RSF condemns cancellation of Vanuatu newspaper editor’s work permit

first_img Organisation November 14, 2019 RSF condemns cancellation of Vanuatu newspaper editor’s work permit CanadaNew ZealandFijiSamoaTongaAmericasAsia – Pacific Media independence Judicial harassment Help by sharing this information 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies Dan McGarry has been working in Vanuatu for over 16 years (photo: David Robbie / Pacific Media Center). “I’m gutted, personally,” McGarry told RSF and its regional partner, the Pacific Media Center. “I’ve devoted 16 years of my life to this country’s development.” And he recently began the process of obtaining Vanuatuan citizenship. to go further May 13, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts “Make no mistake, this work permit cancellation is just a way of punishing a journalist whose investigative reporting annoyed the government,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. “We call on Prime Minister Chariot Salwai to immediately reconsider a decision that is both mean and unjust. This crude violation of press freedom fuels grave concern about the situation throughout the Pacific region and must not serve as an example.” The media director of the Vanuatu Daily Post, Dan McGarry discovered on 7 November that the authorities had arbitrarily rejected his work permit renewal, brushing aside the fact that he has lived in this South Pacific archipelago for the past 16 years. News According to McGarry, everything began in July when his newspaper revealed that the authorities had detained six Chinese citizens and sent them back to China without a trial and without allowing them access to lawyers, although four of them had obtained Vanuatuan citizenship. CanadaNew ZealandFijiSamoaTongaAmericasAsia – Pacific Media independence Judicial harassment center_img News The government’s response came a few days later, McGarry says. “The Prime Minister summoned me and berated me for my ‘negative’ reporting. ‘If you don’t like it here,’ he told me, ‘go home’. But Vanuatu is my home.” The only reason given by the government was that another person would be “better qualified” to hold McGarry’s position although the privately-owned Vanuatu Daily Post does not have to account to the authorities for its choice of personnel. The press freedom situation in the Pacific is very disparate. Samoa, for example, is ranked 22nd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index, while Tonga is ranked 45th and Fiji 52nd. Follow the news on Americas Facebook’s Oversight Board is just a stopgap, regulation urgently needed, RSF says June 7, 2021 Find out more Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is appalled to learn that Dan McGarry, a Canadian who has run Vanuatu’s biggest newspaper for years, is threatened with expulsion for no good reason. RSF calls on the government to reconsider its disgraceful refusal to renew his work permit. WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalists June 3, 2021 Find out more Reports News RSF_en last_img read more

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Saint Mary’s reevaluates mission statement

first_imgThe future is here, and Saint Mary’s is rising to meet it. Working in conjunction with student body president and senior Madeleine Corcoran and vice president and senior Kathy Ogden, the administration is reviewing and rethinking the College’s mission statement. The project will examine what the mission statement does well, what it is missing and how accurately it portrays Saint Mary’s, Corcoran said in an email.“We are currently in the revision process, which means we are collecting feedback from students, faculty, staff, Sisters of the Holy Cross, administration, alumnae and parents regarding our current mission statement … and what they would like to see in a future mission statement,” Corcoran said.According to the Saint Mary’s website, the current mission statement reads: “Founded by the Sisters of the Holy Cross in 1844, Saint Mary’s College promotes a life of intellectual vigor, aesthetic appreciation, religious sensibility and social responsibility. Saint Mary’s is a Catholic, residential women’s college in the liberal arts tradition offering undergraduate degrees and co-educational graduate programs.“A pioneer in the education of women, the College is an academic community where students develop their talents and prepare to make a difference in the world. All members of the College remain faithful to this mission and continually assess their response to the complex needs and challenges of the contemporary world.”The Mission Council is comprised of Saint Mary’s faculty, staff and student representatives who assess if the goals and values of the College are both known and demonstrated in the community. As an advisor to the vice president for mission, the group helps implement the College’s mission statement.“Last year, there was a slight revision [approved] to add the ‘coeducational graduate programs,’ which reflects the addition of our graduate programs as well as the admission of men into those programs,” she said. “I was blessed to be a part of that process as the co-chair last year.”Corcoran said this project is an effort to keep the mission statement loyal to the character of Saint Mary’s while adjusting to changes in the community.“It is important to continually evaluate the mission statement in order for it to be both accurate and a true reflection of the College,” she said. “The mission statement helps direct all major decisions and initiatives of the College, so it is really important for it to be current.”The process has been long and thorough, Corcoran said, with many moving parts involved in the review.“We are currently in a data collection phase,” she said. “This means many groups are giving their input, which is then collected and evaluated. Following this [phase], the strongest components will be brought to the writing process.”The group expects a very positive reaction overall, Corcoran said.“Students seem engaged and interested about how [the new mission statement] plays a role in the College’s future,” she said.Tags: Division for Mission, division for mission council, mission statement, SMC Mission Statementlast_img read more

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Norbert Leo Butz to Become a Big Fish at Netflix

first_img View Comments Butz is next slated to reunite with Big Fish co-star Kate Baldwin for a one-night-only concert of The Goodbye Girl on April 7. He earned Tony Awards for Catch Me If You Can and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. His additional Broadway credits include Rent, Wicked, Thou Shalt Not, Is He Dead?, Speed-the-Plow, Enron and Dead Accounts. Star Files Norbert Leo Butz has found his silver lining to the premature closing of Broadway’s Big Fish. According to Deadline, the Tony winner has boarded Netflix’s psychological thriller from the creators of Damages, Todd A. Kessler, Daniel Zelman and Glenn Kessler, along with Sony Pictures TV.center_img Butz will star as the charming extrovert Kevin, the youngest of the tight-knit Rayburn siblings, opposite Kyle Chandler, Ben Mendelsohn and Linda Cardellini. Owner of a boat repair yard, Kevin believes he is the unofficial mayor of the small coastal town in which the series is based. The show centers on the secrets that are revealed when the eldest brother and black sheep of the family Danny (Mendelsohn), returns home. Sissy Spacek also stars. Norbert Leo Butzlast_img read more

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Plantapalooza 2014

first_imgThe Trial Gardens at the University of Georgia, the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and the UGA Horticulture Club will team up to host Northeast Georgia’s premier plant sale on April 5. Plantapalooza, a series of three fundraising plant sales for the gardens and the horticulture club, will be held 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 5. The sales will be held concurrently at three different locations around the UGA campus in Athens — the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, the horticulture greenhouses on College Station Road and the Trial Gardens at UGA. Hundreds of varieties of annuals, perennials, woody ornamentals, houseplants, herbs and vegetable seedlings will be available for purchase during the sales. Professors, horticulture students, garden curators and Master Gardeners will be on hand to help gardeners select the right plants and answer questions. This year, shoppers can earn up to a 15 percent discount at local nurseries by visiting all three sales. A full schedule for Plantapalooza 2014 and updates about the event can be found at plantapalooza.uga.edu or at Facebook.com/plantapalooza. “Between being able to visit three different sales, being able to purchase a number of annuals and perennials that you probably won’t be able to find anywhere else, this is really a must see event for gardeners in north and middle Georgia,” said John Ruter, director of the Trial Gardens at UGA. In addition to raising money for both gardens and for the UGA Horticulture Club’s academic programing, Plantapalooza serves as an annual spring showcase for the Trial Gardens at UGA. This year marks Ruter’s first at the Trial Gardens and he is looking forward to highlighting his first crop of test plants. Plant nurseries and breeding companies send hundreds of new plants each year to be planted at the garden to see if they can survive the temperature and rainfall variables of the Southeast. The garden is funded by the companies, who pay to have their plants evaluated by an outside source. The money goes toward employing a team of student workers who maintain the garden. The garden also serves as an important teaching and research facility for the UGA Department of Horticulture and other academic departments. Information about the three sale locations can be found at the following websites: The Trial Gardens at UGA, ugatrial.hort.uga.edu; The State Botanical Garden of Georgia, botgarden.uga.edu; and the UGA Horticulture Club, hortclub.uga.edu.last_img read more

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Divorce Hurts U.S. Economic Growth – Research

first_imgMSN.com 16 March 2012Today the Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI), a project of the Family Research Council, released a new paper looking at a major player in macroeconomic growth – intact marriage. Titled, “The Divorce Revolution Perpetually Reduces U.S. Economic Growth: Divorce Removes a Fourth of Head-of-Household Productivity Growth,” the paper shows divorce causes men to become less productive. Thus, acculturated divorce is undermining America’s prospects for recovery and prosperity. The paper is authored by MARRI Senior Fellow Henry Potrykus, Ph.D., and MARRI Director Patrick Fagan, Ph.D.Of the paper, Dr. Potrykus said:“Marriage causes economic growth. Married men experience greater rates of income increase than single men, and the rate of income increase for a newly divorced man drops almost to that of his always-single counterparts through the divorce. Because of this, the explosion of divorce in this country has resulted in a loss in productivity growth. The divorce revolution has undermined growth in the U.S. economy.“Besides population effects originating in the 1960s and 1970s, there are no other consequences of policy change that have had a greater effect in slowing economic growth than the divorce revolution.”To read the paper, “The Divorce Revolution Perpetually Reduces U.S. Economic Growth: Divorce Removes a Fourth of Head-of-Household Productivity Growth,” click here: http://marri.us/productivity-divorcehttp://money.msn.com/business-news/article.aspx?feed=PR&Date=20120316&ID=14899597&topic=TOPIC_ECONOMIC_INDICATORS&isub=3last_img read more

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Education is the winner

first_imgSchool children at Imperial Primary School in Mitchell’s Plain, Cape Town. The 2007teachers’ strike lasted for six weeks andaffected millions of pupils. (Image: Wikimedia)Janine ErasmusA number of South African media houses together with the national Department of Education (DoE) received a prestigious award at the annual World Association of Newspapers Readership Conference held in mid-October 2008 in Amsterdam.Top honours went to the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, which scooped the World Young Reader Newspaper of the Year award, while the group of four South African publishing companies and the national education body took the coveted Public Service award.The DoE and Independent Newspapers, Media 24, Avusa, and the Associated Independent Press were acknowledged for their proactive “National Teachers Strike Recovery Initiative” after the May 2007 strike all but brought education to a halt for six weeks. Representing 20 newspapers from across the country and a combined readership of almost 1.5-million, the companies worked together to rescue millions of pupils who were left stranded by teachers rebelling over a wage dispute.Learning material had to be quickly compiled from the current curriculum and adapted for all grades, socio-economic sectors and geographical locations. The DoE funded the initiative, paper manufacturer Mondi subsidised the newsprint, and the Learning Channel, an NGO that produces televised educational programmes, developed the revision material. The NGO also provides educational supplements for download on its website. The newspapers themselves sponsored all distribution and logistical costsStudy Mates, for grades 1 to 11, and Power Your Future, for grade 12, were published in the newspapers once a week and were gratefully received by pupils and those teachers who, at their own peril, stuck to their task in spite of threats and intimidation from their colleagues.Matrics were a particular focus of the supplements, which included not only learning material but also profiles of role models, career advice and previous sets of exam questions and answers.The material was also used by disadvantaged students to bring their studies up to a more satisfactory level. Although all South African students, from both privileged and disadvantaged backgrounds, write exactly the same exams, there is often a substantial difference in their ability to prepare for their exams, as those from poorer communities struggle to afford textbooks and other essentials. In many cases the newspaper material was the only resource available and not only prevented students from falling further behind in their learning but helped many of them advance more than they could have under normal circumstances.Published material has since been adopted as an integral part of the teaching process and is used by pupils as key study tools for exams. So successful was the project that the Department of Education decided to extend it into 2008.  A win-win situationAccording to the judges, the project was a win-win situation, and one that cut through red tape when speed was called for in a crisis situation. “It tackled a national problem with love and was also financially beneficial to those who conducted it,” said the judges.South African Minister of Education Naledi Pandor said, “I am delighted that this international award recognises our efforts to support high-quality learning. I wish to congratulate and thank all those newspapers involved in responding to our call to support our young learners.”The World Young Reader Prizes are presented annually by the World Association of Newspapers, a Paris-based organisation that defends and promotes freedom of the international press as well as the professional and business interests of newspapers world-wide. Its members number over 18 000 newspapers, 77 national newspaper associations, 12 news agencies and 11 regional and world-wide press groups in 102 countries.The Young Reader programme has been running since 1998 and honours those newspapers who, in the opinion of the judges, have devised the most innovative project or activity in the 24 months between award ceremonies, in one or more of the main areas of young readership development. These are editorial; making the news; literacy and newspapers; public service; and brand. In 2009 a new category will be introduced – press freedom.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Janine Erasmus at [email protected] storiesEducation in South AfricaSocial development in South AfricaUseful linksWorld Association of NewspapersThe Learning ChannelDepartment of Educationlast_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 [email protected] 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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Infographic: How much do you know about breast cancer?

first_imgWith October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the aim is to increase knowledge about the disease. If it is detected early, effective treatment can lead to a positive prognosis. We’ve collected handy information in an infographic.Early detection of breast cancer can save lives. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)Words and research: Priya PitamberDesign and infographic: Sandile KhumaloOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness Month in South Africa. It brings a nationwide initiative by public and private healthcare to raise the level of attention given to the disease and spread knowledge about prevention, detection and treatment.Click on the image for a larger view.Sources:Cansa South African Governmentlast_img

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Full text: Barack Obama’s speech at the Nelson Mandela memorial

first_img“Nothing he achieved was inevitable,” US President Barack Obama said of Nelson Mandela. “In the arc of his life, we see a man who earned his place in history … He tells us what’s possible not just in the pages of dusty history books, but in our own lives.”(Image: The White House)To Graça Machel and the Mandela family; to President Zuma and members of the government; to heads of state and government, past and present; distinguished guests – it is a singular honour to be with you today, to celebrate a life unlike any other. To the people of South Africa – people of every race and walk of life – the world thanks you for sharing Nelson Mandela with us. His struggle was your struggle. His triumph was your triumph. Your dignity and hope found expression in his life, and your freedom, your democracy is his cherished legacy.It is hard to eulogize any man – to capture in words not just the facts and the dates that make a life, but the essential truth of a person – their private joys and sorrows; the quiet moments and unique qualities that illuminate someone’s soul. How much harder to do so for a giant of history, who moved a nation toward justice, and in the process moved billions around the world.Born during World War I, far from the corridors of power, a boy raised herding cattle and tutored by elders of his Thembu tribe – Madiba would emerge as the last great liberator of the 20th century. Like Gandhi, he would lead a resistance movement – a movement that at its start held little prospect of success.Watch Obama’s speech: READ MORE • Mandela on Media Club South Africa • Nelson Mandela: the world mourns • Nelson Mandela – a timeline  • Barack Obama’s tribute to Mandela  • Watch: World reacts to Mandela’s death • Infographic: Mandela family tree • Nelson Mandela’s words of wisdom • The women in Madiba’s life • Tutu leads memorial at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory • High-res photos: In 2010, Nelson Mandela wishes World Cup good luck to Bafana BafanaLike King, he would give potent voice to the claims of the oppressed, and the moral necessity of racial justice. He would endure a brutal imprisonment that began in the time of Kennedy and Khrushchev, and reached the final days of the Cold War. Emerging from prison, without force of arms, he would – like Lincoln – hold his country together when it threatened to break apart. Like America’s founding fathers, he would erect a constitutional order to preserve freedom for future generations – a commitment to democracy and rule of law ratified not only by his election, but by his willingness to step down from power.Given the sweep of his life, and the adoration that he so rightly earned, it is tempting then to remember Nelson Mandela as an icon, smiling and serene, detached from the tawdry affairs of lesser men. But Madiba himself strongly resisted such a lifeless portrait. Instead, he insisted on sharing with us his doubts and fears; his miscalculations along with his victories. “I’m not a saint,” he said, “unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.”It was precisely because he could admit to imperfection – because he could be so full of good humour, even mischief, despite the heavy burdens he carried – that we loved him so. He was not a bust made of marble; he was a man of flesh and blood – a son and husband, a father and a friend. That is why we learned so much from him; that is why we can learn from him still. For nothing he achieved was inevitable. In the arc of his life, we see a man who earned his place in history through struggle and shrewdness; persistence and faith. He tells us what’s possible not just in the pages of dusty history books, but in our own lives as well.Mandela showed us the power of action; of taking risks on behalf of our ideals. Perhaps Madiba was right that he inherited, “a proud rebelliousness, a stubborn sense of fairness” from his father. Certainly he shared with millions of black and coloured South Africans the anger born of, “a thousand slights, a thousand indignities, a thousand unremembered moments…a desire to fight the system that imprisoned my people.”But like other early giants of the ANC – the Sisulus and Tambos – Madiba disciplined his anger; and channelled his desire to fight into organization, and platforms, and strategies for action, so men and women could stand-up for their dignity. Moreover, he accepted the consequences of his actions, knowing that standing up to powerful interests and injustice carries a price. “I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination,” he said at his 1964 trial. “I’ve cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”Mandela taught us the power of action, but also ideas; the importance of reason and arguments; the need to study not only those you agree with, but those who you don’t. He understood that ideas cannot be contained by prison walls, or extinguished by a sniper’s bullet. He turned his trial into an indictment of apartheid because of his eloquence and passion, but also his training as an advocate. He used decades in prison to sharpen his arguments, but also to spread his thirst for knowledge to others in the movement. And he learned the language and customs of his oppressor so that one day he might better convey to them how their own freedom depended upon his.Mandela demonstrated that action and ideas are not enough; no matter how right, they must be chiselled into laws and institutions. He was practical, testing his beliefs against the hard surface of circumstance and history. On core principles he was unyielding, which is why he could rebuff offers of conditional release, reminding the Apartheid regime that, “prisoners cannot enter into contracts.” But as he showed in painstaking negotiations to transfer power and draft new laws, he was not afraid to compromise for the sake of a larger goal. And because he was not only a leader of a movement, but a skilful politician, the Constitution that emerged was worthy of this multiracial democracy; true to his vision of laws that protect minority as well as majority rights, and the precious freedoms of every South African.Finally, Mandela understood the ties that bind the human spirit. There is a word in South Africa – Ubuntu – that describes his greatest gift: his recognition that we are all bound together in ways that can be invisible to the eye; that there is a oneness to humanity; that we achieve ourselves by sharing ourselves with others, and caring for those around us. We can never know how much of this was innate in him, or how much of was shaped and burnished in a dark, solitary cell. But we remember the gestures, large and small – introducing his jailors as honoured guests at his inauguration; taking the pitch in a Springbok uniform; turning his family’s heartbreak into a call to confront HIV/AIDS – that revealed the depth of his empathy and understanding. He not only embodied Ubuntu; he taught millions to find that truth within themselves. It took a man like Madiba to free not just the prisoner, but the jailor as well; to show that you must trust others so that they may trust you; to teach that reconciliation is not a matter of ignoring a cruel past, but a means of confronting it with inclusion, generosity and truth. He changed laws, but also hearts.For the people of South Africa, for those he inspired around the globe – Madiba’s passing is rightly a time of mourning, and a time to celebrate his heroic life. But I believe it should also prompt in each of us a time for self-reflection. With honesty, regardless of our station or circumstance, we must ask: how well have I applied his lessons in my own life?It is a question I ask myself – as a man and as a President. We know that like South Africa, the United States had to overcome centuries of racial subjugation. As was true here, it took the sacrifice of countless people – known and unknown – to see the dawn of a new day. Michelle and I are the beneficiaries of that struggle. But in America and South Africa, and countries around the globe, we cannot allow our progress to cloud the fact that our work is not done. The struggles that follow the victory of formal equality and universal franchise may not be as filled with drama and moral clarity as those that came before, but they are no less important. For around the world today, we still see children suffering from hunger, and disease; run-down schools, and few prospects for the future. Around the world today, men and women are still imprisoned for their political beliefs; and are still persecuted for what they look like, or how they worship, or who they love.We, too, must act on behalf of justice. We, too, must act on behalf of peace. There are too many of us who happily embrace Madiba’s legacy of racial reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality. There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba’s struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people. And there are too many of us who stand on the sidelines, comfortable in complacency or cynicism when our voices must be heard.The questions we face today – how to promote equality and justice; to uphold freedom and human rights; to end conflict and sectarian war – do not have easy answers. But there were no easy answers in front of that child in Qunu. Nelson Mandela reminds us that it always seems impossible until it is done. South Africa shows us that is true. South Africa shows us we can change. We can choose to live in a world defined not by our differences, but by our common hopes. We can choose a world defined not by conflict, but by peace and justice and opportunity.We will never see the likes of Nelson Mandela again. But let me say to the young people of Africa, and young people around the world – you can make his life’s work your own. Over thirty years ago, while still a student, I learned of Mandela and the struggles in this land. It stirred something in me. It woke me up to my responsibilities – to others, and to myself – and set me on an improbable journey that finds me here today. And while I will always fall short of Madiba’s example, he makes me want to be better. He speaks to what is best inside us. After this great liberator is laid to rest; when we have returned to our cities and villages, and rejoined our daily routines, let us search then for his strength – for his largeness of spirit – somewhere inside ourselves. And when the night grows dark, when injustice weighs heavy on our hearts, or our best laid plans seem beyond our reach – think of Madiba, and the words that brought him comfort within the four walls of a cell:It matters not how strait the gate,How charged with punishments the scroll,I am the master of my fate:I am the captain of my soul.What a great soul it was. We will miss him deeply. May God bless the memory of Nelson Mandela. May God bless the people of South Africa.last_img read more

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South Africa’s Crime Line tip-offs bring results

first_img13 August 2015The partnership between the South African Police Service (SAPS) and Primedia Group, via the collaboration between Crime Stop and Crime Line, continues to yield successes in the fight against crime.In the quarter ending on 30 June, 44 people were arrested in connection with 32 positive tip-offs to the Crime Stop number (08600 10111) and the Crime Line SMS line (32211).During the same period, illicit or stolen goods to the value of R632 000 were also seized by police officers who followed up on the tip-offs from the public and made arrests.According to a joint statement issued by the SAPS and Primedia Group, the 44 people arrested over this quarterly reporting period were held for various crimes, including possession of and dealing in drugs, theft of motor vehicles, rape, murder, fraud and fake identity documents, among others.“Six stolen motor vehicles were recovered, with an approximate value of R484 000 and will be returned to the lawful owners once identified.”Joint effortNational Police Commissioner General Riah Phiyega has praised those who provided information on crime and criminal activities. “We all have a role to play in ridding our communities, schools and work environments of those who think that they are above the law,” she said.She called on the public to continue making their tip-offs on crime, child abuse, corruption or such activities.Source: SAnews.govlast_img read more

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