ARCATA >> Tuesday night the Arcata volleyball team did what no Big 5 team has done thus far in league play — beat Del Norte.In a five set nail-bitting finish the Tigers kept their Big 5 league title hopes alive by handing the Warriors their first league loss at 25-22, 23-25, 17-25, 25-22 and 19-17 at Arcata High School. The tension was high on both sides of the net, and when it got to the fifth set it was apparent whomever wanted it most was going to have to fight to the bitter end to get the …
11 June 2015From today, the Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria is expected to be busier than ever. More than 50 African heads of state and government will be touching down at the highly guarded airport as the final count down to the 25th African Union Summit, in Johannesburg, begins.For the 2015 Summit, Zimbabwe is sitting in the chairperson’s seat and President Robert Mugabe is expected to preside over a very tough programme. So what can we expect?We can be sure that the crisis in Burundi is set to dominate the summit. The biggest question that has been on everyone’s lips at the Sandton Convention Centre this week is will African leaders solve the political turmoil facing Burundi and how will they convince President Pierre Nkurunzinza to reconsider his intention to stand for a third term, despite the fact that the constitution limits him to two.Boko Haram and al-ShabaabBut Burundi will not be the only headache for the AU leaders as they prepare to sit for their ordinary assembly scheduled for 14 and 15 June. The AU is expected to emerge with a strong campaign against terrorist groups like Boko Haram in Nigeria and Kenyan based al-Shabaab. The terrorist groups have killed hundreds of people, displaced thousands and destroyed many families.In Nigeria, Boko Haram took credit for the disappearance of hundreds of school girls, who it is feared are to be used as suicide bombers. Perhaps the intensity of these militant groups will finally push the AU to speed up the operationalisation of the African Standby Force, a continental force which should have been in place many years ago.There will also be lighter issues on the agenda, like the finalisation of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) which the AU wants in place by 2017. The 2012 summit in Addis Ababa under the theme, “Boosting intra-African trade”, endorsed a plan to set up the structure by 2017. The proposed CFTA is reportedly a key component of the AU’s strategy to boost trade within the region by at least 25% to 30% in the next decade.Agenda 2063Then there is the issue of Agenda 2063. AU leaders want the summit in South Africa to come up with a plan for the first 10 years of the implementation of Agenda 2063. According to the AU summit of 2013, when the plan was adopted, Agenda 2063 is an approach to how the continent should learn from the lessons of the past and take advantage of the opportunities available in the short, medium and long term to achieve a prosperous Africa by 2063. That year will mark 100 years since the formation of the Organisation of African Unity, the precursor of the AU.We can also expect some serious discussion on the empowerment of women and how women on the continent should take more active leadership in the economy.A 10-member committee appointed by the AU to push for the reform of United Nations Security Council is expected to report back to the summit on its work. The AU wants to have permanent representation on the council, and argues that the UN structure can no longer debate issues affecting Africa without Africa’s involvement.And then there is the issue of funding for the union. Many have asked whether the AU has the financial resources to do all the things it wants to do. Over the years, the continental body has been heavily reliant on international donors to survive. Some want this to change.AU Commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma wants the AU to be self-sufficient financially and she believes the body’s 54-member states should provide the much- needed financing. But with many of these countries poor and dependent on donors themselves, it’s a tough call.Source: SAnews.gov
With just 25 days to go for the Commonwealth Games (CWG), the Delhi government is again set to miss its deadline for the completion of various projects. This time, the government is blaming the slow progress on the rains. The latest deadline set by the state government expires on September 15, but the works seem far from completion. However the state government defended itself blaming rains in the capital and again refused to take responsibility for the debacle in the making. When Headlines Today posed some blunt questions to Delhi PWD Minister Raj Kumar Chouhan, he hinted at the deadline being missed once again. “Normally it doesn’t rain so heavily in September. We should have completed the work by now, but we are facing difficulties because of rain,” Chouhan said. “Rain doesn’t see any deadline, be it September 10 or 15. It is difficult to do construction when it is raining,” the minister added. On the other side, CWG organising committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi termed the rain as a challenge. He however was confident about the success of the Games. “There were many challenges for the Commonwealth Games. Rain is also a challenge. It has been raining heavily. But we are confident that we will meet this challenge also. Everything will be fine,” Kalmadi said.
Abhinav Bindra would be aiming for a second-successive medal, while Gagan Narang would hope to be third-time lucky after past disappointments when the hyped duo takes aim in the 10m Air Rifle event of the London Olympics on Monday. Bindra, India’s first individual Olympic gold-medallist who got the yellow metal in 2008 Beijing Olympics, claims to have all but forgotten about the glory that he brought four years ago.”Looking at the past has no bearing, I don’t want to soak myself with the thoughts of Beijing performance. I won a gold four years ago in two hours of shooting. That is over and done with,” Bindra has stated.This would be Bindra’s fourth Olympic appearance and perhaps never before would he have endured the immense burden of expectations that has followed him to the British capital.Narang, on the other hand, has had to face disappointments in his two previous appearances at the big event.Narang has gone on to win numerous medals in the ISSF World Cups, World Championship, Commonwealth Games and the Asiad, besides creating a new world record in 2008, but Olympic glory has always eluded the ever-smiling shooter from Hyderabad.But given the good form he was in going into the Games here, the Olympic medal jinx could well be broken this time around.”I have been unlucky twice (Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008), hope I get third time lucky,” Narang has said.Besides competing against each other, the duo will also face a stiff challenge from China’s Zhu Qinan, who was incidentally beaten by Bindra in Beijing.advertisementBesides 10-metre, Narang is also competing in 50-m Rifle Prone (August 3) and 50-m Rifle 3 Position (August 6), giving himself enough chances of winning a medal at the Royal Artillery Barracks.For the first time ever, India will have 11 shooters, three more than the eight participants in the Beijing Games.