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Eagles’ Wong rounding into form as SC nears

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first_img The last four months have been frustrating at times for Christie Wong. The star gymnast at Middletown South High School injured her right ankle twice, the first time in June that hindered her preparation for this season and again early in the season on the vault during a meet on Sept. 21. It limited the senior, who finished second in the Shore Conference championships last year in the all-around, to competing in one or two events in a few of the meets. “It’s a little tough. I haven’t worked as hard as I usually do because of the ankle,” said Wong. As Wong was forced to reduce her events, Middletown South’s team struggled at times, going 3-2 in its first five meets with losses to Howell by one point and to Freehold Township. But that is changing, just in time for the team’s Oct. 15 showdown against Red Bank Catholic, which should tell the team and its coach a lot about the season. Wong has worked her way back to competing in all four events, even though she said the ankle “still hurts a lot. I tape myself and put on a brace.” The motivation: Wong wants to help her team and wants to qualify for the all-around for Shore Conference and state sectionals. She needs one more qualifying score of 8.5 in the vault. Wong already hit her two qualifying scores in the bars, balance beam and her favorite event, the floor exercise. And she and her teammates looked solid in the team’s triangular meet on Oct. 5 when it scored 104.0 points — its second highest score of the season — to Brick Township’s 101.35 and Point Pleasant Borough’s 42.4. Wong scored a winning 35.5 in the all-around. Middletown South hit a higher 104.8 in beating Colts Neck earlier this season. “Today was a step in the right direction,” said coach Joanne Luciano, who has built a young squad around Wong, the lone senior starter who is seriously considering the University of Pennsylvania for a college career and studying biology there because it does not have her major — physical therapy. She made an official visit there two weekends ago. Wong also is looking at Quinnipiac, Northeastern, Rutgers, Cornell, Ithaca and the College of New Jersey. “I am so very proud of the girls and their accomplishments,” said Luciano. “The goal is to continue to improve so we are at our best by the Shore Conference [at Brick Memorial on Oct. 30] and the state sectionals [Group IV, Central at Manalapan on Nov. 6].” Although much of the team is untested in those big meets, Wong knows what it takes, not only from finishing fifth in the all-around in the sectionals last year and 19th in the state finals, but with her club team of Rebound Gymnastics in Cliffwood that begins practicing for its season next month. “I definitely am trying to focus on staying as clean as possible,” said Wong. “I don’t have the skills because I’ve been hurt, but I hope to raise the difficulty in my events when I get closer to those meets. At times I’m inconsistent under pressure. Why? It’s because I’m not pushing myself but I will for the Shore and the sectionals.” And that includes a new layout she’s tried for her dismount off the bars. She also is refining her Yurchenko tuck move in the vault — a hand spring and flip. “She may be the only one around who can do a front aerial like that,” said Luciano. But it is the floor exercise where Wong shows her command of elegant and acrobatically challenging moves that has earned the admiration of her coach. “She’s in a class by herself, an extremely talented Level 10 gymnast. She shows beautiful artistry in the floor,” said Luciano emphatically. “I can express myself. I can be dramatic,” said Wong. But Wong has a complementary squad around her as seen in the triangular meet when she scored a pair of 9’s, winning the bars at 9.1 and tying for first on the floor exercise with a 9.5 score with teammate Molly Tumulty, a sophomore who may be the strongest on the team in vaulting. Wong tied for third with Tumulty and junior Taylor Ryan on vault at 8.6, and tied Ryan for third on beam at 8.3 despite falling off. Like Wong, Ryan has been a study of determination, getting back into the sport after being away from it for 2½ years. “She started coming back in August and made incredible strides,” said Luciano of Ryan. “She’s a really tough competitor and wants to help the team. She and Molly complement one another when one doesn’t have a good day. We have a lot of depth.” And that could make this team end up as one of the more memorable ones in Luciano’s 10 years as coach. “Because we have a lot of freshmen, they were not used to the environment, but now, they’re acclimating well and seem to perform better,” said Wong. “I’m actually surprised with the way everyone’s competing. They’re listening to corrections, which makes everyone better.” It’s why six members of the team have qualified for Shore Conference and the sectionals, perhaps the most ever under Luciano. Along with Wong, Tumulty and Ryan, freshmen Amy Roberts Kelly Botapek and Olivia Knecht also qualified. Roberts has been out with torn ankle ligaments. Botapek is adept in vaulting and floor exercise, and Knecht infuses power into her routine, which has gotten her 9 scores in the bars and crowdpleasing tumbling moves in floor exercise. Another freshman — Macayla Ferry — showed promise in floor exercise but is out for this season with a broken shoulder. “We’re hoping to start going higher with adding moves to their routines,” said Luciano. And with Wong rounding back into form, it could mean an inspiring showing by Middletown South at the end of the season. BY WAYNE WITKOWSKI TCorrespondent last_img read more

Tennis: Bouchard beats fallen idol Sharapova in Madrid

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first_imgLATEST STORIES Ex-Bulacan town vice mayor, village chief shot dead “I wanted to do it for myself, but also all these people. I really felt support.“It showed me that most people have my opinion, and they were just maybe scared to speak out.”Sharapova claimed to have not been distracted by media circus surrounding the match and that her disappointment comes from losing, not who she lost to.“I think I would be worried about myself if I sat here and said I’m pretty happy with losing a tennis match, no matter who I face, no matter what round it is, whether it’s the first round or final of a Grand Slam.“I’m a big competitor. What you work for so many hours every single day is to be on the winning end of matches.ADVERTISEMENT The world number 60 admitted she was extra motivated to face her former idol and it showed with signs of the form she has lost over the past few years since reaching the Wimbledon final in 2014 in a bruising near three-hour contest.READ: Bouchard urges life ban for ‘cheater’ SharapovaFEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return“I was actually quite inspired before the match because I had a lot of players coming up to me privately wishing me good luck,” said Bouchard.“Players I don’t normally speak to, getting a lot of texts from people in the tennis world that were just rooting for me. Maria Sharapova from Russia, left, wipes the sweat from her face as Eugenie Bouchard from Canada walks past her during a Madrid Open tennis tournament match in Madrid, Spain, Monday, May 8, 2017. Bouchard won 7-5, 2-6 and 6-4. APMADRID, Spain — Eugenie Bouchard claimed she had the support of the tennis world after matching her fighting talk with some thrilling tennis to shock Maria Sharapova 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 in the second round of the Madrid Open on Monday.Bouchard called Sharapova “a cheater” last week and was also critical of the Russian’s welcome back to the sport after a 15-month doping ban with a series of wildcards for big events.ADVERTISEMENT “Today was just not that day. Of course, I’m disappointed. That’s what’s going to make me a better player. That’s what’s going to win me more tournaments and more Grand Slams.”Topsy-turvyBouchard battled back from 4-2 down to claim a topsy-turvy first set and she edged a marathon 11th game before serving it out for just her second set in five meetings with Sharapova.However, adversity brought out the best in the five-time Grand Slam champion as Sharapova found the precision to match her power in the second set, reeling off four straight game from 2-2 to level at one set all.Both players struggled to hold serve in the deciding set as a total of 14 break points were squandered.However, Bouchard held her nerve when serving for the match at 5-4 as she saw off two break points and an unfortunate let cord on her first match point.The Canadian jumped for joy after delivering the final blow before the two exchanged a very frosty handshake at the net.Bouchard will face top seed Angelique Kerber, who fought back from 5-3 down in the deciding set to overcome Katerina Siniakova 6-2, 1-6, 7-5 earlier on Monday, in the third round.Kerber has had an inconsistent season and her fragile form was on show in the course of the first two sets.The German romped through the opening set in 27 minutes but then had to save six break points for her only game in the second.Siniakova served for the match at 5-4 in the deciding set, but Kerber should impressive fight to win the last four games. Wildlife rescuers asked to turn over animals to DENR Tough grind looms for PH Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos MOST READ Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikelycenter_img Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ Taal Volcano evacuees warned against going home World number three Karolina Pliskova was dumped out 6-3, 6-3 by Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova.In the men’s Madrid Masters there were comfortable wins for Thomas Berdych, Grigor Dimitrov and Nick Kyrgios.However, 15th seed Gael Monfils bowed out in a wild match against French compatriot Gilles Simon 0-6, 6-0, 7-6 (7/0).Andy Murray begins his quest for a third title in Madrid on Wednesday when he faces Romanian Marius Copil. CBBSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely Presidency bid needs ‘deep reflection’ – Sara Duterte Bulacan town gears up for biggest cookie jar View commentslast_img read more

Justin Brownlee, Ginebra escape San Miguel in OT

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first_imgSan Miguel, meanwhile, goes up against 4-3 Alaska this Friday at Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay.The scores:Ginebra 110 – Brownlee 39, Tenorio 16, Slaughter 13, Thompson 13, Mercado 12, Aguilar 9, Ferrer 5, Devance 3.San Miguel 107 – Rhodes 34, Cabagnot 21, Lassiter 15, Fajardo 13, Ross 11, Standhardinger 10, Pessumal 3, Rosser 0, Santos 0.Quarterscores: 15-26, 48-50, 80-77, 99-99, 110-107.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. ‘Awful start’ keeps Tiger Woods in also-ran position at US Open 11 nabbed for shabu, drug den busted in Maguindanao Olympic rings arrive in host city on barge into Tokyo Bay Steaming fissures on Taal Volcano Island spotted Solon urges Solgen to reconsider quo warranto petition vs ABS-CBN Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia PLAY LIST 00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award03:05Malakanyang bilib sa Phivolcs | Chona Yu01:26Homes destroyed after Taal Volcano eruption “Just two heavyweights going at each other,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone, who even noted the playoff intensity of the match. “It took an extra round. But I liked the game because of [my team’s] character.”LA Tenorio tossed in 16 as three more Gin Kings finished in twin digits to help Ginebra return to the win column with a 3-3 record.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsCharles Rhodes had 34 points and 12 rebounds while Chris Ross had a triple-double of 11 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists in the losing stand that dropped the Beermen settle for a 1-3 card.Barangay Ginebra faces winless NLEX next in a Sunday showdown in Batangas. Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption MOST READ Rio’s unsafe Olympic Park ordered closed by Brazilian judge View comments Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Deandre Ayton shines as Suns pound Knicks Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? LATEST STORIES Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—Barangay Ginebra escaped San Miguel Beermen in overtime, 110-107, to arrest a two-game losing streak in Sunday’s cardiac nightcap at Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.Justin Brownlee came through once again for the Gin Kings, scoring 39 points—11 in the fourth and three more in the extra period—to turn back the hard-fighting Beermen.ADVERTISEMENT Taal evacuees make the most of ‘unusual’ clothing donations, leaves online users laughinglast_img read more

Picking the right leader…

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first_img…for the jobThe PPP elected their presidential candidate through a procedure they’ve had for exactly fifty years: having their 35-member Central Committee vote by secret ballot. Yet, from the squeals from some quarters you’d think General Secretary Jagdeo stuffed the ballot box like Burnham in 1973! No one could believe Irfaan Ali would trounce Anil Nandlall in a straight one-and-one faceoff.But he did after all the other three candidates dropped out. Some had figured that he could only squeak in if the vote was splintered …but here it was he came through 24-11! Fact is, the overriding majority of the PPP’s CC had to’ve felt Irfaan was the better candidate at this juncture of our history.And what’s this conjuncture? The PPP is a party that has explicitly defined itself as one dedicated to development to raise the standard of living of the poor in our massively underdeveloped Guyana. Secondly, that all parties agree that our model of development should be based on the free-market system and foreign direct investment should be encouraged to produce goods for the export market. And thirdly, with first oil scheduled for 2020, we finally will have the capital to build the infrastructure demanded to make an economy take off.The point of all this, is Guyana needs at its head a Chief Executive who understands the mechanics of combining those factors to produce growth with development rather than the PNC talkers we’ve had between 1964 and 1992 and from 2015. They’re releasing a lot of hot air into the atmosphere about Irfaan not being “lettered”. With all due respect what did the lettered lawyer Burnham, the dentist Jagan and the historian General Granger do for Guyana’s actual development?That’s not to say these gentlemen from Queen’s College didn’t WANT development – far from it. They slavered for development. But they didn’t have the background that cultivated the nous to pick sense from nonsense from the cornucopia of development models out there. Bharrat Jagdeo had the MOJO to save a devastated Guyana and set it on the virtuous path of growth. But Irfaan was allowed to go beyond that, standing on Jagdeo’s shoulders so to speak. Youthful as he is, he was given the opportunity to actually put his party’s and his ideas on a critical aspect of human development – Housing and Water – to the test and he came through with flying colours.And that’s what the members of the CC knew: what was needed to hit the ground running and get Guyana on a sustainable path of growth AT THIS JUNCTURE was someone with the specific skill set that Irfaan possesses. But it wasn’t just the CC who recognised that cometh the hour cometh the man. The people who spontaneously came out in their thousands in Irfaan’s native West Demerara knew, up close and personal, the measure of the man.Unlike some other leaders. He didn’t move to the bright lights of Georgetown when he became a Minister – but remained with them.For these and so many other reasons, Irfaan’s the man of the hour!…against the PNCOne of the peculiarities of Guyanese politics is that Burnham imprinted on it a compulsion to seize power by any means necessary. Including violence.As such, parties that oppose the PNC have to be prepared at all times for extreme PNC-inspired violence. Young Jagdeo was tested by the “mo fyaah, slow fyaah” strategy of PNC leader Desmond Hoyte. They never thought he would stand them down – which he did by 2008, when the last of the Buxton gang were eliminated.With oil raising the ante, the PPP must have leaders at its helm who won’t flinch from the tough decisions that have to be made soon.Irfaan has shown in his work that he’s not a pushover, but will stand up and be counted to do the right thing for his country –- whatever the forces arrayed against him.Irfaan is a young man who will stand up.…as co-pilotNext up for the PPP is to select a prime ministerial candidate. What absolutely must be avoided is to pick someone like Moses Nagamootoo.There’s only so much the Guyanese people can stomach!!last_img read more

The people, Parliament and their Constitution

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first_imgNow that the case of Cedric Richardson vs the Attorney General of Guyana and the Speaker of the National Assembly, has been referred to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), we repeat the issues that are at stake.The Plaintiff, Richardson, essentially sought to determine the extent and nature of the power of Parliament to amend the Constitution of Guyana. While he conceded the Guyana Constitution, like all modern Constitutions, made provisions for amendments (here by Art 164 (2)), if the change sought alters the fundamental structure of the Constitution, this must be approved by the people through a referendum rather than the 2/3 vote of their representatives as stipulated by the Constitution.While Guyana acknowledges the Constitution as the “Supreme Law” of the land, ultimate sovereignty still resides with the people, and even the Constitution cannot abridge this. Richardson contended that Acticle 17 of 2001, placed restrictions on their [the people’s] right to choose specific candidates and such a restriction on their freedom to choose, could only be approved by the people themselves.What must be made clear from the onset is, contrary to what the media insists on labelling the “Third Term” appeal, the judgement includes three other restraints that the objected-to constitutional change of 2001 placed on the republican rights of Guyanese citizens to vote for a candidate of their choice. These were succinctly spelled out as follows by Justice Chang:“The purported alteration of Article 90 by Act No 17 of 2001, in substance and effect, undoubtedly diminishes the democratic rights of the electorate in electing a person of their own choice as President, by excluding from presidential candidature (1) Citizens of Guyana not resident in Guyana on Nomination Day; (2) Citizens of Guyana resident in Guyana on Nomination Day but who have not been continuously resident in Guyana for seven years prior to that date; (3) Citizens of Guyana by registration and 4) Citizens of Guyana who have served for two terms as President.As such, the alteration by Act No 17 of 2001 purports to curtail the people’s electoral democratic choices and to offend the declaration in Article 1 that Guyana is a democratic State – in which the sovereignty resides in the people Article 9). This is precisely why, for the purpose of any alteration of Articles 1 and 9, the voice of 2/3 of the elected members of the National Assembly is not the voice of the people.”Justice Chang’s interpretation of the constitutional provision, later affirmed by the Court of Appeal, rested on a “normative” substantive “basic structure” values rather than the older, procedurally-driven Liberal view of Constitutions as merely “descriptive”. While he cited two cases – the Belize case Bowen vs The Attorney General BZ 2001 SC 2, and the Indian case Kesavananda Bharati vs the State of Kerala (1974) 1 SCC (Jour) 3 to support his ruling, it appears there was a refusal by his critics to deconstruct the difference between the two approaches and to accept as the Indian Supreme Court did, “while there was no implied limit to constitutional amendment, the very nature of the word “amend” meant that Parliament could not abrogate or destroy the foundation or the basic structure of the Constitution.”In the Liberal procedurally driven perspective on Constitutions, the protection of the negative freedom of the citizens, adumbrated as “fundamental rights”, against the Leviathan state, is paramount, But as stated by the theorist Jurgen Habermas, in the substantive republican view, “…the state’s raison d’etre does not lie primarily in the protection of equal private rights but in the guarantee of an inclusive opinion- and will-formation in which free and equal citizens reach an understanding on which goals and norms lie in the equal interest of all.”It is this insistence that it is the will of the people must be untrammelled in the exercise of their positive freedom, that Justice Chang’s ruling rests. Only the people can alter the basic structure of the Constitution. Ultimately the ruling asserts: “Power to the people.”last_img read more

Film legend Bergman quietly buried on Swedish isle

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first_imgAround 75 people attended, including Bergman’s children and the actors Liv Ullmann, Bibi Andersson, Peter Stormare and Erland Josephson. Bergman left written instructions for handling the funeral: No eulogies or a profusion of flowers, but simple choir and cello music, according to the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet, citing his son, also named Ingmar. Remembered around the world as one of the greatest masters of cinema, Bergman made about 60 movies – including classics as “The Seventh Seal” and the Oscar-winning “Fanny and Alexander” – before retiring from filmmaking in 2003. STOCKHOLM, Sweden – A few dozen family and friends of Ingmar Bergman attended his funeral Saturday on the small Swedish island where he spent his final years – a low-key affair in keeping with the legendary filmmaker’s wishes. Bergman was 89 when he died July 30 at his home on Faro. Mourners gathered in the modest Faro Church, where Bergman’s remains lay in a simple pine coffin flanked by red roses. There were no speeches. An organ and cello played Bach. The filmmaker was buried in a secluded plot he chose himself, near the church wall, overlooking the cemetery, his family said in a statement. A single photographer was allowed to take pictures; other media and the public were barred. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

NEW ‘POP-UP SHOP’ PLAN TO BRING NEW LIFE TO LETTERKENNY

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first_imgLetterkenny Chamber is bidding to breath new life into the town’s Main Street by opening up a series of ‘pop-up shops’ in vacant premises.Main Street, Letterkenny has many vacant buildings.The initiative is aimed at landlords who want to showcase their premises to prospective tenants.The plan is to turn the vacant premises into all sorts of temporary shops which can be used by artists, food producers and small home-based businesses. At present many vacant shops have been painted with fake shop fronts but the chamber said this does not add to the economic vibrancy of the town.John Watson, President of Letterkenny Chamber said the Chamber is always interested in improving the business environment in Letterkenny and we have been discussing empty properties and the best use for them.“This initiative has the possibility of adding to the economic activity on the Main Street and other shopping areas as well an improving the possibility of a long term tenant.“We hope to attract local entrepreneurs who want to try out new ideas, offer new products and attract new customers and in doing so generate footfall for neighbouring outlets. We have seen the idea in other towns and Letterkenny as a whole will benefit from the scheme. “At this stage we are open to all types of opportunities such as local artists, local food and craft producers and anyone working in a home based business that might like to try out retail. We have spoken to some landlords and some possible tenants already and there is definitely an interest. We are excited by this new venture and are keen to get it up and running as soon as possible.”At this stage Letterkenny Chamber is appealing to landlords with empty commercial space who would like to make it available for temporary use.They would also like to hear from local entrepreneurs, social enterprises and community groups who would like to try this temporary retail or exhibition opportunity. In the first instance people should contact the chamber directly on 074 9124866 or email toni@letterkennychamber.com.   NEW ‘POP-UP SHOP’ PLAN TO BRING NEW LIFE TO LETTERKENNY was last modified: December 4th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:JOhn WatsonLetterkenny ChamberPOP UP SHOPlast_img read more

Kyle Lafferty set for Rangers medical after fee agreed

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first_imgRecruited from Burnley, he scored over 30 goals in the four-year spell and won three SPL titles and a Scottish Cup.Following the financial collapse at Ibrox in 2012, he exercised his right to become a free agent and then signed for Swiss side Sion.That was followed by a season at Palermo where he won promotion and a move to Norwich where he failed to hold down a first team place and was loaned to Caykur Rizespor and then Birmingham City.Last summer, he was courted by both Hibs and Hearts before signing with the Tynecastle club on a two-year deal.The 30-year-old scored 12 goals in 35 games last season. Rangers are hopeful of pushing through the deal before the registration deadline for players to face Ufa in Europa League qualifying closes.Steven Gerrard identified the former Norwich and Palermo striker as a transfer target after watching Rangers toil in attack against Shkupi earlier in qualifying.The new Rangers manager’s desire to bolster his front-line was heightened further after last season’s joint top goalscorer Josh Windass moved to Wigan.Lafferty played for Rangers between 2008 and 2012, enjoying the most successful spell of his career. Rangers have agreed a fee with Hearts to sign striker Kyle Lafferty, with the clubs now sorting final details of the transfer.The Northern Irish forward is expected to undergo a medical on Wednesday ahead of finalising his return to Ibrox.Rangers’ opening bid of £200,000 for Lafferty was rejected by Hearts but the Light Blues reopened negotiations last week over a fresh move for the 30-year-old.Those talks have culminated in a fee being agreed between the two Premiership clubs for the attacker.last_img read more

Gift of the Givers: Reflecting on the year that was,Promoting a culture of reading, writing and literacy at the 4th…,Enough is Enough – 365 Days to End Gender-Based Violence and…,Promoting Constitutional Awareness with Play Your Part Ambassador Sihle Ndaba

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first_imgSouth African society is in a downward spiral emotionally, psychologically and economically. The challenges are overwhelming, the mood depressive, and the various interventions less than inspirational. It is during times like these and the approaching new year that society reflects, introspects and defines new resolutions. This process in itself is positive, healing and an ignition of hope inspired by our innate ability to lift above the abyss of uncertainty.We, as South Africans, need to return to belief and faith, as a means of solace and conviction that better times are indeed possible, that we can rise above the melancholia of our current existence with an innate spirituality that encompasses all society, irrespective of belief or not. Ethics, humanity, sound character and altruism are universal qualities and not beholden to any religious entity.This inner spirituality demands that the change we want to see should manifest within ourselves first. South Africa is in need of Ubuntu in its superlative form from all fifty seven million of our patriotic citizens. In our own difficulty we need to understand there is a fellow countryman with a more profound difficulty, that our hope and our future depends on our giving, our sharing, our reaching out and our willingness to embrace a common humanity, looking beyond the limiting factors or race, religion and culture, which 25 years after our democracy is still polarising and tearing us apart. From a spiritual point of view, sincerity, compassion, kindness and mercy permeate the soul, the very fabric of society manifesting in an exponential increase in goodness and service to man and creation. Greed, avarice, ego, arrogance, selfishness, and miserliness are qualities that we as human beings have to negate. South Africa belongs to all of us, not to the government, the Presidency, the provinces, municipality or a political party, but to all of civil society. In the spirit of the festive season, where the propensity for good abounds, let us all play our role as elected officials and the populace to weed out corruption, improve corporate governance, expand CSI initiatives, annihilate the pursuit of unbridled profit, give leeway and sound advice to the debtor, and in every aspect be it legal, medical, financial, banking or other, be ethical, altruistic and reasonable. Don’t underestimate the value of a good deed, it comes back to you in a blessing, not necessarily material, but in ways you can never imagine. Right now, South Africa is “our child” in ICU. It requires what only a parent will do for their child in such circumstances. Our South Africa, “our child” needs that care now, collectively, from all South Africans. That care is love and assistance to each other as we are that South Africa.Gift of the Givers thanks every tier of our society for the unbridled support for 27 years of our existence, and in return we pray for health, happiness, prosperity, and an answer to all prayer that is beneficial. We pray for an end to all the social, spiritual, psychological, political and economical ills that have befallen our society and a specific prayer for all South Africans trapped in foreign lands to be united with their loved one’s soon. May we all have a blessed festive season and an inspirational 2020.Imtiaz SoolimanGift of the Giverslast_img read more

PM Modi still on my wishlist for my show: Anupam Kher

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first_imgVeteran actor Anupam Kher says he still hopes to bring Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his show The Anupam Kher Show – Kucch Bhi Ho Sakta Hai, which is now coming in for a second season.During the first season of Anupam’s show, there was talk that Modi may make an appearance, but it never happened.At the launch event of the show, when the veteran actor was asked if Modi will come this time, he said: “No. I wanted him to be on my show… He was on my wishlist and still remains on it.””I think the prime minister we have today is one of the most inspirational people. He has great qualities. I would like to interview him, but it depends entirely on his schedule,” he added.While the last season of Anupam’s show welcomed guests like superstar Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, Alia Bhatt and Arjun Kapoor, the new season would see actors like Anil Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Sridevi, Madhuri Dixit, Kajol and Priyanka Chopra, lyricist-and-filmmaker Gulzar and sports star Sania Mirza sharing inspirational stories of their life.The new season will go on air on Colors channel in August.last_img read more