VSLA Graduates 750 Members

first_imgThe National Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA), an organization that serves the poor who may not be full time business people and whose income is less reliable, has graduated 750 members from informal to the formal sector of the country’s economy.The weeklong training, which ran from September 7 to 11, trained new members in VSLA methodologies and business management.Madam Josephine J. Nagbe, president of VSLA said the organization wants to ensure that citizens take ownership of their homes as well as managing their wealth through lessons they acquire from the training.The VSLA, she said is dedicated to helping people transform their lives, using microfinance as an ideal way.“We want to ensure that poor people in Liberia have access to financial tools and the training they need to lift themselves out of poverty,” she said.She also used the occasion to acknowledge the Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), Dr. Mills Jones, for promoting financial inclusion throughout Liberia.El-Tumu Trueh, head of Micro-Finance at the CBL, expressed gratitude to members of the VSLA who took the training and admonished them to make use of what they learned.He said at the CBL, the administration is contemplating involving every citizen into financial management.He also and expressed gratitude to CBL Governor Jones for promoting “Financial Inclusion” in the country. He called on Liberians to make use of the organization to enable them get access to finance that will help them in their future endeavors.In remarks, beneficiaries of the VSLA, through their spokesperson, Musu Kollie, lauded Madam Nagbe for the training and hoped that they would make good use of the knowledge they acquired.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

‘Supplementary Pay Teachers’ Return to Class

first_imgJosiah Kollie, ‘Supplementary Pay Teachers’ spokesmanFollowing weeks of strike in demand of their names to be placed on government regular payroll, teachers assigned to public schools in Bong County under the banner, “Supplementary Pay Teachers” on Thursday, October 18, abandoned their protest action and returned to class.Public schools across the county remained empty for almost two weeks, as over 200 teachers demanded that their names be placed on government’s regular payroll, instead of being paid through the supplementary pay; a non-regular, performance-based payment. Bong County Chief Education Officer, Armah Varfee, informed journalists on Wednesday, October 17, that his office reached an agreement with leaders of the striking teachers following an hour-long meeting to find workable solution to the teachers’ demand.“We need our kids back in school, and also our teachers back in class,” Mr. Varfee said, but did not disclose the contents of the agreement his office reached with the aggrieved teachers.He subsequently assured the irate teachers that his office, in close consultation with authorities at the Ministry of Education, has reached a commitment in addressing their concerns.Although some of the teachers have resumed active teaching work, Mr. Varfee did not say the specific of the resolution.“Our commitment to finding a solution has been consistent, because we stand together for our students, our communities and our country,” Varfee said.He informed the teachers that his office will soon embark on a county tour to identify ghost names that would serve as possible entry for some of the names of the ‘supplementary pay teachers’ to be transferred on government’s regular payroll.Varfee then used the occasion to appeal to education stakeholders to assign at least a vehicle (4-wheel drive) to his office to enhance the operations of the ministry in the county.Spokesman for the aggrieved teachers Josiah Kollie, corroborated Mr. Varfee’s statement to the press that the two parties have agreed “somewhat” that teachers would return to their classrooms. “We are taking this deal in good faith at this point, but the teachers could be called to strike again if progress is not made.”“The benefits of teaching are terrible, and the pay is appalling, because there is no incentive for the teachers stay on job, except that this is our home,” Kollie said.He said the teachers are sensitive to the impact of their action on the County’s more than 55,000 public school students, many of who come from low-income families.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

NA Town Council flouts Procurement Act

first_imgThe New Amsterdam Town Council has been flouting the Procurement Act in awarding contracts. This is according to regional officials who stated that the minutes of the Council’s statutory meeting for the month ending June 30, 2018, shows that nine contracts were handed out without a bidding process. According to the minutes of the meeting, the Town Council had not been tendering for contracts and has issued several contracts amounting to over $37 million in the month of June.According to the documents shown to Guyana Times, one of the contracts was for $9.1 million to carry out repairs to the municipal market wharf. Another was for repairs to the same wharf to the tune of $4.2 million and another contract for repairs to the very market wharf for the sum of $16.3 million.The minutes also showed that it was the Councillors who decided to give the contracts to the individuals without allowing others to bid for them.At that meeting, the Town’s Treasurer, Kerryanne Edwards, told the Councillors that she was told at the last financial meeting that what the Council was doing as it relates to the tendering process was incorrect.She also reported that contractor Shawn David had already completed the first and second phases of the municipal wharf and he thought he would have been awarded the full contract.“Edwards went on to say that she informed the Town Clerk about same and was told that she was informed that all of the works on the work pragramme had to be advertised. After Councillors would have shared their views on the matter, all were in agreement of having Mr David complete the third phase of the municipal wharf,” the minutes read.Meanwhile, under the Laws of Guyana – Municipal and District Councils Act 28:10 Section 97 – the Council before entering into any contract for the execution of any work or the supply of any goods to the value of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars or more, give notice of such proposed contract and shall, by such notice, invite any person willing to undertake the same to submit a sealed tender.The Act also says the Council shall not open or consider any tender.A regional official informed this publication that it is the Regional Tender Board which should be looking at those contracts and not the Town Council. The official noted that the Council could have a representative sit of that Board.There is no provision in the law for municipalities or Neighbourhood Democratic Councils to have their own tender board, the official added.Under the Procurement Act which is gazetted and dated Thursday, February 18, 2016, regional tender boards can only consider contracts for construction up to $14 million. Anything above that has to go to the National Tender Board. (Andrew Carmichael)last_img read more

2 targets in unrelated shootings

first_imgGLENDALE – A man was shot at his home in a quiet northwest Glendale neighborhood Tuesday, less than 24 hours after a 17-year-old boy was shot during a confrontation between two vehicles’ occupants. Tuesday’s shooting happened about 12:30 p.m. in the 1300 block of Bruce Avenue, a street of single-family homes, many with neatly kept yards. The victim was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, and police had no suspect in custody. “We don’t know what the circumstances are surrounding the shooting,” said Sgt. Tom Lorenz, a spokesman for the Glendale Police Department. The victim’s condition was unclear. Police were talking to the victim’s mother, who was home at the time of the shooting but was not considered a suspect, and to other relatives. Officers blocked traffic along the 1300 block of Bruce after the shooting, and residents expressed shock at the attack. “I was out this morning. When I came home, the street was all blocked off,” said neighbor Deb Johnson, 31, who works as a consultant. “You never want to hear that there’s been something like this on your street.” Police do not believe that Tuesday’s shooting is related to a shooting Halloween night, also in northwest Glendale. Two 18-year-olds from North Hollywood are jailed in connection with the Halloween shooting. In that incident, a 17-year-old boy suffered minor injuries when he was shot about 9:45 p.m. Monday near Glenwood Road and Alameda Avenue, police said. Two men in a white Honda confronted the teenager and his friends, who were in a white van, and the Honda’s driver got out and shot at the van’s occupants several times with a handgun. The wounded teenager was driven to a hospital by his friends. The assailants followed the van and opened fire again at Western Avenue and the Golden State Freeway, but no one was hit by those bullets, police said. Burbank police officers saw a white Honda speeding and stopped it, arresting Mkrtich Melkonian and Hrant Barsegyan, who are both 18 and from North Hollywood. The men have been booked on suspicion of attempted murder. Alex Dobuzinskis, (818) 546-3304 alex.dobuzinskis@dailynews.com AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week160Want 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

Evander Kane shares thoughts on hit that landed him $5,000 fine

first_imgRALEIGH, N.C. — Evander Kane said Thursday morning he didn’t feel his hit on Washington Capitals defenseman Radko Gudas earlier this week warranted a fine, let alone a suspension.Kane was fined $5,000 by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety on Wednesday, one day after he was given a five minute major and a game misconduct for his hit to Gudas’ head with 5:07 left in regulation time.The fine is the maximum allowable by the NHL under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.“I …last_img

MH370 searchers check sonar anomalies

first_imgThe MH370 search team is re-checking more than 40 sonar contacts to make sure they are not the shattered remains of the missing jet.The sonar contacts are anomalies found in previous sweeps that did not fit the profile of a typical aircraft debris field but raised questions about their origin.  The sonar data include some contacts that look more anomalous than others although the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, which heads the search, believes most are almost certainly geological formations. The search in the southern Indian Ocean has been underway since the shortly after the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER disappeared in March, 2014, with 227 passengers and 12 crew on board while travelling between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing. Two ships, the Fugro Equator and  China’s Dong Hai Jiu 101,  are still conducting the search in water up to 5 kms deep.About 96 per cent of the search are has been probed using deep tow sonar but there some areas this technology cannot adequately penetrate. These areas are marked and an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV)  currently carried by the Fugro Equator investigates those over a size determined by studies of underwater debris fields from previous aircraft accidents.The torpedo-like Hugin 4500V AUV comes-equipped with a state-of-the-art navigation system and uses the latest battery technology to allow it to operate for 30 hours, travelling at about four knots.Highly manoeuvrable and with a turning radius of about 15m, it is equipped with sonar and video surveillance equipment. It is generally programmed to search a particular area and the data downloaded after it returns to the ship but it can also receive commands though an acoustic system.In addition to the AUV, the searchers also have remotely operated vehicle (ROV) carried by the Dong Hai Jiu 101  and operated by US firm Phoenix International .The squat ROV — which  is tethered to the ship above by a cable, remotely piloted and comes equipped with video and still cameras — is being used to check the 40 plus sonar anomalies.The Remora III is the same ROV was also used in the recovery of Air France flight AF 447 after it plunged into the Atlantic Ocean in 2009. That operation successfully recovered the plane’s black boxes but it took two years to locate them even though searchers knew the position of the plane when it went down.Decent weather is needed to launch and recover both vehicles and conditions have been improving in the southern Indian Ocean after a fierce winter which delayed operations. The search is entering the December-March period providing the best weather as searchers move to complete the sweep  120,000 sq. km high priority search area by early next year.The outstanding search area contains some of the most difficult terrain,  although the AUV has covered much of it in the previous two summers.  While there is still a possibility the plane may be found in the current sweep, searchers are bracing themselves for the eventuality it will not.A meeting of transport ministers from Australia, Malaysia and China decided earlier this year that the search, which has already cost $180m, would not be extended unless compelling new evidence emerged.Experts from around the world met in Canberra recently to review the evidence and a report on their findings is expected to be released within weeks.The experts included  several B777 captains, scientists, representatives from accident investigators in the US, the UK and Malaysia as well as the aircraft  manufacturer and technology companies such as Inmarsat and Thales.last_img read more

Entrepreneurs, Say No to (Poorly Run, Unnecessary) Meetings

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts audrey watters Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#start#tips Earlier this week, VC Mark Suster blogged the decree “Say No to Meetings.” Suster argues that time is an entrepreneur’s scarcest resource. And with all the pressures – from current and potential employees, vendors, and investors, Suster suggests that entrepreneurs learn to decline holding meetings. This may seem somewhat contradictory to the advice that entrepreneurs always stay in touch with advisors and investors. Suster clarifies, “I’m not saying “no more meetings” but rather “no, to more meetings.” As much as saying “no” to meetings is a rallying cry we could all get behind, some meetings are simply unavoidable. In order to make meeting less invasive to your busy schedule, Suster makes three suggestions:1. Ensure that meetings are short. Suster points to this video where Nicole Steinbok argues for the 22-minute meeting.2. Meet in your office. Not only does etiquette make it difficult to get up and leave a cafe promptly after 30 minutes, meeting outside the office adds commute time to the duration.3. Schedule something immediately afterwards. This puts a “hard stop” on the meeting. Some of the commenters to Suster’s post offered their own suggestions:Mark Solon recommended setting aside 1-3 hours per week in order to schedule a series of 20 minute meetings. Another commenter pointed to informal events, such as “Beer and Blog” in Portland and “Hops and Chops” in Seattle, as ways to hold “office hours,” of sorts, where folks can drop by. Others echoed the call for meetings by phone or check ins via email as alternates to face-to-face meetings.Of course, meetings aren’t necessarily bad. They just tend far too often to be mismanaged and/or unnecessary.There are at least two crucial things to do in order to counter that.1. Be prepared. Send everyone the agenda ahead of time.2. Participate. Make sure everyone who has something to say gets a chance to say it. The corollary of this is that if your input isn’t necessary, you shouldn’t attend the meeting.One of the best insights on meetings remains Paul Graham‘s “Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule.” Whether you are a maker or a manager or both, it’s important to recognize the disruption that meetings cause your schedule.last_img read more

Now You Can Ask Google Search To Compare, Filter And Play

first_imgselena larson Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Filters, meanwhile, aim to simplify the process of scanning through topics that are frequently searched on the Web. Search for “impressionist artists,” for instance, and Google Search will return a card-based rogues gallery of artists that its search experience associated with Impressionism. That result, though, will now also feature a dropdown filter menu that, in this case, would let you select various other styles—Cubist, Renaissance, Realist and so forth.The company also improved music search so users can explore artists and play songs directly through Search.App Updates A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts Updates to the Android Google Search application allow better “conversation,” or voice search. Google will understand when you ask a variety of questions surrounding the same topic, and not only provides links to answers but also provides voice feedback.In a demo, Google director of product management Tamar Yehoshua did a voice search for pictures of the Eiffel Tower, then followed up with requests such as “How tall is it?” and “When was it built?” to demonstrate Google’s ability to understand that “it” still referred to the Eiffel Tower.Upcoming changes to Google’s mobile search apps will introduce what the company calls a “more unified design” that’s “optimized for touch,” and which will introduce the card-based layout from Google Now to search.Google also promised an update to its iOS application that will let Google Now push reminder notifications to iGadgets the same way it does now on Android. “So if you tell your Nexus 7, ‘OK Google. Remind me to buy olive oil at Safeway,’ when you walk into the store with your iPhone, you’ll get a reminder,” the company noted in its blog post. Under The HoodThe engine driving most of these new features is “Hummingbird,” Google’s latest iteration of its search-indexing algorithm. “Hummingbird makes results even more useful and relevant,” said Amit Singhal, Google’s SVP of search. “And it affects 90 percent of our searches worldwide.”The update, released last month, is the biggest is the biggest revamp of Google’s search infrastructure since Caffeine, released in 2010. As a lead-in to its 15th anniversary tomorrow, Google announced changes to its search platform that expand its “knowledge graph”—that is, its ability to answer your questions directly instead of simply presenting you with links to additional sources.The changes also aim to allow more natural “conversations” that will make it easier to refine searches, and simpler search through musical artists and songs. Google also updated its iOS and Android search apps, promising additional changes in the near future.Filter and CompareGoogle’s Knowledge Graph has been improved to provide better answers to more complex questions that don’t have a simple answer. For starters, it will automatically provide a side-by-side comparison when presented with searches such as “butter vs. olive oil,” producing an outline in card form that lines up whichever features Google deems most relevant—in this case, calorie and cholesterol counts.Comparisons can apparently sometimes return less-than-intuitive results. Over at SearchEngineLand, Matt McGee found that comparing Seattle’s Space Needle to the Empire State Building yielded images, the date each opened and the buildings’ respective architects and styles—but not their height. Tags:#Google#search 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Scientists Licking Wounds After Contentious Climate Report Negotiations

first_imgIt has been more than a week since a U.N. panel released a major report on mitigating climate change, but some scientists who helped write a key summary say they continue to smart from some disconcerting last-minute edits.“We are still shaking,” says Giovanni Baiocchi, an economist at the University of Maryland, College Park, whose work was central to the debates over the summary’s wording. The episode is making some researchers reconsider participating in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) process in the future. The 13 April release of  IPCC’s  mitigation assessment—the third of three reports—was capped by 5 days of negotiations in Berlin over the wording of the report’s “Summary for Policymakers.” It is a 33-page boil-down of key points culled from the report’s 2000 pages. Unlike the text in the body of the report, which scientists essentially control, the influential summary is the product of give-and-take with government diplomats and requires consensus.The most contentious issue this year was whether to highlight economic groupings of nations, such as high or low income, and illustrations showing how each group was contributing to the growth of greenhouse gas emissions were particularly controversial. Below is one of the figures from the draft summary that sparked debate; it shows that emissions from lower-middle income countries (LMCs) and upper-middle income countries (UMCs) are rising faster than emissions from high-income countries (HICs).The problem, according to some of those present, is that some nations, including China and Saudi Arabia, opposed including text and graphs that linked emissions to income levels. Saudi Arabia, which is in the high-income category, opposed mention of that category, for instance. And China, which is categorized as upper-middle income, opposed including figures that highlighted the skyrocketing emissions from developing nations.For three of the 5 days of the talks, diplomats from dozens of countries haggled with lead scientists over the issue. In the end, five figures and whole blocks of text were removed from the summary.“A strikingly large amount of scientific material [was] stripped out,” says David Victor, a political scientist at the University of California, San Diego.“It is a bit disappointing that governments could not take ownership of this science, which is in the report’s chapters,” Baiocchi says. He won’t say whether he’ll participate in future IPCC reports.Others are also unhappy. “It left me depressed personally,” economist Reyer Gerlagh, of Tilburg University in the Netherlands, told The Sydney Morning Herald. “I do most of this work on the weekend, in evenings and on holidays. My payment is not in money or time, my payment is that I believe I can contribute to society’s benefit by providing the information.”“The whole process is kind of unbelievable,” Victor says. As one of the report’s lead authors, he was in the middle of the negotiations. The outcome raises “fundamental questions about whether the IPCC can really do policy-related assessments in areas where the science is most germane to policy,” he writes in an e-mail. “There has always been a tension between the scientific content and the political approval of IPCC reports. But on the scientific issues that probably matter most to policymakers—such as which kinds of countries cause most emissions, who will bear the greatest burdens in controlling emissions, or how international trade affects emissions and policies—the pendulum has swung strongly toward the governments.”Victor says the fight previews upcoming international negotiations, scheduled for June in Bonn, Germany, and December in Lima on cutting greenhouse gas emissions. There, negotiations are expected to include debates over whether nations like China and Saudi Arabia, which have enjoyed a special status in prior negotiations, should shoulder more of the burden to cut their emissions, which the IPCC report shows are rising steadily.last_img read more

Indian Expatriates Rush to Remit Money as Rupee Hits Record Low

first_imgLarge crowds of expats were seen at many money exchange companies in Kuwait yesterday as the Indian rupee continued its free-fall against major currencies across the world. One Kuwaiti dinar traded at 230.60 Indian rupees yesterday as the rupee touched an all-time low of 70 against the dollar, following a broader weakness in other emerging market currencies prompted by a currency crisis in Turkey.Read it at Kuwait Times Related Itemslast_img