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Barkley salvages last-gasp point for Chelsea against Man Utd

first_imgCHELSEA 2 MANCHESTER UNITED 2An injury time goal from substitute Ross Barkley earned Chelsea a last-gasp 2-2 draw at home to Manchester United in the Premier League on Saturday in a match that ended with United boss Jose Mourinho involved in scuffles.Two goals from Anthony Martial had appeared to have earned Mourinho’s Manchester United a comeback win after they went 1-0 down in the first half.United, who had never won nor even scored a goal under Mourinho at his former club, went behind in the 20th minute when Germany defender Toni Rudiger strode away from marker Paul Pogba and rose to head home a Willian corner.Chelsea had most possession and looked in control until Martial thumped in the equaliser in the 55th minute against the run of play after Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga had kept out a close-range Juan Mata shot.The goal galvanised the visitors and Martial made it two in the 73rd minute after a fine breakaway move between former Chelsea midfielder Mata and Marcus Rashford.At the other end David De Gea was forced into fine diving saves from David Luiz and N’Golo Kante but was powerless as Barkley hammered home after Luiz’s header hit the post.Mourinho, who won three titles with Chelsea, has been touted as the next Premier League managerial sacking after his side’s uncertain start to the season.last_img read more

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Naya Zamana 22 for NCC on August 25

first_imgIt will rain fabulousness at the National Cultural Centre (NCC) in Georgetown, Guyana on Saturday, August 25 when the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha stages its spectacular annual theatrical production Naya Zamana.In its 22nd year, the production’s formula of dance melded with drama, set against breathtaking backdrops, has captured a loyal fan following whether the show plays at home or in New York.The tickets for this show are highly coveted and grabbed quickly by theatre-goers. The creative vision of Dr Vindhya Vasini Persaud who scripts, directs, choreographs and produces Naya Zamana is beautifully embellished by Trishala Simantini Persaud’s artistry in the dazzling and beautiful costumes that are a signature of the production.Special lighting and sound will be added for enhanced effect.The vibrant and cutting-edge choreography and the new story each year capture the emotions of the audience as they are taken on a rollercoaster of the actors’ journeys of romance, ambition, jealousy and other battles.The liberal intermixing of Bollywood, creative, lyrical and Indian classical and folk dances by graceful and energetic dancers makes this production magical, memorable and not one you would want to miss!Tickets for Naya Zamana 22 cost $3500, $3000 and $2000, and can be picked up at the National Cultural Centre, Dharmic Kendra, Red Mango, E-Networks and Bhagwan’s on Water Street.last_img read more

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Perception of SARA impacts credibility

first_imgA few days ago, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA), Aubrey Retmyer, was reported as saying that his known political loyalty would not affect his work. His response was in the context of perceived bias by SARA against members of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) who continue to be placed before the courts. The PPP has consistently labelled the charges as baseless and frivolous and more recently the Party’s General Secretary described them as a means of reputational damage.To some, Retmyer’s statement can be seen as refreshing and as a hallmark of professionalism. To others, it would be mere defensive rhetoric. He accurately referenced Guyana being a small country and the difficulty of knowing persons who are not politically oriented. He also stated that he can have a political preference and still be unbiased in the execution of his duties.Such comments are laudable, a reflection of people’s expectations and captures the manner in which someone at that level should execute his/her duties. While one may have no reason to doubt his ability to function professionally, the context of what has unfolded since the establishment of SARA, must be examined.The Government, having promised their supporters during the 2015 election campaign to place PPP officials before the courts, has used SARA and the numerous forensic audits in that regard. Of importance is that during its three years thus far, some stakeholders have pointed out what they believed to be very questionable Government transactions including the Sussex Street Drug Bond, Jubilee Park and the $600 million plus drug purchase for the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).The stakeholders who brought attention to these situations are of the belief that State assets may have been compromised and that there is more than enough merit for each to be thoroughly investigated by SARA.The reality is that only officials from the PPP Administration have being charged and placed into the court docks. The perception by many is that SARA is deliberately ignoring everything that has been presented in relation to Government’s alleged wrongdoings. With time, perception tends to become a substitution for reality and it is therefore extremely challenging for people not to believe.Perception or not, many are of the view that SARA, through its actions so far, is an entity solely to go after former PPP officials. From its mandate, that clearly is not the case. However, strong words such as ‘witch-hunt’ and ‘persecution’ have been used by the PPP and its supporters to describe what is being meted out to them. In that context of what continues to unfold, the usage of such terms not only seems unavoidable, but factual.This feeling is further fuelled by the lack appearance of any attempt by SARA to give similar priority to complaints raised in relation to alleged financial improprieties by Government officials in spite of necessary information reportedly provided. Clearly, the ordinary people will be unaware if efforts are ongoing discretely. Even if that were the case, the lack of provision of minimal information stacks on the growing perception.In this regard, some have questioned the Agency over what appears to be a reluctance to investigate the complaints alluded to. This therefore has potential to negatively impact its credibility which in turn can give credence to the belief of bias against one side. None can dispute that information first has to be verified. Then the credibility of that and potential evidence are determined to further an investigation.By that, it implies that initial work has to be done. Was it? If not, why? Therein may lie Retmyer’s dilemma. While as an individual he would want to ensure that his political allegiance does not cloud his professional judgement, the entirety of SARA’s operations has to be seen to be complying in tandem. The belief by many is that the entity’s judgement may be clouded by alleged political loyalty. Even if it is not true, there is that strong perception which is driven by a belief of political direction.In order for the Agency to have full acceptance from all on its national purpose, that perception has to change through impartiality and unfettered and holistic professionalism devoid of any political directive. It therefore becomes extremely challenging, again in the context noted, for any known political operative or affiliate at the helm to remove that perception despite good intentions.However, he has an opportunity to influence the raising of the bar on expected fairness to mitigate the strong belief of partiality. A genuine quest in that direction would be welcomed and would boost credibility.last_img read more

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Ribery returns to full training with Bayern

first_img0Shares0000Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribery has scored nine league goals in the last two-and-a-half seasons © AFP/File / CHRISTOF STACHEMUNICH, Germany, Feb 21 – Former France international forward Franck Ribery resumed full training with Bayern Munich on Tuesday following injury, his club said.The 33-year-old took part in his first training session with team-mates following seven weeks out with a thigh problem. He had trained on Monday too, but alone as the rest of the squad was given the day off.Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti has already suggested Ribery could make his comeback as early as this weekend in Saturday’s Bundesliga clash with Hamburg.Although frequently injured these last few seasons, Ribery remains a vital cog in Bayern’s attack.But last season he played in only just over a third of Bayern’s league matches and the year before he featured in less than half.He’s only scored nine league goals in the last two and a half seasons, short of his single season best of 12 for Bayern in 2011/12.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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Valley Fair opens to public despite the lack of livestock

first_imgOrganizers of the Valley Fair, formerly known as the San Fernando Valley Fair, decided to move the fair to Santa Clarita this year, where they hope to attract more visitors than the number at Hansen Dam, where it was held the last two years. “We want the kids’ (livestock) auction to be with us, but we’re a fair without a home, and we’re just doing the best we can,” said Pamela Corradi, director of the fair. Still, the fair has trained sea lions catching Frisbees and a petting zoo where children can make friends with a tortoise and baby goats. After her daughter, Taylor, and the girl’s friend Terri stepped out of the petting zoo, Janel Richardson of Valencia said the lack of a livestock competition did not mean much to the young girls. “They’re happy anywhere; they’re kids,” Richardson said. SAUGUS – The Valley Fair kicked off Thursday at the Saugus Speedway, featuring exhibits of tortoises, tigers and sea lions but no livestock – angering a group of 4-H members who protested at the entrance. Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcón joined more than a dozen people in the protest, faulting fair organizers for holding the event outside their agricultural district. Alarcón also accused them of ignoring the needs of children who exhibit livestock at the fair. Instead, the livestock exhibition will be held 20 miles away on Sunday at the Hansen Dam Equestrian Center. But that was not the case for the kids who joined Alarcón outside the entrance to the fair. Sitting on the ground with a protest sign, Clancy Burns, 8, said she was disappointed. She raises chickens, turkeys and rabbits in the backyard of her Sun Valley home. “We have to feed them day and night, and we have to clean their cages and do a lot of stuff,” she said. Organizers said they could not get enough visitors at Hansen Dam – just 14,000 came last year – and they hope to attract enough people to be self-sustaining at their new location. Organizers also said that it would cost too much, $43,000, to set up a facility for the livestock competition at the asphalt-covered Saugus Speedway, especially since few livestock participants signed up. But the Valley Fair has other attractions. Carnival rides and games, the smell of meat grilling at food stands and the sight of caged tigers are all expected to draw both young and old visitors. In a horticulture tent, participant Lisa Stern showed her prize-winning roses. The tiny petals were the reddest of crimson. On another table were big cloves of prize-winning garlic. alex.dobuzinskis@dailynews.com (661) 257-5253160Want 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

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Long Beach will open Champ Car series

first_imgFrom news services The Champ Car World Series on Monday announced its schedule for 2008 and the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will be back to kicking off the season, as it had done in 2004, 2005 and 2006. Las Vegas kicked off the 2007 season, but it will not be one of six stops in the U.S. in 2008. One of the new stops will be in Spain. The series finale will be held in Mexico City next November. Playful Act, by French champion Sadler’s Wells and out of Magnificent Style, had mated with Kingmambo but the foal was aborted. John Sikura, who sold the horse for Hill `n’ Dale Bloodstock, said he was expecting a price topping $5 million and was surprised the bidding went so high. ETC.: New Zealand-bred Efficient beat Purple Moon to win the $4.6 million Melbourne Cup, taking Australia’s richest and most prestigious horse race. Hockey legend Guy Lafleur knew his son was breaking conditions of his bail, a judge said in denying a request to let Mark Lafleur live with his father. “While, according to the testimony of the accused and his father before this court on Oct. 15, it seems that rather than sleeping at his father’s house, (his father) allowed him to spend the weekends or nights in the company of his girlfriend, aged 16, in two different hotels,” Quebec Superior Court Justice Carol Cohen said in denying the younger Lafleur’s request for bail. The former Montreal Canadiens star had testified before the court that his son was abiding by a court-ordered curfew while staying with his parents on weekends.Lafleur has since admitted that he drove his son to hotels to spend the night with his girlfriend. ETC.: Gene Haas, a 54-year-old NASCAR team owner, was sentenced to two years in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to defrauding the government of more than $34 million in taxes. Haas, the owner of Oxnard-based Haas Automation and NASCAR’s Haas CNC Racing, was ordered to begin serving his term on Jan. 14, the U.S. Attorney’s office said in Los Angeles. … Smokers at Churchill Downs who want to light up after picking a winner will have to find another starting gate. A state judge struck down an exemption to Louisville’s ban that allowed patrons to smoke at Churchill Downs. John Elway knows a thing or two about closing out a win, and it showed on the golf course. The Pro Football Hall of Famer finished strong by winning the short-iron event, and he and Natalie Gulbis won the Golf Skills Challenge at the Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort and Club in Aventura, Fla. Elway and Gulbis split the $310,000 grand prize. Dan Marino and Bubba Watson finished second to win $210,000. Roger Clemens and Greg Norman placed third ($155,000), followed by Jerry Rice and Peter Jacobsen in fourth ($125,000). ETC.: Two-time defending champion Lorena Ochoa could be shooting for a bigger winner’s check at the Sybase Classic next year after the Clifton, N.J. tournament increased its purse to $2 million. Justine Henin might not defend her tennis gold medal at the Beijing Olympics, fearing the city’s air pollution could trigger her asthma. The top-ranked Belgian withdrew from the China Open in September because of her asthma. “I’ve had asthma for a few months now and I felt very bad in New York at the end of the (U.S. Open), so Beijing, I was really concerned about that,” Henin said at the Sony Ericsson Championships. “I was pretty disappointed because I wanted to play the (China Open) and get used to the conditions.” The air quality in Beijing is “a big problem,” International Olympic Committee inspection team leader Hein Verbruggen said. His remarks came a week after the United Nations said air pollution was a major concern for athletes leading to the Games. Brunner was stepped on by a bull in a United Rodeo Association event, Topeka police said. He died after being taken to Stormont-Vail Regional Health Center in Topeka. Autopsy results released Monday by the Shawnee County coroner’s office said the cause of death was “blunt force injuries.” U.S. ice dancer Melissa Gregory does not have serious injuries from a fall at Skate Canada that forced her and partner Denis Petukhov to withdraw. Gregory is expected to make a full recovery. Brazilian swimmer Rebeca Gusmao was suspended by FINA for testing positive for testosterone. The doping violation stemmed from an out-of-competition test on July 13. Kansas City Wizards forward Eddie Johnson was selected as the Comeback Player of the Year in Major League Soccer. Johnson started 24 games and had 15 goals and six assists for the Wizards. He earned the honor in his seventh season in the MLS. The Kansas City forward is not coming off injury, but a 2006 season filled with inconsistent play and absences because of playing for the U.S. national team and suspension. Jurisprudence Golf Olympics Deaths Joshua J. “Cody” Brunner, a 21-year-old professional bull rider from Missouri, died Saturday night after being stomped by a bull he had just ridden. Figure skating Swimming Soccer The Revolution’s Michael Parkhurst was picked top defender. Quotable German tennis player Michael Haas, who has grown tired of all the speculation over potential match-fixing on the men’s tour: “It’s time people start naming names. Every day someone says something: Andy Murray, Werner Eschauer, Michael Llodra, Arnaud Clement, now someone anonymous.I’m telling them, be concrete – then we can undertake something. All this talk isn’t bringing us further.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “We’re proud to stage the kickoff race for the 2008 Champ Car World Series,” said Jim Michaelian, CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. “It will give our loyal fans first crack at enjoying the Champ Car cars and stars, along with the other five racing series – including the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race – we’ll have as part of our weekend-long ultimate speed festival.” The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will take place April 20. Horse racing The ruler of Dubai paid $10.5 million to buy Playful Act at Keeneland’s Breeding Stock Sale, a world record auction price for a broodmare. The bidding was another showdown between two titans of the horse breeding industry, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum’s Darley Stud and Coolmore Stud. John Ferguson, the buyer for the sheik, said he was determined to get the horse. last_img

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WORLD-RENOWNED IT GURU TO CREATE 40 NEW JOBS IN DONEGAL

first_imgLiam McGettigan and his Canadian business partner plan to crate 40 jobs in Donegal.A world-renowned IT guru is to help create 40 new jobs in Co Donegal with a new free classified ads website.Canadian businessman David Boulette, along with his Donegal business partners, is to set up www.sellm8.com, at the CoLab in Letterkenny’s LYIT.With more than 15 years of experience in software development and with a keen eye for launching highly successful ventures, David has built a portfolio of companies that are today valued at more than $500 million. David has partnered with local businesspeople Bernadette O’Neill and Liam McGettigan, to launch the site next Friday, June 19th.The company’s plan is to take on Ireland’s €4 billion second hand market.All development and support will be based out of Donegal office with the goals of hiring at least 40 high tech jobs within 12 months.Boulette is no stranger to the IT business and his background is seen as a real vote of confidence as ‘sellm8’ looks to take on the bigger players in the Irish market including Done Deal. BigdNetHis company BigdNet is the driving force behind a highly innovative Demand Side Platform responsible for serving more than 10 billion impressions a month for world class brands such as Proctor and Gamble, Toyota, Ford Motor Company, Target, Walmart and many more.David’s record label RMR has signed five major stars since launching in 2014. EverythingAmped is responsible for powering more than 600 mobile apps and 100 websites used every day by millions of people around the globe.Locally, the company will be run by Ms O’Neill and Mr McGettigan.Liam Mc Gettigan, a well known Kilmacrennan man is more likely to be seen swimming in the seas and lakes around Donegal than surfing the internet. But, not only is he the first person to swim the length of Glenveagh National Park Lough, he is certainly no stranger to sport and loves any sporting challenge including taking part & competing in the illustrious world ironman competition in Austria.A keen rugby and gaelic player for many years, Liam now spends time coaching his favourite sports to youth teams in his local community.So in recent months, after a chat in a kitchen in rural Donegal some months ago, with his business partners over a cup of tea, his strengths soon turned to a dream he has in the pipeline for many years to reality.Liam said “With so many of our young people especially in my home county of Donegal leaving our shores because of the lack of employment, I see first hand the young sporting scene desimating when these children get to the age of 18, and now I am delighted to get the opportunity to develop this online business, basing it in my home county of Donegal and over the next 12 months I aim to create much needed employment on our doorstep to manage this national and global online enterprise.” “The key to any successful business is the team who surround you, and I and my business partners are fortunate to have met the right team at the right time, and we are delighted to have the good health, strength, passion and determination to build this & create employment in our county by providing an online service that will benefit everyone.”WORLD-RENOWNED IT GURU TO CREATE 40 NEW JOBS IN DONEGAL was last modified: June 11th, 2015 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:David RoulettedonegalLiam McGettiganwww.sellm8.comlast_img read more

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Sidelined

first_imgUSC football coach Pete Carroll is one of the band’s biggest supporters and always leads the team over to pay tribute before and after games. Carroll said Thursday night he was unaware of the location change and would look into the matter. “Regardless of where the band is, they will always be closest to our heart whether at home or away,” he said. Not everyone favors the change, however. “We didn’t want to do it,” said a member who asked not to be identified. “It’s not like we were asked.” Another issue is who will get the choice seats vacated by the band. An athletic department spokesperson said the tickets would be available as season tickets to those who donate to one of USC’s support groups. Last year, USC upset some season-ticket holders who were forced to move seats unless they donated money to a support group. Students will surround whoever pays for the band’s seats because the group sat in the heart of the student section. Patrick Bailey, an assistant dean of student affairs who supervises the band, said the move was not forced. “I never heard anyone say, `You’re definitely moving,”‘ Bailey said. “I think it was a win-win for everyone.” Bailey said other changes are planned for home games. USC will no longer have yell leaders and instead will employ a group of about 14 male students to help lead cheers throughout the stadium. The group does not have a name, but is currently being marketed as Team Trojan. “They won’t be beside the song girls; they will move around the Coliseum,” Bailey said. “Student interest was dwindling in the yell leaders. We only had three for basketball season.” Bailey said there would also be “some movement of the student seating.” One idea moves the students from the area near the Coliseum clock in the peristyle end to an area that wraps around the Sun Deck. “Everyone will see us in the Sun Deck and I will be able to coordinate every cheer,” Bartner said. “Hopefully, it’s a real positive thing.” Maybe the first song the home opener on Sept. 16 against Nebraska should be “Band on the Run.” scott.wolf@dailynews.com (818) 713-3607160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The self-proclaimed “greatest marching band in the history of the universe” has lost its prime seats at the Coliseum so the University of Southern California can accommodate more ticket-buying fans for football games. USC’s marching band, which spent at least 30 years stationed behind the Trojans’ bench for home games, will sit behind the end zone in a temporary section of bleachers known as the Sun Deck. USC officials claim that with sellout crowds of more than 90,000 a regular occurrence, the band needs to move for “acoustic” purposes to reach the entire Coliseum. Band director Arthur Bartner said athletic director Mike Garrett suggested the idea of making the band efforts available to more fans. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2“Am I apprehensive? Yes,” Bartner said. “It’s definitely a challenge. But my goal and Mike’s goal is to get the whole stadium yelling. Rocking and rolling. I said, `Let’s go for it.’ My goal is to make the Sun Deck a happening place and to project sound.” Bartner said the band is also getting a new sound system to enhance the atmosphere and make the end zone a “focal point of spirit.” The only bands to previously sit in the Sun Deck were the high school bands brought to the Coliseum on band day. Bartner has worked at USC since 1970 and said the “Spirit of Troy” has occupied its current location since at least 1974. “Even though we enjoy our seats from the 10-to-the-30-yard line, the sound goes across so that only the people on the press box side of the Coliseum can hear us,” he said. “Right now, with the current location, we didn’t do a very good job. We’re hoping no one will hear the visiting band or visiting fans next year.” last_img

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Ode to the African chicken

first_imgPatrick the giant rooster. (Image: Bridget Hilton-Barber)Bridget Hilton-BarberToday was an important day in my life as a rural Limpopian (one who hails from Limpopo province). I gave away three live chickens that I had personally bred and raised. It marked a rite of passage in my becoming a true daughter of Limpopo soil, according to my friend Mama McNeill, a tiny, sylph-like 70-year-old Swiss-born African who has lived in rural Limpopo most of her life. To give and receive live chickens, she tells me is an African soul gesture.It is a conferral of abundance, a bestowal of blessing, because the chicken, after all, represents food security, either eggs or meat, depending on whether you can afford to kill the golden goose, as it were, or whether a bunch of hungry relatives suddenly appear at your door. The first time Mama McNeill received The Chicken Gift was when she was a young nurse at Elim Hospital, near Thohoyandou in the 1960s. She carried them home, one under each arm, grateful for the long term source of eggs.I think she may be right. When I offered the three healthy, handsome brown chickens to my gardener’s wife, Mrs Mhlarhi, she smiled like she’d won the chicken Lotto. I gave her one young rooster and two hens, an excellent combination for further breeding and laying, and they will undoubtedly provide her family with many eggs and the odd Sunday lunch. In exchange I received a large pumpkin and a bunch of sweetcorn.Mrs Mhlarhi and I drove the chickens (packed in a Zamalek crate) to her home in Julesberg, a remote mountain village about 50 kilometres from Agatha, near Tzaneen, where I live. We drove past Dan Village, Kujwana, Mhlaba Cross, Lenyenye, Tickyline and Maake, a series of rural settlements in the foothills of the northern Drakensberg. And as we travelled I was struck by the omnipresence of the chicken and the ancient nature of our relationship with them.You can buy live chickens almost anywhere along the roadside, at prices ranging from next to nothing to R500. There are hundreds of hand-made chicken signs, painted on wood, metal, cardboard, walls: Chickens 8km. Chickens now open. Xixevo. Dikgogo. You can buy them at taxi ranks and bus stops, alongside hair salons, mobile phone stalls, car washes and spaza shops.Of course you can also buy dead ones just about anywhere, from roadside walkie-talkie (head and feet) outlets to the ubiquitous KFC. Chickens are a central feature of rural village life, and people carry them around by their necks, by their feet, in boxes tied onto bicycles, in straw baskets on their heads. I even saw a woman carrying one in her very fashionable green leather handbag.Early mornings in these rural villages are cacophonous. Almost every household has chickens. In Julesberg I saw giant russet-coloured chickens, small speckled bantams, peacock-like African roosters, long-legged crossovers.They can be the source of dramatic soap operatic feuds between families and friends, said Mrs Mhlarhi, as we released her new batch. She has witnessed tremendous fights breaking out as a result of chickens being stolen or misappropriated.But she would treasure these ones, she assured me. I believed her because her husband, who works in my garden, although quite unable to tell the difference between a weed and a flower, proved to be an ace chicken sexer when my first lot of chicks hatched. He has an opinion on any chicken related matter and has given me invaluable advice.Chickens are not just a black thing. My gay Afrikaner garden landscaper, for example, grew up on a chicken farm near Gravelotte and has also proved to be a font of wisdom on anything from feather loss to inexplicable mood swings. And the comforting symbolism of the chicken endures out here despite creeping urbanisation. My auditor buddy instructed her architect to make a loft bedroom in their new designer home so she could “roost like a chicken from my childhood”.I realised soon after arriving in Limpopo that I would have absolutely no cred with anyone if I didn’t have chickens. No self-respecting rural dweller here would ever dream of not having chickens. Where could I buy some? Speak to Pieter the dry cleaner, said the landscaper, as if the connection between chickens and dry cleaning was obvious. But before I did, my mother gave me three fluffy little chicks she had got from a friend.My favourite chick, Patricia, hoovered up entire loaves of bread and 12-kilogram sacks of crushed mealies and grew and grew until it was apparent that she was in fact a he, and that he, now Patrick, was the biggest cock I could ever hope to find. Sometimes you get what you need, said the landscaper wisely.Patrick has become an object of great admiration in Agatha. His name is spoken with soft reverence and I have a long list of locals wanting his offspring. I could make a lot of money out of chickens, I am told, but just to ensure good karma, I heeded the advice of Mama McNeill and decided to give the first ones away.Bridget Hilton-Barber is a well-known travel writer based in Limpopo province. She has worked as editor of South African Airways’ inflight magazine Sawubona, debut editor of Lowveld Living, travel correspondent for Radio 702 and travel editor of FairLady magazine. She is the author of seven books.last_img read more

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SA’s HIV treatment revamped

first_imgA day’s treatment of antiretroviral drugs. South Africa’s new HIV treatment guidelines will benefit the most vulnerable: pregnant women and infants. (Image: Kate Holt, Irin Photo) RELATED ARTICLES • Bold new HIV/Aids plan for SA• Dormant Aids Council awakens• Preventing HIV in World Cup MEDIA CONTACTS • Dr Nono Simelela Sanac CEO +27 11 655 7000 nono@sanac.org.za • Junaid Seedat Sanac communication, advocacy and campaigns manager junaid@sanac.org.za info@sanac.org.zaNew national treatment guidelines are set to make the world’s largest antiretroviral (ARV) programme even bigger as South Africa extends treatment to more HIV-positive infants, pregnant women and people with HIV-tuberculosis (TB) co-infection.Dr Nono Simelela, CEO of the South African National Aids Council (Sanac), confirmed that the revised guidelines were in the final stages of editing and would go to print in a few days; implementation is scheduled to begin on 1 April 2010.Major changes to the guidelines include providing ARVs to all HIV-positive infants less than one year old regardless of their CD4 count – which measures immune system strength – without having an expensive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm their HIV status. PCR tests are not widely available at clinics.Pregnant HIV-positive women will be able to start treatment at a new, higher CD4 count of 350, as will all TB/HIV co-infected patients, rather than having to wait until their CD4 counts fell to 200 or below as was previously the case. TB remains the leading cause of death among people living with HIV.The shifts in treatment could significantly reduce infant and maternal mortality due to HIV, and lower the rate of new infections. “Although the cost implications are huge, the treasury has already committed the additional resources to cover the expansion and we also have support from Pepfar,” Simelela said. Pepfar is the US’s President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief.The balancing actSouth Africa has lagged behind most countries in the region in adopting a CD4 count of 350 as the threshold for starting treatment to all those living with HIV and many activists said they had hoped the revised guidelines would bring South Africa in line with this international standard.However, indications are that the new, revised CD4 thresholds of 350 will apply only to infants younger than one year, HIV-positive pregnant women, and people co-infected with TB/HIV, and will not be universally extended.The country’s nine provinces have begun drafting plans to implement the guideline revisions – the first in about five years – that are the result of strong lobbying by both Sanac and civil society.Simelela said the guidelines were delayed for a number of reasons, including capacity constraints and the need to reconcile competing views on treatment within the HIV and Aids sector.“Protracted processes [were undertaken] to achieve consensus on some of the regimens,” she said. “A tricky balance had to be struck between the top-range [drug] regimens, which are costly, versus some regimens that are cheaper but have more side effects.”According to media reports, the guidelines indicate that the ARV stavudine, which is associated with an increased number of side effects in many patients, could be phased out and replaced by tenofovir.Source: Irin PlusNewslast_img read more

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