K1 champs defend their Dusi titles

first_imgHe crossed the line in three hours, eight minutes and 12 seconds, with Shaun Rubenstein turning in the second best time of 3:22:13, followed by Mbanjwa in 3:25:47, 17 minutes and 35 seconds behind Stott. Final dayOn the final day, Mbanjwa made up lots of ground on Stott as the race leader elected to portage over the dreaded climb of Burma Road. Stott, however, reclaimed most of his advantage on the way into the finish at Blue Lagoon. Mbanjwa was attempting to add the K1 title to the K2 crown he clinched the previous year with “Dusi Duke” Martin Dreyer. He did, in fact, outperform Stott on the first and third day of the race, but Stott built up a massive lead on day two, which proved too much for Mbanjwa to haul in, despite a strong performance on the final stage. Mbanjwa’s problems began when he damaged his rudder at the Washing Machine Rapid, which forced him to stop for repairs, costing him four minutes. Then, he took a swim at the Hippo Rapids. Robyn Kime, who had entered the day in second place, had a miserable time as she got caught up in hyacinth and gave up over 16 minutes to Abie Adie on the stage, which allowed Adie to come through and take second in 10:49:20, just over three minutes clear of Kime. In the women’s race, Miedema enjoyed a smooth final day as she cruised to victory in 10:18:51. Portaging prowessOn the opening day of the race, Thursday, Mbanjwa used his superlative running skills to dominate the first stage. In the Dusi, more so than in other any canoe marathon, the ability to portage is a vital skill needed for victory; because of this the challenge of the Dusi is unique. Convincing winMiedema, meanwhile, fought back from her horror start to haul in her opposition before going on to a convincing stage win. She finished in a time of three hours, 25 minutes and 56 minutes. Robyn Kime placed second in a time of 3:32:53. Miedema’s only problems occurred right at the start when another paddler clipped her at the top of Ernie Pierce Weir, causing the defending champion to fall out of her boat. It took her six minutes to finally right herself, but after that she stamped her authority on the race. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materialcenter_img With a third stage time of 02:38:51, he was 47 seconds slower than Mbanjwa, but the overall winner by a comfortable margin, clocking 08:38:54 to Mbanjwa’s 08:51:20. Rubenstein completed the podium finishers, finishing just over 14 minutes behind Mbanjwa. Mbanjwa took the first day honours in two hours, 47 minutes and 28 seconds, with Ant Stott, the World Marathon Championships winner in a K2 in 2008, following him across the line, over four minutes adrift in 2:51:50. Third place went to Olympic canoe sprinter Shaun Rubenstein in 2:58:04. Miedema continued her dominance in the women’s race, clocking 3:44:57. Kime held onto second after finishing 10 minutes behind Miedema. 20 January 2009 The outcome of the men’s race was decided on day two when things went wrong for Mbanjwa, while and Stott enjoyed an excellent day. After the stage, Stott admitted that he simply couldn’t keep up with the running prowess of “Banji”, as Mbanjwa is known in the paddling community. Defending K1 champions Ant Stott and Abbey Miedema successfully defended their Hansa Powerade Dusi Canoe Marathon titles on the weekend. While Stott withstood a strong challenge from Michael Mbanjwa, Miedema cruised to victory. Seized the opportunityStott, seeing his rival in trouble, seized the opportunity to fly past Mbanjwa and into the lead. The demoralised Mbanjwa then struggled on the flat water of the Inanda Dam, heading into the second overnight stop as Stott recorded a massive stage victory.last_img read more

Absa in multi-currency card first for SA

first_img20 May 2013South African bank Absa has launched a multi-currency travel prepaid cash card through MasterCard, which is available in four currencies and is a first for the country and the continent.The bank will also be launching an Islamic Banking multi-currency passport soon, which is a first Sharia’h compliant and unique solution for clients travelling overseas.“Although there are other prepaid travel cards in South Africa, they can only carry one currency at a time,” Absa’s head of retail banking, Arrie Rautenbach, said in a statement last week.“The multi-currency cash passport card has the ability to allow customers to carry foreign exchange loaded with multiple currencies on one card.“When the card is used in the destination country, the system intelligently chooses the correct currency depending on the country the cardholder is in, as long as the currency is available – for example, if in the US the system will automatically debit the US dollar purse on the card,” he said.It is currently available in US and Australian dollars, British pounds and euros.“If an ATM withdrawal or point of sale transaction is made in a currency which is different to any of the available currencies on the card, or exceeds the relevant available currency balance on the card, the amount will be funded by converting the transaction amount onto the next available currency balance on the card,” he said.It also offers security features and emergency assistance if the card is lost, stolen or damaged. “It is chip and PIN enabled and it is not linked to your bank account, which means it is secure and convenient,” Rautenbach said.Customers whose cards are lost or stolen can phone a toll-free number and arrangements will be made to provide emergency cash up to the available balance on the card or courier a replacement card to the cardholder within 24 or 48 hours.“The multi-currency cash passport is convenient for frequent travellers and those who cross multiple borders on the same trip,” said global prepaid travel card management company Access Prepaid Worldwide’s managing director of Europe, Middle East and Africa, Alan King.Access Prepaid Worldwide is part of Mastercard.“Together with Absa, not only are we first to market in South Africa with this innovative product, but it’s a first for Africa,” he said.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Odisha comes up with a flood atlas, aided by satellite imagery

first_imgOdisha has come out with a unique flood hazard atlas on the basis of historic flood inundation captured through satellite imagery over the period from 2001 to 2018, which is expected to help the State manage floods more efficiently.The National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Hyderabad had taken the study on flood hazard zonation for Odisha. The atlas was released by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the State-level Natural Calamity Meeting here on Saturday.Vast areas of the State are inundated when there is flooding every year in major rivers, namely, the Mahanadi, Brahmani, Baitarani, Subarnarekha and Rushikulya. Some of the rivers like, the Vamsadhara and Budhabalanga, also cause flash floods due to instant run-off from their hilly catchments. According to Bishnupada Sethi, Managing Director, Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA), damages due to floods are caused mainly by the Mahanadi, the Brahmani and the Baitarani, which have a common delta where floodwaters intermingle, and, when in spate simultaneously, wreak considerable havoc. The entire coastal belt is prone to storm surges, which is usually accompanied by heavy rainfall, thus making the estuary region vulnerable to both storm surges and river flooding. Few districts in the western and southern part of Odisha are prone to flash floods, he pointed out.The NRSC analysis says about 8.96% (13.96 lakh hectares) of land in Odisha was affected by floods during 2001-2018. Out of total flood-affected area (13.96 lakh hectares), about 2.81 lakh hectares of land falls under high (inundated seven-nine times) to very high (inundated 10-14 times) flood hazard categories. Eight out of 30 districts such as Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghapur, Balasore, Puri, Jajpur, Khordha and Cuttack districts are more flood-affected districts. As high as 77% of Bhadrak and 70% of the Kendrapara district have been categorised as flood hazard.According to P. G. Diwakar, Director of Earth Observation, Application and Disaster Management Support Programme Office of ISRO, “A large number of satellite images acquired over 18 years (2001-2018) were used. All satellite data sets were analysed and flood layers were extracted. All the flood layers corresponding to a year are combined as one inundation layer, so that this layer represents the maximum flooded area in one year.”‘Useful resource’“All such combined flood layers for 18 years were integrated into flood hazard layer representing the observed flood-inundated areas with different frequencies. This layer was integrated with the digital database layers of Odisha,” said Dr. Diwakar. The atlas would serve as a useful resource of information for policy makers, planners and civil society groups, said Chief Secretary A. P. Padhi.last_img read more

Maharashtra to move on farmers’ insurance claims

first_imgThe Maharashtra government will put in place a framework to resolve all complaints related to non-payment of insurance claims to farmers. The Cabinet on Tuesday reviewed the financial situation of private insurance companies and their pending claims following the announcement by ally Shiv Sena to protest against them. Senior ministers said a payment of more than ₹15,000 crore has been made to farmers who have paid over ₹2,300 crore in premiums in the past four years.“During the the previous government’s tenure, the compensation amount never exceeded ₹300 crore a year. But the expenditure of companies this year alone is over ₹3,200 crore,” said a senior minister the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena government. Confirming that the Cabinet reviewed the insurance scheme and held a presentation, new State BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said the party had no problem with the Sena’s stand. “The companies will only pay farmers who have suffered losses. We understand the Sena’s stand and are fine even if our own party workers will hold a protest. If by holding protests the issue can be resolved, then everyone is more than welcome to do so,” he said.Earlier, the government set up a 10-member committee to scrutinise complaints from farmers and public representatives against the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, a government-sponsored crop insurance scheme, at the taluka level. “The government has been receiving a slew of complaints from villages and districts. We have set up the committee, headed by the local tehsildar, among nine other members, to look into complaints of mismanagement in the scheme,” said a government directive.last_img read more

Kobe sees Gilas inclusion as ‘blessing’ and is learning from it

first_imgFEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games “I’m just happy to be a part of this team, to be teammates with these guys,” he said. “Being coached by pros is great. All in all, this is a great learning experience for me.”Clips of Kobe in action during the Fiba 3X3 tournament in France, and his dunk contest videos on youtube that went viral a couple of years back have made him the new toast of Philippine basketball.Paras knows that this is just the stepping stone to bigger things in his career and he is just thankful for the opportunity.“I’m happy. God gave me the chance to be a part of this team. This is just a blessing.”With Gilas having just two games left, and with the prodigious high-flyer nursing that back injury, it could be safe to say that Kobe will remain grounded for the rest of this tournament.ADVERTISEMENT Gasol agrees to three-year deal with Spurs—report Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim LATEST STORIES Photo by Musong CastilloTAIPEI – There was a lot of noise that Kobe Paras generated coming over to play for Gilas Pilipinas in the 39th Jones Cup Invitational.Overseas Filipino Workers continue flocking to the Taipei Peace Basketball Hall here for Gilas games, hoping for a win by the Filipinos over talented international sides, and, of course, wanting to see a glimpse of Benjie Paras’ son in action.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweetcenter_img View comments Figuratively speaking, Kobe has also remained grounded despite the high expectations prior to coming over.But he has handled it quite well after putting everything in the right perspective.“It’s been a goal of mine ever since I was a kid to be a part of Gilas,” Paras said with pride. “And there are a lot of 19-year-olds out there who are not in the (national) team.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. With coach Chot Reyes bringing in such a talented team composed of Gilas Cadet members, Kobe, just 19 years old and with the least playing experience in the 17-man lineup, has turned out to be Gilas’ loudest, most ardent cheerleader on the bench most often than not.Fans have not hidden their disappointment over that.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsBut it’s perfectly fine with Kobe.“It’s a fact that I’m the youngest in this team and I need to work getting myself the minutes,” Paras said on Friday after he was forced to sit out the game against Lithuania because of back spasms. National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’last_img read more

School officials in Maharashtra accused of raping 14 young Adivasi girls

first_imgStudents at the Yavatmal primary school: Sordid episodeThe packed central hall of Bombay’s towering Vidhan Sabha building, usually the scene of deafening exchanges between ruling party and opposition legislators, was this time reduced to a stunned silence.Replying to an adjournment motion by the Opposition, Maharashtra’s Minister of State for Home,Students at the Yavatmal primary school: Sordid episodeThe packed central hall of Bombay’s towering Vidhan Sabha building, usually the scene of deafening exchanges between ruling party and opposition legislators, was this time reduced to a stunned silence.Replying to an adjournment motion by the Opposition, Maharashtra’s Minister of State for Home Affairs, Vilas Deshmukh, admitted before a shocked house on March 30 that the superintendent and the cook of a government-run residential primary school for Adivasi children in the state’s backward Yavatmal district stood accused of raping 14 young girls in their charge.Informing the Assembly that the two accused had only four days before been arrested and formally charged, Deshmukh stated that preliminary enquiries with the girls – mere children between the ages of six and 10 – had confirmed reports by a teacher at the ashramshala that they had been repeatedly assaulted for some months.Widespread Concern: The reaction, both from treasury benches and the Opposition, was a shocked outcry. There were calls for an investigation of the 313 ashramshalas which offer Maharashtra adivasis free residential schooling. Since their inception a decade ago, ashramshalas have become popular with the backward community and today the tiny boarding schools have over 40,000 students in Maharashtra’s tribal belts.Less than a week later the news broke of yet another molestation charge being made by ashramshala students. Alleging that the assistant teacher who accompanied them to a sports match with a rival school “tried doing things” on the bus while returning, two 14-year-olds from the Nanza village ashramshala, just 120 km from Harshi village where the earlier charges originated, complained to Yavatmal’s tribal welfare officer of maltreatment and attempted rape.advertisementSaid V.N. Gajibe, tribal welfare officer for Yavatmal and Buldhana districts, who filed both complaints with the local police: “The ashramshala scheme has been very successful so far, since even the poorest Adivasi parents are now encouraged to send their children to these schools, and girls who were not earlier getting any education at all are now increasingly enrolled. But if this kind of abuse takes place it will set back the entire programme and lead to withdrawal of children.”Swift Action: Last fortnight, the Government moved rapidly to stem the rot. N.S. Umbharkar, assistant teacher at the Nanza ashramshala, was arrested and formally charged under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code, and in Harshi the police started by arresting Superintendent Govind Mahakale and Maruti Sitaram Rajne, the cook. A week later, after enquiries and intensive questioning of the schoolgirls revealed that Charandas Bhadikar, the original informant who had alerted Gajibe to the abuse, was equally involved in its perpetration, Yavatmal’s Pusad taluk police promptly picked him up and had him remanded to their custody for further questioning.Moving rapidly to sew up the matter and avert widespread panic, Maharashtra’s Additional Inspector-General of Police (CID), Ramakant Kulkarni, dashed to Harshi to personally assess the situation.Further Revelations: In Yavatmal district the sordid affair grew murkier as police investigations revealed a complicated web of child abuse and adult intrigue. News of the original allegations against Mahakale and Rajne first broke when their colleague Bhadikar informed a group of Harshi villagers on March 9 that they had continually abused their young wards.Though swift village justice followed, a Pusad taluka advocate and journalist A. Aparwo Maind, who edits a weekly paper called the Chawdi Varta, informed the police circle inspector about the allegations. No formal complaint was registered for over a week.Meanwhile Bhadikar, who had first instigated the villagers against the ashramshala superintendent and cook, made a similar complaint to Gajibe in Yavatmal, and the tribal welfare officer promptly visited Harshi to verify the charges.”At that time all 14 of the girls interviewed – two were not present – confirmed what Bhadikar had told me,” said Gajibe, “so I went ahead and filed a police complaint against the two.”Under the more exacting interrogation of the police, however, the little girls broke down and stated that Bhadikar himself had constantly molested them since the past Diwali and had finally cajoled them to condemn the other two.Said Vasudev Potdar, deputy superintendent of police at Yavatmal: “Investigations are going on, so at this stage all we can say is that the girls now state that even Bhadikar used to molest them; so we have arrested him also. But the case has become considerably more complicated, since according to the medical examination none of the 16 girls has actually been raped. The doctor has stated that their hymens are intact and there are no visible signs of rape.”advertisementDepravity: But this is small consolation for the girls themselves. Subjected daily to harrowing questioning sessions for over a fortnight, the Harshi ashramshala’s 16 girl students’ were last fortnight distraught, with fear and worry about a crime which lay almost outside’ their comprehension.Rudely jerked out of their childhoods into an incomprehensible world of adult perversion and depravity, the group huddled in their miserable temporary school room, bursting into tears each time a stranger came in. Chandrakala, a pretty eight-year-old along with Ganga, an alleged favourite of Bhadikar’s, haltingly explained that the assistant teacher-frequently called his charges to his rooms at night to perform small chores for him, often seizing the opportunity to strip them off their clothes and molest them.”He used to call me to his chulha (kitchen) to do some work and then take off all my clothes and his own,” said the young girl unselfconsciously, “and then he used to do things.” Added Ganga: “Bhadikar used to call me at night and he used to touch me down there.”Shobha, barely six and certainly unaware of the reasons for the furore around her, nevertheless adds to the astonishing charges of depravity. “Once he took me also to his room,” she says, almost by rote, clamming up thereafter and refusing to elaborate on what was done to her. The others, harassed from days of questioning by the police, burst into tears each time they are asked about the incidents.Cruel Neglect: The testimony of the ashramshala students notwithstanding, little was actually known last fortnight about the extent of molestation, how long it had gone on, or the exact involvement of each of the accused. But the Harshi case raised several questions.No women teachers or attendants were provided in the Harshi ashramshala even though its 16 girls and 52 boys are all between the ages of six and 10. The teacher’s control over his students is absolute, and statements by the young Adivasi girls make it clear that they are frequently made to perform menial tasks and housework for the ashramshala staff.Involvement of the villagers in the children’s welfare is almost nonexistent, possibly because it is a school for tribals in a village dominated by non-tribals. Political workers in the Pusad-Harshi area insist that even the funds allotted for the upkeep of children are often diverted from some ashramshalas, and as a result their running has become a high-stakes business handed out as patronage by the ruling party.R. H. Atre, BJP worker from Pusad, points out that only last fortnight the sanction of an ashramshala for Pedhi village in Yavatmal’s Mahagaon taluk was abruptly cancelled and handed over from Kuddus Mirza, who was originally to have run it, to Manoharrao Naik, brother of Maharashtra Education Minister Sudhakar Naik.Naik, who already administers the Parvatibaji Charitable Trust in Pusad, will set up the ashramshala at Saathghari, a village next to Pedhi. “Even the running of something as desirable as ashramshalas has become a prestigious thing to be handed out to favoured persons,” said Atre. “The Government grant of Rs 105 per student per month is an incentive for persons to take up the running of these schools.”advertisementBut Patil’s Government last fortnight appeared determined to put the ashramshala scheme right; it pulled out all the stops to speedily solve the Harshi and Nanza cases and restore confidence in the institutions. A senior official in the Tribal Welfare Ministry admitted that “this scheme shows more potential for tribal uplift through education than perhaps all other welfare schemes put together”. The official added that the Government was trying to set things right. “I would be the first to admit that it is at present far from perfect,” he said, “but ashramshalas are the one way of encouraging the desperately poor to educate their children, and the success so far shows that it can easily be extended.”last_img read more