Game 4 ‘make or break’ for NLEX, admits Guiao

first_imgCarpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio 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 respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netHead coach Yeng Guiao believes NLEX cannot afford to lose Game 4 of its best-of-seven semifinals series against Magnolia on Friday night.Since winning the semis opener, the Road Warriors yielded the next two games and going down three games to one against an experienced and championship caliber team like the Hotshots is already a death sentence.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Frustrations pile up for Rondina as UST absorbs fifth straight loss “We fought hard, but again the breaks did not fall on our side. We will fight harder on Friday, we know that’s a make or break game for us,” said Guiao.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES View comments Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Conor McGregor seeks to emerge from controversy in UFC comeback Cabuyao City rising above the ashes through volunteerism Scarlett Johansson, Sterling K. Brown among SAG Awards presenters Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew “I have to take responsibility for it because Jio started very hot and I was the one guarding him. I let Jio have his way,” said NLEX guard Kevin Alas.The Road Warriors had no answer for Jalalon, who ran circles around them on his way to a game-high 25 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the field. There was no slowing Sangalang down as well as the versatile big man finished with 24 points and seven rebounds.The Hotshots hit 52% of their shots and it was just simply a result of NLEX’s bad defense.“They shot the three-point shot really well. 52 percent is their shooting percentage, that’s really very high. That was our primary problem defensively,” said Guiao. “They were shooting the ball well from the outside and at the same time, they had a post threat in Sangalang. It’s a dilemma, especiall if they’re shooting the ball well.”It was a bad loss for NLEX but make no mistake, the Road Warriors are far from waving the white flag.ADVERTISEMENT Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil “Our goal is to prolong the series. On Friday, it’s a must win for us, that’s a crucial game,” Guiao told reporters after NLEX got outplayed in the fourth quarter en route to a 106-99 setback. “Every win for us, it prolongs this series, [but] we’ll take our chances with a long series.”Guiao had said that a longer series would favor NLEX, but with Magnolia getting contributions from across the board in Game 3, the Road Warriors’ plan to stretch the series which looked probable after Game 1 has turned bleak.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkNLEX’s defensive game plan centered on Paul Lee backfired in Game 3. Not that Lee was in his element, but because they let Jio Jalalon, who has been relatively silent in the series, and Ian Sangalang have their way.Jalalon and Sangalang combined for 49 points and both played very efficient, going 20-of-28 from the field. In Liverpool, Man United sees the pain and path to recovery Recto seeks to establish Taal rehab body to aid community, eruption victimslast_img read more

Court Dumps Sable Mining’s Appeal to Drop Charges

first_imgCriminal Court ‘C’ Judge at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia, Yamie Quiqui Gbeisay, yesterday declined to accept the request of Sable Mining and its executive director Andrew Groves to drop the charges against the company. Yesterday, the government officials implicated in the Global Witness US$950,000 bribery scandal were expected to be tried in Criminal Court C. Although the UK mining company and its executive director have not been served with copies of the indictment (charges), they, however, sought the court’s approval to dismiss the charges against them, something Judge Gbeisay refused to do.Besides, the officials are not in the country and cannot be located anywhere by the Special Presidential Taskforce that is pressing for their prosecution.However, supporting his decision, Gbeisay said “under the law, when a party or any individual is charged with a crime, such person must first be served with the indictment, and be brought under the jurisdiction of the court as evidence to show that the person has received and signed the document (indictment), as was done in the case of defendants Varney Sherman, Alex Tyler and others accused.”Gbeisay continued: “Sable Mining and Groves have not been served with the writ of arrest. This means that they are not under the jurisdiction of the court…I will not listen to anyone or party who has not been brought under the court’s authority.”He said that the court is not naive “for anyone to remain out of the bailiwick to file a request to be heard by the court. Therefore, the request is hereby denied,” Gbeisay declared.The Presidential Taskforce charged the mining company and Groves with multiple crimes including bribery, economic sabotage, criminal conspiracy, solicitation and facilitation.Sable mining was said to have presented over US$950,000 to the company’s Liberian lawyer, Senator Varney Sherman, to bribe past and present public officials, including former Speaker Alex Tyler, to alter the Public Procurement Concession and Commission law in order to award the Wologizi Mountain in LofaCounty to Sable without going through competitive bidding.Almost all of the other defendants excluding Sable and Groves have been arrested and subsequently served with a copy of their indictments (charges), although they are all out on bail.Meanwhile, Judge Gbeisay has also refused to accept prosecution’s request to have the entire trial videotaped and televised around the world.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Legislature to ‘Impeach’ Supreme Court?

first_imgThe Daily Observer has gathered that some members of the House and Representatives and the Senate are organizing an impeachment against the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court for what they called “their bias or inability to perform the functions of their offices” for clearing the nomination of two Vice Presidential candidates, Harrison Karnwea of the Liberty Party (LP) and Ambassador Jeremiah Sulunteh of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), to contest the October presidential and legislative elections.Article 71 of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia gives the Legislature the authority to remove the Chief Justice and Associates Justices of the Supreme Court and the judges of subordinate courts of record because of “bad” behavior. The Constitution states that they may be removed upon impeachment and conviction by the Legislature based on “proved misconduct, gross breach of duty, inability to perform the functions of their office, or conviction in a court of law for treason, bribery or other infamous crimes.”On Friday, during the Senate’s special session, Maryland County Senator Dan Morais walked out of the session when his colleagues refused to include his recommendation on the agenda to “discuss the Judicial Review of the Supreme Court’s Opinion.” Sen. Morais argued that the discussion is “far more important because the Supreme Court’s ruling is not only dangerous, but it has the propensity to undermine the peace and stability of the country.” About 8 senators out of the 16 voted against placing Morais’ recommendation on the Agenda, arguing that Friday’s special session was intended to concur with the House of Representatives on the 2017/2018 National Budget and not to discuss the judicial review of the Supreme Court’s opinion on Karnwea and Sulunteh.It has also been gathered that most of the senators who endorsed the presidential bid of Vice President Joseph N. Boakai are part of the pro-impeachment group. The Daily Observer has further gathered that some members of the Lower House have also expressed their disappointment with the opinion of the Supreme Court. In a telephone conversation with the House’s Majority Bloc Leader Rep. Numene Bartekwa, he indicated that “personally, the Supreme Court’s ruling is bad” and that, as a representative, he would read the basis of any impeachment proceeding before affixing his signature. It has not been confirmed whether members of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) – comprising NPP, CDC and LPDP – are in favor of impeaching of the Supreme Court Justices, but it has been reliably learnt that they too would join the “like minded senators or representatives” in their attempt to remove the Justices.Impossibility!Some pundits argued that the standard for “good behavior”, as expressed in the Constitution, is one that is more stringent than “at the pleasure of the President” or “Legislature,” but less stringent than the “high crimes and misdemeanors” required to impeach the President. Ultimately, the grounds for impeachment are pretty much whatever the Representatives and Senators believe them to be. The pundits believe that a Supreme Court justice cannot practically be impeached, because it’s technically impossible, according Article 43 of the Constitution, which says: “The power to prepare a bill of impeachment is vested solely in the House of Representatives, and the power to try all impeachments is vested solely in the Senate. When the President, Vice President or an Associate Justice is to be tried, the Chief Justice shall preside; when the Chief Justice or a judge of a subordinate court of record is to be tried, the President of the Senate shall preside. No person shall be impeached but by the concurrence of two-thirds of the total membership of the Senate. Judgments in such cases shall not extend beyond removal from office and disqualification to hold public office in the Republic; but the party may be tried at law for the same offense. The Legislature shall prescribe the procedure for impeachment proceedings which shall be in conformity with the requirements of due process of law.”Pundits also argued that, given the time frame, it would also be impossible because the Legislature has closed – is on break for the 170th independence celebration – and will resume work on Thursday, August 3. And after it resumes work, the Legislature will go on its final closure on August 31.Supreme Court’s “bad” rulingThe Supreme Court said both Karnwea and Sulunteh were in substantial compliance with the Code of Conduct (CoC) Act, contrary to the NEC’s contention that both men were in violation. The court’s opinion (ruling) in favor of the Karnwea and Sulunteh were delivered separately by Associate Justices Philip A.Z. Banks and Jamesetta H. Wolokollie.Delivering Karnwea’s ruling, Justice Banks said that he was in substantial compliance with the code and that his violation of the act was not egregious in nature suggesting that “as the term was determined, interpreted and applied by the Supreme Court in the case Serena Mappy Polson versus the Republic of Liberia, which held the CoC to be constitutional.”Polson challenged the constitutionality of the code, but the Supreme Court ruled 3 in favor and 2 against, thereby making the code constitutional. Polson currently serves as Superintendent of Bong County, the position she held when she challenged the constitutionality of the code. Justice Banks emphasized that “the case of Abu Kamara versus the National Elections Commission, which elaborated upon the application of the term and the penalty of disbarment, is not applicable to Karnwea.”“Karnwea’s case is remanded to the NEC to expeditiously conduct a due process of law by hearing his application and to make a determination within 48 hours of receipt of the mandate of the Supreme Court of the level of penalty that will be commensurate with the magnitude of the violation – to be imposed on Karnwea from the ranges of penalties outlined in the code that fall below the penalty of disqualification, which is applicable to only egregious violation of the code,” Justice Banks ruling stated.Kamara currently serves as assistant minister for administration at the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, which post he also held when he was rejected by the NEC, whose decision he challenged at the Supreme Court.According to Banks, the standard laid down, being that where an applicant has resigned his position prior to filing an application before the NEC to contest an elective public office and thereby showing substantial compliance with the code, as of the date of the decision of the Supreme Court in the Polson case, “the violation is not to be considered egregious and that the NEC shall apply only the applicable penalty laid in the code, short of disbarment or disqualification,” the justice explained.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

GMI to remain closed until “certain requirements are met” – EPA

first_imgRegion One outbreak– miners to travel to China todayRegional Health Officials on Saturday held a public meeting with residents of Matthews Ridge, North West District (NWD), to update them on the current health crisis facing the Guyana Manganese Inc (GMI) workers who fell ill while working in a tunnel in the area.The quarantined area at the GPHC where the sick miners are being treatedPresent at the meeting were the region’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Karen Boyle, Regional Health Officer Dr Cerdel Mc Watt and representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).It was reported that the patients are being treated and are responding to antibiotic and anti-fungal medicines and results from samples that were sent overseas for further evaluation are scheduled to be returned today.Meanwhile, officials are making it clear that only Chinese workers that worked in the tunnel are affected by this illness and no other residents of that or neighbouring villages have been infected. Further, GMI mining operations will remain closed until certain requirements are met and the company is given the green light by the EPA to resume operations.Another meeting is scheduled for today in the region and the Chief Medical Officer and two Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) representatives are expected to be in attendance.Reports are that Chinese miners presently being treated at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) are expected to leave for China today.A well-placed source at the GPHC told this newspaper that doctors are of the view that the miners are not infected with Leptospirosis and their symptoms are similar to those of H1N1, however, efforts to obtain a confirmation from the Chief Medical Officer on Sunday were unsuccessful.Residents of Matthews Ridge on Friday had expressed concerns over the health risks involved and are furious that health officials are not disclosing information as to the seriousness of the situation.“Every time I see them nurse and ask about it, they keep telling me we can’t talk we ain’t want get in trouble,” one resident told this newspaper on Friday.Several residents who reached out to this newspaper on Friday said that it is time that the health authorities speak to persons living in the area since they are very worried about the situation.Another Chinese miner died on Wednesday at the Georgetown Public Hospital while several others who were brought out from the mining camp remain patients.Chief Medical Officer of the GPHC, Dr Shamdeo Persaud, when contacted by this newspaper on Friday, said tests are still being conducted even as they await results from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) about a possible diagnosis for the patients who did not test positive for Leptospirosis. “When the results come back, whatever they are, we will disclose,” he said. He could not say when the results will return.Meanwhile, the Ministry’s statement on Thursday confirmed that the miners died from complications associated with Leptospirosis while undergoing treatment at the GPHC.It also said that two of those patients have since been discharged after successful treatment.Dr Shamdeo Persaud has iterated that all precautionary measures are still in place at the Matthews Ridge tunnel site and its immediate surroundings, adding that essential medical supplies are in stock to treat employees of the mining firm and residents of the area.last_img read more

Spain rally behind De Gea as questions swirl over goalkeeper’s form

first_imgRonaldo scored from all three of Portugal’s attempts on target against the Manchester United goalkeeper and suddenly new coach Fernando Hierro has found himself having to defend the 27-year-old.“We don’t doubt him and he doesn’t doubt himself either,” said Hierro after La Roja kicked off their Group B campaign.“I embraced him. We know goalkeeper is a special position, with a special psychology, and we have no doubts. Honestly,” added Hierro, hastily promoted to the role as coach last week after Julen Lopetegui’s shock sacking on the eve of the tournament.Spain captain Sergio Ramos with David De Gea at a training session at the weekend © AFP / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOUOn the whole, the Spanish performed well in their first outing, especially considering the upheaval of the days before the game, and the underwhelming results of the other pre-tournament favourites put the Portugal draw in a more positive light.But De Gea’s form has to be a matter of real concern.It was his error that gifted Switzerland a goal in a 1-1 friendly draw just before Spain departed for Russia, and now — after one game — they have already conceded one goal more than in the whole of their triumphant 2010 World Cup campaign.Iker Casillas was in goal then, the icon who De Gea succeeded and to whom he will always be compared.“Only those of us who put on the gloves and go out on the field know how difficult it is,” the man himself said. “The coach is with me, it was an error and these things can happen.”– Safe –It is not the first time De Gea has found himself in the eye of a storm at such a time — shortly after being promoted to the role of first-choice goalkeeper for Euro 2016, he found himself embroiled in a sex scandal.There were allegations that he had organised a party at which two women were forced to have sex with two footballers, although he was later cleared of any wrongdoing.The affair resurfaced recently when Pedro Sanchez, the new Spanish Prime Minister, came to Spain’s training camp to give a speech before their departure for Russia.De Gea refused to applaud the Socialist leader, remembering criticism from Sanchez.Spain’s sports press have not been slow to criticise the 30-times capped goalkeeper for his recent blunders, but Hierro’s squad have given him their backing.“He is fine. Nobody likes making mistakes. He is still one of the best goalkeepers in the world,” said Isco.In any case, De Gea, who is said to be close to signing a lucrative new contract at Old Trafford, seems safe in his position for now.Napoli’s Pepe Reina has been a back-up for more than a decade now, while Athletic Bilbao custodian Kepa Arrizabalaga has just one cap and is surely not quite ready to step up.De Gea will hope to repay the faith in him against Iran as Spain bid to take a big step towards qualifying for the last 16.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Cristiano Ronaldo (right) celebrates after scoring a penalty against Spain’s goalkeeper David De Gea © AFP / NELSON ALMEIDAKRASNODAR, Russian Federation, Jun 19 – Spain players are rallying behind goalkeeper David De Gea as they prepare for their second group game at the World Cup against Iran in Kazan on Wednesday.De Gea endured an evening to forget in Spain’s opening match against Portugal on Friday, committing a howling error to allow Cristiano Ronaldo to score his second goal on the way to a hat-trick in the 3-3 thriller in Sochi.last_img read more

Amazing skill! Liverpool’s loss is Celtic’s gain

first_imgCeltic have signed Dundee United winger Gary Mackay-Steven on a pre-contract agreement, which will see the Scotland international move to Glasgow in the summer.The 24-year-old joined United in 2011 from Airdrie after he was released by Liverpool, who had snapped him up from Scottish club Ross County in 2007 when Mackay-Steven was just 17.Injuries hampered his progress in the Reds academy, but he has starred at Tannadice and was given his first Scotland cap in November 2013.Mackay-Steven has incredible skill, an ability to beat people, create and score goals. “I remember Gary being ?technically excellent. He had a good left foot and was a good attacking player,” Hugh McAuley, his Liverpool youth coach has said.Watch his goal against rivals Dundee in United’s 6-2 New Year’s Day win.last_img read more

Zidane now odds-on to become next Man United boss after talkSPORT host’s claim

first_img deals no dice REVEALED 2 Following Cascarino’s claim, the odds on Zidane taking over at Old Trafford have plunged.The 46-year-old is now 8/11 with most bookmakers to become United’s next manager.That makes him the overwhelming favourite for the job should Mourinho go, with Antonio Conte, Mauricio Pochettino and Laurent Blanc next in the betting, all at big odds. 2 Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card Latest Premier League News gameday cracker Real Madrid ‘offer’ Isco to Chelsea in bid to ‘make room’ for Tottenham star tense Jose Mourinho’s position as Manchester United manager is increasingly uncertain.United have made a dismal start to the season, with the 3-1 reverse at West Ham on Saturday their third loss in seven Premier League games. Jose Mourinho shows the strain during Manchester United’s defeat to West Ham at the London Stadium There have been numerous reports of discontent behind the scenes too.Star midfielder Paul Pogba was given a very public dressing down by Mourinho in training over an Instagram posting, while the £89million midfielder has been stripped of the club captaincy.Anthony Martial has also fallen foul of Mourinho and there are reports today that all is not well with Alexis Sanchez after the Chilean forward was left out of the United squad against West Ham.Mourinho is now leading the Premier League ‘sack race’ and speculation is intensifying that he could be replaced by Zinedine Zidane.On Sunday, talkSPORT presenter Tony Cascarino claimed to have been told by a reliable source in France that Zidane had already held talks with United over the possibility of taking on the job. Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT REAL DEAL Zinedine Zidane won nine trophies in two-and-a-half years as Real Madrid manager shining Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won silverware The French World Cup winner led Real Madrid to three Champions League titles in a row before leaving the Bernabeu in the summer.Cascarino, formerly of Marseille, said: “Looking at a manager [Mourinho] who is getting so little out his team, he has to be responsible for how his team are playing. I see a lack of energy and desire in that team at the moment.“If I’m brutally honest, I think he’ll be gone very soon. I think the talks have already happened and I was led to believe Zidane has already met United from a source that has told me many things over the years that have come true.“I think that will happen, and I think it should happen now because United are 10th in the league.” huge blow Man United transfer news live: Haaland ‘wants a change’, two players off in January REVEALED Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury last_img read more

The fringes of success – with Patrick Gildea Hairdressing

first_imgFringes are still on trend: We have had so many requests for fringes and the most common question we have been asked is Will A Fringe Suit Me?  You will be pleased to know that there are so many different fringe styles that there is one to flatter almost everyone.Anita one of our Style Directors says that the trick is to find one that suits you best “you should trust your stylist who will recommend one that will highlight your best features and steer you away from the wrong type of style”. Since there has been so many questions, Patrick asked Anita to give you the run down on what is what on face shapes and fringes so that you can find the perfect style to suit you. In general though the goal with a fringe is to find a style that helps make your face appear more oval while bringing out your eyes and enhancing your overall hairstyle.Square Shape – think Nicole Richie: You might think that you need to avoid a full fringe with a square face shape but you don’t have to as long as it is cut right. A long eye grazing fringe tapered at the side to add softness and plenty of texture around brow level works beautifully. The key is to break up the straight line so that it doesn’t emphasise the same in your jaw. Round Shape– think Cameron Diaz: The long curtain fringe works on a lot of face shapes, it works best on round shapes if the parting is slightly off centre which creates a slight diagonal elongation for round faces. The fringe will have a slimming effect on round faces if you end just above the jawline, length is so important you don’t want to hit right at the cheeks which will create more width to an already round shape.Heart Shape- Reese Witherspoon: The goal for those with heart-shaped faces is to balance out the thinner jawline with the wider forehead. Rather than full fringe, go for a long, layered side fringe, which draw attention to the eyes, lips and middle of the face. The shortest piece should hit at the eyebrow and the longest should end at the top of the cheekbones.Oval Shape – Taylor Swift: Oval shapes which are classified as the perfect face shape are ideal full fringes with choppy ends. Have it full enough so that it doesn’t separate yet not too full that it looks too heavy. Choppiness at the ends will help to create a soft fluffy texture which highlights delicate features. Long Shape – Kelly Reilly:A long side swept fringe works beautifully with long face shapes because it covers most of the forehead. The fringe should hit at brow level before tapering down on one side and should stop somewhere in the middle of the face instead of down around the chin because where the fringe stops  is where you’ll get the most widening benefit.With various face shapes and styles it can all get a little confusing! But don’t worry if you aren’t too sure what your shape is we will help you to find a style that is perfect for you.You can book your consultation online here www.patrickgildea.ie/book-online/ The fringes of success – with Patrick Gildea Hairdressing was last modified: September 29th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare 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)last_img read more

Are Scientists Capable of Stupidity?

first_img(Visited 23 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Scientists are only people, and most people do or say dumb things sometimes.  You can decide how to classify these “scientific” ideas.Overhyped Martian claims of the past:  While the world eagerly awaits NASA announcing “something big” about Mars next week,* Clara Moskowitz reminds us on Space.com that there were at least five overhyped claims in the past: (1) the canals on Mars, (2) flowing water on Mars, (3) the face on Mars, (4) microbes in a Martian meteorite, and (5) claims of possible life from Vikings 1 and 2.  Many of these were taken very seriously by renowned scientists of the day.Alien Breck:  A long time ago in a beauty salon far, far away: We may be able to detect aliens by their hairspray, Charles Q. Choi announced on Space.com: “Alien hairspray may help us find E.T.”  Presumably space babes would wish to keep their locks in place with chloroflurocarbons, which astronomers might detect in a planetary atmosphere.  That’s probably enough said, except to note that NASA considered this story newsworthy enough to give it good press on their Astrobiology Magazine website.Organized ignorance:  When you don’t know what you are talking about, does it help to organize your ignorance?  Apparently Claudio Maccone thinks so.  Astrobiology Magazine said Maccone took another look at the Drake Equation for calculating how many aliens inhabit the galaxy.But the Drake equation must not be evaluated only by the numerical values it produces. Some say the Drake equation is a way to organize our ignorance. By exposing the extraterrestrial intelligence hypothesis mathematically, we limit the real possibilities to each term and approach the final answer: how many alien civilizations are there?Maccone massaged the ignorance with new inputs and came up with a new estimate of how many alien civilizations there are, which nobody can check.  He simultaneously solved another problem of organized ignorance: why hasn’t SETI detected any aliens yet?  Answer: the average distance of these unknown civilizations might put them too far for our current detectors to find.  How convenient; maybe we can use that method to explain why we haven’t found ghosts.Minds by mistake:  Someone didn’t think this through.  Maybe Darwin made him do it.  Take an ape brain and zap it: instant intelligence!  That seems to be the gist of a story on Science Daily, “Origin of Intelligence and Mental Illness Linked to Ancient Genetic Accident.”  What does the prestigious University of Edinburgh think of one of their own, Seth Grant, proposing that a genetic accident led to his brain?  He proposes that a mistake caused a gene to make multiple copies of neurons, which led to both intelligence and mental illness.  This makes mental illness the flip side of intelligence, leading readers to believe that Grant may not be able to tell one from the other.*We learned later the latest Mars hype was due to a misunderstanding; see Live Science‘s explanation.What’s disturbing is that nobody in the press called these people on these claims, although Clara Moskowitz came close.Evolutionary scientists have the gall to declare their critics ignoramuses.  We simply show you what they say; you decide.last_img read more

Dear Mandela wins big in Brooklyn

first_imgDirectors Dara Kell and Christopher Nizza at the Brooklyn Film Festival earlier this month. At the premier of the film in the Hague in 2011. Visitors to the Brooklyn Film Festival wait outside the Brooklyn Heights cinema ahead of the screening of Dear Mandela.(Images: www.dearmandela.com)MEDIA CONTACTS•Sleeping Giants Film+27 21 870 2900• Abahlali basemjondolo+27 31 304 6420Valencia Talane“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”Perhaps this famous quote by Nelson Mandela is what inspired a social movement for poor communities called Abahlali basemjondolo, based in KwaZulu-Natal, to fight the government, through its justice system, over the unfair evictions of shack dwellers.They won, and every step of their battle for justice was documented in Dear Mandela, a film that has inspired even more South Africans in poor communities to take charge and stand up for their rights.The Constitutional Court is where it all happened in October 2009. The case brought before the court by Abahlali was an effort to put an end to a controversial piece of legislation called the Slums Act, as it gave municipalities too much power over poor residents of informal settlements, so much so that they could evict inhabitants of private land and put them in transit camps without providing alternative accommodation.Abahlali’s resilient nature, in the wake of a previous judgment by KwaZulu-Natal Judge President Vuka Tshabalala which upheld the legislation, became the group’s fighting power, and so began the journey to declare war for the right to dignity.International recognitionThe Grand Chameleon is the most prestigious of the awards given out at the Brooklyn Film Festival, which runs every year in June. The festival, into its 14th edition in 2012, puts a focus on independent films from around the world in an effort to – as organisers put it – “advance public interest in films and the independent production of films”.The 2012 festival saw over 100 premieres screened at the event’s two venues, the indieScreen and the Brooklyn Heights Cinema.Dear Mandela was one of 17 in the documentaries category, and the only African entry on the list dominated by productions from the US and Europe.“All the films in the competition are eligible for this award, regardless of their length, category, or format,” declares a disclaimer on the festival’s website.The award is assigned by the board of directors of the festival and is chosen from the winners of ‘Best in Category’.The film will share an overall prize of US$57 000 (R470 723) with the winners in the other categories.Other accolades awarded to Dear Mandela include the Best Butterfly Award at the Movies that Matter Film Festival run by Amnesty International; best documentary nominee at the African Academy Awards 2012; and the Best African Documentary Award at the Durban International Film Festival. Inspiration for the filmCape Town-born Dara Kell, one of the directors of the film, says one of the inspirations behind the film was a desire to show what young South Africans still fight for, so many years into the country’s freedom. She wanted to show what life is like for young people in informal settlements.Her co-director, Christopher Nizza, agrees: “When we started working with Abahlali we discovered that many of their leaders are of the generation commonly referred to as the ‘born frees’, and it was through the story of the characters in the film that we were able to tell the bigger story about evictions and housing problems that South Africans deal with.”Nizza grew up in New York, and has won various awards for his work in television adverts, music videos and, of course, documentaries. Together the two formed documentary production company Sleeping Giant in 2007, and Dear Mandela is their first feature-length production.Although Abahlali are widely known across South Africa, their day-to-day struggles and victories were not necessarily being told in the mainstream media and in this regard, says Kell, they were able to tell the world.“Putting small videos of the daily encounters filmed while following the leaders of the movement on the internet had some positive impact,” recalls Nizza. “There were several protests at South African embassies in New York, London, Moscow and other cities around the world.”“This created some pressure on the South African government, because everything wasn’t happening in the shadows anymore, and people around the world were paying attention.”He adds that challenging negative stereotypes about shack dwellers in South Africa was another motivating factor for doing the film.“The perception is that they are dangerous, uneducated and lazy, and these perceptions are damaging. We had an opportunity to show, in video form, that these notions aren’t true.”Kell agrees: “The apartheid struggle wasn’t just fought for the right to vote, but also for the right to a dignified life.”“South Africa has a brilliant constitution, one of the most progressive in the world, but the challenge is for the young people now to hold the country’s leaders to their promises.”The name Dear Mandela, says Kell, was inspired by a story related by one of the lead characters in the film, who is also a leader within the Abahlali structure.The elder statesman had just been voted into power by virtue of being the ANC president at the time the democratic government came into place in 1994, and one of the promises he made to the constituency that had voted for the party – made up largely of poor black people – was that the new government would build them houses.It is a declaration, made along with others, promising a better life for the poor.“One of the young people in the film said he wishes Mandela could come and see how they live, because they don’t think he would be very happy about it,” recalls Kell.Abahlali’s fight for decent living conditionsAt least 10% of South Africans lived in urban informal settlements in 2003, according to research by Southern African NGO Network. Living conditions in these areas remains one of the government’s biggest challenges, with access to basic services such as clean water and sanitation a worrying factor.The Slums Act gave municipalities greater powers to monitor informal settlements and to evict inhabitants whenever the private owners of the land failed to do so. Evictees were also to be housed in transit camps while low-costing public housing was built.The argument from Ablahlali’s perspective was that there was no consultation from the government’s side, and as a matter of principle, the authorities should not have ignored the conditions that force people to leave their homes and move to informal settlements. They also wanted the national government to force its provincial administrators to follow laws that prevent evictions without a court order.South Africa’s informal settlements have been growing exponentially since the new dispensation, a trend that analysts attribute to urbanisation and the constant search for a better life by people who grew up in the former homelands. For instance, nearly one in six people in South Africa live in shacks, a quarter of them in the smallest province by area, Gauteng.Policy changes address slum situationIn 2009 the National Department of Human Settlements released the plans of its informal settlement upgrading programme, the primary goal of which is to facilitate in situ upgrades for the country’s existing settlements, as opposed to moving all communities.The programme is part of the government’s contribution to the UN Millennium Goals, which provide for the significant improvement in the lives of at least 100-million slum dwellers by 2020.The department outlines the key elements of the programme as a)Tenure security that incorporates both rights and obligations by recognising and formalising the tenure rights of residents within informal settlements; b)Health and security, which promotes the development of healthy and secure living environments by facilitating the provision of affordable and sustainable basic municipal engineering infrastructure to the residents of informal settlements; and c) Empowerment, to address social and economic exclusion by focusing on community empowerment and the promotion of social and economic integration.The programme filters down through all three spheres of government. On the ground level, the municipality has to make a decision as to whether a settlement should be earmarked for upgrade through the programme.Upon receipt and approval of the application from the municipality, the provincial department will be responsible for distributing the funding as well as monitoring the rollout of the project, in partnership with the municipality. Conceptualising the rollout of the programme lies with the national department. The most crucial factor throughout the process of the upgrade, however, is that of community involvement, which the programme encourages at all times.In cases where the in situ approach cannot be carried out, and informal settlement communities have to be moved, the programme states that pre-approval of the community involved should be sought.last_img read more