This telephone interview with Demitrius Grant, imprisoned at SCI Albion near Erie, Pa., was conducted by Joe Piette for Workers World newspaper on Feb. 16. Demetrius Grant: We’re going to be covering the issue of COVID-19 today, as to how it impacts prisoners’ mental health. About a week ago, a sergeant told me a prisoner killed himself, and another one tried to kill himself. He said that was the thirteenth episode in the last month. How many more of these incidents are going on — not only in this institution, but in other institutions — because they’re not giving prisoners proper mental health care and treatment?Demetrius GrantWorkers World: I was doing research earlier this morning, and the latest statistics I could find is 2019. There were 23 suicides in Pennsylvania that year, and that was the most ever. That’s a number that had been increasing in Pennsylvania, before COVID. (Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb. 20)Prison officials hide suicidesDJ: I did research too and found the same thing about suicides rising dramatically across the country. The Department of Corrections (DOC) is refusing to give the numbers of who committed suicide. I found a case called Bowling vs. Office of Open Records out of Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, Appellate Jurisdiction. (findlaw.com, Feb. 5)It says under the right-to-know law that it is remedial legislation designed to promote access to governmental information, in order to prohibit secrets about public officials’ actions and to make them accountable for them. Exceptions from their actions must be narrowly construed. What it’s basically saying is that under this act’s terms, the DOC can’t refuse to disclose this information if it’s requested. (tinyurl.com/y7xb5uej)WW: The article I read said prison administrators hide the suicides, calling them accidents, or they give excuses other than suicide because they don’t want to open up criticism of the way they run their prisons. (shadowproof.com, Nov. 16, 2020)DJ: I found out that as a private citizen, you can go to the Attorney General’s office. It oversees administrative agencies like the state DOC, and there you can request an investigation under these terms. The DOC needs to be scrutinized more closely about their falsified information, when it should reveal to the public what’s really going on. The state Inspector General has an obligation under the Pennsylvania Constitution to conduct an investigation.WW: Can you describe what is going on during the pandemic lockdown that is pushing people to kill themselves?Pandemic lockdownsDJ: You have no sense of when this is going to end. We’ve been under this situation since March 2020, so every time you make inquiries about when it is going to end, the answer is that it looks like this is going to happen for the foreseeable future. Guys who have preexisting mental health problems are being locked in their cells and only coming out for 45 minutes every other day. I’ve only been out to the yard once since November. I was only just able to go to the law library for the first time since last year.People feel an utter sense of hopelessness for being locked down in this unbearable situation, in these small cells with another human being they don’t even get along with. And their movements are limited. They can’t contact their families. They can’t fight their legal cases. They can’t keep up with themselves physically. It has a profound influence on your psyche. I wake up during the night having panic attacks, which I also have during the day, because I feel like I’ll never get out of this cell.It comes to the point when a person loses hope and feels their situation is never going to get better. They feel they can’t cope with it for long periods of time without DOC intervention to correct it. But it seems to the DOC that the institution is fine and dandy with the way things are going. They have absolute control over people.Cruelty of ban on in-person visitsWW: And there are no in-person visits from their loved ones?DJ: Captain Skinner told us about a month ago, in-person visits are never coming back. He claimed the introduction of drugs coming into the institution dropped by 20%, so that’s their justification for not allowing people to physically touch their kids, their mothers, their kin.Those decisions have a dramatic effect on people. DOC experts know this, but they are turning a blind eye to this, because it’s part of their long-term program. They’re not looking at the danger they’re causing to the prisoners, whom they have a duty to care for and protect.WW: The thing is that the end of in-person visits only dropped drugs by 20%. That means 80% of the drugs are still coming in, and they must come from the guards.DJ: They know this, but just as they hide the numbers about the suicide rate, they know about the drugs too. They know the numbers, but it’s not in their plans.I have an article about when they put together their plans in 2018. It’s about the guards being exposed to these drugs, resulting in the switching of the mail, so now it comes through Florida. All the people who claimed they were exposed to this, when the DOC refused to say what the hospital reports revealed, didn’t match what the guards were saying. So once again they keep using these fake incidents to justify what they’re doing, which is having a profound effect on the health, welfare and safety of the prison population.WW: It’s not just Pennsylvania. It’s going on in Texas, California and other states. The suicide rates are increasing. I can’t find any state that has released these statistics from 2020 during the pandemic.Lawsuit protests horrific conditionsDJ: No doubt. If you’re like any human being and put in a cage constantly, and if you don’t have any family or friends to lean on, and you’re confined in isolation, you’re in a dire situation. You can’t get more isolated than that. I found a case started by the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania against the state’s DOC Secretary John Wetzel about prisoners being held in horrific conditions due to an unconstitutional process that takes no account of mental illness, but in fact exacerbates it.When prisoners are locked in extremely small cells for at least 23 hours-a-day including holidays, the lights are on in their cells all the time. They are denied adequate mental health care and are prohibited from working, participating in any rehabilitative programs or attending religious services.The DOC’s mistreatment of every prisoner violates their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the U.S. Constitution. Prisoners have physical contact with only one other human being — their assigned cell mate — who may be psychotic or violent, which may be injurious to their mental health in solitary confinement.The Pennsylvania American Civil Liberties Union said on March 11, 2013: “Prolonged isolation exacerbates the symptoms of mental illness. As a result, often prisoners with mental illness refuse to leave their cells for the limited recreation time or for medical treatment.“Others experience sleeplessness, hallucinations and paranoia. Still others engage in head banging, injure themselves by cutting or attempted hanging and sometimes are successful in suicide attempts. Frequently, these symptoms are regarded as prison rule infractions, which prison officials punish with still more time in the Restricted Housing Units (RHU). (tinyurl.com/aw7zw5v6)The result is a Dickinson nightmare in which prisoners with mental illness are trapped in an endless cycle of isolation and punishment, which further worsens their mental health and deprives them of adequate treatment and the ability to qualify for parole.This is the information contained in the settlement agreement compiled by Angus Love, the ACLU, the Prison Project, the Disability Rights Network, David Rudovsky and many other attorneys. The agreement with the DOC settled the lawsuit on Jan. 5, 2015. (tinyurl.com/2v96dh3m)But they’re not holding to this agreement anymore. Mental health is considered a disability. So this is even more compelling, because mental health problems are being created that should be qualified as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. That’s the reason this lawsuit was filed, and it’s even more compelling today.WW: So what they’re doing with the severe restrictions violates the ADA?DJ: Yes. And they violate the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, because the restrictions are exacerbating problems — not only with dudes who have mental illnesses, but also creating problems for people who haven’t had them until now. Being locked up in those cells long-term is having a profound long-term effect on people, not only while in prison, but it will affect them making parole. Prisoners can be put in the RHU for rule infractions, when officials know they are suffering from mental health problems which will be long-term.WW: What conditions are especially aggravating under COVID-19 restrictions?DJ: The isolation. Perpetual isolation is deadly. People are locked up in cells with no interrelationships, not knowing when it will end. It just drives you crazy.WW: And there’s no person-to-person contact with your relatives anymore?DJ: None. You can’t hug your loved ones. Officials are now trying to limit contact to eight or nine cohorts, so you only come in contact with seven other guys you may not even know or like. But you can’t come into contact with your friends, who are on the block with you a couple of cells down. You’re not even allowed to stand at their cell doors to talk to them. It’s maddening!WW: What about phone calls and video conference calls?DJ: Don’t get me wrong. Talking on the phone with family or friends is OK okay, but there is nothing like human contact.WW: When COVID-19 started, you were allowed free video conferencing and free phone calls. Is that not happening anymore?DJ: No. They gave you free emails, and they brought video games to us, which we shared cell-to-cell for 24-hour use. They would give you free cable, special meals and snacks every now and then. They had games and puzzles on the TVs from the Activities Department. Maybe some people could make some money because they weren’t working anymore, but they stopped all that.WW: They stopped all that, but COVID-19 has not stopped, and the restrictions are still going strong.Specter of no–contact visitsDJ: Exactly. COVID-19 is still going even stronger! They are telling us to expect this lockdown to continue. Captain Skinner told us contact visits are not coming back. So if you’re spending the rest of your life in prison, and there’s the prospect that you can’t hug your mother or loved ones ever again, can you imagine how that plays on someone’s mind?You’re trying to deal day-to-day, to better yourself and get into programs, but now you can’t get into any educational programs or attend any religious services. If you want to work on your legal case to give yourself some hope to get out of jail, that’s gone. You are in an endless cycle of hopelessness. If you could accumulate funds from working during incarceration at decent wages, you would have a nest egg when you get out, which would be a big help to start a new life. But they don’t give you that opportunity.WW: People on the outside have to learn all this. We have to expose these conditions.DJ: The conditions are horrible. People think there are COVID-19 restrictions on the outside, but it’s nothing like those in here. They have been getting away with this since last March. They started out slow, so we wouldn’t rebel. They tried to make it tolerable, but as time went on they just implemented some really Draconian stuff.Build a campaign against lockdowns!And the DOC knows this. They’re going to keep on doing it until the fire is lit under them to stop doing what they’re doing. It has to be a national campaign, not just in Pennsylvania. I wouldn’t be surprised if all these DOCs have gotten together and collaborated and come up with the approach to use COVID-19 as a means to keep these control lockdowns in place. This is despite their knowing how this situation affects people’s mental and physical health!A lot of these prisoners are not going to be locked up in prison for the rest of their lives. They’re going to go home, but the psychological and physical damage of what they’ve had to endure is something society will have to deal with. It’s not just a jail issue, but it’s society’s problem. A guy or woman who is mentally and physically damaged can’t work. They will be a strain on the system, because they need medical and mental health care.WW: Instead of having someone spend time behind bars, giving them skills and training and helping them to get better, they’re doing the opposite and harming the person.DJ: When the person gets out, their chances of being successful are slim-to-none. Guys who were in bad shape before COVID-19 are worse now. The public says that’s just the jailhouse situation, and officials have to deal with it. But no — it will be a neighborhood problem.One of my buddies left last week. He was snapping at the slightest reason. He wasn’t always like that, but by locking him in a cell and not letting him speak to anyone, with no one addressing his problems and concerns — means he’s been marginalized. They’re being radicalized in a different way, and then some come home and harm someone. Then what?Empathetic treatment needed WW: We don’t want that. We need compassionate treatment — not only on the inside, but afterwards when they return to society.DJ: It’s just a matter of piecing it together. I have to play hardball with these mental health people, because they only understand if you go after their license, their livelihood. Otherwise, we’re just complaining, and they’re just saying things like they really don’t care.I try to keep myself mentally and physically sound, because I’ve found myself teetering on the edge. They have guards nitpicking. I ask: Why are you nitpicking? We’re in a bad situation already. Why are you constantly trying to create a situation that doesn’t have to be there? What is your endgame?It’s an abuse of power. When you abuse people needlessly, it causes a worse situation. I don’t want to be here, but I’m thankful that I have the spirit of my mother to stand up for what’s right. As long as I’m alive, I’m going to do that.WW: Your voice can play an important role. What would you say to other incarcerated people who read this interview? What would your message be to them?DJ: Together we can get things done. My message would be: Don’t give up hope, because if you give up hope that means you’ve given up on yourself. You have to find something outside of yourself to keep hopeful — to see a family member, to talk to a friend, to reach out. Instead of looking at the dire situation that I’m in, I try to look at other people’s problems, and I try to help them out. That way I’m helping myself. So they have to try to look beyond their own hopelessness and look at other people to get the strength to go on.Unity and solidarity are key!WW: So solidarity is the answer — and not just for people behind the bars, but in society in general?DJ: Unity and solidarity! That’s what I preach to these younger guys. We must come together. We must stay strong regardless of our petty differences. Whatever the situation is, we’re all in the same circumstances. We suffer the same things. The only way we’re going to deal with this is if we stick together. Some people think this way. Some do not.I choose to speak to the people who think that way. I show others by example what I do, and I encourage them. There are people on the street who want to help, but we have to help ourselves. We are fighting a battle, but it’s harder to battle alone. Either people will succumb to the situation, or together we’ll overcome it.Even though I have my moments, I overcome the situation because I have a sense of purpose: That is to help others. I realize by helping others, I help myself.One’s actions speak louder than anything one says.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
Welcome back to “The Tournament,” a 32-team college football bracket reliving the incredible 2005 season through one of the best sports video games produced in the mid-2000s.After a first round filled with huge upsets , the heavyweights largely came to play in the Sweet 16. The top three seeds — Texas, USC and Ohio State — won by a combined margin of 82 points. Only one team outside the top 11 seeds remains alive. (SN illustration) ‘NCAA Football 06′ tournament bracket https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/b9/d1/ncaa-06-bracket-071420-ftr_1h7ov026lmn9f1dzl7en8sorak.jpg?t=1304704459&w=500&quality=80No. 1 Texas 28, No. 16 West Virginia 20If this had been the 2006 or 2007 version of Pat White and Steve Slaton, perhaps West Virginia would have been able to pull off this upset. But with each star in their freshman form in 2005 — still great in real life but not as respected in the video game — it was too tough of a task.Until midway through the third quarter, it appeared as if the Mountaineers could cause problems. White and Slaton ran the option effectively while mixing in the occasional quick hit wide receiver screen, and their defense kept Vince Young in check.It couldn’t last, though: A deep throw to Limas Sweed gave the Longhorns an 11-point fourth-quarter advantage they would hold comfortably the rest of the way. West Virginia’s offense struggled to run the ball in the second half and outside of a late desperation touchdown heave with the game out of reach did very little to threaten.No. 8 Oklahoma 52, No. 24 Texas A&M 42Adrian Peterson is an unstoppable force. After obliterating Cal in the opening round and outplaying counterpart Marshawn Lynch in the process, he slayed a Texas A&M defense with future NFL linemen Johnny Jolly and Michael Bennett. His 221 rushing yards and four touchdowns against the Aggies put him in position to claim MVP of the competition; he’s up to 369 yards and seven scores in just two games.It’s worth noting that Peter Thompson — who we’re giving the keys to the quarterback position over Rhett Bomar — has also been much better than expected and could be an X-factor in Oklahoma’s upcoming tilt with Texas.We’re going to miss playing as Texas A&M. Reggie McNeal is an amazing dual-threat talent in the game and his surrounding pieces (namely Courtney Lewis and Jason Carter) made for a fun experience.No. 4 Penn State 31, No. 13 Oregon 20Trash. Clownish. Rigged.That’s how we feel about the third-quarter pass interference call that bailed out Penn State in the red zone and allowed them to take the lead. In no world was Jordan Norwood impeded here.Oregon fell apart thereafter, unable to move the ball in the snow against a defense featuring Paul Posluszny and Tambi Hali.No. 28 Iowa 27, No. 21 Virginia Tech 21Iowa continued to make the Big Ten proud by reaching the Elite 8 behind its legendary linebacker duo of Chad Greenway and Abdul Hodge.In the biggest case of a team being much stronger in video game form than in real life, the Hawkeyes actually put together a much more complete performance than they did in the first round at Georgia. Rather than relying exclusively on their defense, they moved the ball well under the guidance of quarterback Drew Tate.That didn’t mean Marcus Vick and Virginia Tech were without moments of brilliance.Virginia Tech almoooost pulled off a wild comeback with Vick in inferno mode. Then Chad Greenway happened.No. 2 USC 26, No. 18 Michigan 10We learned from giving up 79 points to USC in round one and made this one competitive until late.The biggest rule we implemented was to under no circumstance kick the ball anywhere near Reggie Bush, who brought back three kicks for touchdowns against Clemson. That definitely helped and worked to negate the impact of Bush, one of the most explosive college football players ever.Chad Henne and Steve Breaston linked up nicely throughout the contest for Michigan, while Lamarr Woodley was an absolute monster defensively. Mike Hart averaged just 3.5 yards per carry but did deliver his team’s lone touchdown.USC ultimately took charge in the fourth quarter. Matt Leinart found tight end Dominique Byrd in the end zone to send the Trojans on their way to the Elite 8, but it was nonetheless a respectable effort from a Wolverines squad that went 7-5 in real life.No. 7 LSU 24, No. 10 Florida 21This was the juiciest matchup of the round on paper, and it lived up to the hype.Chris Leak and the Gators moved the ball without issue for much of the game. This pretty pass to Chad Jackson on a post pattern provided an early lead and momentum in Death Valley.LSU responded well despite JaMarcus Russell playing like he was on the Raiders for the second straight game. Running back Alley Broussard delivered a trick pass for a score before punching in another touchdown on the ground.Safety LaRon Landry made the play of the game with a pick-six — his second game-changing interception in as many contests.No. 3 Ohio State 48, No. 14 UCLA 0The Buckeyes are crazy good and haven’t even needed to be at their best so far in this competition. They sacked Drew Olson nine times and intercepted him five times. They burned UCLA with a steady dose of Antonio Pittman on the ground and Ted Ginn Jr. and Santonio Holmes through the air. They’re definitely the biggest obstacle to Texas or USC winning the whole thing.Maurice Jones-Drew and Marcedes Lewis deserved better.No. 11 Miami 10, No. 27 Georgia Tech 7Even though Calvin Johnson mostly disappeared, Georgia Tech had every opportunity to beat their ACC foe. But outside of one strong drive, quarterback Reggie Ball was at his most erratic, costing his team a trip to the Elite 8.With under two minutes remaining, Ball threw three straight incompletions. A punt and hope the Yellow Jackets’ defense could come through then proved the wrong decision, as Miami quarterback Kyle Wright hit tight end Buck Ortega for a game-clinching first down.Stats leaderboard for ‘The Tournament’Passing (top 10)PlayerTeamGames PlayedComp/AttPass YardsPass TDINTChris LeakFlorida227 of 5055951Vince Young*Texas217 of 3447051Kyle Wright*Miami230 of 5445230Reggie McNealTexas A&M228 of 4543231Kellen ClemensOregon227 of 4741813Paul Thompson*Oklahoma224 of 5341031Brian BrohmLouisville116 of 4438403Drew Tate*Iowa219 of 4137823Matt Leinart*USC219 of 3636252Michael Robinson*Penn State222 of 4235952*Team still alive in competition Still, there continued to be surprises, including the struggles of LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell and the strength of Iowa’s defense.This story will take you through the Sweet 16 results. We’re also logging game stats throughout “The Tournament” and sharing them at the end of each story.(Basic competition rules: Games are being played in “NCAA Football: 06” by manually controlling the underdog team on sliders that provide generally realistic results (though obviously not perfect). Home field is given to the higher seed. We’re recording game play and posting highlights on YouTube and in our articles summarizing each round.)Here are all results from the Sweet 16, followed by player stats and Elite 8 matchups: Rushing (top 10)PlayerTeamGames PlayedRush YardsRush TDScrim YardsAdrian Peterson*Oklahoma23697369Alley Broussard*LSU23503390Antonio Pittman*Ohio State22394239Maurice Jones-DrewUCLA22040217Courtney LewisTexas A&M21894209Reggie Bush*USC21861220Tony Hunt*Penn State21832224Robert MerrillTCU11801210Mike HartMichigan21763177Terrence WhiteheadOregon21733213*Team still alive in competitionReceiving (top 10)PlayerTeamGames PlayedReceiving YardsReceiving TDJason CarterTexas A&M22953Jordan Shipley*Texas22461Chad JacksonFlorida22202Joel FilaniTexas Tech12061Andre CaldwellFlorida22043Steve BreastonMichigan21990Calvin JohnsonGeorgia Tech21792Dwayne Jarrett*USC21782Michael DePriestTCU11721Joshua TinchLouisville11640*Team still alive in competitionElite 8 matchupsHere are the matchups for the next round:No. 1 Texas vs. No. 8 OklahomaNo. 2 USC vs. No. 7 LSUNo. 3 Ohio State vs. No. 11 MiamiNo. 4 Penn State vs. No. 28 Iowa
Dear Editor,As the coalition ‘circus’ campaign continues, helplessly trying to distract Guyanese from their failures, entourages from the Ministry of Public Health, financed by taxpayers, moves into Region Six to continue their comical displays. I received a letter of invitation from the Regional Executive Officer, Kim Williams-Stephens which indicated that the Ministers of Public Health would be in Region Six for two days – (3rd and 4th) April 2019 – to conduct a series of commissioning ceremonies for several projects and health centres in the Region Six.But the two notable acts that really amaze me is the re- commission of the National Ophthalmology Hospital at Port Mourant, and an appreciation ceremony for the Ministers. This hospital has not done a single cataract surgery for the past Four years, but despite this, the Ministers of Public Health have the audacity to come to Berbice to fool Berbicians that the health sector is perfect. What is the purpose of recommissioning a Hospital that is not functioning for its actual purposes? Millions would be spent on the appreciation dinner and this visit by this entourage that could have complemented the 60 cataract kits that were purchased by the Region to be used at New Amsterdam Public Hospital.The Ministers are yet to even respond to or rectify the numerous inefficiencies that exist in the functioning of the New Amsterdam Public Hospital or the Regional Health Services. The entire Health Services is being used to reward political activists and cronies of APNU/AFC .The fact remains that because of the incompetence in sector, health-care delivery and the lives of Berbicians are at stake.Regards,Zamal Hussain
Constitutional Court judges deliberatingconstitutional issues amongst each other.(Image: nextbook.org)Khanyi MagubaneOver 260 senior judges from 93 countries will descend on South African shores for a high level conference focusing on constitutional court judges.The World Conference on Constitutional Justice Conference will take place on 23 and 24 January in Cape Town, and will see judges not only from constitutional courts, but also equivalent institutions and their representatives coming together for the first time.South Africa’s constitution is respected across the world, not only for its inclusiveness for all South Africans, but also for some groundbreaking judgements that have been handed down by the constitutional court.Constitutional court chief justice Pius Langa told journalists on 19 January that the conference would enable judges to share and exchange ideas on constitutional matters and jurisprudence.Langa said the conference would also help in promoting cooperation between courts engaged in constitutional review, in addition to advancing global human rights principles.“This conference will provide both developed and evolving democracies an opportunity to examine and compare the effectiveness of systems and strategies in different jurisdictions for the achievement of accepted goals.”The keynote address will be made by South African President Kgalema Motlanthe on the opening day of conference.The historic event will be hosted in conjunction with the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, which is an advisory body to the Council of Europe on constitutional issues.Constitution influencing societyThe theme for the inaugural conference is: “Influential Constitutional Justice – its influence on society and on the development of a global jurisprudence on human rights.”Langa said the theme would pave the way for the issues that justices will deliberate on, including the all-important one of independence and accountability of the judiciary.Other issues to be thrashed out include interference and the exertion of improper pressure from public representatives, including the media.This is especially true for South Africa, as Langa also took the opportunity during the media conference to lambaste politicians who publicly criticised the judiciary.Langa said attacks on judges had the potential to weaken South Africa’s democracy.Judges have recently come under duress from the ruling ANC party and its alliance partners, mainly as a result of rulings which have been unfavourable to the its leader Jacob Zuma who is trying to avert being tried on corruption charges.In 2008 the attacks worsened when ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe accused Constitutional Court judges of being “counter- revolutionaries” when they ruled on Zuma in a matter he had brought before the court, relating to the criminal charges brought before him.Mantashe responded to the reports that he labelled the judges “counter-revolutionaries” saying that he was quoted out of context.Langa said that while the judiciary was not against the public remarking on rulings made, the criticism should be fair, “What we would not want is criticism which goes to the integrity of the person. A ‘drunk’ or ‘counter- revolutionary’ or whatever.“I mean those are things we don’t expect to hear from the general public because it does not tell us that they have read the judgments that we have given,” he added.The chief justice also noted that judges respect the publics’ right to freedom of expression, but that it should not extend to being insulting to judges.Upholding the rights of SA citizensThe work of the Constitutional Court is rooted in deliberating cases brought before it for evaluation against the country’s constitution.As the highest court in the land, the Constitutional Court has the final say on matters relating to the interpretation, protection and enforcement of the constitution.It deals only with constitutional matters – some cases raise concerns about the application or interpretation of the constitution.Outside of the Constitutional Court, The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein in the Free State, is the highest court in the country as far as other law issues are concerned.Although the Constitutional Court only hears constitutional matters, all courts in South Africa have to apply the constitution and the law “without fear, favour or prejudice” (According to section 165) of the constitution.There are various ways in which a case can reach the highest court.The constitutional court will see a case if it is:The result of an appeal from a judgment of the High Court or the Supreme Court of Appeal;A direct application to the Court, asking it to sit as a court of first and last instance because of the urgency of the matter;The result of the court below declaring a piece of legislation invalid, which requires confirmation by the Constitutional Court; orA Bill parliament asks the Court to review.The judges of the Constitutional Court always deliberate as a unit before handing down a ruling.In a case where judges decide to grant leave to appeal, or if it is unsure and wishes to hear an argument on whether leave to appeal should be granted, a case date is set and parties involved are invited to present their arguments before the court.The Constitutional Court doesn’t hear evidence or question any witnesses.Each party will hand in written submissions before the court date to allow judges to familiarise themselves with their arguments and the different position taken by each party.If there are other parties outside of those directly involved in the case who also wish to make written submissions, they are also invited to do so as amicus curiae (friends of the court).This is usually the case with advocacy groups like anti-abuse, or anti-gender discrimination groups.If favoured, the friends of the court are sometimes allowed to make oral arguments during the case.Do you have any queries or comments about this article? Contact Khanyi Magubane at: [email protected] Related articlesCameron in Constitutional Court Goldstone to get McArthur prize South Africa’s constitution Judge Sachs honoured in New York Useful LinksThe Constitutional CourtVenice Commission of the Council of Europe Chief Justice Pius Langa BiographyJudicial Services Commission
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Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest A new round of almost $25,000 in grants by Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation will help educate consumers about agriculture and energy, develop leaders and provide resources for teachers to teach agriculture in the classroom. The foundation’s Action & Awareness grants are designed to promote and improve Ohio’s agricultural industry as well as local communities. The grants, which ranged from $750 to $9,000, focus on four core areas: economic development, education, environment and the human-animal bond.Her are the grant recipients and projects.AgriPOWER to support programming for the 17 members in Class XII. An elite leadership program created by Ohio Farm Bureau, AgriPOWER is helping develop and train Ohio farmers and representatives from agricultural stakeholders to become effective leaders, spokespersons and advocates for agriculture. Seven AgriPOWER Institutes are held throughout the year with one in Washington, D.C., and the other in another state.Ohio Soybean Council for its Ag Bio-Technology Academy 2020. In June, 30 teachers will participate in a two-workshop designed to promote agriculture careers and provide hands-on, inquiry-based programming focused on integrating an ag bioscience curriculum into high school science classrooms. Teachers will meet agricultural experts in the field and visit various agriculture industries. Each teacher will receive an electrophoresis intro kit.Ohio Energy Project to sponsor educators participating in its professional development workshops, the Energy Sources Tour and Energy Sources Blitz. These programs give teachers behind-the-scenes access to the energy industry by visiting sites involved with the production, generation and distribution of energy around Ohio, as well as the environmental and economic impact of energy use. Teachers receive classroom lessons, curriculum and lab equipment.Ohio Corn Marketing Program to support professional development of 35 Ohio science teachers participating in a two-day “Feed the World” workshop. Teachers will learn about modern agriculture practices in ethanol production, water quality and soil science. Each teacher will receive $350 of supplies to conduct labs in their classrooms.Northwest State Community College Fund for two summer camps that will expand the knowledge of agriculture among northwest Ohio youth. The camps will teach students the fundamentals of agricultural science and its impact in their daily lives, provide information about careers in agriculture and promote mentorship and networking between youth and local agricultural businesses.Summit County Farm Bureau for its annual Farmers Share Breakfast, which typically draws more than 700 people who enjoy breakfast on a farm and hear from local farmers about where their food originates. Two free healthy soil seminars will be held and a canned food drive will help local food banks.Hopewell to support its farm life program for adults with serious mental illness. Residents care for and work with a variety of farm animals on the 300-acre working farm in Mesopotamia. Hopewell is the only residential therapeutic farm community in Ohio and one of only five in the United States.The next application cycle for an Action & Awareness Grant is Jan. 1 to April 30, 2020. Grants may be used for general support, startup funding for new organizations or program expansion. Learn more at ofbf.org/foundation/aagrants/.
View comments Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Andray Blatche will return for another tour with the Filipinos, who will play the Japanese in the first round at Komazawa Olympic Park General Sports gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan.Brown plays for the Ryukyu Golden Kings in the Japanese B League and posted efficient numbers for the national team by leading Team Nippon in rebounds, steals and blocks in the 2016 Fiba Asia Challenge Cup in Tehran, Iran.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBorn in Corsicana, Texas in the US, Brown went through a two-year period learning the Japanese language extensively. He currently resides in Tokyo.That was the last time that Brown played for Japan, which has a relatively tall team of homegrown talents led by the versatile Joji Takeuchi, a 6-foot-10 center who has a deft perimeter jumper and is agile to leave other big guns on the move. Blatche last played for the Philippines in the Southeast Asia Basketball Association (Seaba) Championship in Manila last May. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Falcons secure 3rd semis seat Yuta Tabuse, a 5-foot-8 guard who saw action for the Phoenix Suns in the NBA and played against the Filipinos in the 2015 Jones Cup, is not in the roster initially submitted by the Japanese association.Team Philippines, ranked higher (30th) than Japan (43rd) and Chinese Taipei (57th) in the latest world rankings, will play the Taiwanese and a very familiar foe, Quincy Davis III, at Smart Araneta Coliseum on Nov. 27.The Filipinos are 1-1 with the Taiwanese in their last two clashes, with the Chinese Taipei victory happening in 2013 in Manila, 84-79, during the first round of the Fiba Asia Cup at Mall of Asia Arena.Team Philippines got back at the Taiwanese in the Jones Cup in front of a boisterous Taiwanese crowd, 88-72, with Filipino-German Christian Standhardinger and Mike Myers at the helm.Gilas played that game without its PBA veteran pool members led by June Mar Fajardo, Jason Castro, Terrence Romeo and Calvin Abueva.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding While Gilas Pilipinas and Chinese Taipei have enlisted services of centers as naturalized players, Group B mate Japan has included 6-foot-4 guard Ira Brown in its list of pool members submitted to Fiba (international basketball association) for the World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers starting Nov. 24.ADVERTISEMENT CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Read Next MOST READ
On Wednesday afternoon, the Oakland Raiders confirmed that history will be made in their playoff game against the Houston Texans Saturday: Rookie quarterback Connor Cook will become the first signal-caller in the Super Bowl era to make his NFL debut in a playoff game.It’s probably not the way Cook wanted to enter the record books. Things rarely go well when a team is forced to use a backup QB, particularly in the playoffs. Since 1966, there have been 86 playoff games where a team’s primary passer1i.e., the quarterback who led the team in dropbacks during the game. wasn’t the same as the team’s usual QB from the regular season;2i.e., the quarterback who led the team in dropbacks during the season. in those games, the team in question scored 21 percent fewer points than their seasonal per-game average, and their passing efficiency (as measured by adjusted net yards per attempt) was 20 percent worse than normal.Now, it being the postseason, you’d expect less offensive output anyway (since good defensive teams tend to make the playoffs). And indeed, teams who have their usual starter also see their performance decline — but only to the tune of 10 percent in points per game, and 12 percent in passing efficiency. The penalty for starting a backup is about double the typical postseason drop-off.3That the typical drop-offs for passing and overall offense are roughly equal lines up with research that shows passing efficiency is far more correlated with offensive success than how a team does in the running game. (Plus, quarterbacks do play their own role in the running game, whether by rushing themselves, by handing off or by opening up the defense with effective passing.)Things get even worse when a rookie backup — like Cook — is called into playoff action. Here’s the subset of those 86 games from above where the backup was in his first NFL season: It’s only an 11-game sample, but offenses led by rookie backups tend to collapse even harder than those directed by stand-ins with some NFL experience. Those teams’ points per game declined by 29 percent and their passing efficiency by 49 percent when compared with their regular-season averages.The good news for Oakland, however, is that the Texans are also dealing with a quarterback crisis of their own. And although the backup QBs in my dataset above tended to play horribly, they still managed to scratch out a victory more than 35 percent of the time — as did rookie backups. So although Cook may be historically inexperienced for a playoff starter, it wouldn’t exactly be inconceivable for the Raiders to pull off the win anyway.
Ohio State’s 14th-ranked rowing team will compete in its 11th consecutive NCAA championship this weekend.OSU will be one of 16 teams in the competition, which Washington State University will host at Lake Natoma in Gold River, Calif., Friday through Sunday.OSU coach Andy Teitelbaum said the journey to the NCAA championships is “the same every year.”“You fight your way to get to the NCAAs throughout the regular season and when you get there, you’re just really looking to fight your way as far up the ladder as you can in terms of standings,” Teitelbaum said. “I think our first goal is to win the heat or come in the top three in our heat and we’ll start setting our goals from there, one race at a time.”Teitelbaum coached the previous 10 teams that made NCAA championship appearances.“It’s obviously a credit to this team to have kept the string going, but it’s also a credit to the 10 teams before us,” he said. “We’ve really achieved a very high level of performance on the national scene. I know it’s something that the current athletes are proud of and, from what we hear from the alumni, it’s something they’re proud of too, being a part of that over the past decade and seeing that level of performance continue.”Teitelbaum said the 11 consecutive championship appearances can be attributed to consistently recruiting great rowers and continuously seeking the best competition to measure up against.“I think that those two things that we’ve done have served us well in terms of a consistent level of performance over the years,” he said.Teitelbaum said that although OSU is one of the lower seeds in the event and they will be facing several crews that have beaten them previously in the season, they hope to exceed expectations and even avenge some of their early-season losses.Jill Mohr, a junior member of the Second Varsity Eight crew, said the team’s ultimate goal is for all three boats to make it to the grand finals.“We’re not going to be doing anything too differently,” Mohr said. “We’ve made some line-up changes so hopefully our boats can go faster, but we’re just going to race our race plan and row cleanly. We’ve been working together in the boats the past two weeks since regionals, so hopefully we’re more prepared with our lineups. That should make a difference.”Teitelbaum said the lineup changes should give the team speed in all three events, but that the Second Varsity Eight looks the most promising.“The Second Varsity Eight has been one of the top performers in its event throughout the year and I think that boat has seeded the highest out of the three crews, so I think I would probably look for them in terms of a top performer out of our team,” he said.Mohr said this year’s championships will be a fierce competition and that doing well will be no easy feat. “It’s the top 16 teams in the nation so everybody is looking to bring in the win and is going to give it their all, so you can’t look past anyone,” she said.
Ohio State junior outfielder Dominic Canzone (33) rounds second base after a hit in the Ohio State-Michigan game on April 12.Ohio State defeated Michigan 10-5. Photo: Braden Moles | Senior ReporterThe Ohio State baseball team pulled off the upset. Ohio State (19-16, 3-4, Big Ten) opened its three-game series against its rival No. 24 Michigan (23-10, 4-2, Big Ten) with a 10-5 win at Bill Davis Stadium.Coming off of two midweek wins against Ohio and Dayton, the Buckeyes kept the momentum going into Friday’s matchup against the Wolverines. A homer in the top of the first from Michigan center fielder Jesse Franklin left Ohio State fired up after he stomped on home plate after running the bases.“There’s something that we believe in in our locker room, and it’s called karma,” Ohio State head coach Greg Beals said. “We believe in karma. Take care of the game, do what you’re supposed to do, play with respect.” After that, the Buckeyes took the reins of the game and didn’t look back. Ohio State junior right fielder Dominic Canzone recorded a triple in the bottom of the third inning, eventually scoring on a sacrifice fly by senior second baseman Kobie Foppe. After taking a 2-1 lead in the third inning, Ohio State held the lead for the rest of the game. Canzone was a major part of that offensive explosion. He recorded four hits in five at bats, hitting a solo home run, eighth of the season, in the eighth inning. Errors and ball mishandlings hurt Michigan throughout the game, recording two errors against the Buckeyes. In his first rival matchup of his career, Ohio State freshman pitcher Garrett Burhenn pitched 6.2innings, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks, striking out seven “Garrett Burhenn the rookie, takes the ball on his first rivalry game and was up to the challenge,” Beals said.Ohio State sophomore designated hitter Brent Todys proved to be a factor with his bat, hitting his fourth home run of the season in the fifth inning, scoring three. With the offense Ohio State showed, Canzone was confident in the way the Buckeyes played in the first game of the series. “We just played the best game of the year and we need to continue to build off that because that’s Buckeye baseball right there,” Canzone said. The Buckeyes will continue the series at Bill Davis Stadium against Michigan on Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at 2:05 p.m.