Independent political activist Micheál Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig has today issued a further statement on the issue of the Irish Language and government outsourcing.The well-kwnon campaigner claimed yesterday that resources at the NCT centre in Gaoth Dobhair were not adequate to deal with people looking to have their business done in Irish.However the Department of Transport said it had made provisions so that anyone who wanted their NCT to be done through Irish could do so upon request. Mr Mac Giolla Easbuig said ‘There appears to be some confusion over my position on this issue. Let’s be clear here, I am not attacking workers in the Gweedore NCT centre, I am highlighting the issue of this Government’s mealy mouthed approach to the preservation of our language.‘I spoke this morning with workers in the centre to reassure them of this. I have spoken today also to officials within Roinn na Gaeltachta, who have confirmed for me that companies awarded government outsourcing contracts are not bound by the Official Languages Act.“Therefore these private companies are under no obligation to provide service in our native tongue in Gaeltacht areas, or indeed to up-skill workers that would like to be able to communicate in Irish with the consumer’‘In my mind one of the most important aspects of the language’s preservation is its use in day to day interactions, the statement from the RSA misses that point, it pays the usual lip service to Gaeltacht areas but lacks reality and practicality. ‘I believe there should be a strong policy in this area to help preserve the everyday use of the language and it takes all government departments to buy into this, not just Udaras and Roinn na Gaeltachta The soft words and platitudes about our language don’t sit well with the truth of Fine Gael privitisation ideology,” said Mac Giolla Easbuig.ROAD SAFETY AUTHORITY ONLY PAYING LIP-SERVICE TO IRISH LANGUAGE – CLAIM was last modified: August 23rd, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
A Donegal county councillor has called on embattled fellow councillor John O’Donnell to resign.The Standards in Public Office today found that the Kilmacrennan contravened ethics legislation after he appeared on an RTE Investigates programme.The programme was fronted by a fake reporter who pretended to be working for an energy company seeking political lobbying for a windfarm to be placed in Donegal. Now Cllr Micheal Mac Giolla Easbuig says the finding by SIPO means that Cllr O’Donnell must go.He said “The report from Standards in Public Office today finding that John O’Donnell contravened Ethics legislation by seeking to be paid by an undercover reporter confirms what the public knew all along.“Also it vindicates the position I took at the time calling on O’Donnell to resign.“I wonder how those Cllrs who blocked us at the time from removing him from positions of influence will stand over their vote now? “I call again on Cllr. O’Donnell to do the decent thing and resign immediately.”Councillor calls on embattled John O’Donnell to resign was last modified: March 26th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
Flowers growing in the Drakensberg’s Injasuthi nature reserve. (Image: MediaClubsouthafrica.com. For more free photos, visit the image library) The UN has declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity (IYB), and South Africa, with its wealth of natural treasures, is set to mark the event along with the rest of the world.The year-long celebration of the variety of life on earth is driven by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), under the slogan Biodiversity is life, Biodiversity is our life.The CBD, a global plan to tackle important issues facing biodiversity, entered into force in December 1993. The secretariat exists to facilitate meetings of the parties to the CBD and to coordinate with relevant international bodies.South Africa became a signatory to this important convention in 1993, and a party in 1995. The country has since ratified the instrument, which means that it has been approved by Parliament and is now binding.The 10th conference of the parties, known as COP 10, takes place in Nagoya, Japan, in October 2010.The IYB will be officially launched in Berlin on 11 January under the auspices of Germany’s Federal Environment Ministry.Its goals are to raise awareness of the importance of conservation and threats facing natural life, promote understanding of the economic value of biodiversity, encourage organisations and individuals to step up their conservation activities, celebrate achievements, and to forge an effective plan going forward from 2010.Global extinction crisisThe CBD has stated that global biodiversity is in the throes of the greatest extinction crisis since the demise of dinosaurs 65-million years ago.Some experts estimate that precious species are disappearing at up to 1 000 times the natural extinction rate, and worse, the CBD predicts a dramatic rise in the already-frightening rate. Current trends show that around 34 000 plant and 5 200 animal species face extinction at this moment, and that 66% of ecosystems around the world are approaching ruin. Now is the time to act.The IYB also coincides with the 2010 Biodiversity Target, an international conservation agreement to significantly reduce the global biodiversity drain due to often-irresponsible human activity. The target was first adopted by the EU in June 1991 and later confirmed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg in 2002.Announcing the IYB, executive secretary of the CBD, Ahmed Djoghlaf, said not one country had met the terms of the target, which were to achieve, by 2010, “a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national level as a contribution to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all life on earth”.The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Countdown 2010 branch has brought together around 1 000 participants – representing governments, civil society and corporations – to work towards achieving the 2010 biodiversity target.Celebrating our biodiversityAlthough South Africa covers just 2% of the world’s surface area, it is home to nearly 10% of all the world’s plants, which amounts to 24 000 species. About 7% of the world’s vertebrates and 5.5% of all known insects also call the country home, making it a biodiversity treasure trove.Within its borders lie three internationally renowned biodiversity hotspots. These are the magnificent Cape Floral Kingdom, the Succulent Karoo – which flows into Namibia, and the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany region. Maputaland-Pondoland is shared with Mozambique and Swaziland.South Africa is also famed for its marine biodiversity. About 11 000 species – some 15% of the global total – dwell in South African waters, with 3 496 species, or over 25%, endemic to the country. South Africa is the fifth richest country in Africa and 24th in the world in terms of the number of mammal, birds, amphibians and reptiles that are native to her soil.The South African government is well aware of the immense value of the country’s biodiversity, and between 2003 and 2005 developed and implemented a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. This document, overseen by the national Department of Environmental Affairs, identified nine areas for conservation priority and also laid out steps to conserve freshwater, estuarine and marine ecosystems.The country’s Biodiversity Act was signed into law in 2004 by then-president Thabo Mbeki, providing biodiversity protection at the highest level. Among others, the act calls for full environmental impact assessments before the development of any genetically modified organisms, and also permits communities to benefit from any profits gained through exploitation of natural materials, such as medicinal plants, that involve their indigenous knowledge.Raising awarenessIn addition to the numerous environment-aware celebrations in South Africa each year, the country is hosting the Biodiversity Expo 2010, a gathering which will explore the work currently being done in that field, and establish what more needs to be done.South Africans are encouraged to attend, if possible, and to broaden their knowledge of biodiversity, perhaps even becoming involved on a volunteer or career basis.The expo takes place from 25-28 March 2010 at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in Newlands, Cape Town. This well-known research institute and tourist drawcard is part of the South African National Biodiversity Institute.South Africa will mark the following environment-related events in 2010:• World Wetlands Day (2 February);• National Water Week (15-19 March);• World Water Day (22 March);• Earth Hour (27 March);• Earth Day (22 April);• International Day for Biodiversity (22 May);• World Environment Week (31 May-14 June);• World Environment Day (5 June);• Arbour Week (1-7 September);• International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer (16 September);• Marine Week (11-15 October);• National Bird Week (22-26 November).Football stars support biodiversityThe UN Environmental Programme has teamed up with sportswear manufacturer Puma in an IYB campaign to support Africa’s vulnerable plants and animals, and raise awareness of the year-long event among football fans.Play for Life sees 12 Puma-sponsored African teams adopting a unique continental football strip known as the Africa Unity Kit, as their official third kit. They are Ghana, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Mozambique, Togo, Tunisia, Senegal, Morocco and Namibia.The 12 teams will also wear the Fifa-approved strip during friendly games in the build-up to the 2010 Fifa World Cup, which kicks off on 11 June in Johannesburg.The Africa Unity Kit debuts at the 2010 African Cup of Nations football tournament in Angola between 10 and 31 January. All profits from worldwide sales of the replica kit will support biodiversity programmes in Africa. Besides the kit, other items such as Unity t-shirts and lacelets – collectable shoe laces featuring patterns from leading American artist Kehinde Wiley – are available.“In 2010, Africa will be at the centre of the footballing world. The Play for Life campaign and the release of the Africa Unity Kit is a powerful statement for Puma,” said the company’s CEO Jochen Zeitz.“Puma is creating a unique kit embracing the diversity of African teams while valuing the unity of players and supporters towards a common goal – raising both awareness and funds through the sale of our Unity products,” he said.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Chris ClaytonDTN Ag Policy EditorOMAHA (DTN) — China will again increase tariffs on U.S. agricultural products as part of an announcement Friday by China’s government to raise tariffs on $75 billion in U.S. products.Again caught in the middle of the trade battle between the two countries are soybeans, which will face a 5% higher tariff starting Sept. 1, Reuters and Bloomberg first reported Friday. That will put soybean tariffs at 30%. Pork and beef will face 10% higher tariffs as well on Sept. 1.If the new tariffs go into effect, U.S. pork would face a 60% retaliatory tariff along with a 12% standard duty from China.The tariff hike is a blow for U.S. pork producers, which had seen rising sales to China. The pork industry also has been anticipating even more demand from China because of African swine fever devastating China’s hog herd.The National Pork Producers Council stated Friday, “Any escalation in the trade dispute with China is a major concern to U.S. pork producers. China, the largest pork-consuming nation in the world, is seeking reliable sources of pork as it deals with African swine fever. There is no more reliable source than the United States. Unfortunately, due to the current trade dispute, we are not able to fully participate in this opportunity.”Corn, sorghum and wheat also will be hit with 10% higher tariffs, but those will not begin until Dec. 15. Tariffs on those crops right now are 25%, and the U.S. has effectively been shut out of the market.Chinese officials announced the tariffs in a statement, pushing back on the Trump administration’s 10% tariff increase that will come in two rounds on $300 billion in Chinese goods starting Sept. 1 and Dec. 15.China also will hit the U.S. auto industry, with 25% tariffs on vehicles and a 5% tariffs on parts starting Dec. 15. China had put a hold on these auto tariffs in April.China’s government stated, “China’s adoption of tariff-adding measures is a forced move to deal with U.S. unilateralism and trade protectionism. The Chinese side once again reiterated that for China and the United States, cooperation is the only correct choice, and a win-win situation can lead to a better future.”The tariffs hit U.S. agriculture as farmer frustrations have risen over trade, the Trump administration’s handling of refinery waivers for biofuels, and a challenging crop year. Future prices for the November soybean and December corn contracts peaked in mid to late June and have steadily declined since then.With concerns of a possible U.S. recession, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell did not announce any specific possible steps Friday in a speech to other economists in Wyoming. The Federal Reserve lowered interest rates in July for the first time since 2008 over concerns that trade disputes could weaken the global economy.Chris Clayton can be reached at Chris.Clayton@dtn.comFollow him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN(AG/SK)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.
Microsoft is betting the farm on its new Windows 8 operating system. Ironically, some of the biggest challenges it faces come from earlier versions of Windows – and Microsoft’s own mistakes. Case in point: Windows 8’s highly touted “Metro” interface may have to change its name just as the program is about to be released.What’s In a Name? Trouble!It seems there’s possibly a bit of trademark trouble with the “Metro” name from German retail holding group Metro AG, which, among other assets, owns two electronics store chains (Media Markt and Saturn).While an internal Microsoft memo appears to confirm that the Metro interface will be getting a new name, no one knows yet what the new moniker will be or officially why the change had to happen at this late date. The memo only cites “discussions with an important European partner” as the rationale. Microsoft has declined to comment. In the grand scheme of things, of course, this is not a big deal. After all, few consumers could actually name the interface now used by Windows Vista and Windows 7: Aero. The only people likely to notice a Metro name change will be technology professionals and ultra-fans. Developers may also be annoyed at having to rename things in the applicaitons the’re already working on.Still, it’s one more nagging headache that Microsoft didn’t need. Metro AG is not exactly unknown in tech circles. This should have been settled long before Microsoft invested any PR and marketing dollars on “Metro.”Windows vs. WindowsMicrosoft’s launch of Windows 8, already threatened by reports of declining Windows PC sales, has bigger issues than name changes.Sure, Windows 8 will go head-to-head with rival operating systems like Apple’s OS X and open-source Linux, but by some measures its biggest competitors will be Microsoft’s own earlier releases of Windows.You wouldn’t think that an 11-year-old operating system like Windows XP would be a big challenger for Windows 8, but it will be. According to the July 2012 survey from NetMarketShare, 42.86% of desktop machines STILL run Windows XP, just a smidge more than Windows 7, which is at 42.21%. (The epic fail of Windows Vista has fallen steadily from 9.09% in September 2011 to 6.60% in July 2012).Based on the trendlines, it looks like August will finally be the month that Windows 7 does what Vista never even came close to doing: overtaking Windows XP.This is the desktop market into which Windows 8 will be sold: 91.67% of machines already running Windows of some kind, and nearly half of those machines running an operating system that was released over a decade ago.Microsoft is well aware of the challenge: sources have already outlined potential upgrade paths for XP, Vista, and Windows 7 users.Upgrade or Switch?Of course, the vast majority of those machines will never upgrade their version of Windows. And that won’t be helped by incomplete upgrade schemes:. For instance, only personal data can be migrated from XP Service Pack 3 or Vista to Windows 8 (Vista SP1 users will be able to migrate user settings as well). Only Windows 7 users will have an “easy” upgrade path to Windows 8 that will carry apps, data, and settings along.Given that, the real opportunity clearly comes in selling new Windows 8 devices – from PCs to tablets. But getting users to abandon their existing Windows machines won’t be easy in the current economy – particularly for employers who have stubbornly refused to make the upgrade.Even more worrisome for Microsoft in the long run, every time someone gives up on an aging Windows machine is an oportunity for them to abandon the Windows platform, going with OS X or Linux (or even iOS and Android on tablets) instead of Windows8.In that kind of environment, with new Windows 8 machines competing with Windows 7, Vista and XP as well as OS X, Linux and various mobile operating systems, Microsoft can’t afford any stumbles. That’s what makes the Metro name change so worrisome. IT + Project Management: A Love Affair 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Tags:#enterprise#Microsoft Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… brian proffitt Related Posts
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina pays tributes to father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman marking his 100th birthday on Sunday. Photo: BSSPrime minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday paid tributes to father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman heralding the nationwide programmes on the occasion of the 100th birthday of the great leader, reports BSS.The prime minister paid the homage by placing a wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at the historic 32 Dhanmondi Road in the capital city this morning.After laying the wreath, she stood in solemn silence for some time as a mark of respect to the memory of father of the nation.Cabinet members, PM’s advisers, parliament members and senior leaders of the ruling Bangladesh Awami League (AL) were also present here.Later, flanked by the central party leaders of the AL, Sheikh Hasina laid another wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu on behalf of her party as the president of the party.The prime minister’s adviser HT Imam, AL advisory council Members Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed and advocate Yusuf Hossain Humayun, presidium members Begum Matia Chowdhury, Abdul Matin Khashru and Abdur Razzaque, acting general secretary Mahbub-ul Alam Hanif, joint secretary Abdur Rahman, organising secretaries AFM Bahauddin Nasim, Enamul Haque Shamim, B M Mozemmel Haque, Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury and Abu Sayeed Al Mahmud Swapan, publicity and publication secretary Hasan Mahmud, information and research secretary advocate Afzal Husain, relief and welfare secretary Sujit Roy Nandi and other leaders of the party were present on the occasion.Later, the leaders of associate bodies of the Awami League and other socio-cultural organisations placed wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu.The birthday of Bangabandhu is being observed across the country today as the National Children’s Day.The theme of this year’s birthday of Bangabandhu and National Children’s Day is “Bangabandhu’s birthday, rinse life of the children with colour”.