Liberian Student Prince M. Korvah (3rd from right) with fellow students in Tel Aviv, IsraelSays Liberian studying in Israel to colleagues back homePrince M. Korvah, a Liberia student in Israel, is challenging other Liberian students desirous of pursuing advance studies abroad to begin considering the State of Israel.Korvah, a former president of the Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY), an umbrella organization to all youth and student groupings in Liberia, is currently pursuing his International Master’s in Security and Diplomacy at the Tel Aviv University (TAU), the largest academic institution in Israel.In a dispatch from that country, he has vouched for the quality of the educational standards at TAU, an institution which he says comprises nine faculties, 106 departments and 90 research institutes, and is ranked as one of the top institutions of higher learning education the world over, with its International Office directed by Ms. Maureen Meyer.According to Korvah, his academic program brings together a faculty of top scholars and leading practitioners from the Israeli Armed Forces, Security Services and its Foreign Service, now headed by Prof. Dr. Azar Gat; a renowned academician and author.He said out that the program extends far beyond the traditional classroom and is structured to have students engaged with high-ranking diplomats and other decision-makers in the weekly Ambassador Forum, building practical understanding on field visits to the Israeli borders and key security sites.In describing his recent internship as an Intelligence Analyst with MAX Security Incorporated, one of Israel’s leading security companies, Korvah shared his experiences, “this is the best place to study.”It has the special opportunity of getting to live, know and appreciate the valued quest for peace, goodwill of the Great Jewish Nation, all beyond the media perspective, as depicted by a blurred picture, he noted.Prince a former Liberian youth leader has expressed the hope that having more young Liberians study in Israel will provide opportunities of exposure to ”best practices” in the areas of water, agriculture, technology, defense and the hi-tech industries, which are crucial to Liberia’s development.He added, however, that it has its significance for impacting and facilitating a cross generational relationship between the youthful populations of both nations, one which could give a new meaning to the great friendship that has always existed between Liberia and the State of Israel, especially for the trajectory of years ahead.Korvah recalled Liberia has always been a friendly nation to Israel, “depicted by her stand as one of two African nations which voted at the UN in 1947, in favor of the Israeli Independence, the former youth leader noted.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
12 February 2007There was high drama at the world’s largest open water swimming event on Sunday when the final race, for boys and men aged 14 to 30, was cancelled due to bad weather – the first time in the Midmar Mile’s 34-year history that a race has been called off.Raced over two days, with four races each day, conditions for the Midmar Mile on Saturday were scorching, with the temperatures in the mid-thirties before the discomfort index was taken into consideration. On Sunday, it was a different story altogether.It rained throughout Saturday evening and into the new day. A light sprinkling of rain fell consistently through Sunday’s first race, the girl’s 13 and under and women’s 31 and older. During event two, the boy’s and men’s equivalent, conditions were much the same.By the third race, the women’s 14 to 30 year age group, the rain became heavier and the winds rose, bringing with them a biting cold.Shocked facesThen came an announcement from race organiser Wayne Riddin that only seeded swimmers would be allowed to contest the final race. There were plenty of shocked faces as it filtered through. Shortly afterwards the decision to cancel the race entirely followed.Within minutes it became clear why Riddin pulled the plug as the winds drove from south to north across the west to east course, causing choppy and sizeable waves to form, with a whispery mist blanketing the dam.It was a disappointing conclusion to the weekend, but the primary priority for the organisers is the safety of the competitors and Riddin felt that it couldn’t be guaranteed, thus his decision, which he reckoned was easy to make given the circumstances.For defending champion Troyden Prinsloo, who had flown out from the University of Georgia to attempt to become the first male swimmer to win the Midmar Mile three years in succession, it was a terrible blow. Prinsloo said he would have swum no matter the conditions – but he’s a world class swimmer, unlike the majority of the field.Hungarian successesThe cancellation of the race also brought to an end the ambitions of the Hungarian national open water swimming team, who had enjoyed a fine day, taking victories in the boy’s and girl’s 13 and under categories, as well as in the women’s 31 to 40 age groupA number of the Hungarians, though, will get the opportunity to swim at Midmar Dam, with the holding of the 10-kilometre open water swim on Monday.Hungarian coach Tamas Vadjda validated Riddin’s decision, saying he realised “safety was the first concern”.Open women’s raceIn the open women’s event, victory went to Australia’s Melissa Gorman, who won her ticket to the Midmar Mile by clinching the Gold Coast Mile Down Under. It was a tight race.Through the first three hot spots, at 400 metres, 800 metres, and 1 200 metres, South African international Melissa Corfe led, chased by Gorman and three-time defending champion Keri-Ann Payne of Great Britain.Gorman, though, had chosen the best line into the finish and she crossed the finish line in 19 minutes and 52 seconds, well off the record of 18 minutes and 21 seconds set by Payne in 2006. However, considering the choppy conditions and a testing headwind, it was a fine effort.Corfe followed in second position in just over 20 minutes, with the defending champion relegated to third spot.The Eight-Mile ClubEfforts on behalf of charities were extremely successful. Members of the Eight-Mile Club were responsible for raising over R700 000 and that figure is one that was calculated before the final day’s events.The swimmers taking part in the Eight-Mile Club swim each and every race whilst raising funds for a wide number of charities. Fourteen-year-old Myles Brown was astonishingly successful in both the races and in raising money. In seven races, he was first across the finish line on four occasions, and he also brought in R24 000.Olympic silver medal winner and Deaflympics star Terence Parkin was rather less fortunate. He suffered a bite from a spider and gritted his way through Saturday’s four races. However, that evening he had to be rushed to hospital as a result of the bite. A substitute swimmer, Andrew Campbell, took Parkin’s place to continue raising money for the Fulton School for the Deaf.According to Riddin, this year’s entry was in the region of 16 500 swimmers, although other figures provided lift that number to anywhere from 16 700 to 17 000. Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
17 May 2007It took a number of attempts before South African striker Benni McCarthy got his dream move to the English Premier League, but when Blackburn Rovers finally managed to pry him away from Porto, he repaid the club handsomely in kind.McCarthy finished the 2006/07 season as the second highest scorer in the league by netting 17 times in a championship that is said to be extremely difficult to adjust to.Thanks in no small part to McCarthy, Blackburn finished tenth in the Premiership to secure a place in next season’s Intertoto Cup. Just four more points would have put Rovers in the running for a position in the Uefa Cup.RecognitionThe Bafana Bafana star’s contribution to the club’s success was recognised when he picked up two awards at Blackburn Rovers’ awards ceremony. He was named the Players’ Player of the Year – a huge accolade given that it reflects his teammates’ opinion of him – and won the Goal of the Season award.The goal came in the FA Cup match against Arsenal – the only goal of the game – that secured Rovers a place in the quarterfinals of the competition. Ultimately they bowed out in the semi-finals against Chelsea after extra time.Massive bargainHaving signed the South African striker for £2.5-million, it is now clear that Blackburn scored a massive bargain.McCarthy and Tottenham’s Dimitar Berbatov made huge impacts in their first seasons in the Premier League as both topped the 20-goal mark in all competitions – 24 in total for McCarthy – although Berbatov seemed to garner most of the headlines.The South African, in fact, netted six more times in the Premiership than the Bulgarian. In a league that produced three of the four Uefa Champions League finalists – a good argument that it is the best league in the world – that is a mighty impressive performance.League goalsHis tally of 17 league goals was second only to Didier Drogba’s 19 and tied with Player of the Season Cristiano Ronaldo.Rovers’ manager Mark Hughes is in no doubt that McCarthy has had a better season than Berbatov. He has even gone so far as to proclaim his man as the best striker Blackburn has had since former England captain Alan Shearer.And looking at the bargain he got when signing the Bafana Bafana ace, Hughes pointed out that Berbatov is valued at about £30-million. “So you do the maths on how much Benni is worth,” he told the Daily Mail, adding that the striker is not for sale.Greater expectationsHughes fully expects to have McCarthy back at Ewood Park next season and has predicted even bigger and better things for the forward, thanks to the experience of having a season in the Premiership under his belt.Recent reports have, however, surfaced suggesting that McCarthy would be open to moving to a big-money club playing Champions League football, like Chelsea, which is managed by his former manager at Porto, Jose Mourinho.Blackburn boss Hughes, though, has been quick to play down that talk, saying the story came from the Portuguese press, where an interview with McCarthy was reported out of context. He says he is not worried and confident McCarthy will be back in Rovers’ colours next season.Chelsea interestThere is also a story doing the rounds that both Hughes and McCarthy might be bound for Chelsea.With Mourinho’s multi-millionaires having landed only the League Cup and set to do battle with Manchester United for the FA Cup, this season has been deemed a relative failure for the Blues.Rumour has it that Chelsea is interested in Hughes as a successor to Mourinho and McCarthy as a striking partner for Drogba after the poor season turned in by their £30-million signing, Andriy Shevchenko.In fact, recent media reports suggest the Blues offered £8-million for the striker, a figure Hughes believes is far below his market value.McCarthy and HughesWhen McCarthy joined Rovers he was asked in an interview with Fifa.com whether he knew much about his new manager.“Know about him?” McCarthy replied. “He used to be my hero! He was a player who I always wanted to be like. I have so much respect for him – and I love learning from him.“It’s a little bit strange actually, because I have gone from being a big fan to standing next to him on the training pitch. I can’t believe it. It’s great to be able to rub shoulders with your heroes, because I was actually a Manchester United supporter as a boy.”Now Hughes, who was known for his brawny performances for the Red Devils, is being lauded for his brain after his signing of McCarthy.World Cup 2010The big question for many South African soccer fans, especially with the Rainbow Nation hosting the World Cup in 2010, is whether or not McCarthy will end his self-imposed international exile.In his interview with Fifa.com, McCarthy gave his take on the situation: “People know that I have had problems in the past, due to the club versus country situation. You always want to play for your country – it’s a massive honour, but your club means a great deal to you.“Quite often, South Africa’s games have clashed with European club fixtures, which has put me in a very difficult position,” McCarthy went on. “For example, the African Nations Cup takes place in January and February – at a crucial point in time for the leagues.“I missed the games for South Africa because I wanted to establish myself at Blackburn.“In the future, if they still think I’m the best striker, then I’d be honoured to go back.“It would also be great to play in the World Cup in my country.”Keeping an eye on SAMcCarthy says the prospect of playing the World Cup on home soil is an exciting one. He reckons he is constantly monitoring what South Africa is doing in preparation for the event, both on and off the field.South Africa, he says, wants to make a great impression, especially as it will be the first African country to host the event.“I am sure it will offer them something different to what they’ve seen at the other World Cups,” McCarthy commented. “It’ll be a tremendous party!” Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
7 March 2013Top Gear, the world’s most popular motoring show, returns to Durban for a second time in June with Top Gear Live, which will see former Formula One world champion Mika Hakkinen joining in the street circuit festivities.The legendary Michael Schumacher, a seven-time Formula One world champion, said of the Finnish star: “Mika Hakkinen was the best opponent in terms of his quality, but the biggest admiration I had for him was we had 100% fight on track but a totally disciplined life off track. We respected each other highly and let each other live quietly.”Last year, Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium, People’s Park and Street Circuit played host to a sell-out event, with 67 000 visitors enjoying the explosive live show, an enthralling street circuit, and a motoring exhibition packed with some of the world’s greatest supercars, classic automobiles and motoring memorabilia.‘Bigger and better’Top Gear presenter James May, in a video promo on YouTube said the event should be even more entertaining this time around: “We have the world’s most exciting cars. We have a fantastic street circuit. We have the world’s only live Top Gear stadium show and it’s going to be bigger and generally better than ever.”There will be four stadium shows, hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, May and The Stig, who will be backed up by an amazing team of dare-devil precision drivers.Also returning is the unique and action-packed Durban Street Circuit, which last year played host to a 90-minute track show hosted by Le Mans racing driver Tiff Needell and local F1 presenter and DJ Sasha Martinengo. A highlight of that show was the Formula One display and it will be back once again.Petrolheads will also be able to immerse themselves in their favourite brands and merchandise at the extensive motoring expo out on the People’s Park.Increased capacityTop Gear festival director Hannah Cabral comments: “The Top Gear presenters, BBC Worldwide and the UK show’s production team were so overwhelmed with the response from the South African leg of the World-tour last year that we have decided to increase the capacity and size of the event to a whopping 80 000 people.“We are confident that this year’s line-up of celebrities, guest drivers and awesome automobiles will allow us to achieve our visitor goal.”It won’t be a first visit to South Africa for former Formula One world champion Mika Hakkinen, who previously raced at Kyalami in Johannesburg. “I’m looking forward to returning to South Africa for the Top Gear Festival in Durban,” he said.‘Good memories’“I had a great time when I appeared on the Top Gear show and I’m looking forward to some exciting on track action at the Festival. I have some good memories of racing in Formula One at Kyalami, and it will be great to be back in South Africa to put on a fantastic show for the crowd in Durban,” Hakkinen said.Jeremy Clarkson is a huge fan of South Africa, and said he cannot wait to return to the Rainbow Nation. “South Africa is amazing,” he said, “a great setting for our largest event in the world tour and the only stadium show.“The show in Durban will go down as one of our best Top Gear Live events ever.”TicketsAs they did last year, tickets are expected to sell out. They range in price from R250 to R2 100 for an Ultimate Village Package.For people travelling from afar, there is a full range of travel packages, including self-drive, luxury coach and flight packages which include travel and accommodation on a B&B basis in a Southern Sun three-star of four-star hotel.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest American Farmland Trust was awarded a highly competitive 2018 Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. Authorized by the 2002 Farm Bill, CIG helps develop the tools, technologies and strategies to support next-generation conservation efforts on working lands.“Through programs like the Conservation Innovation Grants Program, we’re fueling the development of new and exciting tools and technologies, helping farmers improve their agricultural and conservation outcomes,” said Leonard Jordan, NRCS Acting Chief.The grant will fund a new AFT project called “Accelerating Soil Health Adoption by Quantifying Economic and Environmental Outcomes & Overcoming Barriers on Rented Land” that is designed to give farmers and landowners the quantitative evidence they need to make better conservation decisions.One barrier to wider use of soil health practices that improve water, save soil, protect climate, and often increase profit has been limited quantitative data proving their benefits.AFT will work in six watersheds across five states (California, Illinois, Ohio, New York and Virginia) to quantify the benefits experienced by 24 farmers who have already implemented soil health practices like reduced tillage, cover crops, nutrient management, crop rotation and more.The data collected will be used to produce economic case studies that include soil health, water quality and greenhouse gas outcomes experienced by the successful soil health farmers. The case studies will be used to encourage other farmers and non-operating landowners to implement environmentally sound farming practices more quickly and in greater numbers. The project also aims to foster better conversations and lease arrangements between farmers and non-operating landowners to better share in the risk and rewards of investing in soil health practices.“We are thrilled and honored to have been chosen to receive the NRCS CIG grant. At AFT, we hope this new quantitative evidence helps farmers and landowners agree to adopt soil health practices on more land sooner, and with that decision, to reap the benefits of greater productivity, increased profitability and environmental improvement,” said Michelle Perez, director of AFT’s water initiative.
Vikas Barala, son of Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala, and his friend, Ashish Kumar, both facing charges of allegedly stalking and an attempted abduction of a 29-year-old young woman, were on Saturday sent to judicial custody till August 25 by a local court.The duo had been earlier remanded in police custody for two days till August 12. The Chandigarh police produced the accused before the duty magistrate here and sought their judicial custody. The court remanded both the accused in judicial custody. Both the accused were re-arrested on Wednesday as they were charged with Sections 365 and 511 for attempt to abduct of the IPC in the already registered FIR against them for allegedly stalking and harassing the woman.Vikas and Ashish were earlier been arrested on August 5 on the complaint of the victim – daughter of an IAS officer, who had accused them of chasing her car and trying to kidnap her. But they were released later on bail.Meanwhile, hundred of people from different walks of life participated in the ‘Bekhauf Aazaadi’ march held on Friday night here, to bring public attention to violence against women in the backdrop of the Chandigarh ”stalking” episode.The march started at 10 PM from city’s Rose Garden and culminated at the government Arts College in Sector 10 at midnight. The demands such as fair investigation in Varnika’s case, no curfews timings for girls and working women hostels, making more female cops available at night, gender sensitization of Police officials, strict and concrete action against drunk driving were raised during the march.
After days of indecision, the New Zealand Olympic Committee on Friday confirmed participation in the Delhi Commonwealth Games after seeing positive steps being taken by the organisers to improve the situation.New Zealand Olympic Committee board gave its nod for the planned departures from September 28 after being briefed by NZOC President Mike Stanley and Secretary General Barry Maister, who were in Delhi to take stock of the situation.Staneley said the situation was grim but it has started changing following intervention by the state and the central governments.”We remain hopeful that things can be turned around. What we found was inexcusable and unacceptable but we’ve seen a change in leadership and this is positive,” Stanley said at a press conference in Auckland.The build-up to the Games has been marred by a lot of problems including construction delays, bad conditions at the Games Village, collapse of an overbridge near the main venue Jawaharlal Nehru stadium and an attack on a tourist bus.It led several Commonwealth nations including New Zealand to put on hold the departure of their teams for the Games, which Stanley said was a wise decision.”Working with sports to delay the arrivals of the first athletes has also been the right decision and we appreciate everyone’s flexibility,” Stanley said.The board also agreed that athletes will be advised to stay within the security ‘bubble’ during the games and that the situation will continue to be monitored by the team in New Delhi.
Force reductions shrinking the Army’s active-duty end strength from 490,000 to 450,000 soldiers by the end of fiscal 2018 will increase the portion of the service’s infrastructure considered excess to 21 percent, according to a rough estimate.“And it’s only going to get worse as the Army declines in force structure,” Paul Cramer, deputy assistant secretary for installations, housing, and partnerships, told Federal News Radio.Officials previously had said the Army’s excess capacity ranged between 12 and 28 percent in the United States, depending on facility category, with an overall average of 18 percent. That analysis was based on an active force of 490,000, a target the Army planned to reach at the beginning of the month.With Congress refusing to allow DOD to shed some of its unneeded installations through a BRAC round, the Army faces a severe shortfall in funding to operate and sustain its facilities. To stretch its dollars further, Lt. Gen. David Halverson — assistant chief of staff for installation management and commander of Installation Management Command — recently signed an execution order directing commanders to consolidate personnel and activities into the newest buildings and attempt to vacate older facilities that are not being fully used.Some unused buildings will be placed in a long-term mothball status, with others designated for eventual demolition, according to the story.“People have a tendency just to expand into whatever buildings they have, but we’ve already lost 80,000 soldiers,” Halverson said. “We need to get them into facilities that optimize the space we have and not have to invest as much in the lower-quality. That’s a new initiative that we’ll be pushing pretty hard this year,” he said.The problem for the Army is that a drop in an installation’s population will not result in a proportional reduction in the cost to operate the base due to the fixed costs required to keep things running.“We’ve already reduced our force structure by 20 percent, and the cost of running our bases has not declined anywhere near that,” Andy Napoli, assistant for BRAC in the office of the assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment, told Federal News Radio.The service would need to shutter some installations completely to generate significant savings.“The only way you can truly get after that is you have to close a few bases and realign the missions to the bases with higher military value. That gives you permanent savings, and the magnitude of savings you’d get with just a few bases would dwarf any amount of demolition we could do at all of our bases,” Napoli said. Dan Cohen AUTHOR
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina addresses a function marking the 88th birth anniversary of Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatun Nesa Mujib at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Dhaka on Wednesday. Photo: PIDRecalling the role of Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatun Nesa Mujib in country’s independence, prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said Bangamata in all critical times in different phases of the national history helped Bangabandhu to take right decisions.“Bangamata was a source of inspiration, strength and courage for father of the nation. Like Bangabandhu, she worked with dedication for the people, making her perfect accompaniment to shape the political thoughts of Bangabandhu,” she said.The prime minister said this while addressing a reminiscence meeting organised by the women and children affairs ministry marking the 88th birth anniversary of Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatun Nesa Mujib at city’s Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the city.“My mother used to live very simple life, even when Bangabandhu was in the office of the prime minister after liberation. But, her thinking was very high and very prudently she dealt with everything with patience, courage and wisdom when Bangabandhu was in jail,” she also said.Bangamata will remain in the heart of Bangalee nation and be remembered for her sacrifice, patriotism and love for the people, Sheikh Hasina said, reports BSS.The premier said “My mother always used to encourage Bangabandhu to do politics for the people….never cared about her own interests. She never thought what she would get in her personal life.”But, the anti-liberation force killed the noble lady brutally on the fateful night of 15 August 1975,” said Sheikh Hasina, the eldest daughter of Bangabandhu.“There were many crucial times in different phases of the nation’s history. During those times, my mother helped Bangabandhu in taking right decision… and my mother guided the party leaders and workers like a leader and guardian as well when Bangabandhu was in jail,” she said.Sheikh Hasina particularly mentioned the role of Bangamata in two important events saying she (Bangamata) played a big role in persuading Bangabandhu in delivering speech ‘as he wishes’ before millions of people on the historic 7 March 1971.Bangamata also played role in denying the parole of Bangabandhu granted by Pakistani rulers to join the roundtable conference in Pakistan when movement for six-point rose to its peak after 1968, she said.“Independence of Bangladesh would have never come if Bangabandhu went Pakistan in parole,” she added.Recalling the sacrifice of Begum Mujib in her whole life for the people of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina said, “Bangamata as a woman and a wife had no demand in her life. She always led a simple life like the common people of Bangladesh and taught us it.”Bangamata was always loyal to all political decisions of Bangabandhu and ready to face any situation amidst political repression of Pakistani juntas throughout the political life of Bangabandhu, she also said.Prime minister Sheikh Hasina addresses a function marking the 88th birth anniversary of Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatun Nesa Mujib at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Dhaka on Wednesday. Photo: PIDThe premier said Bangamata even used to serve the families of the detained leaders in their economic hardship, children’s education and illness when Bangabandhu was in prison.“My mother was like a guerrilla rebel,” she said, adding that denying the restriction of Pakistani rulers she used to come out of her home frequently changing her attire and shoes to reach information of Bangabandhu to the party leaders.The prime minister said Bangabandhu wrote in details about Bangamata in his biography published as ‘Unfinished Memoir of Bangabandhu’.From the book, many unknown aspects of Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatun Nesa Mujib including her mental strength, sacrifice, courage, wisdom and sufferings came to light.Bangamata, stood beside Bangabandhu, established rehabilitation centres for the suppressed women who were violated and tortured during the liberation war, she added.The prime minister urged the party leaders and workers to nourish the ideals of Begum Fazilatun Nesa in their life to materialise her dream and build a happy, prosperous and peaceful Bangladesh.“Now Bangladesh has no crisis for food…. but we have to go a long way to fulfil the dream of Bangabandhu and Bangamata,” she said.On the occasion, speakers paid glowing tributes to Bangamata recalling her crucial and prudent role in all the activities of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and movement for nation’s independence.Terming Bangamata Fazilatun Nesa one of the most courageous, intelligent, dedicated, loving and affectionate ladies in the country’s history, they said the history would certainly remember the contribution of the highly politically conscious and great patriotic lady along with remembering Bangabandhu.State minister for women and children affairs Meher Afroze Chumki presided over the function while Fazilatunnesa Indira, MP was the keynote speaker.Chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on women and children affairs ministry Rebeka Momen and chairman of Jatiya Mohila Sangstha Momtaj Begum were present as special guests while secretary of the ministry Nasima Begum gave welcome address.A video documentary on the life and works of Bangamata was screened on the occasion.On this day in 1930, Begum Fazilatun Nesa, wife of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was born in a noble Muslim family in Tungipara of Faridpur district. She was assassinated along with Bangabandhu and most of her family members on 15 August 1975.