ANSA McAL, Department of Education host Literacy Summer Camp

first_imgANSA McAL Trading Limited, in collaboration with the Region Four (Demerara/Mahaica) Department of Education, launched its second annual Literacy Summer Camp on Saturday last, and this activity will see more than 300 children benefiting over the one week duration of the camp.Some of the children who will be participating in the summer campAt launch of the camp, being held at the Beterverwagting Primary School, Regional Education Officer (ag) Tiffany Favourite-Harvey disclosed that this year’s camp has seen a significant increase of participants, and is geared at providing the students with an opportunity to be engaged in all activities in various categories.This, she noted, is as a result of the significant support and assistance being given by ANSA Mc AL.“We have a great friend in ANSA Mc AL, and we at the Department of Education are exceptionally grateful and thankful for their overwhelming partnership. This is a great partnership, which I am sure will last (for) years to come,” she said.Catering for nursery, primary and secondary school children, the camp promises to be fun-filled, challenging, and filled with creative activities, according to REDO Favourite-Harvey, who stressed that reading, writing, and comprehension for learners from nursery to Grade 9 would form part of the camp.The REDO pointed out that, too many times owing to lack of proper supervision — due to many parents and guardians having to work and no one being present to take care of the children — the children are left alone, thus resulting in several of them being engaged in activities that do not bring about holistic development.She issued an impassioned appeal to parents and guardians to utilise the benefits being offered by the camp, declared that attendance is without charge, and announced that all are welcome to participate in the camp.“We are open to persons joining (in the activities), and I would like to appeal to parents and guardians to come and be a part of this camp, as it affords the children an opportunity to be gainfully and positively engaged during this period,” she said.ANSA McAL’s Brand Manager for Non-Alcoholic Beverages, Errol Nelson, said that company’s corporate social responsibility is to support the development of youths, promote education, and enrich and engage the communities that it serves.“Our involvement in this programme is testimony to that commitment,” he declared. “The brands being used to promote this programme are Smalta, iCool Juice Drink and Cheifeez Snacks.” He added, “Our involvement will be in the form of providing refreshments and snacks for the participating youths and facilitators.”last_img read more

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Giants trade Sam Dyson, acquire Scooter Gennett in separate deadline deals

first_imgPHILADELPHIA — After an extended period of inactivity, the Giants made a flurry of last-second deals right before Wednesday’s 1 p.m. trade deadline.The two final moves? Shipping reliever Sam Dyson to the Minnesota Twins and acquiring infielder Scooter Gennett from the Cincinnati Reds.As Mark Melancon explained his decision to waive his no-trade clause and accept a deal to the Atlanta Braves, news of Dyson’s move began to spread throughout the visiting clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park.Dyson …last_img read more

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Speaker Profiles

first_imgMr Tim ModiseChief Communications and Marketing Officer2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa (O.C)Mr Nkenke KekanaChairperson: 2010 National Communication Partnership (NCP)Rev Dr Makhenkesi StofileMinister of Sport and Recreation South AfricaMr Danny JordaanCEO: 2010 OCMr Ben EgbunaPresident of the African Union of Broadcasting and Director General of the Federal Radio Corporation of NigeriaMs Yvonne JohnstonCEO: International Marketing CouncilCluster championsAdvertising and marketingMr Nkwenkwe NkomoCo-chairperson: 2010 NCPAssociation for Communication and AdvertisingTourism promotionMr Sugen PillayGeneral Manager: Events Platform South African TourismMedia and communicationsMr Thabo MasebeChief Director: Government and Media LiaisonGovernment Communication and Information Systemlast_img read more

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A meal laced with poison kills 32 rare vultures

first_imgIt looked like a normal goat carcass, and a group of vultures in Assam’s Sivasagar district settled down to devour it quickly. But at the end of the meal, 32 of them lay dead on Saturday. The incident has dealt a blow to India’s conservation programme for these highly endangered birds.Seven vultures survived, of which four were released on Sunday after treatment. The goat carcass had been poisoned as revenge for the dogs that killed it, but vultures became the unintended casualty.The mass poisoning is one of the worst such incidents in recent years, according to the Vulture Breeding Conservation Centre near Guwahati.Among the survivors, three each were Himalayan griffon (Gyps himalayensis) and slender-billed (Gyps tenuirostris), and one was an Oriental white-backed (Gyps bengalensis) vulture. Of the 32 that died, 29 were Himalayan griffons.There have been multiple incidents of mass poisoning. One was reported from western Assam’s Goalpara district in March 2011. At least 20 vultures had died then, after consuming the poisoned carcass of a dog.“The death of the vultures has been a major loss, but the small relief is that seven survived. We are trying to identify the man who is believed to have poisoned the goat’s carcass,” said Bidya Bordoloi, DFO of Sivasagar Division.Flushed outConservationist Simanta Medhi said doctors of the Bombay Natural History Society that runs the vulture breeding centre in collaboration with the Assam Forest Department, flushed out the poison from the system of the vultures, and gave them medication.“Only seven could make it, and four of these have been released. The remaining three need some more treatment,” he said.The vulture breeding centre in Assam hosts 104 birds, but the ones that died are not among those cared for by it.Vultures have fallen victim in the past due to carcasses that are either infected or poisoned. Last year, 20 birds died in March after eating cattle remains, in Lakhimpur district. Of the 50 that were found alive, 45 were released after treatment. No one was proceeded against in that case since it was not seen as a deliberate act.On the declineResearch data cited by the BNHS last year show that populations of white-backed vultures appeared to have stabilised, but that of long-billed vultures was on the decline.A steady reduction in the numbers of vultures in India was linked to the use of veterinary medicines such as diclofenac, leading to a ban on its use in animals.BNHS scientists have pointed out that several other medications are also toxic to the birds, and yet, these have not been restricted by the government.Without action on both veterinary medications and incidents of revenge killing of wildlife in villages, the bird population is at serious risk, they contend.last_img read more

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Iraq: With US bent on uprooting him, Saddam Hussein prepares to ‘fight from every house’

first_imgWar paint Adulatory posters may not be true indicators of Saddam Hussein’s popularityShe looked 20 and it was her fourth cigarette in the past 30 minutes; but you could be sure those weren’t the figures the nine men at her table-at least the ones who were still sober given the,War paint Adulatory posters may not be true indicators of Saddam Hussein’s popularityShe looked 20 and it was her fourth cigarette in the past 30 minutes; but you could be sure those weren’t the figures the nine men at her table-at least the ones who were still sober given the Blue Label that was flowing-were interested in. It turned out Huda Rubaiya, wavy hair, beautiful smile and mischievous, almost naughty eyes, was 23.She was at the restaurant in Arasat al Hindia-literally, Plot of India, Baghdad’s most trendy address is named for the Indian lady who once owned the entire area-with, among others, her boyfriend. Delsoz H. Sherwani is deputy managing director of the Galala Group. He’s a successful exporter and contractor and has been seeing Rubaiya for a year. He’s also 45 and grins as he mocks your surprise, “So you think I’m too old for her, eh?”The autumn-spring relationship isn’t unique. In Baghdad, capital of Iraq, younger women tend to prefer older, much older men, says a friend. A decade and more of embargo has throttled the economy. Men of 25, the type Rubaiya, an aspiring fashion model, may have preferred in normal times, are strugglers. No wonder she prefers a man who, like the wine she likes, has aged well.Battle plansClick here to EnlargeMeanwhile, the restaurant begins to crowd. The performer at the electronic keyboard begins to play Yesterday … all my troubles seemed so far away and, shortly afterwards, sings Frank Sinatra’s My Way.The second song could be President Saddam Hussein’s signature tune; the first may well be the anthem for his citizens. Welcome to Baghdad, a city that is at once Paris before the Nazis came in – absolute in its revelry-and Enver Hoxha’s Albania, all absolutist isolationism.advertisementThere’s a parable in the restaurant; there’s one on the streets too. Baghdad’s cars tell Iraq’s story. They zip around on amazingly smooth roads-embargo or no embargo, Saddam’s regime has ensured that the highway from the airport is first class, the streets are well paved and flyovers are impressive. The city traffic also tells you why, in today’s Iraq, there is very little room for middle ground. Life is given to extremes.Most of the cars in Baghdad are old and tired. When they were bought two or three decades ago, these Toyotas and Mazdas and Mercs must have been the spanking best the world’s automobile industry had produced. Today, they would make an ancient Ambassador taxi in Kolkata look plush. Yet for every 10-15 old cars you see, there’s one alluring and shining set of wheels. Usually a power-packed BMW or Hyundai’s upper-end models.In step hostile Kurdish forces may align with America in toppling Saddam in case of a warSo who buys the fancy cars? Those who thrive on Iraq’s e-commerce, where ‘e’ stands for embargo and all the opportunities it throws up. Traditional business is dead, reduced to a trickle by the United Nations sanctions that allow Iraq to barter its oil for specific and strictly monitored purchases.What has filled the vacuum is a contraband industry worth billions that runs extensive trade networks with Syria, Jordan and Turkey. The smugglers, almost all fronting for some important personage in Saddam’s Baath Party or Government, are the only ones who have made money.If Iraqi society lives in the grey zone between unreal and surreal, the polity does no better. Nothing represented its alternative universe more than the referendum on October 15, 2002. The Baath (Renaissance) Party rules through a nine-member Revolutionary Command Council (RCC), of which Saddam is the chairman. Every seven years, beginning 1995, as per a law drafted by Saddam, the RCC nominates its chairman for the presidency. On the morning of October 16, just over 12 hours after voting concluded at 8 p.m. the previous evening, RCC Vice-Chairman Izzat Ibrahim announced the results. Almost 11.5 million-11,445,638 to be precise-of Iraq’s 25 million people had been eligible to vote. All of them had voted and all the votes had gone to Saddam. Ibrahim congratulated the people for having “chosen the wise man of the Arabs” and the “spirit of history”.Saddam used the referendum to mobilise his forces and his people. Television channels had a black-suited choir singing patriotic, pro-Saddam numbers in Arabic to, admittedly, pulsating music.Foot fall Saddam Hussein may not be able to walk over George Bush in a war the way Iraqis do over his image in a Baghdad hotel lobbyKeeping them company on the screen- and on the streets of Baghdad-were portraits and images of Saddam: Saddam in an army beret, Saddam with a hat and gun, Saddam sporting a kaffiyeh, the traditional Arab headgear, Saddam on a horse, Saddam waving a clenched fist, Saddam waving an open hand, Saddam with a scimitar, Saddam in a field marshal’s uniform, Saddam kissing a child, Saddam conferring with a wiz ened old Arab, Saddam being kissed by an old woman.This was not Charlie Chaplin burlesque. It was a mad, mad world, one where people have not seen their leader in person for years but have to simply make do with the visual substitutes and, if western intelligence agencies are to be believed, physical substitutes too.advertisement There are supposed to be at least three Saddam clones, their faces surgically altered so that even senior government colleagues won’t know who they are meeting. The entire process of Saddam’s elec- tion reveals how out of touch the top leadership is with both its people and global currents.Lobbying people and governments in the name of “Third World unity,” “anti-imperialism” and “revolutionary democracy” were once the bread and butter of non-elected heads of state. Today, as concepts, they are as stale as old bread. Somebody forgot to tell Saddam. India’s concernsTERRORISM: Jehadis in Kashmir will get a boost if the US stalls its war against terrorism.OIL PRICES: Crude oil prices may rise if Iraqis target shipping lanes in the Gulf.ECONOMIC: India has lost $30 billion in oil imports, trade, exports after the 1991 sanctions.DIASPORA: 3.1 million emigrants in the Middle East who send $6 billion home may be insecure.Actually, maybe there is a method to the madness. Saddam is desperate to prevent a war that even he realises will be his last. To put pressure on enough Arab and European governments so that they in turn put enough pressure on Uncle Sam, he is playing every card he can lay his hands on-he’s Islamist, Arabist, non-aligned, socialist.Eleven years ago, despite the humiliating defeat in the Gulf War, Saddam survived because his countrymen decided they hated America more than they hated him. They rallied around a leader who had been targeted by the Satan in Wash- ington. Will the same impulses prevail? In the northern town of Mosul, Yosin Ibrahim, a government official, puts forth the more heard argument, “Bush and America have crippled us with the embargo. We want to live with dignity. Dignity is important. Saddam gives us dignity.” Like a decade ago, there are those who take a perverse pride in the fact that the world’s most powerful country feels threatened by, of all the billions in the world, only their leader. Yet collected crowds and aggressive agitprop may not reveal the full tale. In Baghdad’s Antar Square, Hussain Bahet, professor of economics at Baghdad University, watches a post-referendum celebration. Is he happy with the result? He nods. Is he worried about the economy? He nods twice. Is he worried about the war? He nods vigorously.Bahet points to the telecom office building that was bombed by the Americans in 1991, “If we have war, everything will be destroyed.” Then he smiles, “Of course, I’m wor ried about my family. But where do we go ? Maybe after the war there will be an Opposition. For the moment Saddam means stability.”advertisementIt is middle-class folk like Bahet who have borne the brunt of the Saddam-Sam mutual hate club. Some live on pensions of a dollar a month, which, even by Iraq’s subsidised food and housing parameters, is a pittance. Lecturers now seek jobs as domestic help, locals tell you.It is this “silent majority” that America is betting on. In the words of a diplomat: “Till 1991, Saddam was the popular patriarch. Not since. They may not like the Americans but may just stay neutral in case of a conflict.” Should that happen, Saddam will have to pack his bags.For both Saddam and America, the stakes are enormous. For the US, Saddam’s removal is integral to President George W. Bush’s war against terror. The Iraqi leader has been charged with helping Osama bin Laden-an accusation that disappeared when hard evidence was not forthcoming-and, more important, pursuing a chemical and biological weapons programme that could some day threaten America.America looks to a friendly regime in Iraq that will allow it military bases. From here, it will keep watch on the trouble spots of the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia. The royal family in Riyadh is seen as an unreliable ally and is in any case unpopular. If Saudi Arabia implodes, the world oil economy will go to pieces.With 265 billion barrels of oil reserves, Saudi Arabia controls a quarter of the planet’s most vital energy resource. Iraq is a distant second at about 11 per cent or 100 billion barrels of proven reserves. Under the US tutelage, it may limit the Saudi hold on the oil market and provide the world’s biggest petroleum consuming country the energy security it seeks.Saddam will do his best to avoid a war. The differential between the American and Iraqi armouries is simply too vast-whatever rebuilding Saddam may have done in the past decade-to allow for an even contest. Should war break out, Saddam will take recourse to battling the invading allies with civilian logistical backing or “a fight from every house” as he terms it. If he has truly lost almost all popular support-as foreign intelligence agencies believe-then even that may prove a non-starter. Officially Iraq expects America to attack after the holy month of Ramzan, which ends on December 4. If a UN resolution delays things, the attack could come in January. The plan is to resort to “coercive inspections”. UN weapons inspectors will arrive in Iraq with mini armies at their command. They will want to check everything, right down to Saddam’s palaces and personal rooms.At some stage they will provoke the man into refusal. That will be the casus belli and America will attack. Saddam’s best bet is to be patient and give the inspectors no cause for complaint. If he staves off the US Central Command troops till March-April, he’s home and dry. The Americans, Baghdad reckons, wouldn’t want to fight in the searing heat of May.The other American calculation is that Saddam may be done in by a palace coup, that somebody in his immediate power circle may decide dumping him is wiser. The course seems logical but identifying the possible rebel is not easy. Saddam shares authority with few outside his family or clan. His chief lieutenants are his sons.Udai Hussein is brash and violent, head of the state-run media and of the National Olympic Committee, giving him control of the young and the restless. Kusai, Udai’s younger brother, has recently emerged as the more favoured son. He controls the Revolutionary Guards militia and the security agencies.Iraq is also a religio-ethnic minefield. It is embattled by the longstanding Kurdish insurgency in the northern areas. In the south, Shia discontent is strong. Saddam is trying to invoke Iraqi nationalism by suggesting the Americans will break up Iraq and create two or three nations-Kurdistan, a Shia homeland and the Sunni-held rump.But analysts say the last thing the West wants is more instability in the region. It would prefer a federalised polity controlled by Baghdad. Some role for the Hashemite family that once ruled Iraq-cousins of the royals of Jordan-is not ruled out. As winter beckons, Iraq is quite simply the world’s speculation capital.In a country where a litre of petrol costs four cents but a similar quantity of packaged water could set you back by a dollar or more, don’t look for straight and rational answers. Like Rubaiya and Sherwani, enjoy it while it lasts-and make sure you know the route to the nearest bomb shelter.last_img read more

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Sidharth Malhotra’s sweatshirt will make some people very, very angry

first_imgSidharth Malhotra is a treat to the eyes, be it his well-sculpted body or super-stylish clothes, he knows how to keep all the eyeballs glued on him.Known for his dapper choice of clothes, and ever growing charm, Sidharth has constantly experimented with style, and rightly so.The Student Of The Year fame model-turned-actor, who is often spotted in quirky t-shirts and sneakers, got everyone talking again, for an entirely different reason though.The actor was sporting a cedar-brown hoodie, which we think was torn from places. No kidding.Photo: Yogen Shah Sidharth donned a pair of black jeans, and sneakers with his hoodie, and left us baffled over his choice of clothes.Also Read: Finally, we really like the dress Shraddha Kapoor’s wearingThe hoodie was so distressed that one could safely assume that Sidharth had been attacked by the Wolverine, in another parallel world.While Sidharth seemed extremely comfortable in his attire, we couldn’t help but wonder if it was the outcome of some DIY (do it yourself) practices he might’ve indulged in.His hoodie made us recall veteran actor Rishi Kapoor’s dig at Zara’s collection of torn clothes. Kapoor had stirred a controversy last year when he started a debate on how disrespectful these clothes are for the underprivileged, for whom distressed clothing isn’t a fashion statement, but a means of helplessness and poverty. Photo: Yogen Shah While Sidharth’s torn hoodie reminded us of actor Rishi Kapoor’s remarks, it also made us reflect on our insensitive fashion ideas.advertisementAlso Read: Here’s what’s absolutely wrong with Shilpa Shetty’s fusion attireWe have no idea why you wore a torn hoodie when you can afford everything in the world, Sidharth.last_img read more

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