23 March 2006South Africa claimed a one-two in the men’s 400 metres hurdles at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne on Thursday, with LJ van Zyl and Alwyn Myburgh finishing in the gold and silver medal positions.Van Zyl was the slowest man out of the blocks, but came back strongly to run a Games record of 48.05 seconds, overhauling his compatriot down the straight.Myburgh, who finished seventh in the Athens Olympics, ran a season’s best 48.23 to comfortably secure silver ahead of Jamaica’s Kemel Thompson, who finished in 48.65.Another South African, Ter de Villiers, finished seventh.Following in Hestrie’s footstepsSouth Africa’s successes in field events continued as 19-year-old Anika Smith followed in the footsteps of Hestrie Cloete by winning the women’s high jump.Smith equalled her personal best of 1.91 metres to finish three centimetres clear of Wales’ Julie Crane. Third place went to Karen Beautle of Jamaica.Back on the track, sprinter Geraldine Pillay added a bronze medal in the 200 metres to the silver medal she won in the 100 metres.Running in lane eight, Pillay ran superbly to claim third behind the Jamaican duo of Sherone Simpson and Veronica Campbell in a time of 22.92 seconds.Shooting silversSouth Africa’s shooting team won two more medals, both of them silver.Esmari van Reenen was squeezed out of first place by India’s Anuia Jung in the women’s 50 metres rifle prone. She finished on 670 points to the 670.7 of Jung.Byron Swanton, whose sister Diane won gold in the women’s trap, finished second in the men’s double trap.India’s Olympic silver medalist Rajyavardhan Rathore successfully defended the title he won four years ago in Manchester, while William Chetcuti of Malta won bronze. Former Olympic champion Russell Mark of Australia had to settle for fourth.Chauke in flyweight finalSouth Africa is assured of at least two more medals, both of them in the boxing ring.Jackson Chauke reached the flyweight final when he beat Uganda’s Martin Mubiri on points on Thursday. He faces England’s Don Broadhurst, who eliminated Jitender Kumar of India, for the gold medal.Welterweight Bongani Mwelase, who won gold at the 2005 Commonwealth Boxing Championships in Glasgow, stopped Botswana’s Moabi Mothiba in the second round of their quarterfinal contest to reach the semi-finals. Both losing semi-finalists win bronze medals.
Source: BuaNews 13 October 2010 The South African Police Service’s Forensic Science Laboratories have made a significant dent in their backlog, leading to more efficient prosecution and conviction of criminals in the country. Addressing journalists in Pretoria on Tuesday, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said the backlog of cases being handled by the Forensic Science Laboratories had decreased by 19% between 1 April 2009 and 31 March 2010. The backlog in ballistics had decreased by 39%, in biology investigation by 33%, and in questioned documents by 21%. Mthethwa attributed the success to the turnaround strategy that was implemented in forensics. The laboratories play a critical role in the prosecution and conviction of criminals. However, most of them were not functioning optimally. Court cases, depending on forensic evidence, were being delayed, lost or dropped. International experts have been assisting the South African Police Service in identifying the causes of the backlogs, and have developed remedial steps to resolve them. Since February this year, an overhaul of human resources and skills, and upgrading of equipment, was undertaken to improve capacity. “We are pleased with this progress, while also mindful that the current functioning of the Forensic Science Laboratories (FSL) is far from ideal,” Mthethwa said. “We shall continue to strive to ensure that we transform the FSL into a world-class unit.”
Arsenal outcast Granit Xhaka is reportedly looking for a property in Milan, as his link to the Rossoneri strengthens before the transfer window this January. Milan have been linked to the Swiss 27-year-old this week and now RSI reports that Xhaka has been studying the property market in Italy’s fashion capital. The Arsenal midfielder hasn’t played for The Gunners since he reacted with anger towards the club’s fans during a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace last month. He has also been stripped from his captaincy by Unai Emery, who is now ready to let the Switzerland international leave the club. Milan’s managing director and former Gunner Ivan Gazidis might be ready to give the player he brought to London in 2016 a new opportunity at San Siro. Milan are 14th in the League and will face Napoli when they return to action after the international break. Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/
Quite like the teasers that are these days released before the actual films, BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya said on Thursday that the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) might be “revived”, just two days after the body’s last AGM.The ACC – launched more than 31 years ago in the presence of Dalmiya in New Delhi – formally folds up, but its development manager/officers will continue to work from the ICC headquarters in Dubai. When asked about his memories, Dalmiya, 75, said although he has “sweet memories” of his association with the ACC, he does not completely rule out the revival of the body. Looking at his track record, Dalmiya’s words can be brushed aside. “I have sweet memories of the ACC. I will cherish them,” Dalmiya told MAIL TODAY. “As far as the future is concerned, who knows we might ‘revive’ the memories.” Asked if by reviving the memories he actually meant reviving the ACC, Dalmiya said: “It may be revived, who knows. But [it remains to be seen] which way it may come [back], which shape it might take.One can only say that we will have to wait and see for another one year, two years or four years…who knows.” It is not far to seek the probable reasons for Dalmiya’s optimism. It was ICC chairman N. Srinivasan, a former ACC president and till now chairman of its finance and marketing committee, who apparently wanted the ACC to merge with the ICC. His ICC tenure ends in June/July 2016.advertisement But new BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur has said that the Board would review his continuation as India’s nominee for the ICC at the AGM in September. If the BCCI replaces Srinivasan, the new BCCI nominee might have a different take on the Asian body, and as Dalmiya said, it could well be revived. Outgoing ACC CEO Syed Ashraful Huq outlined another negative side of folding up the continental body – its incomplete ‘Project China’. “My only regret is that I could not see through the China project. I thought China had the potential [to make it big], if we had stuck to it, we could get a great cricketing nation. But the people in power did not want it to be encouraged,” Huq told MAIL TODAY. Asked about the person, Huq said: “Mr. Srinivasan didn’t like encouraging China, it seems. He was the ACC president …he didn’t really encourage.Even before that [as ACC’s finance committee chairman in 2011] he didn’t see any purpose of us going so much ahead in China. [He said] it was not worth it.” Srinivasan remained finance committee chairman till ACC’s very end. Huq said the funding as well as assistance by way of sending coaches/equipment to China has been much reduced. Huq pointed out that ex-ICC president Sharad Pawar and its principal advisor I.S. Bindra supported the China and USA projects. “Mr. Bindra was very impressed with the progress and the work we had done,” he said, particularly praising Chinese women’s team for making rapid progress. “We had gone full steam ahead at that time, but then things changed.”
TOKYO — Japanese technology company SoftBank Group Corp. will carry out an initial public offering of its Japanese mobile subsidiary, set for Dec. 19, in what will likely be one of the world’s biggest IPOs.The Tokyo Stock Exchange approved the listing of 1.6 billion shares of SoftBank Corp. Monday, at 1,500 yen ($13) a share, raising potentially more than 2 trillion yen ($20 billion).Founded in 1986, initially running software, broadband and fixed-line telecommunications businesses, the company has expanded to become one of Japan’s top mobile service providers. It was the first carrier to offer the Apple iPhone in Japan.The parent is investing in a range of companies globally, including U.S. wireless company Sprint, British IoT company ARM, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and U.S. ride-sharing service Uber.Recently, SoftBank Group Chief Executive Masayoshi Son was in the spotlight for his relations with the Saudi prince after the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Son has said denounced the killing. He said earlier this month that he went to Saudi Arabia to relay his concerns to the prince.Son has been partnering with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and about half of his $100 billion Vision Fund, established in 2016, comes from the kingdom. The fund has been investing in various companies, solar projects and artificial intelligence.Khashoggi, a 59-year-old columnist for The Washington Post, was killed at the Saudi Consulate in Turkey on Oct. 2, although details are still unclear.SoftBank is eager to gain cash to fuel its investments, which include financial-technology, ride-booking services, as well as office space sharing WeWork and the Pepper companion robot.Even after the listing, the parent owns 63 per cent of Softbank Group.SoftBank’s IPO, which may be expanded to include more shares to as many as 1.7 billion shares, could be the biggest ever. Alibaba’s $25 billion initial public stock offering on Wall Street in 2014 was the biggest by a Chinese company. Facebook raised $16 billion in 2012.___Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyamaOn Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/yurikageyama/?hl=enYuri Kageyama, The Associated Press
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. -The Peace River Regional District is hosting their Connecting Communities Trails Workshop this Tuesday.The workshop aims to investigate the feasibility of trails that could connect Dawson Creek with Pouce Coupe, and Fort St John with Charlie Lake. The study will consider possible routes, types of uses, as well as costs and benefits of building trails.The PRRD is looking for the public’s help in giving feedback on why they believe the communities need the trails. Feedback will be integral in determining whether the PRRD will develop the trails in the long run. Costs of the project will depend on the public’s feedback. For example, paved trails would cost more than gravel trails.Once the feasibility study concludes it will be brought forward to the Regional Board to consider whether the project moves to the construction phase.The workshop will be held at the North Peace Cultural Centre from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. this Tuesday.
A map showing forecasted weather systems at 5:00 p.m. Friday. Photo by Avalanche Canada/Environment Canada Earlier today, Environment Canada upgraded a special weather statement for the Peace Region to a rainfall warning, which remains in effect.Bands of moisture wrapping around the area of low pressure will produce heavy rain beginning later Thursday afternoon, particularly along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains across Williston Lake and the Peace Country.Widespread rainfall totals of between 50 and 70 mm are expected by Friday night with the higher amounts likely near Hudson’s Hope, Chetwynd and Tumbler Ridge.Recreational locations in higher terrain and Highway 97 through the Pine Pass could see total rainfall amounts exceed 70 mm.Additional rainfall amounts are expected Friday night followed by a clearing trend on Saturday as the weather system departs into the Prairies. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for the B.C. Peace Region today.Environment Canada says that conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms, which may be capable of producing heavy rain, high winds, and hail.According to meteorologists, the thunderstorms could cause rainfall rates of up to 25 millimetres per hour, hail of up to two centimetres in diameter, and wind gusts of up to 90 km/h. There is some uncertainty regarding rainfall amounts for urban areas over the Plains such as Fort St. John and Dawson Creek. A slight shift in the storm track could shift heavy precipitation north or south of the populated centres.Thunderstorms will also play a large role in the weather this weekend with locally intense downpours, gusty winds and lightning.
“Is this India’s first social media election?” asked BBC on its website in April 2014, during India’s last general elections. That time the country had just 20 crore (200 million) people with access to the internet. Such was the engagement of the then prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on social media platforms that everybody feted him as a moderniser and a powerful campaigner who could only be compared to Barack Obama. The former president of the United States of America was considered as the most social-media friendly candidate who reaped the benefit of interacting on these platforms. India is once again in the process of its general elections. In the last five years, the novelty of social media has not wavered. Rather, it has become a natural part of election campaigns with all political parties and leaders marking their presence. Also Read – A special kind of bondIndia now has 560 million people with access to the internet. It is also the largest market for Facebook and WhatsApp in the world, while Twitter treats the country as one of its crucial and expanding markets. News reports indicate huge advertising budgets being earmarked by political parties for social media.But there are cautions this time. The threat of fake news looms large. Starting from the Election Commission of India (ECI) to the respective companies, there is a seemingly deliberate effort to curb misuse of these platforms. But, the social media platforms have also been used by civil society and advocacy groups for disseminating development news. Also Read – Insider threat managementA casual Google search with the keywords “social media”, “impact” and “development news” shows up close to 215 million results. It is not humanly possible to verify all the results, but it gives a peep into how big the virtual world is and how vigorously people are sharing content. We are certainly making a transition from a “searching” to a “dissemination” mode in the virtual world. And the social media has emerged as the clear driver of this transition. This is particularly true for development news. The pertinent question is whether development news influence voters this election season? This question takes credence because polarisation on communal lines, through social media, is turning out to be effective. To change the narrative of elections, can social media be effective in replacing this with development news? Or, to simply put, can a development agenda be brought into focus using social media? The social media is unique as it is highly informal, yet, is the most organised congregation of people. Users are immediately organised based on their choices, trends they are following, and also by their geographical locations. This is what is fuelling the rise of social media as a powerful platform for dissemination as well as the organisation of opinion around social issues. Whether it is about a small movement to save a patch of forest in Peru or a jalsamadhi campaign against a big dam project in a remote district in India, social media is not only the first place to break news but is also a powerful platform to build a campaign. For a journalist like me, it has become almost a necessity to refer to Facebook as frequently as to television channels that supposedly break news first! It is the new common pool resource that is being aggressively pursued. The flipside The social media has its share of problems that may impact the very cause it is promoting. First, it has emerged as the biggest strategic decision that has yielded results in terms of achieving fast dissemination and seeking immediate reactions for a social cause. This means that even before an issue emerges in its entirety, it is open for public opinions. Second, many campaigns around development issues are exclusively targeted at social media. There may be logical reasons for this but the strategy seems to be dominantly focused on certain sections of the society that utilise it. The threat is that by default, social media has become a polarising factor, even though most debates are not well-informed. It has become a free space to throw personal biases and park opinions without any restraint. Therefore, any cause disseminated on social media immediately polarises the debate. This is particularly true for campaigns having political overtones. Social media played a decisive role in generating the perception that the government is “anti-farmer” or “pro-business”. But in the passionate debates that colonised the virtual world, the debate simply got polarised into “pro and anti-government rhetoric”. Such situations have forced political parties to deploy substantial resources to intervene in such debates. The third threat is from the social media itself: Will it disconnect the people and the groups from those self-mandated to fight the battle on their behalf? If there is a disconnect, then the strategic leadership of a campaign shifts to the latter. This is not an ideal situation for public advocacy where the subject concerned doesn’t get active participation. Development campaigns in India involve people who are very poor and the least advantaged in terms of access to communication. A mobile phone might have become a bigger necessity than a toilet in rural areas, but this doesn’t mean that the instrument is being used to directly involve them in campaigns that talk about them. Researchers are currently studying the impact of social media on social causes. Though the trends are positive in terms of garnering attention for such causes, we are not sure whether it has impacted positively on the outcome of the campaigns. In the meantime, we should continue to “reset” the virtual world but with caution. (The author is Managing Editor, Down To Earth and writes on rural affairs and development matters. The views expressed are strictly personal)
CAIRO – Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood faces its toughest trial in decades after being declared a “terrorist” group following a spectacular fall from power, with its leaders imprisoned or on the run.The 85-year-old Islamist movement, which was the most well-organised opposition group during decades of dictatorship despite being banned, stepped out of the shadows after the 2011 uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year-rule.It won a string of polls culminating in last year’s presidential election, when its candidate Mohamed Morsi became Egypt’s first freely elected leader. Morsi’s rule saw the movement grow increasingly unpopular, however, as critics charged him with mismanaging the economy and betraying the democratic hopes of the 2011 “revolution” by allegedly consolidating power in the hands of the Brotherhood.On July 3, the military toppled and detained Morsi following mass protests demanding his resignation.Since then police, who have always viewed the Islamists as a threat, have been settling scores in a crackdown that has killed more than 1,000 people, mostly Islamists, and imprisoned thousands, including Morsi and the Brotherhood’s top leadership.The military-installed government signalled a widening of the crackdown Wednesday when it declared the Brotherhood a terrorist organisation and blamed it for a suicide bombing at a police compound already claimed by a Sinai-based jihadist group.The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928 by schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna as a grass-roots movement opposed to colonialism and Zionism and committed to bringing an increasingly secular Egypt back to Islam.In the group’s earlier days it was more radical, and in the 1940s was implicated in a string of assassinations, including the 1948 killing of Prime Minister Mahmud Fahmi al-Noqrashi following a crackdown on the group.Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser brutally repressed the Brotherhood in the 1950s and 1960s, leading to the emergence of more radical Islamist groups now seen as precursors to Al-Qaeda.But the Brotherhood itself officially renounced violence decades ago and embraced social outreach and grass-roots political activism, eventually taking part in the deeply flawed elections held under Mubarak despite being officially banned since the 1950s.The Brotherhood amassed a following of hundreds of thousands, including non-Islamists who came to rely on its social programmes as public services worsened under an increasingly corrupt and unpopular state.The Brotherhood’s embrace of electoral politics distanced the group from Al-Qaeda and other radical Islamists, who view the ballot as un-Islamic, but the Brotherhood’s leaders may rethink their approach following the abrupt termination of Morsi’s presidency.Its leaders and cadres are no strangers to prison, having been persecuted under three presidents, but the latest crackdown is already the worst in a half-century, and looks set to widen further.
OSU coach Tom Ryan congratulates freshman Myles Martin on a quarterfinals win at the NCAA championships at Madison Square Garden.Credit: Courtesy of Ben Solomon | OSU AthleticsNEW YORK CITY — The repeat title hopes for Ohio State wrestling have all but faded away after a rough second day at the NCAA tournament.After the first session of the day advanced four wrestlers to the semifinals, the Buckeyes sustained brutal loses in the 125-, 141- and 165-pound weight classes. The ability for OSU to close out matches and secure early wins like last season was nowhere to be found.Things weren’t all bad for the Scarlet and Gray, though, as two Buckeyes, freshman Myles Martin and sophomore Kyle Snyder, earned their way into the championship round.Session IIIThe Buckeyes entered Day 2 hot on the heels of Penn State and deadlocked with Oklahoma State. Midway through the second day, the story was the same for the Scarlet and Gray.OSU finished the morning session with second place all to itself. Penn State, however, stretched out its lead to 14.5 points.Both redshirt freshman Micah Jordan and redshirt senior Johnni DiJulius lost matches in the morning session. DiJulius was eliminated from the competition, while Jordan moved to the consolation bracket to fight for third place.However, four wrestlers advanced in the tournament, moving on to the semifinal round. All but one of this group reached the same round last year.Redshirt sophomore Nate Tomasello won by decision, and both redshirt sophomore Bo Jordan and Snyder earned major decision wins in the quarterfinals.As for the fourth Buckeye to earn a spot in the semifinals, the true freshman Martin, a defensive strategy paid dividends to advance the Penns Grove, New Jersey, product into the next round.Martin rode out the entire second period and picked up an escape in the third for the win. He appeared extremely confident following the match’s conclusion and not at all concerned with the pressure despite the big stage.“I wrestle guys in the room every day that are world champions, All-Americans, national champions,” Martin said. “That helps my confidence a lot when I’m competing with these guys.”Session IVMadison Square Garden erupted at the start of the semifinals, then looked on in awe as Thomas Gilman of Iowa upset Tomasello in overtime. This was the first loss for Tomasello in over 40 matches of his college career.Tomasello was driven to the mat and pinned in overtime, silencing the OSU faithful in attendance to a gasp. Last year’s national champion at 125 pounds was visibly distraught after the defeat.Things would not get better for the Buckeyes at 141 pounds. Micah Jordan lost a 6-2 decision against Randy Cruz of Lehigh. This was the second time in two matches he was the victim of an upset.Trying to get things back on track, Bo Jordan faced an opponent he had yet to beat in three attempts: his cousin, Wisconsin’s Isaac Jordan.Once again, Isaac Jordan got the better of his relative, as he took a 5-4 decision.Finally, after the Buckeyes lost their first three matches of the session, Martin turned things around. The freshman fought hard to gain an 8-2 decision, earning the right to go on to face Bo Nickal of Penn State in the finals.In the final bout of the evening, Snyder remained perfect on the year by beating Ty Walz of Virginia Tech to join Martin in Saturday’s championship round.While proud of the two wrestlers who will represent the Scarlet and Gray in the finals, OSU coach Tom Ryan seemed drained and disheartened after such an overall poor showing in the fourth session.“It’s a tough night, a real tough night,” Ryan said, his raspy voice caused by shouting out instructions seemingly reflecting the overall mood of the team.Ryan did offer praise to both wrestlers moving on to the final stage, especially Martin.“We knew early on with Myles that we had something really special,” Ryan said. “He showed that this weekend.”OSU has now dropped to fifth overall and will be looking to salvage whatever it can Saturday.The morning session is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., with the evening session slated for 8 p.m. after the parade of All-Americans.