Gerrard to leave Liverpool

first_imgLiverpool captain Steven Gerrard is set to announce he is to leave his boyhood club at the end of the season, Press Association Sport understands. He has not yet decided on a future destination, but a move to Major League Soccer has long been rumoured and Los Angeles Galaxy are said to be interested, as are clubs in the Middle East. If he were to announce his decision to leave in the next 24 hours, it would be a move which mirrored that of close friend Jamie Carragher, who decided to reveal he was retiring in February 2013 to avoid his on-going contract situation becoming a distraction for manager Brendan Rodgers. Carragher wrote on Twitter on Thursday night: “Sad day for LFC & English football with the Gerrard news, I think it’s the right decision all things considered.” Former Reds midfielder Terry McDermott added: “Mark my words Gerrard is the greatest player to have played for #lfc sad sad day for everyone connected with the club. “Kenny (Dalglish) and Souey (Graeme Souness) shone in great great LFC teams…Gerrard has played in LFC teams that were at best mediocre and he carried them to trophies”. Gerrard joined Liverpool as an eight-year-old and has made 695 appearances and scored 180 goals, winning 11 trophies with pinnacle being lifting the Champions League in 2005. He made his first team debut in 1998 and was made captain in 2003. Liverpool have not commented on speculation about Gerrard’s future, but it has been suggested the player himself will confirm the news on Friday. The midfielder, who will turn 35 in May, is out of contract in the summer, but, despite being offered a new deal, he appears to have decided the time is right to leave and pursue a fresh challenge. Gerrard, who scored two penalties in Liverpool’s 2-2 draw against Leicester, has been free to talk to foreign clubs from January 1. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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NBA All-Star Game 2019: Who takes top spot in All-Star player rankings?

first_imgMORE: Results, rosters from first televised All-Star DraftWith that in mind, we set out to look at all 24 players who will be suiting up for the game on Sunday — with apologies to the injured Victor Oladipo, who won’t participate — and rank them according to their All-Star credentials.1. James Harden, RocketsHarden is averaging a league-best 36.5 points per game with 7.8 assists and 6.7 rebounds, and he is working on a string of 30 straight 30-point games. He has scored 40-plus points 21 times, 50-plus five times and has a 61-pointer to his credit.Maybe it’s not winning basketball in the long run, but it is the essence of All-Star basketball.2. Giannis Antetokounmpo, BucksIn his sixth season, at age 24, Antetokounmpo has become — and even exceeded — the expectations laid on him back when he first entered the league as a gangly teenager. He’s averaged 27.1 points, and though he still has not developed a reliable perimeter shot, he’s one of the most exciting players in the league to watch.Also, the Bucks have the league’s best record, so he’s at the top of the East All-Star heap.3. Kevin Durant, WarriorsIt’s hard to imagine a guy having such a great season while also leading the league in grouchiness and moping. But lost in the speculation about what Durant might do in free agency is the fact that he is averaging 27.5 points with a career-best 6.0 assists, shooting 51.3 percent from the field.  4. Stephen Curry, WarriorsMuch like Durant, Curry’s output is easily overlooked because the Warriors are just expected to be great. But Curry is making a career-high 5.1 3-pointers per game, averaging 28.5 points and posting a true shooting percentage of 66.2. He’s the league’s best shooter, and he shows it nightly.5. Anthony Davis, PelicansNo matter how you feel about Davis’ conduct over the last two weeks, you can’t doubt his production — 28.5 points, 13.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game. The rest of the season will be very uncomfortable for Davis and his team, but he will be the most sought-after player of the offseason for a reason.6. Paul George, ThunderAll-Star Games are not about defense, or else George would be in one of the top three slots on this list because he has been a shutdown defender on the perimeter for OKC. But he’s no offensive slouch, either, by far having his best season: 28.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 41.3 percent 3-point shooting.George typically has struggled after the All-Star break in his career, but this is an All-Star list and that’s none of our concern here.7. Joel Embiid, SixersHe can score (27.3 points), he can rebound (13.5 rebounds), he can pass (3.5 assists) and he certainly can play D (2.0 blocks). Most of all, though, is that Embiid can entertain, and that’s a factor over All-Star weekend. Many of the top players are going into this weekend a bit cranky. Expect Embiid to be ever-quotable and fun.8. Kawhi Leonard, RaptorsLeonard is the anti-Embiid, a guy whose quotes are as exciting as sandpaper. But he’s been the cornerstone of the Raptors this year, averaging a career-high 27.0 points and leading Toronto to within a game of the league’s top record.9. Nikola Jokic, NuggetsJokic is only 23 and is forging a reputation as the best passing big man in the game, averaging 7.7 assists to go with his 20.4 points, both of which are career highs. The Nuggets are still the second-best team in the West, boosting him into the top 10 among All-Stars.10.   LeBron James, LakersJames does not get enough credit for his grasp of his job — it’s not just basketball, it’s entertainment. He’s done it for much of the last half of his career, and he has excelled at it. Thus, he lands in the top 10 here despite having missed 18 games and playing for a sub-.500 team.11. Kyrie Irving, CelticsThere’s no telling what Irving might say this weekend, whether it’s a circular comment on leadership, a recitation of the love poems he wrote to LeBron or his theory on the Kennedy assassination. That’s always fun.Irving has put up good numbers for the Celtics, but Boston has disappointed, so he’s been knocked down a peg on this list.12. Damian Lillard, Trail BlazersLillard is putting up a typically productive season, averaging 26.3 points, right around his average for the last three seasons. His shooting has been so-so (44.8 percent from the field, 36.6 percent from the 3-point line), but he has the Blazers in the fight for home court in the first round of the West playoffs.13. Karl-Anthony Towns, TimberwolvesNow that the Jimmy Butler experience has ended, Towns has gotten back to his bright future as an NBA big man. He is scoring 23.1 points per game with 12.1 rebounds and has developed an improved passing touch, with a career-high 3.2 assists.14. Bradley Beal, WizardsIt’s mostly been a disaster in Washington, with John Wall’s knee injury compounded by an Achilles’ tendon injury, followed by the trade and shabby treatment of Otto Porter Jr. But Beal keeps humming along, with career highs in points (25.1), rebounds (5.1) and assists (5.3).15. Ben Simmons, SixersNo, he does not shoot jumpers. Who cares? He has averaged 16.7 points, 9.1 rebounds and 7.9 assists, plays good defense and makes the shots he does take (56.9 percent from the field.)16. LaMarcus Aldridge, SpursThere’s nothing remarkable about Aldridge’s stats (21.0 points, 9.0 rebounds), but he is a reliable producer for a Spurs team that has been hit by injury but remains seven games over .500 and in the thick of the West playoff race.17. Blake Griffin, PistonsThe Pistons have a shot at sneaking into the playoffs, and Griffin is the one who could back them in there. His 26.2 points per game are a career high, and he is shooting well enough from the 3-point line (36.2 percent). He also averages a team-high 5.4 assists. Solid All-Star season.18. Kemba Walker, HornetsWalker will be the host for the weekend, and certainly Charlotte is hoping the experience leaves a lasting impression on him — they need him to re-sign when he hits free agency in the summer. In the meantime, Walker is averaging a career-high 25.2 points while dishing out 5.7 assists per game. He has the Hornets in the postseason picture.19. Klay Thompson, WarriorsThompson has done well to silence those of us who objected to his selection as an All-Star, putting aside his slow start and stringing together an impressive run — over his last 24 games, Thompson is averaging 24.4 points, shooting 55.3 percent and making 51.7 percent of his 3s.We’d still like to have seen Rudy Gobert make the team, but Thompson is proving worthy of his spot.20. Russell Westbrook, ThunderSure, Westbrook has had 10 consecutive triple-doubles. In that time, he has shot just 39.4 percent from the field and 25.7 percent from the 3-point line and also notched 5.0 turnovers per game.He is the league’s most statistically confounding player, hyper productive and super inefficient. He is an All-Star, sure. But we don’t have to like it.21. Nikola Vucevic, MagicYears from now, someone will stumble across the 2019 All-Star roster, wipe the dust off, squint hard and say, “Nikola Vucevic was an All-Star?” Indeed, he was.And a deserving one, with by far the best season of his career — 20.6 points, 12.1 rebounds, 52.1 percent shooting and a new-fangled 3-point shot he makes at a 37.9 percent rate.22. D’Angelo Russell, NetsThe Nets have been one of the league’s best stories, and Russell (20.0 points, 6.6 assists per game) has been the driver of that story. He was named a fill-in for Oladipo, which righted a wrong when he was not named a reserve by the coaches.23. Khris Middleton, BucksThe Bucks are the best team in the league. They deserve multiple All-Stars, and Middleton is their No. 2 guy. He’s averaging 17.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists, shooting 43.8 percent from the field and 37.7 percent from the 3-point line. All solid numbers, but not exactly a top-of-the charts All-Star. The NBA’s All-Star Game in Charlotte is approaching, and 24 All-Stars — plus honorary fogeys Dirk Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade — will highlight a weekend packed with overwrought B-List parties, terrible basketball and miles upon miles of traffic.Ah, but we’re not so cynical in these parts. There will be much worth watching, including the players themselves. They’re the stars here, and among those stars, some have stood out this season more than others. 24. Kyle Lowry, RaptorsThere’s a case to be made that the Raptors are deserving of two All-Stars, and that Lowry is the team’s offensive engine. OK, but 14.3 points on 41.2 percent shooting?An All-Star should have to hit some statistical minimums, it would seem, and Lowry just isn’t there. If we need two Raptors, give me Pascal Siakam.last_img read more

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SHAM STAKES QUOTES

first_imgPETER MILLER, CALCULATOR, WINNER; ROCK SHANDY, SECOND; AND ST. JOE BAY, FOURTH: “I was trying to watch all of them, and I thought I could run one, two, three for a minute, but they ran one, two, four, so it wasn’t bad at all.“I was very concerned (with where Calculator was on the first turn), because it looked like five or six of them were sending, and I said, ‘Oh, no. We’re going to be 10-wide,’ but he (Elvis Trujillo) saw the same thing and he adjusted and brought him back into maybe the three or four path. We had a wide trip, but there’s less trouble out wide.“I didn’t expect him to be this good (today). I was hoping he was good enough to win at 90 percent (fitness). The water gets deeper from here on out, so we’re going to have to step up our game and move forward off of this one.“We’ll see how the horse comes out, but I wouldn’t rule out coming back in a month in the Lewis (Grade II, $150,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on Feb. 7). The timing of it is good and when my horses are good, I like to run them. He’s good right now so I’m going to run him.”Asked if the Santa Anita Derby (April 4) would be a long-range goal if all goes well: “That makes a lot of sense right now, but I’ll get with Mr. Pell (owner, see note below) and we’ll kind of map things out.”On Rock Shandy: “Super. Really pleased with how Rock Shandy ran. I think he’s just getting better and better. He had an inside trip and took a lot of dirt. For his first race on the dirt I was really pleased.” JOCKEY QUOTES VICTOR ESPINOZA, ROCK SHANDY, SECOND: “He went very nice. I think he’s going to be a nice colt; he’s still trying to figure it out, he’s still green. I think he’ll be better on the dirt rather than the turf. The way he works in the morning, I’ve always been very impressed. As a colt, he may be a late learner. It was a big step for him today.”TRAINER QUOTES -30-center_img             ELVIS TRUJILLO, CALCULATOR, WINNER: “It was a perfect trip. I went wide because I’d rather go wide than be in between horses, or caught inside. I wanted a clean trip. He did it very easy today. Stretching out will be no problem for him; he’s very good.” NOTES: The winning owner is Richard Pell of Rye, N.Y. The winning horse receives 10 qualifying points towards determining the field for the May 2 Kentucky Derby if more than 20 enter. Second is worth four points, third, two, and fourth, one point.last_img read more

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NEWCOMER STELLAR WIND MUCH BEST IN GRADE III, $100,000 SANTA YSABEL; SADLER TRAINEE MARCHES TO 2 ¾ LENGTH WIN UNDER ESPINOZA

first_imgVIRGINIA-BRED FILLY BY CURLIN PICKS UP 50 KENTUCKY OAKS QUALIFYING POINTS ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 28, 2015)–A one mile maiden winner on Dec. 18 at Laurel Park in Maryland, Stellar Wind burst upon the Southern California racing scene on Saturday at Santa Anita, as she motored to an impressive 2 ¾ length win in the Grade III, $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes under Victor Espinoza. Trained by John Sadler and owned by Hronis Racing, LLC, she swung four-wide turning for home and easily bested favored Light the City while covering 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.16.“John told me to come and work her so I could know her well,” said Espinoza. “I like her, she’s so smooth and the way she worked was so nice…I wanted to break and let her do whatever she wanted to do. I didn’t want to irritate her, just make her happy…They were walking up front so I had to press the pace by the three-eighths pole. She was just waiting for me to command her. I knew I could just shake the reins at her and she would just go. I think farther would be better for her.”Breaking from the far outside in a field of seven 3-year-old fillies, Stellar Wind relaxed well but raced wide throughout behind fractions of 23.99, 48.63, 1:13.06 and 1:36.94. Off at 7-1, she paid $16.00, $8.60 and $5.20. A Virginia-bred daughter of Curlin, she got her second win in only her third career start. With the winner’s share of $60,000, she nearly tripled her earnings to $87,200.“She’s trained really, really well,” said Sadler. “When she got here, her hair was about this long (holding his hands about four inches apart). It was so cold in Maryland, I think she was glad to get out here in this good weather.”When asked if the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks (1 1/16 miles on April 4) might be a consideration for Stellar Wind, Sadler replied, “That would be a logical spot at this point…I think she’s going to be better at a mile and an eighth, a mile and a quarter.”One of three Jerry Hollendorfer entrants, Light the City, who came off a second place finish in the Grade I, one mile Las Virgenes on Jan. 31, sat second throughout under Kent Desormeaux at 2-1 and paid $3.60 and $2.40.“We were similar in placement today to the Las Virgenes, but it was a completely different race,” said Desormeaux. “We were crawling today and really sprinted to the wire…She was full of run under the wire, but she had one that out-sprinted her. She’s obviously very good.”Hollendorfer’s Glory, ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, sat third into and around the far turn and was unable to improve her position, finishing third at 5-1 and returning $3.20 to show.Hollendorfer ended up finishing two, three, four, as his Achiever’s Legacy, ridden by Gary Stevens, made a menacing move turning for home but had to settle for fourth, three quarters of a length behind Glory.Stellar Wind picked up 50 qualifying points for the Grade I, 1 1/8 miles Kentucky Oaks (to be run May 1), while the second, third and fourth place finishers each received 20, 10 and five respectively.First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday at Santa Anita is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m. –30–last_img read more

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Khris Davis gets comeback party started, Mike Fiers searching for answers

first_imgARLINGTON, Texas — There are few combinations in baseball that go together quite as well as Khris Davis and Globe Life Park.Khris Davis entered the night with 15 home runs in 27 career games at the stadium. Add another one to the total after Friday night’s 8-6 win over the Texas Rangers.Davis pummeled a first-pitch curveball from Chris Martin over the center-field wall. Like most of them do, the solo home run came at a clutch time in the eighth inning to break a 6-6 tie.“Big shocking event …last_img read more

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Stopped in Time: Another Atheist Killing Spree

first_img(Visited 297 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享125 A young man who idolized the Columbine killers was preparing to kill dozens or hundreds of people at a Minnesota high school.Multiple news sources (The Examiner, Daily News, The Blaze, and more) are mentioning that 17-year-old John LaDue, who was preparing a deadly mass attack on his family and school, was a passionate admirer of Harris and Klebold – the killers who launched the modern era of senseless mass killings in 1999 on the school grounds at Columbine High School in Colorado.  Photos from that attack showed Harris with a T-shirt during the rampage labeled, “Natural Selection” in large letters.  His writings showed that he believed the planned mass shooting would “boost natural selection by a few notches.”LaDue apparently hid his hate well.  Friends and teachers described him as quiet, nice, and a good student.  But materials gathered during LaDue’s arrest showed him to be deep into the Columbine shooters and other perpetrators of school shootings.  The Blaze notes, “LaDue’s Facebook page, identified in the KARE report, notes that he likes Stephen King novels, metal bands Machine Head and Deicide, as well as a TV show called ‘The Atheist Experience.’”  According to Wikipedia, The heavy-metal death-rock group “Deicide is not only known for their music, but for their lyrics, which cover topics such as Satanism and anti-religion. Their lyrics have resulted in bans, lawsuits and criticism from religious groups and the public.”Officers believe he would have killed his parents and shot up the school with guns and bombs within two weeks, had he not been stopped in time.  Originally, he had planned to commit the crimes on April 20, the anniversary of the Columbine shooting, but put it off.   It was his intent to “best” the Columbine shooters, whom he “idolized” according to the Waseca County News.  The town is shocked, and asking “Why?”Update 6/29/16: See what happened at the trial on CNN. LaDue may get off scot free, “as if this never happened.” His parents had no idea what was going on in their son’s dark mind, embracing atheism, idolizing Klebold and fantasizing about death. Yet they would have been his first victims.It would be unfair to scholarly supporters of Darwinian evolution and to good-citizen atheists to blame them for this troubled kid’s evil plans.  It would also be unfair to portray LaDue as equipped to understand natural selection theory or atheist arguments.  It would also be unfair to assume there were not other motivations for his plans besides atheism or Darwinism.  More information about his mental state should come out as this case undergoes more scrutiny.It is fair, however, to use this as a reminder that ideas have consequences.  LaDue was heavy into death-of-God music, atheist TV, and Eric Harris.  It would be highly improbable that LaDue was unaware of Harris’s views about natural selection, or at least of the T-shirt he wore emblazoned with those words.  Would LaDue have hatched a plot like this if his world view included “Love your neighbor as yourself”?  How about “But now abide faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love”?  As we shared on April 30, Darwin (and Malthus, whom Darwin admired), believed competition was the driving force in nature.  Instill into students’ minds the  hopelessness of life, no God or consequences for evil, and the idea that the only purpose of life is to vanquish others, and why would anyone be surprised at the fruit?  Drowning out the cynicism with music drenched in death themes, then dreaming of going out with a bang, taking as many with you as you can, almost makes sense in that kind of world view – a world that makes no sense.If you doubt any of this reasoning, look at where the mass shooters come from.  They are not emerging from Bible-believing churches where people pray and sing “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow.”  No; those people are the targets of the guns, not the ones with their fingers on the trigger.  What is it about Christians, who preach love and mercy, that makes them targets of such vicious violence at home and abroad?  (See recent WND story.)  Why would Deicide write songs with blatant anti-Christian themes like “Kill the Christian” and “Death to Jesus”?  Could there really be a Satan behind this?  Maybe Christians are doing something that Satan hates.   Jesus warned His disciples that they would be hated by all men for His name’s sake, but were to return good for evil.Diverging lines end up very far apart.last_img read more

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SA wine ranked 6th in world

first_img14 July 2003South Africa has increased its share of the global wine market from six percent to 7.5 percent over the last year, and is now ranked sixth in the world. Andre Morgenthal, the spokesman of Wines of South Africa (Wosa), attributes the growth of South Africa’s wine industry on increased focus on branding and quality.Wosa is a member of Proudly South African. The wine sector is well represented in the campaign, with estates and wine companies as members.France has shed seven percentage points of market share and has lost its number one position to Australia.One of South Africa’s wines, the Bergsig Chardonnay 2002 vintage, was named one of the three top white wines at the Monde Selection in Brussels, Belgium. It received the Grand Gold prize, together with wines from Hungary and Portugal. They were the only three selected for top honours from 600 entries from around the world. Nine wines were awarded gold prizes.South African wines are performing better than ever at competitions around the world.At the recent 2003 Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival, South Africa proposed that it be presented as the theme country at the event in 2005.This year more than 17 000 people attended the festival and Morgenthal said the local wines made their presence felt through their sheer quality.However, because of the cost of participation at trade shows, he said Wosa had decided to initiate a series of tastings in North America focusing exclusively on local wines.“The objective of these tastings will be to enhance the image and increase awareness of South African wines among the United States media and the trade.“The acceptance of South African wine in the US is growing, as shown by recent statistics indicating a growth of 31 percent in 2002 from 2001,” said Morgenthal.Wosa regards the growth on the international arena as paramount to success, but the organisation has decided to invest within the country as well. South Africa’s first ever “township tasting” was recently held at Mandalay on the Cape Flats.Mzokhona Mvemve, the winemaker at Cape Classics, conducted the tasting and a group of 30 incipient wine-lovers attended.Source: ProudlySAlast_img read more

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South African business gives budget a thumbs-up

first_imgMinister of Finance Pravin Gordhan (Image: GCIS) MEDIA CONTACTS • National Treasury   Communication Unit  +27 12 315 5944RELATED ARTICLES • Motor industry, government talk more jobs • Impressive growth at SA’s Ngqura Port • Investors prefer Cape Town • SA budget most transparent in worldWilma den HartighSouth Africa’s medium-term budget, recently presented by Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan against the backdrop of the fiscal crisis in Europe, was well received by numerous financial analysts and the business community.According to Business Unity South Africa (Busa), the overall message of the medium-term budget is positive for business confidence.In a statement, Busa said it was pleased with Gordhan’s realistic assessment of the country’s economy and the external and internal factors affecting South Africa’s economic performance and outlook.Good news for investorsIn an important move to encourage investment in South Africa and Africa, Gordhan announced changes to create a more competitive investment environment that would also reduce the cost of doing business.The National Treasury proposed changes to local listing rules on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) that all inward listed shares on the JSE are to be classified as domestic. This means that foreign companies listed on the local stock market will be traded without limits.Gordhan’s proposal is intended to enhance the ability of the JSE to attract new listings and boost investment in Africa.“We have also agreed on several reforms to improve South Africa’s position as a financial gateway into Africa and facilitate cross-border transactions,” he said in his speech.Steps will also be taken to simplify procedures and reduce the cost of cross-border money remittances, particularly to neighbouring countries and the rest of Africa.Russell Loubser, CEO of the JSE, welcomed the minister’s announcement. “We very much appreciate the thoughtful and careful manner in which National Treasury and the Financial Services Board have engaged on this issue, which clearly has an important impact on the markets,” Loubser said in a statement.He added that the move will further improve the reputation of the country’s markets by enabling the JSE to more aggressively pursue a wider range of investment possibilities.According to Moneyweb, South Africa’s exchange-control rules currently limit the number of foreign assets listed on the JSE that local individual and institutional investors may own. This is known as prudential limits.With the new proposal there will not be a regulatory burden to list on the JSE.AJ Jansen van Nieuwenhuizen from Grant Thornton Advisory Services said government’s intention to simplify procedures and reduce costs relating to cross-border money remittances, particularly to neighbouring countries and the rest of Africa, will be positive for the country.“It will provide a much-needed boost to South Africa truly becoming a gateway to Africa,” Jansen van Niewenhuizen said.Infrastructure spendingGordhan announced that the government is to place more emphasis on funding the development of long-term infrastructure.“Infrastructure projects in energy, roads, rail, telecommunications and water will ease bottlenecks and reduce costs in the rest of the economy, crowding in private investment and improving access to export markets,” Gordhan said.Public-sector investment in infrastructure, which has increased from 4.3% of the GDP in 2005 to 7.5% in the first half of 2011, is still central to the government’s economic development plans.Over the next three years the government plans to spend R802-billion on infrastructure. The largest share of funds will be allocated to energy, transport and logistics, water and sanitation.Included in these investments are Eskom’s capital expenditure programme, which is expected to double electricity generation by 2025, and the expansion of bulk freight rail, which will help raise transport volumes from 47-million tons to 60-million tons.He also said that Treasury plans to provide R25-billion over the next six years to stimulate industrial development zones, boost investments in enterprises and job creation, support green initiatives and to get the private sector to partner with the public sector to invest in infrastructure.More funds for industrialisationThe minister also proposed that R25-billion be made available over the next six years to boost industrialisation, but he said that how the funds are implemented is important.The package would include temporary mechanisms to strengthen productivity and innovation in industries that have demonstrated long-term competitive potential.Raymond Parsons, deputy chief executive of Busa, told Bua News that it was important for government to collect the R25-billion under a fund focused on competitiveness.“That puts the focus where it belongs. If South Africa really wants to grow, create jobs and address poverty, it’s important that our competitiveness in the world economy is increased and strengthened,” Parsons said.Positive ratings for SAAccording to Global Advisors, a strategy and management consulting organisation, numerous ratings agencies have responded positively to the medium-term budget.Although the South African Treasury has made downward revisions to growth estimates and announced a delay in cutting the budget deficit, Fitch Ratings described South Africa as “fine”.Veronica Kalema, director of sovereign and international public finance at Fitch, said that the problems the country was experiencing were “due to the global environment, which is having a negative impact on most countries”.Earlier this year, Fitch Ratings revised South Africa’s outlook to stable from negative.Konrad Reuss, managing director of Standard & Poor’s credit rating agency, confirmed it would uphold South Africa’s BBB+ rating with a stable outlook.In investment, BBB ratings refer to the bond credit rating that assesses the credit worthiness of a corporation’s or government debt issues. The credit rating is a financial indicator to potential investors of debt securities such as bonds.Reuss said it is important that the Treasury has maintained its policy commitment to a medium-term fiscal consolidation and debt burden reduction.Chris Hart, an economist at Investment Solutions, was quoted saying that “South Africa looked a model of stability”. He added that in comparison with many “advanced economies”, South Africa did not have a problem with its banking system.• At the time of publishing the dollar to rand exchange rate was US$7.8 = R1last_img read more

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Afcon opener: getting to the stadium

first_img18 January 2013Roads leading to Johannesburg’s National Stadium will not be accessible to motorists without a valid vehicle pass ahead of Saturday’s opening of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), says the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation.Afcon 2013 kicks off at the National Stadium on Saturday with a 4pm opening ceremony followed by two matches, starting with South Africa versus Cape Verde at 6pm.“To avoid traffic congestion and frustration, we appeal to soccer fans to make use of the alternative means of transport to the stadium. We want to present a seamless, incident-free tournament that will be enjoyed by all,” MEC Lebogang Maile told journalists on Wednesday.“Gates to the stadium will open at 12 midday, and we appeal to soccer fans to arrive at the venue early, at least two hours before the opening ceremony, which will start at 4pm.”Fans are encouraged to make use of park-and-ride facilities situated at:Constitutional Hill, Joubert Street, BraamfonteinWestgate, corner Pat Mbatha and Anderson Street in the Johannesburg CBDMetro Centre, 158 Loveday Street, BraamfonteinThuso House, 61 Jorrison street, BraamfonteinFans using the park-and-ride facilities will be required to pay R30 for parking and a return trip to the stadium on a Rea Vaya bus.Fans will also be able to travel for free on 20 dedicated Metrorail trains running to Nasrec station and back from Johannesburg, Pretoria, Soweto and Vereeniging.Afcon train schedules: National StadiumAdditionally, park-and-walk facilities are located near the stadium. The designated areas are:Aeroton: Adcock Ingram Road, corner Randshow and Aerodrome RoadShareworld: corner Shaft 17 and Nasrec RoadCemetery site: corner Randshow and Aerodrome RoadHowever, motorists who wish to use these facilities must pre-book their parking at Computicket before heading to the stadium. For a normal family car (sedan), a ticket will cost R50, while a ticket for a taxi is R100. Buses will pay R400.Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

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Q and A with few of South Africa’s influential women

first_img18 August 2016What do Nomzamo Mbatha, Bonang Matheba, Kass Naidoo, and Farah Fortune have in common? Besides being in the limelight, they are successful women who learnt important life lessons from influential women in their lives.With the 9th of August having been National Women’s Day, we celebrate the contribution of women through the month. Journalist Melissa Javan conducted question and answer sessions with a few of South Africa’s prominent women.Nomzamo Mbatha is a South African actress and the face of the skincare range Neutrogena South Africa and the Puma’s local brand ambassador. (Image: Nomzamo Mbatha, Facebook)Who are the women in your life who have inspired you, and why?Roxy Burger, TV presenter: My mother. Cliché, I know but she is the epitome of an amazing career woman. She will also do anything for her family. I also admire broadcasters such as Leanne Manas, Anele Mdoda and others internationally.Farah Fortune, entrepreneur: My mum is my biggest female inspiration. She’s a strong woman who raised six children and always has the best advice. I would have loved to meet Maya Angelou, because she was a huge inspiration to me too.Bonang Matheba, media personality: I come from a family of strong women. My mother is my biggest inspiration. From her I learned what it means to be resilient, not shaken, to love and nurture. Her sisters have also been my other role models in being a woman. They pursued education, held down households whilst being captains of their industries.Nomzamo Mbatha, actress: My grandmother has an incredible amount of influence on the woman I am becoming and have become. She taught me everything – having strength, resilience, humility and charm. One of the things she’d say is: “People are like fingers on your hand. They may not be the same in terms of social standing, but are treated the same. Treat people equally, no matter who or what they are, because you need them.” I also admire Basetsana Kumalo, Khanyi Dhlomo, Viola Davis and mam’ Winnie Mandela.Kass Naidoo, sports presenter: There are many women who I admire. One of my earliest inspirations was West Indian Donna Simmonds. She was cricket’s first woman commentator. These days, I’m proud of South Africa’s 800m Olympic heroine, Caster Semenya. She consistently displays courage, strength and champion temperament without apology.Roxy Burger is television presenter for the lifestyle series Top Billing and Strictly Come Dancing. She is also a celebrity blogger. (Image: Roxy Burger)What does Women’s Month mean to you?Roxy Burger: It is of course special and women deserve to be celebrated. I do wish that the respect and celebration women receive during this month continues and we achieve equality in all aspects of our lives.Farah Fortune: It means we get to highlight issues in South Africa that affect us. I’m not overly fond about Women’s Month though. I feel a little disappointed that our issues are only highlighted during this month. I wish we had more platforms throughout the year for the issues and rights that affect us.Farah Fortune is the founder and chief executive officer of the public relations company African Star Communications. (Image: African Star Communications)Bonang Matheba: Every year, I use 9 August as a time to reflect on what 20 000, fearless women risked in order for me to have a voice and a position in society. This year it’s been more about what the Bonang Legacy will look or read like in 60 years’ time. I am ensuring that I do my part through the camp for girls I am hosting in December.Nomzamo Mbatha: It’s an exciting time! Many women say: “It shouldn’t just be during this month that we are celebrated, it should be every month.” Of which I fully agree. However, come August, there’s a breeze in the air, women walk taller, owning who they are, unafraid of their voices, sharing their stories, being bold, demanding their voices to be heard, reminding men how powerful we are. Women’s Month for me means that we are claiming a place in this world that belongs to us in the most fiercest and fearless way.Kass Naidoo: Women’s Month gives us the opportunity to amplify our message to raise profile of South African women in sport, and comes on the back of a daily commitment to support our athletes and women in sport.Kass Naidoo was South Africa’s first female cricket commentator. She is also founder of G Sport for Girls, an online platform that promotes girls and women in sports. (Image: Judd van Rensburg/ Jet Club, Kass Naidoo)Can South African women move the country forward?Roxy Burger: Of course. This goes without saying. I believe that the emotional strength women have is something that is not respected enough. Sometimes this is even seen as a weakness but I believe a high EQ is a leadership quality we as women should embrace.Farah Fortune: Yes! We are a strong willed nation of women leaders. We need to create our own platforms to have our voices heard. When we look at what women have done for South Africa since 1956 alone, the evidence is there that we as women in South Africa are capable of anything.Bonang Matheba: Most definitely. Women are the cornerstone of society. When anything goes wrong with a child in the home or community, it is always the woman who is looked upon to give answers and speak solutions to that.Nomzamo Mbatha: Absolutely! South African women have one of the deepest and strongest narratives. Our forefathers fought and had resilience which was imparted on us when they left this earth. As women of this country we have woken up and realised that we are worldly, and can become absolutely anything in this world, and guess what, we want it! There is a strength that we have and a sense of leadership that we are fighting for now. We are becoming anything and everything that we have always wanted to be.Kass Naidoo: South African women are moving the country forward, because of our tenacity, ability to endure, and our hunger for success.Bonang Matheba’s resume´ includes radio disk jockey, television presenter for lifestyle shows like the Afternoon Express, and being a global ambassador for Revlon cosmetics. (Image: Bonang Matheba)Any advice to women?Roxy Burger: Run your own race. Try not to compare yourself to others. And let’s stop pulling each other down. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies. Let’s support one another and uplift one another and that is how we can create change.Farah Fortune: Always do what’s best for you. Your gender is not a disability.Bonang Matheba: Be each other’s champions. We are so much more than the bickering.Nomzamo Mbatha: Have resilience. The resilience to fight for your voice, your place and your dreams. We can and will be any and everything that we want to be. Society is afraid of the strength we have, now is the time to be the change. Now is the time! Let us love each other, support each other and know that if one of us wins, it’s a win for all!Kass Naidoo: My advice for women is to find your passion, work hard and reach for the stars!Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website?See Using SouthAfrica.info materiallast_img read more

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