Highs and lows from Sharks’ preseason opener vs. Ducks

first_imgSAN JOSE — The good news from the Sharks’ perspective following their 4-3 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night is that Aaron Dell solidified his spot as the backup to No. 1 goalie Martin Jones.The question remains, though, can one or more of the Sharks prospects make a serious challenge for a roster spot once the regular season begins next month?Tuesday’s preseason opener at SAP Center offered only a few hints. Timo Meier, Jonny Brodzinski and Joachim Blichfeld all scored, and Ryan …last_img read more

A bit of South Africa in London

first_imgOlympic and Paralympic athletes, their families, friends and supporters, and all South Africans will find a home away from home at the Ekhaya Hospitality Centre in Belvedere Road, London.Team South Africa, as well as those citizens going to London to show their support, will be welcomed at the Ekhaya Hospitality Centre, a home away from home for the duration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.Ekhaya Hospitality Centre will be run by a host of national government departments during the sporting spectacular – Sport and Recreation, Arts and Culture, Trade and Industry, International Relations and Co-operation, and Tourism – in partnership with South African Tourism and Brand South Africa.Noluthando Ngendane, Brand South Africa’s public relations officer, explains: “The Ekhaya Hospitality Centre has been created as a base for Team South Africa, its sportsmen and women, their friends and families and, of course, their supporters to gather.”But it is more than that: “It is a place where the spirit of South Africa comes alive,” she adds. Supporters at the New Zealand Ekhaya during the 2011 Rugby World Cup, show their patriotic spirit.(Images: Ekhaya Hospitality Centre) Facilities at the centre will include wi-fi and internet connectivity, meeting rooms, a media and business centre, a business lounge, function facilities, full coverage of all sports events, and a South Africa bar.Ngendane says: “South African businessmen and women can use the facilities to network and showcase the success stories of our beautiful country to visitors from abroad and the rest of Africa.”The 30th Summer Olympics begin on Friday, 27 July and end on Sunday, 12 August.Ekhaya Centre is at Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road, London. It will be officially opened and closed for the Olympics from 26 July to 12 August and for the Paralympics from 28 August to 9 September.Home away from homeEkhaya is a hospitality programme at overseas events presented by the Department of Sport and Recreation in collaboration with partner organisations.“Ekhaya Hospitality Centre is also intended to unite South Africans across race, gender, culture, geographical location, social status and class through sport, thereby promoting social solidarity and common citizenship,” the department notes.South Africa is sending a team of 125 athletes to the Summer Games, with 13 names added to the initial 112 published in June. Blade runner Oscar Pistorius is among them. He will be making history as the first double amputee to compete in the Games. Pistorius will be running in the 4 x 400m relay with Willem de Beer, Ofentse Mogawane and Shaun de Jager.Among other activities, the Ekhaya programme will feature a daily cultural exhibition; Olympic and Paralympic events broadcast on big screens; meetings for London-based local businesses to network; and celebratory events for Team SA.The department describes the Ekhaya Centre as “a home away from home” that provides an opportunity to:All South Africans, at home and abroad, are encouraged to wear their supporters T-shirts on Fridays to show their support for Team SA.Athletes’ villageDubbed Victory Park, the athletes’ village in Stratford, East London, has a uniquely British feel. It’s open for business from 16 July, housing some 17 000 Olympic athletes, 6 000 Paralympians and officials from 203 nations.It covers 36 hectares, with comfortable living quarters and large areas of open space. Competitors dine in a huge 225m x 80m tent, which is large enough to accommodate about 100 double-decker buses.This facility, which can seat 5 500 at a time, is open 24 hours a day. The menu includes popular British staples such as fish and chips, as well as Asian and halaal food. There is also a McDonald’s on site.The social hub of the village is a pub called the Globe Centre which, while it boasts 10 pool tables, live music and karaoke, will not serve a drop of alcohol. After the Olympics, the village will be converted into residential accommodation.Source: Mediaclublast_img read more

15-member NC delegation meets Farooq, Omar Abdullah

first_imgIn the first major political development post withdrawal of special status to Jammu and Kashmir, a 15-member National Conference delegation on Sunday met detained party leaders Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah in Srinagar.The delegation discussed developments in the State and upcoming local body polls during the separate meetings with the two leaders. The Jammu and Kashmir government had given permission to the delegation to meet the leaders.The delegation led by Jammu’s provincial chief of the party Davinder Singh Rana met former chief Minister Omar Abdullah at Hari Nivas for little over 30 minutes.Also Read  In case of NC, even if we want to contest the BDC elections, the 380 panchayats that exist, the mandate has to be signed by the party president who has been unfortunately detained under the PSA, he said.The NC leader said the party’s working committee would decide on the future course of action whenever the party leaders including the NC president and vice-president would be released.“Let them be released, then the working committee of the party will meet and discuss and then we will formulate a strategy for the future,” Mr. Rana said when questioned about the party’s future strategy. India slams Turkey, Malaysia remarks on Jammu and Kashmir Jammu traders for “riders” on land purchase, investments by outsiders  He said the party, which has a legacy, history and a chequered track record, was of unanimous view that it would continue to strive for the welfare of the people and shall continue to work for communal harmony, brotherhood, togetherness and keep the secular fabric of the state shining.On a question about the party’s participation in block development committee elections, he said, “See there is a complete lockdown. If the political process has to start then these members have to be released.Mr. Rana said,”After restrictions on political leaders in Jammu were removed, we held a meeting in which it was decided that we will approach governor (S P Malik) to seek his permission to have an audience with the president and the vice president of the party”.“We are happy they are both well and in high spirits. Of course, they are pained and anguished about developments, particularly lockdown of the people,” he said.Asked about the party’s stand on the upcoming Block Development Council (BDC) elections, Mr. Rana said for any political process to start in the state, the mainstream political leaders should be released first.Also Read  This was the first meeting of Mr. Omar with a party delegation after he was detained on August 5, a day when the Centre announced abrogation of special status to the state under Article 370.Mr. Omar, who was sporting a beard, was seen clicking a selfie with party leaders.The delegation then drove to Farooq Abdullah’s residence.Emerging after the meeting, Mr. Rana told reporters that for any political process to begin, the leaders of the party need to be released.There is “anguish about developments particularly about lockdown of the people and we, as a party, appeal that the political process to start and democracy to revive in Jammu and Kashmir political detenues anywhere and everywhere, whether from mainstream political parties or otherwise who have no criminal record, may be released to initiate the process and the hearts and minds of the people of Jammu and Kashmir are won,” he said.Also Read National Conference delegation to meet Farooq and Omar todaylast_img read more

Officials complete tour of damage at HJ Robinson school resumes Monday Feb

first_img Education Minister tours schools this week Education Minister touts new ICT platform for Public Schools Ministry of Education introduces pilot program Related Items:akierra missick, HJ robinson high school, school resume Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 04 Feb 2016 – A report from the Public Works Department is expected by the end of the week after inspection on Wednesday of the damage at the HJ Robinson High school; a fire gutted the top floor of the Administration Block. The assessment led by the Deputy Premier, Hon Akierra Missick was emotional and the Education Minister said her heart goes out to all directly affected by the January 29th fire. Along with furniture and fixtures, computers and the actual structure being damaged – years and years of students’ records were lost in the blaze which erupted around 3am. HJ did not reopen this morning; instead the advice is for school to resume for the 350 students on Monday February 8, 2016. The structural report to come from Public Works will say what is needed for the design and costing; then the job will go to tender. Minister Missick reiterated that government is committed to begin reconstruction as soon as possible; the DP also cautioned, however, that it took some time to amass these structural and educational assets of the Helena Jones Robinson High school; one of the country’s oldest institutions.last_img read more

Survey Professionals Not Replacing Print With Digital

first_imgThe survey was conducted between September 2010 and May 2011, generating 2,095 responses. This week alone, Ziff Davis Enterprise announced it will replace its three remaining print magazines with digital editions in 2012 and Hanley Wood president and CEO Frank Anton indicated that more magazine closures are likely in his organization, yet a new study from Readex Research suggests that the group of professionals it surveyed are still heavily invested in print (even if that includes printing out a digital format). While 77 percent of respondents say they use search engines regularly in their work, 74 percent say they use print editions of magazines and e-newsletters. Websites were the third most used media (55 percent) with digital editions close behind (54 percent). Other regular media usage included webinars, podcasts and video (49 percent), conferences/trade shows/industry events (43 percent) and websites of suppliers vendors (36 percent). Just 30 percent of respondents say they regularly use social media for work. “With many advertisers feeling they have to ‘place their bets’ with certain media offerings, it became clear that helping publishers illustrate how the market uses media would help their sales efforts,” says Steve Blom, director of sales and marketing at Readex Research. The results help publishers prove to advertisers-whose ideas regarding usage may be terribly wrong-that professionals haven’t replaced one media form with another.” last_img read more

Indigenous icon Morales losing grounds among native people

first_imgPeople sit in front of signs against Bolivian President Evo Morales` bid for re-election in 2019 in La Paz. Photo: ReutersIn 12 years as president of South America’s poorest country, Evo Morales has accomplished many of the goals he set forth when he became the first indigenous person to lead Bolivia.The 58-year-old leftist and former coca farmer has presided over an economy that has grown by an annual average of 4.6 percent since he took office, more than twice the rate for all of Latin America.After nationalizing the country’s bounteous natural gas reserves, he pursued market-friendly economic policies and invested export revenue in social programs that helped lift more than two million people, nearly a fifth of the population, from poverty.With a new constitution in 2009, he even changed the name of the country from the Republic of Bolivia to the Plurinational State of Bolivia, reflecting diverse ethnicities that for centuries had felt like second-class citizens.For Bolivia’s more than 4 million indigenous people, support for Morales appeared to pay off. The poverty rate dropped from 59.9 percent in 2006 to 36.4 percent last year. Access for indigenous communities to electricity, sewerage and water service all grew, according to the World Bank. Here in Charagua, in the country’s remote southern lowlands, Guarani people recently dissolved the local municipality and launched Bolivia’s first experiment in autonomous government. The move, made possible by the new constitution, is meant to replace distant, homogenous rule with policies tailored to the local, indigenous reality. Yet here and across Bolivia, indigenous people are increasingly turning against Evo, as the poncho-wearing Morales is known. The dissatisfaction – over everything from proposed development of indigenous lands to his successful gambit to end term limits – is marring what had been widespread acclaim for a leader emblematic to first peoples’ movements worldwide.   “His way of thinking and his actions aren’t indigenous,” said Gualberto Cusi, a former judge and ethnic Aymara, an influential Andean tribe from which Morales himself also hails. Cusi, who was barred from the Constitutional Court by Congress last year after disagreements with the government, now leads a group of indigenous dissidents. Many Aymara have flourished under Morales’ rule. Building upon a long history selling textiles along Lake Titicaca, they now thrive in commerce, like importing Chinese electronics they sell as far afield as the Amazon rainforest.  But even they are increasingly fed up. “He should go,” said Joaquin Quispe, a cook whose Aymara family moved from Bolivia’s interior to El Alto, a city where a swelling indigenous influx in recent years made it outgrow nearby La Paz, the country’s administrative center.What particularly bothers some are moves by Morales, using supporters in Congress and the judiciary, to consolidate power.Although his own 2009 constitution set a limit of two five-year terms, Morales asked voters in a 2016 referendum to let him run again in 2019.When they said no, Morales convinced the Constitutional Court to let him anyway. The court, consisting of jurists nominated by Congressional allies, ruled that term limits are a violation of his “human rights.” Morales’ spokeswoman, Gisela Lopez, declined to make the president available for an interview and didn’t respond to requests for comment for this story. A close ally, former Senate President Jose “Gringo” Gonzales, said Morales hasn’t abandoned indigenous peoples, but has evolved as president to represent and work with everyone.  “He can sit for one minute with a businessman and the next with a worker,” said Gonzales, who stepped down from the Senate last week for undisclosed reasons. “He still has the humility and simplicity that were highlighted when he took office.”Morales is now the longest consecutively serving head of state in the Americas. He is the sole leader remaining from a wave of leftists, including Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil, who dominated Latin American politics early this century.His name, which graces schools, stadiums, and cultural centers, is increasingly voiced in street protests and scrawled in graffiti. All over the divided country, “Bolivia said no!” sprayings compete with ”Evo Yes!” signs painted by supporters of his party, Movement Toward Socialism, or MAS.Morales won’t go before voters again until late next year. And the opposition remains fragmented, meaning no other leader in Bolivia as yet compares in political stature.Still, in a July poll commissioned by newspaper Pagina Siete, support for the president among likely voters fell to 27 percent from 31 percent last November. A survey by pollster Ipsos this week showed a similar level of support, at 29 percent of likely voters, with a six-point drop over the past year in his approval rating, now at 43 percent.Over the past eight months, Reuters traveled across Bolivia to better understand the waning support for the president among indigenous peoples. From his native Altiplano, the high, arid plateau home to the Aymara, to gas-rich lowlands, where the government has authorized extraction on indigenous lands, many native Bolivians say they no longer feel represented by Morales.“A NEW ERA”For many, the years following Morales’s 2005 election were marked by jubilation and hope.Before his official inauguration in January 2006, Aymara “maestros,” or ritual leaders, held their own ceremony at the pre-Incan site of Tiwanaku, west of La Paz. Morales, in a traditional red tunic, climbed the Akapana pyramid, where shamans presided over a fire ritual and presented him with a staff symbolizing his right to lead the assembled tribes.“Today begins a new era for the native peoples of the world,” Morales said. Tens of thousands of indigenous activists, along with native delegations from as far away as Chile and the United States, cheered.Within months, he began asserting his plans to “decolonize” Bolivia and give locals more voice in government and a greater share of national wealth. On May 1, Labor Day, he ordered troops to occupy natural gas fields and nationalized all hydrocarbons.“The time has come, the longed-for day, a historic day for Bolivia to retake absolute control of our natural resources,” he said in a speech while surrounded by soldiers at an oil field operated by Petroleo Brasileiro, or Petrobras, the Brazilian energy company.Morales began renegotiating energy contracts for a bigger share of the profits, a move that ultimately many companies agreed to. The negotiations earned him plaudits from supporters and boosted government revenues at a time when gas prices were soaring.With the windfalls, Morales enacted measures including school vouchers for kids and pensions for workers who had never held formal employment.For the day-to-day business of governance, Morales appointed women, indigenous peoples and labor leaders to his cabinet. He embraced grass-roots organizations and forged a so-called “Unity Pact,” comprising leaders of Andean, lowland and Amazon tribes. Together, they helped draft the new constitution, approved by 60 percent of Bolivians in a 2009 referendum. That year, in a landslide, Morales won a second term.Tensions with indigenous groups first emerged in 2011.  Enjoying what by then was steadily improving economic growth, Morales proposed a 300-kilometer road through the Isiboro Secure Indigenous Territory, or Tipnis, a Jamaica-sized refuge in the Amazon. The highway, Morales argued, was necessary to bring basic services to remote tribes.But native groups and environmentalists were enraged.The road, they argued, more likely would facilitate drug trafficking, illegal logging and other unwanted activity. Protesters marched for more than a month, during which police and demonstrators clashed in clouds of tear gas and flurries of rubber bullets. “When Evo took office we thought indigenous people would never have to march again,” said Adolfo Chavez, a native Tacana and former president of The Confederation of Indigenous People of Bolivia, or Cidob, a grouping of 34 lowland tribes.The marching succeeded, at least for a time. That September, Morales halted work on the road for further study. But relations with some native groups were damaged.Two major indigenous rights organizations, Cidob and The National Council of Ayllus and Markas of Qullasuyu, left the Unity Pact. Since then, the split has widened into divisions that fall along political lines, not rivalries among Bolivia’s three dozen ethnicities.Soon, government supporters began to pressure both groups, using MAS loyalists to stage what some members described as coups within the organizations. Politics and loyalty to Morales began to matter more than the indigenous cause, they said.  Cidob leader Chavez was voted out in 2012. Chavez, who left Bolivia and now lives in Peru, says he was a victim of political persecution for leading the Tipnis demonstrations. Pedro Vare, Cidob’s current leader, in local media has continued to back Morales and criticize the protesters. Reuters was unable to reach Vare for an interview.One rainy evening in December 2013, MAS activists broke down the door of the two-story La Paz headquarters of Conamaq, as the other indigenous rights group is known. Once inside, they forced members, some of whom were visiting La Paz from remote regions and living there during their stay, to leave.“We had nowhere to go,” recalls Cristobal Salles, an Aymara and Quechua speaker who was a Conamaq councilman and now farms potatoes.  Dissent at both groups vanished.Hilarion Mamani, a 41-year-old  Quechua who led the Conamaq takeover, told Reuters a purge had been necessary. Using a charge long wielded against opponents by some leftists in Latin America, Mamani said previous leaders were acting on behalf of “North American imperialists.” Now, he added, “there are no divisions.”That’s because most of the previous members went on to form  dissident indigenous groups. Those groups have campaigned to enforce presidential term limits and against renewed efforts to build the Tipnis road and other projects on native lands.  In 2014, Morales began his sustained effort to stay in power.Despite the constitutional limit of two terms, Morales argued that his first administration shouldn’t be counted because he had been elected under a previous constitution. In the Constitutional Court, by then composed mostly of judges nominated by allies of Morales in Congress, he found a sympathetic audience.Except for one justice – Cusi, the fellow Aymara who at that time sat on the court. Cusi sought a strict interpretation of the charter and argued against another term. But the other judges prevailed. Morales ran for re-election and, with 60 percent of the vote, won a third term starting in January 2015. Before long, relations with native groups grew worse still.  In February 2015, a government comptroller discovered a $10 million shortfall in a state fund for indigenous projects, finding records of initiatives that had been funded, but never carried out.  Two of Morales’ former rural development ministers were convicted of misusing public funds and served brief jail terms.Some onetime Morales supporters were outraged. “It seems corruption has been institutionalized,” Edwin Prada, a lawyer and former advisor to Conamaq, said in an interview.Morales in public comments has said the fund was poorly run. Reuters couldn’t reach either of the two former ministers for comment.That year, natural gas prices fell from a peak in 2014. The country’s economy, while still healthier than that of many neighbors, cooled.Criticism of Morales and his party grew.   “LORD KING EVO MORALES”In  March 2015, residents of El Alto, formerly a bastion of Morales support, handed MAS its first big electoral defeat. They voted out the city’s MAS mayor, who had polarized local voters because of municipal spending, and elected Soledad Chapeton, an Aymara from a center-right party who became the city’s first female mayor.Morales, meanwhile, kept working to prolong his own mandate – first through the failed referendum and then through another plea to the Constitutional Court. By last year, the court was firmly allied with Morales.After opposing other government initiatives, Cusi, the Aymara judge, was impeached by the Senate. The day before the May 2017 ruling, Cusi donned chains in front of government headquarters and scoffed at what he considered his foregone ouster. “Lord King Evo Morales,” he said before television cameras, “order your puppet senators to condemn me.”  Officially, Cusi was accused of failing to fulfill duties. But many government critics called his removal political.“They found a pretext to oust me,” Cusi told Reuters. Now the head of a Conamaq breakaway group, Cusi recently announced he would seek the office of attorney general.With the go-ahead to pursue a fourth term, Morales stoked even more ire.Early last year, students at the Public University of El Alto, a bastion of political activism, began demonstrating for more educational funding. The ruling on term limits sparked further discontent, fueling demonstrations that continued into this year.In a clash with police, one student died. Police said the student, Jonathan Quispe, was killed when students hurled marbles. University officials said he was shot by police. Reuters couldn’t independently determine what led to Quispe’s death.Last August, Congress approved a project to restart the Tipnis highway. Other construction projects are also drawing fire.At a cost to taxpayers of $7 million, Morales last year inaugurated a three-wing museum with large modern windows in Orinoca, the remote Altiplano town where he grew up herding llamas. The “Museum of the Democratic and Cultural Revolution” tells Bolivia’s recent history through Morales’ own achievements.This month, Morales presided over the opening of a new 28-floor presidential palace in La Paz. He calls the $34 million building “the big house of the people.”The projects, some critics say, are further proof Morales lost touch. “He always said he would consult the people,” said Salles, the former Conamaq leader. “Now he doesn’t.”In Charagua, the lowland Guarani region, residents are struggling with autonomy. One recent afternoon, locals at a school auditorium hashed through problems now plaguing their experiment, the first of three autonomous regions approved by voters recently.Charagua, roughly the size of Panama, in the 1930s was the site of successful resistance against Paraguayan invaders who sought to seize area gas reserves. Despite having gas, however, Charagua remains poor, accessible only by dirt roads. The regional budget, financed in part by La Paz, remains the roughly $4.5 million it was before autonomy. But locals say the national government has all but abandoned them otherwise.“We are worse than before,” said one resident who identified himself as Victor before storming out of the auditorium. “I want a recall on this autonomy.”Reuters was unable to reach the Morales cabinet official in charge of indigenous autonomy.Guarani leaders there said they, too, are unhappy. Ramiro Lucas, a 44-year-old leader of a southern portion of Charagua, lamented that the region recently had to halt school breakfasts because money was needed for health centers. “Now we have land, but what good is that if we don’t have resources?” he told Reuters.last_img