Praising The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as a model of partnership that brings together people and development partners, governments, civil society, the private sector and people affected by diseases, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last week said such broad cooperation is also the key to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.Ban Ki-moon addresses the opening of the Fifth Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, in Montreal, CanadaCredit/Copyright: UN Photo/Evan Schneider“Working together and transcending sectoral boundaries is the only way to tackle the interconnected challenges that determine human well-being,” Mr. Ban said in Montreal, Canada, where world leaders have gathered for the fifth conference convened to replenish the Fund, which was founded in 2002 and raises and invests some $4 billion annually to support programmes run by local experts in countries and communities most in need working to accelerate the end of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics. Bono also spoke at the event.Hailing the Fund’s past 15 years of achievement and looking forward to even more success in the critical years to come, the UN chief said that since it was established, the mechanism has helped to save some 20 million people.“Its example of working for countries, communities and groups most in need provides a firm foundation for the new era of opportunity that began this year,” he said, noting that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a roadmap for people, planet, peace and prosperity through global partnership.“We are now here to bring this global partnership to make this planet Earth and people more prosperous and live in a peaceful world. It is built on the principle of partnership, and its object is to leave no one behind, wherever you are coming from, no matter what ethnicity or belief you may have,” continued Mr. Ban adding that this is what Global Fund is about, and “I am very proud of role that UN organizations have played and will continue to play, together with you.”Over the next 15 years, international organizations and partners must work together to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) “for everyone, everywhere,” said the Secretary-General, noting that the 17 Goals are holistic, universal and integrated, encompassing, among others, gender equality, human rights, water and sanitation, education, governance, peace and stability.“Working to end HIV, TB and malaria is intrinsic to the SDGs, and each of the SDGs has a bearing on ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all, at all ages. That is why the Global Fund has sharpened its focus on human rights, key populations and gender equality in its new strategic framework,” he noted, adding that the Fund’s current report emphasizes the importance of schooling and equal education, equal opportunity for adolescent girls to prevent HIV.He went on to stress the need to improve living conditions in crowded urban slums to fight tuberculosis, to address water management and sanitation to eliminate malaria and to help build strong and resilient health systems that are accessible to all people.“Universal health coverage is one of the SDG 3 targets. This will need significant investment, and the Global Fund has an important role,” said the Secretary-General, explain that more than 40 per cent of Fund’s investments are for resilient and sustainable health systems, and that is set to increase, which is essential for sustaining gains already made, and for building on them.Noting that the Fund has also been a strong driver of increased domestic health investment in many countries, he said the mechanism is a model of successful and broad partnership that brings together people, organizations, the private sector and local level actors in communities in need. Such partnership would be critical for achieving the new UN sustainability goals and tackling interconnected challenges.“One emerging challenge is antimicrobial resistance. This threatens our response to all [AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria],’ warned Mr. Ban, telling the conference that this is such a threat to global health that world leaders are meeting to discuss the issue on 21 September in New York during the high-level segment of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly.“I urge the Global Fund to join this fight. And I encourage all partners to contribute generously to the Fund,” underscored the UN chief, noting that several partners have made significantly larger pledges in this Replenishment, and that there are commitments from many new partners, including a doubling of private sector contributions, largely because the Global Fund has already proven that it can deliver real results.“We have the knowledge and tools to end HIV, TB and malaria by 2030. This is our target and ambition, and our vision to make this world better, this planet Earth healthier and environmentally sustainable, where everybody can live without any fear and also with human dignity,” Mr. ban concluded, calling for broad partnership and cooperation “to make this world healthier and better for all.”Later in the day, Mr. Ban met with Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada. He thanked the Prime Minister for hosting the 5th Replenishment Conference and noted that it was destined to be a very successful event.The Secretary-General also commended Canada for its commitment to the implementation of Agenda 2030, as well as on the issue of climate change. He expressed the hope that Canada would ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change before the end of the year, so contributing to the agreement’s early entry into force.According to Mr. Ban’s spokesperson, the Secretary-General and the Prime Minister also expressed concern regarding the tensions in the Korean Peninsula. They discussed the acute needs of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), as well as Canada’s valued contributions to United Nations peacekeeping.
By Jorge BarreraAPTN National NewsOTTAWA–Federal Aboriginal Affairs officials travelled to Attawapiskat at least 10 times this year, including three times in October, but it appears none of these visits triggered any concerns with the department about the state of housing on the reserve.The Conservative government announced Wednesday it would be immediately turning over the management of the community to an outside consultant following a visit by department officials who concluded the health and safety of residents there demanded immediate action. The department also has an engineer on site tasked with finding a way to get residents into warm and safe housing.Several families are living in tents and in shacks with no running water as deep winter-like temperatures have begun to settle over this community of 2,000 on the shores of James Bay.The living conditions in the community have been described as “inhumane” and “life threatening” by the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario.About 90 people are also living in a large trailer that was donated two years ago by the mining company operating a diamond mine about 90 kilometres away.The Canadian Red Cross has also intervened with supplies and managing donations and the situation has turned, according federal opposition parties, into a national scandal. The issue dominated question period Wednesday as both the NDP and Liberal interim leaders unleashed a barrage of questions against the government over the issue.Yet the repeated visits by department officials to the community did not raise any concerns until this week.Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan told the Commons Aboriginal affairs committee that department officials visited the community on Oct. 21, 25 and 31. He also said department officials visited the community on Sept. 2, July 12, July 7, July 2, April 12, May 19, and March 15.“We’ve had people in the community for months and months dealing with the school construction and other things,” said Duncan, in response to questions from Liberal Aboriginal affairs critic Carolyn Bennett.The school is not scheduled to be completed until 2013, but it only came as the result of a persistent campaign by students there who were tired of attending classes in portable trailers. Their previous school was built on toxic land.Duncan said the department only received the band’s state of emergency document last Thursday.“When a First Nation wants to declare a state of emergency they do so in a format that reaches us, that did not happen,” said Duncan. “There was no state of emergency delivered. When we did receive it, it had no specifics attached to it.”Duncan announced Wednesday during a heated question period over Attawapiskat that the community would be put under third-party management, meaning the chief and council would no longer be in control of the band’s finances which would be handled by a consultant.Third-party management is the most extreme and intrusive step the department can take to deal with a band.The Conservative caucus clapped in approval when Duncan made the announcement.“On the ground assessment has determined that health and safety issues demand immediate action,” said Duncan. “We are placing the First Nation in third party management. We are also requesting a comprehensive audit.”Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence had been pleading for help from Ottawa and Ontario.Spence now has no authority over the band’s financial management.Fresh off a trip from the community, NDP interim leader Nycole Turmel led off question period with a call for the prime minister to visit the community and see for himself the dire situation facing the residents there.“You should sleep in a shack with a sleeping bag,” said Turmel, during question period. “You will see that the sleeping bags provided by the Red Cross are not the solution. Where is the action? Where is the leadership?”Harper brushed off Turmel’s call and said his government would be acting to fix the “management problem” in the community of Attawapiskat.“This government has invested more than $90 million into this community since coming into office,” said Harper. “We will be announcing additional steps to deal with management problems in this community.”NDP MP Charlie Angus, who has championed Attawapiskat’s cause, accused the government of blaming the community for its woes.“Their solution is to blame the community,” said Angus, whose riding includes the community. “Why is it when a First Nation community is in distress does this government’s response is contempt?”Liberal interim leader Bob Rae also attacked the government for blaming Attawapiskat for its dire condition.“The government that should be placed under this party management is the government across the aisle,” said Rae. “This government is all hat, no cattle.”A recent audit of the community found irregularities in the band’s handling of its finances.The July 31 audit found faulty record keeping on expenditures and accounts payable.It also found, among other things, that money was being paid out from funds the community receives from the First Nations run Casino Rama without proper documentation or approval from chief and council.The audit also found that the band was not putting together budgets on how it would spend its money throughout the fiscal year. It also found problems with how the community recorded its welfare payouts.Spence has said that the $90 million the government has touted is spent on the community includes all the band’s services since 2006, a large portion of which goes to education.Spence told APTN National News that it costs about $1 million to build four houses on the reserve.De Beers, the mining company that operates the diamond mine near the community, paid $3 million for the trailer that is now flashing cross television screens as a symbol of the dire conditions in the firstname.lastname@example.org
Dennis Ward APTN National NewsWinnipeg’s downtown mall Portage Place is a popular hangout.But in the past there’s been cases of harassment by staff towards Indigenous people.There’s been another such incident.But this time instead of angry calls for change some believe the mall has done a lot to improve relations.
Sanaa: An explosion near two schools in the rebel-held Yemeni capital killed 14 children and wounded 16, the UN said Tuesday, but the cause of the weekend blast remains unclear. Most of the child casualties in the city’s Saewan district were girls under the age of nine, according to statements by both the UN children’s fund (UNICEF) and the UN special envoy for Yemen. Yemen’s Huthi rebels have accused a Saudi-led military coalition backing the government of carrying out an air strike. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US The coalition denied conducting any air raids on the capital on Sunday. “A blast in Sanaa this week killed 14 children and critically injured 16. This is what UNICEF was able to verify, with the actual number of children killed and injured likely to increase,” said UNICEF’s Middle East and North Africa director, Geert Cappelaere. “It was almost lunchtime and students were in class. The blast shattered the windows and unleashed a burst of shrapnel and broken glass into the classrooms.” Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls The United Nations and international aid groups have called for an investigation into the Sunday explosion but have not apportioned blame. The World Health Organization estimates nearly 10,000 Yemenis have been killed since 2015, when Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened to prevent the defeat of the government in the face of a rebel offensive. Human rights groups say the real death toll is several times higher. The conflict has pushed millions of Yemenis to the brink of mass starvation, in what the UN has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Both sides stand accused of actions that could amount to war crimes. The coalition has been blacklisted by the UN for the killing of children. Saudi Arabia and its allies accuse the Huthis of using civilians as human shields in densely populated areas.
Casablanca- According to Dutch news agency Novum, Frans Timmermans, the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, has recently urged HM King Mohammed VI to prevent the adoption of a law seen as anti-Israeli law. Last Thursday, the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs urged HM King Mohammed VI, before the Dutch parliament, to prevent the adoption of the controversial draft law which is aimed at illegalizing any relations with Israel and with Israeli nationals.“I count on Morocco’s wisdom,”said Mr. Timmermans, responding to a question he was asked in the Dutch government, adding that “the Sovereign along with the government have to prevent such a law from seeing the light of day.” According to the draft law, which was presented by five parliamentary groups, the presence of Israelis in Morocco would be strictly prohibited, and would be deemed an “offense”punishable by “two to five years of incarceration and a fine between MAD 100,000 and MAD 1 million.”If passed, the anti-Israeli law would also ban the participation of Moroccans, both those residing in the Kingdom or in Israel, in Israeli-related activities.However, this is not the first time HM the King has been called upon to stop the anti-Israeli law from being adopted. In November 2013, a global Jewish human rights organization addressed a letter to King Mohamed VI urging him stop the anti-Israeli law from being enacted.The letter was sent by Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s Director for International Relations.“In your absence, various groups in your Parliament plan to damage Morocco’s reputation for tolerance, its standing as a Western ally and its long history of warm ties with the Moroccan Jewish Diaspora in the United States, Europe and Israel,”he states in his letter.Since the anti-Israeli law was announced, many Moroccans, both Jews and Muslim, have been condemning it and warning against its negative repercussions. “It would be a shame for our country to join the fanatics, because Morocco is known for its multicultural and multi-religious tolerance,”states Michel Attias, a Moroccan Jew living in California.“Moroccans please do not fall in this trap, the people with these insane ideas have no idea of the consequences our dear country will endure. We stand for a free Morocco with obviously the respect of each other’s religion and culture,”Attias adds. “Israel is Israel and being a Jew does not mean that you agree with Israel’s acts and policy.”Edited by Elisabeth Myers© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.
Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, said the killing of Mowaffaq al-Hamdani, a candidate on the “Iraq for Us” list in Mosul who was reportedly shot dead in a café on Wednesday, represents “the worst kind of election violence” and should not be tolerated.In a news release issued by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), which Mr. de Mistura heads, he noted there has been other election-related violence in Mosul in the past 10 days, including raids and attacks against candidates of the Hadba party.“Campaign violence in Iraq must not be allowed to intimidate candidates or interfere with the right of every Iraqi to exercise their vote on 31 January,” the Special Representative said, noting the date set for the provincial elections.The UN is assisting Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), which is responsible for preparing and conducting elections – beginning with the provincial polls slated for 31 January and culminating with parliamentary elections in 2009-2010. 1 January 2009The top United Nations official in Iraq today condemned the latest incident in a series of election-related violence in the northern city of Mosul, in which a political candidate was murdered ahead of the provincial polls scheduled for later this month.
27 September 2011Aid agencies have pre-positioned food and medical supplies on the outskirts of the Libyan city of Sirte, where fighting between pro- and anti-Government forces has displaced about 6,000 people and limited humanitarian access, the United Nations reported today. Pro-democracy groups have defeated forces supporting the ousted regime of Colonel Muammar al-Qadhafi and taken control of nearly all of the country. However, pockets of fighting continue in places such as Sirte and Bani Walid and the security situation in some parts of the country still remains fragile.In an update provided today, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that there are “substantial requests for food assistance, especially from Sirte, Bani Walid and Sabha. Although exact numbers are still unclear, the numbers of people needing food aid may be higher than previously anticipate.OCHA estimates that there are between 100,000 and 150,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the country. Serious protection concerns remain for about 50,000 IDPs from minority groups due to direct threats to their physical security as well as social discrimination.Humanitarian actors are also concerned about the situation of third-country nationals, including migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers, who have become more vulnerable to human rights violations since the outbreak of the conflict, the Office added.The uprising that began in Libya in February is part of a wider pro-democracy movement across North Africa and the Middle East that toppled long-running regimes in Tunisia and Egypt earlier this year.
TORONTO — The Canadian dollar surged to a level not seen in four months Wednesday as investors digested a more hawkish tone on interest rates by Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz.The loonie jumped 0.74 of a U.S. cent to an average price of 76.57 cents US after comments from the head of the central bank raised speculation that an interest rate hike could come as early as next month.The currency’s ascent helped send financials stocks higher, with that sector leading gainers on the Toronto’s S&P/TSX composite index, which climbed 74.36 points to 15,355.58.Bank and insurance stocks typically benefit from higher interest rates because it helps increase profits for short-term loans and increases yields for insurers.Poloz said in an interview broadcast on business news channel CNBC that the Canadian economy enjoyed “surprisingly” strong growth in the first three months of 2017 and he expected the pace to stay above potential.He also noted again that interest rate cuts that were put in place in 2015 appear to “have done their job.”TD Wealth portfolio manager James Morton says the tone of Poloz’s remarks signalled to financial markets that a rate increase at the bank’s next meeting on July 12 “is on the table and could certainly be in play.”But even if a hike does occur, he added, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be on a fast-moving upward trajectory.“It would be a very small incremental movement,” said Morton, adding that the central bank would “want to make sure they don’t cause too much of a dislocation in terms of other impacts across the market.”The bank lowered its rate twice in 2015 to the very low level of 0.5 per cent to help offset the effects of the oil-price shock. But Poloz says that growth has rebounded with an “encouraging” pace in recent months.Meanwhile south of the border, it was a similarly positive day for New York indexes as the Dow Jones industrial average gained 143.95 points to 21,454.61. The S&P 500 index added 21.31 points to 2,440.69 and the Nasdaq composite index was ahead 87.79 points to 6,234.41.In commodities, the August crude contract advanced 50 cents at US$44.74 per barrel and the August natural gas contract was up three cents at US$3.09 per mmBTU.The August gold contract gained $2.20 to US$1,249.10 an ounce and the September copper contract climbed a penny at US$2.68 a pound.— With files from Andy BlatchfordFollow @LindaNguyenTO on Twitter.
On Friday, a UN spokesman was asked about comments on Mr. Pronk’s blog as well as reports that Sudan was declaring him persona non grata. Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the views expressed on the blog were personal, and that the Government had presented no official request concerning Mr. Pronk.Today, in a statement released in New York, the spokesman said Mr. Annan had this morning received a letter from the Government of Sudan requesting Mr. Pronk’s withdrawal. “The Secretary-General is reviewing the letter and has, in the meantime, requested Mr. Pronk to come to New York for consultations,” Mr. Dujarric said.
“We understand that the Qatari nationals were released unharmed. We are grateful to the Iraqi authorities and to all who contributed to the safe release of the abductees,” said a statement issued yesterday evening by UN Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric.According to media reports, the 26 Qataris were kidnapped from a desert camp in Iraq’s southern Muthanna province in mid-December 2015.
He wrote at the time: “The BBC takes very seriously how licence fee collection is managed. We should do everything we can to minimise evasion, but must always ensure that how this is done is fair and proportionate.”Details of the licence fee “outreach team” for over-75s were provided yesterday by Clare Sumner, the BBC’s director of policy, in an appearance before MPs. She did not mention that the job would be outsourced to Capita.Ms Sumner said the people recruited would be “a different cohort to people who enforce the licence fee” and the visits would be carried out “as sympathetically as possible”.But MPs said the doorstep visits could be “traumatic” for elderly people, while Age UK said the plans would be “chaos at best and deeply upsetting for some of our oldest people at worst”.Up to 3.7 million older people who currently receive a free licence will have to pay the £154.50 cost from next June, after the BBC scrapped the universal concession.Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Tory MP, led condemnation of the BBC’s plan yesterday. “The BBC will send bailiffs round to octogenarians and calls them an ‘outreach team’, Humpty Dumpty would be impressed by such linguistic gymnastics,” he said. The BBC has come under fire over licence fee plans Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The corporation is urging people who are currently eligible for pension credit but do not claim it to sign up for the benefit.The Office for Budgetary Responsibility said this could cause an extra 250,000 claimants to register, at a cost to the Department of Work and Pensioners of £850 million.That significantly outweighs any savings the BBC will make by scrapping the universal concession. “The net effect on the public finances would be to push the budget deficit up not down,” the OBR said. Helen Skelton became the latest BBC presenter to criticise the corporation’s plans for the over-75s. “I say this reluctantly because cut me in the middle and it says ‘BBC’, I think it’s a fantastic organisation that has a deserved and fabulous reputation worldwide, I started at the BBC and I hope to finish at the BBC… but is it time to end the licence fee and do something different?” she said.“Older people are the most loyal people to the BBC. They need to reinstate those free licences otherwise there’s going to be a massive public outcry.”A BBC spokesman said: “As outlined, we are recruiting a specific group of staff as customer support workers to over 75s. Their sole purpose is to help people apply for their licence – including a free licence – and raise awareness of Pension Credit as we recognise that this group may welcome more personal support either through TV Licensing hotline or by a visit.“They will not arrive unannounced – we will always contact people several times by letter first. And they will not be involved in enforcement action.”It emerged yesterday that the BBC’s decision to means-test the licence fee could cost the public purse more than it saves. The BBC said the team will not include bailiffs. Capita suspended two members of staff and conducted an internal review, which led Lord Hall to say he was satisfied that the behaviour was “neither systemic nor representative” of the firm’s field operations. The BBC is to use Capita, the controversial TV Licensing collection firm, to provide the “outreach” officers who will visit the homes of over-75s in pursuit of licence fee payments.Two years ago, the corporation ordered an investigation into reports that Capita employees were using aggressive tactics to target vulnerable people.An area manager for the firm was recorded by an undercover reporter explaining the company’s methods of collection, which included taking payments on the spot with handheld card machines.“Cash, debit, credit card – we’ll take anything. I tell people I’ll take shirt buttons,” the manager said. The company had an incentive scheme in which enforcement officials earned bonuses based on how many licence fees they sold on the doorstep.A former RAF officer suffering from a brain tumour and early onset dementia was taken to court for non-payment after he forgot to renew his licence.It was claimed that a Capita worker, told of the man’s condition, replied that he did not have time to “listen to excuses”. The case was only dropped when his doctor provided written evidence of his condition to magistrates.At the time, the BBC’s director-general, Lord Hall of Birkenhead, expressed “serious concern” about the allegations. Free licences for the over 75s are being scrapped
The victim Reyaaz Khan sustained a fractured cheek bone after the incidentA man who is said to be mentally ill went berserk on Friday evening around 19:00h at a Chinese Supermarket at Foulis, East Coast Demerara causing at least three men to be injured in the process.One resident of the said area, Reyaaz Khan, 43, was on his way with his wife, Twinkle Khan, to make a purchase at a nearby Supermarket when the said man dealt Khan a severe cuff to his face while he was seated in his vehicle.The man immediately began bleeding and was taken to the Enmore Police Station where a report was lodged.Because of the injuries Khan sustained the officers at the Police Station encouraged him to seek medical attention.The man’s wife told this publication that her husband was taken to the Mahaicony Cottage Hospital that evening, where he underwent an X-ray scan and it was determined that his check bone was fractured.He was referred to the bone specialist at the Georgetown Public Hospital, emergency ward, where he had to wait for hours before receiving treatment and being sent away.Khan is expected to undergo surgery soon as the blow he received left an indentation on his face.The man’s relatives are however calling for swift action to be taken against the suspect who is a known trouble maker in the area.According to residents in the area, the suspect would usually get away with unlawful acts as his family is reportedly affiliated with members of the Police Force.This publication was informed however that the suspect was subsequently arrested and is currently assisting with the investigation. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedPolice still hunting for Stewartville man who allegedly drowned wife in canalFebruary 9, 2016In “Crime”5 arraigned for murder of Berbice phone card distributorFebruary 16, 2017In “Court”Stewartville man still on the run after killing wifeJanuary 23, 2016In “Crime”
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedCaribbean exports increase for the first time in four yearsMay 24, 2017In “latest news”Caribbean News Round-upOctober 18, 2015In “Regional”New IDB study says AI can boost Caribbean economiesAugust 30, 2018In “Regional” BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (CMC) — A new report by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) says Latin America and the Caribbean need a “quality leap” from declining export competitiveness.On Wednesday, the IDB said in the first quarter of 2018, the value of exports from Latin America and the Caribbean grew at a year-on-year rate of 9.7 per cent in comparison with the same period in 2017.But the IDB said this growth has come amid signs that the region is becoming less competitive amid rising economic risks and global trade tensions.The growth in exports was driven by increases in the prices of commodities, such as oil and copper, the IDB said.In contrast, it said the volume of exports slowed to 3.1 per cent during the same period, “which speaks to the region’s loss of market share due to declining competitiveness and the lack of high-quality exports from many countries in the region.”“The Quality Leap: Export Sophistication As a Driver for Growth,” a new report in the IDB’s Trade and Integration Monitor series, launched in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Wednesday, maps the sophistication of the region’s export supply and the main challenges it faces in securing a firmer position in the more profitable sectors of global trade.Independently of factors, such as the economic difficulties experienced by several countries and dampened external demand, the report says that the competitive lag determined by low productivity and high trade costs affected the export performance of the region.To estimate the loss of competitiveness, the study measures the variation in market share between 2011 and 2016, with an emphasis on intraregional exports.The report says the region’s competitiveness dropped by 7.4 percentage points during the period, which accounts for 22 per cent of the decrease in exports.The IDB said the analysis does not seek to present an exhaustive discussion of the determinants of productivity and competitiveness, which lie in a set of phenomena not exclusively related to the ability to compete in world markets.“In a global context of growing uncertainty and low regional competitiveness, Latin America and the Caribbean urgently need to prioritise a policy agenda that will enable a leap in the quality of their exports,” said Paolo Giordano, principal economist at the IDB’s Integration and Trade Sector, who coordinated the report. “More sophisticated exports will help support the current trade recovery and lay the foundations for greater growth in the future.”Giordano said that the gap between Latin America and the Caribbean and its global competitors is wide and has gone unchanged for decades.He said that although there have been success stories and clear opportunities for improvements to quality, “a sizeable share of the region’s exports are of no more than medium quality.”The report identifies the product lines where there is most room for quality increases, such as food (coffee, cocoa, sugar, cereals, or fish) and raw materials (wood, hides, or skins), among others.For example, it says countries can export higher-quality coffee or cocoa beans, or more processed leathers.An analysis of the differences between intraregional and extra-regional trade reveals that the intraregional export basket is of a higher quality than the extra-regional basket.The report says the export basket is also more diversified, contains a larger share of manufactured products, and has higher technology content.However, since the financial crisis, the report says the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean have lost some of their regional market share due to a decline in competitiveness.The report says they have also been unable to leverage the potential for regional integration to develop complex value chains based on trade in intermediate products and production inputs.The report calls for an ambitious multisectoral policy agenda. At the national level, it recommends the construction of “comprehensive, efficient, high-quality infrastructure systems that are clearly oriented toward internationalisation.”At the regional level, it argues in favour of initiatives that aim to complete and rationalise the architecture of trade, along with investments in infrastructure that facilitate greater productive integration.The report says strengthening higher-quality trade flows and regional value chains would not only benefit the export diversification and sophistication of exports, it would also help improve the competitiveness of the region’s economies in the global market.
FOOD GROUP BIRDSEYE has today said it will now be withdrawing some of its beef products following tests that revealed one of its products contained horse DNA.In a statement today, the company said its chilli con carne, produced by Frigilunch NV and sold in Belgium, has tested positive for horse DNA at 2 per cent. The product has now been withdrawn from sale in Belgium.As a “precuationary measure” it said other products produced by the same supplier, namely Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese 340g, Shepherd’s Pie 400g and Beef Lasagne 400g will be withdrawn in the UK and Ireland.However Birdeye moved to reassure customers saying that all of its beef burgers, pies and platters were clear of horse DNA in the tests.It also said the withdrawn products will not be replaced on supermarkets shelves until it has finished investigations and has “complete confidence in this supplier”.Since the first discovery of horsemeat in some beef products produced by a number of manufactures and retailers, the company has been checking the integrity of its own beef products.“We aim to uphold the highest standards of food production and labelling and the reliability of our supply chain is fundamental in delivering this,” Birdseye said. “We therefore immediately initiated a Europe-wide testing programme for horse DNA and completed audits of all our suppliers. We have now conducted tests on all of our beef products.”“We want to apologise to consumers and reassure them that we will keep them fully informed and that we are taking action to deal with this issue,” it added.Customers will be given a full refund on products already purchased and can contact the consumer services careline on 1850 298 398.Read: Horsemeat scandal spreads to Asia for first time>
It would appear as though we are on the verge of a new race to make head mounted displays that people will actually use. Nvidia’s R&D department has been working on a prototype of how they think HMD should work, and for an early preview it is hard not to be impressed.The Oculus Rift has thrown head mounted displays back into the spotlight. The problem with this technology in the past has been that they are all painful to wear after a while. They are often too heavy, or the screen is not high enough quality to enjoy for any length of time. Nvidia Research thinks they have the right approach to HMDs by using a microlens over an existing display. From a distance, the image looks scattered and broken, but as you move your eye closer to the display the image takes shape and becomes a single clear image.By using two displays, this technology can be adjusted to offer depth of field. The end result is a very light HMD that is contained entirely in something that you would wear more like a pair of glasses instead of a headset that needs to be strapped on.In the demonstration, it is clarified that the bulky parts on this display could easily be separated from the display itself, and moves elsewhere on the unit. This would make the parts that go on your face even lighter, and would more closely resemble sunglasses to everyone but the wearer.This is all very early prototype stuff. The demo in the video was custom made by tearing down a bulky Sony HMD, and modifying it to serve as a proof of concept. A finished product is still quite a ways away, but the idea that we could have displays that are more like sunglasses sets a great stage in between products like Oculus Rift and Google Glass.These are still displays that would be worn mostly at home or at a desk, but have the potential to be significantly more portable and much more aesthetically pleasing than current HMDs. It shows a significant step forward for the technology, well worth keeping an eye on for the future.
Déchets à Naples : l’Italie menacée de sanctions par BruxellesLa crise des déchets qui frappe la région de Naples n’est à ce jour toujours pas réglée, a déploré le commissaire chargé de l’Environnement Janez Potocnik alors qu’il recevait le ministre italien Corrado Clini. L’Italie pourrait passer une nouvelle fois devant la Cour de justice européenne, et se voir condamner à de lourdes sanctions financières.Mercredi 25 janvier, le commissaire européen chargé de l’Environnement, Janez Potocnik, a reçu à Bruxelles le ministre italien de l’Environnement Corrado Clini afin de le mettre en garde contre les sanctions qui menacent l’Italie alors que la crise des déchets de Naples n’a toujours pas été réglée.À lire aussiLa première barrière flottante anti-déchets sera bientôt testée à San Francisco”A notre avis, l’Italie ne s’est toujours pas conformée aux injonctions de la Cour européenne de justice” a déclaré le commissaire, cité par l’AFP. Si Bruxelles évoque des “progrès importants”, à ce jour “la situation ne s’est pas stabilisée” et “les services de la Commission préparent une nouvelle comparution de l’Italie devant la Cour de justice européenne”, a-t-il averti. L’Italie risque alors de se voir condamner à une lourde amende. Le montant des sanctions financières imposées par la Commission est calculé en fonction du PIB du pays condamné, mais aussi de la durée de l’infraction et de son importance, rappelle l’AFP.Si le ministre de l’Environnement a admis que la crise n’est pas encore stabilisée, il a affirmé que la production de déchets était “en forte baisse”. De nouveaux incinérateurs ont été construits, et des déchets sont transportés vers l’étranger où ils sont traités, a-t-il souligné. Et d’ajouter : “Nous sommes engagés dans une lutte contre la montre”.Le 27 janvier 2012 à 13:17 • Maxime Lambert
It was Preview Night last night at San Diego Comic Con, and DC started with a bang, peppering the night with press junkets, booth tours, and… the unveiling of Wonder Woman’s invisible jet in the downtown Gaslamp district of San Diego.An. Invisible. Frikkin’. Jet.Now, we know that you’re thinking, “But wait! How would you unveil that which you cannot see?” We thought the same thing, too, right up until the event. The reveal was full nervous laughter as the giant sheet covering the jet was slowly pulled down.3. 2. 1…“Oh, man. I did not expect that,” murmured one fan.I don’t know if it was we who were the fools for expecting something grandiose, or perhaps were the vindicated ones among our chortles and laughs, as Wonder Woman’s preferred mode of transport was laid bare before the judging masses. <> <> The cartoonish plane sparkled in the up-lighting, sporting round curves and white-taped seams and attached to a bright-colored sky background. The plane was technically “invisible,” all right, but I would be lying if I didn’t mention there were a lot of groans in the audience. Luckily, the novelty of it all was not lost on the crowd, as volunteers eagerly jumped up to sit inside the clear contraption for photo ops. Fans can visit this cute activation at the corner of Island Avenue and 6th Street all weekend at San Diego Comic Con.Despite the hokey set up, Wonder Woman is, in fact, celebrating her 75th year in style, with her upcoming movie being all the buzz in the geek world.This year, fans were overjoyed to see Wonder Woman in the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice film, with many stating that it was maybe the only good thing about that movie. She was badass, beautiful, and powerful, and we can’t wait to see more.The new Wonder Woman film will show the origins of Diana Prince in her home on a secluded tropical island that is intruded upon by an American pilot (Chris Pine), who crashes down with some bad news: The world is embroiled in a terrible war. Diana decides to leave home and attempt to put a stop to the conflict, all the while honing her new powers and… maybe building an invisible jet? I sincerely doubt that thing will be appearing in the film.The Wonder Woman movie, directed by Patty Jenkins, and starring the statuesque Gal Gadot hits theaters June 2, 2017. Other highly anticipated cast members, whose roles are still yet to be announced, include Robin Wright (House of Cards), Danny Huston (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), David Thewlis (Harry Potter), Ewen Bremner (Snowpiercer), Saïd Taghmaoui (American Hustle), and Lucy Davis (Shaun of the Dead).We also have some great peeks at the costumes from the movie that are currently on display in the DC booth (#1915), below, so be sure to check out the gallery!
Saudi Arabia winger Fahad Al Muwallad insists that the squad are looking at their final Group A game against Egypt as an opportunity for redemptionThe Falcons have yet to score at the World Cup and are at risk of becoming one of the 11 teams that failed to find the back of the net even once at the tournament with Honduras and Algeria the last teams to do so in 2010.Saudi Arabia’s elimination from the World Cup was confirmed in their 1-0 defeat to Uruguay, after losing 5-0 to hosts Russia in their opening game.But, in what will be their first tournament meeting against Egypt since the 1999 Confederations Cup, Al Muwallad has promised the fans that Saudi Arabia will be giving it their all to win their final match.“Regarding the administrative aspect, everyone has done their best,” said the Al Ittihad forward, according to The National.Paulo Dybala reveals a falling out with Jorge Sampaoli Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – July 12, 2019 After having a relatively good Copa America performance with Argentina, Paulo Dybala came out to reveal a fall out with Jorge Sampaoli.We’ve discussed how…“The team managers gave us a great deal of support and Saudi Arabia supporters as well, but perhaps we wasted a few opportunities.“But we have a chance to make up for what happened. We have a bright future ahead of us as players. Tomorrow we want to win the three points and make the Saudi fans happy. We hope that we are able to do so.“Our match against Egypt will be very difficult. Every team dreams of winning a World Cup game. We want those three points, regardless of the opponent. We fully respect the Egypt side and I think they recognise that the Saudi team is a team to be reckoned with. We will enjoy our match tomorrow.”The two nations will meet at the Volgograd Arena today at 16:00 (GMT +2).
Something for the weekend: Soremartec Italia, the well-known branch of Italian food organisation Ferrero Group, which Nutella, Kinder Bueno and Ferrero Rocher, is offering a paid training course to educate potential employees on how to taste test chocolate.Advertised on Italian recruitment site Openjobmetis, the Italian chocolate specialist, based in Alba, is currently seeking 60 new sensory judges to taste test the organisation’s various confectionery products.As part of the recruitment process, Soremartec Italia will be providing an employer-funded, three-month training course, starting in September, on how to taste cocoa, hazelnuts and other semi-sweet products. This will aim to educate prospective sensory judges on how to enhance their senses of smell and taste, as well as improving their ability to verbally express the flavour nuances of the products.On the conclusion of the three-month course, eligible candidates will receive a part-time contract for two hours of work, twice a week.Here at Employee Benefits, we can certainly see the value of paid, on-the-job training, and the additional perk of chomping down on delicious chocolate treats for a solid three months sounds like a dream come true…
foreign ministryBangladesh has expressed deep concern at the recent announcement by the United States recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, reports UNB.Bangladesh stressed on preserving the legal status of Jerusalem within the framework of relevant UN resolutions, according to a statement issued by the foreign ministry on Thursday.Bangladesh reaffirmed its position in favour of establishing the state of Palestine on the basis of the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.Bangladesh urged all parties concerned to take a pragmatic approach to the Middle East Peace Process in reaching a two state solution for peace and stability in the region.