Watanabe outclasses foes on her way to SEA Games gold

first_imgKiyomi Watanabe of the Philippines clinches the gold medal in the women’s -63kg event of the 29th Southeast Asian Games judo competition Saturday at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center.CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/SEA GAMES MEDIA POOLKUALA LUMPUR — Kiyomi Watanabe proved that she’s a cut above the rest after she left a path of destruction on her way to the judo gold in the 29th Southeast Asian Games Saturday.The 20-year-old Watanabe won all her bouts via ippon — the equivalent of knockout in boxing — taking down Orapin Senatham in just 36 seconds for her third straight SEA Games gold in -63-kilograms division.ADVERTISEMENT “It wasn’t easy,” said Watanabe through her mom Irene who was interpreting from Japanese to Filipino. “There was pressure on my part to win. But she did her best for her country.”This early, Watanabe is being groomed for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’Watanabe was one of the four Fil-Japanese counted upon to win golds in the competition held at KLCC Hall 5.But twins Shugen and Keisei Nakano could only produce bronze in their respective divisions. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:11SEA GAMES 2019: PH’s Nesthy Petecio boxing featherweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)08:07Athletes treated to a spectacle as SEA Games 2019 officially ends06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball05:21Drama in karate: Tsukii ‘very sad’ over coach’s bullying, cold shoulder03:24PH’s James Palicte boxing light welterweight final (HIGHLIGHTS) MOST READ Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles With Fajardo playing sparingly, Santos delivers for ‘complete’ SMB team Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles National Historical team rescues Amorsolos, artifacts from Taal Bishop Baylon encourages faithful in Albay to help Taal evacuees Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Search on for 5 Indonesians snatched anew in Lahad Datu Police seize P68-M worth of ‘shabu’ in Pasay Hotdog’s Dennis Garcia dies View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Shugen came out of the repechage division to edge Ace Ang of Singapore, 3-0, for third place in -66kg.His brother Keisei overpowered Uen Xaisengseum Nouvene of Laos via ippon for -73kg bronze.Watanabe, ranked 23rd in the world in her division, was the most dreaded fighter in the tournament.“But I can’t be very sure so I trained very hard,” said Watanabe, who is a sports science major at Wasida University in Japan.ADVERTISEMENT Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’last_img read more

Sinoe Residents Praise GVL

first_imgIn the wake of accusations that Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL) is engaged in land grabbing, some residents of Sinoe County have come to the company’s defense, thus dismissing the claims. Those citizens in defense of GVL said the company always negotiates peacefully with locals on the acquisition of land to develop oil palm.Two eminent sons of the county, Patrick P. Saydee and Reverend D. Lassanah Seequah, who are both members of the Torjuowon District National Congress (TNC), made the disclosure at a press conference recently held in Monrovia.Addressing a cross section of reporters, the chairman of the TNC, Mr. Saydee, clarified that GVL acquired land through consultation with the people in the community.“It is untrue that residents of Sinoe County are not interested in GVL’s investment. We want to make it clear the claims of some citizens saying that the company is wrongly influencing Sinoe’s people to acquire land for its operations are absolutely wrong,” he asserted.He said it is important for those who claimed they are from the county to join their fellow citizens in making those decisions.For his part, Mr. Seequeh said there have always been meetings held with the people to keep them up to date with the company’s operation in the county.“This process has led to the crafting of a memorandum of understanding to help guide development in the county,” he stated.Meanwhile, the head for communication at GVL, Virgil Magee said that his company was committed in ensuring that the residents get the opportunity to improve their lives.“GVL is here to create opportunities that would better the lives of citizens in Liberia. Their oil palm operation is helping to reduce the level of rural poverty,” he said.He said as part of the company’s social responsibility scholarships and employment opportunities for locals have been fulfilled by the company.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

No fake Magnum Tonic Wine in circulation

first_imgANSA McAL Trading Limited, Guyana’s sole distributor of Magnum Tonic Wine, would like to inform the general public that there is no fake Magnum Tonic Wine in circulation.J Wray & Nephew Limited, which is the exclusive manufacturer of Magnum Tonic Wine and owner of the Magnum Tonic Wine brand, categorically denies recent social media reports that there are counterfeit Magnum Tonic Wines in circulation.Magnum Tonic Wine brand currently utilises two bottles since 2010 in the packaging of the much-loved product.Both bottles are identical, except for the embossing on the bottle which includes the numbers at the bottom. One bottle has no numbers at the bottom and the other has visible numbers that can be felt by touch. The liquid contained in both bottles are absolutely the same.ANSA McAL Trading Limited is kindly asking members of the public to refrain from spreading this misinformation.For further information kindly visit our Facebook page at “ Magnum Tonic Wine Guyana”last_img read more

Report: NASA watchdog abused authority

first_imgWASHINGTON – NASA’s top watchdog routinely tipped off department officials to internal investigations and quashed a report related to the Columbia shuttle explosion to avoid embarrassing the agency, investigators say. A report by the Integrity Committee, a government board that investigates inspectors general, found that Robert Cobb “created an appearance of a lack of independence,” and it questioned whether NASA would do enough to reprimand him. NASA administrator Michael Griffin has proposed sending Cobb to leadership training and requiring that he meet regularly with department officials on how to improve, but that is not enough, said Integrity Committee Chairman James Burrus. “All members of the committee believe that disciplinary action, up to and including removal, could be appropriate,” he said in a report that also accused Cobb of abusing authority to create an “abusive work environment.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! In responses to the Integrity Committee, Griffin defended Cobb in noting that he was being faulted for the mere appearance of a conflict of interest. Cobb has acknowledged he cultivated relationships in the department to build trust but said he never stepped over the line. “This has been a trying year for Mr. Cobb and I have been impressed with his continued focus on his professional obligations to the Congress and to this agency,” Griffin wrote. He said the report “does not contain evidence of a lack of integrity on the part of Mr. Cobb.” The report, completed Jan. 22 and made public this week by the House Committee on Science and Technology, threatens to renew questions of conflicts of interest and cronyism in a Bush administration already under fire for allegedly exerting undue political influence in the firing of U.S. attorneys. Only President George W. Bush can dismiss Cobb, a former White House aide and 1986 law school graduate whom Bush selected as NASA’s IG in 2002. The White House has said it is satisfied with NASA’s plans to require leadership training for Cobb, who once was an adviser on ethics to then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales, now the attorney general. But three key lawmakers who chair Senate and House subcommittees with jurisdiction over the space agency disagree. They are calling for Cobb’s resignation and are pledging to pursue hearings if necessary to investigate his conduct.last_img read more

Suit alleges rat in man’s mouth

first_imgSANTA ANA – Staffing was so inadequate at a California senior center that a rat crawled into an Alzheimer’s patient’s mouth and died there before staff noticed, a lawsuit claims. The lawsuit, filed Thursday on behalf of 90-year-old Sigmund Bock, alleges that administrators at the Paragon Gardens Assisted Living and Memory Care Community in Mission Viejo overbooked their facility to receive corporate bonuses, but cut back on staff to increase profits. It seeks unspecified punitive damages and attorney and court fees. “The facility so literally ignored the needs of their residents … as to allow vermin in the form of a rat to become lodged in the mouth of Sigmund Bock and die therein,” the lawsuit alleges. Melody Chatelle, a spokeswoman for Sunwest Management Inc., the Oregon-based company that operates Paragon, said the allegations were false. Chatelle said instead that Bock was found holding a glue trap that had been placed in his room by a pest control company to catch a single field mouse. She said the dead field mouse was inside the trap when Bock picked it up. “We take care of our residents, and find this negative publicity to be a disheartening affront to our professional caregivers and most especially to our residents and their loved ones,” she said. Bock’s attorney, Stephen Garcia, challenged that account. He said two traps were placed in Bock’s room and both were laced with poison, not glue. He said Paragon records show a staff person noticed Bock “playing with a rat in his room and eating candy … with the rat” on the morning of March 18. A short time later, Garcia said, paramedics called to the scene noted “possible ingestion of rat poison” in their report and an emergency room file says that Bock was “found in room in care facility with dead rat in mouth.” “I guess we’re all just making this up because they’re so wonderful,” Garcia said of Paragon Gardens. “I know I’d want to put my dad there – but only if I hated him.” Bock is now being treated in the psychiatric care unit at another facility, Garcia said. The lawsuit is the latest in a string of troubles for Paragon Gardens. Last year, 71-year-old dementia patient Troy Nelms wandered from Paragon and was never found. He is presumed dead and his family has sued the facility. Also last year, the state Department of Social Services sued to revoke Paragon’s community care license, alleging that six clients were injured and one died after improper care there. The state also is trying to revoke the licenses of two administrators at Paragon and bar several employees of Sunwest Management from having contact with a licensed care facility in California, said Michael Weston, a spokesman for the agency.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Contenders for England’s goalkeeper World Cup conundrum

first_img0Shares0000Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Nick Pope, Joe Hart and Jordan Pickford are all training with England this week, but at least one will miss the World Cup where only one can start © AFP / Oli SCARFFBURTON-ON-TRENT, United Kingdom, Mar 20 – Just three months out from the World Cup in Russia, England manager Gareth Southgate has admitted his “number one jersey is up for grabs” with four goalkeepers vying to start against Tunisia on June 18.Burnley’s Nick Pope has forced himself into Southgate’s reckoning with a fine season and is part of a four-strong group of goalkeepers for England’s final World Cup warm-up friendlies against the Netherlands on Friday and Italy on March 27 before Southgate names his World Cup squad. Here, AFP Sports looks at the contenders to be England’s number one in Russia:Joe Hart (West Ham)He is, by a distance the most experienced of the quartet of ‘keepers in Southgate’s squad with 74 caps, but his career has been in free fall since England’s last major tournament.Hart was at fault for Iceland’s winner as the Three Lions crashed out in the last 16 of Euro 2016, as a familiar weakness down to his left was exposed by Kolbeinn Sigthorsson.Despite being ousted from Manchester City by Pep Guardiola shortly after the Catalan’s arrival, Hart has remained Southgate’s number one during unconvincing loan spells at Torino and West Ham.However, having played in just one of the Hammers last 16 Premier League games after being dropped, Hart’s is hanging onto the number one jersey by his gloved fingertips.Jordan Pickford (Everton)Pickford has had an inconsistent first season at Everton after sealing a £30 million move from Sunderland to become England’s most expensive ever goalkeeper.However, at 24, he has time on his side. Despite just one senior international cap in a 0-0 draw against world champions Germany in November, he has plenty of international experience at under-21 level.A former under-21 manager, Southgate values the experience gained in youth international tournaments and described Pickford and Swansea defender Alfie Mawson as “the standout performers” of England’s run to the semi-finals of last year’s under-21 European Championships.Jack Butland (Stoke City)But for a horrific ankle break suffered as England won in Germany almost exactly two years ago, Butland may even have displaced Hart in time for Euro 2016.Instead, Butland didn’t return to first team action until April 2017 and has made only two England appearances since, including his only start in a competitive international last October.Despite a costly own goal in a 1-1 draw at Leicester last month, Stoke manager Paul Lambert branded Butland the “best goalkeeper in Britain.”Like Pickford, he also has a wealth of international experience at youth level, including two under-21 Euros.Nick Pope (Burnley)Pope is the new boy at international level on the back of a brilliant season at Premier League surprise package Burnley.The 25-year-old admitted on Tuesday he never believed he would make an England squad after being released by Ipswich Town as a 16-year-old and spending the majority of his career trawling through the lower leagues.“If we have a problem with any of our other goalkeepers it’s important that we find out more about Nick, and form-wise he deserves to be in the squad,” said Southgate last week.That seemed to suggest Pope’s lack of experience makes him a back-up option.But he is the man in form. Only Manchester United’s David De Gea, widely regarded as one of the world’s best ‘keepers, has a better save percentage than Pope this season.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Done deals! 20 top transfers in Europe so far this summer – did you miss these moves?

first_img 18. Yevhen Konoplyanka (Sevilla) – Click right for more top signings from around Europe – Back-to-back Europa League winners Sevilla are preparing for the Champions League this season so additions were needed, especially as the club lost Carlos Bacca and Aleix Vidal to AC Milan and Barcelona respectively. Landing Ukraine star Konoplyanka is quite the coup and his play on the flanks should make him a big hit. 13. Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid) – Click right for more top signings from around Europe – Things didn’t work out for the Brazilian left-back at Chelsea. He found it hard to make his way past the consistently brilliant Cesar Azpilicueta and as a result has been shipped off back to his previous club. He’s no slouch though, just unlucky he faced such stiff competition with the Blues. He knows what Diego Simeone demands of his players and should slot back in seamlessly in the Spanish capital. 20 20 20 12. Gianelli Imbula (Porto) – Click right for more top signings from around Europe – The Portuguese giants are normally renowned for buy low and selling high but this year they’ve decided to splurge £14m – a record for the club – on Marseille midfielder Imbula. He’s a midfield enforcer who will really improve the Dragons, thanks to his defensive instincts and his ability to drive forward with the ball at his feet. He’s not all bluster and tackles though, Imbula has deceptively quick feet and will knock home the odd long ranger too. 20 4. Geoffrey Kondogbia (Inter Milan) – Click right for more top signings from around Europe – It was always likely the Frenchman would move clubs this transfer window given the slightly nomadic nature of his career so far. A move to Arsenal seemed likely before AC Milan stepped in and then Inter Milan gazumped their city rivals – signing him for £28m. His brilliance shielding his defence at Monaco earned him plaudits and he’ll strengthen a side that hasn’t finished in Serie A’s top four since 2011. 20 20 20 16. Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco (Atletico Madrid) – Click right for more top signings from around Europe – Diego Simeone may have lost Arda Turan but he’s gained a talented 21-year-old star in the form of Ferreira-Carrasco. He left defences spellbound in Ligue 1 with Monaco last year and scored against Arsenal in the French side’s famous 3-1 victory over the Gunners in the Champions League. His £14m fee could be a snip if he realises his potential. 20 20 7. Douglas Costa (Bayern Munich) – Click right for more top signings from around Europe – Shakhtar Donetsk have lost several stars this summer and the skilful attacking midfielder will be missed. The £25m fee the Ukrainians will receive from the Bundesliga giants should sate them, while Pep Guardiola will be delighted with the business. Injuries to Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery cost Bayern Munich dearly last season and Costa’s versatility and pace will see him competing with the duo for a first-team role. 20 It’s just over a month until the transfer window closes around Europe but plenty of top clubs have already spent big.There have been numerous deals throughout the continent, which have shocked, surprised and delighted fans, so talkSPORT has taken a look at 20 of the biggest deals completed this summer so far.DONE DEALS: TOP 20 PREMIER LEAGUE TRANSFER SO FARClick the arrow above, right, to see the players and let us know who you think have done the best business so far. 20 6. Sami Khedira (Juventus) – Click right for more top signings from around Europe – You can’t beat a free transfer, especially when you can land a player with the credentials of German midfielder Khedira. Signed on the back of his excellence at the 2010 World Cup, he spent five trophy-laden years with Real Madrid but injuries robbed him of playing time, especially across the final two. If he can overcome those medical issues he’s sure to be a hit in Turin. 20 9. Gonzalo Castro (Borussia Dortmund) – Click right for more top signings from around Europe – As Thomas Tuchel prepares to right the wrongs of last season in Dortmund, he’ll be boosted by the arrival of Gonzalo Castro in midfield in a deal worth around £8m. He’ll fit in centrally and with his superb passing range should provide the likes of Marco Reus and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with plenty of ammo. 20 10. Paulo Dybala (Juventus) – Click right for more top signings from around Europe – With the Old Lady preparing for life without Carlos Tevez, ex-Palermo starlet Dybala has a lot to live up to. His 13 strikes last campaign led to numerous teams across Europe monitoring his situation, including Arsenal, but Juventus eventually won the race with a £22.5m bid. How he fares with the champions could depend on how he dovetails with Mario Mandzukic and fellow youngster Alavaro Morata. 19. Kyriakos Papadopoulos (Bayer Leverkusen) – Click right for more top signings from around Europe – If he can steer clear of the injuries that have hampered his young career this season, we may finally see how good the Greek centre-back can be. Highly-rated since his time with Olympiakos, Papadopoulos joins from Schalke after playing just 60 Bundesliga matches over four seasons. He was on loan with Bayer last years and made only 14 appearances as two shoulder problems kept him on the sidelines but his performances when he did play ensured he still had many admirers. A £5m deal seems cheap. 20 20 8. Luiz Adriano (AC Milan) – Click right for more top signings from around Europe – The Brazil striker has finally ended his nine-season association with Shakhtar Donetsk and has joined the Italian outfit, where he will link up with Carlos Bacca, for just £6m. He’s proven to be an excellent goalscorer both in the league and in Europe and could be an good foil for fellow South American Bacca. 20 15. Mathew Ryan (Valencia) – Click right for more top signings from around Europe – He might have to battle his way past Diego Alves at the Mestalla but Aussie shot-stopper could still be a big hit in Spain after signing a six-year deal. He’s been outstanding for Club Brugge and the Socceroos and was named goalkeeper of the tournament during Australia’s Asia Cup success in January. He has also been named goalkeeper of the year in Belgium for the last two campaign – Simon Mignolet and Thibaut Courtois are previous winners. 20 20 20 20. Arda Turan (Barcelona) – Click right for more top signings from around Europe – Okay, he can’t play until the New Year, but the Turkish attacking midfielder will add further strength to the Luis Enrique’s squad. The initial £24m maybe a touch expensive for the 28-year-old, especially given his goal return but he will bring more flair to the Nou Camp and some added aggression. 20 14. Mario Mandzukic (Juventus) – Click right for more top signings from around Europe – Having lost a few key stars this summer, it was always like the Old Lady would rebuild extensively. Their frontline has lost Carlos Tevez and, seeking an upgrade on Fernando Llorente, Massimiliano Allegri has done some good work to get the striker for £13.6m. His battling performances should win him respect in Italian football. 2. Carlos Bacca (AC Milan) – Click right for more top signings from around Europe – Since their last Serie A title win in 2011, the Rossoneri have drifted away from the leading clubs in both Europe and Italy. In their two most recent campaigns they finished eighth and then tenth respectively so changes were need. Landing an attacking star like Bacca from Sevilla for £21m is big coup. He’s a natural born goalscorer and a proven winner with 34 goals in 71 games for the Spanish side, who he helped to win back-to-back Europa League trophies. 3. Danilo (Real Madrid) – Click right for more top signings from around Europe – Weak in only a minority of positions, the La Liga giants swooped swiftly for the Brazil right-back. A bid of £23m was enough to sign him from Porto, as they beat a host of clubs to his signature. At 24 he’s got plenty of potential left to realise and will bolster Rafael Benitez’s side as he looks to wrestle the Spanish title back from Barcelona. 5. Jackson Martinez (Atletico Madrid) – Click right for more top signings from around Europe – One of Europe’s most prolific scorers for the past three campaigns, it was only a matter of time before he left Porto for an elite side. Diego Simeone put his money where his mouth is and has shelled out £25m for the striker who hit 67 goals in 90 Primeira Liga games. He’s Atletico’s second most expensive purchase ever – behind Radamel Falcao – and they will be hoping he joins their ever expanding list of great forward which includes Diego Costa, Sergio Aguero and Fernando Torres. 17. Andre Gomes (Valencia) – Click right for more top signings from around Europe – Rated at around £25m at one point as several Premier League teams lurked, admiring his form while on loan at the Mestalla. In the end Gomes made the permanent switch to Valencia for roughly £10m and the 21-year-old could go on to be a real star in La Liga if he can continue his progression. He’s an excellent playmaker in the centre and is happy to get his shorts dirty when it comes to defending too. 11. Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo) – Click right for more top signings from around Europe – It took the industrial town of Sassuolo 91 years to see their team make it to Serie A and now, after two years of consolidation, they are signing some high quality stars. Italy Under-21 star Berardi has been a hit with the club while also being co-owned by Juventus in those two campaigns, scoring 31 goals and laying on 16 for his team-mates. Now, he’s solely owned by the neroverdi – although an eventual Turin return is expected – he could fire them further up the table. 1. Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich) – After two summers of intense interest in the midfield from a host of clubs, Juventus finally relinquished their hold on the Chilean, allowing him to join the Germans in a £28m deal. His scampering box-to-box mentality should be a hit with Pep Guardiola. He shouldn’t have trouble settling either given the four years he spent with Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga earlier in his career.last_img read more

Bush criticizes 60 countries in trade report

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – The Bush administration on Friday accused 60 countries and three trading blocs of erecting unfair barriers to American exports. But Democrats attacked the annual report on trade barriers as an empty exercise because the administration has failed to aggressively pursue cases before the World Trade Organization. In a letter to President George W. Bush, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and 15 other Democrats urged the administration to quickly bring before the WTO 11 trade cases against China and several other nations in order to knock down some of the worst barriers hurting U.S. exporters. The Democrats charged that the Bush administration has only brought 14 WTO cases in five years in office, while the Clinton administration averaged 11 cases per year. They said Bush has been reluctant to pursue cases against the biggest offenders, particularly China, even as America’s overall trade deficit soared to a record $724 billion last year and the imbalance with China hit $202 billion, the highest ever recorded with a single country. They said the deficits have contributed to the loss of nearly 3 million U.S. manufacturing jobs since Bush took office. “Too often, this administration has missed opportunities to assert and defend U.S. rights under international trade rules and instead focused on moving from one new trade agreement to the next,” the Democrats said in their letter to Bush. Administration officials defended their actions, saying the WTO cases during the Clinton years represented a pent-up demand to redress problems in the organization’s early years. James Mendenhall, general counsel for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, said the administration has filed four WTO cases in just the past year. “We have an aggressive and proactive agenda to open markets and reduce trade barriers,” Mendenhall said. The administration is required by Congress to issue the “National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers” as a way of shining a spotlight on the practices of America’s trading partners that are deemed most harmful to sales of U.S. manufactured goods, farm products and services overseas. The administration devoted 71 pages of this year’s 712-page report to criticizing China, with special emphasis on allegations that the country has failed to crack down on rampant piracy of a wide range of American products. The report cited 60 countries, from Angola to Vietnam, and three trading blocs: the European Union, the Arab League and the Southern African Customs Union. The United States joined with the European Union on Thursday to file a case before the WTO accusing China of levying unfair taxes on auto parts made in the United States and other foreign countries. The Democrats said additional WTO cases should be filed against China, accusing it of manipulating its currency to gain trade advantages, failing to crack down on rampant piracy of American goods and erecting a WTO-illegal ban on imports of U.S. blood plasma products. The Democrats said copyright piracy cases should be filed against Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia and Mexico. They also urged cases to be filed against Britain over aircraft engine subsidies; against Japan for currency manipulation; and against South Korea and Japan over barriers to U.S. auto imports. The administration is seeking to force China to make a number of trade concessions in coming weeks to address the huge trade gap with the United States in advance of the mid-April visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao to Washington. The new report will serve as a guide to U.S. negotiators over the next year in their efforts to attack barriers seen as doing the most damage to American companies.last_img read more

Defender hints at permanent move away from Chelsea

first_imgHamburg want to sign Jeffrey Bruma on a permanent basis, the defender has told the Hamburger Morgenpost newspaper.Bruma, 21, has impressed while on loan at the German club from Chelsea and they seem keen to keep him.“Our boss and our general manager have indicated to me that I will be here for a long time to come,” Bruma is quoted as saying.“They want me to pen a contract for several years. I needed to be very patient. I hope that I will be playing now and that I can take the chance.“I need to play to develop, but of course I am delighted that a club like Hamburg wants to keep me.”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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

SA-set sci-fi satire huge hit in US

first_imgThe poster for District 9 Neill Blomkamp, District 9’s South African-born writer and director, speaks to fans about his movie at the recent Comic-Con convention in San Diego. (Image: Natasha Baucas, Wikipedia) USEFUL LINKS • District 9 official site • District 9 on the Internet Movie Database • QED International• Gauteng Film Commission RELATED ARTICLES • Top honours for SA movie • Movie draws public – and pirates • Bang Bang club lives on in film • New boost for Nollywood • 2010 opportunities for SA film • Hollywood studio for Cape Town • Rebate boost for SA film • Cape Town: Africa’s HollywoodSamson MulugetaA film shot on location in Johannesburg and directed by a young South African-born computer graphics whiz has taken the US box office by storm, earning the number-one spot and raking in US$37-million (R302-million) during its opening weekend on 14 August 2009.Directed by 29-year-old South Africa-born Neill Blomkamp, District 9 satirises the absurdities of apartheid in a science fiction account of extraterrestrials who become refugees in South Africa.Part of District 9’s success in the US can be attributed to a quirky and viral marketing campaign, which used billboards at bus stations to encourage people to call a toll-free number if they spotted “non-human activity”.What makes the film all the more remarkable is that it cost only $30-million (R245-million) to make, a small sum by Hollywood standards if one considers it took $250-million (R2-billion) to bring latest Harry Potter instalment to life.Obscure beginningsBlomkamp grew up in Johannesburg, moving with his family to Vancouver, Canada, when he was 17.Blomkamp dabbled in filmmaking while still at school in South Africa and later went on to specialise in animation and computer graphic design.District 9 began as a six-minute film clip, called Alive in Joburg, which Blomkamp wrote and directed in 2005 as a sample of his work.The fledgling director’s big break came when Peter Jackson, a New Zealand filmmaker, producer and screenwriter best known for The Lord of the Rings trilogy, approached him to direct Halo, a film based on a computer game.Although Halo never took off due to a profit-sharing dispute, it inadvertently led to bigger things, as an executive at Universal Studios who was overseeing the Halo project came across Blomkamp’s six-minute clip and showed it to Jackson.Jackson was impressed by Blomkamp’s work and asked him to turn Alive in Joburg into a feature-length movie. And thus District 9 was born.The involvement of Jackson gave Blomkamp instant credibility. In Blomkamp, Jackson saw a young man creating work based on his life experiences.“He saw South African society – both the good and bad of the society there – and he wanted to put a science fiction spin on what he witnessed growing up because he’s a science fiction geek,” Jackson told the Los Angeles Times at the recent Comic-Con convention in San Diego. “District 9 is not reflective of any movie that I can imagine. It’s really very original, which I love about it, and that’s totally Neill.”Science fiction satireDistrict 9 kicks off in the year 2010, 28 years after an alien spaceship arrives in Johannesburg. The craft hovers above the city without any contact, but eventually humans take the initiative and cut into the ship. There they discover a large group of malnourished and sick aliens and bring them back to earth. The newcomers are confined to an area called District 9 – a slum-like compound surrounded by barbed wire with no running water or sanitation.A documentary style with hand-held cameras and computer-generated images is used to create a fast-paced narrative.With its strong anti-segregation message and partly filmed in South Africa’s largest township of Soweto, the film is clearly a satire of apartheid. One District 9 website carries a Google Earth-like view of the district – using a satellite image of Soweto.The title District 9 plays on Cape Town’s District Six, best known for the apartheid government’s forced removal of over 60 000 coloured residents during the 1970s. The community was relocated to the Cape Flats 25km away.Although several parallels can be drawn to the apartheid era, Blomkamp says he tried hard not make the film a heavy “message movie”. He says he wrote the word “satire” in large block letters on a piece of paper and posted it in his office to remind that his first priority was to entertain audiences.It may seem incredible that Blomkamp successfully directed a Hollywood blockbuster before his 30th birthday, but he says he’s been working towards this moment all his life.“When I was 14 or 15 I got into 3D animation on the computer my parents bought me,” Blomkamp told the Los Angeles Times.“I was toying with practical effects – prosthetics, in-camera effects, models and photography. I knew I wanted to be involved in all that.”“I realised I could take all the ideas I had and have them make fun of themselves,” Blomkamp added. “At the same time, I could address all of the stuff I wanted to get in there.”Critical acclaimThe movie has opened to rave reviews, including one from New York Times critic AO Scott.“The South African setting hones the allegory of District 9 to a sharp topical point,” Scott said.“The country’s history of apartheid and its continuing social problems are never mentioned, but they hardly need to be. And the film’s implications extend far beyond the boundaries of a particular nation, which is taken as more or less representative of the planet as a whole.”Colin Covert of the Minneapolis Star Tribune described the film as “an electrifying sci-fi ride that defies all the usual Hollywood clichés. It’s that rarest kind of film, magnificent trash.”Gwen Watkins, a media blogger for Bizcommunity.com, was also impressed by the movie, but for different reasons.“Last week’s media preview of District 9, the new South African sci-fi film, left most of us quite shattered,” Watkins wrote. “The film is deservedly gaining credit internationally but in South Africa it may well be greeted with uncomfortable reactions – the film unashamedly draws on our past and current view of species different to our perception of what is human and how we treat them.”South Africans starring in District 9 include Sharlto Copley, Blomkamp’s childhood friend and frequent collaborator.In the movie Copley plays the role of Wikus van der Merwe, the bureaucratic official from Multi-National United, the giant corporation charged with relocating the aliens.Other locals who star in the film are Vanessa Haywood, Kenneth Nkosi, Mandla Gaduka, Eugene Khumbanyiwa, Jason Cope, David James, Louis Minnaar and Sylvaine Strike.Michael Murphy of Kalahari Pictures, based in Cape Town, was the film’s supervising producer.Blomkamp is currently visiting South Africa to promote the film. It opens in local cinemas on August 28 2009.last_img read more