SA landscape display takes root in UK

first_imgThe main entrance of the British Museum peeks over a display of Strelitzia reginae, the bird-of-paradise flower. (Image: Kew)A recreated South African landscape, on show at the British Museum until October 2010, is giving Londoners a taste of the country’s rich biodiversity, and expats a taste of home.A joint project of the museum and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, the landscape is designed as a celebration of South Africa’s wealth of natural treasures. It coincides with the International Year of Biodiversity as well as the 2010 Fifa World Cup, which gets underway in Johannesburg in just under one month.The two institutions are aiming to promote understanding and respect for various cultures, and to heighten awareness of the need for biodiversity conservation around the world.The exhibit – which has a desert-like feel with sand, rocks and plants adapted for arid conditions – has been set up in the forecourt of the renowned historical and cultural institution and runs throughout the European summer, from the end of April until 10 October.Sponsored by Barclays, it’s open from 9h30 to 17h30 every day, and is free.Visitors will be able to wander among the indigenous plants and trees before moving inside and learning more about the country through the museum’s extensive South African and African galleries.Indigenous plantsAll plants and trees included in the display are native to South Africa.Highlights are the magnificent bird-of-paradise flower (Strelitzia reginae) – popular in flower arrangements, the prolific and dainty blue marguerite daisy (Felicia amelloides), and the quiver tree (Aloe dichotoma) – which grows in dry areas of South Africa and is favoured by the San Bushmen as quivers for their arrows.Other inclusions are the strange-looking bottle tree (Pachypodium lealii), the elephant’s foot yam (Dioscerea elephantipes), the mountain aloe (Aloe marlothii), hop bush (Dodonaea viscosa), red hot poker (Kniphofia caulescens), sweet thorn (Acacia karroo), and the cheerful yellow “Star of the Veldt” (Osteospermum hyoseroides), also a member of the daisy family.These curiosities are interspersed with a colourful display of popular South African plants, such as the African lily or agapanthus, the pelargonium or South Africa geranium – not to be confused with flowers of the geranium genus – and the prolific grower Carpobrotus, popularly known as sour fig. This plant has bright pink flowers and succulent triangle-shaped leaves, whose juice has a multitude of medicinal uses.Selected related items, such as rock art recreations and restios, which are part of the fynbos kingdom along with proteas and ericas, are scattered among the foliage.Careful planningKew’s Garden Development Unit head, Steve Ruddy, supervised the installation. All plants were shipped with the necessary permits and were sourced with the help of nurseries in South Africa. They underwent a strict examination to eliminate the risk of transporting insects or diseases, and were then wrapped with great care before being shipped to the UK in a temperature-controlled container.The journey by sea took a little less than the anticipated three weeks and the plants arrived in late March. Landscaping, which began on 29 March, took four weeks to complete.While construction was still underway, the UK weather threatened to turn frosty, forcing botanical staff to protect the ill-adapted plants with a cover of fleecy cloth.Once the landscape is dismantled, the plants will be given to the council of Camden, the London borough where the British Museum is located, to be planted in the area. Kew, meanwhile, will take in any specimens that may not survive the notoriously gloomy UK winter.A number of events have been planned to add value to the exhibition, including talks by Kew and British Museum experts on rock art, traditional uses of plants, conservation and more.African plant wealthEarlier in 2010 Kew reported that East and tropical Southern Africa were treasure troves of the botanical world, yielding more new species in 2009 than anywhere else. Of the 292 new species, two were discovered in South Africa. The greatest number – 67 – came from Tanzania.The botanical institution has a number of projects running in Southern Africa, with the cooperation of partners in the region. These include the Millennium Seed Bank project – which is helping to save endangered plants in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia by conserving seed, ongoing research into propagation of threatened plants, and a database of South Africa plant DNA.One of Kew’s most significant projects is one based near Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape province, which is promoting the sustainable use of plants for traditional purposes such as medicine, clothing, food and craft.The communities in this area have been hard hit by HIV/Aids and the demand for traditional medicine, to complement antiretroviral treatment, is high. Careful management of resources will ensure that there are enough plants to meet the needs of every patient.last_img read more

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Sudan vote boosts airline industry

first_imgRay Maota Kenya Airways is experiencing a growth inthe number of its passengers from Nairobito Juba in Southern Sudan because of thereferendum taking place there. Kenya’s Minister of Trade, Amos Kimunya,believes the introduction of the flights toSouthern Sudan will bolster tradebetween the two countries.(Images: Flickr)MEDIA CONTACTS• Prineeta NagiArea Manager of Kenya Airways+254 020 327 4100RELATED ARTICLES• 1time to start flying from Lanseria• Mango gets world Superbrand status • Hopes of a peaceful Sudan poll • Sudan brews its own beer industryAlthough it’s been less than a year since Kenya Airways introduced daily flights to Juba, the capital of Southern Sudan, business is booming for the East African nation’s carrier as passengers flock to vote or observe the referendum currently on the go there.At the time of the launch of the two daily flights to Juba in June 2010, Kenya Airways MD and CEO Dr Titus Naikuni, said: “Juba has become one of the important economic hubs of Southern Sudan and Africa.“Kenya Airways is synonymous with contributing to sustainable development across Africa and we envisage providing a seamless connection of service to all passengers travelling in and out of Juba for business and development opportunities,” he added.Vice-president of Southern Sudan, Dr Riek Machar, said: “The launching of flights to Southern Sudan by the airline marked an important milestone for us as it will help connect our region with the rest of Africa as well as the international network that Kenya Airways serves.”In the weeks leading up to the referendum and since it kicked off on 9 January 2011, the airline has experienced a vast increase in the number of passengers flying from Nairobi to Juba.The route usually records an average of 5 800 passengers a month, but this has now grown to more than 8 000 – a figure that is expected to last until the results of the referendum are announced in February.The Kenyan national carrier said while its occupancy rate had been at 60% since it entered the market with the new route, “business to Juba is now brisk with near full flights”.Other airlines that have experienced a similar increase in their passenger numbers for the Juba route are Jetlink, Astral Aviation and Fly 540.Bolstering trade“Aviation transport is a key element in the enhancement of trade and I believe that the introduction of these regular flights will enhance the trading activity between us,” Kenya’s Minister of Trade, Amos Kimunya, said at the time of the launch.With Kenya and Southern Sudan sharing a border, there has also been talk of establishing a railway link between the two countries.The link will mean that most of the goods from Kenya’s port in Mombasa will be able to go directly to Southern Sudan without bypassing Uganda, which is the current trade route. The proposed new development is called the Rift Valley Railways concession.“Kenya has always had a special relationship with Southern Sudan. Besides being a guarantor of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, it has been a neighbour which has hosted a large population of Sudanese refugees and given them a platform to access the rest of the world,” said International Centre for Policy and Conflict executive director Ndung’u Wainaina.“As East Africa’s economic powerhouse, Kenya stands to benefit from the emergence of a large new market in South Sudan and major infrastructure that the country will need to engage commercially with the world, including oil exportation,” the International Crisis Group added.Asian powers keen to invest in Southern Sudan include Japan and China.Predictions point to landmark splitWith the Sudanese referendum ending on 15 January 2011, attendance at polling stations has already surpassed the 60% mark.The predicted outcome of the vote will see the north and south regions splitting and an autonomous Southern Sudan emerging as a new state on the continent.The referendum follows the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005, which ended a two-decades-long war between the mostly Muslim north and Christian south.Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has vowed to recognise Southern Sudan as an independent state if the outcome of the vote suggests such.On a recent visit to the south, al-Bashir said: “”Imposing unity by force doesn’t work … We want unity between the north and the south, but this doesn’t mean opposing the desire of the southern citizen.”The Carter Centre, established by former US president Jimmy Carter, and the African Union have sent officials to Southern Sudan to promote a peaceful and credible vote.Other recent high-profile visitors to the region have been former South African president Thabo Mbeki and Hollywood actor George Clooney, who has launched a hi-tech project to monitor the situation there.last_img read more

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Rules for Sales Role Plays

first_imgProfessionals and performers rehearse. They prepare themselves to do their very best work when it matters most. In sales, it’s easy to pretend that we are too busy to train and to role-play our most important conversations, creating a state of stasis as it pertains to our effectiveness.One of the ways to create breakthrough effectiveness is to role play the different scenarios to improve and develop strategies and language. These rules will ensure your roleplay improves performance.Use Real Cases: Case studies are beneficial when you want a group of people all to share the same problem. In sales, you are provided with case studies every day, providing you with an endless stream of real scenarios to work on. Using the real deals you are pursuing allows the salesperson to role-play conversations in an environment where they can improve their talk tracks and their strategy. It can be a bit more work, but it is worth the effort if the outcomes can be put to use in winning deals.Accept the Premise: This is a rule that all great improv groups know well. If one party provides information, you accept it as true. If the salesperson says, “The last time I called you, you mentioned that you were concerned with potential disruptions to your business,” their partner playing the client cannot say, “No, I didn’t. Instead, the client can say, “Yes, and I still am concerned about that,” or “We believe we can live with the disruption, but we’re concerned about the investment.”Focus on Principles: Almost all role plays are around objection-handling, something better described as resolving concerns, as there is invariably something real behind the words that sound like objections. Role plays are valuable when you can tie them to principles, like trading enough value to gain a commitment, controlling the process, describing your differentiation, and dealing with difficult situations. The best role plays focus on outcomes that can be universally applied.Rehearse Language: Sounding scripted isn’t the same as having a script. Good talk tracks are important, and powerful language is better than ineffective language. You want a chance to rehearse your language in role plays, with multiple attempts to go over the same ground and improve your delivery. Even if the talk track is excellent, role plays provide a chance to rehearse (something we don’t do enough of in sales).Allow Do-Overs: It’s easy to ruin a first—or third attempt—at a role play. Because the person playing the role of the salesperson is trying to find the right words, they are prone to saying things that they don’t like once they leave their mouth. Because it is a role play, the person speaking can start over, adjusting and improving their talk track.Say No: If the person doesn’t use language that their partner believes would work in real life or violates a principle, their partner needs to “say no,” or whatever words are necessary to let them know they failed to achieve their outcome. The role-playing partner also needs to explain why they said no to the salesperson’s request, giving them the feedback they need to improve their next attempt.The first time you say something, you might come up with something so brilliant it bears repeating. More often, the best talk tracks are developed over time, after you have iterated and have made adjustments. Follow these rules for role plays, and go into client conversations with excellent and effective strategies and language, the strategies and language that ensure you achieve your outcomes.last_img read more

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BJP denies faulty EVM ‘propaganda’

first_imgThe Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has hit back at the Opposition for involving the party’s name in its complaints about tampering of electronic voting machines (EVMs) during polling on Monday. BJP leaders said the State Election Commission (SEC) has taken note of the complaints and denied most of them, including the alleged manipulation in Satara. The SEC had even conducted mock polling at certain locations under the watch of party representatives to ensure clean and fair elections, they said. The party rejected claims that VVPAT slips of some voters in Navlewadi village in Satara’s Koregaon constituency showed votes cast for other candidates went in favour of the BJP. “The State Election Commission has rejected all claims of EVM manipulation. At the same time, the SEC has denied any such incident took place in Satara of votes being diverted to the BJP. In such a scenario, Opposition parties are using this propaganda to target the BJP. We deny any such reports and propaganda,” Mukund Kulkarni, spokesperson of the State BJP, said.last_img read more

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Set for UST return, Renzo Subido soaks in D-League experience

first_imgDo not bring these items in SEA Games venues Asian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closed Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Still, the 5-foot-9 Subido isn’t losing sight of his individual targets as he makes a much awaited comeback with the Growling Tigers, this time with coach Aldin Ayo calling the shots.“I’m more than excited. It’s a very different system. I’m excited to play for coach Aldin,” he said. “Coach Aldin is a guard-oriented coach, so I’m using all the experience I get here in Marinero and I’ll bring it to UST.” Zark’s-Lyceum gets reality check in first D-League game Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST PLAY LIST 01:00Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST00:50Trending Articles01:32UAAP Season 81: Racela says he’ll be ‘surprised’ if Ateneo loses a game in elims01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City “I know that everything I can learn this conference, I can bring to UST,” he said.So far, Subido has been nothing but excellent for the Skippers, leading his side to the 94-92 victory over Zark’s Burger-Lyceum on Thursday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe 22-year-old led the fight with 20 points, five assists, and three rebounds in the victory.While he’s looking to gain experience, Subido’s focus is firmly on the big picture rather than his individual performance. “We’re taking it one game at a time but the goal is to win the championship. But we know that it’s not going to be easy since we are going up against the top collegiate teams. So we’re just going to go all out every game,” he said.That mettle was tested against the Jawbreakers.Marinerong Pilipino jumped to a 17-point lead in the third quarter, 56-39, before Zark’s Burger-Lyceum made a late run and cut the deficit down to two numerous times within the final two minutes.But the Skippers had the end-game poise, making huge stops in the clutch as Subido calmly sank the game-clinching freebies.“It was a good win for us. We’re happy that we won the game because it’s a good way to start the conference and it was a good experience with us,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT 8th Top Leaders Forum assessed the progress of public-private efforts in building climate and disaster resilient communities Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa LATEST STORIES John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PBA IMAGESFor Renzo Subido, his time with Marinerong Pilipino in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup has a purpose.And his main goal? To become a better leader for University of Santo Tomas.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH BI on alert for illegally deployed OFWs to Iraq Read Next View commentslast_img read more

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