Africa football boss wants Europe to back Morocco World Cup bid

first_img– Shake up –Last week the head of the French Football Federation, Noel Le Graet, promised French backing, praising Morocco’s development and saying Africa deserved another World Cup given the quantity of talented players emerging from the continent.Ahmad said CAF was supporting the five African teams who have qualified to take part in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, offering them financial and material support.“We were part of the preparation, we can say that it was with a modest sum of money, but these are our means,” he said. “We contributed as much as $500,000 (about 407,000 euro) per team.”Looking ahead to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN), he said that the host nation Cameroon is expected to overcome problems with preparations, including delays on building work on stadiums. He said an official report on the issues was being drawn up.“But we have always said that seeing the will of the president (Paul Biya), everyone is going to get on with it and go ahead.“So far, I believe that is what will materialise. How do I not believe in a head of state. Where politics goes, all must follow.”For the first time, the 2019 CAN will be expanded from 16 teams to 24 and will be held in the northern hemisphere summer, rather than in the winter.“That’s what people want,” said Ahmad, referring to the 24-team draw and the summer kick-off.“For me, I have a management principle: if I’m elected it is to respond to the expectations of the stakeholders, be it the federations, the players, the coaches.“To be in harmony with their mandate, you have to satisfy people at your base. And I think it’s justified, legitimate because there are some countries emerging in the football world that are about to shake up the established nations of African football.”He said that the switch to summer was not fixed in stone and could be adapted for future tournaments.Share on: WhatsApp Cairo, Egypt | AFP | The head of African football, Ahmad Ahmad, has urged Europe to back Morocco’s drive to host the 2026 World Cup, in return for African support for a future European bid.In an exclusive interview with AFP, Ahmad Ahmad, the Confederation of African Football president, appealed to European self-interest, saying: “Vote for us and we’ll vote for you next time.”Morocco is a two-horse race against a rival united bid from the USA, Canada, and Mexico. The decisive vote will take place at the FIFA Congress in Moscow on June 13, one day ahead of the start of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.In a wide-ranging discussion, Ahmad, who replaced long-serving Issa Hayatou as head of CAF in March 2017, spoke of the importance of Africa’s bid to host the World Cup for only the second time, as well as significant changes that will shake up next year’s Africa Cup of Nations (CAN).He said Africa and CAF stood solidly behind Morocco’s bid to organise the 2026 World Cup, which will come 16 years after South Africa staged the tournament.“Being in Africa while this is happening, standing ahead of this objective (the World Cup) I think that Africans, whether francophone or anglophone… it’s in the continent’s interest,” he said.“The World Cup has an enormous impact for Africa. Why? Because it inspires hope for many young Africans.”Ahmad said he was working to win backing from European nations for Morocco’s candidacy, saying that any support would be reciprocal.He added that a Moroccan World Cup would offer significant advantages to Europe.“Time zones, distance, fans, they are all of interest to Europe,” as opposed to the united North American bid.“Visa also: Europeans don’t need a visa to come to Morocco. For all of that, we think that Europe should vote for Morocco.”last_img read more

NBA legend Kobe Bryant killed in helicopter crash

first_imgThe crash came only hours after the 41-year-old former Los Angeles Lakers star was passed by current Lakers star LeBron James for third on the all-time NBA scoring list in a Saturday game at Philadelphia.Bryant was a five-time NBA champion in a career that began in 1996 and lasted until his retirement in 2016.He also was a two-time Olympic gold medalist, helping spark the US squad of NBA stars to titles in 2008 at Beijing and 2012 at London. Share on: WhatsApp Los Angeles, United States | AFP |  BA legend Kobe Bryant died Sunday in a helicopter crash in suburban Los Angeles, celebrity website TMZ reported, in an accident confirmed by police that saw five people killed.Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials said there were no survivors from the morning crash on a hillside in Calabasas, west of Los Angeles.The helicopter was described as a Sikorsky S-76, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said.TMZ was the first US outlet to report that Bryant was among the fatalities. The NBA icon’s death was later confirmed by ESPN and Variety citing unidentified sources.last_img read more

New office to ensure quality health care

first_imgThe National Health Amendment Bill has paved the way for the establishment of a new independent body, the Office of Standards Compliance, to ensure that South Africa’s hospitals and clinics comply with minimum health standards.The office will also advise the Minister of Health on the development of standards, norms and quality management systems for the national health system; inspect and certify health establishments as compliant with prescribed norms and standards; and monitor indicators of risk as an early warning system relating to breaches of standards. (Image: OHSC)Brand South Africa ReporterThe release of the National Health Amendment Bill has paved the way for the establishment of a new independent body, the Office of Standards Compliance, to ensure that South Africa’s hospitals and clinics comply with minimum health standards.All health care centres, including private ones, will have to get accreditation from the office.The establishment of the office follows the government’s commitment to improve the quality of health care in South Africa’s public health facilities and to strengthen the country’s health system through enhanced accountability.Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said in Pretoria this week that the office would ensure that complaints received from health care users or the public were properly and independently investigated.The office will also advise the minister on the development of standards, norms and quality management systems for the national health system; inspect and certify health establishments as compliant with prescribed norms and standards; and monitor indicators of risk as an early warning system relating to breaches of standards.Unannounced inspectionsMotsoaledi said the office, once established, would be divided into three units: an inspectorate, an accreditation unit, and an ombudsman to handle public complaints about poor services.“We will go to the institutions unannounced to monitor if the standards are being carried out, and with the ombudsman, members of the public should be able to share their experiences in the health centres,” Motsoaledi said.The Bill proposes that the office be headed by a qualified executive director and supported by competent personnel, including health inspectors, who may enter any health premises to inspect compliance with the standards.Motsoaledi said the office would also pave way for the implementation of South Africa’s National Health Insurance (NHI), as the provision of quality care would be one of the core requirements of the NHI.Improving quality of health careMotsoaledi has previously expressed his disappointment with the level of health care in many of the country’s public hospitals, and has, through his performance agreement with President Jacob Zuma, committed himself and his department to improving the situation.The department has identified six priorities for fast-tracking improvement, namely safety and security, long waiting times, drug availability, nursing attitude, infection prevention and control, and values of staff.Members of the public are invited to submit their comments on the proposed establishment of the Office of Health Standards Compliance. The draft Bill is available on the health department’s website, www.doh.gov.za.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Tony Award for SA puppet company

first_img9 May 2011South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company has won a coveted Tony Award for the life-size puppets that are at the heart of the highly acclaimed West End and Broadway play War Horse.The Cape Town-based company has already accepted the honour for the 2011 Tony Awards taking place later this year. The award was an exclusive one, meaning that no other puppet-making companies were eligible for it.Basil Jones, Handspring co-founder, said: “It was wonderful to be able to announce it on the factory floor.”The award will be presented to the company on 12 June 2011 at the 65th Annual Tony Awards ceremony.Another South African export, world-renowned playwright Athol Fugard, will be honoured with a lifetime achievement award at the ceremony.Horses at warThe life-size cane and plywood horses used for the play War Horse have earned the puppet company kudos for its contribution to the creative industry. The play has received five Tony nominations – for best play, best direction, best scenic design, best lighting design, and best sound design.The play, which premiered at London’s National Theatre in 2007 and started its Broadway run in April 2011, depicts the story of a boy’s horse taken by the British cavalry to participate in World War One. It is based on the 1982 novel of the same name, written by British poet, playwright and children’s author Michael Morpurgo.Jones said: “The roots of War Horse were in a production called Tall Horse that Handspring did with a Malian puppet company and which a National Theatre creative team saw in South Africa.“We had hoped the National Theatre would take Tall Horse, which featured a giraffe, to London, but instead they came to Handspring with a proposal to do work based on animals and war.”The horses were made by a team of 12 craftsmen using durable material to make sure the wear and tear of the horses didn’t affect the play during its running.The original set of horses lasted for 1 000 performances and didn’t need professional puppeteers to work them, although Handspring sent a puppeteer to help during the first season of the play.For its use of these magnificent creations, the London run of War Horse won an Olivier Award, an Evening Standard Theatre Award and the London Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for design.Creative collaborationThe 30-year-old puppet company has collaborated with many innovative South Africans in the creative industry, including theatre directors Malcolm Purkey and Barney Simon and renowned painter, filmmaker and director William Kentridge.Kentridge, who has worked closely with the company, said: “Audiences see the puppeteers at work in pieces like War Horse, but you can’t stop yourself believing the reality of those horses, it’s kind of magical.“I think it’s fantastic that their years of work and their extraordinary skill get this recognition.”Kentridge and Handspring first collaborated in 1992 on a play based on German playwright Georg Buchner’s Woyzeck on the Highveld.Awarding theatrical excellenceThe Tony Awards were established in 1947 after the American Theatre Wing sought a way to award those who excelled in theatre.The Tony Award is regarded in the arts industry as theatre’s most prestigious accolade.The awards were named after Antoinette Perry, an actress, director, producer and philanthropist, who was the leader of the American Theatre Wing during World War Two and had recently passed.Although the Tonys were established in 1947, for the first two years of the awards there was no medallion to go with the award.The medallion was design by Herman Rosse in 1949, after the designers union, United Scenic Artists, sponsored a medallion design contest, and has been used ever since.First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more

Ivana Agudo rises to the challenge for Lady Tamaraws

first_imgMagalong: Albayalde also got SUV out of ‘agaw bato’ operation in 2013 PLAY LIST 01:19Magalong: Albayalde also got SUV out of ‘agaw bato’ operation in 201300:50Trending Articles02:28Panelo on facing commute challenge: ‘It’s a silly acceptance’02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Despite uncertainty around her injury, Lycha Ebon confident she can return this season MOST READ Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. center_img MANILA, Philippines—Far Eastern University needed someone to fill in the void injured star Lycha Ebon left and fortunately for the Lady Tamaraws Ivana Agudo heeded the call.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Google Philippines names new country director Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess “I just told myself that even if I don’t produce points, I will help in other ways and I didn’t expect that I will be doing this so I’m really happy,” said Agudo who finished with 12 points to lead the Lady Tamaraws to a 6-3 record that tied them with University of Santo Tomas and De La Salle at the second seed.FEU captain Jerrili Malabanan would finish everything off scoring FEU’s final two points of the game.“Like Ivana said, her performance was unexpected, but we knew that she could help and provide for us when we’re one man down,” said Malabanan who had 11 points. “I’m really proud of the way she performed today.”ADVERTISEMENT Agudo showed true guts in leading the Lady Tamaraws in the deciding set against University of the East, helping them to salvage the 25-15, 16-25, 12-25, 25-22, 17-15 victory Saturday in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament.“This is a big thing for me because my Ates needed help, so for I told myself that I needed to step up,” said Agudo in Filipino Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsIt was a virtual slugfest between FEU and UE with no team taking a three-point lead early in the fifth set.Agudo then took over for the Lady Tamaraws first giving them an 11-8 lead with a two-handed dump just before a crosscourt kill that nearly landed beyond the sideline for FEU’s 12-8 buffer. Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassleslast_img read more

Government Successful at Issuing a Benchmark US750 Million Bond Issue

first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, November 18, 2017 – Nassau – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Peter Turnquest gave details in the House of Assembly of the Government’s recent success at issuing a benchmark US$750 million bond issue, which has been opened to the markets and priced, and is expected to close on November 21, 2017.    He made the statement on Wednesday, November 15, 2017.DPM Turnquest also took the time to set the record straight in response to numerous reports in the Press and social media about the transaction, which characterised it as “lacking in transparency and fiscal prudence.”“Nothing could be further from the truth.    There was absolutely nothing devious, surreptitious or imprudent about this transaction or the manner in which it was handled.    There are certain ways these transactions are handled in the international market, and we are appropriately guided by our investors in this regard,” he told the Members of Parliament.DPM Turnquest explained that all of the Government’s financing activities are conducted within the constraints of its approved borrowing authorities, and shaped and informed by pragmatic debt management strategies.“These strategies, for example, take into consideration the size and currency composition of the Government’s financing requirements; the identification, analysis and preferences of potential funding sources—whether it is best to source the debt in domestic or foreign currency; and, of course, with due consideration to market liquidity, cost and risk factors.“To be sure, such analysis and evaluation requires interaction with other agencies—especially our bankers, and most certainly the Central Bank.   As is customary, we collaborate very closely with the Central Bank, which manages the issuance of government paper in the domestic market, for advice on domestic liquidity conditions—how much excess loanable funds are in the system, and what is the appetite of the main investors in government paper—the banks and institutional investors (pension funds and the insurance companies) to increasing their holdings.”He said these factors, including foreign reserves considerations, not only influence the timing and size of potential issues, but also determine decisions on whether borrowings are undertaken in domestic or foreign currency.    Such decisions involve serious and considered deliberations by the Government in managing the country’s debt.   The DPM noted that during the 2017/18 Budget Communication, two borrowing resolutions were approved by the House.The first covered the additional funding approval of $400 million to settle the outstanding arrears for FY2016/17 and the second was in respect of FY2017/18, and provided for financing to cover the overall budget deficit, estimated at $322.3 million, and refinancing/debt repayment obligations, which are now projected at $600.2 million.He said, “Therefore, while the total borrowing envelope under these two approved resolutions totaled approximately $1,322.7 million, the increment to the outstanding debt was and remains $722.3 million, as the $600.2 million in refinancing/debt repayment would have a neutral impact on debt levels.”DPM Turnquest also noted that it is instructive to mention, that, at the beginning of each Fiscal Year, one of the first things that the Government sets out to do, through its Treasury Department, is to develop monthly cash flow projections—based on how it perceives the evolution of revenue performance and the timing of its outlays.“These projections are calibrated, on an ongoing basis, to ensure that there are sufficient funds available to meet the Government’s budgetary requirements, as and when needed.“It is now common knowledge that there were pressing funding needs at the end of the past fiscal year and the outset of the current period, which placed an urgent requirement on policymakers to identify immediate funding sources to meet these obligations.”He said after an evaluation of the funding options, the Government moved expeditiously to source several short-term bridging facilities, which included US Dollar bank credits ($450 million) and domestic treasury bills and bank advances ($300 million).“I want to emphasize that these facilities were always contemplated to be short-term in nature, with a subsequent “terming out”, i.e., lengthening of the maturities to achieve a more favourable debt servicing profile. And having considered conditions in the domestic market, and the number of significant rollovers contemplated, the intention was to explore the possibility of rolling up these short-term credits into an international bond issue.”The bonds, characterized as a 10-Year weighted average life bond, was priced at a coupon or interest rate of 6.00 per cent, which is some 250 basis points above the pricing obtained in the Government’s last bond issuance in 2014 when it enjoyed investment grade credit status.It is to be repaid in three equal annual installments, commencing on November 21, 2026, and with a final maturity on November 21, 2028.   T he 6.00 per cent yield is equivalent to a spread of 362.1 basis points above the US Treasury’s 10-year benchmark bond.The Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and RBC Capital Markets, LLC. managed the offer as joint book runners.By: Llonella Gilbert (BIS) Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

Military Installations Shouldnt Be National Cyber Bases Scientist Says

first_imgUnless they are focused on protecting DOD networks, national cyber units should not be housed on military bases, according to an op-ed in c4isrnet.com. Cyber units created to support federal, state and private sector resources need to be located in proximity to the nation’s critical IT infrastructure, including large data centers, to allow for a rapid response capability, writes Jan Kallberg, a research scientist at the Army Cyber Institute at West Point and an assistant professor at the U.S. Military Academy.“A cyber unit that is housed in an office building in St. Charles, Missouri, on an office floor in Federal Plaza, Manhattan, or along the I-75 corridor in northern Texas is closer to the action when it happens,” Kallberg says. “The cyber units of the future should be based where their ability to reach mission success is highest, no matter the locale.”Photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher McCullough Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Out of favor Bitcoin finds another critic The World Bank

first_imgWorld Bank says bitcoins are “dangerous” to the global financial system.ReutersThe World Bank has joined the chorus of central banks around the globe on financial risks associated with cryptocurrencies. The US-based international financial institution has cautioned the banking sector against bitcoin business saying it is “dangerous” to the global financial system.According to World Bank Group senior vice president Mahmoud Mohieldin, there is a need for central banks to have regulations to protect consumers from using Bitcoin, so as to create trust among those using their financial systems, Kenya Broadcasting Corp reported Wednesday.Mohieldin said there is a strong case for authorities to rein in digital currencies because their links to the established financial system could cause disruptions, according to the report.The meteoric rise in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum has caught regulators flat-footed, leaving them in an awkward situation: adopt or ban them.Recently, the Reserve Bank of India had banned all banks from dealing with or providing services to any individual or business entity dealing with or settling virtual currencies.The central bank has declared that it does not consider bitcoins and others as legal tender but that’s apparently not enough to keep investors off bitcoins.Bulls say that Bitcoin’s boom is far from over and that there’s more to analyzing a market than just measuring price gains. While the recent tumble has alarmed some investors, the cryptocurrency has bounced back from several previous swoons.Billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper, who is one of the earliest investors, believes countries will benefit a lot from adopting cryptocurrencies and blockchain as it will enable governments to become more transparent and efficient.last_img read more

Trump Sued For Blocking Some Of His Critics On Twitter

first_imgFree imageFirst Amendment advocates sued President Donald Trump on Tuesday, saying it is unconstitutional to block his critics from following him on Twitter.The Manhattan federal court lawsuit from the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University cited seven individuals rejected by Trump or his aides after criticizing the president. Besides Trump, the lawsuit also named as defendants White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Dan Scavino, White House director of social media.Jameel Jaffer, the institute’s director, said dozens of people reached out after his organization told the White House three weeks ago that it wasn’t permitted to block individuals from following the president’s 8-year-old @realdonaldtrump account.Trump doesn’t seem to be the only politician trying to limit his audience. Jaffer said numerous people have said they were blocked from the accounts of Republican and Democratic politicians after posting critical comments.A federal judge in Washington, D.C., recently ruled that a local official’s Facebook account was a public forum under the First Amendment, but higher courts have not yet addressed the issue, Jaffer said.“It’s fair to say that this is a new frontier,” Jaffer said. “The First Amendment principle is well-settled, but the applicability of that principle to this context isn’t an issue that the courts have yet had many occasions to address.”The lawsuit asks a judge to stop Trump and his media team from blocking critics from following his personal account, which has 33 million followers, 14 million more than @POTUS and 19 million more than @WhiteHouse.Dawn Dearden, a spokeswoman for government lawyers, declined to comment.According to the lawsuit, blocking people from following Trump’s account was a viewpoint-based restriction the U.S. Constitution doesn’t allow.It noted that Trump on July 2 tweeted: “My use of social media is not Presidential — it’s MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL.” It also quoted Spicer saying a month earlier at a press conference that Trump’s tweets should be understood as “official statements of the president of the United States.”Federal agencies and courts treat Trump’s tweets as official statements, and The National Archives and Records Administration has advised the White House that the tweets must be preserved under the Presidential Records Act, the lawsuit said.Among plaintiffs was Rebecca Buckwalter, a Washington-based writer and political consultant who was blocked from the account on June 6 after she replied to Trump’s tweet saying he would have had “ZERO chance winning WH” if he’d relied on “Fake News” from major media outlets. Buckwalter received over 9,000 likes and 3,300 retweets after posting: “To be fair you didn’t win the WH: Russia won it for you,” according to the lawsuit.Others to be blocked included Philip Cohen, a University of Maryland sociology professor who called Trump a “Corrupt Incompetent Authoritarian,” and Holly Figueroa, a national political organizer and songwriter who was cut off May 28 after posting an image of the pope looking incredulously at Trump, along with the statement: “This is pretty much how the whole world sees you,” the lawsuit said. Sharelast_img read more