LOS ANGELES — Nick Mullens’ last meaningful game as the 49ers quarterback very well could be Sunday’s season finale at the Rams, presuming Jimmy Garoppolo reappears next year in full health.“My mindset doesn’t change for any game that I play in,” Mullens said. “You get to play football. It’s the best sport on earth with a great opportunity to go play against a great playoff football team.“That’s why you play the game and that’s why we’re pumped for this last game of the season. One last …
It has been a storied year for the country, and for Brand South Africa. It started with a new chair at the African Union and passed many milestones along the way: from the deaths of musicians to the growth of women in an entrepreneurial world, among others, all underscored by the celebration of the centenary of the birth of OR Tambo.Buhle Mthethwa started writing The Big Fat Naughty Cat when she was nine years old. (Image supplied)Brand South Africa reporterAs always, it has been an interesting year in South Africa, one of uplift and some hardship. It has been a year of new beginnings and renewals, as well as endings. It’s been a year in which we have celebrated female entrepreneurs, children have embraced the digital world and we have all rejoiced as South African films and actors have made an impression internationally.We look back at the some of the stories that shaped 2017.The year began with change, with Chadian Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat replacing South Africa’s Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as the chairperson of the African Union. We also took time out to introduce South Africa to The Skyscrapers, a Cape Town trio of pre-teen musicians taking South Africa by storm with their catchy pop music.January ended with the sad news of the death of South African gospel star Lundi Tyamara. His life, filled with tragedy and struggle, inspired the fans of the prince of South African gospel.Lundi Tyamara was one of the biggest selling gospel artists in South Africa, selling over 3 million albums. Tyamara died, aged 38, on 27 January 2017. (Image: Gallo Music)In February, we celebrated female entrepreneurs changing the face of their sectors. Mosibudi Makgato and Rosemary Padi’s YaMama Ginger Beer is winning fans looking for a truly African take on an old favourite.Mosibudi Makgato and Rosemary Padi, founders of YaMama Gemmer, want to distribute their traditional ginger beer internationally. “Our product must be something that is on tourists’ list to get whenever they come to South Africa.” (Image: Melissa Javan)In the traditionally white and male mining sector, Daphne Mashile-Nkosi continued to break new ground for women.March was a month of news good and sad for South Africa. We crowned a new Miss SA, who went on to win the Miss Universe crown in November. Route 62, the drive from Cape Town to Oudtshoorn, was also named the best and most scenic roadtrip in the world by CNN Travel.Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters is crowned Miss Universe in Las Vegas on 27 November 2017. (Image: Miss Universe website)It was also the month in which we said goodbye to two people who changed the world in their own inherent way. Early in the month, celebrated actor Joe Mafela was killed in a road accident, and the month ended with the death of former Rivonia trialist and anti-apartheid struggle veteran Ahmed Kathrada.Freedom Day came in April, a time to reflect on how far we had come as a nation and to celebrate those who helped its birth. We celebrated the lesser known heroes of our liberation, as well as pioneering medical researcher, Dr Glenda Gray, showing the world our good story.The more things change the more they stay the same. In May, we visited two education initiatives that celebrate old and new South Africa. In Umlazi, eThekwini, NPO Codemakers began a project to help learners understand computer programme coding. May is also Africa Month, and we celebrated the first batch of North West University indigenous knowledge systems graduates. The dancers went on to win international acclaim later in the year, but in May we attended the ATKV Riel Dance Competition.The RooiRots Riel Dancers from Elizabethfontein.In June, we met some of the most inspiring people in the country. From a youthful neurosurgeon to an urban farmer and entrepreneur changing his community using the humble vegetable, spinach, as well as a grandmother showing young explorers the beauty of Africa, we discovered them.Entrepreneur Lufefe Nomjana (Image: Spinach King / Espinaca Innovations)However, whatever else was happening in June, the country came to a standstill for the Comrades Marathon.As did the rest of the world, the following month South Africans celebrated the legacy of Nelson Mandela by devoting 67 minutes of their day to give back in his name. This year, Brand South Africa joined the men’s national hockey team volunteering at the New Jerusalem Children’s Home in Johannesburg.Inxeba, also known as The Wound, had its African premiere at the 38th Durban International Film Festival in July. It opens in South African theatres in February 2017. (Image: YouTube)We celebrated the success of isiXhosa movie Inxeba, which movingly explores the conflict of traditional rites of manhood, when initiates “go to the mountain”, with awakening pride in gay identity. And we cheered the success of the women-led Social Coding programme, initiatives to teach girls about coding and inspire them to become innovators. In July, Unesco’s World Heritage Committee also took the decision to list ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape as a world heritage site.The ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape is inscribed as a world heritage site in July 2017. (Image: Francois Odendaal Productions, via Unesco)Sadly, legendary South African guitarist Ray Phiri died of cancer at the age of 70.Ray Phiri was best known for his work with the legendary South African band Stimela and his collaborations with US singer Paul Simon. The self-taught guitarist and singer died in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, on 12 July 2017, following a battle with lung cancer. (Image: Wikipedia)In August, Brand South Africa launched its new Play Your Part television series. Broadcast weekly on SABC2, it explores active citizenship in South Africa. Once more women led the way as entrepreneurs and educators. Pretoria honey maker and bee keeper Mokgadi Mabela brought honey to South African homes while delegates at the Top Women Conference made it clear that women needed to lead the digital economy.Of heroes, in KwaZulu-Natal they used a new global positioning app to bring medical services to townships and a new fictional superhero was born in Lagos.A panel from the forthcoming Blessing In Disguise Marvel comic book, featuring Ngozi, a Nigerian girl coming to grips with her new superpowers. The title was written by acclaimed science fiction writer Nnedi Okorafor. (Image: Marvel Comics)Global South Africans did the country proud through September. Comedian Trevor Noah won an entertainment Emmy for his work on The Daily Show and singer Toya Delazy became the voice of the fourth Powerpuff Girl. Town planner Mthobisi Masinga was invited to present his innovative research on rural land development at the International Society for City and Regional Planners’ Annual Congress in Portland, while chef Nompumelelo Mqwebu’s new cookbook, Through The Eyes of an African Chef, proved successful at the Frankfurt Book Fair.Dr Meneses-Turino at work saving lives in Nepal. (Image: Gift of the Givers)Also in September, world-renowned South African humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers quietly celebrated its 25th anniversary.In this, the centenary of the birth of Oliver Reginald Tambo, South Africa feted the statesman by unveiling a statue in his honour at OR Tambo International Airport. We also remembered the stirring oratory he brought to the liberation struggle.To honour the memory of late ANC president Oliver Tambo, a statue is unveiled at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on 19 October 2017, which was declared the Year of OR Tambo by the national government. (Image: Tambo Foundation, Twitter)Brand South Africa was also recognised internationally through its nomination for a 2017 City Nation Place Awards in the Best Expression of Place Identity through Design category. With great stories to tell, such as commemorating Lucky Dube or acknowledging Ponte Tower’s place in architectural history, was it really that much of a surprise?Lucky Dube was one of South Africa’s best known and most successful musicians. He died on 18 October 2007. (Image: Gallo Music South Africa)The agency celebrates the power of South Africans busy changing their world in big and small ways. In November, we lionised Nisha Varghese, an East London woman with cerebal palsy who works to help children born with clubfoot, and chef Chantel Dartnall, the best female chef in the world for 2017 and the only South African listed in the world’s top 100 chefs.Nisha Varghese has an online campaign to raise money for at least 50 children who are born with clubfoot to get treatment. Varghese with her mother, Anne, and Play Your Part ambassador Catherine Constantinides (right). (Images supplied)November was also set aside to celebrate entrepreneurs through the South African Premier Business Awards and the Top 20 Small Business and Entrepreneurship Awards.We saved the most heartwarming story for last: in December, we spoke to Buhle Mthethwa, a 10-year-old girl on a mission to instil a culture of reading in her peers, one book at a time, starting with her own, The Big Fat Naughty Cat.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
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Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Matt ReeseSo Nathan Brown decided he would try to plant some soybeans — about 3 acres worth — on March 24 to see how they’d do. While the stand won’t make it as a whole, Brown did learn some lessons from the experiment.The seeds germinated well, but struggled to consistently emerge from the cold, wet soils this spring.“The beans planted March 24 were planted at 2 inches deep. I thought that would keep them in the ground longer to avoid frost, which it did. But, being 2 inches deep, there was not enough warmth to actually get them up and out of the ground once they germinated. Next year I’ll hopefully try planting early again in another plot and I’ll shallow up my planting,” he said. “I learned a lot from the experiment.”Brown shared about his experiences with the March 24 soybeans on the Ohio Soil Health and Cover Crops Facebook page. He pulled up some of the soybeans from the spotty stand and was impressed with the nodulation that had already taken place. He posted pictures and a description on the Facebook page for others to learn from his experiment as well.“These all were pulled up by hand and not dug and already the roots are full of nodules. Could early planting work? Maybe, maybe not but we got some out of the ground so I believe it is possible,” Brown said on the Ohio Soil Health and Cover Crops Facebook page. “The possibilities could be big! We will be ready next year! Don’t be scared to try the outlandish, you will never grow if you stay inside a bubble your whole life!”The social media effort was headed up by Brown and provides a forum for all things related to soil health, no-till and cover crops in Ohio. Various experts (and others in all stages of the learning process) weigh in with their experiences, successes and failures in the fields. The page was created this spring for farmers to learn and share with others from around the state about a wide array of topics that influence soil health in Ohio. Brown encourages other farmers interested in soil health to visit Facebook and join the group.
An Arizona public utility has voted to impose new charges on customers who generate some of their own electricity with photovoltaic (PV) systems, arguing the extra income will help pay for grid infrastructure and maintenance, ThinkProgress reports.Directors of the Salt River Project (SRP) voted in favor of the new fee late last month despite the appearance of some 500 protesters at their meeting in Tempe.Chief Financial Executive Aidan McSheffrey said that the utility has no choice but to modernize the grid and improve reliability. But in a letter to SRP, SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive promised to sue the utility for violating state and federal antitrust laws.ThinkProgress said the additional “demand charge” would be based on a solar customer’s peak power demand during the month and would be imposed no matter how much power the customer provided to the grid. Solar advocates get some concessionsThe utility had originally proposed that the 15,000 existing solar customers in the state keep their current rates for 10 years before being switched to the new plan. But in the end, directors agreed to push that out to 20 years in response to customers who had calculated savings on their investments with a longer time line.SRP also decided to allow customers who signed solar contracts before December 8, 2014 to keep the current rate plan for 20 years, ThinkProgress reports.Finally, the utility said that it would use a 30-minute period of peak power demand rather than 15 minutes to determine the new demand charge.Still, it’s not enough to deter SolarCity, which had urged SRP a week before the vote to withdraw the plan.Rive wrote the new fee is “an unabashed penalty on customers who want to go solar and a deliberate effort to stop new solar installations.”ThinkProgress adds that solar customers in neighboring New Mexico are looking at a similar proposal. There, the state’s largest electric utility proposed late last year a $30 monthly fee for solar customers in order to connect to the grid.
Four policemen including two sub-inspectors were suspended on Thursday after an eight-year-old nursery student Madhav Bhardwaj was shot dead in an encounter with robbers at Mohanpura village, in Mathura on Wednesday. The suspensions came after a probe was conducted into the death of the child with the villagers alleging that the child was hit by police bullet. ₹5 lakh compensationInspector General of Police, Agra range, Raja Shrivastava suspended the sub-inspectors Virendra Singh and Saurabbh Sharma and two policemen Udham Singh and Subhash for their prime facie failure to attend to the boy immediately after he was hit by the bullet while playing in the nearby park. Mr. Shrivastava also announced a magisterial probe into the incident and announced a compensation of ₹5 lakh to the boy’s family. According to Vinay Chauhan, Circle Officer Mathura, a team of policemen had reached Mohanpura village after getting information that Manoj, an accused in a recent loot case, was seen in the village.“Manoj and his group fired at the police. The police retaliated. In the crossfire, a bullet which was fired from the gang’s side, hit Madhav on his head. Though he was rushed to the local hospital, he succumbed to the injuries,” said Mr. Chauhan who also denied police shooting in the episode.An FIR was being registered on the basis of a complaint filed by the villagers, the police said. Shiv Shankar, Madhav’s grandfather told The Hindu: “The tragedy happened in no time. The last time I saw Madhav, he was playing in the park. After that I saw some policemen who started firing. Madhav, who was playing in the park, got hit.”
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Wenger: Marseille coach AVB too young taking Chelsea jobby Paul Vegas17 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is happy seeing Andre Villas-Boas in charge of Marseille.Wenger feels Villas-Boas took the Chelsea job too soon.He said, “He may have been a little young at the time when he came to Chelsea. He took little break and sometimes it does not hurt in mid-career. From what I have seen since the beginning of the season, his team has the desire. “It is a little limited in potential. Marseille today does not have the level to play the title of champion of France. But he managed to get the team behind him and instill a dynamic in the team. If he finishes in the first six, I think he has really had a good season.”
OTTAWA – Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau suggests he has no plans to provide a timetable for returning Ottawa’s books to balance — even with a scorching economy.Morneau credited the strong economic performance to the Trudeau government’s strategy to run deficits, which helped it finance measures such as lower income-tax rates for middle earners and enhanced child benefits.Moving forward, he said Tuesday that Ottawa intended to pursue its plan to invest more than $180 billion into infrastructure over the next 11 years. That spending is projected to contribute to annual, multibillion-dollar shortfalls across Ottawa’s five-year budgetary outlook — and perhaps beyond.Morneau’s remarks outside a cabinet retreat in St. John’s came after months of impressive economic data, including a recent report showing growth expanded at an annualized rate of 4.5 per cent in the second quarter.“We find ourselves in this positive position because of the economic approach we’ve taken,” he told reporters after being asked if the improved fiscal outlook meant he’d produce a timeline to eliminate the deficit in his fall economic update.“We’re going to continue down that path and we’re going to do it in a fiscally responsible way.”The Liberals’ deficit track has faced criticism.Conservative opponents have long been critical about the government’s plan to add to the federal debt to fund new measures, while some economists have urged Ottawa to limit fiscal uncertainty by mapping out a plan to return to balance.More recently, experts have also warned that Ottawa should consider delaying its nearer-term infrastructure investments to avoid the risk of overheating the already-sizzling economy.The economy’s surprisingly powerful start to the year is expected to improve the federal bottom line outlined in the government’s March budget.At the time, Morneau forecasted a $28.5-billion deficit for 2017-18, including a $3-billion accounting adjustment for risk.A new analysis released this week by a University of Ottawa think tank predicts the deficit is on track to be about $6.5 billion smaller this year. The shortfall is set to shrink thanks to an economic expansion that easily topped federal projections, said the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy.The think tank, led by former parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page, also said there’s “little doubt” the federal measures, such as increased child benefits and early infrastructure spending, have contributed to Canada’s improved economic performance.Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre said the Liberals were fortunate to have inherited a solid financial situation from the Harper government and to enjoy the benefits of a strengthening U.S. economy.Poilievre said the government should balance the books now while the “going’s good.”If not, he warned that rising interest rates will leave households and the government increasingly indebted. Over time, the higher rates will also gradually boost Ottawa’s debt-servicing costs, he added.“Now is the time to balance the budget and strengthen our finances, rather than continuing to pile on new debt,” Poilievre said Tuesday in an interview.Morneau insisted Tuesday that, since taking office, the government’s approach has put more disposable income in consumers’ pockets, which they’ve put back into the economy.On infrastructure, Morneau said Ottawa would stick with the spending strategy because it’s designed to lift the economy over the long term.To guide the government’s deficit decisions, he added it would keep its focus on the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio — a measure of the public debt burden.The government has promised to lower the ratio over the Liberal mandate and views it as a so-called fiscal anchor, rather than eliminating the deficit.“We expect that we’ll be able to do even better than we might have thought in the past, in terms of our ability to manage that,” Morneau said of the ratio.“That will be our continuing measurement tool.”The Liberals won the 2015 election on a platform that pledged to invest billions in infrastructure and child benefits as a way to re-energize the economy. They had promised annual shortfalls would not surpass $10 billion during the first couple years of their mandate and to return to balance by 2019-20.However, a few months after taking office the government abandoned those vows, citing a weaker-than-expected economy.Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitter
The Canadian Press OTTAWA — Canadians hoping to receive packages from international shippers while rotating strikes impact Canada Post operations may be waiting a long time.Britain’s Royal Mail says it is suspending shipments to Canada as a result of the Crown corporation’s labour dispute.Online marketing giant eBay says it has also received a similar notification from China Post.In a bulletin to its corporate customers, the Royal Mail says items shipped in the last couple of days bound for Canada are being held in its distribution centre until the dispute has been resolved.The U.K. mail service says it made the move at the request of Canada Post, which it says has told them it is now facing delays of at least 30 days in delivering packages.Earlier this week, eBay called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to legislate an end to the rotating walkouts, which began Oct. 22.
Hyderabad: Development work and a strong connect with people will help him retain the Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat for the fourth time, believes AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, even as the BJP and the Congress claim he will lose for his divisive politics and “goondaism”. The constituency, which is traditionally an All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) stronghold and won by Owaisi since 2004, has six assembly segments, and five of these were won by the party in the 2018 Telangana polls. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ The BJP has again fielded J Bhagwant Rao, who had lost to Owaisi by over two lakh votes in the 2014 polls, from the seat, while Congress’s Feroz Khan, who unsuccessfully contested the 2018 assembly elections, is trying his luck from the constituency. The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) has fielded Puste Srikanth.But, Chief Minister and TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao has kept it no secret that the party is backing Owaisi, whose support it is counting on in the remaining 16 Lok Sabha seats in the state. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K In total, there are 15 candidates in the fray from the Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat. Meeting people at their homes, padyatras and organising interactions and meetings, especially with young voters and students, are the backbone of Owaisi’s campaign in the parliamentary constituency. The party is seeking votes on ‘hamare kaam ki buniyaad par’ (on the basis of their work) and is confident of a win from the seat, said Asaduddin, who is being accompanied by his brother and AIMIM MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi on his campaign trail. “Paidal dauras (campaigning on foot) has been the AIMIM’s way through which we communicate our performance as representatives, and learn from our constituents on what more can be done,” he said With my MPLAD expenditure, my focus has always been on investing in our children’s future, their health, education and well-being, Asaduddin said, adding, “I am contesting this election on my record, and a lot more needs to be done and Inshallah I’ll work towards it”. Both the Owaisi brothers are targeting the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over a number of issues, including the February 14 Pulwama terror attack and the ‘Main bhi Chowkidar’ (I, too, am watchman) campaign. The AIMIM, whose election symbol is ‘kite’, has maintained a firm grip on the minority voters-dominated constituency by winning the seat since 1984.The party’s former chief and Asaduddin’s father Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi got elected six times consecutively from Hyderabad. BJP candidate Bhagwant Rao, who secured over three lakh votes in 2014 general elections, alleged that the AIMIM is not a secular party and accused it of being a “destructive” force. People will support the BJP as they want to see Modi as prime minister again, he asserted. Last time there was booth capturing in minority-dominated areas, Bhagwant Rao said, adding that poll and police officials should be alert, and take necessary measures to ensure free and fair elections. “The Majlis (AIMIM) does not even have a manifesto. Their manifesto is only instigating people in the name of religion. The BJP will carry out comprehensive development of the Old City, if it wins. The Hyderabadi voters are keen to support the strong leadership of PM Modi”, he said. The Hyderbad Lok Sabha constituency lacks civic amenities and dispensaries, and hospitals in the parliamentary seat do not have proper facilities, Bhagwant Rao said. “AIMIM leaders divide people and instigate minorities and take their votes. They have acquired huge wealth,” he alleged. But, Asaduddin, who is supporting Chandrasekhar Rao’s idea of promoting a non-BJP and non-Congress front, said the public wants the TRS to win in the 16 Lok Sabha seats in the state and the AIMIM to be victorious on the Hyderabad seat. Congress’s Feroz Khan said the competition for the seat is between his party and the AIMIM as the BJP has fielded a “dummy” candidate. He claimed that the people want to bring about change and said the Congress is the alternative. “For 40 years the AIMIM spread only darkness and god willing’, the Congress will bring the sun to drive away this darkness,” he said, alleging that the AIMIM wins elections by indulging in “goondaism, rowdyism and through bogus votes”. “Our effort is to stop it and to take up an agenda of development among the people,” said Khan, who is hopeful that people will bless him with a win on the Hyderabad seat. Only the Congress can ensure BJP’s and Modi defeat, he said. However, a section of voters said Asaduddin’s victory is certain and it will be an one-sided election again in Hyderabad.