Obama to Ali: ‘You shocked the world’

first_imgSTAR STUDDED GALA—Actress Rasheda Ali, daughter of boxing legend Muhammad Ali arrives at the Keep Memory Alive 16th Annual “Power of Love Gala” honoring Muhammad Ali with his 70th birthday celebration Feb. 18, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Jeff Bottari) by Oskar GarciaLAS VEGAS (AP)—President Barack Obama lauded Muhammad Ali Saturday as he joined some of the world’s most famous people in a birthday celebration for the boxer known simply as “The Greatest.”“Happy birthday, champ,” President Barack Obama told Ali through a video message, saying he wished he could have attended a swanky dinner gala in Las Vegas featuring some of the biggest names in sports, film, television and music. “As a fighter, you were something spectacular,” Obama told Ali, who turned 70 last month. “You shocked the world, and you inspired it, too. And even after all the titles and legendary bouts, you’re still doing it.”The gala’s 2,000 attendees were there to celebrate Ali’s life and generate millions of dollars for brain research, a mission Ali’s family says is important to him in part because of his nearly 30-year battle with Parkinson’s disease.Football great Jim Brown said Ali represents the greatest of America, because at one time people only recognized his athletic ability and didn’t like what he had to say. That changed over time, he said.“America started with slavery and ended up with a Black president,” Brown said. “Muhammad Ali was a part of that … a big part.”Ali’s wife, Lonnie Ali, told the star-studded crowd that her husband’s greatest wish has always been to inspire and help others. She said he feels that his life really began when he retired from the ring.“Muhammad’s gift of inspiration is timeless, and now more relevant than ever,” she said after being introduced by music icon Quincy Jones.Lonnie Ali introduced a video montage of her husband’s life, including clips from his work with children.“People look for miracles, people look for wonders, people expect surprises of all kinds,” Ali said in the video. “Yet the greatest wonder, the greatest miracle, the greatest surprise is to be found in one’s heart.”Guests arriving on the red carpet included football great Franco Harris, supermodel Cindy Crawford, acting star Samuel L. Jackson, Ali’s children and grandchildren and Chuck Wepner, who fought Ali in 1975 for the heavyweight title and lost.“I would go anywhere in the world for Muhammad Ali’s birthday,” Wepner said.One of Ali’s daughters, Rasheda Ali, said the gala is a chance for friends, family and A-listers who look up to her father to show their respect for his life and legacy as a humanitarian. In return, she says he’ll be honored to see them there.“He has not left that need to help others,” Rasheda Ali said. “That’s one of his core values—his charity and his giving.”The gala—with tickets starting at $1,500 per plate—was held at the MGM Grand, the site of most of boxing’s major fights the past two decades. Famous faces converged on the 160 tables adjacent to two rings and a stage—Terrence Howard, Anthony Hopkins, Manny Pacquiao, and Lenny Kravitz, among others. They planned performances and tributes to a fighter who went 56-5 in the ring with 37 knockouts and became perhaps the most famous athlete ever because of his personality and willingness to publicly stand up for his beliefs.Tennis great Andre Agassi said Ali has shown the world that each person has a duty—regardless of their occupation—to live for more than him or herself and help others.“What he did with his platform was unparalleled and the impact he’s had as a result, we still feel to this day, which is why we’re all out here tonight,” Agassi said. “We’re grateful to what he’s done. He’s been a leader—we’re also challenged and charged with a duty of figuring out a way to do more.”Ali has lived with Parkinson’s disease for nearly 30 years, a degenerative brain condition that some doctors say can be brought on by punches to the head.The gala raised funds for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Ky., a cultural attraction that celebrates Ali’s life and pushes educational goals on a wide range of topics for adults and children.Larry Ruvo, chairman of the clinic’s fundraising arm, Keep Memory Alive, said he’s not sure whether the fundraiser will exceed its record of $27 million, but he hopes so.The gala’s auction includes some items that only an A-lister or others with incredibly deep pockets could possibly afford. The top item was Ali’s gloves that he used to fight Floyd Patterson in 1965, a bout he won by knockout in the 12th round.“If it’s $100, great, $100,000 would be better,” Larry King said in trying to drum up bids.Magician David Copperfield auctioned off a four-night trip to his set of 11 private islands in the Bahamas for $300,000.Boxing promoter Bob Arum said during a pre-gala reception Friday night attended by celebrities including Hopkins and Larry King that Ali will go down as one of the most important Americans in history.“Without Muhammad Ali, there wouldn’t have been an Obama,” he said. “There wouldn’t have been a mixed-race president.”ABC and ESPN plan to air the gala on Feb. 25.last_img read more

Indiana State Outlasts Cowboys in Regional Opener

first_imgTofteland sent a hanging pitch by McLemore over the left field wall to give the Sycamores a 6-4 lead. NASHVILLE – It came down to one crucial swing of the bat, and unfortunately for the McNeese Cowboys, that swing came from Indiana State first baseman Dane Tofteland when his two-out, two-strike home run in the bottom of the fifth inning erased a top of the inning rally by the Cowboys and helped lift the No. 2 seeded Sycamores to a 6-5 win over McNeese in the opening game of the 2019 NCAA Baseball Nashville Regional here Friday. The Sycamores were led at the plate by Means, Wright and Luke Fegen who each had three hits. McNeese (35-25) got the first two outs of the bottom of the fifth with reliever Bryan King on the mound, but then a single by ISU’s Max Wright forced Cowboy head coach Justin Hill’s hand to bring in the righty Peyton McLemore against the right-handed hitter in Tofteland. Dion threw three straight zeroes on the board in his 3 1/3 innings pitched and gave up just one hit while striking out three. Nate Fisbeck followed with a two-run triple to close the gap to 4-3 and then tied the game when he scored off a Clayton Rasbeary sacrifice fly to right field. “I thought the offense of Indiana State had a really good approach against Aidan,” said Hill. “For him to come out and throw 3 2/3 innings and them get 10 hits and no strike outs, it’s a tribute to their approach. Polley (8-1) picked up the win for the Sycamores, who will play at 6 p.m. on Saturday in the winner’s bracket game. He threw five innings, gave up five runs on eight hits and struck out six. Cowboy reliever Will Dion, who relieved McLemore in the sixth after the Sycamores got the home run, double and then a walk, and pitched the Cowboys out of the threat by striking out ISU’s Jake Means to end the inning. Both teams’ starting pitchers – McNeese’s Aidan Anderson and ISU’s Triston Polley – entered the game with sub-3.00 ERAs so a pitcher’s duel was somewhat expected. McNeese will next play the loser of the No. 1-seed Vanderbilt/No. 4 Ohio State game at noon on Saturday in an elimination game. “I thought the story of the game was that they made one more play than we did.” The Cowboys went down in order in the ninth to end the game. McNeese chased ISU’s starter after Jake Dickerson led off the sixth by getting hit by a pitch. The Sycamores (42-16) brought in Tyler Grauer who pitched the final four innings, allowed just four hits, no runs and struck out five to pick up his ninth save of the season. However, both teams’ bats popped the rawhide pretty well, Indiana State finishing with 14 hits while McNeese totaled 12. “I think they had a little bit better bullpen than we did.” McNeese attempted to mount a two-out rally in the seventh when Shane Selman and Didkerson posted back-to-back singles before Carson Maxwell popped out for the third out, then in the eighth, Bourque reached on a two-out walk, stole second and then third and was left stranded when Harden grounded out to the pitcher to end the threat. Offensively, Fisbeck, Selman, Dickerson and Duhon each collected two hits in the game. “To open up the tournament, that was a pretty entertaining college baseball game,” said Hill. “There was a little bit of everything. I think there was some good pitching, especially late in the ball game; some really good offense, base running, defense and no errors by either team. Trailing 4-1 going into the fifth inning, McNeese responded with three runs to tie the game 4-4. The rally was started by a lead-off single by catcher Dustin Duhon then followed by a one-out single from left fielder Payton Harden. The Cowboys closed the gap to 6-5 in the sixth when they loaded the bases with one out. Dickerson scored off a Reid Bourque RBI fielder’s choice but the tying run would be left stranded on third after Harden’s infield grounder rolled into a forced third out at second base.last_img read more

Star status hasn’t changed Edwards

first_imgFONTANA – When Carl Edwards first arrived on the NASCAR scene, fans and media members alike marveled at the driver’s attitude. To Edwards, everything was a “cool,” “neat” or “awesome” experience. And the 27-year-old driver seemed as surprised with his sudden rise to prominence as everyone else. Many a wide-eyed athlete has arrived at the big leagues with a refreshing outlook, only to adopt a jaded veteran mentality as the newness of fame and fortune wears away. But that is the exact opposite of what Edwards wants. He once said his greatest worry was somewhere down the line that people would say he’s changed from the genuine nice guy he once was. Edwards, who will begin his third full-time season in Nextel Cup racing with his fun-loving attitude intact, has little to worry about. To Edwards, racing is still cool – really cool, in fact. Not only does he get to do what he loves, he gets to experience amazing opportunities that come along with being a star in America’s biggest racing series. Take his recent trip to California, as an example. When speaking about his travels, Edwards sported such a wide grin that he nearly laughed with every word. “The fact that I qualified my Cup car (in Daytona), and then I get a police escort from the garage to the private airplane hangar where they had a jet waiting with the door open and food – that, I guess at some point in my life, I told somebody what my favorite foods were – and they’re all on the plane with some reading material with two pilots calling me Mr. Edwards. (They) flew all the way here, (I) put on some suit that some stylist picked out for me, then went to some Grammy parties and hung out with Kid Rock a little bit. center_img “I mean, that whole thing is crazy. It’s weird. It’s like I’ve lived two separate lives. I’m telling you, they weren’t even letting me in (California Speedway) five years ago. There’s no way. It’s just funny.” When Edwards smiles, everyone smiles with him. His enthusiasm is contagious and a bit magnetic, given that his success story somehow makes others feel good about themselves, too. Or perhaps it’s because however many strangers are in the room when Edwards enters, there are few when he leaves. Even walking into a private reception at Hollywood hotspot Bar Marmont last week, Edwards shook hands and greeted seemingly everyone in the room. Despite knowing hardly anyone, he made eye contact and spoke to each person. When he talks about himself, he somehow works everyone from his motorcoach driver to his PR representative into the stories, showing no regard for his star status. After all, it wasn’t too long ago that he learned that those he held in high esteem were just regular people like him. “There’s a big paradigm shift when you get (to Cup),” he said. “… I kind of had these ideas about how people were, but everybody’s been really cool. It’s amazing.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Lockheed lends engineers to aid young rocket scientists

first_imgLockheed engineer Ken McKinney said he was impressed with the drive and work ethic of the students from Knight, a Title I school where nearly half the students receive federally subsidized lunches. “They flew their first rocket about a month and a half ago. It was a fairly windy spring day, and it went plummeting into the desert floor,” McKinney said. “After that I challenged them. If NASA could fly at night, so could they. They showed up at 5:30 in the morning to launch before school – it’s less windy right around dawn. They’ve accepted every challenge thrown at them. It’s been very impressive. They are going to outwork a lot of their competition.” Each student team was tasked to build a rocket that will carry a raw egg 850 feet into the air and back down again in 45 seconds without breaking the fragile cargo, said Bill Lewis, a physics and engineering teacher at Knight. The teams will be scored based on how close they come to the target altitude and time, Lewis said. PALMDALE – With a loud “whish,” the model rocket blasted off the desert floor outside Knight High School, trailed by a fiery tail and leaving behind a cloud of black smoke. Working with Lockheed Martin engineers, 15 students in the school’s Rocket Club have designed and built two model rockets to enter into a national competition. “It’s fun to design stuff and think of new things and actually make something work. It’s very satisfying,” senior Ismael Yanez said. “We knew nothing about rockets when we started. We started from scratch.” Since fall, two teams of students have dedicated several hundred hours after school, working on their project for the fifth annual Team America Rocketry Challenge sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. There are strict specifications and safety guidelines from the National Association of Rocketry that must be followed: The rocket must not weigh more than 3.3 pounds, and the egg must be a Grade A hen’s egg. A rocketry association member, a Lancaster man who works for a cable company and is a rocket hobbyist, is the official judge who is making sure the students meet the guidelines. The teams have two chances to do qualifying flights to advance to the national competition in Virginia in May, Lewis said. Of the 750 teams allowed to register to compete, only the top 100 teams will be selected, Lewis said. Knight’s rockets are made out of balsa wood, plastic, and cardboard tubing, have parachutes, and are powered by solid propellant model rocket motors. They measure between three and four feet in height and are less than three inches in diameter. “It’s electronically ignited. They have cables hooked up to the motor and a long cord and then they press a button,” Lewis said. Test flights have gone well. McKinney said the rocket built by the team he advises last week hit 850 feet on the dot and came in at 45.7 seconds. McKinney and two other Lockheed engineers, Scott Gonzales and Scott Munro, got involved in part because their wives work as teachers in the Antelope Valley Union High School District. McKinney’s wife is a biology teacher and Munro’s is a French instructor, and both work at Knight. Gonzales’ wife works at Highland High. Munro helped get funding for the project, with Lockheed donating $3,000. Gonzales and McKinney have been acting as team advisers and mentors. “They attend weekly meetings with them, sometimes more often than once a week. They are there to answer questions about air drag and other engineering concepts. They are generous with their time and helping the teams along the way,” Lewis said. Senior Caitlin Enomoto said she signed up for the club because she thought it would be a fun project. “It sounded pretty cool. I like the designing of the rocket and making it fly, and it feels like it’s a big challenge,” Enomoto said. “Besides learning about the rocket and stuff like that, you really learn the importance of teamwork and communications.” karen.maeshiro@dailynews.com (661) 267-5744 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


first_imgMILFORD GAA NOTES*Cul Camp*The Cul Camp returns for another year this year from the 30th june until the 4th of July. The Camp is open to all children aged between 6 and 14 and all children who attend receive a free Cul Camp pack consisting of a kit and bag. The cost of the camp is €55 for the 1st child, €45 for the 2nd, and €40 for 3rd and subsequent. For more information contact Shaun Paul Barrett on 086-6052169. *G4M&O Blitz in Cookstown*Our G4M&O team are off to Cookstown on Saturday the 28th when they take part in the Mid Ulster Sports Arena annual fun day, starting at 11am. The following week is the Ulster G4M&O Blitz in Randalstown. Training is on Monday evenings at 6.45 and always open to newcomers. *Seniors*The Seniors were defeated last Saturday by Urris in Clonmany by 1-16 to 1-12. Next up for the Seniors is a home clash against Burt on Saturday 21st at 7.30pm.*U12s*The U12s played at home to Termon on Monday night and found it very tough against a very well drilled team. Despite both the A and B teams getting beat there were great performances from Owen McElhinney and Kelsey McAteer in the B Team, and Eamon and Eoin O’Donnell in the A Team. Next up is an away game to St Michaels next Monday.*U8s*Our Under 8’s travelled to Letterkenny Gaels on Saturday for a very enjoyable Blitz. We beat the host team easily in our 1st match with excellent displays from Dara Sheridan, Aaron Burns and Ryan McElhinney. In our 2nd match we won a very close encounter over Downings with Rory O’Brien, Dabhaid Lynch and Joseph Barrett excelling with some great long range scores. Our final match was agains…t a very strong Gweedore side and we lost narrowly after a very entertaining match. Best for CLG BnaG were Jason McAteer, Conor Coffey and Conor Houston. Many thanks to Letterkenny Gaels for their hospitality on the day and to all the parents who supported the team. Our next Blitz is in Lifford on Saturday 28th.*Training Schedules* Seniors/Reserves/U21s/Minors: Mon (8.30pm @ Crossfit LK), Tuesday & Thursday (7pm @ Pitch)Senior Ladies: (@ Pitch): Wednesday (7pm), Saturday (10am)Minors: (@ Pitch) Wednesday (4.30pm)G4M&O: (@ Pitch): Mondays (8pm) U16s: (@ Pitch): Mondays (6.30pm), Wednesdays (6.30pm)U14s: (@ Pitch): Tuesday (4.15pm), Friday (4.15pm)U12s: (@ Pitch) Thursdays (6pm)U12s (Mixed): (@ Pitch) Thursdays (6pm)Gaelic4Girls: (@ Pitch) Fridays (6pm)U10s: (@ Pitch): Fridays (7pm)U8s: (@ Pitch): Fridays (6pm)*Underage Coaching*Anyone interested in getting involved in the coaching of underage teams are asked to contact Shaun Paul Barrett on 086-6052169*2014 Membership*Club membership will be soon due for the 2014 year. Please be aware that Donegal tickets will only be sourced for paid up members of the Club. The rates remain unchanged from 2013:Family – €50Senior – €20U18 – €10Alternatively you can subscribe to the Club Lotto Database. For €17 a month you will receive:– Full Family membership– Entered into every weekly Lotto draw– Automatically in a Christmas Hamper Draw (For subscribers only)– 11 free weeks entry into the lottoFor more information contact Joe McNulty on 086-8547114*Lotto*This weeks lotto numbers were 3-5-12-14. No jackpot winner, 6 match 3 winners win €15 each. Marie O’Hara, Mairead McGlynn, Michael & Francie McHugh, all Milford, John O’Donnell, Kilmacrennan, Joe Coyle, Ramelton, and Mary & Charlie Barrett, Drumacloghan . Next weeks Jackpot is €880.*Lotto Database*Lotto database players are reminded that end of year payments are now due. Anyone wishing to join the lotto database in 2014 can download the standing order form from the Club website or contact Joe McNulty. The benefits of joining the database are:– Full family membership for 2014 included– Entered into every draw evey week– Automatically in Christmas hamper draw (One for database members only)– 11 weeks free entry to lotto draw*Lucozade Sports Club Crusade*Thank you to all who helped with this years bottle cap collection, your support was much appreciated and we would ask that everyone continues to collect their bottle caps for next years collection.*Child Protection & ASAP Policies*CLG BnaG Child Protection and Welfare Policy & Procedures and CLG BnaG Alcohol and Substance Abuse (ASAP) prevention Policy information sessions have been held for all members of the club executive and all those involved with underage teams. There will be further information sessions for underage members and their parents/guardians following the next registration in 2014. Please visit the ‘downloads’ section of our website (Milford.Donegal.gaa.ie) and view the policy for yourself. If anyone has any queries or concerns or comments please contact the club Children’s Officer Marian McNulty at 086/8506405 or marian.mcnulty@lyit.ie*Volunteers Needed for Sub-Committees*CLG BnaG is currently in the process of creating Sub-Committees to help implement and achieve the targets of a 5 year plan. If you feel you can contribute to the running of the Club in any small way, either in time or in ideas, please contact MilfordDonegalGAA@gmail.com, 0863400082 or send a PM. The Sub-Committees are as follows:FinanceUnderage Games DevelopmentAdult Games DevelopmentClub AdministrationClub FacilitiesPR, Communication & Culture*Lotto Sellers Required*The Club is seeking lotto sellers in the Milford, Ramelton and Rathmullan areas. If you are interested contact Joe McNulty on 086-8547114*Evolution Fitness*All paid up club members will now be able to avail of a €10 discount on 3 month membership. Normal 3 month membership is €80 but will be available to members for €70. If interested contact Jack Duddy at Evolution Fitness beside the mart in Milford*Contact Us*For all information and queries contact MilfordDonegalGAA@Gmail.com, follow us on Twitter on @CLGBnaG, and on Facebook on www.facebook.com/clgbaile.nangalloglach or see our website www.milford.donegal.gaa.ie/*Milford GAA Club Gear*Club gear is now available to order. Anyone who has ordered club gear but yet received it are to contact either Aidan or Barry. The range of club gear includes Hoodies, Tracksuits tops, Windcheaters, hats, navy polo shirts, white polo shirts, and t-shirts. There is some lovely gear available at very reasonable prices and photos are available to view on the club Facebook page. Orders can be placed with Agnes Ryan on 086-8194751.GAA NEWS: MILFORD CUL CAMP RETURNS ON JUNE 30TH was last modified: June 18th, 2014 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:Milford GAA club noteslast_img read more


first_imgTHE Principal of a Co Donegal school today questioned school league tables – saying they fail to accurately show how well an institution is doing.Anne McHugh, principal at Errigal College hit back today in a letter to the Irish Times which published the list last week.She said she awaited each year’s list with “dread” knowing it would be inaccurate. She wrote today: “Our school conducts our enrolment in November each year for prospective students. We are one of four second-level schools in Letterkenny and we seek students from over 20 primary schools. You can appreciate I am sure how competitive our enrolment situation is. You will also appreciate how I read your School League Tables with dread each November just when students are choosing schools.“Our position in the league table is inaccurate, as pointed out by Noel Gildea, Principal of Riversdale Community College. (December 2nd). We too provide an examination centre for a large number of adult education students; in our case this year 25 of the 72 you said did the Leaving Certificate were Adult Education students. This gave our school a figure of 21 per cent progressing to third-level. Excluding those 25 students, Errigal College had 47 students who did the Leaving Certificate and a progression rate of 32 per cent.“This has clearly skewed the percentage attributed to our school which does not include two students who are studying abroad, one in university in Poland and one in Belgium.”   PRINCIPAL HITS OUT AT ‘INACCURATE’ SCHOOL LEAGUE TABLES was last modified: December 8th, 2011 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:errigal collegeletterkennylast_img read more


first_imgCounty chairman Sean Dunnion congratulates Rory Gallagher on his appointment this evening. Pic Official DonegalBREAKING NEWS: Rory Gallagher has officially been named as the new Donegal senior manager this evening.New Donegal manager Rory Gallagher.The Fermanagh man was handed the position by the Donegal County Board for a three year term with a fourth year available.A statement on the official Donegal GAA website said “Donegal GAA look forward to working with Rory and his backroom team and aim to keep Donegal competing at the top level.” Gallagher takes over from Jim McGuinness, having served with him during the All-Ireland winning run in 2012.Another connection to that team is Maxi Curran who is expected to remain as Under 21 boss.Declan Bonner is expected to be returned as minor manager after a hugely successful season which saw his team reach the All-Ireland final only to be beaten by Kerry.It is unclear at this stage as to who Rory Gallagher will choose as his backroom team but it is believed that Curran will play a role in that set-up.   GALLAGHER GETS DONEGAL SENIOR JOB WITH THREE YEAR CONTRACT was last modified: November 1st, 2014 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:donegalGAAjobRory Gallagherlast_img read more

Budget 2016: Tough balancing act in a tough global environment

first_imgSouth Africa’s 2016 National Budget was tabled in challenging global economic conditions, with low growth at home, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said at a media briefing on Thursday.“It’s a tough Budget,’ he said. “We are finding ourselves in a very difficult global economic environment with lots of doubt on whether the developed world will continue to grow . We’ve seen that currencies of emerging markets have been affected and commodity producers have been affected.’The Budget, tabled in Parliament on Wednesday, comes at a time when high unemployment levels and slow growth have demanded greater investment by the government.“We have our own internal difficulties as South Africa,’ Gordhan said. “We’ve been growing too slowly. Our unemployment levels are too high, poverty and inequality levels are also high … Government has, for the last six years or so, been carrying the substantial burden of investing in infrastructure, for example.’He said the country must come up with new answers.“At the same time, we’ve borrowed a lot since 2009 in order to sustain, in particular, our social services and invest in infrastructure and the economy more generally. We haven’t grown at the same level as we borrowed.’This, he said, means South Africa must rein in spending.“This means we have to tighten our belts, tax a little bit more without hurting the economy and cut expenditure within government as well. That’s the balancing act temporarily. I hope that we have to perform it until all of us can put our heads together and say: How do we grow this economy? How do we get more investment? How do we create more jobs?’Tax relief and tackling debtThe 2016 Budget makes tax proposals that include a personal income tax relief of R5.5-billion, partially compensating for inflation, focused on lower- and middle-income earners.Gordhan pointed out that South Africans’ household debt is high.“Indebtedness in South Africa is a serious problem,’ he said. “Unsecured lending, at one stage, was a serious problem. The message is, we will try to do whatever we can, as we have done this time. Where there are possibilities of tax relief, we will direct the tax relief at the lower end. For example, to mitigate inflation, the money that we’ve put in (R 5.5-billion) is going to the lower income brackets.’He urged South Africans not to overextend themselves financially. “Like government, everybody needs to balance their budgets as well until we can get the economy to start growing.’On the nuclear build programme, Gordhan said the Budget stance is that nuclear will be expanded at a scale and pace that is affordable following a thorough and transparent tender process.“We are at the very early stages of the programme. We will phase in the implementation of a programme like that in accordance with our affordability. We have to go through a proper, transparent procurement process.’Investment and structural reformGordhan also spoke of the need for investment to grow the economy.“For the purposes of growth, we require more investment both from government and from the private sector. We need more creative energy from our own people, we need entrepreneurs on a large scale and support for small, medium and micro-sized enterprises.’In his Budget speech on Wednesday, Gordhan emphasised that structural reforms – such as those detailed in the National Development Plan – were needed to “turn the South African economy’s direction towards hope’.“The Budget tabled today is guided by the NDP,’ he told Parliament. “It is a Budget for inclusive growth, it emphasises partnerships among role players in our economy, it prioritises education and infrastructure investment, it supports employment creation and it contributes to building a capable, developmental state.’Source: South African Government News Agency and South Africa.info reporterlast_img read more

The importance of beef exports

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By John F. Grimes, Ohio State University Extension Beef CoordinatorThe subject of trade seems to be a daily topic in the national and agricultural media in recent weeks. The President appears to be determined to create an environment for “fairer” trade between the U.S. and many of our trading partners. Thus far, negotiations between the U.S. and other countries have yielded few results, tough talk, and the threat of tariffs.Much of the uncertainty surrounding the issue of trade has created a level of anxiety within several U.S. industries. Agriculture is certainly one of those industries. Many agricultural commodities play an important role in our overall trade balance. The beef industry is greatly impacted by exports across the globe.Annual U.S. beef exports have risen significantly over the past decade according to statistical data from the U.S. Meat Export Federation. In 2008, the U.S. exported 984,712 metric tons of beef at a total value $3.619 billion dollars. In 2017, U.S. beef exports were at 1,263,456 metric tons for a total value of $7.269 billion dollars. The top six destinations for U.S. beef exports in 2017 were 1. Japan, $1,890 billion; 2. South Korea, $1,220 billion; 3. Mexico, $980 million; 4. Hong Kong, $884 million; 5. Canada, $796 million; and 6. Taiwan, 410 million.Exports of beef have continued their strong run thus far in 2018. Beef export volume was 111,213 metric tons in April, up 11% year-over-year. Export value was $676.7 million, up 23% and the fourth-highest on record. Through the first four months of 2018, exports were up 10% in volume to 429,286 metric tons. Export value was $2.59 billion, 20% above last year’s record pace.Exports accounted for 14.1% of total beef production in April, up from 13.6% a year ago. Beef export value averaged $328.46 per head of fed slaughter in April, up 16% from a year ago. Through April, per-head export value averaged $318.91, up 17%. To put these figures in perspective, $318.91 on a 1,400-pound market steer equals an added 22.8 cents per pound.The figures listed above should indicate the importance of exports to the beef industry. It certainly would be beneficial to the beef industry and many other agricultural commodities for our U.S. trade negotiators to make some agreements with our key trading partners sooner rather than later. To say a lot is at stake would be an understatement!last_img read more

Break [n.] an interruption in continuity

first_img Return to article. Long DescriptionAlpha Stock Images – http://alphastockimages.com/by Misty Krippel, EdMInterruptions to typical daily routines can happen often.  These breaks in routine can be unexpected, like when a family member comes down with the flu.  They can also be expected, such as a holiday or summer vacation.  Some families, particularly military families, may frequently experience a break in their routines as they move from one location to another.  Such disruptions to a family’s routine can result in a brief gap in early intervention (EI) or early childhood special education (ECSE) services.At times a break in services may occur due to concerns within the EI/ECSE agency and families may be left waiting to begin services for an extensive period of time.  If a family suspects this, they should contact the agency and discuss their concerns, the established procedures, and the timeline for obtaining services.  Families can also contact their local Parent and Training Information Center for additional guidance.In this blog, we want to focus on creative activities that can be embedded into everyday activities during a break in typical routines or during a time of transition such as a move, that can help young children maintain the skills they have developed until EI/ECSE services resume.COMMUNICATIONAn interruption to the services a child receives can feel overwhelming to caregivers.  They may worry that their child’s developmental progress will be negatively impacted.  The following resources provide opportunities to practice communication skills in everyday settings:Let’s Play: This website suggests fun activities to promote early communication skills with infants and toddlers. Be sure to check out our favorite “The Power of Peekaboo.”Our Montessori Home: This mother, who is also a Montessori educator, has several ideas to help toddlers and preschoolers identify beginning sounds. These ideas are portable, adaptable, and use items in a child’s everyday environment.FINE MOTORFine motor skills such as grasping objects, scribbling, coloring, or tying shoelaces use small muscles, but they accomplish important tasks.  There is no shortage of ideas to potentially help develop these skills in young children.  Here are two we liked:Paper Tube Threading: Toilet paper or paper towel tubes, a hole punch, and a few straws make for a great threading activity for preschoolers to practice their fine motor skills. Bonus – if a paper tube is needed, a young toddler can practice the fine motor skills involved in unrolling a nearly empty toilet paper roll!  Don’t all kids love to do that?Cardboard Lacing: Families who experience a break due to a move can repurpose their moving boxes using this activity and some yarn, string, or old shoelaces.  If a family doesn’t have any moving boxes lying around, they can use a side from a cardboard cereal or cracker box instead.GROSS MOTORGross motor development involves large muscle groups and activities such as walking, jumping, pushing, lifting, and more.  Check out the following ways to use common objects to help strengthen young children’s gross motor skills:Hands On As We Grow: This website has 35 gross motor skills that preschool children will love. The list includes such games as “The Floor is Lava” and “Dumpster Diving.”  During a winter holiday break in routine, families could play a game of “Newspaper Throwing” and call it “Snowball Fight!”Tissue Paper Kicking: With the supervision of a caregiver, this tissue paper activity can be used to encourage babies to kick and strengthen their leg muscles.  Wax paper, cellophane, bubble wrap, or packing paper could also be used.PROBLEM-SOLVINGProblem-solving skills are continuously crafted throughout the lifespan.  Young children need support and practice to develop these important skills.  These resources can help professionals and families provide that support for children:Adam & Mila: This website explains problem-solving in the context of infants and toddlers and identifies activities for young children to support the development of these critical life skills.   These simple activities are fun and use common toys or items.DIY Shape Puzzles: Repurposed cardboard and paper shapes can be used to create a simple puzzle. Caregivers can cut shapes from construction paper, magazine pages, or use plain white paper and encourage a child to color on it.  Coloring the shapes incorporates fine motor skills into this activity as well.SOCIAL-EMOTIONALMaking friends, identifying emotions, regulating behavior, and feeling empathy for others are all a part of social-emotional development.  Similar to problem-solving skills, social-emotional development is an ongoing process.  Sample resources to help foster these skills in young children are:Mirror, Mirror: This blogger shares her ideas for using a mirror to foster social-emotional skills in infants and toddlers.  Caregivers, siblings, and others can all join in the fun.Glad Monster, Sad Monster Book Nook: The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning created a handout with several ideas for using the book Glad Monster, Sad Monster to promote social-emotional skill development.  Hop on over to Pocket of Preschool for additional activities to use with this book.Breaks in EI/ECSE services don’t have to mean a loss in skill development.  Using common items and a little bit of creativity it is possible for a child to maintain the skills they have worked so hard to acquire…even over the summer or during a family move.  What are your favorite ideas?  Leave a comment below! Alpha Stock Images – http://alphastockimages.com/last_img read more