Tag: 2019yldt

  • Guyana urged to intensify climate change fight

    first_img…after universal periodic review from UNBy Jarryl BryanWith its low-lying coast containing an abundance of agriculture, sometimes all that stands between Guyana’s food security and the fury of the ocean is the seawall. And after a review of the situation, the United Nations has urged Guyana to intensify its climate change fight.The recent result of overtopping and flooding in MahaicaThis is contained in the publication Climate change and human rights: contributions by and for Latin America and the Caribbean, released recently by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).According to the publication, Guyana was one of only a few countries in the region to not make any climate change recommendations. Cuba and Haiti top the list for the number of recommendations they made and received.Guyana did receive one recommendation and it was a crucial one. According to the publication, Guyana should “continue and intensify programmes aimed at mitigating climate change negative impacts on food security and environment, and share the experience gained in this field with interested countries”.The publication also tied climate change and energy with gender equality. According to ECLAC, Guyana should review its climate change and energy policies, especially those related to the oil and gas sector, in order to develop a disaster risk reduction strategy.ECLAC noted that this strategy should consider the negative effects of climate change on gender equality and the lives of women and their families. This, it was noted, should especially focus on those in the danger zones, that is, areas below sea level.“The Committee also recommended that Guyana include a gender assessment in all environmental impact assessments and establish a mechanism to monitor the implementation of those assessments and to guarantee that rural and Amerindian women can fully contribute to the development of the country,” the report states.According to ECLAC, this should include them being able to “give their free, prior and informed consent before any development, business, agro-industrial or extractive projects affecting their traditional lands and resources are initiated, whether carried out by national or foreign enterprises, (and to ensure they) can take advantage of adequate benefit-sharing agreements and are provided with adequate alternative livelihood”.The organisation’s recommendations to Guyana come after the UN’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR), which is done every four and a half years on the basis of a national report from the country being reviewed. Also taken into account during the review were contributions from the UN and information presented by relevant stakeholders including civil society.Over the past few months, the country has had to deal with climate change close up after flooding in Mahaica in October saw more than 300 acres of rice being destroyed and hundreds of acres being put under threat of destruction by salt water. In addition, livestock was destroyed and properties sustained damages.Besides the destruction of acres of the rice crop itself caused by the water, it had been reported that the flooded land was no longer suitable for rice production since the soil composition had become too salty.In the case of the sea defence at Dantzig, Mahaica, salt water from the ocean flowed onto the land when it was breached. Residents reported that the water impacted livestock, rice fields and vegetable farms. Persons in residential areas were also affected.Checks by this publication on the affected areas weeks after several villages were first inundated revealed that persons were still losing livestock and the area is plagued by mosquitoes.last_img read more

  • With love, your number one fan

    first_imgKhanyi MagubaneI recently read a somewhat funny story that got me thinking about the concept of being a fan, a die-hard fan at that. The story might sound a bit confusing at first, pretty much like trying to explain to someone how you are related to a distant relative, but stay with me, it will make sense.South African actress Genevieve Howard, who plays the role of spoilt brat Grace Mashaba in the much-loved soapie Generations got the shock of her life when two crazed fans slapped her across the face, revenging their much loved Karabo Moroka, also a character in Generations played by Connie Ferguson.Howard was in North West province with other South African celebrities on a road show. The fans were convinced Howard and Grace were one and the same person.Now, Howard’s character Grace is unhappy that her dad Paul Mashaba has started dating again, according to her, it’s too soon after his divorce from her beloved mother, the mentally unstable Rachel. To make matters worse, her dad is dating Karabo, a beautiful media mogul, who also happens to be his dad’s co-host at MM live, a current-affairs radio show.Grace has done everything in her power to break up her dad’s relationship with Karabo, including moving out of his home to live with “Uncle Kenny” whom she knows her father hates, and quitting her university studies.Karabo, out of frustration, tries to reason with Grace that she is not trying to take her mother’s place and that for the sake of peace; they should try and get along. Grace is livid, how dare she try to compare herself to her mother, her father will never love her like he loved her mother! In a fit of rage, Grace slaps Karabo in front of Uncle Kenny and his wife Dineo, or “my little Dini” as he calls her.Howard remarks after the rather unfortunate incident, that it’s quite surprising that there are still people who don’t know the difference between a fictional TV story and reality, but to be honest, its not that surprising to me.It’s the nature of the beast. The fan beast.After much deliberation about the concept of being a “fan” I’ve realised that it’s steeped in adulation really. We idolise men and women, who seem to have it all. Looks, intelligence, talent, charm, fame and wealth.Think about the Hollywood phenomenon. I’m convinced it thrives on the “fan-o-meter”. What would the status of heartthrobs like Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Will Smith or Denzel Washington be without the screaming female fans?Or who would care about Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry (who was recently voted the sexiest woman alive by Esquire Magazine) or Scarlett Johannson if there weren’t a number of men getting endless free mileage just by looking at those fine specimens? The more popular you are, it seems, the more movies you get cast in, the more you work – the more you earn, the more you move up the social ladder (from D-list to A-list celebrity) and unfortunately, the more the paparazzi hound you and want to know the most intimate details of your life.Sounds fantastic, almost magical doesn’t it? Not all the time. I lay no claim to having even the remotest amount of fame, but I have been stalked, twice.The first time I was stalked by a “fan” happened a few years ago, when I worked for YFM, a youth radio station based in Johannesburg. I was a news anchor and a features writer for the stations youth magazine, Ymag. As with most, if not all stalkers, he had my personal details.He had my cellphone number and would write to me as if we were old, familiar friends. Even addressed me by my surname. He did however, make it clear that he is aware of the fact that I don’t know him personally, but I would know him “very soon”. This perturbed me, but I chose to ignore it, thinking that if I didn’t answer his messages, he would soon get the message and stop bothering me.My silence only seemed to flare his efforts. Even though I never met him face-to-face, he would SMS me non-stop. I refused to change my number. Eventually, I sought the help of my cousin, a former intelligence operative, who was familiar with the “spying” business.My cousin advised me to let him continue a little longer, until we establish his level of seriousness. Then and only then, would we take action. I think he also called me – I tend to block such memories out of my mind, but the day it stopped, was the day I finally decided to name and shame him live on air.I knew he was listening; he was after all, my number one fan. After that, he never contacted me again.Just when I thought I had “been there, done that” with stalkers, its started again. This time, I’m on a different radio station, presenting a gospel music show every Sunday. My “brother in the Lord” also managed to solicit my private cellphone number and got in touch, telling me how much he loved my voice and my show.He would share bible scriptures with me at all odd hours of the night, and he would constantly send me “please call me” messages, so that I could use my airtime to facilitate his warped endeavours… Imagine that.This time, I thought, I would respond. One day, when he least expected it, I called him back. All I remember about that conversation, was me trying to explain to him the discomfort he was causing me, how his actions had crossed the line and that he was now intruding on my privacy. I don’t even remember a word he said, I don’t think I cared to remember at all.But fortunately, it stopped relatively soon after that conversation.Then I had to think about it seriously, is there anyone that I would do the same thing to?Of all the musicians and actors that I adore and respect, would I really call myself their “fan” maybe even to the point of stalking them? Maybe I’m too vain to be a fan or maybe I know where to draw a line between appreciation and being a nuisance.Either way, I’m weary of fans or being a fan. That’s why I’m a writer and I work in radio. Even if you happen to recognise me after seeing my face on the top right hand corner of this column, don’t approach me, don’t be fan, I find it awkward and uncomfortable. Khanyi Magubane is a journalist, published poet, radio broadcaster and fiction writer. She writes for MediaClubSouth Africa, and brings with her an eclectic mix of media experience. She’s worked as a radio journalist for stations including Talk Radio &702 and the youth station YFM, where she was also a news anchor. She’s been a contributing features writer in a number of magazines titles including O magazine and Y mag. She’s also a book reviewer and literary essayist, published in the literary journal Wordsetc. Magubane is also a radio presenter at SAfm, where she hosts a Sunday show. She’s currently also in the process of completing the manuscript of her first novel, an extract of which has been published in Wordsetc.last_img read more

  • Ag lending seminars

    first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ohio State University Extension has scheduled three seminars in Ohio for Agricultural Lenders. The dates are Monday, October 24th at the Putnam County Educational Service Center in Ottawa, Ohio; Wednesday, October 26 at the OSU Extension Champaign County Community Center Auditorium in Urbana, Ohio; and Friday, October 28th at the OARDC Fisher Auditorium in Wooster, Ohio. These seminars are excellent professional development opportunities for Lenders, Farm Service Agency personnel, county Extension Educators and others to learn about OSU Extension research, outreach programs and current agricultural topics of interest across the state.Featured Speakers at all three 2016 Ag Lender Seminar locations will be:Matt Roberts, Ph.D., Ohio State University, AEDE, Associate Professor – The Rise & Fall & Rise & Fall of U.S. Grain Prices;Peggy Hall, J.D., Ohio State University Extension, Field Specialist – Agricultural & Resource Law UpdateBarry Ward, OSU Extension, Assistant Professor, Leader Production Business Management – Land Values, Rents, Crop Inputs & Margins in 2017. Additional topics by location include:Ottawa, OHChris Hurt, Ph.D., Purdue University, Professor – Livestock Market EconomicsDavid Drake, Chief of Ohio FSA Farm Loan ProgramsDean Stoller, WG Dairy Supply: Dairy Tech and its Financial Impact Urbana, OHDianne Shoemaker, OSU Extension Field Specialist – Farm Profitability and BenchmarkingDale Richer, OSU Extension Swine Program Specialist – Hog Production UpdateAmanda Douridas, OSU Extension Educator – Manure Management Technology and Research Wooster, OHMatt Kleinhenz, Ph.D., OSU Extension Specialist, Commercial Vegetable Production UpdateDianne Shoemaker, OSU Extension Field Specialist – Dairy Production EconomicsRory Lewandowski, OSU Extension Educator – Manure Management UpdateShelley Odenkirk, Wayne County FSA Office – Farm Service Agency UpdateThe registration cost to attend one of the Ag Lender Seminars is $65.00 and the registration deadline is one week prior to the seminar you are attending. Payments can be made by check by mail or by credit card (by phone only to 419-782-4771). Registration forms are available online at: https://u.osu.edu/aglenderseminars/Registration questions can be directed to OSU Extension Defiance County 419-782-4771 or email [email protected]last_img read more

  • Twine Traffic Falls – New Version Coming, But it’s Make or Break Time

    first_imgRelated Posts 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 Hosting Tags:#Product Reviews#Semantic Web#web center_img richard macmanus Since it was first unveiled to ReadWriteWeb back in October 2007, Semantic Web application Twine has traveled a rocky road. The product is a knowledge management service, in practical terms similar to social bookmarking site Delicious. However, almost from the start there have been vocal critics of Twine. The latest critique is a scathing post by Semantic Web consultant Greg Boutin, entitled Twine in Freefall?. Boutin argues that Twine’s traffic has taken a dive recently. We followed up with Twine founder Nova Spivack for his response. He admits that traffic has declined “20-25%,” but says that Twine is focusing on an all-new version of its product.Over the years Nova Spivack hasn’t been shy about hyping his company, sometimes dissing other products in the process. On that note, we should note that Spivack and Boutin appear to have had a personal squabble. In Boutin’s post he says that earlier this year Spivack “decided to libel me on twitter, through tweets he has since deleted.” We don’t know the specifics of this, but clearly this battle with Spivack has colored Boutin’s view of Twine now. Nevertheless, the statistics Boutin points to are valid.The premise of Greg Boutin’s post is that Twine had earlier in the year trumpeted passing Delicious and Friendfeed in traffic – ReadWriteWeb was the first to cover the Delicious trend, back in March. However now Boutin points to statistics from Compete, Alexa and Quancast showing a marked drop in traffic. Compete was the source we used in our March post, so below we’ve pasted comparison charts from then and now:Compete chart from March ’09 showing that Twine was trending upwards, while Delicious growth appeared to have tapered off.Compete chart showing that Twine did indeed pass Delicious in March ’09, however over June-July Twine’s traffic has plummeted but Delicious held steady.Twine: Yes Traffic Has Dropped, But We’re Focusing on Version 2…ReadWriteWeb questioned Twine about these statistics and the company admits that “our internal data shows us down 20-25%.” Twine appears to put some of this down to problems with version 1 of its product. The company told us that it is putting all of its focus and marketing efforts into a brand new version (more on that below). Therefore the drop in traffic is something Twine and its investors are comfortable with, for now. Nova Spivack also told us that Twine had indexing problems with Google over the summer. If this was the case, that may be a big reason for the decline in Compete. Spivack explained that “we have about 500K pages that should be indexed. They [Google] are only indexing 140K pages, but we’re basically not worrying about it, since T2 [version 2, see below for details] will change the game and the way we deal with Google anyway. . .”Twine 2.0: Make or BreakTwine says that it is busy working on a new version of its product, which is why it hasn’t been active on the PR front in the last few months. The company is hoping the new version gets its momentum back. Nova Spivack elaborated on the new version to ReadWriteWeb, which we’ll quote in its entirety because it illuminates Spivack and company’s marketing approach:“In the last 9 months we have made a breakthrough with the new version of Twine that changes the economics of vertical search and navigation on the Web. This new technology enables Twine to provide Web-scale faceted navigation and search across numerous vertical search categories. We are able to index structured data (like recipes, products, reviews, or any kind of database driven or XML content) with search-engine performance and scalability. This is a huge leap beyond what we were able to deliver in the first version of Twine.”“As a result of this breakthrough, we have made a strategic decision to focus all of our resources on bringing Twine version 2 (T2) to market by the end of the year. Version 1 of Twine will remain online until we are able to cutover to version 2. We are doing no further work on version 1 and no marketing for it, either. We are of course still supporting it from a technical and user perspective, however. But all our focus is on T2 moving forward.”Twine also told us that it has signed deals with nearly a dozen major content providers and brands to integrate the new search capabilities into their online services. See our March post for more context about the new version.So what do we think about this latest twist to the Twine saga? With language like “breakthrough,” “changes the economics” and “huge leap beyond,” once again Twine is hyping itself up. While there have always been signs that Twine is at least partly delivering on its clear promise, the fact is that Twine continues to struggle to deliver a product the market wants. This accounts for its inconsistent growth and much of the criticism of usability which Twine has endured.We continue to cheer for Twine, but it does seem that version 2 is make or break for the company. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

  • ‘Sabko hunar, Sabko kaam’: Yogi Adityanath government’s skill mission targets maximum placements

    first_imgWith a clear target in mind to skill and train nearly two lakh youth every year, the Uttar Pradesh government under Yogi Adityanath is on a mission to train nearly 10 lakh during the entire BJP term till 2022.Speaking at Mail Today’s first edition of Skills and Entrepreneurship Summit in the Capital on Thursday, Chetan Chauhan, the UP cabinet minister for skills, vocational education, youth and sports development, said: “This skill mission under CM Yogi’s government is with a difference…without going into the past, I would say that we are thrusting a single point agenda – skills with maximum placements.”Chauhan said: “Skills have to go hand-in-hand with placements, as then only more and more youth will get encouraged to take up new learning skills and training. We are entering into an agreement with all our trainers to adhere to the government’s placement criteria as core objective of the state skills mission.”The veteran Indian cricket team opener told the gathering that skills and jobs are essential because his state would soon have nearly 60 per cent of the population in the workable age group.”The worry is that not more than 10 per cent are skilled in this category and we are committed to skill maximum youth so that they earn a living and run their small enterprises.”Chauhan said that nearly 19 companies are working to train state youth and eventually place them in jobs.”Big companies such as Raymonds, Maruti, L & T, Lava, Rajasthan Spinning and Weaving Mills are working with us and we are also tying up with placement agencies like Select Jobs, Mera Hunar, Saral Rozgar and Monster.com. We are committed to prime minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ and ‘Start Up India’ program, and are trying to make the most of these by skilling our youth.”advertisementThe thrust is also on reviving traditional skills in Uttar Pradesh, the minister said, adding: “We are encouraging our youth to take up skills to learn traditional arts like weaving, carpet-making, perfumery, glassworks, pottery and the famous chikan work of Lucknow.”‘SABKO HUNAR, SABKO KAAM’Echoing his minister, Rajesh Kumar, director of UP’s Skill Development Mission, said: “Our mission is aiming for ‘sabko hunar, sabko kaam’. The Skills Mission, by pooling the resources from different sources, is working on it. We are aiming for placements in both wage and selfemployment. To scale up its operation, quality, and ease of access, technology has been put to use by way fully integrated portal, mobile applications, etc.We are now ensuring that from accreditation of training centres to inspection and final results are all provided through our portal. Candidates can now opt for sector and centre online.”Kumar added, “The training providers are being helped to achieve the targets of placement by way of conducting regular job fairs and the options by way of placement agencies. “We recently got over 400 placements in one job fair.”The UP Skills Mission has moved closer to the people, resulting in increased acceptance of the skill training.”This is evident by the fact that registration on portal of the interested candidates in the present financial year crossed the three lakh mark. This increased belief in the mission is motivating us to achieve our aim of helping better and dignified life to aspiring youth,” Kumar added.Chauhan signed off in his own style, quoting famous US President Franklin Roosevelt: “We cannot always build a future for our youth, but we can definitely build our youth for future.”FULL COVERAGE OF MAIL TODAY SUMMIT | CM Raman Singh on Chhattisgarh | ‘Sabko hunar, Sabko kaam’: UP govt’s skill mission | On capacity building | Overseas Opportunities for Skilled India |  Social entrepreneurship with focus on rural employmentlast_img read more