World Cup: ‘South Africans to thank’

first_img20 August 2010Political parties across the spectrum have echoed President Jacob Zuma’s praise for South Africans, attributing the success of the 2010 Fifa World Cup to the passon and patriotic spirit of ordinary citizens of the country.During Wednesday’s joint sitting of Parliament to debate the successful hosting of the World Cup, the people of South Africa emerged as the true stars of the tournament, and were lauded for their contribution by Zuma and political party leaders alike.Democratic Alliance leader and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille said the single greatest achievement of the World Cup was the way it had changed stereotypes.“We demonstrated that Africa is not ‘the hopeless continent’ that The Economist magazine said we were 10 years ago,” Zille said. “We showed the Afro-pessimists that we have enormous potential. And we started to believe ourselves again.”The leader of the African Christian Democratic Party, Kenneth Meshoe, said the World Cup went beyond all expectations. “Yes, Africa did it and South Africa did it in style.”The World Cup brought with it a sense of joy and harmony that South Africans had never experienced before, Meshoe said, added that the image of country had been improved immeasurably thanks to the success of the tournament.Royith Bhoola of the Minority Front said South Africa had gained the respect of the world when Sepp Blatter gave the country a near-perfect 9 out of 10 for its hosting of the event.“Our organisational ability in sport goes to show that we are a nation that we can be proud of,” Bhoola said, adding that the success of the World Cup had renewed faith and hope in South Africa.“Accolades must be awarded to all South Africans, who showed the true spirit of brotherhood and patriotism,” he said.Freedom Front Plus leader and Deputy Agriculture Minister Pieter Mulder thanked South Africans who had dared to dream that the country could host the World Cup, quoting Robert Goddard of the American space programme, who said: “Every dream is a joke, until the first person accomplishes it.”Mulder pointed out that most journalists both internationally and locally, pessimistic about the country’s ability to host the World Cup before the tournament began, had only positive things to say about South Africa once the soccer spectacle was over.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Ohio’s crop dusters reflect on good year in the air, on the ground

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest It’s the time of year when industry groups come together to celebrate accomplishments, reflect on the past, and look ahead to the future. Aerial applicators, more often known as crop dusters, did just that in Long Beach, Calif. earlier this month.“We’re always looking to stay on the cutting edge of things,” said Brian Gibbs, Ohio crop duster with Gibbs Aero Spray.Gibbs serves the northern portion of the state and deals heavily with vegetable crops. He said it’s good to keep with the latest updates, especially in the hi-tech industry that is agricultural aviation.“It’s good to talk to people here. I’ve got friends from Louisiana to California to the Midwest. Everybody does things a little bit different and it’s neat to hear everyone’s input. It really helps us to stay on the cutting edge of things just by hearing what other people are doing and what’s worked for them and what chemicals and fungicides had benefitted their farmers.”Gibbs also finds the annual convention a good time to reflect on the past year.“We had another safe, productive season. I think everybody was real happy and actually surprised on how well things ended up turning out. Soybean yields were better across the board than people expected and I think corn was off a little bit, but not as bad what people feared,” he said. “Our acres were probably about average to what they normally are. Corn fungicide was a little slower because of the dry spell we had through the middle of summer, but we treated quite a few acres of soybeans. Obviously the cover crop deal was big again this year so all in all, I think it was a good year. I’d take more of them this way every year.”The nationwide organization for ag pilots, the National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA), is celebrating a milestone as they celebrate the 50th anniversary of their organization.“NAAA is basically our nationwide representation for aerial applicators,” Gibbs said. “They do anything from lobbying in Washington for regulations and different things coming down the pipe to basically just providing a storefront for these guys to get together and display their products and get everybody in the same room so we can talk and ask questions.“It’s a lot like what the farmers do with Farm Science Review. It’s exactly that same setup. Here at the convention hall today, I can see three airplanes and a helicopter from where I’m standing,” he said.The NAAA, founded in 1966, represents approximately 1,900 members in 46 states. Ohio has a unique connection to the agricultural aviation industry, being the birthplace of crop dusting after the treatment of caterpillar infestation by airplane near Troy, Ohio in 1921.As with any lobbying organization, the NAAA is heavily involved in legislative issues. Farmers may think they have it bad when dealing with regulations, but compared with the regulatory hurdles of a hi-powered aircraft loaded with chemicals, the difference is vast.“The NAAA has been working a lot with the EPA and the Clean Water Act. There’s some permitting that’s been required here recently that is pretty burdensome to aerial applicators across the nation. It applies to ground applicators too, but unfortunately we’re sometimes more in the public eye and tend to get wrapped up in those situations more,” Gibbs said. “The process is not such a big deal to file for, but just getting them to understand that a lot of our business is on demand and guys call and want stuff done that day, the following day, or yesterday. And trying to get those permits through the government, it’s not happening that fast. That makes it pretty difficult to do our job successfully when you’ve got those issues.”Gibbs also mentioned an interesting time for drones across the country has made them especially curious for ag pilots to deal with.“Some of the biggest things we’re dealing with right now is obviously the UAV, drone technology. With them being so accessible to the public, how can we work together with the people selling them or using them to make sure we all stay safe? The last thing we want to do is have a drone strike in somebody’s back yard because we’re trying to spray a field behind their house and there’s somebody out there with a drone flying around,” Gibbs said. “The NAAA has been working the FAA to try to sort out some of these regulations to keep it best for both of us. It’s a cool technology that’s really useful to the farmers. There’s a lot of benefits to it and our organization doesn’t want to see it go away, but we just want to make sure that we have input so we can all safe at the end of the day and go home to our families.”Gibbs said overall, it’s a strong time in the agricultural aviation industry in which communication is paramount.“I think it’s stronger then ever. We’re really trying to reset our image to being professional and using a lot of technology now that we didn’t before. Just trying to get the word out that we’re not out to hurt anybody, we’re just trying to do our jobs and provide a service to the agricultural industry,” he said. “Sometimes the only way for them to get work done is by using us. Like I said, a lot of younger guys here getting involved in the industry and a lot of older guys to talk to get some mentorship, so I think the overall health is good.”last_img read more

2 days agoMijatovic can see Mourinho returning to Real Madrid

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Mijatovic can see Mourinho returning to Real Madridby Carlos Volcano2 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Real Madrid sports chief Predrag Mijatovic can see Jose Mourinho returning to the club.Mourinho is being linked with Zinedine Zidane’s job at Real.And Mijatovic admits he can see it happening: “If Zidane came back and I never thought it would happen, why can’t Mourinho return to Real Madrid? “All the coaches who go through Madrid want to come back because they want to fix things they did during their time at the club.”But Madrid has a coach, his name is Zidane and you have to respect that.” last_img read more

Health Ministry Joins Call for Safety on the Roads

first_img Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, is reiterating calls for persons to take care on the roads as they travel across the country to visit with family and friends during the festive season.Speaking with JIS News Dr. Tufton noted that “we have seen too many road traffic crashes, and this has significantly disrupted the lives of families and loved ones. Also, the health sector continues to come under severe pressure, and I want to implore all Jamaicans to exercise extreme caution during the festive season”.He is imploring persons to practise good road-safety habits, such as driving at a moderate speed; starting their journey at a reasonable time in order to avoid having to rush; always using seat belts; ensurimg that children are using proper safety gear; and getting a designated driver if you consume alcohol and other substances.According to the Health Metrics and Evaluation of 2015, road traffic crashes are the 11th highest cause of premature deaths in Jamaica.In addition to fatalities, it is estimated in the report that more than 10,000 persons are injured annually in road traffic crashes.The treatment of these injuries puts a strain on the healthcare sector and significantly impacts productivity, primarily among young people.Road traffic injuries may also require long-term rehabilitation, while in more severe cases, persons may be unable to return to formal employment due to permanent damage such as amputation or severe brain injury.Road crashes are associated with increased substance abuse and a general increase in travel, among other things. Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, is reiterating calls for persons to take care on the roads as they travel across the country to visit with family and friends during the festive season. Speaking with JIS News Dr. Tufton noted that “we have seen too many road traffic crashes, and this has significantly disrupted the lives of families and loved ones. Also, the health sector continues to come under severe pressure, and I want to implore all Jamaicans to exercise extreme caution during the festive season”. Story Highlights He is imploring persons to practise good road-safety habits, such as driving at a moderate speed; starting their journey at a reasonable time in order to avoid having to rush; always using seat belts; ensurimg that children are using proper safety gear; and getting a designated driver if you consume alcohol and other substances.last_img read more

The NFLs HomeField Advantage Is Real But Why

As the NFL playoffs approach, teams will be competing hard down the stretch to secure home-field advantage for at least one postseason game. It’s also the reason teams like the Rams and Saints, who have comfortably locked up a playoff spot and even home field for their first playoff game, will risk injury to their starters as they chase home field for a potential conference championship game. This all makes good sense: Over 57 percent of games are won by home teams in the NFL, putting the road team at a distinct disadvantage.The benefits of playing at home in the NFL are clear. Statistician and FiveThirtyEight contributor Michael Lopez, along with Gregory J. Matthews and Benjamin S. Baumer, found that the effect of home field-advantage in American football is second only to the NBA among the major sports. But what is less clear is why.Michael Lombardi, NFL analyst and former front-office executive, believes that much of the disadvantage stems from players being unable to hear the snap count. According to Lombardi, losing the ability to hear the count takes away the offensive line’s inherent advantage of knowing when the play will start. This allows linemen and skill players to burst off the line and get a small early advantage on the defense. This loss of first-mover advantage on the offensive line — I’ll call it the Lombardi hypothesis — then manifests itself as road teams being less effective running the ball.The Lombardi hypothesis is intuitive. Most fans who have watched an NFL game in Denver or Seattle have seen the effects crowd noise can have on an offensive line’s ability to communicate. It’s not a huge leap to think that lower rushing efficiency might be the natural result of a loud crowd. But is it true? Are teams less effective running on the road? And if teams are less effective rushing on the road, how confident can we be that crowd noise is the cause?To find out, I took play-by-play data generated by Elias Sports Bureau from 2009 through Week 15 of 2018 and broke out all rushing plays by home and away team. I then plotted the distributions of yards gained per rushing play for both groups to see if there was a difference between rushing effectiveness for home and away teams.It turns out that road teams are indeed slightly less efficient rushing. Home teams average 4.37 yards per carry while road teams average 4.27, a tenth of a yard less. The distributions of yardage gained on rushing plays are extremely similar, however, and the disadvantage road teams face when rushing the ball is quite small. Assuming both teams ran 30 times in a game, we would expect the road team to rush for just 3 less yards than the home team.The relative benefits to the home team are magnified if we look at rushing expected points added, which account for game context like down, distance and field position. EPA per rush play is negative for both home and away teams, -.073 away vs. -.058 for home teams, but it is slightly less negative of a proposition for the home team. Over those same 30 rushing plays, we would expect the home team to lose 1.7 points, while the away team would be expected to lose 2.2 points, good for a half-point differential.So the first part of the Lombardi hypothesis appears to be correct: It is slightly harder to run on the road than at home. But is crowd noise the most likely cause? As a first approximation for a loud crowd, I broke out the rate at which both home and road teams were penalized for false starts1Using the same Elias data from 2009-2018.. We might expect more false start penalties to be called on the away team in a hostile, loud environment than the home team. Yet this not what we find. From 2009 through Week 15 of 2018, false start penalties were called on 1.4 percent of all home team plays and 1.34 percent of road team plays.This is a strange result if crowd noise is the driver of road teams’ lower rushing efficiency. To validate the finding, I drilled down into situations where teams were either backed up inside their own 10 yard line or in their opponent’s red zone. We’d expect the home crowd to be especially boisterous in those high-leverage situations, leading to more false starts for the road teams. But again that isn’t the case. Road teams were penalized for a false start on 1.44 percent of such plays, while home teams were penalized at a nearly identical — but still higher — rate of 1.47 percent. There’s other research that suggests crowd noise is not a factor in NFL team performance as well. Economist Tobias Moskowitz and Sports Illustrated writer L. Jon Wertheim were also unable to find evidence that crowd noise affects player performance. In the NFL specifically, they found that kickers and punters appear to be unaffected by crowd noise — undermining another common perception.But if crowd noise can’t explain home-field advantage, then what does? Unfortunately, the answer to this rather fundamental question remains elusive. Probably the best evidence for a true home-field advantage comes in the form of the sports teams in Denver. It may be the case that Denver’s high win percentage at home, especially early in the season, is dragging up the home league-wide home-field advantage. Each mile-high team in the major sports enjoys a home-field advantage far above those of their peers. The reason for it can be traced back to temperature and altitude. Playing at a high altitude without properly acclimating to it, especially in warmer temperatures, is a legitimate physiological disadvantage.I asked Lopez, who is now director of analytics for the NFL, his opinion on what drives home-field advantage, and he was circumspect. “It really is unclear,” he said. Lopez identified a few areas that might account for at least some of advantage, including referee bias in high-leverage situations.“If you look at the 15 most impactful, controversial calls in games over the past few years I think you’d find that maybe 14 of the calls went for the home team,” Lopez said. Next Gen Stats data might hold promise in this regard, however. “Using the ball-tracking data we have available, there are probably incremental ways we can help make official’s lives easier while increasing fairness in the game,” Lopez said.Lopez also noted that some recent studies have shown a drop in the size of the effect of home-field advantage. The drop could perhaps be explained by more comfortable travel, or better institutional controls on referee bias. How much these factors explain the 57 percent win rate home teams enjoy is difficult to say. Blaming crowd noise and its hypothesized effect on home-team rushing efficiency, however, appears to be unfounded. read more

NFL draft Raekwon McMillan selected by the Miami Dolphins in the second

OSU junior linebacker Raekwon McMillan (5) takes the field with the Buckeyes before their game against Michigan State on Nov. 19. The Buckeyes won 17-16. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorFormer Ohio State middle linebacker Raekwon McMillan was selected by the Miami Dolphins in the second round with the 54th overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft. The former OSU captain manned the middle of the defense the past two seasons and was named an Associated Press second-team All-American.A five-star prospect from Hinesville, Georgia, McMillan enrolled early at OSU and played in all 15 games as a freshman in 2014 during the team’s national championship-winning season. The linebacker split snaps at middle linebacker with then-senior and current New York Giants linebacker Curtis Grant, racking up 54 tackles, 2.5 sacks and an interception which he returned 24 yards for a touchdown.The next two seasons in Columbus, McMillan took sole possession of the starting middle linebacker position. The 6-foot-2, 240-pound linebacker led the Buckeyes in tackles the past two seasons with 102 tackles in 2016 and 119 tackles in 2015. As a sophomore, he was a second-team All-Big Ten selection and, as a junior, he earned first-team All-Big Ten honors.The 20-year-old early entry to the draft picked up 18 career tackles for loss as a Buckeye, tallied six sacks and defended 10 passes.At the NFL combine, McMillan ran a 4.61-second 40-yard dash, the third-fastest time by any linebacker, behind former Michigan linebacker Jabrill Peppers (4.46) and former Florida linebacker Duke Riley (4.58). This marks the third of four years that an OSU linebacker has been drafted. Former Buckeyes linebacker Ryan Shazier was drafted with the No. 15 overall pick in the first round by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2014 NFL draft. Darron Lee, McMillan’s former teammate, was drafted by the New York Jets with the 20th pick of the first round in 2016.NFL.com’s Mike Mayock ranked him as the ninth best linebacker in the draft. ESPN analysts Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. ranked him as the seventh and fourth best inside linebacker in this draft class, respectively.McMillan will play his first NFL game in Miami when the Dolphins take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Hard Rock Stadium on September 10. He will return to his home state in the sixth week of the season when the Dolphins take on the Atlanta Falcons on October 15. read more

Bahamas monitoring US protected status withdrawal says high level talks with Haiti

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppNASSAU, New Providence, Bahamas – November 24, 2017 – Haitians living in the United States have 18 months to regularize their status or they will have to leave the US and the Bahamas Ministry of Foreign Affairs says this move by the Trump Administration will impact The Bahamas.Foreign Affairs Minister Darren Henfield said yes, The Bahamas is watching the situation where the temporary protected status is being lifted, it is a measure welcomed by States but rejected by migrant groups who have been domicile in the US for decades.Minister Henfield explained, the Bahamas government is organizing a mission to Haiti for high level talks on migration challenges, which he thinks should work in tandem with joint economic initiatives.Henfield explained that he is advocating a multi-faceted approach with greater collaboration from the Haitian government moving forward; but these maneuvers he cautioned will not override Bahamian law as it relates to illegal migration.  In the Bahamas similar measures are being taken, with the deadline for regularization set for December 31, 2017; in the Turks and Caicos, the deadline is past for illegal migrants to gain legal status or leave the country.  Immigration Operations are now reactivated since the September storms in the TCI.It is said some 69,000 Haitians will be impacted in the US by the measure, Garcelle Beauvais actress, model and producer of Haitian descent is again advocating for her compatriots. Related Items:#garcellebeauvais, #tpslast_img read more