first_imgThe World Bank has expressed dismay over the manner in which agriculture is neglected by African governments across the continent.Though a few countries on the continent are making headway in agriculture, the WB said many others, including Liberia, are yet to invest substantially to improve the sector.The regional taskforce team leader of the World Bank West Africa Project, Abdulai Toure, said the Government of Liberia should now see the need to commit more funding to the sector in order to make it more vibrant and productive.  The agriculture sector, with more investments, is capable of taking Liberians out of poverty. The WB team leader noted that the Liberian government should invest in human capacity, technology and provide financial programs that will solely be dedicated to agriculture. If these are done, he noted, the sector would transcend from its present state of under-performance to a better level that will bring improvement to the living conditions of the people.The WB official made these comments over the weekend when he addressed a joint press conference along with Agriculture Minister, Dr.  Florence Chenoweth, at the Ministry’s head office in Gardnersville, outside Monrovia.  Mr. Toure, along with a team, was in the country to access the impact of the Ebola Virus Disease and to see how the bank could help through the West African Agricultural Productivity Project (WAAPP).  He also took the opportunity to pay field visits to WAAPP project sites in the country.  Mr. Toure stated that Liberian government’s failure to promote agriculture contravenes the Malabo Declaration, to which it is a signatory. The Malabo Declaration is an agreement among African leaders to spend at least 10% of their national budgets on agriculture.   He noted that he was impressed with the level of work that is being done by WAAPP, especially its cassava production in Bomi County.Minister Blames Legislature, Government  Minister Chenoweth, for her part, expressed frustration over government’s failure to adhere to the Malabo Declaration blaming the Legislature for not paying attention to the sector.  She said the Liberian government has not supported the sector, which has the potential to absorb as many employees, especially young people, as possible with the potential to contribute substantially to Liberia’s Gross Domestic Product, (GDP).She said there is, and has always been the need for the Liberian government to shoulder its responsibility and support the agriculture sector.  Minister Chenoweth however disclosed that the government, through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning has pledged a commitment of investing US$35 million in the sector in order to boost its capacities and productivity.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more


first_imgBy MARK KENNEDY, AP Entertainment WriterNEW YORK (AP) — When Cheslie Kryst won the Miss USA crown, it marked more than a personal triumph: It meant that for the first time, three black women are the reigning Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss America.The North Carolina lawyer completed the historic triple Thursday with pageant winners 2019 Miss America Nia Franklin and recently crowned 2019 Miss Teen USA Kaliegh Garris.In this Thursday, May 2, 2019 file photo, Miss North Carolina Cheslie Kryst wins the 2019 Miss USA final competition in the Grand Theatre in the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nev. Three black women are the reigning Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss America. Chelsie Kryst completed the historic triple on Thursday, May 2, 2019 beside pageant winners 2019 Miss America Nia Franklin and recently crowned 2019 Miss Teen USA Kaliegh Garris. (Jason Bean/The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP, File)“The three young women who have focused their energy on demonstrating how standards of black beauty speak for American standards of beauty are to be commended,” said Thomas DeFrantz, a professor in the Department of African and African American Studies at Duke University.“These three standard-bearers prove that black beauty is at the heart of a 21st century American ideal,” he added.: In this Sept. 9, 2018 file photo, Miss New York Nia Franklin reacts after being named Miss America 2019 in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray, File)Franklin, from New York, won her title in September in Atlantic City, New Jersey, becoming the first woman also to win the Miss America crown without having to don a swimsuit. Garris, from New Haven, Connecticut, won her crown in April, and hopes to become a trauma nurse.Kryst, a former Division I athlete and attorney at Poyner Spruill LLP in Charlotte, North Carolina, won her crown in Reno, Nevada. She holds an MBA from Wake Forest University.“Mine is the first generation to have that forward-looking mindset that has inclusivity, diversity, strength and empowered women. I’m looking forward to continued progress in my generation,” said Kryst, after accepting her crown. She now advances to the Miss Universe competition.2019 Miss Teen USA Kaliegh Garris (Instagram)The oldest of the three is the Miss America pageant, which began in 1921 but women of color were barred from participating until the 1940s by a rule that said contestants must be of “the white race.” Frustration led to the creation of Miss Black America contest.In 1970, Cheryl Browne became the first black woman to participate in the Miss America pageant. Since then, more than a dozen black women have been named either Miss America or Miss USA, including actress Vanessa Williams, the first-ever black Miss America in 1983.The Miss USA contest was created in 1952 and crowned the first African American contestant — Carole Anne-Marie Gist — in 1990. A year later, Janel Bishop won the Miss Teen USA title, becoming the first African American winner.___Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwitslast_img read more


first_img Citation: A study of mammalian vocalizations in lead-up to copulations using giant pandas as an example (2018, October 31) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-10-mammalian-vocalizations-lead-up-copulations-giant.html A lot of research has been conducted on vocalizations that are a part of mating rituals in mammals, but what about vocalizations that occur after a potential mate has responded? That is what the researchers with this new effort wanted to know. Do such vocalizations play a role in the success or failure of a given mating attempt? And if so, in what ways? To find the answers to these questions, the researchers chose to study the vocalization rituals of giant pandas as they were about to engage in intercourse.To learn more about how vocalizations are used once a male and female are engaged in the lead-up to copulation, the researchers focused their study on 23 adult giant pandas living near Sichuan, China. The animals were monitored during the breeding season over the years 2016 to 2018. The team used microphones set up in the area to record the sounds the giant pandas made as they went about their courtship rituals.The researchers found patterns in the noises made by their subjects—some noises and the way they were expressed led to successful mating. Other noises, on the other hand, led to failure. They noted also that giant pandas vocalized in different ways—some vocalizations were expressed softly into the ear during intercourse, as one example, an act the researchers described as sort of a love song. They suggest the vocalizations are an important means for achieving synchrony and expressing intentions.The researchers suggest their findings could help those involved in assisting with panda reproduction efforts. It could also help prevent violent conflicts that sometimes arise between giant pandas when mating rituals go awry. Study shows levels of panda hearing A team of researchers from San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research and the China Research and Conservation Centre for the Giant Panda has found that vocalizations play an important role in the lead-up to copulation with giant pandas. In their paper published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, the group describes their study of vocalizations leading up to copulation in giant pandas and what they learned. © 2018 Science X Network More information: Benjamin D. Charlton et al. Vocal behaviour predicts mating success in giant pandas, Royal Society Open Science (2018). DOI: 10.1098/rsos.181323center_img Journal information: Royal Society Open Science Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Credit: CC0 Public Domainlast_img read more