September 19, 2021

Mixed Marriage

first_imgDear Editor:I want to thank the Reporter for including my third decade of Letters to the Editor (Dang ‘Em, Hang ‘Em) as one of the books by local authors featured in the Nov. 27 issue. Three decades, hundreds of Letters–surely a rather unique “marriage” between me and the Reporter (many unions don’t last so long!). Without the Reporter I would have been a frustrated writer, because, as the article points out, I would have written the Letters anyway–an urge which I cannot resist–but without the chance to get them published. My books (Letters, travel, fiction, memoir, poetry) are, as the article states, for sale ($5) on the outdoor table at Symposia Books, but forgot to mention that the $ from the sale is donated to the bookstore.T. Weedlast_img read more

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Suwannee Hulaween Announces Phase 2 Lineup

first_imgBack in June, Suwannee Hulaween announced the first phase of its highly anticipated lineup. For its first phase, the festival, which will be returning to the beloved Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida, from October 27th through 29th, announced over sixty artists slated to perform across the festival’s five stages, including three nights of The String Cheese Incident in addition to Bassnectar, Ween, GRiZ, Run The Jewels, Nick Murphy (Chet Faker), Portugal. The Man, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, The Disco Biscuits, Claude VonStroke, Greensky Bluegrass, Kamasi Washington, Lettuce, and many more.Today, Suwannee Hulaween has announced the phase 2 additions to this initial lineup reveal, adding Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Mike Gordon, Lotus, David Shaw (of The Revivalists), The New Mastersounds, Goldfish, Perpetual Groove, ProbCause, Roosevelt Collier Trio, Andy Frasco & The U.N, The Heavy Pets, Jaden Carson Band, and many others. This year’s Suwannee Hulaween will also host to two sets from Umphrey’s McGee and Joe Russo’s Almost Dead in addition to the other numerous jam-friendly acts on tap, including Spafford, TAUK, Aqueous, The Nth Power “Wake up & Live Bob Marley Tribute”, Moon Taxi, Kyle Hollingsworth Band, and EOTO & Friends.Celebrating its fifth year, Suwannee Hulaween will offer a wide-reaching exposé of live and electronic music’s finest to soundtrack a fully immersive creative journey. The String Cheese Incident will remain at the helm of Hulaween, lending their creative vision and experiences touring as one of the world’s most sought after Jam acts to help shape the iconic look and feel of their flagship festival. Set in the midst of 800-acres of Spanish moss-draped oak and cypress along the black Suwannee River and complete with the largest bat house in the southeast U.S, Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is one of the most beautiful live music venues in the country. The park also offers guest comforts including a general store, full-service restaurant, free showers, indoor bathrooms and water stations.In addition to the packed festival schedule, Suwannee Hulaween will also feature a fully programmed Thursday pre-party on October 26 at Spirit Lake with musical offerings from the likes of Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Greensky Bluegrass, Lettuce, Liquid Stranger, The Devil Makes Three, EOTO & Friends, Zach Deputy, Kyle Hollingsworth Band, and more.Believe us when we say you don’t want to miss Suwannee Hulaween. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit their website.[Photo: Dave Vann]last_img read more

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‘Test and treat’ won’t stop HIV/AIDS epidemic, study finds

first_imgImplementing a program of universal HIV testing and immediate antiretroviral treatment (ART) for infected individuals could have a major impact on the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Washington, DC, but a new study by led by Harvard researchers finds that it would not halt the epidemic, something that a previous report had projected.In a paper that will appear in the August 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases and has been released online, researchers find that the so-called “test-and-treat” strategy could reduce new HIV infections by 15 percent over the next five years while conferring large survival benefits to HIV-infected patients.“Test-and-treat will save lives, but it won’t stop the HIV epidemic in its tracks all by itself,” says Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS), of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Division of Infectious Disease, who led the study. “It is only a single new and important page in the HIV-prevention playbook.”Test-and-treat has been the subject of widespread interest and controversy in the scientific community. In January 2009, WHO scientists published a report in The Lancet suggesting that a voluntary system of annual HIV testing of all adults, followed by immediate provision of ART for those testing positive, “could nearly stop transmission and drive HIV into an elimination phase.”Inspired by the Lancet report, researchers and public health officials have rushed to design and implement test-and-treat studies and interventions. The National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) recently announced a two-year, $26.4 million partnership with the Washington, DC, Department of Health that includes a pilot study of the test-and-treat strategy. However, some experts have expressed concern that the assumptions underlying the WHO findings painted too optimistic a picture of the likely outcomes.The current study used epidemiologic data and results from HIV screening programs conducted in the U.S. capital to give a realistic picture of the likely impact of a test-and-treat effort in that city, which has one of the nation’slargest rates of HIV infection. This contrasts with the WHO study which employed data from sub-Saharan Africa and assumed truly universal screening and treatment with optimal clinical outcomes. “The reality of HIV screening programs, even the best ones, is that many people are never reached for screening, some refuse screening or do not link to care, and many of those who are treated do not maintain viral suppression,” notes Kenneth A. Freedberg, MD, MSc, an HMS associate professor of medicine in the MGH Department of Medicine, the report’s senior author.The study finds that a test-and-treat program in Washington, DC, could extend life expectancy of HIV-infected patients – currently projected at about 24 years after diagnosis – another one to two years and could reduce the rate of new infections 15 percent over a five-year period. Survival and prevention impacts would be even greater with improvements in screening, linkage to treatment and retention in care – improvements not yet reflected in the “best cases” reported by any U.S. program. Such optimistic but possibly achievable scenarios could extend survival to 29 years after HIV diagnosis and decrease new infections by as much as 50 percent over five years.“The benefits of expanded testing to persons with undiagnosed HIV infection are unquestioned,” Walensky says. “Earlier detection and linkage to care saves lives; this alone is a reason for test-and-treat. But pinning all our hopes on the latest ‘magic bullet,’ underestimating the logistical obstacles, and forgetting that prevention requires an integrated package of strategies puts us at risk of falling into a trap we’ve seen before. Our analysis suggests that test-and treat will likely be a very important addition to the treatment and prevention armamentarium, but the expectations for its impact should be realistic.”Additional co-authors of the Clinical Infectious Diseases report are Bethany Morris, Callie Scott, MSc, and Erin Rhode, MS, MGH Department of Medicine; A. David Paltiel, PhD, Yale School of Medicine; Elena Losina, PhD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital; and George Seage, ScD, Harvard School of Public Health.The study was supported by grants from the NIAID, the National Institute of Mental Health and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.last_img read more

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Fundraiser helps family of local boy with rare condition

first_img9090 Main St, The Lisle Volunteer Fire Department LISLE (WBNG) — The Lisle Volunteer Fire Department held a benefit Saturday for a young boy battling a rare condition. “We’re accepting all donations at the Lisle Fire Station in care of Christopher’s Benefit and we would appreciate continued support as Christopher and his family continue this journey,” said Tyanna Moseman, a volunteer and DJ for the event. All proceeds from the benefit and any further donations will go toward Christopher’s Recovery. Friends, family members and local businesses have been donating raffle baskets for months, and organizers tell 12 News that if you were unable to make it to the benefit you can still help Christopher and his family. Donations can be sent to: Lisle, NY 13797 Two-year old Christopher Collyer was diagnosed with Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis, a condition in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks it’s own brain tissue. last_img read more

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Chargers’ James injures right knee during scrimmage

first_img Associated Press Television News Last Updated: 1st September, 2020 07:53 IST Chargers’ James Injures Right Knee During Scrimmage The Los Angeles Chargers safety sustained the injury during Sunday’s scrimmage. Coach Anthony Lynn said on Monday that James continues to be evaluated and that a timetable for his return has not been determined FOLLOW US First Published: 1st September, 2020 07:53 IST LIVE TV Written Bycenter_img SUBSCRIBE TO US WATCH US LIVE Derwin James could miss significant time for the second straight season after suffering a right knee injury.The Los Angeles Chargers safety sustained the injury during Sunday’s scrimmage. Coach Anthony Lynn said on Monday that James continues to be evaluated and that a timetable for his return has not been determined.“We don’t know the final results, so I will leave it at that,” Lynn said.The injury could be a huge blow to the Chargers and their defense as they look to bounce back from last year’s 5-11 season. It would also be the second time in five years that James has had a knee injury. He tore the meniscus in his left knee in 2016 at Florida State during the team’s second game and missed the rest of the year.James was selected by the Chargers 17th overall in 2018 and made a quick impact for a team that finished 12-4 and advanced to the AFC divisional round. He was an All-Pro selection after he led the team in tackles with 105 along with four interceptions, 3 1/2 sacks and 13 passes defensed.James was hoping to follow that up with another breakout season, but he had a stress fracture to the fifth metatarsal of his right foot during training camp last year and missed the first 11 games. He broke the same bone during the spring of 2016 at Florida State.Lynn said Rayshawn Jenkins and Desmond King are possibilities to take James’ spot.Los Angeles could also look at signing Earl Thomas, who has familiarity with the Chargers’ scheme after playing for defensive coordinator Gus Bradley in Seattle. But Lynn did not appear to be receptive to that.“Since you guys are telling me how stacked we are in the secondary, why the hell would I look anywhere else?” he said. “I like the depth in the secondary and we can mix different combinations.”If James is placed on injured reserve with a designation to return, meaning he could not be activated until after Week 8. Los Angeles is scheduled to host Las Vegas in Week 9 before having its bye the following week.Image credits: AP COMMENTlast_img read more

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GVC sharpens CSR focus with Foundation launch

first_img EPIC and Whysup ‘continue to make real change’ with partnership renewal August 19, 2020 GVC absorbs retail shocks as business recalibrates for critical H2 trading August 13, 2020 Submit Share In a bid to support its ongoing corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, GVC Holdings has launched The GVC Foundation which will oversee the coordination and support of the gambling group’s objectives and donations around the world.The new foundation will primarily focus upon responsible gambling, sports integrity and gambling regulation research, education and treatment of problem gambling, as well as supporting grassroots men’s, women and disability sport and mental health initiatives.Commenting on the launch, Virginia McDowell, Chair of GVC’s CSR Committee said: “GVC is determined to spearhead the gambling industry’s approach to CSR initiatives, particularly with regard to responsible gambling and sports integrity-related projects. “The launch of The GVC Foundation is a clear sign of this commitment, consolidating GVC’s hard work in this area over the last few years.”GVC has outlined plans for the Foundation to manage the gambling group’s £2m community fund as well as GVC’s collaborations with SportsAid, EPIC Risk Management, Gordon Moody, the US National Council on Problem Gambling and the Division on Addiction of Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital.In addition to the launch of the Foundation, GVC has also boosted its CSR portfolio by announcing four new initiatives. The foundation has inked a new deal with Italian football club Inter Milan to support female participation in football, which will be backed by both a national media campaign as well as the release of a football-focused talent show for women.To complement its integrity focus, the Foundation will also launch the German Sports Integrity Forum alongside German Bundesliga clubs Borussia Dortmund and FC Köln and sporting integrity platform the Play Fair Code.It has also signed a new agreement with the umbrella organisation for the UK’s professional sportspersons, the Professional Players Federation, to help fund anti-match fixing education programmes across sports such as football, cricket, rugby union and snooker.Finally, the GVC Foundation will also be named as a bronze donor to the Fund to Support Research on Sports Wagering, which will deliver a new stream of funding for research into public health launched in the wake of legal sports betting.Martin Lycka, GVC’s Director of Regulatory Affairs and a Trustee of The GVC Foundation, concluded: “We are delighted to have partnered with sports clubs, gambling researchers and athletes in a number of our key jurisdictions, including Germany, the UK, Italy and the US. “The range of the new initiatives that we are announcing today, and the quality of the partnerships that we have entered, is a great endorsement of our overall CSR strategy, and there is plenty more to come.” Share StumbleUpon GVC hires ‘comms pro’ Tessa Curtis to re-energise media profile  August 25, 2020 Related Articleslast_img read more

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Clergymen Accused of Sexual Abuse

first_imgThe proposed legislation is due to go before the Senate judiciary committee March 7. If approved, the change in law would apply to all sex abuse cases, not just those involving the Catholic Church. The Diocese of Trenton released the names of 30 clergymen Feb. 13 who had been “credibly accused” of sexually abusing minors, part of an attempt at transparency at a time when state law enforcement is probing sexual misconduct at dioceses across New Jersey. “Our first responsibility must always be to those who have endured sexual abuse as minors and the release of these names is our effort to express acceptance of their allegations as credible and to indicate the status of their alleged abusers,” Bishop David M. O’Connell said in a message posted on the Diocese of Trenton website. The 30 men – 28 priests and two deacons – served at churches and schools across a diocese that spans Mercer, Ocean, Burlington and Monmouth counties. Of that total, 17 of them are dead and 13 have been removed from the ministry, according to the diocese. “While this is a positive first step towards transparency and accountability, I hope this spirit of openness continues during the course of our ongoing investigation and in response to our requests for records and information,” he said. “Despite the recent actions by the dioceses, our investigation remains ongoing because no institution or individual is immune from accountability.” Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said in a statement Feb. 13 that he was “pleased to see that our task force’s grand jury investigation has prompted the dioceses to finally take some measures to hold predator priests accountable.” “As a policy, and in an effort to protect and respect the privacy and well-being of victims, the Diocese of Trenton will not disclose further details about any of the specific allegations that led to a cleric’s inclusion in the published list of names,” diocese spokeswoman Rayanne Bennett said by email Feb. 25. This list of churches and schools where the 30 men served ran the gamut, from those in Red Bank to Rumson to Holmdel, among other places. Representatives of area churches directed questions to the diocese or did not return phone calls seeking comment. All five dioceses in New Jersey published the names of 188 clergymen who had been credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor. The timing of that action came roughly six months after New Jersey’s highest-ranking law enforcement official formed a task force in September to probe alleged sexual abuse by Catholic clergy around the state and attempts to cover up the crimes. In addition to providing their names and when they were born, the diocese listed the year each man was ordained and where he served. The list showed 19 of the 30 clergymen had multiple victims, although there was no information released about when or where the incidents occurred. “All allegations of the sexual abuse of a minor by clergy were reported to law enforcement upon the Diocese’s having received the complaint as per our memorandum of understanding with the prosecutors and the State Attorney General in 2002,” Bennett said.“Also, since 2002, parishes are notified when a priest is removed because of a credible allegation of the sexual abuse of a minor, and many of these already published in diocesan and secular media reports.” This comes as state lawmakers in NewJersey are looking to extend the statute oflimitations for victims of sexual abuse to filecivil lawsuits. Among other provisions of theproposed legislation, child victims would haveuntil they turn 55 years old to sue. “So that will be one option for survivors is to participate in that claims program,” said Ben Andreozzi, a Pennsylvania lawyer whose firm represents more than 100 victims of Catholic clergy abuse in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including those against the Diocese of Trenton. Access the full list on the Diocese of Trenton website at “The problem is not how to deal with it ecclesiastically. The problem is really how to deal with it civilly,” said Jo-Renee Formicola, a professor of political science at Seton Hall University and expert on church-state relations. “Should they be reporting what they consider to be sins to civil authorities as crimes? And the question is, is it their responsibility to report crimes or is it their responsibility only to deal with sin?” Catholic Church leaders in New Jersey also have formed a compensation fund for victims of church sex abuse that occurred when they were children. As part of accepting money from the fund, they must agree “not to engage in any further litigation against the particular Diocese,” according to one of the rules of the fund. This week, Grewal’s office declined to say if it intended to take legal action against any of the dioceses in New Jersey. But for the church, dealing with clerical sex abuse raises questions about their responsibility to government authority. “It is our hope that thepublic presentation of thesenames will contribute tohealing the awful woundsthat victims have endured atthe hands of some clergy.” “It’s a fairly natural thing and a common occurrence for them to bury these recollections, if only for self-preservation,” said state Sen. Declan J. O’ Scanlon Jr. (R-13), one of the sponsors of the Senate bill, in a phone interview with The Two River Times Feb. 25. “Their normal, natural self-preservation inclinations shouldn’t shield the predators from paying the price for their actions.” By Philip Sean Curran This list is limited to churches in the 13 Two Rivertowns of Monmouth County. Some priests served morethan one parish during their careers. This is a list of clergymen in the Diocese of Trentonwho have been credibly accused of the sexual abuse of aminor as of Feb. 22, 2019.last_img read more

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first_imgPREAKNESS A FIRST FOR FIRING LINE, CALLAGHANESPINOZA TO TOSS FIRST PITCH AT DODGER STADIUMDYNAMIC DUO FOR HOLLENDORFER IN LAZ BARRERACHAMPION BEHOLDER PROGRESSING FROM FEVER Felipe Valdez3055217%$173,030 Philip D’Amato1762235%$243,660 Rafael Bejarano2854818%$233,770 Victor Espinoza620033%$72,270 Santiago Gonzalez2436113%$124,240 Alex Solis823125%$108,780 Jorge Periban722129%$45,870 Drayden Van Dyke2954217%$200,070 Flavien Prat3788222%$434,870 Edwin Maldonado2847414%$156,500 Joseph Talamo3362718%$225,308 Dan Hendricks721029%$37,090 FINISH LINES: Beholder, who missed today’s Vanity Stakes due to a fever, is making progress. “She’s doing well,” trainer Richard Mandella said of the two-time Eclipse Award winner. “She had a little temperature of 102 yesterday afternoon, then it went right back down, and it’s good still, so everything’s going as well as we could hope.” When she will return to the track, however, remains to be seen. “Anytime they’re sick it’s day-to-day,” Mandella said. “It can go wrong, it can go right, but right now the fever looks like it’s passing.” . . . Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Bayern, who disappointed as the odds-on favorite in the Churchill Downs Stakes last Saturday, “just had an off day,” Bob Baffert asserted. “He looks good afterwards, but they’ll do that to you. They’ll disappoint you, but he looks good. He’s healthy.” . . . Agent Sarah Wolfe has Eclipse Award-winning apprentice rider of 2014 Drayden Van Dyke booked to ride at Pimlico next Friday and Saturday on stakes mounts for Tom Proctor and Graham Motion. Van Dyke rides Include Betty for Proctor Friday in the Grade II Black-eyed Susan; and on Saturday, Sistas Stroll for Proctor in the Grade III Galorette and Up with the Birds for Motion in the Grade II Dixie . . . The Great Race Place presents its Santa Anita Carnival on Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 23 through Monday, May 25. The entire family is invited for three days of live racing, carnival rides, games and prizes, with unlimited rides for children for only $10. Admission and parking to the Infield is free through Gate 6 off Colorado Place. Doug O’Neill2768322%$280,370 PREAKNESS PARTY AT SANTA ANITA THIS SATURDAYThis is a year of firsts for Simon Callaghan.The 32-year-old trainer saddled his first Kentucky Derby runner last Saturdaywhen Firing Line finished a game second to victorious American Pharoah, beaten only a length.Next Saturday will mark another new experience.Not only will Firing Line be making his Pimlico debut when he runs in the Preakness Stakes, Callaghan will be making his first appearance ever at the storied Baltimore venue which hosts the second jewel of the Triple Crown.“I’ve never been to Pimlico myself,” Callaghan said. “I think Firing Line will handle the track well. I think it will suit him. He can pretty much lay anywhere you need him to; he’s a very easy horse, very versatile in that respect.“He’s run well at various race tracks, so I don’t think the surface or anything should be any problem.”In conjunction with the Preakness, Santa Anita will offer an attractive card of live racing along with a big Preakness party featuring the Preakness Handicapping Challenge offering $100,000 in prizes May 16 and 17.For details, visit Tiago Pereira2026310%$136,420 Michael Machowsky922122%$68,850 (Current Through Friday, May 8) TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%Money Won SANTA ANITA STATISTICS Mario Gutierrez1422314%$109,720center_img Elvis Trujillo2731311%$152,350 Fernando Perez3667617%$258,840 -30- Richard Baltas1552133%$278,650 Peter Miller1324115%$117,400 Mike Puype1621113%$103,990 Tyler Baze5097818%$393,970 Alonso Quinonez1721412%$63,970 ESPINOZA TO THROW OUT FIRST PITCH TUESDAY AT DODGER STADIUMWhile a mile and three-sixteenths will be his primary objective aboard American Pharoah in next Saturday’s Preakness Stakes, Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Victor Espinoza will hope to command 60 feet, six inches on Tuesday night, as he’ll throw out the first pitch at Dodger Stadium prior to the Blue Crew’s 7:10 p.m. game versus the Miami Marlins.Espinoza, who’s thrown out ceremonial first offerings in past years at Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium, Yankee Stadium, Shea Stadium, and also rang the Opening Day Bell last month at Petco Park in San Diego, is looking forward to revisiting Chavez Ravine.“It’s always a lot of fun at Dodger Stadium,” said Espinoza. “It’s amazing how many players and coaches love racing and I’ve had pretty good luck throwing strikes. Hopefully, our good luck will continue in the Preakness with American Pharoah. It’s going to be a fun week and I’m looking forward to getting back to Baltimore.” Mark Glatt1522313%$75,470 Brayan Pena2121110%$50,200 HOLLENDORFER HAS TOUGH TWOSOME IN LAZ BARRERAJerry Hollendorfer has two for the money in Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Lazaro Barrera Stakes for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs, Kentuckian and The Gomper.Each had compromising issues in recent races.Kentuckian, an 11-length maiden winner at Golden Gate on March 7, steadied while finishing third at odds-on in the San Pedro Stakes April 12, while The Gomper has encountered problems in his last three races following a handy maiden win at Los Alamitos last Dec. 5.“I think they have upsides,” Hollendorfer said of the duo. “I would say their future is in front of them.”The field for the Barrera: Yiannis, Victor Espinoza, 3-1; The Man, Martin Garcia, 4-1; St. Joe Bay, Elvis Trujillo, 8-1; Forest Blue, Martin Pedroza, 8-1; The Gomper, Rafael Bejarano, 4-1; Serbian Syclone, Tyler Baze, 4-1; and Kentuckian, Mike Smith, 5-2. John Shirreffs2200100%$67,200 Bob Baffert821125%$94,490 Peter Eurton1321315%$60,156 Richard Mandella1434121%$232,240 William Spawr420050%$24,350 JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%Money Won Gonzalo Nicolas2832511%$104,476 Robertino Diodoro921122%$47,390last_img read more

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Without saying it in so many words, Durant scotches the notion of a Lakers partnership with LeBron

first_imgIt’s the NBA’s version of “Where’s Waldo?” In the NBA version, Waldo is named KD and the trick isn’t to find him, but to guess where he’ll turn up next.More than a few people think — wishfully, it says here — that Kevin Durant, currently in the employ of the Warriors, will opt out of his contract next summer and join LeBron James on the Lakers.Think again.Not saying that it’s impossible, but a recent and comprehensive Bleacher Report story makes a strong case, with Durant’s help, that James …last_img read more

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NDP is South Africa’s roadmap: Zuma

first_img14 June 2013 President Jacob Zuma has reiterated the government’s support for the National Development Plan (NDP) as South Africa’s “long-term socio-economic development roadmap”, saying the plan “ensures certainty with regards to the direction of the country in the next 20 years”. The National Development Plan is a policy blueprint for eliminating poverty and reducing inequality in South Africa by 2030. Among other things, it identifies the key constraints to faster growth and presents a roadmap to a more inclusive economy that will address the country’s socio-economic imbalances. In his reply to the debate on the Presidency’s budget vote in Parliament in Cape Town on Thursday, Zuma came out strongly in support of the plan, following a number of media reports questioning its acceptance by some members of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and its allies, the SA Communist Party and Congress of SA Trade Unions. Zuma said that the plan aimed to fulfil a key ANC objective of “ensur[ing] a more effective government and improv[ing] the coordination and planning efforts of the developmental state”, describing it as “one of the key achievements of this fourth [2009-2014] administration.”‘Implementation is under way’ “The Plan was adopted by Cabinet,” Zuma said. “It enjoys the support of Parliament. It was also endorsed by the ruling party, the ANC, at its national conference in Mangaung in December. The NDP also enjoys the support other sectors of society. Very few policy documents have ever enjoyed such widespread support.” Playing down criticism of the plan as expressing the freedom of debate encouraged by the ANC’s democratic tradition, Zuma said that all government strategic plans, at national, provincial and local level, would be aligned to the NDP, adding: “[W]e are already in the implementation phase of the plan.” Trevor Manuel, the minister in the Presidency responsible for the National Planning Commission, told Parliament on Wednesday that the process of disaggregating the plan into its first five-year building block, in the form of a 2014-19 medium term strategic framework, was under way. Manuel also mentioned a number of reforms that various government departments had begun putting in place since the Cabinet had approved the NDP.NDP reforms already being introduced These included the announcement of a number of reforms championed by the Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu to address capacity weaknesses in South Africa’s public service as well as strengthen the fight against corruption. Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, in his 2013-14 Budget, also announced reforms to strengthen the fight against corruption in the country’s supply-chain management system by assigning a deputy director-general in his department to oversee this. “Just this week, [Justice] Minister [Jeff] Radebe announced the far-reaching decision by the justice, crime prevention and security cluster to release publicly a list of names of people who have been convicted of fraud and corruption – demonstrating the zero tolerance approach to corruption that the NDP proposes,” Manuel said. Towards the end of last year, the Department of Health launched a pilot project on integrated school health as a critical element of a revitalised primary health care system. “All of these are recommendations contained in the NDP,” Manuel said, while stressing that the NDP was not a plan for the government only, and that all South Africans should be involved in initiatives to improve the country. He said the executive summary of the NDP, translated into all 11 official languages, was now available on the National Planning Commission’s website Manuel said more copies of the NDP would be printed and distributed to all public and university libraries, Further Education and Training (FET) Colleges and Thusong centres. Work would also start immediately on producing a pocket-sized version of the NDP to ensure greater accessibility. SAinfo reporter and read more

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