St. Bernard’s girls out to upset the odds

first_imgThe St. Bernard’s girls have played with a relentless intensity this postseason, and that’s something they’ll need once again in tonight’s NorCal second-round matchup at Woodside Priory in Portola Valley.The Panthers come into the showdown as favorites after winning their second straight Central Coast Section crown a week ago and earning the top seed in the Division-IV NorCal bracket.They also have experience on their side, with nine of the players on their roster back from last season’s …last_img

Warriors’ Andre Iguodala sits vs. Minnesota with right hip tightness

first_imgSubscribe to the Mercury News and East Bay Times for $40 a year and receive a free Warriors championship coffee table bookOAKLAND – Warriors veteran forward Andre Iguodala missed Monday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Oracle Arena because of what the team called “right hip tightness.”It is not immediately clear when Iguodala suffered the injury. But the Warriors expect Iguodala to return for Wednesday’s game against the Toronto Raptors at Oracle Arena. Warriors coach Steve Kerr …last_img

Sowetan Dialogues focuses on State of the Nation address

first_imgNtsieni ‘Big Daddy’ Ramabulani of Capricorn FM; Limpopo MEC for Safety and Security, Joyce Mashamba; Elvis Masoga, political analyst; Limpopo Premier Stanley Mathabatha; Percy Mongalo, President of the Polokwane Chamber of Business; Nompumelelo Runji, Sowetan Dialogue Coordinator; Mercy Senyatsi, PYP Ambassador; and Lorraine Mofokeng  The Sowetan, in partnership with Brand South Africa, held the second of its six-part Sowetan Dialogues series aimed at promoting civic pride and the pillars of the National Development Plan.The dialogue was held at the Ngoako Ramatlhodi Sports Complex in Seshego in Limpopo on 6 March 2014.It focused on whether President Jacob Zuma’s 13 February State of the Nation address’s (SONA) reflection on the past 20 years of freedom was “fact or fiction” to the public. In the State of the Nation address Zuma did not mention the state’s intentions for this fiscal year, but spoke of previous achievements.Radio personality, Ntsieni Ramabulana, also known as Big Daddy at Polokwane’s Capricorn FM, facilitated the discussion.The panel included Limpopo Province premier, Stanley Mathabatha; political analyst, Elvis Masoga; and Percy Mongalo, president of the Polokwane Chamber of Business.PLAYING HER PARTMercy Senyatsi, a Play Your Part Ambassador and a teacher with more than 30 years’ experience, addressed the gathering on the importance of civic participation in a democracy.“I’m a teacher but I’ve learned that the greatest lessons are those learned outside the classroom,” she said.Senyatsi cares for vulnerable, destitute and orphaned children in Seshego. She advised people at the dialogue to not look down on others and to not see children described as problematic as failures.“I took in a girl who was described as problematic because of her drug use six years ago. She came from a family of misfits but she had potential. This year she has registered for a degree in engineering at the local university. This shows how we should never give up on people,” she said.She added that as a community, especially the black community, people had to work together to see their children become people who would make South Africa a better place to live.BUSINESS EXPECTED MOREMongalo said the business community in Limpopo accepted the SONA but had expected more from it.“We welcomed that the SONA spoke about the challenge to eradicate poverty, unemployment and inequality.”He added that he believed centralising tender procurement offices would not end the rise in corruption in tenders but would leave those businesses outside Gauteng at a disadvantage.“By having the tender offices in Gauteng, this renders those outside the province at a disadvantage as those in Gauteng will have an advantage of handing in their papers timely, while others would have to travel hundreds of kilometres before they could submit them.”Mongalo also believes the address should have mentioned measures to relax some business regulations.“There should be tax leniencies for SMMEs and other businesses,” he said.“As business, we bemoan the low survival rate of SMMEs in SA. We recommend more tax breaks and less regulation to encourage [the growth of] SMMEs.”Mongalo also said violent service delivery protests crippled businesses, and that often hawkers and shopkeepers were most affected.A NEED FOR MORE ACADEMICSMasoga believes the country needs more academics and expressed disappointment that youngsters now see business as a better option and school as not that important.“If you look at all the professors in academia, most of them are ageing and it doesn’t look like there are youngsters who will replace them in the near future,” he said.He added that in the future the country needed solutions from South Africa and not “some professor in Germany who doesn’t know the life of a South African”.“We need to quote the Professor Mathabathas of South Africa in the near future and forget about the Karl Marxes and Lenins of this world.”He believes the address should have placed more importance on education as that would ensure the survival of future generations.“We must not just invest in basic education; we need a stronger production of supreme knowledge,” he said.GLASS HALF-FULL OR HALF-EMPTYMembers of the public attending the Play Your Part / Sowetan Dialogue also had a chance to express their views on President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation address (Images: Ray Maota)Premier Mathabatha said that if South Africans look at the past 20 years from a pessimistic perspective they will disregard achievements in many fields.He defended the address, saying: “The president couldn’t really at the time give … a detailed account of the ruling party’s plan for the country … as elections are soon and this will be the job of the elected government at the time.”Mathabatha said this 20-year-old democracy was a participatory one; that “every citizen was supposed to do their part in seeing it become better”.“In 1994 when the late Nelson Mandela was inaugurated he said ‘Amandla’ and we said ‘Awethu’. This was the day we undertook to be active participants in this democracy, so civilians need to sometimes do things for themselves first and ask help from government later as government will never really know the plight of everyone at the same time in the country.”PUBLIC PARTICIPATIONThe audience at the dialogue also had suggestions for the government.Mofenyi Senyatsi said that for a graduate, job opportunities in his hometown were scarce and that funding for ideas was minimal.“I’m a qualified industrial engineer and now I’m doing civil engineering; I once asked to see the previous premier of Limpopo to talk about my research into geothermal energy but was never given the time of day; but when we get funding from somewhere else and they help me fulfil my dreams to help the community with energy, Limpopo will want to take credit of me,” he said.Other audience members gave their input, with one saying that post-graduates also needed help with landing jobs in provincial government, to strengthen academic experience in the province rather than taking their skills to other provinces.last_img read more

China and ag trade

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest There has been some positive progress with regard to China, tariffs and agricultural exports. Leading up to the latest round of talks, China lifted tariffs on U.S. sorghum and the U.S. eased sanctions on the Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp., allowing the company to stay in business.In late May the U.S. and China issued a joint statement indicating that both “agreed on meaningful increases in United States agriculture and energy exports” bringing some temporary relief to ongoing trade dispute concerns. Experts estimate a potential increase of $60 to 90 billion in Chinese purchases of U.S. goods, largely agriculture and beef especially.“To meet the growing consumption needs of the Chinese people and the need for high-quality economic development, China will significantly increase purchases of United States’ goods and services,” the White House said in a statement.But reports that China has agreed to import large amounts of U.S. ag goods as part of a tentative framework deal to resolve a trade dispute between the nations have prompted some lawmakers from both parties to express concern about what kind of concessions the administration may be offering China. Larry Kudlow, Trump’s top economic advisor, told ABC that although there may be “perhaps some small changes around the edges” in U.S. action on ZTE, there will still be big fines and other remedies, and, he added, “do not expect ZTE to get off scot-free. It ain’t gonna happen.”Earlier in May, Bunge, the world’s largest oilseed producer, told Bloomberg News that China had essentially stopped buying U.S. soybeans and instead was purchasing soybeans mostly from Brazil. U.S. soybean sales to China are down compared to last year’s total, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.In recent years, China’s demand for soybeans has been strong. China is the second-largest market for U.S. agricultural exports, and the country is Ohio’s most important soybean export market. In 2017, soybeans were Ohio’s largest agricultural export, totaling $1.8 billion.“China picked a commodity that would do maximum damage to U.S. agriculture and could do political damage to the administration,” said Ian Sheldon, an agricultural economist, who serves as the Andersons Chair in Agricultural Marketing, Trade and Policy with The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.In April, China threatened to impose a 25% tariff on U.S. soybeans and tariffs on 105 other American products. That was in response to the tariffs that the administration proposed on a range of Chinese imports valued at $50 billion.last_img read more

Fast-track courts in Tripura to try POCSO cases

first_imgThe Tripura government has designated several courts as first-track courts to try pending proceedings under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. A special court has been set up here and nine more across districts have been designated for the purpose, a law department official said. Five such courts have been set up to try cases of crimes against women. Around 350 cases lodged under the POCSO Act are awaiting final disposal by courts. Many cases are as old as four years. Complaints are mainly about sexual abuse and hostility.The State’s Law and Education Minister had earlier said that the special POCSO court here will be launched on September 16. It will deal with litigations under west Tripura district limit.last_img