Three Nimba Senatorial Candidates Concede Defeat

first_imgThree of Nimba’s senatorial candidates who took part in the just ended special senatorial election have conceded defeat to the incumbent Senator Prince Y. Johnson.The defeated candidates, pledging their solidarity to the winner, Senator Johnson, appealed for their inclusion in the governance of the county.Dr. Joseph Kortoe, who was the first to concede, congratulated Senator Johnson for his victory and thanked the people of Nimba County for their decision which, according to him, will be highly respected.“The people of Nimba County have spoken and we are going to respect their views and we also thank our supporters for the level of support we received from them,” he said.Mrs. Edith Gongloe Weh, who was the main contender among the candidates, also congratulated Senator Johnson, but cautioned him to include them in the decision making of the county so that together they can develop the county.Madam Weh, a long serving Superintendent of Nimba, received votes from nearly all the polling centers in the County.  She emerged from the outset as runner up to Senator Johnson.The decisions of the political contenders to concede defeat appears to have solidified Nimba unity which had been rocky long before the political campaign began.At the close of the 2011 general election, Madam Weh took Senator Thomas Grupee to court, accusing him of not being a Liberian. Shortly after the case was settled, the issue of Nimba division became intense and many blamed her for masterminding it.The peaceful conduct of the election as well as the overwhelming result in favor of Senator Johnson is being considered the beginning of the transformation of Nimba in terms of unity and togetherness.Cllr. Yarmin Quiqui Gbeisay, who had been critical from the onset of the election, threatening a lawsuit should  there be any irregularity, was among the first to congratulate Senator Johnson for his victory.Cllr. Grupee said we were critical of the election not because we were against Senator Johnson.  Now that he has won, the game is over and we are going back to our usual businesses.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

In London, voting for identity

first_img16 April 2009 At 4am, London is dark and raining. While my taxi snakes me through the deserted streets, a trainee Jesuit priest is camped outside South Africa House. In the radio studio the BBC journalist asks why we vote, why it’s important, and that hackneyed scribbler question: how does it make you feel? Why did Matthew Charlesworth, our priest in the darkness and first London voter, queue in that deserted square? Obligation, duty, a desire to count and be counted as a South African. All the reasons that emerge from everyone I speak to, and my motivation too. Eventually every South African overseas is treated like a traitor. Someone who cut and ran and now talks the country down from the discomfort of a damp and foreign shore. Yet here we are in our thousands filling in forms, fishing out unused ID documents and lining up around the block to contribute our one, small, indelible cross. At the back of the queue is Heinrich Volmink, who travelled down from Glasgow in Scotland because it is a great honour and a patriotic duty to be here. So much passion and purpose swirls through this five-deep line. We stand only 25 metres from where Mandela gave his last speech to London – perhaps ever. He spent nine hours on the “freedom bus”, continues Heinrich, because my ancestors could not vote. Not everyone is as happy. Like a creature of caricature, a man stands with an old South Africa flag shirt. I suppose he too exercises a choice. We watch him like we would an exhibit. One foot in the old world and a vote in the new, I think. I doubt he will find peace, anywhere. Shame. After three radio interviews and breakfast, it’s time to vote. The early morning bankers, accountants and the priest have retreated to their terminals. Now the backpackers, students and out-of-work consultants shuffle forward in unison. You mustn’t lower your standard, says one man to a girl 20 years his junior as he inquires about her job. He doesn’t have one: tough times. London is South Africa’s largest polling station. Over seven and a half thousand citizens – almost twice as large as the next biggest venue. But our queue is orderly. The mood is good-natured, but also reflective. Examining my compatriots, it’s clear that for most of us, democratic elections are all we have ever known. As you would expect, it’s a mostly white queue with the occasional darker face. Around them cluster journalists: the British ones asking who they are voting for. My vote is my secret, we all say. Throughout, I “tweet” from my phone. These micro-blogging sms’s capture the moment when a man claiming to be a Freedom Front Plus candidate marches up to the door demanding to see the electoral officer. I leave them in a huddle and fill in my forms. First an envelope with your name and voter district number. Then downstairs to check documents, receive a ballot and cast my vote. I get three calls in the voting booth. Your smile has stamina, I say to the official, and we all chuckle. It will be a long day, but so far it is going smoothly: if all your documents are in order. So why did I vote? To reaffirm my citizenship; to exercise my rights; to respect my heroes and dignify their sacrifices and yes, to make a difference. Though Rudi Talmakkies from Saldanha said it best: Obama gave people a totally new view. The youth realise they are part of the solution. For me, that works. Timothy Schultz is deputy head of communications and marketing at The Learning Trust, a not-for-profit company that runs all the education services for the London borough of Hackney. A South African who has lived in London for about eight years, Schultz is an active member of the Global South Africans network.last_img read more

MH370: Searchers confident it will be found!

first_imgThe Australian led international team looking for MH370 is confident that it will be found within the next year.Yesterday Martin Dolan Chief Commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau told the UK’s Express that he is confident the wreckage will be found soon.MH370 went missing on March 8 last year with 239 passengers and crew aboard on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8 last year.However despite the most expensive and comprehensive search in aviation history no trace has been found of the Boeing 777.“Once we started looking and defining the search area, it became quite clear it could take up to two years,” Mr Dolan told Express.“We still remain confident it will be found in the next year and all the analysis we have puts the aircraft somewhere in that large search area.”Mr Dolan said that there is “no more information that would allow us to calculate a different area and governments accept that.”Almost half of the 120,000sq km area has been searched so far with the expectation that it will take another 12 months to complete the task.Mr Dolan rejects all the rumours saying that “all the information we have puts the aircraft in this defined search area.”“The crews and equipment being used are excellent and the data we’re receiving is of a quality beyond the specifications yet.“If we have to search the entire area, it will be completed this time next year but we expect to find the aircraft before then.”The primary countries involved and or funding the search are Australia, Malaysia and China, although the UK, USA, France and The Netherlands are technical contributors.MH370: Pilot knows where it isMH370: Only human inputlast_img read more

Brand South Africa calls on citizens for humanitarian support following a massive fire in Alexandra

first_imgJohannesburg, Friday, 07 December 2018 – Brand South Africa calls on citizens for humanitarian support following a massive fire in Alexandra (Alex) on Thursday, 06 December 2018. The Johannesburg emergency services managed to distinguish the blaze preventing further damage to the area.The fire has displaced hundreds of people, according to emergency services spokesperson, Nana Radebe, “at least 500 shacks have been destroyed, leaving 150 families displaced”.Brand South Africa calls on all to unite, play their part and assist with providing humanitarian support in the form of food, water, shelter which can be delivered to Alex and the Sandton fire station. It is imperative now more than ever to be reminded that “a nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.”Brand South Africa applauds Gift of the Givers who are on site in Alex providing aid and have moved a mother who gave birth yesterday and another with four children who lost everything in the fire, to their Logistics Centre in Bramley.In a statement Gift of the givers said; “our teams are registering the rest of the victims and transporting them to a nearby hall where we are providing food, bottled water, blankets and mattresses. During the course of today, further appropriate interventions will be effected”.Gift of the Givers on-site contact person, Emily Thomas 083 652 0315.last_img read more

Droid Becomes Fastest-Selling Android Phone to Date?

first_imgThe Motorola Droid is the newest smartphone on the market to compete for the iPhone’s crown. Released by Verizon Wireless on November 6th, the Droid’s advertising campaign has been a full-frontal attack on the popular Apple smartphone with a heavy focus on what the iPhone doesn’t do. “iDon’t run simultaneous apps, iDon’t have a real keyboard, iDon’t take 5-megapixel pictures,”taunts Verizon’s Droid ad. But did the message get through to potential phone buyers? It appears that it did…at least according to mobile analytics firm Flurry. In their latest report, the company found that the Droid is now the fastest-selling Android phone to date, beating the sales of the myTouch 3G by more than four times.Droid Sales Look GoodFlurry’s analytics service monitors over 10,000 mobile applications on both the iPhone and Android, or approximately two out of every three iPhone and Android handsets on the market. While obviously this isn’t a look at the mobile ecosystem as a whole, it’s a big enough slice to form some initial conclusions about the popularity of the latest mobile device to run Android, Google’s mobile operating system. By monitoring the new Android devices on Flurry’s system, the company estimated the first-week sales for the Droid handsets as compared with both the myTouch 3G and Apple’s iPhone 3GS. Although the iPhone still outsold the Droid within its first week, Flurry notes that the iPhone simultaneously launched in 8 countries worldwide while the Droid only launched in the U.S. It’s also important to note that the iPhone 3GS was just the latest model of the iPhone to arrive on the market, it is not the original device. Prior to the 3GS, the iPhone had two previous versions, the second which finally allowed for 3G cellular access and GPS capabilities. This update made the iPhone 3G a hugely popular upgrade and the company sold 1 million or so units on their opening weekend. Comparing the third generation iPhone to the first version of the Droid isn’t a true “apples to apples” comparison, but on the other hand, the comparison of the T-Mobile myTouch 3G and the Droid is. According to Flurry, Droid is dramatically outselling the myTouch 3G based on first week sales. That may say something about the quality of the Droid’s hardware, the impact of a good marketing campaign or perhaps even people’s frustrations with the iPhone’s limitations. Or maybe a little of each. Then again, Verizon has nearly triple the number of subscribers as T-Mobile, so they already have a head start.The Growing Power of AndroidIn the end, while we can’t take any of these numbers to the bank, what we can learn is that the Android OS is making serious headway in the smartphone market. Although no one Android phone on its own may beat the iPhone, as more and more “worthy competitors” launch on numerous hardware platforms, the Android OS’s install base may eventually catch up to that of the iPhone’s.  In any event, that’s what Google believes. In a recent earnings call, Google CEO Eric Schmidt proclaimed that “Android adoption is about to explode,” citing 12 Android phones on 32 carriers in 26 countries. Research firm Gartner predicts that the Android OS may end up ranking second worldwide by 2012. However, if more of the Android launches prove to be as successful as it appears the Droid’s may be, Android may move up the charts even faster than predicted. Of course, who ends up on top all depends on Apple’s next move. If the company decides to launch their phone on more carriers, all bets are off. If that’s the case, Apple’s market share could double, says Morgan Stanley’s Kathryn Huberty. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that Android would be left far behind. “Android is “backed by the power of Google’s search engine,” said Huberty. “Google’s other up-and-coming consumer and enterprise products should make [Android] a dominant platform.” sarah perez Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Tags:#Google#mobile#Trends#web Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

Next Generation Mobile Homes

first_imgUnusual features for a mobile homeVHCB said in a report on the project that the U.S.Department of Housing and Urban Development first developed standards for manufactured housing in the mid-1970s. They’ve been updated several times since then, but mobile homes still put their occupants at a big energy disadvantage and they’ve long been disparaged as poorly built.“Replacing poor quality but very inexpensive homes with homes of better quality that cost more must be considered in the context of the fact that nationally 41% of mobile home-dwellers have incomes below 50% of the area median,” the VHCB says.The prototype includes features that plenty of conventional stick-built houses still don’t have:Double 2×4 walls on 24-in. centers creating 10-in. wall cavities insulated to R-43 with blown-in fiberglass insulation.5/8-in. gypsum wallboard on the interior glued to the studs.5/8-in. Zip System roof sheathing covered with Grace Ice & Water Shield.Roof trusses 24 in. on center with 14 in. of blown-in fiberglass (R-60), plus a floor system insulated to R-44 and sealed with Zip System sheathing and tape.A Conditioning Energy Recovery Ventilator, or CERV that combines an air-source heat pump with a ventilation system that monitors carbon dioxide, humidity, and volatile organic compounds in the air and adjusts ventilation rates as needed.Triple-glazed awning and casement windows manufactured by PVC Industries.A heat-pump water heater.This new breed of mobile home isn’t cheap; the homes cost roughly $100,000 each. But, says VHCB, energy accounts for nearly half of monthly housing costs in a conventional HUD-certified mobile home but should total only 16% in a high-performance model. Renewable energy systems strongly recommendedWith the addition of a rooftop photovoltaic array, this type of the house is designed for net-zero energy operation, says Peter Schneider, a senior energy consultant with Efficiency Vermont, which provides energy efficiency services for Vermont ratepayers and took part in the pilot program.An array of up to 5.5 kW in capacity can be installed on a home 66 ft. long, and 6 kW systems can be installed on a 70-ft. model, Schneider says. That’s about all these roofs will hold, but it should be enough for net-zero operation, and reduce monthly power bills to the service charge alone.“You’re going from a conventional mobile home that is looking at $200 to $300 a month for their total energy costs and taking it down to $16 a month if they put the PV on it,” Pasho said, adding that the quality of construction also is much higher than a conventional mobile home.“For this project we’re working with the state and building them as single module homes with the configuration of a traditional mobile home because they’re designed to be replacement homes in [mobile home] parks,” he said. “You can’t come in and put a nice ranch in there because the park layout is for sausages.”Schneider said a blower-door test of the first unit showed air leakage of 0.9 air changes per hour at 50 pascals of pressure. Once the units are set on their sites and all penetrations for utilities are sealed, the results might be somewhat better. Air leakage rates also may be reduced as Vermod crews gain more experience.The HERS rating will be in the single digits, Schneider said, with the exact number still to be determined based on values allowed for the CERV unit.In all, Pill-Maharam designed one-, two- and three-bedroom models, including one that is ADA-compliant. Pill said the goal was to make the buildings as space- and energy-efficient as possible while keeping them aesthetically pleasing and low in cost. UPDATED on November 6, 2013 with information on the design teamA high-performance mobile home that will use a fraction of the energy of standard manufactured housing and rival the energy efficiency and quality of advanced stick-built homes has made its public debut in Vermont.The first of 10 mobile homes to be produced under the Manufactured Housing Innovation Project was unveiled Oct. 23 in White River Junction, Vermont. The “single-wide” mobile homes, roughly 14 ft. wide and either 66 ft. or 70 ft. long, have features common for high-performance houses but virtually unheard of in manufactured housing: double stud walls, triple-glazed windows, and more than a foot of blown-in insulation in the roof.The project to develop this new type of mobile home is a response to Tropical Storm Irene, which brought widespread damage to Vermont in 2011. Although mobile homes make up just 7% of the state’s housing stock, they represented 15% of the homes damaged in the storm, according to the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board (VHCB).The year after Irene barreled through the state, VHCB, with help from the High Meadows Fund and others, launched an effort to improve mobile home design. They were prompted not only by the disproportionate storm damage but also by two studies published in 2012 that showed people who live in mobile homes pay a lot more for energy than do those who live in stick-built houses.A working group of two dozen or more people joined the effort. Vermod High Performance Manufactured Housing in White River Junction is building them. The houses were designed by Pill-Maharam Architects of Shelburne, VT, in collaboration with Vermod.“This ain’t no mobile home,” Vermod General Manager Chet Pasho said by telephone. “It just looks like one at 50 miles an hour going down the road. This is a high-performance modular home that right how we’re building on mobile home geometry.”center_img People in many states could benefitImproved air quality and energy efficiency would be a big boost in Vermont, where winters are long and common fossil fuels like oil and kerosene are expensive. But Vermont is actually in the middle of the pack in terms of the percentage of total housing represented by mobile homes. The U.S. Census bureau says 6.9% of all Vermont houses were mobile homes in 2008.Elsewhere, the fraction is much higher. The top three states are South Carolina (17.9%), New Mexico (16.4%) and Mississippi (15.2%). And if Vermont’s case is any guide, lots of these mobile homes are showing serious signs of age.“Over 22% of mobile homes in Vermont are pre-1976, the year that the HUD standards went into effect,” the VHCB report says. “These homes are aging out and will need to be replaced with something. Having a super-energy efficient alternative is an important option.“In addition, 45% of Vermont’s mobile home or manufactured housing stock is pre-1990. Although a 25-year-old home is not particularly old if it is stick built, some manufactured homes of this vintage are also beginning to show signs of significant deterioration.”One big problem is how buyers with low incomes will be able to afford $100,000 mobile homes. Although buyers for these first high-performance homes will be eligible for subsidies, a used HUD- certified model can be had for as little as $8,000. Many mobile home park residents don’t have mortgages, and might not be interested or able in taking out a big loan for a new mobile home, no matter how energy efficient it might be.Pasho says the $100,000 price tag does not include a foundation or utility hookups, but early buyers will get a helping hand from subsidies and loans that could bring the cost to as little as $35,000. That’s what the buyer of the first unit will pay.last_img read more

Doctors stir: Home Ministry sends advisory to West Bengal

first_imgAs the stand off between the West Bengal government and the junior doctors of the State-run hospitals continued for the sixth consecutive day on Saturday, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) sought an urgent report from the State government on the on-going strike and also issued an advisory on the issue The Ministry said, “This Ministry is in receipt of a number of representations from doctors, and medical associations from different parts of country for their security in view of the ongoing strike by doctors in West Bengal. It is requested that a detailed report be sent urgently on the ongoing strike by the doctors.”Though Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claimed her government had accepted “all demands of the protesting doctors”, the protesting junior doctors persisted with their demand that the Chief Minister visit the Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital (NRSMCH).last_img