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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 336 | 337 | (Page 338) | 339 | 340 | .... | 1152 | newer

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  • 05/06/17--04:44: Omungwelume crash kills five
  • Omungwelume crash kills fiveOmungwelume crash kills five A head-on collision on the Oshakati - Omungwelume road at around midnight claimed the lives of five while three others escaped with serious injuries.
    According to the Omusati police's spokesperson, Sergeant Anna Kunga the accident happened at around 23:55 at Oshikwiyu village when one of the two vehicles, a Volkswagen Polo and a Toyota Sedan, was overtaking.
    Kunga said both occupants in the the Polo (brothers) Herman Muhongo (adult no age given) Amadus Thomas (35) died immediately along with the three of the six occupants of the Toyota sedan. They were identified as Ruben Immanuel (35), Ottilie Mumbala (28) and Julia Amadhila (35). Police investigations continue.

    Kenya Kambowe

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  • 05/07/17--16:00: Civics refuses distraction
  • Civics refuses distractionCivics refuses distractionClub wants cup final The Khomasdal-based club feels that playing in the NFA Debmarine Cup has been worth it thus far. Civics coach Donnelly Nelly believes that his club has what it takes to reach the final of the NFA Debmarine Cup.

    The team qualified to the round of 16 after beating Nampol during the round of 32.

    “I would like to thank Debmarine Namibia for the financial support they have been giving to the teams.

    “The money we have been receiving per game has aided us financially given that we do not have sponsors and the league is still not on. Young team that is eager to win the trophy,” Nell said.

    The coach emphasised the importance of not being destracted by the problems that Namibian football is currently facing.

    He admitted that they are worried about the situation between the Namibia Premier League and the NFA personnel.

    Nell however made it clear that his team will soldier on even if things appear to be bleak for Namibian football.

    “People are being driven by personal egos and that is hurting our football in a serious way.

    “This has brought a huge struggle upon the football teams and players around the country,” he said.

    The club is currently only training two days in a week due to the financial strains that has hit football.

    Civics eagerly waits for the round of 16 which is expected to take place in due course. The clubs that have made into the 2017 Debmarine Namibia Cup Last 16 draw are Mighty Gunners, Outjo Academy, African, Gendev FC, Rundu Chiefs, Life Fighters, Young Beauties, UNAM FC, Young Chiefs, Eleven Arrows, Touch & Go, Tura Magic, Civics, Bee Bob Brothers, Eastern Chiefs and Try Again.

    Asked if he wants to avoid the bigger clubs left in the competition, Nell said that it does not matter which clubs he faces at the moment. “I do not think it will make a difference which club we face in the next round.

    “All clubs want to play football and that is why even the division clubs will be difficult to beat. “Our focus remains to play entertaining football with believe that we can be crowned champions.”

    Each of the clubs receives N$18 000 for preparations for every round of action while the of the rewarding Debmarine Namibia Cup as the race for the 25 November 2017 final gets exciting.

    Action has continued without six Namibia Premier League clubs who snubbed the tournament last month.

    African Stars, Blue Waters, Black Africa, Orlando Pirates, Chiefs Santos and holders Tigers FC all decided not participate in the competition.

    The same clubs have also threatened to withdraw from the Namibia Premier League after the confusions that have arisen between NFA and NPL.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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    Cuba okwa dhana onkandangala memangululo lyaNamibia Cuba okwa dhana onkandangala memangululo lyaNamibia Pethimbo sho kwa dhimbulukiwa Esiku lyaCassinga mOvenduka, Ngoloneya gwaKhomas Laura McLeod-Katjirua, okwa popi kombinga yonkandangala onene ya dhanwa kuCuba mekondjelo lyemanguluko lyaNamibia.

    Okwa popi kutya Namibia okwa mono omakwatho gopaukuume okuza kaaCuba na itaka dhimbwa oonkambadhala ndhoka dha ningwa komalelo gaCuba mekondjelomanguluko lyaandjetu.

    McLeod-Katjirua okwa popitha engungo lyaakwashigwana ya thika po-300, mboka ya kala poshituthidhimbuluko shEsiku lyaCassinga, shoka sha ningilwa moUN Plaza mOvenduka. Okwa lombwele aakali poshituthi shoka kutya Cassinga osha li owala ehala lyomina moka oontauki dhaNamibia dha kala tadhi thikile na olya longithwa onga ehala lyomathikilo gaamboka taya yi muupongekwa okuza moNamibia mokuwayimina ekondjelomanguluko.

    Pahapu dhe, ehala ndyoka olya li naantu ya thika po-3 068, mwakwatelwa aanona 500 mboka yeli kohi yoomvula 14 aakiintu, oshowo aakokele, sho aakwiita yaSouth Afrika yeli ponokele.



    Omalelo gaSouth Afrika pethimbo ndyoka ogiipopile kutya ehala ndyoka olya li tali longithwa onga oombonge oonene dhaSwapo.

    “Oya ponokele aantu kaaye na ondjo ongula onene. Oomboma dhotango dhoka ya umbu mehala ndyoka odha li dhi na oohasa dhuuzigo niilwitho yokuyonagula ombepo yokufudhilamo, na oya gwitha po aantu yetu. Oya tumu oodhila dhiita opo dhi ka tomeke omulilo okamba ndjoka, nokudhipaga aantu ya thika po-900,” Ngoloneya ta ti.

    Okwa popi kutya ombinzi ndjoka ya tika esiku ndyoka oyi li miikaha yaamboka ya ponokele okamba ndjoka esiku ndyoka.



    Okwa tsikile kutya oshiponokela shoka nashi kale oshilongwa kaanyasha opo yiilonge yo ya longe nuudhiginini nokukondjela woo emanguluko lyopaliko moshilongo.

    Rachel Jacob, Omunashipundi gwElelo lyOshitopolwa shaKhomas okwa popi kutya AaNamibia oya kondjo sigo ya mono eanguluko okuza miikaha yaakolonyeki.

    Okwa popi kutya aakwashigwana na ya simaneke ondjokonona kutya emanguluko lyoshilongo olya za puudhigu, yo taya gamenene po woo ombili ndjoka tayi tyapulwa moshilongo monena.

    Gumwe gwomooluhupe yaCassinga Ignatius Mwanyekange, okwa popi kutya oonakuhupa moshiponokela shoka otaya dhimbuluka nawa shoka sha holoka po ongula yesiku ndyoka. Okwa popi kutya oya gongala ongula opo andola yapewe iinakugwanothwa yawo yesiku sho aakwiita yaSouth Afrika ye ya ponokele.

    “Oye tu ponokele noodhila dhiita oshowo omadhagadhaga nokudhigapa aantu itaya vulu okwiikwatha, oyendji aanona, aakiintu naakokele mboka oshimbuluma shoka ya longo okukala owala ya hala emanguluko lyoshilongo shawo.”

    Mwanyekange okwa gwedha po kutya iilonga mbyoka ya longwa kepangelo lyokatongotongo oyi li oshikogo oshiluudhe aluhe mondjokonona yaNamibia. “ Oonakuhupa moshiponokela shoka itaya dhimbwa omamonitho giihuna ga ningilwa aantu yetu kaakwiita yaSouth Afrika.”

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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    Aakwashigwana ya Amarika onkene taya si enotaAakwashigwana ya Amarika onkene taya si enota Aakwashigwana otaya hupu momeya goshimongwa Nonando omuprima gwoshilongo naye okwa li a kutha ombinga moonkambadhala dhekandulepo lyomukundu gwomeya momudhingoloko gwAmarika, onkugo yenota lyaakwashigwana inayi tondokwa natango. Omukundu gwenota mokati kaakwashigwana yomomudhingoloko gwAamarika, otagu kalelele.

    Nonando omudhingoloko ngoka ogwa talelelwapo, komupeha minista gwombelewa yomupresidende, ngoka e na oshinakugwanithwa shesiloshisho lyaakwashigwanaa mboka ya kala inaya talika nale, Royal /Ui/o/oo, oshowo Omuprima Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, kape na shoka sha ningwapo.

    Ngoloneya gwoshitopolwa shaMusati, Erginus Endjala, okwa koleke kutya nonando okwa ningwa oonkambadhala opo andola uupyakadhi mboka wu kandulwepo, inaku ningwa sha.

    Okwa lopotwa kutya oshikondo shomeya gomomikunda, itashi vulu okupomba omeya okuya moAmarika okuza mOkeeholongo uule woshinano shookilometa 25, nomonena aakwashigwana mboka ohaya longitha owala omeya ngoka ga nuninwa iimuna okuza momboola ndjoka ya ningwa kUuministeli wEvi nOmatulululo momukunda Okatumbe, oshinano shookilometa 55, okuza momudhingoloko gwawo.

    Omeya gomevi moAmarika oga tseyithwa kutya itaga vulu okunuwa kaantu niimuna kUuministeli wUundjolowele omimvo dha piti.

    Pahapu dhaEndjala, omvula ya piti Uuministeli wOmavi owa tula oombola mbali mOkatumbe mehala lyuulithilo waNgandjera,

    opo omeya ngoka ga vule woo okuya momudhingoloko gwa Amarika, na okwa li a atseyithilwa kutya omeya ngoka otaga vulu okulongithwa kaakwashigwana, ihe Uuministeli owa popi kutya omeya ngoka inaga wapalekwa na itaga vulu okulongithwa kaakwashigwana ihe otaga vulu owala okunuwa kiimuna.



    “Itashi kwatha sha ngele otatu gandja owala omeya giimuna omanga aaantu taya si enota. Otatu ka kwashilipaleka kutya aantu nayo otaya vulu okunwa omeya ngoka. Uuministeli wOmavi owa lombwele ndje kutya omeya otaga vulu woo okunuwa kaantu,” Endjala ta ti. Ngoloneya gwaMusati okwa popi kutya opoloyeka ndjoka oyi li pokumanithwa, nuuna ya pu otayi ka kala tayi gandja omeya gokunwa kaakwashigwana yomoAmarika.

    Nonando ongaaka onzo okuza kUuministeli wOmavi oya lombwele oNamibian Sun kutya omeya ngoka inaga wapalekwa opo ga vule okunuwa kaantu.

    Opomba yomeya ndjoka yali ya pewa omagano aakalimo mboka kuGermany, itayi longo molwaashoka oya kala nokuteka.

    “Palopota ndjoka nda mono okuza koRural Water Supply kape na opomba tayi vulu okupomba meya okuya kuAmarika.

    Otaya ka pumbwa opomba onene opo yi vule okupombela omeya momudhingoloko ngoka. Onghaangha oyi na ominino dhomevi ndhoka dha kwatakanitha omukunda ngoka nOtamanzi uule womimvo odhindji dha piti, ihe omeya natango itaga vulu okupombwa gathike komukunda ngoka,” Endjala a popi.

    Endjala okwa li a koleke kuyele nuumvo kutya oonkambadhala adhihe ya ningi opo ku gandjwe omeya kaakalimo yomuAmarika odha hulile muunyengwi. Okwa tsikile kutya opomba ndjoka yongushu yoomiliyona 200 ga pewa aanamukunda mboka omagano kuGermany, itayi vulu we okwiinekelwa molwaashoka oya teka, noshitopolwa itashi vulu okuyi pangelitha.





    Endjala okwa popi kutya aakwashigwana konyala oyendji yomoMusati oye na omeya kakele kwaamboka yomuAmarika. Omukunda ngoka oguli oshinano shookilometa 70 okuza mOkahao.

    Mo-2006 opoloyeka yaGermany naNamibia, yoCuveWater, okupitila moIntegrated Water Resources Management oshowo iimaliwa ya gandjwa koGerman education and research ministry (BMBF), oya tula po otenga yomeya ndjoka hayi longo koonte dhetango na ohayi wapaleke woo omeya gokunwa momudhingoloko gwaAmarika naAkutsima.

    Otenga ndjoka oya pula oshimaliwa shoomiliyona 200.

    Aakwashigwana oya popi kutya opomba ndjoka oya teka uule woomvula mbali okuza mo-2013 sigo osho ya pangelwa mo-2015 ihe oya longo owala uule womwedhi gumwe na oya teka ishewe.

    Aantu yopomudhingoloko oya li owala ya pewa omadheulo nkene hayi longithwa ihe inaya pewa omadheulo gomuule kutya ohayi longithwa ngiini, pautekinika niikwamalusheno.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Oomiliyona tadhi kanene muulingilingi wopaimaliwaOomiliyona tadhi kanene muulingilingi wopaimaliwa Namibia okwa kanitha konyala etata lyobiliyona 1.45 miiyemo yiipindi omolwa iimaliwa yaali paveta mbyoka tayi ya moshilongo pokati komvula yo2005 sigo 2014.

    Momvula yo-2014 oshilongo osha kanitha oomiliyona 6.2 omolwa eyemo lyiimaliwa inayi pitikwa okuza moomiliyona 34.38 dha zi momapingakanitho gopaipindi.

    Otaku tengenekwa kutya oomiliyona 43.6 dhiimaliwa mbyoka ye ya moshilongo shaaheli pampango omanga oomiliyona 159 dha thigi po oshilongo muule woomvula 10 kwiikwatelelwa kolopota tayi ithanwa Global Financial Integrity (GFI).

    Mo-2014, iimaliwa yaali pa pampango ya zi moshilongo oya li poomiliyona 30 omanga mbyoka ye ya moshilongo ya li poomiliyona 1.9.

    Pokati ko-2004 no-2013, olopota oya popi kutya Namibia okwa kanitha oomiliyona 17 mo-2012 na okwa tulwa ponomola 56 mokati kiilongo 151.

    Molopota yo-2001 sigo 2010 oya holoka kutya Namibia okwa kanitha konyala oomiliyona US$420 kehe omvula omolwa iilongadhalwa lyaali paveta.

    Ombaanga yuuyuni oya lopota mo-2011 kutya Malawi naNamibia otaya kanitha unene iiyemo omolwa uulingilingi, eyando lyokufuta iishoshela yepangelo tayi ihilile poopresenda 5 okuya poopresenda 10 dhiilongomwa ayihe yomoshilongo.

    Aatseyinawa oya popi kutya omiyalu ndhoka otadhi ka ya pombanda noonkondo muule woomvula tadhi landula molwaashoka iilongo ya hepa oya ninga omahala gokulongela omiyonena dhokukanitha iinkoti yoonzo dhiimaliwa oshowo omaiyonena dhopaimaliwa.

    Namibia mwene okwa mona oshipotha sheholeko lyoonzo dhiimaliwa omvula ya piti, shongushu yiimaliwa ya thika pobiliyona 3.5 . Okwa tulwa miipandeko aatamanekwa yontumba mwa kwatelwa omunangeshefa gwaChina a tseyika nawa Jack Haung. Etulo miipandeo ndyoka oli li oshitopolwa shomakonaakono ngoka ga ningwa uule woomvula mbali, ga ningilwa omahangano gaaChina ngoka taga konenenwa kutya otaga longo iimbuluma yopashimaliwa nokuholeka oonzo dhiimaliwa.

    Palopota ndjoka, illicit financial flows (IFFs) ya za miilongo inayi putuka natango otayi fekelelwa pootrillion 1 yiimaliwa ya USA mo-2014.

    Olopota tayi ithanwa “Illicit Financial Flows to and from Developing Countries: 2005-2014,” oyo yotango ya ningwa pauyuni koGFI na oya tala unene komwalu gwiimaliwa tayi thigi po nokuya iilonga shaaheli pamulandu.

    Omwaalu ngoka okwa lopotwa guli pombanda unene pokati ko-2004 no- 2014

    Iimbuluma mbyoka yoopresenda 87 mo-2005 sigo 2014 okwa hololwa ya yi pombanda unene omolwa okuninga uumbapila womafutilo giipindi wiikengelela.

    Iimbuluma mbyoka moSub-Saharan Africa oya londo pombanda okuza poopresenda 5.3 okuya poopresenda 9.9 mo-2014.

    Omakengelelo goondando, ongushu nomwaalu gwiipindi oshowo okushanga uumbaapila womafutilo wiikengelela oyo unene iimbuluma tayi falitha pombanda omwaalu gwiimaliwa tayi kana momukalo ngoka, kwa gwedhwa woo iilonga yuulingilingi mokati kaanambelewa yepangelo, nokuyanda okufuta iishoshela yepangelo.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Good demand for African airlinesGood demand for African airlines African airlines continued to enjoy good demand, with traffic up 6.0% compared to March 2016, according to a report by the International Air Transport Association (Iata) on global passenger traffic results for March 2017.

    Capacity rose 2.4%, and load factor strengthened 2.3 percentage points to 68.2%. Notwithstanding fragility in the region's biggest economies (Nigeria and South Africa), traffic growth has strengthened in recent months with RPKs growing at an annualised pace of nearly 10% since mid-2016.

    According to Iata, this pick-up reflects a combination of faster growth on the key market to and from Europe, and also between Africa and the Middle East.

    The report shows that globally demand rose 6.8% compared to the same month a year ago. Capacity grew 6.1% and load factor climbed by half a percentage point to 80.4%, which was a record for the month.

    March demand growth represented a moderate slowdown relative to performance in February after adjusting for the distortion in the year-to-year comparisons owing to the extra day in February 2016. The imposition of the ban on large electronics in the cabin on certain routes to the US and UK occurred too late in March to have an effect on traffic figures.

    “Strong traffic demand continued throughout the first quarter, supported by a combination of lower fares and a broad-based upturn in global economic conditions. The price of air travel has fallen by around 10% in real terms over the past year and that has contributed to record load factors. We will have to wait another month to see the impact of the laptop ban on demand,” said Alexandre de Juniac, Iata's director general and CEO.



    FIN 24

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  • 05/07/17--16:00: Oil slumps
  • Oil slumpsOil slumpsSome experts say US$40 the new standard Oil slid below US$45 a barrel for the first time since OPEC agreed to cut output in November as US shale confounds the producer group's attempts to prop up prices. In less than 10 minutes on Friday, futures slumped more than US$1 amid a surge in volume.

    They collapsed 9.3% last week, sliding to the lowest since November 15 - two weeks before the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) signed a six-month deal to curb production aimed at easing a global glut.

    The decline is being driven by expanding US output before OPEC is set to decide whether to prolong its cuts.

    While OPEC's curbs drove oil in early January to the highest since July 2015, that increase encouraged US drillers to pump more. The result has been 11 weeks of expansion in American production in the longest run of gains since 2012.

    Prices are still more than 50% below their peak in 2014, when surging shale output triggered crude's biggest collapse in a generation and left rival producers such as Saudi Arabia scrambling to protect market share.

    “We're seeing a strong reaction and a change in mood,” said Victor Shum, a Singapore-based vice president at IHS Energy. Prices that “overshot” to the mid-to-high $50s after the output deal are now “back to reality” amid surging American supplies, he said.

    West Texas Intermediate for June delivery dropped as much as US$1.76 to US$43.76 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and was at US$44.76 at 08:01.

    Total volume traded was more than quadruple the 100-day average. The contract lost US$2.30, or 4.8%, to close at US$45.52 on Thursday.

    “There's a lot of option-related activities so as the market falls through US$45, the holders of short, put positions need to hedge,” said Mark Keenan, head of Asia commodities research at Societe Generale.

    “They need to sell futures and that can drive some very significant and volatile moves through those levels.”



    US output

    Brent for July settlement slumped as much as US$1.74 to US$46.64 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices are down 7.8% this week, heading for a third weekly decline. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of US$2.57 to July WTI.

    Energy companies led losses among equities in Asia, with the MSCI AC Asia Pacific Energy sub-index dropping 1.5%.

    PetroChina lost 2.8%, while Australia's Santos slipped 3%. The S&P Oil & Gas Exploration and Production Index had slid as much as 4.9% Thursday to the lowest since August.

    US crude production rose to 9.29 million barrels last week, the highest level since August 2015, according to the Energy Information Administration.

    While OPEC is likely to prolong curbs for a further six months, American shale supply remains a concern, according to Nigeria's oil minister.

    OPEC will meet on 25 May in Vienna to decide whether to extend supply cuts through the second half.

    “There's disappointment that the production cuts we've seen from OPEC and others has not had any impact at this stage on global inventory levels,” said Ric Spooner, a chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney.

    “The market seems to be much further away from a balanced situation than some had previously forecast. There is a possibility that oil could be headed to the low US$40s range from here.”



    BLOOMBERG

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  • 05/07/17--16:00: China's economy shaping up
  • China's economy shaping upChina's economy shaping upRio Tinto says 2018 will be positive If economic indicators are anything to go by, China is on the rebound, says global mining giant Rio Tinto. Latest indicators of China's economy point to continued growth through 2018, according to mining giant Rio Tinto Group, which counts the world's number-two economy as its biggest customer.

    “Are we concerned about the Chinese economic health? The answer is no,” CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques told reporters in Sydney. “The indications are positive for 2018 as well, but it's early days.” He revealed he's visited the nation five times in the past nine months.

    Rio, which has about 200 staff in Shanghai and Beijing assessing data on China, including domestic mine output, last week reviewed the outlook for the economy in 2018, Jacques said. “The only concern I would have – which is not about China by the way, it's more a geopolitical issue – is if there was to be a big shock in the system.”

    Growth in China unexpectedly picked up to 6.9% in the first quarter, clocking its first back-to-back acceleration in seven years, as industrial output advanced and factory prices surged. Analysts projected faster economic expansion in each of the next four quarters in a Bloomberg survey from April 18 to 25, compared with forecasts in the March poll.

    Rio declined 1.8% in Sydney trading Thursday to A$58.32, extending its decline this year to 2.6%.

    Commodities markets have faded in 2017 amid concern that political uncertainty is curbing prospects for improved global growth and on uncertainty over the impact on raw materials demand in China from slower economic expansion and capacity cuts in smokestack industries. Rio generates about 43% of revenue in China.

    Restructuring in China's steel industry “doesn't mean they will reduce the output,” and there may be opportunities for Rio as remaining mills move to higher quality imported ore, Jacques said. The reforms to curb capacity are among factors that mean there's likely to be continued volatility in iron ore prices, he said.

    China's 'One Belt-One Road' initiative to develop new land and sea trade links with Asia, Europe and Africa and provide funding to aid infrastructure development “augurs well for demand for steel and iron-ore in the region,” Fortescue Metals Group CEO Nev Power told a conference in Sydney. “All the economies through Asia are starting to pick up the pace in terms of development,” he said.

    Iron-ore, Rio's top earner, has tumbled about 28% since touching a more than two-year high in February as steel prices have declined, squeezing margins for mills. Investors are weighing the outlook as producers in Brazil and Australia add to seaborne supply to threaten further price declines, while China's record iron ore imports and strong steel demand offer support.

    London-based Rio is continuing discussions on potential opportunities with state-owned China Minmetals, he said, without specifying any details. Jacques met with Minmetals in Beijing in March, the Chinese entity said in a posting to its website at the time.

    In Australia, Rio has cut about 100 jobs at its Boyne aluminium smelter in Queensland state amid gains in prices that have made some output unprofitable, Jacques told

    reporters.

    Regional electricity price spikes and outages in Australia, one of the biggest natural gas and coal suppliers, are raising concern from businesses that the nation's energy security is deteriorating. “It's time for the federal government to step in,” Jacques said. “We have had a very open, very blunt conversation with the government.”

    BLOOMBERG

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    !Naruseb urges contractors to consult locals!Naruseb urges contractors to consult locals Minister of Works and Transport, Alpheus !Naruseb has urged contractors to consult community members in areas where construction takes place for their projects to be successful.

    !Naruseb made these remarks during a visit to the Omusati and Oshana regions to assess roads damaged by floods.

    “We must benefit from local information before building any sort of infrastructure so that it does not fall victim to any of the natural disasters we experience in our country,” the minister said.

    !Naruseb, accompanied by a delegation from the Roads Authority (RA), viewed the road between Okatana and Onamutayi in Oshana as well as several roads in Omusati.

    He also inspected the Elim-Onamutuku road, which was completely washed away by floods.

    Most of these areas are still under water and repair work can only be done once the water subsides.

    RA CEO Conrad Lutombi noted that standing water is a challenge for the authority as it means delays in repairs, which affects traffic movement in the affected regions.

    “We have provided alternative routes for drivers to use during this period, but having only one road causes congestion.”

    Asked if poor workmanship is responsible for the extensive damage to the roads as most are less than 10 years old, Lutombi dismissed the idea.

    “There is also a very huge impact from the dike as it has so many openings, while the Okatana Bridge is unable to accommodate water which channels to other areas,” he added, emphasising the need to upgrade the drainage structure in order to prevent similar incidents in future.

    The CEO noted that the construction of other roads is going well, while completion is expected in July on the Omuntele-Uushona, Oshakati-Ongenga and Etomba to Omundaungilo roads in Oshana and Ohangwena respectively.

    Work on the Oshakati-Omuthiya dual carriageway has also commenced.

    The designs and layout have already been completed for the section of the road up to Onethindi in the Oshikoto Region.

    The minister and his delegation also visited the Zambezi Region to assess damaged roads there.

    NAMPA

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  • 05/07/17--16:00: Drug allegations rocks NZ
  • Drug allegations rocks NZDrug allegations rocks NZ Two senior New Zealand rugby league internationals have been stood down by their clubs in Australia's National Rugby League (NRL) after being embroiled in allegations of purchasing and taking an illicit drug.

    New Zealand captain Jesse Bromwich and fellow forward Kevin Proctor were stood down by their respective clubs on Sunday after local media reported they had been involved in purchasing and consuming cocaine in Canberra early on Saturday.

    The pair had both played in the 34-12 ANZAC test loss to Australia on Friday in Canberra.

    ACT Police said a man had been charged for possession and supply of a drug of dependence to two NRL players.

    The Melbourne Storm's Bromwich said in a statement on Sunday he had stood down from the Kiwis' captaincy because of the incident, while the club said he had been suspended for two games and ordered to undergo counselling and treatment courses.

    “I will be stepping down from my leadership roles with Melbourne Storm and the Kiwis, I understand I am a role model to the young players and the poor choices I made do not reflect my personal values,” Bromwich said in a statement.

    “I regret making the choice of staying out with my team mates until the early hours of Saturday morning, as well as consuming an excessive amount of alcohol.

    “I take full responsibility for the poor choices I made, I am devastated and my actions were out of character.”

    Proctor added he had stood down as co-captain of the Gold Coast Titans and from playing until the club's board made a final decision on his future.

    “I obviously had too much to drink before the incident that has caused all the trouble happened much later in the night,” Proctor said in a statement.

    “Although I can't remember exactly what happened, I don't deny it. I am devastated by the whole thing and can't apologise enough to my Kiwi team mates, the NRL, the Titans, and all fans of the game.”

    Fellow international Shaun Kenny-Dowell, who was not selected for the test, is also under investigation by his Sydney Roosters club for an incident last week after local media reported he had been charged with possession of an illicit drug.

    Damian Keogh also stood down as the chairman of the Cronulla Sharks, last year's champions, over the weekend after he was arrested on Friday when searched by police and allegedly found with a small resealable bag containing white powder.

    Cronulla chief executive Lyall Gorman said on Saturday that Keogh was very distressed and disappointed.

    NAMPA/REUTERS

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  • 05/07/17--16:00: Olympians miss drug tests
  • Olympians miss drug testsOlympians miss drug tests Olympic silver medallist Madeline Groves and two other Australian Olympic swimmers are facing possible two-year bans for missing drug tests, reports said Sunday.

    Groves, two-time Olympian Thomas Fraser-Holmes and Rio Olympic open water swimmer Jarrod Poort missed three drug tests in a 12-month period, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

    Swimming Australia said it was informed by the Australian Sport Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) and the sport's world governing body FINA that some team members may have failed to update their whereabouts.

    “ASADA and FINA are yet to finalise their processes and to confirm the final outcomes in relation to these matters,” SA said in a statement.

    “Under ASADA and FINA rules, Swimming Australia is unable to announce details on any individual swimmers who may have failed to update their whereabouts appropriately until ASADA and FINA have completed their process.”

    Athletes are required to keep their whereabouts updated for the purpose of drug testing.

    “It was disappointing that the information had been leaked before the relevant organisations had concluded the matters under a thorough and fair process for all involved,” SA chief executive Mark Anderson added.



    Anderson said Australian swimmers were reminded about anti-doping protocols as recently as last month's national championships in Brisbane.

    “I have very clearly and very strongly reminded our team that you can never switch off from ensuring your whereabouts is accurate,” he said.

    “As an athlete it is a non-negotiable, you must be available for testing every single day of the four-year cycle.”

    Groves claimed the silver medal in the 200-metres butterfly at last year's Rio Olympics.

    ASADA said at the point of each missed test, athletes have the opportunity to put forward an explanation before a missed-test declaration was made.

    NAMPA /AFP

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  • 05/07/17--16:00: Alvarez pummels
  • Alvarez pummelsAlvarez pummels Saul “Canelo” Alvarez cruised to a unanimous decision win over Julio Chavez Jr. in a 12-round beatdown to claim Mexican bragging rights on Cinco de Mayo weekend in Las Vegas on Saturday.

    The 26-year-old Alvarez used Chavez for target practice, landing jabs, hooks and combinations at will as he won every round of the 164-pound (75 kg) fight on all three judges' scorecards.

    Chavez, who has a four inch (10 cm) height advantage, was booed during and after the fight by the standing room only crowd at the T-Mobile Arena.

    Alvarez treated the lopsided bout as if it were a sparring session in the gym, even standing up between rounds for the entire fight.

    He landed 228 punches to just 71 for Chavez and an incredible 31% of his jabs connected as he had his way with former champion Chavez, who has largely made his career off the name of his famous boxing champion father Julio Cesar Chavez Sr.

    Alvarez, who is the World Boxing Organization light middleweight champion, improved to 49-1-1 with his only loss coming against Floyd Mayweather in 2013.

    There was no title on the line Saturday as Alvarez moved up in weight to fight the much bigger Chavez at a catch weight of 164lbs.

    Alvarez was the heavy favourite going into the fight and it didn't take long to see why. Chavez had no answer for the punches from Alvarez which often came in combinations of three, four and sometimes even six.



    Chavez, 31, was bleeding from the left nostril in the fifth round. By the final round, he was bleeding from both nostrils and his left eye was almost swollen shut.

    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 05/07/17--16:00: FIFA gathers in Bahrain
  • FIFA gathers in BahrainFIFA gathers in BahrainAGM this week Controversy still surrounds the world football governing body, with just days to go before the congress. Two years on from the corruption crisis which consumed FIFA, football's governing body meets for its latest annual Congress in Bahrain this week still far from free of suspicion.

    It was May 2015 in Switzerland, as delegates prepared for that year's Congress, when plain-clothes officers pounced and arrested scores of FIFA officials.

    The ramifications of that are still being felt - with on-going investigations in the US and Switzerland - and 24 months later fresh problems are emerging for the still relatively new leadership of president Gianni Infantino.

    The run-up to this year's event in Manama, on May 11, has been overshadowed by the resignation from the FIFA council of powerbroker Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah, who is facing corruption allegations in the US.

    Kuwaiti Sheikh Ahmad has been named as a co-conspirator of disgraced Guam football chief, Richard Lai who recently pleaded guilty to receiving nearly US$1 million in bribes from football officials wanting his help to influence FIFA.

    Sabah's prominence across sport cannot be underestimated, as he also heads the Association of National Olympic Committees, the Olympic Council of Asia and has other senior sport administration posts including with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

    Issues on FIFA's agenda this week could also prove contentious.

    Item 16 is a proposal to look at how FIFA allocates its most prestigious tournament, the World Cup.

    Under current rules, the event cannot be staged in the same region more than once every 12 years.

    However, any change to this policy could allow football's emerging power, China, to make a bid for the 2030 tournament, just eight years after its AFC colleague, Qatar, controversially hosts the 2022 World Cup.

    Any such move is likely to be challenged by Argentina and Uruguay which wants to jointly host the tournament in 17 years' time to mark the centenary of the very first World Cup, played in Montevideo.

    Another contentious issue is that of Israel and Palestine.

    The Palestine Football Association argues that the presence of six Israeli clubs on its territory is in breach of FIFA statutes, which forbids another member association playing on another territory without permission.

    Israel argues that FIFA rules are unenforceable as there is no permanent border.

    But even before the FIFA Congress convenes, there could be controversy in Manama.

    On May 8, in the same venue, the AFC will hold its rescheduled congress to finally elect its FIFA Council members.

    This vote has been delayed since last September when the AFC took just 27 minutes to abandon their extraordinary congress in Goa.

    The meeting was abruptly cancelled after Saoud Al-Mohannadi, Qatar Football Association's vice-president, was stopped at the very last minute from standing for election for the FIFA council.

    He was then banned from football for a year after being accused of not co-operating with a FIFA corruption enquiry.

    However, last month, in a rare reversal, Mohannadi won his appeal against the ban handed down by a FIFA ethics committee.

    This exoneration though was too late for him to apply to stand for the council again.

    Mohannadi though has told AFP he will be in Bahrain and has been “examining” ways to run again for election.

    Another item for the AFC to decide is whether or not to agree to Iraq's request to end the international ban on hosting football matches.

    NAMPA / AFP

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  • 05/07/17--16:00: Driven by disability
  • Driven by disabilityDriven by disability“No one thinks about the people that don't get a shot at something. No one thinks about the ones that wake up before the sun rises to work twice hard to achieve their dreams. No one thinks about those who work hard without any glory promised at the end of the road.

    “But the road is not always gloomy. There is light at the end of the tunnel,” said Cobie Bok, a one armed rugby player, graphic designer and photography enthusiast.

    Bok's story is an inspiring story of greatness. At a young age he had to learn to stand up for himself, having to fend off bullies and was always picked last from the bench, just because he had a missing limb. The 24-year-old Bok was born without the left arm, but this has not dampened his love for rugby despite his disability.

    Born in a sleepy little village called Schlip near Rehoboth, Bok grew up sharing a small backyard room and later a caravan with his parents and four other siblings. A life he describes as difficult.

    Most of the things he owned were passed on to him by his siblings. He started playing football to escape the hardship, but his strategy was short-lived, because of constant bullying from school mates at Michelle McLean in Windhoek. “I think the children didn't understand that I was a human being just like them, so I didn't feel like taking part in anything anymore, because I was always being stared at or called names,” Bok said.

    He said when he was in high school at David Bezuidenhout, it was mandatory to take part in sport and he couldn't escape taking part in sport activities anymore. “Even though I didn't want to go through bullying again, I joined the athletics club and it turned out that I was a talented athlete. With encouragement I continued to run and the medals started coming in.”

    In 2015, a coach scouted and trained him and he continued winning medals in the sport codes he participated in. Bok said there was too much sport politics in athletics so he stopped running and decided to play rugby. “I was selected to play for the under-15 team in the ATKV tournament, but because of my age I couldn't play for the team anymore and so I joined guys who played rugby on Sundays. “With encouragement from my peers, I joined the Suburbs Rugby team in 2016. There weren't a lot of opportunities for me, so I moved to Unam where I was drafted in the third team. Needless to say the rest is history.”

    The coaching staff at Unam groomed him to become the player that he is today.

    He says playing in the team did not come on a silver platter, since he had to work twice as hard to make it onto the team. Bok said his disability has however inspired him to succeed and some of his manoeuvres catch opponents' off-guard. “It hasn't discouraged me at all. I treat it as a challenge. I put the ball under my right arm and fend off players with my left and then I'm gone.”

    But he also gives credit to his older brother Bently Bok who constantly pushed him and refused to go easy on him when they played together. “He taught me how to drive a car and how to swim because he wants me to do everything for myself.”

    Bok encourages other disabled people, saying that talent is God-given, “It doesn't matter who you are, you should always push yourself and find ways to do a particular thing. If you are disabled don't despair, work on your talent.”

    On the field, other players do not give him any special favours. “I get taken out a lot, but I'm used to it now. It makes me a better player. I am trying to do things that I enjoy and that are challenging. I don't want people to make assumptions that I can't run or work, just because I don't have an arm. I don't consider myself disabled.”

    Love for design and photography

    Bok has his hands in many pies. Not only does he excel at rugby, but he pursues a career in graphic design and wants to study for a degree in photojournalism in future. “In high school I enjoyed drawing. My best friend taught me the basics, then I went for training in desktop publishing at the Institute of Information Technology for a year. After completing my studies, I did private work for clients and worked for my church.”

    He says that his best friend's mother got him a job where he worked for nine months. “I had to leave the place, because there was no prospect of being permanently employed. However, I'm grateful for the opportunity because I was building my portfolio. Later, I was offered a job at Namibia Media Holdings (NMH) as a junior editorial graphic designer. A job I enjoy.

    “I want to become a photojournalist one day. Part time I take pictures and some of them have been published in the newspaper”. He says he is confident that he can achieve a lot if he works hard. “I know that I can play professional rugby one day for the National Sevens. Whoever wishes to assist me make my dream come true is welcome,” Bok said.













    Limba Mupetami

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  • 05/07/17--16:00: NFA to host referee course
  • NFA to host referee courseNFA to host referee courseRefereeing to be improved The men with a whistles are going to get lessons tomorrow in the capital. The Namibia Football Association (NFA) is embarking upon search for new refereeing talent and will be hosting a two-week referee's course at the Football House in Windhoek starting Tuesday, 9 May.

    NFA Referees Coordinator Absalom Goseb says his department will be hosting a two-week course starting next Tuesday and calls on aspiring young referees to attend a Referees Beginners Course in Windhoek.

    “We are embarking upon development of new referees and I call upon all prospective referees to contact me for this course. They will be taken through all the basics and will be tested on their basic understanding of the rules of the game as we continue to empower and equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to carry on the mantle of refereeing in this country and beyond the bounders,” Goseb states.

    The Referees Coordinator also reveals that 2016 Namibia Sport Swards Match Empire/Referee of the Year Jackson Pavaza will be leading a delegation of match officials to the Democratic Republic of Congo to officiate at CAF Confederation Cup Group D encounter between TP Mazembe and Gabonese CF Mounana on 14 May at the Stade TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi.

    Pavaza will be assisted by compatriots Dawid Shaanika and Matthew Kanyanga with Dankie Shinana the fourth official for the match. National match Commissioner Erastus Shilunga will also be on CAF assignment on 14 May to oversee a Group B encounter between South Africa's Platinum Stars and Mouloudia Club D'Algier of Algeria at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg. The match officials are from Kenya.

    Goseb also has a special invitation for women participants and urge them to attend and not just think men will be given preference as the game has advanced so much that women match officials are in demand as well.



    Sport Reporter

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  • 05/07/17--16:00: Lions dismantle Welwitschias
  • Lions dismantle WelwitschiasLions dismantle Welwitschias The Xerox Golden Lions ran in seven unanswered first-half tries as they thrashed the Windhoek Draught Welwitschias (112-14) in the SuperSport Rugby Challenge at the Alberton Rugby Club on Saturday. The home side was comfortably ahead at the break on 49-0.

    This win sees the Lions move to 10 log points following last week's away 29-40 win at the Pumas while the Welwitschias are winless after three matches with losses against the Valke and Blue Bulls. The men from Johannesburg ran in five tries in the opening quarter of the match with Shaun Reynolds kicking seven conversions, and also dotting down for a five-pointer. Replacement back Siya Masuku added five conversions as well.

    The home side outscored the Welwitschias by 15 tries to two. Tries for the Lions came via a brilliant hat-trick from replacement wing Hacjivah Dayimani, two tries each from loose forward James Venter, lock JP du Preez and Jarryd Sage.

    Madosh Tambwe, Reynolds, Victor Sekekete, Selom Gavor, Ashlon Davids, Gerdus van der Walt, (add another player) each scored a try apiece. This is the second week that the pivot has not only been accurate off the tee, but also got his name on the try-scoring sheet again.

    A rather lacklustre defensive effort from the Namibian side saw the Lions capitalise on the huge gaps left by the visitors. Reynolds' form with the boot inspired the Lions backs to run with ease and ensure that possession was converted to points.

    The home side drew first blood in the opening minute courtesy of Tambwe's try, Reynolds adding the extras from the tee. Sage and Venter's first try came in the eighth and 13th minute respectively. Reynolds converting both tries with ease, 21-0. It was one-way traffic from that point onward, as that laid a solid platform for the Lions to dot down four more times in the opening stanza.

    With the damage already done in the first 40, the Lions seemed to have eased their foot off the gas in the second half, with a host of replacements making their appearances. Replacement speedster Gavor and Dayimani got on the scoring sheet as the final quarter approached. But it seemed like a repeat of the opening half with tries from Gavor, Dayimani, Kim and Davids scored within the space of 15 minutes.

    The Welwitschias finally got on the scoreboard with a 61st minute try from Lesley Kim, and Theuns Kotze added the extras, 70-7.

    Diyamini dotted down for his second try, cancelling out their opponent's try, Masuku added the extras, taking the score to 77-7. Tries from Davids, du Preez, van der Walt and Sage's second try saw the Lions put 100 points on the scoreboard.

    The final result in Alberton was 112-14, as the Lions demolished the Welwitschias in their second SuperSport Rugby Challenge match.



    Scores

    Lions: Tries: Hacjivah Dayimani (3), Jarryd Sage (2), James Venter (2), JP du Preez (2), Madosh Tambwe, Shaun Reynolds, Victor Sekekete, Selom Gavor, Ashlon Davids, Gerdus van der Walt Cons: Reynolds (7), Masuku (5), Gavor



    Welwitschias: Tries: Lesley Kim (2) Cons: Theuns Kotze (2)

    SuperSport

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  • 05/07/17--16:00: I am tired
  • I am tiredI am tired The controversy surrounding our football has me feeling like a lost navy seal in a war that is violent and seems never-ending.

    It is very disturbing to see that our football circle is heading south because of the personal egos that have emerged lately.

    People are using the wrong platform in order to tackle the challenges that have tainted the beautiful game.

    When I say a wrong platform, I simply mean by going on social media and starting a cold war without actually healing, or changing, the ill mentality people have.

    I just do not know if we are ever going to get out of this deep hole that we are in.

    Our football leaders must realise that they have to change the way they think and act.

    As a son of this soil, I see many dreams that are broken because our football that has been utterly destroyed.

    The saddest thing about the Namibian football leaders is that they do not even try to fix it, but rather, prefer to break it even more.

    The tribal barriers that we Namibians have are reflected in our football.

    Some people are trying to get Namibia Football Association (NFA) secretary-general Barry Rukoro out.

    But Rukoro is actually not the problem, even if everyone chooses to have a grudge against him.

    The problem is that as Namibians we do not think of solutions - we prefer to fan the fire that is burning the beautiful game into the ground.

    The time is now for us to make life easier for our players, players that need to feed their children. And we need to keep them playing the game.

    I wrote a fortnight ago in my column that many lives have been shattered by individuals that only think of themselves.

    To be honest, I actually thought that my column will have an impact on the narrow-minded people.

    However, I am writing again to say that things have actually gone from bad to worse after sharing my feelings about the players that have lost hope.

    We can never make things right if we choose to be ignorant of the things that can save this football-loving nation and its favourite sport.

    Have we football leaders ever thought how Nestor Tobias has managed to become one of the best boxing promoters in the world?

    It is because he stood by what he loves and never turned a blind eye towards what he wants to achieve.

    However, our football leaders have decided to become blind to what has to be achieved.

    Our president, Dr Hage Geingob tried his best to bring the change we all hoped for by inviting the football leaders to State House.

    I can assure you that the meeting gave us hope and as a reporter, I started feeling that we can have much to write about football in this lifetime.

    All that hope and belief that I had, has been shattered within a few days, because of the chaos that has engulfed our beautiful sport.

    We do have to bury the evil of tribalism if we ever want to see our game shine again.

    Let us not judge the people in football leadership by their tribe, but judge them by their humanity and efficiency.

    I know some people would feel that I am in support of what the football association is doing right now.

    The fact is that I do not support them, neither will I support whoever is trying to oust them.

    The truth is that us Namibians will talk about problems from the terraces, but once we are in that juicy position, we start doing the same things we once opposed.

    Let us just cure the disease of hatred and make things right by becoming football-loving people that actually play the game.

    We have to restore the pride and hope that our football players had for so many generations.



    Chao!

    jesse@namibiansun.com

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  • 05/07/17--16:00: Namibia dominates Cosassa
  • Namibia dominates CosassaNamibia dominates CosassaDelivers pleasing results Team Namibia was second overall at the COSASSA games in Zimbabwe over the weekend. Namibia dominated the individual awards at the 18th edition of the Confederation of Southern African School Sports Associations (COSASSA) Games which ended in Harare, Zimbabwe on Saturday.

    The games started Thursday and ended Saturday.

    Despite finishing second in the overall medal table, Namibia won eight of the 18 awards on offer at the awards ceremony held Saturday at Queen Elizabeth High School.

    Meagan Le Roux won the best Female Junior Athlete (Field Events) award after she won the high jump and long jump events, amassing a total of 756 points.

    Chrisline Klein was named Best Female Senior Athlete (Field Events) after she collected 775 points.

    She was joined by Ryan Williams who won Best Male Athlete (Field Events) with 795 points.

    Next to collect an award was Tuane Silver, who won best female in the age group 13 and under.

    Lee-orrel Breytenbach was named Best Male Athlete for the 15 and under age group, while Natalie Louw was a deserving winner in the same girls Under-17 category.

    Silver Tuane was named Junior Victrix while Natalie Louw was named Senior Victrix.

    Zimbabwe had seven athletes awarded best individual performers while Botswana had only three.

    Zimbabwe continued its regional dominance in field and track events for primary and secondary schools by winning the 18th Confederation of Southern African School Sports Associations (Cosassa) Games in Harare on Saturday.

    The competition, which began on Thursday, saw Zimbabwe win a total of 37 gold medals, 27 silver and 28 bronze, to finish as overall leaders with a total of 92 medals.

    The awards ceremony was held concurrently with the official closing of the event.

    The next Cossasa Games will take place in Botswana in 2018.

    Namibia School Sports Union director Solly Duiker was proud of what the athletes have done.

    He believes that more will come from Namibia as far as improving is concern.

    NAMPA

    0 0

    Texas parents to be judged on race, religionTexas parents to be judged on race, religion Parents seeking to adopt children in Texas could soon be rejected by public or private agencies with religious objections to them being Jewish, Muslim, gay, single, or interfaith couples, under a proposal advancing in the Republican-controlled Legislature.

    Five other states have passed similar laws protecting faith-based adoption organisations that refuse to place children with gay parents or other households on religious grounds, but Texas' rule extends to state-funded agencies. Only South Dakota's is similar.

    Republican sponsors of the Texas' bill, which is poised to pass in the state’s House, say it is designed to support the religious freedom of adoption agencies and foster care providers.

    But opponents say it robs children of stable homes while funding discrimination with taxpayer dollars.

    "This would allow adoption agencies to turn away qualified, loving parents who are perhaps perfect in every way because the agency has a difference in religious belief," said Catherine Oakley, senior legislative counsel for the Human Rights Campaign. "This goes against the best interest of the child".

    The bill also blatantly violates the Constitution, Oakley added.

    "As a governmental entity, Texas is bound to treat people equally under the law," said Oakley. "This is a violation of equal protection under the law".

    James Frank, the bill's author, said it's designed to address the state's foster care crisis by making "reasonable accommodations so everyone can participate in the system.

    "Everyone is welcome. But you don't have to think alike to participate," said Frank, a Republican from rural Wichita Falls, near Texas' border with Oklahoma.

    Suzanne Bryant, an Austin-based adoption attorney who works with LGBT clients and was one of the first individuals to have a legal same-sex marriage in Texas, said the bill fails to provide alternatives for prospective parents rebuffed by adoption agencies.

    "Say you call an agency and say, 'I'm Jewish,' and it's a Catholic agency and they hang up on you," said Bryant. "The bill says you can be referred to another agency, but there's no mechanism to set that up".

    Not only could agencies turn away hopeful parents under the religious freedom provision, but they could require children in the foster care system to comply with their faith-based requirements, said Bryant.

    That means child welfare organisations could send LGBT kids to conversion therapy, a treatment designed to turn people straight - which the Pan American Health Organisation calls a "serious threat to the health and well-being of affected people." And they could deny young people contraception and abortions.

    More than 100 children died in Texas child protective services last year alone, when a judge had already ruled that the system violated youngsters' constitutional rights by leaving them more troubled when they left the system than when they entered it. Republican Gov Greg Abbott made fixing foster care an "emergency" priority and the legislature has increased funding while backing a number of major changes.

    NAMPA/AP

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  • 05/07/17--16:00: 82 Chibok girls freed
  • 82 Chibok girls freed82 Chibok girls freed113 girls still remain unaccounted for While there is great joy about the release of 82 of the kidnapped Chibok girls in Nigeria, at least 113 remain unaccounted for at this stage. Nigeria's government says the 82 kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls who have been released in an exchange for detained Boko Haram suspects met with President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday in the capital.

    Buhari's office tweeted the first official confirmation of the largest release of Chibok girls since the mass kidnapping of 276 more than three years ago.

    The government says the Swiss government and the International Committee of the Red Cross helped in negotiations with the extremist group. Similar talks led to the first release of 21 Chibok girls in October last year.

    The latest announcement means 113 girls remain unaccounted for. It is feared some were forced to carry out suicide bombing missions for Boko Haram, which has ties to the Islamic State group.

    The 82 Chibok schoolgirls seized three years ago by Boko Haram were freed in exchange for detained suspects with the extremist group, Nigeria's government announced early on Sunday, in the largest release negotiated yet in the battle to save nearly 300 girls whose mass abduction exposed the mounting threat posed by the Islamic State-linked fighters.

    The statement from the office of President Muhammadu Buhari was the first confirmation that his government had made a swap for the girls. After an initial release of 21 Chibok girls in October, the government denied making an exchange or paying ransom.

    The April 2014 abduction by Boko Haram brought the extremist group's rampage in northern Nigeria to world attention and, for families of the schoolgirls, began years marked with heartbreak.

    Some relatives did not live long enough to see their daughters released. Many of the captive girls, most of them Christians, were forced to marry their captors and give birth to children in remote forest hideouts without ever knowing if they would see their parents again. It is feared that other girls were strapped with explosives and sent on missions as suicide bombers.

    As word of the latest release emerged, long-suffering family members said they were eagerly awaiting a list of names and "our hopes and expectations are high."

    Before Saturday's release, 195 of the girls had remained captive. Now 113 of the girls remain unaccounted for.

    Mass abduction

    A Nigerian military official with direct knowledge of the rescue operation said the freed girls were found near the town of Banki in Borno state near Cameroon.

    "The location of the girls kept changing since yesterday when the operation to rescue them commenced," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to make the announcement.

    Boko Haram remains active in that area. On Friday, the United States and Britain issued warnings that the extremist group was actively planning to kidnap foreigners in an area of Borno state "along the Kumshe-Banki axis".

    The 276 schoolgirls kidnapped from Chibok in 2014 are among thousands of people abducted by Boko Haram over the years.

    The mass abduction shocked the world, sparking a global #Bringbackourgirls campaign supported by former US first lady Michelle Obama and other celebrities. It has put tremendous pressure on Nigeria's government to counter the extremist group, which has roamed large parts of the north and into neighbouring countries.

    Latest negotiation

    "This is very, very exciting news for us that we have over 80 of our girls coming back again," Bukky Shonibare with the #BringBackOurGirls campaign told Sky TV. "Their life in captivity has been one that depicts suffering, it depicts the fact that they have been starved, abused, and as we have seen before some of those girls have come back with children, and some of them have also come back with news of how they have been sexually abused."

    The latest negotiations were again mediated by the Swiss government and the International Committee of the Red Cross, Nigeria's government said.

    At the initial release of girls in October, the government said the release of another 83 would be coming soon. But at the three-year anniversary of the kidnapping in April, the government said negotiations had "gone quite far" but faced challenges.

    Buhari late last year announced Boko Haram had been "crushed," but the group continues to carry out attacks in northern Nigeria and neighboring countries. Its insurgency has killed more than 20 000 people and driven 2.6 million from their homes, with millions facing starvation.

    NAMPA/AP

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