UN ambassador Baso Sangqu andInternational Relations and CooperationMinister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane willlead the South African delegation as thecountry takes its place in UN SecurityCouncil. (Image: United Nations) South Africa firmly committed itself to international peacekeeping efforts on 1 January 2011 when it took its place for a second term on the UN Security Council (UNSC). Voted in by 182 member states of the UN General Assembly last year, the country will serve as a non-permanent member for the 2011/12 term.The UNSC is made up of five permanent members – China, France, Russia, the UK and US – and 10 non-permanent members, which currently are Bosnia and Herzegovina; Germany; Portugal; Brazil; India; South Africa; Colombia; Lebanon; Gabon and Nigeria.The council is responsible for maintaining peace and security across the globe, usually by recommending that the parties involved reach an amicable agreement. The UNSC also conducts investigations into areas of conflict and may send in UN peacekeeping forces to help reduce tension.South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) said the country’s UNSC seat would give it the opportunity to forge closer partnerships with other member states.The department added that South Africa is committed to contributing to the work of the UNSC in maintaining international peace and security, particularly in Africa.“South Africa wants to advance the African agenda within the security council,” said the country’s UN ambassador Baso Sangqu.“More than two-thirds of the conflicts and crises that the security council handles are in Africa. It is not something that we should be proud of,” he said.Learning from experienceSouth Africa previously served on the UNSC in 2007 and 2008. “South Africa has learnt important lessons from the first term,” said Sangqu, who will lead the country’s UNSC delegation.Dirco said it has assembled a “crack team” of diplomats and officials to help South Africa serve on the council.“In its actions, South Africa will be guided by the commitment to uphold international law and universal values, and help others protect or achieve their inherent and inalienable rights,” said International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.She added that the country would continue with its efforts to promote and enhance the UNSC’s cooperation with regional organisations, particularly the African Union’s Peace and Security Council.Sangqu said: “Ivory Coast will be an issue we will have to deal with. There is now a standoff with regards to who the leader is. As a council member, South Africa will have to lead from the front on such issues.”South Africa will also advocate for more resources to help resolve the conflict in Somalia, the ambassador added.He said the UNSC should not to let the situation in that country become “a forgotten conflict” like the dispute between Morocco and Western Sahara guerrillas.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest In late July, President Barack Obama signed into law an important agreement that protects America’s food supply from confusing patchwork of state-level food labeling laws. The first was a GMO-labeling law passed by Vermont that went into effect in July.The federal law will standardize the labeling requirements for food to ease the costly state-by-state labeling concerns for food companies, but there will still be numerous implications for the food chain moving forward.“There has been a lot of discussion in the media about whether GMO labels are a good idea or a bad idea,” said Matt Roberts, agricultural economist for the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. “But the truth is more complicated, because, as economists, we need to know the costs and benefits. And one of the things that really hasn’t been discussed well anywhere is what are the impacts of labeling on the food system? We know there are issues that do matter for a large segment of consumers, but what happens beyond the grocery store? What are the implications for the rest of the food chain.”Roberts moderated a panel discussion on the issue, “What GMO labeling means for ‘black box’ of food storage and distribution’ at the Farm Science Review.The federal legislation directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to write the rules that will put the legislation into effect in the next two years. The label could be text, a symbol or a QR code readable by smartphone about whether the food contains GMO ingredients.The federal law pre-empts a Vermont state law passed in 2014, which would have taken effect in July. Advocates of the Vermont law have cried foul over the federal legislation, as the state law was more stringent and would have required such items be more clearly labeled with specific wording, “produced with genetic engineering.”Adding to the debate is the growing popularity of voluntary labels verifying that a food does not contain GMO ingredients.“All the evidence is that these products are in every way equivalent for consumers and are nearly indistinguishable from each other,” Roberts said. “But consumers really care about GMO labeling. It’s happening.”Panelists were Ian Sheldon, Andersons Chair of Agricultural Marketing at Ohio State; Ken Foster, professor and head of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University; and Andy Vollmar, food and feed ingredient manager of The Andersons Grain Group.The agricultural economics-focused panel discussion has become an annual event at the Review, held in the Tobin Building on Beef Street on the west side of the Review grounds. Roberts said the effects of GMO labeling could ripple throughout the food production and distribution systems.“What does a national GMO labeling standard mean for changes in crops that are being planted?” he said. “If we see an increase in demand for non-GMO crops, what does that do to the marketing channel, storage and transportation in segregating GMO and non-GMO crops?“Are there differences in implications on the food chain between labels that say ‘contains GMOs’ versus a ‘non-GMO’ label?”The discussion provided food for thought for farmers, journalists, legislators and policymakers in attendance.“I would like everyone to come away with a better understanding of the subtle costs — the potentially large costs — involved with GMO labeling,” Roberts said. “We do have markets for non-GMO crops, they do exist, but they are a very small part of the overall market.“So what happens if in a very short time period we rapidly expand that? Is this something that is relatively easy and well understood, or will this create a lot of dislocation?”Implications include logistics in the segregation of GMO and non-GMO food items, he said.“All of that end-to-end processing that is almost a black box to consumers,” Roberts said. “People know that it exists, we know that crops are grown and they show up a little while later on our store shelves, but everything in between is pretty opaque.“What I would like to do is shed a little light on what GMO labeling can do to these intermediate steps,” he said. read more
Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Tags:#Features#NYT#Trends#twitter#web According to a statement made today by Twitter’s co-founder Biz Stone, the company is interested in acquiring more companies to expand upon their current core set of features. At a news conference held in Tel Aviv, Stone was quoted as saying that acquisitions are “something we are definitely interested in. We made an acquisition last year that turned out to be an outstandingly good decision.” The acquisition he’s referring to is Twitter’s purchase of Summize, a real-time search engine that has now become search.twitter.com. Since that original purchase in summer of 2008, Twitter has made no other moves or indications that they were interested in buying other companies, seemingly more focused on quashing bugs, acquiring funding and partnering with major search engines like Bing and Google. Meanwhile, the ecosystem of Twitter applications exploded, and now includes hundreds if not thousands of apps powered by or integrated with Twitter’s service. But which of these apps deserve to become an official company offering? Apparently, there may be a few apps that have already caught Twitter’s interest. Stone told the crowd in Tel Aviv that “our attention is grabbed by some of these developers,” and the company plans to “take a hard look at them.” What Companies are on Twitter’s Radar? Which applications do you suppose have crossed Twitter’s radar? Some insight may be found on Twitter’s “goodies” page where the company lists a handful of apps, widgets, and website buttons which Twitter users can browse through and download. Here, desktop Twitter clients like Twhirl and TweetDeck are promoted alongside mobile applications like Twitterific and PocketTweets. However, the complete app list seems a little out-of-date when compared with what today’s Twitterers are actually using, especially on the mobile front. According to a study from August of this year, iPhone apps like Tweetie and TwitterFon are just as popular as Twitterific – if not more so – as is the Blackberry app TwitterBerry. And the one-time popular Twitter app Twhirl, an Adobe AIR desktop client, has long since been overshadowed by the more robust TweetDeck and similar web counterparts. Among those web counterparts are the new tools from Seesmic and Brizzly, both of which have been garnering attention as of late, especially when they each introduced support for Twitter’s new “lists” feature earlier this month.But client applications are only a small slice of the entire Twitter app universe. There are also games, blog and email plugins, utilities, analytics and search tools, shopping services, URL shortners and so much more. Plus, there are sites that attempt to aggregate the chaos into some sort of meaningful structure, like the oneforty.com website, for example, often called Twitter’s unofficial “app store” by its fans. While we could only guess at which applications Twitter would want to adopt as their “official” clients or services, a good guess may involve some of the media sharing tools that have been popularized by a number of Twitter users wanting to share photos and videos in addition to plain text. TwitPic comes to mind as one of the top photo-sharing clients and TwitVid or Tweetube may be considered for video shares. These sorts of acquisitions seem to fit better with Twitter’s goal of expanding upon the core functionality of Twitter. Where before, the company was content with its simple 140-character updates, recent changes, including the integration of the URL-shortening service bit.ly, Twitter lists, geolocation features and a new implementation of the “re-tweet” structure seem to hint at Twitter’s desire to add more layers of complexity to the once-basic service. More Acquisitions Could be Too Much of a Good ThingHowever, Twitter needs to be careful not to add too much. Up until now, the service has grown organically, with a lot of its features and conventions implemented by its own user and developer community outside of the official channels. Bog it down too much with extra add-ons and new behaviors, and Twitter may scare off potential new users who already often struggle with figuring out what to do with the service in its simple form. Plus, longtime Twitterers may also be put-off to see their favorite clients or services ignored in favor of whatever companies Twitter chooses to bless through an acquisition deal. And once acquired, competing companies could wither and fade away, unable to compete, eventually leading their developers to cut their losses and move on. What Should Twitter Acquire?Earlier this year, we listed ten companies that Twitter should acquire next. Not surprisingly, some of the companies or their features have already been implemented, including bit.ly’s URL shortening service and the geo-location feature we mentioned. Meanwhile, another app on the list, FriendFeed, has already been acquired by Facebook, leaving our original list much shorter and now in need of an update. Given Twitter’s intentions to start a shopping spree sometime in the near future, we wonder what apps will make their list. We also wonder if more Twitter acquisitions will end up being a good thing for the company and the community as a whole, or if it will end up stifling competition in what is now a thriving ecosystem of innovation and development. We hope Twitter proceeds cautiously and wisely in this area – any major unwelcome changes have the ability to alienate the very community that made Twitter what it is today. Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification sarah perez The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Related Posts A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit read more
Human skeleton remains were found strewn near a garbage dump close to the post-mortem section of the Sri Krishna Medical College Hospital (SKMCH) here on Saturday, officials said.The SKMCH is in news for the death of more than 100 brain fever-afflicted children since June 1.“Unclaimed bodies after post-mortem are cremated in due course. These skeletal remains are found at the spot where cremations are said to take place. But I agree this should be done in a more humane fashion,” Sunil Kumar Shahi, Superintendent of the SKMCH hospital said.The embarrassed hospital superintendent was replying to queries from a swarm of journalists who have been camping in the town to cover the epidemic-like situation that has arisen in the wake of the outbreak of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome, which has claimed close to 140 lives across the state, with this north Bihar district alone accounting for 127 deaths.Also Read The Hindu Explains: How litchi toxin is causing the deaths of undernourished children in Muzaffarpur Bearing the brunt, the SKMCH, which is one of the largest government hospitals in the State, has witnessed the death of 107 AES-afflicted children since June 1.“The post-mortem section comes under the administrative control of the principal of the medical college attached to the hospital. I have asked him to set up a committee to look into the matter and take remedial measures,” Dr. Shahi added.Meanwhile, as news channels beamed the horrific images, the district administration swung into action and Sub Divisional Magistrate (East) Kundan Kumar and Superintendent of Police (City) Neeraj Kumar rushed to the spot.“We will not like to comment on this episode until we conduct a thorough inquiry”, the SP (City) said.Locals say with disgust that improper disposal of dead bodies has been a long-standing problem in the area and stray dogs can be often seen pouncing upon half-burnt corpses. read more
If India’s medals tally at the London Olympics so far wasn’t enough of an indication, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) has admitted, in response to Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC), that it would take another 10 to 12 years of regular training to reach world standards in sports like cycling, squash, shooting (full bore) and swimming (synchronised and diving).This was in response to question No.17 asked by the PAC to SAI as to how they would like to rectify the issue of training setbacks during the Commonwealth Games.The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), in its vetting response, added that this response has to be seen in view of the inadequate training and medical facilities. It also added that there was substantial shortfall in conduct of training camps in the above-mentioned sports.The sports ministry also had an explanation for not setting any medal targets for sportsmen competing in these sports in the CWG 2010. “The objective of these sports was to get creditable performance before the home crowds and prepare platforms for future progress in these sports, which was achieved.”To this, the vetting response of the CAG read: “The reply of the department is not accepted as 1 to 2 medals in cycling, 2 to 4 medals in squash and 30 to 35 medals in shooting disciplines were targetted as per the scheme.”The lackadaisical approach of the SAI revealed itself when the PAC inquired as to what were the reasons for nonengagement of an experienced nutritionist at its Bangalore centre for badminton, shooting, athletics, boxing, squash and cycling camps. The sports ministry reply won it no plaudits from the CAG. The reply stated that food supplements were provided to sportspersons in various disciplines as per the recommendation of the expert committee and there was no requirement of appointing a nutritionist.advertisementCAG found the reply untenable as one of the main objectives of the scheme was to provide the dietary supplements under the supervision of nutritionists and sports doctors. Moreover, providing food supplements to core probables merely on the basis of recommendations of the expert committee was no substitute for an expert nutritionist’s direct supervision on a day-to-day basis.The CAG added in its vetting comment that the implementation of the scheme was marred with delay in construction of infrastructure, provision of equipment, finalisation of core probables, appointment of coaches and under-utilisation of funds, indicating that the facilities intended to be provided were not fully extended to the core probables. read more
On August 1 and 2 Duffy’s Hope Inc. hosted their 12th Annual Duffy’s Hope Celebrity Basketball game.This year’s game was held at the University of Delaware, Bob Carpenter Center located at 631 South College Avenue, Newark, Delaware 19716. Also, the Foundation presented a Meet & Greet for their VIP and Floor Seat ticket holders before the Celebrity game.The annual Duffy’s H.O.P.E, Inc. Celebrity Basketball Game featured well known television, movie and music stars! Those who put on their sponsored Moneyball Sportswear uniforms and Reebok sneakers to raise funds for the Duffy’s Hope Organization, as well as lend their time for personal appearances, included: Keshia Chanté (Host of BET’s 106 & Park), Romeo (Jumping The Broom and Madea’s Witness Protection), Jay Ellis (Blue from BET’s, The Game), Allie DeBerry (Paisley Disney’s Hit Show, A.N.T. Farm), McKinley Freeman (Derek VH1’s Hit the Floor), Lamman Rucker (Tyler Perry’s hit TV series Meet the Browns AND Tyler Perry’s film, Why Did I Get Married?), Tammy “T-Time” Brawner (Original Harlem Globetrotters), Christian Keyes (BET’s Let’s Stay Together), Raven Goodwin (Disney’s Good Luck Charlie), Hot Sauce the Streetballer, Manilove and Delaware’s own D.J. Mifflin (Sleepy Hollow).The weekend began with Duffy’s Hope, Inc. hosting their 2nd Annual Evening of H.O.P.E. Reception on Friday, August 1. This special occasion honored contributors and community members for their philanthropic endeavors while recognizing the youth participants who have made significant strides towards a promising future. The “Evening of H.O.P.E.” has become a tradition for kicking off the fun-filled weekend experience of quality prevention programming.Day Two of the weekend continued as Duffy’s Hope was excited to partner with Delaware Prevention Coalition as the sponsor for the Teen Summit Panel held at Delaware State University in Dover, Delaware. Keynote speaker, Keshia Chanté, host of BET’s 106 & Park opened up the forum by giving personal insight on what her motivation was to succeed; how important education was to her and how not to let anyone stop the goal(s) you have set for yourself. The panel continued with a Question and Answer forum to the five hundred enthusiastic young teens who could not wait to speak with Keshia Chante as well as the other guests who joined the discussion, Allie DeBerry, McKinley Freeman, Jay Ellis, Raven Goodwin Tammy “T-Time” Brawner and Delaware’s own D.J. Mifflin.Additional sponsors included United Way of Delaware, City of Wilmington, New Castle County Government, Herr’s Foods, Delmarva Power, Hilton—Wilmington/Christiana, Erotique, Unico Vino, From Mother’s Garden, Strength of Nature House of Brands, Philadelphia 87ers; The Source and Movement magazines.The weekend grand finale was the much anticipated Celebrity Basketball Game. Fans of all ages from beginning to end experienced a special half-time performance, games and giveaways; in addition to, the opportunities to meet celebrities, get their autographs and take pictures, along with watching a thrilling game, which the Celebrities prevailed over the Local team 57- 46.Duffy’s Hope, Inc. founder and basketball enthusiast, Duffy Samuels has taken his passion and love towards the game of basketball and his community, and channeled it into an organization comprised of dedicated, hardworking volunteers who are committed to providing a helping hand to Delaware youth.The Duffy’s Hope Celebrity Events serve an average of 3,500 spectators; and in its 12th year, the annual Celebrity Basketball Game has become the major resource of promoting the importance of adult involvement and financial support of youth based prevention programs. The event also encourages youth to overcome obstacles and always strive for excellence in all areas of their lives. read more
LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Advertisement lan Thicke’s memory lives on.One year after his untimely death, friends and family are paying tribute to the beloved late actor, who died on Dec. 13, 2016, at age 69, after suffering a ruptured aorta while playing hockey with his youngest son, Carter.The 20-year-old actor-writer tweeted a sweet throwback photo of him and his dad on Wednesday, along with the heartbreaking caption, “It’s hard to believe it’s been a year. Some days it feels like it was only yesterday and other days it feels like its been years. Nothing can really describe the loss, but I feel you here everyday in my life.” READ MORE Advertisement Twitter Facebook Advertisement read more
Dennis Ward APTN National NewsNearly two dozen people have been arrested at a Dakota Access pipeline worksite.Another protest is currently underway as things are heating up near Standing Rock.