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Cyclone death toll rises as aid workers rescue more African survivors

first_img5 killed as death toll from Madagascar Cyclone rises Death toll in Madagascar cyclone rises to 33 as 22 missing A week after a cyclone ripped through southern Africa and triggered devastating floods that have killed hundreds of people and displaced hundreds of thousands ,rescue workers plucked more survivors from trees and roofs to safety on ThursdayThe death toll in Mozambique has since risen to 217 and around 15,000 people, many of them very ill, still need to be rescued, this is according to Land and Environment Minister Celso Correia“Our biggest fight is against the clock,” Correia told a news conference, adding that 3,000 had so far been rescued.In neighbouring Zimbabwe, the death toll jumped to 139. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), which is coordinating food drops, said 200,000 Zimbabweans would need urgent food aid for three months. In Malawi 56 people were confirmed dead.“This is a catastrophe… Cyclone Idai has destroyed so much in an instance and it will take years for people to recover what they have lost,” said Edgar Jone, country director in Mozambique for the Christian aid charity Tearfund.Helicopters whirred above the turbid, reddish-brown flood waters searching for people to ferry back to the port city of Beira, the main headquarters for the huge rescue operation.With more rains forecast, Christian worshippers sang hymns on an empty tract of land where a pulpit was all that remained of their pentecostal church.“… here in Beira, all the churches have collapsed from this cyclone… Oh my dear brothers, please pray for us,” said Pastor Luis Semente. “Only God can restore this.”With some flood waters starting to recede, Environment Minister Correia said, the priority now was to deliver food and other supplies to people rather than take people out of the affected areas, although that was also still happening.Relatedcenter_img Madagascar cyclone death toll rises to 51, with thousands displacedlast_img read more

The World’s Most Expensive Fidget Spinner Is Now on Sale For $16,700

first_imgI think even $3 is too expensive for a fidget spinner.  So . . . um . . . I’m definitely not the target audience for THIS. A Russian jewelry company called Caviar just started selling the world’s most expensive fidget spinner . . . for $16,700.  Why’s it so expensive?  Because it’s covered in 100 grams of solid GOLD. Now . . . we looked it up, and you can get a 100-gram bar of gold for about $4,000, so I’m not sure how that translates to a $16,700 price tag.  But I guess if you’re interested in buying it, those little details aren’t going to stop you.last_img read more

NC Consumers Have One Week to Weigh In on Net Neutrality

first_imgRALEIGH, N.C. – North Carolina schools could be among the groups and consumers impacted by the end of net neutrality.The Federal Communications Commission votes next week on whether to lift the current rules that keep internet service providers from offering faster speeds to sites that can afford to pay big bucks, a move that could put small business and nonprofit websites at a disadvantage.Christopher Mitchell, director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, says providers might start partitioning off the internet with packages that give access only to specific sites.“The fear is that without network neutrality, without that protection, the internet service providers will have more power to charge you more to access certain sites or certain services,” he warns. “Historically, the example is that you might get charged more to use Netflix.”Large internet providers have promised to be fair and keep consumers’ best interest in mind. But, Mitchell worries they could slow down connection speeds for website owners that don’t pay up, thus driving viewers to other, faster sites.Some public libraries have said they may have to start charging for the use of their computers if rates are increased by their service providers.FCC chairman Ajit Pai, a former attorney for Verizon, says the market will curb any abuses. But Mitchell notes that in many towns, big internet service providers have a near monopoly.“Most Americans only have one choice in high-quality internet access,” he laments. “Beyond that, they have to either take a lower-quality service option or move.”In more than 30 states, local authorities have taken the matter into their own hands, organizing municipal telephone companies that compete with the big ISPs but are required to operate in the public interest and seek to offer reasonably priced, high-speed internet.Protests have sprung up nationwide. To find an event in your area, visit battleforthenet.comlast_img read more

Football Fridays fever mounts

first_imgSouth Africa’s 2010 mascot Zakumiinteracted with government employees atthe Football Fridays launch.(Image: Bongani Nkosi)The South African government has thrown its full weight behind Football Fridays – a campaign to drum up support for national football squad Bafana Bafana ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup.Football Fridays was officially launched at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on 30 October 2009 and Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe was there to give his seal of approval.“We would like to make the call to all South Africans, especially public servants, to wear football jerseys every Friday in anticipation of this great celebration coming our way next year … the Football Friday concept is one such initiative that government fully supports,” he said.The drive was introduced in September by the International Marketing Council (IMC) and has since been encouraging the public to don shirts of their favourite team, be it Kaizer Chiefs or Manchester United, at the end of every working week.As the custodian of Brand South Africa, the IMC’s primary task is to promote the country as a destination “Alive with Possibility”.“Fly the Flag for Football”, of which Football Fridays is a part, and “Feel the Diski Rhythm: it’s time to celebrate 2010!” are further IMC initiatives designed to ignite football spirit in South Africa before the World Cup kicks off here in June next year.At Friday’s launch government officials and Union Buildings employees turned out in their droves to be introduced to Football Fridays in style. “We must ensure that every public servant wears their jersey every Friday,” said the Presidency’s chief operations officer Jesse Duarte.The intention is to get every working South African in his or her football jersey every Friday, including those in the private sector, where the initiative is already taking shape, said Irvin Khoza, chairperson of the 2010 Local Organising Committee.Besides getting the nation in the desired mood for an exciting tournament, Football Fridays will also inspire national unity that is “required to host a successful World Cup”.“Football Fridays is a brilliant concept. We encourage everybody to support it,” Irvin said.“We believe that [Football Fridays] will help us define our South Africanness,” said IMC CEO Paul Bannister.Bafana Bafana gears upFootball Fridays, said Sports and Recreation Minister Makhenkesi Stofile, is all about “laying a solid foundation to build a movement around Bafana Bafana”.The minister added that the initiative will go a long way in reigniting the spirit shown to the national team during the Fifa Confederations Cup in June 2009.Bafana, which had struggled during the eight matches in the run-up to the tournament, put in a sterling performance at the Confed Cup. It collected four points in the group stages and went on to lose 1-0 to Brazil in the semi-finals. Many a local football critic commended the team for their accomplishment.Just recently the South African Football Association reinstated Bafana’s former coach, Carlos Alberto Parreira, which will undoubtedly boost the squad’s morale.The Brazilian coach, who is famed for bringing brought World Cup victory to his country, is replacing fellow Brazilian Joel Santana who had a difficult time during his South African tenure.At the launch world football icon and former Bafana captain Lucas Radebe said South Africa’s recent below-par performance is not likely to continue into 2010. “I believe that this is a blessing in disguise … the team will really perform well at the right time. The players must know that they have the support of the nation.”But Bafana Bafana isn’t the only team South Africans are expected to support during next year’s spectacle: all African teams participating need the backing of the nation.To date Ghana and Ivory Coast have secured their places, alongside South Africa, which qualified automatically as the host nation. The last African nation to be represented at the World Cup has yet to qualify.Motlanthe was quick to congratulate the placing of the two West African teams, which look set to deliver a promising performance.“Bafana will not lack support, but we must ensure that the other African teams are largely backed … we call on all South Africans and Africans to come together as a one team,” Khoza said.“[It is] an event that will send a message to the world that Africa’s time has come,” he added.Welcoming the worldFootball Fridays also aims to inspire South Africans to give a warm welcome to international football fans and become top-notch hosts during the World Cup.“We must also ensure that those who come to our shores want to come back again. We must make them love South Africa,” said Stofile.To ensure a smooth and safe World Cup, government has invested R1.3-billion (US$164.9-million) to boost security in the country. As part of this, 41 000 police officers, including 10 000 reservists, will be deployed to monitor the month-long event. The officers will be supported by 10 000 staffers from various government departments to form the Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure.During next year’s World Cup dedicated investigation teams and special courts will be set up to deal with all football-related crimes on a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week basis, Motlanthe pointed out.The special courts and police stations will be set up close to host venues, “making processing and prosecutions much quicker, especially if or when a foreigner is affected”.“We have every confidence in our security establishment to secure this event,” he said.World Cup visitors will also be treated to a much-improved public transport system, made possible by government’s R11.7-billion ($1.48-billion) investment.The world-class Rea Vaya bus rapid transit system, already operational in Johannesburg, will be extended to the host cities of Cape Town, Pretoria/Tshwane and Port Elizabeth, while other modes of public transport are also being beefed up around the country.“I have no doubt that when the last whistle blows, our country and continent will never be the same again,” Motlanthe said.Time to Diski!With South Africa being a country of rhythm, there has to be a dance style to rouse excitement ahead of the 2010 spectacle – and the Diski Dance is there just for that. It will be the official theme dance for the nation during the tournament.All South Africans are encouraged to learn the dance, created by choreographer Wendy Ramokgadi.“I urge all of you to learn the Diski Dance as part of being a good host and welcoming the world in a celebratory style,” said Motlanthe.Groups of young dancers have been deployed across the country to teach the public the moves, said senior dancer Cassius Tlhotlhalamaja. “People are interested in Diski Dance. It is becoming a trademark,” he added.The dance, which imitates “diski” moves, is easy to learn, with the full version just five steps long. The entire piece can be performed in less than three minutes, experts say. “Diski” is a South African township slang word for football.The dance is also being promoted through commercial media, with a Diski Dance advertisement having already hit local television stations.“It’s our South African Macarena and our R Kelly step in the name of love,” Tlhotlhalamaja said.last_img read more

Top 10 Social Media Mistakes Made by Supervisors

first_imgWe often hear that our supervisors are our eyes and ears in helping to ensure legal compliance and minimize risk.  This is true when it comes to social media, but only if supervisors receive training on what to do and what not to do.  The do’s and don’ts of social media are not always intuitive. Here are ten of the more common mistakes that supervisors make in the absence of adequate training:Posting a job opportunity without including the appropriate EEO and/or AA tag line. A posting is an advertisement for legal purposes.Failing to retain a posting about job openings in accordance with the employer’s document retention guidelines (which often go beyond the legal minimum). Expect this to be a hot litigation issue where the posting is not retained.Screening social media sites in deciding whom to interview. When this occurs, the supervisor will acquire EEO-related information that he or she may unconsciously and improperly consider, or at least be perceived as considering.  If screening is to be done, it should be done on a consistent basis late in the process by HR.  For more information on how to minimize the legal risks of screening by HR and still obtain the potential business benefits, see the Legal Trends column in the September edition of HRMagazine.Friending a subordinate or someone over whom the supervisor has direct or indirect supervisory or institutional authority. The supervisor may learn more about the personal life of a “friend” than if she were to look into their medicine cabinet.  [That is not a recommended alternative].  Endorsing a former employee who was let go for problems with performance, attendance or conduct.  The endorsement later may be argued to be evidence of pre-text if a discrimination claim is filing.  That is, the endorsement is inconsistent with the true reason for the termination.  Pretext alone wins cases!Linking In only or primarily with those who are “like” the supervisor. Social media is form of social inclusion and social inclusion is form of business inclusion.  Linking In only or primarily with subordinates who share a supervisor’s EEO profile may be evidence of bias in addition to sending a message of exclusion even if no claim is filed. On this issue, you may want to check your own connections, too!Encouraging employees to promote the company’s products or services without making sure they are properly paid.  A protocol needs to be developed to limit when non-exempt employees can engage in promotional activities, and a vehicle to ensure they are properly paid.  Note: when engaging in promotional posting — that is, endorsing (broadly defined) the company’s products or services — the employee must state he or she is employed by (or otherwise affiliated with) the company. Otherwise, prepare to do the FTC tango.Engaging in personal social media without making clear it is not on behalf of the employer. Some supervisors actually list the employer from which they are distancing themselves. Ouch! Through SEO you get the opposite result of what you intend. Google the employer and that blog pops up!Failing to report to H.R. allegations or evidence of wrong doing referenced on social media by employees of the company. To see and ignore is to condone. For example, supervisors should report to HR complaints by employees of gender bias as well as postings of racist rants by an employee.Disciplining/terminating employees for disparaging postings which are protected as concerted activity under the NLRA.  When discovering a disparaging posting, supervisors should neither take corrective action nor ignore. Instead, they should report the posting to HR so that HR, often with counsel, can determine if the posting is protected by the NLRA (or some other law). For more guidance on whether a posting is protected, take two aspirin and read Five Categories of Content for Supervisory Personnel.Unless your supervisors have the ability to intuit all of the above issues (and more), they need training on the legal and practical issues associated with social media and employment.   If you happen to have a supervisor who can intuit their way through the social media maze without training, please ask them to give me a call.   I want to identify, recreate and patent their intuit gene.This blog should not be construed as legal advice, as pertaining to specific factual situations or as establishing an attorney-client relationship.Follow me on Twitter at:  @Jonathan_HR_Lawlast_img read more

Indiana ~ Multiple Taxes: Certain Remote Merchants Required to Collect Sales Tax, Use of Local Income Tax Expanded

first_imgCCH Tax Day ReportIndiana has enacted legislation requiring retail merchants without a physical presence to collect sales tax on retail transactions made in Indiana and making changes to the local income tax. Specifically, a retail merchant that does not have a physical presence in Indiana shall, as an agent for the state, collect sales tax on retail transactions made in Indiana. The merchant must remit the sales tax, and comply with all applicable procedures and requirements of the sales tax laws as if the retail merchant has a physical presence in Indiana, if: (1) the retail merchant’s gross revenue from sales into Indiana in a calendar year exceeds $100,000; or (2) the retail merchant makes sales into Indiana in more than 200 separate transactions. The Department of Revenue is authorized to bring a declaratory judgment action against a remote seller to establish that the remote seller has an obligation to collect sales tax and that the remote seller’s obligation to collect sales tax is valid under state and federal law. However, the department and other state agencies and entities may not, during the pendency of the declaratory judgment action (including any appeals from a judgment in the declaratory judgment action), enforce the obligation to collect sales tax against any person that does not affirmatively consent or otherwise remit the sales tax on a voluntary basis.Local Income TaxesEffective, retroactive to January 1, 2017, for local income tax purposes, law enforcement training is added to the permitted uses of the tax. Further, the bill specifies that, for a county that adopted a levy freeze under the former county adjusted gross income tax (CAGIT) or county option income tax (COIT), the levy freeze must be funded using a minimum levy freeze rate that may not be decreased or rescinded unless the levy freeze dollar amount can be funded by a lower levy freeze rate for a year. The bill specifies that the maximum levy freeze tax rate is one percent (1%).H.B. 1129, Laws 2017, effective July 1, 2017 and as notedlast_img read more

CWG: A look at Indias medal contenders

first_imgBy Poonam Mehra Gold Coast, Apr 3 (PTI) With just two days to go for the 21st Commonwealth Games here, PTI takes a look at some of the Indian contingents top stars and dark horses to watch out for at an event where the country stands fourth in the all-time medal tally. SHOOTING: India is second in the CWGs all-time medal list for shooting and it is expected that the marksmen and women will once again be contributing a bountiful of medals. Here are some of the strong medal bets. Heena Sidhu: The feisty pistol shooter from Punjab is in fine form going into the Games, having claimed three gold medals at the Commonwealth Championships a few months ago. She will be competing in the womens 25m pistol and 10m air pistol competitions. Manu Bhaker: The 16-year-old has been nothing short of sensational with two gold medals (individual and team) in her maiden senior World Cup just weeks ago. She would be lining up alongside Heena in the 10m air pistol event. Jitu Rai: The diminutive Army shooter is a strong medal hope and would be aiming for a second successive CWG gold in the mens 50m pistol event. The 30-year-old will also try his fortunes in the 10m air pistol competition and a medal in Gold Coast would help heal some of the disappointment of his Olympic failure in 2016 Rio Games.ATHLETICS: The blue-riband event of all multi-sport extravaganzas, athletics gave India a gold, silver and a bronze in the 2014 CWG.advertisement Neeraj Chopra: The 20-year-old javelin thrower would be a carrying a massive burden of expectations and it remains to be seen how he responds to the spotlight. At the senior world championships in London some months ago, the junior world record-holder failed to qualify for the finals. A gold at last years Asian Championships is his biggest achievement going into his maiden CWG. Seema Punia: The discus thrower, who claimed a silver in the Glasgow Games, would be eyeing a golden end to her CWG stint. The 34-year-old achieved two-year best when she threw to 61.05m, which was also a meet record at the Federation Cup last month. It remains to be seen whether the Asian Games champion can better defending gold-medallist and home favourite Dani Stevens and finish on top. Tejaswin Shankar: The 19-year-old high-jumper bettered his own national record marginally at the Federation Cup last month. He improved it from 2.26m to 2.28m. He can be considered a strong medal hope going by the results of the previous Games where the silver-medallist had jumped 2.28m. BADMINTON: A gold by P Kashyap was the icing on the cake as the shuttlers returned with four medals from Glasgow and this time, the expectations would be much higher with a star-studded line-up set to take the court. P V Sindhu: The Olympic silver-medallist is being seen as a sure-shot medallist. She won a bronze in last edition and the world No.3 looks set to change the colour of the medal when she takes the court this time. Saina Nehwal: Still regaining her fitness after a career-threatening knee surgery, 2010 gold-medallist Saina would be a strong contender too if she manages to remain fit during the event, which she missed in 2014 owing to injuries. K Srikanth: In the absence of an injured Kashyap, Srikanth would be Indias mens singles medal hope and he would aim to do better than the quarterfinal finish of the 2014 Games. BOXING: There was no gold to show for the last time around and the speculated needle controversy hasnt done them any good here. But the Indians are among the strongest boxing contingents. M C Mary Kom: A colossal figure not just in India boxing but international boxing as well, the 35-year-old Mary Kom would be, hold your breath, making her CWG debut here. The five-time world champion and Olympic bronze-medallist is a favourite to pick up the 48kg gold and make her first and last CWG a memorable affair. Vikas Krishan: One of Indias just four mens world medallists, Vikas has come here after claiming a gold at the prestigious Strandja Memorial Tournament in Bulgaria in February. Like Mary Kom, Vikas will also be making his debut at the Games and would be a strong contender in the 75kg division.Amit Panghal: The diminutive light flyweight 49kg boxer is also a debutant but one with quite a bit of experience of competing on the big stage. He was a quarterfinalist at last years world championships and won a bronze at the Asian Championships. Amit had claimed a gold at the Strandja Memorial earlier this year.advertisement WRESTLING: India are second in the CWG all-time medal list of wrestling and are expected to dominate this time around as well. Sushil Kumar: The gold-medallist from 2014 is making a comeback to big-ticket wrestling after an injury-hampered and controversy filled two years. The double Olympic medallist would be aiming for another gold when he competes in 74kg mens freestyle event. Sakshi Malik: The Rio bronze-medallist has been in good form and would be expected to better the silver medal she claimed at the Glasgow Games. She would be in action in the 62kg freestyle event. Vinesh Phogat: 2014 Gold medallist, Vinesh suffered a career-threatening injury at the Rio Olympics but she returned to win a silver medal (55kg) at the Asian Championship and claimed the gold at National Championships. She would be a medal contender when she competes in 50kg this time. SQUASH: A womens doubles gold in 2014 opened Indias CWG account in squash and Dipika Pallikal and Joshna Chinnappa would once again look to ensure that India have something to celebrate but it remains to be seen whether a singles medal will come along too from either of the two and Sourav Ghosal in the mens singles. WEIGHTLIFTING: World champion Mirabai Chanu (48kg), with a Commonwealth record under her belt, and a personal best which is 10kg better than her nearest rival at this event, is expected to open the gold rush for India. PTI PM ATK ATlast_img read more

Anjelica Huston Donates Furs Cuts Them Into Bedding For Orphaned Wildlife

first_imgOscar winner Anjelica Huston will bring her old furs to PETA today, where she’ll cut some into bedding for orphaned wildlife. Others will be donated to the homeless.When: Tuesday, January 30, 11:30 a.m.Where: PETA’s Bob Barker building (at the intersection of Rosemont Avenue and Sunset Boulevard), Los Angeles“These coats were given to me decades ago, when I had no idea how animals suffered in the fur trade,” says Huston. “They’ve been sitting in storage for over 20 years. By donating them to PETA, I’ll be giving them a new purpose by providing bedding to orphaned wildlife and helping the homeless keep warm.” Among the furs are a lynx-fur jacket, a coat trimmed with muskrat fur, and a black rabbit-fur hat.Some coats will be sent from Beverly Hills to the hills of West Virginia, where the Scott Place Shelter will use them to keep the homeless warm during this bitterly cold winter. Others will be cut up and sent to Minnesota, where Cuddle Coats will use them as bedding for orphaned wildlife.PETA — whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” — notes that most animals used for fur spend their entire lives confined to cramped, filthy wire cages until they’re bludgeoned, poisoned, electrocuted, or even skinned alive. Many top designers and retailers have gone fur-free, including Armani, Calvin Klein, Gucci, and Michael Kors.Huston joins a long list of former fur-wearers who have donated their coats to PETA, including Mariah Carey, Kim Cattrall, Mary Tyler Moore, and Sharon Osbourne.last_img read more

THREE TURKS CAICOS COLLECTION RESORTS EARN THE 2016 TRIPADVISOR CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE

first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, Turks & Caicos –July 8, 2016 – The Turks & Caicos Collection of resorts – Alexandra Resort, Blue Haven Resort & Marina and Beach House –  have all been awarded the TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence. Now in its sixth year, the achievement celebrates hospitality businesses that have earned great traveller reviews on TripAdvisor over the past year. Certificate of Excellence recipients include accommodations, eateries and attractions located all over the world that have continually delivered a quality customer experience.  Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppcenter_img Blue Haven Resort & Marina has also been awarded the very prestigious and coveted TripAdvisor Travelers Choice Award.  This award is only given to the Top 1% of resorts listed on TripAdvisor and highlights the world’s top properties based on the millions of reviews and opinions collected in a single year from travelers around the globe.The Certificate of Excellence accounts for the quality, quantity and recency of reviews submitted by travelers on TripAdvisor over a 12-month period. To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months.The resorts’ reviews can be seen on TripAdvisor here:Alexandra Resort: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g147399-d251093-Reviews-Alexandra_Resort-Providenciales_Turks_and_Caicos.htmlBeach House: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g147399-d265922-Reviews-Beach_House_Turks_Caicos-Providenciales_Turks_and_Caicos.htmlBlue Haven Resort: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g147399-d1022643-Reviews-Blue_Haven_Resort-Providenciales_Turks_and_Caicos.htmlAlexandra Resort offers spacious one and two bedroom suites, and a four bedroom penthouse. Centrally located on Grace Bay beach, other free services include Wi-Fi, a dining shuttle to sister properties, use of non-motorized watersports, tennis courts, and pedal bikes.Beach House is a 21 room boutique property on Grace Bay.  Each suite has an assigned pampering pod on the beach.  Free services include a dining shuttle to sister properties, Wi-Fi, daily afternoon tea, use of non-motorized water sports, and pedal bikes.Blue Haven Resort, which was rated one of the Top 20 Hotels in the Caribbean on TripAdvisor this year, is one of the newest resorts on the island and features a private beach, an IGY Marina, a free dining shuttle to sister properties, Wi-Fi, and an on-site gourmet grocery store.  The resort will open a kid’s club offering supervised childcare in mid-July.For more information and to book a summer vacation getaway that includes perks such as a kids eat free menu offer in July and August, visit www.alexandraresort.com,www.beachhousetci.com, and www.bluehaventci.com.last_img read more