first_imgTHOSE WHO doubted Neil Lennon’s ability to gel together a team capable of wrestling the title back off Rangers may be starting to question their suspicions.Today at Tannadice Celtic put in another impressive display, playing the Celtic way – with no shortage of skill in a passing game and pulling off a 3-1 victory when they could have won by more.Celtic restored their five-point lead in the Scottish Premier League after ending Dundee United’s 11-game unbeaten run with a display of power and poise. The visitors broke the deadlock when Anthony Stokes’ low drive deflected in off the heel of hapless Garry Kenneth.That came on 16 minutes and, after another 20, it was Shaun Dillon’s turn to deflect in a Mark Wilson shot.David Goodwillie swept in United’s reply after 64 minutes, but Daniel Majstorovic headed in 15 minutes later.Celtic’s victory not only meant that they completed their 16th game without defeat but restored the gap over reigning champions Rangers, who have two games in hand and thrashed Motherwell on Saturday. After today’s game Neil Lennon said: “We were fantastic today. In the first half we were particularly impressive.“No disrespect to Dundee United but we should have scored a few more – and particularly on the counter-attack we could have picked them off a bit more.“That was big big win for us today.”Hoops fans will now look forward to next Sunday’s Old Firm clash at Celtic Park.If Celtic continue to play the way they have done, there is every confidence that they can go on and win. THE HOOPS REPORT: CELTIC IMPRESSIVE IN 3-1 WIN AT DUNDEE UTD was last modified: February 13th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Irish flair comes to South Africa

first_imgThe Riverdance show has toured all overthe world and now graces local stagesfor the first time ever. Members of the show’s Moy companyoutside Montecasino in Johannesburg. (Image: Riverdance) The Erincale hotel and spa is surrounded by vast wine estates. (Image: Erinvale) MEDIA CONTACTS • Yolanda Filmater or Angela SwartErinvale+27 21 847 1160• Debra de SouzaRiverdance SA+27 82 822 9478 RELATED ARTICLES • SA looks back 100 years • Arts Alive ushers in a feeling of spring • Jock to grace SA screens again • New wine label protexts trees • SA olive oil a hit in ItalyChris ThurmanRiverdance, that quintessentially Irish phenomenon, is onstage in South Africa for the first time.Sure, we’ve had plenty of Irish dancing over the years – multiple visits from spin-off shows like Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance and David King’s Spirit of the Dance.But Riverdance is the original and is still held to be the more authentic production. The show runs until 20 February in Johannesburg and then moves to Cape Town for the rest of its six-week tour.What started off as a seven-minute interval piece at the Eurovision Song Contest, held in 1994 in Dublin, rapidly grew into a full-length music and dancing extravaganza: an exhibition of traditional Irish dancing such as had never been seen before, and which became the Emerald Isle’s major cultural export of the 1990s.In Riverdance the improbable foot and leg movements of the distinctive Irish dancing style, multiplied by twenty dancers and performed perfectly synchronised, are accompanied by Bill Whelan’s music that’s both joyous and full of pathos, by turns invigorating and haunting.As the show evolved, it began to incorporate other dance forms that complement, and perhaps even influence, the modern Irish style, notably jazzy American tap and sultry Spanish flamenco. Indeed, while the first half of Riverdance celebrates the “primitive and powerful world” of ancestral Ireland, the second act hinges around the notion of diaspora.As the programme notes explain: “War, famine and slavery shattered the ancient bonds between people and place. Forced dislocations marked and altered our histories … we learned to guard what we valued, to accommodate ourselves to others. Cast out and momentarily orphaned, we learned to belong to the world.”Irish settlers drawn to South AfricaMillions of Irish left their homeland out of hunger – the potato famine of the mid-nineteenth century was the most famous but certainly not the only period in which food shortages caused great suffering – or out of a desire for political and economic freedom. Ireland gained, lost and regained independence from Britain in the 1920s and 1930s, after being an occupied territory for about 700 years.South Africa may not have drawn as many Irish as America or Australia, but it was the destination chosen by thousands of immigrants in the 19th and early 20th centuries. They came to mine gold, to farm, to trade; and, in their search for a new home, they spread far and wide across the country.There are two South African towns called Belfast – in Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces, although the former town is now officially known as eMakhazeni – and numerous other places bear evidence of Irish influence.The Eastern Cape’s Cradock was named after John Cradock, an Anglophile Irishman who was once governor of the Cape colony. Upington in the Northern Cape took its name from Irishman Thomas Upington, former premier of the Cape Colony.One of the most famous South Africans of Irish heritage was Percy Fitzpatrick, author of Jock of the Bushveld. But while Fitzpatrick was an advocate of British intervention and expansion, most Irish sympathies lay with those who, like themselves, were victims of British oppression.At the end of the 19th century, that list included the Boers of the then-Transvaal; even James Joyce, in his mock-epic novel Ulysses, took up the cause of the Boer War as a war of independence. The Irish fought on both sides of the conflict, as volunteers with the Boer guerillas and as conscripts in the British army.A little bit of Ireland in AfricaGiven all these connections between Ireland and South Africa, it’s hardly surprising that when one Edward Strangman bought a tract of fertile soil near Somerset West in 1868, he named it after the country of his birth: Erin Vale, or Irish Valley.Little is known about the owners in subsequent decades, although there are a few stories in circulation about a redoubtable pair of sisters who ran the farm in proto-feminist fashion a few generations after Mr Strangman.What can be more readily verified is the history of the surrounding farmland, which was part of the 30 000ha Vergelegen estate founded in 1700 by conman, autocrat and horticulturist extraordinaire Willem Adriaan van der Stel. It was later sub-divided after Van der Stel was sent back to the Netherlands for extortion and mistreatment of his fellow Dutch farmers – thus it was that, along with Vergelegen, Lourensford and Morgenster were turned into wine farms.Today they remain major attractions on the Helderberg wine route, offering tastings, not only of wine but also of olives and chocolate, and tours in exquisite settings: Cape Dutch architecture, perfectly manicured grounds and terraced vineyards all around.Erinvale, however, did not end up as a winery. David Gant of Lourensford saw its potential as a residential golf estate and commissioned Gary Player to design the course layout. Erinvale presents a challenging 18 holes with spectacular views that do offer some comfort to those golfers – such as the author of this article – who frequently find themselves in the rough, the sand or the water … And the golfers, in turn, offer some entertainment for occupants of the houses looking onto the fairways.In 1995, Peter Baragwanath opened the Erinvale Estate Hotel and Spa, a complex of buildings developed around the original 300-year-old manor house of the farm; where once there were stables and barns, there are now elegantly furnished thatched rooms.In 1999 Erinvale returned to Irish hands when County Kerry-born tycoon Xavier McAuliffe purchased the hotel. It was acquired by the Louis Group in 2007, but a few Irish touches remain: Skelligs Pub and the Shannon room, for instance, hark back to the days of Mr Strangman.Erinvale is thus able to offer the highly appealing combination of a top quality golf course and decadent spa treatments, along with good food and wine, in a luxurious setting. It’s all a far cry from the deprivation that forced so many people to leave Ireland over the centuries – but that change in fortune can be attributed, you might say, to the luck of the Irish.last_img read more

JU scuffle to be probed, V-C in a state of shock: Minister

first_imgWest Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee on Wednesday said that Jadavpur University Vice-Chancellor Suranjan Das, who was hospitalised after some students allegedly manhandled him, is in a state of “shock”.Mr. Chatterjee, who visited Mr. Das at the hospital earlier in the day, said that the incident will be probed. “We have asked for a video footage of the incident. We want to find out who all are behind (the alleged assault). Mr. Das is still in a state of shock,” he said.‘Verbal abuse’ Stating that Mr. Das was subjected to “verbal abuse”, the Minister added, “I have heard about the entire incident from the pro-V-C and Registrar. I will report the matter to the Chief Minister. This can’t go on.” A scuffle had broken out on Tuesday between two groups of students, who wanted to approach the V-C with their demands as soon as he stepped out of his office. A private hospital, where the Vice-Chancellor has been admitted, said in a statement that Mr. Das had to undergo X-ray for injuries he might have sustained and has been kept under observation. His blood pressure had shot up on Tuesday night, but now he is stable, the hospital said. While the Arts Faculty Students’ Union claimed it wanted to find out if the JU executive council had taken up the issue of “inordinate delay” in facilitating elections, the members of the Trinamool Chhatra Parishad said they sought to know about the status of a molestation case. The AFSU and TMCP members have accused each other of starting the scuffle.After the Tuesday’s incident, Mr. Das had said that he felt insulted and humiliated. “This had never happened to me in the past. The students blocked my path and turned aggressive even as I was trying to say that I am ready to speak to them.”last_img read more

Liverpool close on Champions League group stage with win at Hoffenheim

first_imgReuse this content Hoffenheim 1-2 Liverpool: Champions League play-off first leg – as it happened Share on Facebook Share on Pinterest Read more Share on Messenger Mané was Liverpool’s most potent forward throughout. He glided past Bicakcic twice at the start of the second half to set up an excellent chance for Firmino, who was given a rousing reception on his return to Hoffenheim, but the Brazilian was unable to beat Baumann at close range. Moments later Mané beat Bicakcic again and forced the home keeper into a low save. The Hoffenheim defender was then substituted.In fairness to Liverpool’s defenders –but not Moreno, who routinely failed to track his runner – they improved significantly after the break. Not even a series of well-taken Hoffenheim corners disrupted Liverpool’s solidity and victory was sealed on account of quick-thinking and Hoffenheim inexperience. Amiri raged at the referee over the award of a free-kick, turning his back on Georginio Wijnaldum in the process. Wijnaldum played the free-kick unhindered to Firmino, who pierced the Hoffenheim defence with a superb ball out to Milner on the left. The Liverpool substitute crossed with his right foot and a slight deflection gave Baumann no chance as the ball sailed inside his far post.Milner’s importance exceeded the goal because he brought much-needed composure to the Liverpool performance. It was required when Uth, played onside by an appealing Alexander-Arnold and a sleeping Lovren, controlled a long ball from the right on his chest and finally ended Mignolet’s resistance with an excellent low drive.“I would have taken any win before the game,” admitted Klopp. “Even 8-7.” That might have been possible given the number of chances for both sides, something for the Liverpool manager to consider before next Wednesday’s second leg. It is not over but Liverpool are close. Share on LinkedIn Champions League As for experience, Simon Mignolet saved a first-half penalty having studied Andrej Kramaric’s dubious technique with the goalkeeping coach, John Achterberg. James Milner appeared to have secured the game and the tie with a cross that deflected in off the former West Ham United defender Havard Nordtveit only for Mark Uth to set up a tense finale with a fine finish. It is all to play for but advantage Liverpool.In truth a two-goal cushion would have flattered Klopp’s team. Their defending, particularly that of Alberto Moreno, once again offered encouragement to their opponents and struck fear into their supporters. Hoffenheim also played with a confidence and adventure befitting their 30-year-old coach Julian Nagelsmann – Milner’s junior – but quality often eluded them in Mignolet’s penalty area, much to Liverpool’s relief.“We played a good match here and I promise you we will play a good match at Anfield,” said Nagelsmann, who took umbrage at Klopp’s claim that Liverpool had allowed Hoffenheim the ball in unthreatening areas.“I would have been confident of coming back from 2-0,” he added. “We had great possession in these so-called unimportant areas.”Hoffenheim controlled the early exchanges and were awarded a soft penalty when the former Arsenal forward Serge Gnabry nutmegged Dejan Lovren having cut in from the right – Moreno’s flank – and went down under a slight touch. Klopp raged at the officials but would have saved his energy with the benefit of hindsight. Kramaric took a short run-up to the spot-kick and placed it weakly down the centre of Mignolet’s goal. The visitors’ keeper barely had to extend himself to make an invaluable save. Liverpool had a reprieve.Within seconds the Hoffenheim captain, Kevin Vogt, overcommitted himself on the half-way line and invited Mohamed Salah to play a swift one-two with Roberto Firmino. Liverpool’s record signing raced clear from the half-way line but, with only the goalkeeper, Oliver Baumann, to beat and under pressure from the recovering Vogt, he shot wide from the edge of the penalty area.Pavel Kaderabek sliced over from one of several inviting crosses from the left foot of Kerem Demirbay. Lukas Rupp had a shot blocked and Mignolet saved crucially again when Gnabry escaped behind the Liverpool defence and volleyed from close range. Sandro Wagner put the rebound wide. It was another escape.By that point Liverpool had a precious lead and away goal. The Hoffenheim central defender Ermin Bicakcic was booked for dragging down the outstanding Sadio Mané 25 yards out. Emre Can and Moreno lined up their options at the free-kick only for Alexander-Arnold to emerge through the pack and sweep a superb finish over the wall and into Baumann’s bottom left-hand corner. The Hoffenheim keeper was rooted to the spot, stunned, along with everyone else. Read morecenter_img Share on Twitter It took Liverpool 90 minutes to switch off at a set piece against Hoffenheim. Benjamin Hübner met Nadiem Amiri’s free-kick with an unmarked header six yards out and the recurring theme of Jürgen Klopp’s reign made a fleeting reappearance. Not again? Not this time. Hübner headed over and Liverpool found themselves within touching distance of the Champions League group stage – a vast reward for fine margins.Klopp left his homeland with a precious, timely play-off victory built on the confidence of youth and the value of experience.Trent Alexander-Arnold, the homegrown right-back who was born a stone’s throw from Melwood, swept Liverpool ahead with a stunning free-kick. The 18-year-old’s first goal for the club arrived on his Champions League debut and, although he was caught out for Hoffenheim’s late consolation, he chose a perfect way to announce himself to a wider audience. Topics Jürgen Klopp hails Alexander-Arnold’s courage after crucial Liverpool win Share on WhatsApp match reports 1899 Hoffenheim Share via Email Liverpoollast_img read more

Infosys ceases using bell curve to evaluate employees performance attrition falling

first_imgJust as other IT majors who abandoned old-fashioned employee appraisal systems, India’s second largest software firm Infosys has finally stopped using the bell curve, a tool used to evaluate its 1.76 lakh employees’ performance.The move is already showing some positive impact and the company’s attrition rate is projected to come down to 13% during the July-September quarter. Infosys reported an attrition level of 20% during the same quarter last year.”From this quarter, we have removed the forced ranking and in the October appraisal, employees will be appraised on the open ranking. From now on, the managers will take a call and reward,” Richard Lobo, senior vice president, human resources department, at Infosys, told The Economic Times.”Attrition is now close to 13 per cent. One of the big reasons for this (attrition) to come down is because we consciously got rid of the bell curve,” Lobo said. “The new system will be more open and flexible with a pronounced focus on rewards for performance.”By ceasing to use the bell curve, Infosys joins a list of global IT companies that moved away from the appraisal system, which is “often criticised as a forced ranking system.”Under the system, managers are compelled to separate the employees into three categories and “rank the performance of 70% as average, 20% as high and 10%, low.””In performance evaluation based on bell curve, it became a race to get to the top for employees. We were losing a lot of good people who were not ranked at the top,” Lobo said.In a similar move, global software giant Accenture had said in July that it would abandon annual performance evaluation and also dump the ranking system for its employees.Accenture laid out plans to put in place a “more fluid system,” which would enable its employees to get “timely feedback” from their superiors on a continuous basis after an assignment is completed.Infosys’ latest move to discontinue using the bell curve is a part of CEO Vishal Sikka’s initiatives to reduce attrition levels and improve employee productivity. Taking charge as the chief of Infosys in August last year, Sikka has brought many changes for ‘Infoscions’, including doing away with the formal dress code.last_img read more

BIG UPDATE Another injury scare to India in World Cup Update on

first_imgHe may be criticised for lack of intent, he may hog headlines over his impending retirement, but there is little doubt MS Dhoni is important to this Indian team, especially at this crucial juncture in the tournament. The seasoned campaigner was hit on his thumb in the match against England and he was even seen spitting blood in the game. There are now concerns over his availability for the match against Sri Lanka.However, the team management has allayed all such fears as they believe the wicket-keeper batsman is fit to take part in the game against Sri Lanka. Although India have made it to the semi-finals, they still would want to beat Sri Lanka in this game and then hope South Africa down Australia, so that they go to the number 1 spot on the points table. As such, they will then face New Zealand in the semi-finals as opposed to England, if things stand the way they are currently.’Amazing capacity to ignore pain’ MS DhoniSurjeet Yadav/IANSA source from the team management has cleared all doubts over Dhoni’s availability for the match. Speaking to the news agency IANS, he said the stumper is fit and available to take on Sri Lanka. “Hai toh pahadi, woh yodha hai (he hails from the mountains and is a warrior). After more than 300 ODIs, do you think these little things even bother him? He has an amazing capacity to ignore pain. But more importantly, his finger is fine and there is nothing to worry about,” the source said.Earlier this week, a PTI report had said that India’s last match at the World Cup could well turn out to be MS Dhoni’s swan song in India colours. MS DhoniTwitter”You never know with MS Dhoni. But it is unlikely that he will continue to play for India after this World Cup. But since his decisions to quit captaincy from the three formats have been taken so suddenly, it is very difficult to predict at the moment,” a senior BCCI official told PTI.However, there have been no such statements made from the Indian management and as of now, these are considered to be mere speculations. The wicket-keeper batsman enjoys the support of Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli as well as a number of players in the Indian camp.last_img read more

BJP set to sweep Delhi civic polls

first_imgThe BJP was on Wednesday set to sweep the Delhi civic polls, leading in over 140 wards and has won six wards so far, according to the Delhi State Election Commission.The Aam Aadmi Party, was at second spot, leading in 40 wards and has won one ward so far.The Congress was at third spot, and was leading in 28 wards.In the East Delhi Municipal Corporation, the BJP has won two wards — Ramnagar and Krishnanagar.In the South Delhi Municipal Corporation, the BJP has won three wards — Janakpuri West, Janakpuri South and Vishnu Garden.In North Delhi Municipal Corporation, the BJP has won Rajinder Nagar.The AAP has won Shakurpur in North Delhi Municipal Corporation.last_img