute war crimes May 16, 2021 Find out morecenter_img Israel now holding 13 Palestinian journalists Reporters Without Borders today voiced its outrage at the violent beating which two clearly identified Palestinian journalists received from Israeli soldiers late last night in Bethlehem. One of the journalists sustained an injury to his right hand that will prevent him from working for some time.Calling it “a gratuitous physical attack,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard said, “Israeli soldiers must learn the difference between a beating and an ID check that respects journalists’ freedom of movement and dignity.”Ménard said last night’s events were not as serious as the killing of two journalists – Nazeh Darwazi and James Miller – by the Israeli army in two separate incidents last month. “But they are no less revealing of the intimidation that journalists systematically receive from Israeli soldiers in the Palestinian Territories,” he added.The victims of last night’s beating were Joseph Handal, 27, a cameraman with the French public TV station France 2, and Chaaban Qandel, 21, a cameraman with Arab Network News.They were driving along Bethlehem’s main road at around midnight in a car marked “press” and covered with “TV” stickers when they were stopped by a group of at least four Israeli soldiers, who hit them and threw them to the ground. Although the cameramen protested that they were journalists and showed their press cards, the soldiers continued to beat with great force. Both were treated in the Beit Jala hospital, Handal for a double fracture to his right hand. Help by sharing this information News Organisation June 3, 2021 Find out more RSF_en WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalists to go furtherlast_img read more

‘Ryden four’ settle in at Montagu Evans

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Who plays on ‘Monday Night Football’ tonight? Time, TV channel, schedule for Week 4

first_imgLisa Salters returns for her eighth season as sideline reporter, and John Perry is the crew’s new officiating analyst for 2019.MORE: The glory days of “Monday Night Football”Monday Night Football schedule 2019All “Monday Night Football” games start at 8:15 p.m. ET unless otherwise noted.Week 1Sept. 9Texans at Saints (7 p.m. ET) The Bengals have struggled under first-year head coach Zac Taylor, a Sean McVay protege who’s overseen an improvement on offense but hasn’t yet figured out the defense. Cincinnati has allowed more than 400 yards per game through the first three weeks.MORE: 18 incidents that have inflamed Steelers-Bengals rivalryOne of the three teams allowing more yards this year are the Steelers, however, so stops may be at a premium Monday night. Regardless of style points, whichever team can earn its first win will get a boost in a division with no teams above .500.Below is everything you need to know about the NFL’s Week 4 “Monday Night Football” game, including the kickoff time, TV channel and more.Who plays on Monday Night Football tonight?Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh SteelersKickoff time: 8:15 p.m. ETThe Steelers host the Bengals at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on Monday night in the final Week 4 game of the 2019 NFL season. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15 ET on ESPN.Pittsburgh swept Cincinnati last year in a pair of close games. The Steelers won in Cincinnati, 28-21, in Week 6 and took a 28-21 win at home in Week 17. The Bengals haven’t beaten Pittsburgh since 2015, and are 3-16 against the Steelers since 2010, including an 18-16 loss in the 2015 playoffs.MORE: Full betting preview for Bengals vs. SteelersWhat channel is Monday Night Football on?TV channel: ESPNLive stream: ESPN appESPN (and ABC) has been the home for “Monday Night Football” since its inception in 1970. You can find a live stream for MNF games at ESPN.com or by downloading the ESPN app.Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland will have the call from the booth. McFarland was a sideline analyst last year, but moved into the booth when Jason Witten returned to the Dallas Cowboys following a stint in broadcasting that was not particularly well-received. Somebody will get their first win of the year on Week 4 of “Monday Night Football,” as the Bengals visit the Steelers in a battle of 0-3 teams that has the potential to be a high-scoring affair.Pittsburgh began the season by laying an egg in primetime against the Patriots, and tight losses to the Seahawks and 49ers have kept the year from getting off the ground to this point. The offense has taken steps forward from the 33-3 dud against New England, but the defense is yet to hold a team below 24 points.center_img Sept. 9Broncos at Raiders (10:15 p.m. ET)Week 2Sept. 16Browns at JetsWeek 3Sept. 23Bears at RedskinsWeek 4Sept. 30Bengals at SteelersWeek 5Oct. 7Browns at 49ersWeek 6Oct. 14Lions at PackersWeek 7Oct. 21Patriots at JetsWeek 8Oct. 28Dolphins at SteelersWeek 9Nov. 4Cowboys at GiantsWeek 10Nov. 11Seahawks at 49ersWeek 11Nov. 18Chiefs at ChargersWeek 12Nov. 25Ravens at RamsWeek 13Dec. 2Vikings at SeahawksWeek 14Dec. 9Giants at EaglesWeek 15Dec. 16Colts at SaintsWeek 16Dec. 23Packers at Vikingslast_img read more

WMS A teams go 3 of 4 with Mulvane, Wellington JV boys win, tournament schedules for Friday, Saturday

first_imgTournament schedule for Friday and Saturday: Kingman Tournament Classic (with Conway Springs and Wellington): Friday: Wellington girls vs. Kingman – 6:20 p.m., Wellington boys vs. Kingman – 8 p.m. JV – boys – 6:20 p.m. JV- girls 8 p.m.Saturday: Wellington and Conway Springs will play either the 2:50 and 6:10 p.m. games for girls or 4:30 and 7:40 p.m. games for boys.Oxford Tournament:Friday:Flinthills vs. Bluestem @ Bluestem HSTyro Christian vs. Oxford @ OxfordSaturday:Flinthills girls vs. Tyro   1 pmFlinthills boys vs. Tyro  3 pmOxford girls vs. Bluestem 5 pmOxford Boys vs. Bluestem 7 pmCaldwell Border Queen Classic – Argonia and Caldwell:Dec. 7 – 3:30                        Norwich Girls                                 Argonia GirlsDec. 7 – 5:00                      Norwich Boys                                     Argonia BoysDec. 7 – 6:30                     Caldwell Girls                                 Central GirlsDec. 7 – 8:00                           Caldwell Boys                                Central Boys Sumner Newscow report — Wellington junior varsity boys, middle school basketball games scores, some Sumner County high school tournament scores, and tournament schedules for tonight and Saturday are as follows:Boys: 8A: Mulvane 31 Wellington 28Wellington individual scorers: Chaese Hamel 9, Brock Edwards 7, Connor Burnett 6, Therin Frame 5, Derek Driskell 4. 8B: Mulvane 29 Wellington 24Seyfert 6, Ackerson 3 Rains 3, Crittenden 2, Carpenter 2, LeGrand 2, Peng 1, Long 1.7A: Wellington 41 Mulvane 23Snipes 16, Phelps 13, Jones 6, Lara 4, Walton 2.7A- Wellington 39  Mulvane 22Avery Rusk 25, Mekenna Adams 8, Zairen Warnock 4, Shayland French 27B- Mulvane 24 Wellington 12No individual scores given.8A-  Wellington 41  Mulvane 36Tayland French 24  Lauryn Snipes 10  Madison Lewellen 5  Mallory Barker 28B-  Wellington 24  Mulvane 23No individual scores given.JV boys: Wellington 62 Mulvane 23Phelps 4, Daugherty 6, Baker 4, Nance 2, Jones 2, Dunn 15, Reichenberger 3, Pettegrew 6, Blue 10, Albright 10.Kingman Tournament: Boys: Haven 65 Conway Springs 47Conway Springs scorers: Rasmussen 16, Ddy Murphy 3, Da. Murphy 15, Pauly 4, Eckelberry 3, Wood 2, Oswald 4. Total: 17 (9) 4-11 47.Girls: Haven 35 Conway Springs 31CS scorers: Sones 8, Ebenkamp 11, Smith 1, May 7, Echelberry 4. Total: 10 (3) 8-17 31.Oxford Wildcat Classic: Boys: Oxford 67 Flinthills 44Oxford: Patterson 3, Williams 20, Burkes 19, Norris 2, Jones 12, Kennedy 11.Pond Creek Tournament: South Haven 61 Medford 38South Haven 10 17 28 16 — 61Medford 8 13 10 7 — 38South Haven: Lowe 4, Harris 4, Yunker 8, Hawkins 8, Cully 10, Upton 5, Byers 9, Schuster 4, Ray 15, Moreland 4. Totals 34 (2) 5-10 61.Medford: Misak 10, Kilian 11, Webb 6, Banks 2, Schuster 3, States 2, Garza 4. Totals 16 (2) 4-11 38; Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. There are no comments posted yet. Be the first one! Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new commentscenter_img Dec. 8 – 3:00                        Central Girls                                   Norwich GirlsDec. 8 – 4:30                        Central Boys                                  Norwich BoysDec. 8 – 6:00                        Caldwell Girls                                 Argonia GirlsDec. 8 – 7:30                        Caldwell Boys                                Argonia BoysPond Creek-Hunter TournamentSouth Haven boys to play Mulhall-Orlando Saturday night at 6 p.m. The girls play for third at 2 p.m.last_img read more

New Law Bans Smoking on Public Beaches

first_imgMartens, of Neptune, also believed a cultural change is underway. Fewer people are smoking and it’s for the better, he said.“You don’t see ashtrays in cars anymore, do you?” Martens questioned.Some people, though, think the law could be overreaching. That was Peter Lehmann’s opinion, a German citizen who was concluding a three-week tour of the East Coast at the Jersey Shore. He happened to be finishing a Seneca cigarette before paying the beach entrance fee.“It’s a bizarre thing,” said Lehmann. “We have seen all over the United States that it’s quite complicated.”“(Smokers) have to compromise all the time,” he added, “but to make it completely banned is too much.”This article was first published in the July 26-Aug. 2, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times. By Jay Cook | SEA BRIGHT – Melissa D’Anna was never a fan of smoking on the beach. And that was before she recently stepped on two lit cigarettes while giving surfing lessons in Long Branch.“It’s just a nuisance,” said D’Anna, the owner of Lucky Dog Surf Co. in downtown Sea Bright. “If you want to hurt yourself and your life, it’s your choice. But do it elsewhere.”D’Anna is just one of the many Two River-area residents who applauded a new state law signed by Gov. Phil Murphy last week that will ban smoking and vaping on all public beaches and parks across New Jersey. It’s set to go into effect in January 2019.Alongside other state officials in Long Branch July 20, Murphy said the law is designed to address public health issues and environmental concerns. “The Jersey Shore has always been one of the state’s, and indeed our nation’s, great natural treasures and a place for families,” said Murphy. “Today, we’re only strengthening our commitment to the Shore.”The bill is an extension of the New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act of 2006 which prohibited smoking at any indoor public space or workplace. Smokers will no longer be allowed to light up on any municipal, county or state beach, park or forest.First-time offenders could be fined $250. A second offense may cost $500 and any subsequent time after that can cost $1,000.Municipalities and counties, however, can use local legislation to set up a designated smoking area not exceeding 15 percent of the beach. While there is some leeway designed in the law, it’s still a win for “fish and families,” said Cindy Zipf, executive director of Clean Ocean Action. Her organization conducts two beach sweeps annually and removed over 29,000 cigarette filters, 7,000 cigar tips, 1,100 lighters and 1,000 cigarette packs from nature just last year.“A lot of people just view their world as an ashtray,” Zipf told The Two River Times this week. “But no longer is the beach going to be one.”Some areas would be exempt from this legislation. The private beach clubs lining Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright wouldn’t have to adhere, said Zipf. It would be up to the individual club to put a ban in.“It would be interesting to see if this would be a way for them to choose to either take part or not,” Zipf said of the beach clubs. “This is a step in the right direction.” The same goes for national parks, like Gateway National Recreation Area where Sandy Hook is located. Guidelines dictated by the National Park Service only prohibit smoking within 25 feet of and inside any enclosed structure, as well as inside government-owned cars and boats.Some beachgoers who spent the afternoon in Sea Bright this week were receptive to the new legislation, like Doug Rice, 62, of Rumson.“No matter where you are, somebody’s going to be down-wind,” he said, before hopping back on his bicycle. “The other (bad) thing is the butts that go in the sand all the time.”Mel Martens, who was working a shift at Giglio’s Bait & Tackle, welcomed the ban.“Being a former smoker and knowing people that’ve smoked for 50 years, having a designated area would make sense to me,” he added.last_img read more

Dogs regain lead in Okanagan, Kootenay Final resumes Thursday

first_imgOsoyoos out shot the Grizz 43-29, including a wide 21-4 margin in the opening frame.Kyle Laslo out dueled a busy Tory Caldwell in the nets to register the win.Rebels back at home to host Riders in Game three ThursdayThe Castlegar Rebels play host to the Fernie Ghostriders in game three of the Kootenay Conference Final Thursday in the Sunflower City.The teams split the first two games of the series in Fernie. Game time is 7 p.m. at the Castlegar Complex. Mark Miller scored a power play goal with less than six minutes remaining in the game to spark the Osoyoos Coyotes to a 2-1 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League playoff victory over the Grizzlies Wednesday in Revelstoke.The win gives the Dogs a 2-1 lead in the Okanagan Conference best-of-seven series. Game four is Thursday in Revelstoke.Since being hit with eight goals in the opener, the Coyotes have tightened up the defensive end against the defending KIJHL champs, allowing three goals in two games.Taylor House also scored on the power play for Osoyoos giving the visitors a 1-0 lead after 40 minutes. Bruce Silvera tied the game, also on the power play, midway through the third.last_img read more

“Good day for the Union” – GTU head

first_img…as Union, Education Ministry head to arbitration…no deductions for striking teachersAs pressure mounted on the Education Ministry on day-four of the strike action, it has finally decided to give into the Guyana Teachers Union’s (GTU) call for arbitration.The decision was made on Thursday during the second round of conciliation talks between the two parties, held in the boardroom of the Social Cohesion’s Ministry, Department of Labour on Brickdam, Georgetown.This process will see the two parties both agreeing on an independent body, to address the issues affecting teachers at present.President of the Union, Mark Lyte described Thursday as a “good day”. In smiles,A confident teacher at Thursday’s protest held in Georgetownhe explained that the Union was insisting on arbitration since day one.“Today is a good day for the Union. From day one we insisted that this matter should go to arbitration and we have achieved that today, much to the pleasure of our members… we did not feel like this process would have served us well, the conciliation,” he said.He informed that the strike has officially been called off after a much disturbing period for not only teachers, but students.Lyte noted that teachers who are able to resume duty should do so by tomorrow, even as he assured that all teachers will return to their classrooms by Monday.Teachers who were concerned about being unpaid during the strike period can rest assure, according to him, since there will be no deductions from their salaries.He indicated too, that the arbitrators will be appointed in the week ahead, as the two parties are scheduled to meet on Tuesday to discuss same.As the representatives made their way out of the building, they were greeted toThe Union giving directives to its overjoyed members who were also briefed on the successful sessioncheers from teachers as they repeated the chorus, “Solidarity forever for the Union makes us strong”.The smiling teachers cheered the leaders as some even shouted “victory will be ours!”This newspaper understands that no financial kinks were ironed out during the course of Thursday’s meeting. It was also confirmed by the Chief Labour Officer, Charles Ogle, who told media operatives, “No we did not reach to that stage…”He added, “They have agreed to arbitration so they are working out the Terms of Reference… the terms of resumption will take a little time (so) nobody could add a time limit to that because there will be agreements and disagreements”.GTU executives have in the past expressed no confidence in the Labour Department due to biased statements being made by Minister Keith Scott, whoA cheering section of teachers who greeted the Union’s executiveswas responsible for being the mediator during conciliation.The Minister was quoted in other sections of the media labelling striking teachers as “uncaring and selfish”.Upon recognition of his tongue slip, he later issued an apology for his statements. Scott did not sit in Thursday’s meeting but was represented by his advisior, Fancis Carryl.The Education Minister also chose to sit out, as she was represented by the Chief Education Officer, Marcel Hutson.Teachers protestAs day four of the nationwide strike dawned, teachers again returned to the streets in a quest for salary increases.At the Education Ministry’s 26 Brickdam office in Georgetown, educators from several schools joined forces as they sang songs calling for Minister Nicolette Henry to be removed among others.While Thursday’s crowd was not as large as the previous days, the teachers present defended their position.A nursery school teacher told Guyana Times, “We are just trusting in God that all goes well for us…I think even if they can’t give us a 40 per cent, 20 would beA section of teachers anxiously awaiting a word from the Union, just opposite the Labour Departmentreasonable. Let the Ministry reach us half way”.Roger Paris, a teacher at a secondary school in Georgetown said, “We are expecting the proposal that the Union has for us, which was recommended by the task force”.Another male teacher, Anderson (only name given) explained, “They can give us something that will work for everybody that will at the end of the day satisfy everyone”.Meanwhile, a supporter said he believes they should be given about 25 per cent. The man explained that while he is not employed with the Ministry, he is a private school teacher and is of the firm view that educators deserve more.Thursday was likely to have been the last day that teachers protest, since the GTU and the Education Ministry is set to head into arbitration.Although this is so, several schools throughout the country remained closed, others on a total shutdown, while a few were also reportedly open.A number of parents have since made vocal their concerns, since their children are being left unattended.The Ministry had established a contingency plan where about 400 substitute teachers were deployed to attend to those pupils.The substitutes were reportedly not enough, even as parents also questioned whether or not their children will be properly taught by trainees and volunteer teachers.The journeyA 40 per cent salary increase for public school teachers was proposed for the year 2016. Over time, the percentage would be increased for all categories of represented teachers.For the year 2017, the Union was hoping to have bargained for a 45 per cent increase, which would then increase to 50 per cent for the remainder of the years indicated in the agreement (2018-2020).They recently changed their demands and said they were willing to accept a ‘substantial’ payout from the Government even after the GTU rejected Government’s request for teachers to agree to a debunching payoff of $200 million for 2018/19.Lyte said the Union similarly rejected the $700 million cap that was placed on salary increases which was for 2018 only. Government also wants the clothing allowance to remain at $8000, a figure which Lyte said was given in 2011. He said, too, that for Whitley Council Leave, teachers still have to wait four years before getting their one month off, even though the GTU appealed for three years.Educators officially began strike action on August 27, 2018, during pre-term activities. They however took to the streets the following Monday, September 3, when the new school term began.The Education Ministry was forced to deploy some 400 substitute teachers to various schools.last_img read more

Evolution Rules

first_img51; It would be convenient if all a scientist had to do to prove his theory was declare it to be a law of nature.  Is that what scientists from UC Berkeley and Imperial College have done with evolution?  “First ‘rule’ of evolution suggests that life is destined to become more complex,” announced a press release on EurekAlert and PhysOrg.  What’s going on?    The statement is based on a paper in PNAS about the fossil record of crustaceans.1  Notice the first sentence of the abstract:The prospect of finding macroevolutionary trends and rules in the history of life is tremendously appealing, but very few pervasive trends have been found.  Here, we demonstrate a parallel increase in the morphological complexity of most of the deep lineages within a major clade.  We focus on the Crustacea, measuring the morphological differentiation of limbs.  First, we show a clear trend of increasing complexity among 66 free-living, ordinal-level taxa from the Phanerozoic fossil record.  We next demonstrate that this trend is pervasive, occurring in 10 or 11 of 12 matched-pair comparisons (across five morphological diversity indices) between extinct Paleozoic and related Recent taxa.  This clearly differentiates the pattern from the effects of lineage sorting.  Furthermore, newly appearing taxa tend to have had more types of limbs and a higher degree of limb differentiation than the contemporaneous average, whereas those going extinct showed higher-than-average limb redundancy.  Patterns of contemporary species diversity partially reflect the paleontological trend.  These results provide a rare demonstration of a large-scale and probably driven trend occurring across multiple independent lineages and influencing both the form and number of species through deep time and in the present day.This sounds much more restrained than the press release title.  For one thing, they admitted that few macroevolutionary trends have been found.  Then they studied a very limited aspect of one group: limb differentiation in crustaceans, and among crustaceans, only 66 fossil representatives.  Furthermore, their definition of complexity is limited to limb number and diversification, as measured by half a dozen parameters.  Once segmented limbs have appeared on earth, it is arguably less an evolutionary problem to multiply and specialize them than to originate them from scratch.    The paper opened, surprisingly, with the authors questioning the status of evolution as a scientific theory:Most of the natural sciences operate by documenting patterns and trends and thereby formulating general rules.  Evolution, however, is an essentially contingent process, meaning that evolutionary trajectories can rarely be predicted.  Proposed evolutionary trends, such as Cope’s rule for evolutionary size increase within lineages, have generally turned out to be only weakly predictive, either resulting from passive diffusion away from some barrier or applying only at local temporal and taxonomic scales.  Here, we demonstrate a remarkable and pervasive trend for increasing morphological complexity in multiple parallel lineages of the Crustacea [the major arthropod group with the longest and most disparate fossil record throughout the Phanerozoic.]Their new rule of evolution, therefore, stands alone on a heap of discarded attempts to find an evolutionary law of nature, after a century of trying.  Hopefully this paper will give more than it just took away.    They attempted to discern trends in limb complexity over time.  Since the dating of the geological column is inextricably tied to evolutionary theory, however, this could be criticized as a circular approach.  Also, the data points on their graphs were widely scattered.  A critic might argue that the straight lines they weaved through the dots are underdetermined by the data, or else influenced by the criteria of diversity they chose to focus on.  Extrapolating a trend from one clade into a rule for all of life seems optimistic, to say the least.    Even granting all their assumptions (age, criteria of diversity, trend line analysis) it appears the claim of finding a new “rule” for evolution goes far beyond the data – especially in light of the predictive failure of past attempts like Cope’s Rule.  Additionally, neither Cope’s Rule nor their “First Rule of Evolution” describe a mechanism for change.  Both are mere passive descriptions of what evolution does – not why or how it does it.    Reality, however, did not inhibit the media from spinning this as a great victory for evolution.  This was exacerbated by the fact that the researchers lowered their inhibitions when talking to the press.  For instance, Matthew Wills asserted, “If you start with the simplest possible animal body, then there’s only one direction to evolve in – you have to become more complex.”  He said after a point, animals could evolve back to simplicity, but they usually don’t.  “This is the nearest thing to a pervasive evolutionary rule that’s been found.”    Reporters took that to mean, “researchers have found evidence which suggests that evolution drives animals to become increasingly more complex.”  Doesn’t this portray “evolution” as some kind of mystical force that pushes animals upward to higher levels of complexity?  Wills explained, “it seems that competition may be the driving force behind the trend.”  Competition alone, however, often leaves one winner by himself and everyone else eliminated from the ring.  From whence does the complexity arise?  They didn’t say.    It was hard to find a place where the assumption of evolution stopped and the demonstration of evolution began.  “Our study uses information about the inter-relatedness of different animal groups – the ‘Tree of Life’ – to demonstrate that complexity has evolved numerous times independently.”  Isn’t that what evolutionary theory is supposed to prove instead of assume?  Again, “All organisms have a common ancestor, so that every living species is part of a giant family tree of life.”  This was stated not as a discovery from their research, but a starting assumption.  They did not claim to discover an evolutionary trend; they claimed that the evolutionary trend that must exist (because of the assumption of common ancestry) was parallel, not haphazard.  The press was even treated to an analogy: “What’s new about our results is that they show us how this increase in complexity has occurred,” Mills said; “Strikingly, it looks far more like a disciplined march than a milling crowd.”    Marching bands are purposeful, intelligently-designed organizations, so the analogy breaks down.  Band members practice and follow printed scores for the music.  They follow predetermined diagrams while performing their formations.  They have a driving force: intelligence, emotions, and will power.  The wish to be applauded by the crowd and to generate enthusiasm for their team drives them to watch and think and discipline their actions to form parallel rows and columns.  In scrutinizing the original paper, no such driving force can be found.  If there was any analogous driving force that could have pushed non-rational creatures like barnacles and shrimp to invent new complex structures, the authors did not mention one.  (Note: natural selection is not a force, nor is random mutation.)    The press release ended with Wills unraveling all the optimistic claims he had just made:Our results apply to a group of animals with bodies made of repeated units.  We must not forget that bacteria – very simple organisms – are among the most successful living things.  Therefore, the trend towards complexity is compelling but does not describe the history of all life.”Yet if the most numerous, successful, widespread and longest-surviving inhabitants of the biosphere did not obey the “first rule of evolution,” is there a rule at all?  Can there be a rule without a ruler – or subjects?1.  Adamowicz, Purvis, and Wills, “Increasing morphological complexity in multiple parallel lineages of the Crustacea,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, published online on March 17, 2008, 10.1073/pnas.0709378105Do you understand how evolutionary dogma perpetuates itself?  Here is the formula: assume evolution, assume the evolutionary timeline, juggle a few data points to look like a scientist, then announce that evolution is a law of nature.  This whole charade is humbug.    Look at this cheap magic trick buried in the paper: “Unfortunately, the fossil record is rarely complete enough to identify ancestors with any confidence.  However, our phylogenetically independent comparisons of early fossils with their closest extant relatives are useful proxies.”  Hold your horses!  Useful to whom?  Are you telling us you can only get to the evolutionary conclusions you want by assuming evolution (phylogenetic comparisons) in the absence of fossil evidence?  Try that trick in a courtroom.  “Your honor, we don’t have any blood or fingerprints or weapons, but since we know the defendant is guilty, we have put together a timeline based on that knowledge showing how he committed the crime.”  Where is the defense attorney screaming “Objection!”  Why is the judge silent?  You know why – he is in on the scam.    Here’s another glaring flaw the scientists (we shudder to use the term) waltzed right by, hoping nobody would notice: they started after the Cambrian.  Do you remember that a modern-looking crustacean was found fully-formed in Cambrian strata last fall? (10/04/2007; see also 07/20/2001)  Suppose we took a pair of living dogs from different breeds, bred several generations, and cataloged a variety of dog descendants possessing different patterns, hair styles, leg lengths, and dispositions.  Then suppose we triumphantly announced we had discovered a new law of nature – The First Rule of Dog Evolution – “Dogs evolve from simple to complex.”  The little boy in the audience with the quizzical look is the hero again: “Where did the first dogs come from?”    How convenient for all the jointed appendages, complex eyes and organs, segments, Hox genes and molecular machinery to be already present before they began their analysis.  If they got a slap for every time they assumed evolution instead of proving it, it would be a “useful proxy” for the blushing they should have been doing.  Maybe it would generate some tears, too, for sins like this: “Perhaps greater intraindividual limb diversity could contribute to the further ‘evolvability’ or ‘versatility’ of a lineage, allowing new and different functions to arise more readily and promoting niche diversification.”  What?  This is circularity wrapped in circumlocution.  They just said, in plain English, “Maybe evolution evolves into more evolvability.”  Good grief.  After a few more paragraphs of hand-waving, these three “scientists” vanished in a smokescreen of maybes, vaporware and futureware.  Halt in the name of the law!  This is supposed to be a science paper, not a magic show.    The charlatans pulled a complete snow job on the reporters.  In their original paper (which nobody reads) they included all the disclaimers, caveats, limitations, and obligatory scientific restraint, hidden in incomprehensible and irrelevant jargon and decorated with a few distracting equations and conjured-up visuals, tables and graphs that (for whatever they are worth) do nothing to establish their main claim.  Afterwards, they ran to the gullible press with its gutless reporters (all of them incapable of asking a logical question) and spouted their vainglorious glittering generalities, extrapolating their highly restricted data domain to the whole history of biological life – except when they deflated the whole circus tent at the end.  They got away with it.  Bold print, up front (which everybody reads): “First ‘rule’ of evolution suggests that life is destined to become more complex.  Scientists have revealed what may well be the first pervasive ‘rule’ of evolution.  In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences researchers have found evidence which suggests that evolution drives animals to become increasingly more complex.”    They don’t have to get away with it.  We just exposed them – right here.    Today is the first day of spring.  The time is long overdue to melt the snow jobs in this land where it is always winter and never Christmas.  Do your part to bring in a rebirth and flowering of responsible science.(Visited 16 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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