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Journalists’ work hampered by abusive prosecutions and arrests

first_img Reporters Without Borders is relieved that Zied El Heni, the president of the National Union of Tunisian Journalists (SNJT), was freed on September 16 after three days in detention, but regrets that bail was demanded for his release and calls for the withdrawal of all the charges against him.After being summoned before a judge in the Tunis district of Bab Bnet on 13 September, Heni was arrested for accusing the public prosecutor of fabricating evidence to justify Astrolab TV cameraman Mourad Meherzi’s arrest for filming an egg being thrown at culture minister Mehdi Mabrouk.Amid angry protests from his lawyers and a major police presence outside the court, Heni was transferred to Monarguia prison, where he remained in pre-trial detention until bail of 2,000 dinars (about 1,000 euros) was paid after being raised by contributions from members of the public outside the Ban Bnet court. His trial is due to start on 24 September.The charges against Heni stem from a live interview he gave to Nessma TV on 28 August, in which he displayed a copy of official report showing that, contrary to the public prosecutor’s claims, Meherzi refused to sign a document confessing to complicity with Nasreddine Shili, the filmmaker who threw the egg at the culture minister.The judge ordered Heni held on 13 September under article 128 of the criminal code. According to this article, a sentence of two years in prison and a fine of 120 dinars (60 euros) can be passed on “anyone who, in a public address, in the media or by other means of publicity, makes accusations against a public official or accuses him of illegal activities in connection with his work, without establishing the truth of these allegations.”“Placing Zied El Heni in pre-trial detention was completely unjustified and was done with the aim of silencing criticism of the proceedings against Mourad Meherzi,” Reporters Without Borders said. “There has been disturbing increase in prosecutions of journalists and public figures, and this just took the already considerable tension up another notch.”“As if by chance, the prosecutor responsible for the charges against Shili and Meherzi and the complaint against Heni has just been awarded a major promotion within the Court of Cassation, Tunisia’s highest court. His zeal has clearly been rewarded. Those who defend media freedom will inevitably see this as a provocation.”In a separate development, a complaint brought on behalf of the president against Express FM journalist Zouhair El Jiss in connection with a March interview with Lebanese political commentator Salam Zahran was finally withdrawn on the morning of 13 September. The president’s defamation suit against Zahran nonetheless still stands.Jiss was released after appearing before a judge on 13 September but a new judicial summons is still pending. Reporters Without Borders urges the judge to respond appropriately to the complaint’s withdrawal by dismissing all the proceedings against Jiss.The case constitutes yet another example of the way judicial procedure is abused when politicians and public figures want to intimidate journalists. Jiss is still facing charges under:- Article 128 of the criminal code (the one being used against Heni).- Article 86 of the telecommunications law, under which “knowingly causing prejudice to another person or disturbing their peace via the public telecommunications networks is punishable by imprisonment for one to two years and a fine of 100 to 1,000 dinars.”- Article 57 of Decree-Law No. 115 on media freedom, under which “any form of attack on the dignity of another person, term of contempt or insult not involving a specific allegation” is punishable by a fine of 500 to 1,000 dinars.“This prosecution of both Jiss and his guest, who made serious allegations against the president during the interview, is very similar to the prosecution of Meherzi, who is due to appear before a judge on 23 September,” Reporters Without Borders said. Reporters Without Borders reminds Tunisians that:- Freedom of information constitutes one of the foundations of a democracy.- The exclusive character of Tunisia’s press law must be accepted. Reference must be made its articles and its articles alone when trying media cases.- Articles in the criminal code or other laws that conflict with the articles of the new press law are no longer valid. This is established in article 79 of the press law, which repeals “all previous legal provisions that conflict with this law, from the date that it takes effect.”- The criminal code must be revised and amended in order to bring it into compliance with international standards.- As public figures, government officials must accept media coverage of the public events in which they take part, and must accept criticism.- Judges must act as guarantors of the judicial system’s independence and must heed international standards, especially as regards defamation, so that a balance can be found between the individual’s right to dignity and privacy on the one hand, and freedom of expression on the other, above all in connection with public figures and matters of public interest.Reporters Without Borders declares its support for the National Union of Tunisian Journalists, which has called for a strike by all the media on September 17 in protest against judicial harassment of journalists. TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa Organisation RSF_en News Help by sharing this information News November 12, 2019 Find out more Receive email alerts Eleven organizations from civil society create the Forum on Information & Democracy, a structural response to information disordercenter_img News to go further Forum on Information and Democracy 250 recommendations on how to stop “infodemics” September 17, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Journalists’ work hampered by abusive prosecutions and arrests Tunisia : RSF asks Tunisian president’s office to respect journalists Follow the news on Tunisia News December 26, 2019 Find out more November 11, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

What’s at Stake in the Constitutionality CFPB Case

first_img As the The U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear the appeal of a California law firm that argues the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is unconstitutionally structured, American Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Peter J. Wallison argues that there is more at stake than just the constitutionality of the Bureau.On Real Clear Politics, Wallison argues that this CFPB case is an example of Congress enacting “broadly  phrased laws, essentially delegating the key legislative choices to administrative agencies and violating the Framers’ constitutional plan of separation.”Additionally, he states that the Dodd-Frank Act is another “dangerous step.”“First, it gives the CFPB’s director a five-year term of office, protected from removal by the president other than for ‘inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance,’” Wallison said. “This places the director outside the control of the president, whose ability to pursue the policies he was elected to implement depends crucially on the ability to remove and replace the senior officials of executive agencies.”This means, according to Wallison, that this case is a prime opportunity to make a clearer separation of powers.The law firm named in the case, Seila Law, alleges that the structure of the agency grants too much power to its director. According to court papers, given the CFPB’s broad law enforcement powers, the fact that the president may only remove the director of the CFPB “for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office” is unconstitutional. As Wallison says, “the president has the power through the appointment and removal of executive officials to carry out the policies he was elected to pursue.” In May, the CFPB beat Seila Law before a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.“Seila Law contends that an agency with the CFPB’s broad law-enforcement powers may not be headed by a single Director removable by the President only for cause. That argument is not without force,” Circuit Judge Paul Watford wrote for the court. What’s at Stake in the Constitutionality CFPB Case Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Subscribe Tagged with: CFPB Constitutionality October 30, 2019 1,013 Views Home / Daily Dose / What’s at Stake in the Constitutionality CFPB Case Seth Welborn is a Reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Harding University, he has covered numerous topics across the real estate and default servicing industries. Additionally, he has written B2B marketing copy for Dallas-based companies such as AT&T. An East Texas Native, he also works part-time as a photographer. Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago About Author: Seth Welborncenter_img  Print This Post Related Articles Share Save in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago CFPB Constitutionality 2019-10-30 Seth Welborn Sign up for DS News Daily The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Previous: Industry Reacts to Fed’s Latest Cut to Interest Rates Next: The Debate Over High-Density Housing Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days agolast_img read more

Transfer gossip: Wolves linked with Murphy

first_imgSky Sports News HQ are reporting that Wolves have made an enquiry about the availability of Norwich forward Josh Murphy.Embed from Getty ImagesThe 21-year-old from Wembley, who has scored seven goals this season, has been linked with a number of clubs in recent months.Sky say Norwich are discussing a new deal for Murphy and that the club are keen to keep him at Carrow Road. Speculation over McCormackSky Sports News HQ are reporting that Ross McCormack, who has been linked with a return to Fulham, is unsettled in the West Midlands and keen to move back to London. McCormack has failed to make an impact at Aston Villa since leaving Craven Cottage in the summer and has been criticised by boss Steve Bruce for missing training.Sky say Villa would be willing to let McCormack leave during this month’s transfer window but that no formal offers have so far been made. Villa supposedly want FurlongEmbed from Getty ImagesThe Birmingham Mail have picked up on claims Aston Villa are interested in Darnell Furlong.West London Sport recently revealed that QPR are keen to extend the 21-year-old right-back’s contract.A transfer-gossip website has since claimed that Villa and a number of other clubs are keen on Furlong, whose current contract is due to expire at the end of the season. Fulham linked with Sutton heroEmbed from Getty ImagesIt is claimed that Fulham want Sutton United midfielder Roarie Deacon.The Wandsworth-born 25-year-old, who was at Arsenal as a youngster, scored a stunning goal as Sutton beat AFC Wimbledon in the FA Cup this week.That has inevitably triggered reports of interest from various clubs – and The Sun claim Fulham and Rotherham are interested.Peterborough United are also said to be monitoring the player. Hogan speculationCrystal Palace and Watford remain interested in Scott Hogan, The Guardian say.West Ham are keen to sign the Brentford striker and talks between the two clubs are ongoing.Watford recently made an enquiry about Hogan, 24, and The Guardian suggest the Hornets are still keen.Palace have also been linked with Hogan. There have been reports that West Ham are close to agreeing a deal to sign him.The Mail claimed on Tuesday that a breakthrough had been reached, with the Hammers said to be offering a deal worth a total of £13.5m. Coventry and Millwall linked with McCormackEmbed from Getty ImagesMillwall and Coventry City have shown an interest in Alan McCormack, the Mail say.McCormack, 33, has made only three league appearances for Brentford this season, the most recent of which came in October.The Bees are reportedly willing to let him leave on loan in order for him to get game time elsewhere. Bees and Fulham linked with AkpomEmbed from Getty ImagesBrentford and Fulham are interested in taking Chuba Akpom on loan from Arsenal, according to The Times. Cardiff City are also said to be keen on the 21-year-old forward, who made four appearances for Brenford during a loan spell at Griffin Park in 2014. The Times say he could be allowed out on loan again and that a move to the Championship is likely.QPR linked with Hibs forwardEmbed from Getty ImagesIt is claimed that QPR are interested in Hibernian striker Jason Cummings.A host of players north of the border have been linked with QPR by the Scottish media.And the Daily Record now suggest that both the R’s and Barnsley are monitoring the 21-year-old Cummings.    Ads by Revcontent Trending Articles Urologists: Men, Forget the Blue Pill! This “Destroys” ED x ‘Genius Pill’ Used By Rich Americans Now Available In Netherlands! x Men, You Don’t Need the Blue Pill if You Do This x What She Did to Lose Weight Stuns Doctors: Do This Daily Before Bed! x One Cup of This (Before Bed) Burns Belly Fat Like Crazy! x Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch) x Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Darwinist Writes Bible Commentary

first_img(Visited 14 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 A rationalist, Darwinist, rabid anti-creationist has surprising things to say about the Bible.Steve Jones, former head geneticist at University College London, is a Darwinist’s Darwinist.  Not only does he relegate everything in life to gradual natural selection (including the Cambrian Explosion, 12/19/08), he celebrated London’s Darwin Centre (9/24/02), and has been a model of making disparaging remarks about creationists, considering them annoying, depressing, and irrational (11/27/06).  One of his best-known podcasts was entitled, “Why Creationism Is Wrong and Evolution Is Right” (4/21/06).  Now he has a new book out, The Serpent’s Promise: The Bible Retold As Science.  It was reviewed by Tim Radford for Nature.One might expect Jones to tear the holy book to shreds.  On the contrary, Radford found it “a masterly take on science invoked by the Bible.”  Jones apparently finds a lot to like in the stories of Adam and Eve, Noah, Job, Joseph, Moses and Solomon.  He even called it the Good Book, with capitals.  He called Genesis “the world’s first biology textbook.”  Radford has a hunch why Jones was accommodating to those he considers irrational:The Serpent’s Promise is a believer’s book. It expresses belief in the power of language, imagination, scholarship, high art, enduring myth, tribal tradition, unforgettable poetry, irrational vision and inspired insight. If you wanted to find all of these things between just one set of covers, you might pick up the Authorized Version of the Bible; but this is a not a book by somebody who believes in God. It is a book by the distinguished geneticist, broadcaster, lecturer, writer and Welshman Steve Jones, who has a sharp awareness of moral imperative and a warm feeling for those Joneses before him who invoked the bread of heaven and yearned to be safe on Canaan’s side. It is the ambivalence at the heart of this book which makes it so hugely enjoyable and, perhaps, so important.Could there be in his soul a wistful longing for the faith of his fathers?  If so, it’s probably shallow.  Jones looks at the Bible as a collection of tribal myths that, for all their inspired insights and poetry, have been superseded by science.  His book is “not of the science of the Bible, but of the science invoked by the Bible,” as if Biblical texts become springboards for a “rationalist sermon on a biblical theme,” showing “the power of science to illuminate myth.”Consequently, Jones chose Biblical texts based on their potential to launch him into high dives of scientific rationalism.  The “giants” of Genesis 6:4 become an opportunity to discuss the pituitary gland and acromegaly.  The genealogies evolve into discussions of the genetic inheritance of Ashkenazy Jews, the Arya and Britons from recent forebears.  “The Serpent’s Promise cannot advance divine revelation, but it offers a new context for old myths,” Radford explains.  He found Jones’s book remarkably accommodating to the religious:This book is not an overt condemnation of religious belief: skilfully, it selects stories that have informed Western culture for 2,000 years to illuminate modern research, and Jones ends with an envoi on behalf of a future enriched by “an objective and unambiguous culture whose logic, language and practices are permanent and universal. It is called science.”To Bible believers, this is condemnation with faint praise.  It may not be overt, but it is surely covert: old myths are out.  Now that we’ve had our 2,000 year entertainment, it’s time to be objective with logic and universal cultural practices based on science.  It’s not clear if Jones has been told that logical positivism died in the 1960s.Radford appears to have caught Jones standing on a slippery rug.  “He does not waste much energy on the three great mysteries resolved with such confidence in Genesis…” he said; “science may never be able to explain why the Universe happened at all, precisely how life began or what exactly turned an omnivorous foraging African bipedal primate into a creature with a taste for abstract speculation.”  Radford used Jones as an example of “the problem of humans. They can intellectually endorse one thing and stubbornly love another.”Jones has made a certifiable fool of himself.  Remember when he attributed the Cambrian explosion to gradual Darwinian processes? (12/19/08).  Remember when he was asked for his best evidence for evolution, and it was HIV? (5/30/06).  But those are freshman flaws in the school of irrationality.  His Ph.D. level (Post hoc Dottiness) is attributing his own rationality to an unguided material process that, somehow, “turned an omnivorous foraging African bipedal primate into a creature with a taste for abstract speculation” (see yesterday’s commentary).  From whence did Jones get his “moral imperative”?  Radford (a freelance journalist and author) at least has a grasp of the big questions “resolved with such confidence in Genesis” and unexplained by science.Jones has given up on talking to creationists (5/30/06).  One can only hope he will open the Good Book more often and find more inspiration other than the Serpent’s promise that he would be as gods, knowing good and evil.  Some deprogramming out of logical positivism might be a prerequisite.  Even so, the ambivalence in his soul was sensed by Radford.  With God all things are possible, even directing a modern Saul to safety on Canaan’s side, where the Joneses before him would yearn to see him come.last_img read more

Cape Town to get ‘green’ office tower

first_img16 August 2011The Cape Town city skyline will soon feature a stunning new addition in the form of the impressive Portside Building – a four green-star rated skyscraper being built as a joint initiative between FirstRand Bank and Old Mutual.Designed jointly by DHK and Louis Carol Architects, the new Portside Building comprises a full city block between Buitengracht, Hans Strydom, Bree and Mechau streets, and capitalises on the stunning views of Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean while complementing the beauty of the city.The project will have office space of over 52 000m² as well as 1 200m² of banking and retail area with easy access from all sides on the ground level.When completed in March 2014, it will become the provincial headquarters for the three divisions of FirstRand Bank, namely First National Bank, Rand Merchant Bank and Wesbank. It will also have a general office component that will be leased out.Promoting Cape Town’s reputationSpeaking at the ground-breaking ceremony last week, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille lauded the two companies for their investment and commitment to economic growth in the Western Cape.“The new Portside Building in Cape Town will help promote the city’s reputation as a thriving financial hub and we are hopeful that it will serve as a catalyst for similar buildings to be added to the city’s skyline in the future,” she said.“The building will also complement our government’s Cape Town Central Regeneration Programme, which aims to transform the central city into a thriving centre of productivity, connectivity, innovation, social cohesion and environmental sustainability.”Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony of the construction of the building, FirstRand CEO Sizwe Nxasana explained that the banking group considered Portside to be far more than merely another city building.“Our investment in Portside is an extension of our continued commitment to investing in the development of the city and region, providing sustainable economic stimulus and creating much-needed jobs in line with [the] government’s employment development and social upliftment agenda.”Environmental and social impactAccording to Old Mutual Properties’ Ben Kodisang, the visual, environmental and social impact of Portside was key to the entire design process. “Not only did the design of Portside need to enable Old Mutual and FirstRand to have two distinct business addresses in the city,” he said.Its location in a Central City Urban Conservation Area also meant it needed to be highly sensitive to the historical and environmental character of its surroundings.To this end, the architects were required to take into account both the current and potential future development of the city around the site of the new building and ensure that Portside will be able to create the necessary synergies with other buildings in the area.Four green-star rating – an African firstAll stakeholders agreed, from the outset, that environmental sustainability was a vital component in this design approach. Stephan Claassen, Provincial Head of FNB explained that Portside is likely to be the first high rise building in Africa to have a four green-star rating.“We intend making Portside a benchmark of environmental sustainability in terms of both construction and building management processes, and have worked closely with the architects to ensure that it serves to raise the standards of green design,” he said.This includes indoor environmental quality, and the reduction of energy, water consumption, waste production and management production and negative carbon emissions for tall buildings.Kodisang confirmed this commitment and explained that the incorporation of these green building principles would be closely monitored and evaluated to ensure that Portside conforms with the City of Cape Town’s green building standards and achieves the desired four green star rating.Both Claassen and Kodisang expressed their gratitude to the City of Cape Town for its support and assistance in making this vision a reality. “Without the close partnership of the City of Cape Town, FirstRand and Old Mutual would never have reached this historic point in realising our vision for the Portside building,” said Kodisang.“We are immensely grateful for the encouragement and assistance the council has provided to us.”SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Emerging farmers on the rise

first_imgThe Jagpan mentorship programme helpsemerging farmers to build up their flocksof hardy Dorper sheep.(Image: Formore free photos, visit the image library) MEDIA CONTACTS • Gawie van Wyk  Jagpan Vennootskap Boerdery  +27 83 270 3161 • National Wool Growers Association   +27 41 365 5030 RELATED ARTICLES • Zuma: SA farmers make things happen • Not just a fluffy face • Paying it forward with goat farming • SA’s women farmers root out hunger • R200m tomato factory opens in PEEmily van RijswijckBlack emerging farmers are beginning to find their feet in the tough environment of commercial farming, with success stories being recorded in the Eastern and Northern Cape provinces.The majority of the 17 000 wool sheep farmers living in the former Transkei and Ciskei regions – located to the north and south of the Kei River in the Eastern Cape, respectively – are small farmers, running herds of 20 to 30 sheep on average.On their own, these farmers would struggle to make a sustainable living but thanks to a mentorship and support programme offered by the National Wool Growers Association of South Africa (NWGA), these same farmers are now serious players in the wool export industry. The NWGA’s Training and Development for Communal and Emerging Wool Farmers programme aims to pool resources and establish ongoing mentorship. Started in 1997, it has helped to increase the bale volumes of the region’s farmers from just over 222 000 kilograms in 1997 to a hefty 2.9-million kilograms over the last season. “We teach them everything from shearing their sheep, to classing the wool and packing it properly into bales,” says Leon de Beer, GM at the Port Elizabeth-based NWGA head office. “We also introduce them to wool brokers.”The programme follows a five-tier approach:Providing infrastructure development and upgrading of shearing stations and facilities;Giving ongoing development and training;Mentorship assistance with local, established farmers;Help with all marketing-related aspects; andGenetic improvement of the local herds with the gradual introduction of superior rams.Increased earnings, better lifeThe programme has made a huge difference to the income and overall social status of the farmers, adds de Beer. The rand value for the area’s 2010/11 season is estimated at almost 70-million (US$8.9-million), of which 90% is earmarked for export. The genetic improvement aspect has also brought about significant change to the quality of the wool produced in the area. With help from the NWGA, farmers from areas bordering the Ciskei and Transkei have gradually been building up the genetic quality of the local herds with superior breeding rams.To date, almost 28 000 rams have been introduced into local herds over a nine-year period.  Partnering with emerging farmersFar removed from the rolling green hills of the beautiful Transkei and Ciskei, lies the Hantam district of the Great Karoo, a semi-arid farming area in the Northern Cape, known for its delicious mutton. It is here that farmer Gawie van Wyk and his brother-in-law Jannie van Heerden set up the Jagpan Vennootskap Boerdery in 2007, a mentorship project with emerging farmers.“Our motivation was to make a contribution, to do something to help. I grew up in the area and know the people very well,” says Van Wyk, who is also NWGA’s production adviser in the district.Located 120 km from the small town of Carnarvon, the initiative has already won accolades from the Rural Development and Land Reform Department for its financial systems. “We lay great emphasis on the financial management of the farm,” says Van Wyk.Van Wyk and Van Heerden are mentoring four famers – Patrick Sacco, Jan Moolman, Dirk Sacco and Ismael Louw. Three of the group have never farmed commercially before, and for the moment all of them are still part-time farmers. With the exception of Louw, the others still hold down nine to five jobs during the week, with farming activities restricted to the weekends.  A business model that worksJagpan’s business plan is simple and ensures success for all three parties – the state, the emerging farmers and the two mentors. The state has allowed the partners to lease the land for a seven-year period at no cost, but with commitments to manage and maintain it. At the outset of the project four years ago, the state donated 400 Dorper ewes to the initiative. These are locally-bred sheep, developed by cross-breeding the Dorset Horn and Blackhead Persian varieties. The breed is well suited to hot, dry areas and is known as a fast-growing meat producer.The Dorpers were run with 400 ewes belonging to Van Wyk and Van Heerden.  The 800 sheep were farmed as a unit with a 50% profit share going to the trainees and 50% going to the two mentors.The emerging farmers are required to build up their own flock to 800 ewes within seven years. As this happens, Van Wyk and Van Heerden gradually reduce their own ewe numbers and their percentage of the profits accordingly. The farm is already running 600 of its own Dorper ewes. It wasn’t all plain sailing though. After experiencing two excellent years the farmers had a tough season in 2010, losing a lot of sheep to Rift Valley Fever. Van Wyk believes the emerging farmers may not have been able to sustain their efforts were it not for the mentorship and support provided during this difficult period.But he sees a promising future. “By the end of the seven years, they’ll be self-sustaining,” he believes.Transkei and CiskeiThe Transkei and Ciskei are two of the four formerly independent homelands created under the apartheid government in the 1970s. The other two homelands were Bophuthatswana and Venda. The Ciskei and Transkei are now part of the Eastern Cape Province.The Transkei boasts some of the most spectacular seascapes in South Africa, many of which remain largely untouched, prompting the use of its other popular name, the Wild Coast. The Wild Coast is a favourite tourist spot for the more adventurous as roads can be sub-standard in places, but awards the visitor with places like the Hole in the Wall and Wavecrest, the southern-most mangrove swamp in the world.Inland, visitors are treated to the sight of soft rolling hills dotted with homesteads still built in traditional fashion, with clay walls and thatch roofs. The area’s inhabitants, the Xhosa people, live mostly off subsistence farming and the local tourism industry. The Ciskei region is home to Bhisho, the capital of the Eastern Cape. The area is poor and most inhabitants exist on subsistence farming.The Ciskei has a small stretch of pristine coastline, offering great opportunities for hiking, such as the rewarding Shipwreck hiking trail, which allows hikers the opportunity to really “rough it”.last_img read more

App to understand South African visa rules

first_imgChild Visa Checklist App has been designed to help travellers to and from South Africa to understand the new child visa requirements.One of the reasons Drive South Africa created the Child Visa Checklist App is that many travellers don’t know which documents to carry into our borders, as per the new child Visa laws in South Africa. (Image: Brand South Africa)Brand South Africa reporterThe South African government’s new child visa laws came into play on 1 June 2015 and they “are here for the foreseeable future”, according to Mayihlome Tshwete, the Department of Home Affairs spokesperson.The department published standard operating procedures that airlines and the tourism industry must follow; information was also published its website, to explain the new regulations to would-be travellers.But there is some confusion around the changes. In an email sent to all members of the Southern African Tourism Services Association (Satsa), David Frost, the chief executive, said that he found the documents “complicated”.“The regulations are complex, daunting and not easily accessible for local and international travellers,” said Russell Jarvis, the head of communication at Travelstart South Africa. “Travellers need to know exactly what documents they require for a seamless and stress-free entry into our beautiful country’s borders.”To help would-be travellers understand these new requirements better, Drive South Africa created the Child Visa Checklist app. The app provides an easy-to-understand checklist of documents required by anyone travelling to or from South Africa with children – for their particular child-travel scenario.The web-based app, which works on mobile and desktop, helps users see precisely what travel documents they need, in three quick clicks or taps.According to Andre van Kets, the creator of the Child Visa Checklist App, “there are 15 different possible documents and 37 unique scenarios for children travelling in and out of South Africa”.“We initially create the app so that our travel consultants could fully understand the new child visa requirements, and better serve our clients. The app was so well received, that we’ve decided to go ‘open source’ with it and let anyone in the tourism industry – and travellers themselves – access the information,” says Van Kets.To use the app, a user selects an option under each step and it displays a checklist of documents unique to that particular scenario.It was launched on 30 May, and since then has been accessed more than 8 000 times by users from South Africa and 102 other countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy, Australia, United States, United Arab Emirates, Swaziland, Mozambique and Malawi.The app has also been shared more than 1 300 times on Facebook and other social media platforms. Travel agencies around the world are using it to advise clients travelling to South Africa with children under 18 years.“Thanks for creating this app. It will be a fabulous tool to help get our clients organised,” said Amy Green, the client services director of the American travel agency, Hills of Africa.The Child Visa Checklist app was built in consultation with a panel of experts including: Megan Harrington-Johnson, the senior associate attorney, practising family law at Schindlers Attorneys in Johannesburg; and Van Kets, the co-founder and director of online travel company Discover Africa Group in Cape Town.Various members of the South Africa travel and tourism industry have also been consulted during the building of the app, including Frost and Otto de Vries, the chief executive of the Association of South African Travel Agents (Asata).Source: News24Wire.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Creamline rallies past Perlas to sweep PVL elims

first_imgChurch, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Valdez is in Japan with the national team as they prepare for the Southeast Asian Games and AVC Asian Women’s Volleyball Championship. Francesca Raqraquin put up a game-high 23 points to lead the Cool Smashers while Vargas and Pau Soriano added 16 and 12 points, respectively.Kathy Bersola led the Perlas Spikers with 22 points.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next A loss to Bali Pure in its match against Pocari Sweat will ensure BanKo Perlas of at least a playoff for the fourth spot.Rosemarie Vargas capped off Creamline’s furious 21-9 rally with an off-the-block kill to finish the match and preserve the Cool Smashers’ perfect card. FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“We always tell our players to calm their nerves because this is a no-pressure game for us,” said Creamline assistant coach Oliver Almadro who reserved a semifinals slot since it etched a 5-0 record. “Coach Tai, however, told us to win the game.”“This sweep just shows how talented our players are and we just don’t depend on Alyssa [Valdez], she’s our leader but other players are capable of stepping up.” FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ MOST READcenter_img Lastimosa, Mallari team up as NLEX rises to 4-0 DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ LATEST STORIES Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Creamline Cool Smashers. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netCreamline entered the semifinal stages of the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference with an immaculate slate after capping off its elimination round campaign with a come-from-behind win over BanKo Perlas, 21-25, 25-22, 26-24, 28-26, Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre.The Cool Smashers ended the preliminary stages with a 7-0 record while the Perlas Spikers (3-4) moved to the brink of elimination. ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

Teng brothers team up as part of Chooks Pilipinas

first_imgRobredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Trump to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups BROTHERHOOD. In a show of sportsmanship and brotherly affection, La Salle’s Jeron Teng (right) raises the hand of UST gunner Jeric Teng after the Green Archers edged the Growling Tigers in overtime for the UAAP Season 76 title in 2013. AUGUST DELA CRUZ/INQUIRERJeron shares the same sentiments as he gets the rare chance to play alongside someone he considers as one of his mentors.“It’s different when your brother is on the same team. He’s not only my teammate but also mentors me,” Jeron said.“Of course, he’s already had lots of experience because he’s more veteran between the two of us. He gives me advice and really guides me on what to do on the court.”Playing for the Philippine team in the club tournament gives Jeric a chance to prove that he still belongs in the PBA and also benefits Jeron, who is eyeing go enter the 2017 PBA Draft.But the both cleared that their focus is on helping Chooks-to-Go win in the continental club championship.ADVERTISEMENT “My objective is to help the team. By doing that, I can also show that I can still play,” said Jeric. “If I play well, maybe a team will take a chance on me again. But that’s not my main focus right now. I want to really help the team win in this Champions Cup.”“I’m not thinking of the PBA just yet. Right now, I’m just focused 100 percent on the task and that is to really play well for Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas. I want to focus on that so I can play my game.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Never in their wildest dreams that the opportunity to team up again will come in an international setting.The two have been selected by coach Chot Reyes to be part of the 12-man roster of Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas which will compete in the 2017 Fiba Asia Champions Cup beginning on Friday in Chenzhou, China.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“It’s really been our dream to team up again. It’s just a blessing that we’ll be doing this for the Philippine team. I’m so excited to share the same court with Jeron again,” said Jeric.“Even in practice, we go together in just one car. We talk a lot about practice and the system and it’s very fun. It also helps because we know each other’s game and we really get closer here.” Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ MOST READ Brothers Jeric and Jeron Teng during Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas practice at Meralco Gym. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netBrothers Jeric and Jeron Teng have been dreaming about playing together again since both starred for Xavier for one season in high school.In college, the older Jeric went to University of Santo Tomas while Jeron suited up for La Salle and the two even faced each other in an epic UAAP Finals in 2013 won by the Green Archers.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’center_img Winter storm threatens to scramble Thanksgiving travel plans View comments No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors Ramirez gives PH its 2nd gold in Aimag Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Argentine bishop appears at court hearing on abuse chargeslast_img read more

Sports organisation brings joy into lives of ‘special’ children in Delhi

first_imgCan and able: Mentally challenged children in Delhi prepare for the GamesTushar Bhatia’s eyes, twinkling from behind thick glasses, and the unruly black hair covering his forehead make him look like a chubby Harry Potter, straight out of a J.K. Rowling book.Like any other 11-year-old, life centres on school. The,Can and able: Mentally challenged children in Delhi prepare for the GamesTushar Bhatia’s eyes, twinkling from behind thick glasses, and the unruly black hair covering his forehead make him look like a chubby Harry Potter, straight out of a J.K. Rowling book.Like any other 11-year-old, life centres on school. The class he enjoys most is computers; he has recently learnt a lot about making files. He is fond of music and dance and admires Shah Rukh Khan’s brand of footloose eurhythmics.Some day when he is “grown up” and has “a big black moustache” he might marry Rani Mukherjee, his Bollywood dream girl. Among other things he loves, mention sports and Tushar’s face lights up-he enjoys being on the field with the wind in his hair. But he is not just another child treading the usual path of school, college and a white-collar job. Tushar is “special”.The endearing things he says have to be heard carefully, or you might miss their meaning completely. And you might have to repeat yourself a few times before he is able to respond.Tushar is one of the thousands of children born every year with various types of brain damage. He attends classes at Tamana, one of Delhi’s dozen or so “Special Schools”. Life for these children and their parents is hard. It is a continuous battle against odds that are as intimidating as they are disheartening.Just about a year ago, however, preparations began for an event that is today bringing ringing laughter (not unaccompanied by tears of joy and pride for parents) into their lives-the National Games 2002 organised by the Special Olympics Bharat (SOB), the Indian chapter of the organisation that holds an international sports meet called the Special Olympics for “special” children.Twelve sport disciplines ranging from the standard track-and-field and basketball to specially formulated ones like “floor hockey” (similar to ice hockey but played on a smooth, non-ice surface) and the 100 m “walk” are all part of the schedule. Athletes selected in this meet will represent India at the Special Olympics in Dublin, Ireland, next year.advertisementThere is great enthusiasm for the event after SOB took some radical decisions last year. While the SOB is no newcomer to India (it has been around for almost 20 years), the participation level had been deeply disappointing, leaving organisers wondering what they had to do to make it an event that would make a difference in the lives of these children.First, SOB shifted its headquarters from Bangalore to Delhi. State committees to organise sports were set up in 26 states. The professional approach paid rich dividends. From a few thousands over the years, the SOB movement managed an explosion of registrations, with 20,000 special participants registering by the beginning of 2002.Special camps focusing on training parents and volunteers as coaches for special children were organised with experts coming from Washington. A huge public-relations drive was undertaken.SOB approached state governments for their cooperation in holding the National Games 2002, which were held in seven cities-Chennai, Pondicherry, Kochi, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad and Delhi- through September and October.The focus is not “faster, higher, stronger”. It’s about giving every special child a chance to be cheered by onlookers, to be a part of a movement and feel as if he or she belongs.There is an instant sparkle in Tushar’s eyes as he describes how he took part in the inaugural torch run in Delhi on September 7 and actually got to hold the torch. Sonia Singh, 25, who has participated in the track-and-field events in the past few years, is looking forward to her events this year as well.”I’m definitely going to win a medal,” she says, busy training with obvious enjoyment at Delhi’s National Stadium despite sneakers that are torn and a wish for “a new T-shirt”. Piyush Jain, another Delhi participant, is competing in the 100 m walk. He grins indulgently at Sonia’s wish, almost as if to say, “Girls! Always wanting new clothes,” and continues with his warm-up exercises.SOB coach Harpreet Singh says that participating alone can make a world of difference to the child. He recalls how many of those who took part in the games earlier came out of the experience with a new confidence and began responding with surprising success to their school curriculum.Some participants of previous years have since left their special schools to go out and take up employment in the outside world. Says SOB Chairman Air Marshal (Retd) Denzil Keelor: “These children are beautiful and talented too. They just need to be given a chance and they will amaze you with what they can do.” Such is the magic of the Special Olympics. Young Tushar, for one, would agree.advertisementlast_img read more