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South Africa’s anti-smacking law: lessons from New Zealand

first_imgBusinessTech 28 October 2017Family First Comment: Supporting parents in South Africa against an ideologically-flawed smacking ban!Family First NZ, a leading family group in New Zealand, is warning South African families that a smacking ban will do more harm than good by criminalising good parents, and harming children and families with little effect on the real issue of child abuse.“A decade on from the passing of the controversial anti-smacking law in New Zealand, the law has maintained its very high level of opposition, but most significantly the law has had a ‘chilling’ effect on parenting and rather than tackling rotten parents who are abusing their children, it has targeted well-functioning parents,” said Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.“An independent legal analysis at the end of 2014 by a prominent NZ public lawyer of court cases involving prosecutions for smacking found that statements made by politicians that the smacking ban would not criminalise ‘good parents’ for lightly smacking their children are inconsistent with the legal effect and application of the law.”A report at the beginning of last year analysing the 2007 anti-smacking law, “Defying Human Nature: An Analysis of New Zealand’s 2007 Anti-Smacking Law”, found that there was not a single social indicator relating to the abuse of children that had shown significant or sustained improvement since the passing of the law.Police statistics show there has been a 136% increase in physical abuse, 43% increase in sexual abuse, 45% increase in neglect or ill-treatment of children, and 71 child abuse deaths since the law was passed in 2007.A survey this year found that two out of three New Zealanders said they would flout the law.An earlier survey in 2011 – four years after the law was passed – found that almost a third of parents of younger children say that their children have threatened to report them if they were smacked, and almost one in four parents of younger children say that they have less confidence when dealing with unacceptable behaviour from their children.“New Zealanders predicted all of this before the law was passed, but their concerns were ignored. The politicians and anti-smacking lobby groups linked good parents who smacked their children with child abusers, a notion roundly rejected – and still rejected – by NZ’ers,” said McCoskrie.“The anti-smacking law assumes that previous generations disciplined their children in a manner that was so harmful that they should now be considered criminals. But anti-smacking laws are problematic because they contradict many adults’ own childhood experiences with discipline and their long-term outcomes.”“We would warn South African parents that this law will harm and rip apart families. Even just an investigation – without prosecution – by the police or social services is hugely traumatic and destabilising to families.”“The supporters of smacking bans such as the UN are influenced by political ideology rather than common sense, good science and sound policy-making. Parents use occasional smacking because it works and it’s appropriate. Criminalising good parents who simply want to raise law-abiding and responsible citizens is bad law-making,” said McCoskrie.https://businesstech.co.za/news/government/207817/south-africas-anti-smacking-law-lessons-from-new-zealand/SA smacking ban will do more harm than good, says NZ groupIOL 30 October 2017Family First NZ, a leading family group in New Zealand, is warning South African families that a smacking ban will do more harm than good by criminalising good parents, and harming children and families, with little effect on the real issue of child abuse.“A decade on from the passing of the controversial anti-smacking law in New Zealand, the law has maintained its very high level of opposition; but, most significantly, the law has had a ‘chilling’ effect on parenting, and rather than tackling rotten parents who are abusing their children, it has targeted well-functioning parents,” says Bob McCoskrie, the national director of Family First NZ.“An independent legal analysis at the end of 2014 by a prominent New Zealand public lawyer of court cases involving prosecutions for smacking found that statements made by politicians that the smacking ban would not criminalise ‘good parents’ for lightly smacking their children are inconsistent with the legal effect and application of the law,” he said.A 2016 report analysing the 2007 anti-smacking law, “Defying Human Nature: An Analysis of New Zealand’s 2007 Anti-Smacking Law”, found there was not a single social indicator relating to the abuse of children that had shown significant or sustained improvement since the passing of the law. Police statistics showed a 136 percent increase in physical abuse, a 43 percent increase in sexual abuse, 45 percent increase in neglect or ill-treatment of children, and 71 child abuse deaths since the law was passed in 2007.A 2017 survey found that two out of three New Zealanders said they would flout the law. An earlier survey in 2011, four years after the law was passed, found that almost a third of parents of younger children say their children have threatened to report them if they were smacked, and almost one in four parents of younger children say they have less confidence when dealing with unacceptable behaviour from their children.“New Zealanders predicted all of this before the law was passed, but their concerns were ignored. The politicians and anti-smacking lobby groups linked good parents who smacked their children with child abusers, a notion roundly rejected – and still rejected – by New Zealanders.“The anti-smacking law assumes that previous generations disciplined their children in a manner that was so harmful that they should now be considered criminals. But anti-smacking laws are problematic because they contradict many adults’ own childhood experiences with discipline and their long-term outcomes,” says McCoskrie.“We would warn South African parents that this law will harm and rip apart families. Even just an investigation, without prosecution, by the police or social services is hugely traumatic and destabilising to families. The supporters of smacking bans, such as the UN, are influenced by political ideology rather than common sense, good science and sound policy-making.“Parents use occasional smacking because it works and it’s appropriate. Criminalising good parents who simply want to raise law-abiding and responsible citizens is bad law-making,” according to McCoskrie.https://www.iol.co.za/lifestyle/family/parenting/sa-smacking-ban-will-do-more-harm-than-good-says-nz-group-11770446Keep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

Update on the latest sports

first_imgMore sporting events affected by spreading virusUNDATED (AP) — A Division III men’s basketball NCAA Tournament game at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University is believed to be the first U.S. sports event held without fans because of the new coronavirus.Yeshiva University tipped off against Worcester Polytechnic Institute Friday afternoon in an empty gym occupied only by players, employees and media members in the first-round game.Johns Hopkins said it was “prudent” to take this step after Maryland’s recently confirmed COVID-19 cases and CDC guidelines for large gatherings.In other sports news involving the virus: The agent says details of the decision are expected to be released next week, adding that Lawson was awarded around $10,000 to help offset his legal fees.Lawson was notified in August 2018 that he tested positive for a substance frequently used in the U.S. to promote the growth of beef cattle. The agent said Lawson ate what they believe to be tainted beef at a Japanese restaurant in Arkansas before the drug test.The drug test has prevented Lawson from competing for 19 months.OHIO STATE-TEAM DOCTOROhio State settling some suits over doc abuse; cost unclear — Kristaps Porzingis (KRIHS’-tahps pohr-ZIHN’-gihs) had his fifth straight game with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, providing 26 and 11 as the Mavericks clobbered the Grizzlies, 121-96. Luka Doncic (DAHN’-chihch) added 21 points for Dallas, which outscored Memphis, 34-16 in the third quarter and moved 14 games over .500 for the first time this season.— Domantas Sabonis (doh-MAHN’-tahs sah-BOH’-nihs) shot 11-for-14 while contributing 24 points and 12 rebounds to the Pacers’ 108-102 decision over the Bulls. Victor Oladipo (oh-lah-DEE’-poh) scored 16 in Indiana’s fifth win in six games after missing the previous two games because of a sore right knee.— Jrue (jroo) Holiday dropped in 20 points and Brandon Ingram missed 15 of his first 17 shots before scoring five points over the final 62 seconds of the Pelicans’ 110-104 victory against the Heat. New Orleans rookie Zion Williamson scored 17 points, ending his string of 20-point performances at 13.— Caris LeVert recorded a triple-double of 27 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in sending the Nets to a 139-120 pounding of the Spurs. Brooklyn rang up 75 points in the first half, put eight players in double figures and led by as much as 33 in front of former Net Julius Erving, one of the greatest players in franchise history.— Aron Baynes established career highs with nine 3-pointers and 37 points as the Suns beat the Trail Blazers, 127-117 to end a four-game losing streak. Baynes was 9 of 14 from long distance and 12 of 23 overall while also grabbing 16 rebounds. Elsewhere on NHL ice:— Connor Hellebuyck (HEH’-leh-buhk) picked up his league-leading sixth shutout of the season by handling 29 shots in the Jets’ 4-0 win over the Golden Knights. Patrik Laine (LY’-nay) and Nikolaj Ehlers (NIH’-koh-ly EE’-lurz) each had a goal and an assist, while Kyle Connor added his team-high 36th goal to help Winnipeg prevent Vegas from padding its two-point lead over Edmonton in the Pacific Division.— Matthew Tkachuk (kah-CHUHK’) assisted on goals by Johnny Gaudreau, T.J. Brodie and Mikael Backlund in the Flames’ 3-2 win against the Coyotes. Calgary has gone 6-3-1 in its last 10 to move within three points of the Pacific Division-leading Knights.— Tyler Bertuzzi and Robby Fabbri (FAB’-ree) scored to give the Red Wings a 2-0 lead in a 2-1 victory over the Blackhawks. Jonathan Bernier stopped 32 shots for Detroit, which has a league-low 37 points.MLB-NEWS Update on the latest sports Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNBA-SCHEDULEJazz beat Celtics in BostonUNDATED (AP) — The Boston Celtics have suffered their third straight home loss to fall two games behind Toronto for the second seed in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. Defending Charles Schwab Cup champion Scott McCarron and Ken Duke are tied for second.GOLF-PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOMSorenstam, Player to be White House honoreesWASHINGTON (AP) — The White House has announced that World Golf Hall of Famers Annika Sörenstam and Gary Player will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom during a White House ceremony on March 23.Player won 24 PGA Tour events and 118 international tournaments. Sörenstam completed her LPGA career with 72 tournament victories. Cuban twice walked onto the court to challenge officiating calls during the Mavericks’ loss to Atlanta on Feb. 22. The league says Cuban spoke to reporters in the arena after the game and tweeted several times that night and into the next day with comments that were highly critical, personal and demeaning to the league and its officiating staff.The NBA announced that the Mavericks’ protest of that game was rejected Friday. The league also sent a memo to teams reminding them of rules that govern conduct of owners, coaches and other team personnel during games.In other NBA news:— The Lakers have signed guard Dion Waiters, who had been a free agent since Memphis waived him last month. He was let go by the Grizzlies three days after acquiring him from Miami in the three-team trade that landed Andre Iguodala (ih-goh-DAH’-lah) (ihg-ah-DAH’-lah) with the Heat. Waiters was suspended three times while playing only three games for Mami, but his 3-point shooting prowess could be valuable as the Lakers head to their first playoff appearance since 2013.T25 MEN’S BASKETBALL-SAN DIEGO STATE/BOISE STATE Woods decided at the last minute not to play the World Golf Championships event in Mexico and has skipped last week’s Honda Classic and this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, where he has won a record eight times.PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS-HOAG CLASSICQualifier leads at Newport BeachNEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Monday qualifier David Morland IV fired a 10-under 61 at Newport Beach Country Club to take a two-stroke lead in the PGA Tour Champions’ Hoag Classic.Morland had five birdies on each nine, closing with a birdie on the par-5 18th. He was a stroke off the course record set by Tom Purtzer in 2004 and matched by Nick Price in 2011 and Duffy Waldorf in 2015. — The Magic rolled to a 132-118 win over the Timberwolves as Nikola Vucevic (VOO’-she-vihch) had 28 points and 12 rebounds to lead Orlando. Markelle Fultz added 24 points for Orlando, which played most of the second half without coach Steve Clifford due to illness.— Bradley Beal shot 7-for-10 from 3-point range while scoring 35 points for the Wizards in a 118-112 win against the Hawks. Davis Bertans added 17 points and Jerome Robinson had 14 for Washington, which was 15 of 31 from beyond the arc.NBA-NEWSNBA fines Cuban, sends teams memo on proper conductUNDATED (AP) — The NBA has fined Dallas owner Mark Cuban $500,000 for “public criticism and detrimental conduct” regarding officiating. Yanks’ Judge has broken ribUNDATED (AP) — New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge has a broken rib that could require surgery, leaving doubt when he’ll be back in the lineup.Manager Aaron Boone says he thought the star right fielder hurt himself making a diving catch late last season. Judge will rest two weeks while recovering from the stress fracture to his first right rib. He hasn’t played in any spring training games while dealing with soreness in his right pectoral muscle and shoulder.Since winning the 2017 AL Rookie of the Year award, Judge has been limited to 112 games in 2018 because of a broken right wrist and to 102 games last year due to a strained left oblique.In other MLB news: Mike Conley Jr. nailed six 3-pointers and dropped in 25 points to carry Utah past the Celtics, 99-94 in Boston. Jordan Clarkson finished with 17 points to help the Jazz overcome Marcus Smart’s 29 points.Kemba Walker had 13 points and seven assists for the Celtics, who were without injured forwards Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward.The win gives Utah sole possession of fourth place in the West, a half-game ahead of Houston.Checking out Friday’s other NBA action:— Chris Paul had 21 points and 12 assists as the Thunder hammered the Knicks, 126-103. Danilo Gallinari had a team-high 22 points for Oklahoma City, which outscored New York in each quarter and stayed 1 ½ games behind Utah for the fourth seed in the Western Conference. — Christian Yelich (YEH’-lihch) has finalized a $215 million, nine-year contract with the Milwaukee Brewers. His new deal adds seven years and $187.25 million to his current contract. Yelich won the NL batting title and MVP award in 2018 as the Brewers reached Game 7 of the NL Championship Series.— One day after signing with the Red Sox, pitcher Collin McHugh says he regrets he didn’t do more to stop the Astros from breaking sign stealing rules in 2017 and 2018. McHugh is worried about the impact of the Astros’ actions on young fans. He said pitchers were led to believe other teams were stealing the Astros’ signs.— Amid widespread concern about the coronavirus, Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish decided to be extra careful after he developed a cough this week. The Japanese right-hander visited with at least two doctors and stayed away from the team for a day before throwing three innings in a simulated game. Darvish said he feels good now, but he’s still coughing a little bit.— Diamondbacks infielder Domingo Leyba has been suspended 80 games for a violation of baseball’s performance-enhancing drug program. The 24-year-old from the Dominican Republic played 21 games with the Diamondbacks last season, hitting .280 with five RBIs.— Tim Tebow has been reassigned to minor league camp by the Mets after going 2-for-13 in spring training, including his first extra-base hit in four years of exhibition play. The 32-year-old outfielder batted .163 in 77 games last season at Triple-A Syracuse in his second straight injury-shortened season. NFL-NEWSPay bump for Chargers’ EkelerUNDATED (AP) — Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (EHK’-lur) has been rewarded with a four-year, $24.5 million contract that includes $15 million guaranteed.Ekeler had a breakout season while scoring 11 touchdowns for the Chargers last season, finishing seventh in the league and fourth in the AFC this season with 1,550 scrimmage yards. He has gone from an undrafted rookie in 2017 to special teams standout before becoming a featured part of the Los Angeles backfield.PGA-BAY HILL Associated Press March 6, 2020 Hatton, Kang share Palmer leadORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Tyrrell Hatton and Sung Kang are co-leaders at the midway point of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.Hatton fired a 3-under 39 and Kang shot a 68 that puts them 7 under through two rounds, one stroke ahead of Danny Lee.Matt Every ballooned to an 83 that allowed him to join the wrong list in PGA Tour annals by going from the 18-hole lead to the weekend off.Rory McIlroy is two strokes back following a 73, tying him with Harris English and Sungjae Im. Aztecs reach conference title game againLAS VEGAS (AP) — Fifth-ranked San Diego State is 30-1 after advancing to the Mountain West Tournament title game for the third straight year.Malachi Flynn had 22 points, five rebounds and five assists as part of the Aztecs’ 81-68 comeback win over Boise State. San Diego State trailed by 16 with about five minutes left in the first half before outscoring the Broncos, 64-31 the rest of the way.KJ Feagin added 21 points and six rebounds for the Aztecs, who made 15 3-pointers and shot 49.1% from the field.NHL-SCHEDULE Devils surprise BluesUNDATED (AP) — The St. Louis Blues’ eight-game winning streak has been stopped by an unlikely team.Dakota Mermis scored his first NHL goal and fellow defenseman Connor Carrick got his first of the season as the Devils doubled up the Blues, 4-2.Cory Schneider made 31 saves to help the worst team in the NHL’s Metropolitan Division end a 12-game skid against the defending Stanley Cup champions.Vince Dunn and Jaden Schwartz scored for the Blues, whose winning streak began with a 3-0 victory over New Jersey on Feb. 18. NHL-OBIT-HENRI RICHARDHabs great Henri Richard diesMONTREAL (AP) — Former Montreal Canadiens star Henri Richard (ahn-REE’ ree-SHAHRD’) has died at 84 following a battle with Alzheimer’s disease.The speedy center won a record 11 Stanley Cups during a 20-year career spent entirely with the Canadiens from 1956-75. Richard played a team-record 1,256 regular-season games and is third in club history with 1,046 points.VIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTS Jason Day had to withdraw after five holes Friday because of back issues that have hampered him in recent years.PGA-PLAYERS-WOODSTiger still not ready, will miss The Players ChampionshipORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Tiger Woods will miss The Players Championship for the first time when not recovering from any of his nine surgeries.His agent says Woods is still bothered by a back issue but adds that it’s not a long-term concern. — The NHL has sent a memo to teams urging players to limit contact with fans because of the coronavirus outbreak. The move follows a similar directive this month by the NBA, which has told its players to stop high-fiving fans and strangers and avoid taking items for autographs.— Chicago State plans to send its men’s and women’s basketball teams to Las Vegas for the WAC Tournament next week after canceling regular-season games because of concerns about the spread of the virus.TRACK AND FIELD-LAWSON CLEAREDLawson cleared for competitionUNDATED (AP)— American long jumper and sprinter Jarrion Lawson has been notified by the Court of Arbitration for Sport that he has been exonerated of a doping offense, according to his agent. COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State has reached an unspecified settlement with nearly half of the roughly 350 men who say they were sexually abused decades ago by a team doctor who was jokingly known among some athletes by nicknames like “Dr. Jelly Paws.”The settlement is the first for accusers of the late doctor, Richard Strauss, who they say groped and otherwise mistreated students for two decades while school officials who knew of concerns did little to stop him. Strauss died in 2005.Ohio State wouldn’t disclose the dollar amount.last_img read more

The Latest: Bach says future may see fewer sports events

first_imgThe Italian sports minister says it is increasingly unlikely the soccer season will resume.Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte announced Sunday that professional sports teams can resume training on May 18. That means Serie A could resume playing games in June.But Vincenzo Spadafora tells Italian television channel LA7 that “resuming training absolutely does not mean resuming the season.”He adds that he sees “the path to restarting Serie A getting ever narrower” and that if he was among the presidents of soccer teams “I would be thinking about next season.”The French government called off the season in that country on Tuesday and Spadafora says that could push Italy to do the same. April 29, 2020 This year’s Vuelta was set to start on Aug. 14. New dates have not been announced.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 The Latest: Bach says future may see fewer sports events Bach cited “financial pressure” on organizers and the need to address climate change and says “we may also have to look more closely into the proliferation of sports events.”The IOC president cautions in a letter to Olympic officials and athletes worldwide “the current health crisis will lead to a long and deep economic crisis” which will affect sports.Bach says “governments must include sport in their economic support programs” so it can be part of a worldwide recovery.The IOC has proposed saving money on staging the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 to help offset the Olympic body’s extra costs of hundreds of millions of dollars because of the postponement.___center_img Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___IOC President Thomas Bach says the future of sports after the coronavirus pandemic might mean fewer international events. ___The Spanish Vuelta cycling race will not start in the Netherlands as originally planned.This year’s race was set to begin in the Dutch regions of Utrecht and North Brabant but the changes in the cycling calendar because of the coronavirus pandemic forced organizers in the Netherlands to cancel the country’s participation.Dutch organizers say the project “had been designed as a big summer party” which would not be able to happen because of the changes in the Vuelta’s original dates. They say they “preferred to request the official departure’s cancellation.”Spanish organizers say they hope to plan a new start in the Netherlands “in the very near future.” Associated Press last_img read more

Q&A – Kudjoe Fianoo: Ex-journalist, failed NPP politician, now AshantiGold champ

first_imgIn his 2008 book “Outliers,” Malcolm Gladwell wrote that “ten thousand hours is the magic number of greatness.”  His examples included:– Bill Gates, who was able to start coding as a teen since he attended a progressive Seattle high school  – the Beatles, who played eight-hour gigs in German clubs long before they invaded AmericaThose opportunities to practice early and often — along with precocious talent — allowed them to respectively invent software and modern rock and roll.Or so the argument goes.  Based on studies in elite performance, Gladwell contended that it’s “an extraordinarily consistent answer in an incredible number of fields … you need to have practiced, to have apprenticed, for 10,000 hours before you get good.” We can’t say for sure if the man we spoke to has chalked the magic number.This week, AshGold were crowned champions. The last time this happened to the team was 19 years ago. And season after season, they’ve chipped at the dream.Maybe, after more than 10,000 hours of trying, AshGold’s time to be perfect, to win a title, was 2015. But if one man, more than any other at the club, embodies their struggle, it has to be the CEO Kudjoe Fianoo. Ten years ago, after failing at politics, he was approached to lead AshGold. Fianoo took the bait.  And the rest, as they say, is history – a history that Joy Sports’ editor Nathaniel Attoh helped him tell on Saturday’s edition of the Joy Sports Link. Here are excerpts. Nathaniel: You were once a journalist? Fianoo: Yes. A trained journalist. I used to write hard-hitting pieces for the Sporting Times and Graphic Sports under a pen name. I stopped because, like Anas [Aremeyaw Anas] now, people were going to great lengths to unmask my identity so I felt I had to stop. Later on, I was betrayed. But I didn’t have any problems like libel because all the things that I wrote about were proven to be spot on.  Nathaniel: How did you feel that day when you lost that title in the 2009/2010 season [when AshGold lost the title on the last day to Aduana Stars] Fianoo: We had actually lost that title earlier when we failed to beat Great Olympics. We drew and we needed to win that game at all cost. When we all thought we would have won that game to take us into the final league game with a five points lead, we failed. Olympics had a very good day. So Aduana came in and won the league on the final day on the head-to-head rule. When the referee called for the end of the game, I was glued to my seat and then my son called me and said: “Daddy, it is over. Let us go home.”Nathaniel: Why did you resign the season before that one?Fianoo: There was a lack of support from AGA (AngloGold Ashanti) and instability. New investors [were] coming in and a whole lot. AGA wanted to offload the club to [former Kotoko CEO] Herbert Mensah and I felt I needed to take a bow. But my resignation was rejected and then I went back. And then I was told the resignation had now been accepted! [So I left and then] I was called to come back, shortly after entering politics and failing, to save the club from relegation. Politics toughened me. I was in a difficult constituency in Keta on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party. I went back to AshGold to prove my critics wrong.Nathaniel: What was your relationship like with [former AshGold boss] David Duncan (below pictured)?Fianoo: The club had made a policy earlier on not to go in for foreign coaches and the club felt David Duncan was the best man for the job as he was fit for AshGold academy system. This was after he had been coach for the nation’s under 17 side. One agreement I had with Duncan was that I will not interfere with technical matters and so would he not interfere with administration of the club. I drew the lines and I only found out the players who were making the starting lineup at 2pm when the players trotted to the field, just like every other fan. If I see a player I like, I ask Duncan’s permission first to send him to the training grounds and if he [Duncan] liked the player, then we would sign him. We separated our roles.Nathaniel: …so you never ‘suggested’ players to your coaches to sign?Fianoo: No, that’s not my job. But like I said if I ever see a player and I feel that he is really good, I will ask permission of my technical guys. One of such was [now national U-23 captain] Lawrence Lartey, who I saw and recommended. All I do is recommend, I never force players on my coaches.  Nathaniel: How was the parting ways with Duncan like?Fianoo: It was not rosy for all of us. We realised the support base in Obuasi had been very expectant for trophies and we had not delivered. Duncan’s character was also one that people feared or hated to work with. Those were some of the challenges we had. At a point, Duncan felt the initial welcome was over. We had recorded some bad results and he had been handed the job with the Meteors so he wanted the concentration. So he called me and said “Chief, I want to leave. Convince the board that I have reached my end and there is nothing new I can do for Ashanti Gold.” I informed the board and later both of us had a nice chat before he left.Nathaniel: What’s the story behind how Bashir Hayford became AshGold coach?Fianoo: I asked some friends of mine to recommend some coaches for us to take over from Yaw Acheampong.And I was told by a friend that [Hayford] was interested in coaching the club, so I had a chat with him. One of them told me Bashir was interested in coaching AshGold.I asked him to set up a meeting both of us in Accra. The flight from Kumasi was rescheduled but I asked Bashir to wait for me just to see if he was really committed to do the job. I looked at his track record and I knew he would be good for the job. I got to Accra two or three hours later and there he was waiting for. And then we had a very nice chat together.When you go the training field, it is like a father and son relationship with the players. Sometimes, management even complain that he is too soft with them but he cracks the whip when he needs to. He is a very good coach and I think that AshGold should do well to keep him. Nathaniel: It’s not been an easy season for all of you?Fianoo: Oh, yes. The surprise is that we’ve won the trophy in the season we haven’t done almost no recruitment at all. When Bashir Hayford started working I called him to my office one day and told him not to approach any player at all because of our financial situation. I didn’t want the case where a player will call a radio station and say we promised him such and such and we didn’t do it. I don’t like that.So, we worked with the talent we had and here we are.Nathaniel: Have you had a time that you wanted a player and you want him to be part of the team?Fianoo: I can recall of a time when I had spotted a player and thought would be good for the club. At that time we needed to revamp the team. There were two of them and they were about to be sent to Hearts of Oak with another player.I requested for the best one. So I took him and the other went to Hearts. Since I had not discussed the matter with [then] coach Duncan, I couldn’t take the player to the training grounds. The player was at the front desk of AshGold for three days before Duncan finally asked why the player was there. I told Duncan, I had not asked for his [Duncan] permission first that is why the player was there. Duncan gave me the permission, sent the player to training and in the evening he came back to say “chief, your player is a champion player.” Then I said if you need him, then I will register him. That is the sort of relationship I have with my coaches including Bashir Hayford.Nathaniel: Have you ever lost out on a good player? Fianoo: Yes, because of social media and the speed at which things move it is now not easy to keep a good player on the negotiation table for too long. When you start the process, next thing you know it is on Facebook or some other place. One example was Malik Akowuah. (below, pictured) A very, very good player. And then we started talking to him. Somehow, it got to social media and next thing we know Medeama had snapped him up. Nathaniel: Speaking of players, how did you manage to keep hold of your best talent or to land a player who everyone else wants?Fianoo: Well, it’s several things really. But the main thing it boils down to is cash. How much can you offer the player? Is there a case of sign-on fee? And you have to be pro-active too, to know which buttons to push. Sometimes, the key is the agent because he has influence on the player. Sometimes, his family is a key determinant so you have to use that direction. Whatever it is, every player is different and you have to study what motivates them and try to offer them. But mostly, we at AshGold convince players by telling them of how sound our structures are, and how reliable our systems are to give them peace of mind and so on.  Nathaniel: Let’s talk about officiating. Have you had times that you strongly disagreed with referees?Fianoo: Not all results can go in my favour. But at one point, I reported a referee that I felt was unfair to the referees’ review panel and then he was suspended. If our football will develop, we need to work with all in tandem, both on the technical side and the administrators too. We need to allow the technicians to do their job and we, the administrators, to do ours. I must tell you that I don’t have any business talking to referees and I always tell my players to concentrate on the field.Nathaniel: …and you have never used your position to influence games?Fianoo: Let me tell you. There have been several times when an AshGold player has come to me and said “boss, this ref didn’t help us today at all.” My answer to them is the same, always. Your job [as a player] is to play well and make sure you put the ball in the net. Put the ball in the net three times and let the ref disallow all of them, then we can say he didn’t help us.   Nathaniel: Tell us about your relationship with the AshGold fans?Fianoo: Now, wherever I pass in Obuasi, they call me the “Champion Chairman”. That is the fans for you. If you do what they want, you are the best. If you don’t, then you are the worst. So you have to learn to live with them. I want to advise fans to support us when we are down and not when it is only rosy. In the stands, Hearts and Kotoko fans sing when the team is down to boost their morale. But in our case, they become quiet when things are not going well. They only sing when we are doing well. We need that support too when we are down.Nathaniel: What kept you going all this while?Fianoo: I had a very accommodating family – a great partner and my children as well. It has been tough combining work and family. I have four children, three girls and a boy. One is a medical doctor, another is in law school. I hope my boy enters the military, although he has an interest in football. I don’t think he has what it takes to survive in the football environment. I don’t want him to venture into it at all.Nathaniel: Why do you think the spectator numbers have fallen?Fianoo: There are other things done elsewhere that we don’t even do here [in Ghana]. I went to the UK and I was at Old Trafford and I could not believe what I was seeing. Out there, physically challenged people like blind people go to the stadium. They are encouraged to come. The basic facilities at the stadiums here are not [available]. Many do not have even have urinals. I can’t stand in the open. We need to get the basics. And we need the players to also increase their skills. You see how the Accra derby [between Olympics and Hearts this season] was packaged to attract lots of fans? We need to continue that for the rest of the games.Nathaniel: What do you think is the problem with Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko?Fianoo: I think that they are in a haste to achieve results but in football you have your ups and your downs. Let your stakeholders understand that you are down and that you would be rebuilding. Hearts did it and it worked for them. They not build the 1964 battalion, that dreaded team, overnight. When the team gelled, you would be praying that they keep your scoreline low. But now we are in a haste. We need to have that patience, [both Hearts and Kotoko] have to work at it and not really on past glory.Nathaniel: What can we do to improve our league?Fianoo: We need to encourage more corporate sponsors to come in and help the clubs. You see, the football landscape this year has been dominated by those owned by mining companies. FA Cup has been won by Medeama, sponsored by Tarkwa Goldfields and then the league by AshantiGold. If we could encourage more of these corporate entities in our catchment areas to get involved, Ghana football will be the beneficiary.Nathaniel: Would you like to come back to possibly as a board chairman?Fianoo: Why not? The last meeting [myself and AshGold] had, I was asked to hang around for about six more months but I will look into that, looking at what I am leaving behind and what I can do in the near future.Nathaniel: Why are you leaving AshantiGold now?Fianoo: Ten solid years. What I needed to do, I feel I have done it. I want to leave on a high and I have delivered the league title. If I had not won the title, I would not have left. I would have stayed until I had won the title. You also have to note that the situation with AGA is not very easy. We are not really agreeing on the direction of the team and so on and so forth.Nathaniel: Will you still be in football even after you resign?Fianoo: Oh, yes. I will continue to be in football. I am a certified match commissioner and I serve on some committees at the Football Association. So I will still be around but not the vigorous running of a club.Nathaniel: Final thoughts, Mr. Fianoo…Fianoo: First, I thank everyone for all these years od work. The media, my colleagues, management and everybody. We still have a lot more to do in Ghana Football. For all these 10 years. I don’t know what to say. I am most grateful to all.–More league reviews* OTI ADJEI: An alternative 2014/15 FCPPL season review* Joy Sports FCPPL Season Review: Stats and numbers round-up * 7 things we learned from #SurvivalSunday* Joy Sports Season Review: Top 10 flops* Survival Sunday: Olympics, Lions relegated as Kotoko ensure safety–The Joy Sports Link airs every Saturday on 99.7FM from 1210pm, hosted by Nathaniel Attoh, @niiattoh5 on Twitter. Interview transcribed by Kwasi Gyamfi (@KG_Asiedu) and Gary Al-Smith (@garyalsmith). Get more updates on Facebook/Twitter with the #JoySports hashtaglast_img read more

US Charge d’Affaires Acknowledges Gov’t in Malaria Fight

first_imgUS Embassy Charge d’Affaires Sheila Paskman has lauded the Liberian government for steady progress made in reducing the malaria mortality rate.In her statement issued on World Malaria Day in Monrovia yesterday, Ms. Paskman said, “Since 2009, Liberia has reduced all-cause mortality among children under five by 18 percent as a direct result of collective investment and action by the government, communities, and partners.”She added that as the world commemorates World Malaria Day, the US Embassy also celebrates with Liberia for achieving this success.The United States, being the leading donor in global health, is strongly committed to working with partners to intensify efforts to free people from the intolerable burden of malaria, said Paskman.However, Ms. Paskman stressed the need for more efforts in combating the disease, noting, “More than 430,000 people still die each year from this preventable and treatable disease; ninety percent of all malaria deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa, and the vast majority occurs in children under five.”She indicated that “more than half of all school-age absences in Africa are due to malaria, and that the disease costs the continent billions of dollars each year in health costs and lost productivity.”Ms. Paskman also acknowledged her government for its continued efforts in supporting the fight against malaria.She said “The U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) continues to be a key partner in the fight against the disease. PMI supports 19 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Liberia, and countries in the Greater Mekong sub-region.”According to her, PMI uses a mix of tools including long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets, indoor insecticide spraying campaigns, artemisinin-based combination therapies, prevention treatment of malaria in pregnancy, and community education campaigns.She said “In Liberia, PMI works in partnership with the Ministry of Health, the national malaria control program, and countless partners like Global Fund and the UN agencies to reach and then maintain universal coverage with long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets for all individuals living in malaria endemic areas. Treated mosquito nets are a highly effective means of preventing infection and reducing malaria transmission.”The U.S. Charge d’Affaires noted that PMI is also helping train professional medical personnel and community health workers to care for people with malaria, and is helping governments take charge of malaria efforts in their own countries.However, Ms. Paskman said there are still more to do in the fight, emphasizing better protection for expecting mothers and their newborns as one cardinal approach.She added that malaria causes serious life-threatening risks for a woman and her baby during pregnancy, and some of the common problems include maternal anemia, miscarriage, prematurity, stillbirth and low birth-weight in newborns.The U.S. Charge d’Affaires further warned:“Safe and effective treatment to prevent malaria in pregnancy is available during antenatal care, and sleeping under a long-lasting insecticide treated mosquito net is vital. Increasing access to health services, especially for the poor, is a sound and sustainable investment that can command great economic returns. Programs to train community health workers to provide treatment for malaria and other childhood illnesses have been successfully scaled up in a number of countries, improving access to care for those least able to seek out those services at health facilities. The health and future of ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬ Liberians is at stake. Reducing and possibly eliminating the malaria burden will be critical to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and will help advance development efforts in Liberia by reducing school absenteeism, fighting poverty, increasing gender parity and improving maternal and child health.“I want to acknowledge my colleagues and counterparts in Liberia, who work tirelessly in communities every day from Monday to Saturday. You are making possible our dream of ending malaria. But we can’t do this alone. And donor resources are not sufficient to reach our targets. We need innovative approaches to financing and increased engagement with the private sector. I call on all partners, businesses and communities to join our efforts to end malaria in Liberia, and worldwide, once and for all.”The observance of World Malaria Day, followed by the launch of the African Vaccination WeekMeanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) says about 3.2 billion people are at risk of malaria. The statement followed the celebration of World Malaria Day and African Vaccination Week celebrated in Ganta yesterday by the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare and the Nimba County Health Team.A dispatch from the director of WHO Global Malaria Program, read by WHO representative to Liberia Dr. Alex Gasasira, said last year 214 million new cases of the disease were reported in 95 countries, with over 400, 000 reportedly dying from malaria.He said since 2000, malaria mortality rate has declined by 60 percent globally and added that in the WHO African Region, malaria mortality rate fell by 66 percent among all age groups and 71 percent among children under five. “The advances came through the use of core malaria control tools that have been widely deployed over the last decade; insecticide – treated bed nets, indoor residual spraying, rapid diagnostic testing and artemisinin – based combination therapies,” he said.He further noted that the efficacy of the tools that secured the gains against malaria in the early years of this century is now threatened.“Mosquitoes’ resistance to insecticides used in nets and indoor residual spraying is growing and so too is parasite resistance of a component of one of the most powerful antimalarial medicines,” he explained.This year’s World Malaria Day is held under the theme, “End Malaria for good and close the immunization gap, stay polio free,” with the slogan: “Pregnant women, go to the clinic for your malaria medicine; parents take your child five times to the clinic or hospital for vaccination before they reach the age of one.”The commemoration started with a parade on the main street of Ganta, followed by an indoor program, where several children were vaccinated to mark the beginning of the African Vaccination Week.Dr. Gasasira maintained that further progress against malaria will likely require new tools that do not exist today and the further refining of new technologies.He said, “Last year, for the first time, the European Medicines Agencies issued a positive scientific opinion on a malaria vaccine.“In January 2016, WHO recommended large – scale pilot projects of the vaccine in several African countries, which could pave the way for wider deployment in the years ahead.” Regarding the African Vaccination Week, it was led and coordinated by the WHO Regional Office for Africa and implemented by countries in the region. The initiative provides a unique opportunity for countries and partners to strengthen national immunization programs through advocacy and partnership.Keynote speaker, Rep. Larry P. Younquoi assured the Ministry of Health and its partners that he is going to lobby with colleagues in the 53rd National Legislature to increase the health budget to end the fight against malaria.Rep. Younquoi’s remark came after Dr. Gasasira said the fight against malaria requires strong political commitment and funding.“Vigorous leadership by the government of affected countries is key, and the government must strengthen surveillance of cases to identify gaps in coverage and be prepared to take action based on the information Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

TRENTAGH WOMAN LAUNCHES CD FOR DOWN SYNDROME IRELAND

first_imgA young Trentagh woman has launched a seven track CD to raise vital funds for Down Syndrome Ireland.Abigail Neely launched the CD in the Lagoon and a huge crowd turned out for the occasion.The CD, which is called Butterfly Fly Away’, can be bought at many outlets in both Letterkenny and Kilmacrennan. Here is a link to follow to find out a little bit more about Abigail and her great CD.   TRENTAGH WOMAN LAUNCHES CD FOR DOWN SYNDROME IRELAND was last modified: April 10th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:ABIGAIL NEELYCDlast_img read more

Zion Williamson in action as NCAA Tournament wraps up first round

first_imgDuke’s Zion Williamson (1) celebrates after Duke defeated Florida State in the NCAA college basketball championship game of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, March 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)The spotlight of the NCAA Tournament shifts to Zion Williamson and No. 1 overall seed Duke.Along with the other 31 teams playing in first-round games Friday.ADVERTISEMENT PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH 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 Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event The Ducks are on a roll after winning their conference tournament title to secure a bid, while the Huskies dominated the Pac-12 all season getting routed by the Ducks last weekend.“I mean, it’s always the next game. Win or lose, you can’t dwell on it,” said the Huskies’ Matiesse Thybulle. “For us, we moved on the second we got off the bus and we’re excited to be here and have this opportunity to play in March Madness.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Nuggets grind out victory over fading Wizards But let’s be real: After the way the projected top overall pick in the NBA draft played during the ACC Tournament, and the rest of the season for that matter, is there anybody that warrants more attention on college basketball’s biggest stage than the Blue Devils’ freshman phenom?“I’m very excited to be here,” Williamson said, “because I watched March Madness as a little kid, and to actually be here … I couldn’t ask for a better situation.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsIt’s not just that he’s playing for the Blue Devils, or coach Mike Krzyzewski, or on a team that many expect to cut down the nets next month in Minneapolis. Williamson even gets to start his journey in his home state of South Carolina against No. 16 seed North Dakota State.Lest anyone think differently, the Bison know what they’re up against. LATEST STORIES Miguel Romero Polo: Bamboo technology like no other MOST READ Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag The Cavaliers, of course, were blown out by Maryland-Baltimore County in the biggest upset in tournament history last season — an epic collapse that they’re ready to put in the past.“We discussed it a lot. We used it as motivation,” the Cavaliers’ Ty Jerome said. “It can take you to a place you’ve never been if you use it the right way. So it’s more about doing what we do, playing with our same edge every single game we’ve played so far this year rather than just knowing we’ve got to make up for last year and playing with anxiousness and anger.”As the tournament cranks back up, here are some of other story lines Friday:ANOTHER WADE-LESS RUN: Kansas State reached the Elite Eight last season without star forward Dean Wade, who was dealing with a foot injury. Can the Wildcats do it again? Wade isn’t expected to play this weekend, and perhaps at all this month, and that means the No. 4 seed in the South Region could be ripe for an upset when it opens against UC-Irvine in San Jose, California.“I mean, we’re a better team (than last year),” leading scorer Barry Brown Jr. said. “We’re just trying to do better things. The Elite Eight run was fun. We’re just trying to take it game by game, day by day, and get better hopefully, doing even more special things.”BRILLIANT BULLS: Buffalo lost just three games, one of them to Marquette, and spent most of the season firmly entrenched in the Top 25. Now, coach Nate Oats’ team can prove it deserved its ranking when the No. 6 seed in the West Region opens against Arizona State in Tulsa, Oklahoma.The No. 11 seed Sun Devils built some momentum with a play-in win over St. John’s.SWIRLING CYCLONES: Iowa State rolled to the Big 12 Tournament title with a victory over Kansas, and Marial Shayok and Co. can score points by the dozen. The No. 6 seed in the Midwest Region gets to prove it against No. 11 seed Ohio State, a team that prefers to lean on defense.“I think the guys have great confidence,” Cyclones coach Steve Prohm said, “and obviously playing against Ohio State, I think our vision and focus will be really good.”PAC-12 PRIDE: The conference that was so maligned all season, and that many thought would be a one-bid league, gets a chance to prove everyone wrong. No. 12 seed Oregon and its new-look lineup of four 6-foot-9 stalwarts opens against fifth-seeded Wisconsin in the South Region, while No. 9 seed Washington gets Sam Merrill and eighth-seeded Utah State in the Midwest. Google Philippines names new country director Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte “We’re aware. We’re human,” North Dakota State guard Vinnie Shahid said. “Anybody that doesn’t think about it or tells you they don’t think about it, they’re lying to you, because we’re human and we do think about it. At the end of the day, the ball goes up and it tips, it’s something we’ve all been doing our whole lives, 40 minutes goes on the clock and it’s a basketball game.”There were plenty of near-upsets in the first round Thursday, but games became known more for the lack of execution down the stretch — think Belmont’s failed bid against Maryland or New Mexico State’s mistakes against Auburn — than any kind of memorable March Madness.That is, until Ja Morant dropped a triple-double and No. 12 seed Murray State routed fifth-seeded Marquette to set up a second-round matchup with Florida State.Perhaps more upsets will come Friday.The games get started with high-scoring but mercurial Iowa against seventh-seeded Cincinnati in Columbus, Ohio. Fifth-seeded Mississippi State will try to avoid an upset at the hands of Liberty in their East Region matchup in San Jose, California, while top-seeded Virginia will try to avoid the sheer embarrassment of losing to another No. 16 seed when it faces Gardner Webb.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more