WhatsApp Kermit woman blazing a trailThe future is bright for OC’s Mustang winner WhatsApp Local News Pinterest Facebook Jennifer Guffie reflected in the rear view mirror of the Ford Mustang that she won through Odessa College’s Drive to Success program. Guffie takes her classes online and is legally blind. Jennifer Guffie is nothing if not determined. The Kermit resident will graduate from Odessa College next week with an associate degree in early education and also is working toward a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas Permian Basin in multidisciplinary studies. A single mother of two daughters, Guffie is currently a paraprofessional for Kermit ISD working with 3- to 6- year-old special education students. She is part of the district’s Grow Your Own teacher program. Anyone who works for KISD in maintenance, as a paraprofessional, or custodian, for example, can take up to seven years to get their degree. In exchange, the graduates would work for KISD for three years as a teacher. Because she is legally blind, Guffie takes all of her classes from OC and UTPB online. She lives within a short distance of the schools and other things she needs. Recently, she won OC’s Drive to Success Finale and took home a 2019 Ford Mustang. Commencement is at 7 p.m. May 10 and 10 a.m. May 11 at the Ector County Coliseum. Guffie is graduating Saturday. “I’m excited,” Guffie said. “I can’t believe the day finally is here.” KISD Superintendent Denise Shetter said everyone in Kermit thinks it’s great that Guffie is graduating, and in about a year, she’ll be a teacher. “We think it’s awesome that she’s graduating and that we were able to be a part of that to help her get that degree,” Shetter said. Guffie said if she can do this, anyone can. But Shetter noted that Guffie is a very dedicated student who also is very dedicated to her students. “She has a passion and most great teachers have a passion for education and students,” Shetter said. She will be taking some classes at UTPB on campus this summer and will have her daughter or someone else drive her. Originally from Castle Rock, Washington, Guffie moved to Idaho where she met her husband. They lived there for quite a while. Her husband got started in the oil business in Vernal, Utah, but didn’t like traveling back and forth. His family lived in Kermit, so they moved there. They are now divorced. Their daughters are 21 and 22. The youngest is autistic. “I am so thankful for the Grow Your Own program, that the school board and the Kermit School District implemented it. I don’t think I would have ever gone back to school if it wasn’t offered. Then I would have never had this opportunity. I can’t thank the school enough and Odessa College for the car,” Guffie said. The Grow Your Own program started right around when she and her husband separated. “I thought would be a good opportunity to be able to take care of myself and my daughter better. Then, I did well my first semester and I surprised myself and just kept going. The further I went along, the more classes I took, and the more classes I took, the better I did and I just kept on,” Guffie said. She added that she carries a 4.0 GPA on both campuses. Taking the classes is a lot easier for Guffie because she can’t get to Odessa by herself and she works full time. “I”m interested to see what it’s like to be inside of a classroom, which I’ll have to go to UTPB this summer,” Guffie said. Once she completes her bachelor’s degree, Guffie plans to earn a master’s in special education. “My goal and hope for that is to finish that the following May. I would like to get that done quickly, as well. My long-term goal is I would like to work in the public school setting, but I’d like to be an adjunct professor online for a community college to help supplement,” Guffie said. Guffie has always been interested in education. After high school, she went to college to become a teacher, but quit. “Then I worked with children with disabilities, mostly in Idaho. Then I started working as a paraprofessional in schools. It’s all I’ve ever done. I also coach Special Olympics. We have a little team in Kermit,” she said. She plans to have her oldest daughter drive her to town for classes at UTPB this summer. And now that she has the Mustang, it’s easier. “I have a lot of people volunteering to drive me anywhere I want to go right now. … Everybody wants to drive it,” Guffie said. In Drive to Success, finalists learn if they won the car by whether the key fob works. “At first I didn’t know. I thought it was the other guy. I could have sworn it was his car going off because it wasn’t very loud. …,” Guffie said. Then she found out she was the winner. “I couldn’t believe it. I’m still in shock,” she said. By Digital AIM Web Support – February 24, 2021 TAGS Pinterest Twitter Previous articleThe property tax reform package is heading to Gov. Greg Abbott’s deskNext articleVFW Post 4149.jpg Digital AIM Web Support Twitter Facebook
Three Nigeria-eligible players have been named in Racing Genk’s provisional squad list for their first home game of the 2020-2021 season against OH Leuven this afternoon.Racing Genk coach Hannes Wolf has selected Super Eagles striker Paul Onuachu, Belgian-Nigerian striker Cyriel Dessers and Belgium youth international of Nigerian parentage Shawn Adewoye in a 20-man squad.For the second consecutive match, there is no place in the Genk squad for former Mountain of Fire goal poacher Stephen Odey fueling speculation that he’s not in the plans of the manager for the new season. Dessers making the roster is good news as he had been rated as doubtful previously after suffering a head injury during Wednesday evening’s workout but it remains to be seen if he will be named in the starting lineup.If promising center back Adewoye is given a run-out against OH Leuven, it would be his professional debut for the Limburg club.Genk came from behind to beat Zulte-Waregem 2-1 in their opening match of the season last weekend courtesy of goals from Onuachu and Dessers.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Mirjam Swanson contributed to this story. The Clippers will also play three games in four nights, with an April 4 home game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and an April 7 game at the Utah Jazz for a back-to-back. The game against the Bulls, on April 6, is typically an off-night for the NBA with the NCAA men’s national championship game on air.The Lakers and Clippers are the first- and third-place teams in the Western Conference, respectively. By April, both should be cycling down and resting stars in preparation for playoffs, taking some juice out of the fourth and final matchup between the hallway rivals who share the same building. The Clippers are currently 0-2 in the series.Vogel acknowledged as much, saying the team’s No. 1 priority in the closing week of the season would be to maintain their health.“We may stagger some of the guys that play, maybe some guys won’t be playing all three games, but we’ll have those conversations as we approach those games,” he said. “See what the standings look like, all those types of things. But that late in the season? The No. 1 priority is going to be healthy and fresh.”The game cancelation was an extraordinary situation for the NBA. Commissioner Adam Silver said last week in Chicago that the league and the Clippers tried to be deferential to the Lakers in handling Bryant’s death, which left the organization reeling with grief. Sharing a building was a key piece of logistics that made the cancellation possible. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error After electing to cancel the Jan. 28 game between the Lakers and Clippers in the aftermath of Kobe Bryant’s death, the NBA has now rescheduled four games total in April to put Lakers-Clippers back on the calendar.The game will be played at Staples Center on April 9, the last of three straight games the Lakers will play at home. The typical crunch of Staples Center scheduling for the week has been affected, causing three other games to be played on different nights: the Chicago Bulls will play the Clippers on April 6 (originally April 8); the Golden State Warriors will play the Lakers on April 7 (originally April 9); and the Bulls will play the Lakers on April 8 (originally April 7).The league typically takes pains to prevent teams from playing three games in as many nights, but it is not unprecedented: New Orleans is the last team that played such a stretch, from March 20 to 22 during the 2017-2018 season because of a postponed game (the last of which was against the Lakers).Lakers coach Frank Vogel said he had played such a stretch before in Indiana, when a game was snowed out and the rescheduling forced a game three days in a row. The Pacers won all three games, he said.
Girls struggle to score, boys play to draws at B.C. Soccer Provincial B Cup tournaments in Kelowna and Aldergrove
Next up for the Selects is Cariboo/North at 1 p.m.Closer to the west coast, in Aldergrove, the boys scored goals but all managed to finish the day with draws.The U15 boys scored a 2-2 tie against South Metro Burnaby Vipers.The Selects meet Wiliams Lake Storm Friday at 3 p.m.The U16 team tied 1-1 against Comox Valley while the U18 squad finished in a 2-2 draw against North Delta.The U16s face Quesnel Friday at 11 a.m. while the 18-Reps play Prince George at 3 p.m.The top teams in each of the four-team pools — girl’s and boy’s — meet Sunday for the gold medal.The second-place team in each division play for the bronze.The remaining four teams drop to the consolation round. It was a tale of two different results for Nelson Youth Soccer teams Thursday at the B.C. Soccer Provincial B Cup Tournaments.In Kelowna, all three girl’s teams — U13, U14 and U15 — had difficulty scoring during one-goal losses on Day one of the tournment.Both U13 and U14 squads lost 1-0 during very tightly-played first round games.The U13 Selects dropped a single-goal setback to Chilliwack. The Select play Williams Lake Friday at 3 p.m. needing a win to keep pace for the medal round.Meanwhile the U14 team also lost 1-0 to Sur-Del United of the Fraser Valley.The Reps face Northern rep Quesnel Friday, also at 3 p.m.The final team from Nelson in Kelowna, the U15 Selects were bounced 3-0 by CMFSC from the Lower Mainland.
SACRAMENTO — This could have been a homecoming for DeMarcus Cousins. The Warriors’ newest All-Star could have sought revenge for the Kings franchise after trading him two seasons ago to the New Orleans Pelicans. Cousins could have sought affection by reconnecting with the fans he entertained off the court and the ones that he helped in the community.Instead, the Warriors (19-10) enter Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings (15-12) with Cousins still needing to rehab his left Achilles …
Click HERE if you’re unable to view the gallery on your mobile device.Five reasons the Raiders made the right move in their trade for Antonio Brown:1) Derek Carr needed a go-to receiver he could trustFor whatever reason, things went south went Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper. Crabtree, in his final season, wasn’t even on the field late in the season during key situations. Cooper sagged statistically in his final two seasons. If that happens with Brown, it’s a disaster. Yet there’s no …
References Is Evolution Predictable? Butterflies take different paths to arrive at the same color pattern. Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, 14 November 2019. https://stri.si.edu Ref. 1. Ref. 1. Carolina Concha, et al., 2019. Interplay between Developmental Flexibility and Determinism in the Evolution of Mimetic Heliconius Wing Patterns. Current Biology, 29: 1-14, December 2; DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.10.010. Ref. 1. Doolittle, R. 1994. “Convergent Evolution: The Need to be Explicit.” Trends in Biochemical Sciences, 19(1):15-18, p. 15. Losos, J. B. 2011. “Convergence, Adaptation, and Constraint.” Evolution, 65(7):1827-1840. Wikipedia: List of examples of convergent evolution. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_examples_of_convergent_evolution. Woodward, Aylin. The Tasmanian tiger is thought to have gone extinct in 1936, but mysterious sightings suggest the creature might still be out there. https://www.businessinsider.com/tasmanian-tiger-may-not-be-extinct-sightings-pictures-2019-11. Simpson, George. 1980. Splendid Isolation: The Curious History of South American Mammals. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Rice, Stanley. 2007. “Convergence,” pp. 89-93 in: Encyclopedia of Evolution. New York, NY: Facts on File, p. 93. Pääbo, Svante. 2014. Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes. New York, NY: Basic Books, p. 66. Lima-de-Faria, A. 1988. Evolution without Selection: Form and Function by Autoevolution. Amsterdam, Holland: Elsevier, p. 271. Losos, J. B. 2011; Simpson, 1980, pp. 12-13. Milner, R. 1990. The Encyclopedia of Evolution. New York, NY: Facts on File. Rice, 2007; Losos, 2011, p. 1872.) Johnson, D. H. 1955. “The Incredible Kangaroo: Australia’s Famous Marsupial Sits on Its Tail, Fights Like a Man, Bounces Like a Steel Spring, and Graces a Coat of Arms.” The National Geographic Magazine, 108(4):487-500, p. 489. Reuell, Peter. 2019. A Clue to Biodiversity. https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2019/10/gene-flow-between-butterfly-species-offers-clue-to-biodiversity/; Nathaniel B. Edelman. 2019. Genomic architecture and introgression shape a butterfly radiation. Science. Science 01 Nov 2019. 366 (6465): 594-599. Online at https://science.sciencemag.org/content/366/6465/594.full. Hollingshead, Todd. 2019 Analysis of butterfly genomes reveals answers to complex evolutionary history questions. https://lifesciences.byu.edu/researchers-break-down-20-whole-genomes-of-perplexing-butterfly-to-find. October 31. Purdom, Georgia and Bodie Hodge, 2008. “Zonkeys, Ligers, and Wolphins, Oh My!” Answers in Depth, Vol.3, pp.71–73. https://assets.answersingenesis.org/doc/articles/aid/v3/zonkeys-ligers-wolphins.pdf .Dr. Jerry Bergman has taught biology, genetics, chemistry, biochemistry, anthropology, geology, and microbiology at several colleges and universities including for over 40 years at Bowling Green State University, Medical College of Ohio where he was a research associate in experimental pathology, and The University of Toledo. He is a graduate of the Medical College of Ohio, Wayne State University in Detroit, the University of Toledo, and Bowling Green State University. He has over 1,300 publications in 12 languages and 40 books and monographs. His books and textbooks that include chapters that he authored, are in over 1,500 college libraries in 27 countries. So far over 80,000 copies of the 40 books and monographs that he has authored or co-authored are in print. For more articles by Dr Bergman, see his Author Profile. The Major Convergent Evolution Obstacle: Can an Event Acknowledged as Improbable Occur Many Times?by Jerry Bergman, PhDHeliconius butterfly (Illustra Media)An international team of scientists working with a certain kind of butterfly in Panama was faced with a question: How could “pairs of clearly unrelated butterflies from Peru to Costa Rica evolve nearly the same wing-color patterns over and over again?” Typically, evolutionists explain this phenomenon away with an empty phrase: “butterflies can evolve along separate and different paths to arrive at the same color pattern, a process called convergent evolution.” This answer requires a suspension of disbelief. How can different species take two very different genetic paths – which would require many major genetic differences – and yet arrive at the same end result?The “convergent evolution” solution fell apart in a study on Heliconius butterflies published in Current Biology. The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute remarked that the discovery “forever changes the way evolution is understood.” The finding that motivated this remark is as follows:although natural selection channeled phenotypic convergence [i.e., outward appearances were similar], divergent developmental contexts between the two major Heliconius lineages opened different developmental routes to evolve resemblance. Consequently, even under very deterministic evolutionary scenarios, our results underscore a surprising unpredictability in the developmental paths underlying convergence in a recent radiation.Natural selection can, in other words, cause two animals to converge so they look alike (the process called “convergent evolution” noted above), but it can take very different genetic paths to reach that goal. It’s as if two balloons can leave Detroit at the same time, moved by the same wind, but one goes east, the other northwest and they both end up in Paris at the same time. How can this be considered possible? The review uses word salad to basically restate their faith in natural selection’s ability to work miracles.Evolution is often viewed as a highly contingent process, where chance mutations and random genetic drift affect future outcomes. Nonetheless, there are many cases across branches of the tree of life where different species have evolved remarkably similar solutions to common environmental challenges. Such convergence provides some of the most compelling evidence of the power of natural selection to shape phenotypic diversity in highly deterministic ways. Over the past several decades, numerous studies have examined how convergent change is achieved.The article concludes, “The broad consensus emerging from these studies is that the path taken by evolution is often repeatable among closely related species but becomes more unpredictable when species are deeply divergent.” In other words, neither natural selection, nor convergent evolution, can explain the final results the study found. This study has eloquently shown that classical evolution theory has a major problem. My conclusion is that convergent evolution, although widely accepted, is wrong.Professor Doolittle once said that convergence claims are confusing for several reasons, one of which is that often “not enough care is taken to state exactly what kind of convergence one has in mind.” He adds that evidence of “genuine [genetic] sequence convergence has yet to be made.” Genetic sequence convergence is where genetic comparisons show close similarity. What was found in the butterfly study was major genetic differences although the genes for wing color patterns were close to identical.The authors of the Current Biology paper compared genes between unrelated Heliconius butterflies that nevertheless ended up looking uncannily similar. This undermines the whole convergence argument. There was no genetic convergence and, as we do more genetic comparisons, we will no doubt find many more examples of lack of evidence for genetic convergence in cases where “convergent evolution” has been the consensus explanation. Although claims of convergent evolution are common, even ubiquitous, their identification, interpretation, and explanation are controversial. This line of research will make them even more controversial. Genetic comparisons may well falsify the general theory of convergence.Why Convergent Evolution Does Not Explain SimilaritiesDarwinists face a clear and formidable question: how can two animals, with very different ancestries, evolve to become almost identical? It is no small problem. Evolutionists waved it away with the hands of the clock, by claiming gradual evolution takes a long time. Convergence moves slowly as the two species move towards the same goal of becoming more alike as time flows forward. Wikipedia lists over 300 examples of convergent evolution.Thylacine, or Tasmanian wolf (Wikimedia Commons)An amazing example of unrelated similarity is the marsupial Tasmanian wolf (Thylacinus cynocephalus) which strongly resembles the placental wolf (Canis). Evolutionists claim that the Tasmanian “wolf” is believed to have evolved in Australia, and the placental wolf in North America. They evolved separately along different paths from very different ancestors to coincidentally end up very similar.The Tasmanian wolf is sometimes called the Tasmanian tiger. It looks much like a dog, but has stripes on its back like a tiger, and resembles a large cat, a fox, or a wolf. It was once thought extinct, but some recent sightings have been reported in the news. This animal complicates the convergent evolution narrative because of its similarities to three animals. Like the platypus, another Australian marsupial, it seems like a mosaic of multiple animals.Thylacinus cynocephalus means “pouched animal with a dog’s head.” The main issue involves their reproductive styles, which are totally different. One is a placental mammal, the other a marsupial. And yet this marsupial’s head and the placental dog’s head have very similar skull morphology. Their resemblances in overall shape, locomotory mode, feeding and foraging are also all very similar. Both also have large canines and grinding molars. The behavior and lifestyles of the North American wolf and the Tasmanian wolf are very similar. The only answer evolutionists can give is “convergent evolution,” an empty phrase masquerading as an explanation.The placental wolf and the marsupial Tasmanian wolf are actually more similar to each other morphologically than a St. Bernard is to a chihuahua. When the Placental wolf and Tasmanian wolf are examined side by side by experts, differences can be seen, but most of the major skull traits and their overall shape are almost identical. “Convergence” attempts to explain away a serious dilemma for Darwinism, namely, how could two animals that are so far apart on the evolutionary tree, and must have diverged from a common ancestor eons ago, end up so similar in so many critical aspects today?Unhappy EvolutionistsSome biologists have effectively argued against the convergent evolution theory for very good reasons. A major complaint is that it acts as like a post-hoc armchair explanation. Another is that it lacks a mechanism. Another is that it lacks historical evidence. We have no fossil record showing the evolution of the placental wolf from some hypothetical ancient ancestor animal in North America. Nor do we have evidence of the evolution of the Tasmanian wolf from some hypothetical ancient ancestor in Australia. We just know from the evidence that lots of placental wolves live in North America and lots of Tasmanian wolves live in Australia and, in general, no fossils of marsupial wolves are found in North America and no fossils of the placental wolves are found in Australia.If large numbers of Tasmanian wolf fossils were found in North America beside living placental wolves, evolutionists would be ready with a different story. They could say both evolved here and split off recently, with the former having migrated to Australia. No matter what the facts show, evolution is always the answer.A Time BombAnother major difficulty with convergent evolution as an explanation for the placental wolf and the Tasmanian wolf is that their common traits are far too similar to have evolved separately from different ancient common ancestors way back in the early Cretaceous, as evolutionists believe. Such a huge time span should have produced far more differences than observed. Many other examples of convergence also show commonalities in so many ways that only experts can see the distinctions. Evolutionary paleontologists often have difficulty determiningwhether organisms shared a characteristic because they inherited it from a common ancestor, or because they evolved it separately by convergence. This sometimes makes reconstructing fossil history difficult. Sometimes in the fossil record a species appears to have become extinct then reappears. Is it because the species was rare for a long time, then reappeared in greater abundance (what paleontologist David Jablonski calls Lazarus taxa, because they appeared to rise from the dead), or because another lineage evolved similar features by convergence, and it just looked like a reappearance (what paleontologist Douglas Erwin calls Elvis taxa)?The theory of convergence has additional problems. “Natural selection” is the Darwinians’ magic wand to explain everything, including convergence, but science should be open to other theories that can explain things. The major difficulty by far with convergence is how random mutations and natural selection could repeatedly generate the same complex designs requiring many genes, sometimes several scores of times. If Darwinists were not so antagonistic to skeptics of their theory, they might be open to evidence of an intelligent Creator using the same design in different contexts.Convergence Theory Hinders ScienceSvante Pääbo, after decades of research, wrote that convergence makes taxonomy difficult. He wrote that the many “examples of convergent evolution was to me a strong message that morphology is often an unreliable indicator of relatedness among organisms.” Professor Lima-de-Faria, in an extensive study of convergent evolution, concluded that the striking similarities in very different life-forms is a “puzzling fact” not explained by Darwinism. Indeed, he believes, similarities between unrelated organisms are a major obstacle for evolution theory. The esteemed evolutionist George Gaylord Simpson stressed that “the phenomenon of evolutionary convergence… is a source of disquiet and precaution to paleontologists and other biologists.”Some evolutionists try this angle: living in similar environments and experiencing similar selection pressures can produce convergence, they argue. This is called the “adaptationist” theory of convergence. Comparing the adaptationist and constraint perspectives on convergent evolution, evolutionists consideredthe more fundamental question about the predictability of evolutionary change. More generally, convergent evolution has long been taken as evidence of adaptation, but some recent workers have questioned the ability of evolutionary biologists to infer the operation of natural selection from the phylogenetic pattern.Mindless Environments Cannot Force ConvergenceThere is no necessary connection between the environment and convergence. Environments of “convergent” animals are often very different. Except for opossums and their relatives, marsupials are now found only in Australia and New Zealand. The environments of North America and Australia are very different in climate, terrain, and, especially, in the life-forms inhabiting the land, and yet both America and Australia have opossums.Heliconius wing patterns not by chance but by genetic sharing. (Wikimedia Commons)Conversely, environments of unlike animals are often quite similar. No reason exists to believe similar environmental demands could evolve two very different precursor animals to converge into animals with similar traits. Nor does any direct evidence exist that even very similar environments will evolve different animals to increasingly resemble each other until they become, not just superficially identical, but in many ways, close to physiologically identical. In conclusion, convergence theory has launched many disputes in the past between evolutionists, and new research has only added to their headaches.Sharing: A Much Better ExplanationPossibly due to the inadequacy of convergent evolution, another (and much better) explanation has been offered for convergence: shared information. Animals can pass genes back and forth in a process known as introgression, defined as “the introduction of genes from one species into the gene pool of another species, occurring when matings between the two produce fertile hybrids.” In the case of the Heliconius butterflies, the researchers are claiming that rampant introgression has occurred.Another example shows up in the human gene pool. Geneticists writing in a preprint in bioRxiv on November 15 found that “Neanderthal introgression reintroduced functional ancestral alleles lost in Eurasian populations.” Nothing new evolved; the information was “reintroduced” to Eurasions through introgression.Even so, explaining the variety by the exchange of genes due to interbreeding between genetically divergent individuals does not solve the evolutionary origins problem. What needs to be explained is the origin of the functional genes that are passed around by introgression. As any dog breeder knows, the exchange of genes produces an enormous amount of variety. Hollingshead opined: “On a grand scale, the findings provide evidence that the model of an evolutionary tree first famously drawn by Darwin may need some adjusting.”The Creation ExplanationActually, this is what creationists have been saying for decades: a great deal of the variety in the natural world is the result of sharing of genetic information, not emergence of new genetic information by random mutation and natural selection. Sharing of pre-existing genetic information can occur by several methods, including horizontal gene transfer, retrovirus insertions, hybridization, interbreeding and introgression. Creation taxonomists organize life by “created kinds” (baramin), within which a good deal of horizontal diversification and genetic sharing can occur. For example, the cat kind includes lions, cheetahs, domestic cats, etc. – a total of 30+ living species and a number of extinct ones. These all came from the original pair of cats, Purdom and Hodge argued in a 2008 paper.With evolution a theory in crisis, particularly when it comes to convergence, openness to alternative explanations is in order. (Visited 511 times, 2 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
9 February 2006Leading UK telecommunications firm TalkTalk is to spend R200-million setting up two call centres, one in Cape Town and the other in Johannesburg, in the biggest foreign investment yet in South Africa’s burgeoning call centre industy.TalkTalk, a subsidiary of the Carphone Warehouse Group, offers landline, broadband and mobile services to 2.5-million customers and was the first UK company to offer free calls between its customers “all day, every day, forever”.TalkTalk’s two SA call centres will each initially recruit about 250 people and operate from 8am to 10pm UK time.TalkTalk customer service director Steve Rescorla told Business Day that South Africa offered “a real pool of talent that’s an excellent fit with our business in terms of both skills and culture.”South Africans, Rescorla said, have a reputation for strong empathy with British callers, along with excellent customer skills.Rated ahead of IndiaResearch published in November 2004 by independent analysts Datamonitor predicted that South African call centre numbers would double by 2008 – and rated Cape Town ahead of India for quality of service.Datamonitor predicted that there would be 939 call centers in South Africa by 2008, almost double the number of 494 in 2003 – a compound annual growth rate of 14% over the period.It said South Africa offered outsource providers a higher quality, more culturally aligned front-office and back-office location, with labour costs running at about two-thirds of their US or UK equivalents.These findings were echoed in a report released in 2005 by the Ion Group, which polled many of the UK’s top 1 000 companies for their ideal offshore location – and ranked South Africa ahead of India, Mexico and the Philippines.Competitive advantagesA favourable time-zone, neutral English accents and similar cultural outlook all contribute to South Africa’s competitive edge as a destination for business process outsourcing – which includes the processing of accounts and claims, as well as front office activities such as call centres.And the government is all for it. President Thabo Mbeki, in his 2006 State of the Nation address to Parliament, identified the call centre industry as one of the high-potential sectors targeted in the government’s strategy to boost the country’s economic growth rate and create employment.The strategy aims to make South Africa the world’s third-biggest business process outsourcing centre – after India and the Philippines – by 2008.Briefing the media in Cape Town this week, Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka – who heads up the task team busy fine-tuning the government’s growth strategy – said that business process outsourcing investments had already created 5 000 new jobs in the country, and had the potential to 100 000 more by 2009.Research by Deloitte, published in December 2005, found that there were 535 call centres in SA employing about 65 000 people.Calling the CapeAccording to investment agency Calling the Cape, which facilitated the TalkTalk deal, the body has facilitated call centre deals worth R933-million in foreign investment since the beginning of 2004, with investments in 2005 up by 19% over 2004.79% of this investment originated from the UK, with companies from Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and the US also represented.Companies running call centres in the province include Barclays, JP Morgan, Lufthansa, the Budget Group, Merchants/Asda, Dialogue and STA Travel.Calling the Cape director Luke Mills says the “pipeline is extremely full for 2006”, with a number of the investments secured in 2005 set to expand significantly, and with inquiries being received from “some of the world’s top 10 companies”.SouthAfrica.info reporter
The Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) used videos of the 2002 Gujarat riots to “motivate” David Headley to carry out jihad against India, it has been revealed.Headley, a co-accused in the 26/11 strike, was allegedly trained by the LeT as well as the ISI in terror operations after seeing the videos “that revealed the persecution of Muslims in India”.As a star witness during the just-concluded trial of his childhood friend Tahawwur Rana, Headley told a US court in Chicago how the banned Pakistani militant group was using the 2002 riots as a potent tool to radicalise possible recruits.Headley told the Chicago court last month that the Gujarat riots were very often the topic of discussion among him and his Pakistani handlers, including Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi as well as senior LeT leaders such as Sajid Mir and Yusuf Muzammil.When the US government prosecutor asked him if the Gujarat riot motivated him to carry out jihad against India, Headley said: “Yes.””It was a massacre that had happened, and they showed people running, houses being burnt. And also since that time from 2002 till 2007, the Lashkar office itself had received hundreds of letters from Muslims in Gujarat asking for help,” Headley said.”All of us spent a few weeks there watching videos of different actions that had taken place in India against Muslims,” Headley, 50, said. He saw the videos at the outfit’s Muzzaffarabad headquarters.He told the court of having seen a hidden-camera interview of one Baba Bajrangi, said to be a VHP leader, who relocated himself from Mumbai to Gujarat during the riots.advertisement”In the video, Baba Bajrangi claimed that he had killed a lot of women and burnt houses and stuff. That’s available on YouTube,” Headley said referringto his conversation with LeT leaders in Pakistan.”They are videos of the massacres that had taken place in Gujarat a few years earlier and the breaking of the Babri Mosque, other things like that,” Headley said when asked about the videos that were shown to him by the Lashkar leaders ahead of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.The terror accused also revealed how his handlers used a US cell phone number to communicate with him in order to deceive Indian security agencies.He said the ISI’s Major Iqbal – another accused – used to call him from an American number while the Pakistani-American was scouting for targets in India.Headley told the court that Iqbal gave him a New York cell phone number starting with 646 so that both of them could have unhindered communication while he was in India.Headley said he was asked to call on that number to talk to Major Iqbal when he was travelling inside India.”This was done because all calls between India and Pakistan were mostly monitored,” Headley explained.For more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.
Bill Nye the Science Guy introduces Nintendo Labo to a group of lucky schoolchildren in Toronto on April 20, 2018. Nintendo Labo is a new line of interactive build-and-play experiences from Nintendo, allowing kids to transform modular sheets of cardboard into interactive creations called Toy-Con including a piano, a motorcycle, a fishing rod, and a robot. (CNW Group/Nintendo of Canada) LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Facebook Twitter Login/Register With: Advertisement TORONTO, April 20, 2018 – Bill Nye the Science Guy introduces Nintendo Labo to a group of lucky schoolchildren in Toronto on April 20, 2018. Nintendo Labo is a new line of interactive build-and-play experiences from Nintendo, allowing kids to transform modular sheets of cardboard into interactive creations called Toy-Con – including a piano, a motorcycle, a fishing rod, and a robot.For additional information regarding Nintendo Labo – Click Here