A tribute to South Africa’s neighbours

first_imgA photographic exhibition, On the Frontline, at the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s Centre of Memory reflects on the contribution – and the price they paid – from countries in Africa to helping the liberation struggle overcome apartheid. A makeshift, outdoor kitchen at the Tongogara Refugee Camp in Zimbabwe, 1989 (Image: Pieter Boersma, Nelson Mandela Foundation) Priya PitamberSouth Africa’s neighbouring countries, and others nearby, helped to bring an end to apartheid by assisting the liberation movement. A photographic exhibition, On the Frontline, at the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s Centre of Memory in Johannesburg, makes note of those contributions.At a time when xenophobic attacks on nationals from other African countries are fresh in mind, the contributions of the Frontline States as they were known – Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe – to South Africa is celebrated. Curated by Ingrid Sinclair and Simon Bright, the exhibition was conceptualised a year ago.The centre said these states bore the brunt of the apartheid government’s military might. Many lives were lost for those nations’ daring to protect and host anti-apartheid activists and soldiers. It is a stark contrast to the recent xenophobic attacks.Sparse but effectiveSinclair told the national weekly newspaper, the Sunday Times, that because the Mandela Centre was not big, she wanted to show how people were affected. She did not want to show the battles, dates, generals and leaders. “I chose photographs that grabbed me in one way or another and it was quite a personal thing,” she explained.It was a “story of an onslaught against whole countries that were invaded, occupied, destabilised; millions of refugees, hundreds of thousands of people killed; countries impoverished and corrupted by the destruction of vital resources, long drawn-out wars, all caused by apartheid South Africa”.High price paidThe New Yorker magazine noted that the South African government wreaked havoc on these countries for their role in the anti-apartheid movement. “Some of the images are brutal,” wrote Jeremy Harding, “an open pit of bodies at Cassinga, in Angola, where the South African Air Force bombed a Namibian refugee camp in 1978, killing six hundred people; the bullet-ridden dead in an ANC safe house in Lesotho after a South African undercover raid in 1982.” There are also images of those injured or killed in destabilisation efforts.Harding observed there were also photographs of “railways sabotaged, buses ambushed, and limbs lost to landmines” in Mozambique and Angola. “By the time South Africa pulled out of Angola, there were at least five hundred thousand dead and four million displaced from their homes. In Mozambique the figures were higher.”But there are also lighter moments on display at the exhibition. Harding said one of his own photos, from Angola in 1988, showed soldiers playing around a captured South African tank. Another image, taken by Joel Chiziane, showed a smiling Mozambican man holding a fully grown pumpkin. “He holds an enormous squash plant, outclassed only by the glory of his smile,” wrote Harding. “It’s safe, at last, to work on the land.” It was taken at the end of a 15-year war.On the Frontline-New exhibition remembers cost carried in fighting for South Africas freedom https://t.co/56XD8pMx0M pic.twitter.com/J1lmQTlJgA— NelsonMandela (@NelsonMandela) April 27, 2015Conversation on xenophobiaThe Centre of Memory also hosted a day-long dialogue on xenophobia when it launched the exhibition. Graça Machel, Mandela’s wife, spoke at the event: “Our leadership has betrayed the dream – all of them. They betrayed the dream, they are not showing us the leadership.”She asked how the dream could be rebuilt to create another Frontline and urged everyone to take responsibility for what had happened and to understand that those committing acts of xenophobic violence were “people who are struggling for survival themselves. They have been pushed to the limit.”Max Sisulu, the son of the late anti-apartheid veterans Walter and Albertina Sisulu, recalled how he found a home away from home in every part of Southern Africa after he went into exile alongside his mother. The exhibition was a fitting tribute to those who “gave me accommodation, they gave me space, they gave me warmth and friendship”.See it yourselfThe exhibition will be at the Nelson Mandela Foundation Centre of Memory in Johannesburg until mid-July.‘On the Frontline’ photographic exhibition launches at the #NelsonMandela Foundation https://t.co/u8H7K2GZcy pic.twitter.com/NI8ic4bjWg— NelsonMandela (@NelsonMandela) May 8, 2015Went to opening of On the Frontline exhibition at Nelson Mandela Foundation, Joburg. Brutally frank struggle-era photos from SA’s neighbours— David Smith (@SmithInAfrica) May 7, 2015Photo exhibit “On the Frontline” celebrates southern African nations’ solidarity in antiapartheid struggle. https://t.co/GD1mCbxZug— Peter Alegi (@futbolprof) May 8, 2015last_img read more

Trade, tariffs, soybeans and China

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest A conversation with…Ian Sheldon, Ohio State University professor and Andersons Chair of Agricultural Marketing, Trade and Policy OCJ: Could you provide us an update of the tariff situation with regard to U.S. soybeans?Ian: Well as you know, in response to the first round of trade barriers, the administration implemented a couple months back one of the major pieces of retaliation from an agriculture standpoint by the Chinese by implementing a 25% import tariff on U.S. soybeans — not Brazilian soybeans. It’s a discriminatory tariff. This has driven down the export price for U.S. soybeans coming out of the Gulf. We have actually suspended exports out of the west coast of the U.S. and we’re seeing a pretty large margin developing between the price Brazilians are getting out of the major port in Paranaguá as compared to the U.S. The gap between those prices is not yet large enough that the Chinese would still be able to import into China, even with the tariff in place, but I think it’s heading in that direction. It’s going to be interesting to see the extent to which the Chinese authorities try to prevent that from happening. So at a time when we’ve got high yields in soybeans to putting down the pressure on prices, that’s really going to have a significant impact on farm income both here in Ohio and elsewhere in the Midwest depending on how important China is as an export market for any given state. Out of Ohio we export maybe $1.6 or $1.8 billion dollars’ worth of soybeans. About a third of that goes to China. There’s a loss of market share, lower prices, and it’s going to feed back into farming income. Farmers then have to make choices about whether to push more into corn. But, of course, corn is faced with an export tariff and an import tariff by China as well. Corn prices are down as well, so then there are these substitution effects on the production side that could potentially hurt farmers in coming growing seasons. OCJ: These pricing dynamics can also have an impact on global crop production. How is this going to impact farmers in Ohio moving forward?Ian: I think one of the problems they face in the short run is how costly is it going to be to store this. A large crop is expected this year. We would have had this problem anyway I think, but it’s being exasperated by what’s happening with China. The price Brazil is getting is probably what would have been the world price for soybeans in the absence of the tariff. So China is just shifting its demand in that direction. I think the long run concern is not just the uncertainty this is creating with farm income. But how hard it is going to be to grab back that market share from Brazil? Much of this depends on how substitutable their soybeans are for U.S. soybeans, but I think they’re much more substitutable than maybe we thought with similar protein characteristics, etc. So, it’s potentially quite difficult to see how we might grab back that market share. Now, whether the Brazilians are going to be able to continue to supply all that in the long run is a question. They’re already the largest exporter and they could become the largest producer as a result of this if these tariffs remain in place.In the U.S., we export about $15 billion worth of soybeans to China and agriculture actually has a net trade surplus for the U.S. compared to other sectors. This is one of the top three export industries from the U.S. Many farms have invested a lot in the way they grow soybeans, the type of soybeans they grow, and the technology they’re using. It’s going to be difficult for them to adjust in the short run easily to these price changes. So, it’s kind of doom and gloom. I think the tariffs simply made worse what would have been a difficult year price wise anyway. I think what’s concerning is how long this is going to go into the future, which is why the backfill subsidy from the U.S. government is pretty much just a band aid and won’t pick up all of the slack. OCJ: This all got started over intellectual property rights between the U.S. and China. What better ways are there to handle this disagreement over intellectual property rights and trade?Ian: Well I think from a multilateral standpoint, we should be perusing this through the World Trade Organization and getting our European colleagues and other countries like Canada to join with us to push much harder on the Chinese over those. Through the WTO they agreed to abide by the terms of what’s called the TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) Agreement and that’s WTO agreement protecting intellectual property. But also, the Trans-Pacific Partnership was going to push very hard on protection of intellectual property and I think the point of Trans-Pacific Partnership was the U.S. in alliance with countries like Canada and Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan were going to write a set of rules on protection of intellectual property and investment agreements that would have eventually put pressure on China to join a broader Asia-Pacific trade agreement that would have gone way beyond the WTO. And the U.S. has been trying to negotiate a bilateral investment agreement with China for some time. Just because those multilateral trade agreements are difficult doesn’t mean to say you should walk away from them. I think the tariffs do more damage. They have so many unintended consequences that it outweighs any pressure they may or may not be putting on the Chinese.last_img read more

Your Goals and Your Effort

first_imgAs a young child, I went to Catholic Schools. When I reached my rebellious teenage years, my grades began to suffer. But at Catholic schools, you received two grades. The first was your letter grade, the mark that you achieved. The second grade was a number between 1 and 4. My grades consisted of a lot of C4’s. That meant that I got a C and put forth absolutely the lowest possible effort.I didn’t get in trouble for the C. I got in trouble for the 4. My mom would have taken a C1, that would have indicated an average score with the maximum effort. She would not accept a C4, even though I gave her plenty of them.If you are doing just enough to reach your activity quota, you aren’t working to your capacity. How does one know this? Because you are at—or just under— what someone else has required of you. That activity goal is not a goal you set for yourself. Instead, it is what someone else expects of you, likely determined by what is average, what is acceptable.If the activity quota would have been greater when you started, then you would already be doing more than you are now, provided you are the kind of person who does only what is expected of them, and no more. You’d also be producing the better results that would accompany greater effort.What someone else finds acceptable for you should not be what you find acceptable. That would be to accept too low a standard. Your standard should be your own. You should work to your potential.Your goals are your own. Your personal quota is not your company’s quota. It is what you determine you want for yourself. If you want greater income, then you can’t work to what is minimally acceptable performance. If you want to work to your full potential, you have to put forth the effort of which you are capable, not what someone else will accept from you.If you are honest with yourself about how you are doing, would you grade yourself a 1 for maximum effort, or would the score you give yourself indicate that you are coasting, doing just enough to get by?path Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Lukaku knew that Ibrahimovic return was coming

first_imgManchester United Lukaku ‘knew for a while’ that Ibrahimovic return to Man Utd was coming Last updated 2 years ago 00:11 9/2/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Zlatan Ibrahimovic Manchester United Getty Manchester United Zlatan Ibrahimović Romelu Lukaku Premier League The Belgian moved to Old Trafford for £75 million this summer knowing that he would be joined at some stage by the enigmatic Swedish striker Romelu Lukaku claims he had known in advance that Manchester United would be putting fresh terms to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.With the Swede among those released at the end of the 2016-17 campaign, and the 35-year-old recovering from knee surgery, it was suggested that Old Trafford may have seen the last of his enigmatic talents.Red Devils 10/1 to be Kings of Europe Article continues below Editors’ Picks Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Jose Mourinho was, however, happy to keep a close eye on his recovery – as Ibrahimovic spent time at United’s Carrington training base – and eventually saw enough to justify another short-term deal.News of that agreement came as no surprise to Lukaku, who admits that he was always aware that his £75 million move from Everton would be complemented by the return of another proven frontman.Lukaku told reporters after netting a hat-trick for Belgium in World Cup qualification on Thursday: “I already knew for a while that Zlatan would sign but I didn’t tell anyone.”I’m happy. We need his personality.”I think Zlatan will bring us a lot. I think he has one mission, and that is to win the Premier League, and we’re going to help him reach his goal.”It remains to be seen whether Lukaku and Ibrahimovic will be used in tandem once the latter is ready for a return to action in January, but Mourinho has hinted that he would be prepared to pair them together and avoid the need to find another striking option in the next transfer window.Romelu Lukaku Zlatan Ibrahimovic title targetHe said on his high-profile frontmen: “In this moment they can speak on the phone that is all they can do.”Not even face-to-face because [Ibrahimovic] is not here.”I see Zlatan as important for the team. I just say that my squad is better for sure, he is one more option, he is one more striker, he is one more experienced player, he is one more player that can play nine or 10, that can play double strikers or no, there are lots of matches to play.”If we progress in the Champions League and if we progress in one of the cups, I don’t even say both, if we do that we are going to be in the position where we couldn’t do it only with Lukaku and Rashford, especially if I play both together, because if I play one and the other one is on the bench, okay, but I am playing with both?”So if I play with both, I need a striker, so probably in January I would be knocking on Ed Woodward’s door asking for a striker for the second part of the season and I don’t need to. I have one of the best in the world.”Lukaku has made a bright start to his time at Old Trafford, with four goals netted in as many competitive appearances to date – including three in three in the Premier League to help the Red Devils set the early pace.last_img read more

Steals Are Predictive But Are They That Important

This is the final part of my four-part response to questions and comments stemming from my article “The Hidden Value of the NBA Steal.” Here are Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.Near the beginning of my article on steals, I made the following claim:If you had to pick one statistic from the common box score to tell you as much as possible about whether a player helps or hurts his team, it isn’t how many points he scores. Nor how many rebounds he grabs. Nor how many assists he dishes out.It’s how many steals he gets.My argument went like this: Steals are super-valuable predictors relative to other box score stats. They are “worth” — predictively —  as much as nine points because they’re more difficult to replace than other stats.But a number of astute readers noticed something missing. Here’s commenter Mike Schloat:I struggle with the real life value of steals when looked at in this way since there are SO SO few of them. Averaging 2.5 steals — finishing a game with 2 as often as you finish with 3 — is such a minuscule part of the game, and frighteningly random when you actually look at what sometimes constitutes a steal.It’s a fair point. Because steals are so rare, they could be much more predictive than other box score stats on the margins and still be less important overall. And in the original article, I didn’t show that marginal steals are such a great predictor that, despite being so rare, they are still the most valuable predictor.So let me address that concern. There are two levels we need to consider: The first is how rare steals are relative to other events recorded in the box score, and the other is how much steals vary from player to player, relative to how much other stats vary from player to player.For example, in my dataset, players who played more than 20 minutes averaged .92 steals and .55 blocks per game. But the standard deviations — the typical amount that any particular player is likely to differ from an average player — were .43 steals and .59 blocks.One way to judge how skilled a player is at a particular thing is to measure how many standard deviations they are above average. These values fluctuate, but the difference between Ricky Rubio (the league leader this year) and an average player is about a steal and a half, making him a little over three standard deviations above average for the steals per game stat.To judge a stat’s overall predictivity, what we want to know is the extent to which a player’s skill in that stat predicts his overall value (measured by the impact on his team’s performance by his playing or not). For example, if a player is two standard deviations above average in steals per game but only one standard deviation above average in points per game, how does his value compare to a player who is the reverse?To figure this out, we can run a regression similar to the one in the original article. But instead of using a player’s raw box score stats as our variables, we use his standardized stats; that is, the number of standard deviations the player is above or below the mean for each. The relative size of the coefficients (how much a stat should be weighted) that this type of regression spits out tells us the relative predictive importance of each stat overall.Here are the results of such a regression, from the player’s standardized box score stats to his impact on team win percentage. I’ve listed the relative size of each stat’s coefficient (weight) as a percentage of the whole — reflecting the percentage of information about a player’s value that comes from each (note that turnover value is negative, I’ve converted it to a positive “skill at not giving up turnovers” for purposes of comparison):This was the finding behind the claim that of all the basic box score totals, steals are the most predictive. It may be less sexy than nine points, but it’s pretty remarkable that a skill that comes up so infrequently can be so important.Of course, there are a lot of different ways to structure this kind of regression: You have to decide which types of variables to use, how advanced they should be, whether to use game-based or play-based data, and what specific difference to predict.So, why am I analyzing this particular group of stats at all?I made a list of all the people who use points, rebounds and assists per game in their analysis and reporting more often than steals per game:Almost all sports reportersAlmost all sports commentatorsAlmost all sports columnistsAlmost all sports fansEstablishing the predictive ability of box score stats is only a tiny step toward improving our understanding of the dynamics of basketball. But, like the steal itself, it has outsize importance. read more