Jarin takes full responsibility for NU Bulldogs’ failed UAAP campaign

first_imgView comments The loss brought the Bulldogs to a 3-9 record and eliminated them from the Final Four with two more games to spare in their schedule, and head coach Jamike Jarin took full responsibility for the failed campaign.“It’s been very disappointing this year, but again, I take full responsibility for it,” said Jarin. “We have a young team, so we just have to be patient with all the things that we need to do. Of course we could’ve done better.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss“I take all the blame.”Jarin’s time with the Bulldogs hasn’t been as fruitful as his previous tenures with San Beda and especially Ateneo where he became a multi-title coach with the Blue Eaglets. Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title “Hopefully we get over the hump, and the next time we’re going to talk, we’re talking about the Final Four and probably the Finals next year.” Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:32UAAP Season 81: Racela says he’ll be ‘surprised’ if Ateneo loses a game in elims02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award MOST READ LATEST STORIES Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Pringle makes PBA MVP race interesting, overtakes Fajardo in statistical points For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? And it’s not as if NU entered Season 81 without a proper amount of hype after former high school stars John Lloyd Clemente and Dave Ilefonso and Gilas cadet Troy Rike joined the team.Although Jarin had a talented roster, he didn’t have players who have enough experience in the collegiate game with nine of the Bulldogs either a sophomore or a freshman.“As you can see, you’ve got a very good fortune in front of you, not only NU basketball but also Philippine basketball in particular,” said Jarin who also won an NCAA title with the Red Lions in 2016.“These are the things that you get up in the morning and be excited to work with them because every time you wake up, it’s a day that they mature.”The best that the Bulldogs can do this tournament is match their five-win tally from Season 80, but that didn’t stop Jarin from thinking ahead.ADVERTISEMENT Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil National University’s heartbreaking 84-77 loss to De La Salle on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum effectively put an end to its campaign in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Linden shooting suspect charged with attempted murder

first_imgCalwyn Alex Croal, also known as “Brother” of Lot 178 Blueberry Hill, Wismar, Linden, was on TuesdayCalwyn Alex Croalcharged with the attempted murder of his estranged wife Simone Belle-Croal, 41, of 604 Half Mile, Wismar and her cousin, Sherwin Hughes of Blueberry Hill.Croal, 47, appeared before Magistrate Clive Nurse at the Linden Magistrate’s Court where he was refused bail. It is alleged that on Sunday, April 3, with the intent to commit murder, he discharged a loaded firearm at Belle-Croal and Hughes, at Canvas City, Wismar.The defendant was represented by Attorney Gordon Gilhuys, who, in his bail application, stated that the father of seven has not returned to the home of his estranged wife since the alleged incident occurred. Gilhuys further argued that his client was not the holder of a firearm licence and a firearm was not discovered in his possession. Bail was nevertheless denied by the presiding Magistrate who remanded the defendant to prison until June 29.Croal, who eluded Police for almost two months, was arrested at Lethem on Saturday in connection with the incident.Reports had indicated that the defendant, who allegedly staked out his estranged wife’s home, opened fire on the duo, hitting them multiple times about their bodies as Hughes who was said to be driving at the time approached the home. Hughes was shot in his arm and back and Belle was shot six times to her arm, leg and chest. Both of them were treated at the Linden Hospital Complex and later transferred to the Georgetown Public Hospital where they underwent successful surgeries to have the bullets removed.Hughes’s wife, Annie, who was in the vehicle at the time, did not sustain any injuries.last_img read more

City enters negotiations with gravel crushing company

first_imgLB Chapman Counstruction has indicated that it would consider doing to work on a reduced scope, and staff has been authorized to start negotiating down from the tender price of $161,000. “Part of it’s mobilization costs, so we’ll be talking about that, and reducing the scope and asking for a reduction in unit cost as well,” explains Victor Shopland, Director of Integrated Services. Whatever they’ll give us we’ll take, but the maximum dollar value is $120,000 so that’s as far as we can go.” The City says that if the project is able to go ahead, it will have enough inventory of winter sand to match its needs for the next two winters.- Advertisement -The gravel pit was purchased in early 2013 from Glenn Fox for $2.924 million before tax out of reserves from Fair Share Funds in the City’s budget. The aggregate will be used for road construction and water and sewer main projects and is intended to improve the city’s ability to plan for future maintenance as the community grows, and decrease spending. It’s expected the pit, which holds between 600,000 and 1,100,000 cubic metres of material, will last between 24 and 44 years.Advertisementlast_img read more

It’s a sell-out! West Ham shift 52,000 season tickets ahead of move to Stratford

first_img“So having made the bold decision to move to the former Olympic Stadium, we are delighted to see how it has captured the imagination of the Hammers fanbase. We find ourselves going into our first season with more than 50,000 Season Ticket holders and tens of thousands of people on the Priority List for seasonal seats in 2017/18. “I know there will be some disappointed fans on the Priority List who did not get Season Tickets, but I can assure them they will be first in the queue should any become available for our second year and they will very much continue to be a part of our great Club. West Ham are moving into the Olympic Stadium this summer “Reports consistently show that we have highest average capacity in the Premier League and every game in our final season at the Boleyn Ground sold out within days of going on sale. West Ham have confirmed they have sold out of season tickets for their first year at the Olympic Stadium. The east Londoners have also sold out of hospitality packages well in advance of the start of the new era-defining move to Stratford.  The Hammers have shifted 52,000 season tickets ahead of next season, only Manchester United currently sell more (55,000). It’s the club’s final match ever at the 32,000 capacity Upton Park on Tuesday night where Manchester United are their opponents. And while the move across east London to the site of the 2012 Olympics Games has been subject to some complaints, it is proving to be an unqualified success for the club. West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady said: “David Sullivan, David Gold and I have always believed in the West Ham fanbase and knew we could fill the new Stadium. 1 “Without doubt, our stadium move is an unrivalled success story, but we know the hard work does not stop now. We must deliver a stadium that exceeds our Season Ticket Holders’ expectations and support Slaven Bilic in building a team on the pitch that matches our stunning new home.“I would like to conclude by saying a personal thank you to everyone who has bought a Season Ticket or Club London package for next season. Together we will make history for West Ham United.”last_img read more


first_imgThe Dungloe Sewerage Action Group has welcomed the announcement by Minister Dinny McGinley regarding the commencement of a sewerage scheme in Dungloe.During an interview with Myles Duggan on RTÉ Radio 1 on Monday 12th August, Minister McGinley said that the Dungloe Sewerage Scheme would be starting in weeks rather than months.The action group says it will continue to monitor the progress of the work very closely to ensure that it commences within a few weeks, as promised. The Dungloe Sewerage Action Group, set up recently following sewerage leaks in the town, now calls on the Council to put in place a desludging programme until such time as the new sewage plant is operational.The group has calculated that the existing septic tanks should be desludged at least once a fortnight so as to guarantee that the people of Dungloe are never exposed again to the dangers that arose recently.The group also reiterates their call on the Council to set up a consultation process with the people of Dungloe to outline the extent and timeframe of the proposed works.DUNGLOE SEWERAGE ACTION GROUP SAYS IT HOPES MINISTER WILL DELIVER IN WEEKS was last modified: August 21st, 2013 by StephenShare 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:Minister Dinny McGinleysewerage schemelast_img read more


first_imgPACKIE Bonner, Donegal’s goalkeeping legend, is still a hero to Celtic fans.As was witnessed when the Hoops travelled to Paisley at the weekend to play St Mirren.Celtic came away with a victory and extended their lead at the top of the SPL over Rangers to four points. Around 200 Celtic fans from Co Donegal were at the game.But none as famous as our Packie, the former Hoops keeper.He was give a rousing reception by the travelling fans.And by the look on his face, he certainly seemed to be enjoying himself. All hail, hail our Packie.LEAVE YOUR COMMENT BELOW© 2011 donegaldaily.com, all Rights ReservedThe copying, republication or redistribution of donegaldaily.com Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited by law.Follow us on www.twitter.com/donegaldaily Follow us on www.facebook.com/donegaldailySell anything on www.donegaldailyclassifieds.comPACKIE STILL A HERO TO HOOPS FANS was last modified: January 24th, 2012 by BrendaShare 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:CelticdonegalPackie Bonnerlast_img read more


first_imgKnock Airport.Thousands of Donegal residents regularly frequent Knock Airport every year because of its brilliant cheap offers on exotic destinations.Well now management at Knock Airport are set to reward you even further by offering passengers a whopping 30% off parking when you book online.Ireland West Airport Knock have launched a special car parking promotion for Donegal residents who book their car parking online on www.irelandwestairport.com. For a one week period from 25th February to March 4th 2015 – all online car park bookings made during this period using the promo code ‘DONEGAL’ will automatically save 30% on the normal gate rate price for parking at the airport.In 2015 Ireland West Airport Knock will have services to over 20 International destinations.The airport offers the largest choice of UK destinations from any airport along the Western seaboard, with over 100 weekly flights to and from key UK markets such as London Luton and Stansted with Ryanair, London Gatwick with Aer Lingus, Manchester and Birmingham with Flybe and Bristol, East Midlands and Liverpool with Ryanair.The airport has become a popular gateway for sun breaks with the addition of a number of new services to European hotspots including weekly services in 2015, starting in April, to the likes of Alicante (twice weekly), Barcelona (twice weekly) Croatia (weekly) Faro-Algarve (three times weekly) Lanzarote, (weekly) Malaga (weekly) Milan (twice weekly) and Tenerife (weekly). Which have proved hugely popular with holidaymakers from all over Ireland, with increasing numbers opting for Ireland West Airport due to the convenience, value for money and hassle free nature of travelling from the airport.Commenting on this new initiative for Donegal residents, Donal Healy, Marketing Manager, said, “With savings of 30% on your airport car parking theres never been a better time for Donegal people to fly from Ireland West Airport Knock.“We are now attracting more and more passengers from the Donegal region as they recognise the value for money, convenience and most importantly the increasing range of low fares flights to attractive European destinations now available from the airport’.“Further advantages of booking your online parking at the airport means you can also benefit from parking your car onsite, within minutes walk of the terminal.“Whilst all car park spaces are available at the online price – with no price difference between short term and long term parking. To avail of this special car parking promotion at Ireland West Airport Knock book online at www.irelandwestairport.com using the promo code ‘DONEGAL’. Offer ends March 4th 2015.DONEGAL PASSENGERS CAN SAVE UP TO 30% BY BOOKING ONLINE AT KNOCK AIRPORT was last modified: February 25th, 2015 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:BusinessFeaturesKnock AirportnewsParkinglast_img read more

If This Is Evolution, What Is Trivia?

first_img Enzymes:  The evolutionary claims in a Science Daily are breathtaking: scientists at Max Planck Institute found out how evolution produced a new enzyme in plants with a new function.  A protein that lost 120 amino acids in a presumed genetic mutation “millions of years ago” took on a new function via gene duplication, the production of mustard oil glucosides.  A closer inspection shows this to have only produced a foul taste in insect larvae, offering some defense.  Yet this, we are told, is typical of how “new phenotypes arise from the variety of genetic information encoded and stored in DNA.”  Thanks to Darwinian gradualism, “It is another example of how small changes can lead to the development of new weapons in the evolutionary arms race between plants and herbivores.”  Some science news articles appear confident about evolution, but offer little evidence except trivial change .  Sometimes, they even offer evidence that contradicts their expectations.  If this is evolution, what is trivia? Trouble is, other evolutionists aren’t buying it.  For one thing, William Ratcliff and colleagues at the University of Minnesota “set out to evolve multicellularity” in yeast cells by centrifuging them for 60 days – hardly a natural situation.  He kept artificially selecting the ones at the bottom.  After 350 generations, he found some of the remaining ones that weren’t seasick had clumped together in colonies he said resembled snowflakes.  They stayed connected even after cell division.  “The key step in the evolution of multicellularity is a shift in the level of selection from unicells to groups,” Ratcliff claimed.  “Once that occurs, you can consider the clumps to be primitive multicellular organisms.” Holmes tried to be charitable about this claim.  “In some ways, the snowflakes do behave as if they are multicellular,” he granted.  He even avoided laughing at the thought that suicide showed division of labor: “Snowflake lineages exposed to different evolutionary pressures evolved different levels of cell death.”  In the end, though, the skeptics seem to have put forth a strong rejoinder: “Sceptics, however, point out that many yeast strains naturally form colonies, and that their ancestors were multicellular tens or hundreds of millions of years ago. As a result, they may have retained some evolved mechanisms for cell adhesion and programmed cell death, effectively stacking the deck in favour of Ratcliff’s experiment.”  Another skeptic chided, “I don’t think if you took something that had never been multicellular you would get it so quickly.” None of them explained how the ancient ancestors evolved multicellurity in the first place. Ratcliff wants next to try his experiment on an alga.  Readers of Holmes’ story might be surprised that nobody ever thought of testing this before.  He ended, “Both approaches offer an unprecedented opportunity to bring experimental rigour to the study of one of the most important leaps in our distant evolutionary past.” Antibiotic resistance.  The ability of some bacteria to resist drugs is not only a serious health concern, it is a shrine to Darwin –often called a prime example of evolution in action.  Three evolutionists from America and England discussed this topic in PNAS.  They had some sharp criticism of doctors who tell their patients to use up the bottle of antibiotics even after they are well, or to hospitals that try to eliminate all germs.  The practice of radical pathogen cure “maximizes the evolutionary advantage of any resistant pathogens that are present,” they warned.  “It could promote the very evolution it is intended to retard.”     So far, though, we only have resistant pathogens that are already present.  How did those arise?  On this point, the authors were less straightforward:  “Intuition is unreliable even in simple evolutionary contexts; in a social milieu where in-host competition can radically alter the fitness costs and benefits of resistance, expert opinion will be insufficient,” they said.  No evidence for new genetic information causing resistance was mentioned, at least in the abstract.  Finding that is apparently someone else’s job.  “An evidence-based approach to resistance management is required.” Yeast colonies:   New Scientist printed a dramatic headline, “Lab yeast make evolutionary leap to multicellularity.”  This challenge to Darwinian evolution turned out to be a cinch, it went on to claim: “In just a few weeks single-celled yeast have evolved into a multicellular organism, complete with division of labour between cells,” reporter Bob Holmes announced.  “This suggests that the evolutionary leap to multicellularity may be a surprisingly small hurdle.”  Birds.  Birds have strong muscles; therefore, they evolved.  This cannot be the reasoning of an article on PhysOrg entitled, “Scientist cites enlarged skeletal muscles as reason birds exist.”  Or could it?  Stuart Newman, a professor of cell biology and anatomy at New York Medical College, decided to contradict previous evolutionists who thought bird origins had something to do with the desire to fly.  Not only that, he ascribed the origin of these magnificent flying creatures to the loss of a gene.  The gene, UCP1, allows brown fat to produce heat.  Let’s give Dr. Newman a long rope to explain his idea: Nice humans:  Ditto for Joan Silk and Bailey House from UCLA, who went looking for “Evolutionary foundations of human prosocial sentiments.”  Treating their fellow human beings as evolved apes, they were surprised at what seems obvious to anyone who has been to the zoo: humans care for one another like no other primates.  Writing in PNAS, they said: A growing body of evidence shows that humans are remarkably altruistic primates. Food sharing and division of labor play an important role in all human societies, and cooperation extends beyond the bounds of close kinship and networks of reciprocating partners. In humans, altruism is motivated at least in part by empathy and concern for the welfare of others. Although altruistic behavior is well-documented in other primates, the range of altruistic behaviors in other primate species, including the great apes, is much more limited than it is in humans. That’s why people will send money to feed starving children halfway around the world, or will rush to the aid of a stranger.  This was awkward for evolutionists to explain:  “This suggests that there may be fundamental differences in the social preferences that motivate altruism across the primate order, and there is currently considerable interest in how we came to be such unusual apes.”  To explain this, they had to kick the Darwin can down the road: “Differences in performance across species and differences in performance across tasks are not yet fully understood and raise new questions for further study,” they concluded.  How long, incidentally, have evolutionists been kicking this can? Sometimes the evidence shows no evolution at all.  Two papers in Current Biology found that the active pores (stomata) in plant leaves have been pretty much the same as far back in the fossil record as when they first appeared.  Chater et al. wrote a paper titled, “Regulatory Mechanism Controlling Stomatal Behavior Conserved across 400 Million Years of Land Plant Evolution.”1  They said, “Our analyses indicate that core regulatory components involved in guard cell ABA signaling of flowering plants are operational in mosses and likely originated in the last common ancestor of these lineages more than 400 million years ago, prior to the evolution of ferns.”  In a similar vein, Ruszala et al. published, “Land Plants Acquired Active Stomatal Control Early in Their Evolutionary History.”2  They upped the ante, saying, “we suggest that the critical evolutionary development is represented by the innovation of stomata themselves and that physiologically active stomatal control originated at least as far back as the emergence of the lycophytes (circa 420 million years ago).” 1. Chater et al., “Regulatory Mechanism Controlling Stomatal Behavior Conserved across 400 Million Years of Land Plant Evolution,” Current Biology, Volume 21, Issue 12, 21 June 2011, Pages 1025-1029, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2011.04.032. 2. Ruszala et al., “Land Plants Acquired Active Stomatal Control Early in Their Evolutionary History,” Current Biology, Volume 21, Issue 12, 21 June 2011, Pages 1030-1035, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2011.04.044. Do you see how Darwinism survives?  All this busy work, all this jargon, all these confident-sounding claims—who has the time to read this stuff and tell what’s going on behind the curtain?  They’re scientists aren’t they?  If you can’t trust scientists, whom can you trust? Hopefully, the hundreds of exposès we have been providing over the last decade reveal that Darwinland is like Fantasyland, full of fake castles and imagination, with no scientific substance.  Yet this is what must be taught in the schools with no critical thinking allowed.  Chimps show more altruism than that.  Evolutionists are a strange population studied with astonishment by Darwin skeptics.  No wonder Silk and House said of themselves and their colleagues, “there is currently considerable interest in how we came to be such unusual apes.”(Visited 49 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterest Long live E. coli: The longest-running experiment on evolution has little to show for it.  Live Science highlighted Richard Lenski’s work keeping 52,000 generations of E. coli growing in test tubes.  Conditions should have been ideal for watching evolutionary progress.  What kinds of evolutionary novelty turned up?  Was “survival of the fittest” confirmed?  No; survival of the unfit, as measured by growth rate, was the rule: “They allowed all of the thawed bacteria to reproduce for 883 generations to see again who would win — the result was usually the same. The tortoise, less fit in the short term, still beat the hare.”     The biggest claim was that some of the germs evolved the ability to digest citrate, “a talent that its ancestor did not have.”  Biochemist Dr. Michael Behe examined this claim years ago and determined that the bacteria already had the ability to digest citrate, but lacked a way to get it into the cell.  That kind of change fits within the “Edge of Evolution” Behe described in his book of that name – a combination of mutations that would permit a trait to be expressed, especially under heavy selection pressure (see Evolution News).  Another claim was that some of the bugs evolved resistance to drying out.  The bottom line, though, is that after thousands of generations, they were still the same species, E. coli, and would probably revert to the wild type without the human selection pressure imposed on them. Cliff-dwelling humans:  Beverly Strassman [University of Michigan] went looking for evolution among some fellow human beings in the Dogon of Mali, who live in cliffs.  She approached her subjects as examples of other “animals that breed cooperatively,” and expected to find support for kin selection as the origin of altruism.  Alas, she found that her fellow apes refused to get into simple Darwinian pigeonholes.  In her PNAS paper “Cooperation and competition in a cliff-dwelling people,” she found  they seemed just as prone to human foibles as the rest of us: The evolutionists did not find it strange that the insect larvae didn’t evolve a counterattack in all those millions of years, considering that Monarch butterflies munch on poisonous milkweed, clown fish swim amidst poisonous sea anemones, and sea slugs are able to imbibe nematocysts (poison darts from jellyfish) and mount them, unexploded, on their backs.  After all, the article gave the other side plenty of time: “In the course of evolution this probably happened during the origin of the mustard family.” I show that cooperative breeding theory is a poor fit to the family dynamics of this population. Rather than helping each other, siblings competed for resources, producing a tradeoff between the number of maternal siblings and growth and survival. It did not take a village to raise a child; children fared the same in nuclear as in extended families. Of critical importance was the degree of polygyny, which created conflicts associated with asymmetries in genetic relatedness. The risk of death was higher and the rate of growth was slower in polygynous than monogamous families…. Mothers were of overwhelming importance for child survival and could not be substituted by any category of kin or nonkin. So much for evolution of altruism from field data.  “The idea of cooperative breeding taken from animal studies is a poor fit to the complexity and diversity of kin interactions in humans,” she concluded. “Unlike the scenario in which the evolution of flight is the driving force for the origin of birds, the muscle expansion theory does not require functionally operative intermediates in the transition to flight, swimming, or winglessness, nor does it require that all modern flightless birds, such as ostriches and penguins, had flying ancestors. It does suggest that the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs may have been related to a failure to evolve compensatory heat-generating mechanisms in face of the loss of UCP1,” says the scientist. Lose a gene, gain a wing.  PhysOrg offered no criticism of this radically different evolutionary notion.  last_img read more

The media and open justice

first_imgSouth Africa’s Constitutional Court buildingin Johannesburg.(Image: Chris Kirchhoff,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more freephotos, visit the image library.) RELATED ARTICLES• Fifa guarantees press freedom• Reshaping reportage on Africa• SA celebrates media freedom• South Africa’s Constitution• Judge Sachs honoured in NYMEDIA CONTACTS• Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo+27 11 359 7539+27 11 359 7400• Femida MehtarExecutive directorSouth African National Editors’ Forum+27 84 784 2006director@sanef.org.zaThe media and the judiciary are the two pillars supporting South Africa’s constitutional democracy, inextricably connected institutions that, without each other, would be unable to perform their crucial democratic function, writes South African Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo. The American founding father Thomas Jefferson famously quipped, “If it were left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”I assume that he said this before he was elected president. As the head of one of the branches of our South African government, I am unable to agree wholeheartedly with Jefferson’s remark. Of course, I recognise that many in the audience might share his attitude.I have, however, drawn some inspiration from Jefferson. Like him, I am keenly aware and deeply appreciative of the media’s place in our society. Indeed, without the media, there could be no constitutional democracy. The media not only provides the main forum for the great societal debate that is democracy; it also sustains that debate by supplying the information that the people need to make the political, economic, and cultural choices that constitute the fabric of our democratic society.But the media does so much more than enabling democracy by informing and educating the people. It also ensures that the people know their rights and the ways to enforce those rights.It serves as a watchdog and indeed as one of the strongest and most important checks on the power of all three branches of government. And in a diverse society like ours, it has the potential to act as a unifying force and to provide a voice for the voiceless, marginalised and disadvantaged. For these reasons, the protection and encouragement of the free press, freedom of speech and the free flow of information are cornerstones of our Constitution’s Bill of Rights (PDF, 517 KB).The theme “Justice and the Media” cannot be discussed without exploring the relationship between the judiciary and the media. This is so because both have a vital role in the improvement of access to justice.The principle that brings them together is the principle of open justice. It is this principle that requires courts to open their doors to the media so the media can observe how the judicial system functions and the extent to which courts uphold the Constitution and the law and administer justice to all without fear, favour or prejudice,By reporting on these matters, the media ensures that the judiciary is accountable and this in turn creates an atmosphere that is conducive to confidence in the judiciary. And public confidence in the judiciary is vital to the proper functioning of the courts. But to do this, the freedom of the media to report must be protected and this is the function of the courts. The relationship between the media and courts is therefore one of interdependence.The ideal justice system is accessible to all who require its services and is run by an independent and upright, yet humble judiciary that is representative of all the beautiful and manifold diversity of our nation.There are many serious and interrelated challenges that stand in the way of the realisation of this vision. Of particular concern are the need to increase the accessibility of the courts, the need to increase the efficiency with which justice is dispensed, and the need to maintain public confidence in the judiciary.Open justiceThe relationship between the media and the judiciary is animated by the principle of open justice. This is the bond that links the two institutions. Open justice is the principle that the doors of all the courts in the nation must be open to the public and the press. This concept has been around for centuries.It is deeply rooted in African tradition. In African societies, justice was administered in the open in the literal sense of the word.Trials were conducted under a tree; the courtroom had no walls, only a roof of leaves and branches to provide shade from the sun and shelter from the elements. Members of the community were allowed to attend the proceedings. Secret trials were foreign to traditional justice.I recall as a boy of about 10 or 11 years of age, I once accompanied my father to a civil trial in which he was a defendant. Although I cannot now remember what the dispute was about, save that it concerned land, the scene remains vivid in my memory. I recall the men that were assembled there, under a tree, and the dignity with which the proceedings were conducted. I also remember passersby stopping to observe.I do not know the exact outcome of the proceedings, but since my family has occupied the same land for over 50 years, I assume my father won the case.Today, unfettered public access to proceedings in our courts is a fundamental facet of our justice system. It is enshrined in sections 34 and 35 of the Constitution, which speak of the right to “public” hearings and trials.Like all principles, the principle of open justice is not absolute. In certain circumstances, it may be necessary to conduct some aspects of trials behind closed doors.This is the case, for example, when testimony is given by young children or victims in sexual offence cases or evidence is led that implicates concerns of state security. And in family law matters, the Constitutional Court struck down prohibitions on the publication of evidence, but required that the identities of the parties be kept confidential.These limitations, however, are rare, for the principle of open justice is fundamental. As the Constitutional Court has pointed out, “the requirement of openness in our society flows from the very founding values of our Constitution … in order, among other things, to ensure transparency, accountability, and responsiveness in the way courts and all organs of state function”.The rights of the media to observe and report on the administration of justice, and to have access to court papers in court proceedings stem from the right to open justice. This access, in turn, allows the media and the judiciary to work together to give effect to the Constitutional values of accountability, transparency, access to justice, and judicial independence.Open justice and access to justiceThe media plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the public has the ability to make use of the courts, or, in legal parlance, “access to justice”. This phrase describes the extent to which members of the public, particularly those without much in the way of resources, have the practical capacity to seek the protection of the judicial system. Access to justice for all is a Constitutional command.Indeed, if access to justice is restricted to those with access to power and money, then the transformational imperative of our Constitution is defeated.There are many features of the legal system which present barriers to access to justice. These include the costs of hiring counsel and the often interminable litigation process. They also include the physical distances that some have to travel to reach the courtroom and the difficulties inherent in making legal proceedings comprehensible to all in a nation of such great linguistic diversity.The media cannot do much to address these factors. They must be addressed by the judiciary itself. This is my first priority as chief justice. Yet there is a barrier that prevents many from coming to court even before they face obstacles like time and cost. I am talking about the lack of knowledge of legal rights and remedies. If a woman doesn’t know her rights, how can she enforce them in court?Our Constitution is a beautiful document. The distinguished American legal scholar Cass Sunstein has hailed it as “the most admirable constitution in the history of the world”. We have remarkably progressive legislation as well, legislation that offers an even broader set of protections than those contained in the Bill of Rights. But without public awareness of these protections, they are of little value.The media helps give effect to the rights that are enshrined in our Constitution and in our legislation by acting as an educator. It empowers the people by making them aware of their rights, so that they can approach the courts for the remedy that they deserve.By explaining the protections contained in the Constitution, by reporting on important cases in which people have vindicated their rights, and by making court proceedings comprehensible to the man and woman on the street, the media plays a vital role in the fight to ensure access to justice for all.Open justice and public confidenceAnother challenge that can only be met with the help of the media is the maintenance of public confidence in the courts. Public confidence is of the highest importance. As US Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter once said, “The court’s authority – possessed of neither the purse nor the sword – ultimately rests on sustained public confidence in its moral sanction.”Courts make decisions which affect the liberty, property and dignity of individuals. While there are, ultimately, forceful means available to give effect to those decisions, force is seldom required. This is so because members of our community accept the authority of the court and voluntarily obey court orders.The inability of the courts to force compliance with their orders is particularly evident when the targets of those orders are the other branches of government.The Constitutional Court has struck down certain legislation and constitutional amendments and required Parliament to amend others, and it has declared the conduct of the president invalid and executive policies inconsistent with the Constitution. The president and Parliament have always complied. Apart from the constitutional requirement, court orders are obeyed because the government and the people have confidence in the integrity of the judicial process.Furthermore, without public confidence in the ability of the courts to dispense justice, there can be no faith in the rule of law. Without faith in the rule of law, valuable relationships of trust within society begin to break down. Citizens can no longer be assured that their rights will be respected. Businesses can no longer be assured that their contracts will be honored. Victims of crime can no longer be assured that justice will be served in court. Public confidence is therefore vital. That is why courts must not only be independent and effective; they must be seen to be independent and effective.Public confidence in the courts is based on perceptions of the justness of judicial decisions, the efficacy of the court system, and the integrity of judges. These perceptions, in turn, are based not only on the actual performance of the judiciary, but also on the accountability and transparency of the justice system. Open justice, and the media’s role in giving it meaning, is critical to both.Transparency is crucial. People cannot be expected to have confidence in a system that they cannot observe. They are rightly suspicious and resentful of decisions taken behind closed doors. As the Constitutional Court pointed out in the context of criminal appeals, were criminal appeals to be heard behind closed doors, faith in the justice system might be lost. No democratic society can risk losing that faith. The same is true for the civil justice system.Transparency also serves as a bulwark against abuse. When proceedings take place in the public eye and in the presence of the media, the likelihood of the abuse of the parties and witnesses is significantly minimised. As the eminent jurist Lord Steyn explained:A … trial is a public event. The principle of open justice puts, as has often been said, the judge and all who participate in the trial under intense scrutiny. The glare of contemporaneous publicity ensures that trials are properly conducted. It is a valuable check on the … process [and] promotes public confidence in the administration of justice. It promotes the value of the rule of law.The principle of open justice provides the starting point for transparency. But judicial transparency doesn’t mean much when most people have neither the time nor inclination to travel to court to watch the judicial process unfold in person. The media therefore has an important role in disseminating judicial proceedings and decisions to the community.Decoding justiceThere is more to transparency, however, than the simple dissemination of information. The fact of the matter is that court procedure and legal doctrine are couched in terminology that can be difficult for the layperson to decipher.In a sense, then, court reporters are translators. They have the unenviable task of making court proceedings and judgments intelligible to the general public. It is not easy, but it is of fundamental importance. After all, people are just as distrustful of that which they cannot understand as they are of that which they are unable to observe.Transparency is closely related to accountability. Courts exist to serve the community. When they work properly, they give effect to the rule of law and encourage the peaceful settlement of disputes. Judges are ultimately responsible for the preservation of law and order in our community. Therefore it is inconsistent with the judicial office to encourage members of the public to disobey the law.The public therefore has a very real and legitimate interest in assessing the extent to which the courts achieve these vital objectives. In particular, they have an interest in assessing whether courts do so without fear, favour or prejudice as our Constitution requires and whether they do so efficiently given the substantial resources that are invested in the judicial system.Democratic justiceThe legislative and executive branches of government are primarily accountable to the people through the mechanism of elections. Judges, of course, are not elected. We cannot be removed from office because someone disagrees with our decisions. Nor can we be punished with reduced salaries or benefits or by banishment to a lonely and remote part of the country. The bedrock principle of judicial independence means that traditional methods of public accountability are unavailable to restrain the judiciary.And there lies the paradox: though courts must be independent to do their job, they must also retain the confidence of the people and thus be accountable to them in some manner. The bottom line, therefore, is that courts must have a mechanism for accounting to the community on the achievement of vital objectives.Open justice provides that mechanism. As the Constitutional Court has pointed out, accessible proceedings and clearly reasoned judgments render judges accountable, thereby fostering judicial excellence.It is the media, by reporting on the courts, by spreading information about important legal developments, by providing commentary on the strengths and weaknesses of legal decisions, and by drawing attention to inordinate delays in rendering decisions, that makes the mechanism of accountability work.Accountability and transparency thus form the basis for public confidence in the judiciary. As I have said, public confidence is essential to the operation of the courts and the promotion of the rule of law. It is no less essential to the preservation of judicial independence.Open justice and judicial independenceAn independent judiciary is vital to any constitutional democracy. Ours is no exception. The judicial role is meaningless without the independence necessary to impartially resolve disputes without any interference or perception of interference from any source, whether it be powerful interest groups or the other branches of government.Earlier, I noted that courts lacked the power to raise money and enforce their rulings on their own. For that reason, the judiciary is particularly vulnerable. Public confidence in the courts, especially as manifested in public support for the principle of judicial independence, is the judiciary’s only weapon.There are two ways that the media protects the judiciary. When relations between the judiciary and the other branches are calm, the media educates the public on the place of the judiciary in the constitutional framework and the importance of the principle of independence. In times of crisis, the media can rouse public support for the judiciary when its independence is threatened.There are indeed many examples of occasions on which the independence of the judiciary has been vindicated by the media, galvanising public opinion so as to prevent perceived government interference with the independence of the judiciary.The relationship between the judiciary and the media is symbiotic. Each protects the independence and freedom of the other. And without a strong, active media, fundamental judicial goals like access to justice and public confidence in the courts would be impossible to achieve.By the same token, without an independent and effective judiciary, the media’s right to access important governmental information might easily be curtailed. A US Supreme Court Justice summed up the relationship well. He said:Both [the media and the judiciary] are indispensable to a free society. The freedom of the press in itself presupposes an independent judiciary through which that freedom may, if necessary, be vindicated. And one of the potent means for assuring judges their independence is a free press.Making open justice workAs I have already said, access to justice and public confidence in the judiciary are fundamental to the successful operation of our judicial system. So too is judicial independence. The media is crucial to all three.At the Constitutional Court, we endeavor to facilitate the media’s role in the open justice process in several ways. All documents, including written arguments, are placed on our website, subject to the constraints of confidentiality and state security. They are therefore easily accessible to the media.The Constitutional Court prepares pre-hearing media summaries that, in lay language, inform the public of the nature of the case to be heard and the arguments to be presented by the parties. Post-hearing media summaries that explain the findings and conclusions of the judges are issued concurrently with our judgments. Cameras are allowed in court to record proceedings, subject to certain conditions.All of our courts allow print media to take notes, but not electronic media, except perhaps in motion proceedings. I am aware of the fact that the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal are particularly in a different position in that they hear argument and not the testimony of witnesses as trial courts do. The recording of evidence is still a rare occurrence except in high-profile cases. The extent to which the evidence may be recorded is invariably influenced by other considerations such as the rights of the parties to privacy and dignity.The judiciary has committed itself to establishing principles of accountability and openness. In developing these principles, we must keep in mind the great importance of the media in giving them effect. I am conscious of the practical limit upon which we in the judiciary can expect the media to cover the courts, given the constraints of time and space and the vast universe of stories that demand comment.Yet I am confident that the media will continue to do admirable work in giving meaning to the principle of open justice, and I am hopeful that, with increased help and cooperation from the judiciary, even more can be done in the future.The need for responsible reportingThere are many similarities between the judiciary and the media. Much like reporters, judges spend long and sometimes tedious hours sifting through facts, trying to make sense of the matter before them.Like members of the media, judges need to be independent and impartial to do their job effectively. In both cases, this is because in order to wield power, both the media and the judiciary must first gain the trust of the public.The power that both wield is great and irrevocable. The judiciary says what the law is. Where the Constitution is involved, the buck stops with me and my fellow justices at the Constitutional Court.It is our job, which we undertake with the utmost gravity, to interpret the meaning of the Constitution. No one else has that authority. It is for this reason that humility is a cardinal virtue in judges. The great breadth of judicial power must always be matched by the real depth of judicial responsibility.The media possess a similarly irrevocable power, particularly in a society where the freedom of the press is respected. Once a word is written or a news report televised, it can never be taken back. And as long as the courts play their role, media outlets can never be forced to alter their editorial standpoint or pressured into covering up the misdeeds of those with authority.Even on those rare occasions when the media oversteps the permissible bounds of reporting and must retract a questionable report, it is generally too late. The damage will often have been done, and it is likely that many who read or heard the original story will miss the retraction.The great and irrevocable power of the media in a democratic society should not be underestimated. With this power comes responsibility. Those who work in the media must remain cognizant that the nature of their power is magnified by their central role in the democratic society. Just as the judiciary must exercise its function with humility, so too must the media.Reporting on the courts is difficult. Most media outlets must turn a profit to survive. It is for this reason that legal reporting all too often focuses on the vivid dramas of crime and punishment that capture the imagination of the country. Unfortunately, many legal issues of much greater impact are not quite as exciting.The media must guard against misleading and inaccurate reporting. It can have serious consequences. Legal nuances, though difficult to understand, may have vastly different implications.Fortunately, this is a problem that is more easily addressed than that of inadequate coverage. Judges must do a better job of publicising the basis and meaning of their judgments. As an institution, the judiciary can work to increase the familiarity of reporters with the judicial system. Providing educational seminars on legal matters for reporters is an idea that deserves consideration.Without a doubt the most critical challenge in the relationship between the media and the judiciary is the risk or perception that the media, perhaps at the behest of interested factions, at times impinges on the independence of the judiciary through the vilification or intimidation of judges.Sometimes, the judiciary and individual judges deserve the critical reporting that they receive. Sometimes, however, judges are subjected to smears that are thinly sourced and without merit. This distracts from responsible reporting.In this country, as in others, the judiciary is a contested institution. It is also a vulnerable institution, particularly because the delicate nature of judicial deliberation and the requirement of impartiality limit the extent to which judges may issue public comments in response to the media. Given the judiciary’s vital role in protecting the media and in the realisation of our constitutional enterprise, those in the media must take special care that their reporting is accurate.Pillars of democracyThe media and the judiciary are two of the most vital pillars supporting our constitutional democracy. The two institutions are inextricably connected. They depend on each other. Indeed, without the other, each would be unable to perform its crucial function in our constitutional democracy.The media needs the protection of an independent judiciary. The media also benefits from the principle of access to information that is enshrined in the Constitution and given life by the rulings of the courts. Without a strong and vigilant judiciary, dark curtains might quickly be drawn over crucial sources of information, and the media’s ability to report freely would be subjected to the whim of the moment.We in the judiciary, on the other hand, need the media to report and explain our judgments. We need the media to keep South Africans informed of their constitutional rights and the processes by which they can vindicate them.We need the media to help the public to hold us accountable for our judgments and jurisprudence and for the operation of the courts. We also need the media to inform the public about our work, so that they can have confidence in their judicial system. But importantly, we in the judiciary need the media to treat us with respect, and through responsible and honest reporting, to offer us the protection and support necessary to safeguard our independence.I have spoken previously of a constitutional dialogue between the branches of government. I believe there should also be a dialogue between the judiciary and the media. Like all dialogues, there will be joyous moments and breakthroughs of understanding. At other times, the dialogue will be fraught with tension.This is how it should be, and must be. What is essential, however, is that both sides respect each other, and that frank dialogue never devolves into acrimonious dispute. The fate of our young constitutional democracy might well depend on it.This is an edited version of a speech by South African Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo to the South African National Editors’ Forum in Cape Town on Saturday 13 February 2010.Download the full speech (PDF, 70 KB)last_img read more

Bonkers, the Pygmy goat

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Every set of Pygmy goat kids born at my place has one silly member. This year was no exception.In mid-March, a wether was born that immediately caught my attention with his fun antics. If he isn’t chewing on my jacket or jumping on a toy in the goat pen, he is knocking his brothers and sisters off my lap so he can take a seat. He is so much fun.This particular wether is destined to go to a 4-H home when he is weaned, and I generally let my customers pick the names of their goats. This particular kid wether is going to be a 4-H project for a young lady. She is very excited about her goat project, and I am excited for her because I know a kid this tame and silly will provide much fun and entertainment for his owner’s family.The family that is buying this little boy was nervous about picking a name for him. They were afraid that since he will be shown he might need a regal or special name. I assured them that goat names are usually not read out loud at Pygmy goat shows and even if they are, any name the 4-Her chose would be fine.A few days later, the family of the 4-Her sent me a name for this silly wether. They are naming him Bonkers. I can’t think of a more perfect name for such an affectionate silly little guy. Sometimes being a little bonkers is all it takes to make a 4-Her’s day and that is my hope for his future life.last_img read more