Date set for Pistorius appeal

first_imgCAPE TOWN (AP): Oscar Pistorius’ case will be heard by South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal on November 3, when prosecutors will ask a panel of five judges to reject his trial verdict and convict the double-amputee athlete of murder for killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. The Supreme Court announced the date yesterday. The court said the appeal by prosecutors against Pistorius’ acquittal for murder will be heard by a panel headed by the president of the Supreme Court. Two of the five judges are women. Pistorius was last year found guilty of a lesser charge of manslaughter for shooting Steenkamp through a toilet door in his home in 2013. He testified he mistook her for a dangerous intruder. Prosecutors accused Pistorius of killing Steenkamp intentionally after a fight and said Judge Thokozile Masipa made errors at the murder trial last year. They want the Supreme Court to re-examine her verdict. The Supreme Court could overrule Masipa and find the Olympian guilty of murder, order a new trial, or decide Masipa was correct. A murder conviction in South Africa carries a minimum sentence of 15 years in jail. The country no longer has the death penalty. Pistorius was sentenced by Masipa to five years in prison for culpable homicide an unintentional but still unlawful killing equivalent to manslaughter. He is currently in jail in Pretoria waiting for a parole review board to decide if he should be released early to serve the remainder of his sentence under house arrest. A second hearing to decide if he should be released was postponed last week with no date given for when it will take place.last_img read more

‘Tough’ Huang emerges as key cog for Ayo’s Tigers

first_imgNadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew The Growling Tigers were a miserable bunch in Season 80 when they lost 13 straight games before winning the final one against University of the East, 88-85.It was in that season that the fourth-year Huang played a shade under 10 minutes a game and averaged just 3.1 points.Under Ayo, Huang has flourished and has averaged 9.3 points and 6.5 rebounds.“You have to see him how he works in practice because what he shows in the games doesn’t compare to what he does when we’re in UST,” said Ayo, whose team improved to 4-4 after winning its third straight game, in Filipino.“Zach is one of the veterans but he’s one of the players that will give it his all in practice,” added Ayo. “He’s tough mentally and physically, and he just wants to play.”ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The  6-foot-3 forward was a predator on the loose at the start of the second round of the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament when he led the Growling Tigers in their 78-70 win over Far Eastern University Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.READ: UST sweeps FEU in elimination roundFEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissHuang put up a career-high 20 points while pulling down six rebounds in a victory that he considered as a statement game for the Growling Tigers.“We’re extra motivated because of coach Aldin and because last season we didn’t win one game against FEU so this one is a statement from us,” said Huang in Filipino. UAAP: UST sweeps FEU in elimination round Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Huang credited Ayo for revitalizing his game with the Tigers.“I’m just following what coach tells me to do,” said Huang. “If I follow his game plan, then good things will happen.” Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Zachary Huang went from being a seldom-used role player under Boy Sablan to a vital component of Aldin Ayo’s system with University of Santo Tomas.ADVERTISEMENT Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption MOST READ View commentslast_img read more

1 in custody for iNews reporter robbery

first_img…suspect nabbed while attempting to sell laptopJust hours after bandits broke into the car belonging to a soon-to-be wed couple from the media, within the vicinity of the Georgetown Marriott Hotel on Saturday, a suspect has been taken into custody after attempting to sell an item which was stolen during the robbery.Bandits had smashed a window to gain entry into the car parked on Battery Road, Kingston, as popular iNews reporter Ramona Luthi and her fiancé were in a pre-wedding photo shoot around 16:00h.The robbers managed to cart off the laptop computer, two camera lenses, a battery pack and several storage devices, as well as a handbag containing several important documents and a quantity of cash belonging to the couple and the photographer, all of whom are members of the media.Altogether, these items carry a value in excess of $500,000.Shortly after the incident, a prospective buyer of the Asus laptop computer, which went missing from the car, cancelled the transaction based on the suspicious actions of the perpetrator who was on a mission to sell the stolen item.The woman instead contacted the Police, allowing for ranks to intercept the suspect who was nabbed with the stolen item in his possession. In addition, one of the hard drives which were taken from the car was also retrieved.Meanwhile, the man has been taken into custody where his fingerprints are expected to be cross-checked with those that were lifted from the damaged vehicle.Investigations into the matter continue.last_img read more

Reading reject chance to sign former AC Milan defender

first_img1 Oguchi Onyewu Reading have opted against a move for former AC Milan defender Oguchi Onyewu.Onyewu, 32, is currently a free agent after short spells at QPR and Sheffield Wednesday last season.He has been training with the Royals this week and played in a behind closed doors friendly against Bournemouth on Wednesday.But Nigel Adkins is understood to have decided against signing the USA international, who also spent time on loan at Newcastle in 2007.last_img


first_imgThe Letterkenny Historic Group’s annual magazine will be launched tonight, April 11th at 8pm in the Station House Hotel and all are welcome on the night.Letterkenny Heritage magazineThe magazine, which is edited by committee member Kieran Kelly, includes many local stories of interest from the past to the present contributed by members of the local community.The sale of the magazine helps raise funding towards the annual projects carried out by the group. Last year along with assistance from the Town Council and Bishop Boyce we were able to erect the Penal Monument on Sentry Hill.This year the group hopes to have a monument erected to the many young men from the the Letterkenny area who lost their lives in the Great War 1914-1918.The group has been in liaison with the Town Council and the local Churches and are pleased to announce that with their assistance we have secured a site for the monument which we hope to have in place before the end of the summer in the vicinity of the Cathedral car park.The group also hopes to launch a town heritage trail later in the year which is being worked on at present by committee members Kieran Kelly, Cllr Jim Lynch and Darren McGahey. We look forward to another successful year and would like to thank all sections of the community in Letterkenny who support us in our ventures. ‘BY THE WAY’ – LETTERKENNY HISTORIC GROUP TO LAUNCH ITS ANNUAL MAGAZINE was last modified: April 11th, 2014 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:donegalLetterkenny Historic Groupmagazinelast_img read more


first_imgSANTA is visiting Kelly’s Diner Mountain Top this Sunday.He’s making a list, he’s checking it twice he’s going to find out if Mairtin Kelly has been naughty or nice.SANTA CLAUS has announced that he will be visiting the award-winning Kelly’s Diner this Sunday.SANTA is currently preparing for his mammoth journey in a fortnight’s time, However, before the big day SANTA is going to be stopping off at Kelly’s Diner.It has also been revealed that SANTA has agreed to have his picture taken with those in attendance at the Diner on Sunday.Mairtin Kelly told Donegal Daily, “We’re delighted SANTA is visiting and we’re all very excited to meet him.“He’s obviously very busy at this time of year, but he has kindly agreed to stay for photographs with anyone who wants them. “SANTA will be there from 1pm-5pm and our famous photographer will be here to take the 7×5 portraits of the children with SANTA for only €10 each.“All the boys and girls will also receive a treat from SANTA too!With ample parking outside and with their famous Sunday 3 course Carvery Lunch for only €13.95 till 3pm, there really is no better place to come and meet SANTA!SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO KELLY’S DINER MOUNTAIN TOP THIS WEEKEND was last modified: December 12th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare 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:EntertainmentFeaturesKelly’s DinernewsSANTAlast_img read more

Suddenly hot: A’s walk off Cleveland again to keep momentum going

first_imgOAKLAND — If emotion and drama can springboard a baseball team, the A’s find themselves in a good spot about now.They have had plenty of emotion and drama since returning home from a one-win trip through Toronto, Boston and Pittsburgh.Saturday, Oakland won for the fourth time in five games on the homestand, beating Cleveland 3-2 behind more brilliance from the bullpen (save for the ninth inning) and another walk-off celebration as Ramon Laureano’s bloop single to right knocked in the decisive …last_img read more

Boost for black-owned firms in South Africa

first_imgMaponya Mall in Soweto is owned by RichardMaponya, a Black South African. DTI’s deputy minister Bongi Ntuli believesthe scheme will empower black-ownedbusinesses. World Bank’s Francisco Campos is workingwith DTI in the programme.(Images: Bongani Nkosi)MEDIA CONTACTS• Sidwell Moloantoa MedupeDirector: Media Relations, DTI+27 12 394 1650 or +27 73 522 6801Bongani NkosiBlack-owned emerging businesses are set to receive a welcome boost from a revised empowerment scheme recently introduced by government.The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) relaunched its Black Business Suppliers Development Programme in Pretoria on 28 July. It will offer financial support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through a grant-application process.The programme was initially launched in 2002 and has already given grants to more than 9 600 local companies. The revised one will focus more on funding machinery and other equipment required by black-owned firms. It is partially funded by the European Union Job Creation Fund.Operating on a cost-sharing agreement, the DTI will cover 35% of machinery and equipment expenses. It is also offering up to R800 000 (US$110 000) for tools and an additional R200 000 ($27 000) for corporate development.As part of the country’s Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment policy, the programme is targeted at businesses that are more than 50% black-owned and all-women teams. The term “black people”, according to the policy, refers to coloured, African and Indian South Africans – all of whom were excluded from meaningful participation in the country’s economy during apartheid.Companies from all sectors with a current annual turnover of between R500 000 ($69 000) and R35-million ($4.8-million) qualify for funding.The programme will ensure that “small black businesses with potential are given the necessary assistance to grow their enterprises and become more competitive”, said the DTI’s deputy minister, Bongi NtuliThe success of the programme will be measured by the growth of the funded companies in terms of winning major government and private-sector tenders, jobs created and annual profits.“The launch represents a milestone in our efforts to support sustainable black businesses and small businesses in general,” said Tsepiso Makgothi of the DTI’s enterprise organisation division.Role played by World Bank The revised programme will have a trial run from 1 September 2010, with applications open until 15 November. During this period the DTI will be targeting 2 500 enterprises across the country.“The idea is to get as many applications as possible during these two months so that the process starts from there,” said Francisco Campos, a World Bank official who’s helping the DTI implement the programme. The World Bank’s role is purely to provide assistance – there is no financial involvement.If the target is reached, “applications will be closed for the time being”, Campos said.The programme will be piloted for 18 months until government launches the final version, which will allow time for improvements to be made, he added.“I am confident that that whatever teething problems we find will be addressed in this pilot phase,” said Ntuli.Since the initial launch in 2002, the DTI has set up a well-staffed unit to manage the programme. This, together with the new focus on funding equipment, will help the department better meet grant-applicants’ needs.“The new one is far bigger, far better. We believe it will benefit the SMEs,” said Dr Meshack Khoza, CEO of Fresh Thinking Capital, a company that conducted a study on the scheme progress since 2002.Nation-wide focusThe DTI is hoping to reach companies from all over the country, even those in rural areas. It will embark on a massive drive to get the word out.“There will be workshops throughout the country to create awareness,” said Campos.The department has contracted facilitators in all nine provinces to run the workshops. “We’re relying on our facilitators to spread the message,” said Makgothi. “We’ll go throughout the country to inform people so that when we launch it by 1 September, they know about it.”Although the World Bank is not funding the programme, it will monitor how the scheme is being implemented and conduct a study on it. Part of World Bank’s role is to ensure fairness and transparency in the roll-out process.Campos said they aim to guarantee that “no one is excluded on the basis of not knowing anyone” and that “everyone has an equal chance” to get funding.More beneficiaries since 2002The programme began with just four beneficiaries in 2002, but over the years has provided financial support for 9 663 businesses. With about 52% of these being majority-women-owned, the scheme is ensuring that “more and more people have an opportunity to participate in the economy,” said Makgothi.last_img read more

Gilded Gods

first_imgOn April 24, spiritual guru Sathya Sai Baba took his last breath. He left behind millions of mourners; the funeral at Puttaparthi, once a nondescript town in Andhra Pradesh, was attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress Party president Sonia Gandhi, iconic cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and half-a-million others. There were several millions more who viewed the ceremony online. “The man who was God is dead,” said a Time magazine obituary.He also left behind billions of dollars in assets. When he died, his charitable trust — the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, set up in 1972 — controlled those assets. “The trust oversees projects across 165 countries,” reported the Kolkata-based daily The Telegraph. “It runs 25,000 temples, 75 to 100 hospitals and clinics, and nearly 3,150 educational institutions including two universities.” The paper estimated the trust’s net worth at between $9 billion and $33 billion. Considering that Sathya Sai Baba was solely in control of the trust — made up of donations such as $108 million from Isaac Tigrett, the founder of Hard Rock Café — it would have made the Baba the richest man in India. Mukesh Ambani, who tops the list now, is worth $27 billion, according to Forbes. (Incidentally, Mukesh Ambani’s wife, Nita Ambani, is one of the Sai Baba’s devotees, as is Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York.)The Richest TempleBut the Sai Baba’s empire is not the richest religious establishment in India. That honor goes to the Tirupati temple in Andhra Pradesh, today run by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), a trust whose members are appointed by the government. The state had taken over the temple in 1987 after various allegations against the priesthood; The Supreme Court upheld the move in 1996.The TTD’s exact wealth is unknown (only the Vatican is richer). But there are indicators. In February 2011, the TTD deposited 1,175 kg of gold (worth $57 million at current prices). These were its collections from small donations by devotees. The total does not include bigger gifts such as the $10 million diamond-studded gold crown presented by Karnataka tourism minister and industrialist Gali Janardhan Reddy. The 1,175 kg deposit had been preceded by a 3,000 kg deposit in April 2010, reports The Times of India.Tirupati is the most visited religious site in the world; the number of pilgrims can reach 500,000 on special days. “But there is no chaos,” says B.N. Kumar, CEO of the Mumbai-based Concept PR, who has been there recently. “It is very professionally managed.” Essentially, it’s a business. Everything is treated as a source of revenue. Many pilgrims visit for a tonsure, or hair cutting ritual, and the hair is collected and auctioned. In the TTD budget for 2008-2009 (later figures are not available), the collection from the hair auction alone was estimated at $20 million. “There is a separate complex for the tonsure,” adds Kumar. “People normally carry their own blades.” The hair is used to make wigs; some Hollywood beauties owe their tresses to distant Tirupati.Temple Towns GaloreTirupati is a primary example when it comes to discussing temples. But in India, there are thousands of them — and there are a large number of temple towns which still owe their existence entirely to the temple. Madurai in South India is typical. It has been built around the Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple. The new temple structure dates back to 1600; the earlier temple was sacked by invader Malik Kafur in 1310. The economy of Madurai centers on the shrine. There is very little manufacturing and industry, although one or two IT and BPO companies have strayed in recently. “Take away the temple and the pilgrimage tourism, and the city will become a shell,” says S. Krishnaswamy, professor in the department of genetic engineering at the Madurai Kamaraj University. “The city has a huge number of tour operators, hotels, eateries and shops catering to the temple tourism trade. Educational institutions have sprung up in keeping with the ancient Indian tradition of learning being a part of religious training.” All over the country, there are organized temple tours. And it’s not just Hindu temples. The Buddhists have a circuit, very popular with the Japanese. There are Muslim tours, Jain tours, Christian tours and Jewish tours, among others.All this is big business, but does that make the money pilgrims donate at the temples and mosques any less entitled to being considered philanthropy? The big problem, of course, is that this money is largely unaccounted. Even the religious institutions and the trusts that run them are not rigorous about keeping donation records.Some banks have been trying to take the process of donating to religious institutions online. If the initiatives are successful, they could give some idea of the total amounts involved. However, only the larger amounts are likely to be donated online — and these are often already recorded because they are part of individual or corporate tax planning. For smaller amounts, the new system is more a convenience than an inducement to change. The millions of devotees who actually visit the shrines will likely still head for the donation boxes, observers predict.Online DonationsHDFC Bank recently extended its online donation facility to the Arulmigu Arunachaleswarar Temple, its 70th shrine. A. Rajan, the bank’s country head (operations), notes that the bank’s online donation program “started in the middle of 2007. I was invited to attend a seminar with several religious institutions on fund management in temples, and they wanted to speak to me as a banker. That’s when this idea struck me.” In temples in India, people may have to wait for hours in queues to put money into the donation boxes. “I wanted to offer to all our customers the facility to give to temples of their choice electronically,” continues Rajan. Although he declines to offer donation figures, the total number of hits on the 60 plus shrines last year was more than 100,000. Some online visitors gave a dollar, some a hundred times that and others nothing at all. HDFC Bank has added Sikh gurudwaras, Parsi temples, Jain temples, mosques and churches to its list. But the mosques and churches are not garnering as many donations. Rajan thinks these religions are more disciplined and donations are collected when devotees visit the churches and mosques, which they do more regularly. He is extremely skeptical of the data which show that Indians are poor givers. “Indians are equally philanthropic,” he says. “I have doubts on the calculation method used by the studies [that show otherwise].”The figure in dispute is part of a study by Bain & Company, which shows that Indians give only 0.6% of GDP. Arpan Sheth, partner, Bain & Co, stands by the study’s findings. “I would assert that the ‘unorganized giving’ is not going to make that much of a difference because all the small giving — which happens elsewhere in the world as well —tends to be very small amounts. When you start adding it up, it won’t be substantive. People crib a lot about whether the number is 0.6 or 0.65. [But] it’s as scientific as you can get, because the data is just not there.”What Are the Right Vehicles?Actually, the key issue that emerges is not whether India and countries like it are giving more or giving less. What is far more important is whether they are giving right. Can priests and pastors serve better than professionals?“It is interesting to say I give to my church, I give to my household help,” says Sheth. “It is much more impactful to say I’ve given to an NGO that is focused on pre-natal critical care for newborns. So the whole structure of giving — the maturation of the industry — is the real story. We should talk a lot more about whether we have the right vehicles to ensure that the people who really need it, and the people who this is aimed at, get the benefit out of it.”Devdutt Pattanaik, chief belief officer of Kishore Biyani’s Future Group, feels that you cannot equate churches and mosques with temples. And the confusion starts because people don’t understand this. “Temples are not churches or mosques, meaning they are not community prayer halls,” he says. “They are the abodes of the gods. The deity is a living, breathing person. Wealth given to the temple ensures the livelihoods of priests and artisans and traders involved in the upkeep of the temple. For example, giving cows to the temple ensures the livelihood of a cowherd family. Donating land to the temple ensures livelihood to farmers. The temple was the place where orphans and destitutes got shelter. Temples also patronized artists, singers and dancers. The temple was the medium through which wealth flowed into society, bypassing the traditional exchange routes of the market.”Falling from GraceThe trouble is that the temple has fallen from its pedestal. Priests are up to all sorts of peccadilloes — from sexual exploits to large-scale larceny. That’s true of Western churches, too: Dozens of defrocked priests are evidence enough. But in the West, the church is not the mainstay of charity any longer, experts note; it is a catalyst. “One reason the U.S. has long been ranked among the most generous nations is the higher rate of citizens active in their religion,” says Jason Wingard, vice dean, Wharton Executive Education. “This leads to more giving to the church itself. But studies have also shown that religious involvement encourages more giving to other causes.”“Earlier temples were embedded institutions that had meaning and purpose,” says Rohini Nilekani, philanthropist and chairperson of the Arghyam Foundation. “Today that is shifting.”  Related Itemslast_img read more

After Priyanka, Scindia meets U.P. Cong. leaders

first_imgFollowing his party’s worst-ever drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls in Uttar Pradeh, Congress general secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia on Friday met the party’s State leaders to assess what went wrong in the elections.Mr. Scindia, who was made in-charge of western U.P. and given the responsibility of 38 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the State, failed to ensure a single victory. A Congress leader who attended the meeting said he spoke to the district and city unit chiefs of the organisation to find out the possible causes behind the rout. Two days ago, party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, entrusted with the task of managing polls in the remaining 42 seats in the eastern U.P., carried out a similar exercise in Raebareli, which was the only seat won by the party this time from the State. UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi was re-elected from Raebareli, while Congress president Rahul Gandhi, her son, lost his Amethi seat. Brainstorming sessionMs. Vadra has asked senior U.P. Congress leaders to attend a brainstorming session in Delhi over the weekend to chart out the strategy to contest the 2022 U.P. Assembly polls.last_img read more