Draft Whistleblower, Witness Protection Bills Validated

first_imgParticipants at the end of the draft validation yesterdayIntegrity institutions, government agencies and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) yesterday validated the draft Whistleblower and Witness Protection Bills. The bills are expected to be submitted to the National Legislature for enactment into law.The two bills were certified at the end of a one-day validation workshop held at a venue in Sinkor. The bills were drafted by participants at a three-day workshop which took place last month.The validation workshop brought together key state actors drawn from the Ministry of Justice, Governance Commission, Liberia National Bar Association, Law Reform Commission, UNMIL, Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, CENTAL, as well as the National Integrity Forum. It was sponsored by UNMIL.The workshop was also attended by LACC’s Executive Chairperson, James N. Verdier; Deputy Justice Minister for Codification, Charles Karmo; UNMIL’s Chief of Human Rights and Protection Section, Marcel Akpovo; the Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Autonomous Agencies, Senator Jonathan Kaipay; and Rep. Larry Younquoi, Chairman of the House Standing Committee on Governance, who all admonished participants to work with diligence and commitment in the validation exercise.The LACC said in a release that the workshop grew out of the regional workshop on whistleblower and witness protection in the fight against corruption, which was held in Monrovia last September.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Another walk-off win for the Crabs

first_imgThe Humboldt Crabs recorded their third walk-off win of the summer to open their midweek series with the San Leandro Ports at the Arcata Ball Park on Tuesday night.Bronson Grubbs broke the deadlock on a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the ninth inning, driving home McCarthy Tatum for the winning run in a 3-2 victory.The Crabs trailed for much of the night, with the Ports scoring single runs in both the second and fourth innings for a 2-0 advantage.But the home team saved the best for last, …last_img read more

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Kevon Looney sheds light on whether he’ll have a future with Warriors

first_imgKlay Thompson subscribes. You can too for just 11 cents a day for 11 months + receive a free Warriors Championship book. Sign me up!OAKLAND – For a player that prides himself on preparing for every role, it appears Kevon Looney has already mapped out his free-agency future.The Warriors will like Looney’s initial plan when he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1.“Everybody wants to get paid, but I would love to stay with this team and this franchise,” Looney said. “It’s a great …last_img read more

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‘Be careful what you share online’

first_img8 October 2012With October being International Cyber Security Awareness Month, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has warned South Africans to be responsible with the information they share on internet, especially on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.The Cyber Defence Research Group of the CSIR will be hosting a series of talks on cyber security awareness-related topics this month. The talks will include practical cyber security awareness tips, tricks and policies; mobile phone hacking, cyber terrorism and information warfare; live fire exercises; and social networking and social media.“Sharing personal information online about ourselves and those around us has become second nature, to the extent that we are not aware when we actually do it,” CSIR researcher Zama Dlamini said in a statement last week.“Our children, friends, partners, helpers and even colleagues have inadvertently posted pictures online; whether it is a picture of you at a team-building exercise, or a picture of your new car showing its registration number outside your house, which might also happen to have the address in bold. All this information can be used against you by cyber criminals.”Information that is regarded as private include – but is not limited to – bank and credit card numbers, income, ID number, full names, street address, phone numbers, e-mail address, names and addresses of children’s schools, and photos.Dlamini warned that this type of private information should not be shared with strangers nor made available online, as it can be easily accessed by cyber criminals.“This is the information that is often required to legitimately open new charge accounts, buy online or borrow money,” Dlamini said.“If cyber criminals were to get hold of it, they could use it to open accounts, buy online, and borrow money while pretending to be you. They can even marry you off to a stranger without your knowledge or consent.“Victims usually do not know that they have been victimised until collection agencies begin pursuing them to cover debts they did not even know they had.”According to Sipho Ngobeni, also a CSIR Researcher, there are many other tricks, like hacking, that cyber criminals can use to get people’s personal information.“Once they have achieved this, they could perform malicious activities such as infecting your computer with malware, which in turn can lead to your computer being used as a botnet (internet-connected computers with breached security defences that are controlled by a ‘botmaster’); steal confidential information that resides on your computer and perhaps sell it to the black market, and use your computer to launch further criminal activities,” Ngobeni said.The internet has no boundary; and therefore it is important that technology users are made aware of what could go wrong, as well as tips and tricks to protect themselves while online, Ngobeni added.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

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“We must to learn to live together” – Mapisa-Nqakula

first_img“We dare not let the actions of a few define us as a nation,” writes Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula of the recent attacks on foreign nationals. “What was intended to pull our nation down must be used to strengthen our resolve to build a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society which respects human dignity and rights of all people.” A still from the music video for United We Stand by Salif Keita and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, a song calling for peace and unity in Africa. (Image: YouTube)Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-NqakulaWe live in a globally connected world where local actions can reverberate across the globe. No country is an island and we are all interconnected in more ways than one. Therefore, since 1994, South Africa has actively sought to strengthen partnerships and ties with countries in Africa.These partnerships have a profound effect on our daily lives often without us even thinking about it. When you turn on the tap to draw a bath, chances are that you are using water from the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. Much of our electricity is also sourced from the Cahora Bassa Dam in Mozambique. This demonstrates our interdependencies as Africans for our countries to succeed and develop.The shameful attacks on foreign nationals that sought to plunge our country into anarchy took place far away from Lesotho and Mozambique, yet they reverberated in those nations and far beyond.It is precisely for this reason that we dare not let the actions of a few define us as a nation. What was intended to pull our nation down must be used to strengthen our resolve to build a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society which respects human dignity and rights of all people.We have proved as a nation that we are resilient and our defeat of the apartheid system shows that. Today South Africa is counted among the most diverse and enchanting countries in the world. The past few weeks have shown that the overwhelming majority of South Africans stand for peace, the rule of law and fundamental rights, in contrast to the few who are bent on perpetuating acts of violence.This week we have begun the healing process and are working to restore harmony within our communities. President Jacob Zuma has also convened stakeholders to discuss migration.South Africa will next month join the rest of the continent in celebrating Africa Month. In the spirit of Africa Month let us take hands with our fellow Africans in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent to encourage greater social cohesion, nation building and African unity.Our destiny is intrinsically linked to that of the rest of the Africa. We are already working with a number of African countries to grow business, trade and investment.In the energy sector we access gas from neighbouring countries which is used in local industries and households, and sustains thousands of jobs. We are also a major importer of crude oil from African counties.The Great Inga Hydropower Scheme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo will produce electricity for a number of countries within the SADC region including South Africa.Our long-standing relationship with neighbouring countries allows us to procure electricity and water required for our power stations. These relationships have enabled us to electrify more than 6 million new households since 1994.In light of above, the government appeals to all South Africans to remember that united we stand and can achieve so much more; we are all Africans. Furthermore, we are aware of concerns raised by citizens about illegal migrants and their alleged take-over of local businesses. President Zuma has mandated a high-level government team to address the matter.The Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster together with the Ministers of Social Development, Trade and Industry and Small Business Development will engage affected communities, organisations representing foreigners, business and non-governmental organisations to attend to their concerns.Moreover, measures are being put in place to better regulate immigration into South Africa and a Border Management Agency has been established to manage all ports of entry.We have also transferred 350 members of the SANDF to the Department of Home Affairs to boost the capacity of immigration officers at our border posts. Our military personnel have been deployed along the border in seven provinces to prevent border crime and illegal border crossings.This week the President himself has met with stakeholders to discuss the country’s migration policy and how various sectors can work with government to promote orderly migration and good relations between citizens and foreigners.The President intends to build a lasting partnership with stakeholders in the country to better manage migration and ensure that the shameful attacks on foreigners do not ever again occur and attempt to destroy our hard-won gain as a country.We must never allow perceptions to become our reality. Many foreigners have legal status and abide by the country’s laws. They contribute meaningfully to the economy and the development of our country.Throughout the liberation struggle, our fellow African brothers and sisters took a stand and supported our fight against apartheid. They provide much-needed shelter to our leaders and activists. Their support played an important role in our attainment of freedom we enjoy today. Their help will remain forever etched in our memories.Moreover, the criminal actions by a handful of perpetrators are in no way a reflection of the true state of relations between foreigners living and working within our communities.To render these criminal elements powerless, we must collectively address misconceptions and stereotypes about foreign nationals or other cultural groups to ensure that such incidents don’t happen again.The government cannot do it alone and needs all sectors of our society. Let us all use our various platforms to address stereotypes about foreigners and educate South Africans about the need to co-exist and live in harmony with our fellow brothers and sisters from other countries.last_img read more

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A Guide to Geocaching in Lithuania

first_img SharePrint RelatedConfirmed Geocaching souvenir moments for 2019January 9, 2019In “Community”Guide to hosting an unforgettable Last/First New Year’s eventNovember 27, 2018In “Community”How to host the best New Year’s event for Last/FirstNovember 28, 2017In “Community” Located the furthest south of all the Baltic states, Lithuania’s sandy beaches, enchanting castles and cobblestoned towns combine to make this country an ideal place for geocaching — and now, it has the added distinction of being the latest addition to the geocaching country souvenir collection!To celebrate geocaching in Lithuania, we’ve pulled together this list of five awesome geocaching experiences you’ll definitely want to add to your bucket list:GC12CVE — The Curonian SpitThis EarthCache takes you to the most famous national park in Lithuania, which is also listed as a UNESCO site. Here you will find sand dunes and lush forests jutting out into the Curonian Lagoon.Photo by geocacher bolyak.“What a place. The true magic of nature showed here. And tonight’s lighting was perfect. A beautiful sunset in the west and glimmering lights from the cities in the east. The wind on our back walking upwards was perfect.” — Team Davidsson GC3E0QV — Vilnius CathedralLithuania’s capital city, Vilnius, is known for the city’s Old Town. Here you’ll find impressive architecture dating back to the 13th century, like the cathedral near this geocache. While you’re there, you might also want to check out GC1Z4H6.The Vilnius Cathedral was first built in the 13th century, but has been rebuilt and restored many times since then.“Wow wow wow! I liked this one very much. I didn’t expected it in such visible location, very well masked! Thank you for the great cache.” – SNlEGSGC4PD6E — Gedimino PilisAfter visiting the Vilnius Old Town, you can catch a view from above at the Gediminas’ Tower, pictured in the new Lithuania souvenir. This tower has become a symbol for Lithuania.From the Gediminas’ Tower, there are spectacular views of the famous Old Town in Vilnius.“Found on our Baltic Cycle Tour with cb_caching. Wonderful place with fantastic panoramic view, best to visit in the morning sun…” – GeolejGeocache Series — Aplink LietuvąThis series of geocaches will take you on a tour of Lithuania’s border towns. Be sure to bring your passport, as some of the geocaches will take you into Lithuania’s neighbor countries, Russia and Belarus, which are outside of the European Union.Photo by geocacher valdisj at one stop on the series, GC5CV3C.“Thank you for guiding us to this church: when coming closer, we have noticed a professional orchestra was doing their final check for this night’s concert in this church. We used the opportunity to listen to Edvard Grieg’s music and went for the cache later.” – TheWinterClanGC2WD5R — Kaunas Grand TB HotelVisit the city of Kaunas to soak in Lithuanian art, culture and history. Be sure to make a stop at the Kaunas Grand TB Hotel to swap out a trackable!Located nearby: the Kaunas Castle and another great geocache (GC58XD1).“WOW! Once [the muggle] left, we found the key and opened the mysterious door. The geocache idea – amazing. Thanks to the hider for such an exciting treasure!” – Raccoons. CasimirWe’ll unveil one new souvenir every week until all FIVE are officially released and awarded by mid December. Learn about last week’s new souvenir announcement, Slovenia, here.A list of currently available geocaching souvenirs and even the ones you’ve already earned can be found on Geocaching.com. And, if you’ve already found a geocache in Lithuania we will retroactively add this souvenir to your profile after all five country souvenirs are announced.Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or right here on our blog to find out which countries are next.Have you found a geocache in Lithuania? Tell us your experience in the comments below!Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

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The Home Performance Forum Has Launched!

first_imgThe Internet age has made it easy to find information. Occasionally you can find some that’s even true. That’s where it becomes helpful to have someone more knowledgeable than yourself to be able to ask for advice and input on stuff you read online, get feedback on ideas you’d like to try on a project, or discover what cool things other home energy pros are doing.One place that’s been great for that since it started in 2008 is Green Building Advisor, of course. Another equally valuable place, which also began in 2008, has been the LinkedIn group called “RESNET BPI – Energy Audit and Home Performance.” Unfortunately, it’s been in decline lately.One of the best online home performance hauntsI joined the RESNET BPI group on LinkedIn way back in early 2009. It was a great place to ask questions of other home energy pros and do some online networking. One thing that was always cool was to interact with someone in the group and then meet them at a conference. (And speaking of conferences, were you in Nashville last week for the Home Performance Conference?) The group was created by Claire Rutiser in 2008, and in the early years she also moderated it. With changes in her work and family life (having a child), Rutiser had to give up the group. David Butler, an electrical engineer who knows more about HVAC than just about anyone else I know, took over the moderating responsibilities and eventually the whole group. Since 2011, he’s been wholly responsible for the group. And all of us who have used the group owe him a big debt of gratitude.Butler has been an amazing administrator, moderator, and contributor to the group. He has participated in many of the discussions as well as keeping the group running smoothly. Oh, and he’s kept the spam that dominates many LinkedIn groups out of this one.The decay began a few years ago when LinkedIn pulled resources back from the groups. Then they stopped sending email notifications for discussions you might be following. That’s when Butler knew he had to do something.Meet the Home Performance ForumIn 2015, Butler began working on a way to move the group away from LinkedIn. He assembled a team and found a sponsor, too. Mike Rogers of OmStout Consulting (bonus points if you know the origin of his company name) connected Butler with the Home Performance Coalition. (You know, the great organization that hosts the Home Performance Conference that was in Nashville last week, formerly known as Affordable Comfort.) The HPC helped Butler make the move.So, after a year and a half of work on getting a lot of the archived discussions into the new site, the Home Performance Forum (homeperformanceforum.org) has launched! Go there. Become a member and set up your new profile. Participate!When I spoke with Butler last week, he showed me the new site and talked about some of the advantages. “The archives are rich,” he told me. The search function “is absolutely awesome.” That was one of the big complaints about the LinkedIn group. We had all these really in-depth discussions but a lot of that knowledge was practically inaccessible because it was so hard to find. Not so with the new site.If you’re a member of other online forums, homeperformanceforum.org should seem familiar. It’s similar to HVAC-Talk, Heating Help, flyertalk, and many others. You join and discuss.One restriction worth noting here is that the Home Performance Forum is for professionals only. Butler and the Home Performance Coalition don’t have the resources to take homeowner questions here. Homeowners and everyone else will be able to read the discussions, however.What are you waiting for, home performance pros? Get over there and join!If you need another way to get there, here you go: Take me to the Home Performance Forum! Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, building science consultant, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. RELATED ARTICLESA Web-Based Information Resource From the DOEDisseminating Building Science KnowledgeEmbarking on the Building Science Learning CurveA New Book Helps Builders Tame Social MediaBuilding Science Information for BuildersBooks for Homeowners Interested in Saving EnergyNew Books on Green BuildingBooks on Insulation and Energy-Efficient BuildingCarl and Abe Write a Textbooklast_img read more

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Tension erupts as Trinamool reclaims party offices

first_imgA day after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee directed her party workers to reclaim party offices occupied by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), there was tension in various parts of the State on Saturday as the Trinamool Congress (TMC) leadership sought to reclaim party offices.Minister Jyotipriyo Mullick faced protests by BJP supporters at Kancharpara in the State’s North 24 Parganas. The police resorted to a baton charge to control the situation as BJP supporters surrounded the vehicle of TMC leaders, shouting slogans of ‘Jai Shri Ram!’ Mr. Mullick got out of his vehicle and, with folded hands, urged the people to not to support the BJP . Senior BJP leader Mukul Roy’s son and Bijpur MLA Subhrangshu Roy, who recently joined the BJP, said that the party office belongs to the locals in Kancharapara and they will decide which party’s office it will be. In other parts of the State, like Hooghly and Birbhum, tension prevailed over the TMC reclaiming party offices that were occupied by the BJP after May 23.Postcards to MamataThe BJP leadership in the State, however, alleged that the police were trying to beat up people chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram!’ State BJP president Dilip Ghosh alleged that the police were arresting those chanting these slogans. Meanwhile, BJP MP from Barrackpore Arjun Singh said that the party would send 10 lakh ‘Jai Shri Ram!’ postcards to Ms. Banerjee’s residence. These developments come against the backdrop of the CM lost her cool on Thursday and threatened locals chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram!’ in front of her vehicle.last_img read more

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Ministry must focus on athletes not the Sports Bill

first_imgThis has been a season of false starts. It began with Usain Bolt getting disqualified in the 100m sprint at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, before sports minister Ajay Maken’s dream of getting the sports bill draft cleared by the Union cabinet met with stiff resistance.At the outset, let me make it clear that I am fully in support of a term-limit on office bearers of national sports federations, though an age limit of 70 years defies logic.At the cabinet meeting, more than one Union minister spoke of how the age limit of 70 years was unacceptable as they themselves were over the hill, but continued to feel young.However, what was worrying was Maken’s hurry to get the bill cleared by the cabinet before it could be taken up by parliament.Everyone knows that since May 2010, when sports minister MS Gill wanted to rein in the national sports federations, there has been a lot of negative current flowing.Agreed, over 30 sports federations have fallen in line with the new guidelines prescribed by the sports ministry and adhere to them because they need the government grants. But the mood now among sports federation bosses is almost like the high which Anna Hazare and his team is on after the most recent hunger strike at Ramlila Maidan in the Capital.My gut feeling is that the same sports federations which fell in line are now going to get recalcitrant as they are more or less sure this sports bill will never see the light of the day. Yes, Maken has been asked to bring the bill with alterations in the contentious clauses. But if the mood among ministers is anything to go by, be sure there is every chance that even the next time, there will be no dearth of objections.advertisementA day before the cabinet was meeting over the sports bill, I happened to be at the Rashtrapati Bhawan where President Pratibha Devisingh Patil was presenting the national sports awards.There was pride in the hearts of athletes and coaches who were receiving the awards. After the short ceremony, athletes, officials and their families moved towards the refreshment area where snacks were being served.While I had expected to see joy on the faces of athletes, there was actually tension. From middle-distance runner Preeja Sreedharan to para-swimmer Prasanta Karmakar, the athletes seemed worried as to how they were going to prepare for the London Olympics.Preeja said she missed the world championships as she had not been well. But her bigger worry was how soon she was going to get the funding from the sports ministry, so that she could train and compete abroad and also hope to achieve the qualifying mark for the London Olympics. Just imagine, if this is the plight of a star, who also has no foreign coach to look up to, what happens to the other athletes? Preeja was, in fact, hoping someone influential could present her case before the sports ministry babus so that she could focus on the sport.AS Mail Today had reported, the situation is no better for special athletes like Karmakar, who has no idea when his funding will be cleared, as he, too, needs to prepare for the Paralympics, to be held just after the Olympics.With less than 11 months to go for the London Games, is it more important we push the sports bill or genuinely focus on the athletes’ preparations? In India, sportsperson- bashing is very common.Every four years, we go back to the same question as to why a country with a population of over a billion cannot win Olympic medals in large numbers.My sympathies are with the athletes as they have to go around with a begging bowl to the government.The sports bill should not become an ego issue for our sports minister, whose TV interviews have been pretty vocal. Agreed, we live in a democracy and ministers can speak even more freely.But then, this is the time for the sports ministry to focus on London 2012 preparations and not waste time and energy over the sports bill. It was hard not to gloss through the CAG report on the Commonwealth Games (CWG) one more time.Chapter 32 focuses on training, preparations and procurement of equipment plus hiring foreign coaches for the CWG. And what came across as a revelation was how Rs 375 crore was earmarked for athletes’ training and only Rs 108.05 crore was utilised till the end of November 2010. While the common perception is that there is a shortage of funds for training Indian athletes, reality seems different.advertisementThe sports ministry, Sports Authority of India and the sports federations need to put aside their differences and work in tandem.Indian hockey finds itself in a bigger mess every day and whether the team will qualify is a big question. So complicated is the situation now the international body (FIH) is snatching events away from India. At least in disciplines where the qualification worry is over and in clear cut cases, funds must be sanctioned for athletes’ training. Cut the red tapism out please.AND what about the biggest sports body in the country, the Board of Control for Cricket in India? Their reluctance to come under the ambit of the Right to Information is understandable as their bank balance and assets run into several hundred crores. One joke doing the rounds is that the BCCI assets are like the riches in the unopened vault of the Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram.I would like to quote a statement Maken made in January 2011. “The BCCI has been a very generous donor to our national sports development fund. In fact, the fund stands at a mere Rs 70.8 crore, with BCCI’s contribution alone being Rs 50 crore,” he said. Maken also added: “It is also up to BCCI to have clarity of its own on whether or not it is under the government or considers itself independent.” Amazing, isn’t it? s. [email protected]last_img read more

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No plans to retire from ODIs, says Sachin Tendulkar

first_imgHe might be skipping ODIs with regularity but Sachin Tendulkar says he does not plan to quit the format altogether just yet and will continue as long as he enjoys the game.Sachin’s 100 tons in picturesTendulkar, who has played just two ODI series after the World Cup last year, most recently opted out of the tour of Sri Lanka later this month, fuelling speculation about his future in the format.But the 39-year-old star batsman insisted that he rarely gets affected by what is speculated about him.”It’s not what XYZ think, it’s what I feel and I feel as long as I am enjoying and I feel like being part of it, I’ll continue (playing ODIs),” he told a news channel.”I felt I shouldn’t be part of the Twenty20 squad in 2007 and I had been asked (to stay on) but I felt I should not be part of Twenty 20 squad because the team did well. When I get that feeling in one-day cricket may be I would take that decision,” he said.Tendulkar said he decided to opt out of Sri Lanka tour as he wanted to spend time with his children.”I just wanted to spend time with my family, as simple as that. I spoke to the BCCI and requested them. To be able to spend time with my children is also important.”Because once we go back they will go to their schools then you won’t get quality time which any family man expects from his family and that is something which will keep me going for next 10 months,” he said.advertisementlast_img read more

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