Warriors welcome students, faculty from Parkland shooting at shootaround

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!MIAMI – The Warriors gathered together for morning shootaround on Wednesday, and talked about more important things than basketball.Besides preparing for when the Warriors (43-17) visit the Miami Heat (26-33) on Wednesday, they also welcomed students and faculty from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and Miami Northwestern Senior high school. Just over a year …last_img

Google’s SMS internet for Uganda

first_imgThe Google SMS Health Tips response to the words “pregnant HIV”. The Google SMS Search response to the words “NEWS Michael Jackson funeral”. Mary AlexanderFind out more about using MediaClubSouthAfrica.com materialInternet giant Google has launched yet another innovative new product, this time using a fairly old technology: an SMS-based information service for people without access to computers or high-end phones in the more remote parts of Africa.Set up in collaboration with MTN Uganda, the local subsidiary of South African’s multinational cellular service provider MTN, is a suite of mobile-phone applications which will allow people to access information, via SMS, on a number of topics. These include health and agriculture, news, local weather, sport and more, as well as Google Trader, a SMS-based marketplace application.“At Google we seek to serve a broad base of people — not only those who can afford to access the internet from the convenience of their workplace or with a computer at home,” Joe Mucheru, head of Google sub-Saharan Africa, and Fiona Lee, Africa project manager, said in a blog announcing the service on Monday.With Africa having the lowest internet penetration coupled with the highest mobile growth rate – and with most of those phones having only voice and texting capabilities – the most efficient way to give people access to information is via SMS.“It’s important to reach users wherever they are, with the information they need, in areas with the greatest information poverty,” Mucheru and Lee said. “In many places around the world, people look to their phones, rather than their computers, to find information they need in their daily lives. This is especially true in Africa.”Initially launched only in Uganda, the service is effectively a limited, SMS-based form of the internet, with Google SMS Tips providing a simplified search function. Here users enter a free-form text query, which Google’s algorithms restructure to identify keywords, search a database of answers, and return the most relevant answer.Google SMS Tips includes Health Tips, which provides information on sexual and reproductive health; ClinicFinder, which helps users find a clinic near them, as well as the clinic’s telephone number and the services it offers; and Farmer’s Friend, which provides weather forecasts and information on planting, pest management and disease control.“If a pregnant woman has a question about prenatal services, she can text her question to 6001 and get a response right away,” said Rachel Payne, Google’s Uganda country manager. “Now people in any part of Uganda can easily find the information that is most critical to them.”Texting the words “pregnant HIV”, for example, produces the following SMS response: “If a pregnant woman has not got HIV/AIDS then her baby will not have HIV/AIDS. If the mother gets HIV during pregnancy her baby is at risk of getting  infected. If your partner has HIV/AIDS you could catch it from them. To prevent this ALWAYS use a condom when you have sex. If you think you might have HIV/AIDS GET TESTED.” The user may then receive additional information by selecting a number of options.Google SMS Search, which in Uganda uses the number 6006, provides information on news, sports scores, definitions, translations, currency conversions, bible texts and a lot more. Texting “Michael Jackson funeral” produces an AFP report under the headline “Jackson funeral takes shape as drug probe widens”.The third service, Google Trader, uses the number 6007 to connect buyers and sellers.“We hope to help alleviate some of the information and access to markets barriers for the poor, especially those in rural areas,” said Payne. “So, when farmers in Iganga want to sell their maize, they can list their crop on Google Trader and a miller in another trading center can find and contact them to buy their goods.”Google SMS comes out of a partnership between Google, the Grameen Foundation, the Busoga Rural Open Source and Development Initiative, the Straight Talk Foundation and Marie Stopes Uganda.It’s the result of the Grameen Foundation’s AppLab, or Application Laboratory, which has been working for more than a year to develop mobile applications for those who have limited access to information and communications technology.“This launch also represents an important milestone, as our first major initiative in Uganda, one of the newest locations where Google is setting up operations,” Payne said.“As the East African fibre optic cables begin to connect Uganda to the global internet community, it is vital that the foundation for a thriving internet economy also be established.”Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected] articlesMobile money grows in Africa Better farming with mobiles Facebook says ‘hakuna matata’ Early African fossils found SA Google Earth layer is tops Google to put Africa online MTN in new empowerment deal Useful linksGoogle SMSMTN GroupMTN UgandaGoogle BlogGoogle Africa Blog Grameen FoundationBusoga Rural Open Source and Development InitiativeStraight Talk FoundationMarie Stopes Ugandalast_img read more

South African students urged to excel in maths and science

first_img7 September 2015Schoolchildren have been encouraged to take up maths and science and to work hard to achieve their dreams.Speaking at the handover of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) mobile science laboratory at Thubalethu High School in Eastern Cape, Communications Deputy Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams urged pupils to be dedicated and make good use the facility.“It begins with hard work and dedication,” she said on 4 September. “I urge you to make use of these facilities; tap the knowledge of your teachers and make science, maths and technology part of your life.”South Africa needed young people who wanted to work hard and who wanted to make the nation stronger and better.“Our country is facing a skills shortage and we need young people such as yourselves with technical skills to fill the skills gaps in our economy. The National Development Plan, our blueprint for a better tomorrow, identifies the important role of science, technology and innovation in achieving the country’s longer-term vision.”Open many doors“The science lab that has been provided by the NYDA will go a long way towards making your dreams a reality,” she told pupils. “It will help the school to unearth the next generation of scientists, engineers and mathematicians who will help to move South Africa forward.”Science and maths were subjects that could get one into any field. “Believe me when I say maths and science gets you everywhere. Every sector of our economy has been transformed by technology, and there is no job where maths is not useful. For you to succeed in the modern world, you need maths and science and this message should resonate with you when choosing subjects,” the minister explained.A changing worldThis was alongside the government’s Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Development Initiative (Asidi) schools programme.Asidi was established by the Department of Basic Education to eradicate backlogs in school infrastructure in previously disadvantaged communities. It also upgrades the standard of schools.“Learners, I urge you to make use of the new science lab. The world we live in is rapidly changing and science, maths and technology are at the forefront of this change. Programmes such as this one are important because they support our objective of expanding access the world of maths and science.”Source: SAnews.govlast_img read more

School officials in Maharashtra accused of raping 14 young Adivasi girls

first_imgStudents at the Yavatmal primary school: Sordid episodeThe packed central hall of Bombay’s towering Vidhan Sabha building, usually the scene of deafening exchanges between ruling party and opposition legislators, was this time reduced to a stunned silence.Replying to an adjournment motion by the Opposition, Maharashtra’s Minister of State for Home,Students at the Yavatmal primary school: Sordid episodeThe packed central hall of Bombay’s towering Vidhan Sabha building, usually the scene of deafening exchanges between ruling party and opposition legislators, was this time reduced to a stunned silence.Replying to an adjournment motion by the Opposition, Maharashtra’s Minister of State for Home Affairs, Vilas Deshmukh, admitted before a shocked house on March 30 that the superintendent and the cook of a government-run residential primary school for Adivasi children in the state’s backward Yavatmal district stood accused of raping 14 young girls in their charge.Informing the Assembly that the two accused had only four days before been arrested and formally charged, Deshmukh stated that preliminary enquiries with the girls – mere children between the ages of six and 10 – had confirmed reports by a teacher at the ashramshala that they had been repeatedly assaulted for some months.Widespread Concern: The reaction, both from treasury benches and the Opposition, was a shocked outcry. There were calls for an investigation of the 313 ashramshalas which offer Maharashtra adivasis free residential schooling. Since their inception a decade ago, ashramshalas have become popular with the backward community and today the tiny boarding schools have over 40,000 students in Maharashtra’s tribal belts.Less than a week later the news broke of yet another molestation charge being made by ashramshala students. Alleging that the assistant teacher who accompanied them to a sports match with a rival school “tried doing things” on the bus while returning, two 14-year-olds from the Nanza village ashramshala, just 120 km from Harshi village where the earlier charges originated, complained to Yavatmal’s tribal welfare officer of maltreatment and attempted rape.advertisementSaid V.N. Gajibe, tribal welfare officer for Yavatmal and Buldhana districts, who filed both complaints with the local police: “The ashramshala scheme has been very successful so far, since even the poorest Adivasi parents are now encouraged to send their children to these schools, and girls who were not earlier getting any education at all are now increasingly enrolled. But if this kind of abuse takes place it will set back the entire programme and lead to withdrawal of children.”Swift Action: Last fortnight, the Government moved rapidly to stem the rot. N.S. Umbharkar, assistant teacher at the Nanza ashramshala, was arrested and formally charged under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code, and in Harshi the police started by arresting Superintendent Govind Mahakale and Maruti Sitaram Rajne, the cook. A week later, after enquiries and intensive questioning of the schoolgirls revealed that Charandas Bhadikar, the original informant who had alerted Gajibe to the abuse, was equally involved in its perpetration, Yavatmal’s Pusad taluk police promptly picked him up and had him remanded to their custody for further questioning.Moving rapidly to sew up the matter and avert widespread panic, Maharashtra’s Additional Inspector-General of Police (CID), Ramakant Kulkarni, dashed to Harshi to personally assess the situation.Further Revelations: In Yavatmal district the sordid affair grew murkier as police investigations revealed a complicated web of child abuse and adult intrigue. News of the original allegations against Mahakale and Rajne first broke when their colleague Bhadikar informed a group of Harshi villagers on March 9 that they had continually abused their young wards.Though swift village justice followed, a Pusad taluka advocate and journalist A. Aparwo Maind, who edits a weekly paper called the Chawdi Varta, informed the police circle inspector about the allegations. No formal complaint was registered for over a week.Meanwhile Bhadikar, who had first instigated the villagers against the ashramshala superintendent and cook, made a similar complaint to Gajibe in Yavatmal, and the tribal welfare officer promptly visited Harshi to verify the charges.”At that time all 14 of the girls interviewed – two were not present – confirmed what Bhadikar had told me,” said Gajibe, “so I went ahead and filed a police complaint against the two.”Under the more exacting interrogation of the police, however, the little girls broke down and stated that Bhadikar himself had constantly molested them since the past Diwali and had finally cajoled them to condemn the other two.Said Vasudev Potdar, deputy superintendent of police at Yavatmal: “Investigations are going on, so at this stage all we can say is that the girls now state that even Bhadikar used to molest them; so we have arrested him also. But the case has become considerably more complicated, since according to the medical examination none of the 16 girls has actually been raped. The doctor has stated that their hymens are intact and there are no visible signs of rape.”advertisementDepravity: But this is small consolation for the girls themselves. Subjected daily to harrowing questioning sessions for over a fortnight, the Harshi ashramshala’s 16 girl students’ were last fortnight distraught, with fear and worry about a crime which lay almost outside’ their comprehension.Rudely jerked out of their childhoods into an incomprehensible world of adult perversion and depravity, the group huddled in their miserable temporary school room, bursting into tears each time a stranger came in. Chandrakala, a pretty eight-year-old along with Ganga, an alleged favourite of Bhadikar’s, haltingly explained that the assistant teacher-frequently called his charges to his rooms at night to perform small chores for him, often seizing the opportunity to strip them off their clothes and molest them.”He used to call me to his chulha (kitchen) to do some work and then take off all my clothes and his own,” said the young girl unselfconsciously, “and then he used to do things.” Added Ganga: “Bhadikar used to call me at night and he used to touch me down there.”Shobha, barely six and certainly unaware of the reasons for the furore around her, nevertheless adds to the astonishing charges of depravity. “Once he took me also to his room,” she says, almost by rote, clamming up thereafter and refusing to elaborate on what was done to her. The others, harassed from days of questioning by the police, burst into tears each time they are asked about the incidents.Cruel Neglect: The testimony of the ashramshala students notwithstanding, little was actually known last fortnight about the extent of molestation, how long it had gone on, or the exact involvement of each of the accused. But the Harshi case raised several questions.No women teachers or attendants were provided in the Harshi ashramshala even though its 16 girls and 52 boys are all between the ages of six and 10. The teacher’s control over his students is absolute, and statements by the young Adivasi girls make it clear that they are frequently made to perform menial tasks and housework for the ashramshala staff.Involvement of the villagers in the children’s welfare is almost nonexistent, possibly because it is a school for tribals in a village dominated by non-tribals. Political workers in the Pusad-Harshi area insist that even the funds allotted for the upkeep of children are often diverted from some ashramshalas, and as a result their running has become a high-stakes business handed out as patronage by the ruling party.R. H. Atre, BJP worker from Pusad, points out that only last fortnight the sanction of an ashramshala for Pedhi village in Yavatmal’s Mahagaon taluk was abruptly cancelled and handed over from Kuddus Mirza, who was originally to have run it, to Manoharrao Naik, brother of Maharashtra Education Minister Sudhakar Naik.Naik, who already administers the Parvatibaji Charitable Trust in Pusad, will set up the ashramshala at Saathghari, a village next to Pedhi. “Even the running of something as desirable as ashramshalas has become a prestigious thing to be handed out to favoured persons,” said Atre. “The Government grant of Rs 105 per student per month is an incentive for persons to take up the running of these schools.”advertisementBut Patil’s Government last fortnight appeared determined to put the ashramshala scheme right; it pulled out all the stops to speedily solve the Harshi and Nanza cases and restore confidence in the institutions. A senior official in the Tribal Welfare Ministry admitted that “this scheme shows more potential for tribal uplift through education than perhaps all other welfare schemes put together”. The official added that the Government was trying to set things right. “I would be the first to admit that it is at present far from perfect,” he said, “but ashramshalas are the one way of encouraging the desperately poor to educate their children, and the success so far shows that it can easily be extended.”last_img read more

Randy Jackson Attends Event At Bally Store To Support Delete Blood Cancer

first_imgSwiss luxury brand Bally continued its on-going partnership with charity Delete Blood Cancer DKMS, with an event to celebrate the brand’s recently opened Beverly Hills flagship store.Randy Jackson attends Bally eventThe exclusive evening was held at the Bally Flagship Store at Rodeo Drive on Tuesday 17th May 2016 from 6PM to 8:30pm. Hosted by Grammy-award winning record producer Randy Jackson, DKMS co-founder Katharina Harf and Bally Americas CEO Claudia Cividino, the exclusive cocktail evening featured a special performance from Grammy nominated recording artist Jazmine Sullivan.To mark this collaboration Bally designed a limited edition red leather envelope, in calf leather and water snake skin, priced at $350 and $850 respectively. The envelopes were available to purchase at the exclusive event, with all proceeds going to Delete Blood Cancer DKMS. 20% of all other sales from the evening were also donated to the cause.last_img read more

Of magical transitions

first_img‘It is amazing that Tanuj is able to tap into the mystical and the supernatural to create images that are so deeply embedded into the unconscious mind with such graceful ease to paint images that are forthright and definitive,’ says Alka Raghuvanshi. It is an old adage that simplicity is the most complicated to achieve. It could seem like a contradiction in terms, but there is no better description of Tanuj Bhramar’s paintings. His reds, blues, yellows and greens rub shoulders with stark blacks and shiny greens but instead of grating, have the ability to soothe with their apparent minimalism. Look a little closer and there is great complexity of thought and grace of form in the works. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The structures persuade the viewer to explore a little deeper and the depths incarcerate the curiosity almost at once for the connect is almost primeval as are the colours. His extensive travelling across India and continents capture in his mindscape the heritage and sensibility rooted in the colours of India, Africa, America – albeit at a primordial level.He is very enthralled with the strong definitive colours, the practice, the composition of the artwork, and the simplicity. The woman protagonist is recurring icon in his paintings as she appears, almost unbidden to inhabit his paintings complete with amazing strength of character in her face to add an  aura of mystery to his paintings. The woman’s role is an eternally shifting one in Tanuj’s work. She mesmerizes, coaxes, beckons, allures with her look, the absence of drapes render her strong rather than uncovered and reveal the thoughts that churn in her mind and heart. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixAn animal lover, Tanuj has spent long years in the lap of nature in Jharkhand and Uttarakhand where his close brush with nature led to an imagery that is rooted in the fauna of these regions. Acutely conscious of giving back to the community, he donates 20 per cent of his earnings from the exhibitions to fund the education of tribal children through Vikas Bharti, a Jharkhand-based NGO. Right now, there is a small art school on the NGO’s premises, and Tanuj hopes that the proceeds from his exhibition will help them build a bigger school.last_img read more

US is our natural global partner Modi

first_imgDescribing America as India’s ‘natural global partner’, prime minister Narendra Modi said the complementary strengths of the two democracies can be used for inclusive and broad-based development to transform lives across the world.‘The US is our natural global partner. India and the US embody the enduring and universal relevance of their shared values,’ Modi wrote in an op-ed in the The Wall Street Journal.Narendra Modi said the thriving Indian-American community in the US is a metaphor for the potential of India-US partnership, and for the possibilities of an environment that nurtures enterprise and rewards hard work.Ahead of his arrival in New York for a five-day US trip, the prime minister said India and the US have a fundamental stake and many shared interests in each other’s success.last_img read more