Goodbye Germaine Mason

first_imgThe date is July 22, 2002. The location is a Knutsford Boulevard bank, a short drive from the National Stadium where the 8th staging of the World Junior Championships had ended the day before. Among the customers is Germaine Mason, who had won a historic bronze medal for Jamaica in the Championships. Mason had broken new ground by winning the nation’s first World Junior high jump medal two years earlier. His bronze in Kingston made him the first to win medals in back-to-back Championships. Yet, though, he jumped 2.21 metres for third inside a packed Stadium and though the meet was broadcast on national television, no one in the bank seemed to know him. An impromptu poll was conducted in the waiting line to test the conclusion. One by one, the customers around Mason admitted to never having seen him before. This was in stark contrast to the attention Mason and his World Junior teammates had enjoyed in the previous week. He chuckled good-naturedly at his status as an invisible man and the fleeting nature of fame in sport. His death on Thursday morning vaulted him back to the front pages as much as his high jumping ever did. In the years after the World Juniors, he became Jamaica’s best high jumper ever. In 2003, he won the Pan-American Games gold medal and reached the final at the World Championships in Paris. Then, with the Athens Olympics just months away, he won the bronze at the 2004 World Indoor Championships. Sadly, he broke his ankle along the way. That mishap derailed his bid for Olympic glory until 2008. Jumping for Great Britain, he leapt to the runner-up spot. SPOTLIGHT MOMENT Injuries hastened his retirement, but at the 2008 Olympics in the Chinese city of Beijing, he had a well-deserved moment in the spotlight. As news broke of his tragic death in a motorcycle accident, the most common question was probably, ‘Germaine who? As it was in the bank in 2002, Mason wasn’t well known here outside the sport. That is perhaps understandable. Nevertheless, he leaves a considerable legacy behind. At Wolmer’s Boys School, he set a Class Two high jump record of 2.09 metres at the first combined Boys and Girls’ Championships in 1999. It stood until 2012 when Kristoff Bryan, who also attended Wolmer’s Boys School, broke it. Like the others at the MVP Track Club at the start of this century, he was a symbol of the then new effort to produce world class at home. In addition, he was proof that Jamaicans could do more than sprint. Regrettably, his death robs two countries of a man who genuinely was a sporting pioneer. – Hubert Lawrencelast_img read more

U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan, Advocate for War Crimes Court in Liberia, Loses Midterm…

first_imgDefeated Congressman Dan Donovon stands with his daughter as he accepted the election results.Advocacy for the establishment of a war crimes court in the country on November 7 suffered a major setback when Dan Donovan, an American Lawmaker lost his midterm bid yesterday.Max Rose, an army veteran running on the Democratic ticket, won the 11th congressional district of New York by more than 50 percent, unseating Republican incumbent Representative Dan Donovan, a campaigner for the establishment of a war crimes court in Liberia.According to the Cable News Network (CNN), Donovan made an early concession even before any major news network could call the results of the race.With his daughter Serena Stonick by his side, the former New York District #11 Representative, thanked his supporters for giving him the chance to serve the district for the last three years and congratulated Rose on his victory.“I just got off the phone with Max Rose, and I asked him to do a good job for my family and yours, and he promised me that he would,” Donovan told CNN. “I congratulated him on a hard fought effort; it’s been an amazing ride for our family,” he added.About his service to his community and people, Donovan said, “the last 22 years of my entire adult life I’ve served this community, and it’s been an honor and a privilege, something I will never forget, and I will never forget you for giving me that opportunity.”According to the report, Donovan said he would take the next couple of days off from politics, go “somewhere warm” with his family, and come back to see what would be the next chapter of his life and the lives of his family members.Heading into Tuesday’s midterm elections, there were 205,507 registered Democrats and 119,731 registered Republicans in New York District #11.Seventy (70) percent of those voters came from Staten Island, home to 48 percent more Democrats than Republicans and the largest concentration of Liberians in the United States.What Donovan’s Defeat Means for Liberia:Congressman Donovan has been the force behind the establishment of a war crimes court in Liberia; famously introducing a resolution for the establishment of a war and economic crimes tribunal which was passed by Congress.Recently, he wrote a letter to United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Walt Mattis requesting their assistance in the process.In response to Donovan’s efforts to get a war crimes court established in Liberia, Liberia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Gbehzohngar Findley recently said the issue of a war crimes court establishment in Liberia should be decided by a referendum, a statement which advocates have described as far-fetched.With Donovan’s absence now and Democrats taking control of the United States House of Representatives, it remains unclear whether establishment of a War Crimes Court would occupy pole position on the agenda of the new incoming congressman.Although Congressman Hank Johnson, a Democrat from Georgia who Co-sponsored the bill submitted by Donovan retained his seat in Congress, passage of the proposed Act by both Houses of Congress is not, by all means, a foregone conclusion.Additionally, it remains unclear whether Secretary Pompeo and General Mattis will act on Donovan’s letter, now that he has lost his seat in Congress.Please see Donovan’s Letter Secretaries Pompeo and Mattis Below:New York’s 11th Congressional District is home to the largest Liberian population in the world outside of Liberia. With a vibrant presence in the Clifton section of Staten Island, I have seen their contributions for many years. They are hardworking and family-oriented communities who have made themselves an integral part of the district.As you know, from 1991 to 2002, civil war devastated Liberia and Sierra Leone. The violence took the lives of over 200,000 people, displaced over 1,000,000 persons, and saw horrific cases of murder, amputation, mass rape, and other human rights abuses. The heinous crimes that occurred during this time are unspeakable, yet many of the perpetrators hold positions in Liberia’s government. With the presence of Senator Prince Y. Johnson and others, we are seeing Liberia’s slow creep backwards towards the murderous mayhem of its civil war era.Liberians are rightfully clamoring for justice. The last thing we want to see is the cycle of violence start yet again. I fear that is exactly what will happen should the perpetrators of vicious crimes be allowed to escape responsibility. To this end, I have introduced H. Res. 1055 in the House of Representatives, which calls upon Liberia to establish a war crimes tribunal. This effort has already been followed by responses from Liberian government officials. Liberian Foreign Minister Gbehzohngar Findley earlier this month reportedly suggested a referendum to establish a war crimes tribunal.Unfortunately, this vague statement from Minister Findley falls short of genuine and robust commitment to establishing a war crimes tribunal. To that end, what more can the Department of Defense and Department of State do to encourage Monrovia to establish a war crimes tribunal? And how else can I and my colleagues in Congress assist in this effort? I look forward to your expeditious responses.In his  Resolution 1055 which was passed by the Lower House of Congress, Donovan expressed the urgent need for Prince Y. Johnson (now a Senator for Nimba County) and a host of other persons indicted by the Truth and Reconciliation’s (TRC) report to face justice.He said with PYJ and other perpetrators occupying positions of power and influence in the country, it would be very difficult for national healing to occur.Senator Prince Y. JohnsonSenator Prince Y. Johnson (PYJ) has long since condemned all efforts geared towards the establishment of a war crimes court in the country and to this date he still maintains his belief that Liberia has no need for such a tribunal.PYJ recently said that he is not afraid of anyone or prosecution. He said he is a free man and will remain a free man, meanwhile insisting that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report is ‘fraudulent.’He said TRC chairman, Cllr. Jerome Verdier, has numerous contradictions in the report that render it unworthy of any serious attention.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Another ex-Policeman charged for carjacking

first_imgAnother ex-Policeman — apprehended in Monument Hill, Kuru Kururu, Linden/Soesdyke Highway when “A” Division ranks swooped down on a property and discovered vehicle parts — was on Friday arraigned in City Magistrate Leron Daly’s Court for the offence of carjacking.Now a taxi service owner, Jason Harry, represented by Attorney Melville Duke, denied the charge which stated that on May 26, 2015 at Durban Backlands, Georgetown, while being armed and in the company of others, he robbed Phillip King of his Toyota Premio motor car valued at $3.2 million, along with other items.Harry was apprehended on Friday last, along with a couple and four women, after ranks acting on information swooped down on the Monument Hill premises at Kuru Kururu.The prosecution is contending that the 36-year-old Harry was unable to give an explanation for the large quantity of car parts that were in his possession.Harry was later placed on an identification parade, and was positively identified by King.Police Prosecutor Richard Harris revealed that Harry is being investigated as part of the carjacking ring.His Attorney, Melville Duke, however questioned the reasoning behind the charge being laid three years after the alleged robbery, and revealed that the parts found in Harry’s possession belonged to his deceased stepfather, who had been a mechanic.Harry was, however, remanded to prison until March 23.Reports are that, in total, 15 persons are now in Police custody for some sort of involvement with carjacking, and Police are hunting the prime suspect as they continue to bust this carjacking ring.Shawn Archibald and Timothy Waldron were on Thursday arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan on allegations that they had carried out a series of carjackings.“A” Division Commander Marlon Chapman has applauded his ranks for their success in this probe thus far. He has also thanked the public for their cooperation with the Police.“I have to say at this stage that the cooperation has been excellent from members of the public, particularly in that Kuru Kururu/Yarrowkabra area, as the information was forthcoming when we acted upon it. The ranks that were heading the investigation, kudos to my entire team in the “A” Division!” Chapman applauded.Police have thus far carried out four raids, successfully netting motorcars and seizing vehicle parts.On Wednesday night, investigators swooped down on the Lodge Housing Scheme, Georgetown home of the prime suspect in this investigation, and conducted a search during which they found a black Mazda Axela motorcar with licence number PTT 2794. They also unearthed twelve certificates of registration for various vehicles, including some that were seized from the home of an ex-Policeman who is currently in custody. The ranks have since taken into custody a 52-year-old woman who was at the Lodge residence. Her name was found on the registration of two of the seized vehicles.Earlier this week, ‘A’ Division ranks conducted a 10-hour operation which concluded at 03:00h at Kuru Kururu, Linden-Soesdyke Highway. It resulted in six persons being arrested.Two motor cars and a canter truck which is registered to a Barr Street, Kitty resident were also seized and lodged. This truck was loaded with the shell of a silver Toyota Spacio and a quantity of vehicle parts suspected to have been stolen or unlawfully obtained.On Friday last, the ex-Policeman and the women were apprehended in the home at Kuru Kururu, Soesdyke/Linden Highway.Additionally, Police ranks from the Major Crimes Investigation Unit swooped down on a North Vryheid’s Lust premises, East Coast Demerara, occupied by a 29-year-old taxi driver and his 25-year-old wife, and found several car mirrors with engraved licence plate numbers, doors, lights, wipers and other vehicle parts for Toyota Allion, Spacio and Premio motor cars.last_img read more

Sofapaka’s Baraza wants to emulate Zidane

first_img“I am happy to be in the final for the first time as a coach. Of course I want to win some medals as a coach just like did as a player. My ambition in this final is to get the title. I want to be part of history like the other guys all over the world. I want to be like Zidane who won the Champions League as a player and a coach too with the same team,” Baraza told Capital Sport.The former striker reached five finals with the side and led Batoto ba Mungu to victories in 2007, 2010 and their last conquest in 2014. He lost the 2011 and 2012 finals both against Gor Mahia.Sofapaka FC head coach John Baraza (left) watches George Maelo take a sprint during a training session at the Gikambura Grounds on October 16, 2018. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaThe tactician now says he wants to use the experience he has acquired from playing the five finals to help calm his boys down as they look to quench a four-year trophy drought.“That experience comes so much in handy because I have talked to the boys and told them what to expect as well as calming down. A final is anyone’s game and the slightest mistake means you are out,” further stated the tactician.The three-time champions come into the final with confidence having dispatched defending champions AFC Leopards 1-0 in the semi-finals courtesy of Elly Asieche’s late goal at the Kasarani stadium.Baraza has admitted there is pressure on the team to deliver a title having missed out on the league to Gor Mahia and he says that is their biggest motivation heading into the game against last year’s losing finalists Kariobangi Sharks.“We missed getting the KPL title and this is now what we have left. The players are serious about it and they want to win and represent the country in CAF Competitions next year,” Baraza said.Sofapaka FC captain Stephen Waruru controls the ball under pressure from George Maelo during a training session at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani on October 19, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluHe admitted; “There’s pressure of course because for a team used to winning, it doesn’t auger well when you go four years without winning anything. As a team we want to win the title, the management and sponsors also want to be associated with champions.”Baraza knows it will not be all smiles and hugs against Sharks, a side also eager to make history on their own having lost last year’s final.As a team, the tactician knows it will be tough with Sharks gifted with tactically and technically apt players.“Sharks is a very good team with good players. They have reached the final and that goes to show you that they deserve to even win this title. We expect a very tough game but I expect our experience to take us through,” he added.Sofapaka FC owner Elly Kalekwa attempts to juggle the ball under the watch of coach John Baraza, his assistant Mshagalusha Ndagano and winger Kevin Kimani when he paid the team a courtesy call during a training session at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani on October 19, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluSofapaka will have a full squad at their disposal without injuries. Their only absentee will be keeper Mathias Kigonya who according to Baraza asked to leave the side with word on the street suggesting he is headed to AFC Leopards.It was an absurd decision for the shot stopper to leave the side just barely two weeks to the Shield final, but Baraza said they saw it wise to let him go as his mindset was not on the match.“Sometimes what goes on in the mind of the players nobody knows. He requested to leave and when a player comes and asks to leave, you never know the reasons and we granted his wish. You have to be a worried man when a player asks to leave before such a game. It shows he is not focused for it and you never know what he might do,” Baraza said.The side will be skippered by striker Stephen Waruru for the final.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Sofapaka FC head coach John Baraza (left) with his assistant Mshagalusha Ndagano during a training session at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani on October 18, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 19 – Sofapaka head coach John Baraza will walk into the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani on Saturday afternoon with the hand of history on his back as he looks to win the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Shield for the first time as a coach having won it three times before as a player.The soft-spoken youthful tactician says he wants to emulate former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane who won the UEFA Champions League both as a player and a coach with the same team.last_img read more

Liverpool join Chelsea in tracking Atalanta ace Andrea Conti

first_img Andrea Conti [right] in action for Atalanta 1 Liverpool are keeping tabs on Atalanta midfielder Andrea Conti, who has also been linked with a move to Chelsea this summer.The 23-year-old has been earning rave reviews for his performances this season in midfield, despite being a natural full-back, and has attracted the interest of clubs from across Europe.Chelsea scouts have already been to Italy to watch him in action and there are suggestions that Antonio Conte wants to take his compatriot to west London this coming summer.And it seems Chelsea could face competition for his signature from Premier League rivals as, according to Calciomercato, Liverpool are also on his trail.It has been claimed that Jurgen Klopp is keeping an eye on the former Italy under-21 international ahead of the summer window and could make a move for him in the coming months.Conti’s versatility is an attractive quality for Liverpool and given their problems in full-back positions, the Italian’s arrival could fill a hole in their squad ahead of next season.The 23-year-old, who has made 47 appearances for Atalanta so far, has a contract until 2021 with the Serie A club.last_img read more

DONEGAL FIRE SERVICE IN LINE FOR AWARD AFTER GORSE FIRE HEROICS

first_imgThe Donegal Fire service could scoop a major award after their heroics in tackling many gorse fires last summer.The service has been shortlisted in the Outstanding Customer Service section of the Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Awards.Donegal County Council has been shortlisted in two other categories. They could also win awards after being nominated in the One Donegal Cultural Diversity Month in the Festival of the Year category and the Donegal Gathering in the Supporting Tourism section.The Awards will take place in November at Dublin’s Burlington Hotel.DONEGAL FIRE SERVICE IN LINE FOR AWARD AFTER GORSE FIRE HEROICS was last modified: August 20th, 2012 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:DONEGAL FIRE SERVICElast_img read more

The Amazing Pigeon Techno-Beak

first_imgHow do homing pigeons find home?  Scientists at University of Frankfurt may have found the answer: magnetic minerals in their beaks.  A press release from Springer Publications describes the amazing pigeon techno-beak:In histological and physicochemical examinations in collaboration with HASYLAB, the synchrotron laboratories based in Hamburg, Germany, iron-containing subcellular particles of maghemite and magnetite were found in sensory dendrites of the skin lining the upper beak of homing pigeons.  This research project found that these dendrites are arranged in a complex three-dimensional pattern with different spatial orientation designed to analyze the three components of the magnetic field vector separately.  They react to the Earth’s external magnetic field in a very sensitive and specific manner, thus acting as a three-axis magnetometer.    The study suggests that the birds sense the magnetic field independent of their motion and posture and thus can identify their geographical position.This mechanism is probably not unique to homing pigeons, the article states.  It might be found in all birds – and even in other animals that excel at navigation.  Indeed, “many animals display behavior that is modified or controlled by the Earth’s magnetic field.”  These include animals as diverse as sea turtles, lobsters and butterflies.    A spin-off of this discovery is the human desire to imitate it.  Will similar nanotechnology someday help doctors target drugs in the body?  Will it spur inventions into new data storage devices?  Will it reduce the size of magnetometers on aircraft and spacecraft?  Too early to say.  First, inventors must find ways to synthesize these sensors.  One of the scientists at the University of Frankfurt commented, “Even though birds have been producing these particles for millions of years, the main problem for scientists who want to find benefits from their use will be the technical production of these particles.”Millions of years would not help pigeons develop techno-beaks.  Aside from that bit of Darwinian flatulence, this is an astonishing announcement.  It goes to show that no skill in nature just happens; there must be structure adequate for each function.  Homing pigeons have been known for a long time.  People have marveled at pigeon navigational abilities since antiquity, but only now do we begin to understand what machinery is involved.  The iron-containing structure in the beak is just one aspect of a system.  As with eyes and ears, a brain must be adequate to process the continuous information flow and make quick decisions.  Would that Charles Darwin, that famous pigeon-breeder, had known about this.  Things might have been different in 1859.(Visited 14 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Tito’s ego

first_imgFred KhumaloThe governor of the South African Reserve Bank, Tito Mboweni, is a snazzy dresser, always well-groomed, and has a ready smile. He also likes talking about himself. Hallmarks of a vain man.In the age of celebrity, vain people go to extremes in order to attract the attention of newspaper and television cameras.Which boggles the mind, then, that Mboweni, who is the epitome of vanity, has decided that photographers will henceforth not be allowed to take pictures of him – even at official functions. This is a first for South Africa. Not even PW Botha tried to prevent photogs from taking unflattering pictures of him wagging his notorious finger.In fact Tito has gone to the extent of hiring an official photographer to take “proper” pictures of him, to be vetted by him and distributed to the media by his office.But, wait a minute, I think I get it: the man is so bored with the dour pictures of him that get snapped at his official functions that by barring newspaper photographers from his gigs, he is deliberately needling paparazzi to go to extremes to get pictures of him – doing other things than being his besuited self speaking into a microphone.And he will get what he wants. Maybe someone should sponsor a Spot Tito Competition where members of the public will be encouraged to snap the governor wherever they see him. Just to teach him a lesson.But on a more serious note, the decision by the Reserve Bank governor is a bizarre manifestation of egomania. Well, Tito and ego – they rhyme!Come hither, let me give you a story that bears testimony to Tito’s egomaniac tendencies. Immediately after his appointment as governor, he sent out an instruction to the Reserve Bank canteen telling whoever was in charge there to change the menu to suit the new governor’s culinary preferences. I think he said the canteen would henceforth stop serving meat on the bone, or did he say the canteen would henceforth only serve meat on the bone? Anyway, something as trivial as that. But maybe that was not trivial: a black man is serious about his meat! By the way, this story is not an urban legend. Mboweni himself repeated it when he addressed senior journalists at Media24 in 2000 or 2001, when I was still working there, for Rapport.To move back to the more pressing issue at hand, Mboweni’s decision to ban photographers to shoot as the moment dictates is an attack on the free flow of information. It ill becomes anyone holding high public office to decree that press photographers may not do their job in his presence.We know Adolf Hitler was sensitive about his height, but not even he tried to stop photographers from taking pictures that recorded the fact that the dictator was vertically challenged, and had a curious moustache that, at a glance, looked like a blood clot.Photography is about recording watershed moments in the life of a nation, especially if the subject is a public official. These photographic moments should be spontaneous and not posed.If a photographer snaps Mboweni wiping sweat from his brow, that is a slice of history. It puts into context what he was going through as he was delivering the painful blow on unsuspecting South African homeowners.When I first read about the governor’s preposterous edict, I could not help but close my eyes, and mentally claw back to the past. In my mind’s eye I could see the governor holding court at La Copa Restaurant, in the insalubrious suburb of Yeoville.Mboweni did not have any of these uppity inhibitions then. He used to laugh out loud, throwing his head back with careless abandon. He was always waxing lyrical about nationalising everything that moved. Oh, how times have changed.He was usually in the company of a well-known lady who later became a famous beauty queen. Oh, if only I had taken a picture of him then, to use it in these days of the Tito-imposed drought.It’s been reported that by barring the media from snapping him, the governor is taking a leaf from the book of his erstwhile US counterpart and idol Alan Greenspan, who was equally camera shy.Well, to give you my two cents worth of opinion, Mr Governor, Greenspan had every reason to be camera shy. Those glasses of his were ooogly! Not just ugly, ooogly! The less said about his suits the better.By allowing only kosher pictures of him to be disseminated to the media, the governor is airbrushing some important moments of history from the collective memory of this nation – not unlike Joseph Stalin airbrushing Trotsky and Lenin from that historic picture.And, he could be setting a bad precedent: our ministers always behave like parrots. When the media waxed lyrical about how President Mbeki enjoyed quoting Shakespeare and other great scribes during his presentations, many ministers started squeezing literary and poetic nuggets into their speeches.Stop it, Tito, before it gets out of hand!Fred Khumalo is editor of the Insight & Opinion Editor section of the Sunday Times, where he also writes an award-winning sociopolitical column. His novel Bitches’ Brew won the European Union Literary Award in 2005. In 2006 he published his autobiography Touch My Blood: The Early Years, which was short-listed for the 2007 Alan Paton Non-Fiction Award. His second novel Seven Steps To Heaven was published by Jacana Media in 2007. He is finishing an unauthorised biography of African National Congress president Jacob Zuma, commissioned by Penguin Books South Africa. He also hosts the television show Encounters on SABC2.last_img read more

South African sets new athletics record

first_img6 July 2015Rounding off a record-breaking week for South African athletics, Henrico Bruintjies set a new national mark in the men’s 100m in Switzerland yesterday.Bruintjies shaved 0.01 seconds off the previous South African record of 9.98 held by Simon Magakwe. He won his heat at the Resisprint International meeting clocking 9.97 to become only the third South African to break through the 10-second barrier in the 100m sprint.Bruintjies’ coach, Hennie Kriel, said he believed it was only a matter of time before his star athlete broke through the 10-seconds barrier. “He was very excited and I asked him if it was official and he immediately replied ‘yes, yes,’” Kriel said.“I knew a good time was on the cards, the race was at 1 000m above sea level but he is now running good times in European conditions.”This feat follows the 9.99 time Akani Simbine posted at a European Permit meeting in Slovenia on 1 July.Bruintjies was disappointed after finishing behind Simbine in that race, clocking 10.15. “He was not happy with his own race and the last two or three weeks he’s been saying that he was ready to go below 10 seconds,” Kriel said.On Saturday night, 4 July, Wayde Van Niekerk became the first African to dip below 44 seconds in the men’s 400m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Paris. Van Niekerk beat Grenadian Olympic champion Kirani James in a new South African and African record time of 43.96.James had to be content with second place, clocking 44.17, with David Verburg of the United States bagging bronze in 44.81.Source: News24Wirelast_img read more