11 Jan
2020

Students reach out to kids in Tanzania

first_imgNEWHALL – A trip to the tax man led Jody Liss-Monteleone all the way to Africa. Liss-Monteleone never got on a plane or a boat to cross the Atlantic – her journey was a spiritual one. “My tax man told me his daughter was in Tanzania, and she was receiving donations for the orphanage she was working with,” Liss-Monteleone said. As the conversation continued, the Placerita Junior High School counselor became more and more touched by the stories of these children’s needs. Most of their parents had died of AIDS, and most relatives who weren’t infected were too poor to care for the youths. Liss-Monteleone immediately thought of her students at Placerita, a culturally and economically diverse school, and decided to hold a drive for school supplies. “We want our kids to become caring individuals and to learn how to help others less fortunate than ourselves,” she said. “Placerita has a very wealthy area and a very poor one, but I thought if everyone brings in $1 worth of supplies, we can do this.” Posting pictures of the kids at the orphanage and dropping off clear bins in first-period classrooms, she hoped kids would respond. But Liss-Monteleone quickly saw the empty bins fill up with markers and folders, pencils, pens and glue. “At first I was a little worried, but wow! This exceeded my expectations.” Anthony Fernandez, an eighth-grader, said the project was touching to him because it let him affect the lives of children thousands of miles away. “Some of these people don’t even have houses, but if they have supplies to get them an education, then they can have a better future,” Fernandez said. For seventh-grade English teacher Cheryl McCall, it was a nice way to remind her kids about the gift of giving. “We clapped every time someone brought in some supplies to celebrate giving,” McCall said. “It’s nice, kids care.” connie.llanos@dailynews.com (661) 257-5254160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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10 Jan
2020

Suarez hat-trick extends Barca’s La Liga lead

first_img0Shares0000Suarez, Coutinho and Messi were all on song as Barcelona thrashed Girona © AFP / LLUIS GENEMADRID, Spain, Feb 25 – Luis Suarez hit a hat-trick and Philippe Coutinho scored a brilliant first league goal for Barcelona as the La Liga leaders thrashed Girona 6-1 on Saturday to open up a 10-point lead at the top of the table.Lionel Messi continued his return to goalscoring form with a double to reach 30 in all competitions for the season, as Barca extended their advantage over closest title rivals Atletico Madrid, who visit Sevilla on Sunday. Real Madrid remain off the pace in third, despite a comfortable 4-0 victory over Alaves that saw Cristiano Ronaldo net a double and Gareth Bale back on the scoresheet.It was the perfect outing for Barcelona after ninth-placed Girona had taken a shock early lead on their first-ever visit to the Camp Nou, as Coutinho, Suarez, Messi and Ousmane Dembele shone on their first start together.Portu took advantage of hesitation from Barca centre-back Samuel Umtiti to round goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen and slot into an empty net to put Girona ahead in La Liga’s newest Catalan derby.The hosts took less than two minutes to get back on level terms, though, as Messi collected the ball in midfield before sending Suarez through to score.Messi’s wizardry put Ernesto Valverde’s side in front on the half-hour mark, after Suarez touched down a long pass from Andres Iniesta for the Argentinian.It looked as though the chance had gone when Messi was forced wide, but the league’s top scorer showed trademark footwork to jink past several defenders before slotting into the bottom corner.The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was running the show, and he doubled the advantage just seven minutes later with a low free-kick under the wall.“It always seems that he has done everything and then suddenly, he surprises us again, as with his free kick. It sounds easy but it is not,” said Barca coach Ernesto Valverde.Having gone five games without a goal before his crucial equaliser in the 1-1 draw at Chelsea in the Champions League in midweek, Messi has scored three in two games.Barcelona’s fourth goal came on the stroke of half-time with Girona’s defenders left begging for the interval after Messi’s perfectly-weighted pass found Coutinho to square for Suarez to tap in.The Catalan giants eased off slightly in the second half, but Coutinho got off the mark in the league in style as he cut inside and curled a long-range strike into the far corner.French winger Dembele played his part too late on as he crossed from the left for Suarez to complete a hat-trick.After a slow start to the campaign, the Uruguayan forward has now scored 17 goals in his last 14 league matches.– Selfless Ronaldo –Heads up: Cristiano Ronaldo scores twice as Real down Alaves 4-0 © AFP / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOUEarlier on Saturday, Real coach Zinedine Zidane hailed Ronaldo’s selflessness after the forward gave up the chance of a hat-trick by allowing Benzema to take a late penalty at the Santiago Bernabeu.Zidane restored Bale to the starting XI to reunite the ‘BBC’ front line of the Welshman, Ronaldo and Benzema.Ronaldo, whose first goal was created by a magnificent Benzema flick, stood aside in the 89th minute to allow the Frenchman to convert only his fourth league goal of the season.“The gesture of Cristiano is very important,” said Zidane. “After the game he played, Karim just needed to score a goal.“He (Ronaldo) had opportunities, he scored twice. After there is this gesture of Cristiano for Karim.“This proves that between them, there is a good atmosphere, a good relationship, and to win and continue what we’re doing, it’s super important.”The reigning champions’ title hopes are all but over, with Real 14 points adrift of Barca, but a run of four straight wins has ended any worries of missing out on a Champions League spot.“Confidence returns from playing these kinds of matches,” added Zidane.“After our match against PSG (3-1 win in Champions League), we’ve been doing much better, maybe there was a missing part or something like that.”0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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3 Dec
2019

Geoghegan-Quinn Surveys Europe’s Science Horizon

first_imgBRUSSELS—European scientists are celebrating a windfall in funding for the European Union’s flagship research program, Horizon 2020, which is set to receive almost €70 billion over the next 7 years, an increase of nearly 30% over its predecessor, Framework Programme 7. ScienceInsider caught up with the bonanza’s chief architect, European research commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, here at the commission’s headquarters, just before the first calls for proposals go live on 11 December. Her remarks have been edited for brevity and clarity.Q: How will things change for scientists under Horizon 2020?M.G.-Q.: Horizon 2020 is putting a lot of research money into finding answers to societal challenges [such as climate change]. It’s challenging all the disciplines to step outside their comfort zones. We don’t have neat little boxes [for each scientific area] like we had before, and that’s a criticism I suppose in one way by some of the disciplines. Everybody’s being asked to do things differently, and that’s always challenging.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Q: What’s been your biggest challenge in the past years?M.G.-Q.: When I came into the job I inherited a directorate-general that was project-based [and set about transforming it] into a policy-based one. That’s always a slow process, particularly when you’re dealing with one of the biggest directorates in the commission. It’s like having a huge oil tanker out at sea and trying to turn it. That takes time.Q: How does that translate in practice?M.G.-Q.: We have a huge externalization program: a lot of the [project management] work that would have been done within the commission in the past will be [outsourced to executive agencies]. And the work will change because of how Horizon 2020 is structured, without those neat little boxes. Of course the proof is going to be in the eating of the pudding. The hard work starts now.Q: While Horizon 2020 was taking shape, a battle raged over how to fund the ITER fusion reactor project. Is ITER’s budget now safe until 2020?M.G.-Q.: Yes, it is. ITER is a hugely exciting project, but we couldn’t continue with the situation where every time there was a cost overrun, the research budget was raided [to plug the gap]. That was [why the European Commission proposed] that ITER’s budget should be outside of the [European Union’s 7-year budget caps]. We didn’t succeed in this, but it is outside Horizon 2020’s budget, which is very important from the researchers’ point of view.Q: In 2000, the European Union set to create the European Research Area (ERA), to enable the free movement of scientists and knowledge across the continent by 2014. But that project is still far from completion. Why is Europe missing the deadline?M.G.-Q.: My gut instinct as a politician was that you achieve this kind of thing by a piece of legislation. But I realized that it would take so long to go through the whole process that we would have lost several years where we could have made progress. A lot of ministers from the member states were also wary about legislation.But in the meantime, what are the quick fixes that we can work on? We have signed [agreements with European universities, research organizations, and funding agencies, which committed to put in place measures to support the ERA]. But of course the member states have to step up to the plate. There are huge structural reforms that need to happen in the research landscapes in the different member states.Q: Where should they start?M.G.-Q.: When I meet researchers from Europe who have left, to the United States in particular, they say in the U.S. there’s a very clear career path for them, which there isn’t in most E.U. countries. If you want to reverse [the brain drain] you need a very clear career structure that’s open, merit-based, and transparent. Then you’ll bring them back.And member states have to invest in research and innovation. It’s worrying that in 2011 we had the first decline in [public] research and innovation investment since 2008. That’s something I’ve said clearly in all of the member states that I’ve been to: Research is an economic policy. It’s no longer a little policy over in the corner that works only for researchers. It’s a really short-term view to say: “OK, we’ll save money by cutting the budget for research and innovation.” In actual fact, it takes you forever to make up for the time where you didn’t have the investment.Q: Has research policy become more important in Europe? M.G.-Q.: For everybody, unemployment is the big issue. And where are the good jobs? They are going to be in research and innovation: high-quality, well-paid jobs that are secure for the future. And when I visit universities, academics say that E.U. money used to be the icing on the cake, but that’s no longer the case—it’s absolutely, fundamentally important to their budget now.Q: What will be the fattest files on your successor’s desk?M.G.-Q.: The ERA will be a big one. I said I wouldn’t rule out legislation [in this area] but that will be a matter for my successor to decide.We will issue a Communication [before the summer] next year together with the commissioner for economic affairs Olli Rehn. It will be about innovation investment and won’t in any way be a document that is aiming to tie the hands of my successor, but it will very clearly lay out the plans we put forward, what we achieved and what yet needs to be done.Q: Your 5-year term ends next October. How do you make sure Horizon 2020 stays relevant? M.G.-Q.: When the Seventh Framework Programme started in 2007, there was no such thing as a climate change challenge or a food security issue. FP7 was very much like a straitjacket. One of the things that we worked strongly on is ensuring that Horizon 2020 is flexible, so if issues arise that we haven’t even thought about now, at least the program will be able to respond to that.last_img read more

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