IFES CEO Hails ‘the Respect Liberians Showed for Each Other’ during Elections

first_imgDuring the October 10 elections, nursing mothers were ushered to the front of the line, to vote.Especially the preference given to nursing mothers, elderly and the disabledDuring the October 10 Presidential and Legislative voting process, mainly in Polling Centers across Bushrod Island, the lines were long; people would stand in them for hours on end, only to realize they were at the wrong lines.Through it all, one thing was observed that didn’t get missed by international observers which was the fact that no one complained of the elders, ‘baby ma’s’ or those with disabilities being marginalized on election day. This was because they were accommodated and ushered to the front of the lines by other voters, in their attempt to help them.William Sweeney, President and CEO, IFES (Photo: Greg Whitesell)“The respect Liberians showed for each other while standing in lines for a long time is a statement on how people treated each other,” stated President and CEO of International Foundation for Electoral Systems, (IFES) Bill Sweeney.During the 2011 elections, there were many nursing mothers who turned out to vote. However, they had to stand in line with their babies and, the moment the child cried for breast or to sit down, the mother would leave the line and go tend to the child. Observers noticed this and made sure to tell polling centers to be more accommodating this time around.According to Mr. Sweeney, Liberians responded differently to standing in line as there was no shouting by people who waited for hours.“I’ll tell you something, in the Kenyan election, when you see a woman with a little baby going inside, they would put a little ink on the ear lobe of the baby to make sure that the same baby was not brought back in by a different woman who didn’t want to stand in line. During the October 10th voting process, I didn’t see that in Liberia,” he added.Founded in 1987 in Washington DC, IFES is an international, non-profit organization that provides assistance and support for elections in new and emerging democracies. Since 1987 IFES has provided assistance in 145 countries and it currently has programs in over 30 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Africa, Eurasia, the Middle East and North Africa and the Americas.IFES is supervised by a board of directors made up of equal parts of Democrats, Republicans, and members of the international community. Sweeney replaced Jean-Pierre Kingsley in 2009, who was the founder.Meanwhile, Sweeney said the peacefulness of the Liberian electoral process thus far is due to the fact that Liberia remembers the pain and agony it faced during the 14 years of civil war.“Liberians know the true cost of war and know the cost of the absence of peace. They also know how long it scars their communities, their families, their generations and their governments. Now is the time to continue to say yes to peace. We saw it on October 10, it’s a terrific song; I’m glad you’re playing it and continue to play it. Continue to say yes to peace, that’s what this is about, God bless Liberia,” he said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Nervous Bolt prepares for football debut

first_imgSuch is the buzz swirling around the match that it will be broadcast live on pay TV and 10,000 fans are expected to cram into the Central Coast Stadium for what is normally a low-key pre-season fixture.The club, which finished bottom of the domestic A-League last season, is planning fireworks and other entertainment to keep fans amused until Bolt makes his entrance.All eyes will be on the eight-time Olympic champion with a local paper planning to distribute 100,000 cardboard cut-out face masks of the 32-year-old for onlookers to wear.“I think that will be a bit weird, but not too weird,” Bolt, who favours playing left wing, joked of the masks. “I’ve seen a little bit of that in track and field. But it will be something new to play the first game and see that.”Bolt dominated sprinting after taking double individual gold at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and he remains the world record holder for the 100 metres.He went on to win a further six Olympic golds and pick up 11 world titles before retiring last year and pursuing his passion for football.Bolt’s football dream is still a work in progress, with Bolt admitting this week to struggling with the constant stop-start of the sport, unlike his usual quick fire sprint on the athletics track © AFP / Saeed KHANDespite being used to running in front of 100,000 spectators and millions of TV viewers, the nerves are jangling as he enters a new phase in his career, having tried out with several other clubs around the world to no avail.“There will be nerves, definitely. It’s not like a charity game anymore, this is a career I’m pursuing,” said Bolt.“I expect to make mistakes, but I also expect to go in, make myself proud and push myself.”His football dream is still a work in progress, with Bolt admitting this week to struggling with the constant stop-start of the sport, unlike his usual quick fire sprint on the athletics track.“He doesn’t have football fitness, which is natural. We have not brought him in and said you have to do this and do that by this time,” said Mariners coach Mike Mulvey, who has given Bolt an indefinite time to prove himself.“For this Friday, it comes down to what the fitness coaches tell me with regards to how his body’s coping with the loading we’ve got at the moment.“But I would imagine he’s going to be playing some part on Friday.”– Spotlight –Mariners head of performance Andrew Young was blunt in his assessment: “As of right now, Usain’s not in the type of condition required to play A-League,” he told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph.“We have to work on his aerobic capacity and he knows that.”The Mariners kick off their A-League season away to Brisbane Roar on October 21.All eyes will be on the eight-time Olympic champion with a local paper planning to distribute 100,000 cardboard cut-out face masks of the 32-year-old for onlookers to wear © AFP / Saeed KHANDespite Bolt being likely to spend most of Friday’s game on the bench, his presence at the club’s base in Gosford, 75 kilometres (47 miles) north of Sydney, has generated global excitement and Mulvey is lapping it up.“What the lads in the office are telling me, there could be 10,000-12,000 people here, that’s quite unbelievable for a pre-season game. But I welcome it because it puts us under a little bit of a spotlight,” he said.While Bolt is used to the trappings of fame and fortune, he is determined to be just “one of the boys” in his new life around the Gosford area, a popular weekend getaway from Sydney with magnificent national parks and sandy beaches.The bright lights of Sydney are not far away, but he has no plans to be out partying.“I do want to enjoy the city and the life but I’m still going to remember that I’m a professional footballer now so I have to respect the coach and what rules the Mariners put down,” he said.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Usain Bolt is likely to be handed a 10 or 15 minute run-out for Australia’s Central Coast Mariners in a friendly against an amateur side as he works towards his dream of earning a playing contract © AFP / Saeed KHANSYDNEY, Australia, Aug 30 – Usain Bolt is set to get a first taste of competitive football on Friday in a much-hyped game, but the sprint superstar admits he is nervous with his fitness levels not up to scratch.The Jamaican is likely to be handed a 10 or 15 minute run-out for Australia’s Central Coast Mariners in a friendly against an amateur side as he works towards his dream of earning a playing contract and becoming a professional footballer.last_img read more

Second-half latest: Chelsea 1 Tottenham 2 – Cahill’s goal leaves Spurs clinging on

first_imgGary Cahill’s 58th-minute goal hauled Chelsea back into the derby at Stamford Bridge, where Tottenham must win in order to keep their slim title hopes alive.Goals from Harry Kane and Son Heung-min put the visitors in control before Cahill got in front of Toby Alderweireld to control Willian’s right-wing corner and then poked the ball in with his left boot.With the home fans desperate for their team to ensure their London rivals do not win the Premier League, Chelsea’s players responded with a high-tempo start.But they were undone 10 minutes before half-time when a neat Spurs move culminated in Erik Lamela cleverly threading the ball through to Kane, who rounded keeper Asmir Begovic before applying the finish.And after Branislav Ivanovic gave the ball away a minute before the interval, Christian Eriksen played in Son, who coolly steered the ball past Begovic.Chelsea had gone close to taking an early lead when Cahill headed wide from Cesc Fabregas’ left-wing corner.Fabregas then had a chance but side-footed wide from the edge of the penalty area after being teed up by Diego Costa, who later had a powerful shot tipped over by keeper Hugo Lloris.At the other end, Danny Rose shot wide from 25 yards, Son sent a left-footed effort well wide, and Kane fired over with a long-range free-kick before eventually breaking the deadlock.There was controversy soon after Son’s goal. Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino broke up a scuffle between Willian and Rose near the touchline, and during a melee that followed Spurs’ Moussa Dembele appeared gouge Costa’s eyes.Cahill and skipper John Terry returned to the heart of the Chelsea defence following their respective injuries, while Eden Hazard was dropped to the Blues bench.Hazard replaced Pedro at half-time and forced a near-post save from Lloris as Chelsea attempted to get back into the game.Tottenham, who have not won at the Bridge since 1990, remained a threat and Begovic twice saved to deny Kane, keeping out a header and a low shot from the England striker.But Pochettino’s side then switched off a set-piece and were punished by Cahill, whose goal raised the hopes of Chelsea fans that their team could yet get the result that would confirm leaders Leicester as champions.Chelsea: Begovic; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Mikel, Matic; Willian, Fabregas, Pedro (Hazard 45); Costa.Subs: Amelia, Baba, Loftus-Cheek, Kenedy, Oscar, Traore.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Building up Momentum for Change

first_img7 December 2011Ten innovative projects which will help thousands of people across the world deal with climate change have been launched at COP 17 in Durban as the first platform of the UNFCCC’s Momentum for Change initiative.President Jacob Zuma, International Relations Minister COP 17 president Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, and UNFCCC executive secretary Christiana Figueres launched the projects at an informal event on Tuesday.Zuma showed his lighter side by making a joke about people in KwaZulu-Natal thinking COP 17 was about police officers before delving into the importance of such projects.Focus on public-private partnershipsThere are two South African projects on the list: the Buffelsdraai Landfill Site Community Reforestation Project, where rural communities collect seed, grow trees and plant these in a degraded forest area; and the eMalahleni Reclamation Plant, which treats underground water for everyday usage.The first platform of the Momentum for Change initiative is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and focuses on public-private partnerships, especially those that benefit the urban poor in developing countries.One project that stands out involves “solar bottle bulbs”, where a 1 litre soda bottle is filled with a solution of purified water and bleach. The bottle is inserted halfway through a hole drilled in the metal roof and its sides are sealed. The bottle then looks like a bulb through a sunroof and provides a good amount of light by deflecting sunlight into gloomy interiors.These are now used in Manila, providing light to almost 10 000 people.Enabling people to contribute in practical waysThe projects, Zuma said, made it possible for individuals and communities to contribute in a very practical way to the process of reducing emissions, adapting to climate change and improving their quality of life.“These are projects that give people access to energy while at the same time, saving water,” Zuma said. “These are the projects that protect our ecosystems and … improve our food and water security. These are the projects that can be scaled up, replicated, enhanced and further innovated.”Nkoana-Mashabane used her address to highlight the role of women in Africa when dealing with adaptation and mitigation for climate change.Implementation? Ask a woman!She asked for projects to bring change and impact on the lives of women. She said women should no longer have to walk long distances to fetch water or wood, which in turns causes harm to forests.She added, half jokingly, that when you wanted projects to be implemented, you should ask women to do them for you.Ban, a self-confessed champion of gender equality, challenged African men to do more on the continent to help cope with climate change.He said if sustainable development was to become a reality, issues around global health, water scarcity, food prices, poverty and gender inequality had to be addressed.He once again said leaders needed to look beyond their borders, because climate change impacts did not respect borders and affected both the rich and poor.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Apple wants you to pay big for their smart speaker

first_imgRelated Posts Cate Lawrence Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces As part of yesterday’s WorldWide Developer Conference (WWDC) Google launched their foray into home connectivity with the HomePad called by Apple CEO Tim Cook, “breakthrough home speaker with amazing sound and incredible intelligence that will reinvent home audio.”Don’t overlook the last word, in his statement, despite the desire some will have to group HomePad with voice activatedAmazon Echo and Google Home, the product really belongs in a separate category, and here’s why.It’s about sound, not just smarts The HomePod is a 7-inch tall smart speaker covered in a “seamless 3D mesh” fabric It contains a four-inch subwoofer According to Apple it ” uses an advanced algorithm that continuously analyzes the music and dynamically tunes the low frequencies for smooth, distortion‑free sound.” This includes “seven beamforming tweeters” that possess spatial awareness and direct the sound beams throughout the room. It automatically analyzes the acoustics, adjusting the sound based on the speaker’s location, and steers the music in the optimal direction. According to Tim Cook: “Just like with portable music, we want to reinvent home music.”If we position the product as a smart speaker (albeit voice activated) it’s a healthy competitor to the sound audio systems already manufactured by Sonos and Bose and sits in their price range.“ According to Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing:“Apple reinvented portable music with iPod and now HomePod will reinvent how we enjoy music wirelessly throughout our homes. HomePod packs powerful speaker technology, Siri intelligence and wireless access to the entire Apple Music library into a beautiful speaker that is less than 7 inches tall, can rock most any room with distortion-free music and be a helpful assistant around your home.” IYou can also link the device with other HomePods or speakers in the house that are AirPlay 2-compatible to get surround sound.It’s Apple-priceyWith Google Home retailing for $129 and Amazon Echo: $179, Apple’s HomePod is an outlier priced at $349, making it less compelling to those who either already own a smart home assistant or consider buying one in the future. Whilst many may have grown up with an iPod, iPhone or MacBook, affordability matters, and beyond this wedded to the cult of Mac, people won’t automatically turn to Apple when there are products like Alexa and Siri that are already enmeshed in popular culture. Even if you don’t own one, most people have seen the ads and know what they can do.See also: Apple’s HomeKit gets big upgrade at WWDC16HomePod is to be launched in December in the UK, US, and Australia, followed by more countries in 2018. Notably, Samsung subsidiary Harman International is intending to launch its own speaker this year in partnership with Microsoft.   The speaker will be controlled by Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana and will enable a range of tasks including playing music, managing calendars and accessing news, similar to the functions possible on Amazon and Google’s devices. It’ll also come with Skype integration, allowing people to make phone calls to other Skype-enabled devices.  This growing trend makes it easy to envisage a connected home where voice activation matters more than a screen interface.This growing trend makes it easy to envisage a connected home where voice activation matters more than a screen interface. But in an era where people still compromise sound quality for convenience (who hasn’t listened to music on their phone for ease of access in public or even whilst sitting in bed?) Apple’s going to need a lot more than a fancy speaker to take down the successes already enjoyed by Amazon and Google Home. C’mon Apple, why don’t you really show us what Siri can do? Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Tags:#Alexa#Amazon#Apple#Connected Devices#Cortana#Google Home#Home Automation#HomePod#Samsung#Siri#smart assistant#WWDC17 Follow the Puck Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to…last_img read more

Khan died of injuries on chest, abdomen

first_imgDairy farmer Pehlu Khan, who was beaten up by a mob of cow vigilantes at Behror in Alwar district last week, died of serious injuries on his chest and lower abdomen, the autopsy report has revealed in its preliminary findings.The 55-year-old farmer from Nuh in Haryana sustained internal injuries on his lungs, while his ribs were broken and blood clots were found near his heart, stated the post-mortem report prepared by a four-member team of doctors and medical jurists. “It appears prima facie that Pehlu Khan died of internal injuries and heavy bleeding. The medical team has asked for viscera analysis for submitting its final report,” Alwar superintendent of police Rahul Prakash told The Hindu on Friday.The three accused — Vipin Yadav, Ravindra Yadav and Kalu Ram Yadav — who were arrested on Wednesday on the basis of video footage of the incident, were produced before the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate in Behror on the expiry of their one-day police remand. The court sent them to judicial custody for 14 days.Hunt on for 10 moreMr. Prakash said the police had identified 10 more accused persons in the case after establishing their presence on the spot from the video footage circulated on social media. Their names have been added to the FIR registered initially against six suspects on charge of murder and other offences. Three special teams of police officers were searching for the accused, who had fled their homes, and were conducting raids at their suspected hideouts, said the Superintendent of Police.Civil rights groups have sought immediate intervention of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje to stop the “lawlessness and free run” given to cow vigilantes allegedly with the support of many people in high places.Asking whether the law and order machinery had been handed over by the police to the cow protection vigilante groups, the People’s Union for Civil Liberties said if this was not stopped, lawlessness would prevail on the streets and the State’s economic foundation would be attacked.Demands of activistsIn a memorandum submitted to Ms. Raje, PUCL State president Kavita Srivastava and other activists demanded immediate arrest of all attackers, suspension of Behror Station House Officer and resignation of Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria for “openly glorifying and lauding the criminals”.last_img read more

Devils Bedevil Senators, 3-0

first_imgOTTAWA, Ontario — Mike Cammalleri scored twice, Cory Schneider made 36 saves and the New Jersey Devils beat the Ottawa Senators 3-0 on Dec. 30.Andrew Hammond made 18 saves. The Senators lost for the seventh time in 10 games despite outshooting New Jersey 28-11 over the final two periods.The Devils jumped one point ahead of the Senators and into the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with 45 points.Lee Stempniak had a short-handed empty-net goal with 16 seconds left. Cammalleri scored both his goals in the first period. TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img

a month ago​Arsenal boss Emery lauds ‘humble’ Gabriel Martinelli

first_img​Arsenal boss Emery lauds ‘humble’ Gabriel Martinelliby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal manager Unai Emery was full of praise for Gabriel Martinelli after his performance against Nottingham Forest.The youngster was one of several fringe players who got a chance in the Carabao Cup game, which Arsenal won 5-0.And Martinelli was singled out for praise by Emery in his post-match comments to the club’s official website.Emery said: “Martinelli is a very young player. But he came here and we were waiting and watching him, how he could improve with us and really, really in the pre-season he played very well. “He was working in each training with a big spirit and with a big performance and I spoke with him to have some passion for when he gets his opportunity to play, to do like he was doing in the training and the matches in the pre-season. Tonight he did that. “Really, he deserved it because he is very humble, a humble player and he fights, he is hungry to have that opportunity to help us and really it was perfect, his work tonight.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Farrah Fawcett Foundation To Honor Stand Up To Cancer At TexMex Fiesta

first_imgThe Farrah Fawcett Foundation (FFF) announced today its highly-anticipated event, Tex-Mex Fiesta, returns this year for a special evening to honor Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) and its Council of Founders and Advisors including Sherry Lansing, Lisa Paulsen, Rusty Robertson, Sue Schwartz, Pamela O. Williams, Ellen Ziffren, Katie Couric, Kathleen Lobb, and Sung Poblete with The Angel Award for excellence in innovative cancer research.The star-studded event, co-chaired by actress Jaclyn Smith and Dr. Lawrence Piro, will return to the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills on Saturday, September 9, 2017. Guests will enjoy a raffle led by George Hamilton and Fred Willard, a special musical performance, a one-of-a-kind live auction, and more. Award-winning restaurant El Cholo will cater the fiesta-style event, a theme inspired by the late Farrah Fawcett and her home state of Texas. The Tex-Mex Fiesta was first held in 2015, and raised over $500,000 to help support the cause. Proceeds from this year’s event will once again benefit Stand Up To Cancer.Farrah Fawcett established the Farrah Fawcett Foundation in 2007 shortly after her own cancer diagnosis, with the goal of finding a cure by supporting cutting-edge research. Since Fawcett’s passing in 2009 from anal cancer, a type of cancer that is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) in up to ninety percent of cases, the Foundation’s President and CEO Alana Stewart has fought to carry out Farrah’s wishes. In 2013, The Farrah Fawcett Foundation joined forces with Stand Up To Cancer to create the SU2C-FFF Translational Research Team, headed by Dr. Ellis Reinherz and Dr. Robert Haddad at Dana Farber in Boston. The Team is now conducting a clinical trial with a therapeutic vaccine for those patients that have no other treatment options. The FFF is also committed to creating patient assistance funds, and supports prevention and awareness programs.“We are thrilled to honor SU2C at our second Tex-Mex Fiesta and to continue raising funds for cancer research in Farrah’s memory,” said Alana Stewart. “Our partnership with SU2C has expedited treatment options for all HPV-related cancers. Farrah wanted to make a difference and this night will help further that goal.”Tickets to “Tex-Mex Fiesta” start at $1,000. To purchase tickets for the event, please contact texmex@jamesgrp.net or (818) 245-6194.last_img read more

Hardware vulnerability exposed in majority of computers made in the last decade

first_imgTORONTO – Technology experts warn a “really, really serious” security vulnerability could affect the majority of computers made in the last decade, but a fix being rushed to users has a downside: it may slow down your machine.Tech news website the Register reported a glitch has been identified with Intel processing chips — found in most computers, including Apple’s Macs — that could cause data to become vulnerable to hackers.While software developers have been covertly working since late last year to address the widespread issue, news of the problem began spreading beyond the development community late Tuesday. Intel’s stock dropped about four per cent on Wednesday while the company’s main competitor AMD saw its stock surge by more than five per cent.“This is a really, really serious problem,” said Vlado Keselj, a professor of computer science at Dalhousie University.“The good news is I think it’s really hard to exploit this vulnerability. But it could just be a matter of time before someone manages to do that.”In a statement released Wednesday, Intel attempted to downplay worries about the hardware issue, saying it believes hackers “do not have the potential to corrupt, modify or delete data.” The company also said a performance hit from a future software update “should not be significant and will be mitigated over time.”Many details about the technical issue and possible solutions are still unknown. Intel said it had originally planned to disclose more information next week, once software updates were ready, but was compelled to release the statement after the issue began making headlines.An update for the Linux operating system has already been released and has provided some clues to the extent of the problem. But Keselj noted that care was taken to strip developers’ notes and comments out of the update, which typically give some context around the changes that are found in a new software release.“These patches are visible, anyone can open them and see what’s changed but developers removed comments. Without knowing exactly what the vulnerability is, it’s probably hard to exploit it, so it’s happening under the veil of secrecy which is probably good,” Keselj said.“We don’t want somebody to be able to exploit this before updates are made.”Keselj speculated the average user might not notice a dramatic drop in their computer’s performance and even gamers may not suffer a significant slowdown. But businesses that use enterprise software for running database servers could see an appreciable change in performance, which would put pressure on Intel, Keselj said.Prof. Raphael Khoury of the Universite du Quebec a Chicoutimi said it’s not unusual for major software or hardware vulnerabilities to go undetected for a long time but it’s good Intel is releasing its fix before damage could be done.“Maybe the initial patch will have a substantial slowdown and then in the coming weeks they can take their time to produce a better fix,” Khoury said.“It’s better to initially suffer through this slowdown, at least we’re secure.”Beyond just computers, there are many consumer devices nowadays that run off sophisticated hardware that could be open to similar vulnerabilities, said Prof. Sebastian Fischmeister of the University of Waterloo, adding that connected cars and high-tech medical devices are also susceptible.“If you don’t upgrade them then you have a lingering potential security problem,” said Fischmeister. “If you upgrade them then you have potential performance degradation that wasn’t anticipated during testing, so suddenly your (technology) might no longer work.”last_img read more