December 19

Mad Scientists Poised on the Slippery Slope

first_imgStem cells can do good or harm, depending on their source.  When scientists think themselves above ethics, watch out.Adult Stem Cell NewsAdult stem cells (AS) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) are safe and effective ways to treat a variety of diseases, ethically neutral because they are not derived from human embryos.The first clinical trial with iPS is drawing near, Science Now reported.  In Japan, they will be used to treat age-related macular degeneration.  PhysOrg states this will give hope to millions of elderly people robbed of their sight.  Before iPS, the only way to harvest stem cells was from embryos, the article said, a process that is “controversial because it requires the destruction of the embryo, a process to which religious conservatives, among others, object,” implying that liberals have less a problem with destroying human embryos.Speaking of blindness, adult stem cells derived from body fat may help treat retinopathy, “a complication of diabetes that threatens the vision of millions,” Medical Xpress reported.  Since “everybody has extra fat,” this alternative treatment can garner an abundance of source material while being gentler on the eye.  “”Most importantly, you can obtain them from the same donor as you would be injecting into, so it’s autologous therapy, meaning you don’t need to worry about the body’s immune response.”Researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology have found a faster way to isolate iPS cells, Live Science reported, based on their stickiness.  This will allow “scientists to experiment with a greater number of cells at a time and thereby speeding progress toward potential medical therapies.”Science Magazine reported progress with growing entire tissues, such as portions of the intestine, from stem cells embedded in a patient’s own tissues.  A single intestinal stem cell can develop into a “mini-gut” with folds and all. “Because biopsies taken from live donors can serve as the tissue source, this approach could solve ethical and logistical issues associated with organ transplantation and may represent a safe complement to embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cell–based strategies.”Embryonic Stem Cells and CloningScientists know that experimentation on human embryos is “controversial” and raises “ethical issues,” yet many of them continue to lust after embryonic stem cells (ES) and, even more shocking, want to work on human cloning and human-animal chimeras.Science Magazine asked, “Does Cloning Produce Better Embryonic Stem Cells?“, implying that if they do, scientists would want to use them.  Nothing was said about ethics in the article.  Shoukhrat Mitalipov, the researcher at University of Oregon who recently claimed to have cloned human embryos (see 5/13/13), is arguing that “cloned human embryonic stem cells may have some advantages over other cells.”  That is a completely pragmatic argument that dodges whether scientists should pursue their use.Nature printed the views of two researchers in the Netherlands who, while applauding Mitalipov’s achievement, advocate sticking with iPS cells and improving them instead of tinkering with human embryos by harvesting eggs. (Note: their views are not necessarily those of the editors of Nature.)In our opinion, the discovery in 2006 that differentiated adult cells can be directly reprogrammed to a stem-cell-like state called induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells was a more significant breakthrough for this research field. iPS cells can be generated by introducing just four transcription factors into differentiated cells of an individual, without the need for the ethically sensitive step of creating embryos from oocytes as intermediates…. Indeed, many laboratories now routinely generate iPS cells from patients, bypassing the practical and regulatory difficulties associated with obtaining human oocytes.Hybrids and ChimerasOn the path to the mad scientist in H. G. Wells’  The Island of Dr. Moreau, some researchers lust to mix human and animal tissue into “chimera” organisms.  New Scientist discussed this ethical dilemma in an article, “Human-animal hybrids mean boom time for bioethicists.”  It’s not talking about implanting a pig heart valve into a patient, but something more sinister.  The UK has some ethics guidelines about what can and cannot be done:Two years ago, the UK Academy of Medical Sciences released a groundbreaking report on “animals containing human material“. It concluded that most research on chimeras is permitted by existing UK laws. But it also identified some experiments that should not (yet) be done because of strong ethical objections. One is to breed an animal that has human sperm or eggs. Another is to create a non-human primate with a humanised brain.That qualifier “(yet)” is worrisome.  What ethical standards will govern future experimenters, particularly if it becomes very profitable or leads to pragmatic breakthroughs to save lives?  New Scientist said that Japan is already “very” close to crossing the boundaries of the UK standards. One can already hear the pragmatists arguing that human-animal hybrids made from pigs or primates will provide all kinds of benefits (not the least of which, money for the profiteers):All of which leads to the unsurprising conclusion that the ultimate aim of this research – to provide desperately needed human organs for transplantation – can only be achieved if serious ethical and technical hurdles are surmounted. We are rapidly approaching those ethical hurdles…. Of course, any ethical concerns must be weighed against the potential benefits for human health and life. An entire generation of bioethicists may not be needed, but there is still plenty of work to be done.Complications of  Crossing Ethical LinesAt the end of June, Nature published a historical story ripe for pitting ethicists against pragmatists.  A stem cell line generated from an aborted fetus in 1962 has been used to to create vaccines that have saved many lives.  Unlike stem cells from diseased individuals, the “normal” cells from this Wi-38 stem cell line, derived from the “legal abortion,” is “the most extensively described and studied normal human cells available to this day.”  Here’s the ethical dilemma:Vaccines made using WI-38 cells have immunized hundreds of millions of people against rubella, rabies, adenovirus, polio, measles, chickenpox and shingles. In the 1960s and 1970s, the cells helped epidemiologists to identify viral culprits in disease outbreaks. Their normality has made them valuable control cells for comparison with diseased ones. And at the Wistar Institute, as in labs and universities around the world, they remain a leading tool for probing the secrets of cellular ageing and cancer.“Here’s a clump of cells that has had an enormous impact on human health,” says Paul Offit, chief of the division of infectious diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “These cells from one fetus have no doubt saved the lives of millions of people.”The article went on to describe the money trail from the WI-38 cell line.  The scientist who obtained them, Leonard Hayflick, started selling access to them, earning $90,000, leading to debates about how scientists should profit from human cells.  (The money went to lawyers because of ensuing legal squabbles over the cells.)  Even more troubling, “the WI-38 strain has helped to generate billions of dollars for companies that produce vaccines based on the cells, yet it seems that the parents of the fetus have earned nothing.”  But should they, if they chose to abort? In what kind of society does someone earn money for killing?The “ends justify the means” pragmatic arguments weaken when considering that other methods could have sufficed to save lives. Vaccines obviously existed well before 1962. “Other vaccines are produced in a completely morally non-objectionable way,” one pro-life activist argued.  “So why aren’t we doing this with all vaccines?”For 40 years, anti-abortion activists have protested against the use of WI-38 and vaccines developed from it. “It’s still a live issue,” says Alta Charo, a professor of law and bioethics at the University of Wisconsin Law School in Madison. “We still have people who refuse to take these vaccines because of their origins in fetal tissue.”But what if those people weren’t around?It appears that Hayflick preferred the fetal cells because he believed they had less exposure to viruses than adult cells.  He reasoned that if nothing were done with the fetal cells made available to him, they would end up in the incinerator – thus the pragmatic argument.  Is this not the same as salvaging organs from a car accident fatality victim?  But what if such pragmatic moves create a market for engineering car accidents?It’s telling that Nature should have focused exclusively on possible injustices to Hayflick and the parents of the aborted baby (the “tissue donors”).  Hayflick himself seems blind to the real victim:Hayflick argues that there are at least four stakeholders with title to WI-38 or any human cell culture: the tissue donors, the scientists whose work gave it value, the scientists’ institution and the body that funded the work. “Like me”, he adds, “hundreds of other scientists had their careers advanced using WI-38 and other human cell cultures so we all owe a moral debt to the tissue donors.”Clearly, though, the most unjustly treated individual was the aborted baby, who had no opportunity for life or liberty to give its consent to sacrifice its life for others.  If there had been no pressure from pro-lifers throughout the 50 years since the abortion, it’s doubtful the scientists, pharmaceutical companies and lawyers would have many ethical qualms with the use of fetal tissue, those “clumps of cells” that are so very useful and profitable.Ever since science as an institution cut itself loose from the moorings of religion, it has floundered aimlessly on a sea of pragmatism, anchored on nothing but Darwinian self-interest.  Morality requires the presupposition that certain things are eternally right or wrong.  How can a Darwinist ground ethics in a universe where everything evolves? One can feel the tension in these articles.  The scientists have self-interest and motivation for money or fame to do anything they can in the name of science, but are troubled by their consciences and fear of upsetting funding sources who might be listening to the pro-life activists who believe in the sanctity of human life (a Biblical world view).  Pragmatic arguments can be very strong.  Scientists can rationalize about human health and lives that could be saved by the new technologies.  Take away conscience (which Darwinism can do) and political opposition, and they stand on the edge of the slippery slope.The atrocities possible in a world down the slope are very real.  They not only can happen; they have happened.  Who cannot remember with horror the “medical experiments” committed in Nazi Germany by well-known scientists?  Experiments were done not just on living prisoners, but on the corpses coming from the death camps.  The scientists justified some of that work on the grounds that they didn’t do the killing; they were just taking good advantage of a bad situation.  Compare that with what Hayflick and the scientific institutions did.  Hey; the abortion was legal, wasn’t it?  Didn’t the government legislate it as ethical at the time?  Pragmatism teases rationalization.  “Hey, I didn’t kill the fetus; don’t blame me!  I’m doing something good with the tissue!”  Enough of that line of thinking, and abortion increases – justified on the grounds that mothers are helping “science” by sacrificing their children to the new Moloch.There are Darwinian bioethicists.  They are useless.  On what basis would they say “no” to anything the scientific institutions and pharmaceutical companies want?   The only people keeping a leash on the mad scientists of our day are those who can ground their ethics in unchanging morality – particularly, Christians and Jews who believe in the holy, righteous, just transcendent Creator God of the Bible, who gave mankind the Ten Commandments.  That leash must hold.Resources for thinking about the limits of the ethically possible in a Darwinian world:Darwin Day in America by John West; provides many other historical examples of ethics set adrift by Darwinian thinking.The Magician’s Twin: C. S. Lewis on Science, Scientism and Society from the Discovery Institute details Lewis’s fears about godless scientism.That Hideous Strength by C. S. Lewis: a novel about a modern scientific Babel using science to destroy humanness. (Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

December 19

25 questions about the 2010 Fifa World Cup

first_imgSouth African football fans are seriouslyenthusiastic about their sport, and theirnational team.(Image: Chris Kitchhoff, For more freephotos, visit the image library.)MEDIA CONTACTS• Matlhomola MorakeBafana Bafana Team Media Officer+27 82 7444 [email protected]• Morio SanyaneDirector: Communications and MediaSouth African Football Association+27 82 99 00 [email protected]• Wolfgang Eichler, Fifa Media Officer+27 11 567 2010 or +27 83 2010 [email protected]• Delia Fischer, Fifa Media Officer+27 11 567 2010 or +27 11 567 2524 or+27 83 201 [email protected]• Jermaine Craig, Media Manager2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa LocalOrganising Committee+27 11 567 2010 or +27 83 201 [email protected] RELATED ARTICLES• 2010 Fifa World Cup stadiums• Football in South Africa• 2010 Fifa World Cup host cities• 2010 Fifa World Cup Fan Fest guide• 2010 Fifa World Cup infrastructure• Sport in South Africa• A brief history of Bafana BafanaWhether you plan to be watching the games in a stadium or fan park on the southern tip of Africa, or on the screen back home, here are the answers to 25 frequent questions about the 2010 Fifa World Cup, and the host country.1. Has South Africa hosted big events before?2. Who are Bafana Bafana?3. What’s the difference between football and soccer?4. What’s a vuvuzela?5. Will South Africa benefit from the World Cup?6. Can I use the 2010 Fifa World Cup logo?7. In what stadiums are the games being played?8. Where can I find photos of the stadiums?9. What’s the match schedule?10. Which cities are hosting matches?11. Are tickets still available?12. Should I come even if I can’t get tickets?13. What time zone is South Africa in?14. What will the weather be like?15. How do I get to South Africa?16. How do I get around?17. Where do I stay?18. What if I fall ill?19. What are the people like?20. What languages do South Africans speak?21. Are there lions in the streets?22. What’s the beer like?23. And the food?24. Other than watch football, what else is there to do?25. And the nightlife?1. Has South Africa hosted big events before?South Africa regularly hosts major international sporting events, and since 1994 has successfully managed some of the biggest – including the 1995 Rugby World Cup, 2003 Cricket World Cup, A1 Grand Prix (2006-), 2009 Indian Premier League, and 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup.But the Fifa World Cup, the world’s biggest single-code sporting event – in terms of television audience, bigger than the Olympic Games – is in a class of its own.For four weeks starting 11 June 2010, South Africa will be the centre of the world. The 2006 World Cup in Germany was the most extensively viewed event in television history. South Africa 2010 will draw even bigger audiences. The eyes of billions of television viewers, millions of international visitors and the cream of the world’s sporting media will be focused on the southern tip of Africa.Find out more on the big sporting events2. Who are Bafana Bafana?Our national football team is known as Bafana Bafana – “the boys, the boys” in isiZulu. The nickname comes from the fans’ cry that went up during the team’s triumph at the 1996 African Nations Cup (also hosted in South Africa). Since the end of apartheid and South Africa’s sporting isolation, Bafana Bafana have twice qualified – in 1998 and 2002 – for the Fifa World Cup.A brief history of Bafana Bafana3. What’s the difference between football and soccer?Nothing. While the game is largely known as football in Europe, in the former British colonies – including South Africa, the US and Australia – it’s mostly still called soccer (from the British Football Association, best known for the FA Cup).Football in South Africa4. What’s a vuvuzela?Some would say it’s South Africa’s national musical instrument. It’s a big plastic trumpet, brightly coloured, and is blown with gusto by all fans at every football match in the country. The sound it makes is something between the bellow of a constipated elephant and the buzzing of a giant swarm of baritone bees, but South Africans like it. A lot.Viva the vuvuzela orchestra!5. Will South Africa benefit from the World Cup?It has been estimated that the 2010 Fifa World Cup will sustain an estimated 695 000 jobs and have a gross impact of R93-billion (US$12.1-billion) on South Africa’s economy. A projected 373 000 foreign tourists will visit South Africa during the World Cup, each spending an estimated R30 200 ($4 000) on average per trip.However, the indirect spin-offs from improved perceptions abroad could have an even greater, longer-lasting impact, not only on South Africa and its development but on the continent as a whole. A successful World Cup will help change the perceptions that a large number of foreign investors hold of Africa.Find out more on Cup impact ‘still massive‘6. Can I use the 2010 Fifa World Cup logo?Only accredited Fifa partners and sponsors are allowed to use the 2010 Fifa World Cup logo in their publicity and advertising.Download the 2010 Fifa World Cup guide to official marks (PDF, 1.5 MB)7. In what stadiums are the games being played?The 2010 Fifa World Cup matches will be held in 10 stadiums: two in Johannesburg and one in each of the other eight host cities. Together, the 10 stadiums will host 64 matches and seat more than 570 000 people during the course of tournament. Five of the 10 stadiums already existed but were upgraded, with Johannesburg’s Soccer City – venue of the opening and final match – undergoing a major upgrade. The other five stadiums were built from scratch. All have been completed well within schedule.2010 Fifa World Cup stadiums8. Where can I find photos of the stadiums?There are hundreds of photos of stadiums, fans and host cities in the image library. You have to register with the site to access the library.9. What’s the match schedule?Download the 2010 Fifa World Cup Match Schedule (PDF, 2.3 MB)10. Which cities are hosting matches?Nine South African cities will stage the 2010 Fifa World Cup. (See also: 2010 Fifa World Cup host cities)JohannesburgThe economic hub of Africa, Johannesburg is a bustling, sprawling city of contrasts, spread across the small but densely populated province of Gauteng.Johannesburg 2010 websiteNearest airport: OR Tambo InternationalWorld Cup stadiums: Soccer City and Ellis ParkWorld Cup matches: 10 first-round (including the opening) and two second-round matches, two quarterfinals and the final.Cape TownSouth Africa’s oldest and loveliest city lies in Table Bay on the Atlantic Ocean, in the south of the Western Cape province. Beautiful buildings, the nearby winelands, long white beaches and a rich cultural life make Cape Town South Africa’s most favoured tourist destination.Cape Town 2010 websiteNearest airport: Cape Town InternationalWorld Cup stadium: Greenpoint StadiumWorld Cup matches: five first-round matches, one second-round match, one quarterfinal, one semifinal.DurbanA warm subtropical place and the largest city in KwaZulu-Natal, Durban is a major tourist destination with the busiest port in South Africa.Durban 2010 websiteNearest airport: King Shaka InternationalWorld Cup stadium: Moses Mabhida StadiumWorld Cup matches: five first-round matches, one second-round match, one semifinal.Tshwane/PretoriaTshwane/Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa, lying north of Johannesburg in the province of Gauteng. Over 150 years old, it is a place of grand monuments, delightful architecture and lovely open spaces.Tshwane/Pretoria 2010 websiteNearest airport: OR Tambo InternationalWorld Cup stadium: Loftus Versfeld StadiumWorld Cup matches: five first-round matches, one second-round match.Nelson Mandela Bay/Port ElizabethKnown as the Friendly City, Port Elizabeth lies in Nelson Mandela Bay on the windswept Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape province.Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth 2010 websiteNearest airport: Port Elizabeth AirportWorld Cup stadium: Nelson Mandela Bay StadiumWorld Cup matches: five first-round matches, one second-round match, one quarterfinal and the third-place playoff.Mangaung/BloemfonteinThe former capital of a Boer republic and now capital of the Free State, Mangaung/Bloemfontein – the Afrikaans name means “flower fountain” – is a pretty city with thousands of rose bushes and some poignant memorials.Mangaung/Bloemfontein 2010 websiteNearest airport: Bloemfontein AirportWorld Cup stadium: Vodacom ParkWorld Cup matches: five first-round matches, one second-round match.RustenburgIts tranquil Jacaranda-lined streets belie the fact that the Rustenburg area in North West province is one of the world’s most heavily mined regions, with a wealth of platinum underground.Rustenburg 2010 websiteNearest airport: OR Tambo InternationalWorld Cup stadium: Royal Bafokeng StadiumWorld Cup matches: four first-round matches, one second-round match.NelspruitThe capital of Mpumalanga province lies in the fertile valley of the Crocodile River, about 330km east of Johannesburg.Nelspruit 2010 websiteNearest airport: Kruger Mpumalanga International AirportWorld Cup stadium: Mbombela StadiumWorld Cup matches: five first-round matchesPolokwaneThe capital of Limpopo province is ideally situated near the border of the wildlife-rich, world-famous Kruger National Park.Polokwane 2010 websiteNearest airport: Polokwane International AirportWorld Cup stadium: Peter Mokaba StadiumWorld Cup matches: four first-round matches11. Are tickets available?Yes – but they’re running out fast! More than 90% of the more than three-million tickets made available for the 64 matches of the 2010 Fifa World Cup have been sold. Hosts South Africa lead the sales with more than 1.1-million tickets purchased, followed by the US, UK and Australia.Download 2010 Fifa World Cup Ticketing Media Information (PDF, 3.9 MB)Visit the Fifa ticketing page12. Should I come even if I can’t get tickets?Of course! The 2010 tournament is guaranteed to be, as South Africans say, a jol (a party). As in Germany in 2006, public viewing areas with giant screens will be set up. And you can always watch the tournament and get to know the locals at our numerous pubs, restaurants and sports bars.2010 Fifa World Cup Fan Fest guide13. What time zone is South Africa in?South African Standard Time is two hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+2). During June and July – when the tournament will take place – South African time is the same as that in continental Europe, and an hour ahead of the UK. So matches that kick off at 9pm here will be comfortable viewing for Europeans, while US viewers will be taking a lot of early lunches – and Socceroo supporters will be starting their day at five in the morning!14. What will the weather be like?The World Cup will take place in the southern hemisphere winter – but it’s warm here in Africa. Johannesburg will be dry, with sunny days and fairly chilly nights. Rustenburg, Pretoria and Nelspruit will be warmer, but Bloemfontein will be very cold. Polokwane in the north will be dry and hot, warmer than most European summers. Durban will be pleasant and warm, with some humidity – and the deliciously balmy Indian Ocean to swim in. And while Cape Town is magnificent in good weather – and it can have good weather in winter – in June the city is generally cold, wet and windy, and its ocean icy cold.Find out more on Africa’s weather and climate15. How do I get to South Africa?By air – unless you have a boat or rugged overland vehicle. Over 50 airlines and more than 30-million passengers a year move through South Africa’s 10 principal airports, including the three major international airports in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.Find out more on to South Africa16. How do I get around?The host cities are all linked by air and train routes, and South Africa has a number of first-rate tour bus companies. The country’s road infrastructure is excellent, so it’s also a viable option to rent a car.When it comes to travel within the cities, while South African public transport is not up to the standard of New York or London, there are options. The most popular form of public transport is the minibus taxi. Most host cities have Metro train and bus systems, and there are numerous meter cab companies. Otherwise, you can rent a car or use your hotel’s courtesy transport.Find out more on flights in South AfricaDriving in South AfricaBuses and trains17. Where do I stay?“The hotel sector in South Africa is first-rate,” the Fifa inspection team said in its country report. “There are enough hotel rooms to accommodate everyone taking part in the 2010 Fifa World Cup, including media representatives and fans from around the world.” Other options are the many bed & breakfast establishments in and around the host cities, and over 150 backpacker lodges.Find out more on in South AfricaBackpacker lodges in South Africa18. What if I fall ill?“On the whole, the health system has excellent facilities and perhaps one of the best private health systems in the world, drawing on modern technology and highly qualified specialists and medical staff,” the Fifa inspection team said in its report. “We have to add that there are fully equipped infirmaries with adequate first-aid facilities to meet every need in the stadiums proposed for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.”Find out more on tips for travellers19. What are the people like?South Africa is a nation of over 49-million people of diverse origins, cultures, languages and beliefs. Visitors to the country always remark on how warm, friendly and welcoming South Africans are. We’ve had a difficult past, so we don’t waste time being difficult people! And we’re expert at having fun.“We can say that the people of South Africa were always friendly, very boisterous and constantly celebrating during our visit to the country,” Fifa’s inspection team said in their country report. “[They] would stop and show their joy and support of the country’s commitment whenever our group passed by.”South Africa’s population20. What languages do South Africans speak?South Africa has 11 official languages, including English. Nine are indigenous African languages, and one – Afrikaans – semi-indigenous, derived from Dutch but with strong influences from local languages. English tends to be the lngua franca, and is widely understood and spoken in the major urban centres.South Africa’s languagesSouth African English21. Are there lions in the streets?Er, no. But if you want to see wild animals, you won’t have to go far to do so. An hour’s drive from such urban jungles as Pretoria and Johannesburg you can see lions, elephants, buffalo and hundreds more species in their natural environments. There are wildlife lodges and game parks – including the huge and magnificent Kruger National Park – across the country.South Africa’s national parks22. What’s the beer like?Cold and delicious! South Africans generally drink bottled beer, although most pubs offer a range of draughts. The major producer is South African Breweries, now a huge multinational doing business across the world. Lager is probably the favourite, followed by pilsener. In and around the stadiums, you’ll only be able to drink Budweiser – an official Fifa sponsor.23. And the food?Yummy, exotic and varied. South Africa’s people have diverse origins, cultures, languages and beliefs, and their food is a correspondingly rich smorgasbord. For the more daring, we offer culinary challenges from crocodile sirloins to fried caterpillars to sheep heads – delicious! For the less brave, there are indigenous delicacies such as biltong (dried, salted meat), bobotie (a much-improved version of shepherd’s pie) and boerewors (hand-made farm sausages, grilled on an open flame).In the space of a single city street or shopping mall you’ll find Italian restaurants, two or three varieties of Chinese cookery and Japanese, Moroccan, French, Portuguese and Indian food. Not far away will be Congolese restaurants, Greek, even Brazilian and Korean establishments – and, everywhere, fusion, displaying the fantasies of creative chefs.South African food24. Other than watch football, what else is there to do?So, so much, but where to begin? Try here:Visit South Africa25. And the nightlife?Pubs, wine bars, township taverns known as shebeens, nightclubs, a variety of restaurants, mainstream theatre, avant-garde theatre, dinner theatre, movies … there’s no shortage of places to celebrate or cry into your beer after the match.last_img read more

December 18

Small firms ‘play key role in job creation’

first_img17 September 2012 Small businesses have a key role to play in providing opportunities and creating new jobs in emerging economies, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said on Sunday. Speaking at the International Small Business Congress at Johannesburg’s Sandton Convention Centre, Davies said South Africa needed to develop a more symbiotic relationship between big companies and small suppliers. In South Africa, small businesses had good potential when it came to job creation, as the cost to create one job in a small firm was less than it was to create a job at a big firm, as large businesses were more capital-intensive. However, he said the country needed to raise the skills level of business owners so that firms didn’t simply stumble along, and that their creative ideas could be turned into job-creating enterprises.Small business support The Small Business Development Act of 1996 led to the setting up of several institutions to support small business in South Africa, including Ntsika – which in 2004 became the Small Enterprise Development Agency – and Khula Enterprise Finance. This year, the government rationalised a number of small business finance agencies, including Khula, into a single entity, the Small Enterprise Finance Agency, with the aim of moving towards a single window through which firms could access small business funding. Davies said the government had also chosen to focus more on incubation, but that compared to other emerging economies, South Africa had too few incubators – at just 32 under the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda), compared to hundreds in similar other emerging economies. Seda plans to roll out several more incubators in the next few years. The department this month also put in place the incubator support programme – a cost-sharing funding programme to support the setting up of incubation programmes, and applications for the grant incentive would open on October 26, said Davies.State ‘should enable, but not interfere’ Also addressing the conference on Sunday, guest speaker David Irwin said the state should play the role as an enabler of economic success, but should otherwise not interfere in a country’s small business sector. Irwin, currently a partner of Irwin Grayson Associates in the UK, previously set up the UK’s first small business support agency and steered the UK’s Small Business Service, which addressed government support for small firms. Irwin said governments should craft regulations that were both fair and seen to be fair, and that were consistent – and not have one department penning laws that were contradictory to others. He pointed out that his “Think Small First” initiative, introduced in the UK’s Small Business Service, had led to the adoption by the EU of a European Small Business Act, which included a provision that European governments consider the implication of any laws crafted would have on small firms before passing them. Source: read more

December 18

New, in-depth study of Mandela’s image, legacy

first_img13 May 2014 The Cambridge Companion to Nelson Mandela, a new book examining how Mandela became an icon during his lifetime, the meanings and uses of his internationally recognisable image, and his legacy in the 21st century, was launched in Johannesburg last week. Featuring essays by experts in history, anthropology, jurisprudence, cinema, literature and visual studies, The Cambridge Companion takes an in-depth look at Mandela’s relation to “tradition” and “modernity”, the impact of his famous public appearances, the oscillation between Africanist and non-racial positions in South Africa, and the politics of gender and national sentiment. It concludes with a meditation on Mandela’s legacy in the 21st century and a detailed guide to further reading on the world-renowned leader. Speaking at book’s launch at the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Professor Achille Mbembe, a researcher from the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research and a contributing author, said Mandela “was a major political thinker – a typical 20th century thinker – and the 20th century ended for us not in 1999, but when Mandela died. “The political questions he translated in his time are still valid today, but what are the new questions we could ask about him? Maybe we will never know him completely,” Mbembe said. Verne Harris, director of research at the foundation, said the book “examines how Mandela looked, how he presented and carried himself, and inspires ongoing debate about Mandela, modernity and tradition.” Mbongiseni Buthelezi, of the Centre for Law and Society at the University of Cape Town, spoke of the “spectre” of Mandela and the project of freedom. “What are the questions Mandela allows us to ask, and which ones do we need to ask now? What future do we have without Mandela? “One of the angers and hurts people feel is how we maintained the status quo during the apartheid era, and how we are dealing with reconciliation in terms of our difficult past and post-Mandela,” Buthelezi said. Also at the launch werestruggle veterans Ahmed Kathrada and George Bizos, both long-standing friends of Mandela. Bizos spoke fondly of Mandela, saying it was important for the country that Mandela’s memory be preserved because he genuinely cared about people. “We know that his memory will live forever, but before we say that we will follow in his footsteps, let us first inform ourselves where his footsteps would have been. It might not have been in the way that some purport it to be,” Bizos said. The Cambridge Companion to Nelson Mandela, published by Cambridge University Press, was edited by Rita Barnard, a professor in English and comparative literature at the University of Pennsylvania and publisher of extensive literature on South African politics. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

November 30

Lee says UST will use loss to UP as motivation

first_imgFrontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. University of Santo Tomas guard Marvin Lee surveys the floor against University of the Philippines during their game in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, at Mall of Asia Arena. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netUniversity of Santo Tomas lost to University of the Philippines by the slimmest of margins and it couldn’t be more heartbreaking for the Growling Tigers with the way the game turned out Sunday.But no matter how painful UST’s loss was, team captain Marvin Lee still took some positives out of it as the Growling Tigers shift their focus in their coming games. ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF presidentcenter_img Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST PLAY LIST 01:00Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd02:16Duque: It’s up to Palace to decide on Dengvaxia’s fate01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police 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 Games View comments Alaska extends streak, comes back to beat Kia Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Read Next “For me, what happened was a good experience and we’ll use this loss as a motivation for our future games,” said Lee in Filipino after the Tigers’ 74-73 loss to the Maroons at Mall of Asia Arena. Lee, who finished with a game-high 20 points, would’ve been UST’s hero after burying two free throws that put his team ahead, 73-71, with 5.4 seconds left.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe story, however, was Paul Desiderio, who sank the go-ahead triple with 1.1 ticks remaining.“Well, it was over and we can’t do anything about the result,” said Lee. “I think the first game just wasn’t for us.” MOST READlast_img read more

November 30

Kaya Makati narrows Meralco lead

first_imgRead Next The Laguna side leaned on the heroics of Fitch Arboleda, who struck twice, and goalkeeper Benito Rosalia.But coach Ernie Nierras’ side remained in sixth spot with 27 points, behind JPV Marikina on goal difference. The Aguilas all but kissed their hopes of a Top Four finish goodbye as they picked up just their eighth point from 18 matches.Arboleda put Stallion in front in the 36th minute with a clinical finish past Marko Trkulja, before James Younghusband equalized in the 66th minute. Stallion regained the lead three minutes later with Arboleda finding the back of the net again.Jordan Mintah raised his total to a league-high 15 goals for the season as he gave Kaya the lead in the 22nd minute. —CEDELF P. TUPASADVERTISEMENT View comments Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  New challenge for former taekwondo champion BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Kaya, now with 41 points, cut Meralco’s lead at the top to just three points, although the Makati side has played two more matches.Stephan Schrock scored twice, including a spectacular goal from a tough angle in the second half as the Busmen continued their rise, moving up to third with 35 points. Ceres has played five matches less than the Sparks.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBienvenido Marañon, Fernando Rodriguez and Carlie de Murga were also on target for Ceres, which rested midfielders Kevin Ingreso and Manny Ott.Over at Biñan Football Stadium, Davao striker Phil Younghusband converted a stoppage time penalty, but the Aguilas’ comeback fell short as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Stallion. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police 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 Games Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF presidentcenter_img Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary LATEST STORIES Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH MOST READ Kaya FC Makati and Ceres Negros closed in on leader FC Meralco Manila with crucial victories on Saturday, while Stallion Laguna denied Davao Aguilas of its first win in the Philippines Football League.Substitute Eric Giganto struck a minute from time as Kaya overcame rival Manila, 2-1, at University of Makati Stadium, while Ceres continued its winning run at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod with a 5-0 drubbing of Ilocos United.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

November 7

VIC – Sale Knockout

first_imgSaturday 14th April 2007 – Mens and Womens divisionsSunday 15th April 2007 – Mixed Divisions Venue: Stephenson Park, Guthries Parade, Sale For all teams that regularly took the trip to Sale for the State Team Titles, enter your team for the Sale Knockout (which has replaced the State event)..It will be a fantastically administered weekend run by the Sale Touch Association, supported by Touch Football VictoriaTeams are asked to send all enquiries to Sale Touch Association President Laurie Smyth: Email: [email protected]: Sale Touch Phone: (03) 5144 2109Mobile:0419 132 824Fax: (03) 5144 2109last_img read more

October 14

Outrage over community groups exclusion from Pickton inquiry

first_imgAPTN National NewsBritish Columbia’s Attorney General Bruce Penner has decided to deny all funding to community groups that were supposed to participate in an inquiry into why it took so long for police to get serial killer Robert Pickton.The move comes shortly after the inquiry’s commissioner recommended that they be funded to ensure their participation.Organizations are shocked at the change in plans.APTN National News reporter Wayne Roberts has this story.last_img

September 18

Napoli reject Chiriches offer

first_imgNapoli have rejected an offer from Stoke City to sign Vlad Chiriches, according to Sports Mole.The Romanian centre-half was mostly on the sidelines through the whole of last season under former manager Maurizio Sarri and has been considering his club future as he seeks more playing time.The porters were looking to take advantage of his current predicament to bring him to the Brittania but have seen their bid of around £13.3million rejected out of hand by Napoli.Stoke City suffered relegation to the Sky Bet Championship from the Premier League last season and are looking to bounce back up immediately.Cristiano Ronaldo, JuventusSerie A Betting: Match-day 3 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Considering there is a number of perfect starts so early in the Serie A season, as well as a few surprisingly not-so perfect ones….The club have already signed Nigerian international midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo and Benik Afobe who spent last season on at Wolverhampton Wanderers.New boss Gary Rowett is keen to add to his squad and has targeted former Spurs defender Chiriches to bring more steel to the club’s defensive unit.The Romanian is expected to play a huge role at Naples this campaign as new boss Carlo Ancelotti is a huge admirer of his abilities.Napoli and Ancelotti will be hoping to go one step further by usurping Juventus from the top of the league after they finished second last season.last_img read more

September 18

Report Balotelli set for Marseille medical

first_imgItalian striker Mario Balotelli will reportedly undergo a medical today at Marseille after being granted permission to leave OGC NiceThe 28-year-old had been strongly linked with a switch to Marseille in last summer’s transfer window before the move fell through.In light of that, Balotelli remained at Nice for this season after an impressive first two seasons at the French Riviera with 43 goals scored in 66 games.This impressive form in France led Balotelli to receive a recall into the Italy national team by former Inter Milan and Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini after a four-year absence.But Balotelli’s performances at Nice have dropped off with the Italian failing to find the net once in all 10 of his appearances this season.In light of this, manager Patrick Vieira gave Balotelli a few extra days off during the French winter break in order to make a decision over his future.And now Sky Sports reports that the move to Marseille is back on with Balotelli set to sign a deal that will earn him £2.7m for 17 games during his six months at the Stade Velodrome.Currently, there is no mention of Marseille’s alleged plans for Balotelli come to the end of the season.Opinion: Neymar needs to apologize to PSG’s supporters Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 After such a dramatic summer during the transfer window, Neymar truly needs to apologize to all the PSG supporters this weekend.When Neymar finished last…Although the transfer will come as a welcome boost for the controversial forward, who was warned by Mancini earlier this month that he must prove he merits a recall to Italy after omitting him in their last five games.“I’ve done my best for him and I always hope something good happens to him. He’ll only return to the national team if he deserves it,” said Mancini on Balotelli.“As a young lad he gave me so much, both at Inter and in Manchester, but he’s given me very little in recent months.“Still, he’s 28 and he has time if he wants. The Euros and World Cup should be fatal attractions for him.“The European qualifiers begin in March. If we’re in trouble and he keeps scoring one or two goals per game then I’ll call him up.“However, he must know that he won’t be a part of our future due to his age. It’s a principle that applies to everyone.”West Ham and Newcastle were also reportedly linked with a move for Balotelli in this month’s transfer window.last_img read more