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first_imgAward-winning Mozambican-born jazz guitarist Jimmy Dludlu gave a passion-filled performance, with a blend of melodic expressions and rhythmic guitar lines. (Image: Rod Taylor)Khanyi MagubaneThe buzz at Cape Town’s usually suit-and-tie International Convention Centre was electric as jazz fanatics from across the world got together for the city’s ninth annual International Jazz Festival in late March. With 41 acts performing on five stages, more than 32 000 fans and musicians from five continents, for two days South Africa’s mother city was the world centre of “the democratic music”, as legendary composer Max Roach called jazz.And jazz democracy there was – on a global scale. Held on 28 and 29 March, the festival showcased indigenous interpretations of jazz from countries as different as Brazil, Zimbabwe, the US, Switzerland, Japan, the Netherlands and South Africa.“In South Africa, jazz has captured the hearts of our people for many years,” South African President Thabo Mbeki said in his festival message. “Jazz artists have, in the past, harnessed the power of rhythm and melody to communicate to the rest of the world the extent of the injustices of our past and to give hope to our people.”A highlight was the Latin American sound of Grammy award-winning Brazilian Sergio Mendes, possibly Latin America’s greatest jazz musician. Using regional jazz variants popular in places such as Bahia and São Paulo, he took the Cape Town audience on a musical tour of his people’s history. Mendes, who introduced Brazil’s samba and bossa nova to the world, is most famous for the song Mas que Nada, a crowd favourite at the festival.Then there was veteran Zimbabwean guitarist and vocalist Oliver Mtukudzi, an African jazz institution. Affectionately known to his fans as “Tuku”, Mtukudzi started out in 1977 with Harare band The Wagon Wheels, going on to international stardom. To celebrate over three decades in music, Mtukudzi has revamped his band and sound, culminating in a new album, Tsimba itsoka (“no foot, no footprint”). He treated audiences to an exhilarating performance, at one point dancing up a storm on stage along with his ensemble.From the US came Gerald Albright, famous for his saxophone duet with Bill Clinton at the former president’s 1993 inauguration, who blew the audience away with his skill with the instrument. In music circles Albright is known for his swiftness on stage and unique round sound, which is percussive yet soulful. He is always able to surprise the audience with something out of the ordinary. The Los Angeles-born musician began piano lessons at an early age, even though he had no great interest in the instrument. His love of music picked up considerably when his music teacher gave him a saxophone.Award-winning Mozambican-born jazz guitarist Jimmy Dludlu gave a passion-filled performance, with a blend of melodic expressions and rhythmic guitar lines. This year, Dludlu led a 10-piece band made up of some of Cape Town’s most talented and energetic musicians. The guitarist has recently released his fifth album, Portrait, which the artists described as “a representational expression of my music captured in the frame of surrounding and cultural influences.”Other international acts included Atlanta-based producer, composer and remixer Chris Brann’s Ananda Project, the energetic and intelligent percussion music of international drum quartet Beat Bag Bohemia, smooth jazz saxophonist Candy Dulfer of the Netherlands, virtuoso Japanese speed pianist Hiromi, Boston’s John Baboian and the Be-bop Guitars, the Kenny Barron Trio, headed by the retired Rutgers University professor of jazz piano, Nigeria’s Kunle Ayo, Californian Lee Ritenour, Swedish saxophonist and flautist Lennart Åberg, the Lionel Loueke Trio from Benin, UK group The Bays, and Tierney Sutton, one of the hottest jazz singers in the US today.Homegrown jazzThere was also plenty of local South African flavour, including Zola, Jimmy Dludlu, Vicky Sampson, The Manhattans, Darius Brubeck and more.The Soul Brothers, a legendary mbaqanga or contemporary Zulu music group, thrilled the crowd with their fusion of indigenous rhythms and Afro-American styles. Formed in 1974, Brothers combine strong vocal sounds, brassy horns and a rhythmic section.The festival has also been experimenting with fusing untraditional sounds into the jazz genre. Zola, a South African superstar, performed with a live band, giving his kwaito music genre a different dimension. Also popular with the younger crowds this year was the jazz-influenced performance of South Africa’s bestselling hip-hop group Skwatta Kamp.The festival also staged a training and development programme, with various workshops held in the local communities of Cape Town. Guided by dedicated professionals, the various workshops provided valuable, accessible and free information directly related to the music industry.A school music workshop was held two days before the festival. Pupils from primary and high schools in the less privileged suburbs in Cape Town were bussed in to attend workshops presented by leading musicians. Not only were the pupils introduced to the instruments, their history and the sounds they make, but workshop presenters also offered demonstrations and performed on the instruments.The South Atlantic Jazz Music Conference is also a highlight. The conference is a platform that has become a vital meeting place for a variety of stakeholders involved in the music industry, especially those with an interest in jazz. Held on the day preceding the main festival, the event attracted delegates and speakers from around the world and created invaluable networking opportunities for those who attended.“South African creative artists have shared space and time with outstanding international performers from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe, on the cultural platform that this festival has become,” said Arts and Culture Minister Pallo Jordan.“Jazz is a musical genre that has demolished the man-made fences that divide humanity into different nations, races, ethnic and linguistic communities, and has brought joy to people in every part of the world.”Useful linksCape Town International Jazz FestivalDepartment of Arts and Culturelast_img read more

first_imgWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material 13 August 2012South Africa’s Burry Stander made a valiant attempt to claim a medal in the men’s cross-country mountain bike race at the Olympic Games on Sunday, but came up just short with a fifth place finish after a gruelling race.Hadleigh Farm sounds like a pleasant enough place, but the mountain bike track, with its twists and turns and ever changing elevation, including plenty of climbing, is a real challenge, especially when the world’s elite cross-country competitors are duelling one another and racing it at their maximum pace.After a furious start to Sunday’s race, Stander found himself 15 seconds down on the leading trio of Jaroslav Kulhavy, the overall 2011 World Cup champion, Nino Schurter, the winner of this year’s Pietermaritzburg World Cup and three other World Cup events, and the Italian Marco Aurelio Fontana after the first lap.Slip on lap fourThe South African star then put in consecutive fastest laps to haul in the leaders. A small slip on lap four, however, saw him dropped once again as the front-running trio piled on the pace. Stander and Spain’s Jose Antonio Hermida, the winner of the 2010 World Championships, became the closest chasers to the men in medal position.There appeared to be a slight slowing by Kulhavy, Schurter and Fontana on the penultimate lap as they prepared themselves for a tactical, lung-bursting showdown on the seventh and final lap of the course, but it wasn’t enough to let Stander and Hermida close the distance.Czech ace Kulhavy snatched a vital inside line on the last sharp climb before the finish to edge ahead of Schurter for the victory. Fontana, meanwhile, lost his saddle on the last lap, which allowed the two chasers to close the gap on the bronze medal winner. Hermida then sneaked in front of Stander on the finishing line, just four seconds behind Fontana, to take fourth place.Stander’s finishing time of 1:29:37 was half-a-minute behind the winner, Kulhavy, his team-mate in non-Olympic action on Team Specialized.Five seconds off the podiumAfterwards, Stander told reporters: “Fifth, being 10 seconds off the podium [he was actually only five seconds behind Fontana] you can’t be disappointed with that.“Obviously you’re here for a medal, but I gave it my all. I prepared as much as I could and put absolutely everything I could into this year. It was just 10 seconds too slow, I guess.“With two laps to go on that steep climb the guys absolutely smashed it. I was on my max and there’s nothing you can do.“It’s a very fair sport, you give what you’ve got, and if you don’t have it you don’t have it, and the top three guys deserved it today.”Fellow South African Philip Buys suffered a fall at the start of the race, which left him in last place on the first lap. It was a tough break and the going from there was tough. He eventually finished in 35th place, just over 11 minutes behind the winner.Just how tough was the competition? Consider the case of France’s Jean-Christophe Peraud. He raced for AG2R La Mondiale at the recent Tour De Franc where he finished in 44th place overall out of the 153 finishers. At Hadleigh Farm, he was the 29th of 42 finishers.Men’s marathonThe only other South African representatives in action on the final day were Lusapho April, Stephen Mokoka and Coolboy Ngamole in the men’s marathon.April was the highest finisher of the three, clocking exactly two hours and 19 minutes to finish in 43rd place. Mokoka claimed 49th place, less than a minute later, while Ngamole failed to finish.Uganda’s Stephen Kiprotich raced to victory in 2:08:01 to win his country’s first medal since John Akii-Bua captured the 400 metres hurdles title in Munich 40 years ago in a world record time.last_img read more

first_imgJohannesburg has undertaken mitigation and adaptation measures to combat climate change, in particular, its bus rapid transit system. (Image: Media Club South Africa)• Mike MarinelloDirectorGlobal Communications+1 917 683 [email protected] DavieWhen it comes to climate change, cities are “shifting the global conversation” and are taking action to combat the problem. The leading cities are also dedicated to working together on the issue, according to the C40 Cities Climate Leadership summit.This is a key finding in the Climate Action in Megacities Volume 2.0 (CAM 2.0) report, which was released last week at the summit in Johannesburg. “Mayors have real power to cut emissions and improve climate resilience, and they are taking action,” said the new C40 chair, Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes. “C40’s networks and efforts on measurement and reporting are accelerating city-led action at a transformative scale around the world.”C40 is a network of megacities around the world working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address the local and global impact of climate change. It consists of 66 cities, seven of which are African. These cities are home to 600 million people; they produce 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and 21% of world gross domestic product. For three days last week, representatives from some 45 of them attended the summit. Among them were more than 18 mayors, including Joburg’s Executive Mayor Parks Tau. Tau was the host of the event.“What happens in C40 cities matters to the whole world,” reads the CAM 2.0. “In the continued absence of tangible outcomes from inter-governmental efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it is increasingly significant that mayors of the world’s greatest cities are taking concrete actions that demonstrate that preventing catastrophic climate change is possible.”The first CAM report was published in 2011. The key findings of CAM 2.0 include:• Reported action by cities has nearly doubled since 2011, with more than 8 000 climate actions now undertaken;• That 98% of cities recognise that climate change presents significant risks to their populations and infrastructure;• There is successful collaboration and learning between cities, with, for instance, a 500% increase in cities implementing bike-sharing schemes, up from six in 2011 to 36 in 2013; and,• A bus rapid transit system has been implemented in 29 cities, 13 in the southern hemisphere, and 16 in developed countries.“By using data to show what works – and what’s possible – cities can inform the global conversation on climate change and contribute to aggressive national targets to reduce emissions,” said Michael Bloomberg, the outgoing C4 chair and three times mayor of New York City. He has since been appointed president of the C40 board.Key findingsKey findings in some of the important sectors in CAM 2.0 include finance and economic development; adaptation and water; energy supply and efficiency; sustainable communities; and transport.Regarding finance and economic development, 47% of cities have established funds to invest in energy efficiency, renewable energy or carbon reduction projects. Over 50% of planned interventions are in the pilot stage. Cities are taking climate adaptation seriously, with 98% of them recognising it as a significant risk. Some 80% of cities are subsequently allocating funding and 83% are allocating staff resources to develop solutions.The waste-to-energy process is a cross-sector success, with cities reporting the highest proportion – at 64% – of significant actions, including capturing methane gas at landfills and generating low carbon energy through treatment at waste facilities. Some 92% of cities taking action on landfill management are implementing gas-to-energy programmes. About one-third of energy supply actions planned for future expansion will focus on energy generation from waste.In addition, 90% of cities are taking action on outdoor lighting to reduce emissions from street lights, at the same time introducing smart street lighting technology. Insulation and monitoring energy usage in buildings are also the focus of 69% of cities’ actions.C40 cities are implementing more than 350 actions on sustainable community development, with a trend towards more transformative actions rather than just pilots or proposed actions. Some 76% of cities plan to expand community development action already in progress, indicating that cities are accelerating their response to climate change.The greatest increase in reported actions was in the transport sector, where there has been a 150% increase in actions compared to 2011. Cities are taking 1 534 actions in transport, 873 of which are in private transport and 661 in mass transit. Some 40% are to promote walking and cycling, more than any other action in private transport.“A global network, now 63 [revised to 66] members strong, our cities are informing and shifting the global conversation on climate change because they have shown themselves to be uniquely capable of devising and implementing climate change solutions – both reducing emissions and increasing urban resilience,” writes Bloomberg in the foreword to the report.last_img read more

first_imgIcebreaking LNG carrier Christophe de Margerie has commenced the commercial voyage carrying the first cargo of liquefied natural gas produced at the Yamal LNG plant.The vesse, owned by Russian shipping company Sovcomflot, completed its first Yamal cargo loading at the Port of Sabetta, Yamal Peninsula, on December 8.“This is a remarkable day for us all. I congratulate all those who worked on this project, on this wonderful occasion, the first loading of a new tanker…,” Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, said.“This is an extremely important sector for Russia. This is not just an important event in our country’s energy sector, or gas production and liquefaction. This is a more ambitious project. What I mean is that we are faced with the enormous task of developing the Arctic and the Northern Sea Route.”The event marks “a milestone moment” in the history of the development of the Russian Arctic, according to Sergey Frank, President & CEO of Sovcomflot.“Never before have merchant vessels of such a heavy tonnage been able to operate in such extreme navigational and ice conditions, as the ones at Yamal, independently and year-round,” Frank added.Christophe de Margerie is the first in a series of 15 icebreaking LNG carriers ordered for the Yamal LNG project to transport LNG year-round in the challenging ice conditions of the Kara Sea and Gulf of Ob.The vessel is capable of sailing independently through ice of up to 2.1 metres thick. It has been assigned an ice class Arc7, the highest ice class amongst existing merchant vessels.Christophe de Margerie docked at the Yamal LNG terminal on March 30 after completing its ice trials.Image Courtesy: SCFlast_img read more

The NCAA has fired Abigail Grantstein, who was the lead investigator in the Shabazz Muhammad case, according to CBSSports.com on Thursday.Grantstein’s firing comes a month after a woman informed the Los Angeles Times that she heard Grantstein’s boyfriend talking about the case on an airplane flight. Grantstein’s boyfriend mentioned how Muhammad would never be cleared to play for UCLA Bruins this season.Muhammad initially had been ruled ineligible to play at the start of the season and was forced to sit out the first three games of the season. The NCAA conducted an investigation about impermissible benefits the 6-foot-6 guard was determined to have accepted.During Grantstein’s lengthy investigation for the NCAA, they uncovered Muhammad had received travel expenses and lodging during two unofficial visits during his recruitment. Robert Orr, Muhammad’s attorney, said those visits were to North Carolina and Duke and were paid for by Benjamin Lincoln, a financial adviser and friend of Muhammad’s family.The three games that Muhammad sat out were deemed as his suspension after Bruins filed an appeal. His family also had to pay back about $1,600 dollars.“UCLA acknowledged amateurism violations occurred…” the NCAA said in a statement last month. “The university required the student-athlete to miss 10 percent of the season (three games) and repay approximately $1,600 in impermissible benefits.”Sources close to CBSSports.com reported that Grantstein’s job was on the line when they were made of known of Grantstein’s boyfriend conversation.Muhammad is a projected first-round lottery pick in June’s NBA Draft. He is currently averaging 17.8 points and 4.8 rebounds a game since his suspension.Grantstein was a member of the NCAA’s Basketball Focus Group and worked on the cases centered around the amateur status of elite prospects. She worked on the high-profiled case of Kansas’ Josh Shelby.The NCAA has yet to release a comment on the firing of Grantstein. read more

first_img Posted: May 3, 2019 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsPOWAY (KUSI) – A massive show of love and support in Poway tonight as members of the Chabad of Poway synagogue arrived to observe their first Sabbath since last Saturday’s deadly shooting.KUSI’s John Soderman is in Poway with more on this story.Earlier today: 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsPOWAY (KUSI) – When sundown comes, Shabbat will begin, the start of the Jewish Sabbath. Tonight, there were special prayers of remembrance all across San Diego for the victims of the synagogue shooting in Poway.KUSI’s Sasha Foo has more on the story. KUSI Newsroom, KUSI Newsroom center_img May 3, 2019 Chabad of Poway observes first Sabbath since Saturday’s deadly shooting Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

first_imgThe House version of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill will be aligned with that chamber’s budget resolution, allowing DOD to tap the tens of billions of dollars in extra funds stashed in its war account for requirements that ordinarily would be funded in the department’s base budget.“I’m not too wrapped up in the label on the account,” Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said last week before his panel’s subcommittees began marking up the annual policy bill.House and Senate conferees are close to reaching agreement on a compromise budget resolution calling for the allocation of $96 billion to DOD’s overseas contingency operations (OCO) account, a $38 billion boost over the amount in the Pentagon’s budget request. With DOD’s base budget subject to the Budget Control Act spending caps, the House and Senate Budget committees decided shifting base budget needs to the war account was the easiest way to loosen the pressure on defense spending in FY 2016.Funding to bolster operations and maintenance accounts is a strong candidate to be shifted to the OCO, Thornberry told reporters, reported CQ Roll Call. The committee plans to exercise the same level of oversight over the OCO budget as it does over the base budget, he added.Relying on the war account is hardly a perfect solution for funding the military, primarily because it makes it difficult for defense officials to plan more than one year ahead as there is no certainty as to how much OCO funding will be allocated after FY 2016. But with increased pressure from defense hawks to offer the Pentagon budget relief next year, congressional leaders viewed using the war account as an overflow valve for defense spending as the most expedient solution. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more