Federer loses world No.1 spot after Coric defeat

first_img0Shares0000Borna Coric enjoyed his victory over Roger Federer in the Halle final © AFP / CARMEN JASPERSENHALLE WESTFALLEN, Germany, Jun 24 – Croatian Borna Coric denied Roger Federer the 99th title of his career on Sunday with a 7-6 (8/6), 3-6, 6-2 defeat in the final of the ATP Halle grass event.Federer also lost the number one spot in ATP rankings to Rafael Nadal, and missed a chance to earn a record 10th title at the German venue. Federer dropped the opening set in a tiebreak but levelled by winning the second. Coric held his nerve to take victory.The Croatian outsider ranked 34th also ended Federer’s 20-match win streak on clay for Federer which stretched to June, 2017.The Swiss will drop to second in the world behind Rafael Nadal, who is playing no tune-up events prior to the start of Wimbledon a week from Monday.The loss in just over two hours means came a week after Federer won his 98th title in Stuttgart.Coric, who accounted for German second seed Alexander Zverev in the first round, held his nerve against the crowd favourite at this venue which styles itself after the All England club.The 21-year-old had lost twice to Federer, but played him tough in their last meeting at Indian Wells last March.He was the first Croatian to reach the final at Halle and now owns two titles after winning in Marrakech in 2017.Federer dropped the opening set, won the second but was unable to fight back after going down 2-4 in the third.Coric moved out to 5-2 and completed his upset on a second match point a game later as Federer’s volley hit the top of the net.The Swiss fired a dozen aces but lost serve twice.Federer’s excellent serving in the first set – four love games, three points lost on serve – could not prevent Coric taking the opener in 57 minutes.The Croatian withstood a Federer assault in the 11th game, which lasted for nearly 10 minutes and featured five deuces. A game later, the Swiss seed took the set into a tiebreaker.Federer reached a 5-3 margin and sent down his fifth ace to earn a pair of set points.But Coric annulled the first with a service winner while a wild Federer backhand accounted for the other. Second later, the Croatian seized the set on his first opportunity from a Federer backhand long.The 20-time Grand Slam champion fought back to level by winning the second set, helped by a choke on a volley from Coric.Trailing 4-3 and facing a break point in the eight game, the youngster raced to the net to flick over a winner on Federer’s first set point, but stuffed the shot into the net.Leading 5-3, Federer squared the match in the next game as Coric hit the net again.Federer will travel to Wimbledon to put final touches on his grass game as he aims for a ninth title at the grass-court major.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Top 5 moments from Jon Gruden’s memorable bye week presser

first_imgOn his meeting with GM Reggie McKenzieIt’s no secret who calls the shots in the Raiders’ Alameda headquarters.Gruden has … ALAMEDA — If anyone has ever said head coach bye week press conferences are boring, they should’ve waited to listen to Jon Gruden.The more the Raiders lose the better Gruden is at the podium, and Tuesday that trend reached its peak.If you’re just catching up before the Raiders’ bye week, here are the best five moments from Gruden’s session in Alameda.last_img read more

Can Darwin Help Your Doctor?

first_imgAre you sick? Should you rely on Darwinism or Science?by Jerry Bergman, PhDUnder the headline “Darwin can help your doctor,” a press release from the University of Groningen claimed that “Evolution and ecology inspire clinical research in infections and antimicrobial resistance”[1]. The editors explain: “Taking an evolutionary view can inspire new ideas in clinical microbiology. For example, evolutionary studies can reveal why some antimicrobial dosing regimens are better than others in preventing the development of drug resistance.”As I read the review, it soon became apparent that the word evolution was tacked onto the report for no good reason except to give obeisance to Darwinism. The approach described in the report had nothing to do with Darwinism but was rather an example of the classic empirical experimental approach. This approach requires scientists to evaluate the proposed “antimicrobial dosing regimens” on patients and then study the outcome. For example, a sample of affected patients would be randomized into 5 treatment groups of 20 patients each, then the outcome of each group is compared. If statistical differences are found at the alpha 0.05 level or better (such as alpha 0.01) to insure the difference between the two is very unlikely due to chance, this lends evidence to the conclusion that the protocol found most effective is actually, as a whole, more effective. The report then added:Looking at microbial communities, rather than just the pathogenic micro-organisms, can also lead to new insights. That is why clinicians, bioinformaticians analysing pathogens and evolutionary biologists should all work together. These are the conclusions of a diverse group of scientists led by University of Groningen microbiologist Marjon de Vos, in a short review published by The Lancet Infectious Diseases on 30 April.[2]Again, this is an example of an obvious truism. Of course, “clinicians, bioinformaticians analysing pathogens and evolutionary biologists should all work together.” I have to wonder what evolutionary biologists could possibly contribute. MicrobiologistDe Vos studies urinary tract infections. She realized that a lot could be gained by collaborating with different specialists … For example, …  bacteria involved communicate with each other and can form a stable ecosystem, which affects their susceptibility to antibiotics.’ This realization led to an interdisciplinary workshop in 2017, which in turn resulted in the review paper now published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.[3]Still no answer as what this research has to do with evolution. So I read on.The consensus can be wrong, and has been wrong numerous times, when it comes to evoluition.The article then discussed cystic fibrosisThe review mentioned bioinformatics, which is an analysis of “the vast amount of genetic data collected on infectious diseases.” This also has nothing to do with evolution unless one is searching for long-term, millions of years, evolutionary trends. In this case, the bioinformatics technique is a fishing expedition looking for trends in gene expression patterns that may relate to the medical condition of concern. The doctors explain that cyclic antibiotic treatments in cystic fibrosis patients are used to treat chronic lung infections which are common in this condition. To minimize the development of drug resistance, treatment alternates with two different drugs.[4] If the pathogens become resistant to one drug, ideally, the other will be effective. Obviously, this approach could result in multi-drug resistance.This is the claim I was expecting, which has nothing to do with evolution. I will cover the most common claim, that is antibiotic resistance due to mutations which create bacteria incorrectly termed “superbugs.”How do bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics?Although bacteria can become resistant due to mutations, all these mutations studied so far are either loss mutations, or damage-to-gene-expression mutations that damage the system that speeds up the removal of, or the inactivation of, antibiotics. None of these effects are the result of new cellular innovations, but are caused merely by damaging something in the bacteria.One type of mutation can alter the shape of the antibiotic binding site. The antibiotic works by fitting into the antibiotic binding site and, like a lock and key, if the keyhole is damaged, the key will no longer fit into the lock. Likewise, if the antibiotic binding site is distorted as a result of damage caused by mutations, the antibiotic will no longer fit into the antibiotic binding site, protecting the bacteria from the antibiotic.A side effect is the mutation can degrade or destroy the function for which the bacteria binding site was designed. For example, a neutral mutation in one amino acid that prevents the required antibody-enzyme interaction alters the binding site on the 4-quinolone antibiotic which disables the DNA gyrase enzyme in bacteria. The gyrase enzyme is an essential bacterial enzyme that catalyzes the ATP-dependent negative super-coiling of double-stranded closed-circular DNA. It reduces the twisting strain occurring while double-stranded DNA is being unwound by elongating RNA-polymerase.The classic example of mutations in the antibiotic mechanism which causes the bacteria to become immune to the antibiotic is ribosome point mutations that renders streptomycin and other mycin antibiotics ineffective.[5]  Mycin antibiotics function by attaching to specific receptor sites on the bacteria’s ribosomes which are required to produce protein to keep the bacteria alive. The result is this antibiotic action interferes with the bacteria protein-manufacturing process.  The proteins the bacteria produce are, as a result of the mutation, either non-functional, or are not even produced. The result is the bacteria cannot grow and divide, or propagate.Bacterial mutations cause the bacteria to become streptomycin-resistant if the ribosome site, where the streptomycin attaches, is altered by mutations. As a result, the streptomycin no longer can bind on the host ribosome, and therefore it no longer can interfere with the ribosomal function of producing protein. Mutation-caused changes that enable the bacteria to become mycin-resistant can occur in several different locations on the ribosome.[6]Mammalian ribosomes do not contain the specific site where myosin drugs attach, and for this reason the drug does not interfere with mammal ribosome function. Consequently, mycin drugs adversely affect bacterial growth without harming the host. Because fundamental differences exist between prokaryotic (bacterial) and eukaryotic ribosomes, these variations often are exploited in order to produce antibiotics to kill bacteria without harming the host. Actually, many antibiotics used are produced by fungi or other bacteria to protect them from enemy bacteria. Humans obtain them to protect them from the same pathogenic bacteria.Another example of a mutation-caused resistance is, in Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria, an enzyme in the bacteria that changes the antibiotic called isoniazid into its active form that kills the bacteria. If a mutation damages the enzyme that converts the antibiotic into its active form, the antibiotic remains in its inactive and harmless conformation. As a result, this mutation confers antibiotic resistance to the mutant bacteria.[7] The mutation that damages the enzyme which prevents the antibiotic from killing the bacteria also cripples the bacteria, an effect called the fitness cost.When bacteria become resistant to antibiotics as a result of mutations, all the mutations studied so far are either loss mutations, or gene-expression mutations that result in speeding up the systems that removes or inactivates antibiotics. None are the result of new cellular innovations but are caused merely by altering the regulation control.all the mutations studied so far are either loss mutations, or gene-expression mutationsEvolution by retreatIn short, this brief discussion illustrates the fact that all known examples of antibiotic resistance are due to inbuilt systems designed to achieve symbiosis, or damage to some system in the host or pathogen that prevents it from properly defending itself. In short, so-called super bacteria are actually damaged bacteria that have an advantage in an environment loaded with antibiotics, such as in a hospital.Conversely, mutations that add new systems, such as a new regulatory system, energy-generating system, or transport system, have never been documented. Mutations increasing certain enzyme affinity may be beneficial, but often occur rapidly, indicating that design is involved. For example, mutations effecting hemoglobin-oxygen affinity help the host to acclimatize to a high altitude, but the same mutation can also cause polycythemia. This response is not evolution, but rather designed adaptation.Mutations that alter a protein which results in antibiotic resistance are also likely to weaken the organism. Mutations that both confer resistance, and allow the bacteria to survive, do not improve the bacteria fitness in its normal environment. The bacteria actually render them less able to survive in an antibiotic-free environment.[8]  Thus, when the bacteria becomes resistant to a drug, it is likely to become less fit in other ways.[9]  This is called the cost of resistance, or the fitness cost.[10] Often the cost is very high and the mutation renders the resistant stain poorly able to survive in a non-antibiotic environment.[11]The last claim covered in the The Lancet Infectious Diseases article was resistance plasmids. Resistance plasmids are small circular DNA that confers resistance to bacteria that can easily be exchanged between bacteria. The Lancet review admits “we still don’t know how changes in genes lead to the different characteristics of these pathogens. We need experiments by evolutionary biologists in order to understand the link between the genotype, the DNA sequence and the phenotype – for instance, the level of resistance.”[12]Empty boastsThe 11-page Lancet article contained the word evolution 103 times and, after analyzing each example, the same problem was found as I have documented in this paper.[13] Of interest is the article’s list of examples of the successes of microbial evolutionary medicine, including the exploitation of the alleged bacterial evolutionary molecular clock to trace transmission events over time in hospitals and continents in spite of the fact that the molecular clock has been a dismal failure, at least for long periods of time.[14][1] “Darwin can help your doctor.” Science Daily. 30 April 2019. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190430103424.htm.[2] “Darwin can help your doctor.” Science Daily. 30 April 2019. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190430103424.htm.[3]  Sandra B Andersen, et al. Microbial evolutionary medicine: from theory to clinical practice. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 2019 DOI: 10.1016/S1473-3099(19)30045-3[4] Sandra B Andersen, et al. Microbial evolutionary medicine: from theory to clinical practice. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 2019 DOI: 10.1016/S1473-3099(19)30045-3[5] Davies, A. P., et al., 2000. “Comparison of Fitness of Two Isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, One of which had developed Multi-Drug Resistance during the Course of Treatment.”  Journal of Infection, 41(2):184-187, Sept.; Davies, J. and M. Nomura,  1972. “The Genetics of Bacterial Ribosomes.”  Annual Review of Genetics,  6:203-234.[6] Didier, E. S., D. C. Bertucci, and L. Leblanc,  1999. “Inhibition of Microsporidia Growth in vitro.”  Abstracts of the General Meeting American Society Microbiology,  99:11[7] Wieland, Carl, 1994. “Antibiotic Resistance in Bacteria.”  Cen Tech J., 8(1):5-6, p. 5.[8] Wieland, 1994, p. 6.[9]Spetner, Lee, 1997. Not by Chance. Brooklyn, NY: The Judaica Press, p. 144.[10]Lenski, Richard E., 2002. “Cost of Resistance” in Encyclopedia of Evolution.  Volume 2, pp. 1008-1010.  New York, NY: Oxford University Press.  Mark Pagel (editor), p. 1009.[11]Baquero, Fernando,  2002. “Antibiotic Resistance:  Origins, Mechanisms, and Extent of Resistance” in Encyclopedia of Evolution.  Volume 1, pp. 50-54.  New York, NY: Oxford University Press.  Mark Pagel (editor). p. 51.[12] “Darwin can help your doctor.” Science Daily, 30 April 2019. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190430103424.htm.[13] Andersen, Sandra B., 2019. Evolutionary medicine: from theory to clinical practice. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, online 30 April 2019. https://www.thelancet.com/action/showPdf?pii=S1473-3099%2819%2930045-3.[14] Jeffrey Tomkins and Jerry Bergman, 2015. “Evolutionary Molecular Genetic Clocks–A Perpetual Exercise in Futility and Failure.” Journal of Creation, 29(2):26-35. Dr. Jerry Bergman has taught biology, genetics, chemistry, biochemistry, anthropology, geology, and microbiology at several colleges and universities including for over 40 years at Bowling Green State University, Medical College of Ohio where he was a research associate in experimental pathology, and The University of Toledo. He is a graduate of the Medical College of Ohio, Wayne State University in Detroit, the University of Toledo, and Bowling Green State University. He has over 1,300 publications in 12 languages and 40 books and monographs. His books and textbooks that include chapters that he authored, are in over 1,500 college libraries in 27 countries. So far over 80,000 copies of the 40 books and monographs that he has authored or co-authored are in print. For more articles by Dr Bergman, see his Author Profile.(Visited 301 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

State of the Nation 2010

first_imgInside South Africa’s Parliament duringPresident Jacob Zuma’s State of theNation Address on 11 February 2010.(Image: The Presidency)MEDIA CONTACTS• Vincent MagwenyaPresidential spokesperson+27 72 715 0024RELATED ARTICLES• Zuma welcomes world at Davos• Jacob Zuma on World Aids Day• Medium-term budget: full textThe full text of South African President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address, delivered to Parliament on the evening of 11 February 2010:Honourable Speaker;Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces;Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP;Deputy President of the Republic, Honourable Kgalema Motlanthe;Honourable Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa and all esteemed members of the Judiciary;Isithwalandwe President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela;Former President FW de Klerk;Our father, Former President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia;Former Deputy Presidents;Distinguished Premiers and Speakers of our Provinces;Chairperson of SALGA and all local government leadership;Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders;Heads of Chapter 9 Institutions;The Governor of the Reserve Bank;Special international Guests especially the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Mr Jean Ping;Former political prisoners and veterans;Members of the diplomatic corps;South African and foreign media;Fellow South Africans,Dumelang, molweni, goeie naand, good evening, sanibonani nonke emakhaya!Siyavuya ukuba nani ngobubusuku bubaluleke kangaka.I stand before you this evening, 20 years since President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela walked out of prison.We have chosen this as the day to call this Joint Sitting of Parliament to deliver the State of the Nation Address, to celebrate a watershed moment that changed our country.The release of Madiba was brought about by the resolute struggles of the South African people.You will recall that the masses of this country, in their different formations, responded with determination to the call to make the country ungovernable and apartheid unworkable.We are celebrating this day with former political prisoners who we have specially invited to join us.We welcome in particular those who have travelled from abroad to be here, Helene Pastoors, Michael Dingake from Botswana, Mr Andimba Toivo ya Toivo of SWAPO in Namibia.We are pleased to be joined by members of the legal team in the Rivonia Treason trial – Lord Joel Joffe, who is now based in London and Judge Arthur Chaskalson.We also remember and pay tribute to Mr Harry Schwarz, who sadly passed away last week.He was amongst other things, a member of the Rivonia defence team.We extend our gratitude to our friends and comrades in the international community, for fighting side by side with us to achieve freedom.We extend a special welcome to the Mandela family.They became a symbol of the sacrifices of many who bore the brunt of apartheid.We greet the leadership of the ruling party and Alliance partners, for whom this is an extra special occasion.Compatriots and friends,On this special day, we must also acknowledge the contribution of those within the leadership of the National Party, who eventually realised that apartheid had no future.Allow me to mention the role played by former President PW Botha.It was he who initiated the discussion about the possible release of political prisoners.President Botha worked with the former Minister of Justice, Mr Kobie Coetzee, who was in turn assisted by Dr Neil Barnard and Mr Mike Louw.They played a significant role in the process leading to the release of Madiba.Honourable Members,South Africa is yet to acknowledge in full, the critical role played by the former President of the ANC, Comrade Oliver Tambo, who laid the foundation for this country to become a shining example of freedom and democracy.It was his outstanding leadership, foresight and clarity of vision that led the ANC to intensify the pursuit of a negotiated settlement.His wisdom was also displayed in the Harare Declaration which he wrote and championed.It was this that laid the groundwork for the historic announcements by President FW de Klerk, 20 years ago.In this, President de Klerk demonstrated great courage and decisive leadership.On this great day, let me also acknowledge the role played by the late Ms Helen Suzman.She was for a long time, a lone voice in Parliament, calling for change.We also recognise the role of the leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party, Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who also called for Madiba’s release, as well as that of other prisoners and the return of exiles.We reiterate our heartfelt gratitude to the international community for its unwavering support to our struggle.These moments in our history demonstrate our ability to come together, even under the most difficult of circumstances, and to put the country’s interests first above all other interests.Deur saam te werk, kan ons meer bereik.Honourable members,During the course of this year, we will mark the centenary of the establishment of the Union of South Africa.This created a unitary state.Significantly, the exclusion of black people from this Union was one of the chief reasons for the formation of the African National Congress in 1912.As we mark this centenary later in the year, we should reflect on how far we have travelled as a country.Honourable Members,We recall the words of Madiba on his release, when he said:“I stand before you, not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people.Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today.I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands.”These words inspire us not to rest, until we achieve the ideals of a society free of poverty and deprivation.In the two decades since the release of Madiba, our country has changed fundamentally.President Mandela united this country behind the goal of a non-sexist, non-racial, democratic and prosperous South Africa.As we celebrate Madiba’s release today, let us recommit ourselves to building a better future for all South Africans, black and white.Let us pursue the ideal for which Madiba has fought his entire life – the ideal of a democratic and free society, in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities.Honourable Members,We called a joint sitting in the evening so that the majority in our country, workers and school children, can be part of the occasion.We are impressed by the enthusiasm of the youth about the occasion.Two hundred and sixty six children from all provinces participated in the pre-State of the Nation debate on the role of the youth in the fight against poverty.We congratulate the overall winner, Charlotte Le Fleur of Worcester Secondary School and all the participants for the hard work.Compatriots and friends,We are meeting against the backdrop of a global economic crisis.Last year, we experienced our first recession in 17 years.The crisis cost our economy about 900 000 jobs.Many of those who lost their jobs were the breadwinners in poor families.In February last year, government, business, labour and community representatives agreed on a package of measures to reduce the scale and impact of the crisis.We have put many of these measures in place.We have implemented decisive anti-recession spending by government, especially on infrastructure.To ensure a safety cushion for the poor, we brought social grant increases forward, and extended the child support grant to children over 14 years of age.In the next three years, an additional two million children from poor households, aged 15 to 18 years, will benefit from the child support grant.The Industrial Development Corporation has put aside R6 billion to help companies in distress.Government introduced a “training lay-off scheme” to allow workers the option of a period of training instead of retrenchment.These efforts were enhanced by our public works programme.The nation will recall that during the 2009 State of the Nation Address, I announced that the Expanded Public Works Programme would create 500 000 work opportunities, by December 2009.Let me reiterate that these are not jobs in the mainstream economy.These are job opportunities created to provide unemployed people with an income, work experience, and training opportunities.Honourable Members, Fellow South Africans,We are pleased to announce that by the end of December, we had created more than 480 000 public works job opportunities, which is 97% of the target we had set.The jobs are in areas like construction, home and community based care, and environmental projects.We have identified some areas of improvement which we will effect going forward, including ensuring more labour intensive projects.We know that these and other measures cannot fully mitigate the effects of the recession.We are grateful for the spirit of family, community and voluntary work that inspires many people to help those most affected by the crisis, through these difficult times.Honourable Members,Economic indicators suggest that we are now turning the corner.Economic activity is rising in South Africa, and we expect growth going forward.The labour statistics released on Tuesday, show that the economy is now creating jobs rather than shedding them.It is too soon, though, to be certain of the pace of recovery.Government will therefore not withdraw its support measures.Now is the time to lay the groundwork for stronger growth going forward, and for growth that gives rise to more jobs.Our long-term infrastructure programme will help us grow faster.Our education and skills programmes will increase our productivity and competitiveness.Our Industrial Policy Action Plan and our new focus on green jobs, will build stronger and more labour absorbing industries.Our rural development programme will improve rural productivity, and the lives of people living in rural areas.Underpinning our strategy for economic recovery and growth, is our capital investment programme.Over the next three years government will spend R846 billion on public infrastructure.On transport, we will maintain and expand our road network.We will ensure that our rail network is reliable, competitive and better integrated with our sea ports.To ensure reliable power supply, we have established an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Energy, to develop a 20 year integrated resource plan.Among other things, this will look at the participation of independent power producers, and protecting the poor from rising electricity prices.We will establish an independent system operator, separate from Eskom Holdings.Eskom will continue to build additional generation capacity and improve the maintenance of its power stations.To ensure the promotion of an inclusive economy, to aid growth and development, we have established the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Advisory Council, chaired by the President.The most urgent focus of policy change must be interventions to create jobs for young people.Unemployment rates for young people are substantially higher than the average.Proposals will be tabled to subsidise the cost of hiring younger workers, to encourage firms to take on inexperienced staff.A further expansion of public employment programmes is also underway.This includes local infrastructure and literacy projects, home-based care, school maintenance and early childhood development initiatives.Last year we launched the National Youth Development Agency.We have directed the Agency to work faster to establish its structures, throughout the country, so that it can assist us to mainstream youth development programmes within government.Honourable Members,When this administration came into office last year, we undertook to work harder to build a strong developmental state.We said it would be a state that responds to the needs and aspirations of the people, and which performs better and faster.This year, 2010, shall be a year of action.The defining feature of this administration will be that it knows where people live, understands their needs, and responds faster.Government must work faster, harder and smarter.We will expect the executive and the public service to comply with this vision.We are building a performance-oriented state, by improving planning as well as performance monitoring and evaluation.We also need to integrate gender equity measures into the government’s programme of action.This action will ensure that women, children and persons with disabilities can access developmental opportunities.We are pleased to announce a new way of doing things in government.The work of Departments will be measured by outcomes, developed through our performance monitoring and evaluation system.The Ministers who are responsible for a particular outcome, will sign a detailed Delivery Agreement with the President.It will outline what is to be done, how, by whom, within what time period and using what measurements and resources.As you are aware, we are committed to five priorities:education, health, rural development and land reform, creating decent work, and fighting crime.In addition, we will work to improve the effectiveness of local government, infrastructure development and human settlements.We will undertake a number of key activities towards the achievement of these outcomes.We have placed education and skills development at the centre of this government’s policies.In our 2010 programme, we want to improve the ability of our children to read, write and count in the foundation years.Unless we do this, we will not improve the quality of education.Our education targets are simple but critical.We want learners and teachers to be in school, in class, on time, learning and teaching for seven hours a day.We will assist teachers by providing detailed daily lesson plans.To students we will provide easy-to-use workbooks in all 11 languages.From this year onwards, all grade 3, 6 and 9 students will write literacy and numeracy tests that are independently moderated.We aim to increase the pass rate for these tests from the current average of between 35 and 40% to at least 60% by 2014.Results will be sent to parents to track progress.In addition, each of our 27 000 schools will be assessed by officials from the Department of Basic Education.This will be recorded in an auditable written report.We aim to increase the number of matric students who are eligible for university admission to 175 000 a year by 2014.We urge parents to cooperate with us in making this a success.We welcome last month’s statement by the three teacher unions, Naptosa, Sadtu and Saou, reaffirming their commitment to the Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign from the beginning of 2010.Honourable Members,We need to invest in our youth to ensure a skilled and capable workforce to support growth and job creation.We therefore plan to increase the training of 16-25 year olds in further education and training facilities.This will enable us to provide a second chance at education, for those who do not qualify for university.We are working with higher education institutions to ensure that eligible students obtain financial assistance, through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.We have also set ambitious targets for skills development, to produce additional engineers and technicians, and to increase the number of qualified mathematics and science teachers.We must also increase the number of youth who enter learnerships in the private and public sectors.Honourable members,Another key outcome is to ensure a long and healthy life for all South Africans.We will continue to improve our health care system.This includes building and upgrading hospitals and clinics, and further improving the working conditions of health care workers.We have partnered with the Development Bank of Southern Africa to improve the functionality of public hospitals and their district offices.We are also collaborating with the DBSA and the Industrial Development Corporation, in a Public-Private Partnership programme to improve hospitals and provide finance for projects.Honourable Members,We must confront the fact that life expectancy at birth, has dropped from 60 years in 1994 to just below 50 years today.We are therefore making interventions to lower maternal mortality rates, to reduce new HIV infections and to effectively treat HIV and tuberculosis.We will also reduce infant mortality through a massive immunisation programme.We will reinstate health programmes in schools.We will implement all the undertakings made on World Aids Day relating to new HIV prevention and treatment measures.Intensive work is underway to ensure that this work is on schedule.We will also continue preparations for the establishment of a national health insurance system.Fellow South Africans,We are working hard to ensure that everyone in South Africa feels safe and is safe.We will take further our work to reduce serious and violent crimes, and ensure that the justice system works efficiently.We are implementing plans to increase the number of police men and women by 10% over the next three years.We have identified the fight against hijacking, business and house robberies, as well as contact crimes such as murder, rape, and assault, as top priorities.We all have a role to play.Let us participate in community safety forums.Let us stop buying stolen goods.Let us always be ready to provide the police with information about criminal activity.Tshebedisano mmoho etla lwantsha botloko-tsebe.Compatriots and esteemed guests,Local government must work.Municipalities must improve the provision of housing, water, sanitation, electricity, waste management and roads.We held a meeting with mayors and municipal managers last year.This provided valuable insight into the challenges in local government.We also visited various communities and municipalities, including Balfour in Mpumalanga and Thembisa in Gauteng.After the Balfour visit, we sent a nine member Ministerial team to visit the area to address the issues that had been raised by the community.A number of issues have already received attention.I have directed the Ministers to attend to the outstanding matters.We reiterate, that there are no grievances that can justify violence and the destruction of property.We have directed law enforcement agencies to take a tougher stance on lawlessness in Balfour and other areas.In December 2009, Cabinet approved a turnaround strategy for local government.This will ensure that local government has the correct management, administrative and technical skills.During this year of action, let us work together to make local government everybody’s business.We are working to upgrade well-located informal settlements and provide proper service and land tenure to at least 500 000 households by 2014.We plan to set aside over 6 000 hectares of well-located public land for low income and affordable housing.A key new initiative will be to accommodate people whose salaries are too high to get government subsidies, but who earn too little to qualify for a normal bank mortgage.We will set up a guarantee fund of R1 billion to incentivise the private banking and housing sector, to develop new products to meet this housing demand.Bakwethu,Ngonyaka odlule sathi, abantu basemakhaya nabo banelungelo lokuba nogesi, amanzi, izindlu zangasese ezigijima amanzi nemigwaqo.Sathi kufanele babe nezindawo zezemidlalo kanye nezindawo zokuthenga ezinkulukazi eziphucuzekile njengasemadolobheni.In this regard, we launched the first pilot site of the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme in Giyani, Limpopo in August last year.Since then, 231 houses have been built.Progress has also been made in providing infrastructure to support agricultural development, and training for community members.Access to health and education facilities has improved.We are implementing similar programmes in seven sites across the country, benefiting 21 wards.By 2014, we aim to have sites in 160 wards.We want 60% of households in these sites to meet their food requirements from own production by 2014.Kancane kancane kuze kulunge, phela bakwethu, kuthiwa nempandla iqala ngenhlonhlo.We also need to better integrate land reform and agricultural support programmes.Our success in this area will be measured by the increase in the number of small scale farmers that become economically viable.Honourable Speaker and Chairperson of the NCOP,We are not a water rich country.Yet we still lose a lot of water through leaking pipes and inadequate infrastructure.We will be putting in place measures to reduce our water loss by half by 2014.Honourable Members,As part of our efforts to encourage greater economic growth, we are working to reduce the cost to communicate.The South African public can look forward to an even further reduction of broadband, cell phone, landline and public phone rates.We will work to increase broadband speed and ensure a high standard of internet service, in line with international norms.Fellow South Africans,This government will ensure that our environmental assets and natural resources are well protected, and are continually enhanced.Together with Brazil, India and China, and joined by the United States which represented the developed world, we made a significant contribution to the accord adopted at the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit in December last year.Although it does not go as far as required, it is an important step forward as it commits all countries to respond to climate change.We will work hard with our international counterparts towards a legally binding treaty.As South Africa we have voluntarily committed ourselves to specific emission reduction targets, and will continue working on our long term climate change mitigation strategy.Honourable Members,We will intensify efforts to promote the interests of South Africa globally.We will support efforts to speed up the political and economic integration of the SADC region, and promote intra-regional trade and investment.South Africa continues to play a leading role in continental efforts to strengthen the African Union and its organs, and to work for unity.We will focus energy on revitalising the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, as a strategy for economic development on the continent.Fellow South Africans,The public service has to respond to the call to make this term one of faster action and improved State performance.We require excellence and hard work.We need public servants who are dedicated, capable and who care for the needs of citizens.Government is already working on the development and implementation of a public service development programme, which will set the norms and standards for public servants in all spheres.Honourable Members,We continue our efforts to eradicate corruption and fraud in procurement and tender processes, and in applications for drivers’ licences, social grants, and identity documents, among others.We are pleased with the progress government is making in some areas.This week, we terminated 32 687 fraudulent social grants payments, valued at R180 million.Our Inter-Ministerial Committee on Corruption is looking at ways to decisively defeat corruption.Nga u shumisana rothe ringa bveledza zwinzhi.Compatriots,As you are aware, we introduced the Presidential Hotline to make government and the Presidency more accessible to the public, and to help unblock service delivery blockages.The Hotline represents our determination to do things differently in government.It has made a difference in the lives of many South Africans.We can mention Mrs Buziwe Ngaleka of Mount Frere, whose call about her late husband’s pension was the first we took on the first day of the service.She is with us here tonight.We also have among us Mr Nkululeko Cele, who was helped to obtain identity documents which allowed him to enroll at Tshwane University of Technology.These are just two among many success stories.From these and other examples, we identify weaknesses that should be rectified by various spheres of government.Through the Speaker, we have invited a multiparty delegation from Parliament to visit the call centre, so that MPs can get a first hand account of the work done.Compatriots and friends,I have outlined the main elements of our plans for 2010, our collective commitment as government to the people of South Africa.The State of the Nation Address provides a broad overview of our action plan.Ministers will provide the detail in their respective Budget Vote speeches.Honourable Members, Fellow South Africans,In November this year, we will mark the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Indians in South Africa.It provides an opportunity to recognise the important contribution of the Indian community in the fields of labour, business, science, sports, religion, arts, culture and the achievement and consolidation of our democracy.Compatriots and friends,Let me take this opportunity to once again extend our heartfelt condolences to the government and people of Haiti on the monumental tragedy that has befallen them.We are pleased that our rescue teams were able to go and assist.I would like to especially recognise one South African who never fails to assist in times of disasters, and helps us to promote the vision of a caring society.We welcome Dr Imtiaz Sooliman of the Gift of the Givers in this House.Ladies and Gentlemen,Fellow South Africans,The hosting of the FIFA World Cup makes 2010 truly a year of action.We have spent many years planning for this World Cup.We only have three months to go.And we are determined to make a success of it.The infrastructure, security and logistics arrangements are in place to ensure a successful tournament.As a nation we owe a debt of gratitude to the 2010 Local Organising Committee for their sterling effort.We wish the LOC Chairperson Irvin Khoza, CEO Danny Jordaan and Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira all the best for the months ahead.President Mandela was central in assisting the country to win the rights to host this great event.We therefore have to make the World Cup a huge success in his honour.Compatriots, let us also stand behind the national team Bafana Bafana.Most importantly, ithikithi esandleni bakwethu!Let us all buy tickets timeously to be able to attend the games.Fellow South Africans,As we celebrate Madiba’s release today, we recommit ourselves to reconciliation, national unity, non-racialism and building a better future together as South Africans, black and white.We are guided by what Madiba said in the dock, that:“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people.I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination.I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society, in which all persons live together in harmony, and with equal opportunities.It is an ideal which I hope to live for, and to achieve.But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”.Inspired by our icon Madiba, it is my honour to dedicate this 2010 State of the Nation Address, to all our heroes and heroines, sung and unsung, known and unknown.Let us work together to make this year of action a successful one for our country.I thank you.last_img read more

Opportunity Lifespans Are Measured in Dog Years

first_imgI know that you love your opportunity. You’ve had this opportunity for a long, long time. You were thrilled when you got it, and you rushed back to the office to enter it into your pipeline. You spent a lot of time with your then new opportunity, and you helped it to grow and mature.But opportunities don’t age well. They don’t live as long as humans. You aren’t that much older than when you first found your opportunity, but your opportunity has grown to be quite old. The longer an opportunity lives in your pipeline, the more certain it is that the opportunity has serious health problems. It is no longer a healthy opportunity.I know that you love this opportunity. He’s like an old friend, a trusted companion. You have had all kinds of adventures together. You have lots of cute and funny stories about you and your opportunity. Each day when you open up your sales force automation software, your opportunity is there, waiting for you, protecting you from an otherwise too shallow pipeline.But you aren’t going to be able to keep your opportunity for your whole adult life. There comes a time when you have to part with your old opportunity. It’s old, its health has failed, and you have to let it go. You’ve only been keeping this opportunity alive because you can’t stand to part with it. You can’t imagine your life without your special opportunity. But it’s time to say goodbye and finally part with your opportunity.It’s sad. It hurts. I know.But this doesn’t have to be the end of the story. Over time, the pain will subside, and life will go on. I know nothing will ever replace your special opportunity, but you can go and find another opportunity. Many of your dream clients are suffering from neglect and abuse. They need a good home. You can go out and get yourself a new one.If you want to keep an opportunity forever, make sure you help it grow into a client. That’s the only way you get to keep it.QuestionsWhy don’t opportunities age well?What kind of health problems do old opportunities typically suffer from as they age?How do you know when an opportunity is no longer really an opportunity?Why do some salespeople struggle to part with old opportunities that aren’t ever going to result in a deal? Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Nowlast_img read more

Documentary looks at the fiery life of Calgary magician Carisa Hendrix

first_imgAt the beginning of the documentary Carisa Hendrix: Girl on Fire, the magician and fire-eater tells a frightening tale about a stunt that went disastrously wrong a few years back.The Calgary performer, who broke the Guinness World Record for “longest duration fire-torch teething” in 2012, was trying something new involving a fuel-soaked cotton ball that was to be lit ablaze and popped into her mouth “like popcorn.” Unfortunately, when she rehearsed the bit, she wasn’t wearing stage makeup. On stage, she was. So when she lit the cotton ball on fire, flames leapt into her face. Back stage, she surveyed the damage, eventually putting her fingers on the burned areas.“All of the skin came off and wrinkled to one side like a layer of wet tissue paper,” she calmly tells the camera. “I was flipping out. I said, ‘You need to drive me to the emergency room. I think my skin is falling off.’” Login/Register With: Advertisement It’s a fairly compelling opening for Buddy Day’s new documentary, even if it suggests the director may have been a little too on-the-nose with his choice of title. But the further we get into the film, the more apparent it becomes that Hendrix’s fire-eating abilities are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what makes her fascinating.“The fire-eating kind of falls away really quickly,” says Day. “You don’t want to lose it because it is very interesting. Although, ironically, the fire-eating is one of the least interesting things about her.”The novelty of her job, and the world record she broke in Italy at the age of 25, was what first drew Day to Hendrix as a subject for the documentary. He was looking for a followup to his 2015 efforts The Salvation of Todd Bentley, about a Pentecostal preacher who claims he can heal the sick and raise the dead; and Goalie: Life and Death in the Crease, about troubled NHL player Clint Malarchuk. He had heard of Hendrix’s varying talents, which include not only fire-eating but also barefoot walking on glass, stilt-walking, sleight-of-hand and variations of the “human blockhead” spectacle that can involve, among many other things, sticking scissors up her nose. Advertisement Advertisement Twitter Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img read more

Citizens return to Fort McMurray and Fort McMurray First Nation

first_imgChris Stewart APTN National News The city of Fort McMurray is one step closer to being back to normal. Residents are starting to return home this week.The blaze that destroyed 1,500 homes and made 500 home unlivable continues to grow. The fire is nearly 600,000 hectares in both Alberta and Saskatchewan, but is not near any settlements.Now, after a month of living in campers, community centers and hotels, the residents of Fort McMurray First Nation are coming home.cstewart@aptn.calast_img

NTF III Uganda Chapter to Launch Export Plan For ICT Sector

first_imgAdvertisement In the Ministerial Policy Statement for FY 2014/15 Uganda’s ICT sector share in 2014 stood at 6.0% and employed over one million people. World Bank data placed exports of ICT services in 2013 at 400 million USD, forming 17% of total service exports. IT services alone were estimated to represent 2.8% of Uganda’s services exports, with a total value of US $2 billion in 2012. These statistics prompted several initiatives of an investment & developmental nature in the ICT sector from players both local and international.One such initiative being an Export Sector Competitiveness Program called the Netherlands Trust Fund (NTF III), a program funded by the Dutch government, particularly, the Centre for the Promotion of Imports (CBI, affiliated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs). The program was established to build export sector competitiveness in key growth sectors in the 4 beneficiary countries of Bangladesh, Kenya, Myanmar and Uganda. NTF III is being implemented over three years 2014-2017) and one of its key functions is to put in place an Export Plan, see to its roll-out and implementation in the ICT sector in Uganda.Under the general supervision of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT), the National Information Technology Authority-Uganda (NITA-U) together with the NFT III project team, with support from the ICT Association of Uganda (ICTAU) and Uganda Business Process Outsourcing Association (UBPOA), have developed and validated an “IT & ITES Export sector plan” to be launched on the 7th of April, 2016 and rolled out immediately, first to about thirty (30) Small and Medium Enterprise players in the ICT sector and eventually to the rest of the country. – Advertisement – The” IT & ITES Export Sector Plan” The “IT & ITES Sector Export Plan”, is the presentation of measures that have been identified to enhance the export competitiveness of the Ugandan IT & ITES companies in international markets, whether regionally or globally. In support to the proposed measures, a “Country Marketing Plan” has been developed to be implemented alongside the Export plan, which will identify the relevant marketing communication components that need to be activated to enhance the visibility of Uganda’s IT & ITES industry.The IT & ITES Export plan will focus on the following five broad strategic objectives to be pursued in order to achieve a successful export drive:Enhancing the caliber of the young talent IT & ITES pool.Closing the gender gap.Instigating a local environment conducive to the IT & ITES industry.Developing the export capabilities of SMEs.Placing Uganda’s IT & ITES industry on the map.Identifying target markets.Richard Okuti, National Consultant – NTF III Uganda remarked that “this plan will focus on IT & ITES business initiatives with a potential for exports that can be enhanced through targeted measures and will take into consideration the fact that the Ugandan IT & ITES industry’s existence lacks recognition amongst target customers beyond the borders of the country.”This plan takes into account the specific circumstances of the Ugandan IT & ITES industry, which cannot rely on a thriving local economy to stimulate its growth, ensuring the emergence of local champions. In the absence of a local demand pull, a more prudent business development plan needs to be considered to assist Ugandan companies in their export endeavors.IT & ITES: The difference? IT and ITES, are one and the same, having more in common than not. This is correct up to a point: the closer one gets to market considerations, the more dissimilar the two become.IT services. These require a broad range of specialized, technical skills typically acquired during studies at a university and are necessary, for example, to engage in designing software architectures, software coding or web design deploying cloud-based services.IT enabled services (ITES). These do not usually require specialized technical skills (with the exception of knowledge-based ITES, e.g. medical analysis applications). ITES services include Customer Support Services (e.g. call centres, Recruitment Process – RPO), Policy Maintenance/Management (e.g. human resource), Data Process Services (e.g. payroll outsourcing), and Technical Support Services (infrastructure management, help desk), to mention but a few.Why “IT & ITES Export Plan”? NTF III is simply helping a company whose founder(s) has detected a market need. He or she has the vision of how to satisfy that need, and believes the company has something unique to offer. It could be a service (for example, reserving your taxi through your smart phone), which involves developing the application and running the service, or an off-the-shelf software package (for example, a smart phone application capable of detecting certain diseases). These companies will be supported to take these solutions beyond our borders in this Export plan.last_img read more