Peru gets out of jail to win prisoners ‘World Cup’

first_imgIt wasn’t the real thing — that begins in Russia later this month — but a deadly serious competition nevertheless that Peru’s prison authorities are calling the first World Cup of prisons.Anticipation of the Andean nation’s first appearance at a World Cup finals in 36 years has reached fever pitch, and for its chronically overcrowded prisons, the shadow prison tournament provided a rare, sweet breath of freedom.“At last I can breathe a little air,” sighed Francis Valero, a tattooed 27-year-old locked up in Lima’s Lurigancho jail for drug trafficking. “We are hoping this will help us get reintegrated into society for good conduct.”Each of the 16 prisons included in the unique competition took the name, and the colors, of a country participating in the finals.A prison warden stand guard as inmates from Peruvian jails take part in a mock World Cup tournament at a prison in Huaral, Peru, on May 15, 2018 © AFP / CRIS BOURONCLEAll the matches observed the national anthems of each participating “national team” and officiating at the matches were a trio of professional referees.The initial phases of the monthlong competition, which involved shackled inmates crisscrossing the country in buses amid high security, was played in dusty exercise areas. The prize for the finalists? Playing in the wide open spaces of the capital’s massive 60,000-capacity Lima Stadium.– High security –Inmates play soccer © AFP / ERNESTO BENAVIDESFor security reasons, the stands at the stadium were almost empty. The few family members permitted per player were vastly outnumbered by 200 armed police wearing bullet-proof vests.But that did not stop them from living the moment as if they were fans, and players, in a real World Cup finals.Peru, represented by Lurigancho prison, beat “Russia” — a team from Chimbote prison in northern Peru — on penalty kicks after it ended all square at full time.The champions received a cup, gold medals and sports outfits as prizes.“I feel free for a moment, I know that I will go back very soon. This title, I dedicate it to my family, the sacrifice was worthwhile,” said victorious Lurigancho player Thomas Manuel Aguirre, serving a sentence for aggravated robbery.“The magic of football is that it has what establishes the rules of a community,” said National Penitentiary Institute head Carlos Vasquez told AFP.“In football, just like in a community, we face a team and we have to understand that’s it’s not an enemy but the other side, you have to play by the rules of the game.”– ‘Critical overcrowding’ –Like a real tournament, the tournament was grouped into four “host” prisons in cities in Ancon, Chimbote, Ica and Lima.The semi-finals were played in Lurigancho, which has the dubious reputation of being the most overcrowded of Peru’s 69 prisons. Built to houses 3,500 prisoners, it is home to 9,700 inmates, many of them categorized as “highly dangerous.”“Overcrowding is critical in Peruvian prisons, where there are 187,000 inmates. But you sense it less when there is order,” Vasquez said, after handing out the winners’ medals after the final.“The inmates may have violated the rules, they may have committed a crime, but football unites them along with the nation with the country’s participation in the World Cup.”For inmate Omar Jaramillo Mendez, in jail for aggravated robbery, it was a chance to get a feel for life outside prison walls again.“For us it represents something important, that we, as human beings, reintegrate into society and become better people in the future,” he said.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000A shadow prison tournament provided a rare, sweet breath of freedom as anticipation of Peru’s first appearance at World Cup finals in 36 years reached fever pitch © AFP / ERNESTO BENAVIDESLIMA, Peru, Jun 2 – It sounds like a punchline: how does a team of prisoners win the World Cup? On penalties!That’s how Peru did it, getting out of jail to beat Russia in a tense final at the giant Lima Stadium last week.last_img read more

Agricultural Innovation Prize Launched

first_imgAre you a student in the United States with an idea that could improve the global food system? A 2-page business plan, and a presentation with up to 10 slides, could win you the first Agricultural Innovation Prize. The competition was announced in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. “We’re hoping that this will turns the heads of people who wouldn’t normally give ag a second thought,” says Molly Jahn, a plant breeder at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, who is directing the prize.The new prize stems from a 2012 report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology about the ability of the United States to cope with agricultural challenges of the 21st century, such as climate change. “The top line was we’re not prepared,” says Jahn, an author. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy came up with the idea of using a cash prize for students to encourage early collaborations between disciplines and highlight the potential of businesses to quickly to improve the food system. The prize is modeled on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Clean Energy Prize, founded in 2007, which now awards a total of $310,000 in cash to five winners.Brief proposals must focus on developing a business, which can be a nonprofit, that would have a positive social or environmental impact. The innovations could come from traditional agricultural R&D—better drip irrigation, a new plant variety, or a technique to improve food safety, for example—or they could originate from another discipline, such as computer science or sensor engineering. “My dream with this prize is that we spur crosscutting innovations,” Jahn says. This year, the competition is limited to undergraduate and graduate students at U.S. schools, but the innovations can have global applications.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Proposals are due 28 February. A first round of judging will select 25 teams, which will then be matched to mentors from academia, industry, or government to help them expand the pitch. On 25 April, five teams will be awarded prizes ranging from $15,000 to $100,000. A student team will help recruit judges. The Howard G. Buffett Foundation has provided $215,000 for the awards in 2014. The Foundation is also making 50 $1000 grants available to students to help promote the competition on campuses.last_img read more

Ambition holds annual wellbeing week for UK staff

first_imgGlobal recruitment organisation Ambition held its annual wellbeing week this month, to promote wellness in the workplace for its 35 UK-based employees.The wellbeing week, which ran between Monday 18 June and Friday 22 June 2018, was designed to incorporate various wellness elements, such as fitness, mental health, eating well and general wellbeing.The wellbeing week included a lunchtime yoga class led by a professional yoga and meditation teacher, which was attended by 18 employees, an hour-long bootcamp class featuring sprints, push-ups and squats that 15 staff members participated in and a DIY rice paper roll bar, where staff could make their own rice paper rolls using vegetables and dipping sauces. All employees attended this session.All of Ambition’s UK employees were also able to have a private massage, which was performed by a professional masseuse in one of the organisation’s meeting rooms. Around 14 employees took part in an after-work game of football, and 30 staff attended an early-finish day on Friday 22 June, where employees headed to Hyde Park for a game of rounders.Ambition also provided a breakfast bar for the whole week, which allowed employees to choose from healthy foods such as cereals, fruits, yoghurts and eggs on toast.The wellbeing week was communicated to staff using internal emails. The organisation also placed a specific wellbeing week board in its kitchen to enable employees to sign up for the available activities and see pictures of the various planned events.Nicky Acuna Ocana, managing director at Ambition UK, said: “It is fantastic to see what a success our annual wellbeing week has been once again. At Ambition, we take employee wellbeing very seriously and hope this will encourage our staff to continue to make positive changes [while] having fun.”last_img read more