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Sugar production still lagging

first_imgDear Editor,The GAWU has continued to follow very closely and with great anxiety, the second sugar crop production. The Union learnt that as of October 24, production for the crop stood at 35,397 tonnes of sugar. Thus, the industry is required to produce 40,446 tonnes of sugar if it is to realise its target of 75,843 tonnes. Production at the individual estates was as follows:-With half of the scheduled crop weeks already completed, production at Albion, Blairmont and Uitvlugt estates stood at 43.3 per cent, 42.2 per cent and 64.9 per cent respectively of their crop target. Taking into account the remaining scheduled weeks, it appears to us that the industry will not be able to realise its set target. The GAWU, taking an average of the weekly production over the last five (5) weeks, when the estates operated normally, has determined production would be as follows:-We have also considered an extension of the crop until the third week of December 2019, assuming there is fair weather for production, and estimated production to reach as follows:-While, in all likelihood, the Corporation will extend its crop as far as practicable, our analysis, at this time, indicates that the extension will still result in a shortfall of the crop target.Information reaching the Union indicates that contrary to previous statements by the Corporation, the factories continue to experience difficulties. In fact, some officials in GuySuCo have shared with us that they cannot understand what is really taking place. The GAWU has learnt that the factories suffer breakdowns many times not too long after they would have undergone their weekly maintenance. It brings into question what is taking place at the level of the management of the industry’s factories. What’s even more disheartening is that the Corporation, in recent times, has bolstered its factory operations department, it appears, this unacceptable situation persists. It may well be the case of too many cooks spoiling the broth.The GAWU has been informed that factory breakdowns during the ongoing second crop totalled 495 hours as follows:-Albion – 253 hoursBlairmont – 96 hoursUitvlugt – 146 hoursWhile we expect the Corporation to tell us and the public that lack of investment is the main culprit, we, at the same time, must ask again what happened to the monies secured to re-capitalise the industry and to address the very issues that are popping up with too much regularity.If our information is correct, we also must be concerned about the approach of the management in addressing factory issues.We learnt that the workers of the Uitvlugt factory during the daytime hours on October 20 informed the management about a developing issue at the factory. The workers urged that production be stopped and the issue remedied. This suggestion was not considered. During the evening of October 20, with the issue becoming more pronounced, the workers again urged the management to stop the factory and allow the problem to be rectified. This request again was turned down. When the factory was finally stopped on October 21, it took nearly 24 hours for the problem to be remedied, at some cost to the Corporation. The workers shared with us that had the factory been stopped when the issue was first noticed, it would have taken a few hours at most to fix the issue and at far less cost and downtime.At Albion, too, we have learnt that one issue regarding the boilers had to be fixed twice in a short time. Workers shared with us that, on the first occasion, appropriate time was not allowed for the curing process that was required. As a result, the issue re-appeared in a week’s time and the factory had to be out of operation for nearly one (1) day. This is simply unacceptable and brings into obvious question the competence of some of the Corporation’s staffers.At the end of the day, the workers are the biggest victims. The Corporation, we understand, has generally been satisfied with worker turnout this crop. We also learnt that punt weights have generally been acceptable, except at Uitvlugt where some further checks are necessary. It, therefore, seems to indicate that the workers are fulfilling their obligations, yet the estates cannot achieve their weekly targets and are thus, denying workers their incentives. In some instances, estates have operated beyond their budgeted weekly production hours and yet the weekly targets are not realised. Definitely, and undoubtedly, something is wrong and is serving to daunt workers’ spirits who, at this time, are giving their best efforts.We urge the Corporation, to critically examine the situation obtaining in the factories. As President David Granger did say, during his recent visit to Albion Estate, “[w]e are not here to merely survive; we are here to thrive! We are here to guarantee employees’ livelihoods. We are here to guarantee sugar’s position in the national economy. We are here to safeguard the rural economy”. The GAWU believes, also at this time, that the Corporation needs to actively follow up the assurance given by Mr Granger as President since June, this year, that “…the $30 billion syndicated bond that has been secured by the Special Projects Unit (SPU) of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) is transferred to GuySuCo within a short space of time so that urgent needs can be met”.Sincerely,Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU)last_img read more

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President’s comments complement, not contradict, CJ’s ruling – MoTP

first_imgThe Ministry of the Presidency (MoTP) has said that President David Granger’s comments on the recent ruling handed down by the acting Chief Justice in regard to the requirements for appointing a Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) did not contradict, but in fact complemented, the Court’s decision.In a statement released on Saturday evening, the MoTP refuted any assertion that President Granger has rejected the ruling of acting Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire on the case brought against Attorney General Basil Williams by private citizen Marcel Gaskin.President David GrangerThe MoTP pointed out that any contrary commentary to its assertion is clearly a deliberate misinterpretation of President Granger’s remarks.“There is no indication that the Head of State ‘dismissed’ the Chief Justice’s ruling, or that (the President) does not observe the separation of powers between the Executive Branch of Government and the Judiciary. In fact, what President Granger actually said is that he (would) continue to act according to the requirements of the Constitution,” the MoTP statement outlined.Local businessman Marcel Gaskin, brother of Business Minister Dominic Gaskin, had asked the High Court to interpret the Constitution as it relates to the selection of a Chairman for GECOM, and the High has so done.Speaking to members of the media last Wednesday, the Head of State said, “I will continue to act within my perception of the Constitution; that is to say, I will not appoint somebody that I do not consider ‘fit and proper’.”The MoTP has stressed that the words ‘fit and proper’ are taken directly from Article 161 (2) of the Constitution of Guyana, and are an iteration of what the acting Chief Justice is reported to have said in her ruling based on her perception of that article.“While the President believes that the Constitution was crafted the way it was to give preference to the appointment of ‘a person who holds or who has held office as a judge of a court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters in some part of the Commonwealth, or a court having jurisdiction in appeals from any such court, or (someone) who is qualified to be appointed as any such judge’, he has never disagreed with the acting Chief Justice’s ruling, in that the Constitution clearly states that ‘any other fit and proper person’ can be appointed.  President Granger’s comments complement, and do not contradict, that ruling,” the MoTP has posited.The MoTP has highlighted that, as early as January 2017, during a recording of The Public Interest, the President had said he believes that what the drafters of the Constitution had in mind was someone who had arrived at the position of a judge, as it is expected that that person would have been someone who possesses the qualities of impartiality, integrity and intelligence.The President added that any ‘fit or proper person’ must approximate those qualities that characterise what is expected of a judge. The statement declared that President Granger further told media operatives last week that he remains committed to the spirit of the Constitution.“I do not believe that anything that the Honourable Chief Justice said has diminished my regard for the word or the spirit of the Constitution. I do believe that the person must be independent, must be impartial, and I am looking for that independence and that impartiality,” the Head of State said days ago.According to the MoTP statement, the Head of State remains committed to the separation of powers of the Executive and the Judiciary, and nothing in his word or actions has demonstrated anything otherwise.last_img read more

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Kenya’s Hamisi earns Arsenal coaching clinic

first_imgHamisi will now prepare to travel to London to attend a customized training programme to support him in building a legacy of positive social impact through football in Kenya.“I am very happy to earn this lifetime opportunity. I thank all the Kenyans for voting for me, this shows that Kenya has a lot of talent in grassroot football. I will come back with experience that I will help my country grow in football and see that one day Kenya qualifies for World Cup,” Hamisi told Capital Sport.Hamisi, known locally as Coach Kaka, is one of the founders of Young Talents Soccer Academy, a mixed academy in Embul Bul, Ngong.The academy aims to help children to succeed both on and off the pitch. “We use the power of football to address social issues, to teach them life skills. We want them to learn to respect themselves, to know the effects of drug abuse, the effects of violence and crime,” says Hamisi.Reflecting the shared values of the two companies, the Future Stars programme was set up by WorldRemit together with Arsenal to acknowledge and reward the valuable contribution of youth coaches to their local communities.Through the programme, 25 shortlisted coaches have already been granted Arsenal replica shirts for their entire youth squad in recognition of their work.Andrew Stewart, Managing Director Middle East & Africa at WorldRemit said:“Our business is all about helping our customers’ financial support for their community to go further. The work of all the coaches in the Future Stars programme has reinforced our belief in the immense potential of sport to inspire positive change and encouraged us to explore further opportunities to support the communities we serve through sport. We hope that this programme will encourage others to follow their example and that this will be only the beginning of a much longer story.”Hamisi is a founder of Young Talents Soccer Academy, a mixed academy in Embul Bul, Ngong.Back in 1985, in response to social unrest on London estates, Arsenal became one of the first clubs in the UK to set up a dedicated community team in 1985.The Young Talents academy emerged from similar origins: Hamisi founded the club over 10 years ago to bring young members of his community together following the post-election violence in Kenya.As Arsenal’s community has grown, so has the impact of Arsenal in the Community’s work and the team now deliver sport, social and education programmes to over 5,000 individuals each week.Simon McManus of Arsenal Soccer Schools said:“Arsenal itself is an example of how the social impact of football can grow from a small local community to an international programme. It is inspiring to us to see how coaches across Africa are using the power of football to support and educate children at the grassroots level and I think there is a lot we can also learn from them.“Both WorldRemit and Arsenal have grown from humble beginnings to become global businesses, credited with transforming our respective sectors. Now we hope that together we can help Hamisi to play a similarly transformational role in Kenya – perhaps even internationally.”0Shares0000(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Kenyan youth coach Hamisi Mohamed wins a lifetime opportunity to receive coaching clinic from Arsenal FC.NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 9 – Kenyan youth tactician Hamisi Mohamed will earn a lifetime opportunity to get coach training from English Premier League giants Arsenal FC after being named the winner of the Future Stars Programme run by WorldRemit.Competing against five other youth football coaches from across Africa, Hamisi secured over 35% of the votes on futurestars.worldremit.com to win the chance to train with coaches from Arsenal Soccer Schools.last_img read more

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Bruins’ defense rolls USC

first_img The Trojans (12-6, 3-4) lost for the third time in four games. “We lost our poise,” Floyd said. “They did a better job in all areas. They put great pressure on us, we started making casual passes, one-handed passes.” Reserve Dwayne Shackleford led USC with a career-high tying 12 points, 10 in the second half. The trio of Gabe Pruitt, Lodrick Stewart and Nick Young were held to a combined 17 points. They had averaged 46.6 points this season. Young played the second half in foul trouble. “He’s very good,” Afflalo said of Pruitt, his former high school teammate. “Those stats don’t tell it all about him. He had a rough shooting night.” UCLA won its third straight against the Trojans, having swept the series last season after losing four in a row. Mindful of USC’s upset loss to Texas in the Rose Bowl national championship football game, UCLA fans mocked Trojan fans by flashing “hook ’em horns” signs and chanting expletives. “It was very exciting,” said Mbah a Moute, a Cameroon native experiencing the heated rivalry for the first time. “Our students did a great job pumping us up.” Even with its lineup decimated by injuries, the Bruins used a size advantage and aggressive defense to put the game away in the first half. The Bruins burst out of the gate on an 18-2 run, getting four 3-pointers in the spurt, three by Farmar. They kept it up and led 29-7 on a 3-pointer by Michael Roll off a steal and pass by Farmar. “I did a lot of extra shooting this week in practice,” said Farmar, who had been kept out of practice the last couple weeks because of a nagging ankle injury. “I was looking to be aggressive.” After that, the Trojans outscored the Bruins 12-10, but trailed 39-19 at halftime. USC committed 12 turnovers and shot 27 percent in the half. UCLA started three freshmen and two sophomores because of injuries to Josh Shipp, Lorenzo Mata and Cedric Bozeman. Things got worse for USC in the second half. Trailing 45-23, the Trojans’ Ryan Francis was called for a foul. Floyd, coaching his first game in the rivalry, angrily tossed a crumpled piece of paper, then kicked it under the bench for a technical. Afflalo made both free throws and Ryan Hollins dunked, stretching UCLA’s lead to 49-23. Young’s dunk off an alley-oop pass gave USC fans a rare chance to cheer. Then, UCLA scored six straight for a 55-26 lead. After Afflalo and Darren Collison each missed, Mbah a Moute grabbed the rebound and scored inside. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “Jordan is one of our top scorers. When he’s in double digits, this team is going to be that much better,” said Arron Afflalo, who added 11 points. The Trojans scored their fewest points in the series since 1969, when they won 46-44 at Pauley Pavilion. The margin of victory equaled last year’s 90-69 win by UCLA. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita “We probably played the way our preseason prognostications were,” said USC coach Tim Floyd, whose team was picked to finish near the bottom of the Pac-10. “We’re not that bad. They were really focused on defense. They didn’t let us do anything.” The Bruins (15-3 overall, 5-2 Pac-10) extended their conference lead to two games over No. 10 Washington, California, Oregon and Stanford, all tied for second. UCLA was coming off a 69-65 loss to Washington at home, a game the Bruins led by 12 points at halftime. “We learned from that mistake,” Farmar said. “At halftime, guys were looking at each other, saying, ‘No joking, stay serious and don’t let it happen again.’ “ Freshman Luc Richard Mbah a Moute had 10 points for UCLA, which limited the Trojans to 13 field goals in the game. He got hit in the right shin but kept on playing. center_img LOS ANGELES – For the first time this season, No. 18 UCLA played 40 minutes of stifling defense. The reward was a one-sided victory. Jordan Farmar scored 11 of his 15 points in the first half of a 66-45 victory against crosstown rival USC on Wednesday night. last_img read more

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GOLF NEWS: RORY LENIHAN WINS THE SUNDAY COMPETITION AT MURVAGH

first_imgDonegal Golf Club (Murvagh)Men’s CompetitionsSun 28th September The high scoring seen in the last few weeks was continued on Sunday the 28th September when Rory Lenihan was the winner with 43pts.Tony Keys makes the trip up from Clones to play each Sunday and this weekend he was rewarded with 2nd place on 40pts while Mark Sweeney on 39pts just held off Colm (Eir) Campbell for 3rd place on a break of tie. Kerryman John Joe O’Shea had reason to celebrate for a 2nd Sunday in a row when he recorded a Hole in One at the 5th.Results:1.Rory Lenihan (13) 43pts 2.Tony Keys (19) 40pts3.Mark Sweeney (14) 39pts (bot)4.Colm (Eir) Campbell (11) 39ptsGross. Bobby O’Shea 32ptsThursday Specials: We had our final 9 Hole competition of 2014 which was a 3 club competition, the persistent rain earlier in the day ensured the turnout was low with 20 players teeing up. The winner was Tony Forde with 17pts. John McCafferty was the best past player with an impressive score of 19pts.Our AGM was held on Thursday 25th September, the turnout was very disappointing again this year. The committee elected for 2015 is Chairman: Jimmy Melly, Secretary : Barry Kennedy, Treasurer : Robert Morrow Committee : Liam Farren, Frank O’Donnell, Adrian Murray and An Other(TBC).Thanks to outgoing committee for organising yet another good year for the Thursday Specials.We have reached our limit of 32 players for this Year’s weekend away which will be held on the 11th\12th October at Slieve Russell Golf Club. If you are travelling, please make payment in full to any committee member. If you are on the list but unable to travel please contact any committee member as early as possible so your place can be offered to someone else. Junior Golf.The Under 16 team were unlucky to lose out in the County Final of the U-16 Donegal League on Sunday. Completing the away leg of the Final they lost out on the 19th in the deciding match. Well done to all involved on an excellent performance in a competitive competition.Ladies’ Competitions21st & 23rd September -Sponsor: Leslie RobinsonWith difficult pin positions, Mary Farragher Lady Captain, brought in the winning score of 35pts in our popular professionals competition. Margaret Buckley, was runner up with 34pts. Kathleen Fox and Mary T Martin were 3rd and 4th with 33pts1. Mary Farragher (23) 35pts2. Margaret Buckley (28) 34pts3. Kathleen Fox (22) 33pts BOT4. Mary T. Martin (34) 33ptsFront 9. Margaret Trimble (34) 18ptsBack 9. Ursula Miller (22) 19pts9 Hole CompetitionMaureen Child’s (16) 17ptsWinner of Medal Trophy for 2014 was Maureen Child’sUpcoming Competition5th & 7th October – 15holes stable ford sponsored by Eddie Walsh & Sons Family MeatsFashion ShowA very successful fashion show was held in the Clubhouse last Friday. Anna Colhoun, Charlotte Caldwell, Margaret Trimble and Margaret Buckley modelled the latest fashions from Magee of Donegal with assistance from Violet and Edith and Compere Mary Quigg. Rosewoods stylish clothes were displayed to advantage by Miriam Bennett, Gaye McGoldrick, Marie McGarvey and Dorothy Woods. Noreen, Gwendolene and Annabelle helped behind stage and Annette Diver did the commentary.During the interval, the International Catwalk, was held at enormous expense. Costumes depicting various countries were modelled by Mary Farraghar, Mary Harley, Mary McLaughlin, Crona O’Reilly and Jane Brown much to the amusement of the audience. Thanks to Patsy Harkin for all her help and to the Social Committee for organising the night.Hearts and Hips Scramble (In memory of Jimmy Higgins RIP)The inaugural Hearts & Hips Scramble competition (in memory of Jimmy Higgins RIP) was held on Wednesday 24th September. Despite a small entry, everyone who played enjoyed the occasion. The competition was won by Ann McGlynn, Hugh Dillon, John McBride and Brian Neilan who had the most birdies on the day. Thanks to Joan Higgins for sponsoring first prizes & to Kate Giblin and her staff for the tea and sandwiches. Proceeds are going to the Patients Comfort Fund in Donegal District Hospital.GOLF NEWS: RORY LENIHAN WINS THE SUNDAY COMPETITION AT MURVAGH was last modified: September 29th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare 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:golfMurvaghNoticesSportlast_img read more

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Lámha plan wellness weekend for World Mental Health Week

first_imgThis October, Lámha are proud to present a weekend of events to celebrate World Mental Health Week and Social Inclusion week on the 8th and 9th of October in North West Donegal.PHEW! Positive Health and Emotional Wellbeing is a series of events aiming to create a movement of positive attitudes towards our own mental health, open dialogue to speak about mental ill health and help families and friends access information on the provision of services available in the community and accessible in the county.The weekend includes workshops, talks and demonstrations from Majella O’Donnell/Donegal Mind Wellness, Bill Vaughan/Mental Health Ireland, Susan McFeely/Shine, Joanne Lindsay Butler/OURganic Gardens, Iain Miller/Unique Ascent, Liam Donnelly/West Donegal Mental Health, Marian Maguire/Grow, Speakers from Jigsaw and Eamon McGee/former Donegal Player and Gaelic football Pundit. Events are happening in Aislann Rann na Feirste, Annagry Hall and CLG Naomh Muire Mullaghderg, on October 8th and 9th.Details available on Facebook page ‘Lámha: Life Affirming Mental Health Action’, and also on Facebook events ‘PHEW: Positive Health and Emotional Wellbeing’.For more information you can email lamhawellness@email.comCome along to this weekend and make a change for your own wellness and for the collective wellness of your community. All events are free and everyone is welcome. It takes a community to raise a child, but what does it take to raise a community?Every day we hear people lamenting the death of community spirit. Though people might blame economics, or maybe social media, in truth, Donegal is an exception, and community spirit is alive and well in the north west! When our neighbour gets sick we visit or send messages of support.When a family is grieving we gather together and offer a wall of comfort, a hot meal and a shoulder to cry on, and when times are good we rejoice and celebrate together.Our communities are alive and kicking, with and without economics or social media. But one thing is lacking, and that is our ability to talk about and offer support to those with mental ill health.Until recently mental ill health was an unspoken sickness. The word ‘mental’ made us think of institutions and draconian treatment methods. But thankfully the tides are changing, and increasingly we are opening our hearts to friends, or they to us.Celebrities like Bressie and our own Majella O’Donnell who have bravely spoken about their own issues have caused ripples in our silence and been the positive inspiration our communities need.However, we still need to embrace our own mental health. We need to realise it is not something to fix when broken, instead, it is something we should nurture when healthy.We should make care of our mental health a daily routine, part of our health check and something we talk about habitually to our family, friends and neighbours. “The world will be saved by western women” The Dalai Lama Lámha: LIFE AFFIRMING MENTAL HEALTH ACTION is the brainchild of two local mothers Linda Uí Ghallchóir (PHEW Coordinator and Mental Health Advocate) and Maria Coleman (Yoga Instructor ‘Comhcheol Arts and Wellness’).These ladies got together and decided it is time to build solid wellness foundations from the ‘bottom up’, within small communities.Their aim is to research the potential for community groups to positively advocate for mental wellness and to make training available to support mental-health awareness within grassroots initiatives.Lámha will also do workshops with children and adults aimed at building resilience and coping skills through yoga, art, mindfulness and music, as well as collaborate with established groups and charities working locally and nationally in the field of mental health.Lamha’s core mission is to ensure communities start building an open dialogue on positive mental health, and they believe Donegal, with its community focus, can become a county blazing a trail into a new dawn of individual and social wellness.Lámha plan wellness weekend for World Mental Health Week was last modified: October 4th, 2016 by Elaine McCalligShare 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)last_img read more

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Minister meets with ‘Save Our Strands’ group in West Donegal

first_imgMinister Joe McHugh has today met with representatives from the “Save Our Strands” Group today in Kincasslagh.The Minister was met by a delegation of people opposed to a planned oyster farm development on Cruit Island.Minister McHugh said “I met with representatives of the “Save our Strands” Group this morning in Kinclasslagh to discuss the proposed Oyster Farm development on Cruit Island.“The group expressed their concerns in relation to the impact the proposed farm could have for the local area, with regards the possible damage to their landscape and for the implications it may have on their local community and clubs, for example the Rowing Club, swimming clubs, and the horse-riding club. “I have encouraged the group to submit all their relevant concerns in their submission ahead of this week’s closing date.”Minister meets with ‘Save Our Strands’ group in West Donegal was last modified: October 10th, 2016 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)last_img read more

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QPR will attack City, says Redknapp

first_imgHarry Redknapp says QPR plan to attack Manchester City at Loftus Road later today. Rangers adopted defensive tactics at Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea but boss Redknapp has hinted that he is ready to restore Bobby Zamora to the starting line-up and play with two up front against the out-of-form champions.He said: “City play an attacking game. They play with two strikers, play an open game and create lots of chances with the players they’ve got.“But we’re at home and it’s whether you go and fill the midfield and try to be hard to beat, or you have a go. I just feel we’re at home and we’ve got to have a go.“We almost got a point last week at Chelsea. We’ve got to have a go this week and see if we can pull off a big result.”Redknapp has confirmed that Joey Barton, Jordon Mutch and Nedum Onuoha have recovered from hamstring injuries and will be in his squad.See also:’Not the worst time’ to play City – RedknappFans ‘can make or break’ team – RedknappRangers trio back for Man City clashHarry denies QPR have sealed Defoe dealDefoe has still got it, insists QPR bossFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

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Sanral starts Eastern Cape N2 upgrade

first_img17 July 2015The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) has started work on its R900-million Southern Region construction project.The national road network is the economic link between Port Elizabeth and East London, and is the west-east link between Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.In the first phase, it has begun upgrading a 47km stretch of the N2 highway between Grahamstown and the Fish River pass, in Eastern Cape.The project comprises upgrading a single carriageway through the mountainous region, and construction is in three phases. It is not without its challenges, among which are saving the protected Oldenburgia grandis trees indigenous to some places along the route, limiting delays to road users during construction and keeping the impact on adjoining property owners to a minimum.A large amount of rock has to be blasted, and the design also has to tie into the existing Fish River Bridge.Rock blasting is planned for today, 15km outside Grahamstown towards Peddie, according to Sanral. The upgrade of 16.7km of the N2 included geometric improvements, realignment, widening of existing cuttings and fill embankments, the roads agency said.Grahamstown to KingIn total, the project is expected to take six to seven years. It is part of a long-term strategy to improve roads around and between Grahamstown and King William’s Town and comprises geometric improvements to portions of the national highway.Climbing lanes to improve the level of surface will also be added.“The existing road was built in the 1960s and currently does not meet Sanral’s desired alignment and safety standards,” said the agency. An increase in traffic volumes, particularly heavy vehicles, had prompted the need for the upgrade.Improved sight distance for drivers was expected to cut road accidents and reduce vehicle operating costs, while travel times were expected to be shorter.In media reports, Sanral has that the project will improve and prepare the N2 to support increasing volumes of motorists on the national road over the next 25 years, while enabling lower fuel consumption on the upgraded road, which will also reduce carbon emissions.Regarding the rare Oldenburgia grandis, which only grows on quartzite outcrops, Sanral collaborated with Rhodes University, in Grahamstown, and funded a study and transplant programme for these plants. The project is being overseen by a postgraduate botany student.N2 Wild Coast toll roadIn other road news, the construction of the N2 Wild Coast toll road was expected to start in September 2016, said Gugile Nkwinti, the rural development and land reform minister.He was speaking in his capacity as the chairman of the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Committee (PICC) on 9 July at a public consultation meeting in Bizana, Eastern Cape.The PICC oversees bulk infrastructure projects and manages 18 strategic infrastructure projects (SIPs). Nkwinti is responsible for SIP3, which targets the South-East Node and Corridor Development. This includes the N2 Wild Coast Highway, new dam at Mzimvubu with an irrigation system.He received a Sanral report on the status of the project earlier last week. “We have made a decision. What we want to know now is where we are going to relocate people who have to make way for the road. In case of graves, we want people to indicate where the graves will be relocated. We are left with 13 months before construction starts.”The department said that if court processes against the construction of the toll road persisted, the project would start in 2017.“Before construction resumes, houses, graves, animal veld, and mealie-fields will be relocated to suitable alternative land. A survey commissioned by Sanral about the proposed new route for the N2 along the Wild Coast indicated an almost unanimous level of support for this development.”SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

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Editing With Canon C300 Footage – Tips For When It All Goes Wrong

first_imgEditing Canon C300 MXF footage? Follow our tips to make video editing with C300 MXF footage go as smoothly as possible.Working with Canon C300 footage – which is XDCAM 422 50/Mbs footage in a .MXF wrapper – should ordinarily be quite straight forward. MXF files will work natively in Adobe Premiere and ingest quite happily through a free plugin in Final Cut Pro 7 and FCPX.  You can also bring this footage in through AMA into Avid Media Composer 6. AbelCine has an excellent step by step guide to importing C300 footage in Adobe Premiere CS6, Final Cut Pro X, FCP 7 and Avid Media Composer 6. You can check it out here.Everything will work seamlessly, that is, if your cards have been copied correctly to the hard drive with their entire folder structure intact. Without that folder structure you are effectively locked out of accessing your footage and an editing application like FCP7 will give you an error message like this one:How to Copy MXF Files CorrectlySo how do you copy cards correctly?Well first, and this may go without saying, but if you’re going to get an intern or producer to do it make sure they know what they’re doing. Essentially you must copy the entire card structure (preferably not through dragging and dropping in the finder).Sony and Canon both have free browser apps that will let you back up your media. Or you could invest in something like Shotput Pro to duplicate your cards to multiple drives simultaneously. You are backing them up as you go, right?If that’s not enough detail, just watch this great tutorial on a correct tapeless media workflow from Shane Ross. Although the tutorial winds up in Final Cut Pro 7, the initial principles are the same for any system. If you want even more tips, check out this great video from Chase Jarvis on his complete tapeless workflow.What To Do If Your C300 Card Structure Is BrokenIf for whatever reason your card structure doesn’t come across intact, what can you do?Depending on your NLE you have various options. If you’re in Adobe Premiere it doesn’t matter, as it will read the MXF files just fine.First, you can try to ‘fake it’ out by recreating the C300 card structure (which should look like the example below). In the past I’m sure I’ve gotten lucky with it but its a pretty slim chance of actually working.  FCPX needs a correct card structure so if you have to, transcoding in a 3rd party app is a feasible workaround.Free App For Converting C300 MXF FilesMiro is a great free app (one of the few free apps I found) that actually works and works well. Miro Video Converter will allow you to grab the .MXF files and transcode them into Pro Res 422, DNxHD and AVC Intra 1080p and 720p. You can batch transcode as many of them as you like and it works pretty quickly. The files look great and were a higher quality than files I created using the demo of MXF Converter for Mac from Pavtube. But as Miro is a free app, there are a few catches.First, you cannot specify the output folder and it defaults to your MacHD > User > Movies folder. So you need to have enough space on your boot drive to transcode the footage too. This is also a problem if you have multiple files with the same name, (which I had on this edit with a two camera shoot) as this means you have to transcode one set at a time and move them out of the folder so as not to overwrite them with the next batch. Annoying.Also the original camera footage I was working with had two audio tracks in it where as Miro would only export a single mono track. This was not helpful either as I needed to be able to mix each track individually.Paid Apps for Working With C300 MXF FilesAs I was editing on an FCP7 system I had to find a way to get my C300 MXF files to play nice with Final Cut Pro 7, while getting around the broken file structure. A cry for help on Twitter led to this great recommendation from Andy Mees who saved the day by suggesting I check out both MXF Import from Calibrated {Q} or MXF4Mac from Hamburg Pro Media. Both plugins essentially do the same thing which is to allow Quicktime (and any apps that make use of the Quicktime architecture) to work with MXF files, just like any other file.Calibrated{Q} MXF Import for OSX is a QuickTime Import component for NATIVE Importing and Editing of MXF Files within Final Cut Pro 6, 7, and X without using Log and Transfer.And you’re not just limited to Final Cut Pro, you can also natively import and work with MXF files in CatDV, Compressor, Motion, Sound Track Pro, QuickTime Player and Shake.You can download a free demo of MXF Import from Calibrated {Q} to test that it will work on your system. The demos only restriction is that it only allows you to view the first 30 seconds of the clip, other than that it’s the same as the full app. After installing the plugin I could drop the C300 MXF files directly onto the timeline in FCP7 and get editing – and with the dual audio tracks in the original files! Huzzah.Hopefully these tips will save you some time, effort and frustration with broken MXF file structures.  And next time you’ll just copy the cards structure correctly…and get to editing!last_img read more

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