ATLANTA, Georgia (CMC):Panama’s head coach Hernan Dario Gomez has slammed his side’s controversial defeat to Mexico on Wednesday night as “utter robbery” and says the result has left a stain on football as a whole.Panama, playing a man down from the 25th minute, led Mexico 1-0 until the 88th through captain Roman Torres’ header before referee Mark Geiger awarded a controversial penalty, which tilted the balance of the CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-final at the Georgia Dome.Torres took a tumble in the box and fell on top of the ball and Geiger astonishingly pointed to the spot.”Logically, I hope that all the press understands that what I am experiencing right now is difficult and hard. The press, more than us, are aware that things did not function well, in the legal way. Panama made an outstanding effort with ten men,” a clearly dejected Gomez told a media conference.”I have been managing teams since 1987, and this is the first time that I experience this. With a team well worked, with athletes desiring to give their country another Gold Cup final, with a press that has accompanied and helped us out.”If it was up to me, I could say ‘I do not want to continue in football anymore’, because that was horrible. It was an utter robbery.”After an 11-minute stoppage, during which Panama protested the call, scuffles broke out and beverages were tossed on the field by spectators, Andres Guardado converted the spot kick to draw Mexico level.The Mexican Eindhoven forward then found the winner, also from the spot, in the first period of added extra time.Gomez said the refereeing decisions had ruined an excellent game and had ultimately hurt the sport.”There were two great teams on the pitch tonight, each team exhibiting good styles. The Mexican players or the team has nothing to do with what happened,” Gomez stressed.”You cannot damage a final like this. When you put a team with 10 players against a team with 11 players, it hurts the game.”However, I value more the capacity of the Panamanian players for they played a tactical game against an immense rival with good possession of the ball, that is Mexico. And Panama held their ground, and at times, it was able to attack, and then we are up 1-0.”And then, on 88th minute, the penalty happened. You cannot determine a final in that manner. You can’t be serious. This has damaged not only football in general but the upcoming Gold Cup final. It ruins the beauty of the tournament.”Geiger had earlier sent off Luis Tejada for a hand to the face of Francisco Rodriguez as the two battled for a ball. The call was another contentious one that resulted in vociferous protests from the Panamaian players.The defeat saw Panama miss out on their second successive Gold Cup final.
Dusty Wolokolie represented Montserrado County District #10 at the 52nd Legislature and is a a former president of the University of Liberia Student Union (ULSU).A former member of the 52nd legislature, Dusty Wolokolie, has called on members of the University of Liberia (UL) Board of Trustees to resign over the swift confirmation of Dr. Julius Sarwolo Nelson, who President George Weah recently nominated as president of the University.Wolokolie’s statement, which was received by the Daily Observer over the weekend, said the UL Board of Trustees no longer had the moral authority to lead the University due to their action to speedily approve President Weah’s appointee to the post of UL President without going through any competitive vetting process.As a member of the erstwhile 52nd Legislature, Mr. Wolokolie represented Montserrado County District #10. Wolokolie, a former president of the University of Liberia Student Union (ULSU), is also the father of Samora Wolokolie, Deputy Minister of Fiscal Affairs at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.His statement comes amid huge public backlash over the University Board of Trustees’ action to downplay age-old tradition of recruiting president of the University on a competitive basis.Traditionally, according to academics, when a vacancy occurred in the UL leadership, a search committee is constituted to review and vet applicants for the post. After such process, one academic added, a shortlist of qualified and competent candidates is prepared and submitted to the Board for approval and subsequent submission to the Visitor of the University, who is the President of Liberia, for appointment.“The fact that the UL Board sidestepped this important process raises questions about the integrity of its decision, which has let many down and distressed, including me. Fellow patriots, the UL Board of Trustees failed their fiduciary responsibilities by not advising President Weah against acting in ways that undermine the independence and integrity of the University or by recklessly endorsing actions by him that violate the Charter,” Wolokolie said.“In view of the above, I am calling on the entire UL Board of Trustees to do the honorable thing by resigning their posts. If they failed to do so, I will lead a public-spirited campaign to have them resign to allow for the reconstitution of the Board as provided for in the Charter,” he said.He added, “I am also calling on all students of the University of Liberia to wake up to the threat posed to academic freedom and excellence by the irregular appointment of Dr. Nelson as president of the University of Liberia, and demand fitting explanations from the Board of Trustees.”Mr. Wolokolie said although the president has the right to dismiss and nominate the President of the UL for approval of the Board of Trustees, the Board should have protected the Charter of the University by constituting a search committee to subject the President’s nominee to a competitive vetting and selection process.He also said that flagrantly sidestepping established policies and procedures for dismissal, recruitment and selection of the President of the University constitutes a grave affront to the “independence of the University and a threat to academic freedom and excellence.”“It appears as if the nation is losing its soul as those who are supposed to be the moral conscience of the nation are bowing down to gods of tin and wood. I don’t know what justification can the UL Board of Trustees provide for such spineless behavior, because they are perceived as icons of integrity. Here we have a Board of Trustees charged with the responsibility to provide guidance; ensure adherence to established policies, and protect and defend the Charter of the University, dismally failing to act to protect the integrity of the institution and being complicit in the violation of the UL Charter,” he said.Meanwhile, Mr. Wolokolie has called on President Weah to do the honorable thing by rescinding the appointment and subjecting his nominee, Dr. Julius Sarwolo Nelson, to a competitive vetting and selection process in keeping with tradition out of which the most suitably qualified candidate will be selected and recommended for appointment.“Fellow compatriots, I am putting this challenge to the UL Board of Trustees to remind them of their sacred charge and responsibility to administer the affairs of the University of Liberia in the best interests of the institution and the public, and not on the basis of political expediency, and certainly not to ingratiate themselves into the good favors of the President of Liberia at the expense of the University in return for extra favors, pecuniary or otherwise,” he said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Clay had been a real-estate agent in Richmond, working for his family-run business. He said he decided to enter the contest on a whim and attended an open audition in New York. He acted in college and then professionally in 1997-2000. The Maytag repairman was portrayed as always lonely because of the dependability of Maytag’s appliances. Since first appearing on TV in 1967, the character has been played by only three actors. The contract of the current repairman, Hardy Rawls, is not being renewed. It’s lonely being the Maytag repairman, but a Virginia man is going to give it a try. Whirlpool Corp. announced Monday that it has selected Clay Jackson of Richmond, Va., as the character promoting the reliability of its Maytag brand of large appliances. The Benton Harbor, Mich.-based company conducted a nationwide search for the “new face of Maytag.” “The new Maytag repairman will help revitalize the Maytag brand and its heritage by keeping one foot in our past while putting the other in our future,” Maytag Vice President Jeff Davidoff said in a news release. The company said that at least 1,500 people participated in the two months of auditions.
Manchester City youngster Jason Denayer 1 Manchester City youngster Jason Denayer has agreed to join Marseille, according to reports in France.The defender had been tipped for a role in the first-team squad this season after impressing on loan at Celtic last year.However, City’s £32m move for Nicolas Otamendi has forced the Belgian to reconsider and he’s not set to leave.Marseille, according to L’Equipe, have agreed personal terms with the player and it is now up for the two clubs to discuss a fee.Talks are scheduled to take place over the weekend with both parties keen to tie up a deal quickly.
However, there is still nothing signed so all hope is not yet lost for the rest of the chasing pack. tense Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury Latest Premier League Stories Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City Man United transfer news live: Haaland ‘wants a change’, two players off in January Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card REVEALED Liverpool and Manchester City are set to be snubbed in their bid to sign Paris Saint-Germain ace Adrien Rabiot.The midfielder is out of contract in the summer and will be able to leave on a free transfer but PSG are now considering selling the player in January with Barcelona currently the frontrunners to land him. REVEALED huge blow 2 whoops Adrien Rabiot celebrates scoring against Amiens. Real Madrid ‘offer’ Isco to Chelsea in bid to ‘make room’ for Tottenham star And Spanish newspaper El Mundo Deportivo has reported that Rabiot has now agreed to join the Catalan club instead of staying in Paris.It has been suggested that the player’s mother and representatives have already met with Barca technical director Eric Abidal, the former defender, to thrash out a deal. Did Mahrez just accidentally reveal Fernandinho is leaving Man City this summer? Rabiot drives forward with the ball at his feet. REAL DEAL 2 Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars It had been suggested that he may decide to stay put at the Parc des Princes by penning improved terms with PSG.But there are a number of major European clubs hoping to snap him up, either in January or on a free in the summer.City and Liverpool have both been regularly credited with an interest in the gifted 23-year-old but Barcelona’s interest has been looming large for months. deals shining no dice Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won gameday cracker
More than 400 fans turned up after golf sensation Rory McIlroy made a ‘secret’ visit to Co Donegal today.The US Open winner was due to make a low-key appearance at Ballyliffin Golf Club to shoot part of an advertising campaign for clothing and sunglasses giant Oakley which is estimated to be worth $6million.However huge crowds gathered on the Inishowen Peninsula after news was leaked of McIlroy’s visit just a few hours before he landed by helicopter. Gardai and dozens of marshals from the club, at which the 22 year old is an honorary life member, ensured that fans did not get too close to the star at the Inishowen Peninsula course.McIlroy and his entourage, which included make-up artists and wardrobe assistants, shuttled back and forth from the golf course for much of the day.Dressed in a white golf shirt and loud blue trousers, the golfer was driven around in an open-back jeep while his assistants made their way around on golf buggies.Trays of sandwiches and bottles of water were brought onto the course as the star was kept warm by another assistant who held his black padded jacket during photo-shoots. The normally accommodating sporting celebrity didn’t even have time to sign autographs or chat to fans as he was rushed between shoots on the Nick Faldo-designed course.The Ballyliffin course was chosen because of its light after photographers surveyed more than 18 courses for the shoot.Photographers working for the American clothing giant have been walking the course for the past two weeks to get the best pictures.There was no sign of McIlroy’s girlfriend Holly Sweeney who has been by his side since he won the US Open last week.The arrival of golf’s hottest property was a huge boost for the Co Donegal club who have built up a special relationship with McIlroy for a number of years He first came to Donegal as a teenager to compete in the club’s Junior Competition before winning the club’s prestigious Nick Faldo Trophy aged just 16.He is also close friends with the club’s professional Gareth McCausland who was by his side at yesterday’s shoot.Club captain Colm McCarroll said the arrival of McIlroy just days after the biggest win of his career so far was a real bonus for the club.“Rory has been a member here for a number of years and he will always be welcome here. “He is a superb sportsman and such a great ambassador for golf and for young people in general.“We really appreciate that he has taken the time to come here and that he has brought the US Open Cup with him. It’s a great day in the club’s history,” he said.Children and golf fans of all ages lined up to have their photo taken with the US Open Cup.One fan, Susan Farren, revealed how she once played with Rory when he was an 17 year old.“Even then you could tell he was going to be a huge star. I am so delighted for him.“He’s such a decent and unassuming young man. I played well against him the day I played but I don’t think I’d stand much of a chance today,” she laughed.The star is already enjoying the trappings of a his superstar status and recently paid more than €2.4 million for a house on the outskirts of Belfast with its own gym, swimming pool and golf course.He also has expensive taste in cars and owns a €180,000 Bentley and an Audi R8.The star was due to leave Donegal by helicopter to return to his home in Northern Ireland again last night.EndsFANS SWAMP MCILROY ON HIS ‘SECRET’ VISIT TO DONEGAL was last modified: June 24th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Ballyliffin Golf Clubrory mcilroy
MAYO manager James Horan has launched a scathing attack on former Derry star and TV pundit Joe Brolly.Horan said he didn’t want to take away from Donegal’s All-Ireland success but said Brolly’s claims that Mayo played a cynical fouling game were way off the mark.“Joe Brolly was very selective in his commentary on Mayo and in my opinion it was biased and I think he should have been checked by RTÉ.I think his comments were targeted against Mayo,” said Horan after a reserve county side lost by a point to Leitrim. “If you take any of the quarter-final games last year, I’d challenge Joe to go back and look at some of those and look at what the foul count was.“So what was his motivation for just selecting Mayo?“It’s nothing to do with Donegal and the All-Ireland victory. They were fantastic and absolutely deserved their victory. I’d just like to know what his motivation was for selecting one team and one team only when there were other games with a lot more foul count.”He said he was concerned at the timing of the comments on radio just a few days before September’s final adding: “The timing of it… I know we’re on about strategic this, that and the other but who’s to say the timing of those articles weren’t strategic. “But look we’re here today in Leitrim and they deserved their victory and taught us a few lessons. So we’ll take them and move on.” MAYO BOSS IN SCATHING ATTACK ON JOE BROLLY OVER COMMENTS BEFORE DONEGAL’S ALL-IRELAND WIN was last modified: January 14th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:MAYO BOSS IN SCATHING ATTACK ON JOE BROLLY OVER COMMENTS BEFORE DONEGAL’S ALL-IRELAND WIN
Planetary origin theories come across as popular and charismatic, till some little moon pops off and says, “Yoo-hoo! Remember me?”Io, Io; It’s Not So Long AgoJupiter’s volcanic moon Io is a pain in the astronomical dating game. Imagine if similar-sized Earth’s moon were carrying on like that; it would be a fireworks show every night, keeping scientists awake wondering how it stays active. Planetary modelers have had a hard time figuring out Io’s heat source (and how long it could last) since Voyager revealed the eruptions in 1979; and no, tidal flexing is not sufficient. Now, some NASA and ESA scientists say the volcanoes are “all wrong” – the volcanoes are in the wrong places from where models say they should be.A press release from NASA Goddard opens with a dramatic image from the New Horizons flyby in 2007, showing a huge plume at Io’s north pole in action. If the tidal flexing models worked, the expected volcanic action should be 30 to 60 degrees east of where it actually is. “We found a systematic eastward offset between observed and predicted volcano locations that can’t be reconciled with any existing solid body tidal heating models,” Christopher Hamilton (U of Maryland) said.Possibilities to explain the offset include a faster than expected rotation for Io, an interior structure that permits magma to travel significant distances from where the most heating occurs to the points where it is able erupt on the surface, or a missing component in existing tidal heating models, like fluid tides from an underground magma ocean, according to the team.Each of those possibilities seems a stretch, except for the admission something might be missing in their models. Another possibility is that their starting assumptions are wrong. None of the discussion dealt with how this heating could persist for 4.5 billion years – a time period so long, Io would have disgorged its entire mass 40 times over by now (CEH 09/27/2002, Science), in addition to losing mass to a torus around Jupiter at the rate of a ton a second–that would amount to 145 quadrillion tons over 4.5 billion years. And if Io has a magma ocean and magnetic field, as the article said scientists are tending to believe, keeping that ocean liquified for billions of years is another serious issue.The article tried to distract attention from these problems by briefly titillating onlookers with thoughts of life at Europa or Enceladus. But when pressed, the scientists tried another tack: pride in ignorance:“The unexpected eastward offset of the volcano locations is a clue that something is missing in our understanding of Io,” says Hamilton. “In a way, that’s our most important result. Our understanding of tidal heat production and its relationship to surface volcanism is incomplete. The interpretation for why we have the offset and other statistical patterns we observed is open, but I think we’ve enabled a lot of new questions, which is good.”Readers who had faith in scientific “understanding” may be taken aback by this statement. Here, after over 30 years of knowledge of Io’s volcanism, and centuries of understanding about planetary motion and the behavior of heat, more questions have emerged than answers. Live Science discussed this “mystery” with its “surprising conclusions” that the “Volcanoes on Jupiter’s Moon Io Are All Wrong.” Correction: the volcanoes are what they are. It’s only the scientific interpretation that could possibly be all wrong. Much of the mystery is resolved instantly if Io is not that old.Deep trouble at Enceladus Another embarrassing erupter is Saturn’s little moon Enceladus. It has one thousandth the mass of Io and is subject to far less tidal friction. Universe Today leaked something that was revealed at the Lunar and Planetary Science conference in Houston last month. It appears that the salty water jets blasting out of the moon’s south pole reach all the way to an interior ocean. Scientists think that the ocean lies under 10 kilometers of ice.Where the jets are getting their supply of liquid water has been a question scientists have puzzled over for years. Is friction caused by tidal stresses heating the insides of the stripes, which melts the ice and shoots it upwards? Or do the fissures actually extend all the way down through Enceladus’ crust to a subsurface ocean of liquid water, and through tidal pressure pull vapor and ice up to the surface?Researchers are now confident that the latter is the case.No longer can researchers assume, therefore, that the eruptions are a near-surface phenomenon. The heat source reaches deep into the moon, implying melting on a vaster scale that requires even more heat.In a presentation at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference titled “How the Jets, Heat and Tidal Stresses across the South Polar Terrain of Enceladus Are Related” (see the PDF here) Cassini scientists note that the amount of heating due to tidal stress seen along Enceladus’ tiger stripes isn’t nearly enough to cause the full spectrum of heating observed, and the “hot spots” that have been seen don’t correlate with the type of heating caused by shear friction.The heat must be “carried upwards along with the pressurized water vapor from the subsurface sea, warming the areas around individual vents as well as serving to keep their channels open.” You don’t say. How long has that been going on? They didn’t say.Color Divination Keeps the FaithMeanwhile, other planetary scientists found a new story line to keep the Saturn system old. A JPL press release turned public attention to a homey analogy. “Saturn Is Like an Antiques Shop, Cassini Suggests; Moons and Rings Date Back to Solar System’s Birth.” Perhaps so, if that birth were recent; but no, they mean billions of years. Apparently they don’t want to devalue their antiques.Gianrico Filacchione from Italy did some divination with colors on the rings and moons and concluded that the Saturn system is old. One myth can lead to another. Since the little F-ring shepherd moon Prometheus has a similar color to the rings, Bonnie Buratti added to the story. “Scientists had been wondering whether ring particles could have stuck together to form moons — since the dominant theory was that the rings basically came from satellites being broken up,” she said, preparing the reader for a dramatic turnaround. “The coloring gives us some solid proof that it can work the other way around, too.” Solid proof has a nice-sounding ring of certainty to it. If it “can” work the other way around, why, then, it must have.The press release conveniently left out any discussion of how long the Enceladus eruption affair has been going on. The handlers of these aberrant moons know their job: mitigate the bad news by controlling the focus of attention.Divination, distraction, domination. That’s how the scientific guild maintains its grab on public trust. Divination: One cannot look at color and come up with an age. The article even said that the deposits from the geyser spray and dust from asteroids is only skin deep. Does that sound like it’s been going on for billions of years? Distraction: Let’s not talk about the age of these things; let’s talk about life! If there’s water going out of this moon, maybe it produced the “ingredients for life” or could “support life.” Domination: Just state the party line boldly and repeatedly. That should be enough to keep the peasants from doubting the experts’ “understanding” of how things came to be. After all, they’re scientists – the knowers of the culture. It would be very upsetting for the knowers not to know.Note to secularists: Our criticisms here are not with the observational data. We love observational data; more power to the champion observers and data collectors of the Cassini team. The criticisms are directed at interpretations that violate the evidence: interpretations that insist on billions of years of undirected natural processes producing planets, life, and human brains possessing the audacity to imagine their own undesigned brains being capable of assessing true knowledge. (Visited 25 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
23 February 2012Business has welcomed Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s 2012 Budget, saying it rightly emphasized the need for a collaborative effort from all South Africans in working towards a growing, inclusive, job-rich economy against the backdrop of a weak global economic outlook.Business Unity South Africa (Busa) described the Budget as credible, broadly balanced and confidence-building, saying it was pleased with the central priority the Budget placed on the expanded infrastructure programme.“This initiative should not only aid in building modern infrastructure, but will also reduce poverty, create decent work and expand employment opportunities,” Busa said in a statement on Thursday.Need to be globally competitiveBusa was further pleased with the emphasis on the need for South Africa to be globally competitive, further tax relief for small business and micro-enterprises, and a simplified tax regime for SMMEs.It said the small and emerging business sector had the greatest potential for job creation.“We welcome as business additional allocations of R55.9-billion over the next three years and an additional R9.5-billion for an economic support package.“We also welcome the 43 major infrastructure projects and further detail on how they will be funded. In this vein, we look forward to the infrastructure summit which the President is planning to convene soon,” said Busa.Sars commended for raising R739-billionThe Banking Association of South Africa commended the South African Revenue Service for raising R739-billion under difficult economic conditions. “The national Budget has, for the first time, passed R1-trillion, highlighting the significant expenditure by government,” it said.The association said Gordhan had demonstrated visionary, honest and practical leadership.In his speech, Gordhan commented on the high banking costs in South Africa. The association said that, while increasing competition in the sector was leading to a more efficient sector with lower costs, had to be noted that South Africa had high broadband costs, costs of protecting cash and significant compliance costs.It said it was working with National Treasury in this regard.Dividends tax rate increase ‘a shock’Des Kruger, Director: Tax at Webber Wentzel law firm said that the increase in the dividends tax rate had come as a shock, given that all previous announcements and the law as it stands at present indicated a 10% rate.“The proposed 50% increase in the dividends tax rate to 15% so late in the day will no doubt cause considerable administration burdens on those companies and regulated intermediaries that have to account for the tax,” said Kruger.He added that foreigners owning property in South Africa would be adversely affected by the increase in inclusion capital gains tax (CGT) rates, because non-residents are required to pay CGT on the disposal of any immovable property owned by them in South Africa.However, Kruger did welcome the proposal to allow a deduction for interest incurred on the acquisition of shares to be deductible in certain circumstances.PKF chartered accountants and business advisers was surprised by the unexpected increase in the rate at which the new Dividends Tax was being levied at 15% – when 10% had been anticipated – and the increase in the rate of capital gains tax (CGT) from 10% to 13.3% for individuals, from 14% to 18.6% for companies and from 20% to 26.7% for trusts.‘High-income earners targeted’Eugene du Plessis, director of tax at the company said the Budget had hit the high net worth individual (HNWI) sector.“They are targeting the HNWI with measures that can only affect the wealthy, and by removing legitimate means of reducing their tax burden,” Du Plessis said.“While this is being viewed as ‘a more equitable means of spreading the load’, targeting the high proportion of their income that HNWIs earn from passive investments, in reality it is making South Africa such a high-tax country for the wealthy that there is little incentive for them to live here as opposed to more developed countries.”The coalition of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), the South African Council of Churches (SACC) and the South African Non-Governmental Organisation Coalition (Sangoco) said it welcomed that government spending would be increased to 32% of GDP in 2012/13.State ‘must learn to spend its allocations better’However, the coalition said, it was concerned at the capacity in national departments, provincial governments and local municipalities to spend the allocated amounts in a manner that will boost the industrial capacity of the economy and create decent jobs.The coalition, referred to as the People’s Budget Campaign (PBC), said it was concerned that the Budget deficit would decrease to 3% of GDP by 2014.“The unpredictability of the current economic crisis in Europe will continue to impact our economy negatively,” the PBC said. “It is therefore important for government to avoid decreasing the budget deficit over the MTEF and thus prevent our economy from deteriorating into a second-round recession.“Cutting deficit spending is simply not a sound economic measure given the global economic crisis and the triple crisis we continue to face at home.”While the coalition welcomed the allocation of infrastructure spend to the tune of R3.2-trillion over the three-year period, it said it must be complimented by the need to increase the capacity of the state to appropriately spend the allocated amounts.“We welcome the proposed establishment of the municipal infrastructure support agency that will enhance infrastructure development capacity of the rural municipalities.”The coalition said it rejected the proposed adjustments in tariffs by the minister regarding e-tolling in Gauteng to pay for the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project.“The PBC rejects the continued reliance on user pay principle in the development of road infrastructure. We do not support e-tolling and call for a reliable, safe, affordable and integrated transport system,” it said, noting the acknowledgement made by Gordhan that the e-tolling system will have a negative impact on the road users in the province and workers in particular.The coalition said it was appalled that some learners were still being taught in mud houses, and demanded the elimination of them in the financial year. The Budget also failed to reduce teacher-learner ratios in the rural and township schools, it said.Source: BuaNews
15 January 2014The eighth edition of the Fairview Attakwas Extreme mountain bike marathon has attracted a powerful field, including top Swiss, German and Czech racers, for Saturday’s year-opening showdown in the Western Cape.South Africa’s best marathoners will take on the international stars over a 121-kilometre route that starts and finishes just outside the town of Oudtshoorn.Current world championTopping the start list in the men’s race is the defending champion, Christoph Sauser of Specialized Racing. The Swiss ace is the current marathon world champion and a four-time winner of the Absa Cape Epic.Sauser brings with him his new Specialized Racing international teammate, Frantisek Rabon of the Czech Republic. It will be Rabon’s first participation in the event in a year in which he switches his focus from road racing to mountain biking. He previously raced for ProTour teams T-Mobile and Omega Pharma Quickstep.A powerful German contingent will also be on the starting line. Karl Platt, a four-time Absa Cape Epic winner will head up the four-man Team Bulls squad, which includes compatriots Stefan Sahm, a three-time Epic champion, and Simon Stiebjan. Platt and Sahm have both finished on the podium at Attakwas before.Cross country starAnother high profile German, Manuel Fumic, will make his Attakwas Extreme debut. Better known as one of the world’s top cross-country racers, Fumic was seventh at the 2012 Olympic Games and was runner-up at the 2013 World Championships in Pietermaritzburg. The Cannondale Factory Team racer competed in his first Cape Epic last year, finishing fifth.Urs Huber, the Swiss rider who partnered Platt to second place at the 2013 Cape Epic, is also confirmed to start the race for Team Bulls.South African challengeThe South African challenge is led by three-time Attakwas Extreme winner and multiple former national marathon champion, Kevin Evans of FedGroup Itec, who makes a return to racing after a lengthy recovery following complications related to a burst appendix. Evans will be joined by FedGroup Itec teammate Neil MacDonald on the start line.Other strong South Africans to watch are the Cannondale Blend trio of Darren Lill, Waylon Woolcock and Charles Keey, while Team RE:CM’s triple threat comes from Nico Bell, Erik Kleinhans and Lourens Luus, last year ‘s runner-up. Dark horses include Louis Brelser Knipe (PYGA) and Adriaan Louw (SWIFT/Fairview).Women’s line-upThe women’s field also boasts class and depth with defending champion Ariane Kleinhans, the current Swiss marathon champion and two-time Cape Epic Mixed division winner, topping a quality line-up. She will be joined by new Team RE:CM teammate Cherise Stander, the 2012 South African marathon champion, who will make her Attakwas Extreme debut.Current South African marathon champion, Robyn de Groot of Biogen Cycle Lab, will also be in the mix, along with two-time Cape Epic winner Hanlie Booyens, while Ischen Stopforth, a seven-time Attakwas finisher with multiple podium places and Jeannie Dreyer, the Freedom Challenge champion and record holder, complete the list of high-profile female entrants.CelebritiesOver 1200 riders have already entered the event, which has also attracted South African celebrities, who will be riding for the Absa Team at this year’s Absa Cape Epic. They include former Springbok rugby stars Joel Stranksy and Stefan Terblanche, radio and TV presenter Liezel van der Westhuizen, and actress Hlubi Mboya.The 121km race includes a total of 2 900 metres of vertical ascent, making it a serious challenge by anyone’s standards. Add in the rough terrain of the Klein Karoo, the excessive heat, which can easily reach over 40 degrees Celsius in January, and the traditional headwind in the final 40km and you have a gruelling year-opener for the world of marathon mountain bike racing.Mini AttaEntries for the Fairview Attakwas Extreme have closed. However, for those keen to sample the event, there’s a relatively challenging 52km Mini Atta, presented by Spur. Late entries (with a late entry fee penalty) can still be done until race day.SAinfo reporter