ARSON GANG WHO DESTROYED ORANGE HALL ALSO TRIED TO BURN CHURCH

first_imgThe arson gang who set fire to Convoy Orange Hall also tried to burn down the local Presbyterian Church.The Orange Hall in Convoy which was attacked last night.The local Orange Hall was completely gutted after a door was forced in and some form of chemical used to set fire to the hall.Now Gardai have also revealed that an attempt was made to set fire to the nearby Presbyterian Church. Garda Superintendent Michael Finan has confirmed the fire, which broke out around 4.30am, was malicious.“A side door was forced open and an accelerant was used to set fire to the hall so it was a malicious fire.“We have also discovered that an attempt was also made to set a fire at the nearby Presbyterian Church after a back-door was forced in. Thankfully that fire did not catch hold,” he said.The latest attack comes just three weeks after another Orange Hall in the village of Newtowncunningham was also gutted in an arson attack. Supt Finan said a full investigation is being carried out to see if the two attacks are connected.“We are certainly investigating if there is any links between the two fires and we will be exploring that,” he added.Local Master of the Orange Lodge, Alan Laird, said the entire community of Convoy are just devastated by the attack.“This is not just an attack on our community but it is an attack on the entire community of Convoy.“I have spoken to people from all sides of the community this morning and they are just devastated and disgusted by the attack. “I spoke to people in the street who were openly crying about what has happened here. It is just a terrible attack on society,” he said.Gardai are carrying out a full forensic examination of the scene.They are appealing to petrol station owners who may have sold small amounts of fuel in recent days.ARSON GANG WHO DESTROYED ORANGE HALL ALSO TRIED TO BURN CHURCH was last modified: October 3rd, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Raiders’ triumph over Chargers shows there’s more than one way to win

first_imgOAKLAND — We take a break from the Raiders regularly scheduled program for something completely different.Tellingly, it came with the same result.The Raiders beat the Los Angeles Chargers 26-24 at the Coliseum, bringing down the curtain on prime time games in Oakland. They’re 5-4, with upcoming games against Cincinnati (0-8) and the New York Jets (1-7) and no sane person can deny the Raiders have put themselves in position to make a run at the postseason.It wasn’t so much that the Raiders …last_img read more

All at sea with Seta?

first_imgSkills development has been identified as a key requirement for economic growth in South Africa, and for the economic empowerment of the previously disadvantaged majority.As a result, the Skills Development Act (1998) provides a framework for the development of skills in the workplace. Amongst other things, the Act makes provision for skills development by means of a levy-grant scheme, and the establishment of 27 sector-specific Sector Education and Training Authorities – or Setas – to administer the scheme’s funds, and manage the skills development process. What is a Seta?The Setas were established in March 2000 and are responsible for the disbursement of training levies payable by all employers in the country. Setas replace and extend the work of the old industry training boards and are accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority.Each separate economic sector has one Seta. There are 27 Setas which cover all work sectors in South Africa, including government sectors. The members of Setas include trade unions, government and bargaining councils from appropriate industries.Within its own sector, a Seta must develop and implement a skills development plan, be responsible for quality control and pay out development grants. They are responsible for about R2.5-billion each year.Part of the objective of the Setas is to ensure that the skills requirements of the various sectors are identified, and that the adequate and appropriate skills are readily available. They are required to ensure that training is of the appropriate quality, meets agreed standards as laid out by the national framework, and caters for the training needs of new entrants to the labour market as well as the currently employed work force.The Setas are also responsible for a learnership programme and the implementation of strategic sector skills plans. They have discretionary funds, drawn from their levy income, that can be used for projects designed to assist in the achievement of sector priorities, including the design and implementation of learnerships.The 27 Setas each renew an MoU with the Department of Labour on an annual basis.What do I have to pay?A compulsory skills-development levy was introduced on 1 April 2000, payable by employers who are registered with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) for employees’ tax purposes, or by employers with an annual payroll in excess of R250 000. The levy rate is 1% of the total payroll, and the collection of the funds is administered by SARS.How are the funds disbursed? The levies paid to SARS are put in a special fund. 80% of the money from this fund is distributed to the different Setas and the other 20% is paid into the National Skills Fund. The Setas then pay grants to employers who appoint a Skills Development Facilitator. The National Skills Fund funds skills development projects that don’t fall under the Setas. How do I get my Seta to work for me? Appointing a facilitatorIn order to be eligible for grants, an employer must appoint a Skills Development Facilitator who can be a full-time or part-time employee or contracted consultant.The facilitator is responsible for the development and planning of a company’s skills development strategy. This will include the development and implementation of an annual workplace skills plan and the submission of an annual training report. He or she also serves as a resource to the employer with regard to the criteria required for accreditation of courses, skills programmes and learnership development.Once a facilitator has been appointed, employers can develop the skills of their staff, and reclaim the funds for doing this in three ways:Workplace skills planIn the first year of the levy-grant scheme employers can recover in grants a minimum of 50% of the levy they have paid. The grants, referred to as grants A, B, C and D, have certain conditions that must be adhered to.For the appointment and registration of a Skills Development Facilitator – Grant A – employers will be able to recover 15% of the levy they have paid. The appointment of a facilitator is necessary before applications for Grants B, C and D will be considered.Grant B: An employer will be able to recover 10% of the total levy payment for preparing, submitting and obtaining approval from the appropriate Seta for a workplace skills plan.Grant C: An employer will be able to recover a further 20% of the total levy payment by preparing and submitting an annual training report based on the approved workplace skills plan.Grand D: Each Seta makes available grants to the equivalent of 5% of the total levy payment by the employer for specific sector skills initiatives. The criteria will be made available by the employer’s relevant Seta.Learnerships 140 learnership programmes have been developed by the Setas, ranging from basic entry level to post professional levels. If employers agree to embark on learnership programmes they will be able to access a cash grant from their Seta as well as a tax incentive. Every time an employer signs up a learnership agreement they can claim R25 000 offset against taxable income. When the recognised phase of the learnership has been completed they can claim an additional R25 000 against taxable income.Strategic grantsSetas are eligible to provide additional grants to companies for developmental or special skills training, for example, in the area of HIV/AIDS and adult basic education and training. Tell me more about the National Skills Fund…The National Skills Fund is administered by the department of labour. It is made up of 20% of the total skills levy paid by employers and is used to address significant national skills priorities.Funds are allocated through a range of funding windows. The National Skills Authority provides advice on each window and the criteria to be used to determine the allocation of funds.The principal funding windows deal with strategic projects, social development initiatives, innovation and research, and a bursary programme to support students to study in areas of scarce skills.Nineteen strategic projects to the value of R1.3-billion were approved over a three-and-a-half-year period by the minister of labour in 2002.Where can I find my Seta? The government has contact details for all 27 Setas online.For more see:SA Labour BulletinDept. of LabourParalegal advice websiteBackground documents, regulations and other resourcesSouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this story on your website? See Using SouthAfrica.info material.last_img read more

Fujitsu Siemens in BEE ‘first’

first_img20 June 2008Fujitsu Siemens Computers has sold a stake of 25% plus one share in its South African operations to black economic empowerment group the Thuthukani Investment Consortium, for an undisclosed sum.The consortium consists of Thuthukani Information Technology (IT) Services, Amava Holdings and an additional broad-based black economic empowerment trust.In a statement this week, Fujitsu Siemens states that the transaction is unique in nature, as it is the first multinational computer maker to have sold equity in its local operation to an empowerment group – with the consortium being set up as a special purpose vehicle to facilitate the deal.Other multinationals have opted for an alternative route, allowed for under South Africa’s empowerment legislation.According to a Business Day article on the deal this week, “equity equivalents” are an instrument whereby multinationals can calculate the value of 25% of their local operations and invest that sum into schemes such as training and social responsibility initiatives.Fujitsu Siemens Computers South Africa MD Idris Suleman said that the empowerment transaction began when his predecessor convinced the board of directors of the need to engage with an empowerment grouping, about two-and-a-half years ago.Meaningful contribution“The board gave its approval, but tasked us with finding the right partner, one who would grow with us,” said Suleman. “In addition, the board required that we do not engage in any form of ‘window-dressing’, but that we conclude a deal that will be meaningful for the company and the broader socio-political environment of the country.”Fujitsu Siemens Computers South Africa appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Finance as their lead adviser, ensuring a strict adherence to governance principles and to give a level of comfort and independence to the board of the holding company.Fujitsu Siemens president and CEO Bernd Bischoff pointed out that the South African and African markets were extremely important to the company’s overall business strategy, and it therefore had a responsibility to have a positive influence on every aspect of the business environments in which it operates.“Through engaging in a transaction of this nature, I believe that we are making a positive contribution to South African society, particularly as this ensures that the fruits of our endeavours will be shared across a broader base of the economic spectrum,” he said.Seeking entrepreneursAfter meeting with and reviewing several potential suitors, and conducting thorough due diligence exercises on all prospects, PricewaterhouseCoopers introduced the Thuthukani Investment Consortium, with the belief that they offered the best prospects in terms of cultural and value alignment.According to Fujitsu Siemens, the company felt that the strong-entrepreneurial nature of the members of the consortium and the direct involvement of the principals in the companies, matched its own style and approach to business.“We were presented with a unique opportunity to invest,” said Thuthukani IT Services MD Fannie Mahlangu, who has since been appointed to the board of directors of Fujitsu Siemens Computers South Africa.“What we found appealing about Fujitsu Siemens Computers, was that the company has tremendous potential for growth and is complementary to our business. Additionally, there was a strong cultural and philosophical match between us,” he said.Amava Holdings CEO Puven Ramasamy pointed out that Fujitsu Siemens Computers, with its portfolio of hardware and services would complement several of the company’s previous investments.“With this transaction, we continue to emphasis our focus on the IT sector,” he said.Not the usual suspectsSuleman pointed out that Fujitsu Siemens Computers South Africa was adamant in not wishing to take on “the usual suspects” in its empowerment transaction, stating that it was critical for the company to find a partner whose values were in alignment with their own, and had a hunger to take the business to new heights.“In the Thuthukani Investment Consortium, we have found a group of emerging entrepreneurs who epitomise all that is good about empowerment,” he said. “Having had the opportunity to learn more about both Thuthukani and Amava, I am confident that we have made an excellent choice and that we will complement one another’s business and grow together into the future.”SAinfo reporter Would you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Manitoba Tory backbencher forced out after pattern of inappropriate behaviour

first_imgWINNIPEG – A Manitoba government backbencher who made inappropriate comments to female staff has been ousted from the Progressive Conservative caucus.Caucus chair Wayne Ewasko said he and his colleagues made the decision Monday to expel Cliff Graydon after discussing what he called “repeated inappropriate behaviour.”“While we do not take this decision lightly, it has become apparent that previous attempts with Mr. Graydon to address a pattern of inappropriate behaviour have not succeeded,” Ewasko said in a written statement.“We have acted fairly, swiftly and respectfully in dealing with this difficult matter while ensuring all policies and procedures were followed and that the privacy and confidentiality of all parties involved were respected.”Media reports earlier this month quoted unnamed sources as saying Graydon invited two women on separate occasions to sit on his lap, and invited another to lick food off his face.Premier Brian Pallister said Graydon is also being removed from the board of Crown-owned Manitoba Hydro and will not be allowed to seek the party’s nomination in the next election.No one in the government caucus would discuss details of Graydon’s actions. Pallister said he wanted to respect the privacy of anyone who came forward, and hoped the dismissal sends a message.“It sends the right signal, I think, about changing the culture around here.”Graydon was not in the legislature chamber Monday and did not respond to interview requests. He has previously acknowledged making comments to one staff member, although he has not discussed details.He announced last week that he was going on medical leave for an undisclosed issue and that he would not seek re-election in 2020.Graydon, in his early 70s, has represented the Emerson constituency near the United States border since 2007.He faced controversy last winter when he used social media to call asylum-seekers who had been crossing the border “a drain on society.” He also retweeted other people’s posts that called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a traitor, a scumbag and a disgrace.Graydon apologized, deleted the tweets and agreed to step back from social media and undergo sensitivity training, the details of which were never made public.“We took action to move Mr. Graydon into counselling. He was entered into counselling,” Pallister said Monday. “Evidently, that counselling was less than successful.”Graydon is the third legislature member to be kicked out of a caucus since the last election in 2016. The Opposition New Democrats, saying he had sexually harassed a worker, gave the boot to Mohinder Saran nearly two years ago. Saran has denied the accusation.The Tories ousted Steven Fletcher last year after he openly questioned government policies that included the creation of a new Crown corporation to promote energy efficiency.Despite the changes, the Tories continue to have a large majority with 38 of the 57 legislature seats.last_img read more

Edward Norton And Joe Jonas To Speak At We Day Seattle

first_imgToday, international charity and educational partner Free The Children, alongside Co-Title Sponsors Microsoft and The Allstate Foundation, announced the lineup of world-renowned leaders and A-list entertainers, including Edward Norton, Joe Jonas and Cody Simpson.The event is set to captivate 15,000 students and teachers from over 450 schools across Washington state at We Day Seattle on March 21 at KeyArena.Organized by Free The Children, We Day is taking the philanthropic world by storm and going global with events in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Over 180,000 youth this year alone will come together to take part in an unprecedented educational initiative which inspires students to become active local and global citizens.The official lineup of speakers and entertainers was revealed by Head Coach of the Seattle Seahawks, 2014 Super Bowl Champions, Pete Carroll at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center along with students from Enumclaw Middle School, Gateway Middle School and Eastside Christian School who are earning their way to We Day Seattle by committing to take action on local and global cause they care about.“We were so fired up to see the impact thousands of young people from across Washington made last year as part of the We Day movement,” said Pete Carroll, head coach of the Seattle Seahawks. “Like us they were just getting warmed up. This year, we are excited to bring students back to We Day Seattle to celebrate their incredible work and support them as they continue to make their marks on the world.”Leading the day full of educational speeches, inspirational moments and show stopping performances will be Free The Children ambassador, Jesse Giddings as co-host for We Day Seattle, along with international activists and co-founders of Free The Children, Craig and Marc Kielburger. The star-studded list of speakers and performers announced to date includes:· Edward Norton (EdwardNorton) – Actor, Filmmaker, and Co-founder, CrowdRise· Joe Jonas (joejonas) – GRAMMY®-nominated, multi-platinum artist and Free The Children ambassador· Cody Simpson (CodySimpson) – Australian pop singer and award-winning musician · Hannah Alper (CallmeHannah.ca) – 11-year-old Me to We inspirational speaker, Free The Children ambassador, blogger and youth activist· Pete Carroll (PeteCarroll) – Head Coach of the Seattle Seahawks, 2014 Super Bowl Champions, and We Day Seattle Co-Chair· Russell Wilson, Derrick Coleman, Bobby Wagner and Jermaine Kearse – 2014 Super Bowl Champions Seattle Seahawks players· Molly Burke (mollymetowe) – Visually impaired Me to We inspirational speaker, Free The Children ambassador and author, who speaks about bullying and the power of hope· Roger Levesque – Seattle Sounders FC alum· Devon Bostick (DevBostick) – Actor, director, writer, producer, best known for the feature film franchise Diary of a Wimpy Kid· Martin Luther King III – Human rights advocate and eldest son of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.· Spencer West (@spencer2thewest) – Me to We inspirational speaker, Free The Children ambassador, author and double amputee who climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro· …with more to be announcedWe Day Seattle will also see local youth leaders and performers take the stage including Nandie Oosthuzien, Founder and CEO of Hand and Heart, local youth Adora Syitak and Daniel Franco, The Connection, a local hip hop dance group, and the Seattle Rock Orchestra.“I have been working with Free The Children for several years and the impact that students across the country have on kids just like themselves globally is incredible,” said Joe Jonas, GRAMMY-nominated, multi-platinum artist. “It’s something that I had the chance to experience firsthand this past summer in Kenya. I saw and really understood how the students putting on bake sales and raising money here, fundamentally improves the chance for others to receive an education; something we often take for granted.”Students can’t buy a ticket to We Day; they earn it through service by making a commitment to take action on at least one local and one global initiative of their choice as part of the year-long educational program called We Act. The We Act program supports students and teachers with free educational resources, student-led campaigns and support materials to help turn the inspiration of We Day into sustained activation. The program enhances a school’s existing service learning initiatives or sparks new ones.“The impact that youth can make when they are engaged and passionate about the issues they are addressing is remarkable,” said Craig Kielburger, co-founder of Free The Children. “The inaugural We Day Seattle welcomed 15,000 young people from 350 schools in over 100 different school districts. The accompanying We Act program has reached almost 230,000 community members throughout Washington state, supporting over 250 charities and non-profit organizations and creating powerful impacts among participants and in the community. That’s why exposing thousands of students at We Day to a variety of issues is so valuable; it creates a space for them to use their passions and abilities to make real change and we’re excited to see what they will do again this year.”We Day is free of charge to the thousands of students and teachers in attendance, thanks to the extraordinary support of sponsors, led in Washington state by Co-Title Sponsors Microsoft and The Allstate Foundation. Microsoft helped bring We Day to the United States for the first time in 2013 as part of its YouthSpark initiative. The Allstate Foundation is the National Co-Title Sponsor of We Day and We Act across the U.S. with We Day events beginning in Seattle and California.“Last year’s launch of We Day Seattle filled me with great hope for the future as I saw thousands of students celebrating the power of community engagement, fueled by technology innovation,” said Lori Forte Harnick, general manager, Citizenship and Public Affairs, Microsoft. “Youth inspire us, and this is why Microsoft made a commitment to bring We Day back to Seattle for the next three years as part of our YouthSpark initiative.”“We are thrilled to be joining forces with We Day and Free The Children to inspire and engage students all across America to be active citizens. The Allstate Foundation cares about supporting the work of young people who are trying to make the world a better place and we see a strong parallel between the work of The Allstate Foundation and Free The Children,” said Vicky Dinges, Senior Vice President, Corporate Responsibility, Allstate Insurance Company “We’re just getting started with We Day Seattle and California, and are excited to see our two organizations grow together to empower even more young people all across America to be forces for good in their community and around the world.”The event will be live streamed at www.q13fox.com on March 21 starting at 9:15 a.m. PDT.Find out more about We Day here.last_img read more

Cinematic version of Stratfords Macbeth adds exciting perspectives review

first_imgAdvertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Login/Register With: By William Shakespeare, directed for the stage by Antoni Cimolino, directed for film by Shelagh O’Brien. Information about encore and upcoming screenings: stratfordfestival.ca or 1-800-567-1600Witches, swordplay and popcorn for lunch? The Shakespeare-in-HD phenomenon serves up some unusual menus. Adding to the experience of the premiere screening of Macbeth at Cineplex Yonge and Eglinton was the knowledge that its two lead performers, Ian Lake and Krystin Pellerin, were in the audience too, in advance of a post-show discussion with the CBC’s Paul Kennedy. Stage actors, of course, usually don’t get to see the shows they perform in, and both Lake and Pellerin said afterwards it was challenging to watch themselves, but gratifying to take in the entire spectacle.Reviews of Antoni Cimolino’s production of the Scottish play last summer highlighted its viscerality, from the palpable sexual chemistry between these younger-than-usual stars, to the genuinely scary witchcraft scenes that frame the action, and ferocious battle scenes where the safety of the performers sometimes seemed at risk. Facebook Macbeth Advertisement Advertisement On the last Saturday of March break, amid families heading in to see Beauty and the Beast and Kong: Skull Island, I joined a throng of mostly senior culture buffs to take in the first of two Stratford Festival productions recorded in high-definition video being released this year (the second, Love’s Labour’s Lost, plays April 29).last_img read more