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Slave labor found at Starbucks-certified Brazil coffee plantation

By on February 10, 2020

first_imgArticle published by Glenn Scherer Agriculture, Certification, Coffee, Corporate Environmental Transgressors, Environment, Environmental Crime, Food, Forced labor, Global Trade, Government, Green, Industrial Agriculture, International Trade, Modern-day slavery, Slavery, Social Justice, Supply Chain, Sustainability, Sustainable Development, Trade, Transparency Brazil Labor Ministry investigators have raided the Córrego das Almas farm in Piumhi, in rural Minas Gerais state, and rescued 18 workers who were laboring on coffee plantations in conditions analogous to slavery.The Córrego das Almas farm holds the C.A.F.E. Practices certification, owned by Starbucks in partnership with SCS Global Services. After hearing of the raid, the two companies responsible for issuing the seal said they would review the farm’s quality certificate. Starbucks says it hasn’t bought coffee from the farm in recent years.The farm also holds the UTZ seal, a Netherlands-based sustainable farming certificate prized by the coffee industry. That seal of approval was suspended after the certifier was questioned by Repórter Brasil regarding the Ministry of Justice investigation.Another inspection in Minas Gerais, in the town of Muzambinho, rescued 15 workers in conditions analogous to slavery from a farm owned by Maria Júlia Pereira, the sister-in-law of a state deputy, Emidinho Madeira. Ministry of Labor investigators rescued 18 workers laboring in conditions analogous to slavery on coffee farms in the state of Minas Gerais; one of those farms held international certifications. Image by Adere.This story was produced via a co-publishing partnership between Mongabay and Repórter Brasil and can be read in Portuguese here. At first sight, the Córrego das Almas farm in Piumhi, in rural Minas Gerais state, seems to be a model property. “No slave or forced labor is allowed,” reads one of several signs that display international certifications — including one linked to the U.S.-based company Starbucks corporation.But investigators have found that laborers on the farm’s coffee plantations were working under degrading conditions and living in substandard housing without sewerage or drinking water. A Ministry of Labor team inspection conducted at the site rescued 18 rural workers in conditions analogous to slavery.The farm, locally known as Fartura (Portuguese for Abundance), also boasts the UTZ seal – a Netherlands-based sustainable farming certificate considered one of the most prestigious in the coffee industry. That seal of approval was suspended after the certifier was questioned by Repórter Brasil about the case.The farm also holds the C.A.F.E. Practices certification — owned by Starbucks in partnership with SCS Global Services. After hearing of the raid, the two companies responsible for issuing the seal said they would review the farm’s quality certificate. The certifiers verify commodity supply chains in order to assure ethical purchases, good labor practices, and other criteria required by Starbucks and other retailers.Starbucks coffee shop in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. One of Starbucks’ certifiers gave a seal of approval to a farm found to be operating with working conditions analogous to slavery. Upon hearing about the raid, Starbucks is investigating the farm and its certification. Image courtesy of Starbucks.Evidence found at Fartura shows that the farm’s operating standards were far below those expected at a certified agricultural facility. “There were lots of bats and mice. We’d buy food and the mice would eat it. Then we had to buy it again,” said one of the workers rescued.“We weren’t paid for holidays, Sundays, nothing. And we worked from Monday to Saturday with no record of the hours. During the week, we would start at 6 am and only stop at 5 pm,” says another former employee rescued from the farm, where workers received payment according to the amount of coffee they picked.The employees lived in collective lodgings without drinking water. According to the inspectors, sanitation was so precarious that it put workers’ health at risk. The rescued group reported that dead bats were often found in the water tanks, which had no cover. This water was used for cooking and drinking.In addition, the inspectors collected farm reports indicating that accounts payable were rigged. “We’d harvest and they’d leave it [the beans] there to be weighed the next day. When we arrived there, the coffee was gone. And then we were humiliated: we complained and they laughed in our faces,” said one of the rescued workers.“I’ve always harvested coffee, and I’ve never been through something like that in my life. I wasn’t even able to send money home,” adds another.It was also reported that, for workers to cash their pay checks or to buy food, they had to pay R$ 20 for a “clandestine bus” – in the words of one laborer – to go from the farm to the nearest town. “We had to pay in order to get paid,” he explained.UTZ said the seal´s audit of the farm occurred in February 2018, and the certificate was issued in April. After Repórter Brasil questioned the organization, the certification was suspended and the group said their team would look into the conditions at the farm.“Workers’ rights and wellbeing are of the utmost importance and are an integral part of our standard. We take those issues very seriously because something like that would violate the UTZ standard. Whenever we receive reliable evidence of breaches on UTZ certified farms, we take immediate action, which includes conducting a thorough investigation,” the organization said in a statement.According to Starbucks, the Fartura farm has been certified since 2016, but the firm denied having “purchased or received any coffee from this farm in recent years. It said it is starting a process of investigation to re-evaluate the seal. “We are already investigating this matter and will continue to pay very close attention to issuances from the Ministry of [Brazilian] Labor and Employment and communicate expectations to our suppliers that no farm on the list may supply coffee to Starbucks,” the statement said.SCS, a Starbucks partner on the C.A.F.E. seal, reported that inspections and audits are conducted before certifications are granted and that no signs of slave labor were detected when the process was conducted at Fartura: “Forced labor is considered a point of zero tolerance, therefore farms with forced labor would not be eligible for the status in the program.”In addition to these two seals, another sign at Fartura suggests its certification by the 4C Association of the Coffee Assurance Services (CAS), a worldwide organization. However, the indications at the farm were that this seal was still under analysis, and “the final decision on the license has not yet been made.”The discovery of slavery-like conditions on this particular farm points to flaws likely to be present elsewhere in the coffee certification process: “This is not the first or second time, and it will not be the last time a certified farm is charged with employing slave labor and violating labor rights,” said Jorge Ferreira dos Santos, who heads the Coordination of Rural Employers of Minas Gerais (Articulação dos Empregadores Rurais de Minas Gerais, Adere-MG) and who accompanied the Labor Ministry inspectors. The certification system is weak and not transparent, he added, and fails at “taking workers’ views and reality into account.”The Fartura Farm is currently caring for 3 million coffee trees, while also raising so, and cattle; it has 151 employees. The property is leased and managed by Fabiana Soares. In a statement, her lawyer, Amanda Costa Ferreira, claimed that the property owner learned about the inspection “with shock” since slave labor is not the company’s “work philosophy.”“Our farm has been operating in the coffee market for many years and has always sought to comply with all legal requirements, that includes obtaining all certifications, licenses and awards whose requirements are extremely strict,” the statement read.Living conditions at the Córrego da Prata farm, where workers were rescued from illegal labor conditions. The farm belongs to the sister-in-law of state deputy Emidinho Madeira. Image by Adere.Second raid rescues 15 workersAnother inspection in Minas Gerais, in the town of Muzambinho, rescued 15 workers in conditions analogous to slavery from a farm owned by Maria Júlia Pereira, the sister-in-law of a state deputy, Emidinho Madeira. The workers there included a 17-year-old.The laborers questioned reported that they were forced to buy their own equipment, so ended up owing the farm owner R$ 2,500-3,000 before even beginning harvesting. The group also told Repórter Brasil that they were required to work 90 days straight, without a single day off. Coffee harvesting only paused on rainy days, with work generally continuous from 6 am to 8 pm, one laborer said.“And if we stopped, the boss got angry,” added another. “It was exhausting.”Pereira was not charged, but the workers said that she paid severance. Her lawyer Thiago de Lima Dini, issued a statement explaining that Pereira acquired the farm at the end of 2016 and that she leased it to Elias Rodrigo de Almeida in December of the same year, “ignoring any procedures and occurrences on that property.” The lawyer, who also represents Almeida, said that he “used subcontractors to hire workers” and that he is “a victim, just like other workers.”The Córrego da Prata Farm was cited for 34 violations and paid R$ 87,000 (US$ 20,000) to the workers in damages. The Fartura farm received 27 notifications and paid R$ 71,000 in severance.Banner image: One of Starbucks more than 28,000 stores worldwide. Image by JackieCheu under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

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Appoint GECOM chair now

By on January 18, 2020

first_imgDear Editor,An opinion survey I conducted for the North American Caribbean Teachers Association (NACTA) last week found that the overwhelming majority of the nation wants President David Granger to appoint, without any further delay, the Chair of the Guyana Elections Commission from the latest (third) list of six nominees submitted by Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo last month.Gecom has been without a Chair since last February, when Dr Steve Surujbally resigned from the position. The Commission’s critical election work has been largely suspended since that time. Jagdeo nominated twelve potential chairpersons, but they were all rejected by the President as not being “fit and proper” because they were not all former or sitting judges or potential judges.The Chief Justice recently ruled that the Chair does not have to be a judge, as President Granger had required.Dr Jagdeo submitted a third list, comprising a judge, potential judges and a former Gecom Chair. Almost all of the respondents interviewed in the poll are in agreement with the Chief Justice that any fit and proper person can be appointed Chair of Gecom, and that the nominee or appointee does not have to be a judge. They are of the view that all 18 nominees of the Opposition Leader are qualified to be Chair of Gecom, and that the President should not further hold up the appointment from the latest list.Voters express suspicion that the Government is dragging its feet on the appointment of Gecom Chair as a strategy to delay elections, due by mid-2020. Without a Chair, Gecom cannot engage in registration of voters and prepare a new list for an election. Respondents also voiced concerns that, without a Chair, there could be contamination of the electoral list, with ineligible registrants that could affect the outcome of an election.The poll randomly interviewed 392 likely voters, to yield a demographically representative sample of 43% Indians, 30% Africans, 16% Mixed, 10% Amerindians, and 1% other races of the population. The poll was conducted by using the live interview method. The results of the poll were analyzed at a 95 per cent significance level, and a statistical sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points was found.Asked if they support the ruling of the Chief Justice that the Chair of Gecom can be any fit and proper person who is not necessarily a judge, former judge, or qualified to be a judge, 79% concurred, with only 3% disagreeing and 18% not offering a response (largely not having knowledge about the issue).Asked if the President should appoint the Gecom Chair now, 85% said yes, with 2% saying “no” and 13% not offering an opinion. But many expressed reservations on whether the President would proceed to appoint a Chair, because they feel he wants to choose his own person to head Gecom.Sincerely,Vishnu Bisramlast_img read more

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Zayzay Did Not Die of Hanging

By on January 17, 2020

first_imgThe police claim that Victoria Zayzay, a twenty-year-old pregnant woman who was discovered dead in her holding cell in the morning hours of October 21, 2015 with a piece of lappa around her neck hanged herself, appears to be untrue. The official autopsy report has not been published but a leaked copy reveals that the two Ghanaian pathologists who conducted the autopsy confirmed that Victoria Zayzay did not die from hanging.In their final report, the pathologists said: “There is no bleeding into the scrap muscle and surrounding soft tissue is seen, the greater horns of the hyoid bone is soft and pliable and, no facture is present,” adding “Thyroid cartilage is intact and no fracture seen.”A highly placed Ministry of Justice (MOJ) source confirmed the authenticity of the final autopsy report to journalists on condition of anonymity.“We received the report sealed and we quickly contacted the Zayzays and their lawyers before we unsealed it,” the source said.“We are not going to hide anything. This is why we brought into the country the two Ghanaian Pathologists.“Since the report is now here, we are going to conduct further investigation and if it establishes that anyone is involved, we are going to deal with such person according to the law.“We have been handling Zayzay’s death in our cell transparently, and we to assure the public that we will remain transparent until the matter is brought to rest,” the MOJ source assured the public.Taken into police custody on October 20, 2015 for alleged involvement in a fistfight with another woman, Victoria Zayzay was discovered dead the following morning, while still in police custody at the Zone-6, Depot 1 police holding cell on the Hotel Africa Road, outside Monrovia.The family of the late Victoria cried foul when police dismissed her death as suicide, claiming that that was how police officers found her in the cell that morning. Family members said the late Zayzay was detained when she and another lady reportedly fought over spilled milk candy valued at L$1,500. According to the commander at the depot, it was decided that Zayzay should spend the night in police custody to “teach her a lesson.” Her mother pleaded with the police to allow her to take her pregnant daughter home and return with her to the police station the next day, but her appeal was denied.Zayzay’s death prompted an investigation by government, which subsequently brought into the country two pathologists from Ghana to establish the cause of death.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Wales name Bale in squad for Belgium clash and Ramsey returns

By on January 6, 2020

first_img1 Wales manager Chris Coleman has named Gareth Bale in his squad for the upcoming Euro 2016 qualifier against Belgium.The Real Madrid flyer missed five matches for his club through a buttock injury he picked up during the last international break.But having returned to action as a second-half substitute in the midweek Champions League win over Liverpool, Bale has been given the go-ahead to link up with his national team for the crunch clash in Brussels on November 16.Arsenal ace Aaron Ramsey and Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen, who both missed October’s qualifiers against Bosnia-Hercegovina and Cyprus through injury, return to the squad.There is no place for Andy King, who serves the first of a two-match suspension, and injured trio Simon Church, Sam Vokes and David Edwards.Edwards, who earned his 27th cap last month, sustained knee ligament damage as Wolves lost 2-1 to Ipswich on Tuesday evening, while the game comes too soon for Church (collarbone) and long-term absentee Vokes (knee).Midfielder Jonny Williams limped out of their 0-0 draw with Bosnia-Herzegovina and missed the 2-1 win over Cyprus three days later but he also returns to the fold along with the likes of West Ham defender James Collins, Wigan’s Emyr Huws and Celtic right-back Adam Matthews, who all sat out October’s double-header.Uncapped pair Lee Evans and Paul Dummett were also forced to pull out of that squad and return to boost Coleman’s numbers.Also on board is Fulham boss Kit Symons. There was speculation that the Wales assistant manager would be giving up his international commitments to focus on his club, having been handed the reins at Craven Cottage on a full-time basis, but Coleman confirmed that Symons will fly out with the squad.Three points against Cyprus in Cardiff in October left the Welsh top of Group B with seven points from three games.They face a tough task against a Belgian side that reached the quarter-finals of this summer’s World Cup, but Coleman’s men can take confidence from their 1-1 draw in Belgium earlier this year at the end of their unsuccessful qualification campaign for Brazil.Wales, who have lost just one of their last eight, know a shock victory on Sunday would leave them top of their qualification group until June 2015.Wales squad to face Belgium on November 16:Goalkeepers: Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace), Owain Fon Williams (Tranmere), Daniel Ward (Liverpool).Defenders: Chris Gunter (Reading), Adam Matthews (Celtic), Sam Ricketts (Wolves), James Chester (Hull), James Collins (West Ham), Ben Davies (Tottenham), Paul Dummett (Newcastle), Danny Gabbidon (Cardiff), Neil Taylor (Swansea), Ashley Williams (Swansea).Midfielders: Emyr Huws (Wigan), Joe Allen (Liverpool), Lee Evans (Wolves), Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal), Joe Ledley (Crystal Palace), David Cotterill (Birmingham), Jonathan Williams (Crystal Palace).Strikers: Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Tom Lawrence (Leicester), Hal Robson-Kanu (Reading), Jake Taylor (Reading), George Williams (Fulham). Gareth Bale in action for Wales last_img read more

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Tottenham and West Ham target Michy Batshuayi teases possible England move

By on December 29, 2019

first_img1 Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi has given his biggest hint yet that he could be on his way to the Premier League this summer, amid links with Tottenham and West Ham.The 22-year-old prodigy has been heavily linked with a move away from Marseille this summer, with the London duo both on the lookout to strengthen their attack this summer.Batshuayi’s contract at Marseille still has three years to run, but the cash-strapped French club are prepared to sell the 22-year-old this summer.And Batshuayi has spoken of his admiration for English football and desire to join one of the league’s big-hitters.He told Maxifoot: “Everyone loves the Premier League. It’s a wonderful spectacle with goals and great players.“It is normal for any top player to be attracted to the league.” Michy Batshuayi is a big fan of the Premier League last_img read more

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‘They just play when they want to!’ – Former Hammer hits out at Bilic’s side

By on December 27, 2019

first_imgFormer West Ham defender Danny Gabbidon has hit out at the current Hammers side, labelling them a group of players ‘who just play when they want to at times.’Slaven Bilic’s team fell to a humiliating defeat as they were humbled at home by Brighton on Friday night – with the Seagulls deservedly winning 3-0.The nature of the defeat has further intensified the pressure on the beleaguered West Ham boss and it is reported he may only have two games left to save his job.However, while many onlookers pre-match would have backed the Hammers to take all three points against newly-promoted Brighton, former Welsh centre-back Gabbidon insisted Chris Hughton’s team were probably the worst possible opposition at this moment in time.“I think Brighton are everything at the minute that West Ham are not – they are organised, they work hard for each other,” the 2006 Hammer of the Year told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.“It was probably the worst team that West Ham could have played actually because they do a lot of things that West Ham don’t.“If you look at West Ham they are just a bunch of players kind of put together – I am not seeing any kind of team spirit there.“It doesn’t look like they play for the manager. It seems that when they do really need to dig a result out they find a performance but then they just go back to playing here and there.“I think you have to look at Slaven Bilic.“He has to take a bit of responsibility because he picks the side, he picks the tactics, he’s been involved in bringing some of those players to the club but I think he’s got a group of players there who just play when they want to at times.“There’s not enough team spirit there and if you are a player you look at the manager and say ‘ok maybe we are not buying into some of the stuff you are doing’.“But, off the back of that, then when you go onto the pitch you have got to want to do it for yourself as well, and do it for your teammates around you, if you are not really believing in the manager.“I am not even seeing that.”last_img read more

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The night STV reporter Matt Coyle went toe to toe with boxer Joe Ham

By on December 24, 2019

first_imgTonight STV will broadcast a Scottish professional boxing event in Glasgow featuring two of our most hotly-tipped young prospects.Local hero Joe Ham, from the Gorbals, and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Charlie Flynn, better known as ‘The Mailman’, will showcase their skills at the Glasgow City Hotel.The last time a national broadcaster showed a professional boxing show was over a decade ago, so this is a pretty big deal.STV Fight Night will be broadcast on STV Glasgow and STV Edinburgh. It will be the biggest night of their professional careers for both Joe and Charlie. It’s hard enough stepping into the ring in front of hundreds of people, never mind having the expectations of the nation on your shoulders as they watch you on live television.So how would I know, I hear you ask? Well, in my dark and distant past as a hardened amateur scrapper, I shared a ring with Joe.It was my first ever senior championships – the Western District final at the Marriot Hotel in Glasgow in 2010 – and it was me against Joe to battle it out in the bantamweight division.Matt Coyle (left) and Joe Ham (right) in their amateur days. Matt Coyle/SNS GroupI was very confident before the fight. Nervous, but confident. There were around 500 spectators there – the biggest crowd I’d fought in front of and they were making some serious noise. As I said, I was very confident. I actually remember thinking not long before the fight “I bloody can’t wait for a McDonald’s after this”.After warming up and getting “into the zone” mentally, the introduction came, followed by the entry music.I stepped into the ring and raised my arms. I was focussed. I knew the crowd were loud but I couldn’t hear much. It was almost a white noise – my trainer and dad the only voices I could hear.The bell went for round one and out I went. I was winning the fight, everything was going to plan. “Brilliant”, I thought to myself.Unfortunately my dominance only lasted for about ten seconds – then Joe, who was a couple of years older than me, started to turn it up.This might sound crazy, but those who have boxed competitively before will know what I mean; I was getting hit a lot and he was hitting me hard, but it wasn’t painful.The best way to describe it is like getting hit with a pillow – adrenaline is a great painkiller.He was starting to knock me around with ease, I’d go so far as to say rag-dolling me, so I decided to go down and take a knee to compose myself for a few seconds, take the count and get back up.Then something strange happened. He hit me, and it did not feel like it hurt. My head was clear, I felt fine, but my legs just decided: “That’s us done for the night lads, we’re offski.”I, in turn, did a bit of a funny dance and went down again. My mind was still clear, I wasn’t dazed, but my legs had other ideas – they were already in McDonald’s chowing into that Big Mac I was thinking about earlier. I got back up and the bell went for the end of the round.We came out for the second round and I knew I was up against it so I went for it. That was a bad move. I walked into a couple of other hard punches and the referee stepped in to stop it.It was the first time ever I had been stopped in almost 40 amateur bouts. After that I decided to pack in punching people for fun and make a living writing. But I won’t forget that night, boxing is a special sport.Despite the loss, it was a big night for me. I loved the atmosphere, the nerves, the suspense, the lights and even the fight. It wasn’t televised so it was only reserved for those who bought a ticket.Tonight you will be able to take it all in from home and watch Charlie and Joe in one of the biggest nights for Scottish boxing in a while.Not only do will they be performing in front of hundreds of supporters, they will be able to showcase their skills on live television in front of thousands more.STV Fight Night will be broadcast on STV Glasgow and STV Edinburgh at 10pm on Friday March 18.Watch your local channel on Freeview 23, Virgin 159, Sky 117 or watch from anywhere in the UK on the STV Playerlast_img read more

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SA tackles climate change

By on December 19, 2019

first_img7 June 2007The goverment is finalising a greenhouse gas inventory which will inform South Africa’s first ever long-term national climate policy.“This process will outline the range of ambitious but realistic scenarios of future climate action, notably long-term emissions scenarios and their cost implications,” Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk told the National Assembly in Cape Town this week.The policy is expected to be published in 2008/09.Delivering his department’s budget vote, Van Schalkwyk said the policy recognised the need for integrated government planning, which was currently being carried out through a body called the national climate change committee.He added that various national departments, provinces and cities were refining their plans in line with the national climate change strategy, which would eventually culminate in a national adaptation plan.According to Van Schalkwyk, nature-based tourism and wildlife were cited as key attractions by about 30% of South Africa’s international visitors.“With tourism contributing just over 8% to our GDP [gross domestic product], the economic impact of climate change on tourism could be very large indeed,” he said.“Globally, by mid-century, 20% to 30% of plant and animal species are likely to be at increased risk of extinction as a result of climate change.”The intergovernmental panel of climate change has also indicated that between 25% and 40% of animal species in national parks in sub-Saharan Africa would become threatened.“South African fynbos and the succulent Karoo ecosystem seem particularly vulnerable, and for a mean global temperature increase of between 2º and 3ºC during this century, we stand to lose between 50% and 65% of our unique fynbos,” Van Schalkwyk said.“In order to conserve our magnificent heritage and key environmental assets, and ensure that these are passed on intact to the children and grandchildren of our nation, and indeed the world, we have to recognise that our knowledge base is incomplete.”He added that his department would focus on enhancing research on the impacts of climate change on key environmental assets and biodiversity management on land and in oceans.This would in turn inform ecosystem planning, biodiversity management, the management of marine resources, park management and climate change adaptive plans.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

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Crisis task team ‘to report back soon’

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first_img9 February 2009A report from the task team set up to investigate options to help struggling sectors of South Africa’s economy should be ready by next month, President Kgalema Motlanthe told journalists in Cape Town on Sunday.Motlanthe said the task team, comprising representatives from the government, business and organised labour, had been mandated to make proposals for government assistance to sectors crumbling under the recessionary global environment.“There will be a report available soon from the task team . and we expect they will come back with concrete proposals on how we should respond to the economic meltdown,” Motlanthe said.“We must be mindful of the fact that we don’t know how far the meltdown is going to go, but we have not touched the ground yet. It is difficult to know whether it is a recession or depression,” the President added.Asked how the government might help struggling sectors of the economy, Motlanthe said it would not just throw money at the problem. The task team was looking at various options, he said, with the primary focus on saving jobs.In his state of the nation address in Parliament on Friday, Motlanthe said the global economic meltdown posed “serious dangers for the economy in terms of job losses and the quality of life of our people.“Our central and immediate task is to fully appreciate the consequences of these developments on our economy and our region, and devise responses that will minimise their impact on the most vulnerable sectors of our society.”The demand for South Africa’s exports had decreased and job creation had been negatively affected, with retrenchments already taking place in the car manufacturing sector, among others.The government would adapt industrial financing and incentive instruments to help deal with the challenges in various sectors and to allow employees to keep their jobs, he said.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

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