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Warriors GM Bob Myers recounts free agency madness and getting swept up by a gay pride parade

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first_imgLabor Day is upon us, and you know what that means.Barbecues, the last chance to rock those Bermuda shorts, and the hide-bound “What I did over summer vacation” essay.Might as well forget the last one. Warriors general manager Bob Myers has all y’all beat.For starters, he looked on in horror as the Warriors suffered catastrophic injuries in the NBA Finals that dashed their best chances for a three-peat. “July was kind of hectic,” Myers said Tuesday during an appearance on the Joe …last_img read more

Stephen Curry details his injury, rehab process and thoughts on the young Warriors

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first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — Warriors guard Stephen Curry has rewatched the play plenty of times. When Phoenix Suns center Aron Baynes, all 6 feet, 10 inches, 260 pounds, fell onto the 180-pound guard. Curry knew his left hand was broken by the time he reached the bench.“I knew when I couldn’t move my fingers, it was something serious.”Speaking to media for the first time since his injury, Curry said he expects to play again this season. “I definitely expect to be ready to play. I don’t know when, but at …last_img read more

SA key as Africa moves centre stage

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first_imgClimate change and ‘biodiversity footprints’ It is fitting that Africa should play a key role in the search for a global trade-off on climate change, as Africa has the lightest carbon footprint of any region, yet stands to lose most from the impact of climate change. But there is a twist in the tail here. As the industrialised world focuses increasingly on management of the corporate carbon footprint, it may well be that the “biodiversity footprint” – which focuses on maintaining the balance in the entire eco-system – is even more relevant for Africa because of the greater diversity of species on the continent. It may therefore be a priority for African countries to re-consider their growth patterns in order to ensure the preservation of this diversity.Emerging market blocs China, South Africa, India and Turkey are now leading the way in the development of Africa, while traditional trading partners and investors – such as Britain, the US, France and Germany – battle to maintain their share of market. The new grouping of promising emerging markets known as the CIVETS – Columbia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa – already include two countries from the Africa continent. The rest will follow in time, starting with Mauritius, Namibia, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia, Senegal, etc. Africa is fast approaching the tipping-point, but it has not quite registered in the industrialised club of nations. South Africa’s position as voice and advocate of the African cause in the shifting sands of global economic power and institutional reform now becomes even more critical as it takes its place both in the BRICS and the UN Security Council.South Africa’s trade shifts east, south As the shift in global economic power gains momentum, South Africa’s trade is moving eastwards and southwards in what has become a clear pattern which both reflects the global trend and is helping drive it. It is no coincidence that since the beginning of 2010, South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has paid his first state visits to India, Russia and China. In July 2010, Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva paid his first state visit to South Africa following a working visit by Zuma earlier in the year. There is no doubt in the minds of either China or African nations that Zuma is speaking not only on behalf of South Africa but the whole African continent on these trips abroad. Even the notion that the much smaller South African economy could join four mega-economies in BRIC would have been unthinkable a decade ago. While attending a UN conference on trade and investment in Beijing in mid-September 2010, South African Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said South Africa would prioritise China and India as export destinations of choice as these countries were now its biggest export markets. Two-way trade between China and SA reached R119.7-billion in 2009, surpassing the US as the country’s largest trading partner, according to South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry. South Africa’s exports to India reached R5-billion in 2010, while imports totalled R2-billion, in favour of South Africa, the department’s trade statistics show.South Africa and China The fundamental shift in South Africa’s trading patterns was also clear from statements made by Zuma during and after his state visit to China in August. South Africa, Zuma said, would look to China for investment in meeting its infrastructure projects, including transport systems, freight transport, renewable energy projects and mining. The agricultural sector and car manufacturing were also potential recipients of Chinese investment. In the past three years, while the pace of Chinese investment has been slow, it has been strategic and clearly paving the way for accelerated investment in the future. In 2007, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) bought a 20% stake in South Africa’s Standard Bank for R36-billion, making it China’s largest foreign investment to date. In 2009, China announced that the African headquarters of the China-Africa fund would be in Johannesburg. China has more recently invested in a South African platinum mine and a cement factory, and one of the most concrete agreements emerging from the state visit to China in August was the intention to build a high-speed rail link between Durban and Johannesburg. But the most consistent message that Zuma conveyed during his state visits to China and Russia was that South Africa wanted to learn from both countries on how to ensure high levels of beneficiation of South African mineral wealth, to ensure that the country was able to speed up development, create more jobs and roll back poverty. Zuma also stressed that South Africa needs to balance its trade with China to reduce the heavy deficit in China’s favour. He also foresaw co-operation between the two countries in reforming the global architecture and multilateral institutions. The growing relationship with China is seen both as a means to boosting South Africa’s global trade and of accelerating the development of the Africa continent. With its world-class financial sector, deep experience in African markets and an extensive corporate footprint on the African continent, South Africa is well placed to lead an African miracle similar to China’s achievement over the past 30 years. John Battersby is UK Country Manager of the International Marketing Council of South Africa. Yingni Lu is a London-based business development professional specialising in clean technology and renewable energy. She writes for the online magazine ReconnectAfrica 26 January 2011 There are periods in the dynamics of global power when the shift in trends is of such a scale that it is almost impossible to perceive the full impact of the moment. This was certainly the case with the phenomenal rise of China as a major global economic power. And it is happening again with the rise of Africa as a priority investment destination, as it moves into a similar position that China was in three decades ago, when that country began opening its economy to global forces. The key elements in China’s economic miracle have been an integrated market, special economic zones with incentives for foreign investors, and widespread reform of the agricultural system, which has freed up more labour for economic development. Africa is moving in the right direction on these key elements, but there are fundamental differences with China, and the evolution of Africa’s economic miracle will be different. China’s lifting of 400-million people out of poverty in the space of three decades, maintaining 10% gross domestic product (GDP) growth for three decades, the helter-skelter rate of urbanisation at almost 20-million per year, and now the unprecedented growth of the middle-class – mainly took the West by surprise.Africa: the reality-perception gap Africa’s greatest disadvantage is probably in the area of perceptions. The huge deficit between the reality of Africa and the Western media’s obsession with negative stereotypes of conflict, famine and failed states undermine the continent’s potential. The mainstream media has dominated the grand narrative for the past four decades, and through selective – rather than inaccurate – reporting has buttressed Africa’s negative trends at the expense of its potential. But the reasons why Africa’s growing potential as an investment destination should be conventional wisdom are multiple: In the past few decades, Africa has taken significant strides towards more democratic governance, more transparent economic systems and eliminating some of the more crippling bureaucratic barriers to trade and investment. Although Africa still falls far short of constituting an integrated market, the trend toward integration and more transparency is undeniable.The invitation of South Africa to become the fifth member of the BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – and the South African seat on the United Nations Security Council will ensure that Africa has a voice in all key global fora and will accelerate reform of the UN and global financial, developmental and trade architecture.The credit crunch and global economic recession have created a fundamental crisis of confidence in the international financial system, which has both removed any moral high ground that the Washington-consensus institutions had and opened the way for an ongoing review of the current architecture.The potential of Africa as an investment destination has been long recognised and supported both in terms of investment and soft loans by China – now the world’s second-largest economy – and with strategic investments from South Africa and rising economies such as India and Turkey.There is ample evidence of Africa’s potential to leap-frog constraints such as fixed-line telephones with the revolution of mobile technology in Africa. The next breakthrough will need to come in the field of energy and electricity provision. Africa’s hydro-electric potential could play a key role here.In a world where there is growing consensus that future wars will be fought over food and water resources – rather than territory or ideology – Africa is well-placed to play a key role with its huge water reserves and vast tracts of arable land.With a population approaching 1-billion, Africa represents the world’s third-largest market after China (1.3-billion) and India (1.1-billion) and is rich in largely unexploited mineral and natural resources.center_img South Africa played a key role in rescuing the 2009 climate change summit (COP15) in Copenhagen. There was enough progress at Cancun in Mexico at the end of 2010 to ensure that the next critical session of the COP17, in Durban in November 2011, could broker the breakthrough that world so badly needs.last_img read more

Furry heroes to sniff out TB in Mozambique

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first_imgThe furry heroes have helped to clear vast areas of land in Mozambique and Thailand, which can now be used for development. Apopo founder Bart Weetjens used his childhood experiences with pet rats as the foundation for his inspired idea. Rats can survey a mine-infested area quicker than humans, and with virtually no risk of setting off a mine.(Images: Apopo)MEDIA CONTACTS • Bina EmanvelApopo communications manager+255 23 2600 635Janine ErasmusAlready a hero in Southern Africa for its ability to sniff out landmines, the African giant pouched rat (Cricetomys gambianus) is once more turning out to be a lifesaver by accurately detecting the presence of tuberculosis bacteria in human sputum samples.Both initiatives are run by the Belgian NGO Anti-Persoonsmijnen Ontmijnende Product Ontwikkeling (Apopo), whose founder Bart Weetjens came up with the idea of training the rats while he was an engineering student.Weetjens developed the methodology after conducting a study of the landmine situation in sub-Saharan Africa. He realised that conventional methods of landmine detection and disarming were dangerous, time-consuming and expensive, and was inspired to use the rodents by his own childhood pet experiences, as well as an article on gerbils as explosives hunters which he read while conducting his landmine survey.Named for their large cheek pouches, the remarkable rodents are renowned for their acute sense of smell and their intelligence and willingness to be trained. At under 2kg on average, the rats are too light to trigger an explosion, making them the ideal weapon in the war against landmines.Apopo runs mine clearing programmes in Mozambique and Thailand, and in 2012 started preparing for operations in Angola, another heavily mined country, where it hopes to eventually deploy as many as 80 rats.Its headquarters are in Morogoro, Tanzania, where training takes place in what the organisation calls “near-real conditions” – the only difference is that the landmines in the training fields are already disarmed.Using the rats’ sensitive noses for humanitarian purposes has paid off handsomely. Apopo says that the Mozambican team, including 47 accredited rats, has made about 4.3-million square metres of land usable again in the southern Gaza province, which it has now cleared. Over 1 860 landmines, 776 dangerous unexploded ordnance, and 12 817 small arms and items of ammunition were dealt with in 2011 alone.In its 2011 annual report, the organisation revealed that it will start mine-clearing operations in the neighbouring Manica province, on the Zimbabwe border, during 2012.According to the Halo Trust, an organisation that specialises in clearing away the remains of warfare, the northern half of Mozambique is now clear of mines – in total, 100 843 devices were removed from 552 minefields. In the south, however, there are still an estimated 520 minefields that are yet to be cleared in the Maputo, Manica and Tete provinces. Many mines lie in land that is earmarked for development, but can’t be used because of the buried threat.But thanks to the rats, the job has become easier in recent years. Two rats, each with a human handler, can survey 300 square metres of land in one hour. Two trained people using metal detectors will take about two days to cover the same area, says Apopo.Land that is safe to work on has important implications for the Mozambican people, many of whom have been maimed by landmines. Now that they can plough their lands without fear they can at least feed their families and even earn an income.All rats are trained to the requirements of the International Mine Action Standards organisation, and training takes about nine months, using positive reinforcement and food rewards. The animals have to pass a test once their performance has noticeably reached a plateau, and if they pass – which most do on the first attempt – they are officially licenced as a mine detection animal.Sniffing out TB, saving livesThe intelligent little creatures have now turned their talents to another life-saving task – sniffing out pulmonary tuberculosis (TB), a disease that is second only to HIV/Aids as a single-organism killer, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).Apopo says that the highly trained rats can analyse 40 sputum samples in seven minutes, a task that would take an entire day by a technician using a microscope. This equates to about 1 680 samples in a day’s work.This technology was developed by Apopo in partnership with the Tanzanian National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Program and the Institute for Tropical Medicine in Belgium, among others. It complies with the WHO TB diagnostic group’s seven top priorities required for a recognised diagnostic method.The rats work in special automated cages which hold samples below a series of sniffer holes. The cage can register their response and activate a click and food reward, while sending data directly to a database. The method has boosted the detection of new cases by an astonishing 40%, says the organisation.Rats use their sense of smell to swiftly sniff out the volatile organic compounds released by Mycobacterium tuberculosis in positive samples, scratching at those which are TB-positive. If an unknown sample is targeted by at least two rats, this is quickly confirmed with microscopy.These samples are reported to the hospitals, who follow up with a positive diagnosis, treatment and counselling of patients.The rats discover between five and 15 new patients every week, says Apopo. In its 2011 annual report it supplies figures of almost 98 000 sputum samples analysed since 2008, with 45 000 second-line screenings, out of which 7 700 positives were found by Direct Observation of Treatment, Short-course or Dots clinics, and an additional 2 300 cases – which were missed by the Dots method of screening – were found by rats.In 2011 the organisation received approval for a grant from the Flemish government that would allow it to start working in Mozambique.Apopo hopes to increase the rate of detection of new cases in this country, as it too is struggling with a high TB burden. Operations are expected to start in Maputo in December. Killer on the looseAlthough TB is both preventable and curable, almost 9-million new patients contracted the disease in 2010 worldwide, says the WHO, on top of the millions who are already chronically ill.Nearly 1.5-million succumbed – of these deaths, over 95% occurred in low- and middle-income countries, and the burden in East Africa is high compared to other regions.The disease is named as one of the top three causes of death among women aged 15 to 44, and about 10-million children were orphaned in 2010 as a result of their parents dying of TB.In Southern Africa, there is the growing incidence of multidrug-resistant TB and its successor, extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB), which arose out of the mismanagement of patients infected with the former strain. The XDR-TB form was first publicised in South Africa, following an outbreak in 2006 which killed all but one of the patients.The WHO estimates that one in three people on the planet carry the M. tuberculosis organism, although not all are ill and therefore can’t transmit the disease. All age groups are at risk, but those whose immune systems are already weakened, whether by lifestyle choices such as smoking or by another disease such as Aids or diabetes, are at greater risk of falling ill.last_img read more

Watch for soybean diseases after big rains

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first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest I looked at the soybean prices on Sunday – all were still less than $10/Bushel.  This price combined with yield losses due to late planting, extra expenses for additional late weed control, and flood injury really put the kibosh on all but the most guaranteed return on investment for the remainder of 2015.  Here are a few guidelines, results from our studies in Ohio that point to the best return on investment.Foliar pathogens have the most impact on soybeans at the later growth stages (R3 to R6) by reducing the photosynthetic area of the leaves that contribute to pod development and seed growth (http://www.oardc.osu.edu/soyrust/2007edition/10-SoybeanGrowthandDevelopment.pdf).  Soybeans also have an uncanny ability to compensate for missing neighbors.  The profitability measure for the 2015 season will be to scout for the occurrence of diseases after flowering R3 and choose the best fungicide if necessary.Septoria brown spot.  This is a lower canopy disease, which surprisingly, we have not been getting too many reports of this year.  Where we are, it is from fields that are planted into continuous soybean and have heavy residue.  Even in these situations, the yield loss for this is still on average 2 to 3 bu/A.Frogeye leaf spot.  This disease we are monitoring, not only because there are a few highly susceptible varieties but also because there are reports from Illinois, Indiana, and up and down the Mississippi of populations that are no longer managed by the strobilurin class of fungicides.  If you see it, please send this to the lab ASAP, so we can run some tests.  We have seen yield differences with low levels of disease (5 to 12% leaf area affected) of 5 to 10 bu/Acre.  This is the one to keep an eye out for but the timing for sprays is between R3 and early R4.Sclerotinia stem rot or white mold.  For those fields with a long history of this disease, this can cause problems when we have cool nights (a.k.a no air conditioning turned on in your house) and heavy dews.  We have started our scouting for this pathogen as fields begin to get closer to flowering.  However, for those historic areas where white mold is always present AND a susceptible to moderately susceptible variety was planted, a fungicide may be necessary this year.  The key is the timing, and coverage of the fungicide in the field.  The target area is the lower part of the stem.Approach – we have measured significant reductions in white mold when we applied this fungicide at Western branch right before flowering followed by a second application 10 days later.Endura – we have measured significant reductions in white mold with this fungicide with one application timing (R1 – a few plants are beginning to flower in the field).Phoenix and Cadet Herbicides – both have reduced the incidence of white mold in trials in northeast Ohio.  If you are also going after weed escapes, this may also be a tool to consider.Topsin M – this has been the stand by white mold fungicide, but for the past 3 years, we have not been able to measure reductions in disease.Some cautions, we have not been able to reduce white mold with a fungicide nor with a herbicide if the field is planted to a highly susceptible variety and the crop is in full flower and infections have already occurred.  These materials mainly work as protectants and have to be on the plant at those lower nodes to protect it prior to the arrival of the pathogen.In summary, for foliar pathogens there is time to let the plants recover and take a look later in the growing season to determine if the pathogens are present.  This is the year to focus those scouting efforts on highly susceptible varieties.  For historic white mold areas, this will be another year to implement measures on those highly to moderately susceptible varieties.last_img read more