7 May 2013 The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) has called on employers to support the Youth Employment Accord, a government-led multi-partner initiative aimed at tackling the economic challenges facing young South Africans. The pact, signed by the government, labour, business and other civil society representatives in April, commits the partners in particular to improve education and training opportunities for youngsters between school-leaving and first employment. Another commitment is to improve work exposure by connecting young people with employment opportunities through support for job placement and work-readiness schemes. The government is confident that all the preparatory work for implementing the accord will be completed between May and June, with Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe saying that all the signatories have already starting taking steps to honour their commitments.Companies ‘must absorb more young people’ Yershen Pillay, the newly appointed chairperson of the NYDA, told SAnews this week that employers would need to throw their weight behind the plan by absorbing more young people into companies. “We need to see more of the private sector employers’ involvement in issues facing the young people of this country, not only in terms of financial support but also absorbing young people into companies – whether through internships or employment,” Pillay said. “Generally, the commitment has not been satisfactory, but we do believe that the private sector will come to the party through the Youth Employment Accord.” He also said that the accord would not succeed if it failed to get support from the very people it was seeking to help. “If young people have no idea what the accord seeks to achieve, then we will have a problem,” Pillay said. Critics of the plan have questioned its viability, saying the ideas are good but questioning if the necessary financial muscle would be there to implement them.IDC, Patrice Motsepe pledge funding The state-owned Industrial Development Cooperation (IDC) has been one of the first to give the plan financial backing, pledging to set aside R1-billion from its “Gro-E” funding scheme to provide low-interest rate loans to youth-owned or youth-related enterprises over the next three years. The IDC will also provide technical support to young people to assist in accessing these funds, and will refer them to other support available in the state. Business mogul Patrice Motsepe has also come forward with hard funds, committing, through the Motsepe Family Foundation, R100-million over the next three years for youth co-operatives and enterprises. “That is what we want to see more of from the private sector,” Pillay said. “We call on more companies to come to the party. We will do our part and as the NYDA, we would also like to exercise some kind of oversight or monitoring of the implementation of the actual accord to see whether certain targets are being met.” The 2011 Census results put South Africa’s overall unemployment rate at near 25%, with unemployment at 33.7% among those aged 25-29 and at 27.4% among those aged 30-34.More youth jobs in public sector For its part, government has committed to increasing the number of young people employed in the public sector, and to ensuring that departments introduce focused internship programmes aimed, over a period of time, at interns making up 5% of the total departmentel employment. The government’s Green Paper on Higher Education and Skills Development has also set ambitious targets for expanding higher education and training in the country. By 2030, according to the paper’s proposals, university enrolments should have increased to 1.5-million, or 23% of people in the relevant age group – up from 900 000 today, which is only a 16% participation rate. Pillay said that based on its staff complement, the NYDA would lead by example by providing 15 young people with internships, and hoped that other state entities follow suit. The agency employs about 300 people. “That’s realistic,” he said. “It’s achievable, and … it’s things like this that we need to do to make this work.” Source: SAnews.gov.za
While saying that he was opposed to the compulsory singing of Vande Mataram, the Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) chief Prakash Ambedkar said on Monday that his party supported the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) on the matter.“AIMIM is not opposed to [singing of the] national anthem, only the national song. We too fully support them on this issue. Why do we need to make singing of Vande Mataram when we have a national anthem?” Mr. Ambedkar asked. Mr. Ambedkar, who recently forged an alliance with the Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM for next year’s general and State elections was speaking in Parbhani district in Marathwada.“It is absurd to brand anyone who does not sing Vande Mataram as ‘anti-Indian’,” he said.Mr. Owaisi had earlier said that the compulsory singing of Vande Mataram was “unconstitutional” and was merely a ploy of the ruling Narendra Modi government to promote Hindutva. The parties recently forged an alliance with an eye to consolidating the Dalit-Muslim-OBC votes in the State.Mr. Ambedkar hit out at the four major political parties in the State, remarking that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Shiv Sena coalition as well as the opposition Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) only played divisive caste politics.“All four parties have an entrenched upper-caste mentality about them,” he said, adding that the BBM-AIMIM alliance would give tickets to the humblest members from the backward communities in the forthcoming Lok Sabha election.
FIFA explain why Egypt votes for Liverpool star Salah did not countby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveFIFA have intervened to explain why votes from Egypt for Liverpool star Mohamed Salah did not count in the Best Player award.Salah came fourth in the count.Barcelona forward Lionel Messi beat Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo to win the award for a record sixth time on Monday while Salah finished fourth – 20 points behind Messi.The captain and coach of every national soccer federation affiliated to FIFA get to vote on the player of the year, along with one media representative from each country.The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) said captain Ahmed Elmohamady and then-coach Shawky Gharib both picked Salah as their first choice, but their votes were missing from a list released by FIFA.”The Egyptian FA have received two reminders to submit the properly signed voting forms on 19 August 2019,” a FIFA spokesperson said.”The Egyptian FA has not submitted a response within the (limited) timeframe until Wednesday, 21 August 2019. Therefore, the votes from the Egyptian FA could not be counted.”FIFA did not clarify if the final standings would have been any different if the votes had been valid. About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Brussels: Salah Abdeslam, the sole surviving suspect in the November 2015 Paris attacks, has been formally charged in connection with the Brussels suicide bombings months later, federal prosecutors said Monday. Abdeslam was charged with “participating in the activities of a terrorist group,” the federal prosecutor’s office told AFP, confirming reports in the Belgian media in recent days. The prosecutor’s office did not give details of his alleged role in the suicide bombings at Brussels airport and a city metro station on March 22, 2016, which killed 32 people and wounded 340 others. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThe Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attacks which occurred within an hour of each other. Investigators say the attacks were ordered from Syria and organised by a French-Belgian cell in Brussels, which was also behind the November 13, 2015 attacks in Paris that killed 130 people and wounded hundreds of others. In April, a Belgian court sentenced Abdeslam to 20 years in prison over a gun battle with police in Brussels that led to his capture days before the Brussels suicide bombings. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsAbdeslam, a Belgian-born French national who hails from the Brussels Molenbeek neighbourhood, is being held in jail in France pending a separate trial over the Paris attacks. Abdeslam is alleged to have dropped off three suicide bombers at a Paris sports stadium the evening of the November attacks before abandoning a suicide belt he was apparently going to detonate. Before Abdeslam’s indictment was confirmed in the Belgian capital, 12 people had been charged in connection with the Brussels bombings. The defendants are due to be tried next year in the former NATO headquarters in the Belgian capital, which sources said could begin in the autumn of 2020 and last up to eight months. Among the main defendants are Mohamed Abrini and Osama Krayem, who were arrested in April 2016. Investigators say Abrini did not set off his suitcase bomb at Zaventem airport with the other two suicide bombers and was captured days later. Abrini was filmed at a service station en route to Paris just before the November 2015 attacks which were also claimed by Islamic State. Salah Abdeslam was seen with Abrini at the station. Krayem was seen next to the suicide bomber at the metro station near EU headquarters in Brussels moments before the blast.
OTTAWA – The Liberal government is taking extra steps to crack down on companies that try to ship cheap foreign steel and aluminum through the domestic market, while sending a signal to the U.S. administration that Canada is not the problem.“We have the laws on the books, but we’re going to make sure that these laws are fully enforced and that Canada is part of the solution,” International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said Tuesday after Ottawa moved to strengthen the existing regime.The government has invested the Canada Border Services Agency with additional powers to identify businesses that try to dodge import duties, as well as more flexibility to determine whether prices in countries of origin are reliable or distorted.Next month, unions will also be allowed to take part in trade-remedy proceedings, including at the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, into whether foreign exports hurt domestic producers.The regulatory changes come after a period of uncertainty earlier this month over whether the United States would include Canada and Mexico — already deep into negotiating the new North American Free Trade Agreement — in its list of countries that would have to pay steep new tariffs on shipments of steel and aluminum destined for below the border.That immediate threat, which prompted a lobbying effort by Canadian political, business and labour leaders, faded once Canada was granted an exemption. But the U.S. has suggested that its reprieve, which is currently set to expire May 1, could be dependent on successful NAFTA talks.The additional measures, which are designed to strengthen protection that is already there, could also play a role in that fight, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale insisted Tuesday.“We’re not going to give anyone any specious excuse for any kind of action against the Canadian steel or aluminum industry, because that action is totally, entirely and utterly unjustified,” he said.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who raised the matter Monday in a phone call with U.S. President Donald Trump, suggested during question period that the decision to strengthen the existing regime was a recent one.“This past few days, we’ve looked at strengthening the measures we already have in place because it’s important that we not be taking in dumped steel from around the world,” he said. He delivered the same message when visiting steel and aluminum workers earlier this month, he added.“We’re going to continue to stand firm to protect our industry and the North American industry.”Champagne, meanwhile, refused to speculate on how the U.S. might react: “We’ll see the decision on the American side.”Joseph Galimberti, president of the Canadian Steel Producers Association, said he welcomed the regulatory changes as a good start, but also called on Ottawa to boost resources for investigative capacities at the border agency and consider safeguard measures, such as temporarily restricting imports, when they suspect there is a problem.The European Union, for example, began an investigation into steel imports Monday as part of its response to the new U.S. tariffs, due to concerns it would increase diversion of cheap metals from other countries into its market.Galimberti suggested there is no room for complacency.“We are going to continue our dialogue with counterparts in the U.S. to address things like diversion and trans-shipment that have been identified as concerns,” he said, adding he expects the Liberal government to do the same.“If there are additional steps to be suggested as part of those discussions, we expect the government of Canada to take those steps.”Besides, the U.S. has suggested that an exemption will come with a cost.“By necessity, if you’re going to be defending your aluminum and steel industries, any country that winds up exempt from the tariffs will have to also have some kind of restriction — likely a quota — in order to defend our domestic industries,” White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told CNBC Monday.“I think we can come to some very nice accommodations with all of our partners where we’re friends and allies, but we want fair and reciprocal trade while we defend key industries like aluminum and steel,” he said.— With files from Geordon Omand in Ottawa and Alexander Panetta in Washington— Follow @smithjoanna on Twitter
Patna: Four passengers were injured on Sunday after 13 coaches of Chapra-Surat Tapti Ganga Express derailed in Bihar’s Saran district. The accident took place near Gautam Asthan railway station in Varanasi division at 9.45 am, minutes after the Surat-bound train left Chapra Junction, the Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of North Eastern Railway (NER), Sanjay Yadav, said. No casualty has been reported so far, the CPRO told PTI over phone. The accident spot is 10 km away from Chapra town of the district, the CPRO said. The CPRO also said, “The cause of the accident is yet to be ascertained.” All the four injured have been admitted to a local hospital, he added.
Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia’s disgraced ex-leader Najib Razak pleaded not guilty to all charges against him as he went on trial Wednesday over a multi-billion-dollar fraud, almost a year after his shock election loss. The 65-year-old faced the first of several trials over his alleged involvement in the looting of sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, a state investment vehicle established to develop the economy of the Southeast Asian nation. The former premier and his cronies are accused of plundering billions of dollars from the fund and spending it on everything from high-end real estate to artworks and a luxury yacht. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US He had been tipped to win another term in office easily last year and extend his coalition’s six-decade stranglehold on power, only to be soundly defeated by his former boss, Mahathir Mohamad, who rode a wave of public anger over 1MDB to the premiership. In the months that followed, once-dormant investigations into the controversy were relaunched and Najib was hit with dozens of corruption charges linked to the plundering of the fund. A small crowd of supporters was waiting for Najib as he arrived at the Kuala Lumpur court ahead of his trial, and he prayed with them for a few minutes before entering the building to shouts of “Long Live Najib”. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls Looking relaxed in the dock, he denied seven corruption and money-laundering charges related to the alleged theft of 42 million ringgit (USD 10.3 million) from SRC International, a former 1MDB unit. It is just a fraction of the hundreds of millions of dollars that he allegedly stole. Opening the prosecution, Attorney-General Tommy Thomas told the High Court it was the “first trial in our courts against a former prime minister, who for nearly a decade occupied the most powerful office in the land and wielded near absolute power. “Such privilege carries with it enormous responsibility. “The accused is not above the law,” he added. After the first witness, an official from the Companies Commission of Malaysia, gave largely technical evidence related to corporate records, the trial was adjourned. The judge set the next hearing for April 15, and trial dates until May 10. Najib left without commenting, to cheers from his supporters waiting outside court. Far from being considered a pariah, the ex-leader has gained a following among members of the country’s Muslim majority as some are worried their long-held privileges are being eroded under the new government. He has become an unlikely social media phenomenon by attacking the new administration’s policies online. He was initially due to stand trial in February, but appeals by his defence team over procedural matters saw his case put on hold until a judge last week ruled the trial should finally proceed. It was a relief for the government, as there had been mounting public anger about the delay in bringing Najib to justice. Najib’s mentor-turned-nemesis Mahathir, now 93 and in his second stint in office, has pledged to bring the younger man to justice and recoup the huge sums of cash stolen from 1MDB. The US Department of Justice, which is investigating the controversy as money was allegedly laundered through the American financial system, believes USD 4.5 billion in total was looted from 1MDB. Malaysia has also charged Wall Street titan Goldman Sachs over the scandal, alleging the bank and its former employees stole billions of dollars from 1MDB. Goldman units and two ex-bankers are accused of misappropriating USD 2.7 billion, bribing officials and giving false statements in relation to bond issues they arranged for the fund. The bank has vowed to fight the charges. While many of Najib’s suspected accomplices have been caught and charged in Malaysian courts, the alleged mastermind behind the 1MDB scandal, playboy financier Jho Low, is still at large. On Wednesday the Malaysian government said a luxury yacht allegedly bought by Low with USD 250 million of stolen 1MDB money will be sold for around half that price. The yacht was returned to Malaysia after being seized last year in Indonesia.
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has sought responses of the Centre and the AAP government on a PIL seeking implementation of a law mandating issuance of caste certificates to those scheduled caste (SC) persons who converted to Buddhism. The plea has claimed that the implementation of the Constitution (Schedule Caste) Order (Amendment) Act of 1990 would enable scheduled caste persons who have embraced Buddhism to get caste certificates, a benefit which is available to them only in Maharasthra. A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice A J Bhambhani issued notices to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and the Delhi government seeking their stands on the issue raised in the petition filed by lawyer Rahul Mohod. The petitioner has claimed that the Act has been in existence for over 28 years, but has not yet been implemented anywhere in the country except for Maharashtra. “In spite of the clear mandate under the aforesaid law, the public authorities in the pretext of not having appropriate order denied to execute the Constitution (Schedule Caste)order (Amendment) Act, 1990 for the people of Delhi who are converted Buddhist to certify them as a member of Schedule Caste community for the last 28 years,” Mohod has said in his plea. The petition seeks implementation of the Act in Delhi as well as the rest of India.The court has directed the Centre and the Delhi government to indicate their stands before the next date of hearing which is August 20.
For most sports fans, this past weekend meant near-nonstop basketball watching — of the college variety, that is. But NBA players were also in action, so it’s time for this week’s edition of FiveThirtyEight’s NBA Power Ratings.How do these numbers work? All 30 NBA teams are ranked according to a projection of their true talent over the upcoming week — and the upcoming week only — using Real Plus-Minus (RPM) player ratings provided by Jeremias Engelmann and Steve Ilardi. For more details on the methodology, see our introductory rankings post.With the NBA playoffs rapidly approaching (they begin April 18), here’s a look at how the playoff picture in each conference has come together since the first time we issued power rankings and postseason odds on Jan. 19:The Western Conference playoff field has been relatively set since we started tracking it. Six of the eight slots were all but locked up in late January (the Portland Trail Blazers brought up the rear of that six-team group with a 94 percent playoff probability). The seventh spot was strongly favored to land with the Houston Rockets, who had an 80 percent likelihood of making the playoffs. Barring a Rockets collapse, the battle for the final spot out West was going to be between the injury-riddled Oklahoma City Thunder and the Phoenix Suns, with OKC holding the inside track because of a superior talent rating.Fast-forward to today, and seven Western Conference slots are practically set in stone (according to our model), as Houston quickly added the remaining 20 percent to its playoff probability not long after our inaugural rankings. That leaves three teams — the Thunder, Suns and New Orleans Pelicans — currently duking it out for the West’s eighth and final playoff slot.While the Thunder have continued to struggle with injuries, their chances of grabbing the No. 8 seed in the West are still 86 percent, as the Suns lost 49 percentage points of playoff probability since mid-January and the Pelicans have been treading water. Phoenix and New Orleans currently have better RPM talent ratings than Oklahoma City (despite the Suns jettisoning a lot of talent at the trade deadline), and both teams are within striking distance of the Thunder’s record. But the Suns’ remaining schedule is significantly more difficult1As measured by the average RPM power rating of their remaining opponents after adjusting for home-court advantage. than that of either Oklahoma City or New Orleans, and the Pelicans’ slim schedule and talent edges over OKC probably aren’t enough to offset a three-game deficit in the standings.Meanwhile, the Eastern Conference playoff picture isn’t a whole lot clearer than it was in January. Back then, six of its eight playoff slots were essentially locked up, with six other teams possessing a playoff probability between 15 and 70 percent. Now there are still six spots almost completely wrapped up, with five other teams’ playoff chances hovering between 15 and 75 percent. Only the Detroit Pistons dropped out of the race completely, shedding 39 percentage points of playoff probability since Jan. 19.Realistically, the Brooklyn Nets (17 percent playoff probability) are still long shots, and the Miami Heat (75 percent) are relatively likely to grab one of the two available spots. But the race for No. 8 is as wide-open as ever.A few weeks ago, the Indiana Pacers had a 71 percent chance of making the playoffs, but they’ve lost 29 percentage points of playoff probability since March 9, and now are only marginally better positioned than the Charlotte Hornets or Boston Celtics. Charlotte, too, has seen their playoff chances decline over the past two weeks; after having a coin-flip’s chance at the playoffs in early March, they’re looking at just a 35 percent shot at the postseason.And whenever one team loses playoff odds, another team (by definition) is there to scoop them up. One of those teams, the Heat, spent the past two weeks drastically shoring up their playoff chances after seeing them drop to 30 percent on March 9. Meanwhile, the Celtics have added 23 points of playoff probability since their odds bottomed out at 12 percent in late February. (Although Boston also lost 10 percentage points from their playoff chances over the past week.) Even the aforementioned Nets, left for dead at 6 percent a week ago, clawed their way back into the mix as Boston and Indiana saw their probabilities fall since last week.All of this figures to set up an intriguing three weeks of basketball to close out the regular season. Whoever wins out will have earned the right — in all likelihood — to lose in the first round of the playoffs. That said, most of the teams battling for the final playoff spots are good enough to keep the top seeds in each conference on their toes.
OSU redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett huddles up with teammates prior to the Buckeyes 30-27 double-overtime win against Michigan. Credit: Mason Swires | Assistant Photo EditorSaturday’s win for the Ohio State football team over Michigan in double overtime solidified the Buckeyes as a playoff contender. In Tuesday’s latest installment of the College Football Playoff poll, OSU finds itself at the No. 2 spot, awaiting to hear whether they it be playing in the Peach Bowl or the Fiesta Bowl.Alabama remained at the top spot, and will be playing No. 15 Florida in the Southeastern Conference championship. At No. 3, Clemson moved up to replace Michigan following the Wolverines’ loss to the Buckeyes on Saturday. Washington rounds out the playoff spots in No. 4. Michigan dropped to No. 5.No. 6 Wisconsin and No. 7 Penn State will compete in the Big Ten Championship game, and both hope their respective performances are good enough to convince the committee to give them a spot in the playoffs.In the top six spots, the Big Ten has three teams, so the conference will have at least one representative in this year’s playoff.