9 Celebrities With An Unmistakable Long Island Accent

December 16, 2020

first_imgSigh. “The Karate Kid” came into our hearts as a young heartthrob when he played Daniel LaRusso in 1984. He cemented his place in pop culture when he played Johnny in The Outsiders, holding his own (and then some) in the company of Patrick Swayze, Tom Cruise and Matt Dillon.Born and raised in Huntington—a Half Hollow Hills High School alumnus who lived for a spell in East Islip and currently resides in Miller Place—Macchio has never lost his Long Island accent. You heard it when he was an adorable teenage kid (who was actually in his 20s when he played high school students), when he was in My Cousin Vinny (although his accent might have been drowned out by those of Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei), and when he was an adorable 50-year-old contestant on Dancing with The Stars (who still looked like a teenager).Like Billy Joel, most of us here on LI know someone who knows someone who knows him. And they all have the same opinion: Ralph Macchio is a great guy. Down to earth. Modest. Eternally young. And so damn nice.His sweetheart reputation has so followed Macchio that he was prompted to create the short “Wax On, F*ck Off,” for Funny or Die in 2010, which portrayed his close family and friends having a reverse intervention to plead with him: “Please do something to become relevant! Like doing drugs, soliciting a prostitute, something!” The video has millions of views and has reached “immortal status” on the site.As has Macchio in our collective LI hearts. [Read my heart-stopping interview with the eternal LI heartthrob – “Ralph Macchio: L.I.’s Karate Kid Stays True To Form With ‘Across Grace Alley’” – HERE.] Even though The Sopranos has been off the air for almost a decade (how can that be??), Edie Falco’s Lawn Guyland dialect is still audible in our collective unconscious. Close your eyes. You can still hear her “Tony!” can’t you?Although she was born in Brooklyn, Falco grew up in Long Island’s very own Hicksville, before moving to North Babylon and West Islip (home to many Tonys) and eventually Northport, from where she graduated high school. Of course she starred in her high school play—and naturally she played Eliza Doolittle in “My Fair Lady”—the precursor to the rest of her career, as the perpetual Long Island-sounding actress.Falco has taken her Lawn Guyland accent to both the stage and screen, where she is an Emmy-, Golden Globe- and Screen Actors Guild-award winning actress. She has starred on Broadway in “Side Man,” “Frankie and Johnny in the Clare de Lune,” and “‘night, Mother.” On the big screen, she acted in such films as Trust, Reversal of Fortune, Random Hearts and Freedomland. But it was on the small screen where she made the splash that embedded her in the pop culture annals forever. From her small role as prison officer Diane Whittlesey in HBO’s Oz to the infamous Carmela Soprano to the title role in the Showtime series Nurse Jackie, Edie Falco and her accent have earned their place as pop culture icons. Ralph MacchioEmbed from Getty Images Jerry SeinfeldEmbed from Getty Images Edie FalcoEmbed from Getty Images Theresa Caputo‘Long Island Medium’ Theresa CaputoThe “Long Island Medium” is known as much for her Long Island accent as she is for her abilities to communicate with the other side. (We have our doubts. Read about “My Not-So-Psychic Experience With Long Island Medium Theresa Caputo HERE.)The hair defies the laws of gravity. The nails are a species of their own. The shoes reach spectacular heights and demand magical balancing ability. Oh but the voice. That voice. It is Long Island to the core.This Hicksville celeb has risen to fame and fortune by interpreting messages from the dearly departed and sharing them with the grieving. This practice has undoubtedly helped many deal with the loss of loved ones–and makes riveting television, to boot. Her TLC show “The Long Island Medium” is one of the most popular in the network’s history. Her live shows are often the hottest ticket in town. Private readings have a waiting list as long as the line of traffic trying to get into Jones Beach on the fourth of July.Can she really communicate with our deceased muthahs and fathahs? Does it matter? Howard Stern has one of the most recognizable voices of all time. The self-proclaimed “King of All Media” has entertained us with his unique and massively influential brand of gonzo radio that has earned him fame (or infamy) and fortune, plus led to a TV show and the feature film Private Parts he starred in based on his life.Born and raised in Roosevelt, Stern has an accent distinctively and apologetically Long Island. He tawks just like us. He says cawfee. And he curses. A lot. Like us.Howard Stern, who reached payscale heights that no one in his industry could ever touch, whose mop of brown curls and big nose are recognizable before you ever hear that Lawn Guyland accent, is the pioneer who paved the way for the entire shock-jock genre, including Long Islanders Opie and Anthony, who often credited his influence on their own LI radio show (before Anthony’s 2014 firing for what Sirius XM characterized as “racially-charged and hate-filled” social media posts (very unfunny) and subsequent launch of his popular podcast-style talk radio network).Howard Stern still has command of the airwaves. And so it will remain for the foreseeable future. Howard SternEmbed from Getty Images Everybody on the Island has a Billy Joel story. Whether you ran into him down in Oyster Bay Harbor, had an autograph signed in the parking lot of a red sauce joint in Syosset, your mom went to high school with the “Virginia” in the song “Only the Good Die Young,” or he’s driven his car into your living room, Billy Joel is a part of our Long Island culture. His voice is our voice. His accent as well.He’s a legend. His songs are a mainstay on Long Island radio. And he’s ours.Raised in Hicksville, Billy Joel has never strayed from his Long Island roots (although he might have moved up to a snazzier zip code—or two). During Hurricane Sandy, Billy Joel could be found digging in to help restore the shoreline.You may like him or you may not. He may not be the coolest or the most talented or prolific (especially in the last 20 years) artist, but his influence is virtually unmatched. He sells out Madison Square Garden every friggin’ month—and has for the last two years with his unprecedented MSG residency.Let’s face it, even if you never need to hear the song “Piano Man” ever again, it will outlive us all. And if you go off the Island and happen to hear it, you will lay claim to it as part of your Long Island heritage. We all do it.His repertoire goes way beyond the radio hits of the ’80s, your “New York State of Mind” and your “Tell Her About It.” (Full disclosure: “Tell Her About It” was the first 45 I ever bought, at TSS in West Babylon, to play on my My Little Pony record player. It’s so damn catchy.) Obscure songs on Glass Houses and The Bridge show the range and depth of his song-writing skill and piano prowess. His Broadway smash “Movin’ Out” as well as his induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (of course) further solidified his position as the one and only Piano Man. Ray Romano’s voice is that whiny Long Islandese that we gotta lay claim to, even if we don’t wanna. His show Everybody Loves Raymond was so thoroughly Long Island, with his Italian parents living in the house directly across the street and his job as a sports columnist for a suburban newspaper whose name shall not be mentioned. His older brother was an NYPD cop, as all of our brothers are growing up. The kids are obnoxious, but cute. As all our kids are.Romano was actually brought up in Queens, a part of Long island. (See: Fran Drescher.) He went to Hillcrest High School with Fran Drescher and even had the character Ray Barone (we all know people with that last name too!) introduced on Drescher’s show The Nanny. Phil Rosenthal, the executive producer and creator, is a Hofstra University alum, and frequently features the school in the show.Romano is a wildly successful comedian, who was at one point the highest-paid TV actor in CBS history. He has starred alongside fellow Long Islander Kevin James in the film Grilled. When he’s not making guest appearances on shows like Parenthood or The Office or taking his disco suit off on HBO’s Vinyl, you can find him competing in the World Series of Poker. You know, playing cards. Just like your neighbors.center_img Michael KorsEmbed from Getty Images Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York They tawk just like us! People know we’re from Long Island as soon as we open our (big) mouths. Without the edginess of Brooklynese, the Long Island accent is as distinctive as it is irritating. I say it’s time we own it. No, we don’t all sound like Amy Fisher. But some of us do. And some of us sound much, much worse. Whatevah.So do these rock, TV and movie stars. And it never held them back from making it big in Hollywood. In fact, it probably helped. Fran DrescherEmbed from Getty Images Ray RomanoEmbed from Getty Images Her voice is synonymous with her face, her hair and her persona. But without the voice, Fran Drescher is virtually unrecognizable.So maybe she grew up in Kew Gardens, Queens. We can waste time arguing over whether or not Queens is considered Long Island, but I’ll just tell you to peruse a map and then carry on with this article. We have a ways to go and no time for petty disagreements. (And also, I’m right and you’re wrong.)Although she had her share of small film roles in such big screen movies as Saturday Night Fever and This is Spinal Tap, the performance that brought her accent into our homes was her starring role in CBS’s The Nanny, created and produced by her then-husband and business partner Peter Jacobson. In the show, she played that accent for all it was worth, and audiences couldn’t get enough of it. The hair, the nails and that voice were all pitted against the staunchly uptight British widower Maxwell Sheffield, played by Charles Shaughnessy.She was then able to parlay that inimitable persona into voice work, like in the animated film Shark Bait as well as into big screen projects like Beautician and the Beast. Most recently, she played the wicked stepmother in Broadway’s “Cinderella.”Fran Drescher has also given voice to a cause dear to her heart. In her book Cancer Schmancer, she details her experience with uterine cancer in order to make women more aware of the early warning signs. She has become a voice (see what we did there?) of women’s health causes in general, fighting for research funding for diseases that disproportionately affect women. Billy JoelEmbed from Getty Images For the longest time, we could identify Michael Kors’ fashion line by its high-end classic appeal or by the label, but since the debut of Bravo’s Project Runway, where Michael Kors sat for several seasons as a judge, we now know without a doubt that although he is one of the jet set, he is absolutely Long Island material.One of the most successful fashion designers of all time, Kors grew up in Merrick, attending John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore. He has dressed Hollywood’s A-list, including Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lopez, Kate Hudson and Taylor Swift. And he dresses your neighbors, from the teenage girls who live next door touting pocketbooks with big MK’s on them to their mothers, in his eye-catching print patterns. All bought at the Massapequa mall. Maybe Smithhaven.The other thing we didn’t realize until Project Runway? His acerbic, hysterical, gifted sense of humor, such as these fashion critiques, laid down with a gorgeous Long Island accent:“Commes Des Garçons goes to the Amish country.”“A legging that Friar Tuck would wear.”“Real bitchy ’80s, kind of like… Knots Landing.”“Something a Teletubby would wear to a party.”And my favorite:“Transvestite-flamenco dancer at a funeral.” Who could forget the most successful television star in the history of the medium? That show about “nothing” set the standard for what television comedy could—and should—be. And it put that nasal Long Island twang on the map for eternity.Jerry Seinfeld grew up in the Massapequa area of our fair Island. A graduate of Massapequa High School, Seinfeld is one of our biggest claims to fame.With an unprecedented syndication deal ($100 million), Seinfeld officially has more money than God. He has parlayed his post-Seinfeld career into a terrific web series called Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (pronounced “cawfee”)–in one memorable episode he takes President Obama for a spin in his 1963 Corvette Stingray–and a successful stand-up tour.A car enthusiast, Seinfeld now has the time and money to indulge his greatest passion. He reportedly owns 46 Porshes, including the only air-cooled Porshe 911.Which is probably unlike any of your neighbors.(Photo credit: slgckgc/Flickr)last_img read more

In Your Neighbourhood

February 10, 2020

first_img Tomorrow’s matches Spring Village take lead Spring Village are the surprise leaders in the City of Kingston Credit Union-sponsored Portmore Domino League, after they eased past Highlight Strikers 300-285 in Sunday’s 13th round of matches, which were hampered by the islandwide power cut. Spring Village are currently on 48 points, two ahead of Exceptional International (44), which stopped Right Stuff 248-213 in an unfinished game. Third place Spit Fyah (45), the former leaders, defeated Chedwin Strikers 300-281. The League continues tomorrow with a full slate of matches. The games are (home teams named first): Spring Village vs Exceptional International, Ken’s Wildflower vs Soursop Tree, Passagefort United vs Naggo Head, Correctional Services vs Memory Lane, Waterhouse United vs Chedwin Strikers, Highlight Strikers vs Felluchie Strikers, Right Stuff vs Masterpiece, Garveymeade vs Unity Strikers and Eradication vs Unity Strikers. Portmore United turned the heat on Westchester, as they hit six past their Sunshine City rivals in a lopsided game in the St Catherine Football Association Under-13 Football League at Lime Tree Oval last Sunday. In other games, Wanderers whipped Daytona 4-0 through a double strike from Kammani Maxwell and a goal apiece via Mario Smith and Gary Wilson; East Portmore Portals defeated Royal Lakes 3-1 courtesy two goals by Qwane Walcott and another goal by Keneil Kelly from the penalty spot; Village Linx defeated De La Vega City 2-0; Windsor Lion thumped Rivoli United 4-0; and Angels whipped Tredegar Park 5-0. The biggest clash, on schedule, pits Edgewater against a free scoring Portmore United team this afternoon at 2:00 at the Lime Tree Oval. Two other matches are scheduled for that venue. At 3:30 p.m., Daytona tackle Portals, while at 4:45 p.m. Royal Lakes and Westchester meet in a clash of winless teams. PFM International bow out Portmore United hit Westchester for six St Catherine teams dominate Confed league North Street Cups starts with fierce battles Greater Portmore Strikers top INSPORTS Community League Greater Portmore Strikers copped the Portmore leg of the Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) Community Football League with an impressive 3-1 win over Christian Gardens in the final at Dunbeholden playing field last Sunday. Kareem Harvey (fifth), Ruel Gabbidon (57th) and Rushane Webber (61st) scored for Greater Portmore, while Andre Miller (31st) scored for Christian Gardens. The winners will receive prize money of $50,000 and a full set of gear to play in the next round of the all-island championship. Six-time champions Power of Faith International (PFM Int’l) bow out of the Power of Faith Ministries Twenty20 Cricket League in the elimination stages, as their brother team, Power of Faith Ministries Development (PFM Dev) humbled them by nine wickets at Bridgeport Cricket ground last Saturday. Scores: PFM Dev won the toss and asked PFM Int’l to take first strike and were bowled out for 77 in 16. 4 overs. Marlon Hoilette top-scored with 24, while Demar Johnson was the most successful bowler for PFM Dev, claiming 2-20 from three overs. In response, PFM Dev. made 80-1 in seven overs. Leading scorers were Gladstone Anderson, 31 not out and Demar Johnson, 18 not out. Bowling for PFM Int’l, captain Leon Edwards took 1-14 from two overs. The competition continues today with the Eliminator Two matchup between Faith Temple New Testament and PFM Dev. at 11:30 a.m.center_img Fiercely competitive games highlighted the opening round of the North Street Cup, the latest edition of high school lacrosse in Jamaica recently. Taino Cup champions St George’s College battled to a 4-3 win over North Street rivals Kingston College (KC), while Holy Trinity staved off a strong challenge to triumph 4-3 over Wolmer’s Boys. Despite the losses, it looks like KC and Wolmer’s are much improved from February’s Taino Cup competition, where they were humbled by their rivals. The game of lacrosse is on the rise since its inception in the island in 2013. Porus lead Pat Anderson U17 semi-final charge Jamalco Open round-up The St Catherine pair of Dunbeholden and Tru-Juice hold the respective pole positions in the JB Rum/South Central Confederation Super League football competition. Dunbeholden lead Group Two with nine points over St Bess FC (six) of St Elizabeth, while Tru-Juice lead Group One with seven points over Jamalco of Clarendon, who have six points. Earlier this week, Black Stars FC were able to eke out a win over Jamalco via a goal from Davian Ash’s penalty. Ricam Academy of Manchester suffered their third consecutive defeat, losing 1-2 to Tru-Juice FC at Brooks Park and are out of contention. Dunbeholden FC also suffered their first loss in this competition, going down 1-2 to St Bess. Shaneil James scored for St Bess FC in the second minute, followed quickly by Fredrick Thompson in the 11th minute. Nico Christian found the net in the 57th minute to reduce the deficit. In the final midweek games, New Bowens FC shared the points with Downs FC in a 2-2 finish. The competition continues tomorrow. Games are Jamalco FC vs Ricam Academy at Wembley Centre of Excellence, Black Stars FC vs Tru-Juice at Black River Community Centre, Dunbeholden FC vs New Bowens FC at Dunbeholden, Downs FC vs St Bess FC at Downs Community Centre. A full slate of matches will take place in the third round of the Clarendon Netball Association Jamalco Open, at the Mineral Heights Sports Centre tomorrow, starting at 2:15 p.m. In last weekend’s second round at the same venue, Cable Pro scored the largest margin of victory, shutting out Glenmuir A 41-10. Team R of Mandeville were just as ruthless on the youthful Glenmuir B team, outscoring them 37-4. Other big winners were Hayes A, which hammered Richmond 31-5 and newcomers Girls United, which had a powerful 24-8 win over Fogo High. Porus predictably waltzed into the semi-finals of the 2015-16 Moorland Development/Pat Anderson/Manchester FA U17 football competition with a 4-0 whipping of Christiana Academy last weekend. Their comprehensive win was set up by two strikes from Javel Coley, one of the standouts of the competition so far. Porus are unbeaten so far and have only conceded one goal. Also making it to the semi-finals are Ricam, 360 Degrees and Hillstars. Nakia Stone’s second half goal pivoted Ricam to a 1-0 win over Alligator Pond, 360 Degrees outscored Villa United 4-3 and Hillstars qualified with a 2-0 shutout of Cross Keys. The first semi-final will be contested on tomorrow between Porus FC and 360 Degree at Brooks Park in Mandeville, starting at 3:30 p.m. At 2:15 p.m.: May Day vs Denbigh B, Team R vs Fogo High At 3 p.m.: Holmwood vs Ridgemount, Glenmuir A vs Portland Cottage At 3:45 p.m.: Hayes A vs Holmwood, Water Lane vs Glenmuir B At 4:30 p.m.: Denbigh A vs Girls United, Jamalco vs Portland Cottage B At 5:15 p.m.: Bell Plane vs Hayes B, Hayes C vs Scott Passlast_img read more

Ayesha Curry jokes about ‘Viking’-sized 17-month-old son

December 20, 2019

first_imgLast spring, Ayesha Curry was hitting back at trolls who body-shamed her 10-month-old son Canon by suggesting he needed to be on a diet.It turns out that Canon, now 17 months, is simply a big, tall toddler, likely in the highest percentiles for growth. That’s a situation that Ayesha Curry was laughing about on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” Friday.“We birthed a Viking,” the cookbook author and celebrity chef said about her youngest child with her husband, Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry. …last_img read more

Three years on: Madiba’s death, reflections from Ramaphosa

December 18, 2019

first_imgOn the third anniversary of the death of Nelson Mandela, the Nelson Mandela Foundation hosted “Mandela the Freedom Fighter and Mandela the Democracy Builder”. We’ve collected quotes from the speech Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa gave at the event.South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg on 5 December 2016, the third anniversary of the death of Mandela. (Image: The Presidency, Facebook)Compiled by: Priya PitamberOn the third anniversary of the death of Nelson Mandela, 5 December 2016, former freedom fighters, politicians and diplomats gathered at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg, where they marked the occasion with an event under the name “Mandela the Freedom Fighter and Mandela the Democracy Builder”.Speakers included Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Deputy Public Service and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo and Dr Leon Wessels, who served as Ramaphosa’s deputy chair of the Constitutional Assembly.Mandela’s widow, Graça Machel, and his granddaughter, Ndileka Mandela, were also present.“We are not living the reality of Madiba’s dream,” said Sello Hatang, the foundation CEO.He believed that if Madiba had still been with us, he would have prioritised the challenges the country faced. If this was not done “the formal processes of democracy will lose the great majority of our people”, he said.Watch Ramaphosa’s address:Read quotes from his speech:On recalling the past:We are here to mark the anniversary of a profoundly painful moment in the life of our young democracy, the day on which our founding president, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, drew his last breath. Three years later, we are here to remember him, to celebrate him, to honour him and to reflect on his legacy.On Mandela’s arrest:It was on this day 60 years ago, in 1956, that Madiba and 155 other leaders of congress were arrested and charged with high treason. It was a moment of great uncertainty for our country and of great peril for the congress movement and its leaders. It was an audacious and cynical attempt by the apartheid regime to destroy the congress movement and define as treason the demand for those freedoms that are now enshrined in our Constitution.On the signing of South Africa’s Constitution:Later this week, we will mark the 20th anniversary of the signing into law by Madiba of our country’s democratic Constitution. It was a moment of jubilation, as the South African nation was born. The Constitution became our nation’s birth certificate.On challenges and achievements:Despite the progress of the last two decades, we must acknowledge that we have not transformed our economy to serve the interests of the majority. Although we have experienced periods of economic growth, we have not built up an industrial base of the scale and diversity required to extract optimal value from the natural resources we possess in abundance.On learning from history:We risk being diverted from the path we have chosen. It is at a time like this that we are called upon to look into our past. It is perhaps at moments like these that we should seek counsel from the lives of our forbearers. We are called upon to remember the legacies, the struggles, the values and the qualities of the great leaders of our people. We are called upon to reflect on the history of our movement, the principles for which it has stood and the ideals for which it has fought – and for which we continue to fight.On unity:The Constitution is not only the supreme law of the republic. It also informs who we are and what we want to be. The unity that we must work to build must be founded on the principles of non-racialism and non-sexism. It requires that we grapple directly with the attitudes, practices, institutions and material circumstances that perpetuate racism and sexism.On an equal society:For as long as the natural state of the black South African is poor and the natural state of the white South African is privileged, we will never succeed in building a non-racial society. For as long as the economic and social conditions of women are inferior to those of men, we will never succeed in building a non-sexist society. There is an urgent need – if we are to be a united nation – to redistribute the wealth of our country.A united South Africa requires the restoration of the land to those who work it. It requires meaningful transfer of ownership and control over the country’s natural resources, over the means of production, to the people as a whole.On the National Development Plan:South Africans need to be committed to a common programme to achieve that vision. That vision and that programme is the National Development Plan. The actions it identifies for the eradication of poverty and the reduction of inequality by 2030 have largely been embraced by a broad cross section of South African society.On listening to each other:The most significant advances in our struggle – indeed in much of human endeavour – have been achieved through dialogue. But where there is no meaningful engagement, where those in positions of responsibility do not listen to the cries of the people, then the seeds of discontent, of instability, of conflict are sown.This is a moment when we, as leaders, need to listen and be in conversation with our people. This is the time to listen. This is not the time to display a sense of arrogance. This is not the time to ignore our people.On Mandela’s leadership:For he embodied so much of what we seek in a leader. Although he was one of the most famous figures of the 20th century, he was humble to a fault, never arrogant and devoid of any sense of entitlement. He listened to those he disagreed with. The more he disagreed with someone, the more intently he listened. He was always a unifier, never a divider. Now more than ever, we need leaders of his quality and integrity, leaders who are committed to serve only the interests of the people.We have to ask ourselves uncomfortable questions such as “Does South Africa today have such leaders?”. Does our movement have such leaders? Are we living up to the example that Madiba, (Oliver) Tambo, (Walter) Sisulu and (Albert) Luthuli set? Most importantly, are we living up to the expectations of our people?In conclusion:Let us remember how Madiba characterised his journey through life. Let us make Madiba’s journey our journey. Let us make Madiba’s long walk our own long walk.I miss Madiba more when I remember his moving and touching words about his journey when he said:“I have walked that long road to freedom.I have tried not to falter.I have made missteps along the way.But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come.But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.”I too dare not linger for my long walk has not yet ended.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa materiallast_img read more

State-of-art port control centre opens in Cape Town

December 18, 2019

first_img2 May 2014South Africa’s first maritime port of entry control centre represents a milestone in the country’s journey to secure, modernise and control its borders, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said at the opening of the centre at Cowrie Port in Cape Town harbour on Friday.The centre puts all the government departments and agencies involved in immigration and border control under one roof. These include the departments of home affairs, health, agriculture and fisheries, the SA Police Service (border police and crime intelligence), and the SA Revenue Service (customs).The state-of-the-art centre would not only improve security and immigration issues, but would also serve to enhance trade and South Africa’s status as a logistical gateway to Africa, Gordhan said.TradeThe rationale behind the centre was in line with the National Development Plan, the minister said. Among other things, the NDP aims to stimulate growth by lowering the cost of doing business in South Africa, improving the country’s competitiveness and exports, and linking local products with other emerging markets.Gordhan said the fast-growing markets of Africa represented important new markets, and the NDP was committed to increasing South Africa’s trade with its regional neighbours from 15% to 30%.‘Complex borders’Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor, also speaking at Friday’s opening, said the centre had been designed “to accommodate in one spot not only customs, excise and immigration, but also health, safety and intelligence.“Ports are complex borders to manage. Cowrie Place will provide the space and facilities to manage passengers and cargoes more efficiently than before.”Pandor said the government hoped to establish a border management agency by the end of 2016, taking advantage of the lessons learnt from Cowrie Place.A flagship feature of Cowrie Place is the co-ordination monitoring centre, where the data and information will be fed, assimilated and made available to all government department and agencies involved in the maritime border management.“For the bona fide tourist or member of the trade community, this will mean better service,” Gordhan said. “For those who intend to challenge the laws of our country, be warned, as we intend to raise the bar of compliance by an order of magnitude.”Important portCape Town’s port is oldest in South Africa, but despite changes to its maritime culture brought by air travel and containerisation, it is still an important point of entry.The port processes more than 870 000 containers as well as nearly 730 000 tons of dry bulk per annum, Pandor said.A total of 6 173 commercial vessels and 55 passenger vessels entered and/or left the port in 2013, while more than 62 000 people entered and/or departed from Cape Town harbour.Pandor said E-berth at the harbour would be developed into a fully fledged passenger liner terminal to complement Cowrie Place.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Social ME-dia with Skyrock’s CEO Pierre Bellanger

December 17, 2019

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market dana oshiro Tags:#start#startups A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img In the mid-1980s, Pierre Bellanger launched Skyrock pirate radio station as a continuation of his efforts with the French free radio movement. A community inclusive of a diverse voices and agendas, Skyrock inspired a generation of 18-25-year-olds who had never lent their unscripted opinions to a mass distribution medium. As Skyrock developed an IRC channel and later its own blogging software, the community evolved into what it is today – the third largest social networking site in Europe. Often compared to MySpace and Facebook, most journalists tell the story of how Bellanger has grown Skyrock from a simple radio station into a business that earns more than €38 million euros in annual revenue. Nevertheless, perhaps the most fascinating story is the founder himself. Says Bellanger, “We were trying to create revolution. My political act is to create a system of self-expression.”In America, terms like “self-expression” and “revolution” tend to accompany arguments for First Amendment rights. In Pierre Belanger’s usage, “self expression” is about using the first-person singular “I” when unravelling events. Belanger’s revolution entails a cultural shift in how French public radio media went from being a government monopoly, to being a medium where French youth could narrate the news from their own perspectives. Many believe that Bellanger’s Skyrock community was the precursor to what can now be described as life streaming. In other words, the mass distribution of amateur opinions is considered here as a political act. When asked how Bellanger managed to run a revolution-generating platform as a business he replied simply, “Revolutions are only effective when they’re profitable.”Explains Bellanger, “There is already community dialogue, I want to help brands create a bond with the audience.”While the Skyrock CEO monetizes with banner advertising, one of his major “dialogue-enhancing” campaigns is a Coca Cola-sponsored volunteer listing board entitled Kohop. With more than 5,000 contributing community members, this campaign allows Skyrock members to post and fulfill volunteer tasks in what Bellanger describes as a “eBay of generosity”. Bellanger also plans to roll out a full-scale version of Yazata – a corporate-sponsored mentorship forum for sex education and reproductive health. By leveraging brand dollars for community tools and by encouraging open community dialogue, the social networking site continues to reshape the landscape of French and European tech culture. As widespread use of Skyrock sets a new bar for public media, young French netizens celebrate a larger pool of opinions and gain the encouragement they need to inform others. To check out the service visit Skyrock.com. Photo Credit: Chris Heuer Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts last_img read more

IMA strike: major Pune hospitals function normally

December 1, 2019

first_imgWhile most doctors were on duty in government hospitals and medical colleges in Pune, residents of the suburbs were inconvenienced as local doctors and private practitioners joined the strike called by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Monday.While resident doctors in the city affiliated to the Medical Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) did not participate in the strike, more than 1,000 of them wore black bands to work to condemn the violence on junior doctors in West Bengal.Dr. Abhishek Jain of the Central MARD told The Hindu, “We have issued an ultimatum to the Central government, which includes, among other demands, the implementation of the Central Doctor Protection Act for all resident doctors. We have also demanded the tightening of security services in all the medical colleges across the State and control over the privatisation of medical education. If these demands are not fulfilled within a week, we will resume our strike on June 24.” Junior doctors at the State-run Sassoon General Hospital said they supported the strike, but refrained from participating owing to the sheer number of patients seeking immediate attention. “There are over 1,000 patients here, so we cannot afford to participate in the strike as we would then be forced to work overtime after the demonstration was over,” Dr. Ajinkya Vede, an intern, said.While authorities at Sassoon and the Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital in Pimpri-Chinchwad said the hospitals were functioning without incident, doctors struck work in prominent private hospitals like Ruby Hall Clinic.In areas where private practitioners supported the strike, patients had to travel to bigger hospitals with functioning OPDs. “I had to go to Sassoon Hospital from Lohegaon since the practitioner in my area was on strike. While I understand that the West Bengal incident was appalling, why must innocent patients be made to suffer as a result?” Roshni Tayade, a homemaker, asked.Others, who travelled from distant parts of the city, claimed they were inconvenienced by the one-pass security system at Sassoon, which has been set up to deter assaults on resident doctors. “I accompanied my father, who is suffering from severe pain in his leg, and was not allowed in as the security is rather stringent in light of the West Bengal incident,” said Sunita Bhingardevi.Many patients felt the one-pass system was vital in the light of the West Bengal incident. “This system is extremely necessary for security, more so after the events that took place in West Bengal. It is comforting to know that proper security measures are in place,” said Rohit Dubey, a bank employee who came to visit a relative undergoing treatment.The strike evoked a somewhat mixed response in western Maharashtra. While doctors in Satara district responded well to it, the response was rather lukewarm in Sangli, where major hospitals functioned normally.last_img read more

FBI Suspect in Michigan airport stabbing incident Canadian resident

October 17, 2019

first_imgFLINT, Mich. – A Quebec man entered an airport in Michigan on Wednesday, yelled “Allahu akbar” and stabbed a security officer in the neck, according to U.S. federal prosecutors who said they are investigating the incident as an act of terrorism.Amor Ftouhi, 49, was arrested shortly after the incident and was charged with committing violence at an airport, FBI special agent in charge David Gelios told a news conference.Gelios said the incident happened at 9:45 a.m. at the Bishop International Airport in Flint, about 80 kilometres northwest of Detroit.Ftouhi entered the United States legally in Lake Champlain, N.Y., on June 16 and made his way to Flint on Wednesday morning, he said.“We do know Mr. Ftouhi entered the airport, he spent a little time on the first level, then he went upstairs, he spent some time in the restaurant up there,” Gelios said.“Then he came out, he was carrying baggage. He went into a restroom. He spent a little time in the restroom. Dropped both bags and came out, pulled out a knife, yelled ‘Allahu akbar,’ and stabbed Lt. Neville in the neck.”Lt. Jeff Neville with the Bishop International Airport police underwent surgery and his condition was upgraded from critical to stable, said Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw.Ftouhi’s longtime Montreal landlord said he was not a difficult tenant.“I never had any problems with him,” Luciano Piazza told The Canadian Press. “I’m really surprised. I would see him at least once a month, when he paid his rent.”Piazza said Ftouhi has lived in the building for six years, is married and has two or three children.“He was a quiet guy,” Piazza said. “For me he was a nice person. I never had a problem with him or his family.”A man who identified himself as a Facebook friend of Ftouhi’s said the accused wouldn’t even think of “hurting a fly.”Kamel Yahyaoui said in a Facebook exchange with The Canadian Press he has known Ftouhi for 20 years and that they first met in Tunisia when Ftouhi was a school teacher.“He’s a socially positive person,” he said. “He’s looking for a good life for him and his family. That’s all.”Ftouhi appeared in federal court later Wednesday and heard the charge against him. He will get a court-appointed attorney and court spokesman David Ashenfelter said he will remain in custody until a bond hearing next Wednesday.Authorities said there was no immediate indication Ftouhi was involved in a “wider plot,” but the investigation is in its early stages.The criminal complaint says Ftouhi stabbed Neville with a large knife and declared “Allahu akbar,” the Arabic phrase for “God is great.” The FBI, which is leading the investigation, said Ftouhi said something similar to “you have killed people in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and we are all going to die.”“As we progress and take this matter to grand jury for indictment, other charges could be pending later on,” Gelios said. “It’s an ongoing investigation, there are joint operations going on in Canada as we speak. We want to thank our Canadian partners who are helping us further investigate this attack.”Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale called the incident a “heinous and cowardly attack.”“There is complete co-operation between the RCMP and other Canadian authorities and agencies with all of their counterparts in the United States and we will do everything we possibly can to assist in this matter,” Goodale told reporters in Ottawa.U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement he was “proud of the swift response” by authorities from both nations.He said the attack was being investigated as an act of terrorism and added it will be “prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”Canadian TV footage showed police escorting at least one person away from a four-storey Montreal apartment building where the suspect is believed to have lived. There was a significant police presence outside the building.City police spokesman Benoit Boiselle said officers with the department were assisting the RCMP in a search of the apartment.He said the FBI requested the search after the attack.Meanwhile, witnesses in Flint described seeing the suspect led away in handcuffs by police, Neville bleeding and a knife on the ground.“The cop was on his hands and knees bleeding from his neck,” Ken Brown told local media.Cherie Carpenter, who was awaiting a flight to Texas to see her new grandchild, told a local TV station she saw the attacker being led away in handcuffs. She described the man in custody as appearing “blank, just totally blank.”— With files from Stephane Blais in Montreal and Geordon Omand in Vancouver and from The Associated Presslast_img read more

Autoworkers to protest during GM investors meeting in Windsor Ont today

October 13, 2019

first_imgThe Canadian Press WINDSOR, Ont. — Autoworkers from across Ontario are set to rally in Windsor today across from the General Motors headquarters in Detroit.The 11 a.m. protest against the company’s decision to close a plant in Oshawa, Ont., coincides with a General Motors investors meeting.Unifor, the union that represents GM autoworkers, is bussing protesters in from cities that include Kitchener, Brampton and London, Ont.The rally is the latest in a string of actions opposing the plant’s closure. Earlier in the week, unionized workers at the Oshawa assembly plant staged two work stoppages to protest their employer’s decision to close the facility.The protest came after Unifor president Jerry Dias sat down with GM on Tuesday to talk about proposals the union had made to extend the life of the Ontario plant, but came away empty-handed.Approximately 2,600 workers will lose their jobs when the plant closes at the end of the year.last_img read more

September 29, 2019

The Story Of The NBA Regular Season In 9 Charts

The Pelicans and Wizards take long, sad slides After finally earning the No. 1 seed in the East, last year was supposed to be the Toronto Raptors’ year. Then they were promptly humiliated (again) by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. So when LeBron left the East, this would surely be Toronto’s time. Right? It looked that way early, with Kawhi Leonard leading the new-look Raps to the East’s best record by Christmas. But the Milwaukee Bucks went 37-12 from that point on, spurred by Giannis Antetokounmpo’s MVP-caliber performance. Milwaukee overtook Toronto as our projected Eastern Conference top seed in early February and hasn’t looked back — though the teams could still be on a playoff collision course, provided that Philly and Boston (or maybe Indiana) don’t have ideas of their own. But each situation turned extremely sour in a hurry. Washington started the season 2-9 and never recovered, losing Wall to a season-ending injury at midyear, trading Porter to Chicago before the deadline and falling out of the postseason picture for good by the middle of February. As for New Orleans, its disappointing record hovered a few games below .500 around New Year’s. But what truly wrecked its season was a January injury to Davis and, of course, Davis’s public request to be traded. The resulting soap opera — which involved accusations of tampering against the Lakers, counteraccusations that the Pelicans used trade talks to sabotage L.A.’s season and no actual Davis trade — left the Pelicans sitting their disgruntled star on and off down the stretch as the team went 10-20 from February onward. Now the Wizards and Pelicans must both piece themselves back together and figure out where to go from here. The Bucks and Raptors jockey for No. 1 Projected in the preseason for 33 wins after losing free-agent center DeAndre Jordan (on top of trading away Blake Griffin late last season), the Los Angeles Clippers were not supposed to be major players in the Western Conference playoff chase this year. Instead, the team has come together around an unsung cast of veterans (Pat Beverley, Danilo Gallinari, Lou Williams) and young players (Montrezl Harrell, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander) alike. It wasn’t always smooth sailing — we projected the Clippers out of the postseason until late November, after which point they rose into (and dipped out of) the playoff picture a few times. But even after trading away its best player, Tobias Harris, at the deadline, L.A. maintained its grip on the West’s final playoff slot, finishing the regular season with 14 wins in its final 19 games. The biggest story of the NBA offseason in 2018 was where future Hall of Fame free-agent LeBron James would take his talents. And when James decided to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Los Angeles Lakers, the expectations were that L.A. would return to the playoffs after a franchise-record five-season absence. James’s new supporting cast looked odd, but it seemed at least good enough to be competitive among the middle of the Western Conference pack. Instead, however, James was injured on Christmas Day and missed 18 games at midseason, while his veteran teammates struggled and the young would-be stars around him never emerged. Add in the drama of failed Anthony Davis trade talks, a brutal March slide (despite LeBron’s vow to activate “playoff mode” early) and Magic Johnson’s abrupt resignation as team president this week, and King James’s first season with the Lakers had anything but a Hollywood ending. Most of the other charts here have a lot of fun ups and downs … but not this one. The Warriors started as the Western Conference favorite and never deviated from it, creating the only perfectly flat line in our playoff-seed charts this season. Golden State wasn’t quite as dominant in terms of winning percentage as it was in other recent seasons, but we can chalk that up to the Warriors pacing themselves as much as anything else. Our CARMELO ratings continue to think Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and friends are far and away the best team in the league at full strength (even though our classic Elo model only ranks them fourth) and give them a staggering 78 percent chance of making the Finals, with a 60 percent chance of winning their fourth championship in five years.And maybe that’s a fitting way to end our regular-season roundup. Although there were a lot of fun storylines and battles deeper in the standings — and although the playoffs should contain some exciting subplots of their own — it’s pretty likely that the end result of this season will be basically the same as it’s been most recent seasons: another Golden State title. Love them or hate them, the Warriors are already one of the top dynasties in basketball history, so good that all of the jockeying for seeds and playoff positioning might give way to a single flat line of dominance engulfing another NBA season.Jay Boice contributed research.Check out our latest NBA predictions.CORRECTION (April 11, 2019, 1 p.m.): Previous versions of the charts in this article mistakenly reversed the final playoff seedings for some teams. The 2018-19 NBA regular season is finally over, and the playoffs start this weekend. In anticipation — and in honor of our first season tracking the league with our new depth-chart forecasts — we wanted to share visualizations of the most interesting storylines of the regular season. These charts trace our projected seedings as the schedule progressed, giving a sense of the ebb and flow of each team’s place in the conference pecking order.We’ll begin with one of the most shocking outcomes of the regular season: the game’s signature star missing the playoffs.LeBron’s Lakers fall short Raise your hand if you thought that the Orlando Magic would be in the thick of a late-season playoff race — much less that they’d actually come out on top. Orlando hadn’t visited the postseason since 2012, and our preliminary forecast gave the Magic just a 19 percent chance of snapping that streak this year. But after a mediocre 20-31 start to the season, Aaron Gordon, Nikola Vucevic and Co. saw their playoff bid pick up serious steam with a 22-9 finish that locked them in a stretch-run Southeast Division battle with the Charlotte Hornets and Miami Heat. Although our model liked the Heat best out of that trio around midseason, an up-and-down second half — punctuated by losses in six of its final nine games — left Miami outside the playoffs. And while the Hornets looked like the best bet in early February, a 5-13 stretch leading into late March also sent their odds tumbling. That was all the opening the suddenly red-hot Magic needed to swoop in and usurp both rivals — even leapfrogging the Pistons to grab the No. 7 seed in the East. The Clippers ride out a bumpy playoff path The Magic, Heat and Hornets clash in the East The 2017-18 Denver Nuggets were one of the hardest-luck nonplayoff teams ever, finishing one game out of the postseason despite a 46-36 record. Our projections thought the team would have a better go of things this year, but even they couldn’t foresee Denver’s rise to the No. 2 seed in the West. The Rockets stumbled out of the gate (before James Harden’s incredible 30-point streak), leaving an opening for another team. So Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets seized that opportunity: They tangled with the Jazz and then the Thunder for second billing behind Golden State, eventually holding off all challengers with a 15-10 record after the All-Star break. The upside for Denver? It can now avoid the Warriors (or Rockets) until a potential Western Conference finals showdown. The Nuggets rise in the West The Warriors are who we thought they were The Kings go on a valiant run One of the best stories of the season was the unexpected rise of the Sacramento Kings, to whom we assigned an NBA co-worst 23 wins in preseason. Sacramento defied that prediction by spending most of the year either above or around .500; they finished the season with 39 wins, easily making them this season’s most impressive overachiever. The breakout was fueled by huge improvements from most of the team’s starters, including second-year guard De’Aaron Fox’s ascent from one of the NBA’s worst players last season to one of its most promising youngsters this year. A 9-16 skid after the All-Star break left the Kings shy of the postseason in the end, but they have something encouraging to build off of for the first time in a very long while. read more