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SA passport made more secure

first_imgSecurity measures similar to this Canadian passport will now be used to make the South African passport safer. (Image: Security-int)Khanyi MagubaneAs part of the Department of Home Affairs’ turnaround strategy, from 8 April 2009 South Africans applying for a passport will receive a document with improved security features, making it more difficult to forge.Talking to the media on 2 April, Department of Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said the document will see a significant improvement in the security of the South African passport.“One of the major differences between the old and new passport is the pure polycarbonate data page that replaces the current security paper data page with its overlay film.“Personal data will in future be laser-engraved into the data page instead of being printed on the overlay film,” she said.The introduction of the new document is part of a strategy to overhaul the department’s system, with the emphasis on increased efficiency and security.In addition, the department intends on dealing with the backlog challenges, which is currently slowing down the issuing of birth, marriage and death certificates.According to Mapisa-Nqakula, the home affairs team is hard at work in dealing with the influx of refugees.“Another area in which huge improvements are balanced by remaining challenges is the issue of refugees.“Despite the far-reaching improvements we have made to our processes, the fact is that our systems were not designed to deal with the number of people entering our country at the moment,” the minister said.Mapisa-Nqakula said with the help of the new online verification system, when passports are produced at immigration points, the fingerprints that appear on them would be checked against those that appear on the online system to verify its authenticity.To this end, the department is expected to open the Tshwane Interim Refugee Reception center during April.Heeding an international callOne of the main contributing factors that prompted the department to make the move towards a new, safer passport was the high number of fraudulent South African passports being used to enter countries abroad.In the United Kingdom, the situation deteriorated to a point where that country’s government enforced a visa requirement for South African visitors to the country, who previously did not need one.A statement issued by the British High Commission highlighted its concern at the ease with which illegal South African passports were being made available.“[It is a] big concern and an unacceptable threat to the United Kingdom’s borders with regards to illegal migration and national security.”Since the beginning of March, all South Africans without a previous UK stamp in their passports are required to obtain a visitor’s visa from the UK High Commission. This system will be in place until the issue of fraudulent South African passports is reviewed at a later stage.The holiday visa will now cost South Africans R991 (£65). A transit visa will cost R686 (£45).Despite home affairs’ new passport regulations, the UK government says the updated documents will not necessarily change their minds about the visas.“We are very happy with the steps the South African government is taking to improve its passport but it doesn’t mean that the visa requirements will be reconsidered soon,” said Russ Dixon, the spokesperson for the British High Commission.  Dixon says the waiver to the visa requirement would be considered only at a later stage.Mapisa-Nqakula agreed that their negotiations with the British government were ongoing, “We talk continuously with the British government and have a good relationship.”She said with the help of the new online verification system, when passports are produced at immigration points, the fingerprints that appear on them would be checked against those that appear on the online system to ensure a match.Meanwhile, the department’s counter-corruption unit will continue to work in partnership with the South African Police Service and National Intelligence Agency to identify staff members within the department involved in corruption and fraud.So far, 66 home affairs officials were arrested and a further 18 suspended on allegations of fraud during the 2008/2009 financial year.Do you have any comments or queries about this article? Email Khanyi Magubane at: [email protected] Related articlesUK promises visa flexibilityUnivisa for SA tourists Expats allowed to vote overseas  Useful linksDepartment of Home AffairsBritish high commissionlast_img read more


USDA Touts Locks, Dams ROI

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Chris ClaytonDTN Ag Policy EditorALTON, Ill. (DTN) — Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is pushing for increased spending on locks and dams in the upper Mississippi River and Illinois River so U.S. agriculture can boost sales and remain competitive in the coming decades.Perdue released a USDA study Wednesday stating that spending $6.3 billion over the next 10 years to upgrade the lock and dam system would boost agricultural sales as much as $142 billion through 2045.“This is where we need to be folks, right here,” Perdue told a group of farmers, local officials and barge industry representatives at the Alton, Illinois, lock and dam.The secretary frequently pointed to the “rate of return” from boosting investment to $6.3 billion in Corps of Engineers construction funds, which would boost GDP by $72 billion over time. Perdue added that global competitors are investing in infrastructure, and he noted that China is investing in Brazilian infrastructure. “If we want to remain as the superpower for food in the world, this is what we have got to do,” Perdue said.The secretary said global competitiveness was the driver behind the report. Perdue noted the production of corn and soybeans in the U.S. has a great deal to do with access to the waterways for exports. “Everybody is for infrastructure and wants to invest in infrastructure, but what difference does it make? I’m a return on investment guy, and that is what we wanted to have was a valid argument we could take to Congress to show this is what we get back when we are willing to invest,” Perdue said.The USDA report proposes a few scenarios for increased investment in inland waterways through 2045, or maintaining the status quo and reducing investment. Increased investment in the river would boost employment by 77,000 jobs and increase gross domestic product by $72 billion. Agricultural sales would rise from $354 billion to $496 billion, or 40%, over that time. Reducing investment in locks and dams would curb jobs, GDP and agricultural sales by nearly comparable amounts, the report stated.While calling for $6.3 billion more in direct construction investment over 10 years, the USDA analysis calls for increased funding through 2045 to rehabilitate existing locks and conduct routine maintenance that would cost just under $36 billion over that time span.USDA shows the costs of a metric ton of U.S. soybeans last year to Shanghai, China, — including the farm-gate price, was about $397.45 while from Mato Grosso, Brazil, the costs were $402.80. With increased investment, those costs in the U.S. could come down about 4% to around $380.25 a ton.Also taking part in the report release was R.D. James, assistant secretary for the U.S. Army Civil Works Division. James farms cotton, corn and soybeans in southeast Missouri, but also has served multiple stints on the Mississippi River Commission, which oversees management of the river south of St. Louis to the Gulf of Mexico. James pointed out roughly 60% of corn exports move down the Mississippi River and roughly 40% of all agricultural exports move down the river.“I know the importance of this river and the inland waterways system to farmers,” James said.James noted most of the locks and dams on the Mississippi were built in the 1930s and ’40s. They were also built at a much quicker pace than similar Corps of Engineers projects now take today.Constant delays and repairs up and down the river all translate into widening basis for farmers, James added. The system now can often be compared to a two-lane highway in which traffic has been shifted down to just one lane, he said. James said some locks have smaller lock chambers that require barges to break apart and move through in segments, taking up hours at a time.“Improvements to this lock and dam system are crucial for the American farmer,” James said. He later added, “Basis affects all of us.”The Corps has been focused this spring and summer on flood recovery on both the Mississippi and the Missouri rivers. James said that can affect overall congressional appropriations for the Corps spending. “Congress basically has in their minds the top limits, and they are only going to give the Corps so many dollars, and if the Corps has to put that in flood recovery, they will, instead of construction projects,” James said.Perdue and James called on agricultural groups, the barge industry and local officials to begin aggressively lobbying congressional appropriators to increase funding for lock and dam projects. An official for the Iowa Department of Transportation at the meeting noted that upgrading locks and dams is one of Iowa DOT’s main priorities, because state highways cannot handle the volume of commodity traffic that the Mississippi River can carry.A full copy of the USDA study, “Importance of Inland Waterways to U.S. Agriculture,” can be found here: https://www.ams.usda.gov/…Chris Clayton can be reached at [email protected] him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN(CZ/BAS)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more


Acquittal of stepfather on sex assault charges based on stereotypes Appeal Court

first_imgMONTREAL — The Quebec Court of Appeal has overturned a man’s acquittal on eight charges of sexually assaulting his stepdaughter, ruling that the trial judge was too quick to dismiss the testimony of the alleged victim.Asserting that “nobody saw anything” to assess the credibility of a young complainant is not in keeping with the law, the Appeal Court concluded in a unanimous decision released Thursday.“Certain comments of the judge suggest a stereotypical attitude concerning sexual assaults of children,” Justice Simon Ruel wrote for the three-judge appeal panel.Ruel said the trial judge, Denise Descoteaux of Quebec court, was wrong to imply the testimony of the alleged victim had to be corroborated to be credible. The assaults are alleged to have taken place over a period of six years when the girl was aged between six and 12. She was 15 when she testified at the trial in 2017.In her ruling, Descoteaux was skeptical of the stepfather’s claim that he was never alone with the child because he spent the entire day on his land cutting wood, year-round. The judge called his testimony “not transparent, not reliable, not sincere and not credible.”Yet she acquitted him, finding a reasonable doubt because of the limited reliability of the testimony of the girl, who had been unable to provide many details of the alleged assaults. The judge also questioned how the abuse could have gone on for so long without anyone noticing.The Appeal Court said the trial judge evaluated the complainant’s testimony as if she were an adult. It noted that it is understandable that a young child would not have the words to describe what she had suffered. And it said sexual abuse is a crime committed away from the view of others, often in the context of a relationship of trust or authority.It has ordered a new trial for the accused, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the alleged victim.Stephanie Marin, The Canadian Presslast_img read more


Stars Donate To Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

first_imgStars have been showing their support for victims of Hurricane Harvey this week. Leonardo DiCaprio has pledged $1 million dollars through the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation to the United Way Harvey Recovery Fund. “We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of Leonardo DiCaprio and his foundation,” United Way Worldwide president and CEO Brian Gallagher said in a statement. “Responding to Hurricane Harvey requires the best of all of us — and that’s what this gift represents.” Solange has organised a series of shows to raise money for relief efforts. Sandra Bullock has pledged $1 million to relief efforts. Miley Cyrus is accepting donations through her Happy Hippy Foundation, and donated $500,000 herself. Kim Kardashian and family have donated $500,000 to the Red Cross. Rita Ora volunteered at a shelter for evacuees in Houston. Kevin Hart donated $50,000 and started a celebrity challenge that has so far raised over $1 million.last_img read more


Indigenous issues find new outlet through Occupy movement

first_imgAPTN National NewsIt is a global movement aimed at corporate greed.But in many parts of the country Aboriginal groups have jumped aboard the Occupy movement to bring the issues of homelessness, high unemployment and deplorable living conditions to the forefront.APTN National News reporter Tiar Wilson has the story.last_img


APTN turns 20 We werent supposed to succeed

first_imgThe APTN team in front of headquarters in downtown Winnipeg.Kathleen MartensAPTN NewsEverything about the world’s first national Indigenous television network seemed destined for failure.Asking the public to name it (the lucky winner received a Sony VCR), petitioning the Canadian Radio Television Commission (CRTC) for mandatory carriage and subscriber fees, producing only a weekly (not nightly) newscast.Yet, the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) continues to defy critics as it celebrates 20 years this month.“Remember, we weren’t supposed to succeed,” says Dan David, the first news director.“We were supposed to fail. It wasn’t supposed to exist.”The network was founded Sept. 1, 1999 in Winnipeg, Man., where it broadcasts a now-daily newscast to more than 11 million subscribers.It produces a variety of news and current affairs content on air and online, operates two radio stations (in Toronto and Ottawa), while its reporters regularly win national journalism awards alongside Canada’s mainstream media outlets.Failure, it seems, was not an option.“The stakes were so high,” said David, an award-winning journalist and media trainer.“We knew that if we failed… we wouldn’t be failing a network, a corporation, a company, we would be failing all Indigenous people – not just for now but for generations to come.”It was against that backdrop that APTN unveiled its original broadcast schedule in April, 1999 on two channels: APTN North and APTN South.“It was a combination of ancient classics from the National Film Board, re-runs of movies featuring any Indigenous actor in any role, and Northern Native Broadcast Access Program (NNBAP) programs – some of the first original Indigenous programming produced in Canada,” recalls Jean LaRose, APTN’s CEO since 2002.Timeline: A look at APTN over the past two decadesIf timeline does not appear, click hereIt was NNBAP – a federal government initiative that funded television and radio stations run by 13 Indigenous communications societies across the North – that helped pave the way for APTN.It lobbied hard for money and equipment to make its own programs – the way it was done in the South –claiming shows pnly in English with mostly white faces was helping erode Indigenous culture.But they needed a cable operator to carry their shows.“They had to convince the CRTC that Indigenous broadcasting was vital to Canadian broadcasting,”– Jocelyn Formsma.After years of meetings and negotiations (and tears, according to some), a new organization called Television Northern Canada (TVNC) was formed, which eventually applied to the CRTC to establish an Indigenous broadcaster.“However, it did not come without a fight,” notes Jocelyn Formsma, chair of APTN’s board of directors.“They had to convince the CRTC that Indigenous broadcasting was vital to Canadian broadcasting.”In 1998, the commission was convinced.It approved a national broadcast licence with a distribution model never granted before –  making APTN a mandatory service and allowing it to collect subscriber fees.(In 2018, APTN was instrumental in launching two radio stations. One in Toronto and the other in Ottawa)Something a CBC executive (and former commissioner with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada) opposed.“Marie Wilson, Director of CBC North, was dubious about the potential for revenue generation,” writes Jennifer David, the network’s first director of communications in her book “Original People. Original Television: The launching of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network.”“She pointed out that CBC was considered a public broadcaster with a nationally licensed network on basic cable, but didn’t collect subscriber fees. ‘How can TVNC become a public, national network,’ she asked, ‘and at the same time ask for subscriber fees?’”The answer was that TVNC – and ultimately APTN – would set a precedent and do both.There was no doubt, APTN benefited from and would later improve upon the southern programming being beamed into northern communities via satellite.Rosemarie Kuptana, an early member of the Aboriginal broadcast movement, described the introduction of television to Inuit communities as a “neutron bomb – one that leaves the outer shell of the people walking around but kills the soul.”Jennifer David, in her book, says the new medium was completely disconnected from northerners, with “only the rarest glimpses of themselves – and always through southern eyes.”“Aboriginal people are the original inhabitants of the land we now call Canada. So how did Aboriginal Canadians become the outsiders?”(Indigenous Day Live shows run across the country and the network)APTN’s future was never assured or secured. It still appears regularly before the CRTC to defend its mandate and, sometimes, very existence.But it is no longer a baby.It is a 20-year accomplishment representing a generation of Indigenous television, with a core audience in thousands of Indigenous communities.“If you want to look at numbers,” wrote its editorial employees in a submission to the CRTC in 2005, “then what you should look at is the number of communities that have been enfranchised with access to a mass medium free press through the arrival of APTN.“In fact, in our opinion, the sheer number of communities where people are tuning in to a directly relevant national media – and the possibility of local coverage – has grown more through APTN‘s first licence period than at any time since CBC first went on the air.”[email protected]@katmartelast_img read more


Lovren Ramos isnt a great defender

first_imgLiverpool defender Dejan Lovren aimed a subtle dig at Real Madrid counterpart Sergio Ramos by claiming that he’s not even that greatThe Croatia international gave his views on the current best defenders in the game and made a big claim on Ramos, while praising Liverpool teammate Virgil Van Dijk.“Virgil I would say (is among the best),” Lovren told Copa90’s FIFA and Chill series.“We had a great season last season, me and him, we reached the final of the Champions League.”The 29-year-old, who grabbed headlines over the World Cup for comments on his own abilities, also rates Real’s Raphael Varane and Paris Saint-Germain captain Thiago Silva.“I like Varane, he deserves a lot of credit, he doesn’t get it as much as Ramos gets. I don’t agree with that.“Definitely Varane is better, this season and previous seasons. He won the Champions League and the World Cup. He should be the best defender in the world and they chose Ramos.“I always consider Thiago Silva. He is really a good experienced player, he isn’t that tall but can jump quite high. He is strong.”divock origi, liverpoolReport: Origi cause Klopp injury concerns George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Divock Origi injury in today’s game against Newcastle is a cause for concern for Jurgen Klopp.Perhaps with one eye on Tuesday’s trip to Italy…On Ramos, Lovren said: “If you look, Ramos has many more mistakes than me.“But he plays for Real Madrid, when you do a mistake you win 5-1 or 5-2, nobody cares about the mistake.“I’m quite unlucky in that when I make a mistake it’s 1-0 and the game is finished!“But without mistakes, you cannot be where you are. Everyone is a human being, sometimes people have a bad week at home, nobody cares about that.“Every player is their biggest critic. When I make a mistake, I don’t talk to my wife for a week, for a year, I don’t know, I don’t care!“You want to punch somebody but you have to stay calm inside and be professional.”last_img read more


Family Circle Uses Refresh to Continue Growth Momentum

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Googles New Recruiting App Helps Entrepreneurs Searching for Talent

first_img 5 min read Register Now » January 19, 2018 In May 2017, Google launched Google for Jobs, a platform designed to link those looking for a new job to potential employers. Aside from this, the company’s search engine is one of the most powerful for undertaking job searches online because it allows people to find opportunities across a multitude of platforms some of which include LinkedIn, DirectEmployers and even Facebook, among many others.But, since then, Google has taken its professional matchmaking technology to a new level, giving candidates and employers alike the chance to meet the right people at the right time, all in one place. Not only this, the company’s new platform, Hire, is designed to offer both parties a seamless experience from the moment communications commence to the moment a hire takes place.In my most recent YouTube show on the Murray Newlands Show, I met with Google employee Berit Hoffmann to discuss Google’s Hire in more depth. According to the website, Hire is a recruitment application that allows companies to better recruit candidates through with G Suite. It gives big and small companies alike the chance to:Identify new talentCommunicate with potential candidatesOrganize interviewsCreate full assessments regarding candidatesHere are some questions that Berit was happy to answer regarding Google’s new recruitment platform:Related: Why Microsoft, Chase and Others Are Hiring More People With AutismHow does Hire help entrepreneurs?“Great, well, I’m excited to be here. So Hire is a recruiting application that we launched back in July.” According to Berit, “the way it helps entrepreneurs is that it helps them run more efficiently and more collaboratively. One of the best things it does is help hire great people.”She went on to explain how the team running the Hire program specifically spent a lot of time with clients in order to fully understand how they’re currently recruiting new team members. During this research, the team found that companies across the globe are using a lot of Google products to run a variety of recruiting activities.For example, G Suite is being used to send candidates and recruits emails regarding potential jobs. Not only this, it is being used to send emails about details regarding interviews. With this in mind, Google has created Hire to not only fully understand how the recruitment process works but to streamline and simplify it.Through Hire, Google aims to stop companies wanting to employ new people having to switch between general purpose tools to get the job done. In Berit’s words “Hire really understands how the recruitment process is run and helps them run it more efficiently.”Related: How to Avoid Hiring a PsychopathWhat are the specific stages of how Hire works with a company?According to Berit, Hire can help hiring companies undertake a variety of tasks, all from the comforts of one platform. Aside from allowing companies to post to job boards and public labs, the platform allows organizations to also collect applications from candidates.From the Hire platform, you can communicate with all potential candidates and keep those communications safe for future reference. Not only this, you can also collect interview feedback and schedule new interviews without leaving your platform. Lastly, you can sieve through old applications and find great talent from people that you may have interviewed in the past.Ultimately, Hire is a one-stop shop for both people looking for jobs and companies hiring. It syncs seamlessly with Gmail and Google Calendar, allowing you to stop bouncing between products to schedule meetings and send emails. It’s the perfect place to create the ultimate collaboration with new employees by making tracking applicants easy while also enabling you to nurture the candidates you value most for each available position within your company.Related: Simply Hiring More Women Isn’t Enough to Fix Tech’s Gender IssueIf people want to find out more where do they go?Berit closed her interview with me by saying that you can find out more about Hire by visiting Hire.Google.com. Aside from learning more about the application itself, you’ll be able to request a demo from the team and get in touch in order to get your Hire platform up and running.The pricing for Hire depends on the size of each individual organization. In order to start using the platform, you must:Already be using G Suite productsHave fewer than 1,000 employeesBe based in the United StatesWith each signup, Google helps you by migrating any existing data you have in order to provide a fully seamless user experience. Not only this, the platform comes with full, ongoing support via email, chat and phone, seven days a week. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.last_img read more


First look at Crystal Endeavor new look for Crystal Serenity

first_img Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> 1 2 3 4Next Tags: Crystal Cruises, Openings & Renovations Posted bycenter_img First look at Crystal Endeavor; new look for Crystal Serenity MIAMI — Crystal is giving the industry its first look at Crystal Endeavor, set to debut in 2020 as the cruise line’s first expedition yacht.At 19,800 GRT Crystal bills the all-suite, purpose-built polar class yacht as the largest and most spacious expedition yacht in the world.Crystal President and CEO Tom Wolber shared some of Crystal Endeavor’s design features planned at Seatrade Cruise Global in Fort Lauderdale.“Crystal’s entrance into the expedition cruising industry is a natural response to the demand from an increasing segment of travelers, craving more immersive and active experiences in lesser known destinations around the world,” says Wolber.Dining options will include Prego, serving traditional Italian fare, Crystal’s signature ‘Vintage Room’ winemaker dinners; and Umi Uma headlined by Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa.Solarium onboard Crystal EndeavorThe yacht will also feature the main dining venue, Waterside; the Asian-inspired Silk Kitchen & Bar, located in the two-storey solarium during the evenings; and the European-inspired Bistro Café.More news:  Direct Travel names Smith as Senior VP, Leisure Marketing, North AmericaPalm Court, a favourite hub for afternoon tea, cocktails, dancing and floor-to-ceiling views aboard Crystal’s ocean and river ships, will be on board Crystal Endeavor for evening entertainment, as well as enrichment presentations and classes. Other favored social spaces will be the Connoisseur Club cigar lounge, Crystal Cove and the only casino on an expedition yacht.Crystal Cove BarPalm Court at night Wednesday, March 7, 2018 last_img read more