Two horses die at Aintree

first_imgLIVERPOOL, England (AP):Two horses died after being pulled up in a sombre start to the Aintree Festival yesterday.Clonbanan Lad and Maras-onnien died after being pulled up by their jockeys in the Fox Hunters’ Chase, and later collapsing, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) said. Professor Chris Proudman, veterinary adviser at Aintree, said “neither (of the) incidents was associated with a fall.””You can never remove all risk completely from any sport, including horse racing,” Proudman said in a statement released by the BHA, “but from 90,000 runners each year, British Racing has a fatality rate of less than 0.2 per cent, which research found is far lower than horses simply exercising in a field.”Equine safety is brought into sharp focus at Aintree because of the feared fences used in the Grand National Steeplechase, the world’s most gruelling horse race. Twenty-one horses died over those fences from 2001-14.The deaths overshadowed a strong start to the festival by Willie Mullins, who is bidding to dislodge Paul Nicholls as Britain’s champion horse trainer and had two winners.The Grand National will be run Saturday.last_img read more

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Soweto, heartbeat of the nation

first_imgInfused with the history of the struggle against apartheid and abuzz with the energy of the city of gold, Soweto is a must-see for tourists who are looking for more than sun, sea and the big five.Graffiti on Soweto’s Vilakazi Street, the only street in the world where two Nobel Peace Prize laureates lived – Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. (Image: South African Tourism)With heritage sites, restaurants, shebeens and budget accommodation options aplenty, Soweto is well worth visiting, whether on a day tour or for a longer period to experience the real Soweto – a place of friendship, vibrancy and contrasts.Soweto is the most populous black urban residential area in the country, with Census 2001 putting its population at close to a million. Thanks to its proximity to Johannesburg, the economic hub of the country, it is also the most metropolitan township in the country – setting trends in politics, fashion, music, dance and language.Chilling at Chaf Pozi bar and restaurant at the base of the iconic Orlando Towers in Soweto. (Image: South African Tourism)The making of SowetoSoweto may sound like an African name, but the word was originally an acronym for “South Western Townships”. A cluster of townships sprawling across a vast area 20 kilometres south-west of Johannesburg, Soweto was, from the start, a product of segregationist planning.It was back in 1904 that Klipspruit, the oldest of a cluster of townships that constitute present day Soweto, was established. The township was created to house mainly black labourers, who worked in mines and other industries in the city, away from the city centre. The inner city was later to be reserved for white occupation as the policy of segregation took root.In the 1950s, more black people were relocated there from “black spots” in inner city Johannesburg – black neighbourhoods which the apartheid government then reserved for whites.It was not until 1963 that the acronym “Soweto” was adopted, following a four-year public competition on an appropriate name for the sprawling township.Soweto’s growth was phenomenal – but unplanned. Despite government attempts to curb the influx of black workers to the cities, waves of migrant workers moved from the countryside and neighbouring countries to look for employment in the fast-growing city of gold.The perennial problems of Soweto have, since its inception, included poor housing, overcrowding, high unemployment and poor infrastructure. This has seen settlements of shacks made of corrugated iron sheets becoming part of the Soweto landscape.Apartheid planning did not provide much in terms of infrastructure, and it is only in recent years that the democratic government has spearheaded moves to plant trees, develop parks, and provide electricity and running water to the township.Soweto is a melting pot of South African cultures and has developed its own subcultures – especially for the young. Afro-American influence runs deep, but is adapted to local conditions.Inside the Mandela Museum on Vilakazi Street in Soweto. Once the family home of Nelson Mandela, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and their children, the house is now a major tourist attraction. (Image: South African Tourism)Rich political historySoweto’s rich political history has guaranteed it a place on the world map. Those who know little else about South Africa are often familiar with the word “Soweto” and the township’s significance in the struggle against apartheid.Regina Mundi Church became home to numerous anti-apartheid organisations and hosted the funerals of scores of political activists.Since it came into being, Soweto was at the centre of campaigns to overthrow the apartheid state. The 1976 student uprising, also known as the Soweto Uprisings, began in Soweto and spread from there to the rest of the country. Other politically charged campaigns to have germinated in Soweto include the squatter movement of the 1940s and the defiance campaigns of the mid to late 1980s.Soweto – melting pot of South African urban culture, rich with the history of the struggle against apartheid. (Image: Gauteng Film Commission)The area has also spawned many political, sporting and social luminaries, including Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu – two Nobel peace price laureates, who once lived in the now famous Vilakazi Street in Orlando West.Other prominent figures to have come from Soweto include boxing legend, Baby Jake Matlala, singing diva Yvonne Chaka Chaka and soccer maestro Jomo Sono. Others include mathematician Prof Thamsanqa Kambule, medical doctor Nthato Motlana and prominent journalist Aggrey Klaaste.The township has also produced the highest number of professional soccer teams in the country. Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs and Moroka Swallows all emerged from the township, and remain among the biggest soccer teams in the Premier Soccer League.There are plenty of politically significant landmarks, including the houses of some world-famous anti-apartheid activists.Just a few kilometres drive from Diepkloof is Orlando, home to Nelson Mandela’s first house, not surprisingly a popular tourist attraction. Mandela stayed here with his then wife, Winnie, before he was imprisoned in 1961 and jailed for 27 years.The house is now a museum, run by Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, and contains memorabilia from the short time they lived there together before Mandela went into hiding. Mandela now lives in Houghton, a suburb several kilometres north of Johanneburg’s city centre, with his third wife, Graca, widow of the late Mozambican president Samora Machel.One can also glimpse the high-security mansion belonging to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in an affluent part of Orlando West.Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s house, the residence of ANC stalwarts Walter and Albertina Sisula, and the Hector Pieterson memorial museum are in the same neighbourhood. The recently renovated museum offers a detailed account of the events of 1976, including visuals and eye-witness accounts.When you visit the Hector Pieterson Museum in Orlando West, Soweto, you’ll see Nzima’s legendary photograph showing the unconscious Hector being carried by Makhubo, with Hector’s sister – now Antoinette Sithole – running alongside. (Image: Brand South Africa)Hector Pieterson, who was shot dead by police during the student uprisings which spread around the country and changed the course of history for South Africa, and the famous picture of his lifeless body being carried by mourning youths, have come to symbolise the 1976 Uprisings.In Kliptown, you can visit Freedom Square, a place where the Freedom Charter was adopted as the guiding document of the Congress Alliance – a broad alliance of various political and cultural formations to map a way forward in the repressive climate of the 1950s. The charter was the guiding document of the African National Congress and envisaged an alternative non-racial dispensation in which “all shall be equal before the law.”Soweto’s brightly painted Orlando Towers – once the cooling towers of a power station – are now connected by a footbridge and bungee-jump platform. (Image: South African Tourism)Mansions and ‘match-box’ housesSoweto is a place of contrasts: rows of tin shanties abut luxurious mansions; piles of garbage and pitted roads offset green fields and rustic streams.Soweto has the same vibrant, racy feel of Johannesburg, of which it is an integral part. Despite the high unemployment rate there is a cheerful energy, a bustle of activity, with informal traders plying their wares on every corner.From the footbridge of the world-renowned Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, one has a panoramic view of Soweto. In the immediate vicinity of the bridge many people mill around – hawkers peddling a variety of goods, shoppers looking for bargains, and of course the ever-present commuters hurrying to board taxis.Further afield, the barrenness that comprises much of the old Soweto comes into view – the small brown houses of Old Diepkloof and Orlando townships, in stark contrast to the colourful shades and tree-lined streets of the newer parts like Diepkloof Extension, home to the relatively affluent.In Diepkloof the grey, four-roomed dwellings, cynically called “matchbox houses” by locals, abound. These are the original dwellings constructed to accommodate the first black migrants to the city. Although they are small, locals take pride in their houses, and put much effort into making them habitable and cosy.In contrast to these symbols of poverty, there are the various “extensions” that have been established to accommodate the relatively affluent. One example is Pimville Extension, home to the emerging black middle class. The suburb boasts beautiful houses, the roads are good, playgrounds and schools are in mint condition.Migrant hostels, squatter campsSoweto offers plenty of other less aesthetically pleasing sights for the visitor. For instance, there are the hostels: monstrous, prison-like buildings designed to shelter male migrant workers from the rural areas and neighbouring countries.These workers were used as cheap labour, and their stay in the city was considered temporary; historically, they always lived on the fringes of Soweto communities. The new government is busy converting the hostels into family units, but they remain unbending in their ugliness.Then there are the squatter camp communities, euphemistically called “informal settlements”, where poverty is palpable. These camps are home to many of the unemployed, who use corrugated iron sheets to build shelters. Despite their poverty, these shackdwellers have managed to build a strong sense of community. They remain in Johannesburg in search of the elusive “gold”.A place to partyRecent years have seen Soweto become a site of massive development projects and a major tourist attraction in the country.For those looking for a night out in the ghetto, Soweto offers some popular joints for relaxation. There are plenty of venues that offer a relaxed atmosphere, pleasant music (both dance and ballads) and a jolly good time.Perhaps the most popular of these joints is Wandie’s Place in Dube. It is a cosy restaurant-bar-lounge popular with tourists and it offers great service. Other taverns in the area are Pallazo Distella in Dube, Club 707, a restaurant and bar or Ubuntu Kraal, both in Orlando West.You may prefer to visit one of the popular shebeens of the township. Shebeens are local drinking joints. They have survived the attempts of the authorities to shut them down and the condemnation from the pulpits of local churches to become thriving informal social centres patronized by local socialites.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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Rugby union: talking points from the weekend’s European action

first_imgShare via Email Since you’re here… 1) A fitting finish for Wasps’ hard-luck storyIt is clear the force is not with a side when they become news, intentionally or not, for the “unfair”. Wasps did not appreciate their five-day turnaround for a date at Ulster. This would have been less newsworthy had they not been labouring under a horrible injury list, which was promptly extended by three more during the first half. Ulster’s subsequent 19-9 win felt as if it had been coming all week. All of which places great moment on their home encounter with Harlequins next weekend. Quins have already won in Coventry this season and they are going to have to again after a 34-27 home defeat by the debutants La Rochelle, who strode on to the European stage as if they already have designs on claiming it.Match reports: Ulster 19-9 Wasps; Harlequins 27-34 La Rochelle2) Saracens single-handedly savaging Saints’ seasonIf the impression has formed that Northampton are having a bad season, it is because of Saracens. The Saints were actually top of the Premiership a couple of weeks ago but every time they come up against this lot they do not know where to turn. This was a second 50-point defeat in two months and this time at a fast-emptying Franklin’s Gardens. If the impression has formed, meanwhile, that the Ospreys are having a bad season, that is because they are. Clermont have not been good this season but they had enough to see off the Ospreys, the latter’s Lions back in harness. A losing bonus point at home is not what players of that calibre should have to settle for. Next up for the Welshmen? Saracens at Saracens.3) Glasgow and Montpellier floored by brutal grouping Even by the standards of the new format, which means the moniker “of death” might be applied to most groups, Pool Three is a particularly cold slab in the mortuary. Already it looks as if it is going to die up to expectations. Leinster will be grateful to open with a bonus-point win but, when Aaron Cruden joins Ruan Pienaar at half-back, Montpellier are going to take some beating. With a bit more nous they might have taken a draw. Meanwhile Exeter hammered Glasgow into submission on a grim night in Devon, for the latter’s first defeat of the season. If Wasps think their scheduling is cruel, Glasgow played in Bloemfontein last weekend. There is a long way to go, then, for the Warriors and this pool.Match reports: Exeter 24-15 Glasgow; Leinster 24-17 Montpellier Twitter Share on Twitter Facebook Ollie Atkins of Exeter Chiefs receives the ball in the lineout against Glasgow Warriors Photograph: PPAUK/Rex/Shutterstock Champions Cup 4) Racing’s fast start need not put stops on LeicesterRacing have hardly set the Top 14 alight this season but they decided to play like the Harlem Globetrotters for their home win over Leicester, which probably means they are not that bothered about Europe this season. Leicester will be quite happy with the bonus point, a trinket they were clearly intent on securing as they opted to kick for goal while trailing by seven rather than go for a possible draw. They will be satisfied but not as much as Munster with the draw they managed in their French assignment. Castres are at their most dangerous when they still have a chance – which is to say, in the early stages. Munster did well to stay with them but they can bank on a bonus-point win from the return in round six.Match report: Racing 22-18 Leicester5) Scarlets’ heroic failure a victory for rousing rugby Might so often prevails in rugby, alas, but what an advertisement for bravery – of body, wit and skill – are these Scarlets. In the lair of yet another impossibly powerful French team in Toulon few teams would have survived an early deficit of 18-0, let alone come back to score 20 unanswered points in such fine style. It was not quite enough for the win but the manner in which they held on to a losing bonus point and then, outrageously, considered snatching more, was another epic in itself. They are a live contender in this tournament but they must now negotiate the latest five-day turnaround for their home match against Bath, who laboured to victory over Treviso. Reuse this content features Facebook Rugby union Share on Facebook European Challenge Cupcenter_img Support The Guardian Pinterest Share on WhatsApp Topics Pinterest … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. 6) Russian upset offers glimpse of brighter futureNo doubt about the talking point in the Challenge Cup: Stade Français losing against Krasny Yar, who not only downed the Parisians but did so with a bonus point. Then again, no one favouring flowery pink shirts is likely to fare well in Siberia, champions or not. Clearly home advantage counts for rather more than normal in these circumstances, but let’s hope the Russians, making their European debut and captained by the former Northampton full-back Vasily Artemyev, can build on this. It might be expecting too much for them to threaten the latter stages, but their success – and that of teams like them – is ardently needed if European rugby is to develop beyond a future concertinaed around the clubs of England and France. Share on Messenger Rugby union: talking points from the weekend’s action Share on Pinterest Bath’s Aled Brew goes on the attack against Treviso. Photograph: Khachfe/JMP/Rex/Shutterstock Twitter Share on LinkedInlast_img read more

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San Francisco Apple has launched its subscription

first_imgSan Francisco: Apple has launched its subscription news and magazine service Apple News Plus for users in the UK and Australia. Earlier the service was available in the US and Canada. Apple News Plus subscribers can access more than 150 publications in Apple News+ with a one month free trial. After the free trial, a user need to pay the 9.99 pound or A$14.99 monthly fee, MacRumors reported on Monday. The UK edition is priced similarly to the US one, but has more than 300 publications available double the amount. Also Read – Swiggy now in 500 Indian cities, targets 100 more this year As per the report, magazines and publications available for users in the UK include, The Times, Cosmopolitan UK, Elle UK, Esquire UK, FourFourTwo, Empire, Hello!, Cyclist and Grazia, plus US-based newspapers and magazines like The Wall Street Journal and more. While in Australia users will be able to access magazines and publications like The Australian, The Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, The Courier Mail, The Advertiser, Vogue, Australian Women’s Health, Elle, The Australian Women’s Weekly, Harper’s Bazaar Australia, GQ and more.last_img read more

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