Zimbabwe’s minister pledges to reform wildlife industry

first_imgZimbabwe’s environment minister has pledged to introduce “serious reforms” in the wildlife industry after the killing of dozens of elephants in Hwange, although she maintains that there have been “worse killings” elsewhere.Oppah Muchunguri told the Sunday Mail that there are not enough rangers patrolling the Hwange National Park, and that the few that do, live in deplorable work conditions.She said thatmore resources should be given to the communities that live close to the park, where most of the 60 elephant poisonings took place in October, so that they donot harbour poachers.Zimbabwean Police have arrested three journalists following a story alleging the involvement of a top police officer in some of the poironings.The three, Mabasa Sasa, Tinashe Farawo and Brian Chitemba, all from the Sunday Mail have been charged with publishing falsehoods and face a fine or 20 years in jailed if found guilty.last_img read more

Postdoc gives talk on science, superstition

first_imgThough religious observers often follow traditions in their faith with the same seriousness as the law, a Tuesday lecture revealed that these traditions sometimes stem from unusual places.Reformation science · Brad Bouley, postdoctoral fellow of USC’s department of history, discusses the combination of religion and science. – Priyanka Patel | Daily TrojanOn Tuesday, USC postdoctoral fellow Brad Bouley presented a lecture titled “The Holy Body: Between Science and the Supernatural” as part of the Haunted Religion seminar, sponsored by USC’s Center for Religion and Civic Culture Interdisciplinary Research Group. The lecture focused on Bradley’s soon-to-be-published essay, which shares the same name.Bouley delved into changes in the Roman Catholic Church’s canonization process after the Reformation, and highlighted the increasingly scientific approach of looking for physical evidence of supernatural works.“One of the things the church had been doing since the high Middle Ages is officially canonizing people, and there is a very legalistic process by which people are canonized,” Bradley said. “After the fracture between the Protestant Church and the Catholic Church, they halt that for 65 years. There’s a lot of indication that it’s because people were concerned because they see a lot of abuses.”Bouley also discussed the nature of the medical canonization process in relation to doctors. In the Middle Ages the church often commissioned doctors to perform autopsies on the bodies of people who were candidates for sainthood to find physical signs of holiness.Bouley said doctors would look for anomalies in different organs or marks on the bodies as signs of sainthood.“A saintly body should have an ongoing connection with God,” he said. “Therefore anatomical irregularities of the heart can count for canonization.”Though the process was pseudo-scientific, doctors still faced social pressures to confirm certain people as saints. Bradley noted doctors very rarely argued against an individual being a saint.“A lot of the time, the doctors they are bringing in are huge figures. They are famous doctors [the Catholics] are trying to bring in to buoy up the candidates,” he said. “So if you are bringing them in for a case like this, that immediately gives credence to the person, unless the doctor says no, but it’s very hard to say no. We have cases where people in the area say, ‘Look, if you say no to this body, we are going to stone you.’”Bouley discussed how doctors came to assume the role of providing medical proof as an extension of the forensic role they already occupied in the legal system. At the time, doctors were called to provide forensic evidence for murder trials.“There was a long back story of giving forensic evidence, and in many ways, the evidence you are looking at for deciding canonization in many ways is forensic evidence,” Bouley said, “so it is not that big of a leap to go to that [canonization].”last_img read more

Hodgson praises VAR system after English debut

first_imgCrystal Palace manager Roy HodgsonLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson praised the video assistant referee (VAR) system after its debut in English competitive football following initial confusion around Brighton’s winning goal.Brighton’s Glenn Murray scored a late winner in the home side’s 2-1 FA Cup third-round defeat of Palace on Monday but, with suggestions of handball, there was confusion among players, fans at the ground and TV viewers over whether VAR had had any influence on the decision.According to Hodgson and Brighton manager Chris Hughton, match referee Andre Marriner had been in contact with fellow official Neil Swarbrick, working with VAR from a London studio, about the goal.That Marriner did not indicate as such or use the pitchside VAR monitors contributed to the confusion, and Hodgson said: “We had suspicions. The people close to it seemed to be incensed, and from our angle it looks as if he’s guided the ball in with his arm.“You’ve got to congratulate the system: when you watch it lots of times like they’ve been able to do, from different angles, it would have been very harsh (to disallow it).“It was a genuine goal, and the referee was helped by the fact he had Swarbrick in the VAR studio making a judgement that’d help him out, so I have no complaints.”Hughton said he was “under the impression that VAR was used. That’s what I am led to believe: that it was used and there was not a decision to be made. At the time I wasn’t aware some thought it was handball.”VAR system under control. FILE PHOTOThe VAR system is currently being trialled in Italy and Germany and was employed for the first time in an official game in Britain during the international friendly between England and Germany in November, when it was not called on. Criticised by some fans for slowing the game down, it is used for “clear and obvious errors” relating to goals, penalty decisions, straight red cards or mistaken identity for red or yellow cards.The VAR automatically checks every relevant incident and informs the referee if necessary. The referee has the power to change the original decision based on new information provided by the VAR or watch a replay on the side of the pitch.Marriner did not feel the need to consult the pitchside monitor after Murray’s goal as he felt it was legitimate. The system allows for dialogue between the on-pitch referee and the VAR without a formal review.Former England striker Gary Lineker tweeted: “So VAR so good.”But former Palace forward Mark Bright said the referee should have looked into the incident more carefully. “The debate in the boardroom is did the ball or did it not touch Glenn Murray’s arm before it went into the net?” he tweeted.“Clearly & Obviously missed? Should have been viewed #VAR.”Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more