North Sumatra gears up to welcome Dutch royals at Lake Toba

first_imgAccording to Fitriyus, the royal couple’s first stop will be Singgolom Hill in Lintong Ni Huta village. There, the king and queen will take pictures of the lake. After that, they will move on to Siambat Dalan hamlet, a traditional Batak village and then to the DEL Technology Institute in the district of Laguboti.After they finish their trip around Toba regency, the royal couple will visit Ecovillage Silima Lombu at Onan Runggu, Samosir Island. They will then take a rest at a hotel in Parapat, where they will give a press statement to reporters, before moving on to Kualanamu International Airport to return to the Netherlands. After arriving on Monday evening, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima were hosted by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo at Bogor Palace in West Java on Tuesday. Their itinerary includes stops in Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Palangkaraya in Central Kalimantan and Lake Toba in North Sumatra. (dpk)Topics : “It is an honor to receive a visit from the King and Queen of the Netherlands. We will greet our honorary guests at Lake Toba,” North Sumatra Governor Edy Rahmayadi said on Monday. He also invited the public to greet the royal couple with a warm welcome by maintaining a peaceful and harmonious atmosphere as well as by keeping the region clean.”Surely this visit can bring renown to North Sumatra, particularly Lake Toba,” Edy said. North Sumatra administration official M. Fitriyus said King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima were scheduled to visit Lake Toba from 10:30 a.m. to 5:10 p.m. The North Sumatra provincial administration is gearing up for the visit of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Queen Maxima to Lake Toba on Friday.The royal couple is scheduled to spend eight hours to visit several tourist sites around the lake.last_img read more

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Students and politicians discuss state of the union

first_imgAs the celebratory hype surrounding the president’s second inauguration gradually quieted down, a panel of experts — two former state legislators and two politically active students — gathered Wednesday in the Ronald Tutor Campus Center Forum to speculate how President Barack Obama will address major policy issues in his final term.Moderated by Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, and Rachel Bracker, managing editor of the Daily Trojan, the panel considered some of the key issues that proved decisive in the November election.USC College Republicans member Greg Sefain and USC College Democrats member Ethan “E.J.” Levin provided insights from a student perspective. Former California State Senator Tony Strickland and former California State Assemblyman Anthony Portantino pulled from their own experiences in politics when addressing the president’s second term.Talk of job creation took a back seat as gun control and environmental issues  dominated the conversation, with all panelists noting that the president might be more willing to assume progressive positions on these hot-button issues now that he no longer faces reelection.“I think that Obama’s goal is to transform the powers of the presidency,” Strickland said. “Many of the issues that will be central to this administration are issues that Obama rarely even touched on in his first term.”Sefain noted how the immediacy and relevance of gun control legislation will likely take a prime spot on the presidential to-do list, a rather unexpected priority considering how little attention the issue received in previous elections.“Obama must be mindful of his game plan,” Sefain said. “He will likely capitalize early on the gun argument because he knows that right now it is in the minds of all Americans.”Levin remained optimistic that the beginning of a second term might encourage bipartisan negotiations.“I think a lot of Democrats wanted to see more from Obama in his first term,” Levin said. “If he can harness discontent for current gun laws, he may be able to get Congress on the side of progressive legislation.”Strickland did not seem as confident in the president’s ability to overcome the hyper-partisan divide that plagues Washington. Rather, he anticipates that the president will exercise strong executive powers in his second term, bypassing Congress entirely when it comes to some of the most contentious issues.“I think Obama knows that certain agenda items are not going to get through Congress,” Strickland said. “He will probably resort to executive orders in tackling the gun problem. With regards to climate change, I think he will expand the powers of the EPA.”Strickland’s thoughts were echoed by Portantino, who agreed that the president would likely run into opposition on certain contested issues.“I’m not sure that Obama will be able to find common ground for issues like gun control and gay rights,” Portantino said.Panelists, however, also remained wary of the political implications of executive action on some of the nation’s most divisive topics. Some panelists believed that, though the president no longer faces the pressures of re-election, policies that are perceived as too liberal might make for an uphill battle for Democratic presidential contenders in 2016 and might lead to a sweeping Republican victory in the midterm, as was largely the case in 2010.“In two years, we will face another election, and if the president burns too many bridges in an effort to implement his policies, he could see a major defeat for his party in Congress,” Sefain said.The panelists also addressed the future of the Republican Party in national politics. Though many commentators have written off 2012 as the beginning of the end for the GOP, panelists remained confident that the party could see a rebound depending on the president’s performance over the next four years.“Pendulums swing,” Strickland said. “And they always swing.”The topics discussed in the panel discussion might foreshadow what Obama discuss in his State of the Union Address. The president will deliver this address before Congress on Tuesday, Feb. 12. A viewing of the speech will be held in the lobby of the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, followed by a panel discussion.last_img read more

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Local Roundup: Eureka Loggers remain undefeated with win over Del Norte

first_imgCrescent City >> The Eureka Loggers scored 40 points in the first half to cruise to a 54-21 victory over Del Norte on Friday at Mike Whalen Field to remain undefeated at 9-0 on the season.Del Norte had no answers for Eureka, which scored 21 points in the first quarter and extended its lead to 40-15 just before halftime on Ali Lee’s 70-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.Loggers quarterback Cruz Montana was 10-for-14 for 250 yards and four TDs. Six of Montana’s passes went to Avondre Bell, who …last_img read more

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Presidential Hotline 80% successful

first_img22 February 2012 South Africa’s Presidential Hotline is successfully resolving the majority of calls from citizens with problems or complaints, with the latest figures showing an overall case resolution rate of almost 80 percent. South Africans can dial 17737 (toll-free from a landline) to get through to a call centre at the President’s office with questions or gripes about government service delivery. According to the Presidency, citizens use the hotline to raise issues relating to employment, housing, the law, social services, citizenship, electricity, education, health and basic services. Call agents to be increased “Since the 31st of January 2012, the hotline logged a total number of 122 589 calls nationwide, with the overall case resolution rate standing at 79.89%,” the Presidency said in a statement this week. “This is a major improvement since 2009, when the resolution rate was at 39%.” It takes on average 67 working days for a matter recorded with the hotline to be resolved. “However, there are queries which require immediate responses, such as requests for information on government services.” The number of call agents working on the hotline will be increased from 20 to 30 in June, allowing for two shifts a day of 15 agents per shift.Hotline information put to good use The Presidency attributed the hotline’s success to better coordination at senior management level in government, with hotline responsiveness reports now a regular item on the agenda of Forum of South African Directors-General – and a periodic item on the Cabinet’s agenda. The Department for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation was now using the hotline to inform its “unannounced Front Line Service Delivery Monitoring visits”, the Presidency said, and had begun to engage with departments and municipalities that were often targeted by hotline complaints. “We are gradually … living up to President Jacob Zuma’s promise that citizens will have a platform to communicate with government and get the assistance they deserve,” said Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane. The hotline “provides us with good data on which areas need immediate attention, and we will respond,” Chabane added.Two success stories The Presidency cited two examples of successful direct responses by the hotline, one in which divorce attorney Thembisile Dlamini complained about delays caused by constant loss of files at the Central Divorce Court in Johannesburg. The case was referred to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, which intervened immediately. “On investigation, it was established that the file had been transferred to Vereeniging. The department had the file delivered to the attorney’s office, and the attorney was able to proceed with the case.” The second case involved Ms Thandi Joyce Toso, who had gone to the Department of Labour’s offices in Gauteng to find out why she was not getting the money due to her after her husband’s death, only to be told that her late husband’s information did not appear on the system. “On investigation, it appeared that the deceased husband was also married traditionally and had another wife. An investigator from the Unemployment Insurance Fund investigated the matter further with the assistance of the Department of Labour head office, and after the correct documents were submitted at the provincial Department of Labour office, the claim was paid out … in full.” SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

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Jerome Slim Du Plooy cares about making a difference

first_imgJerome “Slim” Du Plooy and Play your Part TV series host, Kabelo Mabalane, getting to know each other on the basketball court. (Image: Jerome Du Plooy) • Carike Verbooy Boston Media House+27 11 339 [email protected] • Getting Africa’s youngsters moving• Transforming lives through sport• A SKY light for Soweto kids• Arts, culture and democracy on Play Your Part TV• Beukes has a head for hoardingMathiba MolefeJerome “Slim” Du Plooy’s journey from the streets of Kliptown to appearing on television around the world is one that can and should inspire and motivate young South Africans to pursue their dreams regardless of where they are and the circumstances in which they live.Growing up in the poor Soweto suburb, the television and radio personality lived in a one room house with his mother. The two went without electricity for the better part of 16 years, but the light was never switched off on Du Plooy’s aspirations.“When you come up the way I came up, you’re tempted by a lot of things,” Du Plooy says, explaining the difficulties and challenges he faced growing up. “You’re surrounded by people who sell drugs, you’re surrounded by poverty and you have to decide what you want to do, if you want to be different, and I chose to be different… You’ve got to keep positive and follow positive people; that way you avoid all of the negativity going around.”Fire in his eyesAs a member of Soweto Kliptown Youth (SKY), a non-governmental organisation that provides an array of services and support to neighbourhood children, Du Plooy caught the attention of NBA Africa while playing basketball for the SKY basketball team.After noticing the drive and charisma of the young Du Plooy, NBA Africa took him under its wing and made it possible for him to study at Boston Media House. The basketball organisation’s investment in him would, in time, turn out to be of great benefit to Du Plooy and NBA Africa as the former came into his own and thrived in his new life on campus.“It was in 2005 that I met the NBA. The NBA saw something in me and ever since then they’ve adopted me,” he says.Having been given the opportunity to chase his dream, Du Plooy worked hard to make the most of his position and the support structures he had in place. Today, he is a sought-after MC, actor, radio and television personality as well as a motivational speaker with a silver tongue and a great hunger for life.He has represented South Africa on the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders programme, where he rubbed shoulder with some of the biggest names in basketball, such as Dwight Howard, Kyrie Irving and Carmelo Anthony.Basketball Without Borders is the global basketball development and scouting programme run by NBA and FIBA. It has reached more than 1 700 players from more than 120 countries, and 28 of the programme players have been drafted into the NBA.Du Plooy was the MC at the NBA All-Star Jam Session at the Orange County Convention Centre in Orlando, in the United States in February 2012 and has featured on the annual Basketball Without Borders programmes in Africa since 2009. “Seeing guys like Dwight Howard and Kyrie Irving going out of their way to help people less fortunate than them is part of the reason why I strive to be better.”Today’s youth are “living in a good era right now with a lot of opportunities”, he says. “I think that the youth need to step up and take advantage of these. You can’t afford to be lazy and expect the world to spoon-feed you.”Slim caresIn 2011, he started his Slim Cares organisation, through which he has made a difference to the lives of a number of youths in Soweto, Johannesburg. “I have always wanted to give back but I had to wait until such a time that I was in the position to do so. I was one of the few who made it, and when you make it, you make it for all of us,” he says.“Do what makes you happy,” he continues, “a lot of rich people are poor because they only have money.”He looks to play his part in ensuring that youth from underprivileged backgrounds don’t have to struggle the way he did. Since founding the initiative he has fed and clothed hundreds of children living in the south of Johannesburg. Slim Cares has partnered with a number of different organisations, such as Boston City Campus and the Sunday School Foundation on its initiatives.“Giving back is key,” says Du Plooy. “You have to be a blessing to others. I don’t give back because I have much, but because I know what it’s like growing up with nothing. I didn’t want these kids to grow up this way, which is why I started Slim Cares, which was inspired by the NBA.”Du Plooy’s story is a classic case of an ordinary person doing extraordinary things and goes to show that nothing is impossible if you have the drive and dedication to see it through. Catch Jerome “Slim” Du Plooy on the fourth episode of Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part TV series, to air on SABC2 on Sunday, 6 July at 9pm.last_img read more

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Ryerson professor says Sun TV host Ezra Levant jeopardized her safety

first_img(Sun TV host Ezra Levant has agreed to debate Ryerson professor and former AFN candidate Pam Palmater to a debate. Above is a video of Levant debating Gitz Crazyboy from Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation in Alberta.)By Jorge BarreraAPTN National NewsRyerson University professor Pam Palmater said she felt her security threatened when television personality Ezra Levant flashed a Google-map image of her Ajax, Ont., neighbourhood during a recent episode of his talk-show.Levant, who hosts the Sun News Network show, The Source, showed the image of Palmater’s suburban neighbourhood as part of an attack aimed at her opposition to the Conservative government’s planned tabling of legislation to introduce private property, or fee simple, ownership on reserve lands.The federal government is expected to introduce opt-in legislation sometime next year.Palmater said she doesn’t shy away from debates around issues, but it worried her Levant brought in her personal life as part of his attack on her position.“For me as a single parent, a single woman with two kids at home, I think the most dangerous, offensive thing he could have done is put a Google map of my neighbourhood on TV because we all know the kind of people that watch Ezra Levant…they are all the disturbed, fringe people,” said Palmater, who came in second during this summer’s race for national chief of the Assembly of First Nations.“In his tirade he is showing hatred and in showing where I live there is an implication for those who aren’t stable…At the end of the day we are all individual beings, we are entitled to some modicum of safety and he jeopardized that,” she said.Levant responded saying Palmater’s concern was “laughable” and that her address is publicly available information.“We didn’t publish it, just a generic shot of her neighbourhood without identifying her address,” said Levant. “Sorry, she’s not a CIA agent whose cover I’ve blown. She’s just embarrassed that I’ve exposed that she owns property in Whiteville.”Palmater said she’s not ashamed of her success.“Yes, I make a good salary, I have four degrees I paid for myself with student loans and yes I spend my time working for First Nations,” she said. “I am not a chief or a band councillor, I work at Ryerson University…I do not make money off First Nations, I am paid by Ryerson….He had no facts by which to counter my arguments….The best he can do is call me a nut-bar, whatever nut-bar means.”Levant emulates the shock-style of U.S. television and radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. His network is steered, in part, by Kory Teneycke, a former communications director for Prime Minister Stephen Harper.Levant calls opponents of private land ownership legislation the “Indian industry one percenters,” in a riff off one of the Occupy movement’s slogans about how the rich one per cent holds most of the wealth in the U.S.“I have this daydream of a whole community of Indian millionaires. I think the first Indian billionaire is going to be in northern Alberta,” said Levant. “Do I want to take land away from Indians? I want to give more land to Indians, but not to official Indians, Indian industry Indians, professional Indians, Indian industry one percenters. Give it to the regular people. Unlike (AFN national chief) Shawn Atleo, I want to give land to Indians not him.”He says he’s uses the word “Indian” instead of First Nations and Indigenous because the word is in the Indian Act, it’s used by bands themselves and he doesn’t want to give in to political correctness.“Every Indian I know calls themselves an Indian,” he said.Levant’s show on the issue triggered a fierce reaction on Twitter which spawned the creation of a “hash tag” called #EzraLevantLogic which was still going strong Friday.“You don’t need to visit an Indian community or meet any actual Indians to be an Indian expert…#EzraLevantLogic,” tweeted @Hayden_King, a professor at McMaster University.“#EzraLevantLogic…The mortgage I took out to buy my on-rez house…my car loan…my credit card…all figments of my “liberal” imagination!,” tweeted @Mimiges, from Quebec.“#EzraLevantLogic Natives can’t hunt/fish for commercial use because they never traded pre contact. They just ate raw saying ‘GOONY GOO BOO,’” tweeted @chicosez, also known as filmmaker Christian Tyzia.“#EzraLevantLogic I’m not a racist, but I play one on TV,” tweeted @Urban_Su, from Vancouver Island.Levant dismisses his Twitter critics as “fancy pants Indian industry” types sitting at an office with nothing to do, far removed from the “real Indians” who are too poor to get on Twitter.“If you are on Twitter you are probably going to be a fancy pants Indian industry insider, a chief, a councillor, someone sitting at a desk playing solitaire,” said Levant. “I grew up in Calgary…There were Indian kids in my school until Grade Eight….There is an enormous gulf between normal Indians and the Indian industry. Normal Indians are pretty great. There is no…political correctness, they don’t freak out when you say Indian instead of First Nation.”Levant says most of his Indigenous critics are “Indian industry Indians” who he says want to maintain the status-quo.“The porch slaves are your Indian industry Indians and your field slaves are your regular Indian members on a reserve and so of course the port slaves love the system,” said Levant.Chelsea Vowel, who blogs and uses the twitter handle @apihtawikosisan, started the #EzraLevantLogic hash tag. A Metis from Alberta, Vowel, who now lives in Montreal and obtained law and education degrees, scoffed at Levant’s contention “normal Indians” can’t afford to use social media.“It has gotten to the point where you hear about things happening through Twitter or Facebook before you get the call from your aunty,” said Vowel. “Everyone has taken to it. It’s not an elitist thing, everyone up north has an iPhone or BlackBerries.”Vowel said she’s not part of any elite. She said she works part-time and rents a three bedroom apartment she shares with her partner and four children.“I’m the only one with two degrees in my entire family, but it hasn’t meant that I am suddenly on the side of the Indian Act,” said Vowel. “The accusation is very interesting. It recognizes that the education system is about colonizing people, that you are part of the one per cent if you are working in that world. That would only be true if Canada was a colonial nation and we are helpless to resist that. I agree, Canada is a colonial nation and we can resist it.”For her part, Palmater said she’s willing to take Levant on in a debate.“If he wants to talk about chiefs or if he wants to talk about my background, I’m happy to do it,” she said.Levant said he would debate Palmater.“I’d love to, absolutely,” he said.Levant admits, however, that he’s still learning about Indigenous issues.“I haven’t scratched the surface, I am learning as I am going, I am an amateur here, I am a tourist,” said Levant.He’ll also continue doing shows on the issue because the online hit count makes it worthwhile.“The shows I’ve done Indian affairs are the absolute top-rated shows I do in terms of Internet traffic,” said Levant. “I can’t believe it. I always wonder if anyone is paying attention; does anyone care? When I compared the Indian Act to apartheid…it was one of the most popular shows I’ve done.”[email protected]last_img read more

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Jason Collins Talks to Good Morning America About Being

As NBA player Jason Collins announced he is homosexual, his aunt and confidante, Judge Teri. L. Jackson of San Francisco Superior Court, said that she’s “very proud of him” for doing so.Jason Collins’ Good Morning America Interview: Gay NBA Player Talks Decision To Come Out.NBA player Jason Collins talks to Good Morning America’s George Stephanopoulos about his announcement that he is gay.

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Golden State Warriors Bank on Andre Iguodala Not Dwight

The Golden State Warriors were partially in the running to recruit NBA player Dwight Howard, but at the end of the day they acquired the guy they really wanted on Friday. The organization is preparing to sign free-agent swingman Andre Iguodala.While waiting for Howard to make his decision, the Warriors put all their chips into pursuing Iguodala. According to sources, they made cap room by getting rid of three reserve players, a few draft picks and severed ties with two key players from last season, so they could sign Iguodala to a four-year, $48-million contract.The 29-year-old averaged 13 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists last season with Denver. Iguodala said that he’s happy with the signing because the Warriors were at the top of his list.“I feel like they have a good culture there,” Iguodala said. “A lot of great guys, great locker room. The way they’ve got those guys playing with such confidence, that comes from the coach. The way those young guys were playing against us (in the playoffs), that’s confidence. I want to play with that kind of confidence.” read more

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Embattled Dolphin Jonathan Martin Traded To 49ers

Jonathan Marin, the Miami Dolphin offensive lineman who accused teammate Richie Incognito of bullying—creating a firestorm about behavior in NFL locker rooms— was traded to the San Francisco 49ers, led by his college coach at Stanford, Jim Harbaugh.The Dolphins announced the move on the first day of NFL free agency. San Francisco confirmed the trade, saying only that it would send an undisclosed draft choice to Miami and that Martin still must pass a physical to complete the deal.“We feel that this move is in the best interests of all parties involved,” Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey said. “We wish Jonathan well.”Miami will receive a conditional seventh-round pick in 2015 if Martin is on San Francisco’s opening 53-player roster, a league source told ESPN.Martin’s cross-country move returns him to the Bay Area, where he has been taking classes at Stanford again.“This is great for him to get back on the field, and he’s in Palo Alto right now,” his agent, Ken Zuckerman, said in a phone interview. “It couldn’t be much better. I just think everyone wanted this to happen. Harbaugh knows Jonathan, I think the Dolphins were compensated and Jonathan wants to get back on the field. It’s a good day.”Martin expressed his excitement via Twitter on Tuesday night, posting: “Opportunities are few in the NFL… Can’t wait to get to work #9erEmpire”An investigation for the NFL by Ted Wells determined last month that Incognito and two other offensive linemen engaged in persistent harassment of Martin, another offensive lineman and an assistant trainer.Martin left the Dolphins in late October, underwent counseling for emotional issues and alleged he was harassed by teammates. Incognito was ultimately suspended for the final eight games. read more

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