Roundtable: England’s chances over?

first_imgDominic Brock ( Production Editor): England fought hard but came up just short against New Zealand in their first Four Nations game after Shaun Johnson came up with an intercept try and a field goal. Were you surprised by the result, or either team’s performance? Andy Bryan (Deputy Editor): We all tipped England to win from memory, they had enough chances to do just that.DB: Ahem, almost all of us.Chris Kennedy (National Correspondent): Not surprised, personally. I tipped England but I thought it would be close and a couple of key moments would decide it so in that sense it panned out roughly as expected. AB: Certainly surprised by the penalty goals and when they were kicked.Martin Gabor (National Correspondent): I thought their halves failed to take control in the key moments.Adrian McMurray (Producer): I tipped a Kiwis victory, but England looked like they were good for a win in the early stages. They had more than their fair share of chances to win it, but execution at key moments let them down. Big time.Jack Brady (National Correspondent): England blew it. They had multiple chances to take control and failed to capitalise at almost every turn. AM: How good are penalty goals, by the way?CK: Both teams stuttered a bit in attack and could reasonably be expected to improve. England did the worse job at taking their chances, otherwise I thought they were the dominant team for much of the game.MG: Josh Hodgson was at his scheming best but didn’t get enough support when it mattered most.CK: What do we put that down to? Widdop was great in the warm up game and had some nice touches against NZ. Gale and Lomax are both inexperienced at rep level but can obviously play.JB: Widdop has struggled all year to take control. Like Moylan against Scotland, you can’t read into his form when England played France.DB: OK, now the big question – are England still any chance of winning the tournament (or making the final)?CK: Very, very long odds. They’d have to beat Australia and I can’t really see that happening on current form of both teams.MG: They shan’t be playing at Anfield. AB: Tough ask. Need to hope Kangaroos come out a little disjointed after mass changes from the first game or perhaps a little bruised after their clash with New Zealand this weekend.DB: Jack, you predicted last week England would be the one team to beat Australia – have you changed your mind there? JB: What do you think?DB: HaJB: However, Wayne Bennett was pretty confident the only way is up for his men. There were plenty of promising signs. Their wingers were class. James Graham was on fire. The form of all three Burgesses is a concern though.DB: I believe it’s “Burgi”.CK: Sam had some big moments. Just looked to be trying a bit too much, not unlike his club form this year.MG: I think Sam fell victim to trying to do much. You can’t knock a bloke who is so desperate to win that he wants the ball all the time. That’s where the halves have to step up and over-call him.JB: Or he could stop throwing balls between his legs. (Imagine if Tony Webeck was here? He’d never talk to me again.)AM: They certainly can take it to the Kangaroos, but I don’t think they’ve got enough to beat them. How each coach handles the occasion might just be as intriguing as the on-field action as well.AB: They’ve shown they can compete with Kangaroos for 60 minutes in the last few Four Nations clashes over there. But they’ll need to ‘go the whole 80’ to beat the Kangaroos. We are all assuming they’ll be much better against Scotland yeah?CK: They should put a score on Scotland. Maybe a confidence boost might turn them around.MG: I’m expecting them lead 26-0 at HT against the Scots and coast home in the second stanza. DB: Let’s turn to the Kiwis. They did well to bounce back from a poor performance against Australia in Perth last month to beat England. Can they match the Kangaroos this week? Or if not this week, in the final?JB: Potentially no Nightingale, Leuluai or Waerea-Hargreaves doesn’t help. AB: They’ll need to improve to beat the Kangaroos.CK: They probably need everything to click and then would still need the Aussies to be slightly below par. AB: Having said that, it wasn’t long ago they had the wood on the green and golds.MG: Never say never, but I don’t think they’ll get the chocolates this weekend.AB: You said it twice in the same sentence.JB: He’s just a big Justin Bieber fan.MG: Actually a James Bond fan. Never say Never Again (1983) classic film.AM: There’s still a few quality players that could come in as well… Greg Eastwood, where you at?CK: And Watene-Zelezniak for Nightingale.AB: The last few games have been pretty dour between the two countries – are we expecting that to continue or will this game open up?CK: I don’t think the formula will change much from Perth. Close and a bit dour early and Aussies to skip away late.MG: I think we will see a few more points this time around. The combinations should have gelled by now.Also, horrible news for Josh Mansour. Wish him all the best in recovery. But it does mean that both Holmes and Ferguson will play AB: It’s a big loss – he offers so much!CK: How do NZ beat Australia, if it happens? I’d expect they’d need a healthy dose of Johnson magic with Jesse Bromwich, Proctor, Harris and co to play out of their skins. I’m just worried about the support for Johnson in the playmaking stakes with Leuluai and Kahu in the spine.JB: Te Maire Martin. Come on down.DB: Yep, probably needs to be a low-scoring game with Johnson creating some magic out of nothing. Like the England game.AB: Keep it close and come up with a play in the final 10 minutes. MG: They need some inspired performances from guys like Kata and SKD to get them on the front foot and to give the big guys a breather.CK: Kata was immense in Perth and SKD won’t play that badly again probably in his career. It’s a powerful 3/4 line, probably moreso if DWZ comes inDB: Fingers crossed for a quality game. OK, I think it’s time to wrap it up now before Jack starts making more Justin Bieber references. Cheers guys.last_img read more

Loreto falls to Thai foe in world title bid

first_imgMarcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Malacañang open to creating Taal Commission End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend The scores were 117-110 twice and 115-113 once.Loreto sabsorbed his first loss after winning seven straight and dropped to 23-14, 15 knockouts.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’Exploiting his longer reach, Loreto nearly had Niyomtrong’s left eye swelling by the fourth round, but the former Muay Thai fighter countered with straights to the body and found his range starting in the fifth.Knowing that he’s behind in the scorecards, Loreto desperately waged a body attack in the last three rounds, but the Thai was able to evade his lunges. 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano Missile-capable frigate BRP Jose Rizal inches closer to entering PH Navy’s fleet View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. NCAA Season 93’s Best 7: Week 1center_img Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ IT happens: Facebook sorry for Xi Jinping’s name mistranslation LATEST STORIES Unbeaten Thammanoon Niyomtrong thwarted the challenge of Filipino Rey Loreto on Saturday to extend his reign as World Boxing Association strawweight champion in Chonburi, Thailand.The Thai dominated the middle rounds and even knocked down Loreto in the ninth with an overhand right to prevail by unanimous decision and extend his win run to 16 with seven knockouts.ADVERTISEMENT Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Duterte’s ‘soft heart’ could save ABS-CBN, says election lawyer LIVE: Sinulog 2020 Grand Paradelast_img read more

‘Promote Liberian-owned Business’

first_imgThe chief executive officer (CEO) of Rise Incorporated has called on Liberians to take advantage of their own businesses instead of promoting foreign-owned investments in Liberia.Mr. Richmond Yarkpah, trades in computer accessories and stationary materials on Benson Street in Monrovia. He told our business desk recently that every Liberian needs to promote their brothers and sisters in the business arena.According to him, if Liberians can take the lead in promoting businesses in the country, it will create the opportunities for the establishment and expansion of more businesses in the country which will also enhance job creation for everybody.Mr. Yarkpah: “If they should take over the economy and move forward with their businesses, then, the government should also be able to build the capacities of its entrepreneurs.”He noted that at times when bid being advertised in the newspapers for business purposes, Liberian businesses will bid and people will check their business records and everything will be correct, but at the end they will end up  giving it to foreigners for little amount.”“With these kinds of perceptions in our country, we need to redirect ourselves and promote Liberian-owned businesses,” he emphasized.The CEO of Rise Incorporated also explained to our business desk that the economy of this country is in the hands of foreigners, and as such, he feels it is wise to join his colleagues to take over the economy of the country.“I see it good because it is necessary for Liberians to be part of the business activities of this country,” CEO Yarkpah emphasized.Business making in Liberia is highly competitive with foreigners struggling to maintain their inherited status above Liberians.The Liberianization policy which gives exclusive right to Liberians to own certain businesses is not effective despite promise by Commerce Minister, Axel Addy two years ago to enforce it.Mr. Yarkpah said thought his business is profitable, he is facing challenges in terms of customers because Liberians are rushing to foreign businesses.“We have varieties of prices for desktop computers set and laptops ranging from US$200 to $350 based on your choice,” he disclosed.At the same time, the CEO of Rise Incorporated told our Business desk they cannot stand alone and called on banking institutions to empower them through loan that they will invest in their businesses to improve.The CEO of Rise Incorporated holds Bachelor Degree in Computer Science and is practically inclined in solving technical problems on computer.Materials besides computers that are sold include printer, industrial printer, and ink and memory cards.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Huskies falter against Vipers

first_imgFort St. John’s next two games are on the road.  The Huskies visit Beaverlodge on Friday night (Oct. 2nd), and take on the Grande Prairie Wheelers on Saturday. It was a disappointing loss for Fort St. John, but dramatic win for Sexsmith, their second in as many nights, after beating Peace River on a late goal in Friday’s opener.  After the game, Vipers head coach Neil Magill had high praise for his team’s effort.   “If we’re within a goal, we aren’t going anywhere” he said.   Magill worried about the effects of two emotional wins on his club, but also admitted it could be helpful. “We’re going to need that emotion” he said, referring to a schedule that packs in tough opposition early in the season.  Sexsmith plays all five of its games against Whitecourt before the end of November, as well as four of its games against both Fort St. John and Peace River.   “We need emotions” he said, “we need character, and way to dig deep.”But, Magill also believes his team’s mentality is the biggest difference over last year.  After winning only three games all of last season, the Vipers have already beaten two tough teams on their opening weekend, despite having a fairly similar roster to last season.  “We have guys that have chips on their shoulders” he says. “They had a bad season, and they’re not willing to have that any more.”  Magill has pushed for a new attitude for both players and management, and he seems to have had remarkable results so far.   He says his players are coachable, and putting in the effort he needs to see.After Fort St. John outshot Sexsmith 10-4 in the first period, the Vipers fought back, for a final shot tally of 35-26, a telling statistic on the night.   The Huskies also spent far more time in the penalty box than did their opponents.   Coach Kalb indicated it was another hole in his team’s game. “We’ve talked about it constantly” he said. “You can’t be taking stupid penalties.”In the end, both coaches agreed on where the Huskies went wrong.  “They underestimated us” said Magill.Advertisement The Huskies underestimated another opponent on Saturday night, and this time it cost them.  Leading Sexsmith 3-2 heading into the third period, the Huskies took their feet off the gas, and allowed the Vipers to fight back for the win.Cam MacKinnon scored the only goal of the first period, jamming a loose puck past Justin Jarvis on a powerplay ten minutes in. Payden Wongstedt found his way on to the scoresheet early in the second, to make it 2-0.  Wongstedt had missed Friday night’s opener with a sore shoulder, and certainly made a difference in the Huskies breakout, which was one area in which they had improved over the previous night.  “Payden makes a big difference for us” said Coach Bob Kalb after the game.”  Kalb singled out Wongstedt, along with Cody Hildebrand, for their strong efforts on the night, but said a lot of other guys hadn’t shown up.  “You can’t go into any hockey game expecting an inferior opponent” he said, adding “there’s nothing that’s going to happen for us until we get a better work ethic.”- Advertisement -Halfway through the second, the Vipers began to work their way back into the game.  Branden Deveaux scored an unassisted goal, to get the first puck past Garrett Muir.  Dan Pappin was soon credited with the 3-1 goal, on a goalmouth scramble, but Blair Dietzen made it 3-2 minutes later.  The teams would again trade goals late in the second, with Nolan Trudeau scoring just 30 seconds after Cody Kalb’s fourth of the season, making it 4-3 Huskies after 40 minutes.And with the Huskies on their heels, and the Vipers smelling weakness, Sexsmith continued to press in the third, until Joel Zahara’s tying goal, with five minutes remaining sent the game to overtime.The extra frame didn’t last long. On an early attack, Jordan Chase’s shot was stopped by Garrett Muir, but he was left alone in front, and he banged in his own rebound, to win the game for the Vipers.Advertisementlast_img read more

Odom has torn labrum

first_imgThe hits keep coming for Lakers forward Lamar Odom, who underwent an MRI exam Saturday that revealed he suffered a torn labrum in his left shoulder late in Friday night’s loss to the Sacramento Kings. Odom is scheduled to see Dr. Lewis Yocum at the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic on Monday, and the Lakers expect to find out more details. If surgery is required, Odom could be sidelined for the rest of the season. A similar injury sidelined Odom for the final 17 games of the 2004-05 season. He underwent surgery for a torn labrum in his left shoulder and was just rounding into form when the Lakers began training camp five months later. Odom also sat out 21 games earlier this season because of a sprained knee ligament. He has averaged 16.4 points, 9.4rebounds and 4.7 assists in 38 games. He scored 26 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and added six assists Friday. He was injured when Sacramento’s Brad Miller fouled him with 2:47 remaining in the Kings’ 116-108 victory at Staples Center. Odom was not immediately available for comment, but he stopped by the Lakers’ training facility briefly Saturday. “He’s in some discomfort,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. Brian Cook is expected to replace Odom in the starting lineup when the Lakers face the Suns this afternoon in Phoenix. The Lakers also will be without forward Luke Walton (ankle) and perhaps without guard Maurice Evans (knee). Center Kwame Brown returned Friday from a 27-game absence because of a sprained ankle. He did not score in 20 minutes against the Kings. center_img “We’re still going to be fine,” Jackson said. “We’re still going to make it through. We’re still going to keep our heads above water. We’re not drowning.” The Lakers would be in better shape today if forward Vladimir Radmanovic had not gone snowboarding during the All-Star break. Radmanovic would have been the ideal candidate to replace Odom, but suffered a season-ending shoulder injury. “Sometimes you need some luck to avoid these injuries and keep pushing forward,” Kobe Bryant said. “Hopefully, it’s not too serious and (Odom) will get some treatment and deal with it.” Odom has dealt with a number of injuries during his career, which have conspired to keep him from fulfilling his enormous potential. (310) 540-4201 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

‘Tough tackling midfielder with class on the ball’ to sign for Liverpool?

first_imgFootball statistics analysts WhoScored put a rumoured Liverpool transfer target under the microscope – check out lots more Liverpool statistics at’s 4-1 thumping at Arsenal on Saturday was only the sixth league game Brendan Rodgers has lost in the second half of a season during his three-year tenure at the helm of the Merseyside club.Defeat at the Emirates dented the Reds’ chances of finishing in the top four this season, though Manchester City’s loss at Crystal Palace on Monday night will have boosted Liverpool’s hopes of returning to the Champions League.With the need to swell the ranks due to the increase in football that comes with playing in Europe’s elite club competition, Liverpool need to be ready to spend big in order to improve.With Steven Gerrard departing for MLS in the summer, the midfield is a key area that needs strengthening once the transfer window re-opens and with a rating of 7.19, Frenchman Geoffrey Kondogbia supposedly tops Liverpool’s wanted list.The Monaco star has shot to prominence this season due to Les Rouges et Blancs’ progression to the quarter final stage of the Champions League.Kondogbia opened the scoring in their memorable 3-1 win at Arsenal in February, turning out a performance that warranted a rating of 8.9 and the man of the match award.His display in north London, coupled with his performances in Ligue 1, will have led to potential suitors casting a watchful eye over the French Riviera.Given Liverpool’s lack of drive in the middle of the park and Gerrard’s inevitable departure, links with a move to Anfield come as little shock.Emre Can has been converted into right-sided a centre-back in Rodgers’ now favoured 3-4-3 formation, with the Reds perhaps needing to bolster their midfield as a result.Lucas Leiva provides steel in this position, and that is highlighted in that the Brazilian is averaging more tackles per league game (4.1) than any other Liverpool player this season.Kondogbia, though, does not fare much worse, averaging a modest 2.8 tackles per league match, helping him gain a statistically calculated strength of ‘tackling’.However, it’s his ability to carry possession forward that has won him numerous admirers. An average of 1.9 successful dribbles per game is an impressive return for a player who is generally viewed as a tough-tackling, ball-winning midfielder.Compared to all Liverpool players, only Raheem Sterling (3.1), Philippe Coutinho (2.9) and Jordon Ibe (2.8) are averaging more dribbles per game than Kondogbia. The three Reds stars are renowned for their dribbling ability, which only accentuates Kondogbia’s capability in this regard.Utilising his power and strength, the young France international would only improve a Liverpool midfield that can be considered lightweight following Can’s move to centre-back.Having failed to live up to expectations following a move to Sevilla in 2012, it could have been suggested that Kondogbia would be unable to realise his potential. However, after securing a switch to Monaco in 2013, the youngster is flourishing. With Liverpool needing to bolster their ranks in the middle of the park, the 22-year-old would be an astute acquisition given his current ability and capacity to develop further.However, the Reds would need to dig deep to convince the Ligue 1 outfit to sell one of their prized assets.With the competition they are likely to face for his signature expected to be high, Liverpool must act swiftly if they are to convince Kondogbia his future lies on Merseyside.For more stats on reported Liverpool target Geoffrey Kondogbia, click here to view his player page 1 Geoffrey Kondogbia last_img read more


first_imgCRUEL thieves have beaten another Co Donegal pensioner during a robbery – for the second time in two months.The 78-year-old victim was thrown to the ground at her home in Pettigo at the weekend.She was assaulted in a similar attack on November 16th last. The assault comes after a spate of other robberies of older people in Buncrana, Raphoe, Donegal Town and Convoy in recent days.Another pensioner was beaten up and robbed in Pettigo just five weeks ago.“This was a very serious attack and showed once again the total disregard shown by thieves towards elderly people,” said one Garda today.The incident has been condemned by Sinn Fein. Independent TD Thomas Pringle told us: “These sort of attacks appear to be getting more common and there is a certain type of gang out there now which is specifically targeting older people.“I don’t know what sort of people these are but it is clear they are very dangerous and I hope Gardai are given all the resources needed to catch those responsible.”Supt Leo McGinn said officers were following several lines of inquiry in relation to the attack on the pensioner. HOW LOW CAN THEY GO? PENSIONER, 78, BEATEN IN LATEST DONEGAL ROBBERY was last modified: January 14th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:78BEATEN IN LATEST DONEGAL ROBBERYbuncranaconvoyHOW LOW CAN THEY GO? PENSIONERPettigoRaphoeSinn FeinThomas Pringlelast_img read more


first_imgA LETTERKENNY man will go on trial next year accused of using threatening behaviour towards a nurse at the Emergency Department of the town’s hospital.Lawyers for 38-year-old Oliver Quill made a legal application to have the charges thrown out at the District Court.Mr Quill,  from Lisnennan Court in Letterkenny, strenuously denies the single charge of using threatening and abusive behaviour at the A&E department of the hospital on September 2, 2012. Solicitor Kieran Dillon argued before Judge Paul Kelly that his client was denying the charges.However he had now learned that CCTV footage of what happened on the day of the alleged offence was not available.Mr Quill, he said, had been relying on that CCTV footage for his defence because he believed it would show that he was not guilty.“There will be a conflict of evidence between the alleged injured party Nurse Callaghan and Mr Quill,” said Mr Dillon.He said there was a dispute over what happened after Mr Quill was treated at the hospital, that his client was moving from one location to another when issues arose.The CCTV footage had been accidentally erased, said Mr Dillion and that had placed his client “at a major disadvantage.”The lawyer went on: “There is a real risk of an unfair trial; given the sensitives of the location, evidence is crucial..”He said it was still unclear “as to where this gremln occurred and the case should be stopped at this point.”Inspector Goretti Sheridan however objected to the application.She told Judge Kelly that Nurse Callaghan was in a position to give her own version of events to the court.She said the lack of CCTV shouldn’t be allowed to prevent witnesses giving evidence in the case.“As in many of these cases it stands or falls on the credibility of witnesses,” she said.Judge Paul Kelly said case law was “explicit” in such matters and that cases should only be stopped in “exceptional cases” and he didn’t believe this was an exceptional case.He set a trial date for May 19th next year.MAN LOSES LEGAL BID TO PREVENT TRIAL OVER LETTERKENNY HOSPITAL ROW CHARGES was last modified: November 23rd, 2013 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:alleged abusive behaviourLetterkenny District Courtletterkenny hospitallast_img read more

In the church of Obama

first_imgJacob DlaminiI recently attended a church service on the south side of Chicago in the US Midwest. It was without doubt one of the most moving services I have sat through in a long time, with a sermon so considered, so fiery it is likely to stay with me forever.It was the kind of service that reminds sceptical Christians like me that there is more to life than our material concerns. But it was not simply the service that stood out for me. It was the totality of the experience. Let me share some of it with you.The first thing that struck me about the outside of the cream-coloured church building was the flags hanging outside it, flags in the black-green-and-gold colours of black liberation in the US, the same colours of South Africa’s African National Congress.The second thing that stood out for me was the many American men and women in traditional African attire. The clothes came in all kinds of material and colours: from the earthy brown, thick woollen get-up that calls to mind the ancient kingdom of Mali, the flowing shiny robes beloved of Nigerians to dashikis made popular by black revolutionaries in the 1960s. There were also a fair number of people in what we might call their Sunday best: western-style suits for men and formal dresses for women.The third remarkable thing about the church was that while it is an essentially black congregation, there were many white visitors on the day that I attended, including a young man from Italy.Two pews in front of me sat a white family from a sister congregation somewhere else in the American Midwest. White faces were seated everywhere inside the church and some in fact looked like regulars.The two-story megachurch is, from what I could make out, built in the shape of an octagon. The pulpit was placed slightly off-centre and, behind the pulpit, sat the church’s choir, with each member (including a middle-aged white man) in traditional African attire.Positioned between the choir and the pulpit was the church band, a professional-sounding outfit that boasted two keyboardists, a bass player, a drummer and, if memory serves, a piano player. Some of the church’s songs were accompanied by dancing from the Sunday school troupe, young boys and girls clad in all-white uniforms.I must have visited on a lucky Sunday because there were baptisms scheduled for the day. The baptisms were an interesting mix of conventional Christian theology and African mythology.The baptised babies, each accompanied by his or her parents and a godparent, were each given a taste of pepper, salt, vinegar and honey by church elders. This was so they may know life can be both bitter and sweet, explained Reverend Otis Moss, the church’s new pastor. It is an ancient West African practice carried over into north America and kept alive by African-Americans.Then came, after some singing, the sermon. Titled The Tragedy of a Successful Father, the sermon was about the failure of fathers to balance their public and private lives.Reading from the book of Samuel, the pastor used the story of King David’s failure to be a proper father and mentor to his son Absalom to talk about the challenges that faced fathers. The pastor said David had been a model but not a mentor to Absalom and that this had led to Absalom’s death. The pastor then brought this to the present by talking about the failure of black men in the US to serve as mentors to their children.The pastor said black America was crying out for: “BMWs – black men worshipping; BMPs – black men praying.” It was a stirring ceremony.The highlight came when the pastor invited BMWs to join him at the centre of the church and to commit themselves to respecting women and serving as mentors to their children. He asked the men who joined him in the centre of the church to commit to being responsible and sensible adults and, most importantly, to fight racism and injustice.What is the name of this church, you ask? Why, it is Trinity United Church of Christ, Barack Obama’s former church. As we all know, Obama left Trinity unceremoniously in early 2008 after the church’s pastor Jeremiah Wright, who has since retired from the pulpit, almost derailed Obama’s presidential bid with incendiary comments about American politics and the US’s treatment of black people, not to mention withering sermons he had given over a 30-year period.But Obama was a member of the church for about 20 years and it is fair to assume that he absorbed his church’s commitment to justice and love of Africa during his time there. Obama takes his faith seriously and it is gratifying to think that he will take a strong sense of justice and individual responsibility to the White House with him.For me, the best part about Trinity was seeing the proud display of the church’s awareness of and commitment to Africa. I know that Obama, whose father was Kenyan, is an American president first and foremost and that his skin colour has nothing to do with how he might approach his foreign policy. Why should it?Still, it was edifying to be inside a church that Obama and his family attended for 20 years and to hear first-hand the church’s commitment to social justice and personal responsibility. Let’s pray Obama places those two principles at the centre of his policy towards Africa.Go to the MediaClub weekly columns home pageJacob Dlamini is a PhD student in History at Yale University, a columnist for The Weekender, and former political editor of Business Day.last_img read more

New technology to treat burns

first_imgThe dressing is harmful to pathogenic bacteria, and helps to prevent secondary infection in vulnerable areas of skin. Prof Leon Dicks and his team at Stellenbosch University have revolutionised burn treatment with their new dressing. (Images: Leon Dicks) MEDIA CONTACTS • Engela Duvenage  Media: Faculty of Science,   Stellenbosch University  +27 21 808 2684 RELATED ARTICLES • SA’s second health train rolls out • Meet a top social entrepreneur • SA’s triage system to go global • Breathing new life into Hillbrow • Drug delivery gets sophisticated Wilma den HartighA South African microbiologist has applied modern technology and science to develop a revolutionary dressing to treat burn wounds. The new dressing is the first of its kind and will reduce the risk of secondary infections. The wound dressing, developed by Prof Leon Dicks and a research team from Stellenbosch University, is an important innovation in the treatment of burns as it contains ingredients to fight the infections that are especially common in burn wound patients. A solution to infections Dicks explains that when people sustain burn wounds, the protective layer of the skin is removed. “This exposes underlying skin, which then makes them very prone to secondary infections,” he says.Infection is a major complication of burns. According to the peer-reviewed Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, statistics from the US alone show that from one million patients, an estimated 10 000 die from secondary microbial infections.He points out that traditional methods used to treat burns are effective, but only as long as the patient doesn’t develop an infection that is difficult to treat with conventional antibiotics.Many bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics such as penicillin, methicillin and vancomycin, all commonly used to treat infections.The new dressing offers a solution to antibiotic resistance, using antimicrobial peptides and nanofibres.Each oval dressing patch incorporates broad-spectrum antimicrobial peptides, or proteins, that are resistant to certain strains of bacteria, into a nanofibre dressing.The nanofibres used in the dressing material are produced using an electrospinning process, which forms thin polymer threads using an electrical current of 10 000 volts or more.“As the polymer is spun from the one charged pole to the other, the nanofibres are deposited onto a collector plate,” explains Dicks. Millions of these nanofibres are then collected onto a specific surface to form a dressing.The other advantage is that the dressing releases antimicrobial peptides slowly over several days, which means it only has to be changed once a week. “This is not the case with current dressings on the market,” he says.By altering the nanoparticles the dressing becomes part of the new skin and supports the healing process.The antimicrobial peptides kill bacterial pathogens by forming pores in their cells. This action prevents pathogens from building up resistance to the peptides.“This is an enormous advantage, especially with so many pathogens that have developed resistance to antibiotics.”Two types of dressingDicks and his research team have developed another variation of the nanofibre dressing, using living bacterial cells.“In both cases the active ingredient is securely trapped in nanofibres and slowly released from the dressing,” he explains.The dressing is available in a biodegradable and non-biodegradable form.“The biodegradable dressing forms part of the skin, while the non-biodegradable dressing is designed to be replaced, just as normal dressings are done,” he says.With the biodegradable dressing the nanofibres act as a support material to strengthen the skin. “It works much like biodegradable stitches,” says Dicks.Rewarding innovation The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) BHP Billiton Awards recently awarded Dicks the TW Kambule Award in recognition of his contribution to science, engineering, technology and innovation in South Africa.These NSTF awards are important as they celebrate the work of South Africa’s scientists, engineers and technologists working in areas of research that are innovative, forward thinking and relevant to South Africa and the rest of the world.Dicks says the award is a great honour. “Although a true scientist never does this to receive awards, it is always good to know that your efforts are appreciated,” he says. He also commends his research team for their involvement in the research project. “It is equally important to recognise all the students that have been involved in the research and innovation. This is very much a team effort.”Successful research partnershipThe wound dressing has been patented by a leading South African pharmaceutical company, Cipla Medpro.Dr Nic de Jongh at Cipla Medpro describes the wound dressing as one example of the kind of innovation that can be achieved through collaboration between the private sector and research institutions in South Africa.Dicks says the product needs another 15 months of research before the dressing can be released for final testing and evaluation.Availability of the product will depend on how soon production of the dressing can start. The partners have to find a company that has the facilities to produce large quantities of the antimicrobial nanofibre dressing.Dicks says the funding and support of Cipla Medpro was key to ensure the success of the wound dressing project.Although South African researchers have to compete against big international teams with vast resources and funding, he believes local scientists have an advantage.“The one thing about South Africans is that we are extremely innovative and we tend to think a little broader than many of our international counterparts, which is useful in this space.”Slideshow image courtesy of Eureka Hyman’s photostream on read more