Well played Shiv!

first_img STEADY BATTING He scored 30 Test centuries in his international career. Statistically, his highest test score, 203, also tells a tale of steady batting. For him to score 11,867 runs without a triple century or any totals over 250 is remarkable. The corresponding measure is that he passed the 50 run mark 66 times in his career. You can’t avoid thinking that this former West Indies captain, who has a Test average of 51.37 runs, would have found 86 runs had he been selected more in these last few years. Besides that, his experience might have aided young debutant captain Jason Holder as the tall Barbadian seeks to find his feet in a challenging arena. That’s all moot now. At 41, Shivnarine Chanderpaul has taken the step all sportsmen face at some point. Perhaps, when the tales of West Indies cricket are told, the storytellers and coaches will pass on the lessons of batsmanship to be learnt from the Headley, Three Ws, Sobers, Greenidge and Haynes, Viv, Lara and Gayle. Hopefully, those tales will include a chapter on Chanderpaul as well. – Hubert Lawrence has made notes at track side since 1980. When Shivnarine Chanderpaul announced his retirement from international cricket recently, it just confirmed what everyone already knew – he would never play cricket for the West Indies again. The selectors had forced his hand by making it clear that they wouldn’t pick the little man again. It’s a pity because ‘Shiv’ has been obliged to walk away from the Test arena just 86 runs short of the all-time Test record held by Brian Lara. The position is that ‘Shiv’ couldn’t be picked just to chase a personal milestone. Underlying that position, one supposes, is a belief that he was long past his best. For those who treasure statistics, Shiv ends his Test career so near and yet so far. As a batsman who has scored almost 12,000 Test runs and nearly 9,000 runs in One Day Internationals, he surely would have gotten past the record had selection not been denied to him. In an era when fans of West Indian cricket have little to cheer about, Shiv’s approach to the record would have given them something to talk about. Interestingly, it is Lara who has said Shiv’s departure from the realm of international cricket has not been well handled. Shiv’s steady and productive presence in the maroon cap may yet be celebrated with pomp and ceremony, but so far, it has dropped as loudly as a feather floating down to a surface covered in carpet. The little Guyanese wasn’t perfect for all situations. Safe to a fault, there were times when the team needed him to press on and to accelerate his rate of scoring. That’s one thing he seems unable, or some say, unwilling to do. Of all the statistics his career heralded, his 49 not outs is probably the one that will bear the most analysis. To say he valued his wicket greatly is an understatement.last_img read more

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Pacio’s road back to title shot starts vs compatriot Doliguez

first_imgCoco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award MOST READ Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Pacio also looks to erase his painful loss to Hayato Suzuki back in August at Cotai Arena in Macau.“That’s the hard part of losing because I have to start over again. A win over Hayato Suzuki could have given me a rematch for the belt, but it is what it is. I just have to move on and work my way up the rankings once more,” said Pacio.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The 35-year-old Doliguez amassed an 18-19-9 record during his days as a professional boxer and is 7-4 in his MMA career.“Obviously, Roy Doliguez has a ton of experience in the ring and cage,” said Pacio (9-2). “He is strong and very fierce. I will do my best and really show what I have.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smog“I will put my best foot forward because I have trained very hard for this fight.”Pacio will take on Doliguez in the ONE: Legends of the World card on Friday Nov. 11 at Mall of Asia Arena.center_img Irving’s big 2nd half leads Celtics past Thunder 101-94 Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours View comments It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Photo from ONE ChampionshipJoshua Pacio was just 20-years-old when he faced Yoshitaka Naito for the ONE world strawweight title, and even though he lost the bout the diminutive striker remains hell-bent on securing another shot at the gold.Standing in his way though is the battle-hardened Roy Doliguez.ADVERTISEMENT OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

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ULIMO Ex-Battlefield Commander Arrested in France

first_imgAlhaji Kromah (center with arms crossed) surrounded by mostly Mandingo fighters from ULIMO. The arrested Kunti K. was a member of this faction. (Photo by James Fasuekoi)Investigated for war crimes, crimes against humanityAmid a growing demand for the establishment of a war crimes court in Liberia to try those suspected of bearing the greatest responsibilities for the country’s 14-year civil war, French security authorities have arrested and detained a suspected former front-line military commander from Liberia’s brutal civil war.Following his arrest over the weekend, the suspect, only identified as Kunti K., was placed under formal investigation for war crimes, crimes against humanity and alleged atrocities, including torture and cannibalism (eating of human beings), French police said Friday.A legal source said the man, identified as naturalized Dutch citizen Kunti K., is suspected of being a former commander in the United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy (ULIMO), a predominantly Mandingo warring faction, which fought during the 1990s, from bases in Guinea.Kunti K’s arrest followed a complaint filed in July by Civitas Maxima, a Switzerland-based human rights group that works in collaboration with the Liberia-based Global Justice and Research Project (GPRS), headed by Hassan Bility.“What is very important for this case is how it includes in a broader situation former war commanders or people that allegedly committed war crimes all over the world and how they are facing criminal charges. This is one more,” said Romain Wavre, legal associate with Civitas Maxima.“I believe that this will not stop, this is what the Liberian people want,” Wavre added.An Agence French Presse (AFP) report quoted French law enforcement authorities as saying Kunti K. had been charged with torture, murder, slavery, the use of child soldiers, and cannibalism (eating of human beings) particularly civilian victims, between 1993 and 1997.Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) documented that ULIMO committed 11,500 atrocities beginning in Lofa County where they first launched the insurgency under the command of Alhaji G.V. Kromah. “This arrest comes at such a crucial time,” said Mr. Bility of the Monrovia-based GJRP in a press release.“In Liberia, people are hopeful that the high-ranking commanders, the people who committed the most horrific crimes, will be held accountable. Kunti K.’s arrest and the previous arrests shows that justice for crimes committed during the civil wars can be achieved.”About 250,000 people died in one of the 20th century’s most brutal civil wars that took place between 1989 and 2003. Kunti K. joins Martina Johnson in Belgium, Aleiu Kosiah in Switzerland and Agnes Reeves Taylor in the United Kingdom, who all face charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in connection to the Liberian civil war.“We are, of course, confident that this case will go to trial but, in the end, the court will decide whether Kunti K. is guilty or not. I cannot speak for the court, but we are confident that Kunti K. committed several crimes,” Wavre said. He could not reveal further information so as not to compromise the case. Wavre confirmed that Civitas Maxima was supporting investigations into more cases in Europe.“I can confirm that we are also looking at several other cases that we cannot talk about, and we cannot say within which country the alleged perpetrator lives as long as the proceeding is not public,” he told AFP shortly after Kunti K. was arrested.According to AFP, Kunti K. was arrested on Tuesday, September 4, in the northeast Paris suburb of Bobigny where he had been hiding out at the home of a friend. Kunti is suspected of torture, murder, slavery, the use of child soldiers and cannibalism between 1993 and 1997.Liberia was devastated by two civil wars that began on Christmas Eve in 1989 in Buutuo, Nimba County, near the Ivorian border. Two-hundred fifty thousand (250,000) people were reportedly killed between 1989 and 2003.ULIMO was set up to fight against a rebel force headed by Charles Taylor, who is currently serving a 50-year prison sentence for aiding and abetting rebels who committed atrocities in neighboring Sierra Leone.Kunti K., born in 1974, was detained in a joint operation by elite GIGN police and officers from France’s OCLCH agency, which investigates war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.“He had arrived in France in 2016, after leaving the Netherlands and passing through Belgium,” said Colonel Eric Emeraux, head of the OCLCH.Paris prosecutors had opened an initial investigation into Kunti K., after victims’ rights group Civitas Maxima filed a criminal complaint on July 23. Contacted by AFP, the Geneva-based group, which offers legal support to victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity, declined to comment on the case. (AFP)Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Pouderoyen general store robbed by gunmen

first_imgPouderoyen businesswoman Ferida Wahab is now left counting her losses after gunmen invaded her general store on Saturday afternoon and carted off a large quantity of cash and valuables.The 65-year-old businesswoman, along with her son, 29-year-old Kashieve Wahab; his wife, Siddeeqah Khan, and employee Jainarine Mahadeo, was in the business establishment when the robbery occurred, at about16:00hrs.Guyana Times understands that two men reportedly rode up on bicycles, entered the business place and accosted the victims, who were all reportedly standing together. One of the men whipped out a firearm from his waist and pointed it at Mahadeo, demanding that he lie on the ground. The terrified Mahadeo complied.The men then duct-taped the hands and mouths of their victims before proceeding to ransack the store and carting off gold jewellery and an undisclosed amount of cash and other valuables.After the perpetrators escaped, the Police were alerted to the happenings. No arrest has as yet been made, but Police are continuing their investigations.last_img read more

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Chelsea fans turn their back on Manchester City-bound legend

first_img Frank Lampard is set to join Manchester City Frank Lampard’s prospective move to Manchester City on a short-term loan has generated shockwaves in football, not least among some very unhappy Chelsea supporters.The legendary Blues midfielder left Stamford Bridge at the end of the season after 13 trophy laden years and then agreed a move to New York City FC, who are part owned by the Premier League champions.No problems there as Lampard left with the well wishes of Chelsea supporters but with the MLS side not in action until March, it has now emerged he is set to join City on a six month loan.And that creates a big problem for some Blues fans. While some have understood the 36-year-old’s decision, others have gone apoplectic at the midfielder’s decision to join their Premier League title rivals.Check out the best reaction below. 1last_img read more

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2 face trial in traffic `sabotage’

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Prosecutors contend that the two accessed the automated traffic surveillance center and sent computer commands disconnecting four signal-control boxes at critical intersections on Aug. 21, just hours before a job action by members of the Engineers and Architects Association. “The facts cannot be denied. They did sabotage the city’s computer system,” Mayerson said in denying the defense’s motion to dismiss the charges. By City News Service Two high-ranking Los Angeles transportation engineers were ordered Friday to stand trial for allegedly gaining unauthorized access to a city computer that controls traffic lights just hours before a union protest last year. Superior Court Judge Samuel Mayerson found sufficient evidence to require Gabriel Murillo, 37, and Kartik Patel, 34, to stand trial on one count of each computer intrusion to alter or destroy data. Murillo also was ordered to stand trial on four counts of unauthorized disruption or denial of computer services, while Patel was ordered to stand trial on a count of identity theft. 160Want 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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Sea Genes Multiply

first_imgA potential paradigm-shifting discovery has been made in the doldrums of the Sargasso Sea: there are many more genes in plankton than expected.  Craig Venter’s Celera team sampled the genetic content of microbes off the Bermuda coast, and in 1500 liters of surface seawater, found 1.5 million new genes.  Falkowski and de Vargas, writing about this in the April 2 issue of Science,1 appear quite surprised:Our evolutionary heritage is imprinted in the genes of microbes that live in the oceans, yet that genomic information is barely understood, let alone written in biological textbooks. … Such an enormous number of new genes from so few samples obtained in one of the world’s most nutrient-impoverished bodies of water poses significant challenges to the emerging field of marine molecular microbial ecology and evolutionary biology.The “shotgun sequencing” approach of Celera, superior to the older PCR (polymerase chain reaction) method for detecting new genes, has unveiled a previously hidden superabundance of biodiversity among ocean microorganisms.  Genomes range from 20 Mb (megabases, or base pairs of DNA) to over 2000 Mb.  Some dinoflagellates, of which there are some 2000 varieties, have genomes comparable in size to humans.    Falkowski and de Vargas repeat the usual evolutionary scenario, that “The diversity of microbes in the world’s oceans is the outcome of over 3.8 billion years of evolution.”  They discuss the “metabolic experimentation and innovation” that led to photosynthesis.  To them, this biodiversity reflects what happened after photosynthesis took over: “This accommodation has been manifested over the past ~2 billion years as biological adaptations that strive to protect nature’s investment in the old, anaerobic biological machinery.  On a macroscopic scale, these adaptations include the evolution of secondary metabolic pathways, behaviors, morphologies, diversification, and species redundancy that ensures the survival of geochemically critical biological processes.”  Nevertheless, they acknowledge ignorance: “Arguably, nowhere on Earth is this microbial diversity–poorly understood as it is–more apparent than in the contemporary oceans.”  And they admit that this latest genetic survey of the oceans raises many questions about ecology, and about evolution itself:The huge panoply of new functional genes unveiled by this first shotgun sequencing of the oceans begs fundamental questions in marine microbial ecology.  For example, what ecological and evolutionary processes maintain such high microbial diversity in the oceans?  How many new functional components are there?  Have we been missing major players, or is the apparent diversity the expression of an extreme redundancy?  What is the tempo of evolution in marine microbes?  Is their diversity the outcome of Darwinian selection through vertical inheritance, or is it due to nearly neutral modes of evolution in which the hundreds of millions of viral and bacteriophage particles in any milliliter of seawater act as major agents of horizontal gene transfer and genome scrambling?    This list of questions merely suggests that the approach described by Venter et al.  is neither a beginning nor an end to understanding marine microbial ecology.  Rather, it is a clear signpost on a longer journey that will occupy a broad spectrum of the scientific community for decades.Obviously, they remind us, “Most marine microbes are not preserved in the fossil record; hence, their evolutionary pathways can best be inferred from genetically heritable molecules.”  And this will “require substantial investments in new technologies.”  But “These efforts are critical to understanding how life evolved.”    The work of Venter’s team is published in the same issue of Science.2  The abstract states, “These data are estimated to derive from at least 1800 genomic species based on sequence relatedness, including 148 previously unknown bacterial phylotypes.  We have identified over 1.2 million previously unknown genes represented in these samples, including more than 782 new rhodopsin-like photoreceptors.  Variation in species present and stoichiometry suggests substantial oceanic microbial diversity.”1Paul G. Falkowski and Colomban de Vargas, “Shotgun Sequencing in the Sea: A Blast from the Past?” Science, Vol 304, Issue 5667, 58-60, 2 April 2004, [DOI: 10.1126/science.1097146].2J. Craig Venter et al., “Environmental Genome Shotgun Sequencing of the Sargasso Sea,” Science, Vol 304, Issue 5667, 66-74, 2 April 2004, [DOI: 10.1126/science.1093857].These surprising data are too preliminary for anyone to understand them satisfactorily.  They rely on techniques involving some guesswork and statistics, such as comparing similar sequences and identifying unique species out of billions of base pairs.  Still, the results so far appear to contradict evolutionary assumptions.  In a strictly Darwinian world, the fittest survive and the weak go extinct.  Yet in the oceans, where the generation rates are the fastest and the opportunities for competition over resources are plenteous, there is a superabundance of biodiversity.  Why would organisms “strive to protect nature’s investment in the old, anaerobic biological machinery,” if photosynthesis is superior?  Can the impersonal strive?  What is machinery, if not made by intelligent design?  And if horizontal gene transfer has been the rule, or neutral evolution widespread, “scrambling”’ the genomes of these organisms, how could any phylogenetic tree be constructed?  How could a scientist have any confidence that a phylogenetic tree even reflects natural history at all?  Falkowski and de Vargas would not be asking the questions if they knew how “evolutionary processes” (how’s that for an oxymoron) could “maintain such high microbial biodiversity,” or why such “extreme redundancy” should exist in a “nutrient-impoverished” environment, where Malthus and Darwin would have expected only the fittest to survive.  They see no clear “Darwinian selection through vertical inheritance” jumping out of the published data.  An outside observer might claim Darwin’s predictions have been falsified.    This is not to assert that creationists have a ready answer to explain why there would be so many rhodopsin-like photoreceptors, or why a dinoflagellate would have a genome comparable in size to a human.  We have already seen that the genome is only part of a more complex picture of gene regulation and development (e.g., see 05/23/2003 entry).  A creationist could argue the truism that each organism, by its very persistence, possesses what it needs to survive, and that this fits a creation paradigm as well as (if not better than) an evolutionary one.  Overall, however, the emerging picture of oceanic biodiversity does not appear to represent what an evolutionist would expect.  The basal life forms, prokarya and bacteria, already possess complex machinery and a diversity of functions beyond what seems needed for mere survival.  Superabundance of genetic information points to a commensurate cause: a superabundance of intelligent design.(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Ali delivers crushing KO victory

first_img5 February 2007The first professional boxing match between women in South Africa, featuring Laila Ali, daughter of Muhammad Ali, against Gwendolyn O’Neil, was over almost before it began.Just 56 seconds into the first round at Johannesburg’s Emperor’s Palace, Ali had successfully defended her WBC and WIBA super-middleweight titles, improving her record to 24 wins, with 20 of them coming by way of knockout.Previously Ali had beaten O’Neill on a third-round knockout. “I was out to make it quicker than the last time,” she said, “but I did not expect it to be this quick.”Time for the fansGiven that the bout took such a little time, and given that Ali had to endure next to no blows, she spent time after the fight signing autographs and posing with fans.Looking back on her outing, she said she had been momentarily blinded after a jab from O’Neill, but that was the sum total of her discomfort.All it took for Ali to win were two stiff right hands. The first one dropped O’Neill, who then took a mandatory standing eight-count. She was clearly in trouble, however, and a second right felled her once more. Despite making it back to her feet, she was wobbly, and the referee counted her out.CelebritiesThe crowd that had come to see the contest included plenty of celebrities, led by former President Nelson Mandela, a noted boxing fan. Also at the bout were Winnie Madikezla-Mandela, ministers Ngconde Balfour and Makhenkesi Stofile, business magnate Tokyo Sexwale, boxers Brian Mitchell, Dingaan Thobela and Corrie Sanders, cricketer Makhaya Ntini and singer Yvonne Chaka-Chaka.At least in the main support fight they got to see more action as Cassius Baloyi won his fifth world title when he stopped Argentina’s Naszreno Ruiz in the third round of their IBO junior-lightweight contest.After knocking Ruiz to the canvas twice, Baloyi ended it early in round three with a right hook to the chin. It was the first time that Ruiz had been stopped in his 35-fight career.The victory improved Baloyi’s record to 33 wins and three defeats, with 18 of those wins coming by knockout.Supporting fightsIn another supporting bout, Kgotso Motau retained the SA middleweight title with a knockout victory in the opening round of his outing against Xolani Ngemtu. It was his tenth KO in 10 fights.Warren Joubert also scored a first-round victory, dispatching Mishack Khoza in their junior-lightweight contest, while Peter Mashamaite held on to his IBO Intercontinental title when veteran Mpush Makambi retired in the fifth round of their fight.Former Olympic boxer Ludumo Galada won the vacant SA featherweight title with a unanimous points win over Sydney Maluleka, improving his record to 11-0 in the process. Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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SA wins at Special Olympics

first_imgTeam SA gets a last-minute pep talk from coach Ephraim Mohlakane before taking on their next opponent.(Image: Universal Sports) Former President Nelson Mandela and SO Global Ambassador Arnold Schwarzenegger light the Flame Of Hope on Robben Island in 2001. The Flame of Hope leaves the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg, borne by athlete Bambino Phahlamohlaka. During US President Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony in January 2009, the Flame of Hope was carried down Pennsylvania Avenue during the parade. (Last three images: Special Olympics)Janine ErasmusThe first ever Team South Africa at the Special Olympics World Winter Games has done the country proud, taking gold for floor hockey at the 2009 event. The 14-member squad, all from Limpopo province, were complete novices at the game eight months ago and had to learn the sport within a few months, making their victory twice as sweet.The Special Olympics (SO) for athletes with intellectual disabilities holds summer and winter games on a four-yearly basis, just like the Olympic and Paralympic Games. This year’s SO World Winter Games took place during the second week of February in Idaho, US, with almost 2 500 athletes from over 100 countries vying for top honours.There are only seven categories of sports in the World Winter Games – alpine and cross-country skiing, figure skating, snowboarding, snowshoeing, speed skating, and floor hockey, which is an adaptation of ice hockey.For their first ever Winter Games, Team SA took part in only the floor hockey event. However, during the Summer Games in 2007 in China, the 86-member squad participated fully and brought back three medals.Over the six days of the hockey competition Team SA lost only two games in their division; in the finals they handed their opponents Ecuador a 2-0 drubbing.The Limpopo team were the winners of a lucky draw at home that thrust them into the international limelight. Ranging in age from 17 to 30, they were selected from more than 200 hopefuls who took part in SO South Africa’s National Winter Games held in Pretoria in June 2008. Three days of intense competition culminated in the awards ceremony and the selection, by draw, of the team to represent SO South Africa in Idaho.Minster of Education Naledi Pandor remarked in her keynote speech at the national event that “Special Olympics is ‘special’ not because of the word ‘special’ in its name, but because it allows us to use sport to transcend views and prejudices that have for many years allowed individuals with an intellectual disability to be neglected by society and sadly by their families.”The Ministry of Education was committed to supporting the organisation’s programmes in schools in all provinces, added Pandor.Limited training facilitiesTeam SA had to contend with sorely limited facilities during the initial phase of their training. At first they practised in classrooms and furthermore were living far apart at the time, so the coaches had to train them on a rotating basis.Later the group assembled in Johannesburg to train on an official-sized court and in full competition gear. They also got the chance to train with an experienced local floor hockey team who gave them hints on how to handle high-level competition.The team travelled to Johannesburg for one weekend every month prior to departure to keep their skills honed. Coach Ephraim Mohlakane commented shortly before leaving for the US that he was “very impressed. I am 100% sure that they will get gold at the Winter Games. There are a few skills that we still need to work on, but they will be perfect by the time they leave.”The oldest member of Team SA, 30-year-old Shavhani Steven Ndou, commented that SO has changed his life because the community respects him more, and that he was very proud to be part of the delegation to the US. Joseph Makhafola, 21, appreciated that there was no nepotism in SO, while 19-year-old Bambino Phahlamohlaka was grateful that he is no longer as lazy as he used to be.Tearing down the walls of prejudiceThe mission of Special Olympics worldwide is to provide year-round training and competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with an intellectual disability. SO gives them the chance to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, become productive members of society, and experience acceptance, respect and pride.The South African chapter was founded in 1991, although SO has been active in Africa since 1979 when the first office opened in Kenya. But the organisation’s activities remained low-key until the Special Olympics African Hope event took place in 2001 at venues around the country, starting in Cape Town.Former President Nelson Mandela and SO Global Ambassador Arnold Schwarzenegger lit the Flame of Hope on Robben Island, surrounded by a throng of athletes. Subsequent soccer and golf tournaments and other gala events at Sun City in the North West province and in Johannesburg did much to generate awareness of the organisation not only at home but throughout the continent.“We need to tear down the walls of prejudice and ignorance,” said Schwarzenegger at the Robben Island event, “so that Special Olympics can grow into as large an organisation on the African continent that it is in the United States and throughout the world.”Since then SO has seen rapid, even unprecedented, growth in Africa. South Africa currently has 17 658 registered Special Olympics athletes, and the local chapter aims to recruit, train and offer competition opportunities to almost 28 000 athletes and to recruit and train 1 400 coaches by 2010.As part of its strategic plan to expand its programme and attract more athletes, SO commissioned a survey in 2004 to determine the attitude of the South African public towards the organisation, and towards disabled people in general.The survey was conducted by a research team from the University of Massachusetts Boston. It established that while the past decade has seen the country making great efforts in recognising the rights of all its citizens, including those with disabilities, there is still work to be done.The most significant finding was that at the time 65% of those questioned had no awareness of SO. Of those who did had heard of SO, an encouraging 69% accurately reported that SO serves people with intellectual disabilities, while more than half of this particular segment also expressed an interest in volunteering at an event in their area. However, a significant 31% believed, wrongly, that the organisation serves people with physical or sensorial disabilities.The full report is available on the website of the Special Olympics organisation.The Flame of HopeThe Flame of Hope is the symbol of the Special Olympics. It was lit in Athens, Greece, on 12 November 2008 and crossed five continents during its 60 000km journey, arriving in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, on 29 January 2009. The flame landed in South Africa in the third week of November 2008, to stay for two weeks.Officials had to wade through much red tape to obtain special permission to take the burning flame on board a plane. The actual transportation was not a problem – a miner’s lamp became the flame’s temporary home when it was carried in confined spaces such as aircraft.The flame was the focus of a number of ceremonies held on 7 December 2008 at the Constitutional Court, in Soweto, and at the Botanical Gardens in Emmarentia, Johannesburg. Exactly two months later the cauldron in the Idaho Centre in Nampa, Idaho, blazed into life during the opening ceremony.But before this the Flame of Hope stopped over in Washington, D.C., where it was carried by proud athletes and law enforcement officers down Pennsylvania Avenue during the inauguration ceremony of US President Barack Obama.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Contact Janine Erasmus at janinee@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.Related articlesCelebrating South Africa’s Paralympians Easing the way for the disabled Useful linksWorld Winter GamesSpecial Olympics South AfricaSpecial OlympicsDown Syndrome South AfricaSpecial Olympics – finding of the South African public attitude survey (pdf)Arnold Schwarzeneggerlast_img read more

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Youth and finance are priorities at World Forestry Congress

first_img11 September 2015Involving the youth and how to generate climate financing for the future were just two of the topics that were discussed at the World Forestry Congress 2015, which was held in Durban this week.The congress, which began on 7 September, ends today with several plenary sessions in which delegates will debate the way forward. Discussions include “Forest and landscape restoration” and “Building momentum for community-based forestry, forest and farm organisations.”“Forestry and People: investing in Sustainable Future” is the theme of this, the 14th such gathering. It is hosted by South Africa’s Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The global forestry community is in Durban this week to review and analyse the key issues and to share ways of addressing them.Lack of fundingOn 10 September, Raymond Landveld of the standing committee on finance of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change gave background and an update on his organisations. Landveld spoke in the “Climate Financing for the Future” session. Questions that were frequently asked, he said, were: “Where is the private sector in this conversation, and how do we get them part of this?”Despite the access to finance from the public and the private sectors, there was still a lack of funding.Landveld’s colleague, Stefan Agne, said that public finance played a big role in sustainable investment. “But, we will have to work on mobilising more finance. It should be sustainable and not drive deforestation.”The importance of youthMatt Frei, presenter of the youth event, said that young people’s engagement with and management in forestry and agricultural was vital. “Forests are a long- term enterprise. The youth are the custodians of what we plan and hope for the future.“Kids are the easiest to bring on board, their minds are pure, and their language is simplicity. Telling the story is vital for their survival,” he said.Congress secretary-general Trevor Abrahams said the question that should be asked was: “What role do we have for the youth?”Planning in terms of the forestry industry should be changing, and issues such as education and modern technology should be addressed.“Remember, the aim for the conference is integrating people’s needs to provide sustainable future.”Gerald Steindlegger, a youth mentor, said much could be learnt from young people. “They are united in their love for forests and are committed to driving change.”He was amazed that young people engaged in the congress before it had even started by submitting videos upfront. However, his message to them was that mere participation was nothing; “meaningful engagement is everything. We are here to share, to take responsibility, and to educate our needs.”Steindlegger said people should listen more to the youth and provide more platforms to engage with them in a meaningful way. “Please be committed to support their need in investment in education.”Youth at the eventSpeaking to the SABC on the sidelines of the congress, Ella Bella Constantinides, the founder of Generation Earth, said there were many “switched on” youth at the event. “They are concerned not only about the forests, but their environment.“About 20 years ago, South Africans were fighting for human rights and equality. Now we are fighting for our home. That’s what this generation is fighting for,” she said.She encouraged people to look at the world through green glasses. “If our hearts are green, so our minds will be, and that leads to our actions. People should think of actions that answer the questions like ‘how can I respect the environment?’”Listen to Ella Bella C on why everyone should be an activist for the environment:last_img read more

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