Premier League suspended due to coronavirus

first_imgAll elite football matches in England, including the Premier League, Football League (EFL) and Women’s Super League (WSL), were suspended until April 4 on Friday due to the coronavirus pandemic, English soccer’s governing bodies said.“Following a meeting of shareholders today, it was unanimously decided to suspend the Premier League with the intention of returning on April 4,” the Premier League, Football Association (FA), EFL and WSL said in a joint statement.The decision was taken after Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for coronavirus, while Everton announced on Friday that their entire team had gone into self-isolation after a player reported symptoms of COVID-19.“Above all, we wish Mikel Arteta and Callum Hudson-Odoi speedy recoveries, and everyone else affected by COVID-19,” Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said.“In this unprecedented situation, we are working closely with our clubs, Government, The FA and EFL and can reassure everyone the health and welfare of players, staff and supporters are our priority.”The Premier League said it aims to reschedule the affected fixtures but is unsure when action will be able to resume.The Football Association said England’s friendly internationals against Italy and Denmark at Wembley on March 27 and 31 respectively will not take place.The men’s and women’s FA Cup competitions have also been suspended.The EFL, which administers the three professional divisions below the Premier League, with 72 clubs, said in a statement that the situation will be kept under “constant review”.“This action… has been taken due to the increasing numbers of clubs taking steps to isolate their players and staff because of the COVID-19 virus,” the EFL said.The British government has not banned large public gatherings at this stage in its response to the crisis, but the EFL said it was the right moment to activate its own plans.“Whilst the EFL Board has continued to take the advice and guidance offered by the Government and its health advisors, emerging developments mean now is the time to implement football’s contingency plans in response to the crisis,” it said.“This decision has not been taken lightly, but the EFL must prioritise the health and well-being of players, staff and supporters while also acknowledging the Government’s national efforts in tackling this outbreak.”last_img read more

Continue reading

Worst CL record as everyone mastered BATE

first_imgWorst defences in group stage history:24 goals conceded – BATE Borisov, 2014/1522 – Dinamo Zagreb (CRO), 2011/1222 – FC Nordsjælland (DEN), 2012/1319 – Ferencvaros (HUN), 1995/9619 – Dynamo Kiev (UKR), 2007/0819 – Debrecen (HUN), 2009/1019 – MSK Zilina (SVK), 2010/110Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000PARIS, December 11- Belarus champions BATE Borisov earned the dubious honour of becoming the worst defence in a Champions League group stage campaign after their 2-0 defeat by Athletic Bilbao took their goals against tally to 24 on Wednesday.BATE have suffered several heavy defeats this term, losing 6-0 away at group winners Porto and then being hammered 7-0 and 5-0 by runners-up Shakhtar Donetsk.last_img

Continue reading

Mansion or cottage, $50 flat tax sought for schools

first_imgState Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell, who supports Proposition 88, said the needs still far outweigh the available funding. “The needs are critical,” he said. “Public education today is still underfunded. In terms of dollars on the per capita basis, we lag behind all but half a dozen states. “Is it a panacea? No. Will it help, will it make a difference in students’ educational opportunities? The answer is definitely yes. It’s an opportunity to provide additional resources in the classroom.” Mitchell said proponents decided to go with a flat fee rather than one tied to property values because they did not want a tax that increases as values rise. They chose $50 because they felt it was small enough to not cause financial hardship or have a substantial impact on a person’s decision to buy a property. But the measure has another quirk that could place a proportionally higher burden on timeshare owners. Depending on local county tax laws, every individual owner of a timeshare could have to pay the $50, meaning a single unit could be taxed up to 52 times. The timeshare provision varies according to an individual county’s tax policies, according to officials in the timeshare industry. If the county sends separate tax bills to each individual owner of a timeshare, those individuals are likely to each have to pay $50. But if the county sends a single bill to the timeshare association or management company, which typically then sends its own bills to the individual owner, it is more likely they would only have to split a single $50 payment among all the owners. That means in some counties, if a timeshare is divided among 52 weekly owners, the total new tax bill on that unit would amount to $2,600. In other counties, it would total $50. “It’s very concerning because timeshare is a vital part of the California tourism economy and one that has been continuing to grow in recent years,” said Jason Gamel, vice president of the Washington-based American Resort Development Association, which represents the timeshare industry. “It could be detrimental to the timeshare industry and to residents of California.” California has about 12,000 timeshare units, generating at least $3 billion in direct and indirect economic impact, including $418 million in tax revenue, according to an ARDA study. Most of them are concentrated in San Diego, Riverside County, Anaheim, Big Bear, Mammoth, Carmel and San Francisco. The national median cost of a one-week share of a two-bedroom timeshare is about $17,000. Mitchell said proponents are still researching the accuracy of the claims about the effect on timeshares, but agreed it is likely to vary by county. Still, he added, “I don’t think timeshare owners are more important than class-size reduction and kids.” harrison.sheppard@dailynews.com (916) 446-6723160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO – Every property owner in California, no matter how big or small or valuable their parcel, faces paying a flat $50 tax to fund schools under a measure voters will be asked to approve in November. Although it’s still early in the election season, the move already is generating criticism from taxpayer groups and property owners who say it would be a regressive tax that would add to the burden of average citizens who are already overtaxed. Proponents of Proposition 88 – authored by EdVoice, a coalition that includes backing from such wealthy philanthropists as Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Silicon Valley investor John Doerr and SunAmerica Chairman Eli Broad – say the state’s schools are in dire need. But critics note the measure places the same tax on a small one-bedroom home in Reseda as it does on a mansion in Bel-Air or massive farm in the Central Valley. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPhotos: At LA County Jail, Archbishop José H. Gomez celebrates Christmas Mass with inmates“I think it’s going to look foolish to have the two primary proponents, Reed Hastings, the owner of Netflix, and John Doerr, another Silicon Valley billionaire, impose a tax on everyone else that hits their multimillion-dollar mansions the same as a struggling family,” said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. “I’m not sure they have completely thought through how that’s going to be perceived.” The measure would generate about $500 million by placing a $50 tax on every property in the state. The funds would go to specific K-12 education purposes, including class-size reduction, textbooks and school safety, plus facilities money for schools that have not received state bond funds. “Californians want better schools,” said Paul Mitchell, political director of EdVoice. “They’re very optimistic, they’re hopeful, but they also don’t want to spend money on things where they think there might be waste. This is written so it ensures dollars go straight to the classroom.” The funds would come on top of a 2006-07 state budget that already calls for spending $55 billion on education, an increase of $3 billion from the previous year. Additionally, the November ballot has a $10.4 billion bond measure for school facilities. last_img read more

Continue reading

Lampard hails Chelsea’s mental resolve after hard-fought win against Newcastle

first_imgChelsea boss Frank Lampard hailed his squad’s mentality as they broke down a resilient Newcastle side to earn a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.After a frustrating first-half, the Blues upped the ante after the interval with Marcos Alonso’s strike sealing a fifth straight win in all competitions to move Chelsea into the top four of the Premier League. 2 Liverpool’s signings under Michael Edwards – will Minamino be the next big hit? SORRY PAYBACK appointed Steve Round reveals how Mikel Arteta convinced him to join Arsenal staff Getty Images – Getty While the Blues picked up a third straight league win, it could have been a more comprehensive scoreline as they squandered several good opportunities in front of goal.And Lampard says that is something his side must improve on if they are to compete at the top with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City.Frank Lampard EXCLUSIVE: Chelsea boss on texts from Jose Mourinho, David Silva’s excellence, Prince William and more“My only moan was we didn’t have that clinical edge around the box which would have been it a far more comfortable last 10 minutes,” he admitted.“We’ll try and improve on that. Tammy [Abraham] has been scoring everything he hits before today – he had a couple of headers which hit the bar. Christian [Pulisic] also got through and their goalkeeper makes the save. ‘I’ll get him’ – Robertson further endears himself to fans with revenge vow to Mane scrap The average first-team salaries at every Premier League club in 2019 revealed Lampard celebrates Chelsea’s third straight Premier League victory with match-winner Marcos Alonso latest Getty Images – Getty MOST READ IN FOOTBALL Liverpool transfer news live: Mbappe latest, Lille star wants to join Reds in future Frank Lampard’s Chelsea eventually broke down Newcastle’s resistance at Stamford Bridge on Saturday LATEST Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ Gerrard launches furious touchline outburst as horror tackle on Barisic sparks chaos TOP WORK 2 Speaking exclusively to talkSPORT after the game, Lampard said: “At half-time the message was to be patient but to take a bit more of a risk with the ball, as we’ve got proven quality in the squad.“Newcastle put a lot of men behind the ball, they were very organised as we’ve seen from many of the results they’ve got this season.“It was a mental task for us. It’s easy to start changing what you should do and start playing balls centrally through areas that are compact.“We stuck to our plan though, and I’m really pleased we did that.” Sky Sports presenter apologises for remarks made during Neville’s racism discussion “If we want to get to where we want to get too then those are things we definitely need to improve, but in terms of performance, spirit and effort from the group I’m delighted with them today – it’s a huge three points for us.”Meanwhile, Chelsea are assessing an ankle injury that midfielder Ross Barkley suffered against the Magpies.The 25-year-old went off shortly before half-time at Stamford Bridge, and Lampard said after the game he was unsure whether Barkley is likely to be available for Wednesday’s Champions League clash in Ajax.“Ross has turned his ankle and it looks a bit nasty at first glance but the doctor wants to have a look tomorrow, so I’ll know more then,” he explained.last_img read more

Continue reading

Will Salah make a return for Liverpool’s Champions League clash against Napoli?

first_img Check out all the live commentaries coming up across the talkSPORT network this week 2 2 Napoli beat Liverpool on matchday one of this year’s competition Interestingly, that was against the Serie A side in September, with Jurgen Klopp’s men no doubt looking to avenge the 2-0 defeat they suffered to Carlo Ancelotti’s men in their opening match of this year’s competition.Napoli are the only unbeaten side in the group, recording two wins and two draws thus far, but still find themselves a point behind the Premier League giants in the rankings.Ancelotti’s side head into the game without a win in their six matches across all competitions and with just one clean sheet to their name from their last seven outings.Klopp will be hoping to call upon Mohamed Salah for the encounter in Merseyside, after revealing the forward has looked ‘really good’ in training this week.The Egyptian was an unused substitute for Saturday’s 2-1 Premier League win at Crystal Palace, with the club’s medical stuff carefully managing the ankle injury that previously ruled him out of international duty. Liverpool host Napoli on Wednesday night knowing victory would secure them qualification for the last 16 of the Champions League as Group E winners.The Reds have been near faultless in every competition they’ve played in this season, losing just one game along the way.center_img getty images LIVE on talkSPORT Valencia vs Chelsea (Wednesday, 5:55pm) – talkSPORT 2West Brom vs Bristol City (Wednesday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2Astana vs Manchester United (Thursday, 3:50pm) – talkSPORT 2Braga vs Wolves (Thursday, 5:55pm) – talkSPORT 2Swansea vs Fulham (Friday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2Newcastle vs Manchester City (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORTCharlton vs Sheffield Wednesday (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2Tottenham vs Bournemouth (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2Southampton vs Watford (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT Speaking ahead of the game, Klopp said: “[Salah] looked really good in training the day before yesterday especially, after the game. It was really good.“Yesterday we didn’t do too much, so we will see today – but I’m not worried about it.”Meanwhile, Naby Keita has recovered from illness ahead of the clash, meaning Klopp has no new injury concerns to contend with.Joel Matip has yet to return to training with the defender continuing his recovery from a knee problem, while Nathaniel Clyne remains a long-term absentee.So, how will Liverpool line-up for the match? talkSPORT.com has make a starting XI prediction below…last_img read more

Continue reading

Lessons Learned at Universal Orlando on Christmas Day

first_imgLive Shows at Universal Orlando on Christmas DayWhile the wait times may be a bit long on Christmas Day, and other such busy days, live shows are a great way to get some bang for your buck without having to endure a long wait. Many shows like the Blue Brothers Christmas Show and other live entertainment take place out in the streets meaning you won’t have to worry about it filling to capacity.Live shows throughout Universal Orlando – quick and easy way to have some fun Share This!When most people think of visiting a theme park in Orlando on Christmas Day, Magic Kingdom is top of mind. However, Universal Orlando presents a great alternative on this festive day. This year marks my second time visiting Universal Orlando on Christmas Day, and although I visited by myself, I had a great time. Here’s how I accomplished having an enjoyable visit and what I learned on this, one of the busiest days of the year in Orlando’s theme parks. Last week in this Touring Plans blog post about Visiting Universal Orlando during the busiest weeks of the year I shared some tips that definitely came in handy.I had Christmas Day to myself and had set the day aside to visit Universal Orlando. Now, it should be noted that the manner in which I visited Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida this day is a bit different than how the average guests would do. I was on my own. It didn’t matter to me if I rode anything. My purpose was to be in the atmosphere I love and be able to report on the crowd levels, wait times, and the overall experience of being inside Universal Orlando on Christmas Day.The arrival experience at Universal Orlando on Christmas DayArriving at any theme park sets the tone for the whole day. When visiting during a busy day like Christmas it is important to not let the long lines and crowds that you will surely encounter dampen your mood. I arrived around 11:00 AM. The parking toll was not backed up as I expected, but still very busy; I headed toward the left hand lanes which are typically shorter. Parade Times at Universal Orlando on Christmas DayI honestly forgot that during the week of Christmas and New Year’s the two parades at Universal Studios are later in the day. The Universal Superstar Parade steps off at 5:00 PM. I happened to be strolling through the New York area 10 minutes before the parade was to step off in the Hollywood area. Front row spots were hard to come by, however, the parade route was only one row of people deep, making it very easy for anyone to stand behind this first row and still have a good view.4:50 PM on 12/25/2016 One of the few places along the parade route to have plenty of room – Louie’s Pizza in NY area.The Macy’s Holiday Parade is at 8:00 PM during these last few days of the year. I was unable to stay in the park that late, but I can say without a doubt that this parade is more popular than the Superstar Parade so you’ll need to secure a spot no less than 30 – 45 minutes before the parade starts in Hollywood area.Final ThoughtsChristmas Day itself is indeed a very busy day. However, the days that immediately follow can actually be a bit worse. Make sure you have a plan, but also be ready to be flexible and take advantage of opportunities as they arise. Keep an eye out for unexpected character experiences. Go ahead and take a break, there’s plenty of calm areas if you look for them and get off the beaten path. Plan ahead for dining and don’t wait until you’re famished to find some food. Enjoy live entertainment, don’t just focus on the rides. Wait times at 1:30 PM on 12/25/2016I visited Universal Studios later in the day and not surprisingly found the wait times for the most popular attractions to be very long as well, including 80 minutes for Minion Mayhem, 50 minutes for The Simpsons Ride, and 60 minutes for Escape from Gringotts. The third and final hurdle came when trying to get into Islands of Adventure. Lines everywhere! Lines for the ticket windows. Lines for purchasing Express Pass in order to avoid other lines. Lines at Guests Services. And of course lines to get through the turnstiles themselves. I’m just going to say it: Universal Orlando’s ticket taking system is so slow. Word on the street is an upgrade to this system is coming soon; I sure hope so!Extra tip: There is a “Side entrance” at Universal Studios Florida that can save you time and frustration when the regular entrance is congested. It is the pathway in between Hard Rock Cafe and the regular park entrance, it leads up to the Blue Man Group Theater. As you walk along the Blue Man Group pathway this side entrance to the park will be to the right of the Blue Man Theater. Enhanced Character Experiences at Universal Orlando on Christmas DayIn both parks you can enjoy some great character meet and greet opportunities. I have found Universal Studios Florida to have an upper hand on the amount of characters and the quality of meet and greet locations, especially in and around the Hollywood area. Around the holiday season you can expect to see a few more characters during the last two weeks of the year.The Penguins from Dreamworks Madagascar are a rare sight, spotted on 12/25/2016Over in Studios I delighted in seeing Doc Brown out and about with the DeLorean very close to the park entrance when I entered around 3:00 PM. Later, about 4:00 PM I happened to cross paths with the DeLorean again as Doc drove it through the Hollywood area, past Transformers the Ride 3-D, and out through the gate near the upcoming Fast and Furious ride (he needed to get out of the way of the 5:00 PM Universal Superstar Parade). You can expect to see this enhanced meet and greet during the last two weeks of the year.Take advantage of these extra opportunities to interact with entertaining characters and get some great photos too! Since I did not have to worry about the parks closing up due to capacity I decided to take a break at Universal CityWalk with a visit to Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Cafe. Christmas Day is actually Jimmy Buffett’s birthday so I couldn’t resist the chance to raise a glass and toast the occasion, especially when my friend Chuck was already there! We sat at the Volcano Bar, plenty of seating available at nearly 2:00 PM.I wanted some cranberry flavor due to Christmas so I went with the Incommunicado $10.50 – cheers!Turns out a little rain shower quickly washed over Universal Orlando while I relaxed inside Margaritaville. Talk about great timing! And when I entered Universal Studios around 3:00 PM I didn’t have to brave any crowds at the entrance! Taking a BreakIt’s important to take a few breaks throughout your day, especially on busy days like Christmas. If you look around and get off the beaten path you can find spots with barely any other people around. If you see a path off to the side, go down it. As long as it is not marked restricted or “team members only” you will most likely find a new place to relax. Not everyday you get to see the DeLorean drive through @UniversalORL pic.twitter.com/lEQC1SIjCc— TouringPlans (@TouringPlans) December 25, 2016Dining Options at Universal Orlando on Christmas DayI think I’ve iterated enough that attraction wait times are long on busy days like Christmas Day, and the days immediately following. However, the wait times and lines for food at snack stands and counter service dining can be pretty intense. I opted to take a break and dine at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Cafe (more on that later). I suggest if you want to go with counter service dining that you do so in the 11:00 AM hour. After 12:00 PM the lines never really calm down.If you would prefer to relax and enjoy a table service dining experience then consider using the very easy online Universal dining reservations, especially for the restaurants inside the parks. The security checkpoint at Universal Orlando can get very congested first thing in the morning and on busy days. Such was the case around 11:00 AM on Christmas Day morning. The real backup and congestion came not from waiting to go through the x-ray machines, but rather after passing through and waiting for your belongings to be handed off to you after they go through the machines. Family members wait in clusters making it difficult to exit this area. Two hours later the wait times increased for a few attractions, but stayed relatively the same for most everything. The wait times at 11:50 AM were not all that surprising, especially for Skull Island: Reign of Kong and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. However, it came as a little bit of a surprise to see a 50 minute wait for the Amazing Adventures of SpiderMan and only a 5 minute wait for The Incredible Hulk Coaster. After observing the wait times I decided to head to Seuss Landing to enjoy all the decked out decorations and see what kind of fun I could have there. After strolling through Seuss Landing I caught the end of Oh the Stories You’ll Hear show which is moved to outside of the Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoopendous restaurant during Universal Holidays because of the Grinchmas show. After the show I visited The Lorax for a quick meet and greet, then decided to see about catching a seat for the Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular. I was surprised that even though I entered the soundstage with only five minutes left until the 12:45 PM showing, the theater was just over 50% full. Morning Wait Times at Universal Orlando on Christmas DayI arrived in late morning due to some chores at home, but also because I didn’t want to deal with the long lines at parking, security, and the turnstiles. The trade off is I missed out on the glorious first hour or so of operation in which the wait times are at their lowest. Had I been traveling with friends or family I would’ve followed a custom Touring Plan and had everything in order to avoid long wait times. If you decide not to create your own touring plan, you may want to consider reviewing this list of rides with single rider lines. This method helps you enjoy shorter wait times at some attractions, though it does mean your travel party will not ride together.Wait times as of 11:50 AM on 12/25/2016Wait times as of 11:50 AM on 12/25/2016 Although I was on my own, I enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere and going at my own pace. When you’re with friends or family it may seem more difficult to do the same, but if you consciously make an effort to relax and enjoy yourself your visit during this busy time will be worth it.If you’re visting during this time of the year right now, or if you’re planning for next year I hope my experience has helped you plan for your own visit.last_img read more

Continue reading

Enjoying the journey

first_imgStratford basketball has high expectationsBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterSTRATFORD – After a run all the way to the sectional finals a season ago, and the bulk of its team returning, the Stratford boys basketball team has high expectations for the 2017-18 campaign.The Tigers couldn’t wait to hit the floor for their season opener on Nov. 21 and it showed. Stratford jumped out to a 22-1 lead and crushed Colby 89-20.The dominance Stratford showed was on both ends of the floor as it hustled relentlessly on the defensive end, forcing 32 turnovers and shooting 54 percent from the field.The Tigers poured in 55 points in the first half, using every player on their roster. Stratford ended up with 13 different players tallying at least one basket.“The defense, I was very, very pleased with,” Stratford coach Curt Schmidt said. “We played man-to-man the whole game. Our help, our movement, it was good. I was very excited about that.”Stratford is just three players from its rotation last season.All-Marawood Conference South Division honorable mention selection Vaughn Breit, a 6-foot-4 sophomore forward, is back after averaging 11.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game in conference play, and scoring 24 points in a regional final win over Auburndale.Also returning is senior point guard Brenden Fecker, who followed up a 20-point game against Auburndale with 32 in a sectional semifinal victory over Neillsville.Junior Paul Huther, another 6-foot-4 forward; senior guard Trent Heckel; and junior guards, Lance Heidmann and Okley Wrensch are also back after seeing significant minutes last year for the Tigers.“We played a lot this summer and had 10-12 kids show up every single night,” Schmidt said. “It means something.“The kids are excited and we’re excited. We just want to enjoy the journey and don’t want to get stuck on the what-ifs and all that, we want to take it one game at a time. We want to enjoy every moment because the kids have worked hard just to start the season.”While Stratford does have four seniors on the roster, it will still have to rely on a number of underclassmen to maintain the success it saw last year when it finished 18-9 after the long playoff push.last_img read more

Continue reading

Kerzner back with new hotel

first_imgAn outside view of the majestic One&Only Cape Town hotel overlooking the V&A waterfront. A luxury suite with a classical yet modern,contemporary feel. Each room at the hotel boasts a colourful ensemble of interesting décor. The giant sized pool can accommodate the needs of both social and avid swimmers. (Images: One&Only Resorts)Khanyi MagubaneHotel mogul Sol Kerzner is set to open the South African chapter of his One&Only international luxury hotel chain on 3 April.The hotel, the One&Only Cape Town at the V&A Waterfront, which cost about R1-billion (US$100-million) to build, will be officially opened at a glittering affair with about 400 hand-picked guests and celebrities in attendance.The hotel will be one of South Africa’s most expensive, with rates ranging between R6 000 ($600) and R50 000 ($5 000) a night.The hotel chain prides itself on offering pure opulence to guests, all of which naturally come at a price.For the grand opening of the One&Only Cape Town, Kerzner has left nothing to chance. Hotel staff uniforms have been designed by top South African fashion designer Jenni Button and are made of pure silk, to ensure that the standard of the hotel is maintained on all levels.A little piece of heavenThe hotel, designed by distinguished architectural firm, Dennis Fabian & Berman and Ruben Reddy, is a seven-storey construction of luxury. It will offer an exclusive wine selection that promises to satisfy even the most discerning wine lovers. The 6 000-bottle wine cellar is affectionately called The Wine Loft and boasts glass walls and designer trimmings.For avid swimmers, the hotel has a 350m² infinity-edge swimming pool.Other features include luxury suites – some of which have their own en-suite spa treatment rooms.All of the suites overlook either the V&A Waterfront marina or panoramic views across to Table Mountain, and are said to be generous in size – ranging from 63m² for a basic suite to 383m² for the presidential suite.Kerzner travelled to South Africa last week to supervise the finishing touches to his hotel, which is expected to attract a flurry of the rich and famous.A night to rememberIn traditional Kerzner-style, the opening ceremony for the One&Only Cape Town will be graced by some of the world’s most famous celebrities and influential business moguls.The star-studded event will be Kerzner’s first in 17 years in South Africa after he opened his grand R300-million ($30-million) Palace of the Lost City – an add on to the Sun City casino and resort in 1992.Speaking to journalists on his arrival, the tycoon said he was not all nervous about opening night, “There’s no pressure. Sure, this is by far one of the biggest events I’ve done in South Africa, but it doesn’t help to get nervous.”The guest list for the event, described as a cocktail party, will include US actors Sharon Stone and Robert De Niro. UK-based actress Thandie Newton and supermodel Naomi Campbell will also be in attendance.Each guest will be provided with a personal butler who will be at their back and call.This event will also be a much smaller one than the November 2008 extravaganza at the opening of Kerzner’s Atlantis hotel in Dubai.The one night celebration, co-ordinated by party planner to the stars Colin Cowie, will be a “relatively low-key” event.Guests at this year’s party will be treated to a feast created by 79 local and international chefs, who will be creating the scrumptious dishes from the hotel’s modern-state-of the-art kitchen.  A passion for the hotel industrySol Kerzner’s rise to the top of the hotel industry was not just one of luck, but of calculated risk and right timing.Often described as the “Sun King” or the Donald Trump of South Africa, Kerzner is secretive about how much his worth, and at one stage even claimed that he didn’t know the grand total of his fortune.Kerzner was born in Johannesburg on August 23 1935, the youngest and only son of four children to Russian parents who had immigrated to South Africa six years earlier.Although he grew up poor in the downtown suburb of Doornfontein in Johannesburg, Kerzner had a happy childhood, and love for classical music.After he graduated as a chartered accountant from the University of Witwatersrand, Kerzner quickly rose up the ranks of one of the largest accounting firms in Durban, and at the age of 26, he became partner.But his spirit was elsewhere. He found number crunching boring and it was then that he decided to turn his attention to the hotel trade. He leased a hotel, which he managed at night and on weekends, while still continuing with his day-job. His hard work paid off when it became a flourishing establishment.In 1963, with borrowed venture capital and no previous track record in the industry, he set out to build South Africa’s first five-star hotel, despite never having seen one or ever having travelled out of the country.Speaking of those trying times Kerzner says he remembers what it feels like to convince people to have confidence in him, “I had no capital of my own, no track record and many people were sceptical about what I was doing. I remember sitting around the reception rooms of finance houses, trying to convince them what I wanted to do was financially viable.”After a fact-finding mission in America, he started building the Beverly Hills Hotel.The hotel was a runaway success and he went on to build the 450-room Elangeni Hotel on Durban’s southern beachfront.His newfound success prompted him in 1969, to establish the Southern Sun hotel chain in partnership with South African Breweries.By 1983, the chain was operating 31 luxury hotels with more than 5 000 rooms.In 1979, he built Sun City in the North-West province, after striking what has been described as an allegedly controversial deal with Bophuthatswana homeland leader, Lucas Mangope, for exclusive gambling rights.After his success on home soil, Kerzner ventured overseas where he has built his One&Only hotel resorts in several countries including Mexico, The Bahamas, Mauritius, Maldives and Dubai.Speaking to UK newspaper, The Telegraph, Kerzner said he really loves his work, “I have always said that the thing that drives me is not the money – although there are obviously advantages to living like this – but it’s the excitement of the business, the thrill of creating.”And a rich lifestyle he does have.His properties include a private estate in Hout Bay, a R10.5-million ($1.5-million) four-bedroom penthouse he bought for his daughter, Beverly, in New York, a portfolio of residences in London’s posh Chelsea suburb and a villa set on 2.8ha of Mediterranean cliff side in Monaco, as well as a home in the south of France.Do you have any comments or queries about this article? Email Khanyi Magubane at: khanyim@mediaclubsouthafrica.comRelated articlesHolidays that save the world Life’s a beach in South Africa Tourism in South Africa SA tops for business travel Cape Town “best city in the world” Useful linksOne&Only resortsKerzner internationalSun City Southern Sun hotelslast_img read more

Continue reading

South Africa to push for SKA decision

first_img17 May 2012 South Africa will be pushing for a decision on the site of the €1.5-billion Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope at the next meeting of the international SKA organisation members on 25 May, says Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor. “The bidding countries submitted all the required technical information and we are impatiently awaiting the outcome of what we hope will be a final site consideration meeting on 25 May,” Pandor said during her department’s budget vote in Parliament in Cape Town on Tuesday. South Africa, allied with eight other African countries, is competing against Australia (allied with New Zealand) to host the SKA, an instrument 50-100 times more sensitive and 10 000 times faster than any radio imaging telescope yet built. A decision on the site was delayed in April to allow a scientific working group to explore ways of maximising investments already made by rival bidders South Africa and Australia-New Zealand – raising the possibility that the hosting of the world’s biggest radio telescope could be shared. Pandor was disappointment at the delay, saying at the time that she hoped the SKA organisation “will make a decision in the first half of 2012 and that the decision will reflect the best scientific outcome. “We believe we have an excellent site at which exciting science will be done,” Pandor said. “We in Africa are ready to host the SKA.” On Tuesday, Pandor told Parliament that her department had allocated R500-million to South Africa’s SKA initiative in the 2012/13 financial year.South Africa targets new satellites She said her department would also be working with the South African National Space Agency (Sansa) to develop an implementation blueprint for its next satellite. South Africa is planning to build its third satellite, to form part of a new African satellite constellation, as part of a government drive to grow the country’s share of the global market for small- to medium-sized space systems. “Our intention is to expand our investment in ‘micro’ satellites, building on the existing SumbandilaSat platform,” Pandor told delegates at the 62nd annual congress of the International Astronautical Federation in Cape Town in October. South Africa’s second satellite, the two-year-old SumbandilaSat, has been out of commission since a blast of solar radiation damaged its on-board computer in July 2011. Sansa chief executive Sandile Malinga announced in September that South Africa hoped to start building a new, fully operational satellite – not just a prototype or “pathfinder” satellite such as SumbandilaSat – as early as 2012, for possible launch by 2014/15. The new satellite would cost in the region of R400-million – compared to the R26-million spent on SumbandilaSat – and would also be used for earth observation, in line with the country’s space strategy, which seeks to apply satellite data to help to improve livelihoods, reduce poverty and manage natural disasters in the country and the region. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Continue reading

How much free music is available online?

first_imgTags:#Multimedia#web 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Related Posts 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…center_img I was going to leave a comment at Lucas Gonze’s weblog, but I may as well usetrackback and hope he sees this. Lucasposted a follow-up to his “whine that policing unauthorized music on Webjay isturning into a huge drag”. He is considering a form of community moderation (suggested bySeb Paquet). I thought “Jim” left aninteresting comment in response to this. The last thing he said was:“Of course, with webjay, there is a more black-and-white issue. Is thematerial obviously illegal or not?”This touches on what I wrotethe other day about not being able to link to Lucid 3 and other New Zealand musicusing WebJay. Following on from Jim’s query, I’m wondering how much of popular musicis available free online? For example, if I wanted to create a playlist of myfavorite songs in the Billboard Top 100 this week, how many of those songs would beavailable to me as free links? Anyone know an estimate?How about more ‘niche’ music – like for example New Zealand music? It would be reallyinteresting to find out what is the ratio of free linkable songs (which I herebychristen with the acronym FLS) to songs you have to pay to listen to, for eachgenre of music. Does bluegrass for example have a higher FLS ratio than blues? Thehigher the FLS (Free Linkable Songs) ratio, the better. 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… richard macmanuslast_img read more

Continue reading