Juventus v Real Madrid confirmed teams – Isco starts Champions League final!

first_imgClick here to find out how to follow the Champions League final, LIVE on talkSPORTThe biggest game of the football season is finally here, as Juventus and Real Madrid clash at the National Stadium of Wales to find out which team is the best in Europe.Saturday’s Champions League final is LIVE on talkSPORT, and you should tune in for what is sure to be a real thriller.Real would claim their 12th European Cup by beating Juve, further proving their dominance as Europe’s greatest ever club, and would also become the first team to retain the trophy since the competition was rebranded as the Champions League in 1992.A win for Juventus would claim the Italians their second European Cup, and would mark the first victory in the career of legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.So, who has been selected for the clash? The confirmed teams can be seen, in full, below…Confirmed line ups:Juventus XI: Buffon; Barzagli, Chiellieni, Bonucci, Sandro; Pjanic, Khedira; Alves, Dybala, Mandzukic; HiguainSubstitutes: Neto, Benatia, Cuadrado, Marchisio, Lemina, Asamoah, LichtsteinerReal Madrid XI: Navas; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Casemiro, Kroos, Modric; Isco, Benzema, Ronaldo Substitutes: Casilla, Nacho, Bale, Kovacic, Asensio, Morata, Danilo Juventus v Real Madrid is LIVE on talkSPORT 1last_img read more

Africa’s ‘super-park’ takes shape

first_img6 November 2006South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe have opened a new border crossing as the project to create the world’s biggest animal kingdom – a massive transfrontier park spanning the three countries – picks up momentum.The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park will link South Africa’s Kruger National Park, Mozambique’s Limpopo National Park and Zimbabwe’s Gonarezhou National Park, Manjinji Pan Sanctuary and Malipati Safari Area – as well as the Sengwe communal land in Zimbabwe and the Makuleke region in South Africa – into a single conservation area of 35 000km².In August, presidents Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, Armando Guebuza of Mozambique and Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe opened the Giriyondo Tourist Access Facility linking the Kruger and Limpopo national parks.A crossing over the Limpopo River between the Kruger and Gonarezhou parks is currently being developed.Part of the 450km of heavy fence between the Kruger and Limpopo parks has been removed, and officials hope to have the rest down by 2010, when South Africa hosts the next football World Cup.Parks that transcend bordersThe Great Limpopo Park is one of 14 transfrontier conservation areas in the southern African region. The “Peace Parks” initiative aims not only to promote regional co-operation in conservation, but also to boost socio-economic development through eco-tourism.“It amounts to more than allowing our wild animals to roam freely,” President Thabo Mbeki said at the opening ceremony in Giriyondo. “It serves to encourage us further to deepen the cooperation and partnership among our three countries.”The region’s transfrontier conservation areas, coupled with the 2010 Fifa World Cup, “provide us with a unique opportunity for exceptional growth in the tourism industry,” Mbeki said.He noted that nine Southern African Development Community (SADC) tourism and environment ministers had come up with a proposal to develop and market a Transfrontier Conservation Areas Tourism Route for 2010 and beyond.The success of this plan, he said, would require “urgent consideration of issues relating to tourism infrastructure investment, security, quality assurance within the hospitality sector and ease of travel within the region.”Massive biodiversityAmong the notable features of the Great Limpopo Park are the convergence of tropical, moist, temperate and dry savannah ecosystems – and a huge number of wild animal and plant species.These include at least 147 types of mammal, 116 reptile species, and an incredible 500 or more species of birds.Experts believe that a possible increase in poaching in the new borderless park will be outweighed by the benefits of increased land area, which is expected to ease the pressure of Kruger’s booming elephant population, and to help with the conservation of threatened animals like the wild dog.South Africa has already translocated over 1 000 animals – including elephants, giraffes, impalas, warthogs, waterbucks and zebras – into the Limpopo park to help speed up its recovery from Mozambique’s long civil war.Unique tourism opportunitiesOther features of the three parks will provide opportunities for developing unique tourism experiences.Mozambique’s biggest natural asset, its beautiful coastline, has seen the development of “bush-beach ecotourism”.Visitors will be able to enjoy world-class game viewing in the Great Limpopo Park before picking up the bush-beach trail – possibly stopping at Banhine National Park or Banamana Wetland for a “feathered five” experience, then moving on to the stunning coastal resorts of Gaza and Inhambane provinces.And in the southeastern lowveld of Zimbabwe, including the community areas making up a “biodiversity corridor” linking Gonarezhou to Kruger, numerous cultural tourism possibilities exist or are already being developed.Towards the northern part of Gonarezhou there are magnificent cliffs and gorges where canoeists and rafters could start their adventure down the Save River Valley to Zinave National Park, going on to the coastal estuary near Bazaruto National Marine Park and the dugongs in Linga-Linga Bay.Crossing via GiriyondoThe Giriyondo Tourist Access Facility is only open to tourists visiting the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park.The border post is open from 8am to 4pm between October and March and from 8am to 3pm between April and September, and tourists will need valid passports.For South Africans and Mozambicans wishing to visit each other’s country for a maximum of 30 days, visas are no longer required.At present, the roads in the Limpopo National Park are only accessible to four-wheel-drive vehicles.SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

SA scientist a Forbes ‘power woman’

first_imgA hybrid scientist Mthunzi’s interest in the field developed when she joined the CSIR’s Laser Centre in 2004, as a biochemist. “I didn’t even know what a laser was,” she recalls. “I was encouraged to do a PhD in laser physics, and I found the field very exciting.” She’s always had an interest in various branches of science such as medicine, physics and natural sciences and even zoology. “I see science in everything.” With biophotonics, she can experiment in all these areas, but Mthunzi says the country needs researchers who are experienced in multiple disciplines. “If I only knew biology, I would be limited in what I can do and come up with,” she says. “Some people call me a hybrid because my undergraduate qualification and my Master’s are in biology, followed by a PhD in physics, but I see myself as just a scientist.” Her peers in laser research are mostly physicists and from that perspective her biology background is somewhat unusual. “But it has equipped me perfectly for the job,” she says.Growing biophotonics and science in SA Mthunzi set up a fully functioning biophotonics laboratory at the CSIR and the facility is closely integrated with nearby optical laboratories on the council’s campus in Pretoria. The laboratories are within walking distance of each other, which makes research work much easier. She says South Africa needs more scientists and she enjoys promoting the field. She belongs to the South African Young Academy of Science, an organisation that contributes towards the development of scientific capacity and awareness in South Africa and promotes science at all levels of education. What she would like to see is a greater interest in biophotonics in the country. Mthunzi hopes that in the future biophotonics will become an established discipline locally and be taught as a degree. She says young people also need mentors to inspire them because that’s what helped her achieve her goals. “What helped me as a child is being surrounded by good mentors,” she says. “My aunt was my mentor. She was such a guru. I wanted to be just like her.” The aunt was a teacher and the first person in her family to obtain a Master’s degree.Other South Africans on the list Two other South African women, both prominent figures in the media industry, were also recognised by Forbes Magazine. Yolanda Sangweni is a senior editor at ESSENCE.com, one of the leading publications for black women in the US. She is also the co-founder of AfriPOP!, an online magazine that focuses on contemporary African youth culture, music, fashion and film from an Afropolitan perspective. Journalist, broadcaster and author Redi Tlhabi is the producer of a documentary on the former South African president Thabo Mbeki. She is also a columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper and author of Endings and Beginnings: A Story of Healing, a book based on her childhood experiences. Tlhabi is the host of a new talk show on Al Jazeera English television channel that will focus on politics, culture, music, health and science. First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service. 11 January 2013 South African scientist Dr Patience Mthunzi has been named on Forbes Magazine’s 2012 list of the 20 “Youngest Power Women in Africa” – women under the age of 45 who are bringing about positive change on the continent through their influence on business, technology, science, policy or the media. Mthunzi, a scientist at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), was recognised for her pioneering work in the area of biophotonics, a field of science that enables microscopic study of biological molecules, cells and tissue using laser. Mthunzi is one of only three South Africans to be listed in the magazine – the other two are both prominent figures in the media industry. She heard about the listing late in December, and says that making it onto the prestigious list was completely unexpected. “I feel so honoured and humbled for being one of the three South Africans to have made it onto this list,” she says.International reputation, accolades Mthunzi is fast gaining an international reputation for her work, and she says although she doesn’t work for accolades, the recognition inspires and motivates her to do more. In April last year, she was honoured by President Jacob Zuma with the Order of Mapungubwe in Bronze, one of the country’s highest national awards, for her local and international contribution in biophotonics. This order is awarded to South African citizens for excellence and exceptional achievement. She is South Africa’s only senior scientist for the biophotonics research group within the CSIR National Laser Centre, and she is also the first biophotonics PhD graduate in South Africa. As she was unable to study biophotonics at a local university, Mthunzi became the first South African PhD student at the School of Physics and Astronomy of the University of St Andrews in Scotland.Developing innovative testing devices Biophotonics is an emerging area of science in South Africa. Mthunzi explains that it is a versatile, multi-disciplinary field that can be applied to find solutions for challenges in areas such as medicine, agriculture, environmental and life sciences. Research conducted under the umbrella of biophotonics involves disciplines such as physics, biology, medicine and engineering. Part of Mthunzi’s job description is to come up with novel ideas, and that is what she loves most about her work. She’s leading a project to determine possible medical applications using laser technology. “The field has applications for any disease,” she says. She is developing an HIV testing device that makes use of lasers to test blood samples. The device will be particularly useful in remote areas of the country and could change the way HIV testing is done. “Often people in rural areas have to walk long distances to clinics to get tested,” she says. “By the time they get there, it is too late to draw blood and send it with a courier to be tested at a laboratory elsewhere.” Mthunzi explains that the testing tool would be based on site at a clinic. She would like to design the device in such a way that it doesn’t require a medical professional to operate it. “It will be possible to get results immediately and will be easy to use, even by volunteer staff who receive some training,” she says. She is also working on introducing DNA and genes into stem cells and finding applications for lasers in the treatment of cancer. “Our cancer research is looking into ways to separate cancerous and non-cancerous cells.”last_img read more

Bhopal gas tragedy survivors left in the lurch as aid funds dry up

first_imgWith a surging set of appeals for ex gratia for injuries and disabilities, Bhopal gas tragedy survivors have been left in the lurch as the Centre may soon run out of funds to pay them compensation. It is yet to work out a plan to secure ₹61.72 crore for 3,629 cases pending approval.The Appellate Court here is continuing to hear appeals, but there is a hold for now on granting final approval by the Union Ministry of Chemical and Fertilizers, says a letter issued by the Ministry in February.The Welfare Commissioner’s office here, that functions under the Centre, in July 2018 had sent to the Centre a proposal for the sanction of additional 3,629 cases, which are now pending for more than a year, with more number of cases mounting since.Fast depletingAll this, as the ₹874.28 crore set aside in 2010 for the disbursement of ex gratia is fast drying up, with as much as ₹807.4 crore exhausted until April 2018, says a report of the Standing Committee on Chemicals and Fertilizers (2017-2018).More than 200 new cases of permanent partial disability have been granted approval, and are awaiting payment.“Non-payment of awarded amount may cause agitation among the claimants,” Sushant Huddar, In-Charge Registrar of the Welfare Commissioner’s Office, wrote to the State government in June.The stasis has been caused by the Centre’s attempts to tap a fund first, as in 2010, it had estimated 48,000 claimants, but close to 50,000 have already been compensated so far, says Rachna Dhingra, coordinator, the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal.At a review meeting in June, the Centre considered banking on the corpus fund of the Bhopal Memorial Hospital Trust (BMHT), accumulated to ₹891.31 crore, to make ex gratia payments.For the purpose, it said, Cabinet’s approval would be necessary, according to the minutes of the meeting.Moreover, a Core Group in the Union Health Ministry has considered the merger of the Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, thereby facilitating the fund transfer.A representative of the Department of Health Research, however, clarified “the interest earned from the Corpus Fund may be utilised for the purpose of treatment of the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy and their family members.”The Law Ministry would be consulted on the dissolution of the BMHT and the transfer of funds, say the minutes.“All the payments to claimants have been frozen,” said an official at the Welfare Commissioner’s office, requesting anonymity.“Advocates and social workers are pressing us to release funds. But we tell them the Centre has to take a step first. They ask us to keep them informed of the developments.”On August 28, the Centre had committed to facilitate some payments through the hospital, and later pay it back whenever a budget was finalised, he added.SC order“Do they know dissolving the corpus fund will require the Supreme Court’s approval?” asked Ms. Dhingra.The fund, set up following a 1991 Supreme Court order, cannot be used for non-medical purposes without its approval, she added.last_img read more