Baby-friendly status given to 6 hospitals

first_imgThe Public Health Ministry, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), on Monday continued its Baby-Friendly Initiative by accrediting six hospitals across the country.The hospitals which were accredited are: the West Demerara Regional Hospital, Davis Memorial Hospital, Mahaicony Cottage Hospital, Mahdia District Hospital, Lethem Regional Hospital and the Upper Demerara Hospital.Public Health Minister, Dr George Norton among representatives of the newly accredited baby-friendly hospitalsAmong the criteria necessary to attain baby-friendly status, hospitals are to have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all healthcare staff, they must inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breast feeding, and give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk unless medically indicated.The overall objective of the breastfeeding project, from its inception, was to improve the health of infants through the promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding, further aiming to ensure that there were baby-friendly hospitals in all the regions of Guyana.Speaking at the ceremony, Public Health Minister, Dr George Norton stressed the importance of breastfeeding.“The Ministry of Public Health, and, by extension, the Government of Guyana, recognises that breastfeeding is a unique process that provides ideal nutrition for infants and contributes to their growth and development. For this reason, the Food Policy Division of the Ministry has collaborated with the WHO and UNICEF, to implement the Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) here in Guyana,” he said.Dr Norton pointed out that in 1992, when the breastfeeding project was launched globally, “it was no coincidence that Guyana also had relatively high infant mortality and morbidity rates due to diarrheal diseases, acute respiratory tract infection and malnutrition.”The BFHI External Assessment was coordinated during the period February to March 2015, and 12 out of the 19 hospitals in the BFHI programme had signalled their readiness to be assessed to determine their BFHI status.“It is noteworthy that Guyana is the only country in the English-speaking Caribbean with hospitals accredited with the Baby-Friendly Hospital status. I wish to take this opportunity to thank all of those persons who worked tirelessly to ensure that the necessary criteria were met and to urge you to maintain baby-friendly status in those six hospitals,” the Public Health Minister said.In addition to the accreditation ceremony, a two-day follow-up workshop, which is in preparation for the next round of BFHI External Assessment, was also opened.last_img read more

Australian report highlights SA

first_img5 January 2004An Australian report into trade and investment opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa has given the region a strong vote of confidence.The report, African Renewal: Business Opportunities in South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Kenya and Uganda, says the five countries “stand out as having good economic growth prospects among the economies of sub-Saharan Africa”, compare favourably to east Asia in terms of governance and growth, and therefore “warrant a closer look”.South Africa and Botswana, in particular, are seen as having higher incomes and therefore as providing the greatest short- to medium-term opportunities for investment.Drawn up by Australia’s Economic Analytical Unit, the report aims to help Australian businesses take advantage of emerging opportunities in the region.The five economies account for 76% of Australia’s trade and investment in sub-Saharan Africa, while South Africa alone receives 64% of its investment in the region. Australia’s largest focus for trade and investment worldwide is southeast Asia.“We are already taking this market (sub-Saharan Africa) very seriously”, Australian High Commissioner Ian Wilcock was quoted by Business Day as saying at the launch of the report in Johannesburg this month.“We don’t pretend there are no problems [in the region]”, Wilcock said, referring to HIV/Aids, crime and limited human capital, among the other deterrents mentioned in the report.“But the essential message is that Africa is open to business; it is well worth Australian business taking a look.”The report highlights the favourable business environment in sub-Saharan Africa, saying “international business people generally find their counterparts in these economies professional, accessible and courteous.”It found few business regulations that actively inhibited investment, noting that foreigners can invest in most sectors and that authorities generally allow for 100% foreign ownership.The South African mining industry, as well as that in Botswana, is seen as “strong”. The report highlights South Africa’s mining charter, stating that it “means new miners establishing in South Africa need to form a joint venture with a black mining partner”.Among the major investment prospects listed in the report are mining, agribusiness and related goods and services, infrastructure, education, financial services, tourism and information communication technologies.According to the report, South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique encourage minerals processing industries, and opportunities exist in the “tapped and untapped” mineral wealth of the countries.In terms of infrastructure, the report says all five governments prioritise the provision of infrastructure, and as such opportunities exist in developing roads, rail, energy, water, ports and telecommunications.Shortages of skilled and technically trained labour in the region presents “one of the best” opportunities for Australian educators. Opportunities for investment also exist in banking technology and advanced financial products.The report highlights export subsidies as among several non-tariff barriers to trade. Others included “opaque customs procedures” and import/export licensing. The report said that tariffs in the region were falling, but were still relatively reporterlast_img read more

National development plan unveiled

first_imgTrevor Manuel, minister in the Presidency for the National Planning Commission, has presented the ambitious National Development Plan to Parliament. (Image: The Presidency) MEDIA CONTACTS • Mac Maharaj  Spokesperson, the Presidency  +27 12 300 5312 or +27 79 879 3203 RELATED ARTICLES • Manuel to head global green fund • Zuma: shared prosperity for all • Zuma: we are equal to the task • No stopping Africa’s growth: reporterTrevor Manuel, the minister in the Presidency for the National Planning Commission, has presented the first national development plan to President Jacob Zuma.Speaking before a packed House in Parliament, Manuel detailed the ambitious strategy that, if properly and successfully implemented, will see South Africa boast an employment level heading towards 90%, no poverty, and strong economic growth of 5.4% annually, by 2030.Political parties have hailed the plan, describing it as “historic”.But they were also cautious, and some even downright sceptical, about whether the government would manage to implement it.“The plan’s success or failure will entirely depend on if the president will rise to the challenge of aligning his policies with the goals and objectives of the NDP,” said the Democratic Alliance’s Lindiwe Mazibuko.Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi expressed a similar view, saying that the plan was commendable, but that he wished to “raise the IFP’s concern on the implementation of this plan.”Mosiuoa Lekota of the Congress of the People leader doubted that the government was able to deliver, although he admitted that he was excited about the prospects for growth.Pieter Mulder of the Freedom Front Plus said the plan’s content gave cause to hope, but its success rested on a few factors, one of which is a capable civil service.Read a summary of the national development plan in PDF form (774kb). Individual sections are also available for download.The complete text of Manuel’s speech follows:South Africa belongs to all its peoples.We, the people, belong to one another.We live the rainbow.Our homes, neighbourhoods, villages, towns, and cities are safe and filled with laughter.Through our institutions, we order our lives.The faces of our children tell of the future we have crafted.Ladies and gentlemen, that is our vision for South Africa in 2030, anchored in our Constitution. Today, we want to remind all South Africans that it is our future, let us build it!Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly and Chairperson of the NCOPMister PresidentDeputy PresidentMinisters and Deputy MinistersHonourable members of the National Assembly and National Council of ProvincesFellow commissionersGuests and fellow South AfricansToday is a historic occasion. We are gathered here in a joint sitting of both houses of Parliament for the release of the first National Development Plan for South Africa. This plan is the product of thousands of inputs and perspectives of South Africans. It is a plan for a better future; a future in which no person lives in poverty, where no one goes hungry, where there is work for all, a nation united in the vision of our Constitution.It is a plan for our collective future. It is up to all of us to make it work. We speak of a future with expanding opportunities. We speak of a future we must shape, because we care and because we cannot miss the opportunity to do so.The plan we hand over today is about the actions that all of us must take to secure the future charted in our Constitution. The plan is about our dreams and aspirations and detailed actionable steps to achieve them.Over the past two years, the commission has listened to thousands of South Africans from all corners of the country, from all walks of life. We received comments from individuals and organisations and engaged with government departments, provinces, municipalities, state-owned enterprises and agencies.The consultation process revealed three broad messages from citizens.In the first instance, South Africans from all walks of life expressed a deep patriotic commitment to South Africa, a love for their country, a desire to see it succeed. There is an incredible amount of goodwill out there that needs to be tapped and harnessed.Secondly, South Africans expressed concerns, honestly and frankly but constructively, that there are problems in our country that need strong, focused leadership from all. They spoke of joblessness, children who could not read or count, services that functioned on rare occasions and of public officials who were cold and uncaring.Thirdly, there was an overwhelming sense from all, including organisations representing millions of people, to be part of the process of making South Africa a better place and to take action to put collective interest ahead of narrow sectoral concerns.These are the real strengths of our South Africanness.We are humbled by this support and effort from South Africans who want to be part of the process of change by taking ownership of the plan and displaying a willingness to play their part in implementing the plan.  Mr President, it would be a profound wasted opportunity if we do not harvest the goodwill and determination and afford our people that opportunity to rise to greatness.The commission made a special effort to listen to young people. Young women and men talked of the difficulties of finding work, of the frustration at not getting their foot into the door, of their pain at not receiving a regular income and of basic things in life that being jobless excluded them from, such as starting a family. They also spoke to us about the ravages of crime on their lives and their communities. They expressed concern that good policies are poorly implemented and therefore fail.Ladies and gentlemen, these are the voices of our youth expressing their frustrations that stem both from the inter-generational effects of apartheid and from shortcomings in our collective performance since 1994. The plan we present today focuses on how we can translate our political emancipation into social and economic benefits for all South Africans, but particularly for young people. That we change the life chances of young people is critical for the future of our country.The methodology used in the plan was to set overarching objectives, to set key targets for various sectors and to make recommendations on how these targets can be achieved. This is a broad strategic plan, not a detailed Goss plan. The commission has been careful to distinguish between a broad strategy, specific policies of government and the day-to-day actions of business, government or trade unions.Honourable Presiding Officers, the commission has drawn from our Constitution the perspective that the future we must construct is one where no person lives in poverty and where together we deal decisively to root out the deep inequality that we have inherited. We are convinced that our country can and must eliminate poverty. We have used a simple poverty measure of R432 per person per month in today’s prices. Modest as this amount is, there are still about 39% of South Africans who live below this line. By 2030, no one should live in poverty. The other measure which is much more difficult is inequality. Economists use a measure called the Gini co-efficient to measure income inequality – the higher the measure, the more unequal the income distribution is. South Africa has a very high Gini Co-efficient of 0.69; we seek to reduce that to 0.60 by 2030.Honourable members, development is a complex process. Our approach to tackling poverty and inequality is premised on faster and more inclusive economic growth, higher public and private investment, improving education and skills, greater use of technology, knowledge and innovation and better public services all leading to higher employment, rising incomes and falling inequality.The National Development Plan affords us an opportunity to rethink our strategy. A holistic approach is required, with progress across several fronts simultaneously over a long period of time.While we can measure income and income inequality, the concept of a decent standard of living is much broader than income. A decent standard of living includes healthy nutrition, access to household services such as water and electricity, available public transport, quality education and skills, safe communities, decent healthcare, full employment, accessible recreation and leisure and the entitlement to a clean environment. The commission’s approach is to address living standards inclusively for all South Africans. It recognises that government on its own cannot improve living standards. We require determined and measurable action by all social actors and partnerships across society to raise living standards.Development planning is about building linkages between these various strands of everyday life.For example, better quality schooling will make it easier for young people to access the labour market. But it also enables workers to improve their productivity, to learn faster on the job and to raise their incomes and living standards. Poor quality education, on the other hand, locks people out of the labour market and when people do find work, traps them in low-paying, low-productivity work.There are other dimensions of this story as well. Good quality public transport helps people search for work over a wider area; it helps them get to work faster and more cheaply, but it also assists in permitting people to live fuller lives with more recreational and family time, and it reduces the harmful environmental effects of traffic jams. Social protection helps shield families and workers from unforeseen events such as death, illness or injury, its key objective is to level the impacts of shocks between those who, for example earn sufficient to insure against unforeseen events and those who are too poor to do so.Public investment complements private investment, which is critical for job creation and for employment. We argue strongly that the harmful effects of spatial separation, one of the pillars of apartheid that we have not yet succeeded in demolishing, be broken down. Our towns and cities must house us differently, must connect us differently, must afford us space to play and pray. We must retain the option to remain in the countryside because we should be able to have access to a sustainable livelihood there. The commission takes a holistic approach to development with detailed plans in 13 areas that link and interact with each other.In addition to the physical aspects of development, the plan also recognises the social such as the need for social cohesion to underpin faster progress, the need for greater accountability of leaders in both the public and private sectors, for citizens to be active in their communities and in public life and for a capable and developmental state that is effective, caring and innovative. The plan must bind us, strand by strand, into one united and successful nation.Honourable Members, a point worth noting is that the commission is making a case for what needs to be done by all, regardless of political persuasion or station in life, if we are to live out those great values in our Constitution. When we raise targets – the numbers we use are precise targets, that which we must aim for! Now we are aware that we will not hit all of these, but all of us need a consciousness of how wide off the mark we actually are. It is also important to introduce into this discussion the reality that no nation has attained all of which it desires – there needs to be public discussion that is sufficiently inclusive and mature to construct the trade-offs between what we can do immediately and what can be deferred. This process only works if there is both honesty and accountability.The commission has also identified other enabling milestones to achieve the broad objectives of the plan. For example, we would have to create an additional 11-million jobs over the next two decades. Per capita income should rise from about R50 000 per person to about R120 000, but distributed more evenly across the population. The economy would have to expand to almost three times the present level. The share of income accruing to the bottom 40% of the population should rise from 6% to 10%. Ninety percent of children in grade six should be able to read, write and count at the appropriate level, and all children should have access to proper nutrition from birth to ensure proper formative development.Now, it is worth digressing to remind all South Africans that between that desirable state and the present, where even the school nutrition programme is difficult to implement, lies a huge chasm. The object of the plan is to bridge such a chasm – why does food not get delivered to children? Is it the capacity of officials charged with the responsibility? Might it be that food is too expensive and impossible to secure? Might it be that tenders get in the way of the objective of feeding children? Or might it be that decision-makers are too wealthy to care? Whatever the issue, a plan must boldly raise the breakdown and invite all South Africans to become part of the solution.Honourable Speaker, these targets are more than just arbitrary or distant points on a road map. They are carefully calibrated milestones along a path to prosperity and equity for all.Despite massive progress since 1994, on the present trajectory, we will not achieve our target of eliminating poverty and reducing inequality by 2030. Without faster progress, there is a real chance that South Africa could slide backwards while dealing with the immense challenges overwhelming our capacity to succeed. For these reasons, we must accelerate the pace of change, work harder and better to move towards the vision we all aspire to. It is possible. We are capable as a nation of achieving these bold and ambitious but realistic objectives. When we unite and work together, we can achieve miracles. Our history is testament to this.Our plan to eliminate poverty and inequality rests on six pillars.The first is to unite all South Africans around a common programme to fight poverty and inequality and to foster a spirit of unity. But this will remain a hollow call unless we can improve the lives of young black people. To promote social cohesion, the commission proposes that the preamble of the Constitution be displayed in all workplaces and schools and that all South Africans are encouraged to learn at least one indigenous African language. We also propose ways to improve the efficacy of redress measures such as black economic empowerment and employment equity.The second pillar is active citizenry. Working individually and collectively with others in the community, citizens have a critical role to play in their own development and in the development of our country. The idea that people sit back and wait for government to deliver is neither feasible nor consistent with ‘people-centred’ development. Honourable Speaker, citizens and communities have a responsibility to hold their leaders accountable for their actions; it is up to every single one of us to hold our leaders responsible for implementation of the plan.The third pillar is a growing and inclusive economy. Without faster and more inclusive economic growth, it will not be possible to deliver on the objectives that we have set for ourselves. We need this to help pay for the development of capabilities such as education and infrastructure to improve the life chances of our people. The main change we seek is an economy that is more labour absorbing. We need to create more jobs, and make progress in broadening ownership of the economy.Our economy is caught in a low growth trap. To reverse this, we require higher investment, better skills, rising savings and greater levels of competitiveness. We do not suffer a poverty of ideas; our weakness is in implementation. The commission identified critical factors that contribute to this flaw and makes several proposals to deal with it. Among them is improving coordination within government and with other social partners to boost investment and employment. The plan also identifies a deficit in trust between business, labour and government that needs to be reversed if we are to build this economy.The main target in respect of the economy is to raise employment by 11-million to 24-million by 2030. This will require an extraordinary effort and the plan provides a detailed account of how this can be achieved.The fourth pillar of the plan addresses the urgent need to build capabilities. Capabilities apply to both people and the state. For some, capabilities might be adequate nutrition or a bus to get to a place of work. For others, it might be a college certificate to boost the chances of getting a job. Across the country, capabilities cover things like what broadband speed we would require, the amount of energy we would need to power a growing economy, port capacity to support a diversified economy or the water supply that meets the needs of households, industry and agriculture. The plan sets targets for energy consumption, the carbon intensity of the energy supply, water supply, rail and port capacity and internet connectivity.The fifth pillar is a capable and developmental state. We define a developmental state as one that is capable of intervening to correct historical inequalities and to create opportunities for more people. A capable state needs to be professional, competent and responsive to the needs of all citizens. We seek a professional civil service which can weather changes in political administrations. The president has mandated the commission to focus on 2030 – between the present and that date there will be at least four national and provincial elections, and at least three municipal elections. The plan is for all South Africans and cannot therefore focus on electoral cycles. The commission makes proposals covering the political administrative interface, personnel training and development, policy processes and coordination within and between spheres. Building a capable and developmental state means building the capacity of the state to effectively implement its key priorities and programmes. The tendency to outsource everything, including at times, our thinking, must end.The sixth pillar is the responsibilities of leadership throughout society to work together to solve our problems. South Africa’s progress in navigating the transition from apartheid to democracy was built on the ability of leaders to put aside narrow sectarian interests in favour of national interest, leaders who were able to put aside short-term political agendas for long-term benefit. To achieve the South Africa that we all desire, we require leaders to put the country first, to put the future ahead of today.Honourable Speaker, the approach of the commission has been to scan the external environment with a view to understanding what is likely to have an impact on our future. Allow me to present a few of the highlights from this exercise. The global economy is changing, with a rising share of production and wealth generation occurring in developing countries in general and Asia in particular.There is a resurgence of development on the African continent, with the region enjoying its longest period of economic growth in half a century. Africa’s voice on global forums is becoming louder.Globalisation will continue apace with both risks and opportunities for all countries. Countries that position themselves to take advantage of the opportunities while protecting their economies (and the poor) from risks will do better over the next two decades.Science and technology have and will continue to shape development in ways that open up huge opportunities for humanity in general, including poor countries. Innovation is essential for a middle income country such as South Africa to progress to high income status.Climate change is and will continue to affect the world, with the worst effects likely to occur in Africa. We confront greater climate variability and more shocks such as floods and droughts.The commission also looked at demographic trends and their likely impact. The trends we identified offer opportunities as well as risks. On the positive side, our population growth is slowing and is expected to expand at less than 1% a year to reach 58.5-million by 2030 and life expectancy is rising again, quite rapidly. Also in our favour is the fact that we have a young population, which could prove to be a major boon but could also be a danger if we don’t address the problem of joblessness.Honourable Speaker, these trends will have an impact on our development, in the same way, the world today is different from the one into which our democracy was born 18 years ago.The world is changing at breath-taking speed. Countries are steaming ahead, taking extraordinary measures to boost their economic performance, develop their industries and invest in research and development. But, the global environment is also fraught with risks – we observe that much of the world is caught in a wave of low economic growth right now. Much of this will linger for some time. This will impact on our plans for higher growth. We need to understand these trends in order to minimise risks and to explore opportunities. A failure to act will not just see us being left behind. It will also confine future generations to poverty and hopelessness.The single most frequent comment or question from the public has been about implementation. Given weak capacity in the state and low levels of trust and cooperation between major social partners, how will this plan be implemented? The commission stresses that implementation rests with society as a whole, led by government and the executive.But we do believe that, during the course of our work, we have come a long way in forging the beginnings of a common approach. Discussions between the commission and government departments were often robust and frank. There were areas where departments were able to convince us that we were wrong on certain issues. There were also several areas where we were able to persuade and convince departments of the correctness of recommendations in the draft plan when departments did not originally support the recommendations. There are areas where our plan differs from existing plans or policies. It is very much in the nature of planning that, going forward, there will need to be an alignment of plans both within and outside of government to the broad strategic plan being proposed today. Parliament and society at large have a critical role to play in promoting such alignment and in holding various parties accountable for implementation.Let me set out how we see the next steps. In the first instance, it is expected that Cabinet, led by the president, will consider this plan, adopt the key recommendations of the plan and set in motion a focused programme to implement the plan. We must stress that this is not just a plan for government. There are actions and responsibilities for business, for labour, for civil society and for individuals. The commission outlines the factors critical for the success of the plan. These include the need for careful sequencing, prioritisation and to mobilise all of society.The plan will only succeed if we share collective responsibility to hold one another accountable to get things done. As the commission, we will play our part. The life of the commission does not end with the handing over of the plan. The President has appointed the commission for a five year period and we are only about half way through our term. The commission will continue to mobilise society in support of the plan, conduct research on issues impacting on the country’s long term development, advise government and other social partners on implementation of the plan and work with relevant institutions to monitor and report on progress in achieving our long term objectives. Outside of government, the commission will meet with social partners to discuss their role in implementing the plan and construct an accountability chain for key recommendations.In addition to the thousands of comments from the public and hundreds of meetings, this plan is made possible because of the time, dedication and selflessness of the commissioners. These are indeed outstanding South Africans who have risen to the difficult challenge set by the president. The commissioners are experts who come from different backgrounds. The manner in which they worked together to achieve consensus on complex issues provides hope that leaders from diverse backgrounds throughout our country can rise to the challenges of our time and resolve our complex problems. For me, it has been a privilege to work with such passionate and hardworking South Africans.The commissioners will join me in applauding the diligence and tirelessness of our small but exceedingly effective secretariat. The secretariat has been led by Kuben Naidoo since its inception. He is an absolutely wonderful, bright, honest, committed and diligent public servant. We are sad to take leave of him at the end of this month – we want to assure him of the best wishes of each and every commissioner in his new endeavours.The president did not issue a tough challenge and then walk away. He has provided constant guidance and support to the commission through difficult and at times daunting periods. The commission would not have been able to produce work of this quality without that support and encouragement and we thank him for it.Honourable members, ladies and gentlemen, our future is under construction and we now have a plan for its construction. Building on our history and our collective achievements since 1994, our challenge is to build a future fit for our children, a future that our people deserve. We have an opportunity to construct a future we all want. We must not squander this opportunity. The decisions we make today, the actions we take over the next five, ten, fifteen and twenty years will determine where South Africa’s future is successful or whether we are just another hopeful but ineffective state unable to satisfy its people’s dreams. Fellow South Africans, the changes we seek and the outcomes we all desire will not happen on their own. In fact, we can confidently say that without a change in pace and approach, our vision will remain elusive.The National Development Plan is an opportunity to remake the future, to re-energise our people to strive for a future that is worthy of our proud history, built in the vision of our Constitution. The National Development Plan is a call to action to unite as a country, to unleash the energies of our people to build a better future. It is our future, we have to make it work!As a commission we enjoin all South Africans to grasp this opportunity. The plan is here. Let us join forces to make it a reality.Thank you.last_img read more

Varsha used my lost pistol, Asha Bhosle tells police

first_imgSinger Asha Bhosle has said that her daughter Varsha committed suicide here with a pistol that belonged to her and which she had lost nearly 30 years ago, police said on Wednesday.Varsha , 56, shot herself in the head on Monday. She was the second of the three children of Asha and Ganpatrao Bhosle and stayed mostly with her mother at Prabhu Kunj building in south Mumbai’s Peddar Road.Initially, police recovered a Belgian-made pistol from the spot which was registered in the name of Anand, Asha Bhosle’s youngest son.”We spoke to Asha briefly on Tuesday night, when she claimed that her daughter committed suicide with the pistol she had lost. Asha had informed police about the lost pistol and her licence had been revoked,” Inspector Pradip Lonandkar told IANS.Lonandkar said that police also have another pistol in their possession registered in the name of Anand. “Anand is not in town and might return soon. We are likely to question him on Thursday,” he said.Investigators said that they were inquiring how Varsha found the lost pistol and whether she had hidden the weapon 30 years ago.Police sources said that the post mortem report confirmed that Varsha died of haemorrhagic shock due to bullet injuries. Three loaded cartridges were also found in the pistol she used to kill herself.Varsha , who used to work as a freelance journalist, was divorced from sports journalist Hemant Kenkre. She wrote columns for web portal, The Sunday Observer newspaper and the Gentleman magazine, among others.She had also been a playback singer for some Hindi and Marathi movies and performed in a few concerts alongside her mother.She was depressed for many years and had also tried to commit suicide in 2008 and 2010 by consuming heavy doses of sleeping pills.advertisementlast_img read more


first_imgTouch Football Australia brings you the latest edition of “A Set of Six” with this week’s rapid-fire news ‘plays’ from around the Country. TFA’s National Media Coordinator Karley Banks brings you up to date every week with a selection of six ‘plays’ on the latest news, views, and events nationally.Welcome to Touch Football Australia’s “A Set of Six” – Volume Twenty Nine.SOUTH AUSTRALIA (SA)Play # 1Touch Football South Australia Welcome Aboard New Faces to the OfficeMr. Matt Cross begins work this week as the new TFSA State Branch Manager.Matthew has a background in sports marketing and has worked in both AFL and soccer and has a vast scope of networks within the local community.In other staffing news, Kyra Mc Mahon has been working as the casual Administration Assistant during the TFSA office’s transition period. She is also Competition Co-ordinator at the Western Districts Affiliate and will be first port of call for TFSA in her new role of Administration Officer.Pania Mariu also begins this week as a Game Development Officer whose areas of concentration will be Program and Event Management after previously holding down the Administration Officer position in South Australia.Other events: A level 1 Referees Course was held in Clare with 12 new referees being put through their paces by Simon Millcock.Clare President and Competition Coordinator Karen Pink, in a bid to boost referee numbers, made providing a duty referee compulsory part of the nomination process for the summer season.The Clare affiliate are providing fee reductions to teams who referee four or more games this season in a bid to further attract referees to adequately service the expanding competition.The Touch Football South Australia website: # 2AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY (ACT)ACT Staff “Grow the Mo”During Movember (the month formerly known as November) the lads in the ACT Touch office are all growing a Moustache. That’s right, the ACT “hunk of spunks” are bringing the Mo back because they’re passionate about changing men’s health and the fight against male depression and prostate cancer.Following on from the efforts of the boys in the NSWTA office who participated in Movember last year, the ACT lads will keep the Touch Football flag flying for this keynote cause that has the potential to make a huge difference to so many Australian men.Depression affects 1 in 6 men and most don’t seek help. Untreated depression is a leading risk factor for suicide. Last year in Australia 18,700 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer and more than 2,900 died of prostate cancer – equivalent to the number of women who die from breast cancer annually. Men are far less healthy than women. The average life expectancy of males is 5 years less than females.To sponsor the ACT Touch Mo Bros please go to: and enter the registration number 184163 and your credit card details. Or you can sponsor by cheque made payable to the “Movember Foundation” clearly marking the donation as being for Registration Number: 184163. Please mail cheques to: PO Box 292, Prahran VIC 3181. All donations over $2 are tax deductible.The money raised by Movember is donated to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and Beyondblue – the national depression initiative, which will use the funds to create awareness, fund research and increase support networks for those men who suffer from prostate cancer and male depression.Stay tuned for updates on the ACT Boys progress during Movember.Enquiries to ACT Touch Association on (02) 6212 2880 or [email protected] events: ACT Touch will be holding Level 1 Referees Courses on both 4 and 5 December 2007 at the ACTTA Offices, Deakin ACT. Enquiries to ACT Touch Association on (02) 6212 2880 or [email protected] Australian Capital Territory website: TERRITORY (NT)Play # 3 In the upset of the round in the Darwin Men’s competition, Bundy Bears confirmed their premiership favouritism with a hard fought victory over last year’s premiers Palmerston Bulls 6-5. Leading the third placed Bulls 3-1 at oranges; Bundy never gave up the lead.In other Men’s Division 1 results, Dream Team easily accounted for Honkers 12-3 who were without a number of their key players. Crocs had to dig deep with only six players to overcome a full strength Incredibles 7-4. Only two rounds remain until the Finals series. In the Women’s Division 1, Divas winning run came to and end with the young side being beaten by Scorpions 8-4.Palmerston Bulls account for All About Us 6- 2, whilst Crocs had the bye.The Darwin Junior competition has three rounds remaining with all teams fighting for positions for the finals. Many teams are close on the ladder, so some exciting clashes are expected.Other news: Northern Territory Touch would like to advise all their members of the Annual General Meeting to be conducted in Darwin on Saturday 1 December 2007.In conjunction with the Annual General Meeting the Annual State Council meeting will also be held on the Saturday 1 December 2007.The Northern Territory website: AUSTRALIA (WA)Play # 4WA Super League Round Four ActionNorthern Districts hosted Round 4 of the Super League series and both their teams threw down the gauntlet to their rivals with impressive displays.In the Women’s Open, Northern took on the youthful and skillful Fremantle outfit.Fremantle came into the contest with form on their side defeating Tompkins Park the previous round, and also accounting for Northern in the 2006/2007 Series, the only team to do so.Northern had made a poor start in defending their title with a win, loss, and a draw from their first three games. But on their home ground they put out a sincere message that they are still a force to be reckoned with. Former Australian Open Mixed World Cup winner Angela Doyle and Elyse Guatta were superb for the home side, helping Northern to a 5-2 victory. The win now puts Northern into second place on the ladder.In the Men’s Open, Northern did not disappoint the home crowd either with a hard fought 3-1 win over Fremantle. Northern have been the real surprise packets of the tournament with consistent performances throughout. The litmus test for the Northern combination will be next round against Southern Stars. In other results in the Women’s division, Southern got home over Tompkins Park 4-2, whilst Perth Brothers put on a clinic in their 12-3 demolition of Rosalie in the Men’s competition.Other Events: This weekend there will be Referee Courses all across the state with Level One courses being held at Kalgoorlie, Geraldton, and Fremantle. There will also be a Level Two course in Geraldton on the same weekend. Much credit must go to the new WA Referee Panel and Presenters for commitment to providing courses for members. Initiatives are being put into place to retain and develop the latest influx of referees in order to further grow the sport in the state. The Western Australian Touch Association website: www.touchwest.comVICTORIA (VIC)Play # 5 Final Round of VT League loomingThe final round of the inaugural VT League season will be at Trinity Grammar School’s Bulleen playing fields on Friday 23rd November 2007, with the Women kicking off the night’s matches at 6.30pm. Don’t forget the Grand Final at Port Melbourne Sharks Soccer Club off Williamstown Rd on December 1 2007 at 2.30pm.Rounds 7 and 8 of the VT League was played at Endeavour Hills Rugby Club, and the results were:Round 7Men: Casey Cougars 8 d Melbourne City Lions 7; University 7 d Bayside Vipers 3Women: Casey Cougars 7 d Melbourne City Lions 4; Bayside Vipers 8 d University 3Round 8Men: Casey Cougars 8 d Bayside Vipers 2; Melbourne City Lions 6 d University 2Women: Bayside Vipers 4 d Casey Cougars 3; Melbourne City Lions 5 d University 4Other Events: Endeavour Hills started their first official competition Round on Thursday at Frogs Hollow Reserve. With 6 teams registered from the local community it’s a family atmosphere for the new competition.Traralgon Touch started their season this week, with 28 teams competing over Tuesdays and Thursday evenings. Games are played at Davidson St Oval, Davidson St Traralgon and if you want to pull on the boots or would like more information, contact Marcus Roylance on 0409 754 487 or [email protected] Touch Association, Victoria’s biggest regional Association, needs referees to officiate the massive 44 teams that play over 5 divisions on Wednesday evenings at McEwan Reserve. If you live near by and would like to help out, or even play a game or two, please get in touch with Brett Hand on 5821 0644 or 0428 996 075, or [email protected] The Victorian Touch website: (QLD)PLAY # 6Origin Training Camp ChangeThe venue for the first Queensland Touch State of Origin Camp has been changed to the Caboolture Touch playing fields Petersen Road, Moray Field on the 1st and 2nd of December 2007.The camp for Queensland’s 13 age division teams was originally scheduled for Redlands, but some upgrading of the fields meant a change of venue was in order for the first of Queensland’s three compulsory camps in the lead-up to the State of Origin series against New South Wales in August 2008.Other events: SQBD hosted their Annual Sharks Cup at Labrador on Saturday 17 November 2007.The All Mixed affair was contested in 18 Years, Opens, Seniors, and masters divisions with some great touch and good fun had by all participants.The Queensland Touch website:’s it for this week’s edition of “a Set of Six”.Please be sure to check out each State’s website this week for all the latest information, news, and views in Touch Football from around the nation.last_img read more

10 months ago​DONE DEAL: Cardiff winger Pilkington joins Wigan

first_img​DONE DEAL: Cardiff winger Pilkington joins Wiganby Ansser Sadiq10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveCardiff star Anthony Pilkington has signed for Wigan on an 18-month deal.The 30-year-old has not played a single game this season and is now leaving the Welsh side after being there for the past four and a half years.He managed 23 goals in 111 appearances for the team.But he will be at Wigan for the next 18 months, where he hopes to get back into regular first team contention.Wigan boss Paul Cook said in a statement: “Anthony has good experience in the Championship and Premier League, I am delighted to bring him to Wigan Athletic.”He won promotion with Cardiff City last season so he knows what it takes to do well at this level and I am sure he will be a big asset to us for the rest of this campaign and beyond.” About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

20 Million David Geffen Fund Gift Announced At AFTD Benefit

first_imgToday the dementia epidemic affects millions of Americans, with the numbers only projected to increase in years ahead. On Thursday night, AFTD’s Hope Rising Benefit drew more than 425 attendees, who gathered seeking to bring an end to frontotemporal degeneration (FTD), the most prevalent cause of dementia for people under 60.Held at The Pierre Hotel in New York City, the event marked the passing of Si Newhouse. AFTD’s CEO Susan L-J Dickinson announced that the organization had received a major gift in Si’s honor: The David Geffen Foundation has now established the David Geffen Fund at AFTD. Contributions to this Fund will provide a total of $20 million over the next ten years to sustain and deepen AFTD’s work to end FTD.The gift represents a close friendship between Mr. Geffen and Si Newhouse, both dedicated art collectors with similar tastes who frequently found themselves bidding against each other and grew to love talking about art and their collections.“I am proud to partner with the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation in supporting the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration,” David Geffen said. “This fund will enable AFTD to continue to lead the way in expanding our understanding and treatment of this horrible neurodegenerative condition,” he added.“AFTD is a very effective organization with three missions: to fund research, to support the afflicted and their caregivers and to increase awareness of frontotemporal degeneration among professionals and the public. David’s partnership with the Samuel I Newhouse Foundation will greatly increase AFTD’s ability to carry out its missions…” said Donald Newhouse, brother to Si and President of Advance Publications, Inc. “He is a great friend who reacted so thoughtfully to my wife and my brother having suffered from primary progressive aphasia, a variant of FTD.”At Thursday’s event, AFTD presented U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer with the Susan Newhouse & Si Newhouse Award of Hope, in recognition of his decades-long work as a strong proponent of biomedical research and his ability to foster bipartisan support for these efforts.“There is no doubt it will take a village to beat FTD and the pain it brings to families,” Senator Schumer noted. “Our collective work to combat this condition through awareness and advocacy, along with federal and private dollars, has charted a path to winning the fight over a disease that so callously robs those afflicted of memories and the fullness of human connectivity. We extend thanks to people like David Geffen, who is so dedicated to the cause, and the Newhouse family for their tireless work, their selfless care and their enduring hope along the way.”About AFTD’s 2017 Hope Rising Benefit: AFTD is grateful to event co-chairs Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., David Geffen, Donald Newhouse and Anna Wintour. Tony and Grammy Award winner Cynthia Erivo closed the evening, ending with a show-stopping performance of “Let It Be” in honor of Si and Victoria Newhouse. Paula Zahn hosted, and Dr. Halima Amjad (Johns Hopkins) shared her professional and personal perspectives on FTD. Attendees enjoyed recipes inspired by Joan Harper’s Cooking with Adrienne.last_img read more

Statistics Canada says trade deficit hit record 41 billion in March

first_imgOTTAWA – Record high imports helped push Canada’s trade deficit to a record for March as it grew to $4.1 billion, Statistics Canada said Thursday.However, despite the shortfall, economists noted that exports also rose, though not as quickly.“Today’s trade release was expected to be a ho-hum affair, but a surge in two-way trade completely changed that story,” CIBC economist Royce Mendes wrote in a report.“Canada’s deficit now stands at a record level on the back of what appears to be strengthening domestic demand.”Canadian imports climbed six per cent to $51.7 billion in March due to the motor vehicles and parts sector as well as consumer goods.Imports of motor vehicles and parts rose 8.3 per cent to $10.3 billion, the strongest increase since 2011, while consumer goods climbed 7.7 per cent to a record $11.0 billion.Meanwhile, exports increased 3.7 per cent to $47.6 billion, boosted by the aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts sector as well as farm, fishing and intermediate food products and energy products.Exports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts rose 24.3 per cent in March to $2.3 billion, while farm, fishing and intermediate food products increased 14.7 per cent to $2.8 billion.Exports excluding energy products rose 3.6 per cent.In volume terms, imports rose 5.3 per cent and exports grew three per cent.Regionally, Canada’s trade surplus with the United States narrowed for the fifth consecutive month to $1.7 billion in March compared with $2.3 billion in February.Imports from the U.S. rose 3.1 per cent in March due in large part to higher imports of passenger cars and light trucks, while exports to the U.S. rose 1.2 per cent, led primarily by higher exports of crude oil.Canada’s trade deficit with countries other than the United States increased to $5.8 billion in March from $5.2 billion in February.last_img read more

City awards tender for 5 million water recovery facility

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Fort St. John City Council has awarded the tender to build Phase 2 of a water recovery facility to a local firm.At Monday’s meeting, councillors voted in favour of awarding the tender for the project to Fort St. John-based Knappett Industries Ltd. for the price of $5,037,664. Knappett’s bid was the second-lowest of the five submitted, however, city staff said that the  $4,186,000 bid from WL Construction had a major error and had to be rejected. Furthermore, the City’s General Manager of Integrated Services Victor Shopland said that even if the error hadn’t been made, WL’s submission would have been higher than Knappett’s. Including engineering work, the project will total $5,577,664.00, which is $1,922,336.00 under the city’s $7.5 million budget. In his report, Shopland said that there is still roughly $2,000,000 left in construction costs for the first phase of the project, 1, which had a tendered start date in 2017 and a completion date in 2018. He said that Phase 2 has a completion date some time in 2019.last_img read more