23 February 2010Table Mountain in Cape Town is among the world landmarks that will go dark from 8.30pm to 9.30pm on 27 March, as part of the Earth Hour initiative which calls on individuals, businesses, governments and communities to turn off their lights for one hour to show their support for action on climate change.The worldwide “switch off”, a global initiative of the WWF, aims to get billions of people in cities across the world to turn off their lights for one hour in a demonstration of support for determined international action on climate change.Earth Hour co-founder and executive director Andy Ridley said the actions shown by cities of the world and their inhabitants were crucial to leading a low-carbon resolution to climate change.“The C40 suggests that cities are responsible for up to 75% of the world’s carbon emissions, so their role in addressing what is unequivocally the greatest threat to the planet today is absolutely vital.“By turning the lights off their landmarks for Earth Hour, cities are reflecting the aspirations of their citizens as a community that has resolved to take action on global warming,” Ridley said.Iconic landmarksIconic landmarks around the world, including the CN Tower in Toronto, Grand Palace in Bangkok, and the world’s second tallest building, Tapei 101, will plunge into darkness.World-famous landmarks across the US, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Empire State Building, Mount Rushmore, and even the lights of Las Vegas will also switch off in a decisive display of climate action from one of the most significant nations on the climate landscape.In London, lights will dim on the world-famous London Eye as the Coca-Cola sign in Piccadilly Circus switches off, highlighting the resolve of its people, businesses and local governments to take action on climate change, while Hiroshima will become the first Japanese city to participate in the campaign.The event began in Sydney in 2007, when 2-million people switched off their lights. In 2008, more than 50-million people around the globe participated.In 2010, Earth Hour aims to reach out to 1-billion people in 1 000 cities.Source: BuaNews
27 September 2012The percentage of South Africans with a bank account increased from 47% in 2005 to 63% in 2011 after the launch of the country’s first Financial Sector Charter in 2004, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Wednesday.Addressing more than 350 delegates from over 70 countries at the opening of the 4th Global Policy Forum in Cape Town, Gordhan said South Africa’s experience of the Financial Sector Charter provided a lesson on how to confront the challenges of financial inclusion.The first charter was negotiated in 2004 and resulted in the Mzansi bank account, which has been taken up by three-million users, while banks also began rolling out more branches, he said.The second Financial Sector Charter was gazetted for comment by the Department of Trade and Industry in March.Gordhan said the long-term sustainability of financial systems hinged on the ability of these systems to serve all citizens.“The inequality, the social and political distrust of elites, and the neglect of the poor and the impoverishment of millions as a result of the financial crisis, that we still haven’t recovered from, poses serious challenges to the economic, political and social stability and progress of ourselves,” he said.He said the National Treasury was developing a “twin peaks” regulatory framework for financial services which would come into effect in the next 18 months.The new model would see the development of different regulatory focuses between prudential regulation and consumer protection, while the National Treasury would remain responsible for policy implementation, including one of encouraging greater financial access.He said an IMF report on financial stability released in April was concerning, as it indicated that innovative products were already being developed to sidestep the new financial regulations.The financial sector is faced with various challenges, include a disconnect from the real economy, said Gordhan, who pointed out that banks needed to serve more people and entrepreneurs to generate growth and create jobs.Another challenge was how multi-national banks were serving emerging markets, he said.It was also important to develop regulations to ensure that the poor were protected should new crises emerge.Central banks also needed to ensure that their respective banking sectors weren’t overly dominated by a few big banks, as this could stifle competition and the development of new and affordable financial products.Also addressing the conference on Wednesday, the deputy governor of the central bank of the Philippines, Nestor Espenilla, said the central bank’s policy of focusing of micro finance had led to 200 community banks providing financial services to almost a million micro entrepreneursEspenilla said that along with increasing micro finance, the Philippines government had also encouraged more financial education and consumer protection.Source: SANews.gov.za
Swimming inspiration Natalie Du Toit will feature in the next instalment of Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part TV series, to be aired on Sunday 27 July at 9pm on SABC2. The Paralympics and Commonwealth Games gold-medallist swimmer is one of South Africa’s most inspiring athletes. Ranked amongst the fastest distance swimmers in the world, in 2008 Natalie Du Toit made history when she became the first amputee to qualify for the Summer Olympic Games. • Brand South Africa +27 11 483 0122 email@example.com • Paralympic dream team • Paralympic heroes back in South Africa • South Africa takes doping seriously • Celebrating South Africa’s Paralympians • Sport in South AfricaMelissa Jane CookSleekly diving into an Olympic –sized pool, and emerging victorious from waters churned by her heroic swimming; this is how swim fans around the world remember Natalie Du Toit, as she freestyled and butterflied her way to the slew of gold medals she’s accumulated over her spectacular career.The Paralympics and Commonwealth Games gold-medallist swimmer is one of South Africa’s most inspiring athletes. Ranked amongst the fastest distance swimmers in the world, in 2008 she made history when she became the first amputee to qualify for the Summer Olympic Games.Her name is synonymous with courage, determination, overcoming adversity, and above all, being a phenomenal athlete.Du Toit won over South Africans’ hearts when, at just 17 years old, and a rising star on the South African swimming scene, a scooter accident left her with her left leg amputated at the knee; undeterred, five months later, she was back in the pool. Her first workout exhausted her after 25 metres, but at least she was swimming again, more out of curiosity than determination. “I just wanted to see what would happen,” Du Toit said.Her “never give up” approach led to her achieving her biggest dream – competing in the Olympic Games. She was one of only two Paralympians who competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, having qualified for the Games after finishing fourth in the 10km open-water race at the Open Water World Championships in Spain.Du Toit went on to qualify for the finals of the 800m freestyle event at the 2002 Commonwealth Games. This marked the first time in recent history that an amputee raced in the finals of an international able-bodied swimming competition. At the end of the Games, Du Toit was presented with the first David Dixon Award for Outstanding Athlete of the Games. Consequently, she is the most successful South African Paralympian of all time, and an important figure in the history of sport.Watch Natalie Du Toit’s storyA gold-medal careerDu Toit has successfully competed, and won gold, in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games, and the 2006 and 2010 Commonwealth Games. In 2009, she received South Africa’s Order of Ikhamanga in Gold, honouring her exceptional achievements in swimming.In March 2010, she became the second South African after Ernst van Dyk to be named the Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability.“It’s people like Natalie that provide the incentive for the youngsters to aspire to greatness”, said South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee president, Gideon Sam. “She fully deserves this acknowledgement.”Later that year, she was the most outstanding athlete in the International Paralympic Committee’s Swimming World Championships in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. She won six gold medals, one silver and one bronze medal. Only three countries bettered her personal haul of six gold medals in women’s events.2012 London Paralympics swansongDu Toit competed in the 2012 London Paralympic Games to score three gold medals and a silver, which took her tally to 13 gold medals across three Paralympic Games. These would be the last Olympic medals of her career, as she officially retired from professional swimming after her final race in the Games.Even then, she emerged as the most successful South African athlete at the Games, winning gold medals in the 400m freestyle, 100m butterfly and 200m individual medley. She also added a silver medal in her last race, the 100m freestyle.Watch Natalie Du Toit at the 2012 London paralympicsThese days she is much in demand as a motivational public speaker, inspiring youngsters worldwide to reach for their dreams; “There’s really no line between able-bodied and disabled swimming … I treat both of them the same. They’re your opponents and you’ve got to race the way you train. It is important to swim your own race and not someone else’s.”
The Uttar Pradesh Police on Wednesday morning arrested the main accused in the murder of a Dalit law student at a restaurant in Allahabad.Vijay Shankar Singh, who was absconding since the incident last Friday, was arrested from a bus station in his home district Sultanpur, a police spokesperson said.Singh is employed as a ticket examiner in the Indian Railways and allegedly has links with former BSP MLA and Sultanpur strongman Chandra Bhadra Singh, who joined the RLD after a stint with the BJP.The other three accused in the case, Ramdas Maurya, Gyan Prakash Awasthi and Munna Chauhan, were arrested earlier. Chauhan is a waiter at the restaurant where the incident took place. The police have also recovered the rod and bricks used in the assault from the spot of the crime.Apart from being booked for murder and voluntary assault, the accused will also face charges under Section 3 (2) (V) of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes(Prevention of Atrocities) Act.Minor argumentDileep Saroj (26), a second-year LLB student at the Allahabad Degree College, died on February 11 more than 24 hours after he was assaulted by the accused over a minor argument. Dileep, a resident of Pratapgarh, had gone to the restaurant in Katra Bazaar for dinner, along with three friends, when his leg accidentally brushed against one of the accused leading to an altercation. Some parts of the assault were captured on a mobile phone by a bystander and circulated on social media, leading to massive outrage. The police also relied on CCTV footage to make the initial arrests.Senior Superintendent of Police, Allahabad, Akash Kulhary in his report said that Dileep had received “serious injuries to his head” which were probably caused by the rod.The Opposition parties have criticised the Yogi Adityanath government for the incident. Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati described the incident as “brutal” and said the entire Dalit community was hurt and disturbed by the murder.“Nothing else but the BJP’s casteist, narrow and hate politics is responsible for it,” she said. Ms. Mayawati deputed her party’s State president Ram Achal Rajbhar to meet and console the victim’s family in Pratapgarh district.Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav said the incident was a proof of the dismal law and order situation in the State.“Under the present government, the poor, people from backward castes and Dalits are becoming targets of criminals,” Mr. Yadav said, demanding that Dileep’s family be given₹50 lakh as compensation.Enraged by the incidents, several students came out on the streets and torched a bus on Monday, forcing the administration to deploy RAF on the premises of Allahabad University.
A team of Indian-American researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and at the University of Utah at Salt Lake City, has used an ingenious process to enable curcumin to kill cancer cells.Curcumin is the active ingredient of turmeric (haldi), the ubiquitous kitchen spice that gives curry its yellow color.Read it at Siasat Related Items
In the absence of six automatic starters in the playing XI, Delhi will have to play out of their skin to pose a challenge to their opponents when the north zone Syed Mushtaq Ali Twenty20 Tournament begins in New Delhi on Wednesday.With Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Ashish Nehra, Ishant Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli either injured or on India duty, their replacements, who have been picked in the 15-member squad for the Twenty20 tournament, have a golden opportunity to stake their claims with good performances.The absence of four batsmen has badly weakened the top order and it will be extremely difficult for those stepping in to provide the same kind of thrust. But opener Chetan Sharma, who replaced Dhawan after the left hander was called up for the ongoing One-day International series against Australia, has become one of the first to grab the opportunity.He cracked a fine 72 on Monday in a practice game against the Services at the Palam Ground. The 29-year-old left-hander helped Delhi win by six wickets and warm-up well for the team’s opening match against Himachal Pradesh, to be played at the same venue on Wednesday.Services made 136 for eight wickets in 20 overs, with Yashpal Singh scoring 72. Leg-spinner Chetanya Nanda, who has lately struggled with injuries, and offspinner Yogesh Nagar captured two wickets each. Delhi scored 141 for four and won with three deliveries to spare, with Sharma and Rajat Bhatia (26 not out) being the main scorers.Sharma will be one of the two openers and he will be pairing up either with Farman Ahmed or Ankur Julka. He is expected to be followed by captain Mithun Manhas, an experienced batsman who specialises in the longer version but can adjust his game to suit the shorter versions.advertisementManhas, 31, missed Monday’s game due to personal reasons, but he is expected to lead the side on Wednesday. He is most likely to be followed by Gaurav Chabra, hard-working all-rounder Bhatia and wicket-keeper Puneet Bisht.The bowling department, particularly the spin section, is comparatively weak. Apart from Nanda, left-arm spinner Puneet Mehra, who also bats left-handed, and off-spinner Nagar are the other slow bowlers.But both Manhas and new coach Manoj Prabhakar will be largely depending on the medium pacers, especially in the Ranji Trophy, to win matches. They have left-armer Pradeep Sangwan, Sumit Narwal, Kapil Yadav and Joginder Singh to pick from.Although Delhi won the friendly game on Monday, Prabhakar felt that there are areas that needed to be worked upon. “Batting, for instance, can be improved. Then, the bowlers have to learn to bowl in the slog overs in the Twenty20 format, like the yorker and the slower one,” the former India allrounder told M AIL T ODAY after the match.Prabhakar said the experienced Manhas and Bhatia will have to lead by example. “Manhas is basically a batsman made for the longer version but he can switch to the shorter formats,” he said about the most experienced batsman in the team. The right-hander, who is entering his 13th firstclass season, has amassed 6,424 runs in 110 matches.Bhatia, who has virtually mastered bowling in the Twenty20 format besides launching calculated attacks with the bat, is another player the coach has high hopes from. “He has brains and has an idea about this format. He bowls accurately and can take care of his four overs. If he bowls well he can provide a big support to the team,” he said.The real test for Delhi will, however, come in the Ranji Trophy.The selectors are already looking ahead to that challenge and have asked players other the 15 they have picked for the Mushtaq Ali Trophy to attend the nets. Delhi begin their Ranji campaign with a match against Bengal at the Ferozeshah Kotla on November 1.
“As we bring across a variety of sports and sportainment”As we bring across a variety of sports and sportainment for our viewers from across the world, at times it becomes a hurdle to allocate content to a particular sports-specific channel.”To break free from sports-specific channels, we are taking the numeric route. We strive to bring international quality sports to our viewers and we want them to watch sports as it is consumed internationally with numeric-based channels,” Sethi said.Ten Sports has already started producing content in Hindi and plans to expand into other regional languages as well, going ahead.As a part of its rebranding exercise, Ten Sports will also roll out a new logo for Tensports.com, which will showcase extensive live sports content with a special focus on video-on-demand.The live streaming will include football content from UEFA Champions League and Europa League, including matches that are not broadcast on TV, as well as content from Ligue 1, I-League, cricket from across the five boards, tennis, golf, Moto GP.Ten Sports has a reach over 140 million households across the globe, primarily in South Asia. PTI DS BEN GK ABK SDM
National coach Pullela Gopichand is credited for making India a force to reckon with in the world of badminton, but there came a moment when he had to turn his attention to a certain track athlete in a dire situation.Dropped unceremoniously from the 2014 Commonwealth Games squad for failing a hyperandrogenism test, Dutee Chand didn’t know what to do. The 18-year-old was looking forward to a trip to Glasgow, instead she had to head back to her village Gopalpur in Odisha.But her coach N Ramesh wanted Dutee to continue training despite the huge setback. Ramesh approached Gopi and asked him accommodate his ward at the Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad.”I didn’t know much about Dutee’s case back then. I accommodated her because Ramesh is a good friend of mine. Later after going through Dutee’s case, I realised what happened to her was unfair,” Gopichand told Mail Today.Dutee, who currently trains at the Balayogi Stadium in Hyderabad under the aegis of the Sports Authority of India, still avails the facilities at Gopi’s academy.”I was able to continue my training only because Gopi sir allowed me to stay at the academy. The stadium where I train is not that far away. Had Gopi sir denied me help, I perhaps wouldn’t be competing today. I am indebted to him. He motivates and guides me. I don’t hesitate to ask him for anything as he is a person you can count on,” Dutee told Mail Today.Ramesh felt had Gopi not stepped up to help, things would have been in a very bad shape.advertisement”No one was willing to help us at that moment,” he said.She returned to competition in September after winning her case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. At the Asian Indoors in Doha in February, Dutee set at a 60m meet record clocking7.28 seconds, a national record as well.She also became the first Indian woman athlete to qualify for the World Indoor Meet in Portland in the United States in March, reaching the semi-finals of the 60m.Dutee is yet to qualify for the Rio Games and aims to achieve the Olympic mark at the Federation Cup, starting in Delhi on April 28.”Dutee is the best female sprinter in the country. I am amazed by the resilience this young athlete has shown. She still has a long way to go, but it’s important that a good platform for her career is laid right now. She needs to compete more and get better,” Ramesh said.Dutee is making the most of her stint at the Gopichand academy.”All the players here know me. There are some badminton players whose names I don’t know, but they come up to me enquire after my progress,” she said.Staying at the academy has helped her in more ways than one. Apart from access to a physiotherapist and masseur, she gets to interact with Gopi’s wards.”PV Sindhu is a star player, but she tells me that she is a big fan of mine. Earlier, when I used to return with a medal, no one would ask anything. But now every time I bag a medal, I am congratulated by all the players who train at the academy,” Dutee said.Gopi feels his support to Dutee is the least he could do.”It’s just a minor contribution towards her development. She is a great athlete and person to know. SAI director general Injeti Srinivas had also put in a word asking me to support her.””It’s a very small gesture and she is definitely someone who needs a lot of praise and support for what she does,” Gopi added.
After delivering a hit film with Bharat Ane Nenu, Tollywood superstar Mahesh Babu has moved on to his landmark 25th film. The film, titled Maharshi, is directed by Vamsi Paidipally of Oopiri fame.Pooja Hegde plays the heroine in this commercial entertainer.On his 43rd birthday, Mahesh Babu unveiled the first look and teaser of Maharshi.Sharing the first look of the film, the Srimanthudu actor wrote that he was embarking on a new journey as Rishi (his character name in Maharshi).Embarking on my new journey as RISHI.#MAHARSHI pic.twitter.com/xiAylLc2NDMahesh Babu (@urstrulyMahesh) August 8, 2018The teaser of Maharshi was released to an overwhelming response. Mahesh Babu is seen sporting a simple checked shirt and jeans, carrying a laptop, taking a stroll through the corridors of a college.Watch the teaser here:Maharshi is an important film in Mahesh Babu’s career and he looks forward to delivering a hit with this film.Shooting of this film is currently underway in Dehradun. According to reports, the second schedule will take place in Goa.Jointly produced by Sri Venkateshwara Creations, Vyjayanthi Movies and PVP Cinema, Maharshi is expected to hit the theatres next year on Ugadi (April 5).ALSO SEE | Mahesh Babu, Jr NTR and Ram Charan have a blast at Vamsi Paidipally’s birthdayALSO WATCH | Decoding the Telugu superstar Mahesh Babu