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Minister Ring denies Cope’s claims of rural underspend

first_imgMichael Ring has hit back at Fianna Fáil for ‘misleading’ the public in relation to Government funding for rural communities.The comments from the Minister for Rural and Community Development come following claims yesterday (Weds) by Fianna Fáil’s Pat the Cope Gallagher over a €270 million underspend.The Fianna Fail TD calculated, from parliamentary question replies, that €270M which was sanctioned for 2017-2019 rural schemes and LEADER funding had not been spent by the end of August. However, according to Minister Ring, the Department of Rural and Community Development has now publicly confirmed that there is no such underspend within the Department.“Fianna Fáil’s spokesperson on Rural, Community, and Gaeltacht Affairs, Dara Calleary, is misleading people in relation to Government investment in rural areas. I ask him to desist from doing so. The truth is this Government is spending more money on rural communities than ever before,” Ring said.“Let me be clear: there is no underspend in relation to my Department’s funding of rural communities. My Department spent all of its capital budget last year, it will spend it in full this year, and will do so again next year.“Last year the Department spent €237.5 million of a total budget of €239.2 million (the savings made mainly related to administration costs savings on staff and admin overheads). For the year to date in 2019, the Department’s spend is very much on target*. “This is a deliberate and reckless attempt by Fianna Fáil to mislead people and undermine the work of the Government.”In relation to this claim, Minister Ring continued: “I can confirm that since the Town and Village Renewal Scheme and Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Schemes commenced in 2016 there have been approvals of €91.5 million with payments of €51 million made for completed works.“There are commitments of €39.9 million remaining on these schemes, not €56 million as Fianna Fáil claim. This money will be paid when the works are completed.“These are capital projects which can have long lead-in times for design, procurement and delivery. Works usually take 18-24 months with main payments made on completion of the projects. Such timelines are necessary to enable local authorities to deliver projects under our capital programmes.“For example, if I approve funding for the building of a community centre, the money doesn’t leave my Department until the centre is built. “This is a fundamental principle in managing public finances. It’s cynical and desperate of Fianna Fáil to try to characterise it as an underspend. Do they think we should hand over the money before the work has even started?“This Government is spending more money on rural communities than ever before and it is spending it on time. When Fianna Fáil were last in Government, we didn’t have any money to spend on rural communities and 1,000 jobs a week were being lost.“It is the job of the opposition to hold the Government to account but in doing so it should stick to the facts and not mislead people. Otherwise, it is doing rural Ireland a disservice.”Minister Ring denies Cope’s claims of rural underspend was last modified: September 19th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare 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)last_img read more

Ramblings: Why the Sharks are A-OK without Joe Thornton

first_imgNASHVILLE, Tenn. — Joe Thornton flew to Nashville with his Sharks teammates Monday, but he’ll probably see more cowboy boots, live music and menus with hot chicken this week than game action.Head coach Pete DeBoer’s acknowledgement Sunday that Thornton is receiving antibiotic treatment through a PICC line suggests that he’s unlikely to play on the Sharks three-game road trip. That isn’t necessarily bad news.Tuesday’s game against the Nashville Predators (7-1) will mark the 41st time in the …last_img

Consequences of Bad Choices: Well, Duh

first_imgResponsibility – integrity – honesty – respect – healthy choices.  Those are the values of a bygone generation.  Do we need science to tell us that our grandparents were right?    PhysOrg reported that “Teen sexual activity and gambling [is] associated with taking nonprescribed medications to get high.”  And Live Science reported, “Coed Dorms Fuel Sex and Drinking.”  Some 90% of college dorms are now coed.  A new study of 500 students from five college campuses, published in the Journal of American College Health, found that students in coed dorms were 2.5 times more likely to engage in binge drinking weekly.  “Perhaps unsurprisingly, the study found students in coed dorms were significantly more likely to have had multiple sexual partners in the past year,” Science Daily added.  “Pornography use was also higher among students in coed dorms.”    The profligate students were not necessarily correlated with frats or sororities.  Students in gender-specific dorms were usually placed there by the administration, not by their own choice.  That sounds so 1950.When you find something incredibly obviously stupid going on in public life, that makes no sense at all, and produces terrible consequences, you can usually find a Darwin-based liberal policy behind it.  What’s Darwin got to do with the above stories, you ask?  Well, since the 1960s, Judeo-Christian values have been marginalized in society under the guise of separation of church and state.  Universities have stepped on themselves to remove anything resembling the Ten Commandments.  Simultaneously, the Church of Darwin has been preaching in their sanctuaries (the school classrooms) that we are all evolved animals and that selfishness and promiscuity are just natural.    If they find the consequences distasteful, well, duh, what did they expect?  Did they expect the children of tolerance and liberation and selfishness to become altruistic scientists?  Teach young people that they are mere animals and they will act like them.  When the subjects outnumber the researchers, Darwinistic science will lead to its own demise – in the Animal Farm.(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Brew Ha Ha: a trans-Africa tea tour

first_imgI can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to ride a motorcycle “Cape to Cairo”.I am sure the desire to do the journey has been with me forever; or at least since my earliest childhood in London when my imagination, fuelled by reading comics in the late ’60s and early ’70s, began to dream of far-off lands and exotic people from the time before mobile phones, GPS and the internet, when adventure meant one man pitted against the elements.The impulse for a long distance trip also fed into the enduring idea of escape, and as I get older there seems more to escape from.More exotic than EalingI got married in Johannesburg in the 1980s, which was the first time I set foot on African soil and was thrilled to see I had arrived in the comic book scenes of my childhood: of Zulus and witch doctors, of lions and elephants, of stifling heat and tropical storms.It certainly seemed more exotic than the London Borough of Ealing, where I was brought up.But it was not until a couple of years ago when I bought a home in Cape Town and started dividing my time between Britain and South Africa that I started taking the whole idea of riding through Africa seriously – Cairo to Cape.Nobody else did of course but that’s the thing with hare-brained schemes, they wouldn’t be hare-brained if everybody wanted to do them.The journey was taking shape in my mind, I just needed a little push to get started, and I got it from a most unexpected place.Tea; not only as a thirst-quencherLike the African overland journey, I have always loved tea, not only as a thirst-quencher but also because of the cerebral effects it has on the drinker – I’ve used the amber liquid to commemorate, commiserate and celebrate, so I’m used to turning to the teapot to help me through every occasion.The tea ritual also has long fascinated me. I am sure world summits, peace negotiations and civil wars could be resolved more quickly over a nice pot of tea.But of course someone would have to make the tea; that is an important part of the ritual, the idea that somebody has gone to the trouble of boiling the kettle, setting a tray, enquired “Milk or lemon?”, and then poured the precious liquid into your waiting cup breaks down perceived barriers and is the perfect starting point for conversation.After you’ve shared a pot of tea you feel closer to your guest (or host) in a way that sharing a pint in a pub can never do. The ritual is in your own hands, you create the encounter, you make it what it is, and every one is different.Mandela, PW take teaOn July 5 1989, before Nelson Mandela was officially released from prison, he was taken to a meeting with President Botha to negotiate reforms that were to change the face of South Africa. The remarkable meeting prompted a surprised Mandela to later recall: “The thing that impressed me was that he poured the tea.”Why was Mandela impressed? Because tea is a great leveller, and the politics of pouring the tea says more than a year of diplomatic negotiations ever can.The meeting proved that even at statesman level there is something human-scale and undeniably intimate to the ritual of sharing a pot of tea. It cements long-held friendships, turns strangers into new friends and, apparently, helps politicians create the New South Africa.My thoughts on tea got me wondering, what do Africans think about the tea ritual? Do they even drink tea? Do they serve milky tea or tea without, tea in a mug or a china cup, served on a tray, with or without sugar? What time of the day is it served? Does it matter? Is it served with the same formality as it is on occasion in Britain? Does the phrase “I’ll put the kettle on” at times of crisis have the same connotations? Is it used as a soother or a pick-me-up, a consolation or a celebration?The used tea bag transformedThese were some of the questions I needed answering. So it was fortuitous that my embryonic thoughts on tea were given a shot of inspiration after a visit to Original Tea Bag Designs in Hout Bay, Cape Town.The project, whose products are sold around the world, creates superb gifts based on the humble tea bag. The used tea bag is dried, emptied of its leaves and then painted on. The resulting artworks are applied to a huge number of products from coasters to trays, from bookmarks to jewellery, from wooden boxes to candle holders.I found it inspiring that someone had found a way of extending the life of the modest tea bag – the very epitome of the throwaway society.My plans for the trans-Africa trip and my love of tea coalesced into one brilliant idea: wouldn’t it be great if on the Cairo to Cape trip I stopped for tea with people I met along the way.Tea stops across AfricaNow it began to get exciting as I planned a five-month trip across two continents, stopping for tea at every opportunity and collecting the teabags for Original Tea Bag Designs to make more amazing products.The project would be the final destination of the journey (not least because they promised me a “welcome home” tea party on February 22 2008), which I had now christened the African Brew Ha Ha – The Search for the Ultimate Cuppa.The solo trip through Africa proved to be the most physically challenging five months of my life but also, in many ways, the most poignant.I had no idea what the trip would involve before I left, but with the help of everybody I met along the way I succeeded.And the tea was terrific – I had tea as a consoler, tea as a celebration, tea as a thirst-quencher, tea as a greeting, and finally a tea party as a great welcome home when I arrived in Hout Bay (15 minutes late!).Cheers!© Alan Whelan 2008Story submitted to SAinfo on 1 May 2008last_img read more

Hoffman shines at World Track Champs

first_imgWith a star-studded 21-man field consisting of the world’s best riders, the race was destined to be a hard one with no quarter asked or given. The 26-year-old from Franschhoek, who currently resides in Johannesburg, rode a well-controlled race and pulled out something extra at the end to close down the gap on an escaping group. 5 April 2012 SAinfo reporter ‘Tried to play it cool’“I knew somebody was going to attack in the finish, and just tried to play it cool and make other people chase. It’s definitely the hardest I’ve ever had to work for a track cycling race,” the aptly named Swift said afterwards. Talent and class Hoffman, around 10 lengths behind Swift at the bell lap, showed his immense talent and undoubted class when he turned the burners on the second last corner to pass five riders. South African sprint sensation Nolan Hoffman delivered the performance of his life to clinch a silver medal in the 15km scratch race at the 2012 UCI Track World Champs in Melbourne, Australia on Wednesday. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material Swift’s win was the first British gold medal for the event since it was introduced at the 2002 World Championships, while it was South Africa’s first medal in the men’s scratch event. Around the last bend, it was clear that a podium finish was within reach for the South African. He put in an almighty effort to try and catch Swift, but it was not to be. Nonetheless, Hoffman’s enormous final lunge saw him miss out on the gold medal by a mere half a wheel. He was ecstatic to cross the line in second place. Hoffman believed it was a breakthrough performance at his first elite World Championships. “I’ve been to all the World Cups and I’ve struggled a bit and I always thought the World Champs is going to be hard,” he said with some surprise. Austrian Andreas Muller made a break with with six laps of the 60 remaining to open up a-third-of-a-lap lead. Czech rider Martin Blaha, Italian Elia Viviani and Briton Ben Swift chased down Mueller to catch him with less than two laps left before the British rider kicked to open a lead in the final back straight. last_img read more

Someone helped identify Dabholkar to shooters: CBI

first_imgA special court on Saturday for the second time extended the CBI remand of Sharad Kalaskar, the alleged second shooter in the killing of rationalist Dr. Narendra Dabholkar, till September 17.The Central Bureau of Investigation sought for extension on grounds that a person who was apparently present on the day of the murder on August 20, 2013, had allegedly helped the two named shooters — Sachin Andure and Kalaskar — identify Dr. Dabholkar when he was out on a morning stroll in Pune’s Maharshi Vitthal Ramji Shinde bridge (also known as the Omkareshwar bridge).“During the reconstruction of the crime, it has come to the agency’s notice that there was a person who identified Dr. Dabholkar to the two assailants, making it possible for them to kill the rationalist. Investigation has revealed that the shooters had not seen the victim in person before the murder. So, Kalaskar’s further custody can help in identifying this person,” said CBI counsel, Vijaykumar Dhakane.The agency further submitted that on the night of July 23 this year, Kalaskar, who was on his way to meet Vaibhav Raut (arrested by the ATS in the arms haul case) at the latter’s residence in Nallasopara, had dismantled four country-made pistols and thrown them in the water in areas in Greater Mumbai and Thane.“The firearms used in Dr. Dabholkar’s murder may be among those arms dismantled by Kalaskar,” said advocate Dhakane, stating that further custody was essential to know the spots at which he destroyed these arms and if possible recover them.“The agency has taken Kalaskar to locations such as Kalwa bridge at Thane creek and Bhayander bridge at Vasai creek, but the accused cannot identify the exact spot from where he threw the firearms. Hence, the CBI seeks his further custody,” the remand application reads.Judicial magistrate, first class, S. M. A. Sayyed accordingly extended Kalaskar’s remand till September 17.Arguing against an extension of Kalaskar’s custody, advocate Dharmraj Chandel said that the CBI had failed to make any significant recovery or elicit any vital piece of information during Kalaskar’s 12-day custody.“Kalaskar has already cooperated with the agency and has told them everything he knows. 12 days is sufficient for the CBI. Yet, the agency, by bringing up new pretexts for the extension of his custody, is merely trying to prolong the investigation on vague theories,” said Mr. Chandel.“Till recently, the CBI failed to make any progress in the investigation into Dr. Dabholkar’s murder. It was only when the ATS shared information with the CBI that the latter took Kalaskar and Andure in their custody,” he said.last_img read more

Asa Miller finishes in top 70 of men’s giant slalom

first_imgBrace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ Read Next Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH AFP official booed out of forum Philippines’ Asa Miller competes in the Men’s Giant Slalom at the Jeongseon Alpine Center during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang on February 18, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Fabrice COFFRINIAsa Miller made a huge leap in his second run to finish 70th overall in the men’s giant slalom event in alpine skiing Sunday in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter OIympics at Yongpyong Alpine Centre.Seeking to improve his time of 1:27.52 after finishing 81st in Run 1, the Fil-Am alpine skier performed better in Run 2, completing the course in 1:22.43, the 68th-best in the round.ADVERTISEMENT Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises View comments LATEST STORIES That showing hiked his total time to 2:49.95, still 31.91 seconds behind the leader but enough to get him a spot in the top 70 among 108 competitors.Marcel Hirscher of Austria claimed the gold medal after topping the field with a total time of 2:18.04.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHenrik Kristoffersen of Norway made a huge run in Run 2 to take home the silver with his 2:19.31, while Alexis Pinturault of France settled for bronze with his time of 2:19.35.Miller will compete in the men’s slalom event on Thursday. UE should have a ‘win now’ mentality, says Adorador Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics PLAY LIST 00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PHlast_img read more

Tony Hawk starts gig as commentator for Vans Park Series

first_imgUS skateboarder Tony Hawk poses on the red carpet before the 2019 Laureus World Sports Awards ceremony at the Sporting Monte-Carlo complex in Monaco on February 18, 2019. (Photo by Valery HACHE / AFP)SAN DIEGO — One of the first things Tony Hawk was looking forward to doing when he arrived in Shanghai for his debut as commentator for the Vans Park Series was to grab a skateboard and do some prep work.“Skating the courses and connecting with the competitors directly in order to have better insight when the competition actually starts,” Hawk said in an email exchange.ADVERTISEMENT PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss He’ll be at the microphone when Vans Park Series starts its fourth year of competition this weekend, showcasing the world’s best park terrain skateboarders a year before the sport makes its Olympic debut. Hawk will join co-host Chris Cote for the five competitions, which continue in São Paulo, Brazil June 22-23; Montreal July 12-13; Paris Aug. 9-10 and the men’s and women’s championships in Salt Lake City Sept. 6-7.“It’s fun for me as a fan of skating to share my expertise with a larger audience, and give the casual viewer a better understanding in the nuances of skating,” he said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsHawk said Vans events are “authentic and raw. We have seen some of the most progressive and evolutionary tricks and techniques occur during all the excitement, especially in the finals. And having pay equality for prize money is hugely important in validating women skaters that have been slighted for far too long in other events.”Park terrain, he added, is “a hybrid of pool, vert and mini-ramp skating, with occasional ‘street’ elements added to the course. Focusing on only one of those disciplines will not benefit a competitor, so it is more likely that someone who grew up riding various skateparks will excel.” Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Only four players in 100 years have won six NFL titles Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too Private companies step in to help SEA Games hostingcenter_img Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport MOST READ View comments Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew With an international roster of skateboarding’s top pros, Vans Park Series awards a total series purse of more than $700,000 and has prize parity for men and women.“Zion Wright has become an incredible skater in all terrain recently so he will be one to watch,” Hawk said. “I am also excited to see the spontaneous, unpredictable crew like Jake Wooten, Greyson Fletcher, Chris Russell and Clay Kreiner. For women, Lizzie Armanto is an obvious favorite, along with Jordyn Barratt, Poppy Olsen, Nora Vasconcellos and Sakura Yosozumi.”The contest will be carried via livestream on www.vansparkseries.com.Hawk, 51, said it’s too early to know if he’ll be broadcasting at the Olympics.“I would entertain the idea of they ask me, but there have been no discussions as of yet. I think skateboarding will add a much-needed youthful energy to the summer games, and will most likely be one of the highlights from Tokyo 2020,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games messlast_img read more

Henrikh Mkhitaryan sparkles as Manchester United reach Europa last 32

first_imgManchester United are warming to the task in the Europa League as they booked a spot in the last 32 with a 2-0 win over Zorya Luhansk on a freezing night in Ukraine on Thursday. (Latest Football stories)Goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who made a mockery of his two-month exile from the starting lineup with a superb individual effort, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic secured an easy win that banished memories of their earlier group stage struggles.The victory confirmed United in second place in Group A behind Turkish side Fenerbahce who ended Feyenoord’s qualification hopes with a 1-0 away win over the Dutch side.Premier League Southampton, however, were dumped out after a 1-1 draw at home to Hapoel Beer Sheva that was enough to send the Israeli side into the next round as Group K runners-up.United, who could now view the competition as their best route into the Champions League with their Premier League form continuing to disappoint, needed only a draw to progress but never looked in danger of suffering an upset.Mkhitaryan, who joined United for 25 million pounds ($31.47 million) from Borussia Dortmund in the close season, may finally have won over manager Jose Mourinho after he danced through the heart of the defence to slot home his first goal for the club early in the second half.The Armenian, a constant thorn in Zorya’s side, looks to have regained the confidence that helped him score 23 goals for Dortmund in all competitions last season.”I was waiting a long time for this goal,” Mkhitaryan told BT Sport. “My next goal has to be at Old Trafford because I want to score at home.”advertisementIbrahimovic netted in the 88th minute after latching on to a Paul Pogba through ball, his seventh goal in his last six games in all competitions.EVENTFUL NIGHTEleven places in the Europa League’s knockout stages were still up for grabs and Serie A side Fiorentina added their name to the list from Group J with a 2-1 win in Qarabag on an eventful night for 19-year-old midfielder Federico Chiesa.The son of former Italy striker Enrico grabbed the winning goal, his first senior strike, in the 76th minute but was then dismissed following a second booking eight minutes later.Hapoel needed a score draw or better against Southampton to go through from a topsy-turvy group that had already seen former European champions Inter Milan eliminated.Having barely threatened all night, Hapoel took the lead through Maor Buzaglo’s angled drive and although Virgil van Dijk claimed a stoppage-time equaliser, there was to be no late escape act from the Premier League team.Fenerbahce required a point in Rotterdam to reach the last 32 and took all three to finish top of the standings.Feyenoord needed to win by two goals but were undone in the 22nd minute when Moussa Sow found the net with a bicycle kick to continue his habit of producing acrobatic strikes following his overhead effort against United earlier in the group stage.Villarreal progressed, ending the hopes of Steaua Bucharest, with a 2-1 triumph over the former European champions in Group L.Goals from Nicola Sansone and an 88th-minute winner from Manuel Trigueros, following Vlad Achim’s leveller for Steaua, propelled the Spaniards to second place while the Romanians finished bottom.Dundalk’s hopes of becoming the first Irish side to grace the knockout stages of a European competition were dashed by a 2-1 defeat at Maccabi Tel Aviv in Group D where AZ Alkmaar beat Zenit St Petersburg 3-2 to join the Russians in the last 32.The draw for the next round, when eight teams will drop into the competition from the Champions League, takes place on Monday.last_img read more