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Worshippers pray for public leaders

first_imgSANTA CLARITA – Some bowed their heads, some murmured their own spontaneous prayers, and a few raised their arms in praise as Santa Clarita Christians gathered Thursday for the annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast. At lunchtime, a diverse group of worshippers – among them a Jew, a Buddhist and a pagan – gathered in front of City Hall in a counter prayer event organized by the Santa Clarita Valley Interfaith Council. The goal of both privately sponsored events was to pray for government leaders from the White House to the staff at City Hall. For the interfaith council, a secondary goal – and prayer – was for next year’s prayer gathering to involve all faiths. “I just want to say what a pleasure it is to be here – and I am here,” Mayor Marsha McLean told a breakfast crowd that erupted in applause. McLean said she backed the idea of a unity prayer breakfast, “but people are free to do as they wish.” So the interfaith council held its own lunchtime service at which about a dozen speakers of various faiths used a megaphone to pray – some drowned out by the sounds of a passing truck. “We believe it is important that we do this together because we are strength together,” prayed Rick Shafarman, who is Jewish. Garrett Myler cited a Hindu prayer with a line that summed up the day’s messages. “May there be peace in our city,” he said. pat.aidem@dailynews.com (661) 257-5251 More than 50 people responded to an online survey urging McLean to boycott the event, organized by the Dunamis Group Christian businessmen’s group, because it was viewed as exclusionary. Keynote speaker Ralph Drollinger has made headlines for his comments critical of Catholicism, gays and young mothers in the Legislature who spend days away from home in Sacramento. In a brief speech, McLean thanked U.S. troops for protecting the nation’s “freedom to worship as we please and believe in what we in our hearts want to believe.” Mixing humor with prayer, Drollinger, who lives in Newhall and runs a Sacramento-based ministry for state legislators, spoke of biblical references linking the importance of prayer and government. “A high priority of Christianity is to pray for leaders,” he told the crowd, citing New Testament epistles. No reference was made to a simmering debate about the interfaith council’s plea to the Dunamis group to hold a larger event representing all faiths. The Rev. George McLeary, council president and minister at the Lutheran Church of Hope, said at his urging the the two groups had talked since summer about a joint prayer session, but the discussion fizzled. last_img read more

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Jurgen Klopp blasts ‘senseless’ Nations League

first_img0Shares0000Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has criticised the UEFA Nations League © AFP / Paul ELLISLIVERPOOL, United Kingdom, Oct 8 – Jurgen Klopp has branded the UEFA Nations League “the most senseless competition in the world” as he prepares to see many of his squad leave on international duty following Liverpool’s drab 0-0 draw with Manchester City.The two sides — along with Chelsea — are all locked on 20 points at the top of the Premier League table, separated only by goal difference after Sunday’s matches. Klopp is pleased a hectic schedule of seven matches in 23 days is now over but is unsure what the next fortnight will bring for his players.“If somebody would have told me after eight matchdays you have 20 points, I would say with that fixture list, ‘I’ll buy it, let’s start with the ninth matchday’,” said Klopp.“The boys unfortunately go away again now and have to play Nations League games, the most senseless competition in the world of football.”Klopp said players need a proper break to be fresher, pointing to the case of Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson who played for England at the World Cup in Russia.“If you want to see fresher (players), give them a summer break,” he said. “For Jordan Henderson it was exactly two weeks, which is funny. But that’s how it is.“That’s why I say going away is not a big problem but now you call a manager of any country and ask him to leave out one or two players and he says, ‘I am under pressure as well’ because now it’s Nations League.“I don’t exactly know what you can win but there is some final next summer or something so that’s it.”0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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Afghan president willing to meet Taliban leader

first_imgKABUL, Afghanistan – President Hamid Karzai on Saturday offered to meet with the Taliban leader and give militants a government position only hours after a suicide bomber in army disguise attacked a military bus, killing 30 people – nearly all of them Afghan soldiers. Strengthening a call for negotiations he has made with increasing frequency in recent weeks, Karzai said he was willing to meet with the reclusive leader Mullah Omar and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a former prime minister and factional warlord leader. “If I find their address, there is no need for them to come to me, I’ll personally go there and get in touch with them,” Karzai said. “Esteemed Mullah, sir, and esteemed Hekmatyar, sir, why are you destroying the country?” Karzai said he has contacts with Taliban militants through tribal elders but that there are no direct and open government communication channels with the fighters. Omar’s whereabouts are not known, although Karzai has claimed he is in Quetta, Pakistan, a militant hotbed across the border from Afghanistan’s Kandahar province. Saturday’s explosion – the second deadliest since the fall of the Taliban in 2001 – ripped off the roof of the bus and tore out its sides in Kabul, leaving a charred hull of burnt metal. It was reminiscent of the deadliest attack since the U.S.-led invasion, when a bomber boarded a police academy bus at Kabul’s busiest transportation hub in June, killing 35 people. Police and soldiers climbed trees to retrieve body parts. Nearby businesses also were damaged. “For 10 or 15 seconds, it was like an atom bomb – fire, smoke and dust everywhere,” said Mohammad Azim, a police officer who witnessed the explosion. Karzai said 30 people were killed – 28 soldiers and two civilians. The Health Ministry said another 30 were wounded. Two women were among the dead, and 11 people whose bodies were ripped apart so badly had yet to be identified. “It was a terrible tragedy, no doubt an act of extreme cowardice,” Karzai said. “Whoever did this was against people, against humanity, definitely against Islam. A man who calls himself Muslim will not blow up innocent people in the middle of Ramadan,” the Muslim holy month. A purported Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, claimed the militant group was responsible for the blast in a text message to The Associated Press. Mujahid said the bomber was a Kabul resident named Azizullah. The bus had stopped in front of a movie theater to pick up soldiers when a bomber wearing a military uniform tried to board early Saturday, army spokesman Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi said. “Typically there are people checking the IDs of soldiers who want to board the bus,” Azimi said. “While they were checking the IDs the bomber tried to get on the bus and blew himself up there.” Karzai earlier this month renewed a call for talks with the Taliban, and a spokesman for the militant group initially said the fighters might be open to negotiations. But spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi later said foreign troops must first leave the country – a demand Karzai said Saturday he would not meet. “It should be very clear that until all our roads are paved, until we have good electricity and good water, and also until we have a better Afghan national army and national police, I don’t want any foreigners to leave Afghanistan,” he said. He said he still wanted negotiations with Taliban militants of Afghan origin “for peace and security.” He ruled out talks with al-Qaida and other foreign fighters. NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, meanwhile, said one of its soldiers was killed in eastern Afghanistan during combat operations on Saturday. ISAF did not release the soldier’s nationality, but most in the east are American. Four employees with the International Committee of the Red Cross, kidnapped earlier this past week while negotiating the release of a German hostage, were also freed Saturday, the ICRC said. The four men – two Afghans, a Macedonian and a man from Myanmar – said they were treated well. A Taliban commander said he ordered the four held hostage because he thought they were spies but let them go once it was proven they were Red Cross workers, according to a video obtained by AP Television News. The four had traveled to Wardak province in hopes of helping free a German man held since July. The workers said that the German was still alive and that they had seen him. The number of kidnappings in Afghanistan has spiked in recent months after the Taliban secured the release of five insurgent prisoners in exchange for a captive Italian journalist in March – a heavily criticized swap that many feared would encourage abductions. The Taliban kidnapped 23 South Koreans in July, a hostage crisis that scored the militants face-to-face talks with South Korean government delegates. Two of the Koreans were killed; 21 were eventually released.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “If a group of Taliban or a number of Taliban come to me and say, `President, we want a department in this or in that ministry or we want a position as deputy minister … and we don’t want to fight anymore,’ … If there will be a demand and a request like that to me, I will accept it because I want conflicts and fighting to end in Afghanistan,” Karzai said. “I wish there would be a demand as easy as this. I wish that they would want a position in the government. I will give them a position,” he said. The U.S. Embassy in Kabul has said it does not support negotiations with Taliban fighters, labeling them as terrorists, although the U.N. and NATO have said an increasing number of Taliban are interested in laying down their arms. NATO’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Daan Everts, said this month that the alliance would look into the possibility of talks. President George W. Bush met with Karzai on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Wednesday where the two discussed the battle against al-Qaida and the Taliban, but it has not been made public whether the two talked about negotiations with militants. A State Department duty officer said he could not immediately comment on Karzai’s offer to meet with Omar, noting that most policymakers were still in New York. last_img
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The Weekend Starts Here PODCAST – May 13/14, 2017

first_imgTom Rennie and friends are back to take a sideways look at the Premier League and Sky Bet Championship.There’ll be chanting about Harry Redknapp, a debate about Stoke City’s new kit, we find out what producer Tayo was up into in Nigeria – and Tom channels Game Of Thrones in his rant about Chelsea winning the Premier League virtually unchallenged. Shame!last_img

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Croker countdown: Croke Park issue crowd management plan

first_imgCroker Countdown: GAA chiefs have issued a crowd management plan ahead of today’s sell-out double-header at Croke Park. Thousands of Donegal supporters are currently en-route to GAA HQ for today’s mouth-watering clash with All-Ireland champions Dublin.Tyrone and Mayo are first up at 4pm – in another intriguing clash which has captured the public’s imagination. Croke Park is expected to be at full capacity, so GAA chiefs have issued a crowd management plan in the interest of patrons safety.The following statement reads: Pre Game Crowd Management Plan: In the interest of safety patrons are advised as follows:Not to enter the Jones Road / Russell Street unless they hold a Hogan / Nally/ Premium Stand ticket.Not to congregate in vicinity of Croke Park Hotel as this causes a serious obstruction to crowd movement in that areaUse coloured routes outlined on Croke Park websites to access the stadium.Patrons are requested to arrange meeting places away from the Hogan Stand exits on Jones Road.Post Game Crowd Management Plan:In the interest of safety patrons are advised as follows:Patrons exiting the Hogan / Nally/ Premium Stands will be directed to exit by a planned route as they leave these stands onto Jones Road.Patrons exiting the Hogan / Nally/ Premium Stands will be directed to exit by a planned route as they leave these stands onto Jones Road.Patrons are requested not to congregate in vicinity of Croke Park Hotel as this causes a serious obstruction to crowd movement in that area.Patrons exiting via Clonliffe Road are asked by Gardai not enter onto Jones Road and not to congregate in vicinity of Croke Park Hotel.Patrons exiting via North Circular Road are asked by Gardai not to enter onto Russell Street / Jones Road and not to congregate in vicinity of Croke Park hotel.Patrons are requested to arrange meeting places away from the Hogan Stand exits on Jones Road.– See more at: https://crokepark.ie/news-and-events/important-match-day-information#sthash.Z14N7j6K.dpufCroker countdown: Croke Park issue crowd management plan was last modified: August 6th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare 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) Tags:Croke ParkCrowddonegaldublinGAAManagement planSupporterstrafficlast_img read more

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Men’s Soccer Drops Opener at Xavier, 3-0

first_imgFreshman Erik Fahner (Omaha, Neb.) fired the match’s first shot at the 9:30 mark, but it was blocked. It would be the only shot for Drake in the opening half as Xavier recorded 16 shots. The Musketeers scored their first goal in the 29th minute (29:10) as Cameron Taylor scored his second goal of the season. They added another quickly as Samson Sergi scored in the 30th minute (30:22). Later Xavier had its final goal in the 60th minute (60:40), coming from Matt Vasquenza. In the final 10:35 of action, Drake fired four shots, including a shot on goal by freshman Leroy Enzugusi (Marion, Iowa) in the 88th minute that was saved by Xavier goalkeeper Zachary Nelson. Juan Louis (Minneapolis, Minn.), Alex Peterson (Duluth, Minn.) and Aleksi Tuominen (Helsinki, Finland) all recorded one shot. Watch Live Live Stats Next Game: Following the Xavier match, Drake will visit Air Force on Sept. 1. The Bulldogs will stay in Colorado to play at 2016 College Cup participant, Denver, on Sept. 3. Print Friendly Version “There were several positive takeaways from tonight but there were some aspects of our defending that got exposed and need to improve,” Smith said. “We regroup and get ready for another exciting challenge on the road against Air Force and Denver next weekend.” “You win or you learn and tonight we learned about a few areas we need to tighten up on and improve,” said Drake head coach Gareth Smith. “Xavier is a very mature and strong opponent and they challenged our young team to grow in areas that we need to in order to compete with some of the top teams in the country. This run of games on the road were purposeful so that we could stretch ourselves and gain experience in tough environments which is good for our programs development.”center_img at Air Force 9/1/2017 – 6 PM The road defeat was the season opener for Drake (0-1) who compiled a 2-1 record in three preseason home exhibition contests. Xavier (1-1) rebounded from its opening loss to Loyola in overtime on Friday night. Drake had 11 freshman or redshirt freshman play in the match. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Caden McCullough (Evansville, Ind.) made his first career start and finished with four saves. Preview CINCINNATI, Ohio – Xavier scored two goals in the first half on its way to a 3-0 win over the Drake men’s soccer team on Sunday, Aug. 27 at the XU Soccer Complex. Full Schedule Roster last_img read more

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DONEGAL FAMILY’S HEARTACHE AS COUSIN GOES MISSING IN SWEDEN

first_imgBrian Farrell: MissingA DONEGAL woman says her family is praying for the safe return of her cousin who has been missing for five days in Sweden.Brian Alan Farrell, originally from Culleens in Co Sligo, was last seen in the Winstroms area of Stockholm on Monday.His relations in Kerrykeel have been supporting the family. The carpenter, who had been working at the harbour in the Swedish capital since March, is the third youngest of six boys.His brother Michael has travelled to Sweden to help in the search.He said the family were “beyond worried” and that they had previously lost another brother, who died while working on a building site in London seven years ago.Gardai confirmed that the man had been reported missing. Brian’s cousin in Kerrykeel Grainne Farrell is asking people to LIKE AND SHARE this Facebook page.https://www.facebook.com/pages/Missing-IRISH-MAN/282674261941687?pnref=story DONEGAL FAMILY’S HEARTACHE AS COUSIN GOES MISSING IN SWEDEN was last modified: November 14th, 2014 by John2Share 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) Tags:Brian FarrelldonegalKERRYKEELmissingsligolast_img read more

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World Cup stadium a hit with tourists

first_img13 May 2011Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium – previously known as Soccer City – is proving to be a hit with local and international tourists, both because of its status as South Africa’s flagship stadium during the 2010 Fifa World Cup, and because of its architectural genius.“Almost 40 000 tourists have toured the stadium since its transformation in 2010,” says Jacques Grobbelaar, chief executive of Stadium Management South Africa (SMSA), which runs the venue. “The numbers have increase significantly this year.”Tours of the FNB stadium have been extremely popular due, says Grobbelaar, offering “a first-hand view of the models and main stadium, the ‘ring of fire’, spectator stands, the pitch, players’ tunnel, change rooms, hospitality suites, venue operations centre and the ramps.”Grobbelaar says the high number of tourists expressing an interest in FNB Stadium prompted SMSA to roll out public tours of the city’s Dobsonville, Rand and Orlando stadiums as well.Tours of all four stadiums take place at 9am to 3pm from Monday to Friday and from 12 noon to 1.30pm on weekends. Adults pay R80 each, pensioners pay R70, while children under the age of six can join a tour for free. Schools can take learners on an excursion to the stadium for R30 each learner.Grobbelaar says the facility is the busiest of South Africa’s World Cup stadiums, namely Johannesburg’s Coca-Cola Park, Pretoria’s Loftus Versveld, Rustenburg’s Royal Bafokeng Palace, Nelspruit’s Mbombela Stadium, Polokwane’s Peter Mokaba Stadium, Bloemfontein’s Free State Stadium, Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium, Green Point Stadium in Cape Town and the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Port Elizabeth.Flagship World Cup venueThe FNB Stadium – known as Soccer City during the World Cup – hosted the first and final matches and the opening and closing ceremonies of the tournament. The facility, held under a 99-year lease with the City of Johannesburg, staged 23 sporting events in 2010, including eight Fifa World Cup games.It also hosted other major events, such as the U2 concert, with more than 90 000 people in the audience.Between January and March, it received lots of bookings for concerts, church events and soccer matches. “There is still a range of concerts and events that will take place at the facility for the year ahead,” says Grobbelaar.Some of the sports that are to take place at the stadium are the Nedbank Cup semifinals and finals, the Vodacom Cup and the Telkom Charity Cup.“The stadium has to be constantly maintained because of its busyness. For the pitch only, we spend over R70 000 per annum. We work with various private sector companies who assist in general maintenance of the facility.”One of SMSA’s strategies to ensure that the stadium is used regularly “is to compete proactively for headline sporting events, by building strong relationships with the leagues and sports clubs to encourage them to bring matches to the stadium”.The stadium“Our goal is to ensure that the stadium becomes the most sought-after venue in Johannesburg for large events of all kinds. With its iconic status, state-of-the-art facilities, award-winning design and all the glamour and excitement of flagship sporting events to offer, FNB Stadium presents an unbeatable package.”The stadium has a field of 11 232 square metres and a moat holding 2 670 cubic metres of recycled water. With 88 530 spectator seats and 195 suites, it is the largest stadium in Africa.Known as the calabash, a reference to its design, which resembles an African cooking pot, the establishment was voted the best public building and best building overall for 2010 in the Leaf Awards, an international architecture competition.The three-tier stadium soars 60 metres into the air and stretches across 300 metres. Its shape and facade were created from a mosaic of thousands of glass-fibre concrete panels in eight different colours that respond to natural and artificial light to create a glittering effect that lights up the stadium from far by day and night.To book a tour to FNB, Rand, Orlando or Dobsonville stadiums, visit www.stadiummanagement.co.za or call 011 247 5300.Source: City of Johannesburglast_img read more

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SA, be proud of your freedom: Zuma

first_img29 April 2013 South Africans should be proud of their country’s achievements in founding a new society based on human rights, equality justice, dignity, peace and stability, President Jacob Zuma said in his Freedom Day address in Pretoria on Saturday. Addressing a large crowd gathered on the lawns of the Union Buildings, Zuma also challenged South Africans to take pride in the country’s achievements since the advent of democracy in 1994. “We achieved the elimination of apartheid colonialism and institutionalized racism and replaced it with a new society founded on human rights, equality, justice, dignity, peace and stability,’ Zuma siad. “Together, we affirmed the assertion of our wise and forward looking forebears, who stated in the Freedom Charter that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, and that no government can justly claim authority unless it was based on the will of all the people.” The President called on South African society to join the government in its economic transformation and the implementation of programmes to fight poverty and inequality and to alleviate unemployment. Zuma conceded that the gap between white and black households, for obvious historical reasons, remained wide, as revealed by Census 2011, with white households earning up to six times more than black households. “The transformation of ownership and management of the economy continues,” he said. “It is encouraging that over R600-billion of black economic empowerment transactions have been recorded since 1995. Another success story is that the number of black people and women in senior management has increased from less than 10% in the 1990s to over 40% today.” Zuma said the government’s housing programme had built over three-million units since 1994. The percentage of households with access to potable water had increased from 60% to over 90%, while access to electricity had increased from 50% of households to approximately 80%. Zuma said that while income inequality remained high, the expansion of social grants from 2.7-million people in 1994 to 16-million currently had contributed to a significant reduction in the proportion of households living in poverty. At the same time, the further extension of basic services required the public service to be more efficient, effective and caring in order to make people’s experience of government a pleasant one, Zuma said. “There are many achievements on the economic front as well. The South African economy has expanded by 83% over the past 19 years. The national income per capita has increased from R27 500 in 1993 to R38 500 in 2012, which is an increase of 40%. Disposable income per capita of households has increased by 43%. Total employment has increased by more than 3.5-million since 1994.” Zuma spoke in detail about equality and gender parity, saying this would ensure that freedom was felt by everyone across society. He spoke of healing and resilience as he acknowledged that the country had a long way to go in eliminating the triple manifestations of the apartheid legacy – poverty, inequality and unemployment. “[We] reaffirm our belief that political freedom must be accompanied by economic freedom as the next phase of liberation. The economic wealth of the country must bring about fundamental social change in the lives of all, especially the youth, the poor and the working class.” Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

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