Local, migrant women share stories

first_img24 August 2011 In an attempt to build bridges between local and foreign women, the City of Johannesburg and the Department of Home Affairs recently held a women’s dialogue where issues of xenophobia and language difficulties were tackled. Held at Diepkloof Welfare Centre on 19 August, the theme of the dialogue was “Working together to enhance women’s opportunities to economic empowerment”. It was open to local women and foreign migrants living in Joburg. From Joburg, the member of the mayoral committee for health and human development, Nonceba Molwele, was there to spend the day with migrant women from various countries, such as Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Angola and Somalia.Breaking down barriers According to Molwele, the dialogue was held to seek to break down the barriers that kept migrant and local women from connecting. These barriers were language difficulties, xenophobic community attitudes, fears about immigration or residency status, and physical and cultural isolation. She said the dialogue was the first of its nature. “It is indeed a great initiative by our deputy minister that should not stop here but should be a start to an ongoing plan that will lead to concrete a joint programme that addresses the challenges of women as a whole.” August was chosen for the dialogue as the month was dedicated to honouring and celebrating the courage, tenacity, resilience and victory over adversity of women in South Africa, she explained. “Migration has always been a human rights issue throughout human existence, and Joburg has been a destination point for migrant communities since 1886. “In recognition of the challenges that are brought by human motilities, the City of Joburg has over the past 10 years been actively engaged in the pursuit of finding creative and sustainable responses to this phenomenon,” said Molwele.Sharing experiences as women Issues raised by migrant women at the dialogue included being mistreated at health institutions and being called nasty names by South Africans in public transport because of language barriers. Women, who came dressed in their traditional clothes, showcased traditional dances and explained their cultures to each other. The deputy minister of home affairs, Fatima Chohan, who spent the day listening to the women’s queries, urged them to unite despite racial, ethnic and cultural differences. “We are here to share our experiences as women and by coming together we can come up with the solution to what is bothering us as women,” she said. “If women can join hands, exchange ideas, then we will have a community that is at peace with itself.” By joining hands, women could achieve much more. “We want to create this opportunity for women from different parts of our continent to talk to each other so they develop friendships,” she added. Rebecca Khamba, who comes from Congo, was one of about 300 women at the meeting. She said the programme was a good initiative. “I would like to thank the City of Joburg for giving us a chance to join hands and create unity with our South African sisters. I hope most South Africans will understand why we are here and stop calling us names and mistreating us in public places,” she said. Source: City of Johannesburglast_img read more

OCA members to offer over 115 consignments in Replacement Female Sale

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Several members of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) will sell over 115 consignments in the OCA Replacement Female Sale on Friday, Nov. 27, 2015, at 6 p.m. at the Muskingum Livestock Auction Company facility in Zanesville, Ohio. Consignments include approximately 30 mature cows, less than five years of age, and approximately 85 bred heifers.Breeds represented will include Angus, Angus x Red Angus, Polled Hereford, Red Angus, Simmental, Simmental x Angus, Simmental x Red Angus, and crossbred. Service sires represented include Angus, Hereford, Maine-Anjou, Red Angus and Simmental.“Now is an excellent time for producers to add quality replacement heifers to their herds,” says John Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator. “The economic forecast for the cow-calf segment of the beef industry is very good for the next few years. Feeder calf prices remain strong from a historical perspective and the future looks positive as well. This sale represents an excellent opportunity for cow-calf producers to add quality bred heifers to their herds and potentially take advantage of the positive economic outlook for the beef industry.”last_img read more

Is a Tech-Based Social Credit Score a Good Idea?

first_imgFrank is a freelance journalist who has worked in various editorial capacities for over 10 years. He covers trends in technology as they relate to business. Frank Landman Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Follow the Puck What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …center_img Related Posts China is currently developing a kind of social credit system, not dissimilar to a financial credit system, designed to reward people for doing good deeds and demonstrating honesty and integrity while punishing people for committing untrustworthy acts. The details of this system are still fuzzy; it’s not certain whether it will be a compilation of big data from multiple sources or whether it will be one centralized platform. However, it’s certainly going to rely on big data and high-tech analysis to make evaluations.On the surface, this kind of system sounds like something out of Black Mirror­—a nightmarish evaluative hierarchy that would needlessly segment people into classes and exclude them from living a normal life. But are there merits to such a system, and should we consider implementing one?Comparisons to Financial CreditIn a sense, we already have a similar credit-based system in place: financial credit, with the FICO score being the main type of credit score considered. Many of the criticisms of a social credit system could also be applied to our current financial credit system, yet we still rely on it for the majority of our loan decisions and have become comfortable with it.For example, as you’ll see, one of the biggest criticisms for this type of system is the type of limitation it would impose on people with a low credit score. However, there are currently and would always be options for people with low credit; it’s entirely possible to get a credit card if you have bad credit, and it would be entirely possible to build a family and lead a normal life if you have bad social credit.Similarly, both systems allow you to improve your score over time. Rather than being permanently blacklisted based on one action or mistake, your score is fluid, and will automatically adjust if and when your behavior is corrected.InfractionsOne major point of contention is deciding which infractions, behaviors, or habits would be most likely to impact your social credit score. Some obvious infractions would be met with near-universal agreement. For example, when someone commits a premeditated, violent crime, it should be reflected on their social credit score. This isn’t much different than recording and reporting standards for felonies as they exist today. Lesser crimes, like jaywalking or littering, would come with a marginally less serious penalty on your social credit score.The real controversy comes into play when you consider relatively innocent infractions. For example, in China, failing to visit an elderly parent or putting out the wrong items with your recycling could result in damage to your social credit.PunishmentsThe punishments also need to be considered. If the consequences of a low social credit score are minimal, few people would object to the system. But if they’re too lax or are not incentivizing, the system would be practically useless.Currently, the system will impose restrictions on travel if your social credit falls below a certain mark. You may also have trouble getting your children into private schools, which is much more impactful. Your credit score may also influence your social status; for example, some dating apps in China will publish your social credit score, which could influence how you pursue romantic interests. It could even spur bias in hiring decisions, preventing people from getting a job they might otherwise be qualified for.Deciding on a SystemThe biggest issue isn’t with the nature of a social credit system, since most of us act as if there’s an informal one in place already. Instead, it’s with how the system is created and implemented.For starters, will this system be centralized, with one set of standards for determining how a credit score is calculated and how punishments or rewards are doled out? Or will there be multiple sources of information coming together as one? Either way, who will be making this decision, and how will that decision be implemented?There are several problems to work out here:Which infractions count, and how are they reported? The first question most people have is which social infractions or good deeds are going to count, and how are those infractions going to be reported? For crimes, this is straightforward; in addition to creating a writeup or making an arrest, a law enforcement officer could easily submit a report to the central social credit agency or each of several minor social credit agencies. It would take a lot of time, but would be somewhat clear-cut. Lesser infractions would be a bigger issue, since they would often rely on peer reporting. Peers aren’t typically reliable witnesses, so it wouldn’t take long for the system to be entirely compromised.How will discrepancies be resolved? There are multiple discrepancies that could potentially arise. For example, if there’s only one database, what happens if someone sees an infraction reported that they’ve never committed? Or what happens if a single infraction is reported multiple times? More importantly, what happens if you’re using multiple social credit reporting systems, and two of them conflict with one another? A blockchain-like system of verification could help here, but it wouldn’t solve everything.Who can “see” or request social credit? Your credit score can only be accessed by certain individuals and organizations, so would your social credit score be similarly protected? For example, would an employer be able to find your social credit score if they were considering hiring you? What about a vindictive neighbor who’s trying to find a reason to have you evicted?Who’s creating the analytic system? Bias is prevalent in almost any algorithm. No matter how “smart” your AI is, if it’s been created by humans, it’s going to have flaws. There would need to be a series of checks and balances to make sure the system being created is as fair and unbiased as possible.Can social credit be appealed? What can you do to improve or appeal your social credit? Is there a statute of limitations for when and how infractions can be reported? Do infractions expire after a certain amount of time?The Potential BenefitsObviously, a social credit system would be incredibly complicated to develop and roll out, so it would need to have some massive benefits if it’s going to be considered.There are some potential benefits—most notably, the incentive for people to avoid committing crimes and favor doing good deeds. A society where people have a strong reason to engage in honest business practices, or be positive contributors to their environments, is a society that functions harmoniously.There are also side benefits to consider for companies and organizations; companies would hypothetically be able to hire more trustworthy people, resulting in more efficient operations and better economic growth, and even advertisers could get in on the action, targeting ads to people with high or low social credit, or offering services for rebuilding a social credit score that has fallen to dangerously low levels.Are the Benefits Enough?Those benefits aren’t free, however. To get them, we’ll need to consider the right infractions to track, the right methods for processing the data, the right system or combination of systems to record everything, and enough checks and balances to ensure the overall system is as unbiased as possible. Such an undertaking would be ridiculously expensive and require lots of tech talent. It would also likely go through several iterations before we settle on a final setup—iterations which would be problematic for many citizens.Overall, a social credit system is fine in theory. It has a ton of perks and doesn’t necessarily predict a dystopia. The problem is, there are too many variables to consider for something as subjective as a person’s social trustworthiness, and unless we’re confident in our assessments, we shouldn’t be condemning people to any lifestyle or freedom-based punishment. Trends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industrylast_img read more

Samwad Yatra begins on peaceful note

first_imgPro-reservation Maratha outfits on Friday launched the ‘Samwad Yatra’ in a bid to keep up the pressure on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government. Leaders of the Maratha Kranti Morcha, which is spearheading the stir, decided to go ahead with the yatra despite Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s assurance that the process of granting quota to the Maratha community would be completed by December 1. The leaders of the stir have demanded that the State government grant Marathas a quota under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category, and not as separate ‘Maratha community’ which they fear will not pass muster in court.At the same time, MKM leaders assured that the Maratha community had no intention of snatching any benefits currently being availed by the other backward classes.“We want the Fadnavis government to include us in the OBC category and not push for our reservation as ‘Maratha community’ members. This can be achieved by expanding Maharashtra’s reservation limit which currently stands at 52%,” said Shantaram Kunjir, a Morcha coordinator from Pune heading the ‘Samwad Yatra’.Raghunath Chitre-Patil, another convener, said in 2014, the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) government had approved a 16% Maratha quota which could not endure as it was reservation “on lines of a caste/community” and not along economic lines.“The Congress-NCP government announced a quota for the Maratha community just as the elections were round the corner. What was more damaging was that by not arguing for our inclusion within the OBC, the government could not put up a convincing argument in court on the backwardness of a majority of the Marathas,” Mr. Chitre-Patil said. Vinod Patil, a pro-quota activist who filed the petition in Bombay High Court, urged for extending the State’s reservation limit to ensure fairness and preserve inter-caste harmony. “The OBC category constitutes 32% of the total reservation. We are demanding a quota under the ‘OBC’ category, but not at the cost of eating into reservation of the other economically and socially backward communities. So the government must expand the reservation limit by including the Marathas under a separate OBC category. Say for instance, if the backwards classes under the OBC category are collectively labeled ‘A’, then the Marathas may be labeled as ‘A1’ under the same category,” opined Mr. Patil.The yatra commenced with a formal ceremony at the SSPMS ground in Pune, with hundreds of protestors demanding that the current government fulfil all demands of the Maratha community including fee waiver for Maratha students and death sentence to the perpetrators of the heinous 2016 Kopardi rape-murder — the trigger for the Maratha quota movement. The yatra moved to Saswad, 30 km from Pune, to join other pro-quota protestors who completed 100 days of agitation on Friday.Unlike the jarring bursts of violence and arson that marked the State-wide shutdown on August 9, the first phase of the new stir commenced on a peaceful note. The agitators however, reasserted their intention of converging on the Vidhan Bhavan in Mumbai on November 26 if the State government failed to break the reservation impasse.The Kopardi incident in 2016 had spurred a wave of nearly 60 ‘Muk Morchas’(silent rallies) for two years across the state, while buttressing the community’s claim for Maratha reservation and a curb on the misuse of the Atrocity Act.On Thursday, speaking at a function in Ahmednagar, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had reiterated his promise of resolving the Maratha quota issue within the next fortnight while urging the Maratha community to get ready for celebrations on December 1 instead of gearing up to launch fresh agitations against the State government.last_img read more

Dozens of hearses to take Colombia crash victims toward final flight home

first_imgDozens of hearses carrying the coffins of those killed when a plane flying Brazil’s Chapecoense soccer team crashed into a Colombian mountain will leave Medellin for the airport on Friday to be flown home. (Colombia and Brazil football teams join in tribute after plane crash)The disaster on Monday night killed 71 people and shocked soccer fans the world over. It appears that the LAMIA Bolivia BAe146 airliner ran out of fuel, lost electrical power and was preparing for an emergency landing as it smashed into the mountains in central Colombia. (Bodies of Brazilians killed in Colombia crash expected back on Friday)Only six on board the flight survived, including three members of the soccer squad en route to the biggest game in their history: the Copa Sudamericana final. (Colombia crash: Plane carrying Chapecoense players was running out of fuel)The tragedy plunged Latin America’s largest nation, Brazil, into mourning as it reels from a deep recession and political crisis. Video footage of the team seated before takeoff showed them laughing and pulling faces at the camera.The bodies and ashes of five Bolivians will leave shortly on a Hercules aircraft and those of a Venezuelan on a commercial flight. The remains of a Paraguayan victim left Colombia late on Thursday. (From Wayne Rooney to Neymar, soccer world sends condolences to Brazil’s Chapecoense after air crash)A convoy carrying the dead Brazilians will leave the funeral home in Medellin later on Friday for the journey along a mountain road to Rionegro airport, where the victims will be flown back to Brazil. (Rivals rule out final league game against Chapecoense)advertisementIn the club’s small farming hometown in southern Brazil, workers erected temporary structures in the stadium to shelter the coffins of 51 victims – players, staff and journalists – expected to arrive at night for an open-air wake on Saturday.Some 100,000 fans, about half the city’s population, are likely to attend, as is Brazilian President Michel Temer and Gianni Infantino, president of world soccer governing body FIFA. (Brazilian clubs offer to loan players to Chapecoense after plane crash)Roberto Di Marchi came to Colombia to escort the body of his cousin Nilson Folle Junior, 29, a director of Chapecoense, back home.”He always travelled with the team, to every game, he was a fantastic person, he was so dedicated and loved the Chapecoense,” Di Marchi said at the funeral home, adding Folle’s father was one of the team’s founders.Two of the Bolivian flight crew and a journalist also survived along with the three players. They remain in hospital.”Authorities are working on the diplomatic paperwork around the clock to ensure that by 10 at night all the bodies are returned to their families,” Colombian police commander Colonel Jose Contreras.Two black boxes recovered from the crash site on a muddy hillside in wooded highlands near the town of La Union are due to be sent this week for examination by experts in Britain, where the jet was manufactured.Colombian aviation officials said the absence of fuel at the crash site and in the plane’s tubing indicated it had completely run out of fuel.last_img read more

Photo: ESPN’s Chris Fowler Got A Selfie With Jim Harbaugh And Urban Meyer At Dick Vitale’s V Foundation Gala

first_imgJim Harbaugh addresses a group of reporters.Not many people in the sports world can bring Jim Harbaugh and Urban Meyer toghether, but Dick Vitale is one of them. The legendary college basketball analyst hosted his annual V Foundation gala last night, and many top figures in the college sports world turned out, including the rival Michigan and Ohio State coaches. Harbaugh and Meyer actually teamed up on stage to announce the winner of a raffle for a 2016 Mercedes Benz, and later took a selfie with ESPN’s Chris Fowler.Yes @OhioStateFB Urban Meyer & @umichfootball Jim Harbaugh are on stage together @DickieV gala @TheVFoundation pic.twitter.com/dp3bKQ8TRt— Josh Krulewitz (@jksports) May 14, 2016OK, this Harbaugh/Meyer selfie is focused better. So I’ll also share it for posterity, never to be recreated! pic.twitter.com/siZZt5LXaF— Chris Fowler (@cbfowler) May 14, 2016 That is quite the photo. At the end of the night, Vitale announced that the gala, which honored the late Chad Carr, had raised an estimated $2.8 million for pediatric cancer research. A wonderful job by Dickie V, and everyone else involved with the gala this year.last_img read more

Photo/Video: LSU Football Visited Flooding Evacuees This Afternoon

first_imgLSU football's Les Miles visits flooding evacuees.Twitter/@LSUfootballFor LSU football, today was a day to give back to a community still reeling from devastating flooding.The LSU football team took a break from training camp today to give back to those in need. Head coach Les Miles and his players visited the Celtic Media Centre in Baton Rouge to spend time with evacuees from the serious flooding that has plagued the area.Other LSU teams, such as men’s basketball, women’s volleyball and baseball, visited Celtic earlier in the week.The LSU Football team arriving at Celtic Media. pic.twitter.com/RrWhJoyH1Z— LSU Footbal (@LSUfootball) August 18, 2016Some of the media in attendance, including The Advocate’s Ross Dellenger and CBSNews’ Alyssa Estrada, also shared photos and footage. “Y’all got the best team this year, coach.” #LSU pic.twitter.com/y9hrCItlBZ— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) August 18, 2016Awesome job by Miles and his team, and really the entire LSU athletic department, for giving back to their community.It looks like they were able to put a smile on the face of people who could really use one.last_img read more

Cesar Millans Hints For A Happy Hound On Independence Day

first_imgCesar Millan gave some handy hints in the Huffington Post prior to Independence Day on how to keep your pets happy during fireworks and celebrations.“Whether it’s a huge show put on by a city or just the neighbors setting off firecrackers in the backyard, it can be a loud experience, and very frightening and stressful for our dogs. More runaway dogs are rounded up in the days after Independence Day than at any other time. Running away is just one possible result of a dog’s reaction to a sudden loud noise.“When a dog is not calm and balanced, it will react to a stimulus in one of three ways: fight, flight, or avoidance. It will attack, run away, or hide. “Flight” and “avoidance” may sound like the same thing, but they’re not, and the difference is important. A dog in flight will run away from everything, while a dog avoiding will go to a familiar, safe place, like under a bed or into its kennel.“All dogs react differently to the noise of fireworks. If you’re lucky (or have prepared your dog properly), then they’ll just ignore them. Barking at the sound is also a common reaction of the “fight” sort. Trying desperately to get out of the house by scratching at walls or doors or running around is flight, while disappearing into a safe “den” is avoidance.“The first thing to remember when your dog is in any unbalanced state is to withhold affection. This can be difficult to do, but it’s best for your dog in the long run. If you pick up or hold a dog that’s scared and try to pet and reassure them, this will not calm them down. All it does is tell them that you approve of their mental state at that time. Give affection to a frightened dog and you will teach your dog to be afraid of everything.“Ideally, you should prepare your dogs well ahead of time for the loud noises of fireworks by gradually desensitizing them — playing the noises of fireworks while distracting them, for example. If you haven’t had a chance to do this, then there’s still time between now and the Fourth to get ready. Here are some things you can do:1. Relocate
If your dog does react badly to fireworks, try to arrange to keep her in a place where there won’t be any loud displays, such as at a friend’s or relative’s house, or at a professional dog boarding facility with which your dog is familiar. If the place is unfamiliar, try to take your dog there a few times before the holiday so it won’t be a big surprise when you leave her there on the day of.2. Exercise
If you can’t arrange for your dog to be elsewhere, then take him on a long walk before the festivities start in order to drain his energy, making him less likely to become excited when the fireworks go off. Your dog should be completely exhausted, leaving his brain tired enough that he won’t be able to concentrate on the noise.3. Disguise
No, this doesn’t involve putting a funny mask on your dog. Disguise the sound of fireworks by using dog-safe ear protection, like Mutt Muffs, which go over a dog’s ears like headphones. Note that you should never use any kind of plug that goes inside of a dog’s ear. Since the openings are so much larger and deeper than in human ears, it would be very easy to lose an earplug inside, leading to a trip to the vet. Blocking the noise, though, may help minimize reactions to it.4. Distract
When the fireworks go off, try engaging your dog in obedience behavior, having her do whatever tricks you’ve taught her for treats. If you have a treadmill, now is a great time to have your dog walk on it — the forward motion will re-direct her brain away from the fireworks and focus it on the physical action. Finally, scent is another great way to distract your dog by engaging her nose.5. Restrain
It can help to keep your dog on-leash, even indoors, during the fireworks — but especially if you have to be outdoors. This will give you control over him, and keep him from being able to run away if his reaction is flight. It is also very important that your dog wears proper I.D. at all times, as well as has a microchip, in case he does run away.6. Maintain
Remember, it is up to you to show calm, assertive leadership when the loud noises start. If you go about your business and don’t make a big deal about it, you’ll help your dog to understand that nothing terrible is going to happen. By not altering your routine, you help make the fireworks part of that routine for your dog.“Most of all, know your dog and know what to expect. If your dog is the type to try hiding from the noises, then have a kennel ready in advance so she has a safe place to run to. If your dog tends to get hyperactive or aggressive, then plan ahead with plenty of exercise.”To read more of Cesar’s hints, read his blog on HuffingtonPost.com.last_img read more

Church services in Sri Lanka to resume from May 5 Cardinal

first_imgColombo: Public mass in the terror-hit Sri Lanka would resume in certain Catholic churches from May 5 and no bags will be allowed inside as part of the tight security measures, according to Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith. All public church services were cancelled after the Easter Sunday bomb blasts that ripped through three churches and high-end hotels, killing 253 people and injuring 500 others. The prelate said on Monday that vigilance committees formed by the residents of the parish would be responsible to identify individuals who enter their respective churches and parishioners will have to confirm their identity before entering a church. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: Report The cardinal, who conducted a private memorial mass on Sunday fearing repeat of the Easter attacks, told media that bags will not be allowed to be taken inside the churches owing to security measures. President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s had also attended the private memorial mass. Commenting on Prime Minister Wickremesinghe’s statement that the bombings could have been averted had the Counter-Terrorism Act been in force, he said that amending the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) is better than bringing in a new piece of legislation to counter terrorism, the Daily Mirror reported. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protests It is easier to amend the existing legislation rather than bringing in a new one. Effective measures should be taken to apprehend the individuals and groups responsible for these attacks in order to prevent people from taking the law into their hands,” he said. The religious leader said a new government comprising all parties should be appointed. “No party should think of elections at this moment. We will even have to take to the streets and lead peaceful protests if the government continues to handle the situation in the manner it presently does. Action should be taken against ministers and MPs if they were found guilty of being part of the Easter Sunday bombings,” he was quoted as saying in the report. Cardinal Ranjith said he wasn’t consulted prior to the appointment of a presidential commission to probe security lapses that led to the Easter bombings. We are oblivious to the backgrounds of the members in the commission. We urge the government to appoint another commission comprising religious leaders. Buddhist clergy is eligible to lead such a commission as they will look into the matter impartially, he said. Meanwhile, the Cardinal refused to accept a bullet-proof vehicle provided for his security by Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, saying what matters most at present is the safety of people. He also reiterated that much needs to be done to restore normalcy, Times Online reported. A total of 106 suspects, including a Tamil medium teacher and a school principal, have been arrested in connection with the Easter Sunday blasts. The Islamic State claimed the attacks, but the government has blamed local Islamist extremist group National Thowheeth Jamaath (NTJ) for the attacks.last_img read more