Six Nations a timely marker in World Cup year

first_imgBy Justin PalmerWITH little over seven months to the World Cup, Europe’s hopes of lifting the Webb Ellis Cup next October will take root in a Six Nations Championship which starts with a Friday night blockbuster and should provide more fireworks along the way.England coach Stuart Lancaster has a pile of injuries to contend with but will have a clearer idea of where the World Cup co-hosts stand after his side face Wales in the Millennium Stadium amphitheatre tonight (10.05pm).Emerge with victory and not only will the men in white have exorcised the demons from a humiliating loss in the Welsh capital two years ago but, with home games against Italy, Scotland and France to come, would be well-placed to win a first Six Nations title since 2011.Form and rankings dictate that Six Nations holders Ireland, who have risen to three in the world rankings behind world champions New Zealand and South Africa, should naturally be favourites but it is an unwanted tag for coach Joe Schmidt.Ireland begin their quest for a second consecutive title – something they have not achieved since 1949 – by taking on Italy in Rome on Saturday.Talisman Brian O’Driscoll has retired but Schmidt’s side, who welcome France and England to Dublin, signalled that they could be best of the northern hemisphere bunch at the World Cup by securing November wins over South Africa and Australia.Ireland can still call on the leadership qualities of evergreen lock Paul O’Connell who is set to win his 100th international cap during the tournament and should welcome back influential flyhalf Johnny Sexton at some point.Sexton has been stood down from Ireland’s opener after a series of concussions but Schmidt gave an upbeat bulletin on the Racing Metro stand-off this week.Ireland’s injury list is nothing like the one Lancaster is contending with.Lock Joe Launchbury, number eight Ben Morgan and flyhalf Owen Farrell have been ruled out of the tournament, second rower Courtney Lawes is set to miss most of it while Brad Barritt and Geoff Parling are among several walking wounded.“We still have a lot of strength in depth and we’re still confident we’re still going to have a strong team,” Lancaster said.Wales and France will also want to make statements of intent.Warren Gatland’s Wales boast a relatively settled side with a backline made up of British and Irish Lions players capable of tearing a defence to shreds.Such is the array of talent at Gatland’s disposal that talk emanating from the valleys of South Wales is that talented winger George North’s place may even be in doubt with Liam Williams pushing for a regular start.France have not won a Six Nations title since their 2010 grand slam and three successive poor campaigns have left a question mark over coach Philippe Saint Andre.A November win over Australia in which powerful winger Teddy Thomas again underlined his huge potential has at least given Les Bleus cause for optimism.Scotland, too, believe they are on the right track under New Zealander Vern Cotter with an impressive Autumn campaign, which brought high-scoring wins over Argentina and Tonga and a narrow defeat by New Zealand, leading to predictions that the Murrayfield men will be no pushovers.Italy could not build on their two wins in the 2013 tournament and lost all five matches last year. Coach Jacques Brunel will need his team to show greater attacking flair to match their renowned defensive intensity.last_img read more

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K10,000 support for Tabubil Rugby Football League

first_imgGazebo Club President, Akolo Kotange, told the TRFL executives that Gazebo Club was proud to sponsor the local league as it promoted junior development and also kept youths off illegal activities.“Last year Gazebo club was behind Tabubil league this year we are committed to support rugby league in Tabubil,” said Kotange.“Rugby league is also one sport that brings social life back to our township and we are seeing families coming back to Tabubil and watch rugby league on the weekend.“We are happy league is creating an avenue for youths, families and employees to look forward to every weekend and Gazebo Club is happy to be associated with that,” said Kotange.“Gazebo Club is also looking forward to supporting other sporting codes in Tabubil like soccer, darts and snooker because majority of our club members are from nearby mine villages of Bultem, Finalbin, Wangbin, Migalsim and nearby town areas,” said the club president.TRFL vice president Israel Lingham thanked Gazebo Club for their continued support towards the league saying the club’s support is a massive boost to the league’s confidence in running the association and competition every season.He said the money will be used to purchase trophies and medallions for the finals as well as funding a return match which will feature Tabubil Diggers and Kiunga Catfish on September 15 in Tabubil.“The competition started last year after the dry weather with four clubs and this year, we have six clubs reflecting the interest and the standard of the game.“Gazebo Club sponsoring the league is encouraging the youths to come out and participate it’s a positive step the club has taken and the league’s executives are happy to be associated with that,” Lingham said.Lingham made mention of current Port Moresby Vipers Shane Haro and Gulf Isou’s Ricko Jimmy who came out of TRFL to  make their way up to play in the semi-professional competition, Digicel Cup.Lingham said because of sponsors like Gazebo Club, youths were able to realise their dreams and he encouraged youths to follow Haro and Jimmy’s example.The 2018 TRFL has six teams participating in the competition: Eagles, Brothers, Royals, Tarangau, Country and Tigers.The finals will be held in September.Meanwhile, results from Sunday’s rugby league match between Tabubil Diggers and Kiunga Catfish saw the home side run out winners over Diggers 22-8 in Kiunga.In the junior division Kiunga Catfish also proved too strong, defeating Tabubil Diggers 16-8.The second match will be played on the eve of Independence at Tabubil rugby league oval.(Gazebo Club President Akolo Kotange, right, presenting the K10,000 sponsorship cheque to TRFL Vice President Israel Lingham, witnessed by executives from the six clubs – Story and photo courtesy of Gazebo Club, Tabubil)last_img read more

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YOUR COMPLETE ST PATRICK’S PARADE GUIDE – SEND US YOUR BEST PIX!

first_imgIT’S St Patrick’s weekend and here’s your BEST guide to what’s on across the county.Enjoy a great weekend – and make sure you send your best pix to info@donegaldaily.com.Here’s your town guide. Ardara: The town is having its brilliant Walking Weekend with several events throughout the three days. The main parade is on Monday, March 18, Parade at 3.30pm. This year Paddy McGrath, Pat Shovelin and the Sam Maguire Cup will lead the Parade. The usual visiting Bands will perform and we expect a great selection of floats. All visiting floats are welcome also commercial floats are welcome to enter, please contact Gerard 087 6488628 or Margaret 087 2023033. There is a prize of €500 for the winner, also good prizes for 2nd and 3rd.Ballybofey & Stranorlar: Loads of fun planned in the Twin Towns on Sunday, March 17 2.30 Gala parade. 4.30pm Guinness World Record Attempt for Patricks and Patricias, Finn Valley Centre. Please bring birth certificate for verification. Patrick or Patricia must be first name, not middle name. Variations allowed but must be pre-approved name. Bouncy Castle, Obstacle Course, Magician, Face Painting and loads more for a great day out. Please contact Kathy Taaffe on 086 314 2886 if you require further information.Ballyshannon: Sunday 17th March, Parade at 2pm, All Floats and bands are welcome. Prize trophies for best dressed floats and best dressed window display, Parade Prize Giving at 4pm in Dicey Reilly’s Function Room with Music By Christy Moore & Declan Sinnott Tribute Act.Buncrana: As part of ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ Buncrana St. Patrick’s Festival are inviting thousands of people around the world to participate in one of the Northwest’s Largest St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. Come along and enjoy the craic, people and atmosphere. Soak up the vibrant atmosphere; feel the energy, wave to the audience along the 1 km route and best of all once you have finished you can marvel at the spectacular street performances, music and parade. Build lifelong memories, display your Irish pride, celebrate all that is good about Ireland and being Irish (even if you are just an honorary Irish person for one day!) and savour your unique journey through historic Inishowen – the journey of a lifetime! St. Patrick’s Festival 2013 takes place from Friday the 15th to Sunday 17th March, we hope to see you there! The St’Patricks Parade starts 3pm with entertainment on the street before and after the parade. Bundoran: Sunday, March 17, Parade at 3.30pm from East End. A group of visiting students from the Athenian School in Danville, California will be among the participants in the annual Bundoran St Patrick’s Day Parade. Fresh from their Irish Premiere, the stars of the new Hardy Bucks movie will make an appearance on Saturday night in Aqua Nightclub while on Friday night patrons of the old Peppies Nightclub on Main Street will reunite in the Kicking Donkey raising funds for the RNLI and Cystic Fibrosis. There’s live music in pubs across town too. The civic offices in Bundoran and also the iconic “Rock of the Birds” monument by local sculptor Brendan McGloin which overlooks the Peak surf break will also turn green for the week.Burtonport: Sunday, March 17: Celebration of Irish Culture, 12noon-2pm in St Columba’s Community centre, Acres. Free entertainment includes traditional music and dancing, marching bands, traditional games, free tea/coffee and stew etc.. If you have money to spend however, there will also be fun games, raffles, rickety wheel, lucky leprechaun’s hat, etc. All donations and takings on the day will go towards the local the local lifeboat and the local summer festival. ‘Discover The Leprechauns’ Secret’ – Fun Family walk for St Patrick’s weekend. If you would like to find out where the local Burtonport Leprechauns are hiding their crock of gold and be in with a chance of winning it as a prize, then come along to The Old Railway Walk in Burtonport anytime between 10am on Friday 15th and 6pm Monday 18th March. Local leprechauns will be out and about with clues which will reveal the crock’s secret location. Register for the walk by picking up an entry form with details from The Check Out Service Station, Burtonport. Cost is €5 per family entry with all funds collected going towards developing Playmatters which is situated in the CDP, Dungloe. The Irish Duck Race: As part of Burtonport’s St Patrick’s Fay celebrations, the first “Irish Duck Race” will be held on St Patrick’s day in Meenbannad. Give your duck an Irish name and see how fast it can make its way to the finish line which will be under the bridge near Paddy Neilley’s Pub in Meenbannad. Ducks are €5 each and are on sale at some local shops and post offices. Alternatively contact Donna at the Cope in Annagry or by phoning 086 073 0517 to purchase a duck. Only 100 ducks in the race with prize money totalling €300. All proceeds from The Irish Duck Race will be shared between lifeboat and Burtonport festival.Carrick: Saturday, March 16, Parade at 3pm. St Catherine’s Band from Killybegs will lead the parade. Information from Óstan Shliabh a’ Liag 074 973 9973. Music in all the Bars.Creeslough: Sunday, March 17: The Meenderry School Band will parade from St. Michael’s Church through the village after 11am mass.Donegal Town: Sunday, March 17. Donegal Town promises to be, as always, the largest parade in the south of the county. With many floats, bands, schools, community groups and businesses taking part, the whole community in Donegal Town and its surrounding areas are busy preparing for the longest running annual spectical in these parts. Participating vehicles should assemble at Donegal Town Hardware before 2pm and walking participants to assemble in the coned area next to the Methodist Church after 2.30pm. The parade will depart from the Donegal Business park at 3pm sharp coming across the Mullins, turning left towards the Diamond where it will cross in front of the Abbey Hotel, and turn left again towards Main Street and beyond. The parade will turn and retrace the route so spectators will get a chance to see what may have been missed the first time around. With entertaining activities on the Diamond all day for all the family, Donegal Town continues to be THE place to be on St Patrick’s Day. Drumkeen: Drumkeen parish would like to invite everyone to celebrate the 40th anniversary of St. Patrick’s Church on Friday March 15th. The blessing of the new wall and gates will take place at 6.15pm, and Mass will be con-celebrated by Fr. Herrity and Fr. Curran at 7 pm. Refreshments will be served in thehall after mass where a collection of old photographs will be on display. Contact Charlie on 087 772 8608 for details.Dunfanaghy: Sunday, March 17. Festivities will get underway at 1pm with music in the Market Square and the annual band parade; there will be prizes for the best float and also the best dressed child. From 3pm-5pm there will be a bouncy castle and kids disco with DJ in the Ozanam Community Centre, there will be a small cover charge for this event and everyone is welcome.There will also be events in the Workhouse during the day so there should be entertainment for young and old in Dunfanaghy this St. Patrick’s Day.Dungloe: Sunday, March 17, Parade starts at 3.30pm with loads of family entertainment.Gaoth Dobhair: Sunday, March 17 Parade starts at Bunbeg Crossroads 2.30pm and proceeds to Molloys Supermarket, Derrybeg. Prior to the parade there will be a Human Chain formed from Bunbeg crossroads to Derrybeg. So don’t forget to bring few euro and place them in the buckets collecting during the event. Joe Diver is behind this and all money collected will go to Relay For Life Cancer Support. Joe has asked everyone taking part should be there at 2.00pm at the latest and the chain will be formed at 2.10pm. It is also important to note that the road will close shortly afterwards. Glenties: Sunday, March 17 at 1pm Guinnes Book of Records attempt for Most Leprechauns, with music and entertainment, on Main Street. It’s not to late to register. Call into the Market Hall tonight 7-9pm or Saturday 12noon-4pm, ring Brian on 087 935 4012 or email your size or your child’s age to 2013leprechaun@gmail.com. You can also follow us at Glenties.ie and on Facebook Glenties world record attempt 2013. An outfit will cost you €8 or if you need some part replaced or repaired from last year call into the Market Hall. Everybody must register on the day of the record attempt €2 so that we can sort out numbers. To top the day off there will also be a float, band and carnival parade after the record attempt.Glencolmcille: Sunday, March 17, Parade at 2pm. Parade will be led by Kilcar Pipe Band. Irish music and dancing at Halla Mhuire immediately after the parade.Kerrykeel: Our Annual St.Patrick’s Day Parade will take place in Kerrykeel at 5.30pm on Sunday. Phone entries for floats can be made by ringing The Village Inn on 9150062. There will be prizes for the Best Adults and Best Kids Float. The Fanad Band will lead the parade. Floats to assemble at Kerrykeel National School at 5pm. Come along and enjoy the craic!Letterkenny: The Letterkenny St.Patrick’s day parade is one of the biggest in Donegal and this year RTE will filming the event for a special programme. Letterkenny Chamber is asking everyone to proudly display their Irishness and showing the rest of Ireland how Letterkenny enjoys itself. They are asking people to get your shamrock out and put on your best St.Patrick’s day costume and join in the fun. Chamber President John Watson said “Letterkenny St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a great family event in Letterkenny and the staff and voluntary committee are working hard to ensure it is a success. This year the parade falls on a Sunday attracting lots of visitors who will be here for the weekend and I am sure we can give them a fantastic welcome. Contributions from large and small businesses are coming in and we will be having a bucket collection on the day, so if you’re approached please drop in some loose change. Safety is our prime concern on the day and we join with the Gardai, Donegal Youth Service and others to keep this an alcohol free day.” There will be music and Irish Dancing from the Ferry School of Irish Dancing from 2.15pm. The Parade led by the official colour party starts at 3pm on Sunday 17th March and includes the usual mix of dancers, cars, music and colour. On the day the independent judges view the parade with various categories in mind including community, sports, youth, band and dance. Each category winner receives a plaque and the overall winning entry receives the Danny Doherty Perpetual Plaque plus a cheque for €500. The parade starts at 3pm making its way from Station Roundabout via Port Road, through Main Street past the viewing platform at Market Square to finish in Old Town. The road is officially closed from 1.30pm although disabled parking is available at An Grianan Theatre. The results are announced from the viewing platform directly after the parade. Entries line up along Pearse Road and are marshalled into the parade by stewards. The parade will be lead by the traditional colour party and the first band is the recently re-formed Letterkenny Senior Accordian Band. There will be motorised entries, floats, dancers and lots more.Lough Derg: Sunday, March 17 11am-3pm, Guest Speakers: Bishop Joseph Duffy and Fr Tom Hamill. Boats will run from 10am. Programme: 11am Address on the life and influence of St Patrick (art & craft activities for children). Lunch & traditional music at 12:30pm. Mass will be celebrated at 2pm. Cost €20 includes boat fare & lunch. (€8 per child). Advance booking is essential. Telephone 071 986 1518, Email info@loughderg.org or www.loughderg.orgMalin: BIG BREAKFAST Malin GAA will be running “The Big Breakfast” on St. Patrick’s Day from 9.30 am to 2pm in the Clubhouse. €5 for Adults and €3 for Children, a great way to start St. Patrick’s Day before heading to the parades!Moville: Everybody is welcome to take part in the parade which begins at 2.30pm. Walkers should gather outside the Corner Bar on Quay Street, from 2pm while anybody who is entering a motorized float should congregate at Glencrow. There will be floats, bands and a bouncy castle on the day, and loads of live music afterwards.Rosbeg: Sunday, March 17, Parade at 3pm from the Old School. Come along and enjoy this great family day. Get involved – bring your banners, flags or – better still – dress up. Tea, Sandwiches and home baked fancy goods are free in Joe Molloy’s afterwards. All children will receive a special Goodie Bag and a Leprechaun Hunt will take place at 5pm. You can also look forward to a great night of music and dance to suit all ages. Traditional and Country Music from 4-10pm.YOUR COMPLETE ST PATRICK’S PARADE GUIDE – SEND US YOUR BEST PIX! was last modified: March 16th, 2013 by BrendaShare 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:YOUR COMPLETE ST PATRICK’S PARADE GUIDE – SEND US YOUR BEST PIX!last_img read more

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A lesson or two for student protesters

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! I was a high-school sophomore when the Persian Gulf War broke out in 1991. Within hours, a handful of students staged a lunchtime war protest in the campus quad. Even more students then mobilized in support of the war: yellow ribbons and American flags on backpacks, “Free Kuwait” and “Saddam Sucks” scrawled on book covers and binders. We debated our teachers about the merits of the conflict, learned quickly about Patriot and Scud missiles and salivated over hunky TV war correspondents. Some students even began minting buttons, ranging from George H.W. Bush’s photo to the message “Kill Saddam!” Political fervor was at fever pitch. Never once, though, did school officials have to lock the gates or tell us to stay on campus – not like we wouldn’t have taken any opportunity to get off campus and out in the California sun. So it was curious to watch the thousands of Los Angeles Unified School District students – along with many others across the state and country – feeling a need to link protest with ditching school. Perhaps they had too many teachers still tripping from their Woodstock days, hanging glam shots of Che Guevara in class and encouraging some civil – or uncivil – disobedience from the younger generation. Perhaps Rep. James Sensenbrenner’s immigration bill – which didn’t garner the same protest when it was actually passed by the House of Representatives in December – was just an excuse for a long-pent-up, in-your-face nationalism display (the feted nation not being the United States) that actually stems from ethnic conflict on LAUSD campuses. Perhaps – and I will bet this accounts for a lot of the freeway-walkers – it was just an opportunity to cut class en masse. “We just walked out because we didn’t want to be at school,” a Dorsey High School senior told The Los Angeles Times. “But we also believe (the legislation) is wrong.” I would challenge these students to accurately detail HR 4437, which is broken down into 125 sections. I would encourage kids to read and understand the legislation before picking up a picket sign, instead of jumping on the bandwagon and protesting what may or may not be correct because your friends or neighbors have told you that America wants to round up all the Mexicans. The text of this bill is online and can be viewed on computers at libraries or schools. That brings us to the arguments heard over the past couple of weeks that say walking out and protesting is good for the students’ education because it is akin to a live-action civics lesson. Here’s a civics lesson for students: You get a free education. Actually, it’s not free, but provided by taxpayers. Taxpayers aren’t just rich people, but anybody legally working. People who own property are often paying extra taxes each year to build and repair your schools. You have legislators and lobbyists constantly wrangling over ways to pump even more money into your educational experience. You are granted the opportunity to excel, regardless of which school you attend, and work your way into the college system or a vocational field. Stop viewing it as a right, but as a gift. Would such a politically minded student slap the gift-giving taxpayer in the face to run up and down the Harbor Freeway? Clearly one of the best lessons for these kids to learn is that there are consequences for actions. Thus each student who ditched school, trying his mightiest to get around campus lockdowns, should be required to pay the district the amount of state money lost because of his absence. And that’s a lot of allowance. I have much respect for politically motivated high schoolers. I was 12 when I read the transcripts of the Iran-Contra hearings for a book report; I was 13 when I acquired a Bush Sr. campaign sign and arranged a street-corner rally with a friend – to be met by the middle fingers of some Dukakis supporters. But there’s a difference between politically motivated and anger-motivated. Anger usually fosters obscured vision, such as not realizing how good you have it and not respecting that your school district is bending over backward to give you political expression opportunities in the classroom setting. It’s only when you get to college that you’ll learn expressing the wrong opinion to the wrong professor can land you a “C” pretty swiftly. Bridget Johnson writes for the Daily News. E-mail her at bridget.johnson@dailynews.com.last_img read more

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Letterkenny AC: Full round-up from Spar Autumn Cross Country event in Dublin

first_imgTwo Letterkenny Athletic Club runners travelled to Dublin on Sunday for the Spar Autumn Cross Country, which was held at Abbotstown.The race was a trial race to select the Irish team to compete in the five Nations’ Masters’ Cross Country International.This will be held in Southport, NW England in the middle of November. Natasha Adams clinched a place on the Irish F35 team, with excellent performance. Her time was 22.21 for the 6K course.  She was second, with only Finn Valley AC’s Teresa Doherty ahead of her.Barry Mackey also had a fine run in what was an ultra-competitive race. It was won by Tommy Hughes, who, despite being just 3 months short of his 60th Birthday,  is one of the world’s outstanding M55 runners.Barry ran well and his time of 30.46 for 7.5KM gave him a highly creditable 8th place.In the Open Races, the 2 Kellys, Eoin and Niamh, put on very good performances. Eoin was 39th in a time of 27.11. City of Derry Spartans’ runner, Conor Bradley, won the race in a very fast time of 22.55. In the senior women’s race, Niamh Kelly was 20th in 23.15. English athlete, Abbie Donnelly, was the winner in 20.52.Eoin Hughes and Philip McHugh had excellent runs in very tough,  muddy conditions on an undulating course in Saturday’s Comber Cup in Northern Ireland.This race was organised by Ballydrain Harriers at the Billy Neill Centre, Dundonald. Eoin was 12th in a very competitive race. His time for the 5-mile course was 30.20.  Philip was close behind, crossing the line in 32.18. The race winner was Mark McKinstry in 27.58.Cathal Roarty was the first Letterkenny runner across the line in the Letterkenny Parkrun on Saturday morning. Cathal’s time, in his 77th Parkrun, was 23.19. He was the leading M55 runner.Dara Dunne was also first in her F50 category. Her time was 24.35. Philip O’Hare was the first runner home in 19.19. Letterkenny AC: Full round-up from Spar Autumn Cross Country event in Dublin was last modified: October 23rd, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare 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:athleticsLetterkenny AClast_img read more

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Work on new footpath to start in weeks at popular Letterkenny route

first_imgOne of Donegal’s most dangerous roadsides is to finally get an overhaul.Works is now to start on the building of a new footpath from the outskirts of Letterkenny to Conwal Graveyard.The stretch of roadside is used by walkers and runners as well as people visiting loved ones in the graveyard. County councillor James Pat McDaid has said the works are now expected to begin at the end of February and will be completed by the end of May.He said “This footpath will be fully lit up with lights, it will be a great asset and improve the safety to this local area and everyone walking or running along the road.”Work on new footpath to start in weeks at popular Letterkenny route was last modified: January 23rd, 2019 by Staff WriterShare 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

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R3m boost for SA football school

first_imgThe county’s Department of Sport and Recreation will donate table tennis and pool tables to keep the pupils entertained off the pitch. The department’s 2010 legacy division has also committed to establishing a medical centre at the school, which will give pupils access to a psychologist. Fifa has donated R3-million (US$437 655) towards reviving South Africa’s Football School of Excellence, which was once a breeding ground for top-quality players who went on to join the country’s national squad, Bafana Bafana. The school was set up in Elandsfontein, east of Johannesburg in 1994, and is run by the South African Football Association (Safa). The school – which offers grades eight to 12 – currently has 112 pupils, seven teachers and four coaches. Safa is hoping to increase the number of instructors to seven to improve the coach-player ratio. Safa chief Leslie Sedibe said: “If you look at a number of players who went through the School of Excellence, they have done very well. They were well developed, and that is what we want to concentrate on.” Fifa’s 2011 contribution will be used to upgrade the school’s gym, kitchen, dormitories, administration and coaches’ block, and fields. Extra computers with internet connectivity will be set up in the library to enhance the school’s academic support system. Safa said it hopes the proceeds from Fifa will help the school improve its finances and leadership so that it can once more produce top-quality football stars. ‘Everything is back on track’But, said Mazibuko, there have been some recent improvements. “Everything is back on track at the school. We had trials all over the country in 2010. We are now going for quality again.” Over the years, Safa’s school has produced some of the country’s best football players – one of whom is Steven Pienaar, who now plays for English Premier League club Everton (although a move to Tottenham Hotspur appears to be on the cards) and South Africa’s national team.center_img Safa plans to invite overseas football experts to hold workshops at the school to groom the budding stars and prepare them to represent South Africa at future Fifa World Cups. Steven Pienaar Money neededSafa says it will need a total of R80-million (around US$11.6-million) to fully transform the academy. “We will apply for Fifa’s R3-million grant every year until the school becomes a state-of-the-art facility,” Mazibuko said. “In the past few years we had a problem where the school was no longer attracting quality youngsters, players who would do well for our junior national teams,” said Safa’s deputy president, Mandla Mazibuko. Fifa’s donation will come from its Goal Project funding initiative, which helps national football associations around the world establish centres, natural and artificial pitches, and schools that develop players of the Beautiful Game. 14 January 2011 First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more

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Tjoon: Split Screen Web Videos

first_imgjosh catone 1 Tags:#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tjoon is an interesting webcam app aimed at, I suppose, musicians. It let’s users create a 30 second split-screen video with up to 4 participants. Tjoon can be used to jam with friends or create a 4 part harmony with yourself — or maybe just to recreate the opening credits to the Brady Bunch (sorta).Unfortunately, there are a few limitations to Tjoon that effect its usefulness. First and foremost, there isn’t any real-time collaboration going on with the application. Jam sessions must be done asynchronously by each participant recording their piece separately and passing the Tjoon along to the next guy. Second, 30 seconds really isn’t enough time for a band to get their ideas on paper, er, video. Last, they only offer 4-way split screens — a number of videos on the site just have empty third or fourth spots, which looks silly.Tjoon was created as a spare time project from a group of employees of Suite 75 and was built with Ruby on Rails and Flash. The site supports some limited social features (commenting on videos, basic user profiles, and embedding of clips).There is certainly potential for this project, but they need to address their major limitations for it to really be useful for bands. I have some friends in a band that currently operates out of New York City, but for awhile they were separated by thousands of miles while band members pursued degrees at different schools. They worked on their music by sending recorded media back and forth, but a real-time web jamming application would definitely have come in handy for them. My advice to Tjoon would be to go in that direction — that’s something I think a lot of musicians would pay for and lends itself to a great social network (for musicians to hook up and find jam partners).A clip of a band jamming out — albeit for just 30 seconds — is embedded below. Related Posts center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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Suspect Accused in Thefts at Big Box Stores May Be Responsible for 23 Others

first_imgAccording to a criminal complaint, on March 26, police responded to the Walmart store in Franklin, Wisconsin, for a report of a firearm being discharged. They took a look at surveillance video, which showed an individual had placed a hover board worth $198 and motorized scooter worth $249 into a shopping cart and then exited the store without paying for those items. He got into a vehicle and was confronted by a Walmart employee, who discharged a firearm. An officer was able to identify the suspect as McKenzie — who had been arrested days prior for a robbery at 7-Eleven.The owner of the vehicle the suspect entered after the theft was interviewed by police. The complaint said he indicated he had dropped off an individual at Walmart and then picked him up. He identified McKenzie as the individual he was with. He said McKenzie offered him money and a pack of cigarettes in exchange for dropping him off. He said McKenzie was in the store for about 20 minutes, and then came out with items in a shopping cart — loading them into the vehicle as the Walmart employee approached and told him to drop the items. He said the employee then pulled out a gun and shot at the vehicle as they drove away… Fox6 Now Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

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A fresh crop of young, tech-savvy locally recruited militants points to a new and alarming phase of insurgency in Kashmir

first_imgOn June 25, a frantic Ahmad Matoo clutched a handwritten complaint as he hurried past lush rice fields to a police post in south Kashmir’s Kulgam town. Matoo’s 18-year-old son Junaid had been missing for 20 days, his father told policemen at the post about 50 km south of Srinagar.,On June 25, a frantic Ahmad Matoo clutched a handwritten complaint as he hurried past lush rice fields to a police post in south Kashmir’s Kulgam town. Matoo’s 18-year-old son Junaid had been missing for 20 days, his father told policemen at the post about 50 km south of Srinagar. The police activated their sources and less than a day later came to a conclusion: Matoo had been recruited by the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), armed, was dangerous and ready to strike.Listed as a ‘fresh’ case in police files, he is already a ‘Category B’ militant. Junaid Matoo is one of over 70 youths who have pumped new life into a flagging insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir even as the state hobbles back to normalcy after suffering its worst floods in a century last October. The upsurge is centred around south Kashmir, an area of over 6,400-sq-km where 24 fresh inductions were reported in the past six months. Seventy of the 77 militants active in south Kashmir are locals, only seven are Pakistanis.The spurt in local recruitment has coincided with the peace process with Pakistan remaining stalled since last August.It threatens to submerge the peace dividend of the past few years, the biggest of which was the assembly polls last December which saw a record 62.5 per cent voter turnout. The dam burst in June with a Facebook post that went viral on social media in Kashmir. It showed a picture of 11 Hizbul Mujahideen militants in army fatigues, clutching assault rifles, posing for the camera in a tranquil, leafy apple orchard. Only one of them was masked, the rest looked calm, “like they were out for a picnic”, a policeman scoffed, admitting he had not seen anything like it in nearly two decades of counterinsurgency. “In albums we captured from hideouts maybe, but it was never meant for public consumption.”This photograph was followed up by a video a few days later of the same group of militants, doing just what young people their age would do, laughing, chatting, listening to music and, of course, taking selfies on their smartphones. On the edge of the frame sits the Hizbul Mujahideen’s rising star, the commander of south Kashmir: Burhan-ud-din Wani. Now known only as Burhan, the 20-year-old is a category A+ militant-the second highest grading-with a Rs 10 lakh reward on his head. Most members of the group were not even born when the rigged 1987 assembly elections sparked general resentment which led to the first wave of militancy in Kashmir.advertisementThe second wave of foreign terrorists, a majority of them from Pakistan’s Punjab province recruited by the LeT and Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM), was used to shore up the flagging domestic insurgency in the 1990s and 2000s. Foreign militants inside Kashmir are now giving way to this upsurge. Militancy 3.0 is seeing increasing numbers of disaffected, self-radicalised youth with loose ties to their Pakistan-based militant leaders. “Earlier militant groups went looking for fresh recruits, now the recruits come looking for militant groups,” says a senior police officer in south Kashmir.Muzaffar Ahmed Wani, 53 is father of Hizb militant commander Burhan.These new recruits have so far killed six policemen, one army officer and five civilians in the past year, pinpricks compared to the more than 4,507 fatalities in terrorism-related incidents in a single year- 2001. Yet, this new tide of militancy is worrying. The recruits have local support and intimately know the terrain and, worse, have the potential to motivate others to join them.THE RISE OF MILITANCY 3.0Militancy 2.0 is dying a slow, painful death on the 740-km Line of Control. In the early hours of June 23, two militants from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) used insulated wire cutters to snap a section of the 550-km-long razor wire fence in Tangdhar, a rugged region of northwestern Kashmir.The duo were almost immediately picked up by sensors as they trekked inland, when they walked into an army ambush. The three-day operation ended when the bodies of the militants were recovered from a cave. There has been just one successful infiltration this year; seven other attempts have been foiled including three breaches at Tangdhar, and a total of 12 Pakistani militants killed. “It’s almost like shooting fish in a barrel,” says an army officer in Srinagar who explains how the counter-infiltration grid has been strengthened and the gaps plugged. If this grid holds, the army feels it could finally break the cycle of militant groups rotating their fighters through the Valley. Intelligence Bureau estimates suggests there are now fewer than 150 fighters in the Valley, down from a peak of over 1,500 militants over a decade ago, but a majority of these militants are now homegrown.advertisementNasima Salam Sheikh,45, mother of HM militant Touseef Ahmed Sheikh.The principal driver for the homegrown militant phenomena, the army believes, is the need for militant groups to replenish dwindling numbers in the Valley. But the truth is far more complicated. Political analysts trace the resentment to a situation of hopelessness and despair that has been simmering in Kashmir. “The peace process with Pakistan has been stalled, there is little or no economic activity, there are no jobs and the government has failed to communicate with the people,” says Noor Ahmad Baba, political science professor at the Central University of Kashmir.Unemployment is a major factor that simmers among the young population of the Valley-nearly 40 per cent are between the ages of 15 and 30-as is public anger over insufficient relief disbursal after the 2014 floods. The seeds of resentment were sown during the 2008 Amarnath land transfer controversy which exploded in street protests and stone-throwing in 2010 that led to the deaths of 112 Kashmiris in police firing. “Before 2008, Kulgam was militancy-free, the situation was looking up. Today, we are back to square one. There are 10 militants-six Hizb and four LeT-in the area,” says a police officer.Former J&K CM Omar Abdullah sought to blame the political tie-up between the BJP and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the rise in local militant numbers. “There are reports that young and educated youths are joining militancy and this is a dangerous trend. And the responsibility is on the present government, they should not hide things,” he told reporters on July 29. PDP spokesperson Naeem Akhtar hit back saying that maximum youths had joined militancy last year during the Abdullah-led National Conference’s rule. The political one-upmanship obfuscates the largest reasons for radicalisation: the lure of online Islamist propaganda.”The internet is like a tap running 24×7, gushing out Islamist propaganda, which we simply have no control over,” a senior police officer says. “These boys are reading Dabiq (the Islamic State’s magazine) and al Qaeda’s Inspire magazine on their phones and becoming self-radicalised.”The Jammu and Kashmir Police recently examined the cases of 111 young people who had left their homes to join militants this year, 58 of whom returned home. Forty-five of them were high school dropouts and 88 were between the ages of 15 and 30. More than half of them had been radicalised over the internet.Burhan’s father Muzaffar Ahmed Wani, 53, principal at a government-run higher secondary school in Tral, recalls how his son ran away from home when he was 14, just a week before his Class X exams. It was police beating at a checkpost in 2010 which set his mind against the security forces. “The proud ones, who cannot take the beatings and torture, become militants,” he reasons.On April 13 this year, the army shot Burhan’s older brother Khaled dead in an encounter in Tral. The police say Khaled, 25, was an ‘overground’ worker and had led a group of three potential recruits to meet Burhan. When the army closed in on the hideout, the militants fled and Khaled was killed. Wani is unmoved at the thought that his second son could eventually be gunned down. “He is fighting a just war. He walks with his life in his hands,” he says.advertisementNasima Salam Sheikh, 45, a homemaker in Qaimoh village near Kulgam, sits on the granite-tiled verandah of her two-storeyed home and recalls the last meeting with her son Touseef Ahmed Sheikh. Touseef, a Class X dropout, worked as a labourer in an apple orchard before joining the militants. Last year, he walked away from home saying he was going to a relative’s home for two days. He never returned. Then, during Ramzan last year, he came back and told his mother he had finally found his calling in life. “I can’t come back. I am happy doing this.” Nasima, whose two brothers were militants killed in police encounters, says she is proud of her son. “He is walking on the path of God.”The new recruits do not have the benefit of the Daura-e-Aam and the Daura-e-Khas four-month combat training courses run by the LeT in PoK which churns out fighters of the kind that struck in Gurdaspur, Punjab, on July 27. What they lack in military training, they make up for with resilience, guile and local knowledge.They live in forests and occasionally, in the homes of sympathisers. They communicate using secure chat tools downloaded from the internet and frequently use borrowed handsets to stay ahead of the army and police. Security forces in Kashmir say the militants are cold, calculating and devious in getting new recruits. A bloody rite of passage is set up-where a militant recruiter watches as his understudy carries out a crime such as throwing a grenade at the army or stabbing a policeman. “This is to ensure the new recruit gets a police record and has effectively crossed the point of no return,” says a police officer.What has prevented this tide from turning into a lethal flood is that the LoC fence has shut the free flow of weapons. AK-47s are in such short supply that the new militants have had to snatch weapons from security forces. Ammunition supply is a bigger problem, which means they cannot have sustained firefights. Their focus seems to be on survival-the army uniforms are meant to ensure they raise no alarm when they walk through the forests.BRINGING THEM BACKOn June 5, five schoolboys from Bandipora vanished from their homes sending their parents into a tizzy. “I thought they had been abducted by security forces,” says Ghulam Rasool Lone, an employee in the local power development department and father of one of the boys-Hanan Rasool Lone-who approached the army and police. The boys were finally traced the following day to a post close to the LoC from where they wanted to cross over into Pakistan. “I saw videos of Israeli atrocities on children in Gaza. Jazbaa aa gaya (My passions were stirred),” says Hanan, 16, who sports a spiked short haircut. Now back at school, he has dropped by to meet his rescuer, Major Raghavendra C, who offers to coach him in Maths.”Religious radicalisation is being exploited to motivate local recruitment but the important thing is that there are enough positives which are being used to counter this,” says Lt Gen Subrata Saha, general officer commanding of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps. Among the more heartening trends, army officers say, is that of the parents immediately approaching the army and police when their children go missing. Another happy development, say security forces, is that 58 of the 111 youths who left to join the militants came back home. Only 36 stayed back to become militants, the whereabouts of 17 others are yet to be ascertained.The firefight, reserved for Pakistani militants, is used only as a last resort. This sometimes has catastrophic consequences. On January 27, Colonel M.N. Rai was shot dead by Abid Khan, a Hizb militant, as he waited outside his home. Khan’s uncle had assured the officer that he would ensure his surrender. The militant disregarded the offer and charged out with another Hizb militant Shiraz Dar, gun-blazing at the security forces. Police officers also admit that they engage and shoot at the militants only when there is no other option. Observers say Islamic State flags being waved in Srinagar are an outward manifestation of a deeper malaise. “Radicalisation is not about anti-India, it also challenges the very idea of democracy,” says Waheed-ur-Rehman Para, leader of the PDP’s youth wing. “The solution is the democratisation of the Kashmiri youth.” The PDP hopes to do this by pushing for young persons to contest polls at the block and district levels.A new approach will involve restarting the jammed wheels of the state’s economy. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposed relief package for Kashmir, variously pegged at between Rs 70,000 crore and Rs 1 lakh crore, and said to be announced on August 15 this year, is expected to dispel the gloom hanging over the state. It will, hopefully, throw up new alternatives for the youth of Kashmir.Follow the writer on Twitter @SandeepUnnithanlast_img read more

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