Poland : polish court quashes order censoring local newspaper

first_imgPoland is ranked 59th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index, after falling 31 places in the past four years. News The wrangle began in 2018, when Tygodnik Zamojski published a series of articles on its site exposing irregularities in PGK’s contract for the construction of a solar park in Zamość and other aspects of PGK’s operations.Thereafter, anything the newspaper published about PGK was met with demands for corrections or deletion until, in September, PGK filed a complaint with the local court and the court responded with its publication ban under articles 755 and 2 of Poland’s civil code on the grounds that the newspaper’s reporting was liable to defame PGK. Organisation DR December 18, 2019 Poland : polish court quashes order censoring local newspaper to go further June 2, 2021 Find out more When the court issued its original order on 4 November, banning the newspaper from publishing any further stories about PGK and ordering it to remove previous stories about PGK from its website, the newspaper immediately received statements of support from Polish media associations. A few days later they were joined by more than 30 newpapers affiliated to the Association of Local Newspapers, who used the association’s website to republish five of the articles that Tygodnik Zamojski’s site had been forced to delete. Use the Digital Services Act to make democracy prevail over platform interests, RSF tells EU Poland’s new social media law puts freedom of expression at risk, RSF warns “We welcome this judicial U-turn offering hope for media freedom in Poland after four years of persecution,” said Pauline Adès-Mevel, the head of RSF’s European Union and Balkans desk. “We must also salute the unprecedented campaign by the Polish media in support of an arbitrarily censored newspaper, which resulted in this important decision.” Reporters Without Borders (RSF) welcomes a Polish court’s decision to lift a much-criticized order banning a local weekly in the southeastern town of Zamość from covering alleged irregularities in a municipal company. The decision came after 30 local newspaper publishers campaigned for the ban to be lifted. With firing of four editors, “repolonisation” under way in Poland Follow the news on Polandcenter_img Help by sharing this information “Censorship has come to an end in the Polish town of Zamość,” the newspaper Tygodnik Zamojski announced on its website after the court, under pressure, ruled in favour of editor in chief Michał Kamiński’s appeal and allowed him to resume publishing stories about the company, Przedsiębiorstwo Gospodarki Komunalnej (PGK). January 28, 2021 Find out more News May 10, 2021 Find out more RSF_en PolandEurope – Central Asia Condemning abusesProtecting journalistsOnline freedomsMedia independence InternetFreedom of expressionPhotoreportage In a statement about their decision, the publishers said local media outlets play a very important role for local government in Poland. “They describe, they report, but above all they exercise control and accountability functions for local leadership entities,” the statement said, adding: “Censorship will not be tolerated.” The Zamość court ruling overturning the ban was issued a few hours later. Receive email alerts News News The court’s decision to lift the ban, which is a step in the right direction, comes just one month after a Warsaw court ruled in favour of Dorota Nygren, a journalist with Polish state radio who had been sanctioned for refusing to broadcast a discriminatory report. The state radio broadcaster violated the equal treatment principle, the court found. PolandEurope – Central Asia Condemning abusesProtecting journalistsOnline freedomsMedia independence InternetFreedom of expressionPhotoreportage last_img read more

I used to be on the police drug squad. Here’s why I’m voting against legalising cannabis

first_imgStuff co.nz 7 September 2020Family First Comment: Whoops!! – this messes up another argument for legalisation from Chloe, Helen and the Drug Foundation….“The reality of policing the drug world is that police do not actively target end users of drugs, they target the manufacturers and dealers, those who are the main contributors to the harm. This applies especially in the gang-world driven methamphetamine scene, and for MDMA, where MDMA mimics and synthetics have caused deaths in New Zealand and overseas.. Anyone in prison for possession of cannabis or utensils, will be there for  other more serious charges as well, involving offences such as dealing, manufacture, possession of firearms etc. The commentary that people end up in prison for smoking cannabis is misleading, they do not. It is only the dealers.OPINION: I am a former member of a police drug squad, in one of New Zealand’s major cities. I will be voting against legalising cannabis.I agree that for the end users of drugs, where the use of that drug begins to affect a person’s health or mental wellbeing, medical or other intervention is very important, rather than putting that person before the courts.But the reality of policing the drug world is that police do not actively target end users of drugs, they target the manufacturers and dealers, those who are the main contributors to the harm. This applies especially in the gang-world driven methamphetamine scene, and for MDMA, where MDMA mimics and synthetics have caused deaths in New Zealand and overseas.Methamphetamine is well known to cause massive social harm, and with MDMA and mimics, the main problem and danger there is that the end user never knows what is actually in the drug. They have to trust the drug dealer, and who would trust one of them?As far as cannabis is concerned, again, police do not target end users, and despite the social media commentary, I do not know of any end user of cannabis who has ever been imprisoned for simply smoking a joint. That simply does not happen.Anyone in prison for possession of cannabis or utensils, will be there for  other more serious charges as well, involving offences such as dealing, manufacture, possession of firearms etc. The commentary that people end up in prison for smoking cannabis is misleading, they do not.It is only the dealers.The proposed legal purchase of 14 grams of cannabis per day per day is 10-plus joints. Who smokes that much? I’ve only ever encountered a very few, and they were basically permanently stoned.  It is way too much and a major step from decriminalising the possession of a simple joint.READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/cannabis-referendum/122683839/i-used-to-be-on-the-police-drug-squad-heres-why-im-voting-against-legalising-cannabislast_img read more

White House releases sexual assault prevention guidelines

first_imgOn Monday, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights released a new set of guidelines detailing the responsibilities of colleges and universities to address the issue of sexual assault on college campuses.The report coincided with the White House’s launch of NotAlone.gov, a website dedicated to providing straightforward information about and support for survivors of sexual assault on college campuses.The White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault also released its recommendations Tuesday concerning steps colleges and universities can take to address the issue.“We know the majority of rapes are committed by a small number of perpetrators, and we know that both schools and law enforcement struggle to investigate and adjudicate these crimes,” Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole said in a press conference.Included in the task force reports were proposals that schools conduct “climate surveys” to evaluate the prevalence of sexual assaults on campus and test students’ awareness about the issue. The report also requests that colleges promote bystander intervention.The task force plans to release a public service announcement to help encourage men to advocate sexual assault prevention. According to the report, the PSA will feature President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and celebrity actors.Francesca Bessey, a junior majoring in international relations and a rape survivor, said the surveys could be helpful in debunking misconceptions of the prevalence of sexual assault on campuses, but government PSAs might reinforce stereotypes and make light of the issue.“I think that the surveys will be a helpful reality check for college and university administration that has been telling concerned students that this is not as big of a deal as it actually is,” Bessey said. “[But] a helpful government PSA — I’ll believe it when I see it.”Still, Bessey said the amount of national attention directed toward the issue of sexual assault in recent years has increased the legitimacy of student advocacy efforts on campuses and that the task force recommendations are a step in the right direction.“The nature of the recommendations surprised me in a good way and seemed to have responded largely to the grievances that have been being raised by sexual assault [awareness] activists on campuses,” Bessey said.Last May, USC gained national attention when 16 students and alumni submitted a Title IX complaint to the Office for Civil Rights regarding the university’s treatment of sexual assault victims and errors in its reporting and adjudication process.In September 2013, the university hired a Title IX investigator with the primary responsibility of investigating cases of sexual assault and following up with survivors throughout the reporting process. That same month, the USC Department of Public Safety released its Annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report. The report made adjustments for forcible sex offenses, not noted in the previous year’s report.The changes were made as part of the university’s effort to increase compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, which requires college campuses to document three calendar years of campus crime statistics.In March, Ainsley Carry, vice provost for Student Affairs, released a statement about the university’s efforts to work with student organizations to increase awareness of sexual assault and provide resources for victims.In a statement to the Daily Trojan, Carry said the university is continually reviewing existing policies and he and his colleagues are in the process of reviewing the task force report.“We will review these documents and analyze our policies and practices accordingly … and we will use this opportunity to emphasize our support of students’ rights under Title IX,” Carry wrote in an email.Kaya Masler, executive co-director of the USC Women’s Assembly and a member of the Safer Campus Initiative, a group within the Women’s Assembly, said she knows individuals who contributed to the task force report and she is pleased with the recommendations but hopes that additional details will be provided about possible sanctions for perpetrators of sexual assault.Masler has worked with administrators to improve the reporting and adjudication process, but administrators often rely on student organizations to focus on peer prevention and awareness and bystander education“Although we do our best, we are also full time students without the ability to ensure that other students attend our events,” Masler said. “This leaves the majority of the student population undereducated about consent, and that’s really dangerous.”Bessey maintains the White House’s efforts are a step in the right direction, but it is difficult to determine whether or not they can be successfully implemented on campus and lead to effective reform.“Right now these recommendations are fantastic but they don’t have any teeth without laws behind them,” Bessey said. “Furthermore, without means of enforcing those laws, even the current laws that we have that deal with these issues — the most significant being Title IX and the Clery Act — we can see on our own campus how slow that process comes about and how much schools don’t seem to necessarily fear retribution from these issues,” Bessey said.last_img read more

Immaculata repeats as High School A Girl’s Volleyball Champs — Wildcats finish seventh

first_imgThe Mount Sentinel Wildcats concluded the BC High School A Girl’s Volleyball Championships at Selkirk College in Castlegar on a winning note to finish seventh overall in the 16-team field.The Wildcats outlasted Duncan Christian 2-1 (22-25, 25-19, 11-15) in the best-of-three match to capture the match Saturday afternoon in Castlegar.Earlier in the day, Mount Sentinel lost 2-1 (22-25, 25-19, 15-9) to Kelowna Christian, a team the Cats defeated during the round robin draw.“Seventh sometimes is great, but our performance was very inconsistent,” said Mount Sentinel coach Joe Moreira, who once again dodged rumours of retirement.“For example on Thursday, I thought our performance mirrored our preparation — play your role, trust your teammates, compete to score points.“We repeated the same performance on Friday in the quarterfinal against White Rock Christian,” Moreira added. “The loss was disappointing but the effort and energy we displayed was not.”“Saturday was not the finish I had hoped for. In the match against Kelowna Christian we played to avoid losing and of course we lost. In the 7/8th match although we won it was not an inspiring win; we limped to the finish line.”Immaculata of Kelowna defeated Richmond Christian in four games to repeat as provincial champions Saturday evening.Immaculata won the best-of-five final by scores of 25-17, 19-25, 25-23, 25-23. “It’s the second straight title with a few seconds and third in the last five years for (Immaculata),” Moreira explained.“They have had a great run.”“Immaculata has a very special player (MOP – Natalie Livingston),” he added.“In athletic terms she really has the total package; great personal skills and a huge capacity to bring out the best I her teammates.”White Rock Christian Academy defeated Credo Christian of Langley 22-25, 25-19, 11-15 to capture the bronze medal.Mount Sentinel has won the provincial title four times in school history — the last time in 2007 when the school boasted both the provincial volleyball and basketball titles.The last time Mount Sentinel hosted the tournament was in 2012 when the Wildcats edged out White Rock Christian for the bronze medal.The Wildcats finished third last season in Kelowna — the school’s tenth bronze medal.As for those retirement rumours, Moreira, who has been at the helm of the varsity girl’s volleyball team at Mount Sentinel for decades, said he likes his job so why would he want to leave.“I keep on being retired, yet I have no plans to retire,” he said.“I love what I do at Mt Sentinel, including teaching and coaching. My plans currently include going to school on Monday and caring on and returning next season.”Kootenay Champ Fernie Falcons placed sixth overall.See full results at Mount Sentinel School website.last_img read more


first_imgSpeaker of the National Assembly, Ms Thandi Modise, Chairperson of the NCOP, Mr Amos Masondo,Honourable Members,I have called this special joint sitting of the houses of Parliament because there is a dark and heavy shadow across our land.The women and children of this country are under siege.There is a very violent and brutal war underway against the women of South Africa.Last year, 2,700 women and over 1,000 children died at the hands of another person.Every single day the police receive over 100 cases of reported rape.This does not count the many more cases of rape and sexual assault that are not reported.Research by Statistics South Africa shows that one in five South African women older than 18 has experienced physical violence by a partner.South Africa is one of the most unsafe places in the world to be a woman, with levels of violence that are comparable to countries that are at war.While it has its own specific causes and features, gender-based violence reflects a broader crisis of violence in our society.As one writer wrote this week:“We conveniently refer to the attack on women as Gender-Based Violence. This is too vague, too euphemistic, and too simplistic. We should call it what it is. It is the despicable and deplorable violent attacks by men on women, girls and babies. It is more appropriate to refer to it as Male-Perpetrated Violence.”Over the past two weeks, we have witnessed acts of violence against both foreign nationals and South Africans, a situation worsened by the circulation of fake and incendiary messages designed to sow panic.Lawlessness is corroding the fabric of our society.This manifests itseld through violent crime, destruction of public and private property, vehicles and trucks are destroyed and burnt on our roads and highways.Business operations are violently halted as people demand economic benefits from business deals.There are many in our country who have increasingly shown scant regard for the state, for the police and the rule of law, for community and religious leaders and institutions, for our elders, and for each other.There are many who have lost respect for the values that define our very essence as Africans – the protection of women and children, tolerance and the accommodation of difference.We need to restore the human rights of others, a principle that so many South Africans fought for, and a cause for which so many gave their lives.Regardless of where we stand across the political divide, each of us here today recognises the reality that we are confronting a crisis of violence and intolerance.We have to act now before anger, hopelessness and despair engulfs our country.I am today calling on all Members of Parliament and all political parties gathered here to come together to signify the magnitude of the challenge we face, and the importance that our Parliament should attach to it.Confronted with this bad situation the women of our country are demanding that we should have a ‘state of emergency’ which perhaps will enable us to deal more effectively with the scourge.In my address to the nation two weeks ago I said I would be approaching Parliament to determine what emergency measures can be put in place to address this crisis more effectively.Ordinary people and civil society organisations have been waging this struggle.Many women’s organisations have been fighting a rearguard battle, at times with meagre resources to stem the scourge.Now it is time for all political parties to place violence against women at the centre of their concerns.I am looking forward today to hearing concrete proposals from political parties on how we can tackle these challenges together.In this Parliament there are leaders who are both women and men; the voices of men and women alike must be heard.Let us all work together to turn the tide.Outside of this Parliament, on the streets of this country, we have heard the demands of women to be safe.We cry with the parents who have lost their daughters, the children who have lost their mothers, and the friends who have lost their classmates.We feel their pain as fathers, as mothers and as grandparents.We affirm right here, right now, Sekwanele – Enough is enough.The people of this country want action now.Women should not have to protect themselves from men.They should feel safe and secure with us as men.They have the right to feel safe.To enhance the safety of women we are going to, as a matter of urgency, make the necessary amendments to our laws and policies to ensure that perpetrators of gender-based violence are brought to book.We will make substantial additional funding available for a comprehensive package of interventions to make an immediate and lasting difference.We will complete the implementation of the decisions of last year’s Presidential Summit on Gender-based Violence and Femicide.In line with those decisions, and following consultation between government, business, traditional leaders, the media, Chapter Nine Institutions and civil society, we have developed a draft National Strategic Plan, which will be finalised shortly.Given the urgency of the situation, we have developed an Emergency Action Plan, which will be implemented over the next six months.The Plan strengthens existing measures and introduces new interventions in five principal areas:Firstly, how to prevent gender-based violence;Secondly, how we should strengthen the criminal justice system;Thirdly, the steps we should take to enhance the legal and policy framework;Fourthly, what we should do to ensure adequate care, support and healing for victims of violence; and,Fifthly, measures to improve the economic power of women in South Africa.This emergency action plan will be driven by an Interim Steering Committee located in the Presidency and co-chaired by government and civil society organisations.The Steering Committee will coordinate rapid response at national level.In this way, problems at police stations and courts, and challenges such as availability of rape kits or delays in DNA testing, can be channeled to the relevant authorities quickly.As we have done with our response to HIV and AIDS, we should establish appropriate structures in the offices of Premiers and Mayors to work with social partners to drive and coordinate our efforts to end gender-based violence.Honourable members,In implementing our prevention measures, we must recognise that violence against women is not a problem of women.It is a problem of men.Our young men and boys are daily exposed to patriarchal attitudes and practices, and are often encouraged to prove their masculinity through domination and violence.As part of our emergency response and with a view of embarking on prevention measures, we are going to launch a mass media campaign that will target communities, public spaces, workplaces, campuses and schools, as well as recreational spaces like taverns.The focus will be on men’s groups and formations, youth at risk and offenders inside prisons.This will be matched with prevention education in schools.Women’s rights and gender power relations will be part of Life Orientation in the school curriculum.As part of this campaign, we are going to provide gender sensitivity training to law-enforcement officials, prosecutors, magistrates and policy makers – and ensure that those who are found in breach of their responsibilities in this regard are held to account.We will undertake a mass mobilisation programme to train and deploy prevention activists to all of our 278 municipalities.They will engage in household visits and community interventions focused on changing harmful social norms.Compatriots,The second part of our response is to strengthen the criminal justice system.This is to ensure that justice is served, perpetrators are held to account, survivors do not suffer secondary victimisation, and the law acts as a deterrent.We will therefore be directing resources to improve the functioning of Sexual Offences Courts, Thuthuzela Care Centres, and the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Investigation Units of the SAPS.Funding has already been approved for the establishment of an additional eleven Sexual Offences courts over the next financial year.The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development is already working on measures to clear the backlog of criminal cases for rape and other forms of gender-based violence.These measures include the establishment of special courts, hiring additional court staff and clearing the backlog at forensic labs.Since the advent of democracy, we have enacted several laws and undertaken a number of programmes to tackle gender inequality in our society, to promote human rights and to enable effective action against gender-based violence.We have a Ministry in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities.We have a Commission for Gender Equality.In this Parliament, there is a Portfolio Committee and a Select Committee on Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities.Government has launched many, many interventions over the past decade.They have been well-intentioned, but they have not delivered the outcomes we have hoped for.In many respects, however, these measures have fallen short of what is needed to confront the severity of the challenges we face.We will therefore, as our third area of intervention, be proposing a range of legal and regulatory reforms to this Parliament to strengthen the response of the State to gender-based violence.We will propose to Parliament the necessary legislative changes to ensure that all crimes against women and children attract harsher minimum sentences.We need to engage with the Judiciary on the role that it can play in supporting the national effort to end gender-based violence.Abusers, rapists and murderers must know that they will be caught and that they will face the consequences of their actions.We affirm our position that the state should oppose bail for suspects charged with the rape and murder of women and children.Those who are found guilty of such crimes should not be eligible for parole.A life sentence must mean just that – life in prison.We are also going to give urgent attention to strengthening programmes to rehabilitate offenders and youth at risk.It is also important that legislation like the Victim Support Services Bill is finalised as it will strengthen support for GBV programmes and services.We call on all Parliamentary committees to prioritise these areas of legislative reform and ensure that we have effective legislation in place without delay.Honourable Members,As part of our fourth area of intervention – care, support and healing for victims of violence – we will standardise the framework for funding civil society organisations working with survivors of gender-based violence.Through our Emergency Action Plan, we will provide post-rape training for health care providers and lay counsellors who provide care and support to victims and survivors.We will work with the private sector, concerned individuals and other institutions to substantially increase the number of Thuthuzela Care Centres across the country from the current 54 to over 100 by 2025.During our visit to the OR Tambo District yesterday to launch the district development model we found that there are only three such centres serving a population of 1.5 million people.As part of taking initiatives to address the challenges in the district, we have decided to establish a further five Thuthuzela Care Centres in the district.We are planning to meet with representatives of the private sector to discuss the establishment of a Gender-based Violence and Femicide Fund to increase support to survivors, including persons with disability and the LGBTQI+ community.Drug and alcohol abuse fuel gender-based violence pandemic.The Department of Social Development has therefore been tasked with increasing the visibility of substance abuse awareness and education, and prioritising funding for more treatment facilities.Institutions of higher learning require a particular focus.They are important sites of socialisation of young people, but they are also places where sexual harassment, victimisation of women students and rape are rife.We are therefore going to resource the gender-based violence framework in universities and colleges, which will include the establishment of gender equity offices in these institutions.The Vice Chancellors of our universities have asked to meet the President to discuss violence against women on campus.We will be having a meeting to come up with initiatives that are focused on what we should do at institutions of higher learning.Fellow South Africans,Women are often hostages in abusive relationships because of poverty and unemployment.Young women in particular are vulnerable to exploitation from older men with financial resources.By tackling unequal economic power dynamics we can reduce the vulnerability of women to abuse.Government will continue to prioritise women when it comes to access to employment, training opportunities and procurement of services.We call upon the private sector to do the same.Government is committed to reach its target to set aside 30% of the value of its procurement for women-owned businesses, and to progressively increase that to 40%.The landscape of South African business would fundamentally change if the private sector made a similar commitment.We will continue to prioritise support and training for women engaging in small business and informal sector activity, and call on established business to be part of this effortAll government departments will be expected to adhere to gender-responsive planning, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation.We are also going to improve collection and analysis of data to monitor our GBV programmes.As part of this a national gender-based violence prevalence study will be commissioned in the general population as well as a specific survey to monitor gender-based violence in the LGBTQI+ community.Gender-based violence is a societal problem, and as such all sectors of society must become involved.We could, for example, harness the Youth Employment Service initiative to recruit young South Africans to boost staffing at police stations, shelters and counselling centres.The private sector should come on board to fund and capacitate rape crisis centres at hospitals and clinics, and victim support centres at our police stations.Honourable Members,The extraordinary and immediate response that is needed to turn the tide against gender-based violence and femicide will need to be matched by a substantial and urgent reallocation of resources.Cabinet this morning resolved to direct R1.1 billion in additional funding in this financial year to the comprehensive response to gender-based violence.It is government’s intention that the funds appropriated for this programme will be raised from within the current budget allocation and will not require additional borrowing.Honourable Members,No man is born a rapist, a woman-batterer or a murderer.Men and boys are being exposed to violence at a young age, some becoming victims of violence themselves.The phenomenon of absentee fathers means that boys often grow up without positive role models and positive expressions of masculinity, leaving them at the mercy of the streets, and susceptible to involvement in crime and gangs.The perpetrators of these crimes are the products of a brutalised society, a society still suffering the effects of centuries of dehumanisation.We must break this cycle.As men we must play an active role in the movement against gender-based violence.We must lead by example in showing women respect and decency.We must be positive role models to our sons and our daughters.When we witness acts of violence against women we must not look away.Many years ago, South Africa was swept by a revolution in how black people thought about themselves and about their place in society.Like many others, I was involved in black consciousness politics, championed by Steve Biko and others.It changed how we viewed the world and our place in it.No longer would we accept injustice inflicted on us because of the colour of our skin.This revolution is incomplete and it is still living.I believe we are living through another such a revolution in consciousness today, but this time it concerns the injustices under which women have long laboured.Protests driven by women, and particularly by our young people, these past few weeks, have broken a spell.Less than a decade ago we were able to turn the tide on the Aids pandemic because we were able to work together.There was clear commitment from leadership, funds were mobilised and there was solidarity across society.We have the means to end violence against women and children.Now is the time to unite to turn the tide.We must realise the spirit of our Constitution.The rights of women and men alike must be protected.This time must be different.We, South Africans, must be different.Honourable Members,Fellow South Africans,The recent public violence directed against both foreign nationals and South Africans exposed not only the levels of intolerance in our society but also the extent to which so many of our people are frustrated about their social and economic conditions.In responding to these acts of violence and criminality, we must address both the intolerance and the frustration.As we tackle racism and xenophobia, so too must we reinvigorate our efforts to grow an economy that is inclusive and build a state that is capable and developmental.We must deal firmly with any and all acts of criminality.Violent service delivery protests, the destruction of public facilities, cable theft, illegal electricity connections, truck hijackings and construction site invasions disrupt essential services and put lives and livelihoods at risk.They destabilise communities and inhibit economic activity.At the same time, we must attend to the concerns that our people have.We know that our people are concerned about illegal immigration, and about some foreign nationals being involved in crime.We understand the concerns of local businesses struggling to compete against counterfeit goods being sold at prices they cannot match.We share your frustration that some South African employers are employing foreigners over locals to undercut wages, turning worker against worker.We proceed from the principle, as does every other sovereign state, that all who live in South Africa must be legally permitted to do so.That is why government has prioritised border control and security, and ensure that we tighten up regulations to deter illegal immigration.Police and immigration officials who take bribes in return for making cases go away, for releasing impounded goods or for issuing fraudulent documents must be dealt with firmly.South African employers, be they in the trucking industry, hospitality or agriculture, must obey the law.All who operate businesses in this country must be registered and meet the requirements of the law.We should consider, as many other countries have, the regulation of how foreign nationals can own and participate in certain types of businesses within the small and medium enterprise sector.One of the issues raised, quite genuinely by communities, is the proliferation of drug trafficking in various localities, in urban and rural areas.Both South Africans and foreign nationals are involved in this.But we also have to acknowledge that there are certain parts of the country where specific foreign nationals have been identified as the main dealers and pedlars.This needs to be dealt with as a law-enforcement matter, irrespective of the nationality of the individuals involved.The illegal actions of a few must not lead us to turn on all foreign nationals, the majority of whom are decent and law-abiding.Honourable Members,Our fortunes are linked to those of our fellow African nations.This country was built on the labour of not just South Africans, but migrants from India, from China, and from the entire Southern African region.We are a diverse multi-cultural society that draws on the rich experiences and capabilities of people from across the continent and across the world.This makes us a better, more tolerant and more prosperous nation.Rather than retreating into a laager, we must embrace African integration and the benefits it will bring to our economy and those of our neighbours.The African Continental Free Trade Area will fundamentally reshape the economies of our continent, and we need to be prepared to take advantage of the opportunities that will be created.This week I despatched envoys to a number of African countries to address concerns that have been raised by reports of their citizens being attacked.The message they conveyed to the African leaders they have met have been well received.Earlier today, I spoke to former President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania and former President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique to request them to lead a fact-finding mission to South Africa to examine the reasons for the recent violence.They would then make recommendations on the measures we can take to prevent such incidents from happening again.We are going to work with local and international humanitarian organisations as well as the various diaspora forums on an initiative to tackle xenophobia and intolerance.Such a campaign must be aimed at eradicating stereotypes, encouraging cross-cultural understanding and promoting social cohesion.There is no place for xenophobia in this country.Nor is there any place for criminality, whether it is committed by foreigners or locals.From history we know that there is a fine line between turning on foreigners and turning on each other.We have all heard the story of a Shangaan man from Limpopo who was attacked in last week’s violence because he was unable to pronounce the world ‘elbow’ in Zulu.We will not tolerate this.This is a South Africa that belongs to all who live in it.We will not allow this country to be sucked into a maelstrom of primitive nationalism and tribalism.We will courageously and actively resist with all our being any attempts that seek to divide us as Africans from each other.We must devote the same energy to eradicating lawlessness in all its forms.We must join and support our community policing forums.The ward committees and local structures of our political parties must also step up and do their part in making our communities safer.Everyone must see it as their duty to speak out against crime and to report misdeeds.Criminals must have no nowhere to hide.Communities must support initiatives to reintegrate foreign nationals.There is the wonderful example of the way in which hostel indunas and community members in Jeppestown were able to talk to each other and find a way to reopen Jeppe Park Primary following a week of violence.We want to see more of this dialogue.Honourable Members,Our nation is at a crossroads.Our actions now will determine whether we rise or sink into the abyss.Violence against women is not the problem of one province, one community or one political party.It does not wear a green and yellow doek, a smart suit or a red uniform.I call upon this Parliament to consider these and other emergency measures without delay so that all government departments, agencies and civil society formations can begin with implementation.I call upon all our citizens to extend the hand of friendship to the immigrant community who just want to make a better life for themselves and their families.Many of them have fled war and persecution in their own countries, and see South Africa as a safe place for them and their children.Let us show them the spirit of ubuntu and show empathy for their situation.At the same time, we need to continue our work through the African Union to strengthen democracy and good governance across the continent and silence the guns of war and conflict.We must remove the cancers of gender-based violence and xenophobia, so that we can hold our heads up high among the community of nations.The time for talk is over.It is time to restore the hope and faith of our people.Working together, we can turn this moment of crisis into an opportunity to renew ourselves and return to the values of respect for the rule of law and of human rights for all.Working together, we can be a nation at peace with each other, and with our neighbours.We can be a nation that confronts it challenges and overcomes them.Working together, we can heal our nation and unite its people.I thank you.Issued by The PresidencyCape Townwww.thepresidency.gov.zalast_img read more

Harvest issues in Brazil

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest It seems that all the rain that central and northeastern Brazil lacked between October and December is falling now in January.  In some areas, it has rained every single day since Jan. 1 and the precipitation anomaly approaches 100%. But for some areas in Mato Grosso, the top Brazilian soybean-growing state, those rains have arrived too late. That’s why AgRural cut its yield estimate again in early January, from 46 to 43.8 bushels per acre. If realized, this average yield will be the lowest for Mato Grosso in 10 years. In some irrigated areas of Bahia and Minas Gerais, where the first areas are already mature for harvest, there are some cases of pod sprouting.Bad for harvest and some mature fields…Those rains have delayed the harvest progress in Mato Grosso. Last Friday, 3.6% of its soybean area was harvested, compared to 7.4% a year ago and 5% on the five-year average. Yields vary from 22 to 36 bushels per acre, but areas planted later have higher potential. Besides the excessive moisture (which has had a decrease from the previous week, but is still high), the erratic planting pace also contributes to the slow harvest progress. In Paraná, the No. 2 producing state, harvest is complete in 2.3% of the area, compared to 5% last year and 2% on the five-year average. Goiás and Mato Grosso do Sul, in central Brazil, have also begun the harvest, but it is still very incipient (0.3% and 0.6%, respectively). In Brazil as a whole, 1.5% of the soybean area is harvest, compared to 3.5% last year and 2% on the five-year average.…but good for the bulk of the cropAlthough holding back the harvest pace in some areas, the constant rains in January have benefited many soybean fields across the country, especially those planted later in Mato Grosso and also in the Northeast states. In the South, the drier and warmer weather inspires some concern, especially in Rio Grande do Sul, where the crops still have a long way to go. But the soils have abundant moisture and there is no real threat to the crop development so far. Also, there is rain in the forecasts.Still above 100 mmt?On Jan 12, the federal crop agency Conab made just a minor adjustment in its soybean production forecast. The Brazilian production fell from 102.5 million tons in December to 102.1 million tons. A 0.8 million ton cut in Mato Grosso was partially offset by upward revisions in other states. Although the crop failure is not going to be as severe as initially expected, it is hard to believe that the Brazilian production will surpass 100 million tons. In early January, AgRural lowered its production estimate from 99.7 million to 98.7 million tons, still a record high. Much can still happen. Soybean yields still depend on weather conditions until March or April, depending on the state.CornSummer cropThe summer corn crop, which was planted from September to December, is in very good shape, since at this time of the year the production is concentrated in the South and in the Southeast, where the weather conditions have been favorable. AgRural projects the production at 27.6 million tons, compared to 30.1 million tons last year. The 8% decrease is due to the smaller planted area. In December, the forecast was at 26.7 million tons.“Safrinha”For the second crop, or “safrinha,” which is planted right after the soybean harvest, AgRural expects a record planted area, with an increase of up to 5%, because the domestic prices are good. Brazilian exports have been very strong, we almost don’t have corn at the spot market right now and the summer crop, which is 5.3% harvested so far, is smaller than a year ago. So, the market is pushing up prices in order to “buy” more acres for corn. Also, many farmers have already sold a significant part of the crop and must plant in order to meet contracts.Corn shortageWith record exports and prices skyrocketing in the cash market, small poultry and pork producers have had a hard time to feed their flocks. Last Friday, the federal crop agency Conab announced that it is going to sell 500 thousand tons out of its 1.476 million ton stocks.DelayThe delay in the soybean crop in some states, especially in Mato Grosso, is a problem, but farmers are likely to plant corn until the end of March, after the ideal window, hoping for an extended rainy season. Planting is 0.8% complete in south-central Brazil, compared to 3% a year ago and also 3% on the three-year average.Total corn productionIf we have favorable weather conditions until May or mid-June, Brazil can produce 82 or 83 million tons, compared to 84.7 million tons last year.last_img read more

Free Podcasts on Building Topics

first_imgWhen Corbett Lunsford got out of the music business and took up building diagnostics and consulting, he learned that old hands in the industry weren’t always interested in sharing their trade secrets. They were, in fact, “a little bit cranky” when Lunsford came calling.So the Chicago-based Lunsford vowed that when he became more established, he’d share what he knew with anyone who was interested — for free.The result is a series called The Building Performance Podcast. To date, Lunsford has produced 58 podcasts ranging from 15 minutes to 45 minutes in length. You can listen to them online or download them as MP3 files.The podcasts are a sideline for Lunsford, the managing director and trainer of the Green Dream Group, a company which he started with his wife, Grace Lunsford, in 2008. About 60% of his time goes to Green Dream, which performs building diagnostics, and about 40% to the Building Performance Workshop, which trains others.Lunsford produces all of the podcasts himself, recording them “guerrilla style” with his iPhone. He says there are about 2,000 downloads per episode.The podcasts also have become a learning tool as Lunsford tracks down and interview experts on topics he’d like to learn more about it. In that sense, he says, the podcasts are a little selfish.Lunsford, a HERS and Passive House Institute U.S. rater, is also author of a book, Home Performance Diagnostics: The Guide to Advanced Testing.last_img read more

Champions League Twenty20: Mahmood-inspired Auckland beat KKR by 7 wickets

first_imgKolkata Knight Riders ‘ chances of making the semifinals of the Champions League Twenty20 tournament suffered a major blow as they slumped to their second successive defeat after losing to Auckland Aces by seven wickets in a Group A match, here on Monday night.Auckland rode high on veteran Azhar Mahmood’s superb all-round show as they knocked off a modest target of 138 runs with 14 balls to spare.Mahmood, who was instrumental in restricting KKR to 137 for six with brilliant figures of 3 for 16, also produced an unbeaten knock of 51 runs, which turned out to be crucial in the final outcome of the match at the New Wanderers stadium.To add to the misery of KKR, Mahmood, in his second spell, removed dangerman McCullum.KKR captain Gautam Gambhir ‘s decision to induct Shakib Al Hasan at the expense of seasoned Brett Lee backfired badly as the reigning IPL champions missed out a genuine paceman on a pitch that was assisting the faster bowlers.Apart from Mahmood, Lou Vincent (30), Martin Guptill (25) and Anaru Kitchen (24) also came up with useful contributions.Brendon McCullum top-scored for the Knight Riders with a 35-ball 40, which was laced with two sixes and three fours.But the Knight Riders could not build partnerships and lost wickets in regular intervals.Mahmood made inroads into the KKR’s middle-order with his twin strike in the 10th over as he dismissed Jacques Kallis (0) and Manoj Tiwary (0) in successive deliveries to dent the Knight Riders innings, who after the early loss of Gautam Gambhir had tried to recover well.Mahmood, in his second spell, removed dangerman McCullum to add to the misery of KKR, who came into this match after being crushed by Delhi Daredevils by 52 runs in their opening tournament fixture on Saturday.Mahmood was ably supported by Kyle Mills, Michael Bates and Ronnie Hira, who picked up a wicket apiece.advertisementlast_img read more

Celebrate Solutions: The Tamil Nadu Health Systems Project, India

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on November 16, 2010June 20, 2017By: Mariko Rasmussen, Program Assistant, Women DeliverClick 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 email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This post was originally published on Women Deliver’s blog. Reposted with permission.Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula. The state faces major challenges in improving and increasing access to health care services, but they are making significant strides. The Government of Tamil Nadu developed a Health Policy in 2003 with a focus on the health of low-income communities and families. The Tamil Nadu Health Systems Project supports this strategy through several interventions, especially those aimed at reducing infant and maternal mortality. The World Bank recently provided more funds, in addition to the original financing in 2004, to further improve health services quality and access while supporting state-wide management systems implementation.The Project has utilized several innovative and effective measures (PDF). To increase access to necessary maternal and neonatal health services, 80 comprehensive emergency obstetrics and neonatal centers have been established and strengthened, leading to improved quality of care for women and infants. This care includes health education, nutritional support, and HIV/AIDS testing and counseling. In addition, 385 ambulances have been provided under the project, managed under a public private partnership, increasing emergency transport services in rural areas. These public private partnerships have also provided mobile out-reach health services as well as other services.The Project also launched a pilot program that includes ensuring women’s reproductive health through cervical cancer screenings. The pilot program has had great success with 84% of women in the target age group of 30 – 60 years being screened in the Theni and Thanjavur districts and the scheme could be extended to the whole of Tamil Nadu.To ensure that women’s and infants’ health visits are recorded, an electronic health management system was established and is now operational in 38 secondary level hospitals, with plans to extend to all 270, and to 18 medical colleges. These electronic records prove invaluable in maintaining and monitoring a woman’s and her infants’ health throughout the continuum of care.From these interventions and more, Tamil Nadu has seen improvements in both maternal and infant health. Infant mortality has decreased by 35%. The state’s maternal mortality ratio has decreased 50% from 167 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1999 to 111 in 2006, while India’s MMR in 2008 was 230. While this is exciting progress, it is still 25 times higher than in developed countries. But with further improvements to quality of care and strengthened comprehensive emergency obstetric and neonatal care, Tamil Nadu is on the right track.Share this:last_img read more

ANZ Stadium to stage World Masters Games Opening Ceremony

first_imgMinister for Tourism Jodi McKay today announced that Sydney Olympic Park’s ANZ Stadium will stage the Opening Ceremony of the world’s largest multi-sport event, the 2009 Sydney World Masters Games, on Sunday 11 October.Ms McKay said the Opening Ceremony will feature the largest athlete’s parade on earth, with an estimated 25,000 competitors from more than 100 countries to follow in the footsteps of Sydney 2000 Olympic athletes.”The Masters Games will be a great event for Sydney and NSW and an Opening Ceremony at ANZ Stadium is a fitting way to kick-off festivities,” Ms McKay said.”The Games are expected to contribute close to $50 million to the NSW economy and provide another opportunity to showcase Sydney and our world-class sporting venues.”Games organisers have appointed Out There Productions, the creative producers for World Youth Day 2008’s Papal Arrival at Barangaroo, Evening Vigil and Final Mass at Randwick Racecourse, to produce the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the Games.”The Sydney 2009 World Masters Games Opening Ceremony at ANZ Stadium will celebrate Australian culture, Masters sport and, most importantly of all, the competitors themselves,” said Ceremonies Director Andy Lopez.Award-winning Australian producer Dein Perry and leading Australian creative director Rhoda Roberts will also be in charge of directing segments of the ANZ Stadium celebration.Ms McKay said the Masters Games is the world’s largest multi-sport event and the Sydney 2009 World Masters Games has already received 7,900 competitor registrations.”Everyone is invited to participate in the Sydney Masters Games irrespective of how old or how competitive you are.”The Games provide a unique opportunity to have an Olympic-style experience, from marching in the Opening Ceremony at ANZ Stadium to competing at other outstanding Olympic venues during competition.”Other key events on the Games social calendar include the Closing Ceremony in Darling Harbour (Sunday 18 October), a special performance of the Mikado by Opera Australia at the Sydney Opera House (Monday 12 October) and the Masters Gala Ball at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre (Thursday 15 October).Highlights of the Games social programOpening Ceremony: ANZ Stadium (11 October)Closing Ceremony: Darling Harbour (18 October)Masters Gala Ball: Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre (15 October)Opera Australia “The Mikado”: Sydney Opera House (12 October)Sydney Olympic Park Club House: Brewery Bar (10-17 October)Health & Lifestyle Expo: The Dome (7-11 October)People wanting to find out more about the social calendar of the Sydney 2009 World Masters Games can visit www.2009worldmasters.com .To enter the Games people need to meet their sport’s minimum age, which ranges between 25 and 35 years. Registrations close on 31 July.Related Filesanz_stadium_to_stage_opening_ceremony-pdflast_img read more