A’s give up early lead as Red Sox complete sweep at Fenway

first_imgClick here if you are unable to view this gallery on a mobile device.BOSTON – For the second consecutive series the A’s were swept out of town, this time on the heels of a 7-3 loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Wednesday afternoon.It is the sixth consecutive loss for Oakland (14-19), who dropped all three in Toronto before doing the same in Boston.The narrative of the Athletics’ series finale against the Red Sox was similar to much of the rest of the road trip: The bats were lacking, …last_img

Africa tackles land degradation

first_img7 December 2011Africa is setting the example in tackling land degradation, with some encouraging results – countries like Niger have managed to regenerate five-million hectares in the last 20 years. But there is still much more that can be done to tackle desertification, land degradation and drought.Some parts of Africa – the West African Sahel region, Sudan, northeast Ethiopia and Kenya – are particularly vulnerable to land degradation, resulting in soil erosion, deforestation, and loss of woody vegetation which makes them less able to bear crops and pasture.South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe used the Land Day side-event at COP 17 in Durban on Tuesday to ask all stakeholders to put this serious issue on their agenda at Rio+20 and beyond.“We meet at a time when there is growing despondence about the multilateral world governance system, where the world community has lost patience with too much talking and no action,” Motlanthe said.“You must at all times, starting here in Durban, Rio+20 and beyond, advocate the need for urgent agreement on action and funding for sustainable development and mitigating the effects of climate change.”Achieving zero net land degradation ‘very possible’Dennis Garrity, Drylands Ambassador for the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), said during his address that achieving zero net land degradation and in turn overcoming poverty was very possible.He said local communities were taking action, but needed more support through policy and the creation of a rural resource centre. Garrity said a fresh, low-cost approach had to be taken to regenerate land.Motlanthe said there was a need for everyone to enhance the implementation of the UNCCD as a global policy and monitoring framework to address issues of soil and land degradation.“We also need to invest in infrastructure and services that support sustainable land use and management,” Motlanthe said. “The actions that are required on the ground to achieve a zero net rate of global land degradation are in line with the Sustainable Land Management approach.”Preserving the resource base for foodMotlanthe said African ministers had unanimously agreed that the time had come for the international community to commit itself to zero degradation of land.“Achieving such targets will go a long way in addressing climate change adaptation and mitigation, thus building the resilience of the populations and the ecosystems affected by desertification and land degradation,” he said.“Such action will also support efforts to preserve the resource base for food security and accelerate poverty eradication.”Motlanthe said it was encouraging that legislation and policies of many countries embraced the principle of sustainable development, particularly in as far as matters of land-use management were concerned.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Brand South Africa gives master class on nation branding

first_imgCivic-minded people are needed to help build the country of their dreams. This is an important aspect to nation branding, which is not the work of the government alone, a group of students from South Africa and the US hears.Students from Rutgers University in the US and South Africa’s Unisa explore the display at the Nelson Mandela Foundation before the Brand South Africa master class on nation branding.Students were encouraged to become more civic-minded and involved by Sello Hatang, the chief executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, at an engagement hosted by Brand South Africa with communications and marketing students from Unisa and Rutgers University, in the US, on 17 March 2016.The gathering took place at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory. Speakers from the foundation and Brand South Africa encouraged the students to play their part in creating the world they wanted. They also gave a tutorial on the philosophy behind nation building.Hatang set the tone for speakers who followed him. “What am I doing to build the country of my dreams?” he challenged the students to ask of themselves.Brand South Africa chief executive Kingsley Makhubela explained the difference between nation and product branding, saying the fundamental difference between the two was intent. A product created a designed identity where nation branding was about highlighting the best of who we were.He talked about international tensions and how conflict continued to shape perceptions about the world we in which we lived. It was the trial nations faced every day: how to shape a positive view of the country despite challenges. “What do you communicate? The challenges? Or the potential and values of the nation?”It was not a government’s concern alone. Citizens, including a country’s young people, had a responsibility to live the best values of their country. Makhubela reminded the students that it was their world as well and that they needed to become civically involved. Tension reshaped the world, but it was the passion of young people that remade the world.Brand South Africa speakers did not shy away from topical issues of the day. Dr Petrus de Kock, the general manager of research, explained that in an environment where bad news often shaped perceptions, it was the responsibility of Brand South Africa to counter this through research, and then share that research as widely as possible.The Rutgers students, especially, were visiting South Africa at a time in its history when the stream of negative news could, but should not, hide the facts about the strength of South Africa’s economy and democracy.He listed statistics about budget clarity, strength of the banking and financial systems, press freedom and independence of the judiciary to highlight strengths that were often overlooked.In his master class presentation on nation branding, Tshepiso Malele explained the rationale behind the idea. Every nation was unique and the purpose of nation branding was to distil that uniqueness and communicate it to as wide an audience as possible. The benefit was an enhanced country reputation and greater business and tourism engagement. He affirmed De Kock’s assertion that nation branding was not meant to be propaganda but information based on research and statistics. Ultimately, he said, a positive nation brand should benefit the people and institutions of the country.last_img read more

Growing Up Without a Father Foundation addresses resolutions for a ‘fatherless generation’ on International Men’s Day

first_imgInternational Men’s Day is observed on 19 November every year to celebrate the well-being of young boys and men and the value they add to families and communities.It is evident that there is a dire need for inspirational male role models in society today, to guide the next generation of men and raise awareness of socio-economic ills like gender-based violence. This year’s theme for Men’s Day is: Making a difference for men and boys.The Growing Up Without a Father South African Foundation, a non-profit entity that was established to create awareness around the ripple effects of a fatherlessness generation, especially in poverty-stricken communities, has joined forces with Carling Black Label and Old Mutual for Carling’s #NoExcuse campaign against Gender-Based-Violence.Statistics paint a bleak picture of the current state of GBV with an alarming rise in crimes against women & children, thus the implementation of International Men’s Day and Men’s Month to address these realities and call for accountability, while addressing the challenges men face.Over the last few days, The Growing Up Without a Father South African Foundation has been honouring South African men. The Foundation and Carling Black Label are engaging with men from all walks of life, unpacking direct and indirect challenges men encounter.International Men’s Day also provides an opportunity for conversations around issues of physical and mental health awareness, workplace challenges and overall wellness, and Growing Up Without A Father South African Foundation is delighted to be championing conversations that are often considered ‘weak’.As the country prepares for 16 Days of Activism, Brand South Africa urges all men to take accountability and play their part in the fight against Gender-Based Violence. You can add your signature to Brand South Africa’s pledge here.last_img read more

Do We Love the iPad? The Numbers Say We Do

first_imgRelated Posts With only 17% of the results coming in on the negative end of things, it would seem that we love it. Even if we ignore the neutral, the positive does beat out the negative.We have to wonder, however, what falls into the neutral category? At 48%, neutral sentiment makes up a majority of the 83% favorability Sysomos arrives at. Perhaps this is the middling response we’re seeing?Whatever it is we’ve been saying, whether positive, negative or otherwise, we’ve sure been saying it a lot. According to the blog, there have been “477,537 tweets that included “apple” and “ipad” over the past two days; 33,892 blog posts and 7,315 traditional media articles.”Maybe Apple should just release a product called the iBuzz that we could talk about and rate forever. There seem to be a lot of middling responses to yesterday’s announcement of the iPad, Apple’s latest entry into the world of really neat looking mobile devices. A quick look at the front page of Techmeme shows the variety of responses, from the iPad killing the PC to the lack of a camera killing the iPad.Social media monitoring and analytics firm Sysomos took a look at the responses to the iPad over the past days, however, and said that the iPad has received an “extremely positive” response.According the the company’s Media Analysis Platform, the response to the iPad was an overwhelmingly 83% positive. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… mike melanson Tags:#news#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Opinion: Lance Armstrong’s fall is mind-boggling

first_imgOn the hot road to this village in the deepest south of France, we passed the forbidding, barren mountain where Lance Armstrong, the cyclist, took a giant step toward becoming Lance Armstrong, the sporting myth. It was 12 years ago this summer. Riding hard, Armstrong fiddled with the collar of his bright yellow Tour de France leader’s jersey and tugged its back, getting comfortable in the saddle for one of his trademark attacks.Then, a few minutes later, he was off, literally like a rocket, leaving rivals for dead and making the towering Mont Ventoux look like little more than a speed bump.The physical strength he showed that July 13 at the 2000 Tour was mind-boggling. And there were so many other equally mind-boggling moments in the other six Tours he won.I was there for some of them. The power of Armstrong on the bike, the mix of steely charm and cold, single-minded determination, was like nothing I’d ever seen- both then and since.Which is why it’s even more mind-boggling to think that none of this really happened. Gone. Expunged. Erased by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and its finding that the bulk of his career was built on lies and banned performance-enhancing drugs.The utter destruction of the Lance Armstrong myth, the man seemingly so tough that he not only beat cancer but won the world’s toughest bike race a record seven times, is going to take quite some time to digest.Other commentators will talk about how this will affect the cancer survivors Armstrong inspired and the foundation he set up to fight the disease. And only the most cynical will say that that side of Armstrong should crumble along with his status as a sporting icon.advertisementThey will examine how the fall of the only rider who held a candle to Eddy Merckx as cycling’s biggest ever star will affect the sport and the Tour and whether the yellow jerseys Armstrong took back to his Texas home should go to other competitors.The answer there should be ‘none.’Let the titles remain vacant- a black hole in the record books for the black hole in the 1990’s and 2000’s that many riders, presumably now including Armstrong, stared into- realizing that the only way they were going to succeed in the drug-addled sport was by pricking themselves with syringes of EPO or swallowing drops of hormones like so many others.Yes, they were cheats. But there were many victims of the doping culture, too, seemingly including Armstrong, who burned so badly to be more than simply an athletic young kid from a broken home in Plano, Texas.There will be discussion about the fairness of the process that led USADA to ban Armstrong for life and strip him of nearly everything he won.Some will argue that Armstrong simply tried to protect what’s left of his name and reputation by turning his back on USADA, portraying himself as the victim of what he says is its witch hunt.And they are already saying that we shouldn’t have allowed ourselves to be sucked in by Armstrong in the first place, because sporting performances which look too good to be true probably are.That is grossly unfair to all those athletes who don’t dope. And that horrid cynicism kills not only our pleasure in watching sport but the very idea that people can do mind-boggling things.They can. According to USADA, Armstrong no longer can be said to have won the Tour seven straight times. But we should all fight tooth and nail for the ambition that perhaps one day, someone could and that they could do it clean. Otherwise, why get out of bed in the morning?Now on holiday in some of the same parts of southern France from where I reported on the Tour, I ask myself where did we go wrong? And did we go wrong?I remember a journalist once asking Armstrong about the color of his socks and I think, “Should we have asked tougher questions?”In light of what USADA dug up, yes. But the doping questions were asked over and over and his answers were invariably the same: I train hard, have nothing to hide and how mad would I have to be to pump drugs into a body that barely survived late-stage cancer?In hindsight, the notion of Armstrong apparently risking his health with doping is one of the most mind-boggling aspects of USADA’s findings.And during the years he was winning, we were told Armstrong’s drug tests kept coming back negative. Until the evidence started to mount, it was hard to argue otherwise.advertisementThere were the those, the courageous and enterprising ones, who dug as deep as possible into the growing suspicions that Armstrong wasn’t being completely straight, and a few others who faced his wrath by speaking out.But the truth is also that witnesses of Armstrong’s apparent cheating didn’t come forward in the same numbers and with the same weight that USADA says they have now.In short, what we had was Armstrong, with his incredible tale of survival performing incredible feats on a bicycle.It was good while it lasted. That ride on the Ventoux. The day in the Pyrenees when he snagged his handlebar on a spectator’s bag, fell, picked himself up and rode with fury. On and on. One memory after another.But it all means absolutely nothing now.Gone. Didn’t happen.Mind-boggling. Armstrongs Chronology1992: Turns professional after 1992 Olympics.1993: Wins the world championship, the USPRO championship and a stage in his first Tour de France.1996: Enters the year as the top- ranked cyclist in the world. In October, he undergoes surgery to treat testicular cancer.1999: Wins first Tour de France title. It was first of his record seven Tour titles. In 2004, Armstrong was accused of taking performance-enhancing drugs in a book written by David Walsh and Pierre Ballester.2005: Announces in April he will retire from pro cycling after the Tour. French sports newspaper LEquipe reports tests on six urine samples allegedly taken from Armstrong during the 1999 Tour were positive for blood-boosting EPO.2006: Was cleared of doping allegations.2009: Returned to competitive cycling and finishes third in the Tour.2010: In May, Landis admits he was using performance-enhancing drugs when he rode on the US Postal Service team and accused Armstrong. Betsy Andreu, former Armstrong teammate, claimed that Armstrong admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs in a hospital room in 1996 while battling cancer.2011: Announces retirement in February. In May, his former teammate Tyler Hamilton tells CBS News that he and Armstrong had taken EPO together during the 1999, 2000 and 2001 Tours de France.2012: On August 20, a federal judge dismisses his lawsuit, leaving him three days to decide if he would fight USADA’s charges.last_img read more

Star Athletes Trade Their Jerseys For High Fashion

first_imgFor the first time during New York Fashion Week, Laureus Foundation USA, a nonprofit that uses the power of sport to better children’s lives, is bringing together fashion and sport to shine a light on Sport for Good.On Wednesday, September 12th some of the nation’s top athletes will walk the runway to raise awareness and crucial funds for disadvantaged youth across the US during a fundraising event held at Mercedes-Benz Manhattan in New York City. Super Bowl Champion, Pro Football Hall of Famer, co-host of GMA/GMA DAY, NFL on Fox analyst, and fashion designer, Michael Strahan and supermodel, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Karolina Kurkova will kick off the fashion show festivities.Participating athletes include: Houston Rockets point guard, Chris Paul, Super Bowl MVP, Marcus Allen, skateboarding legend, Tony Hawk, New York Knicks forward, Lance Thomas, one of the most decorated beach volleyball players ever, Kerri Walsh Jennings, five-time Olympic gold medalist in swimming, Missy Franklin, ten-time NFL All-Pro, Ray Lewis, most decorated track and field athlete in history, Allyson Felix, nine-time Olympic gold medalist in track and field, Carl Lewis, two-time Olympic gold medalist in track and field, Edwin Moses, five-time Olympic gold medalist in gymnastics, Nadia Comaneci, Olympic Medalist and Activist, Ibtihaj Muhammad, two-time NBA Champion David Robinson, Olympic foil fencer, Miles Chamley-Watson, two-time Olympic Medalists and National Champions in Figure Skating, Maia and Alex Shibutani, and yogis, The Chin Twins, Cristen and Kimberly Chin.Event sponsors include Mercedes-Benz USA, IWC Schaffhausen, UBS, Cartier, Montblanc, and Collection by Michael Strahan. The fashion show will be styled by Courtney Mays, Khalilah Beavers, and Calyann Barnett from WWB Lifestyle Agency. Additionally, an exclusive photo collection of participating athletes will be curated by world-renowned photographer, Nigel Barker, and auctioned off at the event to raise additional funds in support of Sport for Good. Proceeds from the Sport for Good Fashion Show will support Laureus’ mission to improve the lives of youth and unite communities through the power of sport. The day before the Fashion Show, participating athletes will have the opportunity to join Laureus’ Day of Action, and experience this impactful work firsthand. Athletes will visit Laureus-supported programs who use sport to empower underserved youth across New York City.For ticket or sponsorship information, please contact Rachelle Boyer at Rachelle.Boyer@Laureus.com. Tickets are also available online herelast_img read more

Number of flurelated deaths in San Diego rises to record high 142

first_imgSAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The number of reported influenza-related deaths in the San Diego region this flu season has reached 142 — a record high, county health officials reported Wednesday.In comparison, there were 14 deaths in San Diego County at the same time last year.It’s the most deadly flu season since the county began collecting records two decades ago, health officials said. The previous deadliest flu season was in 2014-2015, when 97 people died.Though deaths have continued to rise in January, health officials say a drop in the overall number of cases for two consecutive weeks could be a sign of a peak.There were 2,070 lab-confirmed cases in the county last week, down from 3,046 the week before.“Unfortunately, after a high number of flu cases is reported, deaths typically follow,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer.“We continue to monitor flu activity in the region to see if cases and emergency room activity will continue to drop and determine whether the season has peaked.”Wooten said the record number of deaths could be due to the use of an electronic reporting system, which makes it easier for medical professionals to report and identify flu-related deaths.Public health officials say it’s not too late to get vaccinated.“The flu vaccine is the best public health tool we have, and an annual flu shot is recommended to everyone over six months,” Wooten said.“The vaccine helps your body develop protection in two weeks and can lessen severity if one gets the flu. The vaccine is matched with all four circulating strains.”In addition to getting vaccinated, health experts say people should wash their hand thoroughly and often, use hand sanitizer, stay away from sick people, avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth, and avoid contact with others in the event they fall ill.Vaccines are available at doctors’ offices and retail pharmacies.Those without insurance can go to a county public health center to get vaccinated. For a list of locations, visit www.sdiz.org or call 2-1-1. January 17, 2018 Categories: Local San Diego News Tags: Flu, Flu season FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom Updated: 3:21 PMcenter_img KUSI Newsroom, Posted: January 17, 2018 Number of flu-related deaths in San Diego rises to record high 142last_img read more

Daredevil NASA spacecraft snaps asteroid Bennu from crazyclose orbit

first_imgOriginally published June 18, 9:56 a.m. PT.  The spacecraft is designed to reach out to Bennu, snag a sample of surface material and bring it back to Earth in 2023. NASA is currently assessing potential sample sites, a task it has asked the public to help with. Scientists hope to learn more about the formation of the solar system by studying Bennu. Osiris-Rex’s successful orbital space snuggle is a testament to the spacecraft’s capabilities, but it also happens to give us a spectacular view of an awesome asteroid to enjoy. Checking out Bennu Comment This is the view from the closest orbit a spacecraft has ever made around a planetary body.This navigation image of asteroid Bennu was taken shortly after orbital insertion on June 13 from a distance of 0.4 miles (690 m).Image details: https://t.co/8aFYUKK4cW pic.twitter.com/jraAXwRAw1— NASA’s OSIRIS-REx (@OSIRISREx) June 17, 2019 Tags Cosmic dead ringers: 27 super strange-looking space objects Share your voice In the image, you can see a massive boulder sitting toward the bottom of the asteroid. This boulder is about the length of school bus. Osiris-Rex (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer) settled into its new orbit on June 13, breaking its previous record of orbiting 0.8 miles (1.3 kilometers) above the surface.Bennu is classified as a potentially hazardous near-Earth asteroid, though its chances of smacking our planet are slim and distant. 1 Osiris-Rex meets asteroid Bennu for cosmic pickpocketing Osiris-Rex finds water in its first week at asteroid Bennu Enlarge ImageOsiris-Rex snuggled up close to asteroid Bennu. NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona/Lockheed Martin NASA’s Osiris-Rex spacecraft is a beast and a thrill-seeker. It broke its own record for “the closest orbit a spacecraft has ever made around a planetary body” and then it snapped a photo to prove its own audaciousness. The agency shared a breathtaking navigation image on Monday of asteroid Bennu from Osiris-Rex’s new orbital distance of a mere 0.4 miles (690 meters) above the ancient rubble-covered rock.  27 Photos Sci-Tech NASA Spacelast_img read more