first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week She’ll ride in the front car in her Army fatigues, waving to the kids and their parents along the parade route. Not a five-star general or muscular GI, but a 22-year-old Latina who stands just a shade over 5 feet tall and has the heart of a tiger. The hero of the day. “Our daughter never played with toy soldiers growing up, but she didn’t play with dolls, either,” says her dad, Robert Garcia. She played basketball and roller hockey, and rode motocross, always holding her own against the boys. She still does. “I wonder sometimes, where did my little girl go?” – Sylvia Garcia She went off to war. First to Afghanistan for 10 months, then to Iraq for a year – earning the Army Commendation Medal for combat missions with Special Forces units and the 82nd Airborne Division. And next month, Army Sgt. Christina Gecse – Valencia High Class of 2001 – will return to Iraq for a third tour of duty, this time with the 118th Military Police, protecting troop convoys traveling that country’s deadly highways. Before she goes, she has a job to do here at home: Serve as grand marshal in today’s San Fernando Valley Veterans Day Parade. In Tina, organizers Fred Flores and Dan Rosales know they’ve found the perfect grand marshal for this year’s parade. “She’s a young woman, a volunteer, serving in an Airborne unit,” Flores said. “People need to know more about the major role women like Christina are playing in our military today. They’re not behind the front lines anymore.” And Rosales also knows what’s going to happen today when those crowds see the grand marshal of the parade waving to them and smiling. “She’s going to win their hearts,” he said. Yeah, she is. Christina was 17 1/2 when she came home from College of the Canyons, carrying enlistment papers she needed her parents to sign because she was too young to join the Army on her own. “I really wanted to become a police officer, but the police academy wasn’t accepting applicants under 22, and I didn’t want to wait,” she recalled. She told her parents if she joined the Army and became a military police officer, it would give her a leg up getting a job with the police department, or maybe even the FBI, after she was discharged. “We tried to hang on to her,” said her mother, Sylvia Garcia. “She was so young, we didn’t want to sign the papers. “But Tina was so passionate about it. She’s always been that way growing up – independent. Once she sets her mind to do something, she doesn’t stop until it’s done.” There was nothing they could do but sign the papers, support their daughter and pray, Robert said. She was sworn into the Army on Sept. 10, 2001. The next day, terrorists hijacked four planes and launched an attack that changed America forever. “I tried not to think too much about it, but my stomach did drop a little, but it wouldn’t have stopped me from volunteering,” Tina said now. “My country needed me now more than ever, and still does. Besides, I wouldn’t have met my husband if I hadn’t enlisted.” Seth Gecse was in Christina’s military police unit, and remains in the Army today as an MP investigator. She’s proud of her service, Christina says. Proud of the 12 parachute jumps she’s made as a member of an Airborne unit, and the countless patrols she’s been on. And if there’s one thing she wants us to think about this Veterans Day, it’s the men and women fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. In a few weeks, she’ll be one of them again. With that, the grand marshal of the San Fernando Valley Veterans Day Parade went back to practicing her wave. “How’m I doing?” she asked, smiling. Good enough to win a lot of hearts on the parade route. Dennis McCarthy’s column appears Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Dennis McCarthy, (818) 713-3749 dennis.mccarthy@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

first_imgThe daughter of a pensioner whose house was raided and ransacked while she was at church has spoken of her disgust at the robbery.80-year-old May Lowry returned from church last Sunday morning to find her home turned upside down.All five of her bedrooms at her Co Donegal home were pulled apart and the raiders took a substantial amount of cash as well as jewellery of huge sentimental value. Widow May, whose husband died 15 years ago, has been left devastated by the cowardly raid.She has been unable to eat or sleep since the robbery at her bungalow at Railway Road.Her outraged daughter Jacqueline said the fact that her mum’s house was robbed while she was at her weekly visit to St Johnston Presbyterian Church is the most annoying part of her ordeal.“My mother is still very independent and always has been even since the death of my father fifteen years ago. “She likes to drive to church even though it is only two minutes away and we can actually see the steeple of the church from our home.“She is just devastated that she was only away for an hour or so and she came back to the house ransacked.“She hasn’t eaten much and hasn’t slept much but we are all trying our best to help her and her neighbours and friends have been so good,” she said.Jacqueline revealed how the house was securely locked up with double and even triple locks on the windows and doors but the alarm was unfortunately not switched on.“We used to have a German Sheppard dog called Max who would have eaten those people alive. It’s a pity he wasn’t in the house when they broke in,” added Jacqueline. Mrs Lowry only had a substantial amount of cash in her home as she is having some work done and needed to pay a builder.The jewellery taken was given to her by her late father and is very distinctive.Jacqueline added that she has no doubt those who raided her mum’s home timed it to coincide with when she was at church as another home in nearby Raphoe was also raided while the elderly owners were at mass in Raphoe at the same time.“It’s the lowest of the low and I’ve no doubt they were watching my mother’s movements and knew her car was away. “Her neighbours were also away and whoever did this also knew that so I’m beginning to think it could be somebody who knew the area well and could be from the locality,” she added.Meanwhile, Donegal Gardai have issued an appeal for any sightings of a silver Mondeo car which was seen in the area.They have also asked people to be vigilant and ensure that their homes are secured when they are attending church.Woman robbed while at church hasn’t eaten or slept since was last modified: September 17th, 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)Tags:churchdonegalGardaiMay LowryraidSt Johnstonlast_img read more

first_img1 April 2009South African consumer confidence rebounded in the first quarter of the year despite the global economy deteriorating further since November 2008, with the FNB/Bureau for Economic Research (BER) consumer confidence index rising by five points.According to First National Bank (FNB) and the BER, economic growth has contracted sharply in many countries, with share prices collapsing and millions of workers losing their jobs.“The global economy is heading for its biggest contraction since the Second World War,” First National Bank chief economist Cees Bruggemans said in a statement this week.“Consumer confidence has dropped to record lows in the USA. In light of these developments, the increase in the [FNB/BER index] bucks the US trend.”Positive developmentsAccording to Bruggemans, a number of developments supported consumer confidence in South Africa during the survey period and partly explain the increase in consumer confidence.This included the 150 basis point interest rate cut since December, with prospects for further declines (the survey was conducted before a further 100 basis points cut was announced on 24 March); a drop in the petrol price between November and February; the decline in inflation; a relatively stable rand exchange rate; and a confidence boosting national Budget announced on 11 February.“The Budget was positive for households,” Bruggemans said. “Households will benefit indirectly, as the fiscal stimulus partly counters the slump in economic activity.”The Budget included a number of measures to increase the disposable income of households directly, such as the additional R13-billion set aside for social grants and the R4.1-billion for the expanded public works programme.“Furthermore, the personal income tax scales were adjusted to fully compensate for inflation,” he said. “However, the increase in the fuel levy will partly offset the benefit of the tax rate adjustment.”Economy, households, durable goodsThe FNB/BER consumer confidence index survey is based on three questions, namely the expected performance of the economy, the expected financial situation of households, and the appropriateness of the present time to buy durable goods (such as furniture, appliances, electronic equipment, and motor vehicles).Despite the net percentage of consumers rating the present as an inappropriate time to buy durable goods remaining more or less unchanged relative to the fourth quarter of 2008, the net percentage expecting their own finances and the economy to improve during the next 12 months increased.The own finances sub-index increased from +9 to +15 and the economic performance sub-index from -5 to +4.“The reason why the own finances sub-index increased during [the first quarter of 2009] is probably because the positive impact of the interest rate cuts, lower petrol price and national budget fully countered the adverse impact of the job losses and fall in house prices,” said Bruggemans.High debt, no creditPossible reasons why consumers continued to rate the present as an inappropriate time to buy durable goods are their high debt burdens, increased difficulty in obtaining credit, a stock effect and the decline in residential building activity.The low level of the time to buy durable goods sub-index indicates dismal growth in spending on durable goods, Bruggemans said, adding that credit spending would also remain weak.“With the time to buy durable goods sub-index low and the economic performance and own finances sub-indices high, any rise in real disposable income should lead to increased consumer spending on non-durable goods and services,” he said. “Such a rise in real disposable income could happen if the positive impact of the lower interest rate and inflation continues to outweigh the negative effect of job losses.”SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

first_imgBill Harrop’s balloon safari company in the Magaliesberg area is well-establishedand reputable. The exit from the Old Fort, with the inscription “Eendracht maakt macht”or “Unity is strength”.The visitors’ centre at Maropeng, in theCardle of Humankind, is shaped like a tumulus or burial mound.The Gauteng Tourism Authority makesits mark on the central courtyard of theNanhua Buddhist temple. (Images: Janine Erasmus) MEDIA CONTACTS • Rami NhlapoJT Communications+27 11 788 7631/2 RELATED ARTICLES • Tourism to cash in on 2010 boom • Tourism Month kicks off in SA • Rocking in the Cradle • SA unearths new human ancestor• SA tops for business travelJanine ErasmusBuilding on the momentum of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the Gauteng Tourism Authority launched a new campaign in late September to promote domestic tourism in the province.The event coincided with the country’s Tourism Month, which this year focused on a variety of local destinations – one of which is Limpopo province, with its wealth of cultural and natural attractions, including the world-famous Kruger National Park.“The platform is there,” said Gauteng MEC for Economic Development Firoz Cachalia at the campaign’s launch. “Tourism shouldn’t be completely dependent on international tourism, so we want to encourage our residents to enjoy their amazing place.”Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane agreed, saying that many Gautengers have a limited knowledge of their own province. “We may not have access to a beach, but everything else is here in Gauteng. However, thus far we haven’t been able to sell this jewel to the locals.”Mokonyane added that tourism should also teach people about their heritage. “It’s all here in Gauteng – we have lions, Mrs Ples, Constitution Hill, Maropeng, Soweto. But to fully take advantage of these treasures we must integrate public transport.”The provincial government is currently revamping the public transport system, with a new bus rapid transit system and high speed rail service under construction – but for carless people to be able to reach these scenic spots, more must be done.Another important aspect of a heightened tourism industry is job creation, while entrepreneurs such as B&B owners will also benefit. The provincial government has plans to construct an extensive database of tourism operators and B&B owners, and link these to established facilities, so that visitors can put together a package to suit their pocket.“People can grow their businesses by targeting local tourists,” said Cachalia. “You don’t have to depend on international visitors. With better domestic tourism, people will develop better products for the local market, and by extension, the international market.”A more lively domestic tourism sector will lead to sustainable international tourism, said Mokonyane. “A country that doesn’t promote domestic tourism can’t expect other tourists to come, because the locals won’t know where to take them.”The Gauteng Tourism Authority has a training programme for tourist guides, said chairperson Khehla Mthembu, and also registers them on the website as qualified and approved by the organisation.The new campaign, called The Amazing Place, is not only aimed at Gauteng residents – it will run nationally as well.Domestic investmentAccording to the Department of Tourism, some R70-million (US$10-million) was spent since 2004 to promote South Africa’s diversity of destinations. This sum encompasses a range of media genres, including outdoor, TV, print and radio advertising, as well as specific events.According to figures available from South African Tourism, South Africans made some 30.3-millon domestic trips during 2009, whether for holiday, business, medical, religious, or other purposes.Overall, most travellers came from Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces, with 29% and 25% of the total number of trips respectively. KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape were the most popular destinations. Of the holiday travellers, most came from Gauteng and were headed for the Western Cape.The local travellers spent a total of R22.4-billion ($3.2-billion) on their trips, with an average of 4.2 nights per trip.The figures also show that of all the provinces, Gauteng residents are the ones who most prefer to travel to other provinces – just 32% of them travel intra-provincially. This means that the Amazing Place campaign has come at the right time.Race around the provinceAn important element of the Amazing Place campaign is an exciting TV show, based on the popular Amazing Race programme which keeps millions of viewers around the world glued to their screens.The Gauteng Tourism Authority was supported in this initiative by local radio station Kaya FM and Chevrolet, who supplied the cars.“After the World Cup we are stepping up the action with this unique race that highlights Gauteng’s tourism routes both to outsiders and residents within the province,” said Mokonyane.Filming took place at the end of September and saw eight plucky contestants in four teams making a 48-hour dash around the province, chasing clues and hoping to be the first across the finish line. Along the way they experienced some unusual sights and sounds, and were treated to the best the province has to offer, as well as the diversity of its culture.The series, which will comprise at least four episodes, is scheduled to air at the beginning of November on DStv bouquet channels and the SABC. It will be presented by Kaya FM’s Bob Mabena.Teams were made up of local celebrities. They were Department of Economic Development communications manager Uyanda Mbuli with singer, songwriter and record label owner Phinda Matlala; recording artist Selaelo Selota with model Cwaita Mtose; house music vocalist Lelethu Nkulu with Kaya FM afternoon show host George Monetsi; and Jam Alley host Thato Mahlatsi with up-and-coming musician Malik.The race started in the now-defunct women’s prison in the Old Fort at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg. First a fort and then a notorious prison, the site has undergone a remarkable reversal of purpose and is now the seat of the highest court in the land. The women’s prison was added 15 years after the original fort was built in 1892.On the first day the contestants visited the 94ha Rondebult Bird Sanctuary in Ekurhuleni east of Johannesburg, the Vaalnest Boutique Hotel on the banks of the Vaal Dam in the tiny town of Vaal Marina in south Gauteng, and the ever-popular Maropeng in the Cradle of Humankind, which was also the pit stop for the day’s proceedings.On day two they set off for the nearby Magaliesberg Mountains and a lofty appointment with Bill Harrop, who runs a popular hot-air balloon safari company, before heading north for Freedom Park in Pretoria and a glimpse of the country’s heritage. The park is a monument to democracy and features a Wall of Remembrance, inscribed with the names of those who fell during the struggle for freedom.The race ended at the magnificent Nanhua Buddhist temple, the largest Buddhist seminary and temple in Africa. This breathtaking facility is situated in Bronkhorstspruit, about 90km from Johannesburg’s city centre.It is hoped that the concept will be rolled out to other provinces and cities around the country.last_img read more

first_imgSo what exactly does “medium format” mean, and could it be the perfect choice for your next project — or your next camera?Medium format cameras have started to arrive on the market for digital cinematography applications. This new (yet old) format is finally starting to make its way into video camera manufacturers’ product lineups.The History of Medium FormatImage via Anton Mukhin.During the film days of the advertising and commercial world, medium format was king. Being a larger format than traditional 35mm, it made it easier to enlarge an image for a billboard, or maintain quality for print. However, once digital cameras came along, medium format slowly began to fade into obscurity. The only home it found for years was among film purists and analog hobbyists. However, medium format has slowly started to make its way back into the market — this time with digital.Medium Format vs. Other FormatsThe easiest comparison to make for medium format is to its closest counterpart — full frame. Essentially, medium format is any sensor-size exceeding the full-frame size of 24mm x 36mm. When shooting on film, medium format uses 61mm 120 film. In digital application, this number will vary significantly across different camera manufacturers. For example, Fuji’s upcoming medium format camera offers a 43.8 x 32.9mm sensor, while ARRI’s ALEXA LF, which they dubbed “large format,” offers a 36.70 mm x 25.54 mm sensor.Advantages of Medium Format Higher Pixel DensityWith a higher pixel density, medium format cameras can record much more color information. This amount of imagery data has more to do with the size of the photo site rather than the number. With this in mind, a 4K image from a medium format sensor will have more information than a 4K image from an APS-C sensor. As a result, medium format is known for creating the most life-like imagery and color rendition of any format out there because it captures more information per photo site. Shallower Depth of FieldWhen the Canon 5D Mark II first came out, many complained that the cameras created a depth of field that was too shallow. As a result, a lot of the imagery was soft since the focus was much tougher to nail. You could make the same argument for medium format. Since it’s a much larger sensor, it’ll create a shallower image at 2.8 than its full-frame counterpart. However, knowing how to manage and when to use this shallower depth of field can be a strong creative advantage for content-creators. Medium Format for Digital CinematographyAPS-C and full-frame sensors have reigned as kings among digital cinema cameras. However, we’ve begun to witness medium format making its entry into digital cinema cameras, as camera makers push beyond full-frame. With the upcoming release of the Fuji GFX-100, we’re beginning to see cameras push beyond full-frame and into the next digital frontier.  Cover image via Fujifilm.Looking for more articles on cameras and gear? Check these out.Film vs. Digital: Comparing Medium Format to 35mm to MirrorlessThe 5 Best Sliders to Pair with Mirrorless Video CamerasThe Simple, Stable Solution to Rigging Your Lights AnywhereViltrox vs. Metabones: Speed Booster for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera3 Cheap, Underappreciated Cameras Filmmakers Should Considerlast_img read more

first_imgThe BJP won the Lohaghat seat in Uttarakhand as the results were announced on Wednesday after a repoll was held over one poll booth. With this BJP’s tally goes up to 57 in the 70-member House.The Election Commission ordered a repoll in the Karnkarayat poll booth of the Lohaghat seat due to an electronic voting machine (EVM) malfunction.According to the EC, BJP candidate Puran Singh Fartyal won the seat on Wednesday, defeating his Congress rival by 834 votes.The Congress has 11 seats and independents two in the Assembly.The Congress is yet to decide on its Legislature Party Leader after the outgoing Chief Minister Harish Rawat lost both Hardwar Rural and Kichha seats.In the BJP, however, the current challenge is that of deciding a Chief Minister. According to highly-placed sources in the BJP, three names — Chaubattakhal MLA Satpal Maharaj, Pithoragarh MLA Prakash Pant, and Doiwala Trivendra Singh Rawat — are being considered by the party’s central leadership. A decision would be announced within a day or two, party sources said.last_img read more

first_imgNikki Valdez rushes self to ER due to respiratory tract infection “Please help me, please, please,” screamed the 32-year-old in scenes so distressing that television cameras panned away from the stricken player.Cirstea said her friend’s knee was “out… and in a very weird position”.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“I freaked out. I have never seen such an injury before, the knee was really in a bad position. It was like something you see only in the movies,” said Cirstea.“I tried to comfort her but I panicked. I felt useless. All she kept saying was ‘Sorana, help me, help me.” Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena She questioned why it took the medical services so long to reach a court which is just a stone’s throw away from the famed Centre Court.‘Everyone froze’“I was screaming at the umpire. I told them to bring a stretcher because everyone froze, nobody reacted,” said Cirstea who said only she, her physio and Justin Mattek-Sands initially raced to the player’s assistance.“She went into shock and it took so long for the medical team to arrive. It felt like forever.“What if it was a heart attack? You should look at the video and time how long it took. I was there 10 to 15 minutes and the stretcher had still not arrived.”Safarova had to go and play her second round match just minutes after witnessing her close friend’s turmoil.She lost 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-3 to Shelby Rogers but said that was irrelevant.“It’s been a tough day, just terrible what’s happened. I am so sad for Bethanie,” said Safarova who had been hoping to partner Mattek-Sands to the Wimbledon doubles title and complete the non-calendar Grand Slam.“I have talked to Justin. She’s having more tests but we don’t know how long she will be in hospital.“I will see when I can visit her. I will be there when she needs me.” Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Horn ready for rematch Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend LATEST STORIEScenter_img On Thursday, Alison Riske and Kristina Mladenovic had wanted to stop playing on Court 18 with the defeated Frenchwoman claiming there was a hole on the baseline.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera Bethanie Mattek-Sands clings on her knee after hurting it during a Wimbledon match. SCREENGRAB FROM ESPN TWITTER VIDEOAmerica’s Bethanie Mattek-Sands suffered a horror knee injury at Wimbledon on Thursday which left her screaming and crying in pain in the middle of the court.The 32-year-old collapsed to the ground after damaging her right knee as she approached the net in the first game of the deciding set against Romania’s Sorana Cirstea on Court 17.ADVERTISEMENT Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend The All England club defended its medical teams.“The first response to Court 17 was within one minute, by a qualified ambulance technician,” they said in a statement.“The player was kept on court while pain relief was given.“The player was then transferred directly to an ambulance and taken under emergency conditions to a hospital.”Messages of support poured in for Mattek-Sands, well known on the tour for her flamboyant fashion sense and friendly, easy-going nature.“I love you @BMATTEK  you are the biggest fighter I know and you will come back stronger than ever,” tweeted India’s Sania Mirza, her former doubles partner.Olympic champion Monica Puig tweeted: “Stay strong @BMATTEK … we love you so much.”Wimbledon courts are no stranger to injury controversies.In 2013, Victoria Azarenka fell heavily, hurting her ankle and blamed the state of the courts.Maria Sharapova said the surface on Court Two where she lost to Michelle Larcher de Brito was “dangerous” after she fell a number of times. “I wish I could have done more. You wouldn’t wish that on your worst enemy.”Mattek-Sands’s husband Justin tried to console his wife before medics arrived, while Cirstea was distraught and in tears.After lying prone on the ground for around 20 minutes, Mattek-Sands was eventually stretchered away and taken to a west London hospital where she was said to have suffered “an acute knee injury”.Mattek-Sands’s doubles partner, Lucie Safarova, with whom she shares the world number one ranking as well as four Grand Slam titles, also arrived at the scene in tears.Cirstea, who had dropped the first set 4-6 but took the second 7-6 (7/4), was declared the winner of the second round match.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more