Jordan deceptively gives with one hand, takes more with the other – economist

first_imgThe Guyana Government through Finance Minister Winston Jordan, continues to give with one hand and take more with the other – this time, through the reduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) by two per cent and reapplying it to a sleuth of goods and services, including utilities such as electricity and water.Former AFC Executive Member and Economist, Sasenarine SinghThis is the conclusion of former Alliance For Change (AFC) Executive Member and Economist, Sasenarine Singh. The former AFC top man was invited by Guyana Times to proffer an initial analysis of the 2017 $250 billion Budget that was presented by the Finance Minister on Monday last, and according to Singh, “after establishing in his first two budgets, a reputation for fragmented policy document without a comprehensive economic framework, Winston Jordan has not failed to surprise.”According to the economist, the Minister continues “this deceptive strategy of giving with one hand and taking more with the next hand, and again it is the poor and the working class that will feel the most economic pain, thanks to Budget 2017.”No choice Presented under the theme, “Building a Diversified Green Economy,” Singh told Guyana Times, “this document will clearly fail to take the average man any closer to the good life.” He noted that although there has been much talk of a four per cent growth rate, “reality finally dawned on the Minister as he had no choice but to reveal that the actual growth rate for 2016 will be 2.6 per cent which is a reflection of two previous budgets that were poorly constructed, implemented and monitored.”He recalled too that the Minister himself admitted that the Public Sector Investment Programme performed poorly and this can be mirrored by the fact that the capital receipts that were budgeted at GY$31 billion actually came in GY$10 billion short because of the meagre draw-down on the international grants.According to the economist, Minister Jordan ”wrong-footed the nation by implementing three budgets that are all designed to tax and spend, but the brunt of all new taxes are falling on the small man.”VATABLEExplaining his case, Singh used as example, the penalty for the small man for not painting his particulars on a horse cart in 2017 which has moved from $150 to $10,000. He also zeroed in on the 14 per cent Value Added Tax on electricity consumption of more than $10,000 per month.According to Singh, “This is clear evidence of giving the workers with one hand with an increase in the tax threshold from $55,000 per month to $60,000, which should be able to put $1500 per month in new cash into the pocket of a worker that earns $60,000, but then if that worker has a light bill of $10,001 per month, they have to pay $1400 per month in VAT, leaving them with net increase in wealth of $100 per month… That cannot even buy a sweet drink in Guyana and certainly there will be no spare change for sweet for the children.”The economist’s scathing remarks also extended to other tax measures announced by the Minister, one such being the announcement of the need for businesses to now be keeping dual accounts. According to the Singh, “the measure that the Minister claims are aimed at spurring growth is too convoluted and complex to reap the intended deliverables… Why can’t the Minister keep things simple?” Dual taxes He posited, “If you are giving the Private Sector a 27.5 per cent corporation tax rate, give it to them… There is no need to complicate thematter and then claw back some of the benefits with a convoluted system called adual tax rate system for the companies.”Singh has since adumbrated the position, “This measure clearly illustrates that the Minister does not clearly understand what drive value in the Guyanese economy and does not competently understand the critical challenges that are inhibiting Guyana’s growth…”He told Guyana Times, “In the final analysis, this budget does have some majoreconomic risk that can undermine the 2017 growth rate from materialising… On the whole, the package of measures will stall, rather than accelerate, economic growth.”Singh suggested that to grow the 2017 Guyanese economy, key growth centreslike agriculture, manufacturing and housing have to be better supported with complimentary economy activities being driven in a significant manner in renewable energy, ICT, and eco-tourism. The economist is adamant that “reducing VAT from 16 per cent to 14 per cent – while a campaign promise – is an ill-advised position… In the final analysis, this is a mixed budget that is unfair to the poor and the working class.”last_img read more

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Bryant suspended by Stern

first_imgThe Lakers were informed of the suspension Tuesday morning, and the Knicks fans – who pay the NBA’s highest ticket prices – were denied their only chance to see Bryant play at Madison Square Garden this season. “I haven’t seen a precedent for this,” Bryant said. “There’s unintentional elbows that take place during the game all the time. I’m blown away by it, man. I really am. It makes no sense.” In a conference call, Stu Jackson, NBA vice president of basketball operations, disagreed with Bryant’s assertion that the blow was unintentional. “We didn’t view this as an inadvertent action,” Jackson said. “Astonished is more or less the word I would use,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. “I think it’s a unilateral decision. Baseball has all the appeals that they go through. In basketball, we just have the decision come to us, and we submit. This is one of those things that we’re questioning why.” Stu Jackson said the determining factors were that Bryant made contact with Ginobili “above the shoulders” and that it was an “unnatural basketball act,” in that Bryant shot and then “drove a stiff arm backward and struck Ginobili in the head.” “There’s so many things that are going into it,” Phil Jackson said in response, “that to draw a conclusion like that lends me to think that a non-basketball player probably made the decision on this particular act. “I don’t think someone who played basketball, knows how people work to try and get a foul or try to create contact and make a foul, would question it.” For the record, Stu Jackson did play three years of college basketball at Oregon. He was a head coach with the Knicks and Vancouver Grizzlies before joining the league office. The NBA Players Association asked for an emergency appeal, with the Lakers playing only 20 blocks or so from the league office on Fifth Avenue. Stu Jackson said Bryant would be able to appeal his lost pay ($161,079) at a later date but not the suspension. “This is not the process that we use at the NBA,” Stu Jackson said. “Certainly in theory, given the fact the Lakers were in New York, we could have heard an appeal. But we never have as it’s not part of our process.” Phil Jackson had an immediate answer – “We can’t go there, we really can’t go there, I don’t think the league would intentionally do that” – when asked if the NBA was treating Bryant unfairly. “Kobe’s not a malicious player,” the coach added. “He’s a tough player, he’s a physical player, but not a malicious player.” Bryant was suspended twogames last season for a forearm he delivered to Memphis guard Mike Miller’s chin. But Stu Jackson said Bryant’s history did not factor into Tuesday’s decision. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The league suspended Bryant from Tuesday’s game against the New York Knicks for striking San Antonio guard Manu Ginobili in the face – “unintentionally,” as Bryant repeated over and over – on a last-second shot in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss. No foul was called on the play. Both Ginobili and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said after the game that they didn’t think Bryant intentionally hit Ginobili. And with few avenues for appeal of such a decision, Bryant was out of luck. center_img NEW YORK – The Lakers’ road trip was only a few hours old when Kobe Bryant was handed a phone Monday and told NBA security had a couple of questions for him. As it turned out, Bryant might as well have stayed home in Los Angeles an extra day. last_img read more

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Former Chelsea and Republic of Ireland winger Damien Duff retires from football

first_img Damien Duff 1 Former Republic of Ireland winger Damien Duff has called time on his 20-year playing career.The 36-year-old came through the youth system at Blackburn, before moving onto Chelsea, Newcastle and then Fulham.Duff won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and League Cup during his career, in addition to helping the Cottagers to the 2010 Europa League final.The winger won 100 caps for Ireland, representing them at the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2012, and returned home to join Shamrock Rovers in July.Duff penned an 18-month contract after leaving Australian outfit Melbourne City, but has brought his time with the Dublin club to a premature end.“After much deliberation, I have today decided to bring my professional football career to an end,” he said in a statement released by Shamrock.“My heart wants me to continue playing but my body has finally won the battle and told me to stop.“I’ve lived every young boy’s dream and I know I am a very lucky man.“I would like to thank everyone who has helped me along the journey from schoolboy football in Dublin and moving to England as a teenager right up to today.“I am extremely proud to have won 100 caps for my country – it was always my greatest pleasure to represent Ireland and I have many magical memories from my international career.“While I have finished playing, I am progressing with my coaching badges and will stay involved in the game for many years to come.“I am grateful to Pat Fenlon and Shamrock Rovers F.C. for giving me the opportunity to finish my career back home – they have some exciting plans for the club for the future and I wish them well. I had hoped to play for one more year but it was not to be.“Thank you to all the many fans for your support over the years.“I would like to especially thank my wife Elaine, my children, my parents Gerard and Mary and my family for being, and continuing to be, my biggest supporters.”last_img read more

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Santa Clarita Calendar

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Le Tip Business Network Group will meet, 7 a.m. at Mimi’s Cafe, 24201 Magic Mountain Parkway, Valencia. Call Lisa Eichman at (661) 297-3333 or visit www.allvalleyletip.com. Nonaerobic workout in a heated pool for joint and muscle conditioning, 10:30 a.m. at the Santa Clarita Valley Family YMCA, 26147 McBean Parkway, Valencia. Call (661) 253-3593. FRIDAY Shabbat in the Park, 6 p.m. at Valencia Meadows Park, 25671 Fedala Road, Valencia. Call Temple Beth Ami at (661) 255-6410. Karaoke night, 6:30-9:30 at Vincenzo’s, 24504 1/2 Lyons Ave., Newhall. Call (661) 259-6733. THURSDAY Game Day will feature Cranium, 3 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 23630 Valencia Blvd., Valencia. Call (661) 254-6604. The Reading Group will discuss “East of Eden,” 7-8:30 p.m. at the Valencia Library, 23743 Valencia Blvd., Valencia. Call Agnes Zagar at (661) 259-8942. Santa Clarita Corvette Club will meet, 7:30 p.m. at Marie Callender’s, 27630 The Old Road, Valencia. Call (661) 259-4675. SATURDAY Franklin Story Time, 10 a.m. at Barnes & Noble, 23630 Valencia Blvd., Valencia. Call (661) 254-6604. Santa Clarita Runners Club will meet for a morning run, 7 o’clock in the parking lot at Starbucks, 26415 Bouquet Canyon Road, Valencia. Call (661) 294-0821 or visit www.scrunners.org. Free wellness workshop will present research about stubborn weight, fatigue and hormone imbalance, 10-11:30 a.m. at the office of Dr. Larry Cart, 24868 Apple St., Suite 101, Newhall. Call (661) 284-6233. Saugus train station will be open, 1-4 p.m. at Heritage Junction in William S. Hart Park, 24151 Newhall Ave. Call (661) 254-1275. Karaoke night, 8 o’clock at VFW Post 6885, 16208 Sierra Highway, Canyon Country. Call (661) 252-6885. Special Olympics offers athletic training and competition for athletes with learning disabilities throughout the day at various locations in Santa Clarita. New athletes or volunteer coaches can call (661) 253-2121. SUNDAY Santa Clarita Runners Club will meet for marathon training, 6:30 a.m. in the parking lot at Granary Square, 25930 McBean Parkway, Valencia. Call (661) 294-0821 or visit www.scrunners.org. Bingo will be played, 10:30 a.m. at Mint Canyon Moose Lodge, 18000 W. Sierra Highway, Canyon Country. Call (661) 252-7222. Saugus train station will be open, 1-4 p.m. at Heritage Junction in William S. Hart Park, 24151 San Fernando Road, Newhall. Call (661) 254-1275. To submit an event for the Daily News calendar, contact Sharon Cotal two weeks prior to the event at (661) 257-5256 or fax her at (661) 257-5262.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Virgil van Dijk loving life at Liverpool 12 months after £75m transfer

first_img GETTY REPLY 2 Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade MONEY He has had a huge hand in making Liverpool one of the best defences in the Premier League.The statistics don’t lie as the Reds have conceded 0.5 goals per game since he signed with 59 per cent of matches ending in clean sheets.Van Dijk tweeted a video about his first 12 months at the club, saying: “One year ago I joined @LFC It’s been an incredible year and I’ve loved every minute.” REVEALED This season, van Dijk has played in all 19 of Liverpool’s Premier League games where they sit six points clear at the top and have conceded just seven times.He told the club’s website: “So, in the last year, everything I was expecting from Liverpool has come true. In fact, some things are even better than I could have imagined they would be. Liverpool signed Virgil van Dijk almost 12 months ago Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? BEST OF 2 RANKED Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade ADVICE getty center_img Van Dijk and Gomez have formed a good understanding in the Liverpool defence Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions One year ago I joined @LFC It’s been an incredible year and I’ve loved every minute 🔥 pic.twitter.com/ufN7O9qUC0— Virgil van Dijk (@VirgilvDijk) December 27, 2018Liverpool announced on December 27, 2017, they were set to sign van Dijk from Southampton and they completed the transfer on January 1 for a reported fee of £75million.The 27-year-old scored an 84th minute winner on debuted against rivals Everton in the FA Cup to cement his early popularity. no dice Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won shining Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury huge blow Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS REVEALED Virgil van Dijk has loved every minute of his first year as a Liverpool player.The central defender has endeared himself to the Kop faithful with his incredible performances on the pitch. “The people who work for the club, who work at Melwood, at the stadium and elsewhere are all fantastic people. Everything has been magnificent, fantastic for me.“Things have been going well both personally and for the club as well, so maybe that helps settling in. The people have been helping me too. It feels like a family club and that’s something I really, really wanted and it’s definitely happened.”last_img read more

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‘What has happened to Arsenal?’ – Gunners told to forget Zaha and sign defenders

first_imgArsenal have got their priorities all wrong in the summer transfer window and MUST focus on strengthening their defence instead of bringing in more attacking players.That’s according to former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp, who has questioned why the Gunners seem determined to sign £80m-rated Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace when they already boast a number of quality forwards.Reports claim Arsenal are set for busy few days in the market this week, but Redknapp believes they are focusing on all the wrong areas. Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father three-way race Harry Redknapp says Unai Emery has to be smarter in the summer transfer window The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star Captain Koscielny wants to leave Arsenal and has asked the club to cancel the year remaining on his contract so he can return to France Chelsea confident of beating Man United and Liverpool to Sancho signing Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January “The certainly don’t need any more forwards – that’s the one area they are decent in, they’ve got a couple of good front men.“They need some defenders desperately.”Listen back to Harry Redknapp on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast IN FULL above! REVEALED targets moving on Getty LIVING THE DREAM TOP WORK center_img Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti 2 Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ LATEST LATEST TRANSFER NEWS AND GOSSIP 2 Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer Wilfried Zaha always wanted to join Arsenal and has supported the club from a young age Spanish midfielder Dani Ceballos is set to arrive on loan from Real Madrid, while the Gunners are said to be planning another bid for Zaha despite Palace rejecting their latest offer of £55m plus Reiss Nelson on loan.The north London club had been keen on signing Celtic full-back Kieran Tierney, but it is believed they have now abandoned that deal.And while young French centre-back William Saliba is expected to move to the Emirates Stadium, he will return to Saint-Etienne on loan for the forthcoming campaign meaning he won’t actually wear an Arsenal shirt until the 2020/21 season. Asked about the current state of the Gunners team, former Spurs boss Redknapp said on Tuesday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast: “What has happened to Arsenal?“Years ago, when Arsenal wanted a player they went and got him.“We keep talking about the kid at Celtic [Tierney], who is a good left-back, but they need central defenders, surely.“You talk to an Arsenal fan and they’d tell you – in the back four, their two centre halves are not good enough, they’re going to lose [Laurent] Koscielny, he’s got a problem and he wants out, and they’re short in midfield. Getty Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:12Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%Stream Type LIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio TrackFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:12Loaded: 98.22%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:12 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreen Liverpool’s signings under Michael Edwards – will Minamino be the next big hit? targets last_img read more

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WCU chancellor calls for boosts in enrollment, quality to increase college-educated residents

first_imgWestern Carolina University must leverage the advantages offered by the NC Promise tuition plan, a favorable budgetary picture and a rising academic reputation to grow its enrollment by 300 students annually in order to help the University of North Carolina system meet its goal of increasing the number of college-educated North Carolinians.Steady enrollment growth to help improve the economic condition of the state and its residents was among the recurring themes delivered by WCU Chancellor David O. Belcher in his annual Opening Assembly address Wednesday (Aug. 16) to kick off the new academic year.“We have spent a lot of time at Western Carolina University debating and worrying about enrollment growth. These have been helpful conversations. Today, though, let me be crystal clear: the time for talk is over,” Belcher said. “We will grow every single year both in total headcount at a rate of roughly 300 students per year and in the mix of total student semester credit hours necessary to ensure student success and sustain a healthy funding environment.”Belcher urged the faculty and staff in attendance to work to solve the inevitable challenges that come with enrollment growth, calling for “solution-focused, not problem-focused, conversations.”“This must be a year of proactively harnessing the tools and resources we have been given – be it NC Promise, enrollment growth funding, new strategic initiatives and relationships at the system and state levels – we must and will marshal all of these gifts and extend them to include a broader swath of promising students,” he said. “Who are we to limit their abilities, their successes and their futures?”Beginning next fall, undergraduate students from North Carolina will see their out-of-pocket tuition expenses reduced to $500 per semester at WCU and two other UNC institutions through the NC Promise program.“WCU welcomes this bold, innovative investment in public higher education in North Carolina,” Belcher said. “Western will leverage this tool, both to extend the benefits of a WCU education to students for whom cost is a barrier to college access and to reduce the amount that students must borrow to achieve their dreams of completing a four-year degree.”Aside from the expected impact of NC Promise on enrollment at WCU, the university finds itself on solid financial footing, thanks to last year’s record enrollment along with an anticipated increase again this year, and to a state budget plan that included significant support for public higher education, he said.“Overall, this year’s state budget is the best for the UNC system in almost 10 years. While there are areas such as employee compensation that need additional attention, I am grateful to our legislators for recognizing the needs of the UNC system and Western Carolina University,” Belcher said.Among the state budget highlights are repair and renovation funding; increased support for legislatively mandated lab schools, including WCU’s Catamount School, which is opening Tuesday, Aug. 22; and additional dollars to fully fund the NC Promise program based on projected enrollment for both in-state and out-of-state students.“On the NC Promise agenda, I’m very happy to report that the additional $11 million needed to fully fund the program at the level consistent with projected enrollment for both in-state and out-of-state students was included in the final budget. This will ensure that WCU and the other participating campuses are made financially whole in the implementation of NC Promise in fall 2018,” Belcher said.One of the biggest successes of the legislative session, he said, was the inclusion of $750,000 for design of a replacement for WCU’s aging steam plant, housed in a structure dating back to the 1920s. The steam plant provides heat and hot water for much of the campus.Belcher provided an update on the university’s allocation of one-time and recurring funds during the previous fiscal year, including the addition of new faculty positions in computer science, finance, French, liberal studies, nursing, parks and recreation management, and social work; the hiring of four new safety officers; renovations in the Center for Career and Professional Development, the Old Student Union, classrooms and laboratories across campus, and Belk, Forsyth and H.F. Robinson buildings; new equipment for chemistry and nursing labs; and marketing campaigns designed to help increase enrollment.Belcher also shared with the audience the university’s budget priorities for the year ahead. “Because of our strong fiscal position coming into this year, we will be able to make significant, strategic investments at a level we’ve not been able to do for several years,” he said. “We will hire additional faculty and staff positions. We have an opportunity to move the needle with a number of strategic hires in critical academic and administrative units, units for whom an investment in human capital will have the best ROI in promoting or supporting enrollment growth.”The university also will allocate funding for salaries to address faculty and staff retention issues; make much-needed upgrades to campus facilities and technology; and decrease the number of recurring initiatives that are funded out of year-end, one-time money, he said.Belcher thanked members of WCU’s faculty and staff for the role they played in helping shape the new UNC system strategic plan, titled “Higher Expectations,” ensuring that WCU’s priorities are reflected in – and mesh well with – the document, which includes performance metrics, targets and areas of distinction that each campus will be expected to meet. In conjunction with the recently unveiled system plan, Belcher characterized revision of WCU’s strategic plan, “2020 Vision,” as one of the upcoming year’s most critical priorities and a document that must be “reflective of WCU’s soaring reputation for excellence.”“As many of you know, our ‘2020 Vision’ has served us well – really well. In fact, it is still my chapter and verse, and I am extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished under its banner,” he said. “But the world has changed over the past six years, and we must change with it. New system initiatives, new state and federal legislation, new funding environments, new population trends – all of these, and more, require us to think differently about our future.”Turning his attention to racial and political tensions that have ignited on campuses across the nation, including at WCU last year, Belcher acknowledged the work of a university task force that reviewed institutional activities and procedures to ensure that WCU remains “a campus that values and respects diversity, inclusion and the free and open interchange of ideas.”Institutions of higher education have an important role to fulfill in addressing the major issues facing the nation today, including the division of members of society into “haves” and “have-nots,” he said.“Yes, higher education and WCU are not the panacea for all of the challenges associated with economic mobility. But we can and should be among the most integral players in leveling the disparities, because education itself – our business – represents one of, if not the, most significant solution our society has in hand,” he said.Belcher also took time to address what he frequently has called “the elephant in the room” – his health, after his recent announcement that surgery and a first round of treatment for a brain tumor diagnosed last year were not as successful as hoped. He is now undergoing a new treatment regimen at Duke University Hospital.“I want you to hear this, and it is no spin: I feel fine. I am present. And I am energized in my fight against this disease. I am in charge. I am working nearly full-time. And I am absolutely committed as your chancellor to ensure that Western Carolina University continues the strong, positive and forward momentum of recent years,” he said. “In fact, I expect and require it, not just from myself, but from each of you.”last_img read more

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Local NGO success in the UK

first_imgKhulisa’s ground-breaking programmes aim to break the cycle of violence, prevent youngsters from ending up in prison, and rehabilitate those who have done time. Khulisa staff harvesting vegetables from their KwaZulu-Natal office garden to donate to a children’s shelter.(Image: Khulisa Social Solutions) MEDIA CONTACTS • Lesley Ann van Selm  MD, Khulisa Social Solutions  +27 11 788 8237 or +27 82 601 2299 RELATED ARTICLES • Khulisa reinvents lives • Mandela prison anniversary marked • Values, heritage can be learned here • Concourt art tells SA’s story • SA’s gallows now instrument of healingLucille DavieLocal NGO Khulisa’s out-of-the-box programme on restorative justice has been exported to the UK, and is now part of a package of programmes being successfully implemented by an independent registered charity.Khulisa UK’s mission is to “break the cycle of crime and violence by helping people to change their lives”. It does this in three ways: guiding by restoring empathy, self-belief and self-worth; healing individuals – both perpetrators and victims – and communities; and nurturing by believing all people can grow.“We think that we are quite unique in bringing to the UK programmes that have been tried and tested in the extremely fragile and challenging social environment of South Africa,” reads the staff induction pack. “In particular we look at projects that provide innovative and effective ways to address crime, violence, anti-social behaviour, justice and community regeneration.”Khulisa means “to nurture” in Zulu. The programme targets offenders and ex-offenders, young people at risk of exclusion, offending or becoming involved in gangs, victims or witnesses of violence and crime, as well as people facing significant personal barriers in their lives.“Through our work we aim to empower disadvantaged individuals with the skills and personal understanding they need to develop their own alternatives to violence, desist from crime, improve their futures and build stronger and safer communities.” Homegrown innovation in the UKKhulisa UK is an offshoot of South Africa’s Khulisa Social Solutions, an NGO that’s been running for 16 years. Its founder and MD Lesley Ann van Selm was originally looking to raise funding from international donors – while Khulisa has for the past 11 years been funded by the Finnish and Danish embassies, more funding was needed to expand.But the EU will only fund EU-based organisations so Van Selm set up a company in the UK called Khulisa Crime Prevention Initiative.She is an Ashoka fellow, an international body that recognises and supports leading social entrepreneurs through an entrepreneur network. “It’s quite a prestigious thing to be an Ashoka fellow,” she explains.With the support of Ashoka in the UK, she managed to get a pro bono attorney to help register the company there. A feasibility study showed that “there was as much potential for us to get money in South Africa as there was for us also to have our programmes exported to the UK”.Van Selm elaborates: “Khulisa’s programmes are so out of the box, and have been so organically developed, and we realised that the programmes in the UK were very, very conventional and all compliant against international theories of psychology, etc.”It took two years to develop a pilot programme, then Khulisa’s Silence the Violence (STV) programme was tried out in Hackney in London. A psychologist, an academic from Manchester University, a human rights activist and an ex-offender were invited to participate.“The outcomes were mind blowing,” says Van Selm. Getting the programme off the groundWith success around the corner, funding was needed to follow up on the trial programme. Khulisa managed to get several contracts with the Home Office Police, a private prison company, and several other trusts, in particular the Sainsbury’s Family Trust and the Monument Trust, which gave US$157 000 (R1.4-million). This enabled Khulisa in the UK to appoint a CEO, rent offices, employ staff and get the programme off the ground.The attitude in the UK was that if Khulisa can get the programmes to work in South Africa, with its many challenges, it can work in that country too.Now, three years down the line, the British company is a separate entity, paying royalties to Khulisa South Africa, and looking to expand their programmes there.Van Selm says that she is looking at ways to expand the restorative justice programme in the UK, through the STV programme, which is based on restoring relationships between criminal and victim.She adds that she’s proud of the fact that the UK franchise is using the Khulisa brand name. She says the name is catchy, and “makes people feel curious”.“It is a proudly South African brand.” UK operationKhulisa UK has taken the STV programme and combined it with three others – Milestones Mentoring Programme, Face It, and My Square Mile, developed in-house. These programmes supplement STV, which is described as “an intervention that additionally reduces violence and changes anti-social behaviour contributing to a reduction in violence/assaults whilst offering longer term positive effects on reducing re-offending with other supports.”It is best suited for young people in at-risk situations or those involved in gangs with exposure to crime and violence, including witnesses and victims.The programme consists of 10 modules of two- to three-hour facilitated sessions, usually run over five days. It is followed up with one-on-one support sessions. It uses group and cognitive behavioural therapy, a strengths-based approach, and includes coaching, role play, problem solving, emotional management and conflict resolution.Some of the learning outcomes include recognition of high-risk situations and techniques to avoid or cope with them; an ability to recognise levels of violence and awareness of its damaging effects; improved listening skills and greater empathy for others; the development of emotional intelligence; enhanced self-expression and self-awareness; and improved relationships. Measuring successKhulisa UK’s CEO Simon Fulford says some 1 500 people have benefited from the programmes since the organisation started operations in 2009. He adds that this excludes any indirect impact on family and community members connected to the participants.Success is not always easy to measure. “Rating success with offender rehabilitation and behaviour change programmes is always a difficult one as the impact is subtle, long-term and hard to measure or claim direct responsibility for,” he explains.Two responses give a sense of the programme’s success. An ex-offender from 2011 reports: “I’ve not cried for 18 years, and this is the first time I’ve felt safe enough to do so, in this group dynamic.”A 16-year-old school pupil said: “I was able to look into myself, pin-point what is wrong and start a path in to correct and move on, as I am able to look at others and feel empathy.”Fulford says that Khulisa UK has an annual operating budget of around $630 000 (R5.6-million), employing seven permanent staff and about a dozen freelance programme facilitators assisted by some 40 or 50 volunteers each year.The organisation operates in the London, Greater Manchester and the south coast areas of Dorset and Hampshire, but also runs programmes on an ad-hoc basis in other parts of the country, depending on contracts or commissions.“Overall, about 300 adults and children participate in our full programmes per year, with several hundred more engaged via short workshops, taster sessions, and more.”Now, Khulisa UK is looking to adapt and pilot South Africa’s Justice and Restoration Programme for use in the UK.“Khulisa UK and Khulisa South Africa bring a new dynamism to north-south relations, with a unique model of exporting social development solutions from south to north and then adapted in-country,” says Fulford.“Similarly, as we develop and enhance programmes here, we will share this knowledge and expertise with our colleagues while looking to further export the Khulisa approach.”last_img read more

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The 6 Best Ways to Run Microsoft’s .NET in the Cloud

first_imgTags:#hack#hacking#Microsoft How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Related Posts 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… klint finleycenter_img Why You Love Online Quizzes In programming circles, there’s been a steady emphasis on platforms that support Ruby, Python and Node.js – and not as much attention paid to Microsoft .NET platform providers. That’s a real oversight given the enduring popularity of Microsoft languages.For example, since Heroku was acquired by Salesforce.com in 2010, it has become the poster child of platform-as-a-service (PaaS) providers. Whenever a new PaaS launches, it gets called “the Heroku of X.” Before that, the comparison of choice was Google App Engine. Those honors are somewhat deserved, since those two services did practically invent the PaaS category as we know it.But the .NET platform remains important, so let’s take a look at the options for running .NET applications in the cloud.Windows AzureMicrosoft Windows Azure has been getting more attention lately for its efforts in open source than for its roots as a .NET PaaS. Microsoft has made PHP a first-class citizen on Azure, and has been porting Node.js to Windows specifically so it can run in the Azure environment. And last week’s announcement of Linux support on Azure infrastructure-as-a-service makes the fact that it can still run .NET applications almost an afterthought. Still, with “tens of thousands” of users and the legacy of being the service from the company that invented .NET, Azure remains the most obvious choice for a public .NET PaaS. But there are, of course, other options.Tier 3Tier 3, which launched in 2006, was originally an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider, but it added a PaaS service called Web Fabric last month. Tier 3 also develops a fork of VMware’s PaaS Cloud Foundry called Iron Foundry, which adds support for .NET to the existing open source platform and can be used for private clouds. Web Fabric is still relatively new, but it’s based on an open source platform. By building on Cloud Foundry, Tier 3 has created a polyglot platform that supports all the languages the original projects support, including Java, Ruby and Node.js. You can find the source code on Github.AppHarborAppHarbor, which launched last year, is a slightly more established public .NET PaaS running on Amazon Web Services infrastructure with support for Git, (including Github for Windows) and Mercurial. One big differentiator for the company is the built-in support for unit tests. Developers just upload their code, and any unit tests included are automatically run.“Generally most of the PaaS environments run in a way that you could add that capability, but it is a lot of work,” Tier 3 developer and PaaS enthusiast Adron Hall told ReadWriteWeb via email. “With AppHarbor a developer doesn’t even need to click a button to turn it on. I’m personally a HUGE fan of the fact that they do this.”UhuruUhuru is another newcomer, founded by former Microsoft executives. Like Tier 3, the company is running its own Cloud Foundry-based .NET PaaS called Uhuru.NET Services for Cloud Foundry. The source is on Github.ApprendaApprenda was probably the first private .NET PaaS and sells a proprietary enterprise version along with a free-as-in-beer “express” version. In addition to running as a private PaaS, Apprenda can sync with Azure to enable a hybrid cloud environment.MoncaiAs of this writing Moncai hasn’t launched yet, but it does have a beta invite sign-up. The company bills itself as a .Net/Mono PaaS with support for both Git and Mercurial. It’s the only PaaS we’re aware of with Mono support.Disclosure: Apprenda, Heroku, Tier 3 and VMware Cloud Foundry are among the sponsors of DeployCon, which paid Klint Finley’s travel expenses to moderate a panel. Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoidlast_img read more

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Why dolphins are losing sleep off the coast of Hawaii

first_imgPods of playful Hawaiian spinner dolphins are popular with tourists along the western shore of Hawaii’s Big Island. But noise from sightseeing boats and other coastal users wakes these vulnerable animals from their essential daytime slumber, a new study shows. A pending federal rule would protect the species, but advocates on both sides are unhappy with it.Like all dolphins and whales, Hawaiian spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) rely on sound to communicate and forage. They hunt in the coastal ocean at night, when shrimp and squid—their favorite foods—migrate upward from deeper waters. The dolphins work together to herd hovering prey into clumps, and each individual feeds in turn. Full and fatigued, they retreat to sheltered “resting bays” along the heavily trafficked Kona coast, where they normally snooze and quietly schmooze during the day.To document the impacts of boat engines, military sonar, and other unnatural sounds on these animals, a team led by biologist Heather Heenehan of the Duke University Marine Laboratory in Beaufort, North Carolina, deployed underwater acoustic recorders in four popular resting bays off the shores of Kona, Hawaii, from 2011 to 2013. Terabytes of recordings showed that under natural circumstances, the bays were loudest at night with sounds of snapping shrimp and clicking dolphins on their group hunts. But during the day, whale watch boats, snorkeling charters, and naval ships produced volumes of sound up to 45 decibels higher than the natural nautical noises. Forced awake, the dolphins began to vigorously click with one another in an effort to communicate over the din, the team will report next month in Marine Policy.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(*)This humanmade noise takes a toll, says study co-author Julian Tyne of the Murdoch University Cetacean Research Unit in Perth, Australia. Tour boats alone generate enough noise to disturb daily dolphin siestas, forcing the animals to pull the daytime equivalent of “a few ‘all-nighters’ in a row,” he says. “The dolphins are exposed to these human activities over 80% of the time, when they should be resting.”Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, the barrage of sound may constitute illegal harassment, the researchers believe. The dolphins can’t just go elsewhere to avoid the cacophony, they note, because they use the secluded bays to avoid sharks. Moreover, surveys suggest the Kona coast population of spinner dolphins has declined from 2300 in the 1990s to about 600 today, based on the team’s focal surveys. The team has yet to study the effect of sleep deprivation on the dolphins’ well-being, but they believe noises are from fully awake dolphins. But spinner dolphins are exposed to human activity more often than any other cetacean in the world, the researchers say, and the humanmade noise probably isn’t helping.The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a proposed rule in August to prohibit tourists from swimming with the dolphins or boats to come within 45 meters of them. But the regulations—extended for public comment through today—are controversial.A 45-meter buffer isn’t enough, says Peter Thomas, international and policy program director at the Marine Mammal Commission in Bethesda, Maryland, who was not involved in the study. That margin still leaves the species vulnerable to human disturbance and noise, he says. Thomas calls for complete time-area closures, which would prohibit human activities during peak spinner dolphin resting periods in the most critical bays—a position supported by Heenehan’s team.But time-area closures are too intrusive for the Big Island’s visitors, says Jim Coon, president of Hawaii’s Ocean Tourism Association in Maui. Coon is concerned that public comment on NOAA’s proposed rule allows those who are less familiar with the situation, like people who don’t live in Hawaii, to carry the same weight as locals, who, he says, are generally the best informed and the most affected. “It’s important … that the local community is educated and part of the decision-making process.”No single solution will satisfy everyone, says sustainable tourism expert James Higham of the University of Otago in New Zealand, who was not part of the study. Although robust populations of dolphins can handle whale watching and other human influences, more tenuous groups might not make it, he says. Further studies should determine the size, health, and level of isolation of specific Hawaiian spinner dolphin populations to discern which ones need strict rules against human contact, Higham urges: “Priority No. 1 should be to protect them and to safeguard them from imminent risk of extinction.”last_img read more

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