Garden Route’s new national park

first_imgThe beach at Nature’s Valley, with theTsitsikamma National Park in thebackground.(Image: Rodger Bosch,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more freephotos, visit the image library.)Fiona McIntoshFind out more about using MediaClubSouthAfrica.com materialSouth Africa’s Otter Trail, a 42km coastal hike set in the Garden Route of the Western Cape, is considered one of the finest hiking routes in the world, and so popular hikers have to book for it almost two years in advance. The famous five-day trail through the Tsitsikamma National Park is spectacular, but it’s not just the views that take your breath away. Make no mistake, the daily climbs and descents from the sea to the coastal plateau make the 42km Otter Trail a tough challenge.But unperturbed, some bright spark at premier event specialists Magnetic South noticed that the trail is exactly the distance of a full marathon – and so the idea of the Otter Run was born. In September this year some 200 trail runners will line up at the Storm’s River Mouth rest camp and race along the path to Nature’s Valley, with the winners expected to finish in a little over five hours.And some won’t leave it at that.  Although the Otter Run can be entered as a separate one-day event, the real nutters, individual or relay participants in the Southern Storm, will continue along the coast for the next four days on a duathlon of trail running and mountain biking from the end of the run at Nature’s Valley, along the rugged coastline, up and down majestic peaks and steep ravines and through the indigenous forest and open grasslands of the Garden Route before crossing the finishing line in Wilderness National Park.Tsitsikamma and Wilderness, the two national parks that have been chosen to mark the start and end of the inaugural Southern Storm, will also be the eastern and western boundaries of the new Garden Route National Park (GRNP), which was gazetted in March 2009.The new park will comprise some 121 000 hectares, including the existing national parks of Wilderness and Tsitsikamma, the Knysna Lakes area and other land currently under the management of South African National Parks (SANParks), as well as about 52 500 hectares of newly proclaimed land. The areas that now form part of the Garden Route National Park.The GRNP will straddle the Eastern and Western Cape, two district municipalities, Eden and Cacadu, and four local municipalities, George, Knysna, Bitou and Koukamma. Cooperative governance will therefore be essential, as Marthinus van Schalkwyk, South Africa’s minister of environmental affairs and tourism, stressed at the launch of the park.“The new national park is unique, as its administrative and ecological boundaries vary considerably,” he said. “In this context, multi-stakeholder partnerships will be instrumental to successful conservation management.”Current programmes focus on specific areas, or corridors, which include the Western Knysna Heads, the Harkerville-Robberg coastal corridor and the Touw, Hoogekraal, Karatara and Knysna River corridors. But with at least 1 004 private landowners bordering the park the challenge will be coordinating the various stewardship programmes in the years to come.The idea is that residents of the Garden Route will do their bit to conserve the area’s natural heritage – there will be no additional fences and, for the immediate future, it will be business as usual. But the formation of the GRNP will facilitate the regional implementation of important programmes like fire management, alien clearance and land consolidation, while the sharing of resources and management experience, and the integration of current management units, will result in greater economies of scale.The tourism potential of this diverse and internationally renowned area is enormous. The Garden Route is the third most-preferred tourism destination in South Africa, and marketing the GRNP should ensure that visitors discover more that just the well-trodden routes to the premier visitor sites.Tourist facilities will be expanded to include a range of accommodation options such as chalets and forest camping decks while adventurers are spoilt for choice given the vast number of mountain biking, hiking and canoe trails, the superb snorkelling, diving and fishing, and the range of more extreme activities such as abseiling, kloofing and paragliding.The establishment of the consolidated park is part of a long-term strategy to expand South African natural areas under formal protection from 6% to 8% of the country’s total land area. That would increase protected regions from the current 75 000 square kilometres to about 100 000 square kilometres – an area roughly the size of South Korea.“As our parks are some of our most important conservation and tourism assets, we have been steadily increasing spending on parks,” said Van Schalkwyk. “We have invested R411-million [about US$50-million] in infrastructure development for the period 2006/07 to 2008/09 and a further R245-million [$30-million] is being earmarked for the next period. Other financial assistance has increased from R85.6-million [$10-million] in 2004/05 to R205-million [$25-million] in 2009/10.”SANParks is the second largest employer in the region and its chief operating officer, Sydney Soundy, said the Garden Route is one of the conservation body’s critical focus areas in South Africa.“The area plays host to the largest continuous complex of indigenous forest in the country, spanning approximately 60 500 hectares,” he said. “Its aquatic systems, the Knysna estuary and the Wilderness lake areas, are rated number one and number six respectively in the country. The fynbos falls within the Cape Floristic region, which is a designated global diversity hotspot.“To manage this unique combination of diverse biomes with strong tourism and developmental interest will be one of our biggest challenges as SANParks. Here the term ‘conservation without boundaries’ needs to become a way of life, not just for major stakeholders, but also for all residents in the areas surrounding the park.“The Garden Route is fortunate to be part of this process and I believe we will be coining a new conservation model for South Africa.”Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at marya@mediaclubsouthafrica.comRelated articlesSouth Africa’s National ParksWalking for Eden, and elephants The Tour de Kruger – a wild ride Boulders penguins’ promised land Slackpacking in the Cederberg Useful linksSouth African National ParksGarden Route National ParkMagnetic Southlast_img read more

Minister Michael Masutha on the matter of International Criminal Court and Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir

first_imgPresident Jacob Zuma and President Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan discuss strengthening relations between South Africa and Sudan, 2 September 2015. (Photo: GCIS)We have called this press conference to announce the decision taken by Cabinet on Wednesday, 19 October 2016 in relation to the country’s membership to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the pending appeal regarding Sudanese President Al Bashir.The Republic of South Africa is a founder member of the African Union and plays an important role in resolving conflicts on the African continent and in encouraging the peaceful resolution of conflicts wherever they occur anywhere else in the world.In exercising its international relations with foreign countries, particularly with countries in which serious conflicts occur or have occurred, South Africa is hindered by the Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Act, 2 (Act No 27 of 2002). This Act and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court compel South Africa to arrest persons who may enjoy diplomatic immunity under customary international law but who are wanted by the International Criminal Court for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes and to surrender such persons to the International Criminal Court. South Africa has to do so, even under circumstances where we are actively involved in promoting peace, stability and dialogue in those countries.We wish to give effect to the rule of customary international law which recognises the diplomatic immunity of heads of state and others in order to effectively promote dialogue and the peaceful resolution of conflicts wherever they may occur, particularly on the African continent. South Africa enacted the Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Act,  (Act No. 37 of 2001), which provides for the immunities and privileges of diplomatic missions and consular posts and their members, of heads of states, special envoys and certain representatives of the United Nations and its specialised agencies, other international organisations and certain other persons.However, the Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Act, 2002, is in conflict and inconsistent with the provisions of the Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Act, 2001. In order to ensure South Africa’s continued ability to conduct active diplomatic relations, a bill proposing the repeal of the Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Act, 2002 will soon be tabled in parliament. We have already in writing informed the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Chairperson of the NCOP of this Executive decision.In the matter of the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development v The Southern African Litigation Centre (867/15) [2016] ZASCA 17 (15 March 2016), the Supreme Court of Appeal confirmed that in terms of customary international law, heads of state enjoy immunity against arrest. However, the Supreme Court of Appeal found that in enacting the Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Act, 2002, South Africa had expressly waived the immunity of such heads of state and that South Africa was obliged to arrest persons wanted for crimes committed against humanity.In essence, the Supreme Court of Appeal identified the problem which needs to be addressed. The effect of withdrawal from the Rome Statute as well as the repeal of the Implementation Act thus completes the removal of all legal impediments inhibiting South Africa’s ability to honour its obligations relating to the granting of diplomatic immunity under international law as provided for under our domestic legislation. This therefore removes the necessity at least in so far as this aspect is concerned of continuing with the appeal.Written notice to withdraw from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court has been submitted to the Secretary-General of the United Nations in accordance with Article 127(1) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The withdrawal will take effect one year after the Secretary-General has received the notification. South African will remain obligated under the Rome Statute for the duration of the 12 months’ notice period.An application for leave to appeal the decision of the Supreme Court of Appeal set down for hearing at the Constitutional Court on 22 November 2016, will now be withdrawn. This is so, especially as the Supreme Court of Appeal has removed the uncertainty around customary international law in relation to diplomatic immunity in so far as it affects heads of states and others who may be wanted for serious violations of human rights and other serious crimes but who enjoy diplomatic immunity under international customary law.South Africa remains committed to the fight against impunity and to hold those who have committed crimes against humanity and other serious crimes accountable. Our unwavering commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights throughout Africa and elsewhere in the world is further demonstrated by our continued participation in various international and continental human rights instruments.For this reason, South Africa will work closely with the African Union and with other countries in Africa to strengthen continental bodies, such as the African Court on Human and People’s Rights, created to deal with such crimes and to prosecute the perpetrators, whilst at the same time continuing to participate and honour its commitments under international human rights instruments. South Africa will continue to actively promote dialogue and the peaceful resolution of conflicts on the African continent and elsewhere.Enquiries:Mthunzi MhagaSpokesperson for the Ministry of Justice and Correctional servicesCell: 083 641 8141E-mail: Mediaenquiries@justice.gov.zaIssued by:Department of Justice and Constitutional Developmentlast_img read more

How to Become a Building Enclosure Control Freak

first_imgRELATED ARTICLESAll About Water-Resistive BarriersVapor Retarders and Vapor BarriersDo I Need a Vapor Retarder?All About Wall RotQuestions and Answers About Air Barriers Frank Lloyd Wright was a control freak. This was a guy who not only designed houses but also all of the trim details and even the furniture.No, you’re right. That’s not really enough evidence to convict him. The really damning part is that he also placed the furniture exactly where he wanted it in the homes he designed… and expected you to keep it there! If you owned one of his homes, you better hope he never visited and found the furniture out of place. If so, you’d get a good scolding. Then he’d put the furniture back where it was supposed to go. Control freak!Sadly, his personal life was a mess, and his control didn’t extend to some areas where it would have helped more than in the placement of furniture, but let’s focus simply on the idea of control for now. If you design, build, inspect, rate, or verify buildings, I want you to be a control freak, too. Not about furniture — about control layers.One of the biggest knowledge gaps I see in the world of building is the understanding of the properties and uses of the various materials used in building homes. For example, I ask this question a lot in our classes and when I speak: What is the purpose of housewrap?I usually get told that it’s an air barrier or a vapor barrier. I rarely get told what it’s really for. It’s one material you can use as a really important control layer in the building enclosure. But what’s it supposed to control? Become a control freak.Here’s what you want to control in a building:HeatAirLiquid waterWater vaporUnderstand also that controlling doesn’t necessarily mean stopping. Let’s take a look at these and see what materials we can use as control layers for them.Controlling heatThis one’s easy and obvious, right? You use insulation to control the flow of heat across the building enclosure. Yeah, that part’s easy, but there are a lot of choices for insulation materials. Some of them also qualify as air barriers or vapor retarders or both. It’s not a problem doubling up to control heat and air, but you’ve gotta be careful with vapor retarders.The Passive House folks are the total control freaks in this area.Controlling airThis one’s easy in theory, too. Seal up the house as tight as you can. The old myth that a house needs to breathe has been thoroughly debunked. Unfortunately, not everyone has gotten the message. I’ve talked with home builders, even here in Georgia where they have to pass a Blower Door test, who still believe that you shouldn’t air-seal a house too much or you’ll make it ‘too tight.’ Sorry! Not true.Be a total control freak here and get the air leakage as low as you can, as they did in this net-zero home in Tennessee.Controlling liquid waterThis is probably the most important control layer of all. Wait, no, it is the most important control layer because if you screw this one up, your house fails, sometimes quicker than you might imagine. If you’re not absolutely maniacal about being a control freak here, it could well come back to bite you.And this is what hous wrap does. It’s a drainage plane behind your cladding (siding, brick, stucco…) that keeps water away from the more vulnerable materials behind it. It needs to have proper flashing at all openings for windows and doors, be layered in a shingling fashion so water doesn’t get funneled to the back side, and sealed at the seams.Of course, housewrap is only one of many types of drainage plane. You can also use a product like Huber’s Zip sheathing, rigid foam board, or any number of other materials.This is where Frank Lloyd Wright could’ve used some help in being a better control freak. Some of his spectacularly gorgeous buildings had some spectacular liquid water failures. It may be nice to work in a striking-looking building, but if I had to listen to that water dripping into the bucket by my desk all day, it’d drive me crazy. To be fair, though, he didn’t have the kinds of materials to work with that we have today.Whatever you do here, be a total control freak with liquid water.Controlling water vaporThis is probably the most confusing one. A lot of people think housewrap is a vapor barrier. Guess what? It’s not even close! It’s got a permeance well outside the range of even a Class III vapor retarder.And speaking of permeance, be sure you understand the difference between permeance and permeability as well as the three classes of vapor retarders. Go now and read my article about water vapor if this is a mystery to you. Once you thoroughly understand this, it may be clear to you that you don’t even need a vapor barrier.The thing about controlling water vapor is that you sometimes need to stop, and sometimes you need to let it flow. In a really cold climate, we stop it on the inside of a wall but not on the outside. In a mixed-humid climate, like Atlanta, you don’t want a vapor barrier on either the inside or outside.The Perfect WallJoe Lstiburek likes to talk about what he calls the Perfect Wall. It’s got all the proper control layers and puts them in places where the assembly can work in any climate. Check it out. I combobulated the Perfect Wall a while back. (In case you’re wondering, I just got tired of seeing so much discombobulation in the world.)Control the flows!There you have it — a quick overview of your path to becoming a control freak. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. Check out his in-depth course, Mastering Building Science at Heatspring Learning Institute, and follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard.last_img read more

JRU humiliates Perpetual with 33-point rout, holds on to 3rd place

first_imgBrace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH PERPETUAL 52 – Eze 23, Pido 8, Sadiwa 8, Tamayo 3, Mangalino 3, Hao 3, Coronel 2, Ylagan 2, Dagangon 0, Casas 0, Clemente 0, Singontiko 0, Yuhico 0, Lucente 0.Quarters: 17-5, 39-15, 64-39, 85-52. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity.center_img Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Despite the win, Meneses said that the Heavy Bombers should not be complacent going into the last four games of the eliminations.“We have to stay focused. We’re not yet in. Anything can happen and every game counts,” he said. “We can’t be complacent. We should be worried about our team, and all we have to do is do our jobs.”Prince Eze was the lone bright spot for the Altas with 23 points, 20 rebounds, and three blocks, as he failed to get enough support from his locals.The Scores:JRU 85 – Dela Virgen 18, Poutouochi 16, Mendoza 12, Grospe 8, David 8, Teodoro 8, Lasquety 6, Abdul Razak 5, Bordon 2, Mariano 2, Mate 0, Pontejos 0, Sibangan 0, Sawat 0.ADVERTISEMENT Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  NBA: Cavs’ Smith doesn’t mind coming off the bench after Wade’s arrival “It was our defense which was our main weapon earlier. It was our good defense which translated to good offense for us,” said coach Vergel Meneses.Dela Virgen ignited the rout scoring six in the first period to finish the game with 18 points on a 4-of-8 shooting from three along with eight assists and three rebounds.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutAbdel Poutouochi added 16 markers and seven boards, while Jed Mendoza had 12 points, six rebounds, and two assists in the win.JRU remained ahead of pack at solo third place with its 8-6 card, while Perpetual continued to drop in the standings with its third straight defeat for a 4-9 record. Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City View comments Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netJose Rizal University made quick work of Perpetual with an 85-52 blowout to reinforce its hold of the third spot in the NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament Friday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.The Heavy Bombers held the Altas to just five points in the first quarter as they jumped to a 39-15 halftime advantage and extended the lead to as much 35, 83-48, off a MJ Dela Virgen trey late in the fourth quarter.ADVERTISEMENT Read Nextlast_img read more

Patois-Speaking Doll Promotes Jamaica and Culture

first_imgStory Highlights “Wha gwaan…Weh yaa seh… mi come from the beautiful island of Jamaica…wi have the best beaches and sunshine all through di year…nuff respect…to di worl,” are some of the sentiments ‘Toya’ utters to her playmates at the press of a button. The demand for the doll has been phenomenal, with requests for Toya coming in from Estonia, Germany, The Netherlands, Australia, United States of America (USA) and Japan. She is the first-ever patois-speaking doll and is the brainchild of Saffron Jackson, a Jamaican living in the United Kingdom (UK) for the past 15 years. “Wha gwaan…Weh yaa seh… mi come from the beautiful island of Jamaica…wi have the best beaches and sunshine all through di year…nuff respect…to di worl,” are some of the sentiments ‘Toya’ utters to her playmates at the press of a button.She is the first-ever Patois-speaking doll and is the brainchild of Saffron Jackson, a Jamaican living in the United Kingdom (UK) for the past 15 years.Miss Jackson’s dedication to promoting Jamaica’s culture, coupled with her desire to satisfy an existing need, propelled her to tap into the multibillion-dollar toy industry in 2015.“At that time, I was pregnant with my daughter and noticed there was a lack of ethnic toys and black dolls in the UK. So, realising that there was a massive niche for the product in the marketplace, and being a very passionate Jamaican, I thought I needed something that would not just be a black doll, but reflect part of my culture; and so, that is how the Patois bit of it came in,” Miss Jackson reflects.Her creation, Toya, represents an immigrant child who moved to the UK from Jamaica and is excited to tell people about her country, inviting them to experience its rich culture and offerings.“Finding the voice for the doll was pretty challenging… . I had to get someone in Jamaica to try several kids until I found that distinct, authentic voice,” Ms. Jackson tells JIS News.After an 18-month process of market research, identifying potential manufacturers, registering and trademarking her product, her business venture finally materialised, and then she was busy selling dolls to the many eager, excited buyers, just a week after the launch at the Jamaican High Commission in the UK.Her dark-skinned, curly-haired dolls, attired in black, green and gold, are available primarily online at www.zuree.co.uk , amazon, eBay and a few small retail stores in the UK for £50.The demand for the doll has been phenomenal, with requests for Toya coming in from Estonia, Germany, The Netherlands, Australia, United States of America (USA) and Japan.“So, the doll is definitely making an impact across the world, and this is not just because it is a black doll, but a black doll that speaks Jamaican. Jamaica is a brand, and people love the culture and just want to have a piece of it,” Ms. Jackson says.The teacher-turned-doll maker adds that the future looks extremely bright and profitable for her business venture, with a major toy store in the USA now knocking on her door with offers to sell the doll in its online store.“The aim is to get the dolls into major stores and outlets around the world… . I also have other dolls that are non-talking, so the plan is really to compete with the likes of Disney and Barbie, being the first or most popular black doll and merchandise manufacturer in the industry,” she says.She notes that she has expanded her brand, Zuree, to include merchandise such as T-shirts, bags, baby onesies and bibs. She is also thinking of adding rags, towels and sheets to the clothing line.Ms. Jackson has in her collection a talking Rasta teddy bear and ‘girls champs’ dolls dressed in the uniforms of the top-five girls’ teams.“I also plan to do other black dolls that speak other languages, focusing on the African and Caribbean markets,” she says.She adds that a major commitment that she wants to fulfil is to create a ‘Zuree Park’ for children in the Bog Walk area of St. Catherine where she is from that will be fully equipped with swings, slides and all the necessary play outlets.The doll maker also stands true to the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference theme, ‘Partnering for Growth’, having forged business relationships with several Jamaicans.“I try to engage and utilise the services of other Jamaicans, so my logo and website were done by Jamaicans and I will be using a Jamaican company, ‘Patwa Apparel’ to produce some of the clothing for the dolls, and will partner with other Jamaican companies to make sandals for the dolls,” Ms. Jackson tells JIS News.She is encouraging existing and budding entrepreneurs to “seek out new opportunities, take risks, think outside the box and move into non-traditional markets”.“Jamaica has given us so much, Jamaica has made me who I am today and it is important for me to give back to my country. And so, I am promoting the heritage and culture through my dolls,” Ms. Jackson says.“Zuree Limited is going places, I am breaking barriers, and everywhere I go, it is about Jamaica and being proud of who I am,” she adds.last_img read more

Quebec watchdog criticized over investigations of police shootings

first_imgMONTREAL — Rights advocates and victims’ families in Quebec are calling for greater transparency from the province’s independent police watchdog.A civil rights advocacy group, la Ligue des droits et libertes, told reporters today the watchdog’s rules of operation favour police at the expense of victims.The group also questions whether the office, known as the Bureau des enquetes independantes, is as independent as it claims to be.Quebec created the watchdog in 2016 following years of complaints and demands from citizens for an independent bureau to investigate instances when someone dies or is seriously injured during a police intervention.Rights advocates lament the lack of criminal charges that have resulted from its investigations and are calling for a legislature committee to study the office’s first three years of operation.The BEI has initiated 90 criminal investigations of Quebec police officers since it began operating in June 2016. Of those, 42 resulted in no charges and 43 remain open. Two officers have been charged with sexual assault and three files are being studied by prosecutors.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Travel advisory issued for Highway 97 south of Mackenzie

first_imgFor up-to-date road conditions, visit DriveBC.ca. UPDATE: Cpl. Madonna Saunderson with North District Traffic Services said that the travel advisory has been extended to Highway 16 from Bednesti to Crescent Spur because of blowing snow. She added that poor visibility conditions are expected to persist into the evening.MACKENZIE, B.C. — Officials with the Ministry of Transportation have issued a Travel Advisory on Highway 97 south of the Mackenzie Junction.DriveBC.ca is reporting that a Travel Advisory has been issued for Highway 97 from the junction with Highway 39 south of Mackenzie all the way to the community of Stoner, roughly 36 kilometres south of Prince George. The advisory has been issued because of limited visibility due to blowing snow.last_img read more

Dawson Creek officials win this round against rising floodwater

first_imgDAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Officials with the City of Dawson Creek say they’ve managed to stem the rise of floodwaters in the creek at bear’s the city’s name.The City’s General Manager of Development Services Kevin Henderson said that the 17th St. Bridge has reopened after workers were able to divert some of the creek’s water. He said that maintenance workers brought in pumps to divert the flow of water over the culverts where Dawson Creek passes underneath 102nd Ave.Henderson said that the action of the pumps along with a smaller amount of snow melt that travelled downstream into the city yesterday meant crews were able to keep the flow of water from cresting any of the roads in the city. Henderson said he suspects the reason for the so-far intense snow melt is due to the higher than normal snow pack in the Peace Region this year, and because the region didn’t see a mid-winter similar to the past three winters. Henderson added that just because crews beat Mother Nature this time around, that doesn’t mean the city will be getting complacent, as there is still some time before all of the snow still blanketing the Northern Rockies is completely melted.last_img read more

Rs 281 crore cash collection scam found in MP Tax officials

first_imgNEW DELHI: The raids conducted in Madhya Pradesh have revealed a “widespread” and “well-organised” racket involving unaccounted cash of Rs. 281 crore, the Income Tax department said in a statement on Monday.A portion of the cash had been transferred to the headquarters of “a major political party in Delhi”, and this included Rs. 20 crore moved through hawala (illegal transaction) channels from the residence of a senior functionary on Delhi’s Tughlak Road, it added. Income tax officials had raided the residences of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s former private secretary Praveen Kakkar in Indore and former advisor Rajendra Kumar Miglani in Delhi in connection with an alleged hawala case on Sunday morning. The Income-Tax Department raids continued Monday with search teams making seizures of documents and cash, officials said. In another development, Police Monday seized Rs 8 crore in cash belonging to the BJP’s Telangana unit and alleged that the amount was withdrawn from a bank without following the Election Commission’s guidelines and due procedures.last_img read more

No 10 Ohio State wrestling to take on No 15 Virginia Tech

The No. 10 Ohio State wrestling team is looking to build upon its early season success this weekend against the No. 15 Virginia Tech Hokies. The Buckeyes are 3-0 this season after defeating Utah Valley, Old Dominion and North Carolina by a combined score of 102-9 last weekend at the Wrestle for a Cure Duals in Harrisburg, Pa. “We were pleased with their performance,” said coach Tom Ryan. “But there is certainly room for improvement.” The young OSU team lost only two matches in the meet and won 28, led by redshirt freshman Logan Stieber, the No. 4-ranked wrestler in the nation at 133 pounds. Stieber had two pins in his three matches for a perfect 3-0 finish. The Buckeyes finished the meet with four falls, one technical fall and four major decisions. Stieber echoed his coach in saying the team has some work to do to be competitive. “We need to pick up intensity,” he said. “We still have a lot of things to work on, but we wrestled pretty well.” The probable starters for the Buckeyes this weekend include five freshmen, two redshirt freshmen, two redshirt sophomores and one redshirt junior. There is only one senior on the roster. Ryan said the youth of the team is its biggest challenge. “We’re trying to do the toughest thing that I’m aware of in college sports, and that is to have a freshman perform at a national level,” he said. “And that is extremely difficult.” The team will have to grow up in a hurry, as Ryan said Virginia Tech represents the team’s biggest challenge of the season, and this is only the third week of the season. Stieber will be involved in the featured match of the dual as he faces No. 5 sophomore Devin Carter , who finished in the Top 12 at the 2011 NCAA Championships as a true freshman. “Every match is going to be tough in that dual; we’re very similar in rankings in each weight class, so all 10 matches will be tough,” Ryan said. “But (Stieber’s match) is a doozie. Either one of those guys could be in the national finals, or both of them.” Fans are encouraged to wear black to the meet, which will start at 4 p.m. Sunday from St. John Arena. read more