Olympic gold medal winner and world record holder in the 400m, South African Wayde van Niekerk, says he has a lot more to prove in the sport despite last year’s 43.03 run at the Olympic Games.Van Niekerk, who is set to return to the island for the June 10 Jamaica National Racers Grand Prix set for the National Stadium, also told the IAAF’s Inside Athletics that he wants to pay more attention to the 200m, which he described as his real love.”At the age of 24, achieving a record that’s been there forever, I feel like I still have so much more to prove,” said van Niekerk. “This is the beginning of so much more that I can do as an athlete, so why not believe?””The 200m is my favourite event. It’s why I do track and field, because I want to achieve so much in the 200, but due to circumstances and injuries, I didn’t get the opportunity to get into that door,” van Niekerk added.MORE OPPORTUNITY”But now that I achieved what I have in the 400m, it gives me more opportunity to focus on the 200m and even the 100m. I really enjoy doing both.”The 24 year-old, who also won 400m gold at the World Championships in 2015 has already been busy this season, running 10.10 in the 100m at a small meet in South Africa.”Where I come from, South Africa, you always think United States, Jamaica or Europe. That’s where you need to make it and where you can start breaking barriers,” said van Niekerk.”That’s become a kind of habit in South Africa, where once you finish with school, you go over to the USA.”I always had something deep inside of me telling me ‘you can do it right here in South Africa’ and inspire more South Africans to do it.”
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President Weah with heads of various African Universities – Advertisement – President George Weah has called for greater unity and cooperation amongst African governments, institutions and peoples in every sector of development in order to overcome growing diversities and surmount both internal and external challenges facing the continent, an Executive Mansion has said in a release.According to the release, Weah indicated that the advancement of the continent rests solely on the shoulders of Africans, not external partners, who often come with preconditions.The President recalled how the African Continent and its people endured difficulties towards their emancipation and development, noting that it is high time Africans came together to tap their rich potentials.He spoke on Thursday, April 25, 2019 at his Jamaica Resort during a meeting with heads of several African Universities, who are in Liberia as part of the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM).RUFORUM is a network of 105 universities in 37 African countries. It was founded to galvanize joint efforts by African Universities to contribute to efforts to reduce poverty and improve food and nutrition security in Africa.The Forum also aims to develop human capital for Africa, especially at graduate and post-doctoral levels so that Africa has the requisite capacity to drive its development agenda.At the meeting, the release said, President Weah (a football legend) reflected on collaborative efforts some African footballers made against racism, which was at its highest peak in the 1980s and 1990s.He called on African leaders to stand together to confront common threats, adding that the forum was essential for Liberia in its efforts to attain growth.The President promised to do his best to promote the ideals of RUFORUM. “I will encourage my peers to promote this idea, because it is good for the growth of the African Continent,” he said.“I will do anything that will help our young people to develop,” he added.Weah then welcomed the delegation of university professors, and informed them that research in agriculture, which RUFORUM seeks to advance, was at the core of his government’s development agenda.On behalf of the visiting African professors, George Kanyama-Phiri, vice Chancellor of Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Malawi, congratulated President Weah on his election as President of Liberia, and for maintaining and strengthening good governance and institutional processes.“We want to congratulate President Weah for his government’s focus on strengthening agriculture, and promoting science, technology and innovation for economic development,” Dr. Kanyama-Phiri said.He also commended Weah for organizing a Liberia Higher Education Day to galvanize support and action for the development of the higher education sector. The visitors particularly recalled President Weah’s distinguished (soccer) awards, which they said made Africa proud, and made him a role model for sports and youth development on the continent.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Dr Gavin Cummings confirmed as Chief Hydromet OfficerAfter acting in the capacity of Chief Hydro-meteorological Officer since 2015, Garvin Cummings was recently confirmed in the respective capacity.The Agriculture Minister posited that his performance and representation on the international stage during this time has paved the way for the appointment.He would have joined the Hydro-meteorological Department back in 1997 as a Hydrological Technician and was later named Deputy CHO in 2011.“His outstanding performance in the field and constant academic advancements made way for him to soon be promoted to several supervisory and managerial positions. While serving as the acting CHO, Dr Cummings successfully attended and represented Guyana at a number of national and international weather, water, climate and ozone-related conference,” the Ministry said.Cummings holds a doctoral degree from the University of Genoa; a Master of Science Degree in Natural Resource and Environmental Management from the University of the West Indies; a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of South Wales and a Bachelor of Engineering Degree from University of Guyana.To date, he has represented the department in Germany, Costa Rica, Switzerland, Jamaica and Thailand among other countries.Commenting on his appointment, Cummings said “I’m indeed humbled by this opportunity to serve the people of Guyana through the hydrometeorological service. It is a responsibility that I take very seriously, especially given Guyana’s vulnerability to hydrometeorological hazards. I look forward to continue working with the team here at Hydromet and our partners to advance Guyana’s thrust towards climate resilience and disaster risk reduction, while ensuring that the service adequately responds to demands for high-quality climate services.”He currently functions as the Chairman of the Environmental Assessment Board, the Guyana Water Company and the Environmental Protection Agency.
County and city officials were unavailable for comment Friday evening, but they had dismissed the Bonaventure’s concerns during the public hearings. The hotel raised similar complaints about bed-tax waivers for a hotel at the l.a. live sports and entertainment complex near Staples Center. The hotel decided not pursue a lawsuit there when the city agreed to let the Bonaventure convert 400 rooms into condominiums. Still, the estimated $95 million in taxpayer funds and $30 million in public improvements for Grand Avenue have raised eyebrows. However, city and county leaders, plus the business community, believe the project will create a world-class civic heart for downtown and return those taxpayer investments. Construction on the first phase is expected to begin later this year, with completion in about four years. The project will turn three acres across from Walt Disney Concert Hall into a complex with shopping, restaurants, parks, condos and a luxury hotel. In the first phase, the Related Cos. is developing two translucent glass residential towers designed by architect Frank Gehry. The project will be built on leased public land. email@example.com (213) 978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! As promised, the Westin Bonaventure Hotel filed a lawsuit Friday challenging the plans and tax breaks offered in the $2.05 billion revitalization of Grand Avenue. During public hearings on the project, attorney Christopher Sutton had warned the hotel would fight the estimated waiver of $60.5 million in bed taxes for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel as being unfair to existing hotels and violating existing redevelopment plans for the area. He followed through on the threat Friday, naming in the lawsuit the city, county, Community Redevelopment Agency and dozens of other individuals involved in the Grand Avenue project approval. In the lawsuit, Sutton argued the massive housing, shopping and hotel complex violates the 1970 Bunker Hill Redevelopment Plan by adding density and more development than is allowed in the project area.
BLACKSBURG, Va. – Officials at Virginia Tech on Thursday defended their decision to allow the shooter in Monday’s rampage to return to campus after he was released from a psychiatric facility, even though they were aware of his troubled mental history and potential for violence. Christopher Flynn, head of the campus counseling service, said the university had not been responsible for making sure that Cho Seung-Hui, the student who killed himself and 32 others, received outpatient psychiatric care ordered for him after he was involuntarily hospitalized and reportedly suicidal in late 2005. “The university is not part of the mental health system nor the judiciary system, and we would not be the providers of mandatory counseling in this instance,” Flynn said at a news conference. “This is not a law enforcement issue. He had broken no law that we know of. The mental health professionals were there to assess his safety, not particularly the safety of others.” Review panel Soon after the shootings, university officials and police were criticized for taking too much time to alert students to the danger after Cho killed his first two victims in a dormitory just after 7a.m. On Wednesday, criticism increased after court documents, classmates and professors indicated that Cho had a long history of disturbing and menacing behavior. On Thursday, even President George W. Bush joined the chorus of those questioning whether more could have been done to avoid the tragedy, though he did not specifically mention university officials. In previous cases like that of Virginia Tech, “there have been warning signals that if an adult, for example, had taken those signals seriously, perhaps tragedy could have been avoided,” Bush said at a town meeting in Tipp City, Ohio. “One of the lessons of these tragedies is to make sure that when people see somebody or know somebody that is exhibiting abnormal behavior, to do something about it,” he said. “To suggest that somebody take a look, that if you are a parent and your child is doing strange things on the Internet, pay attention to it.” Also on Thursday, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine of Virginia said the state, rather than the university, would oversee a review panel that plans to examine how the university handled the shootings and the mental health needs of its students. The panel, which Kaine said would seek to make recommendations before classes start in the fall, will be led by retired Col. Gerald Massengill, a former state police superintendent, and includes Tom Ridge, the former secretary of homeland security, Kaine said. “This is a case study of a very tragic incident that has occurred unfortunately in Virginia,” Massengill said at a news conference. “We’re not trying to second-guess anyone with any decision or any action that was taken.” In defending their actions, university officials pointed out that Cho was legally an adult and that a doctor at the psychiatric center in nearby Radford where Cho was sent in 2005 for evaluation determined that he was mentally ill but not an imminent danger to himself or others. “I know that we followed all of our policies correctly in the past, and we acted on information that we had at the time,” said Edward Spencer, associate vice president for student affairs. He added that Cho had lived in a suite with five other students, and “none of them expressed any concern to us of any violence, danger or whatever. I think that gives you a view of the inner world of mental illness.” Police officials said that while the multimedia manifesto the shooter sent to NBC News on Monday provided them with little new information to help their investigation, they were disappointed the media broadcast the hateful diatribe, which officials said provided the killer with a wide platform. “We appreciate NBC’s cooperation, and they’re cooperating with all of the authorities, though we’re rather disappointed in the editorial decision to broadcast these disturbing images,” said Col. W. Steven Flaherty, the superintendent of the Virginia State Police, during a morning news conference. NBC defended its decision to release parts of Cho’s video, saying that it “did not rush the material onto air, but instead consulted with local authorities, who have since publicly acknowledged our appropriate handling of the matter.” The police recovered a Dell laptop computer and a cell phone that appeared to belong to Emily J. Hilscher, Cho’s first victim, according to an affidavit for a search warrant filed on Thursday afternoon. The police have been investigating whether there were any links between Cho and Hilscher. “The computer would be one way the suspect could have communicated with the victim,” the affidavit said. Possible motives Police officials said they were continuing to explore whether Cho had any connection with any of his other victims and possible motives. Flaherty said on Thursday that authorities were finishing the on-scene investigation. Crime scene technicians recovered a total of 17 spent magazines of ammunition, the majority of which were for Cho’s 9mm handgun, a law enforcement official said. “He ended up buying a load of mags from Wal-Mart and Dick’s Sporting Goods,” said the official, who asked not to be identified. “This was a thought-out process. He thought this through.” The students killed on Monday will be awarded posthumous degrees for the degrees they were pursuing, he added. The degrees will be awarded in regular commencement exercises. Of more than a dozen people injured in Monday’s shootings, 10 remain hospitalized. All are in stable condition except one, who is in serious condition.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
If the state fully covers the future obligation with investment funds, that long-term $48 billion liability could shrink to about $31 billion, he said. Chiang said the problem “is not a crisis today” but will require a long-term solution. “These are big numbers, but they are not insurmountable,” Chiang said. “We need not panic or rush to judgment.” Rules of the new Government Accounting Standards Board require state and local governments throughout the country to perform actuarial studies of their long-term liabilities for providing health benefits to retirees. Traditionally, government agencies have funded such benefits when the payments came due, but as health-care costs have continued to jump, accounting experts recognized that better long-term financial planning was needed. At the local level, Los Angeles Unified School District has estimated its long-term liability at $10 billion, and Los Angeles County government estimates its at $9 billion. Some analysts believe the state’s long-term liability is worse than Chiang’s projections. Last year, the state Legislative Analyst’s Office issued a preliminary estimate of up to $70 billion. Former Assemblyman Keith Richman, who now heads a foundation pushing for state pension reform, believes that Chiang’s study underestimated the rate of health-care inflation over the long term. Richman believes that the actual liability for state government pensions could be closer to $100 billion. “Even if it’s $48 billion, which is probably too low of an estimate, it’s still a huge number,” Richman said. “It’s time to address this problem, and it’s time for the special-interest groups who continue to put their head in the sand to help resolve this issue.” Richman’s California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility is planning to introduce a ballot measure within a few weeks to reform the pension and health-benefit system for state employees. The initiative, which the foundation hopes to place on the November 2008 ballot, would raise the retirement age for state and local employees to be consistent with federal Social Security standards. Depending on the job, that could raise retirement ages five to 10 years for government employees, who now in some cases can retire at age 50 or 55. It would also revise the formulas on how pensions are calculated, basing them on a longer-term average to prevent the pension-spiking that occurs when employees earn a higher salary in their final year. The changes would affect only new employees, not those working under the current system. In the past, efforts to reform the pension and health-benefit system have met with stiff opposition from the state’s powerful public employee unions. In 2005, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed switching the state’s pension system to a defined contribution plan, similar to a 401(k). But after the unions charged that he was cutting off benefits to widows of firefighters and police officers, the governor quickly retreated and withdrew his plan. This year, he has taken the more cautious approach of creating a commission to study the problem. “As the governor has said, we have to find the best way to meet these obligations without harming other government programs and taxpayers – or handing the problem off to future generations,” state Finance Director Mike Genest said in a written statement. “That’s exactly what the commission he created is in the process of doing.” Dave Low, an official with the California School Employees Association, said unions would likely resist Richman’s proposal. “I think it’s absolutely a horrible and ridiculous idea,” Low said. “I believe the public will see that as a very draconian and unacceptable statewide ballot measure.” Instead, Low said, most unions likely will be willing to work with the governor through the collective-bargaining process. He said it is a problem best resolved by separate negotiations with unions, rather than by a single statewide solution. Low, who sits on the governor’s pension-reform commission, noted some unions in recent years have agreed to some reductions in retirement benefits. He also noted that more than half of retirees for local government agencies and districts receive no health-care benefits from their former employers at all. firstname.lastname@example.org (916) 446-6723160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO – Over the next 30 years, California taxpayers will have to come up with an extra $48 billion to pay health benefits for state government retirees, according to a new study by State Controller John Chiang. The study, required under new federal accounting rules, found that next year alone, escalating health-care expenses for state retirees will cost taxpayers an extra $3.6 billion. Still, other officials believe the study underestimates the future burden, which they say will range between $70 billion and $100 billion. Whatever it is, Chiang said the massive “unfunded pension liability” is pressuring state government to set aside funds in a long-term investment account, just as it does with its pension system.
Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon has told talkSPORT the only reason Paul Pogba did not join the Spanish giants this summer is because they refused to pay over the odds for the Frenchman.Pogba’s long-awaited return to Manchester United was confirmed on Tuesday morning, with the Premier League club paying £89million to re-sign the player they allowed to leave for a nominal fee just four years ago.But Pogba was also linked with a big-money move to Madrid, with manager Zinedine Zidane making his interest in his 23-year-old compatriot no secret.And Calderon believes the only reason why Real did not follow through with their interest was purely because of money.Speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, Calderon said: “Zidane said many times that he wanted this player, he really likes him.“It think it must be a problem of money. I don’t know if that [£100m] was too much for Real Madrid, or not.“It’s the law of the market, of supply and demand, and you can’t do anything if someone is willing to pay that amount of money.“But it does seem strange, because our current president is very keen every summer to spend a lot of money.“Maybe this year we are not in the best situation to spend a lot of money – I don’t see any other reason.”
Kyle Walker Tottenham defender Kyle Walker is offering “no indication at all” on where his future lies amid reports he is close to a move to Manchester City.After eight years at White Hart Lane, Walker – named in this season’s PFA Team of the Year – could soon be leaving for pastures new.The 27-year-old right-back reportedly wants to leave Spurs after falling out with manager Mauricio Pochettino over game-time and fitness.Man City have been strongly linked with a move, while Manchester United, Chelsea and even Barcelona are also said to be interested.But Walker has insisted the ongoing transfer speculation will not distract him on England duty, as the Three Lions prepare to take on Scotland in Saturday’s crunch World Cup qualifier.“Not at all,” Walker said when asked if the speculation was a distraction.“I mean, you know coming away from club football kind of gives you a little bit of head space.“I am an England player now and I am fully focused on a massive game on Saturday. We need to go and get the three points.”Asked whether he could give an indication on where he would be next season, the right-back told Sky Sports with a laugh: “No, no indication at all.”Pochettino preferred Kieran Trippier for some big matches towards the end of the season, including the north London derby against Arsenal and FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea.Impressive displays on such occasions have led to a first senior England call-up for Trippier, meaning he now stands in Walker’s way at international level as well.“I think it has pushed us both on as players, most definitely,” Walker said of the competition at club level with Trippier.“We get the best out of each other and, even if Tripps plays or I play, we’ve said privately to each other that we will each other on.“I don’t ever say a bad word or wish bad on him because it’s more about the team rather than individual performances.“We’re putting on our England shirt now and whoever gets the nod I am sure the other one will be fully behind it.“I’ve known Tripps since under-19s. We had a tournament with England in Ukraine. I played centre-half and he played right-back, I do believe. You know, it was a friendly rivalry and we got on.“We get along well, we’re two northern boys down south so we bounce off each other like that and we get along really well.” 1
France v Croatia has been a wonderful spectacle #mufc just shows Jose kills players confidence! Pogba on fire in Blue ..— cooksno7 (@cooksno7) July 15, 2018 Hi Einsteins Pogba just killed all the negative comments. Midfielder of the tournament. #MUFC #WorldCup #FRA— Jerry (@JerryEugene) July 15, 2018 One of the standout moments of the crazy game was Paul Pogba’s brilliantly taken goal which put France 3-1 up and giving Les Bleus some much needed breathing space.It was a swift French counter-attack the midfielder started himself with a majestic defence splitting pass to Kylian Mbappe.The ball was eventually given back to Pogba who expertly guided the ball beyond Danijel Subasic with his weaker left foot.And of course many Manchester United fans were raving about Pogba’s goal and display as a whole at these World Cup finals. @paulpogba an elite midfielder doing it on the grandest of stages @ManUtd #GOAT #mufc— Rushikesh (@rushikesh003) July 15, 2018 2 Pogba celebrates his World Cup final goal What a match. France v Croatia has had everything in what has surely been the most entertaining World Cup final in modern times.We’ve had huge quality, moments of madness and a bit of VAR controversy. 2 Pogba take a bow son wow just wow #WorldCupFinal #mufc— Ferdinand (@shngainMUFC) July 15, 2018 2017-18 Season “Pogba focuses far too much on his next haircut rather than his football”Sunday, July 15th 2018: Pogba scores France’s third goal in the #WorldCupFinal. #MUFC pic.twitter.com/MiZH8TPIAq— DanielTyler🦁🦁🦁 (@Daniel_Tyler14) July 15, 2018 POGBA with an absolute worldy of a pass and then finishes at the other end with his weaker foot. Any more doubts about him being world class? #mufc#FRACRO #worldcupfinal— Jamie Allen (@Jamie_Journo) July 15, 2018 Good goal by #Pogba. If only #Mourinho would unleash him at #mufc rather than shackle him with player instructions that call on his weak areas of his game— Simon Wakefield (@SimonWakefield) July 15, 2018 Some fans called on Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho to take note from France boss Didier Deschamps as he has clearly found a way to get the best of the £89million man in Russia.Below you can see some more Pogba tweets from United fans. Think Jose deserve credit for pogba because he has made him a lot more mature despite the strange treatment it seems to have worked #pogba #mufc— Harvey (@VauseHarvey) July 15, 2018