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Ayo, La Salle eye revenge vs Ateneo: ‘They took something from us’

first_imgMOST READ Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine Mainland China virus cases exceed 40,000; deaths rise to 908 PH among economies most vulnerable to virus Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments As fate of VFA hangs, PH and US forces take to the skies for exercise La Salle head coach Aldin Ayo. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netLa Salle coach Aldin Ayo didn’t deny that his side is going to the UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball Finals extra motivated.“They took something from us. I won’t forget November 5,” Ayo said. “It’s the kind of a loss that makes you ponder where you started, what lengths you went through before you got to this level, because those losses make you feel that you lost it all.”ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan PLAY LIST 01:31Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan01:33WHO: ‘Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient’01:01WHO: now 31,211 virus cases in China 102:02Vitamin C prevents but doesn’t cure diseases like coronavirus—medic03:07’HINDI PANG-SPORTS LANG!’03:03SILIP SA INTEL FUND Senators to proceed with review of VFAcenter_img The Green Archers suffered their lone defeat of the season at the hands of fierce rivals Blue Eagles, 83-71, that saw their 12-game winning streak snapped.More importantly, it ended La Salle’s dreams of completing a perfect season with its aspirations of a season sweep going down the drain.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSWe are youngSPORTSFreddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao is my Muhammad Ali“Here in La Salle, the expectations are high. Although that’s just one loss, we felt we lost it all,” the first-year coach said.That’s why Ayo is ecstatic to face Ateneo in the best-of-three championship series, aching to atone for the lone dent in what could have been a dream run. Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports “Again, it’s very odd that it’s only happening at this stage, with us going for the championship, but for us, it’s better late than never.”Facts also aren’t lost on Ayo, who gets a shot at history as he tries to win titles in the UAAP and the NCAA in back-to-back seasons.“All I want is to win,” he said. “It will lie on both teams’ willingness to win. It will be a game of who wants it more.” “It’s just one loss, but we have a chance to redeem ourselves and it’s great that we’re facing Ateneo.”La Salle didn’t waste any time preparing for the Finals, practicing at Smart Araneta Coliseum late Wednesday night after Ateneo dispatched defending champion Far Eastern University in Game 2 of their Final Four tiff.“Even though it’s late, I wanted us to practice after the game. I didn’t want to waste a practice session that we didn’t know who our opponent is. We’re preparing for both of them, but now at least, we know who we’re facing and we’re focusing on Ateneo,” he said.Learning from his team’s lackluster semifinals showing against Adamson, Ayo sees these sessions as a pivotal part in preparing his boys for the brightest spotlight in the Finals. And if their performance for the past week is any indication, the Green Archers are more than ready to roll.“We’ve had great runs this past week. Physically, the boys are ready. They’re motivated because we’re facing Ateneo. But what matters here is our practice plans and game plans, and we’re positive that the boys can execute it. I’m very optimistic because I see it in their body language during the practice and they have surrendered to the system,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT EDITORS’ PICK WATCH: Jimmy Butler, Blake Griffin battle Monstars in new ad Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes We are younglast_img read more

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In Ecuador, a pipeline cuts a trail of misery through indigenous land

first_imgAmazon Rainforest, Conflict, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Oil Article published by Willie Shubert The construction of an oil pipeline without the necessary permits has led to the destruction of the ancestral forests of the Siona indigenous community in San José de Wisuyá on the shores of the Putumayo River between Ecuador and Colombia.The project has had far-reaching effects on the community’s long-held cultural traditions and practices, including the loss of medicinal plants and pollution of water sources.For more than two years, the community has sought reparations from the companies that constructed the oil pipeline, but the state ombudsman and the Ministry of Environment have yet to provide a definitive resolution. SAN JOSÉ DE WISUYÁ, Ecuador — One morning in November 2015, one of the elders, or taitas, of the Siona indigenous community in San José de Wisuyá, in Ecuador’s Sucumbíos province, heard strange noises in the rainforest near his home. When he went to see what was happening, he found a team of workers using machinery to clear the forest to create an access road. “It was all knocked down near his house. They didn’t leave anything,” says one of the leaders of the community, located by the Putumayo River, which separates Ecuador and Colombia in the Amazon.The workers gave no explanation, but the discovery of their work was the beginning of a series of complaints from the Siona community against the oil companies Amerisur Resources and PetroAmazonas. Amerisur is a British company that operates in Colombia, and PetroAmazonas is a state-owned Ecuadoran company that searches for and extracts oil. Members of the Siona community say the companies’ work has caused environmental damage that has also led to spiritual harm. More than two years after the Siona community complained about this invasion of their territory, neither the Ministry of Environment, the state ombudsman, nor the local ombudsman (defensor del pueblo), have resolved their case.Silence from the oil companiesAmerisur has operated in Colombia since 2003, and one of the oil fields that it works, Platanillo, is located in the department of Putumayo, across the border from Ecuador. The Platanillo oil field has a long history of armed conflict. Amerisur initially used tanker trucks to move crude oil from Platanillo to pumping facilities in the Colombian municipalities of Mocoa and Neiva, according to María Espinosa, a human rights defender and legal adviser to the Siona community. Each trip to Mocoa meant traveling over 150 kilometers (93 miles) to the north, while journeys to Neiva exceeded 400 kilometers (250 miles).A source, who asked to remain anonymous, says the trips were difficult. To pass through the area, the truck drivers had to pay bribes to armed Colombian groups that operated there. Over time, these bribes increased, and when Amerisur refused to pay, several tanker trucks were set on fire, according to the source. Mongabay Latam contacted Amerisur to confirm whether this happened but has yet to receive a response.Oil is present in the community of San José de Wisuyá. In this photo, an oil pipeline owned by PetroAmazonas crosses the San Miguel River toward San José de Wisuyá. Image by Mateo Barriga Salazar.Espinosa also says the mode of transportation used “was not profitable because of the insufficient capacities of the tanker trucks and of the storage tanks.” For this reason, Amerisur proposed to PetroAmazonas the construction of an oil pipeline that would cross below the Putumayo River, emerging on the Ecuadoran side, to pump crude oil into Ecuador’s distribution network.“The pipelines are being used at 70 percent capacity in Ecuador,” Espinosa says. According to an agreement signed by both oil companies on June 11, 2015, the pipeline would be an expansion of the Amazon District Oil Pipeline Network (RODA) operated by PetroAmazonas. Amerisur would construct the pipeline on both sides of the border and connect it to PetroAmazonas’s portion on the Ecuadoran side. The crude oil extracted in Platanillo by Amerisur would be delivered to the Lago Agrio station, to the center of the Trans-Ecuadorian Oil Pipeline System (SOTE), or to the Amazonas Terminal of the Heavy Crude Oil Pipeline (OCP). Amerisur would pay PetroAmazonas a tariff of $1.09 per barrel of oil for the use of the RODA.The cross-border pipeline could turn out to be a thriftier solution than continuing to transport the oil by tanker or constructing a pipeline within Colombia itself. The presence of the armed groups meant building a pipeline in Colombia wasn’t feasible, Espinosa says. “It was more profitable for the company to cross underneath the Putumayo River, come above land on the Ecuadoran side, and move the production to Ecuador,” she says.In the agreement between the two companies, PetroAmazonas assumed an obligation to “the relations with the local communities.” The company also agreed to obtain all the licenses required by Ecuadoran law. Among them is an environmental license — permission granted by the Ministry of Environment before the execution of any project to prevent, mitigate or correct any unexpected environmental impact.On the day that the Siona elder found the Amerisur workers cutting down ancestral trees and invading territory that the Siona consider sacred, the construction of the oil pipeline did not have that permission.Darwin Rodríguez, a member of the San José de Wisuyá community, inspects the oil spilled by machinery owned by PetroAmazonas and Amerisur during the construction of the oil pipeline in December 2015. Image by Alonso Aguinda.Like Amerisur, PetroAmazonas did not immediately respond to Mongabay Latam’s requests for an interview. Espinosa says Amerisur claims the land where the pipeline emerges in Ecuador does not belong to the community, and that it has private authorization from the owner of the land. “Here there is a big debate. The community does not have a property title because no one in the area owns it,” Espinosa says. Because the area is near the border, she says, there are several limitations to their tenure.In 2010, without prior consultation, the Siona territory was included in a protected forest called the Cuembí Triangle, an area between the San Miguel and Putumayo rivers on the border with Colombia. Members of the Siona community, as well as of the Kichwa community, who also live in the area, are opposed to this designation because it interferes with their ancestral cultural practices. According to the Federation of Organizations of Kichwa Nationality of Sucumbios (FONAKISE), the designation limits “the traditional activities that the Indigenous communities conduct in their territories.”Espinosa says that although there is no formal land demarcation, “their limits are outlined and agreed upon with the neighboring communities. There is a life plan [plan de vida] laid out within the Siona community that delimits their territory cartographically.” According to Espinosa, Amerisur received authorization for the project from the community of Chíparos, which is adjacent to the community of San José de Wisuyá. Chíparos is home to Mestizo, Kichwa and some Siona families who have been displaced by violence on the Colombian side of the border. With this authorization, according to Espinosa, Amerisur entered the Siona territory, even though it did not have permission: “[The people] who give the authorization are Mestizo people who border the ancestral Siona territory.”Schemes without answersTo obtain an environmental license, an environmental impact study needs to be carried out. According to the Constitution of Ecuador, that study needs to pass through a prior consultation process in order to be approved. This prior consultation is the right of “the Indigenous communes, communities, towns and nationalities to be informed and consulted in a reasonable time period, about plans and programs for the exploration, mining and commercialization of nonrenewable resources that are found on their lands and which could affect them environmentally or culturally; [and to] participate in the benefits that those projects yield and receive compensation for the social, cultural and environmental damages that they may cause.”When they saw that part of their forest had been cut down, the Siona community submitted a complaint to the Ministry of Environment, which then opened a case for illegal logging. On March 15, 2016, Jorge Salazar, an official with the ministry’s management team for Sucumbíos province, conducted an inspection of the indigenous territory in San José de Wisuyá to confirm whether ancestral forest had been cut down. The goal of the visit was to gather information on the environmental conditions of the affected area, to evaluate compliance with the environmental regulations, and to create a report for the affected Siona community and for PetroAmazonas.The oil pipeline constructed by PetroAmazonas and Amerisur and the deforested area within the San José de Wisuyá community. Photo taken on Dec. 14, 2015. Image by Alonso Aguinda.One month later, Salazar presented the report with eight conclusions, in which he found noncompliance with current environmental regulations: “The project ‘Expansion of the RODA for the Evacuation of Crude Oil from Platanillo Field to VHR Station Block 58’ does not possess an environmental license granted by the Ministry of Environment.” The pipeline went on line in April 2016, moving crude from Colombia into Ecuador. A month later, on May 24, 2016, PetroAmazonas admitted before the Public Defender that it had carried out the prior consultation between November 2015 and January 2016 — well after construction of the pipeline began, and just months before it went into operation.Two years later, in May 2018, the Ministry of Environment confirmed in a letter to Mongabay Latam that it was not until Jan. 29, 2016, that the environmental impact study for the expansion of the RODA was approved. After this approval, according to the letter, the project was granted “on February 4, 2016, the environmental license for the project ‘Evacuation of Crude Oil from Platanillo Field to VHR Station Block 58,’ located in Sucumbíos Province.”Another of Salazar’s conclusions from his inspection was that 3,000 square meters (about 32,300 square feet) of primary forest, an area the size of nearly seven basketball courts, had been removed from the San José de Wisuyá community’s territory. The report also told of the alteration of the landscape by the “introduction of infrastructure into the environment.”The report was refuted by PetroAmazonas and brought to the national office of the Ministry of Environment in Quito, where it still awaits resolution. On May 23 this year, a delegation from San José de Wisuyá met with the deputy secretary of environmental quality, Jorge Jurado, in the hope that a decision was on the horizon.Others present included Jéssica Coronel Carvajal, the ministry’s forestry director, and the ministry’s legal representatives in charge of deciding the case. The conversation was filmed.Elders from the San José de Wisuyá community, including Pablo Maniguaje, LaureanoPiaguaje, Hermogenes Piaguaje and FelintoPiaguaje, gather before meeting officials from the Ministry of Environment, the local ombudsman, PetroAmazonas and Amerisur on Aug. 25, 2016. Image courtesy of Amazon Frontlines.Leaders from the indigenous community and Espinosa presented their original complaint and their subsequent grievance about a delayed solution. According to Espinosa, Amerisur has said that it fixed the damage caused by cutting down the forest through a reforestation process. But the supposed remediation was ineffective: of the 150 species planted in the reforestation, 70 percent were not endemic to the area. Additionally, the new trees “do not correspond with the immaterial conditions and the spiritual value” of the trees that were cut down. The Siona people said the oil company never consulted them to ask which species should be planted. For them, that amplifies the damage done.Legal officials from the Ministry of Environment said there were two cases against PetroAmazonas for environmental violations in Siona territory: one for illegal deforestation and the other for the violation of environmental quality regulations. Both cases already have some initial solutions. For the first case, PetroAmazonas was ordered to pay a token fine of $40 per illegally logged tree, as well as $9,000 for reparations. For the second case, PetroAmazonas has also been ordered to pay $73,000 in fines. The company is appealing both rulings.The officials also said PetroAmazonas was protected through what is known as an “ex-post license,” issued after a project has started. Espinosa interrupted the statement of one of the Ministry of Environment lawyers to ask if a lawsuit would be initiated for the work having started without an environmental license. The lawyer told her that could only be judged upon evaluating the damage done.The conversation turned into a volley of legal and technical arguments. Espinosa said it was illogical to begin work without an environmental license, obtain it later, and then remain unpunished; she said the simple act of beginning a project without complying with this requirement should warrant sanctions. The officials said they could only act upon existing complaints, but that a new investigation could be opened to determine why officials at the time did not act more quickly. Jurado, the deputy secretary, said that what Espinosa said made sense, and that he expected the two cases to be resolved within the next 15 days. Since then, time has marched on and the situation remains the same.Community elder Humberto Piaguaje cleanses a guard from the indigenous tribe after an ayahuasca ceremony in San José de Wisuyá in March 2018. The elders offer spiritual protection to the guards. Image by Mateo Barriga Salazar.Newfound hopeIn early 2016, in addition to turning to the Ministry of Environment, the Siona people went to the local ombudsman’s office for legal support in their complaint against the oil companies. The ombudsman is mandated to promote and protect “the rights of the people, communities, towns, nationalities and collectives that inhabit the country, of Ecuadorans and Ecuadorans abroad, and the rights of nature.”However, Espinosa says it failed to meet this mandate in the case of San José de Wisuyá: “The ombudsman of Lago Agrio did not attend to the complaint. The community was obligated to move their complaint to Quito, before the national ombudsman [Defensor Nacional], which is where it has been for more than two years.” Even then, the case remains unresolved by the higher authority, according to Espinosa. “It is a large document because we have requested several procedures and asked for several documents,” she says. In October 2017, the national ombudsman told them it was important to have an anthropological report that demonstrated the damages, “but they told us that they did not have the money to do the report, [and] that if the community could cover the cost it could be done. Fortunately, the community paid for it and the report was submitted one month ago.”On May 3 this year, the national ombudsman’s office had a leadership change. Ramiro Rivadeneira left office and was replaced by Gina Benavides, a respected human rights activist. They also added other new officials. All of these changes were brought about because of a change implemented by the Transitory Council for Public Participation of Ecuador, an organization created by a referendum on Feb. 4.In this referendum, Ecuador voted in favor of questions proposed by President Lenín Moreno. One of them, perhaps the most controversial, sought to dismiss the Council for Public Participation and Social Control (CPCCS), the organization that appointed authorities to their areas of control in Ecuador. The former CPCCS had been criticized by civil society organizations and certain politicians for appointing people close to the PAIS Alliance, the political party led by former president Rafael Correa. This led civil society groups to doubt its independence. With the approval of this vote, the former CPCCS was closed and the new organization began work immediately: one of its decisions was to evaluate and dismiss Rivadeneira because he was considered to have failed to meet the obligations of the ombudsman’s office.Darwin Rodríguez shows an ayahuasca plant (Banisteriopsis caapi) destroyed by the construction work by PetroAmazonas and Amerisur in December 2015. Image by Alonso Aguinda.After the overhaul, Benavides brought in a new team, and 15 days later the Siona were already in the ombudsman’s office in Quito. They met with the assistant defender of human rights and nature, Francisco Hurtado Caicedo, to whom they complained about living in “government neglect.” Hurtado apologized on behalf of the ombudsman’s office and said that, in this case, the institution had not complied with its duty since 2015. He also said there would be reparations and that they would be formulated by members of the Siona community itself, “the only [group] that can express and evaluate the damages.”While the May 2018 meetings between the Siona people, the National Defender and the Ministry of Environment were encouraging, there have been no concrete results since then.The road left untraveledThe report by Jorge Salazar from the Ministry of Environment gives an account of what is, perhaps, the worst part of the harm that the Siona have suffered: the razing of plants, including ayahuasca, or yagé, that the community of San José de Wisuyá use for medicinal purposes in their cultural practices.The Siona, like many other indigenous nations in Ecuador, have had to balance their ancestral authority with politics. The former is exercised by the elders in the community, and the latter is in the hands of the authorities elected to serve as a link with the government of Ecuador.The elders use their ancestral knowledge to guide the political authorities. To them, the harm caused by the transboundary oil pipeline goes beyond environmental damage. “When we take the sacred yagé, it is to look around and understand,” says elder Pablo Manihuaje, the ultimate authority in San José de Wisuyá. “So, for example, we have a governor who we cleanse and give more knowledge to so that he can stay protected, so that he has good energy, so that he speaks well of what we need in our life, in our land.”Taita Humberto Piaguaje, a member of the San José de Wisuyá community, next to the Putumayo River in March 2018. Image by Mateo Barriga Salazar.Manihuaje also says the noise of the machinery interferes with their rituals. “We need silence to concentrate and so that our spirits can go through space, traveling through the territory, understanding how things are. That way, we acquire knowledge of what there is, of what there was, of our wealth, our animals, our fish, our rivers, and our seeds to be able to serve humanity.”Additionally, Amerisur’s work has contaminated a source of water that was used to prepare the ayahuasca; it appears to have been plugged by waste products from the construction of the oil pipeline. “Now dirty water comes down, which produces defective medicine,” says one of the community’s leaders. “This stops the taitas [elders] from being able to take the yagé. When the water is contaminated, there are no visions; we are left in the darkness. They cut off the energy from the sacred remedy.”Two years have passed since this contamination began. That means two years since elder Felinto Piaguaje has been able to prepare or drink the ayahuasca. For two years, the Siona community’s legal complaint has been stuck in the twists and turns of the bureaucratic system. Two years have passed without answers from the Ministry of Environment, the ombudsman’s office, Amerisur or PetroAmazonas. For now, the Siona wait for the case to be resolved by the Ministry of Environment.But even if it’s resolved soon in favor of the community, the oil companies can still appeal them before a court, among other legal recourses. The hope of the Siona community is for a definitive reparation for the damage that has been done, without losing any more time.center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

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Different strokes…

first_img…for workers?On one level, it’s like a throwback to the schoolyard bravado we all know so well – the nursery schoolyard, that is. Here it was, a top honcho of the largest union in the country was calling the Labour Minister names… or rather EXCHANGING names with the fella. Last week, the Minister called trade union leaders “impotent” and this week the trade union leader from GAWU returned the favour by dubbing him a “Toothless watchdog”!!Where are we heading in this New Year that’s barely a week old? What’s going on? We get a clue when we examine the barbs to find out what’s behind the name calling. When Minister Scott called the leaders of the two largest labour blocks why he’d given more funding to some obscure “cooperative” union, he was making an important point. How potent had these union blocks been over the last decade in protecting and furthering workers’ rights?Wasn’t that what unions were supposed to be doing? Isn’t that the criteria for judging their “potency” in performing their work? You can’t judge trade unions by their prolixity in whipping off political letters to the press! But what about the retort of the trade unionist? He was speaking in the context of protecting workers’ rights but was claiming this matter the Minister was “toothless” in that respect. But this’s where your Eyewitness has a problem. Is the Labour Minister ipso facto a guardian of workers interests?Point is, if that’s so, what’s the function of trade unions, who collect the “dues” straight from the workers’ pay packet – even before the said workers get to see that packet!?? The Minister is a functionary of the Government that is supposed to be looking after the interest of the entire sector within which, labour is a component. And we’re talking about the business sector, no? So isn’t the Minister supposed to have a holistic approach and just apply the laws that’ve worked out to balance the interests of labour and business?And this is the crux of the matter of us ever having any hope of ever generating enough income to live in dignity, isn’t it? Labour representatives continue to use the mind-set that refuses to accept what we saw in the last half-century and is still going on in China: labour has to accept a certain amount of belt tightening when the country they live in is in the “take-off” stage. And this is what a Labour Minister has to represent.Of course, your Eyewitness would like to have all workers tooling around in Mercedes Benzes. But maybe we have to first ride bicycles, don’t we?…in shufflingYour Eyewitness, being a born Guyanese, is an avid card player (he’d gone to funerals since short pants!). So, he knows a thing or two about “shuffling”. But he also knows about “shuffling” in moving your feet around a little when you’re fidgety. “Quit shuffling around!” Mrs Brown used to yell at the Eyewitness and his cohorts in Nursery School, when she was about to dole out licks for them calling each other names that descended into blows!So when he heard the details about Prezzie “shuffling” his Cabinet, it was obvious that he, Prezzie, was merely insisting his charges not mill around. This was no “shuffling” of the pack like in the card games of your Eyewitness “wakes”.Just moving around THREE Ministers in a Cabinet of TWENTY-EIGHT is a “shuffle”? But at least your Eyewitness is happy with one of that “moving around” gambit – Amna Ally being posted to “Social Protection”.Even if she displays a tenth of the feistiness we saw in her stint at “Social Cohesion”… Guyanese society will be well protected!!…at workingNot surprising, barista Ruel Johnson jumped into Red House outrage. Evidently Prezzie took the position he’d advised all along – throw the CJRC out on their ears!He’s trying to save his behind for still not producing a cultural policy draft!last_img read more

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Van Gaal reflects on happy United Christmas

first_imgWhile Sunday’s 2-0 win against third-tier opponents who sat 65 places below them in the league ladder was to be expected, Van Gaal was pleased to achieve it, despite picking up two more injured defenders along the way.Right-back Rafael da Silva suffered a possible fractured cheekbone, while left-back Luke Shaw picked up an ankle problem. Both were substituted at half-time.“I’m very happy that we have survived this festive period because I don’t have a big squad because of all the injuries. I had a small squad,” Van Gaal said after the match.“I could not change much and in spite of that we have regained ground on Chelsea by one point (in the Premier League) after the festive period and we are in the fourth round of the FA Cup. What more can a manager wish for?“I have heard from my fantastic assistant manager (Ryan Giggs) that Man United have not won the FA Cup for 10 years and maybe we can do that this year. But it is a very long way.”Rafael left Yeovil’s Huish Park stadium early to have his injury assessed and Van Gaal praised the Brazilian for his commitment while sympathising with his misfortune in getting injured.“He played through (the pain) because the last few weeks he didn’t play and now he is injured,” said the Dutchman. “He has a fantastic mentality, it’s unbelievable.”Ander Herrera’s superb 64th-minute strike from outside the penalty area put United ahead before a calm finish from substitute Angel di Maria sealed United’s progress in the final minute of the match.On Herrera’s strike, Van Gaal said: “It’s his class. It’s not his first goal from outside the box and it was a fantastic goal. There was a little bit of luck, but you need that and I was very happy with him.”– ‘Gave them a fright’ –Robin van Persie was rested for the game so James Wilson came into the side to start in attack alongside Radamel Falcao, with Wayne Rooney playing in midfield.United failed to create a decent chance in the first half, but improved after the break.Van Gaal was ultimately pleased with how his side went about their business, and that Di Maria got some time on the pitch after missing the last two weeks with hamstring and pelvic problems.“We didn’t have the patience in the first half,” he said. “We wanted to make the first goal too much and I changed the shape. We had a man more in midfield then and we kept the ball better.“We have a lot of pace in our attack and that is why I selected Wilson and later I gave Di Maria 30 minutes, because he needs to build up his match rhythm.“It’s not a matter of how far below us they were because when you see the performance of Yeovil Town and how they press the ball, the ball was always under pressure and you can do that with an amateur team also.”Gary Johnson, the Yeovil manager, had warned his players not to ask for ‘selfies’ with Rooney and his illustrious team-mates before the match, but he was proud of their performance on the day.“I wanted to make sure we gave them a fright and we did that,” Johnson said.“When the boys get home, they’ll realise what they’ve done here. I don’t think there was £159 million ($244 million, 203 million euros) between the sides.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000YEOVIL, January 5 – Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal said the Christmas period had been a triumph for his team after they beat Yeovil Town to reach the FA Cup fourth round.last_img read more

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Bruins on move with talented guard trio

first_img Both teams love to play up-tempo, full-court pressure defense, and fastbreak ball. “We have to push the ball up the floor. We have to beat teams with our speed because we aren’t that big,” Sands said. “I think we are doing well. We don’t have a lot of one-on-one players. We know where we are going to be on the court.” Last Tuesday, the Bruins earned their biggest win of the season against Millikan. At the beginning of this season, many thought the Rams were the clear favorite to finish second in league behind Poly, and Wilson would be fortunate to beat out a greatly improved Lakewood team for third place. Clear had lost Sheila Ho-Ching and Neka Mixon to graduation and didn’t seem to have enough talent to contend for first or second place. However, her girls are accustomed to being ranked in the top four in the area, Clear said. So they decided to prove how good they are on the court. Well, last week, Wilson made doubters believers after defeating Lakewood, Millikan and Compton. “(The win against Millikan) was huge for us,” Clear said. “It gave us a lot of confidence. I could see more spring in their steps this morning.” Watson (5-foot-9) had 11 points and seven rebounds against Millikan’s Samantha Marez (6-foot-3), Kalena Tutt (6-3) and Trevonna Cannon (6-2), and her contributions, along with Sands’ 24 points and Harden’s 16, propelled the underdogs to victory. “They know winning games is usually on their shoulders,” Clear added. “They play with a lot of heart and the rest of the team follows. Amber and Tenaya are fiercely competitive, and Leandra has been on my varsity team for four years. She is quiet, but she knows it’s her year to step up.” The starting lineup also includes Angie Perez (5-foot-3), who is another outside threat. Freshman Jerronisha Green (6-0) is the hustler on the boards and plays good defense. Last Tuesday, to address her need to get more rebounds and defensive help off the bench, Clear brought up Delisha Brand from her JV team. “You can’t teach 6-2,” Clear said. “You are going to have an advantage when you are bigger.” Brand got a couple of blocks, grabbed some key rebounds and clogged the middle, preventing Marez, Tutt and Cannon from totally dominating the boards. This week, her challenge is to do it against a very aggressive, more physical and athletic Jackrabbit team that wants teams to run with them. “If you slow down, they are going to trap you even more,” Clear said. “If they are going to overplay and trap you, you might as well go to the basket. We can’t change our whole game plan or who we are. I just want to go in there, get a good effort, play some good basketball.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Today, they form one of the best guard trios in the Long Beach area. “He hadn’t seen me play,” Watson said about Buggs. “But it all worked out. I am happy here.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card What makes Wilson so good is Watson, Sands and Harden’s chemistry on the court. They play to their strengths better than many teams with bigger frontlines and deeper benches, and the trio is the primary reason why the Bruins (12-6) are tied with the Jackrabbits at the top of the Moore League standings at 3-0. The undersized Bruins will try to knock off Poly, ranked No. 19 in USA Today’s national poll, at 5 p.m. today at home. The Jackrabbits are hurting with four key players out of the lineup. But Buggs still has All-American candidates in Dixon and Candice Nichols and a host of NCAA Division I hopefuls to fill in the voids. center_img Last year, Wilson High girls basketball coach Paula Clear received an unexpected assist from rival coach Carl Buggs of Poly when Tenaya Watson couldn’t convince him that she is just as talented and athletic as her travel ball teammates Jasmine Dixon, Brittany Brumfield and Jameia McDuffie, all of whom play for him. Watson, who had played for King-Drew her freshman year, found a home in the Bruins program. She sat the season out and got familiar with Clear’s system and players such as Leandra Sands (5-foot-6) and Amber Harden (5-3). last_img read more

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VIDEO: Afghan boy Murtaza Ahmadi doesn’t want to leave idol Lionel Messi’s side

first_img1 Ahmadi was flown out to be a mascot in Barcelona’s friendly with Al Ahli Lionel Messi is used to delighting football fans around the world with his amazing talent.And the Barcelona forward showed his softer side again when he spent the day with a young boy from Afghanistan.The boy named Murtaza Ahmadi became famous earlier this year when pictures appeared of him wearing a Messi shirt, created from a plastic bag.Ahmadi was specially flown out to Doha to accompany Messi onto the pitch as a mascot in Barcelona’s friendly with Al Ahli.And it looked like Ahmadi didn’t want the day to end as he stuck to his idol like glue!Check out the clip below…center_img Los sueños se hacen realidad 😊😊El emotivo encuentro de Murtaza Ahmadi y Messi en Qatar🔴🔵 #FCBinDoha #ForçaBarça https://t.co/7b5qRr1YAI— FC Barcelona 🏆🏆 (@FCBarcelona_es) December 13, 2016last_img read more

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Arsene Wenger unwilling to break wage structure for Alexis Sanchez

first_img1 Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal will not break the bank to keep Alexis Sanchez at the Emirates Stadium.The Chile forward has a little over a year remaining on his current contract and his form this season has seen the likes of Paris St Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City linked with his signature.Sanchez has also reached the six-man shortlist for the PFA Player of the Year award after scoring 22 goals and laying on 17 assists so far.Arsenal are yet to officially open negotiations with Sanchez or the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, whose deals also expire in 2018, but the London Evening Standard reported on Thursday that a £300,000 a week offer for Sanchez had been tabled.Such a move would smash Arsenal’s wage structure but, with Champions League qualification no longer a certainty following a run of seven defeats in 12 games, it may be essential to keep Sanchez out of the grasp of any potential suitors.Despite that, Wenger is not ready to break the wage ceiling that has been put in place at the club.“You have many different opinions there,” he said.“Some people tell me ‘just give him what he wants’, but then you cannot respect anymore any wages structure and you put the club in trouble as well.“That is why you have to make the decision in an objective way. Always the club has to be the priority.“I understand as well that top players is a big priority but, at the end of the day, even for important players you can only pay as much as you can afford.“We must accept that also modern life has changed a little bit and we always had a wage schedule that was respected, but players earn so much money now that the cases have become much more individual than global.”Wenger refused to confirm speculation that a contract of such proportion had been prepared to keep Sanchez.“First of all, I cannot confirm that we have offered that,” he said.“Secondly, we will do as always. We have to consider our financial potential to sustain the wages for the whole squad.“What is for sure is that what is paid per week today was 20 years ago per year. Will that continue to go up? I don’t know. I’m always tempted to say no but I was wrong on that front.“I’m very happy (Sanchez has been nominated) because it rewards a very strong season if you look at his numbers.“His goalscoring record is good, his assists are good, and I believe that the combination of goalscoring and assists always shows the quality of a player.”Earlier in the season it was claimed that both Sanchez and Ozil are seeking parity with the Premier League’s best-paid players before committing to the Gunners.However, such figures are now skewed given how much money is on offer for top players if they move to the burgeoning Chinese Super League, but Wenger reckons the pull of the Premier League still tops the riches of the Far East.“It certainly contributes to the imagination of the players,” he said of China inflating the figures on offer.“I think every club and every player has to make decisions. Where are your priorities, where do you want to play?“I think the first priority for top players is to play with the best players and in the best league. So after that it is not any more today where we have to make a choice, I go to China because you earn big money.“You make big money in England as well. So you can combine the best combination of playing at the top and big money is in England at the moment. So China for me is not a debate.” The Chile forward has a little over a year remaining on his current contract last_img read more

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Wine aficionados cash in on 2010

first_imgThe exquisite landscape of Franschhoekdraws visitors from far and wide to thesmall wine town. South Africa is renowned for producingsome of the world’s best wines, which hasalso been a contributing factor to thegrowing wine tourism. Stellenbosch remains a firm favourite spotfor wine tourists with its many wine estatesopen to the public.(Images: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. Formore images, visit the image library.)Khanyi MagubaneFind out more about using MediaClubSouthAfrica.com materialWine connoisseurs from across South Africa will gather in Cape Town in July 2009 to discuss opportunities for wine tourism in the run up to the 2010 Fifa World Cup.The Wine Tourism Conference, taking place on 21 and– 22 July, will explore ways in which the wine industry can improve its current offering as a destination for the anticipated thousands of tourists expected to descend on South Africa’s shores next year.The programme will have one major main objective: to improve the levels of hospitality within the South African wine tourism industry.Delegates expected to attend this the conference include winery owners and managers, wine route managers, tour operators, destination marketing professionals and PR professionals, hoteliers, restaurateurs, hospitality professionals, and a global contingent of wine and tourism media,The conference will be held under the theme, “Share. Innovate. Inspire” and will provide showcase those attending with the latest trends and best practices locally and internationally within the wine industry.Invited speakers and panellists who’ve been invited to the conference to share their wealth of experience at the conference include Alan Pick, founder and proprietor of the internationally renowned Butcher Shop & Grill, Itumeleng Pooe, executive manager at of Cape Town Routes Unlimited; Ken Forrester from Ken Forrester Wines; Robin Shaw, Director of Tourism & and Business Services: Winemakers’ Federation of Australia; Kevin Arnold who will be representing Waterford and Jennifer Seif, CEO of Fair Trade Tourism.Clarence Johnson, executive mayor of the Cape Winelands District Municipality, will present the opening address in his capacity as the chairperson of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network (GWCGN).Tackling industry issuesDelegates are expected to tackle a number of pressing issues and share valuable industry knowledge over the course of the event. Topics such as South Africa’s new liquor law and the possible implications for the local wine tourism industry will be discussed and debated.During the two-day event, delegates will tackle issues of importance to the industry.These will include interactive panel discussions, on topics including new liquor law and its implications for the local wine tourism industry.Other interesting discussion on the agenda are, the relevance of wine festivals, the industry’s e-marketing in wine efforts, meeting the needs of wine aficionado tourists and the expectations, experiences and results of Germany’s wine industry , during the Fifa 2006 World Cup – lessons learnt by the German wine tourism industry, meeting the wine tourists’ expectations, and other topics will be discussed during the symposium.Another hot topic, the Western Cape’s lack of formal representation within the wine fraternity, will add to the information packed event. Also of grave importance to the members of the wine fraternity in the Western Cape, is the lack of a formal structure representing the local wine tourism industry.During the conference, a collaboration The South African Wine Routes Association and Wines of South Africa (WOSA) will unite as one committee to address the current situation, and future, of wine industry workers.Between the South African Wine Routes Association and Wines of South Africa (WOSA) to form a committee that will address the issues of those working in the wine tourism industry will be discussed.The committee, in its capacity as an integral role player within the industry, meets quarterly to set standards and goals, by means of education and skills development, while monitoring the national and international approach to wine hospitality.The committee is run on a voluntary basis and includes some of the country’s top wine stalwarts. The committee will be run on a voluntary basis, the committee meets quarterly to set industry standards and goals, with education and skills development a high priority under the banner of promoting an integrated approach to wine hospitality.Commenting on the anticipated event, WOSA’s Andre Morgenthal said, “I am excited that wine tourism is vibrantly alive and growing from grass-roots level upwards.”According to Morgenthal it is imperative for the industry to continue with the growing demand of excellent service and the ever changing trends. “He says that in order for the industry to continue giving its customers the best service, its important to keep abreast of trends, “there has never been a time with more opportunities to turn the world on to our fantastic wine tourism experiences. But to do this, we need to be up to date with trends, exchange ideas, increase service excellence and concentrate our efforts, and this seminar should help us all to do just that.”SA wine leading all the waySouth Africa’s impressive reputation as a wine lovers’ destination has received much publicity globally.The South African wine industry continues to draw international visitors to the country as a result of the fine reputation that South African wines have built for themselves around the world.In January 2009, The Drinks Business, a specialist UK beverage publication with a global readership, rated WOSA as one of the world’s most influential beverage organisations that has contributed significantly in creating public awareness of the environment.WOSA received an impressive fifth place on the publication’s Green List, significantly ahead of other national liquor giants currently listed with the magazine.The Green List, identified 50 of the most influential drinks companies, individuals and organisations, who have played a significant role in in making caring for the environment a prioritypracticing top notch environmentally friendly business.Those mentioned on the list were lauded for their interest in and implementation of renewable energy, water saving initiatives, minimising carbon emissions and environmentally friendly packaging.South Africa’s eco-sustainable wine production standards received a special recognition as the world’s most progressive wine industry, This included focusing on such issues as renewable energy, reducing the use of water, measuring carbon emissions and addressing packaging.WOSA CEO Su Birch acknowledged South Africa’s role in promoting best-practice in sustainable wine production. She added that WOSA will continue to further advance the country’s unique positioning as a leading producer of highly varied wines.  was helping to still further advance the country’s unique positioning as a producer of highly varied wines.“In the present economic climate, in which consumers are more circumspect when spending their money, they are seeking not only outstanding value, which South Africa is able to offer across all pricing segments and a wealth of styles, but also an affirmation of production integrity,” she said. South Africa’s eco-sustainable wine production standards were also recognised as the  most progressive in the wine industry across the world.The first three positions on the Green List were awarded to multinational retail giants, Tesco, Carrefour and Wal-Mart respectively. For his role as a campaigner for the environment, US President Barack Obama received his spot at number four.Do you have any comments or queries about this article? Email Khanyi Magubane on: khanyim@mediaclubsouthafrica.com Related articlesSA wine a presidential hit Corking carbon emissions Wine on the wild side Black, female and making great wine Useful linksWine Tourism Conference 2009Wines Of South AfricaSouth African Winelast_img read more

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This is our right that we fought for: Zuma

first_img7 May 2014South African President Jacob Zuma cast his vote in the country’s fifth democratic elections at Ntolwane Primary School in KwaNxamalala, near his birthplace in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday morning.The President last voted at the school – which is just a stone’s throw away from his home – in the local government elections in 2011 and during the 2009 general elections.He was greeted by a large local and international media contingent, as well as jovial locals, who ululated upon seeing him. Various security personnel were also present.South Africa’s number one citizen arrived just after 10am and joined the queue of voters, not wanting any special treatment. His first wife, MaKhumalo, stood behind him. They were accompanied by Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) chairperson Pansy Tlakula.People tried to shake the President’s hand, while others took pictures with their mobile phones.Speaking to journalists after casting his vote, Zuma said he felt “good and very enthusiastic”, as the day marked the culmination of months of canvassing by all political parties.“It feels good that I have just voted, and I hope that all voters will cast their votes freely, without any problems. This is our right that we fought for, among other rights we have … My wish is that throughout the country, voting must be peaceful.”Asked who he had voted for, Zuma laughed and said: “It is a secret.”Political party leaders cast their votesMany political party heavyweights also voted in their home towns on Wednesday morning. Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille made her mark at St Paul’s Anglican Church in Rondebosch in Cape Town just after 9am, accompanied by her husband, Johann Maree.Zille is the premier of the Western Cape, and the DA has been pushing to retain the province and increase its support in the national and provincial ballot.Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele surprised voters when she arrived to make her mark at the Sea Point library voting station in Cape Town.Julius Malema, the leader of the new kid on the block, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), arrived two hours after the voting station opened at Mponegele Primary School in his hometown Seshego, north-west of Polokwane, in Limpopo province, while Congress of the People (Cope) leader Mosiuoa Lekota voted in his hometown of Bloemfontein in the Free State.In KwaZulu-Natal, Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi cast his vote in Ulundi, as did National Freedom Party (NFP) president Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi. Msibi made her mark at the Thengisangaye Primary School, a school she helped to build.The late Nelson Mandela cast the first vote in South Africa’s first democratic election 20 years ago, on 27 April 1994, at Ohlange High School in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Mandela’s vote on that historic day marked the final nail in the apartheid coffin, signalling the dawn of a new democratic dispensation of majority rule in the country.Source: SAnews.govlast_img read more

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Tafiti – Microsoft Continues to Experiment With Visual Search

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tafiti won’t ever be a mainstream search engine, because ultimately speed and efficiency are what most punters want in a search engine – and Google continues to deliver on those things. However I can see Tafiti becoming a nice niche search engine for researchers, given more iterations. It may well contribute some technology to a future version of Live Search too. AltSearchEngines editor Charles Knight has an overview of Tafiti. I checked it out too and found it to be an interesting visual experiment, along the lines of other visual search interfaces like Ms. Dewey (a Flash-based talking search engine developed by Microsoft). Microsoft knows that it needs to innovate in search to have any chance of making inroads into Google, so this is another experiment along those lines. Indeed the latest Hitwise stats show Microsoft falling even more behind Google and Yahoo: Tags:#Microsoft#search#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts center_img Tafiti is a new experimental search site from Microsoft. It has rich visualizations and aims to meet the needs of people doing research on the Web. Tafiti runs on the Silverlight browser plug-in platform (Microsoft’s answer to Adobe’s Flash) and requires you to install Silverlight if you haven’t already. The underlying search engine is Microsoft‚Äôs Live Search. richard macmanus Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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