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first_imgBibi Shaheada Thakur’s $20 million lumber yard at Lot 40 Alliance, Canal # 2 Polder, West Bank Demerara was on Saturday evening set ablaze, allegedly by her ex-husband Ramesh Thakur; and all that remains now are ashes.The 39-year-old separated from the suspect about a year ago, and a matter concerning division of property has been filed in the High Court.The victim has said she was at home on Saturday when, at about 22:00h, she heard a knock on the window; and as she looked outside, she saw the suspect using a knife to destroy her car, PXX 509.Soon after that incident, he jumped into his Canter and allegedly drove to the lumber yard and set it on fire.The victim summoned the Guyana Fire Service upon realising that the business was engulfed in flames, but by the time they arrived on scene, sections of the lumber yard had already been destroyed.The suspect was arrested, and is expected to be charged shortly.last_img read more

first_imgDave Stevens joins the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast to round up the latest sporting odds.The Coral spokesman looks at the contenders to become the new Newcastle boss, with Alan Pardew expected to quit for Crystal Palace, and reveals Fabricio Coloccini is the favourite to take the reins.He also says Liverpool remain firm outsiders to finish in the top four despite their impressive win over Swansea on Monday night.Coral is the official betting partner of the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfastlast_img

first_imgIn the dark days of early apartheid rule half a century ago, on 26 June 1955, over 3 000 representatives of resistance organisations made their way through police cordons to gather on a dusty square in Kliptown, then a freehold area 40km south of Johannesburg.Walter Sisulu Square in Kliptown, Soweto, commemorates the signing of the Freedom Charter in 1955. (Image: Gauteng Film Commission)This was the Congress of the People, who met to draw up the Freedom Charter, an alternative vision to the repressive policies of the apartheid state.At the time, Nelson Mandela had to stay concealed to avoid the police. On the second day, the authorities broke up the gathering, but not before the charter was adopted as a guiding document. It remains the cornerstone of African National Congress (ANC) policy to this day, and is seen by many as the foundation of South Africa’s 1996 Constitution.That dusty field has now been declared a national heritage site, and on 26 June 2005 President Thabo Mbeki lit a flame of freedom in Kliptown to mark the opening of the Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication – and 50 years of the Freedom Charter.R375m upgrade for KliptownConstruction of the Walter Sisulu Square began two years ago, spearheaded by development agency Blue IQ. The square will have a park, a marketplace with 700 stalls for traders, about 17 shops and offices, a multipurpose centre and a hotel.Unskilled labour has been used in the construction work, as have about 90 small, medium and micro enterprises, more than half of which were created to help the project.Kliptown, now part of Soweto, is a sprawling collection of settlements around 40km from the Johannesburg city centre, with a thriving informal business area where the people of Soweto do their shopping. Some 85% of the township consists of informal settlements.Established in 1903 and one of the oldest urban multiracial settlements in the Johannesburg area, Kliptown has long been neglected, and many of its old buildings are now dilapidated.With its history, it is hoped that Kliptown will become “a world-class tourist destination and heritage site offering local and international visitors a unique experience,” according to Blue IQ.The square and monument will form part of the Greater Kliptown Development Project, a massive effort to redevelop the area and make it more habitable and conducive to business.Some R375-million has been put aside for Kliptown’s revival, R293-million from Blue IQ and R30-million from the City of Johannesburg. Project areas include the upgrade of the Kliptown railway station, a market, the relocation of people in informal settlements, new houses, and a new 250-bay taxi rank, which is already complete.The Walter Sisulu SquareWalter Sisulu was a delegate at the 1955 Congress of the People, a major figure in the anti-apartheid struggle, deputy president of the ANC, underground activist and Rivonia treason trialist.Released from prison in 1989, he died in 2003, the year the R160-million Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication project was initiated. Its design was awarded to architects and urban designers StudioMAS.Today the construction of the north and south sides of two squares, one of which is the original square where people gathered to approve the charter, is at roof level.The complex consists of two long, narrow buildings encompassing the squares, with 10 columns on the eastern edge, representing the 10 clauses of the Freedom Charter.Not just a construction projectBut this is not just a construction project. Enormous effort has gone into relocating traders from Union Street, renovating their historic warehouses – in some cases they are more than 70 years old – and creating new functions for the buildings.Between the two squares, on the northern end, is a tall tower, the Freedom Charter Monument. Here a freedom flame was lit by Mbeki, providing a landmark beacon to surrounding suburbs.Opposite this tower, in the middle of the southern building, another tower is rising into the air. The base of this tower will contain a kwashisanyama, a place for preparing food.The north and south buildings will contain offices, banks, retail space, a tourism office, an art gallery and the community hall. The search is on to place a restaurant and boutique hotel in the buildings.Housing and wetlandsThe city and the province are committed to building 7 100 houses in the coming years – 5 700 RDP houses and 1 400 houses for rental. So far only four houses have been completed, and 1 195 stands have been given services, in preparation for building.Housing is a complex issue in Kliptown. The densely packed population of about 45 000 people needs to be systematically moved before houses can be built. In addition, electricity, water and sewage connections have to be installed.The nearby wetlands and parks have been cleared and cleaned, employing about 50 people, with a view to employing another 170 people.According to Blue IQ, the purpose of the Kliptown project is to redevelop this traditional apartheid-style buffer zone township between Johannesburg and Soweto into a desirable and prosperous residential and commercial locality.The aim is to use Kliptown’s rich history, as the meeting ground of the Congress of the People and the birthplace of the Freedom Charter, as a tool to boost tourism and transform the fortunes of the settlement.The Congress of the PeopleThe Congress of the People was a dramatic affair held over two days and attended by 3 000 delegates from all over the country, including 320 Indian, 230 coloured and 112 white South Africans.It came about through the efforts of the Congress Movement, which was made up of the ANC, the SA Indian Congress, the Coloured People’s Organisation (later the SA Coloured People’s Congress), and the Congress of Democrats – white South Africans who identified with the movement.“When the great day was upon us,” wrote one participant afterwards, “we set out on our journey to Kliptown, many of us travelling hundreds of miles, wondering what was going to happen. For it was not as if we had been allowed to campaign in peace. Every meeting was watched by the special branch, our organisers were hounded and arrested, documents seized in raids.“Cars and lorries were stopped, contingents held back on one or other pretext until it was too late to continue their journey. Yet in spite of all the harassment and interference, about 3 000 delegates pierced the police cordon and arrived at Kliptown, where a patch of open ground had been prepared to seat the huge throng.“Just imagine the problems of organisation – 3 000 delegates had to be fed and housed. But from every point of view the Congress was an outstanding success.”The various clauses of the charter were introduced, there was an opportunity for impromptu speeches from delegates present, and the clauses were then read out and acclaimed by a show of hands. The Isitwalandwe/Seaparankoe – the highest honour awarded by the ANC – was awarded to Chief Albert Luthuli, president of the ANC, Yusuf Dadoo and Father Trevor Huddleston.Only Father Huddleston was able to accept his award at the Congress of the People, as Luthuli and Dadoo were under banning orders and unable to attend.In the afternoon of the second day proceedings were brought to an sudden close by the arrival of a large detachment of police bearing sten guns.They took over the speakers’ platform, confiscated all the documents they could find, announced that they had reason to believe that treason was being plotted, and took the names and addresses of all delegates before sending them home.But the Freedom Charter was signed a year later by Luthuli, and has remained the central document in ANC policy ever since.Sources:City of JohannesburgSouth African History OnlineAfrican National CongressBlue IQWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Brrrrrr!I consider myself a fairly cold tolerant person. I spend my early winters outside for many hours a day in the Christmas tree fields in all kinds of weather. I grow facial hair. I wear flannel, stocking caps and coveralls. I cut many cords of firewood and I really do truly enjoy winter, snow and cold weather. I handled (and even enjoyed) winter’s worst this season, but these chilly March winds and damp conditions made me yearn for warmer spring days ahead.It seems as March wears on each year, I am ready for spring to arrive just a little sooner. My daughter and I were discussing the continually unpleasant weather in early March. I passed along some sage wisdom from my youth: “They always used to say if March came in like a lion it would go out like a lamb.” But after multiple appearances of the early March lion, my daughter and I are still eagerly waiting on the late March lamb.I know we are not the only ones ready for spring. Enduring a seemingly endless March is longstanding Midwestern tradition. Here are some other March weather insights from year’s gone by from the Farmers’ Almanac to take note of as we head into spring:• A dry March and a wet May? Fill barns and bays with corn and hay.• As it rains in March, so it rains in June.• March winds and April showers? Bring forth May flowers.• So many mists in March you see, so many frosts in May will be.• Is’t on St. Joseph’s day (19th) clear,So follows a fertile year;Is’t on St. Mary’s (25th) bright and clear,Fertile is said to be the year.In a recent podcast, Joel Penhorwood shared the “The 11 seasons of Midwestern states” that he’d found online that may be more accurate for the Ohio weather we have been seeing in recent years. Here are the 11 seasons one can expect in Ohio: Winter, Fool’s Spring, Second Winter, Spring of Deception, Third Winter, Mud Season, Actual Spring, Summer, False Fall, Second Summer (1 week), and Actual Fall.In the estimation of our podcast group consisting of myself, Dale Minyo, Ty Higgins and Joel, we had Fool’s Spring back in February, which was followed by a fairly definitive Second Winter through early March. The wonderful sunshine and temperatures in the 50s for the Spring of Deception took place the last couple days of the Ohio Beef Expo and the day after (and to me this also always seems to coincide with some of the best of March Madness basketball watching). As I write this, temperatures have plummeted back into the 30s and there is a miserable mix of freezing rain and a bone-chilling breeze for a truly awful Third Winter, setting us up for yet another Mud Season.Looking forward, Jim Noel with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Weather Service Ohio River Forecast Center is predicting the coming weeks to be influenced by La Niña.“La Niña, cooling of the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean waters, remains in place and is classified as a weak La Niña. This means many other things will ultimately impact our weather and climate since it is weak, but it will contribute to our pattern. Indications are this could linger into spring and possibly summer before ending. Regardless of when it ends, it tends to impact weather patterns in the atmosphere longer, sometimes up to three to six months later. So there will be a contribution to our climate pattern into at least the planting season if not growing season,” Noel said in the OSU Extension CORN Newsletter. “December to February will go down as slightly warmer and wetter than normal. Even though we had really cold periods in there, the very warm second half of February wiped all the winter cold away. Snowfall will go down in many areas as not too far from normal, a bit above or below depending on where you live. The main snow message was the snow kept coming and going away during winter.”The cooler weather of March looks like it will spill over into April.“The outlook for April calls for cooler and wetter than normal conditions with the last freeze normal or slightly later than normal. Expect 4-inch soil temperatures to track normal or slightly behind schedule,” Noel said. “After a slightly cooler and wetter spring (delayed planting?), there is growing risk of a turn to hotter and drier, during the summer growing season. However, within that preferred pattern, there is the risk of complexes of storms to provide intense short-term heavy rainfall and floods within a drier than normal pattern.“What this all means is this year the risk will be elevated for extreme weather and climate shifts which challenge outdoor activities such as gardening and farming.”The strength and duration of the La Niña will also be worth watching as we move through the growing season.“Research NOAA/NWS/Ohio River Forecast Center has done with Ohio State University and published at the National Weather Association Annual Meeting in 2008 showed La Niña years tend to be some of the most challenging for crops in Ohio,” Noel said. “Often times corn and soybean yields end up being at or below trend line. Corn is impacted more than soybeans.”I only have a few days of firewood left at the house (I do have a couple of truckloads of cut and seasoned wood elsewhere that I was planning on saving for next year). Unless I dip into next year’s supply, it seems that if the cold weather hangs on much longer I’ll have to fire up the propane furnace. I truly love all of Ohio’s 11 seasons — yes, even Mud Season. They each have their own appeal. But, like most of you, I am eagerly awaiting warmer days, planting season and the triumphant arrival of Actual Spring.last_img read more

first_imgIf yesterday’s forecast was correct, today may be the hottest day of the year for much of New England—with temperatures rising into the mid-90s. This may not draw much sympathy from friends in Austin, Texas where today’s temperature may rise to 100 in this unusually hot summer, or in Phoenix, where it’s projected to warm up to 107 (well below the season high of 116), but for southern Vermont, the mid-90s is pretty hot.There are lots of things we can do to keep reasonably cool during hot weather. The easiest—but most expensive—is to turn on an air conditioner, which uses electricity (a lot of it) to cool down a space and remove moisture. There are other strategies that use a lot less energy, though they require some thought and common sense.The first priority should be to keep unwanted heat out of the house. This means closing windows during the hottest part of the day and using blinds, awnings, or other devices to keep direct sunlight out of windows—especially on the east and west side of a house.It seems counter-intuitive to close windows when it’s hot out. Don’t we want those breezes through the house? Breezes are great (more on that below), but if the air blowing in from outside is 10 degrees warmer than the air in your house, you’re likely to decrease, rather than increase, comfort. During hot weather, we close our house up during the day and open it up at night. It’s amazing how much difference that makes—though with a poorly insulated house it will make less difference, because more heat will enter through the walls and roof.As for keeping sunlight out, it’s best if you can block sunlight before it actually gets through your window—i.e., providing exterior shade in some way. Trees, vines, and other vegetation work really well for shading a house, though they also block views. Europeans are fond of exterior roller shades, which are highly effective, but rare here. If those aren’t options, interior blinds work reasonably well—especially if the outer surface is fairly reflective.Another important strategy is to limit your use of heat-producing lights, appliances, and other equipment during the day. If you need electric light, use compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) instead of incandescent light bulbs, which convert 90 percent of the electricity into heat, only 10 percent into light. Try to avoid too much cooking on hot days—summer is a great time to grill outdoors and eat more salads. Run your dishwasher at night. Turn off stereo equipment and televisions with a power strip when not in use—so you know the equipment is really off and not generating heat (and wasting electricity). In an office, turn off computer monitors and copiers when it’s not being used—unless equipment has an energy-saving “standby” mode.It may seem too obvious to warrant mentioning, but wear light clothing. Shorts, loose-fitting shirts, blouses, and dresses allow more air circulation next to your skin and will keep you cooler. Engineers actually have a measure for the insulating value of clothing and it’s impact on comfort—the “Clo” rating—that they use for modeling interior comfort conditions in buildings (a Clo of 0 corresponds to no clothing, and Clo of 1.0 for a business suit, with Clo values of different items of clothing additive). In a work environment, convince management to relax dress standards during hot weather and keep the air conditioning set point higher.Finally, use fans to keep air moving. Moving air evaporates moisture from our skin and keeps us cooler. A ceiling (paddle) fan works great, but portable fans—the kind that can be set to oscillate—can be even more effective, because you can direct the air flow to exactly where it’s needed. Note that these fans don’t actually cool the air in a room; what they do is raise your “comfort window” (the temperature at which you’ll be reasonably comfortable).Air flow can raise your comfort temperature by 5 degrees, or even more, so that if you’re normally comfortable at 73 degrees in still air, you could be just as comfortable at 78 or even 80 degrees. Turn off fans when you leave a room, since the fans use electricity and actually warm the room slightly from the motor’s waste heat. Window fans that are installed in an open window are best for use at night; during the day you’ll be bringing hot air in from outside.In the long run, it’s a great idea to improve the insulation levels and air tightness of your home. A highly insulated, tight house is much easier to keep cool on hot days. If you do use a standard air conditioner, the better insulated the house, the less work the air conditioner will have to do to maintain comfort. And if you don’t air condition, the better insulated the house, the more effectively these other measures will work.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_imgA far cry from the glorious days when she ran the final stretch to win the women’s 4x400m gold for India, Mandeep Kaur faced one the most ignominious days of her life as she broke down with a letter of her provisional suspension in her hands on Friday.Indian athletics has plunged into a deep crisis with five athletes testing positive for banned substances. Two of the athletes who flunked the dope tests were part of the Indian women’s 4x400m team that won the gold medals at the Delhi Commonwealth Games and Guangzhou Asian Games last year.Mandeep and Sini Jose were flooded with accolades after their miraculous show at the two multi- discipline events but with the Asian Athletics Championships just round the corner, their positive dope tests have been a hammer blow for Indian athletics.Jauna Murmu at the Guangzhou Asian Games.Jauna Murmu, who finished fourth in the 400m hurdles at the Asian Games, has her name on both the lists of positive samples that were taken by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA).Hari Krishnan (long jump), Tiana Mary Thomas (400m) and Sonia (shot put) were the other three athletes to have tested positive but none of them could not reached.Mandeep and Jauna were in the Capital on Friday at the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) office to appear for their first provisional hearing, which was conducted by an AFI panel headed by Arun Mendiratta.They will appear before the same panel on July 15. Mandeep claims she has no idea as to how the substance – methandienone – got into her body and said that the food supplements she has consumed may be responsible for the outcome.advertisementShe said she changed her vitamin supplements recently but she underwent dope tests a couple of times before the IAAF collected her sample on May 25 from National Institute of Sports (NIS) in Patiala.Mandeep Kaur at the Guangzhou Asian Games.”After the Asian Games, I got myself registered under the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) whereabouts clause. We have to give all our day-to-day details to the WADA. But it is shocking to me that my name has figured amongst the dope- tainted athletes,” said a teary-eyed Mandeep.”Never in my career have I used any banned substances and if there is any possibility, it could be because of the vitamin supplements that I have used,” she said.Mandeep said she will wait for the panel to come out with its verdict and is hopeful that she will come out clean.IAAF conducted dope tests on a few of the Indian athletes through an independent agency and Mandeep and Jauna were the only two athletes who flunked the tests.NADA also conducted dope tests on 59 athletes during the June 11-14 inter-state championships in Bangalore and five athletes, including Jauna failed the dope tests.Just as athletics was growing in popularity in the country, the positive dope cases have sent shock waves amongst the athletes and the administrators of the sport.While the role of the athletes during such cases is often questioned and they are subsequently penalised, the source of the problem is generally overlooked.In fact, in the last few years, majority of sports in India have been hit hard by the doping menace and the authorities have failed to arrest the situation.The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has already called for a judicial inquiry into the cases and also blamed the Sports Authority of India (SAI) coaches at the national camps for the rising dope cases.The 2012 Olympics are nearing and suspensions of top athletes has only reduced the country’s hopes of winning medals at the quadrennial extravaganza.Former athletes have demanded a thorough probe into the doping menace. Sprint queen PT Usha questioned the need to send the athletes to countries like Ukraine and blamed the exposure trips like these as one of the prominent reasons for the disaster.”We must have a thorough inquiry into this. Whether the AFI or the government, someone has to do it. Everybody involved should be nabbed,” said Usha.”I have been hearing for more than 10 years about the futility of sending athletes to Ukraine for training and other dirty things being done there. I think had the authorities been careful and acted on the allegations then the current mess would have been avoided.”  NADA ready to nail offenders Meanwhile, the National Anti-Doping Agency ( NADA) has formulated a six-point agenda to crack down on the doping menace wherein it will get customs involved with it to check what the athletes bring in while travelling into the country.advertisementNADA director general Rahul Bhatnagar made his concerns clear and said the agency will come up with more programmes to curb the positive doping cases among the Indian athletes.”We are obviously concerned about whatever has happened over the past couple of years and we have a plan ready to tackle the situation,” Bhatnagar told MAIL TODAY on Friday.”The athletes regularly go out of the country for exposure trips but nobody knows what they bring with them as far as food supplements are concerned. We will get the customs involved with us so that we can keep a check on what these athletes carry with them,” he noted.Besides, there are voices which have been claiming that it’s not just the athletes who are to be blamed but the coaches and other members of the support staff are also involved at some level and they get away easily.Bhatnagar said the NADA will approach the employers of the coaches to keep a strict vigilance on these coaches and act accordingly if any of their employees are found guilty.”So many times we get to hear that besides the athletes there are other people involved as well. But not much can be done so from now on we will ask the employers of the coaches to keep a strict watch on the coaches and anybody who is found to be doing anything wrong must be penalised.”He further said that the NADA will raid the rooms and camps of the athletes randomly so that the dope cheats can be nabbed there and then. There will also be an increase in the sample collection so that more number of athletes undergo the dope tests.Over the past few years, most number of positive dope cases have came from the national camps, raising a lot of questions on the activities within the training camps.Bhatnagar said that the athletes will be closely monitored during the camps. “There is a need to keep a vigilant eye on the activities of the athletes.We will see to it that where these athletes go while they are in the camp, the shops they normally visit and the products they buy from there,” he noted.last_img read more