A. J. Hammons was a second round pick of the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA. The 7′ rookie from Purdue is still a work in progress. However, he has come a long way from the overweight freshman that showed up at Purdue 4 years ago.The Mavericks plan to use the 7 footer as a power forward. Hammons is working on his overall game so he can garner playing time in different shooting positions. He will not be a back-to-the-basket center in the NBA. The Mavericks have 2 other 7 footers to use in that position. If you follow Big Ten basketball, you know that Hammons became a very quick moving player even despite his 7-foot frame.
26 August 2004South African businesses have over the years been consistently investing in South Africa – and analysts say the idea that local businesses are unpatriotic is a myth.That’s after the release of the Reserve Bank’s latest annual economic report, which shows an upward trend in investment spending in South Africa – spurred by a sharp increase in capital expenditure by parastatals, and a steady growth in investment by the private sector. 2004 annual economic report Private sector investment spending remained stable in the first half of 2004, recording 7.5% growth compared to 8% in 2003. This is in line with the consistent growth experienced in the sector in recent years.The 0.5% slump was due the cancellation or postponement of capital projects in the mining sector. However, a strong increase in capital spending in the residential building sector and on vehicles was experienced, primarily due to low interest rates and the property boom.FirstRand economist Rudolf Gouws told Business Day that the facts show that the idea that South Africa businesses are unpatriotic and afraid of investing in the country is a myth. Since 1993, fixed-capital formation by the private sector has grown steadily – even faster than the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate.The Reserve Bank said in its report that investment spending by public corporations spiked to 56.5% in the first half of 2004, up from 3.5% in the second half of last year. This was largely due to South African Airways’ purchase of Airbuses.The Bank’s governor, Tito Mboweni, said the country’s fiscal and monetary policies were the predominant reasons for the increase in growth, and had led to increased spending in infrastructural development by the government to create jobs. The government’s spending also increased due to the procurement of a number of corvettes for the South African Navy.Record economic expansionMboweni noted that the South African economy has been in an upward phase of the business cycle since the fourth quarter of 1999. “This is the longest recorded period of economic expansion in the history of the country”, he said.An expansionary economic policy and aggressive domestic demand trebled economic growth to 3% in the first half of 2004, up from 1% in the last six months of 2003.However, investment spending is still below the level needed to sufficiently stimulate job creation, according to Business Day. While investment spending has risen to 16% of GDP – up from 14.5% in 2001 – it is still below the long-term target average of 20%. Mboweni said it “certainly falls short of the fixed-capital formation ratio in more rapidly growing emerging markets”.The Bank said that real economic growth in the domestic economy decelerated to only 2% for the year 2003 as a whole.Production volumes in manufacturing dropped off, partly due to the weakness of demand in the European Union and a decline in international price competitiveness experienced by domestic producers. Output in agriculture fell back as a result of poor climatic conditions and relatively low product prices.Lower interest rates, a growth-supportive fiscal policy stance and higher international prices for export commodities raised business as well as consumer confidence in the first half of 2004. All the main economic sectors have recorded increases in output in the first half of year.The Bank said platinum production continued along a strong upward trajectory. In manufacturing, the increases in production were mainly a response to the strength of the domestic market.Besides the boost to the construction sector, transport, storage and communication services displayed the strongest growth among the tertiary sectors.SouthAfrica.info reporter
Former Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Lalit Modi has lost his appeal against the 90,000 pound libel award to former New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns over unfounded accusations of match-fixing.The Guardian reported that three judges in the Court of Appeal, headed by the Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, said the “awards were proportionate to the seriousness of the allegation and its direct impact on Cairns himself — and would serve to vindicate his reputation”.The 42-year-old Cairns had sued Modi over an “unequivocal allegation” on Twitter in January 2010. Modi had tweeted that the New Zealander was removed from the IPL auction list because of his involvement in alleged match-fixing. Cairns said that Modi’s tweet turned his achievements to “dust”.Earlier this year in March, Justice David Bean gave the verdict in favour of Cairns, saying Modi had “singularly failed” to provide any reliable evidence of Cairns’ involvement in match-fixing or spot-fixing.
As the United Nations ramps up its reconstruction efforts of war-ravaged Gaza, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai has announced a contribution of $50,000 to help with the rebuilding of UN schools heavily damaged during the recent fighting in the enclave.According to a news statement released by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Ms. Yousafzai made the announcement as she accepted the prestigious World Children’s Prize in Stockholm, Sweden, commending UNRWA’s “heroic work” in helping the Palestinian children and noting that the needs in the Palestinian territory were “overwhelming.”“I am honored to announce all my World’s Children’s Prize money will go to help students and schools in an especially difficult place – in Gaza,” said Malala. “I am donating these funds to The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, which is performing heroic work to serve children in Gaza, in very difficult circumstances.“The needs are overwhelming – more than half of Gaza’s population is under 18 years of age. They want and deserve quality education, hope and real opportunities to build a future.“This funding will help rebuild the 65 schools damaged during the recent conflict. Innocent Palestinian children have suffered terribly and for too long. We must all work to ensure Palestinian boys and girls, and all children everywhere, receive a quality education in a safe environment. Because without education, there will never be peace. Let us stand together for peace and education because together we are more powerful.”The Nobel Laureate noted that the $50,000 donation would help towards the rebuilding of the 65 schools damaged during the recent 51-day conflict which saw entire neighbourhoods flattened and almost one-third of Gaza’s population uprooted.The violence killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, including more than 500 children, and more than 70 Israelis.UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre Krähenbühl commended the donation, saying the UN was “deeply touched” by the gesture and that it would “lift the spirits” of a quarter of a million UNRWA students and “boost the morale” of the more than 9,000 teaching staff there. In addition, he praised Ms. Yousafzai for her personal courage and her role as “a symbol of the boundless potential that lies within each and every child on Earth.”“UNRWA shares with you the profound belief in the importance of education as a means to lift young girls and boys out of isolation, exclusion or oppression,” Mr. Krähenbühl continued.“Acquiring skills and knowledge to improve prospects for the future is profoundly engrained in the Palestinian consciousness.”Following the devastation wrought by the conflict, UNRWA announced it is providing food, water and sanitation services to over 40,000 displaced people in 18 of its installations, psycho-social support particularly for children, cash grants to the homeless for rent, as well as urgent repairs to a total of 118 UNRWA installations.Source:United Nations
Members of group that rallied outside Vernon, B.C., courthouse. (Facebook photo)Kathleen MartensAPTN NewsA judge has denied bail for a suspect charged with violence against women in B.C.’s Okanagan district.The decision to keep Curtis Sagmoen behind bars was cheered by Indigenous activists gathered on the steps of the Vernon courthouse.“It did have an impact,” rally organizer Jody Leon told the small but vocal group.“At every bail hearing they heard your voices.”Allies and advocates from Vancouver and Kamloops were in the crowd, Leon said on Facebook.“When it comes to the next decision we’re going to be here.”Sagmoen faces a number of charges alleging violence against women in various B.C. communities.Evidence disclosed at the bail hearing cannot be published under a publication ban.But not in relation to the death of Traci Genereaux, whose body RCMP discovered on a farm owned by Sagmoen’s parents outside Vernon.Sagmoen was living in a trailer on the property prior to his arrest a year ago.Genereaux is one of five women – two Indigenous – missing from the area.Leon’s group has been helping families of the missing women search for clues.APTN Investigates documented their efforts in this story.They were also outside the courthouse for each of Sagmoen’s court appearances over the past few weeks in Vernon.The group drummed, waved homemade banners and chanted, “No more stolen sisters” as passing motorists honked their horns. [email protected]@katmarte