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Prime minister promises to decriminalise defamation

first_img February 24, 2021 Find out more RSF decries Cambodian plan for Chinese-style “Great Firewall” CambodiaAsia – Pacific News CambodiaAsia – Pacific Cambodian journalist gets 20 months in jail for livestream March 7, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Prime minister promises to decriminalise defamation News RSF_en Help by sharing this information January 21, 2021 Find out more December 28, 2020 Find out more News Reporters Without Borders welcomed the release today of Mam Sonando, head of the independent radio station Sombok Khum, after three months in prison and called on prime minister Hun Sen to drop defamation charges against him that could bring year-long jail sentences. to go further Organisation Google experiments drop Australian media from search results Receive email alerts News Follow the news on Cambodia Reporters Without Borders takes Prime Minister Hun Sen at his word when he says he plans to remove the offence of “defamation” from the criminal code, the organisation said. Cambodian law currently allows those charged with defamation, chiefly journalists, to be sent to prison while awaiting trial and makes them liable for sentences of one year’s imprisonment. The prime minister wants to reduce these penalties to fines.“I am in favour of the decriminalisation of defamation. In future, criminal law will no longer be used in such cases,” said the prime minister on 14 February 2006, “Our goal is national reconciliation and to find a solution to the problem of poverty”The decriminalisation of this law, often used against journalists, has to be approved by parliament, in which Hun Sen’s party has the majority. “Obviously we can do whatever the prime minister demands,” said Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana.————————————————30.01.2006Prime Minister breaks promise to drop defamation charge against Mom SonandoReporters Without Borders voiced dismay at Prime Minister Hun Sen’s announcement today that defamation charges will not, after all, be dropped against radio journalist Mom Sonando, union leader Rong Chhun and human rights activists Kem Sokha and Pa Nguon Tieng.Hun Sen said the court had ruled that it was “impossible” to withdraw the lawsuits as legal investigations were already under way. “Suspension is possible only if the case has not yet entered its investigation phase, so neither suspension nor withdrawal is possible,” he said.Last week, Hun Sen said he had finally decided to withdraw the lawsuits after receiving letters of apology. U.S. ambassador Joseph Mussomeli commented at the time: “We are very happy with what has happened. It is something the international community should applaud.”————————————————————-26.01.2006Prime minister promises to drop charges against Mam SonandoReporters Without Borders today welcomed Prime Minister Hun Sen’s decision to drop criminal defamation charges against Mam Sonando, the owner of radio Sombok Khmum (Beehive FM 105), and four human rights activists after they gave him written apologies for accusing him of selling Cambodian territory to Vietnam.“Their letters were enough for me to end the case,” the news agency Reuters quoted the prime minister as saying on 24 January. “I have to ask my lawyers and legal experts how to drop the charges against them after this compromise,” he added.—————————————————————-17.01.2006Radio station chief freed but still facing chargesReporters Without Borders welcomed the release from prison today of Mam Sonando, head of radio station Sombok Khmum (Ruche FM 105), two human rights activists, Kem Sokha and Pa Nguon Teang, and trade unionist Rong Chhun, but called on prime minister Hun Sen to drop defamation charges again them that could bring year-long jail sentences.The organisation said an interview done about a border dispute by Mam Sonando, whose health deteriorated in prison, had not slandered the prime minister and that the journalist had simply been doing his job. The radio station is one of the country’s few independent ones.The four men were greeted by a crowd of about 100 well-wishers as they emerged from Prey Sar prison, near Phnom Penh, soon after a city court had released them on bail at Hun Sen’s request.The prime minister acted after a meeting with visiting US assistant secretary of state Christopher Hill. A government official said the move was “a present for Mr Hill to mark the opening of the new US embassy” in Phnom Penh. The US had criticised the arrest of the four.Mam Sonando was arrested at his home on 11 October 2005, 20 days after broadcasting an interview with Sean Pengse, head of the French-based Cambodia Borders Committee, which opposes handing the islands of Phu Quoc and Krachakses to Vietnam. Hun Sen had said he would sue anyone who dared to suggest he was giving away Cambodian territory.last_img read more

Derry – London air link collapses

first_img Facebook Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA By News Highland – February 16, 2019 Flights between City of Derry Airport and Stanstead Airport in London have been cancelled after flybmi went into administration.In a statement this evening, airport management urged people to seek flight refunds through their credit card companies.In the interim, hundreds of people with bookings in the coming days are trying to make alternative arrangements.Airport statement -CoDA has been informed that flybmi has been placed into administration. Therefore flybmi will with immediate effect no longer operate the London Stansted service.The airline has issued the following advice for those due to fly.- Direct flybmi bookings: Contact your card issuer to seek a refund.- Travel Agent / Partner Airline bookings: Contact them to check what your options are.- Those with travel insurance should see if they are eligible to claim for cancelled flights.We would like to reassure our customers that we are currently reviewing options for resuming the service with another airline as soon as possible. Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programme Community Enhancement Programme open for applications RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Publicans in Republic watching closely as North reopens further Twitter Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic WhatsApp Google+center_img WhatsApp Twitter Facebook Pinterest Homepage BannerNews Google+ Pinterest Derry – London air link collapses Previous articleAthletics – National title for Sommer Lecky as Donegal athletes win Gold, Silver & BronzeNext articlePlans for public conveniences on Donegal’s Islands progressing News Highland Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows last_img read more

World Food Prize

first_imgStudents in the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) spend a lot of class time discussing ways to end food insecurity, but there are many lessons that can’t be learned in the classroom.In November, two CAES students learned from those on the front lines of the fight against hunger when they were chosen by the CAES Office of Global Programs to attend the 2018 World Food Prize symposium in Des Moines, Iowa.Sara Reeves, a junior majoring in agricultural education and earning a certificate in international agriculture, and Davis Musia Gimode, who is pursuing a doctorate in plant-breeding genetics and genomics, earned World Food Prize Travel Awards through an essay contest sponsored by the Office of Global Programs. Entrants were challenged to describe their knowledge and interest in addressing the global issues of sustainable agriculture, food security and improved nutrition.“I have experience and understand how important food security is, but I didn’t have the practical knowledge about how I could initiate change in the communities I work in,” said Reeves, who spends a month each summer working with residents in Iganga, Uganda. Her ties to the African country began in 2012 after her family became guardians for two sisters from the town.Reeves found a quote by one of this year’s World Food Prize laureates to be particularly meaningful.“In his speech, Dr. David Nabarro said, ‘Until the agency of women is realized, we will not solve the issue of malnutrition,’” Reeves recalls. “It resonated with me that a lot of women aren’t included in agriculture, especially in improving agricultural practices.”She looks forward to returning to Uganda this summer and talking with community and church leaders about being more inclusive of women.“I can talk with Pastor Moses, a leader in the community and a dear friend, and with his congregation about being more open to women’s involvement in agriculture,” Reeves said. “I can go out in the field and present more ideas.”For Gimode, the World Food Prize symposium provided opportunities to talk with international leaders about how to take his knowledge out of the lab and into the world.“The symposium provided a global perspective in a way that I hadn’t understood before,” Gimode said. “It highlighted the fact that — right now— we can produce so much food, but yet there are billions of people without access to food.”Gimode gained new insights through discussions with attendees such as Mwangi Kiunjuri, director for Kenya’s Ministry for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation; and Gebisa Ejeta of Purdue University, 2009 World Food Prize laureate.“I’m concerned (with) plant genetics, but it takes more than genetics to address issues of food security,” he said. “I discovered there are more ways to bring my narrow focus into a more global perspective.”A native of Kenya, Gimode hopes to someday return to his home country, but in the meantime, he plans to build the network he began at the symposium.“Now, I’m seeing how I can make a meaningful impact by combining science and policy making,” he said.The Office of Global Programs established the competitive award for students interested in attending and participating in the symposium in 2015.“The World Food Prize symposium is an inspiring event that brings people together from all over the world but is small enough to feel intimate,” said Vicki McMaken, associate director for the Office of Global Programs. “Participants, including our student winners, have the opportunity to share conversations with past and present World Food Prize laureates, representatives from governments, universities, donor agencies, multinational corporations, farmers, and even high school students and teachers participating in the Global Youth Institute.”The annual symposium was established by Norman Borlaug in 1986 to focus on the most critical issues facing global food security. The event regularly attracts more than 1,000 participants from more than 50 countries for keynote lectures and round table discussions and has been called “the premier conference in the world on global agriculture.”In addition to the World Food Prize essay competition, the Office of Global Programs offers competitive grants for graduate students traveling abroad for research or to attend international conferences. The office also offers scholarships for students who hope to study abroad, participate in an international student exchange program or conduct international internships.For more information about the opportunities offered by the Office of Global Programs, visit global.uga.edu.last_img read more

Elnusa books higher revenue, profit despite lower oil prices last year

first_imgPublicly listed integrated energy services provider PT Elnusa booked higher revenues and profits despite lower oil prices last year.The company booked a 26.6 percent year-on-year (yoy) increase in revenue to Rp 8.39 trillion (US$614 million) throughout 2019, thanks to a sharp increase in upstream oil and gas services revenue that jumped by 45 percent yoy to Rp 3.8 trillion.The increase in revenue also created a positive impact on the company’s bottom line, as it booked Rp 356.47 billion in profits, up by 29 percent yoy last year. Despite the financial success, the company only recorded a slight increase in its net profit margin of 4.3 percent last year from 2018’s figure of 4.2 percent.However, Hery remained optimistic that the company could continue to grow its business this year, as it allocated Rp 1.4 trillion in capital expenditure (capex) this year, higher than last year’s allocation of Rp 1 trillion.“We will use the capex for investment that could support growth, including manufacturing hydraulic workover units for oil well workovers to support Pertamina’s upstream business,” he said.He also said that the company was optimistic that it would reach its target of an 8 percent increase in revenue to Rp 9.1 trillion with a net profit of around Rp 400 billion, due to good business prospects for 2020. Elnusa finance director Hery Setiawan attributed last year’s positive performance to its parent company, state-owned energy holding company Pertamina’s takeover of terminated oil and gas blocks.He also said the company was able to take advantage of opportunities to maintain its performance even during the slump in oil and gas prices that slowed down exploration activities early last year.“We tried to grab every positive opportunity as best as we could by diversifying our portfolio and providing integrated energy services, from upstream to downstream, to make sure we could continue to grow,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.Fortunately, he said, both Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil prices went up toward the end of last year that boosted exploration activities among energy companies.center_img Topics :last_img read more

2nd Edition of Waraka Sewinal Festival to be held on December 16-17, 2011

first_img Share Share Sharing is caring! Share 36 Views   no discussionscenter_img Sweinal Festival press conference. Photo credit: Gregory RabessThe second edition of the Waraka Séwinal Festival will be held in Atkinson on December 16-17, 2011. This was disclosed at a press conference held by the Atkinson Village Council and the Sewinal Festival Committee last Friday (Dec 2, 2011) at the Old Mill Cultural Centre.The main festival event is the Grand Séwinal Concert and Street Festival on Saturday December 17, 2011 featuring performances by individual singers, traditional séwinal (jing ping) bands, choirs, dancers, drumming and steel pan ensembles. These include the Paix Bouche Cultural Group, Petite Savanne Jing Ping Band, Bits and Pieces of Layou, Athie Martin Steel Pan Ensemble, Ti Bwa, Marigot Cultural Group, Bann Akayo Séwinal Band, Copee, Gregory Rabess, Atkinson Primary School Choir, Atkinson Youth Dancers, the KTZ Band of Bataca, Hot Pepper Sewinal Band among others.Millenium Sounds are providing sound and lighting for the event and for the first time in its history, the Swinging Stars will be performing in Atkinson following the main concert.Other Festival events include the Atkinson Primary School Miss Noel Show and the Antrizzle Séwinal Splash both of which take place on Friday December 16, 2011. The Waraka Séwinal Festival is aimed at promoting and sustaining the séwinal tradition, showcasing local talent, attracting visitors to the community and enhancing Christmas celebrations in Dominica.The village of Atkinson, also known by its Kalinago name Waraka, boasts a very strong séwinal tradition dating back to the early 1900s. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, groups of singers and séwinal bands go from house to house singing Christmas carols, cantiques noel and local séwinal songs which features Papa Nwèl (Father Christmas) as the central figure. This is an all night affair. The Waraka Séwinal Festival builds on this tradition and ensures that it survives for future generations.Press Release EntertainmentLocalNews 2nd Edition of Waraka Sewinal Festival to be held on December 16-17, 2011 by: – December 5, 2011 Tweetlast_img read more

Shosholoza shines in Marseille

first_imgWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material Team Shosholoza showed its mettle once more on the weekend, not in America’s Cup racing in the South African-built RSA 83 yacht, but in match-racing at the Marseille International Match Race. The team’s performances were up and down as skipper Pablo Cian and his crew experienced two days of vastly differing fortunes in the round robin part of the racing. That’s because the conditions were markedly different on the two days. American Ed Baird, racing with the America’s Cup-winning crew from Team Alinghi, topped the standings with eight victories and three defeats. His record included wins over Cian, as well as the top seeds, reigning world champion Ian Williams of Great Britain and Frenchman Sebastian Col. SAinfo reporter On Friday, in the stronger winds, Shosholoza struggled, losing all four of her races, but her record of sevens wins and four losses was enough for the South African boat to qualify in second place of the round robin. The quarterfinals weren’t kind to Ed Baird either. He was beaten by New Zealander Adam Minoprio and the ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing Team. Minoprio went on to win the title. On the first day, Thursday, the air was light and the emphasis was on timing and speed. On day two, Friday, the breeze got up and the action was fast and furious. Explaining his decision, Cian said: “We had a great day the first day of the event, and a terrible day on Friday when we lost the last four races of the round robin. “Damien had a terrible first day and a great day yesterday, so we reckon that today will be our turn. And we chose him too because regardless of what happens, we will remain good friends.”center_img Ideal conditionsThe light air conditions on Saturday looked ideal for Shosholoza, and she drew a penalty on Iehl in the pre-start. However, things didn’t unfold as Cian had hoped, and after three successive wins Iehl had secured a semi-final place. A perfect seven victoriesCian and his crew excelled in the light conditions on Thursday, taking part in seven races and recording a perfect seven victories. World champion Ian Williams was beaten by Australian Torvar Mirsky, who finished third, with Iehl taking fourth place. Cian chose to face Damien Iehl of France and his French Match Racing Team, thinking that he had made a safe choice. While he and Shosholoza shone, turning in assured performances and dominating victories, the other crews struggled to dominate like Cian and company had done; after the opening day, five teams were tied on six points, occupying from fourth to eighth place. Cian and his crew managed to finish on high note when they won a sail-off against Williams to secure seventh place, with the British star relegated to eight spot. 17 March 2009 QuarterfinalsThe top eight yachts then qualified for the quarterfinals; the top four finishers had the added advantage of being able to select their opponent in the last eight.last_img read more

Press release: South Africa remains an attractive investment destination

first_imgBrand South Africa welcomes South Africa’s performance in the World Bank’s 2017 Africa Competitiveness Report which was released on Thursday 04 May during the WEF Africa Conference in Durban.South Africa remains an attractive investment destination and is open for business says Brand South Africa chief executive, Kingsley Makhubela.Johannesburg, Friday 05 May 2017 – South Africa picked up second place in the Africa Competitiveness Report and the country’s global ranking for 2016-17 improved with nine places – from 56 in the 2014-’15 report to 47 out of 138 countries worldwide. The sectors in which South Africa excelled included financial market development, business sophistication, innovation and technological readiness.Brand South Africa’s CEO Dr. Kingsley Makhubela said: “South Africa continues to demonstrate resilience despite unfavourable conditions and has held steady in the face global economic uncertainty. Today our nation is one of the most sophisticated and promising emerging markets globally and this has been reinforced by the World Banks’ 2017 Africa Competitiveness Report findings.”“We are in the midst of an increasingly open and integrated world economy where countries compete for investment and human capital that are critical to their economic growth. These rankings paint a picture of a country’s ability to attract investments, raise per capita GDP, create jobs and wealth for itself, and ultimately raise the standard of living for its own people.”In recent weeks – South Africa was reported to have also made a comeback in the 2017 A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Confidence Index, and was ranked as the fourth most attractive investment destination in Africa according to the latest Africa Investment Index 2016 by Quantum Global’s independent research arm, Quantum Global Research Lab published in April 2017.“These results indicate that South Africa’s efforts to respond to socio-economic development challenges. Although much remains to be done, the current assessment of South Africa’s competitiveness, by an independent, international organisations, should inspire us to keep going. Our country continues to develop and deepen cooperation with the world to take full advantage of trade, investment and development opportunities provided for our nation, the African continent and our people,” concluded Dr Makhubela.last_img read more

Are We Really Better Off With Building Codes?

first_imgBut aren’t we just building what buyers want?Joe Wilson recalls visiting a house well along in construction during an open house in his area. The builder was the head of the local building association for years. The house Wilson toured had five bedrooms and three and a half baths and would sell for $430,000 or more.“I spent some time going through and noting the 2×6, 16-in. on-center traditional (non-OVE) framing, the numerous unplugged gaps at penetrations, the builder grade vinyl windows, the lack of caulk or sealant or gaskets at plates and sills, a ripped piece of housewrap dangling from under the brick,” he writes. “Rolls of glass batt were in the garage, ready to go.”But three couples he saw at the open house were focused on the square footage, the size of the closets, and the granite, all of which brought a smile to the builder’s face.Later, the builder said no one had ever inquired about the possibility of building with a more modern approach.“He didn’t seem greedy, just like he saw his work as a business and that he wasn’t ‘custom,’” Wilson says. “He even offered me the names of three builders he said did custom work. ‘You’ll pay for it, but you’ll get what you want.’”He wonders whether builders and buyers can be taught to look at houses differently, but he doesn’t seem especially hopeful. After restoring historic buildings for more than three decades, Roy Harmon seems a little disillusioned, if not outright confused, with the current state of residential construction.Most of the buildings he’s worked on are more than a century old, built at a time when carpenters served apprenticeships but building codes did not exist. The only reason the buildings eventually fail is because of neglect, not inherently poor construction.In contrast, there are a “myriad” of building code requirements these days, but no training requirements to become a home improvement contractor or carpenter.“As a result, for the past 20+ years, thousands of plastic shacks called homes have been thrown together, by greed-driven developers that seem to dabble in the grey zone just below ‘minimum code requirements,’ ” Harmon writes in his Q&A post. “The untrained, inexperienced workers are all that this process seems to have afforded.”Harmon wonders whether we’re better served by skilled builders who really know what they’re doing, or a strict code enforced in an age of poorly trained labor and a focus on the bottom line. And in our haste to build green, are we sure that LEED standards and green materials will meet the test of time? RELATED ARTICLES Are Energy Codes Working?Code Green Blogs by Lynn UnderwoodReport from the ICC Code Hearings Free Digital 2009 International Energy Conservation CodeWrestling With the Bay State’s “Stretch” Code ProposalAverage Cost of Meeting 2009 IECC? Not MuchGearing Up for California’s New Green Building CodeEnergy Code Gets Slightly More Stringent Q&A Spotlight: Home Appraisal Woes Building codes are not the issueCodes are the result of the problem, not its cause, says Tony Olaivar. If it weren’t for building codes, shacks would still be common. Moreover, he adds, “I’d be willing to suggest that the shacks contemporary to your historic homes did not stand the test of time.”Codes, he adds, are actually improving over time: “Every time a house burns or collapses or an insurance claim is filed, there are statistics gathered. There’s plenty of science that goes into all of it. Don’t get discouraged.”“All current codes exist because of prior failures and catastrophes (both natural and man-made),” writes Andy Ault. “Codes don’t cause the substandard results, they exist because of them. And with the adoption of new requirements into some of the upcoming 2012 codes (such as air leak testing in the IECC) they are finally moving past simple life safety and actually getting into VERIFIED building performance.”GBA Senior Editor Martin Holladay makes another point: although it’s easy to take a rosy view of old-time carpentry practices, the longevity of buildings was not always assured. While he’s seen lots of solid historic homes where he lives in Vermont, the opposite also is true. “I’ve also see older homes with failing foundations that lean or bulge and older homes with rotten sills and sagging ridges and undersized rafters that look like a sway-backed old mare,” Holladay writes. “Plenty of builders in the old days didn’t use a span table and cut corners by framing their homes to what they considered were the minimum requirements — and they guessed wrong.”While imperfect, building codes are intended to eliminate those kinds of problems.“With rare exception I can’t think of many aspects of building codes that don’t add to the safety or performance of houses, although enforcement is sometimes limited because of budgets of the municipalities,” Allan Edwards says. Does the appraisal process contribute to the problem?Steve El thinks so. Because we’re a mobile society, families have to keep resale in mind, and lending is based on the appraised value of a home.“This is where a big problem creeps in, in my opinion, and that is the manner in which values are placed on homes is broken,” El says. “Take two next door houses on identical lots, where the houses have the same basic floor plan. One home is built to code minimum and the other is superbly built to a much higher standard.“For mortgage appraisal purposes, the two homes will appraise almost the same. There will be just enough ‘extra’ tagged on to the superbly built home’s appraised value to make the mortgage appraisal process look — repeat LOOK — legitimate. But in my opinion, the process has nothing to do with value.”Were buyers better educated to demand value and fix the appraisal process, then builders would be forced to follow suit or be out of a job, he says.Actually, says Riversong, the appraisal business isn’t broken. Appraisals “very accurately” reflect market value because they’re based on comparable sales in the same area.“If we want to have the intrinsic qualities of a thing valued then we need to be willing to acknowledge that kind of value in the marketplace,” he says. “Everything in our culture is superficial, shallow, short-term and narrowly-focused. It is our society which is broken. Until we fix that, we cannot expect our valuation formulas to be based on anything other than what we are willing to pay for.” Corporate model discourages quality outcomeOld World apprenticeships and craft guilds have been left behind, writes Robert Riversong, as the building industry adopted a standard corporate model for success.“We quickly became an industrial society with adversarial labor unions to attempt to win a few concessions from the bosses,” he says. “The corporate model of business, with profit as the guiding principle, became the standard for all enterprise — and the easiest way to maximize profit is through mass production and minimizing costs, including both materials and labor.“Both government regulation and building codes were the reaction to the problem, not the problem itself.”As Tony Olaivar put it, “all jobs have gone the way of McDonald’s,” with scant training for employees because that made it easier to fire them “at the drop of a hat.”Riversong sees workers in this system are “just another economic input which can as easily be undercut or outsourced as any resource input.”To add to these troubles, labor has become so specialized that building projects now require overseers to draw all the players together. Even then, there aren’t many “Master Builders” around who can see a project through from design to finish details.“When we return to understanding house building as a trade or craft and not a business, we might rediscover some of the pride in workmanship that was once the hallmark of well-crafted and durable architectural design and fabrication,” Riversong says. “And we will need to find ‘profit’ in our sense of satisfaction of a job well done rather than in adding cost that makes such a basic human need as shelter unaffordable for the masses.”There are efforts underway to train young workers, says Andy Ault, including Skills USA and Construction Challenge .“It’s no small task to try to convince tech savvy kids that it’s desirable (and maybe even ‘cool’) to be a contractor these days,” Ault writes. “So we all have to do our part to support and volunteer for these groups and put our time and effort where our complaints are. “ That’s the subject of this week’s Q&A Spotlight. Our expert’s opinionHere’s what GBA Technical Director Peter Yost has to say:I think there are really three separate but related issues in this discussion: codes, performance-based value, and education.First, a quote from an Environmental Building News feature article entitled “Sustainability and Building Codes” (EBN Vol. 10, No. 9), which I co-authored with David Eisenberg of the Development Center for Appropriate Technology (David is the director of DCAT, the leading organization for green building codes in the U.S.):“Building codes have long been used by societies to protect individual and general welfare, and to hold practitioners accountable for their work. As long ago as 1750 B.C., Hammurabi, the Babylonian king of Mesopotamia, created his famous Code of Laws covering a wide range of public and private matters. Number 229 of this Code states: “If a builder build a house for someone, and does not construct it properly, and the house which he built fall in and kill its owner, then that builder shall be put to death.” This type of “performance” code must certainly have had an impact on quality of construction, but it very likely stifled innovation!”We need and benefit from the codes because they, by-and-large, make for safer and better buildings. But I think codes must be performance-based (including third party performance verification) or we get silly prescriptions, such as “warm-in-winter” vapor retarder locations or “seal all holes” for air tightness.And we not only need performance in the codes, we need it in all aspects of the building industry; from design to construction to appraisal to sales. The single most significant purchase almost all of us make in our lives is a home, and yet most of us do NOT approach the purchase as a performance-based value proposition. That is just crazy, because we do performance-based purchasing for other large, long-lived products such as cars, and computers, and appliances, why not homes?And the need for education of how buildings really work is just as pervasive. We are asking more of our homes, but not asking more of all those who touch them—architects, builders, code officials, realtors, and homeowners. Every sector needs building science education about how buildings work; the codes can’t and were never meant do it on their own.last_img read more

Modi takes his India connect far into future with Teacher’s Day speech

first_imgStudents in a school at Mayur Vihar Ph I listening to Narendra Modi’s speech on Teachers’ DayIt was the day of the Pradhan Shikshak. Millions of young children came under the Modi spell on Teacher’s Day as the prime minister reached out with a powerful televised speech to schools across the nation. In a first for an Indian prime minister, Modi addressed a multitude of young minds, encouraging them to follow their dreams while reiterating his commitment to the cause of education for girls and of toilets in all schools.”I have noticed that girls drop out of schools by the time they reach Class 3 or 4 just because schools don’t have separate toilets for them. They don’t feel comfortable. There should be toilets for boys and girls in all schools. We should concentrate on girl students not quitting schools,” Modi said in his live 90-minute speech. The speech was perhaps too long, and attention spans had begun to wither nationwide when the prime minister made the switch to a brief but lively interactive session.Commenting on the lack of good teachers in the country, the Prime Minister said it is regrettable that nobody wants to be a teacher nowadays, and hoped that this situation will change. “There is a demand for good teachers across the world as there is a lack of good teachers. India is a big nation, Can’t we dream of exporting high quality teachers? Can’t we make the young students want to become teachers and serve the nation? There was a time that the most respected person in the whole village was a teacher. This situation has changed now but we can get the old situation back,” Modi said.advertisementJust back from a successful and eventful Japan trip that also showcased his lighter side, Modi resumed his charm-all campaign as he answered questions about his pranks as a student. The 90-minute speech had the serious mixed well with the quirky as Modi encouraged students to work hard to achieve their dreams but advised them to sweat it out on the playground too.Asked by a student about his stern headmaster image, Modi replied: “I am a task master. I do a lot of hard work and extract hard work from others. I told officers in my first interaction that if you work for 11 hours, I am ready to work for 12 hours, if you work for 12 hours, I am ready to work for 13 hours.”But it wasn’t all work and no play. “I want to ask the students how many of them sweat profusely four times in a day. No one?see if there are no sports in life then this life won’t bloom. You should play, and enjoy in this life. Books, TV and computers should not limit your life. This life is beyond these things,” said Modi while encouraging students to read about life histories of great personalities. “I request students to read about life characters of people. It will teach you about history of those times. Read about life of people from any field, be it sports, cinema, business, science or any other field. These days everything is being done by Google Guru. It does give you information, but no knowledge,” Modi said.Incidentally, this wasn’t the first such event for Modi; he has been addressing students across Gujarat on Teacher’s Day since 2008 in a similar manner in his previous capacity of chief minister. One of the themes of his speeches, then as now, was skill development as opposed to academic milestones. “(It’s) not just degrees, but skills are also essential,” Modi reiterated on Friday.Modi also made mention of his ‘Digital India’ campaign and asked teachers to introduce students to modern technology. “I request all teachers to make best use of technology. It is a social crime if we keep our students away from modern technology. It should be our endeavour that students get to know modern science and technology,” said Modi, who took questions through video conferencing from students from Leh, Thiruvananthapuram, Port Blair and many other remote places.Modi also asked citizens to contribute to education and devote their time in teaching at a nearby school. “If educated people, no matter how high an official you are, in India spend one period in schools near them then we will have rectified the complaint that there aren’t good teachers,” he said.Addressing students, Modi said that there is no climate change but only our tolerance and habits have changed. The PM encouraged students to imbibe practices to save energy. “Climate has not changed. We have changed. Our habits have changed. Our habits have got spoiled. Due to that, we have destroyed our entire environment.advertisement”The entire world is facing an energy crisis. Coal, gas and petroleum have their limits. So where will one produce electricity from? Sometime or the other, we have to move towards the direction of saving electricity. Saving electricity is the best way of providing it to those to whom it has not reached and that too with minimal cost. Power production cost is very high. But saving electricity is very cheap,” he said.last_img read more

Xiaomi Mi 5X with stock Android could be next Xiaomi phone in India, launch on September 5

first_imgXiaomi is gearing to launch a mystery dual camera phone in India on September 5. Although little is known about Xiaomi’s upcoming phone, chances are it could be the Android One-based phone — codenamed the Xiaomi A1 — that the company is said to be secretly working on with Google. The said phone is said to be a revamped Mi 5X running stock or vanilla Android, which in this case could be the stock or stock version of Android Nougat.This possibly explains why the company is teasing that it will hold a global launch of the new phone in India on September 5. The Mi 5X was launched earlier in China in July and hence teasing a global launch of the that phone in India would be very strange.Also, it is worth remembering that currently Xiaomi has only only two high-end phones with dual cameras. One is the Mi 6, which the company is not bringing to India (this is something India Today had reported several months ago), and the other phone is the Mi 5X. So chances are that either we will see a Mi 5X in Android One avatar in India on September 5 or the company will announce a new variant of the Mi 5X or Mi 6, specifically created for the Indian market.Xiaomi VP and India MD Manu Kumar Jain has previously hinted on Twitter, that the company may launch the Mi 5X in India in September. “Can’t wait for you guys to check out Xiaomi’s first dual-camera phone in India. Coming next month,” Jain had written on Twitter in early August. On Monday, he took to Twitter again, only this time round he has revealed that the phone that the company will launch in India on September 5 does not exist yet. Xiaomi will globally launch the phone in India on the said date, which invariably means the device in question can’t be the Mi 5X the way it exists right now.advertisementXiaomi is rumoured to be working with Google on a new Android One phone. The phone would likely be a cost-effective handset geared towards emerging markets like India with promised timely OS updates right from Google. The Xiaomi A1 would likely be a re-branded Xiaomi Mi 5X with more or less the same innards but updated software. As opposed to its other phones that run MIUI, the Xiaomi’s Android One phone may run a stock version of Android. Although the latest version Android is now Oreo, if Xiaomi indeed launches a new Android One phone that will be all likelihood powered by Android Nougat.Save the date: 5 Sept 2017! Flagship Dual Camera launching soon #XiaomiGlobalLaunch #FlagshipDualCamera. RT if you are excited. @xiaomi pic.twitter.com/psEDjh786s— Manu Kumar Jain (@manukumarjain) August 28, 2017The Mi 5X notably brings the Mi 6’s dual rear cameras to the masses. The Mi 5X, just like the Mi 6, (also) comes with a dual camera setup on the rear — 12-megapixel + 12-megapixel — where one lens is wide-angle while the other is telephoto. The Mi 6 dual cameras offer 2X optic zoom and 10X digital zoom (just like the iPhone 7 Plus) and therefore technically result in clearer distant shots and professional bokeh effects in portraits. The Mi 5X should be more or less on similar lines. Although on paper the cameras in the Mi 6 and the Mi 5X seem same, there are some differences. The Mi 5X uses a slower F2.2 lens on its primary camera compared to the F1.8 lens in the Mi 6.The Xiaomi Mi 5X comes with a full metal unibody design and a rear mounted fingerprint scanner. The phone, with its all metal body and dual rear cameras looks remarkably like the iPhone 7 Plus from every nook and corner. Everything from the 2.5 D curved glass on the front to the antenna lines placement on the back, screams the iPhone. The only visible difference is seen in the fingerprint scanner placement. As opposed to the iPhone 7 Plus that comes with a front-mounted fingerprint scanner, the Xiaomi Mi 5X sports one on the back. It comes with physical capacitive — soft keys — keys on the front and will be available in three colours: black, gold and rose gold (pink).On the hardware side, the Mi 5X comes with a 5.5-inch 1080p display and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor clubbed with 4 gigs of RAM under the hood. It comes with 64GB of internal storage and USB Type-C for charging and data syncing. It is further backed by a 3,080mAh battery.Chances are Xiaomi may call its new phone the Mi 6i or something that would in turn entail in a flagship-grade experience both aesthetically as well as philosophically. But that’s just speculation for now.advertisementAlso Read: Xiaomi Mi 5X: Top specs, features, price and everything you must knowlast_img read more