Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Parochial News Day!

As some of you may be aware I've been in South Africa for the past fortnight which has changed what parochial news I've been subjected to. Therefore today I'd like to welcome our guest publication The Citizen.

South Africa's been having quite a few political scandals recently and crime is a very big issue but todays paper had a story concerning an issue that I know is important to all Saffies.

Beer unaffected by gas shortage

JOHANNESBURG – Beer will flow as usual over the festive season while the supply of certain fizzy soft drinks could be affected by a carbon dioxide shortage.
SA Breweries spokesman Michael Farr said on Monday that the country’s seven breweries were self reliant when it came to supplies of the crucial gas.
“Therefore beer production is normal and is not affected,” he said.
The shortages, expected this month and next month, were because of demand exceeding full production, “as it always does in the December period,” said Farr.
South Africa faced the shortages due to production problems experienced by the major CO2 supplier.
Production was being focused on core brands -- Coca-Cola, Fanta and Sprite -- and to ensure some sizes were available.
Less popular drinks -- such as Fanta Pine, Fanta Grape, Sprite Zero and TAB -- could be in short supply, Farr said. – Sapa.
They said that things could get bad down there but that's sailing a little close to the wind in my opinion.

Not to say that The Citizen is only concerned with local problems. A link on the front pageleads us to this story,

Scottish island robbed of its innocence

LONDON – A tiny Scottish island where residents routinely leave their houses and cars unlocked has suffered its first burglary in living memory after a visiting workman stole 60 pounds (89 euros or 115 dollars).
The culprit, who was later caught, was fined 400 pounds and ordered to pay compensation to his victim, after snatching the cash on Colonsay, off the west coast, where there has been no crime at all since 2004.
The Hebridean isle -- where locks are reportedly rusted through lack of use -- is home to only 125 people and is seen as one of Britain’s safest places.
Friday’s Daily Telegraph reported that the island’s part-time policeman Don McLeod swooped on thief James Harvey, 38, from Glasgow, who was stranded on Colonsay for several days while he waited for a ferry back to the mainland.
Harvey’s victim, “Wee” (little) Davie Sutherland, 75, was quoted as saying: “I suppose it was only 60 pounds but it just doesn’t happen here.
“I don’t even have a lock on my house, so that tells you what you need to know about the island.”
The last crime on Colonsay involved the theft of several cars which were driven around the island then dumped. – Sapa-AFP.
Okay so they don't have any crime on Teuchter Island but I still can't get very excited at this one though I do like that the one flaw in the master criminals plan was that there's only one ferry a week. It's the details that get you.

And this one is just so Jo'burg,

Lucky escape as floor sinks into shaft

By Durelle Kariem
JOHANNESBURG – Two men narrowly escaped death when the floor of their shack sank down a mine shaft at the Angelo informal settlement yesterday morning.
Ekurhuleni emergency services spokesman Johan van den Heever said the floor of the shack fell down what used to be an old mine shaft.
“The incident happened after a water pipe along the mining belt became corroded.
“Due to the water pipe leaking and the heavy rain we had on Sunday night, the ground became unstable,” Van den Heever said.
The men were unharmed and left the shack after they realised that the floor had collapsed.
Ekurhuleni Housing spokesman Fanie Mare said the next step would be to relocate the residents to safer land.
The land belonged to one of the mines and not the municipality.
“We are still in the process of discussing permission to move the residents”, Mare said.
It is believed the mine manager will have to assist the housing department to find a safer area of land.
Jo'burg is so hardcore even the subsidence is out to get you.

I'd just like to finish by thanking Graham for the Dundee United update and to note that we won again against Kilmarnock at the weekend so things are looking up. I was able to get the SPL scores in South Africa but not from The Citizen which is why this article confused me.

Pressley omission stuns Hearts fans

Romania's Ioan Ganea (L) vies for the ball with Scotland's Steven Pressley during an international friendly in March 2004. A troubled season for Hearts has taken another sharp turn for the worse with the future of Pressley in doubt following his omission from the side that drew 1-1 away to Falkirk on November 13.

A troubled season for Hearts has taken another sharp turn for the worse with the future of influential skipper Steven Pressley in doubt following his omission from the side that drew 1-1 away to Falkirk on Monday.
The Scotland international centre-half has been a mainstay of the side over the last few years and captained them to Scottish Cup success last year as well as second place in the Premier division.
But his recent outspoken comments detailing "significant unrest" in the Tynecastle dressing room following statements from club majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov and frequent managerial changes appear to have cost him his place in the starting line-up.
There were also unconfirmed rumours that Pressley had been stripped of the captaincy which could provoke furore among Hearts' fans among whom he is hugely popular.
Mired in a run of poor results that have cost them second place in the league, two other stalwarts - Paul Hartley and Robbie Nelson - were also benched for the game at Falkirk.
Highly-rated goalkeeper Craig Gordon was the only Hearts player to comment on Pressley's demotion.
"It is hard. After the team meeting, I had to go away and compose myself and put myself in the frame of mind that I was going out to do a job," the Scotland international said.
"We have got a couple of thousand Hearts fans coming to cheer us on. I gave everything I had."
Gordon revealed Pressley had urged his team-mates to secure a win.
"I spoke to him on a few occasions, and he wanted the boys to go out there and get a result. He was 100 percent behind the players."
Christophe Berra led the team out at Falkirk, but Gordon maintains Pressley is irreplaceable.
"He is the captain and has been for a number of years," he said.
"I don't see anybody in that dressing room capable of replacing the big character and big leader that he is."
Asked if all the players are behind Pressley, Gordon said: "You would have to ask everybody individually. I would hope the vast majority if not every player would back him.
"He always battles our corner and has the players' interests at the forefront of his mind."
The managerial merry-go-round at Tynecastle looks set to continue with the emergence of another Lithuanian coach in the shape of Eugenijus Riabovas.
At Falkirk the coaching duties were carried out by Eduard Malofeev himself stepping in for Valdas Ivanauskas, the Lithuanian who was in charge at the start of the year but who has taken time off to recover from illness.
I couldn't find the United score in the paper for two weeks and then suddenly we're given an indepth article on Heart of Midlothian and their game against Falkirk. Just goes to show.

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