Forensics to boost conviction rate

first_imgRay Maota Forensic science provides the link between a crime scene and a suspect. The new forensic science laboratory in Plattekloof in the Western Cape cost R600-million (US$71-million) to build.(Images: Flickr)MEDIA CONTACTS• Zweli MnisiMinistry of Police: Media Liaison Officer+ 27 12 393 4341The backlog of criminal trials dependent on forensic evidence is set to be reduced in the Western Cape province with the opening of a new state-of-the-art forensic science laboratory.The facility, which took six years to build at a cost of R600-million (US$71-million), was officially opened by Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa and National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega in the Cape Town suburb of Plattekloof on 17 July 2012.It will not only serve the province, but several districts in the northern and eastern Cape regions as well. It replaces the old centre in Delft, and is the fourth of its kind in the country, after Port Elizabeth, Pretoria and Durban.“There were unsatisfactory reports around courts not being able to finalise cases on their rolls and these were attributed to delays in forensic services,” said Mthethwa, explaining the purpose of the new facility.Cases are considered to be at backlog stage if it takes more than 28 days for results to be finalised upon evidence being presented to the labs. More worrying is that conviction rates had dropped drastically as a direct result of the backlogs over the past few years.Forensic science provides the link between a crime scene and a suspect. From as early as 1901, fingerprinting has been used to help track offenders. However, the international forensic tool of choice is DNA profiling, which was introduced in 1984, as evidence may be collected through hair, blood, saliva, semen and perspiration samples.How the lab worksThe lab has been in operation since November 2011, and offers services such as DNA analysis, drug identification, and causes of fires. The staff has also being carrying out polygraph tests, gunshot residue, handwriting and blood-stain analyses and 3D facial recognition scans.The building’s function revolves around a system of metal cabinets where samples of evidence are catalogued by type and how urgently they should be processed. The cabinets run on rails about 800m long and are shunted between nine collection kiosks, from where samples can be transported to their designated units for investigation.This system is used in many forensic centres in Europe, and will hopefully resolve the problem of evidence being misplaced or tampered with, as the boxes can also be tracked using a biometric system.This is how modernised systems, coupled with adequately equipped human resources, can contribute towards an improved turnaround time in terms of processing forensic case work, said Mthethwa.Fighting abuse against women and childrenPhiyega, who was appointed in June, said that in the past year, over half of the cases processed by forensic science investigators throughout the country were for rape and murder, both of which are in the violent crimes category that Mthethwa’s department prioritises in terms of achieving convictions.She added that the lab will be another weapon to fight crimes against women and children.Forensic services have been identified by the police ministry as a vital component in fighting crime and Phiyega confirmed that there will be increased capacity in this area.According to NGO DNA Project, Parliament is reviewing the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Bill which, if passed, will ensure that every person arrested for an alleged offence as well as all convicted offenders, will have their DNA profile loaded onto a database managed by the crime intelligence division.These profiles will continually be searched against DNA profiles collected at crime scenes, to try to find a match and identify a suspect.Given the number of repeat offenders in South Africa, there is a strong possibility that an individual, taken into custody for a crime, was previously convicted of a similar crime and already has his or her DNA profile on the system.Decline in backlogsThe national forensic services division of the police department achieved a criminal conviction rate of 94% in the year 2011/12 – up from 63% in 2009/10, said head of forensics services, Lieutenant-General Julius Phahlane.Even though only 77% of evidence was processed within 28 days – against a target of 92% – the number of cases lodged at laboratories that were older than 28 days old were reduced by 30% in 2010/11, following a 60% decline in backlogs from 2009 to 2011.The backlog in processing evidence also came down significantly, from 59 023 on 1 April 2009 to 11 310 on 1 April 2012.There are 6 930 employees in the state’s forensic division and 800 more appointments are expected by the end of 2012 in an effort to further reduce backlogs.For 2011/12, R63-million ($7.5-million) was set aside by the government for enhancing skills within the division, with a further R35-million ($4.1-million) earmarked for the current financial year ending March 2013.last_img read more

DDG Prices Steady

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The DTN domestic dried distillers grains price was steady at an average of $172 per ton for the week-ended May 24. [Read and Comment on Full Blog]last_img

Facebook Says it Will Acquire 15 Companies in 2011, Up 2X From 2010

first_imgTags:#news#NYT#web Related Posts Facebook will double its pace of startup acquisitions next year and expects to acquire as many as 15 different companies in order to absorb new ideas and technology. That according to statements made by Michael Brown, corporate development manager at Facebook, at a seminar titled “Startup Exit Seminar: Early Stage M&A,” in San Francisco last week.Brown’s statement was videotaped and reported on by Alastair Goldfisher of private equity blog PEHub this afternoon. We’ve embedded the key part of the video below.Goldfisher rounded up all of Facebook’s 2010 acquisitions thusly:Altogether, Facebook announced eight acquisitions in 2010, including Hot Potato; Drop.io (another RRE Ventures-backed company snapped up for about $10 million); Divvyshot (a photo management tech company that grew out of Y Combinator and was bought for an undisclosed amount); Chai Labs (acquired for $10 million); and Nextstop (bought for $2.5 million). Facebook’s largest purchase this year was the $40 million it paid to take ownership of social networking patents from Friendster.It’s notable that none of the startups acquired in 2010, as far as I know, are still open for business and providing their services to their old users. FriendFeed, which Facebook acquired in August of 2009, is unusual in that it is still operating, in part as a test-bed for future Facebook features. When Facebook announced a new user registration technology yesterday, for example, the company referenced how well the technology had performed in testing on FriendFeed.Startup founders, this means your odds of getting acquired by Facebook are looking better than ever. Startup technology lovers, this probably means you’re twice as likely to have your heart broken next year. Facebook lovers – it sounds like you’re going to see some more cool features coming to the world’s biggest social network, at a fast and furious pace.Thanks to Atul Arora for finding and sharing this news. marshall kirkpatrick 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketcenter_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

Indian shooters hit the target

first_imgThe jubilation on Ronjan Sodhi’s face after he clinched the silver medal in the Commonwealth Games double trap singles did manage to conceal the slight disappointment of missing out on a much-awaited gold at home.Yet, credit must go to England’s Stevan Walton, who won his first gold in a major international competition with a brilliant effort under pressure against world record holder Sodhi and junior world champion Asher Noria at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range.It was another good day for India, with the men’s pistol teams clinching two more gold medals – in the 25m rapid fire and the 10m air pistol pairs event. Gurpreet Singh was the big winner on the day, having been a part of both teams, partnering Vijay Kumar and Omkar Singh respectively.This was also Omkar’s second gold of the Games, to add to one silver. There was a buzz of anticipation at the outdoor shotgun range ahead of the final as a full house waited to see if Sodhi and 17-year-old Noria, both having qualified with 139 points, could somehow find a way past Walton, who was at a Games qualification record 143.All three shot 47 in the final while Isle of Man’s Tim Kneale, who had qualified with an astonishing 140, hit 46 to finish tied with the Indians for second. In the ensuing tie-shoot, Sodhi held his nerve to shoot eight birds while Noria and Kneale could only manage seven each. Kneale then hit another six to Noria’s five to clinch the bronze. But Sodhi said his good form had put extra pressure on him.advertisement”The fact that I have been shooting very high scores this year did add a little bit of pressure.” Meanwhile, it was a comprehensive victory for the Indians in the first event of the day, the 25m rapid fire pistol pairs. Vijay and Gurpreet blew away the old Games record of 1,134 (set by Vijay and Pemba Tamang in Melbourne) by shooting 1,162 points.Gurpreet was part of another Games record when he and Omkar shot 1,163 in the 10m air pistol pairs in the latter part of the day. Omkar seemed to carry on from his brilliant performance in the 50m free pistol the previous day, shooting 587/600, while Gurpreet supported him well and shot 576.The pair finished 20 points ahead of England’s Nick Baxter and Games legend Mick Gault. But there was some heartbreak for Indian shooting fans when, for the first time in these Games, the country failed to win a medal in an event.This was in the women’s 50m rifle 3 positions event, where Lajja Gauswami finished sixth with a total of 666.8 points (570 + 96.8). World champion Tejaswini Sawant was a huge disappointment as she finished ninth with 568 points, after struggling in the standing stage where she shot only 179.The gold was won by 16-year-old Australian Alethea Sedgman, who scored 676 points, while both the silver and bronze medals went to Singapore thanks to Xiang Wei Jasmine Ser and Aqilah Sudhir respectively.last_img read more

Mary Kom’s trainer Chhote Lal Yadav now 2-star AIBA coach

first_imgNew Delhi, Sep 17 (PTI) Former national champion Chhote Lal Yadav, who is currently the assistant coach for Indian women boxers, has become a two-star coach in the International Boxing Association (AIBA) after clearing the certification course. Yadav, a three-time national champion and an Asian Championships quarterfinalist, cleared the exam conducted in July in Amman, Jordan. The former boxer from Uttar Pradesh is the personal trainer of five-time world champion and Olympic bronze-medallist M C Mary Kom, who has claimed three gold medals in various international events this year alone. “Mr Chhote Lal Yadav has successfully completed the course and passed the examination. I look forward to his continuous dedication and support,” AIBA Executive Director Tom Virgets said in a letter addressed to Boxing Federation of India (BFI) President Ajay Singh. The 31-year-old Yadav, who is a Subedar in the Indian Army, is a coaching diploma holder from the National Institute of Sports in Patiala. He had topped the 2014-15 batch. The former boxer’s career highlights also include a South Asian Games gold medal and the junior Asian top honours. “My life has always revolved around boxing. I have tried to do my job with utmost sincerity and I am thankful to god for the results. Mary Kom trusted me with the responsibility of overseeing her training in 2014 and I am glad it has been a good partnership,” he told PTI. The AIBA two-star course is a seven-day programme, which follows the one-star level. The coaches are upgraded on the basis of an examination and it makes them eligible to be seconds at all AIBA-affiliated events. PTI PM ATKATKadvertisementlast_img read more

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang performance by Dr Kearney Middle School

first_imgThursday, May 30 at 7 pmFriday, May 31 at 7 pmSaturday, June 1st at 1 pm and 7 pmCost of tickets are $20 for Adults and $15 for Students and SeniorsTo purchase tickets; CLICK HERE FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Dr. Kearney Middle School is presenting Chitty Chitty Bang Bang a musical adventure.Dr. Kearney Middle School presents Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a fun family performance about inventions, adventures and the magical flying car.The show is taking place at the North Peace Cultural Centre with showtimes at;last_img read more

Nirmohi Akhara moves SC opposes Centres plea to return acquired land around

first_imgNew Delhi: Nirmohi Akhara, one of the litigants in the Ayodhya case, Tuesday moved the Supreme Court opposing the Centre’s plea seeking return of 67.390 acre of “non-disputed” acquired land around the disputed Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid site to original owners. The Allahabad High Court in 2010 had decided that 2.77-acre disputed land at Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid site would be divided into three equal parts and will be handed over to — Nirmohi Akhara, Sunni Waqf Board, and Ram Lalla. The Nirmohi Akhara, in its fresh plea, has opposed the Centre’s application by which it had sought modification of the Supreme Court’s 2003 order to allow it to return to original owners the 67.390 acre of “non-disputed” acquired land around the disputed Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya. The application has said that the Centre has proposed returning of acquired land to Ram Janambhoomi Nyas and that there are many temples on the acquired land and their rights would be affected if the land is returned to one party. The apex court had recently appointed mediators to find an amicable solution to the vexatious land dispute.last_img read more

Im not scared of failure Varun Dhawan

first_imgNew Delhi: Varun Dhawan is expanding his horizon with each of his projects — be it “Badrinath Ki Dulhania”, “October” and the recent release “Kalank”, which has become the highest opener of 2019 so far. The actor says he treats each project as a challenge, and pushes himself to improve his craft. “I am not scared of failure, but each movie is a challenge. I work harder with each project and try and improve my work constantly,” Varun told IANS over an email. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka After back-to-back successes, the actor says experimenting with one’s craft comes as a bigger risk. “It’s definitely a bigger risk because it is a different experience for me. I think that showing your experience is more important and reaching the audience is essential,” added the actor, who is associated with Skybags and features in the “Always a Star” campaign. But he prefers not to think much about failure. “Failure and success come with every occupation and the film industry is no different. I believe that what goes around comes around. Bad things happen, followed by better things.” Also Read – Salman Khan remembers actor Vinod Khanna The younger of the two sons of director David Dhawan, Varun entered Bollywood as an actor with “Student of the Year” in 2012. He worked as an assistant director to Karan Johar on the 2010 drama “My Name Is Khan”. After walking into Bollywood as a student, Varun has graduated after showcasing his calibre with each of his projects. From playing the role of a small town boy from Jhansi in “Badrinath Ki Dulhania”, to getting the act right in dance film “ABCD 2” to the dark and gritty “Badlapur” to the subtle “October” to fun films like “Dilwale”, “Dishoom”, “Main Tera Hero” and “Judwaa 2” — he has aced his performance in each of the projects. Hollywood star Dwayne Johnson has been an inspiration in his life as he navigated the world of glitz and glamour. “Dwayne Johnson was my main inspiration before I stepped into the industry. I have always admired his work and creativity,” he said. Varun is back on the big screen — this time in an intense avatar as Zafar in “Kalank”. The Abhishek Varman directorial, a period drama, registered business of Rs 21.60 crore on the first day, surpassing the opening day collection of “Kesari”, “Gully Boy” and “Total Dhamaal”, and has become the highest opener of 2019 so far. According to trade expert Taran Adarsh, “Kalank”, which opened on Wednesday, is Varun’s biggest opener. Talking about the role, he said: “I would define the entire experience as the most challenging role I have done so far. It was really challenging as I had to do all the stunts by myself like going through a wringer, me banging myself against the wall and jumping off heights.”last_img read more

Nani seals Sporting Lisbon return

first_imgPortugal winger Nani has returned to Sporting Lisbon for a third time after rejoining his former club from Valencia on a two-year deal, Sportsmole claims.Nani who previously made a comeback to Sporting for a loan spell during the 2014-15 season scored 11 goals in 36 competitive appearances.The 31-year-old winger began his career at the Portuguese club before leaving for Manchester United in 2007. The Portugal international spent last season on loan in Italy with Lazio, where he only managed 18 appearances in Serie A.Bruno Fernandes, Sporting CP, Sporting Lisbon,Tottenham did not have the credentials to buy Fernandes George Patchias – September 5, 2019 Sporting president Varandas says Tottenham did not have the credentials to fulfill the bid for Bruno FernandesIn an interview with Sporting Lisbons president Frederico…Nani, who won Euro 2016 with his nation two years ago has failed to settle since leaving United with no more than one season spent at any of Fenerbahce, Valencia and Lazio, where he played on loan last term.Sporting, on the other hand, have battled to maintain stability in recent times, following the departure of a host of first-team players following a training ground attack from fans at the end of last season.They last month fired Sinisa Mihajlovic after just nine days of being in charge and installing former coach Jose Peseiro as his successor.last_img read more

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith insists Villa must improve

first_imgAston Villa manager Dean Smith insists the team must improve despite their 2-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers on Friday night.Jack Grealish and James Chester were both on target as Villa recorded just their fifth victory in the Sky Bet Championship this season.Villa boss, Dean Smith was pleased with the result but felt his team’s performance was arguably one of the poorest of his four games in charge to date.He said, according to Express&Star: “I thought we deserved it but I didn’t think we were anywhere near our best.“We were OK until we scored the second goal. Then we had a 15 to 20-minute spell when we were excellent and could have scored more.Aston Villa explains why they spent so much money on players Manuel R. Medina – September 6, 2019 According to Aston Villa’s chief executive, the team needed to spend £144.5 million on 12 players in order to stay competitive.“There is still an awful lot to work on and work with. That spell showed me the levels this group can get to. We need to see more of it.”Grealish netted for the first time since last season to give Villa a fourth-minute lead.Smith said:“Jack should have scored against Swansea. He had a couple of chances against Norwich and he should have scored against QPR. So he’s owed me one and I have told him that!”“It was something we had worked on in the training ground, a pattern of play.”“He is a player who can play more advanced for us. When he does not see a lot of the ball he tends to come a bit too deep. it is something we are working on.”last_img read more