The emotional letter of the father of a student confined in the Juan Carlos Ferrero academy

first_imgThe confinement attributable to the coronavirus pandemic in Spain is a exhausting time for residents. Particularly for many who are spending it removed from their household. One of the many examples is that of the college students of the Juan Carlos Ferrero Equelite Academy Sport situated in Alicante. They’ve been confined to it for nearly two months and this week a father wished to convey his gratitude to the administration via a letter, which they’ve made public from the academy itself.I’m the father of a boy who entered your ACADEMY with the most enthusiasm again in September. In the saddlebag he carried all the goals and illusions that a younger tennis participant can have, when coming into one of the most prestigious academies of this sport at a global degree.Sadly, at the starting of March, as a consequence of the worldwide pandemic by covid19, half of these targets, journeys, tournaments, and sports activities successes, have been partially diminished. However all issues in life have their constructive components, after greater than two months with out with the ability to see our son, we’re sure that the determination we made at the starting of the faculty 12 months, about becoming a member of the EQUELITE, has been fairly a success. Regardless of the uncertainty, we’re certain that presently, there isn’t any higher place the place our youngsters might be.This ACADEMY is not only a place to be taught tennis, it’s a means of life, a manufacturing unit of values, a place the place girls and boys develop in an integral, wholesome and spirit of sacrifice.From the day the state of alarm was decreed, you haven’t hesitated to lock your self in with that merchandise so priceless to all of us and make your individual household.These few phrases are price thanking all of you who make up this magnificent working group, the thanks of me and my household and who certainly share the relaxation of them.To Juan Carlos Ferrero himself, Toni Cascales, Iñaki; Lola, Amelia, Carmelo, all the trainers, bodily coach, cooks, caretakers, gardeners, lecturers, and so on., we will likely be eternally grateful to you, and regardless of the difficulties which might be envisioned in the speedy future, we’ll proceed to guess on this excellent household and means of understanding life.THANK YOU. Manuel N.last_img read more

President meets with new UNDP team on biodiversity, new environment dept

first_imgPresident David Granger on Thursday met with a technical team from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to discuss the management of Guyana’s biodiversity wealth within the Government’s ‘green’ agenda, in addition to establishing a new department of environment.The meeting which was held at the Ministry of the Presidency was led by new UNDP Resident Representative, Mikiko Tanaka and included UNDP’s Policy Specialist, Finance, Massimiliano Riva and Regional Technical Advisor of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) Programme, Marco Chiu.President David Granger conversing with UNDP Resident Representative Mikiko TanakaThe meeting was in response to a request made by the President to the UNDP for the provision of technical assistance for the creation of a holistic strategy that encompasses the country’s forests, wildlife and other natural resources as the Government moves to further its green agenda.“The low carbon development strategy in my view is too narrow. We need to go back to the drawing board to develop something that takes into account coastal zone management, wildlife protection, our biodiversity,” President Granger said.Additionally, the team over the course of the next few days, will be discussing with a Guyanese delegation, the establishment of a department of environment. President Granger explained that there is need to separate biodiversity protection and management from the extractive industries, both of which currently fall under the purview of the Natural Resources Ministry.last_img read more

Piecemeal Change to Illegitimate Constitution Is Wrong!

first_imgIn her January 26, 2015, State of the Nation Address, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf called on the legislature to pass a “Dual Citizen” bill into law, which she intends to send to that body shortly. The bill if approved would effectively replace Article 28 of the Constitution. Its resolution, however, may not be a sole legislative prerogative since voters should have a say via referendum. The aim of the bill, according to the President, is to reintegrate Liberians who were compelled to seek refuge in other countries as a consequence of the mayhem the country endured, thus acquiring citizenships in other countries. I believe it is a far-sighted intention, and would be just as daring for a change to also apply to one of the most discriminatory provisions, specifically, Article 27 (b) which denied persons of non Negro descent of Liberian citizenship. Our brothers and sisters, who fall in the category of being non blacks, could very well have much more toward the growth and development of the nation if they are encouraged through laws to be permanent stakeholders. For a country which has been the recipient of near worldwide largess in numerous instances of its suicidal mission and history to condone such racist laws in 2015, does not only reveal timidity and insincerity, it does restrain development.    For disclosure purpose, this writer supports dual citizenship privilege yet is mindful of the concerns of some that are resisting the reintegration of their brothers and sisters. That said, it is past time that Liberians overcome their fears and resist the urge to discriminate against their fellow natives. Another puzzle is the apparent lip service to equally changing key anti-development and anti-accountability provisions like the unprecedented tenures of public officials- which were the handiwork of the military that had no intention of giving up power to legitimate civilian authorities.The well-known elephant in the room that the powers that be are either unwilling to face or wish no one talks about is the self-serving long tenure of elected officials. At the initiation of the constitutional process in the mid nineteen eighties, many of our former “progressives” and those in the opposition and intellectual communities complained of the insanity of imposing such monopolized tenures on the Liberian people. But at last check, the once admired shadow reformers are now rulers, and are more satisfied to keeping prolong tenures in place which the military and its loyalists invented against the interests of Liberians. Strange, isn’t it? I call it profile in self perpetuation which ought to have no space in public service.  The President’s enthusiasm to fight corruption must not be separated from empowering voters to hold senior policy makers accountable in order to weed out miserable performers in the shortest possible time. While I’m not qualified to speak for Liberians, it is safe to say they would overwhelmingly vote to reduce the nine and six-year tenures, if allowed to, of individuals whose public service records are nothing more than a joke, experts in corrupt bargains and looters of State coffers, thereby relegating those they have sworn to serve to a life span of poverty.So, why are those undemocratic provisions still embedded in the constitution? Why did the unbelievable and pretence referendum of 2011 not include answerability provisions in Articles 50 (tenure of President and Vice President), 46 (tenure of Senators) and 48 (tenure of Representatives)? The 2011 referendum, among other insignificant issues except one, laughably put forth an increase in the retirement ages of Supreme Court Justices and Judges of subordinate courts, which stands at seventy years. Voters were practical to send the aforementioned in the rubbish bin where it truly belonged.If Liberian leaders cannot muster the courage to spearhead a comprehensive change to a military imposed constitution, it is equally wrong to advance an incremental reform without stressing provisions that are unfavourable to the rulers’ interests. As our nation bleeds from all kinds of ills, its people are crying out for leaders that would at least put their personal interests in jeopardy to do what is right in support of the nation’s progress. And there are valid reasons to move quickly and produce these overdue constitutional amendments:First, even if elected officials were commendable, nine or six-year single tenure of office is unnecessarily long and counterproductive to the democratic tenets of accountability. It is somewhat upsetting if not offensive for public officials to hang on to power, using a flaw constitution as justification for such continuance.Second, producing an ideal leadership does not have to be a license for officials to continually exercise dominance over what is right. Instead, their experiences in public office could be an asset in other sectors as they exit government. The private sector can then be strengthened to impact the millions that were not helped while in offices.And third, voters don’t have to tolerate protracted tenures to vote officials out of offices if they are detrimental to the public interest. Any public service tenure above four or five years must be term limited to a single term to prevent enormous harm to the peoples’ interests. Democracy can live up to its true meaning when elected representatives are held to answer through the ballot box within a reasonable time period so that it is clear with whom the real power lies, which is the people. That is the essence of good governance. The argument that elections are costly and drain the limited financial resources of poor nations is self-serving. If we calculate the projected and real costs associated with untrustworthy, thoughtless and nepotistic governments, we might find frequent elections to be a good cause to advance growth, development, justice, peace and security. If experience is any guide from our democratic experiment, all-inclusive changes to our body politic have got to be treated as a national security issue. Regardless of the inspirational rhetoric, Liberia will continue to lag in every category of human development unless the structure of the State, premised on people first and not official first policies, is revisited.   Until such time, which I believe is now, when self-interest politicians are not legally empowered to protect and enrich themselves for a single do nothing six and nine year tenures, I submit accountability, human rights, national development, peace, justice and security would be elusive. Then the people, not the “vampires of development”, to use the President’s words, would continue to suffer.  Liberians must act, if the officials, who these bad laws support, cannot and would not act!    Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

“Miners are at the mercy of gunmen” – company rep

first_img…calls for Joint Services patrolFollowing a daring attack on a mining camp belonging to Mohammed’s Enterprise, the entity is calling for Government to offer more protection for miners working on Guyana’s border.Eight foreign language speaking gunmen raided Mohamed’s Enterprise mining camp at Baboon Backdam, Cuyuni River, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), escaping with a large quantity of raw gold and other valuables, including a licensed shot gun.Speaking with this newspaper on Saturday, a representative of the company said the Police have since arrested two boat operators, who are suspected to have transported the gunmen.The representative noted that the situation in the interior has become very dangerous and is calling to Government to intervene.“We need more Joint Services patrol in the area. Guyanese miners are suffering at the hands of these bandits suspected to be Venezuelans,” the representative said.He noted that even fuel suppliers are being targeted by the gunmen.“What they do is they hide in the bushes on the river banks and when they see a boat transporting fuel, they will shoot at it. These are all foreigners doing this. We are at their mercy in the Cuyuni area.”He added that as a result of the surge in criminal activity, persons are refusing to go into the area to work.“Getting workers to work is hard now. People are afraid for their lives. The workers are scared. As such, our company is calling for protection from the Government. Guyanese miners are really suffering a lot. These gunmen are operating with high-powered weapons,” the company’s representative said.Based on reports received, the bandits were armed with high-powered weapons and were clad in dark-coloured clothing.Initial investigations revealed that about 28 workers of the mining camp were in the mining camp at between 19:00h and 23:00h on Wednesday night when the men held the camp hostage.The miners were ordered to hand over all the raw gold that was kept in the camp and other personal items, including the shot gun. After committing the robbery, the men left. No one was injured during the ordeal.In April 6, a Dominican Republic national, Pedro Pablo Rosario, a night supervisor at a mining camp, was shot and killed at about 02:00h when a group of armed and masked bandits invaded that mining camp at Black Water Backdam, Cuyuni River, Region Seven.According to information reaching <<<<>>>>, 55-year-old Rosario and four other workers were on duty while other workers were at the dredge, about 30 feet away, when the gunmen pounced on them.Rosario was reportedly relaxing in a hammock at the watch camp when one of the bandits confronted him and discharged a round that fatally struck him. The three suspects then went to the dredge area, where they held the workers at gunpoint and removed two gold mats from the sluice box before making good their escape.This newspaper had reported that the owner of the camp reportedly told investigators that a total of 100 ounces of raw gold were on the mats to settle.Although a number of persons were questioned by Police in the matter, no one has been charged.This most recent robbery comes on the heels of persons operating mining camps in the Cuyuni region complaining bitterly over security threats, particularly from members of the Venezuela-based Sindicato gang.Over the past months, President David Granger has been visiting frontline communities along the border with Venezuela, and has announced several measures to beef up security in those areas, including an increased presence of Community Policing Group members.last_img read more

FA expected to act after Aguero tangles with Wigan fans

first_img0Shares0000Manchester City’s Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero gets involved in a scuffle with Wigan fans © AFP / Oli SCARFFWIGAN, United Kingdom, Feb 20 – The Football Association are likely to launch an investigation into Wigan and Manchester City after Sergio Aguero was forced to defend himself at the end of a turbulent fifth round FA Cup tie at the DW Stadium.Will Grigg’s late winning goal saw League One Wigan defeat Pep Guardiola’s Premier League leaders in an ill-tempered game that boiled over on the final whistle. Wigan supporters invaded the pitch to celebrate at the end of the tie and Aguero, who was shaking the hand of opposing defender Chey Dunkley at the time, became embroiled in an ugly altercation with a number of fans.Aguero was forced to defend himself as the scene threatened to turn even more violent and City staff had to help shepherd him off the field and to the safety of the dressing room.“It’s not right,” said Wigan manager Paul Cook. “I haven’t seen the incident so I can’t comment. But players’ safety has to be paramount for everyone.”City are expected to contact Wigan themselves to demand answers about the lack of protection offered their players at the end, although the FA action may well take that out of their hands.The trouble was not over there as a number of home fans taunted the City support and, in response, the visitors began to tear at advertising hoardings in front of them.Police became involved in scuffles with City supporters that continued for several minutes and the FA are certain to review footage, and read referee Anthony Taylor’s report, before contacting the two clubs and deciding whether to issue charges.The problems were not restricted to off the field matters with City being reduced to 10 men late in the first half following a foul by Fabian Delph on Max Power which saw Taylor first produce a yellow card before changing it to red.That will rule Delph out of the Carabao Cup Final with Arsenal on Sunday and City’s anger at Taylor’s decision was evident in its wake, with Aguero arguing with the Wigan bench and Guardiola and opposite number Cook being separated by staff as they engaged in a furious argument in the tunnel at half-time.– ‘Aggressive opponent’ –“It’s a red card,” said Guardiola, who has been vocal this season after his own players have been the victim of bad fouls that did not produce red cards.“You want to ask me about football, ask me. Nothing happened in the tunnel.“He should stay in the position, that’s all. They were a really aggressive opponent.”The loss of Delph, who is playing at left-back in the absence of long-term injury victim Benjamin Mendy, could prove problematic in this crucial period of the season.But, contrary to his on-field actions, Guardiola claimed he had no problem with the decision.Fabian Delph’s dismissal sparked ugly scenes between Wigan and Manchester City © AFP / Oli SCARFF“It’s an unnecessary action,” he said. “The referee decides what he decides. I’m not here to judge so it can be a red card. We have to learn from that.”The stunning upset, a repeat of the 2013 FA Cup Final result, carried Wigan through to a home FA Cup quarter-final meeting with Southampton and ends City’s dream of winning all four competitions this season.“I didn’t have the feeling that we didn’t try,” said Guardiola. “That would be a worry.“We’re sad because the FA Cup is a nice competition but football counts what happens in 94 minutes. They deserved to go through.”The victory, however, was undoubtedly marred by the scenes at the end and the sight of Aguero having to defend himself as he left the field.Wigan chairman David Sharpe joined the criticism of the pitch invasion by his club’s supporters.“It is not nice to see, football is emotional — that’s what it is to fans,” he said. “But I don’t like to see this at the end of the game.“It is a massive result, but we have to stay classy in football, I don’t like what I am seeing here.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Manchester City are in a competitive position to challenge for the Premier League, insists Manuel Pellegrini

first_img1 Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini is happy with his side’s positioning halfway through the title race.City are third in the Barclays Premier League after 19 games, three points behind leaders Arsenal.City have already been beaten five times and, with 36 points, are well down on their tallies at the equivalent stages of their title-winning campaigns of 2011-12 (45) and 2013-14 (41).But Pellegrini does not think that matters as none of the leading contenders have been able to find consistency.The Chilean said: “Of course we are in a good position. Always the best position is to be top of the table but I think that this is a special season in the Premier League.“With the amount of points we have at this moment, it is not good to fight for the title in a normal season, but we are now just three points behind the leaders. I hope we are going to complete with a very good second part of the season.”To get their challenge firing City need to address their away form. Pellegrini’s men have won just three of their nine games on the road and the last of them was on September 12. Yaya Toure’s late consolation in the 2-1 loss at Arsenal on December 21 was also their only goal in their last five away games.But Pellegrini saw positives in Tuesday’s goalless draw at second-placed Leicester and the team will look to build on that as they travel to Watford on Saturday.He said: “If we didn’t win the last games that we played away, it is because we must improve.“But it was good to have a clean sheet and for me the best thing from that game was continuing to playing the same way we did in the last two games.“We didn’t win against Arsenal but I don’t think we played a bad game and we played very well against Sunderland. I think we also played very well against Leicester. Maybe we have to finish a little bit more but I think we are in the correct way.”Promoted Watford have been one of the season’s surprise packages and go into the game against City at Vicarage Road just two points off fifth place.Pellegrini said: “Maybe at the beginning of the season it can be a surprise, the same as Leicester, but when you play 19 games, half of the season, and you are still talking about Watford or Leicester, they continue playing in a good way, it is because they have important players in a good moment of high performance and managers that are doing very well their job.”City’s clean sheet against Leicester was their first this season without injured captain Vincent Kompany, who could be out for another month with calf trouble. Left-back Gael Clichy and midfielders Fernando and Fabian Delph are back in contention. Manuel Pellegrini last_img read more

DONEGAL YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT AT 49%, SAYS SINN FEIN

first_imgL-R Donegal representatives, Cllr Jack Murray, Pearse Doherty TD, Simon Gillespie, and Padraig Mac Lochlainn TD after the launch of Sinn Féin’s Job Creation Proposals for Young PeopleYOUTH unemployment in Co Donegal now stands at 49%, Sinn Fein said today.In run up to the National Budget the party has launched proposals to tackle the youth unemployment crisis.The launch which took place in Leinster House was headed up by Donegal County Councillor Jack Murray along with a number of young Sinn Féin representatives from across Ireland. Cllr Murray Ireland joined Ireland’s youngest Oireachtas member, Kathryn Reilly, and Mayor of Dundalk, Jennifer Green, in order to give a briefing on the document to the youth sector and representatives of national youth organistions.Speaking after the launch Cllr Murray said:“A shocking 49% of people aged 18-25 in Donegal are unemployed, thousands more have emigrated.“This is a crisis. Sinn Féin is bringing forward our view of what needs to be done to tackle youth unemployment in Ireland today. Facilitating emigration is not an acceptable response. Young Irish people deserve a chance and deserve an active government that actually does something about youth unemployment and doesn’t just talk about it.“We are proposing specific pro-youth jobs policies like extending all CE schemes to everybody under 25 and moving to a situation where all young people unemployed for three months are assessed and given the training or employment opportunities they require. This stands in direct opposition to the government’s hands-off approach to youth unemployment. “We would also rework or scrap anti-youth jobs policies like raising the retirement age and JobBridge. Additionally we will explain how a stimulus package and budget as outlined by Sinn Féin would benefit young people and young unemployed people in particular by kick-starting economic growth and shifting the tax burden onto those workers most able to pay.” DONEGAL YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT AT 49%, SAYS SINN FEIN was last modified: November 28th, 2012 by BrendaShare 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 YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT AT 49%SAYS SINN FEINlast_img read more

Science Intrudes Into Morality

first_imgThe Pope recently declared that we need to save humanity from self-destructive behaviors, like homosexuality.  Can science intrude on questions of human behavior and morals?  New Scientist thought so; a blog entry today says the Pope “misuses science to attack homosexuality.”    One would think that moral behavior would lie outside the field for a scientific news source, but online news editor Rowan Hooper went on, mocking the Pope’s claim that the church has a role in saving “human ecology” like scientists have a role in protecting tropical forests.  Hooper called this “a bizarre misunderstanding of science” and “religious values imposed on” a scientific subject.    Justifying homosexuality with appeals to genetics, neuroscience and Darwinism, Hooper claimed that “genetic evidence” suggests homosexuality is “hard-wired before birth,” and that “The idea that homosexuality evolves by natural selection is also well supported.”  Pointing to homosexual behavior in animals, too, he said, “This all strongly suggests that it is an outdated metaphysics to insist on ‘the nature of the human person as man and woman’.”  Most people come in man or woman forms.  His complaint only makes sense if he is endorsing transgender identities and transsexual behavior as well as homosexuality – the whole gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender package.  Would he draw the line at any other sexual behaviors, like pedophilia, necrophilia or polygamy?  Apparently not.  If natural selection is capable of producing one non-reproductive behavior, why not others?  The word “moral” appears nowhere in his blog entry.    Hooper called on ecologists and other scientists to complain about the Pope “misusing science to dress up outdated ideas,” which obviously includes the Pope’s reference to creation and a Creator.  It’s not an “outdated metaphysics,” the Pope had said, “if the church speaks to the nature of the human person as man and woman, and asks that this order of creation be respected.”What business of it is New Scientist to lecture the Pope on morals?  You would think that is the province of a religious leader.  Who is he to talk about outdated metaphysics?  You would think that is the province of philosophy and theology.  The Pope was speaking to his own Curia, for crying out loud.  Do you understand what is going on?  You thought science dealt with ammeters and microscopes and polymerase chain reactions.  Wrong; New Scientist is not like Old Scientist.  It asserts its tyranny over all realms of thought.    Thousands of good scientists quietly continue to do great research in their respective fields, but the scientific institutions of our day have dirty hands.  They have become part and parcel of the radical leftist, atheist, social-progressive empire that controls the courts, media, education, labor unions, the UN, journalism, Hollywood and science.    Did you notice that Hooper justified a sexual behavior that religious (and rational) people have for millennia described as perverted with an appeal to natural selection?  Did you notice he said behavior is genetically hard-wired?  Well, then, out goes any argument based on reason.  You see, Mr. Hooper, natural selection made you say these things.  You can’t help it.  You thought you were preaching a polemic on rationality and values, but you are a captive of impersonal forces from your animal past.  If we wanted to really tease Mr. Hooper, we could say that to be consistent, he would have to agree that natural selection produced the Pope as a mechanism to save the human population from self-destruction.  It’s pointless to fight it, then.    Consistency is apparently not a value to this dogmatic Darwinist.  Without consistency, though, one can prove anything; therefore one proves nothing.  Don’t talk to us about truth, then, Mr. Hooper, you have nothing to say.  Your reason has left you.  You want to model your life on the animals?  Fine; go out into the field, and live like a king of beasts.  We hope it doesn’t take seven years for you to stand up like a Man and get your reason back.    This commentary is not endorsing the Pope; it is simply insisting that science stop looking silly by refuting itself.  The essence of being human is using your reason and conscience to guide your physical passions.  That reason is the basis for science; it presupposes intelligence, which presupposes judgment, which presupposes absolute truth and morals.  Science cannot breathe without these things.    2008 may become known as The Year Science Died.  Or was that 1859?(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Peace restored in communities after xenophobic attacks

first_imgPeace has returned to South African communities riven by the recent xenophobic violence, and the supply of food, shelter and other support for foreigners forced to flee their homes has been stepped up, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe told a press briefing on Tuesday. Children read anti-xenophobia booklets during a peaceful walk against attacks on foreigners, in Mzamomhle Township near East London in the Eastern Cape on Sunday 26 April. (Image: GCIS) • Attacks on foreign nationals: South Africa responds • Our African bonds defy borders • Booklet: Stop attacks on foreign nationals • We Are the World Africa sings out against xenophobia • South Africa to host anti-xenophobia football friendlies Staff writer“We want to reassure those who have plans to travel to South Africa that our government is in charge. The violence has stopped,” Radebe told the media at the first briefing by the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on migration, held in Pretoria on 28 April.“We are now working hard to ensure that nobody within the borders of our country is victimised based on their country of origin.”The IMC was set up to examine the underlying causes of the tension between South Africans and foreigners, and deal with the aftermath of the violence. Radebe chairs the committee.Read the full media briefing statementThe victimsThe briefing confirmed that seven deaths can be linked to the recent outbreak of violence. Four of the victims were foreigners and three South African.The details of the victims, nationality, nature of death and status of investigation are as follows.NAME OF VICTIMNATIONALITYNATURE OF DEATHSTATUS OF CASEMarcus NatasEthiopianPetrol bombing in UmlaziInvestigations continueMuvo (other names unknown)ZimbabweanAttacked by a mob in ChatsworthInvestigations continueDava SabastioMozambicanAttacked by a mob in VerulamInvestigations continueShaofic Shaof Ul AlamBangladeshiGunshot in PlessislaerA South African male arrestedThabo Owen MzobeSouth AfricanGunshot in NtuzumaTwo South African males arrestedAyanda DlaminiSouth AfricanGunshot in Bekhithemba (Umlazi)Somali national arrestedPetros DlaminiSouth AfricanChatsworthInvestigations continuePreliminary investigations suggest the death of Mozambican citizen Manuel Jossias, also known as Emmanuel Sithole, to be the result of a criminal act, not xenophobic violence.“The IMC on behalf of the South African nation extends its deepest condolences to the families of those deceased, and wishes those injured a speedy recovery,” Radebe said.The National Prosecuting Authority is making the prosecution of cases related to attacks on foreigners a priority, the briefing was told. “Perpetrators of these crimes can expect that prosecutors will ask courts to impose sentences of direct imprisonment.”The Department of Justice and NPA have set up dedicated courts in KwaZulu-Natal to ensure the speedy prosecution of the cases. The South African Police Service has allocated detectives in all provinces to expedite the investigations in cases related to xenophobic violence.“We are not taking a business-as-usual approach,” Radebe said. “We want to ensure that the perpetrators of these vile acts are dealt with as speedily as possible.”Watch the full media briefing:Caring for migrants in sheltersThe Department of Social Development is coordinating the government’s material and psychological support for 812 foreigners currently living in shelters.“We encourage those who require counselling services to call 0800 428 428,” Radebe said. “The trauma counselling call centre is operational 24 hours a day. We have so far provided 2 000 mattresses, food, blankets, dignity packs, baby formula and clothing items to displaced persons at the various shelters.”The Department of Health is providing primary healthcare and medical services to foreigners, wherever needed but including in the temporary shelters.The social development department has also assessed conditions at temporary shelters in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng to determine the immediate needs of women and children.“Pregnant women and people with disabilities have been transferred to secure shelters,” Radebe said. “Retired social workers were also deployed to the temporary shelters to strengthen the psycho-social services.”Radebe said reports that some foreigners had already begun to return to their homes in South African communities were encouraging. Sufficient numbers had returned home to allow the Elsburg Shelter to be closed on Friday 23 April. Those still not able to leave were taken in at the Primrose Shelter.“As the situation continues to stabilise, we call on foreign nationals who are still in shelters to work with the departments of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and Community Safety to ensure a smooth reintegration process,” he said. Radebe also urged communities to welcome returning foreigners and help with their reintegration.Documentation and verificationThe Department of Home Affairs is working to verify the immigration status of displaced migrants, Radebe said. Those in the country illegally were being detained for prosecution or deportation.“In cases where the displaced persons have no documentation or they are in the country illegally, the department still captures their details,” he said. “Their information and fingerprints are captured in order to provide documentation to facilitate their repatriation.”Home Affairs is also working with foreign missions in South Africa to ensure the smooth repatriation of those wanting to voluntarily return to their home countries. About 1 507 documented foreigners are currently awaiting repatriation.“We have thus far repatriated a total of 1 997 undocumented migrants from both KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng temporary shelters, 911 to Malawi, 316 to Mozambique, 753 to Zimbabwe, and 17 to Tanzania,” Radebe said.South Africa still a home for all AfricansThe government is committed to finding a lasting solution to prevent the “shameful” attacks from happening again, Radebe told the briefing.“We believe that issues of migration can only be resolved by taking a holistic approach that deals with all issues highlighted by communities. This includes identifying and resolving challenges highlighted by local traders.” The Department of Small Business Development will be investigating these issues.Despite the tragic events of the past weeks, Radebe said, Africans from other countries still consider South Africa a safe place to visit.In March 10 548 people from Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zimbabwe visited South Africa. In April, 13 533 people visited from these countries.“We are heartened that our brothers and sisters on the continent still consider our country a multicultural society that welcomes and promotes interaction among people of different backgrounds,” Radebe said.last_img read more

Microsoft to Merge Lync, Skype Teams – But Not Products

first_imgIT + Project Management: A Love Affair Tags:#Lync#Microsoft#Skype 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Microsoft has struck partnerships with Polycom, Smart, Crestron and LifeSized (Logitech) to produce the small tablet control devices, about the size of a car’s GPS. Before the meeting even begins, a user can reserve it, program the Lync system to contact the parties at the available time, and even being the lights up. The presenter merely has to plug in his laptop via an HDMI cable, and a second screen can be used to display the video feeds from the participants. The partners will announce pricing, Mezgec said.Representatives from Hewlett-Packard will be on stage at the Lync conference, Mezgec said, indicating that Microsoft does not view them as a competitor. However, the Lync system is aimed directly at unified communications solutions from Avaya and Cisco. (Cisco chief executive John Chambers recently identified the company’s largest challenge as telepresence, indicating that the company is vulnerable.)Two Apps Enter, One App Wins?Manufacturers have sold two similar products into distinct markets before: a common laptop platform designed for consumer and business markets; budget- and premium-priced bottled water; even a common chassis elements sold as a Toyota and a Lexus. And while Microsoft has integrated Skype tightly into Windows 8, Lync is clearly an enterprise product, with collaboration being the key feature that distinguishes the two.The problem is one of positioning. Products like Microsoft’s Surface tablet acknowledge and encourage the Bring Your Own Device trend, which unifies the consumer/enterprise split into a single device. With Lync and Skype, Microsoft must maintain the divide. Unifying the teams probably anticipates a future where engineering resources are entirely shared, and Skype merely becomes a de-featured version of Lync with a more consumer-friendly UI.Still, there is the problem of choice. “If you are a consumer, when you’re at home you might be in front of the TV, and you would use a set-top box to call Skype,” Mezgec said. But what if you want to access your business calendar?Eventually, Microsoft will work it out. But for now, the Skype/Lync split still seems confusing.  It remains to be seen how users will react to the dual solutions – will they view them as two sides of the same coin, or redundant apps that call for the elimination of one version?According to Giovanni Mezgec, General Manager, Enterprise Product Marketing for Skype division at Microsoft, merging the two teams within Microsoft demonstrates a common purpose. This will be highlighted by Tony Bates, the president of the Skype division at Microsoft, in his address to Microsoft’s Lync conference attendees this week.One Employee, Two Contexts“We have the belief at Microsoft that people are people, whether they are employees, fathers or consumers,” Mezgec said. “You are the same time a consumer, the same time a mother, the same time an employee, the same time a person that travels on the bus, you get the idea. What we wanted to do was to offer a set of tools from the living room to the boardroom, a communication platform that is rationalized, but different – you have Skype on the consumer front, but Lync on the enterprise front. They are different, but the person is the same.” Related Posts On Tuesday, Microsoft is expected to announce that it has combined the teams behind its two VOIP communications solutions, Lync and Skype, into a single team, paving the way for what the company is calling a universal “living room to the boardroom solution.” But will presence of two distinct communication apps confuse the marketplaces Skype and Lync are meant to serve?Microsoft will also show off an intriguing “Lync Room System,” including cameras and remotely-configured lights, that the company is developing with partners. Finally, Microsoft plans to announce Lync 2013 apps for both Windows Phone 8 and iOS that will arrive in early March, with Android apps arriving about a month later.Essentially, Microsoft will provide one framework – Skype – for consumer interaction, and another – Lync – for Outlook integration and communication with work teams. Technically, Microsoft now has three VOIP conferencing solutions: customers are now being encouraged to transition off of Microsoft Office Live Meeting, a conferencing package Microsoft acquired from Placeware in 2003. markhachman Microsoft said that Lync has five million seats of enterprise voice service deployed, up from three million just 14 months ago; 90 out of the Fortune 100 companies use Lync. Microsoft also touted 1,000 partners which now “bet their business” on deploying solutions for Lync, of which 600 have been added in the last three years.Lync essentially adds a new dimension to Office tools like Outlook. Users quickly can determine if a fellow worker is online and available, and the software can either initiate a voice call, a chat, or even a videoconference to the other worker. Visually, Lync doesn’t look like Skype, and Lync clearly is designed to complement the numerous interactions that characterize the typical business relationship. And yet – both do largely the same thing.There are exceptions; in a demonstration of Lync 2013, Mezgec showed how users could access a shared PowerPoint presentation and skip ahead. Skype users cannot share documents, although they can share screens. Mezgec also showed how Lync users can “pin” a video of a user, even if they’re not speaking, so they can keep an eye on them for non-verbal cues.“What we’re trying to do is replicate a real-life meeting,” Mezgec said.By March, owners of Windows Phones and Apple devices will be able to (or will be forced to) choose between two apps on their mobile devices, with both apps connecting via VOIP and video over IP to each other. iPad owners will also be able to view shared desktop and application content within a Lync meeting, Microsoft said.Over the next 18 months, Microsoft said it would also commit to adding rich video to the interoperability between Skype and Lync; add enterprise voice support to Lync Online, its Lync Web app; enable LiveMeeting users to transition to Lync via the addition of structured meeting support to Lync Online and the next version of Lync Server; and deliver quarterly updates to Lync Online. Microsoft will deliver the next Lync Server revision in the second quarter of 2014, it said.A New Toy: Lync Room SystemWithin the Lync 2013 environment, hardware geeks will find a new toy to play with: the Lync Room System, which will provide remote-management services for an entire conference room. “We don’t think the experience is as nice as it could be,” Mezgec said of the conference experience. Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more