SA teen wins at tech awards

first_img12 July 2007Johannesburg teenager Siyabulela Xuza won two top awards at the 58th Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Albuquerque, New Mexico in May for developing a safe and cheaper form of rocket fuel.Xuza, a Grade 12 pupil from St John’s College in Johannesburg won the “Best of Category” award and a “First Award” in the energy and transportation sector with his project, “African Space: Fueling Africa’s quest to space”In addition, the New Mexico Oil and Gas Company gave him US$8000 (about R55 000), while he also received a high performance laptop from Intel and the world-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology.“I was also part of the South African team, which, second to the US, won most grand awards at the fair,” he says.According to Intel’s website, the fair is the world’s biggest student science event, drawing more than 1 500 students from 52 countries.“I felt honoured to represent South Africa at such an event. We can basically compete at the same level or even better than overseas countries, despite the limited resources we have,” he says, sending a strong message to those he says still undermine South Africa’s potential in the field of science.The category judges were impressed by his insight and thorough knowledge of all aspects of his project. “I can’t speak for the judges, but I think they were impressed by the diligence that led up to the project and the passion I have for [it].”ScholarshipAccording to Xuza, a scholarship learner from Umtata in the Eastern Cape, accidents are a major problem for the aerospace industry, which is why he developed a safer rocket fuel.And, after hearing that governments spend millions on going to space instead of pouring it into initiatives like HIV/Aids prevention, he thought of a cheaper way of going to space.“What makes the fuel cheaper and safer are the ingredients that go into making it,” he says, noting that he cannot reveal the process or the ingredients for “security reasons”.Known among his friends as just Siya, Xuza emphasises that he does not want to take all the credit for the project. “I am very grateful for the support I got from my mentors – Aerospace Research based in Veeriniging and Richard Nakka, an amateur rocket scientist.”Xuza’s journey to the US started last September, when he was awarded a gold medal for his project African Space – Fuelling Africa’s Quest to Space at the Eskom National Science Expo. He also won the Dr Derek Gray Memorial Award for the most prestigious project in South Africa.These awards resulted in an invitation to the international Youth Science Fair in Sweden in December 2006, where he presented his project to the king and queen of that country and attended a Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm.Early interestHis interest in aeronautics began at an early age, when he put a theory he had learned in class into practice by building rockets in his mom’s kitchen.However, it was only when he won a gold medal at the President’s Awards for Youth Empowerment Trust in October last year that he took his hobby to the next level.“I was always interested in rockets and my award leader, Sean Wilson from St John’s College, suggested that I use my hobby as a part of the skills segment.”With the award to his name, he was able to canvass organisations to help him get the parts to build a rocket, which took eight months. It was during this process, he noted, that he developed a safer and cheaper rocket fuel.Xuza has achieved what many of his peers dream of – among others, he has been awarded his academic colours for maintaining an aggregate of 75% in exams for three consecutive terms, and he has broken South Africa’s amateur high-powered altitude record by a teenager for launching a rocket 800 metres into the air at a site in Sasolburg, in Free State.After completing school, he intends to study chemical engineering and hopes to encourage other youngsters to become more interested in science.“I want to use science for the betterment of our society, coming up with solutions to the problems we are facing. The greatest reward would be to see other students getting into the science field.”“Kids like Siya come once in 20 years,” says St John’s College’s marketing director, Toni Williams.But Xuza refuses to be called a special or extraordinary teenager. “Except being curious, questioning everything, I am just a normal teenager,” he says.Source: City of Johannesburglast_img read more

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I-T department attaches ₹400-crore ‘benami’ property of BSP chief Mayawati’s brother

first_imgThe Income-Tax Department on Thursday attached a ₹400 crore worth “benami” property belonging to Anand Kumar, brother of Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati.Sources in the department confirmed that the attached property belonging to Mr. Kumar and his wife was allegedly purchased using ₹400-450 crore of funds from benami transactions. However, the actual value of the property was not clear.The commercial property is located in a prime location of Noida and is said to measure 7 acres.After the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Ms. Mayawati reappointed her brother, a businessman who maintains a low-key political profile, as her deputy in the party. Mr. Kumar’s son, Akash Anand, who is seen as Ms. Mayawati’s successor in the BSP, was also appointed national coordinator, with the BSP overlooking its traditional stand against dynasty politics. The I-T Department issued an order under section 24(3) of the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988 to attach Mr. Kumar’s property, reported PTI, which accessed a copy of the order. The agency reported that according to the findings of the probe, the tax department detected a “complex web of shareholding” by at least six firms, including dummy companies, who were the “benamidars” or the entities in whose name the “benami” property is standing.This is not the first time Mr. Kumar’s financial dealings and businesses have come under the scanner of officials.A month after demonetisation of high-currency in November 2016, the Enforcement Directorate detected cash deposits of over ₹ 104 crore in an account belonging to the BSP and ₹1.43 crore in an account belonging to Mr. Kumar in a branch of United Bank of India in Delhi during a routine survey to check suspicious deposits.Ms. Mayawati then accused the BJP-led Union government of misusing official machinery to “target” and “malign” her party and its top leaders. She said all deposits were made in banks in accordance with tax “norms” as part of the party’s “routine exercise.”The BJP, however, used it in its 2017 Assembly polls campaign to target Ms. Mayawati with its star campaigner Prime Minister Narendra Modi even labelling the BSP as “Behenji Sampatti Party” in his public meetings. Ms. Mayawati is yet to react to the I-T Department’s latest action.last_img read more

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Prince Harry Opens The Invictus Games

first_imgBarack Obama has wished the teams competing in the Invictus Games well, as Prince Harry staged a party to welcome those taking part in the sporting spectacle.Prince Harry addresses guests at the Invictus Games Welcome ceremonyCredit/Copyright: www.princehenryofwales.org/The American President recorded a video message of support for the wounded servicemen and women who have been chosen to represent their nations in the Paralympics-style championships.Prince Harry also thanked the athletes, many with missing limbs or other serious injuries, for enthusiastically embracing the concept.The Foo Fighters rattled the windows of the US ambassador’s official residence, Winfield House in Regent’s Park, as they entertained hundreds of guests at the party held in the building’s sprawling garden.The President said in his pre-recorded message played to the crowds who included the teams, their families and supporters: “I know it’s going to be a fiercely competitive few days but the truth is that everyone of you in these games, every service member and veteran, has already earned our highest admiration and our deepest gratitude.“When your countries asked you to serve, to risk everything to protect our safety and our freedom, you and your families answered the call and just as you inspire us with your courage on the battlefield, your grit and resilience when you take the playing field, your incomparable souls inspire us today.”Before introducing the band he jokingly dubbed the “old people”, Prince Harry told the crowds: “It gives me great pleasure to welcome all of the competitors to London for the first Invictus Games.“Thank you, from me, for embracing the concept so enthusiastically and coming all this way – some further than others – you really have no idea what you’ve let yourselves in for.“As many of you know the idea was born from the US Warrior Games and therefore what better way to mark the start of the Games than at Winfield House.”More than 400 competitors, both serving military personnel and veterans, will go head to head in nine adaptive sports at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Lee Valley Athletics Centre in London over four days from Thursday.Teams have travelled from the USA, Denmark, Estonia, France and Italy, Canada, The Netherlands, Australia, Afghanistan, Georgia, New Zealand and Germany.Source:www.princehenryofwales.orglast_img read more

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Josh Groban To Be Honored At YoungArts Backyard Ball

first_imgOn Saturday, January 10, 2015 the National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) will host the organization’s annual Backyard Ball on the YoungArts Campus (2100 Biscayne Boulevard).The 2015 Arison Award Honoree is renowned visual artist Jeff Koons and this year’s Arison Alumni Honorees are Grammy Award-nominated recording artist, singer, songwriter, actor, YoungArts Master Teacher and 1999 YoungArts Winner in Theater, Josh Groban, and Grammy and Country Music Association Award-nominated singer-songwriter and 2003 YoungArts Winner and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, Chris Young.The celebratory evening of artistic immersion will bring together prominent artists, community leaders, philanthropists and celebrities to recognize the 2015 YoungArts Winners, 786 of the nation’s most outstanding young artists in the literary, visual, design and performing arts. The Gala is YoungArts’ largest annual fundraiser and the culmination of YoungArts’ signature program, National YoungArts Week, which provides a select group of YoungArts Winners with life-changing experiences, including master classes, workshops, interdisciplinary activities, performances and exhibitions.The 2015 Gala Co-Chairs are Tracey and Bruce Berkowitz and Elizabeth and Facundo Bacardi. The Presenting Sponsor of the 2015 Backyard Ball is Max Mara.The evening will be emceed by YoungArts Alumna and Master Teacher, actress Zuzanna Szadkowksi (1997 Winner in Theater and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts) and will include a post-dinner performance directed by renowned Tony Award-winner, dancer, choreographer and YoungArts Artistic Advisor, Bill T. Jones. The performance will feature YoungArts Alumni from around the nation, including jazz musicians Pascal Le Boeuf (Piano, 2004 Winner), Martin Jaffe (Bass, 2012 Winner and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts), Jake Goldbas (Drums, 2007 Winner), Gabe Schneider (Guitar, 2011 Winner); vocalists Julia Easterlin (Voice, 2008 Winner) and Tatiana Mayfield (Jazz Voice, 2006 Winner); classical musicians Rebecca Hargrove (Soprano, 2008 Winner), Aaron Casey (Tenor, 2011 Winner), Molly Joyce (Composer, 2010 Winner), Jeanette Fang (Piano, 2003 Winner and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts), Mariella Haubs (Violin, 2014 Winner) and Anna Litvinenko (Cello, 2012 Winner); tap dancer Joseph Wiggan (Dance, 2004 Winner and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts) and modern dancers Alexzandra Sarmiento (Dance, 2011 Winner), Maxwell Perkins (Dance, 2011 Winner and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts), and Rory Freeman (Dance, 2006 Winner); as well as actors Katie Kleiger (Theater, 2011 Winner) and Ryan Brophy (Theater, 2014 Winner). In addition, YoungArts alumni Caleb Teicher (Dance, 2011 Winner) and Danny Rothschild (Writer, 2011 Winner) are serving as the assistant director and playwright, respectively. The magical evening will conclude on the YoungArts Plaza with dancing and dessert under the stars.“The YoungArts Backyard Ball exemplifies all that YoungArts works to accomplish. It celebrates the incredibly talented 2015 YoungArts Winners; includes a world-class performance featuring YoungArts Alumni directed by the outstanding Bill T. Jones; and honors Jeff Koons, Josh Groban and Chris Young, three remarkable individuals who serve as inspirations for emerging artists everywhere,” stated Paul T. Lehr, National YoungArts Foundation President & CEO. “I look forward to welcoming guests to our home on the YoungArts Campus and acknowledging the hard work and dedication of all of these passionate artists.”Previous Gala honorees have included YoungArts alumni Doug Aitken (Visual Arts, 1986 Winner), Kerry Washington (Theater, 1994 Winner), Adrian Grenier (Theater, 1994 Winner) and Andrew Rannells (Theater, 1997 Winner); and renowned artists Debbie Allen, Joshua Bell, Zaha Hadid, Rita Moreno and Robert Redford.Additional support for the Backyard Ball is provided by Bacardi, Braman Motors, EventStar, James Royal Palm Hotel, the Miami Herald, MIAMI Magazine, Rolls Royce, and Seabourn.For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit: www.youngarts.org/gala.last_img read more

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RGIII Falling Out of Good Graces of Many Redskins

Want to learn how tough Robert Griffin III is? How he handles the next week, amid criticism and mounting calls for backup Kirk Cousins, will go a long way to determining that critical question for the Washington Redskins’ quarterback.In just two weeks, Griffin–the darling of D.C., if not the NFL after a thrilling rookie season–has learned how quickly fans can turn on you when you do not produce. Following a second straight sorry start to games, both losses, the message boards and sports talk shows in D.C. are flooded with calls for Griffin to sit down until healthy in place of his backup, Cousins.Comments like, “Cousins gives us the best chance to win,” and “Robert Griffin is not the same guy. . . yet. He’s not that guy.”The case against Griffin is tangible. The Redskins fell behind significantly in the season-opening loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and trailed the Green Bay Packers 24-0 in Sunday’s 38-20 loss on the road. In each case, Griffin looked timid in his throwing motion, favoring his surgically repaired knee that kept him sidelined all of the preseason.“If I’ve got to do a little bit more to clean up that sloppiness,” he said Sunday, “then I’ll do it. . . I don’t point the finger at anybody else. Whatever goes on on that field, I’m responsible for that.”He added: “I’m not afraid to sit here and say, ‘Put that on my shoulders,’ ” Griffin said. “I’ll take that. We didn’t start fast because of me.”What made Griffin RGIII was his ability to escape the pocket with his mobility and gain yards as a runner, making him a double threat that crossed up defenses last season. By design or by choice, Griffin hardly uses his legs as an asset, making him predictable and easier to defend. The results have been the Redskins falling behind to insurmountable deficits.Hence, many are left to wonder if Griffin truly is healthy enough to lead the team at this point. He can point to the second half numbers as proof of his effectiveness. But most of the respectable final number he posted came when the opponents went into the so-called prevent defense, backing off and allowing receivers to catch the ball in front of them.The consensus is that Griffin is not healthy enough to run and is scared to run because of his knee, and it has stifled the offense. To wit: he rushed 8 1/2 times a game last season. In the two games this year, he has run the ball just four times a game.In 2012, Griffin averaged 8½ rushes in games he started and finished. He has averaged four runs a game. And his absence as a running possibility minimizes the team’s offensive creativity.“I’m not just going to run just to show people that I’m back,” Griffin said Sunday. “I think that’s stupid.”It’s not viable that he is the same player when he passes 49 times as he did Sunday and 40 the opening week.For sure, not playing in the preseason has hurt; Griffin looks more rusty than anything else. But the health concerns are legitimate. His passing motion is muted–he does not step through the throwing motion to get the proper velocity on the ball.Still, the cries for Cousins are pointless; Griffin is the man and will be, barring injury. It’s just a matter of when he gets more confidence in his ability to run and plant on the knee as he passes that will determine when his legion of fans return en masse. read more

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PNP supporter noshow at Wheeland Claims Objections

first_img Opposition Leader responds to Throne Speech  11 days later; says PDM Govt plan puts TCI in ‘deep doo doo’ Olive branch extended by Opposition Leader, says it is time for Turks and Caicos leaders to unite Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 09 Mar 2016 – A mind bending matter again at the Claims and Objections hearings today; this time for Wheeland. Magnetic Media learned that the Progressive National Party again was not permitted to go ahead with its objections. We learned that because the PNP was unfamiliar with the rules of the process, the submission was made by a person who is not a Wheeland voter weeks ago. There was to be objection six names, but the person filing that challenge did not show up for the hearing at the Police Canteen and so the objections were dismissed by the Elections Office. The PDM items were heard; they won on 33 of the challenges earlier today. Related Items:claims & objections, election office, pnp, wheeland TCI Country Leaders condemn vicious memes Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for youlast_img read more

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Chula Vista police officer facing criminal charges on suspicion of threatening girlfriend

first_img Posted: March 15, 2018 KUSI Newsroom, March 15, 2018 SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A Chula Vista police officer is facing possible criminal charges following his arrest on suspicion of threatening his girlfriend during an off-duty dispute.San Diego police took 27-year-old Leopoldo Armando Chousal into custody Wednesday evening while responding to a reported domestic-violence incident at a home in the 6400 block of Potomac Street in Paradise Hills, SDPD Lt. Kevin Mayer said.“During the investigation, it was alleged the suspect … made criminal threats to harm his girlfriend,” Mayer said.The lieutenant did not disclose the nature of the alleged menacing statements.Chousal was booked on suspicion of making criminal threats. He was released from custody Thursday morning, a jail clerk said.The Chula Vista Police Department’s leadership “takes these allegations seriously and was disappointed to learn of this incident,” department spokesman Lt. Eric Thunberg said.“We are cooperating with SDPD’s criminal investigation, and we are conducting an internal investigation concurrently,” he said. Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom Chula Vista police officer facing criminal charges on suspicion of threatening girlfriend during off-duty disputelast_img read more

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