By Mitch PhillipsSouth Africa held off a fierce England fightback to triumph 31-28 in a thunderous test at Twickenham on Saturday to make it five defeats in a row for Stuart Lancaster’s side 10 months before they host the World Cup.Two tries put South Africa 20-6 ahead a minute into the second half and though England scored two quickfire rolling maul tries to get level, Schalk Burger got the key third Springbok score and the boot of flyhalf Pat Lambie brought them home.The victory made it 11 wins and a draw for the Boks against England, dating back to 2006, and was a hugely satisfying one following their defeat by Ireland last weekend.The frustration for England was that, just as a week ago against the All Blacks, they dominated the early stages but this time failed to turn possession into points and found themselves 10-0 down after 15 minutes after Jan Serfontein intercepted a Danny Care pass.When England did fashion an opening, poor handling or bad decision-making let them down, encapsulated when massive lock Dave Attwood ignored a two-man overlap and backed himself to get to the line, only to blow the chance.England had the best of possession and territory in the first half but were generally too lateral in their attacks and only two Owen Farrell penalties kept them in touch at 13-6 down.That gap became 14 points 38 seconds after the restart when Lambie chipped a perfectly weighted kick into the arms of Willie le Roux which the fullback gathered without breaking stride before slipping a lovely offload for Cobus Reinach to complete a wonderful score.England needed to hit back immediately and did so emphatically in the way they know best.A monster maul that South Africa, deprived of sin-binned lock Victor Matfield, were powerless to stop, sent prop David Wilson over and minutes later virtually the entire England team combined for another irresistible 40-metre charge that ended with Ben Morgan making it 20-20.South Africa showed, however, that they too could score through the forwards when, still with 14 men, they rolled over the corner for Burger to score and Lambie took his side 10 points clear with a penalty and a drop goal.Centre Brad Barritt scored England’s third try in the last minute but, just as last week, it came too late and merely made the margin of defeat look more respectable.
Business leaders celebrated a court decision Friday that they say guarantees Costa Rica’s public hospitals, ports and electricity grid will continue to function even if public sector workers are involved in a labor dispute.The ruling, from the Constitutional Chamber of Costa Rica’s Supreme Court, is the latest chapter in a legislative saga spanning two presidencies. At issue is a comprehensive labor law which, among numerous other provisions, would allow workers providing essential public services to go on strike.The court, also known as Sala IV, struck down a December 2014 decision by President Luis Guillermo Solís to lift a prior veto of the law. The original veto came from ex-President Laura Chinchilla (2010-2014) in 2012.Costa Rican law allows the president to reverse a former president’s veto under certain circumstances, but Sala IV ruled against Solís’ veto-lifting in this case on a technicality.When Solís announced last year his intention to let the law go into force, he said the country’s labor laws were obsolete and that the urgency to update them was greater than the threat of strikes that could paralyze essential public services. These services include hospitals, emergency and police services, port operations, telecommunications, water and energy distribution, among others.The reform dealt with a wide range of labor issues that even pro-business lobbies supported. Among the bill’s provisions were protections for pregnant women and employees who have filed sexual harassment complaints. The law also prohibited firing someone based on their religion, sexual orientation or ethnicity. It also included reforms to make the country’s labor courts more efficient.Despite Solís’ support for the bill, he said last year that he didn’t agree with the provision allowing strikes that would jeopardize essential services, so he issued an executive order banning such strikes. Opponents weren’t appeased, saying the executive order would be trumped by the law. The court’s decision Friday — in a 4-3 vote — was applauded by the business sector, which had vehemently opposed the labor reform, primarily because of the strike clause.Ex-President Chinchilla also celebrated the court’s decision, calling it a win for legal certainty and guaranteeing essential services in Costa Rica during an interview with Radio Monumental. During Chinchilla’s administration there were several large public sector strikes, including a nationwide doctors strike in 2011 and another healthcare workers strike in 2013.Ronald Jiménez, president of the Union of Private-Sector Chambers and Associations (UCCAEP), an organization that represents more than 40 private business chambers, said in a statement that he hoped lawmakers would take up the provision of the law that dealt with labor court reform.Casa Presidencial released a statement Friday afternoon saying that the executive branch would respect the Sala IV’s ruling. Casa Presidencial said that it would continue to work with lawmakers to improve working conditions and modernize labor dispute resolutions.Despite Solís’ decision to lift the veto, the law never actually came into force. It was set to take effect in May 2016.The reform bill now returns to the Legislative Assembly for consideration. Facebook Comments Related posts:Refusing to hire obese man is not discrimination, Costa Rican court finds Costa Rica regulators order Facebook page removed over advertising it deems sexist and blasphemous Costa Rica IVF decree loses support of public health care system Uber supporters say court case could legalize ride-hailing service in Costa Rica