World Cup South Africa: find your way

first_img31 May 2010There will be aircraft in the skies around the clock to monitor traffic movements during the 2010 Fifa World Cup, with co-ordination provided by a national command centre and information available via a 24-hour call centre and route-planning website the kick-off to Africa’s first Fifa World Cup fast approaching, South Africa’s road and rail systems are ready to move the hundreds of thousands of fans that will be travelling countrywide.The government has invested more than R40-billion to ensure that the country’s public transport infrastructure can handle the expected one-million African visitors and over 300 000 overseas fans, while leaving behind a rich transport legacy for South Africans.The interactive website, featuring real-time route and traffic information, has been designed to help visitors plan their trips within and between the country’s nine World Cup host cities.Real-time information will feed into the command centre to enable quick decision-making, responses to incidents and appropriate law enforcement on routes with high traffic volumes.Major routes between host cities, airports, hotels, stadiums, fan parks, public viewing areas and other places of interest will receive priority attention.Road, rail and bus routes have been massively upgraded to provide an integrated transport system. In the major centres, this includes a bus rapid transit system featuring special public transport lanes and interchange nodes for commuters to switch from one form of transport to another.The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa has also upgraded its infrastructure, increasing mobility and accessibility for commuters during the tournament.For intercity bus operations, a fleet of commuter buses provided by established operators in the business, as well as “midi-buses” provided by taxi operators, will provide an efficient service, with fleet usage dependent on demand.The upgrades have steered South Africa towards the biggest transport infrastructure investment in its history, becoming at the same time a project of building national unity, generating hope and repositioning the country.“It is not just about sport,” Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele said recently. “It is now truly about Tran-sport.”Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

World Aids Day 2014: Zero stigma, zero discrimination

first_img• My son died of Aids: Mandela• Star power lights up UNAids’ Fast-Track Targets • The battle against Big Pharma for cheap drugs • Art allows healing and wholeness • Rural doctors are a prescription for good health Staff reporterOn today’s World Aids Day 2014, the South African National Aids Council (Sanac) has called on all the people of the country to join its campaign for the next 12 months: Zero Stigma, Zero Discrimination.World Aids Day, commemorated on 1 December every year, gives all communities the opportunity to unite in the fight against HIV, show support for people living with HIV and remember those who have died.Download Sanac’s World Aids Day 2014 toolkitThe UNAids Words Aids Day theme for the period 2011 until 2015 is “Getting to Zero”. This year South Africa will focus on zero discrimination, while not losing sight of the other zeros: zero new HIV infections, and zero Aids-related deaths.The aim of this campaign is to ensure that the rights of people living with HIV and Aids are not violated, and that discrimination on the basis of HIV, Aids and TB is not only reduced, but eliminated.HIV and Aids in South AfricaSouth Africa has worked hard to turn its many Aids, and TB epidemics around, and has achieved many successes. Sanac’s review of efforts to combat HIV and Aids over the past 20 years paints a mixed picture:There have been many scientific advances in HIV treatment.We have a much better understanding of the virus.More people are receiving antiretroviral treatment, which means HIV infection rates are dropping.There is a scientific optimism about the benefit of treatment as prevention, and progress towards a cure and vaccine.But despite these advances, stigma and discrimination remains a reality for many people living with, or affected by HIV. World Aids Day 2014 gives all South Africans the opportunity to remind themselves that HIV is still a reality and that it is the duty of all of us to continue fighting prejudice, stigma and discrimination.Why stigma and discrimination matterStigma and discrimination can be as devastating as the illness itself: abandonment by a partner or family, social exclusion, job and property loss, school expulsion, denial of medical services, lack of care and support, and violence. These consequences, or fear of them, mean people are less likely to test for HIV, disclose their HIV status to others, adopt HIV preventive behaviour, and access treatment, care and support.Every sexually active South African is at risk of contracting HIV. HIV and Aids are chronic diseases, which means that that people living with HIV can have full and happy lives.“We each have a responsibility to treat those who are struggling with an HIV+ positive diagnosis with compassion, those struggling with Aids with care, and ourselves and our sexual partners with respect,” Sanac said in a statement.Ending the fear of stigmaPreventing stigma and discrimination is important in mitigating the impact of HIV.Fear of stigma stops people knowing their status. People are afraid to go to a clinic or HIV testing service because they don’t want their neighbours to gossip about them. People will not tell their partners they are HIV-positive because they are afraid they will be abandoned. If all South Africans know and share their status and disclose without fear of judgment or rejection, the country will conquer the disease.Fear of stigma puts people with HIV at risk. It is not easy to receive an HIV-positive diagnosis, even though treatment is available. There is no cure. People have to learn to live with a chronic disease and manage the side-effects of the drugs. It is a heavy burden for anyone to carry on their own. Many people have suicidal thoughts or even attempt suicide because of the stigma they suffer or fear.Fear of stigma stops people accessing treatment. Fear of being seen at a clinic, of a family member finding the drugs, or of a loved one finding out the truth stops people from accessing the treatment that is not only their right, but will also lower the levels of HIV in their bodies. People who do get treatment can live long and full lives, and have HIV-negative babies and HIV-negative partners. Stigma may also compel people to hide their medicines, which could result in them taking inconsistent doses.Stigma and discrimination disproportionately affect women and girls. Women tend to experience greater stigma and discrimination than men, are more likely to experience it in its harshest and most damaging form, and have fewer resources to cope with it. Violence is a severe consequence of stigma, faced mainly by women. Women and girls report increased violence at the hands of their partners when they insist on condoms, when going for voluntary testing and counselling, when they refuse sex within or outside a relationship, and when they test HIV-positive.Stigma has magnified effects among socially vulnerable groups. Stigma and discrimination are daily realities for people living with HIV and for people belonging to groups particularly vulnerable to HIV infection. Such groups include sex workers, men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, prisoners and people with tuberculosis.Members of these groups are already stigmatised and are likely to face more discrimination than others when diagnosed with HIV, including being refused services. They often avoid or delay seeking needed services for fear of being found out, humiliated, and treated differently by health workers.According to Sanac, South Africans must take part in a sustained conversation about stigma and discrimination over the next year, starting today, World Aids Day 2014. Two major programmes have been launched to not only reduce, but ultimately eliminate stigma and discrimination.The South African Stigma IndexIn partnership with a number of organisations and institutions, Sanac is undertaking the first National Stigma Index Survey among people living with HIV in 18 districts across South Africa – two districts per province. The study will interview over 10 000 HIV-positive people older than 15 years.Sanac’s partners in the survey include the National Association for People Living with Aids, the Treatment Action Campaign, Positive Living Women’s Network, Human Sciences Research Council, Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, Deutsche Gesellschaftfür Internationale Zusammenarbeit, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids and the Department of Health.The Stigma Index will measure self-reported stigma and discrimination experienced by people living with HIV and will ultimately inform the development and implementation of national policies and programmes that protect their rights. An update on the survey is to be released on World Aids Day 2014. The final report is expected to be released by April 2015.Stigma-reduction programmeA provincial Stigma Index Survey undertaken between October 2011 and August 2012 in the Eastern Cape involved a sample of 799 people living with HIV from three local municipalities in the OR Tambo district: King Sabatha Dalindyebo, Nyandeni and Ngquza.To respond effectively to the Eastern Cape survey, Sanac, the Eastern Cape Provincial Council on Aids and other organisations will develop a coordinated stigma and discrimination strategy in the province. This will inform the development of a model for the work of partners at provincial level as well as at national level once the national Stigma Index Survey has been completed.“No policy or law can alone combat HIV and Aids related discrimination,” Sanac says. “All South Africans have to confront the fear-based messages and biased social attitudes, in order to reduce the discrimination and stigma of people living with HIV and Aids.”For more information and resources, visit the South African National Aids Council website.last_img read more

SA researchers measure democracy on social media

first_img2 March 2015There can be no denying that social media platforms are playing an increasing role in the political mobilisation of citizens and how they participate in democracy.This was seen during the Arab Spring uprisings, the Occupy Wall Street movement, and more recently, following the attack on the satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, in Paris. The French attack turned the #JeSuisCharlie hashtag into one of the most popular hashtags in Twitter’s history and was central to the organisation of the largest street protest in Paris – more than 1.6 million people participated.“Digital social media, with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as leading examples, have become major global channels of communication, with ramifications for established democracies and their social bases – some positive, others disruptive,” explain Barend Lutz and Pierre du Toit from Stellenbosch University.The researchers, who worked together to develop a method to measure public expressions of support for democracy on Twitter, have published a book focused on social media platforms and how computational linguistics can make sense of this landscape.Defining Democracy in a Digital Age: Political Support on Social Media was published by Palgrave MacMillan and written by Lutz, a political/security risk analyst and digital media consultant, and Du Toit, a professor in the university’s political science department.Democracy in digital age“With the ‘real world’ influence of social media growing, it is crucial to listen to and understand what citizens globally are saying on these platforms as it provides a chance to define and look at how we measure the state of democracy in a new digital age,” they say.According to Lutz and Du Toit, there has been concern among scholars across the world regarding the viability of democracy as a political governance system. This doubt is further entrenched through events such as the Global Financial Crisis in 2008 and the failure of democracy to expand to authoritarian countries globally.“One of the ways that social media enhances democratic participation is through the connectivity of this technology. Individuals have near complete control over the content of statements published on the internet.“Up to now, there has been no effective way of converting the articulate mass self- expression by individuals on social media into coherent forms capable of influencing public policies,” say Lutz and Du Toit.Traditionally, survey data has been used to attempt to articulate mass sentiment on democracy, but this is a time consuming and expensive exercise. Their research attempts to create a complimentary methodology to expand on traditional survey data research.Analysing sentiment and languageLutz, who developed the methodology as part of a Masters’ thesis on international relations and next-generation internet, says he analysed more than 70 000 publically available tweets over a three-month period. This was done via computer assisted computational analytics, sentiment analysis and natural language processing, which in this case refers to the automated collection and analysis of statements from Twitter.“Social media has now effectively extended the public sphere into a global electronic platform, far removed from the city squares of the classic Greek democratic city- states. On social media platforms, issues are debated, questions of public import are deliberated on and people can call a spade a spade, so to speak.”Their research clearly shows how the spaces where democracy is usually played out, have changed and that this will require analysts of democracy to look at these new spaces differently.“Democracy is something that takes place in groups. The idea of the nation was usually conveyed through newspapers – so people who read the same newspapers conceived of themselves as being part of a community. Social media is much more individualistic and the idea of a community or a sense of community from that part of the public sphere becomes nearly inconceivable. As we saw with the Arab Spring, you can draw people together for a protest through social media, but what happens afterwards when everyone returns to their individual lives?”Lutz and Du Toit explain that the influence of social media and other forms of digital media is a double-edged sword. On the one hand these platforms could lead to people becoming more engaged when it comes to current issues and therefore stronger democratic citizens, or on the other hand people could get caught up in the entertainment of social media and thereby become less effective citizens.“The methods of data analysis presented in this book can help the global citizenry to reimagine themselves as being part of new, more coherent units of democracy, able to pursue their ideals more effectively than has been the case to date,” say the authors.Source: Stellenbosch Universitylast_img read more

PSV denies De Jong to America reports

first_imgTransfers PSV sporting director pours water on De Jong to America reports Jon Arnold Click here to see more stories from this author @ArnoldcommaJon 08:40 1/5/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Luuk de Jong, PSV, 20160731 PROSHOTS Transfers América PSV Liga MX Marcel Brands says there was contact between the two sides but the club doesn’t plan to let the forward go this winter More and more media outlets in Mexico are reporting Luuk de Jong’s arrival to Club America is imminent, but the sporting director of the forward’s current team says there’s no deal in the works.PSV sporting director Marcel Brands said there was contact between the teams but that he isn’t looking to move the Swiss-born Dutch international this winter.”I got one phone call and said that we do not plan to sell in January. Perhaps at the end of the season, but not now,” Brands told Fox Sports. “This appears to be a big thing in the media, but we have not heard an awful lot about it. I know that they made an inquiry through an intermediary and that Luuk has spoken to them once. But it is nowhere near as concrete as it is made out to be.” Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Club America is looking to sign at least one forward this offseason to pair with Oribe Peralta. While other targets, such as Frenchman Jeremy Menez, also have been reported as close to done deals to head to Mexico City, America manager Miguel Herrera hasn’t hidden his excitement when asked about the potential of De Jong joining his club.”He’s a central forward who is good in the box. He has a good shot with his left foot, with his right, with his head. He’s a guy who is good on the ball. He’s a lethal player in the box,” Herrera told ESPN Deportes. “He has a really good physical presence and he’d be a great partner for Oribe.”In the same interview, Herrera said America initially asked about De Jong in December and were told the player wouldn’t be sold but that things had changed when the 27-year-old began to investigate Club America’s history and Mexico as a country.Club America opens the 2018 Clausura with a trip to face Queretaro. Las Aguilas also will take part in the CONCACAF Champions League this spring.last_img read more

Our Favorite Plays From Saturday’s Win Over Texas Tech

first_imgWe had some fun with this post last week as we looked at some of the most memorable plays from Saturday’s game. Oklahoma State posted the game highlights, but these were individual (and maybe more under the radar) moments that stood out to us.Blake Jarwin (again)This is becoming a weekly occurrence. Jarwin has at least one catch in nine of 10 games this season and exactly one in three of the last four. Almost all of them look exactly like this one.Lil Sho TDThis was just a disgusting pitch and catch. Remember when people were calling Rudolph “average” earlier this year. Yeah, LOL.McCleskey’s fumble I know this ended poorly, but man I really loved the formation and setup. Would love to see this more with No. 1.Justice For allHe’s just a complete freak. And that downfield block from Lacy was paramount.Dimes on dimes on dimesA big balls throw from No. 2 over the middle here. He loves that spot as well as the sideline comeback. It’s a joy to watch.Justin Phillips sackPhillips had 14 tackles including this takedown of Mahomes in the fourth quarter. He was awesome with Chad Whitener out.PeaceCould watch forever. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

ESPN Ranks Oklahoma State in Top 10 of Way-Too-Early 2017 Top 25

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. The football season is now officially over. Clemson knocked off Alabama in the most dramatic fashion possible with a last-second Deshaun Watson touchdown to down the mighty Crimson Tide.So now we look ahead to 2017.And as we sit in early January, the outlook is bright for Oklahoma State. Athlon Sports ranked the Cowboys as a No. 11 team in its way-too-early 2017 projection.And ESPN has even higher preseason expectations of Oklahoma State, who they ranked as No. 7 in its list released on Monday night. From ESPN:Outlook: The Pokes will have to rebuild their defense after losing top tacklers Jordan Sterns and Devante Averette plus star defensive tackle Vincent Taylor, who is entering the NFL draft as a junior. But with quarterback Mason Rudolph and receiver James Washington announcing they’ll return for their senior seasons, Oklahoma State might have one of the country’s most high-powered offenses in 2017. Coach Mike Gundy has guided the Pokes to 10-win seasons in five of the past seven years, and after back-to-back second-place finishes in the Big 12, they might be ready to challenge Oklahoma for the title. They’ll get to play the Sooners at home in the Bedlam game next season, and the Pokes will also host TCU, Baylor and Kansas State in Big 12 play.Interestingly, ESPN seems to be the highest on OSU in the Big 12. They ranked Oklahoma on down the list at No. 10, noting the losses of Joe Mixon, Samaje Perine and Dede Westbrook being difficult to replace from its most recent Big 12 title season.Expectations for 2017 will be high, indeed. And the media appear to be hopping on board with Mason Rudolph and Co. early.last_img read more

Justice Hill Set to Win NCAA Freshman Rushing Title

first_imgAbout a month ago we looked at the possibility of OSU running back Justice Hill ending the season as atop the list of freshman rushers.Well, thanks to Clemson’s domination of Ohio State (and Buckeye redshirt freshman Mike Weber’s lowest output of the season of 24 yards), it looks like that possibility will be realized.Hill’s 1,142 yards are most among FBS freshmen. The only freshman with a chance to catch him is Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts (891 yards), and it’s not really a chance. Hurts would need 251 yards against Clemson in the national championship game.So, since that’s not happening, I’ll go ahead and congratulate Justice for another badge of honor in an impressive (and record-setting) rookie campaign.Here are the top rushing freshmen for 2016-17.1. Justice Hill (Oklahoma State) – 1,142 yards / 5.5 yards per carry / 6 touchdowns2. Mike Weber (Ohio State) – 1,096 yards / 6 yards per carry / 9 touchdowns3. Benjamin Snell, Jr. (Kentucky) – 1,091  yards / 5.9 yards per carry / 13 touchdowns4. Damarea Crockett (Missouri) – 1,062 yards / 6.9 yards per carry / 10 touchdowns5. Trayveon Williams (Texas A&M) – 1,057 yards / 6.8 yards per carry / 8 touchdowns While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Clemson Cornerback Graduate Transfer Sets Official Visit to OSU

first_imgClemson cornerback transfer Adrian Baker has been in contact with a number of schools interested in landing his services — and OSU is one suitor who has caught his attention.Baker, who tore his ACL last spring, sat out the 2016 season with the Tigers because of the injury. He is set to graduate this spring and will be eligible to play immediately wherever he chooses to transfer, according to the NCAA graduate transfer rule. A rule OSU has become familiar with in the past several years, using it to land cornerback Lenzy Pipkins a season ago.According to Ryan Bartow of 247Sports, Baker has scheduled two official visits: to OSU and to Texas Tech.The Cowboys will host him on March 4. Texas Tech will host him a week later on March 10.With OSU losing Ashton Lampkin and Lenzy Pipkins following the 2016 season, playing time is immediately available in Stillwater. That in itself might be a promising factor for a prospect looking to end his career on a high note as several others have done in Stillwater in recent years.Wherever he lands in the process will be a new start for a once promising prospect who sunk on the depth chart and had unfortunate injuries unravel his undergraduate career. Baker’s time at Clemson would have likely ended in a more prominent role in 2016, had it not been for the injury. And now Baker could be next in the long line of graduate transfers at Oklahoma State at a position that desperately needs bolstered before the 2017 season. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

‘Neymar does not require surgery for broken foot’

first_imgNeymar PSG boss Emery denies injured Neymar requires surgery Ryan Benson Last updated 1 year ago 21:02 27/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Neymar PSG PSG v Real Madrid Brazil Real Madrid World Cup Ligue 1 UEFA Champions League Transfers Reports had suggested the Brazilian attacker was to have surgery that would keep him out until May having broken a metatarsal against Marseille Unai Emery has dismissed reports Neymar is due to have surgery on his fractured foot that would keep him out until May.The Brazilian star was forced off the Parc des Princes pitch in tears on Sunday after suffering the injury in an innocuous-looking incident.PSG won the match 3-0, but Neymar’s injury marred the contest, as he rode a challenge from Bouna Sarr and twisted his ankle upon contact with the turf, while also suffering a hairline fracture to his foot. Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp It had been reported by numerous news outlets that Neymar had decided to have surgery in order to completely solve the problem and minimise the risk of the injury impacting his World Cup.Those reports claimed the surgery would keep Neymar out for most of the rest of the season, suggesting he could return no earlier than May.However, Emery addressed the situation during his pre-match news conference ahead of Wednesday’s Coupe de France clash with Marseille, simply declaring the speculation as “not true.””Neymar is not going to be operated on, that’s not true,” Emery told reporters. “I talked to the doctors and we’re still to make a decision. “We’ll see the passing of the next few days to make a decision. This is a moment of calm.”There is a small chance for Neymar to be able to play against Real Madrid – we have to be patient.”Now the most important thing is PSG. All the players are ready, and Neymar was the first to want to play all the games, focused to get to Real Madrid as well. But the focus of everyone is PSG.”last_img read more