August 21, 2009

Teenage Runner Caster Semenya Raises Gender Questions

Is she a boy? Or is he a girl? Whichever way you look at it, South African teenager Caster Semenya is facing a gender controversy.

Semenya won gold in the women's 800 metres on Thursday night at the World Championships in Berlin, crossing the line in a personal best of 1 minute 55.45 seconds.

It was easy street for the 18-year-old but it wasn't easy for her to convince the IAAF who will verify her gender. Her sudden rise has raised many questions.

Her muscular development, the narrowness of her figure, a deep voice and a masculine look all demanded answers.

The verification process will involve a gynaecologist, psychologist, geneticist and endocrinologist. They will verify whether her birth certificate is right in declaring her female.

Semenya's mother has no doubt over her child's gender and claims she is not worried despite an official IAAF investigation being launched to look into the matter, the Daily Mail reported.

Athletics South Africa (ASA) have already issued a statement confirming they are 'completely sure' Semenya is female.

BOLT UPDATE: The Lightning Bolt Has Struck Twice - In Berlin

Oh dear, he has done it again. Another world record smashed to rubbles. Usain Bolt, who celebrates his 23rd birthday today, becomes the first sprinter to hold the 100 and 200m world and Olympic titles at the same time.

Bolt created athletics history last night winning the 200 metres final at the World Championships in Berlin in sensational fashion by smashing his own world record.

It came only days after he broke his 100 metres world record.

Bolt stormed to victory in the Olympic Stadium in 19.19 seconds, slashing 0.11secs off the time set at the Beijing Olympics last year, with Panama's Alonso Edward claiming silver in 19.81s and American Wallace Spearmon the bronze in 19.85s.

"I never expected a world record tonight," he told the BBC. "I was really tired but I told myself I had to just try and do my best - now I am tired."

August 18, 2009

Another Bolt Of Lightning Shatters The World Record!

Some say Usain Bolt is not from this planet. This guy is out of this world. He is da man to beat. Yet again, like a bolt of lightning, he strikes again.

His astounding 100 metres dash in just 9.58 seconds took the breath out of everyone in Berlin on Sunday, smashing his own world record to smithereens.

Bolt, the fastest man on earth, shaved 0.11 seconds off his 9.69 mark he set when he won gold at the Beijing Olympics a year ago.

It was simply astonishing that Bolt has gone where no man has ever gone before - into the time zone undreamed of before he appeared on the international track scene.

The last time a single performance that completely changed perceptions of human capabilities was when American Bob Beamon smashed the world long jump record at the Mexico Olympics in 1968.

And by the way, where was American Tyson Gay who promised he would "shock the world" by upstaging the Jamaican?

Oh yes, Gay, the 2007 world champion, did run the race of his life to finish second in 9.71, the third fastest time ever. Bolt's countryman, Asafa Powell came in third in 9.84.

And how did the 22-year-old Bolt feel about his astonishing run?

"I got a pretty good start, I was there at 20 metres and that was it," the triple Olympic gold sprint medalist told Reuters.

Now the big question everyone will be asking is: Will Bolt be able to crack his new world record in some future race?

Take it from the man who had said before the race that victory would move him one step nearer to "legend" status: "Now I plan to do even better in the future."

Wow, this guy is awesome! His favourite drink must be rocket fuel!

Of related interest:
Great Bolt Of Lightning

August 11, 2009

Great Train Robber Ronald Biggs Released From Jail

The Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs, who was released from prison on compassionate grounds, on Aug 7 2009, is severely ill in hospital.

Biggs, who turns 80 on Aug 8, was moved to Norfolk and Norwich hospital, suffering from severe pneumonia. After a series of strokes, he is bedridden, fed through a tube and communicates by pointing at letters on a card.

Biggs was a member of a 15-strong gang which attacked the Glasgow to London mail train at Ledburn, Buckinghamshire, in August 1963, and made off with £2.6m in used banknotes.

He was given a 30-year sentence but after 15 months he escaped from Wandsworth prison, in south-west London, by climbing a 30ft wall and fleeing in a furniture van.

Biggs was on the run for more than 30 years, living in Australia and Brazil before returning to the UK voluntarily in 2001, in search of medical treatment.

He was locked up in Belmarsh high-security prison on his return, before being moved to a specialist medical unit at Norwich prison.

August 5, 2009

Clinton Secures Release of Two US Reporters

Former US President Bill Clinton's "private mission" to Pyongyang has ended on a happy note with the release of two American reporters - Laura Ling and Euna Lee - who had been found guilty of entering North Korea illegally in March.

According to the BBC, North Korean leader Kim Jong-il agreed to the release with a special pardon to the journalists after his meeting with Clinton.

Clinton's visit was the highest-profile visit by an American to the reclusive Communist state since ex-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in 2000.

In a statement posted on a website, the two journalists thanked Mr Clinton and also former Vice-President Al Gore for their efforts to secure their release. The families of the journalists said they were "overjoyed" by the news.


March 17: Euna Lee and Laura Ling seized by North Korean border guards while reporting for California-based Current TV

June 8: Both sentenced to 12 years in jail for "hostile acts" and illegal entry into North Korea

June 16: Pyongyang says journalists have "admitted and accepted" their guilt

July 10: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeals for an amnesty for the two

August 4: Former US President Bill Clinton arrives in Pyongyang and North Korea later announces the journalists will be pardoned

Clinton visits but will Pyongyang change?

August 2, 2009

Huge Protest Against ISA In Malaysia

Malaysian police broke up the country's biggest street protest in nearly two years, firing tear gas and chemical-laced water at thousands of opposition supporters demanding an end to a law that allows detention without trial on Saturday (Aug. 1).

According to news portal, The Malaysian Insider, the anti-ISA rally turned the capital, Kuala Lumpur, into a battlezone with tear gas and water cannon.

The BBC reported that more than 200 arrests were made during the unauthorised march, attended by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim who heads the party Pakatan Rakyat.

Prime Minister Najib Razak has promised to review the security law which was passed 49 years ago when the country faced threat from the communists during the Emergency.

Corazon Aquino dies at 76

Former Philippines President Corazon Aquino, who swept away a dictator and then sustained democracy by fighting off seven coup attempts in six years, died on Saturday (July 31) after a 16-month battle against colon cancer. She was 76-years-old.

She was known as Cory to millions of Filipinos and was president from 1986 to 1992. A devout Catholic, she will be best remembered as the slim woman in yellow who deposed Ferdinand Marcos in 1986. Marcos and his wife Imelda fled the country.

Her "People's Power" revolution set a precedent for dissidents from South Africa to South America and Pakistan. Aquino was hailed by many as a modern-day Joan of Arc.

A reluctant leader, Aquino shed the housewife's apron only after her politician husband, opposition leader Benigno, was assassinated at Manila's international airport in 1983 on his return from exile in the United States.

Born on January 25, 1933, into one of the country's richest families, the Cojuangcos, Aquino grew up in a world of wealth and politics. The daughter of a congressman, she married Benigno, a politician with promise, and they had four daughters and a son before he was thrown into prison by Marcos and then forced into exile.

August 1, 2009

Sir Bobby Robson - Farewell To A Football Legend

Sir Bobby Robson 1933-2009

Sir Bobby Robson, son of a miner and a British football legend, has lost his long battle with cancer. He died on Friday at the age of 76.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, in paying tribute to the former England manager, said:

"In my 23 years working in England there is not a person I would put an inch above Bobby Robson. I mourn the passing of a great friend; a wonderful individual; a tremendous football man and somebody with passion and knowledge of the game that was unsurpassed".

Nobody can deny that Robson, with his great passion for football, is a true legend of the beautiful game.
In his long association with football, he has inspired different generations of footballers. He was knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 2002.

He was England's most successful national team manager since Sir Alf Ramsey. In the 1990 World Cup final in Italy, Robson took England to just a whisker away from the final.

England lost on penalties against West Germany in the semi-final. Gary Lineker had forced extra-time with a late equaliser, but Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle missed from the spot as England bowed out.

Robson played for Fulham and West Bromwich Albion during the 1950s and 1960s and won 20 international caps for England as a mid-field player.

He began his managerial career with Fulham in 1968. He went on to manage Ipswich Town and turned the unfashionable East Anglian club into a European force. Robson moved on to the continent and had spells as manager of PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands), Sporting Lisbon and Porto (Portugal) and Spanish giants Barcelona.

His final stop as a club manager was with Newcastle United, the Yorkshire club he supported as a boy.

RIP, Sir Bobby Robson.

Video: Sir Bobby Honoured


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