Vietnam: How Facebook is being abused to silence critics in Germany

first_img Help by sharing this information to go further Mongolia : RSF urges presidential candidates to voice support for press freedom VietnamGermanyAsia – PacificEurope – Central Asia Online freedoms InternetCitizen-journalistsFreedom of expressionExiled media The most recent case to come to light is that of Trung Khoa Le, a journalist living in Germany whose Facebook account was blocked, preventing him from posting a video in Germany which was critical of the Vietnamese government. Facebook later admitted that it had been the victim of a “malicious attack” and announced improvements. Research has revealed that Trung Khoa Le’s case was not an isolated incident. RSF Germany has presented Facebook with 23 similar cases, including that of the Vietnamese blogger Bui Thanh Hieu.“Our research shows that the Vietnamese government is apparently using digital space to suppress critical voices outside the country as well,” said RSF Germany’s Executive Director Christian Mihr. “Those responsible must end these attacks and respect press freedom.”Mihr added: “For many journalists Facebook offers the chance to report freely, but apparently the company is unable to prevent this censorship-like abuse. Democratic oversight of the company is needed to effectively strengthen the rights of users.”“Malicious attack”The cases of blocked content came to light after Trung Khoa Le turned to RSF Germany for help in mid-November and made his case public. Le runs the bilingual news site thoibao.de, which he says gets 2.7 clicks per month and reports on Vietnamese politics. Le was denounced as a “traitor” online and received death threats after he researched a critical piece on the alleged kidnapping of Vietnamese businessman Trinh Xuan Thanh in Berlin. On the evening of 8 November Le announced that the next day he would post a video of an interview with the Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Van Dai on Thoibao.de’s Facebook page. Dai had been invited to a meeting of the human rights committee in the German Bundestag.Shortly afterwards Le received an email from Facebook informing him that his account would be blocked due to violations of the Community Standards. He used Facebook’s appeal mechanism to try to prevent the block, but it wasn’t until several days later that Facebook, under pressure from RSF and other activists, finally announced that the journalist had been the victim of a “malicious attack” and unblocked his account. According to Facebook unknown persons had made Le the administrator of a page containing gross violations of its Community Standards without his consent. The social network did not give any details or provide any information about the presumed attackers. However, the methods and expert tactics used point to a political background.One of the reasons Facebook is so popular in many countries with limited press freedom is that it is very difficult to censor content on the platform with purely technological means. The only option open to governments is to completely block Facebook – but most are reluctant to go that far. It is, however, possible to report users for violations of the “Community Standards” and thus have content or users blocked from the platform with Facebook’s help.“Violations of Community Standards”As soon as Trung Khoa Le was able to access his account again he launched an appeal on his Facebook page asking users to report similar incidents and provide evidence in the form of screenshots. Within just a few days he received 23 reports of similar incidents from persons inside and outside Vietnam who had posted political comments on Facebook. RSF examined these cases and forwarded them to Facebook on 27 November. In some cases, Facebook had deleted individual posts, in others it had blocked users entirely for days or months. In each case it had justified its actions by pointing to “violations of its Community Standards”.Bui Thanh Hieu, a Vietnamese blogger and writer who lives in Germany, is also among those affected. His blog is one of the most popular in Vietnam and is disseminated for the most part via Facebook. His Facebook page had more than 160,000 followers. Since January of this year Bui Thanh Hieu has repeatedly been blocked due to alleged copyright infringements. The attackers’ strategy was apparently to copy Hieu’s own images, upload them onto their pages and then report him to Facebook for not owning the copyrights for the images – even though exactly the opposite was the case. On 2 October Facebook finally banned Bui Thanh Hieu from the network altogether as a “repeat offender”. RSF has the corresponding email.Facebook’s lack of explanationAsked about the case of Trung Khoa Le, Facebook explained that it had taken immediate measures to ensure that it was no longer possible to add persons to pages or groups on Facebook without their prior consent. It said that the case of Trung Khoa Le had not been key in this decision but there had been other cases outside Vietnam that prompted it to take action. Commenting on the other 23 Vietnamese cases, a spokesperson for Facebook said that some of them had been victims of the same “malicious behavior”, and that the platform was in the process of unblocking their accounts. Facebook gave no explanation as to why the other bloggers and critics who were not victims of this particular method had been blocked, however.With at least 26 media workers in prison, Vietnam is among the states with the highest number of journalists behind bars because of their work. It is ranked 175th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index. Follow the news on Asia – Pacific Facebook is being systematically abused to censor Vietnamese bloggers living in exile. According to the information available to Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in the last few months the social network has repeatedly deleted posts and also blocked the accounts of such individuals due to alleged violations of its “Community Standards”. News Organisation June 2, 2021 Find out more December 21, 2018 Vietnam: How Facebook is being abused to silence critics in Germany June 7, 2021 Find out morecenter_img News The cases of blocked content came to light after Trung Khoa Le turned to RSF Germany for help in mid-November (photo: phanba.wordpress.com). News Receive email alerts VietnamGermanyAsia – PacificEurope – Central Asia Online freedoms InternetCitizen-journalistsFreedom of expressionExiled media Pakistani TV anchor censored after denouncing violence against journalists News China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison RSF_en June 2, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

RSF disturbed by Moroccan journalist’s 12-year jail sentence

first_imgNews April 28, 2021 Find out more Hunger strike is last resort for some imprisoned Moroccan journalists RSF_en Organisation News RSF joins Middle East and North Africa coalition to combat digital surveillance to go further NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say Follow the news on Morocco / Western Sahara Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa Condemning abusesProtecting journalistsOnline freedomsMedia independence Conflicts of interestImprisonedInternetFreedom of expressionJudicial harassment News June 8, 2021 Find out more Bouachrine had been held since February on charges of human trafficking, abuse of power for sexual purposes, rape and attempted rape. The trial, which began on 8 March, was held behind closed doors and, in a verdict handed down on the night of 9 November, the court convicted him of sexual assaulting a number of women and dropped the other charges. Many aspects of the trial contributed to the doubts surrounding the case. It was expedited at the prosecution’s request. Plaintiffs were pressured by the authorities and some denied making complaints against Bouachrine. One was close to a government official he had criticized. And the court rejected defence requests for alternative expert evidence.“This case seems to indicate a desire to persecute a journalist who had fallen foul of the authorities in the past in connection with his journalism,” RSF said. “The conduct of the trial prevents us from ruling out the hypothesis that it was trumped up or at least exploited in order to further discredit him as a journalist. The verdict is marred by doubt.”Bouachrine was prosecuted in 2009 for a cartoon that allegedly disrespected the royal family and national flag, in 2015 for an article deemed to have undermined “Morocco’s reputation,” and in early 2018 for defaming two government ministers.Morocco is ranked 135th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index. News November 12, 2018 RSF disturbed by Moroccan journalist’s 12-year jail sentence April 15, 2021 Find out more Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa Condemning abusesProtecting journalistsOnline freedomsMedia independence Conflicts of interestImprisonedInternetFreedom of expressionJudicial harassment Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is disturbed by the 12-year jail sentence that a Casablanca criminal court has passed on Taoufiq Bouachrine, the publisher of the daily Akhbar al-Youm, on sexual assault charges that he has always denied. Many doubts surround the verdict, RSF says. Help by sharing this information Receive email alertslast_img read more

Vietnamese Adjunct Assistant Professor

first_imgApplicant DocumentsRequired DocumentsUnofficial Transcript 1Optional DocumentsUnofficial Transcript 2Unofficial Transcript 3Resume/Curriculum VitaeLetter of InterestLetter of Recommendation 1Letter of Recommendation 2Equivalency Determination Letter (P-38 or Equivalency RequestStatement)P-881 Report of Arrests Which Led To Convictions For CrimeDocument The Institution Job Posting TitleVietnamese Adjunct Assistant Professor How and where to apply Posting NumberF00175P All Positions: Offers of employment are contingent upon thesuccessful clearance from a criminal background check, freedom fromtuberculosis, and proof of identity and eligibility to work in theUnited States prior to the first day of work. The District mayselect additional qualified candidates should unexpected vacanciesor needs occur during this recruitment/selection process. Wheneducation is a requirement for the position, official academictranscripts from the accredited college/university must besubmitted within 60 days of hire. Criminal History Verification and Release: I acknowledge andagree that I understand that by answering the question below, Icertify that the information provided by me is true, correct andcomplete to the best of my knowledge and belief. I authorizeinvestigation of all statements contained herein, and on the P-881(if applicable and submitted), and I release from liability allpersons and organizations furnishing such information. I understandthat any misstatements, omissions or misrepresentation of facts onthis form, my application, and, if applicable, the P-881 orattachment(s) may be cause for disqualification or dismissal. Ifyou have ever been convicted of an offense other than a minortraffic violation you are required to complete the form ‘ArrestsWhich Led to Convictions for Crime’, P-881 (you must discloseconvictions that have been dismissed pursuant to Penal Code Section1203.4; Ed. Code 87008). Please copy and paste the provided URL forthe form -https://losrios.edu/docs/lrccd/employees/hr/forms/p-881.pdf – andattach the completed form to your application.Yes, I acknowledge and agreeNo, I do not acknowledge or agree 1. Have a master’s degree in the language being taught ORBachelor’s in the language being taught AND Master’s in anotherlanguage or linguistics; OR, hold a California Community CollegeInstructor’s Credential in the discipline area; OR, theequivalent.*2. Have sensitivity to and understanding of the diverse academicsocioeconomic, cultural, disability, gender identity, sexualorientation, and ethnic backgrounds of community college students,including those with physical or learning disabilities as itrelates to differences in learning styles.*Note: Applicants applying under the “equivalent” provision mustattach details and explain how their academic preparation is theequivalent of the degrees listed above. Conditions Assignment Responsibilities General Responsibilities:The adjunct faculty member shall be responsible for the following:teaching assigned classes under the supervision of the area dean;helping students fulfill their maximum potential in masteringcourse content; assessing student learning outcomes; maintaining athorough and up-to-date knowledge in his/her regular teachingfield; continuing professional development; utilizing currenttechnology in the performance of job duties; maintaining standardsof professional conduct and ethics appropriate to the professionalposition; assisting with articulation and curriculum developmentand review; serving on college committees and participating infaculty governance including accreditation and studentco-curricular activities; assuming other responsibilities asassigned by the area dean; fulfilling other duties andresponsibilities of an adjunct faculty member as outlined in thecollege faculty handbook. Part-time, Assistant Professor Position. Adjunct pools are opencontinuously and applicants are contacted/hired year round forassignments based on college needs. Total Hrs per Week/Day Department Location Special Requirements Physical Demands Applicants applying to this Los Rios Community College Districtadjunct faculty posting are required to complete fully andsubmit:1. Los Rios Community College District Faculty Application2. Unofficial transcripts of college/university work ** (graduateadvising documents and grade reports will not be accepted asunofficial transcripts). NOTE : Los Rios employees are alsorequired to submit unofficial copies of transcripts.3. Resume or Curriculum Vitae4. Two letters of recommendation5. Letter of Interest**Note: Applications submitted without transcripts will bedisqualified. Also individuals who have completed college oruniversity course work at an institution in a country other thanthe United States must obtain a complete evaluation of foreigntranscripts, degrees and other relevant documents. A foreigntranscript evaluation is required any time foreign course work isused to meet minimum qualifications and/or salary placement even ifthe foreign transcript has been accepted by a college or universityin the United States.Foreign transcript evaluations ONLY accepted from AICE (Associationof International Credential Evaluations, Inc.) or NACES (TheNational Association of Credential Evaluation Services) agencies orevaluators. Foreign Degree Transcript Evaluations click hereDo not submit additional materials that are not requested. Additional Salary InformationNo additional salary information to note Posting Detailscenter_img Minimum Qualifications Can you perform the essential functions of this position?YesNo Closing Date Beginning and/or Ending Dates Open ContinuouslyYes Quicklinkhttps://jobs.losrios.edu/postings/2965 Work YearN/A Work Schedule Posting Date SalaryPlease see LRCCD Salary Schedules Application Instructions Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions for completeinformation on how to apply online with our District. Applicationservices are available between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Mondaythrough Friday, at the Los Rios Community College District HumanResources Office located at 1919 Spanos Court, Sacramento, CA95825-3981. If you need assistance with any phase of theapplication process, please call (916) 568-3112 or come in duringour business hours. Submission of applications are by midnight ofthe posting closing date. The Los Rios Community College District is seeking a pool ofqualified applicants for possible temporary part-time facultyteaching assignments. These positions are filled on an as neededbasis and are on-going recruitment efforts.Adjunct pools are open continuously and applicants arecontacted/hired year round for assignments based on collegeneeds.Teaching assignments may include day, evening, on-line, hybrid,weekend, and/or off campus classes. Supplemental QuestionsRequired fields are indicated with an asterisk (*). LocationLos Rios Community College District (District Office) AboutThe Los Rios Community College District ( LRCCD ) is the secondlargest, two-year public college district in California, servingapproximately 75,000 students in the greater Sacramento region. Thedistrict’s 2,400 square mile service area includes Sacramento andEl Dorado counties and parts of Yolo, Placer, and Solano countiesand is comprised of four uniquely diverse colleges – AmericanRiver, Cosumnes River, Folsom Lake and Sacramento City colleges. Inaddition to each college’s main campus, the district offerseducational centers in Placerville, Davis, West Sacramento, ElkGrove, Natomas and Rancho Cordova.The Los Rios district office is centrally located in the heart ofthe Sacramento valley. The growing Capital Region has strongcommunities and emergent arts and dining scenes, and is nearby someof the most celebrated tourist destinations in the country – LakeTahoe, Napa Valley, and San Francisco. The Sacramento area is agreat place to live and work!StrengthsThe district has approximately 4,000 employees throughout our fourcolleges and district office in dozens of different departmentsthat provide welcoming, inclusive, and equitable environments forLos Rios students, employees and community partners. Each and everydistrict and college department strives for the highest quality inall programs, services, and activities, and is focused on improvingeducational outcomes for the students we serve.Our VisionOur colleges offer equity-minded, academically rigorous, studentsuccess centered education. Our objective is to help our studentssuccessfully achieve their academic goals, whether they want totransfer to a four-year college or university, earn an associatedegree, or obtain one of more than 100 certificates in high demandcareer fields.The Los Rios Community College District’s Human ResourcesDepartment is committed to diversity, equity, and to ensuring aninclusive, thriving environment for all of its employees, students,and surrounding communities. To that end, the Human ResourcesDepartment is intentional in recruiting, hiring, and retainingdiverse employees, to reflect the diversity of our colleges’student populations. Position Summarylast_img read more

Maritime Spaces Sealed Off to Narcotrafficking

first_imgBy Geraldine Cook/Diálogo February 09, 2018 The Colombian National Navy cracks down hard on international criminal organizations attempting to transport drugs from Colombia’s Caribbean shores to the United States via Panama. This was evident in Operation Amphitrite (Anfitrite), the first binational operation between the Colombian Navy and the Panamanian Air and Naval Service (SENAN, in Spanish). During Amphitrite, conducted in October 2017, radars detected maritime drug shipments in go-fast boats..Admiral Ernesto Durán González, commander of the Colombian National Navy, spoke with Diálogo in Bogotá, Colombia, about Operation Amphitrite, its results, and the importance of international cooperation to counter threats to regional security.Diálogo: What is the objective of Operation Amphitrite?Admiral Ernesto Durán González, commander of the Colombian National Navy: To combat transnational threats by reducing illegal activities carried out through the irregular use of the sea. This is achieved through combined maritime interdiction operations that impact narcotrafficking and interrupt the illegal flow of narcotics between South America and North America through maritime spaces.Diálogo: What are the main elements of this operation?Adm. Durán: The effective exchange of intelligence information in real time as well as interoperability between units of the Colombian Navy and the Panamanian Air and Naval Service [SENAN in Spanish].Diálogo: One of the main elements of the operation is real-time exchange of information and intelligence. What advantages does such an exchange offer to combat transnational criminal organizations?Adm. Durán: This intelligence exchange ensures the effectiveness of our operations to fight transnational criminal organizations, denying them the use of maritime spaces for their illegal activities.Diálogo: The operation is based on the U.S. Coast Guard’s Shiprider model. What were the benefits of that initiative for the maritime operation between Colombia and Panama?Adm. Durán: Although it’s based on that model, over the course of Operation Amphitrite—and thanks to both nations’ preplanning—a visiting group of inspectors from SENAN, who acted as first responders in Panama’s judicial process, embarked on the OPV [Offshore Patrol Vessel] ARC Victoria in international waters, which allowed us to expedite the judicial process for the persons arrested for narcotrafficking, making the operation more effective.Diálogo: The experience of Joint Interagency Task Force South for naval air patrols, management of communications and control of territorial jurisdictions also served as a model for Operation Amphitrite. What were the lessons learned from these maritime interdiction operations?Adm. Durán: To achieve the level of experience of men and women committed to interdiction work is not easy, as they confront different situations in these kinds of operations. The weather is one of those, as is drug traffickers’ response and the constant innovations of transnational criminal organizations, which forces us to adapt interdiction strategies. Therefore, each experience leaves us with lessons that need to be applied to subsequent exercises.Diálogo: Why are combined operations between Colombia and Panama important?Adm. Durán: These types of operations offer many advantages, but suffice it to say that their importance lies in effective cooperation and expeditious coordination that enable us to control maritime spaces of Colombia and other Central American nations.Diálogo: What were the results of joint operations between Colombia and Panama against narcotrafficking organizations?Adm. Durán: The intelligence exchange between Colombia and Panama allowed us to achieve huge results in the fight against narcotrafficking, particularly over the course of Operation Amphitrite, in which we managed to seize 2,400 kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride, 480 kilograms of marijuana, and detain 20 drug traffickers. That takes a heavy toll on the finances of these criminal organizations, while at the same time interrupts trafficking of narcotics to other countries of the region.Diálogo: Why is interoperability between the Colombian Navy and SENAN important?Adm. Durán: It’s primarily meant to interrupt the flow of illegal narcotics currently generated between South America and North America through maritime spaces, whenever criminal organizations use the Colombia-Panama border to stockpile and traffic drugs to Central America and North America.Diálogo: Could other partner nations of the region duplicate the model for Operation Amphitrite?Adm. Durán: That topic should be discussed. But it would be very interesting to put this model into practice with other nations of South America and Central America that are impacted by narcotrafficking, to find a more effective way of controlling the sea and denying its use to transnational criminal organizations, thereby decreasing their criminal activities.Diálogo: In addition to the Colombian Navy’s efforts to counter narcotrafficking, what other security threats exist in Colombia and what is the Navy’s role to counter them?Adm. Durán: Various threats exist in Colombia, narcotrafficking being among the greatest concerns. But there is also smuggling, illegal mining, and various crimes at sea. The Colombian Navy is responsible for safeguarding the nation’s maritime and river spaces, and constantly fights these crimes, protecting national sovereignty and national interests.Diálogo: What collaboration programs does the Colombian Navy have with other Latin American and Caribbean navies?Adm. Durán: Currently, the Colombian Navy has very good relations with Central American and Caribbean navies and coast guards, conducting annual operational exercises that strengthen the bonds of friendship and cooperation. Similarly, through our triangular cooperation, various academic opportunities are offered, which Central American countries use most, including courses in naval aviation, naval infantry, and coast guard intelligence. These courses are provided at our training schools.Diálogo: What kind of joint efforts do the Colombian Navy and the U.S. Navy conduct?Adm. Durán: We have an excellent relationship of mutual cooperation, through which we conduct different operations against narcotrafficking and related crimes, based on the maritime interdiction agreement both countries signed in 1997. We also have a longstanding tradition of combined training exercises—particularly PANAMAX, which we’ve attended in all its versions, and UNITAS, for which we, together with the U.S., are the only countries with uninterrupted participation.Diálogo: What were the net results of the Navy’s operations in 2017, and what is your forecast for 2018?Adm. Durán: In 2017, we dealt heavy blows to narcotrafficking and related crimes with the seizure of 175 tons of cocaine hydrochloride, which represents an economic impact of nearly $8.8 million. We prevented transnational criminal organizations from receiving approximately $6 billion from the sale of that narcotic, which is the amount the drugs would be worth in the United States. We also seized and destroyed all chemical supplies and production facilities needed to produce narcotics, and drug traffickers were also captured. It should be noted that in 2017, we seized the first submersible built entirely from naval steel and equipped with electric propulsion.Diálogo: What message do you have for navies of other countries in the region?Adm. Durán: The Colombian Navy makes its capabilities and level of involvement in this globalized world available to our partner nations to support the various international operations and humanitarian aid operations that contribute to the development of the region.last_img read more

Kenya’s Westgate mall to reopen in July

first_imgWestgate Mall re-opens; management promises more security Westgate victims remembered in Kenya Kenya Marks First Anniversary Since Westgate Siege center_img The Westgate shopping mall in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, closed after a siege and massacre carried out by Somali Islamists in 2013, is to reopen in July, its management said Tuesday.The mall, once one of the Kenyan capital’s most upmarket shopping centres, was devastated by an intense fire that broke out during the September 2013 attack by Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab gunmen that left at least 67 dead.Since then, the bullet-scarred building has been empty.But Westgate director Alex Trachtenberg, speaking at a prayer meeting on Tuesday, said tenants were returning and were expected to begin refitting stores ahead of a July opening.“As the management and directors of Westgate Mall, alongside our esteemed tenants, we are today joined in this interdenominational thanksgiving and prayer service as we prepare for the reopening sometime in July,” Trachtenberg said.Atul Shah, who heads the key regional supermarket chain Nakumatt, whose store in the mall was where many of the victims were slaughtered, said they were readying to reopen.“The fall of Westgate following the attack two years ago was a big blow to our business,” Shah said. “I am however glad to confirm that our customers, among other partners, have enabled us to overcome the challenges.”AFPRelatedlast_img read more

As L.A. falls, Phoenix rises

first_img“Nothing slipped away when you lose a game like that,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. “They played a 48-minute game and we played a 36-minute game.” Bryant scored 28 of his game-high 39 points in the first half, but missed nine of 10 shots in the fourth quarter. The Lakers scored only 10 points in the final period and shot 19 percent from the field. The Suns, emboldened by a third-quarter offensive turnaround, came into the final period trailing by three but then dominated all facets of the game. The Suns scored only 21points in the fourth quarter but got the job done by harassing Bryant on every possession and getting back to their run-and-gun offensive roots. “Tempo, tempo, tempo,” Lakers forward Lamar Odom said. “We can’t play at their tempo. We won’t get any good looks offensively and we had the ball shoved down our throats. It was like a football game where you see a team run it and run it and run it until they score, and that’s what they did.” Leandro Barbosa, who scored 26 points off the bench to lead the Suns, scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to give Phoenix a 79-77 lead, the Suns’ first lead since midway through the first period. The Suns wouldn’t trail again. The Lakers missed 13 of their first 15 shots in the fourth quarter and had their fate sealed when Bryant missed a 3-pointer with the Lakers trailing 93-87 in the final minute. Kwame Brown, expected to be a big factor in the series, didn’t fare well. Brown had fourpoints and seven rebounds in 27 minutes while Suns center Amare Stoudemire had 23points and 12 rebounds. Odom totaled 17 points and 16 rebounds, but no other Laker had more points than Luke Walton’s 10. “We were a lot more determined and focused, I think, in the first half,” Walton said. “I don’t know what it was (in the second half) but we just kept letting them run the ball out and offensively, our missed shots gave them a chance to run. We’re confident that we can play with these guys and get wins, but if we play like we did in the second half, it’s not going to happen.” As poorly as the second half went for the Lakers, the first two quarters couldn’t have been better. The Lakers kept the Suns’ offense in control and led 23-18 after one quarter. Bryant scored the Lakers’ final 15 points of the first half and did all the damage in an 11-2 run that gave the Lakers a 48-39 lead at the break. Then the third quarter began. The Lakers kept the lead – and built it to 12 points on Brown’s layup three minutes into the period – but the comeback seeds had already been planted by the Suns, who got the Lakers to play the type of up-tempo style that carried the Suns to 61 regular-season victories. Barbosa scored 10 of his team-high 26 points in the third quarter, including a 31-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer to pull the Suns within three points heading into the final period. The Suns, who totaled just 39 points in the first half, outscored the Lakers 35-29 in the third quarter. Gone were the stagnant Suns, the ones who never found a rhythm in the first half. Also gone by the fourth quarter, at least figuratively, was Bryant, who disputed Jackson’s assertion that he ran out of gas. “I was fine,” Bryant said. “We didn’t execute like we did in that first half. So, as a consequence, my touches became a lot harder. When they were doubling and tripling me in the first half we did a good job of picking off the ball and I was able to catch it and operate. In the second half, we got away from that.” They also got away from their plan of making Steve Nash score, rather than set up teammates. It worked well in the first quarter as Nash had only one assist, but Nash finished with 20points and 10 assists. “I don’t know what you can attribute the offensive struggles to,” Nash said, “but that’s something I don’t think will be a factor very long. … We need to give (the Lakers) credit, because they played with a lot of energy, but it was good the way we were mentally, hung in there and relied on our defense.” The Lakers have now lost four consecutive playoff games, all to the Suns. [email protected] (818) 713-3611160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PHOENIX – The only thing more shocking than the collapse was what preceded it. After a season of strife, sixmonths of bickering and limping, poor defending and losing, the Lakers put it all together in the first half Sunday afternoon and put themselves within reach of a stunning victory. But then the Phoenix Suns – at least the version of them that is widely recognized – took the court. Suddenly, instead of a sputtering half-court offense, the Suns ran the floor with confidence, just when Kobe Bryant ran out of gas. The Lakers, expected to be a footnote to the Suns’ championship run, put up a fight but faded in a 95-87 loss in Game 1 of the first-round series in front of 18,422 at US Airways Center. last_img read more

Miss Donegal 2019 calling for applicants

first_imgThe Miss Donegal pageant has launched a search for candidates for the 2019 competition.Winners of the regional titles take on an important role: becoming an ambassador for the county and going on to compete for the Miss Ireland crown and the chance to travel to the Miss World international pageant.Buncrana model Lauren Mc Donagh was the first Donegal woman to wear the Ireland crown in almost two decades back in 2017. She was followed by Sophie Devlin from Letterkenny, who is the reigning Miss Donegal 2018. Rebekah Coyle won a wildcard place last year to compete as Miss Donegal North West. Now, it’s time for a new face to wear the crown.Miss Ireland scouts are looking for young women aged 17-27 in Donegal to apply for the competition.There are no height restrictions, but applicants must have a direct connection to Donegal.Miss Ireland is one of the world’s longest running beauty pageants. Established in 1947, it has been the launch pad for many well known, successful and empowering women in Ireland. The competition has not only been successful for the overall winners of the coveted crown but finalists also credit Miss Ireland in helping build their confidence, self esteem, interview and media skills all elements which they have gone on to use in their chosen professional careers.To apply for the Miss Donegal selection, visit the Facebook page and send a private message to the team: https://www.facebook.com/missirelanddonegal/Miss Donegal 2019 calling for applicants was last modified: April 14th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:MIss Donegallast_img read more

E-manuals brighten South African classrooms

first_imgWith a tap, click or swipe across the screen children can access embedded videos, high quality photographs, maps, animations and pop-up boxes. A pupil shows how it is done. At the launch school children were ready to demonstrate how the technology works. Maramedia has adapted its printed manuals into colourful fully interactive digital manuals for tablet devices.(Images: Wilma den Hartigh) MEDIA CONTACTS • Daniella Hess   Grapevine Communications  +27 11 706 9600 RELATED ARTICLES • Digital drum boosts computer literacy • Education goes mobile with Vodacom • Mandela archive goes live • eBook focus at Cape Town Book Fair Wilma den HartighA South African publishing company has launched a new digital education tool that is transforming the classroom, inspiring a love for learning and improving academic performance by making education fun and interactive.Maramedia Publishing’s interactive digital manuals are a first for South Africa and are changing the way children experience education.The Johannesburg-based publishing company has until now produced printed manuals for children and teachers. The manuals, which comply with the Department of Basic Education’s curriculum policy statement, are a combination of textbooks, study guides and workbooks to supplement learning in the classroom.In keeping with modern technological trends, Maramedia has adapted their manuals into colourful fully interactive digital manuals (IDMs) for tablet devices.Advancing educationFormer South African president Nelson Mandela was once quoted saying that “education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world”, and Maramedia’s digital offering introduces a new way to address Madiba’s wish for all South Africans to receive a good education.Speaking at the launch event at Liliesleaf Farm in Rivonia on Nelson Mandela International Day, Maramedia CEO Gideon van Niekerk said the interactive and multimedia component of the IDM devices has become an essential learning tool.“The devices inspire pupils to be more adventurous in their work, bringing learning to life,” van Niekerk says.Browsing a digital manual is visually similar to turning the pages of a book, but because these books are digital children use taps, clicks or swipes across the screen to access embedded videos, high quality photographs, maps, animations and pop-up boxes.Unlike traditional textbooks, the manuals have been designed in full colour, which helps children to retain more information.Maramedia’s digital content has also received the stamp of approval of Google SA’s new media specialist, Brett St Clair. “The Maramedia content is one of the most advanced rich media experiences I have seen on smart devices,” St Clair said. “At Google we are incredibly excited about this type of content.”Going digital and changing education trendsMaramedia’s director of research and development, Deon Kotzé, said although printed material continues to be an important learning tool, children of today need an active learning environment.Today’s children are constantly engaging with social media such as Twitter, Facebook and instant messaging, and bringing modern technology into the classroom can only enhance learning.“It can inspire children to become lifelong learners and not just be passive recipients of knowledge,” Kotzé says.The layout is highly visual and every topic has review questions at the end of each section to test pupils’ level of understanding. Class activities and worksheets are also included.The facts are brought to life with photo galleries, animated diagrams and pop-up boxes with additional information on just about every page.“Research shows that real comprehension takes place through visual representation and interaction with content,” explains Kotzé. “If you don’t engage pupils and make them participants, you lose them.”Van Niekerk says introducing technology into education is important. “In the past 20 years, the education sector in South Africa has seen the least improvement and advancement compared to other sectors such as mining, banking or industry,” he says.The nuts and boltsThe content of the digital manuals can be downloaded on Android- and Apple-enabled tablets, or obtained on pre-loaded external memory cards.A major benefit is that the IDM doesn’t require internet or WiFi access to view the content.“Not everyone has internet access,” van Niekerk says, but despite this offline functionality, many users can still access the Internet to explore beyond what is covered in class by doing additional searches for information.One of the perceived drawbacks of the new initiative is the cost of tablets, but according to Maramedia, even the most well-known tablet brands have become more affordable of late.Another option is for teachers to use the tablets to project content onto whiteboards or smart boards in the classroom, while children use printed workbooks.This is one way for resource-poor schools to benefit from the new technology, as the digital content is similar to that of printed manuals, and could also prove to be more cost effective than printed books. Pupils will have fewer books to carry, too.The content is current and tackles issues such as renewable energy, global warming and the tsunami in Japan – everything that pupils would have heard about in the news. The content has been compiled from many sources and is constantly updated in keeping with curriculum changes.Benefits for teachersThe manuals aren’t just about making learning fun for children. The interactive component offers teachers many explanations, animations and 3D graphics to explain abstract concepts.This means teachers can spend more time teaching as they no longer have to spend hours trawling through many different resources to add to their lesson plans.“They will have more time to devote to engaging with their pupils, moulding their knowledge and focusing on personal interaction,” Kotzé said at the launch.last_img read more

Play Your Part episode nine: Get involved

first_imgHere’s how you can get involved with the guests on Play Your Part episode nine.“Lebone” is Sesotho for “light”. Avril Snyman works at the non-profit organisation, Lebone Village, which helps to bring hope, dignity and support by providing holistic care to vulnerable children, youth, their families and people affected by poverty. Most of the children are orphaned through HIV and Aids. (Images: Play Your Part)Brand South Africa reporterYou can lend a hand to initiatives such as Lebone Village, which is featured on this week’s episode of the Play Your Part television series.This is number nine of the 26-episode series, hosted by musician Kabelo Mabalane. The episode that features Lebone Village is aired on Saturday, 4 November 2017.Here’s how you can get involved with the guests:Avril SnymanSnyman and her team run Lebone Village, outside Bloemfontein. There are five centres in the village, namely Lebone House, Lebone Agriculture, Lebone Skills Centre, Lebone Counselling and Lebone Edu-Centre. They each serve a specific purpose. Lebone Agriculture, for example, provides for the children’s and community’s food and nutritional needs through gardens and raising chickens for eggs.Contact details:Website: www.lebonevillage.comTwitter: @lebonevillageMatona Ntshona-SakupwanyaMatona Ntshona-SakupwanyaNtshona-Sakupwanya is the general manager of the communication and marketing department at The Innovation Hub. It is wholly owned by the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency, and falls under the Gauteng provincial government. It offers a variety of incubation programmes and connects hi-tech entrepreneurs with industry professionals, academics and venture capitalists.Contact detailsWebsite: www.theinnovationhub.comTwitter: @InnovHub or FacebookLufefe NomjanaLufefe NomjanaNomjana, known as the Spinach King, started his business in 2011 with just R40. He made his first spinach bread at a neighbour’s house. Over the years he has scaled his business into a range of bakeries, eateries and a food delivery service.His products include spinach bread, spinach muffins and spinach smoothies.Contact detailsWebsite: www.spinachking.co.zaTwitter: @EspinacaInno or FacebookPlay Your Part is broadcast at 18:00 on Saturdays on SABC 2.To get involved in playing your part in South Africa:Check out the conversation on Twitter: #GetInvolved; orFind out about initiatives on Play Your Part here.Tell us how you Play Your Part through our social media channels:Follow us on Twitter: @PlayYourPartSA;Follow Brand South Africa on Twitter: @Brand_SA;Like us on Facebook: Official Brand South Africa.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

The Startup Bus: Is This How Outsiders See Startup Culture?

first_imgLast week The Startup Bus announced some changes to their original plans, allowing for 40 spots on the bus, which could just be for mentors, investors and journalists on top of the 12 main participants. By more than doubling the number of people riding the bus, its uncertain if they will still be able to secure a motor coach with beds, something they had originally planned. Regardless of the amenities, however, sleeping on a bus doesn’t come easy, beds or no beds.Issues have risen from collaboration events in the past surrounding intellectual property; when a group of people come together on an idea, who’s to say who owns it? The Startup Bus is tackling this problem by having participants auction off ideas to the highest bidder at the end of the trip, an interesting solution to IP disputes. But enough about The Startup Bus, this article really isn’t about them. This isn’t meant to be critical of their experiment, or of the man in Australia, or any other startup “challenge” for that matter. In fact, The Startup Bus actually seems like a interesting experiment in entrepreneurship that could leave the participants with lessons they will carry with them into their futures. Additionally, these groups are providing a unique experience that can actually foster good ideas through collaboration of entrepreneurs, programmers and business people. The real question here is do these kinds of experiments ultimately benefit the overall startup community? Or do they give a false impression about the time, dedication and persistence that are required to start a successful company? Are people outside of the startup culture receiving the wrong impression about the seriousness and validity of startups? Granted, the conclusion of events like these marks only the beginning for a possible company or product, but does the haste in which these groups and ideas are thrown together speak to their overall quality? Eric Woodward of Nambu made his opinion on this matter clear Monday night in his Twitter status below. Tags:#events#start Related Posts chris cameron Is Woodward right to be critical of The Startup Bus? Or is he missing the broader point? I would argue that events like these do have a benefit, especially to those directly involved. The mentorship received by the participants at Startup Weekend is certainly enough to make it worthwhile, not to mention the potential created by having a large group of smart people all in one room. When smart people get together, good things happen. The Startup Bus could certainly replicate this experience, but the challenges of being on a bus will undoubtedly make things tricky.However, one could also argue that these benefits come at a price by creating a false sense of what starting a company requires, though I doubt any of these events or organizations are actually trying to belittle these ideals. I’ll be interested to see what kinds of ideas manage to be built and launched by the Startup Bus participants when the group arrives at SXSW in a few weeks. This issue is bound to draw strong opinions on both sides, and that’s not a bad thing. Please let us know how you feel about this issue in the comments below. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Monday evening I was made aware of a particularly interesting promotion that will be taking place over the course of two days before South by Southwest (SXSW). The event, or tour, is called The Startup Bus, and will challenge 12 participants to create as many tech startups as possible during a 48 hour bus ride from San Francisco to SXSW in Austin. The question this event raises in my head is whether these “beat-the-clock” entrepreneurship experiments are actually healthy for the broader startup culture.This event isn’t the first of its kind; in fact, it closely resembles the Startup Weekend event series, just on wheels and with fewer people. We also reported back in January on an Australian man who was attempting to create and launch a startup in a week with just $500. Going solo is a little different than collaborating with a large group of entrepreneurs with the guidance of experienced mentors, which has helped Startup Weekend produce several success stories from their events. It’s unclear whether The Startup Bus will host a similar makeup of entrepreneurs and mentors, but what is clear is that they will face many challenges on the road to Austin.The participants will be crammed into a crowded bus for two days – not an ideal environment for constructive thought, at least not after the first day or so. A few years ago I took a two day bus ride of similar length from Madison, Wisconsin to my home in Phoenix, Arizona. I can attest that being on a bus (even a nice bus) for that long is not the most pleasant experience. I could have flown home, but I thought that a two-day bus ride with friends would be fun, and it was, but it was also exhausting. Sleeping, at least for me, was near impossible, and the claustrophobic nature of being packed elbow-to-elbow with 40-60 people (people I would even consider close friends) does not leave your brain in a great state, let alone foster the kind of critical thinking required by great entrepreneurs. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more