Constitutional Crisis in Guyana

first_imgThe refusal of erstwhile President David Granger to obey the pellucid command of the Constitution to proclaim an elections date by Sept 18, three months after the NCM had been ruled as validly passed on June 18 by the CCJ, has triggered a constitutional crisis in our country. The US introduced the norm of a written constitution in 1897 and since that time they have faced several constitutional crises, including one brewing in the present. As such, their perspective might be useful to our much younger republic to handle our present crisis.In May of this year, the media group Vox solicited the opinion of several constitutional experts on the nature of constitutional crises and we offer them as background for discussion here.Peter Shane, law professor, Ohio State University explained: “The purpose of a constitution is to structure legitimate government, so that the exercise of power over an entire citizenry by a relatively small handful of elected and appointed officials is morally justified. In a democracy, that moral justification depends on several things: the protection of human rights; adherence to the rule of law; structures and practices that help assure, in public policymaking, genuine consideration for the interests of everyone who is subject to the government’s authority; and opportunities for all citizens to participate as meaningful political actors in the processes of collective self-determination.“I define a constitutional crisis as a situation in which existing constitutional arrangements no longer realistically promise to serve the foundational values of democratic constitutionalism.” Under this test, Granger has definitely precipitated a constitutional crisis. In parting he noted the foundational value that Granger lacks: “A 19th-century British prime minister once said, “Every political constitution in which different bodies share the supreme power is only enabled to exist by the forbearance of those among whom this power is distributed.” Granger has shown he lacks this restraint with the power he was conferred.A second pertinent and analytical perspective was offered by Keith Whittington, politics professor, Princeton University: “I think a constitutional crisis is best understood to be moments when the constitutional system itself seems to be breaking down. This can happen in two ways: a crisis of operation and a crisis of fidelity.“A crisis of operation occurs when important political disputes cannot be resolved within the existing constitutional framework. An effective constitution is one that provides a structure for contesting and resolving political disputes. When a constitution can no longer do that and our disputes spill outside the constitutional framework, then the constitution itself is in crisis.A crisis of fidelity occurs when important political actors are simply unwilling to adhere to the constitutional commitments as they understand them. If consequential political actors determined that a constitutional rule or a prescribed constitutional outcome should be ignored because some other political priority than following the constitution is more important, then the Constitution’s ability to guide and constrain political behavior has, to that degree, been cast into doubt.”Granger is ignoring the dictates of Art 106 (6) and (7) because he prioritises the fortunes of the PNC over that of the country.Finally, Jessica Silbey, law professor, Northeastern University pointed out: “All members of government swear an oath to uphold the US Constitution, which provides rules for governing as well as for debating changes to those rules. Refusing to follow these rules is one feature of a constitutional crisis.” Here Granger swore an oath to protect our constitution but now traduces it by seeking to influence the elections process.Sibley warns of the consequences of this move: “But if the enforcers are cheating, and the rules for electing new government are constrained by the existing ruling party — constraints such as … limiting access to the ballot — the people cannot solve the crisis within our democratic and constitutional norms. This kind of constitutional crisis can lead to revolution because of the profound inequality, the constraints on liberty the consolidation of power creates, and the feeling of hopelessness both produce.”last_img read more

Cancer poses one of the greatest public health threats of the 21st century

first_imgDear Editor,First I wish to applaud Annand Boodram for his excellent and timely article on alcohol and some of its major effects on this society, and the issue of alcohol in our culture.Nowrang Persaud, thankfully, has acknowledged the impact of alcohol on domestic violence, road traffic accidents and suicide – but that is only the tip of the iceberg.Along with my colleagues in the medical profession we are left to deal with the devastating effects of alcohol on a daily basis.Alcohol is among the five most addictive substances of abuse which are; heroin, crack cocaine, tobacco, diazepam and alcohol. It also shrinks the brain of chronic alcoholics and some experts feel it may be one reason why some don’t understand the implications of drinking on an industrial scale.Alcohol is responsible for significant morbidity and mortality – it is responsible for seven types of cancers and more than 600,000 deaths globally every year – which include head & neck, oesophagus, liver, colon, rectal and breast – the problems of alcohol are immense. It includes heart disease, heart failure, rhythm disturbance, stroke, pancreatitis, acute and chronic liver disease, liver failure and liver cancer which has a dismal prognosis. No diabetic should drink alcohol, it is neurotoxin and damages the nerves.The full scope of the effects of alcohol cannot be addressed in this letter.Towards this end the Guyana Cancer Prevention Society (GCPS) is pleased to announce that one of its main objectives is to increase Public Awareness that Cancer poses one of the greatest public health threats of the 21 century. More than 80-90 per cent of all cancers are PREVENTABLE, yet more than 80 per cent of all cancers present, advance to stages 3-4 cancer, with afflicted persons living six months to a year if they have the best standard of care.In 2014, some 14 million people globally were diagnosed with cancer and there were 8.2 million deaths – by 2030, 22 million people will be diagnosed with cancer and more than 14 million deaths will be registered.The tragedy is some 65 per cent of all cancers will occur in low and mid-income countries like Guyana. This alarming rate of increase in new cancer cases and in the number of deaths, tell a clear story – we are failing to control cancer, and carrying on business as usual is unthinkableThe cost to the global economy by 2020 will exceed US.2 trillion. Quite clearly we cannot spend our way out of this crisis.The GCPS’ mission is to educate the public and change the arc of literacy on cancer.We recognise that the following are the main causes of Cancer – and our mission is to prevent the preventable cancers and provide screening for early detection to cure cancer.Tobacco is the number one preventable cause of cancer and responsible for more than 70 per cent of all cancer deaths. Every year tens of millions people start smoking.The GCPS will work with the Ministry of Health and support the introduction of the strongest legislation to curb tobacco use, and prevent more tobacco-related cancer deaths.Alcohol is the second most preventable cause of cancer and like tobacco is addictive. I am not certain how many people adhere to the mantra “drink responsibly – two drinks only,” too many people make poor choices and lack discipline -” two drinks only – that is just to get us started” is what we hear too often.OBESITY and a LACK OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY is another preventable cause of cancer – too many calories, sugar, salt and fat, fuel the Obesity epidemic.Sexually transmitted viral infections causes five major cancers, all of these Cancers are preventable, remember, safe sex – the most frequent sexually transmitted viral infection is the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which causes several cancers, the most well-known is cervical cancer – which Is preventable with the HPV vaccine and screening for early detection and appropriate treatment as required. HIV-Aids 4 cancers, Hepatitis, B&C, HPV, and HTLV1.Again we will work with the Ministry of Health and all organisations to ensure that no woman need die from this preventable and curable cancer.We as a nation can and must do better – together we can all make a difference.It is Time for Action.Yours faithfully,Carl NiamataliPresident: GuyanaCancer PreventionSocietylast_img read more

Euro 2016 Fantasy Football: 10 bargain stars to sign!

first_img Mikael Lustig (Sweden) – €5.0m – The Celtic star is no stranger to goals from full-back. He netted five times for Celtic this season and grabbed one against Wales for his national team on Sunday. He’s worth a punt. Arkadiusz Milik (Poland) – €7m – Already dubbed the ‘New Lewandowski’ even though he’ll be playing just off him in France. The Pole has done well with Ajax, netting 21 goals in 31 Eredivisie games last season, while 10 in 24 international appearances is pretty handy too. 10 Andre Schurrle (Germany) – €7.5m – Unlikely to start, but the Wolfsburg man can still do damage, just like he did at the World Cup in Brazil where he ended up with three goals and an assist, despite playing only 244 minutes. He would allow you to spend more on your midfield/defence depending on the formation you choose. 10 10 Stephan Lichtsteiner (Switzerland) – €5.5m – Juventus star Lichtsteiner should be one of the first names on the team sheet for the Swiss. He’s capable of flying up the flank and aiding team-mate Xherdan Shaqiri so we wouldn’t be surprised to see him get a goal or an assist. Renato Sanches (Portugal) – €4.5m – If you want to have some expensive stars in your ranks, you’ll need at least one dirt cheap midfielder. After his stunning rise to the top this season, Sanches has earned a big-money move to Bayern Munich and a place at Euro 2016. Likely to be only a bench star, he’s a good option to pick up the odd point and may even find himself starting if he makes an impact. 10 10 Michael McGovern (Northern Ireland) – €4.5m – The Hamilton Academical star is one of the cheapest goalkeepers likely to start at Euro 2016 and only 1% of people have signed him up. He’s not a bad shout given he’s only conceded seven goals in 11 caps, so far. Pair that with the fact his nation only conceded eight in qualifying and the case is strong for his inclusion. Laurent Koscielny (France) – €6m – Arsenal’s centre-back is an automatic starter following injuries to some of Didier Deschamps’ squad. They’re in a decent group at Euro 2016, so we think a clean sheet or two isn’t out of the question. Olivier Giroud (France) – €8.5m – OK, the price might not seem a snip but the Arsenal man is likely to start for Didier Deschamps’ men and has hit seven goals for his nation since last September. We think he’s worth a shot. Emil Forsberg (Sweden) – €5.5m – A talented young prospect currently with RB Leipzig in Germany, he announced himself to British fans with his goal against Wales at the weekend. We fancy he could do similar in the group stages. 10 10 10 Jason Denayer (Belgium) – €4.5m – Click the right arrow above for more Euro 2016 Fantasy Football bargains… – Belgium have several superb centre-backs but lack good full-backs. A recent change by Marc Wilmots gives us the impression he will use the Manchester City youngster, who impressed on loan at Galatasaray last season. 10 10 Euro 2016 is finally here and so is the return of Fantasy Football.It’s been a tough couple of weeks since the end of the Premier League campaign but now we can pretend we’re Claudio Ranieri and manage our own teams.For the tournament, as always, UEFA are running their own game, which you can sign up to for free.And here at talkSPORT, after plenty of tinkering with our own teams, we’ve got some top tips for bargain players to put in your 15-man squads.Click the right arrow above to see who we think should make the cut…last_img read more

Tiger Woods’ father dies

first_imgCYPRESS, Calif. (AP) — Earl Woods, who was more determined to raise a good son than a great golfer and became the role model, architect and driving force behind Tiger Woods’ phenomenal career, died Wednesday morning at his home. He was 74. “My dad was my best friend and greatest role model, and I will miss him deeply,” Tiger Woods said on his Web site. “I’m overwhelmed when I think of all of the great things he accomplished in his life. He was an amazing dad, coach, mentor, soldier, husband and friend. I wouldn’t be where I am today without him, and I’m honored to continue his legacy of sharing and caring.” Woods was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1998 and was treated with radiation, but the cancer returned in 2004 and spread throughout his body. Last month, he was too frail to travel to the Masters for the first time. His son finished tied for third. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event160Want 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

New law aid to retiring employees

first_imgAnother proposal endorsed by the NCPA and the Brookings Institution, making a lifetime annuity the default payout option when a worker retires, was not included in the law, but proponents are hopeful the issue can be revived in the future. The Pension Protection Act does include a significant provision making permanent the higher contribution limits to employer defined-contribution plans and individual retirement accounts approved in 2001 but set to expire after 2010. For example, the basic annual IRA contribution limit, now $4,000 and slated to rise to $5,000 in 2008, would have reverted to $2,000 in 2011. Many people “have been figuring on IRA contributions of $4,000 or $5,000 a year into their retirement funding, having no idea this was set to be scaled back,” said Slott, editor of a national newsletter on IRAs ( www.irahelp.com). “But now their plan might just work out the way they thought.” The law also makes permanent a saver’s credit, which would have expired after this year, for lower-income and middle-income taxpayers contributing to retirement plans. Also made permanent are Roth 401(k) and 403(b) defined-contribution plan options that became available only this year and would have expired after 2010. Under such plans, employees don’t get a tax deduction on their contributions as they do with a traditional 401(k) or 403(b). But they don’t have to pay taxes when they take the money out in retirement. Humberto Cruz offers personal finance advice. Write him at AskHumberto@aol.com.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe Christmas Truce of 1914 proved that peace is possible“If this does not get you saving for your own retirement, then you have really missed the boat here,” Slott said. The problem with defined-contribution plans – or the opportunity, depending on how you look at it – is that we, not our employers, are responsible for the investment decisions, and the results. Numerous studies have shown many workers don’t contribute or contribute too little and invest too aggressively or too conservatively. Addressing those concerns, the Pension Protection Act includes widely supported provisions – backed by both the conservative National Center for Policy Analysis and left-of-center Brookings Institution, for example – that provide incentives for employers to make certain decisions unless employees specifically opt out. These decisions include automatic enrollment of new employees into 401(k) and 403(b) plans, automatic increases of contribution rates when workers receive a raise, and automatic investment in diversified portfolios. The law also will make it easier for employees who hold company stock in their plans to sell the stock to seek greater diversification. “This is the first step in making 401(k)s more accessible and valuable to workers,” said Matt Moore, senior policy analyst for NCPA. Automatic enrollment alone could boost participation from the current 66 percent of eligible employees to 92 percent, according to estimates by the Employee Benefit Research Institute and the Investment Company Institute. After poring over the much-ballyhooed Pension Protection Act of 2006, this much seems clear: When it comes to saving for retirement, we’ve got many opportunities. But more than ever, our retirement financial security is up to us. The 900-page-plus legislation, signed into law last month, is ostensibly designed to shore up the deficit-ridden federal pension insurance system and to strengthen defined-benefit plans that guarantee workers a lifetime pension. But I agree with Ed Slott, a certified public accountant and retirement tax law expert in Rockville Centre, N.Y., who believes the law may have the opposite effect. “There are so many new rules, hurdles, reporting and funding requirements that many companies might just say `the heck with this’ and discontinue those plans,” Slott said. On the other hand, the new law makes it easier for workers to contribute more money to their retirement plans, including employer-sponsored “defined contribution” plans such as 401(k)s and 403(b)s. last_img

Democrats may reclaim congress

first_imgAt the same time, Democrats said unexpected opportunities for gains keep coming their way – including House races in Minnesota, Idaho and Nevada – and they have the money needed to battle Republicans to the end. “We have enough to play defense in the blue states and offense in the red states,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, who heads the Democratic senatorial committee. Spending freely After months of stockpiling their millions, candidates and the parties are spending freely in the final days before Election Day. The National Republican Congressional Committee has spent more than $3 million to hold the seat of Ohio Rep. Bob Ney. Ney, who recently pleaded guilty to corruption charges, has yet to resign and is not seeking a new term. WASHINGTON – Democrats hold solid leads for four of the six Republican seats they need to capture the Senate and about 10 of 15 required to win the House, according to officials in both parties. Numerous additional races remain highly competitive. After two weeks of adverse publicity linked to the Mark Foley scandal, public and private polling suggested partial recovery for some endangered Republican incumbents, and senior party officials made a concerted effort to project confidence. “By many measures, there are strong indications of a right-of-center base that is engaged and committed,” party chairman Ken Mehlman said Friday in a memo written for public consumption. The assertion was a response to independent polls that show disapproval of President George W. Bush’s policies, including on the Iraq war, and discontent with Congress have made Democrats more eager to vote on Nov. 7 than Republicans. The GOP has invested more than $8 million into the Philadelphia suburbs and a northeast Pennsylvania district, where Republican Reps. Michael Fitzpatrick, Curt Weldon, Jim Gerlach and Don Sherwood face strong challenges. Democrats have put in nearly $7 million. In Connecticut, GOP Reps. Chris Shays, Nancy Johnson and Rob Simmons face difficult challenges, although Republicans hope that Sen. Joseph Lieberman’s independent candidacy will help them. By contrast, Republicans have few opportunities to take away House or Senate seats belonging to Democrats. Georgia, where the GOP is aiming at two House seats, is one such case. In the battle for the Senate, public and private polling shows Democratic challengers leading incumbents in Pennsylvania, Montana and Rhode Island as well as in Ohio, where the entire GOP ticket is struggling. Officials who discussed the private surveys did so on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to speak publicly. Eager to offset likely losses, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has aired television commercials in New Jersey, hoping that Tom Kean Jr. can defeat Sen. Bob Menendez. Democrats countered quickly, with four times as much money. Republicans apparently have not abandoned all hope in Michigan, either. Bush is scheduled to campaign for challenger Mike Bouchard on Thursday. A party-financed television advertising campaign is possible, as well, aimed at toppling Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow. Biggest surprise Increasingly, though, officials in both parties said the battle for Senate control probably will come down to close races in Missouri, Tennessee and Virginia. All three are Republican-held seats where Democratic challengers have exceeded precampaign expectations. Under most scenarios, Democrats would have to win two of the three to gain a majority. In Tennessee, Republicans concede that Rep. Harold Ford has proved to be the most adept of the Democratic challengers this year. Democrats say Republican Bob Corker’s campaign has been sharper and more effective since a staff shake-up this month. Democrats in Missouri hope challenger Claire McCaskill will benefit from support for statewide initiatives on stem cell research and a higher minimum wage. She is running against Sen. Jim Talent. Foley scandal The closeness of the Virginia race, where Jim Webb is taking on Sen. George Allen, is the biggest surprise of the campaign season. Like other Republicans, Allen has begun edging away from Bush’s war policy. “The situation there is one that needs adjustments, that needs changes in tactics,” he said Friday. Many Republicans turned pessimistic about their party’s chances of holding the House when the Foley scandal broke. The Florida congressman abruptly resigned Sept. 29 after he was confronted with sexually explicit Internet messages he had written teenage male pages. The House Ethics Committee is investigating, and Republicans are working to shift the campaign spotlight elsewhere. “National security, border security and the economy: These are the issues that matter most to the American people as we confront challenges domestically and abroad,” House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, advised fellow Republicans. Despite Mehlman’s efforts at reassurance, some candidates remain concerned. “The Republicans are a bit disillusioned,” said Rep. Chris Chocola, struggling in his bid for a third term in Indiana. The House Republicans in greatest danger of defeat include Reps. Charles Taylor of North Carolina and John Hostettler of Indiana, and Sherwood and Weldon of Pennsylvania, according to private polls. Of those incumbents, only Hostettler is not campaigning against a backdrop of scandal, either personal or political. In addition, Democrats lead for open seats currently in Republican hands in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Ohio and Texas. The situation in Foley’s former district is unpredictable.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

AFC Wimbledon appoint ‘Crazy Gang’ legend Wally Downes as their new manager

first_imgWally Downes has been appointed AFC Wimbledon manager, the Sky Bet League One club have announced.The 57-year-old former Dons midfielder succeeds Neal Ardley, who left Kingsmeadow last month and has since taken charge at Notts County. The statement added: “We have talked at length with Wally about this (and) we are satisfied that these do not represent Wally’s views. We have agreed a series of actions with Wally that we believe will demonstrate his commitment to the club’s values.”Downes added: “I apologise for my previous use of social media – my comments were meant to be humorous but on reflection they were a mistake.“I am very aware of my responsibilities as Wimbledon’s manager and immensely proud to have been appointed.” BREAKING NEWS | It’s official! Wally Downes is the new #AFCW manager. Welcome home Wally! More here: https://t.co/DLi5aXT0qM pic.twitter.com/tYNywF8dLX— AFC Wimbledon (@AFCWimbledon) December 4, 2018Downes told the Dons’ website: “I am very proud to be appointed as manager of a club I love dearly.“I am now looking forward to working flat out to help to keep the club in League One.”The appointment was not without controversy, with the club’s announcement referencing social media posts by Downes that are “not consistent with our values”. He takes charge of the League One side 14 years after his first and only other managerial job, in charge of Brentford between June 2002 and March 2004.Downes made over 200 appearances as a central figure in the Wimbledon “Crazy Gang” which rose through the Football League in the 1980s, before the club was moved to Milton Keynes and replaced in Wimbledon by the new club formed by supporters.He then spent several years working as an assistant to manager Steve Coppell at Crystal Palace, Brentford and Reading and spent two years as Bees manager in his own right after Coppell left the club.He has also coached at Southampton, West Ham and Indian side Jamshedpur. 2center_img 2 Downes spent two years as a coach at West Ham Wally Downes has been appointed manager of AFC Wimbledon last_img read more

‘Newcastle fans must give Steve Bruce a chance’ – Gazza’s message to Toon Army

first_imgPaul Gascoigne has urged Newcastle United fans to ‘give Steve Bruce a chance’ after the club confirmed the 58-year-old’s appointment as their new manager on Wednesday.Northumberland-born Bruce left his role at Sheffield Wednesday to return to his native North East, signing a three-year contract at St James Park.However, the former Sunderland boss’ arrival has not been met with cheers from the Toon Army, many of whom have been underwhelmed by owner Mike Ashley’s choice to succeed their beloved Rafael Benitez. Gascoigne said he ‘always played for the fans’ at Newcastle, and has urged them to back new manager Steve Bruce 3 Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti Steve Bruce’s ties to arch rivals Sunderland will do him no favours with Newcastle fans getty 3 Chelsea confident of beating Man United and Liverpool to Sancho signing TOP WORK moving on Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January “Fans have been saying they’ll boycott the club for 30 years, but they’ll still turn up,” Gazza added.“They work all week just to watch the game on a Saturday, they live for that Saturday. All the fans do.“Boycotting it, that’s not going to change anything, all that’s going to happen is the fans are going to miss out on their team.“If the fans do boycott it, you’ve got to look at Ashley’s financial situation – he’s mega rich. So whether he is going to be bothered by that or not, that’s a different thing. Boycotting is not going to help the cause whatsoever. REVEALED LIVING THE DREAM Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father 3 LATEST GETTY The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star Few supporters see Bruce as the right man to take the Magpies forward.But Gascoigne disagrees and has told the Tyneside faithful to back their new boss.“For me, Steve Bruce is a great appointment,” Gazza told talkSPORT host Jim White on Wednesday.“He’s from the North East, he played for Wallsend Boys Club like Alan Shearer, Lee Clark and Steve Watson, all them, you know?“He’s a great guy and everybody knows he’s a winner, he’s won so many medals, so he knows how to win games and knows how to win championships.“Obviously the fans are upset and they’re voicing their opinion… but give Steve Bruce a chance.“They’ve got to give him a chance, they’ve got to. He’s played with the best.” targets “But, Mike Ashley has got to give the manager money to spend. This can’t go on season after season.“He has got to spend. He’s gone through a few managers and not given them any money. The main one he gave money to was Benitez and he left!“Steve Bruce has been around and done well for himself in management, I think it’s a good appointment and they should give him a chance.“Newcastle fans want succeed and they want it now but it’s going to take some time.”Listen back to Jim White’s interview with Paul Gascoigne IN FULL above three-way race getty targets LATEST TRANSFER GOSSIP Gazza has pleaded Mike Ashley to back Bruce in the transfer market this summer to boost his ailing squad Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ Liverpool’s signings under Michael Edwards – will Minamino be the next big hit? Gascoigne also insisted plans to boycott the club this season will ‘not achieve anything’.Many fans have threatened to boycott their club following Benitez’s departure, having failed to agree a new contract with Ashley.Supporters on social media vowed to give up their season tickets, stop going to games and stop purchasing club merchandise until Ashley sold the club to new investors.However, Gascoigne told talkSPORT he has heard that all before and says Newcastle’s loyal fanbase will find it almost impossible to stay away, despite their anger and frustration with how their club is being run.He did, though, send a message to Ashley to back the newly-appointed Bruce with transfer funds this summer, following the departures of a number of key players.last_img read more

Sowetan Dialogues: ‘Excellence must start in our communities’

first_imgDo you own a spaza shop? Are you a community worker, a teacher or an ordinary worker? Are you the best that you can be?All of us are part of building a competitive South Africa. We are responsible for bringing international investment into our country. We are part of building South Africa’s reputation.Join Brand South Africa on Thursday 8 October in Langa, Cape Town, for the next edition of the Sowetan Dialogues, to discuss how to make South Africa a competitive country for ourselves as citizens, investors, and tourists.The conversation will revolve around the theme, “Are we really the worst in the world? Excellence must start in our communities.” It will be hosted by Shado Twala, South African radio DJ, journalist, entrepreneur, public relations expert and broadcast producer.The panellists are:• Luvuyo Rani, an entrepreneur, founder of Silulo Ulutho Technologies and a Play Your Part ambassador• Gerry Elsdon, the CEO Cinnamon Communications• Vangile Makwakwa, the author of Heart, Mind & Money: Using Emotional Intelligence with Money• Dr Laurine Platzky, the deputy director-general for strategic programmes in the office of the Western Cape premierFurther details:• Date: 9 October 2014• Venue: Langa Hall (Johnson Nguvela), Washington Street, Langa Township, Cape Town• Time: 6 for 6.30 pmRefreshments will be servedAttendance is free. To secure a seat SMS the keyword DIALOGUES with your name and surname to 48470. SMSs are charged at R1.50, and free minutes do not apply.Bookings will close on 9 October at 12 noon. Confirmation will be sent via SMS.For more information or to RSVP, email obosel@sowetan.co.zalast_img read more

Google’s First Crack At U.S. Election Coverage Made Waves In Iowa

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market jon mitchell A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Google’s Secret SauceMyers raises great points about trust. The AP is a nonprofit journalism outfit, and Google is a for-profit ad company built on good data science. The AP is dedicated and scrupulous, but Google’s tools are extensible and free. “Once all those votes are counted,” Myers asks, “to whom does that information belong?” That’s a crucial question. But as a clue, consider how transparent Google is with the public data it collects. Google’s secret sauce is not in the data itself. It’s in the methods of analysis.When Google launches free consumer election portals in Egypt or the U.S., it’s doing more than just providing live maps of the returns. It’s aggregating news stories, and it’s providing background research and search tools on candidates and issues. But it’s also doing what Google is always doing: gathering data on users and their preferences.The Google.com/elections pages might not be major traffic destinations, but Google’s giving away its embeddable tools to news organizations, so it will gather data from their sites. Google is going to learn what online consumers really want out of political news, and since it’s guarding its methods, it will be in a privileged position to give it to them.Where do you turn for election news? Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts center_img Tags:#Google#Government#news#web Google’s tools are therefore pretty hard to resist. WNYC combined them with in-house work and software, and it did a bang-up job. The organizations that used AP data sound a little jealous in talking to Myers. “Google was ahead, definitely ahead,” Aron Pilhofer of the NY Times news applications team – which uses AP – told Myers. The Guardian’s U.S. newsroom, still getting its sea legs and watching U.S.-based organizations closely, thought that WYNC’s John Keefe’s fine tuning of the Google map was even more accurate.The Tools Are Free, But The Methods Are SecretTo me, the most intriguing part of Myers’ inquiry is that Google was cagey with him about its exact methods. The Google Elections portals are built on top of ordinary, free Google services, which anyone can use. If you wanted to set up your own Google Map tracking election results in real time, pulling in data to Google Docs and visualizing using Fusion Tables, you theoretically could. Even so, Google wouldn’t tell Myers exactly how they did it in order to beat the AP’s coverage.The Iowa GOP worked with Google to create the system for tabulating the results. Staff and volunteers collected the data from the 1,774 precincts using Google Apps, and the verified data went out to services tracking in real time, including Google and the AP. Google wouldn’t tell Myers exactly what they did with the data, and the AP relayed a statement to him that sounds like a bit of an excuse. Basically, they used the same Google Apps-powered tables, but they double- and triple-checked everything.“Scrupulous verification” is great, but it’s also slow. The fact is, Google’s team wasn’t hasty; it was just faster. It had a competitive edge. As Myers reports, the AP is heavily invested in being the best at this, and Google was just doing it in Iowa as an experiment. It’s not even providing the same service in New Hampshire or South Carolina. And yet Google wants to maintain its competitive advantage over the AP by not revealing the specifics of its methods. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… My main man Steve Myers over at Poynter has broken down the outcome of a brand new phenomenon in the coverage of elections. Google’s U.S. elections portal, launched just ahead of the Iowa Caucuses on January 3, provided more useful data about the caucus results than the Associated Press did. According to the veterans with whom Myers spoke, it was quite an upset. The speed and portability, not to mention the $0.00 price tag, of Google’s data made an impression on the news outlets covering the caucus.Myers points to WNYC’s coverage as a superb example of the advantages gained by incorporating Google tools into original coverage. There’s no question that Google has built a useful platform for news organizations on top of its existing core services. Myers wonders whether Google could even compete directly with the AP for the lucrative business of reporting election returns, and his sources believe it could, if its leaders wanted to. But I think there’s even more going on with these Google election initiatives. It looks to me like Google is searching for ways to disrupt the whole election news business.Cheaper, Faster & Just As GoodWhile major news outlets, including the NY Times, MSNBC and Huffington Post were relying on AP results, Google’s data came in faster and went straight to a dynamic map. Google proved it has a formidable technical advantage over news-focused organizations when it comes to this kind of coverage. Even if a news outlet does build its own in-house mapping platform, it’s a tall order to build one as scalable, reliable, responsive and extensible as Google’s is.last_img read more