first_imgA man tried to set his neighbours’ home on fire and tried to attack them with a chainsaw after they called him names.Letterkenny Court.Luke Kelly, of Ballykeeran, Kilmacrennan, appeared before Letterkenny Circuit Court yesterday. He was charged with assault causing harm, and also causing criminal damage to the Lafferty family home on July 23rd, 2014.Garda Siobhan Campbell told the court that they received a 999 call to the Lafferty home after an incident involving Kelly, 26.It was alleged that Kelly punched Matthew Lafferty in the jaw knocking him over before pouring petrol over the Lafferty home and then chasing members of the family with a chainsaw and also a pitchfork.Garda Campbell said Kelly claimed it was Matthew Lafferty who had the chainsaw and he fire started when sparks form the chainsaw came into contact with some petrol.Kelly did admit breaking some windows in the house.Shane Lafferty also claimed that he had received some burns to his arm as a result of the altercation.The court heard that the Lafferty family had since moved out of the area and that Kelly had not ben in trouble since.Barrister Peter Nolan said his client was a 26 year old father of one and said the incident was a wake-up call for Kelly who was terrified of going to jail.The court heard he had previous convictions for various offenses including assault, criminal damage and using threatening and abusive behaviour.However, Mr Nolan pleaded for a chance for his client saying he thought he had had his last brush with the law.Judge John O’Hagan said the entire incident read like something out of a massacre novel.“You have to ask yourself if it is real or not,” he added.He sentenced Kelly to a total of 21 months but substituted the term with 200 hours community service in lieu of the jail sentence.“I hope he takes advantage of this fresh start,” said the judge.MAN CHASED FAMILY WITH CHAINSAW AND SET THEIR HOUSE ON FIRE OVER NAME-CALLING was last modified: December 17th, 2014 by StephenShare 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) Tags:attackchainsawcourtdonegalfireLuke Kellylast_img read more

Raiders’ wide receivers may be most improved position group in NFL

first_imgALAMEDA — The Jon Gruden-Mike Mayock makeover of the Raiders is virtually complete, and even the most severe critic would concede the talent has been upgraded considerably.It remains to be seen whether getting younger and faster will mean going from four wins to six or seven or perhaps even playoff contention with something above .500.With full-squad voluntary organized team activity (OTA) underway this week and media access on Tuesday, a look at which position groups improved the most from …last_img

SMS help for teens in distress

first_img27 February 2006The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) says it has received an “overwhelming” response after launching a new SMS service for depressed teenagers.The initiative aims to help curb the high levels of teen suicide in the country. Suicide is said to account for around nine percent of all teenage deaths in South Africa.The new service allows teens in distress to reach Sadag by typing a message on their cellphones and sending it to 31393. No keywords or e-mail addresses are needed, and the service is open from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.According to Sadag founder Zane Wilson, messages comes directly to Sadag’s call centre computers within seconds. A skilled counsellor replies to each message by typing a response into the computer.“This service is a new and exciting way for teenagers around South Africa to reach out for help,” Wilson said. “Teenagers often prefer to communicate via SMS, as they may feel uncomfortable expressing themselves verbally.”Wilson says the facility is instant, and that teens in crisis will never get a “busy” signal when they need help.“The service is cheaper than a telephone call, as messages are charged at standard SMS rates,” Wilson said. “In this way, teenagers around the country can get help, information and practical advice on how to deal with depression and suicidal feelings.”Teens can also request school talks and find mental health resources in their area.The new facility is available across all three cellphone networks, with MTN, Vodacom and Cell C jointly agreeing to support it.Sadag runs the national toll-free suicide line 0800 567 567, which takes a huge number of calls from teenagers who are calling for themselves or on behalf of a friend.Depression is treatable“It is not hard to see why serious depression and suicide are connected,” says Wilson. “Depression involves a long lasting sad mood that doesn’t let up and a loss of pleasure in things you once enjoyed.“It involves thoughts about death, negative thoughts about oneself, a sense of worthlessness, and to a teen girl of 15 who has been constantly abused by her stepfather, a boy who has lost his elder brother due to gang violence, or a child of 12 whose mother has recently died of Aids, sometimes they feel there is nothing to look forward to or that life would be less painful if they were to end it.”However, depression is treatable, says Wilson. “There is help, and we show them all their options. With treatment, over 70% can make a recovery.”Sadag outreach coordinator Lucette Mukendi says depression among teenagers is often due to deaths in the family or broken families.“It also comes in the form of chemical imbalance,” Mukendi says. “Say your mother had depression – chances are that you are going to have one as well. It works like cancer, it runs through the family.”Mukendi says teens also often considered suicide when they had problems in their love relationships – and added that when teens planned to commit suicide, they would often tell their friends, but ask them to keep it secret.“Our message to all teens is: rather speak out and lose the friendship. If you lose the friendship, chances are that you might mend it; but you cannot have back a friend who committed suicide.”Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Model plane warning

first_imgAustralia’s safety watchdog has warned about the misuse of remotely controlled model planes and helicopters received as Christmas presents.The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has outlined a set of regulations covering the operation of model planes to minimize risks to safety.In 2009 CASA fined Shane Currie a resident of Perth Australia for flying his model plane within seconds of hitting a Virgin Blue Boeing 737 about to land at Perth Airport.Mr Currie mounted a video camera on the plane and then posted the video on youtube.The video, which was taken down by Mr Currie and then reposted by others has been seen over 400,000 times.It shows the model plane twisting and turning and then a Virgin Blue 737 flashes past before the model plane turns to follow the jet and crashes after being hit by jet wash.Mr Currie put the sound track of Top Gun on the video.At the time a former CASA inspector said that this type of offence would have attracted a fine of $3000.Flying a model plane within 5.5km of an airport or on an approach path is a Federal offence in Australia.To see the video go to: said that the regulations covering model planes are designed to protect people, property and other aircraft from injury or damage that could result from potential collisions.“Penalties may apply if these regulations are broken,” a CASA spokesman said.It says “the regulations are based on common sense and allow people to fly their model aircraft for recreation with no need for any approval.”The regulations state that model planes must be kept more than 30 metres away from other people at all times as well as 30 metres from any buildings, cars or boats where people are present.In addition model planes can only be operated in daylight within line of sight, not higher than 400 feet above ground level and well clear of airports and any other planes.“It is good practice not to let your model aircraft get too far away from you,” CASA said.“Operators must never fly their remotely controlled aircraft towards people, particularly during take-off and landing,” CASA said.“Take-off and landing areas must be clear of people and obstacles and a watch should be kept for curious children.”The regulator also warned that “if model planes are flown over other people’s homes or backyards it is recommended permission be obtained.”“It is recommended model aircraft not be used above areas with lots of people such as beaches, sporting events and crowded parks,” CASA said.“Care should be taken to stay away from power lines, trees, buildings and other structures that could lead to a mid-air collision which will damage a model plane.”CASA also warned that if a collision with power lines occurs there should be “no attempt to rescue an aircraft.”last_img read more

Brand South Africa and UNISA host the South African Competitiveness Forum and the Pan-African University Dialogue

first_imgBrand South Africa and UNISA host the South African Competitiveness Forum and the Pan-African University DialogueJohannesburg, Wednesday 05th September 2018 – Brand South Africa and the University of South Africa (UNISA) have partnered to host the South African Competitiveness Forum (SACF) and the Pan-African University Dialogue in a two-day programme from 11th -12th September 2018.The conference will bring together academics, and industry representatives from South Africa and African markets such as Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria to provide expert input on key issues that impact positively and negatively on the competitiveness and reputation of the Pan-African brand, and Africa’s Nation Brands.Further to that, the unpacking of the identified theme – Interrogating the Pan-African Nation Brand: re- and de-constructing state capacity & the stories we tell to market the African brand reality, will form a golden thread for the dialogues.Speaking on the theme, Brand South Africa’s General Manager for Research, Dr Petrus De Kock said; “Brand South Africa understands that the reputation of the nation, nation brand, or in this case, the African continent, is shaped by a multitude of factors.  Due to divergent perceptions and public discourses on the condition of the African continent, the 2018 Pan-African Nation Brand Dialogue aims to interrogate two inter-related dimensions of the Africa’s Nation Brands through the subthemes – ‘State’ of the African Nation Brand that focuses on how governance capability impacts on reputation, as well as Telling and taking African Stories to Market that focuses on marketing in the African environment.”  Brand South Africa’s main objective as an award-winning organisation in research, aims to identify opportunities and lessons from contributions made by delegates which will be followed through in various project collaborations.“Brand South Africa will showcase its social segmentation model research that won the annual Southern African Market Research Association’s Best Research award, as well as research on the Development of the BRICS brand.  It has been a fruitful journey for the organisation since its first SACF in 2013 where Brand South Africa developed several interventions to address some of the issues outlined. In 2017 the Nation Brand University Dialogue was entitled – From Ubuntu Foreign Policy to a Democracy of Jazz – lessons from the Nation Brand University Dialogue and this year we eagerly envision collaborating with the continent,” adds Dr De Kock.The two-day programme will wrap up with a panel discussion and brainstorming with panellists, Prof K.M Makhitha, Mr Oyewole Simon Oginni, Dr Rasheed Akinyemi, Dr David Okello, Dr Joash Ntenga Moitui, Dr Timothy Esemu, Dr Kobby Mensah and Dr A. Adesoga in finding a way forward in the Pan-African Marketing & Nation Brand research in the era of the Continental Free Trade Area. For interviews and RSVP kindly see below;Dates: 11-12 September 2018Venue: UNISA, Kgorong Function hall, Kgorong BuildingContact Details: Ntombi Ntanzi; or Cell: 081 704 1488Time: 09h00 – 17h00last_img read more

Redefining corporate social investment in South Africa

first_img“Braai Day was conceived by the retail industry to maximise profits from the traditional South African braai,” writes Wendy Tlou. “I applaud the retail industry for having had the insight to monetise something that is a source of common enjoyment for the vast majority of South Africans.” (Image: Pieter van Marion) • South Africa’s living democracy • Foundation believes in the healing power of dreams • Infographic: Vision 2030 and the National Development Plan • Gallery: South Africa’s rich and colourful heritage • Using the arts to build an inclusive South AfricaWendy TlouSouth Africa’s journey to democracy manifests itself in some interesting forms of expression. As most of our national holidays mean different things to different people, we have not yet reached the point where we have a particular form of celebration that means the same thing to everyone. But then again, I am not sure whether we would want a single form of celebration in our country. Our various forms of expression ought to be seen as a celebration of our cultural diversity.The answer to forging a new and common South African identity is not about us glossing over what our national holidays mean to different groups of people in our country. It will come from each of us acknowledging exactly what the national holidays invoke for each of us while realising that this is what South Africa is about. The past will never mean the same thing to us all, but in our collective “South Africanness”, in this democratic experiment in which we are all engaged, we can begin to look at the present and future together. This is part of our “living democracy” – a term recently coined by the presiding bishop of the Methodist Church, Bishop Ziphozihle Siwa.While culture, heritage and expressions of democracy are all more grey than black and white, one thing that has the same colour is money. Money is a currency that is understood and appreciated by corporations and individuals alike. I wonder about the responsibility and role of corporate entities that monetise national holidays. Are they playing their part in contributing positively and meaningfully to building a shared understanding and meaning of those holidays?Let us look at the recent Braai Day, which coincides with National Heritage Day. Braai Day was conceived by the retail industry to maximise profits from the traditional South African braai. The concept of cooking food over an open fire is something that is common to most of us in this country. We all know how food cooked over an open fire tastes – be it meat, bread, vegetables or stews. I’m sure we all have images of that in our minds right now. I applaud the retail industry for having had the insight to monetise something that is a source of common enjoyment for the vast majority of South Africans.However, are corporate entities giving back to communities to enable sustainable growth and development, especially from campaigns like Braai Day? Many will say there are corporate social responsibility projects and that corporate organisations are also trying to comply with the King 3 report, which encourages greater social investment as part of sustainable stakeholder relations management. However, are these projects enough to contribute meaningfully to the development of communities and active citizenship?Corporate entities implement innovative approaches to exploiting national days – also because they are all public holidays – to maximise their sales and profit. But do their investments in social responsibility projects match their sales and profit and do they actually participate in the broader call for active citizenship to make this country what we would like it to be?One of the leading theorists on competitive advantage, Michael Porter, has co-written a paper entitled the Competitive Advantage of Corporate Philanthropy, which looks at the concept of strategic philanthropy. The paper observes that what passes for strategic philanthropy “is not truly strategic, and often it isn’t even particularly effective as philanthropy, since increasingly philanthropy is used as a form of public relations or advertising, promoting a company’s image or brand through cause-related marketing”.While this may seem quite cynical, it may be quite telling, since corporate entities have as their main objective the maximisation of their profits and increasing their market share. Porter, however, goes on to say that there is a way of making social investments more strategic: “Corporations can use their charitable efforts to improve their competitive context, the quality of the business environment in the location or locations where they operate.”This should become the focus of South African corporate social investment (CSI) – contributing to communities to improve the quality of the surroundings in which their operations reside through job creation and other forms of social investment such as education initiatives, daycare, after-school programmes for minors and nutritional programmes. In addition, what role do corporate entities play in encouraging active citizenship and the convergence around building a common South African identity?Strong brands command attention, elicit desire from consumers and motivate aspirations. How do corporate entities use this power for the greater good of building the South African brand and simultaneously ensure their own success in this community? Is it utopian, achievable or a corporate imperative for the sustainability of their communities and their own commercial interests?At the June 2014 Making CSI Matter Conference, a presentation by Cathy Duff showed that nonprofit organisations (NPOs) receive the bulk, almost 20%, of their funding from corporate entities and certainly NPOs have received increased funding over the years. The questions that must be asked are, what proportion of profits from corporate entities is contributed to CSI activities, in-house or NPO-run? How do these programmes contribute to the development of communities? Are we moving communities further up the development trajectory? Are corporations playing their part to ensure that our citizens – our national human capital – are nourished, taught skills and educated to the extent that they can be in total control of their destinies? Are corporate entities ensuring their own survival through their investment in the development of our national human capital?Research also shows that the best way to ensure social cohesion is to reduce the inequality between the haves and the have-nots. Investing in the sustainable development of our human capital and therefore strengthening communities will inevitably see inequalities decrease. But the only way to increase durable equality is through the development of people, not merely through the increase in their income levels.Corporate entities should have another look at their relationship with the communities with which they interact. We need to redefine the concept of corporate social responsibility and what it means to the collective national development and active citizenship we so dearly desire. I do know for sure that we cannot commodify and retail our way to social cohesion, but we can by get there by building a common understanding and meaning of national holidays and thus a common South Africanness.• Wendy Tlou is the chief marketing officer of Brand South Africa. This article was originally published in Business Day.last_img read more

Black Friday, Cyber Monday… #GivingTuesdaySA

first_imgGiving Tuesday is the global day of giving celebrated on the Tuesday following Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  USD301M (R4.2B) was raised in 2017 in 24 hours around the world.  It harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities, and organizations to encourage local philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. The idea is simple – if you shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, consider a gift back to those who need it on Giving Tuesday.November 27 this year launches the concept in South Africa and is identified to tie in with the centenary celebrations of Nelson Mandela.  Trevor Noah is supporting the global #GivingTuesday movement and will match up to R2 million in donations made to his eponymous foundation.  His efforts will double the impact he has on education – support for government schools including career guidance, counseling, digital access, and other critical social, emotional, and academic enhancement for kids in South Africa.  But more than that, through his leadership, he is empowering and inspiring more people to give.While Trevor chooses education, the beauty of #GivingTuesdaySA is that it is not a single-cause day.  It is a day to give to a cause that is meaningful to you at an amount that is meaningful to you.  Terry Pheto, Kabelo Mabelane & Danny Koppel, Brent Lindeque, and Bokang M Tshabalala have all offered their giving stories, in support of #GivingTuesdaySA. They share how they support initiatives and give hope through Save the Children South Africa, the Shout Foundation, the Good Things Guy, and the Bokang Montjane Foundation respectively.Trevor also joins the ranks of Bill & Melinda Gates, Richard Branson, Facebook, Paypal and other global icons in using his power and reach to celebrate generosity. As it’s the first year of #GivingTuesdaySA, through this powerful matching gift, the day is truly owned and celebrated as proudly South African.  If there’s one thing Trevor excels at, it’s getting us all to have the conversation no one wants to have.  His leadership, along with the other notable South African philanthropists, can help us all have a more open and honest conversation around giving, and highlight this generosity to the world.  Share a story of giving that’s inspired you here.What if social media could be harnessed to make a more collective impact and our contributions could be more visible to those around us?  In giving, we showcase the best version of ourselves.  In an age of increasing division, help us use social media to spread generosity.   This November 27th, join the movement and give – whether it’s some of your time, a donation, a gift or the power of your voice in your local community.This is global day, but this is also a moment for South Africa to shine.  #GivingTuesdaySAWeb: www.givingtuesdaysa.orgSocial: @givingtuesdaySAContact: info@givingtuesdaysa.orgPhone: 011 5233259last_img read more

Ohio crop producers looking forward with $3.5 million in water quality funding

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Since 2011, Ohio’s leading corn, soybean and wheat checkoff organizations have invested nearly $3.5 million dollars in research and education to address the water quality challenges faced by farmers and all Ohioans. That investment continues as the Ohio CornMarketing Program (OCMP), Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program (OSGMP) and Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) have recently approved a fourth year of program funding.“Water quality has been and will continue to be one of our top priorities,” said Patrick Knouff, OSC chairman and grain farmer from Shelby County. “This issue is complex and requires a comprehensive approach to find solutions. And make no mistake, our organizations are working to find real answers and develop practical actions that can help mitigate runoff. It’s an investment in the future of Ohio agriculture and we expect a return. This is what we’re good at.”With algae problems in Grand Lake St. Mary fresh on their minds and the growing problem of algae in Lake Erie, the farmer leaders of all three checkoff organizations put their heads together in late 2011 and made the strategic decision to partner and begin investing in research. As more was learned, a variety of educational programs for farmers were added to the portfolio.Thanks to this early leadership, the On Field Ohio research project was awarded a $1 million match from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2013. Led by Dr. Elizabeth Dayton at The Ohio State University, this program is monitoring runoff at the field level and will help identify best management practices for farmers.In August 2014, the organizations’ strategic direction shifted again when Toledo shut off water to 500,000 of its residents.“We knew we needed to do more than talk to researchers and farmers. Now, we must talk to our neighbors about the importance of water quality,” said John Linder, OCMP chairman and Morrow County grain farmer. “People had questions and they wanted answers. In many cases, they were asking the same questions farmers were asking. Speaking to large groups and media isn’t typically in the job description of a farmer, but we can’t remain silent. This is too important.”The organizations worked to identify opportunities for farmers from around the state to answer questions and tell their story. They provided information about the ongoing research and educational programs funded by the three checkoff organizations and helped make connections with researchers. That work continues as more farmers speak to local groups.“We’re proud of the work done so far, but we’re not finished,” said John Hoffman, OSGMP chairman and Pickaway County grain farmer. “The recent nitrate issue in Columbus highlights the need to stay fully engaged. Ohio farmers have and will continue to demonstrate their commitment by increasing conservation practices, investing in vital research and participating in educational programs. We do this because water quality matters to each and every one of us.”Four years ago, Ohio was not the most talked about state with regards to water quality. Now it arguably is. While the attention that water is getting in the Buckeye State has increased dramatically, Ohio’s corn, soybean and wheat farm organizations are staying on the course they started back in 2011.last_img read more

Soybean prices not falling out of bed

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest This past year the U.S. had 94.5 million acres of corn. U.S. soybeans reached 83.7 million acres. This compares to 2015 when the U.S. corn was 88 million acres while soybeans were 82.7 million acres. As we look ahead to 2017, early ideas suggest soybean acres will increase at the expense of corn acres, which should decline. At no surprise to anyone, wheat acres across the U.S. continue to shrink. This year the U.S. planted 55 million acres of wheat. USDA estimates the U.S. will plant 50.2 million acres this next season. When there is a world wide huge mountain of wheat stocks, it is no wonder wheat prices are at 10 year lows. Ohio’s producers are seeing above average to fantastic soybean yields in many parts of the state. Many will see new farm records as yields were beyond expectations compared to earlier projections. While it is the extreme, various reports indicated soybean yields reaching 80 bushels or higher in numerous areas in Ohio.Soybeans seemed to move more easily to town this fall when those extra bushels did not reach earlier projections of $8.50 to $9 for harvest time prices. Many producers were much more willing to sell soybeans while storing corn. Basis levels for corn and soybeans did not reach the normally wide basis levels seen at harvest time for many areas of Ohio. While harvest time basis levels for soybeans were November minus 30 to 40 cents, they were nowhere close to levels seen in the western Corn Belt that this year were November minus 70 cents or more. It is very common to see basis levels in the west at wider numbers compared to Ohio. Ohio is in a unique situation with several crushing plants having the ability to crush 50,000 to 100,000 bushels of soybeans every day. At this end of October writing, the U.S. corn harvest progress was 61% while soybean harvest progress was 76% complete. Both are near five-year averages.Input costs will see some changes for the 2017 season. Fertilizer prices have declined compared to levels seen in past years. Corn and soybean prices are considerably below those seen three to five years ago with producers welcoming any kind of reduced input costs for 2017. However, seed corn costs have remained high for several years and have seen little push to the downside. Nobody seems willing to break the mold and reduce costs to the producer. However, many will provide cash discounts for early payment Dec. 1. Many producers already have a great idea of which corn varieties performed great or were a bust as corn harvest comes to an end. While many may be disappointed at corn yields for 2016, they also know they performed much better compared to similar growing conditions of 10 years ago. The killer of corn yields continues to be heat and a lack of rain during that critical corn pollination period.Corn and soybean exports continue to be strong, especially soybeans. Demand is strong for both compared to the poor corn export demand of several years ago when only soybeans enjoyed a strong export demand picture. October set new records for U.S. soybean exports.The last week of October, the U.S. exported 100 million bushels of soybeans. That level broke a previous October 2016 record of 94 million bushels. To put some perspective on numbers, in previous fall harvest years, the U.S. has struggled to reach 100 million bushels as a weekly export total for corn, soybeans, and wheat. Total 2016-2017 marketing years U.S. export sales for soybeans that same October week reached 1.24 billion bushels while the year ago totals were 997 million bushels, a gain of 24%.Late last month, December CBOT corn was near the top end of its $3.30 to $3.60 range. January CBOT soybeans were near $10.25, near the top of a two-month high. In spite of record U.S. soybean production, soybeans are not falling out of bed. Stay tuned.last_img read more

England aim for Ashes series win

first_imgEngland captain Andrew Strauss recognises his team’s tendency to put in lax performances when coming off a high, and is urging his side to ensure they finish off Australia in the fifth and final Ashes Test starting Monday.Having achieved their first goal of retaining the Ashes – England lead the series 2-1 and as holders of the Ashes will retain them if the series is drawn – and their next target is to complete England’s first series victory in Australia since 1987.Strauss knew there was a risk that England could “slip into bad habits” by putting in a relaxed performance at the Sydney Cricket Ground, and will be stressing the need for a more ruthless display.”There is no way we want Australia to win this test match and draw this series,” Strauss said on Sunday. “We are in a great position to win the series but we need to play well again.”It is a lovely feeling to know the urn is coming back with us but it will leave a bitter taste in the mouth if we aren’t able to play well this week. It is a big challenge for us because we have a lot of people patting us on the back and telling us how brilliant we are but the reality is that you are only as good as your next game.”Australia enter the final Test of an unsuccessful series under an unpopular stand-in captain, but will be eager to square the series, save some face and begin a much-needed rebuilding process.advertisementMichael Clarke, who is deputising for injured skipper Ricky Ponting, announced the Australian starting lineup on Sunday, confirming that Pakistan-born Usman Khawaja would make his debut, and likely bat at No. 3, and left-arm spinner Michael Beer would also get his first cap, preferred to paceman Doug Bollinger.”We still have so much to get out of this last test match. We can’t regain the Ashes, but we can level the series,” Clarke said. “The least we can do is show that Australian fight, which everyone in that dressing room has.”Clarke said his aim was to start the new year with a win and build momentum lost during an inconsistent 2010 for Australia.”It’s a new focus, a new year. We’re really looking forward to this test match,” he said. “We’ve spoken a lot about what’s gone before us. But we need to be focussed on right now. This Test match. Individually, getting out there and facing this challenge head on.”The 24-year-old Khawaja, who moved to Sydney as a boy with his family and has already represented Australia at under-19 level, will be the first Muslim to play Test cricket for Australia.”His performances over the last couple of years in first-class cricket have shown, at that level, he’s been one of the best players if not the best,” Clark said of the stylish left-hander. “He’s earned the right to represent his country.”I have no doubt in my mind Usman will play a lot more than one test match for Australia. It’s important when he walks out on the field he’s doing nothing different to what he’s done the last two years for New South Wales. Get out there, play his way, be himself, be confident.”I guarantee you, if he gets out there and plays the way he’s played for New South Wales, we all know he’ll have success over a long career.”Khwaja is averaging 51.70 in first-class cricket, with six centuries and more than 2,068 runs in 27 matches.,While teammates have rallied around Clarke and pledged their support, newspaper polls have shown only eight percent of Australians support his promotion to the captaincy.Ponting is not a universally popular captain, but is admired for his past successes and embodying the qualities of doggedness, grit and fortitude associated with the captaincy since the days of Allan Border and Steve Waugh.Clarke, 29, is more of a flamboyant character with his bleached hair and very public breakup with his former model fiance.Teammates have worked this week to alter that image, to paint Clarke as a more mature and driven individual.”He’s got a very good cricket brain, he thinks about the game very well, he’ll be an aggressive captain,” Mike Hussey said.”He’ll always be looking to take wickets out there, he’ll be looking to make changes to the field, changes to the bowlers, searching for a wicket all the time and he’ll always want the game going forward.”Hussey said Clarke had been an energetic captain when leading the national side in limited-overs games.advertisement”I guess the challenge for him is to be able to maintain that over the five days of a test match. It’s going to be hard graft but we have 100 per cent confidence in him.”TeamsAustralia: Michael Clarke (captain), Shane Watson, Phillip Hughes, Usman Khawaja, Mike Hussey, Steve Smith, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus, Michael Beer.England (from): Andrew Strauss (captain), Alastair Cook, Jonathon Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Matt Prior, Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann, Chris Tremlett, James Anderson, Steven Finn, Monty Panesar.last_img read more