The Latest: Professional Fighters League puts season on hold

first_imgUEFA says “all other UEFA competition matches, including the centralized international friendly matches, remain postponed until further notice.”___A German soccer club is raising funds amid the coronavirus pandemic by selling tickets for a fictional game.Third-division club Uerdingen hopes to virtually sell out its 34,500-capacity Grotenburg Stadium in Krefeld with the offer of souvenir tickets for fans.Tickets start at 5 euros ($5.46) and go all the way to 19.05 euros ($20.80) for VIP tickets. The club says “panic buying for friends and family is definitely allowed.” The four additional people who tested positive were all on the team’s March road trip to California. The team said everyone on that trip self-isolated upon return March 13 and that all six members of the organization who got the novel coronavirus have recovered.___The Critérium du Dauphiné cycling race, one of the key warm-ups for the Tour de France, has been postponed.The race had been scheduled for May 31-June 7 in southeastern France.Race organizer Amaury Sport Organization said it still hopes to reschedule the event for later in the year. ___The Olympic flame will be on display until the end of April in Japan’s northeastern prefecture of Fukushima.Tokyo Olympic and prefecture officials held an official “handover ceremony”on Wednesday at the J-Village National Training Center in Fukushima.The public will have limited access to view the flame, and organizers hope to limit the crowd size because of restrictions in place for the coronavirus.The flame arrived in Japan from Greece on March 20 and the torch relay was to have started last week from Fukushima. The flame has remained in the prefecture with Wednesday’s event merely ceremonial. April 1, 2020 More than 30,000 runners had signed up for the world’s most prestigious 26.2-mile run, which had been scheduled for April 18. It costs $205 for Americans and $255 for international residents.___Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks says the four players who tested positive for the new coronavirus have completed their two weeks of isolation and are now symptom-free.The Nets announced on March 17 that four players had tested positive, with Kevin Durant telling The Athletic he was among them.Marks said during a conference call Wednesday that all have now been cleared, along with the team’s entire traveling party. He said all are still practicing social distancing. ASO also owns the Tour de France, which is scheduled to start on June 27 from Nice. No decision has been made on whether to postpone or reschedule the Tour.___The Boston Marathon is offering refunds for the first time because of the new coronavirus pandemic.Race organizers say anyone who was entered in the 124th edition of the race this month can still run on the rescheduled date, Sept. 14. But if they can’t make it, they can have their money back.Those who have signed up for the Boston Athletic Association 5K the Saturday before the marathon can also get a refund. A hockey team and a soccer club in Russia face being removed from their leagues after government financial support was diverted to fight the coronavirus.The sports ministry in the far eastern region of Primorsky Krai says it sees no point in funding player contracts for another season if it’s not clear when competitions will resume. It wants the Admiral Vladivostok hockey club to drop out of the Kontinental Hockey League and the Luch Vladivostok soccer team to drop down two divisions into the amateur leagues.The ministry says regional funding earmarked for professional sports will instead go into an anti-coronavirus fund.Many Russian sports team rely heavily on regional governments and state-owned companies for much of their funding. Primorsky Krai is the first region to impose such drastic cuts.All major sporting events in Russia are currently suspended. ___Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri is worried about the places currently hardest-hit by the pandemic, and especially worried about the places that haven’t been hit yet.Ujiri told reporters on a conference call Wednesday that he’s been in contact with some leaders in Africa, plus has spoken with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about his talks with other African heads of state about their level of preparation for the new coronavirus .“I think a lot of leaders are ahead of it, and the ones that aren’t are starting to pay attention because this is an unknown, this is an unseen enemy, and we have to really, really pay attention,” Ujiri said.Ujiri is of Nigerian descent and founded Giants of Africa, a group that organizes camps and other events to use basketball as a way to promote education and growth for children on the continent. He says he’s unsure yet if his programs will go on this summer as planned. Brooklyn’s most recent game was March 10 in Los Angeles. All Nets players were then tested, and the team said one player showed symptoms and the other three were asymptomatic.___France’s national institute of sport is helping with the needs of caregivers and homeless people during the coronavirus pandemic.The Paris-based INSEP will lodge nursing staff coming far from their homes to assist medical teams in the city.INSEP and other sporting establishments in France will also receive sick people who are no longer in serious condition but need their health monitored in an effort to free up hospital beds. The All England Club announced after an emergency meeting that the oldest Grand Slam tournament in tennis would not be held in 2020.Wimbledon was scheduled to be played on the outskirts of London from June 29 to July 12.It now joins the growing list of sports events scrapped in 2020 because of the COVID-19 outbreak.That includes the Tokyo Olympics, the NCAA men’s and women’s college basketball tournaments and the European soccer championship.The last time Wimbledon was called off was 1945. ___UEFA has postponed the Euro 2020 playoffs for the second time because of the coronavirus pandemic.The games were originally scheduled for March 26-31 and have now lost their June 4-9 dates.The playoffs will decide the last four places in the 24-nation lineup for the postponed European Championship.The decision was made in a conference call with officials from the 55 UEFA member federations. INSEP will receive about 100 people from homeless shelters.Also, 69 rooms at INSEP are at the disposal of France Horizon, which helps families, homeless people, migrants, refugees and people who are isolated.French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu says “the only way through this crisis is to stay united.”___Wimbledon has been canceled for the first time since World War II because of the coronavirus pandemic. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the new coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The Professional Fighters League has put its season on hold indefinitely due to the new coronavirus pandemic. “We’re just concerned about people, about health, about listening to what the directions are going to be moving forward,” Ujiri said.When it comes to the NBA season, Ujiri said he’s hopeful play can resume. The Raptors won their first NBA title last season.___The NHL’s Ottawa Senators say four more members of the organization tested positive for COVID-19. The team announced the update Wednesday but did not specify if the people affected were players, coaches or staff. The Senators previously had two players test positive. The mixed martial arts promotion was expected to begin competition in May. CEO Peter Murray said the PFL made the decision to safeguard its fighters’ health.“We are adjusting our plan for the rest of this year and look forward to starting our next season as soon as it is feasible,” Murray said. “We are committed to continuing to evolve and grow the sport of MMA.”The PFL was known as the World Series of Fighting until 2017. Its competition format includes a regular season, a postseason and a championship event, making it unique in MMA.The promotion hadn’t announced a definite schedule for 2020 but has typically begun its seasons in late spring. Last year, the promotion staged six regular season events, three playoff events and a championship event on New Year’s Eve.The PFL has showcased and launched the careers of several MMA stars, including Justin Gaethje, David Branch, Jon Fitch, Marlon Moraes and current featherweight champion Lance Palmer. Two-time Olympic judo gold medalist Kayla Harrison is its current lightweight champion. ___Major League Baseball has canceled a two-game series in London between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals because of the coronavirus pandemic.The teams had been scheduled to play at Olympic Stadium on June 13 and 14.Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement in a memorandum send to MLB employees. MLB said on March 19 that it had scrapped series in Mexico City and San Juan, Puerto Rico.MLB played in Europe for the first time last June when the New York Yankees swept a pair of games from the Boston Red Sox in London. The Latest: Professional Fighters League puts season on hold The Curtis Cup was to be played June 12-14 at Conwy Golf Club in Wales. The R&A and USGA say the matches for female amateurs from the U.S. against a team from Britain and Ireland will move to 2021. The dates were not decided.The R&A says the British Amateur and the British Women’s Amateur will move from June to August, but that depends on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.K.The British Amateur had been scheduled for June 15-20 at Royal Birkdale. The British Women’s Amateur was to be played June 23-27 at Kilmarnock on the west coast of Scotland.The Curtis Cup captains, Sarah Ingram of the U.S. and Elaine Ratcliffe for GB&I, will remain for the 2021 matches. The teams had not been decided. Players were to have been selected later this month.___ The Fukushima prefecture is the region of Japan that was devastated in 2011 by an earthquake, tsunami, and the subsequent meltdown of three nuclear reactors.Olympic officials have postponed the Tokyo Games until next year with the opening now set for July 23, 2021.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 Associated Press Professional athletes in Italy have been banned from training inside sports facilities in the country through April 13.The measure was included when Italy’s Premier Giuseppe Conte extended a nationwide lockdown for another 10 days because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.The lockdown had been set to expire on Friday, and Serie A contender Lazio was among the clubs intending to resume training on Saturday, albeit in small groups.Previously, professional athletes and those training for the Tokyo Olympics had not been banned from training at facilities. But now, with the Tokyo Olympic Games postponed to 2021 and the virus still a major threat, all athletes are only allowed to train in their homes or the immediate vicinity.Serie A has been suspended since March 9 and at least 15 players in the top Italian league have tested positive for COVID-19. It’s the only time that Uerdingen will sell tickets for the Grotenburg Stadium this season. Its home arena is being rebuilt so the club has been playing home matches at the ground of nearby Fortuna Düsseldorf.Uerdingen was one of the powerhouses of German soccer in the 1980s with a best finish of third place in the Bundesliga and a run to the semifinals of the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1986. More recently it has dropped as low as the sixth division.The club hasn’t played a game since March 8 because of the virus outbreak.___The R&A is postponing three amateur golf championships scheduled for June, including the Curtis Cup. ___The recruiting dead period has been extended in all NCAA Division I and II sports through May 31. Recruiting was shut down on March 13, not long after the cancellation of all winter and spring sports because of the new coronavirus outbreak. The original suspension was through April 15. The latest decision by the Division I Council Coordinator Committee essentially wipes out spring recruiting for this academic year. A dead period prohibits in-person visits by recruits and coaches, but electronic communication is still permissible.___last_img read more

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‘Scorer of big goals’ – See amazing goals Jordan Ayew scored for Crystal Palace [VIDEO]

first_imgJust build the statue now ffs— CM. (@Connormuz) March 12, 2020 That is one minute of pure pleasure. Or 18 minutes if you just keep watching it!!🤣— Matt Fleming (@MatthewHenry) March 12, 2020 I can’t wait to sit in the “Jordan Ayew Stand” when it’s built— James Ryan (@MisterJRyan) March 12, 2020 In October, Jordan scored the last winner for Palace against West Ham – a 2-1 win.Take a look at the goal below, as well as the wait for VAR to clear it. 🎥 Access All Over: West Ham (A)Full video 👉 https://t.co/MbRc9Y0f1o#CPFC pic.twitter.com/SeubVahjy5— Crystal Palace F.C. (H) (@CPFC) October 9, 2019He scored another magnificent 90th-winner against the Hammers in December. The goal was nominated for the Premier League’s Goal of the Month and Goal of the Year at the London Football Awards.See the spectacular goal below:*Pretends to be shocked*Jordan Ayew’s winner vs. West Ham has been nominated for the @PremierLeague Goal of the Month!Vote now 👉 https://t.co/y3ufffuIby #CPFC pic.twitter.com/Fn9IGR7qAt— Crystal Palace F.C. (H) (@CPFC) January 3, 2020Jordan then scored the only goal in the 1-0 win at Brighton, a crucial goal in the battle against relegation.Watch Jordan’s goal at Brighton below:🤩 How many times have you watched this?#CPFC pic.twitter.com/jlAtFdVl98— Crystal Palace F.C. (H) (@CPFC) March 1, 2020The Black Stars forward found the net with a brilliant finish against Watford in the first half, a goal that turned out to be the only one of the game, giving Palace their second win in as many games.Here’s the goal against Watford:Strike.#CPFC pic.twitter.com/Js45C1pBOW— Crystal Palace F.C. (H) (@CPFC) March 7, 2020Ayew has scored eight goals this season and 24 goals overall in the Premier League.Take a look at all the big goals scored by Jordan belowOpener vs. Manchester UnitedWinner vs. VillaWinner vs. West HamEqualiser vs. ArsenalWinner vs. West HamEqualiser vs. ArsenalWinner vs. BrightonWinner vs. WatfordJordan Ayew, scorer of big goals.#CPFC pic.twitter.com/qAampXsDJ0— Crystal Palace F.C. (H) (@CPFC) March 12, 2020 He’s loving his football and it’s beautiful to see pic.twitter.com/fdrEnnVyzv— Aidan Keys (@AidanKeys) March 12, 2020 Delete this before Real Madrid see— Jordan (@__JFI9) March 12, 2020Jordan’s impressive season A week after scoring in the win over Manchester United at Old Trafford, the Ghanaian was on the scoresheet again, scoring the only goal in Crystal Palace’s 1-0 win over Aston Villa in August 2019.Take a look at the goal against Villa below:🙌 The moment we made the breakthrough…Access All Over: Aston Villa (H) ➡️ https://t.co/YEUghm8DzN#CPFC pic.twitter.com/0Ijcos0iGr— Crystal Palace F.C. (H) (@CPFC) September 3, 2019 Before the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, Ghana’s Jordan Ayew was proving himself to be a certified matchwinner for his club Crystal Palace.Ayew had scored the match-winning goal for the Eagles five times this season. He also chipped in with equalisers in the two draws against Arsenal.He also scored Palace’s opener at Old Trafford against Manchester United.With football across Europe on hiatus and a return date still unknown for the Premier League, Palace took the opportunity to praise Jordan for his top performances this season.The club posted a video on Twitter with the caption: “Jordan Ayew, scorer of big goals.”The one-minute video (which can be seen at the end of the story) has been very well received by Palace fans, some of home jokingly called for a statue to be built in his honour.last_img read more

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US judge sentences Guatemalan in FIFA scandal

first_imgJudge Pamela Chen ruled that Trujillo, the former general secretary of Guatemala’s Football Federation from 2009 to 2015 and a one-time judge on the country’s constitutional court, would begin his sentence November 20 in Florida.Trujillo has already served one month, prior to being allowed to live in the Sunshine State on a $4 million bail. He will likely be deported upon release.Prosecutors say he and other officials accepted $400,000 in kickbacks from a Miami-based sports marketing company in exchange for media and marketing rights to Guatemala’s qualifier matches for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.“These are serious crimes,” Chen told the court. “I think Mr Trujillo feels remorse more about himself. I’m not sure for other people,” the judge added.The defendant, she said, had betrayed the trust of people who depend on officials like him “to do your job with honesty and good faith, and you’ve destroyed it — what people feel for soccer in general.”“In some ways he destroyed his country. Soccer is the national love and a patriotic endeavor. He eroded… the pride of his country. He should have known better and done better when he took that money,” Chen concluded.The largest corruption scandal in the history of soccer, first unveiled in May 2015, has seen US prosecutors indict 42 football and sports marketing executives with allegedly receiving tens of millions of bribes and kickbacks.– ‘I was blind’ –Hector Trujillo leaves after he was sentenced to an eight-month jail term © AFP / DON EMMERTLike many of the indicted, Trujillo cut a deal with prosecutors hoping for leniency and pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of wire fraud conspiracy in June.Wednesday’s sentence was far lighter than the 41-month minimum requested by government prosecutors. The judge said she took into account Trujillo’s age, poor health and nearly two years of house arrest.In a long plea in self-defense, during which he broke down into tears as his children sobbed in the front row, Trujillo begged the judge for mercy.“Looking back I think I was blind. I did not see it,” he sobbed, dressed in a dark suit, stripey tie and pale blue shirt.“Maybe I justified it by thinking it was something normal. I thought it was something different from the corruption I fought so many years,” he claimed.The judge ordered Trujillo to foot a $415,000 bill to pay back the Guatemalan soccer federation — shared with two co-defendants, and said he would also have to pay $175,000 restitution to the US government.The former lawyer was arrested on December 4, 2015 while on a family cruise in Florida and initially pleaded not guilty to eight charges against him.In January 2016, he posted his $4 million bond, surrendering his passport and submitting to electronic monitoring.The US corruption investigation precipitated the downfall of longtime FIFA president Sepp Blatter and his former heir apparent, Michel Platini.Just three Latin American defendants who have continued to plead not guilty are due to go on trial in a US federal court in Brooklyn on November 6.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Former Guatamalan judge Hector Trujillo arrives ahead of his sentencing hearing at Brooklyn Federal Court in New York A 63-year-old former Guatemalan football official is expected Wednesday to become the first person sentenced by a US judge over the sweeping corruption scandal that rocked world soccer. © AFP / Don EMMERTNEW YORK, United States, Oct 25 – A US judge on Wednesday imposed the first sentence in the sweeping FIFA corruption scandal, sending a Guatemalan former official to jail for eight months and saying that he had destroyed people’s faith in soccer.Hector Trujillo, 64, stood with his head bowed, eyes cast toward the floor and wiped away tears as he heard his fate in a federal court in Brooklyn, four months after pleading guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy.last_img read more

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Fantasia is judges’ favorite competitor

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 Barrino recently disclosed that she is functionally illiterate. The singer discusses her illiteracy in a new memoir, “Life is Not a Fairy Tale,” which she dictated to a freelance writer. The judges also had high praise for the new contestants they heard sing last week. “We saw a young girl we all thought was fantastic,” Cowell said. That alone was “worth the trip,” he said. The judges, who were joined by show host Ryan Seacrest, bantered affably, usually at the expense of Cowell, who was celebrating a birthday but still managed to live up to his reputation as a man not afraid to insult. After someone sang “Happy Birthday” to him, he said, “That was very nice, but you have a terrible voice.” Move over, Kelly. Take a back seat, Ruben. The judges for “American Idol” say their favorite winner is Fantasia Barrino, the North Carolina native who won season three of the Fox contest show. Kelly Clarkson was the first winner and Ruben Studdard was the season two champion. But judges Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell, who were in Greensboro for auditions Thursday, said Barrino was their favorite. “If we had to choose one American Idol to go out to dinner with, it would be Fantasia,” Cowell said. “There are no airs and graces about her. … I like her.” 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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Schonland: African son of science

first_img15 May 2007He developed radar in Africa in 1939, launched the continent’s premier science council and was a world expert on lightning. Basil Schonland served as advisor to Field Marshal Montgomery in World War II, led atomic energy research in the UK and was knighted by the Queen. This Eastern Cape son of science finally received recognition as “Scientist of the Century” in South Africa in 1999, was granted a posthumous award and sparked a biography.‘Mighty Atom’St Andrew’s College in the Frontier Country town of Grahamstown at the turn of the century could not have foreseen the child prodigy on their hands when 10-year-old Basil Schonland entered the foyer in 1907. He matriculated four years later at the tender age of 14 – with the highest mark in the country. Notably bright but small of stature, his prophetic nickname at school was “Mighty Atom”.With a BA (Physics) from Rhodes University College under his belt and an OBE for service in France in WWI, Schonland enrolled as a research student at Cambridge University in the UK. Pioneering nuclear physics research was under way, and Schonland made a name for himself with research on the scattering of Beta particles.But the call of Africa propelled him to Cape Town in 1922 to take up the post of lecturer and soon professor of physics at the University of Cape Town.As Brian Austin puts it in his biography Schonland: Scientist and Soldier, facilities for research in South Africa at that time were very primitive compared to what Schonland was used to in the UK. Isolated from the international research community, he turned to something completely different.Chasing stormsHe pursued the study of lightning, and the exciting period between 1937 and 1939 (at the University of the Witswatersrand and as director of the Bernard Price Institute) saw him chasing storms, photographing lightning and measuring the electrical fields under thunderclouds.His work was internationally regarded as the biggest advance in the field since Benjamin Franklin’s work in the late 18th century.When war clouds gathered in Europe in the late 1930s, the need to develop radar was urgent. Commmonwealth countries were secretly invited to send scientists to the UK for a briefing on the new concept of radar. No one went from South Africa.However, Schonland met distinguished New Zealand scientist Sir Ernest Marsden on a ship in Cape Town after the UK briefing. Copies of vague documents and notes made during the UK discussions were all Schonland had to work on.South Africa’s own radar systemIncredibly, he and his team developed their own radar system, which was fully functional in South Africa just three months after the outbreak of World War II. “All they really received from the UK . was that it could be done and ‘how’,” wrote Military History Journal author Dr FJ Hewitt.In 1941, while on a special visit to England, Schonland was asked to stay. He became a member of the famous “Blackett Circus” – a group of scientists who scientifically addressed problems and worked with generals in the field. It was the start of operations research as we know it today.With the invasion of Normandy, France, in 1944, Schonland was appointed personal scientific advisor to Field Marshal Montgomery.There was a happy post-war sequel. Schonland’s early African radar team remained in touch, and when Sputnik 1 was launched in 1957, they improvised tracking equipment and established its orbit in just two days.The expected lifetime of Sputnik was published in Nature – giving the world the first accurate prediction of Sputnik’s expected lifespan, which proved correct to within 15%.Pan-African scienceIn December 1944, Schonland was recalled to South Africa by General Jan Smuts to establish and become first president of the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The CSIR’s first pan-African programme of scientific collaboration was a historic event, held in Johannesburg in 1949 and attended by 100 delegates from 25 countries south of the Sahara.Representatives from Europe, the US and Australia were also there in a “panoply of nations never before seen under one roof in South Africa”, wrote Brian Austin in his essay “African Science and One Man’s Vision”.They formed the Scientific Council for Africa South of the Sahara (CSA), which convened over 10 years until apartheid and the growth of independence movements got in the way. The “winds of change” had begun blowing across the country by 1960, and colonial links were starting to sever.Anti-apartheid protestIn 1962, Schonland resigned his then post of Rhodes University’s first Chancellor in protest at South Africa’s apartheid legislation, which segregated previously “open” universities.South Africa was no longer able to lead, apartheid was anathema to the world, and in 1965, riven with political differences, the CSA was disbanded.By then, Schonland had already returned to England as the director of an atomic energy research unit at Harwell. He was knighted by the Queen in 1960 for his services to British science, and was a Faraday Medallist for 1962.Schonland was voted South Africa’s Scientist of the Century in 1999, and was posthumously awarded the Order of Mapungubwe (in the gold class) in 2002.This article was first published in Eastern Cape Madiba Action, winter 2007 edition. Republished here with kind permission of the author.last_img read more

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South Africa to benefit from EU trade pact

first_img22 July 2014 South Africa stands to gain significantly from the Economic Partnership Agreement recently concluded between a subgroup of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the European Union (EU), says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies. Briefing the media in Pretoria on Monday, Davies said the new trade pact gave South Africa marked benefits over the existing bilateral Trade, Development and Co-operation Agreement with the EU. The benefits included improved market access for 32 agricultural products, with a significant improvement in access to the EU market for wine (110-million litres duty-free), sugar (150 000 tons duty-free) and ethanol (80 000 tons duty-free). There was also improved access to EU markets for South African exports of flowers, and of some dairy, fruit and fruit products. After 10 years of preparation and negotiation, the deal was initialled last Tuesday by the EU, the five members of the Southern African Customs Union – South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland – as well as Mozambique and Angola. The EU is the SADC’s largest trading partner, with South Africa accounting for the largest share of the SADC’s trade with the EU. Davies said the talks had been difficult, with South Africa objecting to the EU’s demand for a prohibition on export taxes, and for what it saw as a lack of give and take, especially over more access for its agricultural and agro-processed goods, as well as the final wording on export taxes and geographic indicators. Being stubborn had paid off, Davies said, as the outcome was more favourable for South Africa than the EU’s original offer. “In trade negotiations, you have to learn to say no, and this is what we did because we did not approve of other elements of the agreement. This then opened up negotiations, and we tend to benefit from the outcome.” Compared to the TDCA, the new agreement allowed improved access for certain agricultural products, some policy space for export taxes, as well as some additional agricultural safeguards, Davies said. In return, the EU has gained geographic indicator status for several of its wines, cheeses, speciality meats and beers, while South Africa has won the same recognition for its rooibos and honeybush teas, Karoo lamb and some of its wines. This will mean that, once the deal has been ratified, only products produced in the relevant geographical areas can be marketed under the relevant trade names. Davies said the agreement will go through a two-month legal vetting process before being presented to the Cabinet for approval and to Parliament for ratification. The agreement will then be signed, and will enter into force once all the countries party to it have concluded their own approval processes. This was likely to take around eight months. Davies said negotiating the agreement was a major achievement for the region, establishing a legal basis for a relationship between African countries participating in a future free trade agreement and Europe. SAnews.gov.za and SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

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High-Performance and Net-Zero Homes — Part 1

first_imgI come from a family of non-conformists. My dad was the product of a line of labor shit-disturbers of the first order; my mom came from milder stock but was herself a civic activist of unparalleled backbone. I spent my childhood marching for racial equality, farm worker rights, and peace in Vietnam. So perhaps it’s inevitable that I have come to view myself as a green building revolutionary.In fact, I believe that YOU are a revolutionary. Why? Because building green is all about effecting change – replacing the “normal” way things are done with a far better way. It’s about combating conventional thinking and apathy – and often moneyed interests – to bring about results that are better for the people and the planet. In a revolution, everyone plays an important part. You can be heaving the battering ram at the gates, scaling the ramparts, tunneling under, printing broadsheets, or fomenting dissent inside the establishment – in short, operating wherever and however you are most comfortable and most effective. Not all revolutionaries are loud and aggressive; many are subtle and quietly persuasive. Not all have access to seats of power; many work at the grass-roots level. The right mindset to produce high-performance homesNote that I view technologies as a “maybe” solution. I believe that much of what we have to do to reliably produce high-performance and/or net-zero energy homes resides outside the realm of technology.So:1. Technology is our least powerful lever in the change toolkit.2. We don’t necessarily need it to achieve our green building goals.This is unquestionably revolutionary talk, because virtually every green building event you’ll attend focuses on stuff – the goods, the gizmos, the glam … i.e., technologies. There is very little focus on mindset (that sounds downright woo-woo, doesn’t it?) or process (a little less so, but still squishy, eh?), and only a bit on tools (we do like tools, yessir, especially techie ones).Contrarian that I am, I’ve been focusing heavily lately on the top three levels of this hierarchy, where I have complete conviction that our energies are best spent. I’ll develop this train of thought in several more blogs over the next few months. Stay tuned, and break out your green armbands! We’re all agents for changeWhether you willingly don the mantle of revolutionary or not, I think it’s important for each of us who works in green building to explicitly recognize our role as an agent for change. It’s much too hard to bring about change when you don’t face head on the reality that that’s what you’re trying to do – like trying to navigate to a town whose name you do not know. RELATED ARTICLES High-Performance and Net-Zero Homes — Part 2High-Performance and Net-Zero Homes — Part 3High-Performance and Net-Zero Homes — Part 4High-Performance and Net-Zero Homes — Part 5 A change toolkitBut all are working for change. And so I’ve devised what I refer to as the change toolkit. It’s based originally on Donella Meadows’s brilliant 2005 essay, “Places to Intervene in a System.” Meadows identified a hierarchy of nine places to intervene in a system with the aim of creating change. Bill Reed, in turn, developed his own hierarchy of change inspired by Donella’s work. I find Bill’s hierarchy easy to remember and I use it on a day-to-day basis. Here’s the gist of it – four levels, in increasing order of effectiveness for creating change:1. Technologies2. Tools3. Processes4. MindsetI’ve used Bill’s 4-stage hierarchy as the basis for my change toolkit, in it identifying a number of players and types of change that may be appropriate at each level. One version of my toolkit is shown in the figure.last_img read more

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Suarez deserves no sympathy at all for his act, says S Kannan

first_imgLuis Suarez is a national hero, whatever he does. When he pumped in two goals against England at the FIFA World Cup, tears trickled down the cheeks of English fans. And now that the Uruguay star has shown his uglier side again, biting Italian Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder with the delight of a canine, he is still being hailed as a hero at home.They say old habits die hard and, in the case of Suarez, this seems to hold true as his previous ‘bite victims’ Otman Bakkal and Branislav Ivanovic in 2010 and 2013 respectively will testify. Aggression in sport is something which comes naturally. The urge to win can make one do bizarre things as ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson would vouch for when he bit Evander Holyfield’s ear in a professional heavyweight bout in Las Vegas in 1997. In boxing, the urge to punch hard and cause damage to the opponent and win maximum points can be understood.But what causes Suarez to behave like this is hard to comprehend. In football, a rough tackle is a common occurrence, as is striking a player behind the knee to thwart his progress. Yet, the very thought of biting a player and then falling on the ground to show pain in the teeth is bizarre. All this happened in a matter of seconds and nobody knows what precipitated it.Was it a chase for the ball or frustration at not being able to stop Chiellini? Only Suarez can answer that.Luis Suarez is a serial offender who causes nuisance on the field. Mind you, all this was not spotted by referee Marco Rodriguez. It was only after the FIFA disciplinary panel met two days later did it decide to hand Suarez a ninematch ban and a fourmonth forced holiday from the beautiful game.advertisementAs a football fan, what is of utmost concern is how a star player can behave in such a sick manner. To bite in self-defence can be tolerated but not breaking all rules of discipline and sportsmanship and digging one’s teeth into an opponent’s flesh. In Britain, Suarez is now the butt of ridicule. From images of Suarez as ‘Jaws 4’ to shrinks giving their opinions, each one has his or her own take. Yet, the fact remains this is not the time to condemn a player just because he scored against one’s team.Suarez has to be condemned because his act borders on barbarism and could have actually instilled fear in Chiellini as the next time he is on the field in a club game, he may wonder if he’ll again be a victim of biting. Then again, not many would know that the human bite can be as dangerous as that of an animal that has been administered anti-rabies injections.Even as major sponsors like Adidas decide their future course of action with respect to Suarez, his fortunes in club football will take a nosedive. For millions who idolised the star, such acts can never be forgiven, unless you live in Uruguay. The way he has been received at home suggests fellow Uruguayans worship him even after his reckless act.In today’s age of satellite television, the FIFA World Cup is watched globally. Impressionable kids watching Suarez biting a player is a bad advertisement for the game. What’s funny is how Argentine superstar Diego Maradona has come out in defence of Suarez and criticised the ban. I think it’s understandable as Maradona is no role model. From his “Hand of God” act to drinking, doping and drug abuse episodes, each one has shown him as a weak character.So it’s clear Maradona is supporting a man who is guilty of not behaving like a normal human.ASIAN DEBACLEAway from the biting episode, what has come as a disappointment is the way Asian teams have flopped in Brazil. Iran, South Korea, Japan and Australia -none could progress to the Round of 16. It is well known that 60 per cent of the football market is in Asia and most of the funds are mopped up from here. So what is it that has resulted in Asian teams faring badly? If Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa is to be believed, copying European football had done the damage. Sheikh Salman says the shortcomings are clear and it is a wake-up call for the AFC. The same views have also been aired by Iran’s national coach Carlos Queiroz, a well-respected figure. The former Real Madrid coach says this setup will not work. “You cannot copy Europe because the day you think you are close, they are one step ahead because they also progress,” says Queiroz.advertisementForget what is happening in stronger football teams in Asia, look at India. More and more money is being pumped into the game, or so we are made to believe. The Dutch seem to have taken control of Indian football as from technical director Rob Baan to coach Wim Koevermans, they call the shots.The salaries they earn are mind-boggling and yet Indian football has crashed to abysmal depths. During the last FIFA World Cup India was ranked 142 and now it is 154! Obviously, what Queiroz is saying holds true for India as well. Having “professional” club football at home means nothing with top teams like Churchill Brothers, United SC, Rangdajied FC (Shillong) and Mohammedan Sporting now relegated from the ILeague as they do not fulfill AFC [email protected]last_img read more

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