first_imgLetterkenny court.A Judge has heaped praise on the role the media play within the judicial system, saying it would be ‘unthinkable’ if they weren’t present to report on cases.Judge Conal Gibbons was responding to a defendant’s claim at Letterkenny District Court that he was portrayed badly in sections of the media after it was reported that he was not present in court. The defendant missed the court date because his mother had died.However the judge responded by saying reporters are entitled to report on anything they hear in court, and said he doesn’t believe they receive the respect and recognition they deserve.Judge Gibbons told the court, “The media play a vital role in the administrative side of the justice system in Ireland.“It’s vitally important that courts have a media presence to report on cases.“I don’t think they receive the recognition they deserve for the role they play, and how important they are to the entire judicial system.”Judge Gibbons admitted that in some cases defendants, solicitors and judges can be angered at the media for their interpretation of certain cases.But he insisted that shouldn’t dilute away from the importance of having them present in court.Judge Gibbons said, “Can you imagine the general public having no idea what goes in here?“It’s unthinkable to think of nobody knowing what goes on in the courts, it’s of public interest.“As I said, I think the local media play a huge role, and I think they’re very professional at what they do.”JUDGE PRAISES THE ROLE OF LOCAL MEDIA IN COURTS SYSTEM was last modified: August 15th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:courtsImportanceJournalismJudge Conal GibbonsMedianewsPraiseRolelast_img read more

Round-up: Zouma set for Stoke as Chelsea youngsters move

first_imgStoke City are set to finalise the loan signing of Kurt Zouma from Chelsea.Several other clubs, including West Brom, have expressed an interest in the 22-year-old defender.Zouma returned to action last season after nearly a year on the sidelines with a knee injury.His first-team prospects at Chelsea currently look limited, particularly following the recent signing of Antonio Rudiger, and Blues boss Antonio Conte is prepared to let him move elsewhere. Ugbo joins Barnsley on loanEmbed from Getty ImagesChelsea youngster Ike Ugbo has joined Barnsley on a season-long loan.Ugbo, 18, gets the chance to show what he can do at senior level having impressed for Chelsea’s youth sides.He scored 10 goals in Chelsea’s FA Youth Cup campaign last season, helping the club win the trophy for the fourth year in a row. Vitesse sign youngster AliVitesse Arnhem have signed youngster Mukhtar Ali from Chelsea on a permanent deal.The 19-year-old midfielder has left Chelsea after being offered the chance to stay in the Netherlands, where he ended last season on loan at Vitesse. Caulker to Celtic looking likelySteven Caulker looks increasingly likely to join Celtic.QPR are looking to offload the defender on a free transfer, possibly with a sell-on clause in the deal.The 25-year-old, who played under Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers at Swansea City, is now in the final year of a four-year contract at Loftus Road.Rodgers recently played down the prospect of him moving to Parkhead, suggesting he had merely spoken to Caulker about the player’s personal problems.However, discussions between QPR and Celtic have taken place and there now is a growing expectation that the move will happen.Removing Caulker’s lucrative contract from their wage bill would help QPR’s efforts to add to their squad within the club’s budgetary restrictions.Rangers are keen to sign a striker and remain interested in Barnsley’s Andy Yiadom despite reports of Premier League interest in the right-back. Borysiuk could have QPR future – HollowayEmbed from Getty ImagesIan Holloway has suggested that Ariel Borysiuk could yet have a future at QPR.The Polish midfielder, signed from Legia Warsaw a year ago, failed to impress manager Holloway last season and joined Lechia Gdańsk on loan in January.Rangers have been looking to offload him on a permanent basis and are keen to bring in another defensive midfielder.But Holloway says he was impressed with Borysiuk’s performance during Saturday’s pre-season friendly at Peterborough and might not need to bring in an alternative after all.“I thought Ariel did really well,” said Holloway, who wants to make a number of signings in the next couple of weeks.“I had to make some decisions last year and I’ve said to him ‘If you come back and pass it the way I want you to do and run around the pitch a bit…’“He showed me that he wants to play for this club. What more can I ask? Hopefully that might solve a few things if I can get him in there (midfield) as well.” Another new contract for ManningQPR have given Ryan Manning a new three-year contract – his second new deal in six months.The Irish midfielder, who in January signed a deal until 2019, has had his contract extended by a further year. Murphy deal agreedEmbed from Getty ImagesNewcastle and Norwich have agreed a deal potentially worth £12m for Jacob Murphy to move to St James’ Park.Norwich recently rejected an offer from Newcastle for the 22-year-old but talks between the two clubs continued.Winger Murphy, from Wembley, has been with Norwich since the East Anglian club snapped him up along with his twin brother Josh in 2006. Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Giants legend Willie McCovey dies at 80

first_imgClick here if you are having trouble viewing this gallery on a mobile device.Willie McCovey, the Giants first baseman who terrorized pitchers with his majestic home runs and charmed fans with his easy grace, died Wednesday. He was 80.One of the most beloved Giants of all-time, McCovey slugged 521 home runs over the course of a career that spanned four decades. He will be best remembered as Willie Mays tag-team partner in San Francisco’s formidable lineups of the 1960s.While Mays brought the …last_img

Raiders mailbag: Protecting Derek Carr and other questions answered

first_imgNAPA — Raiders rookies and some veterans reported to camp Tuesday, with the full squad reporting Friday in time for the first full-squad practice the following day.You’ve got questions, sent via Twitter and email. And I’ve got answers, whether you like them or not . . .What’s the prognosis for the o-line? They gonna keep (Derek) Carr upright? (@jrhester)It all depends on the tackles, Kolton Miller on the left and Trent Brown on the right. Miller has gotten bigger and stronger, and the …last_img

Fate of white lions to be decided at CITES CoP17

first_imgThe lions are once again kings of Timbavati in Limpopo. But their numbers in the wild remain small. CITES CoP17 is opening on 24 September, where policymakers will decide if it is okay to hunt these magnificent beasts. It will take the strength of an entire community, led by the Global White Lion Protection Trust, to ensure the species’ survival.Zukhara is one of just 12 white lions remaining in the wild in South Africa. Policymakers at CITES CoP17 are gathering next week to determine whether or not lions will be moved from the endangered species list to not-under-threat. (Images: Varuna Jina)Shamin ChibbaZukhara is a handsome white lion living at the Global White Lion Protection Trust’s reserve in Timbavati, Limpopo, his ancestral homeland. His thick mane waves with every shake of the head, and his gaze is magnetic. Just don’t try to stare him down, warns Linda Tucker, the founder of the trust. Staring into a lion’s eyes means you are offering a challenge.Zukhara – whose name is derived from the Egyptian sun god Ra – is one of six white lions on the reserve and 12 overall remaining in the wild. There are hundreds of white lions in captivity, unknowingly waiting to be hunted.With the CITES CoP17 World Wildlife Conference taking place in Johannesburg between 24 September and 5 October, some of South Africa’s most loved animals, including white lions, may see their fates take a downturn.South African policymakers attending the conference, properly known as the 17th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, are proposing a change in the status of lions from endangered to a species not under threat. White lions are threatened the most as they are not separately classified and are instead seen as a variant of the tawny lion.View the white lions of Timbavati gallery here:Gallery: White Lions of TimbavatiThis is the reason Tucker and the trust’s lion ecologist, Jason Turner, is looking to keep the status of all lions as endangered and prevent them from being hunted and traded.“The logic was to regulate the captive breeding industry,” says Tucker. “If you down-list you can basically legitimise captive breeding. And that’s when we realised there was such a huge risk, that policy can make it acceptable to industrialise our lions. Once that happens from a legislation point of view, it’s really the end of everything, the end of ecosystems.”With just 12 white lions remaining in the wild they would be deemed critically endangered if they were classified as a subspecies. But CITES groups them among the tawny African lion population.Linda Tucker, founder of the Global White Lion Protection Trust, says the lions’ fate should not be determined by policymakers serving their own interests. Lions, she adds, should have a voice at CITES CoP17. This is why the trust is running the One United Roar campaign with communities in Timbavati. The children, pictured above, are speaking on behalf of the lions.CITES appendices explainedAfrica lions, Panthera leo, are listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Animals classified as vulnerable means they are considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild and are likely to become endangered unless the circumstances threatening their survival and reproduction improve.Lions are split listed on the CITES appendices, at Appendix I and II, which means some populations of a species are on one appendix, while some are on another.Appendix I means the species is threatened with extinction and may be affected by trade; trade in wild-caught species is illegal.Appendix II means the species is not necessarily threatened with extinction, but may become so unless trade in them is restricted. An export permit is required for trade in these species.Zukhara and his brother, Matsieng, split up into what Turner calls a pincer formation, a hunting tactic that allows the brothers to envelope their prey, giving it little chance of escaping. The pair pick up the scent of a nearby hunt about a kilometre away.Canned huntingTurner stops the van near a hut on stilts that overlooks a watering hole. It is a remnant of an old hunting practice, he says. “The previous owner would have his friends over, get drunk on brandewyn and wait for the animals to arrive. They’d shoot them without care.”So when the trust bought the land from the farmer, the animals expected the same. “The animals would just see a vehicle and run. You’d barely see their tails.”The canned hunting industry started near Timbavati, says Tucker. Today numerous animals, including hundreds of white lions, are held captive exclusively for hunting.Canned hunting has grown particularly quickly in Free State, where 160 such farms have sprung up in the last 20 years. The farms can be about 20 hectares in size, meaning there is not much room for any wild animal to thrive.Speaking at the 2016 IUCN Congress in Hawaii, running from 1-10 September, Wildlands Conservation Trust chief executive Andrew Venter said the rate of lions hunted in captivity had dropped by 70% in the past year. However, more than 6 000 lions are still being bred in more than 200 breeding stations as hunting trophies. He called for an end to canned hunting.At the end of the congress, the IUCN called for laws banning the breeding of lions for canned hunting, particularly in South Africa, by 2020. It stated that hunters regard the practice as “an ethically repugnant embarrassment”.Cecil and Blood LionsWhen the trust heard South Africa was proposing to change the status of lions from endangered to species not under threat, it started alerting the public of the risks lions would face.But at about the same time, Cecil the lion was killed in Zimbabwe and the documentary Blood Lions was released, which exposed the canned hunting industry. The film led to a Blood Lions campaign against captive breeding and canned hunting, which is said to have heavily dented the multimillion-rand industry this year.According to Tucker, these two events started shifting international perceptions.“International policy started changing for the first time in my experience over 20 years,” she says. “International policy started clamping down on trophies across borders. So there was the CECIL Bill that came out and the Fish and Wildlife Service in the States and Australia closed its ports to trophy hunting. So there was a sort of international position around this.”US senator Bob Menendez introduced the Conserving Ecosystems by Ceasing the Importation of Large (CECIL) Animal Trophies Act, which prohibited trade of endangered animals or those proposed to be endangered without permission from the Secretary of the Interior.To prevent white lions from becoming trophies, Tucker is trying to get them classified as a subspecies, which, considering their low population numbers, would render them critically endangered. But the white lion is not the only animal she looks to protect. “Our idea is to get the whole ecosystem protected with white lions as the charismatic animal at the centre.”At the trust’s reserve, zebra, black-backed jackal, eland, wildebeest, impala and even the rare purple-crested loerie, roam freely and thrive again. “So with nature restoring itself, the parks in the area are growing and the different species are all moving through as they should be,” says Turner.Developers from Dubai wanted to buy some land in Timbavati, part of which would have been the trust’s reserve. They aimed to build a golf estate. But all the farmers banded together to prevent it from happening, says Turner. “The biggest challenge is human politics and the biggest stakeholders are the communities and they’re starting to believe.”“We want a radical shift in consciousness,” says Tucker. “I’m so battle weary of being in the system and not being able to change the system, which is a consumerist-based system arguing on trade considerations and trade hunting considerations. They’re good arguments but they’re all based on exploitation of our ecosystem instead of love and reverence, which is the indigenous way. You see these statistics in the congresses we attend that are so dire you can barely take them in.”Scientists proven wrongWhen Tucker and Turner wanted to introduce Marah and her cubs to the wild, scientists warned them that they may not survive. First they believed that as captive animals they would find it difficult to hunt for their own food and secondly, their white coats would not camouflage well in the bushveld.But the lions proved the experts wrong. Their hunting instincts quickly took over and their white bodies hid well in the foliage, especially during winter. “The white lions have a great winter camouflage,” says Tucker. “All these white tigers and lions popping up around the world means nature is giving signs of an impending Ice Age.”Jason Turner, the lion ecologist at the trust, uses radio telemetry to determine a lion’s proximity. When Turner and Tucker introduced the white lions into the wild 14 years ago, scientists were skeptical that they would adapt to hunt and be able to camouflage in the bushveld. Turner says the lions integrated quickly into the environment and are thriving.At the time, Marah was leaving scat in various parts of the reserve. Tucker believes this was a sign that the lioness was doing well. “In her scat, she was showing us that she was okay. One scat had porcupine and the other had duiker hooves. This sort of tracking is an indigenous technique. She was telling us she was okay.”As a scientist, Turner said he was amazed to find the lioness and her cubs were adapting so quickly. Over the years, Turner has come to accept Tucker’s animal communication techniques. “As a scientist I can only record the outcome and over time a pattern emerges and I can only say that science could not explain some things.”Zukhara relaxes in the morning sun after spending a night hunting. The cats at the trust hunt game and occasionally porcupine.White lions a Shangaan heritageTucker not only wants to protect the white lion for its own sake. They are significant to the Shangaan people of Timbavati who believe the white lions to be their kings and queens reborn. Protecting these cats would also mean preserving an important part of Shangaan, and indeed, South African heritage.On a warm November afternoon in 1991, Tucker experienced first-hand just how closely connected the Shangaan are to the lions of Timbavati.When she and a few friends rode out into the bush to witness a lioness giving birth to cubs, they didn’t expect to become prey for a pride of lions. “There were 24 lions around us. There was no radio call at the time,” says Tucker. Having no radio meant they couldn’t call for help.The sun was setting quickly. People first laughed and later they panicked. The lions could smell the fear from their cold sweat. “We were like prey in an open butcher shop. They were in predatory poses, ready to pounce.”Then in the faint light, a woman in sangoma dress carrying a baby on her back and with a little boy beside her appeared. “She walked pass the lions towards us, so surefooted. And the lions became calm and backed off. She climbed on to the vehicle and just held this courage in her hands. She saved us.”The lady was Maria Khosa, a Shangaan sangoma who later became Tucker’s mentor on her own spiritual journey.Today, the Shangaan in Timbavati still honour the lions by performing rituals to appease them. Tucker has taken to these rituals and has been practising an indigenous approach to nature for the last decade. However, this ancient knowledge has been dying out over the last 20 years. “It’s an aural tradition. [Shangaan people] pass it down, word-for-word, believing if you get one word wrong, they’ll be cursed.”One of these practices is the slow cat blink, which she recommends above the staring contest. “Bow your head slightly and close your eyes. Indigenous people have always practised this respectful approach to nature.”Other than the slow cat blink, Tucker has also used animal communication and indigenous knowledge systems to learn more about the lions.Linda Tucker roars for the crowd at one of the trust’s camps. Tucker has immersed herself into Shangaan culture, using their knowledge systems to communicate with lions.For the trust to protect the white lions, it combines indigenous knowledge with scientific rigour. “We combine ancient indigenous knowledge with modern ecological knowledge. The ancient system believes nature is one living organism that works together,” she says.There were no white lions in Timbavati before she started the trust in 2002. After rescuing Marah, a lioness cub, from a hunting camp in 2000, she vowed to return the white lion to the land and its people. Two years later, Marah and her three cubs were the first white lions to be introduced to their ancestral homeland of Timbavati, much to the Shangaan community’s delight.Getting the community to helpThe trust is turning to the Shangaan community, and particularly its children, to help protect the white lion. The StarLion Programme educates the community in Timbavati about protecting the white lions found in the area.The programme’s One United Roar campaign gets youth and adults to be the voice for the lions, especially when speaking to policymakers attending CITES CoP17. As part of the campaign, youth members are posting messages on the trust’s YouTube channel, calling for the protection of lions.Tucker says the campaign recognises that all the policies governing wildlife do not represent the animals’ perspective. “We thought ‘how do we get lions as the silent stakeholders in human policies, to have a voice and a vote?’ We thought the only way to do that was for people to go into the position of the lion. And the best way to do that was through kids because they were much less indoctrinated than we were and they could feel from a lion’s perspective what it was like.”Read more about One United RoarEarning nature’s trust againZukhara and his brother, Matsieng, walk towards a hunt they could smell a kilometre away. They separate into what Turner calls a pincer formation.They mark scents on trees as they move along. And when they reach a grove, they meet again and drop to the ground. “Their strategy is to lie in wait separately, picking up scents. The females might have hunted or attempted a hunt,” says Turner, while sticking half his body out of the driver’s side window.The trust he has for the lions is two-way. Not once have the lions attacked him, despite his being exposed to them on numerous occasions. When they first moved here, the animals were terrified of humans, explains Turner. But with him and Tucker showing the animals love and respect, nature – at least in Timbavati – has learnt to trust humans again.A typical male lion paw print. Male lion paws are larger and its toes more splayed than lionesses. Measurements taken from a lion’s paw print can also help Turner guess its age. Such tracks can also help determine the direction the lion is headed.Quick facts about lionsIn the 1800s there were 1.2 million lions in the wild. Now there are between 21 000 and 35 000.Lions have lost 50% of their land/range in last 30 years.Up to 1800, lions could be found throughout Africa, stretching across the Middle East and into India.A white male lion rescued by the trust was going to be hunted for R1.6-million.A roar can go as far as two kilometres.Roars communicate that this is the lion’s territory. One male lion had 65 back roars. Rivals in Timbavati only manage half of that.last_img read more

MTN-Qhubeka invited to Tour du Suisse

first_img11 March 2014 Further evidence of Team MTN-Qhubeka’s growing status was provided on Monday when the South African UCI Professional Continental cycling team was given a wild card invitation to be part of the 78th Tour de Suisse, a World Tour stage race taking place from 14 to 22 June. The World Tour includes cycling’s Grand Tours, the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana. MTN-Qhubeka’s goal is to earn invitations to the three events. Hard work paying off “Our World Tour programme keeps growing and shows the hard work the team put in last year is paying off,” Team Principal Douglas Ryder said in a statement. “We have had some fantastic results recently in stage races with our African and South African riders and to be able to race in a World Tour stage race as iconic as the Tour de Suisse is huge. “Many teams use the Tour de Suisse as a final preparation race for the Tour de France, and so for Africa to be a part of this race is just a massive opportunity,” Ryder said. “Linus Gerdemann will lead the team in this event, a race he has participated in six times previously and where he won his first race as a professional cyclist.”‘My most favourite race’ Gerdemann is excited to see his new team in his favourite race. “The Tour de Suisse is my most favourite race of all races,” he said. “It is incredibly well organised and races on the most beautiful terrain. It is also where I won my first professional race so it will always be a special race for me. “Our team is very well suited for this race and we will work hard to do a good result there.”2013 victories Last year, Team MTN-Qhubeka recorded the second most wins among Pro Continental teams, with 16 victories. The most high profile of those was Gerald Ciolek’s stunning win in the Milan-San Remo. They will be joined at the Tour de Suisse by two other wild card teams, the Swiss Professional Continental Team IAM Cycling and the Polish team CCC Polsat Polkowice. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Airports Authority Jamaica donates 9 million to ODPEMs Help Impacted Islands Initiative

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Jamaica, October 18, 2017 – Kingston – Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ) has donated $9 million to the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management’s (ODPEM) ‘Help Impacted Islands Initiative’ to assist Caribbean countries affected by the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria.The cheque was presented during a ceremony held on Friday (October 13) at the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management headquarters in Kingston.   The distribution of the Funds will be done through the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDMEA).Among the islands impacted by the passage of the hurricanes include: Anguilla, Barbuda, Dominica, Turks and Caicos and the British Virgin Islands.In his remarks, Director General of the ODPEM, Major Clive Davis thanked the AAJ for its generous donation, which he said, sets the example for other organizations to follow suit in giving generously to these islands which are in dire need of assistance.“The suffering is far from over. Reports coming out of Dominica are that the rebuilding process is going to be long and challenging. The Airports Authority has seen the need, has identified with the cause and we will ensure that those persons in need benefit from this donation,” he said.For his part, President and Chief Executive Officer of the AAJ, Audley Deidrick noted that because of the extreme damage done to the islands, “we found it necessary to make this presentation to the Government.”“I am happy to show our Caribbean brothers and sisters that the government and people of Jamaica stand with them in their time of need,” he said.The ‘Help Impacted Islands Initiative’ is aimed at providing support to the impacted states of the Caribbean.   Donations may be made in two forms, that is, monetary and in-kind.   Monetary Donations may be made at any branch of the National Commercial Bank, under the account Name: ODPEM donation account (Oxford Road Branch), account number: 212-387-304.Persons may also donate items such as: bottled water; non-perishable/canned food items; tarpaulins; diapers; sheet sets; collapsible water containers; hygiene products; flashlights/ lanterns; and batteries.The items can be delivered to the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management at 2-4 Haining Road Kingston 5 on Mondays to Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.Release: JISlast_img read more