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Cartoon: December 11, 2015

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President Cyril Ramaphosa will lead an SA delegation to the AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethopia

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first_imgPresident Cyril Ramaphosa will travel to Addis Ababa, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, to lead a high-level South African delegation at the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of African Union Heads of State and Government, scheduled to take place from 10 to 11 February 2018. The AU Assembly is to be preceded by the 34th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council that will take place from 7 to 8 February 2019.The theme of the Session is: “The Year of Refugees, Returnees and International Displaced Persons: Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa”. It presents an invaluable opportunity to reflect on and address the root causes of forced displacement in Africa.The Summit is expected to deliberate on a number of other important issues, including the institutional reform and financing of the continental body; Peace and Security on the Continent; developments related to the African Continental Free Trade Area; and negotiations for a new cooperation agreement between the African, Caribbean and Pacific developing countries and the European Union Post-2020. South Africa intends to submit its Instrument of Ratification of the Agreement on the African Continental Free Trade Area during the Summit.In addition, consideration will also be given to the election of the Chairperson of the AU for 2020 – a position that will rotate to the Southern Region; the election of five Members of the AU Peace and Security Council; the appointment of one Member of the AU Commission on International Law; and of one Member of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.Important meetings immediately preceding the Summit on 9 February are the 28th Forum of Heads of States Participating in the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), the Meeting of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSC) and the Meeting of the Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee of the AU Development Agency/NEPAD.A meeting of the African Union High-Level Committee of Heads of State and Government on Libya has also been convened for 9 February 2019 by its Chair, HE President Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of the Congo.President Ramaphosa will be accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu; the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the Minister of State Security, Ms Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies; the Minister of Finance, Mr Tito Mboweni, the Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Siyabonga Cwele, the Minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms Nomvula Mokonyane, the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, the Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ms Ayanda Dlodlo and the Minister of Communications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.Media enquiries: Khusela Diko – Spokesperson to the President – 072 854 5707ISSUED BY THE PRESIDENCY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICAlast_img read more

Wrestling referee Virender Malik suspended for alleged sexual assault

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first_imgInternational wrestling referee Virender Malik has been suspended by the Wrestling Federation of IndiaTwo days after his arrest in Glasgow, International wrestling referee Virender Malik has been suspended by the Wrestling Federation of India with immediate effect for alleged sexual assault. Shame at CWG.Shame at CWG The reports suggest that Virender Malik has been arrested for alleged sexual assault while Indian Olympic Association (IOA) secretary Rajiv Mehta was also arrested for alleged drunken driving.Also Read: IOA officials held for drunken driving, sexual assault in Glasgow According to a Scotland Yard spokeswoman, a 49-year-old man was arrested following reports of alleged drunken driving in City Centre of Glasgow on August 2nd. And on the same day, a 45-year-old man was arrested following reports of an alleged sexual assault in the west of Glasgow.It was also established that both Mehta and Malik were not part of the Indian contingent but went to Glasgow in their respective official capacities. Mehta was an invitee of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and presented medals to winners. Malik had officiated in the wrestling competitions in the Commonwealth Games.The reports published in Asian Lite, a London newspaper, suggested that Mehta was allegedly driving without a licence at Glasgow city centre and was above the legal alcohol limit and Malik was allegedly involved in sexual assault in a hotel in the west of Glasgow.The Indian High Commission in London, in a statement on Sunday, said they are closely monitoring the case.”We have learnt about the detention of two members of the Commonwealth games contingent (sic) by the local (Glasgow) police. Our consulate in Edinburgh has deputed an official to Glasgow to keep in close touch with the police authorities to ascertain full factual details of the case. We are also close in touch with the team,” the High Commission said in a statement.advertisementIOA president N Ramachandran said it was unfair to jump to any early conclusion.last_img read more

Penton Sells Three Magazines

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first_imgMining Media International was formed in 2003 when the group acquired Engineering and Mining Journal and Coal Age from Primedia. The company also publishes The Asia Minor and C&D World (a partnership with the Construction Materials Recycling Association). With the acquisition, Johnson says Mining Media is expected to generate more than $10 million in revenue in 2011. Denver-based Mining Media International has acquired a trio of magazines from Penton Media’s electrical systems, energy and construction group. Included in the sale are Cement Americas, Concrete Products and Rock Products.When contacted by FOLIO:, a Penton representative confirmed the deal but declined to disclose the financial terms. The rep said the sale was an isolated “business decision” and was not part of a larger strategy to sell Penton properties.According to Mining Media International president Peter Johnson, Rock Products and Concrete Products will continue publishing on a monthly frequency and Cement Americas will remain as a bi-monthly supplement to Rock Products. He tells FOLIO: that several but not all Penton employees associated with the brands will join Mining Media.Concrete Products carries a circulation of 17,700 while Cement Americas and Rock Products have a combined average circulation of 21,200, Penton says.last_img read more

Uber Ride Gets Bumpier With Ban in New Delhi Death of Ride

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first_imgTaxi service provider Uber has been banned in New Delhi following the rape of a 25-year-old by one of its drivers.Allegations that the apprehended driver is a repeat sexual offender and the company failed to complete the mandatory verification process have landed the California-based company in troubled waters and raised questions about safety and regulations of privately run cab operators.The start-up, valued at $48billion, is a mobile app-based operation using the shared rides model. It provides for a cashless transaction, once the app is installed to a phone and the credit card details are entered.Uber, currently offers two services, uberX, a low-cost fleet made of hatchbacks and entry level sedans and UberBlack, constituting ‘C’ and ‘D’ category sedans.Using GPS positioning, the company maps the consumer to the closest available cab and informs the driver.In India, Uber is using the conventional app route and is not yet offering ride-sharing.A burgeoning ‘middle class’ with disposable incomes to burn is indulging in more outings. The perennially clogged roads and the inordinate amount of time it takes to find parking space has seen many going in for more viable and economical options like the new taxi services now crowding the Indian market place.The organized cab sector comprises a paltry 5% of the overall market. It has a few players whose services are now priced at par with autorickshaws and are comparatively lesser than the owner-operator/small scale taxi providers.This has led to complaints from the unionized for-hire driver fraternity, who are unable to compete with the deep pocketed players. The members of the unions make up a considerable size of the vote-bank, something political parties cannot choose to ignore.The present case complicates matters for organized players like Meru and others, who claim that they vet the drivers running a fleet of cabs running into thousands. However, taxi-aggregators like TaxiForSure and OLA have small and individual players in their fleet and run on the radio cab mode. It is unclear if they too have a stringent verification process for drivers.Radio cabs are equipped with a two-way radio, where the cab’s whereabouts are always tracked by a controller in the call centre office, which handles cab requests through phone ins. The fleet management is on a larger scale and involves professional drivers and comfortable and clean vehicles.How Safe Are These Rides?India has a long history of poor treatment of women. The latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) statistics show 93 women are raped in the country every day.A few days prior, a 16-year-old rape survivor who became pregnant was asked to take Rs. 50,000 from the culprit and go for an abortion.The country is still reeling from the inhuman rape and death of a young medical student named Nirbhaya by the media, two years ago.The present case questions the very raison d’être behind seeking a ride with an established cab operator.Transport Minister Nitin Gadgiri has indicated that the new laws being considered for traffic and roads are going to be stringent. However, the laws already in existence suffer from poor implementation.The economic models of the players are under attack. It is important to balance profits and people together and not separately.The safety features available in the cabs beg reconsideration. A partition between the driver and passenger; a decoupling of the central locking mechanism with rear-locking facility accessible only to the occupant in the rear, are measures that need to be mandatory. A boot release mechanism, from within, can also be considered.The famous London cabs have their specifications based on the turning radius available at its famous Savoy Hotel. If a technical requirement demands such specifications, would not the importance of human life prompt the institution to come up with consumer-friendly modes?It is time consumer forums and cab manufactures step forward to design and implement reforms and regulations that make the ride not only comfortable, but also safe. Uber Starts could face ban in New Delhi over rape charges against its driver.Reuterslast_img read more

Sunderban Affairs dept sends report to state Secretariat over bridge cavein

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first_imgKolkata: The Sunderban Affairs department has sent a report to the state Secretariat on the incident in which a portion of an under-construction bridge over river Kalnagini at Kakdwip had collapsed on September 24.Sources said it has been stated in the report that some problems in setting the girders on the pillars of the bridge had led to the incident.Besides stating the reason behind the incident after preliminary investigation, the Sunderban Affairs department has also sought opinion of experts from the state Public Works Department (PWD). Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt may be mentioned that the state PWD carries out most of the bridge construction and maintenance work. Hence, its opinion has been sought in this connection. Though it is yet to get finalised, a visit to the spot by the PWD engineers cannot be ruled out.Experts from the PWD will be giving their suggestions on the reason behind the incident and at the same time, the experts will also give their opinion on how the remaining work of the bridge can be completed. It is learnt that the intervention of IIT Roorkee has also been sought in this connection.It may be recalled that the construction of the bridge had started in January 2016 with a target of completing the project within two years. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 13 crore. Hence, the work was going on in full swing.last_img read more

EU Says Google Cheated in Shopping Searches

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first_img The European Union accused Google Inc on Wednesday of cheating competitors by distorting Internet search results to favor its shopping service, and launched another antitrust investigation into its Android mobile operating system.Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the U.S. tech giant, which dominates Internet search engines worldwide, had been sent a Statement of Objections – effectively a charge sheet – to which it can respond. She also said other probes into Google’s business practices would continue.”I am concerned that the company has given an unfair advantage to its own comparison shopping service, in breach of EU antitrust rules,” she said. “If the investigation confirmed our concerns, Google would have to face the legal consequences and change the way it does business in Europe.”The Commission, whose control of antitrust matters across the wealthy 28-nation bloc gives it a major say in the fate of global corporations, can fine firms up to 10 percent of their annual sales, in Google’s case up to $6.6 billion.If it finds that companies are abusing a dominant market position, the EU regulator can also demand sweeping changes to their business practices, as it did with U.S. software giant Microsoft in 2004 and chip-maker Intel in 2009. Its record antitrust fine was 1.09 billion euros on Intel.Asked whether she was ready to go as far as fining Google, Vestager told a news conference: “It is very important that every road is open – first when it comes to commitments but also when it comes to the other road, at the end of which is a fine.”Google now had an opportunity to explain itself, she said, and the case might be settled by the company making further commitments to change its products.Of the formal investigation into Android, used on smart phones and tablets, Vestager said: “I want to make sure the markets in this area can flourish without anticompetitive constraints imposed by any company.”In its first reaction, the Mountain View, California-based company said in a blog post that it strongly disagreed with the EU’s statement of objections and would make the case that its products have fostered competition and benefited consumers.”Android has been a key player in spurring this competition and choice, lowering prices and increasing choice for everyone (there are over 18,000 different devices available today),” it said of its free operating system for mobile devices.Vestager, a Danish liberal who took over the politically charged EU competition policy dossier in November, announced the moves on the eve of a high-profile visit to the United States. Her findings following nearly five years of investigation and abortive efforts by her Spanish predecessor, Joaquin Almunia, to strike a deal with Google.The focus on the ranking of searches for shopping sites – Google has its own service called Google Shopping – did not address all complaints lodged with the Commission by competitors, large and small, in Europe and the United States, which say Google has hurt their business.Vestager stressed her antitrust staff would continue to investigate other areas of concern, including alleged “web scraping” to copy rivals’ content, and restrictive practices on advertising.She stressed the EU regulator did not seek to change Google’s screen design nor the mathematical algorithms it uses.Google initially has 10 weeks to respond to the charges and can demand a hearing. A final resolution – quite possibly involving court action if Google does not choose to settle – is likely to take many months and probably years.Critics WelcomeGoogle’s critics welcomed the decision to pursue the U.S. giant, though many industry experts believe the action is unlikely to markedly shift existing business their way. Rather, by firing a hefty shot across Google’s bows, it may favor competitors in new areas as technology develops.That has been a priority for the new European Commission led by Jean-Claude Juncker, which wants to promote a more dynamic digital market in Europe and foster home-grown enterprises.Juncker is also pressing for a free-trade treaty with Washington to bolster growth and Vestager has stressed she is not seeking to penalize American firms or large companies – merely to avoid abuses of dominant market positions.Vestager’s action won cross-party endorsement in the European Parliament. In a statement headlined “Even Uncle Google must play fair”, German lawmaker Manfred Weber, floor leader of the largest conservative group, said: “Internet is not the Wild West – there are rules on the web that must also be respected.”French Socialists Pervenche Beres and Virginie Roziere applauded the Commission for “at long last” taking action against “the threat posed to the European economy” and renewed their call for the breakup of Google.President Barack Obama accused the EU in February of taking a protectionist stance against the U.S. tech industry.American domination of the Internet and other new technology sectors has prompted a mixture of admiration and anxiety in Europe in an echo of similar mixed feelings about reliance on U.S. military might for security against a resurgent Moscow.However, many of the firms that have complained to Brussels to challenge Google’s business practices in Europe are themselves U.S. companies, such as Microsoft and Expedia.The Initiative for a Competitive Online Marketplace, an alliance of businesses, applauded the Commission for taking what it called “decisive action to end Google’s years of abusive behavior in its long-running antitrust case”.Germany, backed by major companies in the EU’s biggest economy, has been particularly vocal in pressing the Commission to act against Google.Axel Springer chief Mathias Doepfner told the German media group’s shareholders in Berlin on Tuesday that Almunia’s efforts to negotiate a deal with Google would have been a “shoddy compromise” and praised Vestager for being “more determined, quicker and more true to the facts”.Almunia, who launched the initial probe in 2010, last year yielded to pressure from Germany and others to abandon a deal he had been favoring to settle the case.Google has put forward three proposals to resolve the case. Most recently, just over a year ago, it offered to give competing products and services bigger visibility on its website, let content providers decide what material it can use for its own services and make it easier for advertisers to move their campaigns to rivals.Almunia initially accepted that deal, only to reverse his decision six months later and demand more concessions, leaving the ultimate decision to his successor.Microsoft has been hit with total EU fines of more than 2.2 billion euros ($2.34 billion) over the past decade.($1 = 0.9390 euros)(Additional reporting by Francesco Guarascio, Tom Koerkemeier, Robert-Jan Bartunek, Robin Emmott and Paul Taylor in Brussels, Klaus Lauer in Berlin, Eric Auchard in Frankfurt and Foo Yun Chee; Writing by Alastair Macdonald and Paul Taylor; Editing by Paul Taylor and Peter Graff) This story originally appeared on Reuters This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. 6 min read Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now April 15, 2015 Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

CNCF Sandbox the home for evolving cloud native projects accepts Googles OpenMetrics

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first_imgThe Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) accepted OpenMetrics, an open source specification for metrics exposition, into the CNCF Sandbox, a home for early stage and evolving cloud native projects. Google cloud engineers and other vendors had been working on this persistently from the past several months and finally it got accepted by CNCF. Engineers are further working on ways to support OpenMetrics in the OpenSensus, a set of uniform tracing and stats libraries that work with multi-vendor services. OpenMetrics will bring together the maturity and adoption of Prometheus, and Google’s background in working with stats at extreme scale. It will also bring in the experience and needs of a variety of projects, vendors, and end-users who are aiming to move away from the hierarchical way of monitoring to enable users to transmit metrics at scale. The open source initiative, focused on creating a neutral metrics exposition format will provide a sound data model for current and future needs of users. It will embed into a standard that is an evolution of the widely-adopted Prometheus exposition format. While there are numerous monitoring solutions available today, many do not focus on metrics and are based on old technologies with proprietary, hard-to-implement and hierarchical data models. “The key benefit of OpenMetrics is that it opens up the de facto model for cloud native metric monitoring to numerous industry leading implementations and new adopters. Prometheus has changed the way the world does monitoring and OpenMetrics aims to take this organically grown ecosystem and transform it into a basis for a deliberate, industry-wide consensus, thus bridging the gap to other monitoring solutions like InfluxData, Sysdig, Weave Cortex, and OpenCensus. It goes without saying that Prometheus will be at the forefront of implementing OpenMetrics in its server and all client libraries. CNCF has been instrumental in bringing together cloud native communities. We look forward to working with this community to further cloud native monitoring and continue building our community of users and upstream contributors.” says Richard Hartmann, Technical Architect at SpaceNet, Prometheus team member, and founder of OpenMetrics. OpenMetrics contributors include AppOptics, Cortex, Datadog, Google, InfluxData, OpenCensus, Prometheus, Sysdig and Uber, among others. “Google has a history of innovation in the metric monitoring space, from its early success with Borgmon, which has been continued in Monarch and Stackdriver. OpenMetrics embodies our understanding of what users need for simple, reliable and scalable monitoring, and shows our commitment to offering standards-based solutions. In addition to our contributions to the spec, we’ll be enabling OpenMetrics support in OpenCensus” says Sumeer Bhola, Lead Engineer on Monarch and Stackdriver at Google. For more information about OpenMetrics, please visit openmetrics.io. To quickly enable trace and metrics collection from your application, please visit opencensus.io. Read Next: 5 reasons why your business should adopt cloud computing Alibaba Cloud partners with SAP to provide a versatile, one-stop cloud computing environment Modern Cloud Native architectures: Microservices, Containers, and Serverless – Part 1last_img read more