SAN FRANCISCO — Catching two games in one night is enough to receive a hero’s welcome in the clubhouse.But the Giants didn’t have to wait until he left the field to mob Erik Kratz on Friday.In the bottom of the 18th-inning, Kratz hit a dribbler to the right side of the infield to score Brandon Belt from third base and send the Giants home as 3-2 walk-off winners over the Rockies. The five-hour, 35-minute, 18-inning marathon matched the longest game in Oracle Park history and marked the …
South 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 email@example.comThe 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)
Related Posts Tags:#Lists#web dana oshiro Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… A few years ago the Unofficial Dreamhost Blog circulated a list of the worst domain names. Domains like therapistfinder.com (Therapist Finder) and molestationnursery.com (Mole Station Nursery) seemed to top the list as the worst of the worst, while penisland.net (Pen Island) had members flocking to the site to see what all the fuss was about. We cannot stress enough how important it is to choose a good name when you’ve found it. Below is an updated list of great companies with bizarre names or domains. Consider this a cautionary tale. 1. Doostang.com: Founded in 2005 by Harvard, Stanford and MIT students, Doostang helps young professionals accelerate their careers. In this case, acceleration actually sounds like a bad thing; nevertheless, it’s nothing that can’t be prevented by a little Pepto Bismol. 2. Twubs.com: Twubs is the hash tag-based aggregator that helps event planners broadcast a live conference stream and organize event-related social media. Surprisingly this event assistant runs faster than he looks. 3. fTags.com: This site provides real time twitter streams on niche topics and aggregates them to one place. Unfortunately an ftag sounds a lot like a “tramp stamp”, so if it were up to us we’d be aggregating your tweets to a tattoo elegantly etched above your buttocks. 4. BLEWS: We last mentioned Microsoft’s BLEWS in an article on media bias deconstruction. The name is a portmanteau of blogosphere and news. For a brilliant project built on the principles of natural language processing, the name doesn’t just blow in the present tense, it blew and continues to do so with grammatical errors. 5. Putacart.com: This site is best known as the shopping cart widget that goes anywhere. Something tells us Spanish language users might not want to go there without a condom. If you’ve got more nominations for bizarre names, add them to the comments below. Photo credits: Dennis Mojado, Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
During the recent webinar entitled Opening Doors with Families Using the Routines-Based Interview, many of our Early Intervention providers, expressed concern about the amount of time it takes to complete the RBI. You also voiced concern over how a family may feel during the process and how you feel about the RBI process. The MFLN FDEI team asked a former service coordinator, a parent, and a RBI trainer for their thoughts on these issues. Here is what they had to say. Point of View of a Service Coordinator:“What do you mean the interview should take at least an hour? At least an hour? What?!?!? Do you know how many other things I have to get done during an intake? Medical history, developmental history, Ages & Stages assessment, receipt of rights, consents, insurance, etc. Parents are not going to want me in their house long enough to complete all of that! Besides, why in the world do I need to know every detail about every aspect of the family’s day?”Do any of these questions (ok, exasperations) sound familiar? I will be the first to admit that I was more than a little skeptical when my state first introduced the Routines Based Interview (RBI) as a required component of the intake process. It seemed like an intrusion that most families just would not like. As a service coordinator, it was my job to help families understand the early intervention system all the while doing my best to relieve any fears or concerns they might have regarding the evaluation process. It was a job I took very seriously.Looking back at my initial reaction to the RBI, I think most of my resistance stemmed from a belief that I was already collecting very similar information regarding the family’s concerns as well as their daily routines. I did not see the point of using a formal tool to gather information that could be obtained in other, less structured ways. What I learned from the RBI process, however, was how helpful it was in helping me identify specific times of the day where interventions could be naturally embedded. It provided a more holistic picture of the family and how to write IFSP outcomes that were individualized, rather than identical to those of 10 other families on my caseload.Point of View of a Parent (who is also a future EI provider):I remember going into the EI program with some anxiety. I did not know what to expect. I had never heard of EI until my son’s pediatrician mentioned it at his 2 yr. old check-up. So when the service coordinator contacted me for a time to meet, I agreed to a time but was apprehensive about having someone I didn’t know come into my home to ask me questions about my family. What was she going to think? Was she going to judge us based on how our home looked or what we wore? I made sure the house was super clean and I was looked presentable, just in case.When the service coordinator came to the door, she was very friendly right from the start and throughout the initial meeting. As we talked at our dining table, she explained the process to reassure me about the paperwork and the documentation she was taking. I do not recall going through the RBI process but rather it just seemed like a natural conversation. I remember the service coordinator asking about my son’s delivery, our medical history, and any diagnoses on either my or my husband’s side of the family. I only faintly recall her asking me to talk through a typical day for us. She asked if there were any struggles we had during the day and I don’t think I had any concerns with that. If she did do the RBI, it may have lasted 10 minutes or so but not an hour.To be honest, as a parent, I cannot imagine how well a full RBI would have gone at that point. Having already answered a bunch of questions that I had to really think about to ensure accuracy, to then have to think about every detail of a “typical day” for our family? Yikes! Talk about exhausting!Now that I am looking at the RBI from a future provider’s perspective, I can see that it is a good thing to ask families about their routines. This allows the provider the opportunity to get to know the family better and to find out their priorities in terms of improvements they want to see for their child and for their family. I do think that trying to schedule the RBI at another time could be helpful so that the Service Coordinator and the family are not doing the intake and the RBI during one session, possibly lasting much longer than either of them desire. On the other hand, I know it can be hard to schedule times to meet and that it might be easier to do everything at one time. It is hard to know what the best solution is, but this is definitely something to always be mindful of when meeting new families.Point of View of a Routines-Based Interview Trainer and Coach:A written transcript of this video can be found here.This post was edited by Robyn DiPietro-Wells & Michaelene Ostrosky, PhD, members of the MFLN FD Early Intervention team, which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and YouTube.
Lewis Hamilton extended his lead over tital rival Sebastian Vettel to 40 points with his victory in the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday.Hamilton, who started from pole, beat Max Verstappen of Red Bull and Ferrari star Vettel for his seventh victory of the season.The Mercedes driver made a clean start and was largely untroubled.”Great job everyone, what a weekend… keep pushing, keep pushing, we’ve got this,” Hamilton told his team over the radio soon after crossing the line.pic.twitter.com/a96PDzeQqWMercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) September 16, 2018Hamilton registered his 69th career victory and it was built on the foundations of a stunning qualifying lap on Saturday, when he stormed to pole in a car deemed inferior to the Ferraris and Red Bulls on this circuit.For Vettel and Ferrari it was another disappointing weekend after the car showed plenty of pace through all three practice sessions, the German’s cause not helped by a questionable strategy and a poor pitstop.”It feels significant because we’ve finally understood the car in Singapore. We won the race on merit. But there are six races left so we mustn’t take the foot off the throttle. It’s motor racing – anything can happen”- Toto Wolff, #F1 #SingaporeGPMercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) September 16, 2018Hamilton won this race from the third row a year ago when Vettel, Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen collided on the opening lap but there was no repeat of such drama this time after the drivers got off to a clean start at the head of the field.advertisementThere has, however, been a safety car period in all 10 races in Singapore since it joined Formula One in 2008 and it was deployed on the opening lap after Sergio Perez pushed his Force India team mate Esteban Ocon into a wall after Turn Three.”Sorry guys there was no room,” Perez told his team over the radio.Vettel got past Verstappen before the safety car emerged and slotted in behind Hamilton, but his race unravelled when the German pitted first on the 14th lap but got stuck in traffic and overtaken by the Dutchman when he made his stop for fresh tyres.HAMILTON: “What a race… I’m spent! I was unlucky with the traffic, my heart was in my mouth for a minute… but I managed to get the pedal down” #SingaporeGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/Rorq1TnUAUFormula 1 (@F1) September 16, 2018Hamilton was cruising up front but suffered a mini-crisis on the 38th lap when he got stuck in a queue of tail-enders, which allowed Verstappen to get right up behind him.The Dutchman had a look up the inside as Hamilton struggled to pass the back markers but the Briton just stayed ahead and was able to pull clear all the way to the chequered flag once he had a clear track ahead of him.Hamilton’s team mate Valtteri Bottas held off a prolonged late challenge from Raikkonen in the other Ferrari to claim fourth place, the pair finishing just ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who was closing in on them in the final laps.McLaren’s Fernando Alonso came home in seventh, with Renault’s Carlos Sainz and Nico Hulkenberg claiming eighth and 10th respectively, either side of Sauber’s Charles Leclerc.(With inputs from Reuters)
Wolves captain Coady: Strange playing against Liverpoolby Paul Vegas11 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveWolves captain Conor Coady admits it still feels strange playing against Liverpool.The centre-back spent 15 years at Anfield before joining Huddersfield Town in 2015.”It’s a weird feeling, when I play against them I want to win more than ever. I don’t know why that is. I just do,” said Coady.Asked about the Reds’ chances this season, Coady added: “I know it’s early doors, but I think with Liverpool this year they don’t seem to be panicking.”People are talking about them conceding and not keeping clean sheets but when they do they think it’s okay cause we can score another. City seemed like that last year.”With Liverpool, they missed out on the Champions League the year before and then they kick on again because the manager is that good.”I don’t want to speak too soon but they look to be going [up] again which is so good to see for them.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Bat Tricks GirlSoftball, as we all know, is a game of statistics. Here’s an impressive number for you. The below Vine, posted one day ago, has nearly 8 million loops. Why? Because it features an incredible softball bat trick.The girl’s name is Marisa Arriaga, and she hails from Cedar Hill, Texas. She posted the original video back in June, but it’s gone viral the past 24 hours. In the clip, she lifts a bat off of the ground with her foot, bounces it behind her back, kicks the ball off of the tee, juggles it, and then crushes it into the woods. It’s awesome.Bat tricks? pic.twitter.com/M2JqHXR08l— marisa (@marisa_arriaga) June 24, 2015Yeah, I can’t do that. Impressive, to say the least.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – A pipeline company was convicted of nine criminal charges Friday for causing the worst California coastal spill in 25 years, a disaster that blackened popular beaches for miles, killed wildlife and hurt tourism and fishing.A Santa Barbara County jury found Houston-based Plains All American Pipeline guilty of a felony count of failing to properly maintain its pipeline and eight misdemeanour charges, including killing marine mammals and protected sea birds.California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement that Plains’ actions were not only reckless and irresponsible but also criminal.“Today’s verdict should send a message: if you endanger our environment and wildlife, we will hold you accountable,” he said.Plains said in a statement that the jury didn’t find any knowing misconduct by the company and “accepts full responsibility for the impact of the accident.”“We are committed to doing the right thing,” the company said.The company said its operation of the pipeline met or exceeded legal and industry standards, and believes the jury erred in its verdict on one count where California law allowed a conviction under a standard of negligence.“We intend to fully evaluate and consider all of our legal options with respect to the trial and resulting jury decision,” Plains said.The company is set to be sentenced on Dec. 13. Because it’s a company, and not a person, Plains only faces fines, though it’s unclear how steep the penalties could be.Plains had faced a total of 15 charges for the rupture of a corroded pipeline that sent at least 123,000 gallons (465,000 litres) of crude oil gushing onto Refugio State Beach in Santa Barbara County, northwest of Los Angeles.Plains pleaded not guilty to the charges and accused prosecutors of criminalizing an unfortunate accident.But federal inspectors found that Plains had made several preventable errors, failed to quickly detect the pipeline rupture and responded too slowly as oil flowed toward the ocean.Plains operators working from a Texas control room more than 1,000 miles (1,609 kilometres) away had turned off an alarm that would have signalled a leak and, unaware a spill had occurred, restarted the hemorrhaging line after it had shut down, which only made matters worse, inspectors found.The spill, two weeks shy of Memorial Day, closed beaches with popular campgrounds for two months and put a crimp in the local tourist economy and fishing industry.It also crippled the local oil business because the pipeline was used to transport crude to refineries from seven offshore rigs, including three owned by Exxon Mobil, that have been idle since the spill.Last year, Denver-based Venoco, declared bankruptcy, in part because it wasn’t able to operate its platform. The state is now responsible for plugging and decommissioning Veneco’s wells at an estimated cost of $58 million. That doesn’t include the eventual cost to remove the enormous structure.Plains apologized for the spill and paid for the cleanup. The company’s 2017 annual report estimated costs from the spill at $335 million, not including lost revenues.It is seeking approval to repair or rebuild its corroded pipelines.The company still faces possible fines from the U.S. government and also faces a federal class-action lawsuit by owners of beachfront properties, fishing boat operators, the petroleum industry and oil workers who lost jobs because of the spill.The pipeline that spilled has been shuttered but Plains has applied to build a new one in the same location.Kristen Monsell, oceans legal director with the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement that Plains can’t be given “a second chance to spill again.”“It’s time to get dirty, dangerous drilling out of our oceans, out of our coastal areas and out of our state,” she said.___Associated Press writer Brian Melley contributed to this report.
New Delhi: The Finance Ministry is in the process of shortlisting profit making subsidiaries of CPSEs having a minimum stipulated net-worth, which can be listed on the stock exchanges, an official said. Currently, profit making CPSEs with a minimum net-worth of Rs 500 crore are listed on the exchanges. The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) will be consulting administrative ministries and central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) before finalising the names of the subsidiaries for the stock exchange debut. “We are drafting a list of subsidiaries of CPSEs which can go in for listing through initial public offer. The net-worth threshold for such listing too would be decided after deliberation,” an official said. In 2017-18, there were 257 operational CPSEs, of which 184 were profit making. Most of the profit-making subsidiaries of CPSEs are in coal, power and oil and gas sector. The official said, CPSE arms having a track record of making profit for at least three years are likely to be picked up for listing. The DIPAM, the official said, is preparing the pipeline of state-owned companies which can be listed on the stock exchanges in the current financial year or subsequent fiscals. The pipeline is necessary as the government holding in most of the bluechip CPSEs is close to 51 per cent. Though the listing of CPSE subsidiaries will not fetch any money to the government directly but it will get money in the form of dividend from the parent company. In 2016, the DIPAM came out with capital restructuring guidelines for CPSEs, which mandates that they must pay a minimum annual dividend of 30 per cent of profit after tax or 5 per cent of the net worth, whichever is higher.
Then-junior setter Christy Blough (5) sets the ball during a match against Ball State on Feb. 6, 2016.Credit: Courtesy of OSU AthleticsThe momentum kept rolling Friday night as the No. 1 Ohio State men’s volleyball team added another win to its current 29-game streak, this time at Saint Francis University. The Buckeyes won in straight sets 25-23, 25-18, 25-18.The win puts OSU at 6-0 on the season while Saint Francis falls to an even 3-3. The game marks the 30th win for the Buckeyes over the Red Flash in the teams’ 31-game history.OSU has now won 87 of the last 105 sets with a sweep over Saint Francis. The Buckeyes are within striking distance of matching the school record 32-game win streak that was set during OSU’s 24-0 run to end the 1969 season and the first eight games of the 1970 season.Senior opposite Miles Johnson led the Buckeyes in kills with 11, while junior outside hitter Maxime Hervoir had eight kills on 12 errorless attempts, notching a .667 hitting percentage.Senior opposite Jeff Hogan was the Red Flash’s team leader in kills with 13, but had 6 attacking on the night. Redshirt junior outside hitter Stephen Braswell followed Hogan in kills with seven of his own.Neith team in the first set accumulated much of a lead with a total of 15 ties. Eventually, OSU pulled away with kills from redshirt sophomore middle blocker Blake Lesson and junior outside hitter Nicolas Szerszen, as well as a combined block by Hervoir and Lesson, to seal the deal for the Buckeyes to win 25-23.The Buckeyes thoroughly dominated the second set with a couple timely runs. Five straight points put OSU up 10-5, then a six-point run built the lead to 24-15. Lesson’s kill closed the set at 25-18.After a seven-all start, OSU went on another six-point streak in the third set. The Buckeyes were nearly perfect in their attacking with only one hitting error, swinging at .560 percent. OSU’s offensive efforts were complimented by senior libero Gabriel Domecus’ match high six digs to help the Buckeyes win 25-18.Ohio State plays again Tuesday night in St. John Arena in a Big Ten clash against No. 15 Penn State at 7 p.m.