Trump: ‘Nicaragua Continues to Be a National Security Threat’

first_imgBy Voice of America December 05, 2019 U.S. President Donald Trump extended an executive order on November 25 to sanction Nicaraguan government officials, asserting that the situation in the country constitutes an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”With the executive order renewed, the United States will announce new sanctions on officials of the Daniel Ortega government, Carlos Trujillo, U.S. representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), told the press.“The pressure on Nicaragua will continue,” Trujillo said as he left an OAS session on the Central American country.In a statement released by the White House, Trump said that the country’s situation and its “threat” are due to the “violent response by the government of Nicaragua to the protests that began on April 18, 2018.”He also blamed President Daniel Ortega for the “systematic dismantling and undermining of democratic institutions and the rule of law,” as well as the “use of indiscriminate violence and repressive tactics against civilians.”According to the press release, corruption is another factor that contributes to this situation.Trump’s measures comply with an administrative procedure; the president must extend the executive order issued on November 27, 2018, so that it can remain in force, allowing for legal arguments to sanction Nicaraguan officials.Opposition pushes for further pressureAccording to Bianca Jagger, an opposition activist and human rights advocate, both the United States and the European Union should impose more sanctions against Nicaraguan government officials, especially the military.“The Nicaraguan Army remains untouched, because they hope that the Army will take the same stand as Bolivia’s [Army],” Jagger said at an event held in Washington on November 25. “The Army has provided war weapons to the police and military,” she added.Nicaragua, along with Cuba and Venezuela, is among the Latin American countries that Trump has set as a priority for imposing diplomatic and economic pressure leading to a change in government.According to Roberto Courtney, executive director of the nongovernmental organization Ethics and Transparency, the effect of sanctions might be greater in Nicaragua, which is more economically vulnerable.“There’s a small difference [between Nicaragua and Venezuela] (…) economic vulnerability makes it more prone to suffer the effect of sanctions,” Courtney said.Nicaragua has been experiencing a socio-political crisis since April 2018. According to an OAS High-Level Commission report on Nicaragua, the crisis contributed to at least 325 deaths.The report, submitted to the Permanent Council, recommended that the OAS declare a “disruption in constitutional order” in Nicaragua, which could trigger the suspension of Nicaragua as a member of the multilateral organization.last_img read more

Soweto through a high-tech lens

first_imgA close up of the Gigapan robotic camera Nqobile Thusi, grade 11 and SaneleMthetwa,Grade 10.Both learners are part of the Gigapanproject. The Klipspruit Valley “Chicken Farm”Informal settlementImages: Khanyi MagubaneKhanyi MagubaneNo sooner has the bell signalling the end of yet another school day been rung than the raucous sound of hundreds of students streaming out of Lavela High School in Zola North, Soweto, can already be heard. But for a small group of students another world is just opening up.The 27 students chosen to take part in an exciting new project are diligently working away on their computers in the newly installed computer lab, where they are learning more about Gigapan.Gigapan is the name of a high-resolution robotic camera, developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in the US and project is an initiative developed to assist children from different backgrounds to understand each other and their worlds better. It is backed by funding from the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s International Bureau of Education. Other partners on the project are the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Google and National Geographic. The computers in the lab were installed by Gauteng Online, a project of the Gauteng Department of Education.The Soweto school is one of only four selected for the project, and it will be working with other children in the US and Trinidad and Tobago. It was selected for Gigapan after it worked with Unesco last year to lead discussions about Aids with a school in Australia.Panoramic views in fine detailThe Gigipan camera has the ability to capture images in great detail. Although at first glance they look like any other picture, they have been created by the software in the system joining together anything from 40 to 400 images. When these images are made available on a website the viewer is able to zoom in as much as 600-million pixels, enabling them to see something as detailed as a logo on a t-shirt or a street sign.CMU’s Professor of Robotics, Illah Nourbaksh, came to South Africa in April to teach pupils how to use the camera and the robotic arm that guides it, and he took the first pictures of Soweto that were loaded onto the site.Sanele Mthetwa, a 14-year-old grade 10 pupil, explains with pride how the project works, “We take snapshots, post them on a website and other kids in similar programmes around the world ask us questions about our lives.”What Mthetwa is referring to is the rare partnership between a few selected high schools around the world that have been given the Gigapan robotic camera. Students log on to a website where they can look at pictures posted by their partner school and if there is something of interest they see, the students are then able to zoom in and take a “snapshot”. There is a conversation box attached to the snapshot, enabling students to satisfy their curiosity with endless questions that they ask each other.Lavela’s partner school is Falk High School in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania in the US. Every day after school the Soweto pupils rush to the computers to see what their American friends have uploaded.The Soweto learners have fun taking snapshots and asking their American counterparts about their local community. In turn, they too answer questions about the panoramic pictures of Soweto.Grade 12 learner Asanda Songca, appointed the student leader of the project, had to gather together a group of interested students who would take part in the training session with Professor Nourbaksh. “The biggest challenge I had was to find students that were interested and committed to this project. It was important that we had a vision for the project. So far we are getting there, everyone is cooperating.”Capturing the disparate communitiesRecently the students decided to go to the top of the Klipspruit Valley Bridge in Soweto to take pictures. From this point the economic disparity between local residents can clearly be seen. A marsh and the Klipspruit Valley River separate residents living in dire poverty in a squatter camp (informal settlement) on the one side and residents living in big houses and relatively better conditions on the other.Two grade 11 pupils, Sanele Mpanza and Sibusiso Thusi, along with deputy principal Lulama Thobejane, mount the robotic camera at the top of the bridge. With their teacher’s guidance, the pupils decide that they will take a 180-degree panoramic shot of the Kliptown Chicken Farm squatter camp, and the surrounding Foxlake, Dlamini and Rockville townships.After some fiddling with the settings and punching in coordinates, the camera takes over and snaps away by itself. The students check the images on the camera, take a few more and then decide that they have taken enough for the day.For Thobejane, the project is exciting as it opens the eyes of students to a high-tech world that they didn’t know before. She says that through Gigapan her students have now joined a global community, “People from diverse cultures and origins must communicate, with the hope of making the world a better place.”The pupils have a six-month deadline to have the project up and running, after which they will be assessed on their progress.Useful linksGigapanGauteng online Gauteng Department of EducationThe Robotic institute of CMUUnescoNational Geographiclast_img read more

Micromax Canvas Entice with KitKat 4.4.2 launched

first_imgIndian handset maker Micromax has launched one more smartphone, the Canvas Entice, with KitKat 4.4.2, the latest Android OS.For now, the Micromax Canvas Entice A105 has been listed on Micromax official website without any pricing and availability details.  The Canvas Entice A105 comes with a 5-inch WVGA screen with a resolution of 480×800 pixels.On the specs front, the device has Broadcom’s BCM23550 chipset with a quad-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A7 processor and 512MB RAM. It sports a 5-megapixels main camera and a 0.3 MP front snapper.  The dual-SIM smartphone has 4GB internal memory with option to expand it up to 32GB via microSD card. It comes with Bluetooth 4.0/USB/Wi-Fi connectivity options.The Micromax Canvas Entice packs a 1900mAh battery. As per claim, the battery provides 5-hour talk time and 150-hour standby time.It comes with pre-loaded apps like Opera Mini, M!Games, M!Live, Reverie, Reverie Phonebook, Getit, Bounce Ball Classic, Bubble X Slice and Zombie Smasher.last_img read more

UNSUNG HEROES IN THE TENT

first_imgI’d heard rumours about the great job that the Permits medical staff do for their teams, but it wasn’t until I took a walk down to the Southern Suns medical tent and had a look at their physio and trainers in action, that I saw how valuable they really are. The Southern Suns have brought along three trainers and a physio to this year’s NTL and one of the trainers, Laurie Atkins took some time to have a chat with me about their job and how they fit into the whole NTL equation. Laurie has been involved with the Suns as a trainer for several years now, and has a long history of Touch involvement, including playing representative Touch for the ACT back in 1982. A retired public servant, it’s obvious Laurie has a great passion for the sport and the players, as do the other men he’s working with. It’s also obvious how much the Suns players need and appreciate the work they do. All of the tables were being used and there was a steady stream of clients in and out, lining up for their treatment. Rob Hoy, is the local Coffs Harbour physio who has been helping the Suns out for around 7 years now. Mark Smith (or Jibbler as he’s known to everyone), is from Gundagai and has been helping out the Suns since before they were the Suns, when they were known as Riverina and District 1. And last but not least, John Choice, from Batemans Bay, is a qualified masseur and has been assisting the Suns for several years too. The medical team is the first and the last to leave, at the grounds bright and early to prepare and strap players for their games and at the grounds last to keep an eye on their charges and make sure there are no unforeseen injuries. According to Laurie most of what they see and deal with is general sprains and strains, grazes and management of old injuries, but what they get out of it is worthwhile for the enjoyment and the relationships. “We all love the sport itself and of course our jobs, but it is the chance to meet people and make different friends, as well as the opportunity to be able to help all of these players, that makes this so worthwhile,” he said. “We like to think that we have a role in these players success and that we’re part of the reason they can get out and play,” Laurie added. And that is most definitely the truth according to one of the Mens 50’s players, Tony Santolin from Griffith. “Especially in our age group, the Mens 50’s, these guys are the ones that help us get through our games. Without them we’d not only be in pain but we probably wouldn’t be able to move,” he said. “We can rely on them to always be there to help us out, most of the time it’s just for freeing tight muscles, but often they help people get off crutches and onto the playing field.” Once again, we discover another aspect to the sport of Touch that doesn’t get the thanks or the recognition of others. They work long hours and help us get out onto the fields. Their contribution is awesome. By Rachel Moyle, [email protected]last_img read more

Australia Wins Trans Tasman Trophy

first_imgIt was a great day for the Australian teams, winning all four matches and retaining the Youth Trans Tasman Trophy. The 18’s Boys locked up their series at one game-a-piece, with the all important decider to be played at 10.00am tomorrow morning. The 18’s Girls, 20’s Girls and 20’s Boys all won their respective second games, and in doing so won their respective series’. 18’s GirlsAustralia has fought back to win the second 18’s Girls game and therefore claim the division on day two of the 2015 Youth Trans Tasman Series. New Zealand started the game strongly, with Cassandra Engler scoring the opening touchdown of the game. Due to the heat, the game was split into 10 minute quarters, with New Zealand going to the first break and the half-time break leading 1-0. Whatever Australian coach, Craig Morrow said at half-time worked for the team, with the Aussies coming out firing in the second half. Four touchdown in the first 10 minute stanza to Jemma Mi MI, Emma Sykes, Madi Crowe and Steph Maiolo saw the Australians take a 4-1 lead with 10 minutes to go. The Aussies further extended their lead through Shenae Ciesiolka in the opening set of the quarter to take a four touchdown lead. The score remained that at full-time, with the Australians winning game two and the series. You can watch the third game live at 9.00am here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkuvjG0NMNc18’s BoysThe Australian 18’s Boys team has kept the series alive with their game two win in the 2015 Youth Trans Tasman Series. After coming agonisingly close in game one last night, the Australians led from the early stages of the match.Tristan Broadbridge scored first for the Aussies in the seventh minute, before beautiful footwork by Kalyn Ponga gave the Australians a 2-0 lead. Touchdowns to Kai Simbolon and Jackson Mills in the final minutes of the half, before Hauriri Harvey scored the Kiwis to bridge the gap to three touchdowns at half-time, 4-1.  The teams traded touchdowns early in the second half, before the Australians continued their scoring spree to lead by eight touchdowns at one stage. Australia’s Jackson Mills showed the commitment of the team to win the game with an incredible chase down the sideline to stop the Kiwis from scoring during the half, with the Australians taking the win 11-4. The win sees the series go to a third and deciding game, one that will no doubt live up to expectations. You can watch it live here at 10.00am – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEuw5669drQ 20’s GirlsThe Australia 20’s Girls have continued their dominance of the 20’s Girls division, winning game two 15-3 and claiming the series title on day two of the 2015 Youth Trans Tasman Series. The girls got out to a blistering start, not too dissimilar to yesterday’s game, and went to the half-time break with a 7-1 lead. First half touchdowns were scored by Yasmin Meakes, Sammy Rodgers, Toni Well and first half doubles to Kimberley Sue See and Laura Peattie gave them a 7-1 half-time lead. The Aussies further extended their lead in the second half, with Laura Peattie finishing with four touchdowns for the match, to run away with a 15-3 win and the series title for the 20’s Girls division. The third and final game will be played at 11.00am Sunday, you can watch it live here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fV5XGVaBWh020’s BoysThe Australian 20’s Boys have continued their impressive form on day two of the 2015 Youth Trans Tasman Series, with a strong performance in game two to claim the series 2-0 with one game to go. A first half hat-trick to Paddy Coelho helped the Aussies to a 7-1 half-time lead. They further extended their lead in the second half, taking the game 10-2 and taking a 2-0 series win with one game remaining in the series. The 20’s Boys win meant that Australia retained the Youth Trans Tasman Series trophy. The 20’s Boys will play their last game at 11.00am on Sunday, you can watch it live here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8Vcl7_0R5ERelated LinksYTT Day Twolast_img read more

16 days agoReal Madrid players fed-up with fitness coach Gregory Dupont

first_imgAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Real Madrid players fed-up with fitness coach Gregory Dupontby Carlos Volcano16 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Madrid players are becoming fed-up with fitness coach Gregory Dupont.Dupont was hired this summer to replace Antonio Pintus after his decision to leave for Inter Milan. During his time with Real, Pintus was part of three Champions League winning teams.But since Dupont’s appointment, Real’s senior squad have suffered no less than 13 injuries. Dupont arrived from France’s World Cup winning squad on recommendation from Real coach Zinedine Zidane. However, his methods are drawing complaints from the players.That’s according to Okdiario’s chief pundit Eduardo Inda, when speaking on El Chiringuito.”The players are unhappy with Dupont and miss Pintus,” he stated. last_img read more

Gov’t Pleased with Increased Use of Geospatial Technology Locally

first_imgStory Highlights Acting Chief Technical Director in the Ministry, Constance Trowers, said that geographic information system (GIS) technology is being utilised in several sectors, particularly in traffic management and road infrastructure works. The Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation is pleased with the increased use of geospatial technology locally.Acting Chief Technical Director in the Ministry, Constance Trowers, said that geographic information system (GIS) technology is being utilised in several sectors, particularly in traffic management and road infrastructure works.“The National Works Agency (NWA) has been employing GIS for cost-effective design and road repair as well as river training. So, too, has the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) in coordinating its buses on their routes and schedules,” she noted.She said further that China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) “has extensively employed geospatial technologies in the planning, routing, monitoring and maintenance of the various major corridor expansion projects currently being undertaken both within the Corporate Area and throughout Jamaica”.Ms. Trowers was speaking at the 10th GIS Business Executive Forum hosted by the National Spatial Data Management Division (NSDMD) of the Ministry, at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on November 6.She said that the Ministry celebrates the gains made in the use of GIS and other geospatial technologies, and intends to use these as the foundation for greater benefits in the future, underscoring the Ministry’s commitment to economic growth.“The benefits of geospatial technology are all-encompassing to all sectors of society with limitless potential. These technologies must be at the forefront of our efforts as we seek to forge stronger partnerships between Government, citizens and the private sector in initiatives that will yield significant mutual benefits,” she said.Geospatial technology refers to all of the technology used to acquire, manipulate, and store geographic information. GIS is one form of geospatial technology. These technologies are used in the development of global positioning system (GPS) units, unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), satellite imagery and vehicle navigation and tracking solutions, among others.The forum was part of activities for National Geography Awareness Week from November 6 to 16 under the theme ‘Geospatial Technologies: Driving Logistics and Transportation’.Other events include the 6th GIS Technical Seminar at the University of Technology (UTech) on November 8, a Thanksgiving Service at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church on November 11, the 16th National GIS Day Exposition at the University of the West Indies (UWI), and a GIS Symposium at the Caribbean Maritime University on November 16.The HEART Trust/NTA, the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) and the UWI have partnered with the Ministry to mark Geography Awareness Week.center_img The Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation is pleased with the increased use of geospatial technology locally.last_img read more

Navig8 Expands Fleet with Four Chemical Tankers

first_imgWorld Maritime News Staff zoom Maritime services provider Navig8 expanded its pools with four chemical tankers in September 2016. Navig8 Chemicals took delivery of Navig8 Universe and Navig8 Constellation, which were built in 2013 at Shina SB yard in South Korea. The two 45,352 dwt tankers joined the company’s Chronos8 Pool.Another chemical tanker, the 19,964 dwt Ece Nur K, built at Turkish Torgem shipyard in 2009, joined the company’s Brizo8 Pool.The company’s fourth addition was the 25,000 dwt Willard J. The vessel was built in 2016 by Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD) and was delivered to the Navig8’s Delta Pool.Navig8 Chemicals’ fleet is comprised of 84 vessels, including 14 newbuilds, divided into four pools.The Brizo8 Pool manages vessels in the 16-21,000 dwt range, and currently comprises 17 tankers.The company’s Stainless8 Pool manages 14 tankers in the 16-25,000 dwt range.The third pool, Delta8, is comprised of 35 vessels ranging from 25,000 dwt to 44,000 dwt.The fourth pool, Chronos8, consists of 18 vessels in the 44-54,000 dwt range.last_img read more