Pistorius was also a finalist for the World Breakthrough of the Year Award, which was won by Northern Irish golfer Rory McIlroy. Pistorius is the third South African to be named a winner of the Laureus World Sportsperson with a Disability Award. Wheelchair racer Ernst van Dyk was honoured in 2006 and swimmer Natalie du Toit won in 2010. Laureus chairman Edwin Moses praised Pistorius after his win, saying: “Oscar is a remarkable human being, one of the most impressive people I have ever met. When you think of the challenges he has faced in his life, and overcome, and gone on to break new ground, you can only be impressed. “This is just a great privilege to be nominated, it is really humbling to be here,” said Pistorius after receiving the winner’s statuette from skateboarding legend Tony Hawk and Spanish actress Elsa Pataky. Previous South African winners He added: “And he is now also a Laureus Ambassador and has shown his determination to support the cause of sport for good. I congratulate him on this well-deserved award.” He was up against stiff opposition for the title in the form of two-time Laureus winner, Dutch tennis star Esther Vergeer; five-time London Marathon wheelchair winner David Weir; Russian cross-country skier Irek Zaripov, a winner of five medals at the 2010 Winter Paralympics; Brazilian swimmer Daniel Dias, who won the Disability Award in 2009 and won seven gold medals at the 2010 IPC Paralympic Swimming World Championships; and visually impaired sprint star Terezinha Guilhermina, also of Brazil. ‘Well-deserved award’ Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material 7 February 2012 This year’s Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to English football legend Sir Bobby Charlton, while Rai Souza Vieira de Oliveira, a former Brazilian footballer, now a social justice campaigner, won the Laureus Sport for Good Award. He also made the semi-finals of the individual 400 metres in Daegu, the only South African to advance that far, after clocking a fast 45.39 seconds in the heats. South African athlete Oscar Pistorius received the Laureus World Sportsperson with a Disability Award at a gala function in London on Monday evening. The Laureus Sports Awards are the biggest awards on the international sporting calendar, with the Academy that selects the winners made up of 47 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time. They include South African adventurer/explorer Mike Horn, golf legend Gary Player, who won the Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003, and former Springbok captain Morne du Plessis. He was recognised for his feat of becoming the first amputee to win a non-disabled World Championship track medal at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, as part of the South African 4×400 metres relay team that claimed the silver medal behind the USA. 2012 LAUREUS AWARDS WINNERS London Olympic GamesKnown as the “Blade Runner”, because he runs on prosthetic limbs, Pistorius has long been one of the leading lights in the world of the Paralympics. Now, after his success in Daegu, he is aiming to qualify for and make his mark at the 2012 London Olympic Games. World Sportsman of the Year: Novak Djokovic World Sportswoman of the Year: Vivian Cheruiyot World Team of the Year: FC Barcelona World Breakthrough of the Year: Rory McIlroy World Comeback of the Year: Darren Clarke World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability: Oscar Pistorius World Action Sportsperson of the Year: Kelly Slater
Jabu Kunene, seen here at the Gauteng Camerata auditions, has passed his Grade Five music theory exam, and says he’d like to continue playing for as long as possible. The Masote family – Sheila, Kutlwano and Michael – have nurtured the musical aspirations of hundreds of young South Africans.(Images: Janine Erasmus) The Soweto Youth Orchestra in action.(Image: Acosa) Abel Selaocoe, a promising cellist, earned himself a scholarship to the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.(Image: Al Jazeera)MEDIA CONTACTS • Acosa+27 11 472 7413Janine ErasmusFormal music training and classical music was at one time in South Africa viewed as the domain of the elite, but in recent years a number of organisations have worked to tap into the wealth of musical talent in South African communities. The African Cultural Association of South Africa (Acosa) is one of them.The non-profit organisation, based on the West Rand, was established in 1947 and its vision remains the same as it was back then – to reach out to the community in the form of formal music education, both choral and instrumental, and to bring music lovers together to create beautiful sounds.Acosa today is headed by South African music legends Michael and Sheila Masote. Distinguished National Order laureate Michael is a pioneer in the development of youth orchestras and choral ensembles – he was the first black South African to complete a BMus degree from Unisa, and brought classical music on a wide scale to Soweto with the formation of the Soweto Youth Orchestra.It is said that he taught himself how to conduct the orchestra by disguising himself as a janitor and sneaking into the rehearsals of the former National Symphony Orchestra at the city hall in Johannesburg.The Soweto Youth Orchestra evolved into the semi-professional Soweto Symphony Orchestra, which in turn produced world-class successes such as trumpeter Prince Lengoasa and the evergreen Soweto String Quartet, all of whom learned their trade under Michael Masote.Now Masote is inspiring a new generation of musicians – including his own children and one of his grandchildren – with his work as director of music at Acosa. This organisation, too, has spawned musical talent such as the all-girl Ntombizodwa String Ensemble, who have performed for Queen Elizabeth II, among others, and sensational young cellist Abel Selaocoe from Sebokeng, who is presently studying at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, on a scholarship.They are proof that music is for everyone, and are the living embodiment of everything that Acosa stands for.“Acosa aims to create youth orchestras where everyone has access,” says Sheila Masote. “We provide teachers if the musician doesn’t have one, and we also want to train more teachers. Too many kids need teachers, and there are not enough good teachers to go around.”The demand for tuition is immense. “We can’t stretch ourselves far enough,” she adds.A sense of belongingBesides the Soweto Youth and Soweto Symphony orchestras, Acosa has established a number of other ensembles over the years – they include the Soweto Children’s Orchestra, the Acosa Wind Band, the Acosa Brass Ensemble, and most recently the Gauteng Camerata, a youth development orchestra of 20-somethings.“The kids get a sense of belonging to a group that gives back to the community,” explains Michael Masote. “They feel unique, and they feel hope for the future.”Accomplished Acosa alumni have taught and studied overseas, and graduates of the wind and brass groups have been accepted into the highly rated national bands of the South African navy, army and police.Auditions are currently under way for the Camerata, with one of the goals being to recruit wind and brass players to add to the string ensemble, as this will also enable the expansion of the repertoire. The first round has just concluded, but there will be more auditions in the near future.If you’re a young musician who’s interested in auditioning for this vibrant ensemble, contact Acosa for more details on 011 472 7413, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website.Bringing music to the peopleAcosa’s motto is “Ke fa go re o fe” (Setswana, meaning “power is knowledge diffused to others”). In keeping with this sentiment, the organisation has plans to go national, which will uncover more homegrown musical talent, and encourage the further documentation of South African music.In the meantime, it works in Gauteng through various venues including the Soweto Music Conservatoire, which has a colourful history of its own, starting up in 1947 in the home of choral conductor and, later, Pan Africanist Congress president Zepheniah Mothopeng – Sheila Masote’s father – in defiance of the apartheid laws of the time.The Soweto conservatoire concept has been duplicated in the Acosa Tsa Lapeng Conservatoire near Hammanskraal in northern Gauteng, and the Acosa Sebokeng Music School at Mojalathuto Primary School in Sebokeng, about 57km south of Johannesburg. The organisation also gives classes in four primary schools in Soweto, and at its main facility, Acosa House, in Roodepoort.Acosa teaches choral and classical music on instruments such as the cello, violin, viola, double bass, guitar and piano. Not all students can afford their own instrument, and in these cases Acosa is able to arrange the extended loan of instruments to deserving musicians. Exams are set according to the Royal School of Music in London.Musicians are expected to be committed to and serious about their art. “This is not recreational music,” says Kutlwano Masote, son of Michael and Sheila, and mentor and conductor of the Camerata.“We aim to instil a sense of excellence in our musicians, which will help them to get bursaries to schools such as St John’s College, which teaches music as an academic subject and as an extracurricular activity.”The younger Masote is a pioneer too, graduating from the International Menuhin Music Academy in Switzerland and becoming the first black member of the National Symphony Orchestra in 1998.Acosa has received funding from the National Lotteries Board – this has been allocated to the purchase of a permanent home for the school, the further development of its music programmes, and minibuses to transport musicians and equipment to and from their homes in places as far away from the school as Daveyton on the East Rand, and Sebokeng.Next in the plan is a media centre, which will allow the young musicians to learn music software such as Sibelius. They can then create their own arrangements and learn to compose.“We envision six or seven terminals,” says Kutlwano Masote, adding that it’s not all work for the students, as there are fun activities too and hopefully, a tour to Botswana in the coming months.
An agreement reached in California will save consumers an estimated $1 billion a year in energy costs by making television set-top boxes a lot more efficient, The Los Angeles Times reports.The voluntary agreement announced on December 23 followed a year of talks between environmental advocates, government regulators, and the cable and satellite TV industry. The deal will reduce the amount of electricity used by the 230 million set-top boxes in the U.S. by as much as 45% by 2017, according to a blog written by Noah Horowitz of the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) office in San Francisco.That’s enough electricity to power 700,000 homes, the NRDC said.A TV set-top box is an electronic device that captures a signal from a satellite or cable system, for example, and routes it to the television for display. It uses electricity even when the television is turned off, and it’s one of a number of common electrical devices that sap electrical energy without a homeowner’s knowledge.“It’s extremely significant when household names like Comcast, Motorola, DirecTV, and AT&T all acknowledge that their TV set-top boxes are using billions of dollars’ worth of electricity each year,” Horowitz told the newspaper. Until now, no incentives to make devices more efficientIn his blog, Horowitz writes that a 2011 study found set-top boxes collectively use at least $3 billion worth of electricity a year. The boxes are installed by pay-TV providers, who have had little incentive to pay attention to energy consumption, he says, because homeowners paid the power bills. But publicity generated by the study eventually helped get the talks started.Horowitz’s blog contains a number of details about the agreement, including provisions on a “light sleep” function for DVRs and “energy use disclosures” that will help consumers find out how much energy the devices use.“Today’s voluntary agreement is an important first step to reducing national set-top box energy use,” he writes. “We hope it will not only translate to near-term savings, but the next-generation boxes and their associated new features will be designed to be efficient from the start — and not erode much of the hard-earned energy savings that this agreement is designed to deliver.
LATEST STORIES LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City 2 gov’t execs wary of having separate dep’t for disaster risk reduction PLAY LIST 03:102 gov’t execs wary of having separate dep’t for disaster risk reduction00:50Trending Articles00:51Clarkson on being PH flag-bearer: One of the happiest moments in my career01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Knicks put cap on Carmelo Anthony era in NY Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa MOST READ Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James answers questions during the NBA basketball team media day, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Independence, Ohio. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)LeBron James said he would love Dwyane Wade to join the Cleveland Cavaliers.Wade and the Chicago Bulls have reached a buyout agreement and Cleveland is among his potential destinations. James and Wade won a couple of NBA titles together with the Miami Heat and are close friends.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president View comments Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad The two played four seasons together and had as many finals appearances with the Heat. Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients READ: Wade, Bulls agree on buyout“I would love D-Wade to be a part of this team. I think he brings another championship DNA, a championship pedigree, brings another playmaker to the team who can get guys involved and can make plays and also just has a great basketball mind and I think it would be great to have him here,” said James.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe 32-year-old James, who is entering his 15th NBA season, said Monday at the Cavaliers media day that he has spoken to Wade, and plans to again.“I think it will be great to have him here and obviously our front office has done some great things throughout this summer so honestly, obviously, I’ve talked to D-Wade all summer and I probably will reach out to him as well, but it’s really not up to me, it’s kinda up to D-Wade,” James said. “If he can clear waivers then it’s up to our front office but I hope that we can bring him here. I would love to have him. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight
Tottenham boss Pochettino: Toughest time in five years hereby Paul Vegas20 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveTottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino concedes they’re in crisis after their defeat at Brighton.Pochettino was expecting a response from his players, only for goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to gift Neal Maupay a bizarre opener.The Spurs captain suffered a freak arm injury in the process, and Aaron Connolly compounded Tottenham’s problems by doubling Brighton’s lead on his first Premier League start.And although Spurs made a positive start to the second half, Connolly killed off any hope of them launching a fightback as the 19-year-old Irish striker produced a well-taken strike for his second goal to seal Brighton’s first home win since March.Pochettino said: “Hugo Lloris’ injury had massive impact on the game. It was so early in the game. To concede so early and losing our captain it had an emotional impact on the team. We tried to find solutions, a different way to play but it was impossible. It’s a very difficult moment.”I want to say thank you to the fans, it was a big effort to the fans and we put out that performance. We were at the top together but now we need to get more. It is not easy.”On how to improve, he added: “After five and a half years this is the first tough time we are having. There is a feeling that this is not good at the minute. We are feeling the emotion. I want to keep working hard and believing.”I hope the pressure is coming to me and leaves the pressure off the players. Now is a moment to be strong. We cannot underestimate the situation but we need to work. There is always the possibility to make us stronger.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
West Ham midfielder Snodgrass announces international retirementby Paul Vegas10 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveWest Ham midfielder Robert Snodgrass has retired from international duty with Scotland.Steve Clarke’s side are not going to qualify for Euro 2020 through the conventional route, but are set to play in a Nations League semi-final play-off in March, which could have given Snodgrass the chance to create a legacy for his country.Despite that, the West Ham man has hung up his Scotland boots at the age of 32, taking to Instagram to confirm that he would be stopping at 28 caps. He said: “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to live my childhood dream.”It’s now the right time for me to step aside, though, and retire from international duty and let the boys and younger players take my place and hopefully push the squad forward.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Canada’s main stock index saw mild gains Monday while U.S. markets surged higher as worries of a trade war with China eased.The rebound came after Chinese officials signalled some flexibility on policies including foreign investment in China and South Korea reached a new deal on steel with the U.S., said Craig Fehr, Canadian markets strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis.“If we look at the equity markets at large, I would say this is the collective deep breath of investors today, after the big sell-off last week predicated on the rising fears that a trade war could be breaking out.”The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 74.82 points at 15,298.56, boosted by metals and energy stocks.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 669.40 points to 24,202.60 for its largest one-day gain since August 2015, regaining almost half what it had given up last week. The S&P 500 index ended up 70.29 points to 2,658.55 and the Nasdaq composite index was up 227.87 points to 7,220.54.U.S. President Donald Trump sparked trade fears last week after imposing tariffs on some US$60 billion worth of Chinese imports as well as investment restrictions, adding to trade tension on the steel and aluminum tariffs he moved to impose earlier in the month.China has promised to defend its interests, raising fears of rising protectionism on both sides, but recent signs of concessions on both sides is easing concerns, said Fehr.“Given the signs we’re getting that there’s perhaps some concession to be made related to some of the tariffs that have been announced, I think the markets are finding some solace in that and we’re getting a bit of a relief rally after last week’s declines.”Canada didn’t see the same gains Monday as U.S. stocks because it hadn’t been hit as hard, he said.“The domestic market didn’t see the declines last week like we saw in the S&P 500 and the Dow. The TSX is also being held back a little bit today by the weakness in oil prices.”The Canadian dollar closed at 77.60, down 0.18 of a US cent, also held back by oil prices, said Fehr, but still up from recent lows after higher-than-expected inflation data last week.The May crude contract closed down 33 cents to US$65.55 per barrel and the May natural gas contract was up two cents to US$2.66 per mmBTU.The April gold contract closed up US$5.10 to US$1,355.00 an ounce and the May copper contract was down two cents to US$2.97 a pound.The rise in gold prices made it one of the biggest sector gains on the TSX. Kinross Gold Corp. climbed 4.03 per cent after the metal’s price gains, as well as after settling with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over civil charges that it failed to ensure its payments in Africa were not being used to bribe government officials.
WAUSAU, Wis. – Wisconsin ginseng growers are seeking new customers as tariffs in an escalating trade war with China will raise the price by 15 per cent for Chinese consumers.Harvests will begin in the fall but export declines will take a while to measure, the Wausau Daily Herald reported.Wisconsin grows more than 98 per cent of all U.S. ginseng, said Bill Kaldunski, president of the Ginseng Board of Wisconsin. Ginseng exports are an $8-million-per-year industry.The ginseng industry in central Wisconsin is braced for a large impact, said Kaldunski. China is one of the largest consumers of American ginseng.Tariffs went into effect at a time when the industry isn’t making a lot of sales. Most of the ginseng meant to head overseas had already been shipped.“But we’re hearing more now, and buyers are being more aggressive,” Kaldunski said.Ginseng is most commonly taken in tea and is also used as a spice in food. Ginseng products such as beer, extract pills and herbal energy drinks could help growers and distributors like the Wausau-based Hsu Enterprise find new customers in the U.S.“The stereotypical American consumer is not super familiar with ginseng, but probably knows it might be good for them,” said Will Hsu of Hsu Enterprises. “But because they didn’t grow up with the product … they don’t know the benefits.”Hsu said those products are aimed toward people “seeking lifestyle or health changes.”___Information from: Wausau Daily Herald Media, http://www.wausaudailyherald.com
Ahmedabad: Congress chief Rahul Gandhi Tuesday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his 2014 promise of “depositing” Rs 15 lakh in the account of every citizen. He was speaking at a rally in Adalaj village of Gandhinagar district, held after the Congress Working Committee meeting. Gandhi also played to the gallery in the business- driven state by claiming that “Gabbar Singh Tax”, his oft- repeated jibe for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was beyond the understanding of traders. Also Read – Squadrons which participated in Balakot air strike awarded citations on IAF Day “Gabbar Singh Tax (GST) can’t be understood by our traders even today (after its was implemented nationwide last year),” he said. “Did people get Rs 15 lakh into their bank accounts as promised by Narendra Modi?” he asked at the well-attended rally. Turning his attention on the Pulwama terror attack and the subsequent air strike by India and the aerial engagement with Pakistan Air Force the next day, Gandhi said it was National Security Adviser Ajit Doval who has sent Jaish-e- Mohammed chief Massod Azhar to freedom in a “special plane”. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documents on Reliance penalty “Who sent Pulwama terror attack perpetrator Masood Azhar to Pakistan?” he asked the crowd. “Masood Azhar was sent in a special aircraft and NSA Ajit Doval accompanied him,” Gandhi answered his query for the crowd. The Congress leader, however, did not reveal if he had any proof to substantiate his claim that Doval accompanied Azhar on a special flight. In the next month’s Lok Sabha polls, truth will win and hatred will be defeated, Gandhi said.