Related On Sunday, Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right populist with harsh views about women, gays, and blacks, was elected president of Brazil, one of the world’s largest democracies. To understand the factors leading to his election, the Gazette talked with Scott Mainwaring, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor for Brazil Studies at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS).Mainwaring spoke about Bolsonaro’s victory as part of the far-right populist wave that is sweeping the globe, the likely impact of Brazil’s election on Latin America, and the danger to Brazilian democracy that may be posed by this presidency.Q&AScott MainwaringGAZETTE: Jair Bolsonaro has been called “the Brazilian Donald Trump.” Can you talk about the similarities between Bolsonaro and Trump?MAINWARING: The similarities are that both have been viewed, I think correctly, as having racist and sexist discourses, with very authoritarian elements. Bolsonaro once said of a member of Brazil’s National Congress, “She’s too ugly; she’s not worth raping.” He also said that if he was ever elected president of Brazil, on the first day he’d shut down the National Congress. Both leaders have publicly supported torture — however, with a difference. Bolsonaro has supported torture of Brazilian and criminal suspects, and Trump has limited his favoring of torture to terrorist suspects. For people who highly value democracy and human rights, the similarities between Bolsonaro and Trump should be of concern.,GAZETTE: Are there any differences between Trump and Bolsonaro?MAINWARING: Bolsonaro is far more extreme than Donald Trump. I’m not aware that Trump has been profoundly homophobic in his public discourse. Bolsonaro has said that if one of his sons were gay, he’d prefer that the son die.GAZETTE: Some have said that Bolsonaro is similar to strongman Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines. What’s your take on that?MAINWARING: In terms of extrajudicial killings, rule of law, and human rights, Bolsonaro is much closer to Duterte than to Trump. A few years ago, Bolsonaro said that International Human Rights Day is a “day for losers.” Trump might think that, but I don’t think he has ever said something like that. But there are more similarities between Bolsonaro and Duterte than between Bolsonaro and Trump.GAZETTE: Can you talk about the context that made the election of Bolsonaro possible? His election was unthinkable a few months ago.MAINWARING: The context is one of deep crisis on three issues: the economy, corruption and public security, and the profound discredit of the left, centrist, and center-right establishment in Brazil. Brazil has an alarming public security crisis. It has a homicide rate about 6.5 times that of the U.S., and seven of the 20 most violent cities in the world are in Brazil. Secondly, in recent years, Brazil has had a recession much deeper and much longer than the U.S. recession of 2008‒2009. And the third factor is corruption, which I think was the biggest factor leading to Bolsonaro’s victory. Brazil has had the biggest corruption scandal in the history of democracy. Lula (Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva), the leader of the Workers’ Party and formerly beloved president of Brazil, is now in jail, but it’s not only him. One of Brazil’s most important entrepreneurs is in jail, and many Brazilian politicians and entrepreneurs are in jail or under investigation for corruption charges. The corruption scandal affected both the left and the right, so when you discredit both the left and the center-right establishment, who’s left standing?GAZETTE: But why did Bolsonaro, who was a marginal politician as a senator, benefit from the public despair over corruption, crime, and the recession?MAINWARING: Although Bolsonaro was not an outsider, by most standards — he has been in the National Congress for almost 28 years — he is such an extremist that he was able to position himself as an outsider. It’s an exaggerated comparison, but it’s like if Adolf Hitler had been in the German Parliament for 28 years as a very marginal figure. Because of his extremist views, many people saw him as something different. To my knowledge, Bolsonaro has no history of corruption, and at a time when corruption was a salient issue, that worked in his favor. He’s very outspoken, he has a very clear attitude — not proposals — about crime, and that is, “Kill the criminals,” and “Let more people have arms.” When 111 criminals were massacred in a São Paulo prison around 1993, he said, “It’s a shame that only 111 criminals were killed.” This kind of discourse is terrible policy, but it has a profound resonance in Brazil because of the fears over rising crime.GAZETTE: What role did the political parties play in the collapse of the Brazilian political system?MAINWARING: The Workers’ Party governed from 2003 to 2016, and it governed very ineffectually for much of this past decade. And when the commodity boom ended, the space for bad policies shrank radically, and then you got this horrible recession with very high unemployment. Now, half of Brazil profoundly rejects the Workers’ Party. This is not a historic constant. When Lula left office in 2010, he had an 83 percent approval rating. But the corruption scandals, the security problems, and the economic recession changed people’s opinion about the Workers’ Party.A lot of Brazilians who supported Lula in 2010 now hate the Workers’ Party. A lot of this is a vote against that party. In the last two years, the party radicalized, moved to the left, and it presented Lula as the presidential candidate in 2018. But if the paramount concern in Brazilian voters’ minds is corruption, and you put forth Lula as a presidential candidate while he’s in jail on corruption charges, what message does that send?GAZETTE: Were you surprised by the results?MAINWARING: Six months ago, I would have said that Bolsonaro’s chances were low. When he was stabbed in a campaign rally on Sept. 6, he was one of five candidates who could possibly get to the second round, but the outcome was still unpredictable. Three weeks later, it seemed almost certain that Bolsonaro would get to the second round, and it also seemed that he’d have the better chance of winning. Right before the first round on Oct. 7, surveys show he had 38 percent of the vote. Everyone was surprised when he got 46 percent of the valid vote. At that point, I thought it was extremely likely that Bolsonaro would win, and nothing changed in the intervening three weeks.GAZETTE: What are your expectations for his presidency?MAINWARING: One can confidently say that he would be against environmental regulations, and there is every reason to believe that he would be a great supporter of agribusiness. We can be very confident that there will be less respect for the human rights of some groups. Brazil has a long record of high police impunity and many police killings, and we should expect this to get worse. We should expect him to govern in a relatively authoritarian manner.There is a lot of room for doubt about the economy. Bolsonaro’s own past is deeply statist, and his chief economic adviser is a market-oriented economist who had said that Brazil should privatize its public firms, but Bolsonaro came out and contradicted him. Bolsonaro has said he won’t make concessions with the Congress, but his party has 51 seats out of 513 in the lower chamber. He has to make concessions.And what would he do about corruption? His discourse about corruption is laudable, but what he doesn’t say is that it wasn’t only the left in Brazil that was corrupt; far more right-wing politicians have been accused and convicted of corruption than left-wing politicians. This has been an endemic problem in Brazil. You don’t end corruption just by saying “I’m against corruption.” About public security, his proposals have been very thin and sketchy. He did not run on very detailed policy proposals. “The example of Trump made it possible for Bolsonaro with even a far more misogynistic, homophobic, and racist discourse to get elected.” After the triumphs of Trump and Brexit, right-leaning parties see paths to political power In Europe, nationalism rising GAZETTE: What might be the impact of Bolsonaro’s election in the region?MAINWARING: I think this makes it easier for other right-wing populists with outrageous discourses and policy proposals to emerge. We’re riding a wave of conservative populism across many countries in the world, most prominently in the United States. One of my esteemed Brazilian academic colleagues said, “Without Trump, there would be no Bolsonaro.” We can’t know empirically if that’s true, but it seems that there’s a perfectly reasonable hypothesis. The example of Trump made it possible for Bolsonaro with even a far more misogynistic, homophobic, and racist discourse to get elected. The countries in Latin America that would be most vulnerable are those with weaker institutions and deeper problems. That’s not Uruguay or Chile or Costa Rica, but it could be the rest of the region. In Latin America, with those three exceptions, states are not strong, party systems are not solid, and the recurrence of populists and often authoritarian ones, both on the left and the right, is frequent.GAZETTE: What can we expect from this wave of far-right populism?MAINWARING: Well, for a while there was a left-wing authoritarian populist wave in Latin America; the worst of it was Hugo Chávez, and the most influential by far. It seems that [Nicolás] Maduro, his successor, has ruined Venezuela. And then came Evo Morales in Bolivia, Rafael Correa in Ecuador, and Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua. Maduro and Ortega in effect have turned Venezuela and Nicaragua into electoral dictatorships, and they cannot hold free and fair elections because they would lose. Correa is out of office, and his successor is prosecuting him. Morales is still in office. But that left-wing wave has ended. The left lost in Argentina in 2015 and in Chile in 2017. Now, we have a right wave. But as long as voters can freely and fairly vote, and the mechanisms of democratic accountability are protected, democracy will be preserved.But we should have no illusions about the erosion of democracy in Brazil. The question is not if it will erode, the question is how much. The best-case scenario is that the LBGT community, the press, and human rights defenders are more vulnerable to harassment and violence but there is not a profound erosion of democracy, and that the democratic institutions remain relatively solid. That’s the most optimistic scenario, but I think that’s too optimistic.
Milan, In. — The Chester and Ruth Baylor Family Foundation supports projects in Milan and surrounding communities and the deadline for the current grant cycle is Sunday, March 31 at 5 p.m. Applications are submitted online at the Foundation.Preference is given to projects that address the 2019 funding priorities: education, beautification, meeting the needs of underserved populations.Applicants must be tax exempt according to section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service code, an educational institution, or a governmental unit.
By Adam ReaburnFort St. John Council could get a pay raise.At Tuesdays meeting, Councillors could vote themselves a raise following a report created by a group of local citizens. In November of 2009, Council agreed to partner with three stakeholders in the city to review other communities similar in size and services.- Advertisement -Those invited to take part in the study were chosen by City Human Resources Manager Grace Fika, and included a local Chamber of Commerce member, someone with a strong financial background, and a former city council member.The group will recommend on Monday that Councillors receive a pay increase of just under $2,000 a year, which would bring their total remuneration to $22,404. As for the Mayor, the group recommends his current pay be kept the same until the end of his term in 2011 (The Mayor receives $59,743 per annum).In the report to Council, the group says the remuneration for Councillors, as a percentage of the Mayor’s renumeration is slightly below the average of both BC and Alberta communities. The current rate is 35% of the Mayor’s pay and the average for comparable communities is approximately 40%.Advertisement For a copy of the full report that will be presented to Council, click on the pdf file below. If this report is approved, the pay increase would go into effect as of June 6th, 2010.The report also includes a possible increase for the remuneration when a Councillor is “acting” Mayor. Currently a councilor receives $100 per month when they fill in for the Mayor, the report suggests that amount increase to $500 per month.The report further recommends that effective December 1, 2011, pay for both Mayor and Councillors increase by 3%. They then wouldn’t see another increase until the end of the next term in 2014.Again Council will have an opportunity to debate the entire report during the meeting on Tuesday. Following that debate, they will make a decision regarding any possible pay increases. This would be the first pay increase for City Councillors since the fall of 2007.Advertisement
Motorists and homeowners are being advised to prepare for an expected rise in petrol, diesel and home heating oil prices after an attack on Saudi oil facilities.The cost of a barrel of oil surged following the weekend’s drone strikes and are expected to impact consumers in the coming weeks.AA Roadwatch warns that diesel and petrol prices for drivers could jump by 6 or 8 cent per litre. An 8c increase per litre could mean the average cost of filling a car would rise by €4. AA Roadwatch’s director of consumer affairs Conor Faughnan told RTE News that the market movement is not yet known, but if there are significant price increases then Irish consumers will be hit by the hikes in 4-5 weeks’ time.Warning over predicted petrol and heating oil price hikes was last modified: September 17th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
Students and citizens are taught a very distorted view of what science is and how it actually works.Basic science is not an unbiased knowledge generator. Daniel Sarewitz pulls no punches in Nature this week. “Kill the myth of the miracle machine,” he shouts in his column that stabs one of science’s most treasured sacred cows: the value of “basic science.” The very, very few cases where undirected investigation has actually produced some worthwhile findings do not justify calls for non-targeted political funding, he argues, nor do the leftist attacks on funding cuts for basic research justify labels of a “war on science.” Science is not some kind of “miracle machine” where you turn a crank of scientific method and out pops knowledge. “Exceptional science is produced not by a miracle machine, but by institutions that tie scientific curiosity to problem solving,” he says. In fact, promoting the myth of the miracle machine can actually backfire.Vast improvements in the scientific system could be had if science agencies strengthened the ties that link research agendas to societal needs, and counteract the perverse incentives that commit scientists to careers measured by publications and grant dollars rather than the creation of socially valuable knowledge.Impact factor has been a counter-productive measure. Speaking of killing old myths, Nature is also glad to read an obituary for the dubious measure of scientific value called “impact factor.” What was supposed to provide a “bibliometric” measure of scientific value actually did the opposite. “It should never have been used and has done great damage to science,” complains Richard J. Roberts. “Let us bury it once and for all.”The impact factor is often used, improperly, to provide a mathematical measure of a scientist’s productivity, on the basis of where they published their results. It has proved popular with bureaucrats, and even with many researchers, because it seems to offer an easy way to determine the value of a scientist’s output for someone who is either unable or too lazy to read that scientist’s papers and judge their true worth (see P. Stephan et al. Nature 544, 411–412; 2017).Science is not supposed to be a money prize. The Editors of Nature worry about perverse incentives at work in China, where the government rewards scientists too quickly with grants and bonuses for what they consider successful research. “Don’t pay prizes for published science,” they argue. “For one thing, it creates a culture in which scientists look at their research as a means to make quick cash.” It also “rewards science that is not yet proven.” Like impact factor, metrics for what constitute successful research are often “greatly overblown.”Scientists are not above data manipulation. We asked last month (6/12/17), “If science is superior, why does it need fixing?” More evidence that scientists are like other fallible humans led Nature to complain about the problem of “image doctoring” in scientific papers – a problem that has mushroomed with the rise of digital manipulation tools like Photoshop. Publishers and editors do not always catch the digital trickery, and algorithms to detect image doctoring are not good enough yet. “By both human and technological means, research organizations, researchers and journals need to do more to counter the image-manipulation challenge.” But wait; weren’t we all taught the myth of the unbiased scientist seeking only truth for its own sake?Models do not always catch important details. Mathematical models, frequently used in science, try to simplify reality by focusing on pertinent details. But which details are pertinent? Researchers decided to check a popular “quarter vehicle” model used by auto manufacturers to gauge ride dynamics. They added in other factors omitted by the model and compared the results. They found that omitted details do make a big difference. Their paper in PLoS One says,The results clearly indicated that these details do have effect on simulated vehicle response, but to various extents. In particular, road input detail and suspension damping detail have the most significance and are worth being added to quarter vehicle model, as the inclusion of these details changed the response quite fundamentally. Overall, when it comes to lumped-mass vehicle modeling, it is reasonable to say that model accuracy depends not just on the number of degrees of freedom employed, but also on the contributions from various modeling details.What other models in science, for the sake of convenience and simplicity, are failing to consider significant details that could fundamentally change the conclusions? The more complex the problem, such as with global climate, the more it seems the simplicity is the enemy of accuracy – especially when conclusions are not readily testable as they were in this case.Language can manipulate rather than enlighten. We shared examples recently (7/02/17) of leftist bias in science. Sometimes leftist researchers are open about their manipulation. Phys.org reports on psychologists who found that saying “climate change” instead of “global warming” reduces the “partisan gap by 30 percent in U.S.” This is a clear attempt to nudge voters rather than educate them (6/11/17). We can also add to the list another manipulative article posted by Phys.org that claims, “How bills to replace Obamacare would especially harm women.” Conservative researchers could easily argue the exact opposite conclusion from well-grounded data; so why don’t they get the microphone of Phys.org or The Conversation?Bad definitions of science prevent scientists from finding truth. The editors of Nature tried to be nice to Catholics on May 15, only to be shouted down by a reader, who repeated the myth of scientism in the June 22 issue of Nature. According to Frank W. Nicholas, the editors forgot to be naturalistic enough:Your Editorial suggests that Pope Francis’s meeting with patients and researchers is evidence of “a new openness [of religion] towards science”, in the spirit of his 2015 encyclical Laudato si’ (Nature 545, 265–266; 2017). This is tempered by your view that the encyclical nevertheless illustrates “a chasm between religion and science that cannot be bridged”.In my view, the encyclical’s most fruitful comment on science and religion is that they have “distinctive approaches to understanding reality” (paragraph 62; see go.nature.com/2swk22m). The essence of this distinctiveness is that the modern scientific approach never invokes God as an explanation for any phenomenon. This restatement of ‘methodological naturalism’ is not science being anti-God: it is science being science. All scientists adhere to this approach, including scientists who believe in God. In the religious approach, by contrast, God is at the heart of phenomena.It follows that the fundamental distinction between science and religion has nothing to do with the question of whether or not God exists.These insights can inform the debate around what should and should not be taught in science classes on, for example, evolution. In shedding light on the nature of the “chasm” between science and religion, these insights can also inform the new openness to which you refer.It seems lost on Nicholas that methodological naturalism of this sort is guaranteed to come to wrong conclusions if God does exist and was involved. For instance, if God did create life, all the efforts and funds to find a natural origin are doomed to failure. If evolution is false, then all the published papers about natural selection creating man from molecules are also false. By excluding intelligent causes, would Nicholas insist on a natural explanation for Stonehenge? Would he insist on unguided natural causes as the only tools to explain his own righteous indignation? If so, his arguments would implode.Nicholas bought into the NOMA myth of Stephen J. Gould without apparently being aware of its weaknesses. His letter illustrates the unchallenged assumption of a particular philosophy in scientific institutions – methodological naturalism – which, as intelligent design advocates have frequently argued, becomes indistinguishable in practice from philosophical naturalism (for some of the debate, search on ‘methodological naturalism’ at Evolution News). Causation is a long-standing debate where the extreme positions obfuscate the productive middle ground. Surely no theistic scientist is going to attribute the precipitation of chemicals in a flask to the direct intervention of God. But neither should an atheistic science rule out convincing evidence for intelligent causes just to maintain his materialist philosophy. That could guarantee a false conclusion.The list above reports only some of the most recent debunkings of the myth of scientism from secular sources themselves. Big Science is a political force that once in awhile discovers interesting facts about nature, just like Big Education is a political force that once in awhile teaches something valuable to a student, or like Big Labor is a political force that once in awhile helps a worker. The real contributions usually come not from the top, but from the individuals who, through their own integrity and moral character, decide to help their fellow man. (Visited 688 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
14 March 2007After just over two years of doing business in South Africa, Indian vehicle manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra has set its sights on expanding its dealership network, available models and sectors it competes in.According to Business Report, Mahindra, a US$4-billion company, has identified Africa as a key future market, and sees South Africa as an entry point into sub-Saharan Africa.The company is already selling more than 4 000 vehicles a year in SA, its range including the Scorpio sports utility vehicle and Bolero pickup truck. Now it is eying the country’s commercial vehicle market and agricultural sector, stating that it will sell tractors, trucks and tractor-trailers from May onwards.Speaking to Business Report last month, Mahindra South Africa’s chief executive officer Vijay Nakra said the company would launch a range of 30- to 80-horsepower tractors at the 2007 Nampo Agricultural Trade Show in Bothaville, the largest of its kind on the continent.Nakra said the company would be targeting farmers looking for smaller, more competitively priced tractors.“We believe the proposition we are talking about will take about 12 to 18 months to at least gain visibility. But I’m not able to talk about volumes and market share. We believe we’ll be able to gain a significant presence,” he said.Mahindra will also have a commercial vehicle range, with models ranging from a 3.5-ton medium commercial truck to tractor-trailers and even a 15- to 30-seater minibus.“Our approach is not to bring in a product specifically for the taxi market,” Nakra told Business Report. “We’re bringing in a people mover, and one of the segments in that market is the taxi market.”A Mahindra team from India will also come to South Africa in the near future to meet with domestic component manufacturers, as the company conducts a feasibility study into sourcing spares locally. The study is expected to take at least four months.“What we are looking at from at parent company level is to source globally competitive automotive parts from South Africa,” Nakra said. “It is not based primarily on earning motor industry development programme export credits.”According to Business Report, Mahindra SA would consider setting up South African operations once their sales reached between 600 and 700 units a month. It sold 340 vehicles in January.Mahindra are also looking into opportunities in various sectors in South Africa, through their subsidiaries. These include Club Mahindra, a time-share company, Tech Mahindra, which supplies telecommunications software solutions, and Mahindra Finance.“We’re looking forward to the future and the plans we have for this market,” Nakra said.SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
The Universities of Cape Town and Oxford, each the oldest universities in their countries, have long been partners in research to find innovative solutions to the problems of today, and the future. This was highlighted during a recent visit to UCT by a high-level delegation from the prestigious English university. An aerial view of Oxford University in the UK. South Africa’s University of Cape Town collaborates more with Oxford than with any other British university. (Image: Oxford University) • Long walk to university reaps the reward • Bokoko literacy project brings books and libraries to Africa • South Africa’s Smart Schools showcased on Brand South Africa media tour • New technologies stand to benefit poorer countries • Clinton fund invests in Africa’s girls Staff writerEffective collaboration between universities cannot be imposed from the top down: it must be led by research. This was the message Oxford University vice-chancellor Andrew Hamilton and his senior researchers brought to South Africa’s University of Cape Town last week.The two are the oldest universities in their countries. There is evidence of education at Oxford going back to 1096, nearly 1 000 years ago, making it the oldest functioning university in the English-speaking world and the third-oldest on the planet, after Morocco’s University of Karueein and Italy’s University of Bologna. UCT was founded in 1829 and is not only the oldest university in South Africa but the second-oldest in Africa.The close relationship between the two institutions has created a range of research projects with the potential for tremendous social impact, UCT vice-chancellor Max Price said during the visit. These include research partnerships in malaria drug resistance, new tuberculosis vaccines, food security, and constitutional and customary law in Africa.Oxford’s Hamilton said South Africa was a good place to look into topical global problems. “Collaborations thrive when there is mutual need, and South Africa offers a unique environment to study some of the greatest challenges facing us today,” he said. “We need now to encourage collaboration where it does not yet exist.”UCT works and publishes with Oxford more than with any other British university. Their partnership in neurosciences is one of the most fruitful.“We are particularly pleased that the launch of UCT’s Neurosciences Initiative coincides with this week’s visit by the University of Oxford,” Price said.UCT’s Neurosciences Initiative at the Groote Schuur academic hospital brings together clinicians and researchers from a range of specialities, fostering collaboration in the treatment of a neurological disorders such as stroke, central nervous system infection and trauma.The initiative is led by Prof Graham Fieggen, UCT’s head of neurosurgery. “The majority of people suffering from common neurological disorders live in low and middle-income countries,” he said. “There is a need to understand these disorders within the context of our own continent. We cannot simply import models from the global North.”Oxford professor of neuroscience and co-director of the university’s Centre for Neuromuscular Science, Matthew Wood, who is also a UCT graduate and honorary professor, said neuroscience is central to society.“Neurosciences are much broader than simply understanding the brain or understanding neurological disease,” he said. “Essentially it goes to the heart of who we are as human beings, and to many of the challenges that exist in society.”Oxford vice-chancellor Andrew Hamilton and UCT vice-chancellor Max Price during the former’s visit to South Africa last week. (Image: UCT)Managing chronic diseases over the phoneOne of the projects showcased during the Oxford visit was the development of mobile phone technology allowing people in Africa to manage chronic diseases such as high blood pressure by themselves. Named the SMS-text Adherence Support, or Star, trial, it is part of mobile health development in Africa, and a collaboration between Oxford’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Primary Care Health Sciences and UCT’s Chronic Diseases Initiative for Africa (CDIA) project.Mobile phones are highly effective in reaching patients across Africa. In a recent trial of an intervention to improve blood pressure control, over 95% of patients getting educational and supportive SMSes remained in contact with the project over one year.The collaboration involved Oxford professor of general practice Andrew Farmer, professor of electrical engineering Lionel Tarassenko and David Springer of the Oxford Institute of Biomedical Engineering. UCT researchers included head of medicine Prof Bongani Mayosi, as well as head of the diabetic medicine and endocrinology Prof Naomi Levitt, director of UCT’s Chronic Diseases Initiative for Africa, and the CDIA’s Dr Kirsty Bobrow.Largest community-based study among HIV-positive teenagersAnother project looks for insights into the behaviour of South Africa’s 1.2-million HIV-positive teenagers, to understand why their adherence to anti-retroviral treatment is low, and their use of contraceptives inconsistent.The project, called Mzantsi Wakho, aims to get HIV-positive adolescents to adhere to antiretroviral treatment and access sexual and reproductive health services. It is the largest community-based study of HIV-positive teenagers ever conducted. From preliminary results, stigma still plays a powerful role in stopping teenagers from disclosing their HIV status to their partners.Mzantsi Wakho is led by UCT’s Dr Rebecca Hodes, the director of the Aids and Society Research Unit at the Centre for Social Science Research and an honorary research fellow at UCT’s Department of Historical Studies, and Lucie Cluver, an associate professor of evidence-based social intervention at Oxford and honorary lecturer in UCT’s Division of Neuropsychiatry. The Departments of Health, Social Development, Basic Education and Women, Children and People with Disabilities were consulted on the project’s research design.Controversy over Cecil John Rhodes statueDuring the visit, Oxford vice-chancellor Hamilton added his voice to the debate on removing the statue of arch-colonialist and English mining magnate Cecil John Rhodes from the grounds of UCT.“It’s a debate that should take place,” he told Primedia radio’s Kieno Kammies on Cape Talk. “It’s a debate for the students and faculty of the University of Cape Town – and South Africa in general – to go through, to work out for yourselves what place this figure who did many really quite terrible things during his lifetime.”Oxford University administers the Rhodes Trust, a scholarship programme Rhodes set up to allow promising students from the former British Empire to study at his alma mater.University of Cape Town students protesting for the removal of the statue of Cecil John Rhodes from its prominent position on the university’s grounds. (Image: UCT)“Universities are an ideal place – they are an appropriate place – for that debate to take place,” Hamilton said. “Universities should be about the free flow of ideas, of strong, robust, even sometimes contentious debate about the interpretation of history, about the role of history in the development of modern society.”But, Harrison added, “it’s not for me to comment on the place of Rhodes in contemporary South Africa”.While his Oxford counterpart stayed neutral on the issue, UCT vice chancellor Price said the statue should be removed, as he felt the anguish it caused black students.“I feel the need to apologise on behalf of the university for the kind of pain they’re experiencing for that frustration,” he told Eyewitness News.Edited by Mary Alexander
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Singer Shibani Kashyap is set to make her acting debut with fiction TV show Ek Veer Ki Ardaas…Veera. She will be seen as a mentor and says the character is close to her real life.Shibani’s character in the show will be called Megha, a famous singer who was boycotted from the industry due to her starry tantrums. When she meets the character Ranvijay, she realises his potential and agrees to mentor him. So, she takes it up as a personal challenge to make him popular, and also to make a comeback in the industry herself.Excited about the role, Shibani said in a statement: ‘The character is very reflective of me and how I am in real life. I am really excited to be making my fiction debut with ‘…Veera’ as the character comes easy to me and I am exploring it through the show.’ The track is expected to go on air next week onwards. The show airs on Star Plus.