Corentyne murderThe 28-year-old Corentyne, Berbice man who ingested a poisonous substance after stabbing his ex-wife to death is now in stable condition at the Port Mourant Hospital.Tovannie Simmons and Imran Lyte in happier timesImran Lyte, of Limlair Village, Corentye, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), stabbed the woman, Tovannie Simmons, some 10 times about her body following an argument at her Second Street, Limlair Village home.He then fled the scene of the crime and was later rushed to the Hospital by relatives after ingesting the substance. Lyte remains under Police guard at the Port Mourant Hospital.It was previously reported by Guyana Times that Lyte and his sister went to Simmons’ home to discuss a matter involving her brother, which allegedly occurred last Sunday when a heated argument ensued and the suspect whipped out a knife and attacked his ex-wife.The dead woman’s mother, Jacklyn Henry, related that Simmons was visited by her ex-husband and his sister and they were sitting at the table having a discussion when he started stabbing the mother of four.“He grab she and start jooking she and she holla and jump on me; I went in the chair sitting down and I try fuh block he and he fire the knife at me and she run out on the landing,” Simmons’ mother said.Henry further explained that Lyte went on to the veranda where a relative tried to restrain him, but he was able to free himself and pursued Simmons, continuing to stab her.On Saturday last, Simmons had gone to collect her children from another part of the village and on her journey, she was confronted by Lyte, who accused her of allowing her friends to taunt his new lover. Lyte reportedly hit Simmons, and in retaliation, one of her sisters reportedly kicked him causing him to fall into a nearby trench. Her brother then intervened, and he was stabbed by Lyte. A report was made to the Police.
Tottenham are finally ready to sell Luka Modric, who is still wanted by Chelsea, according to the Daily Mirror.Spurs have been linked with a host of players following the appointment of former Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas as manager at White Hart Lane.And it is claimed that Croatian playmaker Modric, who has been widely tipped to move this summer, will leave in order to fund new signings.Chelsea tried in vain to sign him in January. Real Madrid and both Manchester clubs are also said to be interested.Meanwhile, Daniel Sturridge is inevitably in the headlines following the news that he is suffering from suspected meningitis.The Chelsea forward, 22, has been treated at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, where his condition is being assessed.A friend of Sturridge is quoted by The Sun as saying: “The family have obviously been very concerned and worried.“Thankfully he’s been feeling a little bit better over the last 24 hours and everyone is hoping that’s a positive sign.“But the full facts won’t be known until the results of all the tests are back and have been examined by the experts.”And Paris St Germain boss Carlo Ancelotti has dismissed reports he is keen to sign John Terry from Chelsea.French media quote him as saying: “We are looking for a central defender and the club is in contact with some players, but not John Terry.”This page is regularly updated. Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
Tamara O’ReillyIf the Rhodes Scholarship Trust were looking for a poster boy, Nhlanhla Dlamini would probably make the cut.As the latest recipient of the generous and prestigious Rhodes scholarship, 23-year-old Dlamini possesses all the certificates, medals, blazers and fancy “colours” that have come to be expected of applicants.The scholarship, founded by Cecil John Rhodes more than a century ago, will see him begin reading for his Masters in African Studies in September 2008 at University of Oxford, England. Dlamini views this as a vital step in achieving his goal of playing an active role in the broader development of his community, and ultimately Africa.“I understand that my analysis of Africa’s problems is incomprehensive. It is this acknowledgment that leads me to want to pursue a Masters in African Studies,” he says. “It will broaden my knowledge of African economics, history and sociology – three essential areas in understanding Africa’s context and challenges. By being in a class that will explore socio-economic concepts in Africa, I will be able to deepen my passion for my continent by grounding it in evidence and research.”His selection, over several other hopefuls from the Gauteng, North West, Limpopo, and Mpumalanga regions who no doubt displayed credentials that were also admirable, has not surprisingly been stunning.“I am extremely grateful at this stage to all those who have influenced me and contributed to moulding me into the person I am today,” says Dlamini. “Everyone has been overwhelmingly congratulatory and happy for me. It’s been a humbling reminder just how many friends and family members I have who are always rooting for me.”‘Resigned to a life of hardship’Although he was born in Soweto, at age seven his family moved to a traditionally white suburb and he was transferred to a multiracial school.Beyond the challenges of acculturation, both his parents were also retrenched from their jobs in the early 1990s, resulting in significant financial woes for his family.“I was convinced at the time that my family and I were resigned to a life of hardship,” says Dlamini.In 1992, what he calls a “seemingly small event” changed his outlook on what he could achieve academically.“At the end of Standard One [now Grade Three], I was invited to a prizegiving. I knew nothing of prize giving or what actually happens at such evenings. It turned out I was awarded the “Most Conscientious Student “ award. For the first time since I had moved to my new school, my background didn’t matter. It didn’t matter that I came to school in a jalopy or that I was part of an awkward minority in the school.”By the end of his secondary education at Marist Brothers College in 2001, Dlamini finished top of his class with five distinctions and full academic colours. He had also by then amassed several other awards in the areas of academics and community work. In Grade 11, he became the first pupil in the school’s history to be awarded an Honours Blazer, an accolade usually reserved for final year students.In 2002 he enrolled for a BCom Degree in Information Systems at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. He graduated cum laude, making the Dean’s Merit List every year and pronounced Wits University Council’s Academic Merit Scholar from 2002 to 2004.Dlamini is an avid sportsman with several school and university captaincies to his name in the games of rugby and soccer. He is a national silver medalist in martial arts.He is currently employed in Atlanta, USA as a consultant for McKinsey & Company, a firm that advises leading companies on strategies around operations, staff and advancing their business.Dlamini returns to South Africa in March 2008 and he has left the six months remaining until he begins at Oxford without serious commitment for now, affording him well-deserved time to “tie up loose ends and perhaps take a road trip through the country”.Useful linksRhodes Scholarship WebsiteWits University
8 June 2010An extraordinary thing happened recently in the famous chamber of London’s cavernous Royal Albert Hall.With 21 days to go before South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, eight South African stand-up comedians representing a kaleidoscope of the country’s racial diversity kept an overwhelmingly South African audience of more than 3 000 doubled up with laughter for three side-splitting hours.The show, called Bafunny Bafunny – a word-play on the nickname of SA’s national soccer team, Bafana Bafana (the boys) – was an irreverent attempt to build enthusiasm for the world’s largest sporting event among South Africa’s largest expatriate community – sometimes referred to as the tenth province of South Africa.Promoting social cohesionIt was catharsis of the kind that has been kindled – and could be fast-forwarded – by the national convergence and unity of purpose thrust on South Africans by hosting the world’s largest and most diverse sporting event.“The hosting of the 2010 World Cup will change the way the world sees South Africa and the African continent forever,” says President Jacob Zuma, who kicked a mean soccer ball himself while serving time for resistance to apartheid on South Africa’s notorious, Alcatraz-like Robben Island prison.Just as the 2006 World Cup had Germans smiling, drinking beer and waving the national flag en masse for the first time in 60 years, so the first African World Cup in South Africa could have an equally dramatic effect on promoting social cohesion in a country with a lingering legacy of deep racial inequality.Inside the Royal Albert Hall, there were two gigantic South African flags on either side of the massive organ and nothing to remind one that you were sitting in the heart of London’s prime venue.The crowd, a tiny fraction of the estimated 600 000 South Africans in the UK, was mobilised by word-of-mouth and without a single advertisement in mainstream media.Trevor Noah, Nick Rabinowitz, Loyiso Gola, Mark Lottering, John Vlismas, Kagiso Ledega, Mark Banks and Barry Hilton took the gloves off with slick, witty and hugely varied performances.Their repartee – peppered with four-letter words – slaughtered a series of favourite targets: Fifa, the fiery ANC youth leader Julius Malema, the police shoot-first policy, violent crime, and the biggest and most sensitive no-go area of all: race.The targeting of Malema was a moment of truth for the young democracy.After a protracted and heated public debate in April and May, the top disciplinary committee of the ruling African National Congress sanctioned Malema, inter alia, for singing an old liberation song which calls on its cadres to “kill a Boer” after it had been ruled to constitute hate speech by the courts.Boer was the label used to define conservative Afrikaans-speaking South Africans as the enemy during the apartheid era. The ANC has lodged an appeal against the ruling.At the height of the row, a half-forgotten extreme right-wing Boer leader, Eugene Terreblanche (whose name means “white earth” in the language of his French ancestors), was murdered by two black farm workers. The stark reality of the here and now confronted the young democracy.How do you justify a song coveted by one group of South Africans when it calls for the killing of members of another? Do you laugh or cry?‘It’s here. Can you feel it?’At the Royal Albert Hall on 20th May, the only tears to be found were those generated by excessive laughter.For three hours, a diverse audience of South Africans laughed at themselves, at each other and with each other at things that many could not talk about outside the comfort zone of their racial or cultural groups even a few years ago.In recent months, South Africans of all races have been donning Bafana shirts on Fridays, flying the national flag from their car windows, wrapping their rear-view mirrors in socks sporting the national flag, and chanting slogans about Africa’s time has come and: “It’s here. Can you feel it?”There is a rare inclusive outpouring of patriotic fervour.As the row about the noisy but uniquely African trumpet – known as a vuvuzela (Zulu for noise) – is debated on breakfast television shows at home and abroad, South Africans are undergoing a seismic shift in terms of social cohesion and identity which is set to be galvanised by hosting the 2010 World Cup.White South Africans, in the past wedded to rugby while soccer was and remains an overwhelmingly black sport, are starting to take ownership of the national team and willing it to victory despite its low international ranking.As the finishing touches are given to five awesome new stadiums, three transformed airports and a range of new transport and access routes, the level of national excitement is palpable.Estimates of foreign arrivals have come down significantly since the build-up began, which will mean that far more South Africans will get a seat at the stadiums.And there is a healthy ongoing debate about whether the large numbers of poor and unemployed South Africans will benefit from the expenditure of some US$5-billion on stadiums and related infrastructure.The physical benefits for the country’s economic infrastructure are there for all to see.But the most enduring benefactor of the World Cup will be the national psyche and the quest for a common national identity to transcend a deeply divided past.As former President Thabo Mbeki said when he spoke at the handing over ceremony in Berlin in 2006, the German World Cup succeeded in restoring some of Germany’s self-respect after its legacy of national socialism.“We are confident that the 2010 soccer World Cup will do the same to consolidate our self-respect and dignity gained when we attained our freedom and democracy in 1994 and, in a unique way, also help our own nation and the continent of Africa,” Mbeki said.Legacy and reconciliationBafana Captain Aaron Mokoena, even before the World Cup began, has taken the lead in ensuring that the legacy of the 2010 World Cup will benefit future generations of soccer players.A year ago he launched the Aaron Mokoena Foundation, which will ensure that those who were denied an opportunity in the past will benefit from the coaching and mentoring services the Foundation will provide; initially in the sprawling townships south of Johannesburg, including his home town of Boipatong in Sedibeng.“The future of the country is in the hands of the youth,” said Mokoena. “I want to make a contribution to ensure that they have the opportunity to reach for the stars.”An initiative such as John Perlman’s Dreamfields project is ensuring that thousands of would-be soccer players are getting access to kit and playing fields, often in the most remote rural reaches of the country.Local Organising committing CEO, Danny Jordaan, who has become synonymous with the World Cup, sees the staging of the event as a culmination of the anti-apartheid struggle which so effectively used sport to defeat apartheid.In 1995, former President Nelson Mandela used the rugby World Cup as a means of galvanising conservative white support for the country’s first black majority government. The story has been movingly told in the book Invictus by John Carlin and the film of the same name starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon.Mandela was also instrumental in securing the Fifa World Cup for South Africa.“Reconciliation is an important aim of the World Cup.” Jordaan told the Independent on Sunday. “We want to make this country better and more united and I think we will achieve that.”“It will chart a new course in our country’s history,” he said.This article was first published in the Christian Science Monitor (online) and republished on ReConnect Africa.John Battersby is a former southern Africa correspondent of the Christian Science Monitor and a former editor of the Sunday Independent in Johannesburg. He is co-author of Nelson Mandela: A Life in Photographs published by Sterling in the United States in January 2010. Battersby is a trustee of the Aaron Mokoena Foundation.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Brian E. RavencraftAs we approach the tax filing deadline, I thought this reminder checklist from the IRS may be useful. If you have already filed your return, you may want to double check to be sure these items were considered as part of your return you filed. If you earn money managing, working on, or owning a farm, you are in the farming business. Here are 10 things about farm income and expenses you should know as outlined in IRS notification IRS Tax Tip 2013-41.1. Crop insurance proceedsInsurance payments from crop damage count as income. They should generally be reported the year they are received. However, if you use the cash method of accounting and receive crop insurance proceeds in the same tax year in which the crops are damaged, you can choose to postpone reporting the proceeds as income until the following tax year. You can make this choice if you can show you would have included income from the damaged crops in any tax year following the year the damage occurred.2. Deductible farm expensesFarmers can deduct ordinary and necessary expenses as business expenses. An ordinary farming expense is one that is common and accepted in the farming business. A necessary expense is one that is appropriate for that business. Some expenses paid during the tax year may be partly personal and partly business. Examples include gasoline, oil, fuel, water, rent, electricity, telephone, automobile upkeep, repairs, insurance, interest and taxes. Farmers must allocate these expenses between their business and personal parts. Generally, the personal part of these expenses is not deductible3. Employees and hired helpYou can deduct reasonable wages you paid to your farm’s full and part-time workers. You must withhold Social Security, Medicare and income taxes from your employees’ wages. If a farmer pays his child to do farm work and a true employer-employee relationship exists, reasonable wages or other compensation paid to the child is deductible. The wages are included in the child’s income, and the child may have to file an income tax return. These wages may also be subject to social security and Medicare taxes if the child is age 18 or older.4. Items purchased for resaleIf you purchased livestock and other items for resale, you may be able to deduct their cost in the year of the sale. This includes freight charges for transporting livestock to your farm.5. Repayment of loansYou can only deduct the interest you paid on a loan if the loan proceeds are used for your farming business. You cannot deduct interest on a loan used for personal expenses.6. Weather-related salesBad weather may force you to sell more livestock or poultry than you normally would. If so, you may be able to postpone reporting a gain from the sale of the additional animals.7. Net operating lossesIf deductible expenses are more than income for the year, you may have a net operating loss. You can carry that loss over to other years and deduct it. You may get a refund of part or all of the income tax you paid for past years, or you may be able to reduce your tax in future years.8. Farm income averagingYou may be able to average some or all of the current year’s farm income by spreading it out over the past three years. This may lower your taxes if your farm income is high in the current year and low in one or more of the past three years. This method does not change your prior year tax. It only uses the prior year information to figure your current year tax.9. Fuel and road useYou may be able to claim a tax credit or refund of federal excise taxes on fuel used on your farm for farm work. This applies if you are the owner, tenant, or operator of a farm. You can claim only a credit for the tax on gasoline used on a farm for farming purposes. You can claim either a credit or refund for the tax on aviation fuel used on a farm for farming purposes. You buy dyed diesel fuel and dyed kerosene excise tax free. You must use them only for a nontaxable use, including use on a farm for farming purposes. If you use the dyed fuel for a taxable use, you could be subject to the excise tax and a penalty.10. Ask your accountantMake sure your accountant is notified about the above types of items so that proper tax treatment can be disclosed on your return. Also, more information about the above farm income and deductions is in Publication 225, Farmer’s Tax Guide. Brian E. Ravencraft, CPA, CGMA is a Principal with Holbrook & Manter, CPAs. Brian has been with Holbrook & Manter since 1995, primarily focusing on the areas of Tax Consulting and Management Advisory Services within several firm service areas, focusing on agri-business and closely held businesses and their owners. Holbrook & Manter is a professional services firm founded in 1919 and we are unique in that we offer the resources of a large firm without compromising the focused and responsive personal attention that each client deserves. You can reach Brian through www.HolbrookManter.com or at BRavencraft@HolbrookManter.com.
The Congress will announce a loan waiver for the poor and farmers in the State if voted to power, Haryana party unit chief Kumari Selja has said.In an interview, she said the Congress would not announce its chief ministerial candidate ahead of the election, and the party high command would decide after the polls. The State Congress chief said the loan waiver promise would be part of the manifesto for the October 21 Haryana Assembly election. The manifesto committee has submitted its report and final touches were being given to it, she said.“When our government comes to power, we will waive loans of the poor, especially people who take small loans. We are also going to write off the loans of farmers who are being pushed to a corner and are suffering under the BJP government,” she said. The Haryana Congress chief said the loan waiver would be implemented within days of assuming power as has been done in Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. “We will carry out our promises within days and weeks of coming to power. We will give timelines. We will see to it that people see the difference between us and others who only make tall claims and believe in mere publicity and headline management,” she said. Ms. Selja, who took the reins of the Haryana Congress from Ashok Tanwar, said the Congress believed in fulfilling its poll promises “unlike the BJP”, which only used these to “mislead” the voters. “The dilution of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir is another tool the BJP is using to fool people,” she said. Asked to comment on Tanwar’s resignation and his allegations on the Congress being the anti-thesis of democracy, Ms. Selja said, “The Congress has seen such rebellions in the past and has always come out stronger due to its inherent strengths. The Congress has the resilience to take on these things.” She refrained from making comments on her predecessor, and said the party had appealed to everyone to work together. “Ashok Tanwar was named a star campaigner for Haryana. Now, he has chosen to resign. That is his decision. But we must all remember one thing. Organisations are bigger than people,” Ms. Selja said.