160 Days to Go

first_imgFrom left: Boakai (UP), Brumskine (LP), Jones (MOVEE), Cummings (ANC) and Urey (ALP)There remains 160 days from today to the much talked about historical presidential and legislative elections that many Liberians believe would change the destiny of the country.The day, October 10, will determine eventual changes in the body politic of the country. Though there is much talk about the reality of the ‘controversial’ Code of Conduct, many Liberians interviewed are hopeful that there will be a way out for the country to move in unity.“The current progress is irreversible,” stated Ms. Saviour Tweh, a student of a university in Monrovia, “we cannot afford to let things divide us.” Hence many Liberians recognize the fact that whatever is done in the process to ensure transparency to the next government must be done with consistency of purpose, geared at greater unity for Liberia.Though some of the people interviewed said much has not been done in the last 12 years of President Sirleaf’s Administration, pointing the slow level of development and the increasing cost of living and the inability to control the rise of the United States’ dollar to the Liberian, such claims have been compared to former President Charles Taylor’s administration where he decided and the business community complied with his decisions as they affected the economic lives of the people.  It is the political leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MOVEE), Dr. Joseph Mills Jones, who said last week during a tour of Bong County, “It is not that nothing was done, but much was not done.” He was making reference to the poor state of development in both the people and the country and even stated that when the Republic of Ghana was gaining independence in 1957, Liberia was 110 years old. “Ghana has left us behind in development and why?” he said, insisting it was because of poor leadership.Many Liberians, like Dr. Jones, believe that poor administrative strategies have failed the country since independence in 1847, and therefore, “we must stop doing business and begin to put people who have shown by their record that they have the people’s interest at heart.” He said last week in Salala that whenever Liberia is mentioned, people don’t mean trees and rocks but the people, hence Liberians must seek for leaders who have made impacts on their lives.And though Dr. Jones appears to have a clear-cut agenda or platform for the future, which reflects on his background as an economist, and the financial inclusion policy, which he explored at the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), many of the political parties have not revealed what they would do differently.Many have also re-echoed the need to improve on education, infrastructure and ensure in vague terms that County Development and Social Development Funds allotted to counties annually would be used to benefit all. The Alternative National Congress (ANC) of Alexander Cummings has promised good leadership because it has the political will to ‘send corrupt officials to jail’ to defeat corruption. But his offer, among suggestions, is yet to be applauded evidence by statements that seem to indicate he might be affected by the controversial Code of Conduct (CoC), for his role as a member of the BWI Board of Directors of which he did not resign, two years before declaring his intent to run for office.On the other hand, All Liberia Party’s Benoni Urey, from recent statements is comfortable with the presence of the Code of Conduct and has indicated his unwillingness for any individual or group to recommend any suggestion to minimize the power of the Code of Conduct. Urey, an astute farmer, is reported to have gained popularity in the leeward counties and believes to be among unidentified frontrunners. Urey did not take it lightly with Governance Commission chairman, Dr. Amos Sawyer, for his recent suggestion for the government to ignore the Code of Conduct.Both the Liberty Party’s Charles Walker Brumskine and the Coalition of Democratic Change (CDC) see a new day to make a difference. The CDC has recently intensified membership campaigns after a number of defections and the LP has also benefitted from new members, including Musa Bility and vice standard bearer Harrison Kanwea of Nimba County. Criticized for his recent outburst against Vice President Boakai, Brumskine is working slowly but surely toward the objective he sought two elections ago.In all this, the objective is how to maintain peace and for this there are Liberians who have said that for the country to move forward there must be some justice against certain individuals who contributed to the country’s dark past, and have suggested that unless some of the people are sent to jail, the attainment of peace would be elusive.But as far as ensuring that some Liberians are held liable for the war, many others seem not to agree that anyone should be tried for the crimes committed during the war, because of arrangements made with the warlords, which ensured the restoration of peace to the country.  Howeverk the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, set up after the war, made some recommendations that are yet to be implemented, and others ignored for the sake of peace.Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, as a sitting second in command, is held with respect, and many are of the opinion that he could easily assume the mantle of leadership from President Sirleaf, though he may be tainted by the “faults” of the current administration.  Therefore, to allow him to continue would be to allow the same party to be in power for a third term, reminiscent of the years when Liberia was governed as a one-party state, from 1847-1980.Though many of the political parties are set for the contest on October 10, there is still the issue of the Code of Conduct (CoC) that was upheld as law by the Supreme Court that seems to indict several politicians, who did not actually resign from their posts, but were later petitioned to join the contest.The CoC makes references to “anyone with the desire to run for office” and many of those who did not resign and were later petitioned to run have said they did not have the desire to join the race till they were retired from their positions and were petitioned.The Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) of Senator George Weah and the All Liberian Party (ALP) of Benoni Urey has called for the CoC to be upheld and have vowed to ensure that the country’s law is rigid and respected.Already many politicians have made huge investments in the country after National Elections Commission (NEC) qualified their respective parties, and have acquired large followings. Therefore, for any law to make any attempt to deny them the right to contest as mandated by the Constitution of Liberia could be a cause for discord.Many of those interviewed did not show any sign that they worried about the CoC being the cause for potential instability, but the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and their international counterparts recently issued a statement indicating how worried they are about the eventual withdrawal of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) forces from Liberia.With just 160 days to elections, what seems to be a key distraction is the claim that NEC chairman Cllr. Jerome Korkoya holds United States citizenship for which the National Democratic Coalition (NDC) recently threatened to go to court to remove him from the position.In any event, the government, the Supreme Court and the people of Liberia would have to determine what laws to uphold to sustain peace in a country that for 14 years saw many deaths and an insidious disease (Ebola) that killed over 4,000 others.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Leaders, rider advocates work for transit funds

first_imgRaymond added that the MTA is looking at an operating deficit of $108 million this year, and a total of $1.8 billion over the next 10 years. The Legislature held its first budget subcommittee hearing on the public transit budget Wednesday. More than a dozen advocates of public transit and representatives of local agencies such as the MTA urged the committee to restore funding that Schwarzenegger has proposed cutting. While the committee did not take any votes, several members said they were concerned about the cuts and would consider restoring at least some of the money. In his 2007-08 budget plan, Schwarzenegger has proposed redirecting to other state programs about $1.1 billion in funds that would normally be slated for public transit. Those include $627 million redirected to school busing; $340 million for debt service on earlier transportation bonds; and $144 million for a program to transport recipients of social service programs. Those programs, while transportation-related, were previously funded from other state agencies’ budgets, such as schools and health services, not from transportation. SACRAMENTO – Los Angeles officials and transit advocates fought Wednesday to restore more than $1 billion in cuts to public transportation in Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposed budget for 2007-08. The governor, they said, is shortchanging public transit at a time when it is desperately needed in California amid rising gas prices and growing environmental concerns. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, for example, is considering fare hikes next year in part because it would lose at least $260 million in state funding under the governor’s plan. “Under the proposed state budget, Los Angeles County’s public transit system would be severely and negatively impacted,” MTA spokesman Matthew Raymond told legislators. Much of the revenue that is being redirected is coming from excess gasoline tax revenues, known in budget parlance as “spillover,” that are a result of higher gas prices. Schwarzenegger made a similar proposal last year to shift the spillover, but the Legislature restored the money to transit. Schwarzenegger’s Department of Finance argues that the spillover fluctuates wildly every year, based on gas prices, and should not be counted upon as a stable source of transit funding. The administration is looking to make the shift of spillover permanent. Also, finance officials say, the amount of spillover was over-estimated last year, and this year’s figure reflects a compensation for overspending. Finance spokesman H.D. Palmer noted that the governor is increasing the budget for transit capital projects – even though he is decreasing funds for the operating budgets of local transit agencies. Schwarzenegger also helped pass Proposition 1B last year, which in coming years will provide more than $4 billion in bond financing for public transportation projects. “The governor spearheaded Proposition 1B, which provides a significant amount of additional dollars for transit,” Palmer said in a telephone interview. “The fact is, under this governor’s budget, transit projects in California will have a stable and growing source of revenue.” harrison.sheppard@ dailynews.com (916) 446-6723 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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SA to host 2017 Canoe Marathon Worlds

first_img20 November 2013 South African canoeing has received a major boost with the announcement by the International Canoe Federation that the World Canoe Marathon Championships will be hosted by the Natal Canoe Club at Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg in 2017. The announcement came at the ICF board of directors’ meeting in Lima, Peru on the weekend, bringing to fruition the lobbying work done by the Natal Canoe Club to host the event at the home of the famous Dusi Canoe Marathon. “This is a major boost for canoeing in South Africa,” Canoeing South Africa president Christo Horn said this week. “Marathon racing is one of our strongest disciplines, and we currently have both the senior men’s K1 world champion and under-23 men’s K1 world champion in Hank McGregor and Andy Birkett to go with our long history of marathon successes. “This will allow our elite athletes to perform in front of their hometown supporters, and it will be a great opportunity to market and grow the discipline of flat water marathon racing at a venue more famous for river racing.” For under-23 world champ Birkett, a Pietermaritzburg resident and member of the Natal Canoe Club (NCC), the event will be an opportunity to compete for a world title on home water.‘A great place’ “I am very excited. In 2017, I will be 27. That’s pretty much the perfect age,” Birkett said. “I’m sure that Pietermaritzburg will be a great place to have it as well. The people tend to support big sporting events held in the city. It’s quite a small community, but sports events, like the 2013 Mountain Bike World Championships, are very well supported. Hopefully we’ll see something along the same line for the Canoe Marathon World Champs.” Brett Austen Smith, the general manager of the NCC, said he wanted to make the event as accessible as possible for overseas visitors. “We are very grateful to the ICF for awarding us this event,” he said. “Their confidence is very encouraging and we see this as reward for the strong reputation South Africa has in marathon canoeing. “Our intention is to make the World Champs a truly memorable event, and the biggest event in the history of marathon racing. “We will be able to offer very affordable food and accommodation packages due to the exchange rate. The strong Zulu Culture of this region will also make for an exciting and interesting event, both on and off the water. We will be able to offer and present an event that will be totally unique for both competitors and spectators alike.” Austen Smith said R17.5-million (approximately €1.3-million) would be spent to ensure the World Championships will be memorable. “Hosting the 2017 event will ensure that facilities at Camps Drift are significantly upgraded. This will result in a world class venue, not only for competition, but for training during northern hemisphere winters as well. “The NCC Clubhouse has gym and physio facilities, as well as access to perfect training waters. The close proximity to the City centre means that paddlers never have far to travel for shopping conveniences like coffee shops and internet facilities that are always so important to athletes. Year round, the weather is very suitable for paddling.”A reward Three-time world champion Hank McGregor said he saw the awarding of the World Championships as a reward for South Africa’s passion for marathon paddling. “It’s fantastic news, ‘ he said. “The ICF has clearly seen South Africa as a country that is serious about marathons and this is due to all the results, from our junior boys and girls to our masters over the years. “It is such a big plus, but we mustn’t take it for granted. “I would love to be part of it in some way,” McGregor added. “I am getting a little long in the tooth, so I don’t know if I will be racing the seniors, but I really want to be there in some form or other.” The NCC will host a number of major events at Camps Drift in the lead-up to the 2017 World Championships, including the 2015 Kwa-Zulu Natal Championships, the South African Championships and the All African Championships currently planned for the venue. In 2016 the ICF World Cup will serve as a dress rehearsal for the World Champs.Masters Cup The 2017 World Championships will be preceded by the Masters Cup events for veteran and masters paddlers, which is expected to be very well supported by local paddlers. “Our veteran and masters age group paddling is extremely strong, and because there is no limit to the entry for these events, we expect a huge turnout of local paddlers eager to be a part of this event in their own backyard,” said Austen Smith. “We have four years to prepare for this event, and also to get our talent identification process geared up so that we can really mount a considerable challenge in every age group and category.”last_img read more

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The Bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers and Its Move to the Cloud

first_imgAlthough Chapter 11 affords reorganization and protection from debtors, declaring bankruptcy is the end of the story for many businesses. But when it’s the largest Chapter 11 in history, as was the case when the financial services corporation Lehman Brothers declared bankrupcy in 2008, “the end” is a story in itself. And as a story in CIO Magazine chronicles, it’s a story that involves the company winding down its vast IT infrastructure – and moving to the cloud.As part of the bankruptcy process involved turning Lehman Brothers’ remaining assets into cash for the company’s creditors, minimizing costs and maximizing efficiency was important. Lehman Brothers’ CTO James Johnson had to “find a solution to support the current business and at the same time support the wind-down.”Johnson needed a way to scale down certain aspects of IT operations while scaling up others – all at the same time, of course, as avoiding any major capital investment on the bankrupt firm. “It wasn’t like I was looking for cloud computing,” Johnson tells CIO Magazine. But as he evaluated his options, “cloud matched exactly what we wanted to do.”Before its Chapter 11, Lehman Brothers had a huge IT operation, the norm for most Wall Street companies. It deployed 2,700 software applications running on 27,000 servers. It supported over 100,000 different devices, ranging from smartphones to traders’ terminals. And Johnson was tasked with taking all of that apart while simultaneously, of course, supporting all of it.In retrospect, the move to the cloud by Lehman Brothers makes perfect sense. There was no money for an investment in hardware (just another capital expenditure that would eventually need to be liquidated). But at the same time, Johnson still had to maintain services for a “very demanding set of users.”The move to the cloud, according to the CIO article, afforded a certain stability while the rest of Lehman Brothers collapsed – or rather, reorganized. And in Johnson’s final words, moving to the cloud during this process actually gave him both stability and “maximum flexibility in being able to guess wrong and still meet all our objectives.” Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… audrey watters A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketcenter_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#Analysis#cloud Related Posts last_img read more

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CARFIT And CEA Create A Joint Lab On Artificial Intelligence

first_imgKyle Ellicott AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … Tags:#artificial intelligence#CARFIT#connected cars#Deep Learning#in-vehicle#Nicolas Olivier#predictive maintenance#ReadWrite Labs A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img CARFIT and CEA have signed an agreement to create a joint laboratory focused on Artificial Intelligence related to car vibrations and their interpretation. The lab will bring together teams from the List, a CEA Tech Institute, and from CARFIT to share knowledge and expertise. The joint lab will be dedicated to the development of artificial intelligence methods for identifying signs of mechanical failures exposed by car vibrations.CARFIT develops technological solutions to simplify mobility, by proposing real-time car monitoring to offer a smart maintenance system, adapted to the driver’s car use. The CARFIT team is comprised of automobile specialists, scientists, and artificial intelligence experts. CARFIT wants to further develop its predictive maintenance expertise by exploiting automobile vibration data analysis.As a major research player at the national and international level, the CEA fulfills its industry competitiveness mission through CEA Tech, the CEA Technological Research Division. More specifically, the List institute carries out research on smart digital systems. The List’s teams already lead research projects on in-vehicle systems, interactive systems, and sensors and signal processing. As a Carnot institute (TN@UPSaclay), the List’s collaboration with CARFIT joins Carnauto spinneret action to strengthen competitiveness and attractiveness of the companies of the automotive domain by facilitating their access to the innovation.The activities of CARFIT and CEA are thus complementary, enabling a fruitful collaboration on automobile predictive maintenance by vibration analysis. The two partners have therefore agreed to conduct a common R&D, leading to the design and development of optimized, innovative solutions of predictive maintenance for light-duty vehicles (authorized loaded weight not to exceed 3.5 tons).“As an autotech startup, the creation of a joint lab with the CEA is a key milestone for CARFIT. This lab will extend our capabilities in Artificial Intelligence beyond what we could have done alone and opens up opportunities within the automotive ecosystem already in collaboration with the CEA.” says Nicolas OLIVIER – CEO of CARFIT.“The List institute contributes to the automotive revolution through the autonomous and connected car and the development of digital services.” declares Philippe Watteau, Directeur de l’Institut List. “The Artificial Intelligence is at the heart of this revolution and our collaboration with CARFIT is going to open the way to the maintenance of tomorrow which will be predictive and as a service.”This cooperation opens the way to the development of innovative architecture taking advantage of the deep learning to improve the diagnostic accuracy, to anticipate the failures and to maximize the mechanical defect coverage of vehicle components by vibration analysis.Disclaimer: CARFIT is an alumnus of our ReadWrite Labs accelerator program. Kyle Ellicott is also an advisor to the company. Related Posts AI Will Empower Leaders, Not Replace Themlast_img read more

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Angry Daniel Ricciardo punches through a wall after US Grand Prix retirement

first_imgAngry Australian Daniel Ricciardo left his mark on Sunday’s US Grand Prix by punching through a wall in the Red Bull hospitality after suffering yet another engine failure.The power cut-out happened while he was in fourth place, having seen off a challenge from Ferrari’s Formula One title contender Sebastian Vettel.”He’s taken out his frustration in his room by putting his fist through the wall, which you can totally relate to,” commented team boss Christian Horner.”I’m sure he’ll be having a word with his future employers about it – it’s so frustrating to keep losing him from races at the moment.”Kimi Raikkonen silences critics with US GP win: Great day to prove some people wrongRicciardo is leaving Red Bull at the end of the season for Renault, who provide his current team with their engines under Tag Heuer branding.Horner said the failure was exactly the same one as Ricciardo suffered in Bahrain earlier in the year.”It looks like a major issue in the energy store and it just takes out all the power,” he said.US Grand Prix: Raikkonen grabs first win in 2044 days to delay Hamilton’s title party”We’ve got another energy store within the allocation without having to take a penalty and the Renault guys in the garage have obviously apologised, which we appreciate, but the frustration is for Daniel.”He knows its not a team issue, he knows it’s nothing we’ve done. He can’t get his head around why it keeps happening to him,” added the boss.advertisementRicciardo, whose Dutch team mate Max Verstappen finished second after starting 18th, lasted only eight laps before the failure.No words @DanielRicciardo #USGP pic.twitter.com/hU1zGJIshLFormula 1 (@F1) October 22, 2018″I couldn’t even communicate with anyone on the radio so it looks like a battery failure,” he said.”Now, seeing how the race played out makes it even harder to take as it could have been pretty interesting and it was a great afternoon for Max.”(With Reuters inputs)last_img read more

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