Dedicated entry lanes for Afcon fans

first_img7 December 2012Dedicated lanes will be created at South Africa’s ports of entry to facilitate the swift movement of soccer fans and officials who will be converging on the country for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament starting on 19 January.“Dedicated lanes will be created at ports of entry to facilitate the swift movement of the CAF [Confederation of African Football] delegations and spectators,” Home Affairs director-general Mkuseli Apleni said in Pretoria on Thursday.The dedicated lanes will be created at Lanseria, OR Tambo, King Shaka and Cape Town International airports, as well as the Beitbridge, Lebombo, Maseru Bridge, Ficksburg Bridge, Kopfontein and Oshoek border posts.Apleni said that a few days before the tournament kicks off on 19 January, the department would extend working hours at key ports of entry, as well as increase the number of departmental officers working at these offices throughout the tournament.While CAF officials will be able to use an official CAF letter as a form of accreditation for entry and departure, football fans are required to apply for a visitor’s visa in line with normal visa requirements.Apleni said the department would grant visa waivers to the CAF delegation, including national teams and members of various football federations, as not all African countries were exempted from visa requirements to enter South Africa.“We have also taken some steps to strengthen the department’s operations through the Afcon period, including the deployment of additional Home Affairs staff to South African diplomatic missions in Ghana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria in order to assist in the swift issuance of visas and work permits,” he said.Apleni said the department’s response units in Limpopo, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal would be strengthened in order to increase their capacity to manage illegal immigration as well as ensure swift responses to emergencies involving illegal migrants.“We will also increase and enhance the capacity for an effective and efficient 24-hour operations centre to support ports of entry, travelers, airlines, CAF delegation and other agencies seeking any information from the department,” he said.Apleni said the department was following the same approach used during the 2010 Fifa World Cup, but that the planning had been customised to meet the unique requirements of Afcon, as contained in South Africa’s guarantees as well as the commitment made to CAF and the Afcon local organising committee.“In this regard, we will rely on systems that are part of the legacy of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, such as the Movement Control System, to assist us in meeting our objectives,” he said.The 2013 Afcon tournament will kick off on 19 January, with the new champions to be crowned on 10 February.Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

Remembering Thandi Klaasen, South African singer 1931-2017

first_imgLegendary South African jazz singer Thandi Klaasen died on 15 January 2017 after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. The news was announced by her daughter, jazz singer Lorraine Klaasen, who lives in Canada.Legendary South African jazz singer Thandi Klaasen died on 15 January 2017. In a career spanning over 50 years, from performing as a child on Sophiatown street corners to singing on the stages of London’s West End, her distinctive worldly rasp was a hallmark of the South African jazz sound. (Photo: YouTube)CD AndersonAs one of the country’s foremost singers, Klaasen was comfortable in a number of genres, from big band and intimate songbird jazz to more traditional as well as modern African music.She was best known for her breakout role in the Sophiatown musical King Kong, performing alongside other South African music legends such as Hugh Masekela, Abdullah Ibrahim and Kippie Moeketsi. Klaasen was in the original South African production and reprised her role in the hugely popular London West End production in 1961.Growing up the Johannesburg suburb of Sophiatown, she was the daughter of a shoemaker and a domestic worker. As a child, she sang and danced in various church choirs; later – in the 1950s – becoming a street performer. As a teenager, Klaasen was attacked with acid, leaving her with permanent facial scarring.While the injury severely affected her singing voice, it did not stop her from achieving her dream of becoming a professional singer. Instead, she used it as a positive and developed her distinctive world-worn rasp. Despite her circumstances, she persevered in forging a remarkable career as a singer. Speaking of that time, Klaasen recalled: “Even if people in the street make you feel like you have leprosy or like you’re dirty… you must be strong.”Beginning her professional singing career with a number of local jazz groups, Klaasen met King Kong creator Todd Matshikiza when she was with the Harlem Swingsters.She performed regularly with other jazz greats of the era, including Dolly Rathebe, Miriam Makeba, Dorothy Masuku and Sophie Mgcina. Following the King Kong years, Klaasen went on to perform around the world for more than 40 years, alongside top international artists such as Roberta Flack and Patti Labelle.On news of her death, South African Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa tweeted: “We are saddened to learn that jazz legend Thandi Klaasen has passed on. (She) will be remembered for her indomitable spirit, who succeeded against all odds… her silky smooth voice serenaded audiences the world over. How much richer we are having heard her sing. How much she touched our spirits and made us complete beings in a world in which things were falling apart.”For “her excellent achievement in and contribution to the art of music”, Klaasen was awarded South Africa’s Order of the Baobab (Gold) in 2006. She also won a number of South African music awards and lifetime achievement accolades throughout her career, including the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Lifetime Achievement award in 2013 and an MTN South African Music Award. She also received a Woman of Distinction award from the Canadian government in 1999 for her tireless dedication to the anti-apartheid struggle.Klaasen married, became a mother and lived in Canada for most of the 1970s and 1980s; however, in 1994 she returned to live and perform in South Africa permanently, reliving her humble beginnings in her beloved Sophiatown.Her life and work was an inspiring mix of determination, joy and beauty, rising above limitation and setback to beat the odds and reach the top of her art.Source: Wikipedia, News24, South African History Online Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? Visit the Brand South Africa resources page for more information.last_img read more

On Id, Mamata appeals for unity

first_img “We are insaan (humans) first, Hindus, Muslims or Christians later,” she said amid cheers from the crowds.This was the first public appearance of the Chief Minister after receiving United Nations highest award for public service to State’s Kanyashree scheme. Ms. Banerjee received the award on June 23 which is UN Public Service Day at The Hague in Netherlands. Representatives of Muslim community congratulated the Chief Minister for receiving the award.Ms. Banerjee said that in times like this, one has to “show courage and conviction”. “Stay together. No one will be able to do anything to you,” she told the gathering. GJM set to intensify stir for Gorkhaland Urging people from different communities to stay united West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said there is an environment of intolerance in the country.“I know the atmosphere of intolerance has given this country a lot of pain. But, we do not think that way. We are here for all. We are united,” Ms. Banerjee said at a gathering on the city’s Red Road, where thousands of people observed Id-ul-Fitr prayers.Also Readlast_img read more

10 months ago’Amazing, powerful’ – David Luiz talks up Chelsea target Wilson

first_img‘Amazing, powerful’ – David Luiz talks up Chelsea target Wilsonby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveDavid Luiz has talked up Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson amid interest from Chelsea.The Brazilian will have the task of marking Wilson when the Cherries take on Chelsea in the EFL Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday.Blues assistant Gianfranco Zola yesterday confirmed the club’s interest in the 26-year-old. And Luiz certainly rates his abilities.”I think he is amazing, a great player,” said Luiz. “He is doing really well. He is a top number nine with power and great movement. “He is scoring a lot of goals, he did well in his first game for England. If he continues in this way, he is a player to play in the best teams in the world.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Probe ordered into illegal sale of manjha

first_imgNEW DELHI: Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel on Monday directed the Chief Secretary to probe how Chinese manjha was being rampantly sold in the city markets despite it being banned by the city government. Reacting to a request on the same by AAP MLA Mohinder Goyal, the Speaker asked Delhi Police to investigate the places where this manjha was being sold. “Despite the ban, it should be probed how it is being sold. A high level probe should be done. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”I urge the Chief Secretary to probe the issue. The Chief Secretary should ask the police to inquire about the Chinese manjha, where all it’s being sold. What fine is being imposed,” the Speaker said. Goyal reminded the House about the recent deaths due to this manjha in the city. He demanded that the Social Welfare Minister give compensation to the bereaved families. Use of glass coated manjha is banned by the Supreme Court. However, on occasions like Independence Day and Rakshabhandhan, the ‘manjha’ is sold at shops all over the city. “A 28-year-old civil engineer was killed and at least half a dozen others, including a retired defence forces officer, were injured after being allegedly hit by sharp kite strings (manjha) in separate incidents,” said AAP MLA Mahenrder Goel. Mpostlast_img read more

EOW registers cheating case against pvt firm

first_imgNew Delhi: The Economic and Offences Wing of Delhi Police had registered a case of cheating against a private company.The complainant in the case claimed that the suspects in the case have been involved in duping three Arab rupees and land grabbing. “Some bank officials also involved in the case who gave loans to the company,” the complainant told the police. According to investigating agency, it is submitted that the complaint against the private infrastructure company was subjected to enquiry. “Enquiry conducted has substantiated the allegations of the complainant that the alleged company executed allotment deed in favour of allottees and handed over the possession of concerned space or unit despite the fact that project was already mortgaged with banks,” police said. Police further added that from the contents of the complaint, enquiry so far prima facie cognizable offences under section 420,406,409,34,120-B of IPC.last_img read more

LeBron May Be The Most Clutch Playoff Shooter Of His Generation

On Sunday afternoon, LeBron James offered another reminder of how silly it was to ever doubt his performance in the clutch.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iz-3ItHYeiQAfter the game, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst tweeted that James has now made more go-ahead shots at the end of playoff games than Michael Jordan. (It’s not the only area in which James is Jordan’s statistical peer in the postseason.)Windhorst’s definition for what constitutes a game-winning shot is as good as any — it covers all potential go-ahead field-goal attempts with five or fewer seconds remaining in the fourth quarter (or overtime) of playoff games. At Basketball-Reference.com, I was able to find 10 such attempts for James: five makes and five misses.1I’m not sure what accounts for the discrepancy with Windhorst’s numbers (he has James as 6-for-10), but for the remainder of this post, I will use Basketball-Reference.com as my data source. How does that stack up to other playoff performers over the years?Unfortunately, Jordan’s playoff career predates BBR’s shot-by-shot database by three seasons, but the site does have a record of every such shot attempted since the 2001 playoffs. And in those go-ahead situations (after accounting for the leverage of the game in which each shot occurred), nobody has a better record relative to expectations2As measured by points generated per shot above what would be expected from the distance of the shot. than James — particularly not his longtime nemesis Kobe Bryant, who sits at the opposite end of the list.Relative to the league-wide average, James generated 4.8 more total points than expected on his go-ahead shots, which translates to about one entire playoff win beyond what an average shooter would have contributed from the same field-goal distances. And those numbers become magnified when you consider that James’s average go-ahead shot came in a playoff game with championship implications 34 percent greater than the typical postseason contest. After we weight by the leverage of his specific game-winning shot attempts, James generated the equivalent3At normal playoff conditions. of 8.5 more points than expected, or roughly two playoff wins above average, with his clutch end-of-game shooting alone.(By contrast, Bryant generated 3.2 fewer points than expected and did it in games that were about 64 percent more important than the average playoff game, compounding the damage of his 1-for-10 performance.)So there’s no doubting James’s history of knocking down big playoff shots. But what’s also interesting about the list above is that the trailing section contains slightly better players, on balance; the bottom 10 players have tallied 1,090 wins above replacement (WAR), versus 987 WAR for the top 10.Granted, there’s essentially no relationship between career WAR and leverage-weighted net expected points for the entire sample of players … but maybe that’s the point. Role players can be called upon to hit huge shots with championship implications just as readily as stars. While James (and Dirk Nowitzki, and Chris Paul, to name a few) are all-time greats, the fact that the likes of Rashard Lewis and Metta World Peace also rank so highly — and Bryant fares so poorly — might speak as much as anything else to the unpredictability of who steps up and changes the course of NBA history with a clutch shot or two.One thing’s for sure, though: James has shown that he’s better at knocking down such consequential buckets than any other player of his generation. read more

The DAntoni Basketball Revolution Goes To College

Marshall basketball coach Dan D’Antoni was angry. His team had been down 20 points at halftime during a late December non-conference game against Pittsburgh (“We looked like we were running in mud,” he said), had exploded in the second half, scoring 1.45 points per possession on a variety of back-breaking 3-pointers and half-court cuts that led to easy layups, and still lost. Any team that can drop 68 points in 20 minutes should win the game, but the final score was 112-106 in favor of Pittsburgh. “We booted it,” he said. When a reporter questioned whether the team’s high number of 3-point attempts might explain the loss, he got testy.Decked out in his customary Marshall basketball t-shirt and a dark blazer, D’Antoni unspooled what he referred to as his “daggone analytics story”: “The last two championships have been Cleveland and Golden State,” he said, talking about the NBA. “What did they do? You don’t see anybody post up. They just spread that thing out and go.”D’Antoni became an overnight exemplar of analytics. But can an NBA blueprint remake a mid-major team with subpar talent in the NCAA?When I asked D’Antoni about his quote, he said that he didn’t mean to embarrass the reporter but, “I could’ve said, ‘Of all those five players on the floor, how many of them do you think we had rated higher for college play than [Pittsburgh] had?’ And we’re within a few points of them. That’s like going to the playground and giving the other team the first five picks, saying, ‘Let’s play,’ and then when they win, saying they outcoached us. Give me a break.”This is D’Antoni’s third season at Marshall, after roughly a decade as an NBA assistant, where he coached alongside his younger brother, Mike, in Phoenix, New York and Los Angeles. Thus far, his tenure has mostly been a success. Before he arrived in Huntington, Marshall had been known more as a stepping stone for rising coaches, such as Billy Donovan and Donnie Jones, than for any on-court successes: the team had finished under .500 nine times since 2001-02. The Herd won 17 games in 2016 (the record marked Marshall’s fifth-highest win total in the 2000s) and quickly notched 14 wins this season before a three-game losing streak the past two weeks sapped some of the squad’s momentum. Now tied for fifth in Conference USA, the Herd have an uphill climb to make it to the NCAA tournament. They face arguably the conference’s toughest February slate — UAB, Old Dominion, and Middle Tennessee all loom during this next week; they’ll likely need a run through the CUSA tournament to make it to the dance.D’Antoni isn’t your usual coach. As I prepped for our interview, I read an article about D’Antoni that mentioned he once said he hugged a tree in his front yard each morning. When I asked D’Antoni about it, he said, “I believe there is a connection between here and somewhere else, and since the tree is a living thing, I connect through it and thank it for everything I have been fortunate to have.” But perhaps even more compelling is his attempt to transform Marshall, a team composed of borderline DI players, a walk-on, and an ex-DII player, into one of the nation’s most analytically efficient offenses.“If you do just the ordinary, you’ll lose, so you have to do something unusual to beat people more athletically gifted than you,” D’Antoni said.For the Marshall coach, that means streamlining an offense so that his players are executing each possession with the intent of taking the most efficient shot possible. And D’Antoni knows all of the percentages. “I’ve told our players the numbers forever,” D’Antoni said. “When you look at offense, it’s not about the overall scheme — it’s about the actions within an offense, and you have to know the best odds for scoring.” Using data culled from the NBA, which D’Antoni contended still applies to the college game, a corner 3, which is worth 1.27 points per shot, is the best shot in basketball. The next best shot? “Any other three,” he said. A lay-up — “a clean lay-up,” D’Antoni stresses — is even better: 1.8 points per shot.1According to the NBA’s most recent data, a shot in the restricted area is worth 1.21 points per shot, while a 3-pointer above the break — that is, an attempt either atop the perimeter or on the wing — is 1.06 points and a corner 3 is 1.21 points.Which is why Marshall never stops shooting. Roughly 43 percent of the team’s attempts are from beyond the arc, squaring Marshall within Division I’s top 50 (per Ken Pomeroy), and according to Synergy Sports, Marshall scores 1.08 points per spot up (1.17 points per catch and shoot), which is bested by only 23 other DI squads. “I don’t know if there is another team in the country that does as many shooting drills as we do,” said Austin Loop, a junior guard with the third-best overall offensive rating in Division I and who has converted 49 percent of his 3’s. Perhaps not coincidentally, Marshall scores at one of the country’s most efficient clips, dropping 1.11 points per possession, which is the highest ever for a D’Antoni-coached team (and good for the top 60 nationally).“We go over every stat that the coaches keep,” Ryan Taylor, Marshall’s senior stretch-4, said. That includes game-by-game plus/minus reports, which are presented to the Herd via a white board in their locker room, as well as intensive film sessions and Synergy analysis (provided by D’Antoni and the rest of the coaching staff). “Coach D’Antoni wants us to make at least 36 percent of our 3’s, which equates to 52 percent on 2’s,” Taylor elaborated.2If Marshall were to connect on 36 percent from deep, it would actually equate to 54 percent of their 2’s. “Taking 3’s is easier for us — since it is farther away from the basket, it isn’t contested, and then it opens up our offense even more.”D’Antoni didn’t naturally warm to this style of play. During his initial years as a high school coach in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, he coached conservatively: “My teams were constantly posting up and taking contested 2’s, which are essentially worthless. Those shots only count for .78 points and are the worst shot in basketball.”His thinking didn’t change until a late-1980s conversation with Mike, then playing in Europe, who relayed the revolutionary impact of the 3-point shot overseas. Dan began to eliminate post ups and mid-range jumpers, and he emphasized 3-point attempts and pick-and-rolls. He continued to fine-tune his offensive approach after he ditched the high school ranks and followed his brother to Phoenix as an assistant, where the two coined the phrase “athletic ball,” a concept D’Antoni brought with him to Marshall: “Instead of a player creating a scoring opportunity, you move the ball quickly so that the ball creates the opportunity. That way, a player who isn’t as athletic but is skilled can play against anybody. As long as the ball is free flowing, it’ll get to the place where that guy is capable of making that shot.”As Mike explains, “Something has to be athletic enough on the floor if your players aren’t, and the ball zipping around accomplishes that.”That’s being put to the test at Marshall. D’Antoni arrived at the college game at a fitting moment. Since 2002, DI’s 3-point field goal attempts rate — the percentage of shots taken beyond the arc — has jumped from 32.1 to 36.2 percent, the highest it has ever been. What works for Cleveland, Golden State and the majority of the NBA — spacing the floor through the 3-pointer — has finally begun to saturate the DI level, and thanks to the years D’Antoni spent on the NBA sidelines, Marshall has been a leader in this strategic shift (the Herd’s 3-point attempts rate jumped from 34 to 42 percent in his first season).As the team’s 14-11 record makes clear, though, change takes time. What D’Antoni is preaching clearly works at the NBA level, but his players are not of that caliber, and the learning curve — even 90 games into his tenure — is still much steeper.During Marshall’s recent losing streak, the Herd made just 30 percent of its 3’s and scored an anemic 1 point per possession. D’Antoni spends each practice teaching his players what constitutes a good shot from a bad shot in his free-flowing and fast-paced offense, but the line separating the two is still very much open for interpretation when the players take the court.“If you watch us play, we still take a lot of bad shots,” said former assistant coach Chris Duhon, who spoke with FiveThirtyEight before he resigned in January after an arrest for driving with a license revoked stemming from a DUI. “We haven’t mastered that process yet.”“Obviously they take some bad 3’s, but heck, if I coached any other way, they’d take some bad 2’s,” D’Antoni said. “But I don’t want players looking over their shoulders to see what is a good shot or not. Our offense gives them a freedom to play the game and use their own smarts to create good shots. Let them choose.”This is the only way D’Antoni knows how to coach, and as a self-described “gunslinger,” the only way he believes Marshall will succeed is through what he calls his ‘organized chaos’ offense. “There is more to it than just saying, ‘Here’s an analytic game plan, let’s do it,’” he said. “I may have opened up how the game is played, but I never want to stand pat.”He continued, “I am a big believer in risk. You have to know how to bet, know the odds, and have a feel for everything. How far along I am with my coaching and whether it’ll work, I don’t know. I tried to figure out the odds, and I just know what I’m coaching at Marshall presents us the best odds for winning.” read more

Womens volleyball Buckeyes Sweet Sixteen bound

Members of the Ohio State women’s volleyball team celebrate after scoring against LIU Brooklyn on Sept. 2, 2016. OSU won, 3-0. Credit: Jenna Leinasars | Multimedia EditorThe Ohio State women’s volleyball team upset arguably their most important opponent this season, No. 14 Kansas State on Saturday for a trip to the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA tournament. The Buckeyes eliminated the Wildcats in five-sets, 25-20, 25-22, 22-25, 23-25 and 17-15. OSU secured their spot to play in Saturday’s second round by knocking off Missouri State in three sets on Friday, while the Wildcats swept Lipscomb, also on Friday. A pinch of sibling rivalry added to the competitiveness of the evening. OSU senior middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe looked through the net at her younger sister, freshman middle blocker Elle Sandbothe. Before the match, Taylor took to Twitter and expressed her excitement at the opportunity to play “her best friend.” The front row match-up would prove to be a factor during the entire match.The Buckeyes made their presence known from the beginning of the first set. A variety of hitters went to work, which resulted in an early 9-1 run for OSU. As Kansas State closed in on the OSU lead, the arena erupted, showing the home team support for the Wildcats. Sophomore setter Taylor Hughes wrangled in the final two kills of the set to give the Buckeyes the 1-0 advantage. OSU jumped out to an early lead again to start the second set, but the Wildcats weren’t letting the Buckeyes escape without putting up a fight. Kansas State battled to put the score within two points at 14-12, but OSU’s consistency and patience shone through to maintain control of the lead. Elle Sandbothe assisted on a major block for Kansas State, but it was immediately followed by a kill from her sister, Taylor. OSU held a narrow lead at 24-22, but sealed another set victory with a kill by sophomore outside hitter Audra Appold. After the second set, OSU was hitting .225 collectively, compared to Kansas State’s .056. However, it was the Wildcats who came out of the intermission with the momentum on their side. They held onto the lead for the first time in the match to begin the third set as the Buckeyes’ defense and serve reception began to unravel. OSU came back with aggressive swings and gained the lead for the first time in the third set at 15-14 before a back-and-forth battle ensued between the teams. The Wildcats focused on Taylor Sandbothe’s path and another block by her younger sister shifted the energy back to Kansas State. The Wildcats saw their first set point of the match, and the Buckeyes couldn’t counter back. Despite the Wildcat win, OSU still held the advantage 2-1 going into the fourth set. The Kansas State crowd made their voices heard to start the fourth set, cheering after every point that dropped on OSU’s side. The noise was egged on by the point-for-point play that characterized the entire set. When the dust cleared, it was again Kansas State who stole the set victory and forced a sudden-death final set. Errors are critical any five-set contest, and unforced errors by OSU allowed the Wildcats to take the two-point advantage 8-6 before switching sides of the court. The Buckeyes quickly changed their tone and after a handful of nail-biting final points, OSU claimed the crucial win to stay alive in the NCAA tournament. Junior outside hitter Luisa Schirmer combined with Taylor Sandbothe for 36 kills. Sophomore setter Taylor Hughes finished with another triple-double to her name with 14 kills, 41 assists and 15 digs. The Buckeyes are off to the Sweet Sixteen to face Big Ten rival, the Wisconsin Badgers. read more