Spurs want Zamora – report

first_imgTottenham will table a bid for Fulham striker Bobby Zamora in January, the Evening Standard say.Zamora, who previously had an 18-month spell at White Hart Lane, is reportedly seen as the ideal back-up for Spurs forward Emmanuel Adebayor.It is also suggested that QPR want Roman Pavlyuchenko on loan from Spurs, who are keen to offload him on a permanent basis so are likely to sell him to Locomotiv Moscow.Metro claim Pavlyuchenko is also wanted by Spartak Moscow.Chelsea are willing to sell Fernando Torres for £20m during next month’s transfer window, the Daily Mail reports.The paper says that having considered sending Torres out on loan in order to rebuild his confidence, Chelsea are now prepared to offload him completely.Is Torres’ time at Chelsea almost up?He has scored only three Premier League goals since his £50m move from Liverpool in January.The Telegraph report that Chelsea and Manchester City are set to escape an FA probe into an alleged tunnel bust-up at Stamford Bridge on Monday.The Daily Express say a comment by Ashley Cole towards City boss Roberto Mancini sparked the row.Referring to City’s slump into the Europa League after being eliminated from the Champions League, it is claimed the Chelsea left-back said: “Thursday nights – Channel 5.”Meanwhile, the Daily Star say QPR boss Neil Warnock has launched a bid to sign Manchester City outcast Nigel De Jong on loan for the rest of the season.This page is updated throughout the day. Follow West London Sport on Twitterlast_img read more

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Photos: Ex-49er, Raider NaVorro Bowman selling San Jose mansion

first_imgFormer 49ers and Raiders linebacker NaVorro Bowman is selling his San Jose, Calif. mansion for $4.253M.Click here if viewing from a mobile device.The 5,959 square foot Rose Garden estate has five bedrooms and five baths. Entering the 18-foot foyer, there is a sweeping wrought iron banister flowing to the second floor catwalk and Spanish tile floors. The kitchen flows into the family room, which opens onto the back loggia, viewing the grounds and pool. In the rear of the home, the memorabilia …last_img read more

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South Africa’s political parties

first_imgSouth Africa has a vibrant multiparty political system, with 13 parties represented in the National Assembly of Parliament.South Africa’s  parliament in Cape Town. (Image: Wikipedia)Brand South Africa reporterThe African National Congress is the majority party, with 264 of the 400 National Assembly seats. The party also controls eight of the country’s nine provinces, with the exception of the Western Cape, where the Democratic Alliance won the majority in the 2009 elections. The ANC also controls five of the six metropolitan municipalities. Nonetheless, South Africa’s opposition parties remain robust and vocal.South Africa’s Parliament is made up of two houses: the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces. The National Assembly is the more influential, passing legislation and overseeing executive performance. Its members are elected for a term of five years. All South African citizens over the age of 18 eligible to vote, if they register to do so. So far, South Africa has had fully inclusive democratic elections in 1994, 1999, 2004 and 2009. Before 1994 only white South Africans were allowed to vote for the national government.A controversial feature of the South African political system, now abolished, was floor crossing. Members of political parties appointed to the national, provincial and local legislatures had two opportunities during their term, two weeks long and spaced two years apart, to cross the floor and join another party.This was controversial as party delegates are not directly voted into their positions; instead, votes are cast for the party itself, which then appoints representatives. It also created political parties in Parliament – currently three – that never stood for a single election.In August 2008 Parliament abolished the practice, in time to prevent the current term’s second floor-crossing window, which was due to begin on 9 September. SOUTH AFRICA’S POLITICAL PARTIES Party % votes cast 2009 Seats in National Assembly 2009Seats in National Assembly April 2004 Seats in National Assembly Sept 2007*African National Congress65.9%264279297Democratic Alliance16.66%675047Congress of the People7.42%30––Inkatha Freedom Party4.55%182823Independent Democrats0.92%474United Democratic Movement0.85%496Freedom Front Plus0.83%444African Christian Democratic Party0.81%374United Christian Democratic Party0.37%233Pan Africanist Congress0.27%131Minority Front0.25%122Azanian People’s Organisation0.22%111African People’s Convention0.2%1–2National Alliance–––1Federation of Democrats–––1National Democratic Convention–––4New National Party––7– * After floor-crossing  PROVINCIAL ELECTION RESULTS 2009 Province    ANC       DA   Cope   IFP   ID   UDM   FF+   ACDP   Others Eastern Cape 69.79%9.97 13.32% 0.09%  0.45%  3.95%0.23%0.59%1.61% Free State 71.99% 12.11%11.12%0.21%0.17%0.32%1.61%0.70%1.77% Gauteng64.83% 21.29%7.78%1.47%0.57%0.39%1.37%0.89%1.41% KwaZulu-Natal64.07%10.35%1.55%   20.55%0.20%0.21%0.18%0.59%2.30% Limpopo85.37%3.71%7.22%0.05%0.09%0.33%0.54%0.63%2.06% Mpumalanga  85.90%7.60%2.89%0.54%0.12%0.23%  0.83%  0.51%  1.38% Northern Cape61.18%  13.09%  15.96%0.14%4.73%0.12%1.19%0.98%  2.61% North West73.96%8.71%8.44%0.15%0.44%0.51%1.43%0.74%5.62% Western Cape32.89%48.83%9.07%0.06%4.49%0.77%0.86%1.62%1.41% A sitting of elected representatives from South Africa’s political parties, as elected by the people, at Parliament in Cape Town. (Image: South African Government Communication and Information System)About the parties The following is a summary of the history and policies of South Africa’s major political parties.African National Congress Democratic Alliance Congress of the People Inkatha Freedom Party Independent Democrats United Democratic Movement Freedom Front Plus African Christian Democratic Party United Christian Democratic Party Pan Africanist Congress Minority Front Azanian People’s Organisation African People’s Convention South African Communist Party New National Party Parliament of the Republic of South AfricaFor a list of all South African political parties registered with the Independent Electoral Commission, visit the Independent Electoral Commission website.African National Congress (ANC) 264 seats in the National AssemblyThe South African Native National Congress was founded in 1912 with the aim of bringing Africans together to defend their rights and fight for freedom. In 1923 its name was changed to the African National Congress (ANC).Following the 1960 Sharpeville massacre, the party was banned by the Nationalist government. From 1961 organised acts of sabotage began, marking the emergence of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the ANC. The ANC was to be an underground and exiled organisation for the next 30 years.In February 1990, the government unbanned the ANC and released Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners. The ANC was again able to openly recruit members and establish regional structures.In the historic 1994 elections the ANC won 62% of the vote. Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s first democratically elected president. In the 1999 elections the party increased its majority to a point short of two-thirds of the total vote. A two-thirds majority allows a party to change the constitution. Thabo Mbeki succeeded Mandela as president of the country.ANC policy is to increase economic growth and reduce poverty. The Freedom Charter remains the party’s basic policy document. Adopted in June 1955 by the ANC and its allies, the charter lists principles upon which a democratic South Africa should be built.In 1994 the ANC adopted the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) as a policy framework to guide it in transforming South Africa from a divided society to one that provides equal opportunities for all its citizens. The four main principles of the RDP are:meeting the people’s basic needs, such as housing, water and electricity;developing the country’s human resources;building the economy; anddemocratising state institutions and society.In 1996 the ANC adopted the Growth, Employment and Redistribution macroeconomic strategy, or Gear. This is a strategy for rebuilding and restructuring the economy in line with the main principles of the RDP.In the 2004 elections the party retained its two-thirds majority (69.7%), but lost it in the 2009 elections, when its majority fell to 64.9%.Also see the South African Communist Party and the New National Party, below.African National Congress website Back to top Democratic Alliance (DA) 67 seats in the National AssemblyThe Democratic Alliance, formerly known as the Democratic Party (DP), espouses liberal democracy and free market principles. The party’s forerunner was the Progressive Federal Party (PFP), whose veteran politician Helen Suzman was its only representative in the white Parliament for many years. Suzman upheld liberal policies in the apartheid-era legislature and spoke out against apartheid laws.In the 1980s the party increased its Parliamentary seats to seven. Among the new MPs was Tony Leon, who became DP leader in 1996, introducing a more aggressive approach to opposition politics.The DP’s campaign slogan for the 1999 elections – “Fight Back” – gained it a substantial number of white voters who were disillusioned with the New National Party. It increased its share of the vote from 1.7% in 1994 to about 10% in 1999 (as the former DP), 12.4% in 2004 and 16.6% in 2009.In 2000 the DP joined forces with the New National Party to form the Democratic Alliance (DA). But the NNP withdrew from the pact in late 2001, and was disbanded in 2004. Leon resigned as party head in 2007, to be replaced by Helen Zille, who was also executive mayor of the Cape Town metro. Zille has since become the premier of the Western Cape, and was replaced as mayor in April 2009 by Dan Plato.The DA seeks to promote:a prosperous, open-opportunity society in which every person is free and equal before the law;a spirit of mutual respect, inclusivity and participation among the diverse people of South Africa;a free enterprise economy driven by choices, risks and hard work; anda vigorous, critical and effective opposition that is loyal to the constitutional order and promotes the well-being of the country.Democratic Alliance website Back to top Congress of the People (Cope) 30 seats in the National AssemblyThe Congress of the People (Cope) is a new party that contested its first in April 2009, winning 7.42% of the vote. It was formed by breakaway ANC members dissatisfied with that organisation’s decision to “recall” then-President Thabo Mbeki in September 2008 and replace him with Kgalema Motlanthe.Cope was launched in early November 2008 at the November Convention held in Johannesburg. Its prominent members include Mosiuoa Lekota, the former minister of defence who resigned from Cabinet after Mbeki stepped down, as well as former Gauteng Premier Mbhazima Shilowa, former Congress of South African Trade Unions president Willie Madisha, and Barney Pityana, the vice-chancellor and principal of the University of South Africa.At the November Convention, Cope adopted the following principles in its declaration:Supremacy of the ConstitutionBuilding social cohesion based on values we can all defendFreedom and equality before the lawParticipatory democracyCongress of the People website Back to top Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) 18 seats in the National AssemblyThe Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), led by Mangosuthu Buthelezi, draws its support largely from Zulu-speaking South Africans. Its strongholds are the rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal and the migrant workers’ hostels in the metropolitan areas of Gauteng.Buthelezi has led the IFP since he founded it as the Inkatha National Cultural Liberation Movement in 1975. His political career dates back to the 1940s, when he joined the ANC Youth League while studying at Fort Hare University.In 1953 he took up a position as chief of the Buthelezi clan, and in 1970 was appointed head of the KwaZulu Territorial Authority in terms of the apartheid-era Bantu Administration Act. He became the homeland’s chief minister in 1976.Inkatha was transformed into a political party in July 1990, championing federalism as the best political option for South Africa.The IFP supports the government’s Gear macroeconomic strategy, but argues that it has been introduced in too tentative and piecemeal a manner. The party argues for revitalising the economy through a “re-prioritisation” of economic policy, based on four pillars:attracting increased levels of direct fixed investment;facilitating the competitive development of business in South Africa;managing the high expectations and demand for social delivery; andintroducing more cost-effective fiscal management in government.The IFP also believes in integrating traditional leadership into the system of governance by recognising traditional communities as models of societal organisation. Buthelezi heads KwaZulu-Natal’s House of Traditional Leaders, which advises the government on issues relating to traditional leaders.Since the 1994 elections, members of the IFP have occupied Cabinet positions at national level. Since the elections of 2009 the IFP is one of six parties in the KwaZulu-Natal provincial legislature, where it holds 18 seats to the ANC’s 51.Inkatha Freedom Party website Back to top Independent Democrats (ID) Four seats in the National AssemblyThe Independent Democrats (ID) is one of South Africa’s newest mainstream political party, formed in March 2003 under the leadership of Patricia de Lille. De Lille is a former trade unionist and a long-time member of and MP for the Pan Africanist Congress, which she left to form the ID.De Lille has gained massive support for her forthright stand against corruption. A 2004 survey revealed her to be South Africa’s favourite opposition politician.With the motto “Back to Basics”, the ID’s policies are fairly centrist. The party is at one with the ANC on the economy, health and jobs, although De Lille outspokenly differed with the ANC’s earlier policies on HIV/Aids.“We are not going to be branded communist, socialist or capitalist. We are going to be constitutionalists,” De Lille said at the party’s launch. The ID claims a signed-up membership of 13 000.In the 2004 survey, De Lille was found to be the most trusted politician among coloured voters and was second favourite in the white and Indian communities. The ID is seen to have attracted former DA supporters, people disillusioned with that party’s ill-fated alliance with the NNP.Back to top United Democratic Movement (UDM) Four seats in the National AssemblyThe United Democratic Movement (UDM) was formed in 1997 by Bantu Holomisa, who was expelled from the ANC after accusing a top party official of corruption. Holomisa, the former military strongman in the former homeland of the Transkei, teamed up with Roelf Meyer, a former Nationalist Party Cabinet minister, to form a new party. Meyer later left politics to pursue other interests.The UDM sees itself as a contender for power with the ANC. Holomisa says his party is aiming to become an alternative government. His party campaigns around issues which it believes the government is handling badly.United Democratic Movement website Back to top Freedom Front Plus (FF+) Four seats in the National AssemblyThe Freedom Front was formed in 1993 by Constand Viljoen, the former chief of the South African Defence Force. Viljoen came out of retirement to lead a group of Afrikaners who wanted to form a political party.As head of the Afrikaner Volksfront, Viljoen was instrumental in convincing conservative Afrikaners to participate in the new dispensation, through which, he argued, the issue of self determination should be taken up.The new Freedom Front Plus, headed by Pieter Mulder, has four seats in the National Assembly and single provincial seats in Gauteng, the Free State, Mpumalanga, the Northern Cape and North West.Freedom Front Plus website Back to top African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) Three seats in the National AssemblyThe African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) was formed in December 1993 with the aim of representing South African Christians in Parliament. It won two seats in 1994 and six in 1999.The ACDP was the only party in the National Assembly that voted against the adoption of the Constitution in 1994, citing moral and Biblical objections to some of the document’s clauses – particularly the rights of gays and lesbians.According to its manifesto, the ACDP stands for “Christian principles, freedom of religion, a free market economy, family values, community empowerment and human rights in a federal system”.African Christian Democratic Party website Back to top United Christian Democratic Party (UCDP) Three seats in the National AssemblyThe United Christian Democratic Party (UCDP) was formed by Lucas Mangope, head of the apartheid-era “homeland” of Bophuthatswana. Mangope was among the first homeland leaders to accept so-called independence for his scattered country for the Setswana-speaking people. The UCDP was the only party allowed to operate in the territories under his control.United Christian Democratic Party website Back to top Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) One seat in the National AssemblyThe Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) was formed in 1959 as a breakaway from the ANC. Influenced by the Africanist ideals of Kwame Nkrumah, it promotes the return of the land to the indigenous people.The PAC was outlawed with the ANC in 1960 after the Sharpeville massacre. Its leaders were exiled or detained for long periods. These included Robert Sobukwe, its founder and leader, who was incarcerated in Robben Island until 1969 and then placed under house arrest until his death in 1978.The party’s support has been steadily eroded since 1994, with voters favouring the ANC. A major blow was the 2003 defection of PAC MP Patricia de Lille to form her own party, the Independent Democrats. Another was the September 2007 floor-crossing of PAC deputy president Themba Godi and former secretary-general Mofihli Likotsi, who left the PAC to form the African People’s Convention, leaving the party with a single seat in the National AssemblyBack to top Minority Front (MF) One seat in the National AssemblyThe Minority Front is led by the maverick Amichand Rajbansi, and claims to represent the interests of the Indian community. Apart from its two seats in the National Assembly, the party is also represented in the Durban metropolitan council.Back to top Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo) One seat in the National AssemblyThe Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo) preaches the philosophy of black emancipation and black consciousness, a philosophy popularised by Steve Biko, who was killed in police cells in 1977.Azanian People’s Organisation website Back to top African People’s Convention (APC)  One seat in the National AssemblyThe African People’s Convention Azanian People’s Convention was created out of the 2007 defection of two prominent PAC members of parliament. It was the only party created by floor-crossing to contest the 2009 elections.African People’s Convention websiteBack to top South African Communist Party (SACP) The South African Communist Party (SACP) is not officially represented in Parliament, but a number of its members occupy seats by virtue of their dual ANC membershipThe party was relaunched as an underground party in 1953 after its predecessor, the Communist Party of South Africa, was banned in 1950.Formed in 1921, the Communist Party of South Africa was predominantly white, but later on attracted black intellectuals, who in turn recruited black workers into its ranks. In 1946, one of its leading members, JB Marks, led 100 000 black miners in a strike that contributed to the party’s banning in 1950.The SACP has had a close working relationship with the ANC since the 1960s, when anti-apartheid organisations were forced to operate from exile. Members of both organisations held dual membership and served in the structures of both bodies.The party’s membership overlaps with those of the ANC and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), its partners in what is known as the tripartite alliance. It has significant representation in the ANC and government, from the executive down to local government structures.The party believes in the establishment of a socialist society, which it says should be characterised by democracy, equality, freedom, and the socialisation of the predominant part of the economy.The SACP and Cosatu have openly disagreed with the government’s macroeconomic strategy, Gear, and the privatisation of state assets, arguing that the policy has failed to create jobs.South African Communist Party website Back to top New National Party (NNP) The New National Party (NNP), formerly the Nationalist Party, ruled South Africa for the 40-plus years of the apartheid era, from 1948 to 1994. The second-largest party after the first democratic elections in 1994, its voter base has largely abandoned it in the years since.In the 1994 elections the NNP, led by FW de Klerk, gained 20% of the vote, making it the official opposition to the ANC government. It also won a majority of votes in the Western Cape province, giving it control of the provincial legislature.The NNP, along with the IFP, joined Nelson Mandela’s government of national unity after the 1994 elections. De Klerk was one of two executive deputy presidents, the other being the ANC’s Thabo Mbeki, and NNP members occupied important Cabinet positions. This ANC-NNP coalition also extended to the Western Cape, where the two parties shared executive posts.The NNP, however, withdrew from the government of national unity in 1996, leaving the ANC and IFP as the only partners in Cabinet.Marthinus van Schalkwyk took over the leadership of the NNP in 1997, at a time when the party was facing an organisational crisis as well as increasing defections to opposing parties.After suffering heavy losses in the 1999 elections, the NNP joined forces with the DP and the Federal Alliance to form the Democratic Alliance in July 2000, making the NNP and DP the ruling coalition in the Western Cape.Just over a year later, in October 2001, the NNP withdrew from the Democratic Alliance, throwing the Western Cape political situation into turmoil. The province is now controlled by the ANC.In August 2004 the NNP’s national executive took a unanimous decision to disband the party. Most of its former representatives now belong to the ANC.The party’s former leader, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, is now minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.Back to top Useful links Parliament of South Africa Parliamentary Monitoring Group Independent Electoral Commission South African Government Online South African Government Services South African Government Info Political parties African National Congress Democratic Alliance Inkatha Freedom Party United Democratic Movement Independent Democrats African Christian Democratic Party Freedom Front Plus United Christian Democratic Party Minority Front Pan Africanist Congress African People’s ConventionAzanian People’s Organisation South African Communist Party Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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Kaymer wins Nedbank Golf Challenge

first_imgAfter a sub-standard year, Kaymer showed much improved form in the South African Open in mid-November, finishing third to record his best result of 2012 before Sunday’s victory at the famous resort in South Africa’s North West province. 3 December 2012 Under 69 twiceChampions Challenge winner Bernhard Langer went under 69 twice, posting rounds of 68 and 67 before closing with a 74, but that was still good enough for a two-shot win over Jay Haas, father of Bill. ‘I never felt that I had it won’ Over parThe rest of the field finished over par. Paul Lawrie, the leader at halfway on four-under 140, ended on one-over 289 after closing with rounds of 75 and 74. “I never felt that I had it won,” he admitted afterwards in an interview on the green. “At the tee on 18, I knew I had a two-shot lead, like Bernhard Langer had on Saturday in the Champions Challenge. “I felt comfortable then, and obviously when I stepped onto the green, but Charl [Schwartzel] had a really good round of golf. Louis [Oosthuizen] played well too, but was a little unlucky here and there,” he added. As Kaymer alluded to, Germany did the double, as Langer landed the senior title. Sunshine Tour Order of Merit winner Garth Mulroy brought up the rear with a total of nine-over-par 297. Germany’s Martin Kaymer succeeded Lee Westwood as champion, winning the US$5-million Nedbank Golf Challenge champion at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City on Sunday. It was his first win of the season. Third place went to Bill Haas on three-under 285, followed by Louis Oosthuizen on two-under 286, after he slipped to a final round two-over 74, and defending champion Lee Westwood on one-under 287.center_img Throughout the tournament, 69 was the lowest round recorded, and it was achieved just six times by six players. Last year’s champion, Mark Calcavecchia, was in the running after the first two rounds, posting 71 and 69, but fell apart over the last 18 holes, carding a terrible 13-over-par 85 to slip to second last on the leaderboard. Francesco Molinari’s challenge was spoilt by a 78 in the third round and he finished on two-over 290, alongside Carl Pettersson, who, like the Italian, also closed with a three-under 69. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material Justin Rose really struggled with his game, posting three rounds over par, including a horrible 79 in the second round, to end on seven-over 295. Peter Hanson, after opening with a level-par 72, followed those up with three 73s in succession to finish in ninth on three-over-par 291. Only Kaymer and Schwartzel managed four rounds of par or less as the course played tough. The German went around in 72, 69, 70 and 69 to finish on eight-under 280 to finish two shots clear of Schwartzel, who posted rounds of 72, 71, 70 and 69. ‘Thanks for the pressure’“I’ve been in the lead a few times in my career, but this time when Bernhard won, the German media was writing about the German double and you guys [the commentators] talked about it all the time. When Bernhard won, he mentioned it in his speech. You guys mentioned it a few times on TV, so thanks for the pressure,” he joked. His winning total, eight-under-par 280, was the highest since Jim Furyk’s win on six-under in 2005, but the course plays differently in different conditions and with different pin placements, so direct comparisons cannot be made. Not that Kaymer would care after he won for the first time since he lifted the WGC-HSBC Champions title in November 2011.last_img read more

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Tough cost-cutting measures for govt

first_img23 October 2013Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has announced a raft of cost-cutting measures in a bid to curb wasteful government consumption, restore confidence in the economy, and reprioritise spending on infrastructure investment and socio-economic development.Ahead of tabling his 2013 medium term budget policy statement in Parliament in Cape Town on Wednesday, Gordhan told journalists that the Cabinet had taken a number of difficult decisions that would send a message to citizens, financial markets and ratings agencies that discipline in managing the country’s public purse was the backbone of economic stability.Gordhan said public servants would no longer be given credit cards for official and personal use, and that those already in possession of credit cards would be told to discontinue using them with immediate effect.Other measures would include a limit on the amount spent on ministers’ cars, as well as restrictions on air travel, car hire, accommodation, catering, entertainment and conference budgets.At the same time, government departments would be instructed to put plans in place to minimise their use of consultants. This comes after the Auditor-General found that a number of government departments had spent billions of rands on consultants.Gordhan said the measures, which the government plans to introduce by 1 December, would result in billions of rands of savings. This would set the scene for next year’s Budget, which is expected to focus on expenditure on infrastructure investment.Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

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SA, Namibia ‘must push cross-border trade’

first_img8 November 2013 South Africa and Namibia need to prioritise cross-border infrastructure to facilitate an easier flow of goods and services, President Jacob Zuma told the inaugural meeting of the SA-Namibia Bi-National Commission in Windhoek on Thursday. Zuma, who was on a two-day state visit to Namibia, said called for the two countries to push their trade volumes even higher and to explore new, untapped areas of cooperation. “We need to encourage our private sector to forge close cooperation consistent with our strategic desire to increase mutually beneficial economic cooperation between our sister republics.” The semi-arid, diamond-rich country has strong economic ties with Pretoria. South Africa is the destination of 66% of Namibia’s exports and holds approximately 80% of investments in key sectors of Namibia’s economy, including mining, retail, banking and insurance. Zuma said the bi-national forum should be a platform for the two countries to drive for more consistent interaction in key economic sectors, as well as adopt a strategic approach to all cooperation. “South Africa and Namibia share historical, geographical, cultural and fraternal bonds,” Zuma said. “Our relations were cemented during the difficult times of our respective struggles for liberation against colonialism and apartheid. “Ours, therefore, are relations of a special kind, which make it only natural and logical for our two countries to enjoy strong bilateral cooperation.” Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

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Environmental network breakfast program highlights local, national water quality efforts

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest This month’s breakfast presentation by the Environmental Professionals Network, which includes an optional joint meeting with the Water Management Association of Ohio, will feature three major initiatives aimed at protecting and improving water quality.“The importance of water is increasingly on the public’s mind, which is good, but the challenges are significant,” said David Hanselmann, the network’s coordinator and a lecturer in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.The presentation “will help us learn about new and innovative approaches, relevant in Ohio and beyond,” Hanselmann said.The network is a statewide professional group coordinated by the college’s School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR).The association is an organization for citizens, professionals, agencies and others interested in Ohio’s water resources. It has divisions focused on lakes, floodplains, dam safety, stormwater and watersheds.​’One Water, One Future’The event is from 7:15 a.m. to either 9:45 a.m. or noon March 8 in Ohio State’s Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Drive in Columbus. Speaking will be:* Radhika Fox, CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Water Alliance and director of its Value of Water Coalition, on “One Water, One Future: Securing a Sustainable Water Future for All.”The alliance “advances policies and programs that build a sustainable water future for all,” according to its website. The coalition is the group’s education initiative.* Larry Antosch, senior director of program innovation and environmental policy for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, on “Healthy Water Ohio: Strategy for Water Resource Management.”The Healthy Water Ohio initiative “aims to develop a long-range plan that will sustainably meet current and future water needs while enhancing the economy and quality of life for all Ohioans,” its website says.* Susan Ashbrook, assistant director of sustainability for the city of Columbus’s Department of Public Utilities, on “Blueprint Columbus: Clean Streams, Strong Neighborhoods.”The Blueprint Columbus plan aims to eliminate sanitary sewer overflows while creating new local infrastructure jobs and beautifying neighborhoods.​Sign up by March 7Registration for the event is $10 for the network’s portion of the event only, which includes a full breakfast and Fox’s talk and ends at 9:45 a.m.; or $25 for the full combined program, which also includes Antosch’s and Ashbrook’s presentations and ends at noon.Student registration to either option is free and includes breakfast. Registration to both options is open to the public.The deadline to register is noon March 7. Details and a link to register are at go.osu.edu/March2016EPN.For more information, contact Hanselmann at hanselmann.3@osu.edu or 614-247-1908.Sponsoring the event are the Brown and Caldwell engineering consulting firm; Stantec, which provides engineering, consulting and design services; and Ohio State’s Global Water Initiative.The free student registrations and breakfasts are being provided by SENR, the Energy Management and Sustainability program in Ohio State’s Office of Student Life, and the university’s Office of Energy and Environment.last_img read more

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Passivhaus on Spec in Boston

first_imgA step-by-step progress reportThe company has created a construction blog that walks visitors through the process, beginning last September when the building site was an overgrown lot through February when builders were working down their punch list.There are 21 entries in all, at least so far, and although you’ll only get a single photo and a little text at each one, you can see major steps along the way.Some of the technical highlights:A shallow frost-protected slab insulated with 8 inches of expanded polystyrene (EPS) for an R-value of 32. The sides of the footings are insulated with 4 inches of EPS (R-16).Above-grade walls are balloon-framed on the outside, 24 inches on center, with a second framed wall inside of that carrying floor joists for the second story. The walls are connected with gusset plates and spanned by window wells. Exterior walls are insulated with 17 inches of blown-in cellulose (R-59).The truss-framed roof is insulated with 2 feet or more of cellulose for an R-value of 84.Windows are triple-glazed Schuco units with a U-factor of 0.176 and a solar-heat gain coefficient of 0.50.Domestic hot water is provided by a Kingspan FPW30 solar thermal system with a 119-gallon tank.Space heating and cooling are provided by a pair of Mitsubishi Mr. Slim ductless minisplits, each with a capacity of 9,000 BTU/h. A Zehnder Comfoair 350 heat-recovery ventilator provides fresh air.Airtightness was measured at 0.33 air changes per hour at a pressure difference of 50 pascals. Placetailor used Siga Wigluv tape to seal the sheathing seams and Siga Corvum tapes to reduce air leakage around the window frames.You’ll find many more details at the Rocksberry website, including descriptions of interior finishes and exterior cladding.One neat trick involved the exterior rainscreen. Siding on much of the house runs vertically, so Placetailor looked for rainscreen furring that would allow air to circulate freely (solid material run horizontally would block the flow of air). They settled on a twin-wall PVC product manufactured by Coroplast they could get through a local supplier. The Boston design-build group Placetailor is wrapping up work on a single-family house in the city’s Roxbury district that was built on spec to the Passivhaus standard. The has was sold even before work was completed.The two-story house at 55 Marcella Street has three bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, and a total of 1,450 square feet of conditioned space. It’s right around the corner, literally, from a high-performance four-unit townhouse on Highland Street that was completed last year. Placetailor also had a hand in that one.Placetailor strategic director Declan Keefe said the house on Marcella recently sold for $572,500. The house went on the market during rough framing and was under contract before Placetailor had finished plastering the interior.The buyers apparently don’t care whether their new house is officially certified as a Passivhaus, and Keefe says Placetailor is still discussing whether to pursue official certification on its own. The house, which Placetailor calls the “Rocksberry Passive House,” was built on an infill lot right across the street from a small city park and not far from public transportation and bike paths. The price is rightThe property was snapped up quickly, although Keefe says the eventual buyers weren’t shopping specifically for a Passivhaus building. In fact, they hadn’t been aware of the Passivhaus standard.Whether the economy is picking up steam, new single-family homes in the neighborhood are rare, or high-performance homes are more attractive than conventional housing, the Rocksberry House apparently went for an above-average price.Keefe said the house sold for $325 per square foot in an area where anything above $300 per square foot is uncommon. Even the high-performance “E+” units around the corner sold for $269 per square foot.Placetailor already has two additional Passivhaus projects in the works, including a two-family condo, also to be built on spec, and a three-family Passivhaus rental that will be built to another firm’s design.last_img read more

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What Business Leaders Can Learn from Professional Sports

first_imgHow to Cultivate the Skill of Being a Creative … AI Will Empower Leaders, Not Replace Them While leading a business doesn’t indicate anything about one’s athleticism, both athletes and entrepreneurs draw from a similar set of skills in order to achieve the same end: a cohesive, peak-performance team.Much of what athletes accomplish on the field has more to do with their mindset than bodies. Over the years, I’ve worked with a number of athletes — including members of the Miami Dolphins — to help develop focus, mentally sharpen, and read the lightning-fast signals their bodies send to their brains. Peak performance coaching has become a popular way for pro sports teams to improve their team’s drive — both individually and within groups — before problems crop up.As it turns out, businesses can do the same. There are several ways leaders can approach their teams so their teams are aligned, functioning at their best and accomplishing set goals.  1. Paint a picture that inspires unity.At a time when 80 percent of businesses aren’t tracking their goals and — unsurprisingly — a nearly equal 77 percent haven’t achieved their company visions, it pays to articulate an organization’s goals and keep them at the top of everyone’s mind. Unifying a team around a common goal can be exceedingly difficult, but it’s paramount to success. Whether chasing a Super Bowl ring or a bigger share of the marketplace, it’s a leader’s responsibility to paint a picture of success that’s so compelling that everyone wants to burn rubber to make it happen.While some believe an entire company needs to come to a consensus before rallying behind a particular goal, those in the sports world would disagree. Coaches and players understand that they’re all there to win a championship, but the head coach determines the content of the playbook they follow in order to make that happen.Business leaders can adopt the same mentality, taking feedback when necessary and appropriate, but ultimately leading the team toward a unifying goal and, subsequently, supporting team members in their efforts to reach it. Painting a picture that provides context for why that goal matters goes a long way in helping others visualize their role within the larger team landscape and setting the tone for true collaboration.  2. Make sure every role on the team serves a purpose for the whole.One of the more interesting components to football is just how diverse the individual players are across the team, namely in terms of role and physicality. For example, a wide receiver has a vastly different skill set than a punter — one is relied upon for his agility and remarkably sticky fingers, while the other has a highly specialized ability to keep a ball suspended in air with a tap of his foot. While they have different natural — and trained — abilities to fill that role and, in most cases, never play on the field at the same time, they’re nonetheless unified by the same guiding principles: train hard, play harder, winner takes all. When empowered to play to their strengths within their given role and under a larger unifying goal, magic starts to happen; we start to see a true team form.  Interestingly, Gallup’s “State of the American Workforce” report determined that playing up strengths, rather than trying to shore up weaknesses, made teams nearly 13 percent more productive. Those who use their strengths on a daily basis are six times more likely to be engaged — and retained. It comes as no surprise that in order to gain those same benefits seen on the football field, business leaders must assess their team members’ strengths to determine how they can work in concert with others with the greater mission in view.Unlike in football, however, when it’s often obvious where a player’s strength lies, it’s not always obvious what a team member’s true strength is and how it can be leveraged in a business setting — sometimes, their strengths can actually be best utilized outside the scope of their designated role. For example, a graphic designer might have valuable insights in developing new product designs and packaging traditionally handled by the R&D team, or a data entry specialist with a knack for processes may be able to find a way to streamline an existing process for another team. It’s important to remember that building a successful organization is dependent upon, among other things, a leader’s ability to recognize talent when and wherever she sees it.3. Cultivate a growth mindset among your teammates.I’m a big believer in the growth mindset. People with a fixed mindset believe their skills were given to them at birth, and they have a finite amount of talent: They’re either good at something or they’re not. Growth-oriented people, however, believe that they can hone the skills they already possess as well as acquire and develop new skills and abilities.Similar to the student who never studies for tests because of the “I either know it or I don’t” mindset, many players who are natural-born athletes exhibit similar attitudes. If they’re not good at a certain skill on the first try, they default to their original, seemingly more successful tactics or give up trying the new skill altogether. But as Tom Brady of the New England Patriots has proven, that’s not how players become successful. Well-known for his will-over-skill mindset, he emphasizes his strengths and knows that practice transforms his adequate natural skills into honed, unbeatable  techniques — and, unsurprisingly, it’s brought him more Super Bowl rings than any other quarterback. He isn’t afraid to fail in a relatively safe environment if it means he increases his chances to succeed when and where it matters. A growth mindset encourages people to try new things and risk failure when appropriate. Businesses that focus on perfection automatically inhibit their people from realizing their own, and ultimately the company’s, potential — they’ll never try because they’re afraid to fail. The end result of stifled efforts, of course, is a stagnant company. Rewarding new attempts, regardless of their outcome, develops outlets for innovative thinking and empowers people to take charge, moving their team past a fixed mindset.By developing a strong unit that comes together under a common goal, even when things aren’t easy, leaders and organizations can accomplish just about anything — whether it’s winning a championship or becoming their industry’s top performer. Related Posts How to Meet the Demands of the Socially Conscio… Tags:#growth#Leadership#purpose#Sports Curt Cronin A former Navy SEAL, Curt Cronin is the co-founder and CEO of Ridgeline Partners, where he capitalizes on his combined experiences and lessons from the military, academic, and business worlds to advise numerous organizations, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to niche startups, on how to catalyze an exponential culture of execution and innovation. How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi…last_img read more

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Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: Prevalence & Effects on Couples

first_imgThis post was written by Kimberly Quinn, University of Florida M.Ed./Ed.S. Candidate, 1Lt Florida Army National Guard and Kacy Mixon, M.S., LMFT, Social Media Specialist.  Both are members of the MFLN Family Development (FD) team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, YouTube, and on LinkedIn. By Kimberly Quinn & Kacy Mixon, M.S., LMFTIn the last 12 years, the United States military has diagnosed over 103 thousand new cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in deployed service members and over 25 thousand new cases in non-deployed service members [1]. To receive a diagnosis of PTSD, individuals must meet diagnostic criteria inclusive of displaying a certain number of symptoms that cause significant distress and/or disruption.  In addition, there must be some sort of traumatic stressor leading to these symptoms. Full diagnostic criteria for PTSD can be found here. Those that suffer from the effects of trauma without being diagnosed with PTSD are considered to have post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS). The intensity of PTSS varies, however, the impact does not reach the severity level of PTSD.  The table below highlights PTSD symptoms included in the new Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-V):American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.Mixon, K. (2013). Kacy Mixon permits eXtension.org to use her personal photo.Spouses and children of service members who deploy can experience secondary traumatic stress (STS)–or significant levels of post-traumatic stress symptoms [2].  This can also be termed vicarious trauma, secondary trauma or secondary post-traumatic stress disorder. These symptoms have negative effects on couple [2] and family functioning.  Specific symptoms of post-traumatic stress [3] that negatively affect couple and family functioning include:Mixon, K. (2013). Kacy Mixon permits eXtension.org to use her personal photoThe good news is that there are steps families can take to prevent the negative effects of PTSD and STS. The following links to resources that can help military families and those that play a supportive role in their lives gain awareness about common stressors, preventative strategies and interventions related to PTSD.Stress Free Kids-Military FamilySecondary Trauma TrainingNational Child Traumatic Stress Network (NTCS)-Military FamiliesNTCS Learning Center References[1] Fischer, H. (2010). U.S. military casualty statistics: Operation New Dawn, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom [2] Melvin, K. C., Gross, D., Hayat, M. J., Jennings, B. M., & Campbell, J. C. (2012). Couple functioning and post‐traumatic stress symptoms in US army couples: The role of resilience. Research in Nursing & Health, 35(2), 164-177. [3] American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.last_img read more

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