GSMA chief hails progress in Arab States, urges more standardisation work

first_img Anne BouverotArab StatesEmbedded SIMGSMAMobile ConnectTechnology Previous ArticleSamsung claims Wi-Fi breakthrough at 60GHz; commercial launch 2015Next ArticleCharity MVNO looks to IPO to fund overseas ambitions AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 13 OCT 2014 Related La GSMA reclama el uso de la banda de 6 GHz para la 5G Tim joined Mobile World Live in August 2011 and works across all channels, with a particular focus on apps. He came to the GSMA with five years of tech journalism experience, having started his career as a reporter… More Read more GSMA seeks 6GHz boost for 5G LIVE FROM MOBILE 360 MIDDLE EAST: Anne Bouverot, the director general of the GSMA, praised the development of mobile technology in the Arab States of the Middle East and North Africa, but said standardisation is vital to fully unleash the associated opportunities.Bouverot noted that the Arab States are “one of the fastest growing regions” in terms of mobile adoption and migration to 3G and 4G technology.Mobile already makes “a very significant contribution to the economy in the region” and is addressing social, economic and digital inclusion, according to the GSMA chief.In the context of this development, Bouverot focused on two of the GSMA’s strategic priorities: connected living and personal data.“Connected living is a fascinating opportunity in the M2M, IoT area,” Bouverot said, adding that mobile can play a “central role” in its emergence.However, Bouverot noted that there are barriers that need to be overcome in order to unleash these opportunities. A lack of standardisation for example is limiting interoperability, causing fragmentation and reducing economics of scale.One way in which the GSMA is looking to address the lack of standardisation is the Embedded SIM specification to ensure SIM cards in connected devices “can communicate with mobile networks in the best way possible”. The specification was officially launched today with support from several tier one operators.Bouverot also touched on the theme of personal data: “We want individuals to be able to use mobile technology to authenticate themselves securely whenever they’re using digital services – whether they’re accessing services from a smartphone, a tablet or a PC.”Mobile Connect, developed by the GSMA and its partners, aims to achieve this by allowing consumers to use their phone number and SIM-based mobile ID as a secure way to access digital services.UAE-based operator group Etisalat in the last few days announced that it will roll out the solution across the majority of its territories. GSMA lays out plan for MWC21 Tim Ferguson Author Tags Home GSMA chief hails progress in Arab States, urges more standardisation worklast_img read more

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McCarthy breaks ground on new Banner Boswell ER, patient tower

first_imgMcCarthy Building Companies recently broke ground on a new ER and patient tower project at Banner Boswell Medical Center in Sun City, Ariz., with the demolition of a 33-year-old, two-story parking structure that paves the way for the start of new construction. The new $106 million emergency room (ER), main lobby and patient tower at Banner Boswell Medical Center, located at 10401 W. Thunderbird Blvd. in Sun City, Ariz., includes a 40,000-square-foot emergency room and a new six-story tower that will serve as the hospital’s new main entrance and provide room for future growth.The new ER, which is projected to complete construction in summer 2020, will provide much needed additional capacity. Banner Boswell’s existing ER often runs at or near capacity. The new ER will increase the number of beds by a third — from 42 to 56 — allowing the department to care for up to 60,000 ER patients annually. The current ER was built to handle up to 45,000 patients annually.“Banner Boswell Medical Center opened nearly 50 years ago to serve the small, but growing community of Sun City,” said Banner Boswell Chief Operating Officer Brian Standage. “Since then, our hospital has evolved into a leading provider of medical care in the Northwest Valley, including a nationally-recognized heart program. Our new ER and patient tower positions us to serve the community for the next 50 years and beyond,” he said, “as we strive to make healthcare easier and life better for our patients.”The new tower will represent an additional $46 million investment into the community by nonprofit Banner Health. Combined with the new emergency room, which the community is helping support through donations to the Sun Health Foundation, Banner Boswell is set to receive an investment totaling more than $106 million.“What an exciting time this is for the community as a new milestone in health care is occurring, thanks in part to community support for the ER through Sun Health Foundation’s Generosity  for Generations Campaign,” said Joe La Rue, Sun Health President/CEO. “We are proud of the philanthropic partnership we have with Banner Boswell – philanthropic partners to continue a legacy of health care.”The tower’s first floor, to open in late 2020, will contain the main lobby, gift shop, retail pharmacy, admitting desk and chapel. The five floors above the main lobby will remain “shelled” space, reserved for future inpatient rooms. “Shell space” is space constructed to meet future needs; it is space enclosed by an exterior building shell, but otherwise unfinished inside.The project is being managed using Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) with the owner, design team, general contractor and trade partners all co-located on the project site and committed to the success of the project through robust collaboration and innovation.“Co-locating the entire project team by bringing all stakeholders together in one facility has proven to be an immeasurable asset that promotes collaborative team work, a solutions-oriented culture, and a high level of accountability from all project stakeholders,” said Chris Jacobson, vice president of McCarthy Building Companies. “Hospital construction projects inherently possess a lot of moving parts, and traditional project delivery methods often result in a fair amount of redesign. By employing IPD and co-location strategies, the team is able to move forward unimpeded.”Some of the innovative cost savings measures on the Banner Boswell project include prefabrication of the following components:• Exterior skin, including glass, metal panel, EIFS (Exterior Insulated Finish System) and masonry block• Interior partition walls• ER exam room headwalls including all MEP (Mechanical / Electrical / Plumbing) componentsThe prefabrication will be completed offsite in a shop for the interior scope and onsite in a controlled environment for the exterior skin. As part of the IPD process, all the major building trade partners were contracted early in design to aid in target value design, constructability and Building Information Modeling (BIM) coordination prior to permit. This has proven to save on costs and ensures that the construction team is able to proceed with system fabrication soon after the building begins coming out of the ground. The architect on the project is HMC Architects. Major trade partners include Buehler & Buehler, Southland, Foothills Fire Protection, Schuff Steel, Cannon & Wendt, University Mechanical, Norris Design and The Berg Group.last_img read more

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Health insurers just say no to marijuana coverage

first_imgPatients who use medical marijuana for pain and other chronic symptoms can take an unwanted hit: Insurers don’t cover the treatment, which costs as much as $1,000 a month.Once the drug of choice for hippies and rebellious teens, marijuana in recent years has gained more mainstream acceptance for its ability to boost appetite, dull pain and reduce seizures in everyone from epilepsy to cancer patients.Still, insurers are reluctant to cover it, in part because of conflicting laws. While 21 U.S. states have passed laws approving it for medical use, the drug still is illegal federally and in most states.But perhaps the biggest hurdle for insurers is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn’t approved it. Major insurers generally don’t cover treatments that are not approved by the FDA, and that approval depends on big clinical studies that measure safety, effectiveness and side effects.That research can take years and millions of dollars. And while the FDA has approved treatments like Marinol that contain a synthetic version of an ingredient in marijuana, so far, no one has gained approval for a treatment that uses the whole plant.As a result of the obstacles, advocates for medicinal marijuana say insurers likely won’t cover the drug in the next few years. In the meantime, medical marijuana users — of which advocates estimate there are more than 1 million nationwide — have to find other ways to pay for their treatment.Bill Britt, for instance, gets his supply for free from a friend whom he helps to grow the plants. Britt lives mostly on Social Security income and uses marijuana every day for epileptic seizures and leg pain from a childhood case of polio.“I’m just lucky I have somebody who is helping me out, but that could go away at any time,” said Britt, 55, who lives in Long Beach, California. “I am always worried about that.”Insurers have not seen enough evidence that marijuana is safe and more effective than other treatments, said Susan Pisano, a spokeswoman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, an industry trade group.Marijuana’s Schedule I classification under the federal Controlled Substances Act makes it difficult to conduct clinical studies that might provide that evidence. The classification means the drug is considered to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. And that means extra precautions are required in order to study it.Researchers have to apply to the FDA to approve their study. Public Health Service, another arm of the Department of Health and Human Services, also may review it, a process that can take months.The Drug Enforcement Administration has to issue a permit after making sure researchers have a secure place to store the drug. Researchers also have to explain the study plan to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, or NIDA, another agency within Health and Human Services.And researchers have to use marijuana supplied by NIDA, which contracts with the University of Mississippi to grow the only federally sanctioned source of the drug. That can limit the options for strains of marijuana researchers can study.On top of that, researchers must find a location where the marijuana can be smoked or vaporized and scientists can monitor the patients afterward. That’s no easy task, especially when dealing with public universities.“The word ‘marijuana’ is just so politically radioactive,” said Dr. Sue Sisley, a University of Arizona psychiatrist who is trying to study the drug as a possible treatment for military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.The American Medical Association has called for a change in marijuana’s classification to one that makes it easier for research to be conducted. The current classification prevents physicians from even prescribing it in states where medical use is permitted. Instead, they can only recommend it to patients.There is no easy and cheap way to get the drug legally. Patients in states where medical marijuana is legal can either grow it or buy it from government-approved dispensaries.At dispensaries, an eighth of an ounce, which produces three to seven joints, costs between $25 and $60, said Mike Liszewski, policy director for Americans for Safe Access, which advocates for safe and legal access to therapeutic cannabis. He noted that such an amount may not last long for patients who use the drug regularly to control pain or before every meal to help their appetites. Those patients might spend $1,000 a month or more.Patients may get a price break from their dispensary if they have a low income, but that depends on the dispensary.Growing marijuana costs less but takes three or four months. And success depends on a number of factors, including the grower’s skill. And there are other problems: Britt, from Long Beach, California, tried growing it in his backyard only to have thieves steal it.Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the nonprofit National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, thinks insurers may eventually cover vaporized or eaten forms of marijuana. But he says when that happens depends, in part, on factors like who wins the 2016 presidential election.Even if the FDA approves medicinal marijuana, there’s no guarantee that insurance coverage will become widespread. Big companies that pay medical bills for their workers and dependents decide what items their insurance plans cover. They may not be eager to add the expense.Meanwhile, patients like Kari Boiter, 33, continue to get medical marijuana however they can. Boiter has a genetic disorder that causes pain, nausea and vomiting, and she uses marijuana she helps grow in a cooperative garden to control the symptoms.Boiter, who lives in Tacoma, Washington, and is unemployed, said she’d have to go back to largely ineffective prescriptions, or do without treatment if the cooperative went away.“It would be really hard for me,” she said.Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

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Nepali scientists deploy drones to count endangered crocodiles

first_imgArticle published by Sue Palminteri cameras, Critically Endangered Species, Drones, Freshwater Animals, Freshwater Ecosystems, Monitoring, Reptiles, Sensors, Surveying, Technology, UAV, Wildtech Researchers in Nepal used drone images to survey critically endangered gharial crocodiles along the banks of the Babai River, comparing their results to those of multi-team ground surveys.Analysis of the drone images produced counts of gharials and mugger crocodiles similar to those of ground survey teams, in less time and at a lower cost.The researchers stressed the importance of conducting aerial surveys when environmental conditions are most conducive, such as during the winter months when water clarity in the Babai River enables counts of gharials just under the water’s surface. The survey looked easy on paper. All they had to do was to go the Babai Valley in western Nepal and fly a drone (or unmanned aerial vehicle, UAV) along a river. But wildlife researchers Gokarna Jung Thapa, Eric Wikramanayake and Suraj Karkie soon realized that their work was fraught with elephantine challenges.“Our mission was to fly a drone over the Babai and take photos of gharials (Gavialis gangeticus) basking on the banks of the river,” said Thapa, who along with his team visited the valley in January last year. The wild elephants did not like the idea.“Our vehicle was chased by a herd of wild elephants,” he told Mongabay. “We had to speed uphill and request a truck-load of soldiers to rescue us that day.” Despite the rescue call, the resources Thapa and his team members used on their mission to count gharials were minimal compared to similar missions in the past.A pair of gharial crocodiles resting on the bank of the Babai River in western Nepal. Image courtesy of Gokarna Jung Thapa/WWF-Nepal.“In the past, enumerators, in around five groups of five, would walk long distances on the banks of the Babai to count this critically endangered species,” Thapa recalled. “We had to pay for not only their training, but also for their travel and accommodation. But now, we have shown that a three-member member team can carry out the field work with the help of a drone.”It all began in early 2017 when Thapa, who works for WWF-Nepal, was looking for ways to put to use an FPV Raptor drone procured by his office. The drone was initially bought to assist army units patrolling the national parks. However, due to frequent change in personnel and lack of adequate training, the drone was not being put to optimum use. “That was when I came up with the idea to count gharials using the drone,” Thapa said.There were three reasons why Thapa and his colleagues selected the species. “First, the gharials are critically endangered—they are limited to Nepal and India and less than 200 breeding adults survive in the wild mainly due to rampant fishing, changes in river flow and increase in poaching,” Thapa said. “Second, they are sedentary and like to bask in the sun.”The drone did not bother these gharials basking on the rocky banks of a narrow section of the Babai River in Nepal. Image courtesy of Gokarna Jung Thapa/WWF-Nepal.The third reason they liked the idea of a drone survey was because gharials form long lines along the banks of the river. This forced enumerators in earlier counts to cover long distances, but if they went too close, the animals would retreat into the water.The researchers knew they could not just walk in with their drone any time of the year. Researcher Kanchan Thapa, a co-author of the paper, says that for a species like the fresh water gharials, winter (January and February) is the best time to conduct aerial surveys. “This is the time when the water in the river is less turbid and gharials swimming above or below around 1 meter from the surface of the water can also be counted,” said Kanchan Thapa. “We chose mornings (0800–1100) and evenings (1500–1700) to capture the photographs, as these are the basking times for crocodiles,” he explained.The researchers flew the drone at a speed of 10–12 meters (33–39 feet) per second, along 12 pre-designed missions for 2.72 hours of flight time covering a total of 102 kilometers (63 miles) of river bank habitat along the Babai, which flows through the Bardia National Park. The camera on board the drone, took 11,799 photographs covering an effective surface area of 8.2 square kilometers (3.2 square miles) of the river bank.Location of Bardia National Park in western Nepal, together with the drone flight plan. Image courtesy of G.J. Thapa (2018) Counting crocodiles from the sky: monitoring the critically endangered gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) population with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Journal of Unmanned Vehicle Systems.“With drones flying at an altitude of 80m [262 ft], the gharials didn’t even notice that they were being photographed,” Gokarna Jung Thapa said.The trio could get so engrossed in the aerial survey that they often lost track of what was going on in their surroundings. “When we carry out gharial counts, we generally have groups of enumerators working together,” Gokarna Jung Thapa said. “When animals see a group of people, they try to stay away. But when they see only a few people, they don’t hesitate to attack.”This was one of the main challenges of the fieldwork. However, the area they were surveying lies inside a valley, so they could not fly the drone from a higher altitude, where there is less risk of wild animals.“If we flew the drone from a higher altitude, there was risk that it would get entangled in the bushes and we would also lose sight of it,” Gokarna Jung Thapa said. “The telemetry range of the drone is also limited.”“The other problem we faced was when landing the UAV,” he added. “We found out that it is ideal to land the drone on grass, but there were times when we had to land it on sand, and it took a toll on its wings. We also found out that fixed-wing UAV’s like the ones we used were suitable for longer missions like ours, and the quad copters were more suitable for shorter missions to observe a small number of animals.”Researcher Gokarna Jung Thapa leads a training session for security personnel to use UAV’s to monitor wild animals in Bardia National Park. For the gharial study, the fixed-wing drone carried a small camera and took nearly 12,000 images. Image courtesy of Gokarna Jung Thapa/WWF-Nepal.Once their fieldwork finished at the end of February, they began to analyze the images. This was the most difficult part of the whole endeavor, said Kanchan Thapa. Gokarna Jung Thapa and his team assembled the photographs and carefully searched for the presence of gharials and mugger crocodiles (Crocodylus palustris), a species that shares its habitat with gharials. They selected 7,708 photographs (66 percent) of the 11,799 for stitching.“The shape and length of the snout is a feature that can used to differentiate between gharials and muggers. Gharials have a long and slender snout, while muggers have a short snout,” said Gokarna Jung Thapa. “Because the whole idea of the endeavor was to verify already available census data, we focused only on gharials, as muggers have not been counted in the recent past.”As they flew the UAV at an altitude of 80m, the researchers could not only count the number of gharials and muggers, it could also distinguish between the sexes. “We could have also estimated the approximate age of each individual gharial, but that was beyond the scope of our project,” said Gokarna Jung Thapa.The images approved by the analysts were then screened using counting software (Dynamic Venture, Inc.). Three image analysts then separately searched for crocodilians in each of the stitched photographs. “Collectively, there was consensus with a total of 64 crocodiles counted (33 gharials and 31 muggers), irrespective of age groups, and they were found spatially distributed in clusters along the Babai river bank,” wrote the authors in their paper.Gharials spotted by the drone-mounted GoPro camera during a flight over the Babai River. The clearer winter-season water allowed researchers to count gharials both on the bank and just below the water’s surface. Image courtesy of Gokarna Jung Thapa/WWF-Nepal.“We compared the UAV-derived count data with data from three replications collected from conventional gharial surveys conducted in 2016. We also compared the gharial count data with data collected over multiple temporal surveys carried out in the winter season at different time frames employing visual encounter surveys,” said the authors. The figures were found to be similar.Gokarna Jung Thapa is content that the study has shown that UAVs can be used to count freshwater species such as gharials. Kanchan Thapa believes that the same methodology could be used to count and monitor the endangered greater one-horned rhinos and other species that move slowly in the wild.As seen from above: an image taken by a drone-borne GoPro camera of gharials in the water and on the sandy banks of the Babai River. Image courtesy of Gokarna Jung Thapa/WWF-Nepal.“Our objective was to show it could be done, and we achieved it,” Gokarna Jung Thapa said. “We are now in touch with companies working on AI to speed up image processing and are also looking for thermal cameras to make the count more accurate,” he added. “With UAV counts, regular and periodic monitoring of endangered species is possible, and this enables us to carry out conservation interventions with as little lag time as possible.”Gokarna Jung Thapa said he wants to conduct a similar count in Chitwan National Park in central Nepal. Before that, he hopes to figure out a way to keep the elephants at bay.CitationThapa, G. J., Thapa, K., Thapa, R., Jnawali, S. R., Wich, S. A., Poudyal, L. P., & Karki, S. (2018). Counting crocodiles from the sky: monitoring the critically endangered gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) population with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Journal of Unmanned Vehicle Systems, 6(2), 71-82.Banner image: Gharial by Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

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Descent into the abyss…

first_img…via PNC neurosesTo read about the goings on at GECOM’s meetings is like looking at Eugene O’Neil’s classic Long day’s journey into night. In the latter, the dysfunctional Tyrone family’s fatal flaws of addiction and alcoholism erupt in every act, and with depressing regularity, all end up in frustration as the ties of togetherness become increasingly frayed. With GECOM, the fruit of Granger’s fatal unilateral choice of Patterson spills over in rancour and bitterness at every meeting – as the former pulls the strings to prolong the life of his Government.Each in its own way, is a tragedy and from the beginning, we know what the ending will be – and it ain’t gonna be pretty. After all, alcoholism, drug addiction and elections rigging to hold onto power are all compulsions that have a logic of their own – a logic that drags everyone around into a vortex of destruction. In O’Neil’s case, he knew what he was writing about – pretty much a history of his own self-destructive family. And in our case, those of us like your Eyewitness who lived through the first, long iteration of the PNC that ended in the destruction of everything we held dear, it’s like “déjà vu all over again”!!Just look at the latest Act in the GECOM tragedy. With the CCJ’s decision on the NCM looming over the political system that was thrown for a loop when the PNC did a volte face and refused the NCM that was validated by the Speaker – who Granger had also appointed – GECOM ignored the warning signals thrown their way by the august Justices. The latter wanted to know why the hell, after the said approval by the National Assembly of the NCM, GECOM didn’t crank into action for the constitutionally mandated General Elections in three months!!And ditto when the said approval was affirmed by the High Court in the person of our eminent Chief Justice – after the PNC clutched at the “half-person” straw thrown their way! Well more of GECOM neuroses were exposed at this last meeting. Seems the legal counsel of GECOM informed the CCJ there was no need for an appearance of her body, since, having no skin in the game, would comply with whatever decision was handed down.All hell broke loose as Patterson and the PNC Commissioners laced into her. And now we know why GECOM sent up miserable Marcus to the CCJ. And was crucified!!But even more damning was the legal counsel’s circulated opinion that there really was no need for a house-to-house exercise!!How dare she offer her opinion, without being told by the PNC what that is!!…on GECOM’s racial discriminationThe pathology of the PNC’s condition was best described by Walter Rodney. It emanated from Burnham – its “founder leader” – who was afflicted with a “reverse” Midas Touch. Unlike the original Greek King, everything Burnham touched turned to “sh*t”!! Rodney defended his seemingly harsh diagnosis of Burnham and the PNC’s condition by pointing to the destruction of lives emanating from their actions.And today, we can appreciate Rodney prescience when we examine GECOM’s operations run by Granger’s hand-picked appointee, Patterson. After a complaint was filed with the ERC that GECOM’s hiring policies were racially discriminatory, Patterson was summoned by the ERC to explain their hiring practices.Patterson showed up but climbed up on such a high horse, he had to be rebuked. To every question, he answered, “don’t know” but would get back to the ERC with the data requested.The man – who was supposed to be a “fit and proper” Judge – never did!!Touched by the PNC, he’s willing to close his eyes to racial discrimination!! Ka-Ka everywhere!!…in other CommissionsJust like GECOM, the Forestry Commission’s being “touched” by the PNC, after a “task force to reorganise and restructure” the body was launched.Addressing concerns by present staff about his personal AFC appointee Clayton Hall, Trotman dismissed them as “misguided”!!last_img read more

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Transfer Talk: Hearts set Paterson asking price, Benteke to Palace

first_imgHearts have already rejected one offer for Callum Paterson from Wigan Athletic. Now the Tynecastle club are preparing themselves for a second approach.The English Championship club will have to stump up £1.2 million for the right-back, though, with the Jam Tarts setting their asking price for the Scotland international.Joleon Lescott is edging closer to signing for Rangers with the former England defender to have a medical with the Ibrox club.And Crystal Palace have struck a deal with Liverpool for the transfer of striker Christian Benteke. It’s all in Today’s Transfer Talk.last_img

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Crowds discover exciting learning paths at Donegal ETB’s FET Fair – Picture Special

first_imgDonegal’s largest education and training event attracted huge crowds to Letterkenny today (Wednesday).The Radisson Blu Hotel Letterkenny was a hive of activity for the Donegal ETB’s 2019 Further Education and Training Fair.People of all ages and background explored the exhibition to explore the education and training opportunities available locally in Donegal. Tom Egan, Anne McHugh, CE ETB, Colm Richardson, and Cathal McGee at the Donegal ETB’s annual Further Education and Training (FET) Fair in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny on Wednesday last. Photo Clive WassonDanielle Sweeney, Seamus Murphy and Helen Flannery at Donegal ETB’s annual Further Education and Training (FET) Fair in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny on Wednesday last. Photo Clive WassonMarjorie Quinn, Crona Gallagher, Director of FET and Rose Duffy at the Donegal ETB’s annual Further Education and Training (FET) Fair in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny on Wednesday. Photo Clive WassonDonegal ETB is the largest FET provider in the county, with over 11,000 learners completing courses in more than 120 venues in 2018.  The wide range of Donegal ETB courses can be found on the course finder section of its website (www.donegaletb.ie/coursefinder).Donegal ETB advisors and current learners were on hand to showcase the varied subjects taught through a wide range of part-time and full-time courses. From Apprenticeships, Traineeships and industry certified courses, there were many hands-on displays to experience. Laura Mulkeen with Aidan Gallagher at the virtual welder at the Donegal ETB’s annual Further Education and Training (FET) Fair in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny on Wednesday. Photo Clive WassonSean Marks and Cornealus Sweeney at the Donegal ETB’s annual Further Education and Training (FET) Fair in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny on Wednesday. Photo Clive WassonColm Richardson, Anne McHugh, Marian Gallagher, Tom Egan, Cathal McGee, Bridin McMahon, Liam Marley and Tara McGuire at the Donegal ETB’s annual Further Education and Training (FET) Fair in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny on Wednesday. Photo Clive WassonColleges of Further Education, ITs and universities were also well-represented, providing information for learners on how to support a return to learning will also be available through Citizens Information, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and SUSI Student Grants.Many of Donegal ETB’s FET courses are co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014-2020. Ciaran Foy, Jack Burke, Conor Bonar and Cathal Browne at the Donegal ETB’s annual Further Education and Training (FET) Fair in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny on Wednesday. Photo Clive WassonLaura McMenamin, Amand Mackey and Tara Maguire at Donegal ETB’s annual Further Education and Training (FET) Fair in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny on Wednesday last. Photo Clive WassonEimear Doherty, Tomas Timlin, Rosemary Diver and Jane Kalnberza at the Donegal ETB’s annual Further Education and Training (FET) Fair in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny on Wednesday. Photo Clive WassonFor more information on education and training at Donegal ETB please contact Donegal ETB’s Adult Guidance and Information Service on 0749178088 or email [email protected] or visit them at 2nd Floor, McKendrick Place, Pearse Road, Letterkenny.Further updates on can be found on Donegal ETB’s website (www.donegaletb.ie/news) and Twitter, Facebook (@DonegalETB) and LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/company/donegaletb.ie).Check out all the action from the 2019 Fair in the gallery below. Photos by Clive Wasson Photography:Donegal Town, Youthreach at the Donegal ETB’s annual Further Education and Training (FET) Fair in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny on Wednesday last. Photo Clive WassonSyrian learners at the Donegal ETB’s annual Further Education and Training (FET) Fair in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny on Wednesday. Photo Clive WassonMairead Carlin, Brian Doherty and Ryan Davis at the Donegal ETB’s annual Further Education and Training (FET) Fair in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny on Wednesday last. Photo Clive WassonTom Egan with Joseph McCrory at Donegal ETB’s annual Further Education and Training (FET) Fair in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny on Wednesday last. Photo Clive WassonPatrick Brennan and Donna Mulligan, LYIT School of Tourism at the Donegal ETB’s annual Further Education and Training (FET) Fair in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny on Wednesday last. Photo Clive WassonAnne McDevitt, Employer Liaison Officer / EURES Adviser, Carmel Curran, Employer Liaison Officer at the Donegal ETB’s annual Further Education and Training (FET) Fair in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny on Wednesday last. Photo Clive WassonKevin Harley, ETB with Shay McFadden, Oran Boyce, Ronan Dunswurth and Michael Murrat at the Donegal ETB’s annual Further Education and Training (FET) Fair in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny on Wednesday last. Photo Clive WassonJames Evans, Evan Bonnar and Mark Doherty at the Donegal ETB’s annual Further Education and Training (FET) Fair in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny on Wednesday last. Photo Clive WassonThe crowd at the Donegal ETB’s annual Further Education and Training (FET) Fair in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny on Wednesday. Photo Clive WassonSean Marks and Cornealus Sweeney at last year’s Donegal ETB’s annual Further Education and Training (FET) Fair in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny on Wednesday. Photo Clive WassonETB staff helping visitors to the Donegal ETB’s annual Further Education and Training (FET) Fair in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny on Wednesday. Photo Clive WassonCaroline McCabe and Martin Harley, Chairman Doengal ETB at the Donegal ETB’s annual Further Education and Training (FET) Fair in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny on Wednesday last. Photo Clive WassonThe packed Donegal ETB’s annual Further Education and Training (FET) Fair in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny on Wednesday. Photo Clive WassonVictoria McHugh, Lauren McCrabbe, Joanne Sweeney, Jucinta Sweeney and Casha Barnett from Raphoe at the Donegal ETB’s annual Further Education and Training (FET) Fair in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny on Wednesday . Photo Clive WassonKerri Gordan, Charles Delaney, Mike Delaney, Jonah O’Hagan, Naoise McGuinness, JordanMc Daid, Donaghey and Joanne Donaghy Donegal ETB’s annual Further Education and Training (FET) Fair in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny on Wednesday. Photo Clive WassonSeweryn Socha, Bridin Ferry, Katlyn Moore, Robbie Matthews and Ciaran McMahon Youthreach Gortahork at the Donegal ETB’s annual Further Education and Training (FET) Fair in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny on Wednesday last. Photo Clive WassonColm Richardson, Jim McGlynn and Mairead Carlin at Donegal ETB’s annual Further Education and Training (FET) Fair in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny on Wednesday last. Photo Clive WassonCrowds discover exciting learning paths at Donegal ETB’s FET Fair – Picture Special was last modified: January 24th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Donegal ETBDonegal ETB’s 2019 Further Education and Training Fairlast_img read more

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Internet of Things: Businesses Invest Heavily in Machine To Machine (M2M) Communication

first_imgThe Internet of Things (IoT) encompasses a broad set of technologies.  One facet of IoT is Machine to Machine (M2M), a technology that allows machines to connect to and to exchange data among themselves.  A recent Vodafone survey of M2M technology found that 27 percent of businesses globally have started to use some type of M2M technology to improve their businesses.Much of the data communicated by machines is done via cellular services.  Examples of M2M devices include meters, home security devices, connected cars, healthcare monitors  and vending machines.  More recent examples of how and where M2M is being deployed are for digital signage, remote patient monitoring and contactless payments.  Healthcare, utilities and automotive, transportation, logistics, public safety, retail, and consumer electronics industries are all using M2M.Other findings of the Vodafone M2M report include:81 percent of businesses using M2M expect to increase their investment59 percent of businesses using M2M report a significant return on investment83 percent of businesses see M2M as a source of competitive advantage A separate report by Market Research Store found that just one segment, the Health M2M market, is expected to grow at an annual rate of 33 percent over the next five years.Michele Mackenzie, principal analyst at Analsys Mason, said that “there are compelling examples of cost savings.  Positive impacts on customer retention and the ability to unlock new revenue streams are also cited as tangible benefits that continue to drive investment in M2M.”Cellular M2M connectivity services that are benefiting from this trend to M2M include AT&T, China Telecom, EE, KT, Sprint, Verizon and Vodafone.last_img read more

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New Session of Parliament Began Yesterday

first_img The 2019/20 session of Parliament got under way today (February 14), with the traditional pomp and pageantry. It was highlighted by the delivery of the Throne Speech by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen. Story Highlights Prev 1of3 Next The 2019/20 session of Parliament got under way yesterday (February 14), with the traditional pomp and pageantry.It was highlighted by the delivery of the Throne Speech by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen.His address outlined the priority programmes and policies to be pursued by the Government in the new fiscal year, which begins on April 1. It was delivered under the theme ‘In Partnership towards the New Prosperous Jamaica’.On his arrival, the Governor-General inspected the Guard of Honour mounted by members of the Jamaica Defence Force, after which he entered the chambers of the House, accompanied by the Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson, and Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Rocky Meade.In attendance were invited guests, including Permanent Secretaries from the various Ministries, and members of the diplomatic corps.Members of the Senate were the first to take their seats inside Gordon House, followed by the President of the Senate, Tom Tavares-Finson.The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Pearnel Charles Sr., then entered the chambers, followed by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness; Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips; and Members of Parliament.center_img Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, delivers the 2019/20 Throne Speech under the theme ‘In Partnership towards the New Prosperous Jamaica’, at the Ceremonial Opening of Parliament, on February 14.Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, delivers the 2019/20 Throne Speech under the theme ‘In Partnership towards the New Prosperous Jamaica’, at the Ceremonial Opening of Parliament, on February 14. For this fiscal year, the Government will continue on its multidimensional path of increasing the safety and security of Jamaicans. In furtherance of this, the Government has allocated significant capital expenditure for National Security and Defence.In addition, new legislation and/or amendments to existing legislation, will be undertaken. Among these include the Police Act, which will provide for the modernisation and transformation of the Jamaica Constabulary Force; and the National Security Council Act, which will introduce legislation to provide for the establishment in law of the National Security Council.Also, the Government will undertake a comprehensive multi-agency national survey of squatter settlements, to accurately ascertain the extent of squatting in the country.A new Social Housing Programme (SHP) is to be unveiled, which will see the provision of indigent housing, relocation of vulnerable communities and the upgrading of tenements or ‘Big Yards’.The National Housing Trust (NHT), will also be increasing its thrust to make home ownership a reality for more Jamaicans in 2019/20 and beyond.Focus will also be placed on completing all the major infrastructure legacy projects under way in Kingston, St. Catherine and Westmoreland.In addition, the Administration will be embarking on major roadworks in the eastern section of the country to include St. Thomas and Portland as well as to continue the major activities linking Clarendon to Manchester via the east-west toll road.Later in the afternoon, the Lower House had its first official sitting for the new fiscal year, where the proposed Budget for 2019/2020 was tabled by the Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke. His address outlined the priority programmes and policies to be pursued by the Government in the new fiscal year, which begins on April 1. It was delivered under the theme ‘In Partnership towards the New Prosperous Jamaica’.last_img read more

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SAGAFTRA Foundation To Honor Rashida Jones With Actors Inspiration Award

first_imgThe SAG-AFTRA Foundation announced today that Emmy-nominated actress Rashida Jones will receive its Actors Inspiration Award, an honor recognizing artists who give back to the community by championing worthy philanthropic causes which make a difference in the world.On Monday, June 12th, the award will be presented to Ms. Jones at the Foundation’s 8th Annual Los Angeles Golf Classic, an event benefiting its assistance and children’s literacy programs.Rashida Jones is an actor, director, producer, screenwriter, musician and activist. Her philanthropy includes work with the International Rescue Committee, traveling around the world as an advocate for the nonprofit which delivers lifesaving care to people fleeing conflict and natural disaster; serving on the board and as a celebrity ambassador for Peace First, a youth organization that encourages the development of the world’s next generation of peacemakers; and supporting Oceana in its mission to protect and restore the world’s oceans. In addition, she lends her voice to several other important charities including Amnesty International, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and The Trevor Project. Ms. Jones is also a supporter of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s online children’s literacy program Storyline Online (storylineonline.net) and will be filming a new video for Storyline Online following the Actors Inspiration Award ceremony. She will join the ranks of actors Viola Davis, Lily Tomlin and Chris Pine as Storyline Online advocates. Rashida Jones’ commitment to supporting vulnerable populations around the world, the environment, and children’s literacy embodies the spirit of the Actors Inspiration Award.“We are excited to present Rashida Jones with our Actors Inspiration Award and honor her tireless dedication for tackling issues around global poverty, improving health outcomes for people battling AIDS and cancer, and for using her artistic platform to support several important charities, including our very own children’s literacy initiative Storyline Online,” said SAG-AFTRA Foundation President JoBeth Williams. “Rashida’s generosity and commitment to giving back to the global community is an inspiration, and we are proud and grateful she will accept this honor.”Previous recipients of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Actors Inspiration Award are Sofia Vergara, Kerry Washington and Leonardo DiCaprio, who were recognized for their philanthropic work.Ms. Jones currently stars in the hit TBS series Angie Tribeca where she plays the title role, in addition to working behind the camera as executive producer and a director of some episodes. A multi-hyphenate in the entertainment space, this past year she was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for co-writing the first episode of Netflix’s third season of Black Mirror. She is the Executive Producer of Claws on TNT, a nail-salon turned money-laundering-front dramedy, set to premiere this summer. This past April, she released a docu-series on Netflix, Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On, a continued exploration of themes discovered in her Emmy-nominated documentary in 2015, Hot Girls Wanted, this time focusing on society’s relationship with sex and technology. Fans grew to love Ms. Jones from her beloved roles on The Office and Parks and Recreation and through the romantic film that she wrote and starred in, Celeste and Jesse Forever. She will next be seen in the upcoming feature films Zoe alongside Ewan McGregor and Léa Seydoux, and the comedy Tag with Jeremy Renner and Ed Helms.The L.A. Golf Classic is a major annual fundraiser benefiting the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Catastrophic Health Fund and Emergency Assistance Program for SAG-AFTRA members facing life-threatening illness and severe economic hardship with the support of the entertainment community and generous sponsors. The tournament also benefits the Foundation’s children’s literacy programs Storyline Online and BookPALS, which reaches 14 million children worldwide every month. The L.A. Golf Classic is one of the biggest celebrity golf tournaments with over 125 actors and entertainment industry executives expected to participate in the 2017 event.Celebrity participants in the L.A. Golf Classic to date include: Adam Baldwin, David Leisure, Don Cheadle, George Eads, Gregory Harrison, James Remar, Joe Mantegna, Joe Pesci, Jonathan Banks, Kevin Sorbo, Robert Hays, Ron Perlman, Tim Allen, and Tom Welling. Sponsors to date include: United Airlines, Johnny Carson Foundation, SAG-AFTRA, TNT, TBS, CBS, AMC, Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Specialty Benefits, Express Scripts, Fiji Water, Dana Industries, Jerry Lasky, Wing & A Prayer Productions, Backstage, Subaru and Mike’s Hard Lemonade.Since 1985, the SAG-AFTRA Foundation has granted more than $18.5 million in financial and medical assistance including $7.5 million in scholarships to SAG-AFTRA members and their dependents. In addition, the Foundation has offered 7200 free educational workshops, panels and screenings to union performers nationwide and its children’s literacy programs have brought the love of reading to more than 250 million children worldwide.To learn more and for registration information and sponsorship packages (limited while availability remains) visit sagaftra.foundation/golf.last_img read more

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