High-powered Tigers set to make Super League statement

first_imgGuided by Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 standout, batsman Andre McCarthy, as well as rookie representatives, leg-spinner Damion Jacobs and batsman Brandon King, the Eastern Tigers will seek to make a winning start to the new two-day franchise-based JCA Super League when they take on the Western Warriors in the opening round of at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium today. A combination of players largely stemming from Melbourne and Kingston Cricket Clubs, which participated in the recent traditional two-day Senior Cup, Eastern Tigers, coached by Robert Haynes, will enter the contest as slight favourites. This is based primarily on the cadre of West Indies ‘A’ and Jamaica representatives in their line-up. In addition to McCarthy and Jacobs, current members of the West Indies ‘A’ team, they also boast national players, captain Nikita Miller, all-rounder Derval Green, wicketkeeper Horace Miller, and fast bowlers Oshane Thomas and Keno Wallace. “It should be an exciting matchup as we know that the Warriors does have quality players, especially in their bowling,” said Tigers assistant coach, Andrew Richardson. “But all in all we have a good all-round team not just fast bowlers, but in every other department and are looking to do well.” Consisting of West Indies, West Indies ‘A’ and national players, as well, the Western Warriors, in the meanwhile, will be hoping to pull off an upset. Coached by Phillip Service and possessing players from Senior Cup champion outfit, the Jamaica Defence Force, Western Warriors will be led in their batting by out-of-favour West Indies batsman, Assad Fudadin, national batsman Jermaine Harrison and Rasheed Outar. Their bowling, in the meantime, will have sidelined West Indies fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell and West Indies ‘A’ fast bowler Reynard Leveridge leading their pace attack, and national left-arm spinner Dennis Bulli leading the spin equivalent.’ “It’s the first game of the season so we are looking forward to a very positive start,” said Warriors coach, Phillip Service. “It is not what is on the paper, it is not about name players, but it is what you do on the day, and we intend to play the best cricket on the day,” he declared. In other matches, Southern Seals will play Central Titans at Treasure Beach Sports Complex in St Elizabeth, and Nothern Panthers take on Combined Universities and Colleges at GC Foster College. Matches are slated to begin at 10 a.m. each day.last_img read more

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LOMBARDI PITCHES NO-HITTER AS BLUES SWEEP LIONS

first_img Second-year pitcher Luca Lombardi pitched a complete game, seven-inning no-hitter in leading the Varsity Blues baseball team to a dominant 20-0 victory over the York Lions on Sunday afternoon.The Blues also defeated the Lions 14-1 in Game 2 of the day.Box Score 1Box Score 2TORONTO STATS: Lombardi struck out five in the complete-game no-hitter in Game 1. Michael Deluca led the Blues with four hits and six RBI, while Dorian Kemp had two hits and three RBI in the win.Gabriel Nakonechny led the Blues with four hits and two RBI in Game 2, while Mark Douris had three hits and three RBI in the victory.UP NEXT: The Blues are back in action next Sunday, September 29 as they host Laurentian and Waterloo at Dan Lang Field.    For more information, scores and highlights on your favourite U of T athletes and teams, please visit www.varsityblues.ca. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for the latest and greatest in Varsity Blues intercollegiate athletics. Print Friendly Version Story Linkslast_img read more

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Supervisors to blame for MLK mess

first_imgDuring the entire dreary saga of Martin Luther King-Harbor Hospital, formerly King-Drew Medical Center, L.A. County Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke repeatedly vowed that King would close over her dead body. It was eye-grabbing hyperbole, but it was also a sincere, impassioned plea to keep the embattled hospital open. Now that King is in its final death throes, the inevitable hunt for culprits to blame is on. But that hunt need go no further than the supervisors themselves. Los Angeles supervisors squandered millions of taxpayer dollars on wasteful studies and ineffectual private management consultants. And they held perfunctory hearings that rehashed the same problems. All the while, they bitterly complained about King’s rotten management — a management that they approved — and did little to hold those officials accountable. When public furor rose to fever pitch over King’s lapses, the supervisors’ only answer was to jettison staff and ax entire departments. But none of this was necessary. The U.S. Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services threatened to yank more than $200 million in funds from King hospital last September for deficiencies that were imminently correctable: Two employees didn’t wash their hands before they handled food and treated employees, an employee botched the dosage of medication, a pump in the intensive care unit wasn’t properly cleaned and maintained. The centers also called King on the carpet for doctor and nurse training as well as emergency-room snafus. None of this was a surprise to the supervisors. The feds and the L.A. County Department of Health Services cited virtually the same problems in separate reports in the two years before. At that point, the supervisors could and should have undertaken a crash operation to rid the hospital of problem employees, implemented a staff-retraining program and upgraded the faulty medical equipment. The supervisors could have appealed the decision to defund and/or apply for reinstatement. They rejected that. And it was a big mistake. As it turned out, the feds still demanded they make the corrections in order to get federal funds to run a downsized King, and to protect then-Harbor General’s accreditation. That was necessary because the supervisors grafted King’s operations onto Harbor Hospital. But this wasn’t done. And the dangling and unanswered question is, why wasn’t it? Since the supervisors have never satisfactorily answered that question, others have filled in the blank with all sorts of wild and wooly inflammatory rumors. The supervisors, they say, are in cahoots with private developers to grab the land and build pricey condos or turn it into a chic, for-profit hospital that caters to the rich. Others claim the failure is part of a genocidal plot to get rid of poor blacks and Latinos. Still others claim that it will be plowed under and turned into an industrial development park. It’s nutty, loose talk, but in the absence of an explanation from the supervisors that makes any sense, the screwball theories will continue to fly. The far more likely answer is a lackluster mix of inattention, indifference and ineptness on the supervisors’ part. The thousands who rely on King hospital for basic health care and emergency services will pay a dear and a steep price for the supervisors’ failure to deal with very correctable problems. And they won’t be the only ones. So will county taxpayers. The embattled emergency room that drew national attention and rage after the botched death of Edith Rodriguez treats nearly 1,000 patients a week. Those patients aren’t going to magically stop getting sick or shot or having accidents. They’ll have to go somewhere for treatment. Ultimately, taxpayers will have to foot the bill for those thousands of sick and medically indigent the county will dump into emergency and treatment rooms at private hospitals. Much of the media painted a bleak Dickensian picture of King hospital as a filthy, crumbling facility where patients died on the operating table, while callous, untrained, incompetent staffers routinely ignored them. This was grossly exaggerated. The hospital undeniably had big problems, but so do many other hospitals, even the well-heeled. And they manage to solve them. That it will be shuttered for deficiencies that the supervisors could have corrected is disgraceful. The supervisors have a lot to answer for on this one.— Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst and frequent contributor to the Daily News. He blogs at insidesocal.com/friendlyfire. 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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Step into MTA driver’s shoes

first_img“C’mon, go for it.” Suddenly, the 380-horsepower engine kicks in, and we’re rocketing forward. Six cylinders pounding away, the Rapid bus hurtles along, with me behind the wheel, knuckles white and palms clammy. This is faster than I’ve ever driven, harder than I’ve ever pushed a machine. Figuring that we must be going at least 100 mph, I glance at the speedometer. If I’m going to crash a $633,000 bus, I want to be able to tell the investigators that it was the MTA that made me drive 120 mph into a barricade. The speedo reads 15. Fifteen lousy miles per hour. Pretty soon it’s 20, and Les decides we’ve had enough. “All right, let’s ease off the gas and take this turn nice and slow.” SANTA ANITA RACETRACK PARKING LOT – The nose of the 60-foot behemoth is pointed right at the fence and Les Vance calls for more gas. “Step on it,” he grins. “Really open ‘er up.” Les is a professional bus operator, highly trained and employed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. I figure he knows what he’s talking about and press my boot lightly on the Metro Liner’s heavy accelerator. The fence looks impossibly close as the articulated bus picks up speed. Les shakes his head. So went my inauspicious debut as a bus driver. Friday morning, gearing up for its Metro Annual Bus Roadeo, the MTA turned over the keys to its massive coaches to members of the media and invited us to take them for a spin. In that I didn’t actually crash the bus, I’d rate myself as a success. Compared with a real driver, however, my grade plunges considerably. The Roadeo, now in its 31st year, is sort of like the Wimbledon of the transit world. To qualify, a driver must have a spotless record for a year. If drivers ding so much as a tree limb, they’re out of contention. Out of 4,600 MTA operators, only 1,200 made the cut. Eleven three-member crews of mechanics also compete, trying to start up busted engines in under seven minutes, repairing flighty air conditioners and broken brakes. The holy grail for a driver is a perfect score of 650 points, though most good operators manage in the 550-560 range. For the past several weeks, the 1,200 aspirants have tried their luck snaking through the course that aims to mimic the hardest conditions they’d find on the street. They have seven minutes to complete the 11-obstacle course, piloting 40-foot-long buses through left turns, right turns and a devilish serpentine slalom. They carefully guide the craft through a set of tennis balls only inches wider than the bus’s wheels and tackle something they’re told to almost never do on the streets: the wicked reverse turn, aided only by side-view mirrors. Hit a pylon, nick a cone, smack a barrel, the 35-judge panel docks points. At the end, it inspects your uniform to ensure that you’re neat, as well as swift. The top 40 qualifiers start their engines today. The winner gets a $300 gift card, a coveted belt buckle and a trip to the internationals, held next May in Nashville. Transit operations supervisor Frank Cecere serves as the overseer, varying the course from year to year to ensure that no returning competitor has an edge. He’s a tough-looking man with a Hawaiian-print shirt emblazoned with buses. He started driving the old General Motors Flex bus back in ’74, back when there was no power steering, no air conditioning and no electronics. He’s so hard-core, he survived a brick to the face on a Glendora route. It broke his jaw, but he was soon back to work. Long ago, he took part in the first-ever Roadeo, back when they didn’t let the drivers practice in advance. “They just blew the whistle and said: Go!” he said. “I was running over cones, bumping everywhere. Back then, when you finished, they just gave you a can of Coke and said thanks. I told my wife that I’d never do it again, but little did I know, I’d end up running it for 15 years.” This year’s favorite is Sam Morales, a downtown driver with near-mythic skills on the course. In the past 10 years, he’s notched two first- and eight second-place finishes. After the preliminary heats, this Babe Ruth of bus driving stands in first place and is expected to be a top contender. To warm us up to the course, Cecere fires up a 40-foot bus like the one in which Morales will compete. He talks Andy, our extraordinarily brave photographer, and me through the controls and nuances, and we each take a lap around the course. Things are going well enough until the end, when I plow through a series of barrels that stand in for pedestrians. Confidence unshaken, I ask for the Slow Beast. This is the big daddy, the articulated bus driven on the Orange and Metro Rapid lines. Five times the length of my car, fueled by compressed natural gas, it’s immense. Even the rock stars of the bus world such as Morales don’t use this in competition, but I think I can handle it. So we step onto Vance’s bus and learn the ropes. Andy wisely stands aside, and I settle into the comfortably cushioned seat. Mercedes has nothing on this baby: A/C, back-up cameras, electronic mirrors, the thing rides like a dream. Which is a nice distraction, of course, from the fact that you’re strapped to 60 feet of rolling automotive fear. Les is very calm throughout as we take some practice runs, telling me when to turn, when to speed up and when to lay off. He takes me on that demon speed run, and I learn that though the bus feels like it’s going very fast, it’s really just crawling along. And so we wind our way through, skipping the harder obstacles but trying a few. On the serpentine, I avoid the cones with the front of the bus, which makes me feel like a pro. I kill them, however, with the middle and Les has to jump off and set them right. Oh, how glad I am, that that wasn’t Mrs. Fernandez beneath my middle wheels, or some kid on a bicycle. But after a while, I get into the groove and make some turns one-handed. I check the mirrors like a pro and learn where the wheels would go. I even made it through a fake bus stop without squashing any more cones. “Not too bad for a first-time operator,” Les tells me. “Not too bad at all.” I feel great, hop into my Honda Civic and drive away. I’m in my element now. I know everything about this car, where to go and how to drive it. No more trailers lugging behind me, no more weird engines, no more crazy mirrors. Pulling into the parking lot to write my story, I hit the edge of the garage. Twice. brent.hopkins@dailynews.com (818) 713-3738160Want 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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Klopp defends Reds’ performances and comments on Man United-Liverpool combined XI

first_img PEP TALK Cardiff vs Sheffield Wednesday (Friday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2Everton vs West Ham (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORTBlackburn vs Huddersfield (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2Tottenham vs Watford (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2Crystal Palace vs Man City (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORTWigan vs Nottingham Forest (Sunday, 2pm) – talkSPORT 2 Spurs investigation into alleged racial abuse of Rudiger is so far ‘inconclusive’ “We haven’t relied on winning a game without performing as the boys have performed so far. It’s about making the next steps and you can’t do that during the summer when the boys aren’t there.“We have to do it in the season, that’s what we are doing at the moment.“The next challenge is a really good opponent in a really difficult situation.”Klopp also discussed other topics during his pre-Manchester United press conference, and you can read the best bits, below…On injuries“Alisson, Joel Matip and Mohamed Salah are looking better. How good, we will have to see. Two more sessions to come, then we have to make decisions. Nothing fixed yet.”On Liverpool’s record at Old Trafford“I’m quite optimistic we have a chance. History in this case is not really important but it gives a sign that we like to create and use atmosphere in our stadium, and Old Trafford is not too bad as well in that department.”On facing United“United have said we are the perfect opponent. I don’t think there are a lot of teams who would love to play us at the moment, United look the only team to want to play us at the moment and we have to make sure it’s a misunderstanding. But I’d prepare it in the same way. rookie error Jurgen Klopp has defended his Liverpool side after criticism of their recent performances.The Reds have won all eight of their matches so far to sit top of the Premier League table, though some have doubted their title credentials given the less than convincing manner in which they’ve claimed victory on occasion.They endured a few scares just prior to the recent international break, and could consider themselves lucky to still have a 100 per cent league record. Check out all the live commentaries coming up across the talkSPORT network this week Chelsea came so close to grabbing a draw with Klopp’s side when the Reds visited Stamford Bridge, while they only managed to beat Sheffield United due to a huge mistake from Blades goalkeeper Dean Henderson.Their final match before the break ended in a 2-1 defeat of Leicester, with the winning goal coming from the penalty spot in the dying seconds of injury time.These narrow escapes do not bother Klopp, however, as he knows his team need to play better, but insists performances have hardly been that bad.“I didn’t understand it when people said we didn’t deserve to win vs Leicester,” Klopp told a press conference. “It was 100 per cent a Liverpool game. It wasn’t lucky.“Can we play better? Of course. But you have to play as good as you can in the moment. 1 Pep Guardiola gives Man City injury update and talks Christmas schedule stalemate “How much do I enjoy these type of occasions? A lot! It’s the salt in the soup.“We have three or four days to prepare for the game. We will fight 100 per cent but we have to play football as well. That’s all I’m concerned about, a mix between outstanding attitude and really great football.“I expect all the speed they have. I expect [Anthony] Martial and [Marcus] Rashford [to play]. United have had a lot of injuries to really decisive players. Nobody can play the same kind of football when five or six of first-teamers are out. That will change.“You need momentum in a game and a season and at the moment United don’t have it. We respect them as the best Man United we could face and not the Man United people are speaking of during the week.”On the media focus on the match and that combined XI“On Sky when they made a combined XI made up of the Liverpool XI, it was a joke, like building a banana skin. We are in a circus. I’m not influenced by it.“I’m 100 per cent aware of the strength of Man United. We have to be emotional as much as is allowed, fluent and respect their strength.“We have to make sure if United want to change their season, they have to wait a week.”On Paul Pogba and David de Gea injuries“Yesterday no chance for De Gea and Pogba. Today it’s a maybe. Tomorrow it’s a chance.” LIVE on talkSPORT Ian Holloway thinks Arsenal have made a mistake in hiring Mikel Arteta Klopp is all smiles with his side going eight for eight at the start of the season targets Getty Images – Getty Chelsea fan arrested for allegedly racially abusing Heung-min Son Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 3:20Loaded: 4.96%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -3:20 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreen LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS Steve Round reveals how Mikel Arteta convinced him to join Arsenal staff appointed Top scorer in 2019: Messi, Mbappe and Sterling trailing Europe’s top marksman update Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti Liverpool transfer news live: Mbappe latest, Lille star wants to join Reds in future Alan Brail and Ally McCoist’s Manchester United and Liverpool combined elevenOn Liverpool’s 17-game winning streak“We are not nervous because of the winning streak and history we could make. We are pretty relaxed.”On Ole Gunnar Solskjaer“I have no clue about his position. It’s not important what you are writing, it’s important what the board is telling him.“I want every manager in the world to have as much time as he can get to change things. But you can’t compare his situation to mine.”Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT as we bring you THREE live Premier League commentaries across our network on target statement Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ Strugglers Wigan hold Blackburn to goalless draw in Championship latest LATEST last_img read more

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Share This Cupcake with Your Wingman

first_imgShare This!We tried the new Bird Cupcake at Creature Comforts (aka the Animal Kingdom Starbucks) and, boy, do we have news for you!First, this was just one of the many adorable birds we encountered in the Animal Kingdom. Seriously, did you see our IG video of that precious Taveta Golden Weaver bobbing in and out making a nest? If you’re not following us on Instagram, you’re missing a lot.Back to birds of the sugar variety….Our team regularly has intense discussions about food at Walt Disney World. Much of that talk time is spent talking about cupcakes and figuring out how to talk about cupcakes. After one particularly in-depth chat, we decided to take a “tern” (obligatory bird pun, FTW) in our cupcake coverage.Thus, because this is TouringPlans and not Pretty Cupcake Picture Page (dibs on the name) we have to know how a Disney cupcake tastes AND how much icing and cake we’re getting.We started with measuring the physical dimensions of the cupcake (more than one of us regularly carries around a small ruler or tape measure for such tasks). The icing plumage is about two inches tall, similar to the Carousel Cupcake we recently covered.But now, drum roll please, we’ve begun carrying a food scale with us all day every day. That’s right! This is why you click here, folks!We learned that this bright confection owes more than half its weight to icing and chocolate feathers. The entire cupcake comes at 6.1 oz; the icing and feathers weigh 3.1 oz. And yes, we did balance the scale to 0 before weigh-in and we subtracted the weight of the plate (0.6 oz). Now that you know you’ll be consuming almost half a cup of icing with just this one dessert, let’s talk about the taste.This cupcake is exactly what you’ve come to expect from most* Disney specialty or themed cupcakes. This $5.99 treat was theoretically lemon cake filled with blueberry cheesecake cream, but mostly it tasted like lots of sugar; the flavors were muted. But the bright colors make it visually delightful. And the fact that it’s sold steps away from an iconic picture spot makes it an enticing buy. If that Animal Kingdom heat is getting to you and you need a venti cold brew and a sugar bomb to power through to your Avatar FastPass in 6 hours, this is just the ticket!*Sorcerers Hat and Kylo Ren cupcakes in the Studios and anything from Amorette’s not included.last_img read more

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Youngsters to map out their future

first_imgRay Maota This year’s theme is “Let’s defeatimperialism for a world of peace, solidarityand transformation”.(Image: People’s World) Andile Lungisa, the chairperson of theNYDA, defines the event as a festivalof ideas. (Image: The Mail and Guardian)MEDIA CONTACTS• National Youth Development Agency+27 8600 96884RELATED ARTICLES• New youth agency for South Africa • LoveLife to empower SA youth • A SKY light for Soweto kids• SA explorer to circle world via poles Young people from across the world are due to gather in Johannesburg to discuss access to education, social transformation and democracy at the 17th World Festival for Youth and Students.The event will be held at the MTN Expo Centre in Nasrec, southern Johannesburg, from 13 December to 21 December 2010. The opening and closing ceremony will take place nearby at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto.Although this year’s theme, Let’’s defeat imperialism for a world of peace, solidarity and transformation, sets an ambitious target, delegates hope to reach consensus at the end of the festival and sign a declaration of commitments.The festival is held every five years by the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY), which has been running for 65 years. The 16th edition of the festival was held in Caracas, Venezuela, in August 2005. South Africa is an active member of the WFDY, having sent 50 delegates to the 2005 conference.The festival is endorsed and supported by President Jacob Zuma, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane, and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).The NYDA’’s role is to manage the festival with support from various young people’s organisations, government institutions and political interest groups.Festival of ideas’Chairperson of the NYDA, Andile Lungisa, says the event is a celebration of ideas.“This will be a festival of ideas, where young people will be able to sit down and share their thoughts on a much bigger platform. It’ll be an opportunity for them to learn from one another and an opportunity for them to think globally,”” he said.“They will be able to work in unison so they are able to confront the future as a force.When these young people take over in time, they will have a common agenda, a common thinking and common focus.”The agency also hopes that after tackling issues such as democracy and social transformation, the delegates will leave the festival with a better understanding of the many issues faced by young people today.There are also hopes that the signed declaration will garner government support in all the countries represented at the festival, and that appropriate action will be taken.Lungisa said: “”We expect all governments, including our own government, to make sure that there is broader participation of the youth in all aspects of society. We need to make sure that the declaration is part of the United Nations programmes where countries will be encouraged and where there will be mechanisms that will ensure that the countries respond to the declaration.””Lungisa also said he hopes young people will become architects of their own futures. “Young people must define their own destiny and not be defined by others.They must know that they have the responsibility of confronting the future like the other generations that came before them.”Vehicle for developmentThe National Youth Development Agency, launched on 16 June 2009 by President Jacob Zuma, concentrates on the socio-economic development of young South Africans so that they are able to reach their full potential.Its target age group is between 14 and 35 years, with a special focus on young people with disabilities and those from low-income households.Rich diversityThe World Federation of Democratic Youth was founded on 10 November 1945 at the World Youth Conference in London, UK. It’’s an international non-governmental organisation of the UN.The federation comes out of the World Youth Council, which was formed during the Second World War to fight against fascism. The conference saw some 30-million young people from the allied countries, representing a range of political and religious beliefs, coming together to form the federation.Today the federation takes an unbiased approach towards political and religious convictions, concentrating instead on promoting a sense of equality and mutual respect that is in the best interest of young people across the globe.The federation supports many different international events that target young people and encourage them to find lasting solutions to the various challenges they face.last_img read more

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Aids activist gets Clarins award

first_imgAngela Larkan was again recognised forher commitment to helping communitiesaffected by HIV/Aids.(Image: Zakithi Motha) Thanda volunteers pitch in to help rebuildcommunity homes destroyed in a storm.(Image: Sarah Brenner, Picasaweb)MEDIA CONTACTS • Chantal LewisThanda public relations+27 39 699 1253MediaClubSouthAfrica.com reporterAngela Larkan, the founder of non-profit organisation Thanda, has been named the Clarins Most Dynamic Woman of the Year for 2011 in recognition of her work to fight the destructive impact of HIV/Aids and poverty on orphans in rural communities.Five years ago, at the age of 22, Larkan established Thanda (isiZulu, meaning “love”), and has since pioneered new approaches to fighting HIV/Aids in rural communities and taking care of HIV orphans. This model could be implemented in other African countries.Today the project supports over 325 children daily, while Larkin strives continually to bring hope to thousands more through her model for community change.In 2010 Larkan was named the winner of Brand South Africa‘s inaugural Mzansi Soul Awards, which honour people who express the spirit of ubuntu in contributing to a better country for all.Recognition of her work went international in September 2011, when she was chosen to be featured in Levi’s “Go Forth” campaign, which rallies for positive change in the world by showcasing the work of “pioneering individuals from across the globe who are tackling the greatest challenges of our time”.The Clarins Most Dynamic Woman of the Year award acknowledges and rewards selfless and dynamic women who are making a difference in the lives of children. The award is given around the world and has been running in South Africa for 10 years.Nominations are received via national women’s magazines.Robynne Adams, GM of Clarins South Africa, said: “Angela is making a difference, sowing the seeds of hope, for so many. Thanda empowers people to become problem solvers in their own community, working with existing resources, traditions and structures to ensure solutions are realistic and lasting.”Keeping the social fabric intactNot only is Larkan the founder of Thanda, but she also established the Thanda After-School project, which is run from existing buildings such as classrooms, and employs role models from within the community.Children receive a meal each day, as well as a stable support system that nurtures, guides and mentors them and helps them to break out of the cycle of poverty. They are also encouraged to become active members of the community.Thanda keeps the rural social fabric intact and embraces the Zulu custom whereby family members, friends and neighbours pitch in to take care of each other, no matter how stretched their resources are.“I grew up not understanding why some people lived in luxury and some were sleeping on cardboard,” said Larkin. “I remember thinking that somehow humanity had been lost.”As she grew older, she said, she realised that the Aids epidemic and the thousands of children left without parents as a result, presented a challenge that traditional forms of aid and charity could not address.“I felt the issue needed to be looked at in a new way, built on the strengths South Africa possesses, its people and its communities.”Larkin hopes her example will show people that despite the challenge of starting something new or going against what others are doing with their lives, the rewards are priceless.“When you help a crying child in need, support a grandmother who feels alone, or enable a teenager to have hope, we all feel that lost humanity once again.”last_img read more

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Test your smarts on worker ants, kitty contraception, and more on this week’s science news quiz!

first_img Zombie bacteria By turning muscles into hormone-blocking factories. For a long time, cats and dogs had only one option for family planning: neuter and spay surgeries. But now, kitty contraceptives may be just a shot away. Last week, scientists said they’ve come up with a new injection that makes mice infertile by tricking their muscles into producing hormone-blocking antibodies. Because muscle cells live for 10 years or more, they churn out enough antibodies to last a lifetime, making the injection a permanent birth control option. If the approach works in dogs and cats, it could be used to control reproduction in feral animal populations. A similar approach could even one day spur the development of long-term birth control options for humans. Epigenetic markings in the genome. The manly Putin may want to rid his nation of “homosexual propaganda,” but it’s unlikely that Russian law will have any bearing on a man’s “decision” to be gay. As a matter of fact, new research suggests that it isn’t a decision at all. Instead, chemical modifications of the genome that alter gene activity without changing the DNA sequence—called epigenetic markings—may be enough to predict a man’s propensity to homosexuality. The latest experiment showed that in a group of 47 male twins, epigenetic markings on five genetic regions were enough to predict male homosexuality in the study group by 70%. With such a small sample size, that finding is unlikely to apply to the general population, but it does raise interesting questions about the origins of sexual preference. Maybe enough that Vlad will want to dial up Sir Elton John for another conversation. Question The Science Quiz Humans You 0 Time’s Up! Hyperbroth fermentation Chernobyl Isolated gene sequences Zombie bacteria. Everything’s got a zombie counterpart these days. Spiders, ladybugs, and even plants. But the bacteria that fascinated Nobel laureate Aziz Sancar wasn’t the sort that involved parasitic mind control; it was the kind that came back from the dead. When bacteria survived a massive pummeling of UV radiation that should have fried its DNA, Sancar had to find out what happened. It turned out injured cells were repairing themselves using special enzymes that snipped out damaged DNA and filled in the resulting gaps, a process now known as nucleotide excision repair. Sancar’s work, along with that of co-laureates Paul Modrich and Tomas Lindahl, has illuminated the basic workings of cells and fueled the development of new cancer therapies. What prevents elephants from getting cancer as often as we think they should? October 12, 2015 0 / 10 75% In a groundbreaking observation of ant colonies published last week, what percentage of worker ants were always busy? Epigenetic markings in the genome LOADING The bottom of the Dead Sea Ancient earthquakes Start Quiz 3%. Ants may have a reputation for industry, but new research shows that many specialize in doing nothing at all. In fact, of the “workers” scientists observed over the course of 2 months, 71.9% were inactive at least half the time, and 25.1% were never seen working. A small fraction, just 2.6%, were always active during observation. Why the sloth? It’s impossible to say if it’s the product of the latest middle management theory, but scientists are working on answers. One is that the ants may serve as living food storage units for the rest of the colony. Another is that the inactive ants are too old or too young to work. Genes that cause cancerous cells to commit suicide. When it comes to cancer, elephants have several strikes against them. An African elephant packs about 100 times as many cells as you do, and the more cells an animal carries, the higher the odds that one of them will become cancerous. Producing all those cells also entails numerous rounds of cell division, each of which can result in a tumor-triggering DNA break. But a new study shows that pachyderms have dozens of extra copies of one of the most powerful cancer-preventing genes. These bonus genes work not by repairing damaged cells (as they do in humans), but by convincing them to commit suicide before they can grow into tumors. Poop Top Ranker Wind What factor makes it more likely that male twins are gay? What accounts for the pattern of sediment formation on Mars’s Gale crater? Long-dormant volcanoes Genes that repair damaged cells 3% “Spooky” neutrinos Isolated gene sequences. In a blow to the pharmaceutical industry, Australia’s highest court last week ruled that an isolated gene sequence is not a “patentable invention.” The genes in question were BRCA1 and BRCA2, which significantly increase a woman’s chance of developing breast or ovarian cancer. America’s Myriad Genetics held patents on both genes, which it used to develop lucrative diagnostic tests. Rats Scientists say they may have found the Holy Grail of animal birth control. How does it work? Underexposure to Vladimir Putin Peanuts Radio-frequency signalscenter_img What do some restiads—rushlike plants native to South Africa—disguise their seeds as to aid in dispersal? October 12, 2015 The Science Quiz Test your knowledge of the week’s hottest science news! Nanoparticle sunscreen 97% An error occurred loading the Quiz. Please try again later. Australia’s High Court last week ruled that these are not patentable inventions: What odd phenomenon helped earn one researcher a share of this year’s chemistry Nobel Prize? Poop. “Fecal mimicry” is not a phrase you hear too often. But for the South African restiad, it’s a survival tactic. The tall grassy plant produces seeds that look and smell nearly identical to animal droppings. That likeness helps the plant survive by facilitating a seed-spreading mechanism known as dispersal. Unsuspecting dung beetles come across these pungent pods and mistake them for animal feces, their primary source of food and nesting material. The naïve beetle rolls the imposter dung home and buries it, but by the time the beetle realizes its finding is a dud, the seed has already been effectively dispersed. Share your score Zebrafish Pillbugs Pollywogs New York’s sewer system The faster you answer, the higher your score! Sky-high antioxidant levels Chernobyl. In the 20 years since the nuclear accident, wildlife is thriving in the region, which has largely been abandoned by humans. In fact, scientists said last week that mammal populations actually rose after the 1986 meltdown, suggesting that humans are worse for wildlife than nuclear fallout. But although radiation might be good for these animals as a whole, it’s still bad news for individuals. Studies have shown that birds living in the zone have brains that are 5% smaller than normal birds, while others have found a decrease in animal biodiversity, especially among insects. Scientists last week showed that wildlife is unexpectedly thriving where? By blocking the release of sex hormones A newly discovered “gay gene” Water. Just 1 week after NASA announced definitive evidence for surface water on modern-day Mars, those publicity hounds are at it again. Last week, they released a new study showing that the Red Planet was not only wet, but it once had lakes and flowing water year-round. The evidence comes from images and samples gathered by the Curiosity rover on its 8-kilometer journey through the Gale crater. The findings hint Mars once had a climate hospitable enough for microbial life to develop and evolve. By turning muscles into hormone-blocking factories Molecules that prevent tumor-clumping Makram et al./Cell 2015 Average 25% Water By destroying the membranes of unfertilized eggs By destroying cells that give rise to sperm and eggs Genes that cause cancerous cells to commit suicide Overexposure to Bisphenol-A in the womb Neuronal maps Cures based on Chinese traditional medicine The Blue Brain Project just unveiled detailed digital reconstructions of the brain tissue of what animal? Score Fruit flies The Arctic Circle Rats. Last week, an international group of neuroscientists unveiled their reconstruction: a simulation of 30,000 neurons, connected at almost 40 million contact points, in a piece of rat brain about a third of a cubic millimeter in size. The long-awaited paper is the main outcome of the Blue Brain Project, a 10-year program researchers say is a small but significant step toward simulating the entire human brain in a computer. But others say it’s proof that modeling a brain and all of its components is a waste of money. “There is nothing in it that is striking, except that it was a lot of work,” says Zachary Mainen, a neuroscientist at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown in Lisbon. Tell that to the worker ants! Results: You answered out of correctly – Click to revisitlast_img read more

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Yuvraj Singh comes out in defence of Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma

first_imgVirat Kohli and Anushka SharmaYuvraj Singh has defended Virat Kohli and his girlfriend Anushka Sharma on Twitter. He has appealed to the cricket fans to respect Kohli and his girlfriend Anushka Sharma’s personal lives.Virat Kohli scored just one run in the crucial World Cup semifinal against Australia.Anushka, who was in attendance at the Sydney Cricket Ground, was blamed for Kohli’s failure in the match which the team lost by 95 runs.The comment came after social-media went viral with several jokes on Anushka.”To all our real Indian fans who support us in our wins and loses ! Let’s respect @imVkohli and @AnushkaSharma personal life,” Yuvraj wrote on his twitter handle.The 33-year-old Yuvraj, who was Man of the Tournament in the 2011 edition but could not find a place for the just-concluded mega-event, was also supportive of Kohli.”Someone who’s scored 5 hundreds on Aus tour deserves much more respect and support from his fans !”I’m sure in the coming times he will shine for his country again and again,” he said.The Bollywood fraternity, too, took to the micro-blogging site to extend its support to Anushka.last_img read more

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