607th Air Control Squadron

first_imgThe 607th Air Control Squadron’s (ACS) distinguished history dates back to its activation Dec. 12, 1945, and spans combat operations from the Korean War to Operation Southern Watch. The 607th ACS earned multiple unit decorations and campaign streamers, including two distinguished unit citations, two Republic of Korea Presidential Unit citations and nine campaign streamers earned while deployed during the Korean War. In 1999, the 607th ACS was reorganized and tasked with Command and Control Reporting Center training and remains the Combined Air Forces’ only CRC formal training unit.The 607th ACS conducts formal undergraduate weapons director qualification training and initial qualification training for five ACS crew positions. ACS personnel specialize in command and control tactics, techniques and procedures, providing air surveillance and battle management. The training provides an understanding of tactical air employment and theater-level execution, increasing mission effectiveness through mission crew and aircrew interface.The 607th ACS provides highly qualified surveillance technicians, weapons directors, interface control technicians, electronic protection technicians and air battle managers for joint forces and theater commanders with a worldwide mobile command and control capability for the conduct of offensive and defensive missions. Graduates are capable of deploying anywhere in the world on short notice. Today, the 607th ACS is the principal ground control radar support unit for the 56th Fighter Wing and 944th Fighter Wing at Luke AFB, the 355th Wing and 162nd FW from Tucson and other aircraft operating in local airspace. This 180-person unit maintains radar, communications and computer equipment worth more than $110 million.last_img read more

Five things we learned in Cavs’ loss to Spurs

first_imgThe Cavaliers dropped a 118-115 overtime decision to the visiting Spurs on Saturday at Quicken Loans Arena. So what did we learn?1. The perimeter defense needs work.Everyone thinks of J.R. Smith as just a streaky shooter, but this is one area in which the Cavs’ really miss their injured starting guard. Smith gets in the face of perimeter shooters and just works his butt off to frustrate the opponent. He’s been great on switches, too.That said, Iman Shumpert has done a nice job of filling in for Smith, with Shumpert playing some of his best basketball in a Cavs uniform. But he is among those who loses his man too often. The Cavs got drilled from the perimeter against the Warriors and it happened again Saturday. It can end with better effort.And assuming the defending champions get back to the finals, the Spurs or Warriors are likely who they will face.’2. The bench needs work.Shumpert, LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love all did their part. They built the lead, and when the reserves lost it, the starting five got it back.We all know the Cavaliers need a backup point guard and a reserve big man. But it might not hurt to start Kyle Korver, too. Not just because Korver may be at his most efficient alongside the Big Three — but also because the Cavs could probably use Shumpert’s defense and younger legs off the bench.3. The free throws need work.The Cavs finished a miserable 12-of-22 on free throws. That was the game. Make four more and you win. And 16-of-22 isn’t asking too much.4. LeBron has to be more careful with the ball.Yeah, I know. One or two bounces go the Cavs’ way, and I’m writing a different column. But those bounces didn’t go the Cavs way because they kept throwing the ball out of bounds or to the other team.James committed seven turnovers, way too many. He says he knows that. Now, he has to do something about it. It’s just a lack of focus, or in the case of James, too often trying to make the spectacular play when the simple one will do.5. The Cavs have to move on.Sometimes, you just have to tip your cap to the other guy. The Cavs can’t be too distraught with a loss in a great game in January. It seems this is the month LeBron’s teams are always just so-so.But we all know that this thing is a marathon. All the Cavs can do is watch the film, get more serious, and go party in New Orleans with a win over Anthony Davis the Pelicans. Sam Amico Related TopicsCleveland CavaliersNBASam Amicolast_img read more

Sokratis opens up on future and life after Arsenal

first_imgAdvertisement g2NBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs46m4Wingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Ew82( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) eWould you ever consider trying this?😱3ul5Can your students do this? 🌚5j1d85Roller skating! Powered by Firework Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathapoulos has openly expressed what his life after the stint at the Emirates would be like. The Greek defender has impressed heavily following his arrival in north London earlier in July this season, but has eyes already set on the future and would possibly hold for him.Advertisement Sokratis has swiftly and quickly become the new pillar of defence in Arsenal’s new, post-Wenger era despite their struggles, and newly appointed head coach Unai Emery certainly deems the centre-back as one of his first choice defenders in the backline alongside Frenchman Laurent Koscielny.While Arsenal fans hope for the forging of a fierce and firm partnership in the back between Sokratis and Koscielny, the Greek international has already dropped hints on a potential move out of north London, once his contract with the Gunners expires in 2021.Advertisement In an interview with German sports media outlet Kicker, the former Borussia Dortmund defender said:“I’ll be 31 in the summer. My contract still has two years plus an option.Advertisement “For a year or two, I could then imagine a commitment in America or Asia.“Then it will be back to Greece, to my birthplace Kalamata in the Peloponnese. Then I’m done with football.”Sokratis was hailed as the Man of the Match in Sunday’s north London Derby at neighbourhood rivals Tottenham Hotspur, while pundits lauded it as his best performance in an Arsenal shirt so far.The Gunners take on Ligue 1 side Rennes in the UEFA Europa League’s Round of 32 on Thursday night.Read also:-Tottenham claim 1-1 draw against Arsenal in Derby after late drama Advertisementlast_img read more

Trail Allstars dump Medicine Hat to capture Firecracker Tourney

first_img“What a weekend,” said Trail Allstars coach D.J. Ashman. “This is the first time the Trail All Stars have won this tournament.”Augustin got the Allstars going in the first inning, smashing a two-run homer. Trail stranded a pair in the second before Owen Dixon drove in a run in the third.The Allstars broke open the game in the fifth. Willem Terwoord and Trevor Knight singled to put two on base for Trail. Calvin Morrison cleared the bases with a three-run homer before Nathan Simm singled and scored on a double by  Max Leonard.In the final inning Augustin singled, Hayden White took one for team with a hit by pitch and Jeff Hanham hit a single to drive in the final run.  Trail opened the tournament with a 3-0 win before playing to a 4-4 tie against Medicine Hat. The Allstars advanced to the final by stopping North Central Allstars 8-1.The Allstars team next travels to Chataqua Days in Chewelah, Wash., and then plays the rest of the season at home in Trail as the Silver City hosts for the 2018 Major Little League Provincial Championships July 21-28. The Trail AllStars boldy went where few other West Kootenay teams have gone before in capturing the 2018 Firecracker this past weekend in Kalispell, MT.   Paced by Brady Augustin of the Nelson Baseball Association, who pitched all six innings, the Allstars cruised to an impressive 8-1 victory over the Medicine Hat AAA squad in the Firecracker Final.Augustin struckout 13 while allowing only three hits, two walks and one run.last_img read more

“It’s Outta Here” – SR56 Median Is Finally Removed

first_imgPlans would extend the south side combining the through and right turn lane at the intersection–allowing a dedicated U-turn lane to head back westbound. After several meetings and much consideration—responding to concerns of property owners and Salem police—INDOT has determined the best resolution at this time is removal of the median curb. Because pavement has yet to be extended to the north, INDOT placed stop signs at the intersection to aid in making U-turns. An email on Monday, March 14 from INDOT Media Representative Harry Maginity noted the median would be removed on Tuesday. White said about 8:30a, machinery began chewing up the median in front of the 63-year-old radio station. “It’s Outta Here,” she said on the air during the morning show, Coffee Club.One of the guest co-hosts, Jon-David Wade Swift noted before the show went on the air that he was almost involved in an accident trying to make the forced U-turn from 56 East back to 56 West so he could enter the radio station.“That’s just one of a hundred incidents I can tell you about from guests here at the station to delivery drivers and even my staff who have been honked at, flipped off and almost hit from traffic that didn’t seem to care that we needed to make a u-turn just to get to work,” said White.INDOT met with City of Salem officials on Wednesday, January 6 to discuss the traffic and construction on SR56 and ordered the median removed.City Council member Justin Green, who owns a piece of property on State Road 56 East, WSLM and Painter Machine Works all breathed a sigh of relief to know the 900 foot concrete median was going to be removed.The median that was constructed in the middle of State Road 56 is being busted up today and will be gone in about as long as it took to build it — a matter of hours back in October 2015.“I’m more than mildly shocked,” said Maginity. “Deputy Commissioner Tony McClellan told Temple and Temple at a meeting with the City of Salem on Wednesday to bust this up. It’s a minor miracle. This doesn’t ever happen.”The state has received multiple complaints about the median, which was installed as a safety measure to be in place when two stoplights are added to the Coral Street and Kimball Blvd. intersections for the Wal-Mart Supercenter that is being built in the area.INDOT listed three reasons for removing the median:Wal-Mart development has been delayed and potential of out-lots is uncertain—resulting in lower traffic volume than was anticipated at this time.The median curb was placed prior to installation of the traffic signals.Efforts to satisfactorily make short-term corrections to respond to residents’ and business owners concerns have not been successful.In early October, without any warning to businesses in the area, Temple and Temple constructed a median in the middle of the State Road 56 Reconstruction project.“For 60-plus years, people have drove to WSLM one way – down State Road 56 and turned into the drive way. In less than 24 hours, all that changed,” White said.White said INDOT admitted they were supposed to have notified local businesses but did not. “After the fact, they apologized for not letting us know. The first time we knew about it was watching Temple and Temple outside pouring the concrete.”The median affected the traffic flow in the area, causing traffic to WSLM and Painter’s Machine Works customers and visitors to have to proceed down East 56 to Jim Day Road and turn around and come back on the other side of the median and turn into the businesses.William Painter had pointed out during an INDOT visit in late October that he receives deliveries from semi-tractor trailers that come in from the bypass or I-65 in Scottsburg.White pointed out that trucks can turn into the Northside of the street, but can’t easily turn out to go back to I-65 or to the bypass.“They’re going to have to go towards Salem and then find a place to come back to I-65 or the bypass. That’s probably going to be too much driving around and the trucker is going to go down around the square and down 60 – which defeats the purpose of the bypass.”White said the median has been hard to get used to.“I’ve made a left turn off 56 into WSLM for several years and now I have to take another 2-3 minutes to get to work each morning,” said White. “It’s a huge inconvenience. And guests and customers coming here have tried to figure out how to get into the radio station and some have just left. FedEx didn’t deliver a package here for two weeks before Christmas and listed the package as “undeliverable” because they couldn’t figure how to get in here.”As a proposed fix, a U-turn lane was proposed and constructed in December to help local traffic navigate from one side of the median to the other — but the U-turn lane did not allow enough room for a successful turn.And a U-turn lane to move from the North to South side of the road was never added.“There wasn’t a vehicle made by any manufacturer that could have turned left and then turned back into an 8’foot lane,” said White. “I had to make the turn, stop and back up and then continue turning left and was many times over into the entrance to the church and trailer park area which was another lane and a half from the U-turn.”According to Maginity, an additional lane running between Coral Street and Jim Day Road was going to be added but Wal-Mart did not want to pay to add additional lanes of traffic for the U-turn lane.Green said development on the North Side of 56 – on his property, WSLM and Payntor’s Machine Words, could require a return of the median in the future.He also said there were issues with aligning the four-way stops at Kimball Blvd. and Coral Street.“They are trying to realign Kimball Blvd. It needs to go more to the east than it is supposed to. Which crowds’ part of the first lot, crowds the poles, etc. Nothing is lining up the way it was supposed to,” Green said.Kimball Blvd. is located more to the east than the entrance to the Twin House Apartments on the North Side.To make that completely parallel, the road would need to be cut through the former Bill Stickles property on the corner.“You go down to Coral and look at the [proposed] stoplight,” said Green.  “They were going to have to put in a new lane of pavement in order to make the U-turn work. To make the extra turn lane and make the intersection work, it’s become too expensive and it doesn’t line up. So it’s easier to do away with the median and not spend any more money. It’s basically a dollars and sense issue. “Green also added that timing was a big issue as well. “Here’s my beef again. It’s January …  and it should have been addressed and taken care of back in the fall. The project is finished and they’re making these modifications.”“It still is the satisfaction that we made our point,” said Green. “I was as big as cheerleader as you were. I knew to bide my time. I didn’t see this coming out of [the] meeting [last week].”TIMELINE OF MEDIAN PLACEMENTSUMMER 2015Salem Wal-Mart development asked for two signals plus a right in/right out drive to be placed on S.R. 56.The signal locations are at existing Kimball Drive and a new drive east of Coral Street, spacing of approximately 900 feet.  INDOT standard for signal spacing is 2000 feet or more.The east end signal was allowed as provisional with the ability for INDOT to remove after 6 months if the traffic volume is not warranted.There is a Duke easement on the west side of Kimball Drive that does not allow for alignment of Kimball Drive and Twin House Road, which also does not allow for a signal to be placed for Twin House road which serves 7 houses.Therefore the stop bar for Kimball Drive is in the middle of the approach for Twin House road.The Duke easement is for overhead power lines that cannot have a signal in proximity of it for Twin House.Also for the installation of Kimball signal, the road alignment is moved to the east to accommodate the strain poles.Coral Street has the same issue as Twin House Road in alignment with the East end signal.Thus the decision was made—due to all of the factors above—to place a median curb to provide safety for the property owners and the motoring public.INDOT’s road construction project was being completed while Wal-Mart development was ongoing under permit.The Wal-Mart developer hired INDOT’s contractor – Temple and Temple — there was coordination between the two projects.  But the median curb was installed prior to signal installation—it was intended to be installed at the time signals were put in place.OCTOBER 2015Concrete median was built in one day without any INDOT notice to local businesses.MID-OCTOBER 2015The developer and INDOT worked on a new set of plans that would extend the pavement to the north side approach of the east end signal. A thorn in the side of three business owners on Salem’s east side — and many drivers — is going away, thanks to the Indiana Department of Transportation.After a decision in January to remove the median, INDOT said local contractors Temple and Temple would be removing the median in the spring.And according to WSLM owner Rebecca White, spring couldn’t come fast enough.last_img read more

My Disney Experience App Sees Redesign

first_imgShare This!For those of you planning your summer Walt Disney World vacations, you’ll want to make sure you download (or update) to the newly redesigned My Disney Experience app!With the updated My Disney Experience app, Guests will still be able to experience all things Disney. So you can still access FastPass+ information, wait times, dining information, PhotoPass photos, maps, merchandise, and more, but it’s all so much more spelled out. The app now opens to the park maps to help guests find attractions, restaurants, restrooms things easier.The app now also has a new feature called “My Resort Dashboard.” This helps Guests who may be staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel access their reservation details all in one place. My Resort Dashboard gives directions to the resort, a map showing the location of a Guest’s room (once you know what it is) and a link to directly call the Resort Front Desk.There’s also the new “Spotlight” section in the My Disney Experience app, which highlights new park experiences and entertainment offerings.Take a look at what the new app has in store for Guests.In looking at the app at first glance, it immediately has a different feel. The design is certainly more streamlined. It’s easy to check all of your vacation details all in one place. I really do like that you can see your resort information now too. It makes it so much easier, especially because I often forget my actual room number and previously would always have to take a picture to remember.I also like that all of my information is in one easy to view spot. Now I can see what my dining reservations, FastPass+ reservations, and hotel reservations are right in one area!I especially like that the app now tells you where PhotoPass photographers are. Since I have an Annual Pass and have Memory Maker included with it, I am constantly stopping to get my photo taken. This guide is going to be so helpful! At the top, you can scroll through really easily to see exactly what you are looking for. So whether it’s wait times, characters, restroom locations, events, or more, it’s quite simple to access.Overall, it seems like a very clean update. I hope it isn’t as buggy as the last iteration, as I constantly had issues where it would freeze up or not allow me to see what I was actually looking at. I’m also hoping that the simpler design will make it move a little faster. (This was all especially problematic when I was trying to make additional FastPasses while in the park.)I’m really anxious to see how this updated My Disney Experience app actually works out when I’m visiting the Walt Disney World Resort.Savelast_img read more

Mpumalanga conference venues

first_imgTHE PROVINCEMpumalanga – “the place where the sun rises” – is a province with spectacular scenic beauty and an abundance of wildlife, lying in the northeast of South Africa.Bordered by the countries of Mozambique and Swaziland to the east and Gauteng province to the west, Mpumalanga is situated mainly on the high plateau grasslands of the Middleveld, which roll eastwards for hundreds of kilometres.Find out more: Mpumalanga provinceSELECTED CONFERENCE & EXPO VENUESCritchley Hackle LodgeWebsiteLocated in the Eastern Highlands of Mpumalanga, in Dullstroom, upmarket Critchley Hackle presents a picture-perfect postcard image, its pointed stone buildings lying alongside a tranquil garden lake.There are 23 rooms, and the conference rooms accommodate up to 50 people.Critchley Hackle also provides the delegate with an excellent opportunity to unwind, offering tennis, swimming, horse riding and trout fishing among others, while there is also a library, ideal for some quiet time or small meetings.Crystal Springs Mountain LodgeWebsiteLocated nine kilometres from the historic mining town of Pilgrim’s Rest, along Robbers Pass, is Crystal Springs Mountain Lodge.The winner of the AA Accommodation Award for “Best self-catering resort for 2001”, Crystal Springs lies on 5 000 acres of beautiful countryside, and has 164 facebrick and thatch lodges as well as 28 Clubhouse Suites.The conference room can host up to 96 delegates cinema-style, and basic equipment is provided. The catering includes a full South African breakfast, morning and afternoon tea, a light lunch and dinner.Many places of interest lie nearby, well worth a visit for the delegate who has some time to spare.Graceland Hotel, Casino & Country ClubWebsiteGraceland, located about an hour-and-a-half’s drive from Johannesburg, in Secunda, boasts seven conference rooms, including the Graceland Arena, able to host up to 1 200 people.Standard equipment is provided for conferences, including top class lighting and sound. Team building exercises are available and for leisure there is a Gary Player Links golf course, tennis, a heated swimming pool, fitness centre, go-karting and cinemas.The hotel has 98 bedrooms.Grand Kruger LodgeWebsiteLocated about 10 kilometres from the Crocodile Bridge entrance to the Kruger National Park, the Grand Kruger Lodge offers a true wildlife experience in Big Five country, with game wondering freely over the property – including through the camps.The conference facilities cater for up to 50 people, while the Lodge sleeps up to 44 in rooms that include mini bars, tee and coffee facilities, air conditioning, safes, and hairdryers.Flip Charts are provided for conferences, as well as white screens, note pads and pens, while PA systems, overhead projectors and data projectors are available for hire.There is plenty to do during leisure time including game drives, both at night and during the day. The bright lights of a casino are available nearby, as well as bird watching, fly fishing, game walks and hunting. Water activities include swimming, scuba diving and white water rafting, as well as sunset cruises.For the adventurous there mountain biking, a 4×4 course, and quad biking. Absailing is also available, as if tennis, golf, and a gym.Greenway Woods Conference & Golf HotelWebsiteA mere 35 kilometres from the Kruger National Park, Greenway Woods Conference and Golf Hotel is a three-and-a-half hour drive from Johannesburg. It has 50 three-bedroom chalets and four conference rooms.The largest room, the Milner, can accommodate up to 160 people. Standard equipment is supplied and video conferencing is available.For leisure time there is a Gary Player-designed golf course, a swimming pool, tennis, squash, river rafting, fishing, hiking, volleyball, and game drives. Team building exercises can be arranged.Lekoa LodgeWebsiteNear Villiers, the Lekoa Lodge offers accommodation in self-catering four-sleeper chalets and eight-sleeper double-storey chalets, although an a la carte restaurant is available for those who choose not to do their own cooking.There are four conference venues which can host groups of up to 200 delegates. Also on offer to conference-goers is the option of team-building.The Lodge lies along the Vaal Meander, which for a break, away from work, offers craft markets, outdoor adventure centres, boat trips, restaurants, coffee shops, English tea gardens and pubs.Mabula Game LodgeWebsiteLocated a two-hour’s drive from Johannesburg in the Waterberg Mountains, outside Bela Bela, Mabula Game Lodge offers three conference venues able to host from 30 to 160 people. The scenic surrounds make for an ideal getaway spot for a conference.Up-to-date equipment is available, along with team-building exercises. A boma dinner with traditional African dancing is provided, while theme dinners, horse riding, hot-air ballooning and champagne breakfasts in the bush can also be arranged.Olifants River LodgeWebsiteThe Olifants River Lodge is located 20 kilometres from Middelburg on the bank of the Great Olifants River. It is a one-and-a-half hours’ drive from Pretoria.There are various accommodation options, from thatched rondavels, log cabins, cabanas, self-catering villas, and even a caravan park.The five conference venues are able to host from 20 to 200 people. The equipment provided includes big screen television, overhead projector, screen, TV, video, DSTV, flipcharts, fax and typing facilities.Set menus are available, but customized menus can also be arranged.There are plenty of leisure options, many of which involve activities on the Olifants River.Pestana Kruger LodgeWebsiteThe Pestana Kruger Lodge is located only one kilometre from the Malelane Gate, the southernmost entrance to the Kruger National Park. Its border with the national park is defined by the Crocodile River, which allows visitors to view animals drinking and more permanent occupants, like hippos.The Lodge has 74 rooms, including standard, executive, and family rooms, as well as two suites.Four conference rooms are able to accommodate up to 150 delegates. Standard equipment is supplied as part of conference packages.The Camelot Health Spa offers first-class pampering. Its facilities include a hydro bath, steam room, relaxation area and a double treatment suite.Protea Hotel WitbankWebsiteThe 94-room Protea Hotel Witbank is an hour’s drive from Pretoria and the Johannesburg International Airport.It offers four conference rooms which accommodate from 25 to 200 delegates. The are fully equipped with white board, air-conditioning, slide projector, flip chart, television, overhead projector, public address system, video recorder, microphone, portable screen, fixed screen, lectern, fax, personal computer, and photocopy machine.Conferences dinner themes can also be arranged, including a Shebeen evening, a British Pub, and an Out of Africa braai or buffet.Sanbonani Resort HotelWebsiteThe Sanbonani Resort Hotel is located just outside Hazyview, 40 kilometres from the Paul Kruger Gate into the Kruger National Park.The hotel has 50 rooms and eight fully-equipped self-catering chalets.The conference centre is able to host up to 200 people. Internet and fax facilities are available, as is team building.A variety of sporting facilities are on offer, while days tours to the Kruger National Park can be arranged, as well as game drives and night safaris in private game reserves.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

SA, UK’s unique relationship

first_imgQueen Elizabeth II and South African President Jacob Zuma ride in the royal carrage to Buckingham Palace in the UK in early March. (Image: The Presidency) MEDIA CONTACTS • Vincent Magwenya Presidential spokesperson +27 72 715 0024 RELATED ARTICLES • Gallery: Zuma’s UK state visit• Zuma speech in UK Parliament• SA to strengthen ties with Britain• UK pupils learn SA languages• Drawing expats back to SAOnly two of the statues outside Westminster are not of British leaders, and both are South African. After President Jacob Zuma’s state visit to the UK, John Battersby reflects on the long and deep relationship between the two countries.I was often asked in the long run-up to President Jacob Zuma’s state visit to the UK: what is the purpose of a state visit?It is a fair question.The amount of preparation and coordination that goes into a state visit is mind-boggling. It involves hundreds of people working continually for three months. It is expensive and time-consuming. And there are no immediate outcomes.Consolidating relationshipsA state visit is a time for consolidating the long-term relationship between two countries and reflecting on what has been achieved and what can be achieved in the future through deeper collaboration, partnership and mutual support.It brings a sense of perspective.As Zuma noted in his closing speech on 5 March to an audience of British investors in the City of London’s Drapers Hall, the state visit would take relations between the countries to a new level.The fact that the president was accompanied by 12 cabinet ministers and a 200-strong contingent of South African businesspeople was in itself a powerful statement about the importance South Africa attaches to its relationship with the United Kingdom.One could not but be deeply moved by the extraordinary hospitality which the British extended to Zuma and his entourage.From the impressive display of pomp and pageantry at the Royal Horse Guards, the ride in the carriage with the Queen, the dazzling state banquet at Buckingham Palace, the white-tie banquet for 700 people hosted by the Lord Mayor of the City of London, to the address in the Royal Robing Room at Westminster, it was an awesome spectacle.Culture, tradition and history come to the fore in a state visit and, as a proud South African and a proud Zulu, no-one was more aware of this than Zuma, attired in his white bow-tie, white waistcoat and black jacket with tails.As the trumpets sounded forth from either end of the historic Guildhall and the Lord Mayor’s guests engaged in the traditional slow-clapping, the mundane nature of government was transcended by a mutual celebration of the enduring relationship between the two countries and the peaks of their national achievements over the past century.A seminal year for South AfricaIt was the third state visit since South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994: first President Nelson Mandela in 1996, President Thabo Mbeki in 2001 and now President Jacob Zuma in 2010, a seminal year for South Africa as host of the 2010 World Cup.And it marked the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Union of South Africa in 1910, the 49th anniversary of the declaration of the Republic of South Africa in 1961 and the 98th anniversary of the Africa National Congress, which was founded in response to the exclusion of Africans from the Union Parliament in 1910.It is also the 16th year since the establishment of democracy in South Africa in 1994, which marked the final step on the path to nationhood after 358 years of colonial rule, the last 40 years under the notorious apartheid regime which brought the country to the brink of an apocalyptic civil war.Zuma thanked the British people for their prominent role in hastening the end of apartheid through their active participation in the anti-apartheid movement and in providing support to the victims of apartheid.He underscored the importance of Britain as a trade and investment partner and stressed the need to develop and expand partnerships to ensure further knowledge exchange, mentoring and training.Zuma stressed that expanded collaboration was necessary to meeting the challenges of poverty and underdevelopment and to address the government’s five priority objectives: upgrading the health and education sectors, job creation, fighting crime and addressing rural poverty and land reform.An extraordinary royal relationshipSouth Africa already benefits from bilateral relationships with some of Britain’s most influential institutions, including the Royal Society and the Royal Institution of Science, the British Museum, the Royal Africa Society, the Royal Geographic Society, the Royal College of Music, the Royal Opera at Covent Garden and the Royal Institute of British Architects, as well as many of the country’s leading universities.On the British side, the continuity of the extraordinary relationship between Britain and South Africa is embodied by the reigning British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have paid two state visits to South Africa: in 1995 during the Presidency of Nelson Mandela and then again in 1999 when President Mbeki became head of state.The Queen’s relationship with South Africa spans more than six decades beginning with her official visit as Princess Elizabeth with her parents, the King and Queen, in 1947 which lasted three months and included Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesia) and Botswana (then Bechuanaland).The Queen’s personal collection of letters, photographs and memorabilia from that trip – and the subsequent state visits – were on display at Buckingham Palace for the South African delegation and invited guests to view.It was clear from the display that her visit to South Africa was one the highpoints of her youth. She celebrated her 21st birthday during the visit. Five years later, in 1952, her father died and she was crowned as Queen of the United Kingdom at the tender age of 25.Among the letters were those between her and General Jan Smuts, who was Prime Minister at the time. It was the year before the National Party came to power in 1948, which ushered in a dark period in relations between South Africa and the UK.But the monarch’s relationship with Smuts, and later with Mandela, Mbeki and Zuma, has served as an arch of continuity which has preserved the growing and valuable trade, investment, cultural and historic relationship between the two countries.As Zuma observed in his address to Westminster, nowhere is that relationship more powerfully symbolised than in Parliament Square, adjoining the Palace of Westminster, where the statues of British prime ministers spanning more than a century stand.There are only two statues of leaders who are not British and they are both South Africans: Jan Smuts and Nelson Mandela, the only leader whose statue was erected in his own lifetime. John Battersby is the UK country manager of the International Marketing Council of South Africa. He is a former bureau chief of the South African morning group office in London and was editor of The Sunday Independent from 1996 to 2001.last_img read more

Shoplifters of TVs Held in Death of 81-Year-Old Sales Associate

first_imgAn 81-year-old Sears sales associate was killed by two men who shoved him down while stealing television sets from a South Carolina store, authorities said Wednesday. Sheriff Leon Lott said he charged “two punks” with murder as well as strong-arm robbery when Duaine Hamilton died, four days after his head hit the store’s concrete floor. “It wasn’t a struggle. They just struck him. He’s 81 years old. He attempted to stop them by standing in front of them and they just attacked and knocked him down. And they still stole the TVs,” Lott said at a news conference. Jeffrey Simmons, 58, was arrested Friday, and Jason Randolph, 40, was taken into custody Wednesday after a traffic stop, deputies said.The blow to the head on August 22,  killed Hamilton, who “should have been home playing with his grandchildren,” Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said. Hamilton was an Air Force veteran who retired from AT&T and then went to work for Sears 13 years ago, the sheriff said. Although he was initially identified as a worker whose job was to prevent shoplifting, Sears spokesman Howard Riefs said Hamilton was a sales associate in the store’s home appliance department. Lott said the attack was caught on the store’s security cameras, but his spokesman, Lieutenant Curtis Wilson, said that out of respect to the victim’s family, the sheriff didn’t want to release the recordings Wednesday, since they were holding the man’s funeral. Simmons and Randolph have long criminal records, including nine shoplifting convictions for Simmons alone, Lott said. It wasn’t known whether either man had a lawyer. “They are used to going into wherever they want to go in and stealing stuff and getting away with it,” the sheriff said. [Source: Fox News US] Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more