SAN JOSE — Joe Thornton darted around the ice as he and the Sharks went through a brief but brisk practice Saturday morning before they departed for Las Vegas. Situational drills, power play and penalty kill work — the scene was nothing out the ordinary.Neither was Thornton’s demeanor: all business when there was work to be done, smiling and having fun as practice began to wind down.The Sharks’ season will once again on the line Sunday when they face the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena …
Twenty-six-year-old Thando Mgqolozanamade his literary debut at this year’sfestival with his novel, A man; who is nota man. Mgqolozana’s work challenges thepractices of male circumcision in theXhosa culture.Khanyi MagubaneFind out more about using MediaClubSouthAfrica.com materialWriters took to the streets in Grahamstown on 7 July as part of Wordfest, the literary programme at the National Arts Festival that seeks to highlight the need for the proper development of a reading culture in South Africa.The 200 writers who gathered outside the Wordfest venue at Rhodes University in the town were also there to protest against the poor state of reading levels in South Africa.The initiative was supported by a number of prominent people in the literary programme, including the convener of Wordfest and professor of poetry at Rhodes University Chris Mann, and Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture MEC Xoliswa Tom, who launched event.This year’s programme will include lectures from academics, readings from authors, book launches and poetry recitals.The book chain store Exclusive Books has also set up a small shop at the venue.The opening keynote address was delivered by award-winning author Mandla Langa, whose latest novel, Colours of the Chameleon, recently won the Commonwealth Prize for Literature in the Africa region.Langa spoke about the struggles that South Africans have had to overcome, focusing specifically on his own childhood, growing up in the township of Umlazi in KwaZulu-Natal province. As a child he was unaware that the Bantu education, as it was referred to during apartheid, he was receiving was of a much lower standard than that of white students in the country.But, despite the social difficulties of growing up in a township, Langa recalls how he immersed himself in books and reading.His love of reading exposed him to poets and authors within his own community. He was groomed by late legendary South African poet Mafika Gwala. He recalled how seeing his first published poem in a literary journal moved him.“When, some years later, one of my poems was published in a magazine, Ophir, edited by Peter Horn and Robert MacNamara, I was over the moon.“I remember going around, getting free drinks in shebeens [home taverns], this boy who’s got a poem published in a real magazine, alongside names of white people, no less. That’s when, to put it mildly, my troubles started. I had found a role that would define me.”But Langa’s elation didn’t last after enrolling in the University of Fort Hare’s English programme.According to Langa, his English lecturer frequently and openly told him, and his fellow black students, that they would never pass “his English”. This did not deter Langa, who went on to finish his degree.Going into exile in the late 1970s, he lived in various countries including Nigeria. During a theatre production based on the infamous 16 June 1976 Soweto uprising, by students from the University of Ibadan, Langa was painfully reminded of his homesickness and the conflicts in his home country.“I remember that, as soon as the students’ performance got to the enactment of the Hector Pieterson shooting, the soldier standing next to me, who was a big man, started weeping uncontrollably.“I also wept. I wept for my country, for the fact that we were thousands of miles from home. In those years it was difficult to think of the possibility of apartheid’s end.”Langa’s speech centred on the need for South Africans to move forward, not to be stuck in one particular era, but also not to forget what had happened in South Africa at the time. He used the metaphor of walking, which he says also inspired former president Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom.“Nelson Mandela’s journey in Long Walk to Freedom mirrors the efforts to raise up black American slaves through education by Booker T Washington, who wrote Up From Slavery, another form of walking – it’s less about the physical activity of walking than about attitude; an attitude that, granted, derives its inspiration from walking.”Breaking the silenceAlso launched at the festival was the controversial book by first-time writer, 26-year-old Thando Mgqolozana. His novel, A man; who is not a man, published by the University of KwaZulu-Natal, challenges the practices of male circumcision in the Xhosa culture.During his opening address, the young Eastern Cape writer spoke about his own experience with circumcision. He said that it is difficult for him to see what was once a proud ritual to usher boys into manhood, become a thorny issue veiled in silence in his community.“I felt the need to break the silence and publish this book because the fear is no longer. I wanted to start a debate on this issue, and lift the veil of secrecy around the issue of the death of initiates.”A number of Xhosa traditionalists attended the launch as the topic of male circumcision has long been regarded as an exclusively male issue, and could not be addressed in a public forum including women.Mgqolozana said he was prepared to field tough questions from Xhosa traditionalists, who may have been offended by the book. Instead, he was met with an unexpected amount of support from the audience. He said he was touched by the encouragement from, especially, elder males who, in acknowledging the sacredness of the practice, felt that the writer had taken a leap of faith in openly addressing it.The issue of male circumcision has been a hot topic in the South African media as a number of young men have died due to alleged medical complications. The South African Press Association reported on 7 July 2009 that a 37th Eastern Cape man died after an initiation ritual. The youths, most of them between the ages of 13 and 22, died after undergoing the traditional practice at illegal initiation schools.“You are brave because us man folk don’t talk about such things in front of women folk. But it is good for you to talk about it, because when tradition changes and it results in death, that’s a problem,” said one attendee during the question-and-answer session.“Now is the time for the custom to be transformed. How many deaths must we witness until we do something about it?” asked another attendee.Mgqolozana criticised the House of Traditional Leaders, a body set up by government to deal with traditional issues, whom he says has failed to protect the age-old practice.“They have failed us. The government has tried to come up with legislative laws to try and govern practices around male circumcision. However, the House of the Traditional Leaders has rejected the promulgation of this Act.”Mgqolozana was referring to the Children’s Act number 38 of 2005, which also includes a section on male circumcision.According to the law, males under the age of 16 may not be circumcised, unless:performed for religious purposes in accordance with the practices of the religion concerned and in the manner prescribed, orperformed for medical reasons on the recommendation of a medical practitioner.Mgqolozana says he hopes the book will encourage young and old to open up, as well as integrate women into the conversation, as many mothers are losing their children.“This book doesn’t really have a target audience, but I hope that people who practise male circumcision will read this book.“I’m hoping that the fathers will get my argument, and that the mothers will finally know the secrets of circumcision as they deserve to know what is happening.”The young writer says his mother, though, has been a tough one to convince, “She read the book overnight and she sms’d me the next morning and she said ‘this is really a work of fiction’.”Wordfest will continue at the National Arts Festival until 10 July.Do you have any queries or comments about this article? Email Khanyi Magubane at email@example.comUseful linksWordfest National Arts Festival University of KwaZulu-Natal press
Robinson was full of praise for Willoughby, but felt that the inside lane was undoubtedly a factor in the final result. In the final, Willoughby started in the favoured inside lane, with Robinson on his left in lane two. Willoughby’s powerful start gave the young Australian the edge and this secured the all-important holeshot into the first turn. “I’ve been riding again for just seven weeks, so this is a good way to return. I took a year off after the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Deciding to return to racing has obviously been the correct decision.” ‘It feels really good’ “Sam is improving all the time. He’s a real talent and so consistent. I would have loved to have had lane one for the final, but he made the most of it and he never made a single mistake. I planned to run at him in the third straight, but he was flawless through there.” Current women’s world champion, Sarah Walker of New Zealand, left her best performance for last when she recorded a dominant victory ahead of Argentina’s Gabriela Diaz and Frenchwoman Eva Ailloud, the current world number one. SAinfo reporter An enthusiastic crowd of over 1 000 spectators watched the event, which was the first of its kind in Africa. Van den Wildenberg was thrilled with third place. Praise Women’s finalSarah Walker (NZL) Gabriela Diaz (ARG)Eva Ailloud (FRA)Magalie Pottier (FRA)Merle van Benthem (NED)Rachel Bracken (AUS)Alise Post (USA)Jana Horakova (CZE) Australian double-junior world champion Sam Willoughby continued his impressive rise to the top of the BMX world when he won round two of the 2009 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa on Saturday. For Diaz, it was a rewarding return after a long layoff from the sport. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material Women The 18-year-old Willoughby, who last month became the first rider ever to win back-to-back junior world titles, was in superb form throughout the event, winning every one of his heats, the quarterfinal, and the semifinal. “It feels really good to get a World Cup win so soon after winning the World Championships. I have definitely developed a lot of confidence lately and it’s showing in my results.” 24 August 2009 “This is my first ever podium in a World Cup, so I’m very happy,” smiled the Dutchman. “I over-jumped the first jump, which threw my rhythm out a bit, and from there I just followed Donny’s line and held my position.” The USA’s current elite men’s world champion and world number one, Donny Robinson, placed second, with Rob van den Wildenberg of The Netherlands rounding out the podium positions. With a bike-length gap opened up, Robinson had to hope Willoughby made an error on the highly technical third straight if he had any shot at grabbing the lead. But the Australian was smooth and in control, throwing up his arm in elation as he won his first Supercross World Cup event. After a crash in practice and less-than-perfect semi-final runs, the 21-year-old Walker charged into the lead at the first jump in the final, and had powered her into a two-bike-length lead by the second turn. She kept it smooth through the critical third straight, giving her rivals no opportunities to challenge her. “I’m really excited with this win! It’s the right end to a perfect day, I guess,” said the charismatic Willoughby. “I had lane two in my first heat, but won that and held land one for the rest of the day, which proved decisive.” Final “I took it a bit easy in the semi-final motos because I didn’t want to risk doing something silly and not making the final. But in the final I let it all out and I had a really good race,” smiled Walker. Next year, Pietermaritzburg will host a far bigger event when the UCI UCI BMX World Championships take place in the city in July. RESULTS Men’s finalSam Willoughby (AUS) Donny Robinson (USA)Rob van den Wildenberg (NED)Quentin Caleyron (FRA) Raymon van der Biezen (NED)Nicholas Long (USA)Ramiro Marino (ARG)Martijn Scherpen (NED)
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Jammu and Kashmir RSS chief Suchait Singh on claimed the “footprints of terror elements” are increasing in West Bengal and accused the Mamata Banerjee government of “engineering terror violence” and “communal politics” in the State.“We express concern over the increasing presence of ‘Jihadist’ elements in West Bengal, the policy of vote-bank appeasement being followed by the state government there and the shrinking population of Hindus in the State,” he told reporters here.The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), at its Akhil Bhartiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS) in Coimbatore, had discussed and passed a resolution expressing grave concern over the alleged rise in violence in West Bengal, Singh said.“The ABPS has strongly condemned the extremist violence and the appeasement policy of the Bengal government,” he said.The J-K RSS chief called upon the countrymen to create awareness against this “Jihadist violence and communal politics of the West Bengal government“.Referring to the attack on a police station, just 8 km from the Indo-Bangladesh border in West Bengal’s Malda district, he said the “increasing attacks against security forces is a grave danger to national security“.Singh said, “Hardliner clerics have been issuing fatwas to incite violence, and Hindus have been attacked in several places in West Bengal.” In the border areas, the growing presence of hardliners is forcing Hindu families to flee and they are also behind the fake currency, cow smuggling and illegal migration rackets, he alleged.The National Investigation Agency (NIA) in its probe into the Burdwan Bomb Blast case had found evidence of terror groups being active in several parts of West Bengal, he claimed.Singh also said 57,185 ‘shakhas’ were currently being run at 36,729 places in India, besides 79,675 weekly meetings and monthly ‘sangh mandali’“People under 45 years age make up for 90% of the attendees at these meetings, of them 53%are students,” he said.Singh said in the last one year 1,04,256 Swayam Sevaks attended the seven-day ‘Prathamik Shiksha Varg’, the first step towards becoming an RSS volunteer.Prant Karywah Parshotam Dadiechi explained in brief the Sangh’s working in J-K and 279 ‘shakhas’ that were running at 180 places with 110 weekly meetings and 76 ‘mandali’Dadiechi claimed around 45 people join the RSS online every month. More than 1,600 people from Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions have joined the organisation in the last three years, he said.
A student of the Motilal Vigyan Mahavidyalay (MVM) here was expelled for one year after she termed its teaching staff as “anti-nationals” in her Facebook post. The post was uploaded after MVM authorities denied permission to hold a programme at the college auditorium marking the death of revolutionary Bhagat Singh. Officials said that Asma Khan, a member of the Bhagat Kranti Dal and second year Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) student, was removed from the institute for a period of one year after she uploaded the social media post.College principal Niraj Agnihotri said the decision to expel Ms. Khan was taken by the college’s staff council.“She should either withdraw this post or submit an apology for such a comment. It is not acceptable. She also said that the college was patronising anti-national activities,” Mr. Agnihotri said. He added that instead of apologising, Mr. Khan had brought a lawyer and some supporters to “pressurise” the college management.“The student’s post went viral on social media. We are not against such events but the college auditorium had been engaged till March 20 for a training programme being conducted by the government. Moreover, there was a possibility that the duration of the training programme could be extended,” he said. He said the group could have conducted the programme in any other part of the college campus. Mr. Khan, meanwhile, expressed dismay at the college’s action and called it hasty. “It is surprising that the college authorities decided to rusticate me for one year on the basis of a Facebook post without issuing me a show-cause notice or following set procedures,” she said. She alleged that the action against her was taken under pressure from the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) which she claimed was out to “spoil” every activity of the BKD. She said that the post, which was uploaded on March 19, was deleted immediately. “The post didn’t name any person. My rights are being ignored,” she claimed.
India’s first “career portal”, addressing the needs of secondary and higher secondary students for information on scholarships and career choices, was launched with the support of United Nations Children’s Fund here on Wednesday. The portal is expected to help the students take “informed decisions” about their academic and professional pursuits.To benefit lakhsMinister of State for Education Govind Singh Dotasra and UNICEF-Rajasthan chief Isabelle Bardem inaugurated the portal, set to benefit about 23 lakh students, at Dr. Radhakrishnan Shiksha Sankul here in the presence of school principals, teachers and senior officials.Mr. Dotasra said the portal would promote employment-oriented education in the State and provide information on 200 vocational and 237 professional careers, 455 employment avenues, 960 scholarships, 955 competitive examinations and 10,000 institutions of higher education to the students from Classes IX to XII.Experts in UNICEF have developed the portal after an assessment of needs, awareness and perspective of students, teachers and system functionaries. Dr. Bardem said the assessment had indicated that most of the boys and girls in the State were keen to join the workforce as soon as they finished Class X or XII. Besides, the assessment revealed a substantial progress in terms of gender equality among the students.“The career portal will serve the needs in the educational stream, enabling the students to choose their career path matching with their aspirations, interest, inclination and aptitude,” Dr. Bardem said, adding that this would reduce dropouts at various stages in schools and improve retention in jobs. UNICEF had selected Rajasthan for launching the portal because of its track record in employment-oriented education, she said.Mr. Dotasra also announced setting up of the Rajiv Gandhi Career Counselling Cell for adolescents and youths on the occasion. The cell will link school and college students with skill development programmes and internship opportunities in the pursuit of their career choices.Career informationUNICEF’s studies in Rajasthan have highlighted that two largest sources of career information for students are teachers and family members. About 69% of students mentioned that they were using Internet for their career-related queries, which indicates that the adolescents will quickly learn to use the career portal.
Preity ZintaPreity Zinta has a new mission on hand-to lose weight for her upcoming film Ishq in Paris. The actress is currently in Los Angeles and has been hiking most of the time, since adventure sports are not only good for maintaining weight but they also serve as a stress buster, but that did not go too well for her.She injured herself when she met with an accident while hiking. On July 30, 2011, she tweeted, “Good morning tweeple! Too much flying for me these days and of course…. The knee is still recovering…. Whatz up with u guys? Hurt my knee Hiking up a 4 mile steep hike in La..” The 36-year-old actress has not only lost oodles of weight but has had a complete makeover. She has also learned French for the new movie.
Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, now United Nations’ Special Envoy for Global Education, is to present the UN Global Education First Initiative in a high-profile MIPTV conference session, scheduled for Wednesday 10 April in Cannes, France.The MIPTV session will be followed by a “Countdown for Global Education” VIP lunch, marking the start of the 1,000-day countdown to 2015, the deadline that the global community has set to have every child in school.Organized by Reed MIDEM, MIPTV will take place in Cannes from 8-11 April, 2013.As MIPTV celebrates its 50th anniversary, it is timely for the global content market to provide a platform for the international TV industry that demonstrates its potential to drive positive social change. The goal is that, through partnerships with the UN’s Global Education First Initiative, the whole TV ecosystem from around the world backs this campaign by aligning with the cause of education.“We urgently need to create a global movement which will put pressure on leaders to make education a priority and to ensure that they keep their promises,” said Gordon Brown. “We’re seeing the beginnings of that global community already, but the television industry has a huge part to play in reaching people in every corner of the world, and communicating these issues to them in an entertaining and accessible way.”“MIPTV is committed to support this exceptional cause, which will mobilize the entire international TV and online digital ecosystem to create a real impact that will contribute significantly to the global community,” commented Laurine Garaude, Director of Reed MIDEM’s Television Division.“MIPTV is an ideal venue and audience to host the UN global Education First Initiative. The UN partnership with the TV industry on education is a win-win proposition,” said Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information.Featuring a video introduction from the United Nations’ Secretary-General, Ban Ki -moon, the session will present a diverse line-up of speakers, all addressing television’s power to change. David Zaslav, President and CEO of Discovery Communications, the world’s leading non-fiction media company, will speak on the power of television to teach. Discovery, which is also marking its 50th anniversary this year, has recently given significant backing to the UN’s education initiative and other similar programmes.Social entrepreneur and former Microsoft executive John Wood, CEO and Founder, Room to Read, an organization promoting literacy and gender equality in developing countries, will tackle the power of television to inspire action.The power of television to catalyze a movement will be addressed by Robert Triefus, Chief Marketing Officer of luxury goods group Gucci, which has launched the “Chime for Change” global campaign focused on girls’ and women’s empowerment. Gucci is also sponsoring the “Countdown for Global Education” VIP lunch after the session, which will be moderated by Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information.The session’s audience will also hear from Ziauddin Yousafzai , the father of Malala Yousafzai. Malala is the Pakistani girl who became a figurehead for the right of girls to education when she was shot in the head last year by the Taliban for simply going to school. A long-standing campaigner for education, Ziauddin Yousafzai runs a network of schools in Pakistan and is an adviser of the UN Special Envoy Brown on girls’ education issues.Source:PR Newswire