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SA ‘forging African security’

first_img29 June 2005South African police, military and intelligence officials are currently working in Ethiopia, Eritrea, the Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Burundi and Madagascar, Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula told a media briefing in Cape Town on Wednesday.The South African government has a two-pronged approach to its efforts in Africa, Nqakula said: peacekeeping on the one hand, and assistance with expertise on the other.Experts from the South African Police Service and/or the SA National Defence Force are currently assisting with capacity-building and election preparations in Ethiopia, Eritrea, the Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of Congo.Peacekeeping efforts are concentrated in the Darfur region of Sudan – where an SA official is commanding a civilian police structure of over 100 police members operating under the auspices of the African Union – and in Burundi, Nqakula said.In Madagascar, officials from SA’s National Intelligence Agency and Crime Intelligence are helping the government there consolidate a security project, he added.Members of fledgling unified police forces from Ivory Coast and the DRC are also receiving training in South Africa, and the government has also been assisting these forces with “non-lethal” material such as computers, Nqakula said.“Our commitment to improve cooperation and partnerships on the continent and globally continues at a vigorous pace,” the minister said.“Our ability to ward off transnational threats and promote development lies in forging such partnerships to counter threats of mercenary activity and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, among others.”Further afield, the government remains concerned about the activities of South Africans with military training in Iraq.The Foreign Military Assistance Act is being tightened to close loopholes to enable effective prosecutions of South Africans fighting in foreign wars, Nqakula told journalists.Once the amendment to the Act had been passed, South Africans involved in combat in Iraq, for instance, are likely to be prosecuted on their return to SA.The Act is also being revised to take into account South Africans who have joined “peaceful armies” in other countries, and who are involved in humanitarian operations in conflict zones, Deputy Justice Minister Johnny de Lange told journalists.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

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Riding the wild Cape winds

first_imgThere are some good spots in Cape Town for beginner windsurfers. This is not one of them. Bart de Zwart tests some high- wind equipment near Cape Point. Big waves give the opportunity to get some speed up coming in to the beach – and to get airborne going back out. (Images: Jennifer Stern)Jennifer SternWhen the wind is howling in Cape Town, most people batten down the hatches. But Stefan Gölnitz, Bart de Zwart, Gunther Baade, Jonas Holzhausen, Manuel Vogel and Frank Lewisch are not like most people. These guys come to the Cape because of the wind, not in spite of it.So the attendant at the gate of the Cape Point section of the Table Mountain National Park had to shake herself out of her inaction-induced reverie to sell them tickets. Not many people were braving the Cape of Storms with a howling southeaster blowing.But it was the perfect opportunity to test some wave-jumping boards and heavy weather sails, so the test team set off to play in the wind and waves.Gölnitz is a journalist for a Surf Magazin, the biggest windsurfing magazine in Germany and – strange as it seems – the best-selling windsurfing magazine in the world.  Germany has well over 100 000 active windsurfers, which makes it probably the biggest windsurfing market in the world. This is partly because the newer craze of kite surfing, which has seduced so many windsurfers away, has not really caught on in Germany to the same extent it has in, say, South Africa.After a short session near the Cape of Good Hope, they moved off to Witsand – a popular spot for experienced boardsailors.  And they went wild. There were a couple of intrepid kite surfers there when they arrived, but they were just getting out the water as the wind was picking up.Cool jobGölnitz has a pretty cool job. He has to do some nice travel articles, and he gets to play on the water more than most people who have regular jobs.But probably his favourite assignment is his six-week sojourn in Langebaan, where he and his colleagues test the latest, newest and hottest windsurfing equipment. They test light weather equipment in Italy, but they have to leave Europe to get really consistent high winds and big seas, so they come to Langebaan.This is the 12th consecutive year the Surf Magazin test team have used Langebaan as a location, and it has become an automatic choice.  “In fact,” Gölnitz says, “if the water was warm, this would be maybe the best windsurfing destination in the world.”Langebaan, he says is the perfect base. The lagoon is calm and protected so they can test relatively light weather gear when the wind is not too strong. When it picks up – as it usually does in the afternoon – they can test racing gear, getting up to tear-blurring speeds across the turquoise lagoon.“And,” he adds, “Swartriet is a short drive away when we want to do wave jumping.“And Cape Town is close by, so we can go to Big Bay to surf or to Cape Point and Witsand. There are so many good sites in just an hour’s drive.”Gölnitz says it’s not only the quality of the wind and sea conditions – fabulous as they are. It’s also the general vibe of Cape Town.  “We’ve done the tests in Egypt and the Caribbean before,” he says. ‘But it’s boring. There’s nothing to do when you’re not sailing. In Cape Town, if the weather is bad, we can go to a movie or to the Waterfront. Or even play golf.”A bit of translation may be needed here. Bad weather for Gölnitz means no wind, regardless of how sunny and warm it may be.They are based for the whole six weeks at the Cape Sports Centre. It’s conveniently right on the beach and it has the facilities to effect repairs if necessary. And it’s the centre of action for windsurfers, kite surfers, paddlers and cyclists with all manner of active happenings going on all the time, so it’s a vibe they can relate to.They need to test an enormous amount of equipment so it’s fortunate for them they have a sponsorship with a German airline, otherwise the cost of flying about 600kg of gear from Europe to the tip of Africa and back again would be prohibitive.  And that’s not even the half of it. The rest is brought over by the manufacturers themselves.International windsurfingThe first week of their stay is a real who’s who of international windsurfing. The top equipment manufacturers in the world fly in to Cape Town with a selection of gear they’d like tested, and then they spend a few days in Langebaan networking, pushing their products and – of course – sailing.After that first week, the team gets down to the serious work of testing the gear. It sounds like a cushy job but it really is hard work.The other five members of the team are not journalists, but are mostly semi-professional or professional windsurfers – either teaching windsurfing or running shops. It’s mid-winter in Germany when any sensible person would be sitting in front of a log fire with a mug of glühwein, or – at most – skiing, so business is slow for the water sports industry.While their skill is an essential ingredient in their being part of the team, size also does count. The team consists of three pairs of sailors of similar weights – two light, two medium and two heavy.And they don’t just go out there and have fun. They will perform specific tasks with a range of different boards and sails, and they take copious notes. Then they spend hours in the evening comparing their opinions, and recording their scores.The result is the most authoritative review of windsurfing equipment in the world. Keen boardsailors from other countries have started to learn German just so they can read it.While it’s not a holiday, and they are here to work, six weeks is a long time so many of the team are joined by friends and family for a week or two, and they certainly enjoy spending time in Cape Town.  They’ve got another couple of weeks, and then it’s back to a European winter – but that’s not too terrible a fate. There’s skiing and glühwein, and Christmas with real trees and homemade stollen.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected] articlesInto the big-wave DungeonsThe agony and the ecstacy The adventure starts here Useful linksSurf MagazinCape Sportlast_img read more

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South Africa’s 2011 sporting highlights

first_imgSunette Viljoen captured a bronze medal in the greatest women’s javelin competition in history, recording an African record 68.38 metres. South Africa produced another world champion when the Rainbow Nation defeated neighbours Zimbabwe 29-18 in the final of the Polocrosse World Cup to finish the event unbeaten. Jan-Albert Steenkamp was named the best male player of the tournament. South African tennis enjoyed a good year as the sport experienced something of a revival, thanks to its top singles players. Currie Cup surpriseWhile the Springboks didn’t make the World Cup final in New Zealand, referee Craig Joubert did, and when the Springboks returned they couldn’t do enough to stop the Lions, a team with few Boks in their line-up, from capturing their first Currie Cup title since 1999 and their first at home since 1950 with a 42-16 thrashing of the defending champion Sharks. Kevin Anderson won the South African Open in February and made impressive progress up the world rankings during the year, ultimately finishing it in 32nd place, having peaked at 30th in October. Thomas Aiken (Spanish Open), Garth Mulroy (Alfred Dunhill Championship), and Hennie Otto (South African Open) added further wins in European Tour events , while the only South African winner on the PGA Tour was not Ernie Els or Retief Goosen, it was Rory Sabbatini, who won the Honda Classic in March. On the very same weekend, Natalie Grandin secured her first WTA Tour doubles title when she and the Czech Republic’s Vladimira Uhlirova won the Hansol Korea Open. Caster Semenya attained her best form since she won the World Championships in Berlin in 2009 when she too won silver, once more in the 800 metres. After being skittled for only 96 in their first innings, the Proteas trailed Australia by 188 runs on the first innings, but in an extraordinary turn of events they then ran roughshod through the Australian batting, dismissing the visitors for 47 after having them on 21 for 9 at one stage. South Africa went on to win by eight wickets in an incredible match that lasted only three days. Prior to that, he had secured his third Surfski World Cup title off Durban in July. He also began the year with a successful defence of his Drak Challenge title. South African golf scored a major coup when it was announced in April that the country would host a World Golf Championship event from 2012. The tournament will feature the world’s top 70 players and prize money will be in the region of $10-million. The world’s finest all-round paddlerOut on the water, Hank McGregor confirmed his status as the finest all-round paddler in the world when he claimed the 2011 ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships K1 title in Singapore in October. Els, though, received a massive honour when he joined the legendary Gary Player in the World Golf Hall of Fame in May. At the time, he had 62 career titles to his name, including two US Opens and one Open Championship. After Els came Louis Oosthuizen, the winner of The Open Championship in 2010, who claimed the Africa Open in East London, an event co-sanctioned by the Sunshine and European Tours. The 2010/11 season began with long-time star Ernie Els winning the South African Open, but it evolved into the clear-cut announcement of a new generation of South African stars ready to make their mark on the world stage. IAAF medal winnersSouth African athletes performed well at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. Although they won only four medals, that was enough to place them seventh on the medals table in terms of medals won. Simon’s successAnd it was not only the men that excelled. Ashleigh Simon showed that she has what it takes by capturing her second Ladies European Tour title in May, winning the Portugal Ladies Open by three shots. World recordThere was a world record for striker Pietie Coetzee, who became the all-time leading goal scorer in women’s international hockey at the FIH Champions Challenge in Dublin when she netted four goals in South Africa’s 5-5 draw with the USA which took her career tally to an incredible 222 goals in 224 tests. The men’s 4 by 400 relay team of Shane Victor, Ofentse Mogawane, Willie de Beer, and LJ van Zyl shocked their more fancied opponents by racing to a silver medal in the final. Paralympics star Oscar Pistorius also picked up a silver as he had been part of the South African team that contested the heats. No athlete with a disability had previously won a medal at the IAAF World Championships. South African rugby produced a world beater in Sevens Stars Cecil Afrika who was recognised by the International Rugby Board as the World Sevens Player of the Year in October. He was both the top try scorer and top points scorer in the HSBC World Sevens Series.center_img With Afrika to the fore, the South African Sevens team enjoyed a good season, finishing second in the overall standings and winning three tournaments – in Las Vegas, London and Edinburgh – including the last two of the season back-to-back. Most significant victory of 2011Charl Schwartzel was next into the winner’s circle, successfully defending his Joburg Open title. He then went on to record what was arguably the most significant victory by a South African sportsperson in 2011, by capturing the 75th US Masters at Augusta by two strokes after closing with a stunning four birdies in succession. The Proteas again fell disturbingly short of success in a major ICC event when they were surprisingly defeated by New Zealand in the quarterfinals of the World Cup, but they produced one of the most memorable victories of the year in the sport when they beat Australia in the first test in Cape Town in November. Pietermaritzburg was awarded a leg of the UCI World Cycling Tour and hosted the Mzunduzi Road Challenge for the first time in October. The race will in 2012 serve as the UCI World Cycling Tour Final. World’s best test bowlerIndividually, Dale Steyn ended the year a runaway leader at the top of the test bowling rankings, with Morne Morkel in third place. Jacques Kallis was the leading all-rounder and second in the batting rankings. Hashim Amla was number one in the one-day international batting rankings. Back-to-back in J-BaySuperstar surfer Jordy Smith’s year was disrupted by injury, but he still finished inside the top 10 of the world rankings despite missing two events, and he went back-to-back in once again winning the prestigious Billabong Pro in Jeffreys Bay. 23 December 2011 Orlando Pirates were the story of the year in South African football, claiming a hat-trick of titles by winning the Absa Premier League, the Nedbank Cup, and the MTN 8. Astonishingly, the club later parted ways with coach Ruud Krol! Comrades Marathon winner Stephen Muzhingi of Zimbabwe made his mark when he became the first man since Bruce Fordyce in the 1980s to win the race three years in a row, while Russia’s Elena Nurgalieva recorded her sixth win. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material While golf was the sport that stood out most for South Africans, there were plenty of other performances and achievements to celebrate. Epic championSouth African cyclists and cycling events continued to excel. The country produced its first winner of the Absa Cape Epic when Burry Stander and Christoph Sauser of Switzerland claimed a convincing victory. Stander also won the African Mountain Bike Championships and the South African Marathon title. Bianca Buitendag topped the world’s best in January when she lifted the Billabong ASP Women’s World Junior Championships in New South Wales, Australia. LJ van Zyl added a bronze medal in the 400 metres hurdles in which Cornel Fredericks finished fifth. Looking back over the past sporting year for South Africa, one sport stands out above any others: South African golfers enjoyed a superb year and, despite their wonderful record over the years, may have reached new heights. He had earned a hat-trick of titles in the Fish River Canoe Marathon earlier in the month with Grant van der Walt. In July, he romped to a record eighth win in the Berg River Canoe Marathon, rated by many as the toughest race of its kind in the world. Chani Scheepers became the first South African woman since Amanda Coetzer in 2003 to win a WTA Tour event when she lifted the Wanlima International Women’s Open in Guanzhou, China, in September. In swimming, the future was also revealed as Chad le Clos captured the overall Fina/Arena World Cup title, following in the footsteps of Ryk Neethling and Cameron van der Burgh. Le Clos and van der Burgh should lead South Africa’s medal hopes in the pool at the 2012 London Olympic Games.last_img read more

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Google+ Gets Video Status Updates

first_imgGoogle+ just got a feature that takes a bite out of YouTube. Google+ users can now post video recordings as updates to their circles. In the video sharing menu, there’s now a ‘Record video’ option that turns on the webcam. After recording, the video can be shared as an attachment to a post.This kind of personal broadcasting is something YouTube is known for, but now informal video updates can be shared straight to Google+ circles. The Google+ stream allows all kinds of in-your-face content, including animated GIFs and Google Music players, and now it adds impromptu video updates to the mix. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts Tags:#Google#web These video status updates bypass YouTube and go straight to the stream. Google+ Hangouts, the live video chat feature, uses YouTube for recording and also allows group watching of YouTube videos. Google began integrating YouTube and Google+ last October, and YouTube’s new homepage now features Google+ prominently. There’s also a floating YouTube tab on the right side of Google+ pages allowing for quick video searches.Would you post a video update to your circles? jon mitchell Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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Forming cultural communities key for postsecondary success

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe first year of university can be difficult for many students.This is especially true for Aboriginal students who face the additional challenge of culture shock.Educators and health professionals agree that forming cultural communities can ease the transition.APTN National News reporter Ossie Michelin has this story.last_img

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Hungary protests give opposition a chance to work together

first_imgBUDAPEST, Hungary — The recent protests in Hungary have given the fragmented opposition a real opportunity to work together as they challenge Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has an overwhelming majority in parliament.The protests, which started last week in the wake of new labour rules, incorporated an array of grievances on issues like limits on the free press and increasing corruption.Another rally is to be held Friday evening in Budapest.The protests have brought together a wide political coalition, from the nationalist Jobbik party to the Socialist Party, with trade unions and students also participating.Opposition lawmaker Timea Szabo said that “for now it’s a fragile co-operation, but we are working to strengthen it.”Analyst Csaba Toth said the co-operation could have long-term effects, even if immediate results may be limited.Eldar Emric And Pablo Gorondi, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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US all set to be net oil exporter

first_imgParis: Crude production is set to continue expanding in the United States thanks to shale oil, with the country becoming a net exporter from 2021, a development which should reinforce global energy security, the IEA said Monday. “The second wave of the US shale revolution is coming,” Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency, said in a statement. New technology that allows for extracting oil and gas from shale rock formations has led to a boom in oil production in the United States in recent years. With low production costs, that boom is set to continue. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepThe IEA forecasts the United States will account for two-thirds of the increase in global oil production and some three-quarters of the expansion of liquefied natural gas (LNG) over the next five years. This will help the United States surpass Russia and nip at the heels of Saudi Arabia as the world’s top exporter. “This will shake up international oil and gas trade flows, with profound implications for the geopolitics of energy,” said Birol. Rising US shale production was one of the main drivers in the collapse in oil prices in 2014, from which the oil industry is just recovering. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsProduction outside the OPEC oil cartel is set to continue rising, according to the IEA, which sees it climbing by 6.1 million barrels per day (mbd) to 68.7 mbd in 2024. In addition to the United States, both Brazil and Norway are expected to increase output. Meanwhile, OPEC output is expected to dip in 2019 and 2020, before resuming modest growth to 32 mbd in 2024. Overall, global output is expected to rise by 5.9 mbd by 2024, with output in Iran expected to drop due to US sanctions and Venezuela thanks to its deep economic crisis. The IEA also sees growth in demand for oil to ease, in particular due to slowing expansion in China. Nevertheless, it sees demand increasing by an annual average of 1.2 mbd to 2024. China and India will still account for nearly half of the global increase in oil demand, which is expected to rise by 7.1 mbd to 106.4 mbd in 2024. Moreover, the IEA continues to see no peak in oil demand. The petrochemicals sector and jet fuel will be the key drivers of growth, “more than offsetting a slowdown in gasoline due to efficiency gains and electric cars”, said the IEA.last_img read more

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Man stabs wife kills self

first_imgKolkata: A person committed suicide after stabbing his wife late on Sunday night at Dholahat in South 24 Parganas. On Monday morning local residents came to know about the incident and informed police after admitting the woman to a hospital.According to a local resident, Swapan Debnath, 48, used to reside with his wife Sukkari Debnath at his in-law’s house at Bhimnagar in Dholahat. Debnath family’s neighbours claimed that there use to regular altercations between them often over some family problems.On Monday morning, the neighbours found Sukkari lying in a pool of blood. After Sukkari was sent to hospital, a few local residents started searching for Swapan. A few minutes later they discovered Swapan hanging from the ceiling of a pump room located on a agricultural land near his home. When Sukkarai was taken to hospital, she stated that Swapan had stabbed her multiple times. An unnatural death case has been registered at the Dholahat police station.last_img read more

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The NFLs Offseason Carousel Is Mostly Pointless

As my colleague Ben Morris wrote Wednesday, the NFL’s annual free agent market is not, by and large, where Super Bowls are won and lost. At best, it’s a place where teams tread water, paying the going rate for known talents. At worst, it’s where teams waste a ton of money. It’s not hard to see why: Because of “the winner’s curse,” the team that lands a coveted free agent (cough, Ndamukong Suh) is usually the one whose front office overestimated his value by the greatest amount. And with a hard salary cap in place, miscues of that sort mean another aspect of the team is necessarily handicapped with fewer resources as a result.Want more evidence that offseason roster reshuffling is pointless? Going back to the advent of the NFL salary cap (before the 1994 season), I looked at the relationship between the Approximate Value (AV) of veteran players acquired by a team1Via free agency or trades. over the offseason and how much the team’s Simple Rating System (SRS) score improved the following season. Whether you gauge the quality of incoming players using their AV from the prior season alone or their cumulative AV over the preceding three seasons, there’s essentially no connection between how much talent a team adds over the offseason and how much better (or worse) it gets that season.But maybe adding talent is only half the equation. There’s also the matter of preventing talent from leaving by re-signing veterans — or at least maintaining a positive mark in the offseason AV exchange ledger. However, even when looking at net veteran AV gained/lost over the preceding offseason, there’s still no relationship between a team’s ability to hoard proven talent in the offseason and its improvement or decline in the ensuing season.Free agency always feels like one of the most exciting parts of the NFL offseason. But if history is any guide, the vast majority of what happens this week will have little bearing on how much any given team improves or declines next season. read more

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Sabermetrics Helped Put Tim Raines In The Hall Of Fame

After a combative voting season, the Baseball Hall of Fame announced the induction of three players Wednesday evening: Ivan Rodriguez, Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines. Of the three, two came as no surprise: Rodriguez made it on his first try, and Bagwell came incredibly close in 2016, so this year’s less-crowded ballot helped him get over the top. But the real story is the Hall’s embrace, at long last, of Tim Raines. In his tenth and final year on the ballot, the former Montreal Expos speedster showed that a concerted campaign based on advanced metrics can help elect a player who might previously have been overlooked.Raines was never a contender for the Hall if you looked solely at his traditional numbers. His 170 home runs spoke more to longevity than prodigious power, and he fell short of such old-school benchmarks as 3,000 hits or 1,500 RBI. Making matters more difficult, Raines was perpetually overshadowed by fellow Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson, who played in the same era with a similar set of skills, but racked up much more value. (According to Baseball-Reference.com, Henderson had 110.8 career wins above replacement, compared with 69.1 for Raines). As a result, Raines failed to acquire much “black ink” in his career: He rarely led the league in any particular category; Henderson always seemed just a little bit better.But Raines still found ways to excel: He got on base in about 38.5 percent of his plate appearances, and he racked up more than a hundred runs of value above average in his career as a baserunner. Although 69.1 WAR may not be in Henderson’s league, it still made Raines worthy of serious Hall of Fame consideration.Despite the misfortune of playing alongside Henderson, Raines also developed a passionate fanbase. His underrated statistical merits, combined with his lack of traditional accomplishments, spurred the nascent sabermetrics movement to lobby for him. Noted analytics website Baseball Prospectus consistently advocated for Raines’s election from the moment he retired, with former BP staffer (and, later, FiveThirtyEight contributor) Jonah Keri spearheading the campaign.Partially because of sabermetrics and a changing electorate, Raines’s vote totals climbed almost every year he was on the ballot. After news broke of Raines’s induction, Keri told me that “a handful” of voters had reached out to him over the years to credit his work with changing their mind on Raines. This year, Raines finished with 86 percent of the vote, a long way from the low of 22.6 percent he received in his second year.Raines’s election should give hope to all the underappreciated players whose advanced metrics exceeded their traditional accomplishments. As the electorate gets smarter and more informed, even hitters like Raines — without gaudy home run or RBI totals — can hope to make their way to Cooperstown eventually. read more

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