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Posts Tagged ‘family’

Fresh protests at World Cup as Mandela family mourns

In Uncategorized on June 18, 2010 at 4:27 am

Fresh protests by stadium workers erupted Thursday, adding to a sombre tone at the World Cup as Nelson Mandela mourned his great-granddaughter and the host reeled from a stunning defeat.

Hundreds of mourners joined the Mandela family at the funeral for 13-year-old Zenani Mandela, who died in a car accident on the eve of the World Cup after a concert in Soweto.

Heart-broken, 91-year-old Mandela pulled out of the the World Cup opener. The funeral was his first public appearance since February, when he went to parliament to mark the 20th anniversary of his release from an apartheid prison.

The service at a private school in Johannesburg was filled with song, tears and sometimes laughter at memories of the young girl, who beamed with delight at meeting Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo on her birthday two days before her death.

Former South African President Nelson Mandela arrives for the funeral of his great-granddaughter Zenani Mandela at St Stithian’s College Chapel in Sandton, north of Johannesburg

But across the country in Cape Town, frustrations again boiled over among stadium security guards who clashed with police for the second time this week in a dispute over their pay.

Police fired a stun grenade and rubber bullets to break up the protest by 200 security guards outside the office of Stallion Security, according to the company contracted to provide stewards at four World Cup stadiums.

“They were warned that it’s an illegal gathering. They were given time to disperse and they didn’t. After several attempts we used a stun grenade and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd,” said police spokesman Andre Traut.

“A number of security guards were then arrested for illegal gathering.”

Police were forced to take over security at four World Cup stadiums after wildcat strikes by stewards.

“If anybody else disrupts any other stadium we are ready, in the shortest possible time, to take over that stadium,” police chief Bheki Cele said.

“There shall be no disruption of 2010 FIFA World Cup matches here in South Africa.”

World Cup boss Danny Jordaan said he was satisfied that the strike disturbances were under control, as police had quickly stepped in.

“I think they’ve done an incredible job. In Cape town within three hours, everything was in place and the game started on time,” he said.

“We just had another meeting with police yesterday and we’re satisfied everything is in place.”

After winning its World Cup bid six years ago, South Africa has fended off accusations about its ability to host the tournament with problems mounting after a triumphant opening.

Bus drivers also staged a brief wildcat strike Monday, while protesters marched Wednesday in Durban against government spending on the tournament.

Stallion Security’s security contracts were cancelled after the steward strikes spread, but the company said the local organising committee had played a role in setting wages.

“The Psira (Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority) linked rates were determined at the LOC’s insistence,” said chief executive Clive Zulberg, the Sapa news agency reported.

The national spirit also dampened after South Africa’s 3-0 thrashing from Uruguay, heightening fears that the host might become the first in World Cup history not make it to the second round.

But Jordaan said supporters will hope again and return to blowing vuvuzelas, the controversial trumpets whose loud buzz has been the trade-mark of the tournament.

“For first time in this tournament, the vuvuzelas were silent yesterday. This nation was silent, this is significant,” Jordaan said.

As cold wintery weather gripped the tournament, motorists were warned on Thursday to take care on roads after heavy snowfalls in parts of the country.

The government has pushed fans to avoid road congestion by using public transport, which received a 40-billion-rand (5.3-billion-dollar, 4.3-billion-euro) upgrade ahead of the tournament.

But a power outage that crippled commuter rail locomotives stranded 2,000 World Cup fans until early Thursday morning after trains were forced to switch from electric to steam locomotives.

Authorities were also accused of scoring an own goal by charging two Dutch women with ambush marketing over a stunt featuring dozens of fans wearing orange mini-dresses.

Source: SGGP

World Cup delight as family says Mandela to attend opener

In Uncategorized on June 9, 2010 at 1:55 pm

 Nelson Mandela gave the World Cup the ultimate pre-tournament boost Tuesday as his family declared the 91-year-old anti-apartheid icon would be among the crowds when the event kicks off.

As the country put the finishing touches to preparations, rolling out the continent’s first high-speed rail link and unveiling plans to bus fans from stadium to stadium, the announcement about Mandela removed one of the biggest worries for organisers who are desperate for him to attend.

Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela, who acts as the family’s spokesman, had previously said that his grandfather was too frail to make such an appearance.

But he told AFP that he would in fact attend the opener on Friday at Johannesburg’s Soccer City stadium, albeit only briefly.

“He will come and greet the fans… before he retires to his home,” said Zwelivelile Mandela.

This photo provided by the Government Information and Communication Systems (GCIS), shows former South African president Nelson Mandela in February at Genadendal in Cape Town

“We’re trying to see how long he will stay at the stadium. At least 10 to 15 minutes.”

Sello Hating, a spokesman of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, confirmed that “Mr Mandela has expressed an interest to attend the game” although he said that he would only make a final decision on the day.

Danny Jordaan, the chief executive of the local organising committee, said it would be the icing on the cake if Mandela did turn up.

“It will be just wonderful if he can make it,” he told SABC television. “We will keep our fingers crossed for that.”

Mandela’s lobbying was seen as the deciding factor six years ago when FIFA handed South Africa the right to stage the tournament for the first time on African soil.

Since then, it has faced almost endless accusations that it is no place to host the world’s biggest sporting event because it is either too crime-ridden or lacking in infrastructure.

It went at least some way towards silencing that criticism on Tuesday by opening the Gautrain, a three-billion-dollar rail link which can whisk passengers from Johannesburg’s main airport into the uptown Sandton district.

The 160-kilometre-an-hour (100 mph) link will be one of the key legacies of the tournament and is intended to show that Africa can build transport facilities to rival those of anywhere in the world.

“I have been in Johannesburg just for one hour — the airport and here — but I really thought this was a first world service,” Costa Rican football journalist Gustavo Jimenez told AFP as he stepped off the train at Sandton.

Security guards outnumbered passengers on the first day, reflecting the desire by authorities to deflect fears that a country with one of the world’s highest crime rates is no place to stage the world’s biggest sporting event.

Tickets from the airport to Sandton cost around 13 dollars, a small fortune for most South Africans but much cheaper than the cost of a taxi ride.

And while traffic snarl-ups mean the journey usually takes around an hour, the Gautrain will cover the distance in around a quarter of that time.

Strikes and subsidence problems have ensured that only the link to Sandton, a swanky suburb home to the Johannesburg stock exchange and a massive shopping mall, has opened in time for the World Cup.

Janet Gallagher, who lives near the airport but often travels to Sandton, was one of the first passengers.

“In the morning at rush hour, it can take up to two hours. You can’t compare … It was so fast,” she told AFP.

As well as the Gautrain opening, a new train station opened in Cape Town and the government announced plans for a special bus service to ferry spectators between host cities, dropping them off close to the stadium before every match.

With the kick-off only three days away, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said the fact that Africa was finally hosting the event was “a triumph for humanity”.

“This is the pride of Africa, a beacon for people around the world, especially developing countries. This is the moment of dreams coming true,” he told journalists before attending a charity gala dinner.

But the preparations were not entirely problem-free, with cell phone users finding it next to impossible to get a connection.

Source: SGGP

Officials take weapons from ousted leader’s family

In Uncategorized on April 16, 2010 at 10:28 am

Relatives of Kyrgyzstan’s ousted president were submitting weapons to officials Friday in their home village, a day after the president himself fled the country.

While the moves appeared to reduce the likelihood of resistance by Kurmanbek Bakiyev backers, Kyrgyzstan‘s interim authorities were still searching for one of his brothers after issuing a warrant for his arrest, and it was unclear if Zhanybek Bakiyev would submit peacefully.

Zhanybek Bakiyev, former head of the presidential guard service, is accused of ordering that shots be fired into a crowd of protesters April 7 in the capital, Bishkek. The shooting enraged protesters, who stormed government buildings, driving the president to take refuge in the family compound in the southern village of Teyit.

At least 83 people died in the Bishkek violence.

Supporters of the ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiyev hold posters at a rally in the centre of Jalalabad, April 13, 2010.

For more than a week, the president tried to marshal support to resist the opposition figures who claimed power in Bishkek after his departure. But after fleeing a support rally Thursday when gunfire broke out, he flew to neighboring Kazakhstan under a plan negotiated by the U.S., Russian and Kazakh presidents, the United Nations, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Police and the regional prosecutor came to the Bakiyev compound Friday morning, and Bakiyev’s brother Akhmat, who is not sought for arrest, turned over several hunting and assault rifles.

Kyrgyzstan’s provisional leader, Roza Otunbayeva, on Thursday showed The Associated Press what she said was a formal letter of resignation handwritten by the president and received by fax.

“The conflict is over, the people in all parts of the country are united in their condemnation of the bloody regime,” Otunbayeva said.

Otunbayeva said Bakiyev’s departure was “the only way to avoid the escalation of tensions and setting of one part of the nation against another.”

Another member of the interim government in Bishkek, Tobchubek Turgunaliyev, said Bakiyev was accompanied on the flight to Kazakhstan only by his wife and two small children. Turgunaliyev told the AP that Bakiyev’s former defense minister has been arrested.

Bakiyev’s departure raised hopes for a quick settlement of the crisis in the former Soviet republic, which hosts a U.S. air base at the capital’s airport. The Manas base has resumed full operations, the U.S. Embassy said Thursday.

“Refueling operations continue as usual, and the transit of troops has resumed,” the embassy said in a statement.

The troop transports to and from Afghanistan had been suspended since last week, other than a brief resumption Friday to fly a few hundred troops from the base back to the U.S.

Russia, which also has an air base in Kyrgyzstan, has supported the U.S.-led operations in Afghanistan but has shown growing impatience with the U.S. military presence in the Central Asian region, which it considers its backyard.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said in a statement issued by the Kremlin on Thursday that the Bakiyev regime collapsed because of corruption, its reliance on clan ties and inability to solve social problems. He said Russia would provide humanitarian aid to Kyrgyzstan.

Source: SGGP

Family at peace after late Party leader remains found

In Vietnam Lifestyle on December 2, 2009 at 5:11 am

Sixty-eight years have elapsed since French colonialists in Ho Chi Minh City’s Hoc Mon District shot the late Party General Secretary Ha Huy Tap to death.

Members of the Ha family search for the remains of late Party General Secretary Ha Huy Tap in Hoc Mon District, HCM City on November 22. (Photo: SGGP)

After many long decades, Mr. Tap’s relatives in the northern central province of Ha Tinh say they are happy to know his remains have now been found.

Reflecting on the difficult path to seek out the revolutionary soldier’s body, family member Ha Van Sy said that relatives began the search in 2001.

People who said that too much time had passed to find the secretary’s remains discouraged them countless times. Moreover, there were few individuals still alive who might have information about where he was buried.

With deep sadness, the family eventually abandoned the idea.

Four years later, however, hope was reignited when a friend of Mr. Sy said he may have a lead on the general secretary’s whereabouts.

Mr. Sy and another family member named Ha Huy Loi left for Chi Minh City to investigate.

They arrived in the city’s Hoc Mon District and began gathering information from local authorities and residents.

It was then they learned of a man named Chin Gioi in Xuan Thoi Thuong Commune whose grandmother had passed on information about the execution of soldiers at that time, Loi said.

After meeting with Mr. Gioi, they were taken to an area in Ben Tam Ngua Commune where Mr. Tap was rumored to be buried.

Upon hearing the news, Ha family members from all over the country came to the commune to help.

With assistance from local authorities, residents and even some claiming to be telepathic, it was determined that Mr. Tap’s tomb was buried under a resident’s house.

With permission from the homeowner, the group made plans to excavate.

On November 22, after burning incense and performing rituals, the Ha family began digging with hoes and shovels. After a full day of hard work, they finally discovered a piece of a leg bone. Dismissing their fatigue, the group continued to dig by hand.

Four hours later, they found more bones and a specially cut piece of bamboo, a likely indication that it was in fact a soldier’s grave.

During wartimes, French colonists were said to have cut off the heads of those they killed and displayed them on pieces of bamboo.

Local residents would often wait until midnight and then secretly collect their bodies and heads, connecting them back together with pieces of bamboo before burying them.

As the Ha family continued on, they found a skull, shoulder blades and shell fragments.

The following afternoon, the group finished digging up all the remains, joyful in the belief they had been reunited with their long lost family member.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

City to implement family doctor, nutrition projects

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2009 at 10:14 am

Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Health (DoH) will conduct two projects on family doctors and nutrition for children.

The DoH and Belgium’s Liège University November 4 held a meeting to discuss a family doctor cooperation project to provide better care and ease the current overload at the city’s major hospitals.

Under the project, three family medical clinics will be established in the Preventive Health Departments in districts 1, 8 and Cu Chi.

In addition, another two will be based at private infirmaries Viet Gia in Nguyen Van Thu Street, District 1, and Thanh Cong in Truong Chinh Street, Tan Binh District.

These medical clinics will be equipped with medics and work under typical hospital mechanisms.

According to surveys, family doctors can treat 70 to 80 percent of normal diseases and contribute to easing the current overload at the city’s central hospitals, especially as Vietnam has fewer hospital beds than other countries in the region.

The DoH and Save the Children Alliance on the same day worked on a nutrition project for children.

The project will run in 15 provinces until 2013 and cost US$150,000 to $200,000 per province.

The new initiative is dedicated to reducing the high undernutrition and mortality rate caused by sub-optimal infant and young child feeding practices, as well as cutting the two percent rate of children suffering from malnutrition.

The project also aims to increase the proportion of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a child’s life.

Vietnam, currently one of 20 nations in the world, has a high rate of undernourished children and only 17 percent of babies are breastfed in the first six months of life.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

National survey shows major shifts in family life

In Uncategorized on June 26, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Hanoi – A nationwide family survey has found that domestic violence occurs in about 20 percent of marriages across the country alongside an increase in the rate of divorce.

The family research, a joint project between the government and UNICEF released on June 26, is based on interviews with 9,300 households in all of Vietnam ’s 64 provinces.

UNICEF Deputy Representative in Vietnam , Maniza Zaman, said implementation of the government’s recently passed Law on Prevention and Control of Domestic Violence will be instrumental in addressing the serious problem in many homes across Vietnam .

“One of the key components of these efforts should be changing societal attitudes to domestic violence, so that it is not simply accepted as a normal or acceptable part of married life, which is too often the case,” Zaman said.

The survey also found that divorce is on the rise in the country due to economic pressures, lifestyle difference and adultery. But for couples who stay together, the study showed progress in gender equality where it is now more common for the wife or both husband and wife to assume a leadership role in the family.

Additionally, for the first time, the three-generation family household has also become more popular in urban areas than rural areas, with increases in rural-to-urban migration and the cost of housing put forward as contributing factors to this new trend.

The Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Huynh Vinh Ai said the survey provides a comprehensive picture of changes in family relations and roles in the household and will be used to build up government policy.

“It highlights changes in family norms and standards under the industrialisation and modernisation process,” Ai said.

“It will be used as a scientific and practical basis for policy making to build wealthy, equitable, progressive and happy families, as baseline for the monitoring and evaluation of the family development and as the premise for further research and studies on families in Vietnam .”

UNICEF Representative in Vietnam Jesper Morch applauded the government’s support for the survey and said it shows “the vision, leadership and foresight” of the Vietnamese government.

The survey was carried out by the Family Department of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the General Statistics Office, the Institute for Family and Gender Studies in collaboration with the Australia Institute of Family Research with support from UNICEF.