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Local Elections 2019: Brogan to top the poll in Letterkenny

first_imgFianna Fail’s Ciaran Brogan is set to top the poll in Letterkenny.The well-known businessman is out in front with almost all the boxes in the Letterkenny area opened and tallied at this stage.He is followed by Donal Coyle, Jimmy Kavanagh and Michael McBride who should also take seats on the council. The real surprise in this area is Sinn Fein’s Gerry McMonagle who could be in a dogfight for one of the last two seats.The former Mayor fo Donegal was expected to take one of the first three seats.He could well end up in a fight with his fellow Sinn Fein man Aidy Glackin for a seat.Kevin Bradley has done really well and could also take a seat as could Bernie Moran and Manus Kelly. Other candidates including Cathal McGlynn, Mary T Sweeney and Finn O’Donnell are out of the running at this stage.Local Elections 2019: Brogan to top the poll in Letterkenny was last modified: May 25th, 2019 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)last_img read more

SA-set sci-fi satire huge hit in US

first_imgThe poster for District 9 Neill Blomkamp, District 9’s South African-born writer and director, speaks to fans about his movie at the recent Comic-Con convention in San Diego. (Image: Natasha Baucas, Wikipedia) USEFUL LINKS • District 9 official site • District 9 on the Internet Movie Database • QED International• Gauteng Film Commission RELATED ARTICLES • Top honours for SA movie • Movie draws public – and pirates • Bang Bang club lives on in film • New boost for Nollywood • 2010 opportunities for SA film • Hollywood studio for Cape Town • Rebate boost for SA film • Cape Town: Africa’s HollywoodSamson MulugetaA film shot on location in Johannesburg and directed by a young South African-born computer graphics whiz has taken the US box office by storm, earning the number-one spot and raking in US$37-million (R302-million) during its opening weekend on 14 August 2009.Directed by 29-year-old South Africa-born Neill Blomkamp, District 9 satirises the absurdities of apartheid in a science fiction account of extraterrestrials who become refugees in South Africa.Part of District 9’s success in the US can be attributed to a quirky and viral marketing campaign, which used billboards at bus stations to encourage people to call a toll-free number if they spotted “non-human activity”.What makes the film all the more remarkable is that it cost only $30-million (R245-million) to make, a small sum by Hollywood standards if one considers it took $250-million (R2-billion) to bring latest Harry Potter instalment to life.Obscure beginningsBlomkamp grew up in Johannesburg, moving with his family to Vancouver, Canada, when he was 17.Blomkamp dabbled in filmmaking while still at school in South Africa and later went on to specialise in animation and computer graphic design.District 9 began as a six-minute film clip, called Alive in Joburg, which Blomkamp wrote and directed in 2005 as a sample of his work.The fledgling director’s big break came when Peter Jackson, a New Zealand filmmaker, producer and screenwriter best known for The Lord of the Rings trilogy, approached him to direct Halo, a film based on a computer game.Although Halo never took off due to a profit-sharing dispute, it inadvertently led to bigger things, as an executive at Universal Studios who was overseeing the Halo project came across Blomkamp’s six-minute clip and showed it to Jackson.Jackson was impressed by Blomkamp’s work and asked him to turn Alive in Joburg into a feature-length movie. And thus District 9 was born.The involvement of Jackson gave Blomkamp instant credibility. In Blomkamp, Jackson saw a young man creating work based on his life experiences.“He saw South African society – both the good and bad of the society there – and he wanted to put a science fiction spin on what he witnessed growing up because he’s a science fiction geek,” Jackson told the Los Angeles Times at the recent Comic-Con convention in San Diego. “District 9 is not reflective of any movie that I can imagine. It’s really very original, which I love about it, and that’s totally Neill.”Science fiction satireDistrict 9 kicks off in the year 2010, 28 years after an alien spaceship arrives in Johannesburg. The craft hovers above the city without any contact, but eventually humans take the initiative and cut into the ship. There they discover a large group of malnourished and sick aliens and bring them back to earth. The newcomers are confined to an area called District 9 – a slum-like compound surrounded by barbed wire with no running water or sanitation.A documentary style with hand-held cameras and computer-generated images is used to create a fast-paced narrative.With its strong anti-segregation message and partly filmed in South Africa’s largest township of Soweto, the film is clearly a satire of apartheid. One District 9 website carries a Google Earth-like view of the district – using a satellite image of Soweto.The title District 9 plays on Cape Town’s District Six, best known for the apartheid government’s forced removal of over 60 000 coloured residents during the 1970s. The community was relocated to the Cape Flats 25km away.Although several parallels can be drawn to the apartheid era, Blomkamp says he tried hard not make the film a heavy “message movie”. He says he wrote the word “satire” in large block letters on a piece of paper and posted it in his office to remind that his first priority was to entertain audiences.It may seem incredible that Blomkamp successfully directed a Hollywood blockbuster before his 30th birthday, but he says he’s been working towards this moment all his life.“When I was 14 or 15 I got into 3D animation on the computer my parents bought me,” Blomkamp told the Los Angeles Times.“I was toying with practical effects – prosthetics, in-camera effects, models and photography. I knew I wanted to be involved in all that.”“I realised I could take all the ideas I had and have them make fun of themselves,” Blomkamp added. “At the same time, I could address all of the stuff I wanted to get in there.”Critical acclaimThe movie has opened to rave reviews, including one from New York Times critic AO Scott.“The South African setting hones the allegory of District 9 to a sharp topical point,” Scott said.“The country’s history of apartheid and its continuing social problems are never mentioned, but they hardly need to be. And the film’s implications extend far beyond the boundaries of a particular nation, which is taken as more or less representative of the planet as a whole.”Colin Covert of the Minneapolis Star Tribune described the film as “an electrifying sci-fi ride that defies all the usual Hollywood clichés. It’s that rarest kind of film, magnificent trash.”Gwen Watkins, a media blogger for Bizcommunity.com, was also impressed by the movie, but for different reasons.“Last week’s media preview of District 9, the new South African sci-fi film, left most of us quite shattered,” Watkins wrote. “The film is deservedly gaining credit internationally but in South Africa it may well be greeted with uncomfortable reactions – the film unashamedly draws on our past and current view of species different to our perception of what is human and how we treat them.”South Africans starring in District 9 include Sharlto Copley, Blomkamp’s childhood friend and frequent collaborator.In the movie Copley plays the role of Wikus van der Merwe, the bureaucratic official from Multi-National United, the giant corporation charged with relocating the aliens.Other locals who star in the film are Vanessa Haywood, Kenneth Nkosi, Mandla Gaduka, Eugene Khumbanyiwa, Jason Cope, David James, Louis Minnaar and Sylvaine Strike.Michael Murphy of Kalahari Pictures, based in Cape Town, was the film’s supervising producer.Blomkamp is currently visiting South Africa to promote the film. It opens in local cinemas on August 28 2009.last_img read more

Bow tie wearing teacher tackles education inequalities

first_imgFounder of “Bow Tie Challenge”, Chris Megaffin              Play Your Part programme is Brand South Africa’s nationwide programme that encourages active citizenship and looks to impact the country positively in order to fulfil the bigger picture of building a positive Nation Brand.Active citizenship means people get involved in their local communities and democracy at all levels, from towns and cities to nationwide projects and dedicating their own time/resources / talents to contribute to their local communities.There are numerous opportunities, big and small, for each and every individual to make a positive difference in the communities in which they live and operate.Founder of “Bow Tie Challenge”, Chris Megaffin, is a teacher who is originally from Toronto, Canada.  He is a fashion activist who is on a mission to fight for social justice and he is using bow ties to achieve this.Earlier this year the Bow Tie Challenge was launched.  The Bowtie Challenge is a fund-raising initiative that was born as a result of his passion for teaching, interest in fashion and desire to make a difference in his local community.  Chris pledged to wear a different bow tie every day for 365 days a year starting January 1st, 2018.“As an international teacher, I have come across educational inequalities in every country where I have taught and I have always wondered what I could do to make difference in the lives of these children”.South Africa has some of the highest levels of socio-economic inequality in the world, and this is nowhere more apparent than in the educational system across South Africa.  Statistics South Africa also show that children from disadvantaged backgrounds spend an average of 3 years less time in school than their privileged counterparts.Also, fewer of these children are put into early childhood development programmes – which we know to be fundamental to a child’s education and development.  The situation feeds youth unemployment, and contributes to general instability in the country, as millions of South Africans cannot afford to buy food or access healthcare, decent sanitation and other essentials of a dignified life.Chris is using the campaign to raise awareness about the importance of education and to raise funds for Afrika Tikkun. Afrika Tikkun is a non-profit organization with a mission to provide children from underprivileged communities in South Africa with high-quality education and development from cradle to career.Ensuring quality education is a national priority. The National Development Plan describes education as a key lever to improving the quality of life in a society. Education improves the overall skills and abilities of the workforce, leading to greater productivity which contributes to economic growth.Chris is collaborating with some of South Africa’s up and coming designers who will help design the bow ties.  He says this is to help support local businesses and give the designers exposure. Meet local designer ShwezuShwezu have designed a bow tie especially for the campaign in the colours of the South African flag.“When approached with the opportunity to design and produce a range of bow ties for this initiative, we didn’t hesitate for a second. Not only is it fun, colourful, creative and inspiring but it also resonates with Shwezu.co.za‘s ultimate aim – to contribute to the growth and prosperity of our nation. For this reason, we only use local materials and producers to create our unique Shwezu Shweshwe bow ties and other products. We strongly believe that by acquiring new skills (e.g. fashion design and sewing) through a good education, the youth of South Africa have the ability to unlock countless opportunities to grow and thrive.”Shwezu is an online store for South African inspired fashion, shoes, bags, accessories and gifts all tied together by one common denominator, Shweshwe – the iconically South African fabric.How to get involvedDonate to The Bow Tie Challenge via http://thetravelingeducator.com/2017/09/the-bowtie-challengeShare the Challenge on social media to raise awareness about the inequalities of education in South AfricaJoin the challenge, upload a photo of yourself wearing a bow tie to any social media platform #bowtiechallengeFacebook – https://www.facebook.com/thebowtiechallenge/?ref=bookmarksTwitter – https://twitter.com/bowtiechallengeInstagram – https://www.instagram.com/the.bow.tie.challenge/last_img read more

Tree Authority defers Aarey cutting, seeks rehab details

first_imgThe Tree Authority (TA) on Wednesday deferred the proposal to remove 2,702 trees for the Metro car shed in Aarey Colony. The authority has asked for details related to the rehabilitation of tribals, as well as litigation on the issue. The Shiv Sena and Congress are still vociferously opposed to the proposal.Work on the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro line is under way, but the proposal to build a car shed inside Aarey Colony — especially the removal of trees — has met with stiff resistance from the very beginning. The protesters have been supported by Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray and Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar in the past.When the proposal was tabled before the Tree Authority earlier this month, members demanded a site visit, which took place on Tuesday. On both occasions, the Shiv Sena expressed its opposition to the car shed.Following the visit, the proposal was placed before the Tree Authority on Wednesday, but was sent back to the administration with queries. The administration will now have to table it with all the information demanded. Shiv Sena leader Yashwant Jadhav said, “There were alternatives of two other plots for the car shed. Why does Metro insist on Aarey Colony? We have received around 80,000 objections to the proposal. What are we going to do about those? Also, what about the rehabilitation of tribals in 27 hamlets? We want these answers.” The Shiv Sena has also demanded to know the status of two court cases in the matter.“In the 27 acres, trees have been cut on five acres without permission. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation should file a first information report against Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited,” said Ravi Raja, leader of the Opposition.Congress leader Milind Deora also tweeted, “The proposal from MMRCL to cut 2,703 trees at Aarey Colony for construction of Metro car shed was discussed in the BMC’s Tree Authority today. I informed Leader of Opposition @ravirajaINC that @INCIndia must oppose this proposal. Mumbai’s environment comes first!”last_img read more

‘Mrs. CM’ again courts controversy: Amruta Fadnavis calls PM ‘Father of our Country’

first_imgChief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s wife, Amruta, was trolled on social media after addressing Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the ‘father of the country’ while wishing him on his 69th birthday on Monday. Ms. Fadnavis’s comparison of the Prime Minister with the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi did not go down well with Twitterati. “Wishing the Father of our Country @narendramodi ji a very Happy Birthday — who inspires us to work relentlessly towards the betterment of society (sic),” she tweeted, and social media was quick to remind her who the Father of the Nation was.Last year, Ms. Fadnavis had courted controversy by climbing on the edge of India’s first domestic cruise Angria to take a selfie. She was filmed being cautioned by security personnel, after she crossed the Mumbai-Goa ship’s safety range.Ms. Fadnavis profiles herself on Twitter as ‘Banker, Playback Singer, Social Worker, Homemaker.’ The Opposition took the opportunity to hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), saying the tweet was indicative of Mr. Modi’s ultimate intention of replacing Mahatma Gandhi as the Father of the Nation. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the ultimate aim of replacing Gandhiji as Father of the Nation. He even had his picture replace that of Gandhiji on the annual calendar of Khadi institutions. Ms. Fadnavis’s tweet is an indication of this evil ambition, which the people of this country will not accept,” said the Nationalist Congress Party’s Mumbai chief, Nawab Malik.last_img read more

Supreme Court denies e-auction of IPL media rights

first_imgThe Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain the plea filed by senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy seeking e-auction of media rights of the Indian Premier League (IPL).A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra and also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and A. M. Khanwilkar, refused to entertain the plea filed by Swamy in the case.The 11th edition of the IPL is scheduled to start in April next year.Swamy, however, said he wanted to file an Interim Application (IE) highlighting alleged collusion and conflict of interest on behalf of a BCCI functionary who also runs a news channel. This plea was allowed by the top court.”Today SC allowed me to file an IA to seek directions in the IPL auction’s conflict of interest of Rajiv Shukla as IPL chairman & Star TV bid,” he tweeted.The Supreme Court had earlier asked BCCI COA chief Vinod Rai to file an affidavit specifying how the ongoing tender process was better than the e-auction.The apex court had on July 28 sought the response of the BCCI on Swamy’s plea that e-auction of the media rights should be done to ensure transparency as the rights are to be given for the next five years.Rai had previously backed the idea of inviting closed bids. On July 11, Swamy moved to the apex court, seeking e-auction of media rights for the matches of the lucrative T20 league.A total of 24 companies have expressed interest in bidding for the IPL media rights.advertisementSubmission of the Invitation to Tender (ITT) is set on September 4.Brands such as Discovery, Airtel, BAM Tech, Yupp TV, DAZN/Perform Group, Yahoo, Star India, ISPN, Amazon and Reliance Jio are among the companies who will be contending for the television and digital rights of IPL.At present, Sony Pictures Network India (SPNI) is holding the rights of the IPL. However, their deal is going to an end after the event’s next edition.In 2008, the Singapore-based World Sports Group bagged the IPL television rights for a 10-year period with a USD 918 million bid.It simultaneously signed a deal with Multi Screen Media Pvt. Ltd. (MSM) that Sony would be the official broadcaster. The contract was recast before IPL 2009, with MSM agreeing to pay USD1.63 billion for nine years.last_img read more

G E Shipping to Add Secondhand VLGC

first_imgzoomIllustration; Image Courtesy: G E Shipping India-based Great Eastern Shipping (G E Shipping) has reached an agreement for the purchase of a secondhand very large gas carrier (VLGC), built in 2007.Featuring 81,617 cbm, the unit is scheduled to join the company’s fleet in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019.G E Shipping did not unveil the financial details of the purchase deal, nor the name of the seller.In late February, the company revealed that it decided to expand its fleet with a secondhand medium gas carrier. The agreement for the 36,567 cbm ship was signed with an undisclosed seller.As informed, the 1996-built vessel is expected to join G E Shipping’s fleet in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019.G E Shipping’s fleet currently stands at 47 vessels, comprising 32 tankers and 15 dry bulk carriers with an average age of 10.37 years aggregating 3.88 million dwt.last_img