Autism assistance dogs open up a world of possibilities

first_imgLifestyleNewsAutism assistance dogs open up a world of possibilitiesBy Staff Reporter – July 17, 2017 1337 THE average cost of training a dog for a child with Autism is €15,000 but the benefits are priceless.Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland (AADI) has opened up a world of possibilities for children with autism by providing highly trained assistance dogs to help them achieve a level of independence that would be highly improbable in normal circumstances.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The dogs are provided free of charge but the demand has increased to such an extent that there is now a five year waiting list for a service that has benefitted several Limerick families over the past seven years.Established seven years ago in Mallow, AADI is a small dynamic charity with two full-time and two part-time staff supported by more than 50 dedicated volunteers who provide essential services and fundraising to support the 18 month training course for the dogs.Vivienne Collopy, who has charge of the Limerick AADI operation, explains that assistance dogs increase safety levels for children with Autism who have a tendency to ‘bolt’ and have no sense of danger.“In public places, the child is attached to their assistance dog, which is under the control of an adult at all times. This makes outings possible and pleasant, creating a sense of inclusion for the whole family, which otherwise may not have been possible.The dog also helps to lower the child’s anxiety levels in situations they may otherwise find overwhelming and can help to improve social and vocal skills.“They allow for greater public understanding that the child has a disability and is not just having a tantrum. The dog also gives the child greater independence and helps them to learn responsibility by becoming involved with feeding and grooming routines. The dog generally creates a positive change in behaviour and can be a source of comfort when upset. Volunteer puppy fosterers with Jazz and Jamie, two of the eight Golden Retriever/Labrador cross pups from the first litter of Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland’s (AADI) new breeding programme.Photo: Jenny Griffin Billy Lee names strong Limerick side to take on Wicklow in crucial Division 3 clash Facebook WhatsApp Picture: Cian Reinhardt/ilovelimerick TAGSAADIAutism Assistance Dogs Irelandlimerick Twitter Predictions on the future of learning discussed at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival Email WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads center_img Linkedin Print Advertisement RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Limerick Artist ‘Willzee’ releases new Music Video – “A Dream of Peace” The dog wears a specially designed jacket which is connected to a belt around the child’s waist. There is also a handle on the dog’s jacket for the child to hold on to. The parent holds onto the lead controlling and giving instruction to the dog.The dogs are taught to walk ahead with the child and to respond to various commands including left and right turns, standing at kerbs and locating objects such as doors and crossings.Vivienne explains that all assistance dogs have a high standard of obedience and social behaviour as they have to access to public places including shops, restaurants and cinemas.“The dog lives with the family in the home environment and it is recommended that the dog goes everywhere with the family.“We provide assistance dogs to children between the ages of three and thirteen on the Autism Spectrum. Specific criteria are required before being accepted for an Assistance Dog, if these criteria are met a detailed application form is sent out to the families to be completed and returned. At this stage they are placed on a waiting list prior to a home assessment.It costs €15,000 to provide a fully trained dog to a child with autism. AADI relies solely on donations, receiving no funding from the government to breed, train or place these assistance dogs.The charity, which suspended its waiting list two years ago, has since received over 800 enquiries.The success of a new breeding programme, following the birth of the national charity’s first litter of puppies, has provided some hope that the waiting list can be shortened in the medium term.The eight Golden Retriever/Labrador cross pups are part of a programme initiated two years ago to tackle the five-year waiting list for children with autism who need a highly-trained assistance dog.With the success of its new breeding programme, AADI now has ambitious plans to train and place 20 dogs a year.Chief executive and founder Nuala Geraghty said: “These dogs are life-changers for the children and their families. As our charity relies heavily on volunteers, we urgently require funds to support the puppies in their journey to become highly-trained assistance dogs. Our organisation depends entirely on the generosity of the public to raise the €15,000 needed to train each pup. We are asking people to donate money or to get in touch with us if they have an idea for a fundraising initiative.”The training process includes the dog being placed with a volunteer foster family when they are between two to 15 months old. The dogs are house trained, taught basic obedience and are socialised in several different environments to prepare them for their life as an assistance dog.The dog then returns to the centre in Mallow where it enters its final stages in training. This takes a further five months at which time it is matched to a suitable child and family who will have already been assessed and accepted for an assistance dog. The family goes through intensive training to ensure they are confident before taking the dog home and this is then followed up by aftercare visits to the home by the AADI Instructor.AADI also provide companion dogs for children and adults on the autism spectrum. These are highly trained dogs that have had some intensive training but do not have the required skills to become a certified assistance dog with full public access.These dogs have been shown to improve physical and mental health in people with a disability. The day-to-day care of the dog helps increase the level of responsibility and confidence in the owner as well as providing opportunities for social interactions.To ensure a supply of suitable dogs, AADI operates a puppy programme consisting of 12 to 15 puppies from eight weeks to 15 months of age that are placed with volunteer foster families throughout the Munster region. All costs including equipment, vet fees and dog food are covered by AADI.The charity also has its our own breeding programme and have just had their first litter of Golden Retrievers crossed with Labradors in February. The long-term strategy plan is to develop the breeding programme to increase its success rate in producing suitable pups for training and placement.For more information, see www.autismassistancedogsireland.ieRead Lynn’s story here. Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live Celebrating the success of Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland’s new breeding programme is Cali McMahon, daughter of volunteer puppy fosterers, with Jessie, a Golden Retriever/Labrador cross puppy Photo: Jenny Griffin Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live Previous articleNiamh immortalised in WRWC stampNext articleEvery family should have the chance we got – Lynn’s AADI story Staff Reporter last_img read more

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ITF Bans Cecchinato for 18 Months for Match-fixing

first_imgItaly’s Marco Cecchinato has been banned for 18 months and fined 40,000 euros (£33,500) for match-fixing, says the Italian tennis federation.The 23-year-old world number 143 was found guilty of altering the outcome of his match against Kamil Majchrzak at an ATP Challenger in Morocco in October. Riccardo Accardi and Antonio Campo have also been banned and fined for their roles in attempts to fix matches.Accardi was given a 12-month ban while Campo was suspended for four months.Cecchinato, who is able to appeal, was found guilty of “several other instances of sports corruption” and suspended until January 2018.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img

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Waiting for the window of opportunity at Red Bull Ultra Natural

first_imgThe field is on the hill and ready for the perfect window of opportunity.Sixteen of the world’s best snowboarders are fine-tuning the equipment at Baldface Lodge outside of Nelson in preparation for the second Red Bull Ultra Natural.The competitors arrived Thursday as helicopter after helicopter trekked boarders up to the mountain top resort and now wait for that single day between now and February 21.The single day competition ensures that the event takes place under only the best possible conditions – a mix of deep powder, good sunlight, and safe conditions.Waiting for the 16 best is the 45-plus degree slope nicknamed “Scary Cherry” within Baldface’s tenure — a course put together by none other than Travis Rice, the 2012 champ. The riders will be met with a wider start area, more line options, more than 80 refined on-course features, additional creative transitions and an even more inspiring jib section. This year riders will be judged on overall impression of their run with the better of two runs counting.Added to the mix because of an injury to Kazu Kokub is Austrian rider Wolfgang Nyvelt.“I was really looking forward to riding with everyone again this year and hope to join everyone again next year,” said Kokubo. “Good luck to all the riders, get some powder for me.”The list of riders ready for the challenge at the 2013 Red Bull Ultra Natural include: Travis Rice, Gigi Rüf, Nicolas Müller, Lucas Debari, Wolfgang Nyvelt, Jake Blauvelt, David Carrier-Porcheron, Eero Niemela, Terje Håkonsen, Mark McMorris, Pat Moore, Mikey Rencz, Torstein Horgmo, Bode Merrill, Jussi Oksanen and Bryan Fox.Fans in the U.S. can tune-in to NBC on March 30th at 1:30 p.m. ET/10:30 a.m. PT to catch Red Bull Ultra Natural presented by Nike Snowboarding.The show airs as part of the Red Bull Signature Series, an action sports property featuring some of Red Bull’s top events including Dreamline, Wake Open and Rampage.  The Red Bull Signature Series is the most progressive and innovative action sports property in the world, featuring surfing, snowboarding, mountain biking, skiing, BMX, wakeboarding and motorsports events.  For more information, please visit watch the event trailer and learn more about Red Bull Ultra Natural, please visit read more

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South African golfers in winning form

first_img15 December 2008It was a good weekend for South African golfers as Richard Sterne claimed the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek and Tim Clark captured the Australian Open at Royal Sydney after both courses bared their teeth in the final round.Thomas Aiken had stolen the headlines at Leopard Creek, with a blistering course record of 11-under-par 61 in the third round. It was four shots better than the next best effort – 65 by Keith Horne – and took him into a one-shot lead over the USA’s Len Mattiace on 18-under-par 198.A group of four players followed four shots off the pace, including Sterne, Sweden’s Oskar Henningsson, and England’s David Lynn and Robert Rock.UnpredictableThe unpredictable nature of golf soon showed its face as Aiken struggled with his game. He started strongly with two birdies in the first four holes, but finishing the front nine with a bogey.The inward nine took the title away from Aiken; he bogeyed the tenth and then double-bogeyed the eleventh. After settling into a steady stream of pars, he finished with a bogey on the final hole.While he went backwards, Mattiace moved to the top of the leaderboard, but Leopard Creek was done with generosity for the co-sponsored Sunshine and European Tour event and bit back hard.TumbledThe American tumbled down the standings with a horrific triple-bogey seven at the fourteenth and a second triple-bogey – this time an eight – at the eighteenth.Sterne, meanwhile, exited the front nine with two birdies – at the third and eighth – but then dropped shots at the tenth and twelfth to fall back to level par for his round. His response was excellent, however, as he sank three birdie putts in succession to take him to three-under-par through 15 holes.Successive pars took him to the testing eighteenth, which had been unkind to him in the previous two rounds. Sterne had made a birdie in the first round, but followed that with a triple-bogey and a double-bogey in the next two rounds. This time he managed a par.Challenge overDespite Aiken’s struggles, he had an opportunity to force a playoff with a birdie on the eighteenth, but when he found the water his challenge was over.Sterne won on 17-under-par 271 and picked up the winner’s cheque of €158 500 – roughly R2.16-million. It was his fourth European Tour victory.Sweden’s Johan Edfors equalled the day’s best round of six-under-par 66 to move into a share of second with England’s Robert Rock on 16-under 272.Aiken was forced to settle for a share of fourth with Spain’s Rafael Cabrera Bello on 273.Australian Open surpriseDown Under, Tim Clark scored a victory in the Australian Open that came as a big surprise to him; he was busy enjoying lunch, thinking his tournament was over, when he was summoned to take part in a playoff.Earlier, the South African star, who had contested the Australian Masters and the Australian PGA the previous two weeks, didn’t seem to be in the running despite firing the final round’s best score of five-under-par 67, which left him on nine-under 279 for the tournament.Out on the course, third round leader David Smail of New Zealand appeared to be in complete control of his destiny. He had posted two birdies on the outward nine and his nearest challengers had slipped further back. His lead was four shots.Lead evaporatedEven a dropped shot at the tenth didn’t seem to be that bad and Smail went on to par the next four holes. Then it all went wrong for the Kiwi at the fifteenth where he suffered a double-drop. Another double-bogey followed on the sixteenth and his comfortable lead had evaporated.Pars on the last two holes left Smail a shot adrift of Clark – who had begun the final round seven shots behind the New Zealander – and Matthew Goggin, who had closed with a 69.After Clark was summoned from his lunch, he and Goggin headed for the first playoff hole. It was soon advantage Goggin when Clark found a bunker with his approach to the green.However, he recovered with a superb shot that took him to just two-and-a-half metres from the pin. Goggin’s birdie attempt came up short and Clark then sank his putt for par. When Goggin missed his putt the title was Clark’s.LegendsHe became the third South African to win the Australian Open, following in the footsteps of the legendary Gary Player, a seven-time champion, and Bobby Locke, the winner in 1955.His win was worth A$270 000 – about R1.82-million.Clark will next be in action at Pearl Valley Golf Estates – as will be Alfred Dunhill champion Richard Sterne – in the South African Open from 18 December.Clark is one of five South Africab players ranked in the world’s top 50; the others are Ernie Els, Trevor Immelman, Rory Sabbatini, and Retief Goosen and they will all be contesting the SA Open.Would you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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Meeting South Africa’s guide dogs

first_img “When finished with the training, we will look at the waiting list and see if anyone is suitable,” says Guide Dog Services Manager, Gail Glover. “We will always give preference to people who have had a guide dog before.” It all comes down to making a suitable match. “The dog and person are a team,” she explains. Once all training has been completed and a match has been made, the blind people receiving dogs will go to the training centre for three weeks of orientation and bonding. It costs the blind person R5 for the dog and R100 for three weeks of board and lodging. “After the three weeks, the dog and person will go home accompanied by a trainer for a week or two,” Glover says. “When the dog is working safely and effectively, the trainer leaves.” The association stays in touch with guide dog owners throughout the dog’s working life and pays them regular visits to maintain safety standards. Training and matching dogs with blind owners is only a fraction of the work that the Gladys Evans Training Centre does. Service and social dogs are also trained there to assist people with disabilities other than blindness, such as those with autism or confined to a wheelchair through multiple sclerosis or as the result of motor accidents. Training for service dogs is different to guide dog training as it is food and clicker- based. The process for matching dogs and owners and training them to work together as a team is the same, though.The life cycle of a guide dog The puppies at the centre come from specially selected stock, often from dogs already bred by the association. They live at the centre for the first seven or eight weeks of their life. Training for their future careers begins with sound CDs, which play noises such as hooting cars to acclimatise them to factors they will have to deal with as working dogs. After this, they will go to “puppy raisers” – all of whom are volunteers – for approximately a year. During this period, puppies are socialised as much as possible through socialisation and obedience training sessions, as well as individual home sessions. The dog will then progress to advanced training, which involves obedience training, obstacle and traffic work, among other things.A rich history The association has come a long way since it was founded in 1953 by Gladys Evans after she returned from England with her dog Sheena and rented a temporary training centre in Parkwood, Johannesburg. It moved to its first real home in 1958, to a six-acre property called “Vale Cottage” in Parkmore, Sandton. It was later renamed the Gladys Evans Training Centre and remained the home of the organisation until 1986, when demand outgrew space. The Gladys Evans Training Centre moved to an 11-acre property on Wroxham Road in Rietfontein, where it still stands today. There are also offices in Cape Town and Durban. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material The Johannesburg centre boasts all the necessary facilities to handle and train dogs from puppyhood to retirement, as well as train people receiving either guide or service dogs. It is an independent organisation and relies on donations and sponsorships in addition to its own fundraising initiatives. For more information on the work done by the South African Guide Dogs Association for the Blind, you can visit 21 December 2012 Along a leafy suburban street, a man walks his dog. It could be a scene from any South African town, but this is one duo with a difference. The young Labrador is a guide dog in training and her companion is a professional trainer – known as a guide dog mobility instructor – with the South African Guide Dogs Association for the Blind. The day’s activity involves trainer Joel van Stavel taking his six charges from the Gladys Evans Training Centre in Rietfontein, north of Johannesburg, to busy suburb Parkview. Here the dogs will be put through their paces in what will be a “natural environment” for them once they have graduated and become working dogs.Training the next generation of guide dogs Tyrone Avenue in Parkview provides a perfect training ground for the dogs as it has “everything a guide dog needs and will deal with”. There are stop streets and traffic circles to contend with, busy roads to traverse, as well as human traffic and other dogs to deal with. There is the hubbub of daily life going on around them, which they will need to be able to deal with without getting distracted when they are working guide dogs. Parkview is only one of a number of locations around Johannesburg used for training. “We go to different places for different needs,” Van Stavel says. Norwood, Rosebank and shopping malls around the city also feature as training grounds. “It depends on what the dogs need.” However, training the dogs in public places also poses a risk as many people want to touch the dogs. As it distracts the dogs from their work, the guide dog association encourages people not to pet them without asking first. “Some people, especially children, rush up to touch the dogs,” Van Stavel says. “Stop and ask first, I will never say no.”Adapting to each dog’s personality Van Stavel has been a trainer since 2008, although he has been involved with the Guide Dogs Association since he left school. When a position for a trainer opened, he applied and got the job. There followed a three-year apprenticeship with exams every six months. “During and after your apprenticeship, you are constantly learning,” he says. “One thing doesn’t work for every dog, so you need to adapt.” Like people, each dog has his or her own personality and trainers need to adapt their approach to accommodate each of their charges. Van Stavel’s current class of six is made up of Rankyn, brothers Luca and Lexus, and the “O” sisters: Ohio, Odette and Oakley. Rankyn is an excitable white Labrador with a tendency to get distracted by other dogs. In terms of his training, Van Stavel focuses on doing lots of obedience work with him and calming him down. “I only need to work on his distraction with other dogs,” he says. “He is not bothered by loud noises and traffic; he is the type of dog who could work in Johannesburg city centre, but his issue with other dogs could get him rejected.” There are two reasons a dog in training would be rejected and not go on to graduate as a fully-fledged working dog: health or temperament. Should a dog be deemed unsuitable to work as a guide dog, he or she will be re- homed as a pet. First option goes to the people who have raised and looked after the puppies, and if for any reason they are unable to take on the dog, the Guide Dog Association will find a home. There is a waiting list for these dogs.Sibling rivalry Black Labrador Ohio is one of Van Stavel’s star students and has overtaken her sisters. “Ohio is a little bit ahead of the others.” She is already in harness, while her sisters remain in jacket. “In harness the dog is doing the work, while in jacket the trainer is doing the work and moulding him or her to become a guide dog,” Van Stavel says. Odette and Oakley are both still in jacket. “Odette is not ready for the harness yet, she is lacking in confidence and is scared of dogs barking at her,” he says. “She is also not leading, she is hanging back.” Oakley has no such confidence issues, but having only joined Van Stavel’s training group five weeks ago, she is not at the harness level. “She hasn’t learnt everything she needs to yet.” Golden retriever brothers Luca and Lexus are both advancing well with their training and are in harness. Luca is a sensitive soul, and Van Stavel needs to adjust his training accordingly. “My approach has to be different. Because I’m a big man, I’m dominant over them so need to be calm. “Luca also loves people, which may be his downfall.” Lexus, on the other hand, only battles with motion sickness. “He is the only dog named after a car that gets car sick.”Finding a suitable match Throughout the training process, Van Stavel monitors each of his dogs and mentally tries to match them to people on the association’s waiting list. “Ohio is a slow dog so would be suited to someone who does not live a fast-paced life,” he says. Also, to ensure that the dogs are not responding solely to the trainers, they will work with a blindfold coming to the end of the training cycle.last_img read more

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Nelson Mandela: the world mourns

first_imgOn 9 May 1994, the day before Mandela’s inauguration as president of South Africa, Time magazine ran in-depth features on the “miracle” of the country’s democratic transformation. (Image: Time) Nelson Mandela in the 1960s. (Image: Historical Papers, University of the Witwatersrand) Nelson Mandela working in the Robben Island prison garden in 1977. The photograph, simply titled “A prisoner in the garden” by the National Archives, was taken by a media contingent sponsored by the apartheid government. (Image: National Archives, courtesy Nelson Mandela Foundation) Mandela with Graça Machel, his third wife and the widow of former Mozambican president Samora Machel, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu at a celebration of Tutu and his wife Leah’s 50th wedding anniversary. (Image: Hope Foundation) Expressions of grief and condolence have poured in from across the world after former president, Nobel Peace laureate and statesman Nelson Mandela, the world’s icon of reconciliation, compassion and goodwill, died at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg on 5 December 2013. He was 95. Those 95 years were remarkable.After spending 27 years in apartheid’s prisons, Mandela became South Africa’s first democratically elected president in 1994. He united a fraught and fearful country, bringing together blacks and whites when South Africa was living through violent and troubled times.His legacy is enormous. For 27 years he was South Africa’s icon of freedom, even though apartheid law made displaying his image illegal.At the end of his presidency he continued to work for a better South Africa, mainly through his many foundations. These include the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, and, in his home province of the Eastern Cape, the Nelson Mandela School of Science and Technology, which will open in early 2014. Mandela’s name – and prison number – are also used in the 46664 campaign, a worldwide concert fundraising programme to help victims and orphans of Aids.Troublemaker from the Eastern CapeNelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born on 18 July 1918 in Mvezo in the Eastern Cape province, the son of a chief of the Tembu clan of the Xhosa nation. At the age of seven he was enrolled in the local missionary school, where he was given the European name “Nelson” by a Methodist teacher who found his African name difficult to pronounce. That name, Rohlihlahla, means “troublemaker”.After his father was stripped of his chieftainship following a dispute with a local magistrate, Mandela and his mother moved to the small village of Qunu. In 1927, when Mandela was nine, his father died, and the boy became the ward of the Tembu regent, Jongintaba Dalindyebo. He was to be groomed to assume high office but, influenced by the cases that came before the chief’s court, decided to become a lawyer.In 1939, after he had matriculated from school, Mandela enrolled at the University College of Fort Hare for a bachelor of arts degree. But the following year, after being suspended from college for joining in a protest boycott and fleeing an arranged marriage, he moved to South Africa’s principal city, Johannesburg.Arriving in Alexandra township in the north of the city, he found work as a guard at one of Johannesburg’s many gold mines, and later as an articled clerk at a law firm. He completed his degree by correspondence at the University of South Africa, and began to study law at the University of the Witwatersrand.In 1942 Mandela entered politics by joining the African National Congress (ANC), South Africa’s major liberation movement and today the country’s ruling party. It was during this time that he and a small group of mainly young members of the ANC embarked on a mission to transform the party into a mass movement.In 1944 he, Anton Lembede and Mandela’s lifelong friends and comrades Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu founded the ANC Youth League (ANCYL). That year he also married his first wife, Evelyn Mase. In 1947 he was elected president of the ANCYL.The year 1948 was a dark one in South Africa, with the election of the racist National Party, voted into government by a white electorate on the platform of apartheid. In response, in 1949, the ANC adopted its Programme of Action, inspired by the Youth League, which advocated the weapons of boycott, strike, civil disobedience and non-cooperation with authority.The programme aimed at the attainment of full citizenship and direct parliamentary representation for all South Africans. In policy documents co-written by Mandela, the ANCYL paid special attention to the redistribution of the land, trade union rights, free and compulsory education for all children, and mass education for adults.During the Campaign for Defiance of Unjust Laws in 1952, Mandela was elected the ANC’s national volunteer-in-chief and travelled the country organising resistance to discriminatory laws. He was charged and brought to trial for his role in the campaign and given a suspended prison sentence.Mandela and Tambo attorneysIn recognition of his contribution to the defiance campaign, Mandela was elected president of both the Youth League and the Transvaal region of the ANC at the end of 1952. He subsequently became the deputy president of the ANC.Soon after the defiance campaign, Mandela passed his attorney’s admission examination and was admitted to the profession. In 1952 he and Oliver Tambo opened a law firm in downtown Johannesburg.Tambo, the chairperson of the ANC at the time of his death in April 1993, wrote of their practice: “To reach our desks each morning Nelson and I ran the gauntlet of patient queues of people overflowing from the chairs in the waiting room into the corridors … Our buff office files carried thousands of these stories and if, when we started our law partnership, we had not been rebels against apartheid, our experiences in our offices would have remedied the deficiency. We had risen to professional status in our community, but every case in court, every visit to the prisons to interview clients, reminded us of the humiliation and suffering burning into our people.”The 1950s turned out to be a time of strife and tribulation for Mandela – he was banned, arrested and imprisoned. His personal life was also in some turmoil, as he divorced Evelyn to marry Winnie Madikizela. He was also one of the accused in the historic Treason Trial that ended in 1961, with the state dropping all charges.The Black PimpernelIn 1960 police opened fire on a group of protesters in the township of Sharpeville, killing 69 people. The reaction was immediate, with demonstrations, protest marches, strikes and riots across South Africa. On March 30 1960, the government declared a state of emergency, detaining more than 18 000 people, and banning the ANC and other liberation movements.With the banning, the ANC leadership went underground and Mandela was forced to live away from his family. He was a master of disguise and managed to evade the police, a feat which earned him the nickname in the media as the Black Pimpernel.The banning also forced the ANC to move from nonviolent to violent means of opposing apartheid. Umkhonto we Sizwe, the movement’s armed wing, was formed in 1961, with Mandela as commander-in-chief. After travelling abroad for several months, he was arrested in 1962 on his return to South Africa for unlawfully exiting the country and for incitement to strike. Convicted, he was sentenced to five years on Robben Island, the notorious political prison off the coast near Cape Town.While serving this sentence, he was charged with sabotage in the infamous Rivonia Trial. In 1964 Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment.Eighteen of Mandela’s 27 years in jail were spent on Robben Island, where he carried out hard labour in a lime quarry. As a D-group prisoner, the lowest classification, he was allowed only one visitor and one letter every six months.While in prison Mandela studied by correspondence with the University of London, earning a Bachelor of Laws degree. In 1984 he was transferred to Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town, and in December of that year he was moved to Victor Verster Prison near Paarl in the Western Cape.President of South AfricaOver the years, South Africa slowly descended into near-chaos, with almost constant unrest inside the country, armed insurgency from without, and steadily increasing international pressure from the international community to end apartheid. On 2 February 1990 the country’s National Party president, FW de Klerk, made a remarkable announcement: a negotiated settlement would end apartheid, all liberation movements would be unbanned, and all political prisoners released – including Nelson Mandela.Nine days later Mandela walked out of Victor Verster prison, his wife Winnie on his arm and his fist raised in the liberation movement salute.In 1991, at the first national conference of the ANC held inside South Africa after its decades-long banning, Mandela was elected president of the party. His long-time friend, Tambo, became national chairperson. In 1993 he and FW de Klerk were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their different roles in the peaceful end of apartheid.In 1994, after South Africa’s first democratic elections, Mandela became president of the Republic of South Africa. That year he published his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, which he started writing in prison.After serving a five-year term as president of the country, Mandela ceded the ANC presidency to Thabo Mbeki. He retired from public life in June 1999, though not from the public eye. He built himself a home in his birthplace in Qunu, which he would visit as often as he can.FriendshipsKnown affectionately by his clan name of Madiba, Mandela had friends across the world – Bill Clinton, Bono of U2, Naomi Campbell. Some of his friendships went back over 60 years, as with Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo and Ahmed Kathrada.In his autobiography Memoirs, Kathrada recounted that he and Mandela affectionately called one another madala, isiZulu for old man.“Charming and charismatic, he has both a magnetic personality and a commanding presence,” Kathrada wrote. “An uncommon amalgam of peasant and aristocrat, he is a living paradox: a democrat par excellence, with just a touch of the autocrat; at once proud but simple; soft yet tenacious; obstinate and flexible; vain one moment and humble the next; infinitely tolerant but also impatient.”Kathrada and Mandela spent 18 years together on Robben Island and a further seven in Pollsmoor Prison, along with Sisulu.“For all the public exposure and media attention Madiba remains an enigma to all but his most intimate circle,” Kathrada said.He recounted an incident with a terminally ill girl, Michelle Britz, that was typical of Mandela. She wanted to meet Madiba, and when she met Kathrada on Robben Island, he got to know of her wish. Kathrada passed on her wish to the then president, who sprang into action immediately.“The president of South Africa, a universally respected statesman with one of the busiest schedules on earth, flew to the Mpumalanga town of Secunda by helicopter, bearing gifts for a sick child.“The emotional meeting between Madiba and Michelle was shown on national television, and as she clasped her little arms around his neck and kissed him, the eyes of millions must have filled with tears, just as mine did.”In his honourNelson Mandela was given the freedom of 45 cities around the world, and honorary citizenship of 11 cities.In Johannesburg, his image was cast in a 6m-high bronze statue and stands preserved in his famous jive in Nelson Mandela Square.Speaking at the statue’s unveiling in April 2004, Ndileka Mandela, Madiba’s eldest granddaughter, said: “This is a very happy statue. The dancing stance pays tribute to the spirit of joy and celebration inherent in the people of South Africa.” The countless tributes to him around the world are without precedent. He had 23 schools, universities and institutions named after him; 25 halls, buildings, monuments and housing developments; 13 stadiums, squares, plazas, parks and gardens; 91 streets, roads, boulevards and parks; 32 bursaries and scholarships, foundations and lectures. Thirteen statues, sculptures and artworks carry his name.Madiba collected dozens of accolades from around the world: 18 sports-related honours and awards, and 115 other awards.He had a range of strange items named after him: a landfill site, a spider, a sea-slug, a protea, a tea, an orchid, a rescue dog, and a racehorse.Marriage, children and old age Mandela and Winnie divorced in 1996. In 1998 he married Graça Machel, widow of Samora Machel, the president of Mozambique until his death in 1986.Their wedding anniversary was the same date as his birthday – 18 July. In a 2008 interview with Mike Hanna on the Al Jazeera television network, Machel described how lonely Mandela was when she first met him.“After 27 years in jail, what he most longed for was not the glory of political life, but to have a family life,” she said. “It was a meeting of minds and a meeting of hearts.” Although she hadn’t wanted another marriage after Samora Machel’s death, she decided that her gift to Mandela on his 80th birthday would be to marry him.“Madiba has allowed me to continue to be myself. He has always respected my space. We have a deep sense of sharing, but at the same time we respect each other’s identities.“For a man of his age, a man who has gone through those kinds of experiences, he could have become extremely possessive. He’s not. Maybe that’s what love really means. We have found a balanced and respectful way of relating.”Mandela outlived three of his six children, and only three of his daughters are still alive: Makaziwe, Zenani and Zindzi. He had 18 grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and three step-grandchildren, as well as four step-children from his marriage to Machel.Towards the end of his life he and Machel spent their time in Qunu or at their home in the upmarket suburb of Houghton, in Johannesburg. His greatest pleasure of his old age, he said, was watching the sun set, with the music of Handel or Tchaikovsky playing in the background.A short distance from the tranquil surrounds of Houghton, his famous words from the Rivonia Trial echo on the walls of the Drill Hall in central Johannesburg:“I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal for which I hope to live and to achieve. But if it needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”last_img read more

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SAA celebrates inaugural flight to Abu Dhabi

first_img30 March 2015South African Airways’ first flight to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates departed on Sunday, the airline said in a media statement.“SAA’s first flight, SA 278, to Abu Dhabi departed this morning [Sunday] at 9.30am and arrived at 8.25pm local time in Abu Dhabi. The daily service sees frequencies between Johannesburg and Abu Dhabi double with partner Etihad Airways continuing its seven weekly departures,” said SAA on Sunday.The new network addition will also see SAA’s intercontinental reach expand significantly through the carrier’s onward codeshare partnership with Etihad Airways.The service is operated by a two-cabin Airbus A330-200 aircraft, configured to carry 36 passengers in business class and 186 in economy class.TradeIt is estimated that there are more than 200 South African companies doing business in the UAE and trade between the countries passed the R20-billion mark in 2013, SAA said.The UAE is considered one of South Africa’s top 10 emerging export partners. South African exports to the UAE rose from R5.2-billion in 2009 to more than R11-billion in 2013. It is also estimated that more than 50 000 South African nationals now work and live in the region.SAA and Etihad Airways first signed a codeshare agreement in 2013. “Our deepening relationship not only sees both airlines enjoy network expansion through code-sharing, but together we are exploring means to share knowledge and best practice across a wide variety of aviation related and commercial matters,” said Nico Bezuidenhout, SAA’s acting chief executive officer.Multiple optionsThe airline said that business and leisure travellers would now be able to choose from multiple flight options between Johannesburg and Abu Dhabi on the same day.More than 1 000 connections will also be offered each week over Etihad Airways’ Abu Dhabi hub to key markets including the Middle East, Indian subcontinent, and North and South East Asia including China.The airlines have also significantly expanded their codeshare agreement to include a total of 51 routes, more than double the previous number.“Aviation plays an important role not only in the movement of people and goods but, as an economic growth and development catalyst, and the new service will support this,” said Bezuidenhout.Source: read more

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Hacker Poll: What Do You Think of Internet Explorer 9?

first_imgklint finley How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Why You Love Online Quizzes “People don’t remember this, particularly web developers, but there was a time when Microsoft made the best web browser in the world,” JavaScript guru Douglas Cockford said in an interview at InfoQ late last year. “IE 6 was by far the best and continued to be the best browser in the world for many years after, but the other browser makers have all gotten ahead of them. And there is a chance that with IE 9 Microsoft might get that back.”IE6 may have been the best browser of its time when it was released, but it was never the most standards compliant. And the damage it did to web development as a whole is immeasurable. Microsoft is trying to make amends with Internet Explorer 9, its most standards compliant browser yet.However, there are some issues with last week’s release candidate. The Register takes a look at some non-standards compliant tags in IE9 and wonders if it’s going to be IE6 all over again.Have you taken a look at the new browser? What do you think? Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoidcenter_img Tags:#hack#Polls Related Posts 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac…last_img read more

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Angle, The Shield reign supreme at WWE TLC

first_imgView comments The Raw General Manager dusted off his wrestling boots once again as he stepped up to the plate after the newly-reformed The Shield lost Roman Reigns due to viral infection.And as always, the Olympic Hero showed that he still got it, unleashing his repertoire to help the trio gain the victory over the team of The Miz, Sheamus and Cesaro, Braun Strowman, and Kane.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutIt was a wild match from the get-go that saw the heel team gain advantage. That was until Kane accidentally swung a steel chair on to Strowman, which threw the Monster Among Men off the rails as he shoved the Big Red Machine to the ground. The other three tried to pacify the situation, but Kane later on attacked Strowman as the former chokeslammed him through the stage and buried him in a pile of steel chair.Enraged, Strowman got back on his feet and attacked his teammates, but the foursome was just too much as they put the behemoth inside a garbage truck as The Miz motioned for the driver to leave the arena. Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Kiefer Ravena impresses in PBA Draft Combine MOST READ Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Kin of Misamis Oriental hero cop to get death benefits, award — PNP Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH That gave The Shield the edge they needed as Angle came back and delivered a pair of Angle Slams to Cesaro and Sheamus, before the trio finished off the Intercontinental Champion with a King’s Landing from Rollins, a Dirty Deeds from Ambrose, an Angle Slam, and to cap things off, an Olympic Shield bomb as Angle celebrated his in-ring return.Reigns wasn’t the only one who was taken out of the pay-per-view due to viral infection, as Bray Wyatt has also been pulled off the show.That left “The Demon” Finn Balor without an opponent, before SmackDown Live’s AJ Styles stepped up to the plate in a WrestleMania-worthy duel.The clash delivered, as the former Japanese standouts put on a classic that ended when Styles missed his springboard 450 splash, giving Balor the chance to nail the shotgun dropkick to the corner and set the stage for his Coup de Grace.After the match, both showed tremendous respect for each other and did the “Too Sweet” to the delight of the crowd.ADVERTISEMENT In the other matches, Alexa Bliss retained her Raw Women’s Championship after yanking Mickie James to the turnbuckle before connecting with her DDT.Enzo Amore also became a two-time WWE Cruiserweight Champion as he outsmarted Kalisto, distracting the referee as he went on and poked the champ in the eye and hit the JawdonZo.Asuka made her triumphant debut in the main roster as she dominated Emma, ending the match with her Asuka Lock.Cedric Alexander and Rich Swann also topped The Brian Kendrick and Gentleman Jack Gallagher in a tag team match pitting fierce cruiserweight rivals after Alexander nailed Kendrick with the Lumbar Check.Jason Jordan beat Elias with a small package after interrupting his musical performance for the third time in the night.In the kickoff show, Sasha Banks continued to get the number of Alicia Fox as she scored a submission win via her Bank Statement. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Raw General Manager Kurt Angle marked his triumphant in-ring return as he joined forces with Raw Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose at WWE TLC. Photo by, it’s true. It’s damn true.Kurt Angle returned to action in a WWE ring for the first time in 11 years as he teamed up with Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose and came out on top in the 5-on-3 tables, ladders, and chairs match in the main event of WWE TLC Monday (Manila time) in Minneapolis.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Chief Justice Peralta vows to lead by example, bares 10-point program PLAY LIST 02:02Chief Justice Peralta vows to lead by example, bares 10-point program01:15SC chief Peralta wants US-Marshall patterned security for PH judges01:51SC gives QC court one month extension to resolve Maguindanao massacre case01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPAlast_img read more

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Canadian federation is fractured New Brunswicks rookie premier says

first_imgFREDERICTON — The rookie Tory premier of New Brunswick has declared the Canadian federation fractured — with Ottawa and other provinces seemingly unconcerned about Alberta’s slump, and Quebec actively blocking economic development.Blaine Higgs says he was shocked at the recent First Ministers meeting in Montreal to find there is no national urgency or strategy to deal with the 70-per-cent devaluation of oil in Alberta.“Here’s a province that has fed many of our kids for years and we’ve all been happy to be recipients of that transfer payment. I’m not proud of that fact, and I would like to develop the very industry that they have,” Higgs said in a year-end interview with The Canadian Press.“But for us in that meeting, not to have that as the focal point a crisis in our country, as a serious impact on Alberta and potentially a serious impact on all of us, like it was just another day.”Higgs is pushing to revive the cancelled $15.7 billion Energy East pipeline project that would have moved western crude to refineries in Eastern Canada and an export terminal in Saint John, N.B., but Quebec Premier Francois Legault is opposed to it passing through his province.Legault recently provoked the ire of western Canadians when he said there was “no social acceptability” in his province for a “dirty energy” pipeline from Alberta.His comments drew rebukes from pundits and western leaders such as Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, who said Legault “needs to get off his high horse.”Higgs, a former oil executive, is proposing that federal transfer payments be cut to force provinces to develop their natural resources.“Here’s Premier Legault getting an increase, a cheque of more than $13 billion out of the $19 billion in transfer payments, and no real sense of urgency,” Higgs said.He said that as a result of devalued oil, Alberta is losing $80 million a day, and all the provinces — including New Brunswick — should share in the pain through cuts in transfers.“We should cut what goes to each province, based on our ability to get the resource to market,” he said.Higgs said the debate over Energy East demonstrates how the federation is fractured.“So with Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario and ourselves — we are very much aligned — and Quebec in the middle in this case for transportation from west to east is not only disappointing, it’s really shocking,” he said. “I saw a willingness through every province but I didn’t see that willingness in Quebec.”Higgs said there should be a utility corridor across the country that could house pipelines, power transmission lines, and communication systems. He said, like the national railway, it would be a right-of-way through the country.Higgs said another area where the federation is fractured is with the way provinces are being treated differently by Ottawa when it comes to the carbon tax, which goes into effect next year. He said it is far from a level playing field, because the provinces are being asked to meet the same targets despite starting from different carbon-emission levels.New Brunswick is an intervener in legal challenges launched by Saskatchewan and Ontario and has launched its own legal challenge of the carbon tax.He said the proposed federal backstop — the tax Ottawa will impose in provinces without their own carbon taxes — puts New Brunswick at a disadvantage, and if it remains in place, New Brunswickers will be paying the country’s highest tax on gasoline by 2022.Higgs won a minority government in this fall’s election, having run on a platform of fiscal responsibility. The Liberals tried to cling to power, but were defeated in a confidence vote on their throne speech after the three members of the upstart People’s Alliance party agreed to support the Tories on confidence votes for at least 18 months.Looking out his office window at the spectacular view of the provincial legislature and the Saint John River, Higgs said he doesn’t take his time as premier for granted.“I took a picture of the view because I could only be here a short time,” he said.Higgs, a 64-year-old engineer and former finance minister, was hired by Irving Oil a week after he graduated from the University of New Brunswick. He was eventually promoted to director of distribution, overseeing oil transportation across eastern Canada and New England.Higgs said he needs to administer some tough fiscal medicine right away in order to get quick results. He points to his decision to slash $265 million from capital spending plans the previous Liberal government had in place.“I do want to make things happen in a hurry, but that’s kind of my nature. I like to look at an issue, look at the facts, and then get on with it, and not spend time going around and around.”He is vowing to balance the budget in the spring in an effort to avoid a downgrade of the province’s credit rating.“I do not want to pay more interest. I would rather have $25-30 million a year going into service delivery than interest payments,” Higgs said.  Higgs said the province’s finances and the creation of a customer service focus for government are his priorities for 2019.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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