‘Why would you not want to match up against one of the best’: Del Norte prepares for undefeated El Monte, state championship game

first_img“The ironic part is, today’s football is all about passing and playing on turf,” Del Norte head coach Nick White said. “This game, though, will come down to two of the most physical small-school teams in the state running the ball and battling it out on grass.”Del Norte will host El Monte in Saturday’s Division 5-AA state championship game at 6 p.m. at on the green grass at Mike Whalen Field in Crescent City.There will be no spread offenses, nor any shotgun snaps. The big plays will not come …last_img read more

MTN, Opera in mobile web partnership

first_imgOpera Mini, which claims to be the most popular mobile web browser, shrinks down websites and data by up to 90% before delivering the content to the phone, which according to MTN provides a faster, more affordable and user-friendly mobile web experience. “By offering faster access to websites and easy entry to MTN portals, MTN subscribers can reach the content they want, with less frustration and less expense,” MTN Group chief commercial officer Christian de Faria said in a statement this week. Small-screen strategy Under the agreement, MTN will centrally launch a tailor-made version of Opera Mini to each of its 21 markets, with localised links and content. By using Opera Mini, people get the most out of the web, plus get one-click access to MTN content portals via their Opera Mini startpage. Pan-African mobile operator MTN has signed an agreement with Opera Software to provide customers across its 21 markets with customised co-branded versions of the Opera Mini web browser, which cuts down on the amount of data used while browsing the web. “With just one click, customers have music, news, games and information on MTN products and services at their fingertips.” “We have seen incredible uptake of Opera Mini in that geography so far, and we look forward to building on that success with one of the region’s leading mobile communications providers.” Opera Mini has more than 115-million monthly users around the world, and is available on over 3 000 different phone models, including basic feature phones.center_img Bringing the best web experience De Faria said MTN wanted to offer its subscribers innovative mobile internet services that could have a positive impact on information, sharing and communication in their everyday lives. “We are eager to bring the best web experience to Africa and the Middle East, and working with MTN Group’s network enables us to achieve that,” said Opera Software CEO Lars Boilsen. The introduction of customised versions of Opera Mini strengthens the mobile operator’s small-screen strategy to radically improve its customers’ mobile web experience. 17 August 2011 SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Health sharing or insurance?

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Risë LabigBy Risë Labig, marketing specialist for Ohio’s Country Journal and Ohio Ag NetLast year at this time, my husband and I were in the process of deciding whether to continue to participate in my company’s health care plan, or change to a “health-sharing” plan. Like the majority of Americans, premiums and deductibles have skyrocketed. Through no fault of our employer, I knew that based on us hitting milestone birthdays our premiums would rise. And rise they did, to the tune of over $1,100 per month, and that doesn’t include the deductible.I am employed at a small business (Ohio’s Country Journal/Ohio Ag Net), as many people are. Small businesses simply do not have the “buying power” of a large group. As a result, premiums and deductibles are high. As anyone who has tried to navigate through deciding which deductible to choose — higher deductible, lower premium versus lower premium, higher deductible — well, it’s not easy. If your family medical history includes pre-existing conditions that are treated often, you may want the lower deductible. If your family history has leaned toward few medical issues, you may lean towards choosing a higher deductible so your premium is a little lower. It’s about risk, and no one understands risk better than those of us in ag.Years ago, I had worked for one year in the life-health insurance division at an insurance company. I learned much in that year. It was with this knowledge under my belt that I felt I could research health-sharing and understand the differences from medical insurance.Please note that health-sharing and health insurance are NOT the same. This is very important to understand. I like this definition, from CHM on what health sharing is: Health cost sharing is a way to satisfy your healthcare costs and help others while upholding your Christian beliefs and sticking to your budget.We chose Christian Healthcare Ministries, which is the nation’s original health cost sharing ministry. It provides an affordable, accountable and faith-based framework to help fellow believers facing a health crisis. Likewise, brothers and sisters in Christ step in to help you in your time of need. Members’ pre-set monthly financial gifts to CHM are the funds used to share each other’s healthcare costs. The ministry shares 100% of eligible bills and overall has shared over $3.5 billion in members’ healthcare costs. CHM is also a Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity. CHM is an eligible option for individuals and families under the national healthcare law.I seriously began to consider health sharing when I was scheduled to take a sleep apnea test home study. (Yes, I was not a “silent sleeper” and was going to share a cabin with my sister. She said I should do something about it, sis, so grudgingly I did.)The hospital had called to confirm the home study sleep test, and I asked the cost for the test. It was about $762. Since I had not used my deductible, insurance would cover only $150 of it, which meant I would pay the balance of $612 out of pocket. It just irked me that even though I had insurance, paid a high monthly premium, and hadn’t used my deductible, I would still have to pay out-of-pocket. So, I decided to call back and ask what my cost would be if I did “self-pay”. She immediately said, “Oh — that’s an automatic 60% discount.” Yep. The wheels started turning.So, the research began. I understood fully that it would mean I would become “self-pay.” I wouldn’t have medical insurance. Could we consider this? Was it too risky? I evidently gravitate to risk since I married a farmer.Health sharing means that we are, in essence, sharing our medical bills with other people of a large group of similar beliefs. Christian health sharing has been around a long time. I reviewed what I considered the top three “safe” companies: Christian Healthcare Ministries, Samaritan Ministries, and Medi-Share. There are differences between all of them. I leaned toward CHM. They have been around the longest, have a great track record, and most importantly, I had local friends that had been using them for a few years and were quite satisfied.We ran an article about a year ago on Samaritan Ministries — you can read the article here.I know a few other farm families that have chosen Medi-Share. Please note that I believe ALL of these companies are very good. We go with what we know, so we decided to choose Christian Healthcare Ministries.Our monthly premium, for Scott and I, is $150 each, or $300 per month. This includes a $500 deductible (meaning I pay the first $500 out of pocket for each unique illness). We knew the real challenge would be when we had our first office visit, medical testing, etc. Incidentally, my boss kept asking how I liked health sharing — and I told him that I don’t know ‘yet’ since I hadn’t had to use it (and that is a good thing).Between Scott and I, we take just a few prescriptions. I made sure to check what prescription costs would be. I presumed they might increase, and this might be one of the “risks” I would take, yet I reasoned that a lower premium would offset a minor prescription increase. I challenge you all to take a look at what you are paying for prescriptions. I was shocked that I could actually get my same prescriptions for the same price and even LESS than what I was paying for WITH medical insurance. What? Yes. The website allowed me to review and compare. And I also found I could get them cheaper elsewhere in town, and I did. Another savings.Our first occasion to use the health sharing was my annual blood test. I take blood pressure medicine and have hypothyroidism, so I take meds for those two and the doctor wouldn’t renew any prescriptions without it. Tests were ordered at CompuNet, and typically I never saw a bill for these when I had medical insurance. No charge. Right?I told them I was “self-pay” when I signed in. They didn’t bat an eye. She said, okay, the price today for all the tests ordered is $742.01 (Gulp. I reasoned with myself that I was saving more than each month by my lower premiums) What surprised me was that she said: “and so, since you are self-pay, it is an automatic 50% discount.” Yes. And she continued to say that next time I have blood tests, I can order many of them myself. I was astounded. Instead of $353.42, I could pay online, self-pay for $45. I must admit, now I was feeling even better about my decision to do health sharing.It gets better. A week or so later, I received a postcard in the mail from my local hospital. They were sharing the exact same story. They were offering “patient self-directed testing at a reduced cost as an alternative for individuals that have insurance with a high deductible and for those who do not have insurance at all.” I encourage you to see if your local hospital offers the same. Share this with someone. It may save them money.So what does happen when I have something other than a simple office visit or blood test? Visit here to see the steps necessary to take when unplanned illnesses or emergencies arise.We chose the Gold level plus Brother’s Keepers plan. I will have unlimited financial assistance available to me for all eligible medical bills (bills must total over $500 per incident). The Brother’s Keeper is a safeguard against catastrophic or illness that can exceed $125,000 (Gold plan). I must submit all and any medical invoices, with proper coding, to CHM. I had experience with this at the insurance company, so I knew it was quite doable for me.Who might not want to consider health-sharing? If you have pre-existing conditions, please note that you will want to carefully read each company’s guidelines. Each company handles these uniquely, and must follow the law. Again, health sharing is not medical insurance. But it works, and has been around a long time.As a family, we use a lot of natural health alternatives. They work for us. Exercise is a huge benefit (we’re still fine-tuning that one). Personally, we believe we need to do as much as we can for our own self-care to avoid running to the doctor for every sniffle. Each family is unique, and may not be able to do this, so do your research.If you have more questions than what these company’s websites might provide, please know you are welcome to reach out to me at rlabig@ocj.com. I hope this article helps those of you who are interested in pursuing health sharing, and also encourages you to see if there are additional ways to lower your medical costs.last_img read more

Flood toll touches 200, thousands homeless

first_imgHuman toll in the floods and relentless rain across the country reached almost 200 by Wednesday even as thousands in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Assam, Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand and elsewhere were forced out of their homes into temporary shelters.A horrible tragedy unfurled as waters receded in Banaskantha district of Gujarat, as bodies of 17 members of a single family were recovered from the banks of Banas river in Khariya village. Rescue workers found a total of 25 dead bodies in the area, and fear that more could be found in the coming days as water recedes. The area was completely inundated when the State authorities released 1.5 lakh cusec water from Dantiwada dam to the Banas river.On Wednesday, the Indian Air Force and Army intensified their rescue operations, mobilising a dozen choppers and motorboats to reach interior villages where thousands of people are still stranded in floodwaters. “More than 650 people were rescued by the agencies on Wednesday, including 272 people air lifted through Air Force choppers,” Principal Secretary (Revenue) Pankaj Kumar said.According to latest estimates, at least 111 people have lost lives in Gujarat since June 1.Over 50,000 people have been relocated to safer places, most of them residents of the worst affected districts in northern Gujarat, Banaskantha and Patan. In Rajasthan’s Pali district where rains continued to lash the remote areas on Wednesday, 26 of the 60 dams were overflowing and several far-off villages were still cut off. ‘PM ignored Assam’Authorities said the death toll in floods and rain in Assam was 77 as of Wednesday, as situation noticeably improved in the State. A seven-member inter-ministerial team from the Centre visited Assam on Wednesday to take stock of the situation, even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi came under attack from opposition parties and activists for ignoring Assam’s flood situation.last_img read more

Ajit Singh campaigns to ‘bury’ BJP in Muzaffarnagar

first_img“Do you recognise me? I fought nine parliamentary elections, with both wins and losses. But why have I come to Muzaffarnagar to contest election, you tell me?”The question is directed at an audience of men and boys gathered around a Ravidas temple, a place of worship for Dalits, in Ladwa, a village in western Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district.There are Dalits, Muslims, Jats, and OBC communities like Kashyaps/Dheevar in the audience, most of whom are seated on neatly arranged red plastic chairs or standing in clusters.Their eyes are locked at the makeshift stage, dressed in banners of three parties — Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal — where a bespectacled man wearing a white kurta-pyjama is standing holding the microphone. “I have come to Muzaffarnagar because you are responsible for bringing the BJP to power. You fought with each other and destroyed the bhaichara [brotherhood]. As a result of that you have to bear Modi today,” he says.New challengeNow 80, RLD chief Ajit Singh has had many ups and downs in his political career, but facing a steep downward curve since 2013, perhaps the stakes have never been higher for his party as they are in the 2019 election. Moving out from his traditional seat of Baghpat, Mr. Singh has played a gamble by deciding to contest from Muzaffarnagar, a constituency which was marred by communal violence in 2013, triggering a communal polarisation which eventually helped the BJP sweep the State. While he has an uphill task to overturn the deficit from 2014, when the BJP’s Sanjeev Balyan secured a massive 6.53 lakh votes (58.98%), his fight is bolstered by the support of the SP and the BSP. Mr. Singh is going from village to village addressing nukkad sabhas to connect with his new electorate in the sugar belt.“You want to bear Modi for five more years,” he asks the crowd at Ladwa. Some of them reply: “No, not any more.” Mr. Singh then says: “Maintain your bhaichara, and Modi will disappear. You did that in Kairana, didn’t the BJP lose?”The 2013 communal violence demolished the RLD’s carefully stitched decades old Jat-Muslim coalition. The results were clear in 2014; Mr. Singh himself stood a humiliating third from his bastion Baghpat.The Hindu followed Mr. Singh through his nukkad sabhas and found most of his attacks targeted at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, backed by his desire to restore the RLD’s lost social coalition. “Just defeating Modi won’t do. You will have to bury him. You will have to uproot him,” he tells the crowd, his fist smacking the air passionately.The audience bursts into claps and shouts of “Chaudhary Ajit Singh zindabad” resonating in the open venue. “Modi, your achhe din are gone, our achhe din are coming,” he declares.The Jat leader also uses witty one-liners to mock Mr. Modi on his persona and track-record, evoking laughter from the rural audience. “Bhaiya, if he [Mr. Modi] goes to Sri Lanka, he would return and say, I killed Ravan.” Another one-liner which generates a louder response from the audience is: “People say Modi lies a lot. He doesn’t lie, he just never speaks the truth.” Local supportAfter the sabha is over, Mr. Singh moves into his SUV and is quickly escorted away to a local supporter’s house where fruits have been laid out for his welcome. Saying no to hospitality is not an option in this part of western Uttar Pradesh, even though Mr. Singh is an hour behind schedule. After a quick interval, the cavalcade drives past sugarcane and wheat fields and reaches the house of a prominent RLD old-timer, a farmer, to pacify him. To secure his win, Mr. Singh would require to revive support of all such disgruntled loyalists and the farmer, despite not being in the best of health, is convinced to address a nukkad sabha for Mr. Singh at the next location, Titavi. Along the way, drum beats, shower of flowers and handshakes welcome the Jat veteran.At Titavi, Mr. Singh once again presses for communal unity among his core constituencies. He also explains to people the economic downfall caused by the riots and how the local steel rod factories are still shut. “I want to bring Muzaffarnagar back to the same position where it was before the riots,” he says.With the SP and BSP in alliance with the RLD, Mr. Singh has ensured consolidation of the Jatavs and Muslims, with the latter itself making up for 41% of the district population. That the combined vote of the SP, BSP and RLD in each of the five Assembly segments of Muzaffarnagar in 2017 polls had crossed 50% also presents a hope for him.However, to ensure a victory and galvanise his party, he faces the challenge of reviving his appeal among the Jats, a section of whom are still inclined towards Mr. Modi and Mr. Balyan, who himself is a local Jat. To woo them, Mr. Singh focuses on issue of cane dues, menace of stray cattle and joblessness, and accuses the BJP of trying to divide the country in the name of the Army, which also recruits from the Jat community. Farmers’ woesThe RLD chief strikes a chord with Virendra Singh, a Jat farmer listening patiently in the crowd. Virendra complains that the rate of milk and cattle have fallen under the BJP rule. Another Jat, Rajendra Singh, hits out at Mr. Modi over the unemployment issue, while farmer Soraj Singh, a traditional RLD voter, regrets voting for the BJP in 2014 due to the riots. “All they did was increase the power tariff. Even if the BJP fields a Jat, we will vote for Chaudhary ji. We won’t just vote, we will make him win,” says Soraj.Raj Kumar, a Jatav, also speaks against the BJP. “We are fed up of BJP. I lost ₹80,000 during demonetisation.” A few kilometres away in Kutba village, the opinion is, however, split, with many Jats still supporting Mr. Modi and happy to see the back of the previous Muslim MPs from Muzaffarnagar. Current MP Sanjeev Balyan hails from Kutba, which along with its adjoining village Kutbi, witnessed eight deaths during the 2013 violence. While young Akshay Kumar praises the sitting MP for building metalled roads, widening the canal track and setting up solar panels, Randheer Singh, a farmer, is happy with the ₹2,000 he received under the PM KISAN scheme. They also praise the Balakot air strikes, with one local comparing Mr. Modi to a patriotic king. As the conversation shifts to the battle between the RLD and the BJP and economic issues, divisions emerge, a sharp contrast from 2013 when Jats rallied heavily behind the BJP amid communal polarisation.Pushpendra Kumar, a farmer, praises the air strike, but is tilted towards the RLD and regrets voting for the BJP in 2014. He is aggrieved by stray cows which are eating his wheat crop and forcing him to spend money on fencing his 23-bigha field. “Ajit Singh is more sympathetic towards the farmers,” says Pushpendra, blaming Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for “letting loose the cows.Parveen Balyan, who works at a local sugar mill, compares the alliance partners to “thieves” ganging up against Mr. Modi. He also questions Mr. Singh for choosing Muzaffarnagar instead of Baghpat. “For 20 years he was a Minister and an MP but what work did he do?” asks Parveen. But he believes that Mr. Singh will give a tough fight this time, and predicts a low victory margin of 20,000 votes for the BJP.Like a section of Jats, OBC groups like Kashyaps, Dheevars and Julahas, and upper castes are also tilted towards the BJP. “We don’t care about the candidate, we want BJP,” says Sonu, a Julaha, in Dhindhawali village. His namesake, Sonu, a Rohilla Rajput, admits Mr. Singh has the arithmetic to back up a strong fight but still expects the BJP to win. “All I want is a strong government, a BJP government,” he says.last_img read more

Shah Rukh Khan, GMR Group invest in South Africa’s T20 cricket league

first_imgIndian Premier League (IPL) franchise owners Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan and infrastructural company GMR group have invested in South Africa’s T20 Global League, Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced here on Monday.Shah Rukh has added the third team to his name in the franchise-based T20 league after owning Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the IPL and Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).Khan has now been handed the ownership of the host city Cape Town, with the team yet to be named. Proteas batsman Jean-Paul Duminy has been named as the marquee player of his side.The Bollywood star has seen success in these tournaments with IPL franchise KKR winning the league twice in 2012 and 2014 and the CPL franchise TKR winning the league once in 2015.On the other side, GMR group has faced a tough time with the ownership of Delhi Daredevils in IPL — who had a below-par performance in the league.GMR group, earlier this year purchased a Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) team from Lucknow — which will feature in the tournament this season.The infrastructural group has been handed the ownership of the host city Johannesburg, with the team yet to be named. South Africa pacer Kagiso Rabada has been named as the marquee player of his side.Qatar Lubricants Co. (QALCO), Managing Director, Fawad Rana has been handed the ownership of team belonging from Durban. Batsman Hashim Amla will feature as the marquee player of this team.Haier Pakistan, CEO, Javed Afridi has been handed the ownership of team belonging from Benoni. Batsman Quinton de Kock will feature as the marquee player of this team.advertisementOsman Osman has been handed the ownership of team belonging from Pretoria. AB de Villiers will feature as the marquee player of this team.Nedbank group Director, Mustaq Brey has been handed the ownership of team belonging from Stellenbosch. Batsman Faf du Plessis will feature as the marquee player of this team.Channel 2 Chairman Ajay Sethi has been handed the ownership of team belonging from Port Elizabeth. Leg-spinner Imran Tahir will feature as the marquee player of this team.Sushil Kumar has been handed the ownership of team belonging from Bloemfontein. South African batsman David Miller will feature as the marquee player of this team.CSA president Chris Nenzani said to have received overwhelming interests for owning a franchise in the league but have shortlisted only the heavy hitters in a statement released by the board.”Competition was stiff, with more than 150 Expressions of Interest (EOI) received from around the world and a shortlist of heavy hitters to consider. But after rigorous discussions and engagement with each of the potential owners, we are certain that our final eight owners have the perfect combination of strategic insight and passion needed to make the first T20 Global League a complete success,” said Nenzani.The player draft is scheduled on August 19 later this year with almost 400 players from 10 countries confirming their interest, said the statement.last_img read more

Uttarakhand HC puts river rafting on hold, job losses feared

first_img(Adding details, quotes) Nainital/Dehradun, Jun 22 (PTI) The Uttarakhand High Court has banned white water rafting and paragliding until the state government frames a policy on adventure sports, a move which those in the business say will hit them hard. Underlining the need to regulate adventure sports, a division bench of justices Rajiv Sharma and Lokpal Singh in a recent order directed the state government to prepare a transparent policy within two weeks. Till such a policy is framed, no paragliding, white water rafting and other water sports shall be permitted in Uttarakhand, the court said. Former Rafting Association of Uttarakhand president Devendra Rawat said river rafting has generated jobs for about 40,000 people, almost ending migration from many areas along the Ganga in Garhwal regions Tehri and Pauri districts. A ban on rafting will lead to more people migrating from the state, he said. There are 281 companies involved in the rafting trade, together owning 600 rafts and transacting business worth over Rs 20 crore every season, which lasts nine months from October to June, he said. Though he denied knowledge of the high court order, Rawat said any ban would affect the 40,000 people associated with the trade. Asked about alleged violation of guidelines by raft operators, he said they follow the Rafting Policy 2014. “If the policy is revised and implemented, which is something only the state government can do, that would again be followed by people associated with the trade,” he said. However, others in the business felt a ban lasting a few weeks from now would not have much affect as the season is nearing its end on June 30.advertisement The court order came on a PIL alleging that illegal leases were being issued in favour of private parties to set up temporary structures on the Ganga riverbed. Private entrepreneurs were conducted river rafting from them without any legal sanction, it argued. PTI CORR ALM ASHASHlast_img read more

Hyundai Heavy Seeks USCG BWMS Type Approval

first_imgThe United States Coast Guard (USCG) Marine Safety Center (MSC) has received its fifteenth application for type approval for a ballast water management system (BWMS).The HiBallast BWMS has been manufactured by South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).MSC said it will review the application for compliance with USCG regulations. Once it has been determined that the application meets the requirements, the MSC will issue a type approval certificate.The USCG has so far granted a total of seven type approvals for BWMSs to different manufacturers, the most recent being Techcross. News of the approval, the first for a Korean BWMS manufacturer, came during Posidonia 2018 shipping event in Athens.“It took a little longer than we expected, which might be due to USCG having scrutinizing the first application tested by KR. We now have a system approved by both US Coast Guard and the IMO,” Jay Lee, director of sales & promotion for Techcross, said.Apart from HHI, Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) and Panasia are among Korean BWTS manufacturers waiting for USCG type approval for their systems, according to information provided by USCG MSC.last_img read more