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first_imgSoccer City is Soweto’s supreme pride, drawing thousands of foreign and local visitors. (Image: Local Organising Committee)Soccer City stadium rises above Johannesburg’s skyline as a symbol of rich cultural diversity and African pride – and, thanks to some innovative partnerships, it’ll remain a tourist draw card long after the last World Cup goal is scored there.Although the post-tournament viability of the R3.4-billion (US$461-million) facility – which will host both the opening and closing matches – has been questioned recently, a steady stream of tour groups since January point to its income-generating potential over the long term.There are currently seven Soccer City guides who conduct 90-minute tours focusing on the history of the stadium and the importance of its design. Some 7 000 individuals signed up for tours in March alone.“Everything about the stadium has its significance, from its shape, its colour, the seating and the architecture,” said Soccer City guide Letlohonolo Mokone.The stadium is designed to look like the African pot, or calabash, which is used to brew beer. It rests on a raised stand that represents a pit of fire. With a capacity of 94 000, the stadium is one of the largest in Africa.“The stadium is in different shades of red, which symbolise the fire,” said Mokone. “There are glass windows around the stadium, and at night when it’s lit up you can see the proper affects. It looks like something is brewing in the African pot.”The stadium is above all a symbol of Africa and the diverse cultures that will mix during the World Cup, inside the stadium, he added.The chairs are orange, the closest shade to gold, to symbolise the area’s mineral wealth and many mines. The tunnel that joins the field to the change rooms is designed to look like a mine shaft, giving the players who run through it a feel for the history of Johannesburg, which was once called “The City of Gold”.Bringing in the bucksAfter the World Cup, Soccer City will be handed over to the Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, which will ensure that the facility continues to function and bring in funds.The municipality has hired a task team to supervise the process. “We will be doing ongoing tours after the World Cup and are anticipating that large numbers of people will continue to show up,” said Clifford Duffey of Stadium Management South Africa.To make the stadium and the tours more sociable and marketable, Duffey said they plan to have coffee shops and merchandise stores set up where visitors can sit and relax before and after tours or games.“We are also planning on using the auditorium, which takes 200 people, to show short videos about the history of the stadium. This will include footage on the build-up to the World Cup, which will be shown to visitors as part of the tours,” he said.Duffey said the municipality will get tenant teams to use the stadium on an ongoing basis. It’s also currently in serious talks with the Premier Soccer League (PSL) to have at least 25 to 50 big games played there each year.One of the first major clashes at the stadium will be the Nedbank Cup final in May between the two top PSL teams. The league plans to sell 80 000 tickets for this game, which will be used as a test run before the World Cup kicks off in June.The name of the stadium will also be changed to National Stadium after the World Cup, Duffey said.“The stadium is an iconic structure that all South Africans can be proud of. It was not only designed for soccer, other sports – such as rugby – can be played here too.”Historical significanceSoccer City was rebuilt from the FNB stadium that was established on the outskirts of Soweto in 1987. Over the years it has witnessed some of the nation’s most poignant sporting and political triumphs, and human tragedies.In 1990 thousands of South Africans gathered there for the first public address by Nelson Mandela after his release from prison. Just years later in 1993, mourners gathered at the same place to pay their last respects to assassinated South African Communist Party leader Chris Hani.In brighter times, in 1996, the stadium hosted the African Cup of Nations, which national squad Bafana Bafana won. South Africans are hoping that the revamped site will bring the same luck to the national team 14 years on, when they face Mexico there on 11 June.last_img read more

first_img13 December 2011 The outcome of the Durban climate summit is a historic achievement that will go a long way towards furthering the global climate agenda, says the head of the South Africa’s COP 17 delegation, Edna Molewa. Speaking a few days after Sunday’s conclusion of the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, Molewa – South Africa’s minister of water and environmental affairs – described the final outcome as “precedent setting,” adding that it ranked with the 1997 conference at which the Kyoto Protocol was adopted. A comprehensive package agreement, the “Durban Platform”, was finally reached in the dying hours of the conference on Sunday morning. Molewa said the agreement “sets a new long-term pathway for the development of a fair, ambitious and legally binding future multi-lateral and rules-based global climate change system, which can balance climate and development imperatives.” The agreement also ensures the fair participation of all countries in the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions now and in the future.‘New willingness to negotiate’ The Durban climate summit was characterised by a new willingness by parties to move beyond entrenched negotiating positions. COP 17 also ensured the survival of the Kyoto Protocol through the decision to adopt the second commitment period, capturing legally binding commitments of the developed countries beyond the first commitment period expiration in 2012. “Under the convention, we anchored emission reduction targets for developed countries that are not willing to be part of the Kyoto second commitment period, as well as emission mitigation actions of developing countries, and were able to elaborate the transparency and accountability framework for both developed and developing countries,” Molewa said. “Crucially, we have been able to preserve the multilateral rules-based system underpinning the mitigation regime by agreeing on a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, through an agreement to amend the Protocol, setting up a five-year second commitment period from 2013 to 2018.” It was noted that the US had not joined the Kyoto Protocol, and not all developed countries were prepared to place their commitments under the Protocol.Transparency of mitigation efforts To address this gap, a process to increase transparency of mitigation efforts was established. “In the case of developed countries, we will review and assess their economy-wide emission reduction targets and commitments. In the case of developing countries, we will increase the transparency of their nationally appropriate mitigation actions.” With regards to finance, Molewa noted that there was an agreement on the detailed design of the Green Climate Fund. Africa’s priority of adapting to the impacts of climate change was also firmly placed on the global agenda. The Durban agreement put into operation a number of international mechanisms to enable and support mitigation and adaption efforts of developing countries, particularly efforts needed in the least developed, African and small island countries.Common vision for global cooperation Looking to the future, Molewa said COP 17 reaffirmed a common vision for global cooperation on climate change to hold the increase in the global average temperature below two degrees or 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Molewa said forcing countries to do more than they were willing or able to was a recipe for failure, adding that the solution was to build a system that gradually transitioned to a low-carbon future and simultaneously created jobs, reduced poverty and improved quality of life. “Therefore, under the Convention, agreement was reached on the Durban Platform, which initiates negotiations next year, leading to a legal instrument, protocol or agreed outcome with legal force applicable to all countries that will be adopted by 2015 and be fully operational no later than 2020.” Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

first_img14 June 2012South Africa’s trade conditions improved in May, the SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) reported on Wednesday.Its seasonally adjusted Trade Activity Index (TAI) gained five points to measure 56 for the month.“The better conditions are in correspondence with the relatively strong growth in the wholesale and retail trade, hotel and restaurant sector,” Sacci said in a statement.The non-seasonally adjusted TAI stood at 55 last month, compared to 48 in April and 49 in May last year.Sales and new orders recovered strongly to 64 and 58 compared to 50 for both indices in April 2012. A year ago the sales volume index was 56 and the new orders index 46.The inventories index increased moderately to 51 from 47 in April 2012, following strong inventory build-ups in both February and March 2012.Supplier deliveries recovered by six index points.“The fewer trading days in April played a significant role in weaker trade activity in April 2012 compared to May,” said Sacci.Indices for sales and input prices decreased from 63 and 72 in April to 59 and 68 respectively in May. Price pressures moderated despite an average rise in administered prices of 12 percent.“The effect of the weaker rand is yet to trigger higher prices,” the chamber said.Trade expectations remained positive, but tapered down in May.“Expectations are following the same pattern as in 2011, where the initial bullish outlook was moderated during the year,” said Sacci.“Weak economic conditions will continue to weigh on trade conditions in the coming months.”The six-month outlook for key components of trade activity contracted in May. Sales and input price expectations eased to 61 and 68 compared to 68 and 75 respectively in April.Inventories were expected to decline further.Employment conditions in the trade environment worsened during the month as the index moved from 43 to 41 in negative territory. The outlook for the employment index weakened to 49, from 55 in April.Sapalast_img read more

first_imgfreedom nounfree·​dom | \ ˈfrē-dəmThe definition of freedom, according to Merriam-Webster is defined;“the quality or state of being free”We owe our freedom to the many fighters who fought against apartheid and oppression in South Africa. The many who died at the hands of an inhuman state. The many voters who waited in bated breath to cast their vote X for South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994.Today the country enjoys its globally admired Constitution and Bill of Rights, affirmed by its expressive preamble;We, the people of South Africa, Recognise the injustices of our past; Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land; Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity. We therefore, through our freely elected representatives, adopt this Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic so as to– Heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights;Lay the foundations for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by law;Improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person; andBuild a united and democratic South Africa able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations.May God protect our people. Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika. Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso. God seën Suid-Afrika. God bless South Africa. Mudzimu fhatutshedza Afurika. Hosi katekisa Afrika.As the country celebrates 25 years of democracy on Freedom Day 27th April 2019, a day which put an end to segregation and white minority rule instituting a new dawn of democratic rule.Brand South Africa in partnership with its agency The Odd Number, through the Freedom month campaign, would like to remind citizens of the significance of making our freedom count in the “Solve Your Why’s with an X” campaign.Brand South Africa’s Acting Chief Marketing Officer, Ms Sithembile Ntombela speaking on the campaign said; “the freedom we enjoy today has given everyone a powerful voice to change the world for the better. This campaign tackles the many realities, social ills that we face. It triggers truthful conversations of the freedom to vote, our constitution and most importantly the reason why we are celebrating 25 years of democracy as a nation”.The execution of the Solve Your Why’s with an X” campaign is executed through various creative illustrations, videos on social media and on radio of how “WHY’s were solved by an X” in South Africa’s history. This puts the emphasis on the importance of getting your voice heard by the mere action of voting for your rights and making a choice on the future of this country.Engage in conversations on our social media @Brand_SA #freedomtome #freedomdaylast_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The ruffed grouse is one of the most prized game birds in North America and the hills of Ohio are part of its southernmost habitat range. An elusive and difficult bird to hunt due to its flighty craftiness and habitation in dense undergrowth that reduces hunter visibility and accessibility, the ruffed grouse is a real trophy for hunters in the Buckeye state. But its numbers in Ohio are drastically declining,A brown/gray-brown bird with a fan-shaped black banded tail and barred flanks, the grouse physically resembles a chicken, but the comparisons stop there. This beautiful, wary bird that prefers and needs thick, impenetrable cover — such as clear cutting regrowth — to survive, is a constantly alert master of its domain that is a revered symbol of the American forest.American author and avid bird hunter Robert DeMott, of Athens, has stalked the hills of southeastern Ohio in pursuit of grouse for nearly five decades and has harvested hundreds of the species over his hunting career. Beyond a long list of academic publications and titles, DeMott has written prolifically about bird hunting and bird dogs over the years. He edited and contributed to the book, “Afield: American Writers on Bird Dogs,” and frequently writes for upland hunting magazines such as “Gray’s Sporting Journal,” “Upland Almanac,” and “The Contemporary Wingshooter.” His writings demonstrate the author to possess a reflective, intellectual pursuit of all things wild and winged and a keen, perceptive attention to his environment, his dogs, and his quarry.In a recent discussion, DeMott shared his views on the pursuit of Ohio’s ruffed grouse and the bird’s status in the state. He said that he enjoys hunting this bird because of the challenge and difficulty that they present to even the best wingshooters.Preferring to hunt grouse accompanied by his beloved English Setters, DeMott said, “The grouse is not considered the number one game bird for nothing. Killing a grouse requires patience and determination and stamina. The success rate on grouse is extremely low. They are wily and always have some trick up their sleeves to fool the hunter or the dog. The flush is always explosive; it really gets your blood going.”This sentiment is echoed in DeMott’s article, “Early Birds,” when he writes about his appreciation of “the physical immediacy of the upland moment, with its intense points, flushes, shots.”Another aspect of grouse hunting which appeals to DeMott is the physically demanding nature of the chase.“Part of the challenge and value of the hunt is that it is very strenuous, especially down here in southern Ohio, where you will walk miles in pretty rugged terrain and on steep side hills that can twist your ankles and make for a hard hike. There were times that I’d get to a dog on point and be almost too tired to lift the gun! Because we live in such a hilly part of the state, it is better if the bird dog hunts close; if it doesn’t, you have to do a lot of trekking to get to a dog on point,” he said. “Back in the day when the grouse numbers were high, it was worth it because there was a promise of action, and with my best dogs for a couple of years, I never had a grouse flush wild. We would get into the woods at 10 and quit by three or four, and that was a pretty full day. The dogs would get a little tired and lose their edge after that.”As anyone who has hunted alongside trusted canine hunting companions for years can attest, the truest joy of upland game hunting comes from observing one’s dog in the field, doing what is in its instinctive nature and breeding to do. DeMott concurs.In “These Among Many: A Gallery of Good Fortune,” DeMott writes that “A day afield with bird dogs, even when they are acting badly and not themselves and even when birds are scarce, is still preferable to most other kinds of recreation I can name.”When interviewed, DeMott expanded on this.“The older you get, the less interested you are in bagging birds. I just enjoy watching the dogs work cover, watching them go through their moves,” he said. “They are tremendous athletes. It’s all about watching and appreciating the dog’s athletic ability, its intelligence, and its gracefulness. That is more important to me than killing birds, especially given the fact that the numbers of grouse in Ohio are so low.”Though there are pockets of grouse still to be chased in Ohio, their numbers are dwindling, which makes for some tough hunting with little to show for it these days.“I started hunting southeastern Ohio for grouse the first year I moved to Athens in 1969. I kept at it through the ‘90s. The 1970s and 1980s was the heyday for us. The height of the grouse population was in 1983 or 1984, and then it gradually subsided after that. In the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, it was possible to find birds, but probably in the last eight or nine years, hunting for grouse has become quite fruitless around Athens, Meigs, Vinton, and Morgan counties where I hunt. People still harvest a few over the year, but it is no longer regular,” DeMott said.As DeMott notes in an essay about some of his favorite bird dogs entitled “Four Queens,” “According to the 2009 Ohio DNR survey, the range-wide flush rate for ruffed grouse in Ohio is 0.38 per hour, which is to say that something close to three hours of hunting are needed to flush the equivalent of one whole grouse. To put it another way, thirty-three hours of hunting are required for each bird bagged.”“Southeastern Ohio never had the grouse numbers as the northern tier states, but it was ample,” DeMott said. “ I always prided myself on that fact that I didn’t have to go up to Wisconsin or Michigan to grouse hunt like a lot of guys did, because I could find grouse around home. However, since 2009, I have had to take trips north to really get into birds. It is disappointing that with all of the open territory we have down here, there is not as much habitat for grouse as there once was.”DeMott said that without the fall woodcock season, when good numbers of resident and migrating timber doodles can still be found, there would be little very little game bird life in his neck of the woods for his dogs to work.“The woodcock have really taken up the slack for the dogs. Looking back through my hunting diaries, there are so many entries where I was recording flushes and harvests of both grouse and woodcock during woodcock season. Now, I am only encountering woodcock. You don’t see them mixed together as we once did, which always made for a really fine upland trip,” he said.There is far less clear cutting being done in the Appalachian foothills around Athens and that means a lot more mature forests, which is a habitat in which grouse do not thrive.Anecdotally, DeMott also thinks that the increase in wild turkeys throughout the state may contribute to the decline. Turkeys may scratch up grouse nests and maybe eat some of the same foods that grouse feed upon. Certainly, the rebound of turkeys seems to coincide with the diminishment of grouse numbers. The “National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds” points out that “many areas forests are maturing, eliminating the undergrowth this species needs; where this is happening, reintroduced Wild Turkeys are increasing and grouse are decreasing.”About the future of grouse hunting in Ohio, DeMott is not optimistic. Grouse numbers are down due to habitat loss and not hunting pressure. The grouse season has been shortened by one month in the state due to the population decline and the birds continue to be few and far between.“The days are gone when we could follow multiple grouse tracks through newly fallen snow in early December or hunt some mild days in February and get into some birds. The decline in birds sure has been precipitous, and there doesn’t seem to be any rebounding,” DeMott said.Nonetheless, he holds out hope that despite the loss of habitat and disappearance of large numbers of ruffed grouse in the state, there will remain some vestiges of this regal and charming bird into future, as it adds diversity, beauty, and wonder to southern Ohio’s natural ecosystems.As DeMott tells his readership in one memoir, “Truth to tell, I can live without bringing another Buckeye state grouse to hand, but not without believing there is another bird for the dogs to find and point.”last_img read more

first_imgIn Manipur, all eyes are on the outcome of the two decades of dialogue between the Central government and Naga rebel groups. An agreement is expected to be signed before the monsoon session of Parliament, beginning on July 18, which will bring closure to the Kukis in Manipur. Nagas have been demanding unification of their lands but there are indications that maps will not be redrawn and instead ways would be found for preserving the cultural integrity of Nagas. Manipur has a considerable number of Nagas, with as much as 90% of the territory populated by Nagas and Kukis.There is hope that an amicable settlement will be reached with the Naga and Kuki rebels. However, Manipur’s insurgents have made it clear that if there is any provision in the peace accord which will compromise their territory and authority, they will not remain silent.Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren told The Hindu, “The government is committed to protecting the territory of Manipur. Not a single inch of land will be ceded away.”Army’s pactThe Army has signed a Suspension of Operations (SoO) pact with some Kuki rebel groups. Following this, over 23 Kuki outfits decided to join the mainstream and camps were constructed to house them. There have been six rounds of talks between the Central government, the Manipur government and SoO signatories. The sixth round of talks was held on January 10. Since New Delhi was keen on restoration of peace in the northeast, the Manipur government was asked to galvanise the peace process.Government sources said there could not be durable peace by signing an accord with one group while many others are left out.last_img read more

first_imgJammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik has said that his administration will terminate the contract granted to Reliance General Health Insurance Company Ltd., a month after the government rolled out a Group Mediclaim Health Insurance Scheme for employees, pensioners and accredited journalists of the State.Bids not displayed “I studied it (the case) myself. The issue is that the government had not issued any tenders. A private company had asked for tenders on behalf of another company. Those bids were not displayed anywhere on our (government’s) website. The tenders were changed to suit a particular company. I have almost terminated the contract after an investigation. It will take couple of days (for the official cancellation order),” Mr. Malik said in an interview to a Delhi-based news channel.He claimed that the contract signed earlier “was full of frauds”.Annual premium The Governor’s administration had rolled out the insurance scheme on September 20 this year. It had announced that the government had tied up with Reliance General Health Insurance Company Ltd. on an annual premium of ₹8,777 and ₹22, 229 for employees and pensioners respectively.The government had said Reliance General Insurance, headed by Anil Ambani, won the contract to provide health insurance cover to Jammu and Kashmir staff after a “rigorous and transparent competitive tender process”.Many employees have already paid their first instalment for the policy, cumulatively running into around ₹25,000 crore.Kickback chargeThe Governor hinted that “during tendering the amount was changed to suit the company and was opened on a holiday”, also suggesting that top officials took kickbacks in the State’s Finance Department.The Governor’s regime on Wednesday pushed for the establishment of an Anti-Corruption Bureau which will have powers to arrest the corrupt officers and attach their property.last_img read more

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Flashing a balanced offensive, San Beda turned back Jose Rizal U, 80-66, in the other semifinal match.Pint-sized playmaker Aljun Melecio exploded for 30 points, while Ricci Rivero and Ben Mbala combined for 51 for the Archers. “This is a good game for us, because we learned a lot with having composure with our decision making,” said La Salle coach Aldin Ayo.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout What ‘missteps’? MOST READ World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide View comments Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ End of Pacquiao reign is here, Horn claims 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Newcomer Santi Santillan completed a three-point play with 10 seconds remaining to lift UAAP champion La Salle to a thrilling 100-99 victory over Lyceum and forge a title duel with San Beda in the Filoil Flying V Premier Cup.A recruit from University of the Visayas, who is set to make his debut in the UAAP this season, Santillan was at the right place at the right time, capping a wild sequence with a lay-up while drawing a foul as the Green Archers survived a gutsy stand by the Pirates, who nearly completed a comeback from 12 points down in the final period at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.ADVERTISEMENT WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage Cayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Games LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more

first_imgAdvertisementBoth Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin spoke to one another via satellite link this week on social media after it was agreed the two would not meet in person until fight week due to their passionate mutual dislike of each other.Instead, a press conference was broadcast over Facebook this week where both teams sat down and spoke on a number of subjects. One of the more contentious moments was when Canelo was asked what he thought about Golovkin’s keep busy fight last May against Vanes Martirosyan. A bout he won comfortably inside the distance.Canelo had a less than complimentary response, saying it wasn’t even a fight:Golovkin took the fight due to the scheduled rematch with Canelo getting put back to this September after the Mexican boxing star failed a drugs test.The issue of the failed drugs test came up at one point during the satellite conference, to which Canelo responded saying that there is no need to talk about it now as the fight is on and will be a better fight than it would have been last May.The rematch is scheduled for September 15th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.Advertisementlast_img read more

first_imgSocial media website Facebook may soon add a news section to its Android and iOS smartphone apps that may look like Facebook Paper — a standalone mobile app created only for iOS.Facebook confirmed to Mashable tech website that it is testing the new, sectioned news feed, in addition to the current format, though it is unclear if the feature would ever get an official launch.Some screenshots surfaced on Twitter on Friday, showing that a new layout of the mobile app that highlighted multiple news sections, with topics such as world and us, sports and food.Also Read: Facebook pushes live video feature high on your news feed”People have told us they would like options to see more stories on Facebook around specific topics they are interested in,” a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying.”So we have been testing a few feeds for people to view more and different stories from people and Pages based on topic areas,” the spokesperson added.The report said the move would encourage users to get more news from Facebook rather than other sources like Twitter or Google News.Also Read: 6 tips to keep your Facebook clean, secure and privatelast_img read more