SCI Constructs School for Girls

first_imgSave the Children International, (SCI), one of lead international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) operating in Margibi County, has constructed a school building in Kakata, the Margibi capital.SCI Education Project Manager, Augustine Kullie, is quoted as telling the Liberia News Agency (LINA) Margibi County correspondent, Richard Baysah, that “the Margibi All-Girls School,” built by SCI management, is intended to be  used exclusively for teen mothers and girls in Margibi County.According to Mr. Kullie, the Margibi All-Girls School was constructed under a program called, “Hope for Africa,” and is funded by Save the Children International of South Korea.“Building of the school was also intended to increase girl’s access and improved quality of education for Liberian children, especially girls,” Mr. Kullie said.He observed that there was a very serious issue when it came to girls’ education, due to gender disparity almost at all levels of the society, but mainly beginning with the primary school level.The school building, which is located the main campus of the Kakata Rural Teachers Training Institute (KRTTI), was constructed at a cost over US$120.000, is built in accordance with the Ministry of Education (MOE) prescribed standard design of schools in Liberia.The newly dedicated school comprises the primary annex, which runs from grade one to fourth grade, and the early childhood development block that is primarily targeting teen mothers whose excuse over the years had been that “there is nobody to take care of our child/children while they are in school.”But with the construction of the Margibi All-Girls School, Mr. Kullie is of the opinion that both the boys and girls will take advantage by helping to significantly address the issue of educational disparity among them.An educational survey shows  the ratio of boys to girls is 50-50, but going beyond the primary level, the ratio of boys to girls indicates that the boys have the advantage to remain in school as compared to girls.Continuing up to grade nine, Kullie said, there is a huge gap in disparity as three or at least five out of 15 girls sometimes remain in school until they complete the secondary education.Quoting the global index survey on girl’s education in 2011 as reported by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) there were 28 million children out of school particularly in sub-Sahara Africa and “more than 50 percent accounted for girls out of school children.”In Liberia, he said, the same UNICEF report indicated that half a million children were out of school, and more than half of that number was again girls.  This, he said, has become an increasing concern to SCI in addressing the huge disparity between boys and girls.The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which calls for the reduction in gender disparity by 2005, did not materialize up to 2015, Kullie disclosed.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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Night prowler attacks children in their beds

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’The man then went to the 8600 block of Cedros Avenue where he stole a wallet from the pants of an adult. “This man is brazen and dangerous. Fortunately, these types of incidents are rare,” said Lt. Paul Vernon. “None of these victims were physically harmed, but we need to catch him quickly before he does harm someone.” Police encouraged anyone with information on the man or the crimes to call Mission Division detectives at (818) 838-9972 or (818) 838-9800, or the 24-hour toll-free number (877) LAWFULL (529-3855). Police on Sunday asked the public’s help in finding a man they say brazenly broke into three homes and sexually assaulted sleeping children. Police said the man, described as black in his early 20s and possibly wearing his hair in cornrows, assaulted the children within one hour in a three-block area in North Hills and Panorama City. The man first entered an unlocked window at 2 a.m. Saturday at an apartment in the 8900 block of Columbus Avenue where a 7-year-old boy was asleep. The man took several pictures with his cell-phone camera before the boy’s sister scared him away. He then entered another apartment on the same block where he picked up a 6-year-old boy from his bed. As the boy was being moved, his 9-year-old sister woke up and screamed. The man tried to take off the girl’s pajama bottoms before the children’s grandmother scared him away, police said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Internet of Things (IoT): Amazon Extends FreeRTOS with IoT Features

first_imgFreeRTOS  (RTOS==Real Time Operating System) is a miniature operating system that is quite popular used in devices that require minimal processing and minimal built-in software functionality for performing simple tasks. FreeRTOS is used to enable functionality in anything from specialized lightbulbs to motion detectors.Amazon is following a Microsoft long-time playbook technique of “embrace and extend” with their recent announcement of “Amazon FreeRTOS”. They have selected a popular free operating system and extended it in a way that makes using it alongside of their products very compelling.By enabling FreeRTOS for IoT, Amazon is creating a low-cost IoT cloud-connected platform for integrating simple devices.Amazon is making it easy for devices using FreeRTOS to be able to connect to the cloud, effectively allowing the device to become an IoT-enabled device and to then to transmit and receive data from the cloud using AWS services. It is a single platform that can provide a consistent approach to tough questions like security, deployment and maintenance.Amazon said that “Amazon FreeRTOS closes the gap by enabling simplified, secure connectivity to a local gateway such as an edge device running AWS Greengrass or to the Cloud like AWS IoT Core.”last_img read more

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Samasource’s Leila Janah: Bringing The Third World Into The Tech Economy

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#Africa#Builders#Google#Leila Janah#Microsoft#Nonprofit#samasource#SamaUSA#Social good#startups ReadWriteBuilders is a series of interviews with developers, designers and other architects of the programmable future.Companies like Google and Facebook are putting lots of time into figuring out how to solve the world’s problems through technology. Their efforts, though—like bringing the Internet to everyone—are both grandiose and a tad self-serving. And they’ll take years to bear fruit.In the meantime, an interesting Silicon Valley nonprofit is tackling a similar problem—namely, how to encourage the growth of tech skills in developing nations—in a completely different way. Samasource, founded in 2008, works with companies like Google, Microsoft and Getty Images to provide jobs for people in the Third World. Such jobs, sometimes dubbed “microwork,” include data entry and processing, photo tagging and machine learning.The workers receive training on software and programs created by Samasource. Once they’re familiar with technical tasks, they can begin earning money by doing online work for companies halfway around the globe. Samasource provides income and educational opportunities for marginalized workers in slums, refugee camps, and impoverished communities across Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. I talked with Samasource founder Leila Janah about the challenges of building tech-centered businesses in countries without reliable electricity, how Samasource works and the role technology can play in development. What follows is a lightly edited transcript of our conversation.Rural Africa, Meet The InternetRW: What are some of the challenges you faced implementing technology in third-world countries?LJ: The challenges are more nuanced than anything. We have a very first-world, or insular view of technology, especially where we are in Silicon Valley. I’ve been to parts of America like Mississippi where it’s as difficult to access high speed Internet as it is in Africa. And I think very few people who are here and whose cell phones work beautifully and who can always go online are aware of the very real challenges of just accessing the basic layers of technology in less wealthy locations.From the Still Life Documentary about a Worker in KenyaThat said, there’s also a stereotype about Africa—I heard this a lot from our funders—that people in sub-Saharan Africa need to focus on food and water, and tech is the last thing on their minds. Why are we bothering with cell phones when what they really need is rice?See Also: Hey Facebook! Connecting The World To The Web Isn’t EnoughI think that’s ridiculous. Humans everywhere have the same desire to connect and to contribute, and what I’ve seen is that young kids in refugee camps in Kenya are as likely to be proficient and heavy users of Facebook Zero when it was out, or SMS, as their peers in the U.S. The only thing that they don’t have maybe is a lot of data so they can’t send pictures back and forth.You’d be surprised—there are young people in all kinds of developing markets who are more proficient and tech savvy than people here. There are two sides to that coin. The biggest challenge we see is often infrastructure. The price of getting online has gone down 90% in some regions in the last few years because it’s now fiber and it used to be all satellite.So there is hope. But you have to realize that, in the case of Sierra Leone, the entire national budget of the country is under half a billion dollars, for six million people. That’s probably less than Facebook’s marketing budget, or Google’s marketing budget.When you’re trying to run an entire nation of people for less than a Silicon Valley company spends on marketing, that gives you an idea about the real infrastructure challenges. Sierra Leone, like a lot of these countries, is not electrified. So if you want to get a computer running in rural Sierra Leone, you have to have a generator, and if you have a generator, you have to have diesel. And to get diesel to a place like that, you need to airlift it in, because there aren’t even good roads.There are very real infrastructure challenges in some of these countries, especially when there isn’t tech space to support building that infrastructure. One of the things we need to do in that case is be very realistic about how much money its going to cost like spread the Internet everywhere. The first thing is we need to get electricity everywhere—still over a billion people lack electricity, right? So how are we going to get Internet to everyone when they don’t have power to read? I think that those things need to be thought through and I think a lot of that is going to require more capital than we’re willing to put up for those initiatives.What Big Companies Get Out Of SamasourceRW: Does would a tech company like Google or Microsoft use Samasource? Does each company have its own API? LJ: We have an API, and each company typically has their own way of integrating with our data, and there’s an engineering point of contact who is working with our engineering team, who is looking to plug their system into ours. What Google and Microsoft do, and I can’t really tell you many specifics, but I can say in the general area of machine learning, we’re seeing a lot of demand for our services. Machine learning is one category where the quality of the data that you get is really important, and typically the machine learning teams are using images from videos to train machines to recognize certain things in videos. One example is with car manufacturers. They’re putting video cameras and sensors in the bumpers of next generation cars. One of the things we want to train cars to do is recognize a pedestrian in front of the car so that it stops, and there are fewer auto fatalities. Leila Janah talking to attendees at the Give Work Gala 2012 That process of teaching a sensor or a camera how to recognize a human involves a lot of manual data processing. You basically have to feed the algorithm tens of thousands of images of people in different cases. When it’s dark, when it’s light, at this time, what their foot and hand [look like]. To be able to help a machine grasp what is a person. And that process involves Samasource workers tagging lots of images from those sensors, and providing the company with that data. It also means identifying parts of a body, certain part of the body in the image that is being captured by the camera. And that is really difficult to do on a platform like Mechanical Turk, because if you even get 10% of the data wrong, then your entire algorithm can fail. And when its something as important as a car that is going prevent auto fatalities, it’s important to get the data right. Companies like Google and Microsoft that are building the technology that allows for intelligent systems are very concerned with these tags about locations. That’s where we see a lot of growth. For search companies, one of the things that we do is support indexing with human judgment. So machines will sometimes index web pages. Google has algorithms to do that, but they need to check that it’s working—and this is a generic comment on all search companies—they’ll need some subset of their records manually reviewed. And it’s usually a very small percentage, but that helps them to tweak their algorithms and make sure they’re surfacing the right stuff. What Samasource workers do for search companies is support those indexing needs. We can also do things like, if you’re running ads against Web pages, you have to make sure the ads are relevant. If somebody’s Googling for a toy car, they’re not getting an ad for an actual car. We help those companies ensure that ads that are being displayed are relevant. Scaling Across The Third WorldReadWrite: Can you describe your software?Leila Janah: I’m not an engineer. So my initial goal was not to build anything, and just to focus on the labor sourcing side of our model, which I felt I had expertise in.Initially we actually used Mechanical Turk, Amazon’s [job-outsourcing] platform, and we used [freelancer marketplace] oDesk. I tried putting people directly on those platforms, and then worked with those companies to set up special arrangements for paying people in geographies that they weren’t in yet.For managing a workforce, that was pretty unusual. That model worked a tiny bit initially, and then we started seeing all of these challenges. We started seeing that these platforms were not built for impact sourcing, which is what we do.I used Basecamp for the first year of our operations; it worked for me until we hit about $500,000 in revenue. I literally had 120 of our projects on Basecamp and we would unitize the work manually. For example, we would get a giant file from the client, with PDF documents, and then we would have spreadsheets that we would load into Basecamp.Samasource in UgandaThis was in the era before Etherpad was acquired by GoogleDocs, so it was very nascent. We were using Basecamp and Excel spreadsheets. I would write: “Ok, Center A, you need to do pages one through 800. And Center B, you have pages 801 to 1200.” We were managing things in that way, very grassroots. It worked and it was cheap.Then when we hit about $500K in revenue, things started getting lost. If Google gave us a contract, we would divide that manually and set up four different projects in Basecamp, each one of them in a different group of workers. In that group, some might speak Hindi as their first language, and some might speak Swahili. It was a total mess.By that point we had identified all of the pain points, and we figured out what we needed to build. I could hire my first engineer around something that really solved a problem, rather than a hypothetical.The first thing our technology did was provide basic project management tools, but customized for the kind of work we do. The second was quality assurance, so we added gating processes, which means we can determine at the outset whether a worker is qualified to do a task.For example, in our e-commerce work with Walmart.com, we have training materials that we developed. We load them into our system and workers can read and digest those training materials on their own schedule, then they take a test to qualify into that project.What’s unique is that we have specific tests that design around that project. And then we can see a worker’s entire employment history, so when they start we can see the results on their English test. And as they progress, we can see how they do with tasks, type A and B. And we’ve done 25 million tasks on our system, some of which are very large tasks, they’re not equivalent to what you’d see on Mechanical Turk—a lot of them take up to 30 minutes or more to complete.It’s a very flexible platform that allows us to manage the entire process once we’ve secured the contract, loading the work into the system, giving it out to multiple workers, training them on specific types of tasks, and then monitoring them on an ongoing basis.RW: Do you keep in touch with workers after they’re done working for Samasource?LJ: We use our technology to measure impact. So we actually administer worker surveys at the beginning and throughout the worker’s history with Samasource. We test their skills, check on their income, communicate directly with them, and we are the first global NGO to use Facebook to do longitudinal surveys of our workers.Internet cable in UgandaWhen they sign up on the SamaHub, they have to get a Facebook account. A lot of them already have an account if they have a mobile phone, but a lot of workers don’t have a phone. What we’ve found is that’s the most effective way to keep in touch with them over time, and find out what they’re doing years later. It is really important for our donors to understand the full impact of their dollar.Bottom-Up vs. Top-DownRW: Do you think plans from companies like Google or Facebook—their initiatives to bring Internet to all—could have legs?LJ: Their efforts have been criticized in many ways, and I think it’s unfair. I’m an optimist; I think humans want the same things everywhere. I think people are fundamentally good and have good motivations. I think the people behind these initiatives at Google and Facebook, especially given that I know all of Facebook’s founders, and all of them I would say are, for their age and their level of wealth, exceptionally philanthropic. It’s really impressive. You don’t see people in finance in New York doing similarly bold things with philanthropy, and I think each of them personally are committed to making the world a better place. I think that sometimes we get taken over by the hubris of the technology culture in Silicon Valley, and we think that tech is going to solve all the world’s problems. Even with the best intentions and even with amazing tech, Google and Facebook have built things that change the world for people on the ground in refugee camps that can connect with relatives they haven’t seen in 15 years, which makes a real difference in their lives. The Internet isn’t going to solve all problems, even if it could, most of the people who need it don’t have it.I do hope that these companies, as they search for ways to do more to save the world, that they understand more of these dynamics. When you have a plan where 1.5 billion humans live on less than $1.25 a day, they’re not going to have access to the Internet, even if you make your systems open and free. You need to do more than make it free, you have to proactively fund getting it to them. Or use the philanthropic side of those companies—and I wish Facebook had a philanthropic arm. It’s a little disappointing that it doesn’t. But if Facebook had a foundation that was committed to using some portion of profits to fund access for people in developing countries, that would be a great step.Or even here at home. Funding electricity so people could get online. Images courtesy of Samasource A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img selena larson Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

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IPL 7 Match preview: Fans await batting fireworks as Royal Challengers Bangalore faces Kings XI Punjab

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Australian Jersey Presentation Sets The Scene

first_imgIt was a special night for the Australian contingent, with 16 players receiving their first Australian jersey at an Open level, while for those who have been there before, it meant just as memorable. The night saw some of the greats of the sport recognised, with the Australian Flag Bearers, Kylie Hilder (Mixed Open), Steve Roberts (Men’s Open) and Gary Rose (Men’s Open manager) receiving their Ron Hanson Medals, the honour bestowed upon the Australian Flag Bearers of the series. The Australian captains were also officially named, with Hilder and Rohit Prasad to co-captain the Mixed Open team, while Roberts was named the Men’s Open captain with Anthony Ziade as vice captain. Louise Winchester returns as the Australian Women’s Open captain, with 19-year-old Emilee Cherry as vice captain. The Women’s Open team has made the decision to honour Kristy Judd, who is in her 17th year of representing Australia at the Women’s Open level, with Judd to lead the side in tomorrow’s first test against New Zealand. Australian player mentor, Jamie Stowe, who most recently was a member of the Australian Men’s Open team that won the 2011 World Cup title against New Zealand, finished off the night with an inspirational speech to the teams about representing Australia and what he’s learnt along the way. What They SaidGary Rose on being named one of the 2012 Trans Tasman Ron Hanson Medallists “You don’t come into the sport to get these awards, I appreciate them, it’s lovely. I do it because I love it. Thank you very much for this honour, it means the world to me.”Kylie Hilder on being named one of the 2012 Trans Tasman Ron Hanson Medallists“It’s an absolute honour and privilege to receive this award, it was actually 10 years ago that I played on Australian soil in the Mixed in Coffs Harbour so it was going to be a special week this week anyway, being able to play at home in Australia for the first time in 10 years and have my family here so to receive this medal has made it extra special. Thank you, it’s an absolute honour.”Steve Roberts on being named one of the 2012 Trans Tasman Ron Hanson Medallists and being named captain of the Australian Men’s Open team. “To Tony Trad, thank you for the honour to captain the country. I thought it was going to be a special week anyway but to get this is a bonus. I’d like to wish everyone the best of luck over the next few days, enjoy the moment, enjoy the fact that you get to wear the crest, not everyone gets to do it, live it up and just remember that we are all one Aussie contingent and we will all stand next to each other when times are tough, so all the best, thank you very much and good luck.”Peter Bell on recognising Australian Women’s Open stalwart, Kristy Judd. “Louise (Winchester) and I discussed this afternoon a tribute that we wanted to pay, this person was with me in my first World Cup in 1995, she’s actually rooming with our youngest member who was born in 1995. Kristy Judd, five World Cups and countless Trans Tasman’s and National Touch League’s and National Championships, we would like to pay tribute to Kristy and we would like to welcome her to lead our team onto the field as our captain in our first test tomorrow night.”Touch Football Australia would like to wish the Australian contingent the best of luck for the 2012 Trans Tasman Series which starts on Thursday. There are plenty of ways to keep in touch with the 2012 Trans Tasman Series, which will be held at Mudgee’s Glen Willow Regional Sporting Complex from Thursday, 26 April to Saturday, 28 April 2012, including in the following ways:Websites:www.austouch.com.auwww.transtasman.mytouchfooty.com Facebook – www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustraliaTwitter – www.twitter.com/touchfootyaus (be sure to use the hashtag #transtasman2012 in your tweets)YouTube – www.youtube.com/touchfootballauslast_img read more

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Meet Arkansas’ 2016 Recruiting Class: National Signing Day Recap

first_imgArkansas commits for the 2016 recruiting class.Arkansas has been a hard out in the SEC West in recent years, especially when it starts to hit its stride at mid-season. Bret Bielema continues to improve the talent level, and this year, signed his fourth straight class ranked in the Top 30 nationally. This group finished No. 25 overall, and No. 9 in the SEC, per 247Sports. Six members of the class, led by five-star defensive end McTelvin Agim, are blue chip prospects.Here is Arkansas full 20-man recruiting class.Bielema introduced the 20 new players via Twitter.Today is like the New Years Day of College Football. It’s the end of last years recruiting and the start of 2017. #WoooPig Signing Day!— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Let’s officially welcome @deionm72, who enrolled early in January! NSD16#Uncommon pic.twitter.com/EWcgBjS4eV— Razorback Football (@RazorbackFB) February 3, 2016Also enrolled earlier this spring @So_Splash! NSD16 #Uncommon pic.twitter.com/uRdEnfOLTC— Razorback Football (@RazorbackFB) February 3, 2016Welcome @Edwards2Dede to the Razorback family! #WoooPig #Uncommon pic.twitter.com/SJjaOIlSOF— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @devwah_whaley, new member of the Razorback family! #WoooPig #RBU pic.twitter.com/n4bJNKtTgp— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @Last_King131, great addition to the Razorback family! #WoooPig #Uncommon pic.twitter.com/dnwz5FmEPy— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @jordan10jones, representing his home state as a Razorback! #WoooPig #Uncommon pic.twitter.com/rtSagb4hw8— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @Scoooota2, a great young man joining the Razorback family! #WoooPig #UnCommon pic.twitter.com/kD7EIprLS2— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @capps_austin44, a great young man representing his home state as a Razorback! #WoooPig #UnCommon pic.twitter.com/8iiZSkvbp7— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @graysongunter, new member of the Razorback family! #WoooPig #UnCommon pic.twitter.com/Ia0MxMVgpS— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @BGKofiBoateng, joining our family as a Razorback! #WoooPig #UnCommon #TexHogs pic.twitter.com/6bzhp4KMva— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @JAKEHEINRICH1, great new addition to the Razorbacks! #WoooPig #UnCommon pic.twitter.com/7ImZvo0hp6— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @_France9, another great addition to the Razorbacks from Louisiana! #WoooPig #UnCommon pic.twitter.com/GIvOVGH9ob— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @Just_Theron, representing his home state as a Razorback! #WoooPig #UnCommon pic.twitter.com/rQxmnKDmPb— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @jonathanmarsh40, new addition to the Razorback family! #WoooPig #UnCommon #TexHogs pic.twitter.com/K9I1bL88zu— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @Alexy_badger, new addition to the Razorback family! #WoooPig #UnCommon pic.twitter.com/qY8ZtQoC3Q— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @ColeKelley10, another new member of our Razorback family! #WoooPig #UnCommon pic.twitter.com/29osrAGItw— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @Hayden__johnson, great young man joining the Razorback family! #WoooPig #UnCommon pic.twitter.com/ns5ul0A4pz— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @theneptunes_, newest addition to the Razorback family! #WoooPig #UnCommon pic.twitter.com/5JPdcZ7eip— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @deemontana11111, newest addition to the Razorback family! #WoooPig #UnCommon pic.twitter.com/oXD0tacURS— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Welcome and follow @micahhsmith_21, another new addition to the Razorbacks! #WoooPig #UnCommon pic.twitter.com/tYKyAJ43mo— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2016Arkansas opens its season hosting Louisiana Tech on September 3.last_img read more

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Environmental groups denounce Trump override of climate plan

first_imgHAZARD, Ky. – A coalition of left-leaning states and environmental groups are vowing to fight the Trump administration’s move to kill an Obama-era effort to limit carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.Speaking Monday in the coal-mining state of Kentucky, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said he would be issuing a new set of rules overriding the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s drive to curb global climate change.“The war on coal is over,” Pruitt declared, adding that no federal agency should ever use its authority to “declare war on any sector of our economy.”It was not immediately clear if Pruitt would seek to issue a new rule without congressional approval, which Republicans had criticized the Obama administration for doing. Pruitt’s rule wouldn’t become final for months, and is then highly likely to face a raft of legal challenges.New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was among those who said they will sue.“The Trump Administration’s persistent and indefensible denial of climate change — and their continued assault on actions essential to stemming its increasing devastation — is reprehensible, and I will use every available legal tool to fight their dangerous agenda,” said Schneiderman, a Democrat.For Pruitt, getting rid of the Clean Power Plan will mark the culmination of a long fight he began as the elected attorney general of Oklahoma. Pruitt was among about two dozen attorney generals who sued to stop Obama’s 2014 push to limit carbon emissions, stymieing the limits from ever taking effect.Closely aligned with the oil and gas industry in his home state, Pruitt rejects the consensus of scientists that man-made emissions from burning fossil fuels are the primary driver of global climate change.President Donald Trump, who appointed Pruitt and shares his skepticism of established climate science, promised to kill the Clean Power Plan during the 2016 campaign as part of his broader pledge to revive the nation’s struggling coal mines.In his order Tuesday, Pruitt is expected to declare that the Obama-era rule exceeded federal law by setting emissions standards that power plants could not reasonably meet.Pruitt appeared at an event with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at Whayne Supply in Hazard, Kentucky, a company that sells coal mining supplies. The store’s owners have been forced to lay off about 60 per cent of its workers in recent years.While cheering the demise of the Clean Power Plan as a way to stop the bleeding, McConnell conceded most of those lost jobs are never coming back.“A lot of damage has been done,” said McConnell, a Kentucky Republican. “This doesn’t immediately bring everything back, but we think it stops further decline of coal fired plants in the United States and that means there will still be some market here.”Obama’s plan was designed to cut U.S. carbon dioxide emissions to 32 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. The rule dictated specific emission targets for states based on power-plant emissions and gave officials broad latitude to decide how to achieve reductions.The Supreme Court put the plan on hold last year following legal challenges by industry and coal-friendly states. Even so, the plan helped drive a recent wave of retirements of coal-fired plants, which are also being squeezed by low cost natural gas and renewable power. In the absence of stricter federal regulations curbing greenhouse gas emissions, many states have issued their own mandates promoting energy conservation.The withdrawal of the Clean Power Plan is the latest in a series of moves by Trump and Pruitt to dismantle Obama’s legacy on fighting climate change, including the delay or roll back of rules limiting levels of toxic pollution in smokestack emissions and wastewater discharges from coal-burning power plants.On Thursday, Trump nominated former coal-industry lobbyist Andrew Wheeler to serve as Pruitt’s top deputy at EPA — one of several recent political appointees at the agency with direct ties to the fossil fuel interests.The president announced earlier this year that he will pull the United States out of the landmark Paris climate agreement. Nearly 200 countries have committed to combat global warming by reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.“This president has tremendous courage,” Pruitt said Monday. “He put America first and said to the rest of the world we are going to say no and exit the Paris Accord. That was the right thing to do.”Despite the rhetoric about saving coal, government statistics show that coal mines currently employ only about 52,000 workers nationally — a modest 4-per cent uptick since Trump became president. Those numbers are dwarfed by the jobs created by building such clean power infrastructure as wind turbines and solar arrays.Environmental groups and public health advocates quickly derided Pruitt’s decision as short sighted.“Trump is not just ignoring the deadly cost of pollution, he’s ignoring the clean energy deployment that is rapidly creating jobs across the country,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club.___Associated Press writer Michael Biesecker reported from Washington. Follow him at http://twitter.com/mbieseck___This story has been corrected to show the percentage of coal jobs created under Trump was 4 per cent.last_img read more

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Tunisia’s Jomaa, technocrat PM tasked with ending crisis

first_imgTUNIS- Tunisian premier-designate Mehdi Jomaa, tasked with forming an interim government of technocrats and overseeing fresh elections, is a political newcomer who faces mounting social grievances and the persistent threat of Islamist violence.He was picked on December 14 as the consensus candidate to head the caretaker administration and resolve Tunisia’s festering political crisis, nearly three years after the uprising that toppled former strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.The little-known former industry minister has since avoided making any public statements or appearances, with Tunisia’s political climate dogged by mistrust between the ruling Islamist party Ennahda and the mainly secular opposition. Jomaa now faces the daunting task of forming a non-partisan government within 15 days and organising elections this year amid a rise in strikes and protests that often degenerate into violence, driven partly by the country’s economic malaise.Unemployment and regional inequality were driving factors behind the revolution that unseated Ben Ali, inspiring protests across the Middle East and North Africa that toppled leaders in Egypt, Libya and Yemen.After his appointment, Jomaa said his mission was to “favour the appropriate conditions for transparent and credible elections, the security of Tunisians and promote the economy with the aim of emerging from the crisis”.His political career began only in March this year when he was appointed to the cabinet.The 51-year-old father of five, who has no stated political affiliations, graduated from the National Engineering School of Tunis in 1988 before taking a higher degree in mechanics.He then went on to a career in the private sector, and headed a division of Hutchinson, the aerospace unit of French conglomerate Total.Jomaa became industry minister in the new government of his predecessor Ali Larayedh, formed in March in the wake of the crisis caused by the assassination of key opposition figure Chokri Belaid a month earlier.Since then, he has stayed aloof from political jockeying and focused on his portfolio.In particular, he has lobbied European firms to invest in the country, plagued by economic woes since the January 2011 revolution.But he has also taken the unpopular step of backing a decision to raise fuel prices this year, with Tunisia under pressure to reduce its unaffordable subsidies.Mahmoud Baroudi, of the Democratic Alliance, an opposition movement critical of Ennahda, believes Jomaa “is competent and independent enough to take on the post of premier”.But his lack of political experience, particularly on security matters, puts him at a disadvantage in confronting one of Tunisia’s most pressing problems — the threat posed by armed jihadists.The opposition repeatedly accused the Ennahda-led government of failing to rein in militants, who have mounted a wave of attacks since Ennahda was elected in October 2011, and of failing to stimulate an economic revival.If Jomaa manages to form a new government of independents, it will be indirectly due to the political crisis triggered by the killing in July of opposition MP Mohamed Brahmi, which was also blamed on Islamist militants.Another possible thorn in his side will come from the influential opposition party Nidaa Tounes, which rejected the idea of a premier from the outgoing government.Issam Chebbi, a leader of the party, said Jomaa would “not be a prime minister of consensus”.But the fact his roots are not hard set in the fractious world of Tunisian politics could prove his doubters wrong.last_img read more

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Beside The Points For Thursday Dec 7 2017

See more NFL predictions Oh, and don’t forgetKasparov with the jokes We’re launching a sports newsletter. 🏆  Join the squad. Subscribe Things That Caught My EyeOhtani narrows it to sevenJapanese pitcher Shohei Ohtani has narrowed his search for a MLB team down to seven, with New York and Boston notably absent from the list. Right now Ohtani looks to be 20 percent higher than the league average in ERA and on-base-plus-slugging, which is nuts. Only a few dozen players each year beat the 20 percent above average benchmark in either stat, it’d be crazy to hit both. [FiveThirtyEight]Russia’s bannedRussia was banned from competing in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in light of the complex doping regime the nation operated throughout the Sochi games. So far 11 medals have been stripped from Russians. But with the nation out of the 2018 games, it’s worth looking at which nations may stand to gain. Had Russia not competed in Sochi, and its 33 medals been reallocated, China would have left with five more, Norway four, Germany, Canada, France, Italy and the U.S. three. [FiveThirtyEight]African players making gains in the NFLNative-born and first-generation African players are all over the NFL, with 30 teams having at least one African on their roster. Cleveland has the league high, with B.J. Bello, David Njoku, Emmanuel Ogbah, Larry Ogunjobi, and Victor Salako. African players have been making steady gains in the NFL since Howard Simon Mwikuta played for the Cowboys in a 1970 preseason game, and players who have returned home to start development programs have accelerated that progress. [The Undefeated]A Jonas testifies in soccer corruption trialKevin Jonas, one of the Jonas Brothers, testified in Brooklyn that yes, he had gone to a Paul McCartney concert in Buenos Aires in 2010. The circumstances surrounding the testimony have to do with the trial of Juan Angel Napout for money laundering, racketeering and wire fraud. Napout allegedly used his FIFA influence to score tickets to that concert. His lawyers refused to concede there even was a Paul McCartney concert, so prosecutors called on a celeb to solve the problem. Soccer is weird. [Vice Sports]Try out our fun new interactive, Which World Cup Team Should You Root For?LeBron remains the bestLeBron James remains as good as ever, notching career highs in true shooting percentage, three point percentage, assist percentage, block percentage, and the second highest free throw percentage of his career. While his defense is slightly off his peak performance, James hasn’t really missed much of a step. [FiveThirtyEight]They did it!The New York Giants are cleaning house, firing GM Jerry Reese and coach Ben McAdoo after a disastrous season. The team is in the capable hands of defensive coordinator, a man who is 10-38 as a head coach. [NorthJersey.com]Make sure to try your hand at our fun NFL can you beat the FiveThirtyEight predictions? game!Big Number284 kgCongratulations to Sarah Robles, who won the 2017 IWF World Weightlifting Championships, becoming the first U.S. woman to take gold since 1994. Robles lifted 126 kg in the snatch and 158 kg in the clean and jerk (three kilograms shy of the record) for a total of 284 kilograms. [Team USA]Leaks from Slack: emily : See more college football predictions emily :!! that means the two biggest buildings at nike HQ will be named after Serena Williams and Mia Hamm. hell yeah !!(also cause I guess the new big WHQ buildings are getting athlete names.. so the whole “She’s the only one!!!” isn’t exactly true)Predictions NFL See more NBA predictions All newsletters NBA College Football read more

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