Team Returns Pseudogene to Junkpile to Counter ID Claim

first_imgAn earlier claim that a pseudogene has a function (see 05/01/2003 story) has been debunked by a team of scientists reporting in PNAS.1  Their reanalysis of the claim made in 2003 “invalidates the data upon which the pseudogene trans-regulation model is based and therefore strongly supports the view that mammalian pseudogenes are evolutionary relics.”  The end of their paper triumphantly announces that “our work reestablishes the evolutionary paradigm supported by overwhelming evidence that mammalian pseudogenes are indeed inactive gene relics.”    A press release by some of the researchers from Children’s Hospital at Pittsburgh took glee at this apparent slap in the face to intelligent design. This finding, discovered in a mouse model, was hailed by proponents of “Intelligent Design” (ID).  According to the Intelligent Design Network, the premise of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection.  ID is thus a disagreement with the core scientific basis of evolutionary theory.    However, researchers at Children’s and the Wadsworth Center in New York, including first author Todd A. Gray, PhD, have found scientific evidence that contradicts this finding.  The pseudogene in question … is an inactive copy of a gene, an evolutionary relic as previously believed.Some leaders in the ID movement found this press release ironic.  Evolutionists have claimed that ID is not scientific because it is not testable or falsifiable.  Why, then, are evolutionists claiming that this study refutes intelligent design?1Todd A. Gray et al., “The putatively functional Mkrn1-p1 pseudogene is neither expressed nor imprinted, nor does it regulate its source gene in trans,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 10.1073/pnas.0602216103, published online before print August 1, 2006.Finding one flaw in one claim (which did not originate with ID anyway) does not falsify ID, and there are many other cases where researchers have found treasure in the junk.  Use the search box above with keywords “junk DNA” to find many more examples, such as 05/04/2006 (bullet six), 03/24/2006 and 04/13/2004.  Finding something broken does not mean it never had a function, and finding something thought to be useless that really does have a function means we have much to learn.  Darwinists should not bring science to a halt by assuming, “evolution did it.”(Visited 16 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

FNB launches SA’s first banking ‘app’

first_img22 July 2011In a first for a South African bank, First National Bank has launched the FNB Banking Application, an “app” that gives users of smartphones and tablet computer devices easy access to their accounts online.South Africa currently has an estimated 16% smartphone penetration, which according to information technology research company Gartner will ramp up to 80% by 2014. Global sales of tablet computers and smartphones are predicted to exceed PC, notebooks and netbooks in 2011.The app market is also predicted to grow by 60%.The FNB Banking App is available for Android, Apple and Blackberry devices, with an app for devices running the Symbian platform expected before the end of August.“At FNB we are constantly looking at ways to improve on our innovations, staying one step ahead of our competitors and consistently adding value and choice for our customers,” FNB chief executive Michael Jordaan said in a statement this week.“In an increasingly digital world in which smartphones, tablet devices and apps are changing the way we communicate and live, the introduction of the FNB Banking App will enable us to widen our offering allowing us to provide our customers with convenient banking solutions and great user experience.”Immediate secure accessThe app gives users immediate and secure access to their bank accounts, allowing them to view account lists and detailed transactional histories, perform transactional services like transfers between accounts, as well as pay beneficiaries.“The solution will give our customers a convenient, anytime, anywhere digital banking solution, rich in user experience,” said Jordaan. “We are glad to say that this App is a home grown creation and has been developed in house by FNB Connect, the bank’s internal internet service provider.”Value added servicesIn addition to banking services, a few of the value added services include allowing customers to find FNB branches and ATMs using location based services, as well as access to an immediate FNB branch list directory, making free calls to any FNB contact centres and cheap outbound calls to other numbers.The Banking App also has functionality for users to view foreign exchange rates.“We understand the demand for instant and ‘on the go’ banking from our customers and our App provides easy access to banking through a single sign on process. One step is all it takes to safely access your bank account,” said FNB Connect’s Farren Roper.“The App was designed for quick deployment into new and existing markets as it works off any network and off a 3G or WiFi access medium. Smartphone and tablet device users and require mobility and multi-functionality and we designed our App with this user profile in mind.“The App gives the multi-tasker a quick, one stop and convenient banking experience.”To use the service, customers who have Apple devices can download the App from the Apple App store, Android customers from the Android Market, while Blackberry customers can get the App from the Blackberry App World.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Acting on Uganda’s anti-Aids progress

first_imgPupils in the ITLP programme perform in a play for members of their community in Uganda. In another production, complete with props, in Uganda, pupils show what they have learned. Playwright Judy Tate (in glasses) discusses the day’s work with participants of an ITLP workshop in Khayelitsha, Cape Town in June. (Images: ITLP)MEDIA CONTACTS• Uganda Aids Commission +25 64 14 288 065Valencia TalaneUganda has been hailed over the past two decades as one of the champions of the fight against HIV/Aids in Africa, thanks to the country’s proactive approach to dealing with the disease in the early 1990s.A massive government-led awareness campaign in 1989 led to a significant drop in new infections over the next few years. In 1992, 18% of the population had been infected, but the number dropped to less than half over the next decade and in 2001 was recorded at 6.4%.The good news was that the people of Uganda were avoiding infection in large numbers and so the focus could shift towards providing proper treatment for those who were already infected. The bad news, however, was that efforts to hold awareness drives waned, and the multi-sectorial approach of the government lost some of its hold. Soon enough, more and more Ugandans were becoming infected again. Figures released in 2011 show an infection rate of 7.2%.U-turn in infection ratesIt was in 2009, at a press conference held ahead of World Aids Day, that the secretary-general of the Uganda Aids Commission (UAC), Dr Kihumuro Apuuli, admitted that a shift in the government’s campaign focus had brought the country to the point where new infection numbers were once again rising, citing 2002 as the year that this became notable.Although the growth in new infections was slower than that of the 1990s, Apuuli’s organisation asserted that the general attitudes of people towards the disease needed to change. Their latest figures at the time showed that 65% of the cases were among married couples.The most affected population group is the 15-49 age demographic, and there are more women in the statistic than men, which intensifies the danger of mother-to-child infection in pregnant women.Authorities concede that the government alone will not be able to tackle the problem and achieve the results of 11 years ago, but with as much participation as possible at community level, the most vulnerable groups can get something out of the awareness campaigns.Messages through theatreEnter the International Theatre and Literacy Project (ITLP), a US-based NGO that brings theatre artists from all over America to developing countries to conduct workshops on writing plays and performing with school pupils and teachers. Started in 2005 by Marianna Houston, former director of the New York-based Theatre Development Fund, the ITLP has worked in countries like Tanzania, Malawi and Rwanda since its establishment.The programme’s focus is on community development and awareness of HIV/Aids, and by involving young people in the performing arts, it is able to convey messages to the broader community by way of writing plays which the pupils then perform for members of their communities, in the familiar environment of their villages.“Everyone gathers around and there’s a platform and someone has a little bit of a costume and you’re going to learn a lesson,” explained Houston in a recent interview with Media Global News, a news site with a focus on the developing world.“You’re going to learn how to put a condom on a banana, and you’re going to learn how to get tested for Aids, you’re going to learn about corruption…you’re going to learn something.”Throughout the performances, there are discussion intervals where audience members tackle the conflicts highlighted in the scene in order to find a solution.Houston feels that this form of awareness is more effective because the audience gets to learn from trusted members of their community, and this strengthens the likelihood of them changing their behaviour, and in turn helps reduce the impact of the disease.The benefits of theatreITLP’s workshops take place over a course of two weeks and are facilitated by the organisation on the one hand and the teachers at participating schools on the other. The pupils take part from Monday to Friday during a break in the school term, and at the end of the two weeks, they perform a play that they have written themselves.Although the plays are in English, summaries are made available that are translated into the language commonly spoken by members of the community.The work by the cast does not end there, however, as the pupils also get to perform the play again for the rest of the school when the term commences.“The programme contributes to new perceptions of themselves as young citizens capable of fostering a new kind of leadership in their communities and country,” said Houston.An added incentive for pupils who wish to participate in the programme is the chance to receive a scholarship, given by the ITLP to cover the cost of textbooks and tuition.In Tanzania, two of ITLP’s participants from St Margaret’s Academy got an opportunity to attend the Camp Treetops, a residential camp in New York as part of the ITLP-Nowicki scholarship, funded by film producer Stefan Nowicki.“Theatre is a very good method for communicating information [in] an oral history society,” said Houston. “The act of coming together at a performance reconnects communities with cultural roots.”last_img read more

SA voted top African retail market

first_img Only 21% of the surveyed retailers currently generate sales on the continent. “Of those which do, more than half (53%) say South Africa is their top market,” the company said. “When asked where in Africa they would consider expanding in future, South Africa remained the number one choice with 18%.” Ghana and Kenya were next on the list, with 6% and 4% respectively. This was due to the emergence of a growing middle class, as well as growth in the use of mobile technology. “Many of the trends which have driven the economic development of emerging economies in Asia and South America are beginning to take hold in Africa,” said head of retail and wholesale at Barclays, Richard Lowe. “Its rapidly expanding middle class increasingly need goods and services which cannot be catered for domestically, providing a golden opportunity for internationally-minded retailers. “This is a truly ‘ground floor’ moment in many African economies,” Lowe said. SAinfo reporter While the United States remains the top destination, Africa is emerging as an attractive market to invest in, the survey found. “Africa remains one of the final frontiers for retail, but the recent acquisition of South Africa’s Massmart shows how seriously global retailers are now taking the continent,” Barclays said in a statement. Almost a quarter of companies surveyed said Africa would be the “new retail growth story” in the next decade. 3 April 2013 South Africa is the top ranked market for retail expansion in Africa in the latest survey by UK financial services provider Barclays. The survey, released on Tuesday, asked British retailers about their attitudes towards international expansion.last_img read more

Brand South Africa’s South African Competitiveness Forum and the Pan-African University Dialogue overview with Dr Kobby Mensah

first_imgBrand South Africa and the University of South Africa (UNISA) successfully partnered to host the South African Competitiveness Forum (SACF) and the Pan-African University Dialogue in a two-day programme on the 11th -12th September 2018 and wrapping up the South African visit with a day-tour in and around Johannesburg and Soweto on the 13th September 2018.The conference brought together academics, and industry representatives from South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria to provide expert input on key issues that impact the competitiveness and reputation of the Pan-African brand. Additionally, to collaborate on finding a way forward in the Pan-African Marketing and Nation Brand research in the era of the Continental Free Trade Area.Further to this, it was important to determine inclusive solutions to the future of education in Pan-African brand marketing for students and educators across the continent.Dr Kobby Mensah from the University of Ghana Business School, a lecturer in the fields of tourism and marketing and one of the panellist at the dialogue, unpacks the two-day programme and his contribution to the dialogue.In a one-on-one conversation, Dr Mensah shared his key highlights on the dialogue, “There is a need for us to collaborate on a number of things, especially as academics, sharing of ideas in areas of study and collaborative research on the identity of Africa, Pan-Africa brand identity. To have a homogenous approach to building and maintaining Pan-African brand identity.”Dr Mensah’s presentation took on the topic of Pan-African identity and some of the ideas he reflected in the presentation was that “As Africa, we are suffering from the problem of autonomous sources of information – news, documentaries and textbooks which do not reflect the truth of who we are. We need to take charge, especially in technology to promote positivity about our countries and the Pan-African identity”As a lecturer he makes sure to challenge his students to advance in digital tourism were they share pictures of their communities, where they blog about their beautiful hidden gems, to influence the African narrative and change perception.When asked about the possibility of a future for a Pan-African brand. Yes, he said; “I definitely see the future and there must be clarity as to what it is we want in terms of a Pan-African Brand. How do we develop a brand that can be accessed within the African space and be able to push into the world?”Dr Mensah was amazed by the information shared by other colleagues and presentations it was “refreshing to see and hear”. This reaffirmed the imperative need for collaborative efforts and changing the principal learnings of what Nation brand is for a country and Pan-Africa.Rounding off the intensive yet informative dialogues, delegates were treated to a tour in and around Johannesburg and lunch served in the popular Lebo’s Backpackers.Dr Mensah encourages Africans to travel their continent and with Ghana, “travellers will be enthralled by the cultural diversity, and the colourfulness of the Ghanaian people and their kente garments”.last_img read more

Is Your Startup Too Geeky?

first_imgaudrey watters If you tell most folks that Diaspora is promising to build a distributed, open-source social network, they are apt look at you glassy-eyed. Perhaps they’ll nod and say, “Oh. Cool.” Tell those same people that Diaspora is promising to build an alternative to Facebook, and they’re much more likely to know what you are talking about. And as of late, it’s much more likely they’ll nod and say, “Oh! Cool!” – and mean it.Now, it’s not that the idea of a distributed, open-source social network is a bad one. To the contrary. But the stars that lined up for Diaspora this week and that resulted in their securing over $100,000 in microfunding probably wasn’t due entirely to the technical specifications they boasted for their project: “Full-fledged communications between Seeds (Diaspora instances), Complete PGP encryption, External Service, Scraping of most major services (reclaim your data), Version 1 of Diaspora’s API with documentation, Public GitHub repository of all Diaspora code.”Of course, these details matter. Building an anti-Facebook might be a timely idea, but you also need to have (or hire) the technical chops to bring that idea to fruition. No matter how beautiful or brilliant your code, investors and customers are probably not all that interested in, for example, the intricacies of how you plan to use JSON to handle your payload. They need to know that your product works and works well, and just as importantly, you need to show them why they’d want to use it. There are exceptions, for sure, and times when it’s necessary to speak to the technical details. You might need to address why you’ve chosen to build your new smartphone app in Flash, for example.My point isn’t that your ideas are too geeky or complex. Here at ReadWriteWeb, we love geeky, complex ideas. The point is that when you sharing your ideas with others that you need to pay attention to who comprises your audience. You need to make sure that you help them understand why they should care in your ideas (why they should invest in your startup or become your customer) and you need to craft your message accordingly.You want to give someone a reason why they should use your product. But you needn’t give them the user’s manual.Brain coral photo from Flickr 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#start#tips center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts last_img read more

How can Employee Scheduling Work as a Growth Booster for your Business?

first_imgWhat Nobody Teaches You About Getting Your Star… Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Related Posts Creating an efficient and effective employee schedule can be the difference between being stressed out or being relaxed as a manager. Your employees are your business and you always have to Ensure that your staff is where they need to be is critical for the smooth operation of your business.Related Read: 9 Ways To Help Your Employees Step UpThe roster will always be a major focus of any business. In saying that, business is primarily about making money, and with this being the major goal of most business’ they will always be focused on ways to save time and money, and one of, if not, the biggest expense is payroll. Having a system such as an employee scheduling will cut time to an arduous and sometimes exhaustive process as rostering staff. With efficient scheduling software, you can track staff shift times down to the minute, thus getting an exact calculation of your wage expenditure. Therefore with such accurate and real-time information, you can cut down on any unnecessary staff and wages.With ever-changing technological advancement, workplace laws and requirements and changes to the workplace, running a business has more components than ever, and with this, the time pressure becomes even more problematic. With scheduling software, you can avoid the pitfalls of not being compliant and be abiding by all workplace laws, scheduling software lessons the risk of accidentally flouting workplace laws with a multitude of functions to help make sure you’re in compliance. From overtime to hours worked public holiday rates and different industry awards, keeping your finger on the pulse of all the different requirements that a business has to abide by eases the stress on a manager.Implementing latest management tactics and processes with technology will keep you ahead of the game and will ease the pressure that occurs when you’re trying to build and keep, happy and loyal employees.Staff Scheduling ChallengesPlanning out a roster for the day, week or month can be challenging, having a central electronic platform to perform a multitude of tasks just makes your life much simpler. Flicking in between different applications and programs, emails and texts to work out the staff requirements, allowed wage budget and pay rates can fry a manger’s brain sometimes. It can take hours for a manager to plan and sort through all of the above, to make a roster for the business, hours that can be saved quite easily, all the while being a more efficient and effective way of processing a staple requirement of any business.Managers always have the pressure and responsibility of being compliant with organizational and workplace regulations, internal business requirements, employee upskilling, customer requirements and so much more. With all these tasks, it is becoming a basic requirement of any business today to use employee scheduling software in order to always Staying Compliant with employee scheduling in any current and future laws and regulations of your business.A well-managed and well-implemented employee scheduling system can help to keep your business moving smoothly as well as resolving a few difficult situations which can arise from rostering, payroll and compliance.Importance of Employee SchedulingImplementing and maintaining a consistent and efficient workplace schedule is important for the smooth function of your business. It helps to cut down wasted time, find inefficiencies and improve productivity. A great employee management system helps owners and managers to get more bang for your buck. Here are some key reasons why employee scheduling is important for your business:Add a professional touch that is cost-effective: To get the work done efficiently and effectively, employee software is becoming a requirement for all business’ today. It also reduces the labor cost and the maximum amount of work is completed in a shorter amount of time. Employees with the proper resources at their disposal can really maximize their efficiency at work.Reduce the stress: Creating an effective schedule ensures all the required tasks are done in a timely manner, without shift conflicts and to also ensure that your staff happy and a bit less stressed.Meeting deadlines: Managers can send alerts and notifications immediately to all staff if a shift needs to be filled, or priority tasks need to be done earlier, scheduling software can quickly alleviate your issues.Utilising Employee Scheduling SoftwareIt is always a challenge to coordinate with your staff members via email or text, regardless if you are part of a small cafe, or a large corporation, using employee scheduling software is a powerful and productive way to manage the employee schedule.In real time you can quickly track your employees’ holiday leave, sick leave and also alert employees when there are scheduling conflicts. Managers and Employees can update their availabilities, see their hourly rate, receive their schedules and get notifications in real time on any mobile devices. In addition to the preceding features, managers can customize compliance rules like overtime, break allocation, public holidays to suit your internal business policies and workplace regulations.Here are some benefits that owners and managers can gain by using employee scheduling software:The software makes scheduling easy to manage and employers will know the employee availability, key details, pay rates, leave requirements, payroll and shift times. In addition, It will help to improve accountability of your staff and catch those staff members that spend a little too long on break.Managers can view and edit the schedule from anywhere in real time. Scheduling software helps employers save time and improve their focus on other parts of their business.Employee scheduling software is compatible on multiple platforms like Android, iOS, and available for desktop.ConclusionThe old paper timesheets is a dinosaur of the past, the clock on a system on your old POS system is on the way out and being replaced in a very rapid movement towards all-encompassing employee scheduling software. Accurate and in real time, great all-in-one employee scheduling software is the future of your business. 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Nowcenter_img James Grills How to Make the Most of Your Software Developer… James Grills is a technical writer with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of mobile application development and IoT technology. He is a marketing advisor – currently associated with Cumulations Technologies a mobile app development company in India. last_img read more

4 hurt in minor blast in Guwahati; ULFA claims responsibility

first_imgThe outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I) detonated a low-intensity bomb in Guwahati on Saturday to make an ‘explosive statement’ against the Centre’s bid to pass the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.Four people, including a woman, were injured in the blast ahead of the five-day Durga Puja festival from Monday and the first ODI cricket match between India and West Indies scheduled on October 21.The police downplayed the blast on the Brahmaputra riverbank along the city’s arterial Mahatma Gandhi Road close to Fancy Bazaar, a Durga Puja shopping destination. They said there was no evidence that a bomb caused the blast that damaged some vehicles and injured the four people riding them.Assam’s Additional Director General of Police (Special Branch) Pallab Bhattacharya had a week ago warned of a bid by Islamist organisations such as Hizb-ul-Mujahideen to strike during the festive season. The theory gained currency after the arrest of eight alleged members of the group from Assam and Meghalaya during the last fortnight.Message for DelhiBut the ULFA-I claimed responsibility soon after the blast. “Our members carried out the explosion to protest the occupational Indian government’s attempt to settle Bengali immigrants in Assam through the Citizenship Bill. The attack is also against the conspiracy to derail the National Register of Citizens (NRC),” the extremist outfit’s military chief Paresh Baruah said in a statement from somewhere on the Myanmar-China border.He warned of more such strikes, some of higher intensity, in the days to come.Kuladhar Saikia, the State’s Director General of Police, said an investigation would confirm if the extremists had indeed triggered the blast. “We are trying to find out the nature of the explosives, and since the rebels have owned up, whether they triggered it themselves or outsourced the job to others,” he said.The police have not ruled out an “opportunistic claim” by the ULFA-I. But the blast has happened when organisations batting for indigenous communities and settlers perceived as ‘outsiders’ have taken an opposing stand on the Citizenship Bill that seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslims from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who migrated to India till December 31, 2014.Many Assamese organisations fear that Citizenship Bill if passed, would legalise the stay of ‘Hindu Bangladeshis’ in Assam and turn them into a minority. The fear that the bill would be passed during the winter session of the Parliament became stronger after the State BJP endorsed the bill at its State executive meeting in Majuli on Thursday.Bengali conclaveA coordination body of 27 Bengali organisations has, meanwhile, decided to organise a conclave in Guwahati on November 17.“The conclave is not about confrontation but about exploring ways to remove the wedge that some forces have driven between the Assamese and Bengali communities. We are the Bengalis of Assam, unlike Bengalis elsewhere, but we could not speak out that we are part and parcel of the greater Assamese society,” BJP legislator Shiladitya Dev said.He is the coordinator of Citizens’ Rights Protection Forum-Assam, which is organising the conclave.“Assamese is not just a language but an identity. Through the conclave, we want to give the message for a joint fight against external aggressors towards securing the future of Assam,” Mr Dev said. EOMA blast in the Sukleswar Ghat area here on Saturday left four persons injured. The banned militant outfit United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) Independent has claimed responsibility saying the blast was in protest against the updation of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam.Assam Director General of Police (DGP) Kuladhar Saikia said, “An explosive device caused the blast” at around 11.45 a.m. at a construction material dump site near a footpath in the Pan Bazar area. The four passers-by, including a woman, suffered minor wounds and were being provided medical care at the Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Civil Hospital, he said.“There are many types of explosive devices…some have switches. Only after investigation, it will be known if any militant outfit was involved in the explosion,” Mr Saikia told reporters.ULFA (Independent) commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah later called up local TV channels claiming that the blast was carried out by the outfit protesting the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and NRC updation exercise. He alleged that the NRC will be used to settle non-Assamese people in the state.The DGP said security has already been stepped up for the on-going the festival season.‘Not a bomb’Earlier, DCP Ranjan Bhuyan said, “We don’t suspect it to be a bomb explosion as there were no splinters found and the injuries were caused by stones hitting the victims…We don’t suspect it to be a sabotage or terrorist activity from the nature of the blast. It happened in a dump of sand kept for roadside drain construction. It may have had an unexploded shell which went off,” he said.“A forensic team is investigating the impact of the blast and assessing whether it was an explosive device or anything else that caused it,” Education Minister and Guwahati MLA Siddhartha Bhattacharya said.On being told that Paresh Baruah had claimed responsibility, Mr. Bhattacharya said the outlawed organisation should first apologise to the people for the act.last_img read more

Asian Games 2010: Indian shooters win bronze in men’s douple trap event

first_imgIndian shooters’ gold drought continued and the trio of Ronjan Sodhi, Asher Noria and Vikram Bhatnagar settled for bronze in the men’s double trap event in the Asian Games in Guangzhou on Sunday.Sodhi, Noria and Bhatnagar combined for a score of 403 after shooting 139, 134, 130 respectively.The Chinese team of Qiang Pan, Junjie Mo and Binyuan Hu China clinched the gold with a score of 414 (143+136+135).Kuwait — comprising M Fehaid Aldeehani, M Hamad Alafasi and A Meshfi Almutairi — grabbed the silver with a total of 407 (137+136+134).With today’s bronze, Indian shooters have so far bagged six medals in the event.- With PTI inputslast_img read more

Lula still in prison after Brazil judge voids shock release order

first_img\R Rio De Janeiro, Jul 8 (AFP) A Brazilian appeals court judge on Sunday quashed a fellow judge’s bombshell ruling ordering the release of jailed former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, in a day of legal tumult that comes just months before the South American country’s presidential vote.Though he is serving a 12-year sentence for corruption, the wildly popular leftist Lula, 72, continues to lead opinion polls ahead of October’s election and has vowed his name will be on the ballot.In his Sunday afternoon ruling, Judge Pedro Gebran Neto overturned a shock order to free Lula, which dropped just hours earlier from Judge Rogerio Favreto at an appeals court in Porto Alegre — the same one that had ordered the ex-president’s arrest.Favreto, the weekend duty judge, had ruled in favor of several deputies of Lula’s Workers’ Party, who on Friday submitted a habeas corpus application on the former president’s behalf, arguing he had been illegally imprisoned.On the heels of the first ruling, top anti-corruption judge Sergio Moro — who originally sentenced Lula in July 2017 — said Favreto did not have the power to secure the leftist’s release.Gebran Neto followed suit, instructing federal police at a prison in Curitiba to keep Lula behind bars.Lula has been imprisoned since April following his conviction for accepting a seaside apartment as a bribe from Brazilian construction company OAS.He has insisted on his innocence and branded the corruption accusations a political conspiracy aimed at thwarting his electoral aspirations.After ruling Brazil from 2003 to 2011, Lula left office with sky-high ratings following an economic boom and widely praised social programs to reduce poverty.advertisement”Lula free now!” read the popular politician’s Twitter account after Favreto’s order, praising the short-lived hope for “the end of the illegal imprisonment of Lula.” But even if released, Lula could see his candidacy invalidated by the South American country’s electoral court.Brazilian courts have repeatedly stifled his many efforts to secure release.Just last month the South American country’s Supreme Court withdrew Lula’s appeal from its agenda, after a lower appeals court ruled the prison sentence could not be referred to the top bench.The lower court said the top chamber should only handle cases related to possible constitutional violations, a standard which Lula’s request did not meet.Prosecutors in May filed new graft charges against Lula, his ex-economy minister and two other political figures allegedly promised $40 million by the Odebrecht conglomerate, which is also linked to corruption scandals elsewhere in Latin America.The charges are part of operation “Car Wash,” Brazil’s biggest ever anti-graft crackdown. It has targeted several former presidents, current President Michel Temer and politicians from all major parties.Investigators discovered that politicians and their parties were allegedly taking money from Odebrecht and other big companies in exchange for political favors and contracts with state oil company Petrobras.Yet Lula and his supporters remain steadfast in their goal to take back control of Brazil’s executive branch.Just last week the former president — who had been writing football commentary from jail, which a veteran Brazilian sports journalist and leftist sympathizer then read on air — ceased commenting on the World Cup to comply with electoral rules forbidding potential candidates from making television and radio appearances after June 30. (AFP) PMSPMSlast_img read more